Please explain what just happened.

My sixteen-year-old cat just sneezed a tooth at me and looked at me like, “Really?”  I didn’t know what to tell him.  I’m going to put his tooth under my pillow, and maybe I’ll get a new cat.


What is your earliest memory?

On the bookmobile at age four.  My mom is trying to make me talk to a girl my age.  I am terrified, and I may have cried.

If you weren’t a writer, what other profession would you choose?

I’ve always wanted to run away to join the circus.  I don’t know if it counts as “running away” when you’re thirty-eight, but I think that’s what I’d do.  I wouldn’t work with elephants though, because a girl I knew was smashed into a tree by one.  I’m elephant intolerant.


Describe a typical workday.

Wake up and take my daughter to school.  Write about yetis.  Eat some hot dogs.  Write about ninjas.  Wonder if there are ninja yetis.  Pick up my kid and watch Doctor Who with her until her bedtime.  Relax with my husband and a booze slushee.


Is there a time you wish you’d lied?

Yes.  I wish I hadn’t admitted to eating hot dogs every day.


What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?

I have a real phobia about that number, so I’m going to pretend you said fourteen.  I’d probably tell myself not to worry about all the things I was worried about because none of them was worth worrying about.  But then fourteen-year-old me would assume that meant that I should worry about things I wasn’t worried about, which would probably make me more paranoid.  You know what?  I think I’d just go back in time and eat a bunch of candy they don’t make anymore.  Fourteen-year-old me can fend for herself just fine.



If you could have only one album to get you through a breakup, what would it be?

I hate listening to music after a breakup because it makes me whiny and wallowy, so I guess I’d choose whatever album “We Built This City on Rock and Roll” was on so I wouldn’t be tempted to listen to music.


What are three websites—other than your email—that you check on a daily basis?

Geekologie,, Twitter.


From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?

From my mom.  She taught me how to be nice.  I wouldn’t say it’s served me well, but it’s easier than being bitchy.  I’m too lazy to be bitchy.


Name three books that have impacted your life.

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Ray Bradbury’s Collected Short Stories.


If you could relive one moment over and over again, what would it be?

You know when someone cracks an imaginary egg over your head and you feel it dripping down your back and it gives you chills?  That moment.


How are you six degrees from Kevin Bacon?

Kevin Pollak and Kevin Bacon were in A Few Good Men.  I co-keynoted Blogworld on stage with Kevin Pollak two years ago.


What makes you feel most guilty?

Murder.  And ice cream.


How do you incorporate the work of other artists into your own?

My work depends in many ways on photography, and I’m lucky to have several great photographers as friends who help me come up with great pictures to use.  Maile Wilson and Karen Walrond are two of my favorites.



Please explain the motivation/inspiration behind Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir.

I wanted to write a love letter to my family, a story to remind myself that the most mortifying moments of my life (the ones I wanted to pretend never happened) were the very ones that made me who I am.


What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone else?

Depression lies.


List your favorite in the following categories:  comedian, musician, author, actor.

Author, comedian, musician, actor.


If you had complete creative license and an unlimited budget, what would your next project be?

I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.  The song would be “I Like Big Butts.”  It would be awesome.  No one can frown and sing that song.


What do you want to know?

Is this rash spreading?


What would you like your last words to be?

I love you too.


Please explain what will happen.

It’s 9 p.m.  Booze slushee time.


Known for her sardonic wit and her hysterically skewed outlook on life, award-winning blogger and columnist Jenny Lawson has made millions of people question their own sanity as they found themselves admitting that they, too, often wondered why Jesus wasn’t classified as a zombie or laughed to the point of bladder failure when she accidentally forgot that she mailed herself a cobra.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir is a poignantly disturbing, yet darkly hysterical, tome for every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud.  When Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father (a professional taxidermist who created dead-animal hand puppets) and a childhood of wearing winter shoes made out of used bread sacks. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame spiral that is her life.

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TNB's ARTS & CULTURE section features essays, reviews, and interviews in the world of film, television, visual, comedy, and theater arts. Cynthia Hawkins serves as our Arts & Culture Editor.

One response to “21 Questions with Jenny Lawson”

  1. Travis Lee (Spike) Meador says:

    What is Jenny Lawson’s maiden name? She mentions her father and even has photos of him, talks about his remarkable past but never gives his name. Is it some Eastern unpronounceable name?

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