Thyre, Sarah 1968(?)–

views updated

Thyre, Sarah 1968(?)–

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1968; married Andy Richter (an actor and talk-show host), March 18, 1994; children: two. Religion: Roman Catholic.

ADDRESSES:

Home— Los Angeles, CA.

CAREER:

Actress, writer. Television appearances include Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Strangers with Candy, Upright Citizens Brigade, and TV Funhouse; stage performances include New York's Luna Lounge, UCB Theatre, L.A.'s Comedy Central Stage, ImprovOlympic, One Woman Shoe, Incident at Cobbler's Knob at Lincoln Center, and The Real Live Brady Bunch; writer and performer for National Public Radio and freshyarn.com, as well as on stage.

WRITINGS:

Dark at the Roots: A Memoir, Counterpoint Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Publisher of the 'zine Thyrezine.

SIDELIGHTS:

Sarah Thyre is an actress and a writer, specializing in humor. She was raised in Louisiana with very little money, the second of five children, an upbringing that colors her style both as a performer and a writer. Her father nicknamed her "family liar" when she was still a toddler, setting the stage for unfounded treatment and accusations later in life, and perhaps also for her exuberance and quirky outlook. She has performed her own writing at such venues as the Upright Citizens Brigade Theaters, Sit 'n' Spin at the Comedy Central Stage,freshyarn.com, New York's Luna Lounge, UCB Theatre, and on Public Radio International. She has also performed on television programs including Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Strangers with Candy, and TV Funhouse. She also performed in The Real Life Brady Bunch, a spoof of the popular television sitcom, and in a number of plays by Amy and David Sedaris, such as One Woman Shoe, which won the Obie, and Incident at Cobbler's Knob, which was staged at Lincoln Center in New York. Thyre writes and produces a 'zine called Thyrezine, with her siblings, in which she tells stories about her misadventures growing up.

Dark at the Roots: A Memoir, Thyre's first book, takes an honest look at her childhood and experiences growing up, including the hardship of poverty, her mother's extreme faith, and Thyre's struggle for acceptance and popularity. Thyre manages to balance her writing between detailed and spot- on, witty criticism, and a genuine love for her family that shines through regardless. She recounts stories of her mother leading a prayer group, only to follow up by mixing martinis for the priest. There are also family battles, both leading up to and following her parents' divorce, often linked to money. Nonfamily members fare less well, as Thyre is quick to point out the injustices and prejudices she was subjected to by teachers and others who seemed to believe that her intelligence and drive were insufficient to overcome the family's financial circumstances. An example is the Catholic school guidance counselor who discouraged Thyre's ambition to attend Sarah Lawrence or Yale, solely for economic reasons, and despite her acknowledgement that Thyre was smart and a good student. Another is the English teacher who was reduced to tears by Thyre's constant corrections of her incorrect usage of the apostrophe.

Thyre's memoir met with a range of reviews, from lukewarm to enthusiastic. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented that the work "lacks a cohesion determined by strong, memorable characterization," but concluded that the book "amuses in small doses." Entertainment Weekly contributor Ken Tucker praised Thyre's effort as "written with plenty of snap and no self-pity." Aysha Somasundaram, reviewing the memoir for the Bookslut Web site, found the book to be "brutally incisive, shining a light on the foibles and inadequacies of every person appearing in its pages without turning any of them … into grotesques."Somasundaram went on to conclude that the volume "transfixes, amuses and occasionally horrifies." Reviewing for Booklist, contributor Allison Block commented that Thyre's effort "lives up to its title; it's both harrowing and hilarious." A contributor for Kirkus Reviews commented that Thyre's "wit turns what might, in other hands, have been a self-pitying memoir into a bright, amusing story."

In a Q&A on her home page, Thyre answers the question of why she chose to write a memoir: "Because I remember everything. That's my one marketable skill, besides the ability to do sexy voiceovers. I have been writing and performing stories about my family for fifteen years." Married to Andy Richter, the cohost of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and the mother of two, Thyre continues to mine her family life to entertain her audiences and readers.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Thyre, Sarah,Dark at the Roots: A Memoir, Counterpoint Press (New York, NY), 2007.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 15, 2007, Allison Block, review of Dark at the Roots, p. 14.

Entertainment Weekly, March 23, 2007, Ken Tucker, review of Dark at the Roots, p. 67.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2007, review of Dark at the Roots.

Publishers Weekly, February 12, 2007, review of Dark at the Roots, p. 76.

ONLINE

Book Group Expo Web site,http://www.bookgroupexpo.com/ (December 6, 2007), author profile.

Bookslut,http://www.bookslut.com/ (December 6, 2007), Aysha Somasundaram, review of Dark at the Roots.

Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (December 6, 2007), author biography.

New York Observer Online,http://www.observer.com/ (April 11, 1999), Georgy Gurley, "Sarah Thyre, Actress and Bride of Richter."

Sarah Thyre Home Page,http://www.sarahthyre.com (December 6, 2007).

Sarah Thyre MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/sarahthyre (December 6, 2007).

Small Spiral Notebook,http://www.smallspiralnotebook.com/ (December 6, 2007), Cara Seitchek, author interview.

About this article

Thyre, Sarah 1968(?)–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article