A Style Study: David Sedaris
In case you wish to view it again, view the ending we didn't have time for or share it with family and friends because it's hysterical and makes some interesting commentary on our strange santa-worshiping traditions and on holidays becoming increasingly commercialized.
In reading/listening/watching several works by the same author: "Me Talk Pretty One Day" "Six-to-Eight Black Men" and "The Santaland Diaries" (via "Crumpet the Elf" the above video) one begins to recognize the patterns and tendencies and quirks of the author. Simply put, this is style. Sedaris is funny, but style is more complex than that. Stand-up comics are funny (sometimes) but in writing, that humor tends to be subtle. Sedaris uses interesting diction (don't all effective writers?) but he has a way of incorporating unexpected or odd details that lend themselves to the creation of a humorous scene. He also favors a sardonic tone as he criticizes and mocks certain practices and beliefs and people -- on that note, he relies heavily on stereotypes to present his arguments. But what makes humor successful, as a rule, is that the author or speaker includes themselves in the mockery or admits to their own shortcomings. Sedaris isn't afraid of being seen as ridiculous, shallow, aloof, or bitter and this, strangely enough, endears him to the audience. As he mocks and criticizes others, he is mocking and criticizing himself as well. Ethos, ethos, ethos.