“A pair of jumper cables walk into a bar,” David Sedaris says to a packed crowd. “The jumper cables order a Canadian Club. Bartender looks at the jumper cables and says, 'Okay pal, just don't going starting anything.'” Crowd goes wild with laughter. Since Woody Allen started getting serious with his movies and his adopted stepdaughter, David Sedaris has been America's funniest author. Going to a Sedaris reading is like going to watch Hendrix shred or George Carlin tell his seven dirty words joke—classic. And he's currently on tour, reading from his most recent collection, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary. And you lucky people have the opportunity to see this modern-day Mark Twain read from stories about circus owners beating bears, and baby's lambs who get their eyes pecked out by crows (even this dark shit will make you guffaw so hard you'll piss your pants). Since his last book, Sedaris has been touring the world or finding new material at his home in London. Often, Sedaris uses his audiences as a workshop for his new stories. So if you're lucky, you might even hear something he's working on before it shows up in print. Valley Performing Arts Center at the University of California Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Sun, Nov 20; $25, $40, $55, $70; (818) 677-3000 or www.valleyperformingartscenter.org

Sun., Nov. 20, 7 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly