In 2005 I was as torn as ever between what style of costume to wear. Even though I’m visually drawn to "pretty" costumes, I’m really too much of a tomboy. There’s a whole huge mental dialogue I have with myself every year weighing the pros/cons of dressing up like a pretty lady, a kickass super hero, a monster, or a male character. I decided to just go for something as unattractive and crude as possible. Hello, Jerri Blank!

Lauren as Jerri Blank I suppose my first Strangers with Candy character choice would be Principal Blackman, but the logistics were just too much to tackle in 2005, so I opted to be 47 year old high school Freshman Jerri Blank! My Jerri impersonation now is pretty spot-on, but last year it was still good enough to really make the costume. Jerri has lots of excellent one-liners, and I used them frequently throughout the night. It just took a bit of practicing in the mirror to get the grimace just right. It’s basically a frown, a furrowed brow, and a lip bite that mimics a severe overbite. Aren’t I pretty?!

Materials: You’re Fired wig (styled to heck), thrift store sleeveless turtleneck sweater, thrift store long sleeve shirt, garish earrings and necklace, a tacky belt, thrift store jeans (the more 80’s styled, the better), eyeliner, eye shadow, layers of clothing to simulate fat thighs/rear (or a “fatty suit”), and complete lack of interest in looking attractive. A boring pair of all white sneakers with REALLY long laces would be a good touch, to mimic the Flaires she wears in A Price Too High for Riches. “Damn, that’s a long lace!”

Jerri Blank pumping gasI began at the thrift store, where hideous 80’s clothing is plentiful and cheap. Cuz that’s Jerri’s style all the way. Turtlenecks are one of Jerri’s signature wardrobe items so I got 2 of them: a tan long sleeved one, and a rust-orange sleeveless sweater one to go on top. I couldn’t find a necklace (she usually wears something with a long string and a large pendant), but did get some big gaudy gold feather looking earrings that worked perfectly. The belt was braided with a gold shell in the center that tied in the back and finished off a pair of high-waisted denim jeans.

The only piece missing was her signature hair, which I found in the You’re Fired Wig and a lot of hairspray. I got the wig really wet and styled it just like regular hair, using a curler for the barrel curl, lots and lots of hairspray, a blowdryer, and a comb for teasing. It took about an hour, but it turned out really well, huh?

Jerri Blank hamming it up at a Halloween partyBefore I could get dressed I needed to put on a pair of shorts and pants on beneath the jeans to simulate an exaggerated pear shaped body. I don’t care what body size you are, padded hips/butt are a necessary part of the Jerri Blank experience. I was afraid of getting too hot (which I did) so I didn’t wear more, but in hindsight I wish I would have padded the jeans to their capacity. Amy Sedaris does that stuff for fun (as detailed in her brother’s book Me Talk Pretty One Day), so why can’t faux Jerri do it for Halloween? Anyway, if you have a lower body fat suit, now would be the time to put it on.

All 3 seasons of Strangers with Candy on DVDNow makeup is the finishing touch. Sometimes Jerri has a prison tear tattoo so I made one from black eyeliner. I also added some smudgey brown eyeshadow and black eyeliner around my eyes to accentuate dark circles and overall ex-junkie-whore look. No other makeup allowed, lest Jerri become less fug.

And that, my bacon strips, is it. I hope you achieve V-I-C-T-O-R-Y with your very own Jerri Blank costumes, and as Jerri will tell you, that spells… Fandango? Hobocamp? Yes, Hobocamp. Now go carve yourself a Jerri Blank-o-Lantern.

PS- How great is the packaging on the new Strangers with Candy DVD set, which contains all 3 seasons? Flatpoing High and Trapper Keepers Forever!