Happy Birthday To Maurice Sendak — Who Gave One Of The Greatest Stephen Colbert Interviews, Ever

Screen grab: Comedy Central
Most people know Maurice Sendak as the legendary author and illustrator behind Where the Wild Things Are and Chicken Soup With Rice. Some of us grew up with our very own Nutshell Library in our bedrooms. Sadly, Sendak passed away in 2012. But he did something rather surprising and wonderful for an 84-year-old man at the time: held his own and gave one of the best interviews ever to Stephen Colbert.

Sendak memorably told Colbert, "I don't write children's books. I write, and somebody says, 'That's for children.'" The writer had many other priceless bon mots to offer, including Sendak's then-timely remark in the midst of the 2012 primaries that "there is something so hopelessly gross and vile about" Newt Gingrich. Sendak also provided an excellent blurb for Colbert's proposed children's book idea, I Am A Pole (And So Can You!): "Terribly, supremely ordinary."

Still, the interview's biggest reveal is Sendak's confession to Colbert about what the author had in mind when he wrote "the wild rumpus." In full-on Grumpy Old Man mode, Sendak describes a woman screaming, a man telling her to "shut up," the bed going up and down, and essentially, what children would hear from their parents' room. "Making love and being happy," he summarizes.

Our thanks to Sendak for making us happy for so many years. Below, watch Part One of the interview, and check out Part Two over at Comedy Central.

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