January 04, 2008

your turn: dream dinner party

my appetito. it is buon.

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Put me on a long plane ride or car trip, and my mind will wander to which famous people I would invite to a fantasy dinner party. The rules are simple: It's a table of eight, four men and four women (yourself included), and you can pick any well-known person living or dead at any time in their life (like young Elvis or Woody Allen circa Annie Hall).

It's a fun game anybody can play: Smartypants can choose intellectual idols like Einstein or Ben Franklin, and the rest of us can select our favorite actors and musicians, childhood crushes and guilty pleasures (more wine, Beckham?).

If you're the competitive sort, make the game more challenging by assigning boy/girl seats to each person and adding the rule that you have to come up with realistic conversation topics for each guest and the people seated on either side of them. Warning: This can get heated. A friend and I once spent four hours in a Nissan hatchback debating seating arrangements and saying things in all seriousness like, "No way, Crispin Glover and Kate Winslet would not be able to carry on a non-awkward conversation. Drew Barrymore, maybe. I'll give you Drew only if you let me put Jon Stewart next to Lucille Ball."

My guest list changes often, but I tend to seat myself next to people like Peter Sellers, Richard Dawson (the Match Game years) and Eddie Izzard, men who I think will tell saucy stories and keep my wine glass full. Cate Blanchett and David Bowie make frequent appearances at my table, and recent invitees include Anthony Bourdain, Amy Poehler, David Sedaris and craft queen Vickie Howell.

Who would you invite to your celebrity dinner party? Comment below.... And no, you don't have to choose all 7 celebs to join your table, unless you're as obsessive about these kinds of things as I am.

Posted by Eva on January 4, 2008 in Parties

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7 responses to "your turn: dream dinner party"

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"men who I think will tell saucy stories and keep my wine glass full"-- heaven!
right now i'm thinking Jon Stewart, Dolly Parton, Stephen Colbert, me, Steve Martin, Ellen DeGeneres (pre-Iggy), George Carlin, Wanda Sykes

I've thought about this before, but never actually wrote a list until now. FYI, I'm not much of a reader (I'm more of a stage, screen and music kind of guy) so don't expect any literary or philosophical giants, a'ight?. Here goes:

I put myself at the head of the table and directly across from me is my better half Tim (after all I need someone to help me remember this night after the fantasy dinner guests disappear).

To my right is former First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, at any age (she defined elegance throughout her entire lifespan).

To her right is Ted Allen, author and Queer Eye cast member. I debated between Ted Allen and Carson Kressley, who always cracks me up, but opted with Ted Allen since I thought Ted Allen would let other people talk too.

To his right is the late Anne Bancroft, who was amazing in every film she was in, whether drama or comedy.

To Tim's right is Annie Lennox at her current age. She's there not only because she's Tim's favorite musician, but also because no dinner party worth its potatoes would be complete without someone with a Scottish accent.

To her right is Judy Garland, right around the time of her 1961 comeback, when she was in top form again. She was one of the best showbiz story-tellers around.

And finally to her right is the current Bill Clinton, who I think would be enormously entertaining and have all sorts of interesting commentary on current events.

And although you didn't ask for this, I'll add it anyway: In the kitchen cooking the food for all of us is Marcel from season 2 of Top Chef (he was my favorite contestant that season).

I want Mark Bittman, my favorite food writer, to come to my dinner, which would be prepared by Remy, the rat in Ratatouille, who would sit next to me. Then I want William Faulkner, because he was a jerkface, and that's always fun at a party. Then I'd have someone nice, like Jesus, to balance him out. I'd also like Lucille Ball, and Janis Joplin. I would also invite Michael Jordan, who would be on my Wii Rayman's Rabbits team, so we could win, because I am sure he is good at Wii. I'd also like to invite Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellan, and they would be good at Pictionary and Cranium.

At my dinner party, I'd have to have:

Gregory Peck circa Roman Holiday for a little eye candy and to swoon over his voice

Carrie Bradshaw for her infinite fashion wisdom

Tom Hanks to make everyone laugh (and I just love him!)

Alton Brown to cook our fabulous dinner

Thom Yorke for his musical stylings

Lizzie Bennet because I'm sure we'd be best friends

And finally, Oprah. Every fantasy dinner party needs a little Oprah.

What a fun little challenge! Here goes:::

+ Dorothy Parker, writer who lunched at the Algonquin saying things like "Enjoyed it! One more drink and I'd have been under the host."

+ Oscar Wilde, author. Considering he said, "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train," he would make a lively guest.

+ Robert Downey, Jr., actor. I think he'd get along famously with Parker and Wilde.

+ Wes Anderson, the director of "The Darjeeling Limited," a film with the themes of travel and spirituality, would be great to sit next to the author of "On the Road." Coppola owns the rights to the film adaptation of "On the Road," but I'd love to see Anderson make it.

+ Jack Kerouac, author who wrote about travel, religion, and music. He said "the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"

+ Craig Finn, lead singer of The Hold Steady. Always saying something interesting about religion and literature, he'd be great to sit between Keraouc and Miller.

+ Donald Miller, author. Inspired by Christianity, travel, jazz and indie music, he should sit near Finn, Anderson, and Kerouac.

AT MY FANTASY DINNER PARTY I WOULD INVITE:

OPRAH TO BE THE HOSTESS

MARC ANTHONY TO GET US TO DANCE ALL NIGHT

PAULA DEEN TO COOK SOME DELICIOUSNESS

JOHN LEGUIZAMO TO MAKE US LAUGH

JON STEWART TO KEEP US UPDATED WITH HUMOR

TINA FEY BC I THINK THAT SHE WOULD GET ALONG GREAT WITH JON AND COULD ENTERTAIN US WITH HER PALIN IMPERSONATION

ALICIA KEYS BC I LOVE HER AND SHE COULD ROMANCE US WITH HER MUSIC

JOHNNY DEPP FOR EYE CANDY

JOE TORRE, MARIANO RIVERA, AND IVAN RODRIGUEZ BC I THINK THEY ARE AMAZING

MY GIRLFRIENDS SO THAT WE CAN ALL GOSSIP ABOUT THIS NIGHT THE NEXT DAY AND SO THE GUYS HAVE GIRLS TO DANCE WITH

AND FINALLY BARACK OBAMA & MARTIN LUTHER KING JR BC DON'T WE ALL WISH THAT COULD REALLY HAPPEN


hmmm its a hard choice, but i think i would have:

1. Tina Fey - comedy genius
2. David Tennant - great actor, and really hot
3. HUgh Laurie - funny as hell and great in House
4. Lisa Edelstein - same as hugh laurie, but id have to change the menu as shes a vegan
5. Jennifer Saunders - comic legend

cant think of any more right now

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