The Dinner Party Download

Want to be the star of this weekend's dinner party? The Dinner Party Download provides a fast and funny “booster shot” of unconventional news, cuisine and culture to help you win.

Recent Episodes

Episode 261: Patricia Arquette, Weird Al, and Jenny Lewis

Pop-parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic on being weird (and Weird, and "Weird") ... "Boyhood" star Patricia Arquette's stolen Santa Clauses ... How singer Jenny Lewis kicks people out ... A trademark-licensing dispute that lead to a big hit ... Visiting a magical-realist Virgin Islands with author Tiphanie Yanique ... New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert counts coughs to judge a concert ... Famous little fishes ... And a new song for Swiss-es.

Episode 260: Audra McDonald, Thomas Jefferson, and Haggis in the U.S.A.

She may perform fearlessly, but Broadway star Audra McDonald tells us which party decoration freaks her right out ... Thomas Jefferson (well, scholar and radio host Clay Jenkinson channeling Thomas Jefferson) expounds on patriotic decorum ... Get ready, people, for a playlist from indie-supergroup People Get Ready ... A scoop of new Spoon ... Blankets that broadcast your mood to fellow flyers ... One man's vendetta against disco ... The national pride of eating sheep innards stuffed in a stomach and stabbed with a knife ... Reuniting a musician with his only recording ... And avoiding scams with Priceonomics.

Episode 259: Rich Sommer, Jackie Collins, and Roger Ebert, Remembered

The life and legacy of critic Roger Ebert ... Secret liaisons with Jackie Collins ... Boozing and camping with "Mad Men" actor Rich Sommer ... Heavy metal rockers Zig Zags crash your party ... A spooky, supernatural adventure ... Crafting a symbol of Pride ... A joke for book-worms ... And dating for super-nerds.

Bonus: Steve Martin, in Conversation - From Scruggs to Jagger

A podcast-only bonus! We're sharing the extended cut of our interview with Steve Martin, just in time for his 4th-of-July bluegrass shows at The Hollywood Bowl. Steve discusses his musical life, his early days as a performer, and the connection between banjo & de Kooning.

Episode 258: Jonah Hill, House of Cards, Luxury Toast

This week: Jonah Hill's search for the perfect coupling ... Skip Lievsay explains how movies should sound ... Life imitates board games imitating life (but not The Game of Life) ... One mother's love-hate relationship with a thousand plastic blocks ... Getting what you pay for with luxury toast ... The creator of "House of Cards" tells us how politics is like jazz ... Woods to the left (to the left) ... How to flirt with a Viking ... And when to politely drink up and move on.

Episode 257: Jenny Slate, John Waters, and First Aid Kit

This week: Filmmaker, writer, and 'Pope of Trash' John Waters offers etiquette advice, naturally... Jenny Slate, star of the film "Obvious Child," says 'complicated' and 'comedy' can coexist... Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit bring board games and tacos to their dinner cozy party ... When we're hungry, why do we get 'hangry'? ... From Panama to Pan Am: novelist Cristina Henriquez remembers a nation in revolt, then we learn about the 'Jet Age,' when coach was actually classy... Mailing your kid to granny's house was actually legal?! ... Plus: Vanity Fair columnist Richard Lawson, new New Pornographers, and keeping tabs on a penguin.