Welcome to The Dinner Party Download, a fast and funny hour of culture, food and conversation: “public radio’s arts & leisure section.” In every episode you’ll learn a joke; bone up on an odd bit of history and then wash it down with a themed cocktail recipe; meet artists of note; have your burning etiquette questions answered; savor an emerging food trend; and hear your new favorite song. Plus, unconventional wisdom from hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam.


Episode #347: Colin Farrell, Maria Bamford, Frankie Cosmos

May 20, 2016 · Duration: 49:46 · Play

Movie star Colin Farrell considers his new film, “The Lobster”… Comedian Maria Bamford channels her mother (and her mother’s hairdresser) to give us etiquette advice… Writer and activist Lindy West stands up for Kermit the Frog… Musician Frankie Cosmos DJs your dinner/pajama party (no boys allowed!)… Writer and rocker John Doe regales us with stories of the early ’80s punk scene in LA (X marks the spot)… Plus, hairy dead presidents, the lonely journey of the Gar-Barge, a trashy cocktail, and more!

Speakeasy Special: Ellie Kemper, Cameron Esposito, Michael McKean, Emmy the Great

May 17, 2016 · Duration: 17:47 · Play

It’s an all new “Speakeasy” — our occasional, off-the-cuff, slightly profane, online-only podcast where we share some of the great stuff we had to leave on the cutting room floor. This time around you’ll hear Ellie Kemper of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” attempt to raise the bar for improv (or is it the roof?)… Plus, comedian […]

Episode #252: Marc Maron, Philippe Petit, and Soylent

May 13, 2016 · Duration: 51:27 · Play

Encore Broadcast: Marc Maron gives etiquette AND time-travel advice… Graphic novelist Mimi Pond lists criminals, spies, and other bohemians … “Man On Wire” tightrope-walker Philippe Petit explores creative chaos… “The Descendants” author Kaui Hart Hemmings tells a new tale… load up on Kleenex ’cause here comes SADvertising… the history of the least respected trophy in […]

Episode #346: Saoirse Ronan, Cameron Diaz, Solomon Georgio

May 6, 2016 · Duration: 51:24 · Play

Oscar-nominee Saoirse Ronan sharpens her skills in Broadway’s Crucible… Actor-and-author Cameron Diaz gives us impeccable advice — for the long haul… A new doc paints a portrait of David Hockney, an artist both bright and blue… One-man-band Kevin Morby recommends a few other artists (and BBQ masters) who went solo… Comedian-on-the-rise Solomon Georgio recalls his low point… And we toast “Queen Bess” — the African-American pilot who blazed a (con)trail before Amelia Earhart did. Plus, a cure for cell phone zombie-ism, a new funk-tastic track, and some horseplay.

Episode #345: Jessica Williams, Dick Cavett, Michael McKean

April 29, 2016 · Duration: 54:51 · Play

The Daily Show Senior Correspondent Jessica Williams dishes about her most devastating moment (in an olive oil shop in Park Slope) … Talk-show legend Dick Cavett waxes poetic on playing himself … Comedian Jen Kirkman loses her cell phone and changes her life … Actor Michael McKean, of “This is Spinal Tap” and “Laverne and Shirley” fame, briefs us on playing bad guys. Plus Helen Zaltzman — host of the podcast The Allusionist — on the spies sending you birthday cards, a real German cocktail to go with some fake German news, and music from Emmy the Great!

Episode #344: Anderson Cooper, Nahnatchka Khan, Parquet Courts

April 22, 2016 · Duration: 49:40 · Play

Journalist and TV host Anderson Cooper dazzles us with details from the new memoir he co-wrote with his heiress mom, Gloria Vanderbilt… Nahnatchka Khan, showrunner for the sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat,” thanks her Dad for trapping her in a car… Atlas Obscura’s Reyhan Harmanci regales us with tales of lab rats with cold feet… Environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett talks April showers… Plus a cocktail to quench your thirst during the longest ball game ever, a mildly intoxicating mouthful of betel nut, and a tribute to our dearly beloved, Prince.

Episode #318: Salman Rushdie, Alice Cooper, Carly Rae Jepsen

April 19, 2016 · Duration: 49:57 · Play

Encore Broadcast: Novelist Salman Rushdie stirs up age-old mischief – and magic… Shock rock legend Alice Cooper tells wild tales of Groucho Marx, Paul McCartney, and his “Hollywood Vampires” crew, then slays us with sensible etiquette advice … Carly Rae Jepsen DJs our party (you’ll really, really like her soundtrack)…. We shed light on the daguerreotype, […]

Episode #343: The ALL-TV Episode

April 8, 2016 · Duration: 49:51 · Play

It’s a special “ALL-TV” Episode, featuring big talent from the small screen! Ellie Kemper of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” smiles into the void… T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley”) recommends wedding gifts for the budget-minded (just make sure you have your tetanus shot)… “Orange is the New Black” star Uzo Aduba invites Shakespeare to the slammer… TV mastermind […]

Episode #342: Nicholas Hoult, Tatiana Maslany, Duncan Sheik

April 1, 2016 · Duration: 49:50 · Play

Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany plays clones, twins, and Ying Yang Twins… Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, the new Kill Your Friends) revels in a bit of depravity – and a good fanny pack… American Psycho gets the Broadway treatment, from Tony winner Duncan Sheik… A portrait of Georgia O’Keefe as a young woman… A Chicago priest battles the “Polish Edison” over credit for the bulletproof vest… And the band Heron Oblivion transports us to a rustic seaside dinner party — so rustic, in fact, that it’s set in a chicken coop.

Episode #341: Daniel Clowes, Cameron Esposito, Quilt

March 25, 2016 · Duration: 50:06 · Play

Graphic novelist Daniel Clowes on his unusual and endangered drawing utensils… Newly-married comedian Cameron Esposito describes her very public bachelor party and gives us etiquette advice… Sabri Ben-Achour of “Marketplace” and “Actuality” ponders the ghosts of peanuts past… The band Quilt DJs the chillest dinner party ever… NYMag’s Sierra Tishgart dishes on the deal with eel… Plus a bitter drink to accompany a North Pole rivalry, and more!

Episode #340: Jeff Nichols, Lauren Weedman, Tindersticks

March 18, 2016 · Duration: 49:36 · Play

Southern filmmaker Jeff Nichols (“Mud,” the new “Midnight Special”) brings sci-fi down to earth, then offers up some pearls of wisdom… One of the art world’s bright lights, Dan Colen, muses on his new visions– part-Disney, part-J.M.W. Turner… Scene-stealer and storyteller Lauren Weedman tells a tale of moms and “Miss Fortune”… We recall the day when Niagara did not Fall… Stuart Staples (of Tindersticks) spins a soundtrack that’s easygoing and elegiac… And we check the hype on the (deep breath!) scotch shortage. Plus, advice with “Ask Polly,” & a new breed of biker-rebel.

Episode #339: Viola Davis, Alan Cumming, Dave Navarro

March 4, 2016 · Duration: 50:08 · Play

Viola Davis — star of the ABC hit show “How to Get Away with Murder” — waxes poetic on the wonders of Vaseline… Broadway star Alan Cumming gives us an etiquette lesson and reminds us that he is NOT a performing poodle… Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro navigates the darkest moment of his life in his new documentary “Mourning Son”… Musician M. Ward DJs your dinner party… Plus, the history of New York’s first subway and a hip underground companion cocktail, robotic animal decoys, and more!

Episode #338: The NOTscars Special

February 26, 2016 · Duration: 49:45 · Play

It’s our first NOTscars show — for everything you won’t find at the Oscars! “Tangerine” star Mya Taylor on Hollywood realness and her rural refuge… New York Times film critic AO Scott lists his favorite Academy-ignored films… Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton of the “Another Round” podcast on tired movie tropes and #OscarsSoWhite… “Mad Max: Fury Road” music composer Junkie XL scores your dinner party… Plus, the flyest in-flight safety video, the finest Vine, a cost-cutting bouncy castle, fun with phaleristics (we didn’t know what it meant either!), Australia’s sexism awards, and more!

Episode #337: Adam McKay, George Miller, Santigold

February 22, 2016 · Duration: 50:04 · Play

Two Oscar-nominated filmmakers tell us about finding stories in unexpected places — Adam McKay (“The Big Short”) and George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”)… Santigold revives our spirits with her party soundtrack… The down-and-up history of the Ferris Wheel… Star L.A. chef Roy Choi reinvents fast food, in the heart of Watts… And more!

Episode #336: Jason Schwartzman, Jenny Slate, Father John Misty, Lena Waithe

February 12, 2016 · Duration: 56:05 · Play

It’s a special live(ly) edition of the DPD, recorded in front of a sold-out L.A. crowd! Actor Jason Schwartzman revisits his “Rushmore” audition… Comedian Jenny Slate talks Marcel the Shell and Michael Dukakis the Hottie… Father John Misty plays a few party-stopping songs… And TV writer-producer Lena Waithe (currently starring in “Master of None”) tells the tale of becoming her girlfriend’s first girlfriend. Also on the menu: questionable etiquette advice, a crash course in election-season “hispandering,” and a joke that’s so corny, it’s golden.

Episode #323: Olivia Wilde, Elvis Costello, Paul F. Tompkins

February 5, 2016 · Duration: 50:35 · Play

Encore Broadcast: “Meadowland” actor Olivia Wilde tells us about non-nurturing female characters… Music legend Elvis Costello chats about his new memoir… We toast to Little Richard’s religious awakening… Art god Laurie Anderson weaves together a gripping tale about her rainy stint at an Amish farm… Young adult novelist Leigh Bardugo gives us her list of […]

Episode #325: Brie Larson, Gloria Steinem, Raury

January 29, 2016 · Duration: 50:06 · Play

Encore Broadcast: Actor Brie Larson, star of “Room,” talks about being trapped on a plane while passengers watch her movie… The esteemed Gloria Steinem answers etiquette questions and gives you permission NOT to smile… folk-hip-hop artist Raury DJs your dinner party in a futuristic forest… Mary-Louise Parker reads a letter from her new book (don’t call it a […]

Episode #335: John Slattery, Eleanor Friedberger, Friendly Fish

January 27, 2016 · Duration: 50:08 · Play

Mad Men star John Slattery finds heroes and horrors in his native Boston, in the Oscar-nominated Spotlight… Indie pop star Eleanor Friedberger puts on a show – in the kitchen and at the turntable… Acclaimed short story writer Amber Sparks carves out a love story… We fish for new rules of thumb about sustainable fishing… Etiquette scions Lizzie Post and Dan Post-Senning inflate their air mattress for us… And we toast the time when journalist Nellie Bly became a literal trailblazer.

Episode #334: Teyonah Parris, Savages, and Profanely Good Etiquette

January 15, 2016 · Duration: 49:31 · Play

Actor Teyonah Parris on how Michelle Obama helped her prepare for her lead role in Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq”… Post-punk band Savages DJ your murder mystery dinner party… Author Janice Y.K. Lee paints us a portrait of expat life in Hong Kong… Writer Sarah Knight’s life-changing answer to Marie Kondo… plus the Netflix of air travel, […]

Episode #333: Peter Berg, Pusha T, Illeana Douglas

January 8, 2016 · Duration: 50:02 · Play

Hollywood heavyweight Peter Berg confesses to starting the TV binge craze, but does NOT apologize… Pusha T invites Kanye to our party (soundtrack)… Illeana Douglas becomes a tuning fork for Marlon Brando… We toast the day that Johnny Cash’s career rebounded — in prison… Brendan gets the skinny on huge 2016 food trends …And essayist […]

Episode #315: Jason Segel, Diablo Cody, and Three Cool Cats

December 30, 2015 · Duration: 50:32 · Play

Encore Broadcast: This week we revisit one of our favorite 2015 episodes: Actor Jason Segel turns over a new leaf, as David Foster Wallace, in the biopic “The End of the Tour”… Rock star writer Diablo Cody (“Ricki and the Flash”) comes bearing etiquette (and karaoke) tips … Bobcat Goldthwait remembers Barry Crimmins, the man who brought conscience […]

Best of 2015: Carrie Brownstein, Oscar Isaac, Shamir

December 23, 2015 · Duration: 50:35 · Play

Sit back, relax, and aim your ears at these standout moments from punk singer Carrie Brownstein, artist Laurie Anderson, actor Oscar Isaac, comedian Michael Ian Black, and dance-pop maestro Shamir. Plus, your favorite icebreaker and history lesson of the year… and a Small Talk mash-up. (We’ll call it Tiny Talk!) Here’s to lots more phenomenal […]

Episode #331: Gael Garcia Bernal, Molly Crabapple, Hannibal Buress

December 18, 2015 · Duration: 50:03 · Play

Gael Garcia Bernal — a Golden Globe nominee for the series “Mozart in the Jungle” — goes from messiah to maestro… Comedian Hannibal Buress offers up etiquette advice for humans, from dogs… Illustrator and commentator Molly Crabapple likens drawing to dancing – to picking scabs… We tune into an offbeat holiday soundtrack, courtesy British song-smith […]

Episode #330: Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels, Fran Lebowitz, Macklemore

December 17, 2015 · Duration: 55:08 · Play

We’ve made a special episode of “The Dinner Party Download” stuffed with holiday goodness. Hip-hop legend Darryl McDaniels (the “DMC” of Run-DMC) riffs on his mega-hit “Christmas in Hollis”… TV’s “Naked Chef” Jamie Oliver injects some health into our holiday menu (but don’t mess with his decadent cheese toasty)… Humorist Fran Lebowitz keeps the season […]

Episode #329: Alicia Vikander, Randall Munroe, EL VY

December 11, 2015 · Duration: 50:27 · Play

Alicia Vikander, star of “The Danish Girl,” on why she hates Pictionary… “xkcd” cartoonist Randall Munroe helps us keep it simple… Matt Berninger and Brent Knopf of the band El Vy quarrel over Cat Stevens… Emily Post’s great-grandchildren on whether it’s OK to bring a half-empty bottle of wine to a party (or is it […]