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 #361: Kelly Reichardt, Kevin Hart, Chris Thile

October 14, 2016 · Duration: 49:38 · Play

Critically-acclaimed director Kelly Reichardt chats about her new film “Certain Women”… The hilarious Kevin Hart brings his kids to work… Grammy-winner and newly-minted “Prairie Home Companion” host Chris Thile spins us a soundtrack… Comedian Kyle Kinane unwinds with some conspiracy theories… Etiquette experts the Posts help us deal with unskilled Uber drivers… Plus: Growing food amidst LA’s continuing drought, a donut delivery man in disguise, we paint the town red with an unruly cocktail, and more!

Episode #360: Rebecca Hall, Jane Lynch, How To Dress Well

October 10, 2016 · Duration: 50:08 · Play

Actor Rebecca Hall – star of the new film “Christine” – demonstrates her range (from Shakespeare to Bjork!)… The always gleeful Jane Lynch brings an alter ego to therapy and gives us etiquette advice… Electro-pop maestro Tom Krell, a.k.a. How to Dress Well, DJs your dinner party … Novelist Jade Chang shares a riches-to-rags story of an immigrant who wants to emigrate… Plus, the underground Bolivian Llama Party, how you may be left-footed, the innovative origins of “I Love Lucy,” and more!

Episode #359: Seth Meyers, Maureen Dowd, Eric Andre, Phoebe Robinson

September 30, 2016 · Duration: 49:44 · Play

Seth Meyers dishes about working his “Late Night” gig (and not about “Saturday Night Live!”)… Pretend talk show host Eric Andre lists his favorite train wreck interviews… Comedian Phoebe Robinson teaches us how to avoid being the black friend… New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd gives us etiquette advice and describes what happens when Donald Trump calls you crazy… Plus, Indonesian food in Amsterdam, foul play at Wrigley field, pumpkin lies, and more!

Episode #358: America Ferrera, Norm Macdonald, Dinosaur Jr.

September 16, 2016 · Duration: 49:47 · Play

“Ugly Betty” and “Superstore” star America Ferrera explains the “super” part of superstores… Comedian Norm Macdonald gives us etiquette advice and reveals why his new memoir, “Based on a True Story,” is full of lies… Childstar-turned-writer Mara Wilson confronts the hereafter… Noise rock pioneer Lou Barlow celebrates soft rock with a soundtrack for your dinner party… Plus, the history of Play-Doh, a crimson cocktail, nanofish in your bloodstream, and more!

Episode #357: Guillermo del Toro, Dave Barry, Jamila Woods

September 9, 2016 · Duration: 49:59 · Play

Visionary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) celebrates bugs, monsters, and his FX Series “The Strain”… Comedian Dave Barry gives us etiquette advice and defends Florida… Actor Nicole Byer gets racially profiled by a child she babysits… Author Mark Greif lays out his case against exercise (and everything else)… rising R&B star Jamila Woods DJs your dinner party… Plus, “clean food,” a real-life tale of time-shifting, a timeless twist on the Dark n’ Stormy, and more!

Episode #356: Craig Robinson, Angel Olsen, and Sake Karaoke

September 6, 2016 · Duration: 50:30 · Play

Actor Craig Robinson (“The Office”) shows off his dramatic chops (and his German) in “Morris from America”… Phoebe Waller-Bridge– star of Amazon’s buzzy new series “Fleabag”– pulls off the ultimate stage prank… Rocker Angel Olsen reflects on lost cities, found lovers, and songs worth preaching about… And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle assists in solving a REAL mystery — which we celebrate with a custom tipple. Plus, the humble origins of sake, fall food (and restaurant bathroom!) trends from Bon Appetit, and tips on hotel tipping from the Posts.

Episode #355: The 2016 All-Icebreaker Episode

August 19, 2016 · Duration: 14:41 · Play

It’s time for our All-Icebreaker extravaganza! We’ve compiled a year’s worth of our show-starting jokes into one convenient package. Get your eyes ready to roll with these awesomely bad tiny tales of stuff walking into bars, bad trips to the doctor, and more, courtesy of guests like Ian McKellen, Cameron Diaz, Alice Cooper, Saoirse Ronan, Nicholas Hoult, Sam Heughan, Tatiana Maslany, and dozens more. Some are funny… most are not. But there are definitely a lot of them. Enjoy!

Speakeasy Special: Food Fight with Jim Gaffigan, ‘The Sporkful,’ and ‘Nerdette’

August 9, 2016 · Duration: 17:11 · Play

Surprise! It’s an all-new edition of our off-the-cuff Speakeasy podcast! This time, you’ll hear a special treat from “The Sporkful”‘s live event at Taste of Chicago: Brendan and Rico square off against Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen, hosts of the “Nerdette” podcast, in a version of the newlywed game. Find out how well the guys […]

Episode #354: Kristen Bell, Sharon Jones, Junius Meyvant

July 30, 2016 · Duration: 49:22 · Play

Soul singer Sharon Jones shares her digits… “Bad Moms” star Kristen Bell entertains our emoji etiquette questions… Comedian Josh Gondelman celebrates his Sublime relationship… Icelandic musician Junius Meyvant DJs your dinner party… Author Charles Russo teaches us about Bruce Lee’s early days… Plus, the robots that wrote the world’s scariest movie, the most popular fake student at a real university, a deceptive cocktail, and more!

Episode #353: Jim Gaffigan, Emma Cline, Anna Meredith

July 22, 2016 · Duration: 49:22 · Play

Comedian Jim Gaffigan advises you to pack your kids’ lunch with pub fare… Novelist Emma Cline discusses the cult of her hit first novel… acclaimed Scottish composer Anna Meredith DJs your next dinner party/obstacle course… Writer Nicole Dennis-Benn finds trouble in paradise… Biographer Darryl W. Bullock sings the praises of the world’s worst opera singer… Plus, the square history of one of the world’s most popular toys, a puzzling cocktail, a Google Doc dilemma, and more!

Episode #352: Shiri Appleby, Jessi Klein, Wyatt Cenac

July 15, 2016 · Duration: 49:37 · Play

Actor Shiri Appleby, of the Peabody award-winning TV show “UnREAL,” directs herself playing the part of a producer (don’t worry, we’re confused too!)… Jessi Klein, Executive Producer of “Inside Amy Schumer,” discusses HER feminine ideals versus THE feminine ideal… Comedian Wyatt Cenac tells us what NOT to say to a mall cop… The man behind The Dan Band chooses some questionable songs to DJ your wedding party… Plus, an FBI investigation of pop music, an indecipherable cocktail, a birdbrained battle, and more!

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

July 8, 2016 · Duration: 49:46 · 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 #351: Anna Kendrick, D.A. Pennebaker, Fantastic Negrito

· Duration: 49:42 · Play

Anna Kendrick answers your etiquette questions (and threatens to eat your family)… Documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker celebrates both sides of Bob Dylan… Comedian Aparna Nancherla explains how she embodies science… Musician Fantastic Negrito DJs your dinner party… Plus, we meet the lovechild of Japanese pancakes and tiny hamburgers, learn the history of keeping cool (with a drink to keep you cool too), follow the rent-a-friend trend, and more!

Episode #350: Rashida Jones, Yo Yo Ma, Tegan and Sara

June 24, 2016 · Duration: 49:33 · Play

Multi-hyphenate Rashida Jones — one of the forces behind TV’s police farce “Angie Tribeca”– comes bearing wisdom for ‘overdogs’… Cello maestro Yo-Yo Ma gets existential… Pop sensations Tegan and Sara craft a party playlist that’s frank — and French… The man and myth behind the donut, as we know it… Photographing your dinner makes you […]

Episode #349: Barney Frank, Anna Chlumsky, Hailu Mergia

June 18, 2016 · Duration: 49:28 · Play

This week, it’s a special edition of the DPD, taped in front of a DC-area crowd! Think of it as a political party: Former Congressman Barney Frank pines for pragmatism and left-(handed) progress… Anna Chlumsky of HBO’s “Veep” swears she can leave her character’s quirks on-set… Local keyboard legend Hailu Mergia, once a part of Ethiopia’s jazz scene, tells us his incredible story and then plays us out… And we talk Martinis (and Martinezes) with DC’s bartender-in-chief Derek Brown. Plus, the man behind the President’s “Between Two Ferns” appearance, some crooked Nixon humor, and more!

Episode #307: Alison Bechdel, Chuck Palahniuk, Colleen

June 10, 2016 · Duration: 49:14 · Play

Encore Broadcast: Alison Bechdel — whose graphic memoir “Fun Home” is now a 12-time Tony-nominated musical — tells us how she gets comfy, with her life on stage… “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk schools us in prank-ology, to celebrate his new sequel… The Posts tackle some especially hairy etiquette hang-ups… We tune into an avant-garde-tinged […]

Episode #328: Ian McKellen, Cindy Crawford, Wine Crime

June 3, 2016 · Duration: 49:18 · Play

Encore Broadcast: Master thespian Sir Ian McKellen with etiquette advice and real talk about his least favorite co-stars… supermodel Cindy Crawford recalls her photo shoot with a 40-pound python… Investigative journalist Christine Haughney on why in wine, there’s not always truth… Will Toledo — of lo-fi indie rock band Car Seat Headrest — DJs your […]

Episode #348: Sam Heughan, Sebastian Junger, Moshe Kasher and Natasha Leggero

May 27, 2016 · Duration: 50:03 · Play

“Outlander” star Sam Heughan drops by to deliver some hair care tips before answering a few of our listeners’ etiquette questions… Filmmaker and journalist Sebastian Junger tells us why some prefer wartime to peacetime… Comedians/spouses Moshe Kasher and Natasha Leggero list a few road trips gone wrong… Brendan visits a cheese cave… Actor and writer Faith Salie […]

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, […]