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Episode 335: John Slattery, Eleanor Friedberger, Friendly Fish

"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.


(Photo Credit: Ben Miller)

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

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, the history of the world's biggest oil gusher, a journey through some utopias, and a fond farewell to David Bowie.


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Episode 333: Peter Berg, Pusha T, Illeana Douglas

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 extraordinaire Heather Havrilesky (aka "Ask Polly") comes in for an etiquette session. Plus, the geography of genius, and the most one-of-a-kind book shop in the world.


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

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 (and anger) to comedy... A taste of haute cuisine baby food, courtesy of the novel "The Kitchens of the Great Midwest"...Breakout musician Thundercat adds some crazy to the party...Plus: incendiary stoplights, magnetic moss, and more!


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Best of 2015: Carrie Brownstein, Oscar Isaac, Shamir

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 arts and culture in 2016.


(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

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

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 Nick Lowe... And Rico sips some soup joumou - the hallmark of the Haitian New Year. Plus, the short-lived American Camel Corps, the one downside of "Master of None," and more!


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2015 DPD Holiday Special: Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels, Fran Lebowitz, Macklemore

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 from getting too sappy with very tart etiquette tips... And chart-toppers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis craft a Yuletide playlist, featuring crazy relatives and, even crazier, David Bowie's "Labyrinth." You'll also hear winning remembrances of both "The Star Wars Holiday Special" -- arguably the worst show ever on TV -- and of "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation", courtesy of star Beverly D'Angelo. Plus, a tale of Santa's whereabouts... during the Iranian Revolution. Featuring good cheer, comic relief, and a tipple or two, the episode's a perfect companion to the hectic and happy holiday season.


Swedish actress Alicia Vikander poses for photographers on the red carpet as she arrives for the Premiere of "Testament of Youth" in central London on January 5, 2015. (Photo Credit: ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)

Episode 329: Alicia Vikander, Randall Munroe, EL VY

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 half-full?)... Actor Josh Thomas of the Australian comedy "Please Like Me" on taking his mom to the top of the world... Plus a Hanukkah menu from LA's Redbird restaurant, the history of the world's first computer programmer, a binary-coded cocktail, and more!


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Episode 328: Ian McKellen, Cindy Crawford, Wine Crime

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 laid-back dinner party... filmmaker Kent Jones on his new Hitchcock doc... Plus, Ann Friedman on pigeon doctors, a history of the Pokemon Shockwave of 1997, a kid show-inspired cocktail, and more!


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Episode 311: Joe Manganiello, Devendra Banhart, Joy Williams

Encore Broadcast: "Magic Mike" star Joe Manganiello strips away our bad etiquette habits... Artist-musician Devendra Banhart ruminates on art, ritual, and everlasting honey... Grammy-winner Joy Williams (formerly of The Civil Wars) shares a party soundtrack, direct from her Nashville "Night Circus"...The pros and cons of dining with dogs... Nina Simone gets a close-up, from acclaimed documentarian Liz Garbus... Writer Rebecca Makkai asks, what if Bach were one of us? (and we wanted to date him). Plus! Epic pie fights, the saxophone's humble beginnings, and a throwback Will Smith icebreaker.