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Your Dream Guests Have Arrived!

We received oodles of fantastic responses to our call-out for “Dream Dinner Party Guests” – so many, in fact, that we included a number of YOUR voices on our special 100th episode last weekend. You can listen here to the show. Thanks so much for chiming in!

If you haven’t had a chance to create your dream guest list yet, you can still do so HERE. This project was such a blast that we’ll certainly do it again soon.

Without further ado, here’s a sample of who’d be arriving at your epic shindigs…

Virginia Arvizu in Corona, CA says: I would love to have Harrison Ford there because I would hope that he would come dressed as Han Solo, and when I served dinner he could say “I got a bad feeling about this.” David Sedaris and Lyle Lovett, too, because they are highly entertaining people in very different ways. They might end up jammin later in the night, while Harrison makes a Light Saber Cocktail…

Vanessa McDaniel in Columbus, OH needs a bigger table for: 1.) John Steinbeck – My favorite author. I want to sit next to him and absorb some of his love for humankind. 2.) Liza Minnelli – An old school broad with a great sense of humor who could prevent any awkward silences. 3.) Paul McCartney – My chance to meet a Beatle, are you kidding? If I ever actually met him, I would probably cry and kill the party though. 4.) Caravaggio – He was a genius artist plus he had the balls to do a self portrait of himself as the severed head of Goliath. I just hope he doesn’t stab anyone. 5.) Idris Elba – He’s fascinating. Plus I just want to stare at him. 6.) Ed Ricketts – I can’t invite Steinbeck without his close friend and inspiration, Ed Ricketts. They’d be so happy to be reunited. 7.) Werner Herzog – I could listen to his Teutonic monologues forever. 8.) Stan Lee – My inner comic geek demands this. 9.) Brigitte Nielson – She just seems cool to me plus I’ve loved her since Red Sonja. 10.) Pepa – It’s Pepa. Is this too many? [Answer: NEVER!] I have some more for dinner party #2: Ru Paul, Marc Chagall, Richard Dawkins, Jim Henson, Dolly Parton, Quentin Tarantino, Jack Kirby, Juliette Binoche, Alain Resnais, Joni Mitchell, Anatole France, Jill Clayburgh, Judy Blume, Gabriel Byrne, Lee Krasner. Amanda in Maryland takes a different tack in making her guest list:

Dan Harasty in Howell, NJ says: Ever since I was a kid (no joke), I’ve had this fantasy: to be the “personal tour guide / personal assistant” for one of these great figures in science if they were to miraculously be transmitted through time — fully alive and at the peak of their prowess — to the present day. Imagine getting to explain to Thomas Jefferson about electronic communications and GPS. Imagine being the one to show and explain to Ben Franklin the internal combustion engine. Or explain to Newton the basics of the nuclear model of the atom. Wow….Just so things wouldn’t get too heavy, I’d be sure to invite a “writer-scientist” or two, like Jules Verne or H.G. Wells. Cocktails, anyone?

Sher Ireland in Tigard, OR picks: Joni Mitchell…because the after dinner entertainment would be spectacular.

Reverend Ellen Cooper-Davis in The Woodlands, TX says: Neil Gaiman-Author and generally fascinating guy. (Great twitter feed, btw). Jay Bakker, son of Jim and Tammy Fae, and outlaw preacher. Melissa Harris Parry, scholar, author, black feminist commentator. David Lynch (Could you PLEASE explain your films!?). Jonathan Franzen, author. All are on the edges of their fields—speaking up, speaking out in some way that challenges status-quo notions of our lives and culture.

Barbara June Dodge-Dart in Long Beach, CA would invite: All members of my family who are dead – particularly my strange and exotic grandparents – whom I never knew: Hanan Ashrawi, Fareed Zakharia, Pankaj Mishra (getting a theme here?) Christopher Hitchens, and Shimon Peres. I would like for my Palestinian grandma to talk about what Bethlehem was like when she was a girl growing up there, and also get everybody to drink and talk about the intractable problems of the Middle East and their ideas about what creative solutions have not yet been attempted.

Bonnie Wilcox in Apple Valley, MN says: I’d choose smart people without airs who love to laugh: Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Tina Fey, Steve Martin, Anne Lamott, Amy Poehler, Kevin Smith.

Silvia Vega in Miami, FL says: I would like to see what the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu would tell Fidel Castro and Gaddafi – what two of the world’s leading spiritual leaders have to say to two of its greatest living tyrants. I would like to see what Elizabeth I has to say to Elizabeth II and what has become of Britain since her reign. As for Bono, Oprah, Steinem and Obama, I just want to meet them, and at the same time I think they’d have a lot to contribute to these two conversations.

Judith Brodnicki in Omaha, NE chooses: J.K. Rowling, Yo-Yo Ma, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Jon Stewart, Miriam E. (my best friend, knitting pal, and lover of music and books,) Odetta, Tim Gunn, Yeshua a.k.a. Jesus of Nazareth.

DeLois Torrez in El Paso, TX fashions two classic lists:

Dinner party number one would include the Marx brothers, Red Skelton, and Bob Hope. Dinner party number two would include Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Huston, Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant.

Mr. Warren Lovingood in Decatur, GA invites: God and Jesus, King David, Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. I would also like my two sons to come to dinner: Mr. Adrian Lovingood and Mr. Todd L. Lovingood Sr.

Sammi Powers in Fairview Heights, IL says: Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis are the dream team of creatives: musician and artist, also releasing a book this August for young adults, but geared toward everyone. Michal Chabon writes the most amazing prose I’ve ever read. “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” makes my heartache. When I met him at a reading a few years ago, he was sweet enough to ask me if he did okay during his reading. I met Elie Wiesel at an event two years ago, and he was the sweetest, most insightful man. I’d love the opportunity to hear more about his incredible life AFTER the holocaust. J.K. Rowling wrote a defining part of my childhood. I want to talk to her about her life post-Harry Potter and have her answer a few questions about what the characters are doing after the war.*

In case you’re wondering…we read and counted all of the responses (including dozens that sadly didn’t make it to this page) and the most popular dinner party guests were J.K. Rowling, various Marx brothers, Jesus, and Tina Fey. You’re in good company!

  • Vanessa McDaniel

    Sweet! Thanks for letting me be part of your Centennial.
    I forgot to include my dog who loves food and humans indiscriminately and my Mother reminded me I forgot to invite her.

  • Vanessa McDaniel

    Sweet! Thanks for letting me be part of your Centennial.
    I forgot to include my dog who loves food and humans indiscriminately and my Mother reminded me I forgot to invite her.

  • Penny McKibben

    How about the Dalai Lama (wisdom), Julius “Groucho” Marx for his drier-than-a-martini wit, Weird Al Yankovic for his amusing take on the world of music, President Eisenhower for his insight into national politics, and Walter Cronkite for his level-headed approach to the news of the day. Bonus Guests: SUSAN STAMBERG, the Grand Dame of Public Radio, and perennial promoter of Cranberry Relish!) and Carl Kassel for his enviable talent at switching back and forth between self-deprecating humour and clear-headed news delivery.