The Dinner Party on WUNC

Sat 4p
  • Hosted by Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano

The Dinner Party is a culture show designed to help you dazzle your friends at your next social gathering. Launched as a podcast in 2010, The Dinner Party is beloved by audiences for its spontaneity, thoughtfulness and exuberance. The show was lauded by Wallpaper magazine as one of the “Top 40 Reasons to Live in America” and hosts Gagliano and Newnam were named to Food & Wine magazine’s “40 Big Thinkers Under 40” list. 

What happened to your WUNC coffee mug, Rico?
Credit APM

The show unfolds like a dinner party, kicking off with “The Icebreaker”— a joke to warm things up. Next comes “Small Talk,” in which top print and online journalists from around the country share their favorite odd news story of the week.  The “Cocktails” portion of the show features a true tale from this week in history with a handcrafted cocktail recipe themed after that it.

Later, we usually “Eavesdrop” on an author reading from a hot new release or answer listeners’ burning etiquette questions. The marquee segment of the show is the “Guest of Honor,” in which hosts Gagliano and Newnam interview some of the most fascinating celebrities in the world and routinely get them to talk about the most unexpected, dinner-party-worthy subjects.

 

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Lopez, Kristina

Rico Gagliano: Each week you send in your questions about how to behave, and here to answer them this week is RuPaul. Not sure he needs an introduction, but suffice it  to say he’s probably the best-known drag queen in the world —


RuPaul: Best known drag queen in the world?! I am the most famous drag queen in the history of the world!

Brendan Francis Newnam: We were just about to say that!


Danny Boyle Reflects on 20 Years of ‘Trainspotting’

Mar 24, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Back in 1994, director Danny Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge made the hit indie thriller “Shallow Grave,” then followed it up with an adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel “Trainspotting.” With it’s hurtling energy and Britpop soundtrack, it was an international hit, made a star out of Ewan McGregor, and became one of the cultural milestones of the ’90s.

Our Podcast Picks for #Trypod

Mar 22, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Brendan Francis Newnam (Co-Host)

Radiolab Presents: More Perfect

Martini Madness Round 1

Mar 17, 2017

(Click to enlarge)

Wait, what is this?

It’s the perfect time of year for a totally made up poll we’re calling Martini Madness! Think of it like a basketball tournament, except with booze instead of athleticism.

Playlist 356

Mar 17, 2017

The Sea & Cake – The Argument

Aphex Twin – Girl/Boy Song

Tipsy – Liquordelic

Cyril J. Mockridge – Main Title (From “The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes”)

David Arnold & Michael Price – “Sherlock” Theme Song

The Sugarcubes – Coldsweat (DB/BP Mix)

Candi Staton – He Called Me Baby

J.J. Cale – Cherry

Listener Letters: Jeopardy Players Buzz In

Mar 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

This week, we took a moment to gaze into the dark heart of our mailbag/inbox/voicemail aka listener comments.

First up Carl from Dearborn Michigan chides Rico and Brendan for their pronunciation of “restaurateur.” Duly noted, Carl.

Jay Som DJs an Anachronistic Get-Together

Mar 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Jay Som first gained attention with songs she wrote in her bedroom and posted online. Not long after, revered indie label Polyvinyl signed her and her debut album of smart lyrics and pop hooks called “Everybody Works,” comes out on March 10.

Here she is to spin music for a Halloween party in Spring… because why not?

Andy Shauf – “To You”

Gillian Jacobs Fakes Love and Tipsiness

Mar 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

For six seasons, actor Gillian Jacobs played the wannabe activist Britta Perry in the cult hit comedy show “Community.” She also did a star turn on Season four of HBO’s “Girls,” playing Mimi-Rose — a foil to Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah.

Gillian now stars in “Love” — a show about dating and relationships in modern Los Angeles. She plays Mickey, a program manager at a satellite radio station who struggles with alcohol, romance and just being a good person.

Sam Richardson Gains Confidence Through a Bad Joke

Mar 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Comedian and actor Sam Richardson has become a standout on HBO’s “VEEP” as a White House staffer who “fails up” better than anyone in history. Sam also stars in the new series Comedy Central series “Detroiters” with “Saturday Night Live” alum Tim Robinson. The show is about two best friends trying to eke out a living in advertising in the Motor City. In the audio above, Sam shares a tale about another best friend… or is he?

Why Rorschach’s Inkblots Are Still the Best Blots Around

Mar 10, 2017
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Douglas, Emerald

Our topic for Chattering Class this week: Psychology’s infamous Rorschach test. And our teacher is author Damion Searls.

VOTE: Martini Madness

Mar 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

(Click to enlarge)

Wait, what is this?

It’s the perfect time of year for a totally made-up poll we’re calling Martini Madness! Think of it like a basketball tournament, except with booze instead of athleticism.

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Lopez, Kristina

Viet Thanh Nguyen‘s first novel “The Sympathizer” won a raft of awards — including the Pulitzer Prize. He’s just published his second book to great acclaim. It’s a collection of short stories called, “The Refugees.”

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Lopez, Kristina

We’re taking our show on the road to South by Southwest!

[Ed Note: The audio above is from our extended interview with Jordan.]

You may know Jordan as half of the comedy duo behind “Key & Peele.” The Comedy Central show produced some of the funniest and most incisive satire of the last many years, often centering around issues of race.

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Lopez, Kristina

Memphis singer and guitarist Valerie June‘s last album “Pushin’ Against a Stone” was produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.

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Douglas, Emerald

Comedians John Early and Kate Berlant are frequent collaborators and have performed together across the country. The duo also has a new Vimeo series, “555,” produced by Tim and Eric’s Abso Lutely, It tells five different tales of Hollywood desperation.

In the audio extra above, John and Kate talk about their favorite moments from “Waiting For Guffman,” how a teenage Kate got rejected by an agent for child actors, and how John threw his back out working at an ice cream shop in high school.

Brendan’s Sunday Stuffed Olives (VIDEO)

Feb 21, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

This past Sunday, Brendan joined Hannah Kirshner of Sweets & Bitters for a special Facebook Live with Food 52. We figured we all hate the Sunday blues, right? Monday is looming around the corner, and with that in mind, you can’t go too heavy on going out.

You might say, “But what about brunch?!?” Well, don’t get us started on what’s wrong with brunch.

Menu Mysteries: Wolfdown Edition

Feb 17, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

This isn’t just any ol’ Main Course segment this week. We’re launching something new: an occasional series we’re calling “Menu Mysteries.” In which we check out a restaurant’s menu and have the chef decode some of the lesser known ingredients on it.

For this inaugural outing, Rico went to Wolfdown in Los Angeles — a new restaurant from chef Jason Kim, who also runs the beloved local joint Forage.

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Lopez, Kristina

Each week you send in your questions about how to behave, and here to answer them this time is author George Saunders. He is a bonafide MacArthur genius, and he has won international acclaim for his work in almost every prose form from hilarious satire to short stories to a children’s book.

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Lopez, Kristina

Damien Chazelle’s latest movie, “La La Land,” has been nominated for 14 Academy Awards, tying it with “All About Eve” and “Titanic” for the most nominations of all time.

It’s an original musical set in modern Los Angeles, about a jazz musician who falls for an aspiring actress — both of whom have come to Hollywood to pursue their dreams.


The Health Nut Who Invented Corn Flakes

Feb 17, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

The History Lesson

John Harvey Kellogg wasn’t your average 19th-century doctor.

At a time when the American diet was mainly meat and potatoes, he advocated vegetarianism. Today, we’d laud him for that, but we might question some other moves he said would lead to excellent health. Like, standing inside an electrified metal cage. Or undergoing — sorry, there’s no nice way to put this — daily water and yogurt enemas.

Ottessa Moshfegh’s 3 Favorite Wanderers and Weirdos

Feb 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

Ottessa Moshfegh is a frequent contributor to the literary magazine The Paris Review. And her novel “Eileen” was shortlisted for the twenty-sixteen Man Booker prize. Her latest work is a collection of stories about characters on the fringes of society — it’s called “Homesick for Another World.”

Beer for Breakfast? We Try the Danish Dish Øllebrød

Feb 10, 2017
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Lopez, Kristina

We’ve talked before about the rebirth of Scandinavian cuisine and Brendan did a story from Copenhagen on how their open-faced sandwiches are a thing that’s become trendy, but we’ve never heard about a common Danish breakfast food that Brendan has been calling “beer porridge.”

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Lopez, Kristina

Ian Simpson, better known by his stage name Kevin Abstract, is a Texas native who won a diehard following online with a series of confessional hip-hop mixtapes. His new album “American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story” moves in a more pop direction, and sees him both rapping and singing about never quite fitting in. He heads out on a national tour later this month. Here’s Kevin with a playlist that’ll keep your party moving… through time itself.

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Lopez, Kristina

[Ed note: The audio above is an extended web cut of the interview. The transcript below reflects the broadcast version of the chat.]

Our guest of honor this week is playwright/actor/rapper extraordinaire Lin-Manuel Miranda. In 2008, his musical “In The Heights” won the Tony for Best Musical. His follow-up “Hamilton” — about our nation’s first treasury secretary — broke box office records and earned him a bunch of Tonys, a Grammy and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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