The Dinner Party Download boasts that it's "a fast and funny hour of culture, food, and conversation designed to help you win your weekend dinner parties." It's one of the most interesting, fast-paced, and well-crafted podcasts on the free market.
The show's production value is so high, with revered celebrity guests, innovation culinary stars, and performances from top musicians, that it's a wonder how each of its, over one hundred, episodes is free.
Each episode is sophisticatedly crafted to reflect the itinerary of a dinner party. So, there's a short icebreaker, an update on the week's latest news and other usual talking points, an accordingly themed cocktail created by some fabulous bartender, and other interviews and musical performances along the way. The dinner party is perpetually hosted by Rico Gagliano (of NPR's All Things Considered) and Brendan Francis Newman (of NPR's Marketplace) who offer sly remarks, playful interviews, and serve as your friendly guides throughout the hour.
Recently, the Dinner Party Download hosted a live 2 hour show at Downtown Los Angeles' Ace Hotel theater. Special guests included Jason Schwartzman (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as he recounted exactly how he won his breakthrough role in Rushmore with a rented tux. Moody musician Father John Misty startled the audience with his quintessentially intelligent but nonetheless snarky commentary as well as several maudlin songs. Jenny Slate (Obvious Child) recounted a near death, or at least near-vomiting, experience and how it led her purchasing an overpriced pooch, and the insightful comedian and writer Lena Waithe (Master of None) talked about how to avoid the "Pams" of this world and where to find the best Blaxican food in Chicago.
Overall, this so-called audio culture magazine is an incredible example of just how far podcasting has come in less than its decade-long history. Regardless of whether or not podcasts are your thing, do yourself a favor and check out the Dinner Party Download next time your ears get hungry!