Dinner Party: A Seat At The Table


For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to sit at the grown-up table. As the first kid born to my parents’ group of friends, I was used to it. Even when other kids eventually came along, I always needed to be at the main table, listening to conversations I mostly understood, and occasionally interjecting with my precocious preschool ramblings. So from the age of four, I knew the power of a good dinner party. I saw how hard people would laugh after hours of good food and wine, and I saw those strange, stiff moments when things got political and awkward. And every time, I left the table feeling like I had been a part of something.    

Fast forward a few decades and I’m all grown up, trying to continue those traditions…. until a global pandemic puts any shared plates and open bottles on hold. Luckily, I’m in an industry of innovators, and the dinner party is due for an upgrade.


Enter: The Dinner Party Podcast. It’s those same intimate conversations, but with the guest list of your dreams. From comedians to artists, to performers, it’s the coolest invite you’ve ever gotten. Granted, it’s not exactly the same. Sometimes we record early in the morning, so there’s no signature cocktail to get the conversation flowing, but surprisingly, we’ve found you don’t even need it. Don’t believe me? Check out these bites from some of our favorite guests. 


Tyler Shields

On his career choice: “I’m a middle school dropout who figured out how to live his absolute dream”

On seeing the Secret Service at his house after the infamous Kathy Griffin photo: “I said to myself, I’m either going to jail, or I’m not. And either way, it’ll be a great experience.”

Jeremy: “You would make a great serial killer my friend.”

Tyler: “Sadly and happily, you are not the first person who’s ever said that to me.”

On talking to the secret service: “And I said: ‘so who’d you vote for?’... And so, neither one of them speaks. They stand up, now they’ve risen, they’ve literally risen to the question. And the woman looks me so dead in the eyes, and goes ‘thank you for your time.’”


Lamorne Morris

On Black, male vulnerability: “You can’t just go out and speak sometimes, because the world isn’t ready to hear a black man be vulnerable.”

On his struggles to break in: “I remember, I got so broke that my car got repoed, the same car that I was sleeping in for a little bit. And then I remember being on a bus to go to an audition. And I remember this girl had asked me ‘hey, can I get a picture with you?’ and then the guy next to her goes ‘that ain’t him, stupid. Why would he be on the bus?’ And I had this moment of… I mean, a week went by, and I didn’t talk to anybody.”

On how his struggles changed him: “We seek validation from other people, and when you go a long time without having it, without seeing it… I mean all it takes is that one remark. That’s why every time I walk down the street, if someone walks past me I smile. I smile because you never know if that person’s on that breaking point.”


Jeremy Fall

“I was in the headlines, and couldn’t pay my rent.  And it’s like, that is something I was so ashamed of, like, “I am an imposter, everyone thinks I’m something I’m not.” And then you start talking to people, and you’re like ‘oh shit! Like, you also had to put a $3000 on a credit card that you couldn’t afford, to go to this event when you first started?’”

“When I started getting medicated, at first I was wary, but I’ve never felt more like myself. Because I realized that anxious thoughts are not bad, and that’s where, maybe, some of my strength lies.”


Andrew Schulz

On learning comedy: “We do not respect any sort of education in the comedy world...there’s one way to learn this shit, you just get in the ring, and you fucking go for it.”

On the ‘depressed comic’ trope: “You are an unfunny person with a hard life. There’s a lot of unfunny people with shitty lives.”

“Anxiety is good, anxiety keeps people alive… Being anxious makes you look over your shoulder, and sometimes over your shoulder is a guy about to beat the shit out of you. So it’s good that you turned and looked.”

“My drug is the people man… Entertaining, I can experience highs that are akin to the highs that I’ve experienced through Molly.”


Shawn Johnson

“I think to be elite in anything, you have to sacrifice a portion of sanity.”

“I had the validation of the world... and I remember kinda just chuckling inside. Cause I was like, ‘you know what? That was not the best performance in the world that day. I know that for a fact...I was like, why is the world telling me I’m the best when I didn’t do the best, but when I did do the best they were like ‘maybe next time.’”

“The only way I can explain a true disorder is, I didn’t feel like I had control of my brain. I felt like someone had invaded my mind, and was literally thinking for me.”

“Because when I started to starve myself, and jeopardize my performance, but still win a gold medal. That is probably one of the worst things that could have happened because that told me that it was worth it.”


Emma Hunton

“I think that’s why I’m so sensitive in my personal life because I’m so calloused in my professional life.”

“I care what people think that employ me, but not people who are sitting behind a computer, trying to make me feel like shit.”

“It’s so crazy because one of the first things people say to me if they meet me in person is “you’re not fat.’”

“I just got a text from a number that is not in my phone. It says ‘hey I have needs, look at me’ and it is a dick pick.”


Bobby Hundreds

On using his anxiety as a tool: “There are days where I’m immobilized with anxiety, very restless… I have bouts of depression that I’ve had my entire life. I just try to work with those, feelings and states, knowing that they’re temporary, and working them into what I’m doing. And so, this is very much a survivor’s mentality.”

“I don’t know if it was passed down by my parents being immigrants… I don’t know if it’s because I’m a middle child, I don’t know if it’s because I grew up a brown kid in mostly white communities… like, I don’t know what it was, being a skateboarder, being a punk, just feeling marginalized, never quite included. All these things, I’ve just had this survivor’s mentality. I’ve always needed to reframe. And so if I was bestowed with anxiety, depression, introversion, like how can I use those as a strength, or as a benefit, or as a gift?”

“Even like a piece of shit, like five years later, ten years later, it looks different. It’s considered a masterpiece.”


Andrew East

On Success: “I feel like being content is the hardest thing to achieve in life“

On his life pre-Youtube: “I graduated from Vanderbilt with two degrees, and when I got cut from the Chiefs, I like literally was sitting there and I was like ‘Dang, I don’t think that there’s anything that I’m able to do in this world.’”


Mat Kearney

On how his music reaches his fans: “I think about that often, the season in someone’s development in which you enter their sphere.”

On how he started to love music: “We’d go to the train yards and like, sneak into these train yards and paint a bunch of trains at night... but then you’d end up freestyling in my Volkswagen square back on the way home.”