Some good friends hosted me for dinner recently. On the way, I picked up some flowers to give them as a gesture of thanks. Which, if you think about it, is a terribly inconsiderate gift.
“Hi, thanks for having me over. I know you’ve been taking care of your kids all day while also trying to prepare a meal for me. So, I brought you a chore! Please interrupt your efforts to make my dinner so you can find a vase, cut the stems and put these flowers somewhere. I’ll just pour myself a glass of your wine while I watch you!”
So here are some additional scenes of party etiquette and discomfort.
1) An SNL classic from 1979: Superman and Lois Lane host a superhero dinner party. Highlight: John Belushi as the Hulk wrecks the host bathroom. (Sorry, no embedded clip available.)
2) From The Office. Conventional snark says that the U.S. version this show collapsed into uselessness after the first two seasons, which were almost identical reproductions of the Ricky Gervais U.K. production. But the Steve Carell U.S. edition had a longer shelf life and more magic than we give it credit for. Exhibit A: The Dinner Party episode from season four, in which Mike Scott and Jan host a torturously awkward dinner party that finally disintegrates into a loud breakup refereed by the cops. Might be my favorite episode of the series. Here is the delightful and underrated Melora Hardin as Jan, dancing to a song by her young former assistant commemorating a special night they shared.
3) And finally, the only scene I ever remember from the movie Brain Candy, by Kids In the Hall. Dave Foley plays a grown son making a hilariously brief family appearance on Thanksgiving.