How to Throw a Blind Dinner Party

Comedian Margaret Cho shares tips on gathering strangers together for an insightful potluck.
By: Margaret Cho

How do you throw a blind dinner party? Here’s what I did: Invite over some strangers, maybe off Craigslist – yes, that semi-anonymous digital behemoth that seems to have taken over from the back pages of alternative culture weeklies that once dictated all social activities.

Put up an ad and watch the guests fight over who gets to come – and fighting is essential. Nobody is invited who isn’t willing to argue, and different points of view, in fact, opposing points of view, are essential.

Make everyone prepare and bring a dish that represents them and is hopefully good. Fortunately, everyone did this and the components of the meal, as well as their personalities, made for a fantastic evening!

Roll the cameras, yet be sure no one is looking into them or is overly aware of them. Serve lots of good wine so that the cameras seem less and less important.

This show, Blind Dinner Party, was an exciting social experiment, but it was also a very educational experience for me. I love learning about how people really are, behind who we think they are based on our own prejudices and personal beliefs. I think that as a progressive liberal, I tend to have a ton of assumptions about those who are, well, not progressive liberals, and by the same token are conservatives who have their own views about people like me. When we are able to come together – not on a talking-head news show or other cultural/political battleground but rather to eat, and drink – things change. People listen.

I know it’s supposed to be a “blind dinner party,” but I ended up seeing way more than I thought I would see, thought I could see.

Tune in and watch!

Blind Dinner Party premieres Wednesday, December 5, at 10:30pm ET.

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