In this article, I will attempt to answer the age-old question of who would throw a better party: Regis Philbin & Kathie Lee Gifford… or Garfield. Both have released books on how to throw a party, something I wasn’t sure you could not know how to do. A party is just a bunch of people getting together, taking their shirts off, and beating each other up. It is impossible to fuck up. And yet from reading these books, I’ve learned that the definition of “party” is very fluid. Sometimes it means eating caviar pie, and sometimes it means gaslighting your friends to the point of insanity. Which of those things is more fun? Only my objective opinion as an expert party attendee will decide!
Entertaining With Regis & Kathie Lee is mainly a recipe book with a bit of advice, anecdotes, and photographs from their TV show scattered throughout. It’s for explaining the concept of parties to the poors. They thought the name Halloween was either a little too Pagan or not nearly Pagan enough, so their chapter on it is called “Harvest Moon Celebration.” And like wild birds, they seem to think that Halloween is largely about filling your house and food with leaves.
This is such a boring interpretation of Halloween I can only give it half a party hat. Regis and Kathie Lee only get Birthday. They don’t deserve the Happy. There’s nothing happy about letting a leaf touch your cookie, even pre-baking. A squirrel probably peed on that. Celebrating Halloween without a single drop of fake blood, or even half of a Dracula, is sad. It’s not a holiday about fashionable gourds. It’s about death and candy. You have to try pretty hard to make that lame.
You would think that Garfield would have this one in the bag. His book describes the basic concept of a party to children, right? Except while Regis and Kathie Lee ruin Halloween by trying to make it adorable, Garfield tries to make his party goers experience genuine terror.
“Have you ever read Edgar Allen Poe’s story ‘The Masque Of The Red Death?'” No, I have not, Garfield, but this party idea sounds pretty fucked up. I don’t know how many silent strangers Garfield would let into his home before calling the police, but apparently, it’s more than me. I don’t know if this counts as an idea for a party, so much as an idea for usurping someone else’s party, which is honestly kind of cool. I do like that they at least have costumes, but I don’t like the implication of lasting psychological damage— two and a half party hats for Garfield’s “Masque Of The Red Death” Party.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, Regis and Kathie Lee are once again obsessed with leaves. Leaves are their answer to everything. Seriously, This book makes me feel like if you asked Kathie Lee how to bring peace to North Korea, she would say, “Spray paint some leaves! Gather them in your cheeks and baskets from nearby graves!”
You may notice that filling a pretty basket with jars of jams was also Halloween party advice; I guess that’s just a blanket thing rich people do? Somewhere out there is a frustrated neighbor who was always complaining how Regis Philbin would not stop giving them jam. Talk show hosts have two party moves: leaves and jam. One party hat Regis And Kathie Lee. At least this advice is more appropriate for the season. But fucking get it together.
I’m sure Garfield’s Thanksgiving party tips will be way more normal than his Halloween ideas. Maybe he’ll even suggest some spray painted leaves!
So close, Garfield, so close. Garfield suggests you avoid the monotony of Thanksgiving by pretending to celebrate it in the year 2400. The party doesn’t need a second theme. It’s already got a theme, and that theme is Thanksgiving. Adding a subtheme to the theme of your party is like inviting someone to play a game of basketball and then saying hey guys, just to shake things up, let’s do it on roller skates and, in addition, across tiiiiime!! Garfield also suggests you purposely ruin food in the name of a party.
Why assume our tastes will be terrible in four hundred years? Spaghetti has been around since the 12th century, with no edits needed. The suggestion for Thanksgiving is to take the best thing about it and make it terrible. That’s a half a party hat suggestion if I’ve ever heard one. I thought about giving this a full party hat because the phrase wiener pudding made me laugh, but it’s probably a real British dessert. I’m not going to Google it to check. Curse your traps, Garfield.
While the two books have a lot of crossover holidays, I’d like to also rate them on the random additional holidays they decided to cover. Garfield, for instance, doesn’t have a section on how to throw a Kentucky Derby party. This is probably because children would be horrified at the idea of attending a party serving caviar pie. That’s a fancy pile of cream cheese, mayo, and fish eggs.
The Kentucky Derby is one thing I really trust Regis and Kathie Lee to advise me on. It’s a party for people with too much money, horse girls, and the gigantic center slice of the Venn diagram of those two groups of people. That is Regis & Kathie Lee’s target demo for sure! And yet, their Kentucky derby advice is still both basic and impractical.
Someone must tell these people that dunking a vegetable in tequila does not count as food. That’s a garnish at most. Also, wow, I should use horseshoes as part of my decorations for a Kentucky Derby party? Thank God I bought this book. I might have made the fatal faux pas of forgetting to buy horse stuff for this horses-running-in-a-circle-themed soiree. “Welcome! If you’re hungry, dip some fucking tomatoes in the salt near my dining room horseshoes!”
The Kentucky Derby chapter does include a pretty incredible section on Regis and Kathie Lee’s memories of the Kentucky Derby, where they both seem to struggle to say a single memorable thing about it. They both describe it in a way that makes me think maybe they sent celebrity impersonators in their place rather than endure Kentucky. Kathie Lee says, “It’s the only place I’ve ever been where everyone wore hats.” It’s how a child would describe a weiner pudding factory.
I love the insanity pile that is this Kentucky Derby chapter. I’m giving it three hats and a bonus fascinator because Kathie Lee would be delighted by that, and no one can stop me. I’ve gone mad with party power.
Garfield’s How To Party has a robust section of made up parties, including one where you invite your friends over to smash balloons between your bodies, which sounds way more like a fetish than a party. His idea for a “birthday funeral” was probably the most shocking thing in the book, and not just because of the surprisingly grim doodle that came with it.
Over the hill parties are pretty common for a forty or fiftieth birthday. Garfield suggests it for a thirtieth birthday and from the bottom of my heart, I have never meant this more: fuck you, Garfield. The typical over the hill party is some black decorations, maybe some tombstones, but Garfield’s “one foot in the grave” party once again takes things way too far.
When I first read this, I thought, why are all of Garfield’s party tips attempts to drive his friends away? Then I realized in a perverse way, it makes sense because Garfield doesn’t really have any friends. He’s always picking on Odie. He hates Nermal. At best he pities Jon. This is legitimately the kind of fucked up thing Garfield would do if he were ever to throw a party. You should never listen to Garfield’s party advice. Garfield is trying to ruin your friendships. I am going to give this entry a solid two hats for being wrong but in touch with its material character. As opposed to Kathy Lee Gifford who, as everyone knows, never remembers a hat.
That means Garfield wins by half a party hat! As someone with extensive experience attending parties, I understand what the true essence of a party is. It’s when a bunch of people gather together around a pentagram…wait, that’s a summoning. Shit. Have I never been to a party?
This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme: ND, who wrote the book on how to party and will be suing Garfield for IP infringement.
6 replies on “Learning Day: How to Party 🌭”
O_o So this is why everyone spit on me at my last Kentucky Derby party. I forgot the horseshoes! If only I’d bought Regis and Kathie Lee’s book.
That wiener pudding will haunt my nightmares.
The Poxco version isn’t where I went – I followed Garfield and NIN into the downward spiral of despair and assumed Lorena Bobbitt was now hosting a cooking show & that was her signature dish.
I haven’t entirely outgrown my goth phase, so the funeral birthday party idra sounds kind of awesome. Play a Siouxsie Sioux batcave remix and I’ll be there.
On the other hand, rich people’s parties sound depressing. It’s all just leaves and hats and oppressing the poor. If I were rich and wanted to eat fish eggs, I would at least hire Doug Jones to dress as Abe Sapien and act like he’s birthing those fish eggs right into my mouth.
Well, after 3 years and hundreds of articles, I finally get the chance to say it: I actually owned (and read!) that book as a kid. (The Garfield one; not the snooty one. I was an obnoxious little shit, but not that bad.)
As I recall, these were actually some of the more practical suggestions. Its been a long time, but I think there was one to celebrate the 4th of July by having all your guests come up with a plan to overthrow the government and start your own country.
I have to protest. In Britain we don’t say “wiener”. If forced to, we would pronounce it with a “v” to sound all fancy and Euro like a fluorescent dress shirt.