To promote the January 4, 2011 release of Jay Roach’s Dinner for Schmucks on DVD and Blu-Ray Paramount Studios held a dinner party of their own featuring movie stars, rock stars, comedians, a few circus freaks and Collider. We fit right in.
Held in Hollywood’s famous The Roosevelt hotel, the dinner began with drinks and light chatter between the cast members in attendance: including Rick Overton (The Office), Andrea Savage (Step Brothers), stand up Octavia Spencer, Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek), The Bangles member Susanna Hoffs, and Director Jay Roach, and the various film journalists assembled for the evening. Read on for the details.
Oscar Wilde once said that, “A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.” And while their characters may well have been bores in Dinner for Schmucks, the assembled talent was anything but in person. Happily riffing on everything from replacement testicles for neutered dogs, to the latest Hollywood releases, to the actions of their costars both on and off set, these comedians were all too happy to have the spotlight to them for the evening, and they did well with it.
But up and coming comics and a swanky open bar weren’t the only attractions. As the guests and actors mingled and sipped on specialty drink variations such as the “Schmuck-tini,” a series of sideshow personalities moved through the room, showing off bizarre talents that were every bit as shocking and outrageous as those displayed by the guests in the film.
At one end of the banquette hall a contortionist folded herself into a puzzle box, on the other side a wild eyed young man in a trendy vest moved a crystal ball so that it appeared to be levitating just above his fingers.
Perhaps most impressive was a gorgeous woman slathered in tattoos who went about clanking swords together before swallowing them for the gasping crowd, sometimes two at a time. And is if this weren’t enough, she followed this introduction by reaching deep into her corset bust to retrieve her “booby trap” – a small mouse trap.
“I used to just do this on my fingers and toes,” she said with a mischievous glint. “But I think I figured out a better way to do it.”
Without missing a beat, she loaded the trap and stuck out her gargantuan tongue, inching it ever so slowly into harms way. Whenever someone would wince audibly, which was often as she performed the trick no fewer than six times throughout the evening, she would break character and quip, “What!? I haven’t even done it yet!”
And sure enough, she’d stick her tongue into the trap and snap it shut, letting the device hang from her mouth, a smile spread across her lips as if she had just been crowned homecoming queen.
As dinner began, she offered up a toast, thanking the actors and journalists for attending. Then she ate one of the venues wine glasses, crunching into the microphone like so much ice.
The dinner itself didn’t much resemble the film, with tasteful service and well-selected wine replacing the wacky antics of Paul Rudd and Steve Carell, but was memorable all the same.
As we reported previously, Jay Roach spent time stumping for his long in gestation scifi comedy Used Guys, which he called, “The best unproduced comedy screenplay in Hollywood.”
“It’s kind of interesting,” Said Roach. “We’re kind of an underdog release, coming out after Christmas. But I think people will still find it.”
“It makes sense to me,” said Octavia Spencer. “Get in on all those gift cards and returns.”
Conversation with Octavia Spencer continued and focused on lowbrow pith about animal sexual function, the differences in evolution between men and women, and the ways women seek revenge versus men’s method.
After dinner, each guest was given a gift bag featuring breath mints, a DVD copy of the feature, and a calendar of taxidermied mice reenacting famous historical events. I might just put it on my wall, that way I can look like a Schmuck all year long.
Photo Credit: Casey Rodgers / AP Images for Paramount