DUDE WHERE'S MY PEN? CRASHING THE REPUBLICAN'S PARTY.
On Tuesday night, three Black Table operatives went undercover as Republicans to bring you the inside details from the invitation-only Creative Coalition Gala Benefit celebrating the First Amendment at
|Spirit in West Chelsea, hosted by luminaries including Joe Piscopo, George Wendt, Ron Silver, Tim Blake Nelson, Tucker Carlson and Hallie Eisenberg and featuring the song stylings of Max Weinberg. This was a party for Republican delegates how could we resist? Our crack team -- Rachel Sklar, Greg Paulos and Anastasia Liapi -- dressed up like debutantes and stalked Republicans, scarfed appetizers and tore up the dance floor in the name of hard-hitting investigative journalism. For the night, we were pretend Republicans. We got very drunk, very goofy and not-the-least-bit compassionate||
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Times are extremely approximate.
10:30: We meet on the corner of 23rd and 10th, dressed in our Red State finest, ready to walk amongst the Republicans. Anastasia looks like a Hilton at a polo match. Rachel looks like a fluffy pink cupcake.
Greg looks like the perfect Grandma Bush-approved date for a Bush twin.
10:50: Unintimidated by the red
carpet, the search lights and the 13-year-olds manning the press table
at the gala affair, Rachel sweet talks her way into some press passes
after imperiously dropping the name "Black Table." Publicists
scurry to do her bidding, and we are soon presented with three shiny,
laminated press passes. We feel important. We're fairly certain they have
no idea what The Black Table is, and that's probably good.
10:57: Rachel discovers that she has lost her pen in the cab. Anastasia only has cigarettes, tampons and lip gloss. Greg has one
|pen and one puny notepad. BEST
10:59: Joe Pantoliano is still talking.
11:03: Rachel tries to extract information about the event from passersby, targeting an attractive male Republican who is walking by with some friends.
Rachel (smiling sweetly): Excuse me, are you guys going to the event?
Guy: Yeah. (keeps walking)
Rachel (to their backs): Well, have a good time!
11:07: Joey Pants, still talking, is
|now only a couple feet from us. Some reporters
are asking questions, but since we can't come up with any as inane as the
chick from Fuse TV, we decide not to bother. We eavesdrop and hear the following
pearls of wisdom: "I had peacock for dinner. It tastes like chicken."
And: "Anheuser Busch has the horses, Camel has Joe Camel. There's a
big connection between animals and advertising."
11:09: We are disappointed to learn that we have missed both Joe Piscopo AND Hallie Eisenberg. We didn't miss Ron Silver; it turns out that he walked by us, but we just didn't know who he was.
11:12: George Wendt arrives! Rachel has to be physically restrained
|from yelling out "Norm!"
11:13: A carload of Long Island teenagers circle the block, trying to figure out where the party is at. Overheard: "Hey man, I heard Tiesto is rocking this joint tonight!"
11:15: In an impressive display of marketing acumen, Scores, the strip club across the street, rolls out huge signs advertising their services and the location of their
11:20: Greg, who has the pen, befriends another member of the
press who works for The New York Times (name withheld to protect
him from the ramifications of associating with us). Anastasia, who doesn't
need a pen, befriends Andy the photographer (a little strapless polka-dot
number goes a long way). Andy continues to brag to Rachel about his three
pens over the course of the evening.
11:30: Score! There's FREE appetizers and booze! Serious reporting is cast aside in favor of hoovering shrimp croquettes, pastry-wrapped chicken, mini ham-and-cheese wraps and fried cheese balls (always an elegant choice). Big bowls of candy are thoughtfully placed around
|the room for those Republicans
with a yen for Sweet Tarts or Laffy Taffy.
11:45: Max Weinberg rocks the place with wedding tunes. Republicans dance. The whole scene is eerily reminiscent of the endless weddings Greg has attended in the past two years. He grabs another beer to calm his nerves.
11:50: We meet "Shaggy," a long
|grey-haired man. Times reporter knows
him and explains that he's notorious for crashing all sorts of events pretending
to be a journalist so he can hit on chicks. He even has a business card
printed up that says "Shaggy."
Midnight: Anastasia and Shaggy spin around the dance floor. She leads.
12:10: Rachel befriends a Marine who had recently returned from Iraq. His name is James, and he has seen some pretty brutal stuff. He says he is proud to be at an event that supports First Amendment rights. It's hard not to be humbled by his experiences, and it's a good reminder that Republicans are still Americans, and not all of them are tax-cutting oil-guzzling corporate-agendizing cowboys. Just most of them.
12:12: Rachel and the Maine discover that they have a friend in common, a high-ranking Republican who walks the corridors of power. Rachel does not walk the corridors of power herself, but does
|get the Marine dancing.
12:13: Number of appetizers Greg snags as waiters walk by: 14. Number of high-ranking Republicans he knows: 0
12:30: Times reporter reveals that his source for the ConservativeMatch.com Meet-up event was Shaggy. Shaggy thinks he has done just fine here and continues twirling Anastasia around while Andy snaps photos.
|Meanwhile, Max Weinberg is the only VIP in
1:00: Greg, being an Economic Girlie-Man tied to his 9-to-5 job, leaves so he can get sleep. Rachel takes custody of the pen.
1:05: A conga line forms! Max Weinberg sure knows how to fire up an audience!
1:07: Incredibly, the appetizers are still rolling. One thing you can say about Republicans, they aren't cheap.
1:25: The party is winding down. Rachel chats with Jonas, a lobbyist from Rochester; Scott, a craggy he-man type from D.C. who unashamedly sports a candy necklace around his giant neck; and Tim, a friend of a friend of a guy who knows a delegate, from Philadelphia. So far, none of us has met an actual delegate.
1:30: Rachel and Anastasia leave. Anastasia is handed a white gift bag, and Rachel gets a black one. Rachel ducks back inside to pick up a white one, just in case.
1:35: As Rachel comes out she sees Triumph the Insult Comic Dog! Once again she snaps wildly, though carefully, because she is
|Canadian and thus has reason
to fear Triumph. Robert Smigel seems pretty laid-back, however, and is surprisingly
gentle with George Wendt when he emerges with his daughter. George looks
surprisingly pleased to speak with Triumph. It's a nice moment.
1:40: Tim from Philadelphia emerges and gives Rachel his gift bag. His drunk friend follows suit. Score! Gift bag total: 5, and counting.
1:45: Just when you think you're out, they pull you back in: Mike, a very nice salesman from Rochester (also not a delegate) gives Rachel a VIP pass to the after-party at Olives at the W Hotel Union Square. She wheedles
another pass out of another guy. Andy comes along for the ride, being
less able to wheedle things from slightly drunk convention-goers.
If you'd like to invite Rachel, Anastasia and Greg to YOUR next conservative bash, let us know!