What: XM launch party for POTUS ’08, the new presidential-politics radio channel, featuring a performance by comedian Lewis Black.
Where: DC Coast, 1401 K St., NW
When: Tuesday, October 16, 6 to 9 PM
Who: About 400 people were in attendance. The guest list was composed of mainly press, including NPR’s Cokie Roberts and her husband, journalist and author Steve Roberts; political and communications consultant Mandy Grunwald; former Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke, now senior advisor for communications and government affairs at Comcast; and former head of the RIAA Hilary Rosen. Guests spent most of the evening in the private downstairs room with comedian Lewis Black and XM officers including interim CEO Nate Davis. Political wife Debbie Dingell was also present.
Food: The waitstaff carried trays of mediocre appetizers such as miniature crab cakes, tuna tartare, beef satay, roasted-red-pepper-and-pesto bruschetta, beef quesadillas, and smoked-chicken salad. After Black’s standup routine, a dessert selection of chocolate-covered strawberries, raspberry cream puffs, and lemon tartes was served.
Drink: There was a full open bar with a long line downstairs. The wine bar upstairs served a house Champagne, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Waiters refilled wineglasses with a Château Ste Michelle Chardonnay and a J. Lohr Merlot.
Scene: The cocktail party centered on Lewis Black’s performance. Guests chatted, sipped drinks, and snacked on hors d’oeuvres until Black took the stage. His somewhat lewd humor entertained the “cynical crowd,” as Black called it. One joke went over especially well: “Frozen embryos are not alive. However, I’ve adopted three of them, and I’m taking them as a tax writeoff.” After Black’s act, everyone made a beeline to the exit, where PR reps passed out XM hats.
Other Lewis Black quips:
On Christmas: “Christmas this year began on July 7. There are already Christmas trees in malls. You’ve destroyed a beautiful holiday. And if you can’t take care of your holiday, give it to us Jews. We’ll take care it for you. Christmas, at this point, is longer than Ramadan. I don’t know why there are Christmas stores in every state of the country. I believe it should be a psychological weigh station. I feel that if somebody comes in July, and says ‘Hey, I’m looking for sleigh bells,” the owner should say, “No, I believe you’re looking for a doctor. And I think it would be wise to take that winter coat off. And if you have a gun permit, we’re gonna hold it for you.’”
On Thanksgiving: “When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was its own holiday. Many of the younger members of the audience won’t remember that. Ask your parents. Presbyterians and Indians got together, and that was the beginning of gambling. And the buffet.”
On Democrats and Republicans: “There are probably many of you in the room who are still ardent Democrats and ardent Republicans. And if you are, my hat is off to you. Much the same way that I’m impressed with people who kept their virginity until they got married. If you’re still a Democrat or a Republican at this point, you are delusional on a level that I never imagined. And I did a lot of LSD. And I reached a point where I saw my refrigerator turn into a puma and run away. I tracked that son of a b****- for three days. And then he wouldn’t come home with me. Imagine explaining that to my parents.”
On the China toy recall: “They’ve turned Toys ‘R’ Us into an Al Qaeda camp!”
Boldface names: 2 (out of 5)
Swankiness: 2 (out of 5)
Food and drink: 3 (out of 5)
Exclusivity: 2 (out of 5)
Total score: 9 (out of 20)