It's like “Politically Incorrect”, but with less politics and more wine
October 14, 2014 5:47 AM   Subscribe

In 2001, long before he helped launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe juggernaut, Jon Favreau could reasonably be described as “that guy in Swingers”. But sometime between Swingers and Iron Man, Favreau used some of his clout to create and host a new show for the Independent Film Channel. It was called "Dinner for Five".

"Dinner for Five" featured Favreau and four invited guests sitting down to eat a meal together and basically shoot the shit. The results after four seasons were often interesting. You can see Jennifer Garner start to get smitten with Ben Affleck (and then threaten to kick Kevin Smith’s ass when Smith starts to poke fun at him). You can watch Burt Reynolds tell stories and be awesome (which seems to be the main reason his episode is the series’ only two-parter). And you can see executive producer Favreau decide, “Fuck it, I’m going to sit down and talk with Martin Scorsese for a half hour”.

All of the episodes (save one) are available on YouTube and are listed below (Note: There appears to be some confusion on episode order between seasons three and four, so I just followed the IMDb's lead when listing them):

Season 1
Episode 1 (07/06/2001) - Joey Lauren Adams, Peter Berg, Kevin James, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Episode 2 (11/22/2001) - Vince Vaughn, Garry Shandling, Cheri Oteri, Peter Falk
Episode 3 (04/22/2002) - Christian Slater, Illeana Douglas, Jeff Goldblum, Fred Willard
Episode 4 (04/29/2002) - Ron Livingston, Kevin Pollack, Sarah Silverman, Rod Steiger
Episode 5 (05/06/2002) - Andy Dick, Daryl Hannah, Marilyn Manson
Episode 6 (05/13/2002) - Sean Astin, Bonnie Hunt, Kevin James, Ray Romano
Episode 7 (05/27/2002) - Saffron Burrows, Faizon Love, Michael Rapaport, Sarah Silverman
Episode 8 (06/03/2002) - Jennifer Beals, Adam Goldberg, Seth Green, Dwight Yoakum
Episode 9 (09/30/2002) - David Cross, Famke Janssen, Denis Leary, Martha Plimpton
Episode 10 (10/07/2002) - Sean Combs, John Leguizamo, Juliette Lewis, Vincent Pastore

Season 2
Episode 1 (01/20/2003) - Ben Affleck, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Garner, Kevin Smith
Episode 2 (01/27/2003) - Dom Deluise, Peter Falk, John Herzfeld, Richard Lewis
Episode 3 (02/03/2003) - Peter Bogdanovich, Larry Miller, Penelope Ann Miller, Liev Schreiber
Episode 4 (02/10/2003) - Ed Asner, Ed Begley, Jr., Carrie Fisher, Blair Underwood
Episode 5 (02/17/2003) - David Byrne, Dave Eggers, JaneaneGarofalo, Joe Pantoliano
Episode 6 (02/24/2003) - Louis C.K., Illeana Douglas, Will Ferrell, Eddie Izzard
Episode 7 (03/03/2003) - Vince Vaughn, Cole Hauser, Rory Cochrane, Brian Cox
Episode 8 (09/22/2003) - John Landis, David Alan Grier, Leland Orser, Fran Drescher
Episode 9 (09/29/2003) - Beverly D'Angelo, Rosie Perez, Cathy Moriarty, Catherine Kellner
Episode 10 (10/06/2003) - James Caan, Will Ferrell, Mary Steenburgen, ZooeyDeschanel
Episode 11 (10/13/2003) - Sean Hayes, Katie Holmes, Patricia Clarkson, Oliver Platt
Episode 12 (10/20/2003) - Peter Berg, Judd Apatow, Famke Janssen, Paul Rudd
Episode 13 (10/27/2003) - Lili Taylor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, John Sayles, Vanessa Martinez

Season 3
Episode 1 (04/09/2004) - Gina Gershon, Dennis Farina, Ron Livingston, Faizon Love
Episode 2 (Part One and Part Two) (04/16/2004) - Kevin James, Tony Shalhoub, Richard Lewis, Burt Reynolds
Episode 3 (04/23/2004) - Kevin Smith, George Carlin, Jason Biggs, Stephen Root
Episode 4 (04/30/2004) - Joe Mantegna, Bob Odenkirk, Michael McKean, Jeff Garlin
Episode 5 (05/07/2004) - Jeff Ross, Hector Elizondo, Kevin Pollak, Laura Kightlinger
Episode 6 (05/14/2004) - Laura Dern, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Ernie Hudson
Episode 7 (05/21/2004) - Jennifer Esposito, Barry Pepper, Luis Guzman, Stephen Dorff
Episode 8 (05/28/2004) - Alec Baldwin, Peter Dinklage, Carrie Fisher, Tracey Ullman
Episode 9 (06/04/2004) - Dom DeLuise, Burt Reynolds, Charles Durning, Charles Nelson Reilly
Episode 10 (06/11/2004) - John Waters, Colin Quinn, Danny Aiello, DelroyLindo
Episode 11 (06/18/2004) - Isaac Mizrahi, Alan Cumming, Faizon Love, Amy Irving
Episode 12 (06/25/2004) - David Cross, Molly Shannon, George Hickenlooper, Phillip Baker Hall
Episode 13 (07/02/2004) - Michael Madsen, Richard Donner, Ray Romano, Ron Eldard

Season 4
Episode 1 (12/10/2004) - Martin Scorsese
Episode 2 (01/07/2004) - Neve Campbell, Henry Winkler, Dave Foley, Jeff Garlin
Episode 3 (01/14/2004) - Peter Berg, Billy Bob Thornton, Brian Grazer, H.G (Buzz) Bissinger
Episode 4 (04/01/2005) - David Milch, Tim Olyphant, Michael Rappaport, Jay Mohr
Episode 5 (04/08/2005) - Tracy Morgan, Jeffrey Tambor, Bonnie Hunt, Jason Bateman
Episode 6 (04/15/2005) - Rob Zombie, Bruce Campbell, Roger Corman, Faizon Love
Episode 7 (04/22/2005) - Michael De Luca, Luis Guzman, Michael Chiklis, Henry Rollins
Episode 8 (04/29/2005) - David Duchovny, Dax Shepard, Tim Blake Nelson, Stephen Root
Episode 9 (05/06/2005) - Tony Hawk, Stacy Peralta, Seth MacFarlane, Jon Heder
Episode 10 (05/13/2005) - Bill Maher, Alanis Morissette, Rosanna Arquette, Bob Odenkirk
Episode 11 (05/20/2005) - Frank Darabont, Alan Cumming, Harry Shearer, Fred Willard
Episode 12 (06/17/2005) - Kevin Smith, Jason Lee, Stan Lee, Mark Hamill, J.J. Abrams
Episode 13 (06/24/2005) - Adam Goldberg, Christina Ricci, Giovanni Ribisi, Steven Drozd
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (47 comments total) 84 users marked this as a favorite
Excellent resource! But I believe his name is spelled Favreau.
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare at 5:57 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]

Crap. Nearly fifty YouTube links entered and I go and mess up the guy's name! I've notified the Mods. Thanks, Shotgun Shakespeare.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:04 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Fixed the typeaux.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:08 AM on October 14, 2014 [24 favorites]

Loved this show. Thanks for the reminder, time to rewatch.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:24 AM on October 14, 2014

I loved this show too. It's totally amazing to me that I forgot it even existed.
posted by nevercalm at 6:27 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

S02E10 looks like an "Elf" promotion, a month ahead of that film's release.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:27 AM on October 14, 2014

I forgot about this too. Awesome. Thanks for this.
posted by Bacon Bit at 6:36 AM on October 14, 2014

From Dazed and Confused: Joey Lauren Adams, Ben Affleck, Cole Hauser, Rory Cochrane, Adam Goldberg. And Giovanni Ribisi's sister.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:36 AM on October 14, 2014

I always liked the team of Favreau and Vaughn - Vince Vaughn without Favreau is kind of insufferable, because you're only getting half the joke (see also: David Spade without Chris Farley). With John Favreau as the straight man, it's as good a big screen comedy duo as you'll find in the modern day. That he's also a talented screenwriter and gifted director is amazing - I wasn't even aware this show existed, but I'm looking forward to diving into it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:41 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Huh, I'd never connected him with D-Bob in Rudy. Mind blown.
posted by Jahaza at 6:49 AM on October 14, 2014

I loved this show when it was airing originally. Gina Gershon's description of the clusterfuck which was the movie ShowGirls is worth the price of admission alone.
posted by blob at 6:49 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wow, thanks for this. Netflix Instant has "Dinner for Five" listed, but the single episode available is "Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show", which is, well, not that.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:54 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

In the interest of the art of conversation, let me say thatTimothy Olyphant is so crazy sexy in his episode. I can't even....
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:59 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Peter Falk grumpily asking Vince Vaughn if he ever shuts up is one of the funniest/most awkward things I've ever seen.
posted by Optamystic at 7:00 AM on October 14, 2014 [8 favorites]

Thanks for this, we were fans when it was originally on and I've been thinking about revisiting it lately, especially interesting in light of his later success as a director. Interesting guy, interesting career arc... wish it was still on.
posted by emmet at 7:22 AM on October 14, 2014

Chef (2014) is a *forgive* delicious movie.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 7:24 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

The show was also produced by Peter Billingsley, a Favreau/Vaughn collaborator (he produced Made, Four Christmases and Iron Man) but who's probably better known as Ralphie on A Christmas Story.
posted by Jacks Dented Yugo at 7:28 AM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]

Favreau was Eric the Clown in Seinfeld too. You know, the one George knocks over when there's a fire.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:32 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've always considered season 3, episode 9 with Dom DeLuise, Burt Reynolds, Charles Durning, & Charles Nelson Reilly to be one of the standouts. (And I say this as someone who still occasionally quotes from this show.) Four outstanding actors who are also clearly friends. If I were to recommend a single episode, it would be that one.
posted by librarianamy at 7:38 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, season 2, episode 1 with Ben Affleck, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Garner, & Kevin Smith is just prior to the release of Daredevil and I think if you look at it retrospectively, you can see a marriage in the making.

(Damn it, read the damn post Amy. My apologies to the original poster. *shamefaced*)
posted by librarianamy at 7:39 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

had no idea this existed. can't wait to dive in. thanks for the links legwork. having not seen any yet, the concept kind of reminds me of an indoorsy variation on fishing with john (always love mentioning that whenever i have a chance). also, i need to add +1 plug for the movie chef - excellent casting and most awesome soundtrack (and use of the music as a sensory component), and of course, the food porn.
posted by rude.boy at 8:07 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

great show and I remember being truly befuddled when it wasn't on anymore.
posted by drewbage1847 at 8:24 AM on October 14, 2014

We've been watching in the evenings at home the last week! It is very hard to believe it was only ~10-12 years ago... alot has changed. It was such a turning point in the culture. I mean, the people at the table hadn't even heard of IMDb in the first or second episode. And at another point, a couple episodes later to hear John Favreau explain a website...speaking real slow and clear "w w w . jump the shark . com". Funny to remember how we had to talk like that when it was so new.
posted by Emor at 8:37 AM on October 14, 2014

Hopefully someone else somewhere will pick up this format and run with it. Maybe it could be adopted for some kind of DVD commentary format for the next Avengers movie.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:52 AM on October 14, 2014

And at another point, a couple episodes later to hear John Favreau explain a website...speaking real slow and clear "w w w . jump the shark . com". Funny to remember how we had to talk like that when it was so new.

I remember working in a Gov Docs library department back in the late nineties and a woman calling up and asking for the web address for a government agency (Department of Labor, I think). I was able to rattle off of the top of my head, "". She stopped me, "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Okay. (pause) Du-be-yoooou......Du-be-yoooou......Du-be-yoooou......"
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:56 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Home sick. Watching them all, lying in bed.

posted by clvrmnky at 9:10 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was so disappointed when this show ended, such good television. I remember just waiting and waiting for a new season that never came. thanks for this.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:13 AM on October 14, 2014

OMG this show was endlessly fascinating and basically an awesome podcast - with pictures!
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Faizon Love on film directing: Video directors don't know shit; they don't know storyline...all they know is Bentley, ass, cut.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:35 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

This was a super show. Favreau is like the perfect Hollywood Charlie Rose. The one with David Milch was very cool/interesting.
posted by From Bklyn at 9:37 AM on October 14, 2014

THIS is a talk show. Get interesting/ funny people together over a meal and have them converse.

Makes me feel like this was something like what people experienced when Dick Cavett was on the air. Works well with either a circle of friends shooting the shit, or 5 people meeting for the first time.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:44 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by tzikeh at 10:12 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wait, so they're just sitting around and talking?
No beer pong? No 3-legged races? No lip sync battles, or thumb wrestling tournaments, or squirt gun fights??
How the heck did they expect any of these videos to go viral?
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:39 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

All those cigars! It's like Swingers was a documentary.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:14 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Faizon Love is a delight.
posted by doctornecessiter at 11:42 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Of course the David Cross episode is unavailable. OF COURSE.

:bangs head against wall:
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:30 PM on October 14, 2014

psho: Works for me. Maybe just a caching glitch?
posted by pharm at 1:11 PM on October 14, 2014

The word was they took a "break" midway through the filming of the episodes and if you look for it, usually after they've finished eating and are smoking cigars, some of the guests eyes will be red and squinty.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:22 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Favreau mentioned in his AMA that he's cool with people watching it online because there's nowhere else to see it, so hopefully that guilt is lifting off your shoulders.
posted by PenDevil at 3:31 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Man, this was really such a great show.
posted by absalom at 5:04 PM on October 14, 2014

I think my favorite moment of the entire series is when Joe Pantoliano calls the server over and tells him that the wine was corked. Which it was. It was an expensive bottle, and everyone else at the table wouldn't have known to say anything, or were too intimidated to speak up. Fucking love Pantoliano.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:54 PM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

It’s a brilliant show, but I still can’t believe they used Verdana for the on-sceen titles. Ugh.
posted by Handcoding at 11:22 PM on October 14, 2014

Metafilter makes me feel like the last person on the internet who looks at a font and doesn't know it's name.

I know 2 fonts: legible on my phone screen, & illegible on same.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:09 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Carrie Fisher and Ed Begley, Jr. talking about John Belushi is kind of amazing.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:00 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've been watching these nonstop, but for some reason random episodes from seasons 3 and 4 will glitch out on the PS3 Netflix app, agh!!
posted by gucci mane at 8:30 PM on October 16, 2014

Not so fun fact:

I'm super late here, but ISTR that the reason the fifth episode above (with Andy Dick, Daryl Hannah, and Marilyn Manson) has only three guests is that the fourth was slated to be Michael Rappaport, who didn't show up.

Rappaport was absent because he'd been playing basketball with Ted Demme when Demme collapsed and died earlier in the day, but apparently wasn't able to get word what was going on to Favreau, so they don't actually know during the shoot what happened.
posted by uberchet at 8:11 AM on November 11, 2014

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