I wrote about the new Isabel Marant store for the March issue of C magazine which is finally online.
Happy New Year! I just got back from a trip to Tulum with some friends and their babies. This was my favorite picture from the vacation. It’s of my little guy Max, who’s now 6 months old, and his buddy Olympia. We had a great time staying in a house in the biosphere, about a 20 min drive from the heart of Tulum, which was very trendy and hectic. Probably not heading back there anytime soon as it felt a bit like the Hamptons on July 4th weekend. Still, though, it has a very pretty beach with warm clear water and great (overpriced) restaurants. Plus it’s a good meeting spot between NYC and LA friends.
LOS ANGELES—Meat lovers and comedians met Saturday night at Vibiana, a baroque former cathedral that is now an event space in downtown Los Angeles, to bring a little old-school New York to the left coast.
Matt Selman, a “Simpsons” writer for a whopping 16 years, had the idea for the annual party (Saturday’s was the second) after reading a 1939 New Yorker article by Joseph Mitchell called “All You Can Hold for Five Bucks.”
It described the Beefsteaks that thrived in the saloons and political halls in New York City of the 19th and early-20th centuries.
The menu was always the same—sliced steak served on toast, au jus or gravy and all the beer you could drink.
Utensils, plates, napkins, vegetables and, for a while, women, were forbidden. Gluttony was encouraged.
This one was all you can hold for $150 (or $300 to attend the VIP cocktail reception before dinner) and proceeds benefited the L.A. Food Bank.
Tickets included an apron to wear and smear during dinner, which featured the traditional staples plus broccoli and potatoes. Hors d’oeuvres were more conventionally Hollywood like ceviche and caviar.
The majority of the 575 people gathered for Beefsteak were comedy writers on shows like “The Simpsons”; “The Office”; “American Dad!”; “New Girl”; “The Mindy Project”; “Community”; “Happy Endings”; and “Whitney.”
Celebrity guests included Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson); actress Mindy Kaling; comedian Patton Oswalt; actress Lizzy Caplan; BJ Novak of “The Office”; Jason Mantzoukas and Paul Scheer of the FX show “The League”; and, slightly incongruously, pro skater Tony Hawk.
“We kept the fun rules, lost the racist rules,” said Mr. Selman, who was wearing a top hat embroidered with a large fake steak. “There aren’t a lot of events that are thrown by our circle of friends of comedy writers and creative weirdos that don’t have an agenda, like celebrating a show or a company’s Christmas party or somebody’s birthday.”
Mr. Selman’s co-hosts were the highly social ABC development executive Cort Cass (his wife, five months pregnant, is a vegetarian); comedy writer Eric Wareheim of the Cartoon Network “Tim and Eric” series; chef Neal Fraser who works at L.A.’s Grace and BLD; and the comedian Aziz Ansari. The evening raised about $15,000 for the Food Bank.
It wouldn’t be a party of comedy writers without some self hatred, which Dan Vebber, a co-executive producer on “American Dad!” was happy to provide.
A maple and egg custard served at the event.
“I’m a pretty well-off Hollywood [type] and I totally acknowledge that I’m fitting that stereotype by coming to this party tonight,” he said. “It’s a bunch of comedy writers who have no problems in their lives coming together for the homeless, but if a homeless person showed up he’d probably be kicked out pretty quickly.”
As heaping platters of steak emerged from the kitchen, Mr. Fraser explained he had used filet from 45 cows.
“Hollywood people are dressed up and feeling kind of weird about it which is nice,” he said, surveying the debauched guests feasting at long tables, wearing aprons over their bowties and ball gowns.
They were also getting drunk off the flowing cocktails, some featuring liquid nitrogen or the assistance of a cow sculpted from ice.
“It’s the perfect blendmanship of comedy and steak,” said Ike Barinholtz who plays the wacky nurse Morgan Tookers on “The Mindy Project.”
“I don’t think it happens very often,” he added.
So, a clambake wouldn’t be as fun?
“No, no, it can’t be a clambake,” Mr. Barinholtz insisted. “Or a cookie party or a spaghetti night. It has to be steak. It provides you with a lot of iron, gets the brain working and there’s a lot of alcohol which I think helps bring out natural funniness,” he said, ordering another whiskey.
I wrote the cover story about gorgeous French actress Marion Cotillard for the new issue C magazine. Baby Max also appeared in his first Contributor’s photo. Too soon?