The Five Worst Kinds Of Party Hosts

Categories: Advice

I didn't get this out of one of Joan Crawford's old books.

I got it from experience--years and years of experience.

Here are the hostesses with the leastest, IMHO:

(1) The ones that don't say hello when a guest arrives. They wait for the guest to eventually make the first move.

That's appalling behavior for a host, who should be sincerely air kissing each and every person that walks in the door! You should act like they're doing you a favor, not vice versa. A meet-and-greet is nothing without the initial greeting! You can't have sex without the foreplay!

(2) The one who stands in a corner the whole night, letting themselves be monopolized by one person or one group.

Again, appalling! Rotten! Wrong! A host must flutter around the room and treat all the guests equally, or there will be some seriously bad word of mouth afterwards. Make everyone feel welcome. That's your job! If you don't like that job, then don't throw a party!

(3) Bitches nonstop about why the party could be better.

"The weather is bad...There must be train delays and it's hard to get a cab...After the holiday, people are partied out....I made the party for too early a time. People are probably just getting home from work....There was a plane crash last week and no one feels like celebrating...." SHUT UP! You're ruining your own party with Debbie Downer talk! Emphasize the positive and make sure people have fun--don't assault them wiith your imagined hard luck tales. Besides, they already were having fun until you started bitching.

(4) Doesn't present a variety of treats for the guests.

You can't just put out a plate of crackers and cheese, even in a bad economy! It's not just cheap, it doesn't take into account the fact that lots of people are dairy intolerant and/or just plain pissy. Have some veggie things and some meat things and some bread things. You can do it on a budget and it will still look like you're an equal opportunity entertainer.

(5) Keeps saying "Are you having fun? Are you having a good time? Huh?"

It's OK to care about your guests' needs, but the constant annoyance of a host asking banal questions like that becomes a hideous distraction from whatever enjoyment they were having. No one can have fun when someone's constantly wondering if they're doing so. Just engage them in small talk, flattery, food, and drinks, and I guarantee a grand old time. Trust Mikey. This is what I do for a lifestyle!

My Voice Nation Help

I like #3 especially. Whenever I've heard a host go on and on like this, I always felt like he/she was giving excuses for why thier A list didn't make the party -- and if I made it to the party then I wasn't their A list. WTF 

exackerly 1 Like

Or -- you could do what one of those ladies on the Real Housewives of Atlanta did: throw yourself a birthday party, hire security so no undesirables crash the party, then "forget" to put one of the invitees on the list so that your goon squad won't even let her in. Then when somebody comes to ask you about it, instead of rushing to the door to fix the situation, say "it's my birthday, so I don't have to do anything I don't want to do."

mae.swazey 2 Like

Thanks SO much for this list, Michael.  I'm trying to get over my fear of hosting parties.  I'm a great guest but a rotten host (mainly because of #5--I'm petrified that everyone isn't having FUN) and so I quit giving parties. But I owe so many people that I must have a few parties.  I WILL have this list on hand to help me and my nerves!  By the way, you'll be invited to my first party.

bethesda topcommenter

Glad to hear that about Joanne! That's the sign of a true star.


@bethesda Jackie O was also famous for being down-to-earth and welcoming to her guests.

SavannahMontgomery 1 Like

"A host must flutter around the room and treat all the guests equally"

Joanne Woodward was genius at this...I was a last minute guest at a NYEve party and the lowest of the low on the totem-pole, yet she spent about 20 min with me....Paul did the opposite..BUT he did call me over to the bar and handed me my drink..(I almost died on the spot...and yes, those eyes were REALLY that blue!)

jackson30 topcommenter

I've been guilty of #1 and now I feel REALLY guilty about it.