My daughter asked me a similar question her history teacher had posed to her class the other day and got me thinking. The question was, " if you could sit at a party with any 10 people in the world, alive or dead, who would it be?" That question organically morphed into who I thought were the most interesting people that I'd like to sit with. So with some time on my hands and avoiding doing my real job, here's my list. We will start the table of 10 with myself, although I'm not very interesting, I'm stuck with me.
To my right, without question would be the one-and-only Mr. Howard Stern. He is (was) the most misunderstood celebrity in the industry. No one person was more polarizing or stirred up more debates in my neck of the woods (NJ) where he had been on the radio since the 80's. I LOVED the fact that people didn't "get" him; because I did, and it made me understand early on that many people were judgmental and dismissive for reasons that had no basis in reality. I felt like I was on a team of insiders against the moral majority; even though the insiders were just as moral as the idiots that didn't understand what he was doing. Today, Howard is mainstream and the people that don't get it or dislike him are the minority. It is a bit disappointing that there are so many band-wagoner's now, but he is truly getting his due credit, and if you saw some of his real estate you'd agree. He is and always has been intelligent, interesting, funny, and brutally honest (sometimes cringe-worthy) Weather or not people know it or recognize it, he has changed the entertainment industry in many ways; from discussions of masturbation to the way that writers script sit-coms.
Right next to Howard would be Judge Judy Sheindlin. I am drawn to people that are confident, fearless, and true to themselves. She is interesting and everything that comes out of her mouth is meaningful. If you haven't watched her show, you should. It's one of the only true "reality" shows and one of the original. If you have the time go on youtube and watch her interview with Katie Couric and you will understand why I would want her at my table of ten.
Next to Judge Judy would be Larry David, producer/creator of Seinfeld and a comedian and actor in his own right. He has hysterical ways of looking at life and does it in a dry and witty fashion. A funny and intelligent man like the person to his right and sitting across from me, Seth Macfarlane. Yes I know it seems like I have mostly comedians and funny people at the table, and in retrospect by coincidence every one of them thus far is also Jewish; but Seth Macfarlane is such a talent in many different ways, and I am in awe of his abilities to write, sing, act, direct, and look at everyday life in ironic and creative ways. Everything he does from Family Guy and American Dad! to Cosmos and Ted is smart and interesting. You can be sure he would be a good conversationalist.
I don't know how this guy feels sitting at this table, but Abe Lincoln would have to go next to Seth. Keeping with people true to themselves, old "Honest Abe" would be certain to have some fascinating stories and bring some insights on life to the table that no one else would. There is nothing you can say about this guy that says he took the easy way or did things just to please the masses. Instead he made his life much more difficult (and short) because he did what was right instead of what he thought people wanted.
Next to Abe Lincoln would be Madonna. We need some women at this table, and although Abe might be taken back by her, there is no arguing that every pop star of the past 20 years or so has Madonna to thank in part. As a teenager in Michigan, she decided to cut bait and head to NYC with less than 50 bucks in her pocket to try and make it big. She embraced being a sexual icon and is the largest selling female pop star in history (or close to it). She did it all, including becoming a philanthropist, humanitarian, mother, and still a cougar.
Next to Madonna (and probably more aghast than Abe Lincoln about sitting next to her), would be Jesus Christ. Weather you believe or not, no one can argue that he has influenced millions of people and would be unbelievably interesting to talk to. Even if the miracles were embellished and the stories not 100% accurate, and if only 10% of what he did was true, he is truly amazing as a person, humanitarian, and he will still be an influential person in the next 2000 years.
Albert Einstein. After you finish up appetizers speaking with Jesus, turn to your left and ask Albert Einstein what he didn't get a chance to tell the world before he died. How does the universe work? Do you think we can travel in time? I'm sure we'd all be enthralled with what he has to say.
This last person is obviously interesting and I had a hard time making the place cards and leaving others out, but I had to ask Leonardo Da Vinci to be that person in the last seat. I am fascinated with the things he came up with, his inventions, his art, and simply how he thinks. I can only imagine the things he would say that we don't know about him. There is little doubt that you'd eventually hear something profound out of his mouth, especially after a few cocktails.
So there's my table. I am sure some will scoff at some of my picks, but these are people I am personally truly fascinated in; and yes I'm sure there are more that may either be slipping my mind at the moment or I'm stupidly neglecting that I should have put in, but in the same breath, I'd be thrilled sitting with any one of these people individually and there's no arguing with people's taste.