100 Icebreakers to Avoid

(Originally appeared in Radar, October 2007)

You only get one chance to make a first impression. We recommend you avoid the following icebreakers . . .

1. “You might recognize me from your window.”

2. “You’re not going to believe how many pig anuses the average hot dog contains.”

3. “Quick: Name your top five favorite Phil Collins tunes.”

4. “This bar used to be cool. Now it’s mostly losers.”

5. “I read the most interesting story today on the E! Channel news scroll.”

6. “Do you come to this hospital chapel often?”

7. “Who do I have to fuck at this party to find out where to take a shit?”

8. “Is it hot in here, or is my body just completely covered in petroleum jelly?”

9. “I can see you’re not one of those ‘shallow’ people who’s super-concerned about appearance.”

10. “Listen, my daughter needs a kidney real bad.”

11. “Ladies and gentlemen! Everyone on the Evite list has become the hunted!”

12. “Guess which part of me is prosthetic.”

13. “It. Is. Nice. To. Meet. You. Human. Master. I. Am. Going. To. Speak. Like. A. Robot. For. The. Entire. Evening. Bloop.

14. “Want to hear a joke? Okay, first I have to know if anyone here is Jewish, gay, or a raccoon that’s recently been drugged or sodomized.”

15. “Can you see my junk through these jeans? No? How about now?”

16. “Ordinarily, I’m not the type to just walk over and chitchat with a total stranger. Bye.”

17. “Let’s talk about knives.”

18. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t the guy who took the last Zima!”

19. “Sit back, relax, and allow me to explain the importance of composting.”

20. “Isn’t this place fabulous? Wouldn’t you just love to die here?”

21. “It’s amazing how many people have preconceived opinions about snuff films.”

22. “Were those earrings given to you by a pimp because you’re his favorite baby doll?”

23. “Don’t worry, it’s not poisonous. But the more you scream, the more it’s going to attack.”

24. “Tell me honestly: Do I look like a rapist to you?”

25. “I’m not one to brag, but I live in one of the largest houseboats on Lake Minnetonka.”

26. “I don’t really see why we need art.”

27”“31. “Know what would be cool? …” (27) “Freebasing.” (28) “To leave this joint and go camping in the desert.” (29) “A loofah rubdown.” (30) “Sharing our feelings.” (31) “Blood atonement.”

32. “Bulimia. Pro or con?”

33. “These look like lice, right? Apparently, they’re just chiggers.”

34. “They can quarantine me all they want, but I ain’t wearing no face mask.”

35. “I’m feeling a little crazy tonight. Anyone want to stage a Jonestown reenactment with me?”

36. “You really need to get gastric bypass surgery. Like, today.”

37. “What’s your dream toothpaste?”

38. “I just found these Sharpies—let’s circle each other’s flaws.”

39. “Man! Why won’t this DJ play some George Thorogood already?”

40. “Listen, I know neither of us is racist, but humor me for a second…”

41. “Hewwo. I’m vewy, vewy sad.”

42. “I think you and I should put on Tron suits and pop a handful of these pink pills.”

43. “I know what you’re thinking, and yes, the picture on my profile was taken before the accident.”

44. “Here’s the thing about Mind of Mencia: Everyone else thinks it, but Carlos Mencia says it. I’ll give you 12 examples…”

45. “Enough about me. What’s your opinion of the so-called Holocaust?”

46. “If I happen to pass out, don’t panic. I was up all night playing Uno.”

47. “Tonight’s unseasonably cool weather is all the proof I need that global warming is a hoax.”

48. “What’s your favorite Pat Sajak moment?”

49. “Binaca blast?”

50. “This party reminds me of 9/11.”

51. “Lemme guess. Korean?”

52. “You look like someone who wants to see genuine autopsy photos—am I right, or am I right?”

53. “Allow me to quote my good friend Jared Fogle. Yes, of Subway commercial fame.”

54. “Pretty real-looking for plugs, eh?”

55. [Tapping skull.] “Feel for the metal plate. OUCH! Softer!”

56-61. “Anybody ever tell you that you look like a young . . . (56) “Frida Kahlo?” (57) “Jackie Mason?” (58) “Stephen Hawking?” (59) “Bea Arthur?” (61) “Rocky Dennis from the movie Mask?

62.”Okay, the object of this game is to write a 20-page essay on the historical figure you just drew from my hat. You have three hours. Go.”

63. “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: ‘The more you Mace me, the harder I love.'”

64. “Apropos of nothing, I’m going to call you ‘Peanut Butter Guy.'”

65. “Just out of curiosity, how good are you at protecting yourself against identity theft?”

66. “Let’s cut out the bullshit, shall we? How much is this gonna cost me?”

67. “Do you remember where you were when you first heard Blues Traveler?”

68. “So, I’m like, I’ll show you who’s afraid to stare directly at the sun!'”

69. “Do you know the host well, or are you just blackmailing him with photos of his daughter fellating her driving instructor like I am?”

70. “See if you can guess which of my hands is holding the homemade béarnaise sauce.”

71. [Declining a cigarette.] “Thanks, but I don’t have a death wish.”

72. “Have you ever been to Narnia? It’s really quite beautiful.”

73. “I think it’s so cool that you’re black.”

74. “What’s your all-time favorite coupon?”

75. “Can you believe the price of abortions these days? Honestly.”

76. “Okay, the object of this game is to write a 20-page essay on the historical figure you just drew from my hat. You have three hours. Go.”

77. “Gather ’round if you love limericks.”

78. “Can I touch your hair?”

79. “You know who I hate? All those poseurs who claim to be Wiccan without understanding the first thing about the Law of Threefold Return.”

80. “May I propose a toast? To the innocent people who were horribly tortured and executed this morning in Darfur. Salud!”

81. “I see that you’re admiring my Native American headdress. I made it myself with found items.”

82. “Do my palms smell weird?”

83. “I wouldn’t call them actual voices. More like hyenas scratching at the walls of my brain.”

84. “The Muppets are bullshit, and let me tell you why.”

85. “How much do you make a year? And, more important, what feeds your soul?”

86. “I’d like to now perform my scat version of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.'”

87. [Applying hand sanitizer.] “Nothing personal.”

88. “‘I am not a thief!’ That was Richard Nixon. I’d now like to impersonate Homer Simpson.”

89”“92. “You look familiar. Didn’t we once meet at…” (89) “a July 11, 1988, Captain Eo screening?” (90) “Andy Dick’s hotel suite?” (91) “my mom’s funeral?” (92) “Woodstock ’94?”

93. “Do you have a minute for Greenpeace?”

94. “Where can I park my unicycle?”

95. “When was the last time you stared into the headlights of an oncoming car and thought, Is today the day I grow a pair?

96. “Everything Smurfy over here?”

97. “I really think M. Night Shyamalan is an auteur in the traditional sense.”

98. [Laughing nervously.] “You’re just going to talk to me until someone better comes along, aren’t you?”

99. “You know what would be fun? Trust falls.”

100. “They’re night-vision goggles, and no, I won’t be removing them.”

–Written with Todd Levin, Jason Roeder, and Ted Travelstead