Get ready, dudes it’s time to party!

Lazily leafing through the newspaper a few afternoons ago, I ran across an ad for an enterprising entertainment agency that offered, among other things, “party motivators.”

Birthday clowns and Halloween mimes are one thing, but party motivators have to be the elite of the regional entertainment scene. I mean, is this a great job or what?

Party motivators have to be like the super heroes of good times gone bad, prowling the dark streets of sullen suburbs, searching for the party that somehow hasn’t quite gotten off the ground. You know what I mean – there’s plenty of bean dip and beer, but for some reason, otherwise zany celebrants are sitting around listening to polka classics and telling Dick Cheney knock-knock jokes.

That’s when the party motivator steps in.

Just imagine the action – sporting more gadgets than James Bond after a Sharper Image shopping spree, the beaded and bewigged party motivator takes charge. Maybe it’ll only take a few blasts on a marine air horn, or perhaps the activation of a portable karaoke machine, but you know the party motivator will save the day.

Of course, there must be more to being a party motivator than a few noisemakers and two dozen minibottles of Jagermeister.

I’d guess that canny party motivators have to instinctively know what’s needed for every stalled soiree. There’s nothing worse than employing hula hoops when little exploding bottles of confetti are really what one needs to shift the celebration into high gear.

When confronted by the aforementioned polka music and Dick Cheney knock-knock jokes, it’s pretty obvious that the successful party motivator will have to move quickly and decisively before the entire room sinks hopelessly into terminal ennui. And he should be fully aware of local practices and customs when launching his onslaught of fun.

If, for example, the guys trading the Dick Cheney jokes are dues-paying members of al-Qaida, it’s always better to forget the balloon animals and try to handle the celebration with a little more finesse.

(Probably a good idea not to distribute a lot of kazoos, either…)

The best party motivators also know that a team approach sometimes works better than trying to juggle all the mirrored disco balls alone.

Like the wily strategist he is, the skilled party motivator stays in control and carefully dispatches his specially trained minions to where they’ll do the most good.

Boring wedding reception? It can happen to anybody, particularly when the champagne fountain somehow gets clogged with congealed barbecue sauce from discarded Buffalo wings.

What to do? What to do?

The quick-thinking party motivator will refrain from organizing a spirited round of pin-the-tail-on-the-drunk-guy. Ditto for an impromptu accordion concert. No, the inspired party motivator will assemble a trio of fat naked guys and have them streak gleefully through the reception singing “My Sharona.”


Throw in several containers of Silly String and you’ve got enough party motivation to keep that reception rockin’ past dawn…

Originally published March 5, 2006