Need help planning a retro board game party. Details within.
February 9, 2012 11:18 AM   Subscribe

MeFites, I want to plan an era-appropriate party centred around a recently-acquired c. 1970 copy of the Password board game.

Since this game is 13 years my senior, I'm a little shaky on what would constitute good kitschy-fun-retro (and what would not).

So far I've bought a turntable and picked up some fun LP's for background music (Herb Alpert type stuff), but I use more suggestions to that end.

Also, finger food: what am I serving? Hoping my thrift store hunting will turn up some fun vintage relish-tray-ish dishes to serve on.

Planning to dress as era appropriately as possible for a guy that wears a 3xl (as I understand it, fat people were not yet invented in 1970). What makes for a good late-60's-early-70's man-of-the-house party outfit?

Thanks all! :D
posted by to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh I think you should go to NetFlix or something and dig up some of the old shows. Certainly a pair of those military-issue black rimmed glasses and a high and tight hair cut.
posted by JXBeach at 11:24 AM on February 9, 2012

Another good reference point is Saturday Night Live's "Secret Word" sketch.
posted by bcwinters at 11:28 AM on February 9, 2012

Not finger food but a vegetable in Jello dish is always good! Some sort of really itchy polyester vest would also go well with brown corduroys. Also cans of cocktail wieners on Ritz.
posted by mrgroweler at 11:30 AM on February 9, 2012

The parties I went to in 1970 had juice and cake and we all wore little conical hats. However, if you want to do up the 70's entertaining, you must have fondue. I think the fondue craze got going a few years later, but no one will care.
posted by thelonius at 11:30 AM on February 9, 2012

Can I be Nipsy Russell?!

Lots of booze. And have everyone come as someone who's been on match game, hollywood squares or password.of (although tv show password ended in the 60s)
posted by vitabellosi at 11:34 AM on February 9, 2012

My parents always served rumaki and cocktail meatballs and sardine canapes (you can make these with smoked salmon instead, and they will be much yummier). 1970 canapes go on Ritz crackers, please! Or maybe Triscuits.

Many of my parents' friends served stuffed mushrooms and a canape that was a little chunk of baked kielbasa skewered on a cocktail pick (extra points for the ones that looked like little swords) with a canned pineapple chunk.

For some 1970-style drinks, let me recommend the Harvey Wallbanger and the Tequila Sunrise. Mai Tais were popular then, too.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:42 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

You can probably get some appropriate food ideas from Lileks.
posted by COD at 11:53 AM on February 9, 2012

Here's some ideas for a playlist.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:54 AM on February 9, 2012

For extra bonus fun, you could make a Harvey Wallbanger cake from Booze Cakes! I made one a couple weeks ago for a work event and it was GONE.
posted by chatongriffes at 11:54 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you can acquire an old Polaroid camera and some film (I don't actually think they make it anymore) you could take everyone's pictures. Otherwise, I'm sure there is an iPhone app or Photoshop filter you can use to take a regular picture and make it look like a Polaroid.

You could also do something similar and take "Super 8" movies of the party. I know there's an app for that.

Also, the only way to make it a truly authentic party from the 1970s, at least the way I remember it, is to have everyone smoke.
posted by bondcliff at 11:55 AM on February 9, 2012

We had a seventies party for my wife's 30th birthday a few years ago. Admittedly, 1970 isn't exactly in the heart of "the seventies," but it's close.

We served Ritz crackers with Easy Cheese, one of those cheese balls rolled in slivered almonds, and cans of Schlitz beer. We were fortunate enough to live in a condo with a shared "rec room" that hadn't been updated since the 70s (harvest gold appliances, one of those nifty sideboards with a sliding top revealing the HiFi system inside, and a big Pleather easy chair). We supplemented with a lot of disco-related decor: disco ball, Saturday Night Fever and Abba posters, the LP album covers, etc. We wore vintage clothing, too, like brown polyester bell-bottom pants.
posted by maxim0512 at 11:56 AM on February 9, 2012

little chunk of baked kielbasa skewered on a cocktail pick
Goodness yes and maybe with a little triangle of sweating cheddar!
posted by mrgroweler at 11:58 AM on February 9, 2012

I was a teenager in the 70's and I remember when my parents entertained, they almost always served finger sandwiches with tuna salad, egg salad and ham salad. There was also always a variety of potato and macaroni salads as well as a deli platter.

Polyester attire is also key!

P.S. Try to find the "Password" episode of The Odd Couple TV series to watch online beforehand too. It is a riot!
posted by Hanuman1960 at 12:09 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also, finger food: what am I serving? Hoping my thrift store hunting will turn up some fun vintage relish-tray-ish dishes to serve on.

When you're at the thrift shop, go look at the cookbook section -- Better Homes and Gardens ones also had a lot of photos on presentation and layout.

For fashion, check out Plaid Stallions. In short: big collars, heavily-contrasting colors, shirt and pants made from the same material, embroidery on men's clothes.

If you can acquire an old Polaroid camera and some film...

Fuji makes the Instax, which is essentially the polaroid for the 21st century. The pictures it spits out are the traditional Polaroid style, thick and plasticky. You can get one and a couple packs of film at Office Depot for around $100. Yeah, spendy, but the camera is so awesome you'll want to use it well after the party is done.

As a period feature: ashtrays everywhere. Even if nobody smokes at your party, the mere presence of ashtrays (especially the big ornate ones) evokes the time period.

Lastly: you can probably find episodes of Password on The Internet Archive; Password Plus was the version of the show that was on in the 70s, and you can find clips on YouTube; GameShow Network used to air it in the mornings, but I don't think they do anymore. Match Game airs on Gameshow Network from 7am-8am central time.
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:15 PM on February 9, 2012

Yeah...We had 'em back then.

For music, take a walk through this Wikipedia entry.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:59 PM on February 9, 2012

Around 1980 my parents were serving little toothpicks each with a piece of (canned) pineapple, a cube of cheddar and a glace cherry on them. I'm pretty sure that had been their go-to party dish for at least 5-10 years previously too.
posted by lollusc at 2:51 PM on February 9, 2012

As suggested upthread, viewing of this classic Odd Couple episode prior to playing the game will definitely set the proper mood for the evening.
posted by Oriole Adams at 3:00 PM on February 9, 2012

One other suggestion - have a box of Rice-A-Roni, a bottle of Turtle Wax and a tin of Jiffy Pop popcorn handy to give away as "consolation" prizes.
posted by Oriole Adams at 3:06 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

You will need to have a wicker basket, with open napkins, half filled with potato chips and half filled with pretzels. Nearby will be a container of french onion dip. Peanut butter or cream cheese filled celery or cheese ball covered with crushed nuts served with Ritz crackers was common. But my very favorite was hard (not cotto) salami rolled around cream cheese. Yum!
posted by Mittenz at 3:37 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

My mother made Waikiki Meatballs for every neighbourhood potluck in the 70s. She was considered the best cook in the neighbourhood. She also made a salad that was, as far as I remember, Uncle Ben's rice, a bottle of Kraft Catalina French dressing and frozen peas. Served cold. Best cook in the neighbourhood!

You, my friend, should wear a caftan or a dashiki.
posted by looli at 3:41 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Cheez-whiz on Ritz.
Crockpot full of weenies.
posted by Ardiril at 3:46 PM on February 9, 2012

Crockpot full of weenies.

Specifically, Lil' Smokies swimming in sauce made from equal parts Welch's Grape Jelly and Heinz Chili Sauce.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 7:35 PM on February 9, 2012

The bundt cake really took off in the '70s. Apparently one won the Pillsbury bake-off in 1966. After that everybody started making them. My mom used to buy the bundt cake mixes, and I was responsible for pouring the glaze over the cake.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:57 PM on February 9, 2012

For the 1970-exact snack you need a box of Screaming Yellow Zonkers but it seems if you can find any, they'll be at least 5 years old so, too bad.

fat people were not yet invented in 1970

Oh really? I knew some, then. One in particular, kinda nerdy -- in 1970 he always wore Smiley Face buttons, one on each collar tab of his button-down shirt.
posted by Rash at 9:49 AM on February 10, 2012

fat people were not yet invented in 1970

My former, highly-corpulent, self from 1970 would strongly disagree.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:28 AM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

//"OK I give! What is 'hippology'?"//

Every year 4-H administers a test from hell covering all aspects of equine science. The teenager that scores highest gets to be state champion and can then go one to compete at a national level. The kids that win these events frequently end up with nice scholarship offers to study agriculture related stuff in college.

I really, really hope that last part is true :)
posted by COD at 9:38 AM on February 11, 2012

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