Eddie Pepitone’s New Year’s Eve survival guide

The self-eviscerating comic is here to help you get through the craziest night of the year

Photograph: Robyn Von SwankEddie Pepitone
Despite his move to L.A., Eddie Pepitone is still a real New Yorker through and through, and he knows a little something about the trials and tribulations of NYC during the holidays. Take his advice, pick your New Year’s Eve events carefully, and have the not-worst New Year’s Eve ever!

Lower your expectations

“When I was younger, I always wound up at parties with these tremendously high expectations and ended up watching people kissing passionately, drunk out of their faces, while I would be stoned and hoping there was a dog to pet. In your head, you picture Freed Astaire at the top of the Rainbow Room but instead, you’re in Red Hook with some older relatives on oxygen machines. You always end up feeling like you’re at the wrong party.”

Stay the hell out of Times Square

“If you really want to go into tremendous despair, go to Times Square. It’s like being at a horrible protest where you’re behind a barricade but there’s no cause to unite over. Avoid it at all costs unless you’re completely out of your mind or on some kind of suicide mission.”

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Go to work

“I waited tables one year, and that wasn’t a bad New Year’s Eve, because I was working and making money, so I had an excuse to not be happy. But don’t be a cabdriver—that’s like picking up the damned everywhere you go. Driving a taxi on New Year’s Eve is the equivalent of driving a taxi right after society has collapsed.”

Walk home

“Getting a cab can be a life-threatening situation in rush hour on a normal day, but you can multiply that by a 100 on New Year’s Eve. It really feels like Escape From New York at that point—the cab drivers just pass people by like, ‘Fuck it!’ The subways are crowded, so if you don’t want to get puke on your arm, if you want to have a little dignity, go someplace close to home so you can walk. Going out in a different borough? Forget it!”

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Be cheap

“Buy very cheap products and accessorize them like they’re from the top gourmet shops in New York. Get yourself a cheese ball from Duane Reade, but say it’s one of those specialty cheeses from Dean & Deluca. No one will know it only cost $5. Then buy cheap, rotgut gin and pour it into the latest bottle of Absolute – I think it’s called ‘Absolute Elitism.’ Then just stay at home.”

Don’t do cocaine

“I remember doing cocaine in this bar in the East Village, thinking that would spice up my New Year, and the only thing it did was make me white out. I couldn’t handle it! I was the worst New Year’s Eve guest you could ever imagine, saying things like, ‘Please help me! I don’t know if this blindness is temporary…’ That’s not a New Year’s guest you want.”

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Moderate your booze

“There’s nothing worse than having so much booze that you start telling the truth. You start telling your friends how important they are to you, you start crying, and it’s nothing to do with them, you just have enough booze in you to get to the feelings you’ve locked away for the last year.”

Ignore the commercials

“Consumer culture shows so many images of happiness that when you’re not experiencing it, you feel like the biggest loser and New Year’s just magnifies that. In the holiday season, ads show everyone having a good time—people in cars full of diamonds with beautiful women. Meanwhile, in real life, you’re walking to the fridge with your dick hanging out of your boxers, looking for chocolate.”

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