Here's To You, Mr. Robinson

Oct 10, 2013
Originally published on December 18, 2013 12:41 pm
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And I believe it's time to welcome our first two contestants, Eric Brown and Ana Chawla.


EISENBERG: Welcome to you both. Eric, you are into coffee science; is that correct?

ERIC BROWN: That is correct.

EISENBERG: Now, what is coffee science?

BROWN: I'm a barrista and I like the science that goes behind it - the temperatures of brewing, the ratios, everything like that. I love it.

EISENBERG: Burr grinder?

BROWN: Absolutely.


BROWN: Conical burr. That's one.

EISENBERG: Oh. As opposed to the pyramid burr? Or the...

BROWN: Just a flat burr.

EISENBERG: Oh, I see. OK. Good. Are you cold brew person?

BROWN: Of course.

EISENBERG: Cold brew just sounds so wrong to me. It is hot coffee.

BROWN: No, it's cold coffee that you cold brew.

EISENBERG: And then make it hot later?

BROWN: No. Keep it cold.

EISENBERG: It's always cold.

BROWN: You brew the coffee at the temperature you're going to drink at.

JOHN CHANESKI: Stop fighting.


EISENBERG: Welcome, Eric. That isn't pertinent at all to what we're going to playing. Ana, are you a coffee drinker, by any chance? Did you learn anything there?

ANA CHAWLA: I am. And I feel like having some now after all that.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly. We got really into it. More importantly, are you a trivia fan?


EISENBERG: Good. Because our first game is coming to you right now. It's called Here's to You, Mr. Robinson. Jonathan, is this a game about "The Graduate"'s neighbor's husband?

JONATHAN COULTON: No. We did some polling of our audience and they told us that we needed to put in some more content for old people, so.


COULTON: This game is an homage to the 1930s actor Edward G. Robinson.


COULTON: Old people, you're welcome. Young people, if you don't know who he is, he appeared in many gangster films and he had a habit of ending his sentences with the word see. As in: This is a stickup, see? Thank you.


COULTON: So in this game every answer will end in a see sound. John Chaneski, how about an example?

CHANESKI: Sure. If we said in a series of commercials for Apple Computers, John Hodgmen played what office machine, you would say: PC.


EISENBERG: I love that now that they've understood they're, like, half laughing and half angry.



COULTON: It's the appropriate response.


CHANESKI: And while you don't have to answer in a gangster voice, anybody who doesn't is going to get a pop in the kisser, see? All right, contestants. Ring in when you know the answer and the winner will move on to the Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Are you ready?

CHAWLA: I'm ready.

COULTON: Here we go. Despite its morbid name, it's a bad idea to dump a body in this lake that borders Israel and Jordan as its incredibly high salinity would make it very difficult to sink it to the bottom.



CHAWLA: Dead She — Sea? I don't know.

COULTON: That is correct.

EISENBERG: Dead Sea. Yeah.

COULTON: Dead. See?

EISENBERG: Exactly. Right. Terrible place for a dead body, but their skin will be nice and soft.

COULTON: That's the worst part about dead bodies; their skin is terrible.

EISENBERG: I know. It's very dry.


EISENBERG: Dead dry skin.

COULTON: Yeah. Edward G. Robinson played gangster Johnny Rocco in a 1948 film called "Key Largo." If you drive just over 500 miles north northwest from Key Largo, you'll reach this city which happens to be the Sunshine State's capital.



CHAWLA: Tallaha-see.



CHAWLA: That's hard.

COULTON: A for effort, Ana. That's right.

CHAWLA: I am from New Jersey. That's hard.

COULTON: Called the unofficial spirit of black America by Ebony magazine in 2012, what brand of French cognac is popular enough to merit shoutouts in tracks by Tu Pac, Snoop Dog, and dozens of other gangsta rappers?



BROWN: Hennessey. Henne-see?

COULTON: Very good.


EISENBERG: All alcohols have very ambitious slogans and Hennessey is: Never stop, never settle. Which is a lot of pressure.

COULTON: Yeah. Especially when you're drinking booze.1

EISENBERG: When you're drinking Hennessey. Right. So you wake up the next morning with: You've stopped settled. Right. Right.

COULTON: Yeah. Just...

EISENBERG: No that you did a lot of those.

COULTON: At some point, definitely stop.

EISENBERG: Definitely should stop.

COULTON: In gangster speak being sent up the river means going to prison. It would take a 4,000 mile boat ride starting in Shanghai and ending just short of the Himalayas to be sent all the way up this waterway, the longest river in Asia.



BROWN: The Yangtze.

COULTON: There you go. This guy is getting good, see?

BROWN: Yeah.


COULTON: Let's say a big-time Italian gangster wanted to confess his crimes to the Bishop of Rome, also known as the Pope. To do so, he'd have to go to the Pope's dioceses, a special jurisdiction known as the Sanc Dicitis in Latin and what in English?



CHAWLA: The Holy, See?

COULTON: There you go. That's right.


EISENBERG: After I get done with the snitch, Holy don't see no more.


COULTON: You would do very well in prison.

EISENBERG: Thank you. That's the second time I've been told that.


COULTON: All right. This is your last question. Tougher than any mob boss, this woman ruled over the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011.



CHAWLA: Nancy Pelosi.

COULTON: That's right. You got it. John Chaneski, how did our contestants do?

CHANESKI: Well, it looks like Ana took that one, see?


EISENBERG: Ana, well done. We'll see you again at our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show.



COULTON: (singing) We'd like to know a little bit about you for our files. We'd like to help you learn to help yourself. Look around you. All you see are sympathetic eyes. Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home. And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson. Jesus loves you more than you will know. Whoa-oh-oh. God bless you, please, Mrs. Robinson. Heaven holds a place for those who pray. Hey-hey-hey. Hey-hey-hey.

EISENBERG: Jonathan Coulton.


COULTON: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.