CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. And here's your host, from the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl. Thanks everybody. Thank you. We have got a really fun show for you today. We have actor and one-time Obama adminstration member, now game show host Kal Penn will be joining us later. I'll ask him how it feels to finally hit the big time.
SAGAL: But first - I want everybody's indulgence. I want to ask our live audience here a little thing. Without me coaching or encouraging you before the show in any way, how exciting is it to see us in person?
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ROY BLOUNT JR.: It's not that exciting.
SAGAL: It is that exciting. And if you out there in radio-land would like to see what's gotten these completely un-coached people so excited, then come to our live cinecast next week. We'll be broadcasting our show, live via satellite, into a movie theater near you. You'll see our special guest Steve Martin, musical guests Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, panelists Mo Rocca, Tom Bodett, and Paula Poundstone, and all the things the FCC won't let us broadcast on the radio. For tickets go to waitwaittickets.org.
First, it's your time to play, one last time without what we look like. Give us a call at 1-888-Wait-Wait. That's 1-888-924-8924. Now it's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
NICK SELBY: Hey, this is Nick Selby. I'm a transplanted New Yorker in Fort Worth, Texas.
SAGAL: Oh. Hi, Nick. How are you?
SELBY: Great. Thanks.
SAGAL: How hard has it been to sort of translate your New York sensibility to Texas?
SELBY: The pizza is really bad.
SAGAL: Yeah, that's odd.
SAGAL: I don't think it makes up for it in other ways.
SELBY: Barbecue's really good.
SAGAL: There you go. Well, Nick, let me introduce you to our panel. First up, it's the syndicated advice columnist for the Chicago Tribune, the column is Ask Amy, Amy Dickenson is here.
SELBY: Hey, Amy.
AMY DICKENSON: Hey, Nick.
SAGAL: Next, it's a comedian who'll be performing at Levity Live in West Nyack, New York this weekend, Maz Jobrani.
MAZ JOBRANI: Hello, Nick.
SAGAL: And finally, it's humorist and author most recently of "Alphabetter Juice," Mr. Roy Blount Jr. is here.
BLOUNT: Hi, Nick.
SAGAL: Nick, welcome to the show. You're going to play "Who's Carl This Time." Carl Kasell is going to read you three quotes from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you will win our prize, Carl's voice on your home answering machine. You ready to play?
SELBY: Yes, sir.
SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.
KASELL: This is our bleeping city. Stay Strong.
SAGAL: That was baseball player David Ortiz, speaking for just about everybody after a rough week in what bleeping city?
SAGAL: Yes, indeed.
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SAGAL: Boston, Massachusetts.
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SAGAL: Things are finally getting back to normal in Boston. They let people out of their homes, they opened the streets, and the people started driving down them like lunatics. Everybody said, wow, those terrorists picked the wrong city to attack. Mainly because nobody in Boston can pronounce a word with as many Rs as "terrah."
BLOUNT: I think it's interesting that ball players have started going ahead and saying curses in their public addresses.
SAGAL: Well, this is what happened. There was actually an interesting moment. They had this big ceremony before the first Red Sox game after the attacks, right? And David Ortiz, you know, the star player for the Sox, that was his first day back. And so they gave him the microphone. And that's what he said. He just said to the, you know, 40,000 people plus live television audience. And the head of the FCC himself tweeted: David being David, it's OK with me.
SAGAL: When your city gets bombed, you get a total dispensation to drop F bombs on TV. It's like bomb gives you one F bomb. That's how it works.
BLOUNT: But just imagine Lou Gehrig; Tonight I feel like the luckiest bleeping guy on earth.
JOBRANI: Yeah, there's a lot of...
SAGAL: That was pretty awesome actually, now that you think of it.
DICKENSON: But it rhymes.
JOBRANI: They're like, you know, like ask not what your bleeping country could do for you but what you could do for your bleeping country.
JOBRANI: Step up.
SAGAL: Now, what happened of course was at the end of last week when these guys were caught, who did the bombing, we found out they were Chechens. And people, you know, took to Twitter to denounce these dastardly Czechs. As in Czech Republic.
SAGAL: And the Czech Embassy in the U.S. - this is true - had to put out a statement saying. Hello, Americans.
SAGAL: We are not Chechens. We are Czechs. Czech Republic, you know, known for Vaclav Havel, and Czech Mix. That sort of stuff.
SAGAL: Totally different thing. A little bit of confusion. We got it straightened out. This led to the House introducing the Terrorists Must Be Places We've Heard of Act of 2013.
JOBRANI: I got to tell you, Peter, as a Middle Easter male...
JOBRANI: ...I know that the whole Middle Eastern community was watching going, plus don't be Middle Eastern. Please don't be.
DICKENSON: Oh, yeah.
SAGAL: Yeah, you totally won that lottery, man.
JOBRANI: And then it came out they were Chechen. We're like, yes. And then the next day they said, but they're Muslim. I was like, damn it.
JOBRANI: What I want to know, again as a Middle Eastern male, is anytime something like this happens, why people start sending out ricin. Why is that?
JOBRANI: Is it ready to go? Like, it the...
SAGAL: Yeah, they're all set.
JOBRANI: Stamp is there.
SAGAL: (Unintelligible) stamped envelopes.
DICKENSON: You're right. That's the weirdest thing.
SAGAL: Hey, man, you do it your way, we'll do it our way.
SAGAL: I don't get in your face about your game, you know?
SAGAL: All right. Your next quote is from a man widely and publicly accused and then cleared of attempting to poison someone with ricin.
KASELL: I thought I said rice, I don't even eat rice.
SAGAL: So that man had been wrongfully accused of sending a ricin-laced letter to whom?
SELBY: President Obama.
SAGAL: Indeed, yes.
SAGAL: This is what happened. While we were all paying attention to the bombing and the chase in Boston, last week, the FBI arrested an Elvis impersonating, conspiracy theorist and martial artist named Kevin Curtis in Mississippi on the charge of sending letters to President Obama and other officials with this poison, ricin. This week, they let him go, because it turns out he might have been framed by another martial artist/musician/conspiracy theorist, jealous of Kevin's success as an Elvis impersonator.
SAGAL: I need to point out at this juncture, I have not yet made anything up.
SAGAL: Now, Kevin, the Elvis guy, upon his release gave the best press conference ever, in which he talked about his dog Moo Cow, how he's been to jail 20 times but never been convicted of anything. And then he told the national media that in addition to everything else, he was also a licensed foot massager, and he offered free foot massages to all the ladies. Still have not made anything up.
DICKENSON: And didn't all this, like, go down in Tupelo, Mississippi?
SAGAL: Yes, it all happened in Tupelo.
DICKENSON: Like, how big is Tupelo? Like, it's not a very big...
SAGAL: Well, apparently it's not big enough to hold these two guys.
DICKENSON: I know.
SAGAL: Because what happened was, the FBI descended on this guy, because there are clues in the letters as to who he was. And they didn't find anything in his house that could help him make ricin, which is difficult to manufacture. So we should have known it wasn't the Elvis impersonator. Because whenever a guy does this, the neighbors always say, oh, he was so quiet. We never imagined.
SAGAL: It's never like, oh, yeah, that guy, he's a lunatic.
SAGAL: He's an Elvis impersonating, martial artist, conspiracy theorist. Of course it's him. That never happens. Your last quote, Nick, is from Bill Clinton.
KASELL: Your mother showed me some of your landscapes and animal paintings, and I think they're wonderful.
SAGAL: President Clinton was praising another man for his animal paintings at the opening of his presidential library. Who was it?
SELBY: That'll be George W. Bush.
SAGAL: Yes, indeed.
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SAGAL: All five presidents, current and former, were there for the opening of the Bush library. George W. Bush himself got up and said: I was always known as somebody who is less likely to be found in a library than to actually found one.
SAGAL: Said Mr. Bush of himself. So all this sudden nostalgia for President Bush has led to some discussion in the media over whether his brother Jeb might run for president next. But their mother Barbara said no, saying, quote, "We've had enough Bushes," unquote.
SAGAL: Asked to clarify later, a spokesman for the family came out, firmly put his hand over her mouth and said, she was just talking about the landscaping at the library.
DICKENSON: It was like, oh, boy.
BLOUNT: I've been to the Clinton library. And one thing it has in it is a framed letter from Dom DeLuise.
SAGAL: Really? Of all people, Dom DeLuise.
BLOUNT: If I got a letter from Dom DeLuise, I wouldn't frame it.
SAGAL: Yeah. Nothing against the late Mr. DeLuise. But still.
BLOUNT: No, no. Nothing against him. But if you're a president and you have a library, surely, I don't know maybe Lincoln would have done it the same.
DICKENSON: They should...
BLOUNT: I can't imagine Thomas Jefferson, for instance, framing a letter from Dom DeLuise.
BLOUNT: Hanging it up.
SAGAL: Carl, how did Nick do in our quiz?
KASELL: Nick, you had three correct answers, so I'll be doing the message on your home answering machine.
SAGAL: Well done, sir.
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SAGAL: Thanks so much for playing, Nick.
SELBY: Thanks very much.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.