Who's Carl This Time

Nov 8, 2013
Originally published on January 14, 2014 1:58 pm
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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 at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Carl, thanks everybody. We have got a terrific show for you today. Later on, actor, writer and carpenter Nick Offerman will be coming by to play our game. Now Nick is known best for playing Ron Swanson, the red-meat-eating, no-nonsense man's man on the show Parks and Recreation. He has become, oddly enough, America's favorite symbol of true masculinity.

KASELL: Uh, second favorite, Peter.


SAGAL: Fine point, Carl. We will watch Carl and Nick Offerman lock antlers later, but first it's your turn. Give us a call, the number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT, that's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

RICK LOMBARDO: Hello, hello.

SAGAL: Hello, hello, who is this, who is this?

LOMBARDO: Rick Lombardo.

SAGAL: Hey Rick, where you calling from?

LOMBARDO: Maineville, Ohio, just outside Cincinnati.

SAGAL: And what do you do there near Cincinnati?

LOMBARDO: I'm in application engineering for plastic welding, ultrasonic welding, vibration welding, things like that.

SAGAL: Oh yeah, I mean, I actually know about this because I saw a display in a museum that you guys use sound waves to, like, weld plastic parts together.

LOMBARDO: You understand it better than I do, I think.

SAGAL: Really?


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Rick. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, a comedian, actor and director most recently of the horror film "Willow Creek," it's Bobcat Goldthwait is here.


SAGAL: Next, senior editor and columnist for the Houston Chronicle, it is Kyrie O'Connor, she's here.




SAGAL: And a humorist and author whose latest book, he keeps writing them, "The Baby Boom" is out soon, it's P.J. O'Rourke.



SAGAL: Rick, you of course are going to start us off with "Who's Carl This Time." We have sifted through the news, found three quotes from the news. Carl will re-create them for you. Your job: explain or identify two of them. Do that, you'll win our prize. Ready to go?


SAGAL: All right, here is your first quote.

Yes, I have smoked crack. Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors.


SAGAL: That was a drunk crack smoker named Rob Ford who this week admitted to the obvious. Mr. Ford, though, says he will not quit his job, which happens to be what?

LOMBARDO: It's mayor of Toronto?

SAGAL: Yes, indeed, the mayor of Canada's largest city.




O'ROURKE: And for the first time in my life I want to go to Toronto.

SAGAL: That's interesting.


O'ROURKE: Obviously there's a side to this place we little knew.

KASELL: All right, Toronto, your mayor has admitted to smoking crack, but he only does it when he's so drunk he doesn't know he's doing it.


SAGAL: This is how bad it's gotten for Rob Ford: the fact that he is a blackout drunk is the good news.


BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT: Well, he's a recreational crack user. I think it's fascinating that he's implying that alcohol is the gateway to crack.


O'CONNOR: Well, you know, and that's one thing that's important to remember. Crack is not a gateway drug because, like, after you do it for a while, you die.

SAGAL: That's true.

O'CONNOR: It's a gateway to Hell.

O'ROURKE: Yeah, well, there's that.


GOLDTHWAIT: He's one of the lesser-known Zeppelin songs. They - he's...


GOLDTHWAIT: I think it's so weird how many mayors end up smoking crack. I mean, I think I have some pretty nefarious friends; none of them are crack smokers.

O'ROURKE: Yeah, me too.

GOLDTHWAIT: I think it's weird that, like, when I meet a politician now, I'm going to go oh, is this going to be bad for me later on? Is this going to be...?


O'ROURKE: Am I go going to get on video?

GOLDTHWAIT: I toured with Nirvana.


GOLDTHWAIT: And nobody was smoking crack.

O'CONNOR: The thing about the guy that's so amazing is he's so un-Canadian. I mean, Canada's where they still eat off of regular-sized plates.


SAGAL: This makes Rob Ford, by a huge measure, the most interesting Canadian ever. The list is like he's...

O'ROURKE: Now, now, now...

GOLDTHWAIT: Suck it, Alan Thicke.



GOLDTHWAIT: In your face, Thicke. He actually said that he thought he was smoking poutine.


SAGAL: Rick, here is your next quote. It was a headline about a big winner on election night this week.

KASELL: Elephant in the Room.

SAGAL: That was the not at all subtle headline on a big story in Time magazine about the big winner in this week's big elections. Who was it?

LOMBARDO: Chris Christie?

SAGAL: Yes indeed, Chris Christie.



SAGAL: Governor Christie of New Jersey won a landslide re-election on Tuesday, making himself into the instant frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, 2016, and making political observers all over the country bend over backwards to avoid making fat jokes. It's really tricky because you can't say, like, he's the heavyweight in the race, no. Has he got wide appeal? No.


SAGAL: He's the big tent candidate. No. By the way, the fact that he is the GOP frontrunner was the first time anyone ever called him a runner.


O'CONNOR: I actually saw the editor of Time on TV, someone who said this headline, elephant in the room, is that like a fat joke? And she goes no.


O'CONNOR: No, it's just an expression.

SAGAL: Christie says that it is his very New Jersey-ness, his can-do attitude, his rough compassion, that makes him such a successful politician. If he goes all the way, he'll be the first New Jerseyan in the White House since Woodrow Bon Jovi.


SAGAL: Are you a fan of Chris Christie's, P.J., being our authority?

O'ROURKE: I am a huge fan.


SAGAL: I'm not kidding, it's hard.

O'ROURKE: There's just no getting around it either, no.



O'ROURKE: Anyway, my love for him is as high as it is wide. I think it's...

GOLDTHWAIT: Do you think he could handle the weight of the presidency?


O'ROURKE: You know, I think he can, and if he can't, you know, he's got Rob Ford to look to, you know, as a model because the thing I love most about Rob Ford and that all politicians could learn from him is what a great excuse that is, I was drunk and smoking crack.


O'ROURKE: I mean, Kathleen...

SAGAL: Sebelius.

O'ROURKE: Sebelius, yeah, when she was testifying to Congress about the rollout of Obamacare, if she could have just said yeah, I'm sorry, I was drunk and smoking crack.


SAGAL: All right, very good. Here is your last quote.

KASELL: A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur?

SAGAL: That was a big Internet company saying what a giant barge it built is not, but given their thirst for world domination, they're probably lying. What is the company?

LOMBARDO: Is it Google?

SAGAL: It is Google.



SAGAL: The - what are now being called the Google Barges are moored in the harbors of San Francisco and Portland, Maine, these enormous platforms with four story towers of shipping containers on them. Nobody knew what they were for. Intrepid investigators figured they belonged to Google because they've insulated with stacks of hundred dollar bills.


SAGAL: And people were like what in the world are these things, until this week, when Google said oh no, nothing alarming at all, they're just new centers where customers can, quote, interact with new technology, unquote. Like the way cows interact with a slaughterhouse.


SAGAL: No seriously, if these things are showrooms for like their next thing, why are they built on barges offshore where there are no regulations? And how come when you Google what are the Google barges for, you are never seen again?


SAGAL: And how come Google changed their motto from don't be evil to what does evil really mean, anyway.

GOLDTHWAIT: I feel like Google now is like turning into a Bond villain.

SAGAL: Yeah, it really is.

GOLDTHWAIT: Like they're building giant lasers off the coast.

SAGAL: And you know, and when they unleash whatever it is...

GOLDTHWAIT: And it's in Portland or Seattle?

SAGAL: There's two of them in San Francisco Harbor, and there's on in Portland, Maine.


SAGAL: And here's the irony. When the thing bursts open, and the monstrous machine, the robot, whatever, is unleashed to destroy us all, the irony is going to be the secret was right there on Bing all along.



SAGAL: And who knows? Who knew? Carl, how did Rick do on our quiz?

KASELL: Rick, you had three correct answers, so I'll be doing the message on your voicemail or home answering machine. Congratulations.

SAGAL: Well done. Thank you for playing.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.