Who's Carl This Time?

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Carl reads three quotes from the week's news: The Man Who Didn't Want to Be King or the GOP Nominee; Bongos on Wall Street; We Say Goodbye to America's Pleasantly Crotchety Philosopher.

CARL KASELL, host: 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.

PETER SAGAL, host: Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thanks to all of you. Thank you all so much. You're excited. You're not as excited as I am. We got a great show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to Tavi Gevinson. She's the amazingly talented young fashion blogger and editor.

But first, the US Postal Service announced that you no longer have to be dead to be on a stamp. It's a new rule. And who better to inaugurate the new living person stamps than esteemed broadcaster, judge and scorekeeper, man about town, Mr. Carl Kasell. That's our idea.


SAGAL: So I think they'd lick that, Carl. I think that's what they're saying.


SAGAL: So, to save the US Post Office some time, we have gone ahead and designed the Carl Kasell stamp. We commissioned our artist. It's all done. You can see it on our website watiwait.npr.org. And since nobody writes letters anymore, feel free to just paste the image into your emails. It'll make you seem more avuncular. It'll be good.


SAGAL: Before you do that, give us a call. The number is 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

OLEN STEPHENS: Hi, this is Olen Stephens from Silver Spring, Maryland.

SAGAL: Oh, how are things in Silver Spring?

STEPHENS: Oh, they're great. There's no earthquakes.

SAGAL: That's fine.

STEPHENS: No hurricanes.

SAGAL: You are a suburb of Washington, right?


SAGAL: So do you work for the permanent government?

STEPHENS: Right now, yeah, I work for the FDA.

SAGAL: And what do you do for them?

STEPHENS: I'm a chemist. I look at how drugs are made.

SAGAL: Oh, like, what does that involve?

STEPHENS: Well, companies submit drug applications to prove that they're safe and effective. But they also have to show how they make them to show that they can make them consistently.

SAGAL: Really? Do you ever get to, like, just pop them in your mouth and see what happens?



SAGAL: Because I would.


SAGAL: Well, Olen, welcome to the show. Let me formally introduce our panel to you. First, it's a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning," Ms. Faith Salie is here.

FAITH SALIE: Hello there, Olen.


SAGAL: Next, it's a comedian and he'll be performing at Caroline's of New York from November 3rd to the 6th. It's Mr. Maz Jobrani.

MAZ JOBRANI: Hello, Olen.


SAGAL: Finally, a humorist and author who'll be appearing with Roy Blount, Jr., at the Brattleboro, Vermont Literary Festival on October 15th, Mr. Tom Bodett.


TOM BODETT: Hey, Olen.


SAGAL: Welcome to the show, Olen. You're going to play Who's Carl This Time. Of course, Carl Kasell will start us off with three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you'll win our prize: Carl's voice on your home answering machine. You ready to go?

STEPHENS: Oh yeah.

SAGAL: Let's do it. Here's your first quote. It's actually a series of denials collected from over the past year or so.

KASELL: No way. No. Not gonna happen. No, I'm not running. I'm not ready. I'm not going to be the Republican candidate for president in 2012. What do I have to do, short of suicide, to convince people I'm not running?


SAGAL: That was just a small sample of the statements over the past year by one guy who the Republican Party still seems to believe might run for president. Who is it?

STEPHENS: Is that the non-candidate Chris Christie?

SAGAL: It is, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, very good.



SAGAL: The Republicans have eight or nine official candidates for president, fifteen if you count all the voices in Michele Bachmann's head.


SAGAL: But they're still looking for a savoir. These days, they want somebody who's not Rick Santorum, who's a hard right ideologue who'll scare off the center, and not Jon Huntsman, who's a moderate who will annoy the base, and not Mitt Romney, who's Mitt Romney.


SAGAL: So enter Chris Christie, the overweight guy from New Jersey. He's famous for his temper and his toughness. He's basically Tony Soprano without Tony's charming moments of self-doubt.


SAGAL: But even though Christie says he's flattered by the attention, he has also said over and over again he won't do it because the desire to be president is, quote, "not inside him," unquote. And from looking at him, that is the only thing that is not inside Chris Christie.


BODETT: Well, I mean all I've ever heard the guy say is the litany that Carl just went through.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODETT: That he's not running. And then every headline I see is "Christie signals he's still in the game."

SALIE: He doesn't run anywhere anyway, right?

SAGAL: Yeah.


JOBRANI: Oh, you know what it is?

SALIE: I think he's shuffling slowly towards being running.

SAGAL: In other political news this week, Mitt Romney - we always want to check in with Mitt Romney - suggested that he was better than the other candidates because he, quote, "didn't have a political career." That's what he said.


SAGAL: Mitt Romney has run for statewide and national office four times and lost three times. He doesn't have a political career in the same way I never dated cheerleaders.


SAGAL: I mean, it wasn't really his choice, was it?


SAGAL: All right, enough of that. Here is your next quote.

KASELL: If you're hungry, eat a hedge fund manager.

SAGAL: That was a sign being waved in a week-long protest staged where?

STEPHENS: Was it outside of Wall Street?

SAGAL: It was, it was Wall Street, in fact.



SAGAL: Very good, yes. People have been wondering when the guys who actually caused the great recession of 2008, the Wall Street financiers, would get their just desserts, and now they have. Every day for a week, they've had to, for the first time, look upon people who make less than $500,000 a year. "Dear God, some of that clothing isn't tailored. Driver, move on."


SAGAL: The 300 or so protestors have a volunteer medic, and he told the Wall Street Journal that the number one injury among the protestors is blisters from bongo playing.


SALIE: Is that true?

SAGAL: That's absolutely true. That does not include, of course, the people who were pepper sprayed by the police over the last weekend, but that wasn't an injury, that was just seasoning.


SALIE: I read somewhere - someone said that this is the most over educated group of protestors that's ever assembled.

SAGAL: Right.

SALIE: And the photos I've seen, they're usually in like a meditation position.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODETT: Well, no that's they're dealing with bongo blisters.


SALIE: They're taking a time out with their hands.

BODETT: They're holding the salve in their grip.

SAGAL: All right, your last quote comes from a beloved commentator.

KASELL: I can sleep day or night, sitting, standing or lying down. I often fall asleep right here at this desk.

SAGAL: That was just one of the pearls of wisdom that have dropped from the lips of a commentator on "60 Minutes" for more than 30 years. He announced his retirement this week. Who?

STEPHENS: Was that Andy Rooney?

SAGAL: It was Andy Rooney, yes, very good.



SAGAL: Now, you younger listeners, that is anyone under 50, may not have understood why sometimes at the end of a "60 Minutes" episode, an old man would come on.


SAGAL: And complain about some newfangled notion, like telephones or antibiotics.


SAGAL: But trust us, it's kind of a tradition. Andy Rooney wrote his first essay for TV back in 1964, and it was called - this is true - "An Essay on Doors."


SAGAL: We assume it started: did you ever notice there are these big wooden planks keeping you from walking into the next room?


BODETT: And why do they swing two ways sometimes?

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODETT: If they all swung the same way you'd remember.

JOBRANI: Do you think they came up with his segment because they did the show and they were like, well we've got 59 minutes?

SAGAL: Yeah.

JOBRANI: We need one more minute.

SAGAL: Well wouldn't it be better to call the show 59 Minutes? No, no, there has to be another minute. Get that guy.


JOBRANI: Get an angry old man who just complains.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODETT: I wonder if they just had like a camera in his office at all times



BODETT: And he'd come in every morning and sit in there and then they'd just review the tape at the end of the week, you know.


SALIE: I met him once.

SAGAL: Yeah.

SALIE: And then I saw him the very next night at a different restaurant. Not like, I was like, hey Andy; I mean I just saw him at the bar. But what are the odds that you see Andy Rooney two nights in a row in your life.

SAGAL: That explains his commentary; did you ever notice that woman following me around?


SAGAL: What's up with that?

JOBRANI: What's up with that?

SALIE: Did you ever notice that redheaded stalker?

SAGAL: Carl, how did Olen do on our quiz?

KASELL: Oh, three correct answers, Peter, so Olen, you win our prize.

SAGAL: Well done.

STEPHENS: Thank you.


SAGAL: Congratulations.

STEPHENS: Thank you very much.

SAGAL: Good luck with the drugs.


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