Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Actor Colin Hanks Plays Not My Job

Actor Colin Hanks poses for a portrait during the 2007 CineVegas film festival at the Palms Casino Resort on June 9, 2007, in Las Vegas.

Actor Colin Hanks poses for a portrait during the 2007 CineVegas film festival at the Palms Casino Resort on June 9, 2007, in Las Vegas. Mark Mainz/Getty Images for CineVegas hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Mainz/Getty Images for CineVegas

Back in 2005, we interviewed actor Tom Hanks. Today, we interview his son, actor Colin Hanks. Colin's daughter was born this year, so to keep the streak going, we've got to stay on the air long enough for her to grow up and get her own TV show.

We've invited Colin to play a game called "'Till Death Do We Part ... Or At Least Until I Get A Better Offer." Kim Kardashian is getting a lot of grief for filing for divorce after only 72 days of marriage, but compared with some other celebrity weddings, she and her husband practically grew old together. Hanks will answer three questions about other short-lived celebrity marriages.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

PETER SAGAL, host: And now the game where we ask interesting people about uninteresting things. It's called Not My Job.

Now, Colin Hanks is an actor who's appeared in a lot of great TV shows and movies, including the "OC" and "Mad Men." Now, it used to be you knew you made it when you got a guest spot on the "Love Boat." Now, it is playing a serial killer on "Dexter." That's what he's doing now. Colin Hanks, welcome to WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

COLIN HANKS: It is a pleasure to be here.

SAGAL: It's a pleasure to have you, Colin.


SAGAL: Thanks for being here. So, am I right about that? Do you like, actors hang around Hollywood and go, oh, I hope I get the serial killer role on this season's "Dexter"?

HANKS: Oh, well, yes, of course.

SAGAL: Are you going to be - I know in general the seasons tend to revolve around a single primary serial killer who's sort of Dexter's nemesis. Is that you this time around?

HANKS: It is myself, along with Edward James Olmos.

SAGAL: Oh, that's very good.

HANKS: Yeah, so it's the two of us that Dexter has to find.

SAGAL: This is the seventh season of "Dexter" or the sixth?

HANKS: It is the sixth.

SAGAL: And does anybody every on this TV show "Dexter," which I have seen and enjoyed, ever look around and go wait a minute, where are all these serial killers coming from? This is crazy.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Well this is not the first time television has made, you know, sort of a strange and unbelievable coincidence. I mean, every time Perry Mason took a job, it wasn't originally to defend a murder case. It was always the person came to him for something entirely different and then the very next morning they were accused of murder.


KYRIE O'CONNOR: Well just think about Cabot Cove.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah, and Angela Lansbury...

POUNDSTONE: Oh, right, yeah, yeah.


SAGAL: People are getting killed left and right in this tiny little town.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, right.


POUNDSTONE: And then they had her character go to New York as if this should be daunting to someone who came from a small town where everyone's dead.


HANKS: And it's also not too different from a lot of the sort of medical programs where invariably someone will come in complaining of so, my stomach hurts or I have some chest thing, and they go, oh, it's this. And then all of the sudden some doctor realizes, but wait, it could be this.

SAGAL: Right.


HANKS: Low and behold, that's what it was.

SAGAL: It's amazing.

GROSZ: That's every episode of "House."

SAGAL: It's as if they're on a TV show. Now, we understand your father is also an actor.



HANKS: He was on the "Love Boat," by the way.

SAGAL: He was.

HANKS: I appreciate that reference that you made.

SAGAL: Oh good. How has he dealt with your fame and success?

HANKS: He's taking it poorly.

SAGAL: Really?


HANKS: He's feeling a little bit older.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HANKS: As he always said, you may be younger and taller and better looking, but I weigh more than you.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: I hate to ask this, because I like to think well of the guy, but your father, Tom Hanks, does he ever try to sponge off your success?

HANKS: Oh, every day.

SAGAL: Really?



SAGAL: Somewhat more seriously, was it daunting to want to go into acting yourself?

HANKS: Well, keep in mind I'm going to be 34 years old in just a few weeks. So when I was younger it was - you know, my dad dressed up in drag on "Bosom Buddies."

SAGAL: Right.

HANKS: And that was what I was having to deal with at the time.


HANKS: And then around the time that I was into college was when he became statue-worthy I guess you could say.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HANKS: And that was an interesting thing, because all of the sudden I sort of realized, wow, he cannot go anywhere on this earth without someone going, "Hey, it's you." So it's kind of a hard thing to wrap your head around sometimes.

SAGAL: Hey, listen, we know you're big on twitter. We followed you on twitter. We know that you...

HANKS: Oh, very good. I just followed you right now. I just found you.

SAGAL: Well, there you are. So now you're following, which is very exciting.


SAGAL: And your twitter bio describes you as, quote, "that guy from that one thing you think is way underrated," unquote.


SAGAL: What is that thing?

HANKS: That thing apparently is everything on my resume.

SAGAL: There you are.


HANKS: No, there's always someone who just says, you know, hey man that thing - the blank, movie blank, that's way underrated.

GROSZ: It's a great compliment because they mean like I think it's good.

SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: But you should know a lot of people hate it.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HANKS: A lot of people...

SAGAL: That thing that you did...

GROSZ: They think it's bad.

SAGAL: That thing that you did does not suck nearly as much as everybody else says it does.

GROSZ: Yeah, listen to the things they've said.

SAGAL: Oh my god, it's terrible.

HANKS: So I just sort of am taking that am embracing it and running with it.

SAGAL: From your twitter feed, we would say that you are somewhat obsessed with music. Is this fair?

HANKS: This is a fair assumption, yes.

SAGAL: And are you in a band? Are you a musician yourself?

HANKS: I was in two very horrible bands.

POUNDSTONE: They were underrated. They were underrated.

SAGAL: Yeah, they're better...


HANKS: Underrated.

SAGAL: They're better than everybody said, Colin.

HANKS: I like that, I like that. But yeah, I played bass guitar in high school and in college and then I actually fractured my thumb, so my bass career went bye-bye.

SAGAL: What was the name of the band, sir?

HANKS: One of them - okay.


HANKS: In combination, this is going to sound very strange because...

SAGAL: That's why we ask.


HANKS: The first one was called Pontius Pilot.

SAGAL: Okay.

HANKS: I didn't know why, I just liked the name. I since found out who Pontius Pilot was.


SAGAL: Wait a minute, you didn't know?

HANKS: I had no idea.

POUNDSTONE: They did that great song, "I want to wash your hands."

SAGAL: Yeah.


GROSZ: Very good.

POUNDSTONE: I loved that.

HANKS: The other one was called "The Underlords."

SAGAL: The Underlords?

HANKS: Yeah. They were both, well let's just say they were both noble attempts.

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Did you start those bands, or how did you get involved with them?

HANKS: I did not start those bands. I joined those bands. I'm the quiet bass player.

POUNDSTONE: And did you say what's the name of the band?

HANKS: Yeah, I did.

POUNDSTONE: And they said "The Underlords."

HANKS: Hey, listen, I just wanted to hang out with someone.


SAGAL: He was lonely, what can I tell you.

HANKS: I was lonely.

SAGAL: We were talking to some people who knew you and I want to confirm - I'm going to put you on the spot here. We understand that you're a big hockey fan as well.


SAGAL: Did you or did you not, sir, ever have your very own hockey mullet?



SAGAL: Oh my god.




GROSZ: That's worse than the underlords. I can deal with underlords.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.


HANKS: It was a glorious hockey mullet.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HANKS: That was just really, I mean even then you just called it hockey hair. But come on, it's the hairstyle - show me another, you know, 13-year-old kid that's got a stellar hairstyle who is not the epitome of awkward and I'll bow down to that kid.



HANKS: Well, I should have known better.

POUNDSTONE: He's a good looking guy with great hair. I was just thinking, if your last name was - if you were Colin Honks...


POUNDSTONE: You could get a coupon from Robitussin.


HANKS: I think Robitussin is way underrated.

SAGAL: I think so.


SAGAL: Well, Colin Hanks, we have invited you here to play a game we're calling?

CARL KASELL: Till death do we part...

HANKS: Okay.

KASELL: Or at least until I get a better offer.


SAGAL: So Kim Kardashian is getting a lot of grief for filing for divorce after only 72 days of marriage, as we've discussed. But compared to some other celebrity weddings, she and her husband, what's his name, practically grew old together. We're going to ask you three questions about other short-lived celebrity marriages. Get two right, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners. Carl, who is Colin Hanks playing for?

KASELL: Colin is playing for Crispin Brim of Dekalb, Illinois.

SAGAL: All right.

HANKS: All right. Crispin, I'm sorry.

SAGAL: Crispin Brim.



SAGAL: Here's your first question, Colin. Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose may not appear to be the most romantic man. That's because he's really not.


SAGAL: His brief marriage to his wife Erin Everly began when he popped the question how? A: at 4 in the morning, he said to her, "Marry me or I'll kill myself." B: he let her look under Slash's hair, where he had hidden a ring? Or C: he said, you in the jungle baby, the jungle of wedded bliss?

HANKS: I'm going to go with A.

SAGAL: You're going to go with A: at 4 in the morning, he said "Marry me or I'll kill myself."


SAGAL: Yes, that's what he did.



HANKS: All righty.


POUNDSTONE: That is so romantic.

SAGAL: It's is.

GROSZ: That's what I did.

SAGAL: That's called popping the question and popping the cry for help.

HANKS: Yeah.

SAGAL: She said yes. They were divorced just a few weeks later.

POUNDSTONE: Oh wow, that's romantic.

SAGAL: Isn't it?


SAGAL: Wasn't that a shock?

HANKS: Romance.

SAGAL: The next question, the late actor Dennis Hopper was married to singer Michelle Phillips from "The Mammas and The Pappas" for eight whole days in 1971. What did Mr. Hopper have to say about his brief marriage much later? Did he say A, quote, "Next time I get married, I'm going to spend a little time with the lady first"?


SAGAL: B, quote, "Seven of those days were pretty good." Or C, quote, "No big deal, I return a lot of the clothes I buy too"?

HANKS: Oh. I'm going to go with B, just because that made me laugh.

SAGAL: Seven of those days were pretty good?

HANKS: Yeah.

SAGAL: That's right. That's what he said.


POUNDSTONE: All right.



SAGAL: Talked to the New York Times in 2005 and he said, "Seven of those days were pretty good. The eighth day was the bad one."


SAGAL: All right, the last question. One of the more famous of the celebrity marriages in the 1960s was the brief joining in wedded bliss of Ernest Borgnine and Broadway star Ethel Merman.


SAGAL: In Merman's autobiography, the chapter "My Marriage to Ernest Borgnine" consisted of what? A: the words "Wait a minute, did I marry Ernest Borgnine?"


SAGAL: B: a full color reproduction of Edgar Munch's painting, "The Scream."


SAGAL: Or C: a blank page.

HANKS: Well I don't know, why don't we go for B.

SAGAL: You're going to go for B: a reproduction of Munch's painting, "The Scream"?

HANKS: Sure, why not?

SAGAL: No, actually it was a blank page.

HANKS: That was my gut instinct.

SAGAL: I know.

HANKS: What would Ernest Borgnine have done?


SAGAL: Marry Ethel Merman for 32 days.

POUNDSTONE: Thirty-two days?

SAGAL: Thirty-two days. He explained that he ended their marriage after that brief period because of Ethel Merman's incessant complaining that more people were recognizing him on the street than her.


SAGAL: Which made her very mad.


SAGAL: Carl, how did Colin Hanks do on our quiz?

KASELL: Colin, you had two correct answers. So you win for Crispin Brim.


SAGAL: Well done.



SAGAL: Colin Hanks is starring in "Dexter" on Showtime this season. Colin Hanks, thank you so much for being with us.



HANKS: Bye. Thank you so very much.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!