Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Who's Carl This Time?

Carl reads three quotes from the week's news: A Newt Beginning; A Drone Alone Far From Home; Super-Snail Mail.

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

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 Eastern Kentucky Center for the Arts in Richmond, Kentucky, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you everybody. Thank you everybody. It is great to be here in Kentucky in the center of horse country, especially because out of all the theaters we've played over the years, this is the only one that had valet parking for thoroughbreds. It was really...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It was cool. Don't you hate it when you get your horse back and they've changed the radio on the horse?

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SAGAL: So we have got Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron joining us later to explain the finer points of the sport of kings. That'll be great.

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SAGAL: But first, it's your turn. Give us a call. The number: 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!

JO SHAFFER: Hi there, I'm Jo Shaffer, from Decatur, Alabama.

SAGAL: Hey Jo, how are you?

SHAFFER: I'm great, how are you?

SAGAL: I'm fine. How are things in Decatur?

SHAFFER: Fantastic.

SAGAL: Now, I don't know where Decatur is. Could you tell me?

SHAFFER: About 20 miles west of Huntsville.

SAGAL: West of Huntsville, okay, a vague sense of where Huntsville is. You're all right. What do you do there?

SHAFFER: I'm internet marketing director for Lynn Layton Cadillac Nissan.

SAGAL: Oh, so you're selling cars to people online?

SHAFFER: Yes.

SAGAL: Is that fun?

SHAFFER: Oh, it is. Well, it's very interesting. It's a great job.

SAGAL: Do you have to be the kind of shady character that car salesmen have to be, when you're doing it online?

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SHAFFER: No, not at all. My main focus is to take a million pictures of the car, so people know exactly what they're getting when they come down here.

SAGAL: That seems strangely honest.

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SAGAL: Does that work?

SHAFFER: We do it a little different here.

SAGAL: All right, well good for you. Well, welcome to the show, Jo. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, alum of both "The Colbert Report" and the Second City in Chicago, Mr. Peter Grosz is here.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

PETER GROSZ: Hello, Jo.

SHAFFER: Hello, Peter.

SAGAL: Also, it's the interim editor of the San Antonio Express News, Ms. Kyrie O'Connor.

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KYRIE O'CONNOR: Hi, Jo.

SHAFFER: Hi, Kyrie.

SAGAL: She edits the interims.

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SAGAL: And lastly, the man behind Esquire magazine politics blogs, and he's a contributing writer to grantland.com, Mr. Charlie Pierce.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

CHARLIE PIERCE: Hey, Jo.

SHAFFER: Hey, Charlie.

SAGAL: So we're all gathered. Let's get started. You're going to play Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell, of course, is going to recreate for you three quotations from the week's news. Your job: correctly identify or explain it. Do that two times out of three, you win Carl's voice on your voicemail. Ready to go?

SHAFFER: Yes.

SAGAL: Here is your first quote.

KASELL: It's clear the country's talking to itself and it's clear that across the country, people are saying "You know, I think we need Newt Gingrich."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That was somebody offering a daring bit of political analysis. Who believes that the country really needs Newt Gingrich?

SHAFFER: I think there's only one person, and that would be Newt Gingrich.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It would be.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: I think you should get two points, because you're right. There's one person who thinks that and it is Newt Gingrich.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Instead of Mitt Romney, a guy who really, really, really wants to be president, the GOP, at last, is turning to a guy who thinks he's too good to be president.

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SAGAL: Gingrich once described himself as, quote, "an advocate of civilization, definer of civilization, teacher of the rules of civilization and leader possibly of the civilizing forces," unquote. He's not a politician; he's Gandhi with a weight problem.

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PIERCE: I was about to say, that's Charlton Heston's whole career.

SAGAL: Right there.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

O'CONNOR: Well, you know what's bad is that now it's down to two people, right, pretty much. So you have to say Mitt or Newt because you can't say Newt or Mitt.

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SAGAL: That would be redundant.

GROSZ: Yeah, I think it's happened already.

PIERCE: I was going to say I think the base has already done that.

SAGAL: Yeah.

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O'CONNOR: It sounds like a catch, spay and release program.

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SAGAL: Newt Gingrich has such an incredibly inflated idea of who he is, who could be his running mate? We're guessing he'll decide the only person who could step into his shoes if he should fail would be himself. He'll be his own vice president.

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SAGAL: And he will announce that if he were to die in office, he shall rise again after three days.

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SAGAL: Or maybe he will take a rib from his own body and shape a companion for Newt. Someone who will always gaze upon him worshipfully but who will not demand expensive jewelry in return.

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PIERCE: The only flaw in that vice presidential plan, Peter, is that about five years afterwards, he's going to find a better looking rib on the other side.

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SAGAL: Trade up.

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SAGAL: Can we spare a moment of pity, though, for poor Mitt Romney? He has been trying for so long, eight years of sucking up to the Republican base now, trying to make himself the perfect candidate. And right before the Iowa caucuses, they all break for Newt Gingrich. Romney must be like "I stayed faithful to my wife for 42 years for this?"

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SAGAL: He's like to hell with it and he immediately started chugging Jack Daniels and moved his campaign headquarters to a brothel in Tijuana.

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GROSZ: If he did that, he would rocket to, like, number one.

SAGAL: He totally would.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: I would love to see that.

O'CONNOR: I think he has to, like, proposition a woman on the street, you know...

SAGAL: Yeah. Really, what's going on? Is the Republican base like, I don't know, Romney, one wife, has he been tested?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SHAFFER: Jo, you still with us?

Yes.

SAGAL: Good, you're very patient. We appreciate that.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Here is your next quote.

KASELL: They lost service with the drone? Is the Defense Department using bleeping AT&T?

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SAGAL: That was a commenter at the New York magazine blog, obviously upset that the Pentagon lost a drone, where?

SHAFFER: Iran.

SAGAL: Iran, yes, very good.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

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SAGAL: When reports first came from Iran that they had shot down an American spy drone, the U.S. was like, what drone? And then Iran put the captured drone on TV and the U.S. was like, oh, that one.

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SAGAL: The drone is used to continuously monitor high value targets like bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, Iran's nuclear facilities and various Kardashian weddings as they occur.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: The Iranians say they were able to bring the drone down through cyber attack. Well, it was either that or the U.S. made the big mistake of using Windows to run the thing.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I'm sorry, but your drone has encountered a fatal error and needs to crash.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So the thing starts going down, right, and the U.S. tried to initiate the drone self-destruct mechanism, but I malfunctioned and the drone just became self-destructive. It started drinking, spending all its time at the dog track, waking up in bed with strange drones.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: If the wanted someone who should self-destruct, they could have picked any of the Republican candidates to play the drone.

SAGAL: That's true.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Once it was captured, the drones tried to convince the Iranians it was just hiking.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No, really. All right, Jo, here is your last quote.

KASELL: This will give a whole new meaning to the term snail mail.

SAGAL: That was a writer on Technorati.com, talking about one failing government institution's desperate plan to stay in business. Who?

SHAFFER: The United States Post Office.

SAGAL: Yes, the United States Post Office.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So, the U.S. Postal Service is hemorrhaging money because people don't want to use it. So the government came up with the perfect solution: cut its budget so the service is even slower.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Did they think people had a problem with the speed of mail delivery? Is the flood of unwanted catalogues and coupon books coming through the mail slot dizzying? Better slow it down, you know. In related news, DMV offices have decided to fix their problems by filling their waiting rooms with sharks.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: This is true that apparently under these new operating conditions, magazines will take up to nine days to get to your house. So Newsweek becomes last week.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Rolling Stone will now be 20 years and one week out of date.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: You know, like the Postal Service is essentially like a miracle. The fact that you could put like 45 cents worth of lickable paper on something and somebody deliver it to, like the exact right person.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: It's kind of - I don't know what you're clapping for, but I find it to be unbelievable that it's even gotten this far in the first place. It's kind of amazing. That should be like a $20 service. Because if you walked up to a dude and were like, "hey, go to California and give this to this exact person."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: It'd be like $500 dollars.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: I'm trying to get through this.

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

KASELL: Jo had a perfect game, Peter, three correct answers. So, Jo, you win our prize.

SHAFFER: Yay.

SAGAL: Well done.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SHAFFER: Thank you very much.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.

SHAFFER: Thank you very much. It was great.

SAGAL: Thank you, bye-bye.

SHAFFER: Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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