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Lightning Fill In The Blank

All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

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

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have sixty seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?

CARL KASELL, HOST:

Nick Hancock has the lead, Peter. He has six points. Alonzo Bodden is second with five. Paula Poundstone has three.

SAGAL: All right.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: I don't like the looks of it.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So Paula, you're up first.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

SAGAL: The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

SAGAL: Now all of your questions will be about dangers that were faced in 2011. Nuclear reactors were damaged in March after an earthquake and tsunami struck in blank.

POUNDSTONE: Japan.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Despite predictions by Reverend Harold Camping, on May 21 and October 21, the world failed to blank.

POUNDSTONE: End.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: In April, the FAA launched an investigation after multiple reports of air traffic controllers blanking on duty.

POUNDSTONE: Sleeping.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Violence erupted at Black Friday sales across the United States, most notably when a woman at a California Wal-Mart blanked rival customers.

POUNDSTONE: Pepper sprayed them.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

POUNDSTONE: They had it coming.

SAGAL: To force his tenants...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Was it you, Paula?

POUNDSTONE: You know what, somebody stands in the way of a product and me and they get it.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: To force his tenants to move out, a Shanghai landlord blanked.

POUNDSTONE: Pepper sprayed them.

SAGAL: No, dumped 110 pounds of scorpions into their apartments.

POUNDSTONE: That's right. How could I have forgotten that?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: In September and October NASA issued warnings about two different defunct blanks falling to earth.

POUNDSTONE: Satellites.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Despite five serious injuries to performers, the Broadway musical blank finally opened in July.

POUNDSTONE: Spiderman.

SAGAL: Yes, Turn Off the Dark.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: A British golf course in was evacuated and Police Helicopters were dispatched after a blank was spotted in the vicinity.

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

POUNDSTONE: Interesting activity.

SAGAL: No.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You can't have that around golf. Is that what you're saying?

POUNDSTONE: I hate golf.

SAGAL: Apparently. No, the police were scrambled and the helicopters were sent when a stuffed tiger was found in the vicinity.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

SAGAL: They sent the police units and the police helicopters to observe. And they realized they were not dealing with the marauding man-eater they thought they were dealing with when the air blast from the police helicopter caused it to blow over onto its side.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

NICK HANCOCK: Tiger seen on golf course.

SAGAL: Exactly, who knew.

HANCOCK: Bizarre.

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

KASELL: Paula had six correct answers, for twelve more points. She now has fifteen points and Paula has taken the lead.

SAGAL: Well done.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: All right, very good. Alonzo, you're up next. All your questions, sir, are about good news we got this year.

ALONZO BODDEN: Was there any?

SAGAL: There was some. I've got a few examples. In October, it was announced that all US troops would be home from blank by January 1st.

BODDEN: Iraq.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: After two years in prison on espionage charges, two American hikers were released from captivity in blank.

BODDEN: Iran.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: After angry customer reaction, DVD outfit blank cancelled their plan to split into two companies.

BODDEN: Netflix.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: A news broadcast in Canada was nearly derailed when the sports announcer blanked.

BODDEN: Passed out.

SAGAL: No, won the lottery during the broadcast.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: After a very public battle with CBS, actor blank was finally replaced on the show "Two and a Half Men."

BODDEN: Charlie Sheen.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: After cancelling nearly a quarter of the season, players and owners in the blank finally agreed to a new contact.

BODDEN: NBA.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: A blind man in England whose seeing eye dog went blind was able to get a blank in March.

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

BODDEN: A new dog.

SAGAL: No, a guide dog for the guide dog.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Wait a minute, wouldn't that be a new dog?

SAGAL: Well...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

HANCOCK: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Carl, you're the final authority. Does he get credit for that answer?

KASELL: It has to be a guide dog for a guide dog.

SAGAL: Complain to him, man.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)

BODDEN: I can't work here.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Graham Waspe was devastated when his dog Edward lost his sight. But not for long – he just got Opal, a guide dog for his guide dog. If the guide dog's guide dog goes blind, it'll get a guide dog guide dog guide dog, and so on, making this the rare story that gets more and more hilarious as it gets more and more tragic.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Carl, how did Alonzo Bodden do on our quiz?

KASELL: He had five correct answers, for ten more points. He now has fifteen points and is tied with the lead.

SAGAL: All right.

KASELL: With Paula Poundstone.

SAGAL: How many then does Mr. Hancock need to take this away from them?

KASELL: Five correct answers.

SAGAL: Five correct answers, here we go. All of your questions are going to be about things that came to an end this year, endings in 2011.

HANCOCK: Okay.

SAGAL: Here we go. Fill in the blank. After twenty five years on the air, daytime talk show host blank left to start her own network.

HANCOCK: Oprah.

SAGAL: Yes, Oprah.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Apple aficionados across the world mourned the death of founder blank.

HANCOCK: Steve Jobs.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: After just 72 days of marriage, reality star blank announced she was getting a divorce.

HANCOCK: Kim Kardashian.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: In July, Bookstore chain blank announced it was liquidating and closing its remaining stores.

HANCOCK: Foils.

SAGAL: No, very good though, Borders here in America. After his new boat sunk in its maiden voyage, a British man realized he should not have named it blank.

HANCOCK: Titanic.

SAGAL: Right, Titanic II.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Global box office records were broken on the opening weekend of the final blank movie.

HANCOCK: Harry Potter.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Because of Gilbert Gottfried twitter comments about the tsunami in Japan, Aflac replaced him as the voice of its blank.

HANCOCK: News coverage.

SAGAL: You have no idea what we're talking about.

HANCOCK: No idea what you're talking about.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: There's not a single word in that sentence...

HANCOCK: You could be speaking Japanese.

SAGAL: I know - it made any sense to you. The answer is duck, the voice of its Aflac duck.

HANCOCK: Of course, duck.

SAGAL: A campaign to get a new city building in Indiana named after former Fort Wayne Mayor blank ended in defeat.

HANCOCK: Towering Inferno.

SAGAL: No.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

HANCOCK: I knew it was no.

SAGAL: They weren't able to name the building after former Fort Wayne Mayor Harry Baals.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: No.

SAGAL: "The Harry Baals Government Center" led all candidates by 20,000 votes, in a popular contest, to name the new government center. But even though it was clearly winning, the organizers ended up deciding to go with the less catchy "Citizens Plaza" name instead. So it turns out the very same officials who had praised the erection of the building have now scratched "Harry Baals."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: You know what, you know the powers that be would have been better off to have Harry Baals because nobody would have occupied that.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That's true. Carl, did Nick do well enough to win?

KASELL: He had five correct answers, for ten more points, giving him a total of sixteen points. And so Nick Hancock is this week's champion.

SAGAL: Oh my god.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: That's remarkable. You come over here, you take it away from us. The next thing you know, you'll be putting on a really good fake American accent and taking the lead in all our television dramas.

HANCOCK: That's not going to be happening.

SAGAL: All right.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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