Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Bluff The Listener

Our panelists tell three stories about the rise of the nerds.

Copyright © 2012 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. We're playing this week with Amy Dickinson, Roy Blount, Jr., and Adam Felber. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl. Thanks everybody. Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait-Wait to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

JOHN KERN: Hi, this is John Kern from Mountainside, New Jersey.

SAGAL: Hey, Mountainside, not far from where I grew up.

KERN: Very nice, where'd you grow up?

SAGAL: I grew up in Berkley Heights.

KERN: Wow, very close, a stone's throw.

SAGAL: I know. Yeah, when are you planning on leaving?

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KERN: My son has some distance to go.

SAGAL: Really?

KERN: Really.

SAGAL: Well, it's nice to have you with us, John. You are going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is John's topic?

KASELL: Nerd out, brother.

SAGAL: Used to be, nerds had a hard time making friends who weren't imaginary, much less scoring a date to the prom. These days, of course nerds are everywhere, a big part of the culture, and they're being catered to by all kinds of people.

Each of our panelists is going to offer you proof the nerdy have now inherited the earth. Pick the real story; you'll win Carl's voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. Ready to play?

KERN: Ready.

SAGAL: All right, first let's hear from Adam Felber.

ADAM FELBER: When you find yourself up in the great white north, tied to the railroad tracks or in some other sort of dire need, and you call for help, you know who always arrives to get their man, right? Of course, I'm talking about the Royal Canadian Jedi Knights.

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FELBER: Yes, Dudley Do-Right, meet Dudley Skywalker. As part of a community policing initiative, the Mounties new law enforcement partners are government-funded local quasi-militias, who, starting in 2012, have the right to name and outfit themselves, which naturally has led to an enterprising group of nerds founding Edmonton's Jedi Knight, a 14-man force dedicated to combating Canada's dark side.

Quote, "The light sabers are only ceremonial, like most military swords these days," say Jedi Master Sean Nacery.

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FELBER: "But our job is real. And it turns out that the ways of the force are pretty compatible with Canadian law and our environment can be not unlike the ice planet Hoth."

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FELBER: Still, it's clear that the young padawans are less equipped to deal with real terrestrial danger than their professional mounted cousins. So if you do find yourself in peril out there, well, may the horse be with you.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

AMY DICKINSON: Oh.

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SAGAL: The Jedi Knights of Edmonton Canada, officially recognized law enforcement body. Your next story of the Rise of the Planet of the Nerds comes from Amy Dickinson.

DICKINSON: Anyone who trolls through YouTube has stumbled upon Lego Stars Wars and Lego Raiders of the Lost Ark and other classic movies made by pocket-protected nerds, who spend untold hours assembling things from teeny tiny pieces of plastic. But suddenly, geek is cool, and so, coming next fall, it's Lego TV, where your favorite shows are recreated in Lego.

Thrill to the tension on "Lego Jersey Shore," where Lego Snooki almost drowns in the Lego hot tub after a night of chugging little Lego cocktails.

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DICKINSON: From PBS, you can watch "Downton Lego Abbey." Over 100,000 pieces were used to create the set and cast, not counting horses.

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DICKINSON: Watch the campaign for the presidency on "Lego NBC Nightly News with Lego Brian Williams." Lego Andrea Mitchell travels the country on a Lego bus interviewing candidates who aren't merely acting like they're made of plastic, they really are made of plastic.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Lego TV where everything is acted out by Legos. And the final chapter in this trilogy of dorkdom comes from Roy Blount, Jr.

ROY BLOUNT: When it comes to pleasures of the flesh, a nerd's thoughts naturally give up on this earth and turn to outer space.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BLOUNT: Somewhere, on some far off galaxy, the nerd's willing partner must reside. But that's just romance, fantasy. Now, with the nerdosphere becoming such a robust demographic, Nevada sex trade entrepreneur Dennis Hof plans to open, next month, 90 miles from Las Vegas, a sci-fi brothel.

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BLOUNT: Alien Cathouse, as it's called, will provide close encounters with "Beam You Up" girls of all planets, for guys willing to pay. Hof's expertise is established. He's the star of a TV reality show set at his Moonlite Bunny Ranch. But on this new venture, he has brought in notorious Madam Heidi Fleiss to design other-worldly costumes and decors, all legal in Nevada. And also, if I'm not mistaken, on Alpha Cygni 9.

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BLOUNT: But, of course, there you also have the poisonous dart-shooting rodents.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right, here are your choices. From Adam Felber: how the Mounties have commissioned a group of Jedi to patrol the streets of Edmonton with their ceremonial light sabers. From Amy Dickinson: a TV channel devoted to Lego versions of sort of grown up TV shows, and not just those dorky ones. And from Roy Blount, Jr.: a brothel with a sci-fi theme, planned for Nevada. Which of these is the real story of the triumph of the dorks?

KERN: Well, Roy's is pretty exciting, but, you know as a father of an 8-year-old who is obsessed with Legos, I'm thinking there might be a market for that. So I'm going to go with B.

SAGAL: You're going to go with B, Amy's story of all Lego TV, like "Lego Downton Abbey"?

KERN: Yeah, I'll stick with it.

SAGAL: All right, you're going to stick with it. Well, we spoke to somebody who reported on this new initiative.

HARRY BREAN: People who grew up watching Captain Kirk get the green lady on Star Trek reruns now have a chance to fly into Las Vegas and have their dreams realized.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That was Henry Brean. He's a reporter for the Las Vegas Review Journal. And he actually broke the story of the planned geek brothel. So, sadly, I guess for all Lego fans everywhere, Amy's story was not true. And happily, for everyone else, Roy's was.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So I'm sorry, you did not win our game, but you did earn a point for Amy for her wonderful idea for Lego...

DICKINSON: Oh, thank you.

KERN: You're welcome, Amy.

SAGAL: Thanks for playing, John.

KERN: Thanks.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

KERN: Bye.

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