Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Who's Carl This Time

Carl reads three quotes from the weeks news: Barack Gump, Romney's Toy Chest and Gritty Teen Blockbusters.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

CARL KASELL: 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.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you everybody. Great to see you. We have got a really good show for you today. We've got Ana Gasteyer, who used to make fun of NPR on "Saturday Night Live." She's going to come on to find out how much worse the real thing is.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: In the meantime, give us a call. The number, of course, 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!

SARAH POLSTER: Hi, this is Sarah Polster from Lakewood, Colorado.

SAGAL: Sarah Polster?

POLSTER: Yeah.

SAGAL: When you call people and you say "Hi, this is a Polster," do they get upset?

POLSTER: They get a little freaked out. I'm not going to lie.

SAGAL: I understand.

POLSTER: Especially this time of year.

SAGAL: Right. Did you ever feel the urge to go be a pollster with your career?

POLSTER: Not even a little bit.

SAGAL: Really?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

POLSTER: Yeah.

SAGAL: Your parents must have been so disappointed.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: We come from a long line of pollsters. Well welcome to the show, Sarah. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, say hello to a television personality and a correspondent for "CBS Sunday Morning," Mr. Mo Rocca is here.

POLSTER: Hi.

MO ROCCA: Hi, Sarah, how are you?

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Next up, say hello to a writer and a comedian whose Comedy Central standup special is now available on iTunes, Ms. Jessi Klein is here.

POLSTER: Hi.

JESSI KLEIN: Hi, Sarah, how are you?

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

POLSTER: Good.

SAGAL: And finally, a humorist and author of the new audio book, "It's Just Like I Told You: 25 Years of Comments and Comic Pieces." It's available at a download near you. Mr. Tom Bodett is here.

POLSTER: Hi.

TOM BODETT: Hi, Sarah.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Sarah, you're going to start us off, of course, with Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell, right here, will recreate for you three quotations from the week's news. Your job: correctly identify or explain two of them. Ready to do that?

POLSTER: Yeah.

SAGAL: All right, here is your first quote.

KASELL: It was the ultimate test of leadership, a victory for our nation.

SAGAL: That was Tom Hanks, as you could tell from Carl's excellent impersonation.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Narrating a new campaign video, praising somebody who, according to this movie, passed that ultimate test of leadership. Sorry for the spoiler.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Who was that star of this movie?

POLSTER: Barack Obama.

SAGAL: Yes, President Obama, very good.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: He launched his ad blitz for reelection with this 16-minute internet film. It's called "The Road We've Traveled." They came at that title after some other attempts. Working titles were "No, This is the Greatest Story Ever Told."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And "Twilight, Sparkly President."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's not so much another, like, morning in America ad in which everything is great. It's sort of like a disaster movie in which everything was awful and this guy came and saved us. It's like "Snakes on a Plane," right?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: As a campaign film, and the ending is "Hey, most of the snakes that were on the plane are gone, and those that are still here are thinking about leaving." Thank you, Mr. President.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's really, it's great.

BODETT: Yeah, how many times is bin Laden dead in it?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: He dies over and over again.

SAGAL: Yeah, over and over again.

ROCCA: He keeps coming back.

KLEIN: Shouldn't his reelection video just be that clip of him singing Al Green over and over and over again?

SAGAL: Probably that's all it is.

KLEIN: Just everyone taking their pants off in the clip, in America.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: Did I say that out loud?

SAGAL: You did. You did, actually.

KLEIN: Oh, sorry. That was all in my head.

ROCCA: Have you seen it?

SAGAL: Actually, I have. And the interesting thing about it to political observers is that it introduces the president's reelection strategy and the slogan is more or less "General Motors is alive and bin Laden is dead."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Now that was - Joe Biden said that. That's right; it's time for Joe Biden to come out.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Because it's election year, so they went down to the basement, right?

BODETT: This will be great for ratings.

SAGAL: They went down to the basement and they were like - President Obama is like, "release the Biden."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Like pull the chains off.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Now, they went through a tremendous amount of effort to make this film. They brought in Tom Hanks to narrate it. Of course, they didn't use all of it. We actually found, in an internet archive, some of the outtakes. So, for example, here is the part of the film about President Obama overturning some of President Woodrow Wilson's key initiatives.

(SOUNDBITE OF TOM HANKS)

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: That seemed kind of obscure. All right, for your next quote, let's hear a perspective on one candidate's firm beliefs.

KASELL: It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart it all over again.

SAGAL: That was a man named Eric Ferhnstrom, who was, as of show time, still a senior aide to what presidential candidate?

POLSTER: Mitt Romney.

SAGAL: Yes, Mitt Romney.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

ROCCA: That was Ferhnstrom? I thought that was Romney spokesperson Mr. Potato head.

SAGAL: No, no, no.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: He had to punish him and they took away his lips. So he can't do that anymore.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: He could have made a reference to a worse toy. You know it could have just been...

SAGAL: You think?

KLEIN: Well, it's like, you know he's like a Teddy Ruxpin. You just put a tape in him and he'll say whatever you want.

BODETT: Yeah.

SAGAL: Oh yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: And we're going to change the tape a couple of times.

BODETT: It's a very powerful political metaphor but it'll probably endure. Because, you know, it's easily changeable. It goes left; it goes right.

SAGAL: Just depending on how you turn its knobs.

BODETT: Yeah, and it goes up. And if you try to do that compromise thing, you get that really crooked kind of angle.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Anyway, this became a really big deal. Romney tried to dismiss this whole kafuffle. He said that he himself was not an ardent fan of any toy. But many of my friends, he said, own hotels on Boardwalk.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Immediately - this is true - immediately, Santorum and Gingrich, who are his two remaining rivals for the nomination, they absolutely leapt on this. They started waving around Etch A Sketches at their campaign events. But eventually it backfired. Santorum got upset when somebody pointed out you could draw a naked person on one.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And Gingrich said "Wait, you can? Hey!"

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: Did anyone else ever do the thing with the Etch A Sketch where you would just spend hours, like, blacking out the whole thing?

ROCCA: Yeah.

SAGAL: Oh yeah.

KLEIN: I just remember, like, by the tenth time I'd finished blacking out the whole Etch A Sketch, I was like, I hope they invent the internet soon.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: What year is this? Come on.

SAGAL: All right, very good, here is your last quote.

KASELL: All the people who don't get to see it, their parents aren't cool.

SAGAL: That was 10-year-old Becca Lev of Newton, Massachusetts. She will be able to see what big movie this weekend, if she has cool parents?

POLSTER: "The Hunger Games."

SAGAL: "The Hunger Games," yes, very good.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Writers and moviemakers have been wondering what all those kids would want after they were done with Harry Potter, and it turns out they wanted those happy go lucky kids at Hogwarts to fight each other to the death.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: "The Hunger Games," if you don't know, it's a dystopian novel. It's now a movie, in which everybody gathers together to watch attractive young people attack each other on reality TV. Basically, the world of the movie is just like today's America, but with the cast of the "Jersey Shore" having bows and arrows.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: I did not know that. I had no idea. I just know that it's being promoted everywhere.

SAGAL: It is.

ROCCA: And I'm waiting for the McDonald's Hunger Games Happy Meal to come out.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODETT: My 8-year-old, who's a veracious reader, has finished like everything. He started reading "The Hunger Games" last week. I don't think I really knew what this was.

SAGAL: Do you need...

BODETT: I mean, he's 8 years old. Is this appropriate?

SAGAL: He's a boy, it'll be fine.

BODETT: OK.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Do you need to rush home and stop him?

BODETT: Well, I may have to make a call. Can I step out?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: And what is the object? They're killing. What...

SAGAL: The idea is like it's in this dystopian place where the horrible dictatorship forces people to send their children to fight each other for various reasons that even I, having read the book, I'm not clear on. But it's very exciting.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: It's good for parents to get the kids out of the house, though, right?

SAGAL: Yes.

ROCCA: OK.

BODETT: Yeah, it could get them outdoors.

SAGAL: It's a rather extreme way to get the kids out of the house, but I'll buy it. Carl, how did Sarah do on our quiz?

KASELL: Well, Sarah, you had three correct answers, so you win our prize.

POLSTER: Woo Hoo.

SAGAL: Well done. Thank you, Sarah.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

POLSTER: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

POLSTER: Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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