It's The End Of The World

Puzzlemaster Art Chung leads this game based on a line from the R.E.M. song "It's The End Of The World As We Know It," in which each mentioned name contains the initials L.B. Contestants have to guess other famous folks who fit this description.

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our two new contestants, Dan Feyer.

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EISENBERG: And Melissa Kirsch.

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EISENBERG: Melissa, you wrote a book and you're writing another book, but I love the name of your book, "The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything." What is that book about other than everything?

MELISSA KIRSCH: Well, there's no trivia in it and there's no word games.

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EISENBERG: There's no trivia, no word games.

KIRSCH: Actually there's nothing like that.

EISENBERG: Okay, it's actual tips.

KIRSCH: Yeah, but it's everything else.

EISENBERG: Everything else.

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KIRSCH: Yeah, for women in their 20s.

EISENBERG: Like keep going.

KIRSCH: Yeah, yeah, you go girl, that kind of stuff.

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EISENBERG: Excellent. Excellent. And Dan, you are a national crossword champion.

DAN FEYER: That's right, I'm a two-time champion of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.

EISENBERG: Okay, wow, all right.

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EISENBERG: So let me tell you about our game. This next game is inspired by REM, it's called It's The End Of the World As We Know It.

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EISENBERG: And Art Chung is back here to explain what this game is about.

ART CHUNG: Ophira, if you're like me, you have no idea what those lyrics to that REM song are, except for the part where they go "Leonard Bernstein." But Jonathan, I think you know more of the lyrics?

JONATHAN COULTON: Yeah I do, here's the whole line where that thing happens.

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COULTON: (Singing) The other night I dreamt of knives, continental drift divide. Mountains sit in a line, Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs. Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom. You symbiotic, patriotic, slam book neck, right? Right.

EISENBERG: Right, yeah.

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COULTON: It's a relief to see these lyrics written out, because they never made sense to me before, but now.

CHUNG: Now it all is clear.

COULTON: Yeah.

CHUNG: Right.

EISENBERG: It's like a secret language.

COULTON: Yeah.

CHUNG: Well, particularly the line, Leonard Bernstein, Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs actually came from a dream Michael Stipe had where all of the people in the dream were at a party and they all had the initials L.B. This is true.

EISENBERG: I love that celebrities dream about other parties with celebrities. That's what they dream of.

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CHUNG: So this game is about other famous people with the initials L.B. who might have been at that party. For example, Jonathan, if I said, Michael Stipe thought he saw this L.B. making out with Humphrey Bogart, you'd say?

COULTON: Lauren Bacall which is...

CHUNG: Right.

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CHUNG: That's right Bogie and Bacall, so you understand the concept. All these celebrities have the initials L.B. Okay contestants, ring in when you know the answer. Whoever gets more right moves on to our Ask Me One More final round. Michael Stipe tried to talk to this L.B. but he was pushed back by her Secret Service detail, who'll be guarding her until 2018. Dan.

FEYER: Laura Bush?

CHUNG: Laura Bush is correct.

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CHUNG: This L.B. was standing in the corner wearing a plaid shirt and duck boots, which he'd be happy to sell you online with free shipping from Maine. Melissa.

KIRSCH: L. L. Bean.

CHUNG: L. L. Bean, correct.

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CHUNG: Michael Stipe steered clear of this 19th Century L.B. who took an axe and carved a turkey. Whoa. We'll go Melissa.

EISENBERG: I like that Dan, but you're very fair, Dan, you pointed over. No it's Melissa, OK.

KIRSCH: Lizzie Borden?

CHUNG: Lizzie Borden is correct.

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EISENBERG: Lizzie Borden.

CHUNG: Michael Stipe wanted to play "Rock Band" but this L.B. kept hogging the guitar and playing his own Fleetwood Mac songs. Dan.

FEYER: Lindsey Buckingham.

CHUNG: Correct.

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CHUNG: Everyone started jumping into the pool but this L.B. wouldn't take off his big black robe, which made sense, since he was a legendary Supreme Court Justice. Dan.

FEYER: Louis Brandeis?

CHUNG: Yes Louis Brandeis.

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CHUNG: Michael Stipe thought he saw this L.B. on the balcony, throwing $100 bills into the crowd, which he could afford as the CEO of Goldman Sachs. Oh Dan is hovering.

EISENBERG: He's approaching the bell.

FEYER: Do I get credit for just a last name? I'm not sure what his first name is.

EISENBERG: Do you get credit? Wow, that's an interesting question...

FEYER: Probably not, 'cause it's L.B. isn't it?

CHUNG: It is, his initials are L.B., there's your hint.

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FEYER: That's kind of important.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

CHUNG: So you're not answering 'cause you don't wanna give her the last name, is that what you're saying?

FEYER: Oh, no, it's 'cause I don't know.

CHUNG: Oh OK.

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FEYER: But that's a good strategy too.

EISENBERG: Do you want to try, do you want to just make up a first name that might go with it?

FEYER: Sure.

EISENBERG: Why not? Yes, Dan.

FEYER: Larry Blankfein?

CHUNG: No. Melissa.

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EISENBERG: That is a strategy, that was strategy.

FEYER: It's the rope-a-dope, it's fantastic.

KIRSCH: Is it Lloyd Blankfein?

CHUNG: It is Lloyd Blankfein.

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CHUNG: Now I feel bad, we sort of taunted Dan into telling it...

EISENBERG: No.

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CHUNG: It is now a tie score. This redheaded L.B. was at the dessert bar, stuffing chocolates in her mouth like she was on a conveyer belt. Melissa.

KIRSCH: Lucille Ball.

CHUNG: Correct.

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EISENBERG: That was so unbelievably close and you guys are amazing. Melissa, you won this round. Congratulations, you're moving onto the Ask Me One More. I can tell there is a lot of mutual respect, 'cause you guys played that great. How about a hand for Dan, everybody?

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EISENBERG: Okay, we've reached that part in the show where I'm going to let you in on a little secret and by that I mean, I'm going to reveal this week's mystery guest.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Whoa.

EISENBERG: Let's talk about what we know so far. He could make even a dummy look good and he's a cross between Noel Coward and Liberace and he will most likely hate what Art is wearing right now.

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EISENBERG: Which is a T-shirt that is airbrushed. It's an airbrushed creation with a happy face on it and the word Art written in bubble letters.

CHUNG: I got it at a bar mitzvah.

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COULTON: Oh, OK, yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that would make sense if you were 14, but you're wearing it now. The T-shirt, I take it, was once white.

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CHUNG: It was whitish, yes.

EISENBERG: It was whitish.

CHUNG: Yes.

EISENBERG: But you love that shirt I guess?

CHUNG: I wore it a lot, more often and more recently than you would imagine.

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EISENBERG: Well, I guess that's very sustainable of you, as we'd like to say.

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EISENBERG: Our guest is of course the wonderful Simon Doonan.

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EISENBERG: For many years, Simon was the creative genius behind the window displays at Barneys, one of the most exclusive high-end department stores. He's a style icon and author of the hilarious book "Gay Men Don't Get Fat."

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EISENBERG: You're listening to NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER, I'm Ophira Eisenberg and coming up, we'll get some much needed style tips from Barneys' own Simon Doonan. 'Cause some of the people around here have a fashion sense best enjoyed over radio.

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