Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

The Wait Wait Upfronts

Carl reads descriptions of three new TV shows based on the week's news, and a caller has to guess what they're about: Bye-Bye Billions, Hello Billions, and Virtue and Vice.

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.

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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl. Thank you everybody. Thank you so much. Oh, stop. Thank you. We do, we do have a great show for you today; we've got the band Tenacious D, also known as Kyle Gass and Jack Black.

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SAGAL: They're joining us later, to rock our world and yours. But first, it is the NATO Summit this weekend in Chicago and it's crazy out there.

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SAGAL: There are helicopters. There are roadblocks. There are undercover Secret Service agents everywhere. You can tell by all the guys with shades and earpieces, and because all the prostitutes are all demanding a credit card deposit.

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SAGAL: But we trust you guys. Give us a call. The number is 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!.

TYLER CLARK: Hi, Peter. This is Tyler Clark from Youngstown, Ohio.

SAGAL: So, Ohio, it seems to me has become, for the general election what, say, New Hampshire and Iowa are in the primaries, you can't throw a rock without hitting a politician, which must make it fun to throw rocks.

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CLARK: They love us here, they want us badly.

SAGAL: Have you ever been sucked up to personally?

CLARK: No, I suppose not.

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CLARK: Should I feel bad about that?

SAGAL: You're probably the only one left in Ohio, but there's still time. There's still time. Well, welcome to the show, Tyler. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a comedian performing May 24th at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, it's Mr. Brian Babylon.

BRIAN BABYLON: Hey, hey, hey.

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SAGAL: Next, one of the women behind the Washington Post's Reliable Source column, Ms. Roxanne Roberts.

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ROXANNE ROBERTS: Hello, Tyler.

CLARK: Hello.

SAGAL: And finally, a politics blogger for Esquire and a contributor to grant land dot com, it's Mr. Charlie Pierce.

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CHARLIE PIERCE: Hey Tyler.

CLARK: Hi, Charlie.

SAGAL: Ready to play our games, Tyler?

CLARK: I am ready.

SAGAL: All right. We're going to start today with a new game. We're calling it?

KASELL: The Wait Wait Up Fronts

SAGAL: In New York right now, the TV networks are showing advertisers their new shows for the fall. Well, we got our hands on some of the proposals and they all happen to be based on this week's news. Carl is going to describe for you three new TV shows, you tell us the story that inspired them. Ready to play?

CLARK: That sounds hard, but I'll do my best.

SAGAL: You can do it. Here we go. Here is your first new show.

KASELL: A jaded detective, a reckless banker who lost $3 billion, it's "Law and Order: Idiot Rich Guy Unit."

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SAGAL: That would be a new show inspired - thank you - that would be a new show inspired by what bank's big loss?

CLARK: That would be Jamie Dimon.

SAGAL: Yes, who is the CEO of JPMorgan Chase. Very well done.

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SAGAL: This last week, Dimon, head of Chase, announced that the company had lost two billion dollars. This week they admitted, oh, it's actually more like 3 billion.

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SAGAL: But here's the tricky part, no one is exactly sure how or where they lost it. Guesses include a really, really, really committed attempt to get that stuffed Hello Kitty doll out of a claw machine.

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SAGAL: Just one more try, I know I've got it. Or perhaps Chase splurged on their Chicago area auditoriums.

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SAGAL: But, we just want to say though if that's the case, to our friends at Chase, thanks though for the solid diamond toilets.

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KASELL: Well, they're a little sharp for my tastes, Peter.

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ROBERTS: The guy had a nickname. Was he the Ghost Trader?

SAGAL: No, no, he was known as the London Whale.

ROBERTS: OK.

SAGAL: This is true that the trader who most people now believe caused or was behind these bad bets, as they say, is known as the London Whale in financial circles. That's because he's based out of JP Morgan's British office and because he is, in fact, an enormous humpback whale.

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SAGAL: It's expensive to provide him a tank with internet access, but at the same time, he has agreed to take his annual bonus in krill.

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SAGAL: Now Mitt Romney was asked about this, and he said...

PIERCE: He said that's Saturday night, what are you talking about?

SAGAL: No, no...

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PIERCE: It boutonniere money, my friend.

SAGAL: Yeah. No, Mitt Romney said - he actually said this, he says it's OK, because if Chase lost three billion dollars, then somebody else earned three billion dollars. That's how capitalism works, so no worries, right? But still, nobody knows who's the counterparty; who got the money. So keep an eye out for your co-worker showing up to work on Monday wearing a brand new island.

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SAGAL: Tyler, let us hear about another television show.

KASELL: It's like Friends, except instead of 6 annoying white people, it's 700 million people, and Joey can spy on you.

SAGAL: So that would be a new show about a rich young man who's about to get even richer. Who is it?

CLARK: Mark Zuckerberg.

SAGAL: Yes, Mark Zuckerberg, very well.

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SAGAL: The founder of Facebook.

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SAGAL: A billion dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A mega-gazillion dollars.

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SAGAL: That's what the 28 year old Zuckerberg is now worth, after Facebook went public. The company's stock sold for 16 billion dollars at its IPO.

BABYLON: But didn't GM just pull out all their ads?

SAGAL: Yeah.

BABYLON: Said no one was clicking on GM ads.

SAGAL: Apparently that was the problem. You know, Facebook supposedly is so valuable because all these advertisers will reach all these people. But GM said, you know, we haven't sold any cars.

And apparently, I mean it failed because, you know, they have this feature on Facebook where if you buy something your friends find out about it and people were tired of their friends getting messages like "Bob just bought a new Buick because he realizes it's time to stop trying."

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ROBERTS: Would you buy it? Would you buy stock?

BABYLON: Would I buy what, Facebook stock?

ROBERTS: Yeah.

BABYLON: Yeah, one share to hang on the wall. I mean you wouldn't buy it to get rich.

ROBERTS: I was told that sort of the average guy isn't even going to get a shot at it.

PIERCE: Isn't there like a guy who scalps IPOs. Like, you know, you can hang out in front of the place...

SAGAL: The guy standing in front of the Stock Exchange going "got two shares, got two shares, got two shares."

PIERCE: Yep, you go it.

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BABYLON: And there are like IPO brokers where you can go and like put your credit card in and they'll sell you stock, like stock hub, Stockhub.com.

SAGAL: I think that's actually called the...

BABYLON: Stock Exchange.

SAGAL: Yes.

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SAGAL: All right, what is the last show we've got for Tyler?

KASELL: Get ready for America's next reality competition: 8 boring white guys face off in "Who Wants To Stand Behind Mitt Romney and Clap?"

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SAGAL: So that would be a reality TV show based on Mitt Romney's ongoing secret search for what?

CLARK: Vice president.

SAGAL: Yeah, a running mate, a vice presidential candidate. Very good, yes.

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SAGAL: Politico quoted an anonymous GOP inside who said Mitt Romney is looking for a running mate that is quote, "an incredibly boring white guy." Now there's a good reason for this. We all know what Mitt Romney is like.

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SAGAL: And he doesn't want anybody more interesting. I mean you know what it's like when you've got like a hot date and you're supposed to bring a friend. Well you don't want to bring somebody more interesting than you are, right?

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SAGAL: Romney doesn't want the American people to make small talk with his running mate all night, then jump in a cab with him at the end of the night and speed off. So we can look forward to the campaign slogan: Romney/Portman 2012: Yeah, We'd Never Heard of Him Either.

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PIERCE: Or Garrison Keillor.

SAGAL: Well, I was about to say, I mean when they said we're looking for boring white guys, everybody in public radio was like "my resume is ready."

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SAGAL: My time has arrived.

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SAGAL: Now it's time for our regular segment.

KASELL: Hey, you can't do worse than McCain 2008.

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SAGAL: Maybe he still should, you know, go for the ring. You know, somebody other than the obvious choices. So joining us now to help Mitt Romney find that more unusual running mater, once again is Mark McKinnon. He worked on the campaigns of John McCain and George W. Bush. Welcome back to the show, Mark.

MARK MCKINNON: Hey, thanks for having me. How are you?

SAGAL: It's always great to check in with you on the ongoing vetting process. So Mark, let's talk about the names in the news this week, how they might work as running mates for Mitt Romney. How about Mark Zuckerberg, what do you think?

MCKINNON: Yeah, absolutely. You know, you could take that 100 billion dollars from the IPO and that would pay for the annual budget of the three agencies of the federal government that Rick Perry wanted to get rid of but couldn't remember what they were: Commerce, Education and Energy.

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SAGAL: He could just fund them. That'd be great.

MCKINNON: He could fund them, absolutely. And think of the security costs we'd save. We could track members of terrorist organizations over Facebook.

SAGAL: That's true.

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SAGAL: All right, let's move on. How about the newly named NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James, Romney/James 2012?

MCKINNON: Well, LeBron would be good news/bad news. The good news is he would bring you Florida and you'd win Florida. The bad news is he would lose you Ohio.

SAGAL: That's true.

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BABYLON: And the really bad news is he would stop running at the beginning of November.

SAGAL: That's true.

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SAGAL: Mark McKinnon is the global vice chairman in Hill and Knowlton Strategies. Thank you for working us through these issues, Mark. Great to talk to you.

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

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

SAGAL: Well done. Thank you so much, Tyler, for playing.

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CLARK: Thank you.

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