Radio Pictionary

A round in which we attempt an unthinkable radio game: Pictionary. That's right—house musician and gifted doodler Jonathan Coulton describes a series of his drawings, and you must figure out what he's trying to depict. To make it easier, Jonathan has corporate logos on the brain, so all of the answers will be brand icons, past and present.

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants to our stage: Ben Smith and Nicole Holliday.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Welcome to the ASK ME ANOTHER stage. Ben, are you a visual thinker?

BEN SMITH: A little bit.

EISENBERG: A little bit. Have you ever played Pictionary?

SMITH: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah, you like it?

SMITH: Uh.

EISENBERG: Okay.

SMITH: Kind of.

EISENBERG: Sure, that's okay. That's honest. Nicole, how about you, a Pictionary player?

NICOLE HOLLIDAY: Terrible.

EISENBERG: Terrible Pictionary. Awful. Not a visual thinker at all.

HOLLIDAY: Can't do it for anything.

EISENBERG: Oh, excellent. This game is called Radio Pictionary.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Sounds impossible, but impossible is my middle name, because Ophira Eisenberg wasn't bad enough.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Jonathan, can you explain?

JONATHAN COULTON: Yes. Well, I'm going to describe what I'm drawing.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: And you have to guess what I'm trying to draw. To keep it simple, I'll be drawing famous corporate logos, as I often do. For example, if I were to draw, or describe drawing a large uppercase letter G and then an orange lightning bolt superimposed on top of it, you would say?

HOLLIDAY: Gatorade.

COULTON: Gatorade, that's right. And I should mention one more thing, some of these logos are not the ones currently used by the companies.

(LAUGHTER)

HOLLIDAY: Great.

COULTON: But they are the best ones. Okay, here we go. I'm drawing a thick circular black ring with the company's initials in white letters. Inside that is a circle divided into four quarters, with the quarters alternating white and light blue. It's an automobile company.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Nicole?

HOLLIDAY: BMW.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Now I'm drawing a sphere, which is not easy to do.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I am a great draw-er. This sphere is assembled from jigsaw puzzle pieces. Each piece has a letter on it from a different alphabet. There's an omega, a W, a Chinese character, an Arabic script letter.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Nicole?

HOLLIDAY: Wikipedia.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Nice. This game kind of sounds like you're going into a company to pitch them. You know, you're the designer but you forgot your PowerPoint presentation.

COULTON: That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So, you're like, all right, everybody.

COULTON: I wish you guys could see this logo that I drew at home because it is so great. I'm drawing another circle. The entire circle is green. There is also a mermaid with very long hair. She has a crown on her head and also, her tails are next to her ears.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Nicole?

HOLLIDAY: Starbucks.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: I did not know until the show that that was mermaid in there.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I am now drawing football team logo, a circular ring, inside of which and to the left is the team name. On the right within the ring are three diamonds with concave sides, also known as hypocycloids in the drawing business. They're in primary colors. Symbolically, the diamonds are yellow for coal, red for ore, and blue for scrap metal.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Nicole?

HOLLIDAY: The Steelers.

COULTON: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

HOLLIDAY: Which I hate, because I'm from Ohio.

COULTON: I was going to ask. You were pushing that button from the second I said circle, so I could tell either you hated them or loved them.

All right, now I am drawing this company's logo, which is its two-syllable name. The first syllable is purple and the second is typically orange or gray. Image that there is a hidden arrow pointing to the right, formed by the negative space between the two letters of the second syllable.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ben?

SMITH: FedEx.

COULTON: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Okay, now I am drawing this fashion brand logo by drawing two letter C's, except the first C is backwards and it interlocks with the second, like the links of a chain.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: A beautiful chain worn on the slender hips of a model. Nicole?

HOLLIDAY: Chanel?

COULTON: Yes, that's right.

EISENBERG: Yeah, well done.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Nicole, you have won this visual round of drawing. You'll be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round. Thank you so much, Ben. I could tell you knew every single one and were just pushing to get in there, so well done.

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