Ted Talks

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The TED Conference lectures are both educational and long. This quiz is neither of those things. House musician Jonathan Coulton pays homage to some famous "Teds" throughout history; all you need to do is fill in the last name.


As your next two contestants, Eric Cohen and Lily Rothman have arrived at their puzzle podiums.

ERIC D. COHEN: Nice to be here.


EISENBERG: Happy to have you. Eric, you're a psychiatrist?

COHEN: I am indeed.


COHEN: I am.

EISENBERG: Pop culture lover?

COHEN: That's what I'm told and that's what I gather. Yeah.

EISENBERG: You gather.

COHEN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Lily, you are a reporter that covers entertainment and pop culture.


EISENBERG: OK. So if I hired you each to give a workshop, teach me something based on your favorite expertise, Eric, what would you teach me?

COHEN: Oh, I don't know. Probably history of cartoons, comic strips, that kind of stuff. American.

EISENBERG: American history of cartoons and comic strips?

COHEN: Kind of (unintelligible) and stuff. Right.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah. Oh, right. Yeah. So you know - you know ladies.


COHEN: I guess so.

EISENBERG: That's awesome. Lily?

ROTHMAN: Well, I'm really into the deep meaning of Internet cats right now.


EISENBERG: So there are layers, I take it.

ROTHMAN: Yes. Many, many layers.

EISENBERG: There are many layers. And then the deep meaning.

ROTHMAN: Yeah. They're people too.

EISENBERG: They're people too.

JONATHAN COULTON: Technically, I think that is not true.


EISENBERG: I love you guys. I can tell that already. I love you. All right, Jonathan Coulton, what would we like to have these contestants do?

COULTON: Well, we're going to do a game now called Ted Talks. It's going to take about four days.


COULTON: Unlike the popular TED conference lectures, this game will not last 18 minutes. Nor will you learn anything nor will you help anyone on the planet Earth. We will give you a clue as it would be spoken by a famous talking Ted. You name the famous Ted who would be the clue's speaker. So here's an example. I was the long-time host of the TV news program "Nightline." And you would say Ted Koppel.

Here we go. I put the T in cable TV's TBS, TCM, and the first T in TNT.



ROTHMAN: Ted Turner.

COULTON: Ted Turner is correct.


COULTON: People debate whether or not I wanted to be cryonically preserved after my death, but what's a fact is that I'm the last major leaguer to hit over 400 in one season.



COHEN: Ted Williams.

COULTON: Ted Williams.


COHEN: Number nine.

EISENBERG: I've never seen someone, Eric, punch a buzzer. You knew that from the first word of that clue.

COHEN: Number nine. Number nine, baby.


COULTON: Was it the word cryonically that set it off for you?

COHEN: He had a sad ending.


COHEN: Sad ending.

COULTON: In my rock star days I was known as the Motor City Madman but since then I became an outspoken conservative and authored the book "Ted, White, and Blue."



ROTHMAN: Ted Nugent.

COULTON: That's right.


EISENBERG: If you read, by the way, Ted Nugent's Twitter feed, you find out that that guy has no confidence problems.


EISENBERG: He's really...

COULTON: He's very self-assured.

EISENBERG: He's doing great. Yeah.


EISENBERG: He's really - he's special.

COULTON: I had the honor of saying sorry, we're closed, the last line ever spoken by a character on the sitcom "Cheers."



COHEN: Oh, Ted — oh.

COULTON: Mm-hmm.

COHEN: Ted - oh, my goodness.

COULTON: Yeah. Ted.

COHEN: I just drew a blank.


COULTON: Can you be more specific?

COHEN: I'll try. Oh. I can...

COULTON: Lily, do you want to steal it?

ROTHMAN: No idea.


COULTON: That's the worst thing you could've done to Eric just now. Audience, do you know who it is?


COULTON: Ted Danson. That's right.

EISENBERG: Ted Danson. Sam Malone. If cell phones were in "Cheers," that would've ended after one season. Everything in the head was about misunderstandings and answering machines.

COULTON: Let's call each other on the phone.

EISENBERG: Yeah. If they just called each other, everyone would've been together. It would've been fine.


COULTON: When I talk my eyes and lips move which is pretty impressive for a talking robotic bear from the '80s.



ROTHMAN: Teddy Ruxspin?

COULTON: That's right.


COULTON: Forget Sarah Palin. I was the longest-serving Republican in U.S. Senate history when I represented Alaska from 1968 until 2009.



ROTHMAN: Ted Stevens.

COULTON: That's right.


EISENBERG: I like that you knew that but not Ted Danson.


EISENBERG: It's just all cat videos and Senate for you.

COULTON: This is your last clue. Appropriately, I played a character named Ted Baxter on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show."



COHEN: Ted Knight.

COULTON: That's right.


COULTON: So, Art, that felt like a pretty close game. How'd we do?

ART CHUNG: The person who knows their Teds is Lily.

EISENBERG: Lily, congratulations.


EISENBERG: Eric, supreme contestant. Thank you so much. Lily, you'll be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round.

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