Time To Turn Off The TV

Which 1970s sitcom ended in a big group hug? Do you know which '80s show turned out to be all a dream? Noah Tarnow hopes you've spent sufficient time in front of the tube, because he's about to challenge you on famous TV finales. Spoiler alert.

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's bring up our next two victims, I mean contestants. We have Dan Moren and Alexander Yellen.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Dan, now you refer to yourself as a veritable IMDB.

DAN MOREN: I don't refer to myself; I have been referred to as. I want to make that clear going in, because I don't - it's very possible I was...

EISENBERG: It just says it on your business card. I get it.

MOREN: Yeah, exactly.

EISENBERG: And you are the child - this is so fascinating to me - of librarians.

MOREN: Yes.

EISENBERG: I just picture your house every day just a lot of people turning to each other going "shhh."

MOREN: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

MOREN: It's a lot like being raised by wolves, only there is more shuffling.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Happy to have you. And Alexander, you're a jazz composer, arranger and pianist.

ALEXANDER YELLEN: That's what my business card says.

EISENBERG: Okay. And what's your favorite piece of work?

YELLEN: That I've written or that someone else has written?

EISENBERG: Let's start with you.

YELLEN: I'm a big fan of - I did a big band arrangement of "Rainbow Connection" once.

(APPLAUSE)

YELLEN: How can you not love Kermit the Frog?

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's fantastic. Okay, Noah, what are we playing?

NOAH TARNOW: This game is called Time to Turn Off the TV, and the rules are simple. I'm going to describe the triumphant final episode of a classic TV series. You just need to name the series. It shouldn't be too difficult if you grew up watching TV. Dan, lucky for you, IMDB has television shows on it as well. And Alexander, lucky for you that the Muppets had a TV show for many years.

(LAUGHTER)

TARNOW: If you need a hint, we will also give you the year that that triumphant final episode first aired. The contestant who gets the most right moves on to our final round at the end of the show. Here we go. Despite the birth of twins and a declaration of true love, it ends with yet another trip to the coffee shop.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

TARNOW: Yes, Dan.

MOREN: "Friends."

TARNOW: "Friends" is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I know, the most unbelievable thing about that whole series was that a paleontologist had a job.

TARNOW: Yes, absolutely.

(LAUGHTER)

TARNOW: And that a waitress lived in an 800-square foot apartment in the Village.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That I believed.

TARNOW: Sunnydale is destroyed, as the Hellmouth collapses. Why did anyone live in that town anyway?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

TARNOW: Yes, Dan.

MOREN: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

TARNOW: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

(APPLAUSE)

TARNOW: I know the second I said "Sunnydale," a thousand people listening at home screamed "Buffy. Buffy. Buffy." The war and the show finally ends after 11 years, eight years longer than in real life.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

TARNOW: Yes, Dan.

MOREN: "MASH."

TARNOW: "MASH" is right, Dan.

(APPLAUSE)

TARNOW: The main character gets back together with her on again/off again boyfriend whose name is finally revealed to be - wait for it - John.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

TARNOW: Yes, Alexander.

YELLEN: "Sex and the City."

TARNOW: "Sex and the City" is right.

(APPLAUSE)

YELLEN: I'm ashamed.

EISENBERG: You should not be ashamed. It means you have a girlfriend or some woman that loves you.

YELLEN: Yes, yes.

TARNOW: Good to know. All right, new station management fires everyone, except for the most obnoxious character, and they all share in a group hug.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

TARNOW: Yes, Dan.

MOREN: "Mary Tyler Moore Show."

TARNOW: "Mary Tyler Moore Show."

(APPLAUSE)

TARNOW: The entire eight-year series turns out to be a dream of the star's character from a previous sitcom.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

TARNOW: Yes, Alexander.

YELLEN: "Newhart."

TARNOW: "Newhart" is right.

(APPLAUSE)

TARNOW: And finally, Matt Santos is sworn into office.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

TARNOW: Yes, Dan.

MOREN: "The West Wing."

TARNOW: "The West Wing" is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

TARNOW: Well, it looks like, pretty handily, Dan is our winner.

EISENBERG: Oh, congratulations, Dan.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You'll be moving on to our final round at the end of the show. Thank you to both our contestants once again.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EISENBERG: Are you exhausted right now from shouting answers at your radio? Well then, we want to meet you. To be a contestant on a future show, reach us on Twitter or Facebook at NPR ASK ME ANOTHER, or you can send us an old-fashioned email at askmeanother@npr.org. In exchange, we'll send you a little quiz and see if you have what it takes to make it to our Ask Me One More final round.

(APPLAUSE)

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