Who's Carl This Time
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.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl.
SAGAL: Thanks, everybody.
SAGAL: Fine. We got a fine show for you today. We have the amazing ballerina Misty Copeland, who will be playing our game while sitting on her toes the whole time. But first, a group of actual social scientists who work at something actually called the Humor Research Lab at the University of Colorado declared that Chicago, our home, is the funniest city in America.
SAGAL: Yes. All right. Yeah. I guess it's flattering at first, but isn't that like the faintest kind of praise?
SAGAL: You've got New York, financial and media capital, Washington, seat of political power, Los Angeles, so glamorous, and Chicago, well, you know, Chicago. It's got a great personality.
SAGAL: No, really, Chicago. You should talk to Chicago - got a sense of humor, really.
SAGAL: Well, we'll try to do what we can to continue our reputation. Give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1(888) 924-8924. Time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.
TIM PHILLIPS: Hi, Peter. This is Tim Phillips from Naugatuck, Connecticut.
SAGAL: Naugatuck, Connecticut. Naugatuck. It occurs to me that Naugatuck sounds like it should be most famous for ending the first line of Limericks.
SAGAL: You know what I mean?
PHILLIPS: It's usually from Nantucket.
SAGAL: Yeah, exactly. Well, welcome to the show, Tim. Let me introduce you to our panel. First up, it's a comedian performing at the Put Your Hands Together show at the UCB Theater in LA on May 20. It's Brian Babylon.
PHILLIPS: Hey, Brian.
BRIAN BABYLON: Hey, how are you doing?
SAGAL: Next up, our writer at the Houston Chronicle, Ms. Kyrie O'Connor.
PHILLIPS: Hello, Kyrie.
O'CONNOR: Hi, Tim.
SAGAL: Finally, it's a humorist and author most recently of "Alphabetter Juice: The Joy of Text." It's Roy Blount Jr.
ROY BLOUNT JR.: Hey, Tim.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Tim. You're going to play Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell right now is going to read you three quotes from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you will win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on your home answer machine or voicemail or whatever you got. You ready to go?
PHILLIPS: I am so ready.
SAGAL: Let's hear your first quote.
KASELL: I have to say, it was a little scary, too lifelike.
SAGAL: That was the President of the United States Barack Obama after meeting a what for the first time in Japan?
PHILLIPS: A what?
SAGAL: A what?
SAGAL: He met someone - he went to Japan and they introduced him to something. What was it?
PHILLIPS: You know, I honestly don't know.
SAGAL: Well, I'll give you a hint. The president upon meeting this thing, did not say domo arigato, Mr...
PHILLIPS: Oh, a robot?
SAGAL: Yes, indeed. A robot.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Mr. Obama began his latest tour of Asia with Japan, and of course was brought by his hosts to see their country's latest, most impressive technological innovation, the same way we might bring a foreign leader to see our KFC Double Down sandwiches...
SAGAL: ...Or our General Motors ignition switches, you know.
SAGAL: The Japanese - this is true - they threw a steak dinner for President Obama. This is one of the first official events for a visiting American president since - as we all remember - the first President Bush in 1992 vomited...
BABYLON: Oh, yeah.
SAGAL: ...On the Japanese prime minister. And it turns out this is, like - they remember this Japan.
SAGAL: This is true. Bushusuru is a verb meaning to vomit uncontrollably. So, like - and they were, like - they were prepared. Instead of the traditional back tie or even Japanese costume, the prime minister went to the steak dinner dressed in a hazmat suit.
BABYLON: So, like, if you go to Wrigleyville, like, at 2:30, it's like Bushumu (ph), Bushumu (ph). Like something...
SAGAL: Bushusuru. Bushusuru.
BABYLON: Yeah. OK, you got it. We're learning.
BLOUNT: Japanese throw up raw things, so that's...
BLOUNT: I'm just saying. I don't have anything against it.
BABYLON: But you know what? It's less acidic.
SAGAL: I'm really sorry I brought that topic up.
BLOUNT: Well, that's what Bush said at the time, I'm sure.
SAGAL: All right. Here is your next quote.
KASELL: It exploded and shot across the room like a Roman candle.
SAGAL: That was the user of a product which the FDA announced proposed new regulations for this week. What is this product?
BLOUNT: I thought that was another reference to the Bush thing.
PHILLIPS: I honestly don't know that one, either.
SAGAL: Oh, my gosh. Well, this is new. I'll give you a hint. These things are annoying. You always find your ashtrays filled with e-butts. It's an electronic thing, but it's not electronic...
PHILLIPS: Oh, those electronic cigarettes.
SAGAL: Yes, e-cigarettes. Very good.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
PHILLIPS: I don't smoke.
SAGAL: I know. Well, technically, neither do they. That's the point. You may have seen them in parties or at hipster bars. Guys basically smoking little light sabers, it looks like.
SAGAL: These are e-cigarettes. Instead of burning tobacco, they inhale an electrically heated nicotine vapor. It's the coolest way to smoke, assuming we change the rules so the definition of cool includes having a USB port.
BABYLON: How can you walk up to a lady at a bar with USB port? Hey, can I light that for you?
SAGAL: Yeah, exactly.
BLOUNT: You can't do that.
SAGAL: Here, let me charge your e-cig.
BABYLON: You got it right. What would the Marlboro Man think if he sees you...
BABYLON: ...Smoking a candy-flavored cigarette?
SAGAL: The Marlboro Man. I mean, can you imagine how embarrassing that would be? I mean, they have, like, those old commercials for cigarettes. And here comes the Marlboro Man, a cowboy, on, like, a segway, with Google glasses, charging his e-cig.
SAGAL: Now, enthusiasts of e-cigs say they're totally healthy 'cause you're doing away with all the toxic smoke you get from cigarettes. But this week, the FDA proposed rules to finally regulate them like cigarettes. They will have - if this goes through - Surgeon General warnings. In the case of e-cigs the warning, will just say, you are never going to get laid.
O'CONNOR: That might be the most effective warning of all.
SAGAL: Yeah, I know.
BABYLON: On anything.
SAGAL: All right. Very good, Tim. Here is your last quote.
KASELL: You've got to give this guy a medal just for surviving this.
SAGAL: Now, that was an emergency medicine specialist commenting on a 15-year-old boy who got to Hawaii this week how?
PHILLIPS: In the wheel well of an airplane.
SAGAL: Exactly right.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Very good.
SAGAL: A 15-year-old boy who wanted to run away from his family survived a trip from California to Hawaii hiding in the wheel well of a 747, despite the fact that he had no heat, no oxygen and had to pay for his snacks with a credit card.
SAGAL: People are saying, oh, how could he have gotten to that secure airport and climbed into the wheel well? We know what happened. It was a test run for the airline's new ultra-economy seating.
SAGAL: You think you're getting a deal, but it sucks, right? You find out that unless you pay extra, you have to sit on the middle tire.
BABYLON: But you know what? I can see, like, next - this is going to the next, like, David Blaine magic trick he's going to pull off. One of those, like - those alt (ph) magicians.
SAGAL: Well, 'cause no one understand how this kid survived because it's not pressurize. So there's no air. It's not heated, so it's freezing up there at 30,000 feet. And one of the theories is - and this is true...
BABYLON: He's an X-Man.
SAGAL: Well, I guess technically, Brian, that is one of the theories.
SAGAL: That's your theory. That would be a boring superpower. I...
BABYLON: Yeah. You could do nothing to turn this wheel well over.
SAGAL: Yeah, I know.
SAGAL: I'll get you, Magneto, as soon as we land in Topeka.
SAGAL: No. Some people are speculating that the extreme cold put the kid in a state of, like, semi-hibernation where his body slowed so much that he didn't actually need the oxygen which is how he managed to survive. And you know that if this is true, the airline is going to do that to all of us next time.
SAGAL: Keep us docile and keep the baby quiet. Just lower the heat. The kid is fine. He says he had a good flight, except he had to change wheel wells in Phoenix. Always a drag.
SAGAL: And really frustrating, the last guy who stowed away in the wheel well already filled out the crossword in the in-flight magazine.
SAGAL: Carl, how did Tim do on our quiz?
KASELL: Three correct answers, Peter. So I'll being doing the message on his home answering machine or voicemail.
SAGAL: Well done. Thank you so much for playing, Tim.
PHILLIPS: All righty.
SAGAL: Take care.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.