Who's Bill This Time
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT… DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I hope you like jazz because I'm about to take you on a Bill-ey holiday. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, filling in for Peter Sagal, Mike Pesca.
MIKE PESCA, HOST:
Thank you. Thank you, Bill. I love when he does that. Thank you, everybody, so great to be with you. Peter is, of course, boycotting the NPR news quiz because of something very upsetting a Fox News personality said.
PESCA: I am Mike Pesca. I host a podcast for Slate called The Gist, very excited about our guest, Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss, star of "Jaws" and so many other great films. And it's nice to be able to welcome this great actor because another great actor died this week. I am talking about, of course, Abe Vigoda. And it is a shame, this is what happens when people pass away, they don't get to hear the accolades, the kind things people say about them. Like in The New York Times, quote, "Abe Vigoda, whose leathery sad-eyed faced made him ideal for an over-the-hill detective and doomed mafioso." They stop short of intoning the sad-sack, broken down, paper bag of a human, this personification of a discarded purse delighted audiences with his lifelong impression of a corpse.
PESCA: He will be missed. But if you're still alive, call in and play our games. Our number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-88-924-8924. Now let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hello, you're on WAIT WAIT… DON'T TELL ME.
GREGORY WALDROP: Hello, this is Gregory Waldrop from Calvert City, Kentucky.
PESCA: How you doing, Gregory from Calvert City? What do you do there in Kentucky?
WALDROP: I'm a Methodist preacher here.
PESCA: I don't know...
PESCA: A few members of our audience looking for salvation.
WALDROP: Hey, well done.
PESCA: I don't know if you've heard our show, but prepare to be a little bit offended.
WALDROP: Hey, not to worry. I've been - I'm practiced at being offended, not to worry.
PESCA: Well, now Gregory, let me introduce you to our holy trinity - oh, blasphemy number one.
PETER GROSZ: There you go.
PESCA: First up, former writer for "The Colbert Report" and "Late Night With Seth Myers," it's Peter Grosz.
WALDROP: Hey Peter.
GROSZ: How you doing?
WALDROP: Very well.
PESCA: Next, a comedian and writer who you should definitely be following on Twitter, it's Shelby Fero.
WALDROP: Hi, Shelby.
SHELBY FERO: Hello.
PESCA: And a man who refuses to tell us what happened in motels one through five, Tom Bodette.
WALDROP: Hi, Tom.
TOM BODETT: Hey, Gregory.
PESCA: Gregory, we're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotes from this week's news. If you can correctly identify tor explain two of them, you will win our prize. That's scorekeeper emeritus Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
PESCA: Excellent, here is your first quote.
KURTIS: "Eighty-seven percent of people say they would not watch the debate if I'm not in it. Wow, what an honor.
PESCA: That was - that was a presidential candidate who decided not to attend the Republican debate on Thursday night. Who?
WALDROP: Donald J. Trump.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
PESCA: ...Donald. J Trump. Donald J. Trump had sworn that he'd stare down Vladimir Putin, tangle with the ayatollah, win trade wars with China. But no one said anything about Megyn Kelly. I mean, her name's Megyn, but she spells it with a Y. She's a loose cannon.
PESCA: The Trump boycott, which really seems more of a girlcott, started when Kelly in the first GOP debate asked him about sexist crude remarks that Trump has made against women. And this week, Trump tweeted that he'd call Kelly a bimbo if it weren't for political correctness, so I guess he won that round.
PESCA: Donald Takes-The-High-Ground Trump.
GROSZ: It's amazing though that, like, people are saying it won't affect him at all...
GROSZ: ...And he plays by his own rules. And it really - it reminds of, like, in the '90s when you were watching Michael Jordan play basketball. And every team would like - when they played every other team, they had their own set of rules. Then they had a specific thing that - you know this, Mike - called the Jordan rules. And it was - like, when you played the Bulls, you had to play by different rules. And I think Donald Trump is the Michael Jordan of politics. He's like - I'm not going to say he's going to get into the Hall of Fame, but hopefully he'll quit and play baseball for a couple of years.
PESCA: All right, here is your next quote.
KURTIS: "Is this deja vu all over again? Who would've thunk it when the campaign began?"
PESCA: That is the assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll talking about Hillary Clinton once again faltering before the Iowa caucuses. This time she's behind who?
WALDROP: Bernie Sanders.
PESCA: That is correct.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
PESCA: The Iowa caucuses are held on Monday. It is the great exercise in democracy where turnout last time was 20 percent, where you can't vote if you can't get out of work or get a babysitter. Or if you do find a babysitter, you disenfranchise the babysitter, which is actually a good strategy, right? Find someone you disagree with - hey, who are you voting for - Carson, you want to watch the kids?
BODETT: You know, I think that Bernie Sanders may have took a surge in the polls today. You know, he released his medical report earlier this week, and it said he's in pretty good health but he's got gout and he's had hernias. And so I think he's done is ingratiating himself to the white older population of Iowa.
GROSZ: Oh, man.
BODETT: You know, his feet hurt. He's got lower bowel issues.
PESCA: He's an old Jewish man, though.
FERO: He's an old white man, yeah.
GROSZ: He's an old Jewish man. He's got every disease in the book.
BODETT: No wonder he's cranky, you know?
PESCA: At some point, doesn't then his call for free, universal healthcare - isn't that just feathering his nest?
BODETT: It seems like it, right?
PESCA: Isn't that entirely self-serving?
FERO: And also condos in Florida.
PESCA: Everyone - and "Matlock."
FERO: Bring "Matlock" back.
GROSZ: And also, the early-bird specials start at 3 not 4. What if you're hungry for dinner at 3 o'clock?
PESCA: Yeah, I mean, the Democratic race is fascinating. And it looks a lot like - well, 2016 is looking pretty similar to eight years ago because back then, eight years ago, Hillary Clinton had this big lead, right? But she lost me to an upstart. So back then it was 47-year-old Chicagoan Barack Obama. Now it's 73-year-old New Englander Bernie Sanders. And it's kind of nice. It just goes to show that no matter what you look like in America, whether young and African-American or an old Jew from Vermont, you can still ruin things for Hillary Clinton.
GROSZ: Oh, man.
GROSZ: It really is who's next on the hit parade.
BODETT: It's the land of opportunity.
PESCA: All right, here is your last voice from the news.
KURTIS: "I'm going back up against the greatest liars in history. You've been tremendously deceived."
PESCA: That was rapper B.o.B, who ignited a huge debate when he insisted this week that what was in fact flat?
WALDROP: Wow, that hadn't made my screen this week.
PESCA: Yeah, your radar?
PESCA: I'll give you a hint. You're on it.
PESCA: You're on it.
WALDROP: Is - telephone?
PESCA: No, it's the Earth.
PESCA: It's the Earth.
FERO: Telephones are flat - iPhones are very flat.
PESCA: That's right. Earlier this week, the rapper B.o.B came out with a series of tweets pointing out that we've been lied to and the Earth is in fact flat. So Neil Degrasse Tyson, famed astrophysicist, came back at him. And B.o.B came back with the 21st-century version of the church excommunicating Galileo. He issued a diss track. It's like an East Coast-West Coast rap battle, except the East Coast guy went too far east and fell down the side of the Earth.
GROSZ: Yeah, he's going to release an album called "Here Be Dragons."
FERO: That's a dope name.
GROSZ: Yeah. I get a lot of my scientific information from the hip-hop community.
GROSZ: You know, I get - like, I read Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History Of Time," but I also read Flava Flav's book about time. And he illustrated it - he always illustrated all his points about time by having that clock on his chest and...
FERO: I was going to say, I just read his clock...
PESCA: Just read his clock...
FERO: ...Just checked his clock.
GROSZ: It's so - it does like - it's just - it's so settled. Like, there are so many things that we talk about that are, like, should we raise taxes? Should we cut taxes? Like, what we do about global warming? Should we have a carbon tax? No, no, no, forget about all that. What are we standing on? Is this thing a round thing or is it a flat thing? Like, it's so basic.
FERO: I do...
BODETT: Isn't this what we count on our artists to draw our attention to?
GROSZ: I guess so, that's true, the human condition.
FERO: Art is a lie that tells the truth.
BODETT: And he posted pictures. He had photographic evidence. And they were compelling, I have to say.
GROSZ: Yeah. I don't know, I'm going to have to go with B.o.B on this one.
PESCA: Yeah. All right, Bill, tell Gregory how he did?
KURTIS: Greg, you did well. You got 2 out of 3. And in our books, that's a win. Congratulations.
KURTIS: Thanks, Gregory.
PESCA: Thank you, Gregory.
WALDROP: Thank you. Thank you all.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BECAUSE")
THE BEATLES: (Singing) Because the world is round, it turns me on. Because the world is round...
PESCA: We want to remind everyone to join us most weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Ill. For tickets and more information, go to wbez.org. And you can find a link at our website, waitwait.npr.org.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.