April 3, 2008
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR

   

NPR'S IRREVERENT NEWS QUIZ SHOW WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! WINS PEABODY AWARD, THANKS POLITICIANS, NEWSMAKERS AND CELEBRITIES FOR PROVIDING FODDER

Announcement of Award Falls on Show Judge Carl Kasell’s Birthday


Washington, D.C.; April 3, 2008 – Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, the NPR news quiz show that has 2.6 million weekly radio listeners and just surpassed 1 million podcast downloads monthly, was named a winner of the 67th Annual George Foster Peabody Awards, announced yesterday.

"We are delighted that the Peabody Awards committee, long known for recognizing excellence and achievement in broadcast media, has finally decided to reward something else,” says Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal. “Everyone benefits from hearing the week's news treated with the lack of respect it deserves. We are thrilled and grateful for this honor and with this kind of encouragement, will probably behave even worse in the future. So, you know, blame them."

Added the show's creator and Executive Producer Doug Berman, “We'd like to thank both the Clinton and Bush administrations for providing us with such wonderful material. We also want to thank all the self-aggrandizing entertainers, dumb criminals and overly-earnest scientists out there, without whom this show would never have been possible. We are eternally grateful.”

The Peabody Award announcement took place on April 2, the birthday of NPR newscaster Carl Kasell, who serves as the show’s official judge and scorekeeper. Kasell noted, “I'm 74. It’s the new 73."

Now in its 11th year, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! uses current news stories (from the global to the silly) for questions and comedy. Kasell also is the voice behind the show’s coveted prize: quiz winners receive a custom recorded greeting from Kasell for their telephone answering machines. Joining Sagal and Kasell is a rotating panel of humorists, journalists, comedians and others. The show's “Not My Job” segment, when famous people are quizzed on subjects about which they know absolutely nothing, has attracted such names as Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Tom Hanks, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Joey Harrington, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and comedian Drew Carey.

Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, produced in Chicago, airs on nearly 450 NPR Member public radio stations and its audience has grown in every ratings period since its premiere in January 1998. For stations and broadcast times, visit www.NPR.org/stations It is also available as a free podcast at www.NPR.org

The show is produced by NPR and Chicago Public Radio; Doug Berman is Executive Producer. Senior Producer is Rod Abid; producers are Mike Danforth, Emily Ecton and Melody Kramer; and technical directors are Lorna White and Robert Neuhaus. Regular panelists have included Roy Blount, Jr., Tom Bodett, Luke Burbank, Amy Dickinson, Adam Felber, Kyrie O'Connor, PJ O'Rourke, Charlie Pierce, Paula Poundstone, Paul Provenza, Roxanne Roberts and Mo Rocca. The show’s limericist is Philipp Goedicke.

The Peabodys, the oldest awards in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media. Awards will be presented on June 16 during a ceremony in New York City.