October 19, 2009
Anna Christopher, NPR
BRINGS IRREVERENCE TO SOLD-OUT CARNEGIE HALL SHOW OCTOBER 22
NBC NEWS ANCHOR BRIAN WILLIAMS TO APPEAR ON STAGE
AS THE SHOW'S "NOT MY JOB" GUEST
"At first I assumed they meant the Carnegie Deli, but if Carnegie Hall is serious about allowing Wait Wait to perform, I'll show up," says Williams, of agreeing to be a guest on the show.
This is the first time Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, produced in Chicago, will tape the program in New York City; the show sold out in 90 minutes when tickets went on sale in early September. The Carnegie Hall show will air Saturday, October 24 at 11PM on WNYC-FM and AM and Sunday, October 25 at 4PM on WNYC-FM, and throughout the weekend on NPR Member stations nationwide. The program is also available as streaming audio and a free podcast at www.npr.org/waitwait
"Carnegie Hall means glamour: artists in formal wear, audiences in furs and jewels," says Peter Sagal, host of Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!. "But mostly, it stands for excellence: the finest artists in the world at the pinnacle of their craft. Or rather, it used to mean all that. Now that we're booked there, it means that just about anybody can rent the place. Watch out for tractor pulls, next."
Now in its 12th year, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! uses current stories (from the global to the silly) for questions and comedy. Joining Sagal is official judge and scorekeeper, NPR newscaster Carl Kasell, and a rotating panel of humorists, journalists, comedians and others. Contestants vie for the most coveted prize in all of public radio: a custom-recorded greeting by Kasell for their voicemail. Panelists for the New York City show are stand-up comic Paula Poundstone; comedian and TV personality Mo Rocca; and blogger and writer for HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Adam Felber.
The "Not My Job" segment that will feature Williams has attracted such notable names as White House advisor David Axelrod, whose quiz -- "No, We Can't!" -- was about utopian dreamers whose plans ended badly; Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, asked about the habits of rock stars; U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, quizzed on various types of scooters; and Star Trek alumnus Leonard Nimoy, who answered questions about child-rearing expert Dr. Spock.
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, produced in Chicago, goes on the road to produce the show in a number of markets each year. The program has an audience of nearly 3 million listeners weekly on 520 NPR Member public radio stations; its audience has grown in every ratings period since its premiere in January 1998. For stations and broadcast times, visit www.npr.org/stations
The show is produced by NPR and Chicago Public Radio; Doug Berman is Executive Producer.