Carl Kasell

Scorekeeper Emeritus of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!

Carl Kasell 2010 i i
Doby Photography /NPR
Carl Kasell 2010
Doby Photography /NPR

Carl Kasell, the famed voice of NPR News for three decades turned comedy star of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, has had a five-decade career in broadcasting. After decades as a signature voice of the network's newscasts, Kasell became an audience favorite in an unexpected comedy role, as the Official Judge and Scorekeeper of Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!, which premiered in January 1998.

In 2014, he announced he would become Scorekeeper Emeritus of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! He continues to record custom voice mail greetings for the show's lucky winners and continues to occasionally appear on the program. Thanks to the long-standing and much-coveted prize, more than 2,200 people have Kasell's voice on their home answering machines and cell phones – where he's performed everything from "What's New Pussycat" to "Rapper's Delight."

For 30 years, Kasell provided newscasts for NPR's daily newsmagazine Morning Edition, a role he held since the program's inception in 1979 until 2009.

Kasell hosted NPR's Early Morning Edition, a one-hour news program created in 1997 and incorporated into Morning Edition at the start of 1998.

In 2004, UNC at Chapel Hill selected Kasell as an inductee to the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame, which recognizes North Carolina natives who have made exceptionally distinguished and career-long contributions to the field of journalism. In 2001, Kasell was awarded the Development Exchange Inc's (DEI) President's Award for his lifetime contributions to public radio. In 1999, Kasell shared in the George Foster Peabody Institutional Award given to NPR's Morning Edition. In 1996, Kasell was honored with the Leo C. Lee Friend of Public Radio News Award for lasting commitment to public radio journalism. He also received the Public Radio Regional Organization (PRRO) Award in 1991 for what a member of the selection committee called his "consistently flawless delivery" of newscasts.

Kasell joined NPR in 1975 as a part-time newscaster for Weekend All Things Considered, and later became a full-time NPR newscaster for Morning Edition. Prior to that, he spent ten years at radio station WAVA in Arlington, Virginia, first as morning anchor, then as news director.

Before moving to the Washington, D.C., area in 1965, Kasell was morning deejay and newscaster at WGBR-AM in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Kasell was fascinated by radio at a young age, and recalls playing deejay with his grandmother's wind-up Victrola in Goldsboro. He worked at a local radio station part-time during high school, and was an actor in local theater.

He majored in English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Kasell is also an accomplished magician and a UNC basketball fan.

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