CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta Plays 'Not My Job'

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Sanjay Gupta
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Sure, Anderson Cooper is great, but how many times has he performed life-saving surgery while on the job? Well, Dr. Sanjay Gupta sure has. He's CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, a practicing physician ... and one of the Sexiest Men Alive says People Magazine.

In memory of the late Jimmy Dean, who died Sunday at age 81, we'll ask Dr. Gupta three questions about sausage.

PETER SAGAL, Host:

And now the game where we invite on smart people and ask them dumb questions. It's called Not My Job. Look, Anderson Cooper, fine, he's great. But how many times has he performed life-saving surgery while on the job? Dr. Sanjay Gupta has. He is CNN's chief medical correspondent. He is also a practicing physician, a teacher of medicine and one of the sexiest men alive. Now, that's just my opinion but...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...People magazine agrees. He's got a new Father's Day special out this weekend. Dr. Gupta, welcome to WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

SANJAY GUPTA: Thanks so much for having me.

SAGAL: All right.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

GUPTA: I'm delighted to be here. Thank you.

SAGAL: We're delighted to have you.

GUPTA: That whole sexy person thing, that really undermines my thing, doesn't it? You're on a roll, you got the whole accolades and then the sexy man thing.

SAGAL: Really? Do you feel...

GUPTA: It makes...

AMY DICKINSON: Oh, I think it's okay.

SAGAL: Do you think that the...

GUPTA: I don't know, it's...

SAGAL: But you were in like the "100 Most Beautiful People" in People magazine. Do you think that really undermines the professional respect that you have earned through your labors?

GUPTA: Well, everyone always laughs, so yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GUPTA: They hear that and that makes me really self-conscious. What exactly are they laughing at?

SAGAL: When they laugh, do they laugh or do they kind of give you a girlish giggle and bat their eyes?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And I'm referring, of course, to Wolf Blitzer when I think of that.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GUPTA: (Inaudible) about that.

SAGAL: Why Sanjay - I mean do people say to you thinks like, why Dr. Gupta, do you still do house calls?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Now I assume that you were a doctor before you became a reporter and correspondent for CNN only because it'd be too hard to go to medical school with your schedule.

GUPTA: Right. No, you know, I still practice medicine. I was a doctor. I used to write a lot during medical school and during training. A lot of it was on health policy and that was my real interest. The television part of it came much later, after I'd already started practicing, my own practice.

SAGAL: Right. And once you were on TV and once you became very well known as a TV personality, are people surprised when they're lying in their hospital room and the door opens and in you walk?

GUPTA: Yeah. You know, it's funny. There are people who are genuinely surprised by it. And sometimes people will say, "Wait a second, you're doing my brain tumor surgery tomorrow. I don't want you thinking about anything but my brain tumor till then." Which is I think how I'd fall in the category. Other people actually come seek you out because they think you're on television, therefore you must be good which isn't necessarily true. I mean, not that I'm bad, but it doesn't make me any better.

SAGAL: Yeah, I once had George Clooney do surgery on me and he did very poorly.

PETER GROSZ: I so tried to get Geraldo to do my hernia, but...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yeah.

DICKINSON: Do they go to like Dr. Oz for a second opinion I wonder? Like, you don't...

SAGAL: Do you guys hang out, like you and Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz and all the great TV doctors?

GROSZ: The doctor's lounge.

GUPTA: Is Dr. Phil a doctor? I didn't know that.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

DICKINSON: Yeah.

GUPTA: Were people booing me just now?

SAGAL: No, no, no.

DICKINSON: No.

GUPTA: I wish I was there.

DICKINSON: They're with you.

SAGAL: They're with you. They think you're sexy too. So, I mean, you are perhaps the least anonymous practicing physician in America. And thus, we know the classis cliche about doctors is you can't tell anybody what you do for a living because immediate they start pulling up their shirt and showing you their moles and asking you about their pains. This must happen to you when you walk down the street, right?

GUPTA: It happens all the time. And airports, for whatever the reason, are characteristically the highest target area. You're walking through and people - in some ways it's very - it's flattering because, you know, people find you approachable and they want to - maybe they just heard you talk about something, and they'll comment on that.

TOM BODETT: They just feel lousy in airports I think.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GUPTA: Right. You know, and a lot of times I enjoy it. Oftentimes, I'm just late for my flight. So I have to sort of, you know, dash off.

GROSZ: You're too nice of a guy, I have to say. Your persona is very inviting. Not only are you a doctor, so you're obliged to help people, but you're also, you seem like somebody who's approachable. If I were you, I'd become unapproachable.

SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: You won't miss another flight again.

GUPTA: You got any tips on that? How do you do that?

SAGAL: This is...

GROSZ: Sagal-type.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

GROSZ: You can't talk to this guy.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know. When somebody says come on, it's not brain surgery, do you go damn and walk away?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GUPTA: It's funny, when I started in television, you know everyone came up to me and would say that joke as if they were the first person to ever say it.

SAGAL: Please tell me not exactly the specific joke that I just made.

GUPTA: Almost exactly.

SAGAL: I got a great idea for a joke if we ever get a rocket scientist on this show, let me tell you. No, I want to ask you one more thing before we get to the game, about the Gupta girls. We've heard that you have a sort of semi- organized cadre of groupies.

GUPTA: I told you I didn't like the sexy man thing, so you bring this up?

SAGAL: I know. We love it.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Oh, this is pure envy, you know. I mean, how organized are the Gupta Girls and have you ever met them?

GUPTA: I don't know if I've ever met them or not.

DICKINSON: Whoa.

GUPTA: I don't think they would declare themselves.

GROSZ: You'd know.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah.

GROSZ: When a gaggle of female fans wants to meet you...

SAGAL: You would know.

GROSZ: ...you're very aware of it.

BODETT: Yeah.

GUPTA: Well I don't know how organized they are. It's just a website. You know, I have three daughters now.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah.

GUPTA: So it's funny because my wife, who has a very good sense of humor, thankfully, she refers to herself and my three daughters as the Gupta Girls. So they are the newly anointed Gupta girls. Happy to report.

SAGAL: I understand. I understand. Well, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, we are delighted to have you with us. We've invited you here to play a game we're calling?

CARL KASELL, Host:

You gave us more than country music, sir. You gave us sausage.

SAGAL: This week, the nation said farewell to Jimmy Dean, who died at the age of 81, after a lifetime of providing the world with both homespun country tunes and tasty breakfast meats. In his honor, we're going to ask you three questions about, of course, sausage. Get two right, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners, Carl singing "Big Bad John" on their voicemail. Ready to play?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GUPTA: I'm ready.

SAGAL: Carl, who is Dr. Gupta playing for?

KASELL: The doctor is playing for Jeff Lesh of Elmhurst, Illinois.

SAGAL: All right, here we go then. Here's you're first question. A round of applause for Jeff Lesh.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Sausages of course play a large role in the civic life of many communities, such as which of these? A, the town of Chico, California which elects a Blood Sausage Queen every May 1st. B, the town of Elmore, Ohio which rings in the New Year with their famous Sausage Drop. Or C, the town of Basset, Nebraska which annually features the world's largest living sausage, people stuffed into a tube, at their 4th of July picnic.

GUPTA: Are there any more choices?

SAGAL: That's it.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GUPTA: I'm going to go with the Midwest I think.

SAGAL: You're going to go with which one? Elmore?

GUPTA: Elmore, Ohio?

SAGAL: Elmore, Ohio, the sausage drop. You're right, sir.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

GROSZ: Wow.

SAGAL: There you go.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

GUPTA: A little process of elimination.

SAGAL: Elmore is home to the Tank's Meats company. It has a veritable sausage fest every December 31st.

GROSZ: Wow.

SAGAL: Featuring a sausage eating contest, a raw sausage toss and, of course, a falling 18-foot long illuminated sausage that rings in every new year.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Here's your next question, you already got one right. Sausage, like anything wonderful, sometimes tempts people into crime. Which of these was a real sausage-related felony? A, a man in Fresno, California broke into an apartment, rubbed one resident with spices and hit the other with an eight-inch sausage. B, a man robbed a Denny's in Port Arthur, Texas demanding instead of money, all the breakfast sausages they had. Or C, a woman was convicted of attempted industrial espionage when she tried to smuggle eight pounds of sausage out of a Tennessee factory in her pants.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: Wow.

SAGAL: She wanted the recipe.

GUPTA: You know, it's funny because I was going to go for the Denny's one for sure, given that, you know, you get a real craving for something...

SAGAL: You do.

GUPTA: ...and then you'd act crazy like that. But the C one just sounds so unlikely that it might actually be the right answer. I'm going to go with C.

SAGAL: You're going to go with the woman who was arrested for industrial espionage for smuggling eight pounds of sausage in her pants.

GUPTA: Yeah.

SAGAL: No, I'm afraid, believe it or not, it was the first one. The guy who broke into the apartment, rubbed spice on one guy, hit the other with the sausage. Antonio Vasquez was arrested in a nearby field. Sadly, the conviction was put in doubt because a dog ate the weapon, the sausage.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well this is very exciting though. I like it when this happens. Basically it's come down to the last question. If you get this one right, you win. Sausages, Dr. Gupta, are not just for eating. New and even more amazing uses for sausages are being discovered every day such as which of these? A, the All Meat Band of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which makes music entirely by blowing on, strumming or hitting various sausages.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: B, in Germany a man has built an entire house out of interlinked sausages. Or C, in South Korea, people use them to operate their iPhone touch screens in cold weather so they don't have to take their gloves off.

GROSZ: They all sound true to me.

GUPTA: Let's see, I think B can't work because your house would get eaten.

SAGAL: Yes.

GUPTA: C, it seems like you'd be able to come up with a better - why do they take sausage to operate their iPhone?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: Let it go, man.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GUPTA: All right...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: What'd you say? All right, hold on. Say that again, please?

GUPTA: C.

SAGAL: C. You're right. It was...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

GROSZ: That would be good.

SAGAL: In South Korea, it gets cold and they don't want to take their hands out of their gloves to use the iPhone. Because, as you know, the iPhone touchscreen uses some sort of conductivity of human skin. And apparently, this kind of sausage works just as well. I don't know.

DICKINSON: But then...

SAGAL: Perhaps if we had a doctor here, they could explain this to me.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Does it make any sense? Well apparently it works because we've seen pictures of them doing it. So, Carl, how did Dr. Gupta do on our quiz?

KASELL: Well, he came through in the end, Peter. Doctor, you had two correct answers, so you win for Jeff Lesh.

SAGAL: There you go, well done.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Dr. Sanjay Gupta is CNN's chief medical correspondent. You can see his special this Father's Day. Dr. Gupta, thank you so much for being with us.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

GUPTA: Thanks for having me. It was a real pleasure, a real honor.

SAGAL: A pleasure to have you.

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