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Who's Carl This Time?

Carl reads three quotes from the week's news. This week: how democracy is like a bartender; the world's billionaires unite; and a Tweeting teen heartthrob in 3-D.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL, Host:

Thank you, Carl. Thank you everybody. Thank you so much. We do have a great show for you today. We got Miss America herself. She's going to be joining us to play our games.

But first, before we get started, we are so excited about this. No joking here. We are so pleased to announce to you that the votes are in and Carl Kasell, our very own, has been elected to the Radio Hall of Fame.

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SAGAL: This is true. Pretty exciting, huh, Carl?

KASELL: It really is, Peter. Really, I don't know what to say, except I'm very honored by this. And I want to thank everybody who voted for me. Without those votes, it wouldn't have happened.

SAGAL: This is true.

KASELL: Thank you very much.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But Carl, before we get onto the show, I just wanted to ask you: How do you feel about the fact that one of your fellow nominees, Howard Stern, was not elected to the hall?

KASELL: Huh? Huh? Never heard of him.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So if you want a real Hall of Famer's voice on your voicemail, give us a call. The number, 1-888-Wait Wait; that's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

M: Hi.

SAGAL: Hi, who's this?

M: This is Rob Maxwell from Damascus, Maryland.

SAGAL: Damascus, Maryland?

M: Yes.

SAGAL: Is there a road to Damascus? Do things happen...

M: As it happens, there is.

SAGAL: Has anything interesting ever happened to you on it?

M: No.

SAGAL: Oh.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Keep traveling. Keep traveling. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. Robert, first say hello to a man behind the world-famous podcast "Too Beautiful to Live," Mr. Luke Burbank.

M: Hi, Luke.

M: Hi, Rob.

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SAGAL: They're not booing, Mrs. Burbank. They're not booing.

M: Yeah, there's been some confusion about that.

SAGAL: Yeah.

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SAGAL: Next up, it's the host of "Treehugger TV" on Planet Green and a flirtation expert on the CW dating makeover show "Plain Jane." I'm talking about, of course, Faith Salie.

M: Hello, Rob Maxwell.

M: Hi, Faith.

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SAGAL: And finally, a writer for HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," Mr. Adam Felber.

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M: Hi, Adam.

M: Boo. Hi, Rob.

SAGAL: Robert, you're going to start us off with "Who's Carl This Time?" Carl Kasell will re-create for you three quotes from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you'll win our prize, Carl's voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. Ready to play?

M: Yes, sir.

SAGAL: Here we go. Here is your first quote.

KASELL: Democracy didn't bring us anything. Democracy brought us a can of Coke and a beer.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That was a citizen of a nation in which quote, combat operations will officially end this month. What is the country?

M: That must be Iraq.

SAGAL: It is, in fact, Iraq.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

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SAGAL: Hey everybody, great news, the Iraq War is over. How do we know it's over? Because President Obama said so.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Why did he say so? Because he said he would say so. But really, nothing has changed. They've just re-branded the war. Combat operations may be over, but bullet re-gifting parties...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...and, of course, surprise blood drives have begun.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You know, it's amazing to think, seven years ago, of course, we all thought we'd just go to Iraq, topple the regime and get out. But we just fell in love with the people and the scenery and the random explosions. It turns out armed occupations are addictive, just like potato chips - if potato chips violently resisted your attempts to eat them.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Democracy never brought me a beer.

SAGAL: Really?

M: I frequently will sit back on my couch and go, hey, democracy, you want to beer me? Nothing, nothing.

M: Isn't this really - I mean, as you were sort of indicating, Peter, isn't this really a thing about semantics? Because, I mean, there's still going to be - I don't know - 50,000 troops there, which is like, a lot of people. And it's just sort of how you title it. Like, you know, like when I was a kid, my parents would have like, Operation Make Better Choices, Luke.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yeah.

M: But I knew it was really Operation You're Grounded.

SAGAL: Right.

M: But you know, 50,000, that's how many we've got in Germany, right?

SAGAL: Yeah, exactly.

M: We're not fighting them anymore.

SAGAL: Just at discos.

M: Yeah.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You know, people did compliment President Obama for how he handled this announcement. He did not give his speech in front of a banner reading, Mission Accomplished. He's more subtle and nuanced than that, he's President Obama. Well, actually, he did prepare a banner, but this being this president, the thing was half a mile long and ran to 8,500 words.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: He's loquacious, is what I'm saying.

M: Yeah.

M: Mm-hmm.

SAGAL: All right, very good, here is your next quote.

KASELL: I am a big believer in giving it all away, and have always said that the best financial planning ends with bouncing the check to the undertaker.

SAGAL: That was New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He was one of many billionaires who've pledged this week to do what?

M: Oh, give back their money.

SAGAL: Yeah, well, give away their money.

M: Give away their money

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Or at least half of it during their lifetimes. Or if they like, after they die. This is all a big plan by Warren Gates and - excuse me, strike that. Say that again.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: This...

M: They got married?

SAGAL: No, no.

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M: Wow.

M: Prop 8 moves fast.

M: Now, they're rich.

M: They wasted no time after that Prop 8 decision.

SAGAL: Yeah. I know, it's true, isn't it? This effort is being led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. They have already pledged most of their own fortunes to charity, so they started asking the other members of the Forbes 400 Richest People list to do the same. Some have said yes. For example, the founder of Domino's Pizza pledged $10 billion to buy every Domino's customer a decent pizza from somewhere else.

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M: I wonder how their kids feel about this. I'd be bummed if my...

SAGAL: Well, it turns out these...

M: Oh, Dad, I'm only getting 4 billion? No.

M: That's how I'd feel.

M: You suck.

SAGAL: You have to wonder, though, about the guys...

M: The kids are growing up without that now.

SAGAL: The guys who won't sign up.

M: Well...

SAGAL: I mean, even if you're just a single billionaire.

M: The news said that there are only three ways of turning this down.

SAGAL: Right.

M: That they made these calls personally.

SAGAL: Yes, they did.

M: And some people wanted to remain anonymous.

SAGAL: Right.

M: So they are giving money anonymously. Some people weren't interested, and some people were unavailable. How does that go? How do you - like, you answer the phone; you're a billionaire. It's Bill Gates - like hey, will you join us in giving away half your money? And you like, hand it to your wife really quickly. You're like...

M: He's not home right now.

M: He's out on his yacht. Like what...

SAGAL: You know what I love?

M: Pretend to be the maid.

SAGAL: I love the...

M: Exactly.

M: Oh, I'm sorry, he's not home right now.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: He's unavailable, and so is his money. Click.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Robert, here is your last quote.

KASELL: I'm taking this thing worldwide, thanks to you all. Next Valentine, we are coming with a major 3-D movie telling the story with an Oscar-winning director. This is so sick. Hyped.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That was from a series of tweets from a tween heartthrob, who is going to star in a 3-D, autobiographical film about his own life, all 16 years of it. Who?

M: This would be Justin Bieber.

SAGAL: Justin Bieber.

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SAGAL: How do you do a biopic of someone who has not yet started to shave?

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SAGAL: The film could be two hours long, and still could show his whole life in real time.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: He mentioned an Oscar-winning director. That would have been Davis Guggenheim. He directed Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth." Guggenheim was going to bring the same approach to this project. He was going to film Bieber giving a PowerPoint presentation about how his own hotness melted the glaciers. That was the concept.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But...

M: He and the planet are so hot right now.

SAGAL: But Guggenheim dropped out of the project. Other directors are auditioning for the job. James Cameron says he'll use 3-D digital technology to make Bieber appear much larger than he actually is - like 5-foot-6, maybe.

M: And Kathryn Bigelow's would just be like "The Hurt Locker" is when his voice is going to change, the ticking clock?

SAGAL: No, it would actually...

M: No, it'd be called "The Gym Locker," and it would literally be about...

SAGAL: Him being stumped.

M: ...he forgets his gym locker code.

SAGAL: Yeah.

M: Combo? Yeah.

M: Clint Eastwood's version is very entertaining, but Justin Bieber is played by Morgan Freeman.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: His go-to guy.

M: Teen heartthrob wearing a trench coat.

SAGAL: And Christopher Nolan's version would make Justin Bieber's meteoric rise even more incomprehensible than it already is.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Well, it would be a rise within a rise within a rise.

SAGAL: Exactly.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Within one more rise.

SAGAL: Carl, how did Robert do on our quiz?

KASELL: He was perfect, Peter. Robert had three correct answers, so I'll be doing the message on his home answering machine or voicemail.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well done. Well done, Robert.

M: Great. Thank you.

SAGAL: Thank you, Robert. Thanks for playing.

M: Thanks for having me.

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