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Reptilian Personalities

Godzilla was gregarious.

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CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. And here's your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl. Thanks, everybody. This week, it's everything that creeps and crawls and slithers and sometimes things that just stay hidden in a smuggler's pants. It's an all-animal edition of WAIT WAIT.

KASELL: The herpetologists in the audience are getting upset because we haven't featured any lizards. Well, that ends now with this moment from a show from November, 2006, with Paula Poundstone, Paul Prevenza and Roy Blount, Jr.

SAGAL: Paula, some reptilian news for you, it turns out that scientists in France have determined that lizards do indeed have what?

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Conscience.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: They feel bad about being lizards.

POUNDSTONE: No, I have a bearded dragon lizard, and every time she eats a cricket, she gets this kind of funny look on her face, like...

SAGAL: It's not indigestion?

POUNDSTONE: No, it was yummy, but on the other hand...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You're close. Well, I mean, it's sort of like, it's sort of like now if your friend sets you up with a lizard, they can assure that the lizard has a really nice one.

POUNDSTONE: I don't know, scent? I don't know.

SAGAL: No, does anybody know what I'm getting at?

PAUL PROVENZA: Personality.

SAGAL: Yes, lizards have personalities.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

POUNDSTONE: Oh, I didn't even know that was in question. I love my bearded dragon lizard.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, most people do not believe lizards had much of a personality, that they sit there, they eat, they do their lizard thing.

POUNDSTONE: It's absolutely not true. My lizard listens to the show, and every time Roy does a poem, he says, turn it up.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Full of personality. Oh, I didn't know - I never suspected that they didn't. Who said they didn't?

SAGAL: Well, most people have thought that they were pretty much all alike, but herpetologists have discovered that lizards actually have distinct personality types, variations within lizards. So they determined some lizards are naturally warm and bubbly, they like to hang out with their friends. Other lizards are quiet loners who keep to themselves.

POUNDSTONE: Well, what lunatic didn't think that was true? Why do you think there was only one Godzilla?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

ROY BLOUNT, JR.: I had a lizard in my apartment once.

SAGAL: Don't brag.

(LAUGHTER)

JR.: No, it was supposed to be a monitor lizard because I read - it was a monitor lizard.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, it kept watching you.

JR.: It was a certain kind of - he stood out in the hall, yeah.

PROVENZA: With a clipboard.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, and a little...

(LAUGHTER)

JR.: It was supposed to be a gecko. I read somewhere that if you put a gecko in your apartment, they will eat your cockroaches, but they didn't have a gecko. So I got this monitor lizard, and it lived in my apartment, and every now and then somebody would say what in the...

(LAUGHTER)

JR.: But it wouldn't eat lizards. I mean, it wouldn't eat cockroaches. It was a sad thing. It died.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: You didn't feed it, you just put it down on the floor?

JR.: I gave it peanut butter and things, it wouldn't eat that, it wouldn't eat peanut butter or cockroaches. So what? What was I going to do? The cockroaches - put peanut butter on the cockroaches.

PROVENZA: No wonder your lizard had personality issues.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Roy went further. Now only does it have personality, it has a personality disorder.

JR.: That's right.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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