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About 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me'
NPR.org, July 16, 2009 · Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! is NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what's real news and what's made up. On the Web, you can play along too.
It takes more than a couple brain cells to make this show what it is... so let's give credit where credit's due.
Peter Sagal — Host
Prior to becoming host of Wait Wait in 1998, Peter had a varied career including stints as a playwright, screenwriter, stage director, actor, extra in a Michael Jackson video, travel writer, essayist, ghostwriter and staff writer for a motorcycle magazine. In October 2007, Harper Collins published Peter's first book, The Book of Vice: Naughty Things and How to Do Them, a series of essays about bad behavior, which was released in paperback in 2008. He lives in the Chicago area with his family. Since he now has his own Web site, he is finally a real boy.
Bill Kurtis – Judge and Scorekeeper
For many, Bill Kurtis was the face, the voice, and the hair of the news in Chicago. Along with his co-anchor, Walter Jacobson, Bill brought authority and integrity to CBS-affiliate WBBM. Since then, he's produced and hosted such shows as Investigative Reports, American Justice, and Cold Case Files; and was also the narrator of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Essentially, if you hear Bill Kurtis saying your name, you've either committed a terrible crime, or you're Will Ferrell. Bill is also the founder of Tallgrass Beef Company, where, every night, he lulls his grass-fed cows to sleep by reading them a bed time story.
Carl Kasell — Scorekeeper Emeritus
Carl Kasell is the scorekeeper emeritus for Wait Wait and is an all-around genius and great guy. A veteran broadcaster, Carl launched his radio career more than 50 years ago. He was a newscaster for NPR's daily newsmagazine Morning Edition from the show's beginning in 1979 until December 2009. Carl now enjoys sleeping past 1:05 am, and he sometimes moonlights as a magician. Click here to listen to some of the messages that Carl has put on the answering machines of some of our lucky winners.
Doug Berman — Benevolent Overlord
Doug Berman is the Peabody Award-winning producer of NPR's Car Talk and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! For the last 15 years, he's been on a one-man crusade to get NPR to lighten up. He was a news director at NPR member stations WFCR in Amherst, Mass., and WBUR in Boston before giving up his legitimate career for this stuff.
Mike Danforth — Executive Producer
Mike Danforth joined Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! in November of 2000, after a distinguished tenure at Prairie Home Companion in his home state of Minnesota. His first week was spent weeding through numerous hanging chad jokes to find the best ones. He also tutors the staff in Foley-like vocal sound effects. And does not look like Andy Dick. At all.
Ian Chillag — Senior Producer
Ian comes to Wait, Wait from the Internet, where he was the voice of a tiny blue cartoon news anchor. Before that, he worked on NPR's Fresh Air and The Bryant Park Project. His reporting has been heard on Marketplace, Studio 360 and other public radio programs. He plans to eat his weight in bratwurst his first year in Chicago.
Robin Linn — Producer
Robin comes to Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! after spending a decade bringing sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll to public radio fans as the Senior Producer of Sound Opinions. She's relieved to know that Wait Wait fans already have their own sex and drugs. Prior to that she worked at All Things Considered and served at the pleasure of President Linda Wertheimer as her inaugural intern. Her pleasure? Mostly Chipotle. Robin's pleasure? The Real Housewives. No, make that "radio." No, "her kids." Doh!
Miles Doornbos — Producer
Miles is a former producer and director for WBEZ and a current baker of cookies and maker of messes. He hates writing bios about himself, so he'll let his Wikipedia page do the talking: The page "Miles Doornbos" does not exist.
Robert Neuhaus — Production Coordinator
After many years spent as an award-winning theatrical sound designer and audio theater producer, Robert Neuhaus went in search of even larger egos than the theater can contain and found them at Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Robert has served as a recording engineer based in NPR's Chicago Bureau since 1988, but he still moonlights from time to time creating storms and battles for Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Lorna White — Technical Director
Lorna discovered public radio during her college years at Illinois State University. After graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C., and shoved her foot in the front door of NPR. There, she discovered the joys of shift work and spent many sleep-deprived years on Morning Edition with Bob Edwards and Carl Kasell. Eventually Lorna moved on to Performance Today (classical music!), All Things Considered (news!), Weekend Edition (more news!), and NPR Master Control (look busy!). In 1996, she became the NPR Chicago Bureau Engineer and moved back to The Great Midwest. In 1998, Carl tracked her down and introduced her to Peter Sagal and the gang. Now she devotes her time to WWDTM, her family, and her spinning wheels.