George Takei Of 'Star Trek' Plays 'Not My Job' People have been giving birth to other people for millennia, but it was only recently that science got involved. George Takei, best known as Mr. Sulu on the classic Star Trek series, plays a game called "Push! Come on, Push!" Three questions about modern childbirth.

George Takei Of 'Star Trek' Plays 'Not My Job'

George Takei Of 'Star Trek' Plays 'Not My Job'

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George Takei
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George Takei is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu on the classic Star Trek series. He'll be playing a game called: "Push! Push! Come on, Push!" People have been giving birth to other people for millennia, but it was only recently that science got involved. Takei answers three questions about modern childbirth.

George Takei is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu on the classic Star Trek series. He'll be playing a game called: "Push! Push! Come on, Push!" People have been giving birth to other people for millennia, but it was only recently that science got involved. Takei answers three questions about modern childbirth.


And now the game where distinguished people try to distinguish themselves even further by playing Not My Job. Our guest this week is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu on the classic "Star Trek" series and to a later generation of nerds as Hiro's dad on "Heroes."


SAGAL: We got nerds of all kinds here. So we are very excited to have him. George Takei, welcome to WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!


GEORGE TAKEI: Thank you very much. Good to be here.

SAGAL: Oh, it's great to have you. Now, some of the people in the cast who became famous from the original "Star Trek," Leonard Nimoy, Bill Shatner to a certain extent, spent portions of their post "Star Trek" career trying to run away from it, not wanting to be typecast. Did you ever go through that? Did you ever get tired of dorks like me coming up to you and, "Mr. Sulu, Mr. Sulu"?

TAKEI: No, I didn't get tired of that part, because they're the ones that made "Star Trek" so popular and so long lived. However, there are producers and directors and casting people who are not very imaginative. And they can't see you in any character outside of Sulu.

SAGAL: Right.

TAKEI: And so there was a time when I found it very difficult to get cast. So I decided, well, I'm not going to fight it. I'm going to go into public service. And I served for 11 years on the Southern California Rapid Transit District Board of Directors.

SAGAL: Yeah. I mean you got into politics, but you didn't get in any of these...


SAGAL: ...big, you know, political causes. You actually got into nitty gritty retail public service administration. You were actually getting things done.

TAKEI: Well, the cause that Mayor Bradley, who appointed me to the board...

SAGAL: This is Tom Bradley, mayor of L.A. for many years in the '80s.

TAKEI: That's right. He said, we need to get started on a subway system here.

SAGAL: Right.

MO ROCCA: And we need someone to steer it.



TAKEI: I come with experience.

SAGAL: There you go. Tom Bradley just like saying, full speed ahead, Mr. Sulu.


SAGAL: Anyway, but go on.

TAKEI: So we did have a cause, a mission, and that was to get started on building a subway system. And so we got the half cent sales tax passed.

SAGAL: Right.

TAKEI: We went to Washington to get the federal match.

SAGAL: But wait a minute, stop right there. So you're doing very important work, very complicated work. When you go to Washington to get, you know, federal legislation passed so L.A. can build a subway system or have preliminary planning, didn't you have the problem of all the congressman going, hey, it's Mr. Sulu.

TAKEI: Yes, yes.

SAGAL: I mean, and were you able to leverage that to your advantage?

TAKEI: Absolutely. I'm shameless.


TAKEI: I used everything.


TAKEI: I went on those lobbying trips with a satchel full of Sulu photographs.

SAGAL: Really?

TAKEI: And, you know, autographed them.

SAGAL: And each one goes for $10 million of federal funds.


SAGAL: I wanted to ask you this, because this is a family show, our theme, a family theme. It's not good for families. Don't play it for your family. But we're talking about families and I wanted to ask you about your family. You got married this year in that brief, odd window, when same-sex marriage was legal in California. Did the whole crew, literally, the whole crew of the Enterprise show up for your wedding? Did you have your friends and family from that time?

TAKEI: No. Bill Shatner...

SAGAL: Really?

TAKEI: ...was the only one who didn't respond.

SAGAL: Do tell. Really?

TAKEI: He couldn't. We invited everybody. You know, our best man was Walter Koenig, who was Chekov.

SAGAL: Chekov, Vincent Chekov.

TAKEI: And she didn't like the word matron, so we called her best lady, Nichelle Nichols...

SAGAL: Sure.

TAKEI: ...was our best lady.

SAGAL: Uhura.

TAKEI: Uhura. Bill, you know, we don't have the best of relations, but we wanted to be inclusive...

SAGAL: Sure, sure.

KASELL: ...and invite all our friends. He never responded.

ROCCA: I heard his excuse. It was really - it was absurd. He said he couldn't find a cheap airfare.


ROCCA: I mean that is just...



ROCCA: I mean that's just ridiculous. Oh, can I just say, I feel a little left out because I'm actually not a "Star Trek" geek.

TAKEI: You're not?

ROCCA: I'm not, but I am a rapid transit geek.

TAKEI: You sound like one.


ROCCA: I'm not a "Star Trek" geek, I'm just mistaken for one constantly. No, but I am a rapid transit geek.

TAKEI: Oh, good.

ROCCA: And I just wanted to know, is there any future in the monorail?

TAKEI: Here in Los Angeles?

ROCCA: Just anywhere. I love them.

TAKEI: You do?

ROCCA: Yeah.

TAKEI: No. What we're doing here in Los Angeles is building a network of light rail because that's less costly, and putting the focus on extending the stub ended Wilshire Line.

SAGAL: Is this what other...

TAKEI: And we're going to extend that to the ocean.

SAGAL: Is this what other people feel like when we're talking about "Star Trek"?


ROCCA: Yeah, I love this.

SAGAL: I'm like blahty-blahty-blah.

ROCCA: Sorry about this.

SAGAL: It's all right.

ROCCA: You just don't get it. We have conventions. This is awesome.

SAGAL: We'll dress up as conductors.

TAKEI: As a matter of fact, I...

FELBER: You know, if the purple line is going to be powered by dilithium, then...


TAKEI: Dilithium crytals, yes. You know, I did a "Star Trek" convention right here in this room. And I feel like I'm doing one again.

SAGAL: That's kind of ironic. Well, George Takei, we obviously are really excited to have you here. And we have invited you here to play a game we're calling?


Push, push, come on, push.



SAGAL: The theme of the week, family. Families usually begin with somebody getting born.


SAGAL: People have been giving birth...

TAKEI: Push, I get it.

SAGAL: There you go.


SAGAL: People have been giving birth to other people for millennia. It was only recently that science, modern science began to bear on the problem. We're going to ask you three questions about modern childbirth. Get two right, you'll win a prize for one of our listeners. Carl, who is George Takei playing for?

KASELL: George is playing for Clara Aranovich of Los Angeles, California.

SAGAL: Ready to play?

TAKEI: All right.


SAGAL: First question, there's a childbirth educator in Australia and she recently discovered that her classes would be more attractive to men if she did what? If she, A, held them in pubs. If she, B, build a model of the womb out of chicken wings. Or C, taught the classes in the nude.

TAKEI: I think the third one.

SAGAL: The third one, taught the class in the nude. You know men.


SAGAL: So your choice is she taught the classes in the nude.

TAKEI: Yeah, am I right?

SAGAL: They wouldn't mind that. No, I'm afraid you were wrong. It was actually in pubs. She taught her childbirth classes in pubs.

TAKEI: Well that was my second choice.

SAGAL: Yeah, I'm sure.


SAGAL: At these pub-based birthing classes in Australia, dads-to-be learn about birthing techniques, etiquette and where the pub is so they can flee to it. All right, you still have two more chances. Next question, a leading French obstetrician claims that contrary to conventional wisdom, the ideal birth environment involves no what? A, crying; B, men; or C, babies.


ROCCA: You're allowed to ask advice from Roxanne. She's the only person here had that had another person come out of her.


ROXANNE ROBERTS: Actually, I would say that men, for the most part, are not particularly helpful in...


TAKEI: But they're usually there to help their wives.

ROBERTS: No. This is a relatively recent innovation. I'd be tempted to go with the no men thing.

TAKEI: Well, I think men are necessary.

SAGAL: You think men are necessary?

TAKEI: Yes. If I'm wrong, I'm going to go down flaming.

SAGAL: Yes. So you're going to choose...

ROCCA: What was that? You're going to go down what?


SAGAL: Let me just summarize. I'm just going to summarize here. George, you're going to go down flaming because you think men are necessary?



SAGAL: Where we are.


SAGAL: We're this.


TAKEI: You really think I should change my answer?


TAKEI: I'll go with the advice that I got from the only person here that's had that experience. I'll say men.

SAGAL: You're right.




SAGAL: Now, I should explain that this obstetrician says that men aren't good in the birth environment because they stress the woman.

TAKEI: Oh, we do.

SAGAL: Throw out their hormonal balance.


SAGAL: Also, the men tend to run away to the pub. All right, so last question. A British think tank has suggested that all women should be entitled to maternity leave from their jobs even if: A, they don't have a job; B, they don't have children; or C, they really, really don't want to go.

TAKEI: C. I think, yeah.

SAGAL: So you're going to go that they should - hold on. C is even if they really, really don't want to go they'd be forced into it.

TAKEI: I think so. That's...

SAGAL: You think that's the one.

ROBERTS: Wait, wait.

ROCCA: Go back to the...

TAKEI: Oh, can I get consulting service?

SAGAL: You may. Yes.

ROBERTS: Does he need consulting?

TAKEI: Yes, I do.

SAGAL: I don't know.

ROBERTS: Well there is one possibility which is that one thing that's been a point of contention is that women who don't have children and who work don't get time off that's paid...

ROCCA: Right.

ROBERTS: be able to pursue other things. So there is that to think about.

SAGAL: That's a very solid case.

ROCCA: It's very nice.

SAGAL: So what's your choice going to be?

Unidentified Group: B.

TAKEI: B? If they don't have a child?


SAGAL: Is that your choice?

TAKEI: I mean, no, it doesn't make sense.

ROCCA: This is the first time he's hearing this.

SAGAL: All right.


SAGAL: At a certain point, you have to let a man steer his own ship.



TAKEI: I am steady, I'm sticking with my original...

SAGAL: Steady in the house.

TAKEI: Original answer, C.

SAGAL: And that is brave and it is wonderful and it is wrong.

TAKEI: Wrong.


ROCCA: It is wrong, right? Yeah.

TAKEI: Why would a woman with no child...

SAGAL: Well, it's as what Roxanne said. They felt that women...

ROCCA: Roxanne explained it.

SAGAL: Women should get the extra unpaid leave even if they don't choose to have children. That was the suggestion.

TAKEI: But it's called a maternity leave, right?



ADAM FELBER: We didn't say it was a good suggestion.

SAGAL: I just want to say, I'm a little shocked because I remember when Captain Kirk said, go there, you said, yes, sir.


SAGAL: There was none of this, but why do we want to go there, captain?


SAGAL: Well how did George Takei do on our quiz?

TAKEI: Terribly. Terribly.

KASELL: George needed at least two correct answers to win. He had just one correct.

SAGAL: Well, oh.

TAKEI: Well I apologize to the person that I was the surrogate for.

SAGAL: But there is...

ROCCA: And it's so sad. That poor women's in her third trimester.


TAKEI: With no child.



SAGAL: George Takei is an actor and a public servant and a gentleman and one of my heroes. What a pleasure to have you with us. George Takei, ladies and gentlemen.

TAKEI: Thank you, thank you.


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