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About The Panelists

Roy Blount, Jr.'s 23rd book is Alphabetter Juice: The Joy of Text. Previous books have been about Robert E. Lee, The Pittsburgh Steelers, the first woman president of the U.S., what dogs are thinking, Duck Soup, and so on. He has contributed to any number of periodicals, including the New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Garden and Gun. He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Authors and a former president of the Authors Guild.

Brian Babylon is a Chicago born comic and radio host. The self-proclaimed Prince of Bronzeville lived in Atlanta, Ga., attending Clark Atlanta University. Today, Babylon is a fixture in Chicago's rich comedy community. He has been making a name for himself outside of Chicago as well, placing in the finals of the New York Comedy Contest in 2009. He has performed in Los Angeles at the historic Comedy Store and Laugh Factory and in the U.K. at Jongleurs comedy club in London. Currently, Babylon hosts and produces a radio show on Vocalo.org, a sister station of Chicago Public Radio. He is also a contributor to BBC Radio and regularly hosts The Moth Story Slam in Chicago.

Alonzo Bodden has performed comedy worldwide including Just For Laughs in Montreal, Kilkenny Ireland Comedy fest, Sydney, Australia, Brighton Beach in the UK and he's entertained the troops everywhere from Iraq to Greenland. His brand new one-hour comedy special, "Who's Paying Attention?" premiered on Showtime and he can be seen as a host of the new ITV show Inside the Vault. Introduced to America on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Bodden was runner up on Season 2 and came back to win it all on Last Comic Standing Season 3, "The Best of the Best." Since then he's been a regular on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and a favorite guest on Adam Corolla's radio show and podcast. While his movie career has consisted mainly of playing security guards, he's protected the best — Steve Martin and Queen Latifah in Bringing Down The House and Leslie Nielsen in Scary Movie 4. He's hosted 101 Cars You Must Drive on Speed Channel and America's Worst Driver on The Travel Channel.

Tom Bodett used to do interesting things — log, fish, build houses. Drink. Now he does this. He left a promising career doing interesting things in Alaska to become a writer and subsequently a commentator on All Things Considered beginning in 1984. Bodett is the author of seven books, and a boatload of audio programs. He writes whenever he feels like he has something to say, which is almost never, for vulnerable media resources such as CarTalk.com. His voice has been heard on Saturday Night Live, National Geographic Explorer and Steven Spielberg's Animaniacs, and can still be heard saying "We'll leave the light on for you" about a 110 times a day. He lives in Vermont with his wife and sons in the middle of a hay field near a forest.

Luke Burbank grew up as one of seven kids, and learned early on how to vie for attention. Those profound childhood issues have propelled him to various media projects including This American Life, CBS Sunday Morning, Live Wire Radio! and his daily podcast Too Beautiful To Live. He's also at work on his first book, Failure Is An Option. He'd like to clarify that the audience isn't booing when he comes onstage, they're chanting "Luuuuuuuuuke" at least that's what he's hoping is going on.

Amy Dickinson writes the syndicated advice column, "Ask Amy" for The Chicago Tribune, following in the footsteps of the legendary Ann Landers. She has also written for Time, Esquire and O magazines. She has contributed radio stories to NPR programs for the past 10 years, and was an original "cast member" for the pilot of Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! in 1998; ultimately she was offered a job as Roxanne Roberts' radio stunt double.

Adam Felber is a sketch comedy performer, actor and writer for Real Time with Bill Maher. Author of the 2006 novel Schrödinger's Ball, Adam's work can be seen and heard all around the TV and the Internet, as well on the pages of Marvel Comics' recent Skrull Kill Krew miniseries. Other writing credits include Lewis Black's Root of All Evil, Talkshow with Spike Feresten and Wishbone.

Bobcat Goldthwait is a comedian, actor, writer and director best known for his roles in popular '80s films as well as his behind-the-camera talents on shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Chappelle Show and Maron. In addition to being honored as Esquire's 2013 "Director of the Year," he was also named one of YAHOO!'s Top 15 celebrities to follow on Instagram. Goldthwait's sixth movie, Willow Creek, a movie about Big Foot, is now available on DVD and video downloads. His newest film Call Me Lucky, is a documentary about political satirist comedian Barry Crimmins. Goldthwait has also starred in several HBO specials and a slew of television appearances too numerous to mention.

Peter Grosz began his comedic training at iO Chicago, performing with the improv ensemble Preponderate and co-creating the successful shows JTS Brown and Four Square. He also wrote and performed in four reviews on The Second City's ETC stage. He has appeared in the films The Weatherman, The Promotion and Stranger Than Fiction, and on the shows Key and Peele, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Inside Amy Schumer and he has a recurring role on Veep. He won two Emmy Awards writing for The Colbert Report and currently writes for Late Night With Seth Meyers. He can also be heard as a frequent panelist and occasional guest host on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! He has been the co-star of a national commercial campaign for Sonic Drive-In since 2002.

Maz Jobrani is a founding member of The Axis of Evil Comedy Tour which first aired on Comedy Central. He has had two Showtime specials, Brown and Friendly and most recently, I Come In Peace. In February of 2015 he has a book coming out, I'm Not a Terrorist But I've Played One on TV, published by Simon & Schuster. He performs stand-up live around the world, including the Middle East where he performed in front of the King of Jordan. Maz has also performed stand up on The Tonight Show and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Most recently, Maz starred as the title character in the award-winning indie comedy, Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero, a film which he co-wrote and produced. He can next be seen (Summer 2015) playing the role of Jafar (from Aladdin) in the Disney movie, The Descendants. With over 50 guest star appearances, Maz can regularly be seen on television's most popular shows. Recent guest stars include Mission Control, True Blood and Shameless. Jobrani has been featured on CNN, the BBC, The New York Times and Time Magazine. He has also given two TED talks on breaking stereotypes through comedy. He is a regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!

Jessi Klein is a stand-up comedian and head writer for the Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer. Since entering the comedy scene in 2001, she's made numerous appearances on Comedy Central, CNBC, and the Today Show, and is widely known for her crush on former presidential advisor David Gergen.

Kyrie O'Connor is a writer at the Houston Chronicle and the daily blog MeMo on the Houston Chronicle we site. Before becoming a Texan by choice in 2003, she was assistant managing editor/features at The Hartford Courant in Connecticut. Her articles and book reviews have appeared in newspapers nationwide, and in Commonweal magazine. She devotes her time to tending an epileptic, 120 lb. chocolate lab, supporting a bad soy latte jones and downloading transgressive ringtones onto her celly. She is aesthetically but not morally opposed to the inside-out REESE'S Peanut Butter Cup.

P.J. O'Rourke was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, and attended Miami University and Johns Hopkins. He began writing funny things in 1960s "underground" newspapers, became editor-in-chief of National Lampoon, then spent 20 years reporting for Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly as the world's only trouble-spot humorist, going to wars, riots, rebellions and other "Holidays in Hell" in more than 40 countries. He's written 16 books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. His book about Washington, Parliament of Whores, and his book about international conflict and crisis, Give War a Chance, both reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. He is a contributing editor at The Weekly Standard, H. L. Mencken fellow at the Cato Institute, a member of the editorial board of World Affairs and a regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! He lives with his family in rural New England, as far away from the things he writes about as he can get.

Charles P. Pierce writes the politics blog for esquire.com, and is a contributing writer to Esquire and a staff writer for Grantland. He has been a panelist on Wait, Wait since the show's launch in 1998. He began his professional career as a forest ranger for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where he learned how to retrieve disposable diapers from trees so the raccoons wouldn't choke to death on them. He is the author of four books; his latest, Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, is now available in paperback. In it, surprisingly, he does not explain why people throw disposable diapers into trees in the first place. Some questions are beyond human understanding.

Paula Poundstone is an Emmy-award winning standup comedian and NBC's The Tonight Show correspondent. She was the first woman to win a Cable Ace Award for Best Standup Comedy Special, and the first woman to perform standup at the White House Correspondents dinner. Paula has had numerous standup comedy specials and television appearances, covered the '92 election for Jay Leno and just released her second comedy CD, I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them in Boston.

Roxanne Roberts is co-author of The Washington Post's Reliable Source column, the paper's daily chronicle of Washington's A-listers, powerbrokers and assorted scoundrels. She's worked as a journalist for 23 years covering White House state dinners, boxing smokers and everything in between. She spends her free time (ha!) tending to one teenage son and two Siamese cats.

Mo Rocca is a Correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, Host of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation on CBS and host and creator of My Grandmother's Ravioli on the Cooking Channel. He has appeared on most every cable network, including Telemundo, where he wowed audiences in a small but pivotal role in the hit telenovela Amor Descarado. He appeared on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. His book All The Presidents' Pets blows the lid off the White House's deepest, darkest secrets.

Faith Salie is an Emmy-winning contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning. She helped launched Entertainment Weekly's channel on Sirius XM. She often opines on television, having appeared on the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Oprah —on the shows, not the people. Perhaps dubiously, she was the ethics expert for O, the Oprah Magazine. As host of the national public radio show Fair Game, she interviewed newsmakers from Lorne Michaels to President Carter to Zach Galifianakis. Salie graduated from Harvard where she pulled the football away from Mo Rocca when he played Charlie Brown and she played Lucy in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. She received her Master's degree from Oxford University, where her fellow Rhodes scholars went on to become governors, senators and mayors, while she landed on a Star Trek collectible trading card worth hundreds of cents. Her first book, Approval Junkie, will be published in 2016 by Crown.