Bluff The Listener Our panelists tell us three stories of crazy deals, only one of which is true.
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Bluff The Listener

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Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

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Our panelists tell us three stories of crazy deals, only one of which is true.

CARL KASELL, Host:

From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Faith Salie, Mo Rocca and Tom Bodett. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, Host:

Thank you, Carl.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Right now it is time for the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait-Wait to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!.

ROBERT JERICHO: Hi, this is Robert Jericho from Chicago, Illinois.

SAGAL: Hey.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: I'd ask you how things are in Chicago, but I know how things are in Chicago. They're great. What do you do here?

JERICHO: They always are.

SAGAL: They always are.

JERICHO: Right now, I am searching for a new job.

SAGAL: Really?

JERICHO: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: Have you considered...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Running a notable, honorable, but kind of incompetent news network?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Because we're looking right now.

JERICHO: Well, you know, I thought about it, but I also heard they might have a potential opening for the host of a quiz show.

SAGAL: God forbid.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)

JERICHO: Wait a minute.

MO ROCCA: That's okay. Peter's joining the cast of "Two and a Half Men."

SAGAL: Exactly.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well Robert, welcome to the show. You are going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. What's the topic, Carl?

KASELL: I'm Crazy Carl and I've got a deal for you.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Sometimes you're eager to make a deal. Sometimes you're so eager you say nutty things to fake Muslims with a five million dollar check. And then sometimes things get really nuts. This week, we heard about a truly unusual deal that was attempted on the world scene. Our panelists are going to tell you three stories about crazy deals. Choose the true story; you'll win Carl's voice on your home answering or voicemail, whatever you got. Ready to play?

JERICHO: Sure am.

SAGAL: First, let's hear from Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: Herbert Hoover once promised Americans a chicken in every pot. Now, with today's laser targeting technology and a hush- hush chickens for jets deal with the government of Thailand, it could happen.

Recently leaked State Department cables have revealed a scheme by Lockheed Martin to sell F-16 fighter jets to the Thai government in exchange for 80,000 tons of frozen chickens stockpiled during the avian flu epidemic.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODETT: Well you laugh, but 80,000 tons of chickens at current market commodity prices equals $136 million. That kind of money will buy nine or ten F-16s at most of your neighborhood jet retailers.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODETT: The only problem is it's not really money, it's chickens.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODETT: Enough to bomb over 30 million American homes with oven-seeking pinpoint accuracy.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODETT: Perhaps that's what our government had in mind when they decided to endorse the deal. But we'll never know because the Thai regime behind the scheme was overthrown in a military coup before the transaction could take place. The Thai air force did not get the jets, but we understand the mess serves a very meaty hot Thai chicken soup.

SAGAL: Chickens for jets with Thailand. Your next story of a bad deal comes from Faith Salie.

FAITH SALIE: The Alpine village of Annecy(Ph) France wants to win the bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics. But the ministry of culture overseeing the bid doesn't have a sense of humor. So, in an effort to appeal to the International Olympic Committee, the town agreed to temporarily remove its recently-erected 139-foot statute of the American comedian Jerry Lewis.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SALIE: Nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty, tours to the top of the gigantic comedian are already a major attraction in the small town and not everyone is happy to see him go. Says Annecy Mayor Gul Lefev(ph), "The vista of the mountains from Jerry's head is stunning."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SALIE: "I regret that I must rob visitors of such a beautiful sight viewed from the mind of a comic genius. Today is the day the clown cried."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SALIE: But Minister of Culture Frederick Mederond(ph) was not willing to negotiate, declaring, "It is crucial that we venerate only what is most French as we week to win the games for France." In preparation for a visit from the IOC, the statue has been evicted from the town square and replaced with three mimes on eight-hour shifts.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: A French town offers to give up its statue of Jerry Lewis in return for an Olympic bid. Your last story of someone trying to make an uneven trade comes from Mo Rocca.

ROCCA: The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan only started broadcasting TV in 1998. Since that time, one program has become the obsession of Crown Prince Zwathog(ph), who has offered twenty million dollars to the cast of "Welcome Back Kotter" to reunite in the capital city Thimphu. Three of the four sweathogs, including John Travolta, plus Mr. Kotter and Rosalie Hotsie Totsie have agreed to appear at Thimphu's Boom Boom Washington Theater for a live performance of the episode where Juan Epstein doesn't do his homework.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: Travolta has even offered to fly the cast on his private plane. But there's one holdout, Ron Palillo, who played Arnold Horshack, quote, "I've long suffered from a fear of flying," said Palillo, "go ahead, go ahead, call me a wet blanket."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: And so a persistent prince has offered to rename Thimphu Horshack. Quote, "Mr. Palillo, if you see fit to decline our offer, well then the Bhutanese people say to you: up your nose with a rubber hose."

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: All righty. Here are your choices: one of these things was offered for something else. Was it from Tom Bodett: 80,000 tons of chicken ordered for F-18 fighters? From Faith Salie: the removal of an enormous statue of Jerry Lewis for an Olympic bid? Or from Mo Rocca: the renaming of a town in Bhutan for Horshack?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: If the actor Ron Palillo would agree to participate in a Bhutanese reunion of the "Welcome Back Kotter" show. Which of these was the real story of a deal discovered in this week's news?

JERICHO: I think I'm going to go with Tom's story about chickens and fighter jets.

SAGAL: All right, then, well, we spoke to a reporter who uncovered this deal.

BEN BERKOWITZ: Thailand made very clear over time: we really would like to barter 80,000 tons of frozen chicken for some fighter jets.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That was Ben Berkowitz. He's a reporter.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: From Reuters who broke the story of the possible chickens for bomber deal that did not go through. Congratulations, you go it right. As you know, you earned a point for Tom. You've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your home voicemail. Well done, sir. Thanks for playing with us today.

JERICHO: Thank you so much for having me on.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

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