Not My Job: Producer Brian Grazer Gets Quizzed On Cattle Grazer is responsible for many movies and TV shows including Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, 24, Empire, and more. We'll ask him three questions about actual grazers.

Not My Job: Producer Brian Grazer Gets Quizzed On Cattle

Not My Job: Producer Brian Grazer Gets Quizzed On Cattle

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Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Brian Grazer speaks at the Winter Television Critics Association tour in Pasadena, Calif., in January 2014.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Producer Brian Grazer is responsible for so many movies and TV shows — Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, 24, Empire and many more — it's just easier to list something he didn't produce ... like the new Entourage movie. He's recently written a new book about his lifelong pursuit of curiosity, called A Curious Mind.

Since his last name is Grazer, we've invited him to play a game called "Mooooooooo!" Three questions about cattle.


And now the game where we ask people who've done big things, to do something really, really small. It's called Not My Job. Producer Brian Grazer is responsible for so many great movies and TV shows - "Splash," "Apollo 13," "A Beautiful Mind," "24," "Empire" - so many more. It is just easier to list the things he didn't produce, which is, as far as we can tell, only the new "Entourage" movie. That's it.


SAGAL: He has written a new book about his lifelong pursuit of curiosity. It's called "A Curious Mind." We're so happy to have him with us. Brian Grazer, welcome to WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.


BRIAN GRAZER: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

SAGAL: Such a pleasure to talk to you. I very much enjoyed your book. I loved the story, and I hope you can share, about how you actually got into the movie business. You were delivering documents to people, but you use it as an excuse to like, meet famous people 'cause you were dropping off documents for them.

GRAZER: Yeah, what happened is this job - it was to be a law clerk. And that really was just about getting in a car that was a Warner Bros. car, and driving to Warren Beatty's apartment, you know, to the Beverly Wilshire, asking to - I had to hand these papers to Warren Beatty. But really, it was just to hand them to like a barrier of assistant. But I said to these assistants, the only way these papers are valid is if I hand them to Mr. Beatty directly.


GRAZER: And they bought it. So all of a sudden, I'm standing, you know, in Warren Beatty's living room art the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. And I'm handing him the papers, but I'm immediately coming up with a conversation.

SAGAL: You are actually - you are probably the biggest independent producer in Hollywood right now. I mean, think of everything you've done. There must be, especially now that you've published this book, young kids, young women, young men, who are going to try the same nonsense with you, right?

GRAZER: There are people that grab me on the street and they do have a hooky line. And I do say yes.

SAGAL: Oh, really?

GRAZER: So I'll tell you exactly. I go to restaurants that are sort of Beverly Hills, Hollywood restaurants. And there are "TMZ" guys out there all the time. And I'm always very polite. Now there was this rare moment where there was this "TMZ" guy who's like for 24 years old, really kind of wild hair, wild looking guy. And he goes, look, man, I'm putting my camera down, but I just want to work for you. I just want - and I'll explain why I'm qualified. And I just go, look, man, I will listen to you while I'm walking, but that's a limited amount of time. And I could tell he'd done some homework and he'd been probably waiting for weeks for that moment. And I said look, yeah, I'll definitely - I'll set an appointment. We'll meet. And I did.

SAGAL: Did you hire him?

GRAZER: I didn't hire him. I didn't hire him. No, but I would hire somebody.

SAGAL: You mentioned hair. You have kind of amazing hair. Could you describe it?

GRAZER: Oh, thank you. Yeah, OK. So my hair - about 18 years ago I just propped it straight up with gel, so it's just my hair spiked straight up in the sky. And then I tried it the next day and it was really polarizing. Like immediately I got extreme reactions. I had a few people think it was cool, and then the same amount of people that thought it was cool thought, on the other side, thought I was just - what an a** you are.


GRAZER: And so I thought, that was kind of interesting. They probably thought that about me anyway, but they immediately said it this time.

SAGAL: Really? So you got to sort of sort people out.

GRAZER: When I go to different countries for movies, I get some good reactions. Like in Japan and Tokyo, they like the hair like that.

SAGAL: Fidel Castro liked it, you say in your book.

GRAZER: Castro, yeah. I was fortunate with some of my friends to go to Cuba. And we were able to get six and a half hours with Fidel Castro. Now he's one of the greatest orators of all time. I mean, he can speak eight straight hours. So he spoke three and a half straight hours without taking a breath. And then he looked up at me and I didn't know what he was going to say. And he just said, how do you do your hair that way?


SAGAL: It does explain that strange period in which Fidel Castro looked a lot like Kid 'N Play.


SAGAL: I did - there were a couple more meetings.

GRAZER: That's really funny.


SAGAL: Well, you know, I have some more ideas that I could share with you.


SAGAL: Brian Grazer, it is a pleasure to talk to you. We have invited you here today to play a game we're calling...


SAGAL: So your name...


SAGAL: Thank you. Thank you very much.

GRAZER: What is it called?

SAGAL: Your name is Grazer, but what do you know about actual grazers - that is cows? We're going to ask you three questions about cattle. If you get two right, you'll win a prize for one of our listeners.

GRAZER: Oh my gosh. Three cow questions?

SAGAL: You will win a prize for one of our listeners - Carl Kasell's voice, not doubt ruminating.

GRAZER: Well...

SAGAL: Bill, who is producer Brian Grazer playing for?

KURTIS: Erin Anderson of Simi Valley, Calif.

SAGAL: All right. You ready to do this?

GRAZER: Nice voice.

SAGAL: Yeah, I think so.

KURTIS: Thank you, Brian.


SAGAL: All right, here is your first question. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta keeps statistics on cows. Which of these is true? A, people who eat beef are 20 percent less healthy but 200 percent more, quote, "intriguingly masculine"; B, 98 percent of cows suffer from color blindness, which doesn't matter because they're black and white; or C, cows are vicious killers. They kill 27 times more people than sharks do.

GRAZER: Oh wow. It's so tempting. The last two choices are so viable. I'm going to go with choice two or B.

SAGAL: You're going to go with the fact that cows are colorblind doesn't matter to them 'cause they're black and white?

GRAZER: I'm just going with it. I'm just taking a shot.

SAGAL: I applaud as your career has shown your instincts. But, in fact, it is C. Cows are killers.


SAGAL: Between 2003 and 2008, 108 people died from cattle-related incidents. Across the United States, 27 times the number killed by sharks.


SAGAL: They're getting back at us for our cold hands.


GRAZER: All right. I'm down now.

SAGAL: You still have two more chances.

According to a report from Modern Farmer Magazine, if you want to maximize your cows' milk production, you should do what? A, make them a mixtape of slow jams; B, incentivize them by giving them cash bonuses; or C, convince them that you hate milk because cows hate us and want us to suffer.


GRAZER: Yeah, I think I'll go with one. I'm going to go with A now.

SAGAL: You're going to go with slow jams?


SAGAL: They like it. You're right. It is slow jams.


SAGAL: Research - actual research - shows that slow jam music...

GRAZER: ...Dinner.

SAGAL: Oh yeah, it relaxes the cows, helps them produce milk. Note - this is only true of slow jams. Do not attempt house music or electronica in your dairy.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Is it only true of cows?

SAGAL: What else do you milk?


SAGAL: This is very exciting, Brian. As you know, it all comes down to this last act. So which of these, Brian, can you get for the true cow lover in your life? A, a trip to DreamHerd Ranch, where guests get to pretend to be cows or other kinds of farm animals; B, a $110 bottle of cologne designed to actually attract cows; or C, a miniature companion cow that's a specially bred variety small enough to work as a service animal?


GRAZER: You know, I'm going to go with C, you know. I'm going to pick C here.

SAGAL: All right. Let's talk about this.


SAGAL: Because I really did like a lot of your movies. So you pick companion cow. So the idea is like, someone breeds a cow so small they can bring it with them into theaters and restaurants, airplanes...


SAGAL: And you live in Beverly Hills. If there were such a thing, you'd have seen it first, right?


GRAZER: Yeah. That's right. I'm going to pick B.

SAGAL: You're going to pick B, the cologne. You are right.


GRAZER: There you go. I feel like a genius.

SAGAL: True cowboys can buy Farmer's Cologne, it's called, from Portland Maine General store. It contains, quote, "native woods, earth, leaves and wildflowers." It's guaranteed, almost, to bring those cows a-lowing. Bill, how'd producer Brian Grazer do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, he has a beautiful mind. He got two out of three, and that's a win.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Brian.


SAGAL: Well done.

GRAZER: Thank you, guys.

SAGAL: You're welcome. It's such a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks for the great movies. Brian Grazer's new book is "A Curious Mind: The Secret To A Bigger Life." Brian Grazer, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.

GRAZER: Thank you for having me.


SAGAL: In a just a minute, we go under the sea in our Listener Limerick Challenge. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We will be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

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