Who's Bill This Time?
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm the man who will stuff your Thanksgiving turkey, Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: Thank you, everybody, so much fun to see you all. Today, we are going to be talking to Harvard physicist Lisa Randall. She was named as one of the hundred most influential people today by Time magazine. Now, one of the things she has written about is the theory of multiple universes - infinite alternate versions of reality. In one of them, her publicist booked her on a cool show.
SAGAL: But we know you're stuck here on this plane of existence with us, so why not give us a call? The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi you're on WAIT WAIT DON'T TELL ME.
HANNAH PERRY: Hey, my name's Hannah Perry. I'm calling from Raleigh, N.C.
SAGAL: From Raleigh - I love Raleigh. How are things in Raleigh?
PERRY: It's a little weird here. It's kind of muggy, it rained and it went from really cold out of nowhere to just kind of bleh.
SAGAL: You know, complain, complain, complain - that's all you ever do, Hannah. Well, welcome to the show, Hannah. Let me introduce you to our fabulous panel this week. First up, it's a comedian who will be at the Arlington Drafthouse in Arlington, Va., on November 27 and the 28. It's Alonzo Bodden.
ALONZO BODDEN: Hello.
SAGAL: Next, it's a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning" and the host of "Science Goes To The Movies, premiering on PBS in January, Faith Salie.
FAITH SALIE: Hi, Hannah.
SAGAL: And finally, it's a humorous author of a book of his selected work from across the decades called "Thrown Under The Omnibus," it is P.J. O'Rourke.
O'ROURKE: Hi Hannah. How are you doing?
PERRY: Hey, P.J.
SAGAL: Hannah, welcome to the show. You're going to start us off with Who's Bill this time? Bill Kurtis will recreate for you, in his basso profondo voice, three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize - the voice of scorekeeper emeritus Carl Kasell on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
SAGAL: Oh, OK then. Let's do it.
PERRY: So excited.
SAGAL: Your first quote comes from Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
KURTIS: Mr. President, come back and insult me to my face.
SAGAL: That was a sample of the reasoned debate we heard this week about whether or not the U.S. should accept any more refugees from where?
SAGAL: That is right...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: ...Syria, yes. You got it right. After the attacks in Paris last week, people there, Christian and Muslim alike, came together to celebrate fraternete, egalite, liberte. In an act of charity and mercy, U2 even cancelled their Paris concert. Haven't those people suffered enough?
SAGAL: But here in the U.S., we looked at that unity and we said, not on our watch. Republican governors across the country rose up to say they'd accept no more Syrian refugees in their states. Many people are saying that states like Alabama don't need to use the law to keep Syrian refugees out. They just have to keep on being Alabama.
BODDEN: The first thing is do these governors understand they don't have a border around their state? Like, once you enter the country, you can travel freely to any state...
BODDEN: ...Just like a gun.
SAGAL: Yeah, pretty much.
SAGAL: What I like to imagine is, you know, like, for example, taking a very popular state crossing, like you're traveling up I-95. You go from Philadelphia to New Jersey. And the New Jersey border guard - because Chris Christie doesn't want to let them in either - the New Jersey border head - halt, you may not enter New Jersey. And millions of people go OK.
BODDEN: Well, I think Christie tried that with the George Washington Bridge...
SAGAL: Yeah, that's true.
BODDEN: ...And it didn't work out - didn't work out too well.
O'ROURKE: Well, he was just trying to keep New Yorkers out. And, like, anybody can understand that.
SAGAL: Now the quote we heard Bill say - the full line from Ted Cruz was this - if you want to insult me, you can do it overseas, you can do it in Turkey, you can do it in foreign countries. But I would encourage you, Mr. President, come back and insult me to my face. It's not really a threat. He's just describing four things that would be really fun to do.
SAGAL: And remember, this is the guy that read "Green Eggs And Ham" on the Senate floor when he was filibustering, so he's just ripping it off. You can insult me overseas. You can insult me in Turkeys. You can insult me in a box. You can insult me with a fox.
SAGAL: Here is your next quote.
KURTIS: As a fat person, I have to smile and nod.
SAGAL: That was one reporter's reaction to new research findings that being overweight is actually what?
PERRY: Naturally, I say it cannot possibly be healthy.
SAGAL: It is.
PERRY: Oh, my God.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Why should I make you work for it? Yes, you said the word, it's healthy. Good news, tubbies, turns out those weren't doughnuts you gobbled up this a.m. They were health circles.
SAGAL: This is amazing. Scientists have determined, the data is clear, that patients with some chronic conditions - many in fact - fare better, live longer if they're overweight. They do better with heart disease, pneumonia, cancer and if they're handed a large bunch of balloons, they are far less likely to float away.
SAGAL: Nobody knows how this could be true because all of the things that people do to get fat - you know, lack of exercise, too much fatty foods, too much sugar - all that is still bad for you. But actually being fat is good for you. This phenomenon is called the obesity paradox, which is also what happens when you go back in time and eat your own father.
SAGAL: But this is amazing because - I mean, and for a long time, the researchers refused to believe this because they've been telling us for years to lose weight if you're overweight. It makes you ill. It'll shorten your life. No, it doesn't.
BODDEN: Well, Peter, I guess a bunch of people in Alabama you just made fun are saying, who's laughing now?
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
O'ROURKE: Yeah, toothpick butt.
SAGAL: Given this news though, it is ironic that fat Elvis is the one who died.
SAGAL: All right, here is your last quote.
KURTIS: It's as if the Democratic National Committee doesn't want anyone to watch.
SAGAL: That was 538's Harry Enten talking about what not-very-big event that happened last Saturday night.
PERRY: The Democratic debate?
SAGAL: Yes, the Democratic debate...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: ...Last Saturday night. Why would the Democrats have a debate on Saturday night? So no one will watch it. Consider the Republican debates have been on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday night's, bringing in record audiences. But the Democrats are having their debates on Friday and Saturday nights. Nobody pays attention to things on weekends. That's where you dump things like golf and prison documentaries and public radio news quizzes.
SAGAL: The Democrats have had Friday debates, Saturday debates. They even have one at four 4:00 p.m. on a Klubesday (ph) which doesn't even exist.
SAGAL: Did you guys stay up and watch it?
O'ROURKE: You know, half the viewing audience was under the impression this was a "Saturday Night Live" routine that had gone really lame.
SAGAL: I've got to tell you, given "Saturday Night Live" these days, it took a while to figure that out.
BODDEN: Yeah, sure.
O'ROURKE: There's no doubt about it.
SAGAL: So the theory here -- and I don't know if you guys are going to buy this - is that the Democrats know their candidate will be Hillary, so why let anybody watch the debate? It will just run her down.
BODDEN: But isn't that the thing that even if they put it in, say, primetime on a Tuesday, no one's going to watch because it's pretty much a done deal?
O'ROURKE: So if they do it on Saturday night, at least they have an excuse...
BODDEN: Well, no, that...
O'ROURKE: ...Everybody was out, yeah.
BODDEN: Saturday night the networks are thinking we don't want to cancel something good.
SAGAL: Yeah, we can do a rerun of "Law and Order..."
SAGAL: ...Bring in an audience. Why would we put on the Democrats?
BODDEN: Right, I think it's part of that whole left-wing media agreement that they have going, you know...
SAGAL: Which is what exactly?
BODDEN: To help Democrats - that's the trade-off, like, we'll help you out...
SAGAL: I love that.
BODDEN: We'll help you out, but you don't mess with our primetime ad money.
SAGAL: I love this, the idea that the liberal media is conspiring to help the Democrats by hiding them from everyone.
O'ROURKE: You can't buy the Clintons though. You can't buy the Clintons. You can only rent them.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Hannah do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Hannah needed 2 out of 3, and she got 2 out of 3, so she won.
O'ROURKE: All right, Hannah.
SAGAL: Congratulations, Hannah.
PERRY: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SATURDAY NIGHT IS THE LONELIEST NIGHT OF THE WEEK")
FRANK SINATRA: (Singing) Saturday night is the loneliest night of the week 'cause that's the night that my sweetie and I used to dance cheek to cheek.
SAGAL: We want to remind everybody they can join most weeks right here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Ill. For tickets and more information, go over to wbez.org or you can find a link at our website waitwait.npr.org.
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