Bluff The Listener Our panelists tell three stories about the Romanian town of Bogata, 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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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Our panelists tell three stories about the Romanian town of Bogata, one of which is true.

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Roy Blount, Jr., Roxanne Roberts and Luke Burbank. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill. Thank you so much. Right now...


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.


SAGAL: Hi, who's this?

ROGERS: My name's Jamie Rogers.

SAGAL: Hey Jamie. How are you?

ROGERS: I'm doing pretty well. How are you, Peter?

SAGAL: Well. Where are you calling from?

ROGERS: Calling from the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in the (imitating New York accent) Lower East Side?

ROGERS: Oh, you know, same old, same old.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: What do you do there?

ROGERS: Well, I own a couple coffee shops in Manhattan.

SAGAL: You do? How's the coffee business in Manhattan?

ROGERS: Oh, it's booming. There - a lot of people like coffee on this island.

SAGAL: Yeah, so I'm told. Well, welcome to the show. It's nice to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Jamie's topic?

KURTIS: You've got to go to Bogata.

SAGAL: When you think of the great cities of Europe, you think Paris, Berlin, wherever the Olive Garden is from...

LUKE BURBANK: Breadstickistan (ph).


SAGAL: Well, this week...

ROY BLOUNT, JR.: Bready-McBreadstick...

SAGAL: Bready-McBreadstick...


SAGAL: This week, to town of Bogata, Romania, got it's day in the sun, maybe its first ever. Our panelists are going to tell you why that sleepy little town had its best week ever. Pick the one who's telling the truth, you will win Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

ROGERS: Oh, absolutely.

SAGAL: All right, your first story of what's going down in Bogata comes from Roy Blount, Jr.

BLOUNT: The people of Bogata were downright festive this week because their chief of police was eaten by his snake.


BLOUNT: That may see scant cause for civic celebration, but Eleiou Fertesku, the police chief in question, had been outraging the locals by investing most of his time and budget into acquiring what Bogatans regarded as a purely personal menagerie. Supposedly, the animals were acquired for law-enforcement purposes. But when it comes to crime fighting, what good is a brace of mongoose or three different breeds of wolverine or, more to the point, a 10-foot-long python? And why was Fertesku's so indifferent to the mysterious disappearances of so many edible small farm animals near police headquarters? No one knows what happened exactly between Fertesku and the snake. They were found together in the snake's enclosure off the motor pool, the obvious one of them looking satisfied.


SAGAL: The people of Bogata, Romania, excited because their tyrannical police chief finally eaten by his own python. Your next story of a whole lot of Bogata comes from Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: The fair citizens of Bogata, Romania, had a red carpet extravaganza last weekend when it held its very own screening of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2." The tiny village gets exactly one minute in the new Hollywood sequel when Toula's parents, Gus and Maria, argue about where to honeymoon. He wants to go on a Dracula tour of Romania. She wants to go to Greece. Maria - why Romania? Why Dracula? Gus - it's sexy, and I found a little B&B in a town called Bogata. Maria - forget it. Actress Nia Vardalos told People magazine she wrote the scene because the town's tourism board paid her $50,000 10 years ago to mention Bogata if she ever wrote a sequel. Quote, "it was a lean year, and I cashed a check," she said, "so that's why Bogota."

SAGAL: Bogota gets its moment in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2" because they bribed the screenwriter.


SAGAL: Your last story of what Bogata begot comes from Luke Burbank.

BURBANK: Typos - we all make them. But who among us can say our typos have a major economic impact on Eastern Europe? Snoop Dogg - that's who.


BURBANK: Yes, Snoop Dogg, the amateur rapper/professional pot enthusiast, was really at Bogota, Colombia, population 6.7 million, when he decided to send out a selfie. The problem was he accidentally tagged himself as being in Bogata, Romania, population 2,000. Suffice it to say the notoriety came as somewhat of a shock to the village previously best known as the birthplace of immunologist Iuliu Moldovan.


BURBANK: But what Bogata may lack in population, it apparently makes up for in quick thinking, as it took less than a week for a visit-Bogata website to go up touting the town as the best place for chilling in Romania.


BURBANK: The website promises other local enticements, like stew...


BURBANK: ...And being kind of near a waterfall.


BURBANK: Bogata doesn't actually have any hotels, so the site encourages visitors to, quote, "ask a villager for housing." But don't expect those villagers to rap along to gin and juice with you. As the website Balkan Insider (ph) found out, the vast majority of Bogata's residents have no idea what a Snoop Dogg even is.


SAGAL: All right, for one of these reasons, the people above Bogata, Romania, were celebrating this week. Was it from Roy Blount, Jr., that their awful police chief, who blew all their money on his menagerie, finally got eaten by his own python, from Roxanne Roberts, that they got a mention in the big Hollywood film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2" because they had bribed the star and screenwriter, or from Luke Burbank, that Snoop Dogg mistakenly tagged them in a selfie, making them briefly Internet famous.

ROGERS: Man, you know, I actually spent 12 hours on a train in Romania when - in college. And it was - it wasn't - it wasn't that eventful a place.


ROGERS: I'm going to say that this is probably a case of accidental fame. Then I'm going to go with - with Snoop Dogg.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Snoop Dogg...


SAGAL: ...Mistaking Bogata for Bogota?.

ROGERS: That's my choice.

SAGAL: All right, well, we spoke to somebody who could tell us about the big day in Bogata.

NIK ZECEVIC: Snoop Dogg posted a selfie in Bogota, Colombia's capital. But instead, he ended up tagging his location as Bogata, Romania.

SAGAL: That was Nik Zecevic. He's a TV host. He was reporting on Snoop Dogg for The Lip TV, telling us the story of how he made this town of Romania famous. Congratulation, Jamie, you got it right. You earned a point for Luke Burbank, and you have won our prize - Carl Kasell recording a greeting on your voicemail. Well done.


ROGERS: This is definitely the highlight of my year. Thank you, guys.

SAGAL: Well, thank you. And I hope your year gets better. Thanks - thanks for playing.

ROGERS: Thank you.


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