Bluff The Listener
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Tom Bodett, Roy Blunt Jr. and Alexandra Petri. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. Right now, it is time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game, happens every week about this time. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air.
Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
CARLY ROBINSON: Hi, this is Carly Robinson calling from Danielsville, Ga.
SAGAL: That's in a lovely area. Well, what do you do there?
ROBINSON: I'm actually the camp director for a residential camp program for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. We send the kids out to the Broad River and teach them kayaking and archery and fishing and nature. And this weekend, we actually have an art, music and performance weekend.
SAGAL: Well, that's great. Now, do kids enjoy it or they get out and look around and go, where's the Wi-Fi out here?
ROBINSON: They do that as well.
ROBINSON: But after some time unplugged they find a much better connection.
SAGAL: Well, that's great to hear. It's very nice to have you with us, Carly. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Carly's topic?
KURTIS: I got in. I got in.
SAGAL: Backstage, that mythical land where you get to do drugs with Mick Jagger and watched the nightly goat sacrifice that keeps Keith Richards alive.
SAGAL: This week, we read about someone's figuring out a new way to get backstage and be with the band. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth and you'll win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. You ready to play?
ROBINSON: I'm ready.
SAGAL: First, let's hear from Tom Bodett.
TOM BODETT: Kevin Ryan of Greenhoshire, (ph) England has been trying to get through the backstage door to meet the Irish rockers U2 for 35 years. He's tried every ruse he could think of - fake passes, flower delivery guy, DEA agent, amp-toting roady, Fed Ex, drag queen groupie, even dressed as Pee-Wee Herman after learning TV's Paul Reuben (ph) was a personal friend of Bono's. All he got for his troubles was ridicule, bruises, a hernia, a few nights in jail and some serious self-esteem issues. As he and his idols advanced into their late middle-age, he'd given up hope of ever meeting the band or, for that matter, having a life.
BODETT: Then, last weekend, after walking Freud, his anxiety companion dog, in Hyde Park...
BODETT: ...And stopping at the chemist for some Flomax, he happened by the Palladium theater where U2 was appearing for a charity event. The song "With Or Without You" wailed in his ear buds as he stood there. Old passions rose. Freud nuzzled his leg. He proceeded to the stage door, looked at the burly security guard and smiled. The guard smiled back. Can I help you? Ryan laughed as he said the first thing that came into his head. I'm with the band. The guard saw the Flomax bottle sticking out of his jacket pocket and said, oh, that's the stuff The Edge was asking for. He swung back the door and ushered him quickly off the street. It's the oldest trick in the book, said Ryan's new BFF, Bono, when reached for comment. People try all kinds of stuff. We even had a guy many years ago dressed as Pee-Wee Herman.
BODETT: I'm with the band worked for Kevin because he finally looked old, tired and misused enough to actually be with the band.
BODETT: The Flomax sealed the deal.
SAGAL: A man finally ages to the point...
SAGAL: ...Where he was credibly with the band, the band being U2. Your next story of someone getting to hang with the band comes from Alexandra Petri.
ALEXANDRA PETRI: So an ingenious British youngster, Adam Boyd, was going to see his favorite band, The Sherlocks, which is definitely a real band and not just a randomly generated British name. When Adam, our hero, gets to the venue, it's crowded, and he can barely see the warm-up band, whom I, for the purposes of this story, am going to call The Cumberbatchs (ph).
PETRI: (Imitating British accent) We were all the way at the back near the bar and I wanted to see them closer, he told Newsbeat, a publication of records.
PETRI: So Adam decides to bluff his way into the VIP section by posing as the cousin of the band's lead singer. And as proof, he updates their Wikipedia entry. He even says that he inspired their hit single, "Live For The Moment." The bouncer, perhaps judging that anyone who would cite Wikipedia in an attempt to get into a bar probably was more to be pitied than censured, waved Adam through to the VIP area. But when he got there, the VIP section was not all that he'd hoped. He missed his friends down in steerage. He left after five songs without even saying hello to The Sherlocks. I guess sometimes less is Moriarty.
SAGAL: A guy edits the band's Wikipedia page to fake his own connection with the band to get backstage. And your last story of an uber-fan getting back there comes from Roy Blount Jr.
ROY BLOUNT JR: Thanks to the family's Slayrats (ph) Inc. Pest Control fortune, Aida Slayrats is a patron of the opera in Richmond, Va. Last year, Aida achieved her lifetime dream of experiencing her namesake opera "Aida" from backstage, only to flee in embarrassment when she had to be forcibly restrained from singing along unconsciously but louder and louder.
BLOUNT: "It's Over When The Rat Lady Sings..."
BLOUNT: ...Read a local headline. Well, this week, Aida, a big donor to the local zoo as well, arranged for this year's production of "Aida" to feature live camels. No one noticed that one of the camel wranglers was a diminutive figure cloaked in a burnous. Aida, having trained herself to sing at a register too high for the human ear, huddled among the camels and began. But camels can hear higher notes than people. They began to bellow. Aida was busted.
SAGAL: A woman hides with the camels to finally get on stage with "Aida." That was from Roy Blunt. You also heard from Tom Bodett about a U2 fan who finally got old enough to really fit in with his favorite band. And you heard from Alexandra Petri the story of a young fan who edited the band's Wikipedia page on the fly to convince the bouncer that he was an intimate of them. Which of these is the real story of someone getting access at last?
ROBINSON: Wow. They're all pretty far out there. But I think I remember hearing something about changing Wikipedia to get in the show.
BODETT: Nothing about the Flomax, huh?
SAGAL: So your choice, then, is Alexandra's story about the fan of The Sherlocks changing their Wikipedia page. To bring you the truth, we actually spoke to the enthusiastic fan. Here they are.
ADAM BOYD: I was disappointed with the seat, so I changed the band's Wikipedia page to say I was family and got into the VIP area.
SAGAL: That was Adam Boyd.
SAGAL: He is the 17-year-old student from Crewe, England, and very clever fan of the band The Sherlocks. And I think we can also say that Alexandra's imitation of him was perfect.
PETRI: Nailed it...
ROBINSON: Spot on.
SAGAL: Nailed it. Congratulations, Carly. You got it right. Well done.
PETRI: Yay, Carly.
ROBINSON: Thank you so much.
SAGAL: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF WARREN SMITH SONG, "UBANGI STOMP")
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