Not My Job: We Ask Stephen Colbert 3 Questions Meant For Lena Dunham A February snowstorm prevented Dunham from joining us, so Colbert, the host of Late Night jumped in at the last minute to answer questions we had prepared for her. Originally broadcast Feb. 11, 2017.
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Not My Job: We Ask Stephen Colbert 3 Questions Meant For Lena Dunham

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Not My Job: We Ask Stephen Colbert 3 Questions Meant For Lena Dunham

Not My Job: We Ask Stephen Colbert 3 Questions Meant For Lena Dunham

Not My Job: We Ask Stephen Colbert 3 Questions Meant For Lena Dunham

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/544552583/544693124" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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A February snowstorm prevented Dunham from joining us, so Colbert, the host of Late Night jumped in at the last minute to answer questions we had prepared for her. Originally broadcast Feb. 11, 2017.

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm a man so pure and honest they named that quality after me. I'm incorrupti-Bill (ph), Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill, and thanks, everybody.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Sure, there will be people who say that it's been a terrible year so far. But we always try to see the silver lining in the clouds even when it's a massive storm that will wipe out our entire coastal region. That just means it's a quicker trip to the beach.

KURTIS: To tide you over while you board up your windows, we're doing our best to cheer you up with moments from the first half of 2017 that weren't terrible. And fortunately, we've got them all on tape.

SAGAL: We're going to begin with my single favorite interview of this year not just because of the subject, but because of the way it happened. We were performing our show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in February and two things happened. First, Bill Kurtis got stranded back in Chicago by a snowstorm. And then our Not My Job guest had to drop out at the last minute.

KURTIS: Glynn Washington, the host of Snap Judgment, filled in for me. And Stephen Colbert, the brilliant host of "The Late Show" on CBS, agreed to speed on over and be our guest. But on one condition.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

STEPHEN COLBERT: So excited to be here.

SAGAL: We're very excited to have you.

COLBERT: You know, I've never missed a show. I've never missed a show. I've gone back on the old podcast thing, and I've listened to, like, even the ones where you didn't have an audience...

SAGAL: Yeah, yeah.

COLBERT: ...Back in the day...

SAGAL: Wow.

COLBERT: ...Which were terrible.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Oh, yeah. You really suffered - you suffered through those?

COLBERT: I really enjoy the show, so I went back and I listened. I was fascinated to find out that you - 2005 or something you added an audience.

SAGAL: Yeah, it was like - it took us 10 years to figure out, you know, we're making jokes. Perhaps it would be better if there were someone to laugh at them.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: Really took off.

SAGAL: The public radio. That's how it works.

COLBERT: It really took off. It really took off.

SAGAL: It really did, yeah. So yeah, you left "The Colbert Report" a while ago. Have you been up to anything since?

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: Not much sleep.

SAGAL: No, not at all.

COLBERT: No.

SAGAL: No. I want to talk to you about that. But first - now, as Stephen knows - we talked to him about them - he was incredibly gracious to jump in at the last minute when our prior guest had to drop out. And you said, do not tell me who it is.

COLBERT: Exactly. That's my condition. I said...

FAITH SALIE: So good.

COLBERT: Don't tell me who it is that I'm replacing (laughter). I assume it's Barack Obama.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: Don't tell me who I'm replacing.

SAGAL: Well, interestingly...

COLBERT: And if you could - I don't know what your plans are 'cause it's your game - but ask me the questions you were going to ask him or her...

SAGAL: Well, yeah, not only...

COLBERT: And see if I can figure out who this person was.

SAGAL: Yeah, we have - actually we have - we didn't change. We have the interview questions prepared and, of course, the same game.

COLBERT: And I'll get the same interview questions?

SAGAL: Same interview questions.

COLBERT: So you'll have to guess who it was.

SAGAL: That's right. All right, Stephen, are you ready to do this?

COLBERT: Yep.

SAGAL: All right.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, open bracket Stephen close bracket, well, you've done so much - movies, TV shows, your book. But here's the big question - what's it like being on Taylor Swift's squad?

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: A, it's an honor.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: B, it's a challenge...

SAGAL: Sure.

COLBERT: ...'Cause you always have to be on your toes. It's me, Julie Andrews...

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: ...All the greats, all the greats. You have to keep secrets.

SAGAL: Carol Channing, I think.

COLBERT: Carol Channing. You have to keep your secrets.

SAGAL: Yeah, of course.

COLBERT: You have to keep your secrets because, you know, she always wears those very high-waisted skirts...

SAGAL: Yes.

COLBERT: ...So you can't see her navel.

SAGAL: No.

COLBERT: And the secret - well, there's secrets we can't tell about that. And I can tell you guys because you aren't going tell anybody - right?

SAGAL: No.

SALIE: No.

COLBERT: No. Her navel has teeth in it - has little teeth in it.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: And the navel...

COLBERT: Bellybutton dentata.

(CROSSTALK)

COLBERT: Yeah, her - it has these little sharp teeth in it. And the navel actually - the bellybutton writes all the songs actually.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Now, here's the next question we had prepared. A lot of people comment about how much you appear naked...

COLBERT: Naked.

SAGAL: ...On your show. And we were wondering, you know, if...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...That's something that you feel...

COLBERT: Yes.

SAGAL: ...Is important to get some kind of message across to America?

COLBERT: I love my body.

SAGAL: Yes.

COLBERT: And I...

SALIE: Yeah, you do.

COLBERT: I love my body?

SALIE: Yeah.

COLBERT: And it's possible I wrote a book about it.

SAGAL: Did you - write a book about it?

COLBERT: Evidently not. OK.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: I often appear naked on my show.

SAGAL: You do.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: I often appear naked on my show.

PETER GROSZ: Now, wait a second - we should tell Stephen, this is the one question we were going to ask him anyway...

SAGAL: Exactly.

GROSZ: Just to be fair.

SAGAL: I'm going to ask you one last question.

MO ROCCA: Uh-oh.

COLBERT: Only one more?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Is it weird to have all that awkward sex on-camera with Adam Driver?

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: Because I know that (unintelligible) sound that way.

COLBERT: First of all, it's not weird.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: It's not...

SAGAL: He's very professional.

COLBERT: He's a professional. He's a gentleman.

SAGAL: Yeah.

COLBERT: I will say the sex is real...

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: ...Because I'm all about keeping it real.

SAGAL: Yeah.

COLBERT: And that's why - I mean, as I stand here today...

SAGAL: Yeah.

COLBERT: OK. As sure as my name is Lena Dunham, what I want to say to you...

(APPLAUSE, LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: ...Is that I will continue. Any day of the week - you name the day. You name the place. I will continue to have sex with Adam Driver, whether or not the show continues.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Now that you have solved the mystery, let's talk to you about you. How are you doing these days? How are you...

COLBERT: I am so not as interesting as this game (unintelligible).

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Because you were so good at being the character Stephen Colbert for so long, did it - was it difficult for you at first on CBS Late Night to be yourself on TV? Did you have to figure out who that was, how to do that?

COLBERT: A little bit. You know, I was - I wasn't sure how much my character and I felt the same way about things.

SAGAL: Yeah.

COLBERT: You know, we're both, you know, huge "Lord Of The Rings" freaks.

SAGAL: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: And we're both, like, Catholics. But one thing that - my wife, as the character, was named Lorraine, and we had a terrible relationship.

SAGAL: Right.

COLBERT: But my wife in real life is named Evie, and we have a great relationship.

SAGAL: Yeah, I've met her - lovely woman.

COLBERT: So one of the ways I started on the old show of really - on the new show - one of the ways I started on the new show knowing I was me and not the guy was that, for the first couple of months, I would beg my wife - could you just come sit in, like, the fifth row so I can look at you every night? I go, OK, I'm the guy married to her.

SAGAL: Right.

COLBERT: And so that helped a lot. And other than that, it was - I wasn't sure how much...

(APPLAUSE)

COLBERT: You realize I said that because Valentine's Day is on Tuesday?

SAGAL: I understand that.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Do you ever think about what your old character would think of our new president and what he might say?

COLBERT: (As Fictionalized Stephen Colbert) You know what I think? He's a strong president. We got to stand behind this guy is what I think.

SAGAL: Yeah.

COLBERT: (As Fictionalized Stephen Colbert) OK? All right. Get in line, all right? What part of all caps don't you understand?

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: Sorry. I was just - that was scary - I was just possessed.

GLYNN WASHINGTON, BYLINE: I felt it, too.

SAGAL: ...The transformation.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Possibly (unintelligible).

GROSZ: It's very possible.

SAGAL: Stephen, we know that the president watches "Saturday Night Live" because he tweets about it. He doesn't like it, but he keeps watching it. You do a lot of material about the president. Do you have any indication that he's watching you?

COLBERT: I don't know. No, he hasn't said jack.

SAGAL: Right.

COLBERT: He hasn't said jack about me.

SAGAL: Do you feel bad about that? Do you wish he was watching you so you could speak directly to him, as they do on "SNL"?

COLBERT: I don't care.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

ROCCA: Now that's really going to upset him...

SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: I know.

ROCCA: ...If he's listening.

GROSZ: He's going to start watching now.

COLBERT: 'Cause he listens to a lot of NPR, my friends.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: (Imitating Donald Trump) Shut up, shut up. I'm listening to WAIT WAIT. Hold on.

SAGAL: Well, as much as we asked you the questions we had prepared for Lena Dunham, we are going to play the game we had prepared for Lena Dunham.

COLBERT: Wait, we haven't even done the game yet?

SAGAL: No, sir.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: We'll make it quick.

OK, Lena Dunham, we have invited you here to play a game we're calling...

WASHINGTON: Let's Hug It Out, Bro.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So you created the TV show "Girls"...

COLBERT: Yes.

SAGAL: ...Which has defined, for many, at least HBO subscribers, the essential nature of female friendship. But that service was done for men years earlier with the touching, funny and ultimately moving tribute to male friendship, "Entourage." So, sir, answer three of our questions about that show, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners, Carl Kasell's voice on their home answering machine. Glynn, who is Stephen Colbert playing for?

WASHINGTON: He's playing for Sandra Byers of Brooklyn, N.Y.

SAGAL: She might even be here.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Here's your first question. Let us set the scene. GQ magazine, which knows from bros, described the show this way. Was it A, quote, "the most moving depiction of how men relate to each other since 'The Dirty Dozen'"; B, a show that is simultaneously too gay and not nearly gay enough...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Or C, a 30-minute vehicle for boobs and product placement.

COLBERT: Oh, I wish it was B, but I think it's C.

SAGAL: You're right, Stephen, it was C.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: The recent "Entourage" movie, however, GQ described as a 90-minute vehicle for boobs and product placement. Next question. The show has done some good in the world as in which of these? A, someone donated a new reptile wing to the San Diego Zoo under the pseudonym Ari Gold, that's Jeremy Piven snake-like agent from the show, B, a woman announced she would subject herself to watching the horrible "Entourage" movie once for every $10,000 donated to charity - she had to see it three times - or C, the Boston Police Department reported 10 percent fewer fistfights during the run of the show just because filming it kept Mark Wahlberg occupied.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: I'm going to go B.

SAGAL: You're right again.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: The woman raised $30,000. She says, the two things I hate most in the world are cancer and the show "Entourage."

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Last question. One of the highlights of the show was the super-agent Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven. Piven says he created the character by doing what? A, imagining himself as a 10-year-old boy in a custom suit, B, disguising himself and working at the agency CAA for two months in the mailroom or C, he based the character on the ancient Italian theater techniques of commedia dell'arte.

COLBERT: The second one was he worked at CA - I want to go with B, CIA.

SAGAL: You want to go with A - he worked at the CAA.

COLBERT: CAA, yeah.

SAGAL: No, it was actually C.

COLBERT: Whoa.

WASHINGTON: It's OK. I'm the scorekeeper. You get that one.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Guy steps in as a substitute, he thinks he runs the place. But sadly, we granted him absolute power, unwisely.

WASHINGTON: That's right. Thank you, Peter.

COLBERT: His decisions are unreviewable.

SAGAL: It's true.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: How did Lena Dunham/Stephen Colbert do on our quiz, Glynn?

WASHINGTON: He got them all right.

SAGAL: There you go, Stephen Colbert.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Stephen Colbert, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: When we come back, the star of the "Harry Potter" movies and the only British actor who wasn't in any of them. That's coming up in a minute on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

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