Who's Bill This Time
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Hey there, Hillary. It takes a Billage (ph). I'm Bill Kurtis.
KURTIS: And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody. We do have a wonderful show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to actor Bradley Whitford, star of "The West Wing" and many other things. Naturally, he will be answering our questions while rapidly walking down a hall.
SAGAL: But first, we want to take a minute to acknowledge Robert Siegel, who, next month, will be stepping down after an incredible 30-year career as the host of All Things Considered. We will miss his voice and his sly humor and his thoughtful journalism. And of course, after this last month or so, it is refreshing to see somebody leave public radio voluntarily.
SAGAL: You go, Robert. You go.
SAGAL: We will not ask you to consider all things when you call in to play our games, - just a few. The number is 1-888-WAITWAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
LUKE FIELD: Hi, Peter. This is Luke Field from Cincinnati, Ohio.
SAGAL: Hey, Luke. How are you?
FIELD: I'm good. How are you?
SAGAL: I'm well. Thank you. You live in Cincinnati, which is a lovely place there by the river. What do you do there?
FIELD: I'm actually an architect in town.
SAGAL: Oh, that's cool. What sort of things do you get to build?
FIELD: I work - actually, we have a pretty extensive historic district in town here. So I got to work on a lot of rehab and infill projects here.
SAGAL: Infill projects - what is an infill?
FIELD: So when you have 15 feet between two old buildings and somebody decides to build a house there, we try to cram it in as best we can.
SAGAL: Really? You build, like, 15-foot-wide houses?
FIELD: Yeah, quite a few of them in fact. Maybe 16 or 17 if you're lucky. So depending...
SAGAL: Really? I'm just imagining people will have to, like, enter their house sideways and just walk up and down the hallway that way.
FIELD: There's a lot of skinny people in town, yeah.
SAGAL: Luke, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a comedian performing New Year's Eve at the iPic Theater in Westwood, Calif. - it's Alonzo Bodden.
ALONZO BODDEN: Hello, sir.
SAGAL: Next, a feature writer for the Style section of The Washington Post, Ms. Roxanne Roberts.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: Happy holidays, Luke.
SAGAL: And finally, a writer and performer you've seen most recently playing Mike Pence on "The President Show." It's Peter Grosz.
PETER GROSZ: Hello.
GROSZ: Hi, Luke.
SAGAL: So Luke, welcome to our show. You're, of course, going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read for you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize, the voice of anyone from this show you like on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
SAGAL: OK. Here is your first quote. It is from Vice President Mike Pence.
KURTIS: "Because of your determination, because of your leadership, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more."
SAGAL: That was the end of a solid 3 minutes of praise for President Trump all because what passed Congress this week?
FIELD: I think that'd be the new tax bill.
SAGAL: Yes, the tax cut bill.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Very good.
SAGAL: It is impossible to say if the tax cuts will do anything for our economy as promised. But one effect is certain. It got Vice President Pence as close as he ever has to experiencing sexual pleasure.
SAGAL: His bizarre tribute to the Great Leader, who sat there and listened with his arms folded like this is just what he deserved, was the political equivalent of a dog just sniffing another's butt but only if the dog stopped every few seconds and was like, this butt smells like heaven.
GROSZ: My favorite part of that whole thing was...
GROSZ: ...He said, Mr. President, you have encouraged optimism that's setting records.
SAGAL: Did he say...
GROSZ: That is something he actually said, meaning...
SAGAL: We have record optimism.
GROSZ: ...That there's, like, somebody who keeps records of optimism...
GROSZ: ...And that Pence was like - just show me the optimism record.
SAGAL: I'm like, oh, this is incredible. Have you seen this?
GROSZ: That's this week?
SAGAL: Oh, my...
GROSZ: A record.
BODDEN: It had to be weird for everyone else in the Cabinet meeting trying to come up with material. Like, how do we top this?
BODDEN: How do we love him more - or whatever?
SAGAL: Yeah, I know. They...
BODDEN: Somewhere Melania was sitting there like, yeah, you don't know him.
SAGAL: You know, they seemed to have figured out that Trump will do anything you want as long as you just praise him. So they had this weird parade of praise for him after this tax bill passed. One congresswoman from Tennessee thanked Trump for, quote, "allowing us to have you as our president."
GROSZ: It is like watching an 8-year-old have a birthday party...
GROSZ: ...Where it's like, you're such a good - like - but an 8-year-old who, like, screws up a lot and needs a lot of, like, help and stuff.
SAGAL: Yeah, yeah.
GROSZ: Like, you're such a good boy.
SAGAL: Yeah, we need to encourage him. We need to work on his self-esteem.
SAGAL: No, they're so happy. Paul Ryan, who was, you know, presiding over the House, announced the bill's passage like he was Scrooge waking up on Christmas morning seeing that Tiny Tim had died...
SAGAL: ...And yelling wahoo - free crutch.
SAGAL: Here is your next quote. It is from a recently declassified government video.
KURTIS: "That's a bleeping drone, bro."
SAGAL: That pilot shouting in surprise as he looked at something was part of a secret Pentagon program to track what?
FIELD: I think it was a UFO.
SAGAL: It was UFOs.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: That's right.
SAGAL: This is amazing - just came out this week. About 10 years ago, Senator Harry Reid set up a secret program at the Pentagon to track and research UFO sightings. We don't know why he did that. But looking at Harry Reid, most likely he was just trying to get back home.
SAGAL: The reason that The New York Times got this huge cache of documents and videos is because the guy who ran the program was angry. He was angry because the Pentagon had suddenly stopped it because they thought that researching UFOs was too embarrassing.
SAGAL: Really? In 2017, that's what's going to embarrass...
SAGAL: ...The U.S. government?
BODDEN: Well, it does make sense for Harry Reid to be in charge 'cause he's from Nevada.
SAGAL: Yeah, I know.
BODDEN: I mean, that's where they land.
BODDEN: So you know, he probably had some who had voted for him and wanted to be recognized.
SAGAL: This is true. It's true.
GROSZ: But why did they land in Nevada? Are they gambling? Or are they...
BODDEN: Because they've seen Mississippi.
BODDEN: And they're like, keep going. Keep going.
BODDEN: And then - yeah.
GROSZ: I bet Hillary is even more bummed now because wasn't she a big believer in UFOs and stuff?
SAGAL: Apparently, if I remember correctly, her chief of staff, John Podesta, was really interested in this.
SAGAL: And she was like, as soon as I get in office, we are going to, like, blow this open...
SAGAL: ...And the whole area 51 thing.
ROBERTS: Well, would you be surprised if it turned out there were?
SAGAL: Well, at this point, I would be happy because, given what's going on, the best chance I've got for health care is, like, an anal probe. You know...
SAGAL: ...That's it.
SAGAL: I'm going to be like...
SAGAL: I'm going to say to the alien, I'm going to be like, you know, do what you need to. But while you're up there, could you check for polyps? - because...
GROSZ: What if that's what aliens are? They're just like all of these - they're just a race of proctologists.
GROSZ: And everyone thinks that they're, like, doing harm or something. And they're just like, we're just checking to make sure everybody...
SAGAL: We're just checking.
BODDEN: They found out we're going to outer space. And they want to make sure we're not bringing anything with us.
SAGAL: That's true.
SAGAL: All right, Luke, your last quote is from The Wrap news website talking about the latest trend in digital currency.
KURTIS: "First of all, what the hell is it?"
SAGAL: Well, what the hell is what?
FIELD: My guess would be bitcoin 'cause...
SAGAL: Yes, bit...
FIELD: ...I have no idea what it is either.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: It's the crazy cryptocurrency that nobody knows anything about, except that it will make you rich if you bought it six years ago, even though it doesn't exist.
SAGAL: Right now this thing that doesn't exist is trading for thousands of dollars, which means that either somebody knows something we don't or we know something they don't...
SAGAL: ...Mainly that bitcoins do not exist.
SAGAL: Are you capable of understanding why bitcoins, this notional thing, have any value? 'Cause I cannot...
GROSZ: Yeah because people - it's a bit. And it's a coin.
GROSZ: And then - but separately, a bit and a coin don't mean anything. But you put them together, you get bitcoin. So that's - I think that's pretty much the whole thing.
SAGAL: It's so simple when you put it that way, yeah.
GROSZ: No idea what's going on.
BODDEN: Maybe bitcoin is how we're going to pay off these aliens that are coming.
SAGAL: That's true.
SAGAL: No, no, no. They're real, Mr. Alien. Take them home.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Luke do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Luke's very good. He got all three right.
SAGAL: Thank you so much, Luke.
FIELD: Thank you, guys.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT'S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE")
CONWAY TWITTY: (Singing) But it's only make believe.
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