Not My Job: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Gets Quizzed On 2020 We'll ask the governor three questions about exciting things scheduled for the year 2020, that definitely aren't the next U.S. presidential election. Originally broadcast April 8, 2017.
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Not My Job: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Gets Quizzed On 2020

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Not My Job: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Gets Quizzed On 2020

Not My Job: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Gets Quizzed On 2020

Not My Job: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Gets Quizzed On 2020

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/615975703/616413983" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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We'll ask the governor three questions about exciting things scheduled for the year 2020, that definitely aren't the next U.S. presidential election. Originally broadcast April 8, 2017.

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm the guy who rebelled from the two-party system and founded my own. I'm the Bill Moose.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: Bill Kurtis. And here's your host, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thanks, everybody. Thank you. Summer is almost here, and that means we needed to take a break from the news and work on our beach bodies.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: Turns out constantly staring out at our phones in growing horror is not an aerobic exercise.

SAGAL: So...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: While we remember what it's like to move again, we've got some very good stuff from past shows, including highlights from our special Wait Wait Jr. show with kids and for kids.

KURTIS: But first, an interview with a man who might be in the news more and more as we get closer to 2020 from our trip to Denver last year.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

SAGAL: And now the game where the high and mighty take on the low and silly. It's called Not My Job. John Hickenlooper was born in Pennsylvania but got a degree in geology and came out to Colorado to work for an energy company, which promptly laid him off. Looking around...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...For something to do, he decided to open a brewpub. It must have been pretty...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: And, as seems to be the case, it was pretty good beer because the grateful customers then elected him mayor of Denver...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...And, in 2010, governor of the great state of Colorado - Governor...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...John Hickenlooper. Welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME. So we researched this - you are the first brewer to be elected to office, elected to be governor, since Sam Adams. You know that?

(LAUGHTER)

JOHN HICKENLOOPER: (Laughter) Yeah, they tell me.

SAGAL: Does this mean in, like, 200 years your beer is also going to suck?

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: (Laughter) That's not fair.

SAGAL: That's absolutely fair.

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: I am glad you got to the beer because I was worried with all the pot jokes...

SAGAL: Oh, no.

HICKENLOOPER: ...You'd forget that we have 350 breweries in the state of Colorado.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Wow.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So 350 breweries, legalized weed - does anybody here ever work?

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: We view this as a state of a balanced life - hard work, hard play.

SAGAL: Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: I thought you were going to be, like, a balanced life - beer, then pot...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Pot, then beer.

POUNDSTONE: Let me just say that it is possible to do neither and just have your thoughts clear at the end of the night.

(LAUGHTER)

ALONZO BODDEN: Not in Colorado.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: I'll tell you an interesting fact.

SAGAL: What?

HICKENLOOPER: The interesting fact is that all the polls - before we legalized recreational marijuana - I mean, the polls since then show that the people that were smoking pot illegally...

SAGAL: Yeah.

HICKENLOOPER: ...Before it was legalized still are. The people that weren't smoking before it was legalized still aren't. So there's been no giant jump. There's been no spike in consumption.

SAGAL: Well, now, I'll say what I thought you meant then...

HICKENLOOPER: Uh-oh.

SAGAL: I thought you meant that people are still buying it illegally.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And I just imagine you telling these people - it's like, dude, you don't have to talk to the shady guy in the park.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: There's a store down there that looks like a small version of Whole Foods, and they will sell it to you.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And how has it worked out?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, you know, I'm not waving the flags in victory, but I think we've made real progress. And I think that we are - we're seeing, anecdotally, less drug dealers. If you take away a big chunk of the products, you're going to expect the less distribution. And we have not seen spikes in consumption among people - or teenagers, especially. And let's get a little more data and see. I mean, the old system was a disaster, right? The war on drugs - we sent millions of kids to prison with felonies for non-violent crimes. It wasn't a great system.

SAGAL: Right.

(APPLAUSE)

POUNDSTONE: And I would be willing to bet that the Corn Nuts people are behind you.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yeah.

TOM BODETT: Cheetos and Goldfish are just flying off the shelves.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You haven't mentioned the boatloads of money the state is taking in, right? Are, like, other governors coming up to you and, like, calling you on the sly and going, how can I do this?

HICKENLOOPER: I will say many governors have talked to me about it.

POUNDSTONE: How many governors have called you up not because they want to legalize pot in their own state but because they want to come here and get high with you?

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: Zero.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, right.

HICKENLOOPER: Not one.

SAGAL: Whatever you say is legal here in Colorado is over - you know, you're also overseen by the federal government, so basically, everybody in this audience is a drug criminal. Congratulations.

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: Did you and President Obama ever get together and then hash out these...

(LAUGHTER)

BODETT: I get it.

SAGAL: That was entirely unintentional. And then - and discuss...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Get down into the weeds, if you were...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Of these important and complex issues of federalism?

HICKENLOOPER: We certainly discussed it on a couple of occasions.

SAGAL: I understand you worked this out over a game of pool, I'm told?

HICKENLOOPER: We did - how'd you know that? We did play a couple games of pool...

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: ...Back in - you know, he is an amazing - I mean, the guy has got to be one of the most competitive people on earth. And I own a pool hall. I mean, I'm not a bad guy with a stick. And he cleaned my clock.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yeah. I know that - I guess I'm just saying that the president has said in his own autobiography that he was an enthusiast of pre-legal marijuana back in the day, so I'm...

HICKENLOOPER: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Guessing you're playing a friendly game of pool. Or was there a wager involved?

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: There was - we played for ten bucks for the first game. And I was way ahead. I was up five balls to one - had a shot that I was worried I might sink, and then I might beat the leader of the free world.

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: But I decided to go for it, and I missed it a little bit. And then he sank four balls and then two more balls and then sank the eight ball. And we played double or nothing, and he - that's when he cleaned my clock.

SAGAL: Really. Do you think he was, like, leading you on? He was like, oh, how do you play this game?

HICKENLOOPER: I think so. I think so.

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: I don't think - I think - he certainly didn't mention the fact that he had a pool table on the third floor of the White House until after he took my 20 bucks.

SAGAL: Really?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You're a twice-elected governor in a purple state. But you're term-limited. You're done in 2018, right?

HICKENLOOPER: Yep.

SAGAL: Yeah. 2018, yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Just thinking - well, what do you imagine you might be doing, say, two years after that?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Is there anything you'd like to say to this audience or the people listening in, say, Iowa?

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

HICKENLOOPER: My focus - and I've said this a dozen times - we're going to keep 100 percent of our - no PAC, no committees to run for office. And, two years from now, if everyone else is running, then we'll see.

SAGAL: I see. All right.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: I'm going to ask you one last question about Colorado because Colorado is such a diverse state in terms of its politics. How in the world does one person manage to succeed in this crazy, mixed-up, rather rectangular place?

HICKENLOOPER: Well...

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: ...You know, we're the only headwater state, so we're - all the rivers start here.

POUNDSTONE: What does that mean?

(APPLAUSE)

HICKENLOOPER: It means all the rivers - no rivers start in some other state and come into our state. All the rivers start here. So if you average out all the elevation of all the spaces...

SAGAL: Yeah.

HICKENLOOPER: We're the highest state - and don't you say a word about marijuana.

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: But my last plug is that the - if you took a magical piece of silk and stretched it over the entire state, and it was so magical that you could drape over every mountain, go down and fill up every valley and every stream bed...

SAGAL: Yeah.

HICKENLOOPER: ...And then you could magically lift this up and stretch it out, Colorado's bigger than Texas.

(APPLAUSE, CHEERING)

POUNDSTONE: I think everybody's probably thinking this.

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: How high were you when you thought of that?

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: Five thousand two hundred and eighty feet.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well, Governor Hickenlooper, we're delighted to talk to you, and we've invited you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: Somebody Has Plans For 2020.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Since you refuse to commit to doing anything in 2020, we thought we'd ask you about some of the exciting things that are scheduled for that year. Answer two out of three questions about the year 2020, and you'll become the Democratic presidential nominee anyway.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Anyway, you will also win a prize for one of our listeners. Bill, who is Governor Hickenlooper playing for?

KURTIS: Alex Leahy of Denver, Colo.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Your first question - ready to do this?

HICKENLOOPER: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. Facebook is going to be radically different in 2020 when which of these things happen? A, it will change its name to reflect its broader reach to Whole Body Book...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...B, by some estimates, that is the year that the number of dead people on Facebook will outnumber the living...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Or C, starting that year, pictures of children under 5 years old will be banned because enough already.

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: I think the number of dead people outnumbering...

SAGAL: You're right. Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: That is the projection.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well, you did well with that one. Here's your next question. A very special film awaits theatergoers in 2020, scheduled for release then. Which of these is it? A, the one and only screening of "Ambiance." At 720 hours long, it will be the longest film ever made, B, "Fast and Furious 12: Lil Rascal Scooter Drift"...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Or C, "My Mother, The Car: The Movie."

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: It's got to be "My Mother, The Car: The Movie."

SAGAL: Oh, that would be awesome. But no.

POUNDSTONE: No.

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: It's "Ambiance?"

SAGAL: Yes. It's called "Ambiance." It is an art project. It's going to be 720 hours long - that's about 36 days. It'll be shown once. You have until 2020, people with legal marijuana, to stock up because...

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: I just want to go on record as saying I don't think it's going to do that well.

SAGAL: No, probably not.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. You have - this is exciting because if you get this last one, you win for our listener. Travellers to London will have reason to celebrate in 2020 when which of these amazing attractions opens? A, Rising Waters, the climate change-assisted water park...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...B, the world's first all-corgi petting zoo...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Or C, the BBC Land theme park.

HICKENLOOPER: Oh, my god. That's dreadful to consider.

UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE: C, C.

HICKENLOOPER: Oh, they're telling me C.

SAGAL: They are. I...

(LAUGHTER)

HICKENLOOPER: All right. I say C.

SAGAL: There you are - C. You're right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: They're right. Everybody's right. BBC theme park - they're going to have attractions based on their popular shows "Sherlock" and "Doctor Who." We were hoping for, like, the BBC World Service ride.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: How did the governor do on our quiz, Bill?

KURTIS: Let this be a premonition - the governor is a winner.

(APPLAUSE, CHEERING)

SAGAL: Clearly. That's two city elections, two statewide elections and won this, right?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Ladies and gentleman, the governor...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...Of the great state of Colorado, Governor John Hickenlooper - your governor, our friend. Governor Hickenlooper, what a pleasure. Thank you so much for being here.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH")

JOHN DENVER: (Singing) Rocky mountain high, Colorado. Rocky mountain...

SAGAL: When we come back, highlights from our Wait Wait Jr. show, even more juvenile than we usually are. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

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