Who's Bill This Time
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Get over here and shave me. I'm your stub-Bill (ph).
KURTIS: I'm Bill 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.
SAGAL: We have a great show for you today. We're very excited about it. Later on, we're going to be talking to Olympic champion gymnast Aly Raisman. In her new book, she says she started training seriously as a gymnast at the age of 5. That's how much she prepares. So we assume that right now, she's in a gym somewhere getting ready for our show, doing pullups while someone peppers her with pointless questions.
SAGAL: We know you've been training hard, so put some chalk on your fingers and dial us up. The number is 1-888-WAITWAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Now let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
ETHAN BUDIANSKY: Hey there. This is Ethan Budiansky from Washington, D.C., but formerly from Acton, Mass., really close to where Aly Raisman is from.
SAGAL: Now, did you say Ethan Budinsky (ph)?
BUDIANSKY: Budiansky. Yep, that's it.
SAGAL: OK. And...
SAGAL: And when you interrupted somebody when they were talking...
SAGAL: ...As a child, what did people call you?
SAGAL: Well played, Ethan. Well played, indeed. Let me welcome you to our show, Ethan. First up, say hello to an author and performer hosting The Moth Mainstage show in Washington, D.C., right near you on October 18. It's Tara Clancy.
TARA CLANCY: Hey, Ethan. How are you?
BUDIANSKY: Hey there, Tara. How you doing?
CLANCY: Pretty good.
SAGAL: Next, a writer for WGN's "Man Of The People" who will be appearing at the Sportsman's Club in Chicago September 27 and at The Six in Calabasas, Calif., on October 18. It's Adam Burke.
ADAM BURKE: Hi.
BUDIANSKY: Hello, Adam.
SAGAL: And finally, a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning" and host of "Science Goes To The Movies" on PBS, which now has its own YouTube channel. It's Faith Salie.
FAITH SALIE: Hello, Ethan.
BUDIANSKY: Faith, how are you doing?
SAGAL: So, Ethan, welcome to our show. You're going to start us off with Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis, right here in all his glory, is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you'll win our prize - any voice from our show that you may choose on your voicemail. You ready to go?
BUDIANSKY: I certainly am.
SAGAL: Here's your first quote. It's someone giving an expert meteorological opinion on Hurricane Florence.
KURTIS: It's the wettest we've seen...
KURTIS: ...From the standpoint of water.
SAGAL: Who offered that important climatological insight...
SAGAL: ...To the people of beleaguered North Carolina?
BUDIANSKY: That would be meteorologist/president of the United States Donald Trump.
SAGAL: Yes, Donald Trump.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: That's who it was.
SAGAL: President Donald Trump went to visit the victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina this week, and he really seemed to enjoy it. The good news is the local stations put up one of those maps showing the predicted path of Trump's visit so people could evacuate.
SAGAL: We have to give President Trump credit here. He can be an optimist - a hotel suite half-full with prostitutes kind of guy.
SAGAL: He went to visit victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. And he had told the assembled masses to, quote, "have a good time."
SAGAL: He talked - this is all true. He talked to one guy who had an unmoored yacht wash up into his yard. And he said, quote, "at least you got a nice boat out of the deal."
SALIE: He said, at least you got a boat out of the deal?
SAGAL: Out of the deal.
SALIE: He called the hurricane a deal.
SAGAL: The deal - he got a boat out of the deal.
SALIE: It's so Trump.
SAGAL: He seemed to genuinely think that he - the homeowner who ended up with this boat in his yard - will get to keep the boat.
CLANCY: Yeah, that was the part I'm thinking about.
SALIE: Yeah, he said - what's the law? What's the law? Is it finders keepers?
BURKE: It's hurricane rules, baby.
SAGAL: Yeah, I know.
BURKE: Anything goes.
SAGAL: I know. I mean...
BURKE: How do you think I got Melania?
SAGAL: Now, what's weird about the president is how strangely restrained he was. He did not throw paper towels at anybody, and he didn't say anything offensive about the people of the hurricane.
SAGAL: And he also...
SAGAL: A-plus, yes. He did not insult the victims. Good for you. But he also didn't comment about the revelations from Stormy Daniels' book, which somebody got a look at. And in the book, Ms. Daniels compares the president's staff of chief...
SAGAL: ...Visually, to the "Mario Kart" video game character Toad.
SAGAL: For those of you who don't know what Toad looks like, do not find out.
SALIE: It's a joyful, little, stubby mushroom.
SAGAL: He was.
BURKE: Have you ever played the video game?
SAGAL: Oh, many times.
BURKE: Yeah, that character always finishes first, like, really quickly.
BURKE: And then...
BURKE: And then the rest of the characters don't get to finish at all.
SAGAL: All right. Your next quote is from someone's high school yearbook.
KURTIS: Keg City Club treasurer - 100 kegs or bust.
SAGAL: That was one of the many titles of a man who said he doesn't remember attending any alcohol-fueled high school parties. Who is it?
BUDIANSKY: Brett Kavanaugh.
SAGAL: Yeah, it was Brett Kavanaugh.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: You're right.
SAGAL: After it seemed like a pretty much done deal, Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is now up in the air after allegations of sexual impropriety, let's say. People keep saying this wouldn't keep happening if he would just nominate women to these positions, all right?
SAGAL: But you got to have some sympathy here. The president tried, but he couldn't find a woman who had sexually assaulted someone.
SAGAL: Oh, no. This is funny. Trust me.
SAGAL: Now, one piece of evidence came from this friend of Kavanaugh's - Mark Judge is his name - who was allegedly an accomplice in the assault. Judge wrote a memoir about his years in high school with lots about how he and his friends used to get really, really drunk. And he used pseudonyms, so we don't know which character his friend Brett Kavanaugh is. But maybe, just maybe - and this is totally true - it could be the person he calls Bart O'Kavanaugh.
SALIE: And his memoir - isn't it called, like, "Wasted..."
SALIE: "...Tales Of A Gen X Drunk?"
SALIE: Yeah, this whole thing is like a Bret Easton Ellis novel.
BURKE: Oh, don't you mean Bart Easton Ullis (ph)?
SALIE: Oh, Ellis.
BURKE: I don't know. I kind of believe that the hundred kegs or bust crew don't remember anything (laughter).
SAGAL: Isn't it strange?
SAGAL: Yeah, that part is kind of credible. All right. Here is your last quote.
KURTIS: When I was writing them, they were gay.
SAGAL: That was a writer named Mark Saltzman confessing that, yes, the rumors were true. As far as he was concerned, what beloved children's characters were gay the whole time?
BUDIANSKY: That would be Bert and Ernie.
SAGAL: That's right.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: There have been rumors...
SAGAL: ...About these two Muppets from "Sesame Street." They're roommates. They live together. They don't have girlfriends. They spend a lot of time around baths.
SAGAL: But this week, a writer named Mark Saltzman, who wrote for "Sesame Street" for 15 years, said, yes, to him, they were always gay. And people went crazy. How nosy are we that we need to know who our puppets are sleeping with?
SAGAL: Oh, my sock with two buttons sewn onto it - I'm pretty sure it's polyamorous.
SALIE: No, people went crazy happy. And then Sesame Street Workshop delivers this crushing blow of, oh, these are just puppets. They don't have a sexual orientation.
SALIE: I'm like...
CLANCY: And then - right. And then everyone was like, what about - you have Kermit and...
SALIE: What about love is love, man? And these - you know, these guys grew up on the street...
SALIE: ...You know?
BURKE: I also don't like that they were like, you know, they're puppets, so they don't have sexual orientation. Yeah, but they've got apartments and jobs and a sponsorship deal with the alphabet.
CLANCY: Yeah. But then also - right? - we have Kermit, and we have Miss Piggy, and they have a sexual orientation.
SALIE: Very hetero, yeah.
CLANCY: Right? They are very hetero - you know, all of that.
BURKE: Almost too hetero. It goes over species.
SAGAL: Yeah, I know.
CLANCY: Anything is too hetero for me.
SALIE: I think it's clear that they're gay, but I don't think they're in a sexual relationship with each other. And the reason you know is because Ernie would've totally helped Bert out with his eyebrows if they were...
SALIE: ...If they were a couple.
SALIE: Because you can - I mean, look at the way Ernie's beefy. Like, he's a gym rat. You know what I mean?
CLANCY: We call that a Chelsea Boy.
SALIE: He cares about that stuff. A - OK.
BURKE: You know who is, though, probably? Those honky guys. They're always honking each other off all the time. You know the guys...
SAGAL: So, Bill, how did Ethan do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Ethan, you were perfect. He got them all right.
SAGAL: Congratulations, Ethan. Thank you so much for playing. Bye-bye.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BUT I LIKE YOU")
FRANK OZ: (As Bert, singing) I like paper clips.
JIM HENSON: (As Ernie, singing) Paper clips?
OZ: (As Bert, singing) Paper clips. I like bottle caps.
HENSON: (As Ernie, singing) Bottle caps?
OZ: (As Bert, singing) Bottle caps. I love pigeons. Yeah.
HENSON: (As Ernie, singing) Pigeons?
OZ: (As Bert, singing) Love pigeons - oh, yes, I do.
HENSON: (As Ernie, singing) Well, Bert, you know, I don't really like any of those things, but I like you.
OZ: (As Bert, singing) Aw, Ernie.
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