Not My Job: Actor Jon Hamm Gets Quizzed On Spam The Mad Men star will answer three questions about the canned meat product with a verrrry long shelf life.
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Not My Job: Actor Jon Hamm Gets Quizzed On Spam

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Not My Job: Actor Jon Hamm Gets Quizzed On Spam

Not My Job: Actor Jon Hamm Gets Quizzed On Spam

Not My Job: Actor Jon Hamm Gets Quizzed On Spam

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/652666806/652929904" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW
Jon Hamm poses for a portrait during the Baby Driver premiere at the 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 11, 2017, in Austin, Texas.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

We've invited Jon Hamm, best known for his starring role as Don Draper on the AMC series Mad Men, to answer three questions about Spam — the canned meat product with a verrrry long shelf life.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

And now the game where we ask really interesting people about things they are completely uninterested in. It's called Not My Job. So Jon Hamm became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood through his role as Don Draper on the show "Mad Men." But there...

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: Oh, you watched it. I thought it was kind of a niche thing.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But there were at least some people who watched that show and said, hey, isn't that my waiter? And they might've been right because before Jon Hamm was a star, he was an underemployed actor waiting tables here in LA. Welcome back in glory.

JON HAMM: Thank you.

SAGAL: Jon Hamm, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

(APPLAUSE)

HAMM: Thank you for having me. What can I get you to drink?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I actually - I was reading this, and my admiration for you grew 'cause I used to be among the great aspiring people in LA for many years. And that's a tough life. You lived it for a while.

HAMM: Yeah. I was a waiter longer than I was anything else for - up until very recently.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HAMM: And it was - it was great. I mean, I worked at cool restaurants and had decent bosses, and nobody yelled at me or threw things. I had a blast. I really did.

SAGAL: Was it - were you a good waiter?

HAMM: I think so. I mean, yeah - you know.

JESSI KLEIN: That was a very Brett Kavanaugh, yeah, no.

HAMM: Why are you asking? Why?

KLEIN: No, I never passed out. I fell asleep.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Do you ever go back to the places you worked when you were...

HAMM: Well, one of them's not open anymore. It's changed hands. I used to work at a place called Ciudad downtown.

(CHEERING)

HAMM: None of you have ever been there...

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: ...At all. It closed in, like, 2002.

SAGAL: But now that you've said it, they're all going to claim they were there. One of the things that I couldn't believe when we were looking through some of those early roles you got is that you ended up on "The Dating Game."

HAMM: I believe it was called "The Big Date."

SAGAL: Oh, excuse me.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And what's amazing is not so much that you did that show because, you know, struggling actors do what they can, but that the woman didn't pick you.

HAMM: No, she did not.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: Nor should she have.

SAGAL: Really?

HAMM: It was bad. You can see it online, or you can watch the episode of "Kimmy Schmidt" where they weave it in as part of the plot.

(CHEERING)

HAMM: Twenty-five-year-old me saying, yes, when I maybe should've said, no.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HAMM: But you got paid 250 bucks to go make an ass of yourself on a dating show. And I was like, done and done.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: Who's ever going to see this? It's on USA. No one's going to invent a thing where everything is saved and can be distributed globally instantaneously. That's never going to happen.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: This will burn into the ether.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: And I'll have $250.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So I want to talk about a fairly sensitive topic. And I'll introduce it by saying that we at WAIT WAIT... have had our share of really impressive people. We had Leonard Nimoy once wandering around backstage. But I have never seen our own sort of staff and colleagues freak out by anybody's presence as much as you. Knees literally began to go weak and tremble.

(CHEERING)

HAMM: Aw, jeez.

ALONZO BODDEN: I thought you weren't going to tell anyone, Peter.

SAGAL: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So I'm just going to ask you, what's it like to be that handsome?

(LAUGHTER, CHEERING)

HAMM: God. There's literally no way to answer this question without coming off like a horrible douche.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: Look; I don't - you know, my mom thought I was handsome. That's kind of all you really need in the world. I got - it's...

(LAUGHTER)

MAZ JOBRANI: Oh, great. Now you're charming, too.

(LAUGHTER)

JOBRANI: Come on. We don't have hair. Look at you. I look terrible.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I'll ask you about something else that you are - and it was obvious - which is that you're really funny. I'm told that, like, you like doing comedy roles. I mean, it seemed to me that, you know, once "Mad Men" came to an end - very serious drama - you, like - you showed up in "Kimmy Schmidt." I kept seeing you doing goofy things.

HAMM: Yeah. Well, I got, again, incredibly fortunate to be asked to host "SNL" the first time in 2009, I think.

SAGAL: Yeah, for example.

HAMM: You guys might not - it stands for "Saturday Night Live."

SAGAL: No.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: But I had been a fan since I was a kid. So for me, I was literally like, this is a dream come true. I can't believe I get to do this. And I knew a few of the people on the cast. Jessi, you weren't on there by that point.

KLEIN: I actually - I was there. I had a very undistinguished season writing there for one season. But the week you were hosting, obviously everyone very, like, nervous and excited you were there. And Tuesday night is the writing night, and all the writers stay up all night long writing. And the host, if they're very cool, stays and comes and chats with you about what you're going to write for them if you need to talk to them.

But you had had a full beard on Monday night when you showed up, and then by Tuesday night you had shaved it for the show. And I was like, I want to have, like, light banter with Jon Hamm to bond. And so I was like, oh, how was it shaving your beard? I was like, my boyfriend, when he shaves his beard, stops in the middle of the shave and does, like, silly pictures of himself with, like, a mustache and does a few phases in between. And then I was like, why did I mention my boyfriend to Jon Hamm? And also, that was so stupid.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: What a dumb story to tell him. Like, and then you took out your phone and showed me the pictures of your silly mustaches that you had done while you were shaving. I was like, oh, Jon Hamm, what a winner of a man.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

KLEIN: We broke up, by the way. Me and that boyfriend aren't together anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: I'm married, but we have, like, an arrangement.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: He doesn't know yet, but we have an arrangement.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Have you ever done anything wrong, because so far, on this show...

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODDEN: ...You're just nailing it.

SAGAL: Charming, gracious, you remember everybody's name. It's terrifying.

HAMM: Oh, Jeez.

SAGAL: Well, Jon Hamm, we are delighted to talk to you. But we have, in fact, asked you here to play a game we're calling...

BILL KURTIS: Hamm, meet Spam.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: OK.

SAGAL: It was obvious, but we're kind of lazy. Jon Hamm...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...We're going to ask you about Spam, the delicious pork product. Answer 2 out of 3 questions about that great canned meat, win our prize for one of our listeners - the voice of their choice on their voicemail. Bill, who is Jon Hamm playing for?

KURTIS: Lauren Bullock of Santa Ana, Calif.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: You ready for this?

HAMM: All right. All right, Lauren.

SAGAL: Here we go. First question - Spam has played an important role in history since its invention during the Depression. For example, Spam has been credited with which of these? A, creating the modern vegetarian movement...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...B, growing the mold that became penicillin...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Or C, the Russian victory over Nazi Germany in World War II?

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: I do like the idea of people eating Spam and being like, nope, that's it. No more meat ever. I'm done. I got it.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: That's it. That's a wrap on meat for me forever, if, in fact, that was meat.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: I'll say C.

SAGAL: You're right. It was C.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: After the war, Nikita Khrushchev himself declared, without Spam, we wouldn't have been able to feed our army. So there you go.

All right, you have two more questions. There have been many different kinds of Spam over the years, including which of these special Spams? A, a kosher Spam for the Israeli army...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...B, a high-end millionaire's Spam made with caviar; or C, Spam for dogs made because dogs will not eat the human version?

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: There seem to be a lot of confident Jews in the crowd.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: Very uncommon.

SAGAL: I know.

KLEIN: Loud, loud, loud.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: For some reason, yes, the idea of kosher Spam - I feel like I've seen that can.

SAGAL: You're going to choose that?

HAMM: Not to eat.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: Yes.

SAGAL: All right. OK. You're choosing that.

HAMM: I'm choosing A.

SAGAL: You're right. Yes, kosher Spam for the Israeli army.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Is was known as Loof and made from kosher beef.

HAMM: Loof.

SAGAL: All right, you can be - I was about to say you can be perfect, but you already are perfect.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: Oh, my God, stop.

SAGAL: So you can be more perfect...

HAMM: Stop.

SAGAL: ...If you get this question right. As food preference has shifted towards more natural, unprocessed food, the Hormel company, which makes it, has had to come up with new ways of selling their canned meat with a shelf life of eternity.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So which of these is a real slogan Hormel used to get people to keep buying Spam? Was it A, because that bunker won't stock itself...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...B, it's like meat with a pause button...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Or C, extruded means extra tasty?

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: As a fictional advertising executive...

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: ...Those are all terrible.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: But I'm going to go with B as the least terrible.

SAGAL: My God, you're right.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: That was their slogan - it's like meat with a pause button. Bill, how did Jon Hamm do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Three and zero. He is great.

SAGAL: That's fantastic.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Jon Hamm stars in the upcoming film "Bad Times At The El Royale" in theaters October 12. And you can see him on "Good Omens" on Amazon Prime. Jon Hamm, thank you so much.

HAMM: Thank you very much.

(SOUNDBITE OF RJD2'S "A BEAUTIFUL MINE")

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