Not My Job: Actor Jon Hamm Gets Quizzed On Spam Hamm, best known as Don Draper on the AMC series Mad Men, answers three questions about the canned meat product with a verrrry long shelf life. Originally broadcast Sept. 29, 2018.
NPR logo

Not My Job: Actor Jon Hamm Gets Quizzed On Spam

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/680847287/680890731" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/680847287/680890731" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Hamm, best known as Don Draper on the AMC series Mad Men, answers three questions about the canned meat product with a verrrry long shelf life. Originally broadcast Sept. 29, 2018.

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. This New Year's Eve, count to 10 and watch the Bill drop. That's me...

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: ...Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thanks, Bill.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. It's the week between Christmas and New Year's - the holiday perineum.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You've opened all the presents. You've drunk all the eggnog. And now you're waiting to be invited to a New Year's Eve party.

KURTIS: Sorry, Peter. We just don't have the space for a lot of people this year. It's mostly just family. You understand, right?

SAGAL: Whatever your plans, we promise to keep you entertained with a fresh batch of WAIT WAIT favorites and some clips we've never put on the air before. But first, we have this much beloved interview with the most handsome man on television, Jon Hamm.

KURTIS: Jon joined us in September at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles along with Jessi Klein, Maz Jobrani and Alonzo Bodden. Peter asked him about his time on "The Dating Game."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

JON 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, he did not.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: Nor should she have.

SAGAL: Really?

HAMM: It was bad. And 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...

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: ...Saying yes when I maybe should have 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. It's - no one's going to invent a thing where everything is saved, and it can be distributed globally instantaneously.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: That's never going to happen. This will burn into the ether, 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, geez.

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)

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.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: That's kind of all you really need in the world.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: I got - it's...

(LAUGHTER)

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

(LAUGHTER)

JOBRANI: Come on. We don't have hair.

(LAUGHTER)

JOBRANI: Look at you. I look terrible.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: I'll ask you about something else that you are - 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.

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: Yeah, for example.

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

SAGAL: No. 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.

JESSI 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, like, have, like, light banter with Jon Hamm to bond. And so I was, like, oh, how was it shaving your beard? I was, like....

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: My boyfriend, when he shaves his beard, stops in the middle of the shave and does, like, silly pictures of himself with, like, a moustache and, like, does a few phases in between. And then I was, like, why did I mention my boyfriend to Jon Hamm?

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: And also, that was so stupid. What a dumb story to tell him. Like - and then you took out your phone and showed me the pictures of your silly mustache...

(APPLAUSE)

KLEIN: ...That you had done while you were shaving. I was, like, oh, Jon Hamm. What a winner of a man.

(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)

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...

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.

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: You ready for this?

HAMM: All right, Lauren.

SAGAL: Now, 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.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: I've got it. 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.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

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 millionaires' 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.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: Loud, loud, loud.

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: Yes.

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

HAMM: Choosing A.

SAGAL: You're right, yes - kosher...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Spam.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: It is known as Loof and made from kosher beef. All right. You can be - I was about to say you can be perfect, but you already are.

HAMM: Oh, my God.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMM: Stop.

SAGAL: You can be more perfect...

HAMM: Stop.

SAGAL: ...If you get this question right. As food preferences have 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.

SAGAL: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

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

SAGAL: My god - you're right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

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.

(CHEERING)

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.

(APPLAUSE)

HAMM: Thank you very much.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2018 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.