Who's Bill This Time? Bunker mentality, school's in, blast off.
NPR logo

Who's Bill This Time?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/871455218/871459553" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Who's Bill This Time?

Who's Bill This Time?

Who's Bill This Time?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/871455218/871459553" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Bunker mentality, school's in, blast off.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following program was taped before an audience of no one.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, This is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz.

Hey, everybody. Don't call in the military. Call in the Billa-tary.

PETER GROSZ: (Laughter).

KURITS: I'm Bill Kurtis, and here is your host, hiding in his presidential bunker, Peter Sagal.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thanks, Bill. And thanks, fake audience, which this week is a bunch of people at midnight on New Year's Eve 2019 who were so happy that year was over and just knew the next year was going to be so much better. We want to start the show this week with some breaking news. It's June. I. know. We're as surprised as you are. And look. This is a challenging week to make jokes about the news. There is obviously nothing funny about police violence and racism. Who would have thought a week ago that the global pandemic would be our good news segment? Anyway, we're going to do our best today, and we are very glad you're all here with us. Give us a call to play our games. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Now let's welcome our first listener contestant.

Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

JULIAN: Hi, Peter. This is Julian calling from Flagstaff, Ariz.

SAGAL: Flagstaff, which is a beautiful place high up there in the mountains, right?

JULIAN: It sure is. I'm looking at some beautiful ponderosa pine trees.

SAGAL: I once got desperately lost on a run out there. It was one of the most terrifying times of my life. So I'm never coming back. What do you do there?

JULIAN: Well, I'm taking care of my grandfather, and I work in local government.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. You're - so you're, like, quarantining with your grandfather.

JULIAN: I sure am.

SAGAL: This sounds - is it as charming and lovely as it would be in the sitcom version of your life?

JULIAN: Oh, no. We like to get angry at each other almost every day.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, it's a different kind of sitcom then. Well, welcome to the show, Julian. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a comedian who's just been watching all his shows get canceled everywhere, but you can watch him @AlonzoBodden on Twitter or @ZoFunny on Instagram. It's Alonzo Bodden.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

ALONZO BODDEN: Hello, Julian. How you doing?

JULIAN: Doing well, thank you. Very nice to talk with you.

SAGAL: Next, the comedian who hosts the celebrity trivia podcast Go Fact Yourself in the Maximum Fun Network and who supports the work of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. It's Helen Hong.

(APPLAUSE)

HELEN HONG: Hey. Hi, Julian. Hi, everybody.

JULIAN: Hi.

SAGAL: And finally, an actor and writer who wrote for the most recent season of "At Home With Amy Sedaris," currently airing on TruTV. It's Peter Grosz.

GROSZ: Hello.

JULIAN: Hi, Peter.

SAGAL: So, Julian, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose for your voice mail. You ready to go?

JULIAN: Yes, sir. Let's do it.

SAGAL: All right. Now, as you might expect, your first quote is from the president of the United States.

KURITS: Our country is doing well. It's doing fantastically well.

SAGAL: OK, we admit this is a little hard.

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SAGAL: But what country did the president say was doing fantastically well this week?

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Well, I'd hope that it was the United States. But at this point, it could be China or Russia or anybody in between.

JULIAN: No, it was the United States. We'll just give it to you.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Yeah. You can't blame the president for - OK. Yes, you can blame the president.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So cops dressed up like evil hockey goalies are beating up people peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. And yes, there's still that global pandemic thing going on. But our president spent most of the week in a White House bunker, watching TV. And I guess what he saw was a lovely country with a smiling sun and rabbits playing in the grass. But then they turned off the "Teletubbies" and told him it was bedtime.

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: By the way, the president now says that he didn't go down to the White House bunker to hide from the scary people outside. He says he went down there very quickly just to inspect it, right? You know how it goes. You eat something funny. Your stomach rumbles, and you say woops, time to go inspect the bunker.

GROSZ: That's why he has that shirt that says FBI - federal bunker inspector.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: The worst thing about him being in the bunker is the poor Postmates guy who's carrying the Big Macs.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: There's all these rooms in the White House. He's banging on every door. And he's like, where is he? Wait. Bunker? Where's the bunker?

HONG: Him inspecting the bunker is like me saying I have been pounding back the vodka to inspect the bottom of the bottle.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Now, the president did not like the coverage of him hiding in the bunker, so he had protesters removed by force, so he could walk across the park in front of the White House carrying a Bible and stand in front of a church. It was weird to see Trump walking over there. Usually, you'd expect him to take a golf cart for that distance.

HONG: You know what my favorite thing about that Bible photo is? I guess one of the reporters said, hey, President, is that your Bible? And he went, it's a Bible.

SAGAL: That's true.

HONG: (Laughter) Which is like somebody being like, hey, Helen, that photo of Jake Gyllenhaal that you're holding up - is that your boyfriend? And I'm like, it's a boyfriend.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You are technically answering the question correctly.

GROSZ: I think he thought he would get a lot of credit for that, too. It is a Bible. Thank you very much. I'm Donald Trump. I got 10 points.

SAGAL: So in order to get this amazing picture, he had Attorney General Barr order the park cleared with flash grenades, riot police and tear gas. Oh, no. No, wait a minute. I'm sorry. I apologize. The White House is insisting it was not actually tear gas. You know, it's just that the president was so brave and determined that the protesters were moved to tears and to vomiting and fleeing.

BODDEN: It's a little-known fact that Moses actually used tear gas to part the Red Sea.

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: It's true. Yes.

BODDEN: That's how it was actually done.

HONG: I remember that, yeah.

SAGAL: Moses had a bag of flash bangs to just keep those waters apart. This is not the first time.

GROSZ: And then when Moses got the Ten Commandments, he held them - was like, oh, God, this is so awkward holding this giant stone tablets in my hands. Are those the Commandments? They're a commandments.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Here is your next quote. It comes from CBS in LA.

KURITS: Each student would be assigned one ball to play with alone.

SAGAL: That's one of the many new policies being set in place for when what starts up in the fall?

JULIAN: When schools reopen in the fall.

SAGAL: Exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, school finally ended in most of the country. And kids gratefully ran out of the room where they were attending Zoom classes and into another room. Where else they going to go? So school administrators are already thinking about rules for the fall. The LA school district has said that kids won't be eating lunch together in the cafeteria but alone in their seats in the classroom. Congratulations, nerds. You're not the only ones now eating with the teacher.

HONG: Oh, that's the saddest thing I've ever heard.

SAGAL: It really is.

HONG: Then you're just going to give each kid one ball, and they just have...

SAGAL: Yes

HONG: ...To, like, hit it against the wall in their - its respective corners.

SAGAL: That is, in fact, a part of it. Every student at recess will be given their own ball and - think of the great games, Helen. You can play when everyone has a ball. Like, everyone stares sadly at their ball.

HONG: (Laughter).

GROSZ: And there's some kids who are still like, I'm so bad at this. I can't even hold a ball. I'm such - I'm so bad of an athlete that holding a ball is beyond my capacity.

SAGAL: Can you imagine the humiliation for the kids like me who are going to be picked last for holding their own ball?

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: How happy are the parents going to be when the schools open because this homeschooling - I think most parents got to the point where they started telling their kids the truth. Like, look. You're never going to use algebra. Just don't even worry about it. There's no geometry in the real world. Put that book down.

SAGAL: (Laughter). Square. Circle.

BODDEN: All right, stop not bothering me with your questions.

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Well, Julian, you're doing great so far. Here is your last quote.

KURITS: Godspeed, Bob and Doug.

SAGAL: Those were the words spoken to two guys who became the first men to do what from the United States in a long time?

JULIAN: To launch into space.

SAGAL: Exactly right, Julian. Very good.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Saturday, American astronauts launched into orbit from America, as opposed to the way they've been doing it for the last nine years, standing in the side of the highway and holding up a sign saying, International Space Station.

HONG: (Laughter).

BODDEN: Did they actually launch into space, or did they escape the Earth? That's the question.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: They did seem pretty happy to go.

BODDEN: Did they launch into space or escape America?

GROSZ: There were a lot of people hanging. I've never seen that many people hanging on the side of a rocket for dear life.

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: It was like the last helicopter out of Saigon.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: Yeah, all the technicians were like, talk about - you want to talk about a fake inspection? All those guys are like, I'm just going to go on board and just look around. Start the countdown. It's fine. I'll get off by the time they get off.

SAGAL: Bill, how did Julian do on our quiz?

KURITS: Julian did great, three and 0.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Congratulations, Julian.

JULIAN: Thanks, Bill.

SAGAL: Thank you.

JULIAN: Thanks, everyone.

SAGAL: Thank you. Stay safe and stay healthy, Julian. Thanks for calling.

JULIAN: Thanks so much.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2020 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.