Gather 'Round And Get Merry : NPR Extra How Lizz Wistead, John Hodgman, A.J. Jacobs and NPR's Ask Me Another do the holidays.

Gather 'Round And Get Merry

It was an spectacle, really. An evening complete with extra doses of merriment and joy, all wrapped in festive decor.

The holiday cheer came earlier this month when NPR's Ask Me Another packed its (Bell) House full of fans for a special holiday show with not one, but three V(ery) I(mportant) P(uzzler)s. To ring in the year-end right, the show invited back a few veterans of the puzzle hot seat to join in a night of games, trivia and holiday duets, including:

  • Immersion journalist A.J. Jacobs, known for his experiments reading all 32 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and living according to the rules of the Bible as literally as possible.
  • John Hodgman, a sort of human encyclopedia himself (although he might need to be fact-checked), also joined the festivities.
  • Lizz Wistead, co-creator of The Daily Show and many things fabulous, has a knack for words, nerds and games - a.k.a. the egg to Ask Me Another's nog.

Ophira Eisenberg played holiday hostess, Hodgman and Ask Me Another house musician Jonathan Coulton provided musical cheer, blessing fans with some of the love they've shared during past collaborations, and not to worry, tales of oddball family traditions for the season were aplenty.

While not all of us were good enough boys and girls this year to get to see this show tape live, fortunately, we can relive it now. The episode, "A Holiday Spectacular," is available today at and as a podcast, and you can hear it this weekend on select NPR Member Stations around the country.

And don't think Ask Me Another is finished spreading the yuletide cheer either. This Saturday, the puzzle-loving team is throwing a day-long tribute to one of its favorite pastimes, and starting December 25, there's even more in store. We won't spoil any surprises, but stay tuned to the show's Facebook page and Twitter stream, @NPRAskMeAnother for details.

Caitlin Sanders contributed to this post.