Bluff The Listener Our panelists tell three stories about famous people taking up second careers.
NPR logo

Bluff The Listener

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/126421878/126421866" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/126421878/126421866" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Our panelists tell three stories about famous people taking up second careers.

CARL KASELL, Host:

From NPR and Chicago Public Radio, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing his week with Roy Blount Jr., Keegan- Michael Key and Amy Dickinson. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, Host:

Thank you, Carl.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you so much, everybody. Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! "Bluff the Listener" game. Call 1-888-Wait Wait to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

M: Hi, this is Jeff Stephens. I'm calling from Carrolton, Texas.

SAGAL: Now, one of the great things about callers from Texas is you always seem to be in different towns, never the same town twice. So where's Carrolton?

M: It is a northern suburb of Dallas.

SAGAL: I see. So what do you do there?

M: I am a software engineer, and my wife and I are raising two wonderful children.

SAGAL: Really?

M: We didn't ask you about that.

SAGAL: No.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Jeff, welcome to the show. Now you're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Jeff's topic?

KASELL: Without second chances, we wouldn't have refried beans.

SAGAL: F. Scott Fitzgerald once said: There are no second acts in American lives. Then again, he was drunk a lot. Our panelists are going to tell you three stories about some well-known people from all over the world who've gone on to do different and surprising things with their lives. Choose the true story, and you'll win Carl's voice on your home answering machine and/or voicemail. Ready to play?

M: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: All right, first let's hear from Roy Blount Jr.

M: We know that the great American poet Emily Dickinson was an ancestor of our own Amy, which is true. But this week, we learned that the two of them have more than bloodlines in common. Burton McCallum(ph), a PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has presented a dissertation based on his discovery in previously overlooked archives of the long-defunct Amherst Bugle - that for four months, in 1883, Emily Dickinson wrote the Bugle's "Ask Aunt Latisha" advice column.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Well, what will surprise many is how often Dickinson's columns urged under-appreciated wives to take drastic measures. With what you use to beat the rug, give him a walloping.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: She advised one letter writer. And to another, who complained of being ignored, Dickinson's pithy response was: A man will pay attention soon on finding that his hat's ablaze.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Oh, boy.

SAGAL: The belle of Amherst giving out hard-nosed advice as an agony aunt. Your next story of an unexpected sequel comes from Keegan-Michael Key.

M: The Rolling Stones are still going strong, selling out arenas, playing Super Bowls, reminiscing about the War of 1812. But while Mick and the rest of the Stones are on tour getting lucky with groupies, the group's former bassist, Bill Wyman, is wandering around beaches, looking for loose change.

SAGAL: My Bill Wyman signature detector is lightweight, easy to use and affordable, yet has significant performance levels.

Wyman has been all over the English countryside detecting, and has made some significant archeological finds. With any luck, Bill Wyman's rock star status will do for metal detecting what George Foreman did for grills, and what Tom Selleck did for Hawaiian shirts. Like they always say, a rolling stone gathers no moss. But on a good day, it does gather 42 cents in loose change.

SAGAL: Former Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman, scanning the sands with his own patented brand metal detector. Your last story of a second act in a famous life comes from Amy Dickinson.

M: Gravel-voiced talk show host Larry King is a man of many interests. Aside from getting married, wearing suspenders, and lobbing softball questions to his guests, Larry King has a secret hobby which is about to turn into a business empire. King recently gave an interview to a magazine called Handbag Hobbyist, where he announced his plan to market a line of high-end bags for women.

H: Go ahead and say it. I'm really into leather, ha, ha.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: From Roy Blount's story, we heard how Emily Dickinson, in addition to the poetry or after the poetry, became an advice columnist for a local paper. From Keegan-Michael Key, the former bassist for the Rolling Stones now pursuing his true passion, metal detection. And from Amy Dickinson, Larry King, the talk show host, now getting into exotic leather accessories. Which of these is the real story of a second career after the famous first one?

M: Wow. Well, the best strategy always seems to be to go with the most outlandish story, but these are all so crazy. I think I'm going to go with number two just because it sounds like it's maybe possible.

SAGAL: That would be Keegan's story of Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones making metal detectors.

M: That's right.

SAGAL: All right, well that's your choice. We spoke to someone who had a rather interesting connection to the real story.

M: Bill Wyman has always been one of the odder members of the Rolling Stones.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

M: Fifteen years after he left the band, he suddenly reappeared marketing, of all things, a metal detector.

SAGAL: That was Bill Wyman - not the Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, but the Bill Wyman who used to work at NPR and the Baltimore Sun, who has an intimate connection with Mr. Wyman. So you were correct. In fact, Keegan had the right story about Bill Wyman's metal detector. You have earned a point for Keegan, and you have earned our prize: Carl's voice on your home answering machine.

M: Well that's fantastic. Thank you very much.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well done. Thanks for playing.

M: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

M: Bye.

Copyright © 2010 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.