PETER SAGAL, HOST:
And now the game where we take delightful people and make them undelightful (ph) things. It's called Not My Job. Adam Scott is an actor who has done a lot of great things in his career. He's probably best known as Ben Wyatt, the very well-meaning, not always successful city manager from "Parks And Recreation." He's got a new sitcom - it's called "Ghosted" - in which he plays the well-meaning, not always successful paranormal investigator.
Adam Scott, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
ADAM SCOTT: Thank you.
SAGAL: So I always want to check with people. Am I right? Is that the role that you are most commonly recognized for, on "Parks And Rec."
SCOTT: I would say so, yeah. And happily, I would say - proudly.
SAGAL: Yeah, it was an awfully good TV show.
SAGAL: One of my very favorites.
SCOTT: Thank you.
SAGAL: And I watch the new show, which is "Ghosted." And am I - there are some similarities between your new character and Ben Wyatt. Would you agree?
SCOTT: Yeah, sure. It's sort of the clueless befuddlement.
SAGAL: Yeah, that's exactly what I mean, the clueless befuddlement. Do you think now, then, that there's an Adam Scott type?
SCOTT: Oh, good lord.
SAGAL: For example, that your role in the great motorcycle racing movie "Torque," perhaps, could have led you to a career in action movies.
SCOTT: You see if that was the Adam Scott type...
SCOTT: ...Then we'd be talking.
SAGAL: That'd be awesome.
SAGAL: So "Torque" is this motorcycle version of "The Fast And The Furious" franchise where it's, like, insane motorcycle races and gorgeous people who are, like, racing each other. And you play the incredibly hip, good-looking, like, FBI agent. Is that right?
SCOTT: That's right, McPherson.
SAGAL: You have fear in your name.
MO ROCCA: Well, this sounds like the kind of movie that makes you gay.
AMY DICKINSON: All movies make you gay, Mo.
SCOTT: Yeah, I came very close on that one.
ROCCA: Wait, can I just say that Adam Scott - who here saw "Big Little Lies"?
DICKINSON: Oh, God.
ROCCA: Oh, my God. It was so good.
ROCCA: And he was - you were great in it.
SCOTT: Oh, thanks.
SAGAL: Now we saw - yeah, "Big Little Lies," which is a much more serious role on HBO - and I was thinking about that. You play one of the characters' husband. It's somewhat problematic, the relationship, the character. You have a beard.
SAGAL: In the movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," you play the heavy, the corporate evil guy who oppresses the hero. You have a beard. Is that the key - that when you're wearing a beard, you're an awful person?
SCOTT: I think it's just when I'm wearing a beard, I really mean it.
DICKINSON: Total commitment.
SAGAL: Very - yeah, there's a sincerity. You are a big fan of other famous people. Like, for example, didn't you do a podcast about the band U2?
SCOTT: Yeah. That's also embarrassing but very, very true.
SAGAL: Why is it embarrassing?
SCOTT: I don't know - because, like, in a forum like this...
SCOTT: ...Bringing up that I have a podcast about U2...
SCOTT: ...I didn't realize when we started doing it that it was something that would be out there that people wouldn't notice.
ROCCA: But you're worried about seeming like a nerd on an NPR radio show?
SAGAL: So tell me about this podcast about U2. Did you critique the records? Did you do a history of the band? What was it?
SCOTT: Well, we went album by album...
SCOTT: ...From their very first record on. And our episodes sometimes went over two hours.
SCOTT: Scott Aukerman and I would just start talking about anything. But it would always pretty much come back to U2.
SCOTT: And, I have to say - eventually, U2 came on the show. And we sat down with all four guys and...
SCOTT: ...Interviewed them for a couple of hours. So when we started it, we - it was basically because Scott and my - both of our wives were sick of hearing us talk about U2.
SAGAL: So I just want to go back - rewind a little bit. You started, just you and your friend Scott, just talking about you just on a podcast, just the two of you and you ended up with U2 on the show.
SCOTT: I'd never interviewed anyone before, and the podcast was kind of a joke. So here I was actually with them, able to ask them anything I wanted. And I ended up being a terrible interviewer. All of my questions were just kind of - just compliments basically.
SAGAL: Do you know...
ROCCA: How awesome are you?
SAGAL: Do you know how great you are?
SCOTT: Exactly. It was ridiculous.
SAGAL: Well, Adam Scott, it is so much fun to talk to you. But we, today, have asked you here to play a game we're calling...
BILL KURTIS: Where'd You Go?
SAGAL: Well, Adam Scott, your new show is called "Ghosted," so we're going to ask you three questions about ghosting. That is the practice of simply stopping all communication with a significant other until they get the hint and go away.
SAGAL: Answer two out of three questions about ghosting, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners.
Bill, who is Adam Scott playing for?
KURTIS: Aimee Walker of Dayton, Ohio.
SAGAL: Here they are.
SAGAL: All right, here's your first question - and Aimee is watching.
SAGAL: Ghosting may seem like a recent trend. It actually has a long and storied history. Which of these is one of the earliest known instances of ghosting - A, after Hans Christian Andersen overstayed his welcome at Charles Dickens' house, Dickens slowly ceased all correspondence without offering any explanation...
SAGAL: ...B, Napoleon Bonaparte ended his relationship with Josephine by sending all of her letters back with just the note - sorry I must be short with you...
SAGAL: ...Or C, when the famous English diarist Samuel Pepys was approached by a lady he wanted to avoid, he pretended to be dead of the plague?
SCOTT: Well, those are all terrific options.
SCOTT: But I would say B because I think we all...
UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Booing).
SCOTT: ...Know how clever Napoleon was.
SAGAL: Yes, he was known for his wit.
SAGAL: But sounds like...
SAGAL: ...It was actually A. It was Charles Dickens ghosted Hans Christian Andersen after a too-long home visit. It was apparently a terrible visit. So...
ROCCA: Oh, it must have made him feel like an "Ugly Duckling."
SCOTT: Ayo (ph).
SAGAL: Hello. All right, you have two more chances, Adam.
SAGAL: So when you're famous, as I'm sure you know, it's not that easy to ghost people. But it can be done, as when somebody did which of these? A, J.Lo broke up with one of her dancers simply by demoting him to the role of dancing palm tree...
SAGAL: ...B, the actress Jennifer Love Hewitt broke up with Carson Daly by just telling her publicist that they had split and letting him hear about it on the radio...
SAGAL: ...Or C, author Danielle Steele broke up with her boyfriend by writing him into a novel and then killing him off?
SCOTT: I think I know that B is true. I just wonder if when Jennifer Love Hewitt was saying that to her publicist, she knew that in 15 or so years, people would be talking about it on NPR.
SAGAL: I know.
SAGAL: That may be why she did it because you're right. That's the true one.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Last question, Adam - this is the one that might win it all. Ghosting - already old and tired. The new hot thing to do in bad relationshipping (ph) is which of these - A, botting (ph), where you program a bot to respond to the other person's texts automatically...
ROCCA: Ah, Russian.
SAGAL: ...B, breadcrumbing (ph), where you give the person just enough interest to keep them hanging on...
SAGAL: ...Or C, drooling, where you drive them off by only sending selfies of yourself eating sloppily?
SCOTT: (Laughter) Wow.
SCOTT: I would say A...
SAGAL: You're going to go for botting?
KURTIS: Oh, oh.
SAGAL: Mo disagrees.
DICKINSON: No, no, no, no, no, no.
ROCCA: Yeah, I don't - Adam, no.
SAGAL: Yeah, yeah.
DICKINSON: Think about something that...
SCOTT: What do you think it is, Mo?
DICKINSON: Now, think about something that's just so much meaner than that.
ROCCA: Yeah. I think C too sitcom-y (ph).
SAGAL: You do?
ROCCA: I - yeah.
SCOTT: So you think it's B?
ROCCA: Yeah, yeah.
ALONZO BODDEN: That seems to be the vote.
ROCCA: Unless we're actually breadcrumbing you.
SCOTT: OK. So I...
ROCCA: OK, B.
SAGAL: Yes, it is B. Of course...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: ...It's B.
SCOTT: All right, all right.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Adam Scott do on our quiz? Well, our audience proving that you are from Dayton, Adam. And you're a winner.
SAGAL: Adam Scott's...
SAGAL: Adam Scott's new show on Fox is "Ghosted."
Adam Scott, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME. What a delight to play with you.
SCOTT: Thank you, guys.
SAGAL: Thank you.
SCOTT: Thanks so much.
SAGAL: Great job.
(SOUNDBITE OF JOHNNY CASH SONG, "(GHOST) RIDERS IN THE SKY")
SAGAL: In just a minute, what do you get when you milk a pink cow? The answer is in our Listener Limerick Challenge game. Call 1-888-WAITWAIT to join us on air. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.
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