OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
JONATHAN COULTON: Hey, Ophira.
EISENBERG: So today, we're playing a game about ethics. So let's warm up with a philosopher and movie mash-up speed round.
EISENBERG: First, an existentialist philosopher teams up with a talking raccoon to fight aliens.
COULTON: You're talking about "Soren Kierkegaardian's Of The Galaxy."
EISENBERG: Try this - a Richard Linklater comedy about an ancient Chinese philosopher.
COULTON: Is that "Dazed And Confucius?"
EISENBERG: Yes. Can you think of any more of these?
COULTON: No, "I Immanuel Kant."
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COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from The Bell House in beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y., it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.
EISENBERG: Thank you, Jonathan. We've got a great show for you. Four brilliant contestants are backstage signing NDAs. They're here to play our nerdy games, but only one will be our big winner. And our special guest is actor William Jackson Harper. He stars on "The Good Place" where he plays an ethics professor who helps his friends become better people in the afterlife, which feels like a little late to me.
EISENBERG: It's like learning to dance after the prom or going into couples counseling right after you get a divorce. But good call setting this sitcom in the afterlife since we all know jokes are no longer possible in reality. Let's first meet our contestants. First up, Rebekah Shoemake (ph) on buzzer No. 1.
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EISENBERG: You're a writer and math tutor. Welcome.
REBEKAH SHOEMAKE: Thanks for having me.
EISENBERG: Your opponent is Cesar Martinez (ph) on a buzzer No. 2.
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EISENBERG: You're a stylist for a custom menswear brand. Welcome.
CESAR MARTINEZ: Glad to be here.
EISENBERG: So Rebekah and Cesar, the first of you who wins two of our games will go on to our final round. Let's start with a guessing game called Memorabilia For Real, Ya? Jonathan and I will describe a piece of celebrity memorabilia. You just have to tell us if it's real or something that we made up. We're going to go back and forth, so no need to ring in. Here we go. Rebekah, at the Museum of Yoga in Rio de Janeiro, check out Shakira's yoga mat. Her hips don't lie, but they do lie down - real or fake.
EISENBERG: Yeah, that's fake. That's fake. It's a bit of a stretch.
COULTON: Cesar, at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., it slices, it dices, it's a genuine Veg-O-Matic - real or fake.
COULTON: Yeah, that's totally real.
EISENBERG: Rebekah, at Arnold Schwarzenegger's childhood home in Austria, you can view some of his first dumbbells - real or fake.
SHOEMAKE: I really want that to be real.
EISENBERG: It's been granted. Your wish has been granted. Yeah, it's real. He did - he had no electricity or running water growing up. So you can also view his family's pit toilet...
EISENBERG: ...Which is an indoor outhouse.
COULTON: Is that a big attraction, you think, at the museum?
EISENBERG: If the dumbbells are.
COULTON: Yeah. Cesar, at the Cold War Museum in Warrenton, Va., the socks David Hasselhoff wore when he performed on top of the Berlin Wall - real or fake.
COULTON: Yeah, that's fake.
MARTINEZ: Oh, thank God.
COULTON: You guys are getting by with just wishing what you...
EISENBERG: All right, these are your last clues. Rebekah, at the Famous Endings Museum in Dover, Ohio, a program from Lucille Ball's funeral - real or fake.
EISENBERG: Yeah, that's real. Yup.
COULTON: Cesar, at The Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center...
COULTON: ...You'll find Dan Quayle's law degree which was chewed up by his dog, Barnaby. Is that real or fake?
COULTON: No, that's real. That's a real thing.
EISENBERG: Yeah, more troubling, the entire thing is real. All of it's real.
EISENBERG: The museum's motto used to be, second to one.
EISENBERG: Puzzle guru Art Chung, how did our contestants do?
ART CHUNG: It was a close game. Rebekah, well done. You're one step closer to the final round.
[POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: In the original broadcast of this game, we said, "It's a genuine Veg-O-Matic from Ron Popeil, donated by his daughter after his death." Ron Popeil is not dead. The Veg-O-Matic is from inventor Samuel Popeil – Samuel's daughter Lisa donated the Veg-O-Matic after her father's death. Samuel Popeil's son, Ron Popeil, who founded Ronco Inventions and popularly marketed the device, is still alive.]
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