BILL KURTIS, HOST:
From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. Hopity-scoop (ph), scoopity-doop (ph), I'm belody-boop (ph), Bill Kurtis.
KURTIS: And here's your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. Thanks, everybody.
SAGAL: Oh, we do have a good show for you today. I share your enthusiasm. Later on we're going to be talking to Mayim Bialik, who took a break from a successful career as an actress on TV to get a Ph.D. in neuroscience, then went back to TV 'cause what's a Ph.D. going to do for you?
SAGAL: But first, this week President Trump did something that nobody thought he would or could do. He arranged a peace summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. And those of us who have been mildly critical of the president apparently owe him thanks for doing this, which we will be happy to do as soon as he pays what he owes to anybody.
SAGAL: But on to an even more monumental meeting - the union of you and our prize, the voice of anyone you like from our show. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
LEE DIGEORGE: Hello, this is Lee Digeorge from New York City.
SAGAL: Hey, Lee, how are you?
DIGEORGE: I'm doing wonderful. How are you today?
SAGAL: I'm fine. You know, if you hadn't told me you were from New York, I would've assumed that.
SAGAL: You have that energy. What do you do there in the Big Apple?
DIGEORGE: I am a public school teacher. I teach middle school English and technology.
SAGAL: All right.
SAGAL: Middle school teacher - you're a hero doing it in New York. You are a miracle of nature. I am impressed, sir.
DIGEORGE: Thank you very much. Sometimes I wonder how I do it myself.
SAGAL: I don't know how you do it. How do you - in middle school they're all just going nuts with hormones. How do you hold their attention?
DIGEORGE: You don't.
SAGAL: Oh, well.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Lee. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a comedian who'll be performing at the Stir Crazy Comedy Club in Glendale, Ariz., on June 21 through 23rd. And she's the host of the trivia podcast Go Fact Yourself, he said carefully, on the Maximum Fun network. It's Helen Hong.
HELEN HONG: Hello. Hey, teach.
SAGAL: Next up, we welcome back a comedian who'll be at the Comedy Attic in Bloomington, Ind., on May 17 through the 19. Her album "Black And Mild" is out now. It's Janelle James.
JANELLE JAMES: Hello.
SAGAL: Finally, it's the comedian who'll be performing at the Laugh Boston comedy club on June 14 through the 16th. It's Alonzo Bodden.
ALONZO BODDEN: Hello, Lee.
SAGAL: So, Lee, welcome to the show. Of course you anticipated this. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to recreate for you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize, the voice of anyone on our show you might like for your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
DIGEORGE: I'm ready. Let's do this.
SAGAL: All right. You sound ready. Here we go. It's your first quote.
KURTIS: We engaged him to provide insights into understanding the new administration.
SAGAL: That was AT&T in an official statement explaining why they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to whom?
DIGEORGE: Michael Cohen.
SAGAL: Michael Cohen.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: This is the week we learned that paying off a porn star was the least scandalous thing Mr. Cohen has done.
SAGAL: In fact, when Cohen is finally convicted, his lawyer will argue against a stiff sentence by saying, but, your honor, he's done good things, too. He paid off a porn star.
SAGAL: Thanks to Stormy Daniels' lawyer, who's on cable TV more than catheter commercials...
SAGAL: ...We now know that Cohen collected more than $2 million from companies like AT&T and drug maker Novartis and a Russian oligarch presumably in exchange for access to the Trump administration. This opens Trump up to charges of bribery and influence peddling. Michael Cohen is quickly replacing Jared Kushner as Donald Trump's least favorite Jew.
UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Oh.
SAGAL: So what's going on? It's so hard to keep track. But what started off as a mere cover-up of an affair with a porn star is now an international bribery case. Poor President Trump. He thought the worst consequences he'd ever faced for having sex was Don Jr.
JAMES: To me he's the only person that's doing well. He's making all this money for doing nothing (laughter).
SAGAL: It's good work - it's good work if you can get it until feds come, I guess.
JAMES: True. True (laughter).
SAGAL: My favorite part about this bizarre story that's coming out is Novartis, this drug company, said they would pay him, like, a million-two - right? - for his consultation services. And they met with him once. And they said, this guy's not going to do anything for us. But they paid the contract.
JAMES: He is the best. I'm telling you guys. He's diabolical.
SAGAL: Can you imagine, like, meeting...
JAMES: He's diabolical.
SAGAL: Meeting this guy, and he's so awful you don't want to deal with him again to the point of just leave - let them have the money. Just - rather than talk to him.
BODDEN: Well, it's got to the point where you pay him either to be associated with him or to not be associated with him.
BODDEN: Just keep the money and never mention our names.
SAGAL: AT&T had said they'd paid $200,000. It came out later it was more like $600,000.
SAGAL: That's why there's an $8 porn star hush fee on your mobile bill every month.
HONG: I was going to say I'm really mad about my cellphone bill.
SAGAL: You got to check those charges, I guess.
SAGAL: Yeah. All right, here, Lee, is your next quote.
KURTIS: Be Best.
SAGAL: Be Best. That was the slogan for whose new big public good initiative launched at the White House?
DIGEORGE: The best?
SAGAL: Be Best.
DIGEORGE: Oh, wait a second. It's Melania.
SAGAL: It's Melania.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
SAGAL: After a year and a half of near invisibility, Mrs. Trump came out with her first first lady social initiative. It's called Be Best. She got the name when Donald Trump asked her if she wanted to sleep in a different room at the White House and she said, that would be best.
SAGAL: But it's hard to figure out how, like, the phrase Be Best made it through, like, the vetting process and got put on posters.
SAGAL: But really, when it comes to the White House, who needs grammar Nazis when you have real Nazis?
UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Ooh (ph).
SAGAL: The Be Best program, we are told, has three pillars - well-being, social media and opioid abuse.
SAGAL: Try all three, kids.
HONG: Be best at opioid abuse?
SAGAL: We don't know. It turns out that they put out this pamphlet, "Be Best: Guide To Having Your Kids Online" (ph). It turns out it was an Obama administration pamphlet that they just pasted a new cover on.
SAGAL: And this happened not quite two years after Melania plagiarized Michelle Obama's convention speech for her own, you remember. Mrs. Trump denied she would ever copy anything and said she was so insulted she retired to spend more time with her daughters, Malia and Sasha.
HONG: This is so bizarre to me. Do we all agree that Be Best is not even grammatically correct?
SAGAL: No, it's (unintelligible). Nobody knows what it means.
HONG: So no one in the White House knows grammar.
SAGAL: Yeah, apparently.
HONG: Like, not one person.
JAMES: I feel like she had it correct. She had...
HONG: The best. Right.
JAMES: ...Be the best, but he proofread it and was like, no, that's wrong. It's be best.
SAGAL: Nobody says the. Losers say the.
JAMES: (Laughter) Exactly.
HONG: I feel like this is a good insight on why things are going well between him and Kim Jong Un, because they speak the same level of English. They just...
SAGAL: Me best. No, me best.
SAGAL: Lee, here is your last quote.
KURTIS: This is not the time for sightseeing.
SAGAL: That was a warning from the Hawaii government telling tourists to stay away from the Big Island because of what little problem?
DIGEORGE: The volcano erupted.
SAGAL: Yes, the erupting volcano.
SAGAL: No. Oh, no. The Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii has been burping up flowing lava and toxic gas into a residential area this week. Hundreds of residents evacuated once they checked that the warning did not come from the same guy who sent the alert about the missile.
HONG: I'm concerned. Are we sending help? Like, does - 'cause I don't think the president knows that Hawaii is actually part of the United States.
SAGAL: No, I was about to say the president refused to do it because - send help because he's against foreign aid.
BODDEN: And Hawaii's the foreign country our last president came from.
SAGAL: Exactly. Bill, how did Lee do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Lee got 3 and 0. Did well, Lee. Congratulations.
SAGAL: Well done, Lee. Congratulations.
DIGEORGE: Thank you very much.
SAGAL: Bye-bye, Lee.
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