Who's Bill This Time "The Text is Coming From Inside the White House!" "The Brett Files" and "PSL Season is Here."
NPR logo

Who's Bill This Time

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/655135763/655145650" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Who's Bill This Time

Who's Bill This Time

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/655135763/655145650" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz.

I like Bill. I still like Bill.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: Sometimes I had too much Bill. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here's your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you so much, Bill. Thank you. Thanks, everybody.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Great to be with you today. We have a fine show. Listen; a couple of years ago, on the Netflix TV show "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," we had to endure the following insult.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT")

TITUSS BURGESS: (As Titus Andromedon) Take your incomplete college application, and go wherever white folks go to finish stuff - a farmers market, dog park, maybe a live recording of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So we heard that. And I've got to tell you, we were thrilled.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: They noticed us. They really, really noticed us. Later on, we're going to have the chance to thank the star of that show, Ellie Kemper, in person when she joins us.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: But first, we want you to say cutting things about us to our faces. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant.

Hi. You are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MARY CHRISTENBERRY: Hi. This is Mary Christenberry calling from Cadillac, Mich.

SAGAL: All right. I am often...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...Made fun of because I always say - oh, I know that place. I have no idea where Cadillac, Mich., is. Where - is it...

CHRISTENBERRY: I'm not that surprised.

SAGAL: No...

CHRISTENBERRY: It is northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

SAGAL: Northern Lower Peninsula.

(LAUGHTER)

CHRISTENBERRY: If that tells you anything.

SAGAL: Not at all. All right.

PETER GROSZ: You're U.P. adjacent.

SAGAL: Yeah.

CHRISTENBERRY: About 45 minutes southeast of Traverse City.

SAGAL: Oh, OK. You don't sound like you know where it is. Are you...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Mary. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a feature writer for the style section of The Washington Post. It's Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Hello.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Next, it's a writer and actor who plays Mike Pence on a new "President Show" special airing October 22 on Comedy Central. It's Peter Grosz.

GROSZ: Hi.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: And it's a comedian who's performing November 16 through the 18 at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va. And her new podcast is Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone. Yes, that's right. It's Paula Poundstone.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Hey, Mary.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So Mary, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read for you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize, any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to play?

CHRISTENBERRY: I am.

SAGAL: All right. Your first quote is a text message everyone - everyone - received this week.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: "No action is needed."

SAGAL: Who sent that text?

CHRISTENBERRY: The president.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: The president of the United States.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: The system was created to allow the president to send a text message to every single American, whether they want it or not. Was created years ago - so it is just really good luck that Donald Trump is the first president to get to use it.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Some 300 million Americans got a text from him at the same time. That was OK. But it got really bad when that first guy hit reply all.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: Do we know whether or not he actually pushed that button to send that alert?

GROSZ: Oh, please...

POUNDSTONE: I'll bet he did.

GROSZ: ...They don't let him push buttons.

SAGAL: No.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No, actually, I think they let him push buttons. They just make sure they're disconnected from anything.

GROSZ: Yeah, snip.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And they have a guy in the corner going bzzt, bzzt (ph), just to fool him.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: When I found out that it was coming, I was worried that it was going to be like - like, the text would come in. And you know they all make those, like, horrible noises?

SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: And I just wanted to hear - like, I was worried that his voice was going to be like, (impersonating Donald Trump) excuse me, 'scuse me, 'scuse me, 'scuse me.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: Like, just emanate from...

POUNDSTONE: Sad.

GROSZ: Yeah. Sad. Sad.

SAGAL: Sad.

The system was designed so that the president, if he deems it necessary, can alert every American to an emergency - for example, say, The New York Times reporting that his entire business career was a total fraud...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Which by the way, also happened on Wednesday. So it's amazing the first presidential text wasn't, lies - fake news.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But it's an incredible story. It's 14,000 words. And so if you bought the physical paper, it's like four full spreads in the middle of the paper. It's incredible.

GROSZ: I was the centerfold...

SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: ...In The New York Times.

SAGAL: Yeah, that's what that sounds like.

(CROSSTALK)

SAGAL: It's all me.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And they also published videos online for people who are more visually oriented. And they published a shorter article with just highlights for people with a short attention span. And for the president himself, it was just a dollar sign next to a frowny face.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: So the way he tells it is that he's this self-made man. He has always said that he borrowed a million dollars from his father at one point in life. But the...

SAGAL: Paid it back with interest.

POUNDSTONE: Paid it back with interest - whereas none of that turned out to be true.

SAGAL: None of it.

POUNDSTONE: Instead, it's like he was on some survival show where the challenge was that you're dropped in the middle of New York City with a nice place to live and millions of millions of dollars.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Exactly, yeah. And yet he survived.

POUNDSTONE: He's amazing. He's amazing.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right, your next quote is from a letter that was written back in the early 1980s.

KURTIS: "Warn the neighbors that we're loud, obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us."

SAGAL: That was somebody being very honest back when he was in high school. He may or may not be just as honest now. Who is it?

CHRISTENBERRY: That would be Brett Kavanaugh.

SAGAL: Yes, Brett Kavanaugh.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Exactly right.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: The FBI released its investigative report about Brett Kavanaugh to senators this week. And they did it without interviewing either Judge Kavanaugh or Dr. Ford. But they did say they checked Wikipedia. Seriously...

POUNDSTONE: That's plenty.

SAGAL: ...I mean, you know they put all this effort into the report because it started with the words, Webster's defines assault as...

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: They say that - like, you know, who knows who did what? But from the strictly it-was-a-job-interview point of view on those hearings...

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: ...You know, I have worked at the IHOP.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: And when I was asked, you know - have you ever waitressed before? - it never occurred to me to go, no - have you? Have you ever waitressed?

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: What was weird about the fact that the FBI hardly interviewed anybody was all these people were saying, please interview me.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

SAGAL: What happened of course last week, Judge Kavanaugh, at his hearing, said he liked beer and sometimes maybe had too many beers back in high school but otherwise sober as a judge, which he is, not sober as his friend Mark Judge, who was totally blotto.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So all of these stories started coming up. The New York Times found a letter Brett sent back in the day organizing this beach week. You heard from that. And he also got into a bar fight at Yale after a UB40 concert.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: Now, what's the - what are the details of this? He thought that...

SAGAL: He thought, like - he...

ROBERTS: The guy at the bar was the lead singer.

GROSZ: He was the lead singer.

SAGAL: And he's like, you're the lead singer of UB40. You're here, man. We just saw you in concert. And he's like, no, I'm not. And they're like, yes, you are. And he decided to throw his beer or his glass of ice - it's unclear...

GROSZ: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...In the guy's face, you know. It's like...

ROBERTS: As one does.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: I want that guy to come forward and be like, I want everybody to stop thinking that I am the lead singer of UB40.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: I don't care if he gets on the court or not. That's not important.

SAGAL: It's absolutely - I mean, there's no way that story of him throwing a beer at a guy in a bar could be true. No way is Brett Kavanaugh going to waste a beer.

GROSZ: (Laughter) Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: He threw it in his face, and then he started licking the guy's face.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry, beer. I'm so sorry. I'll never do that again to you, beer.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Mary - speaking of drinks - Mary, your last quote is a company's description of a brand-new product they just released this week.

KURTIS: "The Pumpkin Spice Freedom ISO 2 will instantly become your favorite fall treat."

SAGAL: It sounds delicious. However, this new pumpkin spice product is a what?

CHRISTENBERRY: Is it a phone?

SAGAL: It's not a phone, although you're - it could be. I'll give you a hint. This pumpkin spice product is made by the Saucony company.

CHRISTENBERRY: A shoe.

SAGAL: It is a shoe.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Yes.

GROSZ: Oh, God (laughter).

(APPLAUSE_)

SAGAL: As far as we know, it is the first pumpkin spice shoe. Saucony released the Pumpkin Spice Freedom ISO 2 running shoe, and it's smart. A running shoe is the only thing whose scent would be improved by pumpkin spice.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It joins such products as pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin spice deodorant, cookies, drywall.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Starbucks, who originated this nightmare, is referring to their signature pumpkin spice latte as PSL, which also is when you speak pumpkin as a second language.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

POUNDSTONE: You know, I didn't know how that company's name was pronounced.

SAGAL: SAH-cah-nee (ph).

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

SAGAL: Now you know.

GROSZ: What'd you think it was?

POUNDSTONE: I thought it was sa-KOH-nee (ph).

GROSZ: Sa-KOH-nee?

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, that's what I thought. I've been saying it wrong for years.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: How often...

POUNDSTONE: Oh, I feel like an idiot.

SAGAL: ...Did it come up?

GROSZ: Is it in you act?

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: It's in your act - right? - like, most of your act is about Saucony.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, the majority...

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: You say sa-KOH-nee.

POUNDSTONE: ...Of my act is about...

GROSZ: How do you say N-I-K-E? Do you know that?

POUNDSTONE: Naik (ph) - naik.

GROSZ: OK.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: That's all right. What about A-D-D-I-D-A-S (ph)?

POUNDSTONE: Ah-dee-DAHS (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: I think it might be a shoe-specific thing.

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: I walk.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: I've never been a runner.

SAGAL: Bill, how did Mary do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Couldn't have done any better - 3 out of 3 for Mary.

SAGAL: Congratulations.

CHRISTENBERRY: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you, Mary. Take care.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2018 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.