If Rock Stars Weren't Rock Stars Get out those guitars: It's music parody time in a word game where the names of famous musical acts are mashed up with regular-people occupations.
NPR logo

If Rock Stars Weren't Rock Stars

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/714750496/715124709" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
If Rock Stars Weren't Rock Stars

If Rock Stars Weren't Rock Stars

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/714750496/715124709" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants Anna and Corey. Soon, they'll play a word game mashing up band names and occupations. Combine "Mamma Mia" with macchiatos. And you'd answer ABBA-rista. Yes - exciting. Let's check in with them. Anna, you are one of those people who love spoilers.

ANNA DANZIGER HALPERIN: I do.

EISENBERG: You read them. You consume them.

HALPERIN: I do. I get anxious if I don't know the end. And so I read spoilers before I watch an episode of a TV show sometimes.

EISENBERG: Wow.

HALPERIN: Or I flip to the last page of a book to see how it ends.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

HALPERIN: Yeah. It's a controversial habit.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

HALPERIN: Most people I know are like, why would you do that? You're ruining it, but...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

HALPERIN: ...I get to enjoy it without the suspense and - yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I like the way your brain works - not going to lie. Corey, there is an Easter tradition on your father's side of the family that you carry out every year, a competition called egg-conking.

COREY WISK: That's correct.

EISENBERG: What is that?

WISK: So everyone who comes to Easter dinner - everyone has an egg. They select their red, blue, green egg, whatever they want.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

WISK: You have a conkee - somebody holds an egg - and a conker - somebody hits the egg. We do a tournament-style bracket. And whoever's egg doesn't crack moves on to the next round until the end.

EISENBERG: And you hit one egg precisely on top of the egg, right?

WISK: Yes.

EISENBERG: Now, what is the technique to, you know, do things in your favor?

WISK: So through the years, people have tried different things.

EISENBERG: Sure.

WISK: You know, they call it the original egg - white egg, brown egg.

EISENBERG: Sure - harder shell.

WISK: Some people like to think temperature. So they try not to hold it too much, so it doesn't warm up. We haven't done too much science but...

EISENBERG: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And whoever wins - what do they get?

WISK: There's a trophy.

EISENBERG: There's a trophy?

WISK: There's a trophy.

EISENBERG: Not bad - not bad.

WISK: I've yet to see it. So...

EISENBERG: Yeah. You've never...

WISK: No.

EISENBERG: This might be your year.

WISK: Maybe.

EISENBERG: This is a music parody/word game. The answer to every clue is a musical act mashed up with a profession.

COULTON: For example, if I sang the song "Rockstar" with the lyrics changed to be about predatory lenders, you would answer Post Ma-loan shark.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I know - mashing up Post Malone and loan shark.

EISENBERG: Sounds tough. But the points are doubled - Corey, stay in the lead, and you're in the final round. Anna, you need to get more points. Or you have to accept an invitation to see our intern's band.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm just going to let you know the show starts at 1 a.m.

HALPERIN: Oh, gosh.

EISENBERG: And there is a $2 cover charge.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Just ring in to answer. Here we go. (Singing, playing guitar) I'm not going to get rich. This is public school. Teachers don't even like you. No one thinks you're cool. You can rule with kindness or an iron fist. You're in charge of educating these kids.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Corey.

WISK: Would that just be Prince-ipal?

COULTON: It is Prince-ipal. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) Don't stop thinking about the numbers. Don't stop thinking about the stats. Calculating uncertainty and risk - if they're my dad, you'd set the premiums high.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Corey.

WISK: Fleetwood Mac-countants?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's a good guess. But that's not what we were looking for.

EISENBERG: Very close.

COULTON: Anna?

HALPERIN: I know the job, I think, is an insurance agent, insurance adjuster. No.

COULTON: Sorry. That is also incorrect.

HALPERIN: No.

COULTON: I'll stop you there. We were looking for Fleetwood Mac-tuary.

HALPERIN: Oh.

(GROANING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: He should get it.

EISENBERG: Yup. Yup. Ooh.

COULTON: Oh, he should get it? Do you run a quiz show on public radio?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Here's your next one. (Singing, playing guitar) I've seen the seven seas. I've seen seven seas. I can hoist a topsail up in a minute - gotten down the hatches all in a minute, baby. I need vitamin C. Please give that lime to me before all of my teeth fall out in a minute. You land-lovers shouldn't take for granted fresh fruits and vegetables.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Anna.

HALPERIN: Beyon-sailor?

COULTON: (Laughter) Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Very fast, very quick answer - that's correct. Here's your next one. (Singing, playing guitar) I thought that your audition had a lot of drama and a lot of heart. But we saw a younger actress. And we liked her better and gave her the part.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Anna.

HALPERIN: Outkast director.

COULTON: Yeah. That's...

HALPERIN: Yeah. That's - OK.

COULTON: Outkast-ing director - that's right.

HALPERIN: OK.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) I fix grammar for my work, fix grammar for my work. Bad grammar - it hurts.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Corey.

WISK: Right Said Fred-itor?

WISK: Right Said Fred-itor - that's right.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: For NPR listeners, those lyrics were the sexier version.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's right. They're like, oh, finally, I understand this song.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I feel tingly.

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) Sha la, la, la, la, la, la, la. Taxes.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Anna.

HALPERIN: Accounting Crows.

COULTON: Accounting Crows. You got it.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: How did they do, Ophira?

EISENBERG: Anna eked it out. And she is going to the final round.

(CHEERING)

Copyright © 2019 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.