Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis reads three quotes from the week's news ... Special Testimony; Not Ready For Prime Time Minister; PR Disaster.
NPR logo

Who's Bill This Time?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/745742376/745907684" 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/745742376/745907684" 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. It's all right, Zack Morris - you're saved by the Bill.

(CHEERING)

KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: Thanks, everybody. We've got a great show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to the first orchestra conductor we've ever had on our show, the legendary Marin Alsop. I'm going to ask her how she can get a bunch of emotionally fragile egomaniacs to do what they're told just by waving her arms because frankly, that's never worked for me.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But first, we want to hear your solo, so give us a call. 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.

TRAVIS SHERLIN: Hi. This is Travis Sherlin (ph) from Chicago.

SAGAL: Hey, Travis. Chicago?

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: Chicago?

SHERLIN: Yeah.

SAGAL: Well, you're not - are you far from us right now? Where are you?

SHERLIN: I'm in - I'm at the Summer House.

SAGAL: Oh, OK. (Whispering) I don't know what that is.

(LAUGHTER)

SHERLIN: It's a great restaurant.

KURTIS: The restaurant...

SAGAL: Oh, a restaurant.

KURTIS: ...On Halsted.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah. You're not far. You come on down. We'll wait.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Oh, actually, we don't have time. Welcome to the show, Travis. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a comedian performing with Phoebe Robinson September 5 through the 7 at the Arlington Drafthouse in Arlington, Va...

(SOUNDBITE OF ENGINE RUMBLING)

SAGAL: I'm going to hope that was a dog of some kind...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...And not...

ADAM FELBER: Not an appetizer coming back.

(LAUGHTER)

SHERLIN: It's a muffler.

SAGAL: All right. We'll try that again.

(SOUNDBITE OF ENGINE RUMBLING)

FELBER: You know, dude? Hold on.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Travis, what is going on?

SHERLIN: I (laughter) - I stepped outside so it would be quieter, but then these cars are driving by with these mufflers.

SAGAL: Oh, my God.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Here we go. We're going to try one more time. First up, it's a comedian performing with Phoebe Robinson September 5 through the 7 at the Arlington Drafthouse in Arlington, Va. - it's Petey DeAbreu.

PETEY DEABREU: Hey.

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: Next, a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning" - it's Faith Salie.

FAITH SALIE: Hey, Travis.

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: And the co-host of the podcast "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone" - it's Adam Felber.

(CHEERING)

FELBER: Hey, Travis.

SAGAL: So Travis, as I'm sure you anticipated, you're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you'll win our prize - any voice from our show you choose on your voicemail. You ready to go?

SHERLIN: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: That is outside my purview.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That was the answer that somebody gave - oh, about 100 times on Wednesday to almost every question he was asked. Who was it?

SHERLIN: That was the special counsel Robert Mueller.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Robert Mueller.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Very good. So you know that moment at the beginning of "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory" when Gene Wilder comes out, and he's this creaky old man, and everybody is disappointed and sad? And then he does a somersault, and everybody cheers. Well, imagine that, but instead of the somersault, he just kind of dodders around for eight hours.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That was Wednesday. Former special counsel Robert Mueller appeared before two House committees with the energy and enthusiasm of a man facing his annual prostate exam...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Which might explain why he answered certain pointed questions by just turning his head and coughing.

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: I don't know. Everybody said it was boring, but I was kind of breathless because I was - you just know something was going to happen. You didn't want to miss the one moment it did.

SAGAL: And yet nothing did, ultimately.

(LAUGHTER)

DEABREU: But...

SAGAL: It was so disappointing to so many Democrats and liberals because liberals had been building him up for two years as this Clint Eastwood figure, this...

SALIE: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...Tough law-man, no-nonsense, going to come in and kick ass and take names. And in the end, he was just like Clint Eastwood, who right now is 89 years old.

(LAUGHTER)

DEABREU: He said he didn't want to testify.

SAGAL: I know.

DEABREU: He said he wasn't good at testifying.

SAGAL: But we all kind of...

DEABREU: He said, read the report because there's enough...

SAGAL: But look...

DEABREU: ...Evidence there to impeach...

SAGAL: ...In the movie...

DEABREU: ...Nine successive presidents.

SAGAL: In the movie, Clint Eastwood says, I don't want to do that. I'm not going to go in there. But then he goes in there...

SALIE: Right.

SAGAL: ...And he beats up the bad guys.

FELBER: That's true. That's true.

SAGAL: And there was none of that.

SALIE: And there would've been, like, a little squint. And instead of...

SAGAL: Yeah.

SALIE: ...Clint Eastwood we got, like, Sam the Eagle from "The Muppets."

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: Or maybe - you know, he also he also reminds me of those - what are those? - the Easter Island heads. What are they called?

FELBER: Easter Island heads.

SAGAL: The big - yeah, the big Easter Island heads.

SALIE: Yeah. He looks like one of those.

SAGAL: The Moai - that's what they're called.

SALIE: Thank you - the Moai.

SAGAL: The Moai.

SALIE: Yeah. But we wanted...

FELBER: Oh, and I read the Moai report. It was...

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

DEABREU: Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

DEABREU: It was a perfectly nice visit with an aging relative.

SAGAL: That's exactly what it was.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right, Travis. Here's your next quote.

KURTIS: I will disprove the doubters, that doomsters and the gloomsters (ph).

SAGAL: That with somebody taking office as the new British prime minister. Who is enemy of all gloomsters?

SHERLIN: Oh, that's Boris Johnson.

SAGAL: Yes...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Boris Johnson...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...Or, as - or Bo Jo, as we hope everybody starts calling him.

(LAUGHTER)

DEABREU: Got it.

SAGAL: Imagine what it would be like to have your formerly powerful and serious country taken over by an incompetent womanizer with terrible hair.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Hard to do, isn't it? Well...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It happened in Britain this week when Boris Johnson became prime minister. Look how far the empire has fallen. They are so broken. The good news is, they're ripe to be colonized.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Time for payback, India.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: What has happened where people who are clowns are now in charge of everything?

SAGAL: Yes. And I wish they were actual clowns because those people at least have timing.

DEABREU: Well, I'll show you.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So Boris Johnson, if you don't know, is most famous - at least, here in the U.S. - for being the mayor of London during the 2012 Olympics, during which he tried to do a zip line stunt to promote it and famously got stuck dangling from a rope - remember this? - 50 feet above the ground. Maybe that's why he was finally elected to handle Brexit. He knows what it's like to be just stuck there not being...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Able to get out looking like an idiot.

SALIE: He's an interesting bloke. But he struck me - and maybe this just because I'm reading the "Harry Potter" series for the first time with my children - he's super Slytherin.

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: But he tries to throw you off with this Hufflepuff hair.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I'm just going to say this - and you may not get this yet. They will. He's not so much Slytherin as he's Peter Pettigrew.

(APPLAUSE)

SALIE: Woah.

FELBER: Yeah.

SAGAL: Am I right?

SALIE: Woah.

FELBER: Wow.

SALIE: I do get that, Peter.

FELBER: You just brought our whole theater down the nerd hole, and they're never coming out.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Except he somehow got stopped while transforming back from a rat, and he's caught...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Halfway. All right. Your last quote is from the governor of Puerto Rico.

KURTIS: I have not resigned.

SAGAL: That was an official statement made just one day before he did what?

SHERLIN: He resigned.

SAGAL: He did, Travis...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Governor Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico had survived this massive financial crisis and this terrible hurricane. But the one thing he could not survive was his own texts. In the leaked messages, the governor mocked his enemies and disaster victims. He made fun of fat people and the disabled, which is all bad. But then he went after Puerto Rican icon Ricky Martin...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...And that will not stand.

(LAUGHTER)

SALIE: Did he really?

SAGAL: He really did. And in the end, as you probably saw, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of San Juan to demand his ouster, led by Ricky Martin.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Yeah.

SALIE: What?

SAGAL: Yeah. Yeah. It's a...

SALIE: This is a musical in the making.

SAGAL: It really is.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And the scandal...

FELBER: If only there was somebody who could write musicals from Puerto Rico.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And as he tried to defend himself, Rossello said he was just blowing off steam, and the texts that were leaked shouldn't be taken seriously, which is what all of us would say if the terrible, terrible things we email our friends ever got out.

FELBER: Oh, my lord.

SAGAL: Even the protesters who massed in the streets were, like, marching while still erasing all their emails from their...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: How would you guys fare if all the private messages you had sent to your friends got out into public?

SALIE: I would never be allowed to be governor of Puerto Rico again.

SAGAL: That's true.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: I'd be even more unemployable.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I didn't think that was possible. But it's amazing because one - the only good part is this scandal has shown that Puerto Rico is so full of corruption, racism and misogyny that maybe now President Trump will recognize it as part of the United States.

(LAUGHTER)

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

KURTIS: He'll be welcome in Puerto Rico. He got them - all three. He's a winner.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Travis.

(APPLAUSE)

SHERLIN: Thank you, Peter. Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF DAN HICKS AND HIS HOT LICKS' "SURE BEATS ME")

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.