Other 70s In this music parody game, Good on Paper stars Iliza Shlesinger and Margaret Cho take on popular songs from the 1970s rewritten to be about things from the 70s of ANY century.

Other 70s

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thanks, Jonathan. We're playing games with comics Margaret Cho and Iliza Shlesinger. Ready for another one?

ILIZA SHLESINGER: Yes.

EISENBERG: OK, fantastic. So this is a treat. You're going to be working together in this game.

SHLESINGER: OK.

EISENBERG: And Jonathan Coulton is going to sing you the clues in the game called Other '70s.

COULTON: Yes. We rewrote popular songs from the 1970s to make them about things from the '70s of any century. So it could be the 1870s, the 1770s, all the way back...

MARGARET CHO: Wow.

SHLESINGER: Wow.

COULTON: ...To the year 70.

CHO: OK.

COULTON: So just tell me what I'm singing about or the original song or artist that I'm parodying. And then there will be a bonus point if you can guess what century's '70s that thing comes from.

SHLESINGER: What?

(LAUGHTER)

SHLESINGER: Nobody followed it. Laughing about it. OK.

EISENBERG: We'll walk you through it. Don't worry about it. (Laughter) What?

COULTON: It'll make sense. We'll go step-by-step.

SHLESINGER: OK.

EISENBERG: That was the best reaction, by the way - just, what?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: What are you talking about? OK.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: Here we go.

(Singing) What'd you say? You have to step to this contraption. What'd you say? Speak into this or give us a caption. Unmute. Unmute.

SHLESINGER: "You're So Vain," Carly Simon.

COULTON: Yeah (laughter).

CHO: And it's Thomas Edison, 1870.

COULTON: Holy moly.

EISENBERG: Wow. Wow.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: We didn't expect all this amazing information coming all at once.

CHO: (Laughter).

COULTON: Yes. We were - I was...

SHLESINGER: Oh, a microphone.

COULTON: A microphone, that's right. And...

SHLESINGER: Carly Simon, "You're So Vain..."

COULTON: ...Yeah, point.

SHLESINGER: And then Margaret got the historical...

COULTON: Margaret, you were right on it.

EISENBERG: Everything.

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Everything was correct.

COULTON: Wait, how did you just have that at your fingertips?

CHO: Wyoming Public Television.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

SHLESINGER: Oh, my gosh. That's so funny.

EISENBERG: I didn't - you can learn...

CHO: (Laughter).

SHLESINGER: Wow.

EISENBERG: ...From public television - just a reminder.

SHLESINGER: No, you can learn from Wyoming.

COULTON: I guess so. All right. Here's another one.

(Singing) Feelin' hungry, and I've got to feed my appetite. It's unfortunate my chef just quit tonight. Got to follow some instructions to prepare a bite. I'll use this volume of recipes to get it right.

SHLESINGER: OK, it's "Afternoon Delight."

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right, Starland Vocal Band.

CHO: Oh...

SHLESINGER: Cookbook?

EISENBERG: Exactly.

COULTON: Cookbook, that's right.

SHLESINGER: OK.

COULTON: Here's the bonus point. According to Guinness, in what century's '70s was the first printed cookbook published?

SHLESINGER: 1570. Oh, wait. When was the printing press invented?

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

SHLESINGER: 1500s, right? Johannes Gutenberg, 1500s, something like that.

COULTON: You're very close. It was actually the 1470s.

CHO: Yeah. I thought - yeah.

SHLESINGER: OK. Honestly, when you're between the 1400s and 1500s, like, what's the real difference?

COULTON: Who cares?

CHO: I mean, come on.

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: All right, here's your next one.

(Singing) You thought that people would be happy just to let George tax us. But look around, and see the harbor turning brown. Representation means a lot when how you rule...

SHLESINGER: It's...

COULTON: (Singing) ...Impacts us.

SHLESINGER: You said harbor turning brown. I'm pretty sure...

EISENBERG: Yes.

SHLESINGER: ...Someone didn't have diarrhea in the water. It's the Boston Tea Party.

CHO: It's not...

EISENBERG: That's right.

CHO: ...Ultimate Slip 'N Slide. It's...

EISENBERG: No (laughter).

SHLESINGER: 1770.

COULTON: Oh, wow. Yeah.

CHO: The song is "Silly Love Songs." No. Yeah.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

EISENBERG: Yep.

COULTON: Paul McCartney and Wings. That's right.

SHLESINGER: I do not know that song. But I'm proud of myself for getting the historical part.

CHO: Yeah.

COULTON: Yes. Yes.

SHLESINGER: Now I don't feel like such a dead weight to Margaret.

COULTON: (Laughter).

SHLESINGER: I like my coffee black and my tea in the harbor.

(LAUGHTER)

SHLESINGER: I have a shirt that says that, just in case anyone was wondering.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right, here's another one.

SHLESINGER: OK.

COULTON: Here we go.

(Singing) If you like enormous reptiles, clamping jaws, scaly skin, not just old - prehistoric. Modern birds are my kin. If you like looking at my insides, I won't judge your weird kink. Just take a look at this picture of my bones here in ink.

SHLESINGER: OK. Can I just say something? Obviously...

COULTON: Yeah.

SHLESINGER: ...It's "If You Like Pina Coladas (ph)." And...

COULTON: That's right - "The Pina Colada Song," Rupert Holmes.

SHLESINGER: ...When you said large reptile, my first thought was - because I love conspiracy theories, I was like, ooh, Bilderberg convention, when people take off their skin...

COULTON: (Laughter).

SHLESINGER: ...And walk around...

(LAUGHTER)

SHLESINGER: ...In their reptilian form.

CHO: Yeah.

COULTON: Sure.

SHLESINGER: That's not what it was.

CHO: I thought it was, like, the Natural History Museum.

SHLESINGER: A T. rex.

COULTON: Dinosaurs in general is exactly what we were going for.

SHLESINGER: Oh, OK.

COULTON: Here's your bonus point. In what century's '70s did the first known illustration of a dinosaur bone appear?

CHO: Oh.

SHLESINGER: Margaret?

CHO: I don't know, actually.

SHLESINGER: Illustration.

CHO: I don't know that.

SHLESINGER: 1670. 1670.

COULTON: Iliza, you are absolutely correct.

CHO: Yeah. Awesome.

COULTON: 1670s is correct.

SHLESINGER: I just...

EISENBERG: Was the first illustration a caption contest for the New Yorker?

CHO: (Laughter).

SHLESINGER: It just says, femur? I don't even know her.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And then they were like, we're going to have to put articles around this if anyone's...

SHLESINGER: Yeah.

EISENBERG: ...Going to buy this thing.

SHLESINGER: Oh, my God.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right, this the last one.

SHLESINGER: Yeah.

COULTON: (Singing) Atari, table tennis is now an arcade game, and it's hypnotic to play. Atari, just a dot and two paddles you can aim. I played it hours today, Atari.

CHO: It's "Mandy," and it's '70s, 1970s.

COULTON: Yeah, that is correct, "Mandy" and Pong, the game Pong.

CHO: Yeah. I had it. I had a Pong.

SHLESINGER: My generation loves, like, the '80s. Like, they love acting like they weren't, like, 5 in the '80s.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

SHLESINGER: But people love to bring back the, like, '80s arcade games, and they have a couple of those here in LA. And the God's honest truth - like, it's a little boring.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

SHLESINGER: Like, you can play Galaga for, like...

COULTON: Yeah.

SHLESINGER: ...10 minutes...

EISENBERG: Right.

SHLESINGER: ...And then Pacman, and you're like, my neurons...

COULTON: Yeah.

SHLESINGER: ...Are used to firing harder. I can't...

COULTON: Yeah.

SHLESINGER: I'd better be wasted because this is so tedious. So...

COULTON: That's true.

SHLESINGER: I think it's all a lie.

COULTON: They don't hold up very well.

SHLESINGER: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Well done. I mean, honestly, that was a pretty tough game with all the different things, and you both did just incredible...

SHLESINGER: We really did.

EISENBERG: ...Showing off so much knowledge all over the place. So thank you so much.

Comics Iliza Shlesinger and Margaret Cho's movie, "Good On Paper," is available to watch this very minute on Netflix. Iliza, Margaret, thank you.

SHLESINGER: Thanks for all the work in those questions, you guys. That - you really put in - that was incredible.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

SHLESINGER: Thank you.

COULTON: Aw, thanks.

CHO: Thank you.

SHLESINGER: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Thank you. Thanks, you guys.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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