OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
Our first two guests are Emmy nominees for their roles on the Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso." The show is about a British soccer team that inexplicably hires an American college football coach. The players are skeptical at first, but Lasso's kindness wins them over. Hannah Waddingham plays the team's owner, Rebecca Welton. Brett Goldstein plays the soccer legend, Roy Kent. Hannah, Brett, hello.
HANNAH WADDINGHAM: Hello.
BRETT GOLDSTEIN: Hello.
WADDINGHAM: It's like having two 12-year-olds say hello.
EISENBERG: It's wonderful. It's wonderful. OK, I'm just gonna have a moment because this series basically saved me. This series saved me. I know you probably hear that from so many people, that they were like, oh, I'll take a chance on this "Ted Lasso." And then they were like, this is the thing that makes me feel like it's all going to be OK.
GOLDSTEIN: That's very nice to hear.
EISENBERG: Is that what you hear?
WADDINGHAM: A lot - yeah, it is, but it never gets old because how could we ever get tired of hearing that something we've all been a part of and loved ourselves...
WADDINGHAM: ...Has made such a difference to people and gotten through a really awful time?
GOLDSTEIN: And also, we would be the worst people if people came up to us and said, your show saved us, and we were like, yeah, heard it.
EISENBERG: So congratulations on your Emmy nominations.
WADDINGHAM: I know, what?
EISENBERG: I know - Emmy nominations, best supporting actor and actress in a comedy series. Where did you - what happened when you found out? Where were you?
WADDINGHAM: Who told you, Brett Goldstein?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, I was just - I was in my underwear in the hotel room, and Hannah Waddingham came to my door and said, every single person that you know has been nominated for an Emmy, including you.
WADDINGHAM: Including us.
WADDINGHAM: Give me a hug in your underpants.
GOLDSTEIN: And you said, are you naked? And I said yes.
WADDINGHAM: And so I just came in anyway. I mean, that's my kind of way to start the day.
GOLDSTEIN: It was pretty great.
JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Sure.
EISENBERG: Oh, yeah. Brett, you've done obviously television, film, theater, you've written. But you said that your career goal that you have not achieved yet is to work with Muppets.
GOLDSTEIN: Yes. Yeah, that's it. That's sort of the only thing - there's two things left on my bucket list. One is jump out of a plane, and the other is work with Muppets. And then after that, I don't - if I do it in reverse order, if I work with Muppets and then jump out of a plane, I don't mind if the parachute doesn't open.
GOLDSTEIN: Do you know what I mean?
EISENBERG: Hannah, you grew up in a family of opera singers. And obviously, you've done plenty of singing yourself and plenty of musical theater as - I don't know - a child or a teenager. Was there an idea that you might become an opera singer as well?
WADDINGHAM: No because my mother and her mother were and are both opera singers, and so I think I kind of bucked against it, and that's why I went into musical theater. But having said that, last February, before we all locked down, I did really, like, proper high-operatic soprano role - I was playing Queen Elizabeth II. And I was a bit like, oh, I shouldn't have bucked against this 'cause this is actually - you know, you can just tell that something sits well with you. I should have just done that. And my mom afterwards went, there you - 'cause she always sounds like she's singing. She went, there you go, using your proper voice for a change.
GOLDSTEIN: Oh, yeah.
WADDINGHAM: And I thought, oh, [expletive] - you're right. Yeah.
WADDINGHAM: She calls it shouty singing, musical theater.
EISENBERG: Shouty (laughter).
COULTON: Shouty singing.
WADDINGHAM: Shouty singing.
WADDINGHAM: I don't know why you all just sound like you're shouting all the time.
COULTON: OK, well, let's bring out a little bit of your competitive spirit with some games. Are you ready for some games?
GOLDSTEIN: Yeah, I'm ready to play some games.
EISENBERG: OK, excellent. You'll work together in this game. It's about the legendary film composer John Williams.
EISENBERG: And his music will be performed by our very own Jonathan Coulton.
EISENBERG: The way it was meant to be played - on an acoustic guitar.
COULTON: That's correct. We decided to write lyrics to John Williams' most famous movie themes to make songs about other famous people with the last name Williams.
COULTON: So to earn a point, you can tell me any of the following things - the name of the person that I'm singing about or the movie that the score comes from.
COULTON: Here we go. (Playing guitar, singing) He's won Grammys and our hearts. His song "Happy" topped the Billboard charts. As for fashion, he loves hots. He loves tall hats and wide hats and smart hats. He really loves hats.
WADDINGHAM: (Vocalizing). Yay.
COULTON: Thank you. Thank you very much.
GOLDSTEIN: Yeah, that is Pharrell Williams. Sorry, Waddie (ph). Sorry.
WADDINGHAM: Can I actually join it at some point?
GOLDSTEIN: So sorry. You do the next one.
COULTON: Pharrell Williams is correct.
WADDINGHAM: And "Indiana Jones."
COULTON: "Indiana Jones" was the theme. Well done.
WADDINGHAM: I have to say, he's hot for a Williams.
COULTON: Yeah, yeah.
EISENBERG: Oh, yeah.
WADDINGHAM: Side note. Yeah.
EISENBERG: And not everyone can pull off that hat.
WADDINGHAM: Oh, he looks sensational. Very.
COULTON: I know. He's got a goofy - he has a goofy hat habit that would ruin any other man. But...
WADDINGHAM: Well, I think because he's so beautiful, I think he tries to play himself down.
EISENBERG: Play it down.
WADDINGHAM: But I'm not fooled.
COULTON: All right, here's another one. (Playing guitar, singing) They are tennis-playing sisters. Started when they were teenagers. They've won every single Grand Slam, including Wimbledon.
WADDINGHAM: (Vocalizing). Serena and Venus Williams? (Imitating trumpet).
COULTON: Venus and Serena Williams - that's right.
GOLDSTEIN: "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial."
COULTON: "E.T." Well done.
WADDINGHAM: Oh, my God. Isn't John Williams just - I mean, you're sensational, obviously.
GOLDSTEIN: You're very good at this, Jonathan.
COULTON: Well, thank you. Thank you.
WADDINGHAM: But John Williams, man.
WADDINGHAM: I do love the (singing) tennis-playing sisters.
WADDINGHAM: In my head, that will always be the lyrics now.
COULTON: Oh, good. Oh, good.
COULTON: All right, here's another one. (Playing guitar, singing) He wrote plays, such good plays, though they often were quite dire. He won Pulitzers for those plays, like "A Streetcar Named Desire."
WADDINGHAM: Very good.
COULTON: Thank you.
WADDINGHAM: Tennessee Williams.
GOLDSTEIN: "Jurassic Park."
COULTON: "Jurassic Park" - that's right. Well done.
WADDINGHAM: I find it quite calming - it's just...
GOLDSTEIN: I just wanted you to keep playing that song.
WADDINGHAM: It's just nice just to hang out with you guys.
COULTON: (Laughter) OK, good.
EISENBERG: Play some games.
EISENBERG: Play some games.
EISENBERG: Think about a T. rex eating a guy on the toilet.
COULTON: I mean, you know.
GOLDSTEIN: He was a lawyer. He was a lawyer. It's fine.
COULTON: He was a lawyer. That's true.
COULTON: He was a lawyer with an annoying ringtone. So...
GOLDSTEIN: Yeah, that's right.
EISENBERG: That's right. He...
COULTON: ...He absolutely deserved to get eaten.
GOLDSTEIN: It was very deliberate.
EISENBERG: Yeah, I clapped.
WADDINGHAM: So it's the dinosaur's responsibility.
GOLDSTEIN: Everyone is pro-T. rex at the end of that bit.
COULTON: All right, here's your next one. Here we go. (Playing guitar, singing) First she was a radio deejay, and you never knew exactly what she'd say. And now she's on TV, an eponymous talk show. Still, you never can guess what she's going to say next.
COULTON: "Superman" is correct.
GOLDSTEIN: Someone beginning with V? Williams?
COULTON: It's a letter close to V in the alphabet.
COULTON: (Laughter) It's a W. Williams.
WADDINGHAM: Wendy Williams.
COULTON: Wendy Williams. That is correct.
WADDINGHAM: I mean, we clawed our way through that one.
COULTON: You did it.
EISENBERG: And you get all the points. You get all the points.
GOLDSTEIN: All the points.
COULTON: All right, last one for you guys. Here we go. (Singing) They call him Lando, Lando Calrissian, Lando Calrissian. That's how he's known. Also a painter, but it's as Lando, Lando Calrissian, that he is known. That's how he's known. Also a painter, but it's as Lando, Lando Calrissian, that he is known.
WADDINGHAM: I've had a brain fart. I know what it is.
COULTON: Yeah, that is correct.
GOLDSTEIN: "Star Wars."
WADDINGHAM: But how did you know that?
COULTON: "Star Wars," that's right. Yeah.
GOLDSTEIN: I don't know. Because I love it.
WADDINGHAM: Billy Dee Williams.
EISENBERG: That's how our "Star Wars: The Musical" will open, just so you know.
GOLDSTEIN: Just me going out on the stage, going Billy Dee Williams.
EISENBERG: More with "Ted Lasso's" Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein after the break, and linguists. So stay tuned because you are definitely going to learn something, probably, maybe. And a little later, we'll play games with Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.
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