Martin Short Plays Not My Job On 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' Martin Short is a comedy legend who's currently starring in Hulu's Only Murders in the Building. So, we've invited him to answer three questions about murders of crows.

'Wait Wait' For Sept. 4, 2021, With Not My Job Guest Martin Short

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BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. Hey there, Homer. Get a load of the Billiad (ph). I'm Bill Kurtis. And now a man who's thankfully just been downgraded to a Category 2 host, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And let me say, Bill, it is good to have you back. I've missed you so much, I've been tucking a subwoofer under my pillow at night.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Later on, we're going to be talking to comedy legend Martin Short. I'm very excited to ask him if by any chance they're looking for a fourth amigo. You will be our friend when you give us a call to play our games. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Now let us welcome our first listener contestant.

Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

CHLOE: Hey. My name is Chloe (ph), and I'm from Chattanooga, Tenn.

SAGAL: Hey, Chattanooga. How are things there? I've been through Chattanooga, and it's quite beautiful, at least to look at speeding on the highway.

CHLOE: (Laughter) It is beautiful. You should definitely stop and slow down. It's been really rainy here, though, probably like everywhere.

SAGAL: Yes, it's been generally a problem. Has anything floated away that you particularly needed?

CHLOE: Well, not that I know of. But now that you ask, I'm kind of - it's possible

SAGAL: You want to take a check around the house and then come back to us?

CHLOE: Yeah. Yeah, maybe.

SAGAL: OK. Well, welcome to our show, Chloe. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a comedian who hosts the trivia podcast, "Go Fact Yourself", and who has a YouTube channel with her parents called Old Korean Dad Stories (and sometimes Mom). It's Helen Hong.


HELEN HONG: Hey. Hi, Chloe.

CHLOE: Hi, Helen.

SAGAL: Next, an actor and writer who can be seen in the new Peter Grosz film, "Here Today", featuring Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish, it's Peter Grosz.



SAGAL: And making her debut on our panel, a comedian whose comedy album, "Party Nights", is available, well, everywhere. It's Emmy Blotnick.

EMMY BLOTNICK: Oh, hey, Chloe.

CHLOE: Hey. So nice to talk to you all.

SAGAL: So, Chloe, it's nice to talk to you. You are going to play, of course, Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to play?


SAGAL: All right, your first quote comes from a man in California.

KURTIS: I am voting no and then casting a write-in in vote for the bear.

SAGAL: That man, who was quoted on a website called, was talking about an upcoming vote on whether or not to do what in California?

CHLOE: Oh, my gosh. Whether or not to allow masks.

SAGAL: No, no. This is an even bigger deal than that. It will affect all of California.

CHLOE: Oh, my God.

SAGAL: I'll just give you a hint. They actually did this once before in 2002, which is how we got the Governator.

CHLOE: Oh, a recall?

SAGAL: Yes, they're voting on whether or not to recall their governor.



SAGAL: The state is...

CHLOE: Right. Man, I have read that.

SAGAL: Yeah. The state is having a recall election for their current governor, Gavin Newsom. And the way it works is that if 50% of voters plus just one more vote to remove him, he's gone. That's it. It is easier to recall a governor in California than it is to cancel your gym membership. Now, if that happens, if he gets recalled, that's when it gets weird, because even though you need 50% plus one to initiate the recall, the new governor is chosen by whichever of the many replacement candidates successfully completes the milk crate challenge.


SAGAL: Really.

HONG: So I could do it.

SAGAL: You can do it.

HONG: I could be the governor.

SAGAL: You might do it. For all we know, it'll be you, because whichever of the candidates actually gets the most votes - it doesn't matter how many votes there are. It could be like 10%, right? Whoever gets the most gets to become governor. So the good news is for all our listeners looking to make a change in your lives, there is a non-zero chance you may end up being the governor of California. The leading contender is a conservative talk radio host named Larry Elder. Now, this isn't a big problem for California. Conservative radio hosts currently have a 98% chance of dying of COVID.


BLOTNICK: Larry Elder sounds like my mom trying to remember the name Gary Oldman to me.


SAGAL: His name is - oh, you know, you know - the old guy.

BLOTNICK: Larry, Gary.

GROSZ: It's Larry Goldmann (ph), Larry Elder - older than me.

SAGAL: There are 47 candidates listed on the ballot. It's not so much - it's like the Cheesecake Factory menu, which was a joke, by the way, about the fact that it's a really long ballot. But there is actually a plate of Cajun chicken grillers running for governor.


BLOTNICK: Oh, the paradox of choice.


GROSZ: Can we get one for the table and then get a whole separate governor?

BLOTNICK: I like ranch on the side with the governor, if that's OK with everyone.


GROSZ: Isn't there also the reason that you quoted from a website called Bear Insider because there's a bear that's running for governor?

SAGAL: Well, there wasn't so much a bear. There are a lot of interesting people on the ballot. Caitlyn Jenner - you may remember her from her reality show - she's running. There is a guy who became famous as a YouTube investment guru. And there is a guy who campaigned for governor with a live bear.

GROSZ: Oh, that's what it was.

SAGAL: Right.

BLOTNICK: I mean, the concept of a YouTuber governor is bone-chilling to me.


SAGAL: The state of California is strong. Don't forget to like and subscribe. I mean, it would be - like, every time he delivers, like, an important speech, every four and a half minutes, it suddenly stops. And there's, like, an ad for a supplement that you have to wait till he continues.

GROSZ: It would be a...

BLOTNICK: Try Poo-Pourri to make her bathroom smell nice.

GROSZ: And then if not enough people in the state click skip ads, then you have to watch the entire three-minute Poo-Pourri.

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right, Chloe, here is your next quote.

KURTIS: Can they come here and impose that restriction on my house?

SAGAL: That was apparent here in the U.S. of A quoted by Reuters talking about China, the government of China officially restricting how much time kids can do what?

CHLOE: Watch TV.

SAGAL: Close. Kids don't watch TV anymore, Chloe. They do something...

CHLOE: They're playing video games.

SAGAL: They're playing video games. That's it.


SAGAL: China has announced a new law limiting minors to three hours of video gaming a week and only on weekends, right?

HONG: What? Wait, three hours a week?

SAGAL: Three hours a week. One hour, Friday, Saturday, Sunday - that's it. And if you're wondering, well, how are they going to enforce that? It's because in China, the internet is really regulated, and you have to log on, right? And they're using facial recognition to do it. So if you're in China, look forward to kids grabbing their grandparents and saying, look; just stare into the camera for a second. And if anybody asks, your name is Blaster Master 8.


GROSZ: Also, if you live in Texas, you can get $10,000 by turning in a Chinese kid who watches four hours of video games.

HONG: Wow. You got to give it to China for leaning all the way into authoritarianism.

GROSZ: Yeah. I mean, it's like they were brainstorming - they were, like, kicking ideas around. Like, we don't do enough crazy stuff that makes us the most repressive authoritarian.

HONG: You know what? We got to go full big brother.

GROSZ: Somebody throw something out.

SAGAL: And you know, yes. And the funny thing, of course, this gets announced in America, and parents are like, oh, please do that for us, American government. But, you know, wait till China does this to adults. Then finally, the people of China will rise up against their authoritarian masters. What do you want us to do in the bathroom? Read the back of the shampoo bottle?

BLOTNICK: Now we're just going to be like really good at video games compared to everyone else.

GROSZ: Yeah. They're going to get slammed. When the Olympics is all esports, China is going to get wiped off the map.



GROSZ: I mean, and that's, like, four years from now.

BLOTNICK: You only play for three hours? It takes me three hours to warm up, you know?

SAGAL: It is true. If the international balance of power comes down to Fortnite, we will kick their butts.

GROSZ: Yeah, we're going to be like - our kids are going to be like the Ethiopian marathon runners of esports.


SAGAL: All right. Your last quote, Chloe, is from the vice president of Wendy's about a new menu item.

KURTIS: We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this.

SAGAL: He was not talking about the new Wendy's organ meat menu. No, he was talking about the amazing scientific breakthrough they say will make sure that what is still tasty even after being delivered.

CHLOE: Fries.

SAGAL: Yes, of course, fries.


SAGAL: We all know this. We've all ordered delivery in the last year. And we were all disappointed by how cold and mushy our fries were when we got to eat them. I mean, seriously. Come on, America. We can put a man on the moon and - oh, actually wait. We can't do that anymore either. So now Wendy's is changing their fry recipe for the first time in a decade in order to create something that'll stay tasty much longer after it's made. This is a huge innovation from Wendy's. The new fries stay crispy and they're more effective against delta than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


GROSZ: I mean, that's funny and everything, but I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. So let's steer clear of some of this, you know?

BLOTNICK: I also got that vaccine. And my blood stays crispy. Let me tell you that.


GROSZ: I mean, it is like - I had the thought the other day that, like, that is the level of - that's like a level of need that scientists should have been working on for an extremely long time.

BLOTNICK: Hey, wake me up when there are self-driving French fries. That's what I want.


GROSZ: Yeah. Also, what's in the - like, I want them to tell me why they can stay crispy.

SAGAL: Well, part of...

GROSZ: Is it like buttressed with, like, steel on the side or something - like, little...

SAGAL: French fry buttresses. Well, no. Apparently part of the technique is that they're skin-on French fries. Unfortunately, it is the skin of Dave Thomas.

HONG: Eww.

GROSZ: All hail Dave Thomas. We ingest his skin to be closer to the original recipe.

SAGAL: Exactly. Bill, how did Chloe do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Chloe knows her fries. She got a perfect score.

CHLOE: Thank you guys so much for all the help.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Chloe. Take care.

CHLOE: Thank you.


SAGAL: All right, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Emmy, a new survey by a financial company found that about one-third of investors buy and sell stocks while they are what?

BLOTNICK: Driving?


BLOTNICK: Oh - buying - trading stocks while...

SAGAL: You're allowed to ask for hints, Emmy.

BLOTNICK: I would love a hint.

SAGAL: All right. (Imitating drunk person) I love you, Nasdaq.

HONG: (Laughter).

BLOTNICK: Ooh - while going to Moe's bar on "The Simpsons"?


SAGAL: Close enough - while drunk, if that's what you mean.


SAGAL: It's bad enough when you get drunk and hit on someone at the bar. But what about when you wake up next to a thousand shares of something called Amazob (ph)?


SAGAL: According to a company called MagnifyMoney, one-third of investors trade stocks while drunk. That's crazy. They are stockbrokers. They are supposed to be on cocaine.


SAGAL: And by the way - this is true - with millennials, it's more than half of them do it, right? It's bad enough you threw away your savings on a dumb stock, even worse that you did it while totally lit on White Claw.

HONG: I almost bought Bitcoin that way.

SAGAL: Really? You got drunk...

GROSZ: Drunk?

HONG: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...And were like, oh, I'll get some cryptocurrency.

HONG: Yeah - 'cause I was, like, with a friend. And he was like, (imitating drunk person) yeah, Bitcoin. And I was like, (imitating drunk person) yeah, I want some.

GROSZ: I would prefer that people buy Bitcoin drunk than be like, no, I actually read up on it, and I'm buying Bitcoin.


BLOTNICK: No, GameStop is my choice, in fact.


SAGAL: Yes, exactly.

GROSZ: Yeah.


SAGAL: Coming up, time for some new glory in our Bluff the Listener game - call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME! from NPR.

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Emmy Blotnick, Peter Grosz and Helen Hong. And here again is your host. I would say his name, even if I didn't get paid $10,000 every time I do. It's Peter Sagal.


KURTIS: Once again, that's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air.

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

RUTH: Hi, this is Ruth from Chicago.

SAGAL: Oh, Ruth, hey. How are you?

RUTH: I'm all right. You know, getting by.

SAGAL: What do you do here in our beautiful metropolis?

RUTH: I am a social worker. And so that means I have more than one job because we're really well paid.

SAGAL: Yes. I'm imagining your days dealing with people with severe problems of various kinds can be stressful. What do you do to relax?

RUTH: I binge-watch old television shows mostly.

SAGAL: Really? Which one is your favorite?

RUTH: I'm making my way through "Criminal Minds" right now - Mandy Patinkin, personal hero.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah. Yeah. All right. We won't tell you how it ends.

RUTH: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Ruth, it is great to have you with us. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Ruth's topic?

KURTIS: I Pledge My Allegiance.

SAGAL: The study of flags, or vexillology, as it is called by people who want you to know they know the word vexillology, got a little more interesting this week when we read about a particular flag in the week's news. Our panelists are going to tell you about that flag. Pick the one who's telling the truth, and you will win our prize, the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Ready to go?

RUTH: Oh, jeez. All right, let's do it.

SAGAL: First up, let's hear from Helen Hong.

HONG: A Little League team in New Hampshire has upset some parents by picking a gruesome flag to wave at their games. The Bolton Beavers (ph) adopted the disturbing logo of House Bolton from "Game Of Thrones," which depicts the torture of a man who's been flayed upside down. A giant version of the violent image was displayed at the Beavers' most recent competition, comprised of mostly 9-year-olds. The team coach, who is clearly a huge "Game Of Thrones" fan, defended his actions, claiming the sadistic Bolton characters offer wonderful leadership lessons to the kids. Just like Ramsay Bolton starved his dogs to make them more vicious, we don't let the kids have any snacks prior to a victory. Sure, they get cranky and sometimes cry. But I tell you, we've been on a winning streak for four games now. Hangry kids are angry kids. And angry kids win games.

BLOTNICK: (Laughter).

SAGAL: A naked man has few seeds; a flayed man has none, or so they say in the Little League in New Hampshire.


SAGAL: Your next story of a flag news flash comes from Peter Grosz.

GROSZ: The nation of Wales sits snugly off the southeast corner of England. Smaller than Scotland, bigger than Northern Ireland, Wales is the middle child of the United Kingdom. This week, one local Welshman decided he wanted to desperately get Wales the attention he thinks it deserves. Welsh artist Ryan Williams created an online petition calling for altering the image of the famous red dragon on the Welsh flag to include a body part that would prove the dragon could pee standing up.

HONG: (Laughter).

GROSZ: After researching ancient depictions of the famous Welsh dragon, Williams claims the dragon used to be depicted with, quote, "full tackle." This makes sense, as everyone knows, dragons never wear pants and are known as the Donald Ducks of mythical creatures.

Who the hell knows why the poor sod was turned into a eunuch, Williams wrote in his public display of manliness masking deep seated personal issues of inferiority - I mean, Williams wrote in his petition.

HONG: (Laughter).

GROSZ: If you're wondering, where do they get that idea to add anatomical correctness to an official government-sanctioned image of a dragon? Well, they got it from themselves. Five years ago, that certain detail was added to the groin of the dragon that adorns the 10-pound coin. However, since then, that coin is only worth 10 pounds when it's cold and raining.


SAGAL: A Welshman wants dragon genitals returned to their national flag. Your last story of the new wave for flags comes from Emmy Blotnick.

BLOTNICK: The United Nations headquarters is famous around the world for the 193 national flags that line its entrance. But on Wednesday night, a new one appeared, the green, gold and white flag of not Ireland, but Subway sandwiches. Police were on the lookout for a suspect described as a Caucasian man who's about 6-foot-long with chips and a drink.


BLOTNICK: But Thursday morning, they arrested a Brooklyn man matching the description who claimed to be an artist, though it remains to be seen if he's a sandwich artist. Conservative pundits on social media were quick to label him a sandwich extremist and a member of Sandtifa (ph). A representative from Subway said the company was not involved with the raising of their flag but asked that we take this opportunity to debunk the, quote, "misinformation about Subway's premium fan-favorite tuna."

SAGAL: All right. So here are your choices. There was a flag we found in the news. Was it from Helen, a flag flown by a Little League team in New Hampshire that adopted the flayed man sigil of House Bolton from "Game Of Thrones", from Peter Grosz, a Welshman who started the petition to get an anatomically correct dragon on the flag of the nation of Wales, or, from Emmy, a subway flag flying at the United Nations, perhaps indicating that Subway is now a member of the Security Council? Which of these is the real story of a flag in the week's news?

RUTH: OK. I'm going to go with the first story, Helen's story.

SAGAL: You're going to go to the first story, Helen's story of the Little League team that flew the banner of House Bolton from "Game Of Thrones" to intimidate their opponents...


SAGAL: ...Presumably in the Northern League. All right, to bring you the true story, we actually spoke to someone who knows a little bit about this flag.

GEORGIA HENLEY: Famously, it's a red dragon. But it doesn't have a penis in the flag.

RUTH: Aww, man.


SAGAL: That was Georgia Henley, assistant professor of English, specializing in Celtic languages and literatures at Saint Anselm College, talking about the dragon on the flag of Wales. You earned a point for Helen, and I think you've helped us spread a really good idea to Little League coaches everywhere. So thank you so much for playing (laughter).

RUTH: Of course. Thank you so much for having me.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


LANA DEL REY: (Singing) Tell me I'm your national anthem. Booyah, baby. Bow down. Making me so wow now. Tell me I'm your national anthem...

SAGAL: And now the game where people who are out of our league deign to come and play around in the minors for a while. It's called Not My Job. Martin Short has been a comedy legend for 40 years, a veteran of "Second City TV" and "Saturday Night Live" and countless movies and TV shows and specials and Broadway plays. His latest project is "Only Murders In The Building," a TV series in which he finally turns his talents to the most important possible subject - podcasts.

Martin Short, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MARTIN SHORT: Thank you so much. I'm thrilled to be here.

SAGAL: It's a pleasure to have you. I very much enjoyed "Only Murders In The Building." I was amazed to discover it's science fiction because there's an early scene in which you and the other leads in the show are listening to a podcast but not doing anything while you're listening.


SHORT: I know. We're very in tuned.

SAGAL: So the show is yourself and your old friend Steve Martin.

SHORT: And Selena Gomez.

SAGAL: And Selena Gomez, of course - play these residents of a building. And they're - you're enthusiasts of true crime. And there's a murder, and you guys decide to not only - not only - investigate the murder, but do a podcast about it.

SHORT: That is correct.

SAGAL: So I'm sure as a method actor, you investigated the world of podcasts and podcast production.

SHORT: Well, I told people I did.


SHORT: I didn't.

SAGAL: Now the show also - you're starring opposite Steve Martin.


SAGAL: And what's interesting is that you play two characters who, at least at the beginning, really dislike each other.

SHORT: Right.

SAGAL: Or at least aren't fans. And they express that...

SHORT: Well, I'm a director, and I've directed him in things. But then I realize I think he's Scott Bakula.

SAGAL: Right, exactly.


SAGAL: And here's what's funny. I'm like, oh, this is delightful, these old friends, and they're pretending they don't like each other. And then I watched the special you did with him that you went around the country with, and you filmed it for Netflix. And, like, half that show is you insulting each other.

SHORT: You know, when I first met Steve, I insulted him.

SAGAL: What did you say?

SHORT: As a joke. I went to his house to pick up a script for "Three Amigos!" - July of '85. You know, I have a memory. And I picked it up. And it was his old house in Bedford Drive in Beverly Hills. And it was just filled with endless pieces of art. I mean, there was a Picasso and a Hopper. And I said, how did you get this rich, because I've seen your work.


SHORT: So the insults started right off the bat.

BLOTNICK: Oh, wow.

SHORT: Then he said to me, can you get this script to Martin Short?


SAGAL: Another thing we heard - and I am dying to know if this is true. I hope it is. I kind of hope it is - that you and Steve Martin and Tom Hanks have an annual colonoscopy party.

SHORT: It is not annual, but it's every four years, yes, with our other friend Walter Parkes, who - big Hollywood producer. And we would, yes, go to Steve's. The table would be set with Jell-O and one (ph) shots. And we would play cards. And then, you know, by midnight, Steve's bathroom looks like a Carnival tour on Day 14 or something.

SAGAL: Right.

SHORT: We were fine. And then we went to a clinic, private.


SHORT: And then by noon, we went to The Ivy and drank margaritas.

SAGAL: There you go. That's a fine tradition.

SHORT: Oh, I think it's good. And it encourages people to make it into a party...

SAGAL: It is.

SHORT: ...A celebration and a sleepover.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah. We were talking about you prior to your showing up, and all of us being of different ages sort of particularly admired you for one thing or another, right? So there was one of us who was like, oh, my God, "Father Of The Bride" - he's amazing. Some of us like the incredibly famous synchronized swimming sketch from "Saturday Night Live," your year there. Do you find that to be true, that, like, people of different ages get excited to meet you for entirely different reasons?

SHORT: Oh, absolutely. When you go through an airport, you can always tell. If someone's coming up to you, you have an instinct of what they might be going to say. You know, if it's a, you know, 45-year-old woman, it's - woman who's just gone through a wedding or her daughter's gone through a wedding, so it's "Father Of The Bride." Some people, Jiminy Glick. And if it's, like, a 32-year-old, like, kind of stoner, then it's "Clifford."

SAGAL: Sure. We have a younger person on our staff. And when your name came up, she went nuts for something I had never heard of. You ready for this?


SAGAL: Preminger in the Barbie movie "The Princess And The Pauper." You remember that role?

SHORT: Well, I'd have to check that one out again.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Wait a minute. You don't remember doing it?

SHORT: I do remember doing it. I remember the credit.

SAGAL: Right. You seen - you've looked at your own IMDb page.

SHORT: And I go, I've got to check that out.

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SAGAL: But apparently, for a generation of young women...

SHORT: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...Your performance as, I gather, the villain, Preminger, was life-changing.

SHORT: I bet I was on point.


SAGAL: Is there anything that you've always wanted to do that you haven't done yet?

SHORT: No, not really. I just enjoy being an actor. I think that in my life, I've been in opportunities where I could've directed something or done a movie as a director. And then I kind of thought, wait a second; all those guys - Spielberg and everyone and Scorsese - they wanted to be doing this at 9. And they had little cameras, and I was in my attic performing. So I think if - you should never do something based on - you - it's a great new feather for your cap. You should maybe listen to why you haven't done it yet.

SAGAL: And did you enjoy doing this new television show on Hulu? Are you going to do more of these?

SHORT: Yeah, it was fantastic. It was great. It's - and again, it is about the hang. It's not about...

SAGAL: Right.

SHORT: You can't control the end result. But if - you have to make the experience fun and loose and everyone laughing in the set and happy to be at work. And Steve works that way. I work that way. And so does Selena. So it made it very easy.

SAGAL: Did Selena - because she is of a much younger generation - introduce you guys on the set to anything that you didn't know about?

SHORT: Yeah, she explained the - she read the lyrics to "WAP" to Steve.


SHORT: It was so fantastic. I was called to the set midway through. And then I'm on the set, and Steve comes on the set and said, Marty, I just heard five new stanzas to "Top Hat And Tails" (ph).


SAGAL: So Selena Gomez, who's, of course, among many other things, a pop star, recited the lyrics to...

SHORT: Yeah, she was - she had them on her phone.

GROSZ: That's her screensaver.

SAGAL: It wasn't enough - like, you couldn't show Steve Martin the video. Is that, like, not allowed or - you know?

SHORT: No, no, no. He wanted to hear them.

SAGAL: Right.

SHORT: It was hysterical because she was also laughing hysterically as she was doing it (unintelligible). That's very funny.

SAGAL: That's amazing.

SHORT: Yeah.

SAGAL: Well, Martin Short, it is such a joy to talk to you, but we have asked you here this time to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: Only Murders of Crows in the Building.

SAGAL: Since you're starring in a TV show about a murder, we thought we'd ask you about a murder of crows, which is what you supposedly call a group of crows. Nobody has ever asked the crows about that, but we'll just go with it. So if you answer two out of three questions correctly about crows, you will win our prize for one of our listeners. Bill, who is Martin Short playing for?

KURTIS: Andrew White (ph) of San Diego, Calif.

SAGAL: All right, first question. Crows hold grudges, and they often hold grudges against the researchers who have to annoy them during experiments. On one occasion, a group of researchers then afterwards protected themselves from revenge by the crows by doing what - A, dressing up in giant crows suits so the crows would be intimidated; B, subscribing to the crows' podcasts; or C, wearing Dick Cheney masks?

SHORT: I believe I know this, and they dressed up as giant crows.

SAGAL: They did not dress up as giant crows. They did not.

SHORT: That's what I'm saying.

SAGAL: Yes - no, they wore Dick Cheney masks, is what they did.

SHORT: Oh, that seems made up.

SAGAL: And it - no, it's true. The actual way it worked is they had worn gorilla masks while they were working with the crows. And then the crows were able to recognize the gorilla masks later in public and attack them. So they decided to see if they were recognizing, like, it was a particular kind of mask or just a mask. They put on Dick Cheney masks, and the crows...

SHORT: And that scared the crows.

SAGAL: No, the crows were like, you're cool, man. The crows are into Dick Cheney.

SHORT: Oh, I see.

GROSZ: 'Cause he shoots people, Martin, remember.

SAGAL: Exactly.

GROSZ: Dick Cheney only shoots people.

SHORT: That's right, yeah. OK, so far I'm not doing well. Go ahead.

SAGAL: No, you have two more chances. That's fine. Crow families, it turns out, are a lot like human families, including in which of these ways - crows sometimes divorce and remarry and then the new mate tries to bribe the chicks by bringing them gifts; B, crow couples have date nights and they ask nearby squirrels to babysit; or C, sometimes crow kids never move out of the nest because they cannot find a job?

SHORT: Well, they're all just so damned silly. I think it is the last one.

SAGAL: And you'd be correct.


SHORT: Yeah.

SAGAL: Yeah. Failure to launch - crows will sometimes live with their parents for years after becoming adults because they just can't find a nest of their own.

SHORT: It's highly relatable.

SAGAL: It really is. All right, last question. You get this right, you win. There have been a number of celebrity run-ins with crows, as in which of these stories - A, after the pope released Doves of Peace at the Vatican in 2014, they were immediately attacked by a group of crows; B, Brad Pitt briefly dated a crow between Gwyneth and Jennifer; or C, Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz was lifted offstage by a flock of crows and never seen again.

SHORT: I would say it's No. 1.

SAGAL: You're correct, Mr. Short.


SAGAL: Apparently, the crows - not Catholic.


KURTIS: Bill, how did Martin Short do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Really well. He got two out of three. Martin Short is a winner.

SHORT: Thank you, William.

SAGAL: One more thing that you can remember as vividly as you remember playing Preminger in "Barbie."

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SHORT: Oh, listen, Preminger - I remember that took a long time to come up with that guy.

SAGAL: Yeah, I can see that.

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Martin Short is currently starring in "Only Murders In The Building." It's now on Hulu. Martin Short, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SHORT: Thank you so much, guys. It was fun.

SAGAL: A joy to speak to you. Thank you so much.

KURTIS: Bye, Martin.

SAGAL: Take care.

GROSZ: Bye, Martin.

SHORT: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

SHORT: Bye-bye.


CARDI B: (Rapping) I said certified freak, seven days a week. Wet, wet, wet make that, make that game weak. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAGAL: In just a minute, we speak clearly in our Listener Limerick Challenge game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT, WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Peter Grosz, Emmy Blotnick and Helen Hong. And here's your host - and I don't use the word hero often, but let me say I am this man's hero - it's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill?


KURTIS: In just a minute, Bill deals you a hand in Jim Ryhme-y (ph) in our Listener Limerick Challenge game. Are we trying any more with this or not? If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news.

Peter, the Federal Trade Commission is supposed to investigate serious crimes and fraud, so you'll be happy to know that they have finally opened an inquiry into why customers cannot reliably get what?

GROSZ: Marijuana in New York City.

KURTIS: No, it's a product that's been around for a while. But there has been terrible problems in the supply chain, and the FTC is on it.

GROSZ: I'll take a hint.

SAGAL: All right. It's also affected the Shamrock Shake supply chain.

GROSZ: No, I don't know the answer.

SAGAL: Anybody else know?

HONG: It's the ice cream at McDonald's.



SAGAL: Known as the McFlurry.

HONG: Yes.

SAGAL: If you love McDonald's soft serve - and of course you do; you're not a monster - you know that for a while now, it's been almost impossible to get one because the machines that make it keep breaking down. Frustrated managers say it's because the machines are really complicated. And also, the main ingredient, Grimace blood, is in short supply.


HONG: I read this news item. And I was like, what? There's actually like an official investigation on why...

SAGAL: Yes, yes. The FTC, the Federal Trade Commission, has now launched an official investigation.


HONG: The head of the FTC is, like, a big McFlurry fan. And he's just pissed. He's like, this is...

SAGAL: If this goes south for McDonald's, are we going to get to see Ronald McDonald doing a perp walk? And he's like doing the thing where he's holding the jacket in front of his head. Like, dude, you're wearing the clown suit. We know it's you.


GROSZ: Or maybe they'll finally bust the Hamburglar instead of letting him just roam the streets.

SAGAL: I know.


SAGAL: Emmy, an interview on live TV with New Zealand's minister for social development was interrupted this week when her son came into the room where she was taping it with something that just couldn't wait. What?

BLOTNICK: Did his water break?

GROSZ: His water broke.


SAGAL: The baby's coming, mom. No, no. It was his son who - it was her son who, from the looks of it, was about 11 or 12 years old.

BLOTNICK: OK, OK. So I was definitely wrong. Oh, is there a hint, perhaps?

SAGAL: Yeah. Bugs Bunny would have felt a little embarrassed to take a bite of this.

BLOTNICK: I may be stumped on this one.

SAGAL: It's a very hard one. Does anybody else know?

HONG: Can I try?

SAGAL: You may.

HONG: Is it a carrot shaped like a wiener?

SAGAL: How did you know, Helen?


SAGAL: That's exactly right. He interrupted her live national broadcast to show her an exceptionally phallic-shaped carrot.

HONG: What?

SAGAL: So here's what happened. Minister Carmel Sepuloni was in the middle of a live TV interview when her son entered the room to excitedly show her and the whole country, as it turned out, a carrot that was not appropriate for daytime television.

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: And he - and when he sees that she is on camera, he doesn't go, oh, I'm sorry, mom. He goes, hey. He starts showing it to the camera while he's - while the minister's...


SAGAL: ...Trying desperately to push him out of the room. I mean, the kid was the perfect age. He was old enough to find it funny but young enough that the person he immediately wants to show it to is his mother.


SAGAL: And then the world.

BLOTNICK: Yeah. You got to seize on those precious moments before your kid won't show you the carrot anymore. You know, and it's like...

SAGAL: Oh, isn't that sad?

BLOTNICK: ...I hate my mom.

SAGAL: Yeah. You're saying to your son, don't you remember when you used to interrupt my live TV appearances with phallic carrots? And now we hardly speak.

GROSZ: It's a truly, truly special moment. And it's definitely the story she's telling at his wedding.

SAGAL: The station instantly cut away to a graphic, which unfortunately did not help because it was a very graphic potato.

GROSZ: They're like, oh, sorry. And they cut away from the...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

GROSZ: And then it was like somebody, like, trying to plug a plug into an outlet over and over. Like, not that. Sorry.


SAGAL: No, no, no, no. Cut away. And now it's like a train going into a tunnel. It's like, oh, no, no.


GROSZ: Why do we have this series of graphics? They keep getting worse and worse.


BLOTNICK: Let's just cut to the butternut squash and call it a day.


BLOTNICK: The lyrics to "WAP" - help.


KOKO TAYLOR: (Singing) We're going to pitch a wang dang doodle all night long.

SAGAL: Coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank. But first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. You can always click the Contact Us link on our website, And for more WAIT WAIT in your life, follow us @waitwait on Twitter and @waitwaitnpr on Instagram. There, we post show news and editorial essays on how climate change is affecting our daily lives. Just kidding. We post videos about what your favorite Martin Short movie says about you. Give us a follow.

Hi, you're on, WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

JUNIPER: Hey, Peter. This is Juniper (ph) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

SAGAL: Hey, Juniper, how are you?

JUNIPER: I'm so good. How are you?

SAGAL: I'm fine. I love Salt Lake City. What do you do there?

JUNIPER: I am a barista at Tinker's Cat Cafe.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh. You are at - a barista at a cat cafe?

GROSZ: Cat cafe?

JUNIPER: Uh-huh. It's definitely one of the best jobs I've had.

SAGAL: Wow. So you just - you're just there all day serving coffee with cats running around?

JUNIPER: Yup, just drinking coffee and petting cats all day.


HONG: Do you have to do - so you don't have to clean out the litter boxes, I'm guessing, by your pleasant demeanor.

JUNIPER: Oh, yeah, I do have to do that sometimes. But they're still the best coworkers I've ever had (laughter).

HONG: What?

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Juniper. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly in two of the limericks, you'll be a big winner. Ready to play?

JUNIPER: Oh, absolutely.

SAGAL: Well, let's do it then. Here is your first limerick.

KURTIS: My date runs when the daylight approaches. He's a dirtbag that any girl poaches. He is sleeping around and when asked can't be found. It's a dating trend named after...

JUNIPER: Roaches?




SAGAL: Roaching is, according to The New York Post - only the person there who has to fill up space - the new dating trend where you hide the fact that you're seeing multiple people from a new romantic partner, right? Wow. In my day we just called that marriage. According to experts, there are a lot of roaching red flags. Is your partner taking a long time to respond to text? Do they change plans at the last minute? Does she scurry under the dishwasher when you turn on the lights? Does he crunch when you step on them?


GROSZ: Can they - can you not kill them?

BLOTNICK: I thought roaching was when you hide that you have roaches, which...

SAGAL: Right, which is important.

BLOTNICK: Those first few dates, you know, like, I'm clean.

SAGAL: Apparently, now that vaccinations are widely available, more singles are looking to make up for lost time by dating multiple people.

HONG: I thought that was just Thursday.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

HONG: I don't know what - we have to call that roaching, right?

SAGAL: Here, Juniper, is your next limerick.

KURTIS: In relationships, I've often fumbled. When we talked, that's where I always stumbled. When he said let's have food, I misheard I love you, and I thought he was hot 'cause he...

JUNIPER: Mumbled?

SAGAL: Yes, mumbled.


SAGAL: According to a study from the University of California, men who mumble are seen as more attractive mates. The study explains, real study, that mumbling is interpreted as a sign of masculinity. Ooh, he's mumbling. His mouth must be full of something manly, like nails or bullets.

BLOTNICK: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Plus, when you mumble, the other person has to lean in closer, which creates intimacy. And on the flip side - and again, this is true - researchers say precise enunciation makes things sound feminine and is less attractive. So try it. Like, do you smell what The Rock is cooking?

HONG: (Laughter).

BLOTNICK: What about, like, the adults from "Peanuts," like, that kind of mumbling?

GROSZ: (Laughter).

BLOTNICK: Does that do it for the ladies?

GROSZ: The trombone mumbling?

BLOTNICK: Oh, yeah. When I hear womp, womp, I'm like, how mysterious. What a bad boy.

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Yeah. This led to your unhappy relationship with the trombone mute later in life. All right, Juniper, here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: Her octopus anger is growing. Yo, buddy, you better get going. She's starting to bristle, and soon, she'll launch missiles. Her eight arms are perfect for...

JUNIPER: Throwing?

KURTIS: Throwing.



KURTIS: You are impressive.


SAGAL: Female octopuses are known to throw objects at harassing suitors when they don't want them around. This is a big win for evolution. You give an animal eight arms, you're damn right she's going to start throwing stuff when she gets annoyed. Researchers think this behavior, throwing things at male octopuses, are meant to show displeasure. Most of the throwers are female. Their targets are mostly other octopuses and people trying to, like, "My Octopus Teacher" them. The octopuses are like, go away. I am a marine invertebrate. I cannot help you with your midlife crisis.

BLOTNICK: I heard female octopi can also do incredible dunks, like, from the three-point line.


BLOTNICK: Some of them can just demolish the basket.

HONG: What all are they throwing? Are they throwing, like...

SAGAL: They're throwing silt, algae and rocks.

HONG: Take that, boy octopuses.

SAGAL: Yeah. You ladies should try that with the next trombone mutes you date. Stop mumbling.


GROSZ: Algae to the face.


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

KURTIS: Juniper did great, a clean sweep. Congratulations, Juniper.


SAGAL: Well done. Congratulations.

JUNIPER: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing, Juniper.

JUNIPER: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


SAGAL: Now it's time to move on to our final game, Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can. Each correct answer is now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

KURTIS: I sure can. Peter has two. Emmy has three. Helen has five.

HONG: What?

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh.

GROSZ: Five?

SAGAL: Well, Peter, you are in third place, so you go first. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. This week, officials warned residents not to return to some areas of Louisiana affected by blank.

GROSZ: Hurricane Ida.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Thursday, Liz Cheney was named the vice chair of the committee to investigate the attack on the blank.

GROSZ: Capitol building.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Following the withdrawal from Afghanistan, blank's approval ratings dropped to a new low.

GROSZ: Joe Biden.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, West Virginia Senator blank called for a pause in the Democrats' 3.5 trillion spending plan.

GROSZ: Oh, stupid Joe Manchin.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: In a first for the company, New York employees of coffee giant blank announced plans to unionize.

GROSZ: Starbucks.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a school board meeting...


SAGAL: ...Went viral after the president called the names of blank, blank and blank to come forward and make their scheduled public comments.

GROSZ: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

BLOTNICK: (Laughter).

SAGAL: No. He called on Phil McCracken, Eileen Dover and Wayne Kerr. Kids pranked the school board meeting in the manner of Bart Simpson by sneaking a whole bunch of fake names into the schedule. Luckily, they were instantly caught and sent to detention by the school's principal, Hugh Jass (ph).

BLOTNICK: (Laughter).

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

KURTIS: He did very well. He got five right for 10 more points. He now has 12 and the lead.


SAGAL: All right. Emmy, you're up next. Ready to do this?


SAGAL: All right. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, New York declared a state of emergency after surprise blanks hit the Northeast.


SAGAL: Yeah - good enough.


SAGAL: On Thursday, the American Medical Association called for people to stop using horse dewormer to treat blank.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, podcast giant Joe Rogan announced he was using blank to treat his COVID.

BLOTNICK: Horse things. Yes.

SAGAL: Yes. Horse dewormer.

GROSZ: (Laughter).


SAGAL: On Tuesday, police in Florida had to break up a fight that broke out at a school board meeting over blank mandates.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a woman attempting to vacation in Hawaii was caught with a fake COVID vaccination card after officials noticed that she had blanked.


SAGAL: No, after she had spelled Moderna wrong. Mederna (ph), she wrote. On Thursday, the EU fined messaging app blank $267 million for breaching privacy laws.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Monday, Walgreens announced they would be raising their minimum wage to blank in October.

BLOTNICK: Let it be $15. Come on, now.

SAGAL: It is. It is.



SAGAL: This week, the TSA had to advise passengers to please use secure containers...


SAGAL: ...After blank turned up in a luggage carousel in Seattle.

BLOTNICK: Pasta sauce.

SAGAL: No, a bunch of raw chicken pressed together in the shape of a suitcase. A video from the TSA showed this abomination slowly rotating in the luggage carousel just like it was a suitcase. Clearly, the chicken had been packed tightly into a case, which opened or fell apart when it realized it was being used to carry raw chicken. And then, believe it or not - this always happens - that molded cube of raw chicken parts was mistakenly picked up by a traveler who had the same bag.


GROSZ: That's why you got to put a ribbon on it. You got to put a ribbon, whatever your bag looks like.


SAGAL: Yeah. So, Bill, how did Emmy do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Really well. Emmy had six right for 12 more points. She now has 15 and the lead.


SAGAL: All right. Then how many does Helen need to win the game?

KURTIS: Well, she needs five to tie, and that means she needs six to win.

SAGAL: All right. Here we go, Helen. This is for the game. On Tuesday, the director of the CDC warned that people who are not blanked should not travel during Labor Day weekend.

HONG: Vaccinated.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Following struggles with delivery times, the blank announced they would hire 100,000 new employees.

HONG: The Postal Service.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, the Supreme Court declined to intervene in blank's new abortion ban.

HONG: Texas.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Wednesday, New York passed a bill extending their blank moratorium through January.

HONG: Eviction.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Known for his role as Lou Grant on "Mary Tyler Moore," actor blank passed away at the age of 91.

HONG: Ed Asner.



SAGAL: On Wednesday, blank's lawyer formally requested that her father resign as her conservator.

HONG: Britney Spears.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a man in Chicago running from the police was arrested after he tried to get through a restaurant...


SAGAL: ...That was entirely empty except for blank.

HONG: Cops.

SAGAL: Yes...


SAGAL: ...Seven of them eating lunch. The man thought he would find a way out of his predicament when he spotted a seemingly empty restaurant. But unfortunately, as soon as he opened the doors, he was face to face with seven cops, who immediately leapt up to tackle him. Even worse, the restaurant had a policy that they would not let you run through the kitchen and out the back door until your whole party had arrived.


SAGAL: Bill, did Helen do well enough to win?

KURTIS: Well, she got seven right for 14 more points. That means with 19, she is the champion.


SAGAL: Whoa.

HONG: (Vocalizing).

SAGAL: Very good. Now, panel, once it is banned, what will we all do instead of that screentime? Helen Hong.

HONG: I'm sorry. Can you repeat that? I didn't hear you because I was checking my phone.


SAGAL: Emmy Blotnick.

BLOTNICK: Dogless, pigless truffle hunting.


SAGAL: And Peter Grosz.

GROSZ: We'll read paperback fantasy novels about shy librarians and hunky carpenters who run away for a discreet hotel rendezvous while they look at their phones all night long.


KURTIS: Because many of them haven't. We'll ask you about it on WAIT, WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill Kurtis.


SAGAL: Thanks also to Helen Hong, Peter Grosz and Emmy Blotnick. You did a great job. Welcome to the show. And thanks to all of you for listening. I'm Peter Sagal. We'll see you next week.


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