Kidz Bop Comedians Aparna Nancherla and Joyelle Nicole Johnson play this audio quiz packed with hit songs— ruined- uh, *ahem* covered by children.

Kidz Bop

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

We are so glad that comedians Aparna Nancherla and Joyelle Nicole Johnson are back to play some games with us. Hello.

APARNA NANCHERLA: Thank you...

JOYELLE NICOLE JOHNSON: Hi.

NANCHERLA: ...So much.

EISENBERG: So let's see. The last time you were both on the show, Joyelle, had you already moved? You moved...

JOHNSON: Yes.

EISENBERG: ...To Atlanta. You're still in Atlanta.

JOHNSON: I am presently in New Jersey right now.

EISENBERG: You're in New Jersey. Wow.

JOHNSON: Yes.

EISENBERG: Do you have any, like, new location ideas of where you want to live? Or are you kind of settled? Oh, you do. Update. OK, what's the update?

JOHNSON: We're buying our first house...

JONATHAN COULTON: Yeah.

JOHNSON: ...In Brooklyn. Setting up our spot.

EISENBERG: Congratulations.

JOHNSON: Yes. So we're moving...

EISENBERG: That's amazing.

JOHNSON: ...Back. That's the tea. Breaking news.

(LAUGHTER)

JOHNSON: We are still looking. So...

COULTON: Still looking.

JOHNSON: Saw a place yesterday or the other day that we really liked. So we're going to see.

EISENBERG: Ooh.

JOHNSON: That might be it. It's a maybe.

EISENBERG: Yeah. You go in a place, and you're like, OK, how do we get this?

NANCHERLA: (Laughter).

JOHNSON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: I always felt so much pressure...

JOHNSON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: ...Because everyone wants you to move fast.

JOHNSON: Yeah, especially in New York.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Aparna, last time we talked, you were writing a book. How's the book going?

NANCHERLA: Well, we have - now we have a first draft, so now editing...

EISENBERG: That's huge.

COULTON: All right.

NANCHERLA: ...The first draft. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

JOHNSON: Are you tired? Are you over it? Are you over the words that you've written?

NANCHERLA: Yeah, I mean, I was over them as I was writing them.

(LAUGHTER)

NANCHERLA: And now I get to change them all, so that's good.

JOHNSON: (Laughter) Nice.

EISENBERG: And how do you feel about feedback in general?

NANCHERLA: I am anti-feedback.

(LAUGHTER)

NANCHERLA: I don't like feedback on my mic, don't like feedback from others.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So yeah, we've cooked up a couple other games for you. Are you ready for a couple games?

NANCHERLA: Ready. Ready.

JOHNSON: Oh, ready.

EISENBERG: All right. So first is an audio quiz. Do you - did either of you listen to those Kidz Bop songs when you were a kid or have the albums, what have you? Kidz Bop.

NANCHERLA: No (laughter).

JOHNSON: We're too old. That wasn't my age range.

EISENBERG: I did not have this, either. OK, so Kidz Bop, in case you don't know, is a long-running series of pop songs covered by children. And occasionally, they have to change the lyrics to make the song more family-friendly.

JOHNSON: Oh.

NANCHERLA: Got it. Got it.

EISENBERG: So we're going to play you a clip of a song that's had its lyrics changed, and then it's up to you to earn a point however you see fit. You can identify the song or the artist who made it famous. You can give the original lyric. You can offer other information that you think would be fun. So - and you'll take turns answering questions. But also, if you want to work together, we really can't stop you.

NANCHERLA: Oh.

EISENBERG: Here we go. All right. Joyelle, the original version of this song was released in 2009.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: Let's go.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER #1: (Singing) Before I leave, brush my teeth, and then I go and pack. 'Cause when I leave for the night, I ain't coming back.

NANCHERLA: Oh.

JOHNSON: Oh, that's all I get?

EISENBERG: Yeah.

NANCHERLA: Wait. Were those lyrics changed?

EISENBERG: Those were changed.

JOHNSON: For sure.

NANCHERLA: Wow.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll tell you which part of it. It's the - it was before I leave, brush my teeth, and then I go and pack - was changed - 'cause when I leave for the night, I ain't coming back. By the way, let's just have a moment that this is a song for children when they hear about, I guess, running away? I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah. Just for the night.

EISENBERG: Just for the night.

NANCHERLA: I thought - I went even darker. I was like, oh, go to the other parent's house.

EISENBERG: Oh, that's nice.

COULTON: Right, it's a song about divorce. Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. So here's a hint - the artist used to have a dollar-sign symbol as part of her name.

JOHNSON: Kesha.

EISENBERG: Yes. "Tik Tok" by 2009 Kesha.

NANCHERLA: Did...

JOHNSON: OK.

NANCHERLA: ...Kesha predict TikTok?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I know, right? And the original lyric was, before I leave brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack.

JOHNSON: Oh.

NANCHERLA: Oh, got it.

EISENBERG: 'Cause when I leave for the night, I ain't coming back. Brushing your teeth with Jack.

JOHNSON: That is a way to pregame that I have never thought of.

COULTON: (Laughter). All right, Aparna, here is the Kidz Bop...

NANCHERLA: OK.

COULTON: ...Cover of a 2013 hit.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) But every song's like gold teeth, gold goose, singing in the bathroom, grass stains, ballgowns, trashing the hotel room. We don't care.

COULTON: (Laughter).

NANCHERLA: Is it Lorde?

EISENBERG: Yes.

COULTON: It is Lorde.

NANCHERLA: "Royals"?

COULTON: "Royals" - that's correct. Yeah.

JOHNSON: Lord-E (ph). Lord-E.

COULTON: Did you catch which lyric had been changed?

NANCHERLA: No. I was so excited I knew the song.

(LAUGHTER)

NANCHERLA: I just, like, blacked out.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah. Well, I'll say in the Kidz Bop version it's gold teeth, gold goose, singing in the bathroom, grass stains, ballgowns, trashing the hotel room.

NANCHERLA: (Laughter).

COULTON: And the original lyric is, gold teeth, Grey Goose, tripping in the bathroom...

NANCHERLA: Got it.

COULTON: ...Bloodstains, ballgowns, trashing the hotel room. So...

NANCHERLA: Got it.

COULTON: (Laughter) I like - I really - I find - I don't know. I find that switch from bloodstains to grass stains extremely charming.

(LAUGHTER)

JOHNSON: That's amazing.

EISENBERG: And I think Lorde was, like, 16 when she did it.

NANCHERLA: Yeah.

JOHNSON: She's a very intense 16-year-old.

COULTON: Yeah. Sounds like it, yeah.

NANCHERLA: I think every new teen sensation is, like, increasingly world-weary 'cause Billie Eilish is, like...

EISENBERG: Oh, my goodness.

NANCHERLA: She's singing...

COULTON: Oh, yeah.

NANCHERLA: ...About things that - like, menopause and stuff.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: She did the perimenopause in her first album. And now she's covering menopause.

(LAUGHTER)

JOHNSON: Amazing.

NANCHERLA: Wild.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: All right, Aparna. Kidz Bop changed two parts of these lyrics from a 2009 song.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER #2: (Singing) I'm so upset. My heart is bound to beat right out my pounding chest. I believe in you. Like a pop star, you're Madonna. And I'm always...

NANCHERLA: Oh, dang. I - the song is familiar, but I couldn't tell you.

JOHNSON: Is it a group or a single person?

COULTON: It is a group.

NANCHERLA: A group.

EISENBERG: Yep.

COULTON: It is a group named after a form of transportation.

NANCHERLA: Oh.

JOHNSON: Train.

COULTON: Train.

EISENBERG: Yeah, yeah.

COULTON: It is a Train song.

NANCHERLA: Train? That's a Train song?

EISENBERG: Yes.

COULTON: It is a Train song.

JOHNSON: I'm sorry. Train is the name of a group?

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

NANCHERLA: I knew there was a band called Train. But I only know "Meet Virginia." You guys...

COULTON: Right.

NANCHERLA: ...Remember that...

COULTON: Right, of course.

EISENBERG: Yes.

NANCHERLA: ...Train hit?

EISENBERG: That's right.

NANCHERLA: I didn't know they made anything after that.

COULTON: This song is called "Hey, Soul Sister." And the lyrics that were changed were - like a virgin became like a pop star, you're Madonna.

NANCHERLA: Oh.

COULTON: My heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest - got changed to pounding chest, which I guess they want kids to make sure they grow all the hair? You're welcome, Train.

(LAUGHTER)

NANCHERLA: Whoa. That's so specific. But you're like, what is that saying?

COULTON: Yeah. We don't want to teach kids about manscaping (ph).

EISENBERG: No. And every kid...

JOHNSON: I feel like I'm being gaslit.

(LAUGHTER)

JOHNSON: Train is a real group? This is - are they American?

NANCHERLA: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

JOHNSON: They're from America?

EISENBERG: Yeah.

NANCHERLA: You should...

COULTON: It would be a very funny gag if we just decided to make up a group called Train just to fool you, Joyelle.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: You're like I know that's, like, a - what?

JOHNSON: You guys just keep talking about them.

(LAUGHTER)

NANCHERLA: You got to Google them 'cause they need those clicks.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's right. Joyelle, this one is a cover from a song from 2017.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER #3: (Singing) I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100% that kid, even when I'm crying crazy.

JOHNSON: I like that they took out the [expletive]. Oh, sorry, NPR.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That's OK.

COULTON: You put it right back in.

EISENBERG: That's what it is. That's what the answer is.

JOHNSON: My bad. That'd be Lizzo (laughter).

EISENBERG: Yes, exactly.

JOHNSON: So I know that song.

NANCHERLA: And you figured out what they changed.

EISENBERG: I love it.

JOHNSON: (Laughter) I'm sorry.

COULTON: Oh, no.

JOHNSON: They said, you can't curse. I was told not to curse, so I was...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Well, and then we did a game about cursing. So it's not - you know.

EISENBERG: That's right. That's right.

JOHNSON: Right (laughter).

COULTON: Kind of setting you up there.

NANCHERLA: They set you up.

JOHNSON: There you go.

EISENBERG: No kid believes they're 100% kid, by the way. Every kid's like, I'm 10% dragon.

(LAUGHTER)

NANCHERLA: Yeah, if kids ran 23andMe, it would be a lot more fun.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's right. Exactly.

COULTON: That's true. That's true.

JOHNSON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: I'd be like, I'm 5% robot, 7% centaur, got some T. rex.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Forty-five percent fireman.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Thank you so much. You did fantastic with that. We'll play another game with Aparna and Joyelle after the break, plus our go-to guest musician Julian Velard and puzzle guru Cecil Baldwin will take their turn in the puzzle hot seat - or shall I say the puzzle room-temperature seat. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

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