PBS' Yamiche Alcindor Plays Not My Job on 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for PBS' Newshour and the host of Washington Week, so we'll ask her three questions about the week's washing: laundry.

'Wait Wait' For Sept. 18, 2021, With Not My Job Guest Yamiche Alcindor

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following program was taped before an audience of no one.


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. Feeling blue? Take a dose of Abillify (ph) - Bill Kurtis. And here he is, the future former host of this show. It's Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. Thanks so much. And thanks to all of you at home who believe that your positive vibes are a substitute for live applause.

Later today, we're going to be talking to Yamiche Alcindor, who left a brilliant career with MSNBC and ABC News to host a PBS show, "Washington Week In Review." We'll ask her if she's gotten used to public broadcasting-style backstage catering, which is half a loaf of vegan banana bread somebody's aunt made.

So prepare your own snacks when you call in to play our games. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!

NICOLE NAPPI: Hi, Peter. My name's Nicole Nappi. I'm calling from Brunswick, Maine.

SAGAL: Hey, Nicole Nappi. How are things in Brunswick, Maine?

NAPPI: They're awesome. I love it here.

SAGAL: I've never talked to somebody in Maine who does not. What do you do there?

NAPPI: Well, I'm trying to be an artist later in life. I'm an acrylic painter.

SAGAL: Oh, cool. Do you have a subject that you love?

NAPPI: That's my problem, is that I don't particularly love any one thing. I'm pretty eclectic in my art. So I just paint anything that makes me happy.

SAGAL: Well, that's good.

NAPPI: Yeah.

SAGAL: Well, Nicole, welcome to our show. It's a delight to talk to you. Let me introduce you to this week's panel.

First, it's a comedian you can hear on his new radio show, "The Babylon Beat," in Los Angeles, Monday to Friday, 9 p.m. to 12 on KBLA TALK 1580. It's Brian Babylon.


NAPPI: Hi, Brian.

BRIAN BABYLON: Hey - artists unite.

NAPPI: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Next, she is hosting the new "Legends Of The Hidden Temple," premiering on The CW Sunday, October 10. It's Cristela Alonzo.


CRISTELA ALONZO: What's up? Hi, Nicole.


SAGAL: And finally, host of the "Breaking Bread With Tom Papa" podcast, that - he just kicked off his Family Reunion standup tour. It's Tom Papa.


NAPPI: Hi, Tom.

TOM PAPA: Hi, Nicole.

SAGAL: Hey, Nicole. Welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis, of course, 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 might choose on your voicemail. You ready to go?

NAPPI: I hope so. I want to win.

SAGAL: OK. For your first quote, here's international pop superstar Nicki Minaj.

KURTIS: My cousin in Trinidad won't get it because his friend got it and became impotent. His testicles became swollen.

SAGAL: So that tweet became an international incident, part of the fight over whether you should get what?

NAPPI: Vaccinated.

SAGAL: Yes, of course...


SAGAL: ...The COVID vaccine. So on the one hand, the judgment of the international medical community that the vaccines are safe - on the other, Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's testicles - who to trust? And before we jump to dismiss this, where did that guy's nurse administer the shot?


BABYLON: Peter, let me just say this. It's - you know it's a brand-new day when you and the NPR folk are telling me hip-hop news because I missed this one, totally. I missed this one.

SAGAL: How could you miss this?

PAPA: (Laughter).

BABYLON: Well, I'm - you know what? I'm not one looking for swollen testicle news. I avert that at all costs.

SAGAL: Really? I have a Google news alert...


SAGAL: ...Set up just for that.


ALONZO: Oh yeah. I have a book club that's just about it.

SAGAL: I know.


PAPA: I'm still confused whether they're saying that it was a positive or a negative that they got that big.


SAGAL: Oh no, it was definitely a negative. Ms. Minaj went on to say that because of his condition, the poor guy's fiancee broke off the engagement.

BABYLON: Oh yeah. They don't...

PAPA: Yeah.

BABYLON: ...Play that. Women in Trinidad don't play that.

PAPA: Yeah? Yeah?


BABYLON: His big like that? It's over.

SAGAL: Pretty much.


SAGAL: Now - so the week - so she did that at the beginning of the week. She then conducted this running debate on Twitter with all of those who might doubt her. The government of Trinidad said they looked for the guy and could not find him.

PAPA: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Really? Did they go door to door with, like, a glass athletic cup to see who it fit?


SAGAL: Does he not exist? He's a legend. Years from now, people are going to be talking about how once they themselves saw the mysterious Sas-crotch (ph).


PAPA: Just look for the cleavage out on the street.

SAGAL: It's terrible. It is amazing that we are in such a precarious position that our entire, like, national health care program can be thrown by a tweet from Nicki Minaj that we have to fact-check Nicki Minaj. Are we going to do that with, like, everything rappers say? Well, after careful research, we can confirm that Jay-Z had 94 problems at most.


ALONZO: They actually had a - the hashtag #istandwithnicki 'cause there were so many people that were like, I stand with Nicki and what she said. And it's...

SAGAL: Right.

BABYLON: And you can't sit.

ALONZO: ...Because they love her.

BABYLON: If you're swollen, you can't sit down. You have to stand.

ALONZO: Exactly.

SAGAL: Exactly. Exactly.


SAGAL: We're all standing and walking painfully...


SAGAL: ...With Nicki. All right. Sorry to put you through that, Nicole. But we do have another quote for you. This is from a comment on a New York Times article.

KURTIS: Did we learn nothing from "Jurassic Park"?

SAGAL: That was someone reacting to news that scientists are announcing they want to bring back what ancient animal?

NAPPI: Oh, gosh. The woolly mammoth?

SAGAL: Yes. The woolly mammoth.

PAPA: Yeah.

SAGAL: Yes, very good.



SAGAL: That's very good. Like...

NAPPI: Wow. That was a great guess.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

SAGAL: It was an excellent guess.

KURTIS: Yeah - pulled that one out.

PAPA: Which, by the way, is what I call my testicles.


SAGAL: Like low-rise jeans before them, woolly mammoths are back, baby. This week, a new company called Colossal was launched, with the aim of producing the first litter of woolly mammoth calves in just six years. And Steven Spielberg has signed on to produce the film adaptation as soon as it all goes to hell. The company has raised $15 million for this effort - a million dollars to actually resurrect the mammoth and 14 million to pay out to the families of the scientists it stomps.


BABYLON: I honestly, Peter - if you guys think about this, when I saw this, I was thinking, they must have some woolly mammoth juice somewhere.

PAPA: Pleas to find juice.


BABYLON: To even start this company, I mean, they must have that. You just don't start a company saying, yo, we about to make woolly mammoths, yo, and not have woolly mammoth-making capabilities.

SAGAL: Right.

PAPA: And they're really missing an opportunity. They're missing an opportunity because you don't just make a woolly mammoth. If we know anything from breeding, a woolly mammoth-doodle is the way you open...

SAGAL: Yes, exactly.

PAPA: ...You find yourself...

SAGAL: But then you get...

PAPA: ...Into the market.

SAGAL: ...Where you get all the...

ALONZO: I want one already.

SAGAL: ...All the advantages of a woolly mammoth, but it's hypoallergenic, right?


ALONZO: Now, how can they find woolly mammoths but not Nicki Minaj's friend's cousin...

BABYLON: Thank you.

ALONZO: ..Or cousin's friend or whatever? How did they find...

BABYLON: Thank you.

ALONZO: ...The woolly mammoth yet this guy with the big testicles is just roaming free? - not in ice...

PAPA: Yeah.

ALONZO: ...Not in ice.

PAPA: With apparently a ton of DNA.


SAGAL: Exactly. Exactly.

BABYLON: Can I just say, a - an individual who has not even been mentioned in this segment? I don't even know if he was a woolly mammoth, but I think he was. Wasn't Snuffleupagus a woolly mammoth on mushrooms?

PAPA: I was thinking that. I think you're right.


SAGAL: Snuffleupagus is not a woolly mammoth. Snuffleupagus is a Snuffleupagus.

BABYLON: He's an ethnic woolly mammoth.

PAPA: Yeah. He didn't have the tusks.

ALONZO: Brian, that's a good point.

PAPA: He doesn't have tusks.

BABYLON: Thank you.

ALONZO: You know what? You're right. That's brown elephant erasure.

BABYLON: Thank you.


ALONZO: Yes. I agree with you. Not on Hispanic Heritage Month, we don't do that.


BABYLON: Thank you.

SAGAL: All right. Nicole, here's your last quote.

KURTIS: The city truly feels alive again.

SAGAL: That happy sentiment was, unsurprisingly, from a musical theater fan who was celebrating the reopening this last week of what?

NAPPI: Oh, my gosh. It was a Broadway show. I (inaudible).

SAGAL: Broadway shows - yes - any Broadway show.


SAGAL: We would have taken any of them. Great news for visiting in-laws and New Jersey residents - Broadway is back.


SAGAL: "The Lion King," "Wicked" and "Hamilton" reopened on Tuesday, thrilling both of the Broadway fans who hadn't seen those shows yet.


SAGAL: And this - you know, it's exciting. It's fun. We're glad to see it. I'm glad to see it. But it's a little scary because a CDC report recently revealed that the delta variant is spread by unearned standing ovations.


BABYLON: Ooh. They don't tell you about - Fauci never talks about that.


SAGAL: No, he doesn't. It does feel weird that New York is celebrating the return of something that they usually sneer at as Midtown tourist attractions. It's like, oh, huzzah! The Times Square M&M store is open again. New York is back.

PAPA: (Laughter) Yeah, it's true. To see jaded New Yorkers actually excited to go see Beetlejuice, that...


PAPA: This is the end of days.

SAGAL: Audiences - if you do want to go, audiences will be required to provide proof of vaccination and proof that they will not try to rap along to "Hamilton."


PAPA: My friend said that she was in New York and saw the waitress - not the play, just the one waitress they have left...

SAGAL: The waitress.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

PAPA: ...That's doing all of the restaurants.


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

KURTIS: Nicole scored big - 3 and 0. Nicole, we're...


KURTIS: ...Proud of you.



SAGAL: Congratulations.


NAPPI: Thank you, guys.

SAGAL: Thank you, Nicole.


SAGAL: Thank you. Bye bye.


SAGAL: Take care.


JONATHAN GROFF: (As King George III, singing) You'll be back. Soon you'll see. You'll remember you belong to me. You'll be back. Time will tell. You remember that I...

SAGAL: Right now, panel, it's time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Cristela, in a program that will absolutely end well, the Pentagon is asking people to suggest names for what?

ALONZO: Oh, man. Can you use it in a sentence? (Laughter) I don't - (laughter).

SAGAL: Well, OK. Yeah, as a matter of fact, I can. It'll end up being something like, well, congratulations, son, you're in the army now. Please report to Basey McBaseface (ph) for training.

ALONZO: Oh, the bases.

SAGAL: Yes, the bases.


SAGAL: You might think that the Pentagon is being really dumb, turning to the internet to get suggestions for new base names, but maybe they just need the help. These are the people who named their brand-new pentagon-shaped building the Pentagon.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

SAGAL: It's part of - now, it's part of a very good project. They need new names for the 11 U.S. military bases that are currently named after Confederate Army officers Because we all know if you want to find stuff that's totally not racist, the first place to look is the internet.


BABYLON: But my question is, who would even say, hey, man, you lost that war? I'm going to name a base after you.

SAGAL: Well, they did. They did.

BABYLON: Who does that?

PAPA: (Laughter).

ALONZO: White people. White people do that (laughter).

PAPA: Yeah.

SAGAL: Yeah. See...

PAPA: It's called America (laughter).

SAGAL: No, you have to understand - because they're white people, they didn't lose. They came in second, silver medalists.

BABYLON: There you go.


BABYLON: There you go.


SAGAL: They have to - I mean, it's not just, you know, find some - a non-Confederate nontraitor to name it after. They have to - it's marketing. It's branding. This is a volunteer army, of course. They have to appeal to young people. They have to make them want to sign up. So welcome to Fort Lizzo...

PAPA: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Fort TikTok or maybe, best of all, Fort Nite.

PAPA: (Laughter).


ALONZO: (Laughter).

PAPA: Now you're onto something (laughter).


SAGAL: Coming up, good news - we solve climate change forever 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 Tom Papa, Brian Babylon and Cristela Alonzo. And here again is your host, the man I am privileged and contractually obligated to call a friend. It's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. Right now, it is 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're on WAIT, WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

CAROLYN BULL: Hey. My name is Carolyn Bull (ph) from Brooklyn, N.Y.

SAGAL: Hey. How are things in Brooklyn?

BULL: They're great. We're finally cooling off a little bit, actually.

SAGAL: Well, that sounds wonderful. What do you do there in Brooklyn?

BULL: So I'm a children's book illustrator and designer for a pretty big company.

SAGAL: Oh, that's really cool.

BULL: (Laughter) It's as cute as it sounds.

SAGAL: Do you have a favorite of the ones you've done?

BULL: Ooh, you know, I used to work for a lot of Pokemon brands. My favorite one is a really long, every-Pokemon-out-there guidebook. And I still get a lot of emails from kids saying...

ALONZO: (Laughter).

BULL: ...Carolyn, you got this one wrong.

SAGAL: Wait a minute. You like this one because it got you correspondence from Pokemon pedants?

BULL: Yeah, I think it's so cute. I think it's wonderful, even if they're telling me, Carolyn, that's not how much Pikachu weighs...


BULL: I really - I think it's lovely.

SAGAL: All right, Carolyn, welcome to the show. You are going to play the game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what's Carolyn's topic?

KURTIS: There, I Fixed It.

SAGAL: Climate change is an intractable problem. But what if it was tractable? This week, somebody came up with a solution that might just save the planet. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's giving us the real solution. You will win our prize, the WAIT, WAITer of your choice in your voicemail. You ready to play?

BULL: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Brian Babylon.

BABYLON: It's well known that, in the addition to emissions from cars and power plants, the emissions from livestock are also a major cause of greenhouse gases. In fact, since it's both methane gas and ammonia, you can say it's both our warming planet's No. 1 and No. 2 problem. But scientists in Germany may have come up with the perfect solution - potty training cows. Quote, "why shouldn't cows be able to learn how to use a toilet?" So working with a cattle farm in New Zealand, the researchers tried to train a herd of calves. Every time they used the cow port-a-potty where the emissions were captured, they got a treat. Every time they did it outside, annoying music was played via headphones. We assume they used the McDonald's jingle - (singing) ba, da, ba, ba, ba. After only 10 days, the team had managed to successfully train 11 out of 16 calves, which is better rate than you'd have with children or super drunk college kids.

SAGAL: Toilet training cows to see if we can do something about their emissions. Your next story of a punch-up for the planet comes from Cristela Alonzo.

ALONZO: During the recent wildfire, it was discovered that a house along the path of the fires was spared because, as part of renovation projects, it was covered in foil. A scientist named Ben Actros (ph) from (unintelligible) University in North Dakota saw this and was inspired. He routinely uses aluminum foil to protect his baked potato from burning, so why not the Earth? For his test project in which he would cover an entire 10-acre forest with tin foil, he insisted the foil be recycled. He asked people from around the community to donate used foil from leftover dinners, cookouts or birthday cake slices from the party of the kid in class who's funny but has weird parents in order to keep the process as green as possible. He says he's got almost enough tin foil to cover the entire test area. But, he says, the first challenge is uncrinkling all the little foil balls he gets.

SAGAL: Covering the Earth with tin foil as if it were a baked potato. Your last story of rebirth for the Earth comes from Tom Papa.

PAPA: The residents of 10 homes in the Woodcliff neighborhood of Colorado Springs aim to reduce carbon emissions through smarter living by eliminating the unnecessary and underused appliances of a single home by sharing them across the community. And for a while, it seemed to be working. According to Robert Clemens (ph), sharing things like dishwasher space and bathtubs was more challenging than he thought. I didn't buy a house to live in a commune, Clemens said. It's one thing to wave to your neighbor from a distance. It's another to see him walking around your kitchen in his underwear. Said another resident, one of the biggest fights my wife and I ever had was over how we fill the dishwasher. But with smarter living, I ended up arguing with five wives. Everyone has gone back to living on their own and firing up their individual appliances, leaving residents to wonder what is the smarter way to live? - saving the planet or saving their marriages.

SAGAL: All right. Let me summarize these potential solutions for global warming - from Brian Babylon, some scientists in Germany figuring out a way to potty train cows so they don't do their business outside and contribute to warming the planet; from Cristela Alonzo, a plan to cover the Earth with tin foil to just, you know, keep the heat out so nothing singes; or, from Tom Papa, an attempt that didn't quite work in which people tried to economize in energy use by sharing just a few appliances. Which of these was the real story of a potential solution for climate change?

BULL: (Laughter) You know, I don't know. I'm going to go with 1.

SAGAL: You're going to go with 1. You're going to go with the German scientists who are trying to potty train cows. Well, to bring you the real story, we spoke to a reporter who is covering this real story.

MARIA TEMMING: The researchers wanted to see whether they could potty train cattle so the cow urine could instead be used for useful things.

SAGAL: There you go.

BULL: (Laughter).

SAGAL: That was Maria Temming, assistant editor at Science News for Students, talking about potty training for cows. Congratulations, Carolyn. You got it right. You earned our prize, the voice of anyone you might like on your voicemail. You also earned a point for Brian, just for telling you the truth, which he did forthrightly. Thank you so much for playing.

BULL: Thank you so much for having me.

SAGAL: It's a real pleasure. Take care.

BULL: Thank you. Bye bye.


NELLY: (Singing) Oh. Want a little bit of - and a little bit of...

SAGAL: And now the game where we ask people who have risen fast to just, you know, hover with us for a second. It's called Not My Job. Yamiche Alcindor was a hard-working reporter for outfits like The New York Times before moving to TV on MSNBC and CNN. But she became famous by asking President Trump pointed questions that he found really annoying and thus becoming a hero to little kids everywhere who now dream of growing up and someday, themselves, annoying Donald Trump. She's now the host of "Washington Week In Review" on PBS. She joins us now. Yamiche Alcindor, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!


YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.

SAGAL: I kind of wish I was kidding, but I'm not, that it does seem that you became a journalistic superstar because the eye of Trump turned upon you at certain times. He didn't like many of the questions you asked. And you became a public figure in a weird way.

ALCINDOR: It is. Especially - you know, a lot of times you do this sort of in anonymity. No one could even say the name Yamiche Alcindor. And then suddenly, not only could people say my name, but they knew who I was and what I looked like. So it was very, very interesting. It was, of course, quite a time when I think about all of the different things that we lived through and the sheer terror of 2020 and the president getting angry. It was very surreal, but I also feel very honored that I was able to, in some ways, try to hold him accountable as much as I could.

SAGAL: But why do you have to be so mean, Yamiche?

ALCINDOR: You know, I'm...

ALONZO: (Laughter).

ALCINDOR: I can tell you why I'm so - I wouldn't call it mean. But I can tell you that the reason why I'm always so pointed and so pressing is, at the end of the day, I think about the idea that my parents, who came from Haiti, were fleeing a dictator in the 1970s. So for me, when I do this job, I think, oh, my God. My grandparents and my mother would be tripped out if they knew that I was sort of giving that sort of Haitian fierceness to presidents.

SAGAL: Speaking of your background, I want to get into it. You grew up in Miami, yes?

ALCINDOR: I did. I grew up in what - I tell people "Moonlight" Miami. It's the sort of - I think it's a good setting for what my Miami is like.

SAGAL: Yes. And we were told that, like, one of your early jobs was scaring ducks away from the McDonald's where you worked.



PAPA: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Did you scare them away by asking them questions?

ALONZO: (Laughter).

ALCINDOR: I - true story, my first job - I should say, first of all, that I'm a second-generation McDonald's worker. So when I got this - really, this legacy job of being a McDonald's worker, the first thing they told me to do before I could graduate to being a cashier - I had to take bottles of water and squirt ducks out of the drive-thru. Because they would get together and block the drive-thru, and people couldn't order their Happy Meals because flocks of ducks would be there.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

ALCINDOR: So there would be Yamiche, the 16-year-old me, just squirting ducks away, hoping and dreaming to one day be a cashier.

SAGAL: But OK...

BABYLON: So people didn't run over the ducks. They were like...

ALCINDOR: And ducks don't move.

ALONZO: You know, maybe the ducks are the ones that are messing up the ice cream machines. Maybe that's why they never work.

ALCINDOR: (Laughter).

BABYLON: Thank you.

SAGAL: It could be. It could be. Do you ever have trouble leaving the work at the office? Do you, like, find yourself, like, having conversations with friends and all of a sudden asking them very probing questions about perhaps their deepest secrets?

ALCINDOR: I do that all the time.

SAGAL: Do you really?

ALCINDOR: I'm also married to a journalist. So my husband and I are both journalists and ask each other questions all the time. And then I quickly realized that I really can't leave what is a naturally curious mind at work. I'm the person - if you go to Thanksgiving, I'm going to be the person asking a million questions. I'm going to be the person - if you have a random group of friends and you have someone that's shy, you can sit me by that person. I will get them talking and opening up. So a lot of my friends have - when they're having parties, they'll put me specifically at a table with strangers because they'll say, like, well, Yamiche can handle talking to anybody.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I love that - you said that your husband and yourself ask questions of each other. So I'm just imagining you two, like, sitting down to have an argument about how to load the dishwasher, and you both whip out your notebooks.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

SAGAL: And you're like, OK, I just want to go over a couple of things with you. Do you really believe, Yamiche, that you should run the entire cycle just to clean one pot?

ALONZO: (Laughter).

ALCINDOR: Well, you should also know we have a shared to-do list and shared notes. So we're - my husband is very detail-oriented. He's like, OK, you're supposed to change the AC filter every three months. Have you done that? Did you see the reminder? So...


SAGAL: Wow. Have you ever had, like, a really weird beat that you had to cover?

ALCINDOR: I spent a summer on Long Island being the dead whale reporter.

SAGAL: The what?


ALCINDOR: So I was an intern at Newsday for two years, and that meant that I was doing whatever they asked me to do. And I realized one summer that there was this summer of whales showing up on the beach dead. And I just became the reporter who they called on because I was the reporter who would never say no. So it would be, like, 2 o'clock in the morning. They'd be like, another one has hit the beach, like, you've got to go out there. And I would be like Inspector Gadget with my notebook, figuring out - and I got to be really good at describing the whales and talking about the mushrooms on their stomachs. It was a weird, interesting summer. But it kind of - you know, it was my journalism story.

BABYLON: Did you ever go down there and realize this might be murder?

SAGAL: Yeah.

KURTIS: Did you ever draw the white chalk line around...

SAGAL: Around the whale, yes.



ALCINDOR: Well, at one point I was driving around looking to see if the whale carcasses were in certain garbage cans. So I was, like, driving around Long Island, trying to find...

SAGAL: Wait.

ALCINDOR: ...The body parts of whales. I mean, it got real weird.

PAPA: Whoa. What?

SAGAL: What? Hold on. The whales wash up on the beach dead. And Newsday, the newspaper of Long Island, sends you to cover the dead whale. And like...


SAGAL: ...The whale's gone, and you have to go see what happened to the body. So you're checking waste bins to see if people have put whale parts in the waste bins.

ALCINDOR: That's exactly right.

PAPA: Outside sushi restaurants.

SAGAL: Who is cutting up the dead whales and putting them in waste bins?

ALCINDOR: Well, I never found any carcasses of whales in waste bins. So I don't know what actually happened to these whale carcasses.

SAGAL: Oh, wait a minute. So they said, Yamiche, Yamiche, another whale has died. Get out there. And you go out there, and the whale's gone.


SAGAL: And you're like, oh, my God, somebody took the dead whale.

BABYLON: Ooh. You know what happened?

ALCINDOR: And then I'd call in to my editor, and I'm like, oh, my God. I can't find the whale. And they're like, why don't you go around to garbage cans and search?

ALONZO: (Laughter).

BABYLON: That's hilarious.

SAGAL: Did you ever - I mean, this weird summer of whales dying on the beaches of Long Island - did you ever discover, like, as you would at the end of the movie about the young Yamiche Alcindor covering the dead whale story, what was killing the whales?

ALCINDOR: I don't remember ever discovering what was killing the whales. I think it just stopped happening. And by that point, I was probably on to one of the many murderers and crazy stories that were happening on to Long Island. Because as a two-year intern, I was just moving from story to story to story. And I quickly learned covering Long Island - all of the craziness of New York City - it all ends up back in Long Island. So you think about Madoff and all the things that were going on. I would end up having these long stakeouts trying to stake out Madoff's family home. So I would be too busy, and I wasn't really an investigative reporter to say I'm going to stick with the dead whale story and see how this ends. I sort of was thrown off and gone to another story.

SAGAL: How very cool. Well, Yamiche, it is great to talk to you, but we've asked you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: Welcome To This Week's Washing.

SAGAL: You host "Washington Week."

ALONZO: (Laughter).

SAGAL: We thought we'd ask you about the week's washing. Answer 2 questions out of 3 about doing laundry, and you'll win our prize for one of our listeners - the voice of anyone they might choose in their voicemail. Bill, who is Yamiche Alcindor playing for?

KURTIS: Dan Farley (ph) of Atlanta, Ga.

SAGAL: All right, first question. Over the years, there have been various kinds of washing technology. Which of these was an actual laundry device you could use in the mid-20th century - A, a customized metal box designed for students to regularly send their laundry home to Mom and get it back; B, a chunk of real radium designed to, quote, "glow your clothes clean"; or C, the Arrow Clean Fleet, a service that would clean your clothes by flying them behind a crop duster?

ALCINDOR: I'm going to go with A.

SAGAL: You're going to go with A, the customized metal box. You're right.


SAGAL: They made these things especially for students to send their laundry home to mother. You could also get a cardboard laundry mailing box. But if you really loved your kid, you'd buy them a nice metal one.

PAPA: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right, next question. There have been a lot of advances in laundry technology over the years. For example, right now in the laundry storage and organization section of walmart.com, you can currently buy which of these actual items - A, a clothesline with a tiny fan inside it; B, a combination underwear drying basket and mosquito-proof fish meat drying basket; or C, fabric hardener?

ALCINDOR: I'm going to go with C?

SAGAL: No, I'm afraid it was the combination underwear drying basket, mosquito-proof fish meat drying basket. The official name for the product is - and I quote - "Windproof and Anti-Embarrassing Underwear Three-Layer Zipper Hanging Basket Anti-Mosquito Fish Meat Drying Baskets."


PAPA: Technically, it's a fabric hardener.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Yeah, that's true. Here we go. If you get this right, you win. And that's really all that matters in the end, am I right? Here we go. Dryers and clotheslines are not the only way to dry your clothes, as was demonstrated by which of these - A, a Brooklyn laundromat just puts wet clothes in uncooked rice like an iPhone you dropped in the toilet; B, early GE microwaves had a pants setting which would dry a pair in eight minutes; or C, a Swede got herself the world's fastest internet connection installed at her home, and she dries her clothes with the excessive heat it generates?

ALCINDOR: This is the most ridiculous question. I'm going to go with C.

SAGAL: And you're right.


SAGAL: That's what she did. She got this incredibly fast internet connection and threw off so much heat that she says she dried her clothes around it. She said it got, quote, "pretty warm." There you go.

PAPA: (Laughter).

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

KURTIS: Two out of 3, finally. 2 out of 3 is a win for you.


SAGAL: Congratulations.


ALCINDOR: Well, after I realized that, like, T-Pain and Martin Short won, I was like, OK, I have to win.


SAGAL: You do. You have to win. You cannot be shamed by T-Pain. That cannot happen. That cannot happen. Yamiche Alcindor is the host of "Washington Week In Review" on PBS, sitting in the seat of the great Gwen Ifill. Yamiche Alcindor, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

ALCINDOR: Thanks for having me.

SAGAL: Oh, it's a delight.

ALCINDOR: Thanks so much.

SAGAL: Take care. Bye-bye.


THE MAGNETIC FIELDS: W-A-S-H-I-N-G-T-O-N, baby, D.C. W-A-S-H-I-N-G-T-O-N, baby, D.C. (Singing) Washington, D.C., it's paradise to me. It's not because it is the grand old seat of precious freedom and democracy.

SAGAL: In just a minute, we show off the wet look 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 Tom Papa, Brian Babylon and Cristela Alonzo. And here again is your host, a proud anti-Vicks-er (ph). Get your VapoRub away from him. It's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. Now, at this point, we usually have a pun about the Listener Limerick Challenge coming up, and I often complain about the quality of the puns to the staff - the staff who, in addition to writing the very words that I now speak, save my butt in countless other ways several times a week. And maybe, just maybe, I would do right to rhyme-member (ph) that.


SAGAL: If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924 - but right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Cristela, a candidate for Illinois secretary of state is running on a huge issue everyone has with the DMV. He promises that when he is in office, you can finally do what?

ALONZO: DMV - the problem.

SAGAL: Yes, a problem that everybody has with the - one thing about the whole sort of process of getting your driver's license.

ALONZO: The long lines.

SAGAL: No. No, they're not doing anything about that. No.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Please. Different problem. Different problem.

ALONZO: What would you have problems with at the DMV?

SAGAL: I'll give you a hint. From now on, it will not be a problem if you discover you had spinach in your teeth.

ALONZO: Oh, he's going to make people - you can bring your own photo.

SAGAL: Yes, exactly.


SAGAL: You can retake your photo if you don't like it for your driver's license. Or you can, as you said, bring your own. According to Alexi Giannoulias's campaign, if elected, he will allow you to retake your driver's license photo if the first one is bad, which raises the question - what if the second, third, fourth and fifth ones are bad? When will you confront the real problem here? Each retake, just so you know - and first, he has to get elected and then institute the policy. But if it happens, each retake will be 10 bucks - little extra revenue. Or - this is true - you can bring your own photo. So finally, police officers and TSA agents can experience the allure of your Tinder profile pic.

ALONZO: I'm going to bring one of my old school pictures that we could never afford to buy, so mine's going to say sample on it.


SAGAL: This is great for anyone who is forced to, like, contort their face into, like, a sneeze every time they want to buy alcohol. Yeah, it's me. (Laughter).


ALONZO: The idea of it - because if you bring your own picture, what would you bring? You know, like, you're going to bring in kind of like a, you know, for those that remember, like, a glamour shot, you know what I mean?

SAGAL: Yeah.

ALONZO: It's, like, you're holding a feather boa. Like, you know what I mean?

PAPA: Oh, God - one of those headshots when it has, I can also be a cowboy or a doctor.


ALONZO: Yeah, why not?

SAGAL: Brian, many colleges allow students to bring pets to live with them in dorm rooms. According to The Wall Street Journal, though, many pet-owning students are now asking their colleges for permission to bring what for their pets?

BABYLON: Support animals for their pet?

SAGAL: That's exactly right.


SAGAL: Pets for their pets. More and more college dorms are allowing students to keep pets as emotional support animals, which is a great way to deal with the anxiety of sharing a bathroom for four years. But when you go to class, your pet gets lonely, right? So now students are bringing pets for their pets, beating the previous alternative of just never going to class.

PAPA: That explains when I dropped my daughter off at college, I saw a German shepherd with a dachshund in a baby bjorn.


PAPA: And I was like, what is happening? But now it makes sense.

ALONZO: It's a turducken of service animals when you think about it.

SAGAL: Exactly. Sort of. Kind of. I hope not. It would suck, though, if you have, like, a pet, and it goes into heat because there's just constantly a sock on your doorknob.


SAGAL: Cristela, a new study finds that vegan men do what up to seven times more than nonvegan men?

ALONZO: Oh, you fart.

SAGAL: Yes, they fart.


SAGAL: Yes. Vegans fart seven times more than nonvegans. We also would have accepted write angry letters to radio shows. Vegans fart more than meat eaters. And while knowing any vegan, really, would have been enough research for this conclusion, it's not scientific. So we have physical proof of this, and this is how the scientists did it. They, quote, "fed the subjects stewed beans, and then they attached balloons to their rectums."

BABYLON: That's a lot.

SAGAL: I don't know the specifics, but if you pop the balloon in under 90 minutes, you're probably a vegan. But if you eat meat, the balloon will then twist into a - like, a balloon animal.


PAPA: Stewed beans. I know you're going to be surprised at this, but stewed beans was another nickname...


PAPA: ...For my testicles.


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. Or click the Contact Us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. For more, WAIT WAIT in your life, follow us at @waitwait on Twitter and @waitwaitnpr on Instagram. There, you can get show news and watch us do the milk crate challenge. Just kidding. That trend is so two weeks ago. Hi, you're on WAIT, WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

AUBREY: Hi, I'm Aubrey. I'm from Chattanooga, Tenn.

SAGAL: Oh, what do you do there in Chattanooga?

AUBREY: I manage a voter help desk for a nonpartisan, civic tech nonprofit organization.

SAGAL: A nonpartisan civic tech. What exactly does that mean?

AUBREY: So we help get out the vote by helping people register to vote and helping them connect them to absentee ballot applications, things like that.

SAGAL: That's great. So is that work, which is very nice and nonpartisan, more exciting now that you have enemies trying to stop you? Does it make it more thrilling?

AUBREY: No comment.



SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Aubrey. Bill Kurtis right here 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 on two of the limericks, you'll be a big winner. You ready to play?

AUBREY: I'm ready.

SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.

AUBREY: I think Flipper's best trait is he's all skin. There's a sheen like the big guy's gone golfin'. So make-up folks, listen. And give me a glisten because I love shiny skin like a...

AUBREY: Dolphin?

SAGAL: Dolphin, yes.


KURTIS: As I'm sure you know, if you're on Instagram all day, the hot, new beauty trend is dolphin skin. That means making your skin look slick and shiny. Dolphin skin gives you that, quote, "fresh-out-of-water look," sure to make your date say, you look radiantly damp this evening.

BABYLON: You know what's so funny? Some - this young lady told me like, you feel like a dolphin. I don't have chest hair. So she'd say, you feel like a dolphin. I'm like, how many dolphins have you been hugging up on?


PAPA: Why don't you have body hair?

BABYLON: What are you saying? I mean, this is how God made me, Tom Papa. How dare you?

PAPA: I was just asking.


SAGAL: All right. Here is your next Limerick.

KURTIS: When my bushy tail ends in a curl, I'm a happy guy, not a gruff churl. And because I have guts, I get all the best nuts. A type A is the best kind of...

AUBREY: Squirrel.


SAGAL: Yes, squirrel.


SAGAL: According to a new study, squirrels have unique personalities, just like humans. The research suggests that some squirrels have more aggressive personalities. Others are more laid back and shy. Unfortunately, the ones in my backyard are anti-vaxxers.

The study indicated that more sociable squirrels tend to fare better in the wild than more withdrawn squirrels. So there are sociable squirrels. Does that mean there are influencer squirrels? If so, what did they wear to the Met Gala?

PAPA: (Laughter). My father's been hunting this one squirrel for a good 15 years.


PAPA: 'Cause it attacks his bird feeder. And he's devised all different types of traps, all different kinds of thing. And the squirrel wins every single time.

BABYLON: This sounds like a cartoon from the - like, a Tex Avery cartoon.


PAPA: It really is. If you want to see a squirrel laugh out loud, you can visit my father.


SAGAL: All right. Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: We cows are quite used to calm views. But we just got some firebomb news. "Top Gun's" hot-shot guy just dropped from the sky. And we fainted when we saw...

AUBREY: I am blanking.

KURTIS: It's a hard one.

SAGAL: Show me the limerick.


SAGAL: A little more obscure - a little more obscure.

BABYLON: There's no money in this.

ALONZO: Boy, this limerick sure is a "Mission Impossible."


AUBREY: Cruise. OK, Tom Cruise.


SAGAL: Yes, Tom Cruise. Yes.


SAGAL: Reports from the U.K. say that, while filming a stunt for the latest "Mission Impossible" movie, Tom Cruise parachuted into a field of cows. And all the cows simultaneously fell over. Now, my first thought when I heard this was like, wow. "Mission Impossible 7" has really weird plot. It's like, yes, I will detonate the nuclear bomb. But whatever you do, don't disturb those cows.

It wasn't planned. It wasn't part of the stunt. Officials say they used a sonic device to keep drones away from the shoot because people are sending drones up to take pictures. And this device affected the cows, and the cows fell over. But it seems just as likely they'll fainted when they saw how short Tom Cruise is in person.

PAPA: (Laughter) I like the idea of the cows being just super fans.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Of Tom Cruise?

PAPA: Oh, I do declare. What is coming from the sky? It is. It's Tom. (Mooing).


SAGAL: The cows in the United Kingdom, they're - like, they're Southern belles.

PAPA: Don't pick apart all the little nuances.


BABYLON: No. I want that to be true. I do declare. It's Tom Cruise.

PAPA: (Mooing).

PAPA: Oh, it is. It is Tom - (mooing).


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

KURTIS: I think Aubrey got them all right - all three right.

SAGAL: Congratulations.


AUBREY: Thanks for the help, guys.


SAGAL: You're welcome.

PAPA: That was all you.

SAGAL: And good luck as you do your important work.

AUBREY: Thank you.


SAGAL: It's time for 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 now can. Each correct answer is now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

KURTIS: Tom has two. Brian has three. Cristela has three.

SAGAL: All right, Tom, you are in third place. You're up first. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, California voted not to recall their blank.

PAPA: Governor.



SAGAL: On Thursday, Trump ally Roger Stone was served with a lawsuit for his involvement with the riot at the blank.

PAPA: Riot at the Capitol.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Thursday, a federal judge ordered the Biden administration to stop expelling migrants over concerns about blank.




SAGAL: This week, it was announced that Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings would host blank through the end of this season.

PAPA: "Jeopardy!"

SAGAL: Yes, "Jeopardy!"


SAGAL: In what is being called the worst pitch in baseball history, a Kansas City Royals pitcher threw a ball that blanked.

PAPA: That went backwards.

SAGAL: No. It looked like it hit his own foot and then landed four feet in front of him.

On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that users can now log onto their accounts without using blanks.

PAPA: Passwords.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Monday, a Dutch court ruled that blank drivers are employees, not contractors.

PAPA: Uber drivers.



SAGAL: In a test of the store's all-leashed-pets-are-welcome policy...


SAGAL: ...A man in Texas brought his blank to a local Petco.

PAPA: Horse.

SAGAL: No, his 1,600-pound giant African Watusi steer.

PAPA: Same thing.

SAGAL: Not really.


SAGAL: Though he was sure he'd be turned away at the door, the man was shocked when the Petco welcomed him and his steer with open arms. Employees came out from the back. They took pictures with the giant animal. They showed him around the store. They were thrilled by it. They say this was the strangest leashed pet they had ever had in the store, outside of BDSM night, of course.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Tom Papa do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, he did great - six right, 12 more points. He now has 14. He is in the lead.

SAGAL: All right.


SAGAL: All right, Brian, you're up next. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, the Army said that active-duty soldiers must get blanked by December 15.

BABYLON: Vaccinated.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Wednesday, the World Anti-Doping Agency vowed to review its ban on blank use by athletes.

BABYLON: Marijuana.



SAGAL: This week, Fox News signed a deal for a new show with British pundit blank.

BABYLON: Piers Morgan.

SAGAL: Yes, good.


SAGAL: This week, police in South Carolina arrested a man with an ATM neck tattoo on suspicion of robbing blank.

BABYLON: A bank.

SAGAL: No, an ATM.

BABYLON: That's a bank.

PAPA: (Laughter).

SAGAL: On Sunday, the TSA announced it was doubling fines for travelers who refused to wear blanks.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week...


SAGAL: ...Police throughout the U.K. are warning stores not to sell blanks to children or teens.

BABYLON: Oh, the aerosol cans. The...

SAGAL: No. No, that's an American problem. Over there they're not selling baked beans to kids. The warning is related to a new trend called beaning, where kids throw baked beans at houses or smear them on cars and driveways. Police say this may seem innocent, but they're worried this will be a gateway to full English breakfasting, where you throw baked beans, sausage, back bacon, tomatoes, mushroom toast and a slice of black pudding at a house. It's a pain to clean up, but it is surprisingly delicious.

PAPA: (Laughter) Sorry to do this one more time, but Baked Beans...




PAPA: ...Is the nickname of my dog.



SAGAL: Bill, how did Brian Babylon do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Brian had four right for eight more points, total of 11. But Tom still has the lead with 14.


SAGAL: Bill, how many then - how many does Cristela need to take it from Tom and win the game?

KURTIS: Six to win.

SAGAL: Cristela, this is for the game. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, the U.K. and the U.S. announced a plan to help blank acquire nuclear submarines.

ALONZO: Australia.



SAGAL: In testimony on Tuesday, Simone Biles said the FBI turned a blind eye to reports of blank's abuse.

ALONZO: Nassar.

SAGAL: Nassar, yes.


SAGAL: This week France announced they were banning American travelers who were not blanked.

ALONZO: Vaccinated.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: For at least a few moments this week, the leader of the Tour of Britain pro cycling race was blank.

ALONZO: Paralyzed.

SAGAL: No. The leader of the race was a 12-year-old boy riding along on the sidewalk.


SAGAL: According to a new report, the hole in the blank over the South Pole is now larger than Antarctica.

ALONZO: Ozone.



SAGAL: On Tuesday, comedian and former "SNL" cast member, blank, passed away at the age of 61.

ALONZO: Norm Macdonald.

SAGAL: Norm Macdonald.


SAGAL: This week, a woman in Russia took revenge on her ex-husband by breaking into his office...


SAGAL: ...And stealing blank.

ALONZO: I don't know. His laptop. His computer. His files.

SAGAL: No. She stole a bunch of cryogenically frozen brains.



SAGAL: During the divorce, the man and the woman got into a huge argument over who would take control of their business, which freezes brains in order to revive them later.


SAGAL: The husband won, but the wife got her revenge by breaking in and stealing all the brains. Police say they intend on getting them all back, and the victims of the crime are going to be pretty mad when they're revived 4,000 years from now.


SAGAL: Bill, did Cristela Alonzo...


SAGAL: ...Do well enough to win?

KURTIS: So close.


KURTIS: Cristela had five right for 10 more points, total of 13. That means with 14, Tom is still this week's champion.


SAGAL: Congratulations, Tom.

PAPA: Thank you kindly. Papa Magic.

SAGAL: Now, panel, what is next for Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend in Trinidad? Brian Babylon.

BABYLON: He got a job at the Sandals at Trinidad as a floaty toy.

ALONZO: (Laughter).


SAGAL: Cristela Alonzo.

ALONZO: He's going to design a line of pants called Titanic Testicles that'll be available at Target just in time for the holidays.



SAGAL: And Tom Papa.

PAPA: He'll be getting the booster shot to see if he can't even things out.


KURTIS: Well, if that happens, panel, we'll ask you about it on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Cristela Alonzo, Tom Papa and Brian Babylon. Thanks to all of you for listening.


SAGAL: I'm Peter Sagal. We will see you next week.

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