The NBA's Robin and Brook Lopez play Not My Job on 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' Robin and Brook Lopez are the only 7-foot-tall identical twins playing in the NBA. So, we invited them on the show to answer three questions about the United States' shortest presidents.

'Wait Wait' for Nov. 20, 2021: With Not My Job Guests Robin and Brook Lopez

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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.

Hey there, nerds. I'm a nonfungi-Bill (ph) token - Bill Kurtis. And here's your host, replacing Peter Sagal after his surprise firing. Oops, this is a bit awkward. That's next week's intro. Here's your current host, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks to everybody listening quietly and attentively at home.

This weekend in Milwaukee, identical twin NBA stars Robin and Brook Lopez will be going up against each other on the court, but first they will be going up against our Not My Job quiz a little later on.

First, though, it's your turn to tear off your sweats and take the floor. The number to call 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!

SAMUEL: Hi. This is Samuel calling from Nazareth, Pa.

KURTIS: Hey, Sam. Where is Nazareth, exactly?

SAMUEL: It's about two hours north of Philly, or six hours, depending on traffic.

SAGAL: I understand. It can go either way. It can go - you need divine intervention. What do you do there?

SAMUEL: I'm a graduate student at Lehigh University, getting my Ph.D. in American history.

SAGAL: Really?


SAGAL: Let me ask you a question. As a scholar of American history, have things ever been as nuts as they are now? Or is this all new?

SAMUEL: They've been nuts - just a different kind of nuts.

SAGAL: Great. You're saying - so, like, if, you know, for example, Martin Van Buren might have had Twitter, things could have been just as lunatic back then.

SAMUEL: Oh, he would have been a great person to have on Twitter. He'd be so entertaining.


SAGAL: He was known for being pithy and provocative, our Martin Van Buren. Well, Sam, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week.

First up, his new book with Charles Band, "Confessions Of A Puppetmaster: A Hollywood Memoir Of Ghouls, Guts And Gonzo Filmmaking" is out this very week. It's Adam Felber.


ADAM FELBER: Hi, Sammy from Naz. How are you?

SAMUEL: Doing well - thank you.

SAGAL: Next, his Netflix special is "Warn Your Relatives." And his documentary "The Problem With Apu" - that's on HBO Max. It's Hari Kondabolu.


HARI KONDABOLU: Hey, Sam, how are you?

SAMUEL: Hello.

SAGAL: And finally, making her debut on our show - well, she just had her late-night debut on "The Late Late Show With James Corden." Her album "But I Control Me" with Comedy Dynamics is out now. Please welcome Atsuko Okatsuka.


ATSUKO OKATSUKA: Hey, it's so great to be here. I'm a lady of debuts. And hello, Sam.

SAMUEL: Hello.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Sam. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis, of course, is going to read you three quotations from this 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. Are you ready to go?

SAMUEL: I'm ready.

SAGAL: Well, let's do it then. Your first quote is an official statement from the White House.

KURTIS: The president does not consider him a friend.

SAGAL: That was Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates reassuring all fans of global tension that despite their virtual meeting this week, President Biden does not consider the leader of what country to be a friend?

SAMUEL: Oh, that would be China.

SAGAL: You're right, Sam.


SAGAL: It's China. President Biden and Xi Jinping of China had their first summit meeting this week. And of course, it was over Zoom. You may wonder if world leader Zoom is the same as the kind we use, and it is. Except in addition to the leave meeting button, there's one that says start war. And, yes, the same things happen to them that happen to us. You're muted, Mr. President. They almost had an international incident because Xi laughed at something serious Biden had said. It turns out, Xi was just looking at TikTok. And this was so adorable. At one point, little Hunter Biden burst into the room behind the president...

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).


SAGAL: ...To brag about selling another one of his paintings. Biden's like, not now, Hunter - not now - you know.

FELBER: You know, because of one of the mishaps, Biden's nickname in China is now accidental antlers.


FELBER: I mean, the best thing about it being on Zoom is that after Biden says something either terribly awkward or racist, you can just say, oh, there's been an issue with the connection. Sorry about that - we'll get...


SAGAL: It was convivial. At one point, Xi Jinping referred to Biden as an old friend - a statement which is 50% true.


SAGAL: The two men do have a lot in common. For example, Xi Jinping just had himself declared a giant of Chinese history by his own government, along with Mao. And Biden just got his second best-grandpa-ever coffee mug.

FELBER: Yeah. And Xi owns a lot of Ming Dynasty paraphernalia. And Biden was there.

SAGAL: Exactly.


FELBER: (Imitating Joe Biden) Good bunch of guys - good bunch of guys.

KONDABOLU: Him - this is true. So is it ageist if you're making fun of the president, or is it just political?

SAGAL: I don't know.


SAGAL: It's like...

KONDABOLU: We could say whatever we - I mean, he's the president, right? It's fair game, right?

FELBER: Exactly.

OKATSUKA: You know what? I like to stay out of it, (laughter) for Peter's sake. I respect my elders.

SAGAL: Yeah, no. You absolutely aren't allowed to make fun of me for being old. I don't know if I already made that clear.

OKATSUKA: Oh, I'm so sorry.

SAGAL: OK, yes.

OKATSUKA: That was ageist.

SAGAL: Yes. Yes.


SAGAL: Now, the problem for Biden politically was that both leaders said the summit was positive. But the White House is concerned that Biden will be accused of coddling China. So they actually put out a statement saying quote, "they are not friends," right? And China responded, friends, no - lovers, maybe.


SAGAL: All right, Sam. Here is your next quote.

KURTIS: This is huge. It's what we've been working towards for 20 years.

SAGAL: Now, that was the CEO of a do-it-yourself repair shop called iFixit. He was reacting to the news that Apple will finally allow you to fix your own what?

SAMUEL: Your own iPhone.

SAGAL: Exactly.


SAGAL: Your own iPhone - Apple has announced they will now allow people to repair certain iPhones, and they'll still be covered under warranty. This replaces their prior policy, which was, quote, "anyone who dares to open the sacred case will be declared pariah - an outcast." Seriously...


SAGAL: ...You have no idea how big a deal this is. It's like the Mayo Clinic saying we can do your surgery, or if you like, here's a scalpel and a pint of ether. Go nuts.

FELBER: Yeah, it's not like we know how to do this and have just been waiting for the chance.

KONDABOLU: I can't prove this, but I'm pretty sure Apple did this solely so my father can destroy his phone. I mean, I can't prove it.


OKATSUKA: If we succeed at fixing it, do we also get paid?

SAGAL: Yeah, why not?


SAGAL: I mean, now, the way it works is if you send a request to Apple, they will send you replacement parts, tools and a manual. But you'll have to provide your own child laborer to actually do the work.

KONDABOLU: They're sending the parts and the tools. But apparently you do need to buy special robotic hands in order to use the parts and the tools.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Yes, exactly.

FELBER: You guys don't have your iHands yet?


KONDABOLU: I don't - nobody asked for this. Just put the old headphone jacks back. That's all I've been asking for. Nobody asked for this.


SAGAL: Well, we can't do that for you, Hari. But here's a watch that will always tell us at Apple where you are. How's that? Would you like that?


SAGAL: All right. Sam, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath.

SAGAL: That was a lyric from the most-talked-about album of the last week, if not the whole year, the newest rerelease from whom?

SAMUEL: Oh, that's Tay Tay.

SAGAL: Tay Tay?



SAGAL: Oh, I see.

OKATSUKA: He knows her personally.

SAGAL: Oh, you're on Tay Tay terms with Taylor Swift, I see. Are you yourself a Swifty?

SAMUEL: My wife is.

SAGAL: I understand. You're a Swifty by marriage.


SAGAL: Taylor went from, say, the Queen of Pop to Empress this week with a performance on Saturday Night Live that lasted 10 minutes, which, frankly, makes me jealous. On this show, we are not allowed to go longer than six minutes without an ad for the NPR Wine Club.


SAGAL: The number she did - it's an expanded version of her song "All Too Well" about Taylor's relationship - we are all led to believe - with Jake Gyllenhaal. Personally, I cannot wait for Gyllenhaal to get in on the whole rerelease trend, too. Who wouldn't wait to see "Prince Of Persia" - Jake's version?

KONDABOLU: Man, she's one happy and healthy relationship away from her whole career being destroyed.

SAGAL: I wonder about that.


SAGAL: Now, there is this very common criticism of Taylor Swift that she only writes about her breakups. But honestly, that is both incorrect, and it's pretty misogynistic. I mean, no one says that about, say, Bob Dylan. But his entire classic album "Blood On The Tracks" was also about his toxic relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal.


SAGAL: (Imitating Bob Dylan) It's a wonder you even know how to breathe, Jake Gyllenhaal.

You know that song.


FELBER: (Imitating Bob Dylan) Tangled up in Jake.


SAGAL: So this is kind of amazing. So there's the original version of the song, right? There's the rerelease. There's this special 10-minute version she did on "Saturday Night Live." And then on Thursday, Taylor released an even sadder version of the song "All Too Well." This is called the Sad Girl Autumn version. I'm starting to feel bad for Jake Gyllenhaal. I mean, sure, he might have been a bad boyfriend, but no one deserves to have three different versions of your breakup on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time.

OKATSUKA: But, Peter, don't you think we deserve three different versions of "Prince Of Persia"?


OKATSUKA: I think we at least do deserve that.

SAGAL: I want to see a version of Prince - I'm a purist. I'm a purist. And I want to see a "Prince Of Persia" version in which Jake Gyllenhaal only moves side to side, as in the original game.

FELBER: Old-school - yes.

SAGAL: Absolutely.


SAGAL: Give me...

OKATSUKA: Now, that's the Sad Girl version. Yeah.


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

KURTIS: He won them all - 3 and 0.

SAGAL: Congratulations.


SAGAL: Very good.

OKATSUKA: Good work.



SAGAL: Well done. Thank you so much for playing, and good luck getting that Ph.D. done.

SAMUEL: OK, thank you.

SAGAL: Take care.

Right now, panel, it is time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Hari, health experts want us to stop doing something that is just terrible for our bodies and our health, so stop worrying how you look and just stop doing what?

KONDABOLU: Exercising.



SAGAL: Sorry.



SAGAL: In fact, this is something that a lot of people, including myself, do instead of exercising to try to fake the results of exercising without actually exercise.

KONDABOLU: Oh, suck in their gut.

SAGAL: Exactly.


SAGAL: You knew.


SAGAL: Stop sucking in your stomach. Apparently doing that all day is bad for you. Physicians say that constantly contracting your abs like that could cause breathing issues, could damage your core muscles while doing nothing to impress the lifeguard at the pool. The news is going to drastically decrease participation in 10-year reunions.


OKATSUKA: There was a whole infomercial invention. That's all it did to your stomach.

SAGAL: It just sucked it in. Did it suck in it for you?

OKATSUKA: Yeah, for, like, 15.99.

SAGAL: Yeah, apparently doing it that - just sucking in your gut - right? - it actually puts strain in your pelvic floor muscles. So I guess we all have a choice. Would you rather have a stomach pooch sometimes or be peeing a little bit all the time?

FELBER: Wow. Give me a second.

SAGAL: And we're all - I just want to point this out. We're all doing it right now, right? It's impossible to talk about it without, like, (vocalizing) it doesn't really hurt, you know?

OKATSUKA: Right - peeing a little bit.

SAGAL: Peeing - that's not what I meant.

OKATSUKA: Oh, sorry, I'm doing the wrong thing. Oh, no.

KONDABOLU: Don't do that.


SAGAL: Coming up, strike a pose 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 Atsuko Okatsuka, Adam Felber and Hari Kondabolu. And here again is your host, a man who was only partly electrocuted while trying to fix his iPhone during the break, 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're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

JOHN LAMONT: Hi there, Peter. It's John Lamont (ph).

SAGAL: Hey, John. Where you calling from?

LAMONT: I'm calling from northeastern Massachusetts. We're kind of halfway between Providence and Boston.

SAGAL: What do you do there in beautiful Massachusetts?

LAMONT: I work at Berklee College of Music, and I support all the lab and studio computers along with a team. So we make sure everything's working.

SAGAL: I understand. Now, are you yourself a musician since you're working at that school?

LAMONT: Yeah, I am. I actually graduated from Berklee. And I play horn, known to many people as French horn. But horn players don't like to call them a French horn because it's not French. It's actually of German origin.

SAGAL: OK. So all right, so French horn players - excuse me - don't like to call it the French horn.


SAGAL: They like to call it the horn. Why do we amateurs, laypeople, call it the French horn?

LAMONT: Well, very often - I don't know whether this is true, but it's - very often you - it's in the key of F. So it may have something to do with that.

KONDABOLU: Also, you have to stick your tongue in the mouthpiece, right?

LAMONT: I try not to.

KONDABOLU: That's why it's a...

SAGAL: Ah, French horn ignorance.


SAGAL: It's really a terrible thing.

Well, John, you, of course, are going to have to play the game where you tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is John's topic?

KURTIS: What happened after Madonna left?

SAGAL: This week, we heard a story that occurred after Madonna left somewhere. So it's post-Madonna, not pre-Madonna. Anyway, our panelists are going to tell you about this.


KONDABOLU: Here we go.

SAGAL: Pick the one who's telling the truth, and you'll win our prize, the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

LAMONT: Absolutely.

SAGAL: All right. Your first story comes from Adam Felber.

FELBER: The 30-year relationship between Madonna and the Four Seasons hotels almost came to an end last month when the hotel chain lost its patience and announced it would be auctioning off the collection of weird, heavy and sometimes living objects she tends to leave behind. Some of the left-behind items were somewhat dealable, like a prayer rug, collections of erotica and entire crates of frozen edamame. Other items were more borderline, like a virgin wool tapestry of Guy Ritchie dressed as a medieval knight, an alpaca portable yurt, an actual alpaca.

Fortunately, there is a ray of light. In an open letter to the hotels, she wrote, don't tell me what to do. I don't have to justify my love of any things I cherish. But this used to be my playground, and if you open your heart to me and give me one more chance, I promise to try to make it better for everybody. The hotel quickly canceled the auction, saying, at the end of the day, we respect your right to express yourself and we're crazy for you. But for heaven's sake, please remember to remove your material, girl.

SAGAL: The Four Seasons set to auction off all the odd things Madonna has left behind after she left their various hotels.

Your next story of somebody getting into the groove comes from Atsuko Okatsuka.

OKATSUKA: Madonna's been called the Queen of Pop and Queen of Reinvention, but can she be the Queen of Miracle Cures? In April of last year, Madonna showed up at a club in South London called The Parish, and Billy Blythe (ph), the hatcheck guy who hadn't walked in 10 years, was so excited to see her, he suddenly leapt up from his wheelchair in joy.

In the last year, the club has turned into a pilgrimage site for the sick, with its name changed to The Holy Church of the Other Blessed Madonna. People suffering everything from terrible diseases to persistent hiccups have flocked there to gaze upon the shrine created where the DJ stand once was. Quote, "They don't dance much," said the club's owner, "But if they pay the cover and the two-drink minimum, I'm sure Madonna will smile upon them."

SAGAL: A club where Madonna once showed up at random becomes a shrine where people come to seek her blessing and healing.

Your last story of somebody on the borderline comes from Hari Kondabolu

KONDABOLU: In another clear challenge to God to strike us all dead, a Miami mansion once owned by Madonna was put back on the market for $31.75 million by its current owner. That owner is, as you would expect, a dog named Gunther VI. Madonna sold the Tuscan-style villa to a German countess named Karlotta Liebenstein in 1992. The countess, who was clearly mentally fit to manage her own affairs, left the estate, along with the rest of her fortune, to Gunther III, also a dog. The house was then passed down to Gunther IV - also a dog - who passed it down to his grandson, Gunther VI - also a dog.

The eight-bedroom waterfront home, AKA Exhibit A in the trial against capitalism, is managed by a group of handlers who have helped maintain a lavish lifestyle for all the Gunthers - private jet trips to Milan and the Bahamas, private chefs who cook breakfast and serve caviar, and a red velvet bed overlooking the bay, where Gunther can practice the phrase, let them eat dog treats.

SAGAL: All right. We saw one of these stories in the news this week. Was it from Adam Felber - the Four Seasons hotel chain gets so sick of all the stuff Madonna left behind they announce an auction of her possessions; from Atsuko - was it a club that became a shrine to and for Madonna after she danced there once and made the lame walk; or from Hari - a mansion she once owned being sold by its current owner, a dog? Which of these is the real story of a place that Madonna once was?

LAMONT: The dog thing just seems too improbable. But, of course, the way this show works. I think I'm going to go with Adam.

SAGAL: So you're going to go with Adam's story of the Four Seasons hotel just collecting all the things that she has left. To bring you the true story, we spoke to the reporter covering it.

KELLI KENNEDY: This is an actual dog who owns the home, who is worth half a billion dollars.


SAGAL: That was Kelli Kennedy, the Associated Press reporter who broke the story of the elaborate doghouse. And let me just say, find and read this story. It is amazing.


SAGAL: So I'm sorry, John, you did not win because you did not realize, at the end, Hari was telling the truth. You did, however, earn a point for Adam Felber for successfully fooling you. Thank you so much for playing.

LAMONT: Well, thank you. I really enjoyed it.

SAGAL: I enjoyed having you. Thank you so much.

LAMONT: Bye-bye.


MADONNA: (Singing) Zephyr in the sky at night. I wonder, do my tears of mourning...

SAGAL: And now the game where we ask people who are out of our league to come play on our playground. In the long history of the NBA, there have been many 7-footers, a bunch of pairs of brothers. But there has been only one pair of identical twin brother 7-footers playing at the same time. And this weekend, Brook Lopez of the champion Milwaukee Bucks and Robin Lopez of the Orlando Magic will be playing against each other. But as a warm up to the main event, they join us here.

Robin and Brook Lopez, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.


BROOK LOPEZ: Thank you for having us.

ROBIN LOPEZ: So glad to be here.

SAGAL: It is amazing to talk to you both and to see you. Just to get it clear for people who do not know this, you are identical twins. You are both 7 feet tall. You grew up playing basketball together all through college, right? And you were two years at Stanford, right?

B LOPEZ: Right.

R LOPEZ: Correct.

SAGAL: And then off you went to the NBA. You were both drafted the same year. But, Brook, I understand you went first.

B LOPEZ: Yes, I was a 10th pick. That's pretty normal. I was born first, as well.

SAGAL: Oh, you are? So you're the older brother?



SAGAL: I imagine that when you do play each other, as you'll be doing this week, that you're trash talk can get very intimate, you know? I remember when I took most of the oxygen in the womb, stuff like that.


R LOPEZ: It can. But what's more fun for us is throwing - is giving dirt, planting dirt with our teammates. It's a lot more unexpected that way when it comes from somebody you don't expect to know something so close to home.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Oh, OK. Robin, I need an example. So you like - you say, oh, we're going to play Milwaukee. Here, you say to your teammates, this is what I want you to know about Brook that you can mention to him at an opportune moment. What do you tell them?

R LOPEZ: Yeah, something like how about in high school, you know, I went to the senior prom, and Brook wasn't able to go with the girl he wanted to go with, something like that, you know?

FELBER: (Laughter).

R LOPEZ: Except we would use names and stuff, things that will surprise, shock and cut deep.

SAGAL: Oh, does it work, Brook? Are you, like, on the court, and some other players, like - you know, you're under the post and he's like, yeah, Marie Kekowski turned you down for the prom. And you're like, what?


B LOPEZ: What do you know about Marie?


B LOPEZ: I mean, it goes to show how devious he is. I mean, he's bringing it up here on this radio program right now, right?

SAGAL: (Laughter).

B LOPEZ: Like, you shouldn't be telling people this stuff. He's a terrible brother.


SAGAL: But you have a series of games this weekend in Milwaukee, Magic vs. the Bucks. Do you guys, like, put aside your brotherly affection and actually go at it when you play each other?

B LOPEZ: Yeah, yeah, we do. Yeah, we guard each other. So we do. And I honestly think that the referees across the league have this thing where when they see we're guarding each other or we're playing against each other that night, they let us go out at war. And they - I mean...

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

B LOPEZ: Look. I love all the refs, but they miss a lot of calls. Normally, we make mistakes, too, playing, but they intentionally let us beat each other up when we're guarding each other, no question.

SAGAL: Really?

FELBER: That's awesome.

SAGAL: And doesn't get rough? Are you guys dirty and - are you guys dirty when you're guarding each other, a little elbows action? What's happening?

B LOPEZ: I don't think so. I just - I think he gets a little, like, you know...

R LOPEZ: It gets...

B LOPEZ: ...I'm better than him. So I score a couple buckets, and, like, he's frustrated. And I'm, like, human nature just...


B LOPEZ: ...Keeps sending me, like, you know...

SAGAL: Sure.

B LOPEZ: ...Throws above.

SAGAL: Robin, your rebuttal?

R LOPEZ: We're all the hero in our own story.


SAGAL: I do want to get into you 'cause we understand that you guys share a lot of interests outside basketball, that you are both, for example, Disney superfans. This is true?

R LOPEZ: This is true.

SAGAL: Have you ever been - is there, like, if you're over this height, you can't ride this ride? Has that ever been a problem?


SAGAL: Really?

R LOPEZ: Yes, there has. Yeah. So we can do all the Disney rides, except in Tokyo Disney. Their second gate, Tokyo DisneySea, there's an attraction in Lost River Delta, but the height limit is - we're over it. It's, like, 180 centimeters in DisneySea in Tokyo.

SAGAL: Wow, that's kind of sad.

B LOPEZ: Yeah. And, you know, exactly. That's the thing. We've done every other one. And so I'm willing to risk my life if those people...


B LOPEZ: They're strict. The Oriental Land Company in Tokyo Disney - they're very strict about it. When we go up on rides - so there's obviously the language barrier. They show - when we try to first go through the line, they're always like this - no, no, no...

SAGAL: Yeah.

B LOPEZ: ...You can't ride. No, no, no, no. And then they take us through the back and have us sit in the ride vehicle. We have to sort of prove we fit. And, yeah, so they actually - that's the only one, though, with the height limit.


B LOPEZ: We can't get on it. And so, I mean...

SAGAL: You sneak on it. It'd be a shame if you died. They'd say, well, he was decapitated, but he did - he died doing what he loved.

B LOPEZ: He was living his dream, right.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

B LOPEZ: So I'm kind of using this platform at this very moment to...


B LOPEZ: ...Like, kind of put it out there.

SAGAL: Well, Robin and Brook Lopez, it is such a joy to talk to you, but we have asked you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: Lopezes, meet the low prezzes (ph).

SAGAL: You're among America's tallest athletes, but what do you know about America's shortest presidents? We're going to ask you about three people who definitely never dunked on the White House basketball court. Answer two out of three questions correctly - you'll win a prize for one of our listeners. Bill, who are the Lopez brothers of the NBA playing for?

KURTIS: Ann DeLouis (ph) of Sarasota, Fla.

SAGAL: All right. Now, you can collaborate. You can argue - however the moment strikes you. Here's your first question. Martin Van Buren is tied for second-shortest president at 5 foot 6 inches. Now, lots of presidents have statues made of them, but only Van Buren has what to memorialize him? A - a monument to dedicate the spot where a carriage driver hit a pothole on purpose to fling Van Buren out of the carriage and into the mud? B - a sculpture of just his pointing right hand, which to this day points the way to the restrooms outside of the state dining room? Or C - a historical marker indicating the spot Van Buren slipped on some ice that today reads, 'twas the funniest thing that any of the gentlefolk present had ever seen?

B LOPEZ: Well, I really like number one because it makes Van Buren sound like Biff Tannen from the "Back To The Future" movies. Can you help out, Robin, or you still don't understand the question?


OKATSUKA: Oh, God. He didn't say anything.

R LOPEZ: That wasn't even clever. That was just hurtful.


R LOPEZ: I'm going to go with C for me.

SAGAL: All right. There's a difference of opinion. You can't choose - well, you know what? This is what we're going to do because this is how we're going to do it because you're competitors. You're going to choose A, Brook. Robin's choosing C. Are you both happy with that answer?

R LOPEZ: I'm very happy with mine.

SAGAL: Brook got it. It was A.



B LOPEZ: Thank you, Biff Tannen.

SAGAL: There you are. That's what happened.


SAGAL: Apparently, ironically enough, Van Buren had opposed an infrastructure bill to help fix up the national roads, and some people in Indiana wanted him to know just how bad those roads were. All right. You have two more chances. And, you know, maybe, you know, Robin can come back in this one. Benjamin Harrison was also 5 foot 6 inches tall. He was not afraid of the challenges of the presidency, but he was afraid of what? A - iguanas? B - light switches? Or C - the candy man?

R LOPEZ: I'm going to go with A, iguanas.

SAGAL: You're going to go with iguanas. Robin chooses iguanas. Brook?

B LOPEZ: I like the idea of Benjamin Harrison being terrified to turn on a light switch for being - fear of being electrified.

SAGAL: All right. Brook goes for light switches. Robin goes for iguanas. Are you both happy with your choices?


B LOPEZ: Yeah.

SAGAL: Brook got it again.


SAGAL: It was light switches.


SAGAL: He was president just as electricity came to the White House, and he was absolutely terrified that if he touched the light switch, he'd be electrocuted. He and his wife would go to sleep with the lights on unless a servant would come in and turn it off for them.

B LOPEZ: I sleep with the lights on, but that's because I'm scared of the wicked witch.

SAGAL: All right. Well, that's also valid. That's also valid. All right, your last question. Let's see here if Robin can get one.

FELBER: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. James Madison, as I'm sure you both know, having been to the Hall of Presidents many a time, was the shortest president - only 5 foot 4 inches. Yet he played a vital role in the American Revolution, including when Thomas Jefferson assigned him to do what? A - measure animals to prove that the United States was not naturally inferior to Europe? B - find a replacement for British tea by boiling up all the plants that grew around Philadelphia. Or C - steal the Declaration of Independence.

R LOPEZ: I got to go with B.

SAGAL: You're going to go with B, find a replacement for British tea by just about boiling up everything they could find and see if it tasted good.


SAGAL: OK. That's your choice. Brook?

B LOPEZ: I was going to pick A just because I love A so much.

SAGAL: Measuring animals to prove that the United States wasn't naturally inferior - that's your choice.

B LOPEZ: What a job. That's incredible.

SAGAL: All right. Your choice. Again, I'll ask you, is that your final answers? Are those your final answers?

R LOPEZ: Final answer.

B LOPEZ: Yeah. Final answer. Yes.

R LOPEZ: Lock it in.

SAGAL: Brook just went 3 for 3.


SAGAL: He was correct.



SAGAL: The answer was measure animals.

B LOPEZ: What? What?

SAGAL: The answer was measure animals. And, by the way, Madison included in his measurements the distance between - and I swear to you this is true - the difference - he measured the distance between the anus and the vulva of the American weasel.


R LOPEZ: He was very thorough.

B LOPEZ: Very thorough.

R LOPEZ: Very thorough.

SAGAL: Yeah. He was.

B LOPEZ: Hopefully, according to you guys, he didn't set a measurement of his own stature, or for sure, Europe would have thought we were inferior.

SAGAL: That's true.

B LOPEZ: Yeah.

SAGAL: He did not do that because that would have given the game away.

B LOPEZ: Yeah.


FELBER: This horse is 1 1/2 Madisons.


SAGAL: Bill, how did the Lopez brothers do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Oh, they did very, very well. They got 3 out of 3, so that means let's call that a win.

SAGAL: All right. I think I need to point out, if only for Brook's satisfaction, that technically, Brook got 3 out of 3. I would - I'm going to - I'm just going to - I'm not a basketball expert. I'm predicting some flagrant fouls at this weekend's game.

B LOPEZ: Emotionally flagrant fouls.

SAGAL: Yeah.


B LOPEZ: Just don't bring up Sadie Sach (ph) in my junior year.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Oh. Robin and Brook Lopez play for the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks respectively. If you want to see them go head-to-head, you can see them face off this Saturday, again on Monday. We had so much fun with you guys. Thank you so much for being on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

R LOPEZ: Thank you so much.

B LOPEZ: Oh, thank you, guys. You, too. This was a lot of - this was so much fun.

R LOPEZ: Thank you.


SKEE-LO: Hello? (Rapping) I wish I was a little bit taller. I wish I was a baller. I wish I had a girl who looked good. I would call her. Wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat and a 6-4 Impala. I wish I was, like, 6 foot 9 so I can get with Leoshi because she don't know me, but, yo, she's really fine. You know, I see her all the time...

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

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Adam Felber, Atsuko Okatsuka and Hari Kondabolu. And here again is your host, the man who always wanted a nickname. It's Peter "Sparkle Bosom" Sagal.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill stays up past his bed rhyme in our Listener Limerick Challenge game. If you'd like to play, give us a call - 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924 Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news.

Adam, the Marvel movie "Shang-Chi" features a thrilling fight scene on a city bus barreling through the streets of San Francisco. Well, after the movie came to Disney+ this week, the best new review of the movie came from whom?

FELBER: A bus driver?

SAGAL: A bus driver.


SAGAL: A San Francisco bus driver. A real San Francisco bus driver posted a review of just the bus scene on Twitter. Now, most of his observations are all about the rules that Shang-Chi's bus driver breaks. For example, if a group of six international assassins were to use their martial arts to attack a passenger to steal his mystical amulet, regulations would require the bus driver to stop the bus and alert authorities. But this guy...

FELBER: It's right there in the manual.

SAGAL: Right there. Everybody knows this. Day 1 - bus driver school.

But this guy just turns around to look at the fight instead of using the mirror - another demerit. And he's not even wearing a seatbelt, meaning, as Mack observes, that even though he's thrown from his chair and gets knocked out, he can forget about workman's comp.




SAGAL: I want more of this. I want a spider reviewing "Spider-Man." Well, I liked it but...



SAGAL: I mean, it's fine, but the web does not come out of my hand.

OKATSUKA: I want a man reviewing "Superman." Wait, how does that work? How does this work?

KONDABOLU: I cannot fly. I want a building super reviewing "Superman."

SAGAL: That would be also fun.

KONDABOLU: Where does he keep his keys?


SAGAL: Atsuko, the whole cryptocurrency thing is getting bigger and bigger. But the crypto guys may have finally gone too far when they have purchased the naming rights for what beloved building?

OKATSUKA: This is the beloved Staples Center.

SAGAL: Oh, yes, you're right.


SAGAL: Or, as we should say, as of, I believe, this December, the Arena. This means that Southern California is now filled with grouchy old guys saying, I don't care what they call it. To me, it's still named after an office supply chain I haven't been to since I stopped using my printer in 2012.


OKATSUKA: Yeah, I mean, pretty much, right? At a certain point, it's like, is it just a name?

FELBER: How dare they replace the name of that stadium with a capitalistic name?

SAGAL: Yeah, exactly. What about poor Mr. Staples, who built this place?


SAGAL: If you were to - and I recommend this - go over to and look at their About Us section, you will think you accidentally did a stock image search for evil tech bro.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: And these guys plan to corner the crypto market, and it will work because who among us doesn't choose where to invest in a shady, incomprehensible techno Ponzi scheme by looking to see what's painted in big letters on a sports building?

FELBER: So it's going to be really weird showing up at Laker games and, like, having to pay for a beer with, like, one 10-billionth of a Dogecoin.


SAGAL: Or wouldn't it be worse - like, all of a sudden, all they're serving is hotdoges (ph).


SAGAL: So The New York Times this week did a profile of the guys of, and it sounds as if, like - let me put it this way. Their biggest asset, the thing they've got that makes them think that they can just take over - corner the cryptocurrency market - is they managed to get the domain name, right?

KONDABOLU: To give you some idea of what's going on here, Martin Shkreli called them gross.

SAGAL: Exactly, exactly.


THE STAPLE SINGERS: (Singing) If you disrespect anybody that you run into. How in the world do you think anybody's supposed to respect you?

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 link on our website, There you can also get tickets to our upcoming IRL show at the Harris Theater in Chicago, Ill., on December 9.

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

ELLA YOUNG: Hi, Peter. This is Ella Young (ph) from Los Angeles, Calif.

SAGAL: Hey, Ella. What do you do there in LA?

YOUNG: I'm a textile designer.

SAGAL: That's very cool. This is a weird question, I guess, but I'm an ignorant person, so I'll ask it. Where do textile designs come from? Who decides, oh, we're going to have paisley now, or everybody's into plaids or solids or maybe little printed birds? I mean, are you - have, like, total independence, or are you following trends? How does it work?

YOUNG: I think it can be both. There are trend forecasters. So they say, hey, I've been looking at the runways or, hey, I've been looking at the streets, and I see a lot of people wearing cheetah print. And so they're saying cheetah print's the next big thing. And so some companies will follow that. But then there's independent designers who are really inspired by frogs this season and just want a frog print, and so you're going to (unintelligible) for that.

SAGAL: When you say about designers who are inspired by frogs, you're talking about yourself, right?

YOUNG: Oh, yes, exactly.


SAGAL: You like frogs?

YOUNG: I do like frogs, yeah.

SAGAL: Like, this season, it'll finally work. Everybody will be wearing frogs.

YOUNG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Ella, welcome to the show. Bill Kurtis right now 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 will be a big winner. You ready to play?

YOUNG: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: All right. Let's hear your first limerick.

KURTIS: Desert stingers are racking up morbid wins. This is how some dark biblical lore begins. Big storms have unleashed tiny venomous beasts. We are plagued by an army of...

YOUNG: Scorpions.

SAGAL: Scorpions, yes.

KURTIS: Yes, you got it.


SAGAL: You got it, yeah.


SAGAL: Hospitals in Cairo have seen a huge uptick in scorpion stings after heavy rains and flooding forced these venomous arachnids into people's homes. It's either another shocking side effect of climate change or Moses is back at it with another one of his crazy pranks. Oh, Moses. Just so we're clear, if anybody's listening in Cairo, when it rains scorpions, you should take shelter. But when it's raining men, hallelujah, it's raining men.


FELBER: And I'm - far be it for me to, you know, to offer notes to the authors of the Old Testament, but scorpions - way cooler and scarier than frogs.

OKATSUKA: So are men.


SAGAL: All right, here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: I'm showing I'm tuned out and bored, but AirPods are often ignored. So old-school's unmatched, wires clearly attached. This cool kid's not cutting the...

YOUNG: Cord.

SAGAL: Cord, yes.




SAGAL: Corded headphones are back because we all know...

KURTIS: Good for you.

SAGAL: ...Music sounds better after you spend 10 minutes detangling your headphones. According to The Wall Street Journal, celebrities and models have been seen wearing corded headphones because they send that distinct don't talk to me message, although maybe that was just their reaction upon seeing a Wall Street Journal reporter.

KONDABOLU: Is this passive-aggressive core? Is that what this is?


FELBER: I have noticed that when I wear the corded headphones, like, in the grocery store, I am - it's very unlikely that I will be, like, approached by fans.

SAGAL: Yeah.

FELBER: Whereas when I'm wearing the cordless ones, it is also very unlikely.

SAGAL: Unlikely.


SAGAL: Yeah. All right. Here is your - here's your last limerick, Ella.

KURTIS: My owner's out. I'm home alone. I'm done napping and chewing my bone. Now I can't find my ball. You know what? I'll just call. I'm high-tech with my new doggy...

YOUNG: Phone.

SAGAL: Phone.




SAGAL: A Scottish scientist has developed a tool for lonely dogs used to having their owners around. It's a system that lets your dog video call you. This is a terrible idea. Oh, sure, a dog can call you up anytime it likes. But as we all know, dogs are well known for self-restraint.


SAGAL: This is true.


SAGAL: On the first day of testing, the inventor's dog called 18 times.


FELBER: Really?

SAGAL: Yeah. And what - when your dog calls you - like, oh, I miss my owner; I'll call - what would your dog talk about? Hi. What are you eating? What are you eating now? What about now? What are you eating now? Nothing? Well, what did you eat? Any chance you'll vomit it up?

OKATSUKA: And you're really just going to be staring at the dog's chest the whole time.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah.

OKATSUKA: We know how a German shepherd will probably use his phone - probably like your grandma.

SAGAL: It's true. So this is how it works. It's an accelerometer switch that fits inside a ball. So when the dog shakes the ball, it connects the call on a nearby screen so if your dog feels lonely, it can call you - or it feels like playing with a ball, it can call you, or if it lies down on top of the ball, it can call you. I have to say I know people who would be like - after two or three hours, they'd be like, oh, my dog hasn't called. I need to check on him.


FELBER: Yeah, can a dog answer a call with the ball?

SAGAL: Oh, I - you know dogs - the way dogs are. They always let it go to voicemail.

Bill, how did Ella do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Ella has a new talent - enjoy. You got a perfect score, Ella.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Ella. Well done.

YOUNG: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Thank you so much. Thanks for playing, Ella.

YOUNG: Have a good one. Bye-bye.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


LADY GAGA: (Singing) Stop calling. Stop calling. I don't want to think anymore. I left my head and my heart on the dance floor. Stop calling. Stop calling. I don't want to talk anymore. I left my head and my heart on the dance floor.

SAGAL: Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will now have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can - each correct answer now worth 2 points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

KURTIS: Hari has 2. Atsuko has 2. Adam has 3.

SAGAL: So Hari and Atsuko are tied for second. I will arbitrarily say, Hari, you're going first. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, President Biden and other Democratic leaders went on the road in support of the new blank bill.

KONDABOLU: Infrastructure bill.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Following a decline, the CDC warned that blank cases will rise sharply in the winter.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, the White House asked the FTC to investigate if oil companies are illegally driving up blank prices.

KONDABOLU: Gas prices.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Wednesday, officials in Belarus began bussing blanks away from their border with Poland.

KONDABOLU: Refugees.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, police in Canada were able to easily apprehend two thieves after they tried to steal a house's furnace and blanked.

KONDABOLU: And passed out.

SAGAL: Yes...


SAGAL: ...From the leaking gas.



SAGAL: That's very good. On Monday, Patrick Leahy, the longest-serving member of the blank, announced he will not run for reelection.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Tuesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Times Square's blank celebration was back on this year.

KONDABOLU: New Year's Eve.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Voters in a small town...


SAGAL: ...In Georgia say they have ousted their mayor because he spent $300,000 on blank.

KONDABOLU: What is Pixy Stix?

SAGAL: No, he spent $300,000...


SAGAL: ...Trying to build a giant topiary chicken. Fitzgerald, Ga., Mayor Jim Puckett was elected some years ago on the promise that he would bring more tourists to the city. And his master plan was to build the world's largest topiary chicken - two stories high. However, four years later, he spent $300,000 in the project, and the topiary chicken isn't even finished. This seems like a terrible waste. But it may have been part of a broader jobs program aimed at the Scissorhands community.


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

KURTIS: I'm impressed. Hari had seven right for 14 more points. He now has 16 and the lead.

SAGAL: All right.



FELBER: All right.

SAGAL: All right. Atsuko, you're up next. Please fill in the blank. On Wednesday, former Trump aide blank pled not guilty to obstruction of Congress.

OKATSUKA: The guy.

SAGAL: Yes, he is a guy.

OKATSUKA: Oh, Steve Bannon.

SAGAL: Steve Bannon, yes.


SAGAL: Because of rising COVID numbers, the government in Austria announced a lockdown for anyone who is not blanked.

OKATSUKA: Not been vaccinated.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: After he released an anime-style video showing him attacking President Biden with a sword, the House censured Representative blank.

OKATSUKA: Yeah. I forget his name. His siblings hate him.

SAGAL: That's the guy.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: He's the dentist, Paul Gosar. This week, police in the U.K. pulled over a trucker hauling a bunch of onion rings stuffed with blank.

OKATSUKA: Onion rings stuffed with french fries.

SAGAL: No - interesting idea, though. They were stuffed with $33 million worth of cocaine. This week, a man in California...


SAGAL: ...Was surprised when he came home to discover that his bucket of KFC had been eaten by blank.

OKATSUKA: His dog.

SAGAL: No, three Bears. The man was shocked when he came home for lunch and saw a bear sitting outside his house - even more shocked when he got inside and saw two other bears eating the bucket of KFC that he left out for his own lunch. I don't know what's weirder, having a bunch of bears in your house or preferring your KFC room temperature. Despite eating all of it, none of the three bears said the fried chicken was just right. Bill, how did Atsuko do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Atsuko had two right for 4 more points for a total of 6, but Hari is still in the lead with 16.


OKATSUKA: Wow. Good work.

SAGAL: All right. How many, then, does Adam need to win?

KURTIS: Seven to win.

SAGAL: All right, Adam, here we go. It's for the game. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, the White House announced plans to buy enough of Pfizer's new blank pill to treat 10 million people.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, the so-called QAnon Shaman was sentenced to 41 months for his role in the attack on the blank.

FELBER: The Capitol.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Following a report that she's frustrated in her role, blank said she doesn't feel misused by the White House.

FELBER: Kamala Harris.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a woman in New Zealand had to call police after she was held hostage in her home by blank.

FELBER: An opossum.

SAGAL: Exactly right.


SAGAL: A very angry one. On Monday, Infowars host blank was found guilty in all four Sandy Hook defamation cases.

FELBER: Alex Jones.



SAGAL: On Thursday, North America saw the longest lunar blank in over 500 years.

FELBER: Eclipse.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: At a corporate event for Land Rover this week, Wyclef Jean gave a concert...


SAGAL: ...Carried the CEO on his shoulders while they posed for pictures and then blanked.

FELBER: Vanished.

SAGAL: No, he dropped the CEO on his head.

FELBER: Oh (laughter).

SAGAL: No, Wyclef, you're supposed to kill him softly - softly. Wyclef was carrying around the CEO for reasons known only to him. He lost his balance, dumping the CEO onto the CEO's head, at which point we learned that man does not come with standard front-impact airbags. Remember, it's great when you're at a concert and the singer crowd surfs. It does not work when the crowd singer surfs. Bill...


SAGAL: ...How did Adam Felber do? Did he do well enough to win?

KURTIS: Oh, so close. He had six right for 12 more points - total of 15, which means with 16, Hari is the champion this week.

SAGAL: Whoa, Hari Kondabolu.


OKATSUKA: Great work. You're so smart.

PETER SAGAL AND ATSUKO OKATSUKA: You're so smart. You're so smart.

OKATSUKA: I'm still the same.


OKATSUKA: I haven't changed.


SAGAL: Now, panel, what will be the title of the next big hit breakup song? Atsuko Okatsuka.

OKATSUKA: "You're Icky" by Lil Dicky.


SAGAL: Adam Felber.

FELBER: Because he just can't make the relationship work, Elon Musk will release his new single, "Smell You Later, Earth" (ph).


SAGAL: And Hari Kondabolu.

KONDABOLU: "We Are Never Getting Vaxxed Together" (ph), a remix by Taylor Swift.


KURTIS: Well, if any of that happens, we're going to ask you about it on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SAGAL: Thank you so much, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Adam Felber, Hari Kondabolu and thanks for a wonderful debut to Atsuko Okatsuka. Thanks to all of you for listening. I am Peter Sagal, and we will see you next week.

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