Audra McDonald plays Not My Job on 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' Emmy, Grammy and six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald is a legend of both stage and screen. We'll see if she can add one more award to her shelf by answering three questions about Burger King.

'Wait Wait' for Dec. 4, 2021: With Not My Job guest Audra McDonald

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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. Come on in, Microsoft nerds, because we're about to open the Bill gates. I'm Bill Kurtis. And the 2021 best host of the year lists are just out, and here's somebody who will be reading them. It's Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill, and thank you to my dogs, who are listening right now with quiet appreciation. Later on today, we're going to be talking to the reigning queen of Broadway, Audra McDonald, who, in her career, has won six Tony Awards, a Grammy, an Emmy and Drama Desk Awards. That's impressive, but why hasn't she won the 2021 MotorTrend Car of the Year? We'll ask her. But first, we want to put you on the spot, so give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Now let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

NICO TERROZONI: Hi. This is Nico Terrozoni (ph) from Orlando, Fla.

SAGAL: Hey, Nico. How are things in Orlando?

TERROZONI: Oh, they're sunshiny (ph), beautiful. It's a great time of year to be down here.

SAGAL: It is. I know. What do you do there? Do you work for one of the many theme parks, perhaps?

TERROZONI: Well, unfortunately not. No. I'm at a remote startup.

SAGAL: Really? So what brings you - so - you know, are you, like, just one of those people who just wanted to live in Orlando?

TERROZONI: (Laughter) My wife just had twins, and so it was a great idea for us to move much closer to her family.

SAGAL: I understand. I understand. And pretty soon, they're going to be wanting to go to Disney, so why not just get it out of the way now?

TERROZONI: We're all going to work for the mouse one day, right?

SAGAL: Absolutely. Well, welcome to the show, Nico. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, it's the comedian who will be headlining at the Lincoln Lodge right here in Chicago on January 8. It's Adam Burke.


ADAM BURKE: Hello, Nico.


SAGAL: Next, she's a writer for "Late Night With Seth Meyers," and she's also one of Forbes' 30 Under 30. It's Karen Chee.



TERROZONI: Hey, Karen.

SAGAL: And his podcast is "Back To School With Maz Jobrani," and his "Things Are Looking Bright" standup comedy tour is on now - all dates available at One of the 70s under 70, it's Maz Jobrani.


TERROZONI: Hey, Maz. How you doing?

MAZ JOBRANI: Hey, Nico. What's happening?

SAGAL: Nico, welcome to the show. You, of course, are going to start us off with Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you will win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to go?


SAGAL: Let's do it, then. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: Here we go again.

SAGAL: That was The Washington Post reacting to the news that there's yet another variant of COVID out there now. What is this one called?



SAGAL: Oh-micron (ph) - or ah-micron (ph). Who knows? It's Greek.


SAGAL: The omicron variant - just when we were getting over the delta variant, here comes another one. You think you're depressed? Delta Airlines is really regretting changing their name just last week to Omicron Airlines.


SAGAL: The sudden onset of this variant is a surprise. Scientists thought we'd be safe because omicron was so busy plotting against the Autobots.


JOBRANI: It is the first one that doesn't have a brand sponsor because...

SAGAL: That's true.

JOBRANI: Corona sponsored coronavirus.

SAGAL: Yeah.

JOBRANI: Delta Airlines...

CHEE: Yeah.

JOBRANI: And now omicron. I think omicron came about because the guy who discovered it was like, I'm going to cry.


BURKE: I think the World Health Organization knows that if they want to make us take these things seriously, don't name them after the letters of the Greek alphabet because we're not that worldly. Right? Anything that's not our alphabet just sounds goofy to us. Like, if you want us to...

CHEE: That's true.

BURKE: If you want us to sit up and take notice, name it after something Americans are actually afraid of, like cheeseless pizza or something or...


CHEE: Universal health care is what it's called.

BURKE: Yeah.

JOBRANI: The immigrant. This next one's called the immigrant.

BURKE: Yeah. Right. Yeah.

SAGAL: Now, the virus, of course, is continuing to mutate, primarily because so many people are still unvaccinated, and it's very frustrating to doctors. But can we get, like, some cool mutations, as opposed to ones that just make it worse? Can't we get, like, a variant that would also whiten your teeth or one that will make you into Wolverine?

CHEE: That would be awesome.

JOBRANI: You know what...

CHEE: I would love a third arm.

JOBRANI: You mean you didn't get that with the third shot? I got a third arm. Didn't...

CHEE: Oh, man. I got to get my third shot now.

JOBRANI: Yeah. Wait till you get your booster.

BURKE: Doesn't a third arm just mean another hand to wash?


CHEE: Oh. You're right. You're right.

SAGAL: And then if you two - if your first two hands are washing each other, who's washing the third hand? You ever thought of that, Karen? Careful.


JOBRANI: You know, these new variants feel like the iPhone. You know how you get the update all the time?

SAGAL: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

BURKE: Oh, yeah.

JOBRANI: You're like, oh, I finally figured it out. They're going, no, you didn't.

BURKE: Yeah.

JOBRANI: Because we got an update. I'm like, oh, God.

SAGAL: Also, that's what, like - if you wanted to ask me what other thing keeps coming in waves with more and more incomprehensible names - oh, wow. You didn't upgrade to omicron?

BURKE: Yeah.

SAGAL: Oh, you got to get omicron because it's got these cool new emojis.


BURKE: The WHO told me there was a new variant, and I just clicked remind me later.

CHEE: Yeah.


JOBRANI: Later tonight.

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. Very good. Here, Nico, is your next quote.

KURTIS: I want to congratulate my North Jersey constituent on his run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. I'm sure his fully genuine candidacy will capture the hearts of Pennsylvanians.

SAGAL: That was Congressman Bill Pascrell, Democrat of New Jersey, congratulating which of his famous constituents on his announced run for a Senate seat in the next state over?

TERROZONI: Oh, is it Dr. Oz?


SAGAL: It is Dr. Oz, Nico. Well done.


SAGAL: Dr. Oz, of course, is famous for selling magic weight loss pills and such on TV. He has announced he is running for Senate in Pennsylvania, finally answering the question, what do you do if you can't even get on "Dancing With The Stars"?


CHEE: He announced his candidacy on his show, though, right? And his show is, like, famous for espousing false statements, so we actually don't even know if this is true or not.

SAGAL: Right.

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I mean, and I don't know. I mean, yes, we're having a medical crisis ongoing, but do we need a celebrity doctor in elected office? And if so, why this one? Why not Dr. Dre or Dr. Octopus or Doc Martens?

JOBRANI: The fact that you put doctor in front of your name doesn't qualify you. Dr. Oz falls in line with Dr. Atlas. They should go start their own practice.

BURKE: Hey, Maz. Maz.


BURKE: Trust the pseudoscience.

SAGAL: Exactly.

JOBRANI: Yes (laughter).

CHEE: I will say, though, the fact that he lives in New Jersey and is running, you know, in Pennsylvania shows that he's a doctor without borders.

BURKE: Whoa. Whoa.

CHEE: Whoa.

BURKE: That's why you're 30 under 30. There you go. Boom.

CHEE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: A 31-year-old couldn't have come up with that. But you...


BURKE: I'm assuming Oz is his real last name, but he's in show business. He could have changed that. You really going to keep the name of a famous charlatan...


BURKE: ...That lives behind a curtain and has no real power?

SAGAL: No, it's true. All right, here is your last quote, and it's from one Ringo Starr.

KURTIS: I farted - just thought I'd let you know.

SAGAL: That was one of the shocking moments from a new eight-hour documentary on what famous band?

TERROZONI: It's the Beatles.

SAGAL: It is the Beatles.


SAGAL: "Get Back," the new Beatles documentary from Peter Jackson, who specializes in the "Lord Of The Rings" movies and other things that are way too long, is an exhaustive look at the creation of the Beatles' final album and final concert. It's amazing. It's like six hours of them just noodling around and eating dry toast. And then Paul suddenly comes up with the song "Get Back" out of nowhere, and then it's two more hours of noodling.

BURKE: I will say this. I call bull on the documentary because it claims to show everything, but we see them drink 9,000 cups of tea, and never once does Peter Jackson follow them to the bathroom.


SAGAL: Now, we open this thing with a remarkable moment when Ringo says, I just farted. I wanted everybody to know - which is very open of him. Ringo - and here's the thing about Ringo. It's like, yes, all he does pretty much in this documentary is he farts that one time, but he farted in time. He was such a reliable farter. People dismiss him, but you knew that you had Ringo back there farting, you'd at least keep the beat.

BURKE: I mean, listen, it just sounded like a regular fart. But once George Martin and Phil Spector were done with it - talk about a wall of sound.


JOBRANI: You think Yoko Ono will watch it all at once? Or will she break it up?



BURKE: I will say I think the documentary makes a compelling case for how she kept them together because there's a bit where - spoiler alert - there's a bit where George leaves the band. And George leaves the band, and then they immediately go into a three-minute freakout where Yoko starts singing and starts wailing into the mic. And you can just see John going, oh, we need to get George back for...


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

KURTIS: Got us off to a very good start. Nico, you got them all right.


SAGAL: Congratulations, Nico.

TERROZONI: Thank you so much. It's been wonderful being here.

CHEE: Yay.

SAGAL: Oh, it's wonderful to have you, Nico. Good luck. Take care. And enjoy Disney when your kids are old enough.



THE BEATLES: (Singing) Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner, but he knew it couldn't last.

SAGAL: Panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news.

Karen, in response to a shortage and rising prices, the government of Canada has decided to open up their strategic reserve of what?

CHEE: Maple syrup.

SAGAL: Exactly right.



SAGAL: Yes, maple syrup.


SAGAL: It's so odd...

CHEE: I fully guessed it.

SAGAL: ...Because the same week that the United States tapped into its strategic petroleum reserve, releasing emergency supplies of the fuel that propels our entire economy, Canada did exactly the same thing for theirs. Thanks to a warm spring, maple syrup harvests are down, resulting in hoarding and high prices on the back-alley maple syrup brown market. The whole...

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Thing is so sad. You do not know what it's like when you run into Mrs. Butterworth in the street just begging for a taste.


SAGAL: It's hard to believe that this is true. I mean, when they say, like, emergency maple syrup reserve, this is not, like, some notional thing. There is an actual vault in Canada filled with maple syrup, with, like, a sign saying break in case of emergency.


SAGAL: It's like Fort Knox, but all the door handles are sticky.

CHEE: Yeah.

SAGAL: Officials there released about 50 million pounds of maple syrup from the reserve. That's around half the total amount - or what one child pours out when you leave him alone with a bottle.


BURKE: Can I see the "Ocean's Eleven" sequel where they break into Canada's maple syrup reserve?


SAGAL: I want to see the "James Bond" movie where that happens - where, like...

BURKE: Right.

SAGAL: ...You know, Maplefinger (ph) wants to break in...

BURKE: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: Maplefinger.


CHEE: That's amazing.

SAGAL: ...To steal the maple syrup.

CHEE: (Laughter) That's so nice for the Canadians. But as an American, I'm really happy, you know, waking up every morning and pouring petroleum onto my waffles for breakfast.


JOBRANI: (Unintelligible).

SAGAL: We'll never...

BURKE: Sorry, I'm going to have to take a moment just to do a quick - (imitating Sean Connery) it's a bit of a sticky situation...


BURKE: ...From "Maplefinger."

SAGAL: Yeah.

JOBRANI: And he throws - and instead of the hat, he throws pancakes that hit - hurt people.

BURKE: (Laughter) Yeah, exactly.


SAGAL: Coming up, we uncover a cover-up 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 are playing this week with Karen Chee, Maz Jobrani and Adam Burke. And here again is your host - you can keep your fifth Beatle; I say this Pete's best - Peter Sagal.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: 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.

LINDSAY: Hi, Peter. It's Lindsay (ph) calling from Brooklyn, N.Y.

SAGAL: Hey, Lindsay. How are you? How are things in Brooklyn?

LINDSAY: Oh, fine and dandy, cotton candy. How's Chicago?

SAGAL: Not bad. Oh, man, I have such a tough time dealing with you tough, gruff New Yorkers.

LINDSAY: I know. I'm...

SAGAL: Intimidating.

LINDSAY: ...You know, textbook.

SAGAL: And what do you do there in New York?

LINDSAY: By day, I work for an amazing local florist, and by night, I dress my cat as a drag queen on Instagram.

CHEE: Wow.



SAGAL: All right, you dress up your cat, and you put your cat on Instagram. What is the name of your cat, please?

LINDSAY: It is RuPaw's Drag Race.

CHEE: Oh, amazing.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

CHEE: And does she make more money than you do?

LINDSAY: She does. And she has more clothing, more jewelry and more wigs than I ever will.


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Lindsay. It's a pleasure to have you. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Lindsay's topic?

KURTIS: It's a cover-up.

SAGAL: History has its share of great cover-ups - Watergate, Iran-Contra, the fact that one of today's panelists is the Zodiac Killer.


SAGAL: Well, this week, we heard about another big cover-up, and you're going to hear about it from our panelists, one of whom is, again, the Zodiac Killer. Pick the one who's telling the truth and you will win the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to do this?

LINDSAY: Oh, baby. Let's go.

SAGAL: Oh, baby. Here we go. First, let's hear from Maz Jobrani.

JOBRANI: Nobody likes going to the dentist, but in the small town of Driggs, Idaho, a trip to the local tooth doctor turned out to be even more of a drag when all of the patients who visited Dr. Shenshesky (ph) found themselves leaving with root canals.

Locals first became suspicious of the good doctor when over Thanksgiving, the town's mailman, Tim Gordon (ph), found himself at a Thanksgiving party telling the other guests about a recent trip to the new dentist. I went in with a chipped tooth but left with a root canal. That's when the town librarian, Emma Johnson (ph), chimed in with her own story. I went to see Dr. Shenshesky to whiten my teeth, and he also gave me a root canal. Things got really crazy at the party when Amy McThompson (ph) told the dinner guests about her story. I took my 2-year-old toddler in for his first checkup, and the doctor recommended a root canal. I asked him, are you sure? And he replied, why not?

The townspeople quickly took it upon themselves to investigate further and found an email that the doctor had recently sent to a fellow dentist, confessing his preferred dental procedure. In the post, he writes, I got to admit, it's great to be in a new town where I'm the only choice they have. I keep recommending root canals 'cause, truth be told, that's the only procedure I remember from dental school.

SAGAL: A dentist is doing root canals for everyone 'cause it turns out it's the only thing he knows how to do.

Your next story of a cover-up revealed comes from Adam Burke.

BURKE: For many years, the Thanksgiving Day parade was an annual highlight in the small town of Ellis Woods (ph), Iowa - until recently, that is, when local residents started noticing something odd about the parade route. We're not a big place, says resident and parade float driver Edgar Danby (ph), so it didn't make much sense when the procession suddenly veered off of Main Street and took the better part of six hours.

It was not long after the debacle that local reporter Charlene Wu (ph) says she was contacted by one of the parade's organizers, who would only be identified by the code name Deep Float. According to my source, says Wu, the mayor has a lot of family in the outlying areas of the county, and when they declined to come to town for the parade, he decided to bring the parade to them.

The mayor's insistence that the unconventional course was due to his Waze app making him avoid, quote, "holiday traffic" seems to have done little to placate locals. My float ran out of gas on a dirt road, complained parade participant Charles Wolf (ph). You ever try to get AAA to tow a 30-foot pumpkin out of a ditch?

SAGAL: A mayor in Iowa secretly planning the Thanksgiving parade route just so his family could see it without having to be bothered.

Your last story of someone trying to bury a secret comes from the Zodiac Killer.

CHEE: The town of Wiarton, Ontario, in Canada seems to love the movie "Weekend At Bernie's" a little too much. The local officials apparently covered up the death of a beloved resident for over a year, and now amidst the public outcries of disappointment, the officials are doubling down on their decision.

The resident in question - none other than Canadian legend and celebrity groundhog Wiarton Willie, the Canadian version of Punxsutawney Phil. Willie, who apparently died in his sleep due to an abscessed tooth, was so popular that the town officials could not bear to announce his death. Said Mayor Janice Jackson, Wiarton Willie has put us on the international map, and we're very, very protective of the Wiarton Willie brand. She also mentioned that they tried to swap in a different groundhog so residents wouldn't know he had died, but Willie was an albino, and, quote, "we just couldn't come up with a white groundhog."

And residents also had reason to be suspicious because in 1999, the town officials covered up the death of the previous Willie, a groundhog who had frozen to death a week before Groundhog Day. So, you know, it's just as they say - fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, and you're the town officials of Wiarton, Ontario. Rest in peace, Willie.

SAGAL: All right, which of these was the real cover-up that we found out about from this week's news? Was it, from Maz, a dentist in Idaho who's been doing root canals for everybody because, as it turns out, that's the only thing he knows how to do; from Adam Burke, a Thanksgiving parade in Iowa which was routed strangely because the mayor, it turns out, just wanted his friends to see it without having them have to move; or, from Karen Chee, a town in Canada which covered up the death of their beloved groundhog because, well, they didn't want anybody to know that it had died? Which of these was the real story of a cover-up in the news?

LINDSAY: I'm going to go with (laughter) - I'm going to go with the groundhog story.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Karen Chee's story of the groundhog in Wiarton, Ontario, who died, but the town's fathers and mothers covered it up for their own PR purposes. That's your choice. Well, we spoke to someone familiar with the story to bring us the truth.

KEVIN JIANG: Wiarton Willie didn't show up in the virtual Wiarton Groundhog Day festival. Turns out Willie was too busy being dead to attend.

SAGAL: That's terrible. That was Kevin Jiang, the Toronto Star reporter who covered the true story. Congratulations, Lindsay. You did get it right. You earned a point for Karen, who, of course, is a psychopathic murderer, and you've won our prize, the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Congratulations. Well done.

LINDSAY: Thank you so much. Ciao for now.

CHEE: Bye, Lindsay.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.




SAGAL: And now the game where we show our affection for people we admire by asking them silly questions. What can I say? We're shy. Audra McDonald is the reigning queen of Broadway. She has six Tony Awards, has done concerts all around the world and is now starring in a new period drama from HBO called "The Gilded Age," because while she has already done everything as a performer, she hasn't done it while wearing a bustle. Audra McDonald, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

AUDRA MCDONALD: Thank you. I'm thrilled to be here. And actually, I have worn a bustle.


SAGAL: You have worn a bustle. Where did you wear a bustle? Actually, of course you did. But what are you...

MCDONALD: Yes. When I did "Ragtime," we wore bustles and corsets. And, yeah, so...

SAGAL: And you were like - and you said to your agent, you know what I want to do? That bustle - I just love turning around and knocking things off tables behind me. Can I do that again, please?

MCDONALD: Yes. Well, the bustles and the corsets, as Christine Baranski said during filming, she was like, it was COVID in corsets because we were filming during - well, during the pandemic. So, yeah, so it's a whole new series there.

SAGAL: Did you ever have - this makes me think of this. Did you ever have - because I know you went to Juilliard, and very soon after that, you were already on Broadway and performing and winning Tonys. Did you have your starving actor phase?

MCDONALD: Yes. While I was - well, it was a starving student, starving actor phase. You know, while I was at Juilliard - I mean, my freshman year at Juilliard, I lived in a residential hotel on 93rd and Broadway, where there was an elevator we were told not to use because that's where the drug deals went down. So the people who also lived there as well as, you know, some of these Juilliard students took really good care of us, even though they were, like, drug users and pushers. There was a couple of prostitutes in there, but they were actually very protective of the students that were there.

BURKE: That's such a smart thing to tell college students. Hey, don't go where the drugs are.


MCDONALD: It's one of those things, too, that I didn't - because I'm from Fresno, Calif., and my - you know, my parents were still in Fresno. And I just moved to New York when I was 18. And I didn't tell them about those days until years later. I was like, let me not. Let me just - let them just think that I'm just in a practice room studying, which for the most time I was. But I didn't let them know exactly the conditions in which I was living.

SAGAL: We were told - I'm not surprised to hear this - that you were the star of Fresno dinner theater and that you played - I mean, just, like, the queen of that circuit, which everybody knows.

MCDONALD: It's a huge circuit.

SAGAL: It's huge. Yeah, I know. Once you - if you've played Fresno, what else is there to do?

MCDONALD: There's nothing. There's Fresno, and then Carnegie Hall. And that's it.

SAGAL: What kind of roles did you play as a child in the Fresno dinner theater?

MCDONALD: I played crazy roles. I played Eva in "Evita" when I was 16, which is...

SAGAL: You played Evita when you were 16?

MCDONALD: Yes, I did. Yeah, I - you know, I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't really understand the ins and outs of Eva Peron, but I played her the...

SAGAL: And when you were - when you're a 16-year-old young woman in Fresno, Calif., how do you process that?

MCDONALD: You know, ignorance is bliss. You know what you know, and you don't know what you don't know (laughter). I had a loud voice, and I had a lot of stage presence.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

MCDONALD: I have to tell you, though, that's when I first started learning about when you take home your characters with you.

SAGAL: Yeah.

MCDONALD: And I, for some reason, started to take home the character of Eva Peron. And so when I was in high school, I was getting very - I was getting very snotty with my teachers that - I think I was a junior in high school, and I was very snotty with them during that time.

SAGAL: Really?

MCDONALD: Yeah, and I think it's because I was playing Eva Peron at night. And so they'd be like, you know, where's your homework? I'm like, oh, I didn't have time to do that.

SAGAL: I'm Eva Peron. It's like, Audra, would you get away from the window? There are no crowds out there.


SAGAL: Just come back to math class.

MCDONALD: I've got work to do. Yeah, exactly.

JOBRANI: As a stage actor, have you ever been on stage and been like, oh, my God, I've done this a million times; I'm so bored? And then you start thinking about something else and have to find - has that ever happened to you, where you wandered out of the whole scene and you were somewhere else?

MCDONALD: Yes, it's happened to me. But for some reason, I'm going to tell you a story about when it happened to Zoe Caldwell, who was an incredible, incredible actress, a theatrical actress. And she won four Tony Awards, and I did masterclass with her - Terrence McNally's masterclass on Broadway in '95 and '96. And we were doing the show one night. And I said a line to her, and she just sort of paused and looked at me - like, more of a pause than usual - and then finally answered with the line. But there was just a really uncomfortable sort of silence that usually wasn't there. When we got off stage, I said, Zoe, what happened? She said, darling, I was thinking that I'm going to have pasta when I go home tonight.


MCDONALD: And she was trying to decide between, like, red sauce or white sauce. And then she realized, oh, right, I'm on stage (laughter). So I'm just - I'm saying that - why am I telling Zoe's story? I think because - just to say that it happens to all of us at some point. And if it happens to a great like Zoe, then I will feel less guilty about saying that, yes, that has happened to me, too.

CHEE: That's amazing. I will also say this whole time, I've been zoning out. I've no idea what you guys are talking about. I was thinking about...

SAGAL: Yeah, I know...

CHEE: ...What pasta I should have for dinner.

SAGAL: Well, Audra McDonald, it is an absolute honor to talk to you, but we have invited you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: Hey, McDonald, Try A Whopper.

SAGAL: That's right. You probably thought we were going to ask you about McDonald's restaurant, but we're not that dumb. No, we're going to ask you about Burger King. Answer three questions about the other fast-food burger place, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners - the voice of their choice on their voicemail. Bill, who is Audra McDonald playing for?

KURTIS: Steven Chen (ph) of Los Angeles, Calif.

SAGAL: All right, here we go. You ready for this?

MCDONALD: I'm super-ready. I know my Burger King.



SAGAL: OK. Well, then, let's see. All right. Burger Kings are popular worldwide. All of them are a little different than the ones you find in the States. For example, which of these is a real Burger King you can visit abroad - A, a Burger King in Amsterdam where you can buy their pot-infused burger, the Whimper (ph); B, a Burger King in Finland which features a fully functioning nude sauna - and, yes, you can buy your food and bring it in there - or C, a Burger King in Havana called the Burger Comrade, who serves the people?

MCDONALD: I'm going to go with A.

SAGAL: You're going to go with A, the Burger King in Amsterdam with a pot-infused burger.

MCDONALD: Yeah, because if not, there should be.

SAGAL: It was B, actually. It was the Burger King in Finland.


SAGAL: Yeah.

MCDONALD: Really? Why does anybody want to take a burger into a sauna?

CHEE: That's a really good point - just for extra bacteria on the side (laughter).

SAGAL: Well, it's Finland. They like saunas.

BURKE: But it's also great because then there's grill marks on both you and...


SAGAL: That's true. You match. All right. You've two more questions. Though it may seem shocking, actor Robert Downey Jr. credits Burger King with changing his life. How? A, he wasn't sure if it was smart to take the role of Iron Man, but he went to a Burger King and decided, yes, he could have things his way; B, in 2003, he ate a burger from Burger King that was so bad that it forced him to confront all his life choices to that point, leading him to finally get sober; or C, he applied to work at a Burger King at the age of 16, was turned down and in the depths of his disappointment, realized he'd have to settle for acting.

MCDONALD: Oh, these are all such good answers. I'm going to say all of the above.


SAGAL: No, it was B. He hit bottom eating a Burger King burger.

MCDONALD: Wow. OK, well, I don't consider eating Burger King rock bottom.


MCDONALD: But maybe I do it a little too much.

SAGAL: All right, last question. Burger King is known these days - I don't know primarily, but still - for their weirdly creepy mascot...


SAGAL: ...The Burger King, the guy with the mask. It's all very odd. But he is not the creepiest fast-food mascot ever. Which of these, at least in our opinion, is - the KFC cannibal chicken, the Arby's meat blob, or the Quiznos Spongmonkey?

MCDONALD: Those are all real things?

SAGAL: No, one of them is. Again, one of them is.


SAGAL: A was the KFC cannibal chicken.

MCDONALD: I know. All right, it's going to be - you know, I'm going to change my mind. It's C.

SAGAL: It's C. you're going to go for the Quiznos Spongmonkey. You're right.


SAGAL: Yes. It was the Quiznos Spongmonkey. Or it could have been Spongmonkey. We're not sure. It was weird. It was short-lived, but it was real.

MCDONALD: It's terrible. That's terrible.

CHEE: So strange.

BURKE: That sounds like the most entry-level job at Quiznos.

SAGAL: The Spongmonkey.


SAGAL: Oh, yeah, our CEO started as a Spongmonkey. And the next thing you know - Bill, how did Audra McDonald do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Even though she only got one right, it's impossible not to give her an award. We'll call her a winner.



SAGAL: Audra McDonald is an Emmy, Grammy and six-time Tony winner who will appear in HBO's "The Gilded Age," out next month. And she'll be back on Broadway soon. Audra McDonald, thank you so much for joining us on. WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MCDONALD: Thank you for having me. I had a ball. Thank you so much.

CHEE: Thank you.

SAGAL: See you soon. Bye-bye.



MCDONALD: (Singing) Ordinary mothers lead ordinary lives. Keep the house and sweep the parlor...

SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill takes us on our tour of his summer sausage home in the Listener Limerick Challenge. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us in 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 are playing this week with Maz Jobrani, Karen Chee and Adam Burke. And here is your host. Say what you will. I like him just the way he is. It's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. In just a minute, Bill gives his own tribute to Stephen Sond-rhyme (ph) in our Listener Limerick Challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924.

Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Adam, a woman had to hastily change the Facebook Marketplace post she put up trying to give away her old couch after realizing she had mistakenly posted a photo of what with the phrase, need gone today?

BURKE: Oh, was it, like, her - was it a family member? Was it...

SAGAL: It was. It was, in fact, her baby.


SAGAL: The woman somehow uploaded the wrong photos from her phone to Facebook. And instead of the couch, she posted a photo of her adorable 7-month-old son Oscar (ph) with that caption - need gone today. People immediately recognized, of course, it was just a mistake. Seven-months-old are adorable. Wait until he's 3. That's when you're like, need gone today.

BURKE: That could have been so much worse.

SAGAL: How so?

BURKE: Need gone today - some light wear and tear...


BURKE: ...Bit of a coffee stain on the back. I'll leave it in the alley. Pick it up on Saturday.

SAGAL: Or it could have been, like, need gone today - baby, never worn.


JOBRANI: I think that's what you do with your teenagers. You put them out on the curb till somebody picks them up.

SAGAL: Who would ever pick them up?

CHEE: Yeah.

SAGAL: I think you have to...

JOBRANI: Nobody.

SAGAL: ...Pay a service to come and get them.

JOBRANI: Can you recycle those?

SAGAL: I don't think so.

CHEE: No, I think that's true. I feel like it's - like, college applications, I always think, should be done by the parents, where it's like, please just take my child.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

BURKE: See, I think our couch is a teenager. It just kind of lies around in the living room and smells weird.


SAGAL: Maz, some exciting news from the world of birds - albatrosses, those giant seabirds, for the first time ever are being observed in nature doing what?

JOBRANI: They're on TikTok.

CHEE: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: They have their own accounts. They're doing TikTok dances.



JOBRANI: Albatross dance?

SAGAL: Yeah, no.

JOBRANI: Well, give me a hint.

SAGAL: I'll give you a hint. It just goes to show you, no matter what species you are, always get a prenup.

JOBRANI: Oh, they're getting married.

SAGAL: No - the other thing.

JOBRANI: And divorced?


SAGAL: They're getting divorced, yes. Albatrosses typically mate for life, but apparently some are now wondering if their friends were right and they had settled down too early. Warming temperatures are making it harder to raise chicks, which typically cements the bond between a pair of albatrosses. And without a child to raise, most albatrosses realize that they have literally nothing else to talk about.

JOBRANI: And you know what happened? It was during the lockdown the albatrosses had to spend a lot of time with each other.

SAGAL: Stuck in with each other. Oh, my God. Yeah.

JOBRANI: They finally got to know each other. And they're like, yeah, I don't...

SAGAL: The worst.

JOBRANI: I'm probably not into you (laughter).

SAGAL: Wouldn't it be weird when, like, a bird gets divorced and starts dating again, and everybody's like, oh, wow, did you see how young his new girlfriend is? He literally has to chew up food and regurgitate it into her mouth.


JOBRANI: Who's he dating? Some chick.


BURKE: Yeah. That must be hard when you break up with an albatross. It's like, I don't know. You're just, like, something around my neck.


BURKE: I can't put my finger on it. It's just...

CHEE: An albatross, like, on a dating app is like, I'm looking for someone to be the wind beneath my wings.


TAYLOR SWIFT: (Singing) This time, I'm telling you, I'm telling you, we are never, ever, ever getting back together. We are never, ever, ever getting back together. You go talk to your friends talk to my friends...

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. That's And we're back doing live shows in front of real people once a month at the Harris Theatre in Chicago January 6 and February 3. Tickets are on sale soon. For more information, go to

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

ERIN: Hi. This is Erin (ph). I'm from Santa Monica. I'm so excited to be on the show.

SAGAL: Hi, Erin. I'm so excited to have you.

ERIN: Yay.

SAGAL: Yay. This is a great moment for all of us. What do you do in Santa Monica, a place I've spent many a happy day?

ERIN: I am a student at Cal State Northridge, and I also am a server at the oldest bar in Santa Monica, called the Galley.

SAGAL: I have been to the Galley, though not recently.

ERIN: Have you?

SAGAL: I have. Are people treating you decently now that they're back? Are they - they're grateful, or are they just obnoxious, as we have heard about, like, say, on airplanes?

ERIN: It's kind of - it's not that bad from what I've seen on the news, but it is hit or miss, kind of like it was before, you know? It's always kind of been hit or miss in that business.

SAGAL: Yeah. Well, you know. Well, welcome to the show, Erin. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly in just two of them, you'll be a winner. You know how this goes. We've been doing it for a while. Here is your first limerick.

KURTIS: This social drink is a game-changer. The unknown isn't always a danger. 'Cause we have just met, being open's no threat, so I'm spilling my soul to a...

ERIN: Stranger.

SAGAL: A stranger, yes.


SAGAL: According to a new study by psychologists at the University of Chicago, not only is having a meaningful conversation with a stranger not as awkward as we worry it will be, it gives us a sense of connection. So next time, ask why do you come here often?


JOBRANI: I hate conversations on the airplane when they start talking to me. I'm not into it at all.

SAGAL: Right. Well, that's a particularly unpleasant situation, and I don't know if they made them do that. What they did is they asked people, well, we're going to put you in a room with a stranger. How do you feel about that? And they said, oh, I feel this bad about it. And then they told them to have conversations about shallow and deep topics, and they found out that, first of all, the conversations weren't as anxiety-producing as they worried they'd be and that people who had deeper conversations with strangers enjoyed the experience more. So Maz, maybe the problem is you. Maybe you need to open up.


JOBRANI: The next person I meet on a plane, I'm going to be like, I have problems talking to people, and I'm a horrible human being, and I hope you can solve my problem by the time we land. Go.

SAGAL: Right. Exactly. All right. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: A Christmas charcuterie treat - the T-bone frame looks kind of neat. The fairy tale witch has made an odd switch, a gingerbread house made of...

ERIN: Meat?


SAGAL: Yes. In what, now that I think of it, could be an elaborate prank, Martha Stewart Living and other trend-spotters are telling us that instead of gingerbread houses, this year, the hot thing to build and put next to your Christmas tree are meat houses made of cold cuts and charcuterie 'cause nothing says happy holidays like a greasy little cabin made of pork. Now when somebody says, hey, your house has good bones, you can believe them.


SAGAL: So these little crafty houses feature meat-based roofs, cracker walls held together with goat cheese. That over there - don't eat it. That's a load-bearing sausage.

JOBRANI: Wait. You build the house with meat, and you leave it out?

SAGAL: Yeah. Yeah. You sort of leave it out, as - I don't know if you leave it out for, like, a week in the way that you would with a gingerbread house, but, like, you do it for, like, say, a party. You'd make a little meat house. And people would come over, and they'd be like, oh, how lovely. You have built a little house out of flesh. That's disgusting. I need to go home. That's pretty much...

BURKE: So now when people talk about flipping houses, they just mean cooking the other side.

CHEE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Exactly.

CHEE: Adam, you're on a roll - a sausage roll.


SAGAL: All right. Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: Now that concerts once more are a thing, a mask and a light stick I'll bring. But it won't be a source of making me hoarse. I'm forbidden to shout, cheer or...

ERIN: Sing.

SAGAL: Sing, yes.


SAGAL: Singing along at concerts, of course, is the best way to show everyone that you know the first verse and the chorus of a song. But as live events return to South Korea, concerts with more than 500 attendees have a strict no-singing policy. We hope this rule does not apply to bands with more than 500 members because then BTS will be out of a job. This rule is meant to mitigate the spread of particles - obviously, aerosol particles - but also mitigate the spread of only hearing the guy behind you sing "Born In The USA" when you paid a lot of money to hear Bruce sing it.

BURKE: I'm 100% on board.

CHEE: No singing allowed.

SAGAL: Just like everybody says we don't have to - we shouldn't ever have to shake hands anymore after the pandemic, nobody should ever be allowed to sing along at concerts anymore ever.

JOBRANI: I've been the guy at the concert singing several times, and I've had the person in front of me kind of look back and give me the look. And I've been like, I don't know what - I mean, I'll just turn my volume down just a little bit. But I want to sing. I want to sing along, but I guess they don't want me to.

BURKE: Maz, Maz, he's looking at you 'cause he's going, oh, you wouldn't talk to me on the plane, but this you can do?


SAGAL: This - although when you think about it, there are performers who love this, and it might freak them out. Like, Dave Grohl on stage points his mic at the crowd and goes, I can't hear you. No, seriously, I can't hear you. Why is no one singing? Is this some kind of new policy I wasn't told about? It can be disorienting. Bill, how did Erin do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Erin did perfectly - three and oh. Feel good, Erin.


SAGAL: Congratulations, Erin, and if I ever get to Southern California soon, I will definitely stop by and say hello.

ERIN: I would be thrilled.

SAGAL: All right.

ERIN: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Thank you so much, Erin. Take care.

ERIN: Thanks. Bye.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Silent night, holy night. All is calm.

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

KURTIS: Sure can. Maz has two. Karen has three. And Adam has three.

SAGAL: All right.


SAGAL: So that means that, Maz, you are up first. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, former Trump chief of staff blank revealed he was cooperating with the January 6 Committee.

JOBRANI: Mark Meadows.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Monday, Sweden reelected that nation's first female blank.

JOBRANI: Prime minister.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, it was reported that Donald Trump tested positive for blank before the first 2020 debate.

JOBRANI: Coronavirus.



SAGAL: On Monday, the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, associate of blank, began in New York.

JOBRANI: Of Epstein.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a man in Germany was charged with operating a vehicle without a license when he was caught driving a car to blank.


SAGAL: Right. To the driver's test.


SAGAL: Following the release of her new album "30," singer blank has announced a Las Vegas residency.




SAGAL: During a brawl in the stands of a hockey game...


SAGAL: ...In Vegas this week, a woman blanked.

JOBRANI: During a brawl in Vegas, a woman - she bet on it.

SAGAL: No, she took off her prosthetic leg and started beating people with it.

CHEE: Oh, my God.

JOBRANI: That's hilarious.


SAGAL: The fight broke out at the Golden Knights hockey game in Vegas, and the woman clearly decided that instead of going into the fight empty-handed, she go in empty-legged. She's claiming someone else started the fight. But let's face it - she does not have a leg to stand on.

BURKE: I love that's the only thing that could make hockey fans go, whoa, whoa, whoa.

SAGAL: Whoa, wait a minute. Wait a minute.


SAGAL: That's a little much. Bill, how did Maz do on our quiz?

KURTIS: He had six right for 12 more points. He now has 14, and that gives him the lead.


SAGAL: All right. I'm going to arbitrarily choose Karen to go next. So, Karen, you're going next. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, the FDA approved Merck's new blank treatment.




SAGAL: On Wednesday, Stacey Abrams announced she was running for governor of blank.

CHEE: Georgia.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard opening arguments in a case that challenges blank.

CHEE: Roe v. Wade.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a woman on a Delta flight was reprimanded by flight attendants after she was caught blanking.

CHEE: Smoking?

SAGAL: Breastfeeding her cat.

CHEE: Oh, my God.


SAGAL: Over concerns of the well-being of Peng Shuai, the Women's Tennis Association suspended all tournaments in blank.

CHEE: In China.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Following recovery from his car crash, golfer blank said he may never return to top-level play.

CHEE: Tiger Woods.



SAGAL: After a fire broke out at a nursing home in South Carolina, staffers are advising residents...


SAGAL: ...To please not blank.

CHEE: Smoke?

SAGAL: No, to please not store their ammunition in the toaster oven. Good news is everybody's fine. The bad news is...

CHEE: What?

SAGAL: ...That grandma's bullet casserole is now way overcooked.


CHEE: What?

SAGAL: No one is sure how the bullets got in there in the first place. But somewhere else in South Carolina, somebody strode confidently into a gunfight, not knowing his Glock was loaded with Pop-Tarts.


CHEE: That's actually an amazing idea for a gun.


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

KURTIS: Karen had five right for 10 more points. She now has 13, but Maz still has the lead with 14.


SAGAL: All right. So how many then does Mr. Adam Burke need to win?

KURTIS: He needs six to win.

SAGAL: All right, Adam, this is for the game. Fill in the blank. On Monday, Jack Dorsey announced he was stepping down as CEO of blank.

BURKE: Twitter.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: As fallout to his brother's sexual harassment scandal, CNN host blank was suspended indefinitely.

BURKE: Chris Cuomo.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clarke was held in contempt by the committee investigating blank.

BURKE: The January 6 insurrection.



SAGAL: On Monday, federal labor officials called for a new union vote for blank's warehouse workers.

BURKE: Amazon.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a FedEx driver failed to make his scheduled deliveries when he instead made six trips into the woods to blank.

BURKE: Work for Amazon.

SAGAL: No, he dumped all his packages in a ravine.

On Wednesday, the controlling owners of sports league blank cut off collective bargaining talks with players.


SAGAL: Right. Major League Baseball.


SAGAL: After Brendan Lemieux's hockey game on Tuesday...


SAGAL: ...He and his father, Claude, became the first-ever father-son duo to both blank in the NHL.

BURKE: Get knocked out by a prosthetic leg.


SAGAL: No, they were the first father-son duo to both be suspended for biting another player.

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Brendan Lemieux is facing a five-game suspension and a $40,000 fine for biting another player during a game, just like his father did back in 1986.

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: This marks the first father-son biting duo in the NHL, but that's only because most hockey players have to settle for gumming their opponents.

BURKE: (Laughter).

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

KURTIS: Well, he had five right for 10 more points. He got a total of 13. But that means Maz's 14 is the work of a champion.

SAGAL: Whoa, Maz.


SAGAL: Now, panel, what deleted scene will we see from the Beatles documentary? Maz Jobrani.

JOBRANI: Every scene the fifth Beatle was in.


SAGAL: Karen Chee.

CHEE: In the deleted scenes, we realize that Ringo's actually over 7 feet tall, so he's always just a little bit out of frame.


SAGAL: And Adam Burke.

BURKE: A deleted scene featuring John forcing his bandmates to do a table read of his new sitcom about him moving back in with his estranged father called "When Life Gives You Lemons."


KURTIS: Well, if we see any of those scenes, we'll ask you about it on WAIT, WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Maz Jobrani, Karen Chee and Adam Burke. And thanks to all of you for listening. I'm Peter Sagal, and we'll see you next week. This is NPR.

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