Woody Hoburg plays Not My Job on NPR's 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' Woody Hoburg is one of NASA's newest astronauts, and in contention to be part of the team that goes back to the moon. So, we've invited him on to answer three questions about Dancing with the Stars.

'Wait Wait' for Jan. 8, 2022: With Not My Job guest astronaut Woody Hoburg

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz.

Look at my downward dog. I'm flexi-Bill (ph) - Bill Kurtis.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: And here's your host, a man whose New Year's resolution was to tell jokes about the news - way to set a low bar, dude. It's Peter Sagal.

(CHEERING)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill. And thank you, Ellen and Bob. Yeah. It's been two years. I've given members of our fake audience names, OK?

Later on, we're going to be talking to Woody Hoburg, one of the astronauts training right now for Artemis. To clarify, that is a mission to the moon, not a new variant.

We want to know what you're training for. So give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924.

Let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!

ERIC: Hi, Peter. This is Eric (ph) calling from Arlington, Va.

SAGAL: Hey, Eric there in Arlington. How are you? Are you surviving with all the snow?

ERIC: Yeah. Well, we've been snowed in for a few days. Kids are all out of school. And on, you know, the plus side everything is going well. We haven't had a Capitol insurrection this year yet - so pretty good week.

SAGAL: That's good. Yeah. Yeah. I would guess that you guys in Northern Virginia are not used to all that snow. Am I right? It's not a thing that normally happens.

ERIC: This has been the first kind of significant wet snow that we've had in...

SAGAL: Right.

ERIC: ...A few years.

SAGAL: Well, that's great. So it means that you still have the pleasure of telling your kids that it was much worse when you were a kid, and you liked it.

ERIC: Absolutely.

SAGAL: Well, Eric, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week.

First, one of the hosts of the "We Fixed It!" standup show - you can see it at Caveat in New York City on the 28 of January. It's Peter Grosz.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

PETER GROSZ: Hello.

ERIC: Hi, Peter.

SAGAL: Next, it's a feature writer for the "Style" section of The Washington Post. It's Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Happy New Year, Eric.

ERIC: Happy New Year, Roxanne.

SAGAL: And a comedian you can see January 21 and 22 at the Grand Comedy Club in Escondido, Calif. It's Alonzo Bodden.

ALONZO BODDEN: Hello. How are you?

ERIC: I'm doing well. Hi.

SAGAL: So, Eric, you are our first 2022 player of Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize, any voice from our show you may choose in your voicemail. You ready to go?

ERIC: Let's do it.

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

KURTIS: "To watch Biden speaking is very hurtful to many people."

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That was former President Trump apparently feeling quite hurt while watching the current president speaking Tuesday about the anniversary of what?

ERIC: The Capitol insurrection.

SAGAL: The Capitol insurrection, January 6.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: The nation commemorated with the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection with solemn speeches by Democrats and, of course, everyone in Congress exchanging gifts. Traditionally, the first anniversary of a coup attempt is the pipe bomb anniversary. No. We anticipate, based on what happened this week, this becoming an annual tradition eventually, with lots of bargains at the Macy's insurrection day sale and all the kids waiting for Riot Claus to break a window and storm inside with presents.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Well, it's a holiday that we like to call white people done gone crazy.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: That is what happened.

SAGAL: Alonzo, as we used to say to our children when they asked us, you know, when children's day was, don't you - isn't it like - isn't every day white people gone crazy day?

BODDEN: That is true, but this time, it was endorsed by the government, so it's a little bit - it's sanctioned white people crazy day. Yeah. You know, we don't stop the teaching of critical white people done gone crazy theory. We go ahead and teach that - I don't know. I don't know.

SAGAL: The speech, though - that is President Biden's speech - it was particularly ornery. I mean, at one point, the president talked about rioters who, quote, "literally defecated in the hallways," unquote, which is the first time that has been brought up in a presidential speech since Lincoln's evacuation proclamation.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Well the reason he was hurt is because by never said the name Trump. I mean, that had to kill him more than anything the fact that he wasn't named.

ROBERTS: Yes, because every time they say his name, an insurrectionist gets his wings horn.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Horns. An insurrectionist gets his horns.

GROSZ: It's also funny that everybody is saying the former president instead of Trump. And it would be great if all of his properties were misnamed like the Former President Tower.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: All those. But, like...

BODDEN: The former president's golf course.

GROSZ: Yeah.

ROBERTS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. Very good. Eric, here is your next quote.

KURTIS: I had to get out of my car and use the restroom in the middle of the road at 4:00 a.m.

SAGAL: That was someone in Virginia - not far from you - talking about an unexpected side effect of being overnight where?

ERIC: On I-95 north around Stafford, Va.

SAGAL: All right. But in order to get a point, you need to get me the mile marker. Come on. No. You're right, of course. He was stuck in one of the largest and longest-lasting traffic jams we have ever seen. Hundreds of cars were trapped for more than 24 hours on I-95 in Virginia after a freak snowstorm. Authorities were criticized for failing to rescue anyone from the freezing temperatures. The only federal response was to tell the drivers Just pretend you're in line for COVID testing. People have wondered how this could happen in this day and age. Well, 2 miles up the road, that giant container ship Ever Given had become wedged sideways on I-95.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: Oh, my God. I forgot about that.

SAGAL: There it is again.

GROSZ: I forgot about that.

SAGAL: I mean, fortunately, nobody died or anything. There were no medical emergencies that we know of. But can you imagine 24 hours stuck in your car? No way to get food or water. And no restrooms. Like, there is no crime bad enough to be sentenced to be in the work crew cleaning up that highway shoulder tomorrow.

ROBERTS: I will say this is that there was at one point a appeal to the news helicopters to back off because people were embarrassed about being caught going to the bathroom in this - in the snow drifts. They didn't they didn't want anyone to see them do that, which I can sympathize with.

GROSZ: But that was the news story. That's what they were there to...

SAGAL: That's all they had, man.

GROSZ: Pooping in the snow drifts - tonight.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Can I just say here in LA, we could do a 24-hour traffic jam with no snow and no cold. We just call it Thursday. All right. It is what we do here.

SAGAL: It is true that these people didn't seem used to it. They did panic. One guy said he had to - the only way he survived was by cutting a Fiat open to sleep inside it.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

ROBERTS: There were some good things. There was a bread truck.

SAGAL: Yes.

ROBERTS: And the driver passed out rolls and bread to cars.

GROSZ: Oh, and then everybody, like, peed on the rolls and stuff.

ROBERTS: No.

SAGAL: Yeah, exactly. They ate the rolls There's no toilet paper here.

ROBERTS: And there was a family coming from Florida. And they had a whole bunch of oranges in their car. And they gave oranges to various people around them, including Senator Tim Kaine, who was caught in this for 28 hours, I think.

SAGAL: Right.

GROSZ: And how did the government function without Tim Kaine?

ROBERTS: (Laughter).

BODDEN: There was a guy trapped in an Uber...

SAGAL: That's true.

BODDEN: ...That was sent a bill for $700. But they did take it off. They did.

GROSZ: They knocked it down to six.

BODDEN: Yeah. Yeah. That's how cold it was. Uber found a heart. That's how bad.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. Eric, your last quote is a little different for us. It's from the feel-good story of the week.

KURTIS: "She said, the mole on your neck is cancer. I kind of just shrugged."

SAGAL: Now, that was a man describing his initial reaction of being told that his mole might be cancer. His mole was spotted by a fan in the stands where?

ERIC: Oh. I saw this - an NHL game.

SAGAL: In a hockey game. Exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

ERIC: Yeah.

SAGAL: It's a heartwarming story. It's about an act of caring followed by an act of gratitude. And it shows us all why you should never hesitate to comment on the appearance of a complete stranger. So at this NHL game in Seattle, this premed student in the stands named Nadia Popovici, she just couldn't take her eyes off the back of the neck of the assistant equipment manager for the Vancouver Canucks, a man named Brian Hamilton. It does sound odd, but who can blame her? She was at a hockey game. She had to amuse herself somehow.

So she was staring at this mole in the back of his neck. And she wrote a note in her phone. She held it up. It said, please go get your mole checked. It might be cancerous. And he did, because why not? And it was cancer. And it was found in time and removed. So he's grateful. She's thrilled. And the mole is like, damn it. Foiled again. So this got publicized, of course. And the team, the Canucks, in honor of her very good deed, gave her a $10,000 scholarship to medical school, which means her first day and a half are all paid for.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: Exactly. It should be said that the guy responded like a normal person would respond in the beginning when the first time she held up the message, he looked at it and he just walked away. He blew her off completely. It was kind of like, who is this crazy person?

GROSZ: Yeah. He was like, if you want to ask me out, I mean, ask me out. Don't give me this more business.

SAGAL: Yeah. Exactly. I'm taken.

BODDEN: I'm just thinking, wow, somebody has even worse health insurance than me. You have to get diagnosed by random people at a hockey game. My - I thought my coverage was bad with these Zoom visits. But...

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

KURTIS: Trifecta for Eric. Three in a row means he wins.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Congratulations. Well done, Eric.

ERIC: Thank you. Thank you. This has been a lot of fun.

SAGAL: Take care. Bye-bye.

ERIC: Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SAGAL: Right now, panel, it is time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Peter, soon, doctors in Britain's National Health Service could be prescribing the services of whom to help treat their patients?

GROSZ: Women at hockey games.

SAGAL: That would be wise. It worked for one guy. But that's not what they're planning - yet.

GROSZ: God, doctors from the European Union 'cause they don't have enough doctors. They have to import doctors.

SAGAL: No. I'll give you a hint. (Clearing throat) Boy, a funny thing happened to me on the way to the ER, you know? Man, hospital food - am I right?

GROSZ: They're going to prescribe comedians...

SAGAL: Exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

GROSZ: ...'Cause laughter is the best medicine?

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Pretty much. They're going to prescribe the use of comedians. You've heard, of course, laughter is the best medicine, even if that's a lie. Xanax is. But under a pilot program, doctors in the U.K. could soon begin prescribing online comedy workshops to patients in the hope that it might finally bring a beginning to their suffering.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Just the idea of doing Zoom comedy shows is all about depression. So I don't know how this is going to help these poor people, but let's see.

GROSZ: Maybe it's they see that the comedians are so depressed that they're like, my life's not that bad. (Laughter) At least I don't have to be a show - a comedian (ph).

BODDEN: I think that's the only thing they're going to get. They're going to get comedians and be like, wow, I thought I had it bad, but this life is bad.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SAGAL: Coming up, see if you can get past the bouncer and make it to 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 Alonzo Bodden, Roxanne Roberts and Peter Grosz. And here again is your host, a man who has agreed to go by a different name from now on to avoid confusion with Peter Grosz. It's Bert Sagal (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

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.

LINDSAY RESNICK: Hi. This is Lindsay Resnick calling from Atlanta, Ga.

SAGAL: OK, Lindsay, what do you do there?

RESNICK: I'm an archivist at a museum.

SAGAL: An archivist. Wait a minute. So that's cool. Are you the one who, like, makes sure people put on the cotton gloves and don't get fingerprints on the documents?

RESNICK: We actually only do that with photographs. In our - at least at our museum, we are - you are allowed to touch the documents, but not the photographs. So they have to wear the cotton gloves with the photographs.

SAGAL: Does it ever bother you to think that, like, some - a hundred years in the future, you know, they will be - some archivists will be like, and this is the obscene photograph sent by the congressman to his lover, ending his career?

GROSZ: (Laughter) Gravitas (ph), yeah.

SAGAL: You know, we just don't have the same kind of documents we used to have - yeah - you know?

RESNICK: I've definitely thought about it and wondered, will my very dumb text show up in somebody's archive in the future?

SAGAL: Oh, God. Yes. Well, Lindsay, it is great to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you must tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Lindsay's topic?

KURTIS: Well, Bert, it's everybody dance now.

SAGAL: Dance clubs evolved out of the stand-completely-still clubs that were popular when I was younger, and now they are evolving again. Our panelists are going to tell you about something new in the world of clubbing. 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?

RESNICK: Yes.

SAGAL: All right then. Let's start with Alonzo Bodden.

BODDEN: Let's face it. Clubs are the last place to find true love. Instead, you get fake names, fake numbers, lies about jobs, wives, husbands, kids. But now, if you're not sure your new friend is being honest, you can dance them over to the Truth Booth. This new attraction at Club Neo in downtown Portland may look like a photo booth, but the Truth Booth uses body temperature, eye movement and some proprietary science to detect truth or, more importantly, lies. The booth judges the answers and gives you a green light for go or a red light for, girlfriend, please. What a great way to find creepers, said Tara Elizabeth Murphy, a club goer. So many cute guys, but you can't trust a pretty face.

It's not a perfect science, says developer Arun Sharma, but maintains it might save some people from bad judgment in a hot moment. Quote, "right now we're just testing it at Neo but soon hope to have it in clubs across the country, as well as anywhere else people hit on other people, such as coffee shops, grocery stores, COVID test center lines - well, I guess anywhere."

SAGAL: The Truth Booth in a nightclub in Portland helps you find out if that hot person you just met on the floor is telling you the truth. Your next story of a Dance Dance Revolution comes from Roxanne Roberts.

ROBERTS: Last summer, the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, part of the San Diego Zoo's Global Hawai'i Endangered Bird Conservation Program, held a dance fundraiser for about 500 donors. The center transformed into an open-air nightclub, complete with DJ, disco ball and a flashing laser show. While the crowd had a great time, no one had a better time than George, an awkward whooping crane who really never hit it off with the lady cranes. George, whose crane enclosure was closest to the DJ booth, spent the night bobbing and dancing to Dua Lipa and Bicep, but his keepers were stunned by the reaction of the nine female cranes who surrounded George for what onlookers describe as a, quote, "dance crane orgy." George successfully mated that night and is now the proud father of seven baby cranes. The pop-up nightclub, renamed Lucky George, is now a monthly event that has produced 17, quote, "disco babies" for the center and the attention of conservationists all over the world.

SAGAL: A nightclub in Hawaii becomes a whooping crane mating frenzy. And your last story of what's current in clubs comes from Peter Grosz.

GROSZ: Young people today are wild and crazy. They love drinking, dancing, partying till the sun comes up and creating a responsible, sustainable future for the planet. That's why SWG3, an arts center and dance club in Glasgow, Scotland, has teamed up with a geothermal energy consultant to create a renewable heating and cooling system powered by harnessing the body heat of gyrating dancers. The more movement, the more energy created. So if you really want to save the planet, it's cocaine for all my friends.

The system works by taking the heat of dancers, transferring it through 12 boreholes that go 500 feet underground and basically turn a large cube of underground rock into a thermal battery, storing the energy that gets used later on back up in the club - which means that a typical pickup line will change from, girl, your body's so hot to, girl, your body heat is fueling an underground thermal battery that is being used to sustainably cool down this dance floor.

If harnessing the power of human gyration works, we could soon see countries all over the world hosting energy-generating dance marathons, while the nation of Colombia has promised they will switch to an all-Shakira-based energy system.

SAGAL: All right, here are three stories of what's new in the club. Is the true one, from Alonzo, the Truth Booth, a new feature that allows you to instantly figure out if your new friend on the floor is telling the truth about themselves; from Roxanne, a pop-up nightclub turns out to be just the thing to put endangered whooping cranes in the mood in Hawaii; or, from Peter Grosz, a nightclub that has actually figured out how to use the energy generated by dancers to power the club? Which of these is the real story of innovation in nightlife?

RESNICK: I think it's Peter's story.

SAGAL: You think it's Peter Grosz's story about the club that's actually using the energy of the dancers. Well, to bring you the real story, we spoke to the person in charge of the real club.

ANDREW FLEMING-BROWN: Bodyheat is the idea of capturing heat from bodies in a club, and that heat recharges the borehole thermal battery.

SAGAL: That was Andrew Fleming-Brown, founder and managing director of SWG3, that venue that is turning body heat into energy. Congratulations. You knew right away it was Peter...

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: ...Telling the truth. You earned a point for him. And you have, in fact, won our game, meaning you get the voice of anyone you might like on your voicemail. Congratulations.

RESNICK: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye, Lindsay. Thank you so much for playing.

RESNICK: Take care.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT IN HERE")

NELLY: (Singing) I said, it's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.

SAGAL: And now the game where people who are destined for greatness first experience something else. You might have missed this with all those good shows on Netflix, but NASA is planning to send people back to the moon only two years from now with the Artemis mission. And one of the astronauts on it might well be Woody Hoburg, one of the latest to complete astronaut training. We are delighted to welcome him just so we can workshop some cool things for him to say when he lands on the moon.

Woody Hoburg, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

WOODY HOBURG: Thanks, Peter. It's a true honor to be here.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: It's an honor to have you, sir. I guess I got to ask first what your current status is. Are you an astronaut? Are you an astronaut graduate? Are you a junior spaceman, first class? What's your rank?

HOBURG: It's a great question. My class, the Turtles, the class of 2017, spent two years training to change our title from astronaut candidates to astronaut. So we are now all astronauts.

SAGAL: Right. So you are an astronaut, even though - and, again, correct me if I'm wrong - you have not yet, like, gone to space.

HOBURG: That is correct, yes. I do have my first assignment, but I haven't flown yet.

SAGAL: OK. That's cool. We were looking into your background, and it seems, like, comically appropriate for someone who was going to be an astronaut. So for example, your hobby as a child was building giant rockets.

HOBURG: Yes. I started with the little Estes model rocket kits that my parents bought me. I built lots of those and then just started building bigger and bigger rockets through something called the Tripoli Rocketry Association. And, yeah, after a while, they were 21 feet tall with homemade electronics and all sorts of geekery (ph). And I think it only made sense to me in hindsight that that actually did set me up well to be an astronaut.

SAGAL: And you didn't send your application - because I know many, many, many, many people apply. Very few get accepted. You didn't send your application in the nose of that, like, homemade rocket? That would have been impressive.

(LAUGHTER)

HOBURG: It turns out applying is actually a surprisingly boring process initially. It's done on usajobs.gov.

SAGAL: Really?

HOBURG: That's true. Yes.

SAGAL: You have to go in through a website to be an astronaut?

HOBURG: That is correct.

SAGAL: That does seem a little mundane, you know?

HOBURG: (Laughter).

GROSZ: If you click the wrong button, do you end up being, like, a - I don't know - like, a postal worker or some other, like, boring federal job or something?

SAGAL: I always assumed it was like you get invited to a secret base like in "Men In Black."

ROBERTS: All right. I have a question, Woody. In the beginning of the program, everybody was a pilot. Are you - do you fly, or is that not a requirement anymore?

HOBURG: That is not a requirement anymore. I - it happened to be that I was a civilian pilot when I got selected, so I did come in with that background. But that is not a requirement. The diversity of backgrounds is enormous. So we still hire test pilots. That's an incredibly important part of our astronaut corps. But we also hire people that have zero flight experience.

GROSZ: Like comedians or - any comedians who are just, like - think it would be super cool?

ROBERTS: (Laughter) The ones that aren't afraid of heights.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: Yeah, not afraid of heights. Yeah.

SAGAL: So let's talk about Artemis. This is the mission to which you are assigned. And I actually was stunned to find this out - that, in fact, NASA is planning to send people to the moon in two years from now, which doesn't seem very long at my age.

HOBURG: It's not far away at all. And, in fact, Artemis 1 - that'll be an uncrewed mission for Artemis 1, but it's going to go out around the moon...

SAGAL: Wow.

HOBURG: ...And come back. And then Artemis 2, the first flight with crew onboard, will be just a couple of years later.

SAGAL: Have you thought about what you're going to say when you land?

HOBURG: I have not thought about that at all. That is so far beyond my planning horizon.

GROSZ: I would land and go, oh, the moon. No, no, no, no. No, I didn't want to do this.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So before you go to the moon, I understand you're going to go to the - up to the ISS, right?

HOBURG: Yes.

SAGAL: We understand that astronauts - this is another thing that we have learned from movies - that astronauts are allowed to bring when they go up to the space station one personal item.

HOBURG: Yes. There are some approvals. You're constrained in mass and volume on things you can bring, and - for example, you can't bring anything flammable. But within some constraints, yes, you do get to bring some personal items on board.

SAGAL: (Laughter) I was just thinking of an astronaut saying, no, I wanted to bring my lucky can of gasoline. What do you mean?

HOBURG: Right (laughter).

SAGAL: It's been with me throughout training, this can of gasoline. What are you going to bring, Woody?

HOBURG: I don't know. I'll have to think about it. I actually - I'm inspired by my colleague Don Pettit, who chose - as a through-and-through scientist, he chose to do away with all sort of personal items and instead fly little science experiments that he was excited to work on.

SAGAL: Well, what a suck-up. I am sorry.

HOBURG: I mean, I think that's just the high - that's, like, the highest bar you could possibly strive for, and I will see what I can do.

SAGAL: How competitive are you guys? - because you know you're going to the space station. You don't know who's going to crew Artemis yet, and you certainly don't know who might be selected five, 10, 15 years down the line for the first mission to Mars. But are you thinking about it? Are you thinking things like, whoa, I better bring science experiments instead of one of my teddy bears? That'll look good.

HOBURG: Oh, I actually don't think that looks good. That just looks really nerdy. So I'm not sure if that helps me at all.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, I got to say, especially after last few years, I'm very glad that we have people of your caliber involved in our government programs. But at the same time, it's kind of tragic that what do we do with you is we send you off the planet. But, Woody Hoburg, it's real interesting to talk to you about being an astronaut, but we have, in fact, asked you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: Dance With These Stars.

SAGAL: So you are going to dance with the stars, as it were, so we thought we'd ask you about "Dancing With The Stars," the most successful international reality show ever. Answer two out of three questions about the show, you will win our prize for one of our listeners, the voice of anyone they might choose on their voicemail. Bill, who is Woody Hoburg playing for?

SAGAL: Mary Collins (ph) of St. Louis, Mo.

HOBURG: Mary, I'm sorry in advance.

SAGAL: Well, wait a minute. You're an astronaut. You've succeeded on all these difficult things we've discussed. You got through astronaut training. You're going to space. My guess is, is that you have a level of confidence that you bring to every task.

HOBURG: When it comes to dance, I'm not sure that I bring the same confidence. But I'm excited. I can't wait to play.

SAGAL: All right. Here we go. So here's your first question. There are 60 different versions of the show on TV around the world, and there are some key differences between them. For example, the Argentinean version of "Dancing With The Stars" has what twist? A, the only dances allowed are tango, more tango, tango, tango, tango, and 2 Tango 2 Furious (ph), B, the very popular dressing room cam segment, or, C, the strip dance.

HOBURG: Wow. I guess I'll have to go with the tango.

SAGAL: You're going to go - so you - the only dance segments - because every - you know, every series has different dances. And you're - the only dances they allow in the Argentinean version are tango, more tango, tango, tango, tango, and 2 Tango 2 Furious.

HOBURG: OK. I'll go with the dressing room segment.

SAGAL: You're going to go...

HOBURG: That seems more plausible.

SAGAL: OK. No. In fact, the answer...

HOBURG: There we go. You talked me out of it.

SAGAL: I did talk you out of it, but not enough because the real answer is strip dance. That is a thing that they do, and it's exactly what it sounds like. So if you think the American version is too boring, try to watch the Argentinean one.

All right. You still two more chances here, right? We'll built in redundancy like they do in the spaceships, so there's no problem here. Next question - "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson occupies a unique position in "Dancing With The Stars" history. What is it? A, she has managed to lose the competition on three different countries' additions of the show, B, her audition tape was stolen from her home and put on the internet, or, C, she used her "Baywatch" lifeguard skills to resuscitate Sean Spicer after he passed out during the tap dance segment.

HOBURG: OK. There's no way that it was Sean Spicer.

SAGAL: All right.

HOBURG: (Laughter) The stolen tape sounds most plausible to me.

SAGAL: Do you know why that sounds plausible to you?

HOBURG: No.

SAGAL: I mean, have you - you don't know why that...

GROSZ: I don't know if he's old enough to...

SAGAL: You may not...

ROBERTS: That might be true. Does - you think he's old enough to remember that "Baywatch" was a hit around the world?

HOBURG: OK. Well, so it's clearly A. But you guys are just helping me with every answer. It's A.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, yes.

ROBERTS: Mission Control WAIT WAIT (laughter).

SAGAL: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yes, the answer is A.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: She has managed to lose on three different countries' editions of the show, which would be the U.S., Argentina and France. Do you even know who Pamela Anderson is, Woody?

HOBURG: Yes, I do know that.

SAGAL: You do know that. OK. And do you...

GROSZ: He's bringing a picture of her up on - that's his...

SAGAL: That's his personal...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. Here's your last question, Woody. If you get this one right, you get to continue with your mission.

HOBURG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Denver Broncos star Von Miller was in the show in 2016. But in addition to the difficult dancing routines, Miller also had to overcome what? A, the rules against spiking his dance partner after a successful performance, B, his reflexive desire to tackle the other dancers, or, C, his own flatulence.

HOBURG: Well, let's see. The third - I would say the third one. His own flatulence sounds most plausible.

SAGAL: There finally - yes. You nailed it.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: You absolutely - yes. You are an astronaut. That is correct. C is - it was his own flatulence. His partner ended up charging him as a fine $100 per fart. I have no idea what the total was.

Bill, how did Woody Hoburg do on our quiz?

KURTIS: We're going to call it three straight. I mean, here's the guy going to the moon.

SAGAL: Woody Hoburg is a NASA astronaut headed to the International Space Station and one day the moon and maybe to infinity and beyond. Woody Hoburg, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

HOBURG: It was an honor to be with you. Thanks for having me.

SAGAL: It was a pleasure to talk to you.

ROBERTS: Bye-bye.

SAGAL: Take care. Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STARMAN")

DAVID BOWIE: (Singing) There's a starman waiting in the sky. He'd like to come and meet us, but he thinks he'd blow our minds. There's a starman...

SAGAL: In just a minute, why is that old guy wearing elbow pads? Find out in our Listener Limerick Challenge game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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 Roxanne Roberts, Peter Grosz, and Alonzo Bodden. And here again is your host. We weren't kidding the last time we introduced him. Once again, it's Bert Sagal.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. And you're welcome, Peter. In just a minute, Bill shows no rhyme-orse (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. But right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news.

Alonzo, forget smell-o-vision. Thanks to an inventor in Japan, we may soon have what?

BODDEN: Feel-o-vision (ph)?

SAGAL: Not feel-o-vision.

BODDEN: Taste-o-vision?

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: TV that you can taste - if you're the type who watches the mesothelioma commercials and think, God, I wish I could taste that, this is great news. The inventor developed a prototype for a lickable, tasteable TV screen. Shows might start programming to this. So look out for "Law And Order: Delicious Victims Unit."

BODDEN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Sir, this victim drowned in dark chocolate with sea salt.

GROSZ: Oh, that is good.

BODDEN: I would say this is ridiculous, except that we have an entire network devoted to food. So this is going to work.

SAGAL: Oh, absolutely.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

GROSZ: Absolutely. We also have an entire room in the house devoted to food, though. So I wonder if, like, you need to be licking your TV, or if you can just be like, oh, yeah, chicken. That's in the other room. I'll go grab some, as opposed to, I'm going to walk up and lick my television.

SAGAL: The thing that struck me about this story is apparently you weren't supposed to be licking your TV to this point, which makes me feel a little embarrassed.

ROBERTS: It also means that critics are going to have to really rethink the use of this is in really bad taste in terms of talking about (laughter) everything they don't like.

SAGAL: No, it isn't. It's not bad. Use a little salt.

ROBERTS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Roxanne, a British surgeon specializing in liver transplants has just had his license revoked, not because he was bad at his job but because he did what?

ROBERTS: Does this have anything to do with his vaccination status?

SAGAL: Not at all.

ROBERTS: Did he run around naked in the parking lot dancing to Drake songs?

SAGAL: That's a very specific image, Roxanne. Where did you come up with it from?

GROSZ: Last night.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: I have no idea what you're talking about.

GROSZ: Well, then maybe you'd like to check my Twitter for the video.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: Can I have a hint?

SAGAL: You can have a hint, yes. It doesn't seem fair to punish him. Great artists always do this. John Hancock got famous just for doing this.

ROBERTS: He signed the bodies?

SAGAL: Not the bodies. He signed...

ROBERTS: The livers?

SAGAL: ...The livers. Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

ROBERTS: Oh, my God. Wait, how did he sign the livers?

SAGAL: Well, I shall explain. Dr. Simon Bramhall was very good at his job and probably would still be doing it if one of the livers he transplanted into a patient hadn't failed and needed to be removed, and the surgeon doing that said, hey, S.B. - that's a funny little birthmark on a liver. It turns out that he had put his initials on at least two livers that he put in patients, presumably so nobody else in the locker room would mistake them for theirs.

GROSZ: My mom used to sew my name in the back of all my organs when I was a kid.

SAGAL: Yeah. That's so sweet.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: Everybody knew, like, that's Peter's liver.

BODDEN: I just want to hear the explanation when he went home and his wife said why were you fired?

SAGAL: (Laughter).

GROSZ: Everybody hates me. Everybody hates me there for no reason - just, like, the worst place to work.

SAGAL: They're just jealous of me. They're jealous of me.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Peter, authorities in Venice will be undertaking a massive renovation after it was determined it's just impossible to do what on one of their pedestrian bridges?

GROSZ: Walk.

SAGAL: Exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: The Constitution Bridge, with its beautiful glass walkway, was installed 14 years ago. And for all those years, thousands of inexplicably clumsy people have been slipping and falling on it. So now the government is giving into many complaints, and they're going to replace the glass with stone, which is a shame because a visit to Venice isn't complete without those distant cries of Mamma Mia, I'ma (ph) falling.

GROSZ: Is it because it's under water or just it's like - it's just poorly built?

SAGAL: No. See, it's one of only three bridges in Venice across the Grand Canal, the most famous one being the Rialto, and then they built these modern ones. And this one is quite beautiful to look at, and it had sort of a glass surface. And they're going to replace that with stones. It's great news for pedestrians, but, man, terrible news for perverts in the gondolas beneath it.

GROSZ: Oh, yeah. You could just - just go under the gondolas. There's, like, 20 gondolas just jammed. Yeah, my stick don't work. We'll be moving in a second.

ROBERTS: (Laughter).

GROSZ: Oh, I keep trying to move.

SAGAL: What's even better is that this bridge was built to connect the train station which ends just outside Venice, which is, of course, an island, with the islands of Venice itself. So a lot of the people who were coming over the bridge and slipping were pulling or carrying their luggage with them, which provided even more comedy.

GROSZ: Was it built by "Italy's Funniest Home Videos" show to, like, intentionally get people to slip and fall?

SAGAL: No, it's - it was built by the great architect Calatrava.

ROBERTS: I think the whole point is that he was a great architect and nobody was supposed to contradict him and say, hey, that's a really stupid idea.

GROSZ: Was Berlusconi in power when this was going on? - because that also would be a big indicator that...

SAGAL: No. Berlusconi, of course, knowing him, he'd be in the gondola.

GROSZ: Right. I'm going to move my prime minister residence to right under the bridge.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THINGS ARE LOOKING UP")

ELLA FITZGERALD: (Singing) Things are looking up. I've been looking the landscape over. And it's covered with four-leaf clover. Oh, things are looking up since love looked up at me.

SAGAL: Coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank. But first is the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Or click the contact us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. There you can also find tickets for our next live in-person show July 8, 2032, at the Peter Segal Memorial Theater in Chicago.

(LAUGHTER)

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

ZACH: Hi. I'm Zach (ph) from Sacramento, Calif.

SAGAL: Hi, Zach in Sacramento.

ZACH: Yeah.

SAGAL: What do you do there in Sacramento?

ZACH: I am a student and a bus driver.

SAGAL: You're a student and a bus driver. You're a renaissance man. What kind of bus do you drive?

ZACH: I drive the shuttle bus at my college.

SAGAL: And do you find that pleasant and relaxing work?

ZACH: It hasn't been lately because most classes are online, so I have like three passengers a day.

SAGAL: Oh, really? So they've put all the classes online, but they still have you driving around the bus anyway.

ZACH: Yep.

SAGAL: Of course, at least, it would be terrible if they made you drive the bus via Zoom.

ZACH: If they paid me to do that, I'd be down.

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

ZACH: Sure.

SAGAL: All right. Here's your first limerick.

KURTIS: In my soul, this sport's striking a great chord. I'm outside, and I've lost lots of weight, lord. I'm getting my jollies with kick-ups and olleys. I feel free as I'm riding my...

ZACH: Skateboard.

SAGAL: Skateboard, yes, according to researchers a great way to cure depression in middle-aged people is skateboarding because nothing says I am really doing well like a 50-year-old guy hanging out at a skate park. Skateboarding, we are told, provides an emotional outlet for people who have experienced personal trials like the stresses of parenthood or career challenges. It makes sense. Nothing distracts you from, say, missing out on that promotion like compound fractures in both wrists.

GROSZ: I was going to say you have a whole new set of problems.

SAGAL: Yes. On the one hand, you have rising tension you need to somehow work out. On the other hand, osteoporosis, my friends. It's real.

BODDEN: All these kids will be so glad to see dad come down to the skate park with his own board.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah. They love that. Hey, can I come with you? Come on. It'll be a thing we can do together. I'd love to meet your friends.

GROSZ: Let's put on helmets and shoulder pads and knee pads and ankle pads.

SAGAL: (Laughter) All right. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: When friend Piglet starts sniffing some glue, our brave hero knows just what to do. He starts fighting crime, makes the bad guys do time in some spinoffs of "Winnie The...

ZACH: "Pooh."

SAGAL: "Winnie The Pooh," yes. This week, A. A. Milne's classic children's book "Winnie The Pooh" entered the public domain along with many other works from 1926, including Hemingway's "The Bear Also Rises" and Agatha Christie's "The Piglet Murders." Since "Winnie The Pooh," though, is now royalty free, all that Kanga Rabbit slash fiction is legal now, but it's still gross. You should keep in mind, though, that this only applies to the original book and its illustrations. That's all in public domain. The Disney versions are still under copyright. And under a federal law passed in 2003, if you try to use their characters without payment, they have the right to have you killed. It's just the law.

BODDEN: Well, that makes sense because Disney owns the image of everything. Don't they?

SAGAL: It's true. They actually probably own all of us. All right. Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: Your smartphone's from two decades back, Gary. That keyboard went clickety clack, scary. Say goodbye to the Fed of D.C. and your dad because there's no way to use your old...

ZACH: BlackBerry.

SAGAL: Yes, BlackBerry...

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: ...Stopped running support on its devices last week, which means if you've been trying to find the right words for that email since 2013, it is now too late. For our younger listeners, in the early 2000s, BlackBerries with the world's most popular phone that your work gave you that you were in your belt next to your other phone. But after the iPhone was released, demands for devices with little tiny physical keyboards you couldn't use without a special manicure fell off dramatically. On the bright side, now you have a great work excuse. Sorry, I didn't see that email, boss. My phone stopped existing.

ROBERTS: I remember, boy, when BlackBerries were a thing. They were such a status thing. People would carry two or three devices, and the BlackBerry was the big one.

BODDEN: Well, I'm sure somewhere there's a guy with a Nextel phone saying, I knew those BlackBerries wouldn't last.

SAGAL: By the way, blackberries, the fruit, are still supported by the manufacturers, so continue to use them. Bill, how did Zach do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Zach's been practicing driving that bus. He got three right.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Zach. Well done.

ZACH: Thank you.

SAGAL: Thank you. And good luck with that degree and the bus drive.

ZACH: Thank you very much.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PHONE")

LIZZO: (Singing) Unlock that. All up in my contacts. Unlock that. All up in my contacts.

SAGAL: Now onto 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: Alonzo has 2. Rox says 2. Peter has 4.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: All right.

GROSZ: (Chanting) Watch me blow this. (Clapping).

SAGAL: So Rox and Alonzo are tied for second. I'm going to arbitrarily choose Roxanne to go first. So here we go, Roxanne. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, the U.S. reported over 1 million blank infections in a single day.

ROBERTS: COVID.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Sunday, Twitter permanently suspended the personal account of representative blank.

ROBERTS: Marjorie Taylor Greene.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, the White House suggested that they may be working on a new blank package with all the economic fallout from omicron.

ROBERTS: A stimulus package.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: In his first week as mayor of New York, Eric Adams was injured while blanking.

ROBERTS: He was on the subway, right?

SAGAL: No, he was shaking a police officer's hand and broke a finger. That's what he says.

ROBERTS: Oh.

SAGAL: According to employment data released on Tuesday, over 4.5 million people blanked in November.

ROBERTS: They quit their jobs.

SAGAL: They did.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: As Russian troops...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

SAGAL: ...Massed on the border of Ukraine. The country's cultural minister has come out to denounce blank.

ROBERTS: Russian ballet.

SAGAL: No, he has denounced the Netflix show "Emily In Paris." Ukraine's minister of culture complained that the Netflix show's depiction of a woman from Kiev was, quote, "unacceptable and insulting." Apparently, the Ukrainian character is a kleptomaniac who constantly worries about deportation and has terrible fashion sense. The Ukrainian minister differed with most critics, who believe the problem with the show "Emily In Paris" is every single thing about it. Bill, how did Roxanne do on our quiz?

KURTIS: She had four right, eight more points. She now has 10 and the lead.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: All right, Alonzo. You're up next. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, the CDC recommended Pfizer's blank for children between 12 and 15 years old.

BODDEN: Booster vaccine.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Wednesday, the pope said that people who choose to have pets instead of blanks were selfish.

BODDEN: The pope said people who have pets instead of kids.

SAGAL: Right.

BODDEN: He's wrong, but that's what he said.

SAGAL: He did say that.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, a Tennessee state representative has apologized after he blanked at a high school basketball game.

BODDEN: Oh, he attacked the ref or somebody. He started a fight.

SAGAL: Yes, in fact, he did. He tried to pants the referee.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Wednesday, Mayo Clinic fired over 700 employees who refused to blank.

BODDEN: Vaccinate.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Citing the omicron variant, The Recording Academy announced they would delay the blank awards.

BODDEN: Grammys.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, an Irishman enjoying a night...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

SAGAL: ...Of bar hopping in Bucharest went looking for a public bathroom and wound up blanking.

BODDEN: Freezing to death?

SAGAL: No, he wound up breaking into the parliamentary palace and getting arrested. By 4 a.m., the man had closed out all the bars in downtown Bucharest. So when he needed to find a bathroom, he did what anybody would do. He scaled the fence of the city's tallest building, broke a window and crawled inside. Unfortunately, he found out all the bathroom doors needed a code. But that's OK. I bet this group of very angry-looking security guards running towards me with loaded machine guns know what the code is.

BODDEN: That's great. Now our Capitol insurrectionists have another excuse.

SAGAL: Exactly. Bill, how did Alonzo do on the quiz?

KURTIS: He had five right for 10 more points, which means with 12, he's now in the lead.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: All right. So how many, then, does Peter Grosz need to win?

KURTIS: Peter needs four to tie, five to win.

SAGAL: All right. This is for the game, Peter. Here we go. On Monday, Chuck Schumer warned that Democrats would vote on a change to the filibuster if the GOP continues to block a blank rights bill.

GROSZ: Voting rights.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Tuesday, the district attorney of New York said they would not pursue a case against disgraced Governor blank.

GROSZ: Cuomo.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, the Fed argued for increased interest rates to help combat blank.

GROSZ: Inflation.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: According to a new poll, over 80% of Americans believe that the country's blank is in peril.

GROSZ: Democracy.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, a family in Denver who donated their couch to a thrift store failed to notice that they also accidentally donated blank.

GROSZ: A child.

SAGAL: No, their cat. On Wednesday, Australia refused entry to unvaccinated tennis star blank.

GROSZ: Novak Djokovic.

SAGAL: That's his name.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, a family in the U.K.'s breakfast was interrupted when their box of cereal also came with blank.

GROSZ: A cat.

SAGAL: No, a bag of crystal meth. The mom says she was pouring out bowls of cereal for her kids when the half-kilo bag of meth fell out onto the counter. This could mean one of two things. Either the box was being used to smuggle drugs into the country. Or the prizes in cereal have gotten way better since I was a kid. Bill, did Peter do well enough to win?

KURTIS: Five right for ten more points, which means with a total of 14, he is this week's champion.

GROSZ: Oh, I haven't won in a long time.

SAGAL: Congratulations.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Yay.

BODDEN: Congratulations.

SAGAL: Now, panel, what will be the big find on I-95? Alonzo Bodden.

BODDEN: Trump's indictment paperwork for the insurrection.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Roxanne Roberts.

ROBERTS: A small child in a snow drift still whining, are we there yet?

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: And Peter Grosz.

GROSZ: Five hundred discarded Dominion voting machines, a thousand Jewish space lasers and a fully alive JFK Jr.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

KURTIS: And if they find any of that, panel, we're going to ask you about it on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Alonzo Bodden, Roxanne Roberts and Peter Grosz. Thanks to all of you for listening as we start our 25th year. I'm Bert Sagal, and we'll see you next week.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SAGAL: This is NPR.

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