Mandy Moore plays Not My Job on NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" Mandy Moore was a platinum-selling singer by 15, and then transitioned into acting. She's now the star of NBC's This is Us, so we've invited her on to play a game called This is Utz.

'Wait Wait' for May 21, 2022: With Not My Job guest Mandy Moore

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BILL KURTIS, HOST:

From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. Let's do this deal called cash under the ta-Bill (ph). I'm Bill Kurtis. And the role of host today will be played by Peter Sagal's understudy, Dame Judi Dench. See if you can hear the difference.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill. And to our fake audience, thank you and farewell. That's right. Next month, we are going back to doing our shows in front of live audiences every week at our new home at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago. That is before the inevitable monkeypox pandemic sends us all home again. If you would like to come see us there or on the road, just check out nprpresents.org. Later on, we're going to expect uncontrollable sobs when we talk to this is "This Is Us" star Mandy Moore, so give us a call to cheer us up and play our games. That's 1-888-WAIT-WAIT or 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

CHRIS JONES: Hi. This is Chris Jones (ph). for Chicago, Ill.

SAGAL: Hey, Chris Jones from Chicago, Ill. I know a Chris Jones who reviews drama, but that's not you, it sounds like.

JONES: It's not me.

SAGAL: No, no. No, no.

JONES: Not me.

SAGAL: You can get free theater tickets if you want to run that scam. What do you do here?

JONES: I am a professional hypnotist.

SAGAL: You are not.

JONES: I am. I hypnotize people for money. And I do college high school shows. And I work with some professional athletes.

SAGAL: Wow. How does one find oneself in that line of work? Are you a son of a hypnotist and you're just in the family business?

JONES: No. I taught myself hypnosis in my free time in grad school. I picked a very easy, major recreation studies. And I have a masters in rec. And I wrote my thesis on hypnosis.

SAGAL: Recreation studies?

JONES: Yes.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. You got into professor Johnson's seminar in kicking back. Wow, you lucky guy.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, it is a joy to talk to you, Chris, although I'm a little nervous. But anyway, let's see what happens. Let me introduce you, Chris, to our panel this week. First up, a comedian and host of the "Breaking Bread With Tom Papa" podcast. It's Tom Papa.

TOM PAPA: Hello.

JONES: Hello. Good to see you.

SAGAL: Next, her new book is "Tell Everyone On This Train I Love Them." It's Maeve Higgins.

MAEVE HIGGINS: Hi, Chris.

JONES: Hi, Maeve.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: And a comedian you can hear July 4 weekend at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, Calif. It's Alonzo Bodden.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

ALONZO BODDEN: Hello, Chris. And congratulations on making that recreational theory degree work.

JONES: Thank you.

SAGAL: Chris, you're going to play, 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 might choose on your voicemail. You ready to go?

JONES: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: We have detected no emanations that would suggest it's anything non-terrestrial in origin.

SAGAL: That was an official testifying at a very real congressional hearing looking into what?

JONES: Unidentified flying objects?

SAGAL: Yes, or UFOs.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Congress held its first UFO hearings in half a century this week. There wasn't a lot of new information. We just confirmed the military has film of objects in the sky it cannot explain, and that Mitch McConnell is a tiny alien steering a flesh suit. Now, the public hearing was an attempt to show they're not hiding anything. So right after they said there's no evidence of any alien visitors, they adjourned into a closed session. And we have no idea what happened in there. Seriously, it's a little weird to get to the closed session. They all used a transporter beam.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: It's a lot like when you're a parent and you're talking with the kids and you're having a discussion about Disney. And the kids get excited, and then you and your wife go in the other room. And they're like, we are not going to Disney.

(LAUGHTER)

HIGGINS: I thought you were going to say, and then you and your wife go to Disney.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: Well, no. I was going to say, to me, the most believable UFO story is that they came and they looked around and said, nope, and left.

(LAUGHTER)

HIGGINS: Like, when you go to use the toilet in the Starbucks, and you're like, actually, I can hold it.

SAGAL: And what's worse is when they got back to their planet, they were like, what happened when you went to Earth? They're like, oh, no, nothing, nothing.

HIGGINS: Forget it. I can't find my wallet.

SAGAL: The big surprise, though, the hearing was when committee member Matt Gates noted, apropos really of nothing, that if his girlfriend lived on Mercury, she'd technically be 24 years old.

BODDEN: Wow. So this whole thing goes back to Disney World.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Ultimately, yes. All right, Chris, here is your next quote.

KURTIS: It's time for dark MAGA to take command.

SAGAL: That was soon-to-be-former Congressman Madison Cawthorn reacting with his usual grace to his loss in this week's what?

JONES: The first election - general election?

SAGAL: Yeah, well, no, the first election is also called the...

JONES: Primary.

SAGAL: Primary elections, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Primaries in several key states on Tuesday. And among the big losers, Madison Cawthorn. And we mean big loser in the election sense, not the usual sense when talking about Madison Cawthorn once, of course, a rising Republican star. Cawthorn lost the support of the GOP establishment after telling the press that senior Republicans had cocaine - fueled orgies, and they turned on him because snitches get primaried.

HIGGINS: I think about him every time I'm going through the airport security. You know how he just constantly brings a gun with him just for attention all the time?

SAGAL: He just, you know...

HIGGINS: It really cheers me up because that's, like, annoying, you know, going through security. But I'm always just like, yeah, but remember what he did, that moron, like, repeatedly he just had, like, a little gun tucked on his person. And they would just be like, Madison.

SAGAL: Come on, Madison. The Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania was actually too close to call with a recount needed to determine if Dr. Oz can go on to represent the people of Pennsylvania in the Senate or if he'll just have to go home to New Jersey. Now, the Democrats elected John Fetterman as their Senate nominee. He's the current lieutenant governor, and also the answer to the question, what if a 7-foot-tall bullet could talk? Now, Democratic strategists, they worry that Fetterman, who is this enormous guy who walks around in camo shorts and T-shirts and he's tattooed up and down his arms and he's got this big goatee. They think he's too outlandish a character to appeal to the broader electorate. Meanwhile, over in the governor's race, the Republicans nominated an actual rabid hyena.

BODDEN: But isn't the great thing about Fetterman - and this will work in his favor - he looks like a Republican. I mean, when you put on camo shorts and a hoodie and you campaign out there, you look like a - they won't know. They'll just check next to his name. It's a pretty good strategy.

JONES: He doesn't look like a Republican. He doesn't look like a Democrat. He looks like a biker in a bar who thinks they're all crooks. I mean, that's his look, you know, which may be fine.

HIGGINS: Imagine if you find out that he was actually just wearing like a sleeve of tattoos, you know, like the ones you just put on from Claire's accessories and yeah. He's on stilts the whole time. He's just like this tiny, gentle little man.

SAGAL: One of the weirdest results this week, an Indiana man who is in jail for murder won a GOP primary for a local office. And we're not going to judge, but maybe you shouldn't run for office if your plans for attending your inauguration, if you win, involve a large poster of Rita Hayworth.

(LAUGHTER)

HIGGINS: Yeah. And they say that men can't multitask. Look at him go. Killing it in every sense of the word.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your last quote.

KURTIS: Damn, having a kid is expensive.

SAGAL: That was somebody on Twitter who presumably is a mother or a father talking about how the price of what summer activity has skyrocketed this year?

JONES: Summer activity? Oh, could I get a hint?

SAGAL: Well, you can't play capture the flag. You just have to borrow it. It's too expensive.

HIGGINS: It rhymes with - can I tell them a hint?

SAGAL: Sure, Maeve. Go ahead.

JONES: You will tell me the answer.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: That's the hypnotist.

HIGGINS: Camp.

SAGAL: Maeve, did you have a hint for him?

HIGGINS: Yeah. It's camp.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Maeve's been hypnotized.

SAGAL: Yes. So I guess now that Maeve has given you that very subtle hint, do you have the answer?

JONES: Is it camp?

SAGAL: It is camp. It's summer camp. Yeah. It's more expensive than ever to get rid of your kids for the summer this year, but, of course, it's still worth it. It's weird that summer camps are expensive because they don't seem like places built by people with a lot of money. Welcome to your house, 16 people sleep in this one room. And the windows are just screens.

JONES: I'm confused, Though. Are they saying - wasn't it always expensive? When I was a child, my parents - that's what my parents told me when my friends and I were playing in a drainpipe for the summer.

SAGAL: Right.

BODDEN: What happens if you can afford the camp but you can't afford the gas to drive your kid to camp?

PAPA: Or the treatment for Lyme disease when they come home.

BODDEN: Exactly.

SAGAL: Bill, how did Chris do?

KURTIS: Chris, when I give you the score, you will wake up at the last number - one, two, three. Wake up. Congratulations. You won.

JONES: I spend every Saturday with you all, and I have for years, and I appreciate you all keeping me entertained on the road.

SAGAL: Thank you. I hope to get out and see one of your hypnosis shows.

JONES: Take care, y'all. Thank you.

HIGGINS: Bye.

SAGAL: Take care.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SAGAL: Right now, panel, it is time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Tom, as I'm sure you know, Kingsland, Ark., is the birthplace of Johnny Cash.

PAPA: Sure.

SAGAL: And their water tower naturally features a painting of Cash's silhouette facing the viewer. But now the water tower has been damaged by a vandal who did what?

PAPA: Who painted a smiley face on the shadow.

SAGAL: No.

PAPA: The vandal...

SAGAL: Well, I'll give you - the silhouette of Johnny Cash is in his classic pose - his legs slightly spread, his guitar held high, you know...

PAPA: Right.

SAGAL: It's a water tower, so somebody did exactly what?

PAPA: Drew a penis and then punctured a hole so it looked like he was peeing.

SAGAL: You are almost exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: What they did was somebody shot a bullet hole right in the exact spot in the crotch. And let me tell you, with the subsequent leak, it really looks like the man in black is peeing on his birth place. He's literally taking a leak. That's right. Somebody shot a man in Kingsland just to watch him pee.

(LAUGHTER)

BODDEN: I that would be - that could be what tipped - the tipping point where they start gun control in Arkansas. They're like, oh, no. You don't shoot Johnny. You don't shoot Johnny.

HIGGINS: Yeah.

SAGAL: Now, this whole thing is bad for a lot of reasons. The town just spent $300,000 to improve and paint the water tower, not to mention the town's water supply is now leaking out onto the ground. But this terrible act of vandalism is also, we should stress, really funny. I mean, is this whole thing terrific, or is it terrible? I have to say, it walks the line.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON’T GO NEAR THE WATER")

JOHNNY CASH: (Singing) Don't go near the water, children. See the fish all dead upon the shore. Don't go near the water cause the water isn't water anymore.

SAGAL: Coming up, an unapologetically cheesy 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.

(LAUGHTER)

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, Tom Papa and Maeve Higgins. And here again is your host, the man who is definitely a person and not an alien body double. It's the real Peter Sagal.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. Right now it's time to 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 are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SARAH: Hi. This is Sarah (ph) from Charlottesville, Va.

SAGAL: Hey. How are things in Charlottesville, Sarah?

SARAH: Lovely. It's a great time of year. I love being warm.

SAGAL: It's a good thing. Spring in Virginia is a lovely thing. What do you do there in Charlottesville?

SARAH: I work at the University of Virginia Women's Center. My job is to run a mentoring program.

SAGAL: Oh, cool. OK, so you're mentoring women.

SARAH: Yeah.

SAGAL: Wow. And you're trying to keep them hopeful. You're trying to, like, give them strength to go on.

SARAH: I hope so (laughter). Fingers crossed.

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

KURTIS: Say Cheese.

SAGAL: Not a lot changes in the world of cheese. American cheese is always square. Brie is always soft. Swiss always refuses to involve itself in armed conflicts between other cheeses. But this week, we heard finally something new in the world of cheese, and our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth. You will win the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

SARAH: I am so ready.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. She's so ready. So let's do this. First, let's hear from Alonzo Bodden.

BODDEN: Jeff Bezos is both the king of instant delivery and also owns Whole Foods. So naturally, he's decided to combine the two. So frustrated with the time it takes to age a fine cheese, he has asked Amazon scientists to develop an instant cheese. Why do we have to screw around with it so much? he asked them. Why can't the cows just give cheese? They tried to explain that cheese needs time to ferment and that you add rennet, but Mr. Bezos cut them off. Don't tell me about time, he yelled. I got everybody's food to them during the pandemic in an hour. You're bored after dinner, bang. Now there's a pool table in your living room. So the scientists got to work. And according to a paper published this week, they came up with a way to age the cheese as the cow ages. Now, some may ask, is cheese from an engineered cow genuinely organic? But there's a bigger question. If this process works and that calf becomes a cow, regularly producing blocks of cheddar, where will they come out of old Betsy?

SAGAL: Instant cheese grown in the cow from Jeff Bezos. Your next story of cheese change comes from Maeve Higgins.

HIGGINS: What a time of miracles we live in. That is a quote from, you guessed it, Brie. Not Brie Larson, not Alison Brie, just simply Brie. Farmers, cows and linguists got together to make an excitingly sentient new milk product they're calling chatty cheese. The subject matter depends on the variety. Roquefort is quite conservative. Mature cheddar offers advice on pensions. And smoked gouda is as high as a kite and very giggly. Many chatty cheeses just talk about their day and their lives. Some are proud of their heritage, like the Manchego I tried who said, I am from La Mancha. It wasn't clear why the Manchego spoke in English with an accent instead of just in Spanish, but not everything has to be clear. It's certainly quite difficult to make out a Baby Bell's first words. Those adorable little infant cheeses seem to be saying, no, no, don't eat me. I'm too young. I've barely lived. Chatty cheese is available now in all good butcher shops and hair salons.

SAGAL: Chatty cheese - cheese that talks. Your last story of cheddar getting better comes from Tom Papa.

PAPA: In recent years, technology has changed everything from how we get to the airport to how we fight COVID-19. Now, tech has solved one of mankind's greatest problems - trying to figure out what type of cheese we are eating. Introducing Cheezam. Inspired by the popular music-finding app Shazam, that helps users identify music, Cheezam helps users identify cheeses beyond the usual descriptions, such as which is the smelliest? While standing over a mind-numbing charcuterie board, users can take a photo that will be compared against Cheezam's database of 9,000 cheeses. Thanks to the app, a mystery cheese ball thrown together by a sketchy relative is a mystery no more. The one catch is that Cheezam is currently only available in France, which means Americans will have to stick to what they know best - individually wrapped slices of cheese food.

SAGAL: All right. Here, then, are your choices. Which of these was the strange and unexpected advance in the cheese world? Was it, from Alonzo Bodden, instant cheese from Jeff Bezos grown inside the cow and then delivered somehow; from Maeve, chatty cheese, the cheese that talks; or from Tom Papa, Cheezam, the app that can identify any cheese that you might come across? Which of these is the real cheese innovation?

SARAH: Talking cheese sounds terrifying. I am going to hope it's Tom's story about Cheezam.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Tom...

PAPA: Cheezam.

SAGAL: Cheezam. Cheezam.

PAPA: Cheezam.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Cheezam. It's fun to say. You're going to go with Tom's story of Cheezam. Well, obviously, we needed to speak to bring you the real story to a cheesemonger.

JOSH WINDSOR: The difference between one cheese and the next can change. So all of the French cheeses that this app is able to determine are ones that are politically defined.

SAGAL: That was cheesemonger Josh Windsor of Murray's Cheese Caves in New York City talking, of course, about the Cheezam app. I noted some skepticism, but nonetheless, Sarah, you got it right. You earned a point for Tom. You won our prize, the voice of your choice and your voicemail. Congratulations.

SARAH: Yay. Thank you.

SAGAL: Yay.

PAPA: Cheezam.

SAGAL: Shazam. Cheezam.

HIGGINS: Well done.

SAGAL: Once you start saying it, you just can't stop saying it. Cheezam.

PAPA: Cheezam.

SAGAL: Sarah, thank you so much for playing, and congrats.

SARAH: Thank you. Take care. Bye.

SAGAL: You too. Take care. Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHAZAM!")

BEASTIE BOYS: (Rapping) I'd like a lettuce, tomato and Munster on rye. All this cheese is going to make me cry. Gorgonzola, provolone...

SAGAL: And now the game where uncool people ask cool people questions. It's called Not My Job. Mandy Moore became a pop star at the age of 15 and made everybody dance. Then she acted in rom-com movies and Disney cartoons and made everybody laugh. And for six seasons, she has starred in the network drama "This Is Us," making everybody cry. We assume that with us, she'll make everybody angry 'cause that's the only thing left to do. Mandy Moore, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MANDY MOORE: Hello.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: It's so nice to see you.

MOORE: Nice to see you, too.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for joining us. We heard a great story about how you were discovered as a singer...

MOORE: Yes.

SAGAL: ...Going back. And this was in, if I'm not mistaken, Florida.

MOORE: Yes, in Orlando, where I grew up.

SAGAL: And we were told that you first - like, got a reputation as the young woman - go-to girl for the National Anthem at sporting events.

MOORE: Yes. Yes. So I saw a young girl my age sing the national anthem at an Orlando Magic game. And I just didn't even know this was in the realm of possibility. So I figured out with my parents, like, how I sent in a videotape of myself performing the national anthem. And I got the call that I got the gig. And I performed at the Magic game and then subsequently was asked by every other sports team in the Orlando Arena - as it was called back in the day - the roller hockey, the arena football, the ice hockey. Like, I just sort of ran the gamut of, like, singing the national anthem for (laughter) every...

SAGAL: Right.

MOORE: ...Sports team that was in the arena there. It was fantastic.

SAGAL: Did you have a particular twist on the national anthem? Did you do it in a sort of sad way or a sultry way?

MOORE: I mean, I feel like, as a 12 year old, you just get away with doing a really simple, down-the-middle version of the national anthem.

SAGAL: Right.

MOORE: I had my little pitch pipe. I had my...

SAGAL: Oh, really?

HIGGINS: Aw.

MOORE: Oh, yeah. (Imitating pitch pipe tone). I'd, like, go out there, and I had my American flag hair bow. I loved it.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But the story we heard - and I definitely want to confirm it with you - is that it was a FedEx delivery guy who actually lit the spark that led you among - to many wonderful places and then, sadly, to here. So...

(LAUGHTER)

MOORE: Indeed, that gentleman led me to here, where we are today.

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Who knew?

MOORE: I was in the recording studio, in this tiny little studio recording demos on my own time, on my own dime that I was hopeful to eventually send off to record labels. And this lovely gentleman who worked for FedEx, who also somehow had a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend somehow up the chain who was the head of A&R at Epic Records in New York and sent this demo, unbeknownst to me, off to this A&R head. And I auditioned for him and sang a song live and had a meeting. And I remember, the funniest part was I had just started my freshman year of high school. And my homecoming football game was that night. And I just remember kind of, like, looking at my watch, like, how much longer is this going to take? - 'cause I have to meet my friends at the football game.

SAGAL: So you became, with your record contract, at the age of 15 - right?..

MOORE: Yes.

SAGAL: ...A genuine teenage pop star. Was that something you had wanted to be?

MOORE: I was a musical theater nerd. I loved Bette Midler. Like, I wanted to be on Broadway if I could - I very much knew once I sort of got my foot in the door, well, if I find any bit of success in this realm, I would love to try my hand at acting and doing a whole bunch of other things I was passionate about as well just because I had, like, that theater background, I guess.

SAGAL: Speaking of which, "This Is Us," - if I'm not mistaken, the final episode is about to be broadcast.

MOORE: Yes, on Tuesday. Yes, sir.

SAGAL: Now, for those who haven't seen it - and I apologize if there are - anybody in America who hasn't yet - can you briefly describe it?

MOORE: (Sighing).

SAGAL: It's hard.

(LAUGHTER)

MOORE: I don't know how you describe it. It is an ensemble family drama, tells the story of a family across time, the past to the present, and even looking towards the future. And I have the good fortune of playing the matriarch of the family. And I'm the only actor on the series that gets to portray the same character in every timeline.

SAGAL: Right.

MOORE: So I get to work with babies and toddlers and teenagers, and then the adult version of my children, who in real life are actually older than me.

SAGAL: Right.

MOORE: I go through 3 to 4 hours of prosthetic makeup to look like I'm in my mid-70s and, at the end of the series, in the future, my mid-80s.

SAGAL: I saw a photo of you in, like - I said oh, here's - I Googled, you know - I wanted to look at a picture of it - Mandy Moore old age makeup and was like, oh, look at her. Look at this beautiful young woman in the old-age makeup. And I'm like, that looks like my daughter.

MOORE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I mean, I was not - I was like, guys, how realistic, you know? I mean, seriously, put a little more mileage on that lady. But how is it to look at yourself - and we know what makeup technology is like these days. These guys are geniuses. What is it like to look at yourself transformed into yourself many years down the line?

MOORE: Honestly, I do look in the mirror when that makeup is all on, and I'm like, I don't know what lotions and potions she uses. It's - I want to do whatever she does. I subscribe to whatever skincare routine Rebecca Pearson has because she does look good for her age.

SAGAL: She looks pretty good...

HIGGINS: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...I got to tell you...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...As someone who is - some cases beyond that age. I'm going to tell you - and, I think, obviously, you're very well-rounded person who will welcome every year as it comes and take rewards from it, but someday when you're around my age, you will look in the mirror and go, man, I wish this stuff still came off at the end of the day.

(LAUGHTER)

MOORE: You can't remove it? Oh, dang.

SAGAL: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You just get some Noxzema and rub it on. It all comes off...

MOORE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Am I right? Yeah. And then I am just going to assume, since you have been part of this extraordinarily successful television show as a dramatic actor, that you're going to continue doing that, right?

MOORE: I'd love to. Yeah. I don't have anything on the books right now. But I'm excited to figure out what the next job is. I was pregnant with my son during the last season, and then I went back to work when he was a month old. So I'm excited to take a little time off after the road and just be mom for a minute and figure out what's next.

SAGAL: Wow. So was there a moment then when you were producing this last season of "This Is Us" where you were, in effect, a pregnant 80-year-old woman?

MOORE: I was, yeah. Yeah.

SAGAL: Wow.

MOORE: Yeah. And then...

HIGGINS: A Hollywood miracle.

MOORE: ...I also have - I have many pictures of me nursing my son, too, while I'm in the older-age prosthetics just because, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

MOORE: I need - for some reason - he's going to need something for therapy one day.

SAGAL: I'm so intrigued and yet so horrified I might ever see them.

(LAUGHTER)

MOORE: They're out there on the internet, Peter. You can Google them.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Well, Mandy Moore, it is so great to finally talk to you in person. But we have, in fact, asked you here to play a game that this time we're calling...

KURTIS: "This Is Utz."

SAGAL: You, of course, star on "This Is Us," as we've been discussing. But what do you know about the famous snack chip company Utz? Answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly and you'll probably get hungry, but you'll also win a prize for one of our contestants. Bill, who is Mandy Moore playing for?

KURTIS: Andrew Carter (ph) of Minneapolis, Minn.

MOORE: I have a feeling that I'm going to fail Andrew. I'm sorry in advance.

SAGAL: You've never failed anything before, so this will be fun if it happens. Then you can put that on your resume.

MOORE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. So Utz's logo is a drawing of a girl with a bob cut and a bow in her hair reaching into a bag of chips. But the logo had to be redesigned in the 1970s. Why? A, the daughter of the company's vice president thought the girl was sticking her foot in the bag; B, thanks to drug culture, they had to remove the letters THC from her dress, which stood for That Hearty Crunch; or C, she had an uncanny resemblance to Squeaky Fromme.

MOORE: I'm going to say A.

SAGAL: A, yes. The daughter of the company's vice president thought the girl was sticking her foot in the bag. That is absolutely true. Congratulations. yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Yay.

SAGAL: You got it. It is - the girl's wrist is sort of reaching into the bag - was drawn in sort of a curvy way. So it looks like it's her knee. And nobody wants a foot in their bag of potato chips.

MOORE: Sure. Unappetizing, sure.

SAGAL: All right, your next question. We all know Utz makes delicious snacks - potato chips and such - but some of them do not sound delicious, like what particular Utz brand of pretzels? A, Regretzels (ph), which are fried in lard and have twice the calories; B, Mustard on the Outside Pretzels, which are coated in wet, sticky, yellow mustard; or C, Hards.

MOORE: That's a tough one, too. Maybe B, the mustard ones?

SAGAL: It's not. It's actually Hards.

MOORE: Hards.

SAGAL: Utz's Hards - because the people out there really like those hard pretzels. So here's your last question. And if you get this, you win. Utz is great. We love Utz chips. But like all chip companies, they - you get a bag of them and you open it, and it's mostly air. But that air in chips bags can be useful, as in which of these cases? A, scuba divers will carry a chip bag with them into the ocean. If it pops open, they know they've gone too deep; B, students from South Korea once made a functioning raft by just tying a whole bunch of unopened potato chip bags together; or C, scientists were recently able to study air pollution levels in the 1950s using air trapped in a really, really old Utz potato chip bag.

MOORE: These questions are so much easier to answer when you're listening in your car.

SAGAL: Isn't it true?

(LAUGHTER)

MOORE: I mean, C sounds a little silly and far-fetched. I'm going to go with B.

SAGAL: B is right. You did it.

MOORE: Yay.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Yes. Yes. Bill, how did Mandy Moore do on our quiz?

KURTIS: She did great. She got two out of three, and that means - in our game, that's a win, Mandy.

MOORE: I'll take it.

SAGAL: Mandy Moore's show "This Is Us" reaches its series finale next week, and she has just embarked on her first music tour in 10 years. Tickets and info can be found at mandymoore.com/tour. Mandy Moore, you were so delightful and we are so grateful you chose to spend some of your time with us. Thank you so much.

MOORE: Thank you guys so much. Thanks for, like - this is a huge bucket list check. Thank you.

HIGGINS: Oh, you're just the best. You're wonderful.

SAGAL: You're on ours, so thank you.

MOORE: Bye.

HIGGINS: Bye.

SAGAL: Take care.

PAPA: I wonder if she knows it doesn't take prosthetics to make us look like this.

SAGAL: Oh, that would be...

HIGGINS: I know.

BODDEN: She will be disappointed to know this is us.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IN REAL LIFE")

MOORE: (Singing) I just got a front row seat to real life...

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

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Maeve Higgins, Alonzo Bodden and Tom Papa. And here again is your host, a man who just asked Jarl and Pamela Mohn to adopt him, Peter Sagal.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Thanks, Bill. In just a minute, Bill books a room at the Rhyme-ada Inn (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, though, some more questions about this week's news.

Maeve, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is urging his citizens to return to the office, saying that while working at home, they're just too distracted by what?

HIGGINS: Oh, is it the sunny weather?

SAGAL: No. I'll give you a hint.

HIGGINS: OK.

SAGAL: It's the Muenster under the bed.

HIGGINS: Cheese?

SAGAL: Cheese.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: The prime minister said, quote, "my experience working from home is you spend an awful lot of time walking to the kitchen, hacking off a small piece of cheese and then forgetting what it was you were doing," unquote.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And he thinks that's what everybody's doing, so they all have to go back to the office. Now, to be fair to him, thanks to Brexit, Boris Johnson does have a lot of experience hacking a small piece of something off and not remembering why you did it.

HIGGINS: Oh, my goodness. But, you know, I'd love to laugh at him so heartily, but I actually do that. Like, I did that right before I got on the call.

SAGAL: Really?

HIGGINS: Yeah.

SAGAL: What did you do exactly?

HIGGINS: You know, I'm a true dairy fairy, so I went to the fridge. I took out some leftover cheese that we had. I hacked off a corner of it and I ate it because I heard that dairy is really good for your voice just before you go on the radio.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Oh, it's classic, classic advice - opera singers, everybody. There's nothing like phlegm to give you that wonderful resonance that's so good in the radio. Wise choice.

Alonzo, in response to high demand for office space over in the U.K., you can now rent a space to work where?

BODDEN: Would it be in a castle?

SAGAL: No.

BODDEN: Can you give me a hint, Peter?

SAGAL: I will give you a hint. Your desk is in Aisle 5, your desk in Aisle 5.

BODDEN: Oh, in grocery stores or retail stores?

SAGAL: In a grocery store - supermarket.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: The British supermarket chain Tesco is adding shared workspace, WeWork-style, to certain of their locations. And why shouldn't your office be a grocery store? A lot of them already have a Starbucks.

BODDEN: But now, if your office is in a grocery store, won't you still be distracted by cheese?

SAGAL: Just think of all the cheese.

BODDEN: I mean, you're going to work...

SAGAL: An entire cheese section to distract you.

BODDEN: There's even more cheese. The productivity in the U.K. is going to fall off tremendously.

SAGAL: Yeah. And what the worst part is is you're sitting there, you know, and some shopper in the grocery store comes up and asks, do you work here? And you're like, technically.

HIGGINS: You're like, yes, if you call writing a screenplay work.

PAPA: Cleanup in Aisle 5.

SAGAL: Oh, then you don't. OK. Could you get this off the shelf for me?

Tom, there are almost 200 different kinds of Barbie dolls these days, including, oh, Superstar Barbie, Computer Engineer Barbie, and now a what Barbie?

PAPA: Pandemic Barbie.

SAGAL: No, although that would be terrible. With a mask.

HIGGINS: There's Lexapro in a little bag.

(LAUGHTER)

HIGGINS: Is there an Irish Barbie?

SAGAL: It's not an Irish Barbie.

PAPA: No, they're not going crazy.

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

PAPA: They haven't completely lost their minds.

SAGAL: How - let me ask you this, Maeve. If there was an Irish Barbie, what would the Irish Barbie come with?

HIGGINS: Sun tan lotion and, I guess, health care.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I will give you a hint, Tom.

PAPA: Thank you.

SAGAL: With this particular Barbie, enlightenment is not included but can be achieved.

PAPA: A Barbie yoga teacher - a life coach Barbie.

SAGAL: Close enough.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: I'm going to give it to you because of Yoga Barbie because she comes in a yoga pose. It's called Breathe With Me Barbie, and it's a meditation Barbie.

PAPA: Oh, meditation...

SAGAL: Like I said, in her package, she's, like, in the cross-legged yoga pose. She's - now, this new doll has caused some controversy when a Christian influencer, quote-unquote, "voiced her concern that the doll was, in fact, satanic" and could lead children to be, quote, "possessed by demons." Now, in her defense, this Barbie can turn her head all the way around.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: I like that the idea of just someone being left alone with their thoughts has got to be filled with Satan.

SAGAL: Yes.

HIGGINS: Right.

SAGAL: Now, Mattel says, in contrast - and I quote - "kids simply press the button in Barbie doll's necklace to activate one of five guided meditation exercises that use light and sound effects to inspire their own practice," unquote. So look forward to your kid refusing to do chores because it disturbs their aura.

Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank. But first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. You can click the Contact Us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. Also, come on, come out. See us live. We'll be in Philadelphia June 30 at the beautiful Mann Center, and we have a new home in Chicago - the Studebaker Theater. Tickets are on sale right now for shows starting in June. And it goes on. The WAIT WAIT Stand Up Tour is back, kicking off June 24 in Salt Lake City and June 25 in Denver, with Mr. Alonzo Bodden hosting. Tickets and info about all of that is at nprpresents.org.

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

SOPHIA GRACE DELIA: Hi, this is Sophia Grace Delia (ph) calling from Alloway, South Jersey.

SAGAL: Oh, from South Jersey. I'm a northern Jersey person. So as far as I'm concerned, your home doesn't exist. What do you do there?

DELIA: Oh, we look at cows. Do y'all know what muskrats are?

SAGAL: I do. I do know what muskrats are.

DELIA: Yeah. Muskrats are swamp rats.

SAGAL: Right.

DELIA: And so where I live, we used to have a muskrat festival where you'd go out into the swamp and you'd catch the muskrats, and then you'd eat them.

HIGGINS: (Laughter) Oh, God.

PAPA: Yep.

SAGAL: You just - as a North Jersey native, you just confirmed, in an instant, all of my stereotypes about South Jersey.

DELIA: (Laughter) Oh, yeah. We got horses. We got swamp rats.

SAGAL: You really do make it sound like a paradise on this earth, Sophia. So good job.

Well, welcome to the show, Sophia. 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 big winner. You ready to play?

DELIA: Yes, sir.

SAGAL: Here we go. Here's your first limerick.

KURTIS: Whose bowl it came from is immaterial because children's demand is imperial. Some soggy old crumbs give this milk its big yum. It is filled with the dregs of old...

DELIA: Cereal?

KURTIS: Yes.

SAGAL: Cereal, yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Is there anything better than the leftover milk at the end of a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Well, yes, of course there is. But this week, Swiss Miss and Cinnamon Toast Crunch joined forces to make a hot drink that tastes like the milk left in the bowl. Whose bowl, exactly? Don't worry about that. Just drink it.

(LAUGHTER)

HIGGINS: The hot part is strange. I didn't know that that was a thing.

SAGAL: Right.

PAPA: Me neither.

SAGAL: For people who are interested, this piping hot insult to all that is holy and good will be available in June.

(LAUGHTER)

HIGGINS: In the summer?

SAGAL: And the official name of the product - no, wait, everybody. Because people want to know what the official name of this product is so they can purchase it as soon as it is available. It is Swiss Miss Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamilk. Sounds great.

HIGGINS: Oh, rolls off the tongue.

SAGAL: It really does. It really does.

PAPA: They should just go with Shazam.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: During lockdown, we stayed in hot mess mode because loose clothes helped us deal with our stress load. Now fine dining is back, grab a suit that's not track. Many restaurants now have a...

DELIA: Dress code.

SAGAL: Dress code, yeah.

KURTIS: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Dust off that three-piece suit and porkpie hat. Dress codes are back at fine restaurants. Over the pandemic, everything got more casual. But now that everybody is pretending the pandemic is over, restaurants are done with people wearing sweatpants. It's a huge bummer. If you can't wear sweats, where will you hide all the stolen silverware? Owners of these places say the change is needed to bring an air of class back to fine dining and because focusing on how uncomfortable your tie is is the only way to make you forget that you just paid $120 for what seems to be a single broiled anchovy with a side of something called aerated potato foam.

BODDEN: Has the restaurant industry completely bounced back? Because they were talking about, you know, all the problems they're having with staffing and...

SAGAL: Sure.

BODDEN: ...This and that. And now they're actually turning people away because they're not dressed properly?

SAGAL: Yeah, I know. It's a bit of a flex when you think about it. They should be encouraging us to wear sweatpants. Well, I see that's an elastic waistband, so I know you have room for dessert.

HIGGINS: Yeah.

SAGAL: Here, Sophia, is your last limerick.

KURTIS: Says Pope Francis, a spirit-based heal-uh (ph), the pain in my knee is a squeal-uh (ph). But I won't be infirm because I swallow the worm. I just need a quick shot of...

DELIA: Tequila?

SAGAL: Yes, tequila. Tequila, indeed.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Pope Francis has been suffering - he's been suffering. He's an older man. He's been suffering from strained ligaments in his right knee. And he was tooling around Saint Peter's Square in his little popemobile, and he stopped to talk with some Mexican seminary students. And he said, you know what I need for my knee? Some tequila. And they all laughed, you know? And a moment went by, and the pope said, no, seriously, do you have any tequila? I got sacramental wine coming out of my ears.

HIGGINS: Oh.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So he's a partier, right? Can you imagine throwing a party at the Vatican and the Pope shows up? He's infallible. So every one of his beer pong shots counts as hits, even if they fly off the table. Those are the rules.

HIGGINS: It would be one of those parties where there's just mainly men, I would - can imagine.

SAGAL: You would think. Yeah, it would probably be that. I don't think the nuns are allowed.

HIGGINS: A couple of...

SAGAL: And of course, everybody wants to go do tequila shots with the pope. He's like, ready, everybody? Salt, shot, wafer.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: He's got a keg under his hat.

BODDEN: You talk about a story no one's going to believe - when you were doing shots of tequila with the pope. Oh, yeah, sure you were. Yeah. Yeah.

PAPA: Oh, yeah.

HIGGINS: Sure, yeah.

PAPA: Yeah, sure. And then Bill Murray walked in.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: People think the pope - people who think the pope cannot party are wrong. What do you think that white smoke is when they name a new one?

HIGGINS: (Laughter) Wait, what do you think it is?

SAGAL: I'm just - I'm not going to come to any conclusion. I'm just going to ask - I ask the questions, here. You answer them, Maeve. That's how this works.

PAPA: What else do you smoke at a toga party?

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

KURTIS: Sophia proved she is Jersey strong - three in a row.

PAPA: Yeah, Jersey.

HIGGINS: Wow.

SAGAL: Hey, congratulations. Well done, Sophia. Thank you so much for playing.

DELIA: Yeah, thank you so much. Have a nice day.

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

KURTIS: Sure can. Alonzo has two. Maeve has three. Tom has three.

HIGGINS: Oh.

KURTIS: Oh, boy.

SAGAL: OK. Well, that means...

KURTIS: We've got a game going.

SAGAL: ...If I'm not mistaken, that means, Alonzo, you're in second place. You're up first. The clock will start when I begin your first question.

Fill in the blank. For the first time since Russia's invasion, the U.S. officially reopened their embassy in blank.

BODDEN: Ukraine?

SAGAL: Well, yeah, I'll give it to you.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: It's in Kyiv, the capital. On Tuesday, the Department of Justice asked the committee investigating the attack on the blank for interview transcripts.

BODDEN: Oh, the Capitol.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: After years of negotiation, the U.S. men and women's blank teams agreed to an equal pay contract.

BODDEN: Soccer.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, Gucci announced their newest high-end product, an umbrella that blanks.

BODDEN: Opens itself?

SAGAL: No, that leaks. On Tuesday, the White House announced that U.S. citizens could order a third set of free blank tests.

BODDEN: COVID.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Thursday, pop superstar and designer blank announced the arrival of her first child.

BODDEN: Rihanna.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, a woman in El Paso said she doesn't think she did anything wrong after she visited a zoo and blanked.

BODDEN: Climbed into a cage?

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: She climbed into a monkey enclosure and fed them Cheetos. Just ahead of her criminal trial, Lucy Rae says she's seen videos online of monkeys eating potato chips, so she didn't think she did anything wrong by climbing into the enclosure and feeding them Cheetos. The zookeepers disagree. They explain the monkeys are on a very strict diet and should only be fed Flamin' Hot Cheetos.

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Bill, I think Alonzo did pretty well. Am I right?

KURTIS: Look at Alonzo - six right, 12 more points.

HIGGINS: Wow.

KURTIS: He now has 14...

PAPA: Whoa.

KURTIS: ...And the lead.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Wow, well done. All right...

HIGGINS: Not for long, friend.

BODDEN: Oh, I know that.

SAGAL: I'm going to pick Tom to go next just so we can have the excitement of Maeve at the end.

PAPA: Oh, boy.

SAGAL: So, Tom, you're up next. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, the CDC warned that rising COVID numbers meant a third of the country should be wearing blanks.

PAPA: Masks.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, Turkey temporarily blocked talks on Finland joining blank.

PAPA: NATO.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Wednesday, the blank had its worst day since 2020.

PAPA: The stock market.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Shortly after winning his first-ever stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday, cyclist Biniam Girmay had to pull out of the race after blank.

PAPA: After he fell off his bike.

SAGAL: No, after the cork from his celebratory bottle of prosecco hit him in the eye.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: This week, a woman in Canada humbly said, well, that's mom life, after she was filmed blanking.

PAPA: Having sex.

SAGAL: No. Saving her pet goose from an attacking eagle while breastfeeding her baby daughter.

PAPA: Well, you call it what you want.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: This woman was in the middle of feeding her daughter - breastfeeding her daughter - when she heard the family's pet goose screaming outside. So she ran to the backyard to find it being attacked by an eagle. The woman saved the day by scaring the eagle away. The real hero is the breastfeeding baby who held on, even though the mom had to use both hands to wrestle the eagle off.

HIGGINS: Wow.

SAGAL: Hungry baby.

Bill, how did Tom do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, Tom had three right for six more points. He has a total of nine. But Alonzo still has the lead with 14.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: All right, then. All right. Well...

HIGGINS: I'm going to breeze through this.

SAGAL: OK, so how many, then, does Maeve need to win?

KURTIS: Six to win.

SAGAL: Six?

HIGGINS: No problem.

SAGAL: No problem.

PAPA: We should just call it for Alonzo.

SAGAL: Here we go, Maeve. This is for the game. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, the attorney general of New York said social media has to take some responsibility for the shooting in blank.

HIGGINS: Buffalo.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Thursday, U.K. police announced that Boris Johnson would face no further fines over blanking during quarantine.

HIGGINS: The cheese.

SAGAL: No, partying. He had all these parties, remember? This week, Minnesota police ended a six-hour standoff at the home of a suspect after they blanked.

HIGGINS: Got so hungry.

SAGAL: No, after they learned that the suspect had left before they even got there. On Sunday, the chairman of Goldman Sachs warned that the U.S. should prepare for a blank.

HIGGINS: They close on Sundays?

SAGAL: For a recession. This week, GrubHub was forced to apologize after offering free lunch to blank.

HIGGINS: To its workers?

SAGAL: No, to the entire city of New York.

HIGGINS: Wow.

SAGAL: As part of a promotion, GrubHub put a general offer - all 8 million people in New York, you get $15 worth of free food, but you have to order it on Tuesday between 11 and 2. Unfortunately, they did not warn any of the restaurants or GrubHub drivers, leading to six-hour waits as 6,000 orders per minute flooded the app. GrubHub denied wrongdoing...

HIGGINS: Wow.

SAGAL: ...Saying, oh, you thought we said free lunch today? No, no, no, no. We said you're going lunch-free today.

Bill, did Maeve do well enough to win?

KURTIS: Maeve maintained the tight race with one right...

PAPA: (Laughter).

KURTIS: ...For two more points and a total of five.

HIGGINS: You must be kidding me. What?

(APPLAUSE)

KURTIS: Which means with 14, Alonzo is this week's champion.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh.

PAPA: Nice job, Alonzo.

HIGGINS: Wow.

BODDEN: Thank you.

KURTIS: Good game, Maeve.

PAPA: (Laughter) Bill is the nicest announcer in radio.

BODDEN: Thank you, Maeve. Thank you for surrendering and making me look good. I appreciate it.

SAGAL: Now, panel, what will the next fun congressional hearing be about? Tom Papa.

PAPA: Dream catchers - what are they really catching?

SAGAL: Maeve Higgins.

HIGGINS: Books - what are they, and which way do you hold them?

SAGAL: And Alonzo Bodden.

BODDEN: World Peace, because if you're going to do nothing, you might as well aim high.

HIGGINS: Oh.

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

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Tom Papa, Maeve Higgins and Alonzo Bodden. Thanks to all of you for listening. I am Peter Sagal, and we will see you next week from San Francisco.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SAGAL: This is NPR.

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