Talking cowboy culture with Orville Peck and the Compton Cowboys : Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Comedian Josh Gondelman and Emma learn how to parallel park a horse and wrangle up a varmint with help from a rootin' tootin' roster of guests.

Talking cowboy culture with Orville Peck and the Compton Cowboys

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EMMA CHOI, HOST:

Hey, guys. I'm Emma Choi and welcome to EVERYONE & THEIR MOM, a weekly show from Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! This week we're talking about two cowboys who save the day with Wait Wait panelist, comedian and someone who I think probably dances the hell out of the Cupid Shuffle - it's Josh Gondelman. Hi, Josh.

(APPLAUSE)

JOSH GONDELMAN: Oh, my gosh. Hi, Emma. It's so nice to see you. No one's ever assumed I'm a good dancer before. And this is really - this is a landmark day for me. It's momentous.

(LAUGHTER)

CHOI: Well, I'm really excited to talk about this week's story.

GONDELMAN: I'm ready.

CHOI: It's about a beautiful moment when the right person for the job was a real-life cowboy, and he saved the day.

GONDELMAN: Ooh, that's exciting.

CHOI: Yeah, it's insane because, I mean, cowboys, you know, some people just associate them with, like, the olden days when gold prospectors went to structurally unsound towns and started brawls while ragtime music played.

(SOUNDBITE OF HORSE NEIGHING)

CHOI: But cowboys are still at it today, and two of them are in the news for being absolute heroes when cows got loose along a highway in Oklahoma City.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Yes, yes.

CHOI: And, like, emergency crews couldn't catch the cow...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: You on there? You got him? You got him? You got him?

CHOI: ...But an actual cowboy did.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Woohoo (ph).

GONDELMAN: This feels like a cowboy's time to shine (laughter).

CHOI: Yes (laughter). Well, the - how it happened was the cowboy came riding down the busy highway on his horse, and he actually managed to wrangle the cow in with a lasso - like, a rope lasso. And he was wearing...

GONDELMAN: Sure.

CHOI: ...An actual cowboy hat. It's perfect, you know?

GONDELMAN: So I feel like that's probably just what they wear. Like, to them, they're just like, oh, I just call this a hat.

CHOI: I know (laughter).

GONDELMAN: This is, like, my big hat that keeps the sun off my ears, neck and face.

CHOI: I feel like cowboys are very in right now. Have you noticed that - like, cowboy culture?

GONDELMAN: Where are we seeing them?

CHOI: Josh.

GONDELMAN: Oh, if you, like...

CHOI: Everywhere.

GONDELMAN: Wait, I know, like, Kacey Musgraves and Megan Thee Stallion kind of put forth, like, south - the - a southwestern agenda. But, like, I'm trying to think of other cowboy culture.

CHOI: Josh, cowboy culture is huge - right? - because...

GONDELMAN: OK.

CHOI: ...Like, those fashion girlies (ph) are wearing cowboy boots in the middle of summer, right?

GONDELMAN: Sure, sure.

CHOI: We got bachelorette parties who are doing disco cowboy themes, OK?

GONDELMAN: OK.

CHOI: We got the alt teens who are using the cowboy smiley face emoji for any single reason.

GONDELMAN: Oh, yeah...

CHOI: It just...

GONDELMAN: ...I know that emoji. Yep.

CHOI: Right? And I just feel like, you know, it's so ubiquitous. Is - am I using that word, right? It just - everywhere.

GONDELMAN: I think, yes. Yeah, I think you nailed it with ubiquitous.

CHOI: What do we think is so appealing about being a cowboy? - because it's kind of an eternal, like, position, I guess.

GONDELMAN: Yeah. I feel like the cowboy type or, like, the cow wrangler - but it's almost always boys. But I feel like it's branching out, like you were saying, like fashion...

CHOI: Cowgirls.

GONDELMAN: ...For...

CHOI: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: Yeah, cowgirls, cowgirl culture, women having cowgirl summers.

(LAUGHTER)

CHOI: Yeah, #cowgirlsummer - - I love it.

GONDELMAN: But I think it's, like, the spirit of adventure and individualism and, like, knowing how to do cool stuff with a rope. It feels like a - it's a fantasy or a reality of a life with, like, a lot of skill and self-sufficience (ph), which is, like, a very American thing, right?

CHOI: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: To be like, oh, all I need is a rope and some boots, and I'll just catch my food with a rope. And I'll sleep in my boots so scorpions don't get in them or whatever.

CHOI: (Laughter).

GONDELMAN: So I think there - it's, like, such a classic, iconic American image, for better and worse, right? Because for better, it's like, ooh, there is - like, you're up for anything. You're roaming the plains. You're working the land. And then for worse, it's kind of like, it seems pretty lonely.

CHOI: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHOI: Just to start off, can you introduce yourself to us?

ORVILLE PECK: My name is Orville Peck, and I'm a country musician.

CHOI: Tell us you're a country music superstar...

PECK: (Laughter).

CHOI: ...And you're known for your albums, "Pony" and "Bronco," which are amazing, and for having a really iconic, specific aesthetic. How would you describe it?

PECK: My aesthetic, like, my visual aesthetic?

CHOI: Yeah.

PECK: I would describe it as weird, Lone Ranger, rhinestone cowboy, Western star meets (laughter) I don't know, childhood trauma. (Laughter) No, I'm just kidding.

CHOI: (Laughter).

PECK: No, I think it's - I don't know. I guess it's sort of my take on the iconic trope of the cowboy, I suppose.

CHOI: Yeah, I think that's absolutely right. And I know a big part of that aesthetic is that you hide your face under a cowboy hat with a long fringe. So the public has never seen your face, right?

PECK: Right.

CHOI: Were you at all inspired by the iconic Hannah Montana to live a double life?

PECK: I can't really cite Hannah Montana as an inspiration, unfortunately, but...

CHOI: Yeah, I mean - I guess what are the logistics of being, like, an in-the-world, masked singer? Like, do you wear a mask under your mask when you go on the subway or something?

PECK: Whenever I go to dinner with the mask, I have to braid it and, like, put it aside so I can eat, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

PECK: And, like, yeah, I've definitely - I've gone into certain functions or venues where they've asked me to take it off at security, which is always a bit interesting.

CHOI: Yeah. I mean, let's talk about your - I mean, your image because you have a very specific, iconic image that, you know, is theatrical at times, is big. Where is that from? Like, did this image of your look come to you in, like, a dream or something?

PECK: (Laughter) I don't know. It just - you know, I loved "The Lone Ranger" growing up. So I grew up in South Africa, in Johannesburg, till I was 15, and I was always obsessed with the character of cowboys. Like, I loved, you know, "The Lone Ranger." I loved this TV show called "Cheyenne," which - you know, I used to watch the reruns of "Cheyenne" all the time - and anybody who was sort of, like, a rebellious outsider or outcast who had this sort of innate solitude or loneliness to them, but instead of that being their weakness, it was sort of their power. And they were, like, the hero of the story.

Because I think growing up, I felt very much like an outcast and like an outsider, and I still to this day, carry this sort of inexplicable, irrational loneliness. Even though I'm surrounded by people who love me and family and friends, like, I still kind of carry that with me. But I think the beautiful thing about the kind of - the trope or the sort of philosophy of the cowboy is that that's sort of their strength.

CHOI: Yeah. I mean, something - you know, cowboy culture or, like, the look is very popular right now. But we've also noticed that there's this trend of people who have been, like, historically, on the sidelines, kind of like reinterpreting the cowboy look.

PECK: People might think that country music, or the image of the cowboy, is sort of like, you know, cis, straight, white, American kind of world, but the cowboy as - just in reality, you know, we - there's a lot more talked about now that, you know, obviously, like, a lot of the first cowboys were actually not white. A lot of them were Black. And most of cowboy aesthetic, the look and everything - a lot of that is drawn from, you know, like, Latin culture and Mexican fashion and Mexican, you know, heritage, too. And there's something really liberating and freeing about realizing that that sort of rebellious, outsider power can kind of be taken on by anybody and assumed by anyone.

And, you know, it's kind of like the spirit of the cowboy can live within anybody. I don't think you have to be, you know, like, you know, herding cattle in order to be a cowboy. There's sort of like a more of a profound ethos of a cowboy, as well, that seems to be catching on to - I suppose more outsiders, these days - people who feel on the outside. I mean, that's definitely - when I was little, I grew up attached to the imagery because of that reason.

CHOI: Yeah, I mean, it's like what Mitski said, you know, be the cowboy. And...

PECK: Exactly.

CHOI: ...Everyone is. Yeah. Also, like, the look is just dope as hell, you know? Like, I feel like...

PECK: (Laughter) Right.

CHOI: ...It's a big part of it. Like, I, like, walked around Soho and everyone's wearing cowboy boots, and I'm like, yeah, looks great, you know...

PECK: (Laughter)

CHOI: ...It makes you feel good. Were you like a horse girl as a kid? Were you, like, always pretending...

PECK: (Laughter) I joke that I'm, like, a horse girl now. I didn't have...

CHOI: No (laughter).

PECK: I didn't ride when I was a kid, but - just because, you know, my family didn't - we didn't - couldn't afford it, really.

CHOI: Yeah.

PECK: But I loved - I've always loved horses. And I ride any chance I can now, and...

CHOI: Oh, that's so nice.

PECK: Yeah.

CHOI: Yeah, also cowboys are just, like, hot, you know? Like, I feel...

PECK: Hell yeah.

CHOI: Yeah. Like, you walk into the club with some boots and a cowboy hat on, and you're like, that guy is hot as hell. Like, I think that's part of the coolness for me, you know? And I feel like...

PECK: Yeah, totally.

CHOI: Yeah.

PECK: Like, what is it? There's, like, five, like, male stripper tropes. It's like, policeman, fireman, cowboy.

CHOI: Yeah.

PECK: I guess we're not really - we're not - but, you know, we're still ACAB, but, you know...

CHOI: Yeah, of course.

(LAUGHTER)

CHOI: No, there's a reason why I watch "Brokeback Mountain," like, every year.

PECK: (Laughter) Yeah.

CHOI: Well, if you're down, we have a game to play with you. Is that OK?

PECK: OK. I love games. Yeah.

CHOI: OK. And it's super easy. So...

PECK: Oh, good.

CHOI: ...Basically, you know, we both know country songs are inspired by dramatic things that happen in everyday life. So we were thinking that I could give you a list of scenarios, and you can tell me whether they're worthy of a country song or not.

PECK: OK. I love it.

CHOI: OK, cool. The name of the game is Melody or Melo-don't (ph). So don't - feel free to groan every time I say that.

PECK: (Laughter).

CHOI: First scenario - you got the wrong dressing on your salad. Melody or melo-don't?

PECK: Oh, melody.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PECK: I think you could do, like, a early 2000s Garth kind of song.

CHOI: Also, if the spirit strikes you, feel free to sing us a couple of bars, too.

PECK: Yeah. I mean, you know, it's like, (singing) I can't get my vinaigrette, I'm going to make y'all regret (laughter).

CHOI: OK, this is great. Next one - your roommate uses all the hot water. Melody or melo-don't?

PECK: I'm going to go melody again...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PECK: ...Just because, you know, I really - I truly think you can make a country song out of anything. I mean, they - and they have (laughter).

CHOI: I love that. Your favorite queen loses a drag race final - melody or melo-don't?

PECK: Oh, melody.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PECK: I'm going to just be, like, melody on all of these, I feel like. That could definitely be, like, a Patsy Cline, like, you know, spotlight moment with, like, you know, the ghost light on the stage - kind of (singing) crazy.

(LAUGHTER)

PECK: (Singing) Crazy for losing the lip synch.

CHOI: Oh. OK, cool. Let's keep going. The fringe falls off your hat, and your face is exposed to the world, and you spent the morning drinking Hawaiian punch. So now you have, like, a weird red punch stain around your mouth.

PECK: (Laughter)

CHOI: Melody or melo-don't?

PECK: Melo-don't because I think my career would be over (laughter).

CHOI: OK. Last one. A baby cow is loose on the highway, and no one knows what to do, when all of a sudden, two cowboys race up on horses, lasso it to safety and save the day. Melody or melo-don't?

PECK: I mean, melody. That sounds like one of my songs.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

CHOI: Yeah. Well, can you give us a taste of what the first line might sound like? It sounds like you might have an idea.

PECK: Yeah, let me think. (Singing) Well, I was wandering down the highway, and I saw you running there. I got my lasso out, and I said, I don't care. I'm going to save you, baby. I'm going to save you now. You're going to grow up a real happy cow.

GONDELMAN: Was he riding his horse along the highway coincidentally, or did someone have to point, like, a - the shadow of a big hat up into the sky and he knew to come?

CHOI: (Laughter) The bat signal? I don't know. I mean, I just...

GONDELMAN: The hat signal.

CHOI: The hat signal. I kind of just assume that, like, cowboys are everywhere in Oklahoma because...

GONDELMAN: Sure.

CHOI: ...Partly because he was working with another cowboy when he wrangled in the cow. You know, there are, like, two cowboys just around. I love that they're just everywhere, you know?

GONDELMAN: Right, right, right, right, right, right. Like how in New York, there's hotdog carts.

CHOI: (Laughter) Exactly. But I love these specific people because I just think that they should hire cowboys to direct traffic everywhere. You know, like...

GONDELMAN: Yeah.

CHOI: ...I'd love to see a guy in suede chaps just lasso someone with a full cart in the 15 items or less aisle. Like, that's a lawless place that could really use a cowboy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RANDY SAVVY: We say, the streets raised us, horses saved us.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHOI: Just to start off, will you introduce yourself to us?

SAVVY: I am Randy Savvy. I am the founder of Compton Cowboys.

CHOI: You're also, like, a real-life cowboy. Have you ever had to parallel park a horse before?

SAVVY: I have tried. They don't really stand still.

(LAUGHTER)

SAVVY: So they're, like, either are we going up over the curb, or, like, what am I doing? Like...

CHOI: Well, can you tell us a little bit more about the Compton Cowboys - like, what you guys do, what you're about?

SAVVY: Yeah, no doubt. So Compton Cowboys is - I like to classify us as an equestrian club. And we all, basically, grew up together riding here in the Richland Farms at this ranch in a program that my aunt founded way back in 1988, called the Compton Junior Posse. And she moved here and got some horses. And lo and behold, she realized that this community was so troubled with, you know, all these different social issues - right? - like gangs, drugs, crime, violence, police brutality - a lot of the stuff that you, you know, have seen and heard about over the decades that was going on in the city of Compton.

So she said, well, maybe if I use my horses to draw the kids in, and then when they come, I can say, hey, if you want to ride, first of all, you have to make sure you're showing me your report card. You have to make sure that you're going to school, and people are saying you're behaving and all these different things. So kids always would come knock on the door to ask to ride the horse, and she would say, OK, you want a ride? Here's my program.

CHOI: Yeah. So are you guys really integrated with the Compton scene now? Like, when people are driving their cars now and they see a horse ride by, like, does - is it not blinking an eye now?

SAVVY: Well, interestingly enough, like I said, Compton was founded as - the Richland Farms, where we are, is ground zero for Compton. So the founder of Compton - G.D. Compton - was a - when he settled in this area, he was a farmer himself. And he chose this area specifically because the land was rich. And so he settled here. And when he went to incorporate Compton, he made sure that this town was deeded as an agricultural zone to perpetuity in the paperwork. So now, in 2022, we still are a farm town. We don't have sidewalks. We have dirt roads and gravel, and people have ranch animals and stuff. So the core essence of Compton is farming.

CHOI: Well, we're talking about cowboys this week because we read this story about these two cowboys who lassoed a cow off the side of the highway when, like, the authorities couldn't. Have you ever done anything like this before?

SAVVY: Very similar situations, yes. We've definitely had to go out there and get horses out of situations that, you know, the typical bystander or, you know, community member couldn't really solve. Like, for example, you know, one time a horse got loose in the neighborhood...

(SOUNDBITE OF HORSE GALLOPING)

SAVVY: ...And there's no way to, like - a regular - dealing with horses and having horsemanship is a very particular skill set. And a lot of times, if you're just a regular, everyday person, you don't know how to really deal with a horse. You don't know how to get them to move a certain way or how to talk to them a certain way, so it usually takes people that have experience to do that. And so we've definitely been out in the neighborhood chasing horses down and getting them back home...

CHOI: Yeah.

SAVVY: ...And that kind of thing for sure.

CHOI: Yeah. What's the Compton Cowboys' role in the community? Like, do you occupy a specific place in the ecosystem?

SAVVY: I love that question. I think that our role in the community mostly is to bring - yeah, bring nature to the city. You know, we love the dirt.

CHOI: Yeah.

SAVVY: We love the animals. We love the green trees. We plant - we have a garden, and we love to dwell outside under the sky. And we light fires. The more people see it, the more they kind of gravitate - or it at least touches them in some kind of way.

CHOI: So your ranch sounds like a really exciting place. Is there, like, a standout moment of your favorite moment on the ranch?

SAVVY: When I'm able to come home and go back in the back and see all those kids back there just running around and riding the horses and just having the time of their life, it's just, like, changing the community for the better. You know, we grow up - a lot of times in these areas - I grew up rough, you know? Me and my - a lot of our friends - you know, we could have lost our lives to these streets like a lot of our friends did. You know, the streets could've took us out, and they didn't. And this - we owe that to these horses. And so for me to be able to make it out of that and now be able to do something with my friends to pay it forward is very rewarding, you know? That's definitely my favorite moment.

CHOI: Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. That - it sounds, like, really rewarding to see, like, the past and the present and the future all in one place on the ranch. And all the while, you're wearing really cool cowboy outfits during the whole thing.

SAVVY: Yeah.

CHOI: So it looks good, too.

SAVVY: Well, that's my thing. I always try to be swagged out. That's our thing.

CHOI: (Laughter).

SAVVY: We try to be, like, the - we want to be the most swaggy (ph), coolest cowboys that ever lived.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHOI: Part of why I love this story is because it's, like, one of those classic - the right person for the right job who's right there, like you mentioned. Have you ever been, like, the right person for the right job in that moment?

GONDELMAN: So I don't have a lot of skills, which makes it difficult. Like - but I'm trying to think of right person, right time 'cause it's like, you know, if I'm on a flight - and I'm trying to think of, like, what kind of - like, is there a doctor on the plane? I'd be like, I mean, I'm Jewish, so, like, I know some...

CHOI: Yeah (laughter).

GONDELMAN: ..But they're not here.

CHOI: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: So I feel like I always want to be the right person. I always wish - like, oh, time for me to snap into action, like Jason Bourne. But they never need just, like, a smartass.

(LAUGHTER)

CHOI: Yeah, I guess I could use you if I'm in a, like, a sassy fight with one of my enemies. And I just - I call you in to write some jokes for me on the fly, you know? That would be nice.

GONDELMAN: Or, like, if you need someone to babysit while you go toe-to-toe with another assassin. Like, I don't do that as much anymore, but, like, I could. I used to teach pre-K, so, like...

CHOI: There you go.

GONDELMAN: ...I have those skills. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

CHOI: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

GONDELMAN: Right. Like - like, if someone tough was like - like, in - in "Kill Bill," if, like, Uma Thurman had been like, hold this baby while I murder a bunch of guys. I'd be like, oh, I know how to do that. You support the head and neck.

CHOI: Yeah, yeah, yeah (laughter).

GONDELMAN: I could be there.

CHOI: Absolutely. Yeah. I love the is-there-a-doctor-on-the-plane phenomenon because whenever that happens - my dad is a doctor, and he always, like, goes up there. But the thing is, he always comes back a little bummed because there's, like, multiple doctors on every plane, and they kind of pick the one they trust the most. And my dad comes like schlepping back to his seat, and he's like, they didn't pick me, but that's OK.

GONDELMAN: That's so sad. Do you think in this story there was, like, another cowboy that's like (laughter) time for old Lance (ph) to shine? He's, like, swirling his lasso in the air. And they're like, oh, we already got the cow. And he's like, son of a gun.

CHOI: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: Just (imitating gunshots) in the air.

CHOI: Yeah, but I don't think it would get him down. Yeah, I think he'd just shoot the air a couple times and go back into the sunset.

GONDELMAN: Yeah. Cowboys would rather shoot the air many times with their guns than go to therapy. I've always said that.

CHOI: Yeah, and thank you for saying that, Josh. And everyone will.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHOI: Hey, Sara. Nice to meet you.

SARA FULTON: Yeah, nice to meet you.

CHOI: So just to start, can you introduce yourself to us?

FULTON: Yeah. My name is Sara Fulton. I live in Brooklyn. I've been in New York for about 13 years now, and I'm originally from Alaska.

CHOI: So we heard this crazy story about you involving a possum. Would you tell it to us?

FULTON: Yeah, sure. Yeah, I was hanging out at a bar next to the place I work. I work at Stowaway in Greenpoint, and the bar - Temkin's, next door. I was hanging out outside with my friend. And then this creature, like, runs into the bar, and we're like, what was that? And my friend was like, oh, I think that was a dog. And I was like, I don't know, that looks like a possum. And we run into the bar. Everyone's on the other side of the bar freaking out. They're like, what do we do? What do we do? What is that?

And then we were all just trying to figure out how to, like, capture it and, like, take it back outside. And everyone was, like, just losing it. And I was just like, well, guess I'm the calmest one here. So I just went over - like, you know, crouched down and just picked him - scruffed (ph) him - and carried him outside and let him be on his merry way (laughter).

CHOI: That's so crazy to me, because I'm the kind of person who sees a pigeon on my AC, and I'm like, ah.

FULTON: (Laughter) Yeah.

CHOI: Well, this week we're talking about - this week, on the show, we're talking about people who were the right person for the job at the right time. And you were, like, that person exactly, weren't you?

FULTON: Yeah, absolutely.

CHOI: Did your head go into, like, Alaska mode where you had, like, a specific thought process of how to deal with it?

FULTON: Yeah. I - it was, like, right before I did that, when I told everyone - I was like, all right, I got this. I'm from Alaska, you know? And because I was like - it's like, I never pull that card. But I was like, I'm going to do it because if I do, no one is going to question me.

CHOI: Exactly.

FULTON: And I'm just going to be able to - they were like, OK. She's from Alaska, guys (laughter).

CHOI: Yeah.

FULTON: And yeah, 'cause I was like, I mean, this is not a moose or a bear. It's a possum. I can easily handle a possum.

CHOI: Take me to the moment where you, like, actually grab its neck. Like, did it - what does it even feel like to grab a possum?

FULTON: Right? I mean, it's just like - it felt like picking up a heavy cat, you know? It was just like - I felt like that was, like, the safest way to do it without harming him, you know? And I was just like - he was just frozen in fear in the corner. And so, you know, I just crouched down, and he wasn't moving because he was like - he was playing possum.

CHOI: I mean, when you look back at your life, do you feel like - what do you feel like prepared you for this moment, you know?

FULTON: I mean, growing up and living in Alaska, having moose grow up in my backyard and, like, going camping with black bears, you know? I think just being around all these wild animals. I thought I was brave enough as a human being and a person before. But now after, like, handling a possum and realizing that's not a normal thing that everybody does, that kind of is like - I feel like that's just, like, proving how Alaskan I am. And, like, just, like, being more comfortable with, like, saying, yes, I am from Alaska.

CHOI: So what happens after? Like, you just - everyone just goes back to normal?

FULTON: Yeah, there was just, like, shots lined up on the bar for me. And they're like, you're a hero.

(LAUGHTER)

FULTON: I'm like, well, all right. I'll take it.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHOI: Well, Josh, we want to play a game with you, if that's OK.

GONDELMAN: I would love that.

CHOI: And it's called What Would a Cowboy Say? It's a fun one. So we're going to give you a scenario, and you give us what kooky thing a cowboy might say in response. Does that make sense?

GONDELMAN: Sure. It makes perfect sense.

CHOI: I knew it would.

GONDELMAN: Nothing's ever made more sense to me than this.

CHOI: Great. OK, let's get into it. How about he accidentally drops his ice cream cone on the ground. What would a cowboy say?

GONDELMAN: Darn. This is like a day with no sunset.

CHOI: Love it. Love a simile. Got it. He forgot to do the dishes. What's he saying?

GONDELMAN: Dang, Curtis (ph) - that's his roommate.

CHOI: (Laughter).

GONDELMAN: Dang, Curtis. I'm sorrier than a shaved porcupine.

CHOI: That's really good.

GONDELMAN: Thank you.

CHOI: His cat got stuck up a tree. What does a cowboy say?

GONDELMAN: He'll be like, Fluffernutter (ph) - that's the cat's name.

CHOI: (Laughter) Yeah.

GONDELMAN: Fluffernutter, y'all better come down here in one twitch of a bull's tail or I'm coming up after you with the speed of a hailstone on a hot day.

CHOI: Oh, I love that one. His best friend is marrying his ex-girlfriend. What's a cowboy saying?

GONDELMAN: Dang, Curtis - they're roommates and best friends.

CHOI: (Laughter) Yeah, I get it. Yeah.

GONDELMAN: I thought you were true blue, but you're whatever color a snake's blood is and twice as poison.

CHOI: Oh, ouch. That's hard. He hears a movie spoiler. What does a cowboy say?

GONDELMAN: Ain't you know how to keep a secret under your hat? I want to enjoy "The Devil Wears Prada."

CHOI: One more, OK? He saves the day. What does the cowboy say?

GONDELMAN: Much obliged. All in a day's work for a range-roving, horse-straddling, rope-rustler like myself. And a good day to y'all.

CHOI: Yeah. Josh has tipped his hat as a final in-character.

GONDELMAN: I tipped my hat.

CHOI: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: I'm not wearing a cowboy hat. It's a Red Sox baseball cap. But I did tip it in the fashion that I imagine a cowboy might.

CHOI: Close enough, and I loved it. Well, Josh, that was beautiful. Thank you so much.

GONDELMAN: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHOI: Here's the rooting tootinest (ph) part of the podcast - the credits. This show is brought to you by Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! This episode was produced by Hayley Fager, Zola Ray and Nancy Saechao, with help from Hoja Lopez, Blythe Roberson, Lillian King, Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis and the lady that gave me a free mango in the store. Thanks, lady. Our supervising producer is Jennifer Mills and our Mikey Boy is Mike Danforth. Once again, Lorna White, you make our sound incredible, and we love you. Thank you. Thanks to Sara Fulton for being the gentle vanquisher of Brooklyn possums.

FULTON: Just don't think about it. Just go.

CHOI: Orville Peck, thank you for being the coolest horse girl I know.

PECK: I don't know what anybody here is talking about.

CHOI: His album "Bronco" is available now, and it is really good. Thank you to Randy Savvy for keeping the spirit of the cowboy around.

SAVVY: Sounds elusive.

CHOI: You can find and listen to Randy's music at randysavvy.com. That's randysavvy.com. Thank you to my co-host, comedian, Wait Wait panelist and needlepoint pillow enthusiast Josh Gondelman.

GONDELMAN: Live, laugh, moo.

CHOI: His stand up special "People Pleaser" is available to stream on platforms like YouTube, Amazon, Apple TV and more. I'm Emma Choi and you can find me @waitwaitnpr and playing it real cool at the movie theater, pretending that I definitely do not have four cobs of corn in my bag.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHOI: OK, I'm done. This is NPR.

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