Nathan Lane plays Not My Job on NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" Nathan Lane is a legendary actor of stage and screen. He's easily one of the world's most famous Nathans, but what does he know about Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest?

'Wait Wait' for July 23, 2022: With Not My Job guest Nathan Lane

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following program was taped in front of an audience of real live people.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Watch out, Squirtle. Here comes Bill-basaur (ph) - Bill Kurtis.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: And here is your host, at the Studebaker Theater at the Fine Arts Building in Chicago, Ill., filling in for Peter Sagal, it's Tom Papa.

(APPLAUSE)

TOM PAPA, HOST:

Thanks, Bill. Thanks, everybody. We want to wish a hearty get well soon to President Biden, who is home isolating with COVID. He says he plans to work through it. He's 79 years old. Incredible. And in stark contrast to Peter, who's the only one in his family who doesn't have COVID. And he still took two weeks off.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: If you'd like to be tested in a way that doesn't involve sticking something up your nose, call in to play our games. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Now let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

DAWN MORREN: Hello. This is Dawn Morren (ph). I'm from Woodstock, Conn., but I'm currently in Stanwood, Mich., at my best friend's house.

PAPA: Oh, that's nice. And what do you have planned? Anything fun?

MORREN: Well, we went out on the lake today on her boat, and we're going to go hiking and kayaking and just hang out and chill.

PAPA: Wow. That sounds like a lot of activities.

(LAUGHTER)

MORREN: That's how we roll at the lake house.

PAPA: Yeah. I think next time you should go to Woodstock and just sit on the couch for a while.

(LAUGHER)

PAPA: Well, thank you for being here, Dawn. This is very exciting. Let me introduce you to our panel. First up, a comedian whose new hour special "People Pleaser" is streaming right now. It's the very funny Josh Gondelman.

(APPLAUSE)

JOSH GONDELMAN: Hey, thank you so much. Thank you.

PAPA: Next, her new stand-up special "Middle Classy" is now streaming on Netflix. It's Cristela Alonzo.

(APPLAUSE)

CRISTELA ALONZO: Hello.

PAPA: And host of the "Los Culturistas" podcast and star of the Showtime comedy series "I Love That For You," it's the very talented Matt Rogers.

(APPLAUSE)

MATT ROGERS: Hiya, Dawn. How are you?

PAPA: Well, welcome to the show, Dawn. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? The lovable Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotes from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize - any voice from our show you choose on your voicemail. Are you ready?

MORREN: I am ready. I'm going to do my best.

PAPA: That's all we can ask for, Dawn. That's all we can ask for.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Here's your first quote.

KURTIS: I don't understand how they ever conquered all those hot places.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: That was someone on Twitter talking about what country's total inability to handle record-breaking heat?

MORREN: Oh, I guess that person thinks it's not-so-great Britain.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: Oh, Dawn.

ALONZO: Oh. Oh, my.

PAPA: That's right - Great Britain.

(APPLAUSE)

ROGERS: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: Wow.

PAPA: All over the U.K., people are asking, is that spotted dick or just heat rash?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius in the U.K. this week. In Fahrenheit, that's like 6,000 degrees.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: All previous records have been shattered. Great Britain is shut down. Public transportation has been suspended. And wow, if you thought your hair went crazy in the humidity, wait till you see Boris Johnson.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: You've got to say it in Fahrenheit. I'm just not impressed as an American with 40 degrees.

PAPA: No.

GONDELMAN: A record temperature's 40 degrees? That's December.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: The British are not ready for this. Very few of their homes are air conditioned. Their infrastructure is literally melting. And this is true - air-conditioned movie theaters are letting redheads in for free because they're so frail...

(LAUGHTER)

ALONZO: What?

ROGERS: They're trying to get Harry back. That's all this is.

PAPA: ...In contrast to other countries, which rightfully ban redheads from all public spaces.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: You got to buckle up for record temperatures. This is going to be like the steroid era of Major League Baseball, right? It's like, a new home run record every year? And that's like global warming with temperatures.

PAPA: I know. It's...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: It's really true. How do you handle the heat? Do you do well in the heat?

GONDELMAN: Oh, I do very - I have a pug, and we handle the heat the same. It's just, like, lying against the cold floor on our bellies.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: Spread eagle.

GONDELMAN: Spread out.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: Unmoving and dense.

PAPA: How you doing, buddy? (Imitating snoring).

GONDELMAN: And then my wife was like, Josh, you have to stop grunting.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: All right, Dawn. Here is your next quote from a surfer in New York.

KURTIS: I hit it. I hit it. I smacked it.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: That surfer was recounting how he escaped one of many attacks by what off the coast of New York this week?

MORREN: I'm going to guess a shark.

PAPA: That's right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Sharks.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Beaches all over New York have been closed after a series of shark attacks and sightings just offshore. There are great whites off Far Rockaway, sand tiger sharks off Long Island and on the Upper West Side, sightings of Sharks and Jets.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Truly the diversity we've come to know and love about New York City.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: That's going to end badly, I think.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: I'm actually from Long Island originally.

PAPA: Oh, yeah?

ROGERS: And I went to high school with some people that I'm actually going to say on NPR right now should go swimming.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Marine biologists say the sharks attacking humans aren't coming after us. They're mistaking our feet for fish. I think if you're mistaking human feet for fish, you don't get to be called the ocean's deadliest predator anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Is there anything to maybe the fact that they're eating our feet and like, ew, they're disgusting?

GONDELMAN: Look. Don't kink shame.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Sharks are into what they're into.

ALONZO: Yeah.

PAPA: That's true. It's kind of upsetting to know that sharks and perverts on the internet...

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

PAPA: ...Are into the same thing.

ROGERS: Yeah, but if kink shaming is going to keep me from being eaten by a shark, I'll be problematic.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

PAPA: We're not sure why the number of attacks have gone up. Some people blame global warming, and some blame Coppertone's SPF 30 chum-scented sunscreen.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: I think, look. We've had so little to cling to in the last few years, so little good news.

PAPA: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: I think what we need to do is just realize and feel good that Americans are getting more delicious than ever.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: All right, Dawn, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: I started shaking a little bit. You know, I was like, oh, my God, this is Jennifer Lopez.

PAPA: That was an employee at a wedding chapel in Las Vegas last weekend when Jennifer Lopez showed up to marry whom?

MORREN: Oh, Ben Affleck.

PAPA: Oh, yes, you're right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

ROGERS: Oh, Ben Affleck.

(APPLAUSE)

ROGERS: That's what she said that night.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: She said, oh, Ben Affleck.

PAPA: You're right. Ben Affleck - romance is back. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez got married this weekend two decades after they broke up. They aren't the young stars they were when they first got together. Their relationship is a mix of hot celebrity romance and thinking about your parents having sex.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: It's that old, classic love story of boy meets girl. Boy and girl make one of the worst movies of all time.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Boy postpones engagement to girl. Boy and girl both marry other people, then divorce them. Girl judges "American Idol." Boy becomes Batman. Boy weirds everyone out by dating Ana de Armas.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Boy and girl get back together and get married. A true Hollywood love story.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: That is...

ALONZO: Very true. That's how my parents met.

(LAUGHTER)

ALONZO: That's how my parents met. Like, absolutely.

GONDELMAN: It's the...

ALONZO: It's everybody's story.

GONDELMAN: It's the story of my favorite John Mellencamp song.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Bill, how did Dawn do?

KURTIS: Dawn did great. Michigan loves you, Dawn. Thank you.

(CHEERING)

PAPA: Great job, Dawn. Thank you so much for playing. Enjoy the rest of your vacation.

MORREN: I will. Thank you so much for having me.

(SOUNDBITE OF LOU BUSCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA'S "COOL")

PAPA: Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Josh, Mattel is hoping to make a big splash at Comic-Con this week by rereleasing three classic action figures. For 100 points, name one of them.

GONDELMAN: One hundred points.

ROGERS: So many points.

GONDELMAN: OK. So they did Barbie.

ALONZO: They're still doing it.

GONDELMAN: They're still doing Barbie.

PAPA: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: Yeah, they're not - they didn't...

ALONZO: They haven't retired Barbie.

ROGERS: She's huge for them.

PAPA: One hundred points.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Is one of them a classic Barbie?

PAPA: No.

GONDELMAN: OK. May I have a hint then?

PAPA: No.

GONDELMAN: OK. That's fair. Nope, that's fine.

PAPA: There's no hints on this one.

GONDELMAN: OK. Let me give one more guess. It's so difficult. It's not Barbie. Is it Orson Welles?

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Is it their famous Orson Welles action figure?

PAPA: I'm sorry. I'm just having a moment. I'm just remembering, as a young child...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: ...Bill and I would play Orson Welles dolls together.

(LAUGHTER)

ALONZO: I really need to know.

PAPA: The answer...

ALONZO: Yes.

PAPA: Major Matt Mason, Pulsar and Big Jim. Yes, Mattel is bringing back the 1970s action figure Big Jim, a hero with a name that is only appropriate if your lumberjack camp has two Jims.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: This is all true. He came with a dumbbell, a weight belt and a karate board. He was dressed only in a pair of orange shorts. And his defining feature was that if you bent his arm, his bicep muscle bulged up.

ALONZO: What's...

PAPA: He was the centerpiece of Mattel's little-known line of homoerotic heroes.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: It is - I remember this because this was the first action figure to be openly divorced.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: He was definitely Ken's, quote-unquote "roommate."

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Apparently these toys were a hit because there was a whole line of Big Jim action figures - this is all true - including characters named Torpedo Fist...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: ...Pulsar, who is transparent, and you could see blood moving around his organs...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: ...And this is my favorite I think - Boris the devious chauffeur.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: What makes a devious chauffeur?

GONDELMAN: He's like, ooh, we're going to stop by and run an errand for me on the way.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: The Starbursts back there are expired.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

PAPA: Coming up, we're tickled pink in our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Matt Rogers, Josh Gondelman and Cristela Alonzo. And here again is your host at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, Ill., in for Peter Sagal, Tom Papa.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: 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 air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

CYNTHIA FISHER: Hi. This is Cynthia Fisher (ph) in Terre Haute, Ind.

PAPA: Hi, Cynthia Fisher. How's your summer going there in Indiana?

FISHER: It's wonderful.

PAPA: What are you doing, jumping in a lot of lakes?

(LAUGHTER)

FISHER: Sadly, no lakes, but we made it to a county fair last week.

PAPA: Ooh, a county fair. What did you eat?

FISHER: We're a family of vegetarians. It's tough going to the county fair.

PAPA: Oh.

(CROSSTALK, LAUGHTER)

ALONZO: Oh, wow. Thoughts and prayers.

PAPA: So you just brought the kids along to prove that you're right?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Well, it's so nice to have you with us, Cynthia.

FISHER: Thank you.

PAPA: You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell the truth from fiction. What's the topic, William?

KURTIS: Like a flamingo.

PAPA: Like a flamingo - it's not just the first draft of one of Madonna's greatest songs.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: It's a phrase that popped up in the news this week. Our panelists are going to tell you just what was flamingo-like. Pick the one who's telling the truth, and you will win our prize, the WAIT WAIT-er of your choice on your voicemail. Cynthia, are you ready to play?

FISHER: I am.

PAPA: All right. First up, it's Josh Gondelman.

GONDELMAN: Todd Bailey (ph) of Rockland, Maine, was feeling blue. His mood had grown bleak because, without explanation, his skin had taken on the color of a cloudless sky. It's a little awkward, Bailey confessed. Teenagers in my neighborhood called me Papa Smurf as I walked down the street. A trip to his doctor revealed that, like a flamingo, Bailey's diet had altered his pigmentation. I recently heard that blueberries were a superfood, and I started eating those little suckers by the fistful. I try to maintain an antioxidant-rich diet because, frankly, I hate oxidants. Never been a fan.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Bailey cut back on blueberries, but the color did not fade. In a last-ditch effort to remedy the situation, Bailey consumed several pounds of raspberries, hoping their bright red color would neutralize the blue. Sadly, rather than offsetting his azure hue, the raspberries have caused his skin to take on an unexpected but striking plaid pattern.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Bailey remains unnerved, although in a heartwarming twist, one of the local youth did tell him that his tartan plaid complexion, quote, "kilt it." That is, he looked like the pattern on a kilt.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

PAPA: All right. That's "You're The Color Of What You Eat" by Josh Gondelman. Your next story of a faux-mingo (ph) comes from Cristela Alonzo.

ALONZO: If you find yourself exhausted from working long hours at the office, Japanese companies Itoki Corporation and Koyoju Gohan KK want to help you. No, not by working less hours - that would be ridiculous. They want to help you sleep on the job with their new product, the nap box, a vertical box that supports your head, butt and knees to help make power naps easy and accessible. The nap box user will sleep in the pod like a flamingo, standing upright. Workers are known to sometimes lock themselves up in bathrooms to get some sleep time in, and the company aims to help with that by giving workers a more sanitary way of sleeping. No price has been announced for the nap box, but I'm sure everyone that uses it will sleep like a million bucks or flamingos.

PAPA: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: That's "The Nap Box" from Cristela Alonzo. And your last story of a flamingo-adjacent thing comes from Matt Rogers.

ROGERS: When Parker Wooden (ph) of Sweeney (ph) Elementary fractured a bone in his foot during a kickball game in May, his physician informed his parents that recovery time would last eight weeks and required the use of a boot for much of that time. Parker, regarded by many as the most popular student in all his grade, was tributed by his close friends upon his return to school with several students wearing boots of their own, standing on one leg like a flamingo as a show of solidarity with their wounded pal. The look caught on like wildfire, with dozens upon dozens of students strapping boots to one foot by year's end, many forgetting why this all even started. Despite several students toppling over and physical education grades plummeting on report cards...

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: ...The trend continues. And some frustrated parents report their children seem to be looking for ways to injure their own foot well into the summer. Any excuse to keep up with, or at least slowly walk alongside, their popular friend Parker. When asked for comment, the 8-year-old had just two words to say - my impact.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

PAPA: OK. Cynthia, you have got the "You're The Color Of What You Eat," you've got "The Nap Box," and now you have "The Booted Flamingo Children."

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Which one is real?

FISHER: I think I'll go with Cristela's story about the nap box.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: All right. To find out the correct answer, we spoke to a reporter following the real story.

MELISSA MILLER: You go in this tiny little closet that's just for you and take a power nap there while at work.

PAPA: That was Melissa Miller, a science and technology staff writer at Nerdist, talking about the upright nap boxes. Congratulations, Cynthia, you got it right.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: You earned a...

FISHER: Thank you so much.

PAPA: Thank you so much. You earned a point for Cristela, and you've won our prize, the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Don't be so excited.

(LAUGHTER)

FISHER: I'm thrilled - taking it all in. Thank you.

PAPA: You thought it was going to be a cash prize, didn't you?

(LAUGHTER)

FISHER: I've been listening to this show for 15 years. I am on cloud nine.

PAPA: Oh, that's amazing. Thank you so much.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Go out and get your family some vegan ice cream and celebrate.

(LAUGHTER)

FISHER: Sounds like a party.

PAPA: All right. Thank you for playing with us today. Bye-bye, Cynthia.

FISHER: Thank you. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FLAMINGO")

KERO KERO BONITO: (Singing) Black, white, green or blue, show off your natural hue. Flamingo - oh, oh, oh-oh. If you're multicolored, that's cool, too.

PAPA: And now the game where stars prove they're not actually just like us.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: If award shows had all-stars, Nathan Lane would be the first pick every year. The legendary actor has been nominated for six Tonys, seven Emmys, two Golden Globes, and probably an ESPY at some point. He's now nominated for yet another Emmy for his role in "Only Murders In The Building." The second season is out now.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Nathan Lane, welcome to WAIT, WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

NATHAN LANE: Thank you so much. Thank you.

PAPA: Well, Nathan, you are the most nominated guest actor in Emmy history. Are you excited for the seventh ceremony, and will you get to attend?

LANE: Well, you know what they do? They give out the guest actor category at the Creative Arts Emmys, which is - it's held in a warehouse somewhere.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: The Shmemmys (ph).

LANE: So they usually tell you not to go to the Creative Arts Emmys and just sort of wait and see if you win. And then, if you win, they allow you to go to the big-boy nighttime Emmys...

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: ...And present there.

PAPA: And have you gone before?

LANE: Well, I went the very first time.

PAPA: Right.

LANE: And then I learned that you - not to go to them anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: So when you went, did you treat...

LANE: And I was right because I haven't won.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: Even though I made [expletive] Emmy history, I've never won...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: You're so iconic now. I can imagine that people are just like, how are we going to make this better? Just get Nathan Lane. But you worked really hard for a lot of years, and I saw in your history, which I did not know, you worked a number of odd jobs when you started looking for acting work in the early '80s. Is it true you were a singing telegram?

LANE: Yes. Yes. When I first - I moved to New York in the late '70s, and, yes, I delivered singing telegrams. And you would put on a tuxedo and a little bellhop hat, and you would go to offices or people's homes and usually do a public domain - I don't know why they had to be a public domain song. Like, who was checking about royalties for this?

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: I don't know. But you would - like, to the tune of the William Tell Overture, you would sing, you know, (singing) it's your day, it's your day, it's your day, it's here. Someone's sending you a musical cheer.

GONDELMAN: Well...

(APPLAUSE)

GONDELMAN: Nowadays - now it's such a lost art. Nowadays people just go door to door doing singing text messages to the William Tell Overture - just (singing) LOL, LOL, LOL-L-L. LOL, LOL, LOL-L-L.

PAPA: Nathan, was it ever well - was it ever poorly received when you got there and finished your song and tipped your top hat?

LANE: Oh, people - if you go to someone's office and you have to sing to them, they hate that.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: They really hate that.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: Yeah. No, it's always a little - it's embarrassing for them and embarrassing for me. And they - I - you know, they rarely would tip you.

PAPA: And you just stand there with the top hat in front of them.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: Sad and desperate, like you're at the Shmemmys during the day.

GONDELMAN: They're like, what's 20% of a song?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: And then you really - I mean, you're nominated for this guest role, and you're so good in "Only Murders In The Building." It is...

LANE: Oh, thanks.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: And it's very intriguing because it's a whodunit, and it pulls you in. And are - do they make you sign anything? Are you not allowed to give away secrets when they - when it's this kind of thing?

LANE: No. No. What do you want to know?

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: He's just a guest.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: I know who killed Bunny.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: No, it's - yeah, it's really a tribute to those writers. It's a very delicate balance, and they really pull it off.

PAPA: It really is. I have to say, I mean, you're amazing, the whole cast is amazing, but the thing that really strikes me, as a New Yorker, is the size of everyone's apartments.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: I just drool. We watch it, and I'm trying to figure out who's murdering who, and my wife is like, seriously, how much a month?

GONDELMAN: They should call it "Any Openings In The Building?"

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: All right, Nathan Lane, we've asked you here to play a game that we're calling...

KURTIS: Famous Nathan, meet Nathan's Famous.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: You are famous Nathan, so we thought we'd ask you about Nathan's Famous hot dog-eating contest, the annual tradition...

LANE: Oh.

PAPA: ...And the grossest part of the 4th of July.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: Wow. You know, I was hoping.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: To answer two out of three questions right, and you'll win a prize for one of our listeners. Bill...

LANE: OK.

PAPA: Who is Nathan Lane playing for?

KURTIS: Ian Walsh (ph) of Boston, Mass.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: All right, Nathan. Here is your first question. Joey Chestnut has won the Nathan's hot dog-eating contest 15 times. This year's win was extra-impressive as he not only ate 63 hot dogs in 10 minutes but also did what - A, a backflip after every 10 hot dogs, B, ate his hot dogs with spicy mustard as an extra handicap, or C, put a protester who stormed the event in a chokehold and shoved him off the stage in between hot dogs 17 and 18.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: Well, is Joey Chestnut still with us? Is he living?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: He is.

LANE: He is. I believe it's he stopped a protester with a chokehold between hot dogs 17 and 18.

(APPLAUSE)

GONDELMAN: Yes.

ROGERS: There we go.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

PAPA: That's right - C.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: He did double duty as a bouncer, and he still beat the runner-up by 15 hot dogs.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD REACTING)

PAPA: He is truly a freak of nature.

ALONZO: What?

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: Joey Chestnut.

PAPA: Joey...

LANE: Wasn't he on "The Sopranos"?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: All right. Here's your next question. Joey Chestnut may be the winningest (ph) champion, but he's not the only notable one. There's also Joe Baldini and Paul Siderman, who were co-winners in 1980 despite doing what - A, co-winning a potato salad-eating contest an hour earlier...

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD REACTING)

PAPA: ...B, both getting stung by bees during the competition...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: ...Or C, only eating nine hot dogs each.

LANE: I believe they were stung by bees and kept eating.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: No, the answer is C. In the '80s...

LANE: Oh, get the [expletive] out of town.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: They only ate nine hot dogs?

PAPA: Yup. They only ate nine hot dogs. It was a different time. In the 80s, a hot dog a minute was good enough to win. If you're asking what changed, we're not sure, but it might have something to do with the fact that the prize these guys got for winning was, quote, "two trophies and two yellow plastic bags."

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: To puke into, I imagine.

PAPA: All right. Here is your last question. Before the hot dog-eating contest started, Nathan's needed other ways to drum up publicity. So in the '50s, they paid to have what placed next to their restaurant - A, the first-ever Wienermobile, B, a 70-ton whale carcass, C, a fake McDonald's, which they intentionally kept filthy.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: What was the first one again?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: I wouldn't pay attention to that one.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: Tom, why aren't you hosting "Jeopardy!"?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: I think because that show gives away money.

(LAUGHTER)

LANE: All right, I'm going with the whale carcass.

PAPA: You're right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

ROGERS: Wow.

LANE: Wow.

GONDELMAN: That's insane.

PAPA: The answer is B. It may have worked, too, but the weather was so hot that the carcass started to rot in the sun...

ALONZO: No.

PAPA: ...Driving away customers.

GONDELMAN: What did they think was going to happen?

PAPA: Bill, how did Nathan Lane do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Nathan, this may surprise you, but two out of three in this game win.

ROGERS: Yeah.

KURTIS: You are a winner.

(APPLAUSE)

LANE: Wonderful.

PAPA: Nathan Lane is nominated for an Emmy for his role in "Only Murders In The Building." The second season is out now. Nathan Lane, thank you so much for joining us ON WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!

(APPLAUSE)

LANE: Thank you, everyone.

KURTIS: Thank you, Nathan.

LANE: Thanks so much. A great pleasure.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT DOG")

BUCK OWENS: (Singing) My baby works in a hot dog stand. While making them hot dogs as fast as she can, up steps a cat and yells, don't be slow, and give me two hot dogs ready to go. Hot dog, she's my baby. Hot dog, drives me crazy. Hot dog, don't mean maybe. You ought to see my baby at the hot dog stand.

PAPA: In just a minute, we reveal a brand-new way to get pumped up in our Listener Limerick Challenge. Call 1-88-WAIT-WAIT (ph) to join us on air. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Cristela Alonzo, Josh Gondelman and Matt Rogers. And here again is your host at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, Ill., in for Peter Sagal, Tom Papa.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Thanks, Billy. In just a minute, Bill stars opposite Kathleen Turner in the hit film "Rhyme-ancing (ph) The Stone"...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: ...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.

GONDELMAN: Here we go.

PAPA: Cristela, a new study recommends that the drinking age be raised to what?

ALONZO: A hint.

PAPA: Hint.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: That was a quick go to the hint.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: This is when Steve Carell lost his virginity.

ALONZO: Forty.

PAPA: Yes, 40.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: The authors of the study say no one should drink until they're 40. This is 19 years later than when people currently begin drinking - 23 years later, if you were cool.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: You know what? I love this because I didn't - I was not cool when I was underage. And now I'm 37. I get three years of underage drinking back. This is amazing for me.

(LAUGHTER)

ALONZO: Wait, but, like, I'm 43, and those hangovers are different in your 40s. Like, why would you want to drink at 40? Why? Why that age?

PAPA: Maybe so you feel so bad that you never drink.

ROGERS: As someone currently hungover, I kind of am agreeing with that.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Matt, there's a hot new trend in high fashion for men - clothing that reveals what?

ROGERS: Nipples.

PAPA: Yes, men's nipples.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: New styles from top designers have nipple-revealing cutouts and peepholes. So we no longer have to wonder, does that man have nipples?

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: You know, every day I put on a shirt, and I'm like, I'm depriving the public.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Sure, they see most of the skin on my head.

PAPA: Every time you put on a shirt - sorry, world.

GONDELMAN: Yeah, it's like going into the Louvre and throwing a sack over the Mona Lisa...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Now this is high fashion.

GONDELMAN: ...If there were two identical or nearly identical Mona Lisas.

ROGERS: (Laughter) Nearly identical.

PAPA: One's eye just drifts off to the left.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: OK, Josh.

GONDELMAN: Yes.

PAPA: With the track and field world championships happening this week, The Wall Street Journal reports that the competitors are facing a growing problem from spectators outside the stadium. What?

GONDELMAN: This sounds like it also has to do with nipples, frankly.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Can I have a hint, please?

PAPA: Yes, you can.

GONDELMAN: Thank you.

PAPA: This is very much like, I could take Tyson.

GONDELMAN: Oh. People outside the stadium are, like, trying to race them.

PAPA: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Yes.

ALONZO: (Laughter).

PAPA: Yes - randos (ph) challenging the athletes to a race.

GONDELMAN: That's so fun - just like, no, I'm faster than you, dude.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Professional sprinters constantly have to turn down requests from random strangers to race them because there's something about seeing the reigning 100-meter champion in the airport that makes a certain kind of person think, I must embarrass myself in public.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Hey, Usain Bolt, I would have won gold if I hadn't hurt my leg in high school.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Sometimes the runners will go for it, but always win because they're professional athletes and because they haven't faced me, Tom Papa.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Coming up, it's the 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 1-88-WAIT-WAIT (ph) - that's 1-888-924-8924 - or click the contact us link in our website, waitwait.npr.org. Or you can catch us most weeks live right here at our new Chicago home, the Studebaker Theater.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Or at Wolf Trap outside Washington, D.C., August 25 and the 26. Tickets and more info at nprpresents.org. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

JOSHUA HARRIS: Hello.

PAPA: Who are you?

(LAUGHTER)

HARRIS: My name is Joshua Harris (ph). I'm calling from Denton, Texas.

PAPA: Joshua Harris from Denton, Texas, thank you for being here. How long have you lived in Texas?

HARRIS: Too long.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Well, thank you so much for being here, Joshua. 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 the last word or phrase correctly on two limericks, you are a winner. Here is your first limerick.

KURTIS: For my exercise, I need clean floors, so this run only happens indoors. I will go for a jog like a bear or a dog. I am running around on all...

HARRIS: Fours.

KURTIS: Fours it is.

PAPA: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Fours, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: We finally know the best workout to get your perfect summer bod - running around on all fours like a dog. A man named Nathaniel Nolan has done this for the past year and claims the practice has made him, quote, "super-ripped."

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: It's a great way to get people to say, look, there's a hot, insane man over there.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: So if we're going by a dog's workout regimen, my workout regimen would be sleeping on the couch 20 hours a day (laughter), which it already is.

PAPA: All right, here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: My place of last rest, I will mask it. Add some shelves, and then I'll multitask it. Like my books, I'll be bound six feet underground. My new bookcase turns into a...

HARRIS: Casket.

KURTIS: Yes.

PAPA: That's right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

ROGERS: Wow.

PAPA: A new trend has people assembling a unique, custom bookshelf for their homes. It's unique because it's also a coffin. When you're ready, just take out the shelves and prop up your corpse inside like a flamingo.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: And someone will find you eventually. Oh, this looks interesting. Is this any good? Oh, that's my Aunt Cheryl (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

ALONZO: Who does that? Why would you do that?

GONDELMAN: I mean, like, people do go to great lengths to save space in New York City, but this seems excessive.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: All right. Here's your last limerick, Joshua.

KURTIS: Purple dinosaur works as a carny. That plot point sure wouldn't alarm me. He taught us to share. Now he's back with a scare. It's a grittier reboot of...

HARRIS: Barney.

PAPA: Barney, that's right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: This week, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed that a gritty, more realistic reboot of "Barney"...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: ...The beloved purple dinosaur, is in the works. But wait, isn't a more realistic version of Barney just "Jurassic Park"?

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: The reboot will be produced by actor Daniel Kaluuya, who promised a more grounded take on the show, saying, quote, "Barney taught us, I love you; you love me. What happens when that isn't true?"

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: Wow.

PAPA: Yeah. We all know what happens when it's not true. You drink a bottle of wine and go to work the next day.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Do you think the world needs this?

(LAUGHTER)

ALONZO: No. I was a nanny when "Barney" was, like - I was going to say hot but, like - you know what I mean? - popular. It's like - all the kids are like, hey, Barney, how are you? And I just can't imagine Barney, like, smoking a cigarette, like...

ROGERS: Like, breaking it down.

ALONZO: Get the hell out of my face, kid. Like...

ROGERS: It's a mixed bag every day. I feel like I'm waking up every day, and Twitter's just, like, very tedious, you know what I mean? And the kids are like, are we going to learn to spell?

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: I'll teach you a lesson. She's never coming back. How's that for a lesson?

PAPA: Bill, how did Joshua do?

KURTIS: Joshua, you were perfect. Congratulations.

(APPLAUSE)

ALONZO: Yay.

PAPA: Thank you so much.

HARRIS: Hey, (inaudible).

KURTIS: Thank you.

PAPA: Great job. Thank you, Joshua. Thanks for playing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BARNEY THEME SONG")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination. And when he's tall, he's what we call a dinosaur...

PAPA: Now on to our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank.

ALONZO: Oh.

PAPA: 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 is worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

KURTIS: Josh has one. Matt, good job for your first time. You have two.

ROGERS: OK.

KURTIS: Cristela has three.

ROGERS: All right.

GONDELMAN: She's running away with this thing.

PAPA: OK, Josh, that means you're up first. Fill in the blank. This week, the January 6th committee showed video outtakes from the speech blank gave the day after the riot.

GONDELMAN: Donald Trump?

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: After he declined to testify, the defense rested in the contempt case against former Trump adviser blank.

GONDELMAN: Steve Bannon.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: On Thursday, the House passed legislation to ensure access to blank.

GONDELMAN: Birth control? Contraception?

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: This week, Russia restarted its flow of blank into the EU.

GONDELMAN: Gas.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: This week, Boris Johnson closed out his final speech to Parliament by saying blank.

GONDELMAN: Hasta la vista, baby.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: Never disappoints.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Following complaints, a venue in Minneapolis canceled a stand-up show featuring blank.

GONDELMAN: Dave Chappelle.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: On Tuesday, streaming giant blank revealed they lost almost a million subscribers.

GONDELMAN: Netflix?

PAPA: That's right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: This week, a woman in Australia...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

PAPA: ...Won a wrongful termination case...

GONDELMAN: Ooh.

PAPA: ...Against a catering company after she was fired for failing to blank.

GONDELMAN: She was fired for failing to - she didn't put the pigs in the blankets.

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: She was just giving people nude pigs.

PAPA: For not using emojis in a work text.

GONDELMAN: Oh.

ROGERS: Wow.

ALONZO: (Laughter) What?

PAPA: According to the lawsuit, the manager of the catering company was furious when the woman sent a text message to the staff that didn't include any emojis, and he fired her the next day. It worked out for both parties, though. The woman was awarded $5,000, and the company hired a new employee who will definitely use emojis in every single text - my mom.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Bill, how did Josh do?

KURTIS: Josh knows you win on the curves. He got seven right.

ROGERS: Wow.

KURTIS: 14 more points, total of 15.

ALONZO: Wow.

GONDELMAN: OK.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: OK. Matt, this will be fun. You're up next. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, the Secret Service said they couldn't recover deleted texts relating to blank.

ROGERS: The insurrection.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: The January 6 insurrection. On Wednesday, the Trump family gathered in New York to attend blank's funeral.

ROGERS: Ivana Trump.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: A man in Florida failed when he tried to escape pursuing cops on a blank.

ROGERS: Moped.

PAPA: Riding lawnmower.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: In a bid to break into the health care market, online retail giant blank announced plans to buy One Medical for almost $4 billion.

ROGERS: Oh, oh, oh. This is Amazon.

PAPA: Yes.

ROGERS: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: After being barred from entering his hotel room...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

PAPA: ...A drunk man in the U.K. protested by laying on the ground outside until police finally blanked.

ROGERS: Laid down with him.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Until police politely told him his reservation was at the hotel across the street.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: In a protest that will rival the Million Man March, the drunk tourist took to the streets for the single-man lay-down.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

PAPA: The front desk quickly called police, who informed the man that he was actually booked at the hotel across the street and kindly directed him there by spraying him with a fire hose.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGERS: OK.

PAPA: Bill, how did Matt do?

KURTIS: He did well. Three right.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: Six more points, total of eight. But that means Josh is still in the lead.

ROGERS: Single digits.

KURTIS: Yeah.

PAPA: And Bill, how many does Cristela need to win?

KURTIS: Six to tie, she'd need seven to win.

PAPA: OK, Cristela, this is for the game. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, the House passed a bill seeking to protect blank marriage.

ALONZO: Gay.

PAPA: Right.

ALONZO: Same-sex.

PAPA: Same-sex marriage.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: On Monday, chief COVID adviser blank said he'd retire at the end of Biden's term.

ALONZO: Fauci.

PAPA: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: This week, a judge in New York ordered former Trump lawyer blank to testify on election interference.

ALONZO: Giuliani.

PAPA: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PAPA: On Thursday, Senator Chuck Schumer introduced a bill to end the federal ban on blank.

ALONZO: A federal ban on abortion.

PAPA: Marijuana.

ALONZO: Got it.

PAPA: On Wednesday...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: On Wednesday, NASA set a tentative launch date for the Artemis mission to the blank.

ALONZO: To the Star Trek Enterprise.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: The moon.

ALONZO: Oh, God.

PAPA: An American tourist had to be rescued...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

ALONZO: Oh.

PAPA: ...After he tried to retrieve the cellphone that he dropped into blank.

ALONZO: (Laughter) His nipples. I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Mount Vesuvius.

ALONZO: Oh.

GONDELMAN: Oh. Sure, sure.

ROGERS: Shoot (ph).

ALONZO: That was going to be my second guess.

PAPA: Park guides say that the man wandered off the authorized path in order to take a selfie closer to the volcano's crater. And then he dropped his phone in and fell inside when he tried to get it. Officials say the man was rescued quickly from inside the volcano and is doing well. Oh. No, sorry. They say he's well-done.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Bill, did Cristela do well enough to win?

ALONZO: No.

KURTIS: Not quite.

ALONZO: No.

KURTIS: Not good. But she did well. She got nine total points.

ROGERS: Single digits.

KURTIS: But that means Josh is winning.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Josh, you win.

GONDELMAN: Thank you.

ROGERS: I'm proud of you, Joshua.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Now, panel, what will be the next big thing from the early 2000s to come back? Josh.

GONDELMAN: I think we're going to bring back Y2K and just shut the whole internet down.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

PAPA: Cristela Alonzo.

ALONZO: I think CDs will make a comeback to brag that you've got 20 bucks to spend on one song.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

KURTIS: Matt Rogers.

ROGERS: Metrosexuals - frost those tips, and belt that song, gentlemen. Straight men are back.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

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

PAPA: Thank you, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Josh Gondelman, Cristela Alonzo and Matt Rogers. And thanks to all of you for listening.

(APPLAUSE)

PAPA: I'm Tom Papa, in for Peter Sagal, and we'll see you next week.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

PAPA: This is NPR.

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