Dana Carvey plays Not My Job on NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" Dana Carvey is a comedy legend, who after starring in SNL and some of the biggest comedies of all time, created his own podcast The Weird Place. We ask him 3 questions about carvers, or steakhouses.

'Wait Wait' for Dec. 3, 2022: With Not My Job guest Dana Carvey

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


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Some say soccer. I say foot-Bill. Bill Kurtis. And here is your host...


KURTIS: ...At the Studebaker Theater in the Fine Arts Building in Chicago, Ill., Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much. We have a great show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to Dana Carvey, the "Saturday Night Live" legend who, as the church lady and other characters, gave us so many comic catchphrases, which, as it turns out, sound a lot more menacing when Bill Kurtis says them.

KURTIS: Isn't that special?


SAGAL: We want to hear about your contributions to the culture, so give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

ERIC: Hi, Peter. This is Eric (ph) calling from Cadillac, Mich.

SAGAL: You're from Cadillac, Mich. I've always wondered, does that have anything to do with the car? Or is it just, you know, somebody...

ERIC: No, it's named after the explorer Cadillac who discovered Detroit and explored the area up here.

SAGAL: Well, OK. That's also very nice. What do you do there?

ERIC: I drive for UPS.

SAGAL: You drive for UPS?

ERIC: Yes.

SAGAL: So OK. During the pandemic, sometimes, the only human contact I had...


SAGAL: ...Outside my wife was the UPS guy. And I never even got to talk to them. I just saw them show up. And yet tears of gratitude would flow down my face. Was that your experience - of people just being absolutely thrilled to see you?

ERIC: We got a lot of waves through windows and stuff. A lot of people kept their distance pretty well. But yeah, I mean, people were generally happy to see us.

SAGAL: Yeah. I mean, it must be great because people have been taking you for granted for so long, and then all of a sudden, you represented the entire world.


ERIC: I mean, yeah, that is true.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Eric. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, he's a staff writer for The Onion and a stand-up comedian whose album "SALTWATER" is available to stream on Spotify now. It's Skyler Higley.



SAGAL: Next, he's a comedian touring the Midwest in late December, including right here at Zanies in Chicago on the 28. It's Josh Gondelman.


JOSH GONDELMAN: Hello. Thank you. So nice to be here.

ERIC: Hi, Josh.

SAGAL: And she will be in Saint Paul, Minn., at the Fitzgerald Theater on Saturday, December 10. And you can hear her weekly on her podcast, "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone." It's Paula Poundstone.



ERIC: Hello, Paula.


SAGAL: Well, Eric, you are here to play Who's Bill This Time, as we always start the show. Bill Kurtis is going to read for you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you will win our prize, any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready?

ERIC: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote. It's from U.S. soccer star Christian Pulisic.

KURTIS: "I did not get hit in the balls."


SAGAL: Pulisic was talking about what everybody thought did happen as he led his team to a victory in what big tournament?

ERIC: That would be the World Cup.

SAGAL: The World Cup, yes.


SAGAL: It was incredibly thrilling, the match against Iran. Pulisic scored the winning goal to beat Iran 1-0, but in the process of scoring the goal, he suffered an injury, which we all saw and half of us really winced at...


SAGAL: ...And what the team called a, quote, "pelvic contusion," unquote...


SAGAL: ...Which is a great euphemism for what really happened. But they only came up with that after trying out gonadal catastrophe...


SAGAL: ...And testicular manslaughter.


POUNDSTONE: Apparently, it's changed the name of the event to the World Should've Worn Your Cup.

SAGAL: Exactly.


GONDELMAN: I do feel like, I didn't get hit in the balls is exactly what someone who did get hit in the balls would say, right?

SAGAL: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: It's like, no, I'm not sleeping. I was resting my eyes. It's like, no, you're sleeping.


SAGAL: So I'm just getting the sense that I don't have a lot of, like, football fans here on stage with me.

HIGLEY: No, I love football. I love CTE. I think it's all great.


SAGAL: I was using football in the European sense.

HIGLEY: Oh, then no.

SAGAL: No, no, no.


SAGAL: All right, Eric. Your next quote, Eric, is from The New York Times. And they were talking about the upcoming sequel to the highest-grossing movie of all time.

KURTIS: "Who asked for this?"

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: So that question was being asked by a lot of people about the new sequel to what movie? That sequel's coming out this month.

ERIC: "Avatar?"

SAGAL: Yes, "Avatar."


SAGAL: In preparation...


SAGAL: Oh, yeah. When "Avatar" premiered back in 2009, it was a sensation and set up an all-time box office record. It was in 3D. The digital effects were amazing. But since then, nobody much has really thought about it except a small group of unbearable obsessives. So it was less of a blockbuster and more of a cryptocurrency.


GONDELMAN: More of a blockchain.

SAGAL: Yeah, you don't know.


SAGAL: Anyway, "Avatar: The Way Of Water" will continue the story of beloved characters like Jake Sully and Dr. Grace Augustine and - I don't know - I think the Blue Man Group was in it. I'm not sure.


HIGLEY: Blue from "Blue's Clues."

SAGAL: Blue from "Blue's Clues." Yes.

GONDELMAN: No, Jake Sully is the pilot that landed the plane on the Hudson River. I know that for sure.

SAGAL: You know that for sure.


SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: It was yet another movie, "Avatar," where in the end, everything is destroyed.

SAGAL: Pretty much.

POUNDSTONE: And so, you know, one can't help - but when I took my kids to it, we saw it. I didn't think it was good. I felt a little tricked. And everything was destroyed. And the only good thing about the movie was I felt like, OK, well, then they can't make another one of those.

SAGAL: Yeah, 'cause...


SAGAL: ...Everything's blown up. No, apparently - I mean, it's really interesting because you compare it to other, like, big blockbusters, like Star Wars, which is, like, omnipresent in the culture. And where had Avatar been? And it turns out there are a lot of reasons why that is the case. One of them is that they didn't have a lot of merchandising for the movie, which kind of makes sense because when you ask a kid what kind of stuffed animal they might like, they never say, well, something slender and tall yet disconcertingly sexy.


POUNDSTONE: I didn't think that the creatures were sexy.

HIGLEY: Oh, that movie was deeply sexual.

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, you think so?

HIGLEY: The braids? Oh, my God.

SAGAL: Oh, the braids?

POUNDSTONE: The braids?


HIGLEY: And they don't tell you this about "Avatar: The Way Of Water," Avatar 2, "The Way Of Water." But as James Cameron directed it, it is a direct prequel to "Titanic."

SAGAL: Right.


POUNDSTONE: I didn't find that sexy, either.


POUNDSTONE: I thought that when the woman was in front of Leonardo...

SAGAL: DiCaprio.

POUNDSTONE: ...DiCaprio and they were at the end of the boat there and she had to turn her head to kiss him - do you have any idea - I'll bet you she is making so much money from the lawsuit. The...


POUNDSTONE: How painful that would be to the neck of the woman to turn like that.

GONDELMAN: That is probably the worst thing that happened on that boat.


POUNDSTONE: Well, it was, Josh...


POUNDSTONE: It's why she didn't let him on the wooden door.


SAGAL: I do remember that she's like, oh, I'd let you (laughter) - I'd let you on the door if I could see you. But I can't turn my head.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, I can't turn my neck.


GONDELMAN: Come around the front to kiss me.



SAGAL: All right, Eric, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: "And here is the soundtrack to my life."

SAGAL: That was a writer on CNET talking about what is now become a kind of beloved annual ritual when people get a report of all the music they've listened to during the past year on what music service?

ERIC: Spotify.

SAGAL: Yes, Spotify.


SAGAL: Very good. It is...


SAGAL: ...At the end of the year, when our fears about corporations mining our personal data are turned into a celebration of corporations mining our personal data.


SAGAL: So if you don't know about this, at the end of the year, Spotify analyzes all the songs and artists you listened to throughout the year. This is called Spotify Wrapped. And it tells you what you listened to the most. Then they package it in these fun, shareable graphics so you can tell the world that, yes, you are a 54-year-old man who spent 11,900 of your precious remaining minutes of life on Earth Listening to "All Too Well" by Taylor Swift.


POUNDSTONE: There's a spinoff product, which is there's is a thing where there's a refrigerator that will annually tell you what you ate...


POUNDSTONE: ...That year. For example, I'll open my refrigerator door on January 1, and it'll go, lot of oatmeal.


SAGAL: I mean, you just raised an interesting point. There's a lot of things I don't want added up and presented to me at the end of the year.


GONDELMAN: When you put it that way, it's everything about me. I want nothing about me shared it in that way.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, yeah. My mirror has been silenced.

HIGLEY: I feel like that's what happens when you, like, die, and God, like, weighs what you did in your life. It's basically Spotify Wrapped.

SAGAL: It's basically it.


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

KURTIS: Eric delivered a perfect score.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Eric.


ERIC: Thank you. Bye-bye.


SAGAL: Right now, panel, some more questions for you from this week's news. Skyler, this week we learned about a match made in heaven. Last month, a married couple independently each set a new world record in what shared endeavor?

HIGLEY: So they independently...

SAGAL: Each of them set a world record in the same thing.

HIGLEY: Cheating.


SAGAL: I'm just interested in how - A, what the world record would be - how do you establish it?

GONDELMAN: I don't know. Talk to my dad, you know?


HIGLEY: They independently set this world record for a shared activity.

SAGAL: Right.

HIGLEY: And they didn't know that they were a married couple.

SAGAL: So the point is that these two people are married to each other, and they're both, like, world-level experts, competitors at doing what?

HIGLEY: Could I get a hint, please?

SAGAL: Well, I would imagine at their marriage, Joey Chestnut was probably the best man.

HIGLEY: That didn't help me at all.

SAGAL: It didn't?


HIGLEY: Who's Joey Chestnut? That doesn't sound real.

SAGAL: I'll give you one more hint. At their wedding, they polished off a five-tier wedding cake in 30 seconds.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, my heavens.

HIGLEY: Oh, eating.

SAGAL: Yes. They're both champion competitive eaters.


SAGAL: So last month, professional competitive eater Miki Sudo set the world record for most hot dogs eaten in one minute. That's six hot dogs. And then right after that, her husband, Nicholas Wehry, set the world record for hot dogs eaten in three minutes, which is 12. Then because they're married, she said, well, you had three times the time, but only ate twice as much. And he said, what? And she said, oh, nothing.


GONDELMAN: They have a real cool, like, modern Mr. and Mrs. Smith thing going on.

SAGAL: They really do.

POUNDSTONE: Boy, but I bet their refrigerator had stuff to say at the end of the year.


PATSY CLINE: (Singing) I'm hungry for love.

SAGAL: Coming up, we make the cover of our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more 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 Josh Gondelman, Paula Poundstone and Skyler Higley. And here again is your host at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, Ill., Peter Sagal.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!

MIKE NELSON: Hi. This is Mike Nelson (ph) calling from San Diego.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in beautiful San Diego?

NELSON: Sunny as always, most of the time.

SAGAL: Sunny as always, most of the time.

HIGLEY: They sound great.

SAGAL: I assume because you live in San Diego, where it's beautiful all the time, you get outside and do stuff?

NELSON: I try to, yeah. I love swimming in the ocean. That's my big thing here.

SAGAL: Really? Are there no sharks?

NELSON: You know, that's a common question that people get asked. And actually, right now it's actually the sea lions that are a little bit more of a problem because it's the puppy season, and there's lots of sea lion puppies where we go swimming, and they love to play with us. And of course, their parents are not too hip on that, and they let us know in very physical ways sometimes.



POUNDSTONE: Maybe if you bring lollipops.


NELSON: Right. Yeah, I will try that. I'll try that next week.

SAGAL: Well, Mike, it's great to have you. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Mike's topic?

KURTIS: Hey, Sports Illustrated, cover this.

SAGAL: Getting on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine is every athlete, swimsuit model and public radio quiz show host's dream.


SAGAL: Our panelists are going to tell you about someone who got on the cover of Sports Illustrated in a very unusual way. Pick the one who's telling the truth, and you will win the Wait Waiter of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

NELSON: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right, here we go. First, let's hear from Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: Getting one's mug on the cover of Sports Illustrated is the dream of many athletes. You can achieve it by being great at sports, or you can do it by being great at sneaking into sporting events. Dion Rich made the cover of Sports Illustrated when, on one of the 35 occasions he snuck into the Super Bowl, he also snuck onto the field and stood beside the coach while the players hoisted him up in victory. He joined in by lifting the coach's leg, all smooth and natural, like he lifts a football coach's leg every day. In addition to his Super Bowls, he's snuck into multiple Oscars ceremonies, dozens of Golden Globes, and probably multiple tapings of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME! at the Studebaker Theater. He was probably amazing in the Lightning Round. He might have come this close to lifting Peter Sagal's leg.


POUNDSTONE: Rich passed away a few weeks ago at 92. Even though, as we all know, sneaking into sporting events is a mortal sin in the Bible, he was also able to get into heaven no problem, at least until they noticed him sitting there.

SAGAL: Dion Rich, who got himself on the cover of Sports Illustrated...


SAGAL: ...By crashing a Super Bowl, crashing onto the field and happening to pick up the coach. Your next story of a cover story comes from Skyler Higley.

HIGLEY: As an iconic boxer, Muhammad Ali has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated no less than 39 times. Well, in July of 1965, one uncanny cover depicted one of Ali's illustrious knockouts against one David Atkins (ph), who was not an official boxing opponent but some guy who kept interrupting Ali's dinner to take photos and get autographs with the star, and upon being refused, began chiding the boxer that he probably couldn't even fight that well and suggested that Ali's punches were not actually super strong, but only medium strong...


HIGLEY: ...And that everybody knew boxing was fake. As Ali had finally decided that he had enough, Atkins was moments later laid out on the floor as restaurantgoers cheered and sighed in relief that Ali had shut up that one annoying guy. After the cover was published, Atkins described this as the greatest moment of his life.

SAGAL: A man who got on the cover by being so annoying...


SAGAL: ...To Muhammad Ali that Muhammad Ali punched him out. Your last story of a rise to the top page comes from Josh Gondelman.

GONDELMAN: When Sports Described magazine added illustrations in 1916...


GONDELMAN: ...The concept of a swimsuit issue occurred to the editorial staff right away. Before the magazine incorporated photography, the idea would have struck readers as ludicrous. Who would purchase an entire magazine full of descriptions of women in bikinis?


GONDELMAN: However, depicting the female form in a state of even partial undress would have been grounds for a federal obscenity charge at the time. America back then was somehow too sexist to thoroughly objectify women.


GONDELMAN: So the newly rebranded Sports Illustrated magazine set out to find a male swimsuit model, and they discovered him on Coney Island. Huge Herman Gelfman (ph) was hiding from police by posing as a circus strongman there. He'd fled after being charged with importing bagels from New Jersey and saying they were from New York, a felony at the time.


GONDELMAN: Huge Herman cut quite a figure on the magazine's cover with his muscles rippling under his woolen swimming trunks and sweater. Unfortunately, Gelfman was quickly recognized, apprehended and remanded to a state prison, and the swimsuit issue was abandoned for several decades, until the magazine could legally display a woman's kneecaps and belly button.

SAGAL: All right.


SAGAL: One of these is the story of somebody who got on Sports Illustrated's cover in an unexpected way. Was it from Paula Poundstone, a man who specialized in crashing sporting events, from Skyler Higley, a guy who got on the cover because he annoyed Muhammad Ali so much Ali punched him out, only to be photographed and immortalized, or from Josh Gondelman, the very first Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model, a guy from Coney Island? Which of these is the real story of an unlikely Sports Illustrated cover figure?

NELSON: Well, I got to be honest with you. I'm polling my - I have my brain trust with me, with my child, Lily (ph), and my wife, Marcia (ph), and they're both rooting for one. So I'm going to go with No. 1.

SAGAL: All right. You're going to choose Paula's story of Dion Rich, the guy who crashed all those events. Well, to tell us the correct answer, we spoke to someone very familiar with the true story.

LARRY MANTLE, BYLINE: Dion was in pictures on the cover of Sports Illustrated and other publications celebrating Super Bowl wins.

SAGAL: That was Larry Mantle, host of KPCC's AirTalk - hello, Larry - talking about Dion Rich. Congratulations. You have won our prize.


SAGAL: Paula has won a point for telling the truth, and you get the voice of anyone you might choose.

KURTIS: Stay classy, San Diego.

NELSON: It's a privilege. Thank you all. It's an honor.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

POUNDSTONE: Thanks, Mike.


SAGAL: Take care.


DEANA CARTER: (Singing) I want to be on the cover of a magazine.

SAGAL: And now the game where we talk to very influential people about things that make no difference. Dana Carvey, in his seven years on "Saturday Night Live," created more iconic characters than anybody since the original cast - the church lady, Garth in "Wayne's World," the grumpy old man. He's gone on to do movies and TV shows and like all great talents eventually do, he has become a podcaster. Dana Carvey, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.


DANA CARVEY: Thank you, Peter.

SAGAL: So...

CARVEY: Thank you. My pleasure.

SAGAL: When we have sort of normal actors on the show, I ask them for what role they're most often recognized. With every president, "Saturday Night Live" has one performer who performs that president in their sketches. And you quite famously were President George H.W. Bush - George Bush, the senior. And in fact, your imitation was so great, people started associating what you said with him, right? So everybody...

CARVEY: Right.

SAGAL: ...For example thought he always said that it wouldn't be prudent, and he never said that.

CARVEY: Well, he might have said it once, but, you know, I said it a thousand times. After Reagan, it was like, you know, I was just assigned George Bush Sr.

SAGAL: Right.

CARVEY: And again, Jon Lovitz was - he was assigned Dukakis.

SAGAL: Right.

CARVEY: And we played it. And then once Bush Sr. won the election, Jon Lovitz called me to concede, saying...


CARVEY: But initially there was nothing there. It took me a year to find a hook on it, and eventually it became a character that was so extreme. But he loved it. He loved...

SAGAL: Well, that's what I wanted to ask you about because you were up there making savage fun of him once a week for his entire term.


SAGAL: And he actually loved it. He started doing appearances with you, right?

CARVEY: Yeah, we did charity events. We hung out. He would call me. He called me on Election Day 2004 when W. was up against John Kerry, out of the blue. And I just hear a voice go, (impersonating George H.W. Bush) how you doing, Dane?


POUNDSTONE: What did he want to talk to you about?

CARVEY: I said, isn't your son running for reelection today? I mean, he goes, (impersonating George H.W. Bush) yeah, but how are you doing?


SAGAL: Do you - you're well known for so many things, but mainly - well, not mainly, but significantly as an impressionist. I've got a couple questions. First of all, do you have an impression of somebody that you're particularly proud of, that, like, no one else does, but you can, like, do this person?

CARVEY: Hmm. I don't know. I mean, lately I've been doing Christoph Waltz because a while back people asked me, who's the funniest person out there right now? And I thought it was Christoph Waltz who was in "Inglourious Basterds."

SAGAL: Yeah.

CARVEY: But he's like, (impersonating Christoph Waltz) may I have another glass of your delicious milk? You know, and that's just irresistible. But no, I don't - the ones that I did that were the weirdest - I actively wanted to do Michael Caine, only because I saw someone else do it. And I just thought it was such a cool voice. And one day I kind of got it together, and I called up J.J. Abrams. We're sort of friendly - you know...

SAGAL: Yeah.

CARVEY: ...The director. And I left a voicemail for him, playing it very straight. (Impersonating Michael Caine) Ah, J.J., this is Michael Caine. I heard you're making one of those spaceship shows, and I thought I'd put my hat in the ring. I know I'm a bit long in the tooth, but maybe this old geezer's got one more lap around the track.


CARVEY: And he believed it.

SAGAL: Did you book? And did J.J. go for it? Did he, like...

CARVEY: He went for it hook, line and sinker.

SAGAL: Really? So you had...

CARVEY: I just - yeah, no. He didn't, but it was - that was a fun toy for me, you know?

SAGAL: Well, this is what I wanted to ask you, since you've run through a couple of them already. Do you have, like, a method when you - I mean, like, somebody says, OK, we want you to imitate whomever - George H.W. Bush, whoever it might be at the moment.


SAGAL: Do you - like, a method for doing it?

CARVEY: I never try to. I never - I don't really study them much. I, you know, I - when I - I interviewed James Austin Johnson, who does this brilliant Trump on "Saturday"...

SAGAL: I should jump in. He's the guy who recently joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" specifically...


SAGAL: ...To do Trump, and Biden he also does.


SAGAL: He's very, very good.

GONDELMAN: He's great.

CARVEY: He's brilliant. So when I sat with him, and I was so enamored of his Trump and this guttural thing he did that I started doing it. Because - but I told him, I just learned it - (impersonating Donald Trump) I learned it from him, and Trump talks like this. You can't get better than WAIT WAIT, you know, but you got to wait. You got to wait because you know you're going to wait. And my whole hook with Trump, my only original hook, was that he always sounds like he's pitching a family vacation.


CARVEY: (Impersonating Donald Trump) We're going to be going places like you wouldn't believe. And a lot of people don't think we should go there, but they don't want us to do it, but we're going to do it anyway. We're going to do a lot of things and you're going to be happy like you wouldn't believe. And it goes on and on.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: I do want to ask you one more thing before we play the game, which is that we understand that way back when, when you were both doing stand-up in San Francisco, Paula Poundstone came and lived with you and your wife.

CARVEY: Well, I think she'd just arrived from Boston, right, Paula? And then she lived with us.

POUNDSTONE: Not too long before.

CARVEY: Yeah, not too long before.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, not too long before. And we did live together, and we had this great fantasy about having a pole that went from the living room down to the garage and that we would all just look at each other and go, Tahoe. And then we would...


POUNDSTONE: ...Jump on the pole and slide into the cars, and then one...

CARVEY: And just go.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. And then one night we decided, OK, we really were going to drive to Tahoe. And it took so long. It was like...

CARVEY: I know.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, it turned out it wasn't much of a fantasy at all. It just took forever to drive to Tahoe.

SAGAL: Right.

CARVEY: We did stuff you do in your 20s. It was like we had - "Old Yeller" was one of our favorite movies or Paula's favorite movie, and we had a "Old Yeller" pancake breakfast. So we had special pancakes and I guess we had a VHS. For whatever reason, we watched "Old Yeller" about the dog dying and ate pancakes. It's just something you do...

GONDELMAN: One dog died.

SAGAL: And Dana, do you remember when we lived together back in the '80s as well?

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: When you lived with Skyler?

HIGLEY: Yeah, back in my 20s in the 1980s.

CARVEY: We - yeah, we put on "Planet Of The Apes." No, it was "Star Wars," and we had pizza. Yeah.

SAGAL: Oh, that was great - just movies and foods.


SAGAL: That's all we did. Well, Dana Carvey, it's a joy to talk to you and to all the people you brought with you. But we have asked you here to play a game that this time we're calling...

KURTIS: Dana Carvey, carve this up.

SAGAL: Your name is Carvey, so we thought we'd ask you about another carvy thing - steakhouses. Answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly, you will win our prize for one of our listeners - the voicemail of their choice on their voicemail. Bill, who is Dana Carvey playing for?

KURTIS: Emily Wilson (ph) of Brooklyn, N.Y.

SAGAL: All right.


SAGAL: You ready to do this?

CARVEY: I'll give it a try. This...

SAGAL: All right.

CARVEY: Now I'm actually nervous.

SAGAL: All right. Dana, here's your first question. One of the more well-known steakhouse chains is Smith & Wollensky, which opened its original location in New York City in 1977. Who were Smith and Wollenksy? Were they, A, the two cows who provided the first week's menu...


SAGAL: ...B, two random names the founder pulled out of a phone book in order to sound classy, or C, the first two people that took advantage of the dine-here-and-we-will-name-the-restaurant-after-you...


SAGAL: ...Promotion.

CARVEY: I guess I'll go with the second one.

SAGAL: You're going to go with two random names. That's right.




SAGAL: The founder of the restaurant chain who also founded TGI Fridays - there you go.


SAGAL: Sad that he just wanted it to sound classy.

POUNDSTONE: Do you feel better now that you got one right? Or do you feel a lot of stress? Does that...

CARVEY: No, I'm...

POUNDSTONE: ...Increase the stress?

CARVEY: No, decreased it immensely. I thought that was kind of a tricky one. I'd landed it. I'm really got - I have an endorphin rush going on right now.


CARVEY: I'm very proud of myself right now.


CARVEY: But I won't be. Give me another one.

SAGAL: All right. Here, Dana, is your next question. Gibsons Steakhouse, right here in Chicago, quite well known, especially for its celebrity clientele to whom they provide excellent service - for example, once, they fulfilled a special request for Celine Dion, who was dining there. What was it? A, to turn every TV on in the bar and play a VHS cassette of "Titanic," B, to serve her a steak with a side of hot dogs, or C, to set her cocktail up on a different table, but then chain together a whole bunch of straws so she could sip it from her table.

CARVEY: Boy, I'm going to...

POUNDSTONE: Stay loose. Stay loose.

CARVEY: I'm going to go with the straws.

SAGAL: You're going to go with the straws because Celine Dion did not want to drink a drink next to her. She wanted it to be a more difficult task. I'm afraid it was actually the hot dogs.

CARVEY: Well, now I'm neutral. I'm fine, but not...

SAGAL: All right. But this is exciting. This is dramatic. Because now if you get this last one, you win.

CARVEY: I'll get the third one.

SAGAL: All right, here we go.

CARVEY: Here we go.

SAGAL: Outback Steakhouse was founded in Tampa, Fla., in the '80s. And to help research the Australian concept of their restaurant, the creators of Outback Steakhouse did what? A, they watched "Crocodile Dundee" four times in slow motion...


SAGAL: ...To pick up the subtleties, B, they lived off the land in the Outback, in Australia, for two months frying onions and oil they had squeezed from wild canola plants...


SAGAL: ...Or C, they did absolutely nothing; they had never been to Australia and expressed no interest in going.


CARVEY: I'm going to say C.

SAGAL: And you'd be right.



GONDELMAN: Man (ph).


SAGAL: Bill, how did Dana Carvey do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Two out of 3 - Dana, you won.

SAGAL: There you go. Now you can be happy.



SAGAL: Dana Carvey is a comedy legend who you can hear on his new scripted podcast, "The Where Place" from Team Coco. Dana Carvey, thank you so much for joining us.


CARVEY: It was lovely (ph). Thank you.


SAGAL: What a lovely person you are.

POUNDSTONE: (Inaudible).

HIGLEY: Thank you, Dana. Great.

CARVEY: Thank you, Bill, Peter, everybody, Paula.


SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill unleashes all hell on a lovable Disney classic in our Listener Limerick Challenge game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME! from NPR.

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 Paula Poundstone, Skyler Higley and Josh Gondelman. And here again is your host at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, Ill., Peter Sagal.

SAGAL: Thank you so much.


SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill shares his Spotify Wrapped list, and his top artist is Busta Rhymes, followed by LeAnn Rimes, followed by Japanese Breakfast - not sure why - in our Listener Limerick Challenge game. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Josh, here in Chicago, you can pay $6 to have a whole shipping container to yourself in order to do what in?


HIGLEY: Don't say the one you're thinking.


GONDELMAN: We're both talking about crying, right?


GONDELMAN: Could I have a hint?

SAGAL: Well, it might sound weird, but it works out.

GONDELMAN: To exercise?

SAGAL: Yes, to exercise.


SAGAL: That's right. If you're somebody who gets creeped out or anxious by going to a gym and exercising in front of other people, you can go try the Gym Pod, which is three shipping containers sitting in a lot here in Chicago. You pay your money, you go in, they close the door and you get to exercise in privacy. It's a great way to get in shape and maybe see foreign ports.


GONDELMAN: If you're going to put me in a 5-by-5 container to exercise, I'm just going to go to jail. I'm going all the way.

HIGLEY: I'd like one of those, but I could just send everybody else that's in the gym into it, and I could just have the gym to myself.

GONDELMAN: Yeah, that's way better. How much do those cost?


SAGAL: Paula, a woman in Florida is suing the makers of Velveeta mac and cheese, because while it says on the box it takes three minutes and 30 seconds to prepare, she says it actually takes how long?

POUNDSTONE: Five minutes.

SAGAL: Yeah, about that.


SAGAL: A little bit longer is her claim.


SAGAL: The woman says the advertised 3 1/2-minute time does not include the time spent opening the package, adding water or stirring it, so she has decided to sue.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. Go for it, ladies. That's what I say.

SAGAL: Yeah.


POUNDSTONE: Bring them down. At first I thought it was going to be because it's not really cheese, but no.




SAGAL: I think if you buy something that says Velveeta on the box, you have forfeited all claim to be disappointed that it's not actually cheese.

HIGLEY: How busy is her life...

SAGAL: I know.

HIGLEY: ...That she's just in back-to-back brain surgeries?

SAGAL: Exactly. It's like, I don't have time to open the package, but, however, I want to file a lawsuit. It's crazy. That does - I mean, it does sound, though - out of context, the name of the product sounds like the law firm she'd hired to do it. Like I'm Jack Cheese, at Velveeta Mac and Cheese.

GONDELMAN: I would not trust a lawyer named Velveeta. You just know they'd melt down under the slightest pressure.


SAGAL: Skyler, the state of New Jersey just got a citation from the Federal Highway Administration because it turns out, they say, New Jersey's highway safety signs were too what?

HIGLEY: Too big.


HIGLEY: Too mean.

SAGAL: No, far from it. Although that's what you'd expect, it being New Jersey.

HIGLEY: Yeah. They were too nice?

SAGAL: Getting there.

HIGLEY: Too passive?


HIGLEY: That they're like, if you...

SAGAL: I'm just trying to - I'm sorry. That's not the right answer, but I'm just like, what would, like, too passive highway safety signs be like? It'd be like, you can drive that way.


GONDELMAN: Yeah. That's too passive-aggressive.

SAGAL: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: It's like, speed limit 55, or whatever. No problem if not.

SAGAL: Yeah. I'll give you a hint. Hey, why did the chicken cross the New Jersey Turnpike?

HIGLEY: Oh, they were too funny?

SAGAL: They were too funny.


SAGAL: New Jersey's road signs have been admonished by the federal government for being too funny, which is something I myself can only dream about.


POUNDSTONE: What do you mean, too funny?

SAGAL: The signs - well, the sign said things like slow down. This ain't Thunder Road, and nice car. Did it come with a turn signal?

HIGLEY: Oh, how do I get a job writing for the signs?

GONDELMAN: Who books that? Yeah.

SAGAL: Can you imagine that? If, like, you're sitting around with other comedy writers. Like, what do you do? Says, well, you know, I write for Seth Meyers. How about you? Says, well, I write for the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

GONDELMAN: Then I would be like, oh, my - finally, I've written for something my in-laws will see.


SAGAL: The governor of New Jersey, a man named Phil Murphy, has gone on record, says he loves those signs. He's going to fight the federal government. He's not going to stand for that. That means for the first time in its long and colorful history, my home state of New Jersey has no actual problems.



GONDELMAN: Do you think there's any that don't - that didn't age well? You know, 'cause comedy doesn't age well sometimes. It's just like, whoa, nice driving. What are you, a lady or something?


GONDELMAN: And you're just like, whoa, OK. Well, it was a different time.

SAGAL: No, no, it is a good point.

GONDELMAN: It was a different time when we put those up.

SAGAL: Like, why is the FHA giving New Jersey a problem for being too funny? This is New Jersey. You need to be glad that the highway signs aren't just catcalling. Like, hey, you in the convertible, take off your top. That's New Jersey.


POUNDSTONE: You know, you often lash out at New Jersey.

SAGAL: I do.


POUNDSTONE: I'm not sure that - I think that New Jersey has changed since your bitter feelings first took root.

SAGAL: Well, the highway signs have gotten funnier. That's what I...


SAGAL: Coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank, but first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT or click the Contact Us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. Or you can see us here live at the beautiful Studebaker Theater in downtown Chicago - yes, it is beautiful...


SAGAL: ...With a brand-new student ticket price. Come on down, youths. And we will be in New York City next week at Carnegie Hall, believe it or not, and the Wait Wait Stand-Up Tour is currently wrapping up its tour this year in Raleigh, Tampa and Atlanta from December 15 through the 17. For information and tickets to all of these amazing opportunities to have fun, go to nprpresents.org. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!

KIMBERLY: Hi, how are you?

SAGAL: I'm fine. Who's this?

KIMBERLY: This is Kimberly (ph).

SAGAL: Hey, Kimberly. Where are you calling from?

KIMBERLY: I'm from Pittsburgh, Pa.

SAGAL: I love Pittsburgh. What do you do there?

KIMBERLY: I do paralegal work.

POUNDSTONE: That's when the lawsuit is filed in an emergency, and you pull up in a truck and begin the legal work until you can get to the law office. Is that correct?

HIGLEY: I thought that was when they threw the law papers out on a parachute.

SAGAL: Right. They drop in the lawsuit.

POUNDSTONE: That's different. That's different. Paralegal.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Kimberly. Bill Kurtis is going to perform for you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly in two of the limericks, you'll be a winner. Ready to play?

KIMBERLY: I'm ready.

SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.

KURTIS: Michelangelo's statue's robust. With my light touch, I'm earning his trust. I am helping the arts when I clean David's parts. My job is to brush off the...

KIMBERLY: Not nuts.


SAGAL: That's not right...


HIGLEY: But it's not wrong either.

SAGAL: ...But it should be.


POUNDSTONE: Yeah. No, it's correct. Good for you.

SAGAL: I believe the FCC rules require us to have you say the right answer, so it's something you brush off that rhymes with trust and bust.

HIGLEY: Well, she already said bust.


POUNDSTONE: There you go.

SAGAL: She said dust. Yes. Dust.


KURTIS: Good. Good, good, good. Good answer.


SAGAL: This week, we learned about a new dream job to aspire to, dusting Michelangelo's statue of David. Eleonora Pucci is the official David duster, which requires an extensive knowledge of the history of the sculpture, as well as where it is ticklish.


HIGLEY: I thought the David statue waxed.

SAGAL: Sure looks that way, doesn't it? All right. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: The Disney original's campy, and the deer hunter feels namby-pamby. You humans are warned - this buck has sharp horns. It's a bloodthirsty remake of...

KIMBERLY: I can't even watch that movie. "Bambi"?

SAGAL: "Bambi" - yes.


SAGAL: Like many other cherished storybook characters, Bambi just entered the public domain, which means anybody can use the character for anything they might like. Finally, you have legal access to use, in any way you like, the image of a deer.


SAGAL: So a team of producers, of course, is making a horror film version of "Bambi." And they say to, quote, "prepare for Bambi on rabies," unquote. How do you do that, exactly? Do we all need to get shots? I don't know. So a killer Bambi is one thing, but I'm more excited for the other public domain remake, James Cameron's "Bambi: The Way Of Water."


GONDELMAN: I'm actually very excited. This is what I'm going to do. They - Bambi is in the public domain now - right? - and they're making a horror version. I'm waiting till "The Deer Hunter" gets into the public domain. I'm doing a family-friendly version. They just play regular roulette.


SAGAL: Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: My bed never squeaks, goodness sakes. It's a slithering sound that it makes. There's a long, steady hiss that ensures restful bliss, 'cause I sleep in a bed filled with...

KIMBERLY: Well, obviously snakes, but it doesn't make sense.

SAGAL: It is, though, snakes.


KURTIS: You're right.

SAGAL: People looking for a new bed in the U.K. should head over to Facebook Marketplace, where somebody is selling a queen bed with a built-in snake enclosure. Finally, a bed you absolutely know has a monster underneath it. The bed's only 200 bucks. It's an amazing price, especially for the snake, 'cause for him, it comes with a free meal.


HIGLEY: What's the snake number on those beds - the (imitating snake) sleep number?


GONDELMAN: There it is. There it is.

HIGLEY: OK, guys.

SAGAL: No, people say this is actually a great idea because your body heat will provide warmth for the coldblooded snake underneath. But it's got to be weird sleeping so close to a big snake 'cause, like, what happens when it wants to spoon, but it says you have to be the inside spoon?

GONDELMAN: I think this bed is perfect if you want to tell people that you're a drug kingpin, and a water bed is just too subtle.


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

KURTIS: Kimberly proved that Pittsburgh is strong. She got three right.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Kimberly.


KIMBERLY: Thank you.

SAGAL: Really well done. Thank you so much for playing. Take care.

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

KURTIS: Skyler has two. Josh and Paula each have three.

SAGAL: All right. Skyler's in third place, so you're up first. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill designed to protect same-sex blanks.

HIGLEY: Marriage.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the US was still in a COVID-19 blank.

HIGLEY: Marriage.


SAGAL: Pandemic. This week, the Federal Reserve said that until inflation abates, they will continue to raise blank.

HIGLEY: Inflation. No, the Fed rate - the rate.

SAGAL: Yeah. Interest rates. And this week, an ex-Marine was named the L.A. Lakers fan of the game after she blanked on the Jumbotron.

HIGLEY: She danced.

SAGAL: No, she chugged a beer out of her own prosthetic leg.


SAGAL: On Monday, the WHO announced that it was officially renaming blank-ypox to mpox.

HIGLEY: Monkey.

SAGAL: Monkeypox, yes.


SAGAL: On Wednesday, Christine McVie, one of the founding members of blank, passed away at the age of 79.

HIGLEY: Enron.



SAGAL: Fleetwood Mac. This week, a Buddhist temple in Thailand...


SAGAL: ...Was left empty after all the monks who lived there blanked.

HIGLEY: Decided that it was really boring to do that.


POUNDSTONE: Weren't they all arrested for meth?

SAGAL: Yes. They all tested positive for meth. Police in Thailand raided the temple earlier this week and conducted drug tests that every one of the monks failed. It's hard to know what tipped off the raid, but sources say it was probably the one monk who kept trying to play the drum solo from "Hot For Teacher" on the gong.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Skyler do?

KURTIS: Three right, six more points, total of eight gives him the lead.

SAGAL: All right. I'm going to arbitrarily...


SAGAL: ...Pick Paula to go next. Paula, fill in the blank. On Wednesday, Democrats named Hakeem Jeffries to replace blank as their leader in the House.

POUNDSTONE: Nancy Pelosi.



SAGAL: According to election data, the Senate runoff in blank has broken records for early voting.




SAGAL: After a four-year battle, the Treasury Department finally sent the House Ways and Means Committee blank's tax returns.




SAGAL: On Tuesday, the U.S. pledged $53 million to help blank restore their power grid.




SAGAL: On Monday, Merriam-Webster announced that gaslighting was the 2022 blank.

POUNDSTONE: Word of the year.



SAGAL: During a fight in the stands of a Canadian hockey game this week, a man...


SAGAL: ...Was knocked unconscious when he blanked.

POUNDSTONE: Shot a goal?

SAGAL: No. He was knocked unconscious when having gotten out of a fight with another fan uninjured, he slammed his own head into the safety glass.


SAGAL: These two fans started fighting in the stands, everybody hooting and hollering as they sort of grappled with each other in the way that amateurs do, and then the fans - somebody broke up the fight and he sort of screamed for the crowd and he flexed and he went, woohoo. And he then slammed his head into the glass so hard he immediately knocked himself out.


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

KURTIS: Four right, eight more points, total of 11 gives her the lead.

SAGAL: All right. How many, then...


SAGAL: How many, then, does Josh Gondelman need to win?

KURTIS: Four to tie, five to win, Josh.

SAGAL: All right, Josh, this is for the game. Fill in the blank. Following mass protests, China said it will start to ease its strict blank policy.


SAGAL: Yes. This week...


SAGAL: ...Congress passed a bill aimed at preventing blank workers from striking.

GONDELMAN: Railway workers.

SAGAL: Yes. On Wednesday...


SAGAL: ...President Biden announced a relocation fund for native tribes affected by blank.

GONDELMAN: American colonization?


SAGAL: No. Too late for that. Climate change. On Tuesday, the leader of the far-right group, the blanks, was convicted for his role in the attack on the Capitol.

GONDELMAN: The Oath Keepers?



SAGAL: Over the holiday, a man in Oklahoma was arrested for chasing his stepfather with a gun after an argument broke out while they were blanking.

GONDELMAN: Eating Thanksgiving dinner?

SAGAL: Playing Monopoly. Happens to us all. After its longest dormant period on record, the Mauna Loa volcano in blank began erupting on Monday.




SAGAL: On Thursday, a study showed that a new blank drug could slow cognitive decline.

GONDELMAN: I don't remember.


SAGAL: Alzheimer's. This week, a cat in Wisconsin shocked his owner after he dragged blank to the house as a gift.

GONDELMAN: Dragged another bigger cat.

SAGAL: No, an alligator head. Most cats bring mice or birds to their family's doorway. This cat named Burnt Toast did them all better, showed up with a full alligator head. Pretty impressive, but you know, a couple of houses down there was another cat that brought home a whole alligator body.


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

KURTIS: Josh got four right for eight more points, total of 11. That means Josh and Paula are our co-champs.


GONDELMAN: It feels incredible. It's an honor and a privilege.

SAGAL: Now, panel, what will be the No. 1 song in your Spotify Wrapped playlist next year? Skyler Higley.

HIGLEY: "Sorry For All That Stuff I Said," by Kanye West.


SAGAL: Josh Gondelman.

GONDELMAN: It's going to be the same as the most-heard song in my apartment every year. It's the one I sing to my dog called "What's Pug Got To Do With It?"


SAGAL: And Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: Any pre-anti-vaxxer Van Morrison.


KURTIS: Well, 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 Paula Poundstone, Skyler Higley and Josh Gondelman right there. Thanks to all of you for listening and our fabulous audience here at the Studebaker Theater. I'm Peter Sagal. We'll see you next week.


SAGAL: This is NPR.

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