Jazz Saxophonist Branford Marsalis Plays Not My Job Jazz great Branford Marsalis plays a game called "I don't care what it is, get me something for the little brats ...STAT!" Three questions about the worst toys of all time taken from a list in Radar magazine. Originally broadcast Dec. 23, 2006.
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Jazz Saxophonist Branford Marsalis Plays Not My Job

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Jazz Saxophonist Branford Marsalis Plays Not My Job

Jazz Saxophonist Branford Marsalis Plays Not My Job

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Branford Marsalis also grew up in New Orleans, part of a family of musical royalty.


He joined us along with Roy Blount Jr., Roxanne Roberts and Charlie Pierce. And we asked him how he ended up choosing his instrument, the saxophone.

M: I was playing clarinet in the orchestra.

SAGAL: Yeah.

M: And in the marching band and I was playing piano, because piano was my first instrument in this rock and roll band. And they were these pianos, they have a resurgence now, these electric pianos called Fender Rhodes. And my dad had one, so I would borrow his. And it weighed about 110 pounds, and I had to carry it by myself. And after about six months of that, the tenor guy quit, and I couldn't wait to get a saxophone just to get off of that heavy, damned instrument. And it worked. I lobbied. I got another guy who was stupid enough to carry it around.


M: My good friend Kermit Campbell, who lives in Dallas now. And he started playing piano, and I started playing saxophone.

SAGAL: Because the reason I ask - because we heard a rumor and I want to see if you can confirm it - that the ladies like the saxophone, for some reason.

M: Oh, man, that's not a rumor.


M: What makes you think that's a rumor? I mean, look at all the movies. I mean, as soon as the guy gets near the woman, what do you hear? Saxophone. There's a reason for that. But at the age of 14 or 15, when I really wasn't getting any girls and wasn't hip to that, I've often said in jest, you know, I had to switch to the saxophone because you could get women with a saxophone. And I will concede that you stand a much better chance playing a saxophone than you do playing an electric piano.


M: I mean, just the lack of hernias alone would be...

M: There you go.

M: Well, wait, wait - let me ask then, what makes a saxophone so sexy?

M: I have no idea. It's something that - it's not that I made the decision, it's just you play and women go, oh, I like the saxophone. I don't know why. I've just never heard a movie or a show or in real life a person come and say, you know what really turns me on? Fender Rhodes, I just love those guys.


M: Electric keyboards, oh the DX-7 is just so sexy.


M: It doesn't happen.

M: Is it true...

M: I cannot tell you why, but I'm glad that it's the way it is.

M: Apropos of nothing, is it true that all oboe players are virgins?


M: You know, that might be true. I don't know if it's true, but I would understand why if it were.


SAGAL: Well, Branford Marsalis, we are delighted to have you with us. In fact, we have asked you here to play a game we're calling...

KASELL: "I Don't Care What It Is; Get Me Something For the Little Brats, Stat!"

M: Oh, goodness.

SAGAL: We're going to ask you three questions about the 10 worst toys of all time, published by Radar magazine. Get two right, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners, Carl's voice on their home answering machine. So Carl, who is musician Branford Marsalis playing for?

KASELL: Branford is playing for Nathan Nece(ph) of Petaluma, California.

SAGAL: All right, here's your first question. Decades ago, countless children were injured, put at risk by toys that were made and sold before the modern innovation of massive lawsuits.


SAGAL: For example, in 1951, you could have been one of the first kids to own what: A, a little Daniel Boone, genuine backwoodsman fire-starter set with flints, kindling, and something called magic Indian firewater - namely, butane; B, the U-238 atomic energy lab, a science kit that came complete with real uranium; or C, the Paul Bunyan, two-handed, kid-sized ripsaw.

M: Given my limited knowledge of pop culture, I'm going to have to go with A.

SAGAL: You're going to go with A, the little Daniel Boone, genuine backwoodsman fire-starter set?

M: Yes.

SAGAL: No, I'm afraid it was actually the U-238 atomic energy lab.

M: You've got to be kidding.

M: With the real uranium?

SAGAL: It came with actual radioactive - lightly radioactive, gently radioactive...

M: Oh, my God.

SAGAL: ...uranium bearing ore and experiments you could do with it. It also had a comic book that was titled, "Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom."


M: Wow.

SAGAL: No, we looked into it. Apparently, it didn't hurt anyone that we know of. But then again, you know, maybe the children were kept in the cellar for the rest of their unnatural lives after playing with it.

M: Exactly.

SAGAL: We don't know. All right, you have two more chances. Let's see if you can get this one.

M: OK.

SAGAL: No, that was a hard one. We'll see if you can get this one. Toy guns, of course, always been controversial but maybe none more than which of these: A, the Bat Masterson derringer belt gun ,which had a working cap gun built into a belt buckle; B, the commie killer Army rifle, marketed at the height of the Cold War; or C, the Ida Lupino girl gun, made of pink plastic, which came with a toy purse to hide it in?

M: Oh, this is terrible. They all sound so plausible.


M: I'm going to go with Ida Lupino.

SAGAL: You're going to go with the Ida Lupino girl gun.

M: Yes, I have to.

SAGAL: Pink plastic gun for your little girl.

M: I think it's plausible.

SAGAL: It's plausible, but I'm afraid the real one was the derringer belt gun.

M: Oh, the cap gun?

SAGAL: The cap gun on the belt buckle.

M: Peter, can I tell you something?

SAGAL: What?

M: I had one of those.

SAGAL: You had a Bat Masterson belt buckle gun?

M: I did. I did, yes.

SAGAL: And it's actually in the belt buckle.

M: It is.

SAGAL: So if you wanted to shoot somebody...

M: You flip open the belt buckle and the thing goes off, and you shoot the bad guy.

M: Or yourself.


M: That's only if you - that's if you put the belt on backwards. Then you get in real trouble.

SAGAL: All right, well, you still have one more chance, Branford. Let's get this one.

M: Sorry, Petaluma, I tried.

SAGAL: Our last bad toy was related to one of the iconic toys of the '80s. Was it A, the Cabbage Patch Snack Time Kid doll whose motorized mouth would eat anything, including children's hair and fingers; B, the Be a Smurf makeup kit, which turned dozens of kids a bright-blue color that stayed on for weeks...


SAGAL: Or C, the Care Bear Bear Trap of Love...


SAGAL: ...which had surprisingly strong steel springs and hidden underneath...


SAGAL: ...the plush padding.

M: OK.

M: If you love me, you'll chew off my leg.


M: Man, I don't know. I'm going to go with the Smurf ink stuff.

SAGAL: The Smurf ink. Little kids changing themselves into little Smurfs, and not being able to change back.

M: Yeah, I'm going to go with that one.

SAGAL: No. It was the Snack Time Kid doll.

M: It was the Cabbage Patch doll?

SAGAL: It was the cabbage patch doll. It had a little, motorized mouth...

M: Oh.

SAGAL: ...which was supposed to chew up little bits of fake food that came with it.

M: I hate this game.

SAGAL: I'm sorry.


M: And the great thing was, Peter, you could use it to save the little Care Bear.

SAGAL: That's true.


M: Oh, man.

SAGAL: Well, the game was like some of the best jazz - it's inaccessible, you know.

M: That's a good point. That's a good point.

SAGAL: Yeah. Carl, how did Branford Marsalis do on our quiz?

KASELL: Well he needed two correct answers to win. Branford had no correct answers, Peter.

M: Oh, man.

SAGAL: That's terrible. I'm so sorry.

M: That's beyond terrible.

SAGAL: That's not good.

M: That's just sorry.


M: Well, I mean, I learned a lot. That's very informative stuff.

SAGAL: Yeah, and you can use this, too.

M: Oh, I shall be. I'll be using it.

SAGAL: Inspired.

M: I'll put it into my new works.

SAGAL: Really?

M: Oh, absolutely.

SAGAL: Little jazz and...

M: Yeah, I like the other one, the Bear Trap of Love.


M: I'm going to use that one. I'll go with the bear trap.

SAGAL: Branford Marsalis is a Grammy Award-winning saxophonist, musician and composer. He's played with everyone from Miles Davis to Sting, which pretty much is the whole spectrum of music right there. Branford Marsalis, thank you so much for joining us today.

M: My pleasure. Thank you.

SAGAL: What fun.

M: Thank you.


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