One Letter Away From Fame Take a single letter away from a celebrity's name and he's transformed. If the star of World War Z lost a letter in his first name, he becomes a piece of lingerie: "Bra Pitt."

One Letter Away From Fame

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/363546479/363580420" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's say hello to our next contestants Ken Rossen and Cara Dolan.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Ken, you have a very odd tendency which - you have a compulsion to need to figure out what celebrity people look like.

KEN ROSSEN: I don't know if - it's an annoying tendency and it's one these things that comes to me.

EISENBERG: OK.

ROSSEN: And it's a challenge to keep my mouth shut.

EISENBERG: All right. Jonathan Coulton.

ROSSEN: Oh, the Cowardly Lion.

(APPLAUSE)

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: I guess that counts as a celebrity, yeah.

EISENBERG: Cara, do people tell you anyone specific?

CARA DOLAN: Well I - it changed through the ages. When I was a - when I was younger, I was Pippi Longstocking.

EISENBERG: Oh, because you have long braids.

ROSSEN: Oh, I don't see that though. No.

(LAUGHTER)

DOLAN: But in high school I graduated to Janis Joplin.

EISENBERG: Janis Joplin is awesome. That's a good one.

ROSSEN: Janis Joplin would be good. You need the glasses, yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This round is called One Letter Away From Fame. Every celebrity knows that one little thing can change her or his career drastically. Like a little forgotten sex tape - it's all different. No, it turns out if you take even a single letter away from a celebrity's name they become something completely different. So lets go to our puzzle guru, Art Chung, for an example.

ART CHUNG, BYLINE: So, Ophira, If I said the star of "World War Z" lost a letter in his first name, he'd become a piece of lingerie because his name would be Bra Pitt.

EISENBERG: Mmhm. Yep.

COULTON: All right. Here we go.

EISENBERG: If this "Shawshank Redemption" actor lost a letter in his first name, he'd turn into a musical instrument.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ken.

ROSSEN: Organ Freeman.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: If this "Iron Lady" actress lost a letter in her last name, she would become a bacterium that causes a scratchy throat. Scratchy throat.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ken.

ROSSEN: Meryl Strep.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Her full name is actually Meryl Streptococcus B.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: If the creator of "Gray's Anatomy" and "Scandal" lost a letter in her first name, she'd become a Japanese carmaker.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ken.

ROSSEN: Honda Rhimes.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Shonda Rimes.

COULTON: Shonda Rimes, that's right.

EISENBERG: If the star of "Gravity" and "Up in the Air" lost a letter in his last name, he'd just sound crazy.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Cara.

DOLAN: George Looney.

EISENBERG: George Looney.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: If the Prince of Bel Air lost a letter in his last name, he'd sound like someone who's gone over to the dark side of the force.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Cara

DOLAN: Will Sith.

COULTON: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

DOLAN: Oh, I've got my geek.

ROSSEN: I've got to get my geek on.

EISENBERG: That's funny.

ROSSEN: You don't sound very convincing when you say that.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Art Chung, what is going on? What happened in that game?

CHUNG: Wow. I don't know. The guy who looks a lot like Gene Hackman won. So congratulations.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Coming up, we'll put fantasy author Neil Gaiman in the puzzle hotseat for a game he would've aced when he was nine years old. So stay tuned. This is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.