Who's Bill This Time Bill Kurtis reads three quotes from the week's news: Greco Uh-Oh, The Mouth of the GOP, Burst Bubble.

Who's Bill This Time

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/422036834/422061215" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. Motown Philly, meet Motown Billy. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pa., Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. Thank you. It is great to be back in Philadelphia, especially because our guest is going to be Philadelphia's own Terry Gross, right here.


SAGAL: Now, we figure one of two things could happen today. Either she will bring us up to her level, and we'll start doing intelligent, insightful inquiries into the most important issues of the day or the opposite will happen.

KURTIS: This week on Fresh Air, it's fart week.


SAGAL: Nothing to do but wait and see. But whatever level you're on, 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.

PRESTON WADE: Hello, how are you?

SAGAL: I'm fine, who's this?

WADE: This is Preston in Cincinnati. I listen on WVXU and WMUB.

SAGAL: Oh, that's great. Cincinnati, you said. What do you do there?

WADE: I cook and I sing and I do comedy.

SAGAL: Oh, really?

WADE: Yes, yes, I'm kind of learning my way around.

SAGAL: OK, let me give you some - this is tips from a professional humorist - do not make your audience sit in the open sky during a lightning storm.


SAGAL: That's from me to you because you don't want to see that look of panic I can see in the back rows now. Well, welcome to our show, Preston. Let me introduce you to our panel. First up, a former writer for "The Colbert Report" and "Late Night With Seth Meyers," it's Peter Grosz.


PETER GROSZ: Hi, Preston.

WADE: Hi, Peter.

SAGAL: Next, the advice columnist behind the syndicated column "Ask Amy," it's Amy Dickinson.


AMY DICKINSON: Hey, Preston.

WADE: Hello.

SAGAL: And finally, an author and humorist whose collection of commentaries from NPR "As Far As You Can Go Without a Passport," celebrates 30 years in print, it's Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: Hello, Preston.


WADE: How are you, Tom?


SAGAL: So welcome to the show, Preston. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize - scorekeeper emeritus, Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

WADE: Yes, indeed.

SAGAL: All right, let's do it. Here is your first quote. It is from a citizen in a country that rejected a plan to repay its debts.

KURTIS: I feel like an idiot living among idiots.

SAGAL: That was a man named Niki Kamtsios. He was upset about living among idiots where?

WADE: In Greece.

SAGAL: Yes, in Greece, Preston. Very good.


SAGAL: Greece is billions and billions of dollars in debt, mainly to Germany, and this week, the people of Greece soundly defeated a proposal to pay it back. This happened even though many Greeks admitted they didn't really understand the proposal. All they know is that when you have the chance to screw over some Germans, you take it.


SAGAL: It didn't help that the ballot had two choices - yes and f-yes.


SAGAL: But the problem is, they have to figure out what to do now. They can repay their debt with what they have, which is basically stuffed grape leaves, spanakopita and lots of broken plates.


SAGAL: But by the end of the week - this is true - they came up with a new three-year plan to pay the debt. First step - Greece wants to talk to you about a wonderful company called Herbalife.


BODETT: You know, I think it was Plato's quote that said the downfall of democracy will be when people realize they can vote themselves a free spanakopita.


SAGAL: Exactly. Very good, Preston. Here is your next quote.

KURTIS: The good news is, I'm really rich.

SAGAL: That was a presidential candidate - a leading presidential candidate on the Republican side - looking on the bright side after several corporations said they wouldn't do business with him anymore in the wake of some dumb things he said. Who was it?

WADE: Donald Chump.


SAGAL: Oh, I'm sorry. We're just going to pretend you said Donald Trump, yes.


SAGAL: This week, Donald Trump came in second in a national poll among Republican presidential candidates and first in another. For the Republican Party, this is as bad as - well, you really can't compare it to anything. It's the worst possible thing. If a meteor fell on the GOP party headquarters, they'd say, whoa, this is as bad as Donald Trump being our leading candidate.


DICKINSON: But didn't, like, over July 4th weekend, didn't Mitt Romney have some sort of, like, slumber party with other...

SAGAL: Yes he did. He did not invite...

GROSZ: With Christie and Rubio, or...

SAGAL: He had Rubio, and I think he had Christie come and stay at his lake house.

DICKINSON: So I just picture them, like, oh, my God, Donald Trump's the worst. You know, like, doing their little pillow talk and gossiping about Trump - maybe they prank called him, you know.


SAGAL: People say this has a ceiling, people really don't like him, it's probably not going to work out. Trump is now hinting that if he can't win the Republican nomination he might run as a, quote, "Independent" in the same way that when you are unemployed, you say you are freelancing.


GROSZ: It'd be great if he ran as an independent 'cause then he'd have to spend his money. I'd like to see him spend every single dollar trying to run for president.

SAGAL: That would be awesome.

GROSZ: And just wind up completely destitute. And then he'd be like, I am the best, most luxurious homeless person you have ever seen in your entire life.


SAGAL: All right, Preston, here is your last quote from perhaps the most important - and to some of us older people - tragic story of the week.

KURTIS: Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.

SAGAL: That, sadly, is a sound we'll never hear again now that the company that makes it has changed what beloved packing material?

WADE: Packing material?

SAGAL: Packing material, Preston.

WADE: Bubble wrap?

SAGAL: Bubble wrap.


SAGAL: Someday, in the wreckage of our civilization - 'cause it's all going downhill from here - we will explain to our children how much fun it was to pop bubble wrap because they, sadly, will never know. The company that makes bubble wrap, called Sealed Air Corporation...

GROSZ: (Laughter) That's amazing.

SAGAL: That's what it's called.

DICKINSON: (Laughter) No.

GROSZ: That's the most...

SAGAL: They're very good at making packing material. They're bad at naming themselves.

GROSZ: That is the most literal interpretation. We are a corporation that makes sealed air - that's it. Let's just get it back to putting air inside bubbles. Don't think about the name.

SAGAL: They are changing the formula, so it will no longer pop.

GROSZ: Unlike the sky.

SAGAL: So it's dead. Bubble wrap is dead. Its last words were pop.


SAGAL: OK, so basically for our radio audience at home...


SAGAL: I just want to let you all know that a SEPTA bus just floated by. What we're - what's happening right now is our poor lawn seat people who are looking forward to a lovely picnic under the stars. If you guys want to head home early - just to summarize the rest of the show - it's just about eight more fart jokes and then Amy wins.


SAGAL: So there's no spoilers or anything. Meanwhile, Preston's still on the phone. Bill, how did Preston do on our quiz?

KURTIS: 3-0. He's a winner. Preston, good for you.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Preston. Thanks for playing.

WADE: Thank you.


SAGAL: Take care.

WADE: All right.

Copyright © 2015 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.