One-Word One-Hit Wonders The airwaves of the 90s were full of one-hit wonders, and in this music game, we're paying homage to some of them--specifically, the ones that had a single word as a title.

One-Word One-Hit Wonders

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Please welcome Mary Wirjadi and Mike Swartwout. Now, Mary, you helped bring the church back to St. Louis youth by building some sort of makeshift chapel on top of a bar, is that correct?

MARY WIRJADI: Yeah, it is on the second level of a bar at a local university here because we've learned that college students want to go to church but cannot be anywhere at 9 a.m. on a Sunday.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) So are they serving beverages at this service?

WIRJADI: They are available for purchase downstairs.

EISENBERG: And you can bring them up?

WIRJADI: Oh, sure.



EISENBERG: So it's a sermon and beer.

WIRJADI: Drink with the pastor.

EISENBERG: I feel like that's very popular. That sounds amazing.


EISENBERG: Yeah, I'm switching. Mike, an air and space instructor - that sounds like you are the smartest man on the universe. What kind of stuff do you teach?

MIKE SWARTWOUT: I teach how to design spacecraft. I'm thankful you said that 'cause my kids are in the audience. So I appreciate that...

EISENBERG: Oh, really?

SWARTWOUT: ...Very much. Thank you.

EISENBERG: What is the most '90s thing you ever wore, perhaps in the '90s, perhaps still?

SWARTWOUT: Still would be it, yeah.


SWARTWOUT: I was in school at the time so it was a lot of the long-sleeved shirts, the button-down, but you left them open with a T-shirt underneath.


SWARTWOUT: So pretty much what I wear now.

EISENBERG: You still do that?


EISENBERG: Exactly the same. Yeah, that's a classic. That is. How about you, Mary?

WIRJADI: In the early '90s, I had a large collection of slap bracelets that you get from the quarter machine...


WIRJADI: ...Until they were taken away from me because I would leave them on the steps. And if you've ever stepped on a slap bracelet, it's like scrap metal inside.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

WIRJADI: Yeah, it hurt.

EISENBERG: How about you, Jonathan?

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: No. In the '90s, I was still wearing all of my '80s clothes.


EISENBERG: This game is called One-Word One-Hit Wonders of the '90s.

COULTON: That's right. And we remember the '90s for many things - AOL, Mulder and Scully, the Clinton administration. Tonight, we're going to celebrate that decade's many one-word, one-hit wonders. Now, I want to be clear here and avoid the no doubt flood of emails we're going to get. We know already these one-hit wonders are songs that their artists are primarily identified with. They may very well have other songs you know, but this is their one big hit. Please don't write us emails.


COULTON: And all the songs in this game have one-word titles. And we have replaced the lyrics of each song with lyrics that are clues to that title. All you have to do is give me the title. You ready?


COULTON: OK, here we go.

(Singing) The Loch Ness Monster's in Scotland, Bigfoot in the States, people live inside the TV. The tarot decides our fates. Pegasus and the unicorn, mermaids in the deep blue sea. These are some things we realized are not true. They're not true. A touch risque to sample bits from Andrew Dice Clay. The name, you say, it's...



WIRJADI: "Unbelievable."

COULTON: That's right.


COULTON: (Singing) I take a bath, slap the porcelain, like the name of Bambi's bunny pal. I take a bath. I slap the porcelain, like the name of Bambi's bunny pal.


EISENBERG: (Laughter) Mary.

WIRJADI: "Tubthumping."

COULTON: "Tubthumping" is correct.


COULTON: (Singing) Ted Kaczynski and Patty Hearst, David Berkowitz, John Dillinger, Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, Sirhan Sirhan, Robert Durst. What do all these folks have in common?




COULTON: That is not the answer we're looking for. Mary, do you know what it is?

WIRJADI: "Criminal."

COULTON: "Criminal" is correct - Fiona Apple.


EISENBERG: I like a Patty Hearst and Robert Durst rhyme, by the way.

COULTON: Patty Hearst, Robert Durst.

EISENBERG: Very happy someone took advantage of that.

COULTON: (Singing) Jumping in my backyard pool, running like The Flash- make a big splash. It's also a round projectile, much used in the Civil War - big gun, mortar, howitzer, big gun, mortar, howitzer.



SWARTWOUT: "Cannonball."

COULTON: "Cannonball" is right.


COULTON: (Singing) Well, maybe I'm just too psyched. Maybe by nature I am just an optimist, but everything seems just fine, even peachy keen. It was neat. I really liked it. It was nice. It was cool and beneficial. It was swell.



WIRJADI: "Good."

COULTON: "Good." That's right.


COULTON: This is your last question.

(Singing) Broken, damaged, ripped, ruptured, shredded, slashed, disconnected, cracked, lacerated, sundered, split, ragged, severed, sliced, mangled, tattered, gashed. I'm listing words. They all mean the title of this song. All of these words mean the title of the song.




COULTON: "Torn" is correct.


COULTON: This game was brought to you by Roget's Thesaurus. Greg Pliska, how did our contestants do?

GREG PLISKA, BYLINE: Well, it was very close, but, Mary, you are our winner. And we'll see you in the final round at the end of the show.


EISENBERG: If you would like to be a contestant on ASK ME ANOTHER, send us an email at We will send you a quiz and find out whether you're a trivia one-hit wonder or a chart-topper. Plus, if you'd like to come see us live, just go to


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