Dennis Quaid And Christian Cooke: Sexiest Men Of The Auction House In their Ask Me Another challenge, we asked the two to put their auction knowledge to the test by guessing which unexpected items went for a higher bid.

Dennis Quaid And Christian Cooke: Sexiest Men Of The Auction House

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JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton, here with puzzle guru Art Chung. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.



Thank you, Jonathan. Soon, we'll find out which of our contestants, Angeline or JJ, will be today's big winner. But first, it's time to welcome our next special guests. They also star in the Crackle series "The Art Of More." Please welcome Dennis Quaid and Christian Cooke.




EISENBERG: Dennis Quaid, you have a very impressive - I mean, I don't need to tell you - IMDB-page resume. You have been in so many great projects. But I heard that, once, a long time ago, you actually worked as a clown at a...

QUAID: Yes, I was a clown at AstroWorld.

EISENBERG: What is AstroWorld?

QUAID: It's the wonderful place of fun, fun, fun.


EISENBERG: And AstroWorld is located in...

QUAID: Houston, Texas.

EISENBERG: Houston, Texas.

QUAID: Or was - it's no longer here.


QUAID: I think it was a liability issue.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Was being a clown a fun job?

QUAID: Well, the breaks in between being a clown were great. We would be inside the firehouse there at AstroWorld. And we would play poker for paychecks, basically...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

QUAID: ...Is what we did. But then we would go out and be beaten up by 8 or 9-year-old kids for most of the day...

EISENBERG: 'Cause half of them are...

QUAID: ...'Cause kids do not like clowns...


QUAID: ...At all.

EISENBERG: They're scared.

QUAID: No. It's carte blanche to kick and hit and whatever. That's what went on.

EISENBERG: And what was the paycheck? Was it pretty good?

QUAID: It was a full $2.85 an hour, as I recall. Now, we're talking '70s money now. That was pretty good.

EISENBERG: Yeah. That could get you home on the bus.

QUAID: Yes. Well...

CHRISTIAN COOKE: Do you still have the outfit?

QUAID: ...Paid for my Ford Falcon.


EISENBERG: Nice. Now, Christian Cooke, I know you started acting young. Age 10 - you were already...

COOKE: Yeah - 9, 10 - yeah.

EISENBERG: Nine, 10 - so along the way, did you have to deal with any odd jobs to get through your acting chops?

COOKE: I don't think so. I don't - I'm - not particularly odd. Just very varied and strange. They're all quite strange in their own ways, I guess (laughter). Yeah. No clown issues.


COOKE: Yeah. Although, I'd quite like to see you in that suit one day.


COOKE: Not in a sexual way, of course.


EISENBERG: Yeah. In a nice way.

COOKE: Well, maybe in a sexual way.


EISENBERG: We're all open.

QUAID: OK. Whatever floats your boat.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) You guys actually have a couple of things in common other than starring in the same show because - I like this timing - Dennis, in 2015, People magazine named you one of the sexiest men alive.


EISENBERG: Question - what took them so long?

QUAID: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: And did you resent, like, all those sit-ups, all those abs over the years that did not get enough notice?

QUAID: Well, you know, it's something you work on for decades.


QUAID: You have a dream. You have a goal.


QUAID: And, you know, it's not about winning. It's about getting there.


QUAID: So I'll let other people be the judge.

EISENBERG: OK, very good. Christian, People named you sexiest man of the week in December 2015.

COOKE: Of the week?


COOKE: What was he?

EISENBERG: He was of the year.

COOKE: (Expletive) that.


EISENBERG: Oh, I'm sorry. He was alive - sexiest man alive.

QUAID: I was just one of the - one of the.

EISENBERG: One of the.

QUAID: One of the.

COOKE: It was a good week.

EISENBERG: You were the only sexy man of that week. But you don't even remember.

COOKE: No one told me.


EISENBERG: You didn't know that. So...

COOKE: No, I never knew that. That's great.

EISENBERG: Yeah. It was a full week.

COOKE: Very proud...


COOKE: ...Very proud of that.

EISENBERG: Dennis, it seems that you pick your hobbies according to the movies that you were in...

QUAID: That's pretty much true. Yes.

EISENBERG: ...Because I didn't know that you were a huge cyclist. And that is directly related to the fact that you were in that amazing movie "Breaking Away."

QUAID: "Breaking Away."



EISENBERG: Coming-of-age movie.

QUAID: Yeah. I didn't actually take up cycling until 30 years after I did the film. But yes.

EISENBERG: And now you guys...

QUAID: That was true.

EISENBERG: You guys gather all the cast members for, like, cycling enthusiasts.

QUAID: We got together, actually, last year at a cycling convention. We hadn't really been around each other - all four of us...


QUAID: ...In the same room for a while. It was great. It was fantastic.

EISENBERG: So how much are you biking around?

QUAID: Biking around?

COOKE: Just, like, 30 miles a day.

EISENBERG: Are you serious?

COOKE: Like - yeah, he does a lot.

QUAID: Well, it's fun. You know, I feel like I'm 12 years old when I get on the bike. And I get to wear that - you know, that silly Lycra and everything, which just kind of feeds a certain thing for me.



QUAID: And it's good.

EISENBERG: And then after "The Right Stuff," you got your pilot's license.

QUAID: Yes. During "The Right Stuff"...

EISENBERG: During "The Right Stuff."

QUAID: ...I got my pilot's license. Yeah, I - they didn't know I had my license.

EISENBERG: Why weren't you allowed to?

QUAID: Liability.

EISENBERG: Oh, just - right.

QUAID: It's all about liability.

EISENBERG: OK, got it. Got it. So, all of a sudden, you were like, oh, no, I'm actually flying in this scene.

QUAID: Yup. How about that?


EISENBERG: It's pretty good. It's pretty good.

QUAID: Yeah. I mean, it's easy, you know, to get off. Landing is hard. Flying is easy. Landing is hard.

COOKE: In Season 1 of the show, we were shooting in this airplane hangar. This was kind of a strange moment for me - a kid from north England. And we were in this airplane hangar. And I saw his plane. And I was like, this is a pretty impressive plane. And Dennis goes, I used to have one of those.

QUAID: They're very convenient.


EISENBERG: So let's talk about your show, "The Art Of More." It's about the seedy underbelly of the art-auction world. Now, Dennis, you play Samuel Bruckner, a power-hungry real-estate tycoon trying to launch a political career. It sounds pretty far-fetched. Are you worried that audiences will just...

QUAID: Who's a billionaire...

EISENBERG: ...Not believe this character at all?

QUAID: Well, I - that's what I'm banking on that they won't - you know, but Chuck Rose wrote this part and wrote the scripts, you know, on our first season, which was a year and a half ago. And we were two months into filming and then Trump announced for - that he was running. But I'm watching and his - my dialogue is coming out of his mouth.


QUAID: And it was...

EISENBERG: Chilling, I imagine.

QUAID: Yes, it was.

EISENBERG: Do you enjoy digging your teeth into this kind of character?

QUAID: He's fun to play.


QUAID: You say anything you want.


QUAID: If you say it, it's true.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's a...

QUAID: Yeah, exactly.

EISENBERG: I - this is all a little eerie, frankly. Now, Christian, I know that "The Art Of More" is scripted, but I'm told that you like to improvise a little bit and at one point improvised yourself into the hospital.

COOKE: Yeah, I broke my hand. I was actually - I did it because I was really annoyed at the fact that they were about to call cut and wrap the night. And it was like - because it was midnight and I was pissed off that I wasn't going to get any more takes. So in the scene, I took the lout (ph) literally in the scene, and I punched the table and collapsed and, yeah, broke my hand.

But the most painful thing was when the doctor came to set the next day and said to me I have to re-break it because it's not in the right place. I said, OK, so when do we do that? He said, well, I can do it now if you want. So they took me into the producers' trailer and the medic pinned me down and...

QUAID: Put a stick in your mouth.

COOKE: Yeah, somewhere, I don't know. And the doctor proceeded to yank my finger and put it in the right place, and it was horrible.

EISENBERG: And then they were like good to go...

COOKE: Yeah.

EISENBERG: ...Back to work.

COOKE: Don't improvise.


EISENBERG: Exactly, note to actors, don't improvise. All right, you two, are you ready for an ASK ME ANOTHER challenge?

COOKE: Let's do it.

QUAID: Yes, I am so ready.

EISENBERG: Fantastic, all right.

QUAID: Ready to receive.


EISENBERG: So your show "The Art Of More" is about New York auction houses, so that's the inspiration for your challenge. I'm going to list unique items that were actually sold at an auction.


EISENBERG: You'll want to choose the item that you think sold for the most amount of money or at least more than your opponent's.

COULTON: For example, if your choices were between Pharrell's hat or Gary Coleman's sweatpants, you would want to pick Pharrell's hat for a number of reasons. But...


COULTON: ...In this case because Arby's bought it for $44,000. Gary Coleman's sweatpants sold to Jimmy Kimmel for only 500 bucks.

EISENBERG: Buzz in to pick first.


EISENBERG: OK, here we go. Which sold for more - a self-portrait of Joni Mitchell drawn in ink and felt-tip pen, a nude sketch of Lady Gaga drawn by Tony Bennett or a painting of a cow by James Franco titled "Cow Painting Six?"


EISENBERG: Christian.

COOKE: See, I want to say Joni Mitchell but I - probably the James Franco thing.

EISENBERG: OK, that's your choice. Dennis, what do you choose?

QUAID: I bought that James Franco.


QUAID: So I'm going with it.

EISENBERG: You have to pick a different one.

QUAID: Oh, well, OK, then. I got to go with the Joni Mitchell.

EISENBERG: Joni Mitchell. All right. Turns out that in this case, Dennis, you got the point.


EISENBERG: It actually was the Lady Gaga...



EISENBERG: ...The most expensive - $30,000 - drawn by Tony Bennett. The guy doesn't draw. It's very weird. Joni Mitchell one went for $10,000. James Franco's "Cow Painting Number Six" went for five grand. "Cow Number Seven" might go for more.


COULTON: He's been working on cows for a long time. He'll get it.


COULTON: All right. Which one sold for the most - a cheese pizza that resembled Jesus's face, a grilled cheese sandwich that resembled the Virgin Mary's face or a cornflake shaped like Illinois?


COULTON: Christian.

COOKE: The cornflake thing.

COULTON: You choose cornflake. Dennis, what's your...

QUAID: Doesn't every cornflake look like Illinois?



QUAID: I'm going to go with - I'm always going to go with Jesus.


COULTON: I like how you think, but I'm sorry, that is incorrect. In this case, the cornflake is - was sold for slightly more than the cheese pizza that looked like Jesus.

QUAID: Really?

COULTON: The one that sold for the most was the grilled cheese sandwich. That was $28,000.

COOKE: I want to see a picture of the people that are buying these.


COULTON: OK - Elvis Presley's hair, Justin Bieber's hair, Willie Nelson's hair.


COULTON: Christian.

COOKE: Probably Justin Bieber's hair.

COULTON: OK, you're going with Bieber. Dennis, do you have a...

QUAID: I'm going to have to go with Elvis.

COULTON: You are correct.

QUAID: Yes (unintelligible).

COULTON: Elvis' hair - $115,000.


COULTON: Justin Bieber - only 41.

COOKE: Amazing.

EISENBERG: Here's your next one. Michael Jordan's used dream team uniform - used - a piece of wedding cake from Queen Elizabeth II's wedding in 1947 or a piece of toast half eaten by a member of One Direction.


EISENBERG: Christian.

COOKE: The cake from Elizabeth.


QUAID: Well, I guess I'm going to go with One Direction.


QUAID: Got to.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that...

QUAID: Jesus, Elvis and One Direction.

EISENBERG: Yeah. You're right. That toast had a little Vegemite on it, and it went for a $100,000.


EISENBERG: The cake, a truly iconic piece of history - of edible history - went for $2,800.


COULTON: All right. This is your last clue - Madonna's 1971 to '72 junior high school yearbook, Madonna's signed check for $80 used to pay for a massage or Madonna's used Amex card cut in half.


COULTON: Christian.

COOKE: I think the first - the first one.

COULTON: The yearbook, the junior high school yearbook.

COOKE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely, 100 percent.

COULTON: All right, Dennis, what do you think?

QUAID: I'm going to go with a canceled Amex card.

COULTON: The Amex card cut in half. You are correct. That went for $7,000.


COULTON: Yearbook only $1,100.

QUAID: I figured there was 400 copies of that yearbook.

EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: (Laughter) That's right. There are plenty of copies.

COOKE: That's really clever.

COULTON: Exactly - only one Amex.

EISENBERG: But the check is ridiculous. First of all, who writes a check for a massage? Weird, right?

COOKE: Yeah.

QUAID: If you're in a pinch?


COOKE: Yeah, like she's ever been in a pinch.


COULTON: Art Chung, how did they do?

ART CHUNG: They both did great. Congratulations to Dennis. You won an ASK ME ANOTHER Rubik's Cube.


QUAID: Really, how's that? Oh, wow, a come-from-behind victory.

EISENBERG: Thank you guys so much for playing with us.

COOKE: Thank you.

QUAID: Thank you so much.


COOKE: Thank you.

QUAID: And thank you.

COOKE: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Christian Cooke and Dennis Quaid. Season two of "The Art Of More" is on Crackle. Let's hear it one more time for Dennis Quaid, Christian Cooke.


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