Happily Alone We've rewritten the TLC classic "No Scrubs" to be about famous women who were never married.
NPR logo

Happily Alone

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/598246910/598254114" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Happily Alone

Happily Alone

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/598246910/598254114" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants, Gayle and Britter. Soon, they'll play a game about famous women who didn't have to deal with a spouse holding them back. Let's check in with our contestants. Gayle, what's your least favorite thing about a wedding?

GAYLE GAWLIK: The ceremony. Let's just get right to the party.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Forget it. I do. I do. Let's go.

GAWLIK: Yeah, right?

EISENBERG: Yeah, right. Exactly. Britter, what's your least favorite thing about a wedding?

BRITTER GUNDERSEN: The "Chicken Dance."

(LAUGHTER)

GUNDERSEN: We told our DJ at our wedding, like, no songs that have preformed associated dances allowed.

EISENBERG: No songs where, finally, everyone can dance? Is that what you're saying, Britter?

(LAUGHTER)

GUNDERSEN: No songs where everybody has to conform to a specific dance...

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right.

GUNDERSEN: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: How do you feel about - what are the other ones?

COULTON: There's the "Macarena."

EISENBERG: Yeah, "Macarena."

COULTON: That's a great dance. Everybody loves that dance.

GAWLIK: (Laughter).

GUNDERSEN: I went to, like, 15 bar and bat mitzvahs when the "Macarena" first came out. Like, I - if I never hear that song again, I'll be happy (laughter).

EISENBERG: Yep. Yep. What's the other one - "Electric Slide?" Yeah, how about that?

GUNDERSEN: No.

EISENBERG: No - OK.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: "The Twist?"

EISENBERG: "The Twist" was the exception. "The Twist" is OK.

(CROSSTALK, LAUGHTER)

GUNDERSEN: It's classic.

EISENBERG: Your next game is a music parody called Happily Alone. Gayle, you won the last game, so you win this, and you are in the final round. Britter, you need to win this, or you'll have to get married.

GUNDERSEN: (Laughter).

COULTON: We rewrote the TLC song "No Scrubs" to be about famous women who were never married. So ring in to tell me who I'm singing about. You ready?

GUNDERSEN: Yes.

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) Shrub is a plant, looks like a bush, and Bush was the POTUS I worked for. I was a secretary of state, but now he's painting cats.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Britter.

GUNDERSEN: Condoleezza Rice?

COULTON: Condoleezza Rice - you've got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar)) No, I don't want religious visions. No, I don't want the siege of Orleans. And no, just as soon skip that sainthood. No, please don't burn me at the stake. Too soon?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Britter.

GUNDERSEN: Joan of Arc?

COULTON: Joan of Arc is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

GAWLIK: Oh, I get it (laughter).

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) If you're wearing scrubs, if you are a nurse, you owe a lot to me. Pinning ceremony day and a pledge you say, oath named after me - nursing oath named after this person.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: She's a famous nurse.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It's a good hint.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Gayle.

GAWLIK: Florence Nightingale?

COULTON: Yeah, that's...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: ...Right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) No, I don't want no husband. No, the monarchy is mine alone. And no, we don't want no Queen Mary. No, we'd rather have a Protestant throne.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Britter.

GUNDERSEN: Queen Elizabeth?

COULTON: That's correct - Queen Elizabeth I.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: OK, here we go.

(Singing, playing guitar) If you publish under a pen name - oh, yes, girl, I'm talking to you - and if Ellis Bell was your pen name - oh, yes, girl, I'm talking to you. The sisters three, all literary, but I wrote "Wuthering Heights."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Gayle.

GAWLIK: Charlotte Bronte?

COULTON: I'm sorry, that is incorrect. Britter, do you know the answer?

GUNDERSEN: One of the other Brontes?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Can you be more specific?

GUNDERSEN: Elizabeth Bronte? I don't even know their first names (laughter).

COULTON: Very close - no, it was Emily Bronte.

GUNDERSEN: Darn.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: The single clap.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Everyone's like, oh.

COULTON: Single clap in the audience for Emily Bronte. All right. This is your last clue.

(Singing, playing guitar) We don't got no nuns as selflessly kind and charitable like me - guess who got canonized, won a Nobel Prize? That's right, suckers - it's me.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Gayle.

GAWLIK: Mother Teresa?

COULTON: Yes, Mother Teresa.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: People don't know, but Mother Teresa's super braggy (ph) about it.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Technically married to Jesus.

COULTON: Yeah, that's a good point. Puzzle guru Art Chung, how did our contestants do?

ART CHUNG: Well done, Britter. You won that game.

(APPLAUSE)

CHUNG: You each won a game, so it's time for a quick game three. I'm going to give you a category, and you'll go back and forth naming things that fall into that category. The first contestant to mess up will be eliminated. Buzz in to answer first. Here's your category - the protagonist of Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs And Ham" refuses to eat green eggs and ham here, there or anywhere. What are the 11 other situations in which the protagonist...

(LAUGHTER)

CHUNG: ...Refuses to eat green eggs and ham?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

CHUNG: Britter.

GUNDERSEN: In a box?

CHUNG: In a box is correct. Gayle?

GAWLIK: In a can?

CHUNG: No, I'm sorry, that is not.

EISENBERG: It's good, though.

(GROANING)

CHUNG: The other answers were in a house, with a mouse, with a fox, in a car, in a tree, in the dark, on a train, in the rain, with a goat and in a boat.

GAWLIK: Dang.

CHUNG: Gayle, we're sorry to see you go. Britter, congratulations. You're headed to the final round.

(APPLAUSE)

Copyright © 2018 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 Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. 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.