Before Their Time For everyone who liked it before it was cool: Contestants identify now-popular things based on the harsh criticism they originally received.
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Before Their Time

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Before Their Time

Before Their Time

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Our next two contestants will play a game about things that were initially hated but are now beloved, like Anne Hathaway.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Let's meet them. First up - Stephen Powell. You are an actor. What is something you used to hate but now love?

STEPHEN POWELL: I resisted Harry Potter.

UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE: Oh.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

POWELL: Yeah, I heard. Yeah, I know.

EISENBERG: I know.

POWELL: But the end of that is that I love it because - I did watch the movies. I just didn't want to read the books. But I saw the third movie. And I was like, this is a great movie. And the fifth book was just coming out, so I got to read all five books in a row.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

POWELL: And, like, two years to read the last two, so...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

POWELL: I do really like it.

EISENBERG: Bingelit's pretty good, right?

POWELL: Who?

EISENBERG: Bingelit - that's where you read books.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. Stephen, when you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Eli Robinson. You're the COO of a technology company. What is something you used to hate but now love?

ELI ROBINSON: I'd say my brother.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBINSON: Yeah. I mean, we had a real slow start - a decade.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

ROBINSON: But he's really growing on me...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

ROBINSON: ...And not going anywhere. So I'm glad to have him.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Eli, when you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Remember, Stephen and Eli. Whoever has more points after two games will go to our final round. Let's go to your first game. So genius isn't always appreciated in its own time. So in this trivia game, Jonathan and I will tell you about a - now-popular things that were critically panned when they first appeared. Ring in and identify what we are describing. Here we go. Shortly after this Parisian building's construction, writer Guy de Maupassant threw his baguette on the ground and denounced it as a giant and disgraceful skeleton.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Eli.

ROBINSON: Eiffel Tower.

EISENBERG: That is correct, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: He said that he enjoyed eating in the Eiffel Tower because it was the only place where you couldn't see the tower.

(LAUGHTER)

JONATHAN COULTON: That was a sick burn right there.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's pretty good. That's pretty good.

COULTON: In 1911, French general and World War I commander Ferdinand Fosh called the Wright brothers all wrong, saying their invention was an interesting toy of no military value.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Eli.

ROBINSON: The airplane.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This artist sent his friend a lithograph of what would later be considered his first masterpiece, The Potato Eaters. His friend called it superficial and replied, you can do better than this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Eli.

ROBINSON: Van Gogh.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: In 1902, The Washington Post called this two-wheeled transportation device a passing fancy. In tandem, The New York Sun called it a fad. And experts went along for the ride, saying the popularity of the wheel is doomed. Later, they all had to backpedal.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Stephen.

POWELL: The bicycle.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: The New Yorker's first pop critic described this 1969 music festival as, quote, "bourgeois at its core," and said, we should insist that the capitalists who produce rock concerts offer reasonable service at reasonable prices. At least it went better than the Fyre Festival.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Stephen.

POWELL: Woodstock.

COULTON: Yep, you got it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Festivals are very reasonable now. I'm glad someone responded to that.

COULTON: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I think it's wonderful when a bottle of water is only $12.

COULTON: That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And you pee outside. OK.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This is your last clue. This man wrote many symphonies. And like innings in a baseball game, it was the ninth one that put the patience of the audience to a severe trial according to an 1800s music journal.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Eli.

ROBINSON: Bach.

EISENBERG: Sorry, that is incorrect - good guess. Stephen, can you steal?

POWELL: I think I can - Beethoven.

EISENBERG: That is correct, yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right, great game. It's a tie.

ROBINSON: All right.

(APPLAUSE, CHEERING)

EISENBERG: If you were into this show before it was cool, why not be a contestant? Go to amatickets.org to find out how. Coming up, we have a game about stores that went out of business. Next year the game will be called What's A Store?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm Ophira Eisenberg. And this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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