Concrete Jungle Contestants combine animals and cities, like Chinchil-Las Vegas, or Giraf-phoenix.
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Concrete Jungle

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Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle

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JONATHAN COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from The Bell House in beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y., it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(CHEERING)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Hello, everybody. Ah, this is great. So fun. Hi, everybody. Welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER. Happy spring.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: I know. Oh, cold season has ended - or as I like to call it, me time. Right now, we have four great contestants backstage. They are admiring our new logo and then writing a tweet complaining about our new logo.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: But one will become our big winner. And actually, we're celebrating Women in Comedy Month.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: This is our Women in Comedy Month. That's right. In April here on ASK ME ANOTHER, it is Women in Comedy Month, officially justifying my existence on this show.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And also, I mean, people might think, isn't there a lot of equity in comedy at this point? And if you feel that way, let me just tell you you have never been to an open mic in New York City or perhaps anywhere. I mean, the smell alone of all of those unwashed Andrews...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...Could kill a woman. I'm just telling you. So yeah. All month long on ASK ME ANOTHER, we are going to have only women guests. So joke's on you guys. You'll just have to continue being on everything else.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So on theme, our special guests today are actor Greta Lee and writer and director Leslye Headland from "Russian Doll."

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: So for the few of you that don't know, the premise of the show is that a woman dies over and over again on her 36th birthday, which is kind of what it's like to be a woman in entertainment...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...Or perhaps just a woman.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: The premise is that a woman keeps dying over and over again on her 36th birthday or, as our intern called it, her 50th birthday.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: What's the difference? Grandma age. You know I mean.

EISENBERG: It was like, it's so weird that she's 50. We're like, she's 36.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Actor Greta Lee, who is on our show today - she has been on "High Maintenance", "Girls" and now "Russian Doll," thus completing the trifecta of hipster television shows.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And Leslye Headland has done so many great things. She's the co-creator, director and writer of "Russian Doll." She wrote and directed the movies "Bachelorette" and "Sleeping With Other People."

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: I feel like everything she touches has this, like, dark but whimsical aesthetic. It's something I have to say I kind of aspire to. I look up to it, which is why I'm always buying leather bralettes from T.J. Maxx.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: But where do you wear a leather bralette? You know, it's hard. You can't wear them to work - inappropriate - at lunch - uncomfortable - not good on the subway. I finally figured it out. You wear a leather bralette when you're home alone listening to Joni Mitchell and journaling.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That's...

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: ...When it all comes together.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right. You guys are awesome. Let's play some games.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: Our first game is about animals and cities. Let's meet our contestants. First up, Elizabeth Foland. You're a policy intern, and you're into powerlifting.

ELIZABETH FOLAND: Yes.

EISENBERG: OK. How did you get into powerlifting?

FOLAND: Reddit is the real answer.

EISENBERG: Reddit?

FOLAND: There's a subreddit called XXFitness. And basically, it was because the regular fitness subreddit is all guys.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

FOLAND: And so women were like, what if we made a subreddit where all of our posts weren't guys commenting on our bodies? So I was like, great. This doesn't involve that.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

FOLAND: And that's how I got into it.

EISENBERG: OK. I love that you got into a really intense physical activity through the Internet.

(LAUGHTER)

FOLAND: It's true.

EISENBERG: It's a rare combo. All right. Elizabeth, when you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Mark Gartsbeyn. You're a reporter and video producer. And you recently went into a penguin tank at the New England Aquarium for a story?

MARK GARTSBEYN: Yes, indeed. I do a lot of live streaming on Facebook.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

GARTSBEYN: And so it's very much, kind of, in the moment. I was in the tank with one of the researchers at the New England Aquarium. So they put me in this whole wet suit, and I'm in there with my little, like, hand-held Gimbel, my little stabilizer with a phone in there. The youngest penguins were very friendly and amicable. And they would swim right up to me and kind of mug for the camera. It was very heartwarming.

EISENBERG: But the older ones saw through.

GARTSBEYN: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

GARTSBEYN: No. I mean...

COULTON: Bunch of old penguins off in a corner smoking cigarettes.

EISENBERG: Yeah...

GARTSBEYN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: ...Exactly.

COULTON: Looking at their watches...

EISENBERG: Another reporter, another reporter...

COULTON: Here he comes.

EISENBERG: ...And his pal.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right. Mark. When you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Elizabeth and Mark, whoever has more points after two games will go on to our final round. So in this word game, you'll mash up animals with American cities.

COULTON: For example, if we said, you may see flocks of calling black birds in this Nebraska City, you would answer Crow-maha, combining Crow and Omaha.

EISENBERG: Ooh, exciting.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I know.

EISENBERG: The animal will always come first in the mashup. Here we go. This kooky Froot Loops bird from the rainforests of Central and South America migrated north to this Missourian metropolis.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Elizabeth.

FOLAND: Tou-Kansas City?

EISENBERG: You're right. Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This standoffish pet-inspired meme culture by playing pianos and jumping into boxes in the city of peaches, Coca-Cola and the "Real Housewives."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Mark.

GARTSBEYN: Cat-lanta (ph).

COULTON: Yes, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This jungle cat and luxury brand can't climb well but can definitely swim over the Potomac on its way to the Antonin Scalia Law School in this Northern Virginia suburb.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Elizabeth.

FOLAND: Oh, it was a Jag-Washington. No, it's...

(LAUGHTER)

FOLAND: ...Jag....

EISENBERG: I love what's going on right now.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I want to help you.

COULTON: It's going to be my new ringtone.

FOLAND: Jaguar-lington (ph).

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

FOLAND: It just sounded so wonky that I wasn't sure...

EISENBERG: I know.

FOLAND: ...That it was right.

EISENBERG: It was a really hard - it was a hard mash-up. But you you made it happen.

COULTON: A same-sex couple of flightless aquatic birds moved into this state capital, so Mike Pence will probably think twice before marching his "Happy Feet" back home.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Mark.

GARTSBEYN: That's got to be Penguin-dianapolis (ph).

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Black and white bears love to party on, Garth, so why not move to the Chicago suburb where "Wayne's World" is set?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Mark.

GARTSBEYN: I think the first one is - are you talking about koalas? And maybe - no. I was going to guess Laredo, but that's Texas, isn't it? Black and white bear...

(LAUGHTER)

GARTSBEYN: The only ones I can think of are koala suburb Chicago. I'm very obviously stalling.

(LAUGHTER)

GARTSBEYN: And I think I'm kaput there...

EISENBERG: OK.

GARTSBEYN: ...Unfortunately.

EISENBERG: I like that you talked it out, gave us a little insight into your brainwaves.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I like koala-redo (ph) a lot, though.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Koala-redo.

GARTSBEYN: Koala-redo. Yeah.

EISENBERG: That's great (laughter).

COULTON: Koala-redo, Texas.

EISENBERG: That's great. Elizabeth, can you steal?

FOLAND: I'm pretty sure the first half is panda. But I - OK, my...

GARTSBEYN: Oh, my God.

FOLAND: ...Knowledge of Chicago suburbs is real low, so...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

FOLAND: ...Like Panda-rora (ph)? That's Denver. Or is that right?

EISENBERG: Yeah. We'll take that. It's panda and Aurora being Panda-rora, so yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Wow.

EISENBERG: We don't even know how that happened.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Swimming upstream, these lusty, pink fish will do anything to reach the Minnesota birthplace of Prince and reproduce.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Elizabeth.

FOLAND: Salmon-inneapolis (ph).

COULTON: Yeah. Salmon-eapolis (ph) is...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: ...What we're looking for. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I love a sexy salmon clue.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This is your last clue. Ride this leggy, flightless bird through the former capital of the Confederacy - or don't because riding birds is weird.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Mark.

GARTSBEYN: I'm going to guess Ostrich-mond (ph).

EISENBERG: Yeah. Ostrich-mond is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Close game, but Elizabeth is in the lead.

(SOUNDBITE OF DAFT PUNK'S "MAKE LOVE")

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