Spinoffs In Seattle In this tribute to Sleepless In Seattle, contestants listen to clues that imagine Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks experiencing different alliterative combinations of emotions and cities around the globe.

Spinoffs In Seattle

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JONATHAN COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from the Moore Theatre in Seattle, Wash., 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.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Hello, everybody - yeah, excellent fun. We have a great show for you. We have four brilliant contestants. They are backstage getting hit in the face with a fish, and soon they will be out here playing some nerdy games with us. And one of them will be our big winner. You know, I have to say, there are some stereotypes in every city that ring true. And, yep, I have to thank you for wearing your evening fleece. Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm sure there's some high-heel Merrells in the audience. Your good GORE-TEX - they put on their good GORE-TEX.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I used to live in Vancouver, and that is all I owned - all I owned. And then you move to New York, and you realize that if you wear that, people think that you're working on their garden.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: We have an amazing guest on our show. We have comedian and host of "Nailed It!" on Netflix, Nicole Byer.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: "Nailed It!", of course, builds on that Internet trend that we all love of watching cake fails - one of my favorite things, cake fails. And I feel like cake fails really bring us all together as Americans - right? - 'cause what do Americans love? Sugar. What else do we love? Watching other people fail...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...From the comfort of our couch while we are eating sugar.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That's America, baby. And I - because I watch a lot of baking shows, I just want to make a few statements. One, Rice Krispie Treats - not a cake. Two, fondant - terrible. Let's stop using fondant.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Stop using fondant. Yeah. That's got to be plastic. It's, like - that's got to be a plastic. Three, every human face rendered on a cake is terrifying.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Never works out. It's like, here you go. What, is that Gary Busey? No.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That's you, mom.

(LAUGHTER)

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

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Our first game is based on "Sleepless In Seattle," the iconic Seattle movie with the most iconic scene that takes place in New York...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...On the top of the Empire State Building. I'm sorry that your most famous rom-com had to export its romantic scene to somewhere cooler. First up...

(GROANING)

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: You know what? It was going really well. And then...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I think I remember where it turned.

EISENBERG: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Let's talk to our contestants. First up, Karen Secrest - you work as a program manager for a tech company, and you used to make a bit of extra cash sitting up small-stakes Trivial Pursuit games...

KAREN SECREST: Yep.

EISENBERG: ...Where you were gambling.

SECREST: Well, you could call it gambling, but I call it winning.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. So...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So how did it work?

SECREST: I had a friend who was at Johns Hopkins University, and I was at a small school in Massachusetts at the time.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

SECREST: So I'd go down to visit her, and she'd get these fraternity brothers together. And they'd all pull in some money, and then I'd beat them.

EISENBERG: Oh.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Oh. And what kind of money are we talking about?

SECREST: Oh, it was big money - I mean, like, $20 a head to buy in. So I didn't pay off my school loans, but I made friends with pitchers of beer.

EISENBERG: How many years of this?

SECREST: Two.

EISENBERG: Two - that's good. That's solid. OK. Karen, when you ring in, we'll hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Bruce Ryan. You're retired, but you worked in the marketing department at Microsoft and were in charge of making Minesweeper popular.

(APPLAUSE)

BRUCE RYAN: Yes.

EISENBERG: You did a great job. I had to delete that off every PC I'd ever had.

RYAN: Well, it's funny you mention that because, actually, Bill Gates had to do the exact same thing. He became obsessed with it, as well. So I would play Minesweeper quite a bit, and my times got around. And at one point, I got a mail in the afternoon, and it was actually Bill reporting back that he had beaten my best time.

(LAUGHTER)

RYAN: But strangely, he saved the game. And it was not on his machine, but it was on the president of the company's machine because he had taken it off his machine. He was wasting too much time on it.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So, like a true addict, you just find another machine. Sure.

RYAN: Exactly. So...

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

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Karen and Bruce, whoever has more points after two games will go to our final round. We're paying tribute to the romantic classic "Sleepless In Seattle" with a word game about psychology and geography. In this game, every answer is a play on the title "Sleepless In Seattle," swapping in different alliterative moods and cities.

COULTON: For example, if we said Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan spend their first date at the Eiffel Tower talking about divorce rates over wine glasses that are half-empty, you would answer, pessimistic in Paris.

EISENBERG: Remember, the emotion and the city will always begin with the same letter. OK. Here we go. Tom Hanks thought his trip to this New England city would be fun, but the historic Freedom Trail turned out to be a real snooze. Meanwhile, at Fenway Park, Meg Ryan falls asleep watching the Red Sox because the game is dull, dull, dull.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Karen.

SECREST: Bored in Boston.

EISENBERG: Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This Tennessee town was made famous when Johnny Cash sang about going there to cheat on his wife. Now Meg Ryan is green with envy because Tom Hanks has vowed to do the same.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Karen.

SECREST: Oh, it's - "I'm Going To Jackson" is the name of the song, so he's a jerk in Jackson. He is jealous in Jackson.

COULTON: Jealous in Jackson is what we were looking for. That's correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And a jerk because in this version of the movie, he has a wife, and he's still trying to do a meet-cute with - it's a meet-cheat. It's not a meet-cute.

COULTON: It's a meet-cheat.

EISENBERG: Meet-cheat (laughter).

COULTON: It's a rom-come on.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Rita Wilson sends Meg Ryan on a reporting trip to the most populous city in Nigeria, where she encounters a series of good omens. She finds a four-leaf clover, sees a shooting star and a bird poops on her head.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Bruce.

RYAN: Lucky in Lagos.

COULTON: Yeah, you got it.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Meg Ryan has a crotchety attitude, so Tom Hanks takes her out for a pint at a pub in Scotland's most populous city. Will he change her curmudgeonly ways?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Karen.

SECREST: Is she grumpy in Galway? Oh, God. Don't hate me.

COULTON: No, nobody...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I think you're taking this too seriously.

SECREST: Glasgow - she's - oh.

COULTON: Well, now you blew it. Now...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I'm sorry, Karen. That's incorrect. Bruce, do you know the answer?

RYAN: Grumpy in Glasgow.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This is your last clue. Tom Hanks takes Meg Ryan out to dinner in the Mile High City. She loves seafood, so she's very excited to try Rocky Mountain oysters, but she's totally let down when she learns what they are.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Karen.

SECREST: She's disappointed in Denver.

EISENBERG: Sure she is.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right. That was a close game, but Karen is in the lead.

(SOUNDBITE OF JIMI HENDRIX SONG, "RED HOUSE")

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