World's Smallest Space Force stars Roy Wood Jr. and Jimmy O. Yang guess their way through this game about some of the smallest things in the world.
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World's Smallest

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World's Smallest

World's Smallest

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JONATHAN COULTON: This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and national pizza chains that want you to know they really care. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.


Thank you, Jonathan. We're playing games for Jimmy O. Yang and Roy Wood Jr. from the Netflix show "Space Force." Roy, you were on our show when we were on a live stage in Brooklyn...

ROY WOOD JR: Yes, Bell House.

EISENBERG: ...Now quite a few years ago. But, you know, we were talking about, at the time, your obsession with jigsaw puzzles.


WOOD: Still.

EISENBERG: And now here we are, in a - everybody's doing jigsaw puzzles now. Everybody's doing them. Are you doing any? (Laughter).

WOOD: So a friend of mine, as a joke, sent me an all-white jigsaw puzzle that they were selling on Amazon.


WOOD: Because they know my obsession with jigsaws. And the first month in quarantine, I was like, that's stupid. No, why would you send me this?


WOOD: And now we - you know, we're into month three, and I'm kind of like, I bet you I could do it.


WOOD: I bet you I could do a 500-piece all-white jigsaw. I haven't cracked it open yet because I know I'll turn into Jim Carrey in "Number 23," where if I don't finish it, I'll just be obsessed with rest of my life with it.


WOOD: So yeah, it's for now sudoku.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah.

WOOD: It's much more compact and easier than a jigsaw.

YANG: That's nice.

WOOD: Also, when we last spoke, my child was not at table-height age to reach things and grand them...

COULTON: Oh, right.


WOOD: ...And destroy stuff when I'm not looking.

COULTON: And eat puzzle pieces, exactly.

WOOD: Yeah.


WOOD: There you go.

YANG: What is table-height age? I would argue that I'm still not there.


EISENBERG: Well, we have another game for you.

YANG: All right.

EISENBERG: You guys want to play another game?

YANG: Let's do it.

WOOD: Let's go.

EISENBERG: So this game is called It's the Small Stuff, and it's about the world's smallest things. And these questions are kind of tough, so you can collaborate together...

YANG: OK, cool.

EISENBERG: ...To come up with the answer. All right, here's your first one. What is the smallest nonpercussion instrument in a traditional orchestra?

YANG: I was in a chamber orchestra when I was in high school.


YANG: So it's just like violin, cello - that kind of stuff. And obviously...

EISENBERG: What do you play?

YANG: I played the violin...


YANG: ...Like every Asian kid did.

COULTON: (Laughter).

YANG: But obviously, that - the smallest one is, like, a violin, and maybe sometimes a bigger orchestra, they have, like, percussions, like a triangle. Does that count? Is that - that's quite small.

WOOD: No, she said nonpercussion.

EISENBERG: Nonpercussion.

YANG: Nonpercussion. Nonpercussion.

WOOD: So I'm thinking it's got to be a woodwind. I'm going to say - what about a recorder? Isn't a recorder - that's sort of...

YANG: That cannot be a part of an orchestra. They're...


WOOD: If they're playing "Hot Cross Buns."

YANG: If he says the recorder, I'm going to say kazoo.


YANG: Kazoo.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Right, exactly. Here's your multiple choices. Is it A, the piccolo, B, the trumpet or, C, the world's tiniest violin?

YANG: (Laughter) It's the piccolo. It's got to be the piccolo.

WOOD: It's got to be piccolo.

YANG: Yeah, piccolo.

EISENBERG: Yes, that is correct.

YANG: Lock it in. All right.

EISENBERG: Piccolo. Piccolo.

WOOD: It's the piccolo.

EISENBERG: It's the piccolo. It's a tiny little flute.

COULTON: (Laughter).

YANG: That even sounds small - piccolo. It means small, right?


COULTON: It means small in Italian. That's right. All right, here's another one. According to National Geographic, the smallest mammal in the world weighs less than a dime.

YANG: What?

COULTON: What kind of animal is it?

YANG: Less than a dime.

WOOD: No. When you say what type of - are we getting all scientific, "Beakman's World."



WOOD: The phylum, the species, the genus.

EISENBERG: Oh, no, no.

COULTON: This is the name of an animal that you would find in an alphabet book about animals. I'll give you the multiple choice. Is it A, a monkey, B, an elephant or, C, a bat?

WOOD: Well, it ain't no elephant.

YANG: Yeah.

COULTON: You are correct. It is not an elephant.

YANG: There are tiny monkeys.

WOOD: How tiny?

COULTON: Indeed, there are tiny monkeys.

WOOD: A dime, though?

COULTON: As tiny as a dime?

YANG: And what was the last one?


WOOD: It's got to be bat.

YANG: It's got to be a bat. Yeah, you're right.

WOOD: Yeah.

YANG: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

COULTON: You going to go with bat?

WOOD: Bat, yeah.

COULTON: Yeah, you are correct.

YANG: Lock it in.

COULTON: It is called a bumblebee bat.


YANG: Wow. I go to look this up.

EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: Smallest mammal.

EISENBERG: Yeah, it's a pretty cute little bat. It can fly right into your mouth, which is exciting.


YANG: Oh, it's so cute, this thing. I just Googled it.


WOOD: (Laughter).

COULTON: All right, here's another one. The Southern Cross is the smallest of all 88 what?

WOOD: I don't know.

YANG: Southern. Southern Cross...

COULTON: Southern Cross.

YANG: ...Is the smallest of 88...

WOOD: All 88.

COULTON: It is a thing, and there are 88 of them.

EISENBERG: You can see it in Australia. That's your hint.

WOOD: Constellation?

COULTON: Yes, you are correct. It is a constellation.

YANG: Yes. Nice, Roy.

WOOD: Oh. Love you, bro. I only know Orion's Belt. That's the only one I know.

YANG: The big dip? Is that right? The Big Dipper?


WOOD: The Big Dipper.

COULTON: The big dip (laughter).

YANG: The big dip, I think, is a dipping sauce from Jack in the Box.

COULTON: The big dip for short.

EISENBERG: Oh, my God (laughter).

WOOD: Yeah.

COULTON: All right, this is the last one. The size of a grain of sand, the OV6948, is the world's smallest commercially available what?

YANG: OV6948. That sounds like a computer chip or, like, a pill. Some kind...

EISENBERG: Ooh. You're in the right world.

COULTON: You're thinking along the right line.

YANG: So a chip...

COULTON: I can give you the multiple choice if you'd like it.

YANG: What do you think, Roy?

WOOD: You were the one on "Silicon Valley."

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

YANG: Yeah, I'm an actor. I don't know any...

WOOD: You didn't do research?

COULTON: (Laughter).

WOOD: You didn't go visit some tech stuff?


COULTON: OK, is the OV6948, A, a camera, B, a submarine or, C, a typewriter?

YANG: It's a camera. It's like a scope...

WOOD: Yeah.

YANG: ...That goes in someone's body, probably. Yeah.

COULTON: Correct. It is a camera.

YANG: What is it? What kind of camera is it?

COULTON: It's used for medical procedures. So they can actually put it into somebody's vein and, like, look around.

YANG: Wow, that's awesome.



WOOD: That's scary.

EISENBERG: Take photos of your veins. Vain veins, everybody. Vain veins.


YANG: Hey.

EISENBERG: Terrible, terrible. That's a written joke. That's a written joke.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: All right. Again, you were both amazing and just so much fun. It's, like, fun to talk to people who are bright and sparkly in the middle of this whole thing. So thank you so much for joining us - Jimmy O. Yang, all the way from your gorgeous, palatial apartment with a pool.

YANG: That's not true. That's not true.

EISENBERG: Oh, I'm sorry - house with a pool in Los Angeles.

YANG: None of that is - yeah.

EISENBERG: And Roy Wood Jr., from your impeccably organized closet.

WOOD: This is my mom's closet. I am not this organized.


EISENBERG: I love it.

WOOD: And Roy Wood Jr. from his mom's closet.


EISENBERG: That's even better.


EISENBERG: Thank you so much.

YANG: Thanks guys.

WOOD: Thanks, y'all.

COULTON: Thanks guys.

YANG: That was fun. That was real fun.


EISENBERG: Roy Wood Jr. is a correspondent on "The Daily Show." Jimmy O. Yang's comedy special "Good Deal" is on Prime Video. And they both star in the new series "Space Force," out now on Netflix.


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