Hooked On Lyrics Andy Richter (Conan) and Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) try their hands at identifying song lyrics read by kids who've never heard the songs before.
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Hooked On Lyrics

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Hooked On Lyrics

Hooked On Lyrics

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Hello, Jonathan Coulton.

COULTON: Hi. It's me, Jonathan Coulton from NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER

EISENBERG: Well, hello. It's Ophira Eisenberg, also from NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. What a coincidence.

COULTON: Yeah. I knew I recognized your voice from somewhere.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: How's your week been?

EISENBERG: I've been mostly just, you know, stuck at home because it's really hot outside. And I'm looking around my apartment at our stuff. Oh, my goodness. I just want to get rid of all of our stuff.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: I'm married to a collector. So you know...

COULTON: Oh. Oh, no.

EISENBERG: Yeah. I know.

COULTON: Oh, no.


COULTON: Let me guess, you've got a lot of comic books in your house?

EISENBERG: Graphic novels and comic books. And they're hidden. Any time I'm like, oh, this drawer, I open it up, it's full of books. I'm like, oh, another secret drawer.

COULTON: (Laughter). Are there action figures, Ophira?

EISENBERG: There's - there are two action figures. But luckily, one of them - Lucas, my son, doesn't understand the idea of why an action figure should be in a box.

COULTON: Yeah, mint-in-box.


COULTON: He doesn't understand what mint-in-box means.

EISENBERG: And somehow, that box was around somewhere where Lucas could get it about a year ago. And Lucas tore it. And so it's now his. Here's...

COULTON: (Laughter) Does your husband know that his collector's item has been destroyed? Or is this...

EISENBERG: Yes. Yes, he does. And he...


EISENBERG: He seemed to be pretty cool about it, I got to say. So I was like, oh, that's good. And then, when I was cleaning up around the house, I opened up a drawer of what I thought was winter clothing. And what was in it? Another one in the box.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: He had a backup.

COULTON: Did he purchase a replacement? Or did he have two?

EISENBERG: I don't know.

COULTON: He had two to begin with?

EISENBERG: I don't know.

COULTON: Oh, man.

EISENBERG: I decided to never talk about it.


COULTON: That's best. As you know, that is the secret to all successful marriages. Something comes up that troubles you? Just don't talk about it.


COULTON: So in my household, it's a similar thing. But it's not me. It's my wife, actually, has a collections of things that are...


COULTON: ...Hidden in various places.


COULTON: She's - my wife, she's very into various fiber arts. There are - (laughter) throughout the house, are various caches...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: ...Of various kinds of fibers and fiber-manipulating equipment.

EISENBERG: And no one can get mad when you go, well what's this drawer for? And you're like, it's just string, basically. OK?

COULTON: It's string.

EISENBERG: Can I just have my string?

COULTON: Yeah, my one...

EISENBERG: You have guitars and plugs (laughter).

COULTON: My one pleasure is my - is this hobby. And you are trying to take it away from me. Oh, yeah. We've had this argument many times.

EISENBERG: Well, Jonathan, speaking of strings, why don't you play those guitar strings so we can start the show?

COULTON: Yeah. That's a amazing segue, Ophira...


COULTON: ...Seamless.

EISENBERG: I know. Thank you.

COULTON: All right. Here we go.


COULTON: From NPR and WNYC - coming to you from our respective homes in beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y. - it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and hiding things from your spouse, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now, here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

EISENBERG: Thanks Jonathan.


EISENBERG: Today's guests are no strangers to game shows and competition. First, Conan O'Brien's co-host and "Celebrity Jeopardy!" champion Andy Richter faces off against "Community" star and "Hollywood Game Night" MVP Yvette Nicole Brown. Then we welcome back the hosts of the podcast "Dr. Gameshow," Jo Firestone and Manolo Moreno. And our special guest is a two-time winner of the ultimate Hollywood game night, I'm talking the Academy Awards. She's the star of "Boys Don't Cry" and "Million Dollar Baby." It's Hilary Swank, for real. Let's play some games.


EISENBERG: Joining us right now, we have Andy Richter and Yvette Nicole Brown. Hello.


YVETTE NICOLE BROWN: Hi, Ophira (laughter).

EISENBERG: Hey (laughter).

BROWN: Hi, Jonathan.


EISENBERG: So hey, you know, it's amazing to have you both on. And also, both of you are really - have done a lot of game shows. Andy, you have even done the top echelon of what our listeners love - "Jeopardy!," "Celebrity Jeopardy!."

RICHTER: I was on twice.


RICHTER: The second time I was on was part of a celebrity tournament of champions.


RICHTER: And the winners from that were supposed to come back. And we ended up - Conan and I were on "The Tonight Show." And then we weren't on "The Tonight Show." And then...



RICHTER: And so we went on a tour.


RICHTER: And the day of the rematch - or, you know, of the next step of the tournament was our opening night of the tour. So I was in Eugene, Ore., while Isaac Mizrahi filled in for me, apparently.


RICHTER: Not my call - I mean, I'm perfectly happy to have Isaac Mizrahi fill in for me.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: Does Isaac - he made most of his career based on your cancellations, I believe.

RICHTER: He does.


RICHTER: Exactly. Exactly. My women's wear line, I just couldn't finish it...


RICHTER: ...So he stepped in.

EISENBERG: Swooped right in. And, Yvette, you have been on loads of game shows.

BROWN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: What has your favorite game show appearance as a contestant been?

BROWN: Oh, gosh it's so hard. I really love "Hollywood Game Night"...


BROWN: ...With Jane Lynch because you never know what game it's going to be.

RICHTER: I can also speak to "Hollywood Game Night." They pour the booze down you there.

EISENBERG: Oh, they do?


COULTON: (Laughter).

BROWN: Yes, they do. But, listen; I'm very competitive. So every time I do the show, I don't drink because I - nothing makes me happier than winning someone else money.


EISENBERG: (Laughter).

BROWN: And so I'm there to help those people buy a house...


BROWN: ...Or buy a ring to propose to their beloved.

RICHTER: Yeah, yeah.

BROWN: So I'm not going to be tossing back whiskey sours and being the reason somebody can't get that house.

RICHTER: Like - yeah.



EISENBERG: I know, Andy, this - yes. September 13, you are bringing back the livestreaming event from the sitcom...


EISENBERG: ...Called "Andy Richter Controls The Universe."


EISENBERG: And so what prompted this event?

RICHTER: I mean, people have been doing this cast reunion, table-ready thing...


RICHTER: ...You know, for charity online because, you know, there's a lot of attention-starved people...


RICHTER: ...That...

EISENBERG: You're right. Right.

RICHTER: ...Need to get some attention and they can't go out and get it.

EISENBERG: I thought you were going to say charities that need our help.

RICHTER: Yeah. No, no, no. That's secondary.

EISENBERG: And, Yvette, you did a virtual reunion of the "Community" cast recently.

BROWN: When we did it for "Community," it was from the kindness of our hearts, Andy Richter. That's the reason we did it.

RICHTER: All right. All right.

EISENBERG: Right. You did that in May, right?

BROWN: That was in May.

EISENBERG: Now, do you keep in contact with your other castmates from...

BROWN: Yeah.


BROWN: We've always...


BROWN: ...Had a group chat or two going. I found out during that charity event that Donald Glover wasn't in our current group chat.


BROWN: I'm the idiot that found that out. We were - something funny happened, and somebody had some further information about the joke. And I said, put it in the group chat. And Donald said, put it in the what? So it's like...



BROWN: And this is the thing. Nobody with sense would ever exclude Donald Glover for any other reason besides being respectful of Donald Glover's time. So...


EISENBERG: Right. Right.

BROWN: We let him know, like, listen, man. You are the Lion King, and you're Han Solo.


BROWN: Like, you got things you're doing - music. You're doing stuff. So he's in the group chat now.


BROWN: And at least once a week, he goes, why did I ask to be here? - because...


BROWN: ...We text each other a lot.


BROWN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: So I want to talk about your new project on Audible "Vroom Vroom," but let's play a game.

RICHTER: All right.

EISENBERG: And this game is called Hooked On Lyrics. What we've done is we've asked some kids to read lyrics to...


EISENBERG: ...Popular music that was popular before they were born. They probably have never heard any of these songs before, but we asked them to read the lyrics. And your job is just to guess the songs. So, Yvette, we're going to start with you.

BROWN: Dang it. All right.


JANE: My name is Jane (ph). I'm 9 years old, and I'm from New York.

BROWN: Oh. Hi, Jane.

JANE: I'm so 3008. You so 2000 and late. I got that boom, boom, boom, that future boom, boom, boom.

RICHTER: (Laughter).

BROWN: OK. Can I just say that I missed most of it because I was, I think, ovulating listening to her voice?


BROWN: Yeah, it's Black Eyed Peas.

EISENBERG: That's right - Black Eyed Peas. "Boom Boom Pow" is the name of the song.


RICHTER: All right, Andy. This one is for you. This is Jane again, and this time, she's got some lyrics from a Nobel Prize-winning folk singer.

JANE: You used to laugh about everybody that was hanging out. Now you don't talk so loud. Now you don't seem so proud about having to be scrounging your next meal.

RICHTER: That is "Like A Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan, I believe.


COULTON: That is absolutely correct.


COULTON: That's right.

EISENBERG: I'm pretty sure as a 9-year-old, she does not have a Bob Dylan poster in her room.

BROWN: I don't think she does.

EISENBERG: Not yet. Not yet.

COULTON: I don't know.


COULTON: If she's a fan of Nobel Prize-winners, she might.

RICHTER: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: That's true. That's true. All right, Yvette. This is a situation we can all relate to, especially if you're Courtney Love.


MOLLY: Hello. My name is Molly (ph). I'm 9 years old, and I'm from...

BROWN: Hi, Molly.

MOLLY: ...Brooklyn, N.Y. When I wake up in my makeup, it's too early for that dress. Wilted and faded somewhere in Hollywood...

BROWN: Oh, gosh.

MOLLY: I'm glad I came here with your pound of flesh.

BROWN: The group is Hole.


BROWN: But...

EISENBERG: Worth a point.

BROWN: I don't - I can't think of the title of the song.

EISENBERG: "Celebrity Skin." But Hole...

BROWN: Dang it.


EISENBERG: ...Is good enough. Hole is good enough.

BROWN: I am judging myself.

EISENBERG: That's OK. That's OK. When you pull out a fan...

BROWN: I had to pull out a fan. I went into a flop sweat...

COULTON: Start immediately overheating...

BROWN: ...'Cause I was letting Molly down.

EISENBERG: That was amazing.

BROWN: I just...

EISENBERG: Let Molly down.

BROWN: You guys, it's so hot. Listen. Because it's NPR, they told us to turn off our fans and our AC.


BROWN: And I'm over here dying. But I love you guys, so I'm going to endure it.

EISENBERG: Yeah, let's go.

COULTON: Worth it.

EISENBERG: Let's go.

COULTON: Totally worth it.

EISENBERG: Right - move through this.

RICHTER: (Laughter).

COULTON: All right, Andy. Now Molly has a message from two one-named R&B princesses.

MOLLY: Must you do the things you do? You keep on acting like a fool. You need to know it's me, not you. And if you didn't know it, girl, it's true.

COULTON: (Laughter).

BROWN: Can I buzz in, please?

COULTON: Yvette is chair dancing.

BROWN: I want to buzz in.

COULTON: (Laughter).

RICHTER: Yeah. Go ahead and take it, Yvette.

BROWN: OK. I can take it?

RICHTER: I don't know it.

BROWN: OK, so these two R&B princesses just did a Verzuz battle together. It is...

RICHTER: Oh, my...

BROWN: ...Brandy and...

RICHTER: And Monica.

BROWN: Yes. Go.

RICHTER: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


BROWN: "The Boy Is Mine," baby.


EISENBERG: "The Boy Is Mine." All right, Yvette. Here's Molly again reading some major alt '90s venting from Billy Corgan.

MOLLY: And what do I get for my pain? Betrayed trade desires and a piece of the game. Even though I know, I suppose I'll show all my cool and cold like an old job (ph). Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage.

BROWN: OK. Molly's a star.


BROWN: Can I just say that?

COULTON: I know.

BROWN: If I am correct, I believe Billy Corgan was in The Smashing Pumpkins.


BROWN: I do not know the song.

EISENBERG: "Bullet With Butterfly Wings."

RICHTER: I've never even heard that.

BROWN: Never even heard it.

RICHTER: And I've heard that song...


RICHTER: ...A thousand times.


BROWN: Never knew the title.

RICHTER: Yeah, yeah.

BROWN: Never knew the title.

RICHTER: I hate when they do that. You know what? Like, if you say, man, I love this sweater, over and over in a song, your song should be called "Man, I Love This Sweater."

BROWN: "I Love This Sweater" - agree.

COULTON: Exactly.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

BROWN: I agree.

COULTON: All right, Andy. This the last one. It is for you. This one is from a heavy metal band, and it's off their "Black Album."

EDIE: I'm Edie (ph), and I'm 6. And I'm here to tell you something. Sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight. Exit, light. Enter, night. Take my hand. We're off to never never land.



COULTON: That's Edie.


COULTON: She's 6.

RICHTER: Is that "Enter Sandman" by Metallica?

COULTON: That - you are correct. That is right.

RICHTER: All right.

BROWN: That's amazing.

EISENBERG: We have more with Andy Richter and Yvette Nicole Brown after the break, and later, I'll talk to Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.


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