Sheepless In Seattle
OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
We have another game for you, totally different. So you're working together on this one.
JONNY SUN: Yes. We can do this.
KAREN CHEE: Yes.
SUN: We got this.
CHEE: We're going to crush this.
EISENBERG: This is a word game.
SUN: We're writers. This is great.
EISENBERG: You're both into words. You love the words.
JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: You use words all the time.
EISENBERG: You make livings with words.
EISENBERG: This word game is called Animal Attraction. You'll take a famous rom-com or rom-dram and change one of the letters in its title, turning one of the words in the title into an animal.
COULTON: For example, if I say, Meg Ryan falls in love with an insomniac played by Tom Hanks, he would try counting wooly livestock to help him fall asleep, except he is one - you would answer, sheepless (ph) in Seattle.
COULTON: So we take "Sleepless In Seattle," replace the L with an H so that it's about an animal.
EISENBERG: Here we go. In this 1998 film, an Elizabethan playwright falls in love with a white bird played by Gwyneth Paltrow, until he discovers the ultimate betrayal - she's nothing more than a fancy pigeon.
CHEE: I want to say - Jonny, is it Shakespeare in dove?
SUN: In dove, yeah. Yeah, Shakespeare in dove.
EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right.
COULTON: I think we found your element, you guys.
COULTON: In this sports film, a pair of bovine childhood sweethearts are both captivating cows on the court. But the male, played by Omar Epps, takes his big horns all the way to Chicago's NBA team with Michael Jordan.
SUN: Got it.
COULTON: Got it already.
SUN: Is it love and basket-bull (ph)?
COULTON: Love and basket-bull - that is correct.
CHEE: Oh, bull. Yes, that makes - I kept thinking cow. I was like, how do you get cow from this?
EISENBERG: Yeah, right.
EISENBERG: Love and basket-cow?
EISENBERG: All right. In this Netflix hit, a girl writes letters to her previous crushes but learns that all men are snakes when one ends up constricting her and the other swallows her whole.
CHEE: I know this one.
SUN: I got it.
CHEE: OK, go for it.
SUN: No, no, no, Karen. I want to hear, like - (laughter) I feel like you were on to something.
CHEE: I mean, I know the movie. Wait. So it's, to all the - oh, got it (laughter). Should we say it together?
SUN: Yeah. One, two...
KAREN CHEE AND JONNY SUN: ...To all the boas I've loved before.
COULTON: It is impossible to do anything in sync on Zoom.
SUN: Yeah (laughter).
EISENBERG: You are correct. All right. In this Gen X classic, Winona Ryder plays a tiny arachnid parasite who has to decide whether to attach to bad boy Ethan Hawke or yuppy Ben Stiller as her host.
CHEE: I think it's - is it reality mites?
COULTON: Yeah, that's right.
SUN: Oh, that's so great.
EISENBERG: Beautiful. Beautiful. Well done. You guys were great. You work together beautifully, I will say.
EISENBERG: Thank you so much. Thank you, Jonny Sun. Thank you so much, Karen - Karen Chee.
SUN: Oh, thank you so much.
CHEE: Yay, thank you for having us.
SUN: Yeah, this was so fun.
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EISENBERG: Karen writes for and appears on "Late Night With Seth Meyers," and Jonny Sun's next book, "Goodbye, Again," comes out this spring.
Coming up, a "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's" Rachel Bloom will play one of our most specific games yet, as she tests her knowledge of theme park rides and Ray Bradbury books. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.
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COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.
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