OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
Sunita Mani has starred in "GLOW" and "Mr. Robot." John Reynolds has starred in "Stranger Things" and "Search Party." And together, they star in the science fiction comedy "Save Yourselves." Sunita, John, welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER.
SUNITA MANI: Hi, thanks for having us.
JOHN REYNOLDS: Hello. Happy to be here.
MANI: I've been thinking about you guys all day because this is all I, like, have today.
MANI: And I was thinking about how I would, like, to tell you guys that all I've been doing is, like, thinking about you...
MANI: ...Becuase this is, like, the - this is the conversation I'm going to have today (laughter).
EISENBERG: Honestly, back at you.
JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Yeah.
EISENBERG: Back at you.
REYNOLDS: I feel like this is everyone's experience. But when anybody asks me, like, how I'm doing or what I'm up to, like, I can - all I do is sigh. And I'm like, uh.
EISENBERG: I had a couple, like, unique sort of generalizations, you know, that I would respond to that. And now I've just - I'm going for, like, real standards, like, well, you know?
REYNOLDS: Yeah, yeah. Yes.
EISENBERG: Like, I'm doing a lot of, well, you know? And, John, I love it when people are very specific about things. And I just have to ask, since you seem to be an expert on the bratwurst...
REYNOLDS: Oh, yeah (laughter).
EISENBERG: And not - so - but where does that come from? So you're an expert on the bratwurst. You've talked about it before. I read a little bit about it. And I want you to, you know, enlighten us. But where does that come from, first of all?
COULTON: Right. Well, first of all, I think I know the article you're referring to.
REYNOLDS: And because the interviewer asked me what I was, like, a snob about. And I panicked and didn't know what to say. So I said...
REYNOLDS: ...I said bratwurst. And I was like, oh, my God. I dug myself in a hole.
EISENBERG: Here we go.
REYNOLDS: So like - so that threw me for a loop. But, I guess, I grew up in Wisconsin. And my dad was, like, very particular about the way you grilled brats and how you boiled them in a specific beer and the onions and stuff. So I guess it's - I don't know. It's, like, my go-to thing to make friends if they ever, like, visit or something.
EISENBERG: Yeah. What is the beer? What is the beer that must be used?
REYNOLDS: Yeah. So I mean, you want to use, like, a Miller Lite. Or you want to use a PBR. You know...
REYNOLDS: ...That's more your cooking wine, I suppose. And then...
REYNOLDS: You know, it's a good time.
EISENBERG: Yeah. Sure.
MANI: Did you ever, like, reject brats as a Wisconsin boy, you know, just to, like...
EISENBERG: Yeah, be a rebel.
REYNOLDS: No, but I rejected sweet corn because my - (laughter). All right. So my - yeah. My dad was, like, obsessed with sweet corn for a little bit of my childhood. And we had, like, sweet corn on the grill. And his sort of party trick was, like, eating, like, 10 ears of corn. And then my friends would try to, like, keep up with him.
COULTON: And then even now my dad is like, yeah, you don't like sweet corn, do you? And I'm like, I like it just fine.
REYNOLDS: But having it every day growing up - yeah.
EISENBERG: OK. Sunita, John, we have a couple games for you. Would you like to play some games?
MANI: Oh yeah, baby.
REYNOLDS: Yes. More than anything.
EISENBERG: Great. All right. OK, you're competing against each other, so you're going to take turns answering questions. So believe it or not, there have been some things on the Internet that aren't terrible. And these questions are about those things, known as viral, although I feel like we should probably give them a new name. So let's say...
REYNOLDS: Good point. Good point.
EISENBERG: ...Known as very popular.
EISENBERG: Sunita, in 2017 professor Robert Kelly was way ahead of the curve when it came to doing a live TV interview from home and getting interrupted by his children. Let's hear the clip.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
JAMES MENENDEZ: And what will it mean for the wider region? I think one of your children has just walked in. I mean, shifting sands in the region - do you think relations with the North may change?
ROBERT KELLY: I would be surprised if they do. The - pardon me.
MANI: That was pre-pandemic. That just is what is happening to everyone now, right?
EISENBERG: Yeah, that was - exactly. That was 2017. And Kelly became known by what nickname? Was it A, PBS pops? Was it B, BBC dad? Or was it C, father news?
MANI: Oh, I'm going to go with BBC dad.
EISENBERG: Yeah, that was BBC dad.
COULTON: So it begins. All right, John, this one is for you.
REYNOLDS: So I'm down one-nothing - interesting.
COULTON: You're down one. You're losing right now.
REYNOLDS: Oh. Oh, is that what? OK. Yeah. Bring it on.
COULTON: Here we go. The K-pop song "Gangnam Style" satirizes an affluent South Korean neighborhood. In 2012 the song became so popular it charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
PSY: (Rapping in Korean).
REYNOLDS: All right.
COULTON: It was a much more innocent time.
COULTON: Which of these is a line from the song roughly translated into English?
REYNOLDS: Oh, no.
COULTON: A, a classy girl who knows how to enjoy a cup of coffee; B, a sophisticated gentleman with his own humidor; or C, a pet dog with refined taste who eats only filet mignon?
REYNOLDS: I'm going to go ahead and say B.
COULTON: I'm sorry. That is incorrect.
REYNOLDS: Oh, no.
COULTON: It was actually A, a classy girl who knows how to enjoy a cup of coffee.
REYNOLDS: Yeah. Right.
COULTON: I don't fault you for making that choice because...
COULTON: ...They all sound pretty plausible to me.
MANI: Honestly, they do.
EISENBERG: All right, Sunita. This video from 2007 has racked up more than 800 million views on YouTube.
(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "CHARLIE BIT MY FINGER - AGAIN !")
HARRY DAVIES-CARR: (Laughter) Charlie. Charlie bit me.
EISENBERG: What part of his brother's body is baby Charlie biting? Is it A, his ear; B, his butt; C, his finger?
MANI: I only know this answer because of, like, a sketch troupe that I was in. It's his finger.
EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yeah. Yeah.
MANI: And I didn't see it at the time, but I - we, like, wrote a sketch with that phrase in it. And I was like, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. But at the time, I didn't know what they were talking about. I just was too...
MANI: You know? Like...
COULTON: That's the postmodern experience - right? - is now we learn about...
COULTON: ...A thing through the memes and jokes before we actually see the thing. And we might never see the actual thing.
COULTON: You just see...
COULTON: ...Everybody else's takes on it.
MANI: And what's the difference?
COULTON: Last question for you, John.
COULTON: This 2007 video known as dramatic chipmunk actually features a prairie dog, not a chipmunk, suddenly turning his head toward the camera.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
COULTON: So the question is...
COULTON: What movie does the music in that clip come from? Is it A, "Sunset Boulevard"; B, "Animal Farm"; or C, "Young Frankenstein"?
REYNOLDS: Yeah, I'm going to rock with "Young Frankenstein."
COULTON: You are absolutely correct. That's right.
REYNOLDS: There we are.
MANI: For the record, that is what I would have said as well.
REYNOLDS: Well, you should have said that before I answered with the correct answer. I mean, I was ready to blurt out "Godzilla" before I heard the multiple choice, so...
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