'Wait Wait' for Nov. 13, 2021: Ed Begley Jr. plays Not My Job

Nov 13, 2021
Originally published on November 13, 2021 12:00 pm

This week's show was recorded remotely with host Peter Sagal, official judge and scorekeeper Bill Kurtis, Not My Job guest Ed Begley Jr. and panelists Paula Poundstone, Alonzo Bodden and Emmy Blotnick. Click the audio link above to hear the whole show.

Rachel Murray / Getty Images

Who's Bill This Time
Vaxstyles of the Rich And Famous; Lactose Exuberance; Matrimonial Excess

Panel Questions
What's In the Thames?

Bluff The Listener
Our panelists tell three stories about a group of people standing up for a bizarre interest, only one of which is true.

Not My Job: We Quiz Ed Begley Jr. on The Bee Movie
Ed Begley Jr. is an environmental activist and one of the most prolific actors working, having appeared in over 300 projects over 55 years. It took some digging, but we finally found a movie he DIDN'T star in, so we invited him to play a game we call, "Ed Begley Jr., Meet Bee Movie Sr."

Panel Questions
Flushing Spring Water; Uber Leftovers; An Update On An Old Story

Bill Kurtis reads three news-related limericks: Work/Text Balance; When To Turn Out The Lights; and Movie Snacks Without the Movie.

Lightning Fill In The Blank
All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

Our panelists predict what people will eat this Thanksgiving to save money.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following program was taped before an audience of no one.


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Look on the bright side with me. I'm a Bill-ver (ph) lining - Bill Kurtis. And here's your host, a man who just learned that the P in NPR doesn't stand for Peter. It's Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thank you, fake audience. We'll have a great show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to actor Ed Begley Jr., who's basically been in everything but is most famous for his environmental activism, which means when we all go up in flames, he'll at least have the pleasure of telling us, I told you so. We want to help you feel smug, too. So give us a call. Answer our questions. The number to call is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924.

Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

ALEX SUNDERMANN: Hi, Peter. This is Alex Sundermann. And I'm calling from Pittsburgh, Pa.

SAGAL: Pittsburgh, Pa. - one of the most surprisingly beautiful cities I have ever seen.

SUNDERMANN: We got lots of great views everywhere around the city.

SAGAL: And what do you do there?

SUNDERMANN: I am an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh and also a part-time graduate student in public health.

SAGAL: So you're an epidemiologist studying infectious diseases - so not been very busy of late, I would imagine.

SUNDERMANN: (Laughter) It's a - yeah, it's been an interesting past couple of years here.

SAGAL: Yeah. When all of this happened, were you at least able to go to your parents and go, see, I told you I shouldn't have been an artist like you wanted?

SUNDERMANN: Oh, they were very proud (laughter).

SAGAL: Well, Alex, welcome to our show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, it's a comedian whose stand-up album "Party Nights" is available on all the music streaming platforms right now. It's Emmy Blotnick.


EMMY BLOTNICK: Hi. Hey. Hooray.


SAGAL: Next, he is a comedian performing November 26 through the 27 at the Arlington Drafthouse in Arlington, Va. It's Alonzo Bodden.


ALONZO BODDEN: Hey, how you doing, Alex?

SUNDERMANN: Good. How are you?

SAGAL: And she's a comedian whose new album, "Paula Poundstone Goes To College (For One Night)," is now available worldwide on all digital platforms and who will also be performing in Alexandria, Va., at the Birchmere November 19 through the 21. It's Paula Poundstone.


PAULA POUNDSTONE: Hey, Alex. Thank you so much for your work.

SUNDERMANN: Thank you, Paula. It's nice to meet you.

SAGAL: So, Alex, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis, of course, is going to read you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you will win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

SUNDERMANN: Sounds good. Let's do it.

SAGAL: Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: Although my hands are shaking while writing this, I feel it is time to choose courage over comfort and speak my truth.

SAGAL: I don't need to tell you who that is. It's, of course, supermodel Doutzen Kroes. But I will ask you - she's a - one of a slew of celebrities telling the world that her truth is that she is not going to do what?

SUNDERMANN: Is it get vaccinated?

SAGAL: Exactly. She is not going to get vaccinated.


SAGAL: Yes, the world's secondary celebrities have figured out a way to get people, including us, to talk about them. Apparently, they all got jealous of the attention that got showered on Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's testicles. Doutzen Kroes is actually a supermodel. She is a former Victoria's Secret Angel, and if she continues on this path, she might soon be an actual angel.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: But this week's patient zero for celebrity obtuseness is Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. A while back when reporters asked if he was vaccinated, he said, quote, "I'm immunized," unquote. Turns out he was lying. He thinks the vaccine will endanger him more than it might protect him. Is anybody actually surprised? I mean, everybody is like, oh, my God, Aaron Rodgers. But yes, of course he's an anti-vaxxer. His literal job is to make people catch things.


BODDEN: Well, I think bigger than being an anti-vaxxer, he's a horrible liar. Like, he's...


BODDEN: ...Just not good at it. If you're going to lie to your team and the NFL, at least be prepared for questions. You know, I suspect there's going to be some linemen who may not be so happy blocking for Mr. Rodgers. I think they're...

SAGAL: Exactly.



BODDEN: But the NFL - the NFL really put him in his place. They fined him over $14,000. With his $25 million a year salary, I don't know how he's going to cover that. It...

SAGAL: He's...


SAGAL: He's lucky, you know, Alonzo, 'cause if he had been kneeling when he lied, it would have been a lot worse.

BODDEN: (Laughter) Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. Now he's not going to be able to buy a new pair of sneakers, and that should set him back.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Exactly.

BODDEN: Well, listen...

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODDEN: ...The vaccine has Big Bird on its side, which has...

SAGAL: That's true.

BODDEN: ...Totally set off the Republican Party. It's very funny what presses their buttons, but they are really against imaginary creatures. They were upset over Mr. Potato Head. Now we've got Big Bird. I don't know who's next to set them off (laughter).

SAGAL: No, it's true. Big Bird was the pro-vax celebrity who came out this week. He told his many young friends that he got vaccinated. They should, too. And he was immediately accused, as you say, of spreading government propaganda and being a communist. Big Bird is, according to "Sesame Street," perennially 6 years old. He's not redistributing private property. He's sharing.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

BLOTNICK: Alex, do you work with Big Bird?

SUNDERMANN: I do not work with Big Bird, but my kids do watch him every week. So they are supporters.

SAGAL: OK. All right. Here, Alex, is your next quote.

KURTIS: A gallon of milk was a $1.99. Now it's $2.79. When you buy 12 gallons a week, that's a lot of money.

SAGAL: That was Krista Stotler, a woman who buys way too much milk, telling CNN about the struggles that many Americans are having with what these days?

SUNDERMANN: Is it inflation?

SAGAL: It is inflation.


SAGAL: Inflation is higher right now than it has been in 30 years. Experts worry it's going to affect, among many other things, holiday shopping. For example, average costs for Thanksgiving dinner are up 4% over last year. It's going to be 5% when cousin Josh (ph) decides he's bringing his new girlfriend at the last minute. Come on, Josh. Am I made of folding chairs?

BLOTNICK: Inflation is also what happens when you drink 12 gallons of milk a week.

SAGAL: Yes. It's like CNN went out to find somebody to talk about inflation, and apparently they found somebody who's running an illegal cheese lab in their garage, right? That's a lot of milk.

BODDEN: Listen; when you do your interviews outside of Costco, you get people with 12 gallons of milk. They don't mess around in that store. It's...

SAGAL: That's true. I believe...

BLOTNICK: It's called lactose tolerance.

SAGAL: Exactly.

BLOTNICK: And they have it.

SAGAL: There's this new phenomenon called meat-flation (ph). Have you heard about this? It's a general rise in the prices of all meats because of, yes, of course, supply chain issues and also because the cows have learned to fight back.

BODDEN: Well, good for them.

BLOTNICK: I get emails for free meat-flation pills sometimes, and I'm like, I'm a woman.


SAGAL: All right, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: My grandma and father were by my side, gagging with joy.

SAGAL: That was oil heiress Ivy Getty talking about how happy her family was at her big day, an over-the-top event that was all over the internet this week. What was the event?

SUNDERMANN: Was it the wedding?

SAGAL: Yes, the wedding.


SAGAL: It was just called that, the wedding. In the middle of the debate about whether we should tax the rich more, Vogue came up with this elaborate, searing parody of the wealthy lifestyle, a 10,000-word article about this fancy wedding in San Francisco guaranteed to make everybody just grab their pitchforks. Oh, wait. It was real. The wedding of Ivy Getty to some guy - who cares; he's not rich - was the time-honored story of boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy and girl's wedding gets a mammoth write-up, and Nancy Pelosi performed the ceremony.

BLOTNICK: (Laughter).

BODDEN: Way to show you are one of the people, Nancy, going to this billion-dollar wedding and just hanging out. Gavin Newsom was there, too, another brilliant move. Good thing the Republicans won't hold this against them at all when it comes to privilege.

BLOTNICK: I was going to have a deep state-themed wedding first. I'm just...


BLOTNICK: ...You know, at a loss.

POUNDSTONE: It really was repulsive. I was there. I - just...

SAGAL: You were? You were invited?

POUNDSTONE: Just for one day. I was just there for the picnic. That's all.

SAGAL: There were three nights of blowout parties, custom-made designer silk pajamas for the bridesmaids. And the bride - and this is true - when she came down the aisle, wore a dress covered with fragments of mirrors so the guests could gaze at themselves as she walked down the aisle. The look was inspired by that moment in "My Octopus Teacher" where the octopus camouflages itself with garbage. It just goes to show...

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Money cannot buy you taste, but it can buy you Nancy Pelosi.

BLOTNICK: Paula, were you invited to the bachelorette party on Jeff Bezos' spaceship?


SAGAL: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: No, no. I wasn't...

SAGAL: I wasn't.

POUNDSTONE: You know, I wasn't part of the inner circle. I just went to the picnic event.

BODDEN: Any time you have a party that the Kardashians say is over the top, you've gone over the top.


BLOTNICK: If your own wedding dress slices and dices you down the aisle, you've gone over the top.

POUNDSTONE: I wish the Gettys had named one of their daughters Betty.

SAGAL: Betty Getty?

POUNDSTONE: ...Because I just think Betty Getty would be so much fun to say.

SAGAL: How about Yeti?

BLOTNICK: Especially if the middle name is Spuh (ph).


BLOTNICK: That's Betty Spuh Getty for those of you doing the math at home.


SAGAL: Thank you. Thank you, Emmy.


BODDEN: They're still doing the math on buying 12 gallons of milk.

SAGAL: Bill, how did Alex do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Alex, we salute you. He got them all right.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Alex. And thank you for the good and essential work that you do.

SUNDERMANN: Thank you, Peter. Thanks, everyone.

SAGAL: Take care.



SAGAL: Panelists, it's now time for a new game we're calling...

KURTIS: What's in the Thames?

SAGAL: The Thames, of course, the River Thames is England's longest river - runs straight through the middle of London. And Paula, according to a very exciting announcement just this week, what's in the Thames?


SAGAL: Exactly right.


SAGAL: Not just sharks, but poisonous sharks.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, I didn't realize they were poisonous as well.

SAGAL: They are - I'm so glad I warned you...


SAGAL: ...Before you tried to pet one. There are venomous sharks...


SAGAL: ...In the River Thames. And what's weird is that's apparently a good thing. The Zoological Society of London just did a survey of wildlife in that river. And they found seahorses and eels and spurdog sharks, which are about two feet long and covered in venomous spines. That's why British people have stiff upper lips. They've been paralyzed by sharks. But environmentalists are very excited by the finding as a sign of the river's recovery. Back in 1957, the very polluted River Thames was declared biologically dead, which - I think this means these are actually zombie poison sharks.

POUNDSTONE: Wow. So it was biologically dead. And now - so this is good news because...

SAGAL: It's good news.

POUNDSTONE: ...It's come to life again with spiky...

SAGAL: Yeah, so...

POUNDSTONE: ...Poison sharks.

SAGAL: If you are a British person...

POUNDSTONE: Boy - careful what you ask for.

SAGAL: Exactly.


SAGAL: If you are a British person and concerned with wildlife in the Thames, you can say, great news, there are poisonous sharks - not a sentence that most people would say.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. Yeah, right.

BODDEN: I just never knew that poisonous sharks existed. Like, you're already a shark and you're like, but now let me add the poison.


SAGAL: Oh, yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, exactly.


BELL BIV DEVOE: (Singing) Poison - yeah.

SAGAL: Coming up, our panelists discover a new passion in our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME! from NPR.

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Paula Poundstone, Emmy Blotnick and Alonzo Bodden. And here again is your host, a man who just won a CMA Award for most beautiful soprano. It's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff The Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air.

Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

ANNA: Oh, hi. This is Anna (ph) from Denver, Colo.

SAGAL: Oh, great. Well, how are things in Denver? Getting cold, I hope.

ANNA: Oh, yeah. They're getting a little colder, but there's still some nice days.

SAGAL: That's good. Well, I like it when it gets cold in Denver 'cause then it snows. You can go skiing. Do you do all those fun Colorado things that people do to enjoy themselves in that beautiful state?



SAGAL: You don't? You just don't?

ANNA: I got a dog.

SAGAL: You got a dog?

ANNA: Yeah.

SAGAL: All right. That's a Colorado thing. I appreciate that. What kind of dog did you get?

ANNA: He's a German shepherd mix.

SAGAL: And being a new dog owner, how did you find it? I mean, I know it allows you to, like, fit into Colorado society 'cause you have to bring a dog everywhere.

ANNA: I love it. She's the best. She just does everything I want to do. And I happened to get her one of those, like, vests, not like a service vest, just, like, a regular, like, harness. But people seem to think it's a vest. So everywhere I go, they think she's a service dog. So I've actually managed to...

BLOTNICK: (Laughter).

ANNA: ...Bring her into places without people even questioning it.

SAGAL: How awesome.

ANNA: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Well, it's very nice to have you with us, Anna. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Anna's topic?

KURTIS: Let Your Freak Flag Fly.

SAGAL: Our world is full of strange and wonderful things and also a bunch of really strange people. This week, we learned about a group of people who are proudly banding together and standing up for their own particular bizarre interest. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth. You'll win the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. Ready to give this a try?

ANNA: Hell yeah.

SAGAL: Hell yeah. All right. First, let's hear from Emmy Blotnick.

BLOTNICK: An Indianapolis couple is fighting back after being banned from a hot lunch buffet, where they were spotted serving themselves with their bare hands. As it turns out, there's more than a - ahem - handful of people who prefer to eat this way, as evidenced by a recent uptick of similar incidents at salad bars and grocery store bulk bins nationwide, with some even calling themselves anti-tongers.

Members of this growing movement believe that certain salad bar items simply cannot be picked up with tongs, such as cherry tomatoes, grapes and peeled hard-boiled eggs, a category they call the untongables (ph), said a Milwaukee woman no longer allowed in her local Whole Foods. Personally, I reach into the bins because I don't like everything in the trail mix, and I shouldn't have to pay for things I don't like. Others argue that eschewing utensils provides extra dimension to meal times. You don't know sensory pleasure until you've sipped corn chowder through your own cupped hands, said a man covered in soup.

SAGAL: The anti-tongers, who use their hands to pick up the untongables. Your next story of a bunch of weirdos comes from Alonzo Bodden.

BODDEN: Everybody is annoyed by a bird pooping on your freshly washed car hood - everyone, that is, except a group of artists in Bakersfield, Calif., who practice a variety of surrealism using avian excretion, an art form they call Doo Doo Dada. It began when Dave Ralston's (ph) car got dive-bombed right after he left the car wash. And before he could get mad, he noticed the pattern on his hood looked like the Thomas Gainsborough's "Blue Boy" painting.

That gave me an idea, he said. What if we encouraged the birds to explore their artistic impulses? So every Sunday morning, Dave and a group of his friends meet outside the Bakersfield farmers market to park their freshly washed cars under carefully selected trees and light poles and wait for inspiration to splatter on their hoods. The grand prize in their competition will be awarded to a copy of a painting so accurate, a passerby can recognize. So far, no one has won that. Lisa Mendez (ph) from the Bakersfield Times arts section asked - what is the grand prize anyway? A car wash, of course, said Dave, provides a fresh canvas for next Sunday.

SAGAL: The Doo Doo Dada movement, who use birds to make art. Your last story of freaks being loud and proud comes from Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: There are things that just go together - peanut butter and jelly, movies and popcorn, Captain and Tennille, toothbrushing and orange juice. Wait, what? Yes, there are people who love to follow brushing their teeth with an orange juice chaser. Casey, a 34-year-old in northern Virginia, explains, for me, the minty, tangy one-two punch creates such a unique, potent flavor. Many who enjoy the dentifrice/citrus combo identify themselves on social networks.

They don't claim to find it tasty so much as they appreciate the chemical reaction, perhaps the way a member of a polar bear club, known for plunging into icy cold water, doesn't really enjoy freezing their ass off but relishes the aftermath, the part where they're brought warm blankets while they cry and swear they'll never do that again. No word yet on the unlikely social grouped meetups to eat oysters near septic tank cleanouts. It must be in the offing, though.

SAGAL: All right. So there's a group of people out there who are proudly claiming to enjoy something that other people just, well, don't. Was it from Emmy, the anti-tongers who just enjoy using their bare hands to pick up things from salad bars and bulk bins; from Alonzo Bodden, people who want birds to poop on their freshly washed cars for the sake of art; or from Paula Poundstone, people who actually enjoy and advocate for drinking orange juice right after they brush their teeth? Which of these are the people who are coming out of the shadows at last?

ANNA: I have a feeling it's the third one, but you guys really like to talk about poop on this show.


ANNA: And I want Alonzo to get the point, so I'm going to go with Alonzo's story.

SAGAL: You picked Alonzo's story of the bird poop artist. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to someone who knows something about the real story.

QUINN MYERS: Some of them go out of their way to brush their teeth before drinking orange juice. They prefer it that way.

SAGAL: That was Quinn Myers, a staff writer at MEL Magazine and the person who first reported on this phenomenon. So as you yourself knew would happen, it was Paula who was telling the truth. So you did not win, but you earned a point for your guy, your man, Mr. Bodden for telling his story so effectively. So congratulations, I guess. Thank you, Anna. Bye-bye.

ANNA: Thank you, bye.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.




RUFUS WAINWRIGHT: (Singing) Cigarettes and chocolate milk. These are just a couple of my cravings.

SAGAL: And now the game where we desperately try to find something that somebody who can do anything can't do. It's called Not My Job. Now, if you've watched TV or movies at all over the past 50 years, chances are you have seen the great Ed Begley Jr. With over 300 credits on IMDb from "Best In Show" to "Six Feet Under" to "Better Call Saul," he is the man you call when you need a character who is dignified but flustered - or maybe flustered but dignified. He's also a devoted environmentalist. These days, you can see him on CBS's "Young Sheldon."

Ed Begley Jr., welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.


ED BEGLEY JR: What a treat to be with you all. Thank you for having me.

SAGAL: What a joy to actually be talking to you because I believe you were in literally one of the first movies I ever saw, "The Computer That Wore Tennis Shoes."

BEGLEY: With Kurt Russell, yes. I did several of those Kurt Russell Disney movies.

SAGAL: So here's the thing. I'm not a young man, and I've been watching you my whole life, as I just established. So I ask this question to a lot of performers we get on the show, but in this case, I have absolutely no idea what the answer is going to be. What do people most recognize you for?

BEGLEY: Probably "St. Elsewhere" because it lasted the longest. It was 140-some odd shows, I believe. It was definitely six years, and I was in all but one episode. So it was a good run. And then other people like "Pineapple Express." People like "She-Devil." People love "Young Sheldon" right now. It's a very popular show and "Mr. Mayor" with Ted Danson. And I was on "Better Call Saul" for several seasons. That's another wonderful show. I've been very lucky to still be working after 54 years. I don't care if you're selling used cars or in the storm door business. You work over five decades, you're pretty damn lucky.

SAGAL: I would agree.

BODDEN: Ed, can I ask one question? Just real...

BEGLEY: Alonzo, anything you want to know, I'll tell you.

BODDEN: Well, no. We were talking about this before. You have been in every movie ever made, right?


BODDEN: But the question is, do you remember any movie or show that you turned down? Have you ever said, like, no, I'm not going to do that one? And having done so many, do you remember that?

BEGLEY: I didn't turn one down, but I fell asleep at the switch a few times when people and - someone, a very big director gave me a copy of a book, a very famous book, and said, I'm going to make this into a movie. Would you read it and let me know if you think you're willing to play this part? Then he named the part. It was a very big book, and it was a very big movie. I never got around to reading it. I was busy tending my corn and my tomatoes or something. I got busy with something in the garden, and it became a very successful movie. So I dropped the ball on more than one occasion.

SAGAL: Which - you have to tell us what it is, Ed. I mean, come on.

BEGLEY: "Terms Of Endearment."

SAGAL: Oh, yes.

BEGLEY: The Jeff - now let's be clear, I never - I probably wouldn't have - if I'd gone and auditioned, if Jeff Daniels came in before or after me, no matter when he came in, I wouldn't have gotten the part. Jeff Daniels was better than I could have ever been. But I was offered. Maybe I could have played another part other than that, but...

POUNDSTONE: You know, I wouldn't kick yourself too much about it because Shirley MacLaine was the best choice for the mother.

BEGLEY: Exactly.

POUNDSTONE: And I don't see how you would have gotten that. OK, I have to tell you one great thing about Ed Begley. When I met Ed, we were at an event for Heal the Bay, which is an environmental organization. So we're on - and we're told - and for those who don't know the Los Angeles area, you have to - the valley is on the other side of some mountains or some hills - right? - hills, the Hollywood Hills. And - so they said - well, Ed Begley is going to be here, but he's a little delayed because he's riding his bicycle. So it just shamed everyone at the event.

BEGLEY: But she was so funny. She said, you know, I know it's great. Everybody thinks it's wonderful that Ed rode his bike from Studio City. I walked here from Pasadena. Just give me some credit, for God's sake, folks.


SAGAL: I got to ask you about environmental activism, which, in many ways, when people say, Ed Begley Jr., I'm like, oh, yeah, the guy who, like - with the electric cars and who bicycles everywhere. How do you deal with showing up everywhere covered in sweat?

BEGLEY: Back when I was riding my bike a lot before going to events like the Heal the Bay event that Paula alluded to, I would just come with what they call a pannier. And you take it out. It's like a garment bag. And then you carry it into a restroom at the Petersen Museum, if that's where you are, and you do an Irish shower. You get some paper towels or - no, I would bring a washcloth with me. And I kind of, you know, kind of get - at the sink, I'd clean up a bit, put on a fresh shirt - fresh undershirt, fresh top shirt - pants, belt, shoes and go into the event. And a lot of people - I did that at the Oscars more than once.

SAGAL: Really?

BEGLEY: A lot of people didn't know I'd come on a bike. I was fresh as a daisy, or so they tell me.

POUNDSTONE: It's bird bath Begley.

SAGAL: Did you ever consider just, like, pedaling up on the red carpet? It's like, so what are you wearing?

POUNDSTONE: That would have been great.

SAGAL: Oh, Schwinn, you say as you then go in.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

BEGLEY: I would peddle up to the red carpet. And then the valets would take the bike, the same way they would take a car. They handed me a little ticket and took my bike - pretty funny.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Can you tell us, like, the most extreme thing you've ever done for environmental purposes?

POUNDSTONE: What about the glove compartment?

BEGLEY: Oh, that's true. That was fairly extreme. You remember that? Unbelievable. I went to an LA County Board of Supervisors meeting about Lopez Canyon, a landfill in the San Fernando Valley, where I live. And so I was there testifying on behalf of the neighbors and the homeowners near the landfill that they wanted closed. And I said, look; we don't need another landfill. It's possible to make a lot less trash. Take my trash, for instance. One week's worth of trash would probably fit in my glove compartment, I said. And later that day, I believe - (knocking on wood) - there's a knock on the door. Yes? LA Times. I said, I take the paper already. They said, no, no. I'm not trying to sell you the paper. I'm a reporter with the LA Times, and I'm here to see if one week's worth of your trash will, in fact, fit in your glove compartment.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

BEGLEY: OK. Have you never done it? I said, no, I just said that at the meeting. I think it's about a glove compartment's worth. And so I said, let's try it. I'll go for it. Whatever it is, it's going to be what it is. So write the story, whatever it is. Maybe it's two glove compartments. So we went to each room, gathered up all the trash. She said, when is trash day here? I went, it's tomorrow, damn it.


BEGLEY: You know, so you got a whole - here's a week's worth. She said, I knew that. I wanted to see if you would tell the truth. I know it's tomorrow. OK. She was a good reporter. She's ahead of me - went to each room and gathered everything up, put it in the glove box. And then I'm there with my biking legs, cramming it closed with my feet, and it somehow fit. A week's worth of my trash did, in fact, fit into the glove compartment. There was a very funny piece in The Times that went, "Actor Crams For Test."


POUNDSTONE: Oh, that's great.

SAGAL: Well, Ed Begley Jr., it is a delight to talk to you. And we have, in fact, invited you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: Ed Begley Jr. Meet "Bee Movie" Sr.

SAGAL: You've been in so many movies we had to dig pretty deep to find one you weren't in. And we finally did - the "Bee Movie" starring Jerry Seinfeld as, well, a bee. So we're going to ask you about it. Answer two out of three questions correctly, you'll win a prize for one of our listeners - the voice of their choice on their voicemail. Bill, who is Ed Begley Jr. playing for?

KURTIS: Abe Hanson (ph) of St. Paul, Minn.

SAGAL: All right, you ready to do this?

BEGLEY: I'm ready.

SAGAL: Here we go. The "Bee Movie," which was, remember, a movie for kids, is full of unpredictable moments like which of these - A, a hive where the queen bee is actually a drag queen bee; B, a joke that implies that the human woman, played by Renee Zellweger, had dated multiple different insects; or C, a scene where the bee has to land a plane after the pilot and co-pilot fall unconscious?

BEGLEY: I got to go with Renee Zellweger. That's striking some sort of a chord deep in my subconscious that might even be part of it. I think it's the Renee Zellweger answer.

SAGAL: You're right...


SAGAL: ...Because all three of them were true. That movie is quite a journey. All right, next question. The movie ended up being a bit of a flop, but it remained very popular with some fans. How did one person express their personal love for the "Bee Movie"? A, a group of students in California wrote, choreographed and performed a 2.5-hour musical based on the movie; B, somebody printed out the entire script and hung it on their bedroom wall; or C, according to one report from Netflix, over the course of 2017, one viewer watched "Bee Movie" 357 times.

BEGLEY: Somehow I'm buying the 357 times. I think that somebody might have actually done that.

SAGAL: Somebody did do that.


SAGAL: And somebody else printed and put it on their wall, and somebody else made a musical out of it because, once again, all three of them were true.

BEGLEY: I'm seeing a trend here.

SAGAL: Last question - the "Bee Movie" was not the blockbuster people hoped, but it did do well enough that a company made one of those mockbuster rip-offs called "Plan B" designed to feed off the real movie's popularity. Which of these was a real review of "Plan B" posted on IMDB.com? A, 10 out of 10, always loved the "Bee Movie," but it wasn't erotic enough for me; this fulfilled my fantasy; B, the acting is so bad, and the animation is so bad, and everything is so bad and oh, my God; or C, a monstrosity, wrong, vile, unacceptable, icky, unsatisfactory, criminal, god-awful, crummy, not good.

BEGLEY: It could be all three, but it's definitely the last one. So I'm going to go for that again.

SAGAL: It was, in fact, all three.


BEGLEY: Oh, boy. Why can't I see a trend? Why - this is why I do so bad in the stock market.

SAGAL: Bill, how did Ed Begley Jr. do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Ed is and always will be the hero of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME. He got them all.



KURTIS: Congratulations, Ed. Yay, yay.

BEGLEY: Thank you.

SAGAL: Ed Begley Jr. is basically a superstar - actor, comedian, environmentalist. You can see him Thursdays these days on "Young Sheldon" on CBS. Ed Begley Jr., what an absolute delight to talk to you. Thank you so much for joining us. We are humbled and grateful. Thank you so much.

BEGLEY: Any time. Thank you, all.


QUEEN: (Singing) Bicycle, bicycle, bicycle. I want to ride my bicycle.

SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill tucks us all in for a good night's sleep in our Listener Limerick Challenge. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.


KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Alonzo Bodden, Emmy Blotnick and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host, a man who just requested we stop calling him host and start calling him senior manager of out-loud words. So here, again, is your senior manager of out-loud words. It's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. In just a minute, Bill gets a new night cream for his fine rhymes and wrinkles in our Listener Limerick Challenge game. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, though, some more questions for you from the week's news.

Paula, Osaka Hospital in Japan made a shocking announcement this week after they discovered that ever since the hospital was built 30 years ago, people there have been drinking water from where?

POUNDSTONE: Give me a hint.

SAGAL: They're living every dog's dream.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, from the toilet. They've been drinking water from the toilet.

SAGAL: Yes, they've been drinking toilet water.


SAGAL: When the hospital was built in 1992, the water pipes were incorrectly connected to the toilet water pipes, which is why major plumbing contractors should never observe Take Your Kid To Work Day.


BLOTNICK: But Japanese toilets are so nice you probably should drink water from them.

SAGAL: Probably.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: How would you like to be a patient in this hospital? The doctor's like, I have some bad news. And you're like, cancer? He says, no, no, no. We've all been drinking toilet water for 30 years. And you're like, is it too late to choose cancer?

POUNDSTONE: But did they - did anybody ever have any ill health effects from this?

BODDEN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: No, you see, Paula - and we knew you'd ask that. They didn't attach the water pipes to the bottoms of the toilet, if you will. What they did was they used the same water supply that was going into the toilets instead of the water supply they should have used which was purified for drinking water, right? So they were just drinking the water that was used to flush the toilets...


SAGAL: ...Which is why every time they had a drink of water, they didn't have to sit around for three minutes and wait till they could send some more down.

BLOTNICK: Isn't that a level of perfume, toilet water?

SAGAL: Yeah, exactly. You - eau de toilette. Yeah, just call it eau de toilette. We - oh, we've been drinking eau de toilette. People are happy.

BLOTNICK: How fancy.

SAGAL: Exactly.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Alonzo, a new app is offering great discounts on carryout food because all of that food is what?

BODDEN: A day old?

SAGAL: Almost. I'll give it to you. It is old. It's the end-of-the-day leftovers.


SAGAL: Too Good To Go is a new app like DoorDash or Grubhub, but all of the restaurants just list the food that they're about to throw out. So you can get the food at a huge discount, which makes it a perfect way to get baked goods, produce and a virus from that guy at table three who did not finish all his fries.


BODDEN: If you're at the point where you're getting the grab bag of stuff that they don't - couldn't sell but can't get rid of, are you really that lazy that they have to deliver it? Come on. Get off the couch. Get - put a little bit of effort into buying the end-of-the-day muffins, OK? Just...

SAGAL: I love the dumpster divers offended just professionally. Like, you know, we put in the effort here.

BODDEN: Really. Put some effort into it.

SAGAL: You're using an app.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

BLOTNICK: Now I'm fighting off throngs of dabblers for quiche behind this restaurant.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

BODDEN: Fighting with the Uber guy.

BLOTNICK: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. It's now time for a new game that we are calling...

KURTIS: Whatever Happened To That Priest Who Left The Church To Be With A Sexologist Who Wrote Satanic Erotica?

SAGAL: So a few months ago, we told you about the Spanish bishop whose love for an alluring author of erotic fiction caused him to leave his church. Today, we have an update on that man. Emmy, what is his new job?

BLOTNICK: He scrubs toilets at a Six Flags.

SAGAL: (Laughter) That's very specific - very specific, indeed.

BLOTNICK: It's just a job I dream of, you know.

SAGAL: Really? (Laughter).

BLOTNICK: I haven't been following this story, so maybe - is he an influencer now?

SAGAL: I'm amazed.

BLOTNICK: Maybe he's...

SAGAL: I've got a Google alert on it. No. No, I'm going to give you a hint. It's a little subtle hint. See if you can sort of piece it together from what I'm about to tell you. His customers are those who import pig semen.

BLOTNICK: Is he a importer or exporter of pig semen?

SAGAL: An exporter of pig semen.


SAGAL: That's exactly right. That's what he ended up doing. He is working at a company that, quote, "exports high-quality pig reproductive material" to more than 20 countries. So it sounds like he has landed on his feet and on the underside of some pigs. What does he do for this company? We don't know, but it's worth saying that in that business, labeling the packages and getting the address right is very, very important.

BODDEN: Well, that's what he does in Spain. If this were an American story, he would be a politician.

SAGAL: That's true.

BLOTNICK: Very true.

SAGAL: He'd be on "Dancing With The Stars."

POUNDSTONE: Absolutely.



SAGAL: Well, until the next update, that does it for...

KURTIS: Whatever Happened To That Priest Who Left The Church To Be With A Sexologist Who Wrote Satanic Erotica?


SAGAL: Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank. But first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. And if you want to see us live and in person, we will be at the Harris Theater in Chicago once more on December 9. Tickets are on sale now at waitwait.npr.org. We promise it'll be a superspreader event, but this time we'll be spreading laughter and good fun.

Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SOREN: Hi there. I am Soren (ph), and I'm calling from Laramie, Wyo.

SAGAL: Laramie, Wyo...


SAGAL: ...Out there in the great prairie. What do you do there?

SOREN: I am currently studying social work. And I'm also in our jazz band here.

SAGAL: That's pretty cool. What instrument do you play?

SOREN: I play the trumpet.



SOREN: Yes. I have a good time. But (laughter)...

SAGAL: You do. Is there still an audience for jazz in Laramie, Wyo.?

SOREN: Well, my parents only live about an hour away, so there's at least an audience there.

SAGAL: (Laughter) At least they show up.

SOREN: Exactly.

SAGAL: That's very nice.

SOREN: At least a couple of seats get filled.

SAGAL: Well, Soren, welcome to the show. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly on two of the limericks, you'll be a winner. Ready to play?

SOREN: Absolutely.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first limerick.

KURTIS: Work from home shouldn't come at my loss. Let's draw lines my employer can't cross. Once I get off the clock, there's a caller I'll block so I can't get a text from my...

SOREN: Boss.





SAGAL: The Portuguese parliament has made it illegal in that country for your boss to text you after work. Unfortunately, it's still legal before work and during work. They made this law, of course, to support a healthier work-life balance. But come on. It's not illegal if I'm more of a friend than a boss, right? Besides, if you think about it, any text that you get after you get home for the day is technically still before work.


BODDEN: You sound like you're arguing for the boss on that one, Peter.

SAGAL: I'm just saying, I'm the kind of guy who might need people to pretend to find me funny any time of the day or night, and my staff knows that.


SAGAL: All right, very good. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: If I don't get some good rest-your-head time, my heart has a premature dead time. But it keeps a firm beat if I get some good sleep, so 10:30 is now my new...

SOREN: Bedtime.

SAGAL: Right.


KURTIS: Bedtime.


SAGAL: A study has revealed that for the healthiest heart, you should go to bed between 10 and 11 at night.


SAGAL: That particular bedtime maximizes the positive effects of the body's circadian rhythm and minimizes potentially harmful exposure to James Corden. The study followed 88,000 people in Britain who answered yes to the question, mind if I watch you sleep, and it found a 25% increase in heart disease in people who went to bed after midnight - you'd expect that - right? - you need to get your sleep - but also a 24% increase among people who went to bed before 10. So your doctor might soon prescribe that you have to be less lame.

POUNDSTONE: What about what time they get up?

SAGAL: That - I mean, to me, that is the key question, of course. I mean, if you go to bed before 9 and you get up at 1 in the morning, it's not going to do you much good, right? I mean, it seems an important question. But apparently that is key - 10 and 11, guys.

BODDEN: Well, I would think the people who stay up past midnight and die early - at least they had a good time.

SAGAL: Exactly.

BODDEN: If you're going to bed...


BODDEN: If you're going to bed at 8:30 and dying early, you really got robbed in this equation.


BODDEN: So they just write off everyone who works at night?

SAGAL: Apparently. Like, you know...

BODDEN: Like, sorry.

SAGAL: You touring comedians are all...

BLOTNICK: It's called the graveyard shift for a reason, man.

SAGAL: You're all doomed, man. You're all doomed.


SAGAL: All right, here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: Though AMC's snacks deserve top scorn, they are trying to get a new shop born. They think it behooves me to forgo the movie and go out to buy greasy...

SOREN: Popcorn.


SAGAL: Exactly right.




SAGAL: AMC Theatres is opening a handful of kiosks across the country dedicated to selling their popcorn so you can get it without having to go to a movie. It's exactly the same movie theater popcorn recipe we love, but now you can wipe your hands on your own furniture.

BLOTNICK: And if you make it at home, do you have to pay yourself $11 for the popcorn?

SAGAL: Exactly. You do. And, of course, the - you have to - it's only sold in small, medium and large, and the small is exactly the same size as the medium.


BLOTNICK: I need, like, above-ground pool size if we're really doing this.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: I - there's a movie theater in Santa Monica that I've walked to sometimes just to get popcorn.

SAGAL: Really?


SAGAL: You actually like it.

POUNDSTONE: I - you know what? I do like it. But I also can't watch a movie without popcorn.

SAGAL: Do you have one of those rules, Paula, where you're not allowed to start eating the popcorn till the movie itself starts?

POUNDSTONE: No, I start eating right away.

SAGAL: Immediately.


BODDEN: You can't...

POUNDSTONE: Sometimes I don't even move out of the way for the next customer. I just stand there and eat a couple of kernels...

SAGAL: Really?

POUNDSTONE: ...Until someone goes, go. Would you go?

SAGAL: Yeah. Bill, how did Soren do on our quiz?

KURTIS: He did great. He got a perfect score, actually.

SAGAL: Well done, Soren. Thanks. And, you know, enjoy playing for your parents next time.

SOREN: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Take care. Bye-bye.

POUNDSTONE: Good luck in school.


SAGAL: Bye-bye.


SAGAL: It's time for our final game already. It's Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players now has 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

KURTIS: Emmy has one, Paula has three and Alonzo has four.


KURTIS: Alonzo...

BLOTNICK: How on earth do I only have one? This is a rough game (laughter).

SAGAL: Well, Emmy, the good news is because you only have one point, that means you do go first. So the clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, the U.S. and China made a joint pledge to combat blank.

BLOTNICK: Climate change.



SAGAL: On Tuesday, Pfizer asked the FDA to approve blank shots for all adults.

BLOTNICK: Booster.



SAGAL: Booster shots. This week, a member of the group that stormed the blank was sentenced to 41 months in prison.

BLOTNICK: Oh, the Capitol.



SAGAL: On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma tossed out a ruling calling for Johnson & Johnson to pay $465 million for their part in the blank crisis.

BLOTNICK: Oh, I don't know, pass.

SAGAL: Opioid crisis. A North Carolina congressman who organized an anti-vaccine rally announced he'd be unable to attend because he blanked.


SAGAL: Well, he got COVID. He's not dead yet.



SAGAL: On Tuesday, fast food workers across California blank to demand better working conditions.

BLOTNICK: Protested, striked?

SAGAL: Went on strike. They struck.


BLOTNICK: Yeah, struck.

SAGAL: They went on strike. On Sunday, a concertgoer sued Travis Scott and Live Nation over the deadly crowd surge at the blank festival.

BLOTNICK: Astroworld.

SAGAL: That's right.


SAGAL: This week, a family in Peru learned that the reason their pet dog Run Run was having behavioral...


SAGAL: ...Problems was because blank.

BLOTNICK: He is a llama.

SAGAL: You're so close. Run Run the dog, it turns out, is a fox.


SAGAL: The family adopted Run Run as a puppy, and everything went great at first. But they soon noticed the dog was less interested in playing fetch and more interested in playing eat the neighbor's chickens. Shortly after discovering that he was a fox, Run Run ran ran away.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Bill, how did Emmy do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Darn good. She had six right for 12 more points. That means she has 13 and the lead.


BLOTNICK: Oh, yeah. Sweet lead. I've got it now, guys.

SAGAL: All right, Paula. You're up next. Fill in the blank. According to a new report, almost 1 million children got their first blank this week.


SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: This week, an appeals court temporarily halted the White House's corporate blank mandate.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Tuesday, a watchdog group found that Kellyanne Conway and 12 other members of the Trump administration violated the blank act repeatedly.




SAGAL: This week, passengers at Heathrow Airport had to wait to be reunited with their luggage after blank ended up on the carousel instead.

POUNDSTONE: After a - oh, after a rat?

SAGAL: No, after dozens of crates of frozen fish ended up on the carousel. At an auction this week, one of the earliest computers made by blank sold for $400,000.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Despite the worst reviews in the franchise's history, the latest movie in the blank universe topped the box office.


SAGAL: Yeah, Marvel Cinematic Universe.


SAGAL: A California couple will be able to enjoy...


SAGAL: ...The video of the birth of their new baby that was recorded by blank.

POUNDSTONE: It was recorded by one of those traffic cams.

SAGAL: Close, their own doorbell camera. The woman had been having contractions 10 minutes apart. The couple lived only five minutes from the hospital, and they got cocky. She got as far as the car before she realized she was having the baby right there in the front lawn. Fortunately, their doorbell camera was there to capture the wonderful miracle of life. Mom and baby are both fine. And since the doorbell camera was a Ring, their Amazon page now says, people who had babies in their yard also liked....


SAGAL: Bill, how did Paula do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Welcome back, Paula. You got five right for 10 more points. That gives you 13, and you are tied with Emmy for the lead.



BLOTNICK: Oh, it got real spicy just now. This is exciting.

SAGAL: All right. How many, then, does Alonzo need to win this?

KURTIS: Five to win.

SAGAL: All right. Here we go. This is for the game, Alonzo. On Tuesday, Stephen Miller and Kayleigh McEnany became the latest Trump allies to be subpoenaed by the blank committee.

BODDEN: January 6?



SAGAL: Following months of debate, President Biden said he would sign the completed blank bill on Monday.

BODDEN: Infrastructure?

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a federal judge overruled Texas's ban on blank mandates in schools.

BODDEN: Mask mandates.



SAGAL: For the first time in 20 months, the U.S. allowed international travelers who are blanked to enter the country.

BODDEN: Vaccinated?

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: A Colorado man was arrested after he accidentally set his mother's house on fire while trying to blank.

BODDEN: Set her house on fire?

SAGAL: No, she was trying to clear out cobwebs with a blowtorch. On Wednesday, Elon Musk sold around $5 billion worth of blank stock.

BODDEN: Tesla.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Thursday, NASA announced it would be at least 2025 before they landed another astronaut on the blank.




SAGAL: This week, a senior general from the communist country of Vietnam came under fire...


SAGAL: ...After he went to London and blanked.

BODDEN: Drank? I don't know. What'd he do in London?

SAGAL: No, he went to London and ate a steak covered in gold served to him by Salt Bae, if you care. The general said he was in the city to visit the grave of Karl Marx. And, hey, as long as he's there, why not spit on it? The steak he was filmed eating cost $1,150, and it was covered in 24-karat gold leaf. After being accused of betraying his communist values, the general promised to make it up to the citizens of Vietnam just as soon as he finds a knife sharp enough to cut his leftovers into 97 million pieces.

BODDEN: Wasn't that an appetizer at the Getty wedding?

SAGAL: It probably was.


SAGAL: Bill, did Alonzo do well enough to win?

KURTIS: He is so hot. He had six right, 12 more points. It means with 16, he's the champion this week.



SAGAL: Yay, there you are.

BODDEN: I would like to dedicate this one to Anna from Denver.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

BODDEN: Thank you for the point, Anna. You just turned the tide on this one.

SAGAL: You did. She tossed it to you, man, and you ran with it. I'm proud.

SAGAL: Now, panel, what will people be eating to save money at Thanksgiving this year? Emmy Blotnick.

BLOTNICK: Instead of turkey, they'll eat crow.


SAGAL: Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: Baked stuffed dust bunnies.


SAGAL: And Alonzo Bodden.

BODDEN: They will save money this year by eating last year's turducken.


KURTIS: If any of that happens, we'll ask you about it on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Alonzo Bodden, Emmy Blotnick and Paula Poundstone. Thanks to all of you for listening. I am Peter Sagal. We are going to see you - we will - next week.

This is NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.