'Wait Wait' for Oct. 23, 2021: Ron and Clint Howard play Not My Job

Oct 23, 2021
Originally published on October 23, 2021 12:01 pm

This week's show was recorded remotely with host Peter Sagal, official judge and scorekeeper Bill Kurtis, Not My Job guests Ron and Clint Howard and panelists Maz Jobrani, Karen Chee and Alonzo Bodden. Click the audio link above to hear the whole show.

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images for SiriusXM

Who's Bill This Time
Supply Chain Massacre; Vax Mix; Let's Not Get Physical

Panel Questions

Bluff The Listener
Our panelists tell three stories about good news for fossil fuels, only one of which is true.

Not My Job: We Quiz Ron and Clint Howard on Mistletoe
Before they became Hollywood royalty, both Ron and Clint Howard spent time in Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show. So, we ask them three questions about a Maybe-Not-Berry: the poisonous mistletoe plant.

Panel Questions
A Devilish Name; A Second Chance for Wise Guys; Lush Life For Nemo

Bill Kurtis reads three news-related limericks: Indigestible Brats; English Clubs Don't Bounce Back; and Stamps Make A Comeback.

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

After the success of Squid Game, our panelists predict the side effects of getting three different vaccines.

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, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Limber up. You're about to do Bill-lates (ph). Bill Kurtis here. And here is your host, who can't wait for me to stop talking so he can start, but he'll just have to wait because I'm still going, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill, and thanks to you, fake audience. Now, you all might have noticed that I really do miss live audiences and actual applause, so I am delighted to tell you we are putting on a live show right here in Chicago on November 4. Go to waitwait.npr.org for more. You want to pull a great trick? Come and refuse to clap. That'll show me.

Today, though, we are just as excited about our guests, brothers Clint and Ron Howard. But first, it's your turn to talk to us. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant.

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

CHRISTINE MCCUE: Hi, this is Christine McCue (ph), and I'm calling from Santa Fe, N.M.

SAGAL: Oh, beautiful. What do you do there in Santa Fe?

MCCUE: Well, I work in the film and television industry. I'm an intimacy coordinator.

SAGAL: Oh, my goodness.

MCCUE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: You're the - I know about intimacy coordinators. You're the first one I think I've spoken to. Can you tell us briefly what it is you do?

MCCUE: I like to describe my job badly as helping fake people pretend to have real sex (laughter). But it's all about kind of, you know, navigating boundaries and confirming consent for the actors in pursuit of realizing the director's vision.

SAGAL: Right. I get that. Although wouldn't it be more accurate to say you're helping real people have fake sex?

MCCUE: (Laughter) Yep. That works, too.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Christine. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, a comedian you can see at Side Splitters Comedy Club in Tampa, Fla., November 4 through the 7. It's Alonzo Bodden.


ALONZO BODDEN: Hello, Christine.

MCCUE: Hello, Alonzo.

SAGAL: Next, a comedian and writer for "Late Night With Seth Meyers" - it's Karen Chee.


KAREN CHEE: Hi. Hi, Christine.

MCCUE: Hi, Karen.

SAGAL: And finally, a comedian performing at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle on January 14 and the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco February 11. All tour dates, they're over at mazjobrani.com. It's Maz Jobrani.


MAZ JOBRANI: Hi, Christine.

MCCUE: Hello, Maz. It's a pleasure to be here with all of you.

SAGAL: Well, it's a pleasure to talk to you, Christine. Now, you are here, though, to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis, of course, is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize - any voice from our show you may choose in your voicemail. Are you ready to go?

MCCUE: Sure.

SAGAL: Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: This nightmare is forcing Americans to confront the possibility they might not be able to get that Grogu doll or Lulu Achoo doll in time for the holidays.

SAGAL: That was Bloomberg News summing up the effects of what global crisis?

MCCUE: Basically the shipping crisis.


SAGAL: Yes, the shipping crisis or, as they call it, the global supply chain crisis. Problems with the global supply chain are being felt everywhere. It is so complex and wide-ranging you can blame everything on it. Christmas gifts unavailable? Oh, supply chain. Father emotionally unavailable? Supply chain. Oh, I'm sorry. What was the date of your one-man show again? Oh, I can't make it. Thank you, supply chain.

CHEE: That's the excuse I'm going to use when my parents ask why I'm still single.


CHEE: Supply chain. There are no boyfriends around anymore.

SAGAL: You have this boyfriend, but he is stuck on a container ship...

CHEE: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...Somewhere in the port of Los Angeles. And who knows?

CHEE: Yeah. Yeah. And it's too bad because he's so hot.


SAGAL: He really is (laughter). Oh, no, Karen's not single. She has a boyfriend in Canada on a container ship.

CHEE: (Laughter) Yeah. He goes to a different school (laughter).

SAGAL: Now the question is, who is to blame for this problem? And the answer is you are. Over the pandemic, people took all that money that we've been saving by not going out, and they spent it on stuff. And we have not stopped doing that. So finally, we overwhelmed the stuff pipeline. And worst of all, there's this one boat that's stuck in the Suez Canal, and it is carrying the only copy of the book "How To Make The Supply Chain Work."


BODDEN: Peter.


BODDEN: I am not one to encourage crime, but back when the mob was running the ports, we never had this problem. That's all I'm saying.

CHEE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: That's true. That's true.

BODDEN: When Tony Soprano ran the docks, there was stuff on the trucks. There was stuff falling off the trucks. Maybe someone needs to make a few phone calls, get a cousin involved, an uncle, and let's get things moving.

SAGAL: People began to notice this when they started getting notifications on, like, Amazon or wherever that the Halloween costumes and decorations they were ordering might not get here in time, which will ruin the holiday because the only thing worse than wearing your sexy "Squid Game" guard costume is wearing it to Thanksgiving.

BODDEN: Well, can't we just borrow Jeff Bezos's boat? I mean, didn't he just build the biggest yacht?

SAGAL: Oh, yeah. He's got, like, some enormous yacht. Yeah.

BODDEN: Can't we just say, hey, Jeff, listen; we're going to need - just for Christmas runs, can we borrow yours?

SAGAL: This whole thing is reminiscent of the extreme soft rock shortage of the '80s caused by the problems with the Air Supply chain.


BODDEN: (Laughter) Your writers really were stuck in the supply chain. They just...

SAGAL: They really were. They really were.

BODDEN: The old Air Supply bit (laughter).

SAGAL: Yeah. That was a knockoff joke. It was the best we could get.


SAGAL: Your next quote is actual medical guidance from the FDA.

KURTIS: Mix and match.

SAGAL: What important drugs are we now free to mix and match?

MCCUE: The different COVID vaccines.


SAGAL: Yes, the different COVID vaccines.


SAGAL: This week, the FDA authorized mixing and matching vaccines. You can get a booster from a different manufacturer than made your original vaccine. Further, apparently, mixing vaccines with different manufacturers actually works better than sticking with just one, so it's like a cornucopia. Now, if you can't remember which to take first, just use that famous old mnemonic - Moderna before Pfizer, never sicker.


BODDEN: Do you think the FDA said this just because they're like, look; they're not listening to us anyway, let's just throw this out there?


SAGAL: Yeah. Just whatever you want, guys.


SAGAL: Just order up one of those Long Island iced vaccines. Nobody knows what's in it, but that'll work.

JOBRANI: You know, I'm a little upset about this because when I first got Pfizer, I was told it was like - I was a little snooty about it. So, you know, I'd go around and be like, oh, you got Moderna? All right. Good luck to you. We'll see what happens. You know, you got Johnson & Johnson? You need better health insurance. I was judging people. Now I'm told they can get mine and I can get theirs?

SAGAL: Doesn't seem fair.

JOBRANI: Not fair at all.

SAGAL: Johnson & Johnson recipients are actually advised to get a booster of Moderna or, if possible, travel back in time to get a real vaccine in the first place. Seriously, people.

You know who I feel sorry for are all the anti-vaxxers because now they have all these different vaccines to avoid. They have more things to research themselves. It's like, hey, Chuck (ph), you want to go down to the Trump rally? No, man. I got a pile of new issues of The New England Journal Of Medicine to work through. I'll be up all night.


BODDEN: Look at you, Peter, thinking anti-vaxxers do research. Come on, now (laughter).

SAGAL: Well, they say they do, though.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: They say they do their own research, right? So I'm sure they're, you know, out there waiting at 4 a.m. for the big packet of issues of The Lancet to arrive at their local newsstand.

CHEE: They have, like, a control group ready and everything.

SAGAL: Exactly. Yes.

CHEE: Like, a little vial. Yeah.

KURTIS: Christine, we have one more quote for you. Here it is.

KURTIS: They're dodging their partners' overtures, hiding under the covers and faking headaches and backaches.

SAGAL: That was a reporter in The Wall Street Journal talking about how many of us are avoiding intimacy because after 20 months of a pandemic, we are all what?

MCCUE: Like, numb to sex or we're...


MCCUE: We don't want it. We don't want it anymore?

SAGAL: That's true. But according to this article, it's because of a specific reason. We're all self-conscious about what?

MCCUE: Oh, how much weight we've gained.


SAGAL: Yes, exactly.


SAGAL: We're all so out of shape or, according to The Wall Street Journal, because we are all, quote, "schlubby."

MCCUE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: A study from Texas State University, they say, says interest in having sex is at its lowest point during the pandemic. Yes, gone are those sultry, super sexy days of March 2020. Remember how we all went out and cheered on our balconies at 7 p.m. to applaud all the sex we were having? It was very strange to see this reported in The Wall Street Journal. Oh, yes, The Wall Street Journal - the thinking man's Penthouse Forum. I never thought it would happen to me, and it didn't.


BODDEN: I don't know. Is it us getting schlubby, or is it just that we've gotten to know each other too well? Like, you're in the house...

SAGAL: Yeah. It's true.

BODDEN: ...With somebody 24/7 for 20 months, and at a certain point, you're like, I don't even like you anymore.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

BODDEN: Just no. Don't touch me. Go away.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Could be it.

CHEE: I mean, for me, it's because my boyfriend is stuck on that container ship.

SAGAL: I know. You - otherwise...

CHEE: Otherwise, we'd really be going for it.


JOBRANI: For me, it's because every time my wife and I want to do Netflix and chill, she falls asleep three minutes into the Netflix, and then I just end up chilling.


SAGAL: Yeah. That's the problem. It happens literally. Bill, how did Christine do on our quiz?

KURTIS: She's an expert. She got them all right. Congratulations.


CHEE: Yay.

SAGAL: Terrific. Congratulations, Christine.

MCCUE: Thanks so much. It was great fun. Thank you all.

SAGAL: It was great to have you. Take care.



MARVIN GAYE: (Singing) I've been really trying, baby, trying to hold back this feeling

SAGAL: Right now, panel, it is time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Karen, Apple held their big product announcement event this week, and it's just not like what it used to be when they were able to roll out iPods or Apple Watches. This time, the fabulous new technical innovation everybody was talking about was what?

CHEE: Oh, I actually - I don't know what this is. A new computer?

SAGAL: No. They had one.

CHEE: A car.


CHEE: A hat.

SAGAL: A hat.

CHEE: (Laughter) But a cool hat - a hat that tells the time.

SAGAL: (Laughter) I'll give you a hint. It is compatible with all prior Apple products, all future Apple products and basically anything made of glass with a smudge on it.

CHEE: A little screen wipe.

SAGAL: Yes, a cleaning cloth.


CHEE: Oh, what? I didn't know that.

SAGAL: The $19 Apple polishing cloth was the hit of the event. It wowed people with its incredible technical specs, including, quote, "a soft, nonabrasive material that can even clean nanoglass safely and effectively," unquote. Sadly, the cloth only has an hour of battery life, and you do have to purchase a $40 lightning cable in order to charge it.


BODDEN: They actually said that the cloth works on any phone past the iPhone 6. So I guess if you have 1 to 5 and you somehow make it work, it still has to be dirty (laughter).

SAGAL: Right. Yeah. Yeah, they - it's - literally, you can't clean iPhones 1 through 6. You should know that by now.

CHEE: Yeah.

SAGAL: And if you're wondering, you know, come on, even Apple cultists will not pay $19 for a piece of cloth that you can get from, like, the local drugstore for three bucks. It's already on back order for three months.

JOBRANI: That's the supply chain.

CHEE: Supply chain.


OUTKAST: (Singing) Ain't nobody dope as me. I'm just so fresh, so clean - so fresh and so clean.

SAGAL: Coming up, we keep the engine running 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 Maz Jobrani, Alonzo Bodden and Karen Chee. And here again is your host, a man who still hasn't seen the season premiere of "Succession" so, please, no spoilers, Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. Right now, it is 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're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MILES: Hey, there, Peter. This is Miles (ph) from Las Vegas, Nev.

SAGAL: Hey, Miles. What do you do there in Vegas?

MILES: I'm a waiter at an upscale French bistro on the Strip.

SAGAL: Oh, that's cool. And are people coming back to the Strip? Has business come back?

MILES: I mean, it's not pre-pandemic, but it's definitely coming back.

SAGAL: Really?

CHEE: Wow.

SAGAL: Really?

CHEE: Do you ever pretend to have a French accent just to make the restaurant seem more authentic?

MILES: All the time.

CHEE: Nice.

MILES: Well, there's two different types of French accents I do - the over-the-top and the casual - (speaking French) Miles Brown (ph) or, you know, the over-the-top Pepe Le Pew (imitating Pepe Le Pew, speaking French).


BODDEN: I feel bad for people listening to this show who have been to your restaurant and will now find out, wait a minute, he wasn't French?


SAGAL: Miles, welcome to the show. You're going to play the game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Miles's topic?

KURTIS: I love gas.

SAGAL: Fossil fuels get a bad rap these days and not just because I think they murdered the dinosaurs. I've always been unclear. But this week, we heard something that is sure to make fossil fuel fans very happy. Our panelists are going to tell you all about that great news for fossil fuel fans. Pick the one who's telling the truth, you will win the WAIT WAITer of your choice in your voicemail. You ready to play?

MILES: Totally.

SAGAL: All right. Let's do it, Miles. First up, let's hear from Alonzo Bodden.

BODDEN: The environmentalists may have Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl, but the fossil fuel industry has Wayman "Big Tex" James (ph), the most famous elementary school teacher in North Texas. Mr. James, who teaches fourth graders at Ross Perot Jr. Primary School in Highland Park, noted that the new Texas education bill HB 3929 requires teachers to teach both sides of every controversy. So why not the controversy over burning fossil fuels? If they can teach sunshine and windmills, he told Judith Wales at a Dallas Morning Herald, then I can teach rolling coal and burning gas like God intended us to do.

JOBRANI: (Laughter).

BODDEN: Big Texas curriculum includes an emphasis on using cubic inches, not liters, to measure engine displacement. And he ends the unit by taking all 24 kids in his Hummer down to Bill's wrecking yard to show them what real engines look like. He then offered the morning news correspondent a ride in that very Hummer, saying, quote, "hey, little lady, you ever roll coal at a Tesla charging station"?

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Big Tex, who's introduced a pro-fossil fuel curriculum into a Texas elementary school. Your next story of fossil fuel fun comes from Karen Chee.

CHEE: The happiest place on Earth will soon no longer be Disneyland and instead 150,000 square meter oil rig in the Arabian Gulf. That's right. Saudi Arabia's converting a giant oil rig into a, quote, "extreme park," where visitors can ride roller coasters, go bungee jumping and offshore drill to their heart's content. This dystopian-sounding tourist attraction will be called The Rig instead of its alternative name, Six Red Flags. It is also, quote, "the world's first tourism destination inspired by offshore oil platforms" and among its many attractions will be a hands-on experience on how to destroy the local ecosystem. There is no opening date yet because the developers are unfortunately waiting for sea levels to rise enough that it fills up their giant oil waterslide.

SAGAL: The Rig, a brand-new theme park built on an offshore oil rig off of Saudi Arabia. Your last story of good news for gas guzzlers comes from Maz Jobrani.

JOBRANI: These past few years, fossil fuels have gotten a bad rap, so the folks at Shell Oil have decided to wind back some popular support by bringing entertainment to the masses. Recently, they reached out to the producers of the Ice Capades to create a traveling show that's fun for the whole family called Oil On Ice. Oil On Ice tells the story of a Shell Oil executive who falls in love with a local girl when he moves to her remote village in Kazakhstan to drill a well.

But does the girl tell the handsome executive to stop taking their oil and risk losing the love of her life? Or does she marry him and move back to Texas? Well, we won't spoil it for you, but let's just say there's a happy ending for them and for our modern fossil fuel-driven economy. The show's director, Jon Thomsen (ph), was quoted as saying, "yes, oil can be a divisive subject, but when you put it on ice and add music, woo baby."

CHEE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. Here are your three choices of a really fun thing for people who really like their fuels - from Alonzo Bodden, a new both-sides curriculum in Texas, where they require those things now, this focused on the glory of burning oil; from Karen Chee, The Rig, a planned new excitement theme action park built on an offshore oil rig; or from Maz, Oil On Ice, a fabulous skating show about the romance and thrill of fossil fuel extraction. Which of these is happy news for fossil fuel fans?

MILES: I'm going to have to go with Alonzo's story about the Texas teacher. It just feels right for the day and age.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Alonzo's story of Big Tex from Ross Perot Jr. Primary School, who teaches his kids about how great fossil fuels are?

MILES: I know this tone of voice all too well.


CHEE: My second choice is the Saudi Arabian oil rig.

SAGAL: It's Karen Chee's story of The Rig. All right. To bring you the correct answer, we spoke to a reporter who is covering the real story.

JIM DOBSON: It's called The Rig, and it's going to be located on an oil rig that's in the Arabian Gulf.

SAGAL: That was Forbes senior reporter Jim Dobson talking about The Rig, the oil theme park. Congratulations, Miles.

MILES: Woo hoo.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing, and I'll see you the next time I'm in Vegas.

MILES: Thank you very much. Have a wonderful time.

SAGAL: Take care. Bye-bye.


MILES: (Singing) With that oilfield money, seven nights a week, I could sleep when I die. That...

SAGAL: And now the game where people who have done a wide variety of different things come on to do a very small variety of one thing. It's called Not My Job. Ron Howard and Clint Howard were at one time two of the most famous little boys in America. Ron starred as Opie on "The Andy Griffith Show." Clint starred in "Gentle Ben," plus they both starred in endless other TV shows and movies. They have now written a book about their growing up as the apples in everybody's eye, as well as other things they've been up to since then.

Ron and Clint Howard, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME. What a joy to have you back.

CLINT HOWARD: Thank you. Looking forward to it.

SAGAL: So we catch you - and I just found this out - we catch you right before you guys are both going to go down for a screening of, Ron, your latest movie. Is that correct?

RON HOWARD: Yeah, it's for MGM called "Thirteen Lives." It's about the rescue of the soccer team, the Wild Boars soccer team in Thailand two years ago.

SAGAL: Right. Right. Now what I'm wondering about, though, is, Clint, you're going to go down and see your brothers film for the first time. Is that right?


R HOWARD: And what do you do when you see your brother's movie - and I'm sure this has never happened, but just hypothetically - you didn't actually care for it that much. Can you tell him that?

R HOWARD: Oh, oh. That's happened.


C HOWARD: You know, I've never actually gone up to my brother and said, you know, bud, this blows.

SAGAL: Really?

C HOWARD: No, I've never done that. But you know what? Listen. Ron and I have a really honest relationship. And if I feel like something's not working, I throw in my two cents. You know, listen. You know, there's been a time or two - and I'm not going to tell you which movies they were - there were a time or two Ron did not invite me to his friends and family screening.

SAGAL: Really? Really?


CHEE: Wow.

C HOWARD: And, in fact, the time in this particular instance that he didn't invite me to it, I thought he made a wonderful movie. And listen. I'm not just blowing smoke, but Ron is a wonderful director. He's a Hall of Fame director. And my wife Kat I are really looking forward to...

JOBRANI: What movie was that?

C HOWARD: Are you kidding? Are you kidding?

JOBRANI: Which one was the one that you didn't get invited to?

C HOWARD: No. I was told this is not hard-hitting journalism here.


BODDEN: OK. Can you tell us if it was more than one movie or only one movie? Has it happened more than once where he didn't invite you?

C HOWARD: It was one movie.

CHEE: One movie. Can you rank all of his movies in order?

C HOWARD: There's been 26 of them. That's going to take a big chunk of the show if we start running through them all.

SAGAL: Let's - so I am reading your book, "The Boys," which is your joint memoir primarily of you growing up in Hollywood as actors. And I'm like loving it like, oh, my gosh, it's like, oh, in the famous credits sequence to "Andy Griffith Show," you couldn't even throw the rock yourself. They had a stunt rock thrower. I'm loving this stuff. We're talking about it before the show. And Karen Chee here says, and I think I shall quote, "who's Opie?"

CHEE: I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I thought that I would take this opportunity to have you, Ron Howard, explain to our young friend who Opie is.

R HOWARD: Once many, many eons ago, there was a No. 1 television show in the United States of America that took place in a little town called Mayberry. At the center of the show was the sheriff of Mayberry, Andy Taylor, played by Andy Griffith. And he had a son. He was a single dad. And his son's name was Opie. O-P-I-E.

CHEE: Got you.

SAGAL: I need I do want you to know, though, that although Karen had no idea who Opie was, she was all over Leon from that show, Clint. So you should feel...


SAGAL: The thing about your book that is amazing - and because the book is told with such knowledge from your adult perspectives, you forget this - how incredibly young you both were as you became extremely famous and successful. Like, you had your - I'm sorry - you, Ron, were like 5 or 6 when you were cast.


SAGAL: And you're doing "The Andy Griffith Show," and on comes your father who you write a lot about. We'll talk about him in a minute. And he brings you, Clint, onto the set. You're 2, 3 years old. You were 2 years old. You were 2 years old. Why are you both not insane?

R HOWARD: Well, that's - yeah. Well, that's why you have to read the book is because we've been asked that question in one way or another all our lives. And it's a valid question. Clint reminds me that we were always trying to get dad to write a book because everybody wanted to know how, you know, how could you successfully parent a couple of kids in the - and get them through this? He never wanted to. Remember, Clint? He just would just say, you know, he was an actor.

C HOWARD: You know, dad would always say that he was an actor. He was an actor. And another thing too is, you know, we would try to cajole him into maybe even starting, you know, an acting school for kids. And he would say that, you know, no, he did that for us. He was our child actor whisperer because he was our father, not because he felt like he wanted to make a business out of it. And. In fact, he didn't make a business out of it. He charged us a ridiculously minor 5%, which for managers, normally 15% or 20%. And dad charged five.

R HOWARD: Because he said, well, two-thirds of all of that is sort of just what any father should do anyway.

SAGAL: Now I have got to say, though, when they said, oh, we get Ron and Clint Howard on the show, I'm like, oh, Ron Howard, great, Academy Award-winning director, Opie, terrific. Very exciting. But we get Clint Howard, we get Balok from "The Corbomite Maneuver."

C HOWARD: You sure do.

SAGAL: For people who don't know, this was one of the early episodes of the original series of "Star Trek" where the - to summarize a very interesting and well worthwhile plot, the Enterprise is up against a very evil, horrible, ugly alien who is revealed at the very end to be you at the age of - I want to say - 6, 7.

C HOWARD: Yeah. I was 6 years old. But I was playing a 600-year-old alien.

SAGAL: Sure.

C HOWARD: I mean, they made that clear to dad and I that, no, I was playing this alien. And I get it. And, you know, I had a wonderful experience. Although you got to realize, I was - I had already been in business four or five years. I banged out a lot of work by then. And for me, "Star Trek" was just another job. It wasn't until later, it wasn't until actually George Lucas really blew me up at a casting audition one time. I was - I actually went into read for "Star Wars." And I was reading for Luke Skywalker. And I walked into the casting session. And George Lucas turned around. He looked at me, and he went, Commander Balok, "Corbomite Maneuver." And in my mind, I went, George, get a freaking life.


SAGAL: Well, Clint and Ron Howard, it is an absolute honor, I'm going to say, to talk to you both. But we have, in fact, asked you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: Mayberry, Maybe-Not-Berry.


SAGAL: So since you both spent time in Mayberry, we thought we'd ask you about another berry, the evil, poisonous berry of the mistletoe plant.


SAGAL: Answer two out of three questions about mistletoe, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners, the voice of whomever they might choose in their voicemail. Bill, who are Clint and Ron Howard playing for?

KURTIS: Emma Frye (ph) of Phoenix, Ariz.

SAGAL: All right. Ready to do this? And as - you guys can collaborate.

R HOWARD: Oh, we get to team up? We get to get to collaborate on this?

JOBRANI: This is like "Family Feud" meets WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SAGAL: It is. This is where we test this brotherly bond you guys have wrote so movingly about.

R HOWARD: OK, here we go.

SAGAL: First question - the word mistletoe may conjure up thoughts of Christmas, but its name is an Anglo-Saxon term that means what - A, creepy pervert; B, sheep gift; or C, poop stick?

R HOWARD: I'm getting - I got...

C HOWARD: But it can't be creepy pervert.

R HOWARD: No, it's got to be poop stick.

C HOWARD: Poop stick - let's go poop stick. Poop stick.

R HOWARD: OK. Poop stick - we'll go with poop stick.

SAGAL: You guys agreed. That was well done. Poop stick it is.


SAGAL: That's true.


SAGAL: It actually - it's called poop stick, or rather, more technically, dung on a twig because people - they thought that mistletoe grew from dung.


SAGAL: That was very good. And I thought you guys worked together really well.

R HOWARD: We're off to a rip-roaring start.

SAGAL: You are. All right. Next question - in the U.S., mistletoe is mostly these days grown in Texas, where at one time it was harvested by what method - A, imported druids using silver sickles; B, dedicated farm workers dressed as elves; or C, shooting it down from the tree?

R HOWARD: They got it - shooting it down...

C HOWARD: Texas - they got their shooting. They're shooting.

R HOWARD: Yeah. They got a shotgun. They - boom. They can get a lot of that stuff.

SAGAL: You're right.


SAGAL: That is, in fact, how they did it. At one point, they were shooting down the mistletoe. They don't do that anymore.

All right. Last - you can be perfect here. We know not to eat mistletoe berries. They're very toxic. However, the plant can still be dangerous, as in which of these cases - A, a mistletoe at a singles bar in Houston led to a vast outbreak of mono; B, a mistletoe at an elementary school in Oregon led to a vast outbreak of cooties; or C, a mistletoe carried by a drone at a New York TGI Fridays hit somebody in the face.

R HOWARD: You know, I don't stay late enough at TGI Fridays to see the drone kind of action. But I can imagine that somebody wouldn't come up with that one. I'm inclined to go with the drone, Clint. What are you...

C HOWARD: Ron, Ron, Ron. It's No. 1, No. 1.

R HOWARD: What is No. 1 - what is one again?

SAGAL: No. 1 was a mistletoe at a singles bar in Houston led to a vast outbreak of mononucleosis.

R HOWARD: Oh, OK. I'll go - yeah, I'll go with one. I go with one.

SAGAL: Clint, you talked him out of the right answer.


SAGAL: I don't know what that's going to do to your relationship, but he was right. The mistletoe was carried by a drone and hit somebody - the photographer, in fact - in the face. The drone operator says that's never happened before.

Boy, that was an interesting little bit of dynamic. Bill, how did the Howard boys do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, still amazing for the Howard boys. Two out of three - that means you still win.


SAGAL: Congratulations.

R HOWARD: I'm glad we came through.

SAGAL: One more - yeah, I know. You did it in the end - very exciting. Ron and Clint Howard's book is "The Boys: A Memoir Of Hollywood And Family." It's quite funny and moving and informative. Ron and Clint Howard, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME. And thank you, especially, Commander Balok.

R HOWARD: There's something checked off my bucket list. I've done this show.

SAGAL: There you go. Ours, too.

R HOWARD: I love it.

SAGAL: Thank you, guys, both. Good luck with the screening. Really appreciate your time. Take care.

R HOWARD: Bye-bye. Thank you.

KURTIS: Bye-bye.


SAGAL: In just a minute, what's worse than the worst candy of all time? Find out 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 are playing this week with Karen Chee, Maz Jobrani and Alonzo Bodden. And here again is a man who could host this show in his sleep and often does, it's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. Coming up, Bill reminds you Rhyme wasn't built in a day in our Listener Limerick Challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAITWAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, though, some more questions for you from the week's news.

Maz, Lucifer isn't just the name of a show Netflix keeps trying to get me to watch. It's also a very popular what?


SAGAL: No. Yes, he's - certainly, No. 1...

CHEE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...In the ranking of most popular satanic figures would be Lucifer. No, what is the...

JOBRANI: Can I get a hint of what this is?

SAGAL: Aw, he's a perfect little angel that's fallen from heaven. Look at him.

JOBRANI: Oh, babies.

SAGAL: Baby names, yeah.


JOBRANI: Baby names.


SAGAL: Lucifer is an increasingly popular baby name. According to a statistician in the U.K., Lucifer has now surpassed Nigel in popularity for names of British babies. That's right, Nigel Farage, people would rather name their kid after the devil than you.

BODDEN: So that is just in the U.K. That's not in the U.S. - right? - because here people are so hung up on religion, like, if a kid was named Lucifer, that's going to be a problem.

SAGAL: Well, or an advantage. It depends. I mean, Lucifer, the name, means bearer of light and, as such, is a great name for a kid, but imagine the expectations you're putting on him. Yeah, you went to law school, but is that really evil enough, Lucifer?

CHEE: Or actually, the expectations are so low that whatever he does is great, right? As long as he doesn't, like, turn into a devil and send people to hell, like...

SAGAL: Right.

CHEE: ...Whatever you do, everyone's going to be like, oh, thank God. We're so glad you're here.


BODDEN: I think it'd be a great name if the kid grows up to be, like, a wide receiver. Like...


BODDEN: ...In sports, if you're...

CHEE: Yeah.

BODDEN: If you're a Lucifer and you go pro in any sport, that's a great name to have.

SAGAL: That's true.

JOBRANI: It is a great name. It's a great sports name. It's a great musician name.

SAGAL: Yeah, absolutely. Oh, man, have you heard that new album that Lucifer Berkowitz just dropped?


CHEE: Berkowitz?

JOBRANI: I was thinking Lucifer Jones, but OK. Lucifer Berkowitz does work, too.

SAGAL: Karen, The Washington Post brought us heartwarming news from Japan this week that some people are finding good jobs despite their background as what?

CHEE: They were in the yakuza, the mob.


SAGAL: They were.


SAGAL: As the yakuza fades away in power and importance in Japan, ex-gangsters are looking for new jobs. And according to the Post, that does have challenges. One tip - the best answer to tell me about a time you faced adversity in your previous job is never, one time we didn't put enough weight on the body and it floated back up.

CHEE: (Laughter) Oh, no. I hope they're trying to do really wholesome jobs. It'd be fun if they, like, applied to be a babysitter - you know? - and they were like, we've made a huge turn.


SAGAL: So it's trouble when you're like, could you Slack Jeff, and they're like, yeah, you'll never see him again. And you're like, no, no.


SAGAL: Alonzo, according to The Wall Street Journal, people are spending nearly a million dollars on high-end whats for their homes?

BODDEN: Is it a room or is it, like, a thing?

SAGAL: It's a thing.

BODDEN: It's a thing.

SAGAL: Not something you can enter into, at least without scuba gear.

BODDEN: There are million-dollar toilets, bathtubs?

SAGAL: All right, wait a minute. So I said...


SAGAL: ...It's a thing you can enter into with scuba gear, and you went to toilet as if that's something you might want to do.

BODDEN: If you're spending a million dollars on a toilet, you might want to go in it. I'm just saying that.

CHEE: That's huge.

SAGAL: Something that things swim in, but not you, costs a million dollars or more - that price probably...

BODDEN: For a fish tank?

SAGAL: A fish tank, Alonzo, yes.


CHEE: Yeah.


SAGAL: You know, fish tanks, the places where fish spend a few precious moments of life before dying of either too little or too much food, have gone completely luxe. One man spent $125,000 on an aquarium and said, quote, "it's like living art," whereas on the other hand, quote, "no, it isn't. Your house looks like a dentist's office." Since the beginning of the pandemic, people locked at home, sales of enormous luxury fish tanks have shot up by 400%, meaning I guess they've sold four.

JOBRANI: Probably cheaper to just move in to an aquarium.

SAGAL: It might be, actually (laughter).

CHEE: Yeah, move in to the ocean.

BODDEN: When you have that much money, I guess you have to spend it on something.

SAGAL: That's true. You could probably...

CHEE: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: And also, you probably - it's probably a good money laundering scheme. So if you're ever at someone's house and you see a $20 bill swimming through the fish tank, you go, oh, this guy's a drug dealer. He's hiding his cash.

CHEE: Inside the fish tank?

SAGAL: You realize that when you launder money, Maz, you're not actually putting it in the tank and getting it wet.

CHEE: No, no, no, no, no. I like the idea of Maz thinking money laundering is you just wash the money so you can use it.

SAGAL: Yeah.

CHEE: And now it's clean.

SAGAL: Absolutely.


JOHNNIE JOHNSON: (Singing) I'm going fishing. Oh, yes, I'm going fishing. Just grab you a pole and meet me down at the hole, and come go fishing with me. **

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. Or click the Contact Us link on our website. That's waitwait.npr.org. There, you can get tickets for our first live show in Chicago in 20 months. It's at the Harris Theater on November 4. Tickets are on sale now. Once again, that's waitwait.npr.org.

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

ERIN: Hi, this is Erin (ph) calling from Gambrills, Md.

SAGAL: Gambrills, Md.? Is that in the D.C. area?

ERIN: Yes, right in between D.C. and Baltimore.

SAGAL: Oh, I see. OK. So you're on that - you're on the corridor. And do you work, in fact, for the deep state?

ERIN: I work for DOD. I am a policy analyst for the Joint Chiefs.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. Do you get to hang out with, like, the Joint Chiefs? Do you, like, say hello to General Milley on a regular basis?

ERIN: I like to hide in my cubicle.

SAGAL: Oh, really?


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Erin. 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 in two of the limericks, you will be a winner. You ready to play?

ERIN: Yeah.

SAGAL: Let's do it. Here is your first limerick.

KURTIS: Halloween reappears in a dandy form. With this sausage, I feel like a man reborn. I am filling this meat with triangular treats. I am stuffing my bratwurst with...

ERIN: Candy corn?

SAGAL: Candy corn.




SAGAL: You knew what it was, but you just couldn't believe it.


SAGAL: Yes, candy corn. Just in time for Halloween, a Wisconsin market is selling bratwurst made with pork, beer and candy corn. Now, a razor blade in your Kit Kat is the second-worst thing you can find in your bag on Halloween. The candy corn beer brat is the perfect option for when you're so busy, you need your meat, beer and dessert all in one bite.

JOBRANI: Did you just call candy corn dessert?

SAGAL: Yes. Well, when do you eat it?

JOBRANI: Never. I don't eat it. It's disgusting. I don't...

CHEE: It is, yeah.

JOBRANI: And it's not dessert. I've never been, like, at a restaurant and been, like, after this filet mignon and...

CHEE: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: ...Fantastic meal, bring me a candy corn. I've never ordered candy corn for dessert. I'm just saying that.

BODDEN: There's never been a restaurant that serves filet mignon and candy corn.

CHEE: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: Thank you, Alonzo.

BODDEN: Now what I'm wondering, how drunk do you have to be for this brat to work for you? Like, are you at - is this something you - you know, tailgating for a Packers game? It's 20 below. You're freezing. You've been drinking all day and you're like, give me one of those candy corn brats.

SAGAL: Yeah. If you came across candy corn in your brat, you'd assume something went terribly...

BODDEN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Wrong at the slaughterhouse, right? Oh, my God, somebody fell into the machine with candy corn in his pocket.

JOBRANI: I'm thinking you picked the wrong substance. It's not that - how drunk you have to be to eat this; it's how high was the person who invented this in the first place.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: At nightclubs, we're saddened announcers. We cannot kick out random flouncers. There's not enough muscle to help with our hustle. We're facing a shortage of...

ERIN: Bouncers?


SAGAL: Yes, bouncers.


SAGAL: There is a threat to public safety across the U.K. because pubs and nightclubs are apparently running low on bouncers, which is terrible because I frankly would never want to go to a club that didn't have somebody to keep people like me from going there. Bouncers, of course, are responsible for checking ideas and - bouncers are responsible for checking IDs, enforcing dress codes and not knowing who I am.

JOBRANI: I thought that was kind of a - that's a good idea that bouncers should be in charge of checking ideas. So you come to the...


JOBRANI: When you come to the front, he's like, what are your ideas?


SAGAL: Well, I feel like if you just cut taxes on the rich, that will benefit everybody. Get out.


SAGAL: All right, Erin. Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: It's retro to look like a camp van. With skin exposed, I am an amped champ. With my inked lower back, I am on a hot track. People love the return of the...

ERIN: Oh, no, tramp stamp.




SAGAL: With low-rise jeans...

KURTIS: What a score.

SAGAL: ...Back in style, the beloved tramp stamp tattoo is making a comeback, which is great. I've almost forgotten what a butterfly entangled in something culturally appropriated looks like. The lower back tattoo - which is the body's way of saying, look out, the butt crack's coming up - was hugely popular in the early 2000s, featured things like wings, hearts and arrows with the phrase tattoo removal lasers, aim here.

BODDEN: Is - aren't the first generation tramp stamp wearers, like, becoming parents now? Like...

SAGAL: Yeah.

CHEE: (Laughter).

BODDEN: That's...

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODDEN: I mean, it seems they would tell the next generation, like, this is a bad idea. Like, this is something I did and don't.

SAGAL: Well, this happens all the time. I mean, people get tattoos and age. And then they're visible as aged people with tattoos. And yet younger people still get tattoos.

CHEE: Yeah.

SAGAL: I think it's denial that will ever grow up and look that way.

BODDEN: Yeah, but this is a specific mistake that...

SAGAL: Yes, this is true.

Bill, how did Erin do on our quiz?

KURTIS: A perfect score for the perfect analyst. Congratulations, Erin.

ERIN: Thank you.

SAGAL: Well done.

CHEE: Yay.

ERIN: Woo hoo.

SAGAL: Thank you so much. Thanks for playing, Erin. Keep your head down.

ERIN: All right. Thank you (laughter).

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

ERIN: Bye.


THE BYRDS: (Singing) But I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

SAGAL: Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill In the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can. Each correct answer is worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores ahead?

KURTIS: I can, indeed. Alonzo has two. Maz has two. And - wait for it - Karen has four.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh.

CHEE: Woah.

SAGAL: All right. Well, then, Karen, you are undoubtedly in first place. Alonzo and Maz are right behind you, so I will arbitrarily choose Alonzo to go first. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, Senate Republicans once again blocked a blank rights bill.

BODDEN: Voter protection.

SAGAL: Voting rights, yeah.


SAGAL: On Tuesday, Dr. Rachel Levine was named the US's first openly blank four-star officer.

BODDEN: Transgender.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Hoping to avoid a DUI, two twins in France swapped seats in their car after being pulled over by police, but unfortunately they blanked.

BODDEN: They were still drunk. They were both drunk.

SAGAL: Exactly.


SAGAL: They both even had exactly the same blood-alcohol level. On Tuesday, surgeons in New York successfully transplanted a genetically modified liver from a blank onto a human.


SAGAL: No, from a pig.

According to a report, over half of Chicago's blanks could be put on leave for refusal to comply with vaccine mandates.

BODDEN: Police.



SAGAL: After his wife complained...


SAGAL: ...About the view from their house, an architect in Bosnia built a house that blanked.

BODDEN: That faced their house?

SAGAL: No, he built a house that rotates. The man built their new rotating house so that the view always changes, which means in any given moment, his wife could either be looking at the highway or a vacant lot. At its fastest, the house can spin all the way around in 22 seconds, which is great if you're looking for an easy way to fling out an unwanted houseguest.

Bill, how did Alonzo do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Pretty well. Alonzo had four right for eight more points. He now has 10 and the lead.

SAGAL: All right.

BODDEN: You're safe, Karen (laughter).

CHEE: You're doing a good job.

SAGAL: Next up is Maz. Fill in the blank, Maz. On Thursday, the House found blank in contempt for defying his January 6 inquiry subpoena.

JOBRANI: Bannon.



SAGAL: On Monday, the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to block Texas's blank ban.

JOBRANI: Abortion.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, the White House unveiled a plan for blanking kids aged 5 through 11.

JOBRANI: Vaccinating.



SAGAL: This week, a man in Britain was shocked when he opened a bag of potato chips and found blank.

JOBRANI: Cheetos.

SAGAL: No, an entire potato.

Officials in the U.K. say they're tracking a mutation of the blank COVID variant.

JOBRANI: The delta.



SAGAL: On Sunday, the Chicago Sky beat the Phoenix Mercury to win their first-ever blank championship.


SAGAL: You bet.


SAGAL: This week, a couple in India...


SAGAL: ...Were shocked when they returned home from a two-week vacation and found blank.

JOBRANI: There - they had a baby.

SAGAL: No, a note from a burglar complaining they didn't have enough stuff worth stealing. The couple were surprised when they returned from vacation to find their home ransacked and a note on their door reading, why bother locking your door if there's no money inside? The couple said they were relieved the thief must not have noticed their pristine collection of "Star Wars" figurines. Bill, how did Maz do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Five right for 10 more points. Maz now has 12 and the lead.

SAGAL: Question, though, is, how many right does Karen need to win?

KURTIS: She needs four to tie, so that means she needs five to win.

CHEE: Oh, boy.

SAGAL: All right. Here we go, Karen Chee. This is for the game. Fill in the blank. On Monday, former Secretary of State Blank passed away from complications from COVID.

CHEE: Colin Powell.



SAGAL: This week, Donald Trump announced the rollout plan for his new blank platform.

CHEE: Donald Trump's new presidential platform?

SAGAL: No, his new social media platform.


SAGAL: This week, West Virginia Senator Blank said he offered to become an independent if it would help Democrats.

CHEE: Joe Manchin.



SAGAL: This week, a science museum in the UK excitedly announced the sponsor of their new climate change exhibit would be blank.

CHEE: A dog.

SAGAL: A fossil fuel company.

On Wednesday, in response to criticism of its operations, social media giant Facebook announced plans to finally change blank.

CHEE: Their name.



SAGAL: On Monday, the NHL suspended a player for 21 games after he submitted a fake blank card.

CHEE: Vaccine card?



SAGAL: The Spanish literary world...


SAGAL: ...Is reeling this week after famed thriller writer Carmen Mola won a prestigious award and revealed herself to be blank.

CHEE: Three men.



SAGAL: Yes, Karen. After the celebrated author was announced as the winner of the Planeta Award for Fiction, three men took the stage and revealed that they had been Carmen Mola all along. Fans of the author were understandably shocked by the news, but they should have realized something was up because in every interview Mola had done beforehand, she was 18 feet tall and answered every question from a deep voice in her midsection.


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

KURTIS: Well, she had five right for ten more points. She now has 14, which means she is the champion this week.


JOBRANI: Woo-hoo. Woo-hoo.

CHEE: Yay.

BODDEN: Congratulations.

CHEE: I dedicate this win to my friend Alonzo.


CHEE: Yay. Sorry, Maz (laughter).

BODDEN: But thank you, Karen. That's very nice.

SAGAL: Now, panel, what will be the side effect of getting three different vaccines? Maz Jobrani.

JOBRANI: The surprising side effect of getting three different vaccines will be that when you wake up the next day, you'll have three sore arms.


SAGAL: Karen Chee.

CHEE: Your voice changes and sounds just like Bill Kurtis's.


KURTIS: (Laughter) Not so bad.

SAGAL: Oh, I wish. Alonzo Bodden.

BODDEN: The surprising side effect is you won't get COVID, but half the country still won't believe it.


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

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Maz Jobrani, Karen Chee and Alonzo Bodden. Thanks to all of you for listening. I am Peter Sagal. We will see you next week.


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