'Wait Wait' For Sept. 25th, 2021: Bowen Yang Plays Not My Job

Sep 25, 2021
Originally published on September 25, 2021 1:04 pm

This week's show was recorded remotely with host Peter Sagal, official judge and scorekeeper Bill Kurtis, Not My Job guest Bowen Yang and panelists Hari Kondabolu, Faith Salie and Roy Blount Jr. Click the audio link above to hear the whole show.

Rich Fury / Getty Images

Who's Bill This Time
Biden's Sacre Bleu! Moment; The Wheels on the Bus Don't Go; Scotland's New Claim to Fame

Panel Questions
Beautiful Bugs and What To Do With Them

Bluff The Listener
Our panelists tell three stories about new efforts to increase tourism, only one of which is true.

Not My Job: We Quiz SNL's Bowen Yang on Local News
Bowen Yang is an Emmy-nominated writer and performer on Saturday Night Live, so we invited him to answer three questions about the shows that air live Monday-Friday: local news broadcasts.

Panel Questions
Doobies From Heaven; The Pied Piper Pennywise

Bill Kurtis reads three news-related limericks: A Mixed-Up Fruit; A Whiter Shade of Pale; Getting Swole With Cereal

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

After the submarine debacle, our panelists predict how the U.S. will make it up to France.

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. Hey there, internet, review my new album. I'm Bill Nas X, Bill Kurtis. And here's your host...


KURTIS: ...A man who's in mint condition and still in his original packaging. It's Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks, everybody, especially those of you who I can see through your phone's camera. You look great. We are incredibly excited that later on, we're going to be talking to Bowen Yang, the Saturday Night Live star who was voted in high school most likely to be on the cast of SNL. I hope that was a coincidence because if high school superlatives are legally binding, I'm going to be not pictured. We're guessing you were voted most likely to call into a public radio news quiz. So embrace your destiny. Give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT.

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

ALLEN JERABECK: Hi. I'm Allen Jerabeck from Skaneateles, N.Y. It's near Syracuse.

SAGAL: Skaneateles, Skaneateles?

KURTIS: Skaneateles.

SAGAL: What do you do there in Skaneateles?

JERABECK: I build swimming pools.

SAGAL: You do? Wow. Can you tell me, like, the craziest and/or best swimming pool you've done? Like, what did it have?

JERABECK: Probably the one we did for my neighbor - tons of LED lighting, colored waterfalls, a hot tub - the whole nine yards - it's a gorgeous project.


SAGAL: And do you ever get...

FAITH SALIE: Do you swing with those neighbors, Allen?

SAGAL: Yeah. I was about to say, do you ever...


SAGAL: ...Get invited over to the orgies, or not that kind of relationship?

JERABECK: (Laughter) I used to clean it, actually.

SAGAL: (Laughter).



SAGAL: Oh, you have your place then.



SAGAL: Oh, that's harsh. Well, Allen, let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, she is a writer who will be starring in her own off-Broadway solo show, "Approval Junkie," November 16 through December 12 at the Minetta Lane Theatre. It's Faith Salie.


SALIE: Hey, there Allen.

JERABECK: Hello, Faith. How are you?

SAGAL: Next, we're delighted to have back on our show a columnist for Garden & Gun magazine and a member of the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. It's Roy Blount Jr.


BLOUNT: Hey, how are you doing? Welcome.

JERABECK: Hi. I'm doing super well. Thank you.

SAGAL: And finally, he's a comedian who you can see in his Netflix special "Warn Your Relatives" and whose documentary "The Problem With Apu" is available on HBO Max. It's Hari Kondabolu.


KONDABOLU: Hello, Allen. How are you?

JERABECK: Oh, I am doing much better now. I'm excited.

SAGAL: Well, I'm glad to have you, Allen. We are excited. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis 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 - ready to go?

JERABECK: Oh, you know it.

SAGAL: All right. Here's your first quote. It's British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

KURTIS: (Speaking French).

SAGAL: Mr. Johnson was telling another country to just calm down after the U.K. and the U.S. insulted them - what country?

JERABECK: Oh, that would be France.

SAGAL: Yes, France.


SAGAL: Now, I know that a war with France wasn't what anybody was hoping for from the Biden administration, but look on the bright side, if we win, we get their bread. Here's what happened. The U.S. and Britain struck a deal with Australia to sell them new submarines - or as Australia calls them, the boats down under. The problem was to do this, Australia had to cancel the deal with France to buy their submarines. So the French have gone to DEFCON quatre. It's so bad, France recalled their ambassador to the U.S., which means they went, he was a beautiful man; I loved him; it was only one summer, but I was forever changed.


BLOUNT: I have seen lots of submarine movies.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BLOUNT: And I never saw a single Frenchman in any of those boats. So how do they expect to sell submarines?

SAGAL: That is a good question, Roy. We didn't know that France even had submarines. We thought a French submarine was just a baguette that was hollowed out in filled with Chantilly cream. But it turns out they do make submarines. And French submarines are great. For example, they are the only submarines that you can smoke in.


BLOUNT: Really?

KONDABOLU: I don't get what France is so upset about. Let's just think about this now. So the French are upset that the U.S. stealthily took the deal from underneath them?

SAGAL: Yeah, pretty much.

KONDABOLU: Seems like the U.S. is more qualified to make subs.

SAGAL: You're right. They just snuck in there.

KURTIS: You're right.

SAGAL: They torpedoed...

SALIE: Nice.

SAGAL: ...the French deal, one could say.


SALIE: So this is a deal - this is like a menage a trois - right? - that they were not invited to because this is Australia, Britain and the U.S.


SALIE: And they call this deal AUUKUS, I guess.


SALIE: A-U-U-K-U-S, right?

SAGAL: Right.

SALIE: And - so we know why the French couldn't be invited - because then it would be FAUUKUS, and we can't call it that.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Nope. We can't have that that. The crisis was finally ended when Joe Biden called French President Macron and apologized for not including him on AUUKUS - as you say, the name for this cool submarine team - and told him that if he wanted, he could be the team's assistant manager.


SAGAL: All right, Allen. Allen, here is your next quote.

KURTIS: Mr. Mayers, is that a real stripper pole?

SAGAL: Now, that was a quote attributed to an elementary school student who had to ride on a rental party bus to a field trip because of a nationwide shortage of what?

JERABECK: I actually just read about this earlier today - a shortage of school buses - or school bus drivers.

SAGAL: That's exactly right.


SAGAL: Very good - there's a nationwide children's school buses right now, so schools have to scramble. And one school in Boston resorted to using a rental party bus with neon lights...

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...And stripper poles for a class field trip, leading to the question you heard Bill ask. Now, sure, the kids were excited. But the bachelorette party that had booked the bus for exactly the same time, they had a really weird experience.


SAGAL: The kids, though, they loved it. And they had access to a free breakfast buffet with the purchase of one or more drinks.

SALIE: Wait a minute. First of all, Peter, get this right. It was a pahty (ph) bus, first of all,

SAGAL: It was a pahty bus. It was in Boston.

SALIE: Second of all, wait, how - I guess I could understand there being a shortage of bus drivers. But it's not like COVID...

SAGAL: The buses disappeared.

SALIE: ...Took out the bus population. We're - why?

SAGAL: Well, actually, this is what happened. It actually isn't so much of a shortage of buses but of accredited and licensed bus drivers because they got laid off during the shutdown and they went to work primarily driving for Amazon, where the pay is better. So the obvious solution for schools is to order their students from Amazon same-day delivery.

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: And then the parents order them back in the afternoon. Just be careful of those drivers who pull up and throw your kid over the fence.

SALIE: (Laughter) No, I like drone delivery for my children.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Exactly, exactly.

KONDABOLU: I mean, how - so an elementary school kid asked, is that a stripper pole?

SAGAL: Yes. Yes. Of course...

KONDABOLU: At an elementary school?

SAGAL: Yes, it's very alarming...

BLOUNT: Kids today.

SAGAL: It's very alarming that an elementary school kid asked, is that a stripper pole? It would have been more alarming if he had said, what's a stripper pole doing in here?


KONDABOLU: Right, right.


BLOUNT: This doesn't look like a stripper bus.

SAGAL: Wait...

BLOUNT: I'm in...

SALIE: Do you think they started a new children's song that goes like, (singing) the girls on the bus swing round and round, round and round.

SAGAL: (Singing) Then the strippers on the bus say, no touching.


KONDABOLU: They did make modifications. There wasn't a champagne room. It was an apple juice room.

SAGAL: Exactly, exactly. All right, (laughter) Allen. Allen, here is your last quote. It's from a paleontologist named John Long.

KURTIS: The very first act was done sideways, square-dance style.

SAGAL: Now, he was talking about a remarkable discovery that was publicized this week - a discovery that what was invented in a Scottish lake 385 million years ago?

JERABECK: Oh, my goodness.

SAGAL: The clue is in the quote, "the very first act."

BLOUNT: I think it's unlikely because got Scottish lakes are too cold.

SAGAL: Yeah.

KURTIS: They are.

BLOUNT: You know the effect of that.

SAGAL: It is. It's hard to stay - it's hard to get in the mood when you're cold, it's true.

BLOUNT: Well, it's more than that.


SALIE: Thanks, Roy.

SAGAL: Thank you.


BLOUNT: Well, I mean...

SALIE: Tell us more (laughter).

BLOUNT: I've lived in the North.


SAGAL: Any idea here, Allen?


SAGAL: Sex, yes.

KURTIS: Yes, good for you.


SAGAL: Male and female animals had existed for eons to that point. But paleontologists now say they have found the first animals to ever actually, well, do it. They discovered fossils of an ancient pair of fish. One had male parts. The other had female parts. And they clearly fit together. Now it is not that surprising this happened in Scotland. It's also the place where they invented whisky. It's like, man, we were so hammered last night. What exactly did we do?


BLOUNT: I just wonder how it caught on. Was it next day everybody was doing it?


SAGAL: Yeah - the locomotion, as it were?

BLOUNT: Whoa, what's going on in the lake? (Imitating animal noises).

SAGAL: Yeah. All the other...

SALIE: I would...

SAGAL: ...Animals were like, why are you two glowing? Jeez.


SALIE: Look, I once got married in Scotland. It is a very romantic place.


SALIE: When you leave there, your marriage doesn't last (laughter), will it?

SAGAL: Well, yeah, that was your mistake...

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Leaving Scotland. Bill, how did Allen do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Very strong score - three in a row, Allen - good job.


SAGAL: Congratulations, Allen.


SAGAL: Thank you so much

SALIE: Going to have a whisky - see what fits somewhere.


SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing, Allen. Take care.

JERABECK: Thank you, Peter. Have a good one.

SAGAL: Bye bye.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) We did it.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character, singing) We did it.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character, singing) We did it.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) Yay.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character, singing) Lo hicimos.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) We did it.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character, singing) Yay.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character, singing) Woo. Hurray.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) We did it.

SAGAL: Panelists, time for you to answer some questions about the week's news.

Roy, officials in New York are informing residents about a beautiful new insect that has recently arrived in that state. And authorities say if you happen to see this gorgeous new animal, remember to always do what?

BLOUNT: Kill it.

SAGAL: Yes, kill it.


SAGAL: Stomp it to death.


SAGAL: The spotted lanternfly has pale-gray spotted wings that reveal a striking crimson red when they unfurl. It's a miracle of nature that you should murder. That is the message from New York state officials who say it is an invasive species that's going to wreak havoc on agriculture. The New York Times ran the headline "Die, Beautiful Insect, Die," which is great. It's a shame they lacked the courage to do the same kind of headline when Giuliani was mayor.


KONDABOLU: Oh, that was - that felt cathartic.

SAGAL: Think of the trouble we would have saved. You're supposed to squash them if you see them, New Yorkers, then dispose of the bodies and then report it to the parks department. That is dumb. It's inefficient. You should capture the bug and interrogate it to find the rest.

SAGAL: There you go. Follow it. Follow it to its lair.

SALIE: I think that they need different branding because when you - when we all heard about murder hornets, we were like...

SAGAL: Yeah.

SALIE: I've got to...

SAGAL: Kill them.

KONDABOLU: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAGAL: Kill them before they kill us.

SALIE: Exactly - I don't want something called a - what's it called, a laternfly?

SAGAL: No, it's called the spotted lanternfly...

SALIE: Oh, come on.

KONDABOLU: That's not going to do it.

SAGAL: ...Which does sound lovely.

SALIE: That sounds like an Eric Carle children's book.

SAGAL: Exactly, "The Very" - (laughter) - it would terrible if, like, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" ended with, and then it was squashed.


DAVID BOWIE: (Singing) Oh, you pretty things, (oh, you pretty things), don't you know you're driving your mamas and papas insane? Oh, you pretty things, (oh, you pretty things), don't you know you're driving your mamas and papas insane? Let me make it plain - gotta make way for the Homo superior.

SAGAL: Coming up, good news - we invite you to visit our lovely town 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 Roy Blount Jr., Hari Kondabolu and Faith Salie. And here again is your host, a man who - if you listen closely late at night, you can still hear his voice introducing the next segment. It's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: 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!

BRIAN MCDERMOTT: Hi, this is Brian McDermott in Athens, Ga.

SAGAL: Athens, Ga.? - which, I guess, they would call the Athens of the South if it weren't actually called that. What do you do there?

MCDERMOTT: Yeah, I'm a Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia.

SALIE: Go Dogs.

MCDERMOTT: Yeah, go Dogs - exactly. I study teaching English to speakers of other languages.

KONDABOLU: Whoa, that's awesome.

SAGAL: Oh, wow.

SALIE: You know, Brian, both Roy and I had some growing up years in Georgia.


SALIE: And I just wonder if you kind of teach your students both how to say things with a Southern accent and without.

MCDERMOTT: See, that's like - with the go Dogs. That's really not correct because you have to say, let's go, Dowgs (ph).

BLOUNT: You got it.

SALIE: Thank you.


SALIE: Sorry, I haven't been back to Georgia for a while. Thank you.

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

KURTIS: Why don't you come and stay a while?

SAGAL: Towns everywhere will try to convince people to come for a visit - a huge ball of twine, maybe, a palace made out of corn, a superspreader event. Well, this week we found about a place that came up with a brand-new angle to attract tourists. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth and you'll win our prize, the WAIT WAITer of your choice in your voicemail. Are you ready to play?


SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Hari Kondabolu.

KONDABOLU: The Maldives, a low-lying South Asian island nation, is desperate for tourism, especially because with sea levels rising, the next tourist season may be their last. So they've decided to attract the loudest and richest tourists on Earth - Americans. The only problem is, according to tourism ministry representative Faisal Ibrahim (ph), quote, "most Americans have no idea we exist because we have no oil, and we've never been bombed by you." To attract Americans, the nation has decided to become America. Brochures are referring to the Maldives as, quote, "the Indiana near India," assuming falsely that most Americans know where India is. The nation is also adding such chain restaurants as TGI Fridays, Applebee's and Red Lobster, allowing Americans to not eat or drink anything they are not used to, and thus providing an island experience that closely resembles a suburban strip mall.

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: The Maldives, islands in the Indian Ocean, trying to pitch themselves to Americans by becoming a little America - your next story of a tourist trap comes from Faith Salie.

SALIE: Are you looking for your next getaway? Why not head to the hottest destination? - a volcano erupting on La Palma, one of Spain's Canary Islands. The volcano, which has been dormant for 50 years, started spewing lava hundreds of feet into the air this week. Although 6,000 residents have had to evacuate, the Spanish tourism minister, Reyes Maroto, announced that La Palma is safe to visit and the volcano is a, quote, "wonderful show." Indeed - the 500 tourists who just fled the island have left room for you and so many selfies.

The minister added that everyone is welcome and her office is making information available to any tourists who want to, quote, "enjoy something unusual." It'll be a gas. And we're not just talking about the 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide entering the atmosphere daily, according to the Spanish Institute of Oceanography. Book your trip if you and your honey are looking to spark your relationship. The closer you get to the toxic lava, the more you'll want to rip your clothes off.

SAGAL: An erupting volcano in the Canary Islands isn't a disaster. It's an e-ticket. And your last story of visitors come hither comes from Roy Blount Jr.

BLOUNT: Come to socksy (ph) Kyrgyzstan. Next year, after centuries of near secrecy, the whole world will be welcomed to the Kyrgyzstan Festival of Socks. Kyrgyzstan is a major producer of socks in that part of the world, but that hardly accounts for Kyrgyzstani culture's time-honored fascination with socks. Shoes, dirty - feet, stinky - socks are what your mother knits, goes an old Kyrgyzstan proverb.

SALIE: (Laughter).

BLOUNT: For an outsider, it is hard to appreciate the flamboyance or the delicacy of Kyrgyzstani sock dancing, socks puppetry and sock wrestling. So the festival has always discouraged foreign attendance. But these days, I guess, a country can't get along without tourism. Let's just hope the festival's unique charm survives. Don't be surprised a few years from now if it's all Crocs and anklets.

SAGAL: All right. Some place is trying to attract more tourists. Is it, from Hari Kondabolu, how the island of the Maldives - that nation - are trying to attract Americans by making themselves more like America, from Faith Salie, how a exploding volcano in the Canary Islands, although it brings terrible danger to residents, is supposed to be a tourist attraction for the people like you and me or from Roy Blount Jr., how Kyrgyzstan has finally decided to open up its traditional sock festival?

MCDERMOTT: I can't see Red Lobster being built anywhere other than in the U.S. I really can't see that. I know that the volcano did erupt in the Canary Islands. I'm going to have to go with the Canary Islands.

SAGAL: You're going to go with Faith's story of the exploding volcano in the Canary Islands actually being a wonderful thing you should go look at up close. All right. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to a reporter who is covering the real story.

SCOTT NEUMAN, BYLINE: Spain's tourism minister is promoting not only vacationing to the island but specifically the volcano as a tourist destination.

SAGAL: That was NPR's own Scott Neuman, who reported on the real story of La Palma's prize active volcano. Don't you wish you had one?

Congratulations, Brian, you got it right.


SAGAL: You earned a point for Faith. You've won our prize, the voice of your choice on your voicemail - well done.

MCDERMOTT: Thank you so much.

SALIE: Thank you, Brian.

SAGAL: And I know if you pick Faith to do your voice, she can do a very authentic French accent.


SALIE: And Southern.

SAGAL: And Southern - that's it, though.

MCDERMOTT: Go with the Southern - that might be worth it.

SAGAL: Yeah. Thanks so much for playing.

MCDERMOTT: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Take care.


U2: (Singing) Oh, volcano - you don't want...

SAGAL: And now the game where we ask people with obvious talent to answer questions about very obscure topics. It's called Not My Job. So as we said, Bowen Yang was voted most likely to be in the "Saturday Night Live" cast when he graduated high school, which sounds crazy. But then you watch him for just a moment and you wonder why wasn't he actually on "Saturday Night Live" in high school. He also stars in "Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens," whose second season is on Comedy Central now. Bowen Yang, Welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.


BOWEN YANG: Thank you so much. I feel like I would have violated some labor law if I had been working at "SNL" as a teenager, but I would have loved to.

SAGAL: When I heard that, I just immediately assumed that you were an extremely popular and funny kid in high school, right?



YANG: No. That was just my high school's way of using, like, florid language in terms of, like, the superlatives because instead of being, like, prettiest person, it would be like, most likely to be on the cover of Vogue or something...

BLOUNT: That's what I got.

YANG: (Laughter).

BLOUNT: It didn't pan out.

YANG: Oh, that's what Roy got - Roy. But I - yeah, that was just the high school's way of making it seem like an embellished kind of thing.

SAGAL: Did you have ambitions to be an entertainer at that time? Or is that what you were thinking for yourself?

YANG: I kind of - I repressed it. Hari will understand. It was just like an immigrant parent sort of thing where they were like, don't. You're not - there's no reason for you to do that. And so I - and I sort of really....

BLOUNT: What did they want you to do?

YANG: What did they want me to be anything be? Anything but. And so it was an active conversation. And then the first person who actually encouraged me to go in that direction was my dental hygienist.

BLOUNT: Oh, yeah.

SAGAL: Well, wait a minute. OK...

SALIE: Wait. How did that go? Was it when you were in the chair?

YANG: When I was in the chair and she was so sweet and nice and she - and she continued to be my hygienist for years. But she just asked me in a very disarming way, what do you want to be when you grow up?

SALIE: And you're like, (unintelligible).

YANG: Yeah, and (laughter) she got it.

SAGAL: I don't suppose you've heard from her in the last few years when you've become very successful.

YANG: I haven't. I would love for her to reach out. I forgot her name, too. I'm terrible.

BLOUNT: Clarice. They're mostly named Clarice.

YANG: Clarice (laughter). Clarice.

SAGAL: You were first a writer for "Saturday Night Live," which I did not know. When you were a writer, I mean, did you ever have to do those sketches that you're writing for the big celebrity guests? And was ever that intimidating to, like, writing for whomever the big star was in that particular week?

YANG: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, constantly, especially in that first year.

SAGAL: Have you ever pitched something to a celebrity and they're like, no, absolutely not, never going to do that?

YANG: They let you down easy. No one's ever, like, shut something down outright. I mean, the word maybe gets thrown around constantly at that point...

SAGAL: Really?

YANG: ...As a way of just pounding you with the soft poultice of a rejection.


YANG: Yeah.

KONDABOLU: My favorite thing that you've done on the show - and there's been a lot - but was you playing the iceberg that sank the Titanic.

SALIE: Oh, the iceberg.

KONDABOLU: Did you write that, too? Or was that written for you?

YANG: I co-wrote it, but it was Anna Drezen's idea. She's one of the head writers. She texted me back in January of 2021 saying, hey, it's months away, but maybe during the Titanic anniversary, we - you come on Update as the iceberg and you're just very incensed. And I was like, I don't know. What does that even look like? And it was one of those things where we were like, this has no reason to succeed. No one who makes decisions here will ever agree to let this go on TV because it's just ridiculous. For some reason, it slipped through the cracks. And I'm very grateful it did.

SAGAL: Are you, like, worried that you're going to be doing the iceberg for, like, the rest of your career on "Saturday Night Live"?

YANG: I'm not worried about it. I was a little annoyed in the summer, in the beginning of the summer, especially around Pride Month, when a lot of, like, cute guys would come up to me, and then they'd be, like, isn't it too hot for you to be outside? And I'd be like, oh, I thought you were...


SAGAL: Oh, no. Oh, how heartbreaking. It may well be that your iceberg, the Titanic iceberg, is the most popular character for, like, the hoi polloi. But for sophisticates like myself, my favorite sketch has to be the Sara Lee Instagram account sketch.

KONDABOLU: Oh, that one, yeah.

YANG: Really? Wow. Peter, you like that one? That's great.

SAGAL: I thought that was the funniest thing I've ever seen.

YANG: Oh, thank you.

SAGAL: And for people who don't know, the sketch is that the guy who's handling - the young guy who's handling the Instagram account for Sara Lee is posting these insanely sexual things from his own life as Sara Lee. Did Sara Lee enjoy that sketch?

YANG: So unfortunately, one of - what happened was because Harry Styles was the host, and he has a very particularly spirited following, a bunch of his fans commented on the Sara Lee - on the actual Sara Lee Instagram just the filthiest lines from the sketch.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Oh, wait. So I need to explain. So Harry Styles was the guest host. He was playing the guy who was putting the stuff on the Instagram. And this stuff was - can you give me an example of the kind of things he was supposedly putting on the Sara Lee Instagram?

YANG: It would be like, wreck me, daddy. I'm really depressed after this threesome. Why do I feel rejected even though I - you know, even though I'm like, whatever - like, I'm not present when I'm having - like, all these things. But then what's - so what happened with Sara Lee was Harry Styles's fans were posting all these quotes from the sketch on the actual Sara Lee Instagram. And then Sara Lee started to delete - I understand why they did this. They started to delete a lot of these comments, and then people noticed that. And then they locked the account down. No one could comment on anything. So it seemed like the initial response was no, what's happening? Some poor person woke up Sunday morning and was like, what? And it has a nice ending, too, because they sent a whole basket full of Artesano bread. That's the...

SAGAL: That's the good stuff. That's stuff that's in the gift basket.

YANG: That's the good stuff.

SAGAL: Yeah.

YANG: And so they sent that. And then they've had a - we've had a lovely relationship.

SAGAL: Bowen Yang, we're having too much fun, but we have work to do. We've asked you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: Monday Through Friday Night Live.

YANG: (Laughter) Bill, that was - oh, that's amazing.

SAGAL: So you appear live on Saturday night in the season, so we were wondering what you knew about the shows that go live on weeknights - mainly, local news. So we're going to ask you three questions about local news broadcasts. If you get two out of three right, of course, you're going to win our prize for a listener. They get the voice of anyone they might choose on our show. Bill, who is Bowen Yang playing for?

KURTIS: Michelle Seymour (ph) of Seattle, Wash.

SAGAL: All right. Ready to do this?

YANG: Yes. Apologies in advance, Michelle.

SAGAL: Now, the first question is, local news has been wild for a while. Back in 1977, a British newsman had to endure what while interviewing a colorful local? Was it A, being served with divorce papers live on camera, B, the man seizing his chest, having a heart attack and collapsing into his arms, or C, a ferret clamping onto his finger and refusing to let go?

YANG: The ferret feels like a "Monty Python" sketch. I don't know. That sounds right.

SAGAL: Yes. It was, of course, the ferret.


SAGAL: Presenter Richard Whiteley tried to pry this ferret off his finger for a full 30 seconds, which is a long time when there's a ferret clamped to your finger. And he's trying to - he's like, get it off me. And his owner is sitting there - the ferret's owner, that is - saying, oh, he's just playing with you.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. Second question, even the Weather Channel can get into trouble when it goes live, as when which of these things happened - A, a correspondent's hat blew off and he walked off to find it, leading to a solid minute of television showing just a tree, B, they tried to show the implosion of the Georgia Dome and an Atlanta city bus pulled in front of their camera for the exact 10 seconds during which the building fell down, or C, a report from a rare, live, sudden rainstorm in Albuquerque was ruined when the camera panned up and captured the spraying garden hose?

YANG: I mean, the Georgia Dome one sounds too specific for it not to be true.



SAGAL: That's what happened. And if you watch the video, which is, of course, online, it plays like a magic trick. There's a dome. Now there's a bus. Oh, there's no dome. It's amazing.


SAGAL: All right, last question. In 2006, viewers of the BBC witnessed one of the strangest live interviews ever. What happened? A, the guest had just come in to the station for a job interview was mistaken as the guy there for a TV interview, was put on camera and just went with it...

YANG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...B, an anchor in her first day on the job kept pronouncing BBC as buh-buh-cuh (ph)...


SAGAL: ...Or C, when every microphone on the set but one broke, the anchor had to interview the Danish foreign minister while sitting in his lap?

YANG: Oh, it's - I think I've seen C actually happen, so let's go with C.

SAGAL: You've seen a man interview a significant foreign politician while sitting in his lap?

YANG: Wait. OK, then maybe not.


SAGAL: If you had, we would be very interested to hear all about it.

YANG: OK. Oh, gosh. I mean, now I have to choose. I'll say A.

SAGAL: Yes, it was A.


SAGAL: He was just this computer technician who was coming in to interview for an IT job at the studios. And they were like - they mistook him for somebody else, and he sat there and answered questions about the future of digital music really gamely for a while. And weirdly, even though he did this, they didn't give him the job.


YANG: That's rough.

SAGAL: I know. Bill, how did Bowen Yang do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Bowen, you got three, right. That is...

YANG: Woo-hoo.

KURTIS: ...Rare and terrific.

SAGAL: Congratulations.

YANG: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bowen Yang is an Emmy-nominated writer and performer on "Saturday Night Live." You can also see him in - as Edmond in "Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens." New episodes air Wednesdays on Comedy Central. Bowen Yang, you are so much fun and we are so grateful you stopped by and talk to us. Thank you so much.

YANG: Bye, guys.

KURTIS: Bye-bye.

SAGAL: We really appreciate it. Take care.


CELINE DION: (Singing) Every night in my dreams...

SAGAL: In just a minute, Bill sets a new world record in Olympic power snacking in the Listener Limerick Challenge game. 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 Roy Blount Jr., Hari Kondabolu and Faith Salie. And here again is your host - and we shall warn you, was manufactured in a facility that also processes nuts - it's Peter Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. In just a minute, Bill takes a sip of pinot grhymeo (ph) and reminds us it's rhyme o'clock somewhere in our Listener Limerick challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Roy, students at a high school in Virginia were surprised when what suddenly came down from the sky and landed on the school grounds?

BLOUNT: The assistant principal?

SAGAL: (Laughter) There he is.


SAGAL: We haven't seen him for a week. No, not the assistant principal.

BLOUNT: Something came down - was it animal, vegetable or mineral?

SAGAL: It was a vegetable, now that you mention it.

BLOUNT: Vegetable.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BLOUNT: A beet.

SAGAL: No. I'll give you a hint. It fell from up high - super, super high.

BLOUNT: Super high, like heaven?

SAGAL: Yeah. Yeah.

BLOUNT: High - oh, it was a good thing full of - bale of marijuana.

SAGAL: That's exactly what it was.


SAGAL: It was a huge bunch of weed.


SAGAL: It landed right there at the high school. At least eight students at the school now believe in God.


SAGAL: What happened...


SAGAL: ...Was this drone just flew out of nowhere and just landed right in the middle of the high school grounds, carrying this enormous bag of marijuana or, as these students called it, a sufficient bag of marijuana.

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Authorities believe the drone was supposed to land at this prison that was about 1,000 yards away. Finally, a happy drone strike mishap story.

SALIE: Can I ask you a question? When did - when were we all supposed to start calling it weed?

BLOUNT: When your children get to be old enough to tell you what to call it.

SALIE: Yeah, right.

KONDABOLU: I referred to it as pot the other day, and my partner laughed at me for several minutes.

SAGAL: Yeah.

SAGAL: Bill, what do you call it?


SAGAL: Bill calls it a typical Saturday afternoon, that's what he calls it.



KURTIS: If I could get a parking place.


SAGAL: All right. Hari, a new school opened up in Singapore and they wanted to promote themselves, so they sent whom to stand outside other schools and try to entice the kids to come over and give them a try?

KONDABOLU: Was the person - was it a naked person?

SAGAL: No, it was not a naked person.

KONDABOLU: Can I get a hint?

SAGAL: Well, I think they presumed that these would be attractive and amusing to children. They were wrong.

KONDABOLU: Clowns - was it clowns?

SAGAL: Yes, exactly right.


KONDABOLU: That's a terrible idea.


SAGAL: It's a terrible idea, but let's....

SALIE: Much more alarming than naked people.

KURTIS: ...Before we judge them, let's hear the whole story. This is from The Washington Post, quote, "multiple clowns have been spotted loitering outside schools in Singapore, staring intently, approaching and asking young children to follow them." OK, that's bad. That's really bad. Yes. The school sent these clowns to elementary schools around the city state of Singapore to try and recruit children. After police were called and parents protested, the director of the school apologized and ended this campaign of recruitment. From now on, they'll just drive to the other schools in an old van and tell kids, if they come inside, they can get candy.

SALIE: And the school that sent them was a school of speech.

SAGAL: Yeah, it was a new language academy.

SALIE: And you send clowns, like, who...

SAGAL: Yeah.

SALIE: ...Generally do their thing by not talking. I mean...

SAGAL: Yeah, I mean, who - I mean, who came up with this? Like, you know what kids like? Kids like clowns. Kids like clowns, right? What do we do? We'll send clowns and we'll just have them stare at the kids and that will peak the kids' curiosity. Oh, why is this clown staring? What amusing thing does this clown have to say?

KONDABOLU: Wait, why are children making their own school registration decisions?

SAGAL: That's also true.


SAGAL: And what happens when a child goes home and says, mom, crazy thing happened today?

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Sitting in the classroom and I look out the window and there's this clown.

SALIE: Staring at me.

SAGAL: And he's staring at me, and I just feel that he wants me to follow him. So, of course, I get up.

BLOUNT: And that was was when they dropped a bale of weed.


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, waitwait.npr.org. For more, WAIT WAIT... in your week, follow us at @waitwait on Twitter and @waitwaitnpr on Instagram. There you can get guest updates, show news and Bill's tip for the perfect no-makeup makeup look.

KURTIS: It's all about highlighting.


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

ABBY: Hi there. How are you guys?

SAGAL: We're great. Who's this?

ABBY: This is Abby (ph). I'm from Milwaukee, Wis.

SAGAL: Hey, Abby. How are you?

SALIE: Hello.

ABBY: You know, I was doing great until you planted that image of the clown in my head. And now...


ABBY: ...I'm freaking out. I don't think I'll be able to sleep at night.

SAGAL: We all we all just need to take a second. Just...

ABBY: I know.

SAGAL: ...It's weird.

ABBY: I know.

SAGAL: Anyway, welcome to the show, Abby.

ABBY: Thank you.

SAGAL: 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'll be a winner. You ready to play?

ABBY: I am.

SAGAL: All right, here's your first limerick.

KURTIS: With this fruit, my five senses still grapple. It's a mango that's small, red and dappled. And this is the gem-a (ph). It tastes like banana. This mango that looks like an...

ABBY: Apple.



SAGAL: If you've ever taken a bite out of the fruit and wished that it was just confusing, you can enjoy this new mango that looks like an apple but tastes like a banana. This week, a farmer in India announced he had created this new type of mango without all the pesky things you enjoy about a mango. The mangoes are palm-sized. They're green. They're perfectly round, just like a small Granny Smith apple. And the inside is soft and sweet, just like a banana. And also like a banana, they're fine.

KONDABOLU: I refuse to believe a mango is just fine, Peter.

SAGAL: Well, that's the thing. I mean, I love a mango. But we were talking about this earlier. I want to see if you agree. Nobody loves bananas. We like bananas.


SAGAL: If there's a banana to eat and there's no better fruit, we will eat that banana with some pleasure. But nobody's like, oh, basket of fruit. Where are the bananas? Where are the bananas? Let me get the plums and peaches out of the way.

KONDABOLU: It's a bit of a filler fruit. It's a bit of a filler fruit.

SAGAL: Yeah, that's what I'm saying.


SAGAL: Yeah.

BLOUNT: Bananas are very big in comedy, however.

SAGAL: That is true.

KONDABOLU: That's true.

BLOUNT: Top banana, banana peel.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BLOUNT: I just thought I'd toss that in. This being a funny program, I thought that might be of interest.


KURTIS: Sort of a pick-me-up.

BLOUNT: That's right. Nobody slips on a mango peel.

SAGAL: It's true. It's true. All right. Let's move on to the next limerick.

BLOUNT: In sunlight, it's really quite bright. And then it just glows through the night. Our paint breaks the rules. It reflects rays and cools. We have just made the world's whitest...

ABBY: Light.

SAGAL: Not light. World's whitest...

ABBY: Oh, no.

SAGAL: What?

ABBY: I said, oh, no.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know you did. But you said it in such alarm I was afraid somebody burst into the room or you'd seen a clown outside your window.

ABBY: I'm alarmed because I was just bragging to my husband about how when I listen to the limericks on the radio, I never get them wrong.

SAGAL: This is an absolutely common experience. People play at home. They go, oh, my God, it's so easy. Sometimes they even say, why can't this person get it? It's so obvious. They get on the phone with us, and all of a sudden...


ABBY: Humility goes out the window.

SAGAL: It's OK. There's one more to go. I'll just give it to you. It's the world's whitest white.


SAGAL: Scientists at Purdue University have created the world's whitest paint. It's so white that a wall covered in the paint reflects over 98% of solar radiation, while also questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election.


KONDABOLU: That's Hari Kondabolu laughing right now, by the way.

SAGAL: There you are. The color is called - it's not official yet, but it's called Joe Biden's teeth.


SAGAL: Actually reflects more heat than it absorbs, so as a result, it actually cools down the surfaces it is applied to. It potentially eliminates the need for air conditioning.

BLOUNT: Where does the heat go?

SAGAL: The heat goes back into the air - right? - because you know how...

BLOUNT: I feel like that would make the air hot. I mean, you would get hot.

SALIE: Which is, frankly, very selfish.

SAGAL: Don't walk in front of the house. That's terrible. But inside the house should be fine. All right. Here is your final limerick.

KURTIS: For workouts, I don't eat spiced, wispy meat. No. Instead, I consume a nice, thrifty sweet. The marshmallow goo is the cereal's glue. When I work out, I eat a...

ABBY: Rice Krispie Treat.


KURTIS: Exactly.


SAGAL: Very good. The hottest fitness trend on TikTok is eating a Rice Krispie Treat before your workout, because why have muscles when you could have marsh-muscles? One weightlifter on his TikTok claims it gives you, quote, "an insane pump," unquote, and that eating one in the parking lot of the gym let him beat his personal record for barbell squats by 30 pounds. Now, other, more nutritionally savvy gym-goers got onto TikTok to say, no. It's just a sugar rush, they said while drinking their 5,000-calorie acai berry protein smoothie.

SALIE: I have no criticisms.

SAGAL: Really?

SALIE: Rice Krispie Treats are unassailable.

SAGAL: Yeah. And if you work out hard enough, you can snap, crackle, pop your ACL.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Abby do in the end?

KURTIS: Abby came back - two out of three. That means you have won, Abby.


ABBY: Thank you.

SAGAL: Congratulations.

ABBY: I'm glad I redeemed myself at the end there.

SAGAL: Oh, yes, absolutely.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Thank you so much, Abby.

ABBY: Thank you, guys. Bye.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

KURTIS: Bye-bye, Abby.


FERGIE: (Rapping) When I come to the club, step aside.


FERGIE: (Rapping) Part the seas. Don't be having me in the line.


FERGIE: (Rapping) VIP 'cause you know I gotta shine.


SAGAL: Now on to 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 now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

KURTIS: Sure can - Roy has two. Hari has three. Faith has three.

SAGAL: All right. Roy, you're in third place. You're up first. The clock will start. When I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. On Monday, California reported that they had the lowest blank rates in the country.

BLOUNT: Infection from COVID.



SAGAL: On Thursday, Republicans in Wisconsin backed three different investigations into the results of the blank.

BLOUNT: 2020 election.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: In an effort to fight climate change, China has vowed to stop funding blank plants abroad.

BLOUNT: Coal plants.



SAGAL: Coal plants...

BLOUNT: Nice (ph).

SAGAL: ...Very good. After thousands took to the streets to protest its consolidation of power, the president of El Salvador blanked.

BLOUNT: Stepped down.

SAGAL: No. He updated his Twitter bio to read, quote, "the coolest dictator in the world."


KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

BLOUNT: You got to give him credit.

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: On Tuesday, emergency workers in California said the Sequoia National Park's giant forest area was unscathed by nearby blanks.

BLOUNT: Forest fire.



SAGAL: On Thursday, the EU proposed mandating one universal blank for all cellphones.


SAGAL: Yeah, good enough - charging cable.


SAGAL: Russian authorities have arrested...


SAGAL: ...A traffic officer in suspicion of bribery after they discovered blank in his home.

BLOUNT: Money.

SAGAL: No. They discovered a solid gold toilet.

KONDABOLU: Oh, my God.


SAGAL: Also, his home is a mansion. OK, he was a senior traffic officer. But you have to admit it looks suspicious. Authorities say this guy led a gang of six people who sold special traffic passes to truckers so they wouldn't have to stop for inspections. So listen up, crooked cops. If you don't want to get caught, just learn to live with the porcelain.

Bill, how did Roy do on our quiz?

KURTIS: He had five right - 10 more points. He now has 12...


KURTIS: ...And the lead.

BLOUNT: All right.


SAGAL: All right. So, Hari, you're going to be up next. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, the first lawsuit testing blank's new abortion ban was filed.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Wednesday, the FDA authorized blank shots of the Pfizer vaccine for seniors and high-risk individuals.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, Amazon said they would lobby the government to legalize blank.

KONDABOLU: Marijuana.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: After searching for a man who stole a prosthetic leg, police in Oklahoma are pretty sure they found the right guy because he blanked when they found him.

KONDABOLU: He started crying?

SAGAL: No, he - because when they found him, he had a prosthetic leg strapped to his head.


SAGAL: After becoming a hit during the pandemic, Netflix announced plans for season 2 of the documentary series blank on Thursday.

KONDABOLU: "The Tiger Hunter"?

SAGAL: "Tiger King," yes.

KONDABOLU: "Tiger King."

SAGAL: "Tiger King."


SAGAL: This week, police...


SAGAL: ...In Indiana arrested a man after he called 911 four times in one night to report blank.

KONDABOLU: That he, in fact, was the whitest white.

SAGAL: No. This guy called...

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...911 to report that he was very tired.


KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: The man called...

SALIE: I feel that.

SAGAL: ...Four times in the span...

BLOUNT: I've been there, yeah.

SAGAL: ...Of just a few - we have all been there.


SAGAL: The man called four times in the span of just a few hours to tell the emergency responders that he was really pretty tired. He's now been arrested and sentenced to two months in prison for misuse of the emergency system.

SALIE: (Sighing).

SAGAL: What do you think he's going to do with his one phone call?

BLOUNT: (Laughter).

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

KURTIS: Well, Hari had four right for eight more points. He now has 11. But Roy still has the lead with 12.


BLOUNT: All right.

SAGAL: All right. And, Bill, how many does Faith need to win?

KURTIS: She needs five to win.

SAGAL: OK, Faith, this is for the game. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against The New York Times and his niece for sharing his blanks.

SALIE: Oh, his tax returns.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Tuesday, the House unanimously passed a bill aiding the U.S. diplomats in blank who were affected by a mysterious illness in 2016.

SALIE: Cuba - I don't know.

SAGAL: Yes, Cuba.


SAGAL: It was the Havana syndrome thing. This week, the Office of Veterans Affairs said that anyone discharged under the military's abandoned blank policy are now eligible for full benefits.

SALIE: "Don't ask, don't tell."

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Thursday, a senior diplomat to blank resigned in protest of the White House's harsh deportation policies.

SALIE: Haiti.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: According to a leaked memo, Tim Cook warned that Apple employees who are caught blanking would be fired.

SALIE: Leaking memos?

SAGAL: Exactly.


SAGAL: After 14 days of testimony, a jury found real estate heir and subject of "The Jinx," blank, guilty of murder.

SALIE: Oh - Durst.

SAGAL: Yes, Robert Durst.


SAGAL: On Tuesday, fast-food chain blank announced plans to stop offering plastic toys in Happy Meal boxes.

SALIE: Mcdonald's.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, two men in Mississippi...


SAGAL: ...Were excited to find a car by the side of the road with a sign that said free car.

SALIE: (Laughter) This...

SAGAL: But they were less excited when they got at home and discovered blank.

SALIE: A body in the boot - in the trunk.

SAGAL: Yes, a body in the trunk.


SAGAL: The two men could not believe their luck when they found this car with keys in the ignition and a sign saying free car right there - take it. Unfortunately, the sign did not mention the free dead body that came with it in the trunk. Police don't know exactly what happened. But it's possible the sign was supposed to say free Carl, and they ran out of ink.




SAGAL: Sorry, Carl. Bill, did Faith do well enough to win?

SALIE: She had eight right, for 16 more points. And that means, with a total of 19, she is the champion this week.


BLOUNT: All right.

SAGAL: That's amazing. That was a perfect round, Faith.

Now, panel, how will the U.S. make amends with France - Hari Kondabolu?

KONDABOLU: They'll ban Pepe Le Pew cartoons since they essentially claim Frenchmen are foul-smelling sex offenders.

SAGAL: Roy Blount Jr.?

BLOUNT: We will liberate them one more time.

SAGAL: And Faith Salie?

SALIE: We're going to return Louisiana.

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

SAGAL: Thank you so much, Bill Kurtis. Thanks also to Faith Salie, Roy Blount Jr. and Hari Kondabolu. And thanks to all of you out there for listening. I am Peter Sagal. We'll see you next week.


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