Who's Bill This Time?

Aug 1, 2020
Originally published on August 1, 2020 3:51 pm
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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

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BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Hey there, babies. Fall asleep to me. I'm your lulla-Bill (ph) - Bill Kurtis. And here is your host, who keeps a picture of his audience in a locket around his neck, Peter Sagal.

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PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill. And thanks once more to our fake audience, which this week is every person in Chicago over the age of 30 celebrating that Lollapalooza is online this year. Enjoy your drunk vomiting in the safety of your own home, kids. Later on, we're going to be talking to Ramy Youssef, a comedian and actor who, in his series "Ramy," finally lends dignity and expression to a much-maligned minority in America. That is, of course, people from New Jersey. We're more than just mobsters and women with big hair, America. We want to hear from you no matter which armpit of America you might hail from. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant.

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

JEFF CANTOS: Hey. My name is Jeff, and I'm from Savage, Minn.

SAGAL: Savage, Minn.

HELEN HONG: Wow.

SAGAL: I've - I think I've been there, and it's not quite as savage as it sounds, is it?

CANTOS: (Laughter) Not even close.

SAGAL: What do you do there?

CANTOS: I'm an elementary music teacher.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh. Is that something that you're able to do "virtually," quote-unquote?

CANTOS: You know, I do feel like I am my best teacher when I'm in the classroom. But I had an opportunity to jump on Zoom calls, and it was really good to get online and see 15 second-graders after having not seen them for the first part of the pandemic.

SAGAL: Yeah. And I'm sure - you know, I guess one of the nice things of listening to your student orchestra play over Zoom is that you can turn it down and just smile, and they'll never know.

CANTOS: (Laughter) That's true.

SAGAL: Let me introduce you to our panel this week, Jeff. First up, it's a comedian who hosts the trivia podcast "Go Fact Yourself" on the Maximum Fun network. And she can be seen in the Netflix series "Ashley Garcia: Genius In Love." It's Helen Hong.

HONG: Hi. Hi, everybody.

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SAGAL: Next up, he's a writer and producer for "Desus And Mero" on Showtime and the host of the podcast "Make My Day." It's Mr. Josh Gondelman.

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JOSH GONDELMAN: Hello. So nice to be here with you at my house and wherever you all are.

SAGAL: And finally, a comedian and host of the podcast "Fake The Nation." You can also catch her on "StarTalk" with Neil deGrasse Tyson and on this week's "Travel Tales" podcast. It's Negin Farsad.

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NEGIN FARSAD: Oh, my God. Hey.

SAGAL: Welcome to the show, Jeff. 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'll win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to play?

CANTOS: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. Your first quote is from a doctor who ended up much in the news this week.

KURTIS: Most of these diseases are evil deposits from the spirit husband.

SAGAL: That was Dr. Stella Immanuel, who this week, or at least for a moment, became the favorite doctor of whom?

CANTOS: I have to guess Trump.

SAGAL: Yes.

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SAGAL: You guessed correctly.

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FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Move over, Dr. Fauci. The president's new Dr. McDreamy is Dr. Stella Immanuel. She believes demons are having sex with us while we sleep - seriously - politicians are secretly lizards - that's also serious - doctors make medicines from alien DNA - seriously - and the magic eight ball is real.

FARSAD: (Laughter) Wait, can I silver lining this for just a quick sec and point out...

SAGAL: Oh, please.

FARSAD: ...That she's an immigrant? And, like, for Donnie to say anything positive about immigrants...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

FARSAD: ...Was kind of nice, though, right?

SAGAL: You are grasping at straws...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...And I can only applaud you. Yes, it is...

FARSAD: It's a pandemic. Let me have it.

SAGAL: It is nice that this woman came to America and achieved the American dream of spreading lunacy...

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...For profit.

GONDELMAN: Making that silver lining is so heavy clouds are falling out of the sky and crushing cars.

(LAUGHTER)

FARSAD: And the reason Trump retweeted her and loves her is that she was in favor of hydroxychloroquine...

SAGAL: Yeah.

FARSAD: ...Right?

SAGAL: She said - and this got videotaped and then spread by right-wing media - that she has been treating her patients with hydroxychloroquine, and they've all done incredibly well, she says.

FARSAD: Like, how much can one president love hydroxychloroquine? You know what I mean? Like, he cannot stop. It's like he's, like, flirting with it all the time...

HONG: (Laughter).

FARSAD: ...Sending it signals constantly. You know what I mean? It's, like, too much.

GONDELMAN: He does talk about it like he just discovered it on a semester abroad and...

(LAUGHTER)

GONDELMAN: ...Like, can't wait to tell everyone back home about it. It's pronounced hydroxy.

HONG: You know, I actually am starting to really like this woman. I'm going to point this woman out to my Korean parents, who have been trying to get me to become a doctor...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

HONG: ...Since I was 5 and be, like, you know, this is what you want. Come on.

SAGAL: All right. Very good. Your next quote is a bit of reassurance from Jeff Bezos.

KURTIS: I can't guarantee that your data has never been violated.

SAGAL: Now, Bezos was one of four tech CEOs who testified under oath where this week?

CANTOS: At Congress.

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SAGAL: Yes, indeed...

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SAGAL: ...In front of the House Judiciary Committee. The four biggest people in tech testified on Wednesday. That would be Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sundar Pichai of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Weirdly, Alexa...

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Responded to every question with, I'm sorry, congressman, I didn't get that.

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HONG: I can't believe, considering who they are - like, these tech giants - that they - that the Wi-Fi connection actually was maintained throughout the entire procedure.

SAGAL: Actually...

HONG: Like, can't you imagine, like, Bezos being like, oh, I'm sorry. I'm losing you. Hello?

SAGAL: That actually happened. They had to hold up the hearing for 10 minutes because Jeff Bezos, the richest guy in the world - his connection wasn't working.

HONG: I knew it.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

HONG: I knew it. That was by design.

SAGAL: That's what happens when you go to buy a router, and you buy the one the ad placed there instead of...

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SAGAL: ...The good one.

GONDELMAN: He's - it's only slow because he knows that 5G causes COVID-19. So...

FARSAD: (Laughter).

GONDELMAN: This is not fair. I don't think it's fair that they get to testify online because Mark Zuckerberg on the Internet - he's playing a home game. Congress has no advantage over him...

SAGAL: That's absolutely true. Yeah.

GONDELMAN: ...Right? This is where he thrives. Yeah.

FARSAD: What I loved about Jeff Bezos' testimony was essentially, like, hey, guys. Yeah, like, I run a site where everybody on the planet buys everything from me - everything from, like, shoelaces to, like, cheese graters and whatever you can think of. And then I gather all the money. What's the problem? (Laughter).

SAGAL: Exactly.

GONDELMAN: And then he was like, hey, I'm going to need a second to go to the bathroom like I don't let my employees do. Can we break for five?

(LAUGHTER)

FARSAD: Wait. The other thing I loved about this whole hearing was that the Democrats were really, like, anti-tech - the big tech bros - and so were the Republicans. Like, it was a - it was, like, a rare moment of bipartisan hatred of big tech.

SAGAL: Yes.

FARSAD: Like, oh, my God. You guys hate big tech. Like, we hate big tech.

SAGAL: But the reasons, Negin, were really different. The Democrats kept asking the execs about their horrible monopolistic business practices. And the Republicans kept asking them about why they're all so mean to Republicans.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: This is true. One GOP congressman - dead serious - demanded answers from the CEO of Google about why his campaign emails ended up in his dad's spam folder.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Isn't that biased, sir?

GONDELMAN: And it's like, that's just what happens when an old person emails a different old person.

SAGAL: Exactly.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right, Jeff. We have one more quote for you. It's from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel sports section.

KURTIS: Well, that didn't take long, did it?

SAGAL: After only four days, what sport might be reconsidering its decision to finally play this summer?

CANTOS: Oh, that's baseball.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.

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SAGAL: Less than a week into the long-delayed season, the Florida Marlins had to cancel a bunch of games because 17 of their players and staff came down with the virus. That is, of course, the first time some of their outfielders caught anything. So no more baseball in Miami...

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...So at least that remains normal. So many players are now out across the league the Phillies had to ask one of their player's dads to just pitch to everyone.

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HONG: I feel like this was just a matter of time 'cause I heard that they were asking the players to self-quarantine, but there was no checking in on them.

SAGAL: Yes.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

GONDELMAN: The whole plan that Major League Baseball had - right? - was, like, no fans in the stadiums. Maybe if we're real quiet, the disease won't hear us and find us.

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SAGAL: Have you guys been watching any of the games? I'm a big baseball fan. It's really weird. There are no fans. There are fake fan noises.

HONG: Do they do - I was going to say, do they do what we do here on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME - they put in fake audience, like, clapping and laughter?

SAGAL: Yes, they do. They apparently had listened to our show and realized how wonderful and realistic...

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Our sound effects are, so they added them.

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SAGAL: So what it is is if you happen to watch a game, you'll just hear this constant sort of low-pitched audience roar.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: And it's so weird...

HONG: What?

SAGAL: ...'Cause you're like - you're listening, and you're like, all of those people are probably long dead.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: They're cheering for the - it's just...

HONG: Wow. I didn't expect it to go dark like that, Peter...

SAGAL: I know.

HONG: ...But OK (laughter).

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

KURTIS: Well, Jeff, you can now tell your second-graders this is how you get a perfect score.

CANTOS: (Laughter) Yes.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Jeff.

HONG: Nice.

CANTOS: Oh, I appreciate it.

SAGAL: And I hope for everybody's sake you get to go back into your classroom soon but safely. Take care.

CANTOS: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE DROPKICK MURPHYS SONG, "I'M SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.