Public Radio For Eastern North Carolina 89.3 WTEB New Bern 88.5 WZNB New Bern 91.5 WBJD Atlantic Beach 90.3 WKNS Kinston 88.5 WHYC Swan Quarter 89.9 W210CF Greenville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Who's Bill This Time?

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, summer. Don't forget me. I'm your backyard Bill-becue (ph). I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host, wearing a tie with his work-from-home tank top, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks to our fake audience, which this week is cheering for the 1979 edition of "Battle Of The Network Stars," which ESPN will be desperate enough to rebroadcast by the end of this month. Later on in the show, we're going to finally get outside - at least virtually. We're going to talk with the greatest female rock climber there is right now, Ashima Shiraishi, who of course, unlike the rest of us during lockdown, has been literally climbing the walls.

But first, we want you to rappel down to your telephone. Give us a call and play our games. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That is 1-888-924-8924.

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

COURTNEY: Hi. It's Courtney (ph) from Columbus, Ohio.

SAGAL: Hey. How are things in Columbus, a city we love and have been to many times?

COURTNEY: They're good. Things are starting to open back up.

SAGAL: Yeah. And are - do you find people, like, wearing masks and doing social distancing? Or are they all just, like, French kissing and...

COURTNEY: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...That sort of thing?

COURTNEY: Absolutely. I don't go anywhere without my mask.

SAGAL: Well, that's good. Well, Courtney, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up is a writer and producer for "Desus And Mero" on Showtime and the host of the brand-new podcast "Make My Day," available wherever you listen to podcasts. It's Josh Gondelman.


JOSH GONDELMAN: Hello. Thank you so much for having me. Always a pleasure to be here.

SAGAL: Next, a comedian and host of the podcast "Fake The Nation" whose latest short film, "The Mourning Papers," can be seen at - it's Negin Farsad.


NEGIN FARSAD: Oh, hey. Hello.

SAGAL: And an Emmy Award-winning writer, the voice of Jessi on the animated hit Netflix show "Big Mouth" and the author of The New York Times best-seller "You'll Grow Out Of It," it's Jessi Klein.


JESSI KLEIN: Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for having me.

SAGAL: It's great to have you back, Jessi.

Well, Courtney, welcome to the show. 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?


SAGAL: All right, Courtney. Let's do it. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?"

KLEIN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: That, as I'm sure you knew, are the lyrics to a theme song...

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...For a TV show that was just abruptly canceled after 30 years on the air. What is the show?

COURTNEY: The show is "Cops."

SAGAL: The show is "Cops"...


SAGAL: ...Yes - canceled...


SAGAL: They canceled "Cops." It's like this week one lucky protester was given a wish by a genie and she just wasn't specific enough.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: "Cops" is a long-running reality show in which funny, caring police officers arrest supposedly real criminals who are almost always drunk and often naked. But it's now off the air. Most people celebrated the news, but others say we need a professionally produced show like "Cops" because amateur videos made of goofy police hijinks are too often ruined by all the tear gas.


SAGAL: Have you all watched "Cops"? Because I have to admit I never have.

FARSAD: I mean, it was - it's only been on for 32 seasons, and I feel like you kind of need to let a show like that find its...

SAGAL: Yeah.

FARSAD: ...Audience. And you know, I never found it.

SAGAL: I was told that Season 18 is great, but you have to start from the beginning to understand what's happening. So I didn't want to...

FARSAD: Yeah, right - to understand what happened.

SAGAL: Yeah. Yeah.

GONDELMAN: It's, like, who are these characters?


SAGAL: Yeah, I know. Speaking of cops, protesters and activists are now calling to defund the police. This has freaked out many people - mostly police, who wonder how they're going to deal with jaywalkers without a tank. The idea is to have police just do police stuff instead of the many other things we send them to do that other professionals could do better. It makes sense. But it just won't be the same at the bachelorette party when a studly guy walks in wearing a really unconvincing social worker uniform.

FARSAD: Oh, Peter.

SAGAL: Hello, ladies. Did somebody need some sexy mediation?


GONDELMAN: I feel like we've been letting the strippers be police for too long.

SAGAL: Really?


GONDELMAN: Yeah. We - I want to see other more friendly jobs represented with strippers, right? I think that's - I think we need that. For too long, we've been saying cops are the sexiest job.

SAGAL: Like what, though? I mean, what do you - like, nursery school teacher? That would be gross. We can't have that.

GONDELMAN: I mean, I used to teach nursery school, and I would have loved to have seen sexy representation...


GONDELMAN: ...In the media. I would have been, like, that could be me someday.

FARSAD: Yeah. If you don't see it, you can't be it.

GONDELMAN: Also, I think defund the police is, like, kind of an aggressive, ambitious activist slogan. And I think it's something a lot of people can get behind. But if you can't get behind it, just think of it as a slightly less aggressive N.W.A. lyric.

SAGAL: That's true.


SAGAL: I think that's what they did in their children's album. That's what it was called, actually.

GONDELMAN: Yeah, Kidz Bop N.W.A. - "Defund The Police."


SAGAL: All right, Courtney. Here is your next quote.

KURTIS: "You might want to hit the subway seats with Clorox wipes, chief."

SAGAL: That was somebody replying to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Twitter about the city's plan to do what starting this week?

COURTNEY: Open up.

SAGAL: Yes, exactly right.


SAGAL: So New York is opening back up.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: During the pandemic, many New Yorkers tried to simulate normal city life by leaving bags of rotting trash all over their apartments. But it's not the same. They're excited to get back outside. But according to many reports, people have been using the streets as a toilet since all the restaurants and cafes have been closed. It is very weird to realize the thing that we really miss about restaurants is just having a place to go poop.

FARSAD: These are just - can I just say these jokes are BS? These are from the perch of a Chicagoan, if that's whatever you call yourselves.


FARSAD: And I feel completely offended. First of all, I have not seen one single human poop - maybe just one poop, though...


FARSAD: ...But not more than one on the streets of Manhattan.

SAGAL: How often have you left your house, though?

FARSAD: I say nay, sir. I say nay to your Chicago jokes.

GONDELMAN: And to imply that weren't pooping on the streets before...


SAGAL: That's true.

KLEIN: Yeah, I mean...

GONDELMAN: ...That's the inaccuracy.

KLEIN: ...As a native New Yorker, I must raise my hand and say I, too, noticed that as well. This has always been part of our identity.


KLEIN: Have they opened - are they going to open the pigeons?

SAGAL: What do you mean open the pigeons?

KLEIN: Are they opening the pigeons back up?

SAGAL: I mean (laughter)...

GONDELMAN: The pigeons are phase 4.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah.

KLEIN: Pigeons, phase 4; rats phase 5. I heard that the rats went feral during the quarantine...

SAGAL: Yeah, they did. Apparently...

KLEIN: ...Because the restaurants weren't open, and they were just roaming the streets.

SAGAL: You might have thought you had it bad as humans, but apparently the rats in New York City had been starving to death and there have been rat wars.

FARSAD: How is this not a replacement for the show "Cops"?



FARSAD: "Rats" - bad rats, bad rats...

SAGAL: Now, I'm sure a lot of people in New York are wondering as they open up, what are the rules about getting it on? But don't worry because the New York City Department of Health has a revised standard for sexual activity as we come out of the pandemic.

GONDELMAN: That's what I look at. Forget the Kama Sutra. What does the state of New York say?


GONDELMAN: What's Cuomo telling me?

KLEIN: Peter, I truly can't tell if this is real or these are jokes.

SAGAL: It is absolutely real.

KLEIN: It's in, like, a pamphlet or something?

SAGAL: Yeah. It's - you can download it. You can see...

GONDELMAN: (Laughter) A pamphlet.

SAGAL: I mean, it's guidance for you to pursue. You know...

KLEIN: Oh, I'm going to download it.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah.

KLEIN: Oh, my God - talking dirty on, like, a 311 call.


SAGAL: All right, Courtney. We have one more quote for you. Here it is.

KURTIS: (Imitating Bugs Bunny) "Eh, what's up, doc?"

SAGAL: That's a quote from a classic show now being retooled for the modern age. What is it?

KLEIN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: "Looney Tunes."

SAGAL: That's it - "Looney Tunes"...


SAGAL: ...Courtney, yes.


SAGAL: "Looney Tunes" is famous for Bugs Bunny and Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons. It's being rebooted for HBO Max, but there will be changes. This in particular - they are taking away all the guns. Seriously, in a new cartoon, Elmer Fudd is hunting Bugs Bunny with a scythe. This is better. It's terrifying. (Imitating Elmer Fudd) It is I, the gwim weaper (ph).


GONDELMAN: Yosemite Sam is just going to show up at an old-timey saloon with piano wire - like, all right, who's getting it?

KLEIN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: They are, by the way, allowing cartoon violence, like blowing each other up with, you know, those classic red sticks of dynamite. I think that would be, in fact, a better world to live in. No one is going to rob a convenience store by saying, give me all the money in the till or else I'll run across the street and push down on the plunger over there. And by the way, don't move this barrel I'm leaving right in front of you.

GONDELMAN: I think even the cartoon violence can be too much. I don't like to talk about this a lot. But when I was a kid, I had a friend die running into the side of a cliff that he thought was a tunnel. And it was really hard...

SAGAL: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: ...For me and his family. Yeah.

SAGAL: It's tough.

KLEIN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: On the other hand, you know what they say, Josh - the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is an anvil falling from the sky.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter) I think we should try it. It's better than what we've been doing for...


GONDELMAN: ...Gun control so far.

SAGAL: That's true. Bill, how did Courtney do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Courtney won with (imitating Elmer Fudd) thwee in a whoa (ph).


SAGAL: (Laughter) Congratulations, Courtney.

COURTNEY: Thank you for having me.

SAGAL: Thanks for playing. And we'll see you out there if I can pick you out with a mask. Bye-bye.