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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. Forget about Chuck E. Cheese. Put your quarters in me and play Skee-Bill (ph).

FAITH SALIE: (Laughter).

KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host, coming to you from the happy place he escapes to in his mind, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks to our fake audience, who this week are a group who, despite their best efforts, failed to bring Tinker Bell back to life at a community theater production of "Peter Pan." But first, if you've been waiting for that second wave of the coronavirus to hit later this year, well, we have good news - it's already here. They released the sequel while the original was still in theaters and in restaurants and bars and stores. COVID-19 Part 2 is sure to be the blockbuster hit of the summer. Early reviews say it takes your breath away.

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Later on, we're going to be talking to Don Cheadle, who starred in the movies "Ocean's Eleven" through 42, plus the series "Black Monday." But first, we want to hear what wave you're surfing right now. The number to call and play our games is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant.

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

SUE DECATO: Hello. I'm Sue Decato from Tega Cay, S.C.

SAGAL: Hi, Sue. How are you?

DECATO: Doing great. How are you doing?

SAGAL: I'm doing fine. You're from, you say, Tega Cay.

DECATO: Right. It's two words. It's Polynesian - means, like, beautiful place or the good life.

SAGAL: Why is there a town in South Carolina named with a Polynesian word?

DECATO: Don't ask me. I'm not one of the first residents. But...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

DECATO: ...That's what they did. And I heard that when they first sold the lots, they gave everybody a trip to Hawaii.

SAGAL: Really? Not just a...

DECATO: Yeah, it's a great place to live.

SAGAL: Oh, well, I'm glad to hear it. Well, Sue, let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a writer and comedian who stars in the Netflix stand-up special "Warn Your Relatives." It's Hari Kondabolu.


HARI KONDABOLU: Hello. Good to be here.

SAGAL: Next, a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning" and host of the new podcast "Real Good," premiering July 1 wherever you listen to podcasts. It's Faith Salie.


SALIE: Hey, Sue.

DECATO: Hey, Faith.

SAGAL: And a correspondent for "CBS Sunday Morning" and author of the New York Times bestselling "Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving." It's Mo Rocca.


MO ROCCA: Hi, Sue.

DECATO: Hello.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Sue. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. You knew that. Bill Kurtis is going to read for 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 go?

DECATO: I am ready.

SAGAL: Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: Take it down. Take it down.

SAGAL: That was a crowd in Georgia chanting for something to be removed last week. What?

DECATO: It has to be a Confederate monument.

SAGAL: That's exactly right.


SAGAL: One of many Confederate statues. Protesters all over the country have been tearing down statues of Confederate soldiers. But the real question is, why were these statues put up to begin with? Those guys lost the war. This isn't how it's supposed to work. Haven't they watched the Super Bowl? You're supposed to send the losing statues to foreign countries who need them.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: That's why people in czarist Russia got T-shirts that read Robert E. Lee - Civil War champion.

KONDABOLU: I kind of sympathize with these people that support their Confederate statues and their Confederate flags. You know, I sympathize with them because I'm a Mets fan, you know, so I also know what it's like to lose to the Yankees.


SALIE: So now they're going to take down the Teddy Roosevelt statue...

SAGAL: Right.

SALIE: ...That is outside the American Museum of Natural History. And just this week, I was having breakfast in Central Park with my kids, and I was telling them to say goodbye to the statue, which - there's a problem with the composition, right? He's being flanked by a Native American and someone who appears to be African.

SAGAL: I believe the phrase was noble savage, Faith. It was...

SALIE: So there you go.

SAGAL: Yeah.

SALIE: And the thing is, the three men in this statue - I know this is - is this bad to say? They're so handsome. And 2 out of the 3 of them are in a state of undress, but it's a really nice-looking statue.

KONDABOLU: I don't want to fat-shame Teddy Roosevelt, but if they redid that statue with Teddy with his shirt off, I feel like it helps people of color.

SAGAL: Why don't they just redo it with...

ROCCA: You know, the thing is, Hari, that - the thing about Teddy Roosevelt is that's not fat. He's actually what's called a muscle bear, which is different.


ROCCA: That's different. That's different.

SAGAL: The problem is...

ROCCA: I'm telling you, if Teddy went to Bear Week in P-town...

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

ROCCA: ...He would be a big hit.

SAGAL: The problem is, statues are, like...

KONDABOLU: Wasn't he part of the Rough Riders?

ROCCA: There you go.

SAGAL: The Rough Riders - it's both historical unit and an interesting bar in Greenwich Village. Now, many people are suggesting that we replace these problematic statues with genuine heroes like - and I'm serious - Dolly Parton. Yeah, just wait a hundred years when they find out that Dolly only worked 9 to 4.

KONDABOLU: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. Sue, your next quote is from The New York Times.

KURTIS: The nightly booms, bangs and fizzles have intensified.

SAGAL: What is making these nightly noises and driving people in New York and other cities crazy?

DECATO: The homegrown fireworks.

SAGAL: Exactly right - all the fireworks going off.


SAGAL: From cities and towns across the country, fireworks are going off all the time - really big fireworks. It's like we're stuck in a never-ending grand finale, but it's for America. People are going insane. Dogs are running under beds to hide and whimper every night and finding their owners already there. Has this been driving you guys crazy? - 'cause we've been having a terrible time here in Chicago.

ROCCA: No. No. I mean, I live above a Spanish restaurant, so I just assumed they were canastas.


SAGAL: Meanwhile, Macy's, the department store chain, has decided to lend a hand. Instead of their annual fireworks display, which would attract big crowds in an unsafe way during the pandemic, they say - and this is true - they'll do surprise fireworks displays all over New York so people can spontaneously enjoy them.

SALIE: So people can...

KONDABOLU: That's a terrible idea.

SALIE: ...Spontaneously have PTSD.

SAGAL: Exactly. People are like, you know, yes. Who looks around the world and says, you know what we really need right now? Some surprise IEDs. That'd be what we need.

KONDABOLU: Also, depending on the neighborhood you're in in New York, you might get those spontaneous explosions anyway...

SAGAL: That's absolutely the case.

KONDABOLU: ...Because of the violence.


SAGAL: All right. Sue, your last quote is a new rule for America's favorite pastime.

KURTIS: No licking hands.

SAGAL: That's just one of the new rules proposed as they bring back what sport safely?

DECATO: That would be baseball.

SAGAL: You're right, Sue. It would be baseball.


SAGAL: Baseball's coming back with a 60-game season. It's great news for fans of baseball, who will finally get to see some action, and great news for non-baseball fans because, hey, there's only 60 games. According to the current plan, the games will start up towards the end of July with special rules. Both leagues will use a DH, and extra innings will begin with the runner already on second base. Other t-ball rules being used will require each team to sing a cheer for the other team at the end of the game. Two, four, six, eight, what do we appreciate? The income from our TV deal.

SALIE: I love some of the rules they've announced. Like, they need the players not to spit...


SALIE: ...Right? But it's totally OK to, like, rearrange your crotch.

SAGAL: Yes, it is true that one of the things they've said is that players need to handle their own balls, so at least that won't change.


ROCCA: Well, no, no, no. The main thing is you can touch your crotch, but just don't touch your face right afterwards.


SAGAL: But you're right, Faith. There's no spitting in the field, no sharing things like rosin bags or pine tar rags or steroid needles. The Yankees...


SAGAL: ...Will still suck, but they will have to cover their mouths when they do so. And the Houston Astros have to disinfect the trash cans every time they bang on them.

ROCCA: Will you be able to tag someone out?

SAGAL: That is a - I was wondering about that. You know, what - can you reach down and touch them, or do you just have to say, gotcha?

ROCCA: Not it.

SALIE: (Laughter).

KONDABOLU: But are the games going to still be too long?

SAGAL: (Laughter) That - yes.

KONDABOLU: Have you fixed that problem?

SAGAL: There you - no, no. They're going to - no, that - of course, people love what they love about baseball. You might be wondering if you'll be able to go see it. It's unclear. Some stadiums are talking about limiting it to just 25% capacity, which means that each individual Boston Red Sox fan will have to be four times as racist. Bill, how did Sue do on our quiz?

KURTIS: She got us started off right with three right answers. Good going, Sue.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Sue. And stay safe and healthy, please.


DECATO: OK. Thank you. Bye-bye.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


SAM AND DAVE: (Singing) When you hit the ball, knock it out of the park 'cause a single will put you in the dark now. When you swing, swing, swing for the pitch, Lord... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.