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Who's Bill This Time

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Hey, mountain climbers - summit this. I'm Mount Bill-imanjaro (ph)...


KURTIS: ...Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you so much, Bill.


SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. Thank you all so much. We have got a fabulous show for you today. We are back, refreshed and ready after a restful week that we just spent Googling, can you live without inhaling?


SAGAL: Later on, we're going to be talking to actor Will Arnett, famous for being the voice of BoJack Horseman and Lego Batman, as well as a star of "Arrested Development." But first, we want to hear your voiceover. Give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant.

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

RANDOLPH MEIKLEJOHN: Hi. This is Randolph Meiklejohn from Brookline, Mass.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Brookline? I know it well, Randolph.

MEIKLEJOHN: They're pretty good. We're having early voting here statewide.

SAGAL: Are you really?


SAGAL: And have you early voted?

MEIKLEJOHN: I have not.

SAGAL: You have not.


MEIKLEJOHN: I like to see my neighbors at the polls.

SAGAL: That's nice. Well, welcome to the show, Randolph. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, she's a style reporter for The Washington Post. It's Roxanne Roberts.



SAGAL: Next, he's a writer for "Big Mouth" and stars in "Sunnyside" on Hulu right now. Let's welcome back Joel Kim Booster.


SAGAL: Finally, it's the host of the daily podcast TBTL and the public radio variety show Live Wire, which will be at the Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland, Ore. on March 5. That's Luke Burbank.

LUKE BURBANK: Hey, Randolph.


BURBANK: You know, Joel's name also has an oo (ph) in it. Share the love, audience.


KURTIS: Booster.

SAGAL: They want to make sure that you know you're special.

BURBANK: OK. It feels good. Thank you.

SAGAL: All right, Randolph. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from this week's news.


SAGAL: 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. Are you ready to play?


SAGAL: All right. Your first quote is from President Trump. And he said it while he was pointing at Mike Pence on Wednesday evening.

KURTIS: Wish him good luck.

SAGAL: The president was generously giving Vice President Pence the job of managing what?

MEIKLEJOHN: The coronavirus.

SAGAL: Yes...


SAGAL: ...The coronavirus.


SAGAL: Or, as they call it, COVID-19...


SAGAL: ...To use its AOL screen name.


BURBANK: Yeah. I like the idea that it went through 18 tries...

SAGAL: Yes, exactly.

BURBANK: ...COVID, and, like...

SAGAL: We've got it. The viral infection, of course, has spread out of China, infecting thousands with the disease and millions more with stupidity.


SAGAL: There are people in America refusing to go to Chinese restaurants because the disease started in China. Guys, calm down. P.F. Chang is not a real person.


SAGAL: And you won't get the virus there...


SAGAL: ...Well, not that virus.


BOOSTER: As an Asian person...


BOOSTER: ...With a cold right now, I have to say I've never felt more powerful in an airport.


SAGAL: Really?

BOOSTER: Just sneezing while making eye contact with white women getting off...


BOOSTER: ...A whole row to myself.

SAGAL: That's fabulous.

BOOSTER: Whole plane's evacuated.


SAGAL: Now, you might be wondering how Mike Pence got this important responsibility. Well, he - the president gave it to him after telling people in the White House that the vice president, quote, "didn't have anything to do..."


SAGAL: ...Unquote. That's true. Trump is such a bad parent.


SAGAL: Daddy, I'm bored. Fine. Here, run this massively complex program for which you have no expertise. This is how Barron ended up being in charge of the Coast Guard.


SAGAL: Now, as you know - as you probably know, I should say - the president held this press conference because he's really concerned about the stock market. So he had this press conference, which he wanted to project calm and control. The federal government is on top of it. And the stock market responded by dropping the largest single day drop in points in history on Thursday. Three more press conferences like that, and we will be back to bartering with shells.


BOOSTER: Everybody in my generation was like - saw that, and was, like, oh, no. Our retirement funds?


SAGAL: Actually, I think at this point, dying of coronavirus is a workable...


SAGAL: ...Retirement plan.


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


KURTIS: Oh, so this is what Thanksgiving at white people's houses is like.

SAGAL: That was CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams talking about what argumentative shout-fest on Tuesday evening?

MEIKLEJOHN: The Democratic debate.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed...


SAGAL: ...The Democratic debate, Randolph. Very good.


SAGAL: Each Democratic debate seems to be getting more and more combative and shouty. If they continue like this, the final one next month will be held in the octagon.


SAGAL: Amy Klobuchar will seize the nomination after she finally chokes out Pete Buttigieg.


SAGAL: But the best thing you can say about this particular disastrous debate was that for once, it wasn't primarily the candidates' fault. Instead, people blame the moderators - an all-star group of CBS News reporters - and, for some reason, Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker.


SAGAL: The moderators lost control early on. They refused to rein in the candidates or keep in any order. They were like substitute teachers who didn't even have the foresight to bring a movie.


ROBERTS: There was some genuine dislike on that stage.

SAGAL: There really was.

ROBERTS: I had the feeling, like, for the first time, it was kind of like the only thing that was sort of missing is somebody just bitch-slapping somebody.


ROBERTS: They were - people were mad.

SAGAL: It would have been great to see Elizabeth Warren try to give a strong backhand to Mike Bloomberg and misjudging, and her hand just goes right above his head.


BOOSTER: Listen. I don't think that Amy Klobuchar would make an incredible president, but I do think she should be made secretary of spanking Pete Buttigieg.

SAGAL: Really?


BOOSTER: No matter who wins, I think that's a new cabinet position that Amy is uniquely qualified for.

SAGAL: It really is like "Real Housewives Of The Democratic Party," expecting a full-on...


BURBANK: They...

SAGAL: ...Full-on hair pull. Although I think that Amy's antipathy for Pete is now exceeded by Elizabeth Warren's hatred of Mike Bloomberg.


SAGAL: She hates Mike Bloomberg.

BURBANK: Got - what did - like, those Mike Bloomberg ads are so - like, they're trying to make Mike Bloomberg seem relatable.

SAGAL: Right.

BURBANK: So they're, like, oh, what's happened to people? Oh, financial insecurity. At 39, Mike Bloomberg was fired, and then he started his own business. I was, like, what did they fire him for? Like...

ROBERTS: He got - I will tell you exactly...

BURBANK: Stealing office supplies?


BURBANK: What'd he do?


ROBERTS: No. He got squeezed out in a Wall Street merger, and he walked away with $10 million.

BURBANK: That's the firing?

SAGAL: That's the firing?


SAGAL: That is very relatable.


ROBERTS: That is the firing.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BOOSTER: I will say I do relate to Mike Bloomberg because I did spend an outrageous amount of money to go to theater school, where I was humiliated on stage.


BOOSTER: So you can't deny.

SAGAL: All right, Randolph. Here is your last quote.

KURTIS: Give us your grumpiest old men. Give us your goldenest (ph) girls.

SAGAL: That was the head of reality TV at ABC announcing a new version of what show, but this time just for seniors?

MEIKLEJOHN: Boy, I'm going to need a hint for this one.

SAGAL: Well, if you get this question right, Randolph, I will give you a rose.

MEIKLEJOHN: Is it "The Bachelor?"

SAGAL: It is "The Bachelor," yes.


SAGAL: "The Bachelor," of course, is the very popular show where handsome men and women are bred with each other to create a super race of beautiful, shallow people.


SAGAL: They will have a new edition for people 65 and older. This is not a new concept - just picture Tuesday's Democratic debate but with more kissing.


BURBANK: That's what that debate was missing, honestly, this week.

SAGAL: Kissing?

BURBANK: Zero make-out sessions, zero roses.

BOOSTER: Ew. Who would you want to see make out on that stage?

SAGAL: That's the problem.


ROBERTS: OK, so here's my question about this show. Since sex is such a huge part of the real "Bachelor," all right, if you sort of take away all the fake boobs and the fantasy suites, what do you got for...

SAGAL: Well, it's just...

BOOSTER: Who says you're taking away any of that?

BURBANK: Exactly.


BURBANK: That's so ageist of you.


BOOSTER: Wasn't there, like, that outbreak of chlamydia...


BOOSTER: ...In a nursing home a couple years ago? Like...


BOOSTER: That's where they got the inspiration for...

SAGAL: Roxanne...

BOOSTER: ...The version.


SAGAL: Older - the older contestants will have a fantasy suite. It'll just be two BarcaLoungers, an HDTV and a phone on which their grandchildren call every day.


BOOSTER: I like how they haven't had a nonwhite bachelor or bachelorette yet, but they're, like, what else can we do? Oh, I know...


BOOSTER: ...65 and up...

SAGAL: Old people.

BOOSTER: ...That seems easier.

BURBANK: Didn't they already do this show, and it was called "Cocoon?"


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

KURTIS: Randolph came to play. He got them all right.

SAGAL: Congratulations.


SAGAL: Thank you so much. Take care, Randolph.


THE SNAKE OIL WILLIE BAND: (Singing) Well, my body could use a little slimming. I keep my shirt on when I go swimming, and I ain't seen my feet since 1984. The old lady wants to roll in the hay, we turn the lights down all the way 'cause I don't look good naked anymore. No, I don't look good naked anymore. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.