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Who's Bill This Time

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following show was taped before a live audience.


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Don't touch your face - touch my face. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here's your host at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Ga., Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill. And, yeah, that's about it because there's nobody else here.


SAGAL: We are broadcasting from the beautiful Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta - a very large theater. And we were expecting a big crowd. But something came up. So this week, we are doing a show with no audience. It will be unusual for us to make our little jokes without anyone laughing. But on the other hand, no, it won't.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Later on, we're going to be talking to Atlanta's own hip-hop legend Big Boi. And we'll be playing our games because as of showtime, phone calls are perfectly safe. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant.

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


SAGAL: Hi. Who's this?

FIELDS: This is Nick from Cincinnati, Ohio.

SAGAL: Hey, Nick. How are things in Cincinnati?

FIELDS: Oh, you know - have a meeting larger than a hundred people anymore.

SAGAL: I know. Are you in quarantine right now? Are you hiding out?

FIELDS: I am. I am.

SAGAL: Yeah.

FIELDS: Like a normal Bengals fan, so...

SAGAL: Oh, I see. Yes.

PETER GROSZ: (Laughter).

SAGAL: You're used to misery and isolation, then, so there's really no problem. Well, welcome to the show, Nick. We didn't let our audience show up, but we don't care if our panelists live or die, so they're here. Let me introduce you to them. First up, a comedian who just returned from a tour of China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, CPAC and the Utah Jazz locker room. Say hello to Peter Grosz.

GROSZ: Hello. Hi, Nick.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Next, a comedian who tentatively as of right now is planning to perform at Hyena's in Fort Worth, Texas, April 2 through the 4. But if you're not leaving your house, you can see her on the Netflix series "Huge In France." It's Helen Hong.

HELEN HONG: Hi, Nick and nobody else.

SAGAL: And a humorist who'll be appearing with WAIT WAIT co-conspirators Maeve Higgins and Jordan Carlos in the likely to be canceled or postponed...

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Comics on a Mission at the Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro, Vt., currently scheduled for April 4, it's Tom Bodett.


FIELDS: Hey (laughter).

BODETT: Hello.


BODETT: Hi, Nick.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Nick. It's nice to have you in our little sort of cozy gathering. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from the 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?


FIELDS: All right.

SAGAL: Your first quote is from a woman named Ellen Perleberg (ph).

KURTIS: As a reminder, you are required to wear clothes during remote video meetings.

SAGAL: Remember, people - you need to wear clothes even if you are isolated because of what?

FIELDS: Because of the coronavirus.

SAGAL: Yes, the coronavirus.


SAGAL: The World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic, which is less scary if you think of it as, like, millions of Peter Pans flying around with Tinkerbell...


SAGAL: ...And licking everything. The experts are telling us to avoid all mass gatherings, so the NBA, the NHL and the MLB have all canceled games. Conventions and festivals are being rescheduled. Some people are taking it a little too far, though. For example, Harvey Weinstein is staying inside for 23 years.

GROSZ: (Laughter). What a silver lining.


GROSZ: What a great - that is, like...

BODETT: There was some good news this week.

GROSZ: That was the only good piece of news. And I feel like every news show should just lead with that.


GROSZ: Like, we know - you know what else has happened, but we have to remind you - Harvey Weinstein is going to jail for the rest of his life. Although he might also - he's 67.

SAGAL: Yes. Or something like that.

GROSZ: He's 67-ish...

HONG: Wow.

GROSZ: ...Or whatever, and he's got 23 years. So I think he's going to get out at 90 and be, like, (laughter), I've made it.


BODETT: Come here...

SAGAL: Toss away the walker at last.

BODETT: I was never really hurt.

SAGAL: The NBA first said they'd have games in empty stadiums for no audience, which I have to tell you is not optimum.


BODETT: I didn't really get worried about it until the NHL canceled their games. I mean, those people are nuts. They're not afraid of anything.

SAGAL: Right.

BODETT: And when they're, like, no, we'd better call it off...

SAGAL: I know. But the virus can get in their mouths because there's no teeth to block it.


GROSZ: That's true. Oh, is that what teeth are for?



GROSZ: Oh, that's great. I've got a full mouth.

SAGAL: Have you heard this about the coronavirus - that dogs are immune?


SAGAL: And everybody now has to work from home. I think the dogs did it.


HONG: I - my dog would definitely partake in that.

GROSZ: There's going to be a news report that's, like, rubbing your dog's belly is the only cure for coronavirus.


GROSZ: Where did this piece of news come from?

HONG: My dog is, like, (imitating dog).

SAGAL: Also, by the way, usually in times like this, where - when we are told to stay in our homes with nobody to talk to but our family, it results in a baby boom. But this is 2020. It's going to mean that come summer, everybody is going to be announcing a new podcast.


HONG: That's the real apocalypse right here.


SAGAL: Here - still with us? Of course, you're still with us, Nick. Where are you going to go?

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Nick, if you go away....

FIELDS: I didn't go anywhere.

GROSZ: If you go somewhere, the population of the show dips by 15%.


GROSZ: You have to stay with us.

SAGAL: It's pretty much all for your benefit, Nick. Stay with us.

HONG: (Laughter).

FIELDS: I appreciate it.

SAGAL: Nick, here's your next quote.

KURTIS: I'm going to go out and slap you in the face.

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SAGAL: That was a man talking to voters in Michigan on Tuesday. Despite threatening at least one of them, he's looking like the Democratic nominee for president. Who is it?

FIELDS: That would be Joe Biden.

SAGAL: Yes, it is Joe Biden.


SAGAL: People all over the country voted Biden this week. He won every single county in Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi, meaning he is a lock in the general election for any State beginning with the letter M, including those plus Montana, Malabama (ph) and Mew Mampshire (ph).


SAGAL: So everybody knows it's all over - well, everybody except one Bernard Sanders of Vermont. Bernie is still in it to win it - or at least to whine about it. He and Biden will have their final showdown on Sunday at a face-to-face debate, old mano a old mano.


SAGAL: Are you excited to watch this? You'd better be there - no more sports.

HONG: I'm super excited. And I know why Bernie's staying in it. It's because he can't believe that the candidate is going to be the person that inspires as much excitement as a colonoscopy.

BODETT: (Laughter).

HONG: Like, seriously.

SAGAL: Here's the thing, Helen. You compared him to a colonoscopy. Well, I happen to have gotten a colonoscopy recently. And here's the thing about colonoscopies. They're not as bad as you think, and you get a great nap.


SAGAL: I'm willing to go for that in terms of natural leadership.

GROSZ: Yeah.

SAGAL: Bernie knows he's going to lose the election, but he's staying in it to make sure that his issues remain a priority and because he still needs his campaign IT team to help him sign onto Netflix.


SAGAL: Trump knows what's coming. He's already begun his attacks. He says that Biden clearly has dementia. Whoa. That is really the pot calling the kettle a hat and putting it on its head and wandering around saying, look at my new hat.


SAGAL: It is true - it is true - and I will concede this to you, Helen - that Biden did at a rally last week mix up his wife and his sister. But that was just a shameless ploy to win over Trump's base.

BODETT: Oh. (Groaning).

GROSZ: That's...

BODETT: If there was an audience to groan, they would...


SAGAL: Nick, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: An uncooked steak, a container of live mice, a full specimen cup from a nearby hospital.

SAGAL: According to a certain company, that's the list of things that were left in the back seat of what last year?

FIELDS: Certain company...

SAGAL: Yeah.

FIELDS: People with things...

HONG: If you needed to go to the airport right now, which I don't suggest...

FIELDS: I would suggest taxi or, like, an Uber.

SAGAL: An Uber - exactly right.



SAGAL: Yes. Every year, Uber, the ride-sharing and kidnapping service...


SAGAL: ...Releases a list of the most interesting things left behind in their cars' back seats. In 2019, apparently, that included an uncooked steak, a single hard-boiled egg and, as you heard, a full medical specimen cup, which means somebody had a really unpleasant experience when they took their sip from that little complimentary bottle of water.

GROSZ: (Laughter).

GROSZ: That was all in one ride - the steak...


SAGAL: Quite a night.

BODETT: (Laughter) Yeah.

SAGAL: If you've left something in one of your Uber rides, don't worry. You can use the app to notify the driver. Uber says that most things that got left in cars eventually make their way back to the rightful owners. Unless you forgot to tip - then your driver has no idea what gold bars you might be referring to. Sorry.


GROSZ: A lot of people leave their dignity in the back of a Uber.

HONG: I have. Well, I only take Lyft, so it was...

GROSZ: I take Lyft, too.

HONG: Yeah.

GROSZ: And I wonder if Lyft is just as bad as Uber.

BODETT: They all work for both of them.

GROSZ: Well, the drivers do work for both.

BODETT: Yeah. Yeah.

GROSZ: I got into a conversation with my wife. It was one of those conversations where you have - you're on opposite sides, and you sort of talk past each other, and you're - an argument.


GROSZ: It was one of those things. It was one of those conversations...

HONG: (Laughter).

GROSZ: ...About, like she was, like, oh, Lyft is terrible because I had Lyft on my phone, and where she used to live, she would always use Uber. It was, like - she was, like, all the Lyft drivers we have are terrible. And then she would order an Uber and be, like, see. That was pleasant. That was fine. And I'm, like, they are the same people.

BODETT: (Laughter).

GROSZ: But, you know...

HONG: I feel like I have left a hard-boiled egg in the back of a Lyft. I'm not going to lie.

SAGAL: Really?

HONG: And I...

BODETT: Come to think of it, my urine sample...

HONG: (Laughter).

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

KURTIS: Nick scored them all right.

HONG: Yay.

FIELDS: I'm sure...


FIELDS: ...The audience would clap, right?

SAGAL: If there were an audience - imagine 5,000 people clapping for you, Nick. Thank you so much for playing, Nick.

FIELDS: Thank you, guys.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


BIG STAR: (Singing) Sitting in the back of a car, music so loud can't tell a thing. Thinking 'bout what to say, and I can't find the lines. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.