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Lightning Fill In The Blank


Finally, when we're sitting back reliving good times, one of the best times we constantly go back to was our 20th anniversary show.

BILL KURTIS: In the fall of 2018, we gathered all our panelists and a lot of our friends in the Chicago Theatre to celebrate lasting about 20 years longer than anybody expected. Here's the grand finale of that show.


SAGAL: We've selected team captains. Congratulations to the panelists with the most-ever losses in the history of this show - that would be Brian Babylon...


SAGAL: ...Maz Jobrani and Paula Poundstone.


MAZ JOBRANI: Thank you.

SAGAL: All right.


SAGAL: First up, Brian, it's your team. What is your team name, Brian?

BABYLON: We are the Illuminati.

SAGAL: All right. Here we go. Fill in the blank. Brian, on Thursday, the Pentagon announced it was sending 800 agents to the border in response to the blank.

BABYLON: The horde of immigrants that was walking to our nation like zombies.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Roxanne, on Monday, a Russian man was charged with conspiring to interfere with blank.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: The elections.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Mo, after being released from a prison in Kansas, a man celebrated his freedom by blanking in the parking lot.

MO ROCCA: After - sorry. I'm sorry. After a man was released from the parking lot in Kansas, he celebrated his freedom.

SAGAL: He was released from a prison.

ROCCA: He was released from a prison.

SAGAL: He was released from a prison...


SAGAL: And then he went to the parking lot. The rest of you can leave. Mo and I will work this out.

ROCCA: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. So wait. Hold on.


ROCCA: No, a man was released from prison. Of course, he celebrated.

SAGAL: But what did he do to celebrate in the parking lot?

ROCCA: He committed a crime and got arrested.

SAGAL: He did. He stole a car.


SAGAL: Negin...


SAGAL: Negin...


SAGAL: On Wednesday, the blank - Negin, on Wednesday, the blank closed 608 points down, erasing the gains made in 2018.

FARSAD: The Dow Jones.




SAGAL: Tom Bodett, this week, a woman rushing...


SAGAL: ...To get to a meeting at a mall in China was delayed when she blanked.

TOM BODETT: I knew I was going to get this question. I knew it. When she - when this guy got out of prison, and...


BODETT: And he stole her car.

SAGAL: No. She didn't make the meeting on time because she fell into the mall's shark tank at feeding time.



SAGAL: Now, a lot of you are probably asking, why the hell is there an open shark tank in the middle of a shopping mall? And really, your first question should be, is that woman OK? - you monsters.


SAGAL: She is fine.

BODETT: I'm glad I didn't know the answer.

SAGAL: She is fine. She swam around with the sharks, which were, like, oh, my God. They deliver. But they didn't act on it.


JOBRANI: This was in China?

SAGAL: This was in China, where they had...

JOBRANI: Maybe that's their version of the show "Shark Tank."

SAGAL: That's true.


SAGAL: She fell in. There's a bunch of sharks, Mark Cuban - who knows?


SAGAL: Bill, how did Brian's team, the Illuminati, do on our show?

KURTIS: Well, they get four right for eight more points, and that puts them in the lead.



BABYLON: We made it.


SAGAL: Next up is Maz Jobrani's team. What's your team name?

JOBRANI: Our team is Mount Perf (ph), otherwise known in French as (imitating French accent) Mont Perf (ph).

SAGAL: (Imitating French accent) Mont Perf. All right, Mont Perf. Here we go. Fill in the blank. Maz, this week, President Recep Erdogan called on Saudi Arabia to let Turkey adjudicate the death of journalist blank.

JOBRANI: The - Khashoggi.

SAGAL: Yes, Khashoggi.


SAGAL: Faith, on Sunday, thousands took to the streets in London to demand a new vote on blank.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Peter, this week, a GOP congressman in Illinois regretfully declined an invite to meet President Trump, saying blank.

PETER GROSZ: OK, so there was a fish who rode a bicycle in a storm.


GROSZ: Is that - no.

SAGAL: No. He said...


SAGAL: He'd already agreed to march in the Sycamore Pumpkin Fest parade.


SAGAL: Roy, following a surprise third-quarter profit, shares in electric car company blank jumped by almost 10%.

ROY BLOUNT JR: I don't want to just say one word. I mean, I...


BLOUNT: I've been waiting a (unintelligible).


BLOUNT: Tesla.


SAGAL: Tara, a waitress at a family restaurant ended her very first day in the job surrounded by police after she accidentally blanked.


SAGAL: No. She accidentally pressed the 911 emergency call button 348 times.


SAGAL: We're all nervous. On your first day at work, you do nervous things. Maybe you click a pen, or you reorganize the papers. And then she saw this small button near the register, so she just started pressing it.


SAGAL: She kept pressing it throughout the day, never realizing every time she did it, she was calling the police. They ended up surrounding the restaurant with guns drawn. In any event, residents of her town are happy to know that if they need the police, they only need to call 911 348 times.


SAGAL: They'll be right there.

CLANCY: And they will finally show up.

SAGAL: How did Maz's team, (imitating French accent) Mont Perf, do on our show?

KURTIS: Three points, six more. That means they trail Brian's team.

SAGAL: All right. Now our last team. Our last team...

POUNDSTONE: We got this. We got this. We got this Danforth (ph) Dancers.

SAGAL: All right, so this is Paula Poundstone leading the Danforth Dancers. Bill, how many do - does Paula's team need to win?

KURTIS: Four to tie. Five to win.

SAGAL: All right, four to tie. Five to win. Here we go. Fill in the blank. Paula, on Monday, it was reported that the Trump administration was considering narrowing the legal definition of blank.


SAGAL: No. In this case, gender. Amy, on Wednesday, a federal judge ordered election officials in blank to stop rejecting absentee ballots with mismatched signatures.

AMY DICKINSON: Oh, the great state of Georgia.

SAGAL: In fact, you're right.


SAGAL: Adam Burke, a town in Florida has become the first U.S. city to use a fully autonomous school bus. They celebrated another milestone this week when they became the first U.S. city to blank.

ADAM BURKE: Have fully autonomous school children.



BURKE: The first town to have the federal government tell them to stop using the fully autonomous school bus. That's crazy.


SAGAL: Luke Burbank, this week, Colorado broke $1 billion in legal blank sales, generating $200 million in tax revenue.

BURKE: Is there a shark tank involved?

SAGAL: No. Marijuana.

BURKE: Oh, that was my second guess.

SAGAL: I'm sure. And Adam Felber, the wedding of Taylor and Kern Lehman was announced in the New York Post this week along with the headline blank.

ADAM FELBER: Couple falls into shark tank.


SAGAL: No. I married my best friend's dad, and now I'm her step mom.

Yeah, despite a 25-year age difference and the awkwardness of asking your best friend to call you mom, Taylor says the two make a great couple, noting they like the same music and are both old souls. Mr. Kern is also physically old.


SAGAL: Bill, did Paula's team do well enough to win?



KURTIS: They did get one right.

SAGAL: One right.


KURTIS: It's Brian, Brian.

SAGAL: Brian's team, congratulations.


SAGAL: That's it for our summer nostalgia show.


SAGAL: Thanks to everybody you heard this week, all of our panelists, all of our guests, of course, Bill Kurtis. And thanks to all of you. We made it through more than half the year together. We're going to make it through the rest the same way. I'm Peter Sagal. Stay safe. Stay healthy. We'll see you next week.


SAGAL: This is NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.