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Who's Bill This Time?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON, BYLINE: 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. Like Ma Bell, I got the Bill communication. I'm Bill Kurtis, and here is your host, a man who needs an introduction. So here it is - Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thank you, everybody. Thanks again to our fake audience. The applause, of course, is fake, but all the awkward silences you will hear after the jokes are genuine.


SAGAL: We have a great show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, who I cannot describe better than one of her own fans on Twitter did. Taylor Swift is just Phoebe Bridgers for people whose parents still love each other.


SAGAL: But first, we want to hear your inner pain set to music, so give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. It is time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.


SAGAL: Hi. Who's this?

SCHRADER: Tom Schrader from Atlanta, Ga.

SAGAL: Hey, Tom. We love Atlanta. What do you do there?

SCHRADER: I'm a hardware specialist at a major, orange home improvement retailer.

SAGAL: Wait a minute. You're one of the guys at Home Depot who I can never, ever find?


SCHRADER: You haven't been here. You haven't been to the Buckhead store. We're always there.

SAGAL: OK, because I have often suspected that as I have walked the aisles of Home Depot, you guys are, like, hiding around the corner going, quick, quick, he's turning left. Everybody hide the other way.

SCHRADER: That's just you. That's just you. All the...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

SCHRADER: All of the paying customers - we say, look at (unintelligible).

SAGAL: Well, Tom, welcome to our show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, it's a comedian and host of the podcast Fake The Nation. And it's the moment none of you have been waiting for. She's finally on TikTok. It's Negin Farsad.


NEGIN FARSAD: Oh, hello.

SCHRADER: Hello. I love your podcast.

FARSAD: Oh, thank you so much.

SAGAL: Next, it's the host of the daily podcast TBTL and the public radio variety show "Live Wire." It's Luke Burbank.


SCHRADER: Hey, Luke.

LUKE BURBANK: Hey there.

SAGAL: And a feature reporter for the style section of The Washington Post, Roxanne Roberts.



SCHRADER: Hi, Roxanne.

SAGAL: Tom, you're going to play Who's Bill This Time? I bet you knew that. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

SCHRADER: I am indeed.

SAGAL: All right, let's do it. Your first quote is from Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz.

KURTIS: It's an itch that doesn't go away with just one scratch.

SAGAL: The House of Representatives scratched that itch by doing what for the second time this week?

SCHRADER: Impeaching Hair (ph) Trump.

KURTIS: Yes, they impeached Donald Trump.


SAGAL: President Trump became the first president in history to be impeached twice, or we should say really impeached twice so far. He still has a few days to go for the hat trick.


SAGAL: Now, it seemed - I don't know if you guys felt this. But to me, it seemed anticlimactic maybe because it happened so quickly, maybe because we had seen and heard it all before. Nancy Pelosi even wore the same dress that she wore to the first impeachment. And remember, everybody told her, don't spend that much on something you'll only wear once.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: But it was - I mean, I - we were trying to figure out how to express how sort of weirdly disappointing it was. It was like a second wedding. No one was that excited by it. There was no impeachment shower for the president. And he insisted, of course, it was the second impeachment, so no gifts, just donations to his legal defense fund.


BURBANK: This was like the elopement of impeachments.

SAGAL: Sort of. It was like...

FARSAD: Yeah, it was just - it was a shotgun impeachment.

SAGAL: Yeah.

ROBERTS: I wouldn't use that phrase (laughter).

FARSAD: Yeah, it's - yeah.

ROBERTS: No, no, no, that's...

FARSAD: Not the best words.

BURBANK: I mean, some of the Republicans literally brought shotguns in there.


SAGAL: That's true.

BURBANK: Didn't go through the metal detector.

SAGAL: Maybe it was like the "Ghostbusters II" of impeachments because they tried to conjure the magic of the first one with the same people, and it's just not there, man. Now, just to say it, it doesn't look like he'll be impeached before he naturally leaves office. Apparently, the impeachment can't even begin until after Biden is inaugurated. There were some leaks from Mitch McConnell - not actual news, just leaks. It was kind of gross.


FARSAD: I feel like that doesn't abide by NPR standards right there...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

FARSAD: ...That Mitch McConnell has leaks.

BURBANK: If there was one lawmaker...

SAGAL: The whole show doesn't...

FARSAD: I mean...

BURBANK: ...Who I would expect it from, it would be Mitch McConnell. Like...

SAGAL: True.

BURBANK: ...He looks like a guy who, before he comes to the Senate, has to claw his way out of a grave being pulled in by the hounds of hell per the agreement. And he yells, I beg you, one more day. That's his morning commute.


SAGAL: All right. Very good. Here is your next quote, Tom.

KURTIS: Dry January seems a bit extreme this year. I'm going to do damp January.

SAGAL: That was a guy named Sam Elmore (ph) on Twitter. He was one of thousands of people who were giving up on their vow to not do what during the month of January?

SCHRADER: Not drink alcohol?

SAGAL: Not drink alcohol. Exactly right.


SAGAL: Now, for those who don't know, dry January is this sort of new tradition where thousands of Americans make a pledge to not drink for the month of January, sort of as a detox. But a week and a half into this January, thousands made a different pledge - F that. So instead of dry January, the people who took that vow were giving themselves, you know, permission to kind of break it. They're calling it damp January or Dampuary (ph), not Dumpuary (ph), which is what rich people call their bathrooms.

BURBANK: (Laughter).

FARSAD: Dampuary also sounds like what Mitch McConnell is leaking.


BURBANK: Do not light a cigarette around Mitch McConnell when he's Dampuarying (ph).

ROBERTS: These are dark, dark times.

SAGAL: Dark times, yeah.

ROBERTS: Isn't it more rational to drink rather than be sober? I mean, sober is a little bit depressing. Don't you think?

SAGAL: Yeah, well, of course.

FARSAD: Folks, I'm a Muslim, so every month for me is dry January. And I'm spending January doing a full glow up. I've got six-pack abs. I'm working towards 12.

BURBANK: I'm also working with a six-pack, Negin, but it's of Michelob.


SAGAL: I mean, if you are one of these people who said, I'm not going to drink for January, and you just couldn't do it, be easy on yourself. Nobody is keeping any of their resolutions this year. You know, I had a resolution not to storm the Capitol. I didn't even make it a week.


BURBANK: I thought I saw you in one of those tapes, Peter.

FARSAD: You made use of your old Burning Man costumes, huh?

SAGAL: (Laughter) Or - but listen. If you are doing dry January, just stick to it. If you make it through the whole month, you get to enjoy WAF, or wet-ass February.


SAGAL: All right. Tom, here is your last quote.


SAGAL: That was a writer at GQ reacting to the announcement that HBO is rebooting a beloved TV series from almost 20 years ago. What show will revisit the lives of four beloved women in New York?

SCHRADER: Oh, "Sex And The City."

SAGAL: "Sex And The City" - exactly.


SAGAL: That's right. They're going to do a reboot of "Sex And The City," this show about single women in New York that debuted 23 years ago. One of the four stars, Kim Cattrall, wants nothing to do with the show now. So it'll be, like, hey, are you a Carrie, a Charlotte, a Miranda or a not participating?

BURBANK: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Now, if you haven't been following the drama with Ms. Cattrall, she's feuding with the rest of the cast. There are varied stories as to why, but it's probably the usual things with friends and colleagues - a slight here, a missed birthday there. One person gets $3 million per episode. The other gets 300,000 for doing the same job. That can lead to tension.

BURBANK: That describes our pay disparity on this show, Peter.


BURBANK: You've got to renegotiate your contract because I'm getting paid handsomely.


ROBERTS: I think - here's the more interesting question...

SAGAL: Please.

ROBERTS: ...Which is that Samantha was arguably the most interesting character. She was the most liberated. She was the most genuinely feminist. And so if you take away most of the sex, then you've just now got three middle-aged women.

BURBANK: Right. But would anyone watch a show called "And the City"?


SAGAL: And one other problem is that it's 2021. None of those women could afford to live in New York now. It'll have to be called "Sex And The New Jersey."


FARSAD: But what's really great about this show is that HBO didn't have to have any new ideas. So...


FARSAD: ...It just did a nice recycling job.

BURBANK: I'm glad, though - they're using the original cast, though - I mean, without Kim Cattrall, right? It's not - they have not recast these characters with, you know, 31-year-old women. These are the original actors, which I think is...

SAGAL: Yes. My understanding is that, with the exception of Ms. Cattrall, the original actors are coming back.

BURBANK: That's...

FARSAD: Yeah, it's...

BURBANK: ...Good. I'm glad about that.


BURBANK: And then they bring it back a third time when the group has moved to Florida and live in the same house, and then it's just a "Golden Girls" reboot. So...

SAGAL: Really...

BURBANK: There's just a long tail for this program.

SAGAL: (Laughter). Bill, how did Tom do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Three and 0. He got a perfect score - Tom.


SAGAL: Thank you, Tom, for playing. And next time we come to Atlanta, we will look forward to seeing you.

SCHRADER: Thanks, Peter. It was great talking to you.

SAGAL: You too. Take care.


CINDY FEE: (Singing) Thank you for being a friend. Travel down the road and back again. Your heart is true. You're a pal and a confidant. And if you threw a party... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.