Who's Bill This Time?
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Let me toss your salad. I'm...
KURTIS: I'm Bill-samic (ph) vinaigrette.
KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. Thanks, everybody.
SAGAL: We have a wonderful show for you today because we are going to fix Washington...
SAGAL: ...By which I mean one of the great disappointments about Washington is that it's nothing like "The West Wing." We want the real Washington to have snappy dialogue, the soaring speeches, the perfect comebacks. And then we want it to be canceled.
SAGAL: Well, later in the show, Aaron Sorkin himself, the creator of "The West Wing" and "The Social Network" and "The Newsroom," will come on to punch up reality itself. But first, we are interested in your snappy dialogue, so give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924.
Now let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
ELIZABETH STEPHENS: Hi. This is Elizabeth Stephens, and I'm from Gloucester, Mass.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Hey.
SAGAL: I love Gloucester.
SAGAL: What do you do there?
STEPHENS: I actually am going to be starting a greenhouse management position.
SAGAL: Hey, that's great. Do you have a specialty crop?
STEPHENS: No, I actually don't, although I do really enjoy growing potatoes. Potatoes are a lot of fun.
TOM BODETT: I saw Matt Damon do that on Mars.
SAGAL: I know, I know. I hope you don't do it the same way Matt did.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to our show, Elizabeth. Let me introduce you to our panel. First up, its co-host of the new podcast One Plus One. And she'll be performing her solo show, Approval Junkie, at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta April 4 through the 28. It's Faith Salie.
STEPHENS: Hi, Faith.
FAITH SALIE: Hi, Elizabeth.
SAGAL: Next up, a humorist presenting Storytellers On A Mission with host Jordan Carlos plus Tara Clancy and Adam Burke, March 30 at the Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro, Vt. It's Tom Bodett.
BODETT: Hello, Elizabeth.
SAGAL: And the comedian performing in Charlotte, N.C., at the Knight Theater on April 13. She's the host of the podcast Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone. I gave it away. It's Paula Poundstone.
STEPHENS: Hi, Paula.
POUNDSTONE: Hey, Elizabeth.
SAGAL: So Elizabeth, you're - of course, you're going to play Who's Bill This Time. It's how we start every show. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations in the week's news. Your job, as you know - correctly identify just two of them. Do that, you win our prize - the voice of anyone you may like from our show on your voice mail Your first quote is a man talking to Republican allies of President Trump.
KURTIS: I'm responsible for your silliness because I did the same thing that you're doing now for 10 years.
SAGAL: Who was the guy warning Republican members of Congress, don't be like me?
STEPHENS: Well, I'd probably have to go with Michael Cohen on that one.
SAGAL: You would have to go with Michael Cohen.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: But don't go...
SAGAL: Don't go too far with him. He's heading to jail.
SAGAL: The completely discredited liar who absolutely should not be trusted spent a whole day on Capitol Hill saying a bunch of things we all completely believe.
SAGAL: President Trump's former lawyer told the country about how the president was, quote, "a racist, a con man and a cheat," which Michael Cohen just wouldn't stand for, which is why he quit after just 10 years.
SAGAL: That's appropriate. He's going to jail. And, of course, 10 years is traditionally the iron bar anniversary.
SAGAL: Now, the Republicans just went after him. They yelled at him. They called him a liar and a fraud. They even - and this, I tell you, America, is true - they held up a big poster with his face and the words liar, liar, pants on fire.
SAGAL: They did that. And as embarrassing as that was, it was better than their earlier draft, whoever smelt it dealt it.
POUNDSTONE: Well, also, he would hold up that sign that said, I'm rubber, you're glue.
SAGAL: It was a devastating...
POUNDSTONE: Which really...
POUNDSTONE: ...Frustrated them.
SALIE: So this was interesting. There was somebody who crunched numbers on this...
SALIE: And there is a water bottle in front of Michael Cohen on screen with its label facing America...
SALIE: ...For six-something hours. It was $650,000 worth of free advertising time.
SAGAL: Do you think anybody's going to go out there and say, I'm going to buy some Dasani? It's the favorite brand of Michael Cohen.
SALIE: But it kind of makes you wonder. Like, this could be monetized. There could be some - we're all riveted.
BODETT: We don't even get labels on our bottles.
SALIE: I - well, it's public radio.
POUNDSTONE: You know, the thing is I never even noticed the water bottle, nor did I notice the label. And yet he did look hydrated.
SALIE: So if I knew what water company it was, I might well gravitate towards them.
SALIE: I loved learning that Trump said that the person with the worst judgment in the world is Donald Trump, Jr.
BODETT: I finally agree with something...
POUNDSTONE: God, imagine finding out in that way...
POUNDSTONE: ...What your parents said about you.
SAGAL: All right, Elizabeth. Your next quote - oh, how happy. It's the president of the United States.
KURTIS: When we walked away, it was a very friendly walk.
SAGAL: Mr. Trump surprised everybody by walking away - in a friendly fashion, of course - from a deal with whom?
STEPHENS: I guess that would have to be Kim Jong Un.
SAGAL: Yes, Kim Jong Un...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: ...The dictator of North Korea.
SAGAL: So when the president flew to Hanoi for his second summit with Kim Jong Un, people were worried because he was so eager to claim credit for a deal, who knew what he would do? North Korea might get their sanctions lifted. They might continue with a nuclear program and also be given Oregon.
SAGAL: But an amazing thing happened. The president just walked away. Bad deal - he walked away. No deal. It's amazing for a couple of reasons - first, because he walked instead of using a golf cart...
SAGAL: ...Which must have been painful with his bone spurs.
BODETT: See, I thought that would be a bigger joke...
SAGAL: Courage, Mr. President.
BODETT: I'm glad you used it.
SAGAL: There you are. After his first meeting with Kim - and this is kind of sad on a human level because after his first meeting with Kim last year, the president said they were, quote, "in love." That's true.
SAGAL: But Kim had to know this was going to happen with Trump. It always does. You meet the first time - it's magical. It is an adventure. Sparks fly. You make plans together. Then, the next thing you know, Michael Cohen is writing you a check, so you'll go away.
SAGAL: Here, Elizabeth, is your last quote.
KURTIS: I'm an artist, and guess we did a good job. Fooled you.
SAGAL: That was Lady Gaga talking about...
SAGAL: ...The, as she says, artificially intimate moment she had with Bradley Cooper where?
STEPHENS: It must be the Oscars.
SAGAL: Yes, at the Oscars.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: That's when it happened.
SAGAL: Now, the Oscar ceremony are usually forgotten as quickly as this year's best picture will be. But...
SAGAL: ...People will remember forever where they were when they said, oh, my God, their lips are touching. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga did their big song, "Shallow," from "A Star Is Born" live on stage. And it was so steamy, everybody was wondering not so much, will they or won't they, but did they just do it live on TV?
POUNDSTONE: Yeah. She had marks from the piano strings on her face.
POUNDSTONE: I think it may have happened during the commercial. I don't know.
SALIE: All we wanted was for them to cut to Bradley Cooper's girlfriend to see what she was looking like, right?
SAGAL: You think?
SALIE: That's the - I mean, Oscars is a night of drama. That's what you want to see....
SALIE: ...Like a split screen.
SAGAL: Do you think...
SALIE: Don't you think?
SAGAL: I don't know. I mean, these people are actors. They're paid lots of money to pretend to feel things that they do not feel. People know that. I mean, in other news, Tom Cruise has not actually killed people.
SAGAL: Well, except for those guys who tried to leave the church. But they knew what they signed up for.
BODETT: But I do have to say, like, if I was watching my wife, Rita, on stage with Bradley Cooper like that...
BODETT: I would think, I am so screwed. I am...
SAGAL: Yeah. It's done.
BODETT: ...So screwed.
SAGAL: What I was amazed that is after she won her Oscar for best original song, Lady Gaga was doing the press conference backstage. And she said something to the effect of, this was for this ex-boyfriend she had who had told her that she'd never, ever be famous. And here we go. See? My music's everywhere, and I'm famous, and I work, and so there. And all I can think of is, like, what kind of relationship did she have? What kind of boyfriend is that? Hey, honey, do you want to order in tonight? And, by the way, you'll never be famous.
POUNDSTONE: No, I think it was probably said during a heated fight of some sort.
SAGAL: You think so?
POUNDSTONE: Yeah. You know, like, she said, you know, when you pee outside the toilet, could you clean it up? And he said, you'll never be famous.
BODETT: Yeah. That's it.
BODETT: In a weak moment, we do those things, you know?
SAGAL: Also, Lady Gaga has been famous since she's been about 20.
SAGAL: So was this, like, her middle school boyfriend?
BODETT: Yeah. She's not over it, for sure.
SAGAL: It's, like, you'll never be famous.
POUNDSTONE: Yeah. Yeah. Will you give me the answer to number 20?
SAGAL: Yeah (laughter).
POUNDSTONE: No. You'll never be famous.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Elizabeth do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Well, Elizabeth wasn't acting. She got them all right.
SAGAL: Thank you so much. Bye-bye, Elizabeth.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BAD ROMANCE")
HALESTORM: (Singing) Want your bad romance. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.