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Bluff The Listener


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz.


KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Tom Bodett, Amy Dickinson and Brian Babylon. And here again is your host at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Mo...


KURTIS: ...Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill. Hey, thanks, everybody. And listen, if you are just tuning in, and you're like, oh, no, I missed it, or maybe you just want to hear it all again so you can pretend you haven't and impress your friends by knowing all the answers, all you need to do is download the WAIT WAIT podcast. It's the same show you love on the radio but with ads for mattress companies and stamps.


SAGAL: Right now, it is time to play the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our games on the air. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

EBEN ATWATER: Hi. I'm Eben Atwater. I'm from Lummi Bay, Wash.

SAGAL: Eben from Lummi Bay, Wash.

ATWATER: Well, the - I think they had a girl's name figured out but not a guy's name figured out, and I got stuck with the family name.

SAGAL: Do you know what the girl's name was?

AMY DICKINSON: (Laughter).

ATWATER: Yeah, it was Emily.

SAGAL: Let me ask you a question - given what you've been through, would you have preferred to be named Emily?


ATWATER: I'd roll with it.

SAGAL: All right. You could go with it. Well, welcome to the show, Eben. You are here to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what's Eben's topic?

KURTIS: I'm your biggest fan.

SAGAL: Celebrities have long found fans the traditional ways, like press tours and purchasing Twitter followers from a Chinese bot farm. But this week, we heard about a new way that a fan found the person or people they're fans of. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth - you'll win the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. You ready to play?

ATWATER: Let's do it.

SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: The lyrics to "A Horse With No Name" blew my mind, said Blollapalooza organizer Mason Ford (ph). Ford, who is 16 years old, discovered early '70s soft rock bands like America and Bread when his dad erased his Spotify playlist of hip-hop favorites and replaced it with what he thought would be the genre from hell. I couldn't stand the F words and (unintelligible) emanating from his room and earbuds another day, said the elder Ford. I wanted to punish him with some "Diamond Girl" and "Muskrat Love."


BODETT: I thought he needed to understand what obnoxious feels like. Instead, he loves it. What I realized, explained Ford the younger, is that hip-hop is not chill music. All me and my friends want to do is chill and hang out. This weird sound is so chill, it almost doesn't make sense. I mean, baby, Imma (ph) want you?

DICKINSON: (Laughter).

BODETT: Who says that?


BODETT: And with that googly sounding guitar thing in the background, it's sick. I love it. After two or three songs, you can't move.


BODETT: The Blollapalooza will be no Fyre Fest, promises Ford, referring to the famous concert fail of last summer. It's more of a warming drawer fest. Surviving members of America, along with Dan Fogelberg, will headline the event to be held this August in a closed Walmart parking lot in Springfield, Iowa. Father Ford will not be attending. I lived through the '70s once, he said. A day of this might kill me.


SAGAL: A young man...


SAGAL: ...Becomes a fan of '70s soft rock through a cruel prank from his father. Your next story of a celeb making new fans comes from Brian Babylon.

BRIAN BABYLON: UPenn volleyball player Elizabeth Watty (ph) was running late for practice in Philly. The pressure was on because she had to park her 1964 Pontiac GTO - a hand-me-down from her grandpa - into a parking space barely big enough for an enormous land yacht. I hate this car, said Watty. As soon as I land my pro beach volleyball contract, I'm buying myself a Honda Fit. She tried eight times, each time scraping or bumping the car in front of her and going up on the curb. With drivers behind her honking their horns and complaining, finally, she was ready to give up and keep driving. But then, a gentleman appeared in her window and said, may I assist? She was very angry about this implied sexism but got out and let him in.


BABYLON: And the most amazing display of driving happened. He hopped in. And in the most amazing display of driving she had ever seen, he whipped that 20 feet of Detroit steel into a parking space with just a few turns of the wheel. She wrote his name down to send him a nice thank-you note. And then when she showed the name to her teammate, the teammate said, Jimmie Johnson, the NASCAR driver.


BABYLON: No, said Elizabeth. I think he had a Toyota car of some kind. But it was No. 48 himself, seven-time NASCAR champion, who was in town for a personal appearance. Elizabeth, of course, had to watch him race and instantly became a fan. He's just so confident, so tactical on the track, she says.


BABYLON: And if you think he's good at racing, you should see him park.


SAGAL: A NASCAR fan is made when Jimmie Johnson, himself, steps in to park her car. Your last story of a famous person convincing someone to like them comes from Amy Dickinson.

DICKINSON: When they heard that Lyle Lovett, their favorite singer, was coming to Austin, 17 women from three generations of one big Texas family decided to call it a Girls Gone Wild Weekend. The Lovett love is mighty strong in the Walker clan. So Belinda from El Paso rallied her gal pals from all over the country - sisters, cousins, her mother and even her 85-year-old grandmother - and told them (imitating Southern accent) pack up your spangly cowboy boots and send Bota Boxes of chardonnay, ladies, because we're going to see Lyle Lovett. Whoo (ph).


DICKINSON: The concert tickets got bought. The event was coming up when Walker sister figured out that the Lovett coming to Austin was not the Texas native and rectangle-faced, Grammy Award-winning singer Lyle Lovett. No, this Lovett was Jon Ira Lovett of Connecticut, a former Obama speechwriter, bringing his...


DICKINSON: ...Popular progressive politics podcast "Lovett Or Leave It" to Austin for a live taping.


DICKINSON: The Lyle Lovett-loving ladies decided to go ahead with their Girls Gone Wild Weekend.


DICKINSON: It turns out having to watch a politics lecture from a guy who can't sing and was never even briefly married to Julia Roberts...


DICKINSON: ...Was just about right for these girls gone mild.


SAGAL: All right, so here are your choices. Somebody made a fan in an unusual way. Was it from Tom Bodett - '70s soft rockers get a fan when a kid is punked by his own father who switched his playlist? Was it from Brian Babylon - Jimmie Johnson created one new NASCAR fan when he graciously parked her car for her? Or from Amy Dickinson - the political pundit and podcaster Jon Lovett got a whole bunch of Texas women to come see him because they thought he was Lyle Lovett. Which of these is the real story of an unexpected meeting of fan and idol in the news?

ATWATER: (Imitating Southern accent) Well, I'll tell you what...


ATWATER: ...I lived for 12 years in Texas, and there ain't no way on God's green Earth I'm picking any other story but that one.


SAGAL: You're going to pick, then, Amy's story...


SAGAL: ...Of the 17 women who went to see Lyle Lovett and ended up hearing some interesting political comedy from Jon Lovett.

ATWATER: Got to be it.

SAGAL: All right. Well, we actually spoke to one of the fans in question.

BELINDA WALKER: One of my cousin's looked, and it said Jon Lovett. And my sister's like, no, no, no, I got Lyle Lovett tickets. And we're like, oh, my God, it is the wrong one. What are we going to do? What are we going to do?


SAGAL: That was Belinda Walker. Practically an entire female side of the family went to see Lyle Lovett and got Jon instead. It's OK. They like him. Congratulations. You got it right, Eben. You have won our prize by picking Amy's story.


SAGAL: And you've won a prize for her. Well done, sir.

ATWATER: Hey, thanks a lot. That was great.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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