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Who's Bill This Time

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Is it hot in here? I blame glo-Bill (ph) warming.


KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much for being with us. We have a wonderful show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to the actor Lance Reddick. He played Lt. Daniels on "The Wire." He's once again starring in the latest John Wick movie. But first, some history was made this week in broadcasting. The two greatest interviewers of the past two decades - Terry Gross and Howard Stern - had a two-part conversation on Fresh Air. And it was so astonishing to hear someone synonymous with the decline of civil discourse, obsessed with porn and sex, talking to Howard Stern.


SAGAL: I'm just saying - if you only knew, man. We don't want to know if you made it with your co-star. We just want you to play our games. Give us a call. 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.

RITCHIE HUNTINGTON: Hello. This is Richie Huntington (ph) from Dallas, Pa.

SAGAL: All right. You're from Dallas, Pa. I don't know where that is. I'm sure that you enjoy explaining to people it's not that Dallas. But where is it?

HUNTINGTON: It is near Scranton and Wilkes-Barre - Northeast PA.

SAGAL: Northeast PA - and what do you do there?

HUNTINGTON: I'm a family practice doctor.

SAGAL: Oh, that's awesome. That's good work. And how long have you been doing that?

HUNTINGTON: Twenty years.

SAGAL: All right. Well, welcome to the show, Richard. It is great to have you with us. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, the co-host of the podcast "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone" - it's Mr. Adam Felber.


ADAM FELBER: Hi, Dr. Ritchie.


SAGAL: Next, a comedian who'll be performing at the Comedy Underground in Seattle, Wash. May 30 through June 1. - and she's the host of the trivia podcast "Go Fact Yourself" on the Maximum Fun network. It's Helen Hong.



HONG: Hi, Dr. Ritchie.

SAGAL: And a humorist and author most recently of "Save Room For Pie" - it's Roy Blount, Jr.


ROY BLOUNT JR: Hello, doctor.

SAGAL: So welcome to the show, Richard. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis right now, of course, is going to read for you three quotations from the week's news. Your job, of course - correctly identify - diagnose - two out of three.


SAGAL: Do that, and you'll win any voice from our show you might like on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?


SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: Mules, camels, bleached beeswax...


KURTIS: ...Traveling circuses, sewage sludge.

SAGAL: Those are just some of the thousands of things that will be much more expensive because of the U.S. trade war with whom?


SAGAL: China.




SAGAL: That's right. The tariffs our president has imposed are going to make even camels more expensive. Sorry, kids - you might only be getting a one-humper for Christmas this year.


SAGAL: So yes. This week, the president announced new tariffs on things that come from China on top of the others. These new ones include technological components, baseball caps, handbags, boats, bicycles - even cereal. So sorry, your Chinese breakfast cereal is now going to be 25% more expensive. No more asbestos. Or...


HONG: Lead-os (ph).

SAGAL: ...Or Raisin Lead.


HONG: Wait, wait...

BLOUNT JR: How about those things where you stick your fingers in, you know?


SAGAL: Don't know.

BLOUNT JR: You can't get them out.

FELBER: We can't afford them.

HONG: We buy sewage sludge from China?

SAGAL: Yeah.

FELBER: They have really good packaging.

HONG: Are you serious?

SAGAL: You would be amazed at the things.

HONG: We can't even make our own sewage sludge.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know. It's, like...


SAGAL: Isn't it terrible? The American workers can't make sewage sludge with the efficiency and price that the Chinese, you know?

HONG: Ugh.

SAGAL: Half of what we get paid here - it's just...

HONG: Oh, man.

FELBER: You can't get an American worker to poop that much.

SAGAL: It's true. It's true.


HONG: Wait. I want to know what kind of cereal we're - we get from China. Is - like, my Corn Flakes is made in China?

FELBER: Well, I'd imagine Panda Puffs.


SAGAL: My favorite Chinese cereal is Comrade Crunch.


BLOUNT JR: I was going to...

HONG: Mine's Count Chinocula (ph).


BLOUNT JR: I think we didn't get our shipment of Chinese jokes this week.

SAGAL: No, apparently not.


BLOUNT JR: Had to make up our own.

SAGAL: Yeah. It's sad.

BLOUNT JR: It shows.

SAGAL: Oh, if we had just had the Chinese jokes, there'd be so many more, and they'd be so much better and cheaper.


HONG: Yeah.

SAGAL: All right, Dr. Richard, here is your next quote.

HUNTINGTON: It's basically like naming your child Joseph Stalin.

SAGAL: That was someone on Twitter making fun of the hundreds of people who had named their child after a character in a popular TV show who, after the last episode, probably now regret that. What is the show?

HUNTINGTON: "Game Of Thrones."

SAGAL: Yes, doctor.


SAGAL: It's "Game Of Thrones."


SAGAL: If you don't watch or care about "Game Of Thrones," I'm sorry to make your life more miserable than it already is.


SAGAL: But for years now, fans of the show have been rooting for a certain character called Khaleesi who everybody thought was this young, attractive hero who would beat the bad guys and win in the end. Elizabeth Warren herself endorsed her, saying her rise to the Iron Throne was a lesson for girls everywhere. As it turned out, the lesson, young girls, is that if you want to succeed, kill everyone.


SAGAL: Elizabeth Warren, by the way, is legitimately one-sixteenth Dothraki.


SAGAL: So all right. So as you may or may not know - and I'm sure many of you who don't care are vastly annoyed by this...

FELBER: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All the "Game Of Thrones" fans all week have been, like, in a frenzy of rage arguing with each other over whether that was a good thing or a bad thing or a justified thing. But it's a real problem, though, for the hundreds of people who over the last eight or nine years have named their baby daughters Khaleesi or Daenerys, her other name, after this character. And the kids are now, like, seriously, mama, why did you name me for a character who turned out to be a ruthless mass murderer?


SAGAL: And did you ignore the obvious signs that this is where she was heading in all the prior seasons, including the dream sequence in Season 2...

FELBER: Absolutely.

SAGAL: ...At the House of the Undying?


SAGAL: I mean, it was all there the whole time, mama.


HONG: I think that there's a solution here, Peter...

SAGAL: What, Helen?

HONG: ...Which is that they can change the middle name to Before Season Eight.



SAGAL: So it's like...

HONG: My name is Khaleesi...

SAGAL: ...Khaleesi Before Season Eight Berkowitz (ph).

HONG: ...Before Season Eight Smith. Yes.


SAGAL: It's just - I mean, first of all, it's just a bad idea to name your kid after a character in a TV series if we don't know how it's going to turn out. Imagine how the people feel who named their kids after Aunt Becky on "Full House."


FELBER: It's just never a good idea at all.

SAGAL: No, it's just not a good idea.

FELBER: Just ask my cousin Cosby.


SAGAL: All right. Here is your last quote.

KURTIS: (Imitating Boston accent) Park the car in Harvard Yard.

SAGAL: That was Bill imitating the accent we are now told is, believe it or not, considered to be one of the sexiest in America. What is the accent?

HUNTINGTON: That is the Boston or New England accent.

SAGAL: You're exactly right...


SAGAL: ...The Boston accent.


HONG: Wow.

SAGAL: It's sexy, everybody. It's time to park the carnal in the Harvard Yard.

FELBER: (Imitating Boston accent) The carnal.

SAGAL: (Imitating Boston accent) The carnal. We've all been there. We all know what it's like. You're watching "The Departed" or "Good Will Hunting..."

FELBER: (Imitating Boston accent) Departed.

SAGAL: (Imitating Boston accent) Departed.


SAGAL: We're never going to get through this, are we, Adam?

FELBER: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

SAGAL: It's all right.


SAGAL: You've been there. You're watching "The Departed" or "Good Will Hunting," or you're getting beaten up by a bunch of drunk Bruins fans.


SAGAL: And you have this funny feeling in your tummy because, you know, it's the Boston accent. And it is apparently, according to a survey of social media users, the second-sexiest accent in the country after the Texas accent.


SAGAL: No, this is true.


SAGAL: No, this is why so many lonely men are ordering mail order brides from (imitating Boston accent) Worcester.


HONG: OK. When they say sexy, do they mean it makes you want to stick things in your ears?


SAGAL: I - Helen, I...


SAGAL: We decided that we couldn't let this go unchallenged, so we decided that we needed to talk, well, really to the only person we knew who could really let us know how the Boston accent, at least, has worked out for him. Ladies and gentlemen, please say hello to Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk.

Hey, Ray.


SAGAL: Ray, how are you?

RAY MAGLIOZZI, BYLINE: I'm good. Well, you folks are having a lot of fun making fun of my 'peech (ph).

SAGAL: Yeah, we are.


SAGAL: We do it all the time. Usually, we don't let you listen. So...


SAGAL: The question for you, Ray, is, have you in your life of having a Boston accent - have you found it to be very sexy? Has it had that effect on the people you'd want it to have that effect on?

MAGLIOZZI: Well, first of all (unintelligible), I don't have a Boston accent.


SAGAL: You don't?

MAGLIOZZI: No, I mean, I can fake one for you. But I...

FELBER: (Laughter).

MAGLIOZZI: I dedicated years to losing my Boston accent...


MAGLIOZZI: ...Because I thought it sounded bad. You know, I'd listen to all these people on NPR who sounded so erudite. And here we were - because my - it was hopeless with my brother.

SAGAL: Yeah.

MAGLIOZZI: But for years, I tried to cultivate a Midwestern accent.


FELBER: Well, mission accomplished, Ray.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.


SAGAL: So as a kind of test, Ray, we have decided that - we've asked you to read a couple of romantic lines...


SAGAL: ...From movies.

MAGLIOZZI: I can tell I'm not going to like this, but go ahead.

SAGAL: No, no, no. All right. Here we are. Ready? So we're just going to start with this one. How about this - the heart knows what the heart wants.

MAGLIOZZI: Oh, so you want me to say...

SAGAL: I do.

MAGLIOZZI: The heart knows what the heart wants.


SAGAL: All right.

HONG: Oh, it's getting hot in here.

KURTIS: Helen is flushed.

SAGAL: All right. How about this one - draw me like one of your French girls, Jack.

MAGLIOZZI: Ah, really?

SAGAL: Yeah.


MAGLIOZZI: Draw me like one of your French girls, Jack. Is that what you...

SAGAL: Yeah, that's good. That's good. That's great. Last one. Last one. Ready? Here we go. My tastes are very singular.

MAGLIOZZI: Oh. My tastes are very singular.


FELBER: Wow - smoldering.

SAGAL: Ladies and gentlemen, you know what that was? You know what that - hold on. Smoldering. You know what that was? That was 50 Shades of Ray.


SAGAL: Ray Magliozzi, everybody, from Car Talk.


SAGAL: Great to talk to you, Ray.

MAGLIOZZI: See you later.

SAGAL: Bye-bye. All right. Richard, are you still there?



SAGAL: All right. Bill, how did Richard do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Richard did very, very well. He got them all right.

SAGAL: Congratulations, doctor.


HUNTINGTON: Thank you.

SAGAL: Well done.

HUNTINGTON: Thanks so much.

SAGAL: Thanks so much for playing, and take care.


THE STANDELLS: (Singing) I'm going to tell you a story. I'm going to tell you 'bout my town.

SAGAL: Coming up, a Bluff the Listener game with military precision. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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