Who's Bill This Time
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Move over, Virginia, Bill is for lovers.
KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Altria Theater in Richmond, Va., Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much. It is an absolute thrill for us here to be making our debut in Richmond. It's wonderful to visit this city. We have all come to understand the old stereotype of Richmond - the former Confederate capital, home to a nest of self-righteous subversives who had wanted to overthrow the U.S. government. But it is 2019. Twenty-first century, modern Richmond is now filled with educated, sophisticated liberals - that is, a nest of self-righteous subversives...
SAGAL: ...Who want to overthrow the U.S. government.
SAGAL: That, I presume, was the rebel yell I've heard so much about.
LUKE BURBANK: You've come a long way, baby.
SAGAL: You really have.
SAGAL: Later on, we're going to be talking to the former mayor of Richmond who went on to be, oh, yes, the U.S. senator from Virginia, Mr. Tim Kaine.
SAGAL: But first, we want to hear from you. 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.
MEGAN DELBIANCO: Hi. I'm Megan Delbianco calling from Philadelphia, Pa.
SAGAL: Philadelphia, Pa. - I love Philly.
SAGAL: What do you do there?
DELBIANCO: I am currently a tax accountant.
SAGAL: A tax accountant.
TOM BODETT: How exciting.
SAGAL: That is exciting.
DELBIANCO: It's the most exciting job.
SAGAL: It is. I - you know, tax accounting is a job that, sadly, has the stereotype of being rather dull. Can you argue with us? Can you let America know that it's actually an exciting, vibrant line of work?
DELBIANCO: Yeah. I never get an excited reaction from somebody. But when you put a lot of nerds together, it can be a lot of fun.
SAGAL: That's true. That is, in fact, the basis for this entire show.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Megan. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, it's the host of the daily podcast "Too Beautiful To Live" and the public radio variety show "Live Wire," which will be live in Seattle at the Neptune Theatre on December 14. It's Luke Burbank.
BURBANK: Hey there, Megan.
SAGAL: Next, it's a contributing writer for The New York Times and creator of the audible series "Aliens Of Extraordinary Ability." It's Ms. Maeve Higgins.
MAEVE HIGGINS: Hi.
SAGAL: And finally, it's a humorist and woodworker who is raffling off a handmade, live edge maple bench - whatever that is...
SAGAL: ...To benefit the Hatchspace woodworking school in Brattleboro, Vt. - tickets available at hatchspace.org - Mr. Tom Bodett.
BODETT: Thank you.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Megan. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis is going to read for you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you'll win our prize - any voice from our show that you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to play?
DELBIANCO: Yes. Let's do it.
SAGAL: Let's do it. Yes. Here is your first quote.
KURTIS: It lacks pizzazz.
SAGAL: That was NBC News giving a poor review to the first episode of a new daytime reality TV show...
SAGAL: ...That debuted on Wednesday on all the cable networks. What was it?
DELBIANCO: That was the impeachment hearings.
SAGAL: Yes, the impeachment hearings.
SAGAL: Try to imagine the disappointment of the Democrats after their earlier version of their show, "The Robert Mueller Comedy Hour"...
SAGAL: ...Totally bombed. They completely rebooted the series. They relaunched it as a streaming service, Impeachment Plus.
SAGAL: It's got a brand-new committee, a new chairman, a new cast of star witnesses and totally new grounds for impeachment. But NBC News still panned it. Come on, guys. Didn't you see that one witness who was wearing a bow tie?
SAGAL: He was just like a Chippendale dancer.
SAGAL: There actually was a major revelation. I'm sure you guys saw this. Apparently, the president called Gordon Sondland when Sondland was in a restaurant to ask if he was, you know, getting the investigations they wanted. And he was bellowing so loudly that several people in the restaurant heard him, including one of Ambassador Taylor's aides. Mr. President, we know you're excited about crimes, but please use your the-statute-of-limitations-hasn't-yet-expired voice.
BODETT: Well, and then on Thursday, it came out that another diplomat had overheard...
BODETT: ...The same conversation.
BODETT: What, did he have him on speaker?
BURBANK: No. You know what? He was - Gordon Sondland, right...
BURBANK: ...Was the other end of this call. And, like, between Trump and Sondland, you know they're the kind of people that have people on FaceTime without headphones...
BURBANK: ...Which are, like, the worst living humans at this point.
SAGAL: People, yes.
HIGGINS: But it's a real boon for, like, nosy people and people who like to listen in on...
HIGGINS: ...Each other, I think. Because you remember as well the lawyers - like, do you remember the guy with the big - like, the Santa guy was having a big steak. And he was, like, (imitating Italian accent) what are we going to do? He keeps committing crimes.
HIGGINS: And then there was a journalist sitting behind them who was like, record.
HIGGINS: Like, it's just, like, a really nice time if you're a sneaky listener.
SAGAL: I'm sorry. I'm just thrilled to finally hear your mob lawyer impression.
SAGAL: It's, like, somewhere, Joe Pesci just felt a chill. That was...
HIGGINS: I do Al Pacino as well. I don't know if you want to hear that.
SAGAL: Oh, please. Yes.
HIGGINS: Oh, no, no, no. OK. (Imitating Al Pacino) Yes, my lovely. You're a woman.
HIGGINS: I do all those old Italian guys.
SAGAL: Let's move on. Here, Megan - here is your next quote.
KURTIS: This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.
SAGAL: That was a warning in front of some of the thousands of movies and TV shows that became available this week on what new streaming service?
DELBIANCO: Disney Plus.
SAGAL: Disney Plus - exactly right, Megan.
SAGAL: Walt Disney Corporation was concerned that while they had most of our money, they did not have all of it.
SAGAL: So they launched Disney Plus, their new streaming service. It's got all of the Disney entertainment they've made, plus all the stuff they bought from Fox and "Star Wars" and Marvel. Basically, everything ever put on film they own. Scroll around long enough on the site, you will find your own sex tapes.
SAGAL: And the sad thing is when you do find it, Disney has rated it PG.
SAGAL: So - but as you heard from Bill, some of their films from the old days were not quite, shall we say, modern in their outlook, so they had to add that disclaimer about outdated cultural depictions. That's the legal equivalent of, I'm not racist, really. Seven of my best friends are dwarves.
BURBANK: I - those movies live in my heart because I have a 26-year-old daughter. And so when she was between the age of, like, 3...
HIGGINS: You have a 26-year-old daughter?
BURBANK: I do.
HIGGINS: Baby-faced Burbank.
BURBANK: I had her when I was 17.
BURBANK: You know?
BURBANK: I felt like it was time. You just get to a point where you've done the whole junior year of high school thing...
BURBANK: ...And you're ready. I mean, we're in Virginia. I can't be the only one who had a kid at 17.
BURBANK: I was just going to say, my daughter between, like, age, like, 3 and 6 - I mean, all these movies were in...
BURBANK: ...Permanent rotation in my life.
BURBANK: So, I mean, look at this stuff. Isn't it neat? But I think my collection's complete. I don't need to watch any of these...
BURBANK: ...Movies anymore. They are burned in my brain.
SAGAL: Yeah, they're part of your world.
HIGGINS: To me, they're a whole new world, but I still haven't signed up. That's from "Aladdin," everyone.
BURBANK: That's very good, Maeve. Very good.
SAGAL: All right. Here, Megan, is your very last quote.
KURTIS: You can trust us with the medical data you didn't know we already had.
SAGAL: That was the website Ars Technica, and they were summarizing the news that a particular search giant now has the medical records of millions of Americans. What's the company?
DELBIANCO: The Google.
SAGAL: The Google, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: So the news came out that...
SAGAL: ...Google partnered with this nationwide chain of health care clinics that has treated millions of people. And in this partnership, they got access to all of these people's medical data - names, diagnoses, everything. So Google not only now knows what you Googled the other night. They know that if you keep it up, you're going to give yourself a heart attack.
BODETT: Why doesn't that bother me anymore? I mean, I - as a man of a certain age, and I hang around with men of a certain age, it's kind of - it's all we talk about. And so it's, like, it's all out there, right? My private medical history is now dinner conversation.
SAGAL: Exactly right. And as you point out, for some of us who are sort of deeply engaged in our medical lives every day, it's actually convenient. Instead of going in for a procedure under anesthesia, you can just go to Google Colon View.
SAGAL: See right in there. They've got that info.
BODETT: I mean, if they could put the reminders in the calendar, it would be helpful, too. You know, it's time...
BODETT: ...Time for the prostate check, you know...
BODETT: ...The things that are easy to forget, you know?
SAGAL: Yeah. I just want to say I don't want to see that particular Google Doodle when I log on.
BURBANK: Should I be seeing this many coffin ads...
BURBANK: ...Around Facebook?
SAGAL: Bill, how did Megan do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Megan got them all. Congratulations.
SAGAL: Congratulations, Megan.
SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing.
SAGAL: Take care.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.