Who's Bill This Time
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. It's "Mission: Impossi-Bill (ph)."
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.
SAGAL: Thank you. We have a great show for you today. Later on on this stage, we'll be joined by Sean Doolittle, the star pitcher for the world champion Washington Nationals. But first, it was hard being a public radio listener this week. You turned on your radio to hear Fresh Air or maybe a little Thistle and Shamrock or maybe even a soothing pledge drive.
SAGAL: All you got was impeachment hearings, people shouting the same things over and over and never doing anything to change the inevitable outcome. And you're thinking to yourself, if I wanted that, I'd just have dinner with my parents again.
SAGAL: So today, believe it or not, we on WAIT WAIT will do everything we can to avoid impeachment. But we want to know what you knew and when you knew it, so call us up and answer our questions. 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.
TALLY KINGHORN: Hi, Peter. How are you doing?
SAGAL: I'm all right. Who's this?
KINGHORN: This is - my name's Tally Kinghorn, and I'm calling from New Ulm, Texas.
SAGAL: Your name is Tally Kinghorn.
KINGHORN: That is correct.
SAGAL: It's like Tally as in tally ho.
KINGHORN: Yes. And considering I work on a horse farm, it's quite apropos.
SAGAL: Oh, really?
SAGAL: So it's a Texas horse farm, and people are yelling, Tally, Tally.
SAGAL: Sounds like you're going to go on a fox hunt. So you work on a horse farm. What do you do there?
KINGHORN: I do whatever needs to be done, including shoveling a lot of you-know-what. But, you know, it's part of the job.
SAGAL: You and I have that in common, Tally.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Tally. Let me introduce you to the panel this week. First up, it's a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning." It's Faith Salie.
FAITH SALIE: Tally ho.
SALIE: Hi there.
SAGAL: Next, it's an actor and writer who can be seen in the latest season of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." It's Peter Grosz.
PETER GROSZ: Hi, Tally.
SAGAL: And finally, a comedian you can see in San Francisco on New Year's Eve at the Sydney Goldstein Theater. You can hear her every week on her own podcast, "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone." It's Paula Poundstone.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Hey, Tally.
SAGAL: So, Tally, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill this time. Of course, Bill is going to recreate for you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you'll win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. Ready to play?
KINGHORN: I am.
SAGAL: All right. Your first quote is a real headline about an election that happened this week.
KURTIS: Merry Brexmas (ph).
SAGAL: That was London's Sun tabloid announcing whose big victory on Thursday?
KINGHORN: That would be Boris Johnson.
SAGAL: Yes, Boris Johnson...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: ...BoJo, the lovable, tow-headed, frumpy prime minister, sort of a combination of Benny Hill and Mussolini...
SAGAL: ...Has won a huge victory for his party in the U.K., which means Britain will probably indeed leave the EU, which means that Scotland will probably leave the U.K., and maybe Northern Ireland, too. And eventually, Boris will achieve his dream - everybody gets their own little country the size of their house.
SAGAL: It seems nuts to us in America that he would win so big. He's so goofy. But that's his charm. People forgive his various lies and affairs and scandals because his hair is messy. And this is actually true. He has been seen before coming out to do a television appearance intentionally tousling up his hair.
GROSZ: And doesn't he also...
POUNDSTONE: Really? He makes it messy on purpose.
SAGAL: Yes. It gets him sympathy. It's, like, oh, he disbanded Parliament. But he's just cranky. He woke up from a nap.
GROSZ: He's also, like, quite brilliant and very well-spoken, but, like, intentionally screws up.
GROSZ: And I always wonder, like, what is it like to live in a country where the leader is, like, secretly smart but acts like a complete moron?
SALIE: But he's also terribly, terribly racist and awful. And it is amazing that he...
GROSZ: I know. But he's just so silly.
SALIE: Exactly. Exactly.
SAGAL: Part of the reason that some analysts say that Boris Johnson pulled out this big victory is because the other choices were so terrible. And it was all very confusing. We knew their choices were really bad when Mike Bloomberg jumped into the election.
GROSZ: My God. He has a better chance over there, I think.
SAGAL: (Imitating Michael Bloomberg) Hello. I am here.
SALIE: But, you know...
GROSZ: (Imitating Michael Bloomberg) I'm a small Jew trying to connect with the average working man. And...
GROSZ: (Imitating Michael Bloomberg) Oh, I'm also a billionaire. Oh, I also live in a $50 million house in New York City. Hello, Iowa.
GROSZ: What chance - you know what? There's, like, that - you don't have a snowball's chance in hell.
GROSZ: It should be, like, you don't have a Bloomberg's chance in Iowa of winning.
SALIE: I just like your opener. I'm a small Jew.
GROSZ: I mean, that's, like, first line of the obituary.
SAGAL: Yeah, I know.
GROSZ: Bloomberg - a small Jew died today.
GROSZ: Started a media empire - whatever. But he was diminutive.
SAGAL: Tally, your next...
SAGAL: ...Quote comes from a producer of the Golden Globes.
KURTIS: Every year, someone gets left out.
SAGAL: That's definitely true this year when the nominations left out whom?
KINGHORN: (Vocalizing). I'm still thinking about Boris Johnson.
SAGAL: I know. It's hard. He gets in there. It's hard to get him out.
SAGAL: This turns out to be generally true.
KINGHORN: I give up.
SAGAL: You give up. The people they left out were all the women. There were no female nominees for Best Director, no movies nominated that had female directors. Now, the Golden Globes, if you don't know - they're considered the opening of awards season, which is just like baseball season. It's too long. It's somewhat predictable. And apparently, women are not allowed to play.
SAGAL: No movies directed by women were nominated for Best Picture. No women were nominated for Best Director. Most glaringly, even the five Best Actress nominees were men.
GROSZ: That's also - what's great about that is, like, nobody votes for that. Like, just so people are aware, there's...
GROSZ: ...An academy for, like, the Emmys and the Oscars and the Grammys and all...
GROSZ: ...The Tonys. Like, you're members of an academy. You vote. You tally the votes. Someone wins. The Hollywood Foreign Press is a bunch of people who get together, like, who do you think? Which is why, like, Johnny Depp will get like a Golden Globe. And you were, like, Johnny Depp is still acting?
GROSZ: And it's because they just...
SALIE: And they're...
GROSZ: ...Want him to show up at their awards show. They - all they could have done is just had somebody look at it and...
GROSZ: ...Make the correction.
SALIE: And they're actually foreign? It's nobody...
POUNDSTONE: Yeah, what...
SALIE: It's called the foreign press because they're...
GROSZ: It's the Hollywood Foreign Press. It's, like, for the - like, you're the American person who works for Le Monde, or you work for Der Spiegel or something like that. So I know two foreign newspapers.
POUNDSTONE: That's impressive.
GROSZ: I know more foreign newspapers than there are women...
GROSZ: ...Who are nominated...
GROSZ: ...For a...
SALIE: They didn't even nominate "Little Women..."
SALIE: ...For Best Picture?
SAGAL: Greta Gerwig should have changed the title to "Little Men." She would have had a chance.
SAGAL: Tally, here is your last quote.
KURTIS: You know what? It's better than waiting two hours in the line.
SAGAL: That was somebody explaining the new trend this Christmas of kids seeing Santa how?
SAGAL: Yes, exactly.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: They're FaceTiming Santa.
SAGAL: Nobody apparently wants to go to a mall to see Santa anymore because nobody wants to go to a mall. So more and more parents are arranging for their kids to talk to Santa via video chat. They pay $35 to a service called Talk to Santa.
GROSZ: To a service called We Are Ripping You Off.
SAGAL: No, it's...
SAGAL: No, it's Talk to Santa. It's basically a webinar for your preteens.
SALIE: This is such a bad idea.
SALIE: I watched some of these online, and the quality of the Santas, let's just say, is variable.
GROSZ: Is it below...
SALIE: You could...
GROSZ: ...Where a mall Santa is? Because that also is a bad idea. If someone was like, hey, there's a stranger. Why don't you go sit on his lap?
GROSZ: Like, that's...
GROSZ: ...Not a great idea, either.
SALIE: So look. I live in New York City, and I get to take my Jewish children - half-Jewish children - to the real Santa at Macy's.
SAGAL: Yeah. And that's...
SALIE: I mean, that's...
SAGAL: ...Where Santa actually lives.
SALIE: Yeah. That is Santa.
GROSZ: I live in New York City, and I don't take my Jewish child to see Santa Claus.
SALIE: Well, your Jewish child is missing out. So...
POUNDSTONE: Do you take him to see a candle?
GROSZ: But I've got to do it eight times.
POUNDSTONE: Honey, honey. Sit on the candle. Sit on the candle.
GROSZ: Oh, it's lit.
SAGAL: Talk to Santa, the company we've been discussing, has hired 300 Santa's helpers for this Christmas season who between them were exactly zero pairs of pants because why bother?
POUNDSTONE: It's - you know, it's part of the gig economy, so they do it while they're driving for Uber.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Tally finally do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Tally ho - she got 2 out of 3, which is a win.
SAGAL: Congratulations, Tally.
SAGAL: Well done. Thank you so much for playing.
KINGHORN: Take care, you guys.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.