Who's Bill This Time
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. (Singing) Drei-Bill (ph), Drei-Bill, Drei-Bill...
KURTIS: (Singing) I made you out of clay.
MO ROCCA: Yes.
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, everybody. Thank you all so much. We have such a great show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to Jennifer Lee. She is the woman who wrote and directed both "Frozen" and the new "Frozen II." We might even play an excerpt from her work because she doesn't mind it, unlike some people.
SAGAL: I don't know if you heard about this, but the actor Adam Driver reportedly walked out on an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air when Terry played a bit of audio from his movie. He says he can't stand that. Look, you do not pull on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. And you don't walk out on Terry Gross.
SAGAL: The last person to try that was Angela McGillicuddy (ph). Oh, you've never heard of her. Wonder why?
SAGAL: We won't play any of your prior work when you call in. We know you're sensitive. So 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.
JAMES CARTER: Hello there. This is James calling from Harrisonburg, Va.
SAGAL: Ah, James. How are you?
CARTER: I'm super-duper. Thanks very much.
SAGAL: I'm glad to hear it. You know, I just love those genteel Virginia accents you have there.
ROCCA: Are you a colonist?
CARTER: No. I moved here about 14 years ago with my beautiful bride.
SAGAL: Oh, how wonderful. And how do you like living on this side of the pond?
CARTER: It's OK. It has its ups and downs.
SAGAL: It does. We've noticed the same. Well, welcome to the show, James. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, it's a comedian headlining Zanies in Chicago January 20 and 21. It's Adam Burke.
ADAM BURKE: Hello, sir.
SAGAL: Next, a features writer for the style section of The Washington Post - it's Roxanne Roberts.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: Hello, James.
SAGAL: And author of The New York Times best-seller "Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving" - host of the podcast "Mobituaries," too - it's Mo Rocca.
ROCCA: Hi, James.
SAGAL: So, James, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you'll, of course, win our prize - the voice of anyone you might choose on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
SAGAL: All right. Now, for your first quote, I'm going to need our audience's help. So Bill is going to be the president for this quote, and you're going to be the crowd at his rally on Wednesday night. Now...
SAGAL: When Bill as the president asks you a question, you're going to answer it. And the answer is toilets.
SAGAL: All right. Here we go.
KURTIS: (Imitating Donald Trump) Sinks, showers - and what goes with a sink and a shower?
AUDIENCE: (Shouting) Toilets.
SAGAL: That was how the president...
SAGAL: ...Was talking at almost exactly the same moment that what happened to him?
CARTER: The impeachment vote.
SAGAL: Yes. That was the moment when he...
SAGAL: ...Was impeached.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: The Democrats wanted a rebuke to the president, a way to show him that what he did was wrong, but it didn't work. While the Democrats were impeaching him, he gave a two-hour rambling speech about low-flow toilets and military pilots. He said, quote, "We have these F-35s. I went up to the pilots, and honestly, they're better looking than Tom Cruise. The face is equal, maybe slightly better. The body is bigger and stronger."
SAGAL: Are those not the words of a man who feels a mix of remorse and sexual attraction to fighter pilots?
ROCCA: This is more homoerotic than "Top Gun."
SAGAL: I know.
ROCCA: Did it break out into volleyball?
SAGAL: Here's the thing. You know, the Democrats...
ROBERTS: What's the thing, Peter? There's so many things.
SAGAL: There's so many things.
ROBERTS: There's so many things.
SAGAL: But this is the thing. The Democrats know that he won't be convicted in the Senate. They always knew that. But they wanted to impeach him just to finally make him understand he had done something wrong, to feel some shame. He cannot feel shame. He never feels shame. If he wet his pants at a party, he'd just say, look. My pants have spontaneously changed color.
SAGAL: Them magic pants.
BURKE: My pants are full of water, unlike these dishwashers.
SAGAL: The day before the vote, Tuesday, Donald Trump wrote an angry six-page letter denouncing the entire impeachment process. People said it was unhinged and unpresidential. But let's look on the bright side. When they first told Donald Trump he should write a letter, he sat down and just wrote the letter B.
ROBERTS: I think one of my favorite things about the letter was that the mayor of Salem came out to correct the record...
ROBERTS: ...About the Salem witch hunts.
SAGAL: Yes. Because I should say that President Trump said something that some of his supporters have said - that the witches in Salem got better treatment than he has.
ROCCA: And what did the mayor say?
BURKE: Just cast a spell.
ROBERTS: No, she had to explain that innocent women were murdered...
ROBERTS: ...Because of false accusations. And therefore, it was not analogous to his situation.
ROBERTS: That's the problem.
ROCCA: That's a good system.
ROBERTS: But also...
BURKE: I think it was, like, analogous - is that a spell?
SAGAL: Here, James, is your next quote.
KURTIS: Three hours after a week like this.
SAGAL: That was Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post talking about the length of what big event for Democrats Thursday night?
CARTER: Can I get a hint?
SAGAL: They've done this before. This is the smallest one they've had so far.
CARTER: Christmas party?
ROCCA: Like, the absolute opposite of that.
SAGAL: There were seven people there as opposed to the 10 or 12 they've had at prior events.
CARTER: A Hanukkah party?
SAGAL: You know, you're obviously not following this side of the political spectrum. And frankly, I don't blame you, so I will just give you the answer. It was a Democratic debate, you see.
SAGAL: They had one. Seven Democrats took the stage for a debate in Los Angeles Thursday night. Tulsi Gabbard was not present.
SAGAL: The debate for the first time this cycle was on PBS, which means that instead of being surprisingly dull, it was expectedly dull.
SAGAL: But it was fun on PBS when an expert came on, examined Bernie Sanders and said he was a valuable antique with an appraised value of...
SAGAL: ...Between $7,500 and $10,000. Congratulations.
SAGAL: Are you guys finding at all possible to remain interested in the Democratic race for president?
BURKE: It needs - there needs to be more razzmatazz when someone drops out of the race. I think that's the problem. It - like, there needs to be literally a trapdoor.
SAGAL: Or should they project his face in the sky like "The Hunger Games"?
BURKE: Right, right.
ROCCA: Maybe it should be more like Salem.
SAGAL: This has been - but this was the first debate after everybody had really turned on Pete Buttigieg - Mayor Pete, who was the leader in Iowa. He's been receiving a huge amount of criticism. He's been giving it out, too, especially towards Elizabeth Warren. Watching them go after each other is like a bad reboot of "Harold And Maude."
SAGAL: Mayor Pete has been getting some heat. I don't know if you saw this. He attended a big fundraiser in Napa at a winery with a, quote, "wine cave." And everybody was so mad that he did this. But why would you be mad about a wine cave? It celebrates the two things Democrats are known for, whining and caving.
SAGAL: All right. Here is your last quote.
KURTIS: It's a furry orgy in a dumpster.
SAGAL: That was how The Guardian reviewed what new film out this weekend?
ROCCA: (Singing) Jellicles (ph) can...
ROCCA: (Singing) Jellicles can and Jellicles do. Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats. Jellicle...
CARTER: Is it "Cats?"
SAGAL: It is "Cats," yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: I'm so glad you got that because otherwise, Mo was going to sing the whole score.
ROCCA: (Singing) Skimbleshanks, the railway cat, the cat on the railway train...
ROCCA: I was a big "Cats" fan.
SAGAL: Apparently. The inexplicably long-running musical has finally...
SAGAL: ...Been made into a movie. Instead of Broadway actors in cat suits and makeup, it's famous Hollywood stars digitally altered to look like horrible cat sex monsters.
SAGAL: The reviews have been mixed. On the one hand, Tyler Coates says "Cats" is, quote, "the worst movie I have seen this year," unquote, while on the other hand, David Farrier said, quote, "This is the worst thing I've ever seen."
SAGAL: "This is what death feels like," unquote.
ROCCA: The digital altering was necessary in some cases but controversial in others. Jason Derulo...
ROCCA: ...Said on Andy Cohen's talk show that he was upset that his cat manhood - his cathood? - was CGI-ed out.
SAGAL: Yes. He said that. He complained about that.
BURKE: His manxhood (ph).
SAGAL: Yeah. But, of course, you know, he said that, yes, it's so sad they digitally erased his manhood. And, like, all the real cats are, like, oh, I see. You're complaining your genitals were digitally removed.
SAGAL: How terrible. Bill, how did James do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Are you kidding? James owns this show.
SAGAL: Congratulations. Well done.
SAGAL: Thanks so much for playing, James.
(SOUNDBITE OF HARRY CHAPIN SONG, "CAT'S IN THE CRADLE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.