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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. Hey, Mister Rogers, come over to the Land of Make Bill-ieve (ph).

(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

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

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much. It's great to be back with you. We're all starting a whole new year. And based on what's happened just so far, I think it's going to be a great year.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It had better be because based on those same things, it might be the last one we get.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Later on, we're going to be talking to Ronan Farrow, whose investigations into serial predators won him a Pulitzer Prize. I should stress - we called him.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And now it's your turn to 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 are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

HANNAH STEIN: Hi there. This is Hannah Stein (ph) calling from Cleveland, Ohio.

SAGAL: Hey. How are things in Cleveland, Hannah?

STEIN: They are kind of weirdly cold, then warm, then cold, and then warm and blustery. And we're not even sure if it's winter anymore.

SAGAL: It's all very confusing. We feel the same in Chicago. We expect to be miserable for a solid three months. And it's just...

(LAUGHTER)

STEIN: Yeah.

SAGAL: It's almost disappointing when you're not.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's a Midwestern thing. Well, welcome to the show, Hannah.

STEIN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First off, it's a comedian you can see January 21 at Zanies Chicago and February 27 at White Rabbit Cabaret in Indianapolis. That's Adam Burke.

ADAM BURKE: Hello, Hannah.

(CHEERING)

BURKE: How are you?

SAGAL: Next, it's a features writer for the style section of The Washington Post, Ms. Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Hello, Adam.

(CHEERING)

SAGAL: And the host of the confessional daily podcast TBTL and the public radio variety show Live Wire, which will be at the Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland on January 30 - it's Luke Burbank.

(CHEERING)

LUKE BURBANK: Hey, Hannah. They're not booing. They're saying you are going to do great on this.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yeah, that's what they're saying. Hannah, welcome to the show. You're going to play, of course, Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis for the first time this year is going to read you three quotations on 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 want for your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

STEIN: I am ready.

SAGAL: Let's do it, then. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: It was a historic accomplomintay (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That was somebody...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Celebrating his attack on Iran...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Perhaps in pig Latin. We don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

STEIN: I'll be polite and say President Trump.

SAGAL: That's very polite. Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Trump has finally succeeded in uniting the fractious Middle East. Despite their differences, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel - they all have absolutely no idea what he is doing.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: There have been different stories that have come out about how President Trump was convinced to launch this attack on Irani General Soleimaini (ph) - on Irani General Soleimaini - I can't say it - Irani General Soleimani.

BURKE: Are you a speechwriter for Trump?

SAGAL: Yeah, apparently.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: You think that's it, Adam? They just write it into his teleprompter.

BURKE: Yeah. Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's not him this whole time. Anyway, there are various stories as to how he came to this decision. One was that Pentagon generals presented him with a bunch of options, with firing missiles at this guy as the one they included as the crazy one that he, of course, wouldn't pick so as to make him pick one of the others. No. Guys, you do not show President Trump a crazy option...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...With the expectation that he won't choose it. Trump will go with the nuclear option, even if it is a nuclear option. And then the president, very happy with what he had done, set up this photo-op to announce how happy he was. And he had all these guys - did you see this? - he had all these guys in uniform standing behind him as props. They didn't say anything. They didn't move. They didn't blink. It was weird.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Even more suspicious were their titles - General Electric...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...General Motors...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...And General Hospital.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Major Appliance was there, too.

SAGAL: I know. That's really great. Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: So where do we start? Do we start with the letter that wasn't really supposed to go out?

SAGAL: Oh, yes.

BURBANK: Oh, geez.

SAGAL: That is amazing.

ROBERTS: Yeah.

SAGAL: Again, there was so much that happened this week. So after the attack in Iraq, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel the U.S. from Iraq. There was upset. And the next day, they got a letter, Iraq from the U.S. Army, saying, OK, we shall leave. Oh, my god. We're leaving Iraq. That's it. They just had to ask us, and we'd go.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And then the Army explained, oh, no, no, no, no. That was a draft letter we sent by mistake.

ROBERTS: Twice.

SAGAL: Twice - they sent it twice by mistake.

ROBERTS: Twice by mistake, yes.

SAGAL: Yes.

BURBANK: I'm telling you, reply all has ruined more careers.

SAGAL: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

BURBANK: They should - the Pentagon, that should not even be an option.

SAGAL: Hannah, your next quote is about an absolute earthquake in the U.K.

KURTIS: First time I've ever seen someone quit their family saying it's to spend more time with their jobs.

SAGAL: That was a tweet from a man named Eric Nelson. Who are quitting their prominent jobs in the U.K.?

STEIN: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

SAGAL: You're exactly right...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Meghan and Harry...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...Also known as the (imitating British accent) duke and duchess of Sussex. She and her husband - that's Megan and Harry, the former Prince Harry - announced they were quitting the royal family, leading Prince Charles to whisper, you can do that?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: They announced on Instagram, of course, that they are - they will, quote, "step back as senior members of the royal family and work to become financially independent," unquote. That is the sort of thing only people who already have an infinite supply of money...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Might say.

BURBANK: That being said, you want to talk about a Brexit?

SAGAL: Yeah.

BURBANK: This is the ultimate heist film. She stole a prince.

SAGAL: She did. She's out of it.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: As a matter of fact...

BURBANK: I mean, this is amazing.

BURKE: By the way, that sounds like an awful Hallmark Christmas movie - "The Prince I Stole" (laughter).

BURBANK: Starring Lori Loughlin when she gets out of jail.

BURKE: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Aren't they going to move to Canada?

SAGAL: Yeah, there is some rumor that they're going to move to Canada. She...

BURKE: Why would you go to the one country where your mother-in-law is still on the money?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Damn it. We can't get away from her.

BURKE: Anywhere else they should have gone.

BURBANK: Is it possible they hated visiting orphans?

BURKE: Yeah. I think...

(LAUGHTER)

BURBANK: Because that appears to be...

ROBERTS: Well, that's just...

BURBANK: ...The main job of being a royal, right?

SAGAL: Yeah.

BURBANK: Harry is probably so psyched to get out of this situation. Don't you think?

SAGAL: Oh, yeah. Oh, absolutely.

ROBERTS: But I think that, you know, there's a bunch of people going, yay for them. And then there's sort of a big backlash. They're already out of Madame Tussauds.

SAGAL: Yes.

BURKE: Yeah.

SAGAL: That's the first thing - they took their wax figures. We don't know what happened to them. We assume they just put wicks on them and sold them...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...As big souvenir candles.

BURKE: That's disappointing. Hasn't the punishment for royals really dropped? Didn't we used to behead these bastards?

SAGAL: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: By the way...

BURKE: That's the worst that happens - you get taken out of Madame Tussauds?

BURBANK: The Harry candle smells like dusty cedar...

SAGAL: Yeah.

BURBANK: ...When you burn it.

SAGAL: Very nice. All right, Hannah. Your last quote comes to us from the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. That's that big annual tech showcase that's happening right now.

KURTIS: Imagine yourself there. You have run out of toilet tissue, and nobody hears your call.

SAGAL: So that was a Procter & Gamble person at the CES announcing his company's amazing invention that will solve that problem with what?

STEIN: I'm going to say delivery drones.

SAGAL: Close enough - a robot.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: It is a...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: ...Robot designed to bring you toilet paper. Now, this, of course, is the Consumer Electronics Show, where they try to show us all the stuff that we're going to need, even though, believe me, none of us need any more stuff. So they keep coming up with these ideas. Here's the toilet-paper-retrieving robot. It's from Charmin. The idea is you're sitting there. You realize you have no toilet paper. And instead of hopping through the house with your pants around your knees...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...You press a button on your phone, and a robot brings you some toilet paper. This is good because the other way a robot could solve the problem of no toilet paper is with a laser.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: So it...

BURBANK: That could solve a couple problems for me.

SAGAL: Yeah.

ROBERTS: Is the toilet paper coming out from the top? Or...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I believe it just sort of rolls in, opens up, and there's a roll for you.

ROBERTS: Yeah.

SAGAL: Although I don't know how it gets in your car and goes to the store and buys more.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Oh, is this like a full Arnold Schwarzenegger "Terminator" that kicks the door in...

SAGAL: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: ...And goes...

SAGAL: Come with me if you want to wipe.

(LAUGHTER)

BURBANK: This is...

SAGAL: Not as scary, I think.

BURBANK: This is, I think, a threat to our very way of life because most people are in relationships that they've lost interest in years ago because you need someone to bring you toilet paper...

SAGAL: Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

BURBANK: ...If you get stuck in there.

SAGAL: Oh, by the way, it wasn't all tech. Impossible Foods displayed their newest invention, Impossible Pork - finally, something impossible Jews can eat.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Bill, how did Hannah do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Hannah did great...

ROBERTS: (Laughter).

KURTIS: ...Listening and playing.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Congratulations, Hannah. Well done.

STEIN: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Take care. Bye-bye.

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


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