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Who's Bill This Time

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following program was taped before an audience of no one.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I am the eggman (ph). I am the Kurtis - Bill Kurtis. And here's your host, recording in his closet like some kind of godforsaken podcaster, Peter Sagal.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill. And thank you - well, nobody you all. That applause you heard was actually the passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight clapping for a pilot because he landed the plane.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Thank you, producer Mike, for that sound effect reminding us of one of the advantages of not being able to go anywhere. Later on, we're going to be talking to Samantha Bee, who's been doing her weekly show on TBS, "Full Frontal," from somewhere in the woods. But first, we hope you can come out of hiding and give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924. Time to welcome our first listener contestant.

Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

NOAH ORGESH: Hi, this is Noah from Colorado Springs.

SAGAL: Colorado Springs - one of the more beautiful places I've been. What do you do there?

ORGESH: I am a middle school history and English teacher.

SAGAL: Wow. That's tough under any circumstances. How's it been doing it remotely?

ORGESH: You know, it's been good. I would say the novelty has worn off, definitely.

SAGAL: (Laughter) That took five, seven minutes or...

ORGESH: (Laughter) Yeah. That's...

SAGAL: I will say this, and I will - I say this with all due respect for the middle school students I know. For all the difficulties you have, at least you don't have to smell them.

(LAUGHTER)

ORGESH: Yeah, that's - (laughter) that's fair.

SAGAL: Well, Noah, welcome to our show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a comedian whose microphone broke right before the show. You can check out his stand-up on his YouTube channel. It's Adam Burke.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

ADAM BURKE: Hello. How are you?

ORGESH: Hello.

SAGAL: Next up is a comedian who stars in the Asian American coming-of-age comedy "Becoming Eddie" at becomingeddiefilm.com and is performing May 13 at nowherecomedyclub.com. It's Helen Hong.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

HELEN HONG: Hi, Noah. Hi, everybody.

ORGESH: Hello.

SAGAL: And a correspondent for "CBS Sunday Morning" and author of The New York Times bestselling "Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving," it's Mo Rocca.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

MO ROCCA: Hi, Noah. When I went to Colorado Springs, my head almost exploded from the altitude.

(LAUGHTER)

ORGESH: Yeah.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Noah. 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 win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to play?

ORGESH: Sure am.

SAGAL: OK. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: I had no idea how popular it was.

SAGAL: That was the president putting the best possible spin on the outrage that came when he announced earlier in the week that he was going to disband what?

ORGESH: The coronavirus task force.

SAGAL: Exactly right...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Noah.

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SAGAL: It was exciting at first - you know, the task force, the meetings. But apparently, the president decided people were losing interest. In fact, according to his aides, as many as 3,000 people stop watching the briefings every day. So he decided the crisis is over. As Trump said, mission accomplished. No, wait. I'm sorry. That was the virus. It even had a little tiny banner behind it.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: You know, when I was little, my teeth were so out of line that my parents insisted that I get braces when I was 8. And then, predictably, my entire face and head changed, so then I had to get braces again. And then after that set of braces, I lost my little retainer thing, so then I had to get Invisalign again in my thirties. And that's how I feel canceling this coronavirus task force is right now.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: It's giving your kid braces when they're 8. They will need to get them again.

BURKE: (Laughter).

HONG: Yes.

ROCCA: Why am I suddenly imagining the president now on a tricycle just going around...

BURKE: (Laughter).

ROCCA: ...The driveway in front of the White House with braces?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You know, the president never liked the task force anyway, mainly because it involved his least favorite thing - tasks.

ROCCA: I'm surprised he just hasn't started wearing lots of scarves...

SAGAL: Like Dr. Birx.

ROCCA: ...To try - yeah. Like, Trump will show up in lots of scarves and Eileen Fisher just trying to steal Dr. Birx's thunder.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

BURKE: Or just start wearing a stethoscope around his neck so people think he's some sort of medical professional.

SAGAL: What's weird, of course, is we don't really know what's been going on with these meetings, this task force, behind the scenes. So everybody's looking forward to decades from now, when we get a "Last Dance"-style documentary about the whole thing with Dr. Fauci as Michael Jordan telling us all how much he hated every single person he worked with. Yeah, back then, the task force was basically a cocaine circus.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: You know what I think the problem with the task force was? No uniforms. They all need, like, a - they all need to coordinate - you know, like, have a big TF on the front - 'cause coronavirus...

HONG: Yeah.

BURKE: ...Task force - it already sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon. Like, it sounds like - maybe like a theme song.

HONG: Yeah.

BURKE: You know what I mean?

HONG: (Singing) Coronavirus task force.

BURKE: Task force - yeah, exactly.

HONG: Yeah.

BURKE: They need a handshake and a salute.

ROCCA: I mean, Adam, because this president runs the country like a network executive, you realize that he's going to take that idea...

BURKE: (Laughter).

ROCCA: ...And do an animated task force and shoot them into outer space 'cause that's what they did with "Josie And The Pussycats," right?

BURKE: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: They put them into outer space.

HONG: I would watch that. I'm not going to lie. I would totally watch an animated Dr. Fauci.

ROCCA: (Singing) Fauci and the task force.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: I think Birx and Fauci would be fine with being shot into space right now...

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: ...As far away from this guy as possible - totally fine.

SAGAL: Noah, your next quote is about a new staple in all of our wardrobes.

KURTIS: Ready for the Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Armani?

SAGAL: That was a tweet from someone excited that high-fashion designers are now making what newly essential fashion accessory?

ORGESH: Face masks.

SAGAL: Face masks.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Exactly right, Noah.

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SAGAL: Very well done. Major fashion houses are now making masks, so now you don't only have to worry about looking silly; you have to worry about looking cheap. And it's one more thing that they'll be able to do on the red carpet with all the stars who'll be wearing, you know, designer face masks. First, who are you wearing? And second, who are you?

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: I want a face mask from Jean Paul Gaultier, the guy who did Madonna's - used to do Madonna's costume. So there'd just be a long cone sticking right out from my mouth...

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: ...Because then it would accomplish social distancing at the same time.

SAGAL: With no end in sight, it looks like we'll be wearing masks for the indefinite future. We're all looking forward to the craze of this summer, the three-piece bathing suit.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: I think that fashion designers need to pour their creativity into something since the only thing that any of us are going to be wearing on the bottoms is a half-tied bathrobe. So you know...

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: That's true.

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: But bottoms make good masks. I mean - that sounds really dirty. But anyway...

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: ...Bottoms make great masks - like briefs. Like, you could fashion old briefs into masks. And every time I bring this up, people are like, that's gross. I don't get it.

BURKE: It will definitely keep people six feet away from you.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Noah, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: Ah (ph), oh - searing pain.

SAGAL: That was a man named Coyote Peterson after he willingly - willingly - got stung by a new pest invading the U.S. What is it?

ORGESH: Murder wasps - or murder bees.

SAGAL: Close enough. Murder hornets...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Is what they're called.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: The murder hornet sounds just like another podcast. But it's actually...

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...A name for the Asian giant hornet. And they've been spotted in the Pacific Northwest. Have you seen them? I mean, they're terrifying. They're these giant hornets about two inches long, and they can decimate an entire beehive in minutes. They also sting people, as you heard, and it is extremely painful. But don't worry. They only attack when you provoke them by doing things like running or seeming scared, breathing or existing. And by the way, of course, NPR insists that we call it the alleged murder hornet.

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: Why are...

ROCCA: Did you see the praying mantis, though, take it on...

SAGAL: Yeah.

ROCCA: ...That video of the praying mantis eating the head of the murder hornet? It was so - I didn't care that the murder hornet had not been brought to trial yet. I just love that kind of...

(LAUGHTER)

ROCCA: I love that the praying mantis just went for it.

HONG: Why are they Asian murder hornets? Can't we have a nonracial murder hornet? I mean, cannot we judge our murder hornets by the content of their character and not the color of their skin? I mean, come on. Like, Asians have had such a beating this year. Whoever is doing PR for Asians lately - we got to fire them and hire the person who's doing PR for Harvey Weinstein. Come on.

BURKE: (Laughter).

ROCCA: Helen, do you feel pressure to disavow the crimes of the murder hornet?

BURKE: (Laughter).

HONG: I do. I do.

BURKE: I mean, if you think the murder hornet is big, have you seen the vehicular homicide hornet? That thing is huge.

(LAUGHTER)

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

KURTIS: Noah did great. And if you see that hornet, please call us, Noah.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

SAGAL: Thank you for playing, Noah.

ORGESH: Great. Yeah, thank you. I appreciate it.

(SOUNDBITE OF MNOZIL BRASS' "THE GREEN HORNET THEME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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