PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Adam, according to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration planned to have a vaccine available by Thanksgiving. And there were going to use what important group of social influencers to convince people to take it?
ADAM BURKE: Oh, the Kardashians.
SAGAL: No. They're not available. They're on their island.
BURKE: Oh, that's right.
SAGAL: They deserve it, Adam - no mockery.
BURKE: (Laughter) Sure.
SAGAL: More old-school group of influencers.
BURKE: Oh, the Mouseketeers. I don't know.
SAGAL: I'll give you a hint. Well, little girl, isn't what you really want for Christmas a strengthened immune system?
BURKE: Oh. Is it, like, a department store Santa Claus?
SAGAL: Exactly right.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Mall Santas.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)
SAGAL: Trump appointee Michael Caputo developed this publicity campaign in which mall Santas this year would appear at events to promote the benefits of the Trump administration's COVID vaccine. And if they did it, they were promised early access to the vaccine themselves, which is a pretty sweet deal...
FAITH SALIE: What?
SAGAL: ...For a population who, if they're lucky, might get early access to the Auntie Annie's (ph) pretzel counter.
ALONZO BODDEN: So the mall Santas with the children in their laps weren't creepy enough.
BODDEN: Now they're going to actually - no, you don't want a new bicycle. You want a drug. And guess what I have?
BURKE: So that song - what - "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" - Santa Claus wasn't kissing mommy. He was inoculating her.
SALIE: And can't you just imagine, as the children get off of Santa's lap, the little elves lead them away and quickly stick them with needles on their way out?
BODDEN: Now, the idea that mall Santas are influencers that will release this scientific information that the nation has been waiting for...
BODDEN: ...Is why NASA won't tell us about anything more than water.
BODDEN: They're like, water is enough.
SAGAL: It's all you guys deserve.
BODDEN: They won't understand the big words.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON'T SHOOT ME SANTA")
THE KILLERS: (Singing) Don't shoot me, Santa Claus. I've been a clean-living boy. I promise you that every little thing you ask me to...
SAGAL: Coming up, our panelists tell you how you live your best pandemic life. It's the Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.