Leaders And Rad Eels

Apr 24, 2020
Originally published on April 24, 2020 4:38 pm

Comedians Mitra Jouhari and Whitmer Thomas unscramble names of past and present world leaders in this anagram game.

Heard on Orville Peck & Mitra Jouhari: A Cowpunk And One Busy Debra.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and being real smug about installing a bidet last year. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

It's true. They are sold out.

COULTON: Yeah. You can't get them.

EISENBERG: Thank you so much, Jonathan. We're playing games with Mitra Jouhari from Adult Swim's "Three Busy Debras" and Whitmer Thomas from the HBO comedy special "The Golden One." OK - you guys ready for another game?

MITRA JOUHARI: Yes.

WHITMER THOMAS: I'm ready to rock.

EISENBERG: This is called Leaders and Rad Eels. It combines two things we love here on ASK ME ANOTHER - trivia about world leaders and anagrams. OK. I know that's a lot to throw at you.

THOMAS: No, I'm really good at both these things.

(LAUGHTER)

THOMAS: I pretty much do them in my sleep. So I'm ready.

EISENBERG: OK. OK. So I'm going to give you the clue with the anagram-ed (ph) historical figure's name, and you just have to identify the leader. Mitra, this first one is for you.

JOUHARI: OK.

EISENBERG: This speaker of the House is known for ripping up Trump's speech and wearing bright pink suits. But you don't get to where she is without knowing about everyone in Washington. One might dub her a nosy pelican.

JOUHARI: Nancy Pelosi.

EISENBERG: That is correct. Yeah.

THOMAS: That one was really easy. It shouldn't count.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah. OK. We'll see...

THOMAS: Almost cheating.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: We got to warm you up. We're going warm you up to the hard ones.

THOMAS: All right - good. Thank you.

COULTON: Whitmer, this one is for you. The first U.S. president was apparently a fan of double negatives since his name anagrams to hi, go negate wrongs.

THOMAS: Oh, George Washington.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

EISENBERG: Yeah. He really was the best.

THOMAS: Yeah. He was - I miss him.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Favorite president - everyone's favorite president.

THOMAS: Remember back in - those were the good, old days.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) He was the best first president, I guess you could say.

THOMAS: Yeah.

EISENBERG: He was the very best one. I blame...

JOUHARI: No one can take that away from him.

EISENBERG: Exactly.

COULTON: That's right.

EISENBERG: OK. Mitra, she probably never actually said let them eat cake, but this French leader's name still anagrams to treat - no, I eat mine.

JOUHARI: Oh, that's perfect - Marie Antoinette.

EISENBERG: That's correct.

THOMAS: Kirsten Dunst.

JOUHARI: (Laughter).

COULTON: Yeah. All right. Whitmer, this is for you. This woman was imprisoned by her cousin, Elizabeth I of England, and spent years plotting to escape and become the queen herself. One might call it a fancy, morose quest.

JOUHARI: Ooh.

THOMAS: Thanks for giving me this one, gang.

JOUHARI: (Laughter).

COULTON: This is where it gets a little harder.

THOMAS: I can - I know a lot about Marie Antoinette because The Strokes were in the soundtrack.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. Wait a second. There was a movie adaptation of her.

THOMAS: I know. And I just saw the cover of it the other day.

EISENBERG: With Saoirse Ronan.

THOMAS: Yes.

COULTON: The anagram is fancy, morose quest.

THOMAS: Is it - mmm.

EISENBERG: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

COULTON: It isn't mmm.

EISENBERG: Oh, I like this. Oh, I love this.

THOMAS: McGee...

EISENBERG: Yup, McGee. That's right.

JOUHARI: (Laughter).

THOMAS: Is it...

EISENBERG: I mean, Scottish - could be.

THOMAS: Yeah. No, I don't remember. But it's definitely not Mary or...

COULTON: It might be.

EISENBERG: Why not? Why not?

COULTON: It might be though.

JOUHARI: Why wouldn't it be?

(LAUGHTER)

THOMAS: Queen Mary of Scots.

EISENBERG: Yes.

COULTON: Yeah, Mary, queen of Scots. That's correct.

THOMAS: Yeah. That's it. That's it. OK.

COULTON: Yeah. You had it all along.

JOUHARI: Pork McGee.

EISENBERG: All right - Pork McGee. Oh, if that's...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I opened for Pork McGee, I'm pretty sure.

THOMAS: Yeah.

EISENBERG: At Hilarity's. Mitra.

JOUHARI: Yes.

EISENBERG: After this U.S. president's inauguration, his first lady Mamie aimed to fill the White House with antique furniture. So that answers his anagram, redesigned with who?

JOUHARI: Oh.

COULTON: Should be with whom, technically.

EISENBERG: Here's a little bit of trivia about him. When he was - let me think - freshman, I think it was a freshman in college, his doctor told him that he had to get his leg amputated, and he said no - because of an infection. He said, I refuse. And then he recovered.

COULTON: Where'd you pull that fact from? That's impressive, Ophira.

EISENBERG: Just - that's the only thing I know about American history.

(LAUGHTER)

JOUHARI: Well, you know what? What I was about to say is so embarrassing, I'm going to use it as my guess, which is...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

JOUHARI: ...William H. Macy.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Very close.

COULTON: President Macy.

JOUHARI: (Laughter).

COULTON: What if I say the first part of his slogan when he was running for president, I like...

THOMAS: Oh. I know...

JOUHARI: Oh. Eisenhower, Dwight (laughter). Dwight Eisenhower?

THOMAS: Dwight. D. Eisenhower.

COULTON: Dwight D. Eisenhower. That's right.

EISENBERG: Do we know why he had to go with the initial? If your name's Dwight Eisenhower, who are you afraid of being confused with?

THOMAS: There was already a Dwight Eisenhower in the president's union...

EISENBERG: Oh.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Exactly.

THOMAS: ...On international president database.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: In the old international. OK.

COULTON: They didn't want to get the royalties mixed up.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's right.

THOMAS: Right.

COULTON: All right. Whitmer, this is for you. And this is the last question. He spent 27 years in prison and became South Africa's first democratically elected president. But few people know that he collected blacklight animal posters, hence his anagram, send neon llama.

THOMAS: This is Nelson Mandela.

COULTON: Yeah, you are right.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EISENBERG: Guess what? It's a tie. So out of everything, you did everything perfectly and are perfectly matched and, once again, will continue to succeed.

COULTON: It's all good news.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) It's all good news. That's all I have for you.

JOUHARI: I'm in a full-body sweat.

(LAUGHTER)

JOUHARI: It's the most I've thought in two months.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Well, glad we're here for that. Thank you so much. Mitra Jouhari stars in "Three Busy Debras" on Adult Swim. Whitmer Thomas's HBO special is called "The Golden One." Mitra, Whit, thank you so much for joining us on ASK ME ANOTHER.

JOUHARI: Thank you.

THOMAS: Thanks for having us.

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