Purple Prince

Jan 31, 2020

This is what it sounds like when the contestants play a music parody game based around Prince's discography and the artist's favorite color.

Heard on John Cameron Mitchell: Getting Shrill.

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants Diana and Dan. Soon they'll play a game about Prince, the only adult to have a favorite color and still be cool.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Let's check in with them. Diana, you play several instruments, one which is the taiko drums. Tell me more about that.

DIANA HIROTA: Well, they are originally from Japan. And in Japan, they make it, actually, out of single tree trunks that are about this big. Nobody can - this is a radio show.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: But basically, like, you know, you're putting your arms like you're hugging an actual tree.

HIROTA: Yeah, like you're hugging somebody.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

HIROTA: So here in the U.S., they make it out of wine barrels...

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah.

HIROTA: ...Because it's hard to get a tree that big. And they're played with these really big dowels that look like you're going to kill someone in a way.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

HIROTA: You're dancing around, and you're hitting it. And so it's a really good workout.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

HIROTA: It's a really good stress reliever. So after I have, like, a bad day of bad patients, it's just like (imitating drum noises). Yeah.

EISENBERG: And you play with a group?

HIROTA: I do play with a community group with my husband. We actually...

EISENBERG: Oh.

HIROTA: ...Met in college playing those drums. Yeah, then we played it at our wedding as well. Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Aww (ph).

EISENBERG: Dorbs (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Dan, something you told us really made me laugh. Way back in 1994, you competed in the Port Orchard, Wash., seagull calling competition.

DAN PREDOEHL: I did.

EISENBERG: And you did well.

PREDOEHL: I won.

EISENBERG: You won.

(APPLAUSE)

PREDOEHL: Yes.

EISENBERG: What are the tips to a good gull call?

PREDOEHL: Well, for me, it was prepubescent.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Range - so you're saying it's all range.

PREDOEHL: It's all range.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Were there different categories, or were you just the flat-out winner?

PREDOEHL: Yeah, no. There was best costume. There was how many...

(LAUGHTER)

PREDOEHL: ...Yes. (Laughter) You know, how many birds can you attract just by throwing bread at them - you know, total quantity?

EISENBERG: Yeah.

PREDOEHL: And there was best-sounding call.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

PREDOEHL: And that was the prize. That was the best category...

EISENBERG: That was...

PREDOEHL: ...To win.

EISENBERG: Yeah. It's hard to believe the other ones didn't have prizes as well.

PREDOEHL: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Fantastic. Your next game is a music parody called Purple Prince. Diana, stay in the lead, and you're in the final round. Dan, you need to get more points or you're going to make some doves cry.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Thanks to "Purple Rain," Prince is heavily associated with the color purple. So we rewrote other songs by the late, great Prince and made them about other purple things. Ring in to answer, and if you're correct, you can earn a bonus point by identifying the original song. You ready? OK. Here we go.

(Singing, playing guitar) In the name of Fran Tarkenton, they're going to root for this team. It's true they've never won the Super Bowl, but Midwest fans can dream. Fran Tarkenton, Midwest team, purple...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Diana.

HIROTA: The Vikings.

COULTON: Minnesota Vikings is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song?

HIROTA: Nope.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That was "1999."

EISENBERG: Yeah, "1999."

COULTON: It was a bring Prince hit.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That used to be about partying like the world was ending, but now it's about partying like it's the year our intern was born.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's very weird. That's very weird. Here's your next one.

(Singing, playing guitar) You don't have to enjoy this exotic roll. You can stick to the plain teriyaki bowl. The spiny echinoderm is not to everyone's taste, but if you lack umami, you should add this paste.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Dan.

PREDOEHL: Beet.

COULTON: That is incorrect. Diana, do you know the answer?

HIROTA: Let's see. Some sort of paste - eggplant?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Another fine guess, but it's incorrect. We were looking for sea urchin or uni.

HIROTA: Oh, yes.

COULTON: Again, no bonus point, but that was "Kiss." Here's your next one.

(Singing, playing guitar) He had a wax colorful stick, the kind you buy in an art supply store. A wax colorful stick - almost bald, but he was only age 4.

EISENBERG: Children's book...

COULTON: Children's book.

EISENBERG: ...About this kid.

COULTON: He would draw with this colorful wax stick.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Diana.

HIROTA: Purple crayon.

COULTON: "Harold And The Purple Crayon." That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

HIROTA: All right.

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song?

HIROTA: Still nope.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: OK - "Raspberry Beret."

HIROTA: Sorry, I don't know Prince.

COULTON: No, that's all right.

EISENBERG: "Raspberry Beret"...

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Great hit.

COULTON: It is a great hit.

EISENBERG: One of my favorites.

COULTON: The hits, wonderful Prince songs...

EISENBERG: Although - if it was warm, she wouldn't wear much more. Technically, if you're really hot, the first thing you would take off would be a hat.

COULTON: Would be your hat.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So I always found that troubling.

COULTON: (Laughter) It's true. It wouldn't be very efficient to start by taking off your pants.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Right.

COULTON: Take off the hat first. If you still...

EISENBERG: Take off the hat first. See how you feel.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

EISENBERG: Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) It feels like several hours and 15 days. I'm going to miss the Mets game, I guess. Got on at 34th for Flushing, Queens - I thought this train was express.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Dan.

PREDOEHL: I'm from California.

COULTON: No, I know. This is an...

HIROTA: Me, too.

COULTON: ...Unfortunate clue for the both of you, yeah.

EISENBERG: I know, sorry.

COULTON: You know, it's the - you take it from 34th Street to Flushing, Queens.

EISENBERG: And just so you know...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: How do you guys not know this? I can't believe it.

PREDOEHL: You know...

COULTON: Doesn't everybody in America know all of the subway trains in New York City?

(APPLAUSE)

PREDOEHL: I'm going to go with purple.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Right.

COULTON: It was a purple thing, but I cannot just accept that because that is a given, unfortunately.

PREDOEHL: Oh.

COULTON: Can you name a subway train, any subway train in New York City?

PREDOEHL: Any subway train?

EISENBERG: Yeah.

HIROTA: I can.

COULTON: Well, it's not your turn, Diana. Hold on.

(LAUGHTER)

HIROTA: I totally took one today.

PREDOEHL: F.

COULTON: F is incorrect. Diana, can you name a subway...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: ...Train in New York City?

HIROTA: There's an R.

COULTON: Also incorrect. I'm sorry.

HIROTA: I just rode on...

COULTON: We were looking for the 7 train - is what we were looking for.

HIROTA: Oh.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: (Laughter) See, that's how you know that we actually write the games before we cast the contestants.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: There is no bonus point, but that was "Nothing Compares 2 U." This is your last clue.

(Singing, playing guitar) Large and bulbous veg, under the leaves you lurk. Lewd emoji veg, I saw you in a text that wasn't safe for work.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Diana.

HIROTA: Eggplant.

COULTON: Eggplant - you got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, Diana, can you name the song?

HIROTA: Sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: OK. It was "Little Red Corvette."

EISENBERG: Great game. Congratulations, Diana. You are moving to our final round.

(SOUNDBITE OF BRITTANY HOWARD SONG, "HISTORY REPEATS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.