We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

Who's Bill This Time

Friday, August 29, 2014

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Bill Kurtis reads three quotes from the week's news: Wetting Ourselves, Shaken Bottles and Super Spectator Brothers.


BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm entrancing anchorman Bill Kurtis.


KURTIS: And here is your host at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: Thank you. Thank you so much everybody. Thank you. Now come on, I thought you were genteel here.

It is great to be back here at the Music Shed at Tanglewood. Now, of course, this place is best known as the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but we're proud to say that after our successful show a year ago right here, well, the musicians learned a thing or two about how to do it right.


SAGAL: Some of the traditionalists don't like it, but as far as we're concerned, you have not heard the 1812 Overture until you've heard it done entirely with fart sounds.


SAGAL: Whatever your taste, we know you want Carl Kasell's voice on your home answering machine. Now is the time to get it. The number is 1(888)WAIT-WAIT. That's 1(888) 924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant.

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

SOPHIE MENDOZA: Hi, this is Sophie and I'm calling from Portland, Maine.

SAGAL: Hey, Sophie. How are you?

MENDOZA: I'm well, thanks.


SAGAL: Portland, Maine, up the coast a ways from here. Do you - do you, like all good Mainers, are you a native Mainer?

MENDOZA: I am not. I'm an import.

SAGAL: You're an import. So you haven't learned to hold Massachusetts' residents in the kind of fear and contempt that is traditional among Mainers?


MENDOZA: Well, I'm married to a man from Massachusetts, and I've lived here long enough that I know what they mean.



FELBER: You learned the hard way.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Sophie. Let me introduce you to our great panel this week. First up, a writer for "Real Time With Bill Maher, " it's Mr. Adam Felber.


FELBER: Hi, Sophie.

SAGAL: Next, a comedian performing September 19 at the Midland Theater in Kansas City, Missouri, Paula Poundstone.



MENDOZA: Hi, Paula. Huge fan.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, thank you.

SAGAL: And a writer and humorist whose new book is "Alphabetter Juice" and lives just down the road in western Massachusetts, it's Roy Blunt Jr.


ROY BLOUNT JR.: Hi, Sophie.


BLOUNT: Not a big fan?



BLOUNT: That's all right.

SAGAL: Well, Sophie, welcome to the show. You're going to start us off as is traditional with Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is now going to read you three quotes from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you will win Scorekeeper emeritus Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. You ready to play?


SAGAL: Here it is. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: Ahh, that's cold.

SAGAL: Bill was just simulating right now doing something that just about everybody and their dogs and their cats are doing and then posting to the Internet. What is it?

MENDOZA: That's the ALS ice bucket challenge.

SAGAL: Yes, the ice bucket challenge. Yes, well done.


SAGAL: So as everybody knows, this is the thing - the idea is you donate $100 to fight ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, or you dump a bucket of ice water on your head, most people do both. This has been one of the most successful fundraising campaigns ever. It's brought in almost $100 million this summer.



SAGAL: This is true. It's amazing. This is a charity that raised less than $3 million last year. Somewhere, Lou Gehrig is like, you couldn't have thought of this, thought of this, thought of this...


SAGAL: ...Seventy-five years ago, years ago, years ago? I think wherever he is, he's revising the luckiest man statement.

FELBER: Not so lucky, lucky, lucky as I thought, thought, thought.


SAGAL: Have you guys done this? Have any of you been challenged? 'Cause, of course, as you also know, the idea is you do it, then you challenge other people to do it and it sort of spreads.

FELBER: My 6-year-old son was challenged.

SAGAL: Was he?

FELBER: ...And he rose to the challenge.

SAGAL: Did he?

FELBER: Yes he did.



FELBER: I don't where he's going to find the money, though.


SAGAL: Maybe I've just been desensitized 'cause I've seen so many videos of so many people doing it. And let's face it, ice water over your head, not that impressive. You want my money, try the boiling water challenge.


SAGAL: People are being imaginative with their approaches online. For example, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, did the video of himself building an elaborate device to dump the water on him. And then you watch him wait an hour while it reboots.


SAGAL: Here, Sophie, is your next quote.

KURTIS: There is a lake of wine on the floor.

SAGAL: That was a winery owner reporting on the real victims of what tragedy last weekend?

MENDOZA: The earthquake in California.

SAGAL: Yes, the earthquake, specifically, in Northern California.


SAGAL: Napa Sonoma wine country. The entire public radio community came together this week to mourn the tragedy in Northern California. Very few people were injured, but the losses in decent, drinkable wines was devastating.


SAGAL: We winced at all the images of thousands of broken wine bottles. You know that that one guy in Napa who's been collecting boxed wine was feeling damn smart.


SAGAL: It was so heartwarming to see the global outpouring of goodwill toward the victims of the earthquake. Jimmy Carter himself came in to help, and he found out he wasn't helping out Somalia. He was helping out sommeliers.


FELBER: Alls I know is that there are a lot of fine, lonely cheeses out there tonight.

SAGAL: No, FEMA merely airlifted in water crackers so rescue workers and survivors could continue to cleanse their palette.


BLOUNT: Well, it was a bad storm, but it had a nice bouquet.


SAGAL: Here, Sophie, is your last quote.

KURTIS: And it's perfectly acceptable to binge watch Netflix for 12 hours a day. But if you tell someone you did this for a few hours, you're treated like a weirdo.

SAGAL: That was a weirdo. He was talking to Vice Magazine about Twitch TV. That Internet channel was recently purchased by Amazon for almost a billion dollars. And on that TV channel, that online channel, you can do what?

MENDOZA: Watch videogame competitions or video game streaming.

SAGAL: Right, yes. You watch other people play videogames.


SAGAL: This is amazing. Amazon paid, like I said, almost at billion dollars to buy an online video network that just shows other people playing video games. We thought watching other people play video games is something only women with awful boyfriends had to do.


SAGAL: So who wants to do this? Turns out, millions of people. More people watched one tournament on Twitch than watched the finales of "The Sopranos" and "Breaking Bad" combined. It's hugely popular. You thought playing video games was the laziest thing you could do.


SAGAL: Yeah, we knew what you were doing. You guys were trying to get us to move our thumbs. Well, not anymore, suckers.


POUNDSTONE: What if - OK, you know what would make it worse? If you were watching it on your couch, and you had beside your couch, those carpeted stairs for your dog to use to walk up onto your couch.

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: That would be, like, a step lower I think.

SAGAL: What if you had, like - Amazon, you know, they're getting into all kinds of businesses. What if they sell a TV that had, like, motorized wheel that turns it sideways so you can just lie on the couch. You don't even have to get up. You can just lie there.


POUNDSTONE: Well, that you might be onto something. I was kidding, but that might be genius.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: And then the Amazon bedsore drone will come by every six hours to turn you.


FELBER: Watching other people play videogames, you know, all right, I admit that that's not always the most exciting thing. But some of the fan fiction about watching other people play videogames is great.

SAGAL: Oh, that gets crazy.

BLOUNT: It's much crazier than watching people do radio.


SAGAL: You know, you make a good point, Roy.

POUNDSTONE: You know, I feel it's bringing America and family life to its knees that videogame stuff. I hate it with every fiber in my body. But when people defend it, they always say, like, it's good for hand-eye coordination. That's what it's good for - hand-eye coordination, like, as if we had been experiencing an enormous deficit in our country.


POUNDSTONE: As if, you know, that' what's wrong with our schools.

FELBER: People are accidentally pouring ice on their heads every day, Paula.

SAGAL: I know. It's true.


FELBER: I think they could use a little more.

SAGAL: So it turns out all those people were just trying to make a drink. And the next thing you know. Bill, how did Sophie do on our quiz?

KURTIS: I think Sophie did wonderfully - 3 and 0. Good for you.

SAGAL: Well done. You're very good Sophie. You were on it.

MENDOZA: Well, thank you.

SAGAL: Well, you win Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Congratulations, Sophie, and thanks for playing.

MENDOZA: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

View this story on npr.org

Sign up for ReCap

and never miss the top stories

Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.