12:00pm

Sat April 9, 2011
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Who's Carl This Time?

Transcript

CARL KASELL, host:

From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

(Soundbite of applause)

PETER SAGAL, host:

Thank you, Carl. Thank you everybody. Thank you so much. You are kind, indeed, thank you. We do have a great show for you this week. We've got stand-up Jessi Klein to play Not My Job.

But first, CNN did a poll recently. They asked Americans, out of all the money in the federal budget, how much do they think goes to public broadcasting? And the average response was 5 percent, 5 percent of the federal budget.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: It's true. And that would amount to about 175 billion dollars. To which we say: busted.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: It's true. That's why instead of flying in Carl every week to do our show, we can afford to clone a new Carl.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: So what do you think of the world, new Carl?

KASELL: It's so shiny.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: Well, you might ask, well what then do we do with all the old Carls? Well everybody, I want you to look under your chairs.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: That's right, you get a Carl and you get a Carl and you get a Carl.

(Soundbite of cheering)

(Soundbite of applause)

SAGAL: If you'd like to play our games, give us a call. The number is 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

Mr. BENJAMIN BOMBARD: Hi, this is Benjamin Bombard from Jackson, Wyoming.

SAGAL: Benjamin Bombard?

Mr. BOMBARD: Yes, sir.

SAGAL: Oh gosh, you sound like the hero of, like, a 1940s movies serial. That's so great. The Adventures of Benjamin Bombard, Sky Captain. That's totally great. What do you do? Tell me you hunt for foreign spies.

Mr. BOMBARD: I hunt elk during the fall up here, but I'm a journalist.

SAGAL: You're a journalist?

Mr. BOMBARD: Yes, sir.

SAGAL: Oh.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: No, I'm kidding. Welcome to the show, Benjamin.

Mr. BOMBARD: Thank you.

SAGAL: Let me introduce you to our panel. First up, a man the New York Times called "an obscure, semi-famous humorist," Mr. Tom Bodett.

Mr. BOMBARD: Hey, Tom.

(Soundbite of applause)

Mr. TOM BODETT (Humorist): Hi, Benjamin. True story.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: Next, one of the women behind the Washington Post's Reliable Source column, Ms. Roxanne Roberts.

Mr. BOMBARD: Hello, Ms. Roxanne.

(Soundbite of applause)

Ms. ROXANNE ROBERTS (Columnist, Reliable Source): Hello, Benjamin.

SAGAL: And an alum of both Second City and the Colbert Report, Mr. Peter Grosz.

Mr. BOMBARD: Hi, Peter.

(Soundbite of applause)

Mr. PETER GROSZ: (Alum, Second City): Hi, Benjamin.

SAGAL: So Benjamin, you're going to play Who's Carl This Time. That means Carl Kasell is going to recreate for you three quotations from the week's news. Of course, your job, identify or explain just two of them. Do that you'll win his voice on your voicemail. Ready to go?

Mr. BOMBARD: Yes, sir.

SAGAL: Here is your first quote.

KASELL: If it comes to pass, tens of thousands of federal workers will be forced to give up their Blackberrys.

SAGAL: That was from the Washington Post. It was one of the many predictions about what big possible event this week?

Mr. BOMBARD: The partial government shutdown.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed, the government shutdown.

(Soundbite of bell)

(Soundbite of applause)

SAGAL: All week, political reporters were acting like Kremlinologists back in the 70s, looking for clues as to what was happening behind closed doors. For example, if John Boehner is seen crying, that means there's going to be a shutdown.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: If he's not crying, it means he's dead.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: And it came so close. They came within like a day of saying no government for you, you know. It almost happened, and people didn't care. The entire federal was almost brought to a standstill and the American public just, you know, okay. We cared more when they were threatening to take "Arrested Development" off the air.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of applause)

Ms. ROBERTS: Here's the question. How can you tell they're not working?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BODETT: Yeah, there you go.

(Soundbite of applause)

Mr. BODETT: It's like state highway workers. How would you know? I mean if they were on strike they're just, I guess, turn the shovels the other way around.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BODETT: They'd just put up a sign, government shutdown, please use free market today.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: So members of Congress are considered essential. They would have to work but their staff would have had to go home. And they would have had to, like, you know, manage by themselves without staff. It would have been hard. They would have had to like go get their own coffee. They'd have to have illicit affairs with themselves.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: But what would it have been like though if they had sent home like all the government employees and kept only the congressmen and the representatives and senators and they had to do all the jobs, right, just like they do when, like, a real company goes on strike and the managers have to take over. I mean we would have loved to see that. We would have loved to see, you know, Michele Bachmann manning the federal needle exchange program in downtown Washington, DC.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: And Harry Reid has to go be the panda at the National Zoo.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of applause)

SAGAL: It's a natural fit; he never moves either, you know.

Mr. BODETT: Well they could man those t-shirt carts out in front of the White House there.

SAGAL: Yeah, and sell them.

Mr. BODETT: Selling the souvenirs, that would work.

Ms. ROBERTS: Would it say: I saved 33 billion dollars and all I got was this lousy t-shirt?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: So your next quote comes from a presidential campaign video that was released this week.

KASELL: I don't agree with him on everything, but I respect him and I trust him.

SAGAL: That somewhat lackluster endorsement came from a man named Ed in North Carolina. What candidate was he talking about?

Mr. BOMBARD: Barack Obama.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.

(Soundbite of bell)

(Soundbite of applause)

SAGAL: The presidential re-election campaign has begun. It's Obama 2: change harder.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: The president launched his first presidential campaign four years ago with a speech and a rally in Springfield, Illinois, in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln. He launched his reelection campaign with a two-minute infomercial video, in the footsteps of Sham-Wow.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: The president's video, in which the president hardly appears, features real people saying real things, you know, like wow, I guess there's going to be an election, huh. Maybe we'll vote for President Obama if there's nobody better by that time.

Mr. GROSZ: It'd be great if Obama announced the same way that he did before. He was like we're going to change Washington. I'm going to go down there and change all the rules. And everyone's like, "it's your rules, dude."

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GROSZ: What are you doing?

SAGAL: The problem for Obama is he has to declare his candidacy in order to raise money but it's too early to be in full campaign mode for the president. Besides, he's ambivalent about running again. Who can blame him? He's probably thinking, "Man, sometimes I wish I was born in Kenya."

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BODETT: He's going to plant a false birth certificate.

SAGAL: Yeah, really. No, seriously, I'm not qualified. I wasn't born here. Sorry.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BODETT: Yeah.

Mr. GROSZ: I would love...

SAGAL: Can't run again.

Mr. BODETT: I'd love to serve, but what can you do?

SAGAL: Exactly.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: Benjamin, your last quote comes from the passenger on a Southwest flight last week.

KASELL: I didn't know this dude, but I was like, "I'm going to just hold your hand."

SAGAL: What made that passenger suddenly want to hold the dude's hand next to her?

Mr. BOMBARD: A hole in the airplane.

SAGAL: Exactly right.

(Soundbite of bell)

(Soundbite of applause)

SAGAL: So you're flying, Albuquerque, Phoenix maybe to Sacrament, I think it was, and there's a bump. No problem, that happens. And then a huge hole opens in the ceiling of the plane. But still, not a problem, fresh air, you know.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: And you were having trouble getting that little sort of air nozzle thing to work anyway.

Mr. GROSZ: Is that what that was?

SAGAL: Yeah.

Mr. GROSZ: God, when I flew in here this week, I thought, wow, this is great. You know, just cruising into Chicago, pilot puts the down, you know.

SAGAL: It's cool.

Mr. GROSZ: Nice spring air.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BODETT: My plane had a t-top. It was great.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: This is more of a moon roof. The pilot was typically cool about the whole thing, as pilots are. You know, very Captain Sully. He was like those in the right of the plane can see the Grand Canyon. Those on the left can see the majesty of space above you.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: Apparently, one of the causes of the rupture is Southwest policy, is they fly a lot of short trips over and over again. That tends to wear out the planes. Also, requiring the passengers to help pedal can stress the fuselage. But true to their rambunctious style, they're working this into their marketing. Their new slogan is: you are now free to move about the sky.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GROSZ: Maybe if they charge for bags, they could buy a working roof.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GROSZ: I would do that. They'd be like, well you can either - your bags can fly for free and the top will fly off the plane. Or, pay 50 bucks and you can make it safely.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GROSZ: Let me check my balance on my credit card and see if I have enough.

Ms. ROBERTS: But there's all this stuff, you know, the overhead compartment. So did those overhead compartments intact?

SAGAL: Apparently, the masks did come down.

Ms. ROBERTS: Yeah.

SAGAL: So 300 people were like, damn, I wish I had paid attention.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: What do you do with this?

Mr. BODETT: Right. Why the hot water bottles?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: Yeah. Carl, how did Benjamin do on our quiz?

KASELL: A perfect game, Peter. Three correct answers, so Benjamin, I'll be doing the message on your voicemail.

Mr. BOMBARD: Woo-hoo.

SAGAL: Well done.

(Soundbite of applause)

SAGAL: Thanks so much for playing, Benjamin.

Mr. BOMBARD: Thank you very much.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

Mr. BOMBARD: Take care. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.