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Who's Bill This Time?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following program was taped before an audience of no one.


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Somebody's knocking at the door. Somebody's ringing the Bill. I'm Bill Kurtis, and here is your host, making a Chase Bank Auditorium out of his mashed potatoes, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks once again to our fake audience, who this week are the computer-generated artificial people that Fox Sports created to populate empty baseball stadiums this summer. That is absolutely true. They did that. These fake fans are amazingly realistic. Now watch how they all leave during the eighth inning to beat the traffic.

Later on, we're going to be talking to Padma Lakshmi, who in her TV show "Taste The Nation" traveled the country to understand all the varieties of American cuisine. We don't really care about the food - we just want to hear her talk about going places other than the spare bedroom. But first, we want you to join us - virtually, of course - and play our games. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924.

Now let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

SHELBY DEENEY: Hi, this is Shelby Deeney.

SAGAL: Hey, Shelby. Where are you calling from?

DEENEY: Denver, Colo.

SAGAL: Oh, what do you do there?

DEENEY: I'm a public defender.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh. So, now, have you been doing that virtually? Or are you still having to show up in court?

DEENEY: It's been virtual for most of the time - only started going back to court in July.

SAGAL: And how did that feel, going back to court?

DEENEY: Well, it feels good, but it's really weird having to be in a mask and stand six feet away from your client and everyone else.

SAGAL: Yeah. Have you ever been tempted just to shout, look, he's guilty so you can get out of there?

DEENEY: No, no (laughter), he's not guilty.


SAGAL: There you go. That was very good. You're good at your job.

DEENEY: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Shelby, let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's an Emmy-winning writer as well as the voice of Jessi on the animated hit Netflix show "Big Mouth." She's the author of the New York Times bestseller "You'll Grow Out Of It." It's Jessi Klein.



SAGAL: Next, a writer for the current season of "At Home With Amy Sedaris." It's Peter Grosz.



SAGAL: And finally, making her debut on our show, it's a correspondent for "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" and host of the new podcast "That Blackass Show" on Starburns Audio. It's Dulce Sloan.

DULCE SLOAN: Hello, friends.


SAGAL: Shelby, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time. Bill Kurtis right here is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you will win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to play?

DEENEY: I'm ready.

SAGAL: Let's do it. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: Person, woman, man, camera, TV.

SAGAL: Those words might be the ones inscribed in marble above the door of the future presidential library devoted to whom?

DEENEY: Oh, it's Trump, right?

SAGAL: Yes. It is, in fact, Donald Trump.

KURTIS: (Laughter).


SAGAL: It's a little convoluted, but you got there. A few years ago, the president took a test given to people suspected of having dementia, and he aced it. Now, to give you a sense for what that test is, one of the questions is to look at a picture of an elephant and say what it is. Which is fine - yeah, it's good to know our president can tell an elephant apart from a crocodile. That comes up a lot in bilateral trade talks with a Richard Scarry picture book.


SAGAL: This test also required him to draw a clock. And we imagine the doctors saying, no, no, Mr. President. We said clock.

GROSZ: And draw, not show.

SAGAL: Exactly.


GROSZ: Also, like, why did he say those five words? Because if - all I ever see in that test is those pictures...

SAGAL: Right.

GROSZ: And beneath that, it's not those five words.

SAGAL: Right. So he's been bragging about this test for a long time. And when he was talking to Chris Wallace on Fox News, Chris Wallace said, well, it's really not that hard. So now he's got - it's hard. So in his latest Fox News interview, he went on for about two minutes describing how difficult this was. They make you say five words in a row and then a short while later make you remember them. And he did it.

GROSZ: But you don't have to say them in order, right?

KLEIN: Well, he says that if you say them in order, you get a certain number - you get extra points.

SAGAL: Right. We actually asked a doctor if that was true - if on this very standard test, you get extra points if you say them again in order. And she said - and I quote her in full - no.


KLEIN: It seems like if you leave a dementia test bragging about all the extra points you got on your dementia test, you have dementia.


SAGAL: And, now, the reason I should say that he keeps going on about this test is that he says it proves he's brilliant, and he says Joe Biden could never pass this test - no way. And he's right because no way Biden could be limited to just five words. He'd be, like, person, man...

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I met a man at a factory, and he said to me, Joe...

GROSZ: They called him belly button.

SAGAL: I don't know...


KLEIN: Can he do that old art school test that used to be on TV, where you had to send in a drawing of a turtle?

SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: Yeah.

SAGAL: That's...

KLEIN: I think he should try to draw a turtle. And then he could just go to art school like Hitler.


SAGAL: All right. Let's move on to your next quote.

KURTIS: Don't shoot your mother.

SAGAL: That was a chant aimed at federal troops who were now patrolling the streets of what city?

DEENEY: Portland.

SAGAL: Yes, Portland, Ore.


SAGAL: It's under siege by anonymous federal troops with military gear. And Portlanders did what any of us would do in that situation - they called their mom.

Portlanders don't like being seized and shoved into unmarked vans. They prefer to be kidnapped in more environmentally friendly pedicabs. So enter the Wall of Moms, a group of middle-aged women in bicycle helmets who are locking arms and taking on the riot police. Oh, the moms are here, and they are mad. Well, as they put it, they're not mad. They're just disappointed.


SAGAL: They chant things like, respect the Constitution. And speaking of that, it's not too late to go to law school.


SLOAN: You know what?

SAGAL: What?

SLOAN: I can say it was very interesting because I've been to Portland multiple times, and to be anywhere that has more Black Lives Matter signs than Black people...


SLOAN: It's always suspicious. But when I saw that the city was, like - I was like, oh. Do they realize there's no Black people to arrest and shoot at? They don't - I thought that would be, like, Detroit or, like, Chicago. But they're just, like, shooting at white moms - very confusing. And that girl sitting naked in the street - oh, God.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah - the...

GROSZ: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...Anonymous Athena - this is a woman who walked up to the riot police, the federal troops, whatever they are - we don't really know - stark-naked and sort of sat down and - I don't know how to say this...

SLOAN: Showed her glory.

KLEIN: Spread-eagled - she spread-eagled.

SAGAL: Yeah.

SLOAN: I don't know if that's helpful. I think they were just, like, all right, ma'am. I mean, I don't know why you would want the street to give you a pelvic exam, but it seemed like a...


KLEIN: Haven't you ever heard of a street pap?


KLEIN: It would be a bummer if you had thought that, like, 40 of your girlfriends were all, like, yeah, we're going to do it, too.


KLEIN: And then...

GROSZ: And they're, like, where are you?

KLEIN: She got down there...

GROSZ: Guys...

KLEIN: ...And was, like, where's...

GROSZ: Yeah, that's what you don't see that picture - is her turning around going, OK, ladies. We're all here, and now everybody take your clothes off.


SLOAN: You know what she could have caught sitting on the ground like that in Portland? What've you got, organic syphilis...


SAGAL: All right, Shelby. We have one more quote for you. It is from a woman looking back after four months of lockdown.

KURTIS: I don't think I'll use them until the actual End Time.

SAGAL: So what are Americans not using as much as they thought they would back when all this started?

DEENEY: Oh, can I get a hint?

SAGAL: Yeah. It's kind of the magical fruit. The more you eat - or rather the less you eat, I guess, the less you...

DEENEY: Oh, canned beans.

SAGAL: Yes, beans.


SAGAL: This week, NPR's All Things Considered reported that after months of lockdown, many Americans are now experiencing bean buyer's remorse...

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...As they realize they did not actually need all the beans they hoarded back in March. All those Totino's pizza rolls, though - gone by April. One company reported a 70% increase in bean sales back in March, along with harmonicas and sticks and bindles. Maybe it was we realized gorging on beans was not a wise thing to do when we were locked inside with our loved ones and did not want to give them any more reasons to hate us.

Did you guys run out and buy all the beans you could because you thought you'd end up surviving on them?

SLOAN: Well, the first, like, three weeks of the quarantine, I was on the Daniel fast. So...

SAGAL: What's that?

SLOAN: It's the Old Testament biblical fast. And basically, the only things you can eat are vegetables. And you can only drink water is it.

KLEIN: That does not sound like a pandemic-friendly diet.

SAGAL: Did you ever find yourself searching through the Old Testament, like, looking for a cheeseburger mentioned in the book of Ezra, for example?

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SLOAN: You know you can't mix meat and dairy. Don't...


SAGAL: That woman is good. The woman is good.

GROSZ: (Laughter).

KLEIN: Peter, I was just going to say, I continue to eat one Hershey's bar a day in addition to all the other food.

SAGAL: Oh, I was about - I was - if you were just, like, one Hershey bar a day, that would have been impressive.

KLEIN: No, no, no - one Hershey's bar plus all the other stuff.

GROSZ: I'm on the Milton Hershey diet. He wrote about it in 1894.

SLOAN: (Laughter) A bar of chocolate a day...

GROSZ: Just - yeah, exactly - just eat chocolate.

SAGAL: Bill, how did Shelby do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Unanimous verdict for Shelby - three right.


SAGAL: Congratulations, Shelby.

DEENEY: Great, thank you.

SAGAL: Thank you so much, Shelby. Take care. Stay safe.

DEENEY: OK. Thank you, too.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

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