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Panel Questions

BILL KURTIS: Here's a time a panelist managed to answer a question while remaining completely clothed.



Maeve, Alinea, which is a very high-end restaurant here in Chicago, is being criticized for a new item on their menu - a dessert made to look just like what?

MAEVE HIGGINS: A dessert - oh, well, you know that we have this terrible dessert in Ireland called spotted dick.

SAGAL: I do know that.

HIGGINS: They didn't do that, did they?

SAGAL: No, they didn't do that.

HIGGINS: OK, because that's actually...

SAGAL: It wasn't spotted dick.

HIGGINS: ...Just like a bread pudding.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HIGGINS: OK - fashioned to look like - is it something political?

SAGAL: No, but it's something in current events - certainly something in the news right now - something dominating the news right now.

HIGGINS: Oh, for God's sake - Disney+


SAGAL: People felt that this was in poor taste that in this moment they're serving people an expensive dessert that looks like...


SAGAL: ...What?

HIGGINS: Is it a democracy crumble?

SAGAL: (Laughter) No. Does anybody...

HIGGINS: Because that's...

SAGAL: ...Know?

HIGGINS: ...What's happening.

SAGAL: Does anybody want to guess?

MAZ JOBRANI: It's the coronavirus.

SAGAL: It's the coronavirus...




SAGAL: So it's a bluish-gray coconut custard sphere dotted with red Szechuan peppercorns, and it looks just like the coronavirus, you know, blown up to large size. It's insane - after four months of lockdown, people are not finally going to go out to restaurants to think about coronavirus. They're going to go to restaurants to get coronavirus.


HIGGINS: And also, like, don't put peppercorns on your dessert. Like, fine. Make a funny dessert out of a killer disease. But just don't put peppercorns on it. That's where I get really offended.

SAGAL: Really?

HIGGINS: I'm outraged.

JOBRANI: I sent you a pie shaped as Ebola.

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: Just go ahead and enjoy that.

SAGAL: Sure.


HIGGINS: There's no fennel or anything terrible in it, is there? I don't care as long as it's just apple Ebola (laughter).

SAGAL: Maz, researchers have surveyed single people who were looking for a partner and found all of them have one thing in common as to what they want in a partner. What is it?

JOBRANI: Someone who's nice.


JOBRANI: Oh. They all want someone who's better looking than them.



SAGAL: Let me ask you this. Maz, when you were single, did you know what you were looking for in a partner?

JOBRANI: I would probably - I think if I saw that person, like when I saw my wife, I knew I was attracted to her instantly.

SAGAL: Right. But if I had asked you what you were looking for, would you have known?

JOBRANI: Not really.

SAGAL: Well, that's the answer.


SAGAL: It turns out...


SAGAL: ...None of them have any idea what they're actually looking for. There you go. Oh, they said they know. Everybody thinks they know if you ask them what they're looking for in a partner - somebody who's funny or is generous or has millions of dollars, a heart condition and no other heirs. But research has proved that all these people are wrong. Nobody knows what they want. In random tests, people ended up expressing attraction to people who had none of the things they had said they were attracted to with two significant exceptions - a nice butt and their own HBO password.


JOBRANI: I also think - Peter, I also think a lot of times, you'll get people who'll be, like, yeah, I'm looking for a woman that looks like this, and she does that. Or the girl goes, I want a guy that's like this, like that. But once somebody gives the other person a little bit of attention, they go, eh, you'll work out.


SAGAL: They don't - they really don't take into account how much we're all willing to settle, Maz. That's true.

JOBRANI: Yeah, that'll work.


FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS: (Singing) Yeah. Looking round the room, I can tell you are the most beautiful girl in the room, in the whole wide room. And when you're on the street, depending on the street, I bet you would definitely be in the top three. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.