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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. Get out your pancakes. I'm about to pour on some ma-Bill (ph) syrup. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host, a man who knows there's no place like home and no place other than home, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks once more to our fake audience, which this week is the studio audience from an old episode of "Happy Days." We used "Happy Days" because "Unendingly Monotonous Days"...


SAGAL: ...Was not available. Later on, we're going to be talking to scuba diver, mountaineer and pilot Kellee Edwards, who Outside magazine called the most interesting woman in the world, about the amazing places she's been. And we're going to ask her to stress how terrible they all really were so we don't feel even worse about not being able to go there.

But first, we want to hear about your interior journey, so give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant to the show.

Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MATTHEW HARDAWAY: Hi. This is Matthew from Arlington, Texas.

SAGAL: Hey, Arlington - Arlington is right near Dallas, right? It's where the baseball stadium is. What do you do there?

HARDAWAY: I am on furlough since March. But before that, I was a director of audiovisuals and an asset manager for a large audiovisual company that works in a bunch of hotels all over the country.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. I ask you this with no judgment because all I've managed to do during the lockdown is learn to play one video game. Have you, like, been able to take your furlough time...

ADAM FELBER: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...And do something useful with it, unlike me?

HARDAWAY: Well, you know, I've cleaned my garage. And I've, you know, helped my son start Zoom kindergarten. And I have slept in and stayed up real late.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Yes, of course. Well, welcome to the show, Matthew. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, say hello to a writer and producer for "Desus & Mero" on Showtime as well as the host of the comedy game show podcast "Make My Day." It's Josh Gondelman.


GONDELMAN: Hey. So nice to be here.


SAGAL: Next, it's a comedian who can be seen in "The Babysitter 2: Killer Queen" (ph) - it premieres September 10 on Netflix - and who hosts the trivia podcast "Go Fact Yourself" on the Maximum Fun network. It's Helen Hong.


HELEN HONG: Hi, Matthew. Hey, everybody.


SAGAL: And it's the co-host of "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone" and the brand-new "Starburns Sports Simulcast," bringing you hilarious alternative audio for this Sunday night's baseball game - details at starburnssports.com - Adam Felber.


HARDAWAY: Hey, Adam.

FELBER: Hey. Hi, Matthew.

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

HARDAWAY: I am ready.

SAGAL: All right. Your first quote is from the vice president announcing what we are sure is a well-thought-out government plan this week.

KURTIS: We think there's a miracle around the corner.

SAGAL: What miracle do they insist will come right before the election?

HARDAWAY: A vaccine.

SAGAL: Yes...


SAGAL: ...A vaccine for coronavirus.


SAGAL: The Trump administration has told states to get ready to distribute a coronavirus vaccine by November 1. And while some are skeptical this is just to have something to brag about right before the election, I will fully trust that syringe I get that has the words chicken pox crossed out and the word coronavirus written in in Sharpie.


FELBER: Don't be surprised if by January, Trump is still president and we all have fingers growing out of our necks.


SAGAL: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: It's like the plot of a children's movie from the '90s. Like, yeah, kid. There's going to be a vaccine by the election, and your mom and I aren't getting a divorce after all.

SAGAL: Yeah.


GONDELMAN: We - it's just like you just say stuff...

SAGAL: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: ...And then an angel is Christopher Lloyd.

SAGAL: Exactly.


GONDELMAN: I wish coronavirus had never happened.


SAGAL: Now, here's the thing. If the vaccine ever comes, there won't be enough of it for a long time, so scientists are even now trying to figure out who should get it first, which is leading everybody to try to justify their place in the line. So health care workers are like, I need the vaccine to keep you healthy. And journalists are like, I need the vaccine; I keep you informed. And Stephen Miller is like, I need the vaccine to make sure Mexicans don't get the vaccine.


GONDELMAN: I know. It's so rare he gets such a pure opportunity to practice the eugenics he so craves.

SAGAL: It really is true.


SAGAL: But really, I mean, you have to - when you think about this problem, you have to thank Donald Trump for what he's done. In the last few months, he's made the line for the vaccine about 180,000 people shorter.


FELBER: It's funny 'cause it's not.


SAGAL: Matt, here's your next quote. It's the owner of a hair salon in San Francisco complaining to Fox News.

KURTIS: We're supposed to look up to this woman, right? It is just disturbing.

SAGAL: This woman was outraged that a particular woman came into her shop to get her hair done during the pandemic. Who was it?

HARDAWAY: Nancy Pelosi.

SAGAL: Yes, Matt...


SAGAL: ...It was Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House.


SAGAL: She was caught on camera inside a beauty salon in San Francisco getting a blowout despite the fact that all the salons are supposed to be closed right now. The president tweeted about it, and on Thursday, the White House spokeswoman started her press briefing showing a video of Pelosi in the salon like it was the Zapruder tape. Like, look.

FELBER: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Her hair flips up and to the left - up and to the left. The most shocking thing about this, frankly, is that Mrs. Pelosi goes to a hair salon at all. We just assumed she snaps off her hair and swaps it out like a Lego person.


HONG: I am so confused by this story, Peter. Please explain it to me. So Nancy Pelosi called this salon, which is - all the salons in California are closed right now.

SAGAL: Right.

HONG: And believe me, I know because I've been cutting my own damn hair.

FELBER: It looks great, Helen.

HONG: Thank you very much. Thank you. It's in a pony, and it will never not be in a pony for the rest of these days. But - so she got the owner to open it for her. But the owner...

SAGAL: It's - so it's a little complicated. But as far as I can tell, this is what happened. Nancy Pelosi got in touch with her stylist, who rents a chair at a particular salon. She said, can I come in for a haircut? The stylist says, yes, it's OK as long as you're the only one here. The stylist told the owner of the salon, hey, Nancy Pelosi is coming in.

And what the owner then did - for reasons I guess we can guess at at this point - is instead of telling Ms. Pelosi not to come, she allowed it to happen, she recorded the whole thing on security video, and then she took that tape, and she went straight to Fox News, right?

HONG: Ugh.


HONG: Diabolical.

GONDELMAN: So they did set her up.

SAGAL: They kind of did. She should have known when Ms. Pelosi got the answer back, yes, it's fine for you to come in, but don't wear stripes because it looks weird on camera.



SAGAL: The whole thing is really just another faux scandal. But on the other hand, what a relief to see the headline "Illicit Blowout" and find out it's not another story about Jerry Falwell Jr.


GONDELMAN: Well, it is kind of like, you know, two people having an activity together while someone else watches from the corner, so...


SAGAL: I guess so.

GONDELMAN: ...Not that different a story.

FELBER: Absolutely true.

SAGAL: All right, Matt. Here is your last quote.

KURTIS: Guys, they're so good.

SAGAL: That was a writer for Delish commenting on what is the first good news of 2020. It turns out that early next year, we're all going to get a brand-new what?

HARDAWAY: I have no idea.

SAGAL: Well, I'll give you a hint. Apparently, people were getting tired of just having Thin Mints and Samoas.

HARDAWAY: Oh, yeah - a new Girl Scout cookie.


SAGAL: That's exactly right, Matt.


SAGAL: Finally, a reason to stay alive until next year. The Girl Scouts announced a brand-new French toast-flavored cookie called Toast-Yay! We assume the Girl Scouts said, to make sure our product is unique, let's name it after the one phrase that no one ever has said once.

FELBER: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I guess Toast-Boo was too on-the-nose. By the way, for those who don't remember, yay is a word that was used to express joy back in the early 2010s.

HONG: (Laughter).

SAGAL: For those who don't remember what joy is, well, hey, the Girl Scouts have a new cookie.

HONG: Yay (laughter).

SAGAL: Yay (laughter). It's really something.

FELBER: I miss Girl Scout season - that wonderful season where not buying and eating boxes of cookies is the wrong thing to do.

SAGAL: Exactly.

HONG: Yeah. Yeah.

SAGAL: Although you bring up an important point, Adam, which is, how in the world are we even going to have access to Girl Scout cookies unless we're back in our offices? Eighty-five percent of all Girl Scout cookies are sold to get the sad dad selling them to leave your room.


GONDELMAN: It is a very 2020 thing, though, that even the new cookie we're all excited for is named after the food you smell when you're having a stroke.


SAGAL: You know, at this point, a new cookie may not be enough to soothe our feelings. We might need Thick Mints.


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

KURTIS: Well, he continues the celebratory mood created by the Girl Scout cookies with a perfect score.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Matt.


HARDAWAY: Yay. Thank you.

SAGAL: Well done. Stay safe, stay healthy, and we'll hope to see you on the other side of all this.

HARDAWAY: Oh, I'll make it.

SAGAL: Take care.

HARDAWAY: All right. Bye-bye.


SHONEN KNIFE: (Singing) I want to go to the cookie shop. Cookie day, cookie day - it's a beautiful cookie day. Cookie day, cookie day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.