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Bluff The Listener


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Alonzo Bodden, Joel Kim Booster and Dulce Sloan. And here again is your host, who just awoke from a beautiful daydream of salad bars gone by, Peters Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. Right now, it is time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air.

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

ISAAC ROSA: Hi. This is Isaac Rosa (ph) from West Warwick, R.I.

SAGAL: Hey, Isaac. I have been to West Warwick, R.I. I just want everybody to know. What do you do there?


SAGAL: I have.

ROSA: No, you haven't.

SAGAL: I really have.

ROSA: Oh, come on (laughter).

SAGAL: What do you do there?

ROSA: I am a second-grade teacher in West Kingston, R.I., at the Meadowbrook Waldorf School.

SAGAL: That's cool. I've always wondered, what exactly is a Waldorf school? I just - based on the Muppets, I just assume that you sort of say mean things to the students from a window, but that can't be right.

ROSA: (Laughter) No. It's a little different from that. It's an alternative style of learning that's - yeah, we spend a lot of time outside, and we spend a lot of time with kind of the natural arts.

DULCE SLOAN: Are you sure this isn't, like, some type of "Harry Potter" school?


ROSA: I mean, in first grade, it's all about building fairy and gnome houses out of trees and sticks and things like that. We often have kind of rural campuses. Yeah. Yeah.

SAGAL: It's "Harry Potter."

ROSA: (Laughter) Our school building burned down two years ago, and we rebuilt, so we're rising like a phoenix from the ashes at the moment.

SAGAL: You see? You see? Like...


SAGAL: ..."The Order Of The Phoenix."


SAGAL: Isaac, it's great to have you with us. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what's Isaac's topic?

KURTIS: Be my guest - my terrible guest.

SAGAL: When people tell their guests to make yourself at home, no one actually means it. I mean, have you seen what people do at home? This week, we heard about a notably bad houseguest. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth, you'll win our prize - the WAIT WAITer of your choice on your voicemail. You ready to play?

ROSA: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Joel Kim Booster.

JOEL KIM BOOSTER: It's hard to talk about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without bringing up a little baggage. And today, I'm not talking about human rights violations or annexing parts of the West Bank, either. I'm talking about actual baggage - in this case, bags and suitcases full of literal dirty laundry. All foreign leaders are extended the courtesy of laundry services while they stay in America. An ironed shirt here, a dry-cleaned dress there - reasonable requests any busy head of state might have.

But according to accounts from staff members across multiple administrations, the Netanyahus, like a college kid home from spring break, bring actual suitcases of dirty laundry for us to clean. But America isn't the only country Netanyahu sees as his own personal laundromat. The laundry issue first surfaced after reports that the prime minister and his wife took a whopping 11 suitcases on a one-day trip to Portugal in December, which raises a different set of questions entirely, like how many dirty pairs of underwear can one despot actually generate?


SAGAL: Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, always brings his dirty laundry with him when he visits so that his hosts can wash it. Your next story of a horrible houseguest is from Dulce Sloan.

SLOAN: In September, 1999, Garth Brooks released his Garth Brooks "In The Life Of Chris Gaines" (ph) album, and no one knew what to do. Even though the album was a commercial success, it left fans and critics confused.

So Brooks abandoned the rock alter ego professionally, but Chris Gaines has never left Brooks' side. His emo, inner teen, smoky-eyed Mr. Hyde is known to destroy hotel rooms in a very interesting way. He makes everything black - the entire room and bathroom. Wall, ceilings, floors are covered in black paint. The bed linens are changed to black, and all the furniture is covered in black fabric. Every lamp is replaced with candles, and a candelabra is hung from the ceiling, dripping wax all over the room.

When asked to pay for damages, as he was at the Wyndham Hotel in Rosemont, Ill, in 2014, Mr. Brooks responds that he is not responsible for the damages because Chris Gaines was staying in the room. The hotel has - was never able to recover the funds to repair the room, and it's now called the Dracula suite. It's booked on Halloween until 2025.

BOOSTER: (Laughter).

SAGAL: It turns out that Garth Brooks is a fine guest, but his alter ego, Chris Gaines, just absolutely wrecks hotel rooms. Your last one-star visitor report comes from Alonzo Bodden.

BODDEN: Many ladies and not a few men dream of being visited by the mighty Thor - that is, actor Chris Hemsworth. But beware because Thor always brings Odin (ph) with him, and Odin stinks. The large Mr. Hemsworth has a tiny Shih Tzu dog named Odin he takes everywhere with him. And Odin - well, he has a gas problem. It's well-known in Hollywood that when Chris and his little Odie-Wodie (ph) come over for dinner, the meal is served outside or not at all. I've spoken to him about it, says his assistant, Mary (ph). But Chris is like the farmer that can't smell his own livestock. I'll tell you this - I was wearing this mask long before the coronavirus.

Rumor has it that Scarlett Johansson demanded to be killed off in the last "Avenger" movie just because she couldn't take it anymore. We all thought it was cute - big guy, little dog. Then he visits your trailer, said Brie Larson, who played Captain Marvel. Yeah, my character can breathe in the vacuum of space, but she can't breathe that.

SLOAN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right. Here are your stories of an unwelcome guest. Is it, from Joel Kim Booster, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel always brings his dirty laundry for his hosts to do? From Dulce Sloan, Garth Brooks stays at your hotel, but it's Chris Gaines who leaves a mess? Or from Alonzo Bodden, Chris Hemsworth - great guy, good-looking. His dog - very smelly, and he always brings the dog with him. Which of these is a real story of a notable person you don't want to stay with you?

ROSA: Well, in Waldorf schools we always study Norse mythology around the fourth grade. And I know it's not that one, so I'm going to have to go with Netanyahu's dirty laundry.

SAGAL: Your choice is Joel's story of Benjamin Netanyahu. Well, we spoke to one of the reporters who broke this important story.


JOHN HUDSON: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is acting like a college student who comes home from college and just throws a bag of laundry into mom's hands.


SAGAL: That was John Hudson...


SAGAL: ...The Washington Post national security reporter who reported on Benjamin Netanyahu's dirty laundry. Congratulations, Isaac. You got it right. You're a credit to your school.

ROSA: (Laughter).

SAGAL: You've won our prize and, of course, a point for Joel for just telling that story so well. Thank you so much for playing.

ROSA: Thank you so much, Peter. It was great to be on.

SAGAL: Great to be on with you. Thank you so much, Isaac. Take care.

ROSA: You too.


BITTER:SWEET: (Singing) I've got a bad boy, and that's all right with me. His dirty laundry is nothing that I can't keep clean. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.