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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. Don't worry about your mail-in ballot. You've got me, your mail in Bill-ot (ph), Bill Kurtis. And here's your host...

FAITH SALIE: (Laughter).

KURTIS: ...A man who this Halloween will have to toilet-paper his own house, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks once again to our fake audience, which this week is all the people Kim Kardashian paid to welcome her on that private island for her birthday party. Our guest this week, political strategist Mike Murphy, has spent his life helping Republican candidates from John McCain to Mitt Romney to Jeb Bush run for president, so he's the perfect person to convince your opponent to hire. We'll ask him what we can expect next week other than the possible end of the world. But you can make your voice heard by calling us up, winning our games and then electing any of our voices you like as your prize. The number to call is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant.

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

LESLEY SHELTON: Hi. Lesley Shelton here from Lubbock, Texas.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Lubbock?

SHELTON: Well, things are kind of sketchy right now with the whole COVID thing.


SAGAL: Yeah, things are pretty sketchy all over. Everybody says that this year, for the first time in decades, Texas could be a swing state.


SAGAL: So do you swing?

SHELTON: Oh, I'm swinging like crazy.

SAGAL: Really?

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: You think there's a chance that it might go either way, as they say?

SHELTON: Well, it's close enough that they're saying that, so I've got my fingers crossed.

SAGAL: Well, Lesley, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel. First up, it's a comedian and host of the popular cocktail comedy series "The 5 O'clock Somewhere News," available on YouTube and Instagram. It's Adam Burke.




SAGAL: Next, she's a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning" and, this week, press secretary for 104.5-year-old Ruth Rosner, whom Faith took to vote and whose story has gone internationally viral. It's Faith Salie.


SHELTON: Hello, Faith.

SALIE: Hello.

SAGAL: And the comedian who'll be part of the "Vote. No Joke." special on Election Day - more info at aafront.org/vnj - it's Alonzo Bodden.


ALONZO BODDEN: Hello, Lesley.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Lesley. 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 two of them, you'll win our prize - any voice from our show that you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to play?

SHELTON: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: Waited in line for over an hour to do it but got a free sandwich, so it was worth it.

SAGAL: That was a woman named Sarah K. on Twitter. She was one of the millions of people who waited in long lines to do what this week?

SHELTON: Early voting.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed...


SAGAL: ...To vote.


SAGAL: It is the last week before Election Day, although these days it's really election season or election ongoing nightmare from which we cannot wake. Seriously, the 2020 election is one of those annoying people who say, it's my birthday month.

We may not know who won until long after November 3, what with all the mail-in ballots, desperately long lines, fights over fraud and the fact that all of Florida's votes are counted by one 87-year-old woman from Boca named Doris. But don't worry. She expedites the process by throwing out any names she can't pronounce.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Have you guys been out to vote yet? Have you done it?

SALIE: Oh, Lord. So...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

SALIE: ...First of all, this quotation - this woman says she stood in line for an hour, and that's long. I don't know what it's like where y'all are, but the lines in New York City are four to six hours long. And...

BURKE: Woah.

SALIE: ...There is already enough urine on the sidewalks of New York. We don't need this.

SAGAL: This is, in fact, one of the things that's been going on, this kind of throwdown about what trouble people had to go through to vote. You know, people are, like, I stood in line four hours. Well, I stood in line 10 hours. And my phone battery died, so I had to play Bejeweled with pebbles I found on the sidewalk.

BURKE: (Laughter) Well, I'm not a citizen, but I think I am going to vote just so I have the worst story. It's like, I voted, and I got arrested.


BODDEN: Hey, Adam. Adam, just head on down to Florida...

BURKE: (Laughter).

BODDEN: ...And go ahead. Just...

BURKE: Sure.

BODDEN: There are no rules down there. I'm going down there to vote three more times.

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I should say it's mostly Democrats talking about standing in long lines for hours. But to be fair, Don Jr. did lines for four hours on Monday.


SAGAL: The frustrating thing is after all this buildup, we will not know who won on Election Day. We'll have to spend a week staring at returns coming in, trying to figure out what each data point means. It's like your doctor deciding to tell you whether or not you have cancer via charades. Two - two what? Two weeks? Two more? What?

BURKE: Oh, two more - tumor.


SAGAL: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. All right. Lesley, your next quote is from a team official for the LA Dodgers.

KURTIS: We're going to get a picture and then get him off the field.

SAGAL: He was referring to player Justin Turner, who tested positive for COVID in the midst of doing what?

SHELTON: Playing the final game of the World Series.

SAGAL: Exactly right...


SAGAL: ...Which they won.


SAGAL: Every Little Leaguer dreams of this - winning the World Series in a mostly empty stadium after a shortened season with no fans and celebrating with a mandatory 14-day quarantine. In the seventh inning of Tuesday's final and deciding game in the World Series, Dodgers star Justin Turner got pulled from the field because he had tested positive. And then he came back after the game to celebrate with his team after they won. Now, to be fair, he had to be there to accept his most infectious player award. (Chanting) MIP, MIP.

BURKE: (Laughter).

BODDEN: Well, in his defense, he knew they didn't have to go to work the next day.

SAGAL: That's true.

BURKE: (Laughter).


SAGAL: Everybody gets sick.

BURKE: I think it was a dead giveaway when he slid into home, and the umpire was like, not safe.


SALIE: How did they not know until...

SAGAL: Well, that's the crazy thing.

SALIE: ...The middle of the game?

SAGAL: Nobody really understands that. I mean, it's possible that Turner had dipped his beard in a bowl of COVID a week ago...

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...And it took that long for it to crawl up to his face, or maybe he just went old-school and stumbled into the dugout and caught it from a bat.


SALIE: What position does Justin Turner play? - 'cause if he were outfield...

BURKE: I think it's prone now.



BODDEN: Third base - he's the...


BODDEN: ...Third baseman.

SALIE: I mean, so he goes back in. And I heard somewhere that he didn't have his mask on the whole time. Like, he is the exact opposite of a team player.

SAGAL: Of course, well, they had to put him in. Who else could've gone 0-3 with two strikeouts?

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Oh, now you're sick, aren't you, Justin? All right. Your last quote, Lesley, is from a very excited scientist.

KURTIS: You're not going to believe this. There it is. It's so obvious.

SAGAL: That was a scientist named Casey Honniball who found hard evidence for water where?

SHELTON: On the moon.

SAGAL: On the moon - that's exactly right...



SAGAL: ...Lesley.


SAGAL: Last week, NASA teased us. They said they had a huge announcement about a discovery in the moon, and we all fell for it again. Would it be alien life, proof that the Apollo landings were fake? Did they find a reliable supply of toilet paper? No. It turns out it's that the moon is former Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor.


SAGAL: So disappointing. No. Actually, the news was they found water - again. They announced water in the moon years ago. Can they at least...

SALIE: What?

SAGAL: ...Come up with a more interesting liquid? It's not just water. It's LaCroix. They say it's moon-flavored, but it all tastes the same.

SALIE: Wait. They found water before. So why is this...


SALIE: ...Announcement so...

SAGAL: Well...

SALIE: ...Exciting?

SAGAL: The reason it's supposedly exciting is they had found water at the poles in a frozen state, but now they said they found it in sort of the sunlit spots of the moon. So it's, like, this is amazing. What are these little puddles in the moon doing there? Suddenly, Buzz Aldrin had someplace else he had to be.


SALIE: Do you think Space Force is going to do something with this?

SAGAL: Go there and lick it up.

SALIE: I feel like if we get another four years of Trump and his Space Force, he'll create, like, some kind of - you know, he'll take Miss Universe contestants and have them do synchronized swimming on the moon.

SAGAL: It's possible.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

BURKE: He's going to use the little water on the moon to have a wet T-shirt contest.


BODDEN: Do you think maybe they've discovered far more, but they've realized we as a nation have been dumbed down so much, they're just like, tell them about the water again? They love that.

SALIE: (Laughter).

BURKE: Yeah. Yeah, they actually found fish on the moon. But they're like, let's start with water.

SAGAL: Water - build our way up to it.


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

KURTIS: Lesley's very happy. She got three right.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Leslie. Well done.

SHELTON: Thank you.

SAGAL: Lesley, take care. Stay safe. And we'll see you when all this is over.

SHELTON: Thank you so much. Y'all have a great day.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.



ANDY WILLIAMS: (Singing) Moon river, wider than a mile. I'm crossing you in style someday. Oh, dream-maker... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.