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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. Hey there, Billie Eilish. Do a duet with me, Billie Kurtish (ph). And here's your host, a man whose co-workers have totally forgotten what his legs look like. It's Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks one more time to our fake audience, which is celebrating a full year of being a part of our show. Speaking of the pandemic, if you think that you've been spending a lot of time alone, well, later on, we're going to be joined by Jordan Jonas, the winner of the reality show "Alone," who spent almost three months entirely by himself in the Arctic wilderness. That's right - he had to build his own Netflix out of sticks and fur. But right now, see if you have the survival skills necessary to win a voicemail. Give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant.

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

RICH MOLLOY: Hi. My name is Rich from Walpole, Mass.

SAGAL: Walpole?

MOLLOY: Walpole.

SAGAL: Isn't Walpole where the state prison is?

MOLLOY: It is, yes. That's our - one of our claim to fames.

SAGAL: I do know you're not calling collect, so I'm assuming you're not in the prison. What do you do there?

MOLLOY: (Unintelligible) medical diagnostics.

SAGAL: When you say medical diagnostics, are these, like, the things that we're all supposed to be sticking up our nose every now and then?

MOLLOY: That's exactly right. Yes. It's a new product for us, but yes.

SAGAL: You make the brain scrapes?

MOLLOY: We make one of the brain scrapes.


PETER GROSZ: Can I put in a request for softer and shorter?

MOLLOY: (Laughter). One size fits all.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to our show, Rich. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, joining our panel for the first time, she's the co-host of The Secret Lives Of Black Women podcast. And her debut comedy album, "Karate," is available on Spotify. It's Charla Lauriston.



MOLLOY: Hello, Charla.

SAGAL: Next, the comedian whose new movie "Bad Shrooms Good Trip" with Hannibal Buress comes out on April 20 - tickets at nftshares@babylonnft.com. It's the Prince of Bronzeville. It's Brian Babylon.


BRIAN BABYLON: Thank you. Hey.

MOLLOY: Hi, Brian.

SAGAL: And finally, it's a writer and actor who can be seen in season four of "Search Party," currently streaming on HBO Max. It's Peter Grosz.

GROSZ: Hello.

MOLLOY: Hi, Peter.

SAGAL: Hey, Rich. Welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill this time? Bill Kurtis 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 for your voicemail. You ready to play?


SAGAL: All right. Here, Rich, is your first quote.

KURTIS: The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking.

SAGAL: That was President Joe Biden criticizing the governors who announced this week that they are lifting what?

MOLLOY: Their state mask mandates.

SAGAL: Exactly...


SAGAL: ...And their other COVID restrictions.


SAGAL: Vaccine production is up. More Americans are getting the shot every day. Nothing can stop America's path to recovery. Wait. Texas, what are you doing? No. No. Governor Greg Abbott of Texas announced on Tuesday that he was lifting all mask requirements. He's going to allow all businesses to open. And just for good measure, he's requiring all residents to greet each other with something called the Fort Worth face lick.

GROSZ: (Laughter).

LAURISTON: Watching cable news tear this apart has been a fun time. It's truly like watching "The Real Housewives Of Atlanta." Like, they'll ask someone, did you see that the president called Governor Abbott a Neanderthal? And they're, like, girl, he's stupid, girl.

BABYLON: (Laughter).

LAURISTON: They're just bringing people on to start some drama. They're just bringing people on to talk trash.

GROSZ: It's just funny that, like, you thought you were done with the name-calling when Trump left...

SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: ...And then Biden comes in and, like, in, like, less than a month, it's already Neanderthal. And you're, like, well, that's not great.

SAGAL: It's an upgrade.

GROSZ: It's not great. It's - yeah, well, it's a longer word. It's...


SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: It's a $5 Trump word.

SAGAL: I mean, this is the funny thing. So Biden says that - that's Neanderthal thinking - and all the Republicans - they get upset. How dare he refer to patriotic Americans as Neanderthals? First of all, Joe Biden would know. He used to hang out with them.

GROSZ: I used to know a guy named Neanderthal Rick (ph) - lifeguard at a pool. Good guy, crazy guy.


GROSZ: Always chewed - first guy to ever chew gum. Really terrific. I mean, he hung out with scoopy (ph) Joe, scoopy Joe. Biden - he's - Biden's been telling that story since there were Neanderthals.

BABYLON: Do you think Texas still really has this whole, like, cowboy mentality? Is that, like, you know, I don't need any stinking badges type of energy? We don't need no stinking masks.

LAURISTON: Cowboys didn't want to die, so I feel like...

SAGAL: Yeah.

LAURISTON: You know, we're comparing - no, Neanderthals don't want to die. Like, this is so clearly something that is risking people's lives. It's so irresponsible. You know what? I am not on a soapbox, so I will step down.


SAGAL: But the Republicans are trying to make this weird Neanderthal comment into the first big scandal of the Biden administration. Senator Marsha Blackburn actually rose to defend the honor of Neanderthals. She said, quote...

LAURISTON: (Laughter).

SAGAL: "They're protectors of their family. They are resilient. They're resourceful. They tend to their own," unquote. She then dragged Amy Klobuchar out of the Senate by her hair.


SAGAL: All right. Rich, here is your next quote.

KURTIS: This is terrible news for my lifetime dream of opening a brand-new Shell station in Petaluma, Calif.

SAGAL: That was a man named Bobby Lewis (ph) on Twitter - where else? - reacting to news that Petaluma has now banned all new what?

MOLLOY: Gas stations.

SAGAL: Gas stations...


SAGAL: ...Yes.


SAGAL: Gas stations apparently will soon be a thing of the past, and not just because none of us go anywhere anymore. The town of Petaluma, Calif., has banned new gas stations, and other municipalities will soon follow suit. By the way, thank you, municipalities - a word that is only used when we've already said town. We understand it's about moving to a post-carbon future, but gas stations were just getting good. Those little TVs in the pump are my favorite place to see sports highlights from two days ago.

GROSZ: I hate those TVs...

SAGAL: Really?

GROSZ: ...With a hot passion. Yes.


GROSZ: I don't need screens when - I don't need, like...


GROSZ: Yeah, you don't need a TV outside. Like, also, the content - it's not, like, oh, I caught the most interesting thing while I'm...



SAGAL: It's, like, hey, friend, are you done pumping gas? No, I've just got to catch the end of the show.

GROSZ: No, it's just gas just streaming out of the car...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

GROSZ: ...While you're watching the end of the Texaco theater.

SAGAL: But there are other things about gas stations we're going to miss. For example, the gas station is the only place where you say to yourself, you know what a healthy meal option would be today? Combos.

GROSZ: (Laughter). Would this town put in a electric charging station?

SAGAL: Well, that's the idea. The idea is we're not going to build any more new gas stations. We're going to look forward to a noncarbonized future where we'll build electric charging stations. That's the vision of the future, of course.

GROSZ: So it'll all be the same stuff. It'll just be electric combos and electric Ding Dongs and Ho Hos.

SAGAL: It'll be little screens with electric gas station TV anchors wearing presumably, tinfoil, suits and little...

GROSZ: Yeah.

BABYLON: It'll be - takes a while for a car to charge. That's the only problem. It's, like - what? - 45 minutes or - you know?

SAGAL: Yeah. Just think of all the combos you could eat. You're going to need...


SAGAL: You absolutely will have no choice about using the bathroom, eventually.

GROSZ: That's when you need gas station TV.

BABYLON: There you go.

SAGAL: Rich, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: Go get them, Harry.

SAGAL: That was somebody - again, on Twitter - eagerly anticipating Oprah Winfrey's big interview with whom this weekend?

MOLLOY: With the royals, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

SAGAL: Exactly right...


SAGAL: ...Meghan Markle and Prince Harry...


SAGAL: ...The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They are fed up with the incessant prying into their lives by the media, which we know because they scheduled an exclusive primetime interview with Oprah airing nationally this Sunday night. The previews - I don't know if you've been excited about this - they've promised, quote, "bombshells" about the royal family. What can they possibly be? The queen still gives out birthday cards with five bucks in them? Are they going to accuse the royal family of nepotism? Well, they just pass on their jobs to their children.

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Now, what's interesting is the royal family decided to preempt any bad publicity by leaking terrible gossip about Meghan in particular before the interview. For example, Meghan was the subject of a bullying complaint. She was so mean and demanding, we are told, she drove two assistants away. Seriously, people, if you don't want to be treated like a servant, don't work in a castle.


LAURISTON: I do feel like, though, what a power move. And you can't - I can't imagine that everyone's not super-pissed about this power move. Like, I can't imagine anybody other than a Black woman - I'm sorry - just being, like, all right, you guys want to play me? Peace out. We're leaving...


LAURISTON: ...Royalty (laughter). Bye.


LAURISTON: Because you guys keep wanting to play games. So I'm not paying that much attention but enough attention to be delighted.

BABYLON: Well, also...

SAGAL: Just paying enough attention to be thrilled for it.

BABYLON: Do you guys think - you know those guys who wear those, like, long Marge Simpson Afro hats, the guards?

LAURISTON: Yes (laughter).

BABYLON: Do you...

LAURISTON: Why would you describe, though...

SAGAL: I'm a little lost.

LAURISTON: But I know exactly who you're talking about.

BABYLON: The changing of the guards.

SAGAL: You mean the big, furry...


BABYLON: Yeah...

SAGAL: Yeah.

BABYLON: ...The Beefeater guy. I was there one day. I don't think those guys can fight. Do you think if you got them...

SAGAL: You're saying if you went up to them...

LAURISTON: Those are not fighting hats.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BABYLON: Those aren't fighting hats. That outfit is not...

GROSZ: That hat...

BABYLON: ...Tough.

GROSZ: That hat is the equivalent of a green beret in America. When we say green beret, they're, like, oh, poofy hats. Well, the poofy hat brigade - they're very tough.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

GROSZ: Those are our best men, the poofy hats.

SAGAL: Do you think that - do you think they go out after - when they're off-hours and say, don't mess with me, man. I'm a poofy hat.

BABYLON: (Laughter) Yeah, like, if you're going to fight somebody, hold on. Let me - hold my poofy hat.

GROSZ: No, you know what they do? There's got to be...

BABYLON: I mean...

GROSZ: ...Crazy ninja swords and everything inside.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

BABYLON: There has to be.

SAGAL: That's where they keep their throwing stars.

LAURISTON: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Hey, Bill, how did Rich do on our quiz?

KURTIS: He did great - three in a row, Rich from Walpole.

SAGAL: Congratulations. And stay out of jail.


MOLLOY: Thanks very much.

SAGAL: Talk to you soon. Bye-bye, Rich.

MOLLOY: Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPIN DOCTORS SONG, "TWO PRINCES") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.