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Who's Bill This Time?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON, BYLINE: The following program was taped before an audience of no one.


BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME! the NPR News quiz. Lactose intolerant; try me instead, delicious 2% milk. I'm Bill Kurtis.

NEGIN FARSAD: (Laughter).

KURTIS: And here's your host, a man who just discovered that this isn't a TV show - Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. We have a great show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to Jennifer Finney Boylan, the author, activist and columnist. She's written a new book, a memoir called "Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs." Interestingly, one of her dogs has also written a book, "My Life in One-Seventh of a Human." But first...


SAGAL: We want to hear your charming stories about your youth, so give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT.

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

BRENT SVERDLOFF: Hi. This is Brent Sverdloff in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

SAGAL: Rhinebeck - I happen to know Rhinebeck fairly well. What do you do there?

SVERDLOFF: I'm an educator. I teach Spanish at a college, among other places.

SAGAL: (Laughter) Really? Like you teach it - you teach Spanish at a college, and then you do it in the streets, in the alleys, in the tougher quarters of Rhinebeck.



SVERDLOFF: Actually, that's pretty dead-on. Before COVID, I taught in a prison.

SAGAL: Really?



SAGAL: Who did you find more attentive, dedicated and rewarding students to teach - the prisoners or the college students?

SVERDLOFF: They both bring their game to the table. But I must say the prisoners were less distracted by cellphones. They don't have any (laughter).



SAGAL: Yes. That would be definitely one advantage to your classrooms in a prison. Well, Brent, welcome to our show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, she's host of the podcast "Fake the Nation." And you can see her June 8 at Caveat in New York City in "Negin Farsad Presents An Evening Of Comedy From Her Mouth Hole" (ph). It's Negin Farsad.




FARSAD: Hello.

SAGAL: Next, a contributing writer to the New York Times - and you can get her podcast "Social Distance" from the Atlantic every week - it's Maeve Higgins.



SVERDLOFF: (Unintelligible), Maeve.

SAGAL: And finally, a humorist who will be appearing on Josh Gondelman's podcast "Make My Day" on July 6, it's Tom Bodett.


TOM BODETT: Hey, Brent.


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Brent. 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 you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to play?

SVERDLOFF: I'm ready to play.

SAGAL: All right. Your first quote is somebody being very boring about something pretty exciting.

KURTIS: This does not impinge on investigations of military airspace incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena.

SAGAL: That was a Pentagon spokesman talking about the information they're releasing that proves that what exist?




SAGAL: Very good, Brent. The U.S. government has finally come clean. UFOs are real. The Department of Defense is preparing a report on the many actual verified sightings of UFOs by the military over many years. Meanwhile, the Department of Butt Probing says those people...


SAGAL: ...Are just wishing out loud. The Pentagon, by the way, as you might have figured out, if you listen carefully - the Pentagon refers to these things not as UFOs but as UAPs, unidentified aerial phenomena. Oh, I didn't know you worked at the Pedanta-gon (ph).


SAGAL: I should - have you guys been following this? There was a - there was a "60 Minutes" report on this. It turns out that for many years now, military pilots have been seeing these extremely bizarre aircraft that can do things that earthly aircraft can't do, like fly 50,000 feet in a second or take right-angle turns from a dead stop.

FARSAD: But you know what's weird about - it's like...

SAGAL: What?

FARSAD: The way you're describing it makes the footage sound really exciting. But folks, if you haven't seen the footage, it just looks like a bunch of pixels moving around. It's not like - it's so grainy and terrible. And I'm just like, why doesn't the Navy have better cameras? They're sort of like - they're like my mom who wants to hold onto her iPhone 5 for dear life, you know what I mean?

BODETT: Right.

FARSAD: I'm just like, get an update.

BODETT: It looks like an old Pac-Man game that is sort of burning out the screen.



SAGAL: Now, we have this to look forward to, by the way. They're going to be releasing unclassified reports on all this to Congress. You can expect questions from lawmakers. New Mexico Representative Teresa Fernandez is certain to ask if there are aliens in Roswell. And the Florida representative, Matt Gaetz, is certain to ask how old they are.


SAGAL: By the way, if you think Matt Gaetz jokes are old, imagine how old he thinks they are.


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

KURTIS: It just feels very sudden.

SAGAL: That was a person speaking to NPR about new guidance from the CDC that says vaccinated people can now stop doing what?

SVERDLOFF: Wearing masks indoors and out.

SAGAL: Exactly right.


SAGAL: The CDC announced last week that vaccinated people are free to take off their masks, and everybody began to freak out. What if it's not really safe? What if we haven't brushed our teeth in 14 months, and now we can't get the moss off? I think that they can't just tell us just right away, take off your mask. We need time. Like, I'm not ready to go full-frontal with my face. Or maybe, like, we need, like, a transitional mask, something that's revealing but still provides some privacy. So basically, we need face lingerie.


FARSAD: Wait. I've had this really particular experience because people have started taking off their masks. And I met a bunch of parents on the playground - because I now had a toddler - during the pandemic.

SAGAL: Right.

FARSAD: So I actually never knew what their full faces looked like. And now I'm looking at a bunch of bottom faces, and I'm like, oh, my God, your bottom face is totally incorrect. You know what I mean? Like, I'm going to need you to push that chin back. I'm going to need to do something with the nose. And it's like - my mind was doing so much heavy lifting on what people look like. I was making everybody really hot.


FARSAD: And not all bottom faces are hot, you guys. Not all bottom faces are hot.

SAGAL: Do you guys ever feel - this has happened to me a couple times now - that there's something almost, like, indecent about seeing somebody's lower face? Like, you see somebody without their mask, somebody you don't know. And you're like, oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to barge in. I'll...


SAGAL: And you turn your back while they make themselves decent. It was really just - all right, Brent, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: High cheekbones, strong eyebrows, no pores - the guy's a catch.

SAGAL: That was a New York Times writer describing someone who he says is part of a trend of whom getting hotter?

SVERDLOFF: Yeah, so, I mean...

SAGAL: Yeah, tricky.

SVERDLOFF: ...Not even a real person - this is, like, an avatar?

SAGAL: You're getting very close - yes, not real people.

SVERDLOFF: Oh, this is - these are the cartoon dads.

SAGAL: Yes...


SAGAL: ...The cartoon dads. Very good, Brent. According to the New York Times, which has won 130 Pulitzer Prizes over its long history - released their latest investigation last week into whether or not cartoon dads are getting hotter.


SAGAL: And the answer is yabba dabba hubba hubba. The Times specifically cites the dad in Disney's "Raya And The Last Dragon," the elf dad from "Onward" and the dad from Pixar's forthcoming "Bridgerton" (ph).

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I don't know...


SAGAL: Go ahead, Maeve.

HIGGINS: I was going to say, like - you have a toddler, Negin, right? So do you know Peppa Pig? The dad in Peppa - I mean, he's literally a pig. So, I mean, depending on your taste, but, like...

FARSAD: (Laughter).

HIGGINS: Not only is he a pig, but, like, you know, he is the stupidest one.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

HIGGINS: (Laughter) It's just, like, he's a disaster of a person.

FARSAD: Wait. So are you...

HIGGINS: And he falls off trampolines, and he gets pancakes stuck to ceilings.

FARSAD: Are you into him? Or, like...

SAGAL: But is he - how hot is he?


SAGAL: I mean, that's the only question.

HIGGINS: Well, what I'm saying is, I'm just deeply attracted to him. And I don't know what to do with this shame.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

BODETT: Can I tell my hot pig story?

SAGAL: Please, by all means, Tom.

BODETT: Years ago, I got a call from a commercial agent who wanted me to voice a commercial, and I would be the voice of a pig - a real pig they would animate. And I said, you know, no through, you know, channels that I didn't want to work as the voice of a pig. And they came back, and they said, but this is the pig that played Babe.


SAGAL: So you were - the actual animal...

BODETT: Like somebody would know this (laughter)...

SAGAL: ...That starred as Babe the pig.

BODETT: Yeah. This was the pig that played Babe, like that was going to change my mind. And I said, only if they wear a sign on their neck that says, I am the pig that played Babe. Who would recognize it? (Laughter).

SAGAL: I just got to tell you, I'm just stunned you didn't take the job. It would have been an honor to voice that.

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

BODETT: It is one of my many regrets.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Anyway, we were actually talking about hot animated dads.


SAGAL: And, I mean, you know, the idea, however, that this is a new trend is disrespectful to the classic Disney dads. "The Little Mermaid" wouldn't be half as good without King Triton's ripped abs and absolutely dump-truck tail. And don't even get me started on Mulan's father, more like the Dang Dynasty, am I right, ladies?

FARSAD: Ay (ph).


SAGAL: And then there's the old man in "Up." I mean, he's not that hot, but we do know from the first nine minutes that he is single. so...

HIGGINS: Oh, yeah (laughter). Those cartoon widowers - mmm (ph).

FARSAD: (Laughter).

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

KURTIS: He got three and oh. Good going, Brent.

SAGAL: Brent, congratulations.

SVERDLOFF: Well, thank you so much.

SAGAL: Take care.

SVERDLOFF: Bye, everybody.

KURTIS: Bye-bye.



SALT-N-PEPA: (Singing) Oh, what a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man. You've got to say it again now. What a man, what a man, what a man, what a... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.