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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: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Gym's still closed. Go for a jog on me, your tread-Bill. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host, the man who just painted a face on his very own volleyball, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: And thanks to our fake audience, which this week is the grateful nation reacting to the illegal fireworks shows finally ending sometime on July 7. We've got a great show for you today with a visit from the delightful and charming Jameela Jamil, who, after becoming a famous actor on the hit show "The Good Place," decided to take a new job as a game show host. I have lots of questions for her, starting with, are you insane? Give us a call from whatever place you're in. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Now let's welcome our first listener contestant.

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

RACHEL: Hi, my name is Rachel (ph). I'm calling from Tucson, Ariz.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh. How are things in Tucson?

RACHEL: Very hot.

SAGAL: Yeah, I figured.

RACHEL: We're actually moving in about 12 hours, so I'll be done with the heat soon.

SAGAL: Oh, where are you going?

RACHEL: My husband's in the Air Force. I'll be going to South Korea for two years.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh. You lucky, lucky woman.


RACHEL: Yeah, our opinions kind of changed on the situation after a few months.


KURTIS: I'll bet.

SAGAL: When you go outside, please write back and tell us what it's like.

RACHEL: I will do.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Rachel. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, she's a contributing writer for The New York Times, and her movie "Extra Ordinary" is now playing on virtual theaters and on demand. It's Maeve Higgins.



HIGGINS: Greetings from South Korea.

RACHEL: Thanks.

SAGAL: Next - oh, she wishes. Yes. Next to comedian whose podcast "Back To School With Maz Jobrani" is available anywhere you might find a podcast. It's Maz Jobrani.


MAZ JOBRANI: Hello, and good luck in South Korea. We have friends there.

RACHEL: Sure. I'm sure I'll meet them.

SAGAL: And the comedian who hosts the weekly comedy podcast "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone," you can find her RX laughter videos on her website at paulapoundstone.com. It is Paula Poundstone.



RACHEL: Hi, Paula.

SAGAL: Rachel, welcome to the show. 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. Are you ready to play?

RACHEL: Sure am.

SAGAL: All right, here is your first quote.

KURTIS: "He is and always will be a terrified little boy."

SAGAL: That was Mary Trump, the author of a new tell-all book about whom?

RACHEL: Donald Trump.

SAGAL: Indeed. Her uncle Donald Trump.


SAGAL: It's another book saying that President Trump is crazy, but this one is different because it's written by his niece, Mary Trump, a Ph.D. psychologist. That seems like overkill. As Bob Dylan said, you don't need a weatherman to know that the wind is a sociopath.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: She does share a few delightful details about growing up with the Trump-y (ph) bunch. For example, Trump and his first wife Ivana were so cheap, they once re-gifted a food basket to Mary and there was just...

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...It was all still there, but the plastic had been opened and there was a little indentation where the can of caviar had been.

HIGGINS: (Laughter) Oh, I love how petty that is to remember that stuff. It's just the best.

SAGAL: I know.

HIGGINS: I'm like - I kind of think - I mean, whatever. I'm not a fan, but, like, family are allowed to give each other crummy presents. Like, you're allowed to water down the whiskey and pass it along to, you know, your old aunt who's not going to know the difference, right?

SAGAL: That's a very specific example, Maeve.

HIGGINS: (Laughter) It just came to me.

KURTIS: It's very Irish.

SAGAL: It just came to you.

HIGGINS: It just came to me.

SAGAL: It just came to you, OK. Go on.

POUNDSTONE: I hope not, Cousin Maeve (laughter).

SAGAL: And she does. There is a strange amount of, like, terrible gifting in this book. She also says that, again, her uncle, who supposedly is this real estate tycoon worth billions, once gave her as a gift a three-pack of underwear, which is bad. There are two people in the world you don't want to get a three-pack of underwear from. One is your uncle, and the other is Donald Trump. So this was really bad.

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: Wasn't it - had it started out a five pack and he took two?

SAGAL: Well, that's the thing - I know, yes. Exactly. It was a three pack with a room where the other two had gone.

HIGGINS: I'm just remembering, like, gifts that my uncle gave me, and he works at The Donkey Sanctuary in Ireland. And every year, it's the same thing. We get an adopted donkey. Like, it's the same donkey who's probably died by now.


POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

HIGGINS: It's like here you go.

SAGAL: All right, wait a minute. We got to back up a little. Your uncle works at The Donkey Sanctuary in Ireland.


SAGAL: One, that's where the donkeys go.

HIGGINS: Yes. There's one, and they have about 400 donkeys.

SAGAL: And...

HIGGINS: You know this already.

SAGAL: No, this is all news to me. And so for Christmas or whatever....


SAGAL: ...He always gives you the same gift. You have - he'd presumably doesn't give you an actual donkey. He says you have - you've honorably adopted...

HIGGINS: Yeah, it's like a dating profile of a donkey that you get. It's like, you know, this is Seamus and he's interested in, you know, anime or whatever it is.


SAGAL: You get the nerdy donkey, and then you're saying that he doesn't even go to the trouble of giving you a different honorary donkey. It's the same one.

HIGGINS: Yeah. I'm pretty sure I got Seamus from 1998 right after 2003 every year (laughter).

POUNDSTONE: You know, I had an uncle - we used to go to Huntsville, Ala., every summer for a couple weeks in July and my uncle would - it was my great uncle Leslie (ph). He would take us into an abandoned lot and fire off firecrackers and cans. And we did every year. We looked forward to it. It was great. But it wasn't until recently that it dawned on me he would have done that without us.


SAGAL: All right, Rachel, your next quote is a man talking about what his new contract prohibits him from doing.

KURTIS: "Pretty much every physical activity you could possibly do."

SAGAL: That man is named Patrick Mahomes. And this week, he signed a contract that makes him the richest man ever in what particular industry?

RACHEL: Oh, sports.



SAGAL: In fact, sports is the answer. Patrick Mahomes, of course, led the Kansas City Chiefs to their second ever Super Bowl victory last year. So he was rewarded with a $500 million contract, making him the most highly paid professional athlete in history. The problem for Mahomes is that he's getting all this money just when there's nowhere to go and nothing to spend it on. He's like, hey, mom, we're going to go shopping - anything you like at Walgreens.

HIGGINS: (Laughter) But what does that mean that he's not allowed to do? Does that mean, like, he's not late to go do a dangerous thing, like skateboarding or...

SAGAL: Yes, exactly like that. A lot of professional athletes aren't allowed to, like, go skateboarding or certainly skiing or even playing basketball, something like that unless, of course, they're a basketball player.

HIGGINS: Could he pick up, like - if he has a child, like a big child, is he allowed to pick up the child?

SAGAL: I think it depends on the size of the child.

POUNDSTONE: He can't help friends move. That's very important. Can't...

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: That's true. That's the most important thing. Yeah, my contract says I can't help you move. I also can't drive you to the airport. Sorry.

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, yeah.

HIGGINS: And also...

POUNDSTONE: It's probably some stuff that he wrote in.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.

JOBRANI: I can't wash the dishes. I can't do the laundry. I'm really bummed out.

HIGGINS: I'm not allowed to get my hands wrinkled, my fingers wrinkled in the water.

JOBRANI: Whenever they do this - whenever they hire these crazy contracts, Peter, my heart breaks for athletes from, like, 10 or 20 years ago because I was watching the "Last Dance."..

SAGAL: Right.

JOBRANI: ...And they kept talking about how Scottie Pippen was getting paid, like, a million or $2 million or something. And I was like that's got to be 20, right? And I looked it up. And it was, like, $2 million. And this guy's getting $500 million. These guys got to be thinking I should have been born 10 years later.


SAGAL: On the other hand, Maz, you're now sitting here expressing sympathy for a guy who only got paid $2 million.

HIGGINS: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. So everybody within sound of our voices...

SAGAL: I'm glad your focus is on the needy.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, please, do what you can for Scottie Pippen. Send whatever you can give.


SAGAL: Just imagining, you know, Sally Struthers narrating a little film in which you see grainy footage of Scottie Pippen with a tear in his eye. Do what you can to help Scottie.

HIGGINS: Try to get to $500 million for Scottie.


POUNDSTONE: Does he even know it's Christmas?


SAGAL: All right, Rachel, you're doing really well. Here is your last quote.

KURTIS: "Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now."

SAGAL: No one is actually saying that. But what musical that was back in the news this week is?

HIGGINS: "Hamilton."

SAGAL: Yes, "Hamilton."


SAGAL: It's bad news. To everybody's sick of all of us people who could not shut up about "Hamilton," welcome to the second wave of infection. Since the show was broadcast starting last week on Disney Plus, millions more people can now be unbearably insufferable about seeing the original cast, even though they didn't see them live in the theater like I did. But now everybody's arguing about whether the musical is historically accurate. So we need to set the record straight. Aaron Burr's rap flow was much more West Coast style than is depicted in this musical.

Now, a lot of the criticism, of course, is that the historical Alexander Hamilton wasn't nearly the good guy he's depicted to be in the musical, where he's presented as a man who carries on a long-distance affair with his wife's sister before cheating on both of them and then helps his son get killed in a duel before needlessly dying in one himself without even telling his wife where he was going.

HIGGINS: Is that part of the drama, that he never told his wife where he was going?

SAGAL: Yes, he actually - he says I've just got an appointment out of town, and he comes back dead.

HIGGINS: Oh, no. I would never - I'd always be like, sweetie, I'm going to a duel. Isn't it hot?

SAGAL: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: Did they tell us why he - was he afraid she was going to talk him out of it or would she'd been like Maeve, who would've been like, go get him?

POUNDSTONE: What he was worried about was that he would say, you know, I'm going to fight a duel and she'd go while you're out, can you stop off at the wigmaker?


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

KURTIS: Rachel got a perfect score. Rachel, put it on your passport, and you can get into South Korea without quarantining.


SAGAL: Rachel, congratulations. Thank you so much for playing, and good luck in the safe haven of South Korea. We all envy you.

RACHEL: Oh, Thank you.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, Rachel, good luck.

RACHEL: Thank you.

SAGAL: Take care.


RACHEL: Bye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.