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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. I'm your area of interest - I'm your Bill-iwick (ph), Bill Kurtis. And here's your host, a man who just took off his BabyBjorn for the first time this week, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And as always, we like to remind you the audience sounds you hear are fake, but the jokes they're not laughing at are real. Later on, we're going to be talking to Desus and Mero, who a few years ago were hanging out in a Bronx bodega and cracking jokes and are now hosts of a hit late-night TV show. Among other things, they're known for drinking during their tapings, which we find inspiring. But you're always in demand. Give us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant.

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

JEN THOMPSON: Hi. My name is Jen Thompson.

SAGAL: Hey, Jen. Where are you calling from?

THOMPSON: I am calling from Arlington, Mass.

SAGAL: (Imitating Boston accent) Arlington.


SAGAL: (Imitating Boston accent) Arlington.

THOMPSON: Arlington.

SAGAL: Arlington - I know Arlington. I used to spend a lot of time in Belmont.

GONDELMAN: (Imitating Boston accent) I used to work there, guy, at the church that sits across from the Whole Foods. I used to be a food master. You kidding me? I'll tell you I used to be there all day long on Mass. Ave. Yeah, guy. Yeah.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I'm sorry. Is there anybody else here, or are Josh and I just going to do this?


MAZ JOBRANI: I thought that was Mark Wahlberg. He sounds like...

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.

JOBRANI: ...Mark Wahlberg.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Jennifer, what do you do there?

THOMPSON: I am a public health researcher.

SAGAL: A public health researcher - that sounds both fascinating and very relevant. What exactly does that mean?

THOMPSON: We look for adverse events associated with prescription drugs and devices that are already on the market.

SAGAL: Oh so that's - so you try to find out if anything bad is happening to people who are trying to get better.

THOMPSON: Exactly.

SAGAL: Oh, I figured it out. Well, Jennifer, welcome to our show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a writer and co-executive producer for "Desus & Mero" on Showtime, as well as the host of the podcast "Make My Day." It's Stoneham's own Josh Gondelman.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).


GONDELMAN: Hello, Peter. It's so nice to see you.

SAGAL: Next, his new stand-up special "Pandemic Warrior" is available for streaming on Peacock TV. His podcast is "Back To School With Maz Jobrani." I gave it away. It's Maz Jobrani.


JOBRANI: Hey. Good to be here, Peter.

SAGAL: And making her debut on our panel, a comedian and writer for "Late Night With Seth Meyers." It's Karen Chee.



SAGAL: Jennifer, 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 two of them, you'll win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. You ready to go?

CHEE: I was born ready.

SAGAL: Oh...

KURTIS: Oh, nice.

SAGAL: That's the attitude.

CHEE: Wow.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: You can probably hug grandma again.

SAGAL: That was the website Ars Technica summing up new guidance from the CDC this week about what you can do after you do what?

THOMPSON: After you've been vaccinated.

SAGAL: Exactly right.


SAGAL: The CDC issued new guidance...


SAGAL: ...For what we can and can't do once we're vaccinated. For example, vaccinated grandparents can meet with their unvaccinated children. Vaccinated people can hang out with each other. It's all very exciting for grandparents everywhere - kind of awkward for Harry and Meghan. Once we're all vaccinated and everybody can get together and come on over, can the CDC release guidelines that everybody has to leave my house at 9:30? Are you guys excited to start seeing your relatives again?

JOBRANI: Did you say the website was Arse Technica, like arse?


SAGAL: It's Latin. It's Latin, Maz. Don't get excited.


SAGAL: It's technical arts.

JOBRANI: ...For technical butt.

SAGAL: Ars gratis artis (ph) - it's arts, arts.


GONDELMAN: I am - here's the thing. I don't have any living grandparents, so I feel like the CDC should assign me an old person to kiss.

CHEE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Really?

GONDELMAN: I just want that excitement.

SAGAL: It doesn't seem fair that you don't have, like, some overbearing person who's desperate...

GONDELMAN: There must be some old person without grandkids that I could pair up with - like an oldphan (ph). Is that what that word is?


JOBRANI: I am upset at the - I have a lot of conservative friends. There was a lot of conservative Persians in Beverly Hills who originally said the thing was a hoax.

SAGAL: Really?

JOBRANI: As soon as - yeah, as soon as it came out, as soon as a vaccine came out, they all pulled this - one of these, like, oh, I'm a medical worker. Yeah.

SAGAL: Oh, really?

JOBRANI: You own a shoe store. Yeah, but, you know, once in a while, I give people Band-Aids. That qualifies me - whatever it was.

GONDELMAN: Well, in New York, where I live, you can - if your BMI is over a certain number, you're eligible based on obesity. And the number's, like, kind of low. And now I know what my big quarantine project has been all along.


GONDELMAN: I didn't realize...


GONDELMAN: Yeah, I was getting fit for the vaccine.

SAGAL: It's like the end of the movie, where you don't know where the guy's been carrying the bullet the whole time. And then it's right there when he needs it.

GONDELMAN: All in my gut, yeah...

SAGAL: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: ...Because the bullet goes straight to my gut.

SAGAL: It turns out that new spare tire saved his life.


SAGAL: Your next quote is somebody defending himself and his relatives.

KURTIS: (Imitating British accent) We are very much not a racist family.

SAGAL: Whose racist family was he defending?

THOMPSON: The British royal family.

SAGAL: The British royal family indeed.


SAGAL: There was more fallout...


SAGAL: ...From the blockbuster Meghan and Harry interview with Oprah this week. As you heard, Prince William said, of course, the royal family isn't racist. No, they judge people on the content of their character and their bloodline going back at least 10 generations. The American Kennel Club is less concerned with breeding than these people. This is true. I don't know if you know this. Shortly after the interview, the royal family's Instagram feed started featuring pictures of Prince Charles with people of color. That's true. Of course...

CHEE: Oh, no.

SAGAL: ...They didn't really have any of those ready to go, so they just posted the negatives of the pictures they already had.

JOBRANI: (Laughter) Are you serious? Did they really start posting pictures...

SAGAL: They really did. (Imitating British accent) Oh, look...

CHEE: Oh, wow. I just want to let the royal family know that if they want, you know, another person of color in their photos, I'm available.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

CHEE: And I would love the attention, so...

SAGAL: Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute.

CHEE: Yeah.

SAGAL: Now, we've all - we've spent the last two weeks talking about how miserable it was for Meghan Markle to live in the royal family. And you're, like, nope, sign me up. I'm your gal. Is that your attitude? You still want to do it?

CHEE: I'm specifically there for the Instagram likes. And then I'm out.


CHEE: I'm not getting married to anybody. I'm not living there. Yeah.

GONDELMAN: You're not trying to get a Ph.D. in the royal family, but you will appear on the brochure.


CHEE: Yes, exactly.

GONDELMAN: I also think you can't say, our family isn't racist, right? Like, that doesn't - you have to wait until someone else says that for that to, like, hold any water. And that other person can't be Piers Morgan.


SAGAL: Now, the only one who's not on the defense in the royal family is Prince Andrew, who's, like, yes, we're racists. Let's focus on that.


GONDELMAN: Prince Andrew is, like, please, focus on all the colonies of the other islands, not my...

SAGAL: Exactly. Yes.

GONDELMAN: ...Activities on Little Saint James Island.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your last quote. It's from White House spokesperson Jen Psaki. And she was trying to diffuse a scandal that unfolded this week.

KURTIS: He was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual.

SAGAL: Psaki was putting a positive spin on the bloody crime committed by whom?

THOMPSON: By Major Biden.

SAGAL: By Major Biden...


SAGAL: ...Who is, of course, the Bidens' dog.


SAGAL: It's been a huge cover-up. First, they said there was a biting incident. People were, like, well, who could it be? Can't be the president - his teeth are only decorative. Might be Pete Buttigieg - I know he's teething. But then it came out - it was Major Biden, the president's dog. But so many questions remain. Did he bite a Secret Service agent? How bad was it? Was Major provoked? It all boiled down to, what did the president's dog gnaw, and when did he gnaw it?

JOBRANI: Oh, Peter.


JOBRANI: That one was ruff (ph).

GONDELMAN: Like, I think they sent Major back to Delaware, right?

SAGAL: Right.

GONDELMAN: But I'm not going to be happy until he resigns from the board of that Ukrainian energy company.

SAGAL: Exactly.


SAGAL: You know this was, like, a serious incident because the president tried to cover it up by passing a nearly $2 trillion relief bill just to distract everybody. It really was the most unnerving biting incident at the White House since every time Trump tried to drink from a bottle of water.

JOBRANI: (Laughter).

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

KURTIS: I hope she's glad that she came because she got a perfect score.

SAGAL: Well, congratulations, Jennifer.

THOMPSON: Oh, thank you so much.

SAGAL: And good luck in (imitating Boston accent) Arlington.


SAGAL: Thank you, Jennifer. Take care.

THOMPSON: Thanks. You too.


MIAMI SOUND MACHINE: (Singing) Bad, bad, bad, bad boy, you make me feel so good. You naughty bad, bad, bad... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.