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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. You know what's longer than a mile? A Bill-ometer (ph). I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host, who would like Pfizer to know he's a frontline health care worker over age 65, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thank you once again to our fake audience, which this week are the voices inside Rudolph Giuliani's head telling him he is doing a great job. Later on, we're going to be talking to the amazing actress Sarah Paulson of "American Horror Story" - which, by the way, is not a documentary. But first, it's your turn. Give us a call.

NEGIN FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: 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.

EMILY: Hi, this is Emily (ph) from Alexandria, Va. And I'm here with my kids...

ABIGAIL: Abigail (ph).

FENWAY: And Fenway.

SAGAL: Fenway?

MO ROCCA: Fenway.


KURTIS: That's Peter's favorite.

SAGAL: You were named after Fenway Park.

FENWAY: Yes. Yes.

SAGAL: Are your parents either or both Red Sox fans?

FENWAY: My dad's a big Red Sox fan.

EMILY: And his mother is very patient.

SAGAL: Well, apparently.

EMILY: (Laughter).

SAGAL: So, Fenway, are you a Boston Red Sox fan yourself?


SAGAL: You kind of have to be. You know what's going to happen, Fenway? And I hate to say this. You're going to get to be around 15, 16 - you're going to rebel and become a Yankees fan. It'll just be a phase, though.


EMILY: We have thought that through. Just in case he decides to rebel, then he can fall back on one of his other names, maybe.


SAGAL: Well, it is great to have the whole family. Thank you all for joining us. Now let me first introduce you to our panel this week. First, a comedian and host of the podcast Fake The Nation. You can read her latest piece on being a global citizen in Afar magazine. It's Negin Farsad.


FARSAD: Oh, hello. Hello.

SAGAL: Next up, a correspondent for "CBS Sunday Morning" and author of The New York Times best-selling "Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving." It's Mo Rocca.


ROCCA: Hi, Emily.

SAGAL: And the host of "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone," the comedy podcast at or wherever you might get your podcasts - it's Paula Poundstone.


PAULA POUNDSTONE: Hey, you guys.

SAGAL: Well, Emily and family, welcome to the show. You all are 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?

EMILY: All right.

FENWAY: Yeah, let's do it.

SAGAL: All right. Here we go, family. Here's your first quote.

KURTIS: I'm a very proud girl.

SAGAL: That was Dolly Parton, as you could tell from Bill's perfect, perfect imitation...

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...Responding to the news that a medication that she provided funding for has worked. What's the medication?

EMILY: The COVID vaccine.

SAGAL: Exactly right...


SAGAL: ...Emily - the COVID vaccine.


SAGAL: Just last week, you heard about a COVID vaccine from Pfizer that was 90% effective. That's pretty great. And then this week, a company called Moderna announced their vaccine, which was 94.5% effective. And it worked across all age groups. And it doesn't need extreme refrigeration. And it baked some cookies just for you - damn brownnosing vaccine. Then - seriously - Pfizer came back, and then they said, well, oh, yours is 94.5%. Well, ours is - it turns out - we just found out - 95% effective.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: And then Moderna said, well, ours is infinity plus one effective.

ROCCA: God, these vaccines are like undergraduate guys - I mean, right? - sharing a dorm room and, you know, comparing, right? Did I reveal too much?

SAGAL: Yeah, a little bit, Mo. But, you know, I could argue that you haven't revealed enough. Go on.


SAGAL: This is the great thing because just as you heard Bill say, the Moderna vaccine - the new, even more effective one that came out this week - the research into it was funded in part by Dolly Parton. She donated a million dollars - plus, of course, a sample of her own blood, which can heal any problem from COVID to your truck breaking down or your dog dying. And it's such a great story. We should be thankful that we live in America, which funds its health care system by making life so miserable for so many people that some of them grow up...

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...To become country music superstars who sing about their problems and then donate that money to help make vaccines. Beat that, Bernie Sanders.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

ROCCA: I can't wait for Loretta Lynn to solve global warming.


SAGAL: Yes, why not?

ROCCA: No, she'll become the clean coal miner's daughter.


POUNDSTONE: I'm not taking anything for COVID unless it's a chewable tablet.

SAGAL: Yes. You're going to hold out for the gummies?

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, and I want it to be shaped like Fauci. Then I'll try it.


SAGAL: You mean like little Flintstones, but instead of...


SAGAL: ...Fred Flintstone, it's little Tony Fauci.


SAGAL: Then you'll trust it.

POUNDSTONE: Wouldn't you trust that? Yeah.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know. All right. Emily and family, your next quote is from somebody trying to impress a girl.

KURTIS: I read Foucault and Woolf for the ethereal bisexual who wore mostly black.

SAGAL: That was an excerpt from the new instant best-seller memoir that went on sale this week. Whose book is it?

EMILY: Oh, I think we're going to need a hint.

SAGAL: You need a hint. Well, some people - historians have pointed out this is the first time the phrase ethereal bisexual has ever appeared in a presidential memoir.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

EMILY: Presidential memoir?

SAGAL: Presidential memoir.

EMILY: They are very confused.

SAGAL: How about this? When he tried to hit on the ethereal bisexual - and by the way, I know, Emily, we're giving you lots of phrases you'll have to explain to your children later when you get off the phone. When he tried to hit on the ethereal bisexual, she responded, no, we can't.

EMILY: Oh. Well, it's going to be Barack Obama, then.

SAGAL: It is Barack Obama....


SAGAL: ...Of course.


SAGAL: On Tuesday, President Barack Obama released his memoir, "A Promised Land." Now, this is just a blatant middle finger to Trump because get this - the promised land - it's Kenya.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: The former president finally published his new memoir three years late. It's only half-done. Great - he's just as bad as George R.R. Martin. And instead of fire-breathing dragons, he is Mitch McConnell molting.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

ROCCA: And it's - I think it's 900 and some pages.


ROCCA: And, of course, Barack Obama is not a fast talker. I mean, that audio book - it's going to be, like, 200 hours long.

FARSAD: I know (laughter). I think - no, but I think of the 900 pages, like, 400 of them are just, like, the word ah.

SAGAL: Yeah.

FARSAD: Look, ah, ah (ph)...

SAGAL: Now, as you guys said, it is 900 pages long, but it is only the first volume of his projected memoirs. It begins with his early life and ends with the raid on Osama bin Laden. So if you want to find out what happened to bin Laden, you have to wait for the next book.


SAGAL: You know, it's weird - if people have accused you across your career of thinking you're the messiah, you probably shouldn't write your memoirs as an Old Testament and New Testament.


FARSAD: Can I say, as the Muslim on the panel, that I'll be reading the book and looking for all those secret Muslim messages that are meant for us. So...

SAGAL: Oh, really? I mean, like, you feel like if you read down, like, the first letters of - on one page, it'll be, like, praise Allah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha (ph).

FARSAD: I mean, you know, because he's a secret Muslim, as we all know.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

FARSAD: And so that's...

ROCCA: (Singing) Secret Muslim...

FARSAD: There's going to be messages in there for me.

ROCCA: (Singing) That's what you are.

FARSAD: (Singing) Secret Muslim.

SAGAL: Now, all the reviews of the book note that Obama is loath to admit any real mistakes. But at the same time, he has this tone of constant self-examination. So it's sort of like, you know, did I do a good job? Well, on reflection, yes, I did.


SAGAL: And while he doesn't admit any real mistakes as president, he did have the book delivered by drone.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).



FARSAD: ...Peter Sagal...


FARSAD: ...You went there.

SAGAL: Yeah, you know?

ROCCA: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right, Emily and kids. Here is your last quote.

KURTIS: It's going to be hilarious and noisy. I'm sure the kids will love it.

SAGAL: That was somebody trying to put a brave face on the fact that we'll be celebrating what holiday over Zoom this year?

EMILY: Oh, Thanksgiving.

ABIGAIL: Thanksgiving.

SAGAL: Yes...


SAGAL: ...Thanksgiving.


SAGAL: I'm sorry, guys. You're right. This week, the CDC issued their official guidance - please, for the love of God, do not travel home for Thanksgiving this year. People are furious, right? They love their families. And this may be the only chance this year to see their cousin - Steve (ph), I think...


SAGAL: ...And his wife - God, God - I want to say Brenda (ph)?

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: But while getting together for Thanksgiving is dangerous for your loved ones, keep in mind it also could be dangerous for your hated ones. This could be the Thanksgiving that finally rids the world of weird Uncle Tim (ph).


FARSAD: Uncle Tim's the worst. He's always talking about how he's on the keto diet.

SAGAL: Oh, I hate that. Can't eat that.

ROCCA: You know what I really hate?

SAGAL: What?

ROCCA: Blankets with smallpox.


ROCCA: Because that was - right? - that's a - that was, you know, part of the first Thanksgiving.

FARSAD: Oh, Mo, you had to bring down the mood.

POUNDSTONE: Don't go home empty-handed, the pilgrim said.

SAGAL: Now, if you're really...

ROCCA: Do you know, by the way - what I love, by the way, is you know that the - this is - OK, look. I just have to tell you as a...

SAGAL: Please.

ROCCA: ...History buff, the very first Thanksgiving - right? - the first Thanksgiving, the first November that the pilgrims were in America, they were docked off of the coast of Provincetown.

SAGAL: Right.

ROCCA: It was after that that they went to Plymouth, right? So the very first Thanksgiving was actually in Provincetown. And I bet it was super fun.


ROCCA: I bet there were, like, really muscular pilgrims that just wore the hat - right? - and the buckle, but no shirt.

FARSAD: Yeah. They were like, yas queening (ph) the entire time.

ROCCA: Oh, yeah.

SAGAL: You're telling me the first Thanksgiving was a circuit party.

ROCCA: The first Thanksgiving was a circuit party. And there's house music.


FARSAD: (Vocalizing).

ROCCA: (Singing) Everybody gobble now.


SAGAL: That went in a different direction than I expected, but OK.


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

KURTIS: Emily got a perfect score, but she couldn't have done it without that family.


SAGAL: That's awesome. And it's a family win, so you'll have to decide...


SAGAL: You'll have to decide now who you want to record your voice. But congratulations.

FENWAY: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye, guys.





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