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Who's Carl This Time?

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you. Thank you everybody. I will tell you, I am just as excited as you are, because the guest on our show later on will be someone who's dear to my heart, Norton Juster. He's the author of "The Phantom Tollbooth." That was my very favorite book when I was a kid.

In that book, a young man traverses a strange world, where he has to make sense of very odd people who say and do inexplicable things. Once my bedtime story; now my job.


SAGAL: But first, you have a quest: to call us up answer some questions about the week's news, and claim your prize: Carl Kasell's voice. The number to call 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!

TIM LALLEY: Hi, this is Tim Lalley from Boise, Idaho.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Boise?


SAGAL: Yeah. It took you a second. It's hot everywhere. What do you do there?

LALLEY: I work for a paper and packaging company headquartered here.

SAGAL: You mean you manufacture paper or you...

LALLEY: We manufacture paper.

SAGAL: I have been near paper plants in my life, and they smell terrible.


SAGAL: Surprisingly so...

LALLEY: Yeah, they...

SAGAL: Because paper doesn't smell that bad.

LALLEY: They say that's the smell of money, but I don't know.


SAGAL: Well, Tim, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a comedian who'll be performing at the Montreal Just for Laughs comedy festival July 26th and 27th, Ms. Jessi Klein is here.



SAGAL: Next, it's the comedian who'll be appearing in at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown, New York, on August 2, Paula Poundstone.



SAGAL: And yet, finally, yet another comedian, who'll be performing at the Martha's Vineyard Comedy Festival on August 23rd through 25th, Mr. Brian Babylon is here.


LALLEY: Hey, Brian.


SAGAL: Tim, welcome to the show. You are going go play Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell, of course, will recreate for you three quotations that we found in the week's news. Your job: explain or identify that two times out of three. Do that, you'll win Carl's voice on your voicemail. Ready to go?

LALLEY: All right, let's go.

SAGAL: Let's go. Here is your first quote.

KASELL: They're playing a gentlemen's tennis game while Obama is playing rugby.

SAGAL: That was an insider quoted in the Hotline. He was one of the people who was urging for someone's campaign to get mean. Well, he got his wish this week. Whose campaign finally stepped it up?

LALLEY: That must be Mitt Romney.

SAGAL: That is, in fact, Mitt Romney. Yes, very good.



KLEIN: Tim already sounds so over it.

SAGAL: Oh yeah.

KLEIN: Oh, Romney. One of the other two guys.


SAGAL: This week on the Presidential campaign trail, no more Mister Nice Android. Taking the lead in the attack was former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu. He said, "I wish this President would learn how to be an American," unquote. Mr. Sununu is what's called a surrogate for Romney. He got that title after agreeing to carry Mitt's fifth baby, son, Trott, to term.


SAGAL: Mr. Sununu later apologized. He said that by quote learning to be American - he merely meant that the President should learn to, you know, eat more Endless Pasta Bowls and watch "Hoarders" marathons on A and E.


SAGAL: Like the rest of us do. Anyway, the Romney campaign now says they've had enough of these attacks. Now they're going to fight back. All options are on the table. They're even going to attack the President, they indicated, for his past cocaine use. It was hard to get Romney to sign on to this, because he had never heard of cocaine.


SAGAL: Finally, they explained to him that it was just like really, really, really good snuff.


BABYLON: Well, you know, I think that's a front, man.

SAGAL: What?

BABYLON: I think secretly Mitt Romney is a party guy.

SAGAL: You think so?

BABYLON: You know, it's the straight-laced guys all the time who are the wildest ones.

POUNDSTONE: Oh yeah. That's true, yeah.

BABYLON: It's always the ones that are "I don't do anything," and then they're like Charlie Sheening it.


BABYLON: Willard is crazy, man.

SAGAL: You think he's nuts.

BABYLON: His name is Willard.

SAGAL: That's true.


BABYLON: OK. Wild Willard.

SAGAL: Well, his name is Willard, but he doesn't want to be called Willard. He wants to be called Mitt. There you go.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, no, he doesn't want to be called Willard because there was a move about rats with a guy named Willard.


SAGAL: That's what I mean.


POUNDSTONE: That's like if my first name was Frankenstein, I would want to change it.


POUNDSTONE: I'd go, "No, just call me Paula."


POUNDSTONE: I know it's silly, but I just am more comfortable with it.


SAGAL: Frankenstein Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, right, yeah, Frankenstein Poundstone.

SAGAL: Tim, here is your next quote.

KASELL: Athletes are sleepy, hungry and need to pee. Could we get to the Village please?

SAGAL: That was a desperate message sent by a participant in what's already being called a disaster, a week before it begins. What?

LALLEY: The Olympic Games in London.

SAGAL: Exactly right, the London Olympics, very good.



SAGAL: That tweet was sent out by a desperate member of the American track and field team, four hours after his bus left Heathrow on the supposedly 45 minute drive to the Olympic village. He was looking out the window and he saw the Eiffel Tower, he's like, "this cannot be right."


SAGAL: These Olympics seems to be cursed. I mean, they keep having these problems. For example, and this is true, during the torch relay, the torch was extinguished when they put it in a white water raft, for one leg and it got, you know, splashed with water. And the organizers were like, "nobody told us that this white water would be so rough."


BABYLON: But I thought they had those, like, trick birthday candles in that torch.


BABYLON: Like it can never go out.

SAGAL: Well apparently no. You know, it's funny; we also don't really have a big Olympic hero this time around. We've got Michael Phelps, but we had him before.

POUNDSTONE: Well, not bad.


SAGAL: He's not bad, but it's not new.

POUNDSTONE: I hope he doesn't find out about that attitude.


BABYLON: He's going to blame you, Peter.

SAGAL: Apparently.

POUNDSTONE: The guy swam his whole life. He won, what, seven medals last year, eight, nine, I don't know, and then he's going to go do it again a couple of years later. And you're like, yeah, well, him again.



BABYLON: Well, but you never know.

POUNDSTONE: It's pretty impressive. And it turned out he did a lot of it high. I think it's pretty impressive.


BABYLON: Someone will emerge, Peter.

SAGAL: I am excited.

POUNDSTONE: What do you mean will emerge? I just finished saying...

BABYLON: No, to...

KLEIN: He's emerged.

BABYLON: No, to Peter...

POUNDSTONE: Oh, for Peter...

SAGAL: There is a Malaysian Olympian. She will set a record for being the most pregnant person ever to complete in the Olympics.

BABYLON: What is...

POUNDSTONE: That is exciting.

SAGAL: She is 8 months pregnant.

POUNDSTONE: What event?

SAGAL: In the air rifle. She's a markswoman and she shoots the...

POUNDSTONE: Oh, thank goodness it's not weight lifting.

SAGAL: I know.


POUNDSTONE: I just picture the head coming out during the squat.



POUNDSTONE: Awkward for an entire nation, I feel. And she being Peter's hero and all.


SAGAL: It's exciting.

POUNDSTONE: Try that, Michael Phelps.



BABYLON: That's a hero. That's a hero.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, yeah, gave birth during her weight lift. That is something America can get behind.


SAGAL: Tim, here is your last quote. It's about the state of the news today.

KASELL: Walter Cronkite it ain't, but what are you gonna do?

SAGAL: That was Kelly Faircloth writing in something called BetaBeat, about the finding that more and more people are getting their news from where?

LALLEY: Oh boy. It can't be as easy as online, can it?

SAGAL: Yeah, specifically a specific place online.

LALLEY: The Huffington Post.

SAGAL: No, they wish.


SAGAL: I'll give you a hit. Like they get news such as look, news of a lot of people during like "Call Me Maybe" covers.


LALLEY: YouTube.

SAGAL: Yes, YouTube.



KLEIN: I feel like something was just revealed about Tim that he got it through the "Call Me Maybe" covers. It's like "that I know."

SAGAL: A new study from the Pew Research Center says that YouTube has become the new favorite source for news. It's a big change, a generational change. Instead of all of us gathering around the TV as, say, Walter Cronkite tells us Vietnam is a stalemate, we watch YouTube, as adorable kittens tell us Vietnam is a stalemate.


SAGAL: The study says people go to YouTube to see videos mainly of natural disasters or quote, political upheaval - riots, marches, that sort of thing. So, maybe the secret to getting people to pay attention to the news is just add some explosions. You want folks to watch the State of the Union? Light Joe Biden on fire.


SAGAL: Carl, how did Tim do on our quiz?

KASELL: Tim, you had three correct answers, so you win our prize. Congratulations.

SAGAL: Well done.


SAGAL: Thank you so much.

LALLEY: That's awesome.

SAGAL: Thanks for playing.

POUNDSTONE: Good luck, Tim.

LALLEY: Thank you very much.

SAGAL: Oh, it's great to have you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.