NPR

Who's Carl This Time?

Carl reads three quotes from the week's news: Is This Pledge a Lemon; Out With the Old, In With the Old; and Time Is on Their Side.

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Transcript

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.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you everybody. Thank you for your indulgence, I appreciate your kindness. We have got a great show for you today. We've got Jake Tapper, he's the White House correspondent for ABC News. He'll be coming on later.

But first, let's take a moment, sincerely, to applaud President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, they took time to have lunch this week as civil grownup adults. They settled their differences. It worked out well for everyone.

President Obama gets points for reaching out to his former opponent. Mitt Romney now feels less bad about losing once he saw how small and cramped the White House is.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You always fit in well in our humble abode. Give us a call; the number is 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

JERI RUTHERFORD: Hi, this is Jeri from Boise.

SAGAL: Hey, Jeri from Boise, how are you?

RUTHERFORD: I'm great.

SAGAL: Idaho is one of the few states in this nation I have never been, and I regret that because I hear it's beautiful.

RUTHERFORD: Forty-nine percent of the state is national park, or national set-aside.

SAGAL: Really? So that means you guys are all concentrated in a horrible little ghetto of private land?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Held behind barbwire fences, looking out at the pristine wilderness?

RUTHERFORD: It really means the state is poor.

SAGAL: Oh, OK.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Jeri. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a comedian and the host over at vocolo.org, Mr. Brian Babylon is here.

BRIAN BABYLON: Hey, how are you?

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Next, it's the very wise woman who writes the Ask Amy advice column, Ms. Amy Dickinson.

AMY DICKINSON: Hi, Jeri.

RUTHERFORD: Hi.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: And finally, a writer for "Real Time" with Mr. Bill Maher, it's Adam Felber.

(APPLAUSE)

ADAM FELBER: Hi there, Jeri.

RUTHERFORD: Hi.

SAGAL: Jeri, you're going to play Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell, of course, is going to start us off by recreating for you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you will win our prize, Carl's voice on your voicemail. Ready to go?

RUTHERFORD: Yes.

SAGAL: All right. You first quote comes from a man named Grover Norquist, talking about something a lot less interesting than it sounds.

KASELL: "We've got some people discussing impure thoughts on national television."

SAGAL: Mr. Norquist was reminding his fellow Republicans about a pledge they made not to do what?

RUTHERFORD: Raise taxes.

SAGAL: Yes, raise taxes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Very good, congratulations.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Now, Grover Norquist is a pretty ubiquitous guy in Washington circles. But if you're not familiar with him, he used to be just a mild mannered lobbyist. Then 20 years ago, he was bit by a radioactive 1040EZ tax form.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Since then, he's used his superpowers to get every Republican in Congress to sign a pledge to never raise taxes. Now this impure thoughts thing, Norquist is suggesting that this pledge is like those purity pledge that teenagers make.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: But now that we're in the sort of fiscal crises leading to the fiscal cliff, those teens, you know, just like those teens, Republicans are trying to figure out ways to raise taxes without it counting, if you know what I mean.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: They're starting to have impulses that they themselves don't understand.

SAGAL: I know. OK.

FELBER: They want to do something and it doesn't even have a name yet but they know they want to do it.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: If I just put my pen on the paper of the bill and pull it away real quick.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

DICKINSON: It doesn't count.

SAGAL: It doesn't count.

BABYLON: Nothing happened. Nothing happened.

SAGAL: Nothing happened. We wanted to discuss this important issue, as we head for the fiscal cliff, but we couldn't get Grover Norquist. But we got somebody arguably better to talk to.

Hello, sir.

GROVER: Hello there.

DICKINSON: It's Grover.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: This is Grover from the Muppets. Thank you for being with us. Can you help us figure all this stuff out?

GROVER: I am here now to help you with your problem.

SAGAL: That's great.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So, Grover, should we be afraid as a nation to go over the fiscal cliff?

GROVER: Why, there are lions and tigers there, and the lions go rrrrroar. And do not forget the monkeys, they are so cute, they go ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh. And you can buy a balloon there.

SAGAL: That sounds pretty good actually, Grover.

BABYLON: That sounds like Congress.

DICKINSON: Yeah.

BABYLON: That's what Congress sounds like in session.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, Grover, thank you so much for joining us.

GROVER: I get so lonely on the road.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, we're happy to alleviate that for you. Grover from the Muppets. Thank you, Grover.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: All right, here is your next quote.

KASELL: Remind me, what was the Arab Spring about?

SAGAL: That was former presidential speechwriter David Frum, being sardonic as he commented on the seizure of dictatorial powers by the president of what country?

RUTHERFORD: Egypt.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed, Egypt. Very good, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Twenty-two months ago, Egyptians stood up, risked life and limb to topple an aging, corrupt dictator. Their reward: a younger, more vibrant dictator.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So, two years, about, after the crowds gathered in Cairo's Tahrir square in the Arab Spring protests. The crowds have returned, this time to protest President Mohammed Morsi's seizure of power.

Of course, there are lot of protestors who were there two years ago. They're complaining that these protestors aren't as legitimate or cool as the original protests. They're like, "if you can remember Tahrir Square, you weren't really there." You know?

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: And Morsi was a lot cooler when he was with the Smiths.

SAGAL: That's true, yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: As for President Morsi, who seized all state power for himself, well, he did an interview with Time this week, and he expressed his worldview in a way that Americans might better understand. He put it in terms of "The Planet of the Apes," the original mind you.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Seriously, he did this. He said, quote, "And it was the planet of the apes after the destructive act of a big war, and atomic bombs and whatever in the movie," unquote.

FELBER: Talk about spoilers.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: He was trying to say that the idea in "Planet of the Apes," I think - people have, like, analyzed this - is that we find out in the end of "Planet of the Apes" that the humans destroyed themselves by refusing to corporate. And we have a better future if we can just cooperate.

BABYLON: There's so many other movies that can pull off that point than "Planet of the Apes."

(LAUGHTER)

DICKINSON: Like "When Harry Met Sally."

BABYLON: Yeah.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

DICKINSON: It's like, at first it's like, no, men and women can't be friends. You know, I mean they can't, because of the tension. But then they come and it works out.

SAGAL: Well, no, but then they actually have sex, so it turns out he was right all along.

DICKINSON: No, but it works out. It works out.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: The point is that a president and a country can never just be friends.

SAGAL: Right, there's always going to be sexual tension.

FELBER: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

FELBER: And sooner or later, he's going to...

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: And then Libya is like, "We'll have what it's having."

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: For your last quote, here is Keith Richards talking to the crowd at a concert this week.

KASELL: "We made it. I'm happy to see you. I'm happy to see anybody."

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Keith Richards was playing a show celebrating the 50th anniversary of what?

RUTHERFORD: The Rolling Stones.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed, the Rolling Stones.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Remember when we used to all, including on this show, make fun of the Rolling Stones for being old and still playing rock and roll? Well, now we're impressed with the Rolling Stones, because they're really old and still playing rock and roll. These guys are amazing. Keith Richards should print a list of everything he's put in his body, so they can be sold as a health supplement.

(LAUGHTER)

BABYLON: Peter, I believe that.

SAGAL: Really?

BABYLON: When he goes, God bless, but when he goes, if they just grind him up and sell it, man...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Drummer, Charlie Watts...

FELBER: Start me up, please.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Drummer Charlie Watts - he's the oldest of the surviving members - he actually fell asleep halfway through, but his sleep apnea machine kept up the beat.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And the show, thought, was huge, although during the big laser light show, somebody left the left blinker on the whole time.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's amazing - I mean really, you have to give these guys credit, 50 years of making music. Who today could last that long? In 50 years, Katy Perry doing a concert, her bra would be shooting fireworks directly at the floor. I mean...

(LAUGHTER)

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

KASELL: Jeri, you had three correct answers, and congratulations to you, you win our prize.

SAGAL: Well done.

(APPLAUSE)

RUTHERFORD: Thank you.

SAGAL: Thanks for playing.

RUTHERFORD: Thank you, bye.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

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

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