For Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! this week, we expands things a bit, and jump into another of their "Best of..." programs. And this one is a treat. We have a rebroadcast of host Peter Sagal's interviews with Stephen Colbert, Alan Cumming, Daniel Radcliffe, and Governor John Hickenlooper -- all of which include the "Not My Job" quiz. These are all very entertaining, but the Colbert quiz is particularly fun. That's because the show's scheduled guest was supposed to be Lena Dunham who couldn't make it, so Colbert filled in at the last minute -- and though Peter Sagal does a nice interview with him...he also asks him the questions (and quiz question) he had prepared for Ms. Dunham.) And oh, for extra measure, we'll toss in a bunch of fun moments with the panelists, as well.
From the archives. This week's contestant is Bob Lagerquist from Eugene, Oregon. This was one of those puzzlers where I was sure I knew the hidden song, but couldn't quite get it. And then, about halfway through I moved closer...and then I got it. I think my problem was that at first it sounded like another song, and when that happens it's hard to get the song out of your head. As for the composer style, well...no, I couldn't figure that out. Knowing the answer now, I understand it, but it's not part of the composer's style I'm most familiar with.
The guest contestant on the "Not My Job" segment of NPR's quiz show is NFL Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice. The interview is fine, but nothing special -- although there is an ad-libbed quip by host Peter Sagal making a comparison of Rice's career that may be one of his funniest. But the treat is the theme of the contest. The twist for all of the "Not My Job" quizzes is to ask questions on a top that has absolutely nothing to do with the guest's area of expertise, yet find some odd overlap. And it's a very fun one here.
From the archives. This week's contestant is Richard Baum from Houston, Texas. On the positive side, I was able to get the composer style. On the other side of the coin, I had trouble with the hidden song, and I think most people will. However, I'm almost ready to give myself a win on it, or at the very least bonus points. I guessed the composer of the hidden song, and even had a strong feeling of what it's from (and was right) -- and though I couldn't think of the song's proper name, my thought was, "It sort of sounds like that song whose title is something like..." And that's what it was.
It's not a totally unknown song -- and the composer is renowned, and so is the encompassing work. But this isn't one of the better-known tunes.
Peter Sagal's guest contestant on this week's "Not My Job" segment of the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! is actor Jeffrey Tambor. It's a low-key interview, and slightly off-beat at times, but enjoyable.
From the archives. This week's contestant is Scott Hollopeter from Grand Blanc, Michigan. I didn't get the composer style on my first guess, but...it was my second guess, at least. As for the hidden song, though -- I could hear where the song was , but just couldn't get it. Then, near the end I took a stab at the only thing it sounded like, and...to my my shock (because it was not a well-known song), I was right. I'm sure there will be people who've never heard of the song, though enough will have. Ultimately, though, whether or not you know it, it''s a very nice piece to listen to.
On this week's NPR quiz show, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!, host Peter Sagal's guest for the "Not My Job" segment is former pitcher for the Chicago Cubs -- and current team executive -- Ryan Dempster. I have no idea why Dempster is a guest since he doesn't have a book being published, isn't promoting anything and isn't a widely-known public figure (although he does do commentary on the MLB Network). The only thing I can figure is that he's really well-liked in Chicago, where the radio show is done, and perhaps another guest fell out and Dempster was available to fill in. That, and perhaps Peter Sagal simply knew how hugely entertaining Dempster is. (When he pitched and I knew he'd be doing an interview, I'd be sure to listen. Not just because he was so funny, but self-effacing and smart. One of the major reasons that MLB Network hired him as an analyst.)
And is he ever funny here. Even if you don't follow baseball, give this a listen. He's a terrific guy and has the audience roaring. The stories he tells about pitching on other team when the crowds were tiny are pure Dempster. Also, I was going to post a video below of the famous impersonation he does of former Cubs announcer Harry Caray, but fortunately host Sagal asks him about it. And even more fortunately, Dempster goes on to tell one absolute hoot of a story about Harry Caray -- one that's so funny in how he weaves it, complete with the impersonation, and with such a great, unexpected topper that even Sagal seems ready to wave the white flag. (Nothing like me over-hyping a funny story, is there? No matter, I think this can live up to the expectation.
Besides, I like too that the story includes current Cubs announcer Pat Hughes, who I love, and have mentioned here. And clearly the Chicago audience thinks as highly of Hughes, since the mere mention of his name brings big applause.
But make no mistake, the joy here is Ryan Dempster. Check it out, whether or not you like sports. It's hard not to like Ryan Dempster.
Other than a Peter Sagal joke about Chicago-style pizza that's funny but not remotely true or actually believe by most people in the city, but sometimes you go for the laugh, this is a full treat.
This week's contestant is Cynthia Sibitzky from Haslett, Texas. I don't get the sense that the hidden song is really all that hidden, and you get it in about three seconds -- and only that long because there's a bit of an introduction into the piece. Though it's very lovely. As for the composer style, I had a choice between three people who are somewhat similar. The contestant's first guess was mine, as well, but...we were wrong.
From the archives. What I wrote previously was -- This week's contestant is Caroline Cassil from Sutherlin, Oregon. If you don't get the composer style within three seconds (and the specific piece it's based on), you're not trying. The hidden song is tougher. Until halfway through, when a passage leaps out. But they're very well interwoven, so you have to catch the passage. There's also a wonderful musical joke between the classical piece and the hidden tune.
On this week's "Not My Job" segment of the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!, host Peter Sagal's guest contestant is Yassem Boussef. You will likely recognize him from his appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart -- in fact, he patterned his career after Stewart and was known as the "Jon Stewart of Egypt." That is, until the government got upset with his satire, and he ended up having to flee the country. He tells the story in brief during his funny, self-effacing and enthusiastic interview here.
There's a very nice documentary that recently was released about his career -- starting as a surgeon -- called Tickling Giants. I saw it a couple months ago, and thought it was quite well done. It drags in parts, but has a lot of wonderful footage and overall is fascinating, often very funny, and ultimately pointed in dealing with his hurdles.
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, is a regular columnist for the Writers Guild of America and was for the Huffington Post. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.
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