The guest contestant on the 'Not My Job' segment of this week's NPR quiz show is Marin Alsop, conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. It's always fun to see what odd connection host Peter Sagal will come up with to take some completely unrelated topic and somehow tie it to the guest. Most are fun, but some transcend that and are so clever that they're funny. This is the latter. Happily, the interview is surprisingly very funny and Alsop sardonically explains how she got from birth to conducting.
We haven't had a Mystery Guest for a while, so let's jump back in with Judy Garland. That seems a pretty good way to get things on track. Because her voice is so distinctive, you decided not to even use a fake voice, but instead uses a bell and clicker. She also has such a good time with it all that she starts talking which dances on the edge of giving it away. (Amusingly, panelist Tony Randall is sure he's right with his guess -- which is a pretty amusing one -- but he's wrong.)
The guest contestant on this week's 'Not My Job' segment of the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! is Anthony Anderson, an actor I've always particularly liked. His interview with host Peter Sagal is pretty much what you would expect from him -- open, wildly enthusiastic and often very funny, especially when it comes to telling stories about his co-host on To Tell The Truth....who is his mother.
Okay, let's head back to the Jimmy Kimmel Show for some more mean tweets, which we haven't had here for a while.
The guest contestant on the 'Not My Job' segment of this week's NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! is author Piper Kerman .Some of you may know who Ms. Kerman is, but for those who don't she wrote a memoir, Orange is the New Black, on which the Netflix TV series is based -- with (as she notes) takes a lot of liberties with the true story. Her interview with host Peter Sagal is pretty straightforward, going over the story of her past -- and current efforts, which includes teaching writing in state prison -- but Sagal and she are able to make it quite entertaining, including her recipe on how to make a cheesecake when in prison.
This is an interesting, detailed article in Friday's Washington Post about rumors or possibilities that the original Disney animated film The Lion King (and its subsequent incarnations may have been plagiarized from a Japanese anime and comic book creator.
It turns out that this isn't a recent issue, but one that some people in the animation field have whispered about for years. I don’t know remotely enough to know the truth. There are certainly a lot of overlaps -- the opening two paragraphs of the article by Hannah Denham appear damning --
A comical warthog and wise baboon. An evil lion with a deformed eye and hyena henchmen. A lion cub that experiences profound loss, grows up under the tutelage of a talking bird, then reclaims his throne and his legacy.
-- as does the fact that the Japanese artist Osamu Tezuka and Walt Disney met in 1964, and Disney had expressed interest in adapting an earlier work by Tezuka. However, after reading the full piece, the sense I get is that the movie was not plagiarized in our legal sense (and in that of Japanese law and culture which are different, which in large part is why no one ever sued), but that perhaps there were some people who did know of the earlier work and may have possibly “inspired” them in part. Or not.
Oddly, for all the comments from animation experts and historians, I find a quote by of all people Matthew Broderick -- who did the voice of the grown-up Simba in the original film -- the most interesting in the article, not as proof of anything, but showing that awareness of the Japanese TV series was not limited.
You can read the article here.
The guest contestant on this week's 'Not My Job' segment of the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! is novelist Jennifer Weiner. The particularly-fun part of the interview with host Peter Sagal is when she discusses telling her mother that her first novel (which was semi-autobiographical) was being published and that its title was Good in Bed. The quiz is also one of the funniest they've had for a very specific, odd reason.
Here's another "Best of..." from The Graham Norton Show folks. This one they call "Celebrities Singing and Dancing." Though there's nothing earth-shattering about it, it's actually pretty good explanation of at least part of the reason I like the program on BBC America, since this shows it's freewheeling side that you don't see on most (or any) talk shows.
As a bonus, this is the full sequence from which you see the snippet above of Marion Cotillard recreating a moment of her Oscar-winning role, lip-syncing as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. The snippet above doesn't do the sequence justice, which I saw live. On the show, the segment began naturally enough, as host Norton asked her about the training to prepare for the role and particularly for the lip-syncing, which was particularly remarkable. (One of the guests, Frank Skinner, even interrupts her to say that until that moment when they were discussing it, he had no idea she had been lip-syncing and thought it had really been her.) And then the conversation slid into Norton asking a favor. Now, it's possible that it was set-up beforehand, but it seems not. I was going to say that if she's faking her angst then she's a really good actress -- but then, she did win an Oscar for the role, so, yes, she's a really good actress. But I'm going to throw my coinage down on betting that she's thrown for a loop by the request. In any event, she does an absolutely wonderful job, again, at a moment's notice.
(And fun too are watching the other actors watching her in admiration -- because, as she notes, there's a physicality to it, and she really throws her whole self into it -- that's James McAvoy to her left, but most especially Michael Fassbender to her right.)
The guest contestant for the 'Not My Job' segment of the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! is Tiera Fletcher, who is a 24-year-old rocket scientist working on a mission to Mars, after first helping establish a NASA gateway on the moon. The interview with host Peter Sagal could go one of two ways -- mind-numbingly boring or great fun. Happily, it's the latter.
Following up on yesterday's "Best of..." video from The Graham Norton Show on BBC America, here is their Part Two. This one is "Best of the Sirs and Dames." (It isn't really the very best, but it's fun and at least does cover a few years, rather than mostly just last year like I think was the case with Part One. But the series began 12 years ago in 2007, and most of the clips here are fairly recent.)
Stick with it to the end, there's a fun topper and last shot.
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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