Our host, the SummerStage Festival, was founded in 1986, so we decided to pay homage to that year — musically. Play along as house musician Jonathan Coulton sings the biggest hits of 1986, rewritten to be about the biggest celebrities born that year.

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WNYC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and I'm here in Central Park along with our one-man house band, Jonathan Coulton, and our puzzle guru, Art Chung.


EISENBERG: Our next game is called You're Eighty-Sixed and here to play it are Mary Kalemkerian and Haley-May Block.

EISENBERG: Haley-May, what is the best '80s song in your opinion?

HALEY-MAY BLOCK: Well, my favorite '80s song is "Mesopotamia," B-52's.


BLOCK: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Mary, how about you?

MARY KALEMKERIAN: A little less esoteric, A-ha, "Take On Me," the best '80s song ever.


EISENBERG: All right.

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: So if you were just tuning in and you were wondering why this show has an '80s theme, it's because we're honoring 30 years of SummerStage, which is the largest free performing arts festival in New York City.


COULTON: Yes. I'm going to sing you songs from 1986, the year that SummerStage was born, with the lyrics rewritten to be about a celebrity who was also born that year - so celebrities who are as old as SummerStage. For one point, identify the celebrity. For a bonus point, identify the song. If you can't get one of those points, your opponent can steal it. And the winner will move on to our final round at the end of the show. You ready? Here we go.

(Singing) Red hair, a child star, everyone knows who you are. Did rehab, the tabloids pried. The paparazzi stayed nearby. Oh, you played the twins when "Parent Trap" was redone, oh yeah. "Herby Fully Loaded," "Freaky Friday" was fun, but you were going to have to face it, "Mean Girls" is number one.


COULTON: Haley-May.

BLOCK: Lindsay Lohan.

COULTON: That is correct. Do you know the name of the song?


COULTON: Oh, Mary, do you know what it is?

KALEMKERIAN: "Addicted To Love."

COULTON: It is "Addicted To Love."


KALEMKERIAN: Maybe - this - I think this is how the game's going to go.

EISENBERG: It might.

KALEMKERIAN: You're going to know the 30-year-olds, and I'm going to know the songs.

BLOCK: We can share.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: It's a war of attrition. All right, here we go.

(Singing) Canada born, "Degrassi" fame, you go by your middle name. Bottom to here, you've got rapper claim, you go by your middle name.


COULTON: Haley-May.

BLOCK: Drake.

COULTON: Drake is the answer.

BLOCK: And that was "Giving Love A Bad Name," right? Wait, "Shot Through The Heart," "Shot Through The Heart," right? No, I'm sorry!

COULTON: (Laughter).

KALEMKERIAN: I'm sorry, that would be "You Give Love A Bad Name," and that is by New Jersey's best, Bon Jovi.

COULTON: Yeah, that's correct.

KALEMKERIAN: And not really New Jersey's best. That would be Bruce Springsteen.


KALEMKERIAN: Just to set the record straight.

COULTON: Haley-May, that was your chance. That was your chance. You had it and you were close but...

BLOCK: Yeah.

EISENBERG: But you got Drake, that's good.

COULTON: You got Drake, yeah.


EISENBERG: And that was his middle name, did you know that? 'Cause his real name - I know this as a Canadian - Aubrey Graham. Can't make a rap name out of that.

COULTON: No, I can't think of how to make a rap name out of that.

EISENBERG: You can't be a rapper. Drake, thank goodness for that guy.

COULTON: Here we go.

(Singing) Baby, don't understand how you run so damn fast. Your name is like your brand, oh, oh. Your sprint time, world record speed, Jamaica is proud of you, indeed. Olympic gold, oh.


COULTON: Haley-May.

BLOCK: Usain Bolt.

COULTON: Usain Bolt is who we were looking for.

BLOCK: But now you can go ahead and...

COULTON: Do you know the...

BLOCK: ...Name the song.

COULTON: Oh, you don't know the song.

KALEMKERIAN: Usain Bolt, Mr. Mister, "Broken Wings."

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.


KALEMKERIAN: There's something wrong with my buzzer.

EISENBERG: Something wrong with your buzzer (laughter)?

COULTON: It's - weirdly, you guys are as consistent as the last game except in a different way.

BLOCK: It's teamwork.

EISENBERG: I'm not counting, but they're at a tie, right?

ART CHUNG, BYLINE: Well, yeah, she keeps getting the person right and Mary keeps getting the song right. You know only one of you can move on, right?


COULTON: (Singing) And you have a show on HBO all about four female friends, but not "Sex In The City," no, though a lot of times you're naked. Aspiring to writing alter ego Hannah's killing time for sure that's what Brooklyn's for.


KALEMKERIAN: Yeah, that's right.



KALEMKERIAN: Leah Dunham and "That's What Friends Are For?"

CHUNG: Wait, what? What did she say?

COULTON: Can you repeat the first name?

KALEMKERIAN: I pronounced it the way that...

COULTON: Her name is.


COULTON: You feel like she got to - she's got to have a...

KALEMKERIAN: Dunham? Dun ham? I mean, there's...

CHUNG: What's the first name?

EISENBERG: What's her first name?


COULTON: Haley-May's like, I got it, I got it. I don't know, I got to go to Art Chung on this. What do you think?

CHUNG: I don't know, what do you think? I feel like I don't want a tie, but I feel like she doesn't know the name exactly.


CHUNG: Give her one point - sorry, you're just - you're close but it is not Leah Dunham.

COULTON: Haley-May, do you know?

BLOCK: Lena. Lena Dunham.

COULTON: It is Lena Dunham. I know, Mary, that's a heartbreaker.


COULTON: That's a heartbreaker right there.


COULTON: All right, this is your last clue, so somebody better get a point that the other person doesn't get.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: (Singing) Used to be on "Full House" where you just played one baby. Now you've got a fashion line, fancy, and you're worth tons of money. You guys are twins, fraternal, no you're not quite the same, yeah you are twins, you're fraternal also known as dizygotic.


COULTON: Haley-May.

BLOCK: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and no, I don't know the song.


COULTON: Oh, my goodness. Mary?

EISENBERG: It's perfect. It's perfect.

COULTON: Do you know the name? You have to guess this right to keep it a tie, otherwise...


COULTON: Mary, what happened to you, Mary?

KALEMKERIAN: "I Wanna Be Your..."


EISENBERG: Yeah, yeah.

KALEMKERIAN: Something, something.

COULTON: Yes, that is very close except you did not say any words.


EISENBERG: It's OK, it's all right. Let's talk you back up.

KALEMKERIAN: One of those words is love or lover or slave driver.


EISENBERG: You're closer, closer. I think that is actually the innuendo of the song.

COULTON: A little bit, a little bit, yeah. I - wow, this is really breaking my heart, Mary, but that is incorrect. It doesn't even matter if Haley-May knows the answer. Who knows the answer?

AUDIENCE: "Sledgehammer."

COULTON: "Sledgehammer" is what we were looking for, a song by Peter Gabriel. Art Chung, I think I know the answer, but how did our contestants do in this game?

CHUNG: It was a heartbreaking end, but congratulations to Haley-May. You're moving on to the final round.


MADONNA: (Singing) We are living in a material world and I am a material girl. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

300x250 Ad

300x250 Ad

Support quality journalism, like the story above, with your gift right now.