'Wait Wait' for June 11, 2022: We're Back, Baby!

'Wait Wait' for June 11, 2022: We're Back, Baby!

11:58am Jun 11, 2022
Kenan Thompson in Los Angeles, California
Rich Fury / Getty Images

This week's show was recorded at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, with host Peter Sagal, official judge and scorekeeper Bill Kurtis, Not My Job guest Kenan Thompson and panelists Hari Kondabolu, Negin Farsad, and Luke Burbank. Click the audio link above to hear the whole show.

Who's Bill This Time
Must Siege TV; Thank God It's Thursday! Corporate Pride

Panel Questions
Make Everyday Leg Day

Bluff The Listener
Our panelists read three stories about surprising signs the pandemic is over, only one of which is true.

Not My Job: SNL's Kenan Thompson answers three questions about quitters
Kenan Thompson started on SNL in 2003, and this year marked his 19th season with the show. He's its longest-running cast member, so we've invited him on to answer three questions about people who were at their jobs for less than a week.

Panel Questions
It's an Acquittal! An Inconvenient Resizing; A Hot New Dining Trend

Bill Kurtis reads three news-related limericks: A New Way to Get Double Stuffed; Thanks a Latte; Wedding Bell Blues in Vegas

Lightning Fill In The Blank
All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

Our panelists predict, after the four day work, what will be the next change in office culture.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following program was taped in front of an audience of real, live people.


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. Let me take those suitcases for you. You've got a Billhop (ph) - Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Studebaker Theater at the Fine Arts Building in Chicago, Ill., Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody. Thank you, Chicago. It's great to see you. This is a very exciting week because we are doing our show for the first time from our new home, the Studebaker Theater. It's right on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. It is a beautiful, historic theater. And as we get settled in here, I just want to say, I hope we can live up to the innovation and forward-thinking creativity conjured up by the name Studebaker.


SAGAL: Later on, we're going to be talking to a historical figure himself, SNL veteran Kenan Thompson. But first, it's your turn to help us baptize this place. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant.

Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!

RICARDO: Hi, this is Ricardo (ph) from Bellevue, Wash.

SAGAL: Hey, Ricardo. How are things in Bellevue?


SAGAL: Yes. That goes without saying, I'm told. And what do you do there?

RICARDO: I'm a scientist at a pharmaceutical company.

SAGAL: You're a scientist at a pharmaceutical company. Are you one of the bad pharmaceutical companies or one of the good pharmaceutical companies? I feel like Glinda.

RICARDO: I think we're one of the good ones. But we're in the news a lot, so...





BURBANK: Is your laboratory in a giant human skull on an island in the middle of a volcano? That could be an indicator.

SAGAL: Yeah. It could be. It could be. Well, Ricardo, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you formally to our panel this week here on the stage of the Studebaker. First, it's a comedian you can see in Minneapolis on June 18 at the Cedar and in Chicago from June 23 to the 25 at the Den Theater. It's Hari Kondabolu.


SAGAL: And next, her podcast is "Fake The Nation," and she is starring in Season 2 of the HBO Max Adult Swim series "Birdgirl," premiering on June 19. That's Negin Farsad.



SAGAL: And finally, the host of the daily podcast "TBTL" and the public radio variety show "Live Wire," which will be live at Revolution Hall in Portland, Ore., Thursday, June 16 - it's Luke Burbank.


BURBANK: Hey, Ricardo.

RICARDO: Hey. How you doing?

SAGAL: So, Ricardo, welcome to the show. I bet you anticipated this. We're going to start this time, for a change, with Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize, the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

RICARDO: As ready as I'll ever be.

SAGAL: All right. Your first quote is actually from Attorney General Bill Barr, who was testifying on video about Donald Trump's claims that the election was stolen.

KURTIS: I told the president it was [expletive].

SAGAL: That tape of Mr. Barr was played at the opening of big hearings this week investigating what?

RICARDO: The January 6 insurrection?

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.


SAGAL: The January 6 insurrection.


SAGAL: After months and months of anticipation, the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack had their first public hearings to show their work on Thursday, putting aside the fact that house select sounds like the generic coffee they sell at Target.


SAGAL: The Democrats kept promising that they had all this amazing new gotcha evidence. But it's all stuff Donald Trump proudly just says in the open. They have a smoking gun. The problem is Trump handed it to them after he shot that guy on Fifth Avenue.


FARSAD: Well, it is, like, a foregone conclusion. But, you know, when you're watching, like, an episode of "The Office" that you've seen a hundred times...

SAGAL: Yeah.

FARSAD: ...But you still watch it? That's what this committee is.


FARSAD: Like, we all know it's all true. We know the conclusion. It's all very obvious. But it's fun kind of going back and revisiting those jokes.

SAGAL: It's true.

BURBANK: Sure, like when Jamie Raskin looks right into the camera...

SAGAL: Oh, yeah.

BURBANK: ...Like, get a load of Dwight.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I know.

BURBANK: Love that part of the hearing.

SAGAL: Oh, it's all fun. It's all fun.

KONDABOLU: Remember that episode of "Looney Tunes" when Wile E. Coyote catches the Road Runner and eats him?

SAGAL: Yeah.

KONDABOLU: Yeah. There is no episode like that.

SAGAL: Right.

KONDABOLU: This is not going to lead to anything.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: So throughout the hearings, we learned more and more about how Mike Pence, of all people, saved the country from destruction that day. It is now the duty of all Americans to remember, that may be true, but that guy still sucks.


BURBANK: That's like finding out that unflavored oatmeal won World War II.

SAGAL: Yeah, really.


SAGAL: You know what may have happened?

KONDABOLU: Very good.

SAGAL: This might have changed - that fly - that fly might have been his conscience, like Jiminy Cricket.


SAGAL: Mike, you have to do what's right, you know? And so the hearings were, in fact, covered on Thursday by all the major networks except for Fox - not Fox News, Fox Network. They, instead of showing the live hearings, showed, of all things, "MasterChef Junior." Matt Gaetz was caught on a hot mike saying, "MasterChef Junior," you say?


FARSAD: Grab me my Venmo.

BURBANK: "MasterChef, She Told Me She Was 18."

SAGAL: Yes, exactly.


BURBANK: New theater, new rules.


SAGAL: All right. Here is your next quote.

KURTIS: The workweek is a cultural construct. Let's change the week.

SAGAL: That was British actor Stephen Fry in a video promoting this bold, new program in the United Kingdom. They're trying an experiment to make the workweek how long.

RICARDO: Four days? (Inaudible).

SAGAL: Four days.


SAGAL: That's right.


SAGAL: This week, thousands of workers in the United Kingdom are participating in this four-day workweek experiment - no change in their pay. This reduces their time at work by 20% for most employees, except for the royal family, who are increasing their workweek by four days.


SAGAL: If implemented nationwide - it's just sort of a pilot program. But if implemented nationwide, experts warn this new workweek with a standard three-day weekend will lead to unheard of levels of brunch.


BURBANK: I feel like we all - I mean, obviously, everyone has different kinds of jobs. And there are folks that are working, you know, in medical care and are absolutely working, you know, wild hours and working very hard. People like me, podcasters and radio hosts - we could do this in about 2 hours a week.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BURBANK: Let's be honest. And we don't - I don't want the British government knowing that.

SAGAL: I realize I'm discussing this topic with people who don't have jobs.


BURBANK: Yeah, that's the problem.

KONDABOLU: Like, to me, this is like, oh, this is going to cut a day out of my alone time.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.


SAGAL: Really, you guys are like, wow, four days a week.

FARSAD: Four days.

SAGAL: How am I going to find three days of things to do?


SAGAL: Yeah, I had to Google workweek.


SAGAL: OK. All right. Here, Ricardo, is your last quote.

KURTIS: I may be straight, but I don't hate.

SAGAL: That charming T-shirt was being sold at Walmart. That was one of the many corporations trying their best to celebrate what this month?

RICARDO: Oh, Pride Month.

SAGAL: Yes, Pride - Pride Month...


SAGAL: ...Which we find out every year that the only thing worse than major corporations ignoring important advances in civil rights is them trying to help. For example, in Australia - this is true - Burger King there introduced to the Pride Month Whopper, which is a standard Whopper...


SAGAL: ...Except the bun is now either two tops or two bottoms.


SAGAL: That is true.

BURBANK: Do you know...

SAGAL: That is proof that Burger King, as - for all their enthusiasm, may not know as much about the LGBT lifestyle...


SAGAL: ...As it thinks.

FARSAD: Well, I mean, I think it's exciting that they're finally releasing, like, the sexuality of these buns.

SAGAL: That's true.

FARSAD: I had just looked at them as bread before...

SAGAL: You didn't accept...

FARSAD: ...And not at all as sexual objects.


BURBANK: I would like the Power Bottom Chicken Fingers.

KONDABOLU: It's a real power move by Burger King because it puts pressure on all the other places 'cause as far as I'm concerned, now McDonald's is homophobic.

SAGAL: Exactly. What have you done?


KONDABOLU: I got - they're not proving me otherwise, you know?

SAGAL: Yeah. I don't know.

KONDABOLU: I'm loving it. And by it, I mean heterosexual relationships.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Ricardo do on our quiz?

KURTIS: We are proud of Ricardo's prideful score, 3-0. He's a winner.

SAGAL: Well done.



RICARDO: Yay. Thank you.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for calling. Take care.

RICARDO: Thank you. Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.


SAGAL: Right now, panel, it is time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Hari, a review of new research in The Atlantic Monthly finds one positive outcome of the pandemic. What now counts as exercise?

KONDABOLU: Is it walking to a bakery?


SAGAL: Ah, would that it were. No. It's something you actually do at home or can do at home or might do at home. People do it all the time.

KONDABOLU: Brush your teeth.

SAGAL: Close.


SAGAL: It's something people are often doing while they're brushing their teeth.

KONDABOLU: Listening to NPR.



SAGAL: Again, wouldn't that be nice? But no. I'll give you a hint. I'm doing it right now.




KONDABOLU: Peter, geez. Standing?

SAGAL: Yes. Standing now counts as exercise.


SAGAL: People gave up their normal daily physical activities. Like, you know, during the pandemic, we didn't go to work, so we weren't running for buses. We weren't ducking down the other hallway to avoid Hillary from marketing talk about her yoga class again. Then while everybody was at home - right? - they all became extra conscious of intentionally trying to move. So people started giving themselves credit for just standing, right?

KONDABOLU: Oh, my God.

SAGAL: That counts now as exercise. So at some point over the last two years, when you got up, walked to the fridge to get a snack and thought that walk counted as exercise, not only were you right, but, apparently, you overdid it, and you should take a rest week.


KONDABOLU: Do you know what this means, Peter?

SAGAL: What, Hari?

KONDABOLU: See - I'm a standup comedian, right?



KONDABOLU: I am now a professional athlete.

SAGAL: You're not only that.

FARSAD: Yeah, yeah, yeah.


KONDABOLU: My God, this is a dream. This is an absolute dream.

SAGAL: You're an - you're actually an endurance athlete, right?

KONDABOLU: Oh, my God.

SAGAL: Just like your audience.

FARSAD: Yeah, yeah.


KONDABOLU: It's honest. It's why it hurts.


R E M: (Singing) Stand in the place where you live. Now face north. Think about direction, wonder why you haven't before. Now stand in the place where you were. Now face west.

SAGAL: Coming up, pandemic? What pandemic? It's our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Negin Farsad, Luke Burbank and Hari Kondabolu. And here again is your host at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, Ill., Peter Sagal.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: Right now it is time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air. Hi. You are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MARK MYERS: Hi. This is Mark Myers (ph) from Ijamsville, Md.

SAGAL: Ijamsville, Md. - I don't know where that is. Where is it?

MYERS: Yeah, we're about 30 miles northwest of D.C.

SAGAL: All right.

MYERS: Beautiful farm country.

SAGAL: Is it far enough from D.C.?


MYERS: Oh, sometimes.

SAGAL: Yeah. Sometimes the wind, however, is blowing in the wrong direction. What do you do there?

MYERS: A swamp is an environment.

SAGAL: Yeah.

MYERS: I am on paternity leave, so I am a full-time dad.

SAGAL: Oh, good for you.

KONDABOLU: Oh, respect.

SAGAL: Is it - when you say paternity leave, does that mean you just had a baby? Your baby is quite new in this world?

MYERS: Yeah. He is five months old, and my days are filled with trying to figure out how to entertain him and figuring out which dad archetype I'm going to class into.

SAGAL: Right. I understand. I understand. That's awesome. And how are you enjoying being a full-time dad?

MYERS: You know, it's good. I'm - we're getting to have an understanding, and I'm getting to learn to appreciate little things. Like, he can learn how to travel by rolling now and...

SAGAL: Rolling.

MYERS: By travel, I mean, he goes exactly where I don't want him to.

SAGAL: Right. All right, Mark, welcome to the show. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. What, Bill, is Mark's topic?

KURTIS: The pandemic is over.

SAGAL: No, that's not just an April 2020 quote from your uncle.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: This week, we saw a real and surprising sign that somebody has put COVID in the rearview mirror. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth. You'll win our prize, the WAIT WAIT-er of your choice on your voicemail. Ready to play?

MYERS: Absolutely. This is surreal.

SAGAL: All right. What - I'm going to ask, what is your baby doing right now?

MYERS: Sleeping. And God willing, he will continue to do so.

SAGAL: All right. Well, let's get this moving, then. First up, let's hear from Luke Burbank.

BURBANK: There's nothing worse than ordering a dish at a restaurant only to find out that it comes out bland or underseasoned. Well, a restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz., has been getting attention lately for its novel solution to this problem - self-serve salt, or, more accurately, an entire wall made out of bricks of Himalayan rock salt that customers are encouraged to lick. Staff does clean the wall down every once in a while, but the owners claim the salt contains its own natural sanitary properties, which make it okay for folks to lick, caress and generally treat the wall like a 10th grader under the bleachers getting their first action during prom. The Scottsdale Health Department has been surprisingly mum on the topic so far. Also mum, online reviews of the wall - I mean, the restaurant's food, sure, but no reviews so far that I could find of how the wall actually tastes. Give it a week, though, and there will definitely be somebody on Yelp saying they've licked a way better salt wall somewhere at this other place for way cheaper.

SAGAL: A Himalayan salt wall at a restaurant in Scottsdale, which you are happy to go up and lick along with every other person in the place. Your next story of somebody getting past the pandemic comes from Negin Farsad.

FARSAD: Cartwell (ph) is a decades-old clothier based in Bethesda, Md., that makes one signature look - cargo pants. During the pandemic, Cartwell had a significant decline in sales. But in a recent press release, Cartwell heralded a 152% increase in sales. Kathy Britton (ph), a spokesperson for Cartwell, said unabashedly, this is a sign that the pandemic is over. People are on the go, so people need pockets. In fact, their spring 2022 line includes a version of the classic cargo pant and a truly abhorrent khaki blend that has even more pockets. Cartwell has found that people wanted specialized pockets for hand sanitizer and for masks broken down by mask intensity, a pocket for a singular string of floss, a pocket for your anti-anxiety meds, a pocket for NoDoz when anti-anxiety meds work too well. They even created a special pocket to carry a mini conversation guide because even though people are on the go, they have totally forgotten how to speak to other humans.

SAGAL: The pandemic is over. How do we know? Cargo pants are back. Your last story of getting COVID over with comes from Hari Kondabolu.

KONDABOLU: The annual Gregory Pipp Grass Fair (ph) in Nixonville (ph), Va., is back. The city council voted to allow the fair to return despite the risk of COVID. The fair is also bringing back two of its more dangerous events - the kissing booth kisses social distancing goodbye. The most searched tastic event, however, is the smelly breath contest, which literally involves open mouth breathing in the faces of a panel of judges to find out who has the worst breath. The city council vote was 3-2, with all three yes votes being made by members of the Pipp Grass family, who started the fair back in 1928. It's important to note that Gregory Pipp Grass served in World War I, but died shortly after he returned home in 1918 as one of the first victims of the Spanish flu epidemic. That being said, what better way to honor him than a superspreader event in his name?

SAGAL: All right. We know that at least to some people, the pandemic is absolutely over, and we know it because - was it from Luke Burbank, a salt lick wall at a restaurant in Scottsdale, a company from Negin Farsad that makes cargo pants and sales are through the roof, meaning that people are going outside with things to carry, or from Hari Kondabolu, the Gregory Pipp Grass Fair is back at the insistence of the Pipp Grass family, kissing booth and all?

MYERS: Well, I'm going to hope C isn't true. And I feel like as a new dad, I definitely would have heard of cargo pants. And if it is true, I'm going to head down there very shortly. But judging by the deer in my neighborhood, I'm going to go with A. I believe a salt lick would attract a lot of people.

SAGAL: The salt lick at the restaurant in, I believe, Scottsdale it was, all right. That's your choice. Well, we spoke to a reporter following this real story.

GRAYSON FERGUSON: I think when people hear just it's a salt wall, there's just that general question of, can you lick it? Yeah, you can lick that.

SAGAL: So that was Grayson Ferguson (ph). He's a writer who covers restaurants around the Tucson and Phoenix areas. He was talking about the wall of salt at this particular restaurant in Scottsdale. Congratulations. You picked correctly, earned a point for Luke. But more importantly, you earned our prize for yourself, the voice of your choice from anyone here for your voicemail. Congratulations. You're a winner.


MYERS: Thank you so much. I grew up watching this show. It's been a great honor.

SAGAL: Well, thank you. It's a pleasure to hear from you. Take care.

MYERS: Thanks. You, too.


SAGAL: And now it's time for the game where we reward someone else's long career with a short diversion into ours. Kenan Thompson holds a record, never to be broken, of having the longest tenure as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" since 2003. But he's been performing for much longer than that, starring in his first sketch comedy show on Nickelodeon when he was 14. For all we know, his first words as a baby were, give me a place and an occupation. Kenan Thompson, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.


KENAN THOMPSON: Hello, everyone. Hello, everyone.

SAGAL: So were you one of those little kids who just wanted to be an actor or performer? Like, your entire childhood, that's all you wanted to do?

THOMPSON: I guess kind of. I don't know. It was just kind of one of those things that, like, went with sports and went with, like, other after-school activities or whatever.

SAGAL: Yeah.

THOMPSON: And then I realized, like, around 10th grade that I wasn't a tall, overly athletic person. So I was like, maybe I'll just stick with this acting thing.

SAGAL: Yeah. We found a clip of you as a youth movie reviewer for CNN when you must have been, like, 13 years old. Like...

THOMPSON: That's right. My first movie that I critiqued was the first "Mighty Ducks."

SAGAL: The first "Mighty Ducks."


SAGAL: So what did - now, this - I realize why this is relevant 'cause you, of course, were in the subsequent "Mighty Ducks" movies. What did you think of the first "Mighty Ducks"?

THOMPSON: I thought it was a good movie. I mean, I got to interview a couple of the kids, so I met them at, like, a local hockey rink that I didn't even know Atlanta had at the time.

SAGAL: Right.

THOMPSON: And they were skating around, and, like, I just thought they were the coolest guys on the planet. And I was like, man, I would just love to kind of be doing what they're doing.

SAGAL: And then...

THOMPSON: And then, like, a year later, I got to try out for the second one. It was awesome.

SAGAL: Really?

THOMPSON: It was, like, super kismet. Yeah.

SAGAL: Wow. Did it have anything to do with you gave them a positive review?

THOMPSON: In my mind, yes.



THOMPSON: I don't know about reality.

SAGAL: 'Cause everybody knows that Kenan on CNN could make or break a film. How in the world...

THOMPSON: Yeah, that's the thing - with my popcorn scale.

SAGAL: Yeah, man. Oh, yeah, you had a - could you explain the popcorn scale 'cause I love this.

THOMPSON: Yeah, four popcorns - you did a good job.

SAGAL: And three popcorns, two popcorns? Did you ever give anybody, like, one or zero popcorns?

THOMPSON: I feel like I gave something, like, an unpopped kernel one time.

SAGAL: Whoa.

FARSAD: Oh, my gosh.


SAGAL: I guess if you sound like a 13-year-old and review movies, that's what's going to happen. How in the world did you get that gig? Like, what was it, like, about Kenan Thompson, age 13 or whatever it was, that CNN's - CNN - said, we want this guy to review movies on our air?

THOMPSON: Yeah, I mean, it was mostly TBS, I think. And it was, like, this, you know, news kids show or whatever where kids read the news to other kids early in the morning because, you know, you know how kids are. They want to, like, watch the news before they go to school.


SAGAL: Oh, sure. I just want you to know those, kids, Kenan - you grew up to become a world-famous comedian and actor, but the kids who were watching you doing the news - they grew up to be our listeners.


KURTIS: You should see the Nickelodeon coverage of the January 6 insurrection.

SAGAL: That's amazing.

KURTIS: They keep sliming Ted Cruz. It's amazing.


THOMPSON: Hilarious.

SAGAL: So you joined "SNL" in 2003 - "Saturday Night Live" - and you are now the longest tenured cast member of that show. And you also, I found it - this is kind of cool - the first person to be on the show who was born after its debut, which is interesting. Did you grow up...

THOMPSON: Yeah, I got a bunch of stats, you know what I'm saying?

SAGAL: Yeah, I know, man.

KONDABOLU: Kenan, can I ask - have you have you squashed your beef with Samuel L. Jackson?

THOMPSON: I think I did. I think I finally went back and forth in the tabloids enough to squash that beef.

SAGAL: Not being as au courant with the tabloids, what was your beef with Samuel L. Jackson? I'm sorry, I don't know.

THOMPSON: I didn't personally have a beef. He had a beef with me because he ended up letting the F-word slide during a "What's Up With That?" appearance, and he was blaming it on me. And then he thinks that that's the reason why he hasn't been back to host the show for a long time.

SAGAL: All right. So Samuel Jackson, who literally is famous for having the filthiest mouth of any working actor, comes on "Saturday Night Live," and he accidentally drops an F-bomb, which is what he does...


SAGAL: ...All day, every day.

KONDABOLU: But Kenan, you were supposed to step on the line. That was his argument, right?

THOMPSON: That was his argument. But at the same time, you know, the cue card only had the letter F. It didn't have the full word.


SAGAL: All right. So, OK, all right. So this is what - I'm imagining this. You correct me. This is one of the things where his line is something along the lines of, what the F? And you're supposed to jump in and prevent him from finishing the word, right? And you did not jump in with the appropriately specific timing, pinpoint timing. And so he went on to say the word, and he...

THOMPSON: He went on to say the word twice. And then I actually...


SAGAL: So...

THOMPSON: I had to say something.

SAGAL: So if he said it twice, it was like, first he says it - like, what the F? He says the word, and then he looks at you, angry, goes why the F did you make me do that?


THOMPSON: Right. So I'm reacting in real time to the fact that Samuel Jackson just dropped an F-bomb. And I'm like, OK, well, that's not great. And then I'm, like, trying to, like, get back on track or whatever. And then he, like, let another one fly. And I'm like, (inaudible), you got to pay for those.

SAGAL: Right. What did you do?

THOMPSON: I ad-libbed the line, like, take it easy, we have to pay for those. And it got a big laugh.

SAGAL: There you are, man. Well, Kenan Thompson, we could talk to you all day, but we do have a game to play - a game we're calling...

KURTIS: Leaving So Soon?

SAGAL: So you've been at your job at "Saturday Night Live," as we have discussed, for a record amount of time. We thought we'd ask you about three people whose tenure at their jobs was incredibly short. Answer 2 out of 3 questions about people who only lasted a day or so on the job, and you'll win our prize for one of our listeners. Bill, who is Kenan Thompson playing for?

KURTIS: Anne Schiffold-Miller (ph) of Omaha, Neb.


SAGAL: Anne Schiffer-Miller. Anne Schiffer-Miller. Here's your first question, Kenan. An attorney who had just been hired at a government office quit after one day on the job. He says that it was what that made him so uneasy? Was it, A, his office contained no furniture at all except for a single bar stool? B, during the employee orientation meeting he had to attend, every single other employee introduced themselves with their name and exactly how many days they had left before retirement? Or C, the person who gave him a tour of the office said, and here are the human restrooms?


THOMPSON: I'm going with C because that's disturbing.

SAGAL: No, it was actually B. Everybody said, I'm Bob. I'm in accounts receivable. And I have one year, three months and four days left.


SAGAL: And so he was like, I am out of here. All right. Still have two more chances. Another guy, an office worker - on his first day, he was introduced to the office. He was shown into his particular office. And then all of a sudden, a little while later, everybody heard this guy screaming at the top of his lungs. They ran in, and he was fired when he explained that he was screaming because - was it, A, he had just realized they wanted him to show up five days a week? B, he had just gotten killed in the World of Warcraft game he was playing at his desk? Or C, he just wanted to see how loud he could scream?


THOMPSON: That's funny.


THOMPSON: Maybe B, he was playing World of Warcraft.

SAGAL: The answer was C, he just wanted to see how loud he could scream.


THOMPSON: I knew it.

SAGAL: Did - why didn't you just say it then?

THOMPSON: I knew it wouldn't be...


THOMPSON: ...I knew it wouldn't be B again. I'm an idiot.


SAGAL: All right. Don't worry about it. You have one more chance to get something. Harlan Ellison was an acclaimed science fiction writer back in the '70s, but he only lasted a few hours when Disney hired him to write movies on the lot. What did he do to get fired that first day? A, he turned off the freezer where they kept Walt Disney's body?


SAGAL: B, he acted out a porn movie starring Mickey Mouse and his friends in front...

THOMPSON: Hilarious.

SAGAL: ...Of the studio head? Or, C, he pitched a new teen movie to the executives - "The Computer That Murdered Everyone?"


THOMPSON: I think I'm going A, he turned off the freezer.


SAGAL: So you're suggesting that not only is the story that Walt Disney - his body was frozen to be revived later true, but that he is in a freezer that had - employees have access to.


SAGAL: That's your supposition here.

THOMPSON: So is that the answer?

SAGAL: No. OK, all right, man.


SAGAL: I know. I know. I understand when someone has priorities. No, the answer was - it was actually B. He went - first day, he went with his friends down to the commissary. He said, oh, we can do a porn movie - he apparently was very proud of his Mickey Mouse impersonation, and he acted out this whole porn movie with dialogue and says he did not realize until much later that Roy Disney was sitting behind him the whole time.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Kenan Thompson do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, Kenan, you'll always have the Ducks.


THOMPSON: Exactly.

KURTIS: Thanks for being here.

THOMPSON: At least I get to be myself.


KURTIS: We love you.

SAGAL: We do. Kenan Thompson is the longest-serving cast member on "Saturday Night Live." It just wrapped its 47th season. Kenan Thompson, thank you so much for being with us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME. What a pleasure to talk to you.


THOMPSON: Thank you so much.


THOMPSON: Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

SAGAL: Take care, Kenan. Thanks for stopping by.

THOMPSON: Absolutely. Take care. Thanks.

SAGAL: You too.



JOHNNY PAYCHECK: (Singing) Take this job and shove it. I ain't working here no more. My woman done left and took all the reason...

SAGAL: In just a minute, a hunka hunka (ph) burning limericks. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We'll be back with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Hari Kondabolu, Luke Burbank and Negin Farsad. And here again is your host at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, Ill., Peter Sagal.

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. In just a minute...


SAGAL: ...Bill works his way up from the mail rhyme (ph) in our Listener Limerick Challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT - that's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Hari, a lawyer has published a helpful guide on how to do what without getting arrested?

KONDABOLU: Kill people?


SAGAL: That'd be some lawyer.

KONDABOLU: Can you give me a hint?

SAGAL: I sure can. This is step one, and this is more or less the case. Make sure you do not start a fire with your pink-colored smoke bomb.

KONDABOLU: Get away with doing a gender reveal even if it causes a fire.

SAGAL: Yes, it's how to do a gender reveal party without getting arrested.


SAGAL: Gender reveal parties - they all started out very mild. You cut into a cake, and it's pink inside, so it's a girl. And if it's blue inside, it's a boy. And somewhere along the line, it became you fill a passenger dirigible with hydrogen.


SAGAL: And if, when it explodes, the flames are blue, it's a boy. So Catherine Hodder, Esquire, of findlaw.com has written how to have a gender reveal party and not get arrested. She notes disasters at the parties have resulted in personal injury claims, property damage lawsuits and charges of involuntary manslaughter or, if it's pink, involuntary womanslaughter.

KONDABOLU: Such a bad - I don't get why people do it.

FARSAD: I know.

KONDABOLU: I don't understand why it's such a big thing. Eventually, your kid might ask, well, how did you find out what my sex was going to be? Oh, we accidentally set your grandmother on fire.

SAGAL: Right.


KONDABOLU: It doesn't...

FARSAD: But also, is - why is the party exciting for anyone? It's one of two things.

SAGAL: Right.

FARSAD: It's not, like, a huge surprise.

SAGAL: Yeah. I remember many years ago, a friend of mine had a baby, and he said, wow - it was a girl, like, the last thing we expected.


SAGAL: And I'm like, OK, what's the...

KONDABOLU: We had boy. We had dragon.

SAGAL: Boy, dragon, six pack of hot dogs, a block and tackle system from an old-school scaling (ph) ship. Could have been anything. Turned out it was a girl. Who expected?


SAGAL: It's OK. Negin, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh says that, based on fossil records, he would expect human beings to respond to global warming by eventually doing what?

FARSAD: Oh, eating each other.


SAGAL: Oh, that's not going to happen eventually. That's happening soon.


FARSAD: Wait. So...

SAGAL: No, I'll give you a hint. It's sort of nature's version of downsizing.

FARSAD: Will start to shrink?

SAGAL: Yes, that humans will start to shrink...


SAGAL: ...Eventually. Now, historically, it turns out smaller mammals are better at dealing with extreme temperatures. So this expert thinks that humans may evolve to become smaller in response to global warming, like horses did during a warming period 55 million years ago. It's a little-known scientific fact ponies evolved when somebody put a horse in the microwave.


BURBANK: Somebody...

FARSAD: That makes sense, though, because I'm, like, real short and super comfortable with heat.

SAGAL: You're right. You're going to - you, Negin...

FARSAD: I already - I am the future of the human race.



KONDABOLU: Wait. So if it gets colder, do we get taller? Is that how science works?

SAGAL: No, sadly. You know how it is. If it gets hotter, we shrink. If it gets colder, we shrink.


KONDABOLU: Very good.

BURBANK: Oh, right. Right, right.

KONDABOLU: That's very good.

BURBANK: Subtle enough where you can get it through...


SAGAL: You think?

BURBANK: ...Get it on air, yeah.

KONDABOLU: Yeah, basically.

SAGAL: Well, not if you point it out.

KONDABOLU: Oh, yeah, yeah.


KONDABOLU: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Good point, Peter. Fair enough.

SAGAL: Luke, there's a hot new trend in restaurants. Fine diners in New York have taken to enjoying a new delicacy called what?

BURBANK: It's - is it a - something we wouldn't traditionally consider to think of as food?

SAGAL: No, it's actually something people have been eating - especially rich people are known for eating it, but they're eating it in a new way.

BURBANK: OK. Is it caviar?

SAGAL: It is. How are they eating their caviar?

BURBANK: Straight from the fish?


KONDABOLU: Oh, my God.

SAGAL: It's a way of combining caviar - one enthusiasm of the very wealthy - with another enthusiasm of the wealthy, cocaine.

BURBANK: They're snorting it.

SAGAL: I'll give it to you. They're doing what are called caviar bumps.


FARSAD: Through their nasal cavities?

SAGAL: No, they had to go to...

BURBANK: Off of a toilet in the bathroom at Cirque?

SAGAL: Exactly.


SAGAL: This is absolutely great news for those of you who are interested in identifying the very worst people there are.


SAGAL: All you need to do is look for people who are spooning very expensive caviar onto the back of their hands and then licking it up. It's called a caviar bump. And it was first seen on Satan's Instagram.


FARSAD: Well, because you want, like, that, like, nice, like, hand salt to go on it.

SAGAL: Exactly.

KONDABOLU: Is there a way to freebase it and sell it at a lower cost?

SAGAL: Maybe.


FARSAD: Yeah. Like, can you cut it with another...

KONDABOLU: Yeah, with, like...

SAGAL: What would you cut caviar with to sell it on the street? Like, little pop rocks? What?

BURBANK: Boba tea?


SAGAL: Coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank. But first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Or click the contact us link on our website, waitwait.npr.org. Come see us here at our new Chicago home, the Studebaker Theater, and in Philadelphia at the Mann Center on June 30 and at Wolf Trap, outside of Washington, D.C., August 25 and 26. If that is not enough, WAIT WAIT for you, first of all, what is wrong with you? Secondly, you can see the WAIT WAIT stand-up tour, kicking off in Salt Lake City and Denver later this month. Tickets for all those shows can be found at nprpresents.org.

Hi. You're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!

LOIS FREUND: Hi, this is Lois Freund (ph), and I'm in Shutesbury, Mass.

SAGAL: That's terrific. Shutesbury, Mass. - it sounds like a Massachusetts town someone made up to sound like a Massachusetts town.

FREUND: Could be.

SAGAL: Could be.

FREUND: It's just a - it's a little town just outside of Amherst.

SAGAL: OK. And what do you do there in that alleged town of Shutesbury, Mass.?

FREUND: Well, I am an advocate for people with disabilities.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. Well, thank you for doing that very important work.

BURBANK: So it's all about the money for you, Lois.


SAGAL: Out there grubbing for those dollars to make the lives somehow better.

BURBANK: Yeah, must be nice.

SAGAL: Yeah. Well, welcome to the show, Lois. Bill Kurtis is going to read you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly in two of the limericks, you will be a winner. Are you ready to play?

FREUND: You got it. I'm ready.

SAGAL: Here's your first limerick.

KURTIS: Though double-stuffed cookies are thicker, our way of ingesting is quicker. We do not twist and dunk. We distill and get drunk. We turn Oreos into sweet...

FREUND: Liquor.

SAGAL: Liquor, yes.


SAGAL: A whiskey company in Texas has distilled a new liquor from Oreos. The process involved blending smashed-up Oreos with yeast and water. The yeast is necessary for the fermentation, and the smashing them up is necessary 'cause no one is going to leave an intact Oreo lying around for that long without eating it.


SAGAL: The process results in 145-proof Oreo liquor with, quote, "notes of cream cheese, sour dough and dirty chocolate." How audacious to create a liquor you already have to be drunk to drink.


KONDABOLU: Oreo liquor. What's next, Hydroxy-contin (ph)?

BURBANK: Hey-o (ph).




KONDABOLU: Oh, brother - Netflix special.



SAGAL: If this catches on, your friends will be like, oh, man, someone else has to drive. I got a DUO (ph).

BURBANK: (Laughter) That's good.


BURBANK: I like that.

SAGAL: Here's your next limerick.

KURTIS: Though lovers of water will scoff me, caffeine jitters never lay off me. With cream or just black, it's a medical hack. I live longer if I drink more...

FREUND: Coffee.

SAGAL: Yes, coffee.


SAGAL: A new study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, which is one typo away from being a much more interesting magazine...


SAGAL: ...Found a correlation between coffee and a surprising amount of health benefits, which is an ironic study because this is coffee. If it came out the other way, and the study was like, oh, no, it'll kill you instantly, people would be like, oh, great, and go see if anybody made another pot.

FARSAD: Can there just - I feel like all of the coffee studies are like every man I dated in my 20s. I'm getting so many mixed signals. Every year, there's a different study that coffee's horrible, and then it's great. Now it's giving you longevity. I mean, what is the final determination? I want the final determination.

BURBANK: Tea is consistently - everyone always says it's good. I've never heard anyone say tea could harm you in any way.

FARSAD: Right. There aren't - yeah, there aren't the back-and-forth studies on tea.

BURBANK: There's 100% chance of having a cozy evening if you go with tea.



SAGAL: Here is your last limerick.

KURTIS: In Vegas, the chapels sell bliss, for Graceland's PR team has quelled this. The face of the king is strictly our thing, your weddings cannot feature...

FREUND: By Elvis.

SAGAL: Yes, Elvis.


SAGAL: For decades, many Las Vegas wedding chapels have given people the option of being married by an Elvis impersonator. But now the company that owns the rights to use Elvis' likeness have said, (imitating Elvis) no, thank you. No, thank you very much.



SAGAL: But some chapel owners have woken up to cease-and-desist orders, while some of the couples who got married there the night before have woken up to, we did what?


FARSAD: But isn't it like if you remix it by 10%, it could - you could still basically use it?

SAGAL: Yeah.

FARSAD: So, like, throw on...

SAGAL: Oh, wow, we have...

FARSAD: ...Like, a soul patch - an extra one - and then he's Shmelvis (ph), and then you're good.

BURBANK: Well, there is a law in Nevada that protects performing as Elvis if you are advancing his life story or his creative work. So if you wanted to be an Elvis impersonator and sing the songs, you can do that. If you are a mechanic who dresses like Elvis, you can't do that.

SAGAL: Right.

FARSAD: So how serious are we about Nevada being in the union?


FARSAD: Where do we land on that?

SAGAL: Bill, how did Lois do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Did great - three in a row.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Lois. You did fabulous.


FREUND: Thank you so much. It's been a blast.

SAGAL: Thanks, Lois. Take care.


SAGAL: Now on to our final game, Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can. Each correct answer is worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

KURTIS: Hari and Negin each have two. Luke has three.

SAGAL: All right. So Luke is in the lead. Hari and Negin are both in second. I am going to arbitrarily choose you, Hari, to go first. Here we go. On Tuesday, Matthew McConaughey spoke at the White House in favor of stronger blank.

KONDABOLU: Gun control laws.



SAGAL: On Monday, British Prime Minister blank survived a vote of no confidence.

KONDABOLU: Boris Johnson.



SAGAL: On Wednesday, it was reported that Karen Bass and Rick Caruso would have a runoff election for mayor of blank.

KONDABOLU: Denton, Texas.

SAGAL: Los Angeles. This week, police arrested a man for grand theft...

KONDABOLU: Oof. That's a big one.

SAGAL: ...After they pulled him over and found thousands of dollars' worth of stolen blank in his trunk.

KONDABOLU: Gold ingots.

SAGAL: No, loose avocados. On Sunday, to address the nationwide shortage, the factory making blank in Michigan started - restarted production.

FARSAD: Baby formula?



SAGAL: This week, a remote press event for a TV show went awry...


SAGAL: ...After a Zoom glitch, and every interviewer was suddenly blanked.

KONDABOLU: Turned into puppies.



SAGAL: They were all suddenly named Stephen.


SAGAL: After the glitch, the name in the Zoom window of every single attendee of this event for "What We Do In The Shadows" became Stephen (ph). All Stephens - made taking questions difficult. OK, looks like the next question is from Stephen. No, I mean Stephen. Stephen? No, Stephen, you're muted. Stephen. No, it's your turn. Stephen, stop talking. It's Stephen's turn. Bill, how did Hari do on our quiz?

KURTIS: He got three right. Six more points for a total of eight, and he is in the lead.

SAGAL: All right. Negin, you're up next. Fill in the blank. This week, the national average for blank prices in the U.S. reached $5.


SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: On Monday, five members of white supremacist group blank were charged with seditious conspiracy.

FARSAD: The Proud Boys.



SAGAL: This week, the White House detailed blank plans for kids under 5.

FARSAD: Vaccine?



SAGAL: In response to a huge number of delayed flights, Singapore Airlines has started blanking.

FARSAD: Boating people over.



SAGAL: Good idea, though, referring to delayed flights as retimed flights. On Monday, it was reported that President Biden would take executive action to support blank panel production?

FARSAD: Solar panel?



SAGAL: On Thursday, the World Health Organization warned that blank pox cases continued to rise.

FARSAD: Monkeypox?



SAGAL: This week, a new product called Snittens was released, which are mittens designed to blank.

FARSAD: To - that - Sniffens (ph)?

SAGAL: Yes, Snittens.

FARSAD: That you sniff them.

SAGAL: Snittens.

FARSAD: Mittens, but you got to smell them all the time.



FARSAD: The whole time.

SAGAL: They're mittens specifically designed to wipe your nose on.

FARSAD: Oh, that's...

SAGAL: You know, you're outside - cold winter days. You use your mitten. It's terrible and disgusting. Well, these are specifically designed for it. The outside of the mitten is made of a soft absorbent material, which is perfect for gently removing the snot from your face. It's great for the person wearing it. Let me warn you; you do not want to be hit by a snowball made from someone wearing...


FARSAD: My daughter already has Sniffens.



SAGAL: All right, Bill, how did Negin do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Very well - five right, 10 more points. She is in the lead with 12.

SAGAL: All right.


FARSAD: Ooh, thank you.

SAGAL: How many, then, does Luke need to win?

KURTIS: Five to win.

SAGAL: Not a big deal, Luke. Here we go. This is for the game. On Tuesday, an FDA panel endorsed a possible new blank vaccine.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Wednesday, Ukrainian officials said they may have to pull back from eastern cities after blank forces launched a brutal attack.

BURBANK: Russian.



SAGAL: This week, lawyers for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon subpoenaed the House committee investigating blank.

BURBANK: January 6.



SAGAL: According to a report from the World Bank, most countries will have a hard time avoiding a blank.

BURBANK: Recession.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, Colo. Representative Lauren Boebert is under investigation for reimbursing herself for blanking during her campaign.

BURBANK: Firing her gun directly at a flag.

SAGAL: No, for driving...


SAGAL: ...For driving a distance, almost twice the circumference of the Earth. On Thursday, the National Weather Service warned of a dangerous blank bringing record temperatures to the Southwest.

BURBANK: Heat wave.



SAGAL: On Wednesday, Twitter announced it would give internal data relating to fake accounts and bots to blank.

BURBANK: Elon Musk.



SAGAL: This week, a mom in Missouri surprised her single daughter by telling her that she had signed her daughter up for blank.

BURBANK: Lauren Boebert's campaign.



SAGAL: For the next season of reality make-out show "Love Island."


SAGAL: "Love Island," of course, is this dating show where a bunch of really attractive single people in swimsuits make out on camera. And what mom would not be proud to see her daughter hook up with six different guys who are all named Colby (ph)?


SAGAL: Bill, did Luke do well enough to win?

KURTIS: He needed five. He got six.

SAGAL: Whoa.




KURTIS: He's the champion, with 15 this week.



SAGAL: Now, panel, what will be the next big change to office life? Hari Kondabolu?

KONDABOLU: No Pants Thursdays.


SAGAL: Negin Farsad?

FARSAD: Mandatory use of the Comic Sans font on all business things.


KURTIS: And Luke Burbank?

BURBANK: For the Employee of the Month, a special parking spot and free licks at the salt wall.


KURTIS: Whoa. If any of that happens, we'll ask you about it on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME!

SAGAL: Thank you, Bill Kurtis.


SAGAL: Thanks also to Hari Kondabolu, Negin Farsad and Luke Burbank. Thanks to everyone at WBEZ. And a very special thanks to Erica Berger, Jacob Harvey, Kevin Scott and the entire staff and crew at the Studebaker Theater. Thanks to all of you at home for listening. I am Peter Sagal. We'll see you next week.


SAGAL: This is NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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