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Who's Carl This Time

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.



Thank you, Carl. Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much. We have a great show for you today. We've got Stewart Copeland, former member of this '80s boy band called The Police. They'll be joining us later. But first, as many of you have already heard, our own Carl Kasell has an announcement to make.

KASELL: So long, suckers.


KASELL: That's right, after 60 years of broadcasting, including more than 30 years at NPR, including of course being this show's official judge and scorekeeper from the very first episode, Carl has decided to lay down the microphone and become our scorekeeper emeritus. He will record voicemail greetings for all our winners, he'll hang around the office, and he'll make sure we don't lower our standards.

As if that were even possible.


SAGAL: Well, he'll be with us for a few more months at least. So with this show, we begin the Carl Kasell Farewell Tour. In the meantime, we'll wring every last ounce of dignity from him.


SAGAL: That means you've got a limited time now to speak to the man himself. So rush to your phones and call us at 1-888-924-8924. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

ASHLEY KEVITT: Hi, this is Ashley Kevitt from Brevard, North Carolina.

SAGAL: Hey, Ashley, how are you?

KEVITT: I'm doing well. How are you?

SAGAL: I'm fine, I'm fine. What do you do in Brevard?

KEVITT: Well, I just took the N.C. bar exam. So I'm - yeah, I'm a quasi-lawyer until the results come in.

SAGAL: You're a quasi-lawyer, a theoretical lawyer.

KEVITT: Right, right.

SAGAL: You're like a Schrodinger's lawyer. We don't know if you're a lawyer or not yet.

ADAM FELBER: We would have to go to North Carolina to find out.

SAGAL: I understand. Ashley, let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a writer for HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," Mr. Adam Felber is here.


FELBER: How are you doing, Ashley?

KEVITT: Good, good, how are you?

SAGAL: Next up, it's a contributor for "CBS Sunday Morning," Ms. Faith Salie is with us.



SAGAL: And finally, making his debut as a panelist on our show, it's a writer, director and star of the film "Sleepwalk with Me." You can catch him now on his 100-city comedy tour "Thank God For Jokes," it's Mike Birbiglia.


MIKE BIRBIGLIA: Hey, Ashley, how are you?

KEVITT: Good, how are you?

I'm good. There's nothing quasi about you, in my opinion.

I appreciate that.

SAGAL: Ashley, welcome to the show. You're going to start us off, of course, with Who's Carl This Time. Carl Kasell is going to read you three quotes from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize, Carl's voice on your home answering machine or other similar device. You ready to play?

KEVITT: I'm ready.

SAGAL: Here is your first quote.

KASELL: Our main concern is the orgy that is happening.

SAGAL: That was Vladmir Putin trying to make the conflict where sound much more interesting than it probably is?

KEVITT: Crimea?

SAGAL: Yes, Crimea in the Ukraine, very good.



SAGAL: Russian troops are flooding into Crimea, except Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, says they are not. He says they're just not there. Reporters are going up to Russian soldiers in the Crimea, and saying: Hello. So, where are you invading from, and they're saying...

BIRBIGLIA: Invading?

SAGAL: Yeah. And the soldiers are like, New Jersey.


BIRBIGLIA: Student visa.


FELBER: This always happens when people win so many medals at the Olympics.

SAGAL: They get cocky?

FELBER: They just get so carried away. They're like I'm great at skeleton.

BIRBIGLIA: I might as well head up the coast and invade Crimea.

FELBER: Yeah, yeah.


SAGAL: Maybe he wants another medal in winter invading.


SAGAL: All right, Ashley, very good. Here is your next quote.

KASELL: Honestly, some of these words I've never even heard of.

SAGAL: That was a high school junior in Portland, Maine, happy about the proposed changes to what high school rite of passage?


SAGAL: The SATs, yes, the Scholastic Aptitude Test.



SAGAL: That great universal ritual of adolescence, well, the one that you don't find in your father's sock drawer is getting a big overhaul. The SATs are being changed so, we are told, they will be more useful for kids preparing to go to college. They're making the essay optional, they're getting rid of the vocabulary words that no one ever uses and instead will test students' aptitude for writing bad, self-indulgent poetry, tolerating lots of cheap beer, and becoming a lesbian but just for sophomore year.


BIRBIGLIA: The scores will range between awesome and who are we to judge.

SAGAL: Right.



SALIE: I don't - I don't like this business about doing away with, quote-unquote, "SAT words." I just, I don't think it augers well for the lexicons of the future, you know?

FELBER: What? Speak English.

SALIE: I mean, I'm trying to have some sangfroid, but I mean, I just feel lachrymose about it. Everybody uses those words.


FELBER: I feel like that was so thoughtfully put.


SALIE: Thank you.



SAGAL: Faith...

BIRBIGLIA: I wasn't told this would be in German.

FELBER: I just got - I got a 1500 on Faith's sentence.

BIRBIGLIA: Just miss sangfroid?

SAGAL: Faith, I think, if I'm not mistaken, you will be pleased with this other change is that after changing to a 2,400-point scale, they're going back to the classic 1,600-point scale.

SALIE: Like in my day.

SAGAL: Exactly. And what that means, Faith, is that you're about to have a second child. From now until time immemorial, you'll be able to compare your SAT scores to your children and show them that, yes, you're smarter than they are.


SAGAL: All right, very good. Here is your last quote.

KASELL: Al servizio degli altri in questa cazzo, in questa caso.

SAGAL: That was someone getting a little blue during a speech in Rome this week. Who accidentally dropped an Italian F-Bomb on the Vatican?

KEVITT: Ooh, I really don't know that one.

SAGAL: Who would be a very unlikely at the Vatican to swear in public?

KEVITT: The pope?

SAGAL: The pope, yes.




SAGAL: The Pope made what we are told is a common mistake for non-native speakers of Italian. Instead of the word caso, which means case, he said cazzo, which is basically like the immaculate conception but without the immaculate part.


SAGAL: In the video of the mistake, and this is pretty cool, speaking of sangfroid, he doesn't even flinch, he just goes on, right. But after that, he apparently walked back from the balcony he said and said to his aides, man, I really cazzo'ed that up.


SAGAL: What's really ironic is that he made that mistake, all he was trying to introduce a performance by Idina Menzel.


SAGAL: It's a hard name.


FELBER: What a cool pope.

SAGAL: He is pretty cool.

FELBER: The pope curses? What people aren't talking about is his new hip-hop album "(Beep) the Papacy," which I think it's too far.


FELBER: I think it's too far.

BIRBIGLIA: No, it's good. I like the way he just dropped the mic behind his back after he did it.

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

KASELL: Ashley, you're a winner, three correct answers. So I'll be doing the message on your home answering machine or voicemail.


SAGAL: Well done. Thank you so much for playing.

KEVITT: Thank you. Happy retirement, Carl.

KASELL: Well, thank you very much.


SALIE: Bye Ashley. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.