© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Who's Bill This Time?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: The following program was taped before an audience of no one.


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. Hey, Marjorie Taylor Greene - forget about the deep state. Worry about the deep voice. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here's your host, a man whose middle name is not danger, Peter Daniel Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. And thanks as always to our fake audience, who, frankly, I'm getting so reliant on that now I play their applause when I successfully get dressed every day. You know what we need right now? Some shaggy affability, which is why we are delighted to be talking to actor Owen Wilson later on in this show. But right now, it's your turn to crash our little party. The number to call 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.

NATALIA ROMERO: Hi, Peter. This is Natalia Romero calling from St. Paul, Minn.

SAGAL: Hey, Natalia. I happen to love St. Paul. It's one of my favorite places. I lived there for a while or at least in the area. What do you do there?

ROMERO: I'm a high school choir director.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh. I love music teachers in general. That must be something that's rather difficult these days because you can't get together, right?

ROMERO: Yeah. We're online, but we're making it work. We had a concert last week that was all virtual. I think I aged about 10 years, but we're still singing.

KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I bet. Well, thank you for doing that important work. Natalia, let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning" and the host of the new podcast Real Good from Stitcher. It's Faith Salie.


FAITH SALIE: Hello, Natalia.


SAGAL: Next, it's a writer and actor who can be seen in season four of "Search Party," currently streaming on HBO Max. It's Peter Grosz.



ROMERO: Hey, Peter.

SAGAL: And making her debut on our panel, it's the host of the Scam Goddess podcast on Earwolf and a commentator on ABC's "The Con." Say hello to Laci Mosley.


LACI MOSLEY: Hey, Natalia.


SAGAL: Natalia, welcome to the show. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to read you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you will win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?


SAGAL: All right, Natalia. Your first quote is a tech CEO describing his management technique.

KURTIS: I constantly remind our employees to be afraid - to wake up every morning terrified.

SAGAL: Well, that philosophy worked out well for him.

SALIE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: He is stepping down from being CEO of his company. He is the world's richest person. Who is it?

ROMERO: Jeff Bezos.

SAGAL: Yes, Jeff...


SAGAL: ...Bezos.


SAGAL: Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon CEO. He will now be executive chair - which, coincidentally, is the last thing I ordered from Amazon.


SAGAL: He apparently was feeling, you know, restless and bored. Sometimes, it feels like there just aren't any industries left to undermine.

SALIE: What does he want them to be afraid of - not making him enough money? That's - like...

SAGAL: No, he actually wrote that in a letter to his board back in, like, 1998, when he was just starting out, when he was just destroying bookstores as opposed to the entire retail sector.


SAGAL: And apparently, what he meant was he didn't want them to get complacent, right? He didn't want them to just rest on their laurels.

MOSLEY: Are you sure? I feel like he meant...


MOSLEY: He didn't want them (laughter) - he wanted them to count how long it took them to use the bathroom because...

SAGAL: Yeah.

MOSLEY: ...Somebody's watching. Daddy Jeff is watching.

GROSZ: I have such doubts about this step-down. This is like when Putin wasn't president anymore, and...

SAGAL: Right.

GROSZ: ...That other guy, Dmitry Medvedev, was president. And Putin was, like, (imitating Russian accent) I'll just sit over here. You can do it. I'm not...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

GROSZ: (Imitating Russian accent) I won't be secretly...


GROSZ: ... (Imitating Russian accent) Running everything.

MOSLEY: Also, this - it feels like a setup. So now whoever does all the evil stuff, Bezos won't be in the news anymore. It won't be his face. It'll be whoever his fall guy is.

SALIE: Well, his fall guy...

SAGAL: Yeah.

SALIE: His name is Andy Jassy. And I - he just sounds like a fabulous Broadway choreographer, doesn't he?

GROSZ: (Laughter) Yes.

SALIE: It's Andy Jassy, everybody. Give me some more Jassy. Do the Jassy hands.

GROSZ: It's going to be Jassy hands. That's what he's going to say. I want all my employees to be constantly thinking about Jassy hands.

SALIE: Do you know how much he's worth?

SAGAL: He is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $110 billion, last I looked, but...

SALIE: Oh, I thought it was 195. I mean, it could have easily gone up 85...

SAGAL: Exactly.

SALIE: ...Billion since...

SAGAL: In the time we've been talking. I know.

MOSLEY: I can't count. I mean, I got on TikTok, and someone did it with rice, and I was, like, oh, lots of rice.


SAGAL: He has a pile of rice.


SAGAL: All right. Here is your next quote. It's from someone coming back to their job after a long furlough.

KURTIS: I was rusty.

SAGAL: That person was one of many in their industry saying they forgot little things, like where the windshield wipers are and how to land. What's the job?

ROMERO: A pilot.

SAGAL: Yes...


SAGAL: ...Pilots.


SAGAL: A new report says airline pilots are reporting a lot of mishaps and flying errors due to rustiness from COVID-19 furloughs. They haven't been doing it in so long, they've forgotten how. It is so nice, though, to have something to worry about flying other than catching coronavirus on the plane. Recent flight records indicate that pilots have made mistakes, like forgetting to release the parking brake or not activating anti-icing systems. So far, it's been all pretty minor stuff. But you should definitely worry if you're on a flight, and the pilot comes out and asks, is there a pilot on this plane?


SALIE: I hope flight attendants haven't gotten rusty, though, at, you know, making you feel guilty asking for, you know, a refill when they fill, like, half your cup up with soda, and the other half is bubbles, or asking for another bag of pretzels. I hope they've perfected that.

GROSZ: Well, a lot of them were hopefully being rude in their spare time.

SAGAL: Oh, they've been - yeah, they've been practicing their scorn at home.

MOSLEY: I didn't know we could say we got rusty at things. If I get pulled over, I'm using that. I'm, like, I'm so sorry, officer. My speed skills got rusty. I was going 80 in a school zone? Oh...

GROSZ: My braking...

MOSLEY: ...So sorry.

SAGAL: I forgot you weren't supposed to run over people. It's been so long.


SAGAL: Natalia, here is your last quote.

KURTIS: Do it at work. Apologize to no one.

SAGAL: That was The New York Times encouraging people to just give in and do what when they get sleepy at work?

ROMERO: Take a nap.

SAGAL: Yeah, take a nap.


SAGAL: Napping is good for you, it turns out.


SAGAL: Who knew? Five-minute micro-naps actually help your mental acuity. Try one the next time you're driving.

SALIE: Isn't a Zoom business meeting a series of five-minute micro-naps anyway?


SAGAL: According to research, napping improves your mood, increases your productivity and the amount of drool you can collect on your shoulder. Once again, science breaks new ground. It's, like, tired during the day? Try napping.

MOSLEY: Prescription - lay down. I love it. Innovation.

GROSZ: (Laughter).

SAGAL: I don't know about you, but do you find it far more tempting to take a nap now that we're all working from home? Because my couch is over there, and my bed is right upstairs. It's so much more convenient than ever.

SALIE: And you're wearing your pajamas.

SAGAL: And I'm wearing my - often indeed wearing my pajamas. And it's so much more convenient than, you know, like what you have to do at work, which is to go into the bathroom and go into a stall and try to find a comfortable way to lean your head against the wall. I mean...

GROSZ: I definitely napped like that when I had, like, an internship when I was in college, and I couldn't fall asleep on time because I had to be out late having fun with my friends. And I...


GROSZ: ...Couldn't - I couldn't...

SALIE: It was important.

GROSZ: I was medically unable to fall asleep on time.

SALIE: But, Peter, you actually sat on a toilet and...

GROSZ: Yeah.

SALIE: ...Slept...

GROSZ: I would just go in there and just go sit on the toilet and lean up against the side of the stall and sleep for - I don't know - 10, 15 minutes or something and then come back. And I was very not integral to this company's working...

SALIE: (Laughter).

GROSZ: ...So they did not miss me.

SALIE: Wait, wait - Peter, this was back when you were a pilot, right?

GROSZ: Yes, I was working for now-defunct Eastern Airlines. But yeah, I was a pilot.


GROSZ: I was just going to the - I mean, there would always be passengers banging on the door.

SAGAL: People are saying - scientists, people are saying that it's important to, like, take a break when you're working from home. It's sort of like your nap at home could be your coffee break at work. But make sure you don't confuse them. Don't do them both because you just hate it when you drink a cup of coffee, and then you're lying awake all nap.


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

KURTIS: She got three bullets on the hit parade as a music teacher.


KURTIS: You did brilliant.

SAGAL: Natalia, congratulations.

ROMERO: Thank you so much. I'm a huge fan of the show. I appreciate it.

SAGAL: Thank you. And...

KURTIS: Thank you.

SAGAL: ...Congrats on the good work you do. And keep at it - hopefully, you'll be back with your kids soon.

ROMERO: Thanks. I appreciate that.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF METALLICA SONG, "ENTER SANDMAN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.