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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. Another pun about my name - inexcusa-Bill (ph).


KURTIS: I'm Bill Kurtis, and here is your host. He's even more effective after the second dose - Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: And thanks as always to our fake audience, who we've been using so long that now I'm starting to worry that they're just being nice and don't really mean it. Later on, we're going to be talking to one of the new stars of cable TV news, Abby Phillip of CNN. We wanted to catch her before the full moon turns her into a Wolf Blitzer. But first, it's your turn. 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.

ANNIE CATHEY: Hi. This is Annie Cathey. How are you doing?

SAGAL: I'm fine, Annie Cathey. How are you?

CATHEY: I am wonderful now that I'm talking to you. How are you guys up there in the North?

SAGAL: Where are you calling from, Annie?

CATHEY: I'm calling from North Carolina.

SAGAL: Oh, it's a beautiful place. What do you do there?

CATHEY: I am a COVID regulator case investigator.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh.

CATHEY: Yes, sir.

SAGAL: So wait a minute - you say you're a case investigator. You've got to go find out if people have COVID and sort of root out the truth?

CATHEY: In a sense, but we do it remotely. Therefore, we are all in our own location.

SAGAL: I understand. So it's not like you're Columbo. You sort of poke around, and then you're leaving. You say, one more thing - why are you coughing?

CATHEY: (Laughter) Yeah, I'm not going through their window and asking them to open up their door. No, sir.

SAGAL: (Laughter). Well, Annie, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel for this week. First up, it's a stand-up whose live and virtual comedy shows you can find via alonzobodden.com, Alonzo Bodden.


ALONZO BODDEN: Hello, Annie. How are you?

CATHEY: Oh, I'm lovely.

SAGAL: Next, it's the host of the podcast Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone, available wherever you might get your podcasts. It's Paula Poundstone.



CATHEY: Hey, Paula.

SAGAL: And finally, a humorist who is so pro-vax, he'll volunteer to get his early. It's Tom Bodett.


TOM BODETT: Yeah, get in your line, Annie. How are you doing?

CATHEY: Hey, you're right here with me, hon.

SAGAL: Annie, welcome to the show. I bet you anticipated this. You're going to play Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis right here 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 - any voice from our show you might choose on your voicemail. Ready to go?

CATHEY: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: Everyone's entitled to a mulligan once in a while.

SAGAL: That was Senator Mike Lee of Utah, perhaps showing his hand as what solemn proceeding began in the Senate?

CATHEY: The impeachment.

SAGAL: Yes - or the second impeachment of Donald Trump.


SAGAL: The House managers presented video of Trump and the rioters he incited that was so compelling, Republicans had to literally look away. Senator Josh Hawley was seen ignoring the presentations and just going through some paperwork instead. What a disgrace, said a million people who have spent every minute of every Zoom meeting for the past year scrolling Instagram.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

BODDEN: Oh, come on now. Who hasn't incited a riot and an attack on the Capitol? It could happen to anybody, so we'll just let this one go (laughter).

SAGAL: That is pretty much the attitude taken by Republicans, some of whom are performatively ignoring the evidence. In addition to Josh Hawley, Senator Rick Scott was seen over the course of the two days of evidence - this is true - he was filling in the countries on a blank map of Asia. It's so nice that even after reaching his high office, he's still working on getting his elementary school degree.


BODETT: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: He had some work that was missing.

BODDEN: (Laughter).

POUNDSTONE: I found the whole thing so educational.

SAGAL: Really? How so, Paula?

POUNDSTONE: Well, I had no idea that Nebraskans were such judicial thinkers.

BODETT: I didn't either.

SAGAL: Yes. Now, you are referring, of course, to the breakout star of day one. That was Trump lawyer Bruce Castor, who gave a speech so meandering, including calling Nebraska, for some reason, a, quote, "judicial thinking place," that even Rudy Giuliani thought, what the hell is this guy talking about?

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: He - you know Trump was in trouble when Castor started his speech by saying, ladies and gentlemen, what is impeachment? - and then waited for someone to tell him.


BODETT: Well, I think he was just lost in his suit. Did you - I mean, it looks like he lost, like, 40 pounds but never had the suit taken in - which, I mean, I applaud him for losing the weight, but holy smokes.

POUNDSTONE: Apparently, he lost it that day. He heard the opening arguments of the...


POUNDSTONE: ...Other side, and just the pounds fell away.

BODETT: He just shed it.

SAGAL: Now, on...

BODDEN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...The second and third days of the trial, the Democrats showed much more video evidence, including new security video - we had never seen it - of the Capitol siege, including footage that showed Mitt Romney running so fast from the rioters that one of his hairs almost moved.

BODETT: (Laughter).


SAGAL: For real. Romney runs like an Olympic sprinter, while in another video, Chuck Schumer is seen to run like an Olympic Schumer.


BODETT: I thought Romney...

BODDEN: Well, you know...

BODETT: ...Did look fairly athletic when he - you know, he kicked it in. He just - he found his stride and was gone. It was great.

BODDEN: He ran like there were taxes coming for him.

SAGAL: Exactly.


SAGAL: All right. Annie, here is your next quote.

KURTIS: Damn it. Double up.

SAGAL: That was epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding talking about new advice we got from the CDC this week telling us all to double up on our what?

CATHEY: Masks.

SAGAL: Masks, yes.


SAGAL: That's right.


SAGAL: The CDC now recommends that everybody should wear two masks at once, one to cover your mouth and nose and one to hide your face in case you attack the Capitol.


SAGAL: But - and this is true - you might think, well, two's good. Three's better. No, three masks is bad because your air can't pass through it, so it goes out the sides and defeats the purpose of the mask. So...


SAGAL: Two is better than one, but three is worse than two. And eight is better than three because you suffocate, which at least means you won't get COVID.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

BODDEN: Now, is the good doctor aware that half of the country isn't wearing one mask?

SAGAL: Well, that's the thing. Maybe they're...

BODDEN: When you shoot for two, isn't he aiming a little high? Has he not been to Florida, Texas, Arizona, the Dakotas and on and on and on? I...

SAGAL: It's possible that they're only saying this, so maybe the idiots who refuse to wear a mask as a form of rebellion will now try to rebel by wearing just one mask. So at least you're - like, you're trying to get the American average up to one, maybe.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. It's like when you set your alarm clock for an hour before you need to leave for where you're going. And...

SAGAL: Thinking eventually - if you sleep in, then eventually, you'll get up and go. Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Right. Which means that you've got 15 minutes. Right.

SAGAL: Now, one problem with double masks is it might double your mask-ne (ph), which is a real problem. That's rashes and pimples on your chin caused by constantly wearing a mask. Well, it's either that, or it's that we're all using the pandemic as an excuse to gorge ourselves on chocolate and anabolic steroids.

BODDEN: (Laughter).


BODDEN: I wonder what happens if you tell a nurse about your mask-ne. Like, cry me a river. I've been wearing these masks since before the pandemic. What do they do?

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODDEN: Don't health care workers - they've been wearing these all the time, so can't we just find out what they do for mask-ne?

SAGAL: Well, apparently, their solution is you have to wash your mask regularly. Or who cares? You're wearing a mask. No one's going to see it.

POUNDSTONE: Maybe they're only wearing it because they already had it, you know?

SAGAL: That's true.

BODETT: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All right, Annie. Here is your last quote.

KURTIS: Why are people so dang obsessed with it?

SAGAL: That was National Geographic talking about the recent pileup of space probes arriving where?

CATHEY: Well, I would guess Mars. We all want to live there, don't we?

SAGAL: Yes, it is Mars.


SAGAL: You guessed correctly. It's Mars.


SAGAL: Three probes - three different space probes have either arrived or will be arriving at Mars just this month. There's one from China, one from the U.S.A. and one from the United Arab Emirates, or UAE. There is actually traffic on the way to Mars. The real space race, it turns out - just getting a parking spot.

BODETT: Yeah, it makes you think that they found something they're not really telling the rest of us about, right?

SAGAL: Yeah. Well, what's interesting to me is the UAE, United Arab Emirates, first Arab country ever to do it, has sent a probe to Mars. It has just arrived in orbit. Now, they, of course, are the same people who convinced, like, the international jet set to come to Dubai. So that means that Mars will soon be the next pretentious destination. Somebody will spend a week there, and for the rest of their life, they'll be like, well, we pronounce it Marth (ph).

BODETT: (Laughter) Well, when you think of Dubai, it's - they probably got the best shot at being able to settle Mars because look where they built that city.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODETT: It was just, like, on a bank of sand with no fresh water.

POUNDSTONE: Plus, don't they have the tallest building in the world...

SAGAL: They do.

POUNDSTONE: ...In Dubai?

SAGAL: They do - the Burj...

POUNDSTONE: So they have to make the elevator go three more floors, and they're on Mars.

SAGAL: (Laughter) They're practically there. You're right.

BODDEN: I think it just shows how little we trust each other as countries. When one government goes to Mars and says, there's absolutely nothing there - and they're, like, I don't believe you.

SAGAL: (Laughter).

BODDEN: I'm sending a probe myself. Then two countries are, like, it is barren. There's nothing but dust. Nah, you're holding out on me. I'm sending (laughter)...

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

KURTIS: Annie's our champion. Congratulations, Annie.

CATHEY: Thank you, guys.

SAGAL: Thank you so much for playing, Annie. And keep up that good work. Hopefully, it'll be over soon.

CATHEY: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Bye-bye now.

(SOUNDBITE OF ROCKABYE BABY!'S "STARSHIPS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.