Who's Carl This Time

Sep 28, 2013
Originally published on January 2, 2014 11:48 am
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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 is your host at the Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.



SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. Thanks, everybody. It is great to be here making our Baton Rouge debut. Later on, we'll be talking to James Carville, a proud LSU grad, who will school us on the ways of the Bayou. But first, it has taken some adjustment for us NPR types to fit in down here, but we're figuring it all out. This sandwich they call a po boy, very tasty, but we call it an under-privliged youth.


SAGAL: We're always careful to point out Fat Tuesday is only fat because it has a thyroid disorder.


SAGAL: You can call us whatever you want, as long as you call us. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT, that's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

RICH SARTORE: Hi, Peter and Carl, this is Rich Sartore in beautiful New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

SAGAL: New Smyrna Beach, Florida?

SARTORE: Yes, shark bite capital of the world.

SAGAL: Is it really? Is that where all the sharks are?

SARTORE: Well, yeah, pretty much.

SAGAL: I mean, you know, there are restaurants that people will travel to for hundreds of miles just to get one meal. Is that how the sharks see where you live?


SAGAL: They're like food tourists in the shark world. I'm heading to New Smyrna Beach. It'll take two days, but man, they taste good there.


SARTORE: Well, you know, I mean that could be it. I mean, but we're kind of down this year. There's only been maybe five or six, so...

SAGAL: Oh, really?

TOM BODETT: Oh, man.

SAGAL: Well, tourism is affected by the economy, it's true, even among sharks. Well, Rich, let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a comedian you can see October 18th and 19th during Chicago Ideas Week, Mr. Brian Babylon.


BRIAN BABYLON: Hey, hey, how are you?

SAGAL: Next is senior editor and columnist for the Houston Chronicle, Ms. Kyrie O'Connor is here.



SAGAL: And finally, a humorist and blogger at cartalk.com, it is Tom Bodett.

BODETT: Hello, Rich.


SARTORE: Hello, Tom. I've got the light on for you.

BODETT: Oh, thank you.

SAGAL: Rich, welcome to our show. You're going to start us off with Who's Carl This time. Carl Kasell, standing right here, is going to recreate for you three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain just two of them, you'll win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on your home answering machine. Ready to go?

SARTORE: Absolutely.

SAGAL: All right, here's your first quote:

KASELL: They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house, or with a mouse.

SAGAL: That was someone's original take on Dr. Seuss in a very long speech made this week by whom?

SARTORE: Well, that would probably be the senator from Texas, Ted Cruz.

SAGAL: Ted Cruz, yes.



SAGAL: Of Texas. Senator Cruz went to the Senate floor and spoke for more than 20 hours about defeating the greatest threat our nation has ever known, Obamacare. Apparently, under this sinister system, instead of your current doctor, you'll be forced to see Dr. Seuss, who is very judgy, especially as an OB-GYN. He's like oh, the places you've been.



SAGAL: It's worse for me. He asks you to take off your pants so he can see Thing One and Thing Two.


SAGAL: Now, Mr. Cruz spoke all night arguing to defund Obamacare as a price for keeping the government open. It was an amazing overnight speaking performance. It was just like the Jerry Lewis telethon except he wants to take away medical treatment.


SAGAL: He's like, look at this little Timmy. With your help, we can put him in a wheelchair.


O'CONNOR: You know, I'd like to stick up for the other long-speaking Texan, Wendy Davis. Just like, you know, the whole thing about dancing backwards in high heels, she had to do a real filibuster, where you had to stay on topic and couldn't lean against your desk and couldn't take a pee break.

SAGAL: Well, neither could Senator Cruz. He also was under the rules that he couldn't leave the floor. So nobody knows how he managed that. That's more than 20 hours of standing in place, more or less.

O'CONNOR: It's a lot easier for a guy. They have devices.

BODETT: I know how he did it. I know how he did it.

SAGAL: Well, there were a couple moments where he would just sort of suddenly stop and then just sort of smile and take a breath and go on.

BODETT: Anybody who's had an 18-month-old in the car seat knows exactly that look.

SAGAL: Yeah. All right, very good, here is your next quote.

KASELL: Frankly, it's unseemly for the president to be chasing an adversary through the United Nations looking for a fist-bump.

SAGAL: That was Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution talking about President Obama's dashed hopes for a meeting with the leader of what country this week?


SAGAL: Iran, yes, very good.



SAGAL: Ever since Hasan Rouhani was elected president of Iran, people have been marveling at how friendly he is, how open to the West, how simply adorable he is. It's true. He's small, he's got that beard and that little dimpled smile. It's like Iran elected a koala.


SAGAL: So he and Obama have been exchanging letters. We know this. We don't know what kind of letters, but we're assuming they're handwritten notes with lots of hearts for the dotted I's.


BABYLON: It seems like, you know, these guys aren't going to really be friends. It's not like Obama's writing him these little handwritten notes, like hey, let's go play Xbox. No one's doing that. They're not going to play Xbox, they're not going to listen to Wu-Tang Clan or just hang out and party because presidents really don't really do that. They might hang out and talk small talk, but they don't really talk about, you know, missiles and real stuff.

SAGAL: Well, they presumably might after they get through the initial kind of, you know, nice to see you...

BABYLON: Nah, it's a lot of small - it's like the smallest of small talks, like weather.

BODETT: How was your flight.

BABYLON: Yeah, how was your flight? Yeah, I hate airplane food, too, and it's silence.


SAGAL: All right, here is your last quote.

KASELL: I am the one who knocks.

SAGAL: That's Carl, channeling America's favorite fictional crystal meth cook, whose show ends its run Sunday. What is that show?

SARTORE: Oh, that would be "Breaking Bad."

SAGAL: Yes, indeed, "Breaking Bad."



SAGAL: For five years, families across the country have been getting together on the couch and curling up together in the fetal position together to watch "Breaking Bad." This Sunday, we'll all tune in one last time to see what made the dad from "Malcolm in the Middle" go crazy.


BABYLON: But you know what? This was the small businesses that Mitt Romney was talking about.

SAGAL: The meth cooks?

BODETT: Yeah, like a guy who was just down on his luck but just pulled himself in the bootstraps and ruined people's lives.

SAGAL: Right. It's a really complex show. If you haven't seen it, it's quite worth your time. Fans across the country are debating the meaning, even of colors in the cinematography. They're talking about the links and references to classic literature. It's totally fascinating. There's even one theory out there that suggests it's just a TV show.


SAGAL: It's also true that there's been such a shift toward dark anti-heroes in TV. It's so different from when I was a kid. I mean, if they made "Brady Bunch" now, Mike Brady would have a coke habit, and all the six children would be by six different women, you know.


BABYLON: Man, that sounds like a great show. Great show, man, whoa.

BODETT: I like the concept.


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

KASELL: Well, Rich, you had three correct answers, so I'll be doing the message on your home answering machine.

SAGAL: Well done, Rich.


SARTORE: This has been a delight.

SAGAL: It's been really fun to have you. Thanks for playing, and stay out of the water.


SARTORE: Will do. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.