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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. Sorry, Buffalo - I guess only certain Bills are winners. I'm Bill Kurtis, and here's your host, my short squeeze, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: And thanks as always to our fake audience, who this week are clapping because my parents spread the word that I could really use a boost. But first, some news. It has only been a week, but White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has become embroiled in her first scandal. She has agreed to be on this show. Well, we promise to be nicer to her than Peter Doocy. But now it's your turn to stand at the podium. 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.

MARGARITA PRYOR: Hi. This is Margarita Pryor, and I'm in Providence, R.I.

SAGAL: Beautiful Providence - I love it there. What do you do there?

PRYOR: Well, I live here, but I work in Boston for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

SAGAL: Wait a minute. You work for the EPA. How long have you worked for the EPA?

PRYOR: (Laughter) Well, I've been a faceless bureaucrat for a really long time. I hate to tell you how long.

SAGAL: Well, how are all you faceless bureaucrats in the EPA feeling these days?

PRYOR: Speaking for myself, of course...

SAGAL: Of course.

PRYOR: ...I think that we feel really happy (laughter).

SAGAL: Yes. And were the last four years somewhat difficult for you all? Was it just a matter of keeping your head down?

PRYOR: Yes. And I have the scars on the top of my head for that, too, so...


SAGAL: Well, Margarita, it is an absolute pleasure to talk to you. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, a comedian whose Netflix special is "You're Doing Great!" He's also the host of the Breaking Bread With Tom Papa podcast. It's Tom Papa.


PRYOR: Hi, Tom.

TOM PAPA: Hello.

SAGAL: Also, the voice of Jessi on the show "Big Mouth" on Netflix - it's Jessi Klein.


JESSI KLEIN: Hi, Margarita.


SAGAL: And making his debut on our panel, the star of "Black Monday" on Showtime - it's Yassir Lester.


YASSIR LESTER: Hi, Margarita.


SAGAL: Hey, Margarita. 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'll win our prize - any voice from our show you might choose for your voicemail. You ready to go?

PRYOR: I am.

SAGAL: All right. Let's do it then. Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: I know it seems funny, but you have to remember it's hurting real people who own multiple boats.

SAGAL: That was a man named Kevin Farzad on Twitter talking about how this week, people on Reddit took down some hedge fund managers by manipulating what stock?

PRYOR: GameStop.

SAGAL: GameStop.


SAGAL: That's right.


SAGAL: It was the week in which everybody all of a sudden was talking about the great GameStop bubble, which is the first time in a long time that people have talked about GameStop and not said, hey, look. The GameStop closed.

Here's what happened. Some hedge fund guys bet a lot of money that GameStop's share price would decline because GameStop sells video games on things called discs in places called stores. So a group of people on Reddit said, hey, let's everybody buy it, and we'll drive the price up, and we'll cause the hedge fund guys to lose billions and by doing that, made GameStop one of the most valuable companies in the country for about four days. The stock shot up to over $300. But if you try to sell it back at a GameStop, the best they can do is 17 bucks.

PAPA: (Laughter).

KLEIN: Guys, do you remember what happens to Michael Jackson's eyes in the "Thriller" video?

LESTER: Oh, yeah.

KLEIN: That's what happens to my eyes when someone tries to explain to me what is going on...

LESTER: (Laughter).

KLEIN: ...With this story. I don't understand shorting a stock. I don't understand what GameStop is.


KLEIN: I don't understand any of it, and I don't care.

LESTER: My only concept I understand of money is if, like, someone's, like, OK, right now, you have money. And I'm, like, cool. And then 10 minutes later, they're, like, OK, you don't have any more money.


LESTER: Like, that's all I understand about anything financial. I'm, like, I can't buy this? They're, like, no, you can't. OK, thank you so much.

SAGAL: By the way, I don't know if you guys are interested, but I finally read an explainer of selling short that made sense to me. You ready for this? It's like you, Jessi, go buy a dress for a hundred dollars, right?

KLEIN: Pass.

SAGAL: OK. No. I...

KLEIN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Go there. So you buy a dress for a hundred dollars. And I say to you, Jessi, can I borrow that dress? I'll give it back to you in one month. And you say, sure, it'll look good on you. So you give me the dress, and I run down to the store and immediately return it and get the hundred dollars. And then what I'm hoping is that a month from now, when I need to give you the dress back, I'll go down. It'll have been put on the clearance rack. I'll buy it for $17 - say, here, Jessi. Here's your dress back - and keep the difference.


KLEIN: Michael Jackson eyes.


PAPA: Jessi just blacked out.


PAPA: I literally saw her black out while sitting up.

KLEIN: Truly, it's, like...


KLEIN: If you could picture what's in my mind, it's, like, a unicorn...


KLEIN: ...Just, like, dozing on a cloud.

LESTER: Yeah...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

LESTER: Wearing a dress - wearing a beautiful dress.

KLEIN: In this hundred-dollar dress that Peter is wearing at home...


KLEIN: ...That belongs to me.

LESTER: You went through that whole explanation, and I'm, like, where would he even get a dress for $17 now?


KLEIN: Peter, I'm going to say that was not clear.


SAGAL: All right, I'll move on then. Here...

KLEIN: Poor Margarita.

SAGAL: Here, Margarita, is your next quote.

KURTIS: We'll be toasting to our fellow brands with an ice-cold Coke from the sidelines.

SAGAL: That was Coca Cola announcing that for the first time in memory, they won't be running an expensive ad during what big sporting event next week?

PRYOR: So the Super Bowl.

SAGAL: The Super Bowl.


SAGAL: That's right. They're going to have a Super Bowl this year. It's going to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the Kansas City Chiefs. There's a ton of interesting storylines, like, can Tom Brady become the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl? And will he deflate the tennis balls on the legs of his walker?


SAGAL: This is also - I don't know if you follow this - it's historic. This is the first time that a team will be playing the Super Bowl in their own stadium. It was scheduled for Tampa Bay, and Tampa Bay made it to the game. So, you know, this year, during the pandemic, even the Super Bowl has to stay home.


PAPA: This does seem like it's the first time where people are considering rooting for Tom Brady. It's, like, he's - this is his 10th Super Bowl that he's going to.


PAPA: He's just a superstar. And people have just been hating on him for so long. And now they're, like, yeah, he's pretty good. I guess we can...

SAGAL: We'll grant him...

PAPA: I feel like he has the same problem that Gwyneth Paltrow has. It's like...

KLEIN: (Laughter).

PAPA: They're just too perfect, and it just bugs people. (Laughter) But I have to admit, if Tom Brady came out with a candle, I'd buy it.


SAGAL: And, of course, because we can't get together, there aren't going to be any Super Bowl parties, and we're all going to have to watch it by ourselves. Is there anything sadder than Super Bowl snacks for one?

KLEIN: I'm very used to getting fat alone. I...


SAGAL: Welcome to Jessi's life, football fans in America.

KLEIN: Oh, a tale as old as time.


SAGAL: All right. Let's move on to your final quote, Margarita. Here it is.

KURTIS: (Barking and howling).

SAGAL: That was part, believe it or not, of an official statement from the White House, purportedly from whom?

PRYOR: Well, it could be Sarge (ph) or Major, or maybe both.

SAGAL: You know their names - very good. You're right - the first dogs.




SAGAL: That was a statement from the first dogs. For people who missed feeling a boiling rage every time the White House was in the news, let me introduce you to the office of the first dogs, or as they actually call it, the Oval Pawffice. See what I mean?

The Bidens' two dogs arrived at the White House on Wednesday, and they put out a statement which was in woofs - woof, woof, woof. Then there was a translation which said, in part, "We have made some changes to the Oval Pawffice. We have replaced the Diet Coke button with a nom nom button," unquote. And honestly, how do I sign up for the next seditionist mob?


KLEIN: I think they're such handsome dogs. I will say I do love a German Shepherd. I think they're very handsome. They're very good-looking. They're 10s (ph).

SAGAL: And it is nice to have dogs back in the White House. Famously, President Trump did not have any pets. It's very nice. Champ sleeps in the Oval Office in a little - on the little dog bed they had there for Don Jr.


PAPA: It's nice to have German Shepherds, too, because it makes Biden's hips look very healthy.

SAGAL: That's true.


KLEIN: That is such a German Shepherd in-joke, Tom. I love it.


PAPA: Well, Margarita is with the EPA. She's close enough to this.


PAPA: I - we got a COVID pug during the pandemic.

SAGAL: Yeah. How'd that go?

PAPA: It's a mistake.

SAGAL: Really? Why?

PAPA: It's not really - like, at least the president has real dogs. The pugs are - they're kind of cat-like. They don't have much emotion. And here's a little tip.

SAGAL: Yeah.

PAPA: If they fall in your pool, they go right to the bottom.

SAGAL: Really? They're very dense - is what you're saying.

LESTER: There's no water in your pool - is the first problem.


PAPA: Well, there's that.

SAGAL: That's how you found out there was no water in the pool.


SAGAL: Oh, my God. It's all the way down there. Did somebody have to dive in and save the pug?

PAPA: Yeah. There was a cell phone ruined, but Frank (ph) survived.

SAGAL: Did you have to do this? Did you have to dive in?

PAPA: No. I told the kids, you might want to get that.


PAPA: I wasn't going in after a pug. Are you crazy?


SAGAL: Bill, how did Margarita do?

KURTIS: Margarita's an expert. All three - congratulations.

PRYOR: Thank you.

SAGAL: Thank you. That's great. Congratulations, Margarita.

PRYOR: Thank you.

SAGAL: Thanks a lot for playing, Margarita. Take care.

PRYOR: Bye-bye.


ZZ TOP: (Singing) I'm a rough boy.


ZZ TOP: (Singing) I'm a rough boy.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG BARKING) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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