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Not My Job: TV Weatherman Al Roker Gets Quizzed On Coldplay


Let's end this show with a chat with one of the most beloved people in America, a weatherman who never actually was trained in the weather. It's Al Roker.

BILL KURTIS: Peter asked him if he ever found it hard to be cheerful every morning for a national audience.


AL ROKER: Well, yeah. You know, it's funny you said this because it was about six months ago. And my daughter just - her room was a mess, and I just let loose on her. I mean, I just, - like, this place is a pigsty. It's a mess. And all of a sudden, she burst into tears. And she goes, this isn't fair. America gets to see happy Al Roker...


MO ROCCA: That's hysterical.

SAGAL: That cuts to the bone. Oh, my God.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: You know, Al, though - I may be different than much of America, but I don't want cheery when I turn on morning television...

ROKER: Really?

POUNDSTONE: ...Or morning radio. No. I want them to be about where I am. You know, you guys - to do a morning broadcast, you get up at, like, 2 or 3 in the morning, right? So by the time it's on the air, you guys are already fired up and going.

ROKER: Right.

POUNDSTONE: I want you to be like, (groans) let's check the weather.



SAGAL: Yeah.

ROKER: You obviously haven't seen "Fox & Friends."

SAGAL: Yeah.


ROCCA: All right. I have a - this is way, probably, too inside, but I have a question. I've always wanted to ask you this, Al.


ROCCA: Are you aware that when you say - on the "Today" show, when you say, that's what's happening nationwide - whatever - here's what's happening in your neck of the woods...


ROCCA: ...And you throw to the local person.

ROKER: Right.

ROCCA: And I travel a lot. And wherever you are - and it could be, like, Grand Forks, N.D. - there'll be, like, a 25-year-old weatherman who will then go (high-pitched), thanks, Al, in really super familiar way.


ROCCA: And sometimes I get really annoyed, and I yell at the TV. And I say, you don't know Al. Why are you acting like you're best friends?


SAGAL: So, Al Roker, would you like to tell the weatherpeople of America that you're not actually their friend?


ROKER: I am. I am their friend.

SAGAL: You are their friend.

ROKER: I am their friend.

ROCCA: But you know that they do that, don't you?

ROKER: It doesn't bother me. It's OK. It really is.


ROKER: If that's something that's going to bother me, it's time for me to get out of this business.



ROCCA: I think they should say, thanks, Al, I hope to one day meet you. Here's what's happening in Grand Forks.


ROCCA: Or thanks, Mr. Roker...

SAGAL: Exactly. Thank you, Mr. Roker, whoever you are.

ROKER: That's much better.

ROCCA: ...For that throw. Yeah.


SAGAL: So, Al, you're not just an anchor. You are also a writer and a chef. In fact, one of your novels is going to be on TV in a film adaptation, right?

ROKER: That's right. On Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, it's going - it's Al Roker's "Morning Show Mystery: Mortal Mishaps." And Holly Robinson Peete plays Billie Blessings. And she's a morning show co-host and a chef. And her executive producer is poisoned by a cake that she baked. And all fingers point to her, and she's got to prove herself innocent.

SAGAL: So wait a minute...

ROCCA: That's boring in comparison with what's actually happening.

SAGAL: Yeah.


ROKER: I didn't kill my executive producer.

SAGAL: So you're - you, as many people may know, are a morning TV show co-host who is also an acclaimed amateur chef.


SAGAL: And you have written a book in which your character - a TV co-host and chef - is accused of murdering her own executive producer.


SAGAL: And the executive producer of the "Today" show thought what of this book?


ROKER: Well, I don't know. He died before he told me.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: Well, Al Roker, you - this is, like, not a surprise to the entire nation, but you're delightful to talk to.

ROKER: Well, thank you.

SAGAL: And we have - we would love to talk to you all day. But, in fact, we have invited you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: We were all yellow.

SAGAL: So, Al Roker, we were thinking, you know your way around a cold front and a cold snap, but what do you know about Coldplay...



SAGAL: ...The British band that was founded 20 years ago this very week? So we're going to ask you three questions about the band Chris Martin used to escape from Gwyneth Paltrow for a few hours...


SAGAL: ...Most days.

ROKER: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Get two right, and you'll win our prize for one of our listeners. Bill, who is Al Roker playing for?

KURTIS: Sarah Anderson (ph) of Salt Lake City, Utah.

SAGAL: All right. First question. Coldplay, apparently - the band - the music can have strong effects on the people who hear it, as in which of these real-life cases? A, in 2007, a Seattle woman was arrested for attacking a guy who was singing a Coldplay song at karaoke just to make him stop; B, their hit song "Fix You" caused a worldwide uptick in therapist appointments in 2005; or C, lead singer Chris Martin was credited for inspiring the trend of men looking like they haven't shaved for exactly three days?

ROKER: I'm going to go with A.

SAGAL: And you'd be right, Al.


SAGAL: It was a karaoke thing.


SAGAL: A woman attacked this guy to stop him from singing a Coldplay song. And if you guessed the song was "Yellow," you would be right.

ROKER: Ah-ha.

SAGAL: Next question, Al. The band's name, Coldplay, has an unusual origin story. What is it? A, it's a reference to Chris Martin's boyhood refuge, a walk-in refrigerator...


SAGAL: ...B, the band met in a basement theater production of "Our Town" where the furnace did not work; or C, there was another band named Coldplay, but they thought it was too depressing a name, so they gave it away to Chris Martin?

ROKER: I'm going to go with C.

SAGAL: And, Al, once again, you are correct.



SAGAL: That's what happened.


SAGAL: Another band got - another guy named his band Coldplay, and then he said, that's too dark and depressing. And Chris Martin...

POUNDSTONE: Why is that dark and depressing?

SAGAL: He just thought it was. He ended up - that guy - naming his band Keane for some reason.

ROKER: That worked out well for him.

SAGAL: It did.


KURTIS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: So here's your last question to see if you can be perfect to this. We have to talk about, of course, Gwyneth Paltrow, who was married to the lead singer, Chris Martin, for a while. She gets a lot of headlines - more than he does - for her lifestyle advice. Which of these is something that Gwyneth Paltrow has really told people to do? A, be nice to water because it has feelings; B, get stung by bees on purpose; or C, take medical advice from a ghost?

ROKER: I'm going with B.

SAGAL: You're going to go with which?


SAGAL: In fact, B is correct, but so is A and C. She has done all of those.


ROKER: Oh, that Gwyneth.

SAGAL: She's amazing. Bill, how did Al Roker do on our quiz?

KURTIS: In his neck of the woods, he got them all right.

ROCCA: Excellent. Excellent.


KURTIS: Good going, Al.

ROKER: Thank you.

ROCCA: I want...


ROCCA: I want to thank him at the end.

POUNDSTONE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: You do?

ROCCA: Yeah.

ROKER: It's true.

SAGAL: OK. All right. All right. So here we go. So Mo has asked if he can thank Al Roker. So I'm going to do the outro, and then you take it over, OK?

ROCCA: Here we go.

SAGAL: Here we go. So Al Roker is a co-anchor on NBC's "Today" show. Al Roker, thank you so much for joining us. Oh, wait. You want to do that?

ROCCA: (In high-pitched voice) Thanks, Al.


SAGAL: Al Roker, thank you so much.

ROKER: I hate it when you weatherpeople do that.

SAGAL: Bye-bye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.