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Who's Bill This Time?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON, BYLINE: 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 there, Melinda. Why not try this Bill for a change? Bill Kurtis. And here's your host, a man who we introduce your host each week, mostly because we need to remind him, Peter Sagal.



Thank you so much, Bill. Later on, we're going to be talking to Symone, who was the winner of the latest season of "RuPaul's Drag Race" and some say the greatest contestant ever. So we expect her to be our greatest guest ever. But first, it's time to let your inner diva shine. Give us a call. 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.

JUDITH MADISON: Hi. My name is Judith, and I'm calling from Hyde Park, Vt.

SAGAL: Hey, Judith. What do you do there in Hyde Park?

MADISON: So I work at a restorative justice center with youth who are transitioning out of high school and some who have actually opted out of completing high school. And I support them in finding work.

SAGAL: Restorative justice center?

MADISON: Yeah, yeah. It's a great program.

SAGAL: It sounds like - like, something called a restorative justice center in a small town in Vermont sounds like a great hour-long drama from the '90s.

MADISON: It could be.

SAGAL: You know what I mean?

MADISON: Oh, my gosh. The restorative justice center, (vocalizing).

SAGAL: Exactly. Exactly.

LUKE BURBANK: Or the place you take your cabinets when you don't want them anymore and they're going to end up in somebody else's house.

MADISON: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Either. Either would be fine. Welcome to the show, Judith. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's the host of the daily podcast "TBTL" and the public radio variety show "Live Wire." It's Luke Burbank.


BURBANK: Hey, Judith.

MADISON: Hey, Luke.

SAGAL: Next up, it's the comedian who'll be at the Spokane and Tacoma Comedy Clubs June 3 through the 6th. It's Alonzo Bodden.


ALONZO BODDEN: Hello, Judith. How are you?

MADISON: Hello. Great.

SAGAL: And finally, you can hear her every week on the podcast, "Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone." Download it directly from her website paulapoundstone.com or wherever you get your podcasts. It's Paula Poundstone.




SAGAL: Judith, 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?

MADISON: I am so ready. Yes.

SAGAL: Here is your first quote.

KURTIS: Fruits, legumes, fungi, grains, and so much more.

SAGAL: That was chef Daniel Humm reading off some of the ingredients he'll be using now that his fancy restaurant and many others will no longer be serving what?


SAGAL: Yes, meat.


SAGAL: Mr. Humm is the chef and owner of Eleven Madison Park in New York, called one of the greatest restaurants in the world and the first three-star Michelin restaurant to make the change to an all-plant-based menu. The restaurant says the switch became possible after finally perfecting a way to force feed a plant to fatten up its liver.

BURBANK: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Now, it sounds like a huge change, but remember; this is not a steakhouse or a burger joint. This just means an end to, like, three small droplets of chicken foam placed carefully in a leaf of arugula like dewdrops in a meadow.

POUNDSTONE: I love the idea.

BURBANK: You do?

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. I mean, I don't eat it really fancy restaurants, but I still love the idea. There's plenty to eat...


POUNDSTONE: ...That - in fact, they've asked me to write their slogan, there's plenty to eat that is not meat.


BODDEN: Restaurants like this - I mean, I'm going to speak for myself. I always look at them as artwork, anyway. To go to one of these restaurants, I always think, where am I going to eat on the way home...

SAGAL: Right.

BODDEN: ...After I have dinner there? So I'm OK with their plant-based menu as long as I can grab a burger on the way back to the hotel.

BURBANK: I don't know if this came up on the show recently, but there's a very fancy restaurant by where I used to live on an island. And the whole spiel from this restaurant was that all of the food that they served people was from the island or from the waters around the island.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BURBANK: And the bill was significant.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah.

BURBANK: And there was a New York Times expose two weeks ago that a lot of the food was from Costco.


SAGAL: No, really?

BURBANK: I have never wanted to be part of a class-action lawsuit more in my life. I want my 1,100 back, Willows Inn.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BODDEN: From Costco on the island, so that made it OK.

SAGAL: Was the restaurant called Kirkland just to cover up?

BURBANK: You know what? That was a dead giveaway.

SAGAL: It really was.

BODDEN: I'm not sure where exactly this restaurant is, but there is a huge opportunity for someone to open like a Ruth's Chris Steak House right next door...

SAGAL: Right next to it.

BODDEN: ...Just right next to it just when...

SAGAL: Yeah. There's Eleven Madison Park. And look over here, Twelve Madison Park. You just walk in.

All right, your next quote is a New York Post headline no one, but no one, clicked on.

KURTIS: See inside Bill Gates' secret love nest with gal pal.

SAGAL: Bill Gates' love life is suddenly in the news this week. Why?

MADISON: Oh, he and Melinda are calling it quits.

SAGAL: They are.


SAGAL: Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they're getting divorced after 27 years of marriage. That raises so many questions. What problems did they have that even an infinite amount of money could not solve? And will their philanthropy be affected? It won't be the same if it's the Bill or Melinda Gates Foundation.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah. It's - you know what? There's a beautiful moral in this story.

SAGAL: What is that?

POUNDSTONE: People shouldn't be in couples.


BURBANK: Beautiful, Paula.

SAGAL: One of the things that happens, of course, whenever these very wealthy people split up is all of a sudden, instead of like a billionaire couple, you have two single billionaires. So as you can imagine, suitors will be flocking. Suddenly there are dozens of attractive, available women telling Mr. Gates that they have malaria. As for Melinda Gates, what do we know about her? She's committed to international philanthropy, so she'll be getting lots of DMs from doctors without pants.


BODDEN: How much do the lawyers get paid in a divorce like this, right? I mean, they're dividing up - what? - a...

BURBANK: They're not using lawyers.

BODDEN: ...Hundred billion dollars or more.

BURBANK: They're just working it out informally.

SAGAL: Are they? Is that true?


BURBANK: No. There's like a trillion dollars on the line.

BODDEN: There have to be lawyers involved. I imagine Jeff Bezos calls Bill Gates and says, hey, Bill, I got a guy.


BODDEN: You can leave with 100 billion. I got a guy.

SAGAL: They should do - I don't know - this is a true story. When Warren Buffett and his wife decided they didn't want to be together anymore...

POUNDSTONE: Wait; when did that happen?

SAGAL: That happened many, many years ago. Many, many years ago.


SAGAL: In fact, his wife has subsequently died. But this happened many years ago. And this is what he said. He said to her, why bother getting divorced? Go live your life with whomever you like, and I'll support you. I have more money than God. It won't be a problem. Whatever you need, you can have. And I'll live my life, and we won't need to go through the misery and publicity and expense of a divorce. And they said, OK, and that's what they did for the rest of her life.

BURBANK: The thing with Warren Buffett that's so charming is he, you know, lives in this house in Omaha that he's lived in forever, a very modest house. He goes to - I think it's like a particular fast-food restaurant and gets his lunch every day. And at some point, his wife woke up and said, I believe we are billionaires.


BURBANK: And I believe I would like to...

SAGAL: Excuse me. Excuse me.

BURBANK: ...Not eat at Wendy's today, Warren.


SAGAL: Judith.


SAGAL: Judith, your last quote is a headline from The Washington Post.


KURTIS: Are the Bidens giants?

SAGAL: That question was prompted after a photo was published showing the seemingly enormous Bidens standing next to whom this week?

MADISON: Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed, the Carters.


SAGAL: That's very good. In case you didn't see it, some weird combination of a wide-angle lens and forced perspective made it seem as if the Bidens were, like, three times larger than the Carters, as if in the 40 years between their two presidencies, the human race evolved into a much larger form. Now, this is interesting. I don't know if you knew this. Joe Biden was the first ever sitting president to pay a visit to the Carter home in Georgia, partially because Carter was seen by previous Democrats as a loser, partially because not until the Bidens could anyone figure out how to get their normal human bodies through their tiny round door.


BODDEN: Wouldn't you think that whoever gets the gig photographing presidents would know what they're doing? Like, that's got to be a good gig amongst photographers. Wouldn't you get somebody who's like, oh, I'm going to make them all look the same size, like real life? I'm going to somehow magically reproduce them in the size they actually are. How - there's 25 million teenage girls who could have selfied this picture better than whoever they hired.

SAGAL: By the way, the Carters are the oldest presidential couple to have ever lived. They have survived longer than any other president and spouse in history. And you know what happens?

POUNDSTONE: Because they don't need a lot of food.

SAGAL: That's probably right. You know what happens when you get older, is you shrink. They're smaller. In fact, he's so small now, the former president goes by the name Jiminy Carter. And you know how - you know how he used to be a peanut farmer? Now he literally is. He farms one peanut.


SAGAL: All right, Bill, how did Judith do on our quiz?

SAGAL: Judith is from Vermont, and why wouldn't she win? She got three right.


SAGAL: Congratulations.

MADISON: Thank you.

POUNDSTONE: Woo. Nice job.

MADISON: Thank you.

SAGAL: Yes, that's right. Judith, congratulations. Thank you so much for playing.

MADISON: Thank you so much. This was great.

SAGAL: Take care.

POUNDSTONE: Bye, Judith.

MADISON: Bye. Thanks.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.