The Lightest Live Moments: Celebrating The Best 'Morning Edition' Bloopers

Nov 8, 2019

As Morning Edition marks its 40th anniversary, the show revisits some of its perfect imperfections.

Among them is a blooper from 1990, when Cokie Roberts' basset hound, Abner, demanded his breakfast outside her home broadcast studio. The unscheduled appearance turned Abner into a public radio folk hero. Listeners couldn't get enough.

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BOB EDWARDS, BYLINE: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Bob Edwards.


And I'm Rachel Martin. And no. You are not hearing things. You did not get stuck in a time warp. Bob Edwards, who hosted this show for 24 1/2 years, is here to help celebrate MORNING EDITION'S 40th anniversary.

EDWARDS: That's right. We've been looking back this week on some of the show's finest moments. That's not what you're about to hear, however.

MARTIN: (Laughter) Instead we're going to celebrate some of our perfect imperfections, like this one from the 1980s that features you, Bob.


EDWARDS: Commentator Red Barber joins us now from Tallahassee, Fla. Red? Red was not joining us from Tallahassee, Fla. So what does Bob do when Red doesn't join us from Tallahassee, Fla.? Bob picks up some sports copy and moves on to find an interesting story to read.

MARTIN: Live radio (laughter). So speaking of, in 1990, a live interview with Cokie Roberts and political analyst Kevin Phillips was interrupted by a protester.


EDWARDS: Abner, the basset hound, demanded his breakfast outside Cokie's home broadcast studio.

MARTIN: The unscheduled appearance turned Abner into a public radio folk hero, and listeners couldn't get enough.


DAN WILLIAMSON: Good morning. This is Dan Williamson (ph) in Salisbury, Md. Was that a dog I heard in the newsroom?

KEVIN PHILLIPS: You know, the poll reactions on this...


PHILLIPS: ...Package are very negative.

WALT LOWEMAN: This is Walt Loweman (ph) calling from Morton, Ill., and I'm wondering whether the basset hound in the background is Democratic or Republican?

EDWARDS: Liberal Democrats don't care for it, either.


EDWARDS: But, Cokie, we haven't heard much from them in the last few days.


ERIC RENSBERGER: This is Eric Rensberger (ph) and Ellettsville, Ind. My only problem was that they never gave the dog the microphone.

EDWARDS: Here's a tip for all the budding radio hosts out there. Proofread your script ahead of time. That way, there's no surprises.

MARTIN: We're talking about you, Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne.


50 CENT: (Singing) Kind of money that the bank can't hold.


RENEE MONTAGNE, BYLINE: Last month, 50 Cent said he'd quit rapping if Kanye West's album "Graduation" outsold his album "Curtis" in its first week.

STEVE INSKEEP, BYLINE: And even if the competition increases sales, neither Mr. West, nor Mr. Cent figures to sell as many of their...


INSKEEP: Well, that's what it says here - Mr. - all right.

MONTAGNE: (Laughter) Mr. Cent...

INSKEEP: Figures to sell as many of their new records as...

MARTIN: Oh, Mr. Cent.

EDWARDS: I thought he was Fiddy (ph).

MARTIN: Right. Yes.

EDWARDS: Wasn't he Fiddy?

MARTIN: Yes. Yes. Good.

EDWARDS: Decorum and dignity are also important qualities in a radio host.

MARTIN: Yeah, and neither were on display after this story on public urination in France.


ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Paris is now focusing with renewed vigor on what it calls pipi sauvage, or wild peeing. Eleanor Beardsley, NPR News, Paris.

INSKEEP: Covering everything. It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MARTIN: Pipi sauvage.

INSKEEP: (Laughter).

MARTIN: I'm Rachel Martin.

INSKEEP: (Laughter).

EDWARDS: Not covering enough, I'd say.


MARTIN: Oh, man. What a 40 years it's been. We've had a great time thinking back to all the memories of this program. None of it would have been possible without our staff of producers, editors, directors and all the hosts we have had over the years.

EDWARDS: Also, all of the member stations that contributed with their reporting and storytelling. And, of course, our own NPR reporters who have woken up way too early for the past 40 years to deliver the news.

MARTIN: Bob Edwards, thank you so much for joining us. And here's to the next 40 years.

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