carl kasell’s voice has finally arrived!

Carl Kasell, NPR Newscaster, Wait Wait...Dont Tell Me! Judge, and quite possible the coolest man around!

Carl Kasell, NPR Newscaster, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! Judge, and quite possible the coolest man on earth!

how cool is this!

perhaps the most coveted prize in all of comedy, game shows, and general geekdom has finally arrived. carl kasell has recorded the message on my iphone and i could not be happier. after my win on wait wait…don’t tell me!, i was ecstatic. however, i had always wondered how they’d get carl’s voice onto my voice mail. when i learned that i got to write the message i wanted him to say, i figured i’d have a little fun with it. so i did, and to his credit, carl kasell was an excellent sport and read my message as i wrote it – self-deprecating portions and all! what a thrill.

i bow to carl kasell a thousand times for his sense of humor and his willingness to make an npr nerd’s day. thank you to carl kasell, emily ecton, peter sagal, and the entire npr and wait wait team.

thank you. thank you. thank you!

now, to keep you all from calling me, i have uploaded an mp3 of carl kasell’s message for my iphone on my server. tell me what you think in the comments below. and listen to npr!!!

i just won the ‘bluff the listener’ game on npr’s ‘wait wait don’t tell me’

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!

one of the most significant events of my academic life took place on september 10, 2009: i won on npr’s ‘wait wait don’t tell me.’

every saturday, npr broadcasts the smartest game show on the airwaves, which also happens to be some of the smartest comedy on air. hosted by peter sagal, the show features an assorted cast of authors and comedians that answer questions about the past week’s news. the panelists include mo roccatom bodettpaul provenzapaula poundstoneroxanne robertscharlie piercep.j. o’rourkekyrie o’connoradam felberamy dickensonroy blount, jr., and julia sweeney.

in addition, there are several games where listener contestants call in and participate in games including, ‘who’s carl this time’ (a game where venerable npr news man carl kasell reads quotes from the week’s news and the listener contestant must guess what newsmaker said it), the listener limerick challenge (where listeners must fill in the last word of a limerick that rhymes something odd about the week’s news), and the ‘bluff the listener’ game (where each panelist reads a far-fetched story from the week’s news and the listener must choose truth from fiction by selecting the real story).

after writing to npr and begging notifying them that i wanted to participate, i was selected to play the ‘bluff the listener game.’ i received the good news from producer emily ecton, who told me how the taping of the show would work. i waited for her call on september 10, and was ready to play. i was uncertain that i would have any success because i rarely choose the correct story on the ‘bluff the listener’ game while listening in my car.

finally, the moment of truth came. peter sagal welcomed me, and after a brief introduction and chit chat about my job as an archaeologist and instructional technologist at ucla, i heard the panelists’ three stories:

kyrie o’connor told a story about two girls stuck in a storm drain and who, instead of using their cell phone to call 911, used it to update their facebook status to cry for help.

charlie pierce told a story of a farmer who shaved letters in alpacas to advertise a farm, but who became embarrassed when the alpacas moved around and ended up spelling some not-so-appropriate words.

p.j. o’rourke told a story about a man who injured himself with a weed wacker, and who went to the blue cross headquarters instead of a hospital.

i made my decision quickly. i said that while all three stories were very clever, i had to choose kyrie’s story because i am a huge facebooker and i’d forever regret it if i didn’t. and i was right! i chose the correct story and won my long-desired prize: carl kasell’s voice on my voice mail answering machine.

i was already an npr listener, contributing member, and huge fan of wait wait. now, i can humbly, but proudly say that i am small part of the long history of wait wait…don’t tell me.

behind the scenes with ‘wait wait… don’t tell me!’

i may very well be the world’s biggest wait wait… don’t tell me fan. i listen on 89.3 kpcc when i can. i podcast it on my iphone for my commute. it is perfect blend of trivial pursuit (my favorite game), current events, and comedy. besides, what good is comedy if there are no prizes?

so, i was delighted to see a behind the scenes look at the making of one of the wait wait episodes. local chicago station wttw 11 showed me how the scripts were written, how the panelists prepared, and i finally got to see what the venerable carl kasell and host peter sagal finally looked like. how cool would it be to have carl kasell’s voice on my home answering device? and i must admit, peter sagal looked nothing like i imagined. i envisioned a young smart ass with blond hair partly because his voice sounds so young and geeky. (geeks and nerds are a good thing in our npr world.) you can genuinely hear how excited he gets when one of the guests (especially the lesser known musicians that were his childhood favorites) appears on the show. peter sagal is one of the quickest, funniest, and most genuine folks on the radio.

i like all of the panelists. i am partial to mo rocca because of his deadpan wit, his understanding of all things nerd, and because i grew up watching him on the daily show. tom bodett (of motel 6 fame), paul provenza, paula poundstone, roxanne roberts, charlie pierce, p.j. o’rourke, kyrie o’connor, adam felber, amy dickenson, roy blount, jr., and the newest edition, former snl star julia sweeney are all smart, funny, and quick. if you’re half intelligent and love comedy, this is the show for you.

so have a listen and make wait wait a part of your regular podcast library.

%d bloggers like this: