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Coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank. But first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924 or click the contact us link at our website, waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows right here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago or our upcoming shows in Boston, Mass., Durham, N.C., and, proud to say, our July 23 show at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.

MERLIN PIERRO: Hi, I'm Merlin Pierro from St. Louis, Mo.

SAGAL: You're Merlin?

PIERRO: Yeah, like the wizard.


MO ROCCA: Awe, she hates it.

SAGAL: I had such joy, and you just killed.

FAITH SALIE: You should say that with pride. I know.


SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Merlin. Bill Kurtis is going to read for you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly on two of the limericks, you will be a winner.


SAGAL: Ready to play?




SAGAL: OK, here's your first limerick.

BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: Back when giants like John Wayne held court, they'd use actors like Tom Cruise for sport. Though they cry like big babies, they are dwarfed by the ladies. Today's leading men are too...

PIERRO: Short.

KURTIS: Short it is.

SAGAL: Right, yes. Short, very good.


SAGAL: Britain's Daily Mail newspaper conducted an exhaustive scientific study and determined that today's leading actors are significantly shorter than the stars of yesteryear. Gregory Peck was 6-foot-3. John Wayne, 6-foot-4. Ryan Gosling is only 3-foot-2.


SAGAL: His entire torso is CGI. Did you know that? Furthermore, today's stars are dwarfed by their leading ladies, who seem to be getting taller. So in Judd Apatow's latest movie, Kate Upton carries love interest Seth Rogen around in a BabyBjorn.


SAGAL: It's cute though. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: Our slogans for Coke aren't stealthy. Drink Coke so investors stay wealthy. Now our spin doctors art says it's good for the heart. We claim that our product is...

PIERRO: Healthy.

SAGAL: Healthy, yes. Very good, Merlin.

KURTIS: It's magic, Merlin.


SAGAL: Coca-Cola, bless their hearts, a little desperate to increase sales is rebranding itself as a health food, which is weird 'cause it's neither healthy nor food.


SAGAL: Coke says to eat right, have a, quote, "mini can of Coke with a handful of almonds for a healthy snack," unquote.


SAGAL: It really works. All you have to do is eat the almonds and then take the can of Coke, do 10 bicep curls with it in each arm, then throw it as far as you can. Here is your next limerick.

KURTIS: Read the zoo's inter-cage memoranda. Put some curtains up on the veranda. Let Bai Yun and Gao Gao have privacy now now. For God's sake, let's stop filming the...

SAGAL: Rhymes with memoranda.




PIERRO: Panda.

SAGAL: Yes pandas. Stop filming the pandas.


SAGAL: The San Diego Zoo panda cam, wildly popular on the internet. You can tune in any time to see what the pandas are up to. They're adorable. But the zoo announced that they will be turning it off for the pandas' very brief, 48-hour mating season. And that is so unfair 'cause usually they're just lying around eating bamboo. And now something interesting is happening, and we can't watch. But here's what I cannot figure out. They're saying we're turning off the Internet camera because the pandas - we want the pandas to feel privacy so they can mate. The pandas know they're on the Internet?


SAGAL: The male panda's like, I don't care if she's in heat. I'm not doing anything until the little red light goes off.


GABE LIEDMAN: But all these human beings just strolling by with popcorn, that's fine.

SAGAL: Yes. Bill, how did Merlin do on the quiz?

KURTIS: Merlin got two right clean and one with our brilliant audience, also right. Congratulations, Merlin.

SAGAL: Well done, Merlin. Thank you so much.



SAGAL: Congratulations. Thanks for playing.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) I'm just a panda, sexy little ole panda bear. But I'll dance for you if you give me a quarter. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.