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Wait, Wait!

May 10, 2008

I had the incredible opportunity to attend the live taping of NPR’s “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” Thursday night at Proctors in Schenectady. Granted, I paid for the ticket, but it was still amazing. I have been a fan of this show for about a year now – I don’t know how long WAMC (my local NPR affiliate) has been carrying it, but I’m glad it’s on their schedule now. If you’ve ever heard the show, you know it’s a hilarious send-up of current events – they call it “NPR’s oddly informative news quiz.” It’s that, and a lot more.

Having worked in radio, I was not awestruck by all the producers on stage, and all of the broadcast equipment – boring (to me). What I loved was:

  • Watching the normally staid and businesslike Carl Kasell run around the stage at beginning of the show giving the panelists high-fives, and then watching him do celebrity impressions while never cracking a smile. Absolutely hilarious, considering Carl Kasell is the quintessential newsman, and has been the newscaster for Morning Edition since it began in 1979.
  • The witty (and spontaneous) repartee among the panelists – Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell had a script, but the panelists (Mo Rocca, Amy Dickinson, and Charlie Pierce) did not.
  • The incredibly talented people who write the show – it was obvious they were scribbling notes right up until showtime – the news they riffed on was that current.
  • The audience Q & A after the show. Never missing an opportunity to grab a microphone in front of 2600 people, I raised my hand and asked the first question. Amy Dickinson said, “Ask us anything, as long as it’s not current events – we’re not good at that.” To which I answered, “Yeah, we know.” The audience howled. Peter Sagal then ripped the mic out of my hands. He gave it back, and I asked my question. I was in my glory. The next day, several of my friends called and emailed, mentioning that they heard me and my wise-ass remark. 🙂

If Wait, Wait ever comes to your town, I urge you to go. In the meantime, make sure you tune in – the show is one of the best things on radio today.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2008 12:54 pm

    I am slightly embarrassed to say that I have never heard the show. My NPR listening is rather limited to the mornings (Marketplace, which I enjoy listening to) and the PM drive home.

    I am now a HUGE nd I have podcasts galore on my new iPod.

    iTunes didn’t have the Sch’dy broadcast for some reason. I’m going to the actual site to get it and I’ll listen to it tonight.

    Congrats on getting heard and getting your voice heard (and for getting the laugh in true Wendy Fashion!)

  2. June 18, 2008 11:32 am

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Thoroughness

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