Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

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Wait Wait Update

Wait Wait Don\'t Tell me taping“Wait, Wait” was a blast. It was kind of weird to be watching people record a radio show. Let’s face it, the set is pretty simple because the listeners don’t have a clue.

The stage was set with a table for panelists on one side, podiums for Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell on the other side, and a big green leather chair in the middle for the special guest segment. Above was a giant projection screen so we could see closeups. This feed was also shown over in a satellite theater for folks gathered for a simulcast viewing.

There were preliminary funny bits – Peter Sagal is incredibly quick witted and started off by welcoming us and generally touting the wonderfulness of public radio listeners in general and Nutmeggers in particular. Nutmeggers being people from Connecticut, which sounds kind of silly, but we are the Nutmeg State so it works. Peter thought it was great that they sold enough tickets to fill two theaters, including people sitting there watching a radio program on TV.

Basically the night was them just going through the radio show, with a few short breaks of a minute or two in between segments. So it went quickly with lots of great lines about politics and baseball (Red Sox and Yankees rivalry always gets a response here). Special guest for the “Not my Job” section was Jane Curtin, who is a Nutmegger herself. She and Peter had a long chat about her career, SNL and other shows. I’m thinking that part will be edited down a bit for broadcast.

My friend M and I had a great time visiting and laughing along with 2800 other people. The rest of you will get a chance this weekend. Listen in and see if you can hear me up in the balcony.



Can’t wait for “Wait, Wait”

Wait Wait Don\'t Tell Me lineupTomorrow night I’m off to Hartford with a friend for a taping of NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”, the “oddly informative” news quiz show. The tickets are a pledge benefit but since I pledged last October, it feels almost like a freebie. I totally adore the show and am happy dancing to have the chance to watch they have so much fun with the news.

If you don’t know “Wait Wait”, you can listen to a podcast of the most recent shows from their website. There are 3 panelist who compete against each other on behalf of folks at home, who can win Carl Kassel’s message on their answering machine. Each show features a pretty big name person answering questions in the “Not My Job” segment. The final segment is a lightening round to determine a winner, with questions based on recent stories in the news.

This all sounds pretty blah but trust me, it’s hysterical. The panelists bring wit, sarcasm, humor, and smarts and the show is not only entertaining but, well, oddly informative. Tomorrow night we’ll have 2.5 hours to enjoy a taping and spotting our favorite panelists and personalities from the nosebleed seats in the balcony. But hey, they were free tickets. What’s not to like?

Let me add that Public Radio ranks as #44 on the list of Stuff White People Like. If you haven’t checked that out, go take a look. Maybe while playing the “Wait Wait” podcast πŸ™‚

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Driving with Friends

Driving with musicClick and Clack, the Car Talk guys, entertained me this morning on a touristy drive, followed by Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and the folksy charm of Prairie Home Companion. I’ve been listening to these NPR shows for years in Boston (and even took my car to the Good News Garage to be fixed by The Guys), and it delights me that I can take them with me to a new place.

I love singing along with the radio in the car but I also spend my commutes listening to Morning Edition on the way in and All Things Considered on the way home. They go into depth with stories that might get a 60-second spot, if that, on the national news and have educated me on a wide variety of topics. I don’t always agree with them, mind you, but I love that my drive time is interesting and productive.

Listening to Prairie Home Companion’s very special summertime compilation show featuring all things Norwegian had me engaged and smiling as I drove along, tapping my toes to the snappy rhythms of fiddles and grinning at the ad for Norwegenetics and everything in between. All is well in Lake Wobegon, where β€œthe women are strong, the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

Hearing the familiar voices in the car with me makes me feel less alone in a new place. I know what to expect when I listen to NPR — which shows will inform, challenge, or simply entertain — and am rarely disappointed. Which is why I support NPR financially. If you listen, I hope you do, too.