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Who's Bill This Time?


BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. (Laughter) I'm a super-Billan (ph) - Bill Kurtis. And here is your host, a man who hates being called Pete, Pete Sagal.



Thank you, Bi (ph).


SAGAL: Thanks, everybody. We have a great show for you today. Later on, we're going to be talking to T-Pain, the musician and producer who, among many other things, won the first season of "The Masked Singer," where they give out awards to people without being able to see what they look like. Obviously, they stole that idea from us, and we will be suing them as soon as we can get a hold of our lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

In the meantime, let's do it old school. Give us a call, the number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Let's welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

ALISON BERGERON: Hi, this is Alison calling from Westbrook, Maine.

SAGAL: Hey, Allison. How are things in Maine?

BERGERON: Oh, they're so beautiful this time of year.

SAGAL: What do you do there?

BERGERON: I'm a software tester for a veterinary diagnostics company.

SAGAL: A veterinary diagnostics company? You mean there's a company that just does software for diagnosing medical problems in animals?

BERGERON: Basically, yes. So we produce analyzers and software that basically gives the feelings for your pet.

SAGAL: Really? I mean, does it, like, translate their noises? So like (groaning) means, like, I have a headache? I mean...

BERGERON: (Laughter) It's mostly blood work, but we should start developing technology for that. That'd be helpful.

SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Alison. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, you can see his new live comedy show, "Beats And Bits," July 22 at the Laugh Factory in Chicago and July 29 in San Francisco at Neck Of The Woods. It's Brian Babylon.


BRIAN BABYLON: Hey. How are you doing?

BERGERON: Hi, Brian.

SAGAL: Next, it's the syndicated advice columnist behind Ask Amy. It's Amy Dickinson.




SAGAL: And finally, a writer and producer for "Desus & Mero" on Showtime and the host of the podcast "Make My Day," Josh Gondelman.



SAGAL: Well, Alison, welcome to the show. You, of course, are going to play Who's Bill This Time? Once again, Bill Kurtis will start us off by reading three quotations from this week's news. If you can correctly identify or explain two of them, you will win our prize, any voice from our show you might choose for your voicemail. You ready to go?

BERGERON: I'm so ready.

SAGAL: Here we go. Now, your first quote is from an actual decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, although unlike the court, we have to censor it.

KURTIS: [Expletive] school. [Expletive] cheer. [Expletive] everything.

SAGAL: The court ruled that even though somebody said those words, her school could not stop her from being a what?

BERGERON: From having free speech?

SAGAL: Well, no - yes. Yes, they restored her free speech rights, but they also restored her position on what squad?

BERGERON: Oh, the cheer squad.

SAGAL: Yeah, OK. That's close enough.


SAGAL: They couldn't stop her from being a cheerleader. Cheerleader Brandi Levy was suspended from the JV squad at her Pennsylvania high school after reacting to not making the varsity squad by posting a picture to Snapchat with the quote you heard from Bill. The Supreme Court then decided that her suspension was a violation of her F Amendment rights.


GONDELMAN: I got to tell you, I want to hear this young woman's version of the classic be aggressive chant because I feel like her version of the cheer is way more aggressive.

BABYLON: Who is out there Snapchat snitching?

SAGAL: That's another - that is a really good question.

BABYLON: That's the real question.

SAGAL: The whole point of Snapchat is that it won't end up in front of the Supreme Court. I think that's, like, the point of the app. If you want to avoid litigation, use Snapchat. Now, the case was a big victory, really, for First Amendment rights, but it's terrible news for Mr. Jacobs (ph), a math teacher who is about to get absolutely destroyed on TikTok.

BABYLON: Oh, they're - they've been waiting to unleash on that guy.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Now, Amy, something I found out just today is that you yourself were a cheerleader.

DICKINSON: Yeah. And I was tossed off the squad. It was, you know...

BABYLON: What? There was some drama?

DICKINSON: Well, I got the lead in the school play, and I thought I could do both. But the cheerleaders were like, no, you have to choose.

SAGAL: You were thrown off the cheerleading squad for overachieving?

GONDELMAN: I was going to ask which constitutional amendment you violated.



GONDELMAN: Were you forcing people to quarter American soldiers in their homes again?


SAGAL: All right, Alison, your second quote is also about a Supreme Court ruling this last week.

KURTIS: They're free to make a buck.

SAGAL: That was Rick Telander from the Chicago Sun Times explaining how now, thanks to the Supreme Court, who can finally profit from their playing sports?

BERGERON: Student athletes.

SAGAL: Student athletes, Alison. Yes, exactly right.


SAGAL: The Supreme Court has ruled that NCAA athletes can finally get paid, sort of. The NCAA has maintained for years - and this is true; they argued this in front of the Supreme Court - that they shouldn't have to pay the student athletes who make them all that money because the appeal of college sports, you see, is that the students don't get paid. It's the spirit of amateurism. And they're right. There is nothing more exciting than a fast break during March Madness, and the point guard has to stop halfway to work a shift cleaning dorm toilets.

BABYLON: Peter, people who are fake Spider-Mans and Iron Mans on Hollywood Boulevard get paid more than these players do, and those people do it for the spirit of being someone fake.

SAGAL: Right.

BABYLON: (Laughter).

SAGAL: It was actually a limited ruling. The athletes can't be paid a salary like professionals, but they can be given things related to, quote, "educational expenses." It's like, wow, I didn't know they made Range Rovers with calculators in them.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

SAGAL: One argument - another argument is like, well, they are sort of getting paid. They're getting a free education, right? But many of them don't. A lot of those players you see, even at big-time schools, are paying tuition. It's this, like, pay us for the chance to work for free thing you only see in, like, high-end college athletics and improv theaters.


BABYLON: The people were getting so mad at the athletes who would, like, do one year and then go straight to the league saying they were just ruining the college game. Like, no, I want to get paid.

GONDELMAN: People might like watching amateurs play, but I'll tell you who's, like, not into the amateur experience, is amateurs.

SAGAL: Right. Exactly.


DICKINSON: Good point, yeah.

GONDELMAN: Nobody plays college sports, Division I especially, as, like, a hobby. They're not just like, oh, you know, I just need something to do for 46 hours a week that makes me puke.

SAGAL: All right, Alison, we've got one more quote for you, and here it is.

KURTIS: We think it'll take a few extra weeks.

SAGAL: That was a White House spokesman admitting, toward the end of a long list of achievements he was bragging about, that, no, the U.S. won't make the president's goal for getting most people vaccinated by when?

BERGERON: Independence Day.

SAGAL: Yes, Independence Day - the Fourth of July.


SAGAL: The U.S. will not meet its July Fourth goal set by President Biden to have 70% of U.S. adults with at least one vaccine shot by Independence Day. Isn't it embarrassing we couldn't get to 70%? Biden basically said to us, just get a C minus, and we couldn't even do that. We failed. And sadly, that means the country is going to have to repeat the last year.

BABYLON: Well, what if we look at it on a nice little bell curve? You know, you never know. You get a B minus.

SAGAL: Exactly.

DICKINSON: Well, wait; between between now and then, can't we think of some, like, incentives, some - you know...

SAGAL: Well, that's the funny thing. Part of the problem is vaccines are now widely available, but a lot of people just don't want to get it. So states are doing all these incentives. Ohio will enter you into a lottery to win a million dollars if you get vaccinated. West Virginia is giving away guns to make up for the fact that you won't be able to kill people by giving them COVID. And maybe people are just holding out for better incentives, like we do when the airlines want us to give up our seats. It's like, I bet if I hold out for a few more weeks and infect a few more people, I can get a fruit basket.

BABYLON: Isn't D.C. giving out joints?

SAGAL: Yes - actually, no, I think it was New York.


SAGAL: There was one guy - there was one place that's like, I will give you a joint if you show me your vaccination card.

BABYLON: You've got to give them at least five joints.

GONDELMAN: (Laughter).

BABYLON: One joint is annoying. I need at least five joints.

SAGAL: Of course, a lot of people don't take the vaccine because they think it's unsafe, or so they will tell us on the Fourth while shooting Roman candles at each other. So do any of you guys have plans for the Fourth of July?

GONDELMAN: Yeah. I'm going to hide from all the people who haven't gotten the vaccine.


SAGAL: That's patriotic in its own way.


SAGAL: Bill, how did Alison do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Alison, your puppies will be happy to see you. You got a perfect score.

SAGAL: Congratulations, Alison.

BERGERON: Thank you so much. This was so much fun.

SAGAL: It was fun to have you. Bye-bye.


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