Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!

From Academic Kids

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! is an hour-long weekly news quiz (radio game show) produced and distributed by National Public Radio in the United States. The show is hosted by Peter Sagal, with scorekeeper Carl Kasell and a panel of three (drawn from Roy Blount, Jr., Sue Ellicott, Adam Felber, P.J. O'Rourke, Paula Poundstone, Charles P. Pierce, Roxanne Roberts, Mo Rocca and Richard Roeper). The program debuted in 1998.

Listeners call or send e-mails to nominate themselves as contestants. The producers select a group of these listeners to be on the show and play games with questions based on the week's news. These games include:

  • Who's Carl This Time? – The contestant must identify the speaker or explain the context of three quotations read by Morning Edition news-reader Carl Kasell (or his substitute). Two correct answers constitute a win. (In a variation of this game, Carl Kasell's Countdown, three popular songs are played and the contestant must identify the related news story.)
  • Bluff the Listener – The contestant hears three stories read by the panelists and must determine the true news story from the fictional ones.
  • Listener Limerick Challenge – The contestant must identify the last word or phrase in three news-related limericks read by Carl Kasell. Two correct answers constitute a win.
  • Not My Job – A celebrity guest takes a three-question multiple-choice quiz on a topic unrelated to the celebrity's field. Two correct answers constitute a win and the prize goes to a randomly selected listener who contacted the show but was not chosen as a contestant.

The prize for winning any game is to have Carl Kasell record the greeting on the contestant's home answering machine.

In between games, Peter Sagal asks the panelists questions from the week's news and the panelists earn points by giving correct answers. A panelist also earns a point if a contestant chooses his/her story in the Bluff the Listener game, whether that story was true or made-up. At the end of the show, the panelists take a Lightning Fill-In-The-Blank quiz. Each panelist is given eight questions and scores 2 points for each correct answer. After the quiz all the points are totaled and the panelist with the highest score is declared the week's champion. Panelists do not receive prizes for winning.

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! is produced at the studios of WBEZ in Chicago (Chicago Public Radio). A few times a year the cast travels to various cities in the United States and produces a road show in front of a live audience. Beginning May 12, 2005, the show will be recorded on most Thursday nights in front of an audience at the Bank One auditorium in Chicago.

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