Bluff The Listener

Dec 27, 2013
Originally published on December 28, 2013 8:03 am
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CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Carl, thanks everybody. So to produce this week's show, we reached out to you on Twitter, on Facebook and on the street, which by the way we hereby promise never to do again, and we absolutely swear we didn't mean anything by it.


KASELL: We asked you what you remembered from our last few years of shows, and the answers as they came in tended to focus on the same handful of segments.

SAGAL: Which makes us ask, now what's the rest of the show, chopped liver? I mean, like we had a really nice interview with Larry King once. You guys didn't even mention it. It was charming. He told a joke and everything.

KASELL: Fine, we're OK with whatever you choose. It turns out that many of you are music fans.

SAGAL: Well if you were music fans, then you would not have asked to hear this Bluff the Listener game from December 2008 with panelists Tom Bodett, Roxanne Roberts and Paula Poundstone.

MIKE GRAY: Hi, this is Mike Gray from Waco, Texas.

SAGAL: Hey Mike, how are things in Waco?

GRAY: They're actually cold, believe it or not.

SAGAL: Yeah, well, it gets that way. Well Mike, it's nice to have you with us. You're going to play our game in which you must tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Mike's topic?

KASELL: Go ahead, Jack Frost, just try and nip at my nose.

SAGAL: Are you tired of Santa? Do you see a red nose and want to paint it black?


SAGAL: Well, we know just the thing to rekindle that Christmas glow. Each of our panelists will tell you about a new, adorable holiday character that's been introduced this year in order to spread a particular brand of holiday cheer.


SAGAL: Choose that real story, you'll win Carl Kasell's voice on your home answering implement. Ready to play?

GRAY: Yes, sir.

SAGAL: First up, let's hear from Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Once a minor character in "The Night Before Christmas," Vixen is now the spokes-reindeer for a new Christmas campaign to prevent bad boob jobs. The animated Vixen, sporting a red and green bikini and bodacious curves, is the poster girl for the California Association of Certified Plastic Surgeons, which has launched PSAs and billboards promoting responsible cosmetic procedures.

Quote, every December, husbands and boyfriends buy bargain-basement breast augmentation for the women in their lives, explained association chair Dr. Steve Cohen. We wanted to educate them in a festive way. In the 30-second spot, Vixen says, quote: Santa knows who's naughty, nice and who's sexy. If plastic surgery is on your wish list, make sure you're in the right hands: a certified professional.

SAGAL: Vixen, the C-cup reindeer.


SAGAL: Your next story of the new kid on the Christmas block comes from Paula Poundstone.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: The GM in-house magazine Motor Mouth carried a Christmas story last week to explain the auto company's peril to little ears: Sparky, the little carmaker's Christmas wish. Sparky was a chief executive office of a major car company. The company was a magical place with lots of workers who put together big, big cars that they had such fun making and that took lots of gasoline. Glug-glug. People loved to drive them. The big, big cars went like hotcakes.

Then one day, gas prices went way, way up, and nobody wanted to buy Sparky's cars anymore. He couldn't pay the workers. The spending money in the whole world started to go away. So the brave little CEO went into his big airplane and flew to the North Pole to ask the Christmas elves for a $25 billion loan.


POUNDSTONE: But the elves had no Christmas spirit, and they sent Sparky away. He was so sad. He knew the economy of the whole world depended on his company. So he drove back in his big, big car. Glug-glug. And he wrote them a note, dotted with tears, and put it under their tree. Dear Elves, all right, I'll take only $15 billion for my company - and only give me a dollar.

SAGAL: Aw, Sparky, the auto company CEO and his Christmas journey. Your last story of a new kid on the Christmas block comes from Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, ACCCE or Accce, this week unveiled their new holiday mascot, Frosty the Coalman. In a nationwide effort to promote their oxymoronic, not-really-an-alternative alternative fuel, the rollout on their website features animated, bug-eyed lumps of coal singing this catchy number.

(Singing) Frosty the Coalman is a jolly, happy soul. He's abundant here in America and he helps our economy roll. Frosty the Coalman is getting cleaner every day. He's affordable and adorable, and he helps workers keep their pay. There must have been some magic in clean coal technology for when they looked for pollutants there was nearly none to see. Everybody sing.

SAGAL: No, no.




SAGAL: I applaud your Christmas spirit, everyone. All right, Mike, let me review your choices for you.


SAGAL: From Roxanne, Vixen the augmented reindeer; from Paula Poundstone, Sparky the auto CEO; or from Tom Bodett, Frosty the Coalman. Which of these is the real story of a new holiday character to warm you on those cold, long nights?

GRAY: Well, I'm going to have to go with "Frosty the Coalman."

SAGAL: Frosty.

GRAY: That just sounds so ridiculous. But there's so much stuff going on here in central Texas with coal, you know.

SAGAL: Right. You wouldn't put it past them, is that what you're saying?

GRAY: No, I wouldn't. No, I wouldn't.

SAGAL: All right. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we can do nothing better than simply bring you this.


UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing) Frosty the Coalman is getting cleaner every day. He's affordable and adorable, and he helps workers keep their pay.


SAGAL: That is catchy. That, of course, was the Frosty the Coalman jingle from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. Congratulations, Mike, you got it right.


SAGAL: Well done. You earned a point for Tom. You've won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your home answering machine. Well done, sir.

GRAY: It was a pleasure. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.