The Listening Post: Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me

The Listening Post

English-language podcasts are a free, easy, and entertaining way to sharpen your listening skills and learn something new. Enjoy this recommendation.

“We will build a great wall along the southern border, and Mexico will pay for the wall. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it.”

NPR's Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me

As Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s popular radio program Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me asked a contestant on Saturday, who said this to Americans last Wednesday night but “somehow . . . forgot” to say it to the Mexican president earlier that afternoon? If you answered American Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, you would have been one step closer to winning Wait Wait’s game Who’s Bill This Time?

Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me has been on the air since 1983. With the sharp wit of host Sagal, the comic vocal performance of announcer Bill Kurtis, and a rotating panel of humorists, journalists, and comedians, the weekly news quiz show is a great source of entertainment.

While many of the items mentioned in games like This Week’s News are quite easy for anyone who keeps up with the news, you can still learn all sorts of quirky facts.

For example, did you know that through the use of brain scans, scientists have shown that dogs know when people are lying? Or that there is a guinea pig matchmaking service in Switzerland where it is illegal to own just one? Here’s a really goofy one: did you know that over the summer KFC sold their own brand of sunscreen that actually smells like fried chicken?

Each episode also has a celebrity guest who joins the program in a segment called Not My Job, in which the celebrity answers multiple choice questions on topics only seemingly related to their job. Earlier this year jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding was called on to answer questions about other kinds of “bases”: base jumping, baseball, and the Swedish pop group Ace of Base.

Whether the contestants win or lose, the program makes you think and laugh.

Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me is available wherever National Public Radio is broadcast. It can also be streamed or downloaded through the NPR One app (iOSAndroid) or as a podcast on all major providers.

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