Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

The Oddly Informative News Quiz from NPR

Now in its 15th season, the Peabody Award-winning show, Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!, uses current stories (from the global to the ridiculous) for questions and comedy. Host Peter Sagal, along with official judge and scorekeeper Carl Kasell, leads a rotating panel of comedians, humorists and journalists, listener contestants and celebrity guests through a comic review of the week’s news. Contestants vie for the most coveted prize in all of public radio: a custom-recorded greeting by Kasell for their voicemail.

Each week, Sagal quizzes the panelists and listeners to determine just how closely they paid attention to the week's news. He serves up questions in all forms: lightning rounds, tape from NPR news shows, multiple choice, identify the “fake” stories, and fill-in-the-blank limericks. Listeners call 888-WAIT-WAIT for a chance to win the show’s coveted prize: a custom-recorded greeting by Carl Kasell for their home answering machine or voicemail.

One of the most popular segments is “Who's Carl This Time?,” in which Kasell recites quotes from the week’s newsmakers as contestants guess who he is impersonating. The show’s “Not My Job” segment, when famous people are quizzed on subjects about which they know absolutely nothing, has attracted such names as President Barack Obama (okay, he was Senator Obama at the time…), actor Tom Hanks,  Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and comedian Stephen Colbert.

A rotating trio of witty panelists completes the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! team. They include author and humorist Roy Blount, Jr., advice columnist Amy Dickinson, Washington Post columnist Roxanne Roberts, writer and performer Adam Felber, author P.J. O’Rourke, comedian Paula Poundstone humorist Mo Rocca and more.

In 2011, the show made its television debut on BBC America with a "2011 Year in Review" special, which revisited the top stories of the year from an American and British perspective and celebrity guests from both sides of the pond including award-winning writer Neil Gaiman.

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is a co-production of NPR and Chicago Public Radio. The program debuted nationally in 1998 and quickly established itself as a weekend favorite.

Visit the show’s website at waitwait.npr.org to take the weekly news quiz, download the weekly podcast, find out what newsmaker personality you most resemble or find a local station and broadcast time.

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  • Dec 19 , 2013
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