City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Still giggling over ‘Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!’ in Atlanta


Since I’ve now heard every joke that could possibly be on this week’s episode of “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me,” you’d think I’d be willing to skip the show this week. Oh, no, no, no.

I’ll be in the living room with the radio on, a newspaper on my lap and  two dogs trying to oust the dead tree interloper from their rightful place. Maybe we’ll make popcorn. The show is only an hour on the air, but the live show recorded in Atlanta last night was closer to two. I have to know what makes the cut.

Although I was in the very, very, very back, against the wall in the “Grand Tier” of far-away seats, I had a clear view of panelists Roy Blount Jr., Amy Dickinson and Charlie Pierce, the table for producers and engineers, the podiums for host Peter Sagal and announcer Carl Kasell and a chair for guest Rick Sanchez of CNN. It’s a simple set-up, but watching “Wait, Wait…” was the most fabulous night I’ve had at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. David Sedaris: I’m sorry.

You can get a more detailed review of the show from Rodney Ho’s Radio TV Talk blog. (It’s true, half the AJC was there. Journalists all have NPR crushes.) But here are a few other tidbits from the show:

  • There’s not much local humor, but Sagal thanked “Mr. Cobb Energy” for the “magnificent” theater, made a dig at one-time Atlantan John Mayer and seems smitten with Chik-fil-A. I assumed we were in for a traffic snipe when he mentioned they entered Atlanta “the traditional way,” but no, he just went for it: “looting farms, from the North.” Ooooooh.
  • I believe the show got as racy as it has ever gotten, courtesy of Tiger Woods. At one point, it sounded like we were in for a dramatic reading of porn titles by Decatur native Roy Blount Jr. Actually, Tiger, since I know you’re reading, I recommend you just go ahead and shut the radio off this weekend.
  • I won’t say whether guest Rick Sanchez won his quiz, but I will say they were asking the Twitter addict about the telegraph. (We also heard he’s writing a book about what people on Twitter think because, you know, 140 characters isn’t enough.) His self-aware moment of the night: “This is cable news, there’s always another pundit to talk to.”
  • The post-show Q&A was filled with revelations. They travel maybe a dozen times per year, and maybe, if we love our public radio station enough, they’ll come back to Atlanta! Yes, the panel members write their own fake news stories! Carl Kasell definitely thinks he’d win in a fight with Roy Blount Jr.! Peter Sagal was a long-time Star Trek fan, but when he watched the original series again as an adult, he thought, “Why not unwrap a huge cunk of gouda and smell it?”

In the end, we were all rewarded with the most fabulouslyNPR-ish non-mug, non-T-shirt prize you can imagine: a tote bag.

Want to Listen? The “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” episode recorded in Atlanta this week will air on WABE 90.1 at 11 a.m. Dec. 12. The podcast will be available later on

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

One comment Add your comment


December 13th, 2009
11:48 pm

I bought tickets months ago but was out of town for work, and so I gave them away as early Christmas gifts. While I’m sorry to have missed it, I count myself fortunate to have had an 11th hour realization last summer that I was in downtown Chicago on a Thursday evening with nothing to do on an evening when my favorite show has it live taping. I was two blocks from the Chase Auditorium, a rather intimate setting, and seeing Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me was one of the highlights of my year.