Day 4: I am Thankful for “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”

I don’t remember when I stumbled across this NPR quiz show. I think I’ve been listening to it for about two-three years now. I used to listen in the car, but the kids talk over just about anything I put on the radio. Happily I discovered the shows at, and I now usually listen Mondays at work.

It pretty much saves Monday.

It’s hosted by Peter Sagal, a self-depreciating, self-declared geek, and co-hosted by golden-throated Carl Kassel — who is dry, deep voiced, and hilarious. They have a bunch of panelists, among them writers, comics, advice columnists, and pundits. The one that consistently slays me is Paula Poundstone. Her delivery and incredulousness are hysterical. I think the thing she says most is, “Who does these studies, Peter?”

It’s a call-in quiz show, and they find unusual news stories — or they make the news unusual because of the format. They do a bluff-the-listener segment, where each of the panelists tells a bizarre story to the caller, and the caller has to pick the real story. They also do a quiz called “Not My Job”, where they ask all kinds of people — scientists, writers, actors, poets, politicians, and more — questions about something they know very little about (allegedly).

The whole show keeps me giggling in my cubicle for about 45 minutes while I work on other stuff. Sometimes I can’t help but laugh out loud (usually because of a Paula Poundstone well-timed one-liner). It helps brighten up my Monday in a big way.

What is your favorite Monday brightener? Remember, I’m donating $5 to the Greater Community Food Bank for each comment this month!