• How Often Do Not My Job Guests Answer All Three Questions Correctly?

    After Michael Giacchino correctly answered all three of his Not My Job questions, Bill Kurtis mentioned that doing so was “a bit rare”. I wanted to go back and see how often Not My Job guests correctly answered all three Not My Job questions correctly.

    Thankfully, querying the Stats Page database for that wasn’t a very difficult task. The following is the query that I used to pull the data, grouping the results by year:

    Querying Stats Page Database for Not My Guest correctly answered all three questions

    Before I ran that query, I checked to see how many questions Bill Oakley answered correctly, as he is a bit of an exception to Not My Job guests. Earlier in 2016, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me taped two shows when they visited Portland, Oregon; in which, Bill Oakley was the Not My Job guest for the second taping. Since the second show was not aired as a normal Wait Wait show, they aired Bill Oakley’s Not My Job segment as part of a Best Of show on 2016-08-27. The query above excludes Best Of shows to eliminate duplicate entries.

    Bill Oakley had answered two questions correctly; and, thus, would not have altered the results.

    Year Occurrences
    2004 3
    2005 1
    2006 2
    2007 5
    2008 2
    2009 5
    2010 2
    2011 6
    2012 8
    2013 7
    2014 7
    2015 8
    2016 7

    As the results show, there are more Not My Job guests that had correctly answered all three of their Not My Job questions starting in 2011. This is partially due to an increasing trend of Peter Sagal dropping not-so-subtle hints of which the three choices is correct. There are also instances where the panelists and/or the audience provide some nudging as well.

    Another note is that Bill Kurtis started guest-scorekeeping the show starting in 2012-08-18 and step in full-time starting on 2014-05-27. Since then, Bill Kurtis has been on 25 shows in which the Not My Job guest(s) have scored 3 points.

    Show Date Scorekeeper Not My Job Guest Score Exception
    2012-09-08 Bill Kurtis Bonnie Raitt 3 0
    2013-03-23 Bill Kurtis Apollo Robbins 3 0
    2013-06-15 Bill Kurtis Buzz Aldrin 3 1
    2013-06-29 Bill Kurtis Jackie Joyner-Kersee 3 0
    2014-05-24 Bill Kurtis Toni Braxton 3 0
    2014-05-31 Bill Kurtis Alicia Silverstone 3 0
    2014-06-21 Bill Kurtis Nick Hitchon 3 0
    2014-07-12 Bill Kurtis Mikaela Shiffrin 3 0
    2014-11-22 Bill Kurtis Andy Cohen 3 0
    2014-12-13 Bill Kurtis Sir Patrick Stewart 3 0
    2015-01-31 Bill Kurtis Jon Tester 3 0
    2015-05-02 Bill Kurtis Jonathan Adler 3 0
    2015-05-23 Bill Kurtis Clay Aiken 3 0
    2015-07-11 Bill Kurtis Terry Gross 3 0
    2015-09-19 Bill Kurtis Tom Ricketts 3 0
    2015-09-26 Bill Kurtis Jewel 3 0
    2015-10-31 Bill Kurtis Jake Tapper 3 0
    2015-12-05 Bill Kurtis Jeff Daniels 3 0
    2016-01-16 Bill Kurtis Sutton Foster 3 0
    2016-02-13 Bill Kurtis Mark and Jay Duplass 3 1
    2016-07-23 Bill Kurtis Charles Bolden 3 0
    2016-09-03 Bill Kurtis Bill "Spaceman" Lee 3 0
    2016-10-29 Bill Kurtis Steve Young 3 0
    2016-11-12 Bill Kurtis Joe Buck 3 0
    2016-12-24 Bill Kurtis Michael Giacchino 3 0

    There have been two exceptions, as noted by the “1” in the column named “Exception”. The first exception was Buzz Aldrin, who only answered one Not My Job question correctly; but, Bill Kurtis gave Buzz all three points and won Carl Kasell’s voice for a listener. I got confirmation of the score from the Wait Wait team on Twitter:

    Confirmation tweet from the Wait Wait team regarding Buzz Aldrin’s Not My Job score

    The second exception was when the Duplass Brothers (Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass) were on the show and Mark and Jay were split on their answers for the third Not My Job question. Since they had already answered the first two questions correctly, and one of the two brothers got the correct answer, Bill accepted it and gave them three points, but with an asterisk. As such, I have noted it as an exception in the database.

    In closing, it has been a little bit less rare for Not My Job guests to answer all three questions correctly (or get a scoring exception) in recent years.

  • The Tale of Two Wait Wait Shows in Portland

    Back in February, I learned that Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! was coming back to Portland, Oregon to do a taping of the show in June. The last time Wait Wait was in Portland was in September 2011 and there had been a large demand of tickets; so, Wait Wait decided to have two tapings in Portland to feed the strong hunger for a local, live taping. When I found out that tickets we going to be on sale, I reached out to the Wait Wait gang to see if I snag a pair of tickets for the show. I later learned that there was going to be a second show in Portland that next night. I was lucky enough to get tickets for both shows and anxiously awaited for the days and weeks to pass, until it the night of the show. As with the previous tapings in Portland, both shows were taped at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in downtown Portland.

    Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
    Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

    The first show was taped on Thursday, June 23rd and featured Terry Porter as the Not My Job guest, along with Roxanne Roberts, Maz Jobrani and Bobcat Goldthwait on the panel. On the way to the show, I had to stop by and pick up a notepad and a pen, as I forgot my usual set at home, so that I could take notes. For the most part, it was your typical on-the-road taping of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!; but, due to the timing of when the show was being taped, voting for/against the Brexit was still in progress.

    Coincidentally, the last Wait Wait taping that I had gone to was the taping in Seattle back in September 2014, which was taped during the Scottish independence voting. For both of those shows, they had to tape two versions of some of the questions and/or segments to cover either voting result. Once taping and the usual Q&A with the audience were completed, Peter Sagal introduced the members of the Wait Wait crew, working behind the scenes; or, in front of the scene in the case of Lorna White due to microphone technical issues during taping.

    OPBs April Baer on stage before the show kicked off
    OPB’s April Baer on stage before the show kicked off
    2016-06-23 19.41.19
    On the panel: Maz Jobrani, Roxanne Roberts and Bobcat Goldthwait
    Former Blazers player and current University of Portland mens basketball coach
    Not My Job guest Terry Porter, former Blazers player and current University of Portland men’s basketball coach

    After he finished introducing all of the crew, he finished up with a little bit about people saying that they are the biggest fan of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!; at that point, Peter, knowing where I was sitting, directed everyone’s attention to where I was sitting and introduced me as the biggest Wait Wait fan and mentioned the Wait Wait Stats Page. I stood up, did the “I’m not worthy” bow a few times and sat back down. The mix of adrenaline and anxiety made me feel a wee bit woozy for the next hour or so.

    Notebook with initial notes jotted down before doors opened for Thursdays show
    Notebook with initial notes jotted down before doors opened for Thursday’s show

    Normally, Wait Wait will do one taping per city when they are on-the-road, with a couple of notable exceptions; including, a series of consecutive tapings from the Nourse Theatre in San Francisco back during the summer of 2014, while Chase Auditorium was being renovated back in Chicago. In the past, the first of the series of shows would be a normal taping of the show that would be aired that weekend; while, the second show would become a specially-themed show with special guests. In this case, the second Wait Wait show in Portland would be something new. There would be a different set of panelists (Jessi Klein, Alonzo Bodden and Luke Burbank), a new Not My Job guest (Bill Oakley) and a new set of listener contestants trying to win Carl Kasell recording a message for their voicemail.

    Due to the segments that were recorded during the second show not hitting the air for some time, I did not want to spoil some of details of that taping until a few segments were released. With the Not My Job segment and the Bluff the Listener segment released as part of the Best Of show that aired on 2016-08-27, I can divulge some of the details of the show. Many of the questions were re-used for the Who’s Bill This Time? and Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank segments; along with, and the limericks from the Listener Limerick Challenge segment. The listener contestants from the Thursday and the Friday tapings had difficulties with the second limerick, taking a good amount of time until Peter and Bill gave them the correct answer.

    On the panel: Luke Burbank, Jessi Klein and Alonzo Bodden
    On the panel: Luke Burbank, Jessi Klein and Alonzo Bodden
    Not My Job guest Bill Oakley
    Not My Job guest Bill Oakley, writer for The Simpsons

    Being up at the front row for that taping, I was so, so close to blurt out a few of the answers during the Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank round to help out the panelists; alas, I thought better of it and kept quiet. Also, knowing that not all of the taping would be used in their original form, Bill Kurtis had a lot of fun with the sponsor messages during Friday’s taping, including a few that were definitely beyond what NPR could broadcast.

    Full show notes from the Friday show taping
    Full show notes from the Friday show taping

    The second taping ended after Peter, Bill and the panelists had to do a couple of pick-ups. I’m guessing they either ran out of time or thought that those attending the second show didn’t need to know the people working behind the scenes. I was able to head backstage after the taping and said hello to Luke Burbank (who probably sees me enough already at the numerous Live Wire Radio tapings that I’ve been to).

    I wanted to thank the guys and gals at Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! for tickets to the Thursday show and urge them to come back to Portland more often!

  • Déjà Vu #FactCheck: First Three-Way Tie Going Into Lightning Round

    On the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! show that aired on 2016-06-11, Bill Kurtis made a statement at the beginning of the Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank round stating that, for the first time in his tenure, that all three panelists were tied going into the Lightning round. The claim that it was the first time in his tenure as official judge and scorekeeper caused all of the mental alarms to go off. I knew that Bill has made that statement in the past and remembered that I wrote about it when happened, all the way back in 2015-08-01.

    In that blog post, I found that it had already happened two times, 2015-02-28 and 2013-03-09, while Bill Kurtis was judge and scorekeeper. Of the four total times there has been a three-way tie going into the Lightning round with Bill Kurtis was judge and scorekeeper, Brian Babylon was on the panel three times and Faith Salie twice; both of which, were on the 2016-06-11 show.

    I’m not sure if it was discussed during the taping of the live show and edited out; but, I wonder if Brian Babylon and Faith Salie any thoughts or comments about it.

  • Throwback Thursday: Winning Carl Kasell’s Message on Wait Wait 5 Years Ago Today

    It all started over seven years ago when I sent in an e-mail to Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! asking if I could be a listener contestant and that it would make for an awesome birthday present and added a small note about my Wait Wait Stats Page. I later found out that I was selected to be the listener contestant for the Not My Job round when Monica Seles was on as the guest back in 2009. Unfortunately, she kind of goose egged and I didn’t get to win Carl Kasell’s voicemail message.

    Fast forwarding to April 2011, I got a call from one of the Wait Wait producers who asked me I wanted to be a listener contestant on the coming week’s taping. The producer kind of felt bad about the whole Monica Seles not scoring well on the game. So, I accepted the offer and was lined up to be the first listener contestant on the show that taped exactly five years ago today, April 21, 2011, and later aired on my birthday. You can listen to the segment below:

    I’m not sure how much of it was reflected in my voice or mannerisms, or muted by the not-so-great headset I was using, but I had a strong mix of nervousness, anxiety, excitement and tiredness coursing through me. By the end of the segment, I had done enough to get Carl Kasell to record a voicemail message for me:

    Although I haven’t deployed Carl’s message on a voicemail device, it still is nice to have a small piece of Carl’s voice to call my own.

  • Shows in Which Panelists Have the Same First Initial

    Each of the panelists on the panel for the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! show that aired on 2016-04-02 shared something in common: all three of their first initials were “A” (Adam, Amy and Alonzo). When my mind latched onto that, I started wondering if this was the first time something like that happened; or, was it a more common occurrence?

    So, I opened up my SQL management tool of choice and started working out the queries to get the information that I needed.

    The first query was to pull in all of the data from the show and panelist related tables and grab the first letter of the panelist names (first initial); then, I had to group the instances of the first initials together and only show the results that have a common panelist first initial count of 3. The query also filtered out any shows that were either repeats or Best Of shows. The latter could spoil the results due to having more than three panelists recorded.

    Shows Where Panelists Have Same First Initial - Query 1
    Getting list of shows where all three panelists have the same first initial

    The resulting output of the query kind of surprised me. Out of the 850 shows that have been taped (again, excluding repeats and Best Of shows), there have only been three instances in which all three panelists had the same first initial. Using that list of show dates, I crafted a simple query to list the names of the panelists for those three shows.

    Shows Where Panelists Have Same First Initial - Query 2
    Getting list of panelists based on previous list of shows

    The first instance was back in 2004-09-04, in which Roxanne Roberts, Richard Roeper, and Roy Blount, Jr. were on the panel. The next instance happened seven years later on 2011-09-03, in which Amy Dickinson, Adam Felber, and Alonzo Bodden were on the panel. The same set of panelists then appeared on the 2016-04-02 show.

    While running these queries and getting ready to write this blog post, I wanted to see what the distribution of panelists first initials looked like, and I ran the following query:

    Distribution of Panelists First Initials
    Distribution of Panelists First Initials

    From the results, there are nine panelists with a first initial of “A” (Aamer Haleem, Adam Burke, Adam Felber, Alison Stewart, Alonzo Bodden, Amy Dickinson, Andrea Michaels, Angela Nissel, and Aparna Nancherla), seven with a first initial of “P” (P.J. O’Rourke, Patt Morrison, Paul Provenza, Paula Pell, Paula Poundstone, Peter Grosz, and Peter Sagal), six with a first initial of “M” (Margo Kaufman, Marina Franklin, Maz Jobrani, Mike Birbiglia, Mo Rocca, and Moshe Kasher), five with a first initial of “K” (Karen Grigsby Bates, Keegan-Michael Key, Ken Jennings, Ken Rudin, and Kyrie O’Connor), and five with a first initial of “R” (Reza Aslan, Richard Roeper, Rosie Perez, Roxanne Roberts, and Roy Blount, Jr.).

  • #FactCheck: First Three-Way Tie Under Bill Kurtis’s Watch?

    At the end of the Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank round on the show that aired on 2015-11-07, all three panelists, Paula Poundstone, Amy Dickinson and Peter Grosz wound up in a three-way tie. Bill Kurtis stated that it was the first time that has happened under his watch [source] (nb: Peter Grosz also stated that three-way ties have never happened either.)

    Of course, such statements make my Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! alarms go off big time and I had to see if that statement was correct.

    With that, I cracked open my favorite database tool for querying the Wait Wait Stats Page database and started pounding away at the data. The following is the query that I used to pull in panelist scoring data and filtered out shows that were repeats or Best Of shows (which don’t have panelist scores anyway) and only return results in which Bill Kurtis was scorekeeper.

    Shows in which three-way ties happened with Bill Kurtis as scorekeeper
    Shows in which three-way ties happened with Bill Kurtis as scorekeeper

    Well, well… it looks like there were in fact two shows in which the panelists ended up in a three-way tie at the end of the Lightning round. The first three-way tie happened when Bill Kurtis was filling in for (now) Scorekeeper Emeritus Carl Kasell back in the show that aired on 2012-08-18. The second time happened just over a year ago with Bill Kurtis being the official scorekeeper on 2014-09-06.

    WWDTM Three Way Ties Bill Kurtis Panelists
    Panelists that finished the Lightning round in a three-way tie under Bill Kurtis’s watch

    Interestingly, Paula Poundstone was a panelist on the show that aired on 2012-08-18, with Luke Burbank and Faith Salie.

    So, that does not mean that the three-way tie at the end of the Lightning round on 2015-11-07 was Bill Kurtis’s first one as either fill-in scorekeeper or as the official scorekeeper.

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