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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

#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 …

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

On the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! show that aired on 2015-08-01, at the beginning of the Lightning Fill-in-the-Blank round, or Lightning round for short, Bill Kurtis made the following statement: I can; it’s easy. First time ever, a three-way tie. [Source] Upon hearing that, a Wait Wait Stats alarm went off in my mind, because I knew that such three-way ties had in fact happened in the past and weren’t all that rare. That said, I wanted to find out how many three-way ties have actually happened in the past several years. Also, I wanted to know if it was the first time Bill Kurtis presided over a game in which all three panelists were tied going into the Lightning round. Before I go …