Puzzlemaster Will Shortz and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! host Peter Sagal walk into a bar... No, it's not the start of a joke. It's the essence of Ask Me Another, a rambunctious hour that blends brainteasers and local pub trivia night with comedy and music. Host Ophira Eisenberg invites in-studio guests and listeners alike to stretch their noggins, tickle their funny bones, and enjoy witty banter and guitar riffs from house musician Jonathan Coulton.
For an hour, listeners can play along as Eisenberg puts questions to a rotating band of puzzle gurus, audience members and special mystery guests, who then takes a turn in the contestant's chair facing trivia games written especially for him or her. What you'll hear resembles the casual intimacy of game night at a friend's house: one where scores are forgotten in favor of hilarious gaffes.
The puzzle gurus behind Ask Me Another include John Chaneski, who devised tough questions and answers for "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" before becoming one of the "puzzle guys" on the radio program "A Way With Words"; Art Chung who has written for and produced television game shows including "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?," "Cash Cab," "The World Series of Pop Culture," and "Stump the Schwab"; and actor/writer Will Hines who has performed and taught improvisational comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre for years, and obsessively reads books on compiling baseball statistics, a task he will never have to do.
Ask Me Another is recorded live at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY.
Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the Oscar-winning songwriting duo who penned Frozen's torch song, "Let It Go," weigh in on its most memorable covers and parodies.
Stay tuned for the full episode of Ask Me Another with Kristen and Bobby, available starting April 24th.
(Rebroadcast, Episode 304) This week, clean up Bruce Willis' Die Hard catchphrase, trivialize some dog breeds, and since no rule of three is complete without the third item, guess celebrities with triple names. Plus, the lovely and talented singer-songwriter Nellie McKay uses both her voice and brain to demonstrate her love of the icon Doris Day.
You may recognize comedian Hannibal Buress from his roles on Broad City and 30 Rock, the latter of which he also wrote for. In this bonus clip from Episode 314: Let's Do This Thing, Buress describes his experience with improv and its spontanaeity, and the genesis of his recurring role on 30 Rock as an eccentric homeless gentleman.
For more Hannibal Buress on Ask Me Another, visit askmeanother.npr.org.
(Episode 314) Make groan-worthy puns about Shaquille O’Neal, sing commercial jingles in Italian, and test your knowledge of rap music with comedian and television writer Hannibal Buress.
A teaser for our upcoming episode with comedian Hannibal Buress as our V.I.P. Yes, his game involves a hat tip to Biz Markie's "Just A Friend," performed here by Jonathan Coulton with an assist from our in-house audience.
Hear the entire episode with Hannibal starting April 10th, 2014.
Remember way back in the summer of 2013, when you couldn't escape Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines"? Well, we think the lyrics could have used some work; after all he rhymes "you wanna hug me" with "what rhymes with hug me?" So, we rewrote the song into a trivia game where all the answers rhyme with "hug me"...sort of.Hear the song in its entirety, sung by our favorite piano-playing troubadour, Julian Velard. You provide the answers.
(Episode 313) Get ready for a hilarious religious experience this week, as our Very Important Puzzler, comedian Mike Birbiglia, shares some bizarre personal tales, including why he once considered becoming a priest.
Here at Ask Me Another, we like to create a safe space for our VIPs, where they can feel free to bare their souls. Like comedian Mike Birbiglia, who shared with us a story about a visit to a particular doctor.
(Favorites Episode 005) This hour, sample a smorgasbord of our favorite food-related games from past episodes. Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton are in the kitchen and cooking with fire for this puzzle feast.
(Episode 312) Revisit a cherished childhood hobby with this week's Very Important Puzzler, LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya, who builds astounding, life-size sculptures out of those magical bricks.
Hear Jonathan Coulton perform a cover of Rufus Wainwright's "California," recorded at The Castro Theatre in San Francisco during the comedy festival SF Sketchfest.
Happy March 14th - aka Pi Day! How will you celebrate? Why not check out this bonus round from our holiday episode, with VIP John Hodgman stepping into the role of puzzlemaster.
Bust myths, sing news and break out beloved action movies one-liners: from the San Francisco comedy festival SF Sketchfest, we play games with Community's Danny Pudi, Mythbusters' Adam Savage and tech columnist Farhad Manjoo.
For us, the mark of a good show is when we agonize over what to air, and what gets left on the cutting room floor. Our show in San Francisco at the SF Sketchfest comedy festival was one such show. Enjoy these extra clips from Community's Danny Pudi and Mythbusters' Adam Savage, and be sure to check out the full episode starting March 13, 2014.
(Rebroadcast, Episode 215) Word nerds, unite! This week's show will whet your appetite for wordplay with a game that mashes up famous names and food items into portmanteaus. Our Very Important Puzzler, comedian and co-creator of The Daily Show Lizz Winstead, is a bonafide game fanatic who shares the definitions of her own, made-up vocabulary, and plays a game about her home state of Minnesota.
In anticipation of our special episode recorded live in San Francisco as part of the comedy festival SF Sketchfest, here’s a taste of host Ophira Eisenberg’s rather salty stand-up set from the evening’s pre-show.
You can hear this episode, featuring VIPs Danny Pudi and Adam Savage, as a podcast starting March 13th, 2014.
(Episode 310) It's a trivia lover's dream this week, as our Very Important Puzzler, editor of The World Almanac Sarah Janssen, shares weird and mind-blowing facts from pop culture, politics and beyond.
(Rebroadcast, Episode 216) Sorry, Beatles fans: This hour, Jonathan Coulton turns some of the Fab Four’s most beloved hits into trivia questions about famous historical figures. Is nothing sacred? We’ll also put the King of Horror’s son, novelist and B-movie aficionado Owen King, in the puzzle hot seat as our V.I.P. Plus: play a game that has nothing to do with the HBO series Game of Thrones, and translate common expressions into medical conditions.When it comes to our contestants, you never know what is going to come out of their alimentary canals.
(Episode 309) What's love got to do with it? A lot, actually. This week we explore those fuzzy feelings between families, couples and a puzzle guru and his games. Plus author and screenwriter Delia Ephron shares tales from the front lines of the romantic comedy business.
(Rebroadcast, Episode 224) Making heads or tails of the ever-changing job market can be a puzzle in and of itself. Luckily, this week's Very Important Puzzlers — Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg, co-creators of NPR's Planet Money podcast — give the scoop on how they help listeners make sense of the global economy. Plus, a literary twist on blockbuster-style movie trailers, a tribute to city names of yesteryear, and a game all about repeating words for effect...effect...effect.