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Ask Me Another : About

Airs Saturdays at 3pm on 93.9 FM and Saturdays at noon on AM 820

Part comedy, part musical revue, part pub trivia night. Host and comedian Ophira Eisenberg and musical sidekick Jonathan Coulton run contestants and celebrities through an hour of puzzles, word play and comedic reimaginings of your favorite songs.

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Latest Stories from Ask Me Another

Last updated: Wednesday, October 01 2014 01:03 AM

Second Chances

Thursday, September 25 2014 03:33 PM

(Episode 327) Put on some makeup and a wig with John Cameron Mitchell, whose one man show - turned - cult hit film - turned - Broadway extravaganza Hedwig and the Angry Inch won a 2014 Tony for Best Musical Revival. Plus, former contestants return to try to redeem themselves in this “second chances” show.

AMA Bonus: Broadway 1998 vs. Broadway 2014

Monday, September 22 2014 01:33 PM

John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus) compares the Broadway of yesterday (Hedwig debuted in 1998) to the Broadway of today (Hedwig won four Tony Awards in 2014).

The full episode with John Cameron Mitchell drops Thursday, September 25th, 2014.

AMA Bonus: The Aristocrats (The NPR Version)

Friday, September 19 2014 02:33 PM

The Aristocrats is the dirtiest, most offensive joke in history — an exercise in extremes for both comedians and audiences alike, and famously told by this week's Very Important Puzzler Gilbert Gottfried. Here, Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg tries her hand at a version devised especially for NPR listeners. Still: NSFW.

Too Soon!

Thursday, September 18 2014 03:43 PM

This week host Ophira Eisenberg talks with legendary stand-up Gilbert Gottfried about the lines that can’t be crossed in comedy. Then, in his signature voice, Gottfried whispers sweet nothings into your ear in a game about famous romances throughout history.

AMA Bonus: Gilbert Gottfried Unearths Stories of Old Hollywood

Tuesday, September 16 2014 01:33 PM

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried goes deep into stories of Old Hollywood with the guests on his Amazing Colossal Podcast. In this bonus clip, Gottfried recalls some highlights, such as when Boris Karloff's daughter reminisced about Karloff giving Frank Sinatra acting lessons, and David Steinberg told the story of winding up on then-President Richard Nixon's enemies list.

Let It Lopez

Thursday, September 11 2014 02:03 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 315) The Oscar-winning songwriters for Disney's Frozen, Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, lend their voices to a puzzling parody of "Let It Go," and a fierce V.I.P. game pitting spouse vs. spouse.

AMA Bonus: Get Geeky

Tuesday, September 09 2014 05:03 PM

How do you get your geek on? If you're Ask Me Another, then you rewrite the lyrics to Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" to be clues about other geeky hobbies. And if you're musical guest Julian Velard, then you break out your vocoder and perform it in your best robot voice. 

This game originally appeared in Episode 325 "What's The Magic Word?"

What's The Magic Word?

Thursday, September 04 2014 01:43 PM

(Episode 325) Lev Grossman, this week’s V.I.P. and the bestselling author of the fantasy trilogy The Magicians, explains what happens when wizards lack guidance counselors, and takes you on a trip to the arcade.

AMA Bonus: Go Easy On Dudley Dursley

Tuesday, September 02 2014 04:23 PM

Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians trilogy, doesn't mind that his books are often compared to Harry Potter, though decidedly more adult. In fact, he's a Potter fanatic who once got to meet his idol: J.K. Rowling. But: she didn't agree with Lev's assessment of one of her most maligned characters.

What's The Delia With Love?

Thursday, August 28 2014 02:03 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 309) What's love got to do with it? A lot, actually. We explore the fuzzy feelings among families, couples and a puzzle guru and his games. Plus screenwriter and author Delia Ephron shares tales from the front lines of the romantic comedy business.

AMA Bonus: Pop Culture Happy Hour, It's On

Wednesday, August 27 2014 05:13 PM

When Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson, the hosts of the wonderful NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, came on Ask Me Another, we gave them a game that was, admittedly, kind of hard. Well! Vengeance was sworn against our Ophira and Jonathan. You can hear the vengeance this Friday (8/29/14) when PCHH drops its newest episode, but first, let's revisit that fateful game.

LIVE From Central Park, It's Ask Me Another

Thursday, August 21 2014 01:43 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 218) This summer spectacular is jam-packed, and features The Office's B.J. Novak, Wet Hot American Summer filmmaker David Wain, Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen, singer-songwriter Nellie McKay and puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

His Dark Material

Thursday, August 14 2014 08:23 PM

(Episode 324) This week, nothing is taboo as we chat with the "Dark Prince of Comedy" Anthony Jeselnik, get snarky about sharks, and sing along to a classier version of Sisqo's "Thong Song."

AMA Bonus: Shark Week with Anthony Jeselnik

Monday, August 11 2014 01:23 PM

In this exclusive podcast bonus just in time for Shark Week, comedian Anthony Jeselnik explains his own shark controversy and why New Zealanders now all hate him.  Catch the full episode this Thursday on the AMA Podcast feed.

Totally Biased, Totally Hilarious

Thursday, August 07 2014 01:13 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 308) In 1955, Varietypredicted rock 'n roll would be dead by summer. Ha! We can't predict the future either, but we caninvite you to learn the ups and downs of hosting a TV show from comic W. Kamau Bell.

Smitten With The Mitten State

Thursday, July 31 2014 02:03 PM

(Episode 323) Ann Arbor is a city of many nicknames, and this week we add ‘Puzzleville, USA.’ Listen as Michiganders do math at the movies, try on famous hats and make the sounds of sports mascots. Go Blue!

A Primate Example

Thursday, July 24 2014 01:43 PM

(Episode 322) Brush up your British slang with Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,Lord of the Rings), who talks getting into the mind of Caesar the ape and reveals the origin of Gollum's creepy voice.

Warning: This episode contains language that might not be suitable for all audiences.

AMA Bonus: Gollum Leaves A Message For 'The Precious'

Friday, July 18 2014 08:53 PM

Here's a tease of the grand prize that actor Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the ApesLord of the Rings trilogy) gave our winner. 

The full episode with Andy Serkis drops July 24th, 2014.

The Really Hard Edition 2: Electric Boogaloo

Thursday, July 17 2014 02:43 PM

(Favorites Episode 006) Give your brain the ultimate workout as we revisit more of our toughest games to date — can you name famous commercial jingles when sung in Italian, or insert comic strips into your favorite novels?

Live. Puzzle. Repeat.

Thursday, July 10 2014 01:23 PM

(Episode 321) Get your popcorn ready for a thrilling, action-packed hour, as our V.I.P., Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, shares his formula for making an edgy, mind-blowing blockbuster film.

AMA Bonus: Doug Liman On "Edge of Tomorrow" and Its Meaning

Monday, July 07 2014 04:53 PM

Director Doug Liman has strived to include a message in all of his films, whether it's an independent film like "Swingers," or a blockbuster like "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." In this bonus clip from our upcoming episode, host Ophira Eisenberg talks with Liman about how he's tried to convey deeper meanings in his films, the political story behind "The Bourne Identity," and the meaning behind his new film, "Edge of Tomorrow" — how one person can make a difference.

Hear the full episode with VIP Doug Liman starting Thursday, July 10th.

A Little Impression Goes A Long Way (R)

Thursday, July 03 2014 02:03 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 302) As the saying goes, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," and this week's Very Important Puzzler, actor Justin Long has a knack for impressions.

AMA Bonus: They Might Be Giants, Dial-A-Song

Friday, June 27 2014 02:03 PM

Starting in the mid-1980s, They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh and John Linnell used an unusual method of DIY distribution to share new music with their fans. In this bonus clip from this week's episode, hear them tell host Ophira Eisenberg how they hacked their answering machine, and why. 

Did you know Ask Me Another has a voicemail box? Call us at 563-ASK-ME-22 (563-275-6322) and record us your own song!

We Might Be Giant Nerds

Thursday, June 26 2014 01:43 PM

(Episode 320) Brooklyn’s oldest opera house is the stage for a new song from special guests They Might Be Giants, and WNYC’s Radiolab hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich spar over who has to have the last word.

AMA Bonus: TMBG + JoCo, "Re: Your Brains"

Wednesday, June 25 2014 01:13 PM

They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton (nerd rock supergroup!) perform "Re: Your Brains" at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Wherever you're listening to this, we encourage you to sing along, like you're a zombie.

AMA Bonus: Radiolab's Jad and Robert

Tuesday, June 24 2014 05:23 PM

We know you listen to Radiolab becuase of its fascinating stories and explorations, but also because its hosts, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, have a palpable friendship. In this bonus clip from our upcoming episode, host Ophira Eisenberg talks to them about first impressions, mind-melding, and the one argument that'll never end. 

Hear the full episode with VIPs Jad and Robert starting Thursday, June 26th.

AMA Bonus: Stand Up, Brooklyn

Monday, June 23 2014 03:53 PM

Hear what it's like to attend a live taping of Ask Me Another! Host Ophira Eisenberg kicks off the show with a short stand-up comedy set that we can't air on the radio. This was recorded at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as part of RadioLoveFest, with special guests They Might Be Giants. 

Hear our full episode starting Thursday, June 26th.

How Punk Is This? (R)

Thursday, June 19 2014 01:03 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 301) Shake things up in our nation's capital with one of D.C.'s music legends. V.I.P Ian MacKaye, of punk bands Fugazi and Minor Threat, shares tales from the road and muses about what "punk" means today. Plus: try out your best Nic Cage impression.

Two Can Slay That Game

Thursday, June 12 2014 01:13 PM

(Episode 319)We quiz TV critic Emily Nussbaum on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, peek into the world of Wiki-wars and relive some great movie soundtrack moments. Who will vanquish the competition?

Trivia Is The New Black (R)

Thursday, June 05 2014 01:43 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 226) We know you're gearing up to binge-watch the 2nd season of Orange Is The New Black this weekend. In preparation, listen to our interview and game with V.I.P. Piper Kerman, author of the women's prison memoir that inspired the hit show. Plus, hear two Mystery Science Theater 3000 veterans riff on bad movies.

O Brother, Where Art Thou Quiz Show?

Thursday, May 29 2014 06:03 PM

(Episode 318) John Turturro, a regular in films by the Coen Brothers, Spike Lee and explosions-loving Michael Bay, recently hit the director’s chair himself. How will the Quiz Show star fare on a real game show?

O Brother, Where Art Thou Quiz Show?

Thursday, May 29 2014 04:53 PM

(Episode 318) John Turturro, a regular in films by the Coen Brothers, Spike Lee and explosions-loving Michael Bay, recently hit the director’s chair himself. How will the Quiz Show star fare on a real game show?

O Brother, Where Art Thou Quiz Show?

Thursday, May 29 2014 01:23 PM

(Episode 318) John Turturro, a regular in films by the Coen Brothers, Spike Lee and explosions-loving Michael Bay, recently hit the director’s chair himself. How will the Quiz Show star fare on a real game show?

AMA Bonus: John Turturro on directing Woody Allen, messing with Michael Bay

Friday, May 23 2014 02:33 PM

John Turturro has held many classic roles: The Big Lebowski, Do The Right Thing, Quiz Show, and more. He was gracious enough to entertain our idea that he reprise some of his most famous lines for a game. Hear an outtake from that, in which he remembers messing with director Michael Bay on the set of Transformers. Plus, Turturro desribes directing Woody Allen in his latest film, Fading Gigolo, for which Turturro starred, wrote the script, and directed.

Hear the full episode with John Turturro starting May 29th, 2014.

The Human Guinea Pig (R)

Thursday, May 22 2014 02:03 PM

(Rebroadcast Episode 212) This week, go grocery shopping with celebrities, learn to pronounce some really long German words, and have a little 'pun' with animal noises. Plus, find out about one man's quests to read the encyclopedia from A to Z, live his life according to the Bible, and achieve bodily perfection—author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs. How do you quiz the V.I.P. who knows everything?

 

Puzzle Hard

Thursday, May 15 2014 01:43 PM

(Episode 317) Learn all about proper party etiquette from this week’s V.I.P, the self-proclaimed "King of Partying,” musician Andrew W.K. Plus, we’ll quiz him on the epic rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar.

AMA Bonus: Andrew W.K.'s First NYC Gig

Tuesday, May 13 2014 10:13 PM

Before he was the "King of Partying," musician Andrew W.K. had to start somewhere. In this bonus, he tells a classic showbiz tale of his first — and last — gig at the legendary Cafe Wha? in New York City.

Hear the full episode with Andrew W.K. starting May 15, 2014.

Meet Me In Milwaukee

Thursday, May 08 2014 01:23 PM

(Episode 316) Recorded at Milwaukee's Pabst Theater, this week's episode features VIPs Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, who have formed a band called The Both. Hear their personal ode to Brew City, plus a tribute to the hometown of Happy Days with a round of trivia about other TV shows that have "jumped the shark."

AMA Bonus: Aimee Mann and Ted Leo

Tuesday, May 06 2014 11:03 PM

Musicians Aimee Mann and Ted Leo joined Ask Me Another in Milwaukee, WI to talk about their time on the road together as a newly-formed band called The Both. Hear some moments that didn't make the air. 

Catch the entire episode, "Meet Me In Milwaukee," starting May 8, 2014.

Don't Tell Me...Wait, Wait, Ask Me Another (R)

Thursday, May 01 2014 03:14 PM

(Rebroadcast Episode 222) Prepare yourself for a double dose of NPR hosts. This week's Very Important Puzzler, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! host Peter Sagal, reveals a few of his show's zaniest moments.

AMA Bonus: First Of May

Thursday, May 01 2014 12:53 PM

It's the first of May! Celebrate springtime with this tune by our very own Jonathan Coulton. But be forewarned: it's quite NSFW, so you should probably wear headphones.

AMA Bonus: The Lopez Family At Work

Friday, April 25 2014 09:23 PM

Hear songwriters Bobby Lopez (Book of Mormon, Avenue Q) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez discuss their competitive working relationship, writing irreverent lyrics for Disney, and which "Frozen" moments their young daughters contributed.

Let It Lopez

Thursday, April 24 2014 01:53 PM

(Episode 315)Fresh off an Oscar win for Disney's Frozen, songwriters Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez lend their voices to a puzzling parody of "Let It Go," and a fierce VIP game pitting spouse vs. spouse.

AMA Bonus: 'Let It Go' and its Many Parodies

Monday, April 21 2014 10:13 PM

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. 

Yippee-Ki-Yay, Nellie McKay! (R)

Thursday, April 17 2014 01:43 PM

(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.

AMA Bonus: Hannibal Buress on his '30 Rock' role

Friday, April 11 2014 08:53 PM

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.

Let's Do This Thing

Thursday, April 10 2014 01:33 PM

(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.

AMA Bonus: Just A Friend

Tuesday, April 08 2014 01:53 PM

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.

AMA Bonus: Blurred Rhymes

Friday, April 04 2014 06:43 PM

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.

This Birbiglian Life

Thursday, April 03 2014 01:43 PM

(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.

AMA Bonus: Mike Birbiglia, No Air Quotes, Man!

Wednesday, April 02 2014 12:33 AM

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.

Foodie Favorites

Thursday, March 27 2014 04:23 PM

(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.

Leggo My Lego

Thursday, March 20 2014 01:53 PM

(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.

AMA Bonus: An Extra Bit of "California"

Monday, March 17 2014 09:03 PM

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.

AMA Bonus: Happy Pi Day!

Friday, March 14 2014 09:13 PM

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.

Puzzlin' On The Dock Of The Bay

Thursday, March 13 2014 01:43 PM

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.

 

AMA Bonus: Danny Pudi Makes Docs and Adam Savage Calls Space

Tuesday, March 11 2014 03:03 PM

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.

Lizz Free Or Die (R)

Thursday, March 06 2014 02:53 PM

(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.

AMA Bonus: Stand Up For San Francisco

Wednesday, March 05 2014 05:01 PM

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.

Fact Check Me Another

Thursday, February 27 2014 02:23 PM

(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.

All Hail The King (R)

Thursday, February 20 2014 03:03 PM

(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.

What's The Delia With Love?

Thursday, February 13 2014 02:23 PM

(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.

Planet Money Makes The World Go 'Round (R)

Thursday, February 06 2014 02:43 PM

(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.

Totally Biased, Totally Hilarious

Thursday, January 30 2014 07:37 PM

(Episode 308) In 1955, Variety predicted rock 'n roll would be dead by summer. Boy, were they wrong! We can't predict the future either, but we can invite you to learn the ups and downs of hosting your own TV show, from a comedian who's been there — this week's V.I.P., W. Kamau Bell.

AMA Bonus: Barbara Walters Heckles W. Kamau Bell

Thursday, January 30 2014 07:37 PM

In this podcast extra, comedian W. Kamau Bell shares his rather lively appearance on The View, sharing the spotlight with pop star Taylor Swift and why he was heckled by Barbara Walters.

Foodie: The Other 'F' Word (R)

Thursday, January 23 2014 02:33 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 223) Do you like trivia? Do you enjoy food? This week, you can have your cake and eat it too. Two professional competitive eaters square off in a music round inspired by a certain Twisted Sister song. Our Very Important Puzzler, Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport, dishes about culinary trends, the scourge of Yelp.com reviews and why he hates giving wine advice. Plus, trivia rounds about nursery rhymes, bad spelling and ironic facts. Find out who's the cream of the crop, and who'll be mincemeat.

AMA Bonus: A Naughty Language Lesson From Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, January 20 2014 09:13 PM

In this slightly naughty podcast extra, author Elizabeth Gilbert, reveals some fascinating vocabulary she picked up researching 19th century erotica for her latest novel, The Signature of All Things.

Eat, Play, Love

Thursday, January 16 2014 02:33 PM

(Episode 307) There’s lots to explore in V.I.P. Elizabeth Gilbert’s adventurous new novel, The Signature of All Things, such as botany and 19th-century erotica. Plus, eat, pray and love your way through games about Italian foods, oddly-named deities and the best part of any newspaper: the funny pages.

Potters Love Puns

Thursday, January 09 2014 02:53 PM

(Episode 306) This week’s Very Important Puzzler, designer and potter Jonathan Adler, creates his eye-catching home furnishings much like we aim to design our games — to be colorful, witty and full of joy.

AMA Bonus: Simon Doonan's Gleeful, Demented Style Advice

Wednesday, January 08 2014 09:33 PM

Style guru Simon Doonan graced our stage in Season 1 and gave an interview deemed "too racy for radio." We never intended to air it in full, but it’s too good to keep in the Ask Me Another vault. In this podcast-only extra, hear him reveal what body part Freud compared handbags to, speak in a secret language known as "Palare," and dish out some fashion advice he gleefully calls "demented."

AMA Bonus: Replacement Math

Sunday, January 05 2014 07:03 PM

What do you get when you add Jay-Z's "Problems" to Three Dog Night's "Loneliest Number"? In this Season 1 bonus round, puzzle guru Art Chung challenges contestants to solve simple arithmetic problems using numbers found in pop culture. Calculus is a lot less scary when it involves your favorite band. 

Plus, Jonathan Coulton performs an original and puzzling song about fractals, "Mandelbrot Set."

Monkee-ing Around (R)

Thursday, January 02 2014 05:02 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 221) If you believe in magic, then this week’s show is for you. Play word games based on Missy Elliott lyrics, do your own version of a TED talk, and brush up on foodie lingo. You’ll also learn about irregular plurals, and take a thesaurus to the Oscars. This week’s V.I.P. is comedian and podcaster Julie Klausner, who dishes on pop culture and her love of The Monkees.

AMA Bonus: Two Tickets To Parodies

Monday, December 30 2013 03:13 PM

With parodies like "Eat It," "Addicted to Spuds," and "Like a Surgeon," "Weird Al" Yankovic's songs were pretty much begging to be made into an Ask Me Another game. In this bonus round from Season 1, we pay tribute to our favorite accordion-playing, pop culture-loving, food-punning parodist. House musician Jonathan Coulton makes contestants sing along to Weird Al's songs.

AMA Bonus: Mad Men's Guide To Etiquette

Saturday, December 28 2013 02:13 PM

The 1960s were a different time. Married couples were separated at formal dinner parties (unless they were newlyweds), women lowered their eyes while they were being toasted, and it was uncouth for men to consume a mixed drink. In this bonus round from Season 1, host Ophira Eisenberg quizzes contestants on shockingly antiquated etiquette rules from the Mad Men era.

Seventh-Inning (Mind) Stretch (R)

Thursday, December 26 2013 02:23 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 217) If you're the type of person who gives your pet a name like "Chairman Meow," then you'll be right at home with this week's games. We'll combine highbrow folks (world leaders) with the lowest form of comedy (puns), spend a little time in Celebrity A-A, and hear Jonathan Coulton apply his mellow song stylings to the electric wizard, Jimi Hendrix. Plus, we have the inventor of fantasy baseball, Daniel Okrent, on the show to play a game about the sport's most hilarious oddities.

AMA Bonus: Chiron Beta Prime

Wednesday, December 25 2013 03:03 PM

It's Christmastime, and you're living on an asteroid run by evil robot overlords. You're writing one of those end-of-the-year family recap letters to everyone you know. What would it say? House musician Jonathan Coulton knows, and shares this holiday song of mirth, mistletoe and glowing red eyes, live from the Ask Me Another stage.

AMA Bonus: Happy 100th, Crossword Puzzles!

Saturday, December 21 2013 02:23 PM

December 21st , 2013 is the 100th anniversary of the first published crossword puzzle by Arthur Wynne. To celebrate this centennial, please enjoy listening to the wordplay wizard (and New York Times crossword editor) Will Shortz take on our puzzle guru John Chaneski in an intense word-puzzle showdown. 

We have another treat for you, too. Head to NPR.org to try your hand at a special crossword puzzle written by John Chaneski just for this occasion. Go on, it’ll be good for you. Only one question remains: will you use pencil, or pen?

A Holiday Spectacular

Tuesday, December 17 2013 03:03 PM

(Episode 305) Start a puzzle-filled holiday tradition with three Very Important Puzzlers: writer A.J. Jacobs, The Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead and comedian John Hodgman. This week, sing a comical rendition of "Deck the Halls," and learn about quirky holiday traditions from around the world.

AMA Bonus: "Deck The Halls," JoCo Style

Friday, December 13 2013 05:03 PM

What’s better than a Christmas carol? A Christmas carol with a built-in puzzle, of course. In our forthcoming Holiday Spectacular, we play a game in which house musician Jonathan Coulton sings clues to the tune of "Deck The Halls." Contestants must sing the answers with "fa-la-la’s." It all fits together into one gloriously weird song, which you can hear in this podcast-only extra, featuring contestants Rob Gilleece and Karen Sloan.

Hear the full Holiday Spectacular episode starting December 17th, 2013.

AMA Favorites 004: Sing Me Another

Thursday, December 12 2013 02:17 PM

Play it again, Coulton. This week, revisit some of the most raucous and rolling musical games from the Ask Me Another archives. They’re led by our house musician, the geek-rock legend himself, Jonathan Coulton.

Yippee-Ki-Yay, Nellie McKay!

Thursday, December 05 2013 03:03 PM

(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 Nellie McKay uses both her voice and brain to demonstrate her love of the icon Doris Day.

Solving For X: Live From The 2013 World Science Festival (R)

Thursday, November 28 2013 02:43 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 220) Strap on your safety goggles: we're turning up the Bunsen burners for a special math and science-themed episode, recorded at the 2013 World Science Festival. Play games that contain a Periodic Table spelling bee, turn pop songs into algebraic equations, and imagine if Greek goddesses had their own franchise of Real Housewives. Plus, our Very Important Puzzler, Cornell University math professor Steven Strogatz, is on a mission to prove that math isn't scary, but actually joyful.

Games That Go Goosebumps in the Night

Thursday, November 21 2013 02:43 PM

(Episode 303) Inspired by this week’s Very Important Puzzler, the best-selling children’s horror author R.L. Stine (Goosebumps, Fear Street), the games in this show have been designed to scare the answers out of you. Find out what zombies eat when they run out of brains, test your Looney Tunes knowledge through a revised rendition of “Sympathy for the Devil” and find out what else Edgar Allan Poe’s Raven has been quoth’ing on about. Plus: What scares the man whose job it is to scare kids of all ages?

AMA Bonus: Justin Long Wants You To Wake Up!

Monday, November 18 2013 05:03 PM

As listeners of Ask Me Another know, not only do we force our VIPs to play games, but we also ask them to provide a grand prize. Actor Justin Long offered to be the voice of our champion's alarm clock, and, as you'll hear in this podcast-only bonus, he delivered. Now wake up!

A Little Impression Goes A Long Way

Thursday, November 14 2013 02:30 PM

(Episode 302) As the saying goes, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," and this week's Very Important Puzzler, actor Justin Long, knows this phrase all too well. While he's known for starring in romantic comedies like He's Just Not That Into You and Going the Distance, Long's knack for celebrity impersonations comes in handy for a game in which he brings Woody Allen, Michael J. Fox and others to life. Plus: channel your inner Gollum, rework some classic Disney tunes, and play a game that asks you to find the common denominator between four seemingly unrelated things.

AMA Bonus: Justin Long Gives Us More Cowbell

Thursday, November 14 2013 12:51 AM

Actor Justin Long has a knack for impressions, and lent his talents to a game he hosted in this week’s show, “A Little Impression Goes A Long Way.” In this podcast-only extra, hear some bonus material from Justin’s game: his impersonation of Christopher Walken.

Hear the full episode with Justin Long starting November 14, 2013.

Trivia Freaks and Puzzle Geeks (R)

Thursday, November 07 2013 03:53 PM

(Rebroadcast, Episode 219) Would you classify your high school self as an A/V nerd, band geek or mathlete? This week's show pays homage to them all. In the games, we'll spoil some famous films by not spoiling anything at all, teach you how to "put a Björk in it," and make an inordinate amount of cat jokes. And Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids and The Heat, discusses why funny women should be bigger stars, and reflects on the legacy of his beloved creation, the short-lived TV series Freaks and Geeks.

How Punk Is This?

Thursday, October 31 2013 01:43 PM

(Episode 301) Shake things up in our nation's capital with one of D.C.'s music legends. In this hour, recorded at the NPR Headquarters in Washington, our Very Important Puzzler is the prolific and outspoken Ian MacKaye. The front man of the D.C. punk bands Fugazi and Minor Threat shares tales from the road, and muses about what “punk” means today. Plus, try out your best Nicolas Cage impression, play a game that asks you to create new company names after imagined big-time mergers, and search for National treasures.

AMA Bonus: Ian MacKaye Punks Up "Saturday Night Live"

Wednesday, October 30 2013 04:44 PM

In this podcast-only extra, hear punk rocker Ian MacKaye tell Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg about the time he was invited to support his fellow punks in the band Fear during their performance on Saturday Night Live in 1981. It involved John Belushi, lots of wild dancing, and an angry response from Eddie Murphy.

 Hear the entire episode with V.I.P. Ian MacKaye starting November 1, 2013.

AMA Bonus: Celebrate Halloween With A Zombie Song

Monday, October 28 2013 03:53 PM

Happy Halloween from Ask Me Another! In this podcast-only extra, Jonathan Coulton performs his spooky song "Re: Your Brains" live at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY. This song is best enjoyed if you sing along in a very scary zombie voice.

226: Trivia Is The New Black

Thursday, October 24 2013 01:43 PM

In this week’s show, recorded at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, play games about famous sets of twins, grammatically-incorrect song lyrics--and did you know that James Bond also has a “license to grill”? Pun alert! Our V.I.P. is the woman who helped add 13 hours of marathon-watching to our schedules: Piper Kerman. She's the author of Orange is the New Black, the memoir that inspired the hit Netflix series about life in a women’s prison. Plus, two Mystery Science Theater 3000 veterans riff on bad movies.

AMA Bonus: An 'Orange Is The New Black' Prison Recipe

Tuesday, October 22 2013 03:13 PM

Piper Kerman spent about a year in a minimum security women’s prison, the details of which she shares in the memoir-turned-TV show, Orange Is the New Black. Prison food left much to be desired, so Piper and her friends took up the hobby of cooking on the sly with whatever ingredients, and methods, they could find. In this podcast-only extra, hear Piper share her recipe for Prison Cheesecake. (And it only calls for one contraband item!)
 
Hear the entire episode with V.I.P. Piper Kerman starting October 24, 2013.

(R) 206: The Guttenberg Bible

Thursday, October 17 2013 01:33 PM

You may know this week’s V.I.P. (Very Important Puzzler) Steve Guttenberg from such iconic films as Diner, Cocoon, and Three Men and a Baby. But he wears plenty of other hats – author, reality show contestant, even Guinness World Record holder. In this episode we’ll explore all things Gute. Plus, we’ll dine out on some soft rock, give movies the Randy Newman treatment, and find out that Mark Twain isn’t all he’s cracked up to be.

225: Fake History Until You Make It

Thursday, October 10 2013 01:23 PM

Want to know what J.D. Salinger was really up to during all those years as a recluse? He wrote racy letters to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dined with Michael Jackson and cut a track with the Foo Fighters. At least according to V.I.P. Tom Ruprecht, a former Late Show With David Letterman writer and author of a totally phony oral history of Salinger’s life. In addition to faking history this week, we invite you to talk like a 1930s movie gangster, sing songs heard on television and guess your favorite author’s fictional characters.

AMA Bonus: Top Ten Ways To Tick Off The White House

Tuesday, October 08 2013 01:43 PM

During his time as a writer for Late Show with David Letterman, Tom Ruprecht enjoyed poking fun at then-President George W. Bush. In this podcast-only extra, Ruprecht tells Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg about one joke that didn’t go over too well with the White House. 

Hear the entire episode with V.I.P. Tom Ruprecht starting October 10, 2013.

(R) 218: LIVE From Central Park, It's Ask Me Another

Thursday, October 03 2013 01:23 PM

(Rebroadcast) This summer spectacular, recorded outdoors in New York City's Central Park, is a jam-packed show. The Office's B.J. Novak hits the puzzle hotseat for a Shakespearean pop quiz, Wet Hot American Summer filmmaker David Wain flaunts his movie trivia prowess, and Kurt Andersen, host of PRI's Studio 360, stakes his claim as a literary romantic. Plus, a ukulele-strumming Nellie McKay joins Jonathan Coulton to sing the catchiest songs of summers past, and NPR Puzzlemaster Will Shortz tries to stump contestants with a doozy of a final anagram showdown.

224: Planet Money Makes The World Go 'Round

Thursday, September 26 2013 01:33 PM

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.

AMA Bonus: Don't Blame 'Planet Money' When They Move to Canada

Tuesday, September 24 2013 01:03 PM

In this podcast-only extra, Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg of NPR’s Planet Money imagine a wondrous land full of oil and diamonds, with a booming economy and where everyone eats poutine all day. Canada! What can America learn from our neighbors to the north? The economics experts weigh in.

Hear the full episode, Ask Me Another #224, starting Sept. 26, 2013.

(R) 202: Once A Jersey Girl...

Thursday, September 19 2013 01:43 PM

Do you know what a Russian pig sounds like? What about a Japanese bee? Find out as we test you on animal kingdom noises, spoil some TV show finales, and walk the streets with a song in our hearts. Plus, our V.I.P. may make her living as a Czech musician, but she's a Jersey girl at heart — it's Cristin Milioti, who was nominated for a 2012 Tony Award for her role of "Girl" in the Broadway musical Once.

AMA Bonus: You Can't Say That On The Radio

Tuesday, September 17 2013 07:53 PM

In this podcast-only extra, hear actor and Broadway star Cristin Milioti reflect on a family game night gone horribly wrong; it involved Texas Hold'em, an unspeakable insult, and a possibly-drunk Dean Martin.

Hear the entire episode with VIP Cristin Milioti in Ask Me Another #202, available starting September 19, 2013.

223: Foodie: The Other 'F' Word

Thursday, September 12 2013 01:23 PM

Do you like trivia? Do you enjoy food? This week, you can have your cake and eat it too. Two professional competitive eaters square off in a music round inspired by a certain Twisted Sister song. Our Very Important Puzzler, Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport, dishes about culinary trends, the scourge of Yelp reviews and why he hates giving wine advice. Plus, trivia rounds about nursery rhymes, bad spelling and ironic facts. Find out who's the cream of the crop, and who'll be mincemeat.

222: Don't Tell Me...Wait, Wait, Ask Me Another

Thursday, September 05 2013 01:03 PM

If you're crazy about public radio game shows (and who isn't?), prepare yourself for a double dose of NPR hosts. This week's Very Important Puzzler, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! host Peter Sagal, gives you the inside scoop on his show's zaniest moments. Plus, shop for famous homes that were once featured in films and TV shows, put your knowledge of card games to use, and shake up a classic Beatles tune to shine the spotlight on animals other than "The Walrus."

AMA Bonus: Peter Sagal Rides A Hog...But Does He Wear Leather Pants?

Tuesday, September 03 2013 10:44 PM

In this podcast-only extra, Peter Sagal, host of NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" reflects on riding a hog, disappointing his father and sharpening his own parenting skills. Hear the entire Peter Sagal episode of Ask Me Another #222, available starting September 6, 2013.

AMA Bonus: Mr. Spock, How Much Of A Nerd Are You?

Friday, August 30 2013 09:53 PM

In this podcast-only extra, Peter Sagal, host of NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" defends his nerd status, claiming he's not an International Grandmaster Nerd, but more of a Regional Competitor Nerd.

Hear more from VIP Peter Sagal on Ask Me Another #222, available starting September 6, 2013.

AMA Favorites 003: The Really Hard Edition

Friday, August 30 2013 01:43 PM

Our first ever Really Hard Edition revisits some of the trickiest games played on Ask Me Another. Yes, this episode is full of subjects known to put fear (or, for some, joy) into your hearts: philosophy, history, math. But fret not. We’ve put our own spin on them, and injected healthy doses of comedy, music, pop culture and puns. Amid these grueling rounds, get into the head of puzzle editor Art Chung, who reveals the process behind creating the show’s games. Plus, how could we have a Really Hard Edition without anagrams from NPR's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz?

221: Monkee-ing Around

Friday, August 23 2013 01:23 PM

If you believe in magic, then this week’s show is for you. We’ll play word games based on Missy Elliott lyrics, do our own version of a TED talk, and brush up on our foodie lingo. We’ll also learn about irregular plurals, and take a thesaurus to the Oscars. This week’s V.I.P. is comedian and podcaster Julie Klausner, who dishes on pop culture and her love of The Monkees.

(R) 213: Frankly, We Heart Boston

Friday, August 16 2013 01:03 PM

(Rebroadcast) For our first-ever show on the road, we chose a city near and dear to our hearts: Boston. In this rousing hour, taped live at the Wilbur Theatre, we poke a little ‘pun’ at the local accent, imagine famous songs as if they had been written about Boston neighborhoods, and sing everyone’s favorite Fenway Park anthem. Plus, we step up our own game, bringing you three guests and hometown heroes: film critic Wesley Morris, young adult author Lois Lowry, and the wit of Capitol Hill, former Congressman Barney Frank. We have to hand it to Bostonians—they are not ones to shy away from the puzzle hot seat.

(R) 209: Chess For Success

Friday, August 09 2013 01:03 PM

(Rebroadcast) The “Frankenstein-Dracula,” the “King’s Indian” and the “Fried Liver” are all famous ways to do what? As this week's V.I.P., International Grandmaster of chess Maurice Ashley, knows, they're all strategies to begin a chess match. In this episode, Ashley divulges his own chess-playing strategy that combines Zen-like meditation with CIA-like mind games. Plus: anagrams for foodies, cartoon characters with speech impediments, and gender-bending pop songs. Ready to play? Check and mate.

220: Solving For X: Live from the 2013 World Science Festival

Friday, August 02 2013 03:03 PM

Strap on your safety goggles: we’re turning up the Bunsen burners for a special math and science-themed episode, recorded at the 2013 World Science Festival. Play games that contain a Periodic Table spelling bee, turn pop songs into algebraic equations, and imagine if Greek goddesses had their own franchise of Real Housewives. Plus, our Very Important Puzzler, Cornell University math professor Steven Strogatz, is on a mission to prove that math isn’t scary, but actually joyful.

(R) 211: Always Bet On Black

Friday, July 26 2013 01:03 PM

This week, test your trivia prowess in games about celebrities who share the same name, tech companies that sound like Star Wars planets, and musicians whose names sound delicious. Plus our Very Important Puzzler, comedian, actor and author Michael Ian Black, reveals how becoming a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle launched his career. Hear him break out his best Valley Girl accent in the game “Just Do It?,” and since he’s a poker enthusiast, we up the ante with a card-themed quiz.  

219: Trivia Freaks And Puzzle Geeks

Saturday, July 20 2013 12:53 PM

Would you classify your high school self as an A/V nerd, band geek or mathlete? This week’s show pays homage to them all. In the games, we’ll spoil some famous films by not spoiling anything at all, teach you how to “put a Björk in it,” and make an inordinate amount of cat jokes. And Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids and The Heat, discusses why funny women should be bigger stars, and reflects on the legacy of his beloved creation, the short-lived TV series Freaks and Geeks.

AMA Bonus Round: Paul Feig's Geek History

Wednesday, July 17 2013 05:33 PM

In this podcast-only extra, director Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks, Bridesmaids, The Heat) talks with Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg about his early forays into show business. These include performing magic at a nursing home and, a few years later, stand-up comedy in a Detroit biker bar. Plus, hear which whip-smart movie inspired him to get into filmmaking, and how he fared in his past game show experiences.

Hear more from VIP Paul Feig on Ask Me Another #219, available starting July 19, 2013.

218: LIVE From Central Park, It's Ask Me Another

Friday, July 12 2013 01:13 PM

This summer spectacular, recorded outdoors in New York City's Central Park, is a jam-packed show. The Office's B.J. Novak hits the puzzle hotseat for a Shakespearean pop quiz, Wet Hot American Summer filmmaker David Wain flaunts his movie trivia prowess, and Kurt Andersen, host of PRI's Studio 360, stakes his claim as a literary romantic. Plus, a ukulele-strumming Nellie McKay joins Jonathan Coulton to sing the catchiest songs of summers past, and NPR Puzzlemaster Will Shortz tries to stump contestants with a doozy of a final anagram showdown.

Bonus: Nellie McKay and Jonathan Coulton sing 'Bodega'

Thursday, July 11 2013 03:23 PM

The show we recorded at Central Park's SummerStage was so jam-packed, we couldn't include everything in the radio show. In this podcast-only extra, singer-songwriter Nellie McKay and house musician Jonathan Coulton perform McKay's song, "Bodega." (Say it with us: "boh-DAY-guh.")

(R) 207: Special Pundits Unit

Friday, July 05 2013 01:53 PM

(Rebroadcast) In the Ask Me Another justice system, contestants are quizzed by two separate yet equally important groups: the puzzle gurus, who investigate pop culture and word oddities, and the score keepers, who prosecute the answers. This week, hear their stories as we test our V.I.P., political pundit Keli Goff, on her favorite series, Law & Order. Plus, celebrate history’s greatest thinkers, from Confucius to Carly Rae Jepsen.

Bonus: Scattergories With Michael Jackson

Thursday, July 04 2013 01:41 AM

(This is a podcast-only extra.) Actor and writer B.J. Novak (NBC’s The Office, Inglourious Basterds) joined Ask Me Another recently as a Very Important Puzzler. When asked if he grew up in a game-playing family, he launched into a story about the time he played Scattergories with the King of Pop. Listen to the extended cut of his epic tale.
 
This is a sneak peek of the show we recorded in New York City at Central Park's SummerStage on June 14th, 2013. Hear the full episode on July 12th, 2013.

217: Seventh-Inning (Mind) Stretch

Friday, June 28 2013 01:43 PM

If you're the type of person who gives your pet a name like "Chairman Meow," then you'll be right at home with this week's games. We'll combine highbrow folks (world leaders) with the lowest form of comedy (puns), spend a little time in Celebrity A-A, and find out what happens when house musician Jonathan Coulton applies his mellow song stylings to the electric wizard, Jimi Hendrix. Plus, we have the inventor of fantasy baseball, Daniel Okrent, on the show to play a game about the sport's most hilarious oddities.

216: All Hail The King

Friday, June 21 2013 01:53 PM

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

(R) 208: He Blinded Me With Science

Friday, June 14 2013 03:30 PM

(Rebroadcast) Science takes center stage this week as we play games about scientific discoveries both intentional and accidental. We'll get brainy with our Very Important Puzzler, host of WNYC's Radiolab Jad Abumrad, as he talks about his quest to become a science vampire. Plus, we roll the dice on clues about our favorite board games and find out the premises of fake TV show adaptations, from Finding Emo to Oy! Story.

215: Lizz Free Or Die

Friday, June 07 2013 01:47 PM

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. Plus, get tongue-tied in Italian and find out which of your friends have “aptronyms” for names. It may even be you.

214: Hook, Line And Thinker

Friday, May 31 2013 01:33 PM

You can always count on Ask Me Another to cover a wide range of useful knowledge. In this episode, learn the middle names of former Presidents while solving famous murder mysteries from the movies. And this week's Very Important Puzzler, author Dan Kennedy, will teach you about his eclectic interests, including trout fishing, fighting forest fires and blurring the lines between fiction writing and real life.

(R) 204: So A Girl Walks Into A Bar...

Friday, May 24 2013 01:43 PM

(Rebroadcast) This week's versatile V.I.P., Rosie Schaap, has had spells as an author, an ordained minister, a fortuneteller, and a bartender — which serves her well during a delectable drinking game. And with quizzes covering highfalutin children's literature, crossbred celebrities and a geologist's favorite Queen song, this week's contestants show a little versatility, too.

AMA Favorites 002: The "Ophira Plays Favorites" Edition

Friday, May 17 2013 01:43 PM

This week, Ask Me Another leaves the decision making up to host Ophira Eisenberg, as we revisit some of her favorite games from the past two seasons. Ophira's motto: the weirder, the better. We'll analyze literary classics and bestsellers based on one-star Amazon reviews, flip through the pages of etiquette manuals published in the early 1960s, and even attempt the impossible: play Pictionary...on the radio! Plus: a tribute to a Billy Joel classic, reading advertising slogans like Valley Girls, and a quiz all about Starchild, Demon, Space Ace, and Catman — otherwise known as the rock band KISS. It's a trip down Ophira's memory lane — no flashback sequence necessary.

213: Frankly, We Heart Boston

Friday, May 10 2013 02:33 PM

For our first-ever show on the road, we chose a city near and dear to our hearts: Boston. In this rousing hour, taped live at the Wilbur Theatre, we poke a little 'pun' at the local accent, imagine famous songs as if they had been written about Boston neighborhoods, and sing everyone's favorite Fenway Park anthem. Plus, we step up our own game, bringing you three guests and hometown heroes: film critic Wesley Morris, young adult author Lois Lowry, and the wit of Capitol Hill, former Congressman Barney Frank. We have to hand it to Bostonians—they are not ones to shy away from the puzzle hot seat.

212: The Human Guinea Pig

Friday, May 03 2013 01:03 PM

This week, go grocery shopping with celebrities, learn to pronounce some really long German words, and have a little 'pun' with animal noises. Plus, find out about one man's quests to read the encyclopedia from A to Z, live his life according to the Bible, and achieve bodily perfection—author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs. How do you quiz the V.I.P. who knows everything?

203 (R): Send In The Clowns

Friday, April 26 2013 02:43 PM

(Rebroadcast): Ever wanted to run away with the circus? This week’s show might be the next best thing, as Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, The Big Apple Circus’ husband-and-wife team of globetrotting masked comedy masters, pay a visit. Plus, we’ll follow a famous clown around the world, give some military officers a word game salute, and find out there’s nothing original left in Hollywood.

211: Always Bet On Black

Friday, April 19 2013 01:03 PM

This week, test your trivia prowess in games about celebrities who share the same name, tech companies that sound like Star Wars planets, and musicians whose names sound delicious. Plus our Very Important Puzzler, comedian, actor and author Michael Ian Black, reveals how becoming a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle launched his career. Hear him break out his best Valley Girl accent in the game "Just Do It?," and since he's a poker enthusiast, we up the ante with a card-themed quiz.

210: Meme Me Up, Scotty

Friday, April 12 2013 01:53 PM

On the Internet, you have limitless opportunities. You can leave scathing reviews of literary classics on a public forum. You can make a video of a cat doing a silly dance or falling down...and your work can entertain millions of people. Or, you can order many, many Jonathan Coulton CDs. This week's V.I.P., Mike Rugnetta, is the host of the PBS web series Idea Channel, and he has a few ideas of his own about the intersection of technology, philosophy, art and culture. We put him to the test to see exactly how well he knows his Internet memes. Plus, we attempt the unthinkable: Pictionary on the radio. Can it be done? Tune in to find out.

(R) 201: Fifty Shades Of Dr. Ruth

Friday, April 05 2013 01:33 PM

(Rebroadcast) This week, we revisit the 20th century with Billy Joel, write novels the Robert Ludlum way, and catch words with a subtle silent "t". Plus, we talk "Fifty Shades of Grey" with our V.I.P. (that's "Very Important Puzzler"), superstar sex doctor Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

209: Chess For Success

Friday, March 29 2013 05:23 PM

The "Frankenstein-Dracula," the "King's Indian" and the "Fried Liver" are all famous ways to do what? As this week's V.I.P., International Grandmaster of chess Maurice Ashley, knows, they're all strategies to begin a chess match. In this episode, Ashley divulges his own chess-playing strategy that combines Zen-like meditation with CIA-like mind games. Plus: anagrams for foodies, cartoon characters with speech impediments, and gender-bending pop songs. Ready to play? Check and mate.

AMA Favorites 001: Lights! Camera! Answers?

Friday, March 22 2013 01:23 PM

This week, Ask Me Another goes celluloid by revisiting some favorite movie games from the past two seasons. We'll mash up plots, contemplate why some films have such ridiculous titles, and even get a little Randy. That's right: did you know that any movie can be Randy Newman-ized with a jaunty tune? Plus: overseas American films get lost in translation, and monsters and villains attempt online dating. Celebrate your inner cinephile, you connoisseurs of IMDB. We're bringing the lights, camera and action to the radio. (This episode contains previously-aired material.)

208: He Blinded Me With Science

Friday, March 15 2013 01:03 PM

Science takes center stage this week as we play games about scientific discoveries both intentional and accidental. We'll get brainy with our Very Important Puzzler, Radiolab host Jad Abumrad, as he talks about his quest to become a science vampire. Plus, we roll the dice on clues about our favorite board games and find out the premises of fake TV show adaptations, from Finding Emo to Oy! Story.

(R) 112: The Puzzle Master Takes On The Puzzle Grasshopper

Friday, March 08 2013 02:43 PM

(Rebroadcast) What famous fantasy novel follows a group of rabbits in search of laundry detergent? How about Watership Downy? This week on NPR's hour of puzzles, word games, and trivia: famous works of art and literature are slapped with product placement, we honor "Weird Al" Yankovic's timeless tunes, and one of Ask Me Another's own puzzle gurus challenges the puzzle world master, Will Shortz, in an anagram showdown for the ages.

207: Special Pundits Unit

Friday, March 01 2013 02:03 PM

In the Ask Me Another justice system, contestants are quizzed by two separate yet equally important groups: the puzzle gurus, who investigate pop culture and word oddities, and the score keepers, who prosecute the answers. This week, hear their stories as we test our V.I.P., political pundit Keli Goff, on her favorite series, Law & Order. Plus, celebrate history's greatest thinkers, from Confucius to Carly Rae Jepsen.

206: The Guttenberg Bible

Friday, February 22 2013 02:33 PM

You may know this week's V.I.P. (Very Important Puzzler) Steve Guttenberg from such iconic films as Diner, Cocoon, and Three Men and a Baby. But he wears plenty of other hats: author, reality show contestant, even Guinness World Record holder. In this episode we'll explore all things Gute. Plus, we'll dine out on some soft rock, give movies the Randy Newman treatment, and find out that Mark Twain isn't all he's cracked up to be.

(R) 113: How To Be Black

Friday, February 15 2013 05:03 PM

(Rebroadcast) If you love playing around with palindromes, quoting Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess, and spotting factual errors in the news (Editor's note: "What factual errors?"), then this episode will make you so happy, you'll want to clap your hands. Plus, this week's hilarious V.I.P., Baratunde Thurston, has some advice for the Area Man or Woman in all of us.

205: Sharpen Your Wits (And Your Pencils)

Friday, February 08 2013 04:23 PM

"Shake it like a polar bear ninja!" If you suspect that these are not the correct lyrics to Outkast's "Hey Ya!", then this week's game of mondegreens (misheard lyrics) is for you. We'll also visit the world of late-night infomercials, learn how to tell the difference between Michael Caine and Anthony Hopkins, and root for our favorite gluttonous, envious, lustful basketball team: the Phoenix Sins. Plus, V.I.P. David Rees teaches us how to sharpen pencils the artisanal way.

204: So A Girl Walks Into A Bar...

Friday, February 01 2013 02:33 PM

This week's versatile V.I.P., Rosie Schaap, has had spells as an author, an ordained minister, a fortuneteller, and a bartender — which serves her well during a delectable drinking game. And with quizzes covering highfalutin children's literature, crossbred celebrities and a geologist's favorite Queen song, this week's contestants show a little versatility, too.

(R) 101: The Man Who Knew Too Much. Way Too Much.

Friday, January 25 2013 10:23 PM

(Rebroadcast) So you think you're a TV buff. But how well do you know shows by their episode titles? Contestants are put to some pop culture challenges, like deciphering breakfast cereal haikus and a remixed nursery rhyme. Plus, this week's V.I.P. is a certain brainiac who shares a few of his favorite apocalyptic prophesies.

Send In The Clowns

Friday, January 18 2013 04:31 PM

Ever wanted to run away with the circus? This week's show might be the next best thing, as Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, The Big Apple Circus' husband-and-wife team of globetrotting masked comedy masters, pay a visit. Plus, we'll follow a famous clown around the world, give some military officers a word game salute, and find out there's nothing original left in Hollywood.

Once A Jersey Girl...

Friday, January 11 2013 02:23 PM

Do you know what a Russian pig sounds like? What about a Japanese bee? Find out as we test you on animal kingdom noises, spoil some TV show finales, and walk the streets with a song in our hearts. Plus, our V.I.P. may make her living as a Czech musician, but she's a Jersey girl at heart — it's Cristin Milioti, star of the Broadway musical Once.

Fifty Shades Of Dr. Ruth

Thursday, January 03 2013 03:17 PM

This week, we revisit the 20th century with Billy Joel, write novels the Robert Ludlum way, and catch words with a subtle silent "t". Plus, we talk "27 Shades of Grey" with our V.I.P. (that's "Very Important Puzzler"), superstar sex doctor Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

Bonus: A Holiday Hullabaloo

Monday, December 17 2012 05:33 PM

On this behind-the-scenes, podcast-only extra, host Ophira Eisenberg warms up the crowd before a taping of Ask Me Another with a childhood tale of her fascination with Christmas. Plus house musician Jonathan Coulton and special guest John Roderick perform a rousing rendition of the title track from their new holiday album "One Christmas At A Time."

113: How To Be Black

Friday, July 27 2012 02:01 PM

If you love playing around with palindromes, quoting Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess, and spotting factual errors in the news (Editor’s note...What factual errors? ...then this episode will make you so happy, you’ll want to clap your hands. Plus, this week’s hilarious Mystery Guest has some advice for the Area Man or Woman in all of us.

The Puzzle Master Takes On the Puzzle Grasshopper

Friday, July 20 2012 02:03 PM

What famous fantasy novel follows a group of rabbits in search of laundry detergent? How about Watership Downy? This week, famous works of art and literature are slapped with product placement, we honor...Weird Al...Yankovic’s timeless tunes, and one of Ask Me Another’s own challenges the puzzle world master in an anagram showdown for the ages.

The Big, Mean, and Green

Friday, July 13 2012 01:46 PM

Can you tell the difference between a Harry Potter spell, a prescription drug, and a piece of IKEA furniture? This week, some brainy contestants have the chance to befriend both Gore Vidal and Dracula, while our Mystery Guest, a Rhodes Scholar-turned-filmmaker and comic book scribe, is put to the test in this hour of puzzles and trivia.

The Girl Who Played With Her Food

Friday, July 06 2012 01:32 PM

This week’s contestants try to translate some international film titles, like...Meetings and Failures in Meetings...back into English, and name another military official, besides Colonel Sanders, who’s famous for his chicken. Chances are, this week’s Mystery Guest, a sweet-toothed chemist in her culinary laboratory, knows the answer.

Secret Agent Man

Friday, June 29 2012 01:49 PM

Host Ophira Eisenberg and her puzzle gurus serve up presidential tunes from our nation’s capital, such as the hit song...Summer of 69... by the second U.S. President John Adams…wait a minute. Also on the menu are a variety of cheeses—or are they Moby Dick characters? This week’s Mystery Guest probably knows, since his specialty is intelligence.

The Sporting Lifer

Friday, June 22 2012 01:36 PM

What sounds right...remember the Alamo...or...remember the Aniston? For this hour of puzzles and trivia, it may help to know both. Contestants try to top the lyrical talents of Justin Bieber, while a backwards spelling bee turns a few heads. Plus, our Mystery Guest, a best-selling journalist, tests his knowledge of pro athletes-turned-bad actors.

The...Too Many Editions...Edition

Friday, June 15 2012 01:41 PM

What ever happened to predictability? ...asked one esteemed poet – or was that a TV theme song? Host Ophira Eisenberg and her puzzle mavens travel to Washington, D.C. to look for math in odd places, and some classic novels find some fitting new underwriters. All this, plus a special visit from this week’s Mystery Guest, a worldly NPR correspondent.

You Always Remember Your First KISS

Friday, June 08 2012 01:51 PM

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt shares a name with several of us, but did you know that Swingers director Jon Favreau shares his name with a White House speechwriter? This hour of puzzles and games involves shared names, fictional love triangles, and a quiz specially tailored for our Mystery Guest, a notable rock critic and pop culture aficionado.

The Maverick of the Twitter Set

Friday, June 01 2012 02:05 PM

What if horror film characters ran personal ads on dating sites, and musicians wrote songs like...Wake Up, Little Herman? Our puzzle gurus imagine such a world, while our Mystery Guest, a 21st-century political darling, tells us what makes America sexy, and shows us that the good life is but a tweet away.

Auto-Tune The Puzzle Show

Friday, May 25 2012 02:12 PM

House musician Jonathan Coulton takes a 90s alt-rock hit around the world in this week’s music game, while contestants go to Tinseltown for some weird movie mash-ups. And ever wonder what car Tiger Woods might drive if he wanted to keep out of Page Six? Speaking of news, this week’s Mystery Guests tell us how they keep in tune with the headlines.

They Had Me At Hello

Friday, May 18 2012 02:02 PM

“Radio is a sound salvation,” sang Elvis Costello, and it’s also the theme of Jonathan Coulton’s euphonious music quiz. Speaking of music, our Mystery Guest is a Broadway superstar, put to the test on her musical theater know-how. Plus, mutated movie titles, a double name game, and an etiquette test from the 1960s. Got a light?

What Not To Wear On The Radio

Friday, May 11 2012 03:07 PM

What do you get when you throw Leonard Bernstein, a 19th-century murderer, and the CEO of Goldman Sachs in a room together? Perhaps the best R.E.M. song ever. In this hour, contestants create horrific hybrids like Dr. Moreau, rewrite some outdated Cole Porter lyrics, and join this week's Mystery Guest to evaluate their own signature flourish.

The Man Who Knew Too Much. Way Too Much.

Friday, May 04 2012 02:24 PM

So you think you’re a TV buff—but how well do you know your shows by their episode titles? This week’s contestants are put to some pop culture challenges, like deciphering breakfast cereal haikus and a remixed nursery rhyme. Plus, a certain brainiac shares a few of his favorite apocalyptic prophesies.