Monday, October 25, 2010

"Wait, wait..." was worth the wait

Hi, my name is Christy and I listen to NPR.  (Hi, Christy.)

I realize this will make me seem like a wobbly conservative, but I adore several of NPR's weekend shows, especially Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, their quiz show about the news of the week, hosted by Peter Sagal and the fabulous Carl Kasell.  It airs on Saturdays, but inevitably I miss parts of it, so I listen to the podcasts. Each Saturday afternoon I anxiously await the time WWDTM drops into my library.

WWDTM is produced by the public radio station in The Windy City and is often taped before a live audience in the Chase Auditorium in downtown Chicago.  Since moving here I’ve often mentioned how fun it would be to attend a taping.  This September, to celebrate our 18th anniversary, Sean surprised me with tickets to the show!  So last week my dad came up to take care of the kids and Sean and I took off, Chicago-bound, ready to mingle with the NPR crowd.

A highlight of any trip out of Michigan is the opportunity to stop at Chick-fil-A.  We had to go a little bit out of our way, but it was definitely worth it.  As if there was any doubt…

We hit the big city around 2 pm local time and instantly remembered one thing we love about Lansing: no traffic.  Holy dadgum cow, how do people live like that?!  Oh, wait; we used to live like that.  We sat on the highway for an hour, barely creeping along.  It was two in the afternoon – why weren’t these people at work?!

After what felt like hours, we finally arrived at our hotel.  We wanted to stay right downtown, but those downtown hotels are really, really proud of their beds and rooms and little bottles of shampoo and we were really, really on a budget, so we stayed a bit outside the city.  This was good for the budget but bad for my nerves, because we had to get back in the car and head into the city to see the Wait, Wait taping.

The show is hosted by the aforementioned Sagal, who, with Kasell, asks questions of the panelists.  The panel is made up of writers and comedians like Julia Sweeney, Paul Provenza, Paula Poundstone, and P.J. O’Rourke.  The panelists at our taping were Mo Rocca, Kyrie O’Connor and Peter Grosz.  I was beyond thrilled with our panelists – Kyrie was quieter than the boys, but her comments were zingers.  Mo had a lot to say, and he was very funny.  Peter was fabulous. His comments were consistently on topic and hilarious. 

Each participant stayed after the show to chat with anyone who wanted to talk.  I wanted to talk!  And I wanted pictures!

Panelists Kyrie O'Connor and Peter Grosz

Me and Kyrie

Mo Rocca, who reminded me of...

Opus, for some reason.

Sean and Peter Sagal

Yes, the show’s participants and most of its listeners lean to the left.  Heck, they’re so far to the left of me they’re but mere specks in the distance.  Yes, the show made great fun of Justice Thomas’s wife’s phone call to Anita Hill.  Yes, Juan Williams was the butt of many jokes.  Even so, I admire the writing, which is superb and the way the panelists and Peter Sagal can come up with funny stuff on the spot is amazing.  But truth be told, my favorite part is Carl.  There has never been a more perfect radio voice, ever.  And it turns out, he’s as nice a guy as I’d hoped.

I even got a hug!

(Click here to listen to the show we saw.  Dick Van Dyke was the celebrity guest on Not My Job. Even though he wasn't there in person it was a thrill to hear him on the phone!)