About 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!'
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! is NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what's real news and what's made up. On the Web, you can play along too.
It takes more than a couple brain cells to make this show what it is... so let's give credit where credit's due.
Peter Sagal — Host
Prior to becoming host of Wait Wait in 1998, Peter had a varied career including stints as a playwright, screenwriter, stage director, actor, extra in a Michael Jackson video, travel writer, essayist, ghostwriter and staff writer for a motorcycle magazine. He has written two books — The Book of Vice: Naughty Things and How to Do Them (Harper Collins, 2007) and The Incomplete Book of Running (Simon & Schuster, 2018). He has contributed essays to Opera News, AARP the Magazine, Saveur, Finesse, and is the "Road Scholar" columnist for Runner's World. He has traveled to many places and done many things but is now happiest where he lives, north of Chicago, with his wife, Mara Sagal, one dog and two sons.
Bill Kurtis – Official Judge and Scorekeeper
For many, Bill Kurtis was the face, the voice, and the hair of the news in Chicago. Along with his co-anchor, Walter Jacobson, Bill brought authority and integrity to CBS-affiliate WBBM. Since then, he's produced and hosted such shows as Investigative Reports, American Justice and Cold Case Files; and was also the narrator of Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy. Essentially, if you hear Bill Kurtis saying your name, you've either committed a terrible crime, or you're Will Ferrell. Bill is also the founder of Tallgrass Beef Company, where, every night, he lulls his grass-fed cows to sleep by reading them a bedtime story.
Carl Kasell — Scorekeeper Emeritus
Carl – an all-around genius and great guy – had a five-decade career in broadcasting. After 30 years as a signature voice of NPR's morning newscasts, Carl embraced an unexpected comedy role, as the Official Judge and Scorekeeper of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, which premiered in January 1998. In 2014, he announced he would become Scorekeeper Emeritus and continued to record custom voice mail greetings for the show's lucky winners. (Listen to some of them here). Carl died in April 2018 at the age of 84. You can read Peter's appreciations of him here and here.
Doug Berman — Benevolent Overlord
Doug Berman is the Peabody Award-winning producer of NPR's Car Talk and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! For the last 30 years, he's been on a one-man crusade to get NPR to lighten up. He was a news director at NPR member stations WFCR in Amherst, Mass., and WBUR in Boston before giving up his legitimate career for this stuff.
Ian Chillag – Senior Producer
Ian has one job. He hides in the back of the auditorium with a blowgun, ready to take out Peter Sagal with a tranquilizer dart if he attempts to reveal classified information about NPR while on stage. There are secrets, people. Secrets which, were they to get out, would destabilize the nation and perhaps the world. Frankly, we've already said too much.
Emma Choi – Host, Everyone & Their Mom
Emma was born in Liverpool on October 9th, 1940 to Julia and Alfred Lennon. After a semi-successful career in music, she gave it all up to restart life as a Korean American woman with a walnut allergy. After joining Wait Wait as an intern in 2021,
John Emma now hosts its spinoff show Everyone & Their Mom. She would like to thank Mike for being so easy to blackmail, and her wife Yoko for her endless support.
Mike Danforth — Executive Producer
Mike joined Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! in 2000. In his time at the show, Mike has done everything from book guests, manage the staff limericist, negotiate venue contracts, host a podcast and do what he can to stop Peter Sagal from making fart jokes. In 2018, Mike won third place in Urban Prairie Waldorf School Pie Contest (Grown Ups Favorite).
Shayna Donald – Tour Manager
Shayna—affectionately known as Shayna D.—was born on Chicago's south side to some pretty cool and creative parents. After obtaining a degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University in Florida, this road warrior has traveled the world touring with everything from big brands (Red Bull, Playstation) to big bands (The Eagles, Red Hot Chili Peppers). She's now enjoying tackling the even wilder world of touring with comedians on the Wait Wait Stand Up Tour!
Miles Doornbos – Producer
Miles is an internationally renowned jewel thief who's currently on the run from Scotland Yard. So, if a man named Inspector Pennyfeather questions you about his whereabouts after the show, we're going to need you to create a diversion so that Miles can escape out the back door. Please and thank you.
Peter Gwinn –
Peter is our everything.
Lillian King – Producer
Lillian ("Tilly") joined Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! in 2018, two years after her internship where she famously explained "the peach is the butt" to the staff. At Wait Wait, Lillian keeps Peter up to date on which celebs are kissing, eats stew and sends messages to the sole writer and editor of "The Jennifer Mills News," Jennifer Mills. In her past life, she ladled out borscht in Toronto, read Russian books in Montreal and played folk guitar with her friends. Lillian is 5'10".
Colin Miller – Master of Operations
Colin doesn't make the fart jokes for Wait Wait — he just ensures the fart jokes are able to happen. If the show was a band touring the country, he would be the bassist. He would also be the janitor, accountant, agent and chef. Honestly, he simply can't make up his mind and has never really excelled at any one thing. Colin comes from a family and has now made one of his own.
Jennifer Mills – Producer
Jennifer is a producer for Wait Wait, and the primary caregiver of "Tady," the office's official shriveled potato. She has previously worked at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received her Master's in Performance Art. Jennifer is also the editor-in-chief of the long-running, non-award winning, weekly publication, "The Jennifer Mills News," which was established in 2002. Please visit www.jennifermillsnews.org for all your news needs.
Robert Neuhaus – Production Manager
Robert has spent a lifetime creating funny noises and helping other people hear them. For NPR he has recorded everything from important politicians to squealing hogs, and still manages to tell the difference. A Joseph Jefferson Award-winning Sound Designer, Robert has been helping to bring Wait Wait to America since its debut in 1998 and he hardly regrets it at all.
Lorna White – Technical Director
Lorna began working at NPR in 1984 as a child. When she was old enough to tell fart jokes in 1998, NPR gave her a show called Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! Her duties as Technical Director include touching celebrity ears, directing stern looks and alerting stations to objectionable language in the broadcasts. She and her daughter Wendy devote their spare time to caring for animals.
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