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Literal TV Guide

Mar 20, 2014
Originally published on March 5, 2015 9:17 am

Lots of TV shows have self-explanatory titles, like Girls and Friends. But what the heck does host Ophira Eisenberg mean when she asks you what show "3,600 Seconds" might be? 60 Minutes, of course!

Heard in Episode 312: Leggo My Lego

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

From NPR and WNYC, live from the Bell House in Brooklyn, New York, this is ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, your host for this next hour of puzzles, word games, and trivia. And if you still have your Star Wars Lego set sitting in your bookshelf, then not only am I married to you, but you are going to love our VIP. He's an artist who makes incredible sculptures out of Legos-Nathan Sawaya.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And let's give it up for our one-man house band, Mr. Jonathan Coulton.

(APPLAUSE)

JONATHAN COULTON: Hello, Ophira. Hello, everybody.

EISENBERG: Well, it looks like we have our first two contestants. Let's welcome Lincoln Boehm and Brian Fulton. This game is called Literal TV Guide and it's sort of about television. Lincoln, you worked in TV, right? You were...

LINCOLN BOEHM: Yeah. I used...

EISENBERG: ...in late night?

BOEHM: Yeah. And the short-lived "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien." I used to write premises for monologue jokes for him which basically means that I would come in and scour the news for funny, interesting things, most of which involved people in Florida.

(LAUGHTER)

BOEHM: And snakes. And so that was what I was doing for a little while, basically.

EISENBERG: I mean, I don't know if you remember any of the favorite monologue premises, do you?

BOEHM: There was one that was somebody in Seattle had figured out a way to infuse vodka with bacon and it was so intriguing to the writers and everyone on the show that we actually called them and ordered enough for the office and ended up putting it on the air and Andy Richter, I think, tasted it and it was disgusting.

EISENBERG: Brian, have you ever had bacon flavored vodka?

BRIAN FULTON: No, but it sounds pretty good, you know.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: You know, you don't work in television but the town that you do work in television has made famous - Scranton.

FULTON: Yes, Scranton, Pennsylvania. Home of Dunder.

EISENBERG: "The Office." Yes.

FULTON: "The Office," Dunder Mifflin.

EISENBERG: So do tours roll through there now?

FULTON: Yeah. The tours. People stop through town. You know, one of the big spots is in the mall at Steamtown they had the sign from the opening credits and people just pose with it, you know, after the city removed because people were stopping on the highway to stop to pose with the sign. So they moved it into the mall now.

EISENBERG: All right. This is going to be fun. Lincoln, Brian, so television executives, as you can imagine, want us to watch their television shows so they try to give them titles that are very self-explanatory like "Friends" or "Girls." But in this game we're going to give you a dictionary-esque explanation of a television show's title and you have to identify the show. Let's turn to our puzzle guru Art Chung.

ART CHUNG: So if we said 3,600 seconds or one hour the show we're looking for would obviously be "60 Minutes."

EISENBERG: Yeah. Good.

CHUNG: Yeah, nodding. Sure.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So ring in when you know the answer.

FULTON: Correct.

EISENBERG: Correct.

CHUNG: Thank you, Brian.

EISENBERG: Thanks, Brian. And the winner of this game is, of course, going to move on to our Ask Me One More final round. I can tell you're ready so here we go. An older male sibling.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: You can talk it out. Lincoln?

BOEHM: "Big Brother"?

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: An aquarium enclosure holding cartan-nope, that's not going to happen. Hang on one second. A aquarium enclosure holding car...pfft...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yes, thank you. An aquarium enclosure holding cartantelent-no, I can't do it. I can't do it. What is it again? Cartangelen?

CHUNG: Cartilaginous.

EISENBERG: That's it, cartilaginous. Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That's not what is written here. Anyways. An aquarium enclosure holding cartagilenous fish. Do you know what I'm talking about?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Yes? You had so much time to figure that out. Brian.

FULTON: "Shark Tank"?

EISENBERG: Yep.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS)

EISENBERG: The country where someone was born or grew up.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

FULTON: "Homeland"?

EISENBERG: Brian is correct. Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: The only move in chess that requires two pieces to move at the same time.

CHUNG: It's also the name of a piece. In the corner.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

FULTON: "Castle"?

EISENBERG: Brian says "Castle" and he is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: The cosmological model that approximately 14 billion years ago the universe rapidly expanded from a very small agglomeration of matter.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Brian.

FULTON: "Big Bang Theory"?

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Where they put glasses on good looking people and they are magically nerds.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: A sudden, violent fall, especially while surfing.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Brian.

FULTON: "Wipeout"?

EISENBERG: "Wipeout." Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This is your last question. Areas of public land kept in a natural state and activities performed therein for enjoyment.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Come on.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: People are mad in the crowd. Give them a chance, everybody.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Brian.

FULTON: "Parks and Recreation"?

EISENBERG: There you go.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Someone in our crowd will talk to both of you later.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Come on! That was awesome. How did our contestants do, ARt?3

CHUNG: Brian was our winner.

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Brian.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: We'll see you again in our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HAPPY DAYS THEME")

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (singing) These days are ours. Share them with me. Oh, happy days. These days are ours. Happy and free. Oh, baby. These happy days are yours and mine. These happy days are yours and mine. Happy days. These days are ours. Share them with me. Oh, happy days. These days are ours. Happy and free. Oh, baby. These happy days are yours and mine. These happy days are yours and mine. Happy days. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.