Ask Me Another
8:56 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Popping The Question

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 9:05 am

Music sometimes asks big questions, like "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" In this game, rewritten lyrics to inquisitively-titled songs make them decidedly weirder. Tell me why: why do hands fit in gloves?

Heard in Episode 318: O'Brother, Where Art Thou Quiz Show?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's meet our next two contests Benny Goldman (ph) and Alex Konigserg (ph).

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hello, Benny.

BENNY GOLDMAN: How's it going?

EISENBERG: Good. How are you doing?

GOLDMAN: I'm good, thanks.

EISENBERG: You're really into rap music, but you also enjoy bowling. I love that.

GOLDMAN: Two of my favorite things in life.

EISENBERG: That is a great - are you part of a bowling league?

GOLDMAN: I am in a bowling league. Yeah. I combined my love of music with my love of bowling.

EISENBERG: OK.

GOLDMAN: And I got fortunate enough to join a team that already had the name Bowl-hemian Rhapsody.

EISENBERG: Oh, yes. Do you guys have T-shirts or anything?

GOLDMAN: Oh, yeah. They're beautiful. They're like the Queen logo, but they're bowling pins instead of the...

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah.

GOLDMAN: Beautiful. It's great.

EISENBERG: And so when you walk in, are people scared of you? Are they like, no?

GOLDMAN: Oh, deathly afraid. Well, we haven't made the playoffs. I've been on the team for four years now.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

GOLDMAN: It's always next season.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Alex, I love this tidbit about you that your parents are hippies so you didn't watch television until late in life.

ALEX KONIGSBERG: Yes, 12 or so.

EISENBERG: Twelve. God, what did you do in those formative years?

KONIGSBERG: So I lived in the middle of nowhere so I got really into horseback riding. And I was also able to play "Star Wars" in my backyard.

EISENBERG: But you had no reference level for "Star Wars." How did you know what it was?

KONIGSBERG: No. I could watch movies.

EISENBERG: You could watch movies. Oh, OK. Got it.

KONIGSBERG: Anything we could get from the library, I could watch. And we could get "Star Wars" because it was more or less filmed in my backyard. So we kind of had the set for the forest moon of Endor.

EISENBERG: Really?

KONIGSBERG: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Where was your backyard?

KONIGSBERG: Northern California.

EISENBERG: I was going to be, like, oh.

KONIGSBERG: Exactly. A little town called Wood Acre.

EISENBERG: Oh, yes. OK. Sure.

KONIGSBERG: Of course yes, yes.

EISENBERG: No, no, no. But they had a library. That's all that matters. All right so this game is called pop the question. And of course, I'll never forget the day my current husband proposed to me.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: You are still on your first marriage, right, Jonathan?

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Yes, that's right. Still on my first marriage. Thanks. Thank you very much.

EISENBERG: I know it's bad to talk about it that temporary. But that's how it...

COULTON: No, it's - you know what? It's a great - for a first marriage, it's a great situation.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I love you honey. So contestants, I'm going to play songs whose titles are questions. But I'm going to replace each title with a different, perhaps less frequently asked question. All you have to do is identify the original question that is each song's title. And this is the one time where it is required to answer in the form of a question.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: The answer is a question, you see. I just blew your minds. Here we go. (Singing) Why do birds sing so gay? Lovers await the break of day. Why do hands fit in gloves? Why does the rain fall from up above? Why do hands fit in gloves? Why do hands fit in gloves?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Alex.

KONIGSBERG: Why do they fall in love.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Yeah, that's right. Oh, hold on.

ART CHUNG, BYLINE: Actually, can you be more specific?

COULTON: What is the title of the song?

KONIGSBERG: "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?"

EISENBERG: There you go.

CHUNG: "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: But nice singing voice.

COULTON: Yeah. Beautiful.

KONIGSBERG: I trained for the opera.

EISENBERG: You trained for the opera?

KONIGSBERG: Yes.

EISENBERG: You are full of things, Alex.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Deep webs.

COULTON: That's what happens when you don't watch television.

EISENBERG: I know you learn how to do stuff.

GOLDMAN: I'm in a bowling league.

(LAUGHTER)

KONIGSBERG: With music.

EISENBERG: Can't wait to hear you sing. I'm looking forward.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Singing) You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met you. I picked you out. I shook you up and turned you around and turned you into someone new. Don't - don't you have fleas? No, I can't believe it when I hear that you won't see me. Don't - don't you have fleas? No, I don't believe you when you say that you don't need me.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Alex.

KONIGSBERG: Don't you want me, baby?

COULTON: Yes. That is correct.

CHUNG: There's an extra baby.

COULTON: There's an extra maybe. But yeah, sure.

EISENBERG: We'll take that.

COULTON: You may applaud.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right, here we go. (Singing) Do you moisturize? 'Cause you have the most beautiful face. Do you moisturize?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Benny.

GOLDMAN: "Do You Realize?"

COULTON: That's correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: (Singing) In my heart, the fire is burning. Choose my color, find a star. Precious people always tell me that's a step - a step too far. Do you really like beef jerky? Do you really want to make me cry? Do you really like beef jerky? To you really want to make me cry?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Benny.

GOLDMAN: "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?"

COULTON: No, I don't. But yes, that is the right answer.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: It's like a vegan's lament the way he's saying it. Where's your singing, Benny?

GOLDMAN: I'm working on it. I'm working up to it.

COULTON: He's got to perfect the bowling first. And then he'll...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Then he'll get there.

GOLDMAN: Long way to go.

COULTON: (Singing) Why don't you stay the evening, kick back and watch the TV, and I'll fix a little something to eat. Oh, I know your back hurts from working on the tractor. How do you take your coffee, my sweet? I will raise the children if you pay all the bills. Where is my John Wayne? Where is my prairie song? Where is my happy ending? Why do nerds love Comicon?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Benny.

GOLDMAN: (Singing) "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?"

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Yes. You sounded eerily like Paula Cole just now.

EISENBERG: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDMAN: Thank you. I'm working on that one.

COULTON: Yeah. Very good. Very good. OK, this is your last clue. (Singing) Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare? Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there? Is your heart filled with pain? Shall I come back again? Tell me, dear, are your hamstrings too tight?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Alex.

KONIGSBERG: "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"

COULTON: You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: How did they do, Art?

CHUNG: We have a tie.

COULTON: Oh, my goodness.

EISENBERG: Oh, boy.

CHUNG: They just high-fived. OK, here's your tiebreaker question. The theme song to "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" ends with the question please won't you what?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

CHUNG: Benny

GOLDMAN: Be my neighbor.

(APPLAUSE)

CHUNG: Yes, you are correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Close game, but congratulations, Benny. You are moving on to our Ask Me One More final round coming at the end of the show. And coming up, we're going to see what our VIP John Turturro knows about fellow thespian Christopher Walken so stay tuned. This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.