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Real Or Fake Self-Help Book?

Oct 27, 2017
Originally published on April 20, 2018 8:36 am

Paul Scheer and D'Arcy Carden took a page out of How to Win Ask Me Another and Influence People for their next quiz, deciding whether self-help book descriptions were real or fake.

Heard On Los Angeles: Famepocalypse Part One


Paul Scheer On The Early Days Of The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

I remember doing a show for one person. And then we decided we would chase him out.

D'Arcy Carden On Finding Her Calling

You just have that moment, whatever it is you do. When you saw your first surgery and you knew you wanted to be a doctor.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Our next game is about self-help books. We found it on Goop. But first, let's check in with our contestants. Now, Paul, I - you live in LA. But I know...


EISENBERG: ...You came up through the Upright Citizens Brigade improv...


EISENBERG: ...Scene in New York City. And you were there, like, kind of in the beginning amazing years.

SCHEER: Yeah, I was at the UCB theater when it was in a five-floor walk-up above a hardware store...

D'ARCY CARDEN: (Laughter).

SCHEER: ...That the elevator didn't hold more than two people or it would break.

EISENBERG: And shows at UCB are just sold out all the time.


EISENBERG: Was it like that right from the beginning?

SCHEER: No, no, no. I remember doing a show for one person.


SCHEER: And then we decided we would chase him out.


SCHEER: So we were doing a sketch show. And we had this, like, little baby, like, a little, you know, like, plastic. And we just put a roll of masking tape on the baby's head and then ran around the baby in a circle - all five of us - me, Rob Riggle, Rob Huebel - and just chanted, bellhop baby, bellhop baby, bellhop baby until the person left.


EISENBERG: That's totally...

SCHEER: So it was like, we didn't appreciate that there was one person there. We're like, screw you for showing up. Eventually, it changed, and then there were a lot of people there.

EISENBERG: Then there were more than one.

SCHEER: But there was one person who saw a very special rendition of bellhop baby.




EISENBERG: ...You - you're a fixture of the LA improv scene, UCB...


EISENBERG: ...too - Upright Citizens Brigade. So OK, you said no to stand-up.

CARDEN: Yeah, I did. I know it doesn't seem different than stand-up, but it is such a...

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah.

CARDEN: ...Different kind of brain than stand-up.

SCHEER: Well, it's like one thing is a solo sport...

CARDEN: Right.

SCHEER: ...And the other thing is a team sport.


CARDEN: Right.

EISENBERG: So what was it about improv for you that captured your soul?

CARDEN: It's funny. When I saw my first improv show - which this is too weird because Paul was in it.

SCHEER: Really?


SCHEER: Oh, my gosh.

CARDEN: It was an ASSSSCAT at UCB New York.


CARDEN: And I sat in the front row. And I - it really was like one of those moments where I was like, I see God. I just was like, this is what I want to do. You just have that moment - whatever it is you do - when you saw your first surgery, and you knew you wanted to be a doctor.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

SCHEER: When you saw "Brewster's Millions"....

EISENBERG: That's usually how it works.

SCHEER: ...And you realized I want to play minor league baseball and get a million dollars.


EISENBERG: Let's go to your second game. In this game, we're going to give you the title of a self-help book, and you're going to tell us if it's a real book or one we made up.


SCHEER: Right.

EISENBERG: OK, you don't need to buzz in. We're going to alternate back and forth. Here we go. Here we go. D'Arcy...


EISENBERG: ..."How To Avoid Huge Ships" - real or fake?


SCHEER: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: I'm sorry, that is real.


CARDEN: Good for that book, honestly.

SCHEER: Good for that book.

EISENBERG: The answer is go around, but it is...


EISENBERG: ...Actually written for small-boat operators to give you advice - what to do when you encounter a huge ship.

CARDEN: You know what? That should exist.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

SCHEER: It's a great book, a good read if - a good beach read.

EISENBERG: Paul, "How To Lose Weight While Driving."

SCHEER: I'm going to say that is a true book.

EISENBERG: I'm sorry, that is fake.

SCHEER: Oh. Can I take the idea for that book?



EISENBERG: D'Arcy, how about...


EISENBERG: ...This one? "Shut Up, Stop Whining And Get A Life."

CARDEN: That's...

EISENBERG: Real or fake?

CARDEN: That's true.

EISENBERG: That is true, yeah. That is true.


EISENBERG: All right, Paul, "Cosmetic Surgery For Dummies."

SCHEER: I am going to say false.

EISENBERG: I'm sorry, it is real.

SCHEER: You can't do surgery for dummies.

EISENBERG: It's not a how-to book, it's just about getting it.


SCHEER: I knew it. My gut was like, say it, say it, but I...

CARDEN: (Laughter).



EISENBERG: "How To Avoid Hipsters."

CARDEN: I'm going to say real.

EISENBERG: Sorry, that is fake.

CARDEN: Yeah, of course it is because I always get it wrong.

EISENBERG: There's no way to avoid them.




EISENBERG: "Knitting With Dog Hair," real or fake?


EISENBERG: (Laughter) Too bad, it's real.

CARDEN: Oh, my...


CARDEN: What kind of dog?

SCHEER: How long is that dog hair?

CARDEN: Really.

EISENBERG: The subtitle is "Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know And Love Than From A Sheep You've Never Met."



EISENBERG: All right, great game. Let's go to our puzzle guru Art Chung. How did our celebritestants do?

ART CHUNG: Not a lot of points there, but after two games, Paul is still in the lead.

CARDEN: Yeah, big whoop.

EISENBERG: Coming up, Jonathan Coulton will sing about other things that the letters LA could stand for, like lazy agent. And we'll meet our next pair of celebritestants Brett Gelman and Missi Pyle, plus special musical guest Aimee Mann. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.


CHAKA KHAN: (Singing) He's on his way. He's going to Hollywood. He's bussing it to Hollywood. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.