Dec 182012

In this episode of the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! : Our panelists tell three stories about un-authorized Olympic tie-ins.

Listen to the Story

[audio:|titles=Bluff The Listener – Olympic tie-ins]

Click here for the transcript of this episode

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT…DON’T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I’m Carl Kasell. We’re playing this week with Charlie Pierce, Adam Felber and Paula Pell. And here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you so much. Right now, it’s time – thank you – for the WAIT WAIT…DON’T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait-Wait to play our game on the air. Hi, you’re on WAIT WAIT…DON’T TELL ME.

JEANETTE ARPAGAUS: Hi, this is Jeanette Arpagaus from San Francisco.

SAGAL: Hey, how are things in San Francisco?

ARPAGAUS: Pretty nice.

SAGAL: I mean, San Francisco is such a great place for leisure time. What do you do there for fun?

ARPAGAUS: Oh, just walks and discovering the city. I mean, I just discover something every week, and I’ve been here for 20 years.

SAGAL: Yeah.

ARPAGAUS: It’s just a beautiful city.

SAGAL: Have you noticed there are a lot of hills there?

ARPAGAUS: Yes, I noticed.


SAGAL: OK. Nice to have you with us, Jeanette. You are going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Carl, what is Jeanette’s topic?

KASELL: How about a genuine Michael Phelps bath toy?


SAGAL: The International Olympic Committee is notoriously strict about just who gets to use the official Olympic logo, do Olympic merchandise. So, in order to show their support for the games and make some money, businesses have to get creative. This week, our panelists are going to tell you about three unauthorized Olympic tie-ins. Guess the real story; you’ll win Carl’s voice on your voicemail or answering machine. Ready to play?


SAGAL: First, let’s hear from Adam Felber.

ADAM FELBER: It’s right outside the gates of the Olympic village where you can see and hear the biggest athletes, or at least their effigies. That’s right, talking jocks. Plush, miniaturized renditions of Olympic stars that utter catch phrases when squeezed are the off market sensation of the games.

Birmingham-born Nolan Gasser created the dolls to be easily customized and the voices to be inserted at the last minute. So you can purchase up to the second satirical souvenirs. 16-year-old Chinese women’s swimming sensation Ye Shiwen for instance, merely utters a masculine roar, which is perhaps explained by the toy hypodermic needle protruding from her backside.

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