FOX T H E AT R E
QUIZ S W E N Y D E M O THE NPR C
2 | encore Bill Kurtis, Official Judge and Scorekeeper, and Host Peter Sagal.
Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is National Public Radio’s Peabody Award-winning comedy news quiz show. Host Peter Sagal leads a rotating panel of comedians, writers, listener contestants, and celebrity guests through a rollicking review of the week’s news. Contestants vie for the most coveted prize in all of public radio: a custom-recorded greeting by any of our cast members for their voicemail. Atlanta’s Historic Fox Theatre | foxtheatre.com
PETER SAGAL – HOST Peter Sagal is, has been, and perhaps someday will be again, a husband, father, playwright, screenwriter, author, journalist, columnist, marathoner, “Jeopardy” contestant, dramaturg, podcast host, documentary host, foreign correspondent, wedding officiant, and magician’s assistant. As a playwright, his work has been produced or commissioned by the Long Wharf Theater, Seattle Rep, Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Florida Stage and many others here and abroad. He’s won awards from the Lannan Foundation, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and fellowships from the Camargo and Jerome Foundations. His screenwriting career began and pretty much ended with Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights which he wrote without meaning to.
In 1997, Peter got a call from a friend telling him about a new show at NPR, which was looking for “funny people who read a lot of newspapers.” He auditioned and appeared as a panelist on the first broadcast of Wait Wait… ºDon’t Tell Me! in January of 1998, and moved with his family to Chicago to become the host in May, alongside our original judge and scorekeeper, Carl Kasell. In the two decades since, he has traveled the country with the show, playing in venues such as the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, Red Rocks, Tanglewood, the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, and Carnegie Hall. He’s interviewed two Presidents, a number of Nobel Prize winners, astronauts and rocket scientists, musicians Elvis Costello, Yo Yo Ma, and Ice Cube, actors Tom Hanks and Scarlet Johansson and many, many others. Wait Wait… has grown from 50,000 weekly listeners on nine stations at its launch to over five million listeners on more than 700 stations, making it the most listened-to hour in public radio. This, however, has not gone to his head. In 2008, he accepted a Peabody Award on behalf of the panelists, crew, and producers of this show. He’s also won the Kurt Vonnegut Award for Humor from the Kurt Vonnegut Library. He’s the author of The Book of Vice: Naughty Things and How To Do Them and The Incomplete Book of Running, a memoir about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and other adventures while running long distances. He’s contributed essays to Opera News, Saveur, Finesse, The New York Times Magazine, and was the “Road Scholar” columnist for Runner’s World.
4 | encore On TV, Peter has made appearances on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and other shows, and hosted “Constitution USA with Peter Sagal” for PBS, and “National Geographic Explorer” for the Nat Geo Channel. He also appears on a narrowly popular podcast, “Nerdette Recaps ‘Game of Thrones’ with Peter Sagal,” because he is a giant nerd. He has three daughters, Rosie, Gracie and Willa, and lives in the Chicago area with his wife Mara and two dogs, DeeDee and Dutchie, who like to see their names in print.
his math SATs, he was also given title of “scorekeeper.” Until then he relied on his fall back degree in journalism, building what is often referred to as a “legendary” career as a television reporter and anchorman for both the CBS network and in Chicago at WBBM TV. He has been recognized with a Peabody award for his PBS science discovery series, the “New Explorers” and a National Emmy® for his groundbreaking investigation into the link between Vietnam veterans’ illnesses and their exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange. In establishing his own production company, he has hosted, narrated or produced more than 1,000 cable documentary episodes including “Cold Case Files,” “Investigative Reports,” and “American Greed.” Bill is an ardent conservationist and can be found most weekends battling non-native species on his 20-acre prairie in the north suburbs of Chicago. Having voiced the narration for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Bill’s presence on this show provides a sense of dignity that none of the rest of us possesses.
BILL KURTIS – OFFICAL JUDGE & SCOREKEEPER Bill Kurtis finally achieved his lifelong ambition to put his expensive law degree to use when he was asked to serve as the “official judge” of Wait Wait… in 2014. Since no one checked
TOM BODETT – PANELIST Tom Bodett used to do interesting things — log, fish, build houses. Drink. Now he does this. He left a promising career doing interesting things in Alaska to become a writer and subsequently a commentator on “All Things Considered” beginning in 1984. Bodett is the author of seven books and a boatload of audio
Atlanta’s Historic Fox Theatre | foxtheatre.com
programs. He writes whenever he feels like he has something to say, which is almost never, for vulnerable media resources such as CarTalk. com. His voice has been heard on “Saturday Night Live,” “National Geographic Explorer,” and Steven Spielberg’s “Animaniacs,” and can still be heard saying “We’ll leave the light on for you” about a 110 times a day. He lives in Vermont with his wife and sons in the middle of a hay field near a forest. PETER GROSZ – PANELIST Peter Grosz began his improv training at iO Chicago and wrote and performed in four reviews on The Second City’s ETC stage. Films include Stranger Than Fiction, Slow Learners, Aardvark and Rough Night. TV credits include “Key and Peele,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Vinyl” and a recurring role on “Veep.” He wrote for “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” received two Emmys for his writing on “The Colbert Report” and is an Executive Producer and plays Mike Pence on “The President Show.”
HELEN HONG – PANELIST Helen Hong is a comedian, actor, host, and a big fan of carbs. Helen has performed stand-up comedy on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” “Last Call with Carson Daly,” “Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen”, and the Showtime documentary Why We Laugh: Funny Women. Helen played Janet Fung in the Coen Brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis, and her TV appearances include roles on “Parks and Recreation,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “New Girl” and “Inside Amy Schumer.” Helen channels her own Asian mother as the recurring character Mrs. Wong on Nickelodeon’s “The Thundermans,” and recurs opposite Patrick Stewart on Starz’ “Blunt Talk.” Nothing about her is gluten free. DOUG BERMAN – BENEVOLENT OVERLORD Doug Berman is the creator of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! and serves as the show’s Benevolent Overlord. Creator means that he had the wisdom to gather people like Sagal, Danforth and Chillag around him and let them be brilliant, and Benevolent Overlord means that he makes Danforth do most of the work. Doug also brought Car Talk Clack’s “Esteemed Producer.” GIANNA CAPADONA – HOUSE MANAGER Gianna first joined the team at Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! as an
6 | encore intern back in 2017 following her graduation from Western Michigan University. During her 10 months with the show, she stuffed countless gift bags, produced hundreds of prize voicemails and even contributed a joke or two (She’s particularly proud of ‘Arma-BILL-o’). Now, after a year of producing podcasts in New York City, she’s back home in the Windy City and ready to manage this house. So sit back and enjoy the show, but remember, this is her house and there are rules people! IAN CHILLAG – SENIOR PRODUCER Senior Producer Ian Chillag has one job. He hides in the back of the room 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. MIKE DANFORTH – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Mike Danforth 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).
EMMA DAY – PRODUCTION INTERN Emma Day is really good at accents. She’s most well known for her Scottish accent, which has been described by real-live Scots as “needs work” and “offensive.” She started at Wait Wait as an intern and is now the executive producer. Mike doesn’t know yet, unless he’s reading this right now. Which in that case, surprise Mike! You can follow her on twitter @alldayemmaday. MILES DOORNBOS – PRODUCER Miles Doornbos 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. LILLIAN KING – PRODUCER Lillian “Tilly” King 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
Atlanta’s Historic Fox Theatre | foxtheatre.com
Peter up to date on which celebs are kissing, eats stew, and slacks 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". JENNIFER MILLS – PRODUCER Jennifer “Milly” Mills joined Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! in 2015 after an illustrious art career making dog poop sculptures for museums and political collages for TV. Jennifer is the founder of the WWDTM office potato “Tady” and the sole writer and editor of “The Jennifer Mills News” which you can enjoy ad free at jennifermillsnews.org. During her time at WWDTM, Mills has learned how to Rick Roll, got in trouble for making a life-sized cut out of a picture of Peter while he had pink eye, and had the opportunity to learn how to use Slack to message Peabody award winner Mike Danforth about office matters. COLIN MILLER – OPERATIONS MANAGER Colin Miller doesn’t make the butt jokes for Wait Wait… — he just makes sure the butt jokes are able to happen. If the show were a band touring around the country to millions of screaming fans, he would be the bassist. He would also be the janitor, accountant, agent, and chef. Some might call him a jack-of-all-trades, but the truth is he simply cannot make up his mind and has never really excelled at anything. Colin
comes from a family and has now made one of his own. ROBERT NEUHAUS – PRODUCTION MANAGER After many years spent as an awardwinning theatrical sound designer and audio theater producer, Robert Neuhaus went in search of even larger egos than the theater can contain and found them at Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Robert has served as a recording engineer based in NPR’s Chicago Bureau since 1988, but he still moonlights from time to time creating storms and battles for Chicago Shakespeare Theater. LORNA WHITE – TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Lorna White graduated from Illinois State University in 1984 and immediately began her career with NPR in Washington, D.C. In 1996 she became the NPR Chicago Bureau engineer and moved back to the Midwest. Wait, Wait… began production in 1998 and she is now the technical director and Keeper Of The Bleeps. Tom Hanks once sang a song about her.