Ask Me Another
9:39 am
Thu September 4, 2014

In The Beginning

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 4:28 pm

"Now, the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together, it's..." our first game! Guess these opening narrations to well-known TV shows.

Heard in Episode 325: What's The Magic Word?

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

Transcript

JOHN FLANSBURGH: Live from The Bell House in Brooklyn, the cultural center of the universe, it's NPR and WNYC's ASK ME ANOTHER. And here is your host Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER. Hi, I'm Ophira. I'm your host for this next hour of puzzles, word games and trivia. I don't know if you believe in magic, but I have always wanted to. I actually once in my life went to see a Haitian witch doctor to try to cast a spell on an ex-boyfriend to bring him back. Many of you have been to see a Haitian witch doctor so you know how it goes.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: But if you don't, here's what happens - you sit down with this person and they ask you about your life. It's kind of like therapy, but at the end, they're going to cast a hex. So it's kind of how you always would like therapy to actually go.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Which brings me to our very important puzzler. He is The New York Times best-selling author of the fantasy trilogy "The Magicians," which has been often described as "Harry Potter" for adults. He is, of course, Lev Grossman.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And here to help me with the games and provide an occasional example along the way is a man that we're calling our puzzle giant because you might know him from the band They Might Be Giants. It's John Flansburgh.

FLANSBURGH: Hello.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: So let's get things started with our first game, appropriately called "In The Beginning." And our first two contestants are Cindy Nacson-Schechter and Kim Marohn.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I know I said that the game is called In The Beginning. But it is not about the Bible, in case that's where you were going. That would be on the show Smite Me Another, which we are working on.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This game is about television. And I know that you're both big TV addicts. So what - my question is what is one show you wish you could re-watch from the beginning, not knowing how it would play out and how it ends? Cindy.

CINDY NACSON-SCHECHTER: The obvious answer is "Lost" because...

EISENBERG: Yes.

NACSON-SCHECHTER: ...What was up with that?

EISENBERG: Right.

NACSON-SCHECHTER: But I'd kind of like to go back and watch some of the old '70s sitcoms like "Newhart" or "Mary Tyler Moore" and watch them all the way through without knowing that she gets fired or that it was all a dream.

EISENBERG: Right.

NACSON-SCHECHTER: You know, stuff like that.

EISENBERG: It's all a dream? Thanks a lot, Cindy.

(LAUGHTER)

NACSON-SCHECHTER: I'm sorry.

EISENBERG: No, I'm just kidding. Kim, how about you?

KIM MAROHN: I would have to say "The X-Files" because I was so into that show, and the entire last season was a complete disappointment. And I just can't get it back again.

EISENBERG: It's so funny, like, "Lost" had - some people were very disappointed by the end of "Lost." So basically what we're talking about is going back in time to watch a show when you still liked it.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Basically. So in this game, we're going to read the opening narrations to current and classic television shows and you just have to tell us what the television series is. And it's not just sitcoms and dramas, but reality shows, game shows, you name it. And the winner will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Are you ready?

NACSON-SCHECHTER: Yeah.

MAROHN: Yes.

FLANSBURGH: Right answer. That's two right answers. (Humming) What you are witnessing is real. The participants are not actors. They are actual litigants with a case pending in a California Municipal Court. (Humming) Both parties have agreed to dismiss their court cases and have their disputes settled here in our forum.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

MAROHN: That would be "The People's Court."

FLANSBURGH: That was Kim. And you are correct.

MAROHN: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Back when reality was classy.

FLANSBURGH: Yes.

EISENBERG: Do you remember that?

FLANSBURGH: Bailiff Rusty will lead you away now.

EISENBERG: Bailiff Rusty. Now, the story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. It's...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Cindy.

NACSON-SCHECHTER: "Arrested Development."

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

FLANSBURGH: Five years ago, a man's fantasy became reality in a forum never seen before - Kitchen Stadium. A giant cooking arena, the motivation for spending his fortune to create Kitchen Stadium was to encounter new original cuisines which could be called true artistic creations. (Unintelligible).

(LAUGHTER)

FLANSBURGH: To realize his dream, he secretly started choosing the top chefs of various styles of cooking and he named his men.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

FLANSBURGH: Cindy.

NACSON-SCHECHTER: "Iron Chef."

FLANSBURGH: That is correct.

EISENBERG: Yes. Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport - the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The human drama of athletic competition. This is ABC's...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Kim.

MAROHN: "Monday Night football?"

EISENBERG: No. Good idea, but we're looking for something way older. Cindy, would you have a guess?

NACSON-SCHECHTER: "Wide World Of Sports?"

EISENBERG: "Wide World Of Sports," correct.

(APPLAUSE)

FLANSBURGH: (Grunting) I'm Rick Harrison. I work here with my old man and my son Big Hoss. Everything in here has a story and a price. One thing I've learned after 21 years, you never know what is going to come through that door.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Cindy.

NACSON-SCHECHTER: "Pawn Stars."

FLANSBURGH: Correct.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

FLANSBURGH: You clearly are ambivalent about that show.

NACSON-SCHECHTER: I couldn't remember if it was "Hardcore Pawn" or "Pawn Stars."

(LAUGHTER)

FLANSBURGH: "Hardcore Pawn" is the more tawdry one.

NACSON-SCHECHTER: Exactly, there you go.

FLANSBURGH: Believe it or not, "Pawn Stars" is the classy one.

(LAUGHTER)

FLANSBURGH: Or at least that's what I keep saying to myself.

EISENBERG: In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them, maybe you can hire...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Kim.

MAROHN: "The A-Team."

EISENBERG: "The A-Team."

FLANSBURGH: Yay.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well, they won't make it easy. If you can find them, maybe you can hire - like, really? Don't you want the job? Come on now.

FLANSBURGH: Well, they're exclusive.

EISENBERG: The B-Team is cleaning up, though. Hey, John, how did our contestants do?

FLANSBURGH: Cindy was our big winner.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Cindy. Thank you so much, Kim. Cindy, you'll be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.