Ask Me Another
10:09 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Jingle All the Way

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 10:11 am

You've probably heard the jingles for products like Kit Kat and McDonald's hundreds of times. But can you recognize them when Jonathan Coulton sings them — in Italian? Buona fortuna!

Heard in Episode 314: Let's Do This Thing

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

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

From NPR and WNYC, live from the Bell House in Brooklyn, New York, this is ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, your host for this next hour of puzzles, word games and trivia. Our VIP is a standup comedian who has written for "Saturday Night Live," NBC's "30 Rock" and he currently has a reoccurring role on the Comedy Central show "Broad City," Hannibal Buress will be joining us later in the show.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And right now, let's give it up for our one-man house band, Mr. Jonathan Coulton.

(APPLAUSE)

JONATHAN COULTON: Hello, everybody.

EISENBERG: Please welcome to the stage our first two contestants, Guy Matz and Danielle Sherman.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Danielle, you work as a clerk at the Brooklyn Board of Elections. That's very interesting. But you also are interested in Burmese zodiac. What is that?

DANIELLE SHERMAN: I found out that it existed because I was living in Southeast Asia, had some friends who, you know, whatever, and...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah. Sure.

SHERMAN: One thing led to another, as it often does? And...

EISENBERG: With the zodiac.

SHERMAN: Yeah, with the zodiac. You can't get away from it. But no, I was looking into it because apparently in the Burmese zodiac, part of it, it depends on what day of the week you're born. Like, what animal you are, what creature you are. So you could be like an elephant or something like a tiger. I'm, like, I'm a guinea pig. I found out that I was a guinea pig. So I was like, oh, well, that fits me very well. So I became a fan of that.

EISENBERG: What day of the week is that?

SHERMAN: Friday. So anyone born on a Friday...

EISENBERG: Is a guinea pig?

SHERMAN: ...is a guinea pig. Yes.

EISENBERG: There's only seven possibilities in Burmese zodiac.

SHERMAN: Yes. And...

EISENBERG: And one of them is guinea pig.

SHERMAN: Yeah. I lucked out. I lucked out.

EISENBERG: That's a pretty good...

SHERMAN: Yes.

EISENBERG: Yeah. I don't even want to know what the other ones are.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Now Guy, you work in IT in computers. I used to do that.

GUY MATZ: Really? Where?

EISENBERG: Yes. In New York.

(LAUGHTER)

MATZ: In what capacity?

EISENBERG: You want to talk about it in depth?

MATZ: No.

EISENBERG: It was back in the...

(LAUGHTER)

MATZ: I actually enjoy talking shop.

EISENBERG: Yeah. It was like back when I was doing like Windows XP, pre-Service Pack 2.

MATZ: Mm-hmm.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: But you take night classes in chemistry and biology for fun?

MATZ: Yeah.

EISENBERG: For fun.

Sort of started off doing that just sort of on a lark and then it just kept going along and moving along and now I'm taking a medical microbiology class over at Brooklyn College...

COULTON: Weeee.

MATZ: ...learning about methicillin-resistant staph aureus and Vancomycin-resistant staph aureus and everything else that's going to cause a plague.

EISENBERG: So you're a hobby biochemist?

(LAUGHTER)

SHERMAN: I want to be a biochemist when I grow up.

EISENBERG: Aw. I know. That is adorable. All right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Do you speak Italian?

MATZ: I don't.

EISENBERG: OK. Danielle, do you speak Italian?

SHERMAN: Not that I know of.

EISENBERG: Perfect. This game is called Jingle All the Way. And what it has to do with his Jonathan is taking a side career in writing commercial jingles. You're working on Old Spice, I believe?

COULTON: Yeah. You're right. I'm working on Old Spice right now. The oldest spice you can buy.

(LAUGHTER)

SHERMAN: That's the working phrase I have so far. I'm still working on it, though.

EISENBERG: That's good. I like it.

SHERMAN: No. Actually, in this game I'm going to ask you to complete the lyrics to some famous commercial jingle. The twist is that I'm going to sing them in Italian.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Because I...

EISENBERG: Why?

COULTON: ... I took Italian in college so my accent is pretty, pretty great.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: A couple of years.

EISENBERG: Two years.

COULTON: Two years.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Two years of Italian in college, so don't worry, all of this is absolutely correct.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Lucky for you contestant, you don't have to answer in Italian.

SHERMAN: Oh, thank God.

COULTON: Just tell us the product. And if you'd like to sing, sing it as part of the jingle, I think that would be appropriate.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Woo.

COULTON: The audience agrees. So that's...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: So we're going to give you an example right now. (Singing in Italian). So puzzle guru Mary Tobler...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: What was that a jingle for?

SHERMAN: (Singing) Chili's baby back ribs.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: So ring and when you know the answer. The winner of this game will move on to our Ask Me One More round at the end of the show.

(Spoken in Italian)

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Si?

SHERMAN: Yup.

COULTON: That means yes. OK. Yeah. That means ready. You got it. See? It's going to be - just use context clues, it'll be very easy. Here we go.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing in Italian)

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Danielle.

SHERMAN: Kit Kat bar?

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: In Italian, it sounds like the Kit Kat Lounge, right? It does. That's...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Much cooler. Everything is much cooler in Italian.

SHERMAN: Such a classy lounge.

COULTON: Yeah. (Singing in Italian)

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Guy?

MATZ: Toys "R" Us?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yeah.

COULTON: Yeah.

MATZ: Oh.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: As they would say in Italy, (spoken in Italian).

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Which means, we are toys.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: OK. This is a cappella. That also is Italian. That means...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: OK. Here we go. (Singing in Italian)

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Danielle.

SHERMAN: I actually have no idea. 1-800 auto something. I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Auto means eight, I'm going to tell you that much.

(LAUGHTER)

SHERMAN: 1-800 car for kids? No? No. It's...

COULTON: Just list all the hundred numbers you can think of.

SHERMAN: I just going to - I'm going to keep going. What is it? 1-800 mattress. I don't know...

COULTON: No. I'm afraid you've gotten it wrong several times. Guy?

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: If you want to take a guess.

MATZ: Empire?

COULTON: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: That's right. Empire Carpet. OK. Here we go.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing in Italian)

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Singing in Italian) (Speaking in Italian)

EISENBERG: Nope.

COULTON: Oh for God's sakes.

EISENBERG: I like that you're now angry at them.

COULTON: Well, now I'm mad.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: They are working together.

COULTON: They are conferring. They work together.

EISENBERG: The contestants are...

SHERMAN: Guy just asked me if I knew the answer.

(LAUGHTER)

MATZ: No. No. I said (Italian spoken) two time.

COULTON: Does the audience know what it is?

AUDIENCE: Yeah.

COULTON: What is it?

AUDIENCE: Double Mint.

COULTON: Double mint.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIENCE MOAN)

COULTON: You'll be relieved to hear this is your last clue.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing in Italian)

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Danielle.

SHERMAN: Yes. I do, I do know this.

COULTON: You got this one, Danielle.

SHERMAN: Thank you. Mentos?

COULTON: Mentos. Si.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Brava.

SHERMAN: I've never gotten so much applause for doing so little.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Now you know what it's like to work at this show.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Mary, what happened in that game because I can't remember. I've already blotted out.

MARY TOBLER, PUZZLE GURU: We have a tie.

EISENBERG: What?

GURU: Yes. Can you believe it?

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIENCE SURPRISE)

EISENBERG: I know. Every once in a while it is 1-1.

COULTON: Oh, no.

(LAUGHTER)

GURU: We're going to have to go to a tiebreaker.

SHERMAN: Oh, dear God, no.

(LAUGHTER)

GURU: The phrase, Mamma Mia, that's a spicy meatball. Comes from a classic commercial that was actually for what antacid?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

GURU: Danielle?

SHERMAN: Alka-Seltzer?

GURU: Correct. Danielle's our winner.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well done, Danielle. You did it. You're going to be coming back at the end of our show for Ask Me One More final round.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF COCA-COLA COMMERCIAL)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) I'd like to teach the world to sing - sing with me - in perfect harmony. Perfect harmony. I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company. It's the real thing. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.