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Other Tens

Jul 16, 2021

"How many decade-themed music parodies can they play??" As many as there are decades, buddy! Miracle Workers actors Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni take on this latest installment, venturing through the "tens" of centuries past.

Heard on We Ship It.

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

We're playing games with Karan Soni and Geraldine Viswanathan from the TBS comedy "Miracle Workers." Are you ready for another game?

GERALDINE VISWANATHAN: Yes.

KARAN SONI: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah, great. Thank you. Thank you. OK, this one - you're going to work together.

VISWANATHAN: OK.

EISENBERG: Jonathan Coulton is going to sing you the clues in this game called Other Tens.

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Yeah, so this is the latest in our critically adjacent series of decade-themed music parodies about history.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: We rewrote popular songs from the 2010s and rewrote them to be about things from the '10s of any century. So you just have to tell me what thing I'm singing about or the song or artist that I'm parodying. And for a bonus point, you can then guess what century's '10s that thing comes from.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

VISWANATHAN: I'm ready.

COULTON: (Laughter) OK, here we go.

(Playing guitar, singing) I can't get the spinach that is caught between my chompers, between my chompers. Grab this minty string and hold it taught. I got some Whoppers. I got some Whoppers.

VISWANATHAN: OK, I know the song. That's "I Can't Feel My Face."

COULTON: That's right.

VISWANATHAN: The Weeknd.

EISENBERG: Yes.

VISWANATHAN: And I think you're talking about floss.

COULTON: I am. I'm talking about dental floss. Well done. You got them all.

SONI: Wow. You're really good at this.

COULTON: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right, so for a bonus point, in what century did dentist Levi Spear Parmly - that's a real name - invent the first form of dental floss?

SONI: It's in 1900s?

COULTON: That's a good guess. Very close. It was actually the 1810s.

SONI: No way.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: It's been around for a long time. All right, here's another one.

(Playing guitar, singing) Jambalaya. I'll go there and eat a bowl of jambalaya. Walk down Bourbon Street and hear some jazz on fire. Lift my shirt at Mardi Gras and beads I'll acquire - jambalaya.

SONI: "Despacito"?

COULTON: "Despacito" - that's right.

SONI: New Orleans? What else are we supposed to guess? (Laughter).

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's it.

COULTON: Yeah, New Orleans. That's right. Yeah, you got it.

SONI: OK.

COULTON: New Orleans. Now, for a bonus point, in what century did French colonists found New Orleans?

VISWANATHAN: Let's say 18?

EISENBERG: Eighteenth century - is that what you're saying?

VISWANATHAN: Eighteenth century, yeah.

COULTON: Eighteenth century - 1710s, that's correct.

VISWANATHAN: Oh, yay.

EISENBERG: That is correct. Yeah, well done.

COULTON: 1718. All right, here's another one.

(Playing guitar, singing) X-Y-Z-P-D-Q 'cause I see what's beneath. I'm saying you should close your fly with its interlocking teeth.

VISWANATHAN: Well, that's "Rolling In The Deep."

COULTON: It is. Adele. That's right.

EISENBERG: Great.

SONI: Is this a pant zipper?

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: A zipper is exactly what we were looking for.

SONI: OK.

EISENBERG: Yes.

VISWANATHAN: Well done.

COULTON: All right, so for the bonus point, in what century did Gideon Sundback design and patent the modern zipper?

VISWANATHAN: Oh, Gideon.

COULTON: Gideon Sundback.

EISENBERG: How did Gideon Sundback call it a zipper and not a Gideon or a Sundback?

COULTON: I know it's true (laughter).

EISENBERG: Talk about a missed opportunity.

(LAUGHTER)

VISWANATHAN: Your Gideon's open.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah, right?

VISWANATHAN: Oh, my Gideon's broken.

(LAUGHTER)

VISWANATHAN: Let's - I think...

SONI: Nineteens.

VISWANATHAN: Like 19.

COULTON: Yeah, 1910s. That's right.

VISWANATHAN: OK, great.

COULTON: 1917.

VISWANATHAN: Yeah. Oh, wow.

EISENBERG: Yeah, not that long ago.

VISWANATHAN: Feels like forever.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: All right, here's the last clue.

(Playing guitar, singing) Wait in line around the block at a bakery in New York. As for this cream-filled pastry, no, you don't need a fork. It combines two baked goods, and each one is made of dough. It's for you if you like things named with a portmanteau.

SONI: I know what the thing is.

COULTON: Yeah.

VISWANATHAN: I know what the song is.

SONI: OK, you go first.

COULTON: Yeah. Oh yeah, teamwork.

EISENBERG: Perfect.

VISWANATHAN: It's Pharrell's "Happy." Right?

COULTON: That's right. That's what it is.

EISENBERG: Yes.

SONI: Is it a cronut?

COULTON: It is a cronut.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yep.

COULTON: Absolutely correct.

VISWANATHAN: I just got so hungry.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right, so for a bonus point, in what century did French American pastry chef Dominique Ansel invent the cronut?

SONI: Twenty-first century, baby.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah.

COULTON: That's right - 21st century. A modern invention - the cronut.

VISWANATHAN: Wow.

EISENBERG: So, OK, guess what? I saw the fear on your face going into some of this, but you did amazing.

COULTON: You guys did great.

SONI: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EISENBERG: Karan Soni and Geraldine Viswanathan star in the comedy "Miracle Workers." Its third season is on TBS and is set on the Oregon Trail. Thank you so much for joining us.

SONI: Thank you.

VISWANATHAN: Thank you so much.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EISENBERG: After the break, from "RuPaul's Drag Race" and the Broadway stage, it's Peppermint. So unwrap a candy of your choice, and stay tuned. You've earned it. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.