WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Ask Me Another

Saturday, 9:00- 10:00am
  • Hosted by Ophira Eisenberg

Puzzlemaster Will Shortz and Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! host Peter Sagal walk into a bar... No, it's not the start of a joke. It's the essence of Ask Me Another, a rambunctious hour that blends brainteasers and local pub trivia night with comedy and music. Host Ophira Eisenberg invites in-studio guests and listeners alike to stretch their noggins, tickle their funny bones, and enjoy witty banter and guitar riffs from house musician Jonathan Coulton.

For an hour, listeners can play along as Eisenberg puts questions to a rotating band of puzzle gurus, audience members and special mystery guests, who then takes a turn in the contestant's chair facing trivia games written especially for him or her. What you'll hear resembles the casual intimacy of game night at a friend's house: one where scores are forgotten in favor of hilarious gaffes.

The puzzle gurus behind Ask Me Another include John Chaneski, who devised tough questions and answers for "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" before becoming one of the "puzzle guys" on the radio program "A Way With Words"; Art Chung who has written for and produced television game shows including "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?," "Cash Cab," "The World Series of Pop Culture," and "Stump the Schwab"; and actor/writer Will Hines who has performed and taught improvisational comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre for years, and obsessively reads books on compiling baseball statistics, a task he will never have to do.

Ask Me Another is recorded live at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY.

Move To The Music

Feb 5, 2021

Lets face it, moving is a total drag unless you have a friend willing to help you in exchange for pizza. Brendan Scannell and Matt Wilkas (Bonding) play a music parody game where lyrics from songs about moving are changed to be about moving into a new home.

Heard on Keegan-Michael Key: Key & Peele & Penguins & Shakespeare

Ken Jeong

Jan 29, 2021

Jeong's first taste of comedy began with a mock-male beauty competition in high school called the "Mr. Buccaneer Pageant."

"That was where I discovered my own comedy bug," Jeong told NPR's Ask Me Another host, Ophira Eisenberg. "I was posing like Arnold Schwarzenegger and just doing all these things and I got a standing O. And I ended up singing a Lionel Richie song, The Commodores' 'Three Times a Lady' on piano, and that got another standing O."

Erroneous Atlas

Jan 29, 2021

Road trip! Comedians Cameron Esposito (Queery podcast) and Beth Stelling (HBO Max Girl Daddy) navigate a multiple-choice game about maps.

Heard on Ken Jeong: Mask Me Another

Film At 11

Jan 29, 2021

Ophira and Jonathan pretend to be news anchors reporting on bizarre scenarios based on movie plots while comedians Cameron Esposito (Queery podcast) and Beth Stelling (Girl Daddy on HBO Max) try to guess the film.

Heard on Ken Jeong: Mask Me Another

The Titular City

Jan 22, 2021

Documentary filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Love Fraud) guess the names of cities that are named after objects, or visa versa. What was that joke about Hungary and Turkey, again?

Heard on Michelle Buteau: 'The Circle' And Van Halen.

Is It A Lizard?

Jan 22, 2021

From the Showtime docu-series Love Fraud, directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady answer the most important question of all: Is it a lizard?

Heard on Michelle Buteau: 'The Circle' And Van Halen.

Michelle Buteau

Jan 22, 2021

On New Year's Day 2020 Netflix released the first season of the socially-distanced reality series The Circle, hosted by this week's Ask Me Another guest, comedian Michelle Buteau. In The Circle, contestants live in isolation and can only communicate via the internet: a premise that became everyone's reality about two months later.

Buteau confessed she wasn't initially onboard with the concept: "A competition, and you can catfish people? Absolutely not, sir! Rude!"

Bowen Yang

Jan 8, 2021

In high school, comedian Bowen Yang was voted "most likely to be on Saturday Night Live," a prophecy he shrugged off in his interview with NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg. "It wasn't specifically that people were like, he's going to end up on that show. It was just like, "Oh, Bowen he does improv in the cafeteria every other Friday... he tries to get us to come back to school and watch him do short form improv.""

This, That, Or The Other

Jan 8, 2021

From Funny or Die's Call & Response Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle suss out if something is a defunct startup, a video game world, or an esteemed contemporary dance company.

Heard on Mayim Bialik & Saturday Night Live's Bowen Yang: Our Best New Show Of 2021.

Prom Songs

Jan 8, 2021

Remember when we told people to dance 6 inches apart instead of standing 6 feet apart? Comedian Baron Vaughn and musician Open Mike Eagle compete in a music parody game about slow prom songs changed to be about things you learned in high school.

Heard on Mayim Bialik & Saturday Night Live's Bowen Yang: Our Best New Show Of 2021.

Andrew Bird: Hark!

Dec 18, 2020

Andrew Bird's latest album, Hark!, is full of holiday music — but when the Grammy-nominated musician was asked if he'd ever attended an office Christmas party, his immediate answer was, "I'm glad to say, I haven't been to any."

NPR's Ophira Eisenberg spoke to Bird as part of Ask Me Another's "Mandatory Fun Virtual Office Holiday Party" episode. Bird eventually did recall an early gig performing at an architects' office: "I don't miss those days of getting those sideways glances like, 'Oh look at that chair. Oh, it's a musician.'"

Slang Game

Dec 18, 2020

Jonathan Coulton's kids Theo and Eleanor help their dad and Ophira Eisenberg translate and navigate the latest teen slang. It's "lit!" Are the kids still saying that?

Heard on Andrew Bird: Mandatory Fun Office Holiday Party

NPR Christmas Carols

Dec 18, 2020

Three out of six women who work at NPR named Carol make their Ask Me Another debut as they lend their vocals in a music parody game that changes the lyrics to Paul McCartney's polarizing song Wonderful Christmastime to be about other things that rhyme with time.

Heard on Andrew Bird: Mandatory Fun Office Holiday Party

Usually, when guests come on NPR's comedy quiz show Ask Me Another, Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton ask them the questions. Nnamdi Asomugha flipped the script: He interviewed Ophira and Jonathan right back, asked them to make his game tougher, and even made up a trivia question for them to answer.

An actor and former professional football player, Asomugha isn't afraid of a challenge. He played defense with the Oakland Raiders as a shutdown cornerback, which he described as "one of the most difficult positions in all of sports to play."

Jam Bands

Dec 11, 2020

Actor Richard Kind and comedian Ray Ellin are treated to a music parody game where Jonathan Coulton plays songs by jam bands rewritten to be about fruits you could theoretically use to make jam. Next week: a game about jellies and preserves, because yes, they're a different thing.

When comedy clubs across the country shut down, comedian Ray Ellin quickly adapted. The executive producer of Comedy Central's This Week at the Comedy Cellar founded Comedy Cloud, which produces digital standup shows with comics across the country.

Ellin joined NPR's Ask Me Another with actor Richard Kind — who's starred in shows like Mad About You, Spin City and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Rosie Perez: The Flight Attendant

Dec 4, 2020

This summer, New Yorkers riding the subway heard a familiar voice: Actor Rosie Perez, speaking in English and Spanish, encouraging them to wear a mask.

Perez told NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg that she and Chris Rock were both contacted by Governor Cuomo's office.

"We did not know that we were going to be asked to do the MTA campaign," she said. "We were just asked to come to his press conference, remember he was having his daily-held press conferences? And I remember Chris backstage, he goes, 'This is big, this is big,' and I go, 'Yeah!'"

More, More, Moray

Dec 4, 2020

What has more eyes, a starfish or a scallop? Big Mouth's Ayo Edebiri and her fellow "Iconography" podcast host Olivia Craighead compare animals and guess which has more of a thing.

heard on: Rosie Perez, Fortune Feimster & Big Mouth's Ayo Edebiri: Fight And Flight

Yeahs In History

Dec 4, 2020

In this audio quiz, Big Mouth's Ayo Edebiri and her fellow "Iconography" podcast host Olivia Craighead identify songs with the word "yeah" in them. Ohhhhh yeahhhhhhh.

heard on: Rosie Perez, Fortune Feimster & Big Mouth's Ayo Edebiri: Fight And Flight

Sheepless In Seattle

Nov 20, 2020

Late Night with Seth Meyers' Karen Chee and illustrator Jonny Sun play a game about romantic movies and animals. Try playing at home by developing a crush on that anthropomorphic fox from Zootopia!

Heard on Rachel Bloom: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Sane Current Guest.

Check-In: Video Games

Nov 20, 2020

Jonathan Coulton's been playing The Last Of Us Part II, which puts players in a post-apocalyptic world of isolation and disease. It must be nice to be able to escape reality like that.

Heard on Rachel Bloom: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Sane Current Guest.

Before Rachel Bloom's interview on NPR's Ask Me Another even started, the show's house musician Jonathan Coulton stopped to express his admiration of her "songwriting talent that makes me angry and jealous."

"You know that somebody's good when you kind of can't stand it," Coulton said.

Bloom made her name by creating hilarious songs, like her breakout hit "**** Me, Ray Bradbury" and "The Sexy Getting Ready Song" from her CW musical comedy series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Sarah Paulson: Ratched & Run

Nov 13, 2020

Sarah Paulson is an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor, known for appearances across screens big and small. She's played 11 separate characters in the anthology series American Horror Story (so far), and stars in films like Ocean's 8, Carol, and Glass.

Sarah Silverman: Forty-Hour Waking-Week

Nov 13, 2020

When quarantine first began, comedian Sarah Silverman knew how she would pass the time.

"I just had this instinct to go to Gamestop and buy a console," she told Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton on NPR's Ask Me Another. Her goal, she explained, was to fill her waking hours with Call of Duty and sleep as much as possible. "A lot of people have a forty-hour work-week, I had a forty-hour waking-week."

Is That A Kit-Kat?

Nov 13, 2020

Sarah Silverman plays a lightning-round style game where she's given a Kit-Kat flavor and has to say whether it's real or fake. Break me off a piece of that... Swedish Meatball?

Heard on Sarah Silverman, Sarah Paulson, Rickey Thompson & Denzel Dion: Influencers

Check-In: Guided Meditation

Oct 30, 2020

It's a stressful week/month/year. Bestselling author Sharon Salzberg leads Ophira and Jonathan in a short guided meditation.

Heard on: Chelsea Handler & Sharon Salzberg: Guided Meditation.

The Evolution of Chelsea Handler

Oct 30, 2020

Comedian Chelsea Handler is surrounded by books. Literally. When she joined NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg for an interview on Zoom, Handler was in a room packed with stacks and stacks of books.

Fact Bag

Oct 30, 2020

French beaches. Zoom's namesake. These are the mysteries contained within that stupefying sack, that confounding container, that tantalizing tote known as Fact Bag. Can Ophira Eisenberg, Jonathan Coulton, Mike Albo and Amanda Duarte guess the answers before time runs out?

Heard on: Chelsea Handler & Sharon Salzberg: Guided Meditation.

Heidi Schreck: Kids Read The Constitution

Oct 23, 2020

Heidi Schreck's play, What the Constitution Means to Me, is based on a prize-winning speech she gave as a 15-year-old at American Legion halls across America. Since its 2019 Broadway debut, it's been attended by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A taping of the performance is now available on Amazon, directed by Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood).

Elvish Presley

Oct 23, 2020

Daily Show correspondents Ronny Chieng and Michael Kosta go on an epic quest in this music parody game where musician Jonathan Coulton performs Elvis songs re-written to be about characters from The Lord of the Rings.

Heard on, The Daily Show & What The Constitution Means To Me: Kids In America.

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