Fun News Is Better News

Staying current with the world’s news can be a taxing project. Even watching the evening news can be a depressing past-time. Between the recession, the oil spill in the gulf and countless murders and kidnappings, it makes keeping up more and more difficult.  The fact of the matter is that bad news sells over good news; if you need proof of this, ask anyone if they know that the DOW is up over 4,000 points since the 2008 disaster. As young professionals, we need a positive way to stay on top of world events to keep from getting overwhelmed by the bad news.  The hysterical NPR news radio quiz show “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” might be the answer.

Hosted by actor and playwright Peter Sagal, the show takes a hilariously fun approach to world news by offering quiz questions to a variety of panelists including celebrities and listeners from around the country.  The game show format is completely informal (think “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?”) and is a fun way to stay current with the news.  Although you won’t get as “in-detail” reports as familiar shows like “The Daily Show” or “The Colbert Report”, this is much more light-hearted and unbiased.  The hosts and panelists are genuinely funny, and do a fantastic job of keeping both the live audience and at-home listeners in stitches.  Although there are quite a few silly news stories, there’s just enough genuine news to keep political names in your head while entertaining you at the same time.

Games on the show range from simple fill-in-the-blank style to the “Listener Limerick Challenge”, where guests are given a limerick about some current event and they are to guess the final word of the short poem.  Other games involve a guest celebrity being given three different news stories, two of which are made up by the panelists.  The guest must guess which story is the true one, and the results are quite often hilarious.  This is a game show with no cash prizes.  Listeners win a call from Carl Kassel, the show’s judge and scorekeeper, who will record a funny message on the winner’s answering machine.

The show airs on National Public Radio (NPR) on Saturday’s from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, but I highly recommend downloading the show from iTunes.  It’s only 40 minutes long, and makes for a great listen while driving or working out.  Do yourself a favor and at least give the show a try; you’ll be hooked.


~ by Scott L. Clark on August 9, 2010.

8 Responses to “Fun News Is Better News”

  1. Awesome post, Scott. I’ve been meaning to listen to more NPR. What station is it on in Rockford?

  2. LOVE Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!

  3. Staying up on the news and current events really is such a challenge! Thanks for the tip! And same question as J — how do you tune in to NPR in Rockford if you actually want to listen on the radio instead of downloading it on iTunes?

  4. Great post, Scott!! I’ve heard a lot of great things about NPR but haven’t ever tuned in. This show will make my “need to check out” list!!


  5. I got self-motivated and looked it up. WNIJ carries NPR on three local stations. 105.7 covers the Rockford Metro area. 89.1 in Freeport. And 89.5 covers all of Northern Illinois.
    For more specific details:

  6. Thanks for looking that up for my, Jay. I should have added that info on there, but I guess I didn’t look as hard as you. I really appreciate your effort!

    Seriously, this show is fantastic. I’ve found myself laughing out loud on several occasions. Some of the comedians they have as guest are so quick-witted, it just cracks me up.

    Caitlin, the show is recorded live in Chicago. I wonder if we could try to get a recording done in Rockford as an IGNITE event. That would be a blast, and a big boost for our organization. We might be shooting high, but that would be totally worth it if we could make that happen.

  7. Wait, wait… is one of the highlights of the week for me! When I was working Saturdays, I always made a point to take my 10 am lunch break and head to the car to listen to the show. I can’t recommend it enough.

    Since they tape in Chicago, it has been on my list to get a ticket for the longest time. Having them in Rockford would be beyond awesome.

  8. I got hooked on Wait, Wait a couple of years ago, since I’d have a drive in to Chicago every Saturday morning. There’s Car Talk, followed by Wait, Wait. Great Radio! I’ve since first looked up their downloadable podcasts from their web-site, and then upgraded to get the podcast automatically through iTunes each week. (And I hate iTunes, but I love Wait, Wait that much.) It only makes me sad when I run out of episodes. By the way, I just realized from J’s comment that I’ve always listened to 89.5 out of NIU rather than 105.7 that I think is out of the Riverfront Museum Park.

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