WAIT WAIT… DON’T TELL ME! THE ART OF INFORMATIVE COMEDY

29 March 2018

THE ART OF INFORMATIVE COMEDY

With the rise of highly advanced technological devices and celebrity politicians, the weekly news is often as confusing as it is concerning. What better way to navigate the world of news than with a panelist of comedians ready to turn a headline on, well, its head? Every Thursday night at the Chase Bank Auditorium, news and comedy lovers may do just that as they enjoy the witty games designed by Peter Sagal and Bill Curtis for Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, the NPR news quiz!

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me From NPR and WBEZ

As the audience lounges in lush seats that fill the intimate Chase Bank Auditorium, the show’s host, Peter Sagal runs through the highlights of the week’s news, fielding call-in contestants to play his news quiz. Regardless of the topic, the three panelists that join Sagal and scorekeeper Bill Curtis on stage are quick to provide a hilarious analogy or a humorous turn of phrase. For the taping on Saturday, March 24th, Sagal and Curtis were joined by regular panelists Amy Dickinson and Adam Burke, as well as first time panelist Rashawn Scott.

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me Stage with Contestants

In addition to commenting on news stories and call-in contestants, the panelists each prepare and read a news-style article that describes a seemingly impossible story. This week, Amy told the story of a man who inserted a transit card into his hand and was subsequently fined for mutilating a transit card, while Rashawn told the story of a computer programming mother who outfitted her drone to serve as a baby monitor. The contestant is asked to identify the real story among the fabricated ones, often times revealing that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. This week it was Amy who described the actual story of a man who inserted a transit card into his hand, and was then fined for both mutilating a transit card — and for not having a transit card while on the train!

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me Bill and Peter, Host and Special Guest

In addition to the regular panelists, each week features a segment called “Not My Job,” where a well-known celebrity answers questions related to, but distinctly not in the realm of their professions. This week, LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow and Star Trek fame joined Sagal and company on stage to play the game. Due to his role as Geordi on Star Trek, Burton was asked to answer questions about the show Geordie Shore. Similar to its inspiration, Jersey Shore, Geordie Shore is a reality television show that follows residents of Newcastle (in the UK) who are known to call themselves ‘Geordies’. As entertaining as it is informative, this game is a quintessential component of the show and routinely leaves the audience in stitches. 

Beyond introducing both the contestant and the audience to the less well-lit corners of our culture, “Not My Job” allows Sagal and the panelists to briefly interview and interact with the contestant. This week, the audience heard of LeVar Burton’s podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, and were further treated to his thoughts on the success and implications of Black Panther as they compare with his experience on Roots

LeVar Burton enters the Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me stage triumphantly

While the taped version of the show only runs for an hour on-air, live audiences are treated to a full two hours of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Those in attendance are further treated with a Q&A with the panelists and hosts. Uniquely informative while still uproariously funny, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! has become a Chicago tradition. Located within walking distance from 1000M and wedged between the Cultural Mile and the Theatre District, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is the perfect way to wind down the week. 

// Tickets and show dates may be found here //