Saturday, August 16, 2008

"Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me"

When I was a little kid I loved Saturday mornings because good things were on the radio. I'm so old now all I can remember about those days are Big John and Sparky and No School Today, and the song The Teddy Bear's Parade. It starts, "If you go out in the wood's today, you better not go alone.." One of you will find the rest of that song and sing it for me, I'll bet by the end of the day. It was always a good Saturday morning when I got to listen to Big John and Sparky, and sing the Teddy Bears Picnic song. It was my mother who I remember sang along with me. It was fun time we shared, and there was too little of that, so this Saturday morning ritual held great importance for me.

Now my Saturday morning radio fun time is the show on NPR called Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me. I am one of the lucky callers who once won Carl Kasell's voice on my answering machine. When the show came to Salt Lake 6 years ago or so I went to see it at Westminster College. Wait Wait combines the weeks political news and humor, with regular host Peter Sagal, call in contestants, and a group of three regular and rotating panelists, and a celebrity guest. Got to go, it's time for Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me.

P.S. An old voice talent friend of mine just called to tell me that his first radio job was in Wooster, introducing Big John and Sparky when he was nineteen. He could hum the Teddy Bears March, but could not remember the lyrics. Even so, Scott Shurian wins the prize today.

13 comments:

Randal Graves said...

Wait, don't tell me, but is that the song that ends with something along the lines of "and that's where the teddy bears have their piiiic-nic?"

I think my earliest radio memory is probably listening to Casey Kasem's Top 40 crap in the late 70s in between spins of the The Muppet Show album.

Utah Savage said...

Baby. Yes, I think that might be the end of the song. But Casey Kasem's Top 40? No wonder you like Heavy Metal.

Je ne regrette rien said...

color me jealous, but I always wanted one of those custom greetings on MY answering machine. Do you still have it?

Utah Savage said...

No, sadly I lost the machine it was recorded on when I took in my mother.

D.K. Raed said...

"If you go out in the woods today,
You’d better not go alone.
It’s lovely out in the woods today,
But safer to stay at home."

You can google the rest. My brother used to scare me with that little song! ooooh, I bet Steven Colbert would love to use that in one of his #1 Threats bits.

My earliest radio memory is all the 50's songs my babysitter used to rock out to. I know the songs when I hear them, but right now all I can think of is Purple People Eater!

Utah Savage said...

Thank you d.k., now I can drive myself singing it for days. I know the melody but now have the words as well and a smile on my face.

Utah Savage said...

Drive myself crazy was what I meant to say... but that is so obvious, isn't it?

E said...

Saturday morning rituals! Ours was waking up to the smell of bacon because Saturday was Dad Is Cooking Breakfast day. I loved Saturdays so much that Saturdays are now always bacon days Chez Haggis. Oh and ps--that teddy bear song always creeped me out!

Nan said...

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me is part of my Saturday morning ritual. I love that show. One of my favorite bits is when they do a multi-choice with one real news item and several fake, all of which sound totally unlikely, and it's usually the oddest item that turns out to be true.

Randal Graves said...

Yeah, I decided to listen to the most popular form of music available. Everyone loves Scandinavian death metal. I should spin some 'cause I've got that damn teddy bear song in my head. Grumble.

DCup said...

I love Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. You know, Fran went to the live show in upper NY a few months ago.

My family really never had Saturday a.m. rituals, besides Scooby Doo and other Saturday a.m. cartoons, but back when we lived in Chicago, The Dancer (who was teeny tiny back then) and I would listen to Old Time Radio on WNIB (Chuck Schaden was the mastermind and host). We loved Jack Benny, the Great Gildersleeve, Lux Radio Theater, Suspense, etc. We bought the cassettes of old Jack Benny shows and The Dancer used to be able to do the dialog because she'd heard them so many times.

Now I love the old time radio channel on XM and listen to it a lot, lot, lot.

P.S. I told Mathman that you'd be coming to stay with us and swing from his nipple. He wants to be cougared by you. I say go for it!

Beach Bum said...

Wait, don't tell me rocks. I listen to it whenever I can catch it.

thepoetryman said...

Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is one of my favorite shows on NPR! Sometimes I crack up so terribly that coffee spews out of my orifices!

(Shit... Did I write that out loud?)