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.