NPR’s ‘Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!’ originates from Austin this week

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Host Peter Sagal
Host Peter Sagal

Host Peter Sagal

Listen for some Texas twang on the next edition of NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”

The popular show, which quizzes participants on current events, was taped in front of a capacity crowd Thursday night at the Bass Concert Hall on the University of Texas campus and is scheduled to air on NPR affiliates nationwide this weekend.

Guests included local musician Dale Watson.

In Austin, “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” can be heard at 10 a.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday on 90.5 KUT-FM.

It’s not the first time the Chicago-based show has visited Austin – and host Peter Sagal said he hopes it won’t be the last.

“We love Austin,” he said. “Austin represents everything that’s best about America – and Texas. It’s this wonderful amalgamation of politics, the Mexican culture, food, tattoos … you name it.”

“Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” is a bit of an oddity on the news-heavy NPR schedule. In fact, when Sagal was first tapped to serve as host, he said he didn’t expect the gig to last very long. He was wrong. The show’s been on the air for 16 years and counting.

“People who listen to public radio need humor, just like the rest of us,” Sagal said. “There’s very little comedy on public radio. We almost have that to ourselves. It’s nice that there’s one hour a week where NPR isn’t serious.”

Taking the show out of the studio and recording it in front of a live audience from time to time is something Sagal, who has a background in theater, said he pushed for after taking over as host.

“For me, it was weird to be stuck in a studio,” he said. “I need to see people in front of me to see if they’re laughing, if we’re connecting. You need people to laugh, you need them to respond. If there’s someone who might reward you with a laugh, we all become these leaping porpoises in search of attention.”


‘Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!’

10 a.m. Saturday

7 p.m. Sunday

90.5 KUT-FM

On the Web: kut.org


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