NPR's 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" taping in San Francisco 

click to enlarge Bill Kurtis and Peter Sagal tape "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me." - ELIZABETH SINCLAIR-SMITH/SPECIAL TO THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Elizabeth Sinclair-Smith/Special to the S.F. Examiner
  • Bill Kurtis and Peter Sagal tape "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me."

"Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!," the NPR quiz show, sold out its three San Francisco tapings in about six hours. That might be because the long-running show, which pulls in nearly 4 million viewers a week, was making its first visit to San Francisco. The irreverent take on the news, which usually broadcasts out of WBEZ in Chicago, was also making its first residency.

Host Peter Sagal and announcer Bill Kurtis taped the first of three shows Thursday at the Nourse Theater, bantering with panelists Roy Blount Jr., Roxanne Roberts and Bobcat Goldthwait as well as listeners calling in to answer quirky questions on the week's news. The show will also tape Thursday and July 31, with each show airing two days later.

"Wait Wait" scored French Laundry chef Thomas Keller for its "Not My Job" segment, which quizzes accomplished figures about things they know nothing about. The next two weeks will feature local author Amy Tan and drag performer Peaches Christ.

Keller drew cheers when he took the stage in chef's whites, complete with a towering toque. He served some treats and successfully answered questions about actual laundry.

The James Beard Award winner even revealed a few secrets from the three-Michelin-star site in Yountville. "We tried to make our own ketchup," Keller said. "But I realized nothing tasted as good as Heinz."

The show experienced a change recently when longtime announcer Carl Kasell retired in May.

"Nobody is replacing Carl," Sagal told The San Francisco Examiner after the show. "Bill is succeeding Carl ... he's his own guy, and he does different funny things."

Sagal, who visited sex club Power Exchange in The City while writing 2008's "Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them)," mused about the Bay Area's favorite vice.

"Nobody does self-regard more than the good people of the Bay Area," he joked. "Everything here is the most wonderful, and people who live elsewhere are benighted fools."

Where: KQED (88.5 FM) When: 11 a.m. Saturdays, midnight Sundays; show also streams online Info:,

About The Author

Giselle Velazquez

Giselle Velazquez was born and raised in the shadow of San Francisco's Diamond Heights and now lives in the shadow of South San Francisco's Sign Hill. She has written for publications such as The S.F. Examiner, Ventura County Star, and the S.F. Bay Guardian.
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