Considering the daily array of political posturing and alarmist rhetoric, keeping aware of current affairs can be a discouraging proposition. Instead of disconnecting entirely from the modern world, however, one might consider adopting a more ridiculous view of contemporary news. For 15 seasons and counting, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! has delivered the news with a refreshingly irreverent spin. Fusing game-show conventions with a panelist format, the program remains National Public Radio's most reliable source of absurdity. Much of the show's easygoing tone can be credited to host Peter Sagal and scorekeeper Carl Kasell, a duo whose breezy levity sets the stage for a rotating panel of journalists and satirists known to include such literate wits as Roy Blount Jr., Roxanne Roberts, P.J. O'Rourke, Paula Poundstone, and Mo Rocca. Selected listeners partake in a variety of news-related games designed to test both the contestants' knowledge and the panelists' improvisational skills. Typical games could include Who's Carl This Time? (players guess a mystery newsmaker from provided quotes), Bluff the Listener (players identify an authentic news story), and Listener Limerick Challenge (players provide the final word to a news-related limerick). Audiences at this special taping (the show typically records in Chicago) should have no trouble finding humor in the headlines.
Thu., May 23, 7:30 p.m., 2013