Peter Sagal: "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me"

[photo: NPR]
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Many people assume because Peter Sagal seems so comfortable hosting the popular NPR quiz show Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, (heard Saturday mornings at 11 on 90.3) that he’s always been a big fan of game shows.  Not quite, in fact as Sagal told ideastream’s Dee Perry in 2012, he was “tempted to create an alternative biography for myself, in which I was this weird game-show prodigy.” 

Sagal said that as a child an encounter he had with 1970s game show host Joe Garagiola went terribly wrong and turned him against the genre. 

Sagal began as a panelist when Wait Wait debuted in 1998. But he said the producers of the show feared it would be cancelled early in its run and asked him - out of desperation - to move into the host chair in what he describes as a “battlefield promotion.”  

While Wait, Wait has become one of public radio’s more popular programs, there are plenty of moments of panic. Sagal said most weeks, just 90 minutes before it's time to tape, he realizes that he has no idea what will be on the show.  

Sagal hosts Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me from Playhouse Square in Cleveland on Thursday December 8th at 7:30 p.m. His panel for the show includes comedian Paula Poundstone, actor Peter Grosz, and journalist Faith Salie.


Hear part one of Dee’s interview Peter Sagal on Monday at 12:33 p.m. and part two at 1:52 p.m. during Here and Now featuring The Sound of Applause on 90.3


Peter Sagal, host

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