Bad Things Come In Threes

Dec 5, 2013
Originally published on April 16, 2014 3:46 pm

It has been noted that many of history's notorious assassins had three names: John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mark David Chapman. It turns out that many other famous people with three names have committed far lesser (but still disturbing) acts, like popularizing the mullet or basically inventing cat videos. Guess the celebrities as host Ophira Eisenberg leads this game.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WYNC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg. And have you ever noticed that bad things come in threes but good things only in ones? Let's ask our next two contestants about that. So please welcome Natasha Simons and Linzee Troubh.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: So, Linzee, what is the last good thing that has happened to you?

LINZEE TROUBH: Well, the first thing I came to mind is recently brushed shoulders with Ryan Gosling.

EISENBERG: Oh.

TROUBH: At a party.

EISENBERG: Well. And where were you that you were brushing shoulders?

TROUBH: At a premier party for one of his movies.

EISENBERG: Oh. Yeah.

TROUBH: That sounds really obnoxious.

EISENBERG: No, that would be - that's an excellent place to find him.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: How about you, Natasha? What's the last good thing that's happened to you?

NATASHA SIMONS: Well, it's hard to beat Ryan Gosling but I have to say the last good thing that happened to me was the "Breaking Bad" finale, both because it was amazing and because I could finally relax every Sunday.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Right. It was very intense.

SIMONS: Yes.

EISENBERG: You have a lot of people that agree with you. They're like, yes, my life was given back to me.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So this game is called Bad Things Come in Threes because it has been noted that many of the most notorious assassins in history have three names. Like John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mark David Chapman. And it turns out that many other famous people with three names have committed far lesser, but still disturbing, acts. Puzzle guru John Mitchell Chaneski, how about an example?

JOHN CHANESKI: Thanks, Ophira Jasmine Eisenberg.

EISENBERG: It's real.

CHANESKI: That's right. If we said this actor provided the voice for one of the most fiendish movie villains of all time, Darth Vader, you would answer with James Earle Jones.

EISENBERG: They both are nodding yes, of course. OK. So ring in when you know the answer and of course the winner of this game moves on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Playing an extraordinarily debauched version of himself, this actor spent several movies terrorizing poor Harold and Kumar.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Linzee.

TROUBH: Neil Patrick Harris.

EISENBERG: Yes, indeed.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This country music star with the achy, breaky heart helped popularize the frightening hairstyle known as the mullet.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Linzee.

TROUBH: Billy Ray Cyrus.

EISENBERG: Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Business in the front, party in the back. Just like his daughter's twerking.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This composer's adaptation of T.S. Eliot's work may have whet people's appetites for the anthropomorphic felines so much that the Internet was basically taken over by cat videos. Composer.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Natasha.

SIMONS: Andrew Lee Weber? Oh, I don't know.

EISENBERG: No.

SIMONS: I have - the middle names are hard.

CHANESKI: Linzee, can you steal it?

TROUBH: Andrew Lloyd Weber.

EISENBERG: There you go.

CHANESKI: That's correct.

EISENBERG: You set her up, Natasha, but Linzee got that point. As if aspiring writers didn't already have parents pressuring them to get a real job, this poet managed to write "The Red Wheelbarrow" while working successfully as a family doctor. Yep. It's a tough one. They're both thinking. They're working it out.

CHANESKI: The initials here are W.C.W.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SIMONS: Who is William Carlos Williams? And I just answer...

CHANESKI: Yeah. It is.

SIMONS: I answered the "Jeopardy" question as well.

CHANESKI: Yeah. You're not on "Jeopardy."

EISENBERG: Yes.

SIMONS: Sorry.

CHANESKI: Thank you.

EISENBERG: You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Who is correct, Natasha. William Carlos Williams is correct. Do you really want to go to a doctor who's also a poet? I don't think so. I would find another doctor. My doctor, no hobbies. That's what I say.

CHANESKI: Medicine. Medicine should be his hobby.

EISENBERG: I'm like no hobbies. This architect's Falling Water, a house which appears to hang in midair over a waterfall, may have accidentally provided the blueprint for the lairs of every Bond villain.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Linzee.

TROUBH: Frank Lloyd Wright?

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And this is your last question. During a three-year marriage to Angelina Jolie, this actor reportedly wore a vial of her blood around his weird little neck. Let them think. Let them think.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Linzee.

TROUBH: Billy Bob Thornton.

EISENBERG: Correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Puzzle guru John Chaneski.

CHANESKI: The winner of Bad Things Come in Threes is Linzee. Way to go, Linzee.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Linzee. Thank you so much, Natasha. Linzee, you're going to be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show.

TROUBH: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.