First Name Basis

Jul 17, 2013
Originally published on June 18, 2015 9:02 pm

We live in an informal society — no one's introduced as Mr. Coulton or Ms. Eisenberg anymore. In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg talks about celebrities on a first name basis, and asks contestants to give her the full name of a famous person by combining the first names of two other famous people.

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Welcome back to ASK ME ANOTHER at NPR and WNYC's hour of trivia, puzzles, and word games. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and coming up we'll put director Paul Feig up for an ASK ME ANOTHER challenge. But first, let's say hello to our next two contestants: Rebecca Weintraub and Chris Wade.


EISENBERG: Rebecca, you are an archivist.


EISENBERG: What is one of the coolest projects you've worked on?

WEINTRAUB: Last summer I worked at the New York Public Library as an intern, processing the Timothy Leary Collection.


WEINTRAUB: Yeah. Some crazy stuff in there.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah?

WEINTRAUB: Oh, yeah.

EISENBERG: Give me one little bit of craziness.

WEINTRAUB: First day I was there I was processing a bunch of his stuff and I opened an envelope from some hotel in Atlanta and on the envelope it said: Some kind of pot. And inside I opened it up and there was some kind of pot wrapped in some plastic wrap.


EISENBERG: So, yeah. That's great.

WEINTRAUB: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

EISENBERG: Chris, you are a video producer.

CHRIS WADE: That is true.

EISENBERG: What is one of the coolest projects you've worked on?

WADE: Oh, I'd say deconstructing the entire run of "Game of Thrones" and putting it into an eight-minute summarizer of the series was pretty fun.

EISENBERG: That sounds pretty fun. I like that you deconstructed it and then reconstructed it in eight minutes. That is a hefty project.

WADE: Yeah. I didn't sleep for, like, two days.

EISENBERG: Nice. Our next game is called First Name Basis. We live in an informal society where no one is introduced as Mr. Colton or Ms. Eisenberg anymore, and we realize that sometimes if two people were introduced to each other using only their first names, it would create the name of another famous person. Like if you were at a public radio party or a Hollywood party - interchangeable - and wanted to introduce the actress Ashley Tisdale to the director Judd Apatow, you might say Ashley, Judd.



WEINTRAUB: Oh, dear.

EISENBERG: So in this game we're going to ask you to give us the full name of the famous person by combining the first names of two other famous people. Puzzle guru Art Chung, how about an example?

ART CHUNG: If I said introduce America's first Catholic president to the hockey star known as The Great One and you'd get one of Hollywood's greatest cowboys, you would take the first names of John F. Kennedy and Wayne Gretzky and you'd say John Wayne.

EISENBERG: All right.


EISENBERG: All right. Pretty fun, right? So remember, just take the two celebrities' first names and combine them to form the new name. Here we go. Introduce an American frontiersman who explored Kentucky to the original host of The Daily Show and you'd get what James Bond actor?



WADE: Daniel Craig.

EISENBERG: That is correct.


CHUNG: Introduce the actress who played Marty McFly's mom in "Back to the Future" to the only woman to officially run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination and you get what star of the TV show "Glee?"


CHUNG: Rebecca.

WEINTRAUB: Lea Michelle?

CHUNG: That's right.


CHUNG: Lea Thompson and Michelle Bachmann.

EISENBERG: Yes. Back to creationism.


EISENBERG: Introduce Tom Cruise's only Academy Award winning ex-wife to the lead guitarist of Bon Jovi and you'd get what former BFF of Paris Hilton?



WADE: Nicole Richie?

EISENBERG: That is correct. Yes.


EISENBERG: Can you tell me what the combination is?

WADE: I, uh...

EISENBERG: Yeah, I know. You just made it with the last name.

WADE: Nicole The Edge.


EISENBERG: Richie Sambora?

WADE: The Edge?

EISENBERG: And Nicole Kidman.

CHUNG: Introduce America's first female speaker of the House to the legendary actress who married Prince Rainier III of Monaco and you get what cable news legal commentator and host?


WADE: Nancy Grace?

CHUNG: Oh, sorry. That was Rebecca who rung in.

WEINTRAUB: Nancy Grace?


WEINTRAUB: For the record, I was going to say that.

CHUNG: You were going to say that.

WEINTRAUB: I was going to say that.

CHUNG: OK, good. Do you know the names of the people?

WEINTRAUB: Nancy Pelosi and Grace Kelly. Grace Kelly.

CHUNG: That's right. Yeah. Yeah.

EISENBERG: Introduce the singer married to Mariah Carey to the scientist who developed the polio vaccine - because those people are always in the same room - and you get what Disney Channel star and former boy band member?



WEINTRAUB: Nick Jonas?


EISENBERG: Yes. Do you want to tell me what the combo is?

WEINTRAUB: OK. I'm trying - Jonas Salk and Nick Cannon.

EISENBERG: Right. Yes.



CHUNG: Introduce the co-creator and star of the British version of "The Office" to the MSNBC political commentator best known for his controversial interview with Michael Jackson and you get what pop singer and former member of Menudo?


CHUNG: Rebecca.

WEINTRAUB: Ricky Martin?

CHUNG: That's right. Ricky Gervais and Martin Bashir. You're like a machine, Rebecca.

WEINTRAUB: What can I say?

EISENBERG: Introduce a Grammy winning musician and gay rights activist to the Russian literary titan who wrote "War and Peace" and you get what actress who won an Oscar in 2011? Mm-hmm.



WADE: Melissa Leo?

EISENBERG: That is correct.


EISENBERG: Yes. Do you want to tell me what you combined?

WADE: Leo Tolstoy and Melissa something.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Good enough. Melissa Ethridge. Yes. Art, how did our contestants do?

CHUNG: That was a close game but Rebecca was our winner.


EISENBERG: Well done. Congratulations, Rebecca. You'll be moving on to our final round at the end of the show. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.