|[Peter Sagal, Boston MA]|
For the unititiated. Peter Sagal has been hosting "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" on NPR for about fifteen years, and I think I've been listening for at least thirteen. It's a news-based game show with a rotating panel of players, call-in listener challenges and celebrity guests that can be anyone from state senators to movie stars.
Let me explain for the non-marketers. Marketing is quite the jargon-heavy industry, and Peter was gently poking fun at that aspect of it. It's a large part of what I do -- slay the jargon-monster with fresh, direct writing. For example, a line of copy such as "we are the only platform that provides the capabilities to innovate at scale" contains nothing of use to humans seeking actual information, so I would re-write a line like that so that it contains meaning, and someone gives me money. Peter's quip about “disrupting the traditional paradigm in the fart joke sector" got a big laugh from a ballroom filled with marketing professionals.
He's such a pro, moving about the stage comfortably, warmly interacting with the audience, getting genuine laughs. He didn’t have a slide deck, but he played hilarious audio snippets of Wait Wait to weave real-life anecdotes about jokes that were written one way, but once told, took on a whole new, unexpected life of their own, illustrating that the real art of joke-telling is...
Well it wouldn't be fair to Peter. I'll tell you if you ask me, but only if you donate a dollar to NPR.
Here are the links to the clips he used in his talk.
The "Crapped a Pineapple" One
The "Clippy" One
I did get a photo with Peter Sagal. I waited in line, and you guys, I really tried to be cool, like, hey, no biggie, it's just Peter Sagal. But apparently I forgot how to be a normal person, including what I usually do with my hands. And my face. So in a panicked move I went with bulging eyes, a manic grin and a double-thumbs up. So, no, you can't see the photo. I'm trying to have a personality here.