Peter Sagal

Host, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!

A native of Berkeley Heights, N.J., Peter Sagal attended Harvard University and subsequently squandered that education while working as a literary manager for a regional theater, a movie publicist, a stage director, an actor, an extra in a Michael Jackson video, a travel writer, an essayist, a ghost writer for a former adult film impresario and a staff writer for a motorcycle magazine.

He is the author of numerous plays that have been performed in large and small theaters around the country and abroad, including Long Wharf Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville, Seattle Repertory, and Florida Stage. He has also written a number of screenplays, including Savage, a cheesy vehicle for obscure French kickboxer Olivier Gruner, and Cuba Mine, an original screenplay that became, without his knowledge, the basis for Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.

4:49pm

Mon April 14, 2014
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: The Passover Sandwich

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 8:06 am

In the time of Exodus, the Hebrews had to travel the desert without reading material.
NPR

Why is this Sandwich Monday different from all other Sandwich Mondays? In honor of Passover, I introduced my non-Jewish colleagues to the wonders of the Passover lunch.

It's not the Seder meal, but what I might have brought to school for lunch back in the 1970s, when the affluent Jews of suburban New Jersey ate tasteless food to remind themselves that thousands of years ago, they didn't have nice professional jobs like being a lawyer, or maybe a CPA. That's a steady living. I know David Birnbaum does nicely as an accountant; maybe you could look into that?

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1:53pm

Mon August 19, 2013
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: PB&J Fries

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 3:55 pm

Peter failed to hitch this to the back of his motorcycle and bring it back to Chicago for us.
NPR

Canadians have given us so much, from the BlackBerry, a kind of phone your parents' older friends used to use, to Leslie Hope, the lady who played Kiefer Sutherland's wife in Season 1 of 24. But perhaps towering above all is poutine, which translated from the Quebecois is "stuff poured onto french fries." Usually it's some variation of cheese, meat and gravy, but I was told that in Portland, Ore. (naturally), at a food truck (naturally), you can get peanut butter and jelly on fries. So I went, naturally.

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3:58pm

Mon May 6, 2013
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: Fried Peanut Butter And Banana

Melissa approaches with caution.
NPR

It's strange to find a Fried Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich, famous as Elvis Presley's favorite, on a restaurant menu, given its effect on Elvis. It's like finding a store selling an Isadora Duncan commemorative scarf.

Nonetheless, freelance radio producer Melissa LaCasse and I decided to try the one offered by The Breslin in New York, listed as "fried peanut butter & banana sandwich with bourbon & vanilla."

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2:52pm

Mon January 7, 2013
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: Steak And Kidney Pie

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 3:16 pm

You say Steak & Kidney Pie, I say Gravy Volcano.
NPR

[Note: Peter sends this disgusting dispatch from a family vacation in London.]

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2:34pm

Wed June 6, 2012
Monkey See

Ray Bradbury: Finding Our Reflections Where We Didn't Expect Them

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:19 am

This 1966 file photo shows science fiction writer Ray Bradbury looking at a picture that was part of a school project to illustrate characters in one of his dramas.
AP

Heinlein, Asimov and Bradbury; they were the tripod (invasive, moving, with lasers) on which my science fiction education was built in the 1970s. This was somewhat self-selected, because once you — or I — grew out of Danny Dunn and Journey to the Mushroom Planet and Tom Swift, Jr., they were the inevitable destinations, the planets with the heaviest gravity wells in the sci-fi solar system.

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Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me!

For a wacky and whip-smart approach to the week's news and newsmakers, listen no further than Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, the oddly informative news quiz from NPR. During each fast-paced, irreverent show, host Peter Sagal leads what might be characterized as the news Olympics. Callers, panelists, and guests compete by answering questions about the week's events, identifying impersonations, filling in the blanks at lightening speed, sniffing out fake news items, and deciphering limericks. Listeners vie for a chance to win the most coveted prize in radio: having official judge and scorekeeper Carl Kasell record the outgoing message on their home answering machine.