An LA World

Nov 3, 2017
Originally published on April 27, 2018 9:14 am

Jeff Garlin and Linda Cardellini compete for a spot on our Walk of Fame in this music parody game. We rewrote "A Whole New World" from the movie Aladdin to be about famous Los Angeles landmarks, locations, and businesses.


Linda Cardellini On Her First Time On A Studio Lot

It was dirty... I expected it to be fancy. It was not fancy.

Jeff Garlin On His First Time On A Studio Lot

I snuck onto Paramount every day. This was in the '80s. It was a different time.

Heard On Los Angeles: Famepocalypse Part Two

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JONATHAN COULTON: This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, coming to you from Los Angeles, Calif. I'm Jonathan Coulton, here with puzzle guru Art Chung. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.



Thank you, Jonathan. This is our second week in LA playing our nerdy games with celebrities. And what better people to play pop culture trivia games than the people who make pop culture? Our first pair of celebritestants (ph) is Linda Cardellini and Jeff Garlin. They're about to play a game about the amazing sights of Los Angeles - from the strip malls on the west side to the strip malls on the east side.


EISENBERG: Let's check in with Linda and Jeff some more. Linda, the first time you went into a film studio...


EISENBERG: ...Was there anything that surprised you about it?

CARDELLINI: It was dirty.


EISENBERG: Oh, really?

CARDELLINI: Yeah. There was dust on everything. And I thought, oh, my God, I can't wait to go - like, a movie. You know, I was so excited.


CARDELLINI: I always thought this glamorous thing. And it's basically, like, you know, like, sets are just made out of wood. And on one side, it looks very exciting and, like - 'cause you're somewhere real. And on the other side, it just looks like a construction site.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

CARDELLINI: And when you sit there, you're sort of, like, you know, sitting in, you know, not the most glamorous part of it. So I was struck by that because I expected it to be...

EISENBERG: Sparkling and...


EISENBERG: Yeah, fancy.

CARDELLINI: It was not fancy.


EISENBERG: Jeff right now is dancing.


JEFF GARLIN: A very - very limited movements yet quite sexual.


EISENBERG: It's go - it's very low in the hips. It's very low in the hips.

Jeff, how about you? The first time you went to a film studio, what struck you about it?

GARLIN: No, what struck me was how easy it was to get on the lot...


GARLIN: ...'Cause I snuck on to Paramount every day - this is in the '80s. It was a different time.


EISENBERG: After this game, the contestant with the most points overall will go to the final round. And the loser will have to make a left turn on Santa Monica Boulevard.


EISENBERG: All right. Puzzle guru Art Chung, remind us how our players are doing.

ART CHUNG: Linda's in the lead, but anything can happen because our third game is worth double points.


GARLIN: But - oh, see, now you're screwed.


GARLIN: All right. Go ahead.

EISENBERG: This is a music parody game called An LA World. Jonathan Coulton, take it away.

COULTON: In this game, we rewrote "A Whole New World" from "Aladdin" to be about famous Los Angeles landmarks, locations and businesses. Just buzz in and tell me what place I'm singing about.


COULTON: Here we go. (Singing, playing guitar) I can show you a word standing tall atop Mount Lee. Nine big letters have spelled it out since 1923.



CARDELLINI: The Hollywood sign.

COULTON: The Hollywood sign is correct.


GARLIN: Hold on, hold on - Hollywoodland...


GARLIN: ...'Cause he was singing about when it first went up (laughter). No, I'm kidding.

COULTON: (Laughter).

CARDELLINI: All right. You know what? Give him three times the points.

GARLIN: Go ahead.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: You can write an angry email to us later.


COULTON: That's what our fans do.


EISENBERG: The sign originally said Hollywoodland.

GARLIN: Hollywoodland.

CARDELLINI: Hollywoodland.

EISENBERG: And it was an advertisement for a housing development.

GARLIN: Right below - yeah.

CARDELLINI: What about when it said Hollyweed?


COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) An LA world where Clayton Kershaw plays for you - home of your baseball team and Chavez Ravine, the Brooklyn team you stole.



GARLIN: The Los Angeles Dodgers.

COULTON: We're looking for a place.

GARLIN: Oh, Dodger Stadium.

COULTON: That's correct.


GARLIN: By the way, for many people, the Los Angeles Dodgers are a place...


GARLIN: ...In their heart.

COULTON: Amen, brother.

GARLIN: In their heart. They love them.

COULTON: Amen. (Singing, playing guitar) An LA World - this dazzling place is right downtown. Steel curves that bend at will - the LA Phil - plays its concerts in this place for you.



GARLIN: Disney Hall.

COULTON: That's correct - Walt Disney Concert Hall.


GARLIN: Disney Concert Hall.

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) French fries animal style, indescribable burgers, a double-double, a milkshake underneath a yellow sign.



GARLIN: In-N-Out Burger.

COULTON: In-N-Out Burger is correct.


EISENBERG: I would just like to let you both know that it is all tied up.

CARDELLINI: (Gasping) Now it's fun. Now it's on, Jeff.

COULTON: Moreover, this is your last clue.


COULTON: Don't screw it up.


COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) An LA world - a prehistoric Wilshire site - look at these Pleistocene figurines posing in the sticky goo for you.



GARLIN: It's all right.


CARDELLINI: What are the La Brea Tar Pits?

COULTON: La Brea Tar Pits is correct.


COULTON: I think I know the answer, but Art Chung, who won? Who won?

CHUNG: Wow, that was a close one. Congratulations, Linda. You're moving on to the final round.


EISENBERG: I'm sorry we have to say goodbye to Jeff. It was so great having you with us. Jeff Garlin stars in "The Goldbergs" on ABC and in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on HBO, give it up for Jeff Garlin.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.