Paradigm Shift

Feb 9, 2018
Originally published on February 14, 2018 11:04 am

Welcome to the alternate dimension where Julia Louis-Dreyfus's hit HBO comedy about crying is called "Weep." We've changed one letter in a movie or TV title, and imagined what the new plot might be. Based on our new synopsis, can you guess what our version would be called?

Heard On Chris Hadfield: Ground Control To Major Trivia

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Hey, Jonathan.

JONATHAN COULTON: Hey, Ophira.

EISENBERG: So today on ASK ME ANOTHER, our special guest is astronaut Chris Hadfield. So astronaut speed round...

COULTON: Oh, boy.

EISENBERG: Who was the first woman in space?

COULTON: That was the Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova.

EISENBERG: That is correct. What did the U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard smuggle onto the moon?

COULTON: He brought golf balls.

EISENBERG: That's right. Exactly. And in addition to being the first Canadian to walk in space, what else did Chris Hadfield accomplish that day?

COULTON: He became the first Canadian to say I'm sorry in a vacuum.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Thank you, Jonathan. We are back in Washington, D.C., on a trip that Politico has already called a strategic blunder.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: We have a great show for you. Four brilliant contestants are backstage leaking puzzle secrets, and they are here to play our nerdy games. Only one, though, will be our big winner. And our special guest is a real live astronaut. It's Colonel Chris Hadfield. He was the first Canadian to command the International Space Station. Canada - the second-most popular place Americans talk about moving to after space.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Our first two contestants will play a word game where they'll get to change something without having to call their representatives. Let's meet them. First up, Heather Hurley on buzzer number one.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: You work at the Library of Congress Copyright Office, which is your dream job. Welcome.

HEATHER HURLEY: Thank you for having me.

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Paul Nicholsen on buzzer number two.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: You work in web development for the Library of Congress website. Welcome.

PAUL NICHOLSEN: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Heather and Paul, the first of you who wins two of our games will go on to our final round. This is a word game called Paradigm Shift. We've completely altered the premise of some movies and TV shows simply by changing one letter in the title. Let's go to Jonathan Coulton for an example.

COULTON: So if we said, in this HBO comedy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays someone who cries all the time, you would answer "Weep," changing the V in "Veep" to a W.

EISENBERG: Very easy. Ring in to answer. And here we go. Kumail Nanjiani's relationship is put to the test when he meets a woman who's deathly afraid of insects that carry Lyme disease.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Heather.

HURLEY: "The Big Tick."

EISENBERG: That is correct. Yes. Well done.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Gal Gadot stars in this film about a superhero who is really far away.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Paul.

NICHOLSEN: Wonder Woman is far away. So she's Wander Woman. She wanders far away.

COULTON: Oh, very interesting.

EISENBERG: That's pretty good.

COULTON: I have to go to the judges on this one. Puzzle guru Art Chung, what say ye?

ART CHUNG: Ye say we were looking for "Yonder Woman," but we'll give that to you. Well done.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well done, Paul. You've already broken the game.

(LAUGHTER)

NICHOLSEN: That was the goal.

EISENBERG: That was great. Tina Fey executive produces this sitcom about an eccentric team that assembles really good church seats.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Heather.

HURLEY: "Great Pews."

EISENBERG: Exactly. "Great News" becomes "Great Pews." I'd go to church more often if it had massage chairs.

COULTON: Yeah. Why don't they do that?

EISENBERG: Recliners.

COULTON: Make them really nice.

EISENBERG: Little cup holder for your blood of Christ.

COULTON: For your whiskey.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I don't think you're supposed to linger over it like that.

EISENBERG: No? (Laughter).

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: On this ABC show, Freddie Highmore stars as Shaun Murphy, a surgeon for marionettes, armoires and peg legs infested with termites.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Heather.

HURLEY: "The Wood Doctor."

COULTON: That's right. "The Good Doctor," "The Wood Doctor."

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This Guillermo del Toro film received 13 Oscar nominations, unexpected for a movie about an animated tow truck voiced by Larry the Cable Guy. It's a stumper. All right. Puzzle guru Art Chung, do you have a hint for them?

CHUNG: Sure. The movie stars Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon, and the Larry the Cable Guy movie was "Cars."

EISENBERG: Pretty good.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Heather.

HURLEY: Is it "The Shape Of Mater"?

EISENBERG: Yeah. It's exactly that.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You got her done.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This is your last clue.

COULTON: I see dead people. I saw dead people. I will see dead people. I have seen dead people. I had seen dead people. I will have been seeing dead people.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Heather.

HURLEY: "The Sixth Tense."

COULTON: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You were conjugating the whole time.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Puzzle guru Art Chung, how did our contestants do?

CHUNG: Heather, well done. You're one step closer to our final round.

[POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: During this broadcast, we referred to ticks as insects. But, ticks are arachnids.]

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