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Panel Round Two

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Paula Poundstone, Maz Jobrani and Adam Felber. And here again is your host at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, Calif., Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill. In just a minute, Bill reveals his favorite television producer is Shonda Rimes. That's our Listener Limerick challenge and also her actual name. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Paula, great news for people searching for that special someone. It's a new dating site just for people who are into what.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Oh, for people - just talking.

SAGAL: Just - people who are into just talking.


SAGAL: That's all they want to do is talk.



POUNDSTONE: I'd do it.

SAGAL: It would be like, I'm just a Minnie looking for my Mickey.

POUNDSTONE: It's for people who are rodents?



POUNDSTONE: So for Disney - people who like Disney?

SAGAL: People who like Disney.


SAGAL: It's a dating site for Disney fans, right?

POUNDSTONE: I love Disney, but I would rather just talk about it.


SAGAL: It's called Mouse Mingle. It's for people who felt like Christian Mingle was a little too racy.


SAGAL: It's romantic though, the Disney people looking for each other. I'm just a Beauty looking for my Beast, an Aladdin looking for my Jasmine, a Snow White looking to try an eight-way.


MAZ JOBRANI: A Buzz looking for my Woody.

SAGAL: Right, yeah.


SAGAL: Adam, some exciting news in the literary world. A teacher in England says a poem written just this week is bound to become the most widely read poem in recent history. What is that poem?

ADAM FELBER: The one Kobe Bryant wrote.

SAGAL: That's exactly right.



SAGAL: Kobe Bryant's resignation letter.

FELBER: Wow, I knew about the poem but I did not know it was going to be the most widely read in human history.

SAGAL: That's what he - well, in recent history anyway. So suck it e.e. Cummings. Kobe is taking your crown, too. Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers announced his coming retirement from basketball this week with a long poem called "Dear Basketball." Here's a brief sample.

KURTIS: (Reading) And we both know no matter what I do next, I'll always be that kid with the rolled up socks.

JOBRANI: That doesn't rhyme.

SAGAL: No, it's free verse, man. Get with it.

JOBRANI: Really? He resigned in poetry?

SAGAL: Yeah, he wrote this long poem.

JOBRANI: What did he rhyme with Lakers?

FELBER: He didn't rhyme.

SAGAL: He didn't rhyme, Maz. Get with it.

JOBRANI: That's a sucky poem then.


JOBRANI: You got to rhyme. The Lakers, we used to be bakers. I don't know.

SAGAL: So Kobe Bryant makes $25 million a year. That makes him our nation's highest paid poet by a margin of $25 million.

POUNDSTONE: A lot of people don't realize how well Maya Angelou played basketball.

SAGAL: That's true.


SAGAL: She had a beautiful fadeaway jumper.

FELBER: She could've been one of the greats.

POUNDSTONE: Unbelievable. Yeah.

SAGAL: But joining us now to discuss this important sports news is the poet laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera. Welcome to WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.


JUAN FELIPE HERRERA: Thank you so much.

SAGAL: Mr. Herrera, pleasure to talk to you. So let's do some close reading. The poem is called "Dear Basketball."


SAGAL: What do you think the basketball is a symbol for?

HERRERA: Well, you know, it's really - it's really you. It's the south, it's the ball, it's the world, it's the planet, it's the game, it's the people all in one.

JOBRANI: Does it not have to rhyme?


HERRERA: (Laughter) Doesn't need it.

SAGAL: I have to ask you this. You, of course, are an esteemed poet yourself. You're trying to promote poetry in the United States.


SAGAL: That's your job as poet laureate. How does it feel like...

HERRERA: That's right.

SAGAL: The most popular poem that we're going to see maybe this century was written by Kobe Bryant?

HERRERA: (Laughter) I feel good about it. You know, we need a new kind of poetry. We need the people that generally are not seen as poet becoming poets. I like that.

SAGAL: Do you think that it would only be fair to let you start for the Lakers?


HERRERA: I think that'd be fair. At least one game, you know.


SAGAL: Juan Felipe Herrera is the poet laureate of the United States. Thank you so much for joining us.


HERRERA: Hey, thank you. Thank you. Love you.

POUNDSTONE: Thank you, sir.

FELBER: I think Kobe could've done a much shorter poem.

SAGAL: What?

FELBER: Do you want to hear it?


FELBER: There once was a player named Kobe who cut all his hair with a flowbee. He was great scorer, but now he's no more-er (ph). And a Japanese sash is an obi.


JOBRANI: See, now that rhymes.


SAGAL: There you go.


JOBRANI: That's my kind of poem. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.