Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Put A Bjork In It

Yes, we're talking about the quirky Icelandic singer Björk, but you don't need to know anything about her. Jonathan Coulton delivers clues to words, phrases, and proper names into which you must cleverly insert "Björk." For example, a small dog that was bred to catch rats is a "Björkshire terrier." Life is just more fun when you put a Björk in it.

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Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

We've got our next two contestants, Mara McGhee and Seth Christianfeld.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Mara, you're in town visiting from Milwaukee.

MARA MCGHEE: Yes, I am. I came all the way from here - from there, not here.

EISENBERG: Seth, you are getting a degree in writing musicals. Do you model yourself after any particular composer or lyricist?

SETH CHRISTIANFELD: Not particularly, no. I would say I model myself after Stephen Sondheim, but that would be an insult to Sondheim.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: You're very self-deprecating. I like 'ya.

CHRISTIANFELD: Yes, I am.

EISENBERG: Our next game is titled Put a Bjork in It. When I think of Bjork, I think of sadness, super-high-pitched songs and weirdo swan outfits. So this sounds like a terrible game. Jonathan?

JONATHAN COULTON: That's right, I fear it is a terrible game but not for those reasons. We are talking about the quirky Icelandic singer Bjork, but you don't need to know anything about her.

MCGHEE: Oh good.

COULTON: Well, no one does, really. We've cleverly inserted Bjork into words, phrases and proper names, and you have to tell us what the resulting word or phrase is. For example if we said hailing from England it's a small dog that was bred to catch rats, you would answer Bjorkshire terrier.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Which is the worst kind of dog to have.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's a Yorkshire terrier, and then you put a Bjork in it, and voila.

(LAUGHTER)

CHRISTIANFELD: Is that anything like putting a bird on it?

COULTON: It's very similar to putting a bird on it, except it's in it, and it's Bjork instead of a bird.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Nanoo-nanoo is the greeting Robin Williams used on what popular '80s TV show?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Mara?

MCGHEE: "Bjork and Mindy."

COULTON: "Bjork and Mindy" is right.

(APPLAUSE)

MCGHEE: Yay.

COULTON: I really wish that she had been the one to play Mork from Ork. It would have changed the show.

EISENBERG: I think nanoo-nanoo is a Bjork album, though, is it not? It sounds like one.

COULTON: It's an underwater activity you can do in the tropics without an oxygen tank on your back.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Mara?

MCGHEE: Bjorkeling?

COULTON: Yes, she says with disbelief. Yes, that's correct.

(APPLAUSE)

MCGHEE: That's a thing. It's a real-life thing.

EISENBERG: It is a thing. And when you're on the ship, if someone falls over, you have to yell man overBjork.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Get it, girl.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It's a 1980s teen sex comedy movie series set at Angel Beach High School in 1950s Florida.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Seth?

CHRISTIANFELD: "Bjorky's"?

COULTON: "Bjorky's" is correct.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That was totally made up. What was that?

COULTON: Well "Porky's." The original movie is "Porky's." This judge was nominate to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan but was rejected by the Senate for being too politically extreme for the job.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Seth?

CHRISTIANFELD: Robert Bjork?

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Which is a slight improvement on his real name, actually.

COULTON: What's the name of Buster Keaton's signature boater-like headwear?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Seth?

CHRISTIANFELD: A Bjorkpie hat?

COULTON: That's right, porkpie hat.

MCGHEE: I don't like you anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

CHRISTIANFELD: I'm sorry.

COULTON: Don't take it personally, Mara, it's just...

MCGHEE: I do.

COULTON: All right. After a dry spell, this former heartthrob actor won a Golden Globe for his star turn in the 2008 Darren Aronofsky film "The Wrestler."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Seth?

CHRISTIANFELD: Mickey Bjork?

COULTON: Mickey Bjork.

MCGHEE: Oh, that guy.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: It's the largest island of the Balearic Islands, off the coast of Spain, and a popular holiday destination.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Mara?

MCGHEE: MaBjorka?

COULTON: MaBorka.

(APPLAUSE)

MCGHEE: We can high-five again. There we go. Back on track.

COULTON: Sure, when Mara gets one right, she high-fives.

MCGHEE: Yeah, that's exactly what it is. I'm not shy about that.

COULTON: All right, this is your last clue. According to a song written for Liza Minelli but made famous by Frank Sinatra, if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Mara?

MCGHEE: New Bjork, New Bjork.

COULTON: You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: So Art, how did we do in this game?

ART CHUNG: We have another tie.

MCGHEE: What? Let's high-five that.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Hands on your buzzers. You might use thumbtacks to pin flyers or notes on this wall-hanging.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

CHRISTIANFELD: A Bjorkboard?

COULTON: Corkboard, that's correct. Sorry, Seth is our winner.

MCGHEE: Dang you.

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Seth. We'll see you again at our Ask me One More final round at the end of the show. Thank you so much, Mara. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.