Fact Bag

Sep 13, 2019
Originally published on September 18, 2019 9:58 am

Fact Bag makes its triumphant return as Ophira and Jonathan ponder questions about Germany, Bob Ross and an early Corn Flakes marketing gimmick. Fact Bag!

Heard on Ilfenesh Hadera: Spike Lee Alum And DJ School Dropout.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


The final round is coming up, but first, Jonathan and I will play a game. This is called Fact Bag. I have a bag full of envelopes with trivia questions written on them. Jonathan and I have not been told the answers in advance. We will read a question, talk about it, make our best guess and then open the envelope and find out the answer. This is Fact Bag.


EISENBERG: OK, Jonathan.


EISENBERG: In Germany, what honor does a family's seventh child qualify for? Let's hope it's free therapy.


COULTON: It's Europe, right?


COULTON: So they're a reasonable country, probably.

EISENBERG: Practical, pragmatic...

COULTON: They treat everybody nice. They care about the people who live in the country, probably - the government does...


COULTON: ...I'm guessing. So it's probably something good.


COULTON: So maybe they get, like, a free...

EISENBERG: House - what if they get a free house?

COULTON: A college education?

EISENBERG: I think that's already free.

COULTON: Free health care?

EISENBERG: Already free.

COULTON: Already free - OK. Free beer.

EISENBERG: Free beer.

COULTON: Free pitcher of beer.

EISENBERG: Yeah, maybe, But I think you're right. It's pragmatic. It's probably free house or something like that.

COULTON: What the hell do they not get already that they...

EISENBERG: I mean, I think you still have to pay for a house.

COULTON: Yeah, sure. Free house.

EISENBERG: Free house.

COULTON: I'm going to say free house.

EISENBERG: OK. The answer is, if a family wishes, the German president can become the seventh child's honorary godparent.


COULTON: It's not a thing I would have guessed.

EISENBERG: And also, I feel like every German is like, nope.


EISENBERG: (Laughter) The honor comes with an award of 500 euros. Oh, now I'm thinking different.

COULTON: Oh, wow.

EISENBERG: Yeah. All right. How much was Bob Ross paid per episode to host his long-running PBS show "The Joy Of Painting?" It ran from 1983 to 1994.

COULTON: So my guess is it's going to be something that seems way too low to us for a person who has hosted a show for 10 years because he seems like a nice guy who probably didn't care a lot about money.

EISENBERG: But those perms didn't come for free.

COULTON: No, that's true.

EISENBERG: And it's beloved, and he does seem super happy, and it's PBS.


EISENBERG: And you're right. It's going to be a low amount.

COULTON: It's going to be something like 150 bucks a show or something like that.

EISENBERG: That's right, but I challenge you to this.



COULTON: You're saying he did it for free?


COULTON: As long as I can show pictures of my pet squirrels...

EISENBERG: And paint whatever I want.

COULTON: ...And paint whatever I want - it's probably going to be a landscape.

EISENBERG: You just pay for these perm rods and we've got a deal.

COULTON: Just keep the perms coming. I'll do the show for free.

EISENBERG: Let's see. The answer is he was paid nothing.



EISENBERG: He was paid nothing to host "The Joy Of Painting." Bob Ross revealed this in a 1990 Orlando Sentinel interview, saying, quote, "this is PBS. All these shows are done for free."

COULTON: Well, I feel like a real heel because I make 150 bucks a show at this job.

EISENBERG: OK. In the early 1900s, the cereal company Kellogg's offered a free box of Corn Flakes to any housewife in New York who would do what?


COULTON: Well, it's the 1900s, so it's not anything salacious.


COULTON: In fact, it's probably something offensive.

EISENBERG: But what if it was something, like, just borderline to be - like, take a bath in a thing of Corn Flakes...

COULTON: Ophira...

EISENBERG: ...And then take some photos.

COULTON: How about some naked photos of you in the bathtub with some Corn Flakes, and we'll give you a free box of Corn Flakes?


COULTON: Why would any housewife say no?


EISENBERG: Let's see what it says. The answer is Kellogg's gave a free box of Corn Flakes to any housewife who winked at her grocer.


COULTON: I did not think it was going to be that bad.

EISENBERG: The promotion was called Wink Day Wednesdays and apparently was risque at the time. When the promotion ended, Kellogg's ran a print ad reading, in large text, stop winking. All right. The Fact Bag is empty. Thank you, Fact Bag.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.