This, That, Or The Other

Jan 8, 2021

From Funny or Die's Call & Response Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle suss out if something is a defunct startup, a video game world, or an esteemed contemporary dance company.

Heard on Mayim Bialik & Saturday Night Live's Bowen Yang: Our Best New Show Of 2021.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thanks, Jonathan. So many of us are stuck at home playing video games, so the rest of today's show will be extra Gamey. Is That The Right word.

COULTON: It sounds like the right word, yeah.

EISENBERG: OK. Comedians Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle are on the line. Are you ready for your next challenge?

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Oh, yeah.

BARON VAUGHN: Sure.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: You know it.

EISENBERG: It's called This, That or the Other. OK. It's pretty simple. We'll give you the name of something. You just have to tell us which of three categories it belongs to. Jonathan Coulton, what are today's categories?

COULTON: Today's categories are defunct tech startups, fictional video game settings and esteemed contemporary dance companies.

EISENBERG: Mike, this first one is for you - Pilobolus.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: I'm going to go with video game setting.

EISENBERG: Incorrect. It's a dance company best known for using silhouettes to tell detailed stories at the 2007 Oscars. Remember those (laughter)? Dancers used their bodies to recreate scenes from...

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Wow.

EISENBERG: ...Films like "Happy Feet," "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Snakes On A Plane."

VAUGHN: Hilariously, that is the only Oscars I remember.

EISENBERG: The "Snakes On A Plane" Oscars?

VAUGHN: Yeah, "Snakes On A Plane."

EISENBERG: And that one dancer that was like, I get to be the snake.

VAUGHN: (Laughter) Yes.

EISENBERG: So excited.

VAUGHN: They get to be the one who's had it.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's right.

COULTON: All right, Baron, here's one for you.

VAUGHN: Uh-oh (ph).

COULTON: Juicero.

VAUGHN: (Laughter) OK, tech startup, dance company or video game setting, right? It's got to be a tech startup.

COULTON: That is correct.

VAUGHN: Come home.

COULTON: It is a tech startup.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Oh, my gosh. You are just crushing it.

COULTON: Juicero was a $400 juice-making machine, and...

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Whoa.

COULTON: It came with - it was a machine that you kept on your kitchen counter. And you had - you would buy these packets of precut, like, fruits and vegetables, and you put it in the machine, and it would squeeze the juice out. But then people discovered that you could just squeeze the packets with your hands.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: They were like, why are we paying all this money for this machine? So they were in business for about a year and a half.

VAUGHN: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: Oh.

VAUGHN: Wow.

EISENBERG: Mike, this one's for you.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: OK.

EISENBERG: Mike, Bionis.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: I'm going to go video game setting again.

EISENBERG: Yes, that is correct.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: All right.

EISENBERG: It is the setting of the game Xenoblade Chronicles, a primordial titan whose slumbering form people now live on.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Oh.

COULTON: All right, Baron. Here's one for you.

VAUGHN: Yes.

COULTON: ECNAD.

VAUGHN: Ooh, can I get the origin, please?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I will do this for you. I will spell it for you.

VAUGHN: OK, yes. I was going to ask you to spell it. Is it - OK, go ahead.

COULTON: E-C-N-A-D.

VAUGHN: Definitely not what I thought. OK.

COULTON: Tech startup...

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Whoa.

COULTON: ...Fictional video game setting or esteemed contemporary dance company.

VAUGHN: Esteemed contemporary dance company.

COULTON: Yes, that is correct.

VAUGHN: Yeah.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Yeah, that one...

COULTON: It's actually the word dance spelled backwards.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Yeah, that one seems kind of easy.

COULTON: Yeah (laughter).

VAUGHN: Wow, I didn't even think of that. I'm just like, what does it make me feel like? It makes me feel like expanding and contracting, therefore I have an answer.

EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: Yeah. Yeah.

EISENBERG: Mike.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Uh-huh (ph).

EISENBERG: Sinemia.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: OK, I need to do the spelling hack now. What's...

EISENBERG: Sure. Yeah. It's strange spelling, I would say - S-i-n-e-m-i-a.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Well, it's not video game backwards.

(LAUGHTER)

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: I'm going to go dance company.

EISENBERG: I think it sounds lyrical. You're correct in that. But it is a startup, a failed startup.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Whoa.

EISENBERG: It is a ticketing service that was a competitor to MoviePass - like cinema, but they spelled cinema with an S.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Yeah.

COULTON: Seems like that might have been their problem.

EISENBERG: Very problematic. They also used to ask people in their profiles for their Social Security numbers. I would think...

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Oh, all right.

EISENBERG: ...That's a bit of a problem.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Was Elizabeth Holmes involved?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right, Baron, last one. It is for you - Spira.

VAUGHN: Video game setting.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right. Do you know from where?

VAUGHN: Is it from - what's that game with the stuff (laughter)?

COULTON: Yes.

EISENBERG: That's it.

VAUGHN: It's from the game with the stuff.

EISENBERG: That's it.

COULTON: (Laughter) It's from the game with the stuff.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: That's my favorite one.

COULTON: From Final Fantasy X.

VAUGHN: Final Fantasy. No, I wasn't going to say Final Fantasy.

EISENBERG: I know nothing of this. I'm just saying, Final Fantasy X, change your name. It's clearly not final.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: It keeps going (laughter).

COULTON: That's a good point.

EISENBERG: Sorry.

COULTON: That's a good point. That's a good point.

VAUGHN: Oh, Ophira.

COULTON: The penultimate fantasy.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: There are, like, 15 now. Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly. Come on.

COULTON: Anti-penultimate fantasy.

VAUGHN: It is not final.

EISENBERG: (Laughter). Great game. We all know how that went. It went fantastic.

VAUGHN: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: It went fantastic.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: That was rough. I don't know. I don't know if I agree.

EISENBERG: No. No, no, it was so good. Baron Vaughn hosts the podcast "Self Quar." Open Mike Eagle's latest album is called "Anime, Trauma And Divorce." Thank you both so much - amazing.

OPEN MIKE EAGLE: Thank you guys for having me and us. Right, Baron - us, right?

VAUGHN: Yes, indeed.

(LAUGHTER) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.