When comedy clubs across the country shut down, comedian Ray Ellin quickly adapted. The executive producer of Comedy Central's This Week at the Comedy Cellar founded Comedy Cloud, which produces digital standup shows with comics across the country.
Ellin joined NPR's Ask Me Another with actor Richard Kind — who's starred in shows like Mad About You, Spin City and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
For their first game, Kind and Ellin get competitive in a round of This, That or the Other. They must sort out which things are G.I. Joe figurines, which things are terms used in the game craps, and which things are popular musical supergroups.
ASHLEY NICOLE BLACK: Our next two contestants are on the line - Ray Ellin, who is the executive producer of Comedy Central's "This Week At The Comedy Cellar," and Richard Kind, an actor you know from basically everything you love. Ray, Richard, thank you for joining us. Welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER.
RAY ELLIN: Hello, hello.
RICHARD KIND: It's a pleasure to be here. And Ray, you're mine this afternoon. I'm going to - you're mine. Consider yourself done. Consider yourself...
OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
ELLIN: I'm up for the challenge, Richard. I'm ready to take you down.
JONATHAN COULTON: (Laughter).
EISENBERG: I love that. I love that. You know, I know Ray. I know Ray from comedy. And I feel like you are one of the key people that I know who have transitioned quite nicely into the Internet field.
ELLIN: Oh, thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I'm pleased so far with how it's been going.
KIND: I haven't.
KIND: I've hit a brick wall.
KIND: I have not transitioned anywhere near it.
ELLIN: But Rich, you did - so I've done probably about 90 Zoom shows. And you and I did three or four together, and they were fun. You did great.
KIND: I do Zooms. Are you talking about a living...
ELLIN: Oh, well...
KIND: ...About making money?
EISENBERG: Oh, well...
KIND: Every time I turn on Zoom, electricity is wasted, and no money changes hand.
KIND: This afternoon at 6 o'clock, I'm going on a streamed charity event. There's a retirement home in Trenton, N.J., which is my hometown. And they usually have a gala every year, raise the money. Can't this year. So they're interviewing hometown boy Richard Kind and charging anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 a ticket.
KIND: And Ophira, Jonathan - you're getting it for free.
EISENBERG: Well, you know, let's play a game. Let's play a game and see how things go. You're going to be playing against each other in this first game, so you'll take turns answering questions. It's called This, That or the Other. Basically, how it works is we'll give you a word or phrase. And you just have to tell us which of the following three categories it belongs to.
COULTON: So today's categories are G.I. Joe action figures, terminology from the casino dice game craps or the name of a musical supergroup. Of course, the supergroup is when musicians who are already famous team up together to form a band.
KIND: Oh, OK.
EISENBERG: Yeah. Ray, this first one's for you.
EISENBERG: Deep Six.
ELLIN: I don't think that's a craps term. G.I. Joe or supergroup? That might be too advanced for G.I. Joes. I'll go - I'll say supergroup.
EISENBERG: Oh, I'm sorry, that is incorrect. It is just advanced enough for G.I. Joes. Deep Six is a nautical Joe...
EISENBERG: ...Yeah, who appeared in PSAs about the importance of life jackets.
ELLIN: Oh, rats.
COULTON: All right, Richard, here is one for you. Little Joe - G.I. Joe, craps or supergroup?
KIND: Well, I think it's a G.I. Joe. I think that's his illegitimate child.
COULTON: It is - actually, it's a craps term.
COULTON: It's a roll of four.
KIND: A little Joe.
EISENBERG: All right, Ray.
EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right, SuperM as in Mary.
ELLIN: Well, I have a 1 in 3 shot here.
EISENBERG: That's right.
ELLIN: That sounds like a supergroup. But you know what? I will go with G.I. Joe for SuperM.
EISENBERG: Should have gone with supergroup (laughter).
KIND: Oh, my God.
ELLIN: It's too obvious to be a supergroup.
KIND: This is horrible.
EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly. SuperM a K-pop supergroup with the members from, you know, a bunch of different supergroups, Shinee, Exo, NCT, WayV. They were billed as the Avengers of K-pop.
KIND: Do me a favor, Ophira. ASK ME ANOTHER.
EISENBERG: Thank you. Thank you.
COULTON: Thank you for saying the name of the show.
EISENBERG: Finally, someone understands the name of the show.
KIND: Please ASK ME ANOTHER.
COULTON: All right, Richard, here's one for you - Steam-Roller.
KIND: Sounds like it should be a rock band - I don't believe it is.
KIND: I am almost sure that it's not a craps term, although it could be a guy who's on a roll. But I'm going to say G.I. Joe.
COULTON: You are absolutely correct.
COULTON: It is a G.I. Joe. His specialty is operating cranes and other heavy machinery. And apparently, his real name is Averill B. Whitcomb.
KIND: See, Averill B. Whitcomb, that I knew.
EISENBERG: All right. Richard's on the board. Ray...
EISENBERG: ...This one's for you. Big red. Big red.
ELLIN: Oh man. Big red, I don't think that's craps. It sounds like it could be like a G.I. Joe counterpart or enemy. But I will go with supergroup.
EISENBERG: I'm sorry, that is incorrect (laughter).
KIND: It's craps. It's craps.
ELLIN: That's craps?
COULTON: Oh, you knew that one, Richard.
KIND: Yeah. I said...
ELLIN: What does that...
KIND: They can't say this on radio, but I'm going - my thumb (ph)...
EISENBERG: You knew it.
KIND: ...It's craps.
ELLIN: What is it?
EISENBERG: So it's the most common bet in craps...
EISENBERG: ...When you wager that the next roll will be a seven.
EISENBERG: Yeah, there's a likelihood of a little less than 17%.
COULTON: All right. This is the last one. Richard, this is for you.
KIND: But hold on. I just want to go on record.
KIND: You are stymied, Ray.
KIND: I have won.
COULTON: Yeah, it's true.
ELLIN: You've won.
KIND: I just want you to know I have won. ASK ME ANOTHER, and it doesn't matter.
KIND: I have won, and that's all that's important.
COULTON: You have won. Just for bragging rights, for an extra point...
COULTON: ...Big Ben.
ELLIN: That's a tough one.
KIND: I don't believe it's a craps term.
KIND: It should be a G.I. Joe. It sounds like it. But I don't believe it is. So I'm going to say a supergroup.
COULTON: You were almost there. It is a G.I. Joe.
ELLIN: I knew that one.
KIND: Too easy. Really, it's a G.I. Joe? Big Ben is a G.I. Joe?
COULTON: It's a G.I. Joe. His name is Big Ben because he's British.
EISENBERG: So they call him Big Ben.
KIND: All righty (ph).
EISENBERG: Well, we all know how that went. That was awesome. Thank you.
EISENBERG: That was a great first game. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.