Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
About the Podcast
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! is NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! allows listeners to test their knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what's real news and what's made up all within a quick-witted, quiz program. On the Web, you can play along too. Hosted by award-winning playwright Peter Sagal, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is recorded in front of a live audience each week in Chicago and other major cities across the United States. Panelists include author and humorist Roy Blount Jr., writer and performer Adam Felber, Boston Globe writer Charlie Pierce, comedian Paula Poundstone, Washington Post columnist Roxanne Roberts, and television funnyman Mo Rocca. Previous notable guests include Keegan-Michael Key, Stephen Colbert, Retta, Edie Falco, and former President Barack Obama. NPR also launched the Wait Wait quiz – an interactive smart speaker skill, which allows users to take the two latest Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! quizzes about current events in the show’s signature “Lightening Fill in the Blank” format. Entertaining, and informative, the skill brings everything listeners love about the quiz show directly to smart speakers – and weekly players may even have the chance to win a prize!
About the Host
Peter Sagal is, has been, and perhaps someday will be again, a husband, father, playwright, screenwriter, author, journalist, columnist, marathoner, Jeopardy contestant, dramaturg, podcast host, documentary host, foreign correspondent, wedding officiant, and magician's assistant. Peter Sagal is the host of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
As a playwright, his work has been produced or commissioned by the Long Wharf Theater, Seattle Rep, Actor's Theater of Louisville, Florida Stage, and many others here and abroad, and he's won awards from the Lannan Foundation, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and fellowships from the Camargo and Jerome Foundations. His screenwriting career began and pretty much ended with Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights, which he wrote without meaning to.
In 1997, Peter got a call from a friend telling him about a new show at NPR, which was looking for "funny people who read a lot of newspapers." Sagal auditioned and appeared as a panelist of a new news quiz show on NPR, co-produced by WBEZ-Chicago, that made its debut on-air in January of 1998 - the first broadcast of Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! In May of that year, he moved to Chicago to become the host of the show, alongside the original judge and scorekeeper, Carl Kasell. Since then, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! has become one of the most popular shows on public radio. In the two decades since, he has traveled the country with the show, playing in venues such as the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, Red Rocks, Tanglewood, the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, and Carnegie Hall. He's interviewed two Presidents; a number of Nobel Prize winners; astronauts and rocket scientists; musicians Elvis Costello, Yo Yo Ma, and Ice Cube; actors Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson; and many, many others. Wait, Wait has grown from 50,000 weekly listeners on nine stations at its launch to over five million listeners on more than 700 stations, making it the most-listened-to hour in public radio. This, however, has not gone to his head.
In 2008, Wait Wait was the recipient of a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting. He accepted the award on behalf of the panelists, crew, and producers of this show. A year later, in the fall of 2009, Wait Wait made its New York debut with a show at Carnegie Hall, which sold out in the first 90 minutes after tickets went on sale.
He's also won the Kurt Vonnegut Award for Humor from the Kurt Vonnegut Library. He's the author of The Book of Vice: Naughty Things and How To Do Them and The Incomplete Book of Running, a memoir about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and other adventures while running long distances. He's contributed essays to Opera News, Saveur, Finesse, The New York Times Magazine, and was the "Road Scholar" columnist for Runner's World.
On TV, Peter has made appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and other shows, and hosted Constitution USA with Peter Sagal for PBS and National Geographic Explorer for the NatGeo Channel. He also appears on a narrowly popular podcast, Nerdette Recaps Game of Thrones with Peter Sagal, because he is a giant nerd.
He has three daughters, Rosie, Gracie and Willa, and lives in the Chicago area with his wife Mara and two dogs, DeeDee and Dutchie, who like to see their names in print.