You're A Good Jokerman, Charlie Brown

Jun 26, 2020

Catherine Reitman and Philip Sternberg join house musician Jonathan Coulton for a game that tests their knowledge of two famous Minnesotans: Bob Dylan and Charles Schulz.

Heard on: Jane Levy and Alex Newell: Zoey's Extraordinary Zoom Call.

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Would you like to play another game?

PHILIP STERNBERG: Absolutely.

CATHERINE REITMAN: No, thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So in this game, you're going to be competing against each other.

REITMAN: OK.

EISENBERG: Did you know creator of "Peanuts," cartoonist Charles Schulz, and Nobel laureate Bob Dylan were both born in Minnesota?

REITMAN: No.

EISENBERG: Fun fact - I know. Can you believe that?

STERNBERG: I did know that.

REITMAN: Did they go to the same diner?

(LAUGHTER)

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Maybe. We'll never know.

EISENBERG: We'll never know.

STERNBERG: Maybe they collaborated on songs as children.

EISENBERG: Exactly. Exactly where you've lead us, Phil.

COULTON: So the reason why we told you that is because...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: ...We have ruined some famous Bob Dylan songs...

REITMAN: (Laughter).

COULTON: ...By changing their lyrics to be about characters from "Peanuts."

REITMAN: Awesome.

STERNBERG: Oh, yes.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: So to earn a point, you only need to do one of the following three things.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: Identify the "Peanuts" character that I'm singing about.

REITMAN: OK.

COULTON: Or identify the Dylan song that I parodied or just answer in the voice of an adult from "Peanuts" cartoons, which as you...

REITMAN: Wah (ph), wah, wah, wah, wah.

COULTON: Wah, wah, wah - that's correct.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

STERNBERG: Wah, wah, wah. Wah, wah, wah.

COULTON: So we're going to go back and forth, and we're going to start with you, Catherine, OK? So this one's for you.

REITMAN: OK. OK. OK.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) How many times can a boy kick a ball if the ball's always pulled from the tee? How many times can a boy fly a kite, if the kite's always munched by a tree? Yes, and how can a boy love a red-headed girl if his love is a thing she can't see? The answer, my friend, well, who's that boy again? To answer, say who's that boy again?

REITMAN: It's Charlie Brown. And the answer's "Blowing In The Wind." You're such a beautiful singer.

COULTON: Oh. (Laughter).

STERNBERG: Bravo.

COULTON: Thank you very much.

REITMAN: That was lovely. I could've just...

STERNBERG: I was strangely moved.

EISENBERG: Yes.

COULTON: It is a - yeah, it's a moving story.

REITMAN: Why am I crying?

STERNBERG: I was. I found myself, like, reenacting the "Peanuts" stories in my mind.

EISENBERG: I know.

COULTON: (Laughter).

STERNBERG: And I was, like, suddenly 7 years old.

EISENBERG: It is kind of amazing, though, to think of a character - someone writing a character of a depressed child.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: No help.

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: No explanation (laughter).

COULTON: He's got existential dread.

EISENBERG: Yeah (laughter).

STERNBERG: And is it...

REITMAN: Full bloom.

COULTON: And he's also bald. It's a very strange choice, all around.

REITMAN: And he's surrounded by nightmare types.

STERNBERG: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

REITMAN: I mean, literally, no one's throwing him a bone.

STERNBERG: No.

COULTON: It's true. It's true. All right, here's your next one. This is for you, Philip.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) It was in another lifetime, back in World War I. Jumped in my Sopwith Camel, and I flew into the sun. Show down by the Red Baron. The daydream lost its form. I'm back, atop my doghouse, sleeping where it's warm.

REITMAN: Aw.

STERNBERG: OK, Snoopy.

COULTON: It is Snoopy. That is correct.

STERNBERG: "Shelter From The Storm."

EISENBERG: Yes.

COULTON: "Shelter From The Storm" is correct. That's right.

EISENBERG: Our doghouses still a thing?

(LAUGHTER)

REITMAN: I think they are. And in fact, I saw on social media recently - I can't remember what movie star, model guy did it. But they actually installed an air conditioner into it.

EISENBERG: No.

REITMAN: Yes.

EISENBERG: OK. That's...

COULTON: (Laughter) That's...

REITMAN: I mean, granted, global warming's a thing. But yeah.

EISENBERG: It's fine. Don't worry.

REITMAN: Yeah. They had, like, full-on air conditioning, and there was, like, a Labrador being like, ah (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's awesome.

EISENBERG: And the Labrador takes a gas-guzzling dog car to the house.

REITMAN: That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

REITMAN: That's right. Where he operates his fondue machine for lunch.

COULTON: Right. His frozen margarita-maker.

REITMAN: Is the private jet ready? Gas it up.

(LAUGHTER)

REITMAN: Want to take...

COULTON: Gas it up and keep it running.

REITMAN: Yeah, exactly.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right. Catherine, this is for you.

REITMAN: OK.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Only 5 cents. Let's begin. The sign says the psychiatrist is in. Sitting in her booth, she'll tell you the truth, though she's often tactless and uncouth. What's the name of this girl?

REITMAN: Lucy.

COULTON: It is Lucy.

EISENBERG: Yes.

STERNBERG: Lucy.

REITMAN: It's Lucy. And I've no idea what the song is, but it was very pretty.

COULTON: That was "Just Like A Woman."

STERNBERG: (Singing) Just like a woman.

COULTON: That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

STERNBERG: There we go.

REITMAN: Delightful. Pass that man the guitar.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: Getting into it.

STERNBERG: I mean, I'm ready to back you up, John.

COULTON: I mean, I dabble. I dabble.

STERNBERG: Oh, listen. Listen.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: All right. Here is your last one. Philip, it is for you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Out in a field. I'm sitting out in a field. The night is Halloween. Where's that great pumpkin been? I guess he isn't here. Just wait until next year.

STERNBERG: Linus.

COULTON: Yeah, that is Linus waiting for the great pumpkin. You are correct.

STERNBERG: "Like A Rolling Stone."

COULTON: Yeah. Well done.

STERNBERG: Thank you.

EISENBERG: I love that we adapted "Waiting For Godot" for kids. Isn't that great?

(LAUGHTER)

REITMAN: That's really genius.

STERNBERG: That's exactly it.

EISENBERG: Yeah. You guys did great, right?

REITMAN: That was so fun. That was so fun.

STERNBERG: That was awesome. You guys did great.

EISENBERG: Yes.

STERNBERG: Can I just say...

COULTON: (Laughter).

STERNBERG: ...Making up all those questions to be...

REITMAN: That's really complicated.

COULTON: Listen - it was a group effort, and we all pulled together and made a great thing together. We should be very proud.

REITMAN: We did. We also sound a whole lot like the team that got second place right now.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's right.

REITMAN: Like, you know what? You did good.

STERNBERG: You did good. This is good.

REITMAN: I did good. And we all did good.

STERNBERG: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Thank you so much for joining us. So looking forward to "Workin' Moms" Season 5 coming up.

REITMAN: Thanks, Ophira.

STERNBERG: Thank you. Thank you so much.

REITMAN: Thanks, Jonathan.

STERNBERG: See you guys. Bye.

REITMAN: Bye.

EISENBERG: That's Catherine Reitman and Philip Sternberg. The first four seasons of their show "Workin' Moms" are available on Netflix.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EISENBERG: After the break, forget Comic-Con. We've got Comic Vaughn (laughter), which - by the way - I mean my friend, comedian Baron Vaughn. He's ready and Baron to go. Oh, no. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.