In the fourth week of the program, cherubs got the chance to watch the live recording of NPR radio show “Wait Wait…. Don’t Tell Me!” at Chicago’s Chase Auditorium. Of 41 cherubs who answered a poll, 32 had never listened to the show before the field trip.
Kate Hennessey of Dover, Massachusetts, listens to podcasts such as “The Daily” and “The Joe Rogan Experience” but has never listened to “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!”
“It was very amusing to be there and to watch it,” Hennessey said. “Part of that was being able to see them engage with each other because the panelists were all so funny, and I think that could be lost if it was just on the radio.”
Abby Murphy of Arlington, Virginia, who turned 17 on the day of the trip, has tuned in to the radio show with her parents her whole life. Murphy saw it taped live at Wolf Trap, a theater in Virginia, in 2016 but was unable to see the hosts up close.
“It was weird to be able to put the face with the voice,” Murphy said. “It probably was one of the best birthdays ever because I got to see that, and I got to be with all my friends at cherubs.”
Alex Feng of Palo Alto, California, a loyal fan of the radio show for 10 years, said it was a weird experience to put a face to hosts Bill Curtis and Peter Sagal.
“With any radio personality, you hear their voice so often and you don’t think they’re a real person,” Feng said. “You kind of just associate them with this disembodied voice that you listen to in the car. It’s just a voice that comes out of your car speakers.”
For Feng and Murphy, the radio show reminds them of their childhood even if they did not understand what the hosts were talking about when they were younger.
“Part of why I listen to it is nostalgia,” Murphy said. “It’s something that’s a part of my childhood so I want to keep listening to it and now I actually find it funny.”
Growing up, Feng would drive to Chinese language school every Saturday with his mom when “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” aired.
“That would be time for my mom and I to turn on the radio and sit in the two front seats together and bond over our love of the show,” Feng said. “It’s very wholesome.”
After developing an interest in the show, Feng said he started following the news.
“It’s not just entertainment,” Feng said. “There’s other value to it, too.”