OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
OK, now for a little number we like to call Person, Place Or Thing. In front of me now is Matt Chrisman. Hello, Matt.
MATT CHRISMAN: Hello.
EISENBERG: Now Matt received this word from our producers. You're really into quizzes, this is your thing, quizzes and trivia and what have you. You're a puzzle expert?
CHRISMAN: Yeah, yeah.
EISENBERG: And also a freelance writer doing film reviews?
CHRISMAN: Well yeah, a polite way of saying unemployed, but...
EISENBERG: Well here's your chance, my friend. We're going to tell you what we're in for right now. You're employed to play this next quiz. Jonathan.
JONATHAN COULTON: Employed? You're not going to get paid anything you understand.
COULTON: So here's how this works, Matt. We are going to give you some clues about a person, place or thing that we are thinking of. You guess what that person, place or thing is. We're going to read you four clues, they start hard and they get easier.
EISENBERG: OK, so after each clue, I encourage you to yell out an answer, even if it's not correct, 'cause there's no penalty for the wrong answer. But the sooner you get it right, the more points you get and the higher chances you will move on to our final round of showcase, showdown, ultimate throw-down, smack-down ASK ME ANOTHER elimination.
CHRISMAN: All right.
COULTON: So here's your first clue and this is worth four points right now, 'cause it's the first clue. I was invented during World War II in the hopes that I would be a synthetic substitute for rubber.
CHRISMAN: That's the kind of thing I think I would know if I wasn't on a stage right now.
EISENBERG: You have more clues.
COULTON: What are the chances?
CHRISMAN: Yeah. I know. I can't...
EISENBERG: OK, here's your next clue.
EISENBERG: All right. Astronauts took me on board Apollo 8 to help hold down tools in zero gravity.
COULTON: Ooh, good answer, good answer. All right this is your...
CHRISMAN: Good, but wrong.
COULTON: But wrong, sorry.
EISENBERG: Yeah. You get a hmm, but no.
ART CHUNG: All right, this is your third clue, so it's worth two points. Now that newspapers are often printed with soy-based inks, it's harder to use me to copy the comics.
CHRISMAN: That's what I was thinking my head when I said Play-doh. My higher brain was saying silly putty.
EISENBERG: Ah. Well done.
CHRISMAN: But it got stopped by the whole terror thing.
COULTON: You get two points, your brain gets three points, so it's you versus your brain so far.
EISENBERG: I like that you have a higher brain, like it's a condo.
CHRISMAN: It's not cooperative though.
EISENBERG: Yeah, I live in a studio. Oh, it's not, it's a co-op. What's the board like? Anyways.
COULTON: I married a woman who was my first cousin on my mother's side, and my second cousin on my father's side.
CHRISMAN: Franklyn Delano Roosevelt?
EISENBERG: Oh, interesting.
COULTON: No. A good guess though.
CHRISMAN: Can I guess again? 'Cause I think I know.
COULTON: You must wait.
EISENBERG: Stephen Spielberg's alien ET was said to be based on a combination of me, Carl Sandburg and a pug.
CHRISMAN: Debra Winger?
CHUNG: I had heard that that's a different trivia question...
CHRISMAN: That was the basis of ET.
CHUNG: ...altogether. Your third clue. My last name is the name of Doc Brown's dog in "Back To The Future."
CHRISMAN: Albert Einstein.
EISENBERG: Oh yes, Albert Einstein.
CHUNG: This is right.
COULTON: I don't know why, but in 1991 a crazy man hit me in the foot with a hammer.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Oh!
COULTON: That person there got hit with a hammer just now.
EISENBERG: Yeah, there was the sound effect we asked for.
CHRISMAN: Someone's got it, but it's not me. I don't know.
EISENBERG: There's a copy of me at the Victoria and Albert Museum, next to the fig leaf they would place on me when Queen Victoria herself would come to visit.
CHRISMAN: Michelangelo's "David"?
CHUNG: Michelangelo's "David."
COULTON: In 1990, I met with Saddam Hussein and successfully secured the release of 15 American hostages.
CHRISMAN: Jesse Jackson?
EISENBERG: No. As part of my training regime in high school, I devised my own nutritional program. Breakfast was a quart of milk and two raw eggs.
CHRISMAN: An exercise enthusiast and a diplomat? That's a rare combination. I still don't know. I'm sorry.
CHUNG: One of my most important victories was a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court, which said I had the right to be a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War.
CHRISMAN: Oh. Oh, Muhammad Ali?
CHUNG: Yes, correct...
CHUNG: ...Muhammad Ali.
EISENBERG: Muhammad Ali. You got 17 points, that is incredible.
CHUNG: I think that means he moves on to the final round, yes.
EISENBERG: You move on to our final round. Congratulations. Great job.
CHRISMAN: Thank you.
(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.