More than 2,200 people have Carl Kasell’s voice on their home answering machines and cell phones – where he’s performed everything from "What’s New Pussycat" to "Rapper’s Delight" as Official Judge and Scorekeeper for Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
After recording so many messages for others, it’s time we record a few for him. You are invited to leave Carl voice mails by calling 1-888-Wait-Wait (1-888-924-8924; select the second option).
After waking up (well) before dawn for 30 years and flying every week to Chicago for the past 15, Carl is ready for some serious R&R. He's stepping down this spring after a five-decade career in broadcasting. Carl will record his final broadcast for Wait Wait this spring; celebration shows are being planned for this spring in the show’s home city of Chicago, and in Washington, D.C.
Carl’s relationship with public radio audiences dates back to his 30 years as the newscaster for NPR’s Morning Edition. He was the voice people woke up to. They opened their eyes, and for 30 years, he was there, reassuring them the world was still in one piece. In 1998 he was recruited to provide gravitas to NPR’s new news-quiz, where his title, Official Judge and Scorekeeper, belied his key role as the show’s straight man. Carl delighted in the role, and we all know the audience delighted in him.
"My favorite time at NPR has been Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! It was loads of fun and gave me a chance to meet and talk to in person the audiences that I felt I had known for so many years on the air," says Carl. "I can honestly say I am the luckiest man around to be able to have worked at a job I love for so many years. It's truly been a joy for me."
In retirement, Carl will become Scorekeeper Emeritus of Wait Wait, and continue to record custom voice mail greetings for the show’s lucky winners and continue to occasionally appear in the program.
Please join us in thanking Carl for making such an indelible mark on public radio and wishing him a well-earned retirement.