NPR Host Shares Life Lessons Learned from Running

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Peter Sagal, Host of NPR’s "Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!" about 20 years of hosting the popular news quiz show and his latest book, “The Incomplete Book of Running” based on life lessons he’s learned while running.

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"Like a lot of actors, you had a struggling period right at the start, right? Oh, please. For me... years and years of it. Yeah. Really? I mean I waitressed for, I don't know, a gazillion years. I ran telephones at various offices, and dressed up like Cookie Monster at a wedding, you know. You know... [laughter] Hold on. Woah woah, hold on. That sounds amazing. Go back a little bit? No no, that's alright. No, wait. [laughter] I hope you weren't a bridesmaid. You were the... you were "a" cookie monster, or "the" Cookie Monster? The very one. The very one? The very one. You were "the" Cookie Monster at a wedding? Yeah. [laughter] How would that...? Trying to get people onto the dance floor. Oh my God. I mean, it was something I always hated. What! I love that. I'm also imagining the Cookie Monster officiating. You know. [laughter] Yup. Want matrimony? [laughter] [applause] [laughter] That's good stuff! From Edie Falco who brought it to us. For the first time, here on One on One, we got Peter Sagal, who is the Host of NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! And Author of... also the Author of a book, The Incomplete Book of Running. How you doing? I'm doing alright Steve. It's good to see you. Twenty years with this show? Yeah. What's the hook that keeps people...? First of all, you said that you thought they would throw you off the air right away? Oh absolutely. Then you asked, "Is anybody even listening?" No, we had no... we assumed, when the show began in 1998, it was launched nationally. Which was a mistake. You should have your adolescence in private. We were having it in public. And the initial response was not great. So we assumed we were not long for this world. The joke in public radio circles was, it was called, "Wait Wait... Don't Cancel Me!" [laughter] And we just decided, since they were probably gonna cancel us, we might as well just have fun. And we just started amusing ourselves, and waited for us... waited for someone to stop us. Who's the "we"? The "we" was myself, and our producers and talent, myself, Doug Berman, my initial co-host, Carl Kasell, the people who... we've had a wonderful group of people who have worked on the show every year is Mike Danforth, Ian Chillag, tremendously funny, charming people. We're just a small group of friends who do stuff on the radio we think makes us laugh. Not to mention, of course, our panel is Roy Blount Jr, Mo Rocca, Faith Salie, Roxanne Roberts, just an amazing sort of family of people..."