Radio: Ask Me Another

The Ask Me Another crew at The Bell House, their home-base venue in Gowanus, Brooklyn. (l to r) Josh Rogosin, Jonathan Coulton, Ophira Eisenberg, Jesse Baker, Eric Nuzum, John Asante, John Chaneski, Eleanor Kagan and Art Chung.

What do you get when take the entire trivia section and dump it into a blender with brain teasers, a warm British pub atmosphere, family game night, a weekly special guest, host/comedienne Ophira Eisenberg, and the dulcet tones of in-house musician Jonathan Coulton? NPR thought they’d find out.

Ask Me Another is an hour-long radio quiz show co-produced once a week by NPR and WNYCnote  where fans face off in various Jeopardy-style competitions, where the final prize (often involving a custom Rubik’s Cube and various items/favors that the special guest (Very Important Puzzler) provides isn’t really the end goal.

Some of the many V.I.P.s who have appeared in the show includes:

Tropes:

  • Are You Sure You Want to Do That?: From time to time, Ophira, Jonathan, or the Puzzle Guru John Chineski will hint that a contestant or V.I.P might want to reconsider their answer.
  • Bonus Round: At the end of every episode, the winners of each round face off against each other in the "Ask Me One More: Final Round" until only one is left.
  • Cross Over: Peter Segel, from the fellow NPR show Wait Wait Dont Tell Me was the guest for the 05.03.14 episode.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: For the first few months Ophira Eisenberg would drop hints about the identity of the guest throughout the show instead of announcing it at the opening.
  • Funny Answering Machine: An occasional prize, typically when a famous voice actor/comedian is the Very Important Puzzler.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Jonathan Coulton, having studied the language while he was still in school, sprinkles it in when the plot calls for it.
  • Self-Deprecation: Ophira, the token Canadian, often takes (and even supplies) potshots about her former home country.
  • Shout-Out: Accidentally played straight by some contestants who unnecessarily use “What is…” when answering a question; this often prompts the response: “This isn’t Jeopardy.”
  • Small Reference Pools: Averted, naturally, given its audience are often people who listen to NPR on a regular basis.