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Monkee Business

Oct 13, 2017

This music parody quiz is exactly as fun as a barrel of Monkees! We rewrote Monkees songs to be about other zoo animals. Hey hey, we're the Giraffes!

Heard On Adam Conover: Adam Fixes Everything

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JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton here with Puzzle guru Art Chung. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants, Ruchi and Katie. Soon, they'll play a game where Jonathan Coulton gets in touch with his inner simian. Let's check in with them. Ruchi, what would be your dream unlikely animal-friend combo?

RUCHI NANDA: So my favorite animal has always been the killer whale. And there are a ton of YouTube videos of killer whales just savagely killing seals, juggling them on their tails, things like that. If they could just get along, I think the world would just be such a better place.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) OK. Sometimes, you know, you put these questions together because you just think there's some lighthearted fun, but then you realize people really think about this.

COULTON: Ruchi's been thinking about it for a long time.

EISENBERG: It's like in their heart and soul. Katie, what would your dream unlikely animal-friend combo be?

KATIE JURINA: I'd love to see a platypus and a giraffe, both sort of like visually disturbing but in really different ways.

EISENBERG: Now, would they hang out on the shore? Would the giraffe enter the water? Would the...

JURINA: On the shore. I mean, the giraffe's physicality sort of makes him the boss since he's so much larger.

EISENBERG: OK, got it.

JURINA: But I would love to see like a buddy cop sort of situation so they're solving crimes like in Sub-Saharan Africa or something.

EISENBERG: Right. That's great. OK. Your next game is a music parody game called Monkee Business.

COULTON: Yes, we wrote songs by The Monkees to be about other zoo animals. Sorry, monkeys. Ring in to tell me the name of the animal. If you're correct, you can earn a bonus point by identifying The Monkees song I'm parodying.

EISENBERG: Ruchi, you won the last game, so you win this and you're off to the final round. Katie, you need to win this or you're going to be sent away with a DVD of Matt Damon's family film, "We Bought A Zoo."

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Jonathan Coulton, take it away.

COULTON: OK. Here we go. (Singing) People think big and bad from fairytales, but I help the ecosystem hum. If they hear me howling, my buddy's got my back. You're never lonely when you're in a pack.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ruchi.

NANDA: Wolves.

COULTON: Wolves is correct. I'm supposed to tell you that I will accept wolf, but really we're looking for gray wolf.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: To which I said, what other kind of wolves even are there?

EISENBERG: Yes. Not accepted would have been she-wolf, teen wolf, hungry like a wolf.

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the original song?

JURINA: No.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That was "I'm A Believer."

(Singing) I'm a native of China. In a place without congestion, my big paw will give the thumbs-up if you answer this one question. Tell me true. Where's my bamboo? Give me bamboo.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Katie.

JURINA: Panda.

EISENBERG: Panda is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: For a bonus point, can you name the song?

JURINA: God, no.

COULTON: God, no. That bodes well. It was "Last Train To Clarksville," though.

EISENBERG: By the way, that was the giant panda but we're going to accept panda.

COULTON: OK. Here we go. (Singing) Oh, I could hide in the trees with my spots that blend with ease. I can munch on leaves that reach so high. Skinny legs that kick so strong and neck vertebrae so long. There's no mammal that stands tall as I.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Katie.

JURINA: Giraffe.

COULTON: Giraffe is correct, the platypus's friend - famously.

EISENBERG: Famously.

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the original song?

JURINA: That would be no.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: "Daydream Believer."

JURINA: Oh.

COULTON: Oh. Just make a note for next time. Here's your next one. (Singing) You can't deny that I'm reptile royalty. I can flare my hood so you notice me. The charmers use their flutes to put me in a trance. My venom's strong enough to kill some elephants. I eat my fellow snakes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: I don't know, it's in Wikipedia. Katie.

JURINA: Cobra. King cobra.

COULTON: Technically I have to accept it even though what I want you to say is king cobra, which you just said. Thank you. King cobra.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Nope. Nope. Can't do it. That's "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" was that one.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Here's your last clue. (Singing) Here we stand. Looking out is our job. We live in underground tunnels in a gang or mob. Come visit our manor. You've probably seen us on TV. The Kalahari Desert is now where we tend to be.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ruchi.

NANDA: Meerkat.

COULTON: Meerkat is correct. This is very important, Ruchi. For a bonus point, can you name the song?

NANDA: No. I don't know The Monkees at all.

COULTON: It's fine. It's fine. That was called "Theme From The Monkees."

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Art Chung, how did our contestants do (laughter)?

ART CHUNG: Congratulations, Katie. You won that game.

(APPLAUSE)

CHUNG: So you each won a game. And now it's time for a quick game three. I'm going to have to give you a category, and you'll go back and forth naming things that fall into that category. The first contestant to mess up will be eliminated. Buzz in to answer first. Here's your category. Name the eight produce products blended together in the original formulation of V8 juice.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

CHUNG: Ruchi, you're first.

NANDA: Tomato.

CHUNG: Correct. Katie.

JURINA: Carrot.

CHUNG: Carrots is correct. Ruchi.

NANDA: Celery.

CHUNG: Celery - correct. Katie.

JURINA: Cucumber.

CHUNG: No, I'm sorry. That's not one of the ingredients. The remaining ingredients were beets, lettuce, parsley, spinach and watercress. Katie, I'm sorry to see you go. Ruchi, you're headed to the final round.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.