Ask Me Another
9:10 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Tonight We're Going to Party

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 2:47 pm

Who says you can only "party like it's 1999"? Not us! Jonathan Coulton sings rewritten lyrics to Prince's classic hit, to describe famous events that happened in less...festive years. Let's party like it's 1775!

Heard in Episode 317: Puzzle Hard

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's meet our next two contestants, Ryan Williams and Drew Kostic.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Ryan, Drew, what is your personal party philosophy? Drew?

DREW KOSTIC: I'm going to go with an oldie but a goodie, life's too short, party naked.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I like that. That's an oldie but a newie as well. I think that's new to some people. Ryan?

RYAN WILLIAM: I guess, trying to leave the party better than you found it and before you embarrass yourself.

(LAUGHTER)

JONATHAN COULTON: Two very different styles.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

KOSTIC: Yeah. I was going to say my theory that not agree with that.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I like the idea of like cleaning up while you're partying, though.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Our next game is called Tonight We're Going to Party. And that sounds like Prince to me, which is very exciting. Is that's what's happening?

COULTON: Yes. That's exactly what - you have like a superpower for detecting when a Prince song is coming.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I do love the Prince. And in honor of Andrew W.K., we are going to party like it is 1999...

Oh, yeah.

COULTON: ...because this is a trivia show on public radio. We are also going to party like some other perhaps less festive years.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: So get ready for a wild time. I'm going to sing about the events that all happened at a certain year. All you have to do is ring in and tell me what year I'm talking about. And if you don't get it right, your opponent can steal. And because I am a nice guy, if neither of you gets it exactly right, we will award the point to the person who gets the closest. And our puzzle guru Art Chung will do the math.

ART CHUNG: That's what I'm here for, doing math.

COULTON: Doing math.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: You ready?

WILLIAM: Yeah.

KOSTIC: Let's do it.

COULTON: Let's do it. I agree.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) They say a revolution starting George III, better stop his jive. Oh, these colonies will rise up like it's...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ryan.

WILLIAM: 1775.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: Yeah. You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And founding fathers kind of dress like Prince, if you think about this.

COULTON: A lot of ruffles.

EISENBERG: A lot of ruffles.

WILLIAM: A lot of rough and all.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Martha Stewart goes to jail, Kerry's presidential bid won't last. Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl, the Grammy goes to Outkast.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Drew.

KOSTIC: 2004.

COULTON: Yeah. You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: We were so concerned that this game would be super hard.

COULTON: Yeah. These are a couple of well-informed gentlemen.

EISENBERG: I know.

COULTON: I like it.

KOSTIC: I'm sweating profusely right now.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Well, you look cool as a cucumber.

KOSTIC: Stop, you're making me blush.

COULTON: I wish that you are not naked, however.

(LAUGHTER)

KOSTIC: Everybody else is sweating profusely as a result of that.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) "The Simpsons" get their own show, the Exxon Valdez runs aground. The Oscar goes to "Rain Man" and the Berlin wall comes down.

Ryan.

WILLIAM: 1989?

COULTON: That's right.

AUDIENCE: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Welcome Alaska and Hawaii and Barbie, it's a new doll line. Fidel Castro's taking over like it's...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Drew.

KOSTIC: 1949? No, excuse me, 1959.

COULTON: That is correct, 1959 is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

KOSTIC: A little brain fart there. Excuse me. Fours and fives, they confused in my head all the time.

COULTON: Well, they're practically the same, right?

(LAUGHTER)

KOSTIC: It's easier when the dates rhyme.

COULTON: Yeah. I know.

EISENBERG: I know. We didn't do that every time.

KOSTIC: To me halfway through the game to figure that one out.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: The Beatles land at JFK, the first album's out from The Stones. Khrushchev is deposed, Warren says Oswald acted alone.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Drew?

KOSTIC: 1964?

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Nailed it.

COULTON: Nailing it. You guys are like smart and stuff.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

KOSTIC: If I didn't get The Beatles question I was going to be kaput.

EISENBERG: Oh, really?

CHUNG: Oh, yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: He's saying. (Singing) Hong Kong returns to China, Comet Hale-Bopp is getting near. "Titanic" hits the theaters and "South Park" makes its TV premiere.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Drew?

KOSTIC: 1996?

COULTON: Incorrect. Ryan?

WILLIAM: Say 2000?

AUDIENCE: No.

EISENBERG: Whoa. Audience freaks out.

COULTON: The crowd is booing you.

EISENBERG: Stop lighting the Bell House on fire.

COULTON: Drew, you take it. You are the closest one, Drew.

WILLIAM: '95?

COULTON: No. It's '97.

WILLIAM: How about?

COULTON: But you were one away. I don't even need Art to do the math for me.

CHUNG: Yeah. I don't have anything to do here.

COULTON: I know. Sorry. It's just been easy math so I haven't turned you.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: OK. This is your last clue.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: They say we all can get insurance and "Breaking Bad" ends its time on screen. The pope's going to retire like it...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ryan.

WILLIAM: 2013.

COULTON: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Ryan is like, this is the rhyming one. I know this one. I know what the rhyme, the only one possible rhyme.

EISENBERG: I've never seen two contestants try to break buzzers.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That was some strong buzzer use.

COULTON: Art Chung, who won that game?

CHUNG: That was an amazing game and Drew is our winner.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Drew. We'll see you at the final round at the end of the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "1999")

EISENBERG: Coming up, we're going to talk to our VIP musician Andrew W.K. about a rock musical that debuted in 1970, so stay tuned. This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "1999")

PRINCE: (Singing) If you didn't come to party, don't bother knocking on my door.

Let me tell you something. (Singing) If you didn't come to party, don't bother knocking on my door. I've got a lion in my pocket and baby, he's ready to roar.

(Singing) 2000, zero, zero, party over, oops, out of time. Yeah, yeah. So tonight, we gonna party like it's 1999. 1999,doncha wanna go? 1999...

(APPLAUSE)

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Related Program