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Not My Job: Brooke Shields Gets Quizzed On Calvins

BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT …DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody. You are the best.


SAGAL: So this week we're basically luring in the youth with candy and carnival games. All hour, it's just the things and the people kids love – or loved, many years ago.

KURTIS: For example, Brooke Shields. The actress and model has been world famous since she was a little girl. We talked to her in 2012, just as she was opening up a play in Los Angeles. And Peter started with the obvious question – how come she's not crazy?


BROOKE SHIELDS: I wonder if I'm just very deeply disturbed, on a different level of crazy. It's schmaltzy as an answer, but I had a really - I never moved out to California. I never moved to Hollywood, and I went to regular, non-professional schools and never worked during the school year, except for after school.

So I think that that had a huge effect on just the way I grew up. You know, I sort of had these jobs that I would do, and they were – but at the - there was a sense of normalcy.

SAGAL: So you - I mean, you were, like, going to high school. You went to high school in Englewood, N.J.


SAGAL: And then you'd, like - after school you'd say "Oh, I need to go and be photographed for these incredibly influential and famous Calvin Klein ads.

SHIELDS: It was…

SAGAL: I'll see you guys later for study group."

SHIELDS: It was just like that. And a lot of the time, my mom would say, look, let's bring, you know, who do you want to bring today? And I'd want to bring one of my best friends or, you know, one of my high school buddies. And we would, you know, just - we made it fun.

SAGAL: What I'm basically being led to understand is that you were Hannah Montana.


SAGAL: Like, high school girl by day…

SHIELDS: Oh yeah.

SAGAL: …Spectacular superstar by night.

BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT: And supermodel.

SHIELDS: Exactly. Then I went on to play her mother in the show, and it's full circle.

SAGAL: Isn't that weird?

GOLDTHWAIT: Did you – did you go to prom?

SHIELDS: I didn't get asked out, but…

SAGAL: What?

SHIELDS: …I recruited.


PETER GROSZ: I would like to retroactively ask you to your prom.


SAGAL: I know.


SAGAL: This is the…

GOLDTHWAIT: I'm building a time machine right now. Stay where you are.

SAGAL: I was in high school in New Jersey at the same time. I actually could have helped you out.



SHIELDS: I - you snooze, you lose.

SAGAL: I know, dammit.

SHIELDS: What was your reason?

GOLDTHWAIT: And don't be thrown off by his voice, he's actually very handsome.


SAGAL: So you did those famous Calvin Klein ads. Do you – did you get lots of Calvin Klein jeans? And did anything…

SHIELDS: I did. And you know what the funny thing is?

SAGAL: What?

SHIELDS: I - I found two pairs that my mother had saved from the actual commercials. And I got them on...


SHIELDS: It does not look pretty, let me tell you.



SHIELDS: It was about 20 minutes.

SAGAL: Hey, good for you…

SHIELDS: But I gave one to the Met.


SHIELDS: And they asked me because they were doing a retrospective of all of Calvin's work. And so – and they were so high. They were high-waisted. They were very – it was funny how not fashionable they were.

SAGAL: Yeah. The thing that you're doing right now is very cool. You're in a stage production in LA.


SAGAL: This is "The Exorcist."

SHIELDS: I am. It is the world premiere of the play, which is taken from the book. And it's Richard Chamberlain played Merrin, Father Merrin. And John Doyle, who directed the latest - the last "Sweeney Todd" on Broadway and won a Tony for it, he is the director. And it is an hour and a half long and it is a very stylized, abstract, beautiful stage production.

SAGAL: Yeah, yeah, but when does somebody vomit pea soup?


SHIELDS: Oh, it's all suggested, but there's nothing. You don't see a thing. Like, there's no real vomiting. There's just sound effects.

GOLDTHWAIT: Brooke, that's not going to sell tickets.



GOLDTHWAIT: Just tell them there's a lot of vomit.

SHIELDS: There's some sodomy. Does that work?



SAGAL: Is it true that you – that you auditioned for the movie way back when?

SHIELDS: No, I didn't. I had auditioned for "Audrey Rose."

SAGAL: That was that other satanic little girl...

SHIELDS: Which is the other one. And they said I looked too – like, my hair was down and they said I didn't look cute enough. I looked too mature or something. It was like some - Robert Wise was directing it, obviously, then. But it went straight to Linda Blair.

SAGAL: Oh, well, good for her.

SHIELDS: What are you going to do?

SAGAL: Where is she now?

GROSZ: She's doing a play version of those Calvin Klein ads.

SHIELDS: I was going to say.


SHIELDS: She's doing the horror version of (unintelligible) maybe…

SAGAL: I'm trying to imagine Linda Blair...

SHIELDS: "The Blue Lagoon."

GROSZ: Yeah, she's doing “Blue Lagoon” the play.

SAGAL: She's doing "Blue Lagoon."

GOLDTHWAIT: (Laughter) She's doing…

SAGAL: Oh my god, "Blue Lagoon" 40 years later.


SAGAL: Those two…

GROSZ: How do we get out of this place?

SHIELDS: But I think we should do it as our ages now.

SAGAL: Really?

SHIELDS: Just be, like, bitter, old, like...

SAGAL: Oh no, no, let's...

SHIELDS: What's your problem with that?

GOLDTHWAIT: Yeah, I think, like, by now, the magic would be over, right? What are you looking at? I hate the way you chew.


GOLDTHWAIT: Put some clothes on. Coconuts again?



GROSZ: I'm going to drown myself in this lagoon.



SAGAL: Brooke Shields, we have asked you here to play a game we're calling…

CARL KASELL, BYLINE: OK, What About These Calvins?

SAGAL: So, you were 16 when you said that nothing comes between you and your Calvins. Well, we saw the ads, we believe you. But we're betting you weren't as close to some other Calvins. Answer these three questions, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners. Carl, who is Brooke Shields playing for?

KASELL: Brooke is playing for Katja Volker of Washington, D.C.

SAGAL: All right, ready to play?


SAGAL: Here's your first question. The most famous Calvin we know of was John Calvin, the founder of Calvinism. He was an influential French-Swiss preacher of the 16th Century.

Father Calvin lived a virtuous life, but came to a bad end. How did he go? A: He went for a swim, even though he didn't know how, because, quote, he said "it wasn't his pre-destiny to drown?" B: He preached so hard, he blew himself up? Or C: For lent, he gave up food?

SHIELDS: Which one of those is true?



SAGAL: One of them is.

SHIELDS: I think he drowned.

SAGAL: You think he drowned? That's your choice?


SAGAL: No, actually, it was B. He strained himself. So much preaching, it killed him.


SAGAL: Yeah.

Next question - we all remember “Calvin And Hobbes” that great comic strip by Bill Watterson.

Well, Watterson proved his artistic genius in college by doing what? Painting a copy of the Sistine Chapel onto the ceiling of his dorm room? B: Providing custom lettering on the chests of naked football fans? Or C: Making a series of paintings with nothing but spilled beer from his frat house?

SHIELDS: (Laughter) I'm going to wish that he painted on football player's chests.

SAGAL: Really?


SAGAL: You think he – like, the guy from “Calvin and Hobbes” is like, no, just sit still for ten more minutes. I'll get this right.

SHIELDS: Yes (laughter).

SAGAL: Well, I'm afraid that that's not correct. No, the answer was that he painted the Sistine Chapel onto the ceiling of his dorm room…


SAGAL: …Had a scaffold and everything. We have one last question.


SAGAL: Let's see if you can get this one. Calvin Broadus, of course, became Snoop Dogg. Remember him?


SAGAL: You know him, but not everybody can get that name right. Among them was Sen. Alan Simpson, who referred to him once as what? A: Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dog?


SAGAL: B: The D-O Double Guzzle? Or C: That black man with the hair and the rappedy rappedy?


SHIELDS: Just because that black man with the hair and the rappedy rappedy is so wrong that I'm just going to pick that one.

SAGAL: At this point, why not?

SHIELDS: Why not?


SAGAL: No, it was Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dog, said Sen. Simpson.


SAGAL: Quite famously.

SHIELDS: Well, I'm 3 for 3.

SAGAL: There you are. Carl, how did Brooke Shields do on our quiz?

KASELL: Well, she had no correct answers, Peter.


KASELL: So no prize for Katja Volker.

SAGAL: Brook Shields, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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