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NPR Arts & Life

Product Placement II


And we have our next two contestants. Let's welcome Rachel Wilson and Suzanne Wallace.


EISENBERG: Rachel, you have many talents. I hear one of them is you can sing the alphabet backwards.

RACHEL WILSON: That may be true.

EISENBERG: That may be true?

WILSON: Mh-mm.

EISENBERG: All right. Can you take us back from M?


WILSON: (Singing) M, O, N, M, L, K, J, I, H, G, F, E, D, C, B, A.

EISENBERG: Yeah! Nice.


EISENBERG: See, usually I ask people what do they do, where are they from, but that was fascinating and well done...

WILSON: Well, thank you.

EISENBERG: ...thank you so much. Suzanne, you also can do a little backwards speaking. Is that correct?


EISENBERG: And what brings you to the backwards speaking land?


WALLACE: You know, it was something that I just discovered that I could do when I was 7, having a conversation with my cat.

EISENBERG: Weird but...



EISENBERG: ...full sentences backwards?

WALLACE: I can keep the same word order and I can...


WALLACE: ...flip each word, the sound of it, in reverse. So I can speak extemporaneously backward just by flipping the sound of each word. I don't know how I do it. It's just the way my brain words.

EISENBERG: Oh, and your brain is crazy.


WALLACE: A little bit. A little bit.

EISENBERG: Can you just say something to me like, I don't know, how are you doing Ophira? Something like that?

WALLACE: Oh, (backwards language spoken).


WILSON: That's way better than the alphabet backwards.

EISENBERG: No, I think the two of you need to talk all the time.


EISENBERG: You guys are prime for this game. This is a oldie but a goodie. It's something we call Product Placement. So in this game, we spice up titles of famous works of literature, art and movies with a little product placement, OK? So here's how it works. I'll give you a short synopsis of a famous work with a reference to a product or a company subtly added in. For example, I might say this timeless fantasy novel follows a group of talking rabbits in their quest for a new home and a fresh new scent of liquid fabric softener. Art, how would you answer that?

ART CHUNG: I would answer that Watership Downy.

EISENBERG: Right, combining "Watership Down" with Downey fabric softener. Exactly. OK, contestants, so ring that bell when you know the answer and whoever gets more right moves on to our Ask Me One More final round. Are you ready?


EISENBERG: Excellent. Grant Wood's iconic painting depicts a dour couple in front of their modest home with the man holding a pitchfork and the woman holding a platinum credit card.


WILSON: American Express Gothic?

EISENBERG: Correct, American Express Gothic.


EISENBERG: Don't leave your farm without one. Exactly. Rogers and Hammerstein collaborated on this musical about an English governess and a bossy Siamese monarch who always wanted to have it his way, especially when it came to Whoppers.



WALLACE: My fair... Whopper.


WALLACE: No, the King - the King - the Burger King and I.

EISENBERG: The Burger King and I.



WALLACE: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Yes. My Fair Whopper, it hasn't been made yet.


EISENBERG: Dante's epic poem tells of the author's allegorical journey through three realms of the afterlife, where he experiences sin, penitence and endless re-runs of "South Park" and "The Colbert Report."


CHUNG: No, I think it was Rachel.

EISENBERG: Oh. Oh, sorry, Rachel.

WILSON: The Divine Comedy Central.

EISENBERG: The Divine Comedy Central, yes.


EISENBERG: OK. This seminal work of 20th century ballet features music by Stravinsky, choreography by Nijinsky and green-hued deodorant soap by Colgate-Palmolive.


WALLACE: The Rite of Irish Spring.

EISENBERG: The Rite of Irish Spring.


EISENBERG: In Stephen Crane's timeless tale, a private in the Union army attempts to overcome his cowardice, longs for a wound to prove his bravery and hungers for endless shrimp at a casual dining seafood chain.


CHUNG: Rachel.


WILSON: The Red Lobster Badge of Courage.

EISENBERG: The Red Lobster Badge of Courage.


EISENBERG: Which I think is what they give you if you agree to eat there late on Monday nights.


WILSON: All you care to eat. Not all you can eat.


EISENBERG: All you care to eat. Nice one, Rachel. Opening with a famous glissando for clarinet, this George Gershwin classic marries jazz influences with elements of classical music and was written while the composer flew on a low cost airline from JFK to Long Beach.


WALLACE: Rhapsody in Jet Blue.

EISENBERG: Suzanne, Rhapsody in Jet Blue.


EISENBERG: And we have a tie.

CHUNG: Here we go. This is your tiebreaker. Based on a true crime best-seller set in Savannah, Georgia, this 1997 film centers on an antiques dealer accused of killing a man in a quarrel over pink and white licorice candies.


WALLACE: Midnight in the Garden... pink and black licorice candy.


WALLACE: I don't know.

CHUNG: Rachel.

WILSON: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Plenty and Evil.




EISENBERG: Rachel, congratulations. You have won this round and will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Big hand for Suzanne.


EISENBERG: Big hand for Rachel.


EISENBERG: You guys were great contestants. Thank you so much.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.