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Celebrity Spoonerisms

Oct 23, 2013
Originally published on March 4, 2015 12:57 pm

A "spoonerism"is a type of wordplay that flip-flops the initial sounds of two words. In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg makes spoonerisms out of famous names, leading to some unusual turns of phrase. For example, if we said, "An actor best known for playing Luke Skywalker becomes a warning that a warm-blooded animal is approaching," the answer would be, Mark Hamill turns into "Hark, Mammal!" Spoon on!

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Joining us now are Susan Herder and Kelly Guncheon.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hello, Susan.

SUSAN HERDER: Hi.

EISENBERG: You work helping teachers adapt new technology.

HERDER: I do.

EISENBERG: Is it like helping them post on their students' Facebook walls or what's going on here?

HERDER: No, we don't quite go that far. Not yet.

EISENBERG: Oh, that's too advanced.

HERDER: No. It's using the technology that we currently have in our district and new technologies to better prepare students. You know, laptops. New technologies like laptops, things like that.

(LAUGHTER)

HERDER: Yeah.

EISENBERG: I got it. And Kelly, you're a financial advisor. That's a tough job. It's got to be a tough job. How do you keep yourself - how do you stay sane? How do you stay happy?

KELLY GUNCHEON: Comedy, humor.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

GUNCHEON: Which is not something necessarily that my clients like to hear when they walk in, but...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I like to laugh at your bank statements.

GUNCHEON: That's right. I come up with limericks for them and they really enjoy that.

EISENBERG: Limmericks.

GUNCHEON: Yes.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah? Do you got one loaded up?

GUNCHEON: Oh, my. Yes. Your portfolio was once full of money/and your retirement looked so sunny/then came the crash/ and out went your cash/ ain't it great that your advisor is funny?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Fantastic. This game is called celebrity spoonerisms. Ooh. Art, would you like to explain to the good people what a spoonerism is?

ART CHUNG: I would, indeed. A spoonerism is a play on words in which the initial sounds of two words get reversed. So the phrase "peas and carrots" becomes "ceas and parrots." Now, in this game we've taken celebrity names and spoonerized them. And we're going to give you clues to both the name and the spoonerized phrase.

EISENBERG: So if we said an actor best known for playing Luke Skywalker becomes a warning that a warm-blooded animal is approaching, the answer would be Mark Hamil turns into Hark, Mammal. All right. So each clue will have two components, a hint about the person and then a hint about the spoonerism and you have to tell us both parts. A legendary martial arts star becomes a runny French cheese with a white rind.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Kelly.

GUNCHEON: Loose brie. He is Bruce Lee.

EISENBERG: Yes, that is right. Bruce Lee, Loose Brie.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I love that people laughed at just the idea of loose brie. They were like what? Loose brie? Starring in the classic karate movie "Enter the Gouda." You wouldn't believe how many cheese we went through.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Your favorite female Alaskan governor becomes an activity that involves being towed in the air by a speedboat.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Susan.

HERDER: Sarah Palin becomes parasailing?

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Exactly. The Watson to Robert Downy Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes becomes a sexually suggestive mandible.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Susan.

HERDER: Jude Law becomes lewd jaw.

EISENBERG: He sure does.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: The classic Hollywood queen of double entendres becomes extremely disheveled.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Kelly.

GUNCHEON: Mae West becomes way messed.

EISENBERG: Yes.

HERDER: Nice.

EISENBERG: Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

GUNCHEON: I'm old.

EISENBERG: And correct. Old and correct.

GUNCHEON: That's what I tell my kids all the time.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. This is your last question. The original drummer for the Beatles becomes a command to abuse vermin.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Kelly.

GUNCHEON: Pete - oh, gosh. Pete - I can't remember his last name. I am old.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Susan, can you steal?

HERDER: Pete Best becomes beat pest.

EISENBERG: Yes, that is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right, Art. How did our contestants do?

CHUNG: They did amazing in this game. It was a tough game. But Susan is our winner.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Susan. We will see you again at the end of the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WALKING THE DOG")

EISENBERG: Do you get lonely walking your dog or cat? Want some company on your morning run? Then you should download our podcasts from iTunes, Sticher, or TuneIn and take us wherever you go. We'll keep the brainteasers coming and become your new best friend.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOW TO WALK A DOG")

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.