Ask Me Another
12:04 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Y.M.C.A.

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 10:19 am

Can you name all the members of the Village People? In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton pays tribute to the group's perennial dance classic, "Y.M.C.A.," with the song's lyrics rewritten test your knowledge of other four-letter abbreviations. You'll be singing along A.S.A.P.!

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Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

On our stage right now, we have Mellini Kantayya and Jonah Platt.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Welcome to both of you.

JONAH PLATT: Thank you.

MELLINI KANTAYYA: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Jonah, I have to ask you, I believe I recognize you from your bar mitzvah video. Is that right?

PLATT: Maybe, if you saw me on the show "The Great Pretenders." I lip-synched a Backstreet Boys song and was given the illustrious prize of a $20 Guess gift card.

EISENBERG: Wow.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I'm actually surprised you lived to tell that tale, seriously, that is a...

PLATT: It was tough.

EISENBERG: That sounds intense. Well, our next game is called YMCA. So exciting. Jonathan, tell me this is about the Village People, like the Leather Man.

JONATHAN COULTON: It's not specifically about the Leather Man. I know he's your favorite village person.

EISENBERG: He is my favorite.

COULTON: We've rewritten the lyrics to the Village People's hit dance song "YMCA," to be about other four-letter abbreviations. So let me give you an example.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Old man, you can be so thrifty. I said, old man, at the age of 50, you can join us via our magazine and get discounts on prescriptions. It's fun to be in the...

And then you would say?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Oh, no. Oh man, Village People interruptus.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: The audience was about to sing it. AARP is the answer we're looking for.

KANTAYYA: Okay.

COULTON: And to be clear, you will get the points if you do not sing it. You don't have to sing it.

KANTAYYA: Okay.

COULTON: It would sure be awesome if you did. At the end of each song, just ring in and give us the appropriate four-letter abbreviation. Are you ready?

PLATT: Rock and roll.

COULTON: Technically, it's disco but I know what you mean.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Rich man, put your cash in the bank. I said, rich man, you won't lose all your swank. If your bank fails, we'll return your money, up to $250,000. It's safe to bank thanks to the...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Mellini?

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

KANTAYYA: FDIC.

COULTON: You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Drunk men, be prepared for chagrins. I said, drunk men, we have no liquor license. If you want some, you can haul it yourself. Get your Heineken and Bud Light. This restaurant is a...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jonah?

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

PLATT: BYOB.

COULTON: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Is that question in your wheelhouse, Jonah?

PLATT: It was.

EISENBERG: That's your kind of thing.

PLATT: I've been to a couple of them.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Comrades, in Georgia and Ukraine. I said, comrades, you will fight back in vain, because you're stuck in our shaky union until Gorbachev let's you go. It's fun to live in the...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jonah?

PLATT: USSR.

COULTON: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: It was not fun at all.

PLATT: No.

EISENBERG: No. They cancelled it.

PLATT: Not a good time.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: They cancelled it.

EISENBERG: They cancelled it.

COULTON: Yeah, after only a few seasons. It was weird.

EISENBERG: I know. It was so weird.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Young men, you watch us every day. I said, young men, to follow the NBA. We've got football, baseball and poker, too. We're the worldwide leader in sports. It's fun to veg out to...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Mellini?

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

KANTAYYA: ESPN.

COULTON: Yes, ma'am.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You have a nice voice, Mellini. You have a very nice voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Students, if the army's your goal. I said, students, then you ought to enroll in this program. Hone your leadership skills. On your campus quad, they're marching. Why not enlist in the...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jonah?

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

PLATT: ROTC.

COULTON: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This is tight. This is a tight game.

COULTON: It is a tight race. Here we go.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

COULTON: Sous chefs, throw that meat on the rack. I said sous chefs, you know we've got your back. We've inspected all the meat you will cook. If it's Grade A, you know it's good. Your beef's been checked by the...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Mellini?

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

KANTAYYA: USDA.

COULTON: You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Sous chef should be a village person.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Sous chef, they should have a sous chef. Why don't they?

EISENBERG: Looks like we have another tie.

COULTON: We do have another tie.

EISENBERG: We have another tie. This is an amazing game. All right, so this is just a trivia question, so you guys are going to - it's not just a trivia question, trust me, but you are going to ring in for this one. It's about YMCA, which was a Village People's biggest hit. What was their second biggest single that had a nautical theme?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jonah?

PLATT: "In the Navy."

EISENBERG: You're right. Congratulations, Jonah.

KANTAYYA: Oh, very nice.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well done. Mellini, thank you. Jonah will be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Congratulations, and one more thanks to Mellini.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.