• Ryanne Harper

Carl Kasell: the host with the most


Following my run this morning, I was doing my normal thing where I stare out my window, sip coffee, and wonder why I'm awake so dang early when I don't have to be. My phone buzzed; I had a message from my friend letting me know Carl Kasell had died. Carl Kasell was an NPR newscaster and, eventually, the official judge, scorekeeper, and best sport on NPR's quiz show, "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!" until his retirement in 2014. I love Wait, Wait and Carl Kasell MADE that show.

He began his career at NPR hosting the news programs "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition", two of my favorite programs. He was always seen as a serious journalists and, when he made the switch to Wait, Wait, many people were surprised to learn that he was actually hilarious. Because the show had no money, the prize for the winners was Carl's voice on your voicemail. There's an archive of these messages on NPR's site. I already don't answer the phone but, if Carl Kassel was on my voicemail, I would NEVER answer my phone just so people could hear how funny he was. And, also, it's a pretty solid way to prove I'd won a satirical news quiz show. I do play along most Saturday mornings and I do well. If I were actually on the show, though, I'd probably forget how to speak entirely.

So, thank you, Carl Kasell, for your near sixty-year career delivering news and jokes in the best voice ever.


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