08/03/2007 03:06 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Patrick Fitzgerald Does Comedy

No, this is not a joke. Not a goof. It's real.


This is a must listen.

There is a wonderfully entertaining NPR quiz show, Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me, out of Chicago, which stars the bright and incredibly quick-witted Peter Sagal. The program has three changing, semi-regular panelists and listener call-in guests, doing extremely funny, but informative quiz segments on the news and current events.

One of the segments is entitled, "Not My Job." Some well-known public figure will phone in and try to answer questions (playing on behalf of a listener) from an area that's completely alien to their own. A few months ago the radio show made news by actually having Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer play the game. (His brother knew he loved old radio quiz shows, and so submitted his name.) Two weeks ago, however, they came close to topping themselves: amazingly, their guest contestant was ... Patrick Fitzgerald.

Yes, Patrick Fitzgerald. And, yes, that Patrick Fitzgerald. Tight-lipped, quiet, dignified, serious Patrick Fitzgerald. The Patrick Fitzgerald who avoids giving interviews and tries his best to stay out of the limelight.

On a radio quiz show.

During the "Not My Job" segment, there's always a fairly-lengthy, light-hearted interview before the quiz, and Fitzgeard remarkably was game. After so much time in the news without talking about himself, there was Patrick Fitzgerald agreeing to an interview -- by, of all things, a quiz show host. (Albeit a very bright one ... ) Needless-to-say, he was as low-key as you'd expect and fairly closemouthed, yet it was still fascinating, and on several occasions hilarious. (Also, living in Chicago, he was there in the studio live, unlike most guests, which adds to the charm.)

Now for the good news: the broadcast is available online. Click here for a link to the show. it's worth listening to the whole thing, but you can also scroll down and listen only to the one segment.

(It's about halfway down the page. Just click on -- "Not My Job: Patrick Fitzgerald.")

I won't give anything away, but will merely mention that among my favorite parts include his answer to being asked, "What are you doing here???," one particular question about a rumor about something from his life concerning cooking, a very funny inquiry and then panel-byplay from one of the panelists -- who as happenstance has it, writes for the Washington Post, and a question from a surprise call-in "guest." Also, near the beginning, the host Peter Sagal asks an incredibly subtle, seemingly innocent question that absolutely no one gets at first, and then it very slowly kicks in, and the laughter builds and builds into a roar.

Once the "Not My Job" quiz starts, the guest has to answer two of three questions correct in order for the listener he's playing for to win. The payoff after the quiz finishes is an utter, classic gem.

And as a special bonus, just because I like you, and you deserve it -- click here for the link to the broadcast with Justice Breyer.