Magazines Other Than Vogue

Mar 3, 2017
Originally published on May 30, 2017 5:06 pm

Let your body move to the music as you guess the names of the magazines Jonathan Coulton is singing about, in this parody of Madonna's "Vogue."

Heard on Tim Daly: Mr. Madam Secretary

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JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton here with Puzzle Guru Art Chung. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.



Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants Caroline and Andrew. Soon they'll play a music parody game where Jonathan Coulton channels Madonna and straps on his favorite cone bra. But first, let's check in with them. So Caroline, what's your favorite magazine in a waiting room?

CAROLINE BARNARD: Well, if I can find a People magazine with a crossword that no one's done yet, that's always a confidence boost - to do a People crossword.


EISENBERG: It's always sad when it's half done, right?

BARNARD: Well, yeah, I mean if somebody gave up on the People crossword in the middle...



BARNARD: ...That is a little bit sad.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly. Well, it depends what the results were of that waiting room.


EISENBERG: It could be just high cholesterol, everybody. You don't know what's happening. Andrew, what's your favorite waiting room magazine?

ANDREW SHUTTLEWORTH: Well, I usually pick up Architectural Digest because I think this will be nice and peaceful and relaxing and, like, a window into a better life. But then I just get sad about not living in these houses.


SHUTTLEWORTH: So I always regret it.

EISENBERG: Yeah, I know. You're like, well, we'll never have these things. All right, Jonathan Coulton, take it away.

COULTON: We rewrote the lyrics to Madonna's "Vogue" to be about magazines that are not Vogue. So just buzz in and tell me what magazine I'm singing about.

EISENBERG: Caroline, you won the last game. So win this, and you're in the final round. Andrew, you need to win this, or you will receive a three-year subscription to Cat Fancy and ESPN The Magazine.


COULTON: Here we go. (Singing) All the kids get to use imagination for games and puzzles galore. Immature Goofus doesn't leave his station while Gallant opens the door.


COULTON: Caroline.

BARNARD: Highlights.

COULTON: Highlights is correct.


COULTON: (Singing) Sex tips, whoa - Helen Gurley Brown changed its focus - hey, hey, hey. Sex tips, whoa - learn about the hot new techniques, also health and fashion.


COULTON: (Laughter) Andrew.

SHUTTLEWORTH: Cosmopolitan.

COULTON: Oh yes, Cosmopolitan.


EISENBERG: I love sex tips for women. They're funny. Thousands of articles, and you just have to show up.


COULTON: No - I have no comment.


COULTON: (Singing) It makes no difference what you need to buy - a washer-dryer, a car. In the testing lab, these folks will give it a try. Then, from low to high, these ratings apply. They score it.


COULTON: Andrew.

SHUTTLEWORTH: Consumer Reports.

COULTON: Yes, that's right.


EISENBERG: I'm not reading reviews anymore.

COULTON: You're not reading reviews anymore. Why?

EISENBERG: Nope. I just want to eat at a crappy restaurant and be like, yeah, that was bad.


EISENBERG: I just want to, like, have - buy something and be like, that doesn't work - no more.

COULTON: You don't even want to set up the possibility that it's going to be good or disappoint. You just are - you're going to assume that everything is going to disappoint you.

EISENBERG: Well, because every review is a disappointment (laughter).

COULTON: They should review - who's reviewing the reviewers? Am I right?


EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: (Singing) Worldwide scope, and it has that bright yellow border. Hey, hey, hey, worldwide scope, history, world culture and maps and dramatic photos.


COULTON: Caroline.

BARNARD: National Geographic.

COULTON: Yeah, you got it.


COULTON: This is your last clue. (Singing) Gandhi, Churchill, Zuckerberg, Ben Bernanke, Charles Lindbergh, Bush, Obama all were seen on the cover of this magazine. Some, we hated. Some, we cheer. All were person of the year. Any women - just a few. Strike a pose because one year it was you.


COULTON: Andrew.


COULTON: Time Magazine - that's right.


EISENBERG: I was just going say, it wasn't even changed from man of the year to person of the year until 1999.

COULTON: Was it that late, really?

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yeah.

COULTON: Well, there weren't women before then, right?


EISENBERG: That's right, yeah.

COULTON: Art Chung, how did our contestants do?

ART CHUNG: Well done, Andrew. You've tied it up, and we're headed to a quick game three.



CHUNG: I'll give you a category, and you go back and forth, naming things that fall in that category. The first contestant to mess up will be eliminated. Buzz in to answer first. Your category is names of 12 people who have served as the main hosts of the Academy Awards from 2007 to 2017.


CHUNG: Caroline.

BARNARD: Jimmy Kimmel.

CHUNG: Jimmy Kimmel is correct. Andrew.

SHUTTLEWORTH: Billy Crystal.

CHUNG: Billy Crystal is correct - 2012. Caroline.

BARNARD: Jon Stewart.

CHUNG: Jon Stewart - 2008. Andrew.

SHUTTLEWORTH: I've got nothing. I really don't know.

CHUNG: I'm going to give you three seconds - anything?



CHUNG: I'm sorry. The other answers were Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Hugh Jackman, James Franco, Neil Patrick Harris, Seth MacFarlane and Steve Martin. Andrew, I'm afraid we're going to have to say goodbye to you. Caroline, congratulations. You're moving onto the final round.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.