One of America’s biggest radio shows is the long-running NPR
news quiz “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” the Peter Sagal
-hosted fixture with a nationwide listenership across radio, streaming, and podcast. Guest panelists riff on the week’s news stories, be they headlines that were plastered across newspapers the world over or ones relegated to the “news of the weird” corner.
Despite that show’s continued success, it’s been decades since a TV panel show in the U.S. reached that same level of quality, viewership, or place in the public consciousness. Even if you’re not a regular listener, “Wait, Wait” still exists as a shortcut — along with “This American Life” — to a certain kind of public radio programming and the listenership that keeps it afloat.
There’s still room for charismatic, inquisitive comic personalities to help build something that exists outside of any promotional cycle,