kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy

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Peter Sagal and the running and the rain

So, years and years ago now, Peter Sagal convinced me to take up running. (If you're new to this blog, here's a good place to pick up that story.) A few months ago he emailed to say he was going to be in Philly at the helm of his NPR fart-joke juggernaught Wait ... Wait ... Don't Tell Me! the funniest most inexplicably punctuated news quiz in history. So I started planning some possible runs around the Mann Music Center (where Wait Wait was going to be). Some of Philly's best views are up in that direction.

This all got clobbered a few days before the event when WHYY, the Philadelphia NPR affiliate decided to host a run with Peter (This turned out to be fine since it was hot and miserable out that day and all my plans involved running six miles from the hotel to the Mann Music Center). So instead a couple of the West Philly Runners & I ran down to center city in the pouring (and refreshing) rain, picked up Peter at his hotel and ran to WHYYFM.

With my friends Rebecca & Arwin from the West Philly Runners.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!

They were supposed to run across the Ben Franklin Bridge and back, which I was pretty excited about, having never run across the bridge, but somehow it was decided that the bridge might be too slippery and WHYY staffers would slide off into the Delaware. So the route was changed to a four mile loop along the waterfront, which was fine with me.

Some peeps from WHYY, throwing down the West Philly Runners gang sign.
We better not run into any Fishtown Beer Runners or there's going to be hill sprints.
You may Clickenzee to Embiggen!

Then we ran back to the hotel and I had a break of dawn breakfast with the Wait Wait crew including Ian Chillag the man behind Sandwich Monday.

Later that night trillian_stars and I went off to the Mann. I'd never been backstage at the Mann before, though it's actually really close by. Trillian and I found ourselves sitting at table with WHYYFM's "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross and Legendary Anchorman Bill Kurtis. Trillian and Bill are both from the midwest and started talking about farms and that was pretty much that, but every time Terry Gross opened her mouth, Terry Gross' voice came out, which was weird. No matter what you think someone on the radio looks like, they don't look like that. This lead to some on-stage banter later between Terry who said people always tell her "you sound taller on the radio" and Peter who said someone once told him "you don't sound bald on the radio". It must be an odd world to have people wig out a little whenever you ask for something at the hardware store. We were also very happy to discover that our awesome friend Amy Dickinson was on the panel that night. She could walk into the Met and class the place up.

Backstage. Pointless to embiggen, all back stages look the same.

Anyway Robert Plant had just played the Mann and he either went home sweaty or used one of these showers back stage. It's infuriating not knowing which one.

One of these showers was Robert Plant's. I stood in both of them to be sure.

Anyway, eventually we wandered out into the seating area to watch the show. If you've never been to the Mann, it's an outdoor theater about half of which is under a giant awning (there are two floors of seating) and then a lawn that just goes off for a long way off. It looked like an ominous night for the people on the lawn, as clouds rolled in and eventually the heavens opened up. Like seriously the biggest rainstorm you've ever seen. This failed to wash everybody away as many stalwarts remained with ponchos and blankets and seemed to be giddly enjoying themselves in the deluge. The thunder and howling wind got so bad that when the show was over they actually had to go back and retape some of the segments.

Terry Gross was the guest. You can listen to the show (and see what Terry Gross looks like here).

From our seats half way back in the Mann. It went faaar out into the lawn.
No point in embiggening. It's just to show you how small everybody is.

After the show we went out for a nightcap and to celebrate producer Eva Wolchover's last night on the crew. I'd been meaning to give Peter a copy of The Bed Song Book, this giant 16x20 inch book I did with Neil and Amanda but I'd been very reticent to carry it to the post office because the thing weighs 30 pounds so I realized I could just hand it off to him and make it his problem and there began one of the coolest parts of a pretty cool day -- Peter went page by page through the book, showing it to the Wait Wait cast & crew and giving a running narration of why and how it was a great thing.

Made it home to bed at about three in the morning, a little damp, a little sore, a lot tired, but very content.

Peter showing The Bed Song Book to Legendary Anchorman Bill Kurtis and Amy Dickinson
and the Wait Wait crew. This one you can Clickenzee to Embiggen!

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