Famous Follicles

Oct 11, 2019

Jonathan Coulton must ask mustache questions in this ZZ Top music parody about iconic facial hair.

Heard on Kristin Chenoweth: No Rest For The Wicked.

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JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER coming to you from Houston, Texas. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here's your host Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants Gloria and Nathan. Our next game is about facial hair. This just in - a special message from goats. You ruined goatees for us, so we've switched to mutton chops. Weird, I know. I agree. Let's check in with our contestants. Gloria, you were recently in Finland. It was hosting the Heavy Metal World Knitting Championships.

GLORIA ALVAREZ: That's correct.

EISENBERG: So people are knitting to heavy metal songs...

ALVAREZ: Yes.

EISENBERG: ...To the rhythm?

ALVAREZ: To the rhythm - and of course, it's also partly depending on how complicated your stitches are.

EISENBERG: So at the end, you are rated on a variety of different...

ALVAREZ: Categories, but mostly, can you headbang and knit simultaneously?

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You have a good life, Gloria. I'm just going to say.

ALVAREZ: I do indeed.

EISENBERG: Nathan, when you were in college, your roommate had a fish tank, and you and some friends ate all of the fish one night.

NATHAN CROWELL: We did.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. Just walk me through what happened.

CROWELL: Yeah, so...

EISENBERG: OK, it's your roommate's fish tank.

CROWELL: Yeah, and so he had five fish.

EISENBERG: Five fish.

CROWELL: And there were six of us, and...

EISENBERG: That's important.

CROWELL: ...That's awkward. And the girl that is now my wife turns to one of my friends and says, hey, Rod. Why don't you eat one of Paul's fish? So he ate a fish.

(LAUGHTER)

CROWELL: So we see what's going on, and we know how this is going to end. So my other roommate and I, we get the two smallest fish, and they go down easy. And we get to the point where there's one fish and two people left - my sweet lovely girlfriend and her younger brother. And we're cool. We're not going to make her eat the fish. So we turn to the little brother, and we're like, hey, you know, step to the plate here. And he put it in his mouth and kind of spit it back out. And so we turned to my girlfriend and said, it's got to be eaten at this point.

(LAUGHTER)

CROWELL: And it was the biggest one in the tank. She ate it, and I knew she was the girl for me at that point.

EISENBERG: You know, we think that we get quirky contestants in Brooklyn. They're like, I make beer in my bathtub, and I - you know, but no. No comparison.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Your next game is a music parody called Famous Follicles. We're recognizing the 50th anniversary of Houston's own ZZ Top. Yeah. You might know them as those guys with cartoonishly large beards except for the one whose name is Frank Beard.

CROWELL: It's a weird thing.

EISENBERG: It's a weird thing.

COULTON: Naturally, we took this opportunity to rewrite ZZ Top hits to make them about other famous real people with iconic facial hair. I'm talking about beards, mustaches, eyebrows, maybe a nose hair or two. Who knows? Here we go.

(Singing) Long beard, cool pants, major artist from the Renaissance - all the things, I know. I'm a universal genius, yo. "The Last Supper" sure has more than one fan. Everyone knows I drew "Vitruvian Man."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Nathan.

CROWELL: DaVinci.

COULTON: DaVinci is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you identify the song?

CROWELL: I listen to this a lot - "Sharp Dressed Man."

COULTON: Yeah, that's correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: (Singing) She's in "Pretty Baby." She's in "Endless Love." She was known for her bushy eyebrows. She's tall, and she towers above, and she also went to Princeton. That's right. She went to Princeton.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Nathan.

CROWELL: Brooke Shields.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you identify the song?

CROWELL: I can't.

COULTON: Yeah. That's "Got Me Under Pressure." Here we go.

(Singing) Off a West Indies beach you could find Edward Teach until they cut off his head. He's the terrifying pirate named for his facial hair instead.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Gloria.

ALVAREZ: That would be Blue - Blackbeard.

COULTON: Blackbeard is the answer. You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song?

ALVAREZ: Looking for a little "Tush," huh?

COULTON: "Tush" - that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: "Tush" - what's that song about?

COULTON: I couldn't even think of a joke. It's about butts.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Singing) Model from Jamaica, disco diva apogee, dangerous as May Day, really nailed androgyny.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Nathan.

CROWELL: Grace Jones?

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you identify the song?

CROWELL: I - no, yeah.

COULTON: That was "Give Me All Your Loving." Yeah. This is your last clue.

(Singing) Well, she was in "Ghost," she's a "View" host, and as Guinan, she met Mark Twain. She's no has-been with an EGOT win and sells cannabis for cramping.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Nathan.

CROWELL: Whoopi Goldberg.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Some of you are asking right now, what's remarkable about Whoopi Goldberg's facial hair? The answer is she shaves off her eyebrows.

EISENBERG: She doesn't need them.

COULTON: Doesn't need them - for a bonus point, can you identify the song?

CROWELL: "La Grange."

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: OK, amazing couple of games. You guys are incredible.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well done. And after two games, Nathan is moving on to the final round. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.