Any Questions?

Friday at 6:25 p.m. on Northeast Report Late Edition
  • Hosted by Ian Pickus
  • Local Host Mike Nothnagel and Ian Pickus

Last week's challenge: Start with the word CALCULATION. Change one letter to an R and you can spell a two-word phrase (7, 4) that names something you might see at the end of a performance. What is it?

Answer: If you change the O to an R, you can spell CURTAIN CALL..


On-air questions: On August 28, 1922, WEAF in New York City aired the first paid radio commercial. The 10-minute advertisement for an apartment complex in Jackson Heights, Queens, cost $100. (There is evidence that other stations may have sold advertising before August of 1922, but WEAF's ad is credited as the first.) To honor the first radio commercial, we'll fast-forward a few decades and have a quiz about famous TV commercials.

1. In a series of ads for a credit card company, people such as Mel Blanc and Stephen King would ask "Do you know me?" before giving clues to their identity. At the end of the ad, their name would appear on one of the company's trademark green cards. What company ran these ads?

2. A machine records Ella Fitzgerald singing a note that shatters a glass. The recording is then played back and the recording shatters another glass. This image of a glass shattering would figure prominently in many ads in which a voiceover asks, "Is it live, or is it..." what now-defunct media company?

3. Featuring the tag line "the taste that's worth the wait," a series of ads by Heinz included a close-up of ketchup pouring out of a bottle while the song "Anticipation", the title track of a 1971 album by what singer/songwriter, played in the background?

4. Popularly known as "Hey, Kid! Catch!", a commercial for Coca-Cola stars "Mean" Joe Greene as an injured football player who, after a tough game, is offered a Coke by a young boy. As the boy walks away, Greene gets his attention and tosses him his jersey. For what NFL team did Greene play?

5. A pink bunny drums his way out of his own commercial and into other ads for fake products – among them coffee and sinus medication – in a series of advertisements featuring the long-eared, sunglasses-wearing mascot of what company?

Extra credit

1. Steve Jobs chose director Ridley Scott to direct the famous Apple commercial based on George Orwell's novel 1984 because Jobs was impressed by Scott's directing of what classic 1982 science-fiction film?

2. The jingles for many famous commercials, including "I'm stuck on Band-Aid brand 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me" and "I'm a Pepper, you're a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?" were written by what pop singer?

This week's challenge
Start with the word COMMERCIALS. Add a letter and you can rearrange the result to spell the two-word name (six letters, six letters) of a company associated with many characters. What is it?

About Any Questions?

WAMC's Friday quiz segment, Any Questions?, puts news director Ian Pickus in the hot seat, as he and listeners field questions from resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel. Nothnagel is Associate Professor of mathematics at The Culinary Institute of America, and a crossword constructor for the New York Times and Games Magazine, among other venues. Often, Mike and Ian switch seats or feature guest answers, such as Will Shortz, Liane Hansen, John Flansburgh and Mike Doughty.

Any Questions? airs Friday during Northeast Report Late Edition on WAMC. 

Any Questions #179

Jan 30, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel go back to the before-and-after well.

Any Questions #178

Jan 23, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are staying up past their bedtime this week.

Any Questions #177

Jan 16, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel go to MIT the only way they can: vicariously.

Any Questions #176

Jan 9, 2015

Hold the phone. WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back.

Any Questions #175

Jan 2, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel take a trip around the map of names.

Any Questions #174

Dec 26, 2014

It's that time of year: the trivia clearance sale.

Any Questions #173

Dec 19, 2014

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about people with colors in their names.

Any Questions #172

Dec 12, 2014

If you can see through the smoke and scotch fumes, WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have a quiz about the Rat Pack.

Any Questions #171

Dec 5, 2014

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are all about the bouillon.

Any Questions #170

Nov 28, 2014

Pass the trivia: it's time for a turkey show for WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel.