Imperial Pets

Jun 27, 2013
Originally published on March 4, 2015 1:34 pm

When it comes to pets, it's hard not to treat them as little versions of yourself. Just ask Katy Perry, who fondly named her cat Kitty Purry. (True story.) In this game, we focus on people who are a little more highbrow, while simultaneously subjecting them the lowest form of humor. Host Ophira Eisenberg asks you to make animal puns out of the names of world leaders, like "Chairman Meow."

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So far all of these games have had answers, which I know sounds obvious, but I mean like real answers, quantifiable answers, something you Google and get the answer. But sometimes we like to stretch our puzzle writers' creative powers and get them to write a quiz with imaginary answers.

ART CHUNG: That's right, Ophira. By imaginary answers we mean like puns. Because who doesn't love a good pun?

EISENBERG: I love a good pun.

CHUNG: Hey, Ophira. Knock, knock.

EISENBERG: Who's there?

CHUNG: Dishes.

EISENBERG: Dishes who?

CHUNG: Dishes NPR.


EISENBERG: That's a good one. I like that.

CHUNG: Yeah. Yeah. I don't know why cut it from our last episode.

EISENBERG: I - well, because they were wrong. Let's see how our contestants did in this pun based game called Imperial Pets.

Joining us right now are our next two contestants: Denise Grab and Mike Schurott.


EISENBERG: Hi. You guys are hugging. You're already pals.


DENISE GRAB: We're besties.

EISENBERG: How do you feel about animals? Denise, any pets?

GRAB: I don't have any pets. I think we have some spiders I've been finding around my house. I don't know if those count.

EISENBERG: Do you name them, the spiders?

GRAB: Depends on how I'm feeling that day. If I'm feeling a little lonely, yeah.


EISENBERG: Mike, do you have any pets?

SCHUROTT: I do. I have two English bulldogs. One is named Jeter and I think it's named after a Met, but I'm not sure. And the other one is Jahera. Took her from a very bad family and put her into a great family, and that family also accepted me into it. So both of us are doing very well, thank you very much.

EISENBERG: Oh, good.


EISENBERG: This game is called Imperial Pets. When it comes to pets, it's hard not to treat them like little furry versions of yourself. Just ask Katy Perry, who fondly named her cat Kitty Purry.


EISENBERG: That is true. So in this game, we're going to ask you to create adorable pet versions of historical world leaders, which will be an animal-based pun on the world leader's name. So puzzle guru John Chaneski, can you please give us an example?

JOHN CHANESKI: If we said this fickle feline brought communism to China and was its most fearsome leader until he passed away in 1976, you would say "Chairman Meow."


EISENBERG: Ring in when you know the answer, and the winner will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Reviled by his cousin Mickey during World War II, this right wing rodent made the trains run on time in Italy. World leader?



GRAB: Benito Mouse-ilini.

EISENBERG: That is great, well done.


EISENBERG: Feeling pretty good about yourself right now. That was pretty great, right, to get that. I saw you look up to the heavens. The heavens gave you the answer and then you delivered. After he succeeded Boris Yeltsin as Russia's top dog in 1999, he's enjoying hunting without a shirt. Luckily, the poufy haircut on his head, ankles and buttocks keep him warm.


SCHUROTT: Vladmin Poodle-tin.

EISENBERG: Do you want to give me that again, Mike?

SCHUROTT: Poodle-tin.

CHANESKI: You know what, we'll take it. Vladimir Poodle-tin, sure.


EISENBERG: When he was dictator of Cambodia, this brutal parrot kept saying he wanted crackers for the Khmer Rouge all the time.



GRAB: Polly Pot.

EISENBERG: Polly Pot. That is right.


EISENBERG: It's getting easier on you guys. It's getting easier. Always yelping about her godly visions, this poor puppy was burned at the stake by the French or the Frenchies after she led them to victory over the English.



SCHUROTT: Who is Joan of Bark?

EISENBERG: Joan of Bark, that is correct.


CHANESKI: We do want to remind you, you are not on "Jeopardy."

EISENBERG: Yeah, you don't have to start with the "who is." Yeah.


SCHUROTT: Thank you.

EISENBERG: So yeah. A lot more is at stake here, just remember that. This tough-talking aquatic pet almost didn't become the first female prime minister of Israel after she was caught canoodling with a scuba diver in her bowl.



GRAB: Goldfish Meir.

EISENBERG: Goldfish Meir is correct.


EISENBERG: Also, her actual nickname. I don't know if you know that. This is your final question. Despite a devotion to Buddhist principles of peace, this spiritual ruler of Tibet is known to spit like a camel.



SCHUROTT: Who is...

EISENBERG: That was Denise.

GRAB: Dalai Llama.

EISENBERG: Dalai Llama, that's right.


EISENBERG: John Chaneski?

CHANESKI: Well, that was a great game but the best in show, at least for this game, is Denise. Nice work.


EISENBERG: Congratulations, Denise. Thank you so much, Mike.


EISENBERG: Next we'll revisit an insanely hard game about quirky chess grand masters. We'll talk to the grand puzzle master himself, Will Shortz, plus his ASK ME ONE MORE final game which will either be easy or impossible, depending on how your brain works. This is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WNYC. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.