Not Like The Others

Jun 27, 2013
Originally published on December 26, 2013 10:17 am

Out of the four things on house musician Jonathan Coulton's list, try to figure out which one does not belong and why. His clues cover everything from nursery rhymes, to wonders of the world, to a certain song by Mr. Rick Astley.

And afterwards, Coulton covers a song about a person who is not like the others: Radiohead's "Creep."

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On our stage right now, we have Sue Ritchie and Michael Crommett.


EISENBERG: Sue, I love that in your spare time you make balloon sculptures.

SUE RITCHIE: That is what I do.

EISENBERG: For weddings, even once for Conan O'Brien. So how do you ship a balloon sculpture?

RITCHIE: Apparently, you jam it in a box and cross your fingers and hope it gets there. And it managed, so...

EISENBERG: Now I know for my next party. Michael, you're a cinematographer, always at the theater. What is the last movie you saw that you were like "everyone needs to go see this?"

MICHAEL CROMMETT: The movie, it's a Ken Burns' film, "Central Park Five." I think it's a really intriguing look at kind of race relations in New York City and I thought it was really fascinating.

EISENBERG: Wow, you're smart, huh? Cool.


EISENBERG: No? Aw, you're humble, smart and humble. Our next game is called Not Like the Others, which is what I say about many of our contestants. Jonathan, what is this game about?

JONATHAN COULTON: Well, in this game, I will give you a list of four items, three of which have a very specific connection. Your job is to tell me which one is not like the others, and you must explain why to win the point. So I would not advise guessing. You must say the answer and then tell me why.

For example, if I said little pigs, musketeers, blind mice and wonders of the ancient world, you would say wonders of the ancient world. And I would say, you forgot to tell me why.


COULTON: And you would say, because there are seven of them while the others are famous trios. Little pigs, musketeers, blind mice, all trios. Wonders of the world, there were seven. Ring in when you know which one is not like the others. The Last Supper, Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, The Scream.


COULTON: Michael?

CROMMETT: The Scream.


CROMMETT: Because they're not by an Italian painter.

COULTON: No, I'm sorry, that is incorrect.

RITCHIE: Venus de Milo because she's a sculpture.

COULTON: There you go.


COULTON: Michael, I'm sorry. I had to ask you why. I didn't mean to make you look bad.

EISENBERG: They're tricky.

COULTON: Identity, supremacy, inception, ultimatum.


COULTON: Michael?

CROMMETT: Inception, because they're not a Bourne film.

COULTON: Yeah, you got it.


COULTON: "Bourne Identity," "Bourne Supremacy," "Bourne Ultimatum," no Bourne Inception, yet.

EISENBERG: I thought those were the four stages of any romantic relationship.


EISENBERG: Identity, supremacy, inception, ultimatum.

COULTON: Ultimatum.

EISENBERG: That's it. That's how it goes.

COULTON: Miranda, Charlotte, Theresa, Carrie.


COULTON: Michael?

CROMMETT: Theresa.

COULTON: Tell me why, Michael.

CROMMETT: Because they're not a member of the group in "Sex and the City."

COULTON: Right, not one of the main principal characters in "Sex and the City."





RITCHIE: That's a great question.

COULTON: Thanks.



COULTON: Tell me why.

RITCHIE: Because it's a different kind of agency than the other ones.


RITCHIE: I don't know.

COULTON: Can you be more specific?

RITCHIE: I cannot.

COULTON: Okay. Michael, do you want to take run at this?


CROMMETT: I would say the FDA because it doesn't deal with crime. I don't know.

COULTON: That's right, that's right, it's not a law enforcement agency.


COULTON: The others are law enforcement agencies under the Department of Justice. Very good. Give you up, kiss your hand, make you cry, run around and desert you.




RITCHIE: Kiss your hand, because this is not something that Rick Astley - well it is something, I guess, that Rick Astley would do because he did not promise not to do it.

COULTON: It's not something that he's never going to do.


COULTON: That's correct.


EISENBERG: And if you listen to that song, it's like a female fantasy, basically, that entire song. It's like I'm ready to commit. I'm never going to make you cry. You're like, yeah, you are. You're going to make me cry. I know you are.

COULTON: It is interesting, he never says anything that he's going to do.


COULTON: So in a way you still don't know what kind of boyfriend he's going to be.

EISENBERG: I'm going to lie around the house. I'm going to drink beer.


EISENBERG: That's all the things...

COULTON: I didn't say I wasn't going to do that.


COULTON: Okay, this is a tricky one. Civic, kayak, madam, lilac.


COULTON: Michael?

CROMMETT: Madam, it's not the same forward and backwards. It's not a...

COULTON: Palindrome is the word you're looking for.

CROMMETT: Palindrome, thank you.

COULTON: That is the wrong answer, unfortunately.


RITCHIE: What were they again?

COULTON: Civic, kayak, madam and lilac.

RITCHIE: Civic, kayak, madam, lilac.

COULTON: That's right.

RITCHIE: Madam, because it's not a kind of car. I don't know.


RITCHIE: There's not a lilac either. I don't care. Two of them...

EISENBERG: I would drive the lilac, just so you know. I would totally drive that.

RITCHIE: It would be purple. It would be nice

EISENBERG: It would be gorgeous.

COULTON: Well, Michael was sort of on the right track. It actually is about palindromes, but madam is actually a palindrome. So we were looking for - lilac is the only one that is not a palindrome. And you said madam is not a palindrome.

CROMMETT: Oh gosh, yes.

COULTON: And that is false.

CROMMETT: I was thinking of like, Madame, you know.




COULTON: It's because of my pronunciation, because of my accent. Zambia, Gambia, Uganda, Guyana.


COULTON: Michael?

CROMMETT: Guyana because it's not a country in Africa.

COULTON: That's correct.


COULTON: It is in South America. Okay, this is your last clue. Smaller, darker, freed, of grey.



RITCHIE: Smaller, because it's not one of the "Shades of Grey" books.

COULTON: That's right.


COULTON: Not preceded by "Fifty Shades."

RITCHIE: I can't believe I knew that.

COULTON: In the title of a book. You're sighing because you're kind of disgusted that that's the one you know the answer to.

RITCHIE: I'm disappointed in myself. Yeah, exactly.

COULTON: I understand. John Chaneski, what happened in that game?

JOHN CHANESKI: Well, there was one standout in this game and it was Michael. Congratulations, Michael.

EISENBERG: Well done, Michael.


EISENBERG: Thank you so much, Sue. Fantastic. Michael, you'll be moving on to our final round at the end of the show. Jonathan, how about some music? What would you like to play?

COULTON: I'm going to play this here song about not belonging.


COULTON: You were here before, couldn't look you in the eye. You're just like an angel; your skin makes me cry. You float like a feather, in a beautiful world. I wish I was special. You're so very special. But I'm a creep. I'm a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here. I don't belong here.

EISENBERG: Jonathan Coulton.


COULTON: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.