In International Name Only

Nov 3, 2017

Perhaps best known for playing Lt. Cedric Daniels on the HBO series The Wire, and for his stints on the iconic dramas Oz and Lost, Lance Reddick currently stars as another tough-as-nails police chief on Amazon's Bosch, and will appear in the post-apocalyptic thriller The Domestics. After conquering the world of drama, Reddick is due for a comedy break. "Goofing off is always better than working," he told host Ophira Eisenberg. "Both things are fun but I love doing comedy." Reddick will have plenty of time to joke around in his role on the upcoming Comedy Central series Corporate. But seriously, have you seen The Wire? You should really watch The Wire, it's great.

Writer and actor Paul Rust, on the other hand, has decided to balance his long career in comedy with some more comedy. As the co-creator (with his wife, Lesley Arfin) and co-star (with former AMA VIP Gillian Jacobs) of the Netflix series LOVE, Rust is interested in dissecting modern dating, relationships, and popular culture. "It's based on a couple we knew named Mork and Mindy," Rust joked. A former writer for Comedy Bang! Bang!, Rust has been very pleased with the response he's gotten for his first semi-clothed TV role. "I hear a lot of times, 'Ooh, he got a nice butt!'"

For their first trivia challenge, Reddick and Rust traveled all the way from Italy, Texas to Russia, Ohio with a quiz about foods that sound international but are actually from America.

Heard On Los Angeles: Famepocalypse Part Two

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's meet our next two celebritestants (ph). First up, you know him from "The Wire" and "Lost." He currently stars in the Amazon original series "Bosch," the Comedy Central series "Corporate" and the film "The Domestics." Please, welcome Lance Reddick.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Let's bring out your opponent. He was in "Inglourious Basterds" - a movie I need to watch again right now - and he co-created and stars in the Netflix series "Love." Please, welcome Paul Rust.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL RUST: Thank you.

EISENBERG: So, Lance, you played Cedric Daniels on "The Wire."

LANCE REDDICK: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You are very well known for playing a lot of very intense roles, but you are doing this new Comedy Central series...

REDDICK: Yes.

EISENBERG: ...Called "Corporate." And you've done a lot of other, you know, smaller comedy projects. So have you been dying to just do some comedy roles for a while? Or do people love casting you because you are known as being so intense?

REDDICK: (Laughter) Both.

EISENBERG: And so how do you like it? Do you prefer goofing off? Or are you like, give me a nice...

REDDICK: Well, goofing off is always better than working.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

REDDICK: But, I mean, no. I mean, I - all I can say is both things are fun, but I love doing comedy.

EISENBERG: Really?

REDDICK: Yeah.

EISENBERG: So we can expect more comedic roles from you?

REDDICK: I'd like to think so.

EISENBERG: OK. Very good.

REDDICK: I mean, I'm in more than one episode of "Corporate," so yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: (Laughter) You're in a whole bunch of them. Paul, the Netflix series "Love," created by you and your wife, Lesley Arfin, is somewhat based on your relationship?

RUST: It was actually based on a couple we knew by the name of "Mork & Mindy."

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Are you serious?

RUST: No.

EISENBERG: Oh, OK.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I was like, oh, you channeled - yeah. I like that idea.

REDDICK: I was about to do that.

EISENBERG: But is that how you started writing it, just talking about your relationship?

RUST: Sure, yes - a jumping-off point, yeah.

EISENBERG: What is your favorite reaction from a friend or family member or a fan that, you know, knows you and your wife and is watching the series?

RUST: You know, I hear a lot of times, oh, he got a nice butt.

(LAUGHTER)

REDDICK: Just like that.

EISENBERG: That would be a favorite reaction, I agree. Lance and Paul, you're going to play three games against each other. Whoever gets the most points overall is going to move on to the final round.

So let's go to your first challenge. It's a trivia game called In International Name Only. Los Angeles is home to every kind of cuisine there is out there, from a pesto kelp noodle entree called I Am Liberated to a street hotdog wrapped in bacon called I Give Up.

(LAUGHTER)

REDDICK: I feel like that's going to be my answer every time.

JONATHAN COULTON: This game is all about foods that sound international but are actually from America. For example, the cookie Vienna Fingers were first sold by a company called Sunshine Biscuits out of Kansas City. Just buzz in and tell us the food that we are talking about. Here we go.

EISENBERG: No need to go to Berlin or Munich to enjoy this baked dessert, which was actually created by a Texas homemaker and named after a chocolatier named Sam German.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Puzzle Guru Art Chung, do you have a hint?

ART CHUNG: German is in the name.

REDDICK: Oh.

CHUNG: And you think it's German, but it's not. And it's...

RUST: Oh, my God. I was fully, like, Lance has got this.

(LAUGHTER)

RUST: Just, like, sat back.

EISENBERG: Yeah. It's named after Sam German, and...

CHUNG: It's a baked dessert.

EISENBERG: And it's not...

REDDICK: It's a big dessert. It's a big dessert.

EISENBERG: And it's chocolate.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Lance?

REDDICK: German chocolate.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's it.

(CHEERING)

REDDICK: You're kidding.

EISENBERG: It's German chocolate cake, but at this point, we're going to accept that.

(LAUGHTER)

RUST: Oh, boy.

REDDICK: Oh, I can't believe - it pays to paint by the numbers. OK, go ahead.

COULTON: Legend has it that this Russian-sounding cocktail was actually invented at Hollywood's Cock'n Bull bar, where an inability to sell Smirnoff vodka and ginger beer, combined with a Russian immigrant's need to unload 2,000 copper mugs, led to its creation.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Paul.

RUST: A Moscow Mule?

COULTON: That's correct.

(LAUGHTER)

REDDICK: I've never even heard of that.

EISENBERG: Why do you have 2,000 mugs? Why do you have to unload them immediately?

COULTON: Right away.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I've got to get rid of these mugs.

EISENBERG: Despite its Parisian-sounding name, this hot sandwich, typically consisting of a roast beef inside of a baguette, actually originated in Los Angeles. Two places claim to have invented it - Philippe's and Cole's.

REDDICK: That's not helping.

EISENBERG: No?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Paul?

RUST: A French dip?

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: So remember Sean Spicer? Well, food historians mocked him when he suggested this mayo and ketchup salad topper was actually from the country in its name, despite it being created in New Hampshire.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Paul?

RUST: Something like space dots, or something?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I don't know what kind of salads you are having...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: ...But they sound amazing.

EISENBERG: I want those.

COULTON: It is not space dots.

EISENBERG: It's not?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: No.

EISENBERG: Oh, I could have sworn it was space dots.

REDDICK: Give us the description again.

COULTON: I'll say again - salad topper with a place name in it.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Lance?

REDDICK: Salad dressing?

CHUNG: What kind of popular salad dressing has a place name in it?

REDDICK: Russian.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: Russian dressing is correct.

EISENBERG: This top-selling American beer brand was launched in St. Louis. However, it's been locked in a trademark dispute with brewers from the small Czech Republic town in which it shares its name.

REDDICK: Oh, my gosh.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Paul.

RUST: Space dots?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Very close.

REDDICK: Damn, that's what I was going to say.

EISENBERG: Very close.

REDDICK: Shoot.

COULTON: Oh, boy, that's funny.

EISENBERG: Lance, can you steal top-selling American beer brand?

REDDICK: Budweiser?

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: This is your last clue, you'll be relieved to hear.

RUST: Oh, goodness.

COULTON: Despite the location suggested in its name, this popular street food originated in an LA food truck. Mark Manguera and Roy Choi had the idea to fill corn tortillas with bulgogi and kimchi.

REDDICK: Oh, man, that's so obvious.

(LAUGHTER)

RUST: If you were writing a poem about this food...

COULTON: Uh-huh?

RUST: ...what would be the word that you would rhyme with it?

(LAUGHTER)

REDDICK: See?

CHUNG: Rocco's?

COULTON: Yeah, Rocco's.

RUST: Oh.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Paul?

RUST: Tacos?

CHUNG: That's half of it. What kind of taco?

COULTON: That's part of it.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: There's a North and a South version of this taco?

RUST: Yes, Korean taco.

COULTON: Korean tacos, that's right.

(LAUGHTER)

RUST: Oh, boy.

COULTON: Puzzle Guru Art Chung, how did our contestants do?

CHUNG: Well, we got there.

COULTON: We got there.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Abysmally.

CHUNG: And after one game, it's a tie.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Coming up, we'll play some games that involve BBC Television, flowers, tantric sex and screaming. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WALKING IN L.A.")

DALE BOZZIO: (Singing) Walking in LA, walking in LA, nobody walks in LA. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.