Star Map

Oct 27, 2017
Originally published on April 20, 2018 10:36 am

Missi Pyle isn't just the kind of actress you recognize from something—she's the kind of actress you recognize from everything. Pyle got her break when she landed a major role in the 1999 cult film Galaxy Quest. As Laliari, an extraterrestrial with a very severe haircut, Pyle's first big movie remains one of her favorites. "Galaxy Quest was such a beautiful, magical experience," she told host Ophira Eisenberg. "I still have yet to really top it." Her resume is packed with memorable appearances in projects as divergent as Dodgeball, Gone Girl, and the upcoming YouTube Red series Impulse.

Pyle's competitor Brett Gelman has a similarly diverse resume. The actor recently co-wrote and starred in the indie comedy-drama Lemon, and has a guest role on the Netflix hit Stranger Things 2. Gelman's first brush with stardom came when he was just 13, when he received a signed headshot of Joan Rivers for his bar mitzvah. "[My mom] got all of these headshots from this guy in Vegas," Gelman said, "and wrote to all of these comedians and said, 'You're my son's favorite comedian." Years later, he brought the headshot to his appearance on Rivers' web series In Bed with Joan Rivers. Rivers told Gelman she recognized the headshot as "my 1985 nose."

For their first Ask Me Another challenge, Pyle and Gelman went on a celebrity sightseeing tour, answering questions about famous people whose names double as geographic places.

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It's time to meet our next two celebri-testants (ph). First up, you know her from "Galaxy Quest," "Dodgeball" and "Gone Girl." She stars in the new YouTube Red series "Impulse." Please welcome Missi Pyle.


MISSI PYLE: Hello. I'm very excited to be here.

EISENBERG: Missi, you have been in so many great projects. There's - I read an article that is titled "Missi Pyle Has Been In Half Of The Movies You've Seen." I mean, you've really...

PYLE: That's - guys, it's...

EISENBERG: ...Done some incredible stuff.

PYLE: ...So true.


PYLE: Right? Oh, my God.


EISENBERG: But I'm just wondering. For you, like, what is a standout project? Is it something that particularly challenged you, or is it just the last thing you did?

PYLE: That's very kind of you to say. I mean, I will say, like, "Galaxy Quest" was such a beautiful, magical experience. And it was one of my...


PYLE: ...I know, right? It was my very first movie to do, like, from beginning to end. And I still have yet to really top it in experiences. I've had - gotten to do some really awesome things, but they're just - I think, too, it being the cast and the script and the role and also just it being my first one...

EISENBERG: That was, like, the first big one...

PYLE: Yeah, it was pretty exciting...

EISENBERG: ...And it ended up being excellent.

PYLE: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Let's bring out your opponent. He currently costars as Martin on the BBC Three comedy "Fleabag." He's in Season 2 of "Stranger Things," and he co-wrote and stars in the new movie "Lemon." Please welcome Brett Gelman.



EISENBERG: Welcome, Brett. Now, you...


EISENBERG: ...Also appeared in something I loved, which is the late Joan Rivers's web series...


EISENBERG: ..."In Bed With Joan Rivers," where you show - brought with you a headshot of hers that you have from your bar mitzvah...



EISENBERG: ...That she signed for you.


EISENBERG: Did you request that of her?

GELMAN: My mother did...


GELMAN: ...Which - if there's any Jews out here, I'm sure that's not a surprise. Yeah, she wrote...


GELMAN: ...She got all of these headshots from this guy in Vegas plus this address book and wrote to all of these comedians and said, you're my son's favorite comedian.


GELMAN: And then I showed that to Joan. She's like, when was your bar mitzvah? Because this was my 1985 nose.


EISENBERG: So Missi and Brett, you'll play three games against each other. Whoever gets the most points overall will move on to our final round. Let's go to your first game. It's a trivia game called Star Map. The answer to every clue's a geographic location. It could be a country, a U.S. state or city. However, we're not just giving you a boring geography quiz. The places are also names of famous people.



EISENBERG: Yeah, so let's go to our puzzle guru Art Chung, and he'll give you an example.

ART CHUNG: So if I said, on the way to Havana, you might quote this "Jerry Maguire" actor and tell the currency exchange to show me the money, you'd answer Cuba, of course, because the actor from "Jerry Maguire" was Cuba Gooding Jr.


GELMAN: Right.

PYLE: I'm going to kill this.

EISENBERG: All right. OK. Here we go. It's the country you're in right now and the country this actress from "Ugly Betty" and "Superstore" is from.



GELMAN: America.

EISENBERG: That is correct...

PYLE: Shoot. I buzzed...

GELMAN: As in...

PYLE: ...Too early (laughter).

GELMAN: ...The United States of America Ferrera.

EISENBERG: That's right.


CHUNG: It's fitting that our nation's capital is the setting for her show. Anything else would be a "Scandal."


GELMAN: Washington, D.C. Kerry Washington, D.C...

CHUNG: Kerry Washington, D.C. That's...



EISENBERG: It's a Middle Eastern country bordered by Saudi Arabia and Iraq and the name of a Chicago Bulls player and "Space Jam" star.



GELMAN: Michael Jordan. Jordan.


EISENBERG: Yeah. That's correct.


GELMAN: I'm really into saying the full name...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

GELMAN: ...Even though that's not the name of the place.

EISENBERG: I've been everywhere, like the capital of Arizona, which shares its name with the actor who played Johnny Cash in "Walk The Line."



PYLE: Phoenix.

EISENBERG: That is correct.


CHUNG: It's the city where you'd find Disney World and maybe someday a "Lord Of The Rings" ride where you might see the dreamy Brit who played Legolas.


CHUNG: Brett?

GELMAN: Orlando.

CHUNG: Orlando is correct.


PYLE: Oh, boy.


PYLE: I was trying to remember whose name was Anaheim.


GELMAN: Yeah. Jimmy Anaheim.

PYLE: Tom Anaheim...

GELMAN: He played Frodo.

PYLE: ...Starred in that one.

GELMAN: That's - yeah. Jim Anaheim (ph)...

PYLE: Jim Anaheim.



EISENBERG: All right. Let's go to our puzzle guru Art Chung and see how our contestants did.

CHUNG: After our first game, Brett is in the lead.


EISENBERG: If you're not famous but would like to be public-radio famous, come be a contestant on our show. Find out how at Coming up, we're going to talk about cars on public radio. We should actually spin that off into our own show. I have a great title for it. How about Auto Chat? I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.


BOB SEGER: (Singing) And those Hollywood nights in those Hollywood hills, she was looking so... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.