Not My Job: Hockey Goalie Bernie Parent Gets Quizzed On (Cake) Icing

Oct 14, 2017
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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. And here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So this week, we're getting ready for Halloween. And we're so into our preparation, we had to take some time off to devote to it.

KURTIS: Who are you going as, Peter?

SAGAL: Well, I thought I'd dress up as my favorite public radio host. That would be Ira Glass. Most necessary part of the costume, of course, is the Ira glasses. But you also have to get the voice down. Here, tell me what you think.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

IRA GLASS: From WBEZ Chicago, it's This American Life. I'm Ira Glass, and let's just get to it with the first act of our show.

KURTIS: More nasal, Peter.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: Meanwhile, here's some nifty things from our show last spring. We went to Philadelphia and talked to local legend Hall of Fame hockey goalie Bernie Parent. Peter was struck about something surprising about Bernie, mainly that he still had all his teeth.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

SAGAL: I'm going to say I don't like to comment on people's physical appearance, but you are a much more handsome man than I would expect from a guy who had a career as a hockey goalie.

BERNIE PARENT: I was hoping you'd say that. Yes. Thank you.

SAGAL: I was particularly admiring your full set of teeth.

(LAUGHTER)

PARENT: Yeah, well, by the way, it cost me about $40,000.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Now, you are Quebecois, right? You're from Montreal.

PARENT: Yes, from Montreal. Yeah.

SAGAL: And then - and you came down to play hockey in America at a pretty young age, right?

PARENT: In 1967, quickly - first of all, before this I had played two years for Boston, and there were only 6 teams in the league. Don't hold this against me now. But now the expansion came in '67. And I was up in Montreal hitting some golf balls, and a friend of mine comes up to me and says, hey, you got drafted. I said, really. By whom? He said Philadelphia. At the time, I said, where's Philly at?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Really?

PARENT: Yeah. And then they put us on the float. Twenty-four players got drafted, and we went through Broad Street to introduce us to the city.

SAGAL: Right down the center of Philadelphia.

PARENT: And we had more people on the float than we had watching us.

(LAUGHTER)

PARENT: But, you know, it's a good story because, seven years later, we won the Stanley Cup, and we had 2 million people.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So you're acclaimed - and that's why you're in the Hall of Fame - as being one of the greatest goalies of all time. What is the secret to being a great hockey goalie?

PARENT: Have a good team in front of you.

SAGAL: Really?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I've always wondered, is that terrifying to be there, knowing that that puck could be flying at your head at 100 miles an hour at any moment?

PARENT: (Laughter) It does. It does. But, you know, when you're playing the game, and you have - you're performing in front of 20, 22,000 people - you know, at that age, you're mid-20s, late 20s. You don't think about this. You just go out and challenge them.

SAGAL: Really?

PARENT: There's no fear.

KURTIS: I'm just wondering if the people in back can see the flash from both rings.

SAGAL: Yeah. Yeah.

PARENT: There you go, folks.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So wearing that.

KURTIS: They must be so heavy.

PARENT: I - by the way, I have a little story about the rings.

SAGAL: Let me say it. Of course, Bernie is wearing his two championship rings. That was Stanley Cup '73 and '74.

PARENT: '74, '75.

SAGAL: '74 - excuse me.

PARENT: Yeah.

SAGAL: One on each hand. So tell me the story.

PARENT: Yes. The story is I was upstate New York, signing autographs session. And this beautiful young lady, about 17 years old, comes up to me. She said, can I have a picture for my brother? I said, sure. Then I'm signing. She says, championship ring? Yeah. And then we have our names on this, right? Parent. But she had no clue. Seventeen-year-old kid - she looks at the name she goes, man, this is cool. You know, a 17-year-old kid. I said, what is so cool about it? She said, they even made one for their parents, too.

(LAUGHTER)

PARENT: That brings you down.

SAGAL: You must have been very proud of your son.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Hey, we have always heard that part of the tradition of the Stanley Cup is that every player on the winning team gets to take the actual Stanley Cup - the trophy - home for, like, a day.

PARENT: Yeah.

SAGAL: What did you do with your day?

PARENT: I put mine in the swimming pool.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You what?

PARENT: In the swimming pool in the deep end, so people had to dive in and kiss the cup, right?

SAGAL: Wait a minute.

(LAUGHTER)

PARENT: Yeah, it was fine until about 2 in the morning. Then it got dangerous.

SAGAL: Yeah, well...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You don't keep it up for eight or nine hours because someone's going to get hurt.

(LAUGHTER)

PARENT: Oh, Lord.

SAGAL: Yeah. And the Stanley - the people - like, the National Hockey League didn't get mad at you for doing that?

PARENT: If they get mad, it's their problem.

SAGAL: There you go.

(LAUGHTER)

TOM BODETT: I think there's been worse things than that.

SAGAL: Yeah. That is a Philadelphia attitude.

PARENT: Definitely.

SAGAL: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: It occurs to me, speaking of Philadelphia, this is where - did you learn English here? When you came here, you were a French speaker originally. Of course, you still are.

PARENT: Just when I got drafted, again, with Boston, I was 17. I had to go to Niagara Falls, Ontario, and I couldn't speak English. I picked up my suitcase and went to Niagara Falls. It was scary.

SAGAL: Yeah.

PARENT: But a - you know, you get bored. Listen. When you are hungry, you learn how to speak a language.

SAGAL: Oh, yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Oh, yeah. Je voudrais une cheese steak.

(LAUGHTER)

PARENT: That was good.

SAGAL: Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, Bernie Parent, it is a pleasure to talk to you - an honor to meet you. But we've asked you here today to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: It's Your Turn to Figure Out What the Hell Icing Is.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So icing is this rule in hockey that no one outside of hockey understands. We're confident several NHL players probably don't get it either, so we're going to ask you three questions about the other kind of icing, the kind you find on a cake. Answer two out of three questions right. You'll win our prize for one of our listeners - the voice of Carl Kasell on their voicemail. Bill, who is Bernie Parent playing for?

KURTIS: Lauren Spivack of Philadelphia, Penn.

SAGAL: Must be a fan.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: All right. You're going to be good at this. Three questions, three periods, you know?

PARENT: Oh, definitely.

SAGAL: Absolutely. So first question. One of the best uses of icing we know about is German chocolate cake. Which of these is a true interesting fact about German chocolate cake? A, it was once used to smuggle a nail file into Rikers Island, but the recipient was so excited about German chocolate cake that he swallowed it; B, after a salmonella outbreak in 1956, it was commonly referred to as a while as Germy chocolate cake or C, it has nothing to do with Germany. It was named after a man who was named Sam German.

PARENT: Really?

SAGAL: Yeah. Well...

PARENT: Next question, please.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Nice block.

(LAUGHTER)

PARENT: I'll take the third answer.

SAGAL: Well, that's the right one.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PARENT: Oh, how about that?

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: There was a guy in the 19th century who invented a baking bar called German chocolate bar. And that became German chocolate cake. And now it's German chocolate cake. There you go.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Next question - legendary baseball player Sparky Lyle used to love to prank his teammates whenever it was their birthday, and icing played a role. What did he do? A, he stole their glove and baked it into their birthday cake; B, quote, "chewing-tobacco-flavored icing" or C, he would sneak into the locker room and put his butt print in the cake?

PARENT: You know what? That's exciting. How about the third one?

SAGAL: Yes. You know athletes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: I'm sure you know professional athletes. Is he more likely to take the time to bake a cake or just sit on one?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And you were right. That's the answer.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: And what kind of impression did it leave?

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: A deep one.

SAGAL: A shapely one.

PARENT: Yeah.

SAGAL: Last question. Unsurprisingly, there is a Trump administration scandal involving a cake. Is it A, the president sent a giant birthday cake to Vladimir Putin; B, the president plagiarized his inauguration cake design from President Obama or C, the president just recently slashed apart his 72nd birthday cake looking for the girl he expected to jump out of it?

PARENT: Knowing Trump, I take the third one.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I like that you picked that. So I'm just going to let you go with that, but it was actually two - the second one.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: The Trump inaugural committee, instead of having their own cake design, just went to a bakery with a photo of Obama's inaugural cake and said, we want that. Bill, how did Bernie Parent do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Well, let's call it three.

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.

KURTIS: He got two out of three. It doesn't make any difference.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Bernie Parent is a two-time Stanley Cup winner. You can find more on the Flyers website or bernieparent.com. Bernie Parent, thank you so much.

(APPLAUSE)

PARENT: Wonderful. Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE HOCKEY SONG")

STOMPIN TOM CONNORS: (Singing) Hello, out there. We're on the air. It's hockey night tonight. Tension grows. The whistle blows. The puck goes down the ice. The goalie jumps, and the players bump. And the fans - they go insane. Someone roars, Bobby scores, at the good old hockey game. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.