Tom Hanks: Ask not what I know about “DaVinci”; ask what I know about strippers and Pez dispensers

EXCLUSIVE: Seeking a vaccination against the mindless piffle that will be hurled at him from countless TV talk show couches, we hear that “DaVinci Code” star Tom Hanks has agreed to appear as a guest on the brainy NPR quiz show, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.”

Hanks, an avid NPR listener and supporter, will seek to win contestant prizes by answering questions mined from NPR news stories.


Alongside host Peter Sagal and scorekeeper/judge Carl Kassell, Hanks fill the role of “Not My Job” contestant, answering three questions outside of his area of expertise to try to win a prize for a listener.

NPR tells us that past guests included Sen. John McCain (who field questions about topless dancers) KISS frontman Gene Simmons (peppered with queries from the Journal of Anomalies), author Salman Rushdie (naturally, about Pez dispeners), and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (on Playboy magazine).

Hanks told NPR, “I was just listening to the program this weekend last, thinking how competitive and petrified I would be should I ever call into your show. Now here is my chance, and I wonder if the courage is in me.” Hanks added “I will contact you shortly. And until then, I’ll be reading the paper with a highlighter.”

Hanks tapes his segment during the Thursday, May 11 show and the program airs nationwide on May 13 and May 14.