Peter Sagal is, has been, and perhaps someday will be again, a husband, father, playwright, screenwriter, author, journalist, columnist, marathoner, Jeopardycontestant, dramaturg, podcast host, documentary host, foreign correspondent, wedding officiant, and magician's assistant.
As a playwright, his work has been produced or commissioned by the Long Wharf Theater, Seattle Rep, Actor's Theater of Louisville, Florida Stage, and many others here and abroad, and he's won awards from the Lannan Foundation, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and fellowships from the Camargo and Jerome Foundations. His screenwriting career began and pretty much ended with Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights,which he wrote without meaning to.
In 1997, Peter got a call from a friend telling him about a new show at NPR, which was looking for "funny people who read a lot of newspapers." He auditioned and appeared as a panelist on the first broadcast of Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!in January of 1998, and moved with his family to Chicago to become the host in May, alongside the original judge and scorekeeper, Carl Kasell. In the two decades since, he has traveled the country with the show, playing in venues such as the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, Red Rocks, Tanglewood, the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, and Carnegie Hall. He's interviewed two Presidents; a number of Nobel Prize winners; astronauts and rocket scientists; musicians Elvis Costello, Yo Yo Ma, and Ice Cube; actors Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson; and many, many others. Wait, Waithas grown from 50,000 weekly listeners on ninestations at its launch to over five millionlisteners on more than 700 stations, making itthe most-listened-to hour in public radio. This,however, has not gone to his head.
In 2008, he accepted a Peabody Award on behalf of the panelists, crew, and producers of this show. He's also won the Kurt Vonnegut Award for Humor from the Kurt Vonnegut Library. He's the author of The Book of Vice: Naughty Things and How To Do Themand The Incomplete Book of Running,a memoir about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and other adventures while running long distances. He's contributed essays to Opera News, Saveur,Finesse,The New York Times Magazine,and was the "Road Scholar" columnist for Runner's World.
On TV, Peter has made appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallonand other shows, andhosted Constitution USA with Peter SagalforPBS and National Geographic Explorerfor theNatGeo Channel. He also appears on anarrowly popular podcast, Nerdette Recaps Game of Thrones with Peter Sagal, because heis a giant nerd.
He has three daughters, Rosie, Gracie andWilla, and lives in the Chicago area with hiswife Mara and two dogs, DeeDeeand Dutchie, who like to see their names in print.
In his more than 15 years with Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!Carl has put up with endless travel, silly jokes and countless assaults on his dignity.
Commentator Peter Sagal mourns the loss of science fiction author Philip Jose Farmer. He says Farmer provided him with an important commodity when he was growing up: imaginary people. You can spend your whole life talking and playing with and beating up imaginary people. And from all accounts, many do. But Sagal also wonders if, like him, when they grow up and have to say farewell to childish things, they'll have nothing real to let go of.