Justice Stephen Breyer recently appeared on NPR’s popular trivia show, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me. Alas, his performance on the trivia portion of the show — which focused on biographical details about rock stars — was less than illustrious. This led one of the hosts to scold Justice Breyer as follows: “Back to the appeals court for you!”
But the parts of the show in which SGB was interviewed were interesting and sometimes amusing. For example, we didn’t know this:
Answering panelist Paula Poundstone, Breyer revealed his robe never gathers lint. “It’s a synthetic,” he explained, purchased 25 years ago when he was a federal appeals judge in Boston.
Some good riffing from the hosts around this revelation. Mo Rocca asked Justice Breyer, “Why not have Justice Alito just pick the lint off for you?” And also: “Do you ever wear the robe to the supermarket, just to wow people?”
Finally, this was a good quip (although one we think we’ve heard before):
Being the funniest Supreme Court justice, [Breyer] said, “is like being one of the shortest tall people.”
We must quibble, however, with the premise of the question. Justice Breyer drew the most laughs of the nine justices over a fairly short period of time, as noted on the show. But over a longer period of time, which we view as a more reliable indicator, Justice Breyer was only the second-funniest justice on the Court — lagging behind Nino, by far.
Not My Job: Justice Stephen Breyer [NPR / Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me]
Justice Breyer Gets the Rock-Star Treatment [Washington Wire via WSJ Law Blog]
Justice Breyer Goes 0-3 on NPR News Quiz [Associated Press]
So, Guy Walks Up to the Bar, and Scalia Says… [New York Times]