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FCW Insider: Fed 100 entertainment: Peter Sagal

I'm taking a brief break from IPIC news to talk about Fed 100 for a moment.

The annual Federal 100 awards gala is just a few weeks away now -- Monday, March 24 at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, Va. (The events team tells me there are still a few tables available. If you're interested, more information can be found here.)

In addition to recognizing the 100 people who have gone above and beyond... and selecting the government and industry Eagle award winners -- two people who have gone above and beyond those who have gone above and beyond -- we also have entertainment.

Each year, we struggle to find the right entertainment for the annual Federal 100. We want somebody good but not too well, raunchy. It is actually more difficult then it might seem finding somebody who can thrill 1,100 people.

This year, we're trying somebody a big different: Peter Sagal. Sagal is the host of the NPR quiz show, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. If you haven't heard it before, I highly recommend it. It is very smart -- and laugh-out-loud funny. One of the most funny things that they do is the prize they give out to winners. They have listener contestants who call in to play, and if you win, the prize is that you get NPR morning news guy Carl Kasell's voice on your home answering machine. Even passing NPR listeners recognize Kasell's remarkable baritone. Kasell serves as "Wait, Wait's" announcer, judge and scorekeeper. NPR podcasts the show, so you can listen any time. Just go to waitwait.npr.org and check it out.

Anyway, I thought that, given the politics of this year, it was important to have somebody who could riff on current events. So...Sagal will be our entertainment for the evening. Sagal has his own Web site, complete with a blog, of course. He recently published his first book, The Book of Vice...which is all about... well, all the things that we don't want to talk about.

Somewhere, somebody is having more fun than you are. Or so everyone believes. Peter Sagal, a mild-mannered, Harvard-educated NPR host – the man who put the second L in vanilla – decided to find out if it's true.

From strip clubs to gambling halls to swingers clubs to porn sets – and then back to the strip clubs, but only because he left his glasses there – Sagal explores exactly what the sinful folk do, how much they pay for the privilege, and exactly how they got those funny red marks. He hosts a dinner for three of the smartest porn stars in the world, asks the floor manager at the oldest casino in Vegas how to beat the house, and indulges in molecular cuisine at the finest restaurant in the country. Meet liars and rich people who don't think consumption is a disease, encounter the most spectacular view ever seen from a urinal, and say hello to Nina Hartley, the only porn star who can discuss Nietzsche while strangers smack her butt.

With a sharp wit, a remarkable eye for detail, and the carefree insouciance that can only come from not having any idea what he's getting into, Sagal proves to be the perfect guide to sinful behavior. What happens in Vegas – and in less glamorous places – is all laid out in these pages, a modern version of Dante's Inferno, except with more jokes.

My guess is we will only touch on that subject on Fed 100 night. But if you need a reason to be there...

He is a very smart guy, so, I think it will be fun. And I know you will tell me if it isn't!

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Mar 07, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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