An Ishihara color plate used to check for color blindness (Photo: Getty Images)

For the past year or so, The A.V. Club has used its 11 Questions feature to ask celebrities about their first jobs and worst living situations. Part of that feature—the 12th question—also asked the interviewee to come up with a question for the next interview subject without generally knowing who they were. Those 12th questions have been weird, smart, and fun, and it seemed a shame to end 2015 without putting them together all in one piece. Thus, the following, which puts together the daisy chain of randomness known as “the 12th questions.”

Nate Corddry asked:

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NC: What’s the most special Christmas or Hanukkah gift that you’ve ever received?

Rachel Dratch answered:

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RD: I don’t know if this was for Christmas or Hanukkah—it might have been a birthday present—but my mom is a pretty good cook and we’re not a family that has all the photos up and does all the scrapbooking. We don’t have a lot of memorabilia skills—so this was extra special that she did this—but she made me this homemade binder cookbook thing with all of her favorite recipes that she makes, but she also made it to a theme. So she put little childhood poems with each category. So if it were soups, it would be [Maurice Sendak’s] Chicken Soup With Rice and a little blurb from that. If it were desserts it would be “C is for cookie and that’s good enough for me.” Then there’d be all these little recipes that she used to make or her little cooking tips. So it’s this really cool homemade family special thing that she made for me.

And then asked:

RD: What’s the most reckless, life-endangering thing you’ve done?

Jonathan Banks answered:

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JB: Hit somebody that was twice my size.

And then asked:

JB: Do you think it would be a good idea to adopt a child?

Kathleen Hanna answered:

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KH: Yes. Absolutely. Yes, and I think open adoption is a great idea, because it allows a relationship between the birth mother and her child so that the kid isn’t like, “Where did I come from?” And to have it be like, “Look, you have a bunch of people who love you.” Not just the parents who are raising you on a day-to-day basis, but also to have contact with your birth mother and hopefully your birth father. So that you can be like, “Oh, they love me too, and they love me so much that they knew they couldn’t take care of me but they’re still in my life to some extent.”

I’m really happy that we live in an age that has open adoption, because I’ve known people who’ve gone through horrible things with closed adoptions, and always feeling like they didn’t know who they were or where they belonged. I’m a big proponent of open adoption.

And then asked:

KH: What’s your least favorite thing that you’ve ever heard an actor say about acting?

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Titus Welliver answered:

TW: “Let me talk about my process as an actor.” [Laughs.] I’m not kidding. That shit makes me crazy. Do you really think that, when plumbers get together, they talk about pipe-fitting and shit like that? Who fucking cares? You want to talk about anything but pipe-fitting. The same goes for acting. Meryl Streep said a great thing one time. She said, “You know, I don’t really talk about my process very much, because I feel like if I give something away, it might not come back.” And I totally understand that.

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And then asked:

TW: “If you could be a historical figure, who would you be?”

The Lucas Bros. answered:

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Kenny: Like a famous historical figure? I would be Dr. King.

Keith: What?

Kenny: Yeah!

Keith: Why would you want to be Dr. King?

Kenny: Here’s why: I think the ’60s were a fantastic time. And he was so involved in everything. He got to meet amazing politicians and presidents, and he was so on post with things like really important social movements. If not Dr. King, Ralph Abernathy. If I can’t be Dr. King.

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Keith: Why don’t you just be Ralph Abernathy? I mean, I would rather be Ralph—

Kenny: Yeah, but I’d rather go down as an icon.

Keith: Ralph Abernathy is an icon!

Kenny: Not like Dr. King.

Keith: That’s fair. Dr. King is an inspiration, sure.

I’m going with Lyndon Baines Johnson. LBJ. For all of the reasons Kenny picked. He was a very instrumental figure in the ’60s, and I believe that he was one of the most effective presidents, and he was tall. So that would be cool. To be tall.

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And then asked:

Keith: If you were a professional wrestler, what would your gimmick be?

Jaime Camil answered:

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JC: My gimmick would probably be that I’m like this Krav Maga expert where I tear off just a tiny portion of my opponent’s ear, and I make him faint, like “UH!” Like that. Just like, “UH!” Like a tiny movement from my hand into his or her ear and they’re gone!

And then asked:

JC: What do you do in your car when you’re stuck in horrible L.A. traffic?

Mark Duplass answered:

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MD: I listen to KUSC classical music, because it calms me down.

And then asked:

MD: How many sessions of therapy have you had?

Clark Duke answered:

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CD: I have had none.

And then asked:

CD: I’m asking this question only because you’re the only person who hasn’t asked it so far out of all the press stuff we’ve had to do. Everyone always asks, “If you had a time machine, where would you go and why?” So I’m going to spitefully pass along that question.

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Tori Amos answered:

TA: I’m not sure what year: 1912-1913, maybe, around then. I’d see The Rite Of Spring in Paris, and I’d go and try and find Stravinsky, and I would say to him, “You are right. This ballet and this music will be in the canon and spoken of in a hundred years like almost nothing else. Don’t give up. Don’t listen to these foolish critics that are so small-minded they don’t get it tonight.”

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And then asked:

TA: If you could only express yourself as an instrument, trusting that you had somebody who could play you and play you well, what instrument would you be for a year?

They Might Be Giants’ John Flansburgh answered:

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JF: I would say a theramin, because it’s a hugely expressive instrument that has just a very singular quality to it. It’s like the violin or the human voice in its open-endedness. It’s the opposite of a fretted instrument or a well-tempered instrument. It’s not restricted to scale at all. And it’s electronic.

And then asked:

JF: Who was the most unlikely person who has recognized or praised you?

Constance Wu answered:

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CW: I was at The Bunny Museum a couple of weeks ago, which is a museum in Pasadena that has the most bunny memorabilia in the world. My boyfriend took me there for Valentine’s Day. There was this couple that also came in and they recognized me from the show, which is cool, because they were a white girl and a Latino guy, and usually the people who have recognized me so far have been Asian people. That was probably the first time I was recognized by someone who wasn’t Asian.

And then asked:

CW: When did you first fall in love, and what did it feel like?

Jay R. Ferguson answered:

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JRF: Let’s see. I guess I was 15. I don’t know. It felt awesome. I think I knew that was the case when she had to leave to go back to the East Coast. She lived out here temporarily. I went to the airport with her, and we were just sobbing in each other’s arms in the airport, and that was the first time that had ever happened. So, that was a wakeup call. Then I blew it, of course.

And then asked:

JRF: How many times have you moved your ball to give yourself a better lie?

Kevin Rahm answered:

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KR: Oh, that son of a bitch.

I used to do it a lot. When I first started playing, before I wanted a handicap and took golf seriously, we did it all the time. Too many to count. Because it was more about having fun than having a score. Since then, if I’m in a match or in a game for money, I don’t do it. If we’re just messing around, I still do it once in a while. More than I can count, ultimately.

And then asked:

KR: If he could have played anyone else on Mad Men, who would it have been?

Christopher Stanley answered:

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CS: Probably Roger. Not that I could do it justice because [John] Slattery is so incredible in that role.

And then asked:

CS: If you could have another person’s career, but the person has to be an artist—they have to be a painter, a musician, an actor, a writer—whose career would it be and why? They can be living or dead.

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Simon Pegg answered:

SP: That’s a lovely question. Maybe somebody like Ian McKellen, you know, who’s just worked his entire life. It’d be really nice to get to Ian McKellen’s age and still be playing, like, superheroes and stuff. [Laughs.] It’s pretty amazing, really, when you think about it. He’s well into the evening of life, and yet he’s still playing amazing characters and just being in really fun stuff, and yet he’s still doing small stuff and theater. So that would be wonderful.

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And I’d also get the chance to be gay, which I haven’t so far. So it’s the best of both worlds, really. [Laughs.]

And then asked:

SP: Has there ever been a point in your career when you thought seriously about changing it to something else, and why?

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Simon Amstell answered:

SA: Not something else. But about once a week I think about going and living in a cave and meditating instead. I think that would be a more peaceful life, where my spiritual journey was not interrupted by egomania so regularly. But I don’t think there’s anything else. What I do is quite varied. If I was only doing stand-up, I think I’d feel like I couldn’t possibly get on another train or plane to do this show again. But because there are other things going on at the same time, I never feel too upset about doing one thing. Apart from that once a week moment where I feel like I probably should retire.

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And then asked:

SA: Oh God. Some version of “Who are you really? What’s really going on? What are you hiding?” Those three questions, is that okay? You can ask that to anyone.

Jason Dohring answered:

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JD: Wow, that’s great.

Um, I’m hiding that I’m kind of a nerd, that I’m not as cool as I’m trying to be. But I’m a nice guy.

And then asked:

JD: What is your favorite piece of candy?

Timothy Simons answered:

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TS: Because of my general ADD hyperactive kid thing, I don’t—or at least I try not to—eat a lot of sugar, because it gets really bad. It goes off the rails really quick and I won’t stop eating it. But I would say I’m a big fan of Red Vines and French macarons. Do those count?

And then asked:

TS: What’s the most meaningless lie you told somebody today? Like, that thing where you’re like, “Why did I just lie to that person? There’s no reason to do that.”

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Colin Mochrie answered:

CM: There’s so many of them, I’m just trying to think of the best one. But guess the most meaningless lie I told yesterday was… [Laughs.] “Yeah, I like olives.” In fact, I don’t. But I was in the store shopping, and they were having little samples, and the woman said, “Do you like olives?” And I went, “Yeah, I like olives.” And it was one of those where I thought, “Why are you lying? Don’t say that! Now I’m going to have to eat this and make it look like I enjoy it!” So I guess it wasn’t that meaningless, because it turned out to be horrible!

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And then asked:

CM: If you could go back and redo a project that you’ve worked on, because either you sucked in it or the surrounding environment was not productive to making a good project, which project would that be, and why?

Artie Lange answered:

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AL: I built a deck for my cousin in Linden, New Jersey in 1988, and it collapsed. So I’d probably do that project better.

And then asked:

AL: Have you ever said anything racist during sex?

Nick Frost answered:

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NF: I don’t know if it was racist, but it was certainly pro… [Laughs.] I can’t even answer this. No. I’ll say I have shouted out something during sex, but it wasn’t racist. The idea of it was that it was a comedic punchline upon arrival, so to speak. It wasn’t racist but it was pro-England.

And then asked:

NF: Have you ever had sex with a man?

Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J answered:

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VJ: Fuck no!

And then asked:

VJ: That one. The last one about having sex with a man.

Kristin Bauer Van Straten answered:

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KBVS: The answer is definitely yes. I think that’s okay for my mother to see now that I’ve been married for a while.

And then asked:

KBVS: Would they rather be owned by Pam from True Blood, or owned by Maleficent?

Patrick Rothfuss answered:

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PR: That’s a really hard one. For me especially, because I was going to jump on vampire right away because, you know, depending on the vampire, it’s sexy. It’s kind of—bite on the neck, there’s an implication of a lot of erotic things going on if you’re owned by a vampire. But Maleficent—that implies that I’d get to go experience some serious fairy-tale stuff. And Maleficent actually wasn’t the bad guy. Actually, I can totally be on board with Maleficent, who maybe has a bit of a temper but is ultimately right. Yeah, I’ll go the “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.” I’m going to go away with the fairies. Absolutely.

And then asked:

PR: What I’d love to know is, what thing have you done that has made you most proud of yourself as a human being?

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Carla Gugino answered:

CG: I do really find this a hard question to answer. But I think one thing I would say is if in any way we can set examples as human beings—which I believe we do, like the 4-minute mile. Until it was broken, nobody thought they could do it, and then people were able to start doing it. So I think that once somebody sees something, or feels it in the consciousness of society, it starts to allow change for other people.

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So in a weird way, the fact that I had no intention of acting—I had no idea what I was going to do, but at 13 I made a very clear decision to do this, and really stuck with it, and took a step at something that in any objective way seemed like a terrible career choice. But somehow I really believed I could do it. And I look back on it now and I think, “Wow, I was really courageous to move out at 14 and to get emancipated at 16, and really get out there on my own and make a career for myself.” Not because I didn’t like my parents, but because I was so compelled to do this and I had to be in L.A. to do it. And a lot of young women have come up to me and said, “I was so inspired that you did it, it made me believe that I could actually do it.”

So if I’ve ever opened the doors for anyone else to do what they love, I feel that’s the richest gift that’s ever been given to me: I get to do what I love. And it’s a really brutal business, and no matter how successful you are you hear “No” more than “Yes.” It’s hard not to take things personally—it’s all about you and yet you’re not supposed to take it personally. But the truth is, the gift that I’m given every day by getting to do what I love is something that I never, ever lose gratitude for. So I guess I would say the fact that I heard this sort of inside of me and didn’t let anything outside of me distract me from it, that does make me feel like, “Okay, that’s what I would want for the people that I love.”

And then asked:

CG: If you were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, what would you want to spend today doing?

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Al Jean answered:

AJ: Oh, I’d see my family.

And then asked:

AJ: All right, this is 2015: What will be the major difference in 2016 from this year?

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Jack Antonoff answered:

JA: I think people have been obsessed in 2015 with this rapid-fire media thing that’s been happening and I think that’s going to chill out. I think this idea of “faster, faster, more, more, now, now,” that’s got to burn out and people will settle into slowly taking things in and enjoying them at a slower pace over time. I remember there was a time like that in ’94.

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And then asked:

JA: What’s your personal theory on the JFK assassination?

Godfrey answered:

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G: Man! [Takes a deep breath.] Good one, man. I think that it was an assassination that Kennedy brought on himself, that his father caused. His father being a bootlegger, nobody really liked Joe Kennedy in the first place, but I think that a lot of it started when… I mean, this is what I believe, but you know when he campaigned in Chicago, and [Frank] Sinatra hooked up that whole fundraiser he had, when he had all the celebrities come and helped him win, and then he kind of shit on Frank after that? I think that that was what led to everybody going, “We’ve got to get rid of this dude.”

That’s just my opinion. I think that he just pissed a lot of dudes off. And then he was fucking with Marilyn Monroe, and… there were just a lot of things leading up to him being killed. So I think everybody was involved in it, and they used [Lee Harvey] Oswald as a scapegoat. I mean, you had Jack Ruby, the club owner, who killed him, but I just think there were a whole lot of people involved in it, and they said, “Let’s use this guy as a scapegoat.” But I think the whole thing really started when he pissed Frank Sinatra off. Because Frank really worked hard for him, and he said, “I got you,” and then he was, like, “Ah, we don’t need the guy anymore.” But Frank was hooked up. He was a made man. You don’t fuck with Frank Sinatra! Plus, after what he’s done for you, he helps you win, and then you shit on him? But I do think a lot of it has to lead back to Joe Kennedy. I think Joe kind of caused all of the shit.

And then asked:

G: Do you think that racism will ever go away?

Victor Garber answered:

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VG: I wish, but no. Racism, that’s just one of the hideous things. No.

And then asked:

VG: Oh, dear. Just use the last question.

Joe Mantegna answered:

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JM: I think yes. First of all, if you look at the big picture, like the big, big picture, meaning, like, eons from now, it will go away because we will all be one color. That’s really what we’re moving toward, if you think about it. The only reason we’re different colors is because, for thousands and thousands of years, people interbred within their race. We certainly have gotten away from that more and more.

Of course, it’s happening in small increments, so it will take a while for China to flip. We’re talking a billion people.

But, if we’re really looking at the big picture, yeah. If humanity can exist for another million years, everybody’s going to be a light shade of yellow-brown-red-tan. So that’ll do it.

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And then asked:

JM: If you knew tomorrow was your last day on Earth, what would you want to do today?

Jemaine Clement answered:

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JC: When you have kids, it’s easier because you can just hang out with your kids. But if my son didn’t want to hang out with me—say if he wanted to hang out with Sam C. or Phoebe from next door—then I don’t know. Orgy, I guess. [Laughs.] My top would be hang out with my son. Drawing. A pretty simple day. That would be fine.

And then asked:

JC: I want to hear about a time they dreamed they had killed someone and woken up and thought it was real. I want to hear about that dream. I know most people aren’t interested in hearing about dreams, but I am.

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Felicia Day answered:

FD: I tend to have more anxious dreams where people are shunning or chasing me or I’m late getting to places. That’s definitely a recurring dream; I hate being late to places. I’ve never dreamed about murdering people; I sometimes have murderous thoughts like about the guy who killed that lion. I’d like to punch him in the face and make sure he never goes anywhere again.

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I’m not a very vengeful person. I like to accept people; I tend to see the good in everybody, so I’m kind of stupid like that.

And then asked:

FD: If you could throw a pie in anyone’s face—anyone in history—who would it be? And it can’t be Hitler because that’s too common.

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John Hodgman answered:

JH: Felicia Day.

And then asked:

JH: I would ask if you had to live in only United States or Canadian province for the rest of your life and you could not leave the borders of it, what would it be?

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Lake Bell answered:

LB: I guess it’s sort of obvious, but I’m going to say California. You’re covering a lot of territory. You’ve got the beach, you’ve got deserts, you’ve got snow, you’ve got quasi-multicultural environments where you kind of feel like you’re in Mexico, but you’re not, but you feel like you’ve traveled to another country. You’ve got sea lions. We’ve got a lot here. There are many reasons to be in California. I know half of it’s going to fall into the ocean and all that stuff, but I still feel like there’s enough to go around. Also, all my friends are there.

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And then asked:

LB: What’s the best advice you never got?

Chris Parnell answered:

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CP: The best advice I never got. I don’t know if it would have done any good, but to be more confident with girls in school. I actually had a couple of girlfriends, but I was still pretty timid and it was hard to ask girls out. So I guess somebody telling me to believe in myself and own that and be proud of that and be ballsy and be confident—don’t be a dick, but have a little bit more confidence and roll with that. You know, rather than approaching from insecurity.

And then asked:

CP: If you could travel to any place or period in time, where and when would it be and why?

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Chris Carmack answered:

CC: My girlfriend says the ’60s. [Yells to his girlfriend.] Why the ’60s? There was good music, that’s for sure.

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I’m tempted to say Woodstock or something. But at the same time, as a sober individual looking back on Woodstock—well, not sober in life but just at the moment—you’re in the mud for three days, but I’m sure there were enough drugs to get everyone through it. So, Woodstock it is.

And then asked:

CC: Has there ever been a moment where you thought you were going to quit what you’re doing now?

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Big Freedia answered:

BF: Of course. Before it even started blowing up, there was always a moment where I had a little doubt in my mind like, “Is this something I really want to do?” Definitely.

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And then asked:

BF: Are you happy with the way you are living with the job that you have? Is it something that you want to be doing?

Brit Marling answered:

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BM: Wow. It’s so awesome to be asked that question and to be able to answer yes. Yeah. What a profound gift. I totally love my job, and I wake up every day basically thinking about how can I do my job better. It never feels like a job. It’s hard, and it’s exhausting sometimes, but it never feels like—I would do this even if they didn’t pay me to do it. That’s a pretty amazing feeling.

And then asked:

BM: If you could design an amusement park from scratch, what would it be like, what would be inside it, and why? What would you want the person who went through that amusement park to experience?

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Sloane Crosley answered:

SC: I hate amusement parks. This is because my A-number one visceral fear is speed. More than knives or snakes or confined spaces. Speed. I won’t even go on a motor boat if I can help it. And fear number two? Crowds. So for one thing, everything would be slowed down. Not to a frustrating degree, but just to a degree where you could be stimulated and amused without feeling like all your organs were about to fly out of your throat. I would want the person to experience delight. Everything would be antique with little pop culture flourishes. So a carousel, but with little circles showing Out Of This World and The Facts Of Life reruns on top. There’d be a funny/sad ride playing different periods of David Bowie, and that’s where you’d get your ups and downs. There’d be a House Of Horrors filled with deep secrets and ex-boyfriends. There’d be an interactive library with a garden on the ceiling and free snacks. I’d want the person to leave with a sense that most things in their own life were going to work out reasonably well and a pocket full of snacks.

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And then asked:

SC: I hope this isn’t too much of a Debbie Downer question, but if you could take back one thing in your life that you’ve ever done to another person, what would it be?

Tommy Chong answered:

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TC: I directed the movies, you know, including Up In Smoke. If I had to do it over again, I would make Cheech a co-director. Because he really was a co-director. He really was. I had the final say, but everything we did, Cheech added as much as I did—if not more, in some cases. But I got the name and the glory, because I insisted on it. But if I could do it again, I would make Cheech a co-director.

And then asked:

TC: How long are we going to have to endure Trump?

Wendell Pierce answered:

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WP: At least until the South Carolina primary. They always go for the crazy candidate, and I know he wants to win at least one primary. And if he hasn’t won one up until that point, which I don’t think he will, he’s going to wait it out until the South Carolina primary. And he’s going to win the South Carolina primary. And so then when that’s over, then he’s going to just go away. His numbers are going to drop as quickly as his popularity rose.

And then asked:

WP: If there were no repercussions, who would you like to make love to the most, right now, in the world?

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Anthony Jeselnik answered:

AJ: You know what? Wendell Pierce! I’m a huge fan of The Wire; I would have taken it to Wendell. Big time. Big time.

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And then asked:

AJ: If your house is on fire and you can only escape with your life and one thing, what one thing would you take out of your house?

Maynard James Keenan answered:

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MJK: Since this is hypothetical, I would grab my magic genie bottle and use my third wish to go back in time and complete my Rainy Day To Do list. Number three on the list was “Make house inflammable.” If hypothetical is off the table, I would grab my very strong wife who is part ant and can lift five times her own weight and is very fast. She will already have grabbed our favorite wines, the baby, some coffee—it’s going to be a long night—the dogs, more wine, a nice assortment of charcuterie, cheese, crackers, and olives, my Italian suits, and some wine.

And then asked:

MJK: If you don’t have a womb, pretend you do. What superhero’s child would you bear, what superhero’s child would you prefer not to bear? Same question but supervillains. Side question: Home school, charter, or public?

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Scott Hamilton answered:

SH: I guess the first one that comes to mind is Wonder Woman because when you look at all the female superheroes, they all have these wacky powers.

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For who I wouldn’t like to have a baby with, the only one that comes to mind is the Incredible Hulk. Your baby is hungry and angry and is going to break a person into a million pieces. That’s pretty awful.

And then asked:

SH: What is the best thing that you’ve ever done for someone else?

And, coming full circle, Nate Corddry answered:

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NC: It makes me a bit uncomfortable to pat myself on the back, but the thing that comes to mind the quickest is hosting a really great holiday party a few years back. That party allowed two of my friends to meet, then marry, then have a daughter together. They were really generous to ask me to speak at their wedding the following year, and I felt like I had a very small part in making two of my friends live fuller lives.