"Wooo! I love the 12th question!" (Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

For the past year or so, The A.V. Club has used its 11 Questions feature to ask celebrities about their first concerts and most embarrassing phases. 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 2016 without putting them together all in one piece. Thus, the following, which puts together the daisy chain of randomness known as “the 12th questions.”

Rob Huebel asked:

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RH: What is your phone number?

Deon Cole answered:

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DC: Hilarious! [Laughs.] What’s my phone number. Really? I can’t give my phone number out. My phone number would be everywhere—everybody and their mom would be calling me. But that’s a funny question to ask.

And then he asked:

DC: What turns you on?

Paul F. Tompkins answered:

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PFT: Ooh la-la. Now, are we talking in the James Lipton sense? It doesn’t have to be purely sexual?

The A.V. Club: That’s up to you. It can be anything.

PFT: Conversation. I like being around people who are good conversationalists. When there’s a give and take, and you are heightening an idea, exploring it together, that is my favorite thing in the world. I love a small dinner party—let’s say six people, max, where everybody’s having the same conversation. That’s my favorite thing in the world.

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And then he asked:

PFT: I will ask them, “What are you afraid of?”

Baron Vaughn answered:

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BV: Possibly abandonment, and, if you will, in a really existential way, being exposed as a fraud. Everyone’s afraid of it, and I definitely am. This is a fear that motivates. Oh, and heights. And getting stabbed.

And then he asked:

BV: What place have you always wanted to go?

Laura Benanti answered:

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LB: I’ve always wanted to go to Austria.

And then she asked:

LB: If you could be in any profession other than the current one you are in, what would it be, and why?

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Natalie Morales answered:

NM: There are two professions I would enjoy if they paid any money at all, and one of them requires not being in an area where there’s a drought. And I have done these for people for free.

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I love writing on a chalkboard in a restaurant, like writing the menu out. I make fonts in my spare time, and I’m really into type and design, so writing a menu for somebody on a chalkboard is a dream. I always go into restaurants where there’s a bad chalkboard, and I’m like, “I can totally help you out. I can make this look really good.” So that’s one really weird one. And then the other one is professional pressure washer, because that would be so delightful. Have you ever pressure-washed anything? It’s the best feeling. You’re just instantly and very powerfully erasing bad things.

And then she asked:

NM: Who are you a big fan of that we wouldn’t necessarily know about?

David Crosby answered:

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DC: Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He’s the voice of science and scientific thinking in the United States and the world. He’s the most visible proponent of scientific thinking, and he’s very unflinching about it. He knows that it’s correct and vouches for it in a very intelligent and very firm way, which I really appreciate. There’s so many people out there saying, “No, the world is flat!” and he’s the voice of science saying, “Well, actually we’ve measured it and no it’s not.”

And then he asked:

DC: What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen answered:

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TM: Oh, what did I read this year?

TC: Best book I read this year is called Grief Is A Thing With Feathers. I highly recommend it. It’s very well-reviewed. I haven’t lost anyone close to me, but it’s a really bittersweet, very funny, really well-observed look at grief.

TM: I read Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, which is amazing, I loved it. I want to see the musical. It’s such a cool story.

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And then they asked:

TC: What about: If you could run a bath with anything, what bath would it be?

TM: A bath?

TC: Like a bath of spaghetti or something.

TM: Oh, right. If you could fill a bathtub full of anything and sit in it, what would it be?

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Rick Springfield answered:

RS: Benjamins.

And then he asked:

RS: Do you believe Oswald was the sole shooter in the Kennedy assassination?

Stephanie Beatriz answered:

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SB: Oh, lord. I do not have a strong opinion one way or another. But, if given more time, I think I would get very into researching my own research about it.

And then she asked:

SB: What’s one major change that you could make in your daily life that could affect either the people around you or humanity in a good way that you don’t do? And why? Something that you know you could change about your life or your daily whatever that would benefit either you, the people around you, or the world, but you don’t do? And then why don’t you do it?

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Sam Richardson answered:

SR: I guess I could stop dumping all this toxic waste I produce every day into the streets. But I just like doing it so much. [Laughs.]

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I could maybe shower less. No, I can’t do that, because I live in L.A., and I’d be crucified. I guess I could shower a little less, but then it just feels so good to shower.

AVC: You could take shorter showers?

SR: I could take shorter showers. No, I don’t want to even say that because my neighbors would be like, “What are you doing?! We go through droughts out here.”

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I could maybe walk more instead of driving or taking an Uber around my neighborhood. But I’m just lazy. Essentially the closest thing to teleporting is calling an Uber.

And then he asked:

SR: What are you going to do for yourself as a gift today?

W. Kamau Bell answered:

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WKB: This is going to sound super cheesy, but this is how it is. I’m a dad, and that’s really important to me, and I realize now that I’m a dad that it’s a major part of my identity. So anytime I can go pick up my daughter from school—my oldest daughter, because she always likes it when I pick her up from school—if I have to sort of stop working early and pick her up from school, I do that. We love hanging out with each other, and she loves to see me, but I travel a lot so I don’t get a chance to do that. So this morning she was like, “Dada, can you come pick me up from school?” And I was like, “I don’t know, I’ve got to work,” but I think I’m going to go pick my daughter up from school.

And then he asked:

WKB: What do you need to forgive yourself for?

Ruth Negga answered, but due to various complications, the story never ran, but she still asked:

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RN: If you could be a country, what country would you be?

Jim Gaffigan answered:

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JG: Oh, this is a tough one. I think I would be Ireland, because Ireland is a place that’s beautiful and interesting, but I remember when I went there as a teenager with my parents, I was like, “Okay, I’ll go to Ireland with my parents. It’s going to be green.” I think people underestimate it, in that it’s, “Oh, it’s green,” and then you get there, and it’s like, “Wow, it is green!” It’s, “Oh, there’s Irish music,” and then you get there, and you’re like, “Oh, this Irish music is amazing!” You underestimate it. You’re like, “Oh, there’s people telling stories, blah blah blah,” and then you’re like, “It’s fun and interesting.” I feel like hopefully people have a different expectation of me, like, “He’s the clean guy who tells food jokes,” so that’s my answer.

And then he asked:

JG: If you were a medical doctor, what kind of doctor would you be, and why?

Nick Kroll answered:

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NK: Because we’re talking the Kroll Show season-three DVD with Señor Feeture, I would be a podiatrist so I could fuck people’s feet. Or that’s what I would say if you had asked Señor Feeture that. Señor Feeture bears a small resemblance to Pitbull. That’s what Pitbull would answer, and that’s what Señor Feeture would answer.

And then he asked:

NK: What was something you thought was a big deal in your life that turned out not to be?

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Michael J. Nelson answered:

MN: That’s funny that it should come up. I was just talking about it. I think that would be the Emmys. I thought it would be really cool. I mean, who doesn’t want to go to the Emmys? But it ends up just being really boring. I think after the second one, we would go until our award and slip out right away and go do something interesting. It really wears off on you almost immediately, the idea of, “This is going to be so cool!” And then it’s just really not.

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And then he asked:

MN: I would ask them to make their best soda out of three separate brands of soda. Give me your best soda.

Hari Kondabolu answered:

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HK: Ooh, that’s so good. Let me think about it. It’s cheating if you say seltzer, by the way. You need flavor.

Let’s start easy. Sprite and… do they still have orange Slice?

AVC: Probably.

HK: I’d mix that with Sprite. So already you’ve got some lemon-lime with some orange. That’s a pretty good combo. I’m staying away from Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper, even though I love them. I love root beer, but I don’t think it works with this fruit concoction.

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AVC: You couldn’t really mix Coke and Dr Pepper and root beer. What would that even be?

HK: I’ve had rum and Dr Pepper, and that’s fucking fantastic. But you can’t go to a bar and be like, “Hey, let me have a rum and Dr Pepper,” because they don’t have Dr Pepper. It’s a fucking shame.

Anyway, we’ve got two in there. See, I made the rules about not being able to put club soda or soda water in there. That was my rule, and I fucked myself over with that stupid rule.

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Let’s see here… I don’t like grape soda. Oh! You know what? I would mix in mango Jarritos. I’ll tell you why. First of all, it’s a specialty ingredient. I’m not saying it’s like bitters, but you’ve got the Mexican soda, and right there, it’s already getting interesting. Mango Jarritos, not the most popular type of Jarritos. Not mandarin, it’s not limón. Not everyone has mango available. You have to find it. Also, I think mango really does go well with orange and lemon. If it was a smoothie, if you got Italian ice with multiple scoops, that works.

That’s what I would do. It would be Sprite and a kind of orange soda—I think orange Slice would be best—with mango Jarritos.

And then he asked:

HK: Australia or New Zealand, and why?

Cameron Esposito answered:

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CE: Oh, New Zealand. I think it’s more achievable as a place to visit. Australia’s massive. I don’t have a lot of downtime. If I’m going one place, I want to feel like I can really get the whole vibe.

And then she asked:

CE: Knowing that you work in public radio and only that, what sports did you play as a child? And please talk about how that went.

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Ira Glass answered:

IG: [Laughs.] Excellent question. Excellent, excellent question. I played no sports well. Because I was a boy in the United States Of America, I was forced into Little League and played horrible Little League baseball, and played football and basketball in school situations where I was forced to. I don’t think I ever played any sports recreationally for my own pleasure. I was bad at them from the start. I was a chubby, unathletic kid and conformed to every possible stereotype you could imagine of someone who would end up in public broadcasting.

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And then he asked:

IG: I found these 11 questions enormously difficult. Was that just me? Did you?

Adam Richman answered:

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AR: I absolutely found them difficult, because they’re not things you can just simply answer. If it’s a question about stuff that matters to you personally, like favorite food, favorite piece of knowledge, favorite animal, it’s hard not to have an opinion and want to quantify things.

And then he asked:

AR: Be honest: How many of these did you answer off the cuff? And how many of these did you prepare for in advance?

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Nicole Byer answered:

NB: I answered all of them off the cuff. I didn’t realize there was a list I could’ve looked at.

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And then she asked:

NB: I want to ask the next person if they’re single and if they find me attractive. If they find me attractive, will they take me on a date?

Kevin McDonald answered:

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KM: I’ll just be polite. No, I’m not single. If I were single, I would ask her on a date. Why not? Let’s go see a movie. What was the third one?

AVC: Do you find her attractive?

KM: I’m sure I do, yes. I’m sure I do. I find her questions very attractive.

And then he asked:

KM: I have an obvious question: What’s your favorite song in Jesus Christ Superstar? If they know, it’ll be great. If they don’t know, at least they’ll know enough to go, “Well, the song ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’” That way they have a chance to be knowledgeable, and they have a chance to answer the question. I’m not screwing them!

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Emeril Lagasse answered:

EL: I would say that song, “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

And then he asked:

EL: What is your favorite New Orleans dish?

Tim Gunn answered:

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TG: Oh, god, what are those fabulous sugar-coated doughy things?

AVC: Beignets?

TG: Yes, that’s it. Beignets. Yup. And I’m not even a dessert person.

AVC: They’re pretty good.

TG: Exactly. And one is too many, and a dozen aren’t enough.

And then he asked:

TG: If you could relive one day in your life, what day would it be?

Elvira (née Cassandra Peterson) answered:

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CP: I hate to sound cliché, but it would probably be the day my daughter was born. That was a pretty amazing experience, let me tell you. It doesn’t get much better than that. I have a lot of good days I’d like to relive, but that was one that’s still with me. [Laughs.] The labor part wasn’t so great, but seeing her for the first time was pretty awesome. I mean, how does it get better than another actual person popping out of your stomach, you know?

AVC: Yeah, and then meeting them for the first time.

CP: It certainly changes your life. So that may be a cliché, but I think any woman would say that would have been the most special day of their life. If it wasn’t, I don’t know what they were doing. [Laughs.] But let me know!

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And then she asked:

CP: I’m going to ask if they wear thongs. What kind of underwear.

Zoe Kazan answered:

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ZK: I often wear a Hanky Panky thong because I find them very comfortable. I also quite enjoy a high-waisted cotton panty. I sort of oscillate between those two things, which are kind of extreme, but I enjoy both of them for different reasons. Right now, I’m wearing high-waisted cotton panties that I got in Denmark. They’re green.

And then she asked:

ZK: What did you eat today? And if it’s early in the morning, what did you eat yesterday?

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Wendi McLendon-Covey came next, but actually didn’t answer Kazan’s question. Instead, she posed her own 12th question for the next person:

WMC: What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever gotten?

Rich Fulcher answered:

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RF: Go to law school. [Laughs.] The first day I went to law school, I realized I’d made a huge mistake. It was nothing like what I thought. It was not like Matlock or anything like that. I thought you’d be arguing, and then I realized you have to read all these cases, and it’s mostly writing, and then I just thought, “Well, I might as well stay and get the degree.”

Oh, this is it: “Because you can do anything with a law degree.” You can’t! You can do law with a law degree. You can’t do anything else. I went right to Chicago to do improv [after law school], but I wish I had gone, “Let me just bypass this law thing.” I mean, sure, it helps you read a contract, but I can read a contract regardless. It’s just common sense, contracts.

AVC: So did you finish law school?

RF: Yeah, I finished, once I decided I was going to go, but just to get the degree. It was actually a lot of fun.

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AVC: How so?

RF: Well, you weren’t like, “I’ve got to get an A in this!” You know? I did pass the bar in Pennsylvania. I can practice Amish law. But it’s long expired, my bar license.

And then he asked:

RF: What are you afraid of now that you never used to be afraid of?

Jimmy Pardo answered:

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JP: There are lots of things. Jumping on the bed. Remember when you were a kid, you’d jump on the bed, and you’d have no worries in the world, and you’d just jump on it? The idea of that now scares the hell out of me. I don’t even know what would happen.

Also, falling off a ladder. I grew up in the South Side, and when we would have snow and blizzards and drifts, we would jump off the garage roof into the snow. Now if I’m up on a step ladder and I think I’m going to fall, it’s a foot and a half off the ground, but I’m panicked about it. So I’m afraid of ladders and those beds.

And then he asked:

JP: Have you ever been punched in the face and why?

Andy Richter answered:

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AR: No. I mean, aside from accidentally by my kids, like wrestling around with my kids, no one has ever punched me in the face. Outside from with my older brother—and this would have stopped about age 12—I haven’t been in a physical fight in my life. We used to punch each other, but that was little kid punching. You’re too scared to hit anybody really.

And then he asked:

AR: What was the lowest point in your life?

Rob Huebel, who kicked off 2016, answered:

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RH: The lowest point in my life was one late summer night at the Upright Citizens Brigade Del Close Marathon. It’s this insane weekend of non-stop improv shows for like 72 hours straight. I was about to do a show in the middle of the night and somehow decided it would be a funny idea to do it naked. But I didn’t want to gross people out so I took some duct tape and wrapped up my junk. I’m talking about my dick and balls y’all, and then I started to panic because it all got stuck together down there. The tape wasn’t going to come off. Like ever. It was like flypaper stuck to my skin. I’m talking about my dick and ball skin. That’s some sensitive skin. I ran backstage. I thought I needed to go to the hospital. But how could I? I’m a grown man. I was like 40. So I sat down and delicately ripped off most of my dick and balls in the green room at UCB. It took a long time. Everyone was really worried about me. Pretty low point. Don’t ever use duct tape on your privates. That’s what I always tell people.