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Well, whad'ya know? Wisconsin radio host Feldman brings popular show to NDSU

Michael Feldman

If you go

What: "Whad'ya Know?" radio show

When: 9:30 a.m. Saturday

Where: North Dakota State University Festival Concert Hall, 12th Avenue North and Bolley Drive

Info: Tickets cost $29 for balcony seats and $35

for floor seats and are available online at For more information, call (701) 231-7969 or email


Listen live: Can't make it to the show? Listen to the broadcast live on KDSU 91.9 in Fargo from 10 a.m. to noon.

MADISON, Wis. - Host Michael Feldman often does some local research before taking his Wisconsin Public Radio show "Whad'ya Know?" on the road.

This week he was prepping with a little North Dakota knowledge by looking up the campaign slogan of former North Dakota Gov. George Sinner.

After all, you never know what you'll need for his weekly Public Radio International show.

"It could lend itself to something," he said, wryly.

The Madison-based quiz show that mixes humor, music, current events and general knowledge arrives Saturday at North Dakota State University's Festival Concert Hall.

This is the first time Feldman and "Whad'ya Know?" will hit the airwaves from North Dakota, although Feldman says he's "been in another Dakota, whose name I won't mention."

At each of his road shows, Feldman likes to incorporate local trivia into his quiz and invite guests with local ties to join him on air.

Feldman is looking forward to using obscure Fargo trivia, like the fact that the city was once referred to as the divorce capital of the Midwest.

Local guests on Saturday include "Fargo" actress Kristin Rudrud, author Marc de Celle, guitarist Tim Sparks and more.

Feldman started the show 1985, when he came up with the concept of a quiz program featuring a live band and studio audience. At the time the whole idea seemed "totally preposterous," he says.

Since then he's done close to 1,300 shows, taking the show on the road about eight times a year.

Each week, Feldman starts each show satirizing the previous week's news, followed by the quiz in which local audience members and call-in listeners get to participate.

It's that interaction with his audience and listeners Feldman enjoys most.

"My whole thing is interacting with people on a live basis," he says. "People call in to the quiz, and I always ask them how they're doing, etc., and it's with regular people, rather than celebrities."

Having people call in to a quiz show is better than a talk show because listeners approach it differently, he says.

"I didn't want to talk about issues because that's a downer and people just come on to let off steam," he says.

To prepare for the quiz portion of the show, much like his research into Gov. Sinner, he spends his "off-days" researching various tidbits of general knowledge that he can then use in upcoming programs.

"I pride myself on being a know-it-all," he says. "I have a certain amount of intellectual curiosity. I definitely enjoy the whole quiz aspect of it."

Because his quiz questions can sometimes be pretty obscure, Feldman admits he's just fine giving hints if he stumps his participants.

"I usually give away the answer on my show because I hate it when they lose," he says.

The same can't be said for Feldman's foray into the other public radio quiz show out there, "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" hosted by Peter Sagal and airing on Saturday afternoons.

During his one and only appearance on that show, Feldman once had to answer questions about Santa Claus, and it didn't go so well.

"I did terrible. I don't think I got one right," he says.