Carl Kasell, who, for 30 years, was the newscaster on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and who was also the announcer on NPR’s humorous news program “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!,” has died age 84.
“Every weekday for more than three decades, his baritone steadied our mornings. Even in moments of chaos and crisis, Carl Kasell brought unflappable authority to the news. But behind that hid a lively sense of humor, revealed to listeners late in his career, when he became the beloved judge and official scorekeeper for ‘Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!,’ NPR’s [humorous] news quiz show,” writes Beth Novey on the NPR website, adapting an on-air report by Neda Ulaby.
The NPR story notes: “Kasell died Tuesday from complications from Alzheimer’s disease in Potomac, Md. He was 84.
“He started preparing for the role of newscaster as a child. ‘I sometimes would hide behind the radio and pretend I was on the air,’ he said in 2009, remembering his boyhood in Goldsboro, N.C.”
In a tribute to Kasell, “Wait, Wait” host Peter Sagal writes, “Carl never shied away from a joke, when there was one to be made.
“He presided over his last episode of ‘Wait Wait’ in 2014. I told the crowd at the Warner Theatre that night that we wanted to send Carl out by simply doing a good radio show.
To which Carl replied, ‘Why start now, Peter?’”
Here’s a brief 2009 interview with Kasell (pronounced “Castle”) we found on YouTube: