A native of Berkeley Heights, N.J., Peter Sagal attended Harvard University and subsequently squandered that education while working as a literary manager for a regional theater, a movie publicist, a stage director, an actor, an extra in a Michael Jackson video, a travel writer, an essayist, a ghost writer for a former adult film impresario and a staff writer for a motorcycle magazine.
He is the author of numerous plays that have been performed in large and small theaters around the country and abroad, including Long Wharf Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville, Seattle Repertory, and Florida Stage. He has also written a number of screenplays, including Savage, a cheesy vehicle for obscure French kickboxer Olivier Gruner, and Cuba Mine, an original screenplay that became, without his knowledge, the basis for Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.
In 1997, Peter joined the panel of a new news quiz show on NPR, that made its debut on-air in January of 1998. In May of that year, he became the host of the show. Since then, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me has become one of the most popular shows on public radio, heard by two and half million listeners a week, on 450 public radio stations nationwide and via a popular podcast.
With Wait Wait, Peter has traveled around the country, playing to sold-out theaters from Seattle to Miami, and many points in between, such as, for example, Akron. He’s asked Salman Rushdie about PEZ dispensers, Tom Hanks about Hollywood bad boys, Sen. John McCain about drive-through topless joints, and inquired as to Madeleine Albright’s weightlifting accomplishments. The show made history in 2007 when, in May, Stephen Breyer became the first sitting Supreme Court Justice to appear on a quiz show, and then, in July, in front of ten thousand fans at Chicago’s Millennium Park, Peter conducted the first interview with United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald since his conviction of White House Aide Scooter Libby.
Peter is an avid long distance runner and a founding member of the OCD Runners Club. He has completed four marathons, including the 2007 Boston Marathon, and was profiled in Runner’s World. In EG7 Peter talked about how he missed the Boston Marathon explosions by 100 yards in April 2013.