Peter Sagal is the familiar voice of NPR's "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" but he is virtually unrecognizable hurtling down an Arizona highway on a motorcycle with a group of ex-Marine bikers in a clip from his new TV series, "Constitution USA."
Sagal jokes that the first segment of the four-part PBS series focuses on federalism because he hopes to "drag [the audience] in with sex appeal."
Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., co-hosting a screening of the series in the Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday, met Sagal face-to-face for the first time and reacted honestly: "Not bad!"
Sagal is not only a biker who wrote briefly for motorcycling magazine Cycle, he's a runner fresh from Monday's Boston Marathon. He shared his eyewitness account with Runner's World but steered clear of the subject Tuesday night.
Along with the challenge of making the Constitution an appealing subject, there was the problem of acquiring a motorcycle for Sagal to ride in the documentary, according to director Stephen Ives.
Ultimately, he made an executive decision: "I took out my Mastercard and bought a $19,000 Harley Davidson," Ives said. That's freedom right there.
"Constitution USA" premieres May 7 on PBS. It will also be used in classrooms and to educate new citizens on American civics.
- Contributed by Lucy Westcott