QI Watchdown: A11 (Arts)

Have a bit of time tonight, so might as well knock out an episode or so. This one features yet another Special Guest, so we might as well dive right in:

Bill’s back after a few episodes away, with his usual look of confusion and thinning hair. I can see why he’s one of the more memorable guests, as he’s never ceased to make me laugh on this program.

I can’t get over Linda’s mushroom haircut. Here I’ve been through two episodes of it and it’s…odd. Maybe I’m just used to her longer hair on Mock the Week, but…it’s interesting and odd.

Richard E. Grant is our Special Guest, having starred in a couple cult-ish movies during the 80’s, and having been in a few bit parts in much better movies during the 90’s and 00’s. A lot of people say that if Richard Grant had had one or two good movies that he’d be as big as Dudley Moore was. Sadly that didn’t exactly happen. Good news is I’m excited to see he’s on QI.

Onto the buzzers. Richard’s is a pompous horn that even cracks him up. Bill’s is pretty funny; it’s a bagpipe player that stops randomly and rolls off key. Alan’s is a donkey noise.

You know it’s gonna be a good show when the first joke of the episode makes me laugh.
“Why don’t pigeons go to the movies?”
Bill: “I dunno, because…nothing much is made with them in mind. Pigeons are much more into German expressionism.”
Just the sheer absurdity of that makes me laugh.

Alan has a good point, as pigeons have a small life expectancy, so “they could only see a ‘U’ film anyway”.

Alan makes me laugh again by doing an impression of how an animal with eyes on the sides of its head would watch a movie, turning back and forth. This may be stupid humor, but it’s still funny.

Linda’s excellent line about pigeons’ slowed movie-watching “so they’re sitting there, watching The Matrix, and they’re thinking when is something gonna happen?” Jeez, all four of them are really good tonight.

Bill’s is even funnier: “Who is funding research into what pigeons like in films?”

Richard accurately replicating a pigeon noise made me smile, especially how enthusiastic he’s being tonight.

Alan may in fact have the quote of the night:
Stephen: “Something else about pigeons. They can suck. They’re the only bird that can suck.”
Alan: “It’s how they’ve raised 105,000 pounds!”

It may seem like I’m copying every line, but the episode is really that good. All four of them are ON tonight!

I can see why Stephen retired the practice of having all of the cards with the Klaxon words on them. When Alan guesses ‘human’, he has to leaf through the whole pile of cards to grab the ‘human’ one, and this takes him a little while.

Stephen’s moment of madness when Bill guesses ‘ant’ and other people chime in is wonderful. He points at Bill and makes numerous incoherent noises until Bill repeats it.

Stephen: “I’ll give you points if you can tell me, to the nearest hundred, how many species of ants there are.”
Alan: “One hundred.”
The look Stephen gives Alan is priceless.

Richard suggesting that they make chutney out of red ants was a nice one. I like how comfortable he is in this scenario, similar to Peter last episode.

Richard’s main tactic here is telling ridiculous answers, and telling them as if they’re really true, like the exploding pigeons story, or the one about grease making butchers hit a High C.

Bill made me severely crack up with his answer to the ‘headless goats’ question. “Is it like bobbing for apples, only bobbing for- OH! GAH!”

Leave it to good old Stephen Fry for a great religious joke. When Alan says he hasn’t read the book of Genesis, Stephen says “You shouldn’t. It’s hilarious.”

Once again, with his question, Richard tells a ridiculous story utterly seriously, especially in saying “Erectus Permenantus”. Very funny.

Stephen’s intro to “the unknown, the unknowable and the never-known” reminds me of something Greg Proops would say to introduce a round on Space Cadets. The panelist react the same sort of way, especially Bill.

Wow, GI is starting early this episode. Cool!

Ah, yes, this is the GI round that turned Alan’s ‘blue whale’ klaxon from an affectation into a frequent occurrence. He guesses ‘blue whale’ because he remembers this question from Episode 3, and tries to guess again. Even funnier is he gets MORE points off a second later for guessing ‘redwood’ in the same question. Bill, however, has the funniest answer, in saying “FRANCE!”

NOW WAIT A MINUTE! I’m taking a class on Mars right now, and it is certainly news to me that there was someone before Copernicus that said the earth moved around the sun.

Hippopotamus was the answer that I thought would rob Richard of ten points. Surprisingly he was right after all.

Bill ‘captioning’ the hippo photo made me laugh so hard. “So, I bit him in half, and I said,  funny thing is, I’M A VEGETARIAN! HAHAHAHAHA!”

Stephen: If you were to skin a hippopotamus…”
Alan: “IT’D BE LIVID!”

Good thing that Richard wins. He was responsible for some of the more interesting material of the night.

Final Thoughts:

Hell of a night for all four. Alan probably had the best jokes of everyone, but Linda and Bill were both spectacular, and Richard was a great guest panelist.

MVP: Alan
Best Guest: Bill
Show Winner: Richard
Best QI Fact: The Pigeon’s Asshole’s curative powers.


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