QI Watchdown: B8 (Bees)

I feel like this season is a bit inconsistent in quality. There’ll be a really good episode, and a boring episode, and then an amazing episode, and so on. So, judging by the pattern, this episode is supposed to be on the downslide. However, the episode does feature two really good recurring panelists, and one guy that I’ve rather enjoyed on other panel shows. So, maybe it won’t be that bad.

Rich is wearing a bit of a flowery poker jacket, but still definitely normal for Rich.

Fred MacAulay I know from TWO different shows I’ve watched. The first one was Space Cadets, the old scottish panel show with Greg Proops and Bill Bailey that I keep going on and on about. Fred did an episode of that one. And then he did a bunch of Mock the Week episodes, acting as the ‘other scotsman’ when Frankie Boyle was around. I think he’s pretty funny, and I imagine he’ll do a nice job here.

The buzzers are introduced rather abruptly. Rich’s is a cork being popped. Fred’s is a drink being poured, and now he gets the connection. These buzzers are funny, but are mostly used to set up Alan’s, which is a burping noise.

Proof Alan might have learned something- on the first question, ‘who first discovered that the world is round’, he knows it’s a trick, and tries to work around it.

Once Stephen announces said discoverer is an animal, Alan just starts naming off animals. I’m just waiting for him to guess ‘whale’, which he does…with no consequences, somehow.

I adore Fred’s accent, almost as much as Frankie Boyle’s. He has a nice joke, about bees and wasps that die after stinging someone, saying “I think if a bee stings me inside my house, it’s likely to die.”

So far, and by so far I mean roughly 5 minutes in, this episode is the Alan and Fred show. Jo and Rich are taking their sweet time buzzing in, or doing it fleetingly.

Stephen: “Why do bees buzz?”
Jo: “…because they can.”

Around eight minutes in, Alan gets the first Klaxon of the episode, by just innocently answering something in the middle of the ‘why do bees buzz’ question.

Jo’s confusion about ‘barnacles growing on chips’ made me laugh. Just her facial expression alone was interesting. She legitimately thought of a plate of chips with barnacles all over them.

Okay, Rich finally got my attention, on the Nelson question. “I just think the men would be inspired by the fact that he basically…slowly dismantled rather than dyin’ all at once. I mean, there was an arm, then there was an eye, then there was, like, a testicle, right? Like, dropping parts like a Volkswagen.”

Okay, the Admiral Nelson story was already really funny, but Fred pushed it over the edge, by miming the sailors drinking through the macaroni straws and accidentally swallowing some of Nelson. THAT was great.

I could see Jo’s anglerfish joke coming a mile away, but i still laughed a little. Remember, I don’t hate Jo as much as everyone else does, so I still think she’s funny.

Once again, we get Stephen breaking into a random accent (“DEEEEA EEEAAAGGHT”), only this time, he breaks into a Glasgow accent on the word ‘gravy’, which cracked me up.

Alan and his fungi joke made me laugh, but what made me laugh harder was Stephen first trying to stop him from telling the joke, and then, rolling his eyes and succumbing to it, as in, ‘yes, why DID the mushroom go to the party?”

Jo’s reaction was just as funny, throwing her head in her hands, saying ‘that’s like a joke for an imbecile.” Even funnier is her reaction when Alan tells another one (‘what’s brown and sticky? A stick!’)

Stephen outdoes Alan’s silly jokes, by going ‘What’s red and silly? A blood clot.” Alan gives him a confused expression, only for Stephen to yell back “OH, DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT! YOU FUCKING PIG-EYED SACK OF SHIT!” I think that might be the quote of the episode, however vile.

Rich joins in on the fun by making a really nice pun: “What’s green and sings? Elvis Parsley!”

Oh, dear. Stephen made the mistake of bringing Mexico into the equation, and there’s only one outcome for that. Alan repeats his mushroom joke in a bad mexican accent, a la “THE PEENK POLENTAAAA, I LOOOOVE EEEETT!”

Wow, maybe it’s because I’m not british, but I knew that coffee had more caffeine than tea. I guess it’s just a british thing, having an ego about food like that.

Jo is incorrect in guessing that baseball is the only sport originated in America. To quote Eddie Izzard, “and everyone else is going ‘yeah’, and I go “NOW HOLD ON! ABSOLUTELY NOT!” Baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, NY. None of this Australia bullshit.

Okay, at least Rich’s guess of Basketball was deemed correct, or else I would have gone down there and rioted.

I forget how tedious it can be if they replay the same clip over and over. Fred even admits, during the basketball question, “Can I just say that that little kid in the purple shirt is really startin’ to annoy me. WILL YOU SIT DOWN ALREADY?”

Man, if QI was filmed in the US, Stephen would get killed for this next comment
Rich: You can tell this is old footage because-”
Stephen: “They’re all white people.”

Stephen: “What were Nelson’s last words?”
Stephen: “I think those were the last words of someone who sucked at Nelson’s body…”
Fred: ‘I’ll race you to the bottle of brandy!”

After Stephen explained that Nelson’s last words were ‘drink drink, fan fan, rub rub’, Alan added, in a wild burst of thought, ‘also, give us a quick handjob…’

I barely heard anything about scores in this show. Rich sort of won by default, I guess.

I’d like to add that before ending the episode, Stephen bids the guests and audience a ‘good night, good night’. Is this a tip of the cap to Clive Anderson, who ended every Whose Line by saying “and this is me, Clive Anderson, saying good night, good night!” I hope so, because Clive is on in a few episodes, I think.

Final Thoughts: It took a little while, but this episode turned into a really, really nice one, thanks in part to the exuberance of people like Fred and Rich. Alan had a nice episode as well with his bad jokes. The dynamic wasn’t as strong as I’d have liked, but Fred played the connector role very well. A shame he only did two episodes.

MVP: Rich
Best Guest: Fred
Show Winner: Rich
Best QI Fact: Drinking Nelson.


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