QI Watchdown: B9 (Bats)

So, the BAD news…is that this is the first of two John Sessions episodes. The GOOD news…is that this episode features the only appearance of someone who I’d watch in basically any comedy show, and the third of three straight appearances for Rich Hall. There is a lot of good to take with the, uh, bad. Nevertheless, we soldier on.

JOSIE FUCKING LAWRENCE EVERYBODY! Forgive the expletive, but it’s not often that you see Josie outside of an improv program. For those unacquainted, Josie was, really, the one constant on Whose Line in the UK from start to finish. She went the first nine seasons, appearing in at least one episode, including the very first, and being a part of some of the best singing games in the show’s history (“who would have thought that our love would glitter/just standing here, looking at shit and cat litter.”) Josie appeared on one taping of the American Whose Line, and one episode of the short-lived WL retread ‘Trust us With Your Life’, though her episode was never aired thanks to the exploits of host Fred Willard and his ding-a-ling. It’s great to see her here, and it’s a bit off-putting to see her with blonde dye, but it’s Josie, so it’s manageable.

Speaking of hair dye, John Sessions has inexplicably become a brunette again, as opposed to his natural grey last season. Makes it all even more infuriating. Also, a bit alarming that Stephen introduces him as ‘Johnny’, rather than John.

Rich is wearing a red jacket, and introduced as ‘the gorgeous, pouting Rich Hall’, which makes a lot of sense, actually.

By the way, this episode features three people, Josie, Stephen and John, who you would likely find on an episode of Whose Line from 1988. Now all we need is Paul Merton or Mike McShane and we’ll have a real party on our hands. Or, even better, TONY SLATTERY! GET TONY! IT’S NOT LIKE HE’S DOING ANYTHING AT ALL!

The buzzers tonight are ascending bells, except for Alan’s, which goes, in a deep, sexy male voice, “WELL HEL-LO! DING DONG!” Not as good as “AHOY! HELLO, SAILOR!”, but funny nonetheless.

1:30 seconds in, and the first Klaxon of the episode occurs, thanks to Alan. Record time, too.

Stephen’s moth ball joke is very clever. Again, he’s great with wordplay. Fantastic, even.

I hate to say this, but Alan’s comment about a scene from Jurassic Park 2 where a tyrannosaur kills a guy sitting on the toilet isn’t that accurate. It’s actually from the original Jurassic Park, aka the better one.

The Rich Hall joke about eating animals because he thought they contained the food in their namesake got funnier as they went on. First the butterfly. Then the honeybee. Finally the hamster. THAT ONE was good.

I did especially love Josie’s David Attenborough anecdote, because I enjoy the man almost as much as she does. I especially enjoy imitating him.

…And then John brings it crashing to the ground by turning it into a Richard Attenborough story…a bit too late, as the Jurassic Park reference was earlier.

Rich’s jokes are simple, but funny. “That’s why they call it an owl. OW!”

I love how Alan can just simply go “no it’s not” or “yes it is” to anything Stephen says. This episode, when Stephen says there are several hundred different species of blackberry, Alan just goes ‘no there isn’t.’

Okay, the next question after that is funny, not only because of Alan’s answer, but the fact that the Elves knew he’d say it. Alan guesses that batophobia is the ‘fear of blackberries’, only for that to be Klaxoned.

Once again:
Stephen: ‘What is battology?”
Alan: “The study of batteries”
Stephen: “No, it’s not, now-”
Alan: “Yes it is.”
I love the fact that he can just do that.

This olympic games question is one of the funniest in a while, because every single thing that Alan guesses turns out to be wrong, and the Elves have it pre-planned and everything.

I also love how even when Alan guesses a variable extremely close to the right answer (200 meters rather than 192), he STILL gets a Klaxon!

Alan and Josie talking about the naked olympics:
Josie: “I’d have loved to see the triple jump.”
Alan: “Or the pole vault.”

OOOOH YES! I’ve never been happier to see someone get a Klaxon. John Sessions thought the first modern olympics were held in Athens, and he gets buzzed. Alan just says greece and gets ANOTHER penalty. My gosh, Alan’s going for the pantheon tonight.

Okay, I think Stephen has a last-minute submission for the line of the episode. Josie is telling the audience that whenever she loses something, she just says ‘help me, St. Anthony’, and in about a half and hour she finds it. She is interrupted by atheist Stephen, who goes “*cough*BULLSHIT!”

Josie and Rich tie for first. I love that Josie won this one, even if she wasn’t the funniest person on the show.

Alan received a “record-breaking -72” for his finish, which was phenomenal. Even he winced at the mention of it.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad episode, but not as good as the last two. I’ll admit that John was manageable, and that Rich and Josie were both doing really well. Alan was great in being so argumentative, and so wrong, so many times.

MVP: Josie
Best Guest: Rich
Show Winners: Josie and Rich
Loser of the Week: Alan, for getting -72
The Gyles Brandreth Award for Knowing Too Goddamn Much: John Sessions
Best QI Fact: The Naked Olympics.

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