Last season, the QI team made it a point to rope in episodes featuring a special guest or two, someone who’d appear on one episode and that’s it. Hugh Laurie did one, and he felt out of place. Richard E. Grant did one, and he weaved his own humor into the show, making it a great appearance. Peter Serafinowicz did one, and his is the best, because he made a ton of really nice jokes, and blended right into the show’s dynamic. To me, Serafinowicz is the best example of a guest star.
Tonight, we have a potential rival to his throne, in Mark Gatiss. For those uninitiated, Mark Gatiss plays Mycroft Holmes on the BBC’s Sherlock. He’s only in this episode, and I’m rather excited to see what he does here. Plus, him and Stephen make TWO MYCROFTS in the same room. This will be amazing.
Sean Lock is here this episode, which means, if anything, the show won’t be short on comedy.
OH MY GOSH MARK LOOKS SO YOUNG HERE! He’s kind of adorable, in the way he waves at Stephen. I see the flirting’s begun early.
Linda Smith’s hair is even shorter than it was last series. Sadly, this is gonna be Linda’s last episode, as she’s not on anymore after this one, and this is two years before her death. So, kind of sad, but let’s at least enjoy her.
The buzzers are cute. The first three have well-known pieces of classical music. Alan has a xylophone rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Okay, the first joke already has me laughing.
Stephen: What kind of music do snakes like?
And, right after that, a play on words.
Mark: ‘Imagine those fakirs’
Stephen: “I’m sorry, what?”
Mark: “Fakirs, they are…”
Stephen: “Oh, you’re right. They are fakirs. Every one of them.”
The Elves even throw in a rimshot after that one.
Alan guesses that violins have catgut strings, Stephen says it’s a myth put about by-
Alan: “by dogs.”
The similar question is done for spiders, and they all give a bunch of music-related puns. Sean follows this up with “but, you see, I don’t think spiders are that into puns…”
I find it very amusing the way Stephen says ‘The Mamas and the Papas’. The MamAAAAs and the papAAAAAs.
Linda: If monday makes you think of blue, does blue make you think of monday?
Alan: Makes me think of mold.
(Bleu-Blue) Very nice.
Linda’s exasperation about whether or not people are hearing sound was very funny, completely confused and against it, yelling at the audience ‘can anyone hear a sound, or is it just me?’
I love how everyone just kept messing with the sound man, doing the D major on command, with Stephen and Sean doing it perfectly.
Synesthesia is a very good point, because a few friends of mine have it. It’s generally attributed to the autism spectrum. Funny thing is that I have a very specific type of synesthesia. I attribute songs to colors, by the chords it uses. For instance, that D major sounded yellow, and a song, like The Fool on the Hill by the Beatles, that uses it is yellow to me. However, songs that use like darker chords, like Rebellion, by Arcade Fire, feel more dark blue or purple. It’s very hard to explain.
Alan brings up a good point about Happy Birthday. ‘Well then what did people sing before 1923? They bring out the cake, and everyone just stood about, and slightly awkward silence.”
The ‘most disasterous song’ had a lot of really good lines. Linda guesses ‘the wombling fucking party’. Sean, most memorably, guesses “FREE MYRA HINDLEY!”, which cracks up most of the crew.
Linda’s story about her friends who did the Wind and the Willows cracked me up, especially the punchline, and Stephen asking if the children were still in therapy.
Sometimes putting the picture up on the screen can lead to some good jokes. The photo for the ‘no news tonight’ question was a picture of a BBC anchor and a microphone. Sean then said “Well, what about the story of the giant microphones invading the BBC?” THAT made me crack up. Reminded me of the one with Bill Bailey and the hippos. “And so I eat the guy, and I said ‘FUNNY THING IS, I’M A VEGETARIAN!’ HAHAHAHAHA!”
Alan has probably the best joke about the guy who invented the Hokey Pokey.
Stephen: What happened at his funeral?
Alan: “They couldn’t get him in the coffin. They put the left leg in…and the trouble started.”
Sean gets in another amazing line.
Stephen: What was the first invention to break the sound barrier?
Sean: “Mae West’s vibrator!”
Even funnier, he kept making RRRRRRRRRR sounds as Alan tried to answer.
Linda sees two Alans on the back screen, and says “Are those Anne Robinson’s twin daughters?” She may not be having the best night of everyone (that would be Sean), but Linda is having a great time.
Mark Gatiss says that Anne Robinson looks like she’s “regenerated.” Somewhere in London, a young Steven Moffat says “ah, he looks like a good guy, that Gatiss lad. I’ll remember him.”
Linda wins by only getting 2 points. Awfully nice of her to snag a win.
Sad to say, but Mark Gatiss didn’t do a whole hell of a lot. I mean, he had some nice answers, and was a little funny, but wasn’t as present as other guest stars have been. A shame.
Final Thoughts: A bit of a letdown, but still very funny. Linda, Sean and Andy were great, but Mark wasn’t as cooperative as I’d have liked.
Best Guest: Sean
Show Winner: Linda
Best QI Fact: Spiders on Drugs.