QI Watchdown: C2 (Cummingtonite)

After a rousing start, we’re in for what looks to be a curious episode. Aside from Alan, the panel features one guy we’ve seen before, Arthur Smith, and two new guests, one of which will recur throughout the next few seasons, the other won’t appear again for another few. I’m not sure if there will be a standout performer tonight, because Arthur is funny, but I’m not sure if he can carry a show.

Arthur looks a bit more put-together than he did last series, and I’m happy that he’s back, albeit for his second of three appearances. He does have a nice style of humor.

Andy Hamilton, because every panel show needs at least one balding guy named Andy, looks like some kind of cartoon character, with a gruff beard, and round head, and a disgruntled expression. I’ve heard he’s been on a few of these, though I don’t know his humor.

Doon Mackichan I’ve never heard of, but she looks kind of quiet, yet interesting enough. I predict she’ll bring up the rear tonight.

Stephen has a nice pun tonight, introducing the episode as an opera-themed one, and introducing the guests, describing them as ‘The Three Tenors, and a fiver”

Tonight’s episode-long runner is for each contestant to break a wine glass using only their voice. Man, if only Yoko Ono was on this program…and that regard is the only reason I’d ever want her on.

The buzzers are all opera-themed. Doon’s is a high-pitched female opera singer, which amuses her. I love the look on Arthur’s face once he hears his- first confused and then flattered. Alan’s is just a prolonged howl, which amuses him.

Stephen: “Now, gentlemen, which one of you would like to smother Doon Mackichan in goose fat.”
Andy (deadpan): “Again?”

Andy’s voice amuses me. You expect some tough, deep voice to come out of something like that, sort of like Andy Parsons’, but you get a more high-pitched voice, sort of like Pee-Wee Herman’s. It’s hard to explain.

Stephen mentions that Cummingtonite is one word. Arthur guesses it’s a website. Back in 2005, this was still a joke.

Damn, Alan gets this right by comparing it to Kryptonite. I didn’t know he had it in him!

There’s a nice moment when the tech booth fucks a question up. Stephen allows the panel to guess what the molecular structure is named after, and the screen shows the structure WITH the name, causing a facepalm. Doon raises her hand anyway, exclaiming “this is the only question I’m gonna get right!”

Doon sets herself up for a nice joke, in describing the grease on the fried Curly-Wurly bar, she makes a motion that resembles stroking a certain organ. Literally everyone on the panel begs her to stop.

They’re all talking about deep-fried mars bars like they’re mythical beings. No, not really. I was at a fair this weekend in Purchase, NY, and there were fried Snickers bars. And I got a fried oreo. So yes, frying ridiculous food as certainly caught on.

Stephen gets some laughs in trying to imitate a Scottish accent, badly if that. Andy even asks ‘what part of Scotland’s that from?’

Note- Not a ton of stuff from ALAN, of all people, so far. The one guy I thought would be holding this show together hasn’t done a lot yet.

AND THE AWARD FOR BEST TRANSITION OF THE CENTURY GOES TO…
“So now we move from Scotland to something quite unconnected, and that’s the world of crime.”
The audience laughs at this for a good ten seconds. The irony is not lost on them.

When asked what Ordeal by Bean is, Arthur answers, quite wryly, “I’ve certainly had that. You know when you’re stuck on an airplane, and you’re forced to watch seven episodes of Mr. Bean.” I’m already laughing. But what made me laugh harder is that the elves knew someone would say that, and Arthur gets Klaxon’d for it. Besides, violence against Rowan Atkinson is never a good thing, especially when the host used to be on a show with him.

I do love the runner with Alan constantly bringing up Heinz baked beans, as if it’s a product placement, which Andy points out. And then he just keeps bringing up the beans throughout the rest of the show.

And then they go into someone else making baked beans, like Gordon Ramsay. Doon even suggests they call them “Fucking Beans!”

I love how Arthur just rings his buzzer because “I HAVEN’T HEARD IT!”

I love how all four of them buzz in together, and it sounds ridiculous. I laughed at the combined sound, especially Alan’s face the whole time.

More proof that the Elves are just fucking with people: When asked how long a platypus is, and Alan stretches out his arms, the Klaxon rings, and “ABOUT THIS BIG” is shown on the screen. So, they just knew no matter what people measured, it would be wrong.

We finally get a parallel to Doon’s Curly-Wurly moment. Stephen is describing the mammaries of platypuses, and Andy, seeing the hand movements, goes ‘could you stop doing that?’

For the dialogue question, Alan just buzzes in and stares at Stephen, afraid of getting the obvious answer. He eventually just says ‘two’ just to give into Stephen.

Alan in his safety goggles manages to crack up Stephen, in its ridiculousness.

Oh my gosh, Alan’s glass actually breaks. I didn’t think anybody was going to, but Alan was so off-key and high-pitched that he broke his. WOW. Awesome.

…and then it’s revealed that Alan pulled a string and broke it, because nobody can actually break a glass with their voice. Had me for a second.

Stephen reveals that his glass is a fake…and then Arthur manages to break his own, REAL wine glass, thinking HIS is fake too, and frightening the entire panel. Stephen, at this point, says “If you at least cause a second’s misery to the Health and Safety people, I’m very pleased.”

WOW, *ARTHUR* of all people ends up in last. Andy wins, but not a lot of his points were shown.

Final Thoughts: An okay episode. The panel was not bad, but not as funny as a panel of pros. Arthur was probably the best player tonight, being especially loose and funny, though Andy and Doon also did commendable jobs. Alan and his baked beans managed to secure a few nice gags.

MVP: Arthur
Best Guest: Arthur
Show Winner: Andy
Best QI Fact: Deep Fried Curly Wurly.

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