After a string of less-than-enthusiastic panel combinations, we’ve finally got a generally familiar one, featuring three people who’ve appeared on the show before, and are generally pretty funny. Jo Brand, Sean Lock, and Rich Hall. And if anyone out there doesn’t particularly enjoy Jo Brand, fear not- she’s only in two episodes this season.
All the buzzers are seasonally themed tonight. Sean’s is like a flatulent-esque ‘vroom’ sound. Rich is funny, as it’s a guy obnoxiously coughing. He even gets a kick out of that one. Jo’s is a simple sneeze. Alan’s is an overly-long digestive sound.
One line in, we’re already off to a nice start:
Stephen: “So Jo…can you smell the fear?”
Jo: “Of course.”
Stephen: “What’s it smell like?”
Jo: “Jeremy Beadle.”
(somewhere, Tony Slattery gets a royalty)
Alan rolls off a fact about lady mosquitoes, and expects Stephen to give him points. Stephen goes “well, you’ve made a point, but you don’t get one.”
Okay, I’m back to adoring Rich’s humor. “I think fear smells like crab salad. I was at the deli the other day, and I asked for a crab salad sandwich, and the lady said ‘we’re all out of crab salad…*I’M AFRAID*”
Stephen: “What did Cat’s Eyes Cunningham have for supper?”
Sean (raring back): “It’s a shot in the dark, this. Is it chicken fajitas?”
Okay, very nice job by the Elves for knowing that Alan would guess that a guy who wanted to see at night would have carrots for dinner. That was a nice one.
Rich, once again, returns to his method of trying to get points by making up crap. This time he said ‘did you know…the guy who invented the Phillips screw…his hair parted in four different sections?’ I still really, really love his stuff.
Sean gets another nice gag by guessing the buzzing noise that Stephen plays is “a bee under a sink”. I think Sean is one of the most consistently funny people on this show.
Stephen tries giving the panel a hint, saying “it’s something Marco Polo heard and was astonished by”, which only causes Jo to guess “Kajagoogoo?”
Another great Jo joke.
Stephen: “What do you get when you cross a camel and a leopard?”
Jo: “You get a Fireside rug, you can have a good hump on.”
Immediately after that, she gives an embarrassed facepalm.
And then Sean has a great answer to that: “you get sacked from the zoo.”
Stephen punctuates Alan’s story about leopards liking rotten meat, with a bad pun. He goes “well, eating rotten meat is terrible, it gives you spots.” And the best part of this is him watching the audience reaction, holding up a finger and trying to get onto the next question.
Great Alan-Stephen exchange.
Alan: ‘Is it true, that you gave Prince Charles, as a wedding present, some coffee made out of weasel shit?”
Stephen: “…not exactly. It was Cambodian weasel vomit…coffee.”
On the vomit coffee, Stephen just says “I just thought it’d be something he wouldn’t have.” And then Sean takes the joke further, saying “d’you think he just put it in a cupboard at home, and there’s loads of ’em in there? Going ‘Oh, Fry, thinking he’s so original…'”
Stephen: “His dying words were ‘what an artist dies in me’.”
Alan: “Was there someone in him at the time?”
This not only had me laughing, but literally everyone had to stop and compose themselves in the studio.
Stephen: “[Nero] blamed a small sect of people for the fire-”
Alan: “The gays.”
Alan is on fire tonight. Matter of fact, they’re all coming up with a lot of really nice answers, with the exception of maybe Jo.
Okay, Stephen has a nice joke with roman lettering, the u’s and the v’s being the same. He refers to I, Claudius as “I, Clavdivs”. THAT made me laugh.
Rich has a nice joke about how the elephants were caught. “The truth is that many of them volunteered. They came from small towns, no future, no circus comin’ through town, so they just…”
Sean’s anecdote about the Koala’s ass and his finger made me laugh, especially his impression of the face that the Koala made.
Jo is asked if she’s ever been in bed with a certain type of jerk. And a photo appears on the screen. Jo points and says “well, i’ve had *him*…”
Okay, now you see how the audience has turned against Jo. Jo finally says her line, “my husband”, the thing that people were expecting her to say…and nobody laughs.
Final Thoughts: An alright episode, with some definite highlights, and some great performances by Alan, Sean and Rich. Not as good as some of the very early stuff, but still worthy of a watch.
Best Guest: Sean
Show Winner: Sean
Best QI Fact: The Elephants