This is an episode I’ve been waiting for ever since I found out it existed. And we don’t get another one of those until Greg Proops shows up in about 7 seasons.
Tonight’s episode, which is one of the few Halloween episodes QI ever did, features two panelists who always manage to put in great performances, Clive and Sean, but also a SPECIAL GUEST STAR, who won’t appear in any other episodes, that I’m really excited to see play QI. Andy Fucking Parsons, who became one of the unabashed stars of Mock the Week once he became a regular, is on tonight. And I’m so excited.
The main titles are intermixed with Halloween noises (i.e.- screams, howling, lightning, etc.) Nice pace-setter for this one.
The set’s even dressed up, amidst fog and a coffin. This is one of the first times that they’ll actually dress up the set in honor of the theme. So, there’s smog and cobwebs and lots of little set pieces around. Don’t worry, it gets more elaborate as the series goes on.
Andy looks rather young compared to his current Mock the Week self, and this is rather refreshing. I think his delivery on MTW is really nice, and just how ridiculous the lengths of his jokes get to is quite amusing. This is the guy who spent an entire episode kidding Dara O’Briain about his boner for Konnie Huq. I’m just worried about how his delivery will adapt to QI’s formula.
The buzzers are all Halloween themed. Clive’s is the Twilight Zone theme. Sean’s is a door creaking open and a deep-throated laugh. Andy’s is dramatic music. And, of course, Alan’s is ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ from Life of Brian, which cracked me up.
Stephen: “Given the right circumstances, the marmot is a very deadly animal, killing humans. How?”
Clive: “Lead piping in the billiard room.”
Andy has a nice answer, involving the crackers the marmots are chewing on. “Does it involve the Ritz Crackers? Do they spit on them and put them back into the packets?” Also, he still has the ‘IS IT’ inflection he’d use on MTW. (“IS IT…DARLING IS REALLY BADGER?”)
On the most cured disease:
Andy: “Is it a little niggle that you think is not too much, but will be enough to keep you off work for the rest of the week?”
His stuff is very Mock the Week-like, but still funny.
Clive: “Pregnancy isn’t a disease, Alan.”
Andy: “It would be if Alan got it…”
Stephen: “I’ll give you a hint. It begins with ‘D’.”
Alan (without any options): “DEATH!”
I’m laughing so hard at everybody’s inability to guess this disease. Alan yells “DO A ‘SOUNDS LIKE'” Stephen goes “it’s like ‘forgive me father for I’ve sinned…” Alan, again, reaching, goes “dinned?”
Stephen: ‘Swimming with dolphins, that’s apparently a great treatment for depression’
Sean: “Not if they reject you…”
Stephen says ‘if you promise not to hurl yourself off the set’, he’ll play some of ‘Gloomy Sunday’, saddest song in the world. Within 5 seconds of the song playing, Alan already goes ‘oh, Jesus’. Alan has no choice but to press his buzzer so the happy music can come back on.
Stephen: “I’ve just been looking at the scoreboard. Right now, the audience is winning!”
Sean has an early frontrunner for the darkest joke of the episode. When he hears how this songwriter killed himself, he says “Well, that’s a horrible mess, wouldn’t it? Seventy-year old hitting’ the pavement?” Stephen turns to him, horrified.
Ah, tonight’s runner is ‘Killer Mushroom Roulette’. The panelists have to guess which of four mushrooms is safe to eat, including one called ‘Trumpet of Death’.
Sean has the best response: “Can we try them all first?”
Andy guesses the ‘death cap’, because “It looks a bit, to me, like a penis.”
Stephen: “And you simply can’t eat a penis, can you?”
Andy: “Well, that wasn’t gonna be my logic, but yes…”
Clive jokes that the horrifying looking ‘trumpet of death’ looks like a penis.
Alan ends up getting it right by guessing Trumpet of Death, as that one isn’t lethal…which is kind of shocking.
Stephen: “What did the Nazis use the trumpets of Jericho for?”
Sean: “Was it lift music?”
Okay, I don’t know why I laughed so hard at Sean and Alan doing MC Hammer dancing, but dammit…it was worth it.
Alan: “The lowest place in England is in Norfolk”
Clive: “No, that’s not the dead sea, that’s just dead boring.”
Alan on Tutankhamen: “He looks like Tiger Woods eating a Cornetto.”
Clive brings up a great point about the marmite solution in this mostly listless GI portion. He says ‘well, wouldn’t that arise more conflict, with the pro-marmite and the anti-marmite people fighting each other in addition?”
Had it not been for the audience’s win, Andy Parsons would have won his only QI. instead, for the first time in the show’s history, the audience wins for getting 2 points and not getting a klaxon.
Overall: A very nice, very fun themed episode, with four guys in complete control, and top form. Sean probably had the best night of anybody, but Andy was wonderful as well, giving a lot of great answers and reminding everyone why he was so good on MTW. I felt like all four guys jelled well together, even if Andy, a newcomer to the group, was mixed in.
Best Guest: Andy
Show Winner: Andy (and the audience)
Best QI Fact: Marmite to the Middle East.