Well, good news is we have Alan back, after his episode-long departure in the name of seeing Arsenal in the finals. The…not as good news is we have a bit of a cluttered panel on our hands tonight. We have two players that have normally been used as panel-supplementers, when there’s a surefire spark like Bill or Phill there already, and those are Vic Reeves and Mark Steel. The last one is a poet that seems like a very out-of-left-field choice for this show. If it wasn’t for Divination saving this season from its sudden skid, i’d be worried. Still, Vic was really funny last time, so it could work.
Tonight’s episode is staged as a Millionaire ripoff, as Stephen says ‘one of tonight’s contestants will have the chance to win…absolutely…fuck-all.” And they have the Millionaire music and everything.
The staging is less of the usual panel display, and more of separate chairs and desks. It’s very odd. Also, the buzzers are not buzzers, but individual noise-makers, similar to the pilot.
Roger McGough is, as discussed, a poet and limerick artist. A lot of people in the youtube comments are saying that McGough is unfunny and should have never been put on this show. I, however, will be the judge of that.
Alan’s ‘buzzer’ is a chipmunk doll that plays an Alvin and the Chipmunks music, as opposed to a bell, a chime and a clacker.
Stephen: ‘of all the human phases, I think infancy is the one where you can most get away with playing with your excrement.’
After Mark’s ’62’ anecdote, Vic turns it around, and says ‘but ’62’..rhymes with poo, six turn it around, looking like a poo being chased by a swan.’
Roger guesses that ‘Hoover the Talking Seal’ means an Australian euphemism for vomiting. ‘Sorry, i’ve got to go hoover the talking seal…’
After playing the clip of the talking seal, Stephen said “I’ve heard Americans a lot less eloquent than that.’
The energy in this episode is quite low. Very sluggish. And I’m really hoping it picks up.
Stephen: “[the seal] died at a very ripe old age, in 1985′
Alan: ‘What were his final words?’
Mark’s knowledge of the Storming of the Bastille makes Stephen yell out “IT’S AS IF YOU’VE BEEN READING MY CARD, MARK!”
I think I’ve realized why people don’t like Roger. Halfway through the episode he pulls out a notebook and writes a poem about Hoover the Talking Seal, and reads it, interrupting the game…and it’s not even remotely funny.
Good news about the blah-ness of the regular round is GI is quite early this episode.
Stephen and Vic have this great banter about how tall a yak is. Stephen says that it’s generally 6’5. Vic, however, keeps guessing, “I think it’s about 4 feet.” I think it’s about nine feet.” Stephen even goes “I ALREADY TOLD YOU!” And Vic keeps going.
Someone mentions bringing the Yaks to Britain. Stephen says ‘no, the altitude is better in Tibet.’ And Vic, rolling, goes ‘they’d blow up. What we should really do is tie yaks to balloons, to get the altitude. Take a hot-air-balloon ride to see the ‘yak fields of Britain’. 5000 feet up, and they still graze! ON WHAT? AIR!”
Stephen: “Where does a crab louse live?”
Alan: ‘In a crab-louse house. It’s all this time with Roger that’s making me rhyme…’
Roger and Vic tie for first. We don’t…see a ton of these points, but…I dunno.
Overall: As discussed, an energy-less, blah episode, possibly the worst of the season. Mark and Roger didn’t do a hell of a lot, and when Roger did something it wasn’t particularly funny. Only Vic and Alan were memorable. Vic’s gonzo humor really compliments this show, and Alan…it was good to have him back.
Best Guest: Vic
Show Winner: Vic and Roger
The Rory McGrath Award for Not Shutting the Fuck Up: Roger McGough
Best QI Fact: Hoover the Talking Seal