Well…I’ve not been looking forward to this episode.
You see…it’s bad enough when you hit an episode of QI where you have to sit through 30 minutes of a panelist you rather dislike, and then never have to see them on the show again, except for one or two more times. But…with Johnny Vegas, who debuts tonight…he’s STILL appearing on the show. He recurs for the next nine or so series’. And he keeps this same, loud, obnoxious demeanor through all of those appearances. So I’m bracing myself, because this is just the tip of the Vegas iceberg. IT COULD GET WORSE.
Thankfully, tonight’s episode also features Phill Jupitus and Jimmy Carr, two fantastic panelists who, unless i’m mistaken, haven’t appeared together, at least not in a while. So it can’t be the worst of the worst. But it’s probably gonna be pretty bad.
One of the first episodes in a while where Phill has no beard. This is a new look for him.
The buzzers are all food-related songs. Jimmy’s is ‘Food, Glorious Food’ from Oliver, which he gives a come-on sort of look at the end of. Phill’s is ‘TV Dinners’ by ZZ Top, which he bobs along to, until he gets to the line ‘nothing else to eat’, which he looks pained at Stephen for. Johnny’s is ‘Spam’ from Monty Python, which he follows with ‘TODDAAAAY…I TRAMPLED NINE WOMEN…TO GET TO THE BAR…” Alan’s is just ‘Rabbit’.
Stephen (trying to introduce the Elephant in the Room): “Ah, but what’s that smell?”
Stephen, in a Vincent Price impression: ‘What happens in the Rhubarb Triangle?”
Jimmy: ‘I don’t think I’m even supposed to call it the Rhubarb Triangle anymore. Apparently that wasn’t custard, that was some sort of yeast infection.’
Stephen, nodding off the joke: “You bad man…”
Jimmy, trying his best at a Stephen impression: “The Rhubarb Triangle…milady…”
Johnny’s stuff, when coherent, is pretty silly. On the rhubarb triangle, he asks: “Did Marzipan fighter planes go missing? Did they not pick anything up on the licorice radar? They fought in the pudding wars.” Again, not really a fan of his, but he can have some inspired moments.
Stephen: “Then you bring it into the dark-”
Johnny: “AND YOU MAKE LOVE!”
Stephen: “What were cornflakes originally used for?”
Jimmy: “Originally, they were the world’s most difficult jigsaw.”
Johnny guesses they put cornflakes in beds as ‘an anti-masturbation sound device’, which is odd but I can’t help but laugh at him. That’s the thing…he can be funny. He does have some moments. I just don’t love his personality, his ‘dumbass’ stage persona. That can get on my nerves.
Stephen says he’s giving Johnny points for that answer, and Johnny yells back “I WAS JOKING!”
So far, Jimmy and Johnny have been doing most of the work answering questions, and Phill and Alan have been buffering the jokes.
Stephen: “The more they ate, the sooner they died…”
Jimmy: “Were the rabbits cursed?”
Stephen: “Ninety percent of baby rabbits are eaten by predators.”
Phill: “Who presumably…die!”
I love how many times Stephen has to explain the ‘eating rabbit’ thing, first to Jimmy and then to Phill, and how exasperated he gets over time.
Stephen: ‘When did rabbits arrive in Britain?”
On the Rabbits arriving in Britain question, Johnny curiously buzzes in, holding up the elephant, and goes, confidently, ‘there’s an elephant in this question!’ Stephen barely composes himself.
After Johnny’s long, Ronni-esque story about the rabbit riding the elephant, Stephen gives an early candidate for quote of the episode: “The short answer to that is no. The long answer is FUCK NO!”
Johnny: ‘Were the rabbits a bit standoffish towards the Saxons?”
Jimmy (french accent): “I say, if we eat all the rabbits then we’ll die!”
Stephen: “You’re still not getting the rabbit question…WE CAN EAT ALLLLL THE RABBITS WE’D LIKE!”
Jimmy (same accent): “OOHHH, WE BETTER HAVE SOME PEAS AND CARROTS!”
On the macadamia:
Phill: ‘Are they found in monkey poo?”
Stephen: “No, they’re not found in monkey poo.”
phill: “but they are found in something’s business?”
And the second Stephen confirms this, everyone races to hold up the elephant sign. Phill ultimately wins, triumphantly waving his elephant signal in the air.
The second the ‘CHICKEN’ klaxon goes off, Phill turns around and goes ‘ohhh…I’VE DONE IT AGAIN…”
On the first animal to be herded:
Johnny: ‘EGGS! EGGS! THEY WERE EASY TO MOVE ‘ROUND THE FIELD!”
Stephen: ‘They have an optional sexual organ, that they can use for sex but they don’t because it’s too dangerous.”
Johnny (quietly): “A second ass.”
Stephen has a good five seconds before he fully comprehends Johnny’s answer, turns around, repeats it, and breaks.
Wow, Alan wins it with -2, which is pretty nice.
The even more strange part is Johnny’s right behind him. The two guys famous for playing dumb on this show both come high up on the scoreboards.
I love how Phill even loses with the elephant advantage. As his score is announced, he’s using his elephant paddle as an oar, paddling down this sea of QI.
Final Thoughts: Good, not spectacular, episode. All four were on, though Phill and Alan were noticeably more subdued. Jimmy gave a great performance, and Johnny…at times he was pretty nice. But sometimes he would command the panel and take up too much time on his own ramblings, which takes time away from, I imagine, Phill and Alan. Still, I can stomach 8 more appearances from him, as he’s not as bad as, say, John Sessions or Rory McGrath.
Best Guest: Phill
Show Winner: Alan
Best QI Fact: macadamias from elephant dung.