QI Watchdown: E5 (Europe)

Two episodes in a row of fantastic-looking panels. This one in particular features two people we’ve seen quite a bit of, Phill Jupitus and Dara O’Briain, and one person we’re gonna be seeing a lot more of, David Mitchell. Hoping this is a nice one.

Keeping with the theme, Stephen introduces the four from different countries. David from England, Dara from Ireland, Phill from Lithuania, Alan from ‘the little bit of Wales that is always North London’.

David’s buzzer is a fairly British theme that I’ve heard everywhere. Phill’s is Ode to Joy, which he rocks out to. Dara’s reaction to his buzzer being a choral rendition of ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’ is one of my favorites in the show’s history. He hears what it is, and is visibly confused as he bobs along to it, eventually rolling his eyes.

Stephen mentions that the Belgians, with the boundary line against the Netherlands, opened a sex shop on their side that doesn’t apply to the Dutch. Phill even goes “Hey, dutch guys! Look at our cock-rings and inflatable ladies!’

Slow start, because the complexity of the questions and the facts are overpowering the jokes so far.

Stephen: ‘But why do they let in hens [at this Greek embassy]
David: ‘Because they prefer eggs to the jizz of the male hens.”

Stephen: “No, it’s not actually to eat the eggs.”
David: ‘To…mock them?”

After Stephen reveals that all the icons in the monastery are made with egg yolks.
Dara: “Is this like the wallpaper in Willy Wonka, where the different colors taste of different things? ‘Oh, the snozzberries taste like snozzberries!”
David: “And all the Jesuses taste of breakfast!”

David so far is powering a lot of the jokes here, which is a HUGE step up from his last two appearances. Phill, meanwhile, isn’t doing a lot of lifting, and is instead helping other people’s jokes, and Dara, to a lesser extent, is doing this too.

The next round is a Call my Bluff parody, Call My Euro-Bluff, during which Stephen does a great impression of that presenter.

Like the rest of the episode, that round was very interesting, with a lot of great facts, but not a lot of great jokes. That could some up most of this episode. It’s a good episode, but it’s not a terribly funny one, save for some of the stuff that David has been pitching.

Dara’s impression of someone climbing Mt. Everest being distracted by a LandRover driving up the mountain cracked me up.

Classic Moment. Stephen asks the audience what the first lines of the German National Anthem is. Most of them go ‘Deutchland Deutchland, Uber Alles’, and this is the first time where the AUDIENCE gets a klaxon. Alan even goes “YOU IDIOTS!” Phill has the best line: ‘Welcome to OUR PAIN!”

Stephen reveals that the notebooks tonight were made of recycled elephant dung (“What’s been under your noses all along and sounds like a bell? DUNG!”) Dara has the best reaction: “This is like the ending to the Usual Suspects, when they find out it was here all along…”

Phill has a very surprising win tonight, especially considering David’s in the room.

Stephen gave the audience -100 for getting the words wrong to the German National Anthem, which is pretty great.

Final Thoughts: A good show, but not a funny show. Has some nice moments, and David is more vocal than he’s ever been, but feels more like a footnote to a season than a forerunner. Good to see Phill and Dara at their best, and Alan had some funny moments, but nothing, other than a few funny moments, worth remembering at the end of the season.

MVP: David
Best Guest: Dara
Show Winner: Phill
Best QI Fact: Egg Yolk in Icons.


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