QI Watchdown: F7 (Fingers & Fumbs), or ‘JUST DO A STONE!’

Now, I could be mistaken, but we might be in for a really, really good one.

Not just because of the panel. Having Phill, Dara and Jo on their own is good enough, but TOGETHER? THAT’S MAD. No, I’m excited because I’ve seen a lot of clips from this one in best of’s, and I’ve been very excited for this one, because it looks to be one of the funnier episodes around. Plus, it’s a spiritual sequel to Eyes-and-Ears, topic-wise.

The buzzers are all body-part-themed songs. Phill’s is ‘Twenty Tiny Fingers’, which confuses him, as he looks at his fingers. Dara’s, which never ceases to crack me up is, ‘Knee Bone’s Connected to the…’, and as he hears it, he changes to a joyful facial expression, bobs along for a few bars, and then returns to his dissatisfied look. Jo’s is ‘Shattapa You Face’, which Stephen even catches himself singing along to.

Stephen: “Now, there is a forfeit. If you use a particular f-word during any stage of this eveni-”

Stephen mentions that anytime someone gets a forfeit, they have a chance to go double-or-nothing in a game of rock-paper-scissors.

Stephen: “What’s the best opening move for paper-scissors-stone?”
Dara: “Say…’you go first!”
Jo: “Is it having a real rock?”

And then Jo has an answer that Frankie Boyle would applaud: “Make sure you play with a Saudi shoplifter. Because they could only do rock, couldn’t they?”
Phill: “That’s it. Avoid doing it with Abu Hamza.”
Dara: “Abu Hamza can’t do that. Abu Hamza can only do a question mark. ROCK! PAPER! QUIZZICAL EXPRESSION!”
Stephen: “He can do, quizzical expression, corkscrew, or thing for digging stones out of horses’ hooves.”
Phill: “He’s not a swiss army…cleric.”

Stephen says that in India and Indonesia they do R-P-S with animals.
Phill: “Right, so they play…Elephant…Cow-”
Stephen: ‘No.”
Phill: ‘Elephant, kestral.”
Dara: “KESTRAL? Does the kestrel carry off the elephant or does the elephant eat the kestrel?”
Phill: ‘Elephant…covers kestral. Kestral eats ant.”

Stephen instructs Dara and Phill to put the pencil sideways between their teeth. Phill gives a line that made me lose it for a few seconds. “Would you rather we had a ball gag, Stephen?”
And then continues, “it all started, innocently enough, with pencils. They all woke up…in Dortmund four days later”, and he mimes being tied up with the pencil in his mouth.

Stephen: “They did a test where people held the pencils like [Phill and Dara], which makes you smile.”
Dara: “It’s not making me fookin’ smile.”

Dara and Stephen square off and end in a draw for the second time of the night. Alan, exasperated and still muffled, goes “SOMEBODY THROW A ROCK!”

The entire sequence with the pencils in the mouths made me laugh very hard. There was just something so amusing about the whole thing. Even better, Phill continued to keep the pencil in after Stephen said to take them out, saying “LET’S SEE HOW THIS WHOLE SERIES GOES WITH PENCILS IN OUR MOUTHS!”

On the ‘kisses in France’ question, they put up a map of the French area, and it says in different areas how many kisses on the cheek are customary. Phill, on a roll, goes “and now, the snogging forecast…”

Stephen: “What can you tell about a footballer from the size of his fingers?”
Jo: “Is it his position on the wag-penetration index?”

Stephen talks of a guy who researched the science of the middle two fingers.
Phill, calling back to an earlier joke: “Did he take the duck into the echo chamber?”
Alan: “that sounds so much like a euphemism I don’t even…’Is this the key for taking the duck into the echo chamber?”

Great Jo moment. As Phill is answering a question there’s a sound coming from Jo’s desk. They turn over and she’s already having water. The panel is confused. She goes “sorry, I just coughed and sneezed…and wet m’self at the same time.”

Conversation on dreams:
Alan: “I was…on a boat…with Elvis Presley.”
Dara: “….oh, this is in a dream! Ah, go on. Sorry.”

There’s a great moment when both Phill and Dara start doing Elvis impressions telling Alan to wake up. Phill goes “stop peein’ on yourself, Alan.”

Phill, on Elvis: “There’s always that moment where he’s on stage that you could tell [he was shitting himself], going “we’ll have…a…BLLUUEE….Christmas…WWWWITHOUT-YOU!”

Stephen asks what would make someone think that Alan is a criminal.
Jo: “is it the shifty little eyes, pointy nose, and general sort of little pug face?”
And after that, Jo literally falls over laughing, as Alan sort of laughs a bit at himself, but peers over at Jo in confusion. Alan goes “I’ve never seen you happier”, as Jo continues to flail about cracking up.

Jo’s Aristotle description has the word ‘venerous’ in it, “as in venerial.” Alan turns to her and goes “HAHA!”

Literally all four are bouncing off of each other, which tends to happen with a panel of people who’ve worked together. phill is obviously having the best night, but is aiding other jokes and wrangling other panelists in.

Phill does this whole Shakespearean verse about the duck in the echo chamber, which is hysterical…only Stephen tells him he mistook a dost for a doth. And he gets all antsy about it. Phill goes “English Lit- U. English Language C. Good fucking luck, my friend.”
And already, Phill has his fist out and ready.

Once again they both get scissors. Alan, even more frustrated now, yells “DO A STONE!!!”

Stephen: “How would you describe the famous Thatcher effect?”
Phill: ‘Yes. You get the country to bend over…and you give it one until its eyes water.”

Jo on Thatcher: “It was great when she became Lady Thatcher, because she sounded like a device made for removing pubic hair.”

Stephen reveals that the upside down pictures of Thatcher were really inverted right-side up, which frightens Phill, to the extent where he points to the photo and yells “BUUUUUURN THE WITCH!!!”

They do the same photo effect to Alan, to which Dara goes ‘that’s a face you wouldn’t want to see after a 69, eh?”

There’s a great bit where Stephen says “JEEEEEEEESUS’, after the conversation about seeing faces in things (not to be confused with Sean’s ‘JEEEAAAAMMMM!”) And then he goes on about sacrilege.
Phill: “You make Richard Dawkins look like a fuckin’ Buddhist.”

Phill finally wins a battle because Stephen picks paper. Alan’s reaction is great. He’s like “finally!”

Stephen: “What use did [David] have for 200 foreskins?”
Jo: “Who cares, it’s a feminist’s dream?”
Phill: “He deep-fried them and invented hula-hoops.”

Stephen: “Where would you find the world’s largest organ?”
Alan: “In a cathedral like St. Peter’s in Rome, or (reaching) somewhere, like Seville”
Stephen: “Good answer, but not the correct one-”
Alan (out of options): “A blue whale!”
Stephen puts his head in his hands, nearly ashamed.

Phill: ‘Rik Wakeman’s house.”

Alan: ‘Then why do people think that your cock has to do with your foot size?”
Phill: “It was a rumor started by clowns. ”

Stephen: ‘Now, how many muscles are there, incidentally, in your fingers?”
Phill: “One if you play your cards right”(wink)

AS IF THAT LINE WERE NOT ENOUGH, as the audience (and Stephen) rebound from that joke, Phill puts the pencil back in his mouth and looks at Stephen, flirtatiously. It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen on this show in a while.

Alan tries smiling and frowning at the same time, saying “I’M USING 23 MUSCLES!” he then flips off the other side of the panel and says “STILL 23!”

Once Alan goes “fuck off” and gets his klaxon, the whole panel starts buzzing. “PLACE YOUR BETS!” goes phill. Dara goes “He’s been talking stone all night, you think it’s gonna be stone?”

You know it’s been a hell of an episode when Stephen starts the scores with “In first place…with -24….”

Phill wins, which is pretty great, as I did not see it coming. Alan loses, which you could have called at the beginning.

Overall: An episode that undoubtedly belongs in the QI Hall of Fame. Smashing performances all around, great teamwork from all four, great lines from Dara and Jo, and, most importantly, the quintessential Phill Jupitus performance. From flirting with Stephen to yelling with a pencil in his mouth to arguing grammar with a Shakespeare scholar, the man was unstoppable tonight, and proved why he’s the King of QI.

MVP: Phill
Best Guest: Phill
Show Winner: Phill
Best QI Fact: the duck in the echo chamber.


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