Alas, we’ve reached the last QI of Series F, one of the most consistent seasons in recent memory. This has been a season that utilized new anchors, and tried to spread the wealth around to several different panels, so that there’d be a mix of new panelists and strong returnees. This has been a season where, aside from Phill and Jimmy, people like Rob Brydon and David Mitchell have stepped up and truly carried shows.
And now, we’ve reached the end, and for the first time in a while we have a panel full of trusted players: Jimmy Carr and David Mitchell, definite standouts this season, and Rich Hall, who had a nice show a few episodes ago but hasn’t especially dominated consistently since the early years of the show. Plus, there’s a broad enough theme, with ‘food’, that it could lead to a lot of nice moments.
The buzzers are all dinner bells. Jimmy’s is a gong, which he is thrown off by, but appreciates. Rich’s is two bells, spread apart, so that by the time the second bell is sounded he’s ridiculously caught off guard.
And now, Stephen vs. the english language:
“Now, before we tuck in, I’ve had a tongue down your- no, I’ve PUT a tongue….YOU WILL FIND A TONGUE-I’ve tongued- I’ve put a tongue. Is there a tongue under there?”
Alan, dumbfounded: “Is this what you’re referring to?”
Stephen: “What kind of animal can you eat without killing it?”
Stephen clarifies that it’s something you can eat fully, passed through, without killing the animal.
David: “Something that comes through, like sweet corn, except it’s still running around.”
I did not expect David Mitchell to make a joke that disgusting.
Jimmy: “If there are ladies watching this, and they talk about bloating…have they tried farting like a duck?”
Jeez, everybody’s on a role tonight, except for, oddly enough, Alan.
Stephen: “It’s almost the official dish, in some ways, of Florida.”
Rich is in complete gonzo answer mode from his first few seasons, which I am very thankful for.
David, on getting the tapeworm out of your body: “You’d have to tempt it, at either end, with a bit of food…”
Jimmy: ‘I know which end I’d prefer…”
David, not catching it: “Which end would that be?”
Greatest out-of-context line so far:
David: “I think I’d had to have experienced a giant worm coming out of both orificies before I decide which is the least unpleasant.”
David, on crabs: “They’re sort of like fruit-bearing animals, aren’t they?”
Stephen: “That’s pretty similar to that, actually. Like, an apple tree gets its apples taken off, but the next year it grows…more apples.”
David: “So maybe they’re trees…they’re just seafood-y trees.”
Stephen: ‘What can you usefully teach an oyster?”
David: “Is it…not to get its hopes up? To…expect lemon juice and death?”
Jimmy: “You teach it when you get lemons, you get lemonade.”
David: “Right. When you get lemons, you’re seconds away from death.”
Stephen: “How did Mounties use fruit-machines to get their man?”
Jimmy: “When you say fruit machine, do you mean a friend of yours?”
David compares the Mounties riding horses everywhere is “like trying to police a country with daleks.”
Jimmy: “Which would never work with the disabled access we got. Now the daleks can get anywhere…”
David: “Jimmy, are you saying that you think the disabled access is a dalek conspiracy??”
Jimmy: “…Yes. That is EXACTLY what I’m saying.”
Jimmy: “D’you know what the Russian National Dish is?”
Right after awarding David the ‘Teacher’s Pet’ moniker, Stephen asks the panel if they know anything about the guy who brought the several-course meal into popularity.
Jimmy: ‘David’ll know…”
Alan: “He invented frog’s legs. ”
Stephen: “You’re absolutely right.”
Alan: “And I only know that because I went on David’s radio show and found it out…”
So then Stephen starts quizzing David on this guy:
Stephen: “First name?”
Stephen: “Died in…”
David: “Oh, how the hell would I-”
Alan: “A house-fire.”
Stephen: “And what did [Dame Millie Melba] think was good for the voice?”
Alan: “Oral sex.”
And then Alan does this impression of someone trying to sing with a cock down their throat, which made me laugh WAY too hard.
As Stephen awards Alan his own ‘Teacher’s Pet’ fanfare, Alan, in an effort to downplay it, points to his tongue-stick and goes “I’ve still written semen on my tongue.” Jimmy, being Jimmy, responds with “at least you’ve just written it…”
Rich, as they finally get off the greco-roman wrestling: ‘Finally, this show goes back to its heterosexual roots.”
Rich, as Stephen brings up anal floss: “HERE WE GO AGAIN!”
David has a clever joke with the tongue placings. He says that cheese is near the back, and forgotten names are ‘right on the tip.’ very clever.
And now, reason #417 why I love the QI Elves
Stephen: ‘Name a poisonous snake.”
Jimmy: “Piers Morgan.”
Alan makes a point, focused, that there can’t be poisonous snakes because of the venom.
Jimmy: “You sounded so much like Jonathan Creek JUST THEN!”
Stephen: “Who said ‘Let them eat cake?”
Jimmy: “It’s that French woman…Dawn French!”
Stephen: “What makes up more than 70% of the internet?”
Jimmy: “It’s my special collection, isn’t it?”
Stephen: “Of what?”
Jimmy: “…of Gentlemen’s Special Interest Literature?”
(‘PORN’ KLAXON goes off)
Of course David wins, but I wasn’t expecting Jimmy to get last, especially with -46!
Overall: A nice, if uneven, way to end the series. All four were on, and really funny. David had a very nice show, providing a lot of answers, which led to a lot of jokes from other panelists. Alan was the standout here, for the second episode in a row, although Jimmy and Rich also were hysterical at points. There would be some moments of coldness, but there were more than enough great moments to make up for them.
Best Guest: Jimmy
Show Winner: David
Best QI Fact: Tapeworm through the arse.
BONUS: END OF SERIES F SUPERLATIVES!!!
Best Episode: F7: Fingers & Fumbs. Great runner, great panel, and Phill’s Magnum Opus
2nd Best Episode: F5: France, ft. Hugh Dennis and Sweary Bob.
Worst Episode: F8: Fashion. The dynamic was just off, save for some okay Clive and Rich moments.
Episode Most Worthy of Another Watch: F11: Films & Fame, obviously.
Best In-Episode Runner: Making the panelists do paper-scissors-stone for points every time someone said the f-word. (F7: Fingers & Fumbs)
Best Recurring Guest: Rob Brydon, for completely dominating all three of his episodes this season, and cementing the fact that he can anchor a panel like the best.
Most Underused Recurring Guest: Dara O’Briain.
Most Improved: Phill Jupitus, for going from a down year in terms of material to completely DOMINATING two shows, and making some of the most ridiculous jokes in the show’s history.
Worst Guest: Reginald D. Hunter, F8: Fashion. Just the wrong kind of person for QI.
Best Guest Appearance: Emma Thompson, F11: Films & Fame.
Guest we wish wasn’t done after this season: Charlie Higson, F3: Flotsam & Jetsam. By default, really.
Guest we sorely missed this season: Bill Bailey.
Rookie of the Year: Hugh Dennis, F5: France. Sure, he’s only in one more episode, but it’s Hugh Dennis! On QI! That alone is pretty outstanding.
Best Single Moments: “FUCK THE PIGEONS, STEPHEN! AM I GAY??” (F4: Fight or Flight); The Benny Hill Retrospective (F5: France); Sweary Bob and the fingers (F5: France); “One if you play your cards right.” (F7: Fingers & Fumbs); Ben and Rob kiss (F9: The Future); Stephen causes his own Luvvie Alarm (F11: Films & Fame)