Nevermind Watchdown: S5E8 or The Norman Wisdom Impression Hour

Not sure what excites me more: The presence of actually-amazing musician Chrissie Hynde, or the presence of actually-amazing improviser Josie Lawrence. I’m just excited for both.

Also here tonight are Spandau Ballet (vomiting noise) lead singer Tony Hadley, and comedian and impressionist Bobby Davro. So at least the producers knew how to end the season on a high note.

Mark has a joke, in Josie’s intro, that even I laughed at: “Josie was present at the birth of her friend’s baby and cut the umbilical cord. This was immediately before Greg Proops using it as a skipping rope while performing the part of Danny DeVito in a rap song about Men in Tights.”
I mean, even as a Whose Line fan…yeah, that’s pretty damn funny.

Mark, immediately guessing Bobby’s gimmick: “Does this cat, does it belong to anyone who you could do an impression of?”
Bobby: “FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK…”

Sean: “I dunno, Bobby, I think he looks a bit like MICHAEL CAINE (WINK)”
Bobby: “IT’S BLUDDY FUNNY YOU SHOULD SAY THAT…”

Mark: “Bobby, you shouldn’t even do impressions, because we’ve got a maestro. PHILL, SHOW IM WHAT YOU CAN DO!”
Phill: “ALLO, I’M NORMAN WISDOM.”

Bobby: “Do another one!”
Sean: “Look, it’s a half-hour show. Chill, baby.”

Tony Hadley’s impression of Brian Johnson, however, takes the cake so far. Even better than any of Davro’s (heh! Davros!)

I didn’t think the Josie-Chrissie dynamic would be this good, but they’re working really well together. Sad thing is they seem to be working OVER Phill.

Seconds later, Phill redeems himself by doing a killer Tony Hadley impression…one that even Tony seems to enjoy.

The twist in Intros is that the team captains have to guess, which means…Phill still doesn’t have a real opportunity to work with Josie or Chrissie.

In switching positions with Sean, Bobby finds himself in an unfortunate position behind him. He then takes advantage of the opportunity by doing a Julian Clary and going “I’ve just discovered an impression for the 90’s!”

Phill, cheering on Josie and Chrissie on the end: “Go Ladies! Go Ladies!”
Mark: “DON’T MAKE HIM WOBBLE ABOUT ON THE END! WE’LL ALL TIP OVER!”

Of course, having Phill guess is alarmingly simple. The guy’s a DJ! He knows every song! This game is not HARD for him.

Mark: “Mark Armond is a fan of Procol Harem, and once covered their Salty Dog. Mind you, it wasn’t salty before he covered it…”

We’ve hit ID Parade…and I’m already pining for another Athelston appearance, though I doubt we’re going to get one here. He’s done three appearances over the course of 4 episodes. That can try a man’s soul.

Josie asks #5 to stick out her tongue, which doesn’t help, though she says “it’s a very nice tongue though.”
Mark: “It held up well in the dressing room before the show…”

Tony realizes that his Next Lines clue is his own, he even says “THAT’S MINE!”, and smiles as he actually gets one of his own lyrics, something Toyah couldn’t even do 2 shows ago.

Overall: Not as good as the last few, but still a solid way to end the series. Obviously Josie and Tony were really good, and Bobby got some laughs just in how awful he was at this. Chrissie…I wish she’d done more. Still, very funny, and a good capper to the most consistent NMTB series yet.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Josie
Best Runner: Bobby’s bad impressions.

SERIES 5 SUPERLATIVES!!!:
Best Episode: Episode 4, featuring Billie Piper being adorable, Meat Loaf being surprisingly game, Rowland Rivron confusing the hell out of Mark, and just a pretty amazing overall vibe.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 2, featuring an incredibly giggly Junior Simpson, a surprisingly likable Faye Tozer, one of the worst intro renditions of all time (courtesy of Sean and Faye), and…the man, the myth, the legend, Athelston Williams.
Worst Episode: Episode 1. Just not a ton going on, and, compared to the rest of the series, really rushed and dialed down.
Best Regular: Phill, for owning a great deal of this season’s episodes.
Best Guest Comic: Bill Bailey, for making a case for his own tenure on NMTB.
Best Guest Musician: Meat Loaf or Tony Hadley. Both had a ton of fun.
Most Useless Panelist: Ian Dury, but it’s kind of forgivable seeing as he was going through some end-of-the-rope procedures at the time.
Most Annoying Panelist: Bobby Davro. By far. At least Junior Simpson was fun-annoying
Best Runner: Staring ID Parade member (Athelston)

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