OOOOOH, LOTS TO LOOK FORWARD IN THIS SERIES OPENER!!
There are three guests I’ve heard of, and only one of them has been on the show before, Roisin from Moloko. The other two are the bassist from one of my favorite rock and roll bands, John Entwistle of The Who, a year or so before his untimely passing, and one of the oddest and most interesting recurring panelists from QI, one who probably is suited more for this show, Johnny “FUCK THE PIGEONS STEPHEN…AM I GAY???” Vegas.
Additionally, Danny McNamara, lead singer for britpop band Embrace, is also here, but I’m just really excited for the other three.
THE VERY FIRST SHOT OF THE EPISODE…IS ATHELSTON SITTING AT MARK’S DESK. JUST STARING INTO THE CAMERA. I’m already dead, guys.
Then they just cut back to Mark, as if nothing’s happened.
WAIT A MINUTE. HANG ON ONE MOMENT. Mark’s hair is no longer the greased, slicked-back coif that we all know and love, but is now a cropped, very short, buzzed look, that makes him look more like Johnny Vaughn. I’m not alright.
Johnny, on Mariah and Eminem: “Is it X-Men? Mutant qualities?”
Mark: “i’m anxious to hear this. Go on.”
Johnny: “She’s got the ability to lift trees…”
Right at the start of the intro clip for Gary Numan’s Cars, a lone, loud person in the audience goes “WOOO!”, causing Mark to stop the standup to look over at them. Phill does this too.
Mark: “I think that’s the only time in 20 years that somebody’s gone “YEEAHHH!” for that song.
Phill says, of Kid Creole and Gary Numan, that they’re both in a cookery book. “Creole chicken is a delicacy in Louisiana. Gary Numan chicken…is prepared in a futuristic style.”
Mark: “HERE IN MY PAN.”
Danny, for the 2nd intro, steals the kazoo Mark used for a bit. After a little while, Mark’s going ‘Danny, give it back. My father always said never put your kazoo in another man’s mouth…”
For the ‘let’s see how Knock On Wood should have sounded’, they do the Eye of the Tiger treatment, and keep cutting around the studio to the beat. Whenever they cut back to Mark, he’s got the kazoo back in his mouth.
There’s a running gag about Mark literally giving Roisin the titles as hints, like “Roisin, did you hear the drums?”, or, “Roisin, did you come on a JET?”
Mark: “The rights to many of Paul McCartney’s songs are now owned by Michael Jackson, although not the one that starts “she was just seventeen.” Michael was disinterested for TWO reasons there.”
Danny: “#2’s got charisma.”
Sean: “Well, they’ve all got charisma, Danny.”
Johnny: “#3 traded in his charisma for crack.”
Johnny’s not doing a whole lot tonight, but I’m glad he’s here.
This is great. Sean’s team is so pathetic in Next Lines that Mark keeps taking out ones that they won’t get. He even runs out, and puts his hands together, waiting for the timer to go off, staring at the camera.
The show ends with Athelston back in Mark’s seat, signing off.
BTW- ATHELSTON EVEN GETS A CREDIT, UNDER ‘SPECIAL GUEST’!
Overall: Funny, if imperfect, show to start the year. Johnny had his moments but not all of them were funny. Roisin was great because she didn’t know anything. John was very grumpy, and didn’t do too much, but did a lot more than your average Lemmy Kilmister.
Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Johnny
Best Runner: Kazoos