Nevermind Watchdown: S11E9, Christmas Special, or Shut Up, Womblio

Well, once again, because it’s an even series on NMTB, IIIIITTTT’S CHRRIIIIISTMAAAAAASSS!!!

Tonight’s a very special episode, as it features an actual rap star, in Coolio, and an actual British Hugh Hefner-type in Peter Stringfellow. Geoffrey Hayes was the host of Rainbow. Kelly Llorenna is a pop singer and dance act. A very odd lineup for a Christmas show.

Phill, pointing something out in the U2 video: “As you can see, Bono’s got a really big foot. That’s why they do the gigs in the snow, so they can’t see his big freak foot…”
Mark: “WE FOUND BIGFOOT! That’s fantastic!”

Coolio, reassuring me that he won’t be just another grumpy confused NMTB-er with a single line: “Would you let your kids hang around with someone named Englebert…*HUMPERDINCK!* That scares me.”

Phill: “This is actually his program. Englebert sells kids on QVC.”
Mark: “Though, on QVC he’d say ‘normally they’re 12, but today they’re 9!”
Geoffrey: “I think it’s a Michael Jackson video shopping channel…”
The entire audience starts AWWWWing and BOOOOing.
Mark: “WHAT ARE YOU HAVING A GO AT HIM FOR?? HE LIVES WITH A BEAR- IS THAT NOT HARD ENOUGH?? HE’S NOT MICHAEL JACKSON!!”

Phill: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if this was the latest Bin Laden video. He’s going “…I have your children, America.”
Mark: “Wouldn’t it be great if the next Bin Laden video was just “…Chestnuts Roasting… on an open fire…”

Bill: “Kelly, have you met Westlife?”
Kelly: “Yeah…”
Bill: “Who’s your favorite?”
Kelly: “None of them. They’re all shit…”
Mark: “I’m gonna give you a bonus point for that one…”

Bill and Peter start talking about ‘all the women Cliff Richard turned away.”
Bill: “Sue Barker, there’s one…”
Peter: “Yeah, he turned her down…that’s, what, one woman in 40 years. That’s not bad. See, he’s catching up with me.”
Mark: “What a great contest that’d be, you and Cliff. “So Cliff, let’s count off the people we’ve slept with…one…alright, my turn…”
Phill: “We now go across to Wembley Stadium for the Stringfellow count…”

Mark asks if there have ever been any fights in Peter’s club.
Phill: ‘Don’t people just beat themselves? ‘Hey, you! No wanking! No fat-birds, and no wanking!”
Coolio: “I need a translation…what the hell is a FAT-BIRD, and what is wanking…”
Mark: “If you’ve come this long without wanking, Coolio, I’ll give you a demonstration…”

Intros tonight is special, because they’re all Christmas songs, and they have to be performed with a bunch of assorted musical instruments. Which is nice, and something they’d revisit down the road.

Mark, to Coolio: “Have you ever released a Christmas song?”
Coolio: “HELL NO! I wrote one Christmas song in my life, and it was during the 80’s, and it was called ‘Cracked Out Christmas.’ Like, I’m gonna give you a line from it:
Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen?
All four sprung and they won’t listen, yeah,
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen,
They’s hittin’ the pipe, they in BAD condition!”
So, if I make a Christmas song, that’s what it’s gonna sound like.
Mark: “Can I just point out that…there is, quite famously, a reindeer with a very red nose that you didn’t mention…”
Coolio, continuing:
And what about Rudolf, is HE on his back?
He’s the reason I’m SMOKING all of that crack!
See, what happened was, Rudolph didn’t wanna fly, Rudolph was smoking, and Santa was mad, because his WIFE was smoking, and she was off at the Igloo Inn, selling pussy with Peter!”
The whole house comes down after that one. Coolio is having a great time, cutting loose tonight.
Mark: “It’s all flooding back, now, because I think Bing Crosby did it as a b-side once…”

Phill: ‘I quite like the idea of cracked-out reindeer hookers. Like, that’s their trade.”
Mark: “There are a lot of ho-ho-ho’s up there…”

Phill pulls out a toy saxsaphone, and puts it in his mouth like Sherlock. Then, in a thick English accent, goes “WHY, COOLIO, I THINK YOU’VE GOT IT!”
Coolio eventually lights the sax like a crack pipe, which makes Phill absolutely lose it.
Mark: “BUT DADDY, WE WANTED TO MAKE BUBBLES!”
Phill: “Like *I* need the munchies…”
Coolio: “I wouldn’t wanna be around for that…”

Mark, in talking about Wombling Merry Christmas, says that Coolio could have been the lost member of the Wombles.
Later, when Coolio makes a joke about Kelly’s ‘rack drum’, Bill swats him away by saying “shut up, Womblio.”

After they start playing Start the Cavalry, Peter says “you know what, we don’t play that in my club…”
Bill and Mark just start dancing semi-erotically to the song. Coolio even joins in with mooning Mark, only it ends with him falling onto his box of instruments, which makes Mark completely die laughing.
Mark: “That was one of my favorite ever buzzcocks moments. Coolio offered me his ass, then fell in his toy box.”

I’m not gonna write the whole thing up, but the entire Peter Stringfellow tries to guess Do they Know it’s Christmas bit is one that has to be seen to be believed. Made me laugh so hard.

Mark intros the Teletubbies clip, and then starts cracking up because Coolio completely face palms once he hears the words ‘Teletubbies’.

Phill: “Geoff, you’ve been in the children’s TV world for years. You clearly know the look of someone who’s been up a puppet.”
Mark: “Is that from Oliver? You’ve got to up a puppet or twooo…”

Coolio: “How old are the Teletubbies.”
Mark: “I dunno, let’s ask Dave, he’s #5. HEY DAVE, WHAT YEAR DID THE TELETUBBIES GET STARTED?”
Dave: “Uh, around 1996.”
Mark: “Oh, so about six, seven years ago. ANYWAY, WHICH ONE…”

Geoffrey: “#5 seems a bit tall for me…”
Phill: “Yes, but, the thing is…he was in it.”

Peter: “I think it’s definitely #3…and I’ve got a set on 5.”
Mark: ‘So it’s DEFINITELY 3 OR 5. Split the difference, say four.”

Coolio, to the bagpipers: “Can you smoke weed outta those?”
Mark: “Yes, but they can hear you from miles away. “I think it’s Coolio’s house!”

Next Lines tonight is provided by a choir of singers. And yes, the panel has to sing them back. So, Mark yells at Coolio to sing the next verse of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and he does so, nonchalantly. Then, just to piss him off, Mark makes him go and sing with the choir, which is a hysterical sight.

Carolers: “FIIIIIIIVE GOOOOOLDEEENN-”
Bill: ‘RINGS!”
Kelly: ‘RINGS!”
Peter: “GEESE!”
Mark literally has to get up and walk away, saying “I just want to be away from you, for a while. It’s not working out between us. WILL YOU MARRY ME? HERE’S A *GOOSE*!”

Overall: Going into this show I was ready to crown the Jimmy Cliff show the best of the season and end on a rather glum note, like the Eurovision show last year. However, this mixture of Coolio, Peter Stringfellow, Geoffrey Hayes and Kelly Llorenna managed to give us an all-time classic episode. From Coolio singing with carolers, to Peter completely failing to guess Band Aid, to Coolio’s christmas song, to Peter yelling out “FIVE GOLDEN GEESE!”, to Mark literally yelling out for the real Teletubby. So many amazing moments, and a fantastic end to one of the most consistent NMTB series thus far.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Coolio
Best Runner: Coolio’s crack

BONUS! SERIES 11 SUPERLATIVES!
Best Episode: Episode 9, this very one, featuring Coolio, Peter Stringfellow, and all the wonderful things I just wrote about.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 4, featuring Mark fawning over Jimmy Cliff, Sheila Ferguson being lovably difficult, and Steve Frost being hysterical.
Worst Episode: Episode 1, because only the Mark moments are worth mentioning.
Best Regular: Mark, because he had more episode wins, though Bill grew fully as the series went on.
Best Musician Guest: Sebastian Bach, Episode 7, because he was having so much fun and being himself. Runner-up goes to Billy Bragg, Episode 5, for being loads of fun just for sitting next to Phill.
Best Comedian Guest: Lots of competition this series, but I’m giving it to Steve Frost, Episode 4, because he elevated what could have been a personality-driven episode to a hysterical status. Though Sean Lock, Mike Wilmot and Dave Fulton all got very close.
Most Befuddled Guest: Budgie, Episode 3.
Most Annoying Guest: Tie between Sheila Ferguson for being too argumentative, and Mark Steel for being too Mark Steel.
Best Dartboards for Mark: Abz (Episode 2), Sheila (Episode 4), Tony Blackburn (Episode 6).
Best Runner: Mark’s paper plates.

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