QI Watchdown: H1 (Hodge-Podge), or Toblerone-Rolo Combo

Onto yet another Series of QI, the H series, featuring some definite flux in how the show goes, and who gets the reins of semi-reg-ship. Tonight has two people we’ve seen before, Phill Jupitus and Jack Dee, and one person we’re going to see dozens of times down the stretch, Ross Noble.

The buzzers are all ‘hello’ bells of some sort. Ross’s is a retread of Alan’s ‘RING-A-DING-RING-A-DING’ buzzer from a few X-Mas shows ago. Alan’s is just a Klaxon, which gives him a -10 right off the bat.

The very first question of the show concerns people with long hair, so the behind-screen shows two pictures of Ross bordering a photo of a woman’s legs and skirt, with a sad banked right between the legs. Ross even goes “the sad part is I’m wearing the exact same shirt.”
Jack: “I’ve gotta hand it to you Ross, you’ve got lovely legs.”
Ross: “Oddly enough, that suppository was the oddest shaped one I’ve ever used…”

Stephen: “The full question is why do bankers like long-haired men and short-skirted women?”
Phill: “bi-curious.”

Stephen: “What do bankers want more than anything else?”
Stephen: “And when do bankers make the most money?”
Jack: “Summertime?”
Alan: “In the 60’s?”

Stephen: “What starts with H and means you’ll always be the bridesmaid and never the bride?”
Phill: “Hepatitis C?”
Stephen, composing himself: “Oddly enough, you’re surprisingly close in a kind of way…”
Phill: “Herpes.”
Stephen: “You’ve got the right first and last letter.”
Jack: “Halitosis?”
Stephen: “Yes, that’s the right answer.”
Jack: “Is that right? I could have come up with that and gotten a laugh in the first place…”

On the conversation about breath ailments
Alan: “I had a picture taken once with a koala…”
Ross: “You could just leave that there…”

The whole conversation on koala’s breaths, how people can suck on Koalas if they’re suffering from asthma, is hysterical, because everyone on the panel is joining in, even Jack. It helps that Ross and Phill are so great at connecting people’s jokes.

Jack, voicing his disgust on the left-handed pencil sharpener: “They should have adapted when they were younger..Like, what’s wrong with having a stutter?”
Stephen: “It’s not a condition, being left-handed…”
Jack: “Well, you SAY that…”

Jack next gets the left-handed can opener, and he’s still really pissed off, and tries to open a can, right-handed, and just puts it down.
Ross: “The only thing that could annoy jack more now is if he opens that can, and it’s all left-handed peaches.”
Man, Ross’s humor is just the right kind of lovable absurdist.

Ross gets a question right about motorcycles and cameras, and he dodges a klaxon and gets points. After he’s graciously thanking people for the applause, he goes, perfect “I’d just like to point out…that is the only thing I know. And as you started to say that, in my mind I was going “…I know what he’s going to say here…I can use me one bit of knowledge.”

Stephen asks for what kind of gun his german word means. Someone from the audience shouts out “assault rifle”, which is correct.
Jack: “Uh, that was slightly scary there, wasn’t it?”
Alan: “Yeah, you know you said that out loud. You didn’t think about it…”
Alan, holding up the can of peaches: “Ah’ve got hundreds of these as well…”

Stephen reads out the Urban Dictionary definition for ‘hoplophobe’, which is the liberal fear of weapons, and has words such as “sissy” in it.
Phill, pointing to the guy in the audience: “I’ll tell you something…he wrote that.”
Ross: “I tell you what, I bet he wrote it with a left-handed pen.”

Alan goes over to the assault rifle, to try to set it up over the desk, but Stephen says that he’s the only one in the studio allowed to touch the rifle.
Ross: “I love the fact that somewhere there’s a memo that just says: “MACHINE GUN; FOR STEPHEN FRY’S USE ONLY.”

Stephen talks about bomb defusers using silly string to test the trip-wires.
Phill: “It’s nice that that’s a real thing, but I just prefer them leaning over a bomb going [party whistle noise]”
Alan: “With a Margaret Thatcher mask and a rubber chicken…”
Ross: “I have to say…that would have improved that film the Hurt Locker…”

Jack, on the ’round drill doing a square shape’ question, gives an answer that narrowly dodges a klaxon, even though it is wrong.
Ross: “That would have been brilliant, if it had gone ‘WOOP-WOOP-WOOP’, and EVERY WORD YOU SAID…was up there.”
Stephen: “ONE DAY!”

Stephen describes ‘a circular triangle’ that can be used to make a square shape.
Ross, confused: “A circular triangle??”
Phill: “Oh, no no no. This is your first time. This sort of thing happens ALL THE TIME on this show. [Stephen voice] IT’S A SORT OF CIRCULAR TRIANGLE…”
Alan: “And it makes a square…”

Ross: “It’s not the fact that I’m boggled by that…it’s the fact that I now realize that there’s a possibility that you could have a Toblerone-Rolo combo! A Roblerone!”
Stephen: “D’you know what will freak you out completely, Ross Noble? The name for this form of triangle is a Rolo.”
Phill: “You know the fact that we come on this show, and discover things? I feel like tonight is that I’ve just discovered that the best three words to hear in a Geordie accent is ‘toblerone rolo combo.’
Ross: “THANKS. Now everyone I meet’s gonna go ‘could you say Toblerone please? Poor Geordie man, dance for us.’
Phill: “You’ve got to form a band now, called THAT.”
Ross: “Alright, me and Cheryl Cole. Her, me, and Jimmy Neil.”
Jack: “And maybe I’ll play the trombone.”

After Alan masters the round peg-square hole: “Let me play with the gun! I want to play with the gun that shoots ’round corners!”
Stephen: “No, you can’t play with the gun.”
Alan: “Special instructors don’t let Alan play with the gun…”
Phill: “Police in London were BAFFLED tonight by a series of murders committed ’round corners.”

Stephen: “What is the roundest thing in the universe.”
Phill, raising his hand: “Just saying…”

Phill: “The earth is…thingy…it’s not round.”
Stephen: “No, it’s not round, it’s an…oblique spheroid.”
Phill: “WHOA NELLY FURTADO! He’s got a word for EVERYTHING.”

Alan, about the neutron star: “They’re really round.”
Phill, noticing a definitely-not-round object on the behind-screen: “THAT’S NOT *ROUND!*”
Stephen: “That’s a supernova I think-”
Stephen: “He’s very upset, aren’t you?”
Phill: ‘YES!!”

Stephen: “It’s only got a diameter of 15 miles or so, and there isn’t one near enough that you can see it-”
Jack: “Y’ever notice how we always have to take Stephen’s word for it?”

Stephen: “If I had a thimble-full of neutron star, it would weigh more than a mountain.”
Phill: ‘YEAH, BUT YOU *DON’T*.”

Stephen: “What’s made entirely of jelly and lives forever?”
Phill: “Shark-infested custard- WRONG JOKE.”

Stephen: “After it sexes- no, after it-”
Stephen: “Sorry…after it’s HAD SEX.”
Alan: “I have sex.”
Alan: “I can’t talk now, I’m sexing.”

Phill: “Monkey glands? Royal jelly?”
Stephen: “Monkey glands, and what do they MEAN by monkey glands.”
Phill, a la Stephen: “THE GLANDS….OF A MONKEY.”

Stephen: “They weren’t glands, actually, they were testicles.”
Phill: “Av…NO!”
Stephen: “They started as human testicles I’m sorry to say.”
Ross: “If you were to scale them up to the size of the earth…they’d take HOURS to scratch.”

The conversation they have about pirates at the bank, I didn’t write all of it down, but it’s fantastic, and everyone’s getting in on it.

Stephen: “There’s an International Talk Like a Pirate day, isn’t there?”
Jack: “Yeah, but Somalian.”

Overall: A wonderfully perfect opener to Series H. All four panelists were on and willing to collaborate, which is a rarity these days. Phill had the best night of the four, but Ross was wonderful and bizarre in his debut, making me very excited to see more episodes of his. Jack was more talkative than he’s ever been on QI, and was more willing to branch out and collaborate jokes. A ton of great moments, and a definite rewatch value.

MVP: Phill
Best Guest: Ross
Show Winner: Jack
Best QI Fact: Monkey testicles
Best Runner: Sexing


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