QI Watchdown: H3 (Hoaxes)

Onto a more traditional lineup, as tonight’s episode features 3 guys who’ve been here since near the beginning, Danny Baker, Sean Lock and David Mitchell. David and Sean have done one together, but David and Danny, and Danny and Sean haven’t. So this’ll be an interesting panel formula.

One of the buzzers, according to Stephen, is NOT a deer’s mating call. The first three are, indeed, deer calls. Alan’s is a scottish voice saying “HELLO, DEAR!”

Ah, nothing like a good-old-fashioned episode-long-runner. All four contestants get a hoax card, and there’s one answer over the course of the show that’s a hoax. Not as exciting as the ‘squirrel’ card, but still lots of fun.

Sean brings up the idea that “how about, we all do it on the first question, we all lose points…done. What d’ya think guys, you all in?”
Danny: “Well, we’re all gonna SAY yes, but we’re not gonna really do it…”

Stephen: “One question we got [about the QI Cropcircle] was “Is it real or is it man-made?”
David: “I ask the same thing about sandwiches…”

There’s not a lot of momentum going for the first few questions. Yes, interesting, but not a lot of funny, collaborative stuff. Also, Danny’s very to-himself, and isn’t great with the other two.

Stephen: “How would you make your house the most famous house in Britain?”
Alan: “That’s easy. You murder lots and lots of people, dismember them, and bury them in the garden.”
Sean: “marry the queen.”
David: “Some sort of…spectacular suicide?”

Stephen: “What observation did the great biologist Stephen A. Gould draw from a lifetime of studying fish?”
Sean: “Oh…they haven’t got any legs…”
Sean isn’t doing a great deal tonight, but his little stuff sure is helping.
David: “After a while, they smell?”

Danny: “Starfish don’t have any brains. They’re like the Louis Walsh of the aquatic world.”
It’s like he knew what I’d just watched before this.

Stephen: ‘And he came to a conclusion which is-”
David: “They can feel no love.”
Stephen tries to keep going, but cracks up.

Stephen, after saying that the classification of ‘fish’ doesn’t really exist: “How many fish are in this photograph?”
Alan: “Well, given that there’s really no such thing as fish…”

Stephen: “What did Nostradomus get right?”
Sean: “The hat! He got the hat right!”

After Stephen reveals that Nostradamus made jams that still hold up
Sean: “I might make some jam…”
Alan: “Know what you’d need? Fruit…sugar…”
Sean: “No, I’m not gonna make nice jam.”
Stephen: “oh, what sort of jam are you going to make?”
Sean: “Horrible jam. Yeah, ‘Sean’s Horrible Jam’. You don’t know what I put in this stuff…it’s up to you. It’s- Lottery Jam, I’ll call it…Sean’s Bingo Jam! One jar in every hundred is amazing! The rest of the time it’s instant vomit as soon as you open the lid…”

Stephen: “Who is the most famous person to be beaten by a machine at chess?”
Sean: “Me.”
Stephen: “You played a machine at chess?”
Sean: “Yeah, I got beat by a hoover.”

David guesses the Queen
Stephen: “No, someone bigger than the Queen, and had a higher rank than the Queen in his day.”
Alan: “JESUS!!”
Stephen, confused and cracking up: “JESUS?? Jesus isn’t really a RANK…”

Stephen: “How can you tell if a person is lying?”
Alan: “Their hands become sweaty, pulse quickens, their sphincter, you know, tightens up…”
Stephen: “Let’s just suppose that you haven’t got a finger on their sphincter and aren’t holding their hand.”
Sean: “What they’ve said turns out not to be true.”

Stephen: “What do swimming pools smell of?”
Alan, channeling Jo Brand: “Children.”

Stephen eventually reveals that the hoax card was actually a hoax itself, causing some angry reactions from panelists.
Danny: ‘THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! This is like the end of Lost!”

Overall: A weaker number into Series H, but not without an incredible Sean Lock performance. This didn’t work because all four were mainly keeping to themselves, with the exception of Alan because that’s what he does best. Danny had some good jokes, but didn’t really collaborate. David mostly stemmed his rants off other people’s answers, which was alright.

MVP: Sean
Best Guest: David
Show Winner: Sean
Best QI Fact: Fish don’t exist.

Nevermind Watchdown: S15E3 or Shit on a Bucket, Batman!

Ben from Phats and Small is our only returning player today, so we’ve got three newbies.

Louis Walsh was one of the judges for the original X Factor, and helped create Westlife. Jason Donovan is an Australian singer and stage star. Lara McAllen sang with Angel City.

Mark, to Louis: “You said you met Lenny Kravitz once”
Louis: “Yeah, in Miami”
Mark: “Was he little?”
Louis: “He was tall, but he was wearing high heels.”
Mark: “That’s great. ‘Was he little?’ ‘HE WAS TALL…’ HOW ARE YOU THE GENIUS BEHIND THOSE-Oh, I see.”

Mark, to Lara: “Did you like Westlife?”
Lara: “Well, you can’t NOT like Westlife…”
Mark: “OH, I THINK YOU’LL FIND YOU’RE WRONG. Look into my eyes.

The Intros this week are all TV Theme Tunes, which is a nice change.

Phill and Ben’s first intro is visibly lost on Louis, so Mark asks them to do a remix. Ben beatboxes, and Phill just throws a “BITCH” into it.
Mark: “D’you think ‘remix’ just means shouting ‘bitch’ over a record? Actually, no, I heard a Dido album and i think I did remix it…”

Mark makes another Patrick Kielty joke. Afterwards, Phill just starts cracking up. He goes “Louis just said to me “Does he not care for Kielty?” Am I on a diet?”

ID Parade:
Phill: “I never get a very good impression of this, but #1 is thinking about kittens. A whole basket of them. “TO THE LAKE, OR TO MY LAIR…”

Mark: “I’d steer away from the whole 1,2,4 and 5 business and focus in on the other one…”
Bill and Jason: “3…?”
Mark: “Forget I said that. Out of these, which one looks like the singer from Collapsed Lung THREE?”
Lara: “I don’t know it…”
Mark facepalms.

Next Lines:
Mark: “Touch my bum.”
Jason: “…..no thanks.”

Overall: A light episode, but it did pick up after a while. It helped that you had people like Louis and Lara for Mark to screw with, but it wasn’t a great episode without that.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Jason
Best Runner: Lara shitting in a bucket.

Nevermind Watchdown: S15E2 or How do you say ‘Showaddywaddy’ in your country?

Our only returnee is oft-shirtless, oft-weird HarMar Superstar, which is nice. Three newbies join him.

Dave Bartram fronts 70’s band and MTW punchline Showaddywaddy. Eos Chater is another member of violin-rock group Bond. Leigh Marklew was in Malibu Stacy and played with Tony “Not Metal, Don’t Care” Wright in Terrorvision.

Phill’s panel notices a silhouetted elephant in the Sheryl Crow video: “And now, today’s mystery animal!”
Eos: “It’s like the elephant’s so embarrassed to be in a Sheryl Crow video that he’ll only be there if no one will recognize him…”
Mark: “That was that year the IRA were using elephants…They weren’t allowed to speak. They had to get a voiceover bloke to go ‘MMMMMMMM!!”

After a joke about Buddy Holly’s plain crash is met to boos, Mark: “You know I didn’t kill Buddy Holly. I was born eight years after the plane crash…the perfect alibi…”

Bill, on a shot of Enrique Iglesias wincing: “He looks a bit like George Michael, bracing himself…”
Mark: “Has he been slammed into the toilet door?”
Bill: “It’s either that or the robot-porn money shot…”
HarMar: “Little WD40, you know…loosens up the lips…”

On a shot of Shakira with a pane of light over her eyes
Mark: ‘That’s a great mask she’s got on…”
Bill: “She fell asleep in the sunbed again…”
Mark: “She’s like the opposite of Zorro. The rest of her face, you can see. ‘WHO WAS THAT MASKED WOMAN?’ ‘Well, uh, Shakira…”

Bill, on the point in the Shakira video when the guy is thrown across a bar with drinks on it. “That’s, uh, Extreme Wine Tasting. “It’s cheeky…cheeky, and oh, vanilla, vanilla AND GLASS! MAINLY GLASS!”
HarMar: “SHARDonnay, if you will…”
(Not too many people get this, but Phill cracks up, mostly at how nobody else got it)

After Bill’s team gets the point, Leigh: “Told you we’re not thick if we’re from YORKSHIRE!”
Mark: “You didn’t know where Spain was!”
Leigh: “I’ve been there on me ‘olidays!”
Mark: “How’s it pronounced, then?”
Leigh: “…’olidays!”

Mark: “Enrique has been quoted in saying what he desires in a woman isn’t necessarily looks. Hm…step forward Halliwell. But, she does say she has to be talented. As you were, Ging.”

After Eos misses an Intro, Mark asks her what she does listen to, and she says she prefers older stuff.
Mark: “Showaddywaddy?”
Eos (rehearsed): “YEEESS.”
Mark: “Nice try. Harmar. Showaddywaddy?”
HarMar (more pathetic) “YEEEESSSSS!!”
Phill: “That sounds dirty, cause he’s like “YYEEEEEEESSSSSS…”

Leigh: “Dave, I don’t know if you know this, but in Yorkshire, if you’re getting amorous with a lady, know what I mean, you say “put that in your mouth and say Showaddywaddy.”
Dave, a la Jimmy Savile: “ShowadDEH-WADEH!” (Hugh Dennis would be proud)
Phill, to the audience: “Maybe you can try it tonight, at home…”

Phill¬†compares HarMar and Bill to “cheap Belgian porn”
Bill, Belgian accent: “I come about de, uh, fridge, yes?”
HarMar, Belgian accent: “But it’s NOT broken…”
Bill: “Oh…it’s so HOT in here…”
Mark, accent: ‘How do you say “Showaddywaddy” in your country?”

Mark’s Intros for the ID Parade ‘Sway’
#2- Walk Thi…Sway
#3- Don’t leave me thi…Sway (#3 cracks up here)
#4- Carlito….Sway. (#4 barely holds it in. Barely)
#5- Swings Both… (#4 AND #5 crack up here)

HarMar, nearing the end of a very long ID Parade process: “I think it’s #2, because of the rips in his jeans.”
Mark: “You know what. Can whoever Terry Sharp is step forward?”
(#2 steps forward)
Mark: “NOW guess. Cause i’ve got better things to do…”

After the last Next Lines, which is Richard Marx, HarMar starts cracking up on the other panel.
Mark: “I’m glad you’ve come over to apologize for Richard Marx.”

Overall: Solid show. Kinda fell off in the last half, but very solid, with a lot of very funny moments, and until ID Parade, Mark looked like he was having fun. Of course HarMar and Dave were the highlights, and Leigh was a great dartboard for Mark. Eos had one or two good lines but mostly stuck to the background.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: HarMar
Best Runner: Showaddywaddy

Nevermind Watchdown: S15E1 or NO, BONANZA!

Starting off a hopefully-more-consistently-available-on-youtube, and hopefully just as good as Series 14, series of NMTB, and in the panel tonight are 3 people I’ve not heard of, and one person that…well, he’s behaving now, but wait until Simon gets here.

Samuel Preston’s a member of the Ordinary Boys, but nobody remembers him for that. They remember him for walking out of an episode of Nevermind the Buzzcocks after Simon keeps fucking with him. But that’s not this episode. No, apparently he behaves in this one.

Mark: “My team captains are, as ever, on my left, Jabba the Hutt (Bill), and on my right, Pizza the Hut (Phill).”

Randy Brown’s a member of rap group Big Brovaz. Matt Goss was a member of Bros, and is a pop solo artist. Shystie is a female rapper. Classy stuff, NMTB.

Bill’s Connected round is with Billie Holliday and Elvis’ chimpanzee.
Bill: “Oh, so Phill gets two humans, and they give me “Billie Holliday and a chimp.” Next week, what, I get Dido and a bunch of sloths?”
Mark: “Oh, could you imagine how dreary Dido would be crossed with a sloth?”

(After a shot of a monkey cycling past a door indoors)
Bill: “This is probably what happens whenever the door rings in the Jackson household. “DING DONG!” “i’ll get it!”

Preston: “It sounds like some sort of badly-done Kinks song.”
Mark: “Well, it IS the Hives, so you’re kinda right there…”

Matt, combing over Bill’s hair before an intro: “Hang on, we need some props.”
Mark: “HANG ON…Is this Queer Eye for the Freak Guy?”

Mark: “Come on, that is not helping anyone.”
Bill, hair combed over: ‘Yes it is!”
Mark: “Yes, but now [Shystie’s] got to sleep with the light on!”

One of my favorite moments in NMTB history happens in Intros. Goss and Bill start doing Together in Electric Dreams, however Mark seems to think that it’s the Bonanza theme song. So he starts singing it. Goss, while still doing Together in Electric Dreams, starts riding Bill to that tune. It’s amusing enough on its own.

Shystie: “I don’t know it.”
Mark: “That was Bonanza. They weren’t doing that, they were doing Together in Electric Dreams. Let me pass it over…”
Phill, to Preston: “WERE YOU LISTENING? Cause he did say it-”
Preston: “Together in Electric Dreams.”
Mark: “NO! BONANZA! I’M PASSING IT BACK! Shystie, what do you think it was?”
Shystie: “Randomly, I think Bonanza.”
Mark: “Well done, there you go.”

Mark gives Phill a point for getting the actual answer, but gives Shystie more points for the “correct” one. When he asks for someone to play it in, he very quickly realizes that the audio crew probably doesn’t have Bonanza, so he starts singing it himself, into his hands. “And I’ve got to say, my version was VERY like the record.”
And THEN…a magical thing happens. Someone in the control booth actually FINDS the Bonanza theme, and plays it in right at that second. Mark, the second he hears it, completely loses it, saying “WHERE’D YOU GET THAT?”
The rest of the theme plays, and Mark, Phill, Bill and Goss and even Preston all dance ridiculously to it. It’s hysterical every time I watch it.

Mark, sitting back down: “That is one of the most bizarre coincidences of my life.”
Phill: “They’re all out in the sound booth going “Oh, has anyone got a western theme?”You look around, and there’s one guy with chaps and spurs. “Well, I think ah might have a CD back in the ol’ saddle bag….”

ID Parade, Bill: “I don’t think it’s #3, because I think he’s a Restoration Villain.”
Mark: “Restored BADLY by the looks of things…”

Mark: “Hey good lookin’?”
Bill: “Hm?”
Mark: “I wasn’t talking to you.”
Bill: “Oh, that’s RICH coming from someone who looks like you…”
Mark cracks up, then gets the lightning crackle effect back “OH, LORD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME???

Out of nowhere in the next question, the lightning effect goes off. Mark, confused, goes “I AIN’T TOUCHIN’ IT!!”
In response, it just goes off again.
Mark: “This might be some kind of message.”

The lightning effect keeps going off, and the button is probably stuck. So a tech guy, which happens to be an older guy in a beard, runs onstage to fix it, but Mark and Phill flee in horror, Mark even yelling “TROLL! TROLL!”
Bill, of course, is going “Oh, DADDY! DADDY!”

Overall: Slow start, amazing finish. Talk about a moment changing the direction of a show. From the Bonanza bit on this panel was electric. True, it wasn’t really the panel’s fault, because it was a very low-key one, with highlights occasionally coming from a surprisingly-content Preston, Shystie, and Randy. But man, Mark, Bill and Phill were having a blast, especially with the lightning effect going out of control.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Shystie
Best Runner: Lightning Crackle

(Mr.) Nevermind Watchdown: S14E10, or SPIT OUT THE STRAW!

Bad news is Episode 9’s evading me. Good news is we’re skipping right to Episode 10, featuring the most inexplicable panel combination in NMTB history.

Mike Peters sang lead with the Alarm, of 68 Guns fame. Additionally, Fearne Cotton’s on Bill’s panel, which is always fun. But that pales in comparison to Phill’s. ON ONE TEAM…we have the master of dry humor, Rich Hall, and the ruby-throated booze-hound Amy Winehouse. This…is gonna be good.

Phill: “I mean, Lou Reed’s said to have had affairs with David Bowie…”
Amy: (high pitched MMMM)
Phill: “And Iggy Pop”
Amy: (higher pitched MMMM)
Phill: “The hell is that?”
Amy: “That’s my jewish mother cluck noise, like MMMMMM.”
Mark: “I thought i’d brought a really cheap box of fireworks in tonight.”

Phill: “Bowie you can sort of see. Gentle englishman. “Oh…Yes….Oh…” But WHO’D HAVE SEX WITH IGGY POP? He’s like “RUUUAAAAAUUUGHHHH!”
Mark: “Hold up. I like the way that you did, quite a touching impression of Bowie being buggered there. “OOOOHHH….OHHHH YOU PRETTY THING…” Is this based on something? Is this The Secret Diaries of Adrian Jupitus?”
Phill: “YES!”
Mark: “Gays don’t want to just sleep with everyone…as you know, Phill.”

Phill: “Oh, to get passed over by Iggy….”
Mark: “Is that a Jewish festival?”
Amy even nods approvingly.

Mark asks if anything Amy says is taking out-of-context.
Amy: “I was quoted in saying Dido was bland and Posh was an idiot…”
Mark: “How is that EVER out of context?”

Bill: “David Bowie, he is the chameleon of pop. And you know how to kill a chameleon, right? You put it on a two-toned suit. It’ll go “RED! BLUE! RED! BLUE!”

Bill’s panel keeps playing with the bit in the China Girl video where his chinese girlfriend jumps up quickly out of bed and David spits his straw out, like other things he could react to. Some of them best ones.
Bill: ‘David, there’s no horse in horseradish!’ “WHAT?” (Mark goes ‘in China there is…’)
Bill: “What do you mean there’s a train service in Gatwick that’s cheaper than Gatwick Express?”
Phill: “I’ll have a go at this, this seems like a laugh: ‘David, behind you! Iggy Pop!”
Bill: “Alright, one more. “I’M ACTUALLY…A BLOKE!” “WHAT?”
Phill: “I think Rich has got one.”
Rich: “Ready? “SPIT OUT THE STRAW!””

Mark: “In a way, David Bowie’s music is a perfect reflection of this program. If I look to my left, I see a Space Oddity.”
(Bill’s expression drops.)
Mark: “If I look¬†at Phill’s pants- clearly Under Pressure.”
(Phill just nods. The fat jokes don’t even bother him anymore.)

Thankfully Intros is back this week, but instead they’re doing Instrumental Breaks. As long as the round still exists.

Amy: “You start, I’ll come onto you.”
Phill: “WILL YOU NOW???”
Mark: “They’re all the same, aren’t they, women?”

Rich makes a point that no heroin addict has no hair. “Look at Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, all luxurious heads of hair, all heroin addicts. That must be why they call it hair-oin.”
Later on, he goes “I just thought of one. James Taylor, no hair, heroin addict.”

Rich becomes adamant because he answers a question (That Mark gave him) with ‘Blue Skies’, when the title is Mr. Blue Sky, and he doesn’t get the point.
Mark: “Rich…they HAVE quiz shows in America, right? This isn’t a new thing for you?”
Rich: “Yeah, but on those we get a fuckin’ car…”
Mark even cracks up a little here.

Phill gives Amy some shit for having some very meek sounding guitar solos. “Sounds like a kitten.”
Amy: “But I’m small. I can’t manipulate my voice like you, you’re a big man.”
Phill, taking it the wrong way: ‘WHOA.”
Mark, giving him shit for taking it the wrong way: “In all fairness, she meant you’re really fat. She can’t see the other guest.”

Mark: “Rich, have you got it, then?”
Rich: “Yes, it’s MISTER Free Bird.”

Phill, ID Parade: “I already know who it is, so I’ll let these two answer it. So Rich, on star-power alone-”
Rich: “I’m not answering unless you call me MISTER Rich.”
Phill, as Terry-Thomas: “I SAY, MISTER RICH, WHO D’YOU THINK IT IS?”

Rich, not wanting to pick ‘Mr. #5″: “I think it’s #3.”
Phill: “It’s not. It’s obviously #5.”
Mark: “I’ll give you it if you say #5.”
Rich: “I don’t trust you. I’m gonna go with #6!”
Mark: “Alright, well you can maybe trust Phill, who knows who it is. Max, could you just wave.”
#5 just nonchalantly waves toward the panel.
Mark: “You can maybe trust him…”

Mark: “Alright, Rich, have a guess.”
Rich: “…there’s something sinister about this whole thing…”
Mark: “Alrght, Max, could YOU AND #3 SWAP? NOW who d’you think it is?”
Rich: “…uhhh…”

Mark tells him he’s getting a point anyway, so Rich says “does that mean if we get it right we get that PLUS one point.”
Mark: “Anything so we can all go home eventually.”
Rich: “Amy, you’re Jewish, haggle with him.”

Mark, Next Lines: “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.”
Bill: “You haven’t had your dinner yet.”

Mark: “68 Guns will never die.”
Mike: “Ooo-hooh-ohoo-hooo…”

Mark: “I fell like a lady.”
Mark: “I’m not, but it’s right…”

Mark: “BLUE SKY, Please tell us why.”
Phill: “I think you’ll find it’s MISTER Blue Sky.”
Mark: “*”I* didn’t start there.”

Overall: The jolt of momentum this season needed, especially with all the holes in the season. Hysterical episode with great panel work from all four, even though Phill’s had slightly more disfunction going on with Rich’s Mr. Blue Sky runner, and Amy being in a great mood, and surprisingly sober. Mike and Fearne were pretty great too, and Fearne was a nice little dartboard for Mark.

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Rich
Best Runner: Mr. Blue Sky

Nevermind Watchdown: S14E8 or You Were Just Booed down by a Nolan!

The reason I’ve had a drought on the NMTB watch down is that there’s been a ton of episodes that keep getting deleted. Episode 8 is the next one, even though 6 and 7 looked really funny. Good news is Episode 8 is a Fish episode, so we’ll be alright.

Stuart Maconie is a DJ and TV presenter. Ryan Richards is the drummer for hard-rock band Funeral for a Friend. Bernadette Nolan is, yes, another member of The Nolans.

Fish’s very first answer is very driven and pointed…and Mark literally couldn’t understand a word of it, so he makes him do it again, but slower.

Phill: “Now, when I heard that Brian Adams throws fruit from behind the barrel, I thought that meant something else.”

Phill: “And you’ve got the coppers there, falling on the apples…and *pears*…”
Mark: “What, did that sentence bore you just then? APPLES AND *PEEEARRRS*! What a sad grocer you’d make. COME ON LADIES, APPLES…and pears…”

Fish mentions that O’Donnell is trying a “Michael Jackson space-walk.”
Mark: ‘His SPACE WALK? It’s moon walk, definitely. There’s no point in a Jackson video where he walks like…” And Mark does a very slow, wide-legged walk.
Phill: “I bet Jackson does a lot of that…”

Nice to get a Guess Who question I already know the answer to. Even more, the guy that made Superstar, the Karen Carpenter movie made with Barbie dolls, just directed a movie called Carol, which is pretty huge in critics’ circles.

Bill’s first line is, as a tribute to Fish, complete and utter gibberish, even putting up a card that reads “this is not my fault”.

Stuart asks Bernie if there was ever a Nolans tribute band.
Bernie: “Strangely enough they were called the Nolan Sisters Tribute Band.”
Bill: “Yeah, or a looky-likey band. You Never Nolan.”
Stuart: “You could have had Sham-Ritchie following you around all the time.”
Bernie: “Oh-ho…oh, no…”
Mark: “Stuart, you were just booed down by a Nolan. Bernie went “OH! THAT WAS WEAK!” And SHE was in the Nolans!”

Mark: “The Carpenters also released ‘Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.” To them, smash hit. To us, it’s how we got a new team captain.”
The insults barely even faze Bill anymore…

Now…for some reason…they’re not doing the Intros round this week. This is alarming. I don’t know why, but this is too odd.

This whole ‘kids drawings’ round is very visual, so there’s not a ton to write. Also, the lack of intros is making this episode very odd, very alien.

Stuart, on Clock: “This is your kind of music, isn’t it Bill?”
Bill: “Oh yes, we’d often weave a basket to this…”

Overall: A rare lowlight for Series 14. Fish and Stuart were great, and Bernie had great rapport with Mark, but the lack of Intros skidded this episode to a halt, even with all the great Fish moments.

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Fish
Best Runner: Apples and peeearrs…