I thought I was ready.
I really did.
But, after 17 series of Mark Lamarr completely destroying people on Nevermind the Buzzcocks…I’m not. I’m incredibly sad to see him go, because he was the driving force behind this show from the second he realized the control he had. Yes, Simon Amstell’s coming in soon, but he’s not the same. Mark was raw, unfiltered power. Simon’s a bit too cheeky for me. Though I’ll get my taste of him eventually.
Tonight’s panel is tailor-made for Mark. Ben from A1 is here, as he’s one of Mark’s favorites. Toyah Wilcox is here, as she’s one of Mark’s LEAST favorites. AnnieMac, an Irish EDM DJ is here, to remind the viewers of Mark’s upbringing as a DJ. And Alun Cochrane is here, as he’s a comedian i’ve seen on Mock the Week that’ll at least give Mark an easy enough hard time.
This is also the 150th episode of NMTB. Mark even says “It was actually 156, but legally we weren’t allowed to include the number of times Richard Fairbrass has been on.”
Tonight’s episode brings back Freeze Frame, which is cool, since it’s been awhile. However, it’s given a multiple choice element, which I can get behind, as it’s worked well for them lately.
Bill asks Ben a question to get him into the conversation, but this gets them into a long, winded conversation that pisses the hell out of Mark. He then breaks it up by saying “Bill, ask me if I like cheese sandwiches”, but it gets Bill going even further.
Alun: “The Who are, uh, quite famous. I don’t really know too much about music. Should I have?”
Mark: “HEY. You know the Who are quite famous…”
Alun: “No, but my brother knows music, he plays guitar, he’s in a band.”
Mark: “Did Bill ask you if your brother was in a band??”
Alun: “No, but I do love a sandwich.”
Mark: “Hold on. Is your brother in the Who? Because if so, that’ll come in handy.”
Alun: “No, he’s in university. Gary, if you’re watching, good luck.”
Mark: “ANYONE, if you’re watching, good luck.”
Toyah: “It’s Adam Ant. Antmusic.”
Mark: “You’re quite right. You were in a film with him, weren’t you?”
Toyah: “Yes. He likes sandwiches.”
Toyah does this tonguing thing for an intro, then goes “Steve Coogan taught me how to do this.”
Mark swivels over, going “THIS IS A STORY WORTH HEARING.”
Mark: “Phill, I’ll give you a point if you know it.”
Phill smirks and looks back at the card, completely forgetting.
ID Parade brings us our last ID Parade appearance of Athelston, for the robot from Pointer Sisters’ automatic. He’s surrounded by much-more impressive robots, while he’s just wearing an antennae.
Alun: “Are #4’s tattoos real, or are they…clown tattoos?”
Phill: “Yeah, he got them in clown prison.”
The Next Lines will be performed by 2 rejects from the X Factor, which is a nice change of pace.
The second guy they bring out for Intros just yells all the lyrics off key, which Phill’s panel relish by just yelling everything back at him. It’s a hell of a sight to see.
For his last moments as the host of the show, Mark shoots himself in the head with a prop gun. Couldn’t have gone out in a more fitting manner.
Overall: Not the best of the season, but a solid finisher. Quieter panel, especially Bill’s but Toyah and Alun had the right idea. Mark didn’t seem like he was leaving, so the decision must have been made after the season had wrapped, but it was still a tough loss, and a fitting sendoff.
Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Toyah
Best Runner: Sandwiches
SERIES 17 SUPERLATIVES!!
Best Episode: Episode 7, featuring Lionel Blair dancing with Mark, an adorable old guy in both ID Parades, and Lionel’s inability to get a James Bond theme.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 6, featuring a killer panel, Nihal being ultra-British, Kathryn’s looniness, and Mark’s obsession with her pregnancy.
Worst Episode: Episode 2. So boring. Not even Tony Livesey’s scottishness could save it.
Best Regular: Phill, surprisingly, for coming out of the woodwork and dominating some panel-heavy episodes.
Best Musician Guest: either Kathryn Williams being crazy or Aled Jones being surprisingly game with all the insults.
Best Comedian Guest: Lucy Porter for, once again, taking control of her episode. Though Alun Cochrane comes close.
Best Dartboard for Mark: Yvette Fielding, and her ghost-catching.