Youtube didn’t have Episode 1, so sadly we’re missing a Jonathan Ross appearance, but at least we’re onto someone we know can anchor the show.
Series 18, a transitional year in NMTB history, tried to find a successor for Mark Lamarr after his departure by getting guest hosts, like Have I Got News For You did, hoping to either continue with guests or land on a successor. In episode 2…they landed.
Simon Amstell was hosting Popworld before his trial run on Buzzcocks, and that was a nice warmup for the big stage.
Panel wise, this one’s pretty amazing, as not only is Phill playing with Kenzie, but RUSSELL HOWARD, of Mock the Week and Good News fame, is in the building! This could be pretty amazing.
Simon’s opening line: “I’m Simon Amstell, and if you think I’m a poor booking, let’s meet tonight’s guests.”
Fantastic. Gets the panel on his side immediately.
Aaron Gilbert plays keyboard for indie band the Delays. Nick Knowles is a TV presenter and DIY star.
Bill: “Ah, right, there is some kind of…tenuous connection…is there?”
Simon: “…it’s ME who hasn’t done this before, Bill…”
Yeah, this works pretty damn well.
Bill: “This bloke on the right, I reckon he’s got his hand up a cow. Just out of shot.”
Phill: “I’ll be honest, that’s quite a tall cow, when you look at the fella.”
Nick: “Naw, it’s on a box.”
Aaron: “Could the connection be that Tina Turner’s a hard carrier, and Britney Spears’ house is made out of bricks?”
Simon: “That’s correct, let’s move on…”
After Bill’s team completely waffles the first answer, Simon goes “I can see why Mark gets angry all the time.”
Simon: “When Tina Turner’s ex-husband Ike Turner was sent to prison, he was so scared of being held with the other prisoners, that he got himself transferred to the hospital wing. Oh, sorry, can I start that one again?”
Nick: “That went very well, I thought…”
Simon: “Why can’t I be a pro like Knowles?? It could be worse- I could be Kate Thornton. “WHEN TINA’S EX-HUSBAND…RETURNS…AFTER THE BREAK.”
Kenzie: “This is the same Wet Wet Wet that did Love is All around?”
Phill: “YEAH! SEVENTEEN WEEKS AT #1, A THIRD OF THE YEAR!”
Kenzie: “oh, fuckin’ hell…”
Phill: “AH, THE WISDOM OF YOUTH!”
Simon: “How old are you?”
Kenzie: “I just turned 20.”
Simon: “Isn’t Kenzie sweet?”
Simon: “Why don’t you tell the nice BBC viewers what your song Flip Reverse It was all about.”
Kenzie blushes. Then he goes “It’s about…women.”
Russell, saying his first line of the episode: “WOMEN?? It was about anal in a truck!”
Kenzie tugs at his collar a bit.
Russell: “Offended by 17 weeks, but the idea of bumming a lady in a Mazda- fine.”
Kenzie: “You can’t put me on the spot like that…”
Simon: “YOU WROTE A SONG ABOUT BUMMING!!!”
Kenzie: “I’ve got a girlfriend at the moment, what’s she gonna think of this?”
Phill: “I dunno, CAN SHE SIT??”
Simon makes a joke about heroin, then looks over at Kenzie and asks if he got it right.
Kenzie: “I DON’T DO IT!!! Don’t look at me. I don’t do that, I do anal sex…”
Simon: “During the last series of American Idol, there were s…THERE…WERE..”
Simon: “Scurrilous, thank you very much.”
Kenzie: “…just tryin’ta help…”
Simon: “OOOOH…I CAN *READ*!”
Phill: “one of ’em had to… ‘TOILETS, DIS WAY GUYS, FOLLOW ME…'”
(Kenzie is losing it here, too. He’s an amazing sport in all this)
And the clip used for the Napalm Death ID Parade intro-clip is indeed the one Phill’s panel had to transcribe in Indescipherable Lyrics back in the first few series.
Even Simon’s names are funny
“Is it #1…UUUUUUUURRRRGGHHHHH
Kenzie: “#5’s boots are impressive, if you like…treading on people’s faces…”
Phill: “I think YOU’RE in line for a little visit…”
Next Lines: “Bob the Builder, can he fix it?? Come on, Nick, this is your area…”
Nick: “I don’t know…”
Simon signs off with “I’ve been Simon Amstell, and before I go back to youth television…BOLLOCKS! Thank you.”
Overall: Solid panel thanks to some great work from Kenzie and Nick. Russell kept on the defensive for most of the night, but had some pretty nice lines every now and then. Aaron was also a quieter favorite, like his last appearance. Kenzie was the real star–not only was he a big personality, but he was a good enough sport to really work on this program. He was great putting up with Simon who, to his credit, wasn’t hitting him too hard.
Thoughts on Simon: Very polished here, especially compared to Mark’s NMTB. Some of his deliveries were kind of straight, and he did mess up a few auto cue lines, which Kenzie aided him on. He wasn’t perfect here, but did enough tonight to get the gig after the season.
Guest Host Score: 9/10
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Kenzie
Best Runner: Kenzie’s anal.