QI Watchdown: H4 (Humans)

Onto another QI, featuring four very dry people, that hopefully will work well off each other. Jo and Jimmy are making their first appearances this season, and Jack Dee is returning after batting down Phill and Ross a few episode ago.

Jo’s buzzer is a bubbling, croaking swamp noise. After a beat, she turns to Stephen and goes “I really DO go like that…”

Stephen: ‘Describe the perfect man.”
Jo: “A dead one.”
Stephen, faux-astonished: “JO BRAND!”

Stephen, going over the DaVinci proportions: “Your head is about an eighth of your body height”
Jo: “Your head’s about a quarter of your body height.”
Stephen: ‘IS IT??”
Jo: “Yeah, because your brain’s so massive…”

Stephen: ‘The fact is there are millions of them around Italy. Why is that?”
Jack: “Beermats”
Stephen: “NOT….BEERMATS…”

Stephen: “Well, people call him Leonardo, and Da Vinci is just the place he came from. Name some other painters like that…”
Jo: “Leonardo Da…Stratton….”
Stephen: “…not quite…”
Jack: “Rolf of Australia.”
Stephen: “…That is true. How can I take that away from you?”
Man, Jo and Jack are just having fun annoying Stephen tonight.

Stephen: “It’s like cooks. Delia. Nigella. Jamie.”
Alan: “Jamie….Da Essex.”
Stephen: “That’s the one!”

Stephen: “How would you spot a neanderthal on the bus?”
Jack: “If he comes and sits next to me…”
Jo: “He’s the one…already sitting next to me, because I’m married to him.”
Stephen: “Is this going to be the ‘humiliate my husband’ show?”
Jo: “Yeah, he doesn’t watch this, it’s alright…”
Stephen: “Oh, fine.”
Jimmy: “He doesn’t really understand it.”

I’m glad someone finally called Jo out about all the husband-bashing, even if that is her schtick.

Stephen: “Why would you need to take a fossil into a nightclub”
At this exact moment, a picture of Peter Stringfellow appears on the behind-screen. Jo has already buzzed in, sees this, and goes on anyway.
Jo: “If you were at Stringfellow’s, you wouldn’t need to…”

Stephen: “Which bit of you is evolving the quickest?”
Jo: “Is it my propeller?”
Stephen: “…did you say your propeller?”
Jo: “What, did you say ‘revolving’?”
Stephen: “No, EEEVOLVING!”
Man, this is also a great episode for Jimmy Carr’s laugh. He’s laughing more than he’s saying things tonight. The curmudgeons, Jo and Jack, are taking hold.

Jimmy: ‘There’s a thing that lives in the sea that has a sort of propeller-like mechanism, and it-”
Jo: “Is that a boat??”
Jo, somehow, is absolutely killing it tonight.

Jack’s talking about breeding long-necked people to have a ‘giraffe family’
Alan: “I saw a family fortunes once…”
Jimmy: “Here we go, back to my level…”
Alan: “The question was ‘Name a Bird with a Long Neck’. And the guy said Naomi Campbell…”
Stephen: “It’s like my favorite one on Weakest Link. They said ‘What are Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinor Noir’, and he said ‘Footballer’s Wives!”
Alan: “My favorite one is ‘Name a Dangerous Race’. And the guy said The Arabs!”
(Stephen loses it here)
Alan: “I don’t know if they were hoping for ‘Grand Master’ or something…”

Stephen puts a picture of a little scrawny rodent on the behind screen.
Jimmy: “Oh my god, how did you get a picture of my scrotum? It’s got the teeth and everything.”

Jack tells a story involving a German man who posted on the internet that he wanted to eat a person, and someone responded. He does this whole story in these German accents, very similar.
Jimmy: “Did they get confused because they both sounded alike?”

Jimmy tells a similar story: “He had ‘im all tied up and he was going to eat him, and then he said ‘aw…I don’t really fancy it’…and they watched Ocean’s Twelve instead, and then he went home.”
Jack: “Yeah, I’ve seen Ocean’s Twelve. I’m not so sure that was a good deal.”
Alan: “Yeah, I’d rather be eaten.”

Stephen: “What is the point of teenagers?”
Jo: “Are they the only group that you’re legally allowed to punch?”

Stephen: “Who’s the fastest human runner of all time”
Jimmy: “I’m gonna go Usain Bolt”
Jimmy: “What, did you not see him on telly? The guy’s called BOLT for god’s sakes! What more could you need?”

Stephen puts up a picture of an Ancient Greek bath house. Jimmy, all of the sudden, spots something in the corner that looks very similar to someone being blown by another man.
Jimmy: “WHAT’S GOING ON OVER THERE??? IF I’M NOT MISTAKEN…and his Mrs. is just WATCHING! He’s probably showing HER how to do it…”

There’s a great moment where they’re asked what disease a mosquito gives you. They all just sort of look around for a few seconds, and Jo just sort of looks at Jack and goes “GO ON…” Jack has no choice but to buzz in with ‘malaria.’

You know this is a weird episode because Jo, not only does she win, but she didn’t get any Klaxons. That’s miraculous!

Overall: A lightweight show without any real highlights. The main gags tonight were beginning-of-question ones, and the conversations didn’t elicit a ton of good lines. Jimmy and Alan were quieter tonight, as Jack and Jo did most of the work, which is nice.

MVP: Jack
Best Guest: Jo
Show Winner: Jo
Best QI Fact: Blacklight fossils

Nevermind Watchdown: S19E7 or Medieval McFly is not available in the shops..

Other than Jenni Falconer, who was here 10 series ago, I only recognize one name from this CHRIIIIISTMAAAAAAS special…and oh my lord. It’s David Gest.

David Gest, for those unaware, married Liza Minnelli in 2003, and divorced her soon after, complaining that she beat him. He’s also denied allegations of his homosexuality MANY TIMES. So…I have no idea what he’s doing on Buzzcocks, but still…this will be funny.

Right after Simon says the show won’t be resorting to gimmicks thanks to the 45 minute running time, all the panelists, one by one, enter on various scooters and cycles. Jenni arrives down a slide placed onstage by stagehands. David arrives legitimately riding a horse.

Danny Jones is in McFly, a British band I’ve heard of. Dan Gillespie Sells is the openly gay frontman for The Feeling.

Phill, for the ‘largest gathering of people with 1 surname’ question, figures out it’s either gonna be Stevenes or Joneses, so he asks Danny if he was invited
Simon, channeling Mark Lamarr: “Danny’s surname is ‘From McFly'”

Phill makes a Michael Jackson joke about the Grace Jones video.
David: “…we don’t mention Michael Jackson.”
Phill: “…Do we not?”
Simon: “David’s best friend Michael Jackson???”
David: “Gotta be NICE to him!”
Bill: “Ahhh…be nice to the baby-dangling freak!”
NMTB in a nutshell right there.

Simon: “Have you met Grace Jones, or married her?”
David: “…So far, Michael Jackson…”
Simon: “Are you keeping count? That’s your type, though. Slightly unhinged gay icons. Have you met Grace Jones?”
David: “No.”
Simon: “…call yourself a starfucker…”

David, on Jason Campbell: “Great guy. Big fan of Michael Jackson.”
Simon: “I’m actually a big Michael Jackson fan m’self…”
David: “…Not anymore.”
Simon: “Why not?”
David: “Cause you put him down.”
Simon: “NO, I DIDN’T! It was that bloke there!”
Bill waves, then pantomimes dropping the baby over the balcony. Bill just transformed into Sean Lock for a split-second there.

(I’d like to point out that Dan barely said anything in between the David slams. This may be what we’re in for.)

Phill, to Jenni: “One morning on GMTV, I’d really love- just for me- book Cradle of Filth! Let’s have a death metal band on! And you and Ben Shepherd going “…that was lovely!” Dani Filth going “EEEEEUUUUUUUURRRGHHHHH!” “I understand that song’s about raping Satan!”
Simon: “Isn’t Cradle of Filth what you call Fiona Phillips?”

As Danny and Bill try Intros with their Medieval Instruments, Phill: “Medieval McFly is not available in the shops!”

For his second intro, Bill brings up this large, windy horn, which prompts Phill to say “BILL WILL NOW PLAY HIS LOWER INTESTINE…”

Also, during intros, every once and a while Simon will pull out a saxophone and mime playing an actual song, like Careless Whisper or the Pink Panther theme.

Also, during intros, Simon pulls out a menorah and starts lighting it, as it is the Christmas special, and he is pretty damn Jewish. So then, Phill and Dan turn whatever intro they were doing into Hava Nagila”

Simon eventually shares at ACTUAL letter from the Daily Mail, talking about how Buzzcocks is filled with ‘gay filth’. So Phill and Bill stand up and shake Simon’s hand, congratulating him on the gay filth. It’s pretty hysterical.

Simon: “Muse had their equipment wrecked during a hurricane, right before the ironically-named Hurricane Festival. We can only wish them the best of luck at the World AIDS Day festival.”
The audience reacts in OHHHHHs.

Bill, in Badly-Drawn Boy: “I hope it’s Sophie Ellis-Bextor. HUGEST face I’ve ever seen…”
Simon: “Bill Bailey…Dan’s bandmate is married to Miss Bext-”

Simon: “Did you ever meet Rednex, David?”
David, misunderstanding: “…a lot of ’em…”
Simon: “I meant the band.”
David looks over, kind of shocked, and gives a very panicked (for David) expression, which cracked me up.

Simon, sending off Mary Jo: “Still touring the world and writing new material- REALLY?”

For David’s ID Parade, #4 is intro’d as ‘Liza Minnelli’, and #5 is the horse David came in on. Man, if David doesn’t leave without shouting at the producers, I’ll be shocked.

Simon: “David, you must have met Derek B in the 80’s?”
David, getting a bit tired of this, just shakes his head no
Simon: “You’ve just fallen in love with the mule, haven’t you?”
Phill: “It’s not Mr. Ed. He’s not gonna go “IT’S NOT MEEEEE!!!”

Overall: A pretty nice Christmas episode, weakened by a less funny and more interesting Next Lines, and a few guys who didn’t do a ton on the panel. David was fun, though became less and less of a good sport as the episode went on. Jenni and Danny were pretty fun too.

Best Regular: Simon
Best Guest: David
Best Runner: Famous People David Knows


Best Episode: Episode 5, featuring John Barrowman’s out-gaying, and Robin Ince wondering why.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 1, where Simon can’t say something he doesn’t have, and Alesha going insane.
Worst Episode: Episode 4, because with all the Amy Winehouse stuff it was a bit hard to watch, even if Andrew Maxwell was on point.
Best Regular: Simon, for coming in and completely taking the show over, making it his own.
Best Musician Guest: Lily Allen, for being a pretty huge pop star and being a great sport with all the meat Simon threw at her.
Best Comedian Guest: Stewart Lee, for nearly upstaging  Bill Oddie with his really impressive humor.
Best Dartboard for Mark: Vanessa Feltz, I guess.
Most Annoying Panelist: Bill Oddie, by default, even though he was at least entertaining, he still sort of unraveled completely.

Nevermind Watchdown: S19E6, or I’m Coming Over With My Sex-Men!

For the first time in a while, I actually know everyone who’s gonna be on tonight. Not all of them have been on the show, but still…

Steve Strange fronted Visage back in the 80’s. Jamelia’s an R&B singer-songwriter. They’ve both been on before. Lily Allen, who I’m kind of surprised that they actually got, is a singer-songwriter who was HUGE in 2006. Yay Buzzcocks. And Mark Watson’s a Cardiff comedian who was on Mock the Week a lot during the Frankie Boyle golden age. Hell, they even include some of his MTW bits in the intro clips, which has got to be a first.

Phill, examining the Zeta-Jones video: “In the background there’s some kind of ship’s wheel, so it actually looks like the Antiques Roadshow.”
Lily: “Especially that Michael…”
Phill: “‘How much is this worth…this something…'”
Lily, cracking up: “fucking millions!”

Phill: “So the GAME is…what have we pixelated-”
Lily: ‘I think it’s her morals.”
I did not expect to see her having this much fun.

Steve: “I think it’s her mirror image in a disco ball…”
Simon: “D’you know we’ve pixelated it??…”

Jamelia, on when she met Robbie Williams: “He was like, ‘oh, yeah, you’re one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met’, and I was like ‘..okay’. It wasn’t the most original thing.”
Bill: “So Robbie just went “You’re the most BEAUTIFUL woman in the world…okay, see ya’, No he turned to the next girl and went “NO, YOU…ARE THE MOST BEEEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORRRLLD..”
Mark: “You weren’t tempted to marry him, so you’d get a surname at last?”
Oh my gosh, Mark’s amazing…

After another reference to Jamelia calling Javine a slag, Simon: “If you don’t know the story, she went off with former Mys-Teeq member Alesha Dixon’s husband MC Harvey. So…we are starting a war with the So-Solid Crew here, I don’t know…there’s only five of them left, I think we can take them.”
Jamelia: “Exactly…”
Simon: “YEAH, WE CAN, BILL! What about it? What if Bill and I come over and sleep with YOUR wives?? Yeah! AND PHILL! He’s loaded and ready to go! Let’s go! I’M COMING OVER WITH MY SEX MEN!”
Bill, grabbing the little wings on his t-shirt: “I HAVE THE EARS OF DEATH!”
Simon: “AND I’VE GOT A PENIS! Phill, what have you got?”
Phill: “I’ve got 300 pounds…that you probably won’t be able to get out from underneath. So it’s not a shag, it’s more of a fight for survival, and YOU WILL!”

Bill, getting back to the round: “Jamelia, what do you reckon….SOME SLAGGG???”

Simon, reading a RHCP joke from the auto cue: “When Anthony Kiedis was a child, his father showed him how he’d grown one of his fingernails long, to use as a coke spoon, and another, short, to be a…pussy-friendly finger…”
He then just clenches up and winces, before going, to the audience, “Some things I’m unable to read…STEPHEN FRY wouldn’t read ‘Pussy-Friendly Finger’
Naw, he’d read something more scientifically accurate.

After a post-intros bit involving Jamelia doing some butt-shaking: “It was just..the tea that made me do all that…”
Simon: “Was it the same tea Amy Winehouse was drinking?”
Jamelia: “…it’s not that strong.”
Bill: “I think you mean wine-lake.”
Man, I know it was 2 episodes ago, but OUCH.

Overall: Picked up as it went along, but a bit lighter than last episode. True, all four were on tonight, with less of an emphasis on a characteristically moody Steve, but Jamelia and Lily were having a ton of fun, and Mark was cracking some great jokes.

Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Jamelia
Best Runner: Javine’s a Slag!

Nevermind Watchdown: S19E5 or YOU HAVE OUTGAYED ME, BARROWMAN!

Man, that was a really sad episode back there. We need 12cc’s of Barrowman, STAT!

The two guys I’ve heard of here are Robin Ince, who’s a colleague of Brian Cox’s who’s been on Mock the Week, and John Motherfucking Barrowman, of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and every gay man’s dreams. Hell, Simon even intros him as “and PRACTICING HOMOSEXUAL, JOHN BARROWMAN!” And the audience goes wild.

Kelli Young’s in girl group Liberty X. Daniel Bedingfield’s a New Zealand popstar and brother of much more well known singer Natasha Bedingfield.

Simon’s 3rd option for the Sugarbabes Sorry No Refunds is ‘they were banned after Churches considered their music to be ungodly.”
Bill: “Ungodly? Are they not specific about that?”
Simon: “I guess all the wiggling of vaginas or something”
John: “Hold on a sec- does a vagina WIGGLE? Not that I’ve ever seen one, but…please inform me.”
Simon: “…I’m not an expert…”
Phill: “There’s nothing quite like the riveting TV stylings of two homosexuals discussing fannies, is there??”

Simon: “Barrowman…”
John: “…what?”
Simon: “You are a man of many talents.”
John: “slightly getting worried here, but go on…”
Simon: “I saw you on that How do you solve a problem like Maria program. You were giving an acting lesson.”
John: “Would you like me to give you one?”
John here looks like a combination between Tom Cruise and Chip Esten from Whose Line. Which means…I can see where Simon’s coming from.

Simon eventually plays a clip of John kissing various women as part of this acting lesson.
Simon: “You’re disgusting…”
John: “…someone’s gotta be…”
Simon: “How d’you solve a problem like syphilis?”

Simon: “That was Status Quo, but why did they have to cancel a UK tour date in 2002?”
Robin: “Public Demand! Oh, sorry…”
Yeah, this guy’s got the right idea.

Daniel, on the tea-cart in the Status Quo video: “do you think that is a little…steam powered dildo with little chocolate and toffee apples on the side?”
Phill: “A steam powered dildo? Oh, when I’m pleasuring myself, I have to do it in a victorian style. Where’s my coal, James? Stephenson’s rabbit!”

After Daniel reveals he recorded some of his album in the nude.
Phill: “On the tracks where there are erroneous notes, it could just be his old fella flapping’ against the keyboard.”
Phill then demonstrates how, on the piano, he can do a flawless chord on one end of the piano…and then hit a lower note with the knob.
Simon: “That’s the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen.”

Bill eventually gives John the Nirvana title, which he ends up stealing to get the point. John, in response, in the gayest voice possible, goes “talk to the hand, cause the wrist is pissed…”
John: “LET’S HAVE A GAY-OFF! Ready? Lips pursed, hands on the table, AND GO!”
Simon: “…I haven’t even told my mum yet…”

Robin’s having trouble guessing Phill and Daniel’s first intro when John starts buzzing in from across the stage.
Robin: “NNONO, I didn’t do that when you made the right balls-up on the Nirvana thing. I could have been all artistic and went “ACTUALLY, THAT BASSLINE WAS BY KILLING JOKE’, but I DIDN’T, DID I?? Barrowman, I- I DON’T EVEN THINK YOU *ARE* GAY, BARROWMAN! All this pretending, and all the “OH, don’t worry girls, I’m gay, now I’m gonna kiss you and fondle my stuff!” It’s disgusting! What would Barrowman know? Oh…LULU! IT’S LULU THEN!”

Simon, after intros: “…we had a gay man guessing Kylie and we had a black woman guess Bob Marley. We’re doing nothing to subvert expectations!”

Bill: “Flava Flav…must have been involved in some gun crime-”
Kelli: “Are you just saying that cause he’s a rapper?”
Bill: “Yes…or was it he rustled a load of cattle?”

Simon right at the start of Next Lines, goes “I feel like we haven’t created any tension. Like, who’s gonna win? Let’s ask the audience. BILL’S TEAM???”
(audience cheers)
Simon: “PHILL’S TEAM!!”
(audience kind of groans. Shot of Phill taken aback)
Simon: “Sorry, I didn’t know that was gonna happen.”
Bill: “You created tension…”
Robin: “TENSION, not HATE!”

Simon: ‘He rocks in the tree-tops all day long”
Phill: “Ah, fuck ’em. No.”
(First ever unbleeped F-Bomb on Buzzcocks)

Simon, about to start Bill’s Next Lines: “They’ve got 13, you’ve got 2….remember the audience is on your side…”

Simon: “High on a hill lived a lonely goat heard”
John: “(Yodels.) ”
Simon: “Correct, the sound of music”
John: “High on a hill, with a great big dildo, (Loud Gargling”
(End of Round Buzzer)
Simon: “…Never again. Strictly straights and lesbians from now on…They’re no bother…”

Stinger, after the credits, Simon, still at his desk, going, embittered, “…gays….they take our men…”

Overall: Top to bottom fantastic episode, thanks to four people who were willing to have fun, and some definite regular fun as well. John was obviously the standout, but Robin had some of the funniest lines, Daniel and Kelli had some nice moments, and Phill’s resentment after the ‘tension’ bit was hysterical. Lots of fun all around, and a great pick-me-up from last episode.

Best Regular: Simon
Best Guest: John
Best Runner: Incredibly Gay things

Nevermind Watchdown: S19E4

It occurred to me that last episode was supposed to feature Amy Winehouse in place of Tony Mortimer. This led to me imagining the Bill Oddie incidents with Amy on the panel. And then…I kind of felt grateful, because there probably would have been a casualty.

Never fear, as Winehouse is in the building tonight. Apparently she’s a bit inebriated here, too.

Penny Smith is a morning show presenter. Alex Pennie was the keyboardist for The Automatic. Andrew Maxwell’s a former warm-up comedian who was on Mock the Week once.

From the sounds of things, Phill seems to be battling a cold or laryngitis this week. Hopefully this will harken back to the QI where Sean Lock had laryngitis, and he’ll be hysterical here.

Simon: “Penny, have you ever interviewed Cliff Richard?”
Penny: “No, but I have played tennis with him. He even served me a couple of balls.”
Simon: “That’s…tennis balls, not cock and balls.”

So far in the episode, Amy’s kinda boozy, but she’s cracking jokes and having fun, which is great, because she did that last time she was on. Also, she behaved last time.

Simon keeps grilling Penny about all the guy’s she’s went out with, including Rory Bremner, and she just starts silently humming to herself.
Andrew: “This is a weird show, man. I’ve only ever seen this on TV, and it’s just…NOT LIKE THIS!”

Simon eventually tries convincing Amy to not get another drink, or do a gig with someone that’s clearly gonna give her more alcohol.
Simon: “Do a gig with Katie Melua”
Amy: “I’d rather have cat AIDS, thank you…”

Penny eventually reveals she went out with Paul McKenna, which both Simon and Andrew get a kick out of. Simon even says he hypnotized her into facing her fear of having sex with Paul McKenna.
Later, when Phill and Alex are doing intros, Simon starts going “you are getting sleepy…Penny, this is not my penis…it’s just a friendly mouse…”

Amy, getting up for Intros: “pssshh psshhh”
Simon: “What’s the push-push”
Amy: “It’s my new thing…”
Simon: “Thought that was crack!”
Amy: “Do I look like Russell Brand?”

Amy and Bill’s second intro is The Last Time, by the Stones. Simon, for the ‘how it should have sounded’ bit, plays in a clip from Penny’s stint on Just the Two of Us where she sings it.

Jessica Garlick, who was on back in Series 12, is now a member of the ID Parade, which is sad. Maybe it was due to her basically saying in the middle of an ID Parade “so, which one of them looks foreign.”

Amy, to the ID Parade: “Girls, girls, I dunno how much you’re getting’ paid for this, but I’d jump this, and I’d smack [Simon]”
Simon: “They get paid, and they know what’s gonna happen…”
Andrew: “Ooh, God, you sound like a pimp!”

Simon, Next Lines: “They told him never come around here.”
Bill: “Because you’re a registered sex offender.”

Overall: This was a very odd episode, because, knowing what would happen to Amy, I found the parts with her and Simon very hard to watch, especially in comparison to the last time she was on. It just was very sad, and heartbreaking, knowing what she did to herself. Andrew at least was the funniest here, and had a very nice outsider’s perspective on the show, which aided especially. Penny was nice in putting up with 23,000 Simon slams.

Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Andrew
Best Runner: GMTV.

Nevermind Watchdown: S19E3, or SHUSH ODDIE!

Onto another one. Tony Mortimer from East 17 is our only returnee.

Bill Oddie’s a, well, odd choice for the program. He hosts various bird-watching programs and was on The Goodies. Jason Pebworth is, well, ‘The One with the Hat from Orson’, an American pop-rock band who charted mainly in the UK during the mid-2000’s. Stewart Lee’s a comedian who borders more along the lines of offensive. I will say that he looks like a cross between Bob Mortimer and Craig Charles.

Simon cracks up introducing a round called “What have we pixelated’, just reading the auto-cue feed that details the incredibly simple instructions.

Bill, on the Shakira video: “In the second shot, she’s covered in oil, so presumably that’s what you get for swimming with gillimots.”
Bill Bailey: “Yes…SWIMMING WITH GILLIMOTS! That was the unsuccessful remake of Dances With Wolves.”

Simon, knowing Bill’s just gonna talk about birds, plays a couple bird calls for Bill to guess. The first one is, according to Bill, “a robin eating a Crunchy bar”
Simon: “…that’s not what I have on the card.”

The second one is a loud scream.
Bailey: “It’s someone being mugged.”
Oddie: “That is Shakira being cleaned up after the oil spill…”
Simon: “…that was a lapwing.”
Oddie: “Yes, I know!”

Simon: “Before you continue…Jason…tell us about your hat!”
Jason: “I have a very voluptuous head…so it’s like a bra. Keeps it nice and firm. What about your hat?”
Simon feels his jew-fro.

Simon, introing the Jessica Simpson clip: “If you can’t get Spears, you get Simpson. Sort of like if Winehouse pulls out of your show at the last minute, you get Mortimer.”
If this is true, this explains the sudden appearance of Tony Mortimer, but at least we’d be getting Amy next show.

After the clip of Jessica Simpson’s These Boots are Made for Walking
Stewart: “I think what’s been pixelated there is the spinning corpse of Nancy Sinatra who isn’t even dead.”
(Barely any audience response.)
Stewart: “Now, for that to work, you see, you would need to know that she recorded the second, and arguably most famous, version of that song. I take no responsibility for your ignorance.
Simon nods in agreement. My, this guy’s good.

Phill: “So, what do we really think is pixelated?”
Stewart: “Is it some pixels??”
Simon: “Well, let’s find out…”

Right before the intros round, Bill Oddie has some confusion over what exactly is going on in the envelopes, whether they’re the name of the song or not. Simon’s getting riled up now.
Stewart: “You’re in charge of this, you should do something-”

Stewart, after the umpteenth Bill Oddie distraction: “The only way to edit tonight’s episode is not with sharp cuts, but with a series of long, slow fades.”
Phill and Simon absolutely lose it here.

Simon segues from a line Etta James said about how the new line of pop stars are either Divas or Beavers, to a new round called Diva or Beaver.
The first two shots after that are hysterical. Simon holding a fixed smile, and Bill Bailey looking so completely confused.

Simon: ‘What’s your final answer”
Tony, cracking from being on a team with Bill Oddie: “…medication…”

This is classic. Simon, harking back to Jason’s line about ‘where’s your hat?’, as they’re doing intros, puts on a different hat whenever they cut back to him. First a top hat. Then a sombrero. Jason looks back at Simon in the sombrero and cracks up.

Jason: “It’s the hat thing, right? We’re doing the hat thing.”
Simon: “What hat?”

They cut back after the actual intro playback, and Simon’s now wearing a fez.

Bill Oddie: ‘I think I played with Leapy Lee in football….IS THAT SO???”
Bailey: “What do you mean ‘is that so?’ are you answering your own questions now??”
Oddie: “I was hoping that one of them nods and says ‘ah, yes, I remember him smashing the shit out of me on the football field…’
Simon: “Did you really? What, was it a Charity Football match?”
Oddie: “Yes, charity football.”
Simon: “What was the charity?”
Jason, offscreen: “SAVE THE AUDIENCE…”

Simon, continuing his ridiculing the ID Parade guests, goes to Steve Perry: “with a new single out in January…really?”

The credits sequence is played over dramatically-scored clips of Bill Oddie’s descent into madness, which made me laugh.

Overall: Fell off toward the end, but was still pretty great in the middle. This was definitely the Bill Oddie show, as he took whatever he could and ran with it crazily, but Stewart’s humor fit well here, Jason was a great sport with the hat jokes, and Tony, while bringing up the rear, did pretty well for himself.

Best Regular: Simon
Best Guest: Stewart
Best Runner: The madness of Bill Oddie.

Nevermind Watchdown: S19E2, or TONIGHT, ON PHILL!

Simon opens this one with a letter, which perfectly sums up his tenure on the show: “I did very much enjoy the show last week, however I did find the guests to be of a fairly low standard. A has been TV presenter, an 80’s pop star dug up from the grave, someone from a band who’s desperately trying to go solo, and some comedian I’ve never heard of? I do hope this doesn’t continue.”
He looks at the camera, smiles, and goes “Well, tonight I think you’re in for quite a surprise!”

Aside from Paul Young, who’s back, Vanessa Feltz was evidently a pretty ubiquitous TV presenter in 2006. Matt Willis was in Busted, and was going solo in 2006. Now he’s an actor and presenter. Will Smith is a comedian and not, as Simon and co. previously thought, the star of Men in Black.

Simon: “Vanessa, you’ve got a new show, haven’t you?”
Vanessa: “Yes, it’s on ITV. It’s called Vanessa’s Real Lives.”
Simon: “oh. Real this time??”

Maybe it’s the panel, but not a ton’s going on so far. Vanessa was supposed to be the focal point here, but she’s more annoying than relatable. Halfway through and not a ton to report about.

Bill, reading the intro card, groaning: “Ah, yes…sanctimonious little tosser here, isn’t he?”
Will: “Chris DeBurgh?”

Matt, ID Parade: “I think it’s #2, because the rest of them have obviously been hired and they’re not laughing, and she’s pissing herself. It’s been 7 years since it was out, she must have been 23, 24. You’re a lot older than you look!”
Vanessa: “Wouldn’t this be a good time to bring up his normal, chivalrous habits with women, cause he’s got a bit of a mouth on him, doesn’t he??I know he’s called this beautiful woman old.”
Simon, knowing he’s not gonna be heard: “he was being nice…”
Phill, talk show announcer voice: ‘TONIGHT. ON PHILL! WHEN TEAM MEMBERS BICKER!

Phill, doing a Jerry Springer impression, asks Matt if he has a rebuttal.
Vanessa: “…look at me!”
Matt: “I’m scared to.”

Phill: “The lady from Sash, I believe, we were looking for…made herself apparent extraordinarily early.”
Simon, faux-surprised: “So you’re saying #2??”
Simon: ‘Should we see? Will the real Tina Cousins please make herself known.”
Phill: “…AGAIN!!”

Simon, reading the ‘what she’s up to now’ card: “Still very much in the business…oh, no, that’s not right…”
#2 flips him off.

Simon, next lines: “Every day will break, but another comes along.”
Matt: “Oh, this is my song…..oh SHIT!”

Overall: Definitely picked up as it went along, but too little too late. Paul Young was having a great time, Vanessa was a bit annoying but cooled down, and Matt had some fun moments. Didn’t adore Will though

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Paul
Best Runner: Simon vs. Vanessa

Nevermind Watchdown: S19E1, or The Pope’s Got a Lovely Nose

Into the Simon Amstell era we go. The one thing about Series 19 on is that the tone of the show changes drastically. Since Simon, up to that point, was known for teen-based TV like Popworld, the show’s gonna end up being a bit more youth-oriented, and a bit more pop-based. If Mark were still hosting, he’d probably commit suicide.

Literally the first moment of the show is Simon talking to the producer, saying he loves the show but hates pre-opener sketches, and walks off, leaving a heavily costumed Phill and Bill looking kinda awkward. Also important to note that for the first time since Series 3 or 4, Phill is completely clean-shaven.

Also thanks to the Simon era, we get a new title sequence, a new set, and a new, cool feel to everything. They definitely made it a point to change things up thanks to the changing of the guard.

Simon, to start, says he wants to keep the tone the same, so he reads a joke Mark Lamarr left for him, which is simply ‘Chris Moyles…he’s a bag of shit!’.

Alesha Dixon’s the only member of Mys-Teeq not to be on NMTB, so this is an obligatory bit I think. Anthea Turner’s a legendary presenter, best known for Blue Peter. Ricky Ross is the scottish frontman of 80’s band Deacon Blue. Phil Nichol’s a Canadian comedian and actor.

Bill, to Alesha: “Have you had stuff thrown on you at your gigs?”
Alesha: “Yes. A pair of pants, with skid marks!”

Bill: “So, by process of elimination, we’re going with A”
Simon: “You’re going with A? All right, let’s have a look…at the auto cue now to find out”
And Simon, disjointed, just tries to find the auto cue now. After a few beats, he goes “…You’re right!”

Simon: “Eamon was better at this, wasn’t he?”
Bill: “Eamon?”
Simon: “Eamon Holmes.”
Bill: “Oh? Jabba!”

Simon: “Or C, Nicola Roberts couldn’t stop crying after a phone call from her mother?”
Phill: “From her mother?? What the hell did her mother say? Do we have any idea?”
Simon: “‘I wish you were in the Sugarbabes?'”

Phil: “As you can see, Cheryl Tweedy has to knick a tire during the shoot…”
Phill: “Yeah…’AH’M HAVIN’ THESE! We’re meehkin’ a veed’yo, and there’s a load of canny tires lyin’ about!’ She’s got the look on her face there that says ‘OOHH NOO, I FORGOT THEY WERE FILMIN’ US!”

Simon, to Phill, about Ricky: “How long’s he been in a band?”
Phill: “How would you know?? You’re twelve!”
Simon: “I don’t know anything pre-McFly.”

After that round, Simon reads another Mark Lamarr punchline: “Patrick Kielty…what a cock…”

Simon, to Anthea: “Didn’t you do a show with Patrick Kielty once?”
Anthea: “I did! He’s a friend of mine. I love Patrick Kielty.”
Simon: “It’s not my opinion…”
Anthea: “Somebody wrote that down for you?”
Simon: “It’s one of Mark’s old jokes he used to do…”
Anthea: “I’ll see you outside later…”
Simon: “No, I think Patrick Kielty-”
Anthea: “Is fantastic!”
Simon: “Eh, i’d say more of a cunt, but…”
The whole panel blows up. Man, Simon’s gonna be a joy to watch.

Anthea, still going: “You can’t say that word! You don’t have one.”
Simon: ‘So I can’t say it?”
Anthea: “No.”
Simon: “But I haven’t got an umbrella….”
Anthea: “You do HAVE an umbrella, you do OWN an umbrella…”
Bill: “You don’t get it out indoors!”
Phil: “A CAREER!”
Anthea: “Okay, A PENIS!”
Simon: “Hey…you’ve *got* a penis…”

Alesha, before the 1st intro: “Now, I’m not very good with this song, but I’ll just do any beat and you just hum the tune.”
Simon: “…Just like you did in Mys-Teeq.”
Alesha flips him off before they go on.

Bill and Alesha’s first intro takes so long for Anthea to get that Simon just starts reading Anthea’s book.

Anthea: “Could you give me a clue.”
Bill: “Uhh…it’s a song.”
Anthea: “Ohhhh….”
Simon: ‘Don’t worry, it’s not like your career’s at stake!”

Simon also takes some time to read some excerpts from Anthea’s book. Unlike a future occurrence of this, Anthea’s probably not going to walk out.

#5 in Phill’s ID Parade, a rather large guy, is intro’d at ‘topping himself when he gets home’
Phill: “Could you leave #5 alone…for he is my SON…”

Simon: ‘So you’re going with #1?”
Phill: “Right, and i’m going HOME with #5…”

Simon, Next Lines: “You’re a bum, you’re a punk…”
Alesha: “You like to smoke skunk?”
Simon: “No…”
Bill: “You’re…covered…”
Alesha: “IN SPUNK??”

Phill adds his own lyrics to Lionel Ritchie’s Hello: “I can see it in your eyes, I can see it in your smile, I’m trying to shag a blind lady, who goes to the same art class as me…”

Overall: A huge way to start the Amstell era. All four panelists did some funny things tonight, though I’d put Phill’s panel a bit lower than Bill’s, because Phill’s were more intentionally funny. Anthea was pretty great, especially with Simon’s ribbing. Alesha became a big character as the show went on. Phil and Ricky were funny, but did less. And Simon came out in a huge way tonight, stepping away from the Mark Lamarr era in spirit, which was a bold choice.

Best Regular: Simon
Best Guest: Alesha
Best Runner: Can’t say it if you don’t have it.