The bad news is that tonight’s episode features Ruby Wax, a US-born TV personality that people are saying is incredibly annoying.
The good news is Sean Lock and Ross Noble are here to cancel that annoyingness out. So I think we’ll be fine.
Stephen gives the panel 2 points for every horned animal they can think of. So Ruby just riles off this long list, including joke answers, that just steers the episode to a halt right off the bat. There is a point, however, where she turns to Sean and says “did I say that one already”, and Sean just has this look of absolute disgust.
Eventually the cycle of cacophony is halted when Ruby guesses ‘unicorn’, and gets a klaxon. However, immediately after, Alan guesses ‘rhino’ and gets one himself.
Ross: “What about a Viking Dog…cause it would have the horns!”
More evidence that Ross Noble saves latter-era QI.
Stephen tells the story of the 18th century nun who grew a horn by banging her head on the cell repeatedly. Ross, in response, says “I’M DOIN’ IT NOW!” and starts banging his head on the desk.
Ross, going on: “What she should have done, is had a bible with a hook on it, put it [on her head] and you’d be peeling potatoes, reading the bible! Cause you’ll have that on QVC! ‘Are you sick of not being able to read the bible as doing domestic duties? Try banging yer head off a wall! It works for nuns! 8 out of 10 nuns prefer it!'”
(I find it funny that as soon as he said the ‘8 out of 10′ line, they cut to Sean. Thaaaat was good)
Stephen says the difference between horns and antlers is antlers “are shed every year”
Sean: “So what do they keep in this shed? They keep their antlers in a shed?”
Stephen: “No, not IN a shed”
Sean, blankly to the audience: “I know so little.”
Ross: “So when the two horn creatures are goin’ at it, when they lock horns…does that ever happen to nuns? ‘That’s not your bible, that’s my bible!”
Stephen: “I’d walk a mile on broken glass to see that…”
Ross: “I’d also pay to hump them as well…”
A bit of the way through, Ruby notes that she’s never heard someone talk like Ross, in a Geordie accent, which amuses Stephen and Ross.
Ross: “I’d just like to point out…I’m actually on the show, I’m not on the screen…You just saw me and went ‘what the hell is that thing?”
Ruby: “The way you bent your head-”
Ross: “I’ll come at’ya like a nun!”
Sean: “That’s one of the worst threats I’ve ever heard…’like a nun’. “Would you like a sweet?””
Stephen asks what would happen if you pushed a hippo into the deep end of a swimming pool.
Ross: “It’s not the first thing that would happen. The first thing that would happen was you’d get your swimming card revoked.”
Sean: “But also, Ross, I think there’d be a huge sense of relief, that you finally got the hippo…you’d got through the turnstiles with it, through the changing rooms…and you think ‘Ah, Christ, at least I’ve bloody done it!”…probably take the traffic cone of your head.”
Stephen points out that hippos can’t swim. Alan points out the BBC clip of the hippos swimming in a circle (previously referenced by Russell Howard on Mock the Week), and Stephen points out that it couldn’t have been true.
Sean: “A lot of Eastenders isn’t true, either.”
(On how hippos can reach the surface)
Sean: “They can’t use a ladder!”
Ross: “You said that with anger. Like…’bloody hippos’. You’ve paid a few of ’em to do some decorating. And they just sat ’round smoking, and you went “…can’t even use a bloody ladder!”
Ruby has moved on from sharks and talks about swimming with dolphins. “Sometimes disabled kids will go in, and they’ll sort of-”
Sean: “With sharks???”
Ruby: “…NOT with sharks…”
Stephen: “With dolphins, we’re talking-”
Sean: “Oh, sorry… I thought you were throwing disabled kids in with sharks. I was going ‘WHAT SORT OF CHARITY IS THIS????”
Ross sees the video of a hagfish secreting slime when hampered with.
Ross: “I think my daughter, then, might be a hagfish. Cause THAT’S NOTHING! To be honest, I’ve got that on me trousers…every morning.”
Ross: “Given the choice, if I had to have special powers, I’d like to be bitten by one of them , cause Spider Man just does a bit of climbing and all that, but imagine if you just…sat in a chair, somebody went ‘do your thing’ and you just went ‘bleeeahhhh’.”
Ross is fantastic this episode, and he’s having so much fun with this hagfish bit.
Sean: “But, Ross, superheroes are meant to HELP people. How would you HELP people with this mucus?”
Ross: “Oh, there’s a child who’s got his head stuck in the railings! ‘fffhhhmmm…”
Sean: “Yeah, that’s a really good comic book story, isn’t it??”
Ross: “Or, OH, This gravy is unnecessarily runny! ‘fffhhhmmmm…”
Stephen: “This couple is dry-humping!”
Alan: “I’d rather have hippo powers. Cause you’re bulletproof, you can run at 35 miles per hour, and you can walk at the bottom of the deep end. AND, you only have to brush 4 teeth in the morning.”
Ross: “The only problem with that is your arch nemesis, LOCK-BOY, pushes you into a swimming pool!”
Ross: “I’m just saying, if that humpback whale got the flu, and he’s taking up all the chairs [in the waiting room], and all the pensioners and me are pressed against the wall-”
Alan: “Are we gonna have to encourage the whales to ring NHS direct?”
Ross: “The only trouble with that is NHS direct pick up the phone, and they think it’s a fax machine.”
And then Ross does an impression of a humpback whale on the telephone, which I legitimately laughed at.
Ross: “Wrong number again. And he’s there going “I’m really ill! And they won’t let me come into the doctor’s because I take up too much room, and I keep knocking the posters off the wall with me barnacle arse!”
Stephen: “You’re taking a hamster on holiday. How do you make sure he doesn’t get jet-lagged?”
Ross: “Holiday in England!”
Where was this guy the first 7 seasons???
Stephen asks what the most aggressive mammal is.
Ruby: ‘A rhino’
Stephen: “No, rhinos aren’t very aggressive at all.”
Sean: “They also aren’t mammals, either.”
Stephen: “Yes they are.”
Stephen: “I thought it was a dinosaur.”
Stephen says the Honey Badger is most aggressive of mammals.
Sean: “So why aren’t they in charge, then? Why are we in charge, and not them.”
Stephen: “Because we temper our aggression with altruism, with knowledge, with cognitive faculty-”
Sean: “No, Stephen, it’s BOMBS.”
The whole episode, there’s a running gag with Sean, whenever he brings up an animal fact that’s wrong, he says that he’s getting them from Jordan on a headset. There’s moment where he’s just giving the straight feed, and Ruby looks at him with the same confused look that he gave her earlier. Great full circle stuff.
Ross wins tonight, which is pretty cool. Sean, in second, does his usual ‘thank you’, and is credited as ‘Sean Lock and Jordan!’ Thanks to Ruby, at least Alan doesn’t end up in last.
Overall: After a pair of dull episodes, Series H is back on track, thanks to a pretty solid episode punctured by a slower finish. the first half of this episode, by the way, is electric, and gave so much great material, between Sean pushing hippos into the pool, Ross and the mucus, and the nuns with horns. Ross had a career night and proved his worth as a panelist, and Sean found himself back to his usual tricks after a slower go a few episodes ago. Alan had a quieter night, though had some nice lines here and there. Ruby was just wrong for QI, and wasn’t especially funny or added anything.
Best Guest: Sean
Show Winner: Ross
Best QI Fact: Morphing Madagascar species
Best Runner: Sean pushing hippos into the pool.