Back when I was juuust getting my ankles wet into watching all of Nevermind the Buzzcocks, it occurred to me quickly that getting episodes wouldn’t be as easy as finding them for QI, in which they’re all easily accessible on youtube. Right when I was watching this series down, the Youtube police started coming in and deleting all the Buzzcocks episodes behind me. By the time I got up to Series 5, episode 3 was already gone, and I had no real choice but to keep going with the Watchdown without it.
Well…here I am watching Episode 2 of Series 5. For numerous reasons, I’m pretty excited about that, because Faye Tozer from Steps is here for Mark to screw with, Glen Matlock from THE SEX PISTOLS is here for Mark to fawn over, and Junior Simpson is here to be giggly and the requisite comedian. Additionally, Sara Cox, who I know from the old Scottish series Space Cadets (whew, haven’t mentioned that one in a while), is in the building, as another requisite comedian.
It’s very weird going back to the Sean era after all this Bailey-age currently. Indescipherable lyrics is still here, Mark’s still in ’50’s throwback’ mode. It’s…weird, but good.
Weird part is for the first time in years, I can actually sort of understand one of the songs in Indecipherable Lyrics, Alanis Morrisette’s ThankU.
Mark: “Did that song mean anything to you, whatsoever?”
Sean: “She’s got very hairy nipples…”
Junior: “SHE NEKKID! WHY IS SHE NEKKID?”
Mark: “JUNIOR, JUNIOR…you don’t have to scream, you have a mic.”
Junior, taking the joke: “oh, okay…”
Sean’s trying to interpret the lyrics as her Miss World speech, saying “she’s thanking India, and Thailand- Thailand, of course, were disqualified for bringing in a man-boy”
Mark, cutting him off: “SEAN! Man-boy…that would be male, wouldn’t it?”
Faye’s explaining that she gets Alanis and what she’s saying, and goes on to say “if you’re premenstrual, you can really understand what she’s saying…”
Phill, in response, just walks off the show. Junior can’t believe what he’s hearing.
Mark: “She says menstrual, and a big red blob leaves…”
Phill comes back eventually, relishing the applause.
Faye: “I think she’s fantasizing about being a topless waitress..”
Sean: “Where does she keep the menus?”
Junior: “Don’t ask…”
Sean’s panel is tight as hell. Junior can be a bit annoying, but he still fits in well with the show…
Sara: “Good tune, though. Skids really made the mark with that one.”
(Collective groan from the audience, and Phill)
Mark: “When he left the Skids, Stuart Adamson left to become a big country member…and we do remember.”
JESUS THE WORDPLAY. Phill doubles over in laughter.
Adamson would be on shortly, so I doubt he actually meant that.
Phill, when he’s doing the Believe intro for Sara, eventually just ends up doing a Chewbacca impression, one he keeps going after the record’s been played
Mark: “In a recently released interview, John Lennon predicted that he would live to be 90. Perhaps his least successful prediction, apart from “it’s alright, Yoko, it’s only a water pis- BELIEVE, BY CHER-”
Phill’s entire panel has to stop to recover from that one.
Mark, giving Sean shit over his intro: “Sean…were you playing the world’s tiniest guitar there? Or was there some bellybutton fluff comin’ out?”
Faye, before another intro: “Am I gonna do percussion for this one?”
Sean: “Well what do you play in the band Steps? What instrument?”
So Faye and Sean’s 3rd intro is so bad…not only does is absolutely horrify Junior, but after a while Mark just gives him the car. Junior just starts laughing harder than I’ve ever seen a person not named Drew Carey laugh.
Mark: “What is it, Junior?”
Junior: “THERE’S NO WAY THAT’S *THAT”!!!”
Mark: ‘It was Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio…”
Ah. Here we go. Sean’s ID Parade is Edwin Starr, the guy who sang ‘WAR’. among them, appearing for the first time ever…ATHELSTON WILLIAMS!
Junior: “Okay, before I go any further, I’m not gonna take the mick too much, because one of these guys could be related to me…”
Mark: “What, because you’re black as well?”
Junior: “No, because my father may have cut some of their hair…”
Mark: “Then #3 probably wasn’t a regular, was he?”
Sean: “I’m a little worried about #3…he’s just looking at a light, transfixed. YA OKAY, #3?
Sean: “HE DOESN’T KNOW!”
Sean: “Well, four of them of course are from around here, and one of them’s flown over from America, so who looks jet-lagged?..IT’S THREE!!! HE HAD A NEAR-CRASH AND HE’S TRAUMATIZED!”
Sean and Junior KNOW it’s #4, and Faye eventually agrees, “I actually like #4 the best-”
Mark: “Not who you like, who you think it is…”
Mark: “You know, you are in the lead, so you can just pick your favorite if you want…”
Sean: “Well my favorite’s #3, obviously…”
Mark: “….doesn’t seem so fond of you…”
Sean: “3, I love ya, you’re comin’ home with me, we’re gonna live together…”
Mark: “Must be a very PASSIONATE MAN!”
Sean, to Junior: “I’M WORRIED ABOUT THE FELLA!”
Mark: “When they all walk off and he’s still there…”
Sean: “He is the most professional, though. They probably said to him before he went out ‘now don’t move, just stay where you are’, and he said ‘I’VE GOT YA!”
Sean: “He’s the BEST! He should get time-and-a-half! The rest of ’em, fidgeting and movin’ about…HE’S A MANNEQUIN!”
Eventually #4, the real Edwin Starr, steps forward.
Mark: “And, uh, just to set MY mind at ease, would #3 please step forward…”
Eventually Sean and Junior get him to step forward, which upsets Mark. He’s very smiley and appreciative.
Mark: “It’s like the parable of ‘The Bald Man That Could Walk’!”
And then, right after the Edwin Starrs leave, they cut back to Mark, and he’s doing this:
Next Lines: “When the feeling’s gone and you can’t go on”
Sean: “…..boom bang-a-bang…”
Mark: “You must know it, Faye. ‘IT’S A TRAGEDY’
Faye doubles over, embarrassed as hell.
Mark: “Who’s the cat that won’t cop out, when there’s danger all about?”
END OF ROUND SOUND
Mark: “The answer there was #3.”
Mark: “In a Big Country, dreams stay with you.”
He smirks, remembering his ‘big country member’ joke from earlier. Phill cracks up here as well.
Phill: “In a lover’s voice from a mountain side.”
Mark, still smirking: “Yes, In a Big Country by Big Country”
Now the audience laughs every time he says ‘Big Country’. Outstanding.
Mark’s signoff is “you’ve been watching Nevermind the Buzzcocks, I’ve been Mark Lamarr…”
Overall: Now…if I had seen this when I was supposed to, this would probably be one of the funnier episodes up to that point. Not only do we have the Athelston runner, which bewildered EVERYONE, but we have Junior being giggly as hell, Mark screwing with Sara about Northern jargon, Faye being a surprisingly good panelist, the Big Country runner, and most of the Alanis Morrisette Indecipherable Lyrics round. My one gripe was Glen was a bit too quiet, but was still in the right mood. The Athelston moments are amazing here, and I can see why they kept bringing him back.
Best Regular: Sean
Best Guest: Junior