Nevermind Watchdown: S21E03

So the GOOD NEWS is Keith Chegwin is back, under the new era of Buzzcocks. The BAD NEWS, at least for Simon and coherency, is DAPPY from N-DUBZ is in the building. I just know he’s horrible, though I’m not exactly sure how.

Tahita Bulmer is a singer for the New Young Pony Club.Rich Fulcher is Noel Fielding’s sidekick on the Mighty Boosh and Adult Swim mumblecore repertory player.

Keith: “My last booking here was about 10 years ago, it’s good to be back. I feel like I’m doing the series now.”
Simon: “…you’re not.”

Simon explains that Lee Ryan from Blue pulled out at the last minute, and hints that Dappy was his replacement (though it was likely Chegwin or Rich).
Noel: ‘Why did he pull out?”
Simon: “The reason why Lee Ryan’s not here…is because he’s an awful bastard.”
Rich, sarcastic and deadpan: “Simon, don’t sugarcoat it, I wanna hear what’s on your mind…”

Noel takes his hat off to reveal some severe hat here. Dappy, in response, takes his off and he has a little pool of hair.
Simon: ‘…it’s Kenzie from the Blazin Squad!”

Keith: ‘I went to school with Phil Collins. He’s good, in’t he?”
Audience: “…..”
Noel: “You might as well have said Charles Manson…”

Dappy: “Willie’s looking at Jessica Simpson, like he’s saying “if I had you for 2 odd seconds I’d smash your backdoors in…”
Simon, playing dumb: “What do you mean by ‘smash your back doors in?'”
Dappy: “Alright. Where I’m come from, Camden town, WHO KNOWS CAMDEN TOWN? I CALL IT THE CAPITAL OF LONDON BECAUSE-”
Simon: “Please stop talking to them.”

Simon: “Just explain it, if you can.”
Dappy: “Can I say it? HER ARSE!”
Simon: “…he’s gonna smash her arse in? Why would he do that?”
Phill: “THAT’S WHERE THEY HIDE THE LADY TREASURE, SIMON!”

Rich, fully embracing his stoner persona: “I think Willie looks like that because he thinks Jessica looks LIKE A DOOBIE…AND HE WANTS TO SMOKE HER…”
Simon: “…Dappy’s really enjoying that.”

Noel: “The middle section of his jumper is made from Dappy’s hat…”
Dappy: “If the people who listen to my music were to hear you say that, they’d all be in there, thousands of them with hats on going ‘WHAT’D YOU SAY, MATE?'”
Simon: “Do all the people who listen to you music where those hats?”
Dappy: “A vast majority of them, yeah.”
Phill: “Because he’s MASSIVE in Austria. ‘YOU CANNOT BE SAYING ZAT ABOUT DAPPY…UND ZE N-DUBZ, ZEY AH OUR FAVORITE…DON’T DISS DAPPY HE MAKES US HAPPY…”

Chegwin gets his first intro, which is a pretty easy one (Love Cats by the Cure), and goes absolutely apeshit. He wasn’t expecting to get one, evidently.

Dappy is surprisingly good at the Intros round…but he ends up putting a full fledged beatbox into ‘Young Folks’ by Peter Bjorn and John…leaving Phill to just whistle on the side.

Next Lines: “There are 9 million bicycles in Beijing”
Phill, from across the studio: ‘BUT ONLY ONE PUMP.”

Simon: “Like, first thing’s first, you probably think I’m a chap with good manners.”
Phill: “…but I’m not, ya cunt.”

Overall: A lot I didn’t write down, from the ‘Double Points’ runner, to the running gag about Lee from Blue, to most of the Rock Reorder round which was ultra-physical. This was a pretty funny episode, with Chegwin having a ton of fun and Dappy surprisingly playing by the rules, despite being annoying. Rich’s stuff isn’t for everyone, but he was funny here, and Noel still held a nice ship on Bill’s seat.

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Keith
Best Runner: Lee from Blue

Nevermind Watchdown: S21E02, or Take Me to Musical Heaven, Phill Jupitus

Ah. That was a nice digression so I wouldn’t have to watch current episodes for a few weeks.

Right. Where were we…Series 21, with Simon Amstell and Noel Fielding. Right. Shit.

Actually, to be fair, this is a pretty fantastic episode lined up, as Noel takes the reins from Bill for a 3-episode run (with foreshadowing). On Noel’s side, we have Ryan Jarman, Cribs frontman and alleged Live 8 brainchild (says he) Ryan Jarman, back 3 series later, and one of my FAVORITE comedians and star of Arrested Development, Men in Black and Megamind, DAVID CROSS. THAT is a great team.

Phill’s is also pretty nice- Jermaine Jackson, a legitimate Jackson sibling, and presenter, comedian and future NMTB mainstay Katy Brand. So I’m very content with this lineup- Simon just better not fuck it up.

Simon’s renamed the ‘I Fought the Law’ round as ‘WOOP WOOP, DAT’S DA SOUND OF DA POLICE’…I’ll give him credit, this does sound hysterical when Simon says it.

First second of the show is Noel talking about how his girlfriend pushed over the lead singer of Franz Ferdinand’s girlfriend, and she had a hysterical fall…and Noel doing a wonderfully silly impression of it.

Ryan talks about how, up until he was 21, he thought his thick accent counted as the Queen’s English. “i was….sorely, sorely mistaken.”
David: “So you heard the Queen speak, and you thought…oh, that’s exactly what I sound like.”

David cross summing up this entire era of the show in one quip, following Ryan’s anecdote.
Simon: “Well, that was a fun story, wasn’t it?”
David: “And I think it gives us the answer to your question…”

After an incoherent answer from Ryan, Simon: “So…you’re saying it’s something to do with spies.”
Noel: “…oh, I dunno, you work it out yourself…”

Simon: “Jermaine Jackson…have you met Lenny Kravitz, have you used his toilet?”
Jermaine: “I’ve met him, but i haven’t used his toilet?”
Simon: “Do you have your own toilet?”
Jermaine, cracking up: “I have several.”
Simon: “How many?”
Jermaine, doing the math: “…26.”
Phill: “He flushed them all at once and caused the tsunami.”

Simon: “In one home, or in several?”
Jermaine: “In the main house.”
Simon: “There aren’t even that many…willies and vaginas in that house…or people. I could have said people.”

Simon sort of chastises Jermaine about marrying his brother’s ex-wife and having kids with her. And Jermaine’s at least being coy and good-natured about it.
Simon: “What about Michael? Has he ever done anything weird?”

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Jermaine completely loses it here.

Noel: “Can I ask Jermaine a question?”
Simon: “Certainly.”
Noel: “…what d’you do when you whisper? Is it the same as your normal voice?”
Jermaine: “It’s not so much how loud you project, it’s what you say.”
Noel: “..yeah.”
David: “What?”

Katy, before an intro: “I’m bracing myself.”
Phill: “Y’alright?”
Katy: “Yeah.”
Phill: “Strap in.”
Katy: “Take me to musical heaven, Phill Jupitus.”
Phill: “……”
Katy: “…I CAN’T BELIEVE I JUST SAID THAT!”

Simon asks if Jermaine has had any work done, and Jermaine starts going on about living a happy life and so on and so fort-
Simon: “But you look so different than Michael!”
Jermaine goes over and joke-strangles Simon
Phill: “AND YOU SAID YOU DIDN’T MURDER! A TRAIL of pop show hosts across the country.”
Katy: “Is that what happened to Bill?”
Noel: “…he’s under ‘ere!”

Katy, on the ID Parade: “#2’s got a playful smile.”
Phill: “…well, #2 was in the Beat. It’s #2.”
Simon: “You’re going with #2?”
Phill: “YES! #2 WAS IN THE BEAT!”
Simon: “How do you know?”
Phill: “I SAW THEM LIVE!!!”

Simon brings up David Gest to Jermaine:
Jermaine: “Tito helped David get started, actually”
Simon: “Has he ever used one of your toilets?”
Jermaine, to shut Simon up: “…yes.”
Katy: “The guest toilet, I presume…”

Simon starts complaining that Noel doesn’t invite him or Phill to his parties, and it turns to Simon complaining that everyone on the panel has met Courtney Love except for him, which leads to the now-classic exchange.
Noel: “…she’d crush you like a twiglet.”
Simon: “Mmhm…or kill me and make it look like suicide!”

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Noel, despite normally despising Simon, is absolutely floored

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Simon’s just basking in it all

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Simon: “…I don’t know what I’m saying, I saw a documentary once…”

Simon signs off with ‘we’re all off to use Jermaine’s toilets now.”

Overall: VAST IMPROVEMENT over E1, with a much better panel, much better rapport between Simon and the guests, and much more really nice moments, though it helped that Katy and David were pretty game, even though David was stuck reading off the ‘cheat card’. Jermaine put up with Simon pretty admirably, and Ryan,despite slowly turning into Bez, was as goofy as his last appearance.

Thoughts on Noel: He’s definitely fit for the position, and had some really nice moments, especially coming off of Ryan. He’ll do better when he’s not pitted against Simon, but he’s still a definite highlight.

Best Regular: Simon
Best Guest: David
Best Runner: Jermaine’s toilets.

Nevermind Watchdown: S18E4

And our VERY LAST STOP on this Nevermind Lost Episodes journey is a guest hosted episode featuring Lauren Laverne, who went from being a girl-band survivor to a legitimate TV personality over the course of the series, and who would be appearing on Mock the Week sometime after this.

Tonight we have FUTURE NMTB HOST RHOD GILBERT, which I’m excited about, as well as Busted’s Charlie Simpson. Neil Claxton’s a keyboardist for Mint Royale…and looks like the newsman from The Boat that Rocked. Linda Robson’s a sitcom legend and TV personality.

First second of the program is Lauren, who, while definitely not a pro at reading an auto cue…is still very funny and very happy to be there.

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 10.14.38 PM.pngBill: “Look at his kit bag…”
Rhod: “That’s his in-flight meal…”
Bill: “And ironically that is about the same weight and size of his pancreas…”

Bill, to Rhod: “You had to have met Bonnie Tyler at some time, have you?”
Rhod: “…there’s two and a half million of us, Bill…admittedly I have met all the others, to be fair…”

For Bill and Charlie’s first intro, Charlie’s doing this off-putting humming in the background as Bill does the melody.
Rhod: “I’ve got it. I got it from Charlie’s bit…”

Bill’s 2nd intro just turns into Axel F halfway through. Phill comes over to give it a go, reads the card, and says he doesn’t know it.

Rhod: “That was very difficult for me, when they were singing the wrong tune and I was getting it right…”
Lauren: “…it was very difficult for all of us…”

Overall: Not too much going on, save for Rhod being funny and Lauren holding a very loose ship as guest host.

Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Rhod

Nevermind Watchdown: S18E1, or Bill and Ted’s Desperate Night Out

Welp. We’re finally into the Guest Host era of Buzzcocks in our ‘Search for the Lost Episodes’, and as we round the last two I find it kind of odd, the prospect of NMTB without Mark, seeing as he hosted half the series. So, going into the first of the Guest Hosted S18, it’s gotta feel odd, especially as Jonathan Ross, Mark’s main aggressor for the first 5 seasons of the program, is guest hosting tonight. He’s Jonathan Ross, he knows Buzzcocks, so I’m not especially worried.

Also on tonight is Alan Carr, someone…quite frankly that I’m surprised is on this program, as well as McFly’s Tom Fletcher, Teddy Mitchell of R&B duo the Mitchell Brothers, and GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips.

The program starts with a skit-fade-in, of Bill, Phill and Athelston performing in a pub somewhere, and it all going horribly, which…after Mark left, yeah, that makes sense.

Jonathan, who does look odd as the presenter, opens with “I’m Jonathan Ross, and now that I’ve presented this, I’ve completed the set.”
Oh, no. You’d do that once you’d present Penn and Teller, or, as he put it, ‘PIN UN TEWWAH.’

First second of the show
Jonathan: “Tom…sit up straight.”

Phill: “Would it be alright if, for the remainder of the round I call you J-Ro?”
Jonathan: “J-Ro, yeah…or J-WO, as I say it..”
I mean, at least he’s got a sense of humor about himself.

Jonathan actually has a nice dissertation on J-Lo’s ass: “I’ve actually been behind a ton of asses in canteens. One half of Feltz’ ass would make up all of J-Lo’s…”
Phill: “If she were moving backwards in a corridor situation, would she go “EHHHH…EHHHH…EHHH…EHHHHH…” (like a ‘backing up noise’)
Jonathan: “No, but that is the noise that Stephen Hawking makes when he laughs.”
Yeah, you can see why he and Mark were so friendly.

Tom: “I uh, touched J-Lo. Her arm.”
Phill: “Regardless of the restraining order?”
Tom: “It was at a party.”
Phill: “Ah, were McFly waiters?”

Jonathan, to Tom: “You’re young…you’re 20…you haven’t sampled all the fruits that life has had to offer….right Alan? BUT….”
Even Alan gets a kick out of him.

I think that, a program like QI or something doesn’t work for Jonathan because he’s very overwhelming and can take over a whole panel if he wants to, but hosting Buzzcocks, instead of being on the panel, works very well for him because it’s his ballgame, and he’s merely fitting into Mark’s shoes and filling all the holes he’d fill. It works because he’s talkative and gives everyone the floor, even if it occasionally interferes with the quiz.

Alan, on the blurred-out J-Lo video: “Is that what would happen if you had cataracts and looked at a pair of tits.”
His voice is Julian Clary’s with a spritz of Rik Mayall, and he’s very funny.

Jonathan: “In 2004, Jennifer Lopez released her own scent…but she blamed it on the dog.”
Jesus…

The other thing with Jonathan is he does a lot of digressing, and at 10 minutes in we’ve not even started Bill’s first question.

Phill, to Alan before Intros: “D’you know lots of music?”
Alan: “Not really, no…I’m sure I’ll be fine!”

Alan, after Phill and Tom’s first intro: “That sounded a bit Bowie, like dawww…dat-dat-da-dawww…”
Phill: “NUH-NUH-NUH-*NO*…”

Jonathan: “Bill and Teddy, here are yours for Fiona…”
Bill: “BILL AND TED??”
Jonathan: “Bill and Ted’s DESPERATE Night Out”

The beginning of Bill and Teddy’s first intro has some woodblock-esque clicking.
Fiona: “Sounds like Steptoe and Son…”

Bill and Teddy’s second one, which is Call Me by Blondie, Fiona thinks is Doctor Who, so Jonathan starts humming that theme tune over it. All the while Bill’s going “NO! NO!”
Fiona: “EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!”
Bill: “STOP. It’s NOT Dr. Who!”
Phill, FULL DALEK VOICE: ‘IIII LIIIIKED IT. PLAAAAAY IT AGAAAAIIIN.”
Jonathan, after a beat: “…are you touching him, Alan?”

Jonathan: “Snoop Dogg released his own version of the film Airplane last year, and hopes to do more with his kind of style. He’s currently working on screenplays for The Scarlet Pimp, Drive-by Miss Daisy, and, most controversially, Schnizzlers List.”
That last one cracks up the whole panel, including Jonathan.

Next Lines: “I’m here to win your heart and soul.”
Teddy: “…..now I quite prefer your hole?”

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‘…what the fuck did i get myself into???’

Jonathan: “Teddy, I’d release that on Valentine’s Day if I were you.”

Jonathan: “But I’m a creep.”
Bill: “….aaaahhhhhh.”
Jonathan, rephrasing: “….I’M A CREEP”
Bill: “AAAHHHHHHH!”

Jonathan: “Yes, Creep, Wadiohead!”
As the round buzzer goes off, Bill laughs to himself “…Wadiohead…”

Jonathan, to close out this show, goes “And honestly, I can say that presenting this show tonight has been a massive…favor. Goodnight.”
That’s an incredibly sweet thing to say, especially as a friend of Mark’s, even through all the shit he gave him back in the day.

Overall: A pretty solid show to start the season, bolstered by an incredible anchor in Jonathan, and some revitalized Bill and Phill performances. Everyone, save for Teddy regardless of his ‘hole’ line, was plugged in and in their element, with Tom putting up with Jonathan’s slams, Fiona having a good time, and Alan, obviously, having a lot of the best lines.

Thoughts on Jonathan: Jonathan knew the show, loved the show, and you could see that in his hosting gig. Even if he did get a bit to digressive, he sill kept the show rolling and kept people in the mood, very similar to how Mark would have wanted it.
Grade:

Guest Host Grade: 8/10
Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Alan
Best Runner: Jonathan’s ‘affliction’.

Nevermind Watchdown: S17E4

Well, one last Mark Lamarr episode that’s not been viewed yet on this journey through the lost Buzzcocks episodes, and man, is this a great one to go out on. Yes, S17 is notable for its very laid back, ‘let’s get this over with’ tone by Mark, but it did have some highlights here and there.

NOT ONLY is this a return for Dave Berry, who saved an episode away from Mickey Hutton last series, and NOT ONLY is this a return for Myleene Klass, but RICH HALL is here for the last time on Buzzcocks, and man am I excited. Also Brinsley Forde, former reggae singer, is also in the building.

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Phill: “Sesame Street today is brought to you by the letter C. WHAT IS C FOR, BOYS AND GIRLS???”

Dave: “Maybe [Liza’s] womb’s like a deep fat fryer!”
Mark: “THAT’S JUST A RUMOR! We’ve had legal difficulties before saying that…”
Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 8.54.53 PM.png

Phill: “Is this Ready Steady Cook in Poland?”
Bill: “WE PUT POTATO IN HERE…and uh, wait for many days…”

First intro, which is Word Up, keeps being permeated by Bill doing a little whistle, which makes Rich think it’s Sergio Leone. So, when Myleene and Bill do it again, Mark adds in the ‘Good the Bad and the Ugly’ whistle to mess him up, which cracks him up.

Great Intros moment- for the Word Up intro, Rich keeps insisting it’s When Doves Cry, even when he knows it isn;t. So, after Bill and Myleene basically give him that it’s Word Up, Rich, weakly, goes “…is it, uh, when doves cry by Prince?”
Mark: “Yes, it is.”
He passes it over to Phill, who says it is Word Up y Cameo, only for Mark to say “ooooh, it was actually When Doves Cry by Prince.”

Brinsley and Phill do end up singing ‘When Doves’ Cry to the Word Up tune, and it fits so well- plus, Brinsley’s having a ton of fun. Myleene, Bill and Mark doing the Good the Bad and the Ugly all end up joining in, and keeping it going even after the song ends, which shows how much fun this one is.

Brinsley: “This is what it sounds like…:
Phill, yelled: “WORD UP!!!!”

After the entire bit, Rich looks around confused, and goes “…wait a minute…what just happened??”

Overall: Weaker episode, but, like the rest of this series, not without some really fun points, especially involving Rich Hall and Dave Berry.

Best Guest: Rich
Best Regular: Mark
Best Runner: When Doves Cry

 

Nevermind Watchdown: S16E11, or Nevermind the Buzzcocks Goes Classical

I’ll admit that I went about this SEARCH FOR THE LOST EPISODES because I was becoming disillusioned with how Simon Amstell was turning Buzzcocks into a makeshift Popworld, with more emphasis on interviewing, and humiliating, stars, and less emphasis on the actual quiz. Mark Lamarr’s character would have never HALTED the quiz to care about his contestants- not even in Series 17.

But, to end Series 16, I find myself staring Simon in the face yet again, as well as Bradley Walsh, who saved one of the worst episodes in Buzzcocks history. Estelle was, at the time, the Queen of British Hip Hop, and would eventually chart Stateside with ‘American Boy’. Melanie Blatt is a, according to Mark, allSAINTS survivor.

Bradley Walsh had the right idea- he has a higher-pitched, but still cockney-ish, voice that in no way fits him, like Andy Hamilton or the villain from Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.

On the Geri Halliwell video:
Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 2.49.22 PM.png

Bill: “I love the fact that the sheep is so embarrassed that it’s put sunglasses on…”
Mark: “He signed up for the sheep protection program.”
Bill: “If i stay still, no one will notice back at the flock…”

Phill, on the Britney video: “Let’s have a look at this image here…”
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Phill: “Thunderbirds, the slutty years!”
Melanie: “Very Easy Jet.”
Mark, applauding: “I’d like to shake your hand…and I’d like to give you this award, on behalf of Buzzcocks…”

Bradley, before Intros: “Is this gonna be pop records?”
Bill: “…no, they’re all Gregorian chants.”
Bradley: “If it’s not classical, I won’t get it.”
Mark: “YOU LISTEN TO CLASSICAL? You’re from Watford, you like the Eagles and Queen.”
Bradley: “But that’s classical, innit?”
Bill: “Nevermind the Buzzcocks Goes Classical!”

Mark: “When the Lovin’ Spoonful lead singer was a kid, he had museum guards let him into the Museum of Natural History after hours so he could climb on the dinosaur carcass. He got the idea by watching Catherine Zeta-Jones’ wedding video.”

So Mark essentially tells Bradley what the second intro is…and he still doesn’t get it. Same thing happens with Simon’s first, so Mark just SINGS THE DAMN SONG and it does nothing.
Simon: “I mean, you’ve already had a go at Brian, so don’t…”
Mark, motioning to Bradley: “Brian?”
Simon: “…Connolly? No?”
Mark: “…no..”
Bradley cracks up a bit here.

Then, at Simon’s second intro, Melanie just hands Simon the card.
Simon: “oh, right…”
Mark: “IF ONLY WE WERE FILMING THIS, THEN I’D KNOW HOW MELANIE CHEATED!!!”

Mark, in retaliation, goes over to Melanie, and drinks her water, spilling it on himself. A second later, he comes back with a water bottle and essentially pours it on and around the glass, making an even bigger mess. Melanie just throws some of the water back at him. At least everyone, except maybe Simon, is having a nice time.

Mark’s ID Parade names are still fantastic- #2 is “M T Pants”
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Mark: “Estelle, I’m guessing that’s the beating I’m getting after the show, then…”

Mark: “Is it #3, W.C. Loiterer…”
Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 3.12.07 PM.png
Mark: “…no it’s that one, IT’S THAT ONE!”

Bradley says that 1 and 4 were the Bronx version of Little and Large, so Mark makes Simon and Bradley switch places with both of them.

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The new, improved ID Parade

#4, sitting in Bradley’s seat, actually does a really nice Norman Wisdom, so Mark goes over to Bradley and says “I wouldn’t head back to Coronation Street, you’ve lost the part.”

Bill: “LET’S TRY AND GUESS…WHO ARE THE UNDERCOVER POLICEMEN??”

Mark: ‘I think it was #4- hello, Bradley!”
Bradley: ‘Ask Alan!”
Mark: ‘Alan??”
Bradley: “Alan Davies.”
Simon looks confused, but takes the rebuttal in stride.

For Phill’s ID Parade, #1 is obviously the guy, and they all seem to think he’s drunk so everyone’s waiting for the guy to fall over, or go over to Melanie and start hitting on her. Meanwhile, he’s just standing there laughing.

Overall: Not perfect, but definitely had its moments. Everyone on the panel was into it, and even Simon, who started out a bit moodier, possibly as a result of Mark, got better and more game. Bradley was having a wonderful time, cracking jokes and bouncing off a better panel than he had his last go-around. Melanie had some great jokes, Estelle was having a great time, and the bit with Bradley and ID Parade was fantastic- hell, BOTH ID Parades were great. A solid show to end the series with.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Bradley
Best Runner: Simon vs. Bradley- wrong names.

SERIES 16 SUPERLATIVES

Best Episode: Episode 9, featuring Kenzie being an AMAZING sport with Mark constantly giving him crap, Lucy Porter’s anecdote about being licked by a hobo coming up in every point in the show, and the presence of Jodie Marsh in Kenzie’s bedroom giving Kenzie even more pain than the thumb up his arse. Solid show all around.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 7, featuring Ricky Wilson channeling Bobby Darin, The Bangles apparently being a fruit-based band, Jim Jeffries being pessimistic, Phill’s team choosing between lesbian cowboys, and Bill going “looking to meet guys in YOUR area?” during ID Parade.
Honorable Mention: The Entire Second Half of Episode 4. Literally EVERY JOKE HIT in the bottom half, ID Parade on. It’s just the first half was pretty vacant, save for a few good jokes.
Worst Episode: Episode 8- other than Bill & Bez on Ice, the dynamic was dead and only Tony Christie doing Morrissey kept it alive.
Best Regular: Mark Lamarr, for being solid and peeling back enough of his character to remain fun in his second to last season on the program.
Best Musician Guest: Obviously Ricky Wilson for almost taking over the show, but Kenzie, Chris Park, Martin Fry, Raghav and Gary Brooker had some nice showings as well.
Best Comedian Guest: Ewen Macintosh, Episode 2, for being so dry and so ridiculous that he nearly took the emphasis off of Mark taking the piss off of Dom Masters. Dave Johns was incredibly close to taking it, for completely taking over Episode 1, and Lucy Porter, Steve Frost, Bradley Walsh and Nihal were considered.
Best Dartboard for Mark: By a hair, Dom Masters, Episode 2. I gave this to him over Kenzie because, unlike Kenzie, Dom deserved it.
Most Annoying Panelist- Mickey Hutton, Episode 5, for almost hijacking the episode and not being very funny while doing it.
Most Befuddled Guest: Bez, Episode 8. But that’s how Bez is.
Best Runner: Mark giving the panelists vodka, Episode 3. It was the gift that kept on giving.

Nevermind Watchdown: S17E02, or GET A FORK!

One of the last few in the Search for the Lost Episodes, I’m brought to Series 17, a sad, lifeless time in Mark Lamarr’s tenure, where he basically had both feet out the door, and sped the show along lackadaisically.

This episode has this period’s usual subpar booking- other than Jo Caulfield, who’s been on Mock the Week a few times, and media figure Tony Livesey, I don’t know the rest. Blak Twang is a british rapper from the 80s and 90s, and Rowetta sang with the Happy Mondays for a bit.

On the ZZ Top clip, Mark: “Hairier than Bill’s palms on a full moon…”

Tony: “This is an old video, it’s not the Corrs before they were famous, right?”
Mark: “…what, before Jim shaved his sisters?”

Phill: “The message of this video appears to be very blatant: “Tired of working in a shoeshop? Then why not be a WHORE?? You can earn big money, being a WHORE.”
Mark: “…have you visited Swindon job center? Cause I REMEMBER that sign!”

Tony: “They’re very rustic, aren’t they?”
Bill: “What, cause they got beards? What d’you mean?”

Mark has a runner where, instead of points, he gives out coupons. “Bill, if you get anything…forty pounds off a razor!”

Jo: “Well, Janet is the normal one in the Jackson family, which of course is all relative-”
Mark: “What, ol’ bondage Janet there?”

Rowetta points out that some of the people with done-up hair in the Jackson video may be men: “You better watch it when you go to gay clubs, then.”
Mark…can be seen stifling a smile, and possibly holding back a joke there.

Bill, innocently: “…was this shot in the 80s?”

A note that Rowetta’s just very jittery, and is the first to stop the audience from getting the wrong idea, by going “No, stoppit”. She’s even bashfully trying to get Mark to stop picking on her. Nice try, but we’re not at Kenzie levels of bashfulness [“please…leave me alone!”]

There’s a great bit where Mark ridicules Rowetta for starting a lot of her anecdotes with ‘it’s not funny, but’…and then when she gives the payoff [“I sat in Kim Basinger’s piss once”], he won’t let her go on without elaborating.

After that story, someone in the audience, perhaps going back to the Janet video, goes “GET A FORK!”
Mark: “…the bloke in the audience…just implied that I should stab you with a fork! We’re not even married!”

Tony, first intro: “Is this the theme from Star Wars?”
Phill: “No. Don’t start [Bill] off!”
Bill:
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Tony: “It’s Disney!”
Thang: [breaks]
Mark: “Yeah, it’s Disney in the sense that I’d like to have my head in a fridge about now…”

You can tell Mark’s really over this series when he just turns both of Tony’s into ‘charades’, just to get him the answer.

Tony even screws it up, saying ‘Johnny Come Here’, instead of ‘Come Home’
Mark: “I can’t give you that…and I can’t pass it over, or she’ll say I’m pickin’ on her…”

Mark keeps giving Jo bonus points for things she ends up knowing. “There’s a surprise bonus point if you don’t get this one.”
Jo: “…d’you even need to do it, or should we all just go home?”

Mark: “This show is annoying me so much tonight, it’s gonna be reenacted on Crimewatch.”
Jo: “‘Are these the people you’re looking for?'”
Mark: “…No. BELIEVE ME.”

Another note: all of Mark’s prompter gags are just really low hanging fruit featuring his usual dartboards [Moyles, Robbie, David Gray, Jimmy Carr]…and occasionally Bill or Phill.

Mark, for the Scottish tartan song: “…is it #1, Coq a leaky….#2, Leaky Cock-y…”
#1, who’s gotta be the guy, immediately cracks up here.

Tony: “…I dunno bout the Odd One Out, are they all Rod Stewart’s kids?”

Bill, on his ID Parade wearing all white hoodies: “…well, there’s been a sale at Primark…”
Mark, back to his runner: “Aw, ‘ts a shame, cause I’ve got a coupon!”

Mark, after another gay club joke about the ID Parade: “Because if there’s one thing black men love, it’s being called gay on national TV. THEYYYYY LOVE IT.”
Thang: “…don’t point the camera at me, whatever you do.”
Mark: “Well…we wouldn’t have though, but you started speaking…”

Rowetta recognizes #1 and #4, but it ends up being #5.
Mark: “WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION…Where do 1 and 4 know Rowetta from?”

Next Lines:
Mark: “We come from the land of the ice and snow.”
Tony, going back to the Intros Disney gag: “…HI HOOOO!”
Mark: “Close, it’s Led Zeppelin!”

Mark: “Do you know the way to San Jose?”
Thang: “No.”
…so Thang just lost a game of Song Titles with Ryan Stiles.

After some screwing from Mark, Thang: “I feel like I’m on the wrong show. It’s more like You’ve Been Punk’d tonight.”
Phill: “It’s Queer Quiz for the Straight Rapper”

Then, after the round ender, Mark, turns to Thang and goes “…free KY…”
He puts the coupon down: “I’m gonna leave it there, if someone takes it by the end…”

Overall: As per Series 17, weak, with a panel of people that kinda didn’t know how to deal with Mark’s ribbing [Thang AND Rowetta both had moments of awkward tension]. The reactions to said ribbings weren’t even too funny, like most of the episode, as Mark was still on autopilot, Phill and Bill didn’t get too many opportunities to be funny, and Jo and Tony could only do so much.

Best Regular: Mark, because of course.
Best Guest: Tony
Best Runner: Coupons.

Nevermind Watchdown: S16E6 or YOU’RE WITH DICKS! GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY!

We’ve seen Raghav before, and we’ve seen Nihal Arthanayake (‘I’M PROPER ‘APPY!’) on the program before, but this LOST BUZZCOCKS one has both of them, as well as Gary Brooker, of Procol Harum (and, according to Phill, Lord Lucan’s Fashion House), and Paul Heaton, of The Beautiful South and the Housemartins- this is actually a really nice panel, to be honest.

Mark’s introclip caption for Chris DeBurgh is “or is it Chris….DIE…DIE…DIE…DIE…DDIIIIIIIE….Burgh……DIIIE!”
With a black mask over his face. There goes subtlety.

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Nihal: “Is this an outtake from Saving Private Ryan, this bit here?”
Mark: “The beaches of Normandy don’t look so bad there, do they?”
Nihal: “And with a Latvian family there as well… ‘MA, IT’S DA VUN FVUM QVUEEN, VE LUEV HEIM!”
Mark: “Never met anyone from Latvia, have you?”
Nihal: “I *AM* LATVIAN!”
Mark: “‘AND DE VUN FUOM QVUEEN!’ You’ve met MUPPETS, haven’t you?”

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Phill: “That’s actually, uh, he did actually shag the nanny’s brain out, and he just found it.”
Mark, covering himself with the black mask, is even cracking up a bit.
Phill: “OKAUUY MISTUH DEBURGH…IT WAS UNDER THE SOFA!”
Nihal: “‘Lady is deeeaaddd…'”
Phill BURSTS OUT LAUGHING here.

Raghav tries a really bad joke about how the Eurythmics were nicknamed the ‘You’re With Dicks’ by MTV, tying into the Lennox question- he even has to explain the joke, which also doesn’t get anything.

Gary’s got to do Intros, but doesn’t have glasses. Mark just goes over and says ‘well, uh, the first one’s Rasputin by Boney M.’
Gary: ‘DON’T TELL HIM!”
Nihal’s already giving a thumbs-up to the crowd.

Before they even start, Nihal: “RASPUTIN, BY BONEY M!”
Phill: “What?…WAIT!”

Phill and Gary do their first intro bending over.
Mark: “Hang on? Why are you doing the intro at half-mast? Are you expecting a visitor??”

Now Nihal tries guessing this in an over-the-top Russian accent. In response, Mark goes “AH-AH-AHHHH, I LOOOOVE TO COUNT! What’s the matter with you? Try doing it in your own voice! There are enough people who hate asians as it is, don’t make them hate them further…”

Gary, trying to read the card: “What’s this…Baboon…H?”
Mark: “Yes, BABOON H. OR, AS WE ALL CALL THEM, MAROON FIVE.”

There’s a running gag about music being played over a clip of a monkey riding a bicycle. So, for Raghav and Bill’s first intro, they do theirs over the clip of the monkey, and Mark asks “does that help?” to Paul.

Gary: “The one without a hat is very suspicious…”
Phill: “How about the other one without a hat?”

Mark discovers that Raghav can do a really great Shrek impression…so he gets him to crouch behind Bill and do it like Bill’s saying it. It’s a fantastic moment.
Raghav: “YOU’RE WITH DICKS! GOODNIGHT EVERYBODY!”
Mark: “He’s here all week. Alright, Nihal, get behind Bill and do Latvian!”

And sure enough, Nihal does his Latvian with the same line (“For Crying Out Loud, Donkey”), and Bill sells it. It’s hysterical.

Paul: “I think it’s 2 or 4…can we have both?”
Mark: “This isn’t an auction…”

Next Lines: “Just an old sweet song…”
Gary: “…what do we do now?”
Phill: “Be easy on him, Mark, he thinks he’s in Dictionary Corner…”

Mark: “Keep away, keep away…”
Nihal: “…from my onions…”

Mark: “Chicks and geese and ducks better scurry.”
Raghav: “Jacko’s on his way.”
Mark: “….YES. HE’S NOW A WILDLIFE MOLESTER”
(Though I was half-expecting “if you don’t want to end up in a curry…”)

Overall: Lighter but still really nice in parts- Gary was confused but still pretty game. Nihal and Raghav were both having a really nice time- Raghav especially was a HUGE improvement over his last appearance, and Nihal was wonderful as ever. Yeah, Paul was kind of quiet, but it wasn’t a bad show, just light on some jokes.

Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Raghav
Best Runner: Monkey riding a bike

Nevermind Watchdown: S16E4, or KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN AND A PIZZA HUT

Onto what is probably going to be a much better Series 16 episode, much closer to our first two entries, is one with a panel, 3/4ths of which we’ve seen before. Pete Tong, a radio personality, Fearne Cotton, the ubiquitous TV presenter, and Steve Frost, man of a thousand eyebrows.

The only newbie is Chris Park, a member of boy band Fixx, who I only know because Simon brought them up later on in Mark’s era, to which Mark responded he’d never heard of them, ‘which is sad, as I’ve had some of them on…’

After Phill and his team can’t get the first question about Wilson Pickett, Mark just sets fire to the middle of the card, and says “it’s like Bonanza.”, as he hums the theme song.

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“Imagine a map of Texas (belts the Bonanza theme)”

Oh dear. Bill’s 1st round involves Cradle of Filth. I bet Mark will have some fun with this one, especially after the Dani Filth show.

Bill: “Where they from, anyway, Ipswich?”
Mark: “Ipswich, yeah”
Bill: “There’s something about…coming from rural areas, that…uh..”
Mark: “Makes ya look freaky???”

One thing about this episode is that the guys are definitely enjoying themselves, and this is evident during Phill and Chris’ Radar Love intro. Pete’s bobbing along to the intro, really into the music. Once the actual intro plays in, and the “I’ve been driving all night, my hands wet behind the wheel’ line plays, Steve just mimes driving a steering wheel, grinning.

Bill and Fearne’s first intro has a lot of sound effects, which Bill adds by going “…EY…WHOA…LOOKOUT!”.
Mark: “I think, Steve, what would make it easier was if you ignore Bill’s bit…and also, Fearne’s.”

Before Fearne and Bill start their intros, Mark goes “Steve’s pretty good at this round.” Steve looks over at him and chuckles a little- he remembers otherwise.

Bill explains that there are new-agey sound effects in the song, but once they try the intro again, Mark stops them, and plays in the actual intro to see if there are any sounds resembling Bill’s…which there aren’t, especially, though Bill’s still trying to convince him.

Bill and Fearne’s 2nd intro is confusing, as they both do it in different time signatures, and Fearne’s doing this very faint whistling.
Mark: “One of them doesn’t know this song.”
Steve: “Can somebody turn the kettle off, we’re trying to do a show here…”

Mark: “In 1988, Kim Wylde supported Michael Jackson on his Bad tour, which means that for two months, both artists on that bill were doing Kids in America on a nightly basis.”
Steve rears back for that one. At least Mark never held back the MJ jokes.

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Chris: “It’s definitely not #3 because she actually works at McDonalds, because I bought a Big Mac off her an hour ago. Or is she from one of the films I’ve got?”
Mark: “YOU BUY FILMS OF MCDONALDS EMPLOYEES? I mean, if anyone was gonna say that, I’d look [at Phill]”

Phill: “I wanna know…what #2 and #5 are doing after the show…”

Pete: “It’d be too obvious if it was #2 or #5”
Phill: “No, I know who it is, I just want to…look at the food porn a bit more…”
Mark: “I imagine this is the sort of thing for you, isn’t it? A woman dressed up as food…”
Phill: “Aw, yeah…”
Mark: “What more could you want in life?”

Phill, giddy with anticipation: “…I THINK-”
Chris: “Which one would you want a bite of?”
Phill: “Well, 2’s a big bun, but 5’s got EGG!”
And with that, he writhes around, aroused, in his seat.

Chris: “Numbers 1, 3 and 4 look very smart, but numbers 2 and 5-”
Phill: “SAY ONE THING AGAINST 2 AND 5, SPARKY, LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENS.”

Next Lines:
Mark: “What do you want, what do you want, what do you want?”
Phill: “KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN AND A PIZZA HUT!”
Mark: “…it is true.”

Mark: “What do you see when you turn out the lights.”
Phill: “….KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN AND A PIZZA HUT!”

Mark: “Food, glorious food.”
Phill: [breaks]
Pete: “Hot jelly and mustard.”
Mark: “oooooh. ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut'”

And now we go to Bill, Fearne and Steve for Next Lines. Buckle…the fuck…up.

Mark: “I’ve been to paradise.”
Bill: [LOUDLY COUGHS]
Mark: “…that’s how Cradle of Filth would have done it…”

Mark gives Fearne, like, 10 kid’s songs in a row, and she keeps answering sarcastically.
Mark: “You said that like ‘I’m above this.’ I mean, she’s a kids’ TV presenter.
Fearne: “It doesn’t mean I’m actually five!”
Steve, in the background, goading her on: “GO ON, FEARNE! GET ‘IM!”
Mark: “No…kids TV presenter doesn’t mean they’re kids and they present TV.”
Fearne: “…but that’s what you’re saying I am.”
Mark, after a beat: “…well, a little bit, yeah…”

Mark: “We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo.”
Fearne: “….”
Bill: “…TO LOOK AT THE *EARS*, *EARS*, *EARS*!”

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Mark’s puzzled reaction

Bill: “Ears on the elephant go round and round….THE WHEELS ON THE OTTER GO UP AND DOWN….THE EYES IN THE WALRUS GO ROUND AND ROUND!….I’m not five!”
Mark, putting the card away: “We’ll never know, we’ll have to chop off his leg and count the rings…”

Mark: “Bananas in pyjamas.”
Fearne: “….”
Bill: “….GO ROUND AND ROUND!”
Meanwhile, I’m dying over here.

Mark: “Polly put the kettle on.”
Bill, suddenly a soul singer: “…if you’ll STAAAAY WITH ME, TIL DAWWN.”
Mark looks over at Phill and Pete, who are DYING laughing. He confers with them, because he doesn’t know what song it was, and once Phill tells him, he turns to Bill and goes, after a beat, “yes.”

Fearne: “We did very poorly in that one…”
Mark: “WELL, YA WON…”

Overall: From the start it took some time to get going joke-wise, but the dynamic was there from the very beginning- all four were in a great mood, and once ID Parade started, things picked up BIG TIME, from Phill and the food, to Phill CONTINUING with food in Next Lines, to Bill’s entire next lines round with Fearne arguing with Mark, Steve screwing with her, and Bill…being Bill. A classic, I’d say, even if people like Chris and Pete weren’t as wild as the others, they still had some great moments.

Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Steve
Best Runner: KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN AND A PIZZA HUT.

Nevermind Watchdown: S16E3

Now our Quest for the Lost Buzzcocks takes us to Series 16, the last great season of Buzzcocks under the Lamarr era. Tonight, we’ve got a nice amount of trusted regulars- Richard Park from Fame Academy is hear, as well as the lovable, and loudly dressing, Martin Fry from ABC.

Therese fronts Swedish dance act Stonebridge. Mylo is a electronic/dance mixer from the Isle of Sky.

Mark, introing Richard, says he counts Geri Halliwell as a friend, and won’t hear a word said against her. Then, he throws him a pair of sound-canceling headphones and goes “…you might need them.”

Bill, looking at this particular still from Jay Z’s ’99 Problems’ video:

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Bill: “…NOW!”
Mark: “You say it like you’ve cracked the puzzle.”
Bill: “hm…AH! YES!”

Bill: “It’s John McCrirrick before he’s had a bit of a wash and brush up. Or, perhaps what Bez sees in the mirror…”

Mark, introing Jay-Z: “And the guy who’s been shot at more times than the Jodie Marsh calendar…”

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Richard: “Dannii Minogue went out, for a while, with, he’s a famous radio personality, Dr. Fox.”
Phill: “Right. Dannii went out with Fox, and 50 Cent was raised by bats.”

Halfway through Intros, Mark cracks open the bottles of Vodka given to him for the JayZ-Chopin round, and has a sip of each. By the time Richard’s ready to start an intro, Mark starts faux-drunkenly yelling at him. “HEY RICHAR’…I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY MATE!”

Then, while Phill and Richard are doing their 2nd intro, Mark goes over to Mylo, hands him the bottle of vodka, and says “here, this might help…”

Bill, after a LARGE SIP of the Chopin vodka: “STICK YER QUIZ UP YER ASS!”
Martin, all the while opening the other vodka: “easy, Bill…”

Mark, after a few old guys in their underwear come up, holding ‘ROUND 3’ signs, to Therese: “Doesn’t happen on quizzes in Sweden, does it? Wait, actually it does…”

Phill’s ID Parade is a keyboardist, so Phill wonders if they can see his fingers, so Mark asks them to hold out their hands.
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Mark: “OH, I LOVE THIS…Lumberjack zombies…’MUST KILL BEAVERS…'”

Mark: “Bill’s team, you need 13 points to win. Unheard of?”
Bill: “Has it ever been achieved?”
Mark: “There’s only 12 cards…”

Overall: Lighter episode- Richard and Martin made this one good, as the rest of the panel, and the rest of the show, didn’t give me tons to write about. Still, there were a few nice moments.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Richard
Best Runner: Chopin Vodka