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?”
Noel: “Can I ask Jermaine a question?”
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.”
Katy, before an intro: “I’m bracing myself.”
Phill: “Strap in.”
Katy: “Take me to musical heaven, Phill Jupitus.”
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!”
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.