Well, on we trudge, past the Bill Bailey era, onto the season-long ‘Guest Bill’ era, where dozens of comedians, TV personalities and musicians, mostly friends of the show, would try an episode in Bill Bailey’s chair before the seat would be eventually filled (for good, not counting an appearance by Cluedo character Professor Green (tm Frankie Boyle)) by Noel Fielding.
Tonight’s a pretty nice lineup by 2016 standards. Tonight’s GUEST BILL IS…Mark Ronson, Uptown Funk artist, producer, and ‘Winehouse ruiner’ according to Simon. Ralf Little, a stowaway from the Lamarr era is back, as is Tim Minchin, off his wonderful gig from last year. Jamie Reynolds from the Klaxons is also here, but…I dunno, I was hoping for a smidge more star power for a series opener.
…what’s this. WORLDWIDE MEGASTAR AND OSCAR WINNER ADELE IS IN THE BUILDING? Oh my gosh, this is fantastic! Let’s go!
The show opens with Simon debuting a shorter, but still curly, haircut.
Simon: “This is the kind of show that likes to focus on the positive rather than the negative, so welcome to the show that PHILL JUPITUS HASN’T ABANDONED, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!”
On why Kid Rock pulled out of a concert.
Ralf: “Is it because he realized that no one in this country knows any of his songs, any of his back-catalog, thinks he’s a total helmet, and even this song’s a complete ripoff of Sweet Home Alabama and a pile of SHIT.”
Loads of audience applause.
Ralf: “…just a thought.”
Simon: “GO RALF.”
Ralf: “He didn’t even have the decency to put trumpets over it like Mark does.”
Absolutely brilliant moment- Phill asks Simon if he misses Bill, and they have a small melancholy moment…followed by both Simon and Phill mussing around the studio lip-synching ‘No Air’ by Jordyn Sparks, giving some of the most passionate performances of their Buzzcocks careers.
Mark, for the first round, puts on a pair of wide-rimmed glasses to think, which Simon calls him out on, saying he looks like a ‘swinging 60’s popstar.’
CUE SAUL BOSSA NOVA….which Simon bops around to.
Mark: “…actually, I think we should get back to this video because there’s something I wanna say-”
Simon: “CUE THE VIDEO, DADDY-O!”
(SAUL BOSSA NOVA PLAYS)
Tim, on the Kylie question: “Well, has anyone actually met her? Mark, you’re a rock star….sort of?”
Simon even laughs at this one. AND ADELE.
Tim does a joke that hinges on how Kylie Minogue’s actually a down-to-earth person, and it ends on the line “man, I wish I had a baby”, which is met with boos, and a cry of ‘HOW COULD YOU, TIM MINCHIN??” from Simon.
Simon: “I think the only way you can apologize for that joke is to give Kylie a baby.”
Tim: “Well, I have one, and it’s a pain in the ass…”
Simon: “Adele, are you currently working with Mark Ronson?”
Adele: “No, I’m not, actually…”
Mark: “You say that quite proudly, though…”
After Phill and Jamie’s first intro:
Mark, from the other side: “I think it would help if we took out Phill’s part entirely and just had Jamie do his…”
Simon: “This is fantastic, are you producing the Intros round?”
Phill: “Nono, let’s do the Ronson remix…”
So, Phill, Jamie and even Ralf do the same intro, only with a lot more random drum beats and ALL THREE GOING INTO TRUMPET NOISES AT THE SAME TIME. Fantastic stuff.
Finally, Phill pulls it over to Simon and goes “HIT IT!”
I do really enjoy how Adele and Mark get along during the Intros round. At one point, they’re going over how the song goes, and Mark, jokingly, goes “hey, you’re the singer…apparently…”
Phill’s ID Parade is trying to decipher who is the drummer for the KINKS…a sure sign that this show has come a very, very long way.
I kind of saw this coming, but Phill goes “well, because this is Mick Avery of the Kinks, I know who it is”, but he lets the other guys guess. Phill knows everybody, so this doesn’t shock me.
Jamie: “I think it’s our man #3 over there.”
Ralf: “I agree with him.”
Phill: “It IS #3….BUT LET’S LOOK AT #5.”
Simon grills Ralf about the headline that concerned a woman he went out with who ‘assumed that, being his name was Little, his genitals would follow suit.”
Phill: “Whereas, Simon, your surname is Amstell, and your penis tastes of lager…”
Simon brings up that Mark’s been fantastic on the show…and then his sister Sam just starts going out with Lindsay Lohan and becomes way more famous than he’ll ever be.
Mark: “Look, I think Lindsay’s a very talented actress.”
Adele, not believing a word of that BS: “…WHAT?”
After Adele says Lindsay’s great, but not really an actress.
Mark, facepalming: “You’re gonna be in a lot of trouble when this comes out…”
Adele: “I like Lindsay, and I think her and Sam are great!”
Mark: “If you found out Duffy was bisexual, would you hate her even more?”
Adele: “I DON’T HATE HER ANYWAY! YOU DO- HAAAAAH-HAH!”
Simon: “…I’m really enjoying you now, Adele. You’ve turned into my Aunt Sybil.”
Simon: “He pulled me down on top of him and begged me to talk dirty. I happily did.”
Ralf: “…Simon Amstell diaries.”
Simon reveals the correct answer
Ralf: “My one was funnier.”
Simon: “Yeah, and a bit more homophobic.”
Simon: “Tune in next week, where our Guest Captain will either be Stephen Fry or Dappy from N-Dubz…depending on Dappy’s availability.”
Overall: Solid start to the series. I was originally skeptical about Mark Ronson holding up a panel, but he did a pretty nice job, and worked well with Adele, though Tim was sort of on his own for jokes. Ralf surprised me by giving some nice material, and Jamie was also pretty fun. Lots of good Simon stuff here, and, of course, the No Air bit was classic.
Mark’s Rating as a Guest Bill: 7.5/10- not too shabby, but not spectacular.
Best Regular: Simon
Best Guest: Tim
Best Runner: Saul Bossa Nova