Bit of an unusual one here, as this one was aired years later than the rest of the series, however, since it was filmed before the James Corden show and scheduled to air after the Johnny Vegas show…I’m putting it here, because it’s where it belongs. Its absence sends ripples through the series, and this will be evident in the Jack Dee episode.
But yeah, onto the main event, featuring RUSSELL BRAND, the biggest star…of 2008. Yeah, he was juuuust breaking out in the US here, and still pretty damn big in the UK. I’m surprised they nabbed him. He, Greg Davies (a Mock the Week favorite), and famed big-hatted rapper Sway are on the panel tonight.
Also on the panel are former S Club “star” Rachel Stevens and TV personality Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Simon: “Is it A, all her mirrors must be slightly convex?”
Simon already starts needling about Hugh eating placenta, asking “but what did you do with the baby?”
And then, “Have you ever gotten halfway through the placenta and realized that you forgot to take the baby out?”
Simon: “What do you do when you get home, rub yourself down with raw gammon?”
Hugh: “I’ve never…I’ve never felt myself up with my own meat, BUT THANKS FOR THE SUGGESTION!”
The whole panel just explodes here. Simon’s gone. Sway’s gone.
On all of Streisand’s mirrors being slightly convex.
Phill: “No, that doesn’t work…”
Hugh: “If she always wanted it to be convex, it would be like looking into the back of a spoon and it would make her look even more like Barbra Streisand. She might have wanted them to be conCAVE, so then she’d look normal.”
Simon: “These words, normal, I’m sensing a sort of anti-Semitic theme coming from this. Have you ever cooked a Jew?”
man oh man…Frankie Boyle would be proud.
Rachel: “I’ve often asked for Jamie Theakston to come to my dressing room, but it’s never quite happened…”
Russell: “That is a given for me. I won’t go to any dressing room that AIN’T got Jamie Theakston in it.”
Rachel: “…I think it’s wrong.”
Russell: “Well, what’s the point? How can you relax?”
Russell is having a hell of a time, and is just bouncing off everyone. His dynamic with Greg is fantastic, as he’s basically just flirting with him, and Greg’s just taking it all in stride.
Greg: “I think [Prince] uses Theakston as a distraction.”
Russell: “YOU CANNOT USE JAMIE THEAKSTON AS A DISTRACTION. HE IS A MAN IN HIS OWN RIGHT, WITH FEELINGS AND URGES AND LUSTS AND DREAMS!”
Russell decides he’s going to demonstrate how Prince fields women by having Theakston distract them by having Rachel play a woman, him play Theakston, and Greg play Prince (“BECAUSE OF YOUR ENORMITY YOU’VE BEEN HORRIBLY MISCAST!”) And the skit goes for five seconds before Greg literally pounces onto Rachel, literally on top of her. It’s quite a sight. It takes Simon AND RUSSELL to get Greg off of Rachel, and for Rachel to adjust her top.
Russell: “I think we’ve learned an awful lot then- never trust Greg in a sketch.”
Russell: “What’s a matter, Greg?”
Greg: “It’s just…I don’t think my life’s gonna get any better than 10 seconds ago.”
Simon: “What, when you fell on Rachel Stevens?”
Greg: “I didn’t fall on her, I made love to her!”
Simon does a GMTV joke, and Russell protests.
Russell: ‘GMTV is a fine institution!”
Simon: “Only because you’ve got books to sell and you’ll go fucking anywhere to do it!”
As catty as Simon and Russell are getting, this episode is entertaining as all hell, and we’re not even at Intros.
Russell’s a great personality, and he’s very commanding and energetic, but he’s not letting Greg or Rachel have a word in edgewise when it comes time to pick an answer. I do feel bad for Greg, because he’s essentially the sensible one here, and he’s just trying to tell jokes.
Annnnd we’re gonna add Phill and Sway’s version of Pink Floyd’s Money to the list of essentially perfect intros we’ve had on the program. Sway, though kind of low key, is actually great at Intros and is really into the show.
Simon: “It feels a bit boring doing jokes from an auto cue with you sat there.”
Russell: “Don’t worry, admit to it! You’ll be great! Show your vulnerability and your beauty, the auto cue will love you!”
So…Simon gets up and essentially does a Russell Brand impression. “SO….THAT WAS MONEYYY…BYYY *PINK* FLOYD!”
I will say that Russell absolutely loves Simon’s impression of him, and applauds him. I think the drama from earlier was a bit…put on, maybe they don’t really hate each other.
Simon: “Have any idea what it is Greg?”
Greg: “Yes, for 2 reasons. 1, because I thought it was very good, and 2, I read it.”
By the way, so far this show is the Simon and Russell show. We’re not getting much from Phill. Like with the Jonathan Ross episode of QI, I think he’s been drowned out, and he sticking to a utility role.
Oh, thank god, ID Parade is back. They’ve been doing too many random replacements. Hope there’s a good one (featuring Crazy Eyes perhaps??)
Sway: “I think it could be the first one. She keeps staring at us.”
Phill: “If this was the Spot the Hypnotist round, I’d be right there with ya.”
Russell, as Phill’s ID Parade leaves: “What happens to them now?”
Simon: “THEYYYY DIIIIE…”
Russell: “AND THE BODIES?”
Simon: [Points right at Hugh]
Greg: “#2…I just want to cuddle you…”
[Brief AWWWWW ensues. Even #2 gets a kick out of it.]
Russell: “NOW, WHEN GREG SAYS CUDDLE…”
After a joke earlier when Rachel can’t decide her favorite nut, Simon makes Rachel decide which one of the ID Parade. He scoots over and makes it dramatic.
Simon: “CAN RACHEL MAKE A DECISION???”
Simon: “Do you still see the other S Club people?”
Rachel: “I don’t…”
Simon: “…ah, fuck ’em…”
Russell: “2! 2! WE THINK IT’S 2! AND IF IT ISN’T TOO, THE WORLD CAN GO HANG!”
Rachel: “…shit, now I think it’s one.”
Russell: ‘OOOOOHHH FOR!”
Simon: “D’YOU SEE WHAT I HAD TO DEAL WITH???”
After Russell interrupts Next Lines with a joke.
Simon: “Russell…is your anarchic wit trying to destroy this panel show?”
THANK YOU. WE WERE ALL THINKING IT!
Simon: “Wanna see Bradley swing?”
Rachel: “Wanna see Rachel do her thing?”
Simon: “Correct, S Club. What was Rachel’s thing exactly.”
Russell: “Nut selection, we’ve all seen that.”
Simon, announcing the scores: “It was very close.”
Sway: “We got less time…you been cheating for them all night…”
Simon: “I don’t know what to say to you…”
Sway: “…sorry would be a start…”
Overall: Put back into context and this is a series high already. The panel is on, the Guest Host is up to the challenge and elevates the norm, Simon’s game, and the running gags keep flying. I’ll say that Sway had the least to do, and Hugh, other than being game with some meat jokes, didn’t have much either, but Russell’s whole panel was wonderful, from Greg Davies being Greg Davies to Rachel Stevens not being able to decide to Russell Brand OWNING this game. Yes, sometimes it interfered with format, and sometimes it ticked off Simon, but you have to admit that Russell was a joy and a thrill on the program, and I feel bad that people had to wait 3 years to see this one. It’s a real classic, IMO.
Guest Host Rating: 9/10. Barring some ‘anarchic destruction’, he’d be a ten. Brilliant job, Russell.
Best Regular: Simon
Best Guest: Greg
Best Runner: Rachel cannot make a decision.