Nevermind Watchdown: S24E08, or “……batmaaaan..”

There are five episodes left (ALREADY!) of Series 24 of Buzzcocks, and after a tumultuous and imperfect road, I can say I’m looking forward to all of them. This one, in fact, has the least amount of reasons to watch of all five, so we might as well get it out of the way.

The Guest Host, unlike *cough* LAST SHOW…is someone who’s perfectly capable of commanding an audience AND a panel show, and that’s Lee Mack. He’ll be great. Also on the panel is Jon “Winds of Change by the Scorpions” Richardson, and Irwin Sparkes, last on the program back in Series 21, on the Miquita Oliver show.

Andrew Stone was a reality star, on Pineapple Dance Studio (gee, wonder if he’s straight). Diana Vickers was a finalist on X-Factor.

Already, I’m impressed with Lee’s stage presence and autocue readings, although after an episode of Tim Westwood, literally anyone’s looks good.

Lee tells a story about working with horses, and how an erect horse penis smashed in a wing-mirror of a car.
Phill: “That’s a phone call to the insurance agency I’d have loved to see!”
Irwin: “We’ve gone from mums to horse cocks in, like, two minutes.”
Noel: “WE JUST GO STRAIGHT IN…”

Lee’s reading that Andrew’s danced with Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
Lee: “But it’s not just women, is it? You’ve also danced with Tina Turner…”
Screen Shot 2016-11-30 at 2.00.01 AM.png

Andrew says that Starman’s next album will be a Christmas release.
Noel: “Is there gonna be a snowman in the video?”
Andrew: “D’you wanna be in it?”
Noel: “I’ll be the snowman!”
Lee: “You’d be the most terrifying snowman in the world, Noel…”
Noel: “Just standing at the back, with an icy erection…”

Screen Shot 2016-11-30 at 2.02.23 AM.png

(This is very similar to his Duncan Bannatyne impression, actually)

Lee: ‘Did we get to an answer?”
Andrew: “Let’s go with A”
Noel: “WHOA WHOA WHOA WAIT A SECOND…I’m the captain here! Don’t get all DANCEY on my ass…”

Andrew: “If Madonna did do [the airplane safety instructions], what would she wear?”
Lee: “She’d have to wear the regulation uniform, otherwise she won’t be taken seriously…she’s not an idiot. People going ‘you better watch this!’ ‘Nah, it’s only Madonna, and she’s not in the regulation uniform…”

Jon: “I’ve got a pun that the audience could potentially hate…”
Lee: “Oh, shit pun comin’ up…”
Jon: “So if Madonna did do the announcement, d’you think she’d do it on EasyJet, or, like, uh Virgin?”

One of the options for the Rolling Stones is that before every gig the entire band and crew sit down together and watch Homes Under the Hammer.
Phill, doing his Keith impression: “That house is never worth that, NO WAY that house is worth that…Guy’s MENTAL…HAAAHHH…”

Lee hosting also works because he and Noel used to room together back in the day. Noel talks about Lee walking into a room with music playing, him saying ‘is this jazz’, and Noel saying ‘no, classical, Lee…”
Noel: “You heard a Spandau Ballet record and said ‘it’s not gonna get any better than this’..”
Lee, after an audible audience reaction: “‘s that funny to you?”

Andrew describes a triple threat as ‘someone who can sing, dance and act, and is comin’ for you.”
Lee: “I wouldn’t like to be in a fight with one. ‘D’you wanna fight with me? Fight with my mate Andrew. ‘I CAN THING, I CAN DANCE, AND I CAN ACT!’ I think ‘I’m coming for you’ is the biggest threat.”
Andrew: “…or over you…”
The audience groans at this one.
Lee: “You’ve let yourself down, you’ve let the audience down, you’ve let Noel’s mum down…Though I’ve let Noel’s mum down a few times.”
More groaning.
Lee: “I’M SORRY. I’M SO SORRY, MRS. FIELDING!”
Noel: “MY MOM’S *IN*! THAT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY!”
Lee: “I KNOW SHE’S IN, THAT’S WHY I’M SAYING IT! Is yer dad in?”
Noel: “Yeah, he’s next to her!”
Lee: “He’s gonna be coming at me singing, dancing and acting after the show… ‘WHAT DID YA SAY ABOUT MYYYYY WIIIIIIFEEE…”

I know that Jedward already have the ‘Most Annoying’ slot all wrapped up, but Andrew’s intro for ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’ by ABBA may be one of the most annoying things i’ve ever heard. Even Noel’s cracking up.

Diana, getting up for Intros: “I’m very excited…”
Lee: “What, about standing? ‘Ah’m a simple Northern girl with simple wishes. Ah wish ah could go ta London and STANNND.’ Well, tonight, your dream’s come true!”

Phill’s 2nd Intro is a sort of descending ‘Doo-doo-doo-doo’, so Lee chimes in with ‘BATMAAAAN’ the second he can.

Phill: “You gonna do that again?”
Lee: “Listen, as the referee- when he does that…DON’T DO IT AGAIN. THE SAME APPLIES TO YOU, AUDIENCE.”
Phill, continuing: “doodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoo-”
LEE AND THE ENTIRE AUDIENCE: “BATMAAAAAN!”

Lee: “I’m so sorry…that’s definitely it, now. If I did it again now, it’d be childish. I’m not an idiot. You get a laugh twice, but three times would be pushing it…”

The third time, Phill does his first bit, looks over at Lee, and the entire room is silent. Lee shrugs- he’s not doing it. The silence looms.
Right as Phill’s about to get back into it, ONE LONE BLOKE FROM THE AUDIENCE JUST GOES “……batmaaan!”
I completely lost it at that, and Lee came pretty close to breaking as well.
Lee, to Phill: “That’s your fault for pausing, then…”
Noel: “Lee, that was my fault, I put the Riddler on the guest list…”

Jon: “Blur with…Country House?”
Lee: “AH, SO CLOSE! It’s Blur with ‘Batman!'”

I don’t like making comments for this, but the original intro-clip for Noel’s ID Parade guy, the Irish indie guitarist, looks like Stuart from MadTV.

This is another one of those occasions where, for Dawn Penn, Phill knows exactly who it is and won’t take anyone else’s word for an answer.
Lee: “Diana, what do you think-”
Phill: “Don’t ask Diana, she doesn’t know. IT’S #2.”

After Phill’s WILLED THE TEAM to pick 2
Lee: “More than any other show I’ve ever watched in the history of british television, do I want this to be wrong.”

Overall: Now this series is back into the swing of things, because that was a pretty great one. Lee Mack was probably the best Guest Host we’ve had all season, even better than Terry Wogan, and he kept the game structured and clean, while also being very high-energy and funny. I will say that because Lee was pretty powerful, the panel was lighter, but Andrew had the best stuff, followed by Jon and Irwin. Diana was good for Lee screwing with her, but didn’t do a lot herself. Just a very, very funny show, and probably one of the funniest ones of the series so far.

Guest Host Rating: 10/10. Absolutely phenomenal, Lee.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Andrew
Best Runner: Noel’s mom.

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Nevermind Watchdown: S24E07

Tonight’s episode features someone I’ve never heard of as Guest Host. Knowing this season’s track record, this may be a good sign, but Tim Westwood is a noted DJ and radio personality, and host of Pimp My Ride. At least ALL OF JLS, including Aston Merrygold, is with us tonight, as well as Holly Walsh. Also, we have rapper Wiley and Russell Watson’s a famed opera singer.

Already Westwood’s style is coming off as a bit brash and obnoxious for me, but instead of awkwardly yelling the name of ‘Woop Woop, That’s the Sound of the Police’ like Frankie Boyle or Rhod Gilbert did, he just plays in the clip. He then looks over and goes “…you still here, Wiley?”

Westwood explains that anytime that Phill wants, he can switch off Marvin Humes with ANY OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF JLS, including the beloved Aston.

Westwood talks to JLS about their new brand of condoms, and responds by pulling out a box of his own ‘Big Dog Rubbers’.
Holly: “I think that seeing your face is the best form of contraception…”

Westwood: “Now, Marvin, you’re going out with Rochelle, of the Saturdays. D’you ever put on an Aston condom, just to give him a chance?”
Marvin: “Aston can have his own chances-”
Westwood: “…with your girlfriend?”
Marvin: “…that’d be wrong, man. There are enough Saturdays, anyway…”
Phill: “OH YEAH, THAT’S THE WAY OF LOOKING AT IT! They’re like buses! Another one’ll be along in a minute!”

Yeah, Westwood is obviously not a great fit for this show. After the first round he completely blows a joke, and Noel basically tells him (without telling him) that his delivery’s crap. It’s just coming off as strained and awkward so far.

All of JLS gets to help Phill with intros, which is pretty great.

Phill: “A one two three four”
JLS: “….”
Phill: “…IT’S ON FOUR!”
Aston: “I’M SORRY, I THOUGHT YOU WERE DOIN’ THE BASS!”
Phill: “Oh, ahahaha…ahaha…yeah, fuggin’ idiots. OKAY…”

Because Westwood feels bad about JLS helping Phill, he throws Noel PAT SHARP…from a few episodes ago, with the exact same chagrined expression. Man, at least Sharp’s been having a lot of fun so far in his appearances.

I think it was awfully nice of Noel’s team to do a good intro for Ghost Town by the Specials, one of Mark Lamarr’s favorite songs. I may be saying this because there’s not a ton to write about this episode.

Noel’s 2nd intro is a tune that Russell has to beatbox. Pat comes in every other four beat with a high-pitched ‘EEEEEGGH’, which cracks Russell up, even as he’s trying to do an intro.

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 12.43.36 AM.pngHolly: “…it’s like a lineup for GOD!”

And once again, Pat Sharp is included as a member of the ID Parade, just as himself.

Wiley: “Got to be sensible here, lads?”
Noel: “What do you mean, not pick #5?”

Even better, when Westwood asks the real G. Morris to come forward, Pat takes an inch step, and takes it back. Pretty soon everybody wants him to go for it, even the real G. Morris. If anything, Pat Sharp is saving this show.

Overall: Not good, folks. Not good. Tim Westwood was a very wrong choice for a guest host, as he’s not good on an autocue, he’s obnoxious, and he was just too intrusive. Plus, the JLS runner didn’t work as much as it should have, and none of the panelists got a ton of time to shine, save for Holly. The only saving grace of this episode was Pat Sharp, really.

Guest Host Rating: 3/10. No thank you.
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Holly
Best Runner: Pat Sharp.

Nevermind Watchdown: S24E06, or TIM..GIVE THE BOW AND ARROW TO TARGET..

It’s weird- all the horrifying-looking episodes end up really good, and all the good-looking episodes end up, frankly, kind of horrifying. Tonight, Tim Minchin’s guest hosting, and even if I like his stuff I’m still worried. Either way, with the return of Paloma Faith, as well as a return for fellow Australian Jason Donovan, and a debut for fellow Tim comedian Tim Key, it’ll probably be fine. Also, DJ Target, frontman from Roll Deep, is also here.

I will say that Tim’s autocue reading skills are surprisingly not as adept as I thought they’d be, and he’s a bit rusty, but the charm is at least making it worthwhile.

On George Michael and Justin Timberlake, Tim: “Whose music proved useful in getting sharks to mate?”
Phill: “Aren’t sharks enough of a bother already, without being horny?”

Jason’s reportedly eaten shark before:
Phill: “What’s it taste like?”
Jason: “…shark!”
Paloma: “Chicken. Everything tastes like chicken.”
Noel: “Except for After Eights, I imagine…”
Tim: “Yeah, which taste like MINT chicken…”
Phill: “I hope the Colonel’s not watching, cause then he’ll think “OOOH, THERE’S A TRICK I’VE MISSED!”

Key: “I know it’s your first time hosting, but I think maybe you should steer it away from shark rape, when that comes up…”
Tim: “I’m writing that down…”
Noel: “‘NO…SHARK RAPE…'”

Tim: “Whose music is used by doctors to revive patients? Coldplay or the Bee Gees?”
Key, deadpan: “…they should probably use other methods first…”

Tim: “Don’t you guys think that Noel and Paloma are so cute?”
Key: “NOW HANG ON A MINUTE…”

Noel: “D’you want me to be mean to Coldplay like I always am?”
Paloma: “Chris Martin’s a scientologist…”
Tim: “Is he?”
Paloma: “…no…”

Jason mentions his ex Kylie, and the fact that they’re still semi-friendly.
Jason: “I could call her, if you want…”
Paloma: “Do you really have Kylie’s number? He doesn’t. HE’S HOLDING ONTO THE PAAASST…Let it go, you’ve got Kerry Katona…”
Jason: “I have, actually-”
Noel: “WHAT’S happening?”

I will say that Tim’s eventual CPR demonstration of how to do the BPM of Stayin’ Alive while saving someone’s life is just a perfect visual, one that has to be seen to be believed.

For Intros, Tim gives Jason an ‘Idiot Australian Cabaret Singer’ card, which is basically a way of saying that Tim can give a hint if needed.

Jason, guessing the 1st intro: “…modern?”
Phill: “No, it’s actually a thirties classic…”

Jason actually plays the Tim card, and THEY ALREADY HAVE A PIANO SET UP FOR TIM ON STAGE. This is incredible. But, even better, once Tim starts playing ‘Around the World’ by Daft Punk on the piano, it’s IMPECCABLY PLAYED, and Phill and Target keep doing it along with him. Jason does eventually get it, which is awesome.

Even better, Phill and Target’s 2nd Intro is Too Many Broken Hearts, by Jason Donovan…and Jason perks up and gets it within seconds, so happy they’re playing his song.

After Tim dances with Paloma on the table, and given that Noel’s already received a ring from Paloma on the night:
Noel: “This is the only episode where I can forsee a full orgy happening in the green room…Donovan will be wearing Tim’s cardy, my top hat AND NOTHING ELSE.”

This is great. Noel and Paloma do a really good rendition of Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’. Key motions for Tim to come and do it on the piano. He gets three seconds into it and Key just says ‘Beat it, Michael Jackson’, essentially just doing this to screw with him.

There’s a great runner where Tim has an invisible bow and arrow that only works when he fires it right towards Target, and he does this (with the audio cue) several times throughout the episode. After intros, he tells a poorly-received joke about Roll Deep.
Noel: “TIM…TIM…GIVE THE BOW AND ARROW TO TARGET…”

Target, on #1 of the ID Parade: “He looks like he could have grown out his beard after the band dismembered.”
Phill: “DISMEMBERED?!? WHAT KIND OF BAND *WERE* YOU???”

Target: “#3 looks angry.”
Phill, annoyed: “yeah, cause he WORKS on the SHOW!”
Jason: “Wait, maybe it IS #3…”
Phill: “It’s NOT #3, he WORKS…ON THE SHOW!”

Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 8.35.07 PM.pngKey: “See, the problem is you’ve picked five people that I’d be quite scared to tease..”

Overall: Light, but not without some funny moments. Noel’s entire panel were unified, and gave some of the strongest stuff, thanks to Paloma and Tim being really on, as well as the whole Noel+Paloma runner. Tim Minchin was a really nice guest host- not perfect, but did a nice job. Jason was fun but seemed to get a bit worn out as the night went on. Target had the least to do. Lots of little things, and runners, but overall a bit smaller.

Guest Host Rating: 8.5/10
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Paloma
Best Runner: Arrow sound effect.

Nevermind Watchdown: S24E05, or Look, These are for SHAKIRA!

After a few…horrifying but still worthwhile experiences, onto someone who can definitely host a killer panel show, and that’s David O’Doherty, tonight’s Guest Host. Even better, he’s presiding over people like Mel B, who hasn’t been on in quite a while, and dour comedian Joe Wilkinson. Also, Olly Murs is a pop singer, and Peter Jones is a businessman and one of the last remaining regulars on Dragon’s Den.

This is great- they set this episode up as having Shakira hosting, and have a very dramatic build, so that by the time they pull in and it’s just David, the applause is there but the tone is just ‘eh, this’ll have to do’. Of course, immediately he commands the stage, putting the audience on his side and saying ‘Let’s Nevermind These Buzzcocks!’

The first ‘Wanna be Starting Something’ round concerns the offstage antics of Buzzcocks Champion Dappy…which means we may find out why he’s not anymore after last season.

David, to Olly: “What do you do in the X Factor house, anyway?”
Olly: “Sleep, rehearse, look after the Jedward twins…”

This is great. As Peter’s on the show, David produces a white-board hat for them to bid on. Joe even says he’ll put 25K in if Peter does the other half. Peter just starts shifting around, not sure whether or not they’re serious, which cracks up Noel.

Peter talks about a band he pulled funding from because he didn’t like the name.
Noel: “I think I can come up with a better band name in 4 seconds.”
Olly: “2…3…4.”
Noel: “The Mothpopes.”

Peter’s giving an answer to the Dappy question, speculating.
Olly: “I know what it is!”
Noel: “Shoosh! Now Peter…”

Peter: “What do they sing, anyway?”
Olly: “Number onnne…I don’t understaand…”
Noel, sarcastically: “I love that one…”
Olly: “Yeah, they’re really cool.”
Noel: “You must be out of your fucking mind…”

David: “Any feeling for N-Dubz over here?”
Mel: “I’ve no idea, and I don’t care.”
The audience: “EEYYY!”

Noel: “I think that he went on a roller coaster, the upside down one, he had loads of coins in his pocket, a pound coin fell out, and, uh, paralyzed the duck.”
David: “THAT IS THE CORRECT ANSW-no…”

David: “Olly seems to have some idea…”
Noel: “REALLY?”

David: “How did a portaloo get Bob Dylan in trouble?”
Phill: “He sounds like he’s in a porta-loo all the time. EEHHHHHH…UEEEGHHH…PHHHWOAAAR…”
Mel: “…hahahaha…oh, that’s funny…”
Phill points to her, as if to say “SEE?”

After Joe ponders if he’d want to photograph Bob Dylan’s poo
Olly: “Isn’t there a website called rate my poo dot com?”
Noel: “What, rape my poo?”
Olly: “Yeah, RAPE my poo, haha-”
Phill: “GET OFF THIS QUIZ! DIRTY BOY!”

David: “It seems strange that he has an outside toilet, but then Mel B’s from Leeds, and she was 32 before she had an indoor shit…”
Mel B: “WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?”
David: “I’m so sorry…LOOK, THESE ARE FOR SHAKIRA!”

Peter: “What’s beatboxing?”
Olly: “well…”
Phill: “Don’t tell him, sell it to him!”
They make it completely like Dragon’s den, Noel sitting down, going “I’ll be Bannatyne, the grumpy Scottish one.”
Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 1.56.08 AM.png

David, trying to give Peter a clue for Scissor Sisters: “Two ladies, and…something they do.”
Mel: “OH MY GOD”
Noel: “…when they like each other.”
David: “What, it’s a good clue!”
Mel: “That is a REALLY good clue if you’re a lesbian.”
Noel: “You weren’t a lesbian in the Spice Girls, were you?”
Mel: “Maybe…little bit…”
Phill, Northern accent: “WHOSE TEEEURN IS IT TA BE A LESBIAN TUHDEEEA?”

After Phill’s 1st intro, Joe: “Is that good?”
David: “Yeah, that was a really good one.”
Joe: “ohhhh, shit…”

SO HANG ON A MINUTE…They did Manda Rin from Bis in the ID Parade two seasons ago, back when Simon was there! Of course, this was the episode where Russell Brand was there, and it probably hadn’t aired yet by this point, so I doubt many people cried foul back in the day, but…Manda Rin has BEEN THROUGH THIS BEFORE. I already know who it is.

Olly: “#4’s wearing a different colour dress, maybe it’s her…”
Noel: “…alright, Columbo…”

David asks Mel if she had a horrible job.
Mel: “I worked at Pizza Hut, but that was nice, they had good pizza…”
Noel: “Was that before or after you joined the Spice Girls?”

On the Iron Maiden ID Parade:
Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 1.37.20 AM.png

Phill: “I don’t think #4 was in Iron Maiden, I think he just came out of a defrosted iceberg.”

Next Lines:
David: “What have I done for you?”
Mel: “…lately?”
David: “No, slightly embarrassing. ‘To sex me up a lot’, Mel B and Missy Elliott.”
Mel: “…OH, FUCK!”

Overall: While this did have some nice moments, I felt like the gimmick sort of ruined it. Yes, the whole Shakira runner was great and the writers spent a ton of time with David on it, but it infringed too much onto the show and made the overall episode feel less fun, even with Mel, Olly and Joe having nice nights, as well as Noel being, as per usual this season, in peak form. David tried, but a little too hard at times, too, and I prefer him being a panelist.

Guest Host Rating: 8/10. The failed runner pushes this down a few pegs, sadly.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Mel
Best Runner: Shakira

Nevermind Watchdown: S24E04, or ZIGGY PLAAAYEED….Blank.

The unpleasantness train keeps on rolling in Series 24.

Not only is Terry Wogan (not necessarily a favorite of mine) the guest host this evening, but James Blunt, noted enemy of Simon Amstell and…most comedians really, is one of the panelists. So…hopefully it’ll be tolerable.

Already Terry’s in a sarcastically playful mood, saying he’s only here for ‘the most degenerate experience on television’. Again, he means well, so I just have problems with his lack of shutting up.

Rufus Hound is a comedian and TV personality. Imelda May was a young Irish singer “trying to repair the irreparable damage caused by Jedward”. Edith Bowman’s a Radio One DJ who was apparently on back in Series 9 (with Terry Hall), according to Terry ‘modeled herself after Tony Blackburn…and in the dark with the light behind her, she’s not unlike him…”
WOW. Uhhh…hello Barbara…

Terry’s autocue reading is, somehow for a veteran presenter, a bit too plummy, and he trips over his words, even calling Bono ‘Bonnie-O’. Though he does have a good line in calling the Jackson 5 “Michael, Tito, Marlon…and two others whose names escape me…”

Phill compares Bono to a Bond villain
Rufus: “He turns around in the chair “I’ve been expecting you.” “Well, I bloody hope so, Bono, I spent 60 quid a ticket for this…”

Terry: “Now, James…you’re a notorious playboy…”
James, confused: “This is a note from my mother…”
Terry: “What is your secret to success with women.”
James: “…I’m a lesbian.”
Wow, he’s actually really funny on this show so far. Maybe I misjudged him as a singer.

Rufus: “I’ve done quite a few panel shows with different sorts of hosts, and and normally when they have a go at you, you wanna fight back. But when Terry says anything I’m sitting here going “you’re right, Terry, I *AM* a twat…”

Noel has an anecdote about the time Bono rang him up, and he thought it was one of his mates so he completely blew off BONO.
Phill, trying to bring it back to the question: “Did he by any chance say “Noel, I’m writin’ a foreward to the Bible…”

Terry: “Little known fact, Bono actually appears in the famed painting of the Last Supper. He’s there, on the end…sitting on The Edge.”

Imelda talks about dueting with Lou Reed, and his gigantic golden microphone.
Rufus: “Wonder if C-3PO looks at Lou Reed with his golden microphone and says “…looks like he’s givin’ me a blowie…”
Terry: “D’you know I had no idea when I met you…the depths of your depravity?”Terry, to Imelda: “D’you have any tips, as an Irish woman, on getting on here [in England]”

Imelda: “…no.”
Noel: “Yeah, cause you’re really struggling, Terry…”

Noel tries to get it back: “All I keep thinking about is Lou Reed singing into C-3PO’s penis…that’s all I can think of…”
Rufus: “R2 would be next to him going [approving noise]”
Phill, C3PO impression: “OH, MR. REED! YOU JUST KEEP ME HANGING ON!”
Rufus: “Of course, king of the robot blowies…Henry…”
Imelda, bluntly: “Do you live on your own?”

Terry, veering the show back on course: “ENOUGH OF THIS SOCIETY ENTERTAINMENT!”
(in response to this, Phill starts laughing for ten seconds, and this is peak level Jupitus giggling.)

Bottom line is by the 1/3 mark, everybody’s laughing and giggling, and Terry’s having a wonderful time. At least Noel and Phill had a ton of respect for him, and at least he’s owning up to that.

Terry: “I have a message from Linda, in Crane, asking if we’re gonna have another round….[looks around panicking] Are we?”
Phill: [nods]
Terry: “Oh….Yah.”
Phill completely bursts again. This is a Biggins-level laughing day for Phill

Rufus just raps and beats over Phill’s first intro, so he just stares him down, lunging at him for 30 seconds in a stare.
Phill: “Edith knows it so much she’s been dancing to it…I’ve got the military behind me now, and…”
James: “There’s a certain amount of pressure to get this right very soon.”
Rufus: “Come on, James, tell me he’s beautiful!”

For Phill and James’ 2nd intro, Baba O’Riley, James gets on Phill’s back (slapping his ass on the way), and proceeds to do the intro from there, occasionally slapping his ass for percussion, which is an amusing sight, as well as one that signifies that James is all in tonight.

Terry, giving a Mark-style joke with his ever-so-delicate read: “Pete Townshend suffers from tenetus, a annoying, monotonous buzzing that sounds as if it’s coming from the base of your skull. If you want to know what that sounds like, tune in to Chris Evans on Radio One…”

Edith’s not very good at intros. For her 2nd one, which is Ziggy Stardust, Noel and Imelda are just trapped doing the melody over and over because she doesn’t know the title. Meanwhile, PHILL’S ENTIRE PANEL joins in, doing the same melody, trying to help…FOLLOWED BY TERRY…and the AUDIENCE. This is pretty momentous, actually.

Rufus: “I’ll tell you something, Terry, they didn’t used to get audience participation when Amstell was in the chair…he HATED people…”
Terry: “…after this show, I’m not that keen on them myself…”

ID Parade is Eurovision-themed, and sadly this leads to another Garlicking, as Cheryl Baker, who was on the Eurovision special herself, is among the ID Parade. Sad, but knowing Terry he probably brought her along. Of course, Terry, over the course of introing the 5, basically says “oh no, it’s #2…”

Edith: “Oh, it’s #2, she’s laughing…”
Rufus: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘IT’S #2, SHE’S LAUGHING?’ What, you mean the one that looks EXACTLY LIKE CHERYL BAKER???”

Screen Shot 2016-11-25 at 1.46.36 AM.png

Phill: “People who haven’t got HDTV are looking at the lineup thinking the Nolans are back together!”
Terry: “THEY ARE!!!”

Imelda: “I think it’s #2, they all look-”
Rufus, still outraged from across the studio: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU *THINK* IT’S #2?!?!? IT’S NUMBER TWO! THE ONE THAT LOOKS LIKE CHERYL BAKER, THAT *IN HIS INTRODUCTION*, TERRY SAID IT WAS!!!”

Next Lines:
Terry: ‘ZIGGY PLAYED GUITAR!’
Edith: “Oh, not again…”

Edith: “It’d be brilliant if David Bowie presented Blankety Blank.”
Noel: “Not presented, just if he was on it. Nobody but Terry should present it…”
Phill: “ZIGGY PLAAAAYED…..blank.”

Terry: “You’re answering questions that I’ve not yet been asked.”
Noel, channeling David Bowie [going back to a joke about a bad interview Terry had with him]: “…it was a shit interview, Terry…afterwards you called me a prick!”

Terry signs off, knowing the show’s completely drained him, with “I used to be Terry Wogan. Goodnight.”

Overall: Completely outdid my expectations, and was not only a fun show but an extremely well-balanced one. Terry, though his delivery isn’t always my favorite, managed to keep the show going as well as keep everyone in a fantastic mood. James Blunt, even if he was a weeeee bit overshadowed, put in a pretty solid performance, and Edith and Imelda did a lot of good stuff with Noel. Rufus Hound gets a special mention for bringing up the energy and having the kind of lines a Mark-era panelist would kill for. Phill was giggly, Noel was in full connector mode, and the dynamic was just there.

Guest Host Rating: 9/10
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Rufus
Best Runner: David Bowie interview.

Nevermind Watchdown: S24E03, or ‘I’m in Jedward! F–k You!’

Well…I’ve had a good life.

You see, when handling an annoying panelist, like Dappy or Donny Tourette or Mickey Hutton, I have to cling to the fact that the host or someone will at least screw with them and make it worthwhile for me, so I won’t have to listen to them too much.

Jedward…is a different animal entirely.

Even if Guest Host Jack Dee, AS WELL AS comedian panelists like Katy Brand and Charlie Higson, and up-and-coming popstar Eliza Doolittle, take the mick at Jedward, there’s still gonna be bloodshed, mostly coming from my ears. Overall, I’m not excited for this one, but Jack Dee’s fantastic, so it can’t be that bad.

Dear gosh, the very first second of Jedward playback and I’m already done. They’re doing a horrible cover of Blink 182’s All the Small Things. One audience member frantically wails.

This is great- they show (for what must be the 80th time on Buzzcocks) Billy Bragg’s ‘Sexuality’ video…INCLUDING a clip of Phill doing air-guitar. Phill directed that video, and hopefully he’ll at least subtly mention it here.

Sure enough, Noel mentions it first chance he gets.
Phill: ‘I was just looking at the still there, and it appeared to me that in the 1980’s I was quite a successful lesbian…”
Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 12.57.46 AM.png

Jack: “Phill, I have to say that you and Charlie look like a very gay couple about to adopt a daughter [Eliza]”
Charlie, pointing at Jedward: “Yeah, but what do THOSE LOT look like?”

Noel, looking over at Jedward: “Never in my life have I looked more like a paedophile…”

Jon: “When we were younger, we had this sort of book on strangers, and-”
Noel: “I WAS ON THE COVER!”

Jack: “Did you learn anything from that book?”
Jon: “Yeah, it was a scary book, yeah.”
Jack: “…still went with Louis Walsh, did ya?”

Even Jedward talking amongst themselves is deafening:
Jack: “Can Jon finish the sentence before you start the next one?”
Noel: “It’s like an auction…”

Jack tries reading some of Jedward’s tweets, one of which is “It’s so weird- this morning Edward broke a bowel and then the cocoa pops went everywhere.”
The whole room takes a second to recover from the absurdity of that one.

Jack suggests that Jedward shut up so that Phill’s team can get the answer
Phill: “Chico’s gonna be the new Docto-”
Jedward: *inaudible clattering*
Phill: “…nearly there.”
Charlie: “No, go ahead. Persevere. You can do it!”

Jack, revealing the answer: “They were both goat-herders before they-”
Charlie: “NO THEY WEREN’T!”
Jack, channeling Angus Deayton: “Uh, I’m afraid they were..”

Katy, on the Cowell intro-clip: “I mean, whenever I see black and white footage of someone with that song, I just get attracted to them…”
Phill: “Most footage of Hitler’s in black and white…”
Jon: “Actually, I know a lot of people compare Simon Cowell to Hitler. I think he’s okay-”
Katy: “WHOA WHOA WHOA…it’s lines out of context like that, that get this show in trouble…”

On Simon & Noel Gallagher:
Katy: “Were they both goatherds?”
Jon, giving the one genuine funny line either of them have had all night: “Are they both the same height?”
Noel: “Have they both…recovered from lupus?”

Charlie’s tweeting throughout the show. During Eliza and Phill’s first intro, he types “…Eliza is making a strangely exciting noise…I’m distracted.”

Eliza’s finger piano thing is so good for Charlie that he motions for Phill to just stop. Eliza even goes “I’m happy to just do the fingers.”
Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 1.18.35 AM.png
Jedward: “YOU GUYS NEED TO FOCUS UHKAAYYY”
Phill: “SHUT UP!”

After a line about Johnny Rotten selling out, Jack: “Jedward have stood firm, and have refused to sell anything…even records.”

Noel: “Though to be fair, Jack, their album’s the biggest selling album this year.”
Jack: “Is it?”
Noel AND Jedward: “Yeah, in Ireland…”

Edward, before Intros, sung: “Are you REA-DY?”
Kary, confused: “…YES?!?”

Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 1.27.22 AM.png

Jedward and Noel’s ‘Under Pressure’ intro is aaaactually pretty good, if a bit needlessly annoying.
Noel: “I’m in Jedward! Fuck you!”

Phill, as the Under Pressure plays in, Comic Book Guy voice: “WORST. BOY BAND. EVERRR…”

Katy, right before the 2nd intro, just collapses due to the Jedwardness of it all. Shoving a prop piece of paper in her mouth and just crumbling.
Noel: “Katy’s just had an aneurysm!”
Phill, to the camera: “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s very important that you send what you can…to have Katy Brand freed from this quiz…”

Their 2nd one is, of course, Ghostbusters, and when they play it in Jon goes over and starts singing and dancing around Jack’s chair, all the while Jack’s keeping his deadpan, ‘kill me’ expression.
Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 1.35.08 AM.png

As if this show wasn’t insane enough…in Phill’s ID Parade, an old friend has dropped by..
Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 1.37.48 AM.png

This is great- the ID Parade is finding Mick Brown from Mick & Pat…but #5 is just Pat Brown. He’s just there. Grimacing a bit, even.

Eliza: “I know #4 because I’m friends with him on Facebook…”
Phill: “I don’t like to ask, as it seems a little impertinent, but have you poked him?”
Eliza: “with my fingers…”
She does the motioning she did earlier.
Phill, weak: “oh, please stop…”

Jack: “Are you gonna make your guess?”
Phill: “It’s a nice respite. The longer this round goes on….I don’t think I need to go on-”
Jack: “Yeah, you’ve made your point clear..”

Noel says he even liked Jedward, he says they behave themselves.
Edward: “We are actually really well behaved.”
Phill: “Well, within the context of this quiz, you make Dappy look like Stephen Fry.”
No joke…Jon stays frozen for five seconds before FINALLY GETTING THE JOKE and going “OH MY GOD…”

Even better, Pat Sharp returns AGAIN in Noel’s ID Parade for Pianoman. Just in sunglasses and a black coat. At least he’s getting a kick out of this.

Jon: “Why does one of them have hair and the other four are bald?”
Katy: “Because the other one’s Pat Sharp, you know, the Radio DJ. He’s in both ID Parades, that’s the joke of the round.”
Jack: “Thank you for explaining that Katy, because if I had to I’d be SICK…”

Phill and Noel agree, after that line, to switch panels…for some reason. Phill is willingly enduring all this?
Phill: ‘COME ON AND SIT WITH YOUR UNCLE PHILLIP!”
Noel: “I love you both, but you were bringing on a panic attack…”

Katy: “Phill, do you know which one Pianoman is?”
Phill: “No, but I know who Pat Sharp is, my friend…”

Jack even suggests that Jedward join the lineup so Pat Sharp can join the team instead, which everyone OVERWHELMINGLY agrees to.

I will say that Pat does a fantastic job as ‘Guest Captain’, as he’s a great personality and helps Katy and Phill swerve toward #1. Unfortunately at the end of the round he has to go back.

This is great- Next Lines, Jack gives Eliza her own lyrics…then he gives her My Fair Lady lyrics, wrong Eliza Doolittle…then he gives her DOCTOR Doolittle lyrics. Noel and Charlie are just cracking up the whole time.

Eliza: “I don’t actually know these!”
Jack: “You should! This is Doctor Doolittle! That’s your DAD!”

Phill, into Next Lines: “Boys…inside voices.”
Jon: “[Noel’s] my mom, you’re my dad, and [Jack’s] our uncle…”
Jack: “I would like a blood test.”

Jack: “If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call?”
Phill, very quickly: “Samaritans!”

After three straight Next Lines of ‘shut-up’ related lyrics.
Edward: “Are you trying to tell us something?”
Katy: “FINALLY…”

Overall: Yes, even if Jedward were very annoying…this was still a very nice show, aided by some great moments and lines. It helps that Jack Dee was a great guest host, keeping everything in order while still being funny, as well as Charlie and Katy still being funny (and both captains being awesome as well). Eliza had the least to do but was still charming enough. Not necessarily rewatchable but still pretty good.

Guest Host Rating: 9/10. Jack did pretty well for himself.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Katy
Best Runner: Jedward shut up!

Nevermind Watchdown: S24E02

What I’m noticing already in Series 24 is that while the guest hosts for S23 were mostly presenters, comedians and definite personalities…the S24 ones are a bit more suspect. For instance, tonight’s guest host is Catherine Tate, who was just here on the Doctor Who episode…going absolutely mental.

As for the panelists, Tulisa’s another member of N-Dubz (“She’s no Dappy…and that’s exactly why we’ve booked her..”). Howard Marks, a particularly odd inclusion for NMTB, was a drug kingpin and smuggler. Badly Drawn Boy is…well, Badly Drawn Boy, the famed singer/songwriter. Katy Wix was a comedian and sketch comic on ‘The King is Dead’.

The options for the Leona Lewis question, including a a horse, mad hawk and a mad kestrel, cause Noel to double over laughing even before the round’s begun.

Tulisa: “I feel a bit uneducated, what’s a kestrel?”
Howard: “it’s like a hawk…”
Catherine: “It’s also a lager…”
Tulisa: “You see, that’s more like it.”

Noel: ‘Howard’s got an interesting fact about horses.”
Howard: “Yeah, they don’t recognize themselves in the mirror.”
Badly: “Howard, did a horse tell you this? How would somebody verify this?”
Howard: “By sticking a horse in front of a mirror over and over until it recognizes itself…”
(Noel and Tulisa are doubling over)
Phill: “Howard…when a horse goes ‘PFFFFFFFFF’…”
Howard: “…it means it fancies itself.”
Catherine: “What are you talking about?”
Howard: “HORSES.”

Tulisa mentions she’d been up for 24 hours as of the taping.
Noel: “We’ve got TT, who’s been up for 24 hours, HOWARD MARKS…and me, I’m vague at the best of times…we’re Team Fuzzy. We’ve got NO chance! You’re lucky we’re facing the right way!”

Badly: “Are you what 72 hours of no sleep looks like, you three?”
Noel: “If all goes well for me, [Howard] is what I could look like.”

Catherine: “Have you got a clue what this is?”
Noel: “I’m hoping it was all of them. I think she was at the zoo, and all the animals went ‘Let’s kick the shit out of her!'”
THIS is why I’m happy Noel’s the regular now, because he’s a reliable anchor AND he’s really funny.

Howard brings up another animal fact, that a dog can smell when a spider’s in the room, which leads to Badly and Tulisa wondering if spiders do in fact have BO.
Phill, suddenly breaking his silence: “AM I ON THE RIGHT SHOW???”

As much of a Heculean task it’s probably going to be to get Howard to guess an intro, I’ll say that Noel and Tulisa’s ‘Ever Fallen in Love’ one was pretty good.

Catherine, mid-intros, looks distressed. Noel asks her what’s wrong.
Catherine: “I’ve lost the card with all the N-Dubz slag on it- NO! SLANG!”
Catherine’s so ashamed, and the rest of the room’s so shocked. She has to go over and hug Tulisa, and make sure there’s no harm done.
Noel: “You know what’d be amazing? If Dappy came down now…LIKE THE URBAN KESTEL HE IS…”

Catherine tries giving some N-Dubz slang to Tulisa, but she doesn’t get any, as “it’s just those two nutters”.
Phill: “Catherine, you have to understand. Tulisa is essentially their care worker…”

Nice moment- on the playback of ‘Are You Gonna be my Girl’, Catherine and Tulisa turn it into ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ by Phil Collins. Tulisa and Catherine are getting along really well, as you can tell Tulisa loves Catherine’s show, and was going back and forth earlier with her ‘Am I bovvered’ line.

Noel, before his ID Parade: “Howard, you must have been in a few Identity Parades in your time…”

Catherine: “Is anyone…grabbing you?”
Howard: “Oof, not yet…”

Overall: Bit of an odd show, that started stronger than it finished. I’ll give Catherine props for being really into it and excited. Noel’s team had the better day, as Noel was having a career day, and Howard and Tulisa also had some great answers. Badly was having a nice enough time, but Phill’s panel were a tad underedited.

Guest Host Rating: 8/10. Solid enough job.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Howard
Best Runner: Kestrels.

Nevermind Watchdown: S24E01, or I THINK I NEED A BETTER DRUMMEEERRRR…

Series 23 proved that having a rotating guest host could lead to some of the best episodes in the series’ history, and that implementing Noel Fielding as a team captain was not only a smart comedic decision, but was crucial in transitioning the series towards the 2010’s.

Here we are, Series 24. And I’m hoping the hot streak continues.

Mark Ronson’s the first Guest Host of the season. Mark was also the first Guest Bill, back when Simon still called her a ‘Winehouse-ruiner’. But now, Mark Ronson will be running the show, which, hopefully, will work out alright.

The panel looks kind of cool, too. Alesha Dixon’s the sole returnee, but she’s a vet so I’m not worried. Paul Foot, who I’m told is supposed to RULE this later era of Buzzcocks, makes his debut here, along with rapper Tinie Tempah and Mollie King from The Saturdays.

The opening announcer remarks that “none of last season’s guest hosts were good enough”, which…is bullshit, but I guess we’ll have to buy it.

Mark’s opening line, which is cheeky enough, is “Hi, I’m pop sensation and international heartthrob Mark Ronson. [Drops, turns to audience] I’m just…reading what’s on the autocue…”

Thankfully, this season’s apparently done away with the ‘so, those are the teams, now appalud’ thing that had been a staple since the late Simon era. Also, maybe they just needed a bit more time this ep?

What I’ve noticed about Mark is that, from his time spent in the states, some of his accent has rubbed off, and he’s only clinging to a few british affectations. It’s a kind of odd accent, similar to Brian Molko’s, which is American but has a sort of Scottish tinge.

LITERALLY, PAUL’S FIRST LINE gets me on his side.
One of the options involves the possibility that Pete Doherty got lost on a Tintin tour of Bruges.
Paul: “Have you ever got lost on a Tintin tour, Mark? OR, thought of to be Tintin, and got trapped in there…having to provide Tintin-based entertainment?”
Noel: “…That’s rich, coming from Snowy…”

Noel mentions Pete Doherty showing up at a party with a top hat full of cats.
Noel: “His dealer gave it to ‘im, told him it was meow-meow. [beat] That’s the only real joke you’ll get out of me all series…”

Great moment. Noel talks about recording an album for ‘the Boosh’ and not knowing when it’s coming out. Mark says he’s wanted to do a remix of ‘Captain Cabinet’, and make it longer than 7 seconds…culminating in Noel and Mark doing a duet of Captain Cabinet, which is very cute.

Mollie mentions how every Akon song starts with him yelling ‘COOOONVICT!”
Mollie: “It’s like if we started every song with ‘GIIIIRL BAND!”
Noel: “It’s quite a weird thing to boast about, isn’t it? ‘I’VE BEEN DOWN FOR FRAUUUD!'”
Paul: “I’M A BIT AWKWARD AT PARTIES!”
Mark, noticably lower-key: “…I didn’t write this soong…”

Alesha talks about hitching a ride off of Chris Martin’s plane from Cannes.
Mark: “D’you know you only have to pay 20 quid for an EZ-Jet ticket, and then you don’t have to sit next to Chris Martin?”

Alesha: “He was so nice, he offered me sushi…”
Phill: “REALLY? Is that a showbiz kind of euphemism?”
Noel: “I can’t believe- you know when you land, and they say ‘d’you want a boiled sweet, cause your ears are gonna pop?’ He goes ‘anyone want sushi?’ What a DICK…”
Noel is already dominating this episode.

There’s a nice allusion to pre-show, where Tinie was already telling Noel not to screw up the Intros. So, when the round actually happens, Noel’s legitimately scared to start. He, Tinie (and PAUL) all just do Tinie’s part, but even THEN Tinie tells him ‘NO!’ right in the middle.

Phill, before Noel’s 2nd intro, says “I know that Paul knows nothing about modern musical culture. I say we play the intro in, have them dance do it, and see if he gets it then!”
And sure enough, they try this. It doesn’t work

Paul’s thing is that he’ll just make up a nonsensical name for a group, and it’s incredibly amusing. He was crediting a few to ‘The Peppers’, a made-up group, even.

Alesha can’t get Phill’s first intro, so Noel motions that Paul knows…and whispers it in his ear.
Paul, absolutely serious: “…Killing in the Name Of…Rage Against the Machine.”
Mark: “Unbelievable…”

Even better, when they play in the real intro, Mark throws in a bunch of supplied sound effects (like a SAY WHAAAT from Alesha’s new song), and makes a remix on the spot.

ID Parade:
Mark: “I’ve seen the video, the guy you’re looking for looks an awful lot like an Irish Richard Gere.”
Alesha: “Well, that’d have to be #2 then…”
Screen Shot 2016-11-11 at 12.42.43 AM.png

Well, I never thought that someone from Steps would end up on ID Parade, but thankfully it’s not one of the ones we’ve had on…and it’s not ‘H’.

Paul walks up to each of the ID Parade people…and just does his absolute nut to crack them up, just in talking. I’m not printing the whole thing, but it’s pretty funny to watch, almost Pythonesque.

Next Lines:
Mark: “She’s got an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny
Paul: “tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny…”
Noel: “Yellow polka dot bikini”
Paul: “tiny…tiny…tiny vagina.”

Overall: Solid opener, even if it fell off towards the last half. The dynamic on Noel’s team was a big stronger than that of Phill’s- I’d even say that Alesha was a bit more difficult tonight, even during Next Lines. Paul was EXCELLENT, and Tinie did a nice job scaring the shit out of Noel, who had a career day. Mark wasn’t the greatest guest host, as he seemed kind of out of it, but he tried his best, and there were some nice moments.

Guest Host Rating: 8/10
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Paul
Best Runner: SAAAAY WHAAAAT?

Nevermind Watchdown: S23E12, or BARROWMAN!

Way back in Series 10, Never Mind the Buzzcocks did a Eurovision Song Contest special, featuring 3 veterans of the ESC, as well as a boisterous Terry Wogan (who, sadly, we’ll be getting next series). It was harmless enough, but as an American, I didn’t get a ton of the references.

Now, here we are in Series 23, and as the finale to the incredibly fantastic series, we have David Tennant hosting a Doctor Who special…which is great, except I don’t watch Doctor Who.

Still, I will try my best to soldier on and hopefully Tennant will be a nice enough guest host.

Literally the first second of the show, Tennant jumps into the scene out of a cloud of white smoke, from under the desk. He then asks, aside to the producer ‘and you’ll do the materialization effect in post, right?’ before going right in. All charisma, though.

Jamie Cullum’s a jazzy-pop singer. Catherine Tate’s a sketch comedy legend, known for roles on Doctor Who and the U.S. Office. Bernard Cribbins voiced the Wombles and was present for TWO DIFFERENT incarnations of the Doctor. Jo Whiley’s a DJ and….sigh…TV presenter, who was last on the program alllllll the way back in Series 1, with Adam Ant.

Tennant is, obviously, keeping the Doctor Who puns flying, describing McFly as ‘what happened when Busted regenerated’

The joke in the opening round is that David actually enjoys Coldplay, and everyone, including Jo, Phill, Noel and SURPRISINGLY BERNARD are all taking the mick at them.

Noel: “Their manager phoned me up and told me ‘you both were very mean to Coldplay’…but then texted me and said ‘but I know it’s very “cool” to hate Coldplay.’ So I texted her back. “Just wanted to say…I wasn’t trying to be cool…I genuinely hate them…just for the record.”
David, singing along with a clip: “IIIIII WILLL TRYYYYY….AND FIX YOU…”

Jo reveals she’s a pretty big Doctor Who fan, so David just randomly stops the round and asks her a trivia question, which she nails. She then asks Catherine if she wants one.
Catherine: “I only realized you shouldn’t called the daleks ‘robots’ about a week ago…”

David asks Catherine what TARDIS stands for, and she’s writhing around, trying to remember, all the while Jo’s pogoing in her seat, knowing the answer.

Noel: “Isn’t Davros the small one…with the weird face? Looks like a prawn?”
David: “…a bit like a prawn, yeah…”
Bernard: “…I like prawns. They’re nice.”

David asks if Jamie did indeed headbutt Natasha Bedingfield, and Jamie reveals it was an accident, piano-related injury.
David: “Were you trying for Daniel?”
Phill: “We had Daniel on this show once, and you mustn’t give him sweets. It’s a big thing, he goes mad if you give him sweets. And he arrived here, in the green room, and someone put out a big basket of mars bars, ate them all, and it took us about an hour to get him off the ceiling. We had to get one of those things you open school windows with and just try to get him down…”
Noel: “…I probably would have left him up there, to be honest…”

David: “McFly’s song has a lyric: “there’s nothing on earth that could save us when I fell in love with Uranus”…which, as it happens, was a line REMOVED from the pilot episode of Torchwood.”
Screen Shot 2016-11-06 at 8.48.09 PM.pngDavid: “…BARROWMAN!”

David: “Dougie once recieved a thong in the mail, which had the words ‘turn your erection in my direction’ written on it….BARROWMAN!!!”

Screen Shot 2016-11-06 at 8.51.23 PM.pngNoel: “I’d like to imagine that the pilot went “Robbie, I’ve left my wallet out on the plane. Pop out and get that for us, would ya? Yeah, just down the end. WWWWRRRRR….”
Bernard: “That was actually taken at 30,000 feet, and they drew the ground in afterwards.”
Bernard just has a very funny way of looking at things. He can be a bit odd sometimes, but he’s still got the right idea. Heck, even Noel says, right after that line “…d’you want to come and write for the Boosh?”

Phill, on the ‘shoulder-brushing’ move Robbie does: “He’s mental, he probably just brushing an imaginary hawk off his shoulder. ‘IT’S BACK AGAIN…THE HAWK….IT’S GOT THE FACE OF GARY BARLOW!”

There’s something to be beheld how much of a mess Catherine is currently, how she didn’t even notice there’s a TARDIS behind her, or how she mistakes Robin Hood and Kate Bush. Either way, this is reaching Bill Oddie levels of meltdown, but luckily Bernard’s there to screw with her, even saying to the audience “if you’ve brought any sandwiches, this is the time to eat them…”

Noel: ‘I did an interview for a Dali documentary, and it wasn’t half as weird as this…”

David says that during the Intros round, if people need help they can invoke the TARDIS. Sure enough, Jo needs help immediately, so an Ood just pops out.
Noel: “…it’s Andre Agassi…”

David: “Matt Bellamy has been plagued with numerous fans who’ve written letters saying they’d commit suicide unless he’d sleep with him….”
Screen Shot 2016-11-06 at 9.14.50 PM.png
“….BARROWMAN!”
The repetition is indeed working for this gag, btw.

Catherine, before intros: “Are these songs people have heard of?”
Noel: “…people, not you…”

Catherine can’t get the ‘Final Countdown’ one, so she invokes the TARDIS, while Noel and jamie keep on going with the intro.
Catherine: “I’M GOING TO ASK THE TARDIS…FOR GOD’S SAKE…It won’t be any help, but…”

David, reading a joke: “Kylie’s favorite bra fetched a staggering 6,000 pounds on ebay.”
Bernard: “Wanna see it?”
Man, I am just loving his stuff tonight.

ID Parade:
David: “Any idea?”
Phill: “I’ve got a number of ideas…”
Bernard: “Can we concentrate on this, for the moment?”

Great moment- Phill’s ID Parade leaves, only #1 keeps standing there. It takes a push from Catherine to make him realize the rest have gone, he gives an embarrassed expression, and leaves promptly. David even gets a kick out of this one.

Great punmanship in the Dr. Feelgood ID Parade
#1: Feelgood
#2: Feelbad
#3: Feel Jupitus.

And, as per the theme, #5, “I feel like we’ve met before”, is in fact a real live working Dalek. I dig how much fun the production team had with this one.

Noel: “I don’t think it’s #5…”
Jamie: “If it is #5, someone’s gonna pop out of it. It’s a trick question.”
Noel: “What, Davros? The king prawn?”

Great moment in Next Lines
David: “Knock knock?”
Bernard: “Who’s there?”
David: “Doctor.”
Bernard: “Doctor who?”
David: “Correct.”
Phill howls at the simplicity of that one.

David: “Whoooo are you?”
Bernard: “…this is Phill Jupitus, I’m Bernard Cribbins…”

Overall: Fantastic way to end the series, even if it was a bit quieter than some of the major highs. A ton going on here, thanks to Catherine’s absolute battiness and the gallons and gallons of Doctor Who stuff poured in by an incredibly game production team. David was a wonderful guest hot who kept the game, and jokes, going with ease. Bernard easily had the best night, having the best lines and keeping the demeanor high. Jo was game and Jamie was fun but neither had many great moments. Very nice icing on the cake of this exceptional series.

Guest Host rating: 9/10, excellent job David.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Bernard
Best Runner: BARROWMAN!

SERIES 23 SUPERLATIVES!

Guest Panelists, Ranked Best to Worst:
Martin Freeman, Episode 8
Dermot O’Leary, Episode 10
Frankie Boyle, Episode 11
Rhod Gilbert, Episode 2
Frank Skinner, Episode 5
David Tennant, Episode 12
David Walliams, Episode 9
James Corden, Episode 1
Alex James, Episode 3
Claudia Winkleman, Episode 6
Mark Watson, Episode 7
Jack Whitehall, Episode 4

Best Episode: By a hair, Episode 8, featuring Martin Freeman holding court, Dappy being himself and causing Phill to walk off, Charlie Brooker trying to keep things PG, and Simon Bird more than making up for being a fill-in for David Mitchell.
2nd Best Episode- Episode 10, the most fun show of the series by far, featuring Dermot O’Leary pulling everyone together, Aston Merrygold nearly injuring himself breakdancing, an INCREDIBLE duet from Phill and Michael Ball (bungled by Russell Tovey), and David O’Doherty’s facts about pandas.
3rd Best Episode because this season was that good- Episode 6. I was torn between this one and Episode 11, but 6 gets it solely because Harry Shearer’s dynamic with the rest of the panel, including Jamelia and Tom Basden, was electric, and there were some fantastic moments, even spurned by a nice enough hosting job from Claudia Winkleman.
Worst Episode: Episode 4. Jack Whitehall was trying to be too much like Simon, and the show didn’t really need to go back there.
Best Regular: Noel Fielding, for fitting into the dynamic immediately and bringing out some great moments in people.
Best Comedian Panelist: Harry Shearer, Episode 6. I know there’s more competition, like Tim Minchin, David O’Doherty, Charlie Brooker, Jon Richardson, Greg Davies and, yes, Bernard Cribbins, but Harry was just on fire in a way I never expected from him.
Best Musician Panelist: Michael Ball, Episode 10. I was THIS close to giving it to Basshunter from Episode 9, but Michael was just in it 100%, and his dynamic with Phill was absolutely wonderful to watch. Jamelia, Tinchy Stryder, Dappy and, yes, Basshunter came close.
Best Sport: Carol Vorderman, Episode 11. I honestly thought she’d be a ton more horrified at some of the stuff Frankie Boyle threw at her.
Most Annoying: Are you honestly expecting me to put anyone other than Dappy? I mean, he had a nice show, but he’s Dappy. Don’t worry, there’ll be a nice Most Annoying for next season (get ready, because Jack Dee won’t be.)

Nevermind Watchdown: S23E11, or To Be Honest, Carol, I Thought You Were Smarter Than This…

…I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a NMTB episode in my entire life.

Oh, there have been guests like Slash, or Alice Cooper, or David Cross that I’ve just been excited for over my admiration for that…but when your absolute favorite comedian comes on the show, to GUEST HOST…oh, it’s a very, very momentous occasion indeed.

Tonight, after 23 seasons, we have hit our first Frankie Boyle episode. And it will be absolutely momentous.

I know that his 2nd episode’s supposed to be a little better, where he has Michelle Williams and Professor Green to fuck with, but here…he’s got something at least. Carol Vorderman’s here, and she’s a quiz show legend. Reverend Jon McClure and Richard Herring are back for more after some really nice first appearances. DJ Ironik’s also here, and he’s a DJ and rapper. Not exactly Professor Green, but still.

Frankie’s opener is even funny: “When I was asked to host this show, I was delighted. I hate this program, but I’ve got a book to sell and a mistress in London.”

Fuck it, I’m gonna write down all his panelist intros, because they’re all funny:
“DJ Ironik, who’s a great rapper, according to MC Sarcastic.”
“And welcome a woman who’s brainier than Kurt Cobain’s garage wall! It’s Carol Vorderman!”
“A singer who said recently that he’d be quitting music, which is a bit like Stephen Hawking saying he’ll be quitting international basketball. It’s Jon McClure.”
for Richard: “He had an Edinburgh show which asked the question of whether it was okay to have a Hitler moustache. The answer is yes, only if it’s above the vagina.”
Oh, my gosh I love this man.

Earlier this season, Welshman Rhod Gilbert tried, and failed, at saying the name of the round ‘WOOP, WOOP, THAT’S DA SOUND OF DA POLICE.” Frankie has a slightly better time of it, but it’s still pretty pathetic, and he laughs it off.

Noel, on the quite disturbing video for Aerosmith’s Pink: “It’s like if they let David Lynch direct a gap advert…”

Frankie: “Ironik- Do we call you Ironik?”
Ironik, harkening back to Fatman Scoop: “Call me whatever you want.”
Frankie: “Oh, now don’t say that…”

Carol, on a tangent: “Do you tweet, Frankie?”
Frankie: “NO!”
Carol: “Ah, but do you Facebook.:
Frankie: “Yeah, I do go on Facebook…”
Carol: “BUT…what’s your name on Facebook?”
Frankie: “…..Frankie Boyle.”
The whole audience erupts.
Frankie: “To be honest, Carol, I heard you were smarter than this…”

Carol: “There are probably about 57 Frankie Boyle accounts of people pretending to be you.”
Frankie: “Well then I hope that they get the bullet or sexual assault case I am due…”

Noel: “You been in a Ferrari before, Ironik?”
Ironik: “No, never have been in a Ferrari. Can I have some ‘Ah’s for that?”
The audience gives him some AAWWWW…”
Phill: “Shouldn’t you be asking Carol for some of those?”
Yeah, that’s pretty brilliant.

Frankie tells Noel’s team that they’re close about what happened with Joey Kramer and a gas station.
Ironik: “He drove off and didn’t pay?”
Noel: “THAT’S NOT CLOSE!”
Frankie: “That would be the least rock’n’roll crime of all time!”
Noel: “Did he keep that magic tree thing hanging from the mirror- did he keep that in for too long?”
Frankie: “…What’s happened here is when I’ve told you you’re very close, you’ve decided to guess at something from a totally different world.”
Jesus, he’s basically doing the best tribute to Mark Lamarr of anybody out here.

Frankie: “It was the worst case of pumping since Michael Jackson challenged Macaulay Culkin to a game of leap frog.”
The game has to hold for 10 seconds just to get Phill’s entire team to stop laughing.

On how Kelis got into trouble with prostitutes:
Richard: “Did Kelis hire two prostitutes and had sex with them and the police caught them doing it…and after watching for a while, arrested them.”
Frankie: “For a year and a half…in an operation like The Wire…”

Carol: “That was a fantastic song, but I’m not very good at Intros.”
Frankie: “It’s actually, by the standard of this round, quite a good version.”
Phill bursts out laughing.
Frankie: “Yeah, I’m looking at you, Jupitus…”

Frankie: “Let me ask you something, Carol. Did you ever see any irony in presenting a show watched mainly by old people waiting for death…and calling it Countdown?”
THAT is why I adore Frankie Boyle…

Noel: “I’ve attached jelly-tots to my cape, just to lighten everything Frankie says…”
Frankie: “I hope you’ve got a big bag of jelly tots, then…”

Noel, before the 2nd intro: “Shall I count?”
Ironik: “Naw, I’ll do it-”
Frankie: “IF ONE OF YOU COULD MASTER COUNTING…”
Carol: “ME!”

Frankie: “John Peel was such a fan of the Undertones that he had the words ‘Teenage Kicks’ engraved on his tombstones. Sadly, it’s been kicked over by teenagers…”
Oh, bloody perfect. Mark would be proud.

Frankie: “Bob Marley decided to fight cancer with homeopathy. If you don’t want to see the results, look away now…although, cancer did go on to play AIDS in the semi-final.”
ANNNND AT NEARLY FOURTEEN MINUTES IN, OUR FIRST FRANKIE BOYLE AIDS JOKE OF THE SHOW!

Richard can’t get Phill and Jon’s 1st intro
Jon: “Can I give him a clue? It’s what you might do after you’ve watched a Kelis video.”
Richard: “…is it Whiter Shade of Pale?”

Richard: “…I do know this one…”
Phill: “APPARENTLY NOT!”

Oh, WOW…Frankie even says, after the first intro, that the next one’s a great one. Sure enough, Phill and Jon do a pretty nice version of Debaser by the Pixies. I’m even happier with Frankie that he’s a fan of that one.

Richard spends 5 seconds just thinking about what that might have been.
Frankie: “…Can you HEAR?”

ID Parade:
Frankie: “Any ideas?”
Carol: “I HAVE.”
Frankie: “I’m sorry. Any CORRECT ideas?”

DJ Ironik: “Did she win [X-Factor]?”
Frankie: “If she won, she wouldn’t be turning up on this piece of shit…”

And now, it’s probably the NINETEEN THOUSANDTH TIME that Chickery Tip’s ‘Son of my Father’ has been featured on Nevermind the Buzzcocks (“you moogling old boogling old…).

Frankie, in Next Lines, gives some latin chanting. Phill guesses it’s “NOOO- Reverend Ian Paisley.”
Frankie: “I’m gonna give two points for getting it right, and deduct two for saying the Pope was Ian Paisley.”

Frankie: “Baby, you’re still the one that can turn me on…”
Richard: “Oh, this is the Pope again…”

Frankie signs off with “I’ve been Frankie Boyle, and you’ve been watching what’s likely been a very heavily edited version…of Never Mind the Buzzcocks.”

Overall: Yeah, that was a pretty nice show, even if it fell off towards the end. Frankie was a fantastic guest host, who kept momentum going, was funny, and fit the sort of Mark Lamarr dynamic of the show. Plus, and this surprised me, he was extremely happy here, smiley and laughing a ton- this must have been before his sort of ‘dour’ phase of comedy. The panelists were distributed evenly, though Carol and Ironik had some of the better moments, aside from Richard’s meltdown in Intros. Fantastic show, and wonderful way to end the proper portion of the series.

Guest Host Rating: 10/10. Truly worthy of praise, Frankie.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Carol
Best Runner: Noel’s cape.