Onto another episode, this one the second-to-last episode of Series 24, which is kind of huge. This season’s been kind of rocky, and there have been high points, as well as incredibly low points (thanks Westwood), but the last two shows look very optimistic. This one hosted by Robert Webb, who’ll probably give a pretty nice performance, and featuring Mock the Week recurring guest Andi Osho, rapper Example, TV Nature presenter Chris Packham, and…wait, shit, CEE-LO GREEN IS HERE?
Even for 2010, Cee-Lo would have been a pretty big get, as his big hit ‘Fuck You’ was just hitting the charts, and he’d already been coasting on Gnarls Barkley money for 5 years. So, while I’m super glad he’s here, it’s a marvel that he agreed to come on.
Robert’s already showing he’s a great pick to host with his first intro-clip standup, on Lady Gaga: “She likes the feeling of animal flesh against her skin- PUT YOUR COCK AWAY, PACKHAM, IT WAS ONLY A DRESS!”
Noel: “I love the fact that someone answers a baguette.”
Rob: “If you leave it, it’ll just get stale, so you’ve got to pick it up, keep it fresh…”
Phill: “Now that Noel has actually said that, within a month, Apple will bring out the iLoaf.”
Rob: “…good. Good iPun work there.”
Phill: “Apparently you get signal droppage if you put cheese and pickle in it.”
Rob gives a big buildup to Chris, saying he’s been around the world with animals: “What, in your opinion, is, in fact, the most interesting animal you’ve ever slept with?”
Chris: “It’s difficult…as there’s quite a few to choose from.”
[Phill completely loses it, across the studio]
Chris talks about a time where he ‘metaphorically’ slept with a tapir, but everybody’s screwing with him.
Noel: “Was it full penetration?”
Chris: “Well, it wasn’t penetrative, but it did climax…”
Phill: “What do you tell the guy at the dry-cleaning that is?”
Rob: “That’s the usual, uh, tapir *COUGH* uh, stain…”
Chris: “It was a tame tapir, that had been hand-reared.”
Rob: “Very lovingly…”
Chris: “I didn’t hand-rear it, obviously…”
Andi: “Because, otherwise, it’d just be revenge…”
Chris: “I think that one of the great privileges of my job is that I get to be very tactile with animals.”
The whole room completely loses it.
Chris: “Uh, legally…”
After the animal genitalia conversation
Robert: “Cee-Lo, are you regretting your decision to come here tonight? Were you under the impression that this was some kind of QUIZ?”
Rob tries rearing it back towards the question:
Noel: “All I can think of now is you getting…rodgered by a tapir, now. And Michaela Strachan- I used to fancy her when I was at school…”
Example: “I did too, she was quite a fit…for a bit…”
Rob: “WELL, WHO’S A CHARMER?”
Phill and Andi have a nice bit about putting more goofy sound effects in porn. Noel, STILL OBSESSED, suggests putting a tapir in the shot. HE’S STUCK.
Phill, pondering the Jonas Brothers’ purity ring kerfuffle: ‘Do they think that every time somebody has sex before marriage, a kitten dies?”
Robert: “I hope that’s not true…”
Noel: “Chris is NOT HAPPY about that…”
Noel, to Cee-Lo: “I read somewhere that you learned to sing using things around the house.”
Cee-Lo: “Yeah, imitating other artists that I liked.”
Noel: “Oh, I thought you meant, like, the kettle, and the toaster…that’s not as interesting of a fact…”
Noel and Cee-Lo’s first Intro is just amazing, aside from the fact that…Cee-Lo Green is here, doing intros, but it evokes a miracle in Chris:
Chris: “You know, I’ve been watching these for years, and I never get this bit…but that was Close to Me, by the Cure.”
As the actual clip plays, Noel: “Ay, Robert Smith got me laid when I was younger….not perso-he didn’t come ’round my house…”
(It’s a shame, because one of Noel’s predecessors was Robert Smith’s son, apparently..)
Chris: “Noel’s sounded a bit Dusty Springfield”
Noel: “Uh, to be honest, I’d focus on him..”
Rob, after a Sinatra ability: “Despite his limited musical ability, he furthered his career by getting into bed with one of the most brutal, ruthless godfathers in the…hang on, that’s not Sinatra, is it? That’s Sinitta.”
The audience even gives him some applause for that one.
Chris, on the ID Parade: “I remember Pauline being very petite, very short…”
Noel: “You sure that wasn’t a red squirrel?”
Phill, to Chris: “You did a thing on Springwatch where you were dropping song titles when you talked about animals. Am I imagining that?”
Chris: “No, I dropped a Smiths song title, and then the Cure, and then the Jesus and Mary Chain. The triumph was ‘Killing an Arab’…”
Phill: “How did you manage that, then?”
Chris: “Well, I got Kate to end a sentence with the word ‘Killing’, and I began the next sentence with ‘An Arab Stallion’.”
THE WHOLE ROOM APPLAUDS THIS. Chris may be a bit neurotic, but he’s a wonderful presence on the show, and he gets the fact that the joke’s not always on him, but the joke is welcome.
Rob’s names for ‘Teenage Warning’ are pretty great:
“#2, Teenage Dirtbag:
#3, Teenagers Beware:
#4, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
Example: “Maybe he’s grown up, and he doesn’t want anymore of that teenager stuff, so he’s like ‘I’ll be a taxi driver now.”
Rob: “I can’t say I’d happily get into the taxi…driven by ANY of these men…”
Andi: “3’s giving me Eagles…I can’t say-”
Example: “3 looks like Santa in the summer!”
Rob: “Lady, take me high upon a hillside”
Example, channeling Bill Bailey: “and…do me, proper.”
Rob: “You don’t have to be rich to be my girl.”
Example, now channeling Sean Hughes: “…but it would help..”
After two straight Packham-related lines (both ‘The Bad Touch’ and ‘Tie me kangaroo down, sport’ get a ‘by Chris Packham’)
Rob: “Waiting ’round the bend.”
Andi: “IT’S CHRIS PACKHAM! No?”
Chris: “…I’ll never be allowed back in a zoo…”
Plus, with Noel’s team, any animal-related song gets credited to Chris Packham, like ‘Wild Horses’.
Rob: “Love Cats…”
Chris: “…never touch them.”
Rob: “You’re right, Chris, that’s illegal…”
Overall: A pretty evenly-placed and all-around fun show. Robert Webb was probably the standard of guest hosts this season- he didn’t go above and beyond like Josh Groban and Terry Wogan, but he ran the show expediently and gave a lot of really nice jokes. Cee-Lo was a slight disappointment, but just Cee-Lo being there was enough for me, really. Chris Packham had the best night of anybody, because he got a lot of people poking fun at him, and he responded not by crumbling but by taking it all in and basking in it. Andi and Example had some really nice lines, but the focus was more on Noel’s side, really.
Guest Host Rating: 9.5/10. A pretty excellent job for Robert.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Chris
Best Runner: Chris Packham buggering animals.