PHEW…It’s been a WHILE since I’ve done a QI. Six months to be exact. Still, I think it’s about time we dove into another one. Let’s see what we’ve got.
This one…might be a mess.
This is, in fact, a Johnny Vegas episode, and it also features John Lloyd, who has produced countless programs such as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Blackadder, and Have I Got News For You…as well as this very program. This may be a case of throwing a production member into the mix in lieu of actual talent, and as I recall, this didn’t go well the last time (thanks to a certain loaf of bread named Howard Goodall). Good news is our anchor is our first Sandi Toksvig appearance of the season.
Tonight’s show, according to Stephen, is all hypothetical questions, questions with no answers, which is nice, for a change.
Johnny, tonight, is wearing a black, logo less baseball cap, and a hawaiian shirt. I know he’s just playing the part of his character, but he is coming off as very obnoxious, even though that’s the point.
John Lloyd’s appearance is explained, as this is the 99th taping of the show, they wanted to bring him out and see if he was up to the task, and he seems very gracious about it. So, from that standpoint…I get it.
First question of the night: “What’s the best way to weigh your own head?”
Alan: “You cut it off…”
Stephen: “Yes, but then someone else would have to weigh it-”
A bit late, the KLAXON goes off.
Stephen says that it can be achieved by putting your head in a bucket.
Johnny, being Johnny: “You could put apples in to make it fun…”
Johnny: “But what if the air-pockets get in your ears?”
Johnny puts his hands in his ears, to explain. Sandi, seeing this, goes “take your fingers out of your ears, or you won’t hear the answer-”
Johnny, under the applause: ‘FUCK IT!”
Sandi tells a story of his grandfather, who had two glass eyes, one of which was bloodshot: “We called it grandpa’s party eye. And when he’d go out, he’d put the bloodshot eye in and say ‘I’m going out, and I won’t be back until they match!”
So for, John’s piping in with information. This may be what we’re in for. He gives a fact about Sir Walter Raleigh’s wife carrying his head in a bag for thirty years.
Alan: “I can see why John invented this show- for the information he’s been carrying around in his pocket for years…”
Johnny, deadpan: “It was on Buzzcocks last week…”
Sandi: “I bet it was a few years before anyone wanted to sit next to her at dinner, Lady Raleigh. People going ‘oh, she’s not going to bring the head, now, is she?”
On Paradoxical Undressing:
Sandi: “Is it like counterintuitive undressing, like taking your clothes off when Jeremy Clarkson wants you to?”
Ooooh. Sandi, you know he’s on in two weeks, right?
Stephen mentions a man who can control his own body temperature
Stephen: “And we contacted him-”
Alan: “And he said he’s not coming in here because it’s freezing…”
John talks about people who would steam wet towels to dry with their own body temperatures.
Sandi: “Can you hire these people?”
Alan: “They’re a good act, they’d get on Britain’s got Talent.”
Sandi: “Yeah, that’d be good… ‘What are you gonna do?’ ‘I’m gonna dry this wet towel!”
Alan: “You can do patterns on wet towels with your hands. It’s ART!”
Stephen said that in the 1800s, there’s a test created to determine if a person is dead or not.
Alan: “If they’re watching Eastenders without reaching to turn it off…”
Stephen talks of the various tactics people tried to determine if someone was dead.
Alan: “Don’t try all of these with one person. ‘AUUUGH!…AIIIIGHH! GAAAHH!’
Stephen, continuing: “Putting leeches on someone’s bottom…”
Johnny: “This just sounds like a normal day of my mom getting me up for school…”
John, still supplying information, talks of a clown, Grimaldi, who willed his head be cut off before his cremation.
Sandi: “He wasn’t just weighing it?”
Stephen also mentioned that extreme putrid smell was a nice indicator of death
Sandi: “So if you had…really bad personal hygiene but you weren’t actually dead…”
Stephen: “Yes, it could be…”
Alan, cracking up: “He stinks! He must be dead! ‘But he’s walking around, he’s talking!’ ‘HE’S DEAD!”
John has this whole theoretical discussion with Stephen about whether or not a falling tree makes a sound if there’s nothing around, and while it’s interesting for QI, everyone else sort of watches. Johnny does make a nice, surrealist line in there, but it’s dropped quickly to go back to the discussion.
Though, as Stephen is bringing up a really nice point to sort of finish off John, Johnny’s on the other side going “GO ON! GO ON, STEPHEN!”
Johnny, putting in one last point: “But if the tree fell down, and no one was around to see it fall, it should still be upright…”
Sandi, trying to bring it back: “Anyway, Alan, are you keeping well?”
Sandi, putting a bow on what was supposed to be a quickfire round: “If a quickfire hypothetical round takes a rather long time, is it still quickfire?”
On aliens and directions
Johnny: ‘Aliens might not have only one version for left. That’d be a hellish SATNav. LEFT…NO…-”
Alan: “Not that one, not that one, not that one, YES!”
Stephen’s next hypothetical is about whether a lorry loses weight when all its pigeons lift off of the bottom of the truck. Johnny is about to make a good point to why it’s not…and relates it to “when you do a #2, and you haven’t actually lost any weight.”
Stephen: “Ah…so we’re in a slightly different wheelhouse then.”
Alan: “If you will, crap on the scale…”
Stephen: “YOU’RE RIGHT, THE ANSWER IS NOT TO POO ON THE SCALE.”
Alan: “Leave the scales, do the #2, come back to the scales…”
Sandi: “The money I’ve wasted on enemas…”
Stephen: “Perhaps it’s time to move on from our hypotheticals…”
Alan: “That was very quick!”
John gives another correct answer, and goes “I’m on the wrong show, I should be on Mastermind or something…”
I mean, at least he admits it..
Stephen talks about the 27 Club, which of course I’ve heard of, but none of the panelists seem to know about. When Stephen starts listing the members, all John can name is ‘the Stones guy’, Brian Jones.
Stephen also talks about the curse of the 9th, all these musicians who died after their ninth symphony.
Alan: “What an unusual serial killer that must have been. There should have been CSI: Vienna…”
On what would happen to a Siamese cat in the fridge:
Alan: “It would turn into an ordinary cat”
Alan: “It would turn into a dog!”
Stephen’s looking for an animal. Alan gets the klaxon with bat, and guesses mole, but under Sandi’s breath. Johnny guesses mole, and Stephen awards him the point, though Alan, and the audience, attest that he did it first.
Johnny, going back to John’s argument: “No, because sound isn’t a thing and it didn’t travel!”
Stephen, as a finale, asks which actually came first, the chicken or the egg. The panel responds with 5 seconds of silence.
Sandi has a nice joke, about a chicken and egg who’ve just made love, and “as they’re having a post-coital cigarette, the chicken says “well, that answers that old question…”
Stephen: “What’s the longest recorded flight by a chicken, in history?”
John: “13 seconds, isn’t it?”
Stephen, floored and kind of done: “….YES. THIRTEEN SECONDS IS THE RIGHT ANSWER…”
Overall: Fun show, with a lot of nice moments, even if was kind of thin in some areas. John’s presence on the show was obligatory, and he had a lot of information-based moments that didn’t always add something to the narrative, except if Johnny, Alan or Sandi wanted to screw with him. Sandi was the best panel contributor tonight, giving some of the best answers, and being a great connector. Johnny had a quieter game than he ever has, and was more composed in character-he had nice moments, just less of them. Good enough show, but imperfect.
Show Winner: Sandi
Best Runner: the quick fire round that wasn’t.