QI Watchdown: H15 (Hypnosis, Hallucinations and Hysteria) or ‘NOT THERE. MIRAAAAAGE.’

A few future trends that started with this episode- titling an episode with three long concepts instead of just a single word, stacking Phill Jupitus as the only semi-regular on a panel of two occasionals, and having Ronni Ancona on the panel only to shortcharge her in the edit. Tonight’s episode also has a…special-ish guest- Robert Webb is here, in his only appearance.

Stephen talks about a disease that causes hydrosceles of the scrotum.
Alan: “makes your scrotum go into a triangle?”
Stephen: “…no that would be ISOSCELES…this is Hydrosceles…”

Stephen continues, that this man’s scrotum grew to 40 kilos, and he ended up using it as a writing desk, which gets a response from the audience.
Ronni: “That’s a good attitude to have!”
Phill: “Yeah, I’d get a sharpie and paint the face on the front of a spacehopper onto mine…”
Alan: “I’d make mine look like a hedgehog..”

Stephen says that this Scottish doctor used hypnosis to a success with this patient.
Phill: “Your eyyyes arre heavy. “NOT AS HEAVY AS ME TESTICLES!”

Stephen says that pain comes from the brain, and is basically information.
Rob: “I can imagine someone banging on my thumb, and going “IT’S JUST INFORMATION! IT’S JUST INFORMATION!”

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.04.03 PM.pngStephen: “There is a very small hammerhead shark…”
Alan: “That is a toy shark.”
Phill: “Or a REALLY big diver?”
Stephen: “a frighteningly big diver…”
Phill: “I think we’d have heard of HIM…”

Stephen says that chickens can be hypnotized by holding a stick with fake eyeballs on them to them, and they’ll stare.
Ronni: “You just made that up!”
Stephen: “It’s in all the books, all the-”
Rob: “What, in all the books?  All the chicken-hypnotizing books?”
Phill: “Which is why you must NEVER let your chickens watch The Muppets.”
Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.08.20 PM.png

Stephen: “D’you know how you wake them up, rabbits and guinea pigs, if they’re in that state?”
Alan: “…you let the dog in.”

Stephen talks about how he hypnotized a lobster in Maine, and attempts it in the studio, saying “it won’t move a muscle.”
Phill cracks up. Stephen realizes the pun: “Oh, MUSSEL!”

Then Stephen brings up a dog that could hypnotize humans, “Oscar the Hypno-Dog.”

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.12.41 PM.png

Just looking at the dog cracks me (and Phill) up

Alan: “I’m feeling it now…I’ll go and get the biscuits.”
Stephen: “The thing is…he could keep up that stare with a human for hours on end-”
[Jupitus giggling]
Rob: “Depending on what human would WANT to be stared at for that long…”

Stephen says that life flashing before your eyes is a way of your brain trying to find a past memory that will help you survive.
Ronni: “It’s pretty risky, though, isn’t it? You’re on the brink of death, and you’re rerunning, and you’re going “NO, NOT MY FATHER’S 70TH BIRTHDAY!”
Stephen: “Or…if you lose your keys, just put your head facedown in the basin, and start drowning yourself, until you get to the point where you last had them.”

Ronni brings up a great point: “D’you think that…with rising crime, that death’s door has become more security conscious?”
She’s actually good in small doses, and has good comedic points, but sometimes she’ll flag for the spotlight, or something Stephen will cut her off before she gets going.

Stephen reveals that there’s a cat with a degree in psychotherapy.
Phill: “I think Oscar’s sitting opposite her!”

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.29.27 PM.png

(Phill does a quick Oscar impression)

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.31.44 PM.pngAlan: “Are those hats falling from the sky? Oh, there are hands beneath them.”
Stephen: “Yes, there are.”
Alan: “Is that how you get your hat? They’re dropped out of a plane, and you have to catch them?”
Phill: “I’d like to think that underneath that photo, there are about 60 cats…”

The next question involves Stephen being elected Pope, and…
Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.41.11 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.41.25 PM.png

(Phill’s reaction is mine)

Stephen mentions that the Subliminal Messaging thing was even used in the Young Ones.
Rob: “Goes back to my childhood…”
Ronni: “Your childhood???”
Rob: “Yes, Ronni. Deal with it.”

Phill actually talks about a Judas Priest song that, in backmasking, allegedly encouraged people to commit suicide.
Stephen: “Halford even said ‘I don’t wish to paint myself as greedy, but if we were gonna put a message in, it would have been ‘buy more of our records…’ I mean, he also said ‘DO IT’ doesn’t mean ‘kill yourself.”
Phill, chuckling: “Stephen, the song WAS called ‘suicide solution’…”
(As Youtube Commenters have revealed…it wasn’t, but still)
Phill, crossing over to Buzzcocks: “FINALLY, BEING IN A POP QUIZ PAYS OFF!”

Stephen, summing up the round: “So, subliminal advertising DOESN’T Stephenfryforpope WORK…”

Stephen: “In the Catholic church, it is a sin to be superstitious…”
Ronni: “You’ll change that when you’re pope, won’t you?”

On the sight question:
Stephen: “So, what about Hitler?”
Phill: “What ABOUT Hitler?”

And now, the most famous part of this episode:
Stephen asks the panel to pinpoint the exact point where the sun goes below the horizon. Everyone buzzes way too late.
Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 12.01.51 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 12.02.01 AM.png

Stephen explains that after a certain point it’s just a mirage, and it’s much earlier…which infuriates the panel, including Phill.

Phill: “IIIIII….HATE THIS SHOW. BECAUSE…the sun…IS THERE. And you’re going [Stephen impression] “NOOO.” “It’s the SUN!” “NOT THERE…..MIRAAAAAAGGGGE.”

Alan explains that in New Zealand, the hot sun bouncing off the road in low-elevation can cause blindness.”
Phill: “I dare say that the drivers in New Zealand, as they see the sun setting, are REASSURED TO KNOWWW….THAT IT’S *NOT THERE*.”

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 12.07.41 AM.pngPhill just holds this expression as Stephen sums up the round. He’s absolutely heartbroken.

First Question of GI:
Stephen: “What shape is this staircase?”
Stephen: “NOW PHILL…”

Rob buzzes in just to guess ‘spiral’, and waves his hands in the air as the klaxon sounds. It’s almost like a Jo Brand reaction.

Stephen talks about ducks and their spiral genitalia.
Alan: “When they procreate, does it kinda spin in like a screw?”
Phill: “And, if push comes to shove, and you’re in Argentina with a bottle of Merlot…”

Stephen: “Not only that, but it has the longest penis, relative to its body size, of any vertebrae.”
Phill: “Do you know that, or did the duck tell you?”

Stephen goes further, that the duck has a brush on the end.
Phill: “WOW, You can clean up after!”
Alan: “Like a Dyson!”

Stephen: “What do you think the brush is for?”

Rob gets another Klaxon by guessing the Molotov fellow created the Molotov cocktail…and again, he’s ecstatic about. Rob didn’t do a ton in this episode, but his enthusiasm, and his ability to collaborate, was pretty damn amusing.
Alan: “He invented the…slow, comfortable screw against the wall?”

Rob actually gets last this episode, which is…odd, but unsurprising.

Even as Stephen announces that Phill has won (with -2), he’s still pissed about the sun. He’s shaking his head, going “I’m not happy…I’m not happy…”

Overall: Not as good as last week, but still a pretty enjoyable show, especially for a series with a ton of middle of the road episodes. Phill gave this one a major boost, with some Grade A stuff from him, the likes of which we’ve not seen in a little while, but Rob had a few nice moments, and while Ronni was shortchanged by Stephen and the edit, she did have some good lines here and there. Also, Alan was in a great mood, because he and Phill work insanely well together. Some great moments, definitely rewatchable.

MVP: Phill
Best Guest: Phill
Show Winner: Phill
Best QI Fact: Oscar the Hypno-Dog
Best Runner: IT’S NOT THERE.


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