Well, we’ve hit a milestone. Richard Ayoade hosted an episode of Nevermind the Buzzcocks, and now, here we are, watching it.
This episode has a panel of three relatively trusted returning players, Matthew Crosby, the Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa and Caroline Flack, and someone who’s currently one of the biggest pop artists in the country, Ed Sheeran. This should be a nice one.
Richard’s stuff works because it’s so droll, so sarcastic, yet still overpowering and driving. Even if his opening standup, Phill and Noel are absolutely losing it.
Richard does end with saying “For once on NMTB, let’s put our heads down and have a discussion about music without resorting to JOKES…the COWARD’s way out…”
One of the props for what Britney Spears had in her dressing room is a dartboard with Christina Aguilera’s face on it.
Matthew: “I brought this anyway, so this is just a happy coincidence.”
Phill jokes that Britney’s middle name is ‘The Viking’, and she’s a renowned darts player.
Richard: “I wonder why more people don’t know that.”
Shingai: “That’s why we watch this show.”
Richard: “…why ARE we watching this show?…Really hard to know, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s just company, loneliness.”
Man, his dry stuff is hitting more than Jack Dee’s did the last time..
On the Simon Cowell spoken word CD
Ed: “Does this CD actually exist?”
Richard: “Well, this is just one of the many metaphysical questions we’re trying to address tonight, Ed…”
Caroline says that Simon bought her a photograph of himself as a gift.
Richard: “What do you mean ‘bought’? Did he not own a picture of himself?”
Caroline: “It’s actually in my bathroom now.”
Richard: “Doing what?”
Caroline: “Looking at me. Watching me shower. It sort of wakes me up in the morning…”
Phill: “Yeah, but there’s waking up, and then there’s ‘AAAAAIIIIIGHHHH!”
Ed: ‘I mean, the Yanks are usually obsessed with Brits…”
Noel: “The YANKS?”
Phill: “…the Yanks is a condition you get when you compulsively masturbate…”
Ed, on the square melon: “Didn’t they used to have one of these on The Simpsons? That’s where I saw it first.”
Phill: “I feel like I could be playing into Mr. Sheeran’s hands if I say that the Simpsons…is not a documentary…”
The whole ‘no jokes’ approach to this episode is making this an odd-but-amusing entry to this season, because it’s clearly a very funny show, but Richard’s successes are coming from the fact that he’s trying to avoid making jokes. He’s actually a really nice host, even if he’s in this very droll, sarcastic character.
Phill whispers some of the melody in Shingai’s ear, so she can remember it.
Matthew: “Could you, uh, do it over here, so I could hear it?”
Caroline, on Phill and Shingai’s 1st intro: “I know it, but I can’t think of what it is…”
Richard: “Caroline, not to be pedantic, but that’s the same as not knowing!”
Matthew: “Do we have a fact about ‘Road to Hell’?”
Richard: “Coming up, but I do like your enthusiasm…”
Richard: “Ed and Noel, here are yours for Caroline…”
The card slides WAY past Noel.
Richard: “…sorry, that was sort of aggressive…”
Shingai: “…I’m just glad we all get to spend the night together.”
Ed, ever the cheeky bastard: “…didn’t know that was happening, but I say…”
Richard: “Logistically that sounds very complicated…”
Ed: “I usually pass out around the second time.”
(The audience has a nice reaction to this. Noel and Shingai are amused)
Richard: ‘….OKAY TIMEOUT. ED. LET’S BREAK THIS DOWN…are we talking BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER?”
Richard: “You pass out? You’re out cold?”
Ed: “I can manage a couple more if I haven’t had a heavy day.”
Phill: “As long as he has a glass of Squash and a club biscuit he’s GOOD TO GO!”
Richard: “Just have a segment of orange, like in football.”
Ed: “Does that work?”
Richard: “No, but…it is delicious.”
Noel, to Ed: “D’you know what’s funny? When we were in the green room, and you mentioned a few things, and I said ‘I could bring that up’, and you said ‘no, please don’t mention that, I’m a bit of a role model’…AND NOW YOU JUST…you said you pass out on the second time having sex. Loads of kids are gonna go ‘yeah, d’you know what’s cool? Passing out, second time!’. AND THEY’RE GONNA BE FAKING IT! They’re gonna be like ‘YEEEAHH-UUUUUGHHHH’….I slightly love you.”
Man…almost reminiscent of Robin Ince’s takedown of John Barrowman, just line after line of knocking, and then an amazing finish.
Richard: “Ed, you’re a good lad. Just have a coffee. Or tea.”
Ed: “…but then I’d need to wee halfway through….”
Ed: “You end up in a weird situation where you’re kind of shooting…sideways…”
Phill: “CLASSIC SHEERAN!”
Richard: “Wow. WOW.”
Matthew: “If you went for a wee in Caroline’s flat, there’s a good chance you’d piss on Simon Cowell’s face…”
Noel, before intros with Ed: “You know there are two of these…I haven’t got to do the last one on my own, have I?”
Ed brings up that he found his mum at a party, with the artist of the 1st intro, “two bottles of wine deep”
Richard: “WHEN YOU SAY TWO BOTTLES OF WINE DEEP…”
Richard: “I’ve gotta say…I need five minutes just to shower my mind…”
Ed: “And she tweeted at her the next day to say thank you…”
Richard: “Did she fall asleep during the second bottle?”
Noel and Ed’s 2nd intro, which was Mumford and Sons’ ‘Little Lion Man’, was a pretty unconventional one that still sounded fantastic. One of the better ones this series, I think.
The first ID Parade is just ‘which of these paintings was done by Paul McCartney’, which is an interesting spin, but Richard has some really nice, dry commentary on what all the paintings look like. Again, this is an odd show, but he’s making it insanely memorable.
On one of the Bowie paintings:
Ed: “Maybe he was trying to paint me…”
Richard: “Please don’t tell me you fell asleep on Bowie…”
After Richard reads another fact, this one on Aqua-Krunk
Shingai: “I preferred the jazz funk one.”
Richard: “Yes, but we can’t go back. It’s dead now.”
After a Geri Halliwell next line:
Noel: “Well, how are we gonna know that??? It’s not MUSIC!”
Richard flubs a line on the card, saying “Bard Romance- no, Lady Gaga, Bad Romance…or Bard Romance, her song about Shakespeare.”
The Tiebreak round, now with more music and closeups, has Richard going “the tension here is…unbearable and sexual.”
Richard: “…no, it’s not palpable. You literally can’t touch it…as MC Hammer said in his hit song…”
Richard, reading the club: “I am medium height, 5 foot 10.”
Noel: “Ed Sheeran!”
Richard: “No, you need to buzz.”
Noel: “ED SHEERAN!”
Overall: Well, that’s probably one of the best ones of the series so far, even if there’s already been some amazing ones. Richard managed to give this show a shake-up without making things too forced or awkward- he made the show his own, and he held the audience in his hands. Additionally, Ed Sheeran was a great panel presence, and led to some great jokes at his expense, even if he seemed to quiet down as the show went on. Matthew, Shingai and Caroline gave good stuff without being overbearing, and Noel had a really nice night. Just a great show overall, and exactly what this series needed to stay hot.
Guest Host Rating: 10/10. Amazing job, Richard.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Ed
Best Runner: Ed passes out after sex