Nevermind Watchdown: S6E9, or ‘How did I know that would please you?’


I swear, if there’s one thing that keeps me up at night, it’s the fact that out of all the Mark Lamarr NMTB episodes, there’s one that was lost to the online public, thanks to copyright laws, youtube takedowns, and just…rarity. And I’d gotten, thanks to the ‘LOST EPISODES’ spree recently, a great deal of my missing pieces posted…but not 6×09. Which, as I’m a completist, kinda stunk.

However, thanks to, as I’ve come to believe, the internet’s patron saint of Buzzcocks, antster1983, the lost episode fell into my hands. Before I head into Buzzcocks’ Last Crusade (aka the Rhod Gilbert season)…I figured I’d post this sucker up.

As it’s been tattooed in my brain for two years, the panel goes like this- Davina McCall and Junior Simpson on Phill’s team; DJ and electronic artist Chandrasonic and fading-memory Radio DJ Tommy Vance on Sean’s team. And this is back in Series 6, or the ill-fated ‘series 7’ that didn’t end up actually being Series 7.

Mark, doing Tommy’s standup: “Tommy was the first voice heard on Live Aid. Who could forget those moving words: “…BURGERS, HOT DOGS, FANTA…sorry, I’ve run out of onions…”

The odd part of this configuration is that Chandra is in position to RECIEVE intros on Sean’s team…which means Tommy Vance is expected to do intros. This will be fun.

On Motley Crue and the Beatles:
Sean: “Did one of Motley Crue try to kill George Harrison?”
Mark, ever the smartass: “…he had a good stab at ‘im…”

Sean: “Is the connection burning records? Like, in America people started burning Beatles records when they said they were bigger than Jesus. Or…they burned Motley Crue records, you know, when they ran out of firewood…”
Tommy chuckles at this…
Sean: “…what’chu laughing at, Tommy, YOU LIKE THEM!”
Tommy: “I do…but I also like a nice fire…”

Sean: “Is it to do with Pamela? She’s dating the drummer for Motley Crue. And she got rid of her implants, because they were useless, and the Beatles-”
Mark: “HEY! TAKE THAT BACK! I’m not having that kinda talk on the show. Implants are never useless, ladies. They enhance a saggy breast…”
Sean: “They were a NUISANCE…”
Mark, still going: “COME TO PAPA!”

Tommy eventually says that it costs 4 grand for a breast operation, 2,000 pounds each.
Phill, still to Tommy: “…what, a breast?”
Tommy: “Yeah…you can use two hands, so it’s a thousand each.”
Phill: “I could buy a couple capris for that! Obviously it wouldn’t get me in a bra…”
Mark: “…still look a tit in ’em…”

The reason I love Mark so much, is that when this digression happens, he doesn’t let it stop the show cold. He goes “We’re looking for the connection between Motley Crue and the Beatles. I know we went off on a little titty tangent there, but…”

Mark: “I’ll give you a clue, it has specifically to do with the bass players.”
Sean: “Oh, they’ve both shagged Pamela Anderson?”

Junior, reminding me how quick in the clutch he could be: “Is it a domestic violence type of thing, because Tommy Lee used to beat Pamela Anderson…and Yoko Ono used to sing to John…”

Sean: “Does Tommy Sixx live on the Mull of Kintyre?”
Phill: ‘Do they fly ’round in a JET…ooooh-ooooh…”
Mark: “I’m gonna have to tell you the answer because I’m getting quite angry…”

Davina says the connection between Geri Halliwell and Pavarotti is intense anal wind.
Sean: “Was that on an episode of Don’t Try This at Home?”
Davina: “Yeah, it’s not a bad idea for a challenge-”
Mark: “Try and blow a midget over with a fart?”

Junior: “Her first single was called ‘Look at Me’…and [Pavarotti’s] the only guy who’s visible from space.”

Phill: “I believe Geri’s had some sort of nose job or something. Pavarotti, liposuction, horribly wrong, the machine backfired…he got thirty pounds of Judy Chalmers”

Mark gives them a clue that it has something to do with political service.
Phill: “SHE’S in the UN, Pavarotti was invaded by BURMA!”

And, what kind of Mark Lamarr episode would this be without a Geri slam:
Mark: “Geri Halliwell was brought up as a Jehova’s witness. And although she doesn’t practice anymore, she still enjoys being knocked up on a Sunday morning.”
Phill laughs so hard at this he nearly chokes on whatever’s in his mug.

Chandra, like the rest of us, is bummed that he doesn’t get to do intros. Mark actually comes down and has him do any intro he wants…just so Mark can do the drumbeat or whatever. It’s actually a pretty cool moment. However, it’s made ridiculous by Phill, halfway through, singing Pavarotti-esque opera in the background.

I’ll give Tommy credit that he’s a ton less senile than he was in his Series 10 appearance, and he’s actually relatively coherent in Intros.

Sean, pointing to Tommy’s shirt: “I was actually there on my holidays last summer…”
Tommy, turning his shirt around: “Ah, but what about the back?”
Sean, taking this the wrong way: “…No, I never went THAT far…”

And then…halfway through intros, the Tommy I remember returns, with him not remembering how the song goes, barely remembering the name of it (from the card), and going “…can’t see through these damn glasses…”…through his SUNGLASSES. INDOORS.

Phill’s entire team is in sync tonight- all three of them dancing to Red Alert by Basement Jaxx is something that’d be gif-worthy in the modern era.

I missed Mark’s ID Parade name prattling so much. #6 in Sean’s is “Lord of the Ring…RINGS! SORRY!”

On the Baron Knights ID Parade, Sean: “Tommy, you know when they did that Smurf song? Why did they kidnap Papa Smurf, #5?”
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.21.25 PM.png

Sean: “#6 had a good CHRISTMAS!”
Mark: “…this is goin’ out in February, by the way…”
Sean: “…#6 had a good JANUARY!”

Tommy knows who it is, so he guesses: “#1 and #3, but I’m half blind in these glasses, so it could be anybody. It could be YOU!”, motioning to Sean.
Mark: “So you’re going for…SEAN…”
And sure enough, Sean goes up to the lineup with that…
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.24.53 PM.png

Mark: “Well, let’s find out if Sean is either Pete or Butch…well, certainly not Butch…”

As an added bonus, Phill’s team has to guess which one of the 5 is Carl Douglas, of Kung Fu Fighting fame, which is a big deal.

Mark: “Is it #1, Fast as Lighting…#2-
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.28.08 PM.png
Mark: “…a little bit frightening.”
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.28.19 PM.png

Davina: “#2 looks so dark and mysterious, and when he smiles, it’s ‘AWWW…”
Phill: “You have to say #2’s cheer-him-up catchphrase, which is, as we all know…’a little bit frightening!”
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.31.08 PM.png

Phill: “…I’m just having a laugh. I just MET Carl Douglas last Thursday! It’s #3!”
Mark: “Yes, I’ve worked with Carl a few times, and he’s been on television quite regularly, BUT NONETHELESS…LET’S FIND OUT!”

Next Lines:
Mark: “J and D here, united”
Chandra: “…black and white here to show you how we…the…[to the audience] that’s one of ours, too…”
Mark: “Is this your resignation letter from the band?”

Overall: Not perfect, as it definitely fell off right after Sean’s team went for Intros, but still a fun episode. The panel was imbalanced, as I didn’t really get to know people, but maybe I say that because I’m used to new-NMTB, where everyone’s over-edited. Actually, the emphasis, when it wasn’t on Junior, was more on Phill and Sean. Davina, Chandra and Tommy all had nice moments, but not nearly enough of them. Junior was great, but had his moments of overexposure. Still a fun enough episode, with a ton of runners in Connected, Phill as Pavarotti, the entire Junior/Mark banter which was too funny to write, and the fact that it felt real, and it felt fun back in S6.

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Junior
Best Runner: Junior’s roots.

(Thanks again to antster for the help with this episode. Truly appreciated it.)

QI Watchdown: I2 (International), or ‘Do What Ya Like, Wing Commander..’

We started with a great one, and now Series I rolls towards a pretty strong lineup- David Mitchell, Bill Bailey and Jack Dee. Three people that are well-suited to take this one pretty seriously. No Lee Macks or Johnny Vegases hiding in the distance, waiting to throw everything off.

The buzzers, as this an international theme, are all flight calls between countries/cities with I names (India to Islamabad). Alan’s is ‘UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA…”

Stephen goes over the Nobody Knows bonus for the new members.
Bill: “What are the points that you gain by using it correctly?”
Stephen: “…I think we all agree that nobody in this universe understands the QI scoring system…”
Bill: “So, by that logic, were someone to raise the subject of the scoring system and I were to raise the card…”

After a discussion on the scorekeepers
Alan: “I wonder what the score is NOW?…”
Stephen, checking: “…amazingly, Bill has 3, and everyone else has zero…”
David, amid applause: ‘WHY *THREE?*”

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 9.20.31 PM.pngStephen asks what would happen if the pilot and co-pilot were unable to land the plane
David: “I’d stop reading the kindle on the steering wheel…”

There’s a disagreement over what they call the guy on the plane who takes money for duty free. Jack says that he calls himself the Bursa-
Bill: “Yeah, he calls himself that…”
David: “Or is that the PURSA? The BURSA is the one who does the money for public schools.”
Bill: “Yeah, what kind of planes are you flyin’ on? ‘YES, THE BURSA will be coming around, collecting money for the end-of-term Jamboree…”
Stephen: “Here on this charterhouse flight…”
David: “The Bursa with the trolley…and then with the drinks, the groundsman.”

Stephen, bringing up another point: ‘Now, why do I say LuncHES here?”
Bill: “…because there’s more than one.”

Alan, listing a fact: “There are nearly 400,000 people in the air at any given time.”
Stephen, post-applause: “There’s no question that trampolining is a very popular sport…”

Stephen shows an example of the feats of the early auto-pilot:
Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 9.32.19 PM.pngJack: “…you wouldn’t want to be ball-boy, would you…”

Bill gets a question right, which even he’s surprised by.
David: “Another 4.5 points!”

On the world’s shortest commercial flight:
Jack: “Do they just lift off, throw peanuts at you, then land?”
Stephen: “Even worse is that the return ticket is 39 pounds!”
David: “Why don’t they just build a BRIDGE?”
Bill: “It’s a great flight. They just go over the exits, and go “…well, here we are!”

Stephen talks about how before World War I, the British army was required to all have mustaches. They cut back to him, and all of the sudden:
Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 9.40.17 PM.pngHe even throws in a ‘BAAAAHHHH’ after it’s subsided.

Bill: “I’m just imagining, Stephen, that that moustache is gonna have its own website by the time this is over…”

Stephen spins a story about the Disney head of PR sending out an email to staffers saying “The Disney Corporation takes strong exception to the use by many employees of the phrase ‘Mauschwitz’ to describe the Disney corporation. If it is used again, anyone who is caught using it will be summarily fired.”
Stephen: “WITHIN A HALF AN HOUR…they were using the phrase ‘Duck-au'”
David: “Perhaps they didn’t see the irony…of people using a fascist term to describe their organization- ‘OH, WELL, WE’LL PUT A STOP TO THIS!”

Stephen shows of a device (like Albert Finney used in Murder on the Orient Express) that guards the moustache while they sleep.
David: “What’s that FOR, though? You say you want to keep your moustache- keep it from WHAT, though?”

Stephen reveals that peeing on a jellyfish to suppress a sting actually doesn’t work…but peeing on a machine gun and a tomato is encouraged.
David: “I’ve never been stung by a tomato before…”

David: “If people would have known about [weeing on] machine guns in the first World War, it would have saved a lot of casualties…”
Stephen: “Well it did, actually. They did use them.”
David: “What, after the first wave in the Psalm, everyone’s firing with their cocks out?”

Jack: “When you said ‘urinate on tomatoes’, I thought you meant, like, instead of salad dressing.”
Jack is the quietest of the panel tonight, but he’s still having some great moments.

David: “I think it comes from our own self-loathing that we find our own excrement more disgusting than other creatures’..”
Bill: “Oy, speak for yourself…”

Stephen: “Now, what is the issue with machine guns?”
Alan: “They kill you, DEAD!”
Stephen, continuing: “Obviously we-”
Stephen, trying to continue: “We have here-”
Alan: “A GUN?? CHRIST!”

Stephen: “The russians actually made a gun with a hole in which to pee…”
Bill: “So you can pee, and shoot…WHILE you’re firing the gun?”

Stephen, moving on: “What was Italy’s biggest export in the year 1953?”
Bill: “…frozen urine.”
Bill: ‘What, URINE? URINE [sets it off]?”
Stephen: “We KNOW you, Bill Bailey!”

Stephen, describing the thing in question: “It had thousands of parts-”

Stephen’s looking for an italian dish. Alan guesses ‘POLENTA’, and says it in a very similar accent to ‘DE PEENK POLENTAAAA, I LOOOOVE IT…”

Stephen: “And Mussolini was joined by…surely you know of the Futurists, the futurist movement-”
Bill: “Not yet.”
Dear god, Bill Bailey’s on FIRE today.

Stephen, continuing a conversation: “If I want to torture my mother…”
He then realize he may not have phrased that correctly.
Bill: “Then…it’s a free country!”
Stephen: “In a RESTAURANT!”
Bill: ‘Do what ya like, Wing Commander!”

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 10.12.22 PM.pngStephen’s telling a story about Jesse Owens’ treatment at the 1936 Olympics, how Hitler didn’t congratulate him…and Alan just starts laughing hysterically. Stephen stops the story to wonder what the hell’s the matter.
Alan: “The bloke on the far-right’s just going like that…”
Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 10.13.41 PM.png
David: “I think…surely they’re ALL on the far right…”
Stephen: Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 10.15.35 PM

Bill: “They’re all just taking bets on how high’s the high-jumper’s gonna go…”
Alan: “The one on Hitler’s left is going ‘oh, I didn’t get the memo…”

Alan gets the NOBODY KNOWS answer by saying that nobody really knows where the rainwater from a certain part of a creek in Wyoming ends up. He does sort of end up mimicking Stephen as he’s doing the full answer, in this muted, garbled tone in the background, which the audience notices.
Alan, grunted: “…no…nobody knows…”

Stephen: “Name the Largest Pyramid in the World!”
[A picture of the Egyptian pyramids shows up on the behind-screen]
Jack: “…that one, there, in the middle…”
Jack: “…Am I really that predictable?”

David says the pyramid’s an Aztec one, and Stephen says he’ll give 40 points if he gives the full name.
David: “…I don’t know it’s name, but I’ll spit out some consonants…”

Stephen: “There is a word for a pyramid with a flat top…”
Alan: “…unfinished.”
Bill: “And the sign- ‘DUE FOR COMPLETION, EARLY BC, 447…”

Stephen asks for the world’s fattest country, and everyone just starts yelling out wrong answers like Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga.
Stephen: “I’ll give you a clue, it starts with N…”

Ah, yes.
Stephen: “When was the first World War named as such?”
Bill: “Uhh…the outbreak. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.”
Stephen: “You think they called it that straight away?”

David: “It’s gonna be some point after 1939, isn’t it?”
KLAXON: 1939
David: “EXCUSE ME! I *THINK* I SAID…I THINK WHAT I SAID, people in the box, was ‘AAAFTER 1939′, which may CONTAIN 1939, but does not mean it!”
David, still riled: “OKAY… NONONO…’AFTER 1939’ AND ‘AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR’ are NOT synonymous. Now…this is just GIVING YOU TIME TO *TYPE*, *AFTER 1939*!”
David: “…Why don’t you just type ‘MITCHELL IS A COCK’.”
Stephen: “…I wouldn’t put it PAST THEM…”

Stephen: “Why were the colonels and chief of the Royal Dragoon and the First King’s Dragoon Guards fail to turn up for duty at the start of the first World War?”
Alan: “They were entwined…in an embrace.”

David, thanks to his many run-ins with the Klaxon, gets -44 tonight, which is hysterical.

Overall: Dare I say even better than I-Spy? Literally every panelist was supremely on tonight. There were no rifts, everyone was collaborating with each other, and the jokes and runners were flying the entire night. The Bursa jokes, the mustache jokes, the pissing machine guns, Goering’s funny salute, Alan’s nobody knows grunting, and the ENTIRE KLAXONING DAVID MITCHELL BIT…all of that in one episode. Fantastic. A standard of excellence on the series, by far.

MVP: Bill
Best Guest: David
Show Winner: Bill
QI Fact of the Day: Piss-Powered Machine Guns.
Best Runner: Goering’s wave.

QI Watchdown: I1 (I-Spy)

It’s been a while since I’ve done a QI episode, so I might as well FINALLY get onto Series I, which has been described as the ‘last of the Golden Age’. To be honest, I don’t know how the dynamic’s going to be tonight- on one hand, you have Lee Mack, who’ll probably keep the panel in disarray, and on the other, you have Sandi Toksvig, who’ll try to keep the panel in order. And then you have Jimmy Carr ebbing and flowing in between. Interesting to see how it goes.

Alan’s back to his James-May-esque long hair in this episode.

The buzzers are actually pretty amusing:
Sandi: a sexy ‘aye, aye…”
Jimmy: a captain’s ‘AYE, AYE!”
Lee: a German “AY YI YI YI YIIIEEE”
Alan: “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts…”

Also new this season is our first big season-long runner since the Elephant card, which is the Nobody Knows card- once per episode, there will be a question that legitimately has no recorded answer, and they’ll play the card at that point.

Stephen asks for the difference between an Ai and an Ai-Ai. Sandi correctly says that it’s a sloth, but Stephen asks for what an Ai-Ai is-
Jimmy: “…Two sloths?”

Stephen reports that the Ai only comes down from its tree to defecate.
Jimmy: “Surely the whole benefit of living in a tree is you can just…”
Stephen: “…poo on whomever you’d like?”
Lee: “Maybe they’ve got a downstairs toilet?”
Alan: “Yeah, once you’ve had it put in, you’ll want to use it…”

Sandi inches closer by guessing it’s a Lemur.
Stephen: “Right, which means it can only come from one place…”
Lee: “OOH! Bradford!”

Sandi: “I’d imagine the animal on the left has an easier job finding a well-fitting hat.”
Lee: “…and a girlfriend.”

After Lee describes a Jimmy joke as just two old codgers on the streets trading insults about their wives.
Stephen: “They do that on the streets of New York, only with ‘yo momma’…”
Lee, channeling Rob Beckett: “They do what with my momma?”
Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 10.32.03 PM.png

Stephen does slide in one really nice joke about the Navy: “D’you know how they separate the men from the boys in the Navy? With a crowbar.”

Stephen: “Why won’t the Mona Lisa stop staring at you?”
Jimmy: “I mean…she’s only human…”

Stephen describes the phenomena of eyes following you around the room on a painting.
Lee: “What if you’re behind her? That only works with paintings of owls…”

Stephen, still to Lee: “There are other paintings- what’s the most famous painting in the Wallace Collection in London?”
Lee: “…you know you’re looking at the wrong person, eh?”

Lee brings up a very good, and correct, point about looking through the artist’s eyes, instead of just looking for the subject’s eyes. Sandi, for some reason, keeps batting this down, calling it inconsequential, while Lee now has to sort of fight to keep the idea alive.
Sandi: “You know what? In a really nice way, Lee, I’m going to say I don’t think you fully understood it.”
…Even though that is played for laughs, that’s an insanely condescending thing to say to a person on national television.
Even Lee goes “if you had changed the word ‘nice’ to ‘patronizing’, then that would have made sense…”

Stephen shows an example, a sculpture of Einstein that looks like it’s going outward when in reality it’s buckling inward. Jimmy, wowed, goes “…oh, you’re twisting my melon, man…”
Shaun Ryder would be proud.

Jimmy’s absolutely wowed by this phenomena, and is even more wowed that his eyes make the same mistake when it goes round a second time.
Lee: “Listen, we’re not gonna fall for it this time…”

Jimmy: “Are we gonna bother with the rest of the show? Because I could happily watch this all day…”

Stephen: “There is this whole science called gaze detection, and it’s-”
Stephen then realize it may have another meaning, and everyone’s already gotten it. Jimmy’s just going “DON’T LOOK AT ME…”
Lee: ‘Oh, it’s a SCIENCE, is it Stephen???”

Sandi talks about going to a wedding in front of a huge field, and as people were taking photos of the couple, “there was a horse in the background with the most…gigantic…areas of expertise I’ve ever seen…and that’s all you can see in the photographs! They couldn’t actually crop it out, it was so large…”

Sandi tells another anecdote about rafters on the Zambezi who bring dogs with them incase they’re attacked by a crocodile.
Alan: “…and they throw the dog at the crocodile?”
Stephen: “…as a peace offering?”
Sandi: “Yes, as a sort of a tapas…”
Jimmy: ‘And, sorry, did your boat have a dog, or did they just have YOU…’We’ve got a small lady from the BBC we’re using…”

Stephen: ‘Who finished off Russia’s Greatest Love Machine?”
Lee: “BONEY M!”
Alan: “…I can’t believe that hasn’t set [the klaxon] off…”

Stephen talks of a prohibition-era scheme to get people to sign life insurance and let them drink themselves to death.
Jimmy: “Had they not met Irish people before??”

Alan’s joyously riffing this bit as it’s going on, already going “they ran out of booze!”, and “we’re gonna need a bigger pub!” as Stephen’s talking.

There’s this whole story about this guy Mike Malloy, who survives several drink-related attempts on his life, including drinking antifreeze, turpentine, and being stuck naked in the snow covered in ice water. He’s eventually killed by someone sticking a gas hose down his throat, which the audience responds to with ‘awwws’
Jimmy: “But BEFORE THAT, when they were trying to kill the man…you were going ‘well that just sounds like bloody good fun! But with the gas hose, you went ‘that’s not playin’ straight…it’s an interesting morality you’re working with…Take a good, hard look at yourself..”

Stephen, wrapping it up: “Well, that’s the story of durable Mike Malloy”
Jimmy: “Did he tell you that?”
Lee: “AND HE’S HERE TONIGHT!…and he comes in naked, full of gas…’OH, THEY DIDN’T GET ME, YA KNOW…”

Stephen: “There are a few myths on the internet that most people might eat eight spiders a year…”
Sandi: “OOF…”
Jimmy: ‘No, the myth is that when you’re sleeping, spiders crawl down your throat.”
Sandi: “Oh, please, PLEASE tell me that’s not true…”
Stephen: “It’s not true…often.”
Lee: “No worries, it’s not true- it’s hedgehogs!”

Stephen, top of GI: “What can you tell me about the lifespan of this lobster?”
Lee: “I dunno, but look at the size of the fish he’s just caught…”
Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 11.21.21 PM.png

Stephen mentions that it’s not possible to know how old a lobster is, and Sandi adds that some may be sitting on the ocean floor the size of submarines…but we learn that the largest, on record, was “oh, 3 and a half foot long.”
Lee: “That’s a lot smaller than a submarine…”
Stephen, taking him literally: “Yes, it’s a lot smaller than this studio…it’s a lot smaller than many things, but it’s the largest lobster that’s been caught.”
Lee: “Sandi did say that there may be ones the size of a submarine…”
Stephen: “Oh, sorry, I missed that bit…”
Stephen: “I’m sorry, I’ve gotten too used to you saying rather stupid things…and I apologize, on bended knee.”
Lee: “What, stupid things like ‘lobsters can live forever and grow to the size of submarines?’ That kind of thing?”

Sandi, just noticing: “What doesn’t make sense is that in the photo, if it’s underwater it shouldn’t be red…”
Stephen: “Ah?”
Sandi: “No, it should be black-”
Who’d of thought that Sandi, who tried to out-intelligent Lee earlier, would wind up with the first klaxon of Series I?

Stephen, still on lobsters: “They also, rather like the people of Doncaster, they communicate by urinating…”

Jimmy complains about having to pee, on this discussion of peeing in a bag, so Sandi hands over the inward Einstein sculpture from earlier as Stephen vocally rejects the idea.
Jimmy: “Which side do I piss into? I can’t tell?”
Sandi: “D’you know…I never thought I’d see Einstein in that position…”
Jimmy: “Not so clever now, are ya?”
Stephen, making the obvious joke: ‘Suddenly it’s…PEE = MC squared!”

Lee gets a klaxon by pronouncing ‘Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe’ incorrectly, so after Ye is revealed as just The, he incorrectly does Olde and Shoppe again.
Lee: “Okay, at least I’ll get this one…pie!”
Stephen: ‘YES!”
The audience even applauds this one.
Jimmy: “How Northern is that? If someone’s just flicked onto this show, and they go ‘oh, Lee Mack’s on’, and they you just go ‘PIE’ and there’s a round of applause.”

Stephen: “What went up by 57% during the Blitz?”
Jimmy: “…house prizes?”
Lee: “Was it Mother Brown’s knees?”

Sandi wins, Alan loses, and Stephen ends with a quote from Yogi Berra, though I wouldn’t be shocked if half the viewing audience had no idea who Yogi Berra even was.

Overall: MAJOR success going into Series I, with a panel that wasn’t afraid to connect with each other, with Stephen, and with concepts from earlier in the show. Lee Mack had the most composed show I’d seen him in, as he was willing to connect facts and keep the dynamic going, even with Sandi, with whom he had a major disagreement with tonight. Jimmy had some nice moments, but hasn’t really stood out in an episode since the early days. Sandi did vex me a bit tonight, but she still had a nice enough show, and Alan was kind of quiet but still himself. Tons of material, tons of fantastic moments, a truly impressive start to the series.

MVP: Lee
Best Guest: Jimmy
Show Winner: Sandi
Best QI Fact: Lobsters
Best Runner: Einstein sculpture.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E13, or The Vegan’s on FIRE!

To quote tonight’s guest host, “I DID IT. *I* DID IT…[oh, sorry…]”

This is the last guest-hosted episode of Buzzcocks. After five series of it, countless classics, a few clunkers (looking at you, Westwood), and two Frankie Boyle episodes, the Guest Host era came to a close in 2013. I have gotten a ton out of this, proving that there didn’t need to be a host anchor to amount for a ton of great Buzzcocks moments. However…I am excited to see how Rhod Gilbert does in Series 28.

So, tonight’s Guest Host, the final one, is a guy I’m honestly mixed on. On one hand, Johnny Vegas is capable of being very funny, and capable of bringing out the best in people just by osmosis. On the other hand, I’ve never quite been a fan of him on NMTB. He’s just never won me over here. Tonight, he’s got the helm, and it’s the CHHRRRRRRIIIISTMAAAAAASSSS Show so it’ll at least be nice (I hope).

Of course, Johnny is lifted onto the set, dressed as a snowman, while Aled Jones’ Walking in the Air’ plays triumphantly. Can’t help but love an opening like that.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 12.11.49 AM.pngAnd from here, he begins to yell the intros: “ON PHILL’S TEAM TANIIIGHT…”

The panel’s a nice bunch- Brian McFadden hasn’t been on since he kept repeatedly calling Mark Lamarr a duck. Sara Pascoe’s never been on Buzzcocks before, but tonight that all changes, and it’s about time. DJ Locksmith is an EDM DJ, and they were all the rage in 2013. Jessica Hynes hasn’t been on since the infamous ‘arm-wrestling’ episode with Simon. Hopefully she does better tonight.

Johnny, to start, has a series of ‘this-or-that’ Christmas questions that go from commonplace to bizarre pretty quickly.

I’m not writing down a ton of this, but it’s so wonderful, and it’s so insanely Johnny Vegas, going from bizarre and funny to emotional from one-second to another.

Johnny’s set-up is “How has Cliff Richard annoyed One Direction this Christmas?”
Sara: “Has he joined?”

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 12.31.34 AM.pngJohnny: “That looks like it was just removed from my ass…with a snowman doctor goin’ ‘it’s okay, they’re benign…”
Yeah,there is absolutely nothing quite like Johnny Vegas’ humor.

On the ID and Cliff mugs:
Johnny: “Cliff just wants to know, and I want the other four out me house before the police arrive…”
Phill: “There’s 5 of them.”
Johnny, channeling Stephen Fry: “Yeah, well, you’ve got to keep one in the basement, haven’t you?”

Noel, on his “Fleet of Cars” prop, which is just a big window pane: “Is this a fleet of cars? Because it just looks like the scene from Midnight Express…”
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Noel: “This is like Week 1 of Marcel Marceau’s training cottage. “…and now without the glass…”

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 12.44.41 AM.pngJessica: “…problem is I just feel like Lady Gaga…”
Locksmith: “Call me kinky, but I probably would…”

Johnny: ‘I’m gonna have to press you for an answer…”
Noel: “THE WINDOW!!!”

Johnny, on the playback for When a Child is Born: “This is the point where me mum would drop a quiche and wet herself.”

Also, this image:
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Noel Fielding is the greatest.

After Sara steals both of Noel’s Intros
Noel: “The Vegan’s on FIRE! The red meat’s slowing us down, but the vegan’s on FIRE…”

Mid-standups, Johnny just randomly breaks into the Cheers theme song. I swear to god, nobody can write something this funny.

Johnny questions Phill’s ‘driving’ mime.

Johnny stops Phill and Brian’s 2nd intro, and suggests that Brian play him as bongos, as he literally lies down on top of the desk. Sure enough, Brian starts patting his chest for the percussion…which Johnny responds with ‘OW!’ noises.

(For the record…Sara Pascoe answered every single intro correctly tonight. I never thought she’d be THIS GOOD at this game. She’s like the Kim Newman of Buzzcocks.)

Johnny, on #2, aka Craig Phillips: ‘He’s got that Robbie Williams look to it. LET’S PEEL HIS FLESH OFF…AND LET WOMEN SKATE AROUND HIM…WHILE WE’VE GOT THE OPPORTUNITY!”

(For the record, the reason that DJ Locksmith hasn’t been very vocal this show is because I think everytime the camera’s done a wide shot of Noel’s panel, he’s been laughing hysterically. So if you’re wondering why Locksmith’s underedited…blame it on Johnny for being so damned funny tonight.

This season wouldn’t be complete without one more fuck-up. Johnny, right before next lines, flips the envelope of Next Lines Questions AND Answers to Phill’s team…and seconds later, an embarrassed producer has to VO in and go ‘no, you read them out…”
The whole panel just facepalms, giggling. Noel gets a huge kick out of it.

Johnny just goes on this ridiculous, slightly-drunken, semi-serious rant, which ends with him looking over at Phill and going “…you know, if you weren’t so honest, you could have won this…it was all there for the taking, and you kept sliding the envelope back like I was some bloke in a car park trying to offer you money to put me willy where it shouldn’t be…”

Johnny, finally getting to the Next Lines: “He had a broad face and a round little belly…”
Phill: “That’s why they let him HOST!”

Overall: As a Christmas show, a bit uneven, a bit uneventful…but goddamn if I didn’t laugh hard. The problem is that, with most Johnny Vegas episodes, the focus was more on him and less on everyone else, and the panel was kind of underedited, as they had to edit around Johnny’s shenanigans. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as Johnny was friggin hysterical. It just wasn’t a great Buzzcocks episode, because there are people like DJ Locksmith, whose sole purpose in the edit was just dying at Johnny’s lines, and Brian McFadden, who at least didn’t annoy the host but came off as bland. At least Sara had some nice moments and a kickass Intros round, but Jessica didn’t do much. Still, a nice enough funny episode, even if it wasn’t very substantial.

Guest Host Rating: 8/10
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Sara
Best Runner: …just Johnny Vegas existing, I guess.


Guest Hosts, Ranked Best to Worst:
Russell Howard, Episode 2
Peter Andre, Episode 3
Warwick Davis, Episode 10
John Hannah, Episode 1
Michael Bolton, Episode 8
Eamonn Holmes, Episode 6
Johnny Vegas, Episode 13
Sara Cox, Episode 4
Jack Whitehall, Episode 9
Dizzee Rascal, Episode 11
Rizzle Kicks, Episode 7
Kristen Schaal, Episode 5

Best Episode: Episode 3, the Peter Andre episode, one I was dreading…but Peter managed to turn it around, not only with a willingness to play and make fun of himself, but with the immortal ‘Insania’ round, giving me some of my biggest belly-laughs of the season. Tony Law was his usual, insane self, and Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic was surprisingly amazing.
Second Best Episode: Episode 10, featuring Warwick Davis, an emphasis on music from cinema, and some of the best runner-based humor we’ve had since Mark Lamarr hosted. Other than ‘Squirrels Ate My Cake’, which…again, fantastic, there was Chris Ramsey giving his best Buzzcocks performance, some really nice hosting from Warwick, and a surprisingly funny tiebreak round.
Third Best Episode: Episode 2, with Russell Howard. I almost gave this to Episode 9, surprisingly the Jack Whitehall episode, but I could not forget Episode 2, especially considering Stacey Solomon’s animal impressions, Russell bagging on Lethal Bizzle (Hashtag Fannys), and the fact that Russell may have given the smoothest ‘audition’ of any guest host Buzzcocks had on in this era.
Worst Episode: Episode 5. Nothing got off the ground. The panel was comprised of three TV personalities that all knew each other…and David O’Doherty, who only knew host Kristen Schaal and didn’t have a great show. Kristen was loud, boorish, annoying, and wasn’t always great for the position. There were some nice moments, supplied by Rylan Clark and Noel calling James Arthur a koala, but on a strong season, this is the weak link.
Hardest-to-Watch Episode: Episode 7. I had to make a category for this one. Episode 7, while funny, and amusing in some pieces, cannot be watched without choosing a side in the debate over who wronged who. Did Rizzle Kicks annoy Huey Morgan to such a state that he couldn’t take it anymore? Or was Huey drunk, high, over the hill and grumpy, to the point where his ego couldn’t take these ‘kids’ bashing him in? No matter where you stand, it’s an ugly show.
Best Regular: Phill Jupitus, for keeping his boost of energy from last series going, dominating some episodes and returning to his active, jovial mood from Buzzcocks’ Golden Age.
Best Comedian Panelist: Seann Walsh, Episode 8. I nearly gave this to James Acaster for his performance in E1, but Seann had the bigger show, and bounced off of Michael Bolton with his bizarre, lion-esque humor. Plus, his ‘WHAT’S THAT COMING OVER THE HILL, IT IS A BLENDER’ line still kills me. Honorable mentions go to Sara Pascoe, Alex Brooker, Paul Foot, Sarah Millican, Tony Law, Chris Ramsey, James Acaster.
Best Musician Panelist: Ana Matronic, Episode 3. Last season Mark Hoppus got this spot, for coming from a very serious, well-known group and absolutely defying my expectations by having a shit-ton of fun on the program. Ana Matronic did that arguably better, by delivering a nasty, but good-natured, dig at Peter Andre, as well as getting some of the best lines in the show and collaborating well with Phill in intros. I also considered Lethal Bizzle, Iggy Azalea, Conor Maynard, Jamie Cullum, Shaun Ryder, Shane Filan, Alfie Boe, Aston Merrygold.
Biggest Dartboard: Stacey Solomon, Episode 2. Like usual, people had their fun with Stacey, but Russell at least put her to good use with the ‘animal impressions’ runner.
Most Confused Panelist: Shaun Ryder, Episode 6. He seemed very strung-out, but as a member of the Happy Mondays, it’s part of the contract. He at least had a nice time, unlike my other option for this category (Huey Morgan).
Best Runner: Johnny Borrell dating Jack Whitehall’s sister, Episode 9. I loved this one because Jack got more and more irritated every time someone brought it up (I laugh at his initial, annoyed “shut up” every time). Plus, Alex, Noel and everyone get in on it, and the joke is on Jack for once. (To be fair, I almost put Stacey Solomon’s animal impressions here as well).

Next up…the LAST EVER SERIES OF BUZZCOCKS. PERMANENTLY hosted by a guy with a potato tattooed on his arm.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E11, or For the Record, I Don’t Write this shit, so..

The penultimate guest-hosted Buzzcocks…EVER. This one’s hosted by a POSITIVELY BONKERS RAPPER….I’m sorry about that pun…it’s Dizzee Rascal. I’m guessing he’ll have more of a Ne-Yo show than a Tinie Tempah show, but…we’ll have to see.

Tonight we’ve seen all-but-one of our guests before. Katherine Ryan’s back after a nice first go. Aston Merrygold, after bowing out due to sickness in the Whitehall show, finally comes back for this one. Jamie Cullum had a nice show back when David Tennant hosted. Foxes, pop singer and collaborator, is also on the bill.

Dizzee: “So, we begin with a round we’re calling…”
Clip: “BONKERS.”
Dizzee: [long sigh]

Jamie, on his stuffed panda prop: “This panda’s got really heavy legs…”
Phill: “That’s the thing about bamboo, goes straight to your feet…”

Jamie: “I mean, do any animals actually find humans sexy?”
Phill: “My labrador used to…”
Noel: ‘Yeah, I got humped by a, uh…”[pauses so the audience can laugh]”I think it was a greyhound. I was about 7.”

The whole first round, Jamie and Noel and everyone are talking about animals humping them, and Dizzee is just sitting there, watching…possibly forgetting he has to host the show. This may be what we’re in for, folks.

Katherine: “I know that Britney has a tour in Vegas- it’s not really a tour, she just plays in one place.”
Phill: “I bet she still gets lost.”

Once Dizzee sees that he has to read some standups on the autocue next, he has a Hugh Dennis-esque “oh, I forgot about this part” moment, and asks Jamie to help him with mood music, in response to how badly he fucks up the jokes. To be fair, the first one goes well.
Of course, afterwards he checks the camera and goes “yo, for the record, I don’t write this shit, so…”

Noel, trying to start conversation: “D’you have a train set, Foxy?”
Foxes: “Yeah, I did.”
Noel: “…you ending that answer there? ‘Yeah, I did. Moving on.”

I’ve noticed that so far, Dizzee is insanely laid back in his hosting techniques. He knows he’s just reading off an autocue, and just having a good time, not taking the whole thing seriously. To his credit, though, he’s smirking a bit as he reads off the next round, ‘JLS or JLNo”, which Aston does get a chuckle at.

Aston: “I actually technically know the right answers her-”
Dizzee: ‘You need to FALL BACK, PLAYA.”
Aston laughs for about 10 seconds here. You can even hear some Jupitus Giggling in the background. Yeah, even if he’s laid back, Dizzee’s still having a nice time.

There’s also a nice 30 second sequence where Dizzee cannot for the life of him say the word ‘contractually’. Aston just keeps laughing at this.
He eventually settles on: ‘…Aston’s been told he has to FUCKIN’ BACKFLIP EVERY TIME…”

Aston, of course, does one of his trademark backflips.
Noel, to Foxes: “D’you still want to do a cartwheel?”
Foxes: :I’ve gone off the idea.”
Noel: “What about a handstand, and I catch your legs like a weird PE teacher?”

They eventually agree on doing the inverse arrangement, which the audience applauds but Noel’s already going “NO! NO!”

Sure enough, Noel’s ENTIRE PANEL pushes him to take part in the stunt, with Jamie egging him on by playing on the piano. He’s still adamant about not doing it, which is hysterical.

HOWEVER…PHILL COMES BY, points to his lap, and gets him to do it…which fails miserably:
Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.26.20 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.26.36 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.26.44 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.26.56 PM.png

Noel: “I’ve broken both my knees.”
Jamie: “You could take that to Vegas…”
Noel: “I’ve gone blind in one eye…my cock’s loose in my pants…I’ve no idea what went on, then…I’ve got INTERNAL BLEEDING, DIZZEE. HELP ME!”
Phill: “YOU LANDED ON…*ME*!”

Dizzee, bringing the round to a close: “…well, the answer was Yes, ANYWAY…”

Dizzee, taking the prompter reading a bit too literally: “Now it’s time for the Intros round….hand over card.”

Annnd add Phill and Jamie’s rendition of Grandmaster Flash’s The Message to the list of all-time great Buzzcocks intros.

AND OF COURSE…Foxes and Noel’s 2nd Intro is, of course, Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal, which he just glares at them for, hoping they get it right.

In a very nice moment, after Phill guesses it, Dizzee offers to do some live in the studio, as Aston and Foxes give him a beat. He spits it off like it’s his job, and even throws in the sound-clip from earlier of ‘BONKERS’ just as a cherry on top.

Dizzee: “In 2009, I gave an interview criticizing the expense and inconvenience of the London 2012 Olympics…an opinion I held right up until the moment they asked me to perform…”
He has a nice chuckle here, even at his own expense.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.53.36 PM
Aston: “I LIKE #5…#5 looks like he could have a proper good time, like out on the town-”

Foxes: “I feel like he’s seen the world.”
Phill: ‘Oh, he’s SEEN THINGS…”
Noel: ‘This round isn’t just ‘Whose Van Would You Get Inside?’…”

Overall: Imperfect, but still a fun watch. Dizzee wasn’t great at keeping the show going, but was still laid back and having fun, which I’ll accept. Panel was kinda down. Katherine wasn’t giving her best stuff tonight, Foxes was silent, and Jamie, while having a great night, didn’t do a ton of memorable work outside of the recurring piano. Aston had a nice night, but I don’t know if he was the best one. The stunt in the middle elevated this from being ho-hum.

Guest Host Rating: 7.5/10
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Jamie
Best runner: Bonkers clip.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E10, or Squirrels Ate My Cake

3 Guest Hosted Episodes remain, and this one’s being hosted by a film legend. Warwick Davis, who’s been in charge of more animatronic and small characters than you could possibly realize, as well as being the star of Life’s Too Short, is in the building. He’s a heck of a personality, so he’ll probably do well tonight, on the “MOVIE SPECIAL”.

Warwick has a nice intro- the announcer plays him in as ‘one of the most beloved characters of all time’, complete with ET music. Once the smoke clears, Warwick has this confused, almost betrayed expression. Once he gets to the desk, he asks “…did they just play in the ET music?” It works, as Warwick just sounds like David Mitchell, just deepened a bit.

The panel seems fit enough- Tom Fletcher from McFly is back, as well as occasionally incoherent comic Chris Ramsey. Also, TV presenter Emma Willis and West End actor and part time Jean Valjean, Alfie Boe.

As the captains have come in costume.
Phill: “Warwick, I’ve come as the Captain from Das Boot.”
Warwick: “…you look a bit like Bluto, from Popeye…”

Chris’ prop is a very small minibar.
Warwick: “Can I just ask why that fridge has been removed from my dressing room?”

After a tangent that leads to Chris suggesting the squirrels were diabetic by the end.
Noel: “Diabetic squirrels…another good band name…Punk band. ‘Yeah, we’re the diabetic squirrels, what’cha gon’ do about it?”

Chris: “I reckon it’s the money thing, if it’s true.”
Alfie: “I think it’s the minibar…”
Noel: “Yeah? [to Chris] Dyou think it’s the minibar?”
Chris: “…Noo, because I just said I thought it was the money…DON’T USE YOUR JEDI MIND TRICKS ON ME…”
Noel, Alec Guinness impression: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…”
Warwick, even BETTER Alec Guinness impression: “These aren’t the SQUIRRELS you’re looking for.”

Of course, sure enough, they go with the minibar answer…and Chris’ money one ends up being right. He flips the minibar’s door shut in anger.

One of Phill’s answers for Keith Richards is ‘he got a bad sunburn’.
Phill: “In terms of the Rolling Stones, given that they’re so ‘ooh, don’t forget to put sunscreen on’, as they’re all like [DOWNS ALCOHOL AND SNIFFS COCAINE]”

The Intros round this week is…okay, a pretty great gimmick, to be honest. They’re all songs from films, and the person has to guess what movie they came from.

It’s even better when Phill and Tom’s version of Goldfinger is one of the better intros of the Guest Host era. EVEN NOEL, immediately after, goes “can I just say that that’s the best rendition I’ve ever heard on this show…”

Emma: “…[Phill,] your bit is making me think…Secret of My Success.”

Warwick passes it over to Noel’s team
Noel: ‘Was it…The Squirrels Ate the Cake?”

Warwick, pre-Intros: “You should be really good at this, Alfie, as a singer…”
Chris: “…I notice ya didn’t say that to Tom…”

Alfie does a few big ‘DOOH- DOOH- DOOH’ drum noises…then has to stop and go ‘NOT EASTENDERS.” Yeah, he’s on the right show, I think..

Alfie, after an intro: “This is what I did to audition for the Les Mis movie…and I didn’t get it…”
Noel: “Who did?”
Alfie, matter-of-factly: “Hugh Jackman…”
Someone in the audience does a ‘WOO!’
Noel: “That’s unacceptable…except if that was Hugh Jackman then…WHOOPING HIMSELF.”

Warwick: “You were quoted, Emma, in saying that you’d get naked for a million pounds.”
Noel: “Where’s the fake money [Chris] had earlier?”

Emma, inspecting the money: “Hold on…this is all fake. This is PAPER!”
Phill: “…at the end of the day, isn’t that what money is?”
Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 11.14.50 PM.png

Warwick: “Kenny Loggins’ wife is a doctor, and they met while she was inspecting Kenny’s prospect. He was so smitten with her that, right then and there, he popped a ring on her finger.”
Chris, after a good 10 seconds of reaction: “I’d high-five you for that one…”
Warwick, deadpan: “Not too high.”

ID Parade:
Tom: “Look at #4, he’s swaying back and forth-”
Phill: “Of COURSE he is, he’s built like a redwood!”

Emma: “I think I’m feeling four…”
Phill, taking this the exact wrong way: “RRREEALLY?”
Warwick: “He’s REALLY swaying now…”

Once they have the real movie voiceover guy, they have him, sort of like the CinemaSins guy, say some random stuff.
Noel: ‘Can you say ‘Squirrels Ate My Cake’
#4: [breaks, then] “…SQUIRRELS…ATE MY CAKE.”
Funniest part of this is Noel takes a pause after ‘Squirrels’, forgetting the exact quote of the runner. I feel like he had to ask Chris or somebody what the line was.

Chris, on the Lineup of Jareths: “#4 looks like he’s had some of frontward prolapse…”
Warwick, likely as the cameras are re-setting: “OHHH…DON’T DO A CLOSE-UP OF IT!”

Chris admits, right after Warwick talks about playing some goblins in Labyrinth, that the only time he’s seen the movie, he slept through it.
Warwick: “EXCUSE ME…what have YOU done in your career? How many Hollywood movies have YOU appeared in?”
Chris: “None.”
Warwick: “…I rest my case.”

Warwick brings up a nice point, that #3 in the lineup, a little person, was actually Warwick’s own stunt double in Willow. Fantastic that they managed to get that in there.

Also, using the gimmick very nicely, all the Next Lines are from movie themes. Again, I don’t hate gimmicks and things like that if they actually make sense, and these ones work well, especially for Warwick Davis being the host.

I do applaud Tom’s Next Lines skills, though Emma’s read of ‘the Sound of MUUUUSIIIIIC’ does, in fact, put Phill off, as he stops the round to go ‘WHAT WAS THAT??’

Noel, being Noel, gives the entire next line from Flash Gordon, and even throws in a ‘GORDON’S ALIIIIVE!’

Warwick: “Watching, I keep waiting.”
Noel: “Squirrels ate my cake.”

Warwick: “This is the end.”
Chris: “This is the end, I’ve been in loads of Hollywood films and I never mention iiiiiit…”
Warwick: [spit take]

There is a tie, which leads to some impressively dramatic tiebreaker round music.
Phill, post music: “….FANCY A CURRY???”

The tiebreak round involves the guest voiceover guy reading out hints about an artist, complete with pre-recorded buzzers saying the captain’s voices.
Phill, after pressing his: “I have an erection.”
Red: “oh, man…”[breaks]

Red: “At a young age, I found I could sing like an angel and dance like the devil.”
Chris: “JESUS!”
Phill: ‘DANNY DYER!”

Overall: The patron saint of Buzzcocks episodes that gain momentum as they go on. At the beginning, squirrels jokes aside, it was a tough one. But slowly…traction built, and by ID Parade we had an insanely funny episode on our hands. It helped that Warwick Davis managed to be a ton of fun, as well as holding the panel tightly. The panel was strong- Chris Ramsey had the best day, Emma and Tom had a nice time, and Alfie, while a bit shy, did have some great moments. Just a solid, wonderful episode with lots of gags to keep me coming back.

Guest Host Rating: 9/10. Excellent job, Warwick!
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Chris
Best Runner: Squirrels ate my cake.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E09, or I Think You’ve had an Akabusi Attack.

Four episodes of Guest Hosted Buzzcocks to go, and we’re on a bit of a roll. Who’s up next?


Jack Whitehall has bungled hosting not one…but TWO NMTB episodes. Why? Because he subscribes to the Simon Amstell school of deliciously personal attacks, and is driving the show backwards rather than forwards. He’s also not funny, and he’s just not a great host. This will be his THIRD hosting gig. Let’s hope he’s made at least some improvement.

In terms of the panel, we’ve got The Last Leg’s Alex Brooker, Olympic legend Kriss Akabusi (in place of a preempted Aston Merrygold appearance), Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell, and pop singer Katy B.

Jack, in detailing the search for Kriss, said that the BBC was trying to find anyone around the studio with even the smallest, most tedious link to music, “comedians, presenters, Sugababes- UNTIL FINALLY”
That is actually a nice read…

Jack, starting the round: “Phill, Katy, and Aston Merrygold from JL…we should probably change that…[Kriss], you’re also probably not going to be able to do the bit at the end with the backflip…”

Jack: “I meant to, at this point, have a chat with Aston about JLS’ split…probably not gonna work, but let’s just try it with Kriss…”
Yeah, this is basically a Simon Amstell episode, though Jack is a bit funnier than he’s ever been, so I’ll give him that.

Of course, in Kriss’ hands, it succeeds in being a good bit- Kriss actually knows how to yes-and here, and confirms FOR Aston that JLS is gonna come back, ending the bit by saying ‘SEE YOU AT WEMBLEY!’. So now when Aston DOES come back on (what, next week?), he’s gonna have to denounce Kriss’ stuff.

Jack: “You ever use the JLS-branded condoms?”
Kriss: “…they’re quite small guys, ain’t they?”
Jack: “…not just quick on the track! I am…SO HAPPY Aston Merrygold is ill!”

Jack: “Kriss, you were wrong, because your team didn’t listen to you…”
Noel: “Is it now Kriss’ team?”
Phill: {switches places with Kriss]
Noel: “You know Kriss isn’t stopping at captain…you know he’s gonna be hosting soon…”

Jack, after fouling up a joke: “Gah, so much pressure now, because if I do get it wrong, now I just think Kriss will take my place…”
Then, Jack fouls up the joke again, causing the whole place to go wild.
Jack: “Kriss, come do the joke for me…”

They do the joke again, with Jack whispering the standup on the prompter into Kriss’ ear. Once he finishes the joke, he immediately gets it, and reacts accordingly.

After Kriss sits back in his own chair.
Phill: “BOOM! …Sorry, this seat’s got some secondary Akabusi on it as well…”

Noel, slowly realizing who one of the Guess Who options are: “…look at those big blue eyes…those Jesus-like eyes…I CAN’T! IT’S THE EYES OF MY NEMESIS! IT’S CHRIS MARTIN! I CAN’T LOOK AT THEM!”
Jack: “…stare a little bit longer…”

Jack, to Noel: “You and me were on the same bill as Coldplay, and the whole night, you were avoiding him-”
Noel: “I didn’t avoid him. His roadies wanted to kill me!”
Johnny: “With cups of green tea?”

Jack, to Noel: “What would you sing to your baby?”
And he just keeps going, miming screaming into the baby and going mad.
Jack: “I think you’ve had an Akabusi attack…”

After Jack asks Johnny if he has plans to settle down, Alex interjects, saying that Johnny used to date Jack’s sister, all the while Jack’s trying to get him to shut up.
Alex: “I was reading your book on the toilet before…”
Jack: “Why are you talking about reading it on the toilet?”
Alex: “…well, it’s not quite good enough to take on Holiday, is it?”

This is pretty amazing, seeing not only Kriss upstaging Jack, but Alex tearing Jack a new one WHILE HE’S TRYING TO HOST THE SHOW. Maybe it’s because I hate Jack Whitehall, but I’m LOVING this show so far.

Jack makes his first snafu of the night, by revealing the answer to Phill and Katy’s first intro too soon. As the clip plays in-
Noel: “What’you doing? You’re supposed to throw it over…”
Jack: [collapses]
…he;s hosted the show twice before, HE SHOULD KNOW THIS.

He does actually throw it over, after the answer’s been given.
Jack: “Any ideas?”
Noel and Alex: “…errrrmmm…”

Kriss, not knowing: “I’m sorry…[buzzer noise]”
Phill: “…WRONG QUIZ!”

Jack makes his SECOND snafu of the night, giving Alex the point before he’s named the actual song. He says ‘Sister Sledge’, and Jack just reveals the song title. Man, it’s almost like Jack’s the worst guest host ever or something…

After Noel and Johnny don’t know how the 2nd intro goes…and then they bring over Kriss and he goes “oh,…I know the BAND…”
Alex: “I’m not too optimistic at this point…”

Then JACK comes over and all four of them have to do the intro together. As they get ready, Noel goes “we might have to take this group on tour…”

Jack: “Kriss, which of the lineup would you most like to boom.”
Jack: “NO NO NO NO NO! NO! KRISS HAS A WIFE! I mean like [Kriss hand motion] boom boom!”
Kriss, already past it: “No, I mean…”
Kriss: “I dunno about that, fella…”

Kriss: “Yeah, I like #2, she’s got the whole dancing action going on-”

Jack, Next Lines: “And oh, doesn’t matter how much we cried…if our eyes spat out the night…what i’ve done there, is read out BOTH lines of the song…so you’re gonna have to get the next one…”

Then, of course, Jack does 3 sister-related lines in a row to spite Johnny, like “Dance Little Sister” and “Sister don’t let go…”

Jack: “Sister don’t let go…”
Noel: “Just keep quiet, I can hear Jack coming up the-”
Jack: “SHUT UP!”

Overall: A surprisingly amazing NMTB. Even without Kriss Akabusi, this would still have been funny. Jack, while still not a great host, had more to work with, especially with his pal Kriss on the bill, and with Johnny having dated his sister. Alex had some of the best lines, Katy and Johnny were in great moods, but Kriss was having so much fun, allowed for some of the best moments, and saved this episode from being another crappy Jack Whitehall episode.

Guest Host Rating: 8/10. Slight upgrade.
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Kriss
Best Runner: Johnny and Jack’s sister.


Well, we need a nice boost of enthusiasm after last week’s good-but-traumatizing Rizzle Kicks show. So, let’s get….uh, Michael Bolton?

Yeah. On paper, Michael Bolton’s an odd choice. Yes, he did have a ton of hits in the 80’s and 90’s, but he was also one of the most uncool hitmakers of the time. However, in 2011…the Lonely Island came along with Jack Sparrow and instantly made him cool and funny again. So he’s probably a ton more self-aware, and this is probably gonna be a hella fun show.

Plus, we’ve got a pretty phenomenal panel on our hands- Carol Vorderman and Diana Vickers are on Phill’s side, while Seann Walsh and Westlife’s Shane Filan are with Noel. This has all the makings for a classic.

Annnd THIS is our opening image:
Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 5.08.11 PM.png

Note that the crowd goes kinda wild when Shane’s introclip comes out. Man, hope he doesn’t call anyone a duck like the last Westlife guy that was on…

Shane keeps making a big deal out of the decision to stand up at the key change of a song, which he credits to Simon Cowell.
Noel: “What else did he say? ‘I think you should open your mouths when you sing…”

Shane even teaches his entire panel to do the sexy-stand-up at key change, which vexes Seann because he tries concentrating, but sure enough:
Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 5.14.51 PM.png

There’s also a really nice sequence where Michael teaches Seann how to stand on the mountain and ‘BE Michael Bolton’, which doesn’t exactly work because he’s Seann Walsh. Look, usually I frown upon the extraneous pre-quiz stuff, but…it’s funny! It’s working!

I do want to note that the Paul McCartney ‘Ever Present Past’ clip they show has been on before, because I remember Bill Bailey going “what’s he doing on one knee? No, no, Paul, don’t go down that road again…”

Sure enough, Shane talks about meeting Sir Paul
Shane: “It was actually on my honeymoon…”
Noel: “You got married to Paul McCartney?”

Michael says he’s ‘come close’ to meeting Sir Paul.
Noel: “Come close? Like someone went ‘HEY, COME AND MEET…oh, don’t bother…”

Michael: “If you’re wondering what a brazillian grasshopper looks like, it’s just like a normal grasshopper, only shaved.”
Must have been one of the randomly lethal jokes leftover from Eamonn’s show.

Michael’s reads are actually kind of wooden, but they do occasionally work, like saying ‘at the end of the round, Noel’s team have done nothing, they have scored nothing, they are worth nothing…”

Noel brings back his smartassery from the Peter Andre show for the Lightning Bolton round
Michael: “True or false-”
Noel: ‘FALSE!”

Michael’s at least having fun with these questions One of them is “I was the singing voice of Pocahontas in the Disney film-”
The audience starts laughing before he can even finish it, so he even cracks a smile.

Phill and Diana’s first intro sounds like a ton of weird beeping noises.
Seann: ‘Phill, that sounds like dial-up internet…”
Phill: ‘I’m sending a fax!”

Michael hands it over to Noel’s team.
Seann: “Oh, god, it’s Too Much Lube, by Anal Danger.”
The audience takes 5 to recover.
Michael: “…it’s, uh…it’s not Anal Danger.”
Michael, melodically: “It’s NOOOT ANAL DANNGEERR…”

My geekiness from James Acaster’s episode is coming back here, as I can only name Phill and Diana’s second intro as ‘the song from Kingsman’.

And sometimes, Michael’s completely dry delivery makes the standups even better, like his one for KC and the Sunshine Band.
“They’re so disco, even their testicles are mirrored…”

Michael: “Noel and Shane”
Noel, faintly: “HEL-LO…”

After Noel and Shane’s first intro, Seann, who immediately knows it, gives a pretty perfect impression of Ricky Wilson, with the ‘ARMS BE-HIND DE BACK-AAAHH’, flailing around thusly.

Shane: “Can you hum the first line, Michael?”
Michael: “I don’t think there’ll be any humming on this show…”
Noel: “Not even for your estranged son?”

Even funnier, Michael reads the card as ‘Kaiser Chefs’, which the audience cracks up at.
Noel, Ricky Wilson voice: “ANNNND I LOVE MY CHOPPING BOARD!”
Noel, even as people applaud Seann: “…wrong band…”

Noel and Shane give Seann a Michael Bolton intro next, which he…completely misreads, and adds a random rap stanza to, as Shane just looks on, confusedly.

Michael says the Kaiser Chiefs are named after a football club. “That’s nothing. My full name is Michael Bolton Wanderers.”
After a nice round of applause for that, he worriedly checks the camera and goes “…I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.”

Diana, ID Parade: “I know #4- if not, I’ve met him before…”
Phill: “Number four, FOR SHAME…”

Diana, after going through several different options: “Just pick one…I’m so indecisive…”
Phill: “REALLY???”

Michael, as the round is going long: “Guys, I actually have a plane I have to catch…”
Noel: “I’m sure it’s your own plane…you’re getting no trip fee from us…”

Next Lines
Michael: “Feel your hands inside my soul.”
Phill: “…feel a BAKER’S…SAUSAGE ROLL…”
Michael: [cracks]
Phill: “Feel me cock, I’ll feel your hole…”
Michael: “I wish I’d written that one…”
Phill: “That’s a beauty!”

Michael: “Let me lick you up and down, til you say stop!”

Michael: “Take your heart and make it sing.”
Noel: “…or use your mouth, it’s up to you…”

Overall: Slightly disappointing, but still a nice episode. Phill’s team was underedited, but Diana had some nice moments of looniness towards the end. Seann, Shane and Noel were the stars of the night, with Shane having some great moments and not being afraid to have fun, and Seann being hysterical as usual. Michael’s reads were dry, and he occasionally went into the Ne-Yo category of ‘confused foreigner’, but it was a pretty nice show.

Guest Host Rating: 9/10
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Seann
Best Runner: Anal Danger.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E07, or Cavanagh, man…now that’s some dangerous music..

So…it’s come to this.

Tonight’s episode is the last big controversial important episode in the series’ run. Rizzle Kicks, who were amusing enough on their last time on, are HOSTING. On the panel tonight are Paul Foot, finally back again, American Southern-Alt-Rock singer Lissie, Irish model and presenter Laura Whitmore, and…yeah…Huey Morgan, from the Fun-Loving Criminals. This is going to be very, very interesting. Because Huey is about to have the absolute worst day of his life. Let’s watch together.

Among the implications of Phill’s Content Advisory round: Tina Turner sang “I don’t really wanna fuck no more”; and, most hilariously, “BOB THE BUILDER- CAN HE FUCK IT?”

Paul asks if Scissor Sisters are a successful group: “I thought they should have been censored for being excessively camp.”

There’s this big bit Paul does about lesbians getting shot out of cannons, that leads to the Cern collider smashing lesbians together, that’s so bizarre that I’m not gonna write it down verbatim.

Huey talks about not getting kicked off of a plane: “Even in really bad shape, like my hair was messed up and-”
Jordan: “Hair messed up?”
Huey, pointing to his short hair: ‘My hair GROWS…”

And then:
Jordan: “A Green Day is a term for a day that’s spent by doing nothing but smoking marijuana.”
Harley: “For example, the Fun Lovin Criminals are in the middle of a Green DECADE.”
Huey, after a glare: “…son, we’re in our SECOND decade…”

Among the implications in Noel’s round: Marc Cohn allegedly wrote ‘Wanking in Memphis’; Katy Perry’s ‘You’re Gonna Fuck Me Raw’, which does work a ton better if you’re British; and a random wang in Olivia Newton John’s ‘Physical’ video.

Noel: “Paul, d’you know any of these people?”
Paul: “I’ve always wondered this…is Olivia Newton John related to Elton John?”
Noel: “Yeah, he’s her auntie…”

Paul says he’s never seen Grease.
Noel: “Well, we’ll have to grab some snacks and watch Grease…”
Harley: “Can we come?”
Paul: “….no.”
Harley: “discrimination…”
Jordan: “WHAT?”
Noel, after the laughter passes: “Sorry, Rizzle Kicks…no lesbians…”

Lissie, summing up the entire post Mark Lamarr era of Buzzcocks: “Like I said, I feel like I know what the answer is, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the point of the show, so…”

Laura, pre-intros: “I just wanna say that this is my favorite round, and I always get mad when people don’t get the intros because they’re really easy…and now I’m shitting myself.”

Again, at this point, Huey seems to be in a fine mood, and he and Phill do a nice rendition of Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks.

Laura and Lissie share a nice moment.
Laura: “Lot of stress, isn’t it?”
Lissie: “I have to do it in a moment, so I feel you…”

Now I think the monotony kicks in- Huey just lumbers over towards Rizzle Kicks and points to them as Phill and Huey do their intro- he’s not pleased, because it’s just about them.

Paul, trying to guess: “Lots of songs sound like sex and love, but that didn’t sound like it. Sounded more like…….’Let’s Mend that Dove-Cot.”
Harley: “The Dove-Cot?”
Paul: “Yeah, where the doves go. The home of the doves.”
Lissie: “What, like a little bed that it lays on?”
Paul: “They would have a bed in there, obviously…of course, they’ve got beds, they’ve got teas, they’ve even got a Corby trouser press- THAT’S HARDLY THE POINT, LOVE!”

Paul, still going: “It’s named after where the doves live.”
Jordan: “Like a dove cottage?”
Paul: “Dove-cottaging is a different thing…”

Lissie: “This one I may or may not remember how it goes…”
Paul: “Would it help if i did a bit with you?”

Sure enough, Paul and Lissie do it for Noel, who already knows it. Paul just keeps making weird noises and such, which cracks up Lissie.

Paul wonders aloud why #1 in the ID Parade doesn’t have shoelaces.
Huey: “Maybe the producers thought it’d be a suicide risk. I understand why…now…at this point in the fuckin’ show, but…”

Pre-Next Lines, Huey’s still in an okay enough mood, even after Paul’s ID Parade shenangians, which…I’m not gonna write down all of, but like last time it was pretty fucking great. Huey’s not, like angry. So what happens next is kind of a shock.

The first time Huey gets one of his own lines…he sighs, looks up at the ceiling, and recites it. Kind of like his first time on, but less funny.

Huey: “…I don’t fuckin’ know…”
Phill: “So big that thousands of animals can hide within it…”

After the umpteenth Huey lyric, which he delivers even more pissed off.
Jordan: “y’alright?”
Huey: “i’m fine, I just thought you guys would do something different for a change…not give me my own lyrics over and over…”
Jordan has to explain that this is what they do on the show, for a laugh- to his credit, he’s got an awful nice way of talking him down.
Huey: “I’ve been on the show, like, NINE TIMES…”

Then, right after Rizzle Kicks announce the answer for Cavanagh, Huey smashes his mug on the ground and yells ‘WHO’S THAT??”, freaking the fuck out of Noel’s panel, mildly startling Phill, and causing a few folks in the audience to  go ‘EYYY!’

After trying, and failing, to calm down Huey, Jordan actually has a good line here: “…Cavanagh, man, that’s some dangerous music…”

The rest of how Jordan responds, by just mocking Huey, throwing in the ‘you won’t like me when I’m angry’, and sticking the shard of mug in his hair, is basically just baiting him. I mean, on one hand, Huey may not have been in the right to get agitated over Next Lines, but on the other…Jordan was kind of being an asshole.

Harley: “Noel’s team, you need 5 points to win, but I’d maybe suggest…not winning…”

Of course, then Paul and Noel spend their entire Next Lines round pushing over Noel’s mug, just in parody.

Jordan, trying to wrap the show in a bow: “Tonights winners- well, tonight’s real winner…is music.”
This gets no response.
Jordan: “…no, alright TONIGHT’S WINNERS-”
Phill absolutely loses it here. Huey would, but he’s still pissed.

Huey storms off before Jordan and Harley get a chance to fully sign off. Phill’s just sitting there, kinda traumatized. And that’s the note we end the bloody show, man.

Overall: Good show, had great moments…but I can’t completely like it without thinking about the Huey incident- it kind of overshadows what was already a ‘good enough’ show. Paul had some nice moments, Lissie and Laura played well, and Huey had some good lines pre-smash, but…that last bit was hard to watch. Then it becomes a blame game, on whether it was Huey’s mental state or Rizzle Kicks being fucking assholes to him that caused it. Look, Rizzle Kicks didn’t have the greatest day, but I’m gonna bring them down a peg or two for how they handled that. A guy has an anxiety attack on your show, and what do you do? You make fun of him? Regardless of who caused the incident, the way Rizzle Kicks handled it was horrible, and I may have to side with Huey because of it, even if I’m not 100% agreeing with his tactics either. Just a strange show, one I’m not sure how to think of.

Guest Host Rating: 7/10
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Paul
Best Runner: Paul and the lesbians.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E06, or STOP CONFUSING THE RYDER!

Onto another Buzzcocks, this one featuring morning show host and part-time Jabba the Hutt, Eamonn Holmes.

The panel’s light enough but still kind of happening, with Sarah Millican back, an appearance from Shaun Ryder from the Happy Mondays, requisite comedian Greg McHugh, and Jaymi Hensley was in pop-act Union J.

Eamonn enters the show in full Elvis getup.
Eamonn: ‘Did anyone actually think that was Elvis?”
Phill: “I’ll be honest, Eamonn, a bit of me did think ‘good lord, Elvis..a larger part of me thought we were at a very odd North Korean rally…”

I will say the best part of seeing Eamonn jiggle around in his Elvis getup is seeing Shaun Ryder long for death’s sweet embrace on the side. Man, if you think this is bad, wait until you see what the next guy in that chair thinks of Rizzle Kicks…

Phill, reiterating the Kesha question: “She asks people to sing to her in Dinosuar language?”
Shaun: “Barney the dinosaur…yeah, still watch him 5 times a week…puts me to sleep every time…”
Noel: “Is he the purple one, Barney…”
Phill: “Oh, here we go…you two…”

Eamonn: “Do you really watch Barney the Dinosaur?”
Shaun: “I actually do…it got me on Peppa Pig…”
Sarah: “Is that because you’re addicted to them?”
Noel: “‘I’m down to two Peppa Pigs a day…'”

Phill has to reexplain the sheep option to Sarah, that Kesha gets a person to dress up as a sheep and hop over a fence to get her to sleep.
Sarah: “Just one, though? Over and over again? That’s knackering, isn’t it?”
Noel: “The assistant has to pretend to be different sheep every time, slightly changing their hairstyle.”
Noel does a good impression of different sheep noises this person would do.

Phill: “Shaun, have you ever had an assistant?”
Shaun: “…me? I mean, we just went out and got a tour bus, let alone an ASSISTANT…”
Phill: “Who drives it?”
Shaun: “Bez.”
Phill: [breaks]

Maybe I’ve been watching this show too long, but I already knew, when Eamonn started a standup about how dinosaurs talked, that it would ultimately end with a Bruce Forsythe joke (JUH-JUH-JUH-JUH-JUH…GOOD GAME!)

Sarah’s prop is a self-spinning spoon-in-teacup, which produces this whirring noise.
Sarah: “…I recognize the sound…”

Eamonn does a round where people have to guess if objects are on Shaun Ryder’s rider, or someone else’s. The last one is actually Sarah Millican’s rider.
Phill: “You missed the last bit, it was ‘and a little bit of heroin…JUST A TINY BIT, JUST TO TEEAAKE THE EDGE OFF!”
Sarah: “D’you think I sound like Elmo??”

Eamonn: “In her adolescence, J-Lo was nicknamed La Guitarra, because of her round, curvy shape…and because she was wooden and completely hollow inside.”

Shaun, getting up for intros: “…I am so shit at this…”

Shaun and Phill’s attempt at their first intro is great, because Phill’s trying to get Shaun to do a constant beat sound, but Shaun can’t stay in time…and then both Greg and Noel think it’s the Flash Gordon theme. As Phill’s trying to get back to the right one, Noel’s still going ‘GORDON’S ALIVE!’
Shaun, continuing suddenly: “…DUM DUM DUM DUM-”
Phill: “NO, NOT NOW!”

Eamonn: “In 2012, 19 people were injured at a Linkin Park concert….that is the last time I go crowd-surfing.”
Phill loses it at this one.

Eamonn: “When performing with Gorillaz, Damon Albarn shares the stage with ludicrous two-dimensional characters…I know the feeling, I worked with Anthea Turner for years…”
Man, the stand-up bits they’re writing for Eamonn are INSANE tonight.

ID Parade:
Phill: “Before the show, Shaun said ‘they might put one of the Mondays on, I probably wouldn’t recognize him…”
Shaun: “#2 is BEZ!”

Sarah: “#5, does that not look sexy to you?”
Jaymi: “Not to me.”
Phill: ‘Are you mental?”
Jaymi: “No, just gay, so…”
Phill completely loses it here, before, between chuckling, going “I didn’t know…”

Next Lines: “I’m so exicted!”

Overall: Light show, though not without its moments. Eamonn did sort of tire out the Elvis runner, but he was really, really good at keeping the show running. The panel was uneven, but Sarah had some nice moments, and Shaun, though confused, was having a really, really nice time.

Guest Host Rating: 8/10
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Shaun
Best Runner: Elvis