Onto another Buzzcocks. I rather like how this series is turning out, even if I know that it doesn’t end particularly well, ratings-wise.
Tonight’s show features the…well, incredibly odd-looking punk poet John Cooper Clarke, vegan and John Robins’ dartboard Sara Pascoe, pop-singer Amelia Lily, and Last Leg panelist and Whitehall-annoyer Alex Brooker, who’s basically become Math Priest 2.0 for this show.
In Rhod’s intro for Sara, he says ‘a comedian who says she’s getting tired of being mistaken for other blonde comedians, so PLEASE WELCOME, RUSSELL HOWARD!”
Alex talks of talking to someone who spent an hour thinking he was the guy from Mumford and Sons. He says, deadpanned, ‘THIS IS A GUY WHO PLAYS *GUITAR*.”
Of course, outright, as John talks of being mistaken for Ron Wood and Siouxsie Sioux, Phill just says ‘you look like Noel Fielding’s nan…”
Rhod basically says that Amelia hasn’t been mistaken for anyone. “How old are you, anyway?”
John: “No one, anywhere is nineteen…”
John: “Tell ya what, Rhod, I thought I was 19 a couple of years ago…when I read me birthday card upside down…”
I didn’t know what to think of this guy going in, and he’s surprising me so far.
This week’s new round, featuring the Rhod addition: “VIDEO-” “hurt” “THE RADIO STAR…”
One of the options for ‘what went wrong on the set of the Eyes Without a Face’ video was “Billy convinced a female dancer to ride sexily above a dry ice machine, and it burnt her….Dean Gaffney.”
The whole place takes a few seconds to recover, especially Alex.
Rhod: “IT’S BECAUSE THE CARD just said ‘and it burnt her DOT DOT DOT’, and I had to think ‘well, what the fuck…”
Noel reiterates the question to Amelia.
Amelia: “Yeah, I don’t think I’d want anyone burning MAH FOO-FOO…”
I can’t tell if I prefer this in her accent, or Sarah Millican in her accent saying ‘DOON’T PUT A SCORPION UP ME NUNNY!”
One of the other options is that Billy got lip paralysis from all the sneering-
Phill: “I bet SHE got lip paralysis as well. D’you see what I did there?”
John: “She could have actually just snapped her pubic hair off…”
Phill: “DOCTOR COOPER-CLARKE HAS EXTENDED THE METAPHOR A LITTLE BIT…”
John, deliberating: “D’you know, I’ve changed me mind about the whole ‘foo-foo inferno’ unpleasance and all…”
Dear God, this episode’s off to an insane start.
Rhod has a nice standup for Billy Idol, saying that Dancing with Myself was a euphemism for masturbation: “I never knew that dancing was a metaphor for masturbation, but it does explain why Lionel Ritchie has a ladder in his bedroom.
And Phill’s entire panel is GONE.
After the fallout of that joke, Rhod just goes over a bunch more possibilities.
“Dancing in the street, that’s illegal. Bowie and Jagger got arrested for that.”
“Dancing with tears in my eyes…”
“Dancing in the Dark. Fair enough, nothing wrong with that.”
Phill laughs throughout the entirety of Amelia’s anecdote about her dozens of guinea pigs. There’s more Jupitus giggling here than there has been in a while.
And then John interrupts, saying Amelia would enjoy a guinea pig farm in Ipswich. Phill’s basically crying art both of them now, even if John is earnest and doing this for a sort of laugh.
I’m not even writing down anything, but so far, this episode is just pure joy for everyone involved. I have no idea how they got somebody like John on the show, but he’s just bringing out the giggles in EVERYONE.
John has to do intros, which is kind of hysterical, but Phill, who’s in a good mood, guides him through Daft Punk’s ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’. And Sara, as she’s AMAZING at Intros, gets it almost immediately.
Even better, on the next one, which Phill also has to help John with, the entire panel, AND THE AUDIENCE, start clapping along. I swear, the mood in this room hasn’t been this insanely high since John Barrowman’s episode.
Rhod makes Amelia do her ‘crying baby’ impression, which, according to Sara, “only works on women who’ve just given birth”.
Noel, afterwards: “OH MY GOD..my nipples are SOAKING.”
Heck, in the middle of Noel and Amelia’s first intro, Amelia throws in the crying baby noise, just to crack up Alex.
Rhod has to give Alex a clue…and once Alex gets it, Rhod won’t accept the point.
Noel: “Aw, this is BULLSHIT!”
Amelia: [BABY NOISE]
Rhod: [runs away]
Phill’s ID Parade has an amazing twist- Rhod reveals that Sara, in an effort to get closer to Robbie Williams, became a backup singer for Robbie’s dad. Robbie’s dad was asked about Sara, and says he doesn’t remember which one she was…so Robbie Williams’ dad will be playing the ID Parade to pick out Sara Pascoe. This is insane.
Rhod, to Pete Conway: “What’s it like, being Robbie Williams’ dad?”
Pete: “Well, I’ve been at it for a long time, so…”
Rhod: “I mean, prove you’re Robbie Williams’ dad, just for the audience.”
Pete: “I was there for the conception.”
Phill breaks here.
Pete, still earnest: “It was a nice night. I was…dancing in the dark.”
He raises an eyebrow for the camera. My gosh, Robbie must be so proud…or embarrassed.
Of course, Pete comes in the clutch, and says ‘there’s no doubt- hello Sara, it’s #4.”
Sara, even if the charade didn’t exactly work, drops character and waves. It’s actually a very sweet moment.
It’s even funnier when Rhod, at the end, says “Sara, what’re you doing now?”
Sara: “Just…doing a bit of panel show shit…”
Alex is trying to guess his ID Parade.
Rhod: “Play the old disabled card!”
Alex, slightly confused: “…alright, #1…this is sort of like my Make a Wish…”
The real Janet Kay says she’s doing a covers album, including ‘Dancing Shoes’
Sara, picking up on it: “Oh, that’s just…”
Rhod: “WE ALL KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN BY DANCING SHOES.”
If you’d have polled me for what was going to happen in this episode, I don’t think I would have given you ‘John Cooper Clarke reciting Busted lyrics from memory’. I mean, WOW. That guy is something else.
Rhod, afterwards, to John: “Who knew you were so well-versed in Boybands.”
John: “Well, Busted wasn’t really a boy-band, cause one of ’em wore a guitar…”
Rhod: “Noel’s team, you need 5 points to win.”
John: “Noel, you can have it all for me. I’m only here for the company.”
Again, the whole place goes wild. This guy is too damned funny.
Overall: I don’t know how a 64-year-old poet instilled more life into Never Mind the Buzzcocks than any pop-star or young comedian has in years, but goddammit, it happened. There was more laughing and giggling in this episode than there has been since Christopher Biggins was on. Everyone on the panel had a moment to shine. Alex had his Make a Wish joke, Amelia had her baby voice and just odd moments, and Sara had one of the most memorable ID Parades in history, featuring an incredibly game father of Robbie Williams. But…John Cooper Clarke was the revelation. I have no idea how he was so into this game, and I have no idea how literally everything he said not only made me laugh, but made Phill Jupitus absolutely cry, but I don’t question the miracles. That was an insanely funny episode, possibly funnier than E2. And Rhod, even in its last hours, is saving NMTB.
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: John
Best Runner: ‘dancing’