Nevermind Watchdown: S28E04, or I CAN’T WORK WITH THIS BALL-BONGO MAN!

To recap:
Episode 1: Good.
Episode 2: Great
Episode 3: FUCKING AMAZING.

Series 28 is doing its best to end this big, smashing series on the highest possible note. Tonight, we continue, with a return appearance from oft-shirtless, oft-bizarre HarMar Superstar, as well as a return appearance from Mock the Week semi-regular and generally hilarious person JAMES ACASTER, plus turns from 20% of the Pussycat Dolls (tm James Blunt), ballroom dancer and Moana’s mom, Nicole Scherzinger, and Derek actress and insanely recent Mock the Week panelist Kerry Godliman. That’s a pretty damned nice panel.

Rhod, reading off the intro-card: “James, I have to mention this-”
James: “Yeah.”
Rhod: “Breathing through your ears?”
James: “Yeah?”
Rhod: “You can breathe through your ears?”
James: “…Well, no-”

Rhod takes a few seconds before the quiz to test out James’ ear-breathing skills, which is a silly, Simon-esque digression, but the fact that it’s James Acaster, and that it’s not in the middle of a question, makes it a ton better.

James: “I mean, I enter into this fully knowing it’s not going to work.”
Rhod: “Really?”
James, to the audience: “Imagine that. Imagine being in my position right now.”
The whole panel’s losing it as James effetely tries this.

Kerry’s trick is bouncing a cigarette off her nose, which gets some wows, especially from Nicole.
Kerry: “Better than your trick, James…”
James: “I dunno, I can smoke that through my ears…”

Rhod, continuing with odd talents: “Nicole, I read in your notes-”
Noel: “…peace pipe through the anus?”
Nicole has a good 10 second appalled reaction to this…and this statement ends the talent segment of Buzzcocks.

Rhod brings back Rumor Has It this episode, and…the intro clip still cracks him up. It’s not hard- inserting a deadpan Welsh voice into any song has to make it funnier.

Nicole, on the intro: “You didn’t even try…”
Rhod: “I DID TRY! I GAVE THAT EVERYTHING!”

Rhod’s rumor examples in this show are “were Chris DeBurgh’s eyebrows grown artificially on the back of a mouse? Is Ed Sheeran just a bit of Jimmy Nale that fell off?”
HarMar has a nice reaction at that one.

It’s amazing- within seconds of introducing Gene Simmons’ rumor with a cow, a tape measure, and a surgeon, I know exactly what it is. If Phill doesn’t, I’ll be very disappointed.

HarMar, in describing cow genitalia, says the udders are a group of ‘smaller cocks to be pulled upon’
Rhod: [looks towards the other American on the panel]
Nicole: “NNNNO…We’re drinking something else if it’s that…”
HarMar, earnest: “Well…I was raised a different way.”

After Rhod has a marginally-racist joke about Nicole’s heritage.
James: “I can’t see Nicole’s face, Rhod. How’s that going down?”
Annnnd I’m reminded why I adore James Acaster.

There’s a nice moment with Noel and James threatening to beat Rhod down…and it’s a two-shot of these two incredibly weak white guys. Noel feels James’ muscles. James, perfectly in his character, says “careful…you might hurt yourself.”

Nicole talks about being really grossed out by Gene Simmons upon meeting him.
Noel: “Were you not turned on by a man in typex waving his giant tongue at you?”
Nicole: “…I’m thinking no.”
Noel, to James: “…d’you get rid of that typex?”
James: “Yeah, ‘ts good…”

James, on Noel: “Backstage, he balances a bottle of dandruff shampoo on his nose, like a little dog.”
Rhod: “I’ve never seen a little dog balancing any type of shampoo, let alone an anti-dandruff shampoo…”
James: “Have you seen a cow with cocks for udders? Because you believed THAT earlier…”

Nicole talks of, on her rider, ‘fresh ginger slices.’
Phill: “They really, really hate Geri Halliwell…”
Nicole, for the umpteenth time tonight, laughs uncomfortably.

Noel’s astonished by the concept of raw ginger, sliced.
Kerry: “I can’t understand how you’ve gone through life without seeing a slice of ginger. You’ve seen ginger, Rhod! Don’t play this ‘Oh, I’m from Wales, I haven’t seen anyth-”
Rhod: “I didn’t say anything about being from Wales, YOU FUCKING RACIST!”
And Kerry’s gone. Man, everyone’s just been dying this episode. Dunno if it’s as hard as the John Cooper Clarke one, but still.

Noel: “Last time I bought ginger, there was a root that looked a bit like a hand, and so I spent most of the shopping trip with it…as my hand.”
And he has this whole story of scaring the cashier, bringing it round, and everything.
Noel: “And then I went home… and I did NOT touch myself with it.”
Rhod: “I’M GONNA ASK YOU THIS ONCE, NOEL. Did you touch yourself with it?”
Noel: “…I had a ginger wank.”

Rhod realizes this round has a bonus question: “I deep beavered it away, and-”
Nicole: “What’s deep-beaver?”
Rhod: “You know, rummage-”
Phill: “I tell you what…when I GOOGLE THAT, It’s not gonna say ‘rummage’.”

James, after some more deep-beavering jokes: “When this goes out, I want my face pixelated, please.”

Rhod’s standup for the Oasis fan who mistook Liam’s dandruff for cocaine, and took a sniff: “To be fair, the fan was completely shit-faced….at least, he WAS, when he tried to smoke Liam’s crack.”
He breaks in the home stretch of this joke. I think we all did.

HarMar and Phill’s Walking on the Moon intro is another series highlight. Kerry gets it within seconds.  It helps that Phill and HarMar work really well together, as evidenced by his last few times on.

As the clip comes in, Phill sings along to the vocal in this higher-pitched, Northern accent. It’s one of the oddest things, but it’s so entertaining.

Ah yes, the return of an outstanding runner- for the ‘Apache’ intro, Phill directs HarMar to go over and play Rhod’s ‘balls’, or his bongos, which he does, and they keep going throughout the intro. Rhod’s of course flattered by the whole thing.

Kerry, after the intro, to Rhod: “And now I will never hear that without thinking of your testicles…”

James: “Just a request. In the future, when a man starts playing your testicles like a bongo…could you not make eye-contact with me for so long?”
…that might be the quote of the show right there.

Rhod: “The flat where Sting grew up is now a Chinese takeaway called Happy Chef. What a travesty. They should have called it WOK-XANNE!”

Rhod brings up a rumor that whenever James hears George Harrison’s ‘I Got My Mind Set On You’, he has to dance.
James: “No, that’s not true-”
Rhod, reaching under his desk: “So it’s definitely not true, is it?”
James: “No, it’s not-”
Music: “I’VE GOT MY MIND. SEEEEET ON YOU.”
James: Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 7.06.18 PM.png

And of course, he ends up just moving his shoulders…and eventually his entire body, to the song. It’s hysterical.

James: “Please never do that agai-”
Music: “I’VE GOT MY MIND SEEEET-”
James: [dances in seat]

And then, right after the Harrison clip ends, Rhod does this:
Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 7.08.42 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-06-29 at 7.09.48 PM.png

THE BONGO NOISE DOESN’T EVEN PLAY! Rhod’s just left doing the invisible bongo motion in silence, which led to the hardest I’ve laughed at a Buzzcocks episode since Stacey Solomon’s animal impressions. He just goes “NNNNOOOOOO!” at the sound guys.
Rhod: “I CAN’T WORK WITH THIS BALL-BONGO MAN!”

Noel, getting up for Intros, to Nicole: “Just remember, I’ve got a ginger claw I can get out at any moment…”

James, after Noel and Nicole’s first intro: “Noel…you have risen above and beyond everything we’ve asked of you on this show. You’ve done your family proud, and you’ve made me proud. NICOLE….this is hard…I feel like we haven’t seen…then real Nicole yet. I think you’ve got more.”
Pretty much every pause is filled with laughter, especially from HarMar and Phill.

After Nicole and Noel, cutely, start complimenting each other on the Running Up That Hill intro
Phill: “It’s not bad, but it’s no George Harrison!”
Rhod, without a choice, presses the button.
Music: “I’VE GOT MY MIND SEEEEET ON YOU-”
James: [dances in seat, rolling his eyes]

And then, as they’re still in Intros:
Phill: “Rhod, was that I’ve Got My Mind Set on You by George Harrison?”
Rhod: “.,..certainly was, one point.”

There’s an even better moment where James can’t get the 2nd intro, and it ends up being one of his own bands’ songs.

They have a similar ID Parade twist to last episode’s only now featuring HarMar Superstar in the lineup. Noel, James and Nicole have to pick out HarMar’s BELLY from 4 imposters. That’s a very nice twist, especially considering that #1 in the lineup is, according to James, ‘essentially a butt’

James goes up to inspect the bellies.
Rhod: “James, why don’t you just stick your head through? I’ll hold your legs”
James: “I’ve fallen for that trick before. ‘AAAH, JUST PUT YOUR HEAD THROUGH THE BELLY WINDOW!”
Rhod: “It’s like a Weight Watchers glory hole, that…”

Rhod, like with Sara, goes: “HarMar, what are you doing now?”
HarMar: “Oh, you know, I’m just hanging out over here…”

Next Lines: “I just died in your arms tonight.”
Kerry: “Must have been something you…ate? SAID.”
Rhod, not letting that past him: “MUST HAVE BEEN SOMETHING YOU ATE?”
Phill: “WHAT’S SO WRONG ABOUT THAT? Food poisoning is VERY COMMON.”

Then, Phill’s entire panel try doing impressions of Dolores O’Riordan’s vocal hooks from ‘Zombie’. Jesus, this episode.

Rhod, as usual, does another visual next line by shoving a banana in his eyes.
Noel: “James just said my favorite line of the series, which is ‘POTASSIUM VISION!”

Overall: I did not think it could get any better than Episode 3…AND YET IT DID. OH MY GOD THIS SERIES IS UNBELIEVABLE. James Acaster was even better than his first appearance, working so well with Noel, and having SEVERAL of the best lines of the show. HarMar, like his previous appearances, had a ball, having great lines, showing his belly, and getting along with Phill. Nicole was slightly horrified by the experience, but I think she had a great time. And Kerry, while bringing up the rear edit-wise, still had a pretty nice show. The number of running gags, even bringing back the invisible bongos from two episodes ago to go with the cow cocks, the ginger hand, the deep-beavering, and James’ George Harrison dancing, were through the roof. I don’t think an episode has been this top-to-bottom good since, dare I say it, the Donny Tourette show.

Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: James
Best Runner: ‘I’ve Got My Mind Set On You’

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