QI Watchdown: I9 (Illness), or The Michael Winner Joke Hour

QI this season had started a trend of booking two panelists with very similar interests or comedy styles, and a third that contradicts the first two. For instance, having Sandi and Clive, two very cultured comics, and then throwing in Henning Wehn, a quieter, more broad German humorist; or perhaps having Sean Lock and Frank Skinner, two picky, annoyed comedians who go for the jugular, and the meeker-by-comparison John Bishop.

Tonight, we feature Andy Hamilton and Jo Brand, two short people with wry senses of humor that have been known to either make or break huge panels…and then a newcomer, Dr. Ben Goldacre, an acclaimed science writer, essentially the Brian Cox of the medical and pharmaceutical world. This will be interesting.

Thanks to the theme, they’re all in doctor’s outfits. Which is a nice gimmick.

The buzzers are a nice 3 vs. 1 throwback: Jo, Andy and Ben have sounds heard in a doctor’s office, like sneezing and coughing. Alan’s is the somber death march.

The show starts with Stephen giving the panelists a questionnaire on their sleep cycles. Jo responds by falling asleep on the desk.

Stephen: “There’s a theory that only men are prone to napping. Jo, do you ever nap during the day?”
Jo: “Only during sex.”
Alan: “Is that…doing sex or watching sex?”
Jo: “…either. I don’t mind.”

Stephen, on using antimony as a constipation aid.
Stephen: “Once it had passed through, you would then…rummage through your leavings…and wash it, and use it again.”
Stephen: “Wasn’t quite sure how to put it…”
Alan: “I’m gonna use that from now on…”

Stephen: “And these things would get handed from father to son, through generations…”
Alan: “My father’s leavings, and his father’s leavings as well…”
Andy: “THAT is the earlier example of a repeat perscription…”

This is just an observation, but Ben Goldacre looks like how Milton Jones looked before the explosion.

After Ben has another anecdote about John Harvey Kellogg and his anal-yogurt methods.
Andy, curiously: “What time’s this show going out?”

Andy grabs an early Nobody Knows card by saying that no one really knows how Placebos work. To be honest, neither does Brian Molko.

Stephen says that ‘studies show’ isn’t a very logical way of believing someone, and that Ben will want to know the specifics of the study.
Ben: “…to be fair, I think that this show is actually more guilty of that than anyone else-”
Stephen, trying to shoosh him: “MUUHHHRLXGJDFGLJ”

Stephen mentions that there’s a lot of vomiting in space, in zero-gravity.
Alan: “What, drifting around the cabin?”
And then Alan mimes eating a bit of floating vomit. So far, this has been a very highbrow show…

Stephen: “D’you know what causes seasickness, though?”
Jo, rolling her eyes: “Is it going up and down on the sea?”

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 6.00.22 PM.pngStephen: “Oh, that must be from the film of A Perfect Storm.”
Alan: “Oh, it HAS to be from a film. I can’t imagine that to be an exceptionally good photograph taken from another boat..”

A great deal of Jo Brand’s jokes tonight have to do with Michael Winner, which means either she ran out of ‘my husband’ jokes, or her ghost-writer is Ian Hislop from 1995.

Stephen: “You’ve really got it in for the Winster, haven’t you?”
Jo: “I have.”
Andy: “Is this because he hasn’t been returning your calls, Jo? Is that what it is?”

Andy, after another Winner joke: “I’ve got this fantasy of Michael Winner sat at home going ‘It’s Friday…what shall I do? I know, I’ll watch QI. Jo Brand’s on. She’s my favorite!”

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 6.07.18 PM.pngStephen, ever one to keep a joke going: “…who the hell is THAT?”
Alan: “I don’t know, but that’s what the girl’s thinking as well…”
Stephen: “They’re all thinking ‘I WOULD’, aren’t they?”

Interestingly, Ben says that the latest DSM is coming out in 2013. Not a ton of psychologists seem to like that one, especially in terms of how it refers to autism.

Stephen, having the panelists guess a potential DSM-IV term: “Sluggish cognitive tempo disorder.”
Andy: “CAN’T DANCE.”
Stephen: “…guilty feet have got no rhythm..”

The good part about this episode is that Stephen can turn to Ben whenever he needs an expert opinion on a topic, or a question, and he’s…really nice. Unlike, say, Brian Cox, he doesn’t always join in and joke with the panelists, but he’s still making this a very educational episode.

Ben, while on a topic, says: “it was about saying ‘desire is a matter of…clitoral bloodflow imaging, and…nitric oxide molecules in your body-”
Alan: “I think that might have been the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard. Clitoral bloodflow imaging?”
Stephen: “….DOT COM?”

Stephen: “Who was the last british monarch to be deliberately killed?”
Jo: “Was it one of the ones who got beheaded?”
Stephen: “Uhhhhhhh…no. You’ve managed to avoid saying Charles the 1st, whom most people think-”
Jo: “Yeah, only because I couldn’t blood remember which one it was…”

On the doctor that gave King George V a lethal injection, Stephen, reading from the doctor’s diary, goes: “I did it myself, because it became obvious that Sister Bea, the king’s nurse, was DISTURBED by the procedure…”
And I’m gone.

Stephen: ‘What would you call a man who eats literally everything?”
Jo: “Winner!”

Stephen: “He eventually proceeded to drink the blood of patients and eat some of the corpses in the morgue…”
Jo: “You know who’s like that, don’t you?”
Jo: “I don’t even need to say it anymore, do I?”

It’s a nice detail that Jo puts, in the name column on her sleep survey, ‘JO MARLON BRANDO’

Stephen, reading over Andy’s: “Your total, which you haven’t bothered to do, and thank you so much for that-”
Andy: “I got too TIRED!”

Stephen, top of GI: “Why shouldn’t you sleep with a dog?”
Andy, channeling Sean Lock: “He won’t respect you in the morning, will he?”

There’s a runner in GI with Stephen, going back to an earlier bit about the preposterousness of said statement, ending every fact with ‘and above all, be sure to avoid fatty and spicy foods.’ And he just keeps going with it!

It’s funny- when Andy is announced as 1st place, you can hear a disappointed Jo go ‘ohhh’ in the background. She, as well as I, was hoping Stephen would go ‘TONIGHT’S WINNER!’, so Jo could make one more Michael Winner joke.

Overall: I might even say this was better than the last episode thanks to the Michael Winner runner, the fatty and spicy foods runner, and a bit more teamwork and equality than, ironically, the episode about Inequality. Still, I’d call this one an ‘alright’ show was well, because it never really broke out of ‘good’, and there weren’t any HUGE moments, even if there was an Alan line that I loved, or some good moments from Andy. Jo had the best show, by not sticking to her laurels and having a nice time, though Andy should be commended as well. Ben had a nice showing, but wasn’t as inclusive as Brian Cox.

Best Guest: Andy
Show Winner: Andy
Best QI Fact: recycled antimony
Best Runner: Michael Winner.


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