QI Watchdown: I13 (Intelligence), or “MARGARET, GET THE CORNFLOUR!”

Again, many times in Series I, QI tried to recreate classic lineups while still trying to plug forward with newer comics. So this show, featuring PHILL JUPITUS, as well as David Mitchell and Jo Brand, is reminiscent of a Series C or D taping, which is good nostalgia. With four left to go in I, this Series still has momentum, but doesn’t have as many ‘WOW THAT’S AMAZING’ shows as the first half did.

Tonight’s buzzers, each in succession, form the famous theme to Mastermind, though I would have appreciated some dramatic spotlights, or a smirking Paul Merton in the background. Alan’s is, of course, ‘UHHHHHHH….PASS!”

Stephen asks a question he prefaces as being incredibly difficult, and discussed in many academic circles: “How do you get a goose interested in volleyball?”
Jo: “…I’d like to reply with the question ‘How do you get ANYONE interested in volleyball?”

Stephen: “Name an intelligent bird.”
Jo, waiting for her Mastermind buzzer to end: “…..me.”

Jo: “Not really, I’ve got a very low IQ.”
Stephen: “Oh, don’t believe that for a second…”
Jo: “It’s 83.”
Stephen: “…my god, you’re barely even human-”
Jo brushes this off, saying she’s kidding.

Phill has a nice point that crows are only perceived as evil because of the dark music that accompanies them. If you put on more fun music, and give them a sombrero, there’s a different effect. This is a very Series B-esque digression, too.

Stephen: “What was the first move the government made to assemble the boffins at Bletchley Park?”
Alan: “…singles bar.”

This episode is starting with less emphasis on humor and more emphasis on ‘isn’t that amazing?’. Stephen talks of Alan Turing’s death by poisoned apple, and that it was widely believed that Apple computers dedicated their logo, the apple with the bite taken out of it, to Turing.
Stephen: “I was actually in a position to ask one of Apple’s founders, Steve Jobs, about it, and he said ‘no, it isn’t true….but god, we wish it were.”

(I find it very ironic that all of this Alan Turing information would be made public a year or so later, with the release of The Imitation Game.)

Stephen: “How long does the perfect job interview last?”
Jo, after waiting for her buzzer to end: “…how long does a blowjob take?”
The place goes mad. Jo is so far killing it tonight.
Stephen: “The extraordinary thing is…the answer is exactly what I’ve got on my card, and it’s ‘TWELVE SECONDS!'”

Stephen: “Have you applied for a job?”
Jo: “Yeah, I applied for many. Never got any, though.”
Stephen: “Well, you got this one.”
Jo: “Right…because I slept with you, as you well know…”
Stephen: “only the best 12 seconds of my life.”

Stephen, listing some questions they’re not allowed to ask at job interviews, stumbles a bit: ‘Are you originally from the O.K.- sorry, UK-”
Phill: “Yeah, but if you’re interviewing for a cowboy, that’s a good question…”

Stephen discusses that people aren’t supposed to answer the ‘what are your weaknesses’ question with a subverted strength, but a mild weakness.
David: “‘I’m a terrible thief…I, just, I love other people’s stuff…”
Stephen: “I also can’t concentr-Oh look, there’s a squirrel!”
Phill: “What are your weaknesses? Heroin and masturbating, not necessarily in that order…”

Stephen: “What are your strengths?’ Ah, now don’t say-”
Alan: “odor, I’ve got a powerful odor…It’ll only get stronger as the day goes on…”

Phill, on other questions they might ask to test your wit, gives a solid Phill answer: “Will you be participating in ‘Take your Kestrel to Work Thursday’?”

Stephen, pulling out another ‘Ingenious Interlude’, says ‘I’ve been trying to get better at these little chemistry experiments.’ Again, they’d be a permanent fixture come Series J.

After this Interlude, where Stephen puts a corn-starch fluid on a speaker, and has it react to sound pressure.
Phill: “You have just ruined every speaker of every QI viewer…”
Stephen, trying to continue: “Isn’t that creepy?”
Phill: “MARGARET, GET THE CORNFLOUR!”

Halfway through the show, a robot appears with some drinks. Having watched this show for several series, I’m not even shocked anymore.

Stephen introduces the robot, Asimo, to the panel.
Alan, as Asimo’s internal monologue: “Here i am, brain the size of a planet…opening DOORS,,,”

Stephen: “Why don’t you show us what you can do?”
Asimo: “I would love to!”
Alan: “Is it gonna kill me?”

Asimo approaches the audience, after going down some stairs.
Stephen: “Now he’s gonna do something that nobody in the audience is going to believe.”
Phill: “STUDIO AUDIENCE KILLED BY RUNAWAY ROBOT.”

Stephen: “Well, I think it’s only fair that you get some points.”
Asimo: “Thanks…but what I’d really like is a dance with Jo.
Jo:
Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 4.38.24 PM.png

I will say that having Asimo and Jo doing some fun, funky dancing together is one of the most original, cool moments in the show’s history.

Alan, as Asimo departs: “I can’t help feeling…that he is heavily weaponized…”

As they discuss if Asimo had the right voice, Phill brings out a gruff, ‘allo’ voice that could also be taken as one of his many dialects from NMTB (“ALLO, I’M FROM BOTSWANA!”)

David: “I think it would have been more reassuring if its dancing was more robotic. I find its attempts to be human…tragic.”
Stephen: “WELL AREN’T YOU EASILY PLEASED???”
Phill: “What I’d like to happen now, is for it to be like Jerry Springer and for the robot to come on, going “WHO. ARE YOU. CALLING. RUBBISH.” And then big blokes in QI black t-shirts have to pull it off of him. “GET. OFF. ME. YOU. SLAGS. HE WAS. ASKING. FOR IT.”
Alan: “I. WANT. A .DNA. TEST.”

Stephen, starting GI with a question from the job interview section: “How many piano tuners are their in the UK?”
Alan, frantically, grabs the Nobody Knows card.
Stephen: “IS THE RIGHT ANSWER!”

Stephen: “On a clock face, how many times per day do the two hands overlap?”
David: “…Yeah, this is definitely a question to avoid answering at all costs..”

The behind screen for a new question has a blue sky, and clouds coming quickly.
Alan, without a choice: “….theeeee Siiiiimmmpsoooooonnnsss….”

Overall: Solid episode, boosted by some really interesting stuff, and great performances by Jo, Alan and Phill. David had a quieter show, and brought up the rear, but he still won the game. Jo had the best lines, Phill had some great moments, and everybody was able to collaborate on jokes. Plus, ASIMO’s appearances made the momentum grow even more. A truly nice one, even if it took a bit to get going.

MVP: Jo
Best Guest: Phill
Show Winner: David
Best QI Fact: Cornflour vibration
Best Runner: Asimo

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