Finally, another episode without John Sessions, and with, thankfully, a triumphant return for Greg Proops, plus Josie and Mike, and a one-time player named Paul Rider who is the inverse equivalent of 6’6 Ryan Stiles…and probably similar in height to Susan Calman.
Tonight, Greg wears his infamous skull-pattern shirt. While not as ballsy as coming to the programme in a Nine Inch Nails shirt (or a baseball jersey), it’s still within the realm of formality.
Authors: The Temptation of Going to the Supermarket and Meeting an Old Lady
Greg: Cherokee oral tradition
Josie: D.H. Lawrence
Paul: Ted Hughes
Mike: Hollywood gossip columnist
Someone in the audience suggests “My Trip to the Supermarket”
Clive: “Oddly enough…you’d think that were a stunningly original title, but I think we did that yesterday…or ‘last week’ as we call it in television…”
A note that Paul is, A.) pretty good, and B.) facially reminiscent of Niall Ashdown.
This playing works really well because it goes for two rounds, and people are able to work off of each other (because JOHN ISN’T HERE) to develop the story
Greg, using his style to just explain things, as television is: “white box that shows flickering image with Clive Anderson on it sometimes…”
Paul, nailing his style, and a laugh, with a simple line: “erect…hair…caught in the queen mum’s throat…”
Film and Theatre Styles v1: Josie and Paul (couple on their wedding anniversary)
Paul, after Josie’s given him an anniversary gift: “I’ve got something for you as well…”
Clive: “spaghetti western”
Paul: “……it’s a tin of spaghetti…”
Also, Josie has a very nice, sly pun, in going: “I’ll pay for it- here is some dollars, in my fist.” The audience responds with a very slow-burn laugh reaction.
As an added bonus, Richard helps out with the silent movie style by adding piano music as Paul and Josie improvise, which definitely helps.
The scene ends very quaintly, and it was definitely a very equally-balanced scene. I’m surprised at how well Paul is doing right off the bat, especially considering the fact that this is his only episode.
Film and Theatre Styles v2: Mike and Greg (surgeons operating on a patient)
Very amusing moment, as someone in the audience yells “mime” and Clive, springing to life for an instant, gives a thumbs up instead of saying ‘good’. Even though he’s rather strict, Clive still has moments of being the silly Clive I remember from QI.
Mike: “How’d that colonoscopy go last week?”
Greg: “Ah, pretty good. I think I took out his pancreas by accident…”
Greg: “I have something to tell you, Rog.”
Mike: “What is it?”
Greg: “…I love you.”
There’s a moment in between scenes, right after Mike mentions “the love that dare not squeak its name”, where both Greg and Mike stay still, looking right at each other, trying desperately not to laugh, though Greg is losing it a bit.
I’ll say that the ending was a bit too silly, even with Mike going “LOOK OUT, IT’S A MANY-HEADED INSURANCE SALESMAN!”, but it still worked pretty well.
Song Styles: Food Processor
Mike takes the rock style and makes this into a 50’s rock type song, very similar to an Elvis or Chuck Berry, which is nice, rather than modern rock. He’s very animated in antics but not in song, and it’s an amusing number.
Josie’s, however…is masterful, using the decibels, a very, very nice rhyme or two, and the power and energy that you really can’t find anywhere else on this show.
World’s Worst: Thing to say at a Wedding
Josie: “He loves ME, ya know…”
Mike: “I just want to tell you, Lisa, that Tom will be a very good husband. I KNOW.”
Paul: “I’VE SWALLOWED THE WEDDING INVITATION!”
[gone. completely gone.]
Props: Greg and Josie vs. Paul and Mike
Greg: “Josie, this safe-sex thing just isn’t working for me…”
Solid stuff, even if I didn’t write a ton down.
Paul: male model
Mike: writes commercials
Ah yes, Greg hosts his first Party Quirks. Such a joyous occasion.
It’s fantastic- Greg guesses Paul nearly instantly, without, honestly, Paul doing too much to be guessed.
Mike, on a roll: “I’ll have a gin…BUT MAKE IT WANKER’S GIN: THE GIN FOR WANKERS!”
Very quick round, mainly because Greg focused more on guessing this time out, however, there was enough time for Mike and Josie to interact with each other, and Greg, so that it wasn’t a complete loss.
American Musical: Smoking, Having a Curry, Becoming Prime Minister
There’s an odd decision to start with Mike and Greg, rather than Josie and Mike, but it works well enough, with Mike and Greg establishing character and mood right off the bat, and it working really well, despite a minor vocal harmony misstep towards the end of the first segment.
And then Paul comes in, as a spokesperson for an anti-smoking corp, and…dear god, some of his rhymes:
“Have you ever ate a vindaloo through a didgeridoo?”
and then, “Have you ever had a big madras, dripping out of your ass?”
There’s also a very smooth progression from the 2nd segment to the 3rd, in a curry-house with Josie.
Greg, shoring up the lack of movement: “…we’ve been magically transported here somehow!”
By the end, literally everyone is unified and a part of a really cool musical moment, culminating in, you guessed it, the single best game of Musical that’s been played so far, even better than the 1×12 one.
Overall: A show that was honestly more solid than I thought it’d be- by the end, I looked back, and there just weren’t any bad games on the night. It’s owed to the strength of the performers, the inner-relationships, and the really nice games that were played tonight. I do wonder why Paul was never asked back, as he was really good tonight (maybe they just had another Paul?). Mike, Josie and Greg all did really well, with the emphasis going to the gentlemen from San Francisco, for building on an okay-first-show and going right into his usual demeanor tonight.
Show Winner: Mike
Best Performer: Paul Rider. May be the best one-and-done guy so far, and yet he might not even be the best one-and-done guy of this series.
Worst Performer: Josie, simply for not having as many strong moments as the others.
Best Game: Musical, for being an absolute delight, and succeeding where many other iterations of the game have failed.
Worst Game: Props, just for not having a ton of new ground broken.