Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S02E14, or Whose Front, Though?

Onto the last two episodes of a relatively boilerplate Series 2 (though admittedly less scary-hectic than S1). This one features the LAST RORY MCGRATH EPISODE, thank the lord, as he’d retire to the producer’s office after this. It also features aggressive American comic Ron West, and…thankfully Tony Slattery and Sandi Toksvig.

Authors: Annie the Orphan, Get Your Rifle
Ron: Kurt Vonnegut
Sandi: Enid Blyton
Tony: Marquis de Sade
Rory: Desmond Morris

Note that everyone keeps adding suffixes to their authors after Ron goes with ‘Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’. We get ‘Enid Blyton Sr.’ and ‘Desmond Morris…….the Third.’

Tony: [slaps self] “mmmmmm…”

This is a pretty well-connected round, as everyone’s getting equal time and working together, as well as coming up with really funny stuff.

Very simple scene, but effective because nobody was disrespectful.

Film and Theatre Styles v1- Ron and Sandi- taking a pet to the vet

Sandi: “Well he doesn’t look good, but YOUR TIRES are in great condition, you can see the hull of the tread on the back…”

Sandi’s acting in the horror style is really good, nailing the sort of macabre staccato and eventual romanticism (“WAIT….I THINK I LOVE HIM…”)

Clive: American gangster
Ron: “…so, you’ve been seein’ my dog, huh?”

The reason why this scene works is that Ron and Sandi are able to adapt to each other, and not have any jarring mood changes. Sandi’s able to control Ron’s propensity for more obnoxious, bawdy choices, and reeled him into just naming various animals and getting them into jokes. It’s not THE FUNNIEST, but it’s good improv.

Film and Theatre Styles v2- Tony and Rory (two commandos in a submarine)

Audience member: “FARCE!”
Clive: “Grass?? OH, *FAAAHSE!*”
Rory: “If anyone HAS any grass, by the way…”
Clive, covering for this: “Yes, Rory likes to play football…”

Tony, top of the scene: “….I love you.”
Rory, with the periscope: “….going up…”

The ‘farce’ suggestion actually works well, with Rory lowering his trousers to cover for Tony and Rory’s relationship, to hide from someone coming in. Works even better than Stephen Fry’s dare I say it.

Jackanory style
Tony: “D’you know what we’re going to be doing with our missiles?”
Rory: [cracks]

Rory: “Ladies, stop shaving your legs!”

This was a very funny scene, owed to the fact that it was so silly to begin with, and got progressively sillier as it went on, while still holding onto the plot. Rory even behaved, which goes back to Tony bringing out the best in bad improvisers in this game.

Interview v1- Tony, from a rock magazine, interviews Sandi, Snow White.

Tony: “So, is it true that you went to bed with each dwarf in turn? Or is that just light gossip?”
Sandi: “Well, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve loved each dwarf individually…in their own special, little way.”
Tony: “….are they very little, in every way?”
Sandi: “Well, certainly Grumpy’s not very big…and I think that’s what makes him quite so grumpy…”

Sandi makes a reference to having Coca Cola and crisps.
Tony: “…yeah, I bet you have 7 up as well…”

Sandi, on her relationship with the Wicked Witch: “well…it’s not been carnal, but we do like to do it looking in the mirror.”

Really great work from both parties- Tony from setting up a character and slinging lines (literally and figuratively), and Sandi in responding well literally every time.

Interview v2: Rory, from TV AM, interviews Ron, Rasputin

Ron has a nice move in getting Rory to interact- Rory spends the first 10 seconds setting up his own character, and the show, without actually getting to the, well, interview. So Ron, trying to get him to the point of the game, yells ‘I AM RASPUTIN, TALK TO ME NOW!”

Rory: ‘What’s particularly grabbing about this morning’s Sun to you?”
Ron: “I thought it was very interesting…that a woman could give birth to a mermaid!”

As Rory ONCE AGAIN tries to NOT-interview Ron, Ron instead complains of Bolsheviks all around the studio, which leads to some really nice saving-of-the-scene.


World’s Worst- Things to say/do at a funeral

Sandi: “His last words to me were ‘I’M COMING, DARLING’, it was so nice- oh, you’re his WIFE…”
Ron: “Uh, yeah, Mrs. Smithers…he owed me ten pounds, if you could see your way clear…”
Tony: “Uh, dearly beloved, ashes to ashes- oh, this is too dreary, we should do something else, uh YESSIR I CAN BOOGIE…”
Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 4.34.34 PM.png

Truly great Ron, with fantastic stuff from Ron and Tony

Props: Tony and Sandi vs. Ron and Rory

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 4.47.01 PM.png

Sandi: “Well, I know it looks a bit vicious darling, but honestly it’ll make sex so safe!”

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 4.48.00 PM.pngRory: “Salman, it’s a great disguise!”
[Topical joke!!!]

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 4.49.04 PM.pngRory: “…I now pronounce you man and basket..”

And, of course, the return of:
Sandi: “Hello, I’m Anne Diamond”
Tony: [vomits into prop]

Film Dub: Sandi and Ron


Actually, the lack of a prompt gets them working early, and it’s a nice little scene. I did laugh at the loud kissing/vomiting noises Ron and Sandi made.
Sandi: “Boy, that’s the fastest we’ve ever done it.”
Ron, as they get cigarettes: “Boy, time for a smoke, huh?”

Ron, reading a letter: “…I’ve been called to the front.”
Sandi: “…whose front, though?”

Actually a pretty nice scene, even when it had every motive to be bad (especially with the lack of a prompt).

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Ron: thinks he’s a reptile
Sandi: having a secret love affair with Tony
Rory: Accident-prone

Sandi, from the getgo, is amazing: “ooh, someone else is here, TONY, DARLING HOW ARE YOU, you left your watch….”

Sandi, after Ron has a nice line about eating penguin eggs: “Tony, quick word…..you, uh, left your underpants…”

Rory electrocutes himself ringing the doorbell, bellowing out an “OH SHIT!”

After Rory falls off the step, Tony: “…not an England fielder, are you?”

Rory: “Tony, uh…I’ve got a twiglet stuck up my nose…”

Ron: “The rival gang that I often battle is the amphibians…”
Tony: “I dunno, West Side Story?”

Tony barely manages to guess everyone (Sandi does help in guessing Ron).
Clive: “Tony, you really are a natural at that game, aren’t you?”
Tony, bashful: “Oh, I’m sorry…”

Overall: Not a single bad game on the night, and a ton of really nice moments throughout. Everyone behaved, though Rory had a few more flaws than everyone else, even if he still had more highlights than his last time out (especially in Props). Ron had his best show of the season, really standing out in World’s Worst and Film and Theatre Styles, and holding back his more aggressive responses. Sandi and Tony, as per usual this half, excelled, having great lines and great improv throughout. Tony had the better show, just for controlling Rory in F&TS, and just having a very funny show all-around.

Show Winner: Sandi
Best Performer: Tony for the second show in a row.
Worst Performer: Rory, but not without improvement.
Best Game: It was a very close race between Film and Theatre Styles v2, Interview and World’s Worst, but….Interview takes it by a nose, just for the work Sandi and Tony did off of each other. Maybe on another watch World’s Worst takes it.
Worst Game: Interview v2. Still funny, but Rory was adamant about not collaborating with the person he was supposed to be interviewing.


3 thoughts on “Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S02E14, or Whose Front, Though?

  1. We can’t talk about this episode and not mention one of the World’s Worst suggestions that was cut – the only reason we know about it is because Dan Patterson and Mark Leveson talked about it in an interview which was an extra on the UK series 1 & 2 DVDs…

    Tony: [gets on the ground and starts humping it as though he’s humping the deceased] I can’t resist a stiff one!

  2. On the plus side, that fat hairy animal shagger was off our screens until They Think It’s All Over started in 1995.

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