A repeat lineup from last series, featuring Ryan & Colin paired off with Josie Lawrence and Caroline Quentin. Though Josie’s appearances would begin to wane from here on in, Caroline would get a ton of use this season, while also being paired with Greg Proops and Steve Frost.
Clive’s intros mention Josie’s stint with the RSC, Caroline’s run on Men Behaving Badly, and goes onto “fresh from playing Hamlet…and many other brands of cigar” for Ryan.
[cue Hamlet ad music]
Film and Theatre Styles: Josie and Caroline (Neptune visitor and android)
First F&TS of the series, and with quite an odd premise at that.
Audience member: “Sleeping with the Wolves!”
Clive: “Ooh, Sleeping with the Wolves!”
Josie: “What’s ‘Sleeping with the Wolves?”
Clive: “…it’s a hobby.”
Josie: “Put on…gravity control? Gravity control, put it on.”
Josie: “R23PCO….please don’t ask me to repeat your name…”
I love how straight Caroline is playing this robot character, how laid back and normal we’re getting.
For Baywatch, Caroline sticks out her chest, and starts running, sexily. Josie even supports her boobs, making them even more exaggerated as she runs.
Clive: “…do some more of that.”
[Which is honestly an inversion of E6’s F&TS. We’ll get there, but it’s a favorite of mine]
Clive has them go on for another second, then buzzes again. Caroline just puts Josie’s hands over her boobs, because if she’s gonna do something like this, she might as well go the full mile.
Clive: “Cop show”
Caroline: “Yes. Cover me.”
Josie and Caroline’s back-and-forth in Restoration Comedy is pretty great, as they’re definitely on the same page, and going at high-speeds for a laugh.
Josie: “There is someone else, pray tell!”
Caroline: “…tis Lord Enormous Codpiece, methinks…”
Clive lets this style run til the end, and…how could he not? It’s incredibly engaging and fun to watch, and captures the energy of the whole scene.
A pretty fantastic F&TS, made great by Josie and Caroline’s excellent teamwork.
Secret: Ryan and Colin are members of an orchestra. The secret is in the violin
Colin: [CRASHES CYMBALS] “…that’s me for another 20 minutes…”
RYAN, for a change, supplies the secret this time: “I was hoping you wouldn’t find that….it’s your baby blanket.”
Colin: “This blanket has nothing but bad memories for me. My mother used to…wet it, and twirl it, and smack me with it!”
Ryan: “I forgot about that murder charge!”
Colin: “….I FEAR I GO MAAAD!”
Colin: “I feel like I have nothing musical left in me.”
Ryan: “There’s nothing else in there if that’s what your wondering.”
Sure enough, Colin goes back into the violin case
Colin: “MY RATTLE!”
And I’m gone
Then, Colin hesitates for a third thing to be in the case, then figures it out: “My…….plug!”
He then sticks the pacifier in his mouth and sucks for 5 seconds, cracking up Ryan
Ryan: “Look, Roger, I can see I made a mistake!”
Colin, opening it again: “….MY MOTHER’S ASHES!!!”
Oh good lord.
The scene ends with Colin screaming “YOU BITCH” repeatedly into the ashes as Ryan pulls him away.
From an improv standpoint, the game’s one problem was the fact that it didn’t really go anywhere, and it was just a slow build from the same detail. HOWEVER…said slow build was also fucking hysterical, and just kept hitting me as the game went on. Colin’s hysteria was worthy of tears.
Let’s Make a Date: Josie chooses
Caroline: enthusiastic girl guide leader
Colin: fancies the other two contestants
Ryan: outraged tennis player disputing decisions (so…John McEnroe?)
Colin’s is great- he’s too distracted by, and too busy trying to flirt with, Caroline, to answer Josie’s question
Colin: “Yeah, yeah…push you out a window, I dunno…”
Ryan: “I, uh, suppose we’d go out- NOT IN! OUT! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, WE’RE IN?”
Colin, trying to comfort Ryan, rubs his back
The strength of this game is the Colin-Ryan dynamic. Colin starts detailing how he’d undress, and he starts doing this DIRECTLY TO RYAN, who’s just plain perturbed, and inching away, grouchily. The two couldn’t be more repellent, and that’s what makes them great in this.
Josie: “What’s your favorite type of music?”
Ryan: “Oh, anything other than Cliff Richard. I’m sick of hearing him OVER AND OVER AGAIN…”
Josie actually guesses Ryan as John McEnroe, which means she reads the blog, which is nice.
Duet: Josie and Caroline sing a blues song about a spanner
Unless there’s an unaired one that winds up in E12, this may be Josie and Caroline’s last of two duets, which is sad, as they were great together.
Josie, pre-song: “…This one’s for Johnny Depp, by the way, if you’re watching.”
Caroline: “Yeah, we know he watches this program.”
Clive, being Clive: “Who’s Johnny Depp?”
Josie shoots him a look, before going, soto, “…he’s gorgeous…”
I often wonder how they found out, or if he said in an interview that he watched the show. Wonder what he thought of the US version.
This is another really fun song, made great by the Caroline-Josie combo, but also by the fact that both are really adept at the blues style.
Hats: Dating Service Videos
Ryan, in a derby hat: “Annnnnd they’re out of the gate. It’s breast ahead of penis, penis coming up quick-”
Then, with an audience-assisted lull, Ryan comes back up as the derby guy
“NOOOWWWWW IT’S PENIS COMIN’ HARD ON-”
Ryan: “….I really have nothing to say, I just like wearing this…”
Colin, in a white afro wig: “….fancy a shag?”
Ryan, coming up in a jockey hat one more time: “AND THE WINNER IS! PENIS! BY A HEAD!”
A really funny, and quick-paced, Hats round. Caroline’s stuff didn’t really work for me though.
Picture: Caroline and Ryan (a marriage breaking up)
Caroline, with the easy joke: “…yes….you used to have a lovely cock…”
Ryan: “…frankly, I’d rather shag this chicken than you.”
Caroline: “Frankly, I’D rather you shag that chicken, too..”
Caroline: “WHY! WHY HAVE YOU AIRBRUSHED OUT MY PRIVATE PARTS?”
Ryan: “Cause I don’t want ’em anymore. That’s why I’ve taken off my clothes and…I’M RUNNING FREE NOW! I don’t need you anymore!”
Caroline: “Yes, you’re running free. Running free in my mother’s hat!”
Caroline starts describing the other person she’s seeing, who fathered her child. All of the sudden, there’s an abrupt clink from offscreen.
Caroline: “Oh, I’m sorry, there’s a drunk in the audience…”
Ryan: “That’s him, isn’t it? It’s that alcoholic hobo up on the hill, isn’t it?”
The ending is a bit belabored, but this is still a hysterical round of this game, with Ryan AND Caroline reacting well to even the littlest things as the game went on, and having great back-and-forth
Party Quirks: Caroline hosts
Josie: in a deodorant ad
Colin: the history of the world
Ryan: food going through the body
Caroline tries hosting this show, which should be a nice enough opportunity, as she seems like the kind of person that could proctor this game well.
Colin, upon entering: “BANG!”
Then, immediately, he goes right into his dinosaur impression, which the audience surely remembers.
Ryan has fun with his. He goes through the intestines and stomach, then makes a LOUD noise and falls on the floor. Always lowbrow with him.
As Caroline tries to guess Colin, Ryan has a fly buzz around him. The attention is diverted right back to him.
Caroline eventually guesses everyone. She focused more on guessing and less on interaction, which was fine, but made this a lower-key PQ round
Moving People: Ryan and Colin are two high-strung chefs having a fight in the kitchen
You can immediately see that these participants just keep moving them without rhyme or reason. Colin, angry, holds a hand up to Ryan’s face, and covers that by saying: “…I am going to threaten you, but not actually hit you.”
Ryan, saying something while the movements contradict it: “I don’t think I need you anymore; come to me now. I was wrong.”
Colin: “Can you look me straight in the eyes?”
Ryan: “I WILL NEVER LOOK [move] YES, I CAN.”
Colin: “I am going to make my soufflé right here…..where I am about to gesture…”
Ryan narrates all of the things he’s doing in the kitchen: “….all the time NEVER looking at what I am doing!”
Ryan: “FINALLY I must gaze at my creation. Quickly, into the oven with it.”
Colin, responding to the fact that he hasn’t been moved in a while: “WHILE YOU WERE TALKING, I FINISHED.”
Ryan, refusing Colin’s souffle, clutches his head.
Colin: “Oh, you’ve got a headwound!”
Another VERY FUNNY game, thanks to some very inept audience members, and Ryan and Colin soldiering on and continuing to respond.
Hoedown: Smelly Feet and Bad Breath
Josie does the Clive suggestion to combine the two, and talks about how she cured her smelly feet, but “unfortunately it’s given me halitosis”
Colin just has a very amusing and fun verse, ending with “because of my feet stinking, 7 species are extinct!”
Ryan’s is one that he has trouble with, but he soldiers on with anyway:
“What’s that that smells so bad, a lion on the beach?
It’s got smelly feet, and they’re [break] within reach
I will take a big night off and cut em off just for a lark
Throw ’em in the water….they’re food for a shark.”
He shrugs as they pan out. Still funny
Overall: Another solid show, with equal work from all four, and a much-needed emphasis on Josie and Caroline AS WELL AS Ryan and Colin. Proving that women could team up and be funny too…and in response, they wouldn’t have them together on the show after this, save for the 2nd episode from this taping. Still, Caroline Quentin ended up with the strongest show of everyone, by working with everyone and bringing out the best in herself as well as them, as well as just having some really fun, inspired moments tonight. That’s not to discredit Colin, and to a lesser extent Ryan, who also had nice nights. Josie was a bit quieter and had less stuff, but was still herself.
Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Caroline, for mastering her games, and improving from her last appearances.
Worst Performer: Josie Lawrence, solely for taking more of a passive approach to tonight’s show.
Best Game: Film and Theatre Styles. The Josie-Caroline combo was too strong, and led to so many fun, well-thought-out moments here. Picture was close, but Ryan’s last-act fat shaming ruined its case.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Not a great one compared to the new standard.