QI Watchdown: J6 (Joints), or My Sphincter Just Tightened

Bit of a mixed bag this show: Jimmy Carr is our proctor, obviously. Cal Wilson, the great Australian import, is back for her second, and sadly last, show. And making his QI debut is comedian, actor, and one of my least favorite Never Mind the Buzzcocks guest hosts, Jack Whitehall. Look, public opinion on Jack is split down the middle- either you love him, and are excited that he’s getting big parts in blockbuster films with the Rock, or you file him with the James Cordens and Michael McIntyres of this world, as he’s way too cheeky. I generally fall into the second category, but I will keep an open mind.

Jimmy, instead of wearing one of his trademark suits, has on a trendy brown jacket, more similar to something Phill might wear.

All three primary buzzers are verses from ‘knee bone’s connected to the’ song.
Alan’s: “…THE MINUTE YOU WALK IN THE JOINT.”
Fantastic.

Stephen: “Now, Alan, we’re gonna make your life a little easier-”
Alan: “I can go home?”

Stephen plays in some sexy music as the lights dim.
Jimmy: “Oh, THIS is unfair. Alan gets a girl! I’ve got JACK!”
Alan: “…Jack’s a girl…”

Stephen, tenderly, asks Alan: “Can you feel…your sphincter relaxing…”
The audience loses it at this.
Stephen: “It’s a perfectly innocent question…”
Alan: “i must say, I thought it was until you asked me…”

Jimmy: “I once had a bladder complaint- this is not an STI-”
Cal: “Why are you looking at ME when you say that???”
Jimmy: “Cause…I thought you would understand!”

Jimmy mentions having a camera the width of a pen shoved into his urethra, and this makes Alan, Jimmy AND Jack start miming what this might be like. Note that Jimmy’s is a larger mime.

Jack questions when would be the right time to watch the video of it they give you: “What, at Christmas?: “Oh, let’s not watch The Great Escape this year…let’s watch your dad’s…stomach.”
Jimmy: “The great escape is presumably when they pull the camera out…”

Alan gets a klaxon by guessing that something is a snake. Man, this series is just pulling punches all over.

Jack mentions his brother got worms from licking the loo seat, which gets a very confused look or two from Jimmy.
Alan: “Oh, LOO SEAT. I thought you said ‘licking the Lucy.”

Jack: “You lick the loo seat, and you get worms of the belly.”
Stephen: “You get more than that, you get contempt…”

Jimmy: “You can get a lot of STIs from loo seats, Stephen…but only if you sit down before the last guy’s got up.”
Oh, may he never change.

Jimmy and Alan joke that STI stands for ‘Sexually Transmitted Information’
Cal: “Sounds like the late night version of QI. With all provocative questions.”
Like last show, a lot of Cal’s stuff isn’t getting the laughs it deserves, which is kind of sad.

As Stephen introduces ‘Stick the Knees on the Elephant’
Jimmy: “I feel like sort of…like, we’ve underperformed, and now we’re in a special class…”

Jimmy: “I think elephants have got a lot of knees. Because otherwise, why could you have given us this many dots?”

There are some intriguing moments with this: Alan doesn’t put the joints on the back knees…which are the only legs it has joints on. Jack adds extra dots for the elephant’s balls. Because of course.

Jack talks about a Planet Earth Live show he watched: “Richard Hammond was in front of all these elephants wearing one of his midlife crisis necklaces…and it definitely had a bit of ivory on it…”

Stephen says the front legs of pigs are called ‘hand of pig’
Cal: “I have experienced hand of pig before.”
Jimmy: “Well, I apologize…”
Cal: “Yeah, that’s why you’re on THAT side…”

Stephen speaks of a theatre director who had Noises Off, and every night would have to clean the wet seats, as people would drink and laugh so hard water would come out their nose.
Jack: “Isn’t that cause elderly people go to the theater?”

Jack: “It’s like when Bono was headlining Glastonbury, and he had to pull out…and I’d been saving MONTHS of piss to throw at him…”
Jimmy: “You poor thing…”
Jack: “I had, like a VAT…”

Jack, still going: “He did his back in, that’s why he couldn’t do it. Which is fair enough, because I imagine my back would be pretty sore if I’d spent the last 20 years with my head up my own ass…”
Stephen even emits a WHOA at this one. I don’t blame him

Jack has definitely warmed up over time this episode, to the point where, we’re about halfway through and he’s taking most of the edit with him. Granted, a lot of his stuff is pretty funny, but not everything is.

On the news that Columbus brought tons of cannabis to the US
Jimmy: “So you’re saying he’s a drug trafficker?”
Jack: “Columbus must have had a very big sphincter…”
That, for the record, is how you do a callback joke.

On the ‘pin the knee on the flamingo’, Jack puts it in an obvious spot: ‘Because the knee is the bendy bit, and…oh, it could just be a camp arm…”

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 4.04.35 PM.pngAlan: “Is this an unusual flamingo in that it’s got a duck coming out of its ass?”
And I’m gone.
Stephen: “It;s pretty hard to deny-”
Alan: “But where are the duck’s knees? Ask the flamingo…”

Jimmy asks that if flamingo’s knees are at the top of their legs, then a kick to the balls would really hurt, wouldn’t it?
Stephen: “Yes, they don’t really have testicles though, do they?”
Jimmy’s expression is shock.
Stephen: “I mean, they have little sexual parts…”
Jimmy: “As do I!”

Stephen: “What do Glaswegian women lose on their wedding night?”
Jack: “A fight!”
HA!
Jimmy: “A long battle against alcoholism?”

Stephen does say that women removing their teeth would lead to “some pleasurable outcomes”, which cracks up the whole panel.
Jack: “You’d be very good on those sex chatlines…”
Alan: “PLLLEASURABLE OUTCOMES!”
Jack: “WOULD YOU LIKE A PLEASURABLE OUTCOME WITH YOUR…LITTLE SEXUAL BITS?”

Jack does come up with a good idea for a Dragon’s den pitch: “It’s dentures…but they clamp shut whenever they sense racism coming out…”
Stephen: “I’ve got nothing against them personally, but-” [chhhh]
Jimmy: “The word ‘but’ would be the key…would be the trigger word…’I’m not racist, BUT…”
Jack: “CCHT”

Stephen: “Certain types of dead people [gave their teeth]. You’re not allowed to rob a grave-”
Jimmy: “YOU’RE NOT???”
Stephen: “No, you’re-”
Jimmy: “Awww…I’m in a LOT of trouble…”

Stephen says they literally collected teeth on the battlefield from dead soldiers.
Jack: “And the horse teeth, they were sent to…the people from Only Way is Essex?”
[Jimmy Carr, who once obliterated Amy Childs on television, laughs at this]

Stephen brings up a funny point about Australia, saying that he’ll see newscasts saying ‘Victorian police were soon on the scene’- “I picture these truncheons and moustaches going ‘OHHH NOW THEN…'”

Stephen talks of a polish dentist who took out her ex-lover’s teeth, “but it was in the papers and it was actually bollocks-”
Alan: “He took his bollocks out?”
This is a slow-burn reaction, but eventually the audience hears this.

Alan: “What she should have done is taken all his teeth out, cut a little hole in his scrotum, then put them all in there…and sew it back up again.”
Cal, weirded out, starts laughing nervously.
Jimmy: “…YES, THAT IS A MUCH BETTER IDEA…I think we can all agree she missed a great opportunity.”

Stephen hands out a piece of dental equipment, and asks the panel what it is.
Jimmy: “Oh, is it for snipping open the scrotum, and putting the teeth in?”

Alan, playing around with it, mimes snipping DOWNWARDS…and then exclaiming “some of the teeth have fallen out!” Dear god. To quote Colin Mochrie, “THIS is our running gag?”

Stephen, after another winking moment from Jack: “…you’re being very flirty, Jack, I quite like you…”
Jack, post-applause: “…my sphincter just tightened…’

Stephen: “Who’s got noisy-knees and a urine-soaked hairbrush?”
Jack: “My grandmother?”
Stephen: “Your grandmother’s not coming well out of this program, is she?”
Alan: “She’s a racist, peeing grandmother…”

Stephen: “What kind of ungulates do we find in the Savannah?”
Jack: “Richard Hammond?”
Look, say what you will about Jack’s cheekiness, but he is FANTASTIC at running gags. There are so many this show.

After Jack admits that heartburn once stopped him from sex.
Stephen: “I can recommend a diet for you…come and see me…”
Alan: “I knew this would happen…”
Jimmy: “It involves nuts.”
Stephen: “Brings a new meaning to ‘we shall march on Whitehall'”

Stephen: “Who wrote the Cat in the Hat?”
Jack, resident young person: “Dr. Seuss?”
Alan: “WAAAH…WAAAH…WAAAAH.”
Klaxon

Stephen: “What kind of glass does the Popemobile have in its windows?”
Jimmy: “Oh, is it the slidey kind so he can sell ice cream?”
[good lord…]

Cal has a fantastic answer, ‘stained glass’, which…again, doesn’t get a lot of response from the audience, but is insanely funny.

Stephen says that there are technically 2 Popes per square foot in Vatican city, since Vatican city is only .44 square feet.
Jimmy: “Well, I think we have it, ladies and gentlemen, the most annoying question ever asked?”

Stephen, announcing the scores: “It’s crowded at the bottom…that’s a very unfortunate phrase…”

Alan loses with -51, his most impressive loss in a while.

Overall: A bit lighter than the last few, but still very funny. The four players were definitely playing more solo games, each befitting their style on the show seperately. Cal kinda got swallowed up tonight, but she still had some fun moments. Jack had a fantastic debut, but flew a bit close to the sun, and dominated the second act of the show a bit too much for my liking. Jimmy, though, was responsible for some of the best jokes of the night, and was doing his usual amount of connecting. There were several running gags…and several weak spots in the show. So a mixed bag, but a fun watch.

MVP: Jimmy
Best Guest: Jimmy
Show Winner: Cal
Best QI Fact: removed teeth
Best Runner: scrotum teeth

QI Watchdown: J5 (J-Places), or I Am So Out of My Comfort Zone

A fairly standard lineup for this one- Bill Bailey and Sandi Toksvig are our seasoned regulars, and Susan Calman, who’d eventually become a mainstay as a semi-regular, makes her debut here. I’m not well-acquainted with her material, save for an admittedly disappointing turn on Mock the Week (which is more the show’s fault than hers). Knowing how well she gets on with Sandi, hopefully this will work well for her.

By the way, Bill is wearing a Mastodon t-shirt. Not quite as good as his Dragonball one, but there you go.

The buzzers are all travel-related, with the first three being sounds of jet engines of different sorts, and Alan being a car unable to start. Stephen even has him try it again, to get the full effect of the gag.

On the first question, ‘where does the phrase Chariots of Fire originate’, both Bill and Sandi are trying to hedge what could be a klaxon- Sandi, matter-of-factly goes “it’s a film”, while Bill points to the behind-screen and goes ‘could, uh…have something to do with that…”

After a bit of probing, Alan guesses Shakespeare, which I thought would get him a klaxon, but his guess of Jerusalem does end up being a forfeit.
Stephen: “It’s embarrassing how long it took you to get the wrong answer…”

Stephen: “It comes from a poem by William Blake called…?”
Alan and Bill: “…Chariots of Fire.”
Stephen: “I’m ASHAMED of you…”

Stephen, to Sandi: “You MUST know the first line of this poem…”
Sandi: “I must, yes, but I can’t be asked to tell you…”

Soon, the entire panel just starts singing the Jerusalem song in a very low key. Alan, to the audience, goes ‘COME ON!’, knowing it’s too dreary to sing along to.

On the story of Jesus coming to England:
Alan: “Is there a film about it?”
Stephen: “…not to my knowledge-”
Alan: “Well, then I’m in trouble.”
Such perfect timing on that

Alan even mentions that the phrase people have begun saying, instead of “I don’t know”, is “I’m out of my comfort zone”, which amuses the hell out of Stephen.

Stephen: “And he went with his uncle, what was his uncle’s name?”
Susan, who’d since been quiet: “Bob.”
HA
Alan, chuckling: “Uncle Bob Christ?”

Bill actually answers where Jesus’ Uncle came from, but Susan is still ending her anecdote on it, so Stephen asks Bill to repeat himself for the camera…at which point, Alan upstages him again and presses his buzzer. My god, the dynamic already is hysterical.

And then Alan tries to give the answer, Joseph of Aramathea, but Bill grabs Alan’s buzzer, and, to the camera, yells “NO, I SAID IT! I SAID JOSEPH OF ARAMATHEA!”
Stephen: “I am going to throw cold water at you both in a minute…”

Sandi: “Did Mary come? The mother?”
Stephen: “I don’t think she did.”
Alan: “BOYS WEEKEND!”

Stephen: “And…I’ll be very impressed if you can tell me the greek word for sun-”
Alan: “Yeah, if I knew it, you’d be more than impressed. You’d have a heart attack!”

There’s a runner of Katie Price jokes: first, Alan calls her heliotropic, as in she gets a lot of sun. Then, Stephen asks what a mountain cow is
Alan: “…Katie Price.”
It’s not at Michael Winner levels of repetition yet, but…it’s close.

Stephen asks an amusing enough question [“why…might my pockets smell of fish?”], and then produces this visual:
Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.41.50 AM.png
The whole panel completely loses it here. Susan starts howling.
Stephen:
Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 11.42.31 AM.png

Stephen: “They’ve done that thing…where they take my body, and they put the head of someone who looks a bit like me…”
Susan: “God, that’s like a dream I had last night…”
Sandi: “It’s not like a dream I’VE ever had…”

Bill: “So people are dangling fish in front of babies…on…what? On a fishing line?”
And he does this little mime of reeling the fish back in. Very Series A/B-esque

Stephen goes on to say that the Japanese had 47 ways to cut carp as a way of signifying parts of everyday life.
Stephen: “For example, there was Departing for Battle Carp, where soldiers would have carp carved in a certain way before they went to battle-”
Alan: “They weren’t told they were going into battle, the carp was a giveaway…”
And he does a little representation of seeing the carp, pointing to it, and turning to the others beside him, pointing to it.

Alan gets a klaxon by saying that sake is rice wine.
Sandi, harkening back to an earlier question: “Is it from Jerusalem?”

Stephen asks what nation taught the Japanese to batter foods, and all four suggest Scotland.
Susan: “Surely there’s a ginger-haired man in some ancient scroll, going-”
Stephen, scottish accent: “You’ll wanna deep fry thaat?”
Susan: “That’d be magic, it really would…”

Then, on the ‘what do people in Java do for a pick me up’, there’s an obvious answer that everyone seems to know, Alan sacrifices himself by buzzing in, and, similar to Journeys, just asks Bill “…what’s it?”
Stephen: “oooh, you are so canny…”

Alan does eventually answer coffee, which sets off his umpteenth klaxon.

On a shot of Javanese people lying on the railway lines, Alan starts cackling, even under Stephen talking about it.

Sandi: “So, the pick-me-up part just depends on how fast the train’s going…”

There’s a runner with Bill, as early on in the show he does a brief miming for ‘washing up’, which Sandi wonders if he’s ever done before, as it’s similar to typing. Then, as Bill does a keyboardist mime for the melodramatic railway gag, Sandi says that it’s just like the washing up.
Bill: “I’m multitasking! I could be washing up-”
Alan: “He’s washing up WHILE tying his wife to the railway…”

Stephen asks Alan to name the infamous Javan volcano, and I half-expect it to be like the ‘naturalist onboard the beagle’ question, but it’s not a question, just an excuse to say that the film title, Krakatoa, East of Java, is geographically incorrect, which is a fun tidbit I knew of beforehand.

Stephen does put on an American producer voice, on changing the title from West to East of Java, and we get a chance to hear Sandi’s natural New York accent, which we rarely hear as much as her adopted proper 1930s British accent (there’s an As Yet Untitled anecdote on how she had to essentially change her accent to fit in, which is a great watch).

Alan, who’s having an incredible show so far, surprise Stephen by guessing the exact year of the Krakatoa volcano explosion, which is 1883. He’s absolutely floored.

Also, Stephen talks of an Indonesian volcanic explosion, and defers to part-time Indonesian resident Bill Bailey, who names the exact mountain.

Stephen: “What was the most hurtful thing Rambo’s boyfriend did to him?”
Susan: “I’ve seen this one, it’s a bootleg I think…”

Stephen, on Rimbaud: “He had a passionate, tumultuous affair with…dot dot dot…”
Alan: “Katie Price.”

Bill guesses another french poet, and Stephen mentions, while he’s not it, he did have a pet lobster. Bill…takes this and runs with it.
Bill, clapping: “VAIT, VAIT, MONSIEUR. MONSIEUR CLICKY.”
Alan, being Alan, just does an impression of an absent-minded lobster. And he and Bill just do this insanely funny bit where the poet fights with the lobster, and the lobster’s just being very doglike. And Bill ends it by harkening back to the Jerusalem artichoke from earlier. It’s all so ridiculous.

Stephen: “Anyway, let’s return to this poet, who was the lover of the young Verlaine- OH, SORRY-”
Bill, immediately buzzing in: “VERLAINE!”
Stephen:
Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 2.00.38 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 2.01.40 PM.png
Stephen mentions that Verlaine is the one ‘who looks a bit like John Malkovich’, and he forgets the name of the guy on the right.
Alan: “That’s Robert DeNiro…”

Sandi: “It’s like a nineteenth century ad for a hairdresser’s. All the different styles…”

Stephen mentions a poem of international acclaim that Verlaine wrote:
The Entire Panel, bringing it back to the top of the show: “ANNND DID THE FEEETT…”

Stephen re-reads the French line in a more recognizable way, in a more pompous voice
Susan: “…it’s the start of the Eurovision song contest…”

Stephen says that Verlaine ended up shooting Rimbaud in the wrist
Alan: “…whilst he was masturbating…”
Stephen: “…I’m gonna move on-”
Alan: “It’s for the best!”
Sandi: “I am SO out of my comfort zone…”

There’s a great sequence where Stephen keeps making euphemisms, as the french word for chicken is coc, and he keeps using it for coc soup and such, but it turns into a festival of Frankie Howerd impressions, all going “Oh, DON’T…” and such.

Stephen mentions the other name for this is Goat’s Head Soup, which immediately perks MY ears up, but Stephen turns to Bill for its pop culture significance. And Bill…somehow…doesn’t know.
Stephen: “The greatest rock’n’ roll band in the world? They call themselves?”
Susan, being Scottish: “PROCLAIMERS!”
Stephen, for the umpteenth time this show, facepalms.

Stephen talks about the Japanese custom of adopting 25-30 year olds from other households.
Sandi: “Yes, it’s called stealing.”

Susan talks about her personal Smurf village at home, for a question on blue houses: “Thing is, if I’m wrong on this one I’m gonna look like a twat.”
Stephen: “You’re gonna look like a twat even if you’re right.”
Susan, as the audience laughs at this, looks at them, kind of betrayed.
[Thankfully she does get the question very right]

Then, on a twenty point bonus question, Bill buzzes in…only to find that his buzzer has broken. Fantastic.

Knowing the town begins with J, Bill (and suddenly everyone else) starts yelling out all the things he knows begins with J in Spanish. Sandi even adds ‘Jerusalem!”

Stephen says that there’s no direct road to Juneau, Alaska.
Sandi: “Well, Sarah Palin can walk on the water all the way there..”
Stephen: “And do you know the biggest joke to come out of Alaska?”
Sandi: “……Sarah Palin, who can walk on the water…”
I’m honestly surprised there was no klaxon after this. So is Sandi, who raises her arms when she realizes there’s no klaxon.
Stephen: “…there’s no forfeit for that. We were gonna do one, but it was too obvious…”

Susan: “If you do a practical joke, like…er, clingfilm over the toilet or something simple…”
Alan: [immediately writes that down]

Overall: A new standard for this series, even if it wasn’t perfect. Not only were all four panelists very on, but they were very collaborative, and their senses of humor meshed very well. Plus, it was one of those shows where Stephen just kept looking not only astonished at the panel’s ineptitude, but impressed at their knowledge. There really wasn’t a weak link, though Alan was at his best in a while, Bill had a number of nice runners, Sandi had some great lines throughout, and Susan had a wonderful first showing, and a great preview of what’s to come throughout her tenure on the show. Just a really nice one, despite minor lulls late in the show.

MVP: Alan
Best Guest: Sandi
Show Winner: Susan
Best QI Fact: 47 ways of cutting carp
Best Runner: Jerusalem

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E13, or I DON’T WANT.

After a brief hiatus to cram some QIs, we’re back with the rest of Series 9, featuring a bunch of episodes cobbled from pre-existing tapings. This one, featuring Greg and Steve, came from the same taping that gave us Episode 5, which was a pretty good show, and gave us an insanely funny Moving People and some really nice dynamic stuff. Hopefully it all carries over into this one.

Film and Theatre Styles – Ryan and Colin are Antarctic weather researchers when Colin notices Ryan acting weird, in the styles of Star Wars, Roman epic, the Muppets, Reservoir Dogs, World War II weepy, and Dirty Harry.

We’ve seen the fantastic Steve-Greg playing of this, now for the obvious Ryan-Colin game

Clive, getting suggestions: “PINGU, was that? Don’t you think you’re just a tad old for Pingu…”

Audience member: “Confessions of…”
Clive: “Confessions of what?”
Audience member: “…well, anything you’d like-”
Clive, amused, writes that down.

From five seconds in, we get the dynamic: Ryan sticks his hand out the window, reports it’s still snowing. Colin, already dead to this, just glares at him.

Ryan explains he’s just been trying to entertain Colin, and it hasn’t worked.
Ryan: “When I ran into your room the other night in a loincloth? That didn’t entertain you?”
Colin: “No, that just scared me.”

Star Wars style, like usual, is low-hanging fruit, but at least Ryan has a nice physical gag with the lightsaber that just won’t work. He does mark it off with a great punchline, as the saber isn’t working: “I’ll use the fork.”

Clive: “roman epic”
Colin: “Yes…I guess I should have told you XXI years ago…”

Ryan has a great visual of entering ‘the baths’, which is a variation on going down the stairs. Clive, and the audience, get a kick out of it.

Then, on the visual of Ryan in the hot-tub
Clive: “…the muppets.”
Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 7.54.36 PM.png
Just two changes of facial expression gets the audience laughing
Ryan: “COME ON IN, IT’S REALLY WARM!”

On the Reservoir Dogs style, after a few easy ‘Mr. Brown’ puns, they get back into the meat of the scene, into really good aping of Tarantino’s dialogue. Then, Ryan sticks what must be 20 cigarettes in his mouth, and tries to smoke them all.

Colin, having seen Reservoir Dogs, cuts off Ryan’s ear.
BUZZZ
Colin: “The weather game’s a hard game.”
BUZZZ
Ryan: “WHAT??”
Ha…ha…ha…

WWII weepy:
Colin: “I want you to…take your ear, and…give it to my wife.”
Ryan, coming upstage: “Well, I don’t see your wife anymore Teddy-”
He stops, astonished. Colin turns to him.

Ryan, finally: “Take the ear with ya. I wanna hear everything that happens out there…”

Ryan, Dirty Harry style: “I know what you’re thinking…you’ve got one of my ears….’how many ears do I have left?’…well, you’ve got to ask yourself one question…can I hear you, punk?”

The scene ends with a very silly gag (Colin cutting off the other ear and screaming into both of them).

I did enjoy this scene, and I like how plot-base it was overall, but I do think it went on a bit too long, and it could have ended at numerous points, either at the ‘Ryan’s seeing Colin’s wife’ revelation, or on ‘WHAT??’ Still a good scene, but would have worked better had it been shorter.

Let’s Make a Date – Greg is the bachelorette. The bachelors are Steve (Scottish clan leader), Colin (has a death wish), and Ryan (desperately trying to get aroused).

Steve, without even getting a question, is ridiculously silly, sporting a very good accent and just going on wild tangents in the scottish accent.

Greg pulls a fast one on Colin: “Will you describe yourself to me….in a short poem?”
Colin, just registering the second part: “….SURE.”

Ryan’s is a crowd-pleaser, but it’s also just really funny, in a very demented, bizarre sort of way. And the smiliness of Colin’s is just killing me.

Greg: “#2, I love to travel-”
Colin: “TRAINS SPEEDING ALONG. ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE JUST SITTING ON THE TRACK, WATCHING THEM COME.”
Ryan: “COME COME COME COME COME…”
Good lord…

Clive is sarcastically applauding all of Greg’s guesses, just to screw with him.
Greg: “…is it that hard to show some enthusiasm…”
Ryan: “HARD, HARD, OH YEAH…”
Greg: “Number three is, uh…Clive?”
Ryan: [nods]
PERFECT

Not a bad LMAD, though it felt a bit rushed, or a bit quicker than usual.

Hey You Down There – Greg narrates a film about scuba diving, acted out by Ryan and Colin.

Oh, I love this game whenever they do it, and Greg’s a great voice for it.

There’s a great moment where Greg asks if they have their flippers on, and Ryan says no…but Greg already is going on, so he quickly pivots and gives a thumbs-up.

Ryan does throw in the ‘missing hand’ trick, which Greg explains “can be a super bummer when you’re underwater”

Greg: “You know what’s attracted to the smell of blood? Sharks!”
Colin: [points cowardly to Ryan]
Ryan, with one hand, keeps swimming in circles, which is a very silly visual

Colin does go to save Ryan
Greg: “You know, sharks can’t tell whether you’re the guy without the hand, or the FRIEND of the guy without the hand.”
At that, Colin pushes Ryan away and swims out. Of course.

Not as good as past HYDTs, but still a fun one.

Hats: Dating Service Videos

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 8.15.28 PM.pngSteve: “Uhh, birdwatching is my favorite hobby…”

Colin, as the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your poor, your rejected, ANYONE, I REALLY WANT ANYONE…”

Ryan, in a scuba diving mask, misses where the stool is and nearly falls over. Clive, seeing all he needs to, buzzes there.

Amusing, if a bit dull in points

Number of Words – It’s Mutiny on the Bounty with Ryan (2 words) as Fletcher Christian, Colin (4 words) as the ship’s cook, Steve (3 words) as Captain Bligh, and Greg (1 word) as a Polynesian maiden.

Ah yes, more fun with Steve in this game.

Greg, hearing who he’s playing, nearly keels over the desk.

Something about this game feels truly natural here, especially in Colin and Ryan’s scene alone. Only in fleeting moments do the limitations show, and they’re just really quick about back-and-forth.

Steve’s entry continues this, though Steve’s reads do have pauses baked in, just for the hell of it.

Greg, saying his first line, looking at Ryan: “…Fletcher. [giggles]”
Again, it’s all so natural so far.

Colin: “You know she’s ugly.”
Ryan: “WHO CARES!”

Ryan tries to figure out a way to end the scene, but he realizes Colin’s still making the omelette.
Colin: “Here’s your omelette, sir…”
Steve: “…I DON’T WANT….”
He stops, proud of himself.
Colin: “…well, screw you then…”
Greg: “SCREW?”
Ryan, not believing his luck this scene: “YES PLEASE!”

Probably the best playing of this so far, solely because it didn’t feel tacky, like a lot of Number of Words games can be sometimes. All four were just strong in this.

Clive: “I think the idea, Steve, was to make sentences with three words in them, not to go three words and then stop…”

Newsflash – Colin and Greg are the anchors; Ryan is in the field, in front of animals mating

Before the scene even starts, the playback is shown on screen, and the rhinos are already in mount position. Greg’s just going “we’ll look forward to that”, and the audience is already gone.

Colin, over audience laughter: “WELCOME…TO THE NEWS…”

Colin: “How does the mood seem to you?”
Ryan, who pretty much knows instantly: “They seem pretty jovial already…they look like they’re ready to get started any time now…”

Colin: “I was wondering exactly…how are YOU gonna get involved in this?”
Ryan breaks a little bit here.
Ryan: “Well I thought I’d start out by, of course, washing…”

Greg asks how Ryan prepared for this
Ryan: “Well as you know, I didn’t need a lot of preparation, as this was my major in college…”

Greg: “Can you describe for us some of the smells that are coming your way?”
[And i’m gone]

Clive asks what the animals [as Ryan guessed cows] behind him are doing
Ryan, giving a very Brad response: “I, uh, hope they’re not mating…”
BUZZZ

Addicts Anonymous – All four are wrestling addicts.

As Steve gets in position, he nearly trips over the chair, and has to stop and compose himself.
Clive: “Steve’s already wrestling with the chair…”

Greg: “Colin, get a grip on yourself”
Colin: [starts strangling himself]

Steve goes to shake Greg’s hand, then goes into a full heel move, going for a takedown and everything.

This wholly isn’t as good as the first playing of this, but any moment where all four break out into wrestling hysterics, only for Greg and Ryan to immediately try to quell, then continue, then quell again, is very funny.

Greg gets to a point where he’s done the first half of the group’s motto, ‘when you’re on the mat’, but he can’t think of the rest.
Colin: “…that is that.”
Greg: “Yes, thank you for remembering the rest of that…”

Ryan says he’s going to leave early, then goes between the ropes, bouncing back and forth. And then Steve and Greg join him in going back and forth, which is very amusing.

Again, not as good as the Game Shows one, but the moments of all four in hysterics are all insanely funny

Hoedown: Golf

Steve’s is going really well up til the last piece, where he has to rhyme with ‘hard’. He gets out: “but make sure you use a club and not a piece of lard.” Somehow, he gets through unscathed.

Greg, when the camera cuts back to him, is still laughing at Steve’s, which, in turn cracks Steve back up.
Greg: “You stunned me!”

Greg, finally start: “I’m next to Colin Mochrie, he really is a chum
Before we shoot the program, he lets me pat his bum-”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 8.45.04 PM.png
Greg: “But when we go out golfing, it really makes me sick.
Cause he always asks me to grab onto his stick.”

Ryan: “When we go golfing, I always bet a buck.”
He smirks, knowing what the audience is expecting.
“And my friend kisses me, he kisses FOR GOOD LUCK.”

A pretty solid Hoedown, as standard for this taping.

Overall: Not as good as the other one from this taping, but not without his moments: F&TS, Number of Words and Newsflash were all out-of-the-box funny, and Steve’s vigor, absent from the last show, made appearances in LMAD and Addicts Anonymous. But the show did feel kind of disjointed, definitely feeling like it was ‘the best of what’s left’, not a superior cobbling of E5.

Show Winner: Greg
Best Performer: Ryan, for lifting a lot of the games tonight.
Worst Performer: Greg, for taking primarily straight man roles without doing a ton outstanding. This was very difficult, as all four were funny tonight, but I couldn’t give this to Steve after the amount he tried.
Best Game: Number of Words. The concept finally clicked.
Worst Game: Hats. Very ho-hum.

QI Watchdown: J4 (Jack & Jill) or LOGS WILL FALL!

I’ve been cranking these out of late, so here’s another one, seeming to mirror the theming of Girls & Boys, featuring David Mitchell as our anchor, Sue Perkins, once again, as our comic relief, and newbie and NMTB favorite Katy Brand as our ‘guest star’ of sorts. I’m not sure if she appears again, and if so it’s fleetingly, so this’ll be our taste of her.

From here on out, we do see more of the infamous David Mitchell beard, which has graced our televisions predominantly ever since.

All the buzzers are songs with J-Names: Katy’s is Dolly Parton’s Jolene, Sue’s is Jean Genie by David Bowie, David’s is Jennifer by Donovan (I think?), and Alan’s is…well, the Top Gear theme, which he celebrates with a Clarkson impression, but it’s just a cover of Jessica by the Allman Brothers, which Stephen quizzes the group on. It does help to know a thing or two about music.

Stephen: “Who dies if they don’t have sex for a year?”
Sue, smirking: “…is it Russell Brand?”
KLAXON. BECAUSE OF COURSE.
Sue reacts with shock, as she didn’t think she’d get one so early on, and jokingly beats herself up on the desk.
Sue: “GOODNIGHT! BYE-BYE!”

Stephen: “Now what’s a male ferret called?”
Alan: “Jeff.”

Already, the panel is just cracking up Stephen with how far off they are on what a female ferret is called, guessing all the wrong J names. Katy even buzzes in, and points to her buzzer, as a guess.

After saying that female ferrets die if they don’t have sex for a year, internally
Stephen: “So what you have to do, one of two things, you could-”
Alan: “Shag it-”
Stephen: “Spay her…”
Stephen, then the audience, goes back and realizes what Alan just said, and breaks a bit.
Katy: “I was gonna say that…”
Sue: “Treat her nicely…”
Stephen: “It will be the ULTIMATE sacrifice.”

Stephen: “No, find a hob [male ferret] for her-”
Katy: “And then cook it…”
Stephen: “Or you can give him injections…”
Sue: “It’s easier to have sex with it, really..”

Stephen: “He also bites the back of the neck of the hooked female-”
Sue: “Sounds like fun…”
Katy: “Sounds like Russell Brand…”

Stephen: “And it comes from the latin Ferito, which means-”
Alan: “HAVE SEX WITH ME OR DIE!”
Christ, this episode so far…

Stephen, on Mad Jack: “He also liked to get up in the middle of the night and shoot ducks, while naked.”
Sue: “Was the nudity really necessary?”
David: “Probably thought ‘they’re naked, why shouldn’t I be?”
Katy: “Is it wrong to start slightly falling in love with this man?”

Stephen, on Mad Jack Churchill: “He was the only reported soldier during WWII to go into battle armed with…what?”
Alan: “A teapot!”
Dear lord…
Sue: “A dessert spoon!”
Alan: “Sorry, tea COZY!”
Sue: “Cheese slicer.”
Stephen: “No, a bow and arrow.”
Sue: “….DID HE KNOW WHAT DECADE, or even what CENTURY he was in?”
Stephen: “He was a gallant, chivalrous man…”
Sue, miming a bow and arrow: “MARVELOUS STUFF!”

Stephen mentions he also carried a sword with him, and David, ever the master of logic, dissects the redundancy of carrying a bow and arrow AND a sword, and not being able to use both at once.

Stephen: “He also said that if you SMILE at the enemy, then he’s less likely to shoot you.”
Sue: “I wonder how HE died?”

Stephen: “How did Queen Jenga arrange her harem?”
Everyone in the panel starts cracking up, knowing the obvious joke
Sue: “Three rows that way, then three rows that way…”
KLAXON

Alan points out, in the picture of Queen Jenga, that she’s wielding a bow and arrow AND has a sword holstered, just like Churchill, which is the right kind of coincidental.

Stephen mentions that Jenga had men fight to the death to sleep with her…and be killed after sex.
Sue: “So then, what’s the incentive to enter the competition, then?”
Stephen: “Well, you’re killed either way, so either you’re killed and get a shag, or you’re killed…without a shag.”
Sue: “What kind of shag would you have if you knew you’d be murdered at the end of it. I mean, that must have been some tense coitus…”
Stephen: “Mister Tiggy would probably be very shrivelly, wouldn’t he?”
Sue completely doubles over at that, as would most people. The rest of the panel is just shaking their heads.
Sue: “Ooooh…too much Mister Tiggy information.”

Stephen says the game Jenga’s name is Swahili in origin.
Alan: “Swahili for TIIIIMBEEERRRR…”

Katy talks about leaving her kids to play Giant Jenga, and then coming back after some wine and-
Alan: “Blood everywhere?”
Stephen: “INFANTICIDE!”
Alan: “One hanging underneath…’where’s Timmy?’ ‘I dunno’ ‘HE’S UNDERNEATH THE JENGA!”
David: “That’s an extremely middle-class form of neglect…”

Stephen says there are different variations on jenga
David: “What about a lego version? Then…”

Stephen: “Well, the only limit…is your imagination…”
David: “SURELY that’s not Jenga’s slogan, is it?”

Stephen: “No, I think their slogan is “THIS SUMMER….LOGS WILL FALL…”

Stephen: “How many pieces are there in Jenga?”
Alan: “90.”
Katy: “NINETY? GOTTA BE A NUMBER DIVISIBLE BY THREE!”
Stephen: “See? Intelligence.”
David: “…well, ninety IS a number divisible by three…”
Alan just glares, kinda betrayed, at Katy for a moment

There’s a fantastic interlude, where Stephen says, truthfully, that any multiple of nine’s digits, added, is nine. And Alan does all the math in his head, up to 180. He does say that at 189, it becomes trickier, but Stephen adds the sum of THAT, 18, and we’re back to nine again. Very fun math moment.

Stephen tells a story of a Chinese pianist who had his arms burnt off, and had to learn to play piano with his toes.
David: “You sure he hasn’t got his head in the wrong place?”
Alan: “He’s got his hands down a pair of trousers. ‘LOOK AT MY TOES! LOOK AT MY TOES!”
David: “He’s SAYING he can play the piano with his feet- he’s a man who has a penis that looks like a face.”

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 6.11.49 PM.pngDavid: “I feel sorry for the other finalists to be Queen…”

I’m not even giving context for this one
David: “Quite lucky, I think, that nothing germinates from a discarded kebab. Our city centers would be even worse…”
[This is almost Rich Hall-esque]

Stephen: “How did the first person to notice they were colorblind realize they were colorblind?”
Katy: “Did they say ‘ahhh, the red shoots of spring…”

David slowly increasing his output this show, in a conversation about this man, who bought his mother red stockings, thinking they were blue.
David: “BUYING YOUR MOTHER PANTS IS NORMAL…but buying her RED PANTS. THAT’S WEIRD!”

Stephen, now talking about blind snooker players: “It’s to the point where at times they have to ask the referee-”
Katy: “Which is the table and which is the ball?”

Stephen then talks about cops playing ‘car snooker’, by chasing red cars until they do something wrong, then blue cars, and so on.
Alan: “Let’s all get a white car…so they can all just fuck off…”
Oh, I’m so glad Alan’s still on this show.

This is one of those episodes where the panel dynamic is so strong, and all four are just bouncing off of each other, that Stephen has to sort of try not to crack too much before going onto the next prompter read.

Stephen: “So what is it that people can’t become if they’re colorblind?”
David: “Snooker Players! Wait, no!”

Stephen confirms that colorblind pilots are alright, but only if they’re not the ‘worst kind of colorblind’
Katy: “Can’t tell the difference between the blue sky and the green…”
Sue: “And the gray tarmac…”
David: “Yes, the very worst kind of color-blindness, or BLINDNESS.”
All three guests are just teeing off. It’s fantastic!

Stephen: “What begins with J and was used by the first man to row the Atlantic to attempt suicide.”
Alan, not referencing E1: “…jizz.”
Sue, cracking up: “suicide by jizz?”

Stephen: “As a child, he knicked a pistol from his scout leader and fired shots at his fellow scouts, and was expelled from-”
Sue: “And got a badge for it!”
Alan: “Accuracy!”
Only Sue laughs at this one, but it really got me.

The jolly jape is doing paper airplanes, which Alan and David do well at. Katy’s lands behind her, and Sue’s lands in the central QI circle, which cracks her up.

Stephen surprises the group by saying the most effective paper airplane is cylindrical.
David: “What, you just scrunch it up and chuck it?”

Stephen does demonstrate, as it must be done in a spiral, like an american football, and he gets some pretty nice yardage on it.

Three episodes after making fun of Johnson’s tourette’s, Stephen confirms that Samuel Johnson did not, in fact, write the first dictionary. So, so much for that. Imagine if this show went out before Jargon.

One of the early Johnson words was ‘mouth-friend’, which Alan’s confused by.
Stephen: “Don’t we all need a mouth-friend?”

Alan, on another one of these words: “Isn’t shapesmith just a rubbish blacksmith?”

As Stephen is about to announce the scores, he does a contented sigh in that’s so flagrantly over the top that it sounds more like he’s just saying “EEEEEEEE…”. Everyone has to stop and go ‘WHAT?’ Sue and Katy even exclaim “HE’S DIED!!!” It’s sort of like the one time he literally just had a random ‘OHOHOHOHOHO’ laugh, and only Sean Lock called him off on it.

A note that Stephen has, for the most part, given up a longform anecdotal finale, in exchange for an Ellen Degeneres-esque “be kind to each other”, which is just the right amount of wholesome.

Overall: Dare I say it, an improvement on the show I was actually looking forward to, and the best show since E1. The dynamic was out of bounds, with all four giving fantastic material and collaborating. Katy Brand’s debut didn’t feel like one, as she was really excited to be there, and clearly knew Sue from somewhere (as did Liza, although…maybe Sue’s just naturally personable). David and Sue had very funny nights, though Sue may have had more outgoing moments. David took a bit more time to stand out, and was, like Phill last show, kind of to himself for the first half. It also helped that there were several very funny topics for all four to collaborate on, to the point where Stephen had to attempt herding them away, which was amusing in itself.

MVP: Sue
Best Guest: David
Show Winner: David
Best QI Fact: female ferrets dying without sex
Best Runner: Russell Brand jokes.

QI Watchdown: J3 (Journeys), or This is a Whole New Tactic He’s Doing

When I got the idea to start watching QI, I did the obvious thing, and went into youtube for funny bits featuring the people I knew were funny, like Phill Jupitus, Bill Bailey and people like that. Needless to say, several moments from this episode were well-reported on youtube, despite my friend Mick’s warnings that things would begin to go back after Series I ended.

With everything I know about this one, I’m excited to get to it.

I’m also excited because this is an intriguing panel indeed. Aside from having Phill, in full bearded mode, we have a return from Rob Brydon, who makes the first of his last two appearances this series. We also have the first entry into QI’s Oceanian expansion, as several Aussies and Kiwis appear on the show this series, starting with Cal Wilson, noted Kiwi humorist who would go on to recur on the Australian Whose Line (which reminds me, that show wasn’t bad. Steen Raskopoulos was a solid regular).

All the buzzers are travel related. Phill’s is a ship’s foghorn [“which you do, in fact”], and Alan’s is a bicycle horn.

Stephen says that Alan and he traveled to Australia, where they found Cal, lampshading that maybe some of these Oceanian imports may have come from this Alan-Stephen voyage. Though I imagine some, like Rhys Darby, would have happened anyhow.

After Alan tells a story about losing his passport between the airplane seat, ending with “and then I found it”, Rob, dumbfounded, looks over and goes “I’m sorry, is that Alan Davies or Peter Ustinov? If that’s the level of the bar this evening, I may go home!”

Stephen mentions that when you’ve lost something, it helps to say the name of the thing you’ve lost.
Rob: “dignity.”
Phill, taking the opposite approach: “Your wallet has a NAME? “PEREGRIIIINE! PEREGRINE! baaah. PEREGRINE!”
Stephen: [loses it]
Alan: “IT HAS NOW!”

Stephen then mentions opening a drawer, and going “where the hell’s the garlic peeler?”
Alan, at Stephen’s poshness: “garlic peeler…”
Phill: “ANDREW!”
Stephen, still laughing: “You’re missing my point about names…I meant the name of the thing you’re searching for…its normal description that’s found in a dictionary, not from a l-list of given names…it isn’t ‘Julian the cheese grater’…”

Rob, in subsequent appearances, has become great at pedantic explanations of things. Granted, I know he’s great at collaboration, but it’s not exactly clear if his stopping of the show to selfishly explain something by himself is ironic or not. It’s honestly just what Rob does.

The discussion turns to ‘should we let the queen eat a kiwi’, and Stephen says he’d say to her “stop eating that kiwi, you dreadful old woman…”
Phill: “I imagine you’d be a bit more polite. I mean, you are Stephen Fry, off the telly.”

Phill: “or, ‘YOUR MAJESTY…PUT THE PUFFIN DOWN’. Let’s just have a load of situations where we tell the queen to stop eating things.”
Stephen: “Okay, children, we now have a round of ‘Your Majesty, please put the puffin down.”

On the bird swallowing a live snail, Rob: “Does the snail go into his own shell? I don’t mean is he a little self-conscious…”

Rob talks about filming on a ship with James Corden: “Suddenly, the boat tipped, on an angle, one way-”
Alan, stating the obvious: “Did James Corden go to the other…”
Rob, under applause: “That’s very naughty, Alan…”

Rob: “A lot of people in Britain struggle with their weight, Alan.”
Stephen: “Yes, I do…”
Rob: “…I mean, I wasn’t thinking about you-”
Alan, still going: “Why, were you with him?”

Stephen: “Who used to go ’round in cabs with Richard Burton?”
Cal, giving a cheeky joke: “Was it Elizabeth HAILer?”

I’m noticing that the three guest panelists are all sort of keeping to themselves so far, though Cal is slowly getting better at collaborating. Rob and Phill are really only doing their own thing thus far.

Rob, in a callback to Series F, talks about a cabbie who recognized Rob from TV, but as he went on it became clear he was really talking about Ben Miller. And he was going along with it.
Rob: “And then he went “I tell you who you must get confused for…that old Welsh one!” And I said ‘oooh, Rob Brydon?’ and he went ‘yeeeahhh…’

Now, this runner starts innocently enough:
Stephen: “How long would it take you to bicycle from Land’s End to the, uh, northernmost point of Britain..”
Phill: “What, John O’Groats, you mean?”
KLAXON
Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 5.45.57 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 5.46.16 PM.png

Phill: ‘NO, ASK CLEAR…WELL DEFINED QUESTIONS. Ya don’t buzz-buzz me on CHIT-CHAT!”

Cal has a great anecdote about a talking dog statue in Sydney, that rewards donations with “THANK YOU……WOOF.”

Alan, on the child statue with a coin slot: “Some of them have two slots, in their box.”
Stephen, being Stephen: “Women, I suppose…”
Cal buzzes in just to say “I RESIGN!”
Alan, calling back to last show: “We’ve established that this is not your area…”
Phill: “It’s like you’re talking about Narnia or something…it’s just a fantastical land that you’ve only ever heard about…”
Cal, giggling: “You make your way through the fur coats, and suddenly…”
Alan: “WIELDING A SINGLE COIN!”
Phill: “And for a while, you have a magical time, but then you meet an ice-maiden…”

At this point, Stephen just looks at everyone, and goes, inwardly, “oh dear god.” I bet that’s the indicator that this show’s really kicked in.

After this, the dynamic kicks in- Alan, Cal and Phill all contribute to a conversation about a dolphin playing golf. Surprisingly, Rob is keeping to himself, though.

Stephen reveals that puffins’ beaks fall off after they’ve attracted a mate
Phill, floored: “THE DIRTY, DIRTY PUFFINS…”
Rob: “Is it the equivalent of a woman losing her figure after she’s gotten married?”

Stephen saying that a baby puffin is called a puffling gives a universally wholesome response from the audience.
Cal: “How many people now have a new nickname for their partner?”
Alan, confused: “For their PARTNER, you said? I got confused for a moment, I thought you said ‘for their penis.'”
Cal: “For some people, that is their partner.”
Cal may be a bit quainter than Rob and Phill, but she’s having no shortage of fun moments tonight.

Stephen, wrapping up that question: “Assuming you believe in evolution, like that, uh…what was the name of the naturalist onboard the beagle?”
Phill: “…Charles Darwin, you mean?”
KLAXON
Phill, outraged: “….OH *FRY!*”
Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 10.33.01 PM.png
Alan, cracking: “THIS IS A WHOLE NEW TACTIC HE’S DOING!”

Stephen: “There was a naturalist onboard the beagle, and it wasn’t Charles Darwin. He was the….”
Phill: “…I DON’T CARE ANYMORE!”

Stephen reveals that on one of the islands the beagle visited, during times of famine, people feasted on older women.
Phill: “MMMM-MMM! THAT’S SOME GOOD OLD LADY! I’ve got the GILF Cookbook!”

Stephen: “We travel to an exotic place where they had jackal-headed gods. Where would I be?”
Cal: “Egypt.”
KLAXON
Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 10.38.23 PM.png
Alan and Stephen are amused by this.
Stephen: “I mean, you didn’t quite say that-”
Cal: “Right, I should probably say it correctly- WHAT, EGYPT, YA MEAN???”
Sad Phill didn’t pull this one for the umpteenth time, but Cal certainly made it work.

The third act of this show starts out with some interesting segments that aren’t necessarily funny, but have a lot of good Alan and Cal stuff, and are at least intriguing. Again, Phill and Rob are keeping mostly to themselves.

Stephen concludes the tidbit about JFK keeping a coconut from the island he visited during the war on his desk as a good luck charm by saying “…didn’t bring him MUCH luck.” Rob laughs OUT LOUD at this one.

Stephen says he can even remember where he was when the JFK assassination happened.
Phill: “I WAS STANDING ON A GRASSY NOLL WITH A RIFLE.”
Stephen, laughing: “And a voice told me…”

Stephen tells a great anecdote about his mother telling him she was in the Dorchester hotel in NY the day Kennedy was shot, then performing there himself (with Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, and some bloke from some lager adverts who I may have covered on the blog mere months ago) the day Reagan was shot, and saying that no member of his family is allowed to set foot in the Dorchester ever again.
Phill: “Which is why, during W. Bush’s administration, Stephen dined at the Dorchester every night…”
After the applause dies down, Stephen straightens his tie and prepares to continue.
Phill: “Waiter? Any news?”

Stephen talks about this desert event, where people do a marathon each day
Alan: “People are weird, aren’t they?”
Stephen: “I know, I have a friend who does it. She does it twice.”
Cal: “Did she have to go back because she’d forgotten something?”

Phill mentions Eddie Izzard, and his penchant for marathons…and then goes into one of the most pitch-perfect Eddie impressions I’ve ever heard: “REALLY? Uhhhhhh…okAY. I’M GONNA DO….A HUNDRED ‘AN TWENTY…DESERT MARATHUNS…IN A WEEK. True story.”
I’d seen him do Eddie before, but even then it didn’t sound this good. Like…far from ‘ALLO, I’M NORMAN WISDOM’ are we, Phill?

Alan, on what Napoleon said to Josephine on his way back from a journey: “I SENSE A TRAP…the only thing I KNOW about Napoleon’s Josephine was he said…what was it, Rob?”
HA
Rob’s reaction is priceless. He’s shocked, then sort of muddles his neck over, and goes, softly “…Phill?”
Phill, immediately: “Cal?”
Cal: “I’m gonna do it…I’m coming back! Don’t wash!”
KLAXON. AND NO ‘WHAT, DON’T WASH, YA MEAN?’ THIS TIME.

Alan even says “I only know the other one [he said]…Rob, what’s it…?”

Stephen, wrapping up regulation: “Journey’s end…in lover’s meeting. [beat] that’s, uh, from Shakespeare.”
AND COMMENCE THE JUPITUS GIGGLING.

Phill does end up in fourth, thanks to all of the WELL WORDED klaxons he fell into. Alan wins consecutive shows for the first time since Series G.

Overall: This did run a bit short of my expectations, as the panel felt a bit fragmented, especially Rob, who was either quiet or selfish for most of the night. There were also a few too many lulls without many jokes. But when this show was on, it was pretty great. Cal Wilson was honestly the best connector of the three guests, and was in a wonderful mood all night, while Phill had some funny jokes, though his funniest moments involved being at the brunt end of some traps by the QI Elves. I’ll also say that not all of Phill’s jokes landed tonight, and he felt more like his Series A & B self, quieter, and only popping up for louder jokes. But with Cal and Alan on, some intriguing bits of the show, and…the aforementioned Klaxon attack (you mean), this was definitely a nice enough show.

MVP: Alan
Best Guest: Cal
Show Winner: Alan
Best QI Fact: Missing 300 years
Best Runner: What, ______ you mean?

QI Watchdown: J2 (Jam, Jelly and Juice), or A Night Out with Tarbuck and Perkins

Over the next two series of QI, it’s gonna be noticeable that the BBC is piping in a moratorium that there’s got to be at least one female panelist on the program in an effort to allow more female comics to be featured, which I can definitely agree with. Yes, QI does lend itself to a ‘boys club’ dynamic, especially in its earlier series (Sean Lock’s shows boosted this narrative), but the last two series of the show have proved that panelists like Sandi Toksvig, Sue Perkins and now Victoria Coren-Mitchell are capable of providing fantastic moments.

Tonight’s show puts the moratorium to the test- Jo Brand is the anchor, Sue Perkins is the comic foil and Liza Tarbuck is the informational assistant. Three women and Alan, a tactic that would be revisited a few more times (I believe there was also one with Alan and three noted lesbians), but this assortment seems like a nice start.

A nice buzzer pun: the first three have party favor buzzers, party horns. Alan’s is Lesley Gore’s ‘It’s My Party’. Of course.

Jo gets the ball rolling rather quickly:
Stephen: “What begins with J and appears to be alive?”
Jo: “…is it me?”
Liza: “James Blunt?”
Stephen: “Closer, I reckon.”
Sue, bashfully: “…Jeremy Clarkson.”
KLAXON
And, as with custom, Sue outstretches her arms, as if she’s Andy Dufresne, and basks in the OWA.

Stephen restates the question
Sue: “Jedward, then. I’m revising my answer.”
KLAXON
[Also: Two Jedward references in two episodes. Man, they were milking this topical joke for all it was worth]

As Stephen explains why this is the case, Jo absent-mindedly guesses jelly, which is correct.
Jo: “Bloody hell!”

Stephen goes over all the uses for pigs
Stephen: “A pig’s bladder is used as tambourine skin.”
Jo: “I knew those folkies were evil…”

Sue: “You don’t want to get in a pen with a pig who’s approaching sexual maturity, as I learned at my cost…”
Alan: “And how ARE the piglets?”
Sue: “THEY’VE GOT NAMES, ALAN!”
Alan: “Porky and Perkin…”
Stephen, correcting Alan under the applause “it’s PINKY and Perkin…”

Just an general observation: everyone seems to be having so much fun so far, giggling and laughing. It helps that everyone seems to know each other well, and that these three are just in good moods. Granted, only the small lines are hitting thus far, but it seems to be a very fun dynamic so far.

On the line, from Stephen, “it stops you from being able to speak properly”, a picture of George W. Bush appears on the behind-screen. Yes, this was well into the Obama administration, but Bush jokes were still easy back then.

So they develop a contraption to speech-jam, or delay speech to the ear by a fifth of a second, in an effort to confuse brain activity…and try it out on Alan, by having him read from a book on jam. But…it doesn’t really work, and the only thing that happens is that Alan has to bring the book closer so he can read clearer. Stephen is dumbfounded, and suggests they try it on Jo.

It does happen to work on Jo, as within about 4 seconds she gets very confused, as Stephen starts with the jammer turned on.
Stephen: “…thank GOD it works for you…”
Jo: “I’ve got schizophrenia now…”

Liza’s turn goes fairly well, though the book does go into lines about bumholes and buttplugs,
Stephen: “YOU MADE THAT UP!”
Liza: “I didn’t! Mrs. Beaton. Dirty old bitch…”

As Sue switches places to have her turn: “I wanna see what happens to Mrs. Beaton and the buttplug.”

When Sue tries it, she starts out very well, but after a while she begins slurring, and slowing her dialogue, now just acting drunk while still trying to soldier on with it. She even says “I sound drunk now!”
And, after she’s gone on for a while: “owww, my head, where’s everyone gone?”

Liza admits later that her radio experience may have made her better at using the device, as she’s used to hearing herself on air with a delay.

Stephen: “I’ve got jumbo wrists and I’m covered in tit juice. What have I been up to?”
Jo, amidst cracking: “…is it a night out with Tarbuck and Perkins?”

Stephen, describing other fisherman ailments: “You can also get haddock rash…”
Jo: “Why are you looking at me?”

Jo does mention that it’s similar to pregnant women having swelling
Stephen: “That’s right, a lot of people can’t take their wedding ring off again after they’ve given birth”
Jo: “Yeah, and they’re pissed off about it…”

Stephen: “What was unique about Fanny Farmer’s cup size?”
Liza, once again, just doubles over laughing. This is almost as bad as the gis stuff from last episode.

Stephen, still reestablishing the question: “…and it’s nothing to do with fanny-farming being an occupation.”
Again, the panel loses it.
Liza: “I NEVER THOUGHT I’D HEAR HIM SAY THAT!”

This is also the second show in a row that mentions Sherlock Holmes, though this one is more about the magazine where he first appeared, rather than his ejaculations.

Sue, on a question about Marie Antoinette’s bosom, says that she hates the term ‘breasts’, and people should just be more forthcoming about it, say ‘boobs’, or ‘jugs’ as Liza suggests.
Stephen: “I like ‘titties”
The audience beats Sue to this, but she goes “I’M SURE YOU DO!”
Sue: “YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!”

Stephen, on the Antoinette cups: “And you can have replicas, if you’d like to have one in your own house.”
Alan: “I Do.”

Liza talks about going in to have a bra measured, and having the person open the curtain, look at her, and go “I can’t help you.”
Alan: “I’LL MAKE YOU A BRA, but I can’t help you…”

After the conversation about what women go through with bramakers, Stephen shudders, which gives the effect of a motorboat. He realizes the connotation and facepalms. Poor, poor Stephen.

Stephen even gives a breast-related dirty joke.
Sue: “Yeah, tonight’s the night you turn…”

The show does take another lull not too soon after, with both the IWS and the miracle berry segments just limping along. Like last show, a lot of the humor is solely cheap innuendo, and this panel doesn’t do anything with the innuendo other than just fall victim to it.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 2.13.56 PM.pngOn this matrilineal society
Alan: “WHAT THEY WANT TO DO…is they want to put the necklaces on BEFORE they put the hat on…”

Stephen: “What’s the main ingredient in fish jam?”
“….”
Alan: “I SENSE A TRAP…”

Stephen: “So what’s the main ingredient to Hitler bacon?”
Sue: “GOEBBELS!”

The ending Jolly Jape involves all four attempting to drink from a water cup with holes in it, which Sue has a ton of fun with.

Alan wins with +11, which is a triumphant end to this one, but…Jo lampshades that for the sake of the booking people, it would have been nicer if a woman won.
Sue, even: “This experiment in women on television has failed.”

Overall: Despite some fun moments in the middle, and a general jovial mood, this show was generally disappointing, with either deafening lulls, or moments that relied too heavily on innuendo, like the entire miracle berry sequence. It’s not the fault of any of the panelists, who all did well, but it was one of those shows that just couldn’t really take off past funny answers and…the occasional boob joke. Sue and Liza knowing each other definitely helped, as both were bouncing off each other all night, and Jo, while more subdued, was still funny, but…not a lot to excavate from this one.

MVP: Sue
Best Guest: Liza
Show Winner: Alan
Best QI Fact: sentient jelly
Best runner: Stephen’s tit fixation

A shame that one was a downer, but coming up next we have one I’ve been excited to cover for a very long time.

QI Watchdown: J1 (Jargon), or I CAME HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE AZTECS!

Well…as I’ve gotten up to what is essentially 1 QI Series per year, thanks to my schedule these days, let’s crack open another one, as we venture towards the last legs of Stephen Fry’s QI career, and we come off of what many consider to be the golden age of the show. Unlike Mock the Week, it’s not like we can pinpoint someone leaving as the reason things slowed down (I’ve even heard that QI’s quality improved after Sandi Toksvig took over as host), but hopefully there will still be some highlights during these supposedly lesser series.

Tonight has something that seems to be a classic lineup: Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey, along with…David Mitchell….’s wife. Victoria Coren-Mitchell. Who’s proved to be just as funny as her husband in subsequent QI appearances.

Jimmy seems to have a five-o’clock shadow tonight, which is kinda new to him.

All the buzzers are sounds of exotic instruments with j-names.

Victoria brings up, on these j-words, that a lot of them look like minced oves, or nearly swear words. The panel demonstrates.
Bill: “Shut the front door!”
Stephen: “FUCk-rying out loud!”
Bill: “Have you ever said that, really? Like, “FUCK…crying out loud?”

Bill: “Or to the photographers that follow you. ‘Why don’t you just ffffffff-photograph someone else?”

Stephen: “A jollop is actually a type of Turkish waffle”
Jimmy, with a board ready: “I’m gonna saaaaay bluff!”

On Jentacular
Bill: “Is this what friends of Jennifer Aniston say before she goes out?”

Stephen has a whole screen of words that mean ‘jigger’, and starts listing them off: “An odd-looking person, sorry Bill-”
Bill immediately looks betrayed.
Jimmy: “Don’t say ‘vagina’ and then point to me…”

Victoria: “People do say there are no good words for vagina, there’s nothing nice. Jigger is not the right answer.”
Jimmy, earnest: “I think ‘twinkle-cave’!”
As this gets applause, Stephen gives Jimmy the most confused look.

Bill: “So jigger is…back-passage, vagina, penis-”
Jimmy: “Well that’s confusing right there!”

The whole panel has a lot of fun with the problems of having a word with this many meanings, especially with meanings like ‘golf club’ or ‘ouija board’.

Bill, still on this: “‘Potter’s wheel: that was usually what they put on the TV when they ran out of programs. ‘Yeah, put the jigger on….NOT DAT ONE!”

In the middle of the next question, the jigger definitions come back
Victoria: “D’you think that’s where ‘jiggery pokery’ comes from??”

Jimmy, on the ailments of Johnson: “The man that wrote the dictionary had TOURETTE’S? I have GOT to re-read that book!”

On what did Hitler, Stalin and Franco didn’t like, but Mussolini liked:
Alan: “Pasta!”
Stephen: “Stick with the letter j.”
Alan: “Jackets with Jeans, like Clarkson!”
Not even one show in and the Clarkson bashing begins.

Jimmy: “So you’re saying Hitler didn’t like jazz? I mean, the more I hear about this guy, the less I like him.”
Obvious joke, but still applies. Not quite as good as Bill’s thing on Hitler and the word cool from Groovy.

There’s a lot of really eye-opening discussions on the topic of why Hitler didn’t like jazz, and what jazz music, and comedy, meant in the eyes of fascists. Bill brings up cognitive dissonance, and that continues the discussion.

Victoria: “This is cognitive dissonance: here I am, on QI, like you see on television, sitting behind there- it seems nice, everyone’s quite nice, I’m having a nice time. And yet…we’ve had the question ‘What did Hitler get right?’, which is exactly what my grandmother told me would happen if I went on television…”

Victoria continues, bringing up a very funny point: “I had an anxiety dream about coming on QI, I was so terrified of it, and in the dream, I was sitting here, and and you [Stephen] were asking the question, very sternly, ‘Whhhyyy was the March Hare so important to the Aztecs?”
Stephen starts laughing at this
Victoria: “I didn’t know the answer, so I went ‘did they worship it? AND THE SCREENS WENT ‘WORSHIP IT, WORSHIP IT’, which was absolutely terrifying.”
Jimmy: “Stephen…ask the question, let’s make it happen…”
Victoria: “I’m such an amateur, I didn’t even google the answer.”
Meanwhile, Jimmy’s trying to come from behind Victoria and scare her. This is all very funny, of course.

Jimmy: “Can I just make sure- this IS happening now, right? I wanna make sure we’re not all in one of Vicky’s dreams.”
Bill: “That’d be brilliant, though! You could be the March Hare, I’d be the Aztecs…”

Stephen reads out a detailed description of jazz, referring to it as a cacophonous, clattering noise
Jimmy: “I am now having an anxiety dream…”
Alan: “That’s the description of Jedward, isn’t it?”

This season continues the trend of playing to a panelist’s strengths, by giving a birdwatching question that benefits Bill, a noted birdwatcher. It also works, because, as funny as Bill is, he’s equally intriguing when he knows what he’s talking about.

Talking first about ‘giss’, then what the origin of of ‘gism’
Jimmy: “I could tell you where it comes from- I can SHOW you…”
Stephen, sighing:”…You’re not to do that.”
Jimmy: “…again.”

Stephen talks of measuring one single sperm in 36.7 Megabites
Jimmy, with another obvious joke: “…talk about your hard-drive..”
Bill: “Is this…just after you’ve logged off?”
Jimmy: “JUST GONNA PLUG IN ‘MA DONGLE, BILL.”
Bill, beginning to crack: “How many more of these can we get…”
Stephen, finally prevailing: “As long as it’s not a floppy…”

Victoria, as the other three are still talking about ejaculation: “I CAME HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE AZTECS…”

Observation: So far, this is the Jimmy and Bill show, which is indicative of the first stretch of the show’s history. Victoria, when she does say something, she says a lot, but her nerves might be preventing her from truly interacting with the other three. Also, Alan’s having a quieter night so far, which is odd.

Stephen names the bird on the behind-screen as the ‘Juan Fernandez tit-tyrant’
Jimmy: [raises an eyebrow]
Alan, breaking: “Oh GOD HERE WE GO AGAIN…”

Stephen: “There are points for knowing where the Juan Fernandez islands are.”
Victoria, drowning in lowbrow, throws her hands up: “BREAST-COCK LANE?”
The whole place explodes in laughter, Stephen facepalms, and Bill goes ‘THAT’S THE SPIRIT!’

Stephen: “If I tell you it’s a weaver-bird, you’ll know that it probably comes from…”
Jimmy: “Yorkshire.”
Man, Jimmy and Bill just keep hitting. Over and over. This whole stretch of the show!

Bill, flexing his bird knowledge, gets the next bird within 3 seconds, without breaking a sweat. Proof that, aside from making jokes about weasels, he also studies them

Alan makes the second Jedward joke of the night. Unlike Jo’s Michael Winner jokes, I imagine this was due to recency, and the topical nature of bashing Jedward. This went away after a while, thankfully.

This show also is patterned towards Jimmy’s knowledge of Arthur Conan Doyle, in that he knows that the word ‘ejaculate’ was used as a synonym for ‘exclaim’, instead of an antonym for…something that was literally just discussed.

Stephen: “There are twenty-three ejaculations in the canon, as it’s known-”
Bill bursts out laughing at this, covering his head.
Alan: “ANNNNND one up the spout!”

Stephen, demarking all the ‘ejaculations’ in the Holmes book: “Of course, there is one where it’s quite hard to tell whose it is.”
THIS GETS VICTORIA. All the other ones, she was shaking her head, going, internally, ‘I’m above this’, but this one cracks her.
Stephen: “So he sat, as I went off to sleep…when a sudden ejaculation woke me up…”
Jimmy, to Victoria: “Have YOU ever been woken up by a sudden ejaculation?”
Stephen: ‘We’ve talked enough about your dreams…”

Stephen, rounding the last of the stats: “The only other ejaculator is Ms. Sinclair’s husband, who ejaculates from a second-floor window.”
Jimmy LOSES HIS SHIT HERE: “This is the most fun I’ve ever had on this show.”

Stephen, for the next question, rattles off a description of someone talking without much sense, and droning on, and asks who it being talked about.
Jimmy: “You.”
KLAXON

Stephen asks who the first person to use ‘OMG’ to mean Oh My God was
Alan: “Jesus.”
Stephen facepalms for what must be the 20th time this episode.

There’s a great bit where Bill just gets the audience to say ‘lol’, phonetically like that, just in a commonplace type of voice, in unison. It’s amusing as all hell.

Stephen throws in another question that may have an obvious answer: “Where do arabic numbers come from?”
Jimmy, pontificating: “….I don’t know!”

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 5.32.20 PM.pngJimmy: “interesting fact, though, the Oasis is about 110 miles that way…”
Bill: “No, that’s the chart position, in, uh…the Yemen”
HA

Stephen, explaining to Alan: “Roman letters, and…arabic numbering…”
Bill: “And…gregorian chanting…”
Stephen: “No…”
Bill: “French…pastries…”

Victoria’s mental prowess is illuminated in the Hangman question, where she gives an answer that’s even more inspired, and correct, than the one Stephen has written down.

With 5 minutes left to go in the episode, it finally happens:
Stephen: “Why was the March Hare so important to the Aztecs?”
Victoria immediately facepalms, and the audience reacts in applause. This is similar to the quick-thinking writers on Buzzcocks, who’d take a lyric from early in the show, plug it back in to screw with contestants [like Jon Richardson and ‘Winds of Change’]. But…equally more humiliating for Victoria.
Alan: “The thing is, Victoria, whatever you dreamt as the answer, IS the right answer…”
Victoria: “No, but I know the answer isn’t…’Did they worship it…’
KLAXON
Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 5.41.13 PM.png

Victoria, a la her husband: “…I think you’ll find I said that’s NOT the answer..”

This does end in an amazing twist: the Aztecs definitely did worship rabbits, rather than hares, and Stephen goes so far as to say that people theorize that they worshipped jackrabbits, which are technically hares. AND A J-WORD. It’s the most perfect conclusion to an episode like this.

Instead of being intersped into the middle of the show, the contraption, or Jolly Jape as it’s referred to this series, is done right at the end, before the scores.

It’s pretty fitting that Victoria wins as well, as she probably got multiple points for being psychic and predicting knowledge she didn’t know she had.

Overall: This is a QI that couldn’t exist without the show having gone on for a while, much like Inland Revenue, but what made this one interesting was the entire subplot with Victoria, who did well in her debut appearance, predicting a question that actually made contextual sense within the episode. Proved how well she fit with this show, though she’d be more outgoing in later appearances. Bill and Jimmy were on fire throughout the night, though more of Bill’s jokes hit, and Bill’s generally a better panelist, as he’s still fantastic at collaborating with multiple panelists while making jokes. The entire middle stretch, with all the lewd jokes, was a joy to watch, even with the amount of lulls this show ended up having throughout. Definitely a net win, and an enjoyable, and at times unbelievable, episode.

MVP: Bill
Best Guest: Jimmy
Show Winner: Victoria
Best QI Fact: Holmes’ ejaculations
Best Runner: The March Hare

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E12, or The Product of Deranged Minds

The second of two compilations. This one, in addition to Ryan and Colin, features the two American semi-regulars (Greg and Brad), three British WL all-stars (Steve, Stephen Fry and Josie)…and Norm from Cheers. Yes, we have a full second episode from George Wendt’s taping, yet here we are with an appearance from him tonight. No Karen Maruyama, Debi Durst or Rory Bremner in this one, and no Mike McShane, meaning he’s made his final appearance of the show already. So has Debi, but…who cares, Mike > Debi.

Film and Theatre Styles – Ryan and Colin are glass-blowers getting on each other’s nerves
From: E2

Ryan is already cracking up at the scene description.

The first shot of the game, while not as lowbrow as I thought Ryan would go, is still great: Ryan is literally blowing air at Colin, as he yells “STOPPIT!”

Ryan: “You’ve blown a glass gun! It’s too bad-”
BUZZ
Clive: “Let’s start with an easy one, a Western.”
Ryan: “…it’s too bad you didn’t blow any glass BULLETS for that gun…”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 3.59.13 PM.png

Ryan has a great gag where he flings his glass gun in the air, waits 10 seconds for it to come down, then catches…and Colin promptly smashes it.

The Lassie style is hysterical, as Ryan is just motioning to something offstage without words, and it’s so goofy.
Colin: “…old lady Johnson fell down the glass well?”
At this point, Greg starts absolutely losing it in the background.

Top Gun:
Ryan: “Yeah, but your glass-blowing cost someone his LIFE, didn’t it?”
Colin: [dramatically turns his head and cries]

The My Little Pony style, where Ryan talks of stacking ponies on top of each other to ride properly, is a silly way of ending this silly scene, which didn’t go anywhere, but it was goofy enough to enjoy.

Quick Change – Brad briefs spy Steve about a dangerous mission. Ryan calls change.
From: E6

Another Quick Change playing! Awesome!

Steve, after two changes: “I’ve forgotten my contact lenses.”
Brad: “Well, luckily it’s in braille, so you can feel it…”

Ryan’s a good caller for this game, because he goes past the rule of threes (which, according to Brad, is the right way to play this game- keep going til they strike gold), and needles Brad, and Steve, into goofy stuff. For why there’s spit on the map, Brad eventually lands on ‘I just adore the smell of your cologne…’

Steve, after that line: “Sir…d’you wanna tell me something?”
Brad: “No, I don’t want to tell you that now, until you come back from your mission, because if you die, I couldn’t bear the pain of losing you.”
Ryan: “Change.”
Brad: “…yes, I’m trying to tell you something.”
Ryan: “Change”
Brad: “…I haven’t told you what I WANT to tell you because…the thought of your hand on my shoulder makes my shoes warm..”

There’s a very nice dramatic interlude, where Steve talks about what happens if he doesn’t come back. The scene ends semi-clumsily, as Steve decides not to end on that somber moment, but instead go back to the milieu and investigate what a pen on the table does, which does have us end with Brad, changing, into the line “if you put it in your pocket it’ll toast your nuggets”, which is an even better ending line than I expected.

A very nice Quick Change, and some surprisingly adept work from Steve and Brad.

Sound Effects – Colin is in a plane waiting to parachute into enemy lines. Ryan provides sound effects.
From: E9

Generally standard stuff for the first part of this scene. Only when Ryan starts adding ticklish noises as Colin does his chest buttons does it begin to get funny.

There’s another great moment where Colin pulls the chute…and nothing happens…and he has confused eyebrows.

This also has a great ending, where Colin lands in the water, begins to swim to shore…then Ryan plays in the Jaws music.

A simple, alright SFX. I see why it made the comp.

Animals – Ryan and Greg are pigs on their wedding night, when Colin, Ryan’s ex-wife, who was believed to be slaughtered, suddenly shows up.
From: E7

This one apparently won’t be in the next George show, which does exist thanks to the surplus of material from this one.

Clive, after reading the scene description, looks at camera and goes “…this game is the product of deranged minds”
You mean Ron West, then? I think he did a lot of scene descriptions and quirks for later WL. Maybe this one’s his doing, since he certainly was deranged (he was the Michael O’Donoghue of WL).

This is a very broad scene, with a lot of squealing, a lot of running around, and Greg just hoofing Colin after a while.
Ryan, breaking it up: “DON’T FIGHT…[tender read] Don’t fight over meee…”
Colin completely loses it here for some reason.

Greg: “Yes, and your sausage is small, and undercooked.”

Colin ends on the line “I’m gonna play with some roast beef”, which is a bizarre way to end this game, but…sure. Funny enough, but a bit empty in parts.

Song Styles – Josie sings a Sondheim song to Brendan the policeman.
From: E4

When Brendan says he’s a policemen, some people in the audience boo. Ryan, in the back, immediately mimes taking stuff out of his pockets and throwing them away.

As this is Sondheim, Richard throws in a very crafty time signature as well. Just as he would have wanted.

Hell, Josie also nails the overlapping style of verses, and the rhythm of lyrics over the music. This is a really good one.

This is truly masterful by Josie, as the players give her a standing o after that, and damn does she deserve it- she keeps up lyrically and tonally, turning this into a song about deep sexual regret (which is a very Sondheim topic). One of her best, by far.

Backwards Scene – Ryan and Colin are dead and Brad is a survivor after a saloon bar showdown.
From: E6

A game that hasn’t been played since Niall’s first episode, and still occasionally works.

Ryan, starting with his final words: “I….love you…”
Brad: [shoots him]

Colin, getting up: “You couldn’t hit me if you tried!”

Ryan, to Colin: “Next time, do it slower so it don’t go off the end of the bad.”
Colin: [mimes throwing something]

Colin, screwing over Ryan like usual in this game: “Tell me another joke!”
Ryan: “A PENGUIN!”
Colin: “I give up, what?”
Ryan, perfectly: “…What am I gonna shove up your ass if you don’t give me a beer?”
BUZZ

A game that, ironically, started slowly and had a fantastic ending.

Home Shopping – Ryan and Colin sell keys that don’t fit any lock, a piece of fluff, and old asparagus
From: E3

Mike McShane cameo, even if he’s not in this game.

Right before the game starts, Ryan is silent, thinking for five seconds about old asparagus. It’s clear that he has nothing for old asparagus.

Colin, with the fluff: “For a special time only, we’re selling celebrity belly lint.”

Ryan has a great runner about using the keys for things that don’t exist, just to fool people. He brings it back several times throughout Colin’s.

Right after the last lint joke, Colin and Ryan give each other a look. They know what’s next, and neither of them have anything for it.
Colin: “Of course…we also have…other things.”
Ryan: “Many other things! Things that are good for ya!”
Colin: “And things that aren’t so good for you!”
Ryan: “like what?”
Colin gives Ryan another look, near cracking: “I’ll tell you…old asparagus. NOW, WHAT POSSIBLE USE COULD A PERSON HAVE FOR OLD ASPARAGUS?”
Ryan, stalling because he knows Colin, and he, have nothing: “I know NEW asparagus is good for you, and good for your body, but [breaking] what purpose could OLD asparagus have?”
Colin: “Well, enough of the stalling, let’s get right to it! OLD ASPARAGUS…..IT…IS…FOR…THIS! RYAN?”
And Ryan, caught very off guard, cracks for another second.

Ryan and Colin do end up making a fun solution for this, with Ryan throwing in one more key joke, but as the game ends, Ryan is just shaking his head, going “oh my god…”

A fantastic ending, even building up through the rest of the game.

Three of a Kind – Ryan, Colin, and Greg are ice hockey players doing housework.
From: E18

Another game cut from an episode that hasn’t aired yet!

This game lasts 30 seconds, and has two jokes: Colin and Greg beating each other up over dishes, and Ryan having the other 2 shoot laundry into the hamper. If there are any other jokes for this concept, we don’t know, as the game cuts away after that.

Party Quirks – Stephen hosts the party. His guests are Josie (the Queen getting involved in a pub fight), Colin (being chased on the roof of a speeding train), and Ryan (Flipper trying to warn Stephen about various disasters).
From: E4

It also feels like Ron West must have written these quirks as well.

A reminder that we haven’t ever seen Stephen Fry play this game: the only times it could have been played are with a drunk Peter Cook, or with Enn Reitel. Neither made air. I can only imagine why, having witnessed this game before.

Josie: “…Are you…ucking looking at ucking me?”
[Perhaps a retaliation for Stephen’s ‘take your hand off me fucking knee’ from earlier]

Colin shouts “TUNNEL” and lands on the ground. Josie gets on top of him and punches him in the head…right as camera cuts to the doorstep. I would have loved to see impact there.

You can see why Stephen’s not very good at hosting: he’s looking around at all three bouncing off each other, and has no clue. Josie, perhaps knowing this, is the only one not being too overactive during this bit.

Ryan literally says “FLIPPER” in his dolphin voice…and Stephen doesn’t get it. As he tries to guess Colin, you can see Ryan in the back taking a hard drink.

It ends clumsily, as Ryan basically YELLING who he is, after Stephen guesses ‘is he that tellytubby again?’

A disheveled playing of this, thanks to Stephen not being a terribly adept guesser. I don’t fault him, I just think he didn’t really fit with the game.

Moving People – Colin and Ryan are Captain Ahab and his first mate searching for Moby Dick.
From: E2

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 5.28.57 PM.pngColin: “…I can’t see a thing!”
Ryan: “…this parrot’s gonna have to lose weight!”

Colin’s mover has him point to ‘Moby Dick’, then directly at his brain.
Colin: “…I’m picking up some mental images…”

Ryan, carrying the harpoon: “I’m probably gonna have to get a running start on this.”
The audience goes “oh”, for the sake of the two audience members.

Colin says he’s gonna come over and help Ryan, but Colin’s mover yanks him over so fast that he nearly falls over.
Colin: “BOY, THERE’S A ROUGH SEA TODAY.”
Ryan: “…captain I’m not sure if I still have the harpoon in my hand…”
Colin: “MY GOD, MAN!”
Ryan: “I’M ASHAMED! I’M ASHAMED!”

A pretty funny one, though it did have a few lulls, like a lot of tonight’s games.

Hoedown: Space Travel
From: E7

Gee, haven’t we seen this Hoedown before. Well…this is the first instance of doing multiple Hoedowns from one Hoedown suggestion, which is why we’ll eventually have like 4 Plastic Surgery hoedowns.

Greg’s is simple: he ends on the line “I’m doing a Space Hoedown next to Norm from Cheers.”

GEE, HAVEN’T WE SEEN GEORGE’S HOEDOWN VERSE BEFORE? Well, instead of including another Hoedown verse from another replaying of this game, they just included his EXACT hoedown verse from E7. The same one, that wasn’t funny to begin with, and was more of a cop-out. Which means the disclaimer was wrong: there IS NO NEW MATERIAL FROM GEORGE WENDT in this show. Even his Hoedown verse is reran. Absolutely unbelievable.

Colin’s is a very, very obvious martian probe joke.

And Ryan makes a Uranus pun. YOU SEE, I THINK THERE’S A REASON WHY THESE VERSES WERE KEPT OUT OF THE CUT. I mean, Hoedown’s a pretty meaningless game, but this one’s the most meaningless of them all, I think. Dear god.

Overall:
Best Performer: Ryan, who had the most frequent gags
Worst Performer: George Wendt. See Hoedown. Or…the Hoedown from E7.
Best Game: Moving People was the most consistently funny, I think.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Just a dead game.

After this…comparatively weak compilation, we go back to regulation next show, as we continue the cobbled episodes from past tapings…as well as a show from a taping we’ve only seen in compilations.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E11, or What’s Yogi Bear Doing There??

Onto the compilations! These feature scenes from A.) tapings we’ve seen already, and B.) tapings that aren’t going to have another episode produced from them. However, despite the fact that we do get more content from both Brad & Steve shows, and the Rory show, here tonight, those ones do get another episode later on. So it’s a little baffling, but they were going for quantity, obviously.

Note that none of the American newbies the producers were banking on (Karen, Debi and George) are featured tonight. Karen and George have another episode from their respective tapings in the pipeline.

Questions Only – Rory, Greg, Ryan, and Colin are in the Olympic village.
From: E1

Clive mentions that this game shouldn’t erupt in physical violence, at which point Rory headbutts Greg.

Rory’s surprisingly good at this game. I didn’t figure he would be, seeing as he’s better at the voices part of improv than the ‘improvising’ part. Though, his second round basically cries out for a buzzer.

This is an odd one, as both Ryan and Colin are felled on simple mistakes, leaving a delighted Greg alone, without a word. I guess we know why this didn’t make air.

Colin: “Would you like ham, or cheese?”
Ryan: “Is there a difference?”
Colin gives him a confused look. Not as confused as the ‘can I have the recipe’ response from last show, but close.

A fun enough game, but it was insanely stop-start.

Film and Theatre Styles – Ryan is a scientist who’s been working with gorillas for 20 years, and Colin is telling him he has to come home
From: E4

From moment one, Ryan has the subtle gorilla movements down. That’s honestly all he needs in the first part of the scene.

Then, once the Pirate movie style hits, Ryan and Colin do wonderfully over the top pirate accents. Even Stephen Fry’s enjoying this in the background.

By the end of this style, where Colin makes Ryan walk a plank that’s just sticking out of the hut, Clive’s laughing hysterically.

Clive: “Muppets”
Ryan, with a fantastic Kermit impression: “How’s that, Dr. Simian?”

It’s going to become very clear as we go on that Colin doesn’t have a ton of knowledge about American children’s television. Instead of doing a Muppet impression, he just does a Yogi Bear voice: “What are we gonna do about THAT?”
Ryan immediately cracks. He does manage to go along with the scene, but Clive has to buzz, looks directly at Colin, and, like a disappointed parent finding the umpteenth bag of weed, goes “…WHAT’S YOGI BEAR DOING THERE???”
Ryan uses this cue to completely break, giggling at the absurdity of it all.
Clive: “HE’S not a muppet!”

The western style is wonderfully silly, with Ryan humming his own film music, twirling a bunch of bananas, and shooting Colin, only for Colin to catch the bullet between his teeth. Unfortunately we cut away after this, leaving the scene’s ending to the imagination. Still, it was a goofy enough round, and the Yogi Bear thing was the right kind of nonsense to hit.

Let’s Make a Date – Brad is the bachelorette. The bachelors are Mike (a dog making a dirty phone call), Colin (increasingly annoyed by Brad’s stupidity), and Ryan (channeling the spirits of Brad’s dead relatives).
From: E3

Immediately, Mike is caught off-guard by Brad’s LMAD voice. I don’t blame him.

Colin plays off of a Brad flub perfectly: “Can’t you get through a whole sentence without just stumbling? ONE SENTENCE! THAT’S ALL I WANT!”

Having seen this one several times, I can confirm that Ryan’s is absolutely perfect, and just the right amount of ridiculous.

Brad: “#1 again. OH, JUST WOO ME! WOO ME PLEASE!”
Mike: “WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF. THAT’S RIGHT BABY. WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF. THAT’S RIGHT, NOW TURN AROUND……[SNIFF] YEEEEAHHH…”

After Mike’s really good run
Brad: “Isn’t that fetching? Number tw-”
Colin: “‘ISN’T THAT FETCHING’??? Ohhhhh COME ON!!!”
Brad, unwittingly continuing a theme from E10: “Well I’m not gonna ask you anything, bastard!”

A nice enough round, though down from last playing.

Song Titles – Steve, Brad, Ryan, and Colin are at the race track.
From: E6

There are a lot of obvious jokes here, but Colin yelling “A HORSE WITH NO NAME” did get me laughing.

This game had a ton of lulls, especially a 5 second pause where none of them wanted to do another one, as well as simply never getting going. Like QO, this game would improve by being made a quickfire round.

Song Styles – Josie sings a big musical love song to Andy, an account manager for a fruit machine company.
From: E18

HEY, FUNNY THING: This game is from a taping that we haven’t seen any material from yet! This is a game from Episode 18, which won’t be for a while, and we literally don’t know what games knocked this one off the final cut of the show yet. That’s odd.

Also, lol, Comedy Store Player legend Josie Lawrence singing to a guy named Andy. As if she doesn’t work with one every few weeks.

Josie, in interacting with Andy, and Richard, feels like her Series 1 self, which is nice, considering how different this series is from Series 1.

Josie: “I want him to get his change out, and put his coin right in my slot.”

This is a fairly standard number for Josie, but the amount of zeal and clever lyrics she throws in does make it at least a memorable moment for the show.

Sports Commentators – Greg and Rory commentate on Ryan and Colin, who are two guys at adjoining desks in an office.
From: E1

With Rory, Clive has to have him choose an actual commentator to imitate. Rory, being Rory, goes for Murray Walker.

Greg asks Clive to repeat the scene description, as he’d already lost it, which Clive does.
Clive: “Too british, the way I say that?”
Greg: “Nono, I understood, but thank you for patronizing.”
Clive: “You seem to be leading with your chin on that one.”
Greg: “As I do-”
Rory, springing in: “At least he’s got one.”
Greg nodding, adds: “And a neck, too…”
And, as he starts to mime hair, Rory figures they should at least start the game.

They do manage to have a funny bit from the start, as Rory introduces himself, reads the prompter, gets confused as to who he is, then reaffirms that he is, in fact, Murray Walker.
Greg: ‘AND HE’S MURRAY WALKER…he thinks!”

This game, like usual, is very commonplace, but things heat up once Colin sticks a sharpened pencil through Ryan’s ears.

Greg: “I do not care where you’re from, that has gotta smart a little bit!”
George Lucas, taking notes: “…interesting…”

I do love Colin’s look of agony as Ryan pours the coffee down his pants.

This was better than most Sports Commentators rounds, but still had the same problems of being a bit too commonplace to get going, with a few exceptions. The banter helped though, and Rory was surprisingly fantastic at holding the game down.

Daytime Talk Show – Josie presents a talk show dealing with the horrors of washing up; Stephen, Colin, and Ryan are her guests.
From: E4

A new-ish game. Dan & Mark wanted to cash in on shows like Donahue with this game, but would eventually attempt to replicate the success of a certain former Governor’s wild, exploitive show out of Connecticut.

Here, the format is nice, though. Josie talks all three through their problems with washing up, so the three get showcases, and Josie gets a proctor role.

Josie, setting the tone brilliantly: “Hello, and welcome to ‘Come on, get it out!”

Josie mentions washing up liquid, and Stephen erupts in hysteria. Already we’re off to the races.

Stephen: “…I think it was when…Percil went onto the market…and then they started bringing out a lemon one…”

Then, as Josie moves onto Colin, she very delicately places her hand on Stephen’s left kneecap. And no one notices, but Stephen. So, as the shot settles back on Josie, and as the focus is on Josie and Colin, Stephen, randomly, shouts “Could you take your hand off me fucking knee?”
And right then, the whole place explodes. Ryan bites his lip- now he knows this isn’t making air.

Colin: “My wife and I had a novelty act, where we’d tie lots of plates and dishes to our body…and go over the falls.”
Stephen: “We’ve all been there, love…”

Colin: “SHE WAS DASHED TO THE ROCKS BELOW……EVERY DISH BROKEN. I have not worked…SINCE THEN. I’VE CONSTANTLY BEEN PUT ON PILLS TO RELAX ME….THEY’RE *NOT*…*WORKING!*…”
Josie: “Fred…look at me.”
Colin, squinty-eyed: “I AM!”

Josie: “Did you get the dishes glued back?”
Colin: “Yes, and they were spotless…but my WIFE…COULD NEVER BE GLUED BACK TOGETHER AGAIN…”

Ryan: “It’s ruined my life. My wife…has LEFT me…”
Colin: “YOU TELL HER BOYFRIEND-”
Ryan, with the PERFECT read: “…shut…UP!”

Ryan: “She took the dishes away…brought in paper plates…I washed THOSE…she took away my sponge…I used the CAT…”

After his monologue, Ryan starts maddeningly washing up nothing, and Colin tries to quiet his hands.

As Josie and Colin attempt to wrap up the program with a call to action, Ryan starts frantically washing up, going ‘MEOWWWW, MEOOWWW…MEOOW…”
Stephen: “BAR YOU, WE’RE ALL FUCKING WASHED UP!”

That was…incredible. Moments of legitimately great acting from everyone, great proctoring by Josie, and a hysterical ending. I wish they’d played it this way more often.

Director – Ryan and Greg act out the film Alien when one of them doesn’t feel too well; Colin is the director.
From: E8

The second of two playings of Director during this run. Like the previous one, they’re spoofing a real movie scene.

Colin: “DOUBLE TAKES! YOU HAVE TO CONSTANTLY GIVE EACH OTHER DOUBLE TAKES! Because, in space, no one can see you [looks both directions, frantically]”

Colin: “As if it’s in a musical.”
Ryan: “WHAT?”
Colin: “A MUSICAL. WHERE YA SING. Annnnd do it…UPBEAT.”
Colin tries very hard not to break at that, before running off.

This is the strongest of the segments, with a very silly upbeat musical number, Ryan chestburting in time with the music, and the alien going “IT’S NIIIIICE TO BE HERE!”

Colin does another goofy addition: “GERMAN STRIPPERS…WITH A SHOULDER DISABILITY.”

Ryan doing the chestburster as a German strip routine is even sillier, though.

A bit broad, but a fine playing of this.

Song Styles – Brad sings a Britpop song to Pauline, a used car salesman.
From: E6

Yes, another SS playing in this show, but I’ll allow it, A.) as it’s a rare acknowledgement of Britpop by WL, and B.) because it gets Brad to admit he’s been watching Eastenders.

Brad absolutely nails the nasally, yelly nature of most Britpop. I call this one half Brett Anderson, half Liam Gallagher. Hell, he even name-drops Oasis here.

A really, REALLY nice song from Brad, beating Josie’s for the show’s best musical number. All this from watching Eastenders? Impressive.

Overall:
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie, though Ryan and Brad came close, for going for more manic performances and succeedinng.
Worst Performer: Steve Frost, for divebombing his sole game tonight.
Best Game: Daytime Talk Show. Should have been in E4. Masterful.
Worst Game: Song Titles. Just dead.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E10, or Didn’t You Call Me a Poofter Earlier?

Trying to knock these out a bit more frequently, as well as moving towards more QI as well, but this UK WL, like the previous one, features the combo of Brad Sherwood and Steve Frost, which has worked rather well so far. This is the last episode before a pair of compilations, though it’s not the last bit of new material from this series, as E18 comes from a new taping, one which, judging from the sole episode we’ve gotten from it, must not have gone well on the whole.

This episode does re-use the intros from E6, though, although I still laugh at the ‘for his 900th consecutive appearance on this show’ joke about Ryan.

Questions Only: at a stag night

After some impressive quickfire between Brad and Steve
Brad: “You wanna dance?”
Steve, completely losing it: “Are you a poof?”
BUZZ

Brad: “Aren’t you the entertainment?”
Colin: “Have you ever seen a man juggle live bunnies naked before?”
Brad: “IS THIS MY CHANCE???”

After a brief go-round with Ryan and Colin, Brad returns
Brad: “What do you do with the bunnies exactly?”
Colin: “…” [breaks]
BUZZ

And then Steve returns, and Brad continues to play with continuity by asking “didn’t you call me a poofter earlier?”

After Steve denies it, Brad asks if he has a twin. Steve, smirking it off, says “yeah, I do actually”, not topping that.

Then, once Colin comes back up, Brad asks “Are you his twin?”
Colin: “Why are you asking?”
Brad, chuckling: “Have you heard of the FBI?”
Colin: “Are ya gonna put me in handcuffs?”
Brad, seductively: “Would you like to?”
Colin, genius: “D’you have something smaller?”
Brad: “D’you want some…oil to rub down with?”
Colin: “What kind of an FBI agent are you?”

The game ends after that line, though I doubt that was really the game-ending line, because the audience erupts in applause, and I don’t think it was at that. I think Colin set Brad up for a third poof joke. It’s just a shame we didn’t see it.

Other than that, fantastic round of this. Brad was on fire, and for once it was the Brad-Colin scenes that lasted the bulk of the game.

Sound Effects – Colin is on a submarine about to submerge. Ryan provides sound effects.

There’s just something silly in the air from the moment this one starts. The audience sort of giggles at nothing, though the gag where Colin wrings out his shirt is a nice one. Plus, Ryan’s alarms and noises are uniformly goofy here.

There’s a fantastic moment early on, where Ryan makes a ‘PFOOOT. PFOOOOT. PFOOOOT.’ ongoing noise. Colin, holding his nose, goes to open a window…THEN REMEMBERS WHERE HE IS, AND FRANTICALLY SHUTS IT. It’s a fantastic moment by both.

Great gag with Colin using the periscope. Ryan makes a ping-ing noise as Colin turns it, then suddenly breaks into distant faint russian. It’s simple, but funny.

Also, as Colin is turning levers, a random chicken shows up onboard. Colin gives a ‘…really’ expression to the chicken, though I think it’s directed at Ryan. Colin immediately wrings out its neck, which gets a huge laugh from the audience, harkening back to the supreme darkness of Colin’s SFX characters.

There’s a great ending gag, as something crashes outside. Colin opens the door to see what’s the matter, only for water to come rushing in, and Colin to frantically try and close the door again. I don’t know why that runner made me laugh so much, but here we go.

Another really fun game, possibly one of the better SFX rounds of late.

Let’s Make a Date – Brad is the bachelorette. The bachelors are Steve (characters from “EastEnders”), Colin (Brad’s annoyed flatmate), and Ryan (a prisoner going stir crazy).

This is the first appearance of Brad’s world-famous LMAD voice. Even here, it’s a little lower pitched than its usual form.

Colin nails the passive-aggressiveness immediately, possibly a cousin of his ‘hates everything english’ guy from earlier this Series.

And here we get the debut of a staple Brad line: “WOOOOOOO ME!”
Ryan, at the brink of tears: “WOO YOU? WOO YOU? You’ve gotta get me outta here, man…”

For whatever reason, Brad’s admission that he doesn’t smoke gets not only the audience, not only Clive, but BRAD HIMSELF laughing.

Brad: “Bachelor #2, at the risk of offending you…because you’re a BAASTARD…”

Brad, now making his voice higher to piss off Colin: “BACHELOR NUMBER THREEEEE! SAAAAAAAME QUESTION!”
Ryan: “What was it?”
Brad, now cracking up: “I don’t remember!”
Ryan: “I don’t…have you heard from the governor?”

Brad, still in his high voice, guesses Colin as “possibly Richard Dreyfuss from the Goodbye Girl”, which is a reference that cracks up Colin, ever the cinephile.

A very strong round of this, with everyone except maybe Brad standing out here.

Remember That Song – Colin is the barman; Ryan and Brad are his customers.

The best way I’d describe this game is a combination between Bartender and American Musical. Or simply…Bartender, except the patrons don’t leave.

Colin: “I remember your drink, right? Every kind of liquor, and a little bit of juice!”
Brad: “That’s right, it’s called a compendium!”

Brad sings a bizarre number about being naked in the park and running after old ladies, which is amusing enough.
Colin, immediately: “So what were you in prison for?”
Brad: “We-hell? That very thing.”

Ryan comes in as a trans woman, which…around this time, was a thing Ryan did occasionally. Brad, of course, gives the tits a good squeeze, and asks if he wants to go to the park later.

Brad, who is killing this show, sets Ryan up to be a former opera singer, which screws him over a little bit.

Ryan’s song is pretty great, even by Ryan standards. It’s pretty well done lyrically, and even if it ends in a lowbrow moment [‘they took away my penis, and gave me a vagina’], it’s still a classy ending to this scene.

A fairly alright game, though I feel like they only scratched the surface of what it could be. I would have liked to see other playings of this one, though I remember reading that they tried one during the US tapings, only as an impression showcase. I believe Ryan, as Carol Channing, was set up to have to name 10 countries in a song. And I wish that one had aired.

Press Conference – Brad, Ryan, and Colin interview Steve, who is Snow White announcing that she’s pregnant.

After Steve’s chyron comes up, he just waits for the audience to laugh, and cracks a little himself.

Ryan, right out of the gate: “Any idea which one’s responsible for this?”

Colin, after a pause: “…….I just can’t believe it myself…”
He just goes on this tangent that comes from out of nowhere…which reminds me that there’s probably a reason why Colin was moved to guessing after this season.

Brad: “At any time, did he whistle?”

Steve, in guessing, stammers that it might be Jack and the Giant Beanstalk. Clive, completing it for him, pulls a Mark Lamarr and says “no, not that…”

Narrate – Ryan and Colin meet on a sleeper train.

Thank god, this game’s finally back.

After a minute or so of fairly standard Narrate stuff, Colin: “…d’you mind if I…give you a pie?”

There’s a nice development where Ryan has never heard of a pie before, and is overanalyzing what it could be.

Colin: “He didn’t realize that the pie I gave him was made entirely out of some cardboard and pictures of apples. I’m a traveling practical joker. That’s my line of work. I enjoy it.”
Ryan, crossing to center: “….the pie was good.”
The simplest shit is just working in this game.
Ryan, channeling Dale Cooper: “…it was daaamn good.”

Ryan: “Say…let’s say you give me the recipe for this pie?”
Colin:

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 8.37.36 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 8.37.54 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-11-05 at 8.38.13 PM.png[AND I’M GONE]

Colin: “…the guy was as tall as a pyramid, and twice as thick…”

Colin: “THAT’S ONE OF MY BEST JOKES! THE PICTURE OF THE APPLE PIE! WHAT GIVES, MISTER???”
Ryan, to camera: “…….every time I spoke to him, he just…walked away.”

A really fantastic game that built so much as it went on, culminating in one of the single best wordless reactions we’ve had on the show in years.

Party Quirks – Steve is the host. His guests are Brad (Huggy Bear from “Starsky and Hutch”), Colin (working on the underside of a plane when it takes off), and Ryan (frog who turns into prince and back again).

Sidenote: This is the third time of late I’ve wondered how the hell Starsky and Hutch was so big in the UK. First when David Soul came on Buzzcocks, then when Huggy Bear went on I’m a Celebrity. Now this. What gives?

Brad’s Huggy Bear impression is pretty great, for the record. Of course, Steve gets it in seconds.

Steve, after Brad leaves, just stands there and motions for Colin to come in, without opening the door. Clive, quietly, goes “…what a long member you’ve got”, which gets only a few laughs, but gets him to open the door.

Colin’s physicality has Brad howling back at the seats. Steve’s laughing so hard he can barely get a word out to guess.

Then, as Steve goes to let in Ryan, Colin’s blocking the door running around, so Steve has to try and go around him, which is amusing as hell.

Unsurprisingly, Ryan’s frog physicality is hysterical.

Not since Tony Slattery have we had such a frenzied party environment. Ryan makes loud frog noises as Colin runs around, hanging from the plane. Steve’s absolutely dying.

It’s even funnier as Steve tries to guess Colin as Colin wails repeatedly, and Clive keeps correcting him.

Steve leaves, completely gone, having been given Colin’s and Ryan’s, but laughing his ass off. I don’t blame him. That was one of the funnier Party Quirks we’ve had in a while. This show is just a force of nature.

Hoedown: Worst Nightmare

Steve’s is normal Steve stuff. He’s just had a down night.

Brad talks of having a very surreal dream, waking up, and “there in my bed is, Colin in my pants.”

Colin’s is classic: he dreams of eating cotton candy, waking up and noticing his pillow’s gone. Oldest trick in the book, but it still gets a ton of laughs.

And then Ryan:
“When I go to sleep at night you know my biggest fear.
That walkin’ around the room is some sort of cre-cheer!”
He then realizes he made up a word, or butchered a pronunciation just to get a rhyme in, and breaks. He looks at Clive, kinda ashamed, and starts over.
“When I go sleep…”
He then breaks AGAIN. AND KEEPS GOING. “I’m so afraid of the dark.
Then one night I turn the lights just for a lark
AAH! Right before me is a [cracking again] really ugly cre-cheer…
Then I realize…that I’m looking in the mirror!”
He then sighs a breath of relief, as that hoedown finally got out of his system.

Overall. A much-needed jolt of energy to a series that felt a bit dead. Yes, Steve was obviously a weak link, but the other three were having a wild night. Brad was the obvious highlight, having so many great improv moves, and coming off like a pro for the umpteenth time this season, but even the Ryan-Colin scenes were, albeit subtler, still pretty good. Plus, so many games, like Questions Only, LMAD, SFX, Hoedown and Party Quirks, were really good playings of games that have seemed weak so far this series. Having Narrate back was only a cherry on top. Just a really fun, really enjoyable episode with a ton of moments of cracking up, and some great improv.

Show Winner: Steve
Best Performer: Brad, for doing so well throughout the night
Worst Performer: Steve, for not keeping up with the awesomeness of the other 3.
Best Game: Let’s Make a Date. Just had the most going on, though I nearly went with Party Quirks or Questions.
Worst Game: Press Conference. Still a good game, but quieter in comparison, and a bit short.