This QI marks the final appearances for two QI mainstays who helped bridge the way for the show’s success: Dara O’Briain, who’s had numerous funny shows over the years, and John Sessions, the famous git, who’s provided numerous amounts of intelligent material, but in the years since his previous appearance has become more of a relic to the show’s previous emphasis on fact rather than funny. Jo Brand is also onhand, to make this feel…oddly enough like a Series B show. For a show that seemed to be zooming ahead and enlisting modern comedy figures, this seemed an odd move (and if you’d like an odder move by QI, check back in two shows).
The buzzers all seem to be J-related songs: Jo’s is ‘Jenny from the Block’ by J. Lo, which she responds to with a shrug.
John’s amusingly, is ’99 Problems’ by Jay-Z, which he bobs along to in one of the most ill-fitting things I’ve seen in a while.
Stephen: “I’ll give you 10 points if you know who that was!”
John, horrified: “Uhhh…Usher!”
Stephen, facepalming: “I think ‘J’ would have helped you”
Stephen: “Well, it’s too late NOW…”
Dara gets a Jessie J tune, which he guesses obviously, because Dara is generally savvy with music [see his Pliers reference from Mock the Week…or his Colonel Abrams reference from Mock the Week]
Alan’s is the Alphabet song by Perry Como
Alan: “Not a J name, is it?”
Jo: “I think it might have been his brother, Jerry Como”
From the very first question, John’s pedantic, answer-knowing nature is immediately relevant. A lot of people seem to think that John was the one that Stephen alluded to always asking for the answers in advance. While I still believe that person was Rory McGrath, I’m certainly not ruling out John.
John talks about a jockey who’d put the whip up his own arse. “It’s a variation on the photocopier thing.”
Dara, not completely following: “…whereas you put the photocopier up your own arse?”
Stephen: “Oh, surely we’ve all been there.”
Stephen, reading from his cards, says that “these don’t have the effect of horsing a speed up- speeding a horse up, sorry.”
They cut to Jo, who looks very confused.
Stephen inspects his glasses.
Dara: “I don’t mean to get all street on you, but when you horse your speed up…it’s when you get your meth and mix heroin in with it…THAT will make you run.”
Alan: “What have you done with Stephen Fry???”
Jo, on the camel-racing question: “Please, may I tell you the only camel joke that I know? Kay, there’s two guys in the army, out on the desert. And there’s a new recruit, and there are no women around at all, and the new recruit says “what d’we do for sex?”, and the guy says “I’m afraid it’s the camels.” And later on, they’re all let out towards the camels, and the old bloke’s running really fast, and the young guy says “what’re you doing, it’s only a camel?” And the guy goes “yeah, but you don’t wanna get an ugly one, do you?”
As Stephen moves on Dara holds up a hand: “I’m sorry, but…there IS another camel joke…”
Dara takes it from the exact same starting point, “I’m afraid it’s the camels, and late at night, the guy goes ‘I can’t take it anymore, I’m as horny as hell’, and he takes off and he rides the camel. And he comes back, and goes “well, that’s the best we can do”. And the older guy says, well, actually, when I said ‘we got the camels’, we normally, eh, ride them into town…”
Okay, THAT is perfect.
Stephen asks for another sport that involves camels. Jo guesses smoking.
Stephen: “…I look at you, Alan, and I wonder…where these things grow. Where they come from…”
Alan: “…it’d just be nice to see, wouldn’t it?”
John talks of the 30s vaudeville act that named himself Nosmo King after the double doors that spelled out No Smoking.
Dara: “But he wasn’t tempted to call himself…’Fi Reexit’ or something like that?”
Alan, as Stephen’s going on: “Toi Let!”
Stephen: “Complete the phrase…’pregnant mothers should eat…’
Jo: “…loads….uh, burgers…”
Stephen asks Jo if she had any weird cravings or behaviors during pregnancy
Jo: “I gnawed my husband’s leg occasionally.”
Stephen: “…and that was unusual?”
Jo: “…not as far as our marriage was concerned…”
John mentions that his mother smoked his father’s pipe while she was pregnant, which Dara mentions is such a lovely image. “Tapping it out on the table.”
Alan: “…i thought you were gonna say ‘tapping it out on the belly’
And Dara mimes getting the ash all over the belly. It’s an amusing bit.
Stephen, voicing the concerns of the audience: “…Johnny, you’ve got to stop answering every question…”
Jo completely guesses a definition of an obscure Stephen word…gets it right, and gets the question right, which shocks the hell out of her.
As John gets something wrong
Stephen: “Nice that you’re trying, and don’t be put off…”
Stephen: “If you really want NOT to pee, keep as still as possible-”
Alan: “Clench the end of your cock INCREDIBLY HARD…”
Stephen, post-facepalm: “I’d find it better if you’d get someone else to do that..”
Stephen: “Who gets the most use from Jacobsen’s organ?”
Dara: “Wouldn’t that be MRS. Jacobsen?”
Not a lot is happening in this one. Everyone’s playing really separate games, and John’s excessive knowledge keeps bringing everything to a halt. At least Jo’s disgusting stories lift the mood. She tells one about someone someone pranked with a severed hand, which Alan is repulsed by even before the punchline.
Alan: “Did she ball it into a fist? And then couldn’t get it out?”
Jo: “No, they went in, and she was sitting on the bed eating it.”
That gives an even BIGGER response.
Stephen: “What does a cockroach find absolutely disgusting?”
Alan: “Jeremy Kyle.”
Stephen: “YES! IS THE RIGHT ANSWER! Because, well almost, Jeremy Kyle IS…a human being.”
Stephen’s final note is that any shuffling of cards is a completely new combination of all 52 possibilities, making it a unique shuffle. There are so many different positions of 52 that each card can be that its probability of being repeated is this very, very long positive integer. Not really a math guy, but I’m fascinated by that fact.
Also, this show produced all four scores higher than zero, which is fantastic. It’d be more fantastic if this was a better show.
John technically wins, but Stephen awards the show to himself for that impressive card display, which…if it takes a win away from John Sessions, I’m fine with.
Overall: A very, very weak show. There were funny moments here and there, but the majority of the show consisted of facts that couldn’t get off the ground, John Sessions rattling on, or just lulls in humor. Jo and Dara had funny moments and stories, and that ending card fact is a great one, but I really couldn’t get into this one.
Best Guest: Jo
Show Winner: John
Best QI Fact: card combinations
Best Runner: horsing up speed