QI Watchdown: J10 (Jungles), or I’m Not Talking to you Anymore

So…this is one I’ve been waiting to talk about for a while. For a number of reasons.

Firstly, I want to talk about what QI did with panel-stacking this series (and onward). Over the next few series’, BBC would employ a rule that panel shows should have at least one female panelist, and/or a minority, every show. Which is fine, as it gives opportunities to people who may not get them often. But also around this time, QI would get into a habit of deliberately stagnating panelists, and trying to mix in new talent. A lot of shows in this series, and others, would have a format of ‘one anchor, one joke-supplier and one newbie/guest’. For example, last show had Ross as an anchor, Sue as a joke supplier, and Julia as a guest/newbie. This is a far cry from the early series’ idea of ‘let’s just put a combination of three people we like on here’, which…worked a bit better.

So, if we’re going by ‘anchor-joke supplier-guest/newbie’…then what the fuck are we to make of THIS lineup?

Our anchor would be Reginald D. Hunter, who’s only been on once before, and didn’t do a great job of it, talking over the rest of the panel a great deal. He’s the anchor because the other two haven’t been on QI before.
Our joke supplier would be Greg Proops, who…actually is a nice fit for QI, as he does bill himself as ‘the smartest person in the world’, and, as readers should know, is a favorite of mine. As a matter of fact, he would have been a great person to host a US version of QI.
Our guest is David O’Doherty, another person who seems nominally like a good fit, but needs a good room if he wants to really gel well, and…I’m not sure if this is one.

So…a panel of two newbies and Reg D. Hunter. This will be…interesting.

Greg seems amused by David’s bird buzzer. All the first three are loud, wild animals; Alan’s is a cricket.

Stephen: “Where does the lion sleep tonight…”
Panel: “…….”
Alan: “Is this gonna be a trick, where they don’t sleep in the night?”
Greg: “Or they don’t sleep in the jungle?”
Stephen: “You’re right-”
Greg: “Man, I am NAILING this game…”

Stephen: “Because, where do lions live?”
David: “…..office buildings.”
Good to have David back on this blog.
Alan: “…I was gonna say Luton, I dunno why…”

About lions eating other animals for nutrients
Reg: “So instead of eating vegetables…you eat something that DOES eat vegetables.”
Greg: “I feel better about my diet now…”

Alan slyly says ‘Lion King’ before Stephen does, then turns to Greg, smirks, and goes “I’ll get points for that.”
Greg: “Will you?”
Alan nods. It’s like he’s teaching Greg how to QI. This will come into play later on.

On revealing the original writer of the Lion Sleeps Tonight only got a pound for doing so, Stephen brings it back to the actual ‘Lion Sleeps Tonight’ thing being a ‘black lie’
Alan: “He doesn’t sleep in the jungle, he doesn’t sleep at night, and he’s lucky to get a pound for it…”

Stephen: “What would be the best way for Tarzan to get around the jungle?”
Reg: “Well, uh, without a family, I would guess…”

Alan: “He gets around by swimming, and swinging on [to Greg] what is it called?”
Greg: “…vines…”
Then, immediately, Alan points to Greg as it goes off, as he set him up for it.
Screen Shot 2019-01-27 at 3.00.12 PM.png
He bangs on his buzzer in disgust.

Stephen: “Oh, Alan, you wicked, wicked…”
Alan: “I feel really good tonight…I feel I’ve finally nailed this game…”
Greg: “I didn’t know you were gonna use your jedi powers on me, Davies….I come in here with every good intention, and the next thing I know I’m providing answers to you…”

Greg talks about gibbons swinging from vines, and Stephen responds by playing a clip of one, which Greg’s initially kinda surprised they had supplied already.
Alan, buzzing in, points to the screen: “Orangutan.”
He then turns to Greg, and goes “four.”

Greg: “I’d like to say that Alan is tarzan’s chimp, because cheetahs never prosper.”

Reg has a ‘heard it through the grapevine’ joke that I saw coming a mile away. Also, David has said one line so far.

Alan, after hearing that Caesar birthed the words Kaiser and Czar, says to Greg ‘see, you learn something new everyday’
Greg: “I’m not talking to you anymore.”

After Stephen congratulates Alan for another right answer, Reg sums up the whole show: “Yeah, it’s interesting that the two people that be on this show every week are doing the best…”

Stephen mentions that anything you put in front of a bonobo chimp, ‘it will shag’.
Alan: “Even Russell Brand?”

Stephen: “About 8% of lion sex is gay.”
Reg reacts to this a bit: “So did you get that from, like, a book about lion facts, or did you get that from a gay man?”

Stephen: “But there’s only one species that exhibits homophobia, and that’s mankind-”
Alan: “I really thought you were gonna say elephants then…”

Greg: “I mean, how did they get the figure 8%? That’s a lot of research. I mean, I saw the Lion King and I didn’t see any of that going on…but I did feel the love…”
Stephen: “The circle of life had a whole new meaning, didn’t it?”

Of course David is gonna get a few questions right in this jungle-animal-themed QI. He literally wrote a book about pandas. This is one of his specialized subjects…which is why I’m surprised he’s not saying more.

Greg gets a right answer in saying the red-faced monkey is South American. He looks next to him, smirks, and goes “I’m comin’ up on a point, Alan.” I am loving the Greg-Alan dynamic so far. It’s just really working. Also, because it’s two of the fringe TV stars of the 90s, Greg from Whose Line and Alan from Jonathan Creek, coming together and goofing off.

Stephen brings up a point that seeing animals in cages in zoos is quite depressing.
David: “Also, the ice cream at zoos is very expensive, so that’s another depressing aspect…”

Stephen, talking about the ‘plastron’ denotations: “A turtle’s underbelly is also called a plastron, and so…is a man’s stiff…formal…shirt-front.”
Greg: [fans himself]

On ants converging together to float on water for transportation:
David: “That’s how I got here from Dublin this morning…”

Stephen: “But we do have an interesting experiment- I do love to do an experiment-”
Alan, to Greg: “He DOES love to do an experiment.”
This didn’t get a lot of response, but I still love the ‘Alan explaining QI to Greg’ runner.

Stephen’s experiment, involving the weight of sand in water, is a very cool one, and causes Alan and David to yell “WITCHCRAFT” and “SORCERY” as he does it.

Stephen, like last episode, tries to get around mentioning a brand name but lampshades exactly what it does “and it rhymes with something called GotchScard”.

Stephen mentions a kangaroo that smells of curry, and Alan goes into an Australian accent. One show short of having an actual Australian in the room…which is odd, considering the amount of Oceanians on this series.

On the animal, bearcat, that smells like freshly baked popcorn
Alan: “Is it slightly overpriced? And is the medium one the exact same price as the large one?”
David: “Their birth is apparently unique, because they’re born as a very small egg, and then on a hot day…they just pop into the air…”

Stephen asks what a specific butterfly smells like
Alan: “…finger of fudge.”
Stephen: “….YES!”
Alan: “WHAT???”

Stephen: “I’ve got to give it to you, because the answer is chocolate.”
Alan: [fist-bumps Greg]
David: “You two have developed a bizarre understanding…”

David, taking this the wrong way: “So chocolate is ground-up butterflies?”
Okay, he’s finally getting some good stuff out there

Greg has some good points about the Amazons who settled in North America, and the pigs that killed off most of the population with infectious diseases. Yeah, in addition to being really funny, he also aces the informational part of the show, which makes me wonder why, especially with his friend Sandi hosting the show now, he hasn’t been back on the program.

On the larva eating the frog from the outside
David: “He was a prince as well!”

Reg, after the clip: “Wait a minute, I didn’t see the end, who won?”
Stephen: “We were too tasteful to show you the outcome.”
David: “They shake hands, and they go ‘we’ve both learned a valuable lesson here…”

Reg: “Did you know that 8% of predator-pray relationships are homosexual?”

On the clip of a frog waving his arms
Reg: “I’m thinking…is there a plane-load of frogs coming in?”
David, getting it, does the sort of ‘waving the plane in’ hand signals

Stephen, still on frogs: “There are other ways of catching mates, which are unusual”
Alan: “…the internet.”

Stephen talks about the species of spider that attaches their sperm to their antennae, and waves them around, saying essentially “I’ve got some sperm for you!”
Reg: “I used to do that to my ex-girlfriend…”
Stephen: “Why am I not surprised by the word ‘ex’ in there?”

Stephen: “Alan, what I’d like you to do is press your buzzer.”
Alan, knowing Stephen: “….”
Stephen: “It’s not a trap-”
Alan: “It’s GONNA BE a trap…”

Stephen asks him what’s making the cricket noise on his buzzer
Alan: “…it’s one of two things…it’s either the one that makes the noise by inflating its thorax…or the one that makes the noise by rubbing its back legs together.”
Alan: “…so…I think it was…the first one…”

Stephen says that the ‘crickets rub their hind legs’ thing is “a weird fallacy that people cling to. I’ve clung to fallacies…”
Alan turns…realizes what this sounds like, and shakes his head. David’s cracking a bit too. Alan just turns to Greg, as he has all episode, and goes “he said it’s a weird phallus that people cling to! He said that!”
Greg: “He said…fallacies! That means ‘many phalluses’

Stephen, continuing: “‘rubbing body pa-‘ oh god, it’s getting worse, sorry…”

Stephen mentions the Snowy Tree Cricket…which was a plot point on an episode of Big Bang Theory. I can’t not correlate that.

Stephen says that this cricket can, with a mathematical formula, predict temperature.
David: “I’d still prefer a thermometer up my bum if I was in hospital…”

Stephen: “What lives underwater, and is the loudest animal in the world for its size.”
Greg, channeling Rich Hall: “Oprah.”
Alan: “…is it gonna be a blue whale.
Stephen: “OHHHHHHH”

Stephen: “You know those things that seem to walk on water, d’you know what they’re called?”
David, completely serious: “…Our Lord?”

The Jolly Jape involves rubbing a rod to produce a high pitched frequency which an insect uses as a phallus to attract mates. It’s very amusing, and Alan and Stephen have the loudest noises, but Alan, sighing afterward, punctuates it by going “no females have attracted, Stephen”

Then, Alan starts doing it from under the table, giving an even louder sound.
David: “And he’s doing THAT with his penis!”
Greg: “yeah, he put the rod down hours ago…”

Stephen: “Is a zebra black with white stripes or white with black stripes?”
Alan: “Yes”
Stephen: “Which?”
Alan: “…black with [to Greg] what do YOU think?”

Reg: “I’d say they’re black with white lines.”
Stephen: “Well, they’re actually white with black stripes.”
Reg: “Well, you WOULD say that, white man.”
Somewhere, Nish Kumar encounters his bit.

Proof that this show works: at literally the eleventh hour, right before Stephen announces the scores, David comes up with ‘The Credible Hulk’, which is a concept that Stephen finds admirable, and Greg finds hysterical. So literally, last beat of the show, and the main contributors [read: everyone but Reg] are all giggling at ‘The Credible Hulk’

Despite Alan’s great start, he still ends up losing, which is sad.

Overall: From the comments section, I was prepared for a dull, disjointed QI…which is NOT AT ALL the one I got. Not even remotely. Greg, Alan and David were all collaborating, doing fun gags, and keeping the spirit of the game intact, while Stephen and Alan were especially sharp. Greg had a fantastic time, especially in sitting next to Alan while he essentially explained the game to him. David was a bit quieter, but definitely had funnier moments down the stretch. Reg…kept to himself, and his few funny moments were at the expense of the show’s integrity, or easy, low blows. He’s only on one or two more of these, but hopefully, like tonight, there’ll be a panel to supplant his energy. Definitely a favorite of mine on the season so far, even if it did have a lull or two.

MVP: Alan
Best Guest: Greg
Show Winner: Reg
Best QI Fact: Ants converging for transportation
Best Runner: Alan’s asides to Greg

QI Watchdown: J9 (Jeopardy), or PUT THE F–KING SAFETY GOGGLES ON.

After another random absence from me, we crack on with Series J, with an episode featuring trusted anchor Ross Noble in his second of three episodes this series, trusted goof Sue Perkins in her third of three appearances this series (both of the prior ones being standout ones), and another member of the Australian invasion of this series, Julia Zemiro, who’s an Australian TV personality and comic, having been on Thank God You’re Here a few times. She also shows up on a few more QIs, so hopefully she’ll have a nice showing here.

The buzzers are all danger-themed. Julia’s is the theme from Psycho, which she relishes. Sue’s is the theme from Jaws, which she chuckles at, then tries to dance to. Ross is an old-timey ‘dun-dun-dun’ sort of thing, which he reacts accordingly to. Alan’s is just ‘vehicle reversing’.

Stephen starts by revealing that people normally spill coffee in 7 to 10 steps of walking. Ross responds by saying that long jumpers must never spill, as it only takes them three to do a long jump, and by then they’ll already have drank the coffee. Just the right amount of bizarre.

Stephen, on the coffee question, mentions something called ‘anular ring baffles’, which Alan points out, and the double entendre game is already on.
Ross: “Let me tell you, the amount of times my anular has been baffled…”
Alan: “Baffle your ring, sir?”

And then, Alan: “If you put a baffle in your anus, does that mean you’ll have quiet farts?”
Stephen bites down on his glasses for a moment, sighs, and goes “…I suppose it would…UNTIL pressure builds up to such a state…”
Alan: “Then it could be lethal”
Stephen: “Then you could have someone eye out in the aisle at waitro’s.”
Alan, as Stephen goes on: “THHHBBTT. Baffle your ring, sir?”

There’s a really good discussion on why not to march in time on the Albert bridge, as enough marching would set off an oscillation and make the bridge unstable.
Ross: “And that’s why…Michael Flatley can never get north of the Thames. He’s FURIOUS! He’s always wanted to get to Madam Tussauds…but he’s at the Elephant and Castle going ‘AAAAH, AY CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”

Stephen: “Now, what’s smaller than the moon, and keeps moving the sea around?”
Ross: “Is it a seal on caffeine?”
Alan: “Is it one of our OTHER moons?”

Alan: “….this better be the blue whale.”
Stephen: “…it so is NOT the blue whale.”

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 10.04.48 PM.png
Stephen: “How many jellyfish are pictured here?”
Ross: “Is it one with a very flamboyant hat on?”
Ross: “yes, but where are the words ‘with a very flamboyant hat on’?”

Stephen says that Portugese Man of War stings are very common in Australia
Julia: “Toughens you up, though. I mean, that’s life, isn’t it?”
Stephen: “One day it’ll toughen you up enough to win a test match against us.”
Julia rolls her eyes, and feigns pulling a Preston and walking off.

Stephen: “What is Australia’s deadliest creature, though-”
Julia, buzzing in immediately: “Rupert Murdoch.”
Surprisingly there’s no Klaxon for this.
Stephen: “Excluding a member of the human race, which…I’m not sure that does or not…”

Sue talks through a specific spider, but once the klaxon buzzes halfway through her describing it, she just starts singing it. I love that she has an upbeat attitude to getting deductions.

He then presses his buzzer for good measure, basking in the camp of that line.

Stephen does a great impression here of horses overreacting to common things. “RBRBRBRBRBRBRBRB WHAT’S THAT, it’s a HEDGE. RBBBBBBRRBRBBRBRB IT’S A PIECE OF PAPER!”

Ross talks about owning a narcoleptic horse, and it’s a fantastic anecdote, and he ends with the line “and I’ve got a friend over here, and he never came to visit us unfortunately, and he’s got narcolepsy himself, and THAT would have been the funniest thing…he would have to be on the horse, and if they got it in TIME- obviously it’d be a bit rubbish if he was awake and the horse went…”

Ross: “Did you see that woman who, she had her bum bitten off by a shark…and, you know how they do face transplants?”
Sue cracks up
Ross, to Sue: “No, they didn’t put a face on her bum…”
Stephen: “They did that to Anne Widdicombe…”
Ross, and the audience, wince at that one

Stephen, on this dinosaur question: “But no dinosaur was bigger than what? The biggest living creature that has ever existed on the planet.”
Alan: “…the T-Rex?”
Julia sneaks in: ‘the blue whale’
Alan takes a moment, sighs and facepalms.

Alan has a great bit talking about the two servants of the blind king who loved war, saying they essentially did a sound version of the battle by clanging their swords together and whistling arrows.

This show’s humor is coming from anecdotes and personal bits, rather than collaboration. Which…isn’t bad, it’s just not as effective as it could be.

Sue talks about doing the Wall of Death, where the bike keeps you ’round the curve with centripetal force.
Sue: “It was fun, my dad detached his retina.”
Ross: “What, before you got on, just ‘well, here we go'” [mimes taking them out]

Stephen describes this Euthanasia Rollercoaster, which kills the person with a huge drop and force.
Sue: “Have Chessington World of Adventure bought it yet?”
[No, but they have banned Hugh Dennis from riding it]

Ross: “You could build a chapel at the end…and then, after the funeral, you get a picture of your loved one…”
Ross is just killing it this show. Sue and Julia are fine, but much quieter and less funny than Ross so far

Stephen: “So, what’s the biggest dead body in the world.”
Alan, with a pause: “…blue whale.”
Stephen: “NOOO…”
Tons of applause for this

Stephen: “I’ll give you a hint, it’s a body of water”
Alan: “The dead sea”
Stephen: “OHHHHHH”

Stephen, still playing with the blue whale runner, asks what weighs as much as an blue whale and lives in the sea
Alan: “..an elephant on holiday.”

Stephen mentions that nobody can really go deep enough to find out what blue whales really do
Sue: “Just gossiping”
Stephen: “Or having quizzes in which people say ‘is the answer Alan Davies?”

Stephen talks about picking your nose leading to vulnerability to meningitis and syphilis
Ross, not at all serious: “yeah, that’s how you get syphilis”
Alan: “Yeah, it slightly depends what you’re picking it WITH…”
Ross: “That’s how ya explain it to the wife- ‘NO, I WAS JUST PICKIN’ ME NOSE!”

I love the little clapping Ross does when Stephen reveals he’s going to set fire to something in the studio

Stephen puts something out wrong for the Jolly Jape, says ‘the man in my ear is furious with me’.
Stephen, trying to move on: “No,”
Stephen: “…he was MUCH gentler than that…”

Stephen: “I’ve been told to tell you NOT to try this at home”
Ross: “Try it in someone else’s home…”

Stephen: “What I have hear is some normal, everyday washing-up liquid. We’re not allowed to mention its Fairy- NAME.”

Ross, as Stephen points out all the things on his table: “Oh, this is like going on a picnic with Heston Blumenthal…”

Alan: “When are you going to put the safety goggles on, Stephen?”
Stephen: “I’m about to now, because I’m about to open the bottle of acid”
Alan, again as the guy in the booth: “PUT THE FUCKING GOGGLES ON.”

Ross: “Can I just say something…YOU’RE putting on safety goggles…YOU’RE putting on a mask…”
Stephen: “You’re fine, you’re expendable.”
Alan goes and hides behind his notebook

There’s a moment where he’s spurting the bubbles with water…and it’s not doing anything, where Stephen realizes he may have fouled it up, and goes “oh GOD”. But then the bubbles catch fire, and it’s all good.

I will say, the Jolly Jape is one of the better ones we’ve had this season, and then right at it’s wrapping up, we hear Alan, again, going “PUT THE FUCKING LID ON THE ACID.”

It’s a good sign when as Stephen reads the scores, he has to stop because the hydrogen smell is still putting off Alan and Julia. Just says a lot about the dynamic.

Alan somehow doesn’t get last, only third.

Overall: A wild show. A ton of lulls, and a disappointing performance from Julia, who took an informational angle, but Alan and Ross were on a roll, Sue had some good lines, and the Jolly Jape was a definite highlight. Definitely not a series highlight, but…something about the dynamic, the wild little moments, and the amount of callbacks, like the other moons, the headless chicken, and, of course, the blue whale, boosted this one’s resume a bit.

MVP: Alan
Best Guest: Ross
Show Winner: Sue
Best QI Fact: Euthanasia Rollercoaster
Best Runner: Baffling the rings.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E14, or And YOU like to Watch

FINALLY back with another Whose Line. I figure since I’ve stagnated this series out for nearly 6 months, I should probably work on finishing the damned thing. So, here we are with another episode from the taping that brought us E2, a fantastic episode for Greg-Clive banter. Maybe there’ll be some refuse from it here, as well as more great work from LA import Karen Maruyama.

Questions Only – Two couples are on holiday; an affair is going on.

Already, you can see that Karen is both a natural at scene-building and keeping questions going. It’s Colin that gets buzzed with a ‘pardon?’

And then Greg immediately gets buzzed, responding to ‘WHAT DO YOU MEAN’, with a “well you…ahh…I don’t know.” Again, it’s early in the taping.

And then Karen, back with Colin, goes “do you want to tell him, or do I want to?” Which is a very odd question. Colin’s confused as all hell, even as she leaves.

Colin: “Where did she go?”
Ryan, with a clever move: “…why did you stop rubbing my back?”

As per usual with this game, the ‘real game’ starts when Colin and Ryan are together, and their back and forth is uniformly excellent.

Ryan: “Doesn’t it show on your face?”
Colin: “Were you LOOKING at my face?”
Ryan: “…d’you really think it’s that hard?”
Colin, naturally: “Are you still talking about my face?”
Ryan: “What were YOU thinking?”
Colin: [cracks]

Karen: “…do you want to touch my breasts right now?”
Greg, contrasting perfectly: “DO I???”
Karen, not topping that, leaves, leaving Greg distraught…so Ryan enters, and Greg just touches his. Which improves THAT tension
Ryan: “…are they okay?”

Perfectly great QO playing, as all four were just getting warm by the end.

Sound Effects – Colin the fireman gets a call out. Ryan provides sound effects.

Clive does another ‘do you have that in America’ for fireman, but keeps explaining past baseline and goes into condescension, causing Colin to just shake his head, exasperated.

Ryan does start with Colin sleeping…but throws in some hints as to what he’s dreaming about: “ohhh yes, just like that…oh, oui oui…”

My first big laugh was Colin sliding down the pole, then emitting an ‘AAGGH’ noise once he’s down.

Great moment: Colin goes through all kinds of stairs, gets into the firetruck…then checks himself out in the mirrors. Great character detail.

And then, Colin untangles the hose, gets it ready, fires
Ryan: “….drip.”

Honestly, this one ended a bit too soon. I would have loved to see him actual interact with the call other than arguing with the hose. Great scene, though.

Film and Theatre Styles – Greg fires Karen from her job as Little Red Riding Hood at a fairy tale park

Clive, fielding suggestions: “Yes, Eastenders, let’s sort these Americans out! Let’s show them what they can do with their Cockney accents! Where’s Dick van Dyke when you need him…”

Greg: “Yes, but…putting ecstasy in your basket, it’s really not appropriate…”

Star Trek:
Greg, perfect Shatner: “You…..CAN’T go ON…”

Just a note- Clive is just blowing through these styles. I feel like there’s been only one line in the first two.

Tennessee Williams:
Karen: “It’s so hot in here…I mean, you are my step-daddy brother…”

Thankfully this goes on for a bit, as both are great at this style, with bawdy southern accents.

Greg: “I remember the day I hired you-”
Karen: “I remember too, you were just a tinker man…with fire in his heart and love in his loins…”

Greg mentions: “All I do is sit in my office while you prance around and wait for a wolf to eat you…”
Karen, with the only response she CAN do here: “…and you like to waatch…”

Not a terrific F&TS, but the Tennessee Williams style saved it. Wish the rest of the game could have been like that.

Sports Commentators – Greg and Karen commentate on Ryan and Colin, rival hot dog salesmen.

I still don’t love this game…and yet they do it a lot this series.

Clive, of course: “And you have hot dogs in America, of course.”
Greg, already done with this shit: “…yeah.”
Clive: “It’s the national dish, ANYWAY AWAY YOU GO-”
Greg starts the scene just glaring at Clive, then: “…we’ve got small sausages here in England, too…”
Clive, not letting him take the win: “…are you speaking personally, or just…”


Karen: “That’s right, today’s a special day because they’re using Polish!”

The scene is pretty tame so far, with both Colin and Ryan doing separate sales. But it’s only when Colin reaches over and bites one of Ryan’s hot dogs right off the grill that the scene really gets going.

Then, right when Ryan is about to ketchup-attack Colin, Greg calls for a ‘LET’S SEE THAT AGAIN’…which frightens Ryan, but they do it.

Plus, the re-doing of Ryan’s mustard stacking gives Colin an excuse to just…grab the mustard bottle and squeeze it in Ryan’s face. Which is a nice move.

Ryan does have a nice retaliation move, finally…he starts cutting onions directly under Colin’s face, leading to a tear attack. Very artsy move…and then Ryan just steals Colin’s entire grill, and starts throwing hot dogs at the crowd.

A much better Sports Commentators than usual, as both sides had a lot of fun with it.

Props – Ryan and Colin vs. Greg and Karen

Clive gives Ryan a prop that has a vaginal-like opening, and Ryan just smirks, shaking his head, knowing exactly what he has to do. As does the audience, who start laughing already.

Greg, rushing the ball-like props at the camera: “SPACE, THE FINAL FRONTIER…”

Also, Greg and Karen realize a sound-component can be used, by clanging the props together, Karen follows with “…this is the ten-o-clock news.”

Ryan, inevitably:
Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 12.05.25 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 12.06.05 PM.pngGreg: “PING-PONG BALLS? I thought you said KING KONG’S BALLS!”

A really fun round of props, even with the very obvious Ryan joke that we all saw coming a mile away.

Home Shopping – Ryan and Colin try to sell an umbrella handle, somebody else’s photos, and onion gravy.

Ryan: “Hi, I’m Gary.”
Colin: “…AND I’M GARY TOO.”

Colin, mincing the english language: “Why they appear to be pictures of someone totally someone different from you!”

Colin, with the umbrella handle: “You know, pirates are going out, and going ‘you know..those hooks are just killing me when I scratch my eyes…”

Ryan: “Say, I wonder if pirates can cook with that.”
Colin: “Well, of course! It’s non-stick!”

My favorite detail is Ryan holding up another photo, of ‘Paris’, when in reality it’s just a picture of a cow. He doesn’t even see it, but it’s such a silly detail. He’s also holding it upside-down.

Ryan: “And if you call in the next ten minutes, you get a picture of me…with Gary’s wife!”
Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 12.12.48 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 12.12.55 PM.png

A fairly strong game of this, with the runner of Ryan holding up pictures keeping me laughing.

Soap Opera – All four act out a soap opera in a public toilet.

So…it’s Animals…without the Animals? O…kay.

The visual of Ryan and Karen drinking martinis while cleaning toilets is a great one to start off with.

Greg: “This is Karen and mine’s special place. We went here on our anniversary-”
Ryan: “I think I peed here first with Karen…”

I do love the entrance of Colin as ‘Sargent Griswold’, completely contrasting from the other three with a gruff voice and manner.

Colin: “I’ve decided I’m going to open up all the urinals. I don’t know what it was…just the sight of the child, standing there, wanting to go but not able to…”

Ryan: “I’m the happiest father on earth. Have a rubber.”

This scene…worked a bit? I don’t think it really got going. And right when it was about to, Clive cut to the end of the episode. This game is a novel idea, but it needed a bit more to flesh out. And I don’t even think it works with all four players.

News Report – Greg and Colin anchor a report on the extinction of dinosaurs; Karen is the field reporter, and Ryan is whoever comes by.

Oh, thank God, this game still exists. I know we’re about to Jerry Springer-ize this game in S10, but old News Report still makes me laugh.

Somehow, the ‘Greg and Colin comparing dick lengths as the music kicks in’ doesn’t get as many laughs as it used to. Which is sad. I used to just start laughing the second that music kicked in.

Greg: “…Good evening, I’m Rock Hard.”
Colin: “…and I’m Peggy Lee……IT’S NOT FUNNY.”

Colin: “Yes, once they died, they became extinct.”
With nothing left, he just turns back to Greg.
Greg: “…clearly.”

Greg: “There’s something in my ear, it’s our field reporter.”
This…also doesn’t get laughs. For some reason. Man, this audience is just jaded.

Karen: “[Ryan] saw one of the last dinosaurs eat it….OOPS. CAN I SAY THAT??”

Karen: “Tell me, sir. What, in your own words, happened.”
Ryan, a Cro-Magnon man, starts drawing on the cave wall instead of talking. A nice touch.

Greg: “Thank you. I detect a cave-drawing of a primitive Clive Anderson on the wall there. Could that be partially responsible for the dinosaurs’ demise, Peggy?”
Colin: “I wouldn’t be surprised, I know it’s killed off many mammals I’ve known.”
[Somewhere, Mike McShane and Tony Slattery applaud]

Karen casts Ryan as a great-great ancestor of Clive Anderson, and sadly he has trouble with the accent
Ryan: “There’s no more contestants for our Whose Line is it Anyway Cro-Magnon show..”
Suddenly, Colin bounds in with his dinosaur impression. Immediately after, he hops back on the stool like nothing happened.
Karen: “There’s one left.”
Ryan, perhaps making a proto-Canada joke: “He’s, uh, going to France.”

Greg: “Interesting development there, the ancient Clive Anderson HAD a neck, and he evolved backwards…”

Once again, Greg passes it to Colin for his analysis, and Colin just says “yes”, and passes it back to Greg, who chuckles a little.

A pretty good News Report, though not as good as some of the best ones of Series 5 and 6.

Overall: This was definitely a ‘best of what was left’ episode. A few games, like Soap Opera and F&TS, just weren’t good enough for E2 or a compilation. However, there were a few, like Questions, Sports Commentators, Props and Home Shopping, that would have been great in the first episode. But nothing was truly terrific, or made a real case for going first, not even those good games I mentioned. The panelists were also pretty even, with everyone having a really nice night, and no one standing out in a bad way, though this show definitely emphasized Colin and Ryan more. Not a bad show, but not terribly spectacular either.

Show Winner: Karen
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie, for having the best moves in games tonight, and the most game wins.
Worst Performer: This is a by-default one, but Karen had the fewest amount of game wins, separated from Greg by a narrow margin. She still had a great night, but the other three outdid her.
Best Game: Honestly kinda tough, as nothing truly stood out, so I’ll go with Home Shopping.
Worst Game: Soap Opera. Just didn’t get a chance to really work.