Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E03, or How On Earth is it Gonna go to the Toilet?

For once this series, we have 3 established regulars, now that Jim Sweeney has appeared once- Mike McShane, Sandi Toksvig and Paul Merton are also here, the latter two giving their first appearances of the season. Paul, sadly, was beginning the downslope of his Whose Line career, as he’d appear less and less as he made more and more commitments to Have I Got News For You.

Film and Theatre Styles: Mike and Sandi (two strangers with adjoining hotel rooms)

Interesting note- this is the first time that WL gets away with one playing of F&TS. Usually Jim and Paul would have to do one, but perhaps theirs didn’t make it in.

Sandi: “Uhhh…HELLO…Are you the waiter, and if so, why have you got nothing on?”

Mike, awkwardly, tries hiding his privates
Sandi: “No, please don’t cover it up in any sort of way, your hand doesn’t seem to do it…”

Clive: “Medical”
Sandi: “What an interesting medical phenomena this is…a man who’s as big as he says he is, NOW…”
Oooooh, satirical AND funny. Way to go.

This scene actually, unlike most other F&TS scenes, has a nice, well-formed ending, that feels less like Clive saving time and more like a logical end to the scene.

Alphabet: Jim is rescuing Paul from quicksand, starting with P.

They must have learned from last playing, as they’re giving a starting letter instead of just going from A.

This is a slightly-clumsy one, because it’s tough for Paul to keep it going towards the trickier letters, but it does get a TON better once they’re into easier ones.

Jim: “Goodbye to the quicksand, then.”
Paul: “Hello to a new life.”
Jim: “…..I love you.”
Paul: “…just saying that.”
Jim: “kinky little devil…”

You can definitely tell that Jim’s way better at this game than Paul, and Paul stumbles, but it’s still a nice enough round, and ends well.

Song Styles: Mike sings a Calypso song about a Moldy Tomato.

There’s a nice amount of banter towards the beginning, as Clive can barely say the style, and then mistakes the tomato for a potato. Mike at least grins and bears it, unlike his fellow west-coast counterpart.

Mike gives a high-energy, high finesse song here, and he does it in only 12 or so bars. Clive and the audience are going wild when he finishes.

Expert Translation: Paul translates Sandi, from Outer Mongolia, speaking of how yaks go to the toilet

So…real talk. This is my favorite playing of this game. I feel like it came together like no other playing of this game has, and made me laugh harder than any other has (even the Volvo one). So…let’s examine this.

Sandi: [Ecstatic and loud, long enthusiastic intro line]
Paul: “Hello.”
[Audience, and me, laugh like hell]
Sandi: [smaller line]
Paul: “Now calm down.”

I’m just gonna transcribe most of Paul’s stuff here: “Imagine you are in Outer Mongolia and you see before you, walking, the most beautiful specimen of yak you’ve ever laid your eyes on.
[Sandi gives an impassioned, heart-felt plea]
Paul: “You think, how on earth is it gonna go to the toilet?”

The best part of this is that Sandi keeps trying to actually explain, in motion, how this process works, but Paul keeps negating her: “You can try leading them into your house, you can show them how the flush works, but most yaks don’t care for that sort of thing.”
Sandi: [gives a more detailed flushing motion]
Paul: “Most of them are happy with a cast-iron bucket.”

Sandi, at her wits end, starts cracking up, and Paul turns this into an opportunity for her to tell a joke: “There’s two yaks on an exercise bike. One yak says to the other yak “Oh, I’m really hot and tired, in fact I think I might go to the toilet.” And the other yak says “You’re too late, I already have!”

I know I basically wrote down everything, but I adore that game, as Paul could make it into a way of doing what he wanted, regardless of the scene description. Yes, it may not have been with good improv intentions, but Paul makes it work by still getting a hysterical scene out of it, and still talking about the bathroom habits of yaks (instead of negating a topic of, well, volvos, but that’ll be next show.)

March: Hang-Gliding

This is the other singing game they introduced this season, and i’d put it a peg below Gospel, simply because it does get a bit tedious, but it fulfills the Hoedown-esque song structure. Also, like the Hoedown, they already hate the game, causing Clive to remark “well, don’t all rush forward!”

Jim, already, gets a taste of the song motif, looks at Richard Vranch, and cracks a smile. I feel like Jim, who knew him from the comedy store, was like ‘this is what you’ve degraded yourself to’, and Richard must have knowingly nodded.

Jim actually has the first wall-to-wall fantastic proto-Hoedown verse on this show:
“March, march, march, march, that’s what we hang-gliders do.
March, march, march, march, YOU CERTAINLY WOULD TOO!
We glide all day, we have such fun, it’s great fun by the pound
Until we forget how to land, and hit the bloody ground.”
That just works really well.

Sandi, like Stephen, loses the scheme a bit, and is cracking and eye-rolling all the while, but manages to land on her feet. AND THEN WE GET TO PAUL…
Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 3.55.49 PM.png

You would literally see Paul lose himself every time he had to play March or Gospel, and this time is no outlier. He stumbles through, and THANKFULLY lands on his feet with the final one, but…he came close to having to start over, which he’d do many times in this game.

Mike has the longest one, as he’s the one singer in this lineup, but even HE stumbles slightly, though he has a great ending, and a great all-around verse.

This game is pretty shaky, but I got some laughs out of it, even if they all hate this one.

Props: Mike and Paul vs. Jim and Sandi

Clive, pulling a long prop out of under the desk, goes “…oh, sorry, thought that was part of me…”
Sandi: “Trust me, Clive, it isn’t…”

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 5.09.35 PM.pngJim: “I told you it’d work- look, a zebra mated with a python!”

Paul: “Could you have a look at this satellite dish? I think there’s something wrong with it, it’s been picking up crap all day…”
Mike: “YOU MUST HAVE *SKY!*”

Really nice round of props, albeit a bit short.

News Report: Humpty Dumpty- Sandi and Paul in the studio, Mike and Jim in the field.

First of all, Paul and Sandi master the ‘talking to each other quietly before the news report starts’ trope, with Paul even throwing in a ‘this is how big it is’ motion to punctuate it. Sandi and Greg would eventually go even further with this, in a way that’d end up on the cutting room floor (because god forbid somebody gives a WOMAN head on this program…)

The reason this game works, and would continue to work, is how the cameras can frame this like a real newscast- Sandi goes over to Jim, in the field ‘with one of the King’s horses’, and we zoom out to this.
Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 5.15.49 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-11-27 at 5.15.53 PM.png

And it’s a seamless zoom, too- so that the ‘angry Mike as a horse’ visual isn’t spoiled from the getgo, also trying to emulate that style of news camerawork.

Mike actually has a great, slightly-camp performance as a miffed Humpty, going through the whole scenario, topped off by a smirking Jim going “I’m afraid the yolk is indeed on him, back to you.”
Clive has to end the scene as the audience groans at that.

Pretty good scene all around, though I wished they’d let things progress a bit more, especially in the studio.

Helping Hands: Paul is a patient going to Dr. Jim (Sandi is his hands)

Sandi has to stand on the World’s Worst step in order for this technique to fully work, but, on the plus side, she’s able to do this:
Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 5.22.12 PM.png

Sandi seems to get that the idea of this game is to screw over the person who can’t use their hands, so she reaches into Jim’s pocket and pulls out a handkerchief, stuffing it in his face mid-scene.

This is an incredibly silly, near-Pythonesque scene that works because of how broadly Jim is playing it, and how natural his arm movements seem to be to his character.

Also, it ends with Sandi’s hands undoing Jim’s buckle, the culmination of several silly moments of sexual tension. So by gosh, this scene worked, and it worked well, better than last time.

Musical Producers- Election of a Prime Minister- Paul and Sandi describe, Mike and Jim act it out.

So…Mike and Jim’s first segment is absolutely perfect, musically and narratively, and it sets this game off at the highest height, right out of the gate.

Also, I love that immediately after that ends, Sandi goes “It’s good, but I feel like both women are playing it too heavy…”

The second number, done as a rock opera love ballad, is even more powerful, even if Jim, knowingly, takes a more passive approach. It’s not often that Mike can find an equal in a singing game, and Jim is giving him a run for his money.

Sandi: “I think the Prime Minister should die…and in his last death throes…”
Paul, sort-of following: “…….he sings a really raunchy reggae number.”

Even better, as Jim is trying to act and go towards his character’s death, Richard Vranch starts in with the upbeat reggae music, which makes Jim, once again, turn to Richard and crack up.

They do get a really nice reggae tune out of this, and Mike even passes a blunt, which raises Jim’s vocal tone by a decibel.

At close, this may be one of the most impressive all-four musical games they’ve done in a little while, with no flaws, no awkwardness, and…it’s almost exactly like a musical I could see on the West End. Does it rival the Christmas show playing of this game? It very well might.

Overall: We’re three shows in, and not only was this one as good as Episode 1, but it’s even better, and keeps the insane momentum of S3 going. Every panelist was having a great night, every game was hysterical, there were moments of interplay between the performers, as well as between the performers and the show personnel, with Mike having a moment with Clive, and Jim having a few moments responding to Richard Vranch. Jim had his second insanely good show in a row, not having a dull moment in the whole show, and working off of people really well. Mike McShane was tight on his heels, having great musical moments throughout. I’d put Sandi and Paul a few notches below, as despite some nice moments, Paul especially felt like he was on his downswing.

Show Winner: Mike
Best Performer: Jim Sweeney, still a breath of fresh air
Worst Performer: Paul, for not keeping up with the other three
Best Game: …..BOY that’s tough. I could go with Expert Translation, News Report, March, Helping Hands or Musical Producers, and I’d still be satisfied with myself But…I’m going to have to go with Musical Producers, simply because as fantastic as this episode is, I don’t think anything got as strong as that game did. Not even my favorite Expert Translation.
Worst Game: Alphabet, merely because Paul’s confusion stopped it from truly getting going.

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Nevermind Watchdown: S26E10, or Which One of you Melted Under the Heaton?

Onto another one, this one hosted by Episodes star and comedy personality Stephen Mangan, in the so-called ‘World Music Appreciation’ show. They’ve been doing a lot of ‘gimmick theme’ shows lately, and hopefully this one will be a bit more tongue-in-cheek.

Aside from Sway, who was here for the Russell Brand show, we have ex-popstar Michelle Heaton, Iranian-British actor and Four Lions star Kayvan Novak, and quite possibly one of the funniest women to ever be a semi-regular on Mock the Week, Katherine Ryan.

The first Guest Who round has a very disturbing combination card:
Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 3.58.29 PM.png
Phill: “Is this the portrait in Madonna’s attic?”
Michelle: “Looks a bit Hulk Hogany, ya think?”
Phill: “Yes, if Hulk Hogan was hosting on Loose Women…”

Stephen: ‘Which one of [Iggy Pop and Ke$ha] claimed to have had sex with a ghost?’
Phill, Comic Book Guy voice: “WORST…SCOOBY DOO EPISODE…EVER…”

Noel: “What sort of ghost, like a traditional ghost? Because that’s just a sheet with eye holes…”
Phill: “Presumably the first thing you’d need to do is cut a third hole in it…”
Noel: “A glory hole…”

Noel: ‘Was it a Pac-Man ghost? Was it the pink one? Because he’s quite randy…”
Phill: ‘Were they having sex with a ghost, or were they having a whack-off with a sheet?’

Katherine says she learned what the phrase ‘grime artist’ meant earlier: “I used to think it just meant you make paintings with manure…”
Sway: “You’re wrong though…”
Katherine: “I know that now, but I’m learning…”

Phill: “Who was the ghost of?”
Noel: “Headless horseman?”
Katherine: “I think you should be able to have sex with a horse and not go to jail…”
Noel: “I can’t imagine many horses are gonna phone the police…”
He then does an Alan-Davies-esque miming of a horse trying to use a phone.

Sway talks about meeting Kanye West once, and that he was “pretty cool”
Noel: “Well THAT’S a boring story…”
Sway: “I did meet him one time in New York, and then another time in London, and he totally didn’t know who I was…”
Noel: “…what a wanker…”
Katherine: “Threatened by your music? And paintings?”

The ‘Stephen Mangan style’ runner, where Stephen asks questions about international bands, is pretty much a dead runner, but it does lead to a nice line from Noel about a Japanese band that just sort of stands around their instruments as a backing band plays in.
Noel: “Kinda like One Direction…”

The teams are given exotic international instruments to help with intros, which is a nice old favorite being brought back.

After Phill and Michelle’s ‘Material Girl’ intro, Kayvan just starts drumming and humming along, despite not knowing the title.
Stephen, joining him in pounding: “Let’s just do the show right here…”

And then, in the middle of this, PHILL…DOES THIS:
Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 12.37.49 AM.png

As the Madonna clip plays back in:
Phill: “*SOME* boys…HAHAHAHAHAHA…”

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 12.39.21 AM.png

Katherine: “Did you see Madonna’s nipple in Lithuania?”
Phill: “WHO…HASN’T…SEEN MADONNA’S NIPPLE…IN LITHUANIA? It’s now…on the flag.”

Also, this episode is probably the 54th time since 1996 that someone has done an intro for ‘Firestarter’ by the Prodigy on this show.

Noel, getting up for intros, to Katherine: “I think you’re gonna be good at this…”
Katherine: “…you’re wrong.”

Katherine says she once saw Drake throw a bottle at Chris Brown.
Noel: “What, do they fight over Rihanna? Except he just fights Rihanna-”
Katherine: “No, Chris Brown did that-”
Noel: “Drake just pecked her…”
[Jupitus giggling]

Sway and Noel know Katherine’s not gonna get the 2nd intro, so Noel just starts pounding on the big African drum he has as they do the intro…then Phill chimes in with the ram-horn, and Stephen has his instrument, and it’s just this barrage of cacophony. Poor Katherine.
Sway: “Love…you’re ruining it…”
Phill: “OH, *WE’RE* RUINING IT…”

Michelle mentions for Noel’s ID Parade that she MIGHT have hit it off with the correct person in the lineup.
Phill: “You’re from Newcastle, so the number of people you could have hit it off with…HIGH…”
Katherine: “Which one of you melted under the Heaton…”

Katherine’s also killing it at Next Lines, so even if this is a lighter show, she’s still keeping the energy insanely high.

Overall: Yeah, light but still kinda fun. The International theme did take a lot away from the dynamic, and Stephen was a bit more by-the-book than funny, but he kept things going. 3/4ths of the panel were more focused on having a good time than being funny, which…I can respect. Kayvan Novak was quiet, but I’m glad he was on, and Sway had some nice moments, but Katherine Ryan saved the show, by…well, being Katherine Ryan.

Guest Host Rating: 7.5/10- Good, but not enough to fall under an 8.
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Katherine
Best Runner: Sway’s paintings.

QI Watchdown: H16 (History)

Well, it’s taken us about a year, but we’ve FINALLY made it to the end of Series H. While this has had some pretty nice moments, the bulk of the series was pretty ‘meh’. There weren’t a ton of bad episodes, and there were some great ones here and there, but in the midst of what’s considered by many as a golden era of QI, this is a tad disappointing.

Tonight, we have three of the more civilized, intelligent people in Qi on the same panel: Rob Brydon, Sandi Toksvig and David Mitchell. Only David has been on an above-par episode this season, the Health and Safety show, and while Rob and Sandi have had some great showings, they haven’t themselves been a part of a great show. Hopefully this changes tonight.

Stephen, top of the show: “Let’s start out with something nice and easy: name a henge…”
Panel: “….”
Alan: “Now, come on…”

David gets the first klaxon of the night (which is rather quick for a bunch of really smart people) by guessing Seahenge, which Stephen says just has ‘henge’ in it, and isn’t a henge.
Alan: “So, the word henge in it…that, uh, that’s wrong?”

Talking of the Druids at Stonehenge:
Rob: “Presumably…I mean, they can’t all have parked miles away, they must have stickers in their windows with a little druid sign on it…which also gets them into KKK meetings…”
Stephen: “They just have to straighten up their headdresses…”
Rob: “They can park near the burning cross.”

Stephen asks what carhenge is, and Rob’s initially quite confident, but the picture changes and he’s like “maybe it’s not that.”
Eventually he says “it was featured on the liner notes for Bruce Springsteen’s The River, part of the song Cadillac Ranch…it’s all these Cadillacs, and- oh, that’s not it, is it?”
[The shot is panned all the way out, as if the klaxon’s about to sound]
Stephen: “It is!”
Rob: “IT IS! IT IS!”

Stephen: “It was a memorial to his father.”
Sandi: “Was he killed in a car accident?”

Stephen talks about lay lines, including an example, of how every Woolworth’s lines up to an exact picture.
Sandi: “It does look like if you folded it one more time, you’d get a frog.”
David: “Surely there are more…”
Stephen: “Oh, there are hundreds more-”
David: “So it’s been very selective.”
Stephen: “What, and people who believe in lay lines AREN’T?”

Stephen passes around ancient golden bowls. Alan says that his has a hole in the bottom.
Stephen: “You’ve all got holes in the bottom?”
Stephen realizes the flaw here, and responds with a “HEY!”
Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 11.38.16 PM.png

Rob: “You know what I’d use this for? If I were eating pistachios at home, while watching the Emmerdale omnibus…I would use this to-”
Stephen and Alan: “KILL YOURSELF!”

Stephen says that an older way of measuring time was setting candles so that a cannon would go off at twelve noon.
Sandi: “That must be a fantastic way to wake the children.”
Alan: “Yeah, in a hail of bullets. ‘GET READY FOR SCHOOL!’ ‘BUHBUHBUHBUHBUHBUH!”
Stephen: “DANCE!”

Additionally, China had a type of joss stick that would burn for increments of time, and would change scents in intervals.
Sandi: “Oooh, it’s cinnamon, I must collect the children!”

Stephen tells the panel that sponges can reform their initial shape after liquidation.
David: “So, they’re essentially like terminators?”
Stephen: “YES! EXACTLY! But Terminator 2.”
David: “So it’s definitely evil? Like, it could destroy all sponges?”
Rob: “That’s only natural sponge, not the one you get at Halford’s…”

Stephen: “Time speeds up as you get older. I had an aunt in her 90s who said “GOSH, IT CAN’T BE BREAKFAST *AGAIN!*”

David: “What, to the queen mother, everything ever 1964 has just been a big BLUR! She must have thought ‘my horses are DEFINITELY getting quicker!”

Then, this comes up on the behind-screen:
Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 5.59.36 PM.pngAlan, to David: “You look hilarious on the end…”
Stephen: “THAT…is a CHARACTER. Somebody has got to write a sitcom around David Mitchell’s character…”
David: “I feel like, in this war film, I die about 2/3rd of the way through…”

Sandi, proving again that she’s a welcome presence on the show, tells a story about reboarding a plane after a plane in front of them had crashed, and the pilot saying, on the intercom, “I know many of you are seasoned travelers and don’t normally watch the safety instructions, but PERHAPS TODAY…”

Stephen reports that plane patrons are at ease with a pilot with an Edinburgh accent, immediately followed by, in a Billy Connolly accent, “I DUUN’T THINK THA’D BE VERY GOOD…”

Sandi brings up that the chairman of the pork pie association is a vegetarian, and David is completely baffled.
Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 2.45.42 PM.png
David: “Yes, but how…what-”
Stephen: “HE’S ANGRY, NOW!”
David: “No, I’m absolutely…god, what’s this man DONE with his life? You can’t, on one hand, say that it’s wrong to eat animals, and then dedicate your life to marketing a ground-up pig!”
Stephen: “…you’ve got a point!”
David: “It’s just like a pacifist…nuclear weapons manufacturer!”
Alan: “Maybe he thought it was a job being chairman of Porkpie HATS…”

On what this object is:
Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 2.50.24 PM.png
Sandi: “Is it an over-large hearing aid?”
Stephen: “Yes.”
Sandi: “…WHAT?” [bursts out laughing]

Stephen: “Who succeeded Harold as King of England in 1066?”
Sandi: “…Is there a trick to this?”
Stephen: “…No, you just need to name the person that succeeded Harold as King in 1066…”

Overall: True to form for this season, a ‘good enough’ ending. Nobody had a truly bad day, but the episode only occasionally got out of a ‘middling’ rut. Sandi probably had the best night, followed by David, not to close a quieter Rob out. Just a quieter, ho-hum show, not bad but just middling.

MVP: Sandi
Best Guest: David
Best QI Fact: Bowlingtons

SERIES H SUPERLATIVES (FINALLY!)
Best Episode: H1, Hodge Podge, featuring an insanely on-panel, a great debut from Ross Noble, and a toblerone-rolo combo.
2nd Best Episode: H14, Hocus Pocus, featuring a surprisingly game Daniel Radcliffe, Lee Mack arguing about the I-before-E joke, Graham Norton answering a question about sailors, and the show ending with a dead panelist.
Worst Episode: H3, Hoaxes. Mostly thanks to an emphasis on information, and Danny Baker, this one never really got off the ground, despite Sean Lock’s best efforts.
Episode Most Worthy of Another Watch: H10, Health and Safety. Just a nice episode I undervalued a bit in the initial watchdown that still has enough great moments…mostly thanks to Ross Noble.
Best In-Episode Runner: Gyles Brandreth’s insistence on touching Sue Perkins, H2: H-Anatomy. Just the way this got funnier as it went along, especially with Sue’s horror.
Best Recurring Guest: Ross Noble, for being a newcomer to the series and ABSOLUTELY DOMINATING three episodes. Impressive stuff, especially considering he’s a fixture for the rest of the run.
Most Underused Recurring Guest: Rich Hall. A quieter, less present showing on two occasions.
Most Improved: Jack Dee, for being a nice presence on two pretty nice episodes.
Worst Guest: Ruby Wax, H5, H-Animals, for not adding anything and for just being confused by the proceedings.
Best Guest Appearance: Eddie Izzard, H9, House and Home, for…being Eddie Izzard and having a grand old time.
Guest We Wish Wasn’t Done After this Series: Graham Norton, H14, Hocus Pocus. Because he’s always a nice presence in episodes, and…I wish he was on more.
Most Welcome Return: Gyles Brandreth, H2, H-Anatomy, for coming back and knowing everything, yet still contributing fairly to a pretty nice episode, and playing well with the rest of the panel.
Rookie of the Year: Ross Noble. See above.
Best Single Moments: Toblerone-Rolo Combo (H1: Hodge-Podge), Pushing hippopotami into the swimming pool (H5: H-Animals), The Quickfire Hypothetical Round that Took Ages, (H8: Hypothetical), Blowing Smoke up Someone’s Ass (H10: Health and Safety), CEILING! (H14: Hocus Pocus), IT’S NOT THERE! MIRAGE! (H15: Hypnosis).

QI Watchdown: H9 (House and Home)

Fine, let’s do another QI.

This is the 100th episode in the series, a feat so great that they brought back three heroes of the first series- two have appeared recently, like Danny Baker and Bill Bailey, but the one I’m more excited for is a guy who hasn’t been in since the pilot, the great Eddie Izzard. This should be a great one.

Putting Danny and Bill on the same panel is an odd choice, as you have two guys with thinning, yet long, hair. At least Eddie and Alan have all theirs.

On what the best way to reduce one’s ecological footprint:
Bill: “Stop breathing!”
Alan: “Stop defacating!”
Eddie, pressing his buzzer: “Are we using these???”

Danny, after some squabbling: “Alright, I’ll trigger the screen. QUIT DRIVING CARS.”
Screen Shot 2016-12-20 at 11.13.58 PM.png
[nothing happens]
Screen Shot 2016-12-20 at 11.14.30 PM.png
KLAXON
Danny: “YEAHH…”

Alan buzzes in with ‘EAT THE DOG!’, but the answer’s actually get rid of the dog, as “the dog is far and away the most ecologically-”
Alan: “Never turns the lights off, keeps the TV running all night…”

After Stephen says that one dog is equivalent to the cost of two Toyotas.
Bill: “Stephen, just as a hypothetical question…I have four dogs, and-”
Stephen: “OHHHH, YOU BASTARD!”
Alan: “You’re killing us all! KILL YOUR DOGS, BILL! BEFORE THEY BREED!”
Bill: “I just want to know…what kind of fleet of vehicles I can now own….I’m really keen to know!”
Alan: “Eight land cruisers!”
Bill: “EIGHT LAND CRUISERS! YES!”

So far, Eddie’s barely getting a word in edgewise. The poor fellow’s missed a lot since he was last on.

Stephen: “If you have two hamsters…that has the same carbon footprint as a plasma TV.”
Danny: “What kind of Doctor Doolittle death list is this?”

Eddie: “How come some fish fly and we don’t?”
Stephen, not knowing the answer: “yyyyyeeeah- NOW!”

Bill, going back: “What about a blu-ray player? Is that a mouse or something?”
Stephen: “I think a gerbil-”
Bill, taking notes: “right, gerbil…”
Stephen: “A gecko would be an iPad.”
Bill, still writing: “NICE!”

Stephen: “What instantly reduces the price of a house in America by a third?”
Alan: “…OJ Simpson is there.”
Eddie: “Is it a tornado cutting it into thirds?”
Bill: “Two thirds of it is on one side of the San Andreas fault…”

Bill whips out his pipe after a joke, which causes a nice nod of recollection from Eddie. Stephen also has a nice story about his own pipe-smoking. At least this show can bend back on itself after being on for so long.

Stephen talks about this Chilean tradition of literally moving a house with a team of yaks, in order to leave the ghosts and spirits behind.
Eddie: “What if the ghosts can travel with them?”
Stephen: “They believe that they can’t.”
Eddie: “What, does the ghost go “I’M STILL HERE’ …’aw, bugger. PUT IT BACK!'”
Stephen: “Apparently the ghost gets left behind, going ‘what happened??”

Screen Shot 2016-12-20 at 11.38.45 PM.pngEddie: “That is an adventure movie, isn’t it?”
Stephen: “It’s Fitzcarraldo…”
Eddie: “It’s Die Hard with a cow.”
Alan: “The guy in the window’s going “I WANT TO STAY HERE!!!”
Eddie: “And the person at the door’s going “what the HELL? I just came down cause there was a rumbling!”

Stephen talks of the process where, in cases of divorce, the couple has to compete in calling a dog to see which one keeps them, and that a vet must be on hand, as some people will cheat by rubbing meat on their hands.
Bill: “Or putting a massive electromagnet in the dog…”
Only Bill.

On the guy who hired a private investigator to spy on his wife in SecondLife
Bill: “Couldn’t he have hired an online assassin?”
Stephen, into his notes: “Ah, we’ve come onto this…an RPG game in-”
Alan: “RPG? Is that a rocket-propelled-grenade…”
Stephen: “It’s also a role-playing game…”
Bill: “I’m not inviting you on any mercenary missions…”
Alan: “RIGHT! LAUNCH THE RPG! ‘…and you wear the hat! You’re Spanish!”
Screen Shot 2016-12-21 at 12.18.50 AM.png

Stephen: “What kind of person builds their house out of straw?”
Eddie: “NOT…A PIG.”
Stephen: “Damn you. Damn you for the word ‘Not’.
Eddie: “Alright. A PIG.”
KLAXON
Eddie: “I knew it wasn’t that, I just wanted to hear the WOOOO sound. I’ve been making it myself, watching the program.”

Stephen explains that straw houses, when backed up by plaster and things, can be extremely sturdy.
Eddie: “The real question: can a wolf blow it down?”
Stephen: “It’ll huff and it’ll puff…”
Bill: “In fact, if the wolf came back and saw that, he’d go ‘HAHAH-…oh..”
Eddie: “The wolf will be there going ‘This isn’t what’s supposed to happen! We haven’t had the brick one come yet!”
Alan: “No, the wolf’ll be going “I LOVE what you’ve done.”

Stephen: “The queen is coming to visit! What should you do with your lavatory seat?”
Bill: “COVER IT WITH MONEY!”
Eddie: “Wear it ’round your neck with pride!”
Bill: “Superglue it!”
Alan: “Put cling-film over the bowl! See if she’ll complain! [laughs] Dunno why that pleases me so much, but it really does.”

There’s another conversation about people getting killed by falling frozen urine from planes, and everyone’s getting in on it. This is a very collaborative panel, and even Danny’s getting in on a few jokes, even if he’s only making conclusions for the most part.

Stephen asks when slavery was officially outlawed.
Alan: “You’re probably gonna say it was in some odd-little new labour laws, in about 1996-7-8.”
Stephen: “Yes, what an ODD law, to prevent slavery. It’s political correctness gone MAAD!”

Stephen does reveal that it wasn’t completely illegal to have a slave until 2010.
Alan: “So that means that this series I’m finally free…”

Stephen: “There are estimated to be about 27 million people held in bondage, in slavery, around the world-”
Danny, to the audience: “But the show’ll be over soon, so you can go!”

Overall: Nice little show, certainly very fun, probably with more laugh-out-loud moments than the last one. There were just a few too many lulls that kept it from being great. Everybody collaborated, except for maybe Danny at times, and Bill and Alan were giving strong stuff. It took Eddie awhile, but he started acting like himself halfway through and didn’t stop until the end- it was fantastic having him on as a (GASP) special guest.

MVP: Bill
Best Guest: Eddie
Show Winner: Bill
Best Runner: Ghosts.

Nevermind Watchdown: S24E12

Well, though it hasn’t been as consistently good as Series 23, Series 24 has hit its final entry. i imagine I’ll have a lot of things to talk about in Superlatives, at the bottom of the post, but for now…let’s dive into an episode that singlehandedly convinced me to start this watchdown. And that is this Frankie Boyle episode, featuring ex-Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams, rapper and rap-battle aficionado Professor Green, Mock the Week semi-regular Miles Jupp, and rapper and James Bond villain henchman Goldie. It’s a packed lineup, a packed episode, and it’s one I’ve been waiting a while to get to.

Frankie lets us know what we’re in for with his opening line: “If you’re watching on BBC2, hello, and if you’re watching on Dave+1 in the year 2020, [INDETERMINATE CHINESE BABBLING]”

Also, like last time, I’m listing all of Frankie’s guest setups, because…he’s Frankie Boyle and they’re all vicious.
“Goldie’s autobiography is called Nine Lives, which is a stupid title…for a man with a dog’s name…”
Miles: “He’s a comedian who’s been on kids’ TV, sang in a choir, and looks like that. The fact that he’s not a child molester once lost me a hundred quid…”
Michelle: “As a member of Destiny’s Child, she’s one of the most famous and beautiful women in the world….’s friend…”

Michelle, after reacting to that line: “What did I sign up for???”
Frankie: “That’s as harsh as it gets, you’ll be fine.”
(Looks directly into the camera, straight-faced)

Noel: “You said that and *I* got hit for it…”
Frankie: “Are you sure you didn’t get hit for looking like a bisexual Doctor Who?”
so….John Barrowman?

Frankie on Muse: “They’re regularly voted the best live band in the world, which is ironic (Ironik?), as we’d all rather see them dead.”

Miles: “This is a very difficult question you’ve opened with, Frankie, I-”
Frankie: “Well, get used to it, bitch…”
Miles: “…I can see what sort of mood you’ve turned up in tonight…”
Phill: “And NOWWWW we know why you didn’t get ‘Blockbusters’…”

Noel, on Matt Bellamy: “He was voted sexiest man of the year once. He looks like a hedgehog! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve got off on some hedgehogs before, but…I can’t believe I’ve said that. What would be the benefit of saying you get off on hedgehogs…unless you’re trying to get on Springwatch.”
AND ONE MORE CHRIS PACKHAM SLAM FOR THE ROAD!
Frankie: “Springwatch Nights, perhaps?”

Now, I’d write down the infamous ‘World AIDS Day Festival’ joke Frankie has here…except it’s an EXACT COPY of a joke Simon did back in Series 19, also regarding Muse. So even if it does fit Frankie’s humor, it’s still a rerun, really.

Frankie on Axl Rose: “The Botox hasn’t gone well…he’s like a stunt double for Mickey Rourke’s arse, basically…”

Noel does a little meandering weird monologue about living in Slash’s afro for a decade. When it doesn’t get a ton of response, he goes “I thought I’d just throw some whimsy in there, before Frankie does another AIDS joke…”
Frankie, briefly glancing at the autocue: “Thanks! Here we go…”

(Perhaps the funniest part of the episode, right here)
Frankie: “Professor Green, you came to prominence through rap battles, right after mine own heart…”
Green: “Here we go, is this where the rapping becomes a part of the evening?”
Frankie: “No, I’ve got a theory about you. You got stabbed last year, right? What happened?”
Green: “Yeah, he was a muppet…”
Frankie: “I have a theory that he stabbed you because you sound like a character in Cluedo. Was it Colonel Mustard?”
Green, recovering: “Look…THAT *WAS* FUNNY…”
[Jupitus giggling]
Frankie: ‘ARE YOU DRAWING A LINE? Don’t draw a line in words when you could…RAP ABOUT IT!”
Suddenly a beat comes in on the PA, and Green has a few seconds to recover and respond. He eventually comes up with a gem: “Look, that was funny, and there’s no question, but I’m not leaving, ’cause I’m not Preston.”
The audience responds favorably.

Noel reveals that Green’s gonna be going on tour with N-Dubz…and Dappy.
Frankie: “Dappy, he seems like a muppet…”
Green: “that’s not very nice…”
Frankie: “I’m not a very nice man.”

This exchange sums up not only this show, but Frankie’s entire character:
Michelle: “That’s not true, I think you are a nice man…”
Frankie: “Well, watch this…”

Michelle’s squirming, telling him to not go on.
Frankie: “I READ, MICHELLE…”
Michelle: “NO, PLEASE…”
Noel has to plug her ears for her.
Frankie: “To be honest, I’ve done some corporate gigs that have gone badly, but this might be a new low…”

Frankie: “No, it was actually B, he couldn’t be woken up from his nap…”
Michelle: “……..REEEEALLLY!?!?!?”
(Noel flinches and lands near Professor Green)
Frankie: “To be honest, I find that the least surprising thing that got said there, but there you go…”

Frankie: “Similarly, a nap led Cheryl Cole to be late to a gig recently, when she couldn’t wake up the man who presses play.”
The whole room takes a good 5 seconds to recover from this one.

Phill, reading the first card for Intros: “Uh, this is a hostage note about the child you have in your basement…”

Miles reveals that he’s probably not gonna get any of the intros, and mentions his posh upbringing.
Phill: “Can we change this to ‘Clay Pigeon Shooting’? Yeah, like Goldie doesn’t have a gun on him right now…”

After Phill and Goldie’s first intro:
Frankie: “To give you a hint, Miles, it sounds FUCK ALL like that…”

Then, after the 2nd intro
Miles: “If my brain were hooked up to electrical equipment, it’d be flatlining.”
Noel: “You just had this blank stare, like a horse trying to book a holiday…”

Frankie: “De la soul had a hit with ‘Three is the Magic Number’. It’s also the anthem for the National Fingering Association.”
Michelle: “GEE! I THOUGHT…that this was a hearty, wholesome, family show..”
Frankie: “I think most weeks it is, to be fair. I come along once a series and ruin it for everybody…”
Noel, trying to win Michelle back: “Fingering’s quite old-fashioned…”
Michelle loses it.

Noel: “D’you have that in America? What’s it called?”
Michelle: “That.”
Frankie: “Don’t tell her about it, Noel! RAP ABOUT IIITTT!”

Noel, reading the first intro: “This is shit pop. This is music that makes me want to kill myself.”
Michelle: “Noooo, life is worth living.”
Phill, from across the room: “MICHELLE, FRANKIE…FRANKIE, MICHELLE…”
Noel: “It is cool hanging out with you, it’s like being on an episode of Fraggle Rock. ‘HEY, NOEL, PUT DOWN THE CRACK PIPE. LIFE’S GREAT, EVERYBODY!”

It’s great- as Green and Noel do the intro for ‘I Gotta Feeling’, which they both hate, they all mime acts of suicide, various, as Michelle tries to guess it. I give Professor Green for being as into it as Noel.

This is a variant off an old Mark Lamarr joke, but at least this one has a different punchline:
Frankie: “Bobby McFerrin clicks his fingers and beats his chest to create music. Coincidentally, it’s also how Wayne Rooney signals to his handler that he requires wanking off.”
The panel laughs so hard at that one that Frankie even breaks in the middle of the next standup.

For Robin Jones’ ID Parade, the one completely Frankie name he gives is “#5, Robin His Cock Up Against the Schoolbus Window.”
#5 is even just shaking his head, trying not to laugh at this one.

Frankie: “One thing I read about you, Goldie, is that apparently you attacked someone who threw a peanut at your Ferrari. Are you worried you’re not keeping it real? I mean, what, was it a drive by allergy attack-”
Goldie: “Yeah, it was basically-”
Frankie, starting the rap track: “AH DON’T KNOO WHY YOU’RE TELLIN’ ME ABOUT IT…”

After a self-deprecating teeth joke that doesn’t get a ton of response.
Frankie: “That was literally the nicest thing I had on the card.”
Michelle: “Can I read the card?”
Frankie: “…Oh, I don’t think you’ll want to read that…someone’s got to draw the line…”

Frankie’s name for Noel’s #5 is “Waking Up With a Hard-on”
Michelle, whispering to Noel: “…he kinda does have a hard-on…”

Michelle, using her Destiny’s Child cred, starts commanding them to dance. #5 doesn’t budge.
Phill: “He’s dancing in his trousers…”

Eventually they get this woman from the audience to dance with all five…which turns into essentially her giving them weird erotic dances on them. It’s very weird.
Frankie at least gets a good line out of it: “We didn’t get dotty-bitches like that on Mock the Week, I’ll tell you that…”

Frankie: “Has that helped??? I mean, it helped #5…”

Frankie, channeling Mark: “Noel’s team has 11 points, Frankie’s got two, but you have Miles Jupp!”

Next Lines:
Frankie: “Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Lala, Po”
Phill: “You’re not gonna lure anybody like that, Frankie…”
Frankie: “My luring days are over..”

Frankie: “Rosie and Jim, Rosie and Jim.”
Phill: “…I LITERALLY have bile in my throat as you’re reading out kids’ themes.”
Frankie: “…CHUGGING ALONG ON THE OLD RAG DOLL!”

Frankie signs off with: ‘This has been….a disaster. Good night.”

Overall: Well…that is one hell of a way to finish a series. Frankie was even more on than he was last series, Noel’s panel was pretty tight, and Frankie had so much fun picking on Michelle and Professor Green. I’ll argue that Phill’s panel was edited a bit lighter, so while Goldie and Miles were funny, there wasn’t a ton of them. Professor Green was surprisingly game, and Michelle was horrified at times, but still looked like she was having fun, similar to Kelly Rowland, actually. Still, a momentous show, and a great capper to an uneven but worthwhile series.

Guest Host Rating: 10/10.
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Michelle
Best Runner: #5’s boner.

SERIES 24 SUPERLATIVES!!!!

Guest Panelists: Ranked Best to Worst:
Frankie Boyle, Episode 12
Lee Mack, Episode 8
Josh Groban, Episode 10
Robert Webb, Episode 11
Terry Wogan: Episode 4
Jack Dee: Episode 3
Tim Minchin, Episode 6
Catherine Tate, Episode 2
David O’Doherty, Episode 5
Mark Ronson, Episode 1
Juliette Lewis, Episode 9
Tim Westwood, Episode 7

Best Episode: Episode 12, this very one I just wrote about. Out of all of them, this one was consistently funny from top to bottom, had a great panel and AMAZING guest host, and is insanely rewatchable. Not much else to say.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 4, featuring Terry Wogan doing a boisterous performance as guest host, Rufus Hound giving a stellar panelist performance, James Blunt being likable, an incredibly obvious Cheryl Baker, and a runner about an interview Terry had with David Bowie (“It was a SHIT INTERVIEW, TERRY…”)
3rd Best Episode: Episode 8, featuring an insane performance by Lee Mack, Andrew Stone establishing what a triple threat is, Noel doing his impression of a snowman, and A RENEGADE AUDIENCE MEMBER SHOUTING ‘BATMAAAAN’ WHEN NO ONE EXPECTED IT.
Worst Episode: Episode 7. In order to get a good episode, you need a good anchor. Tim Westwood…was not a good anchor. Whatsoever.
Best Regular: Noel, for being consistently ridiculous, and being an even better connector than Bill was. He’s really improved from his first three episodes in the Simon era.
Best Comedian Panelist: Rufus Hound, Episode 4, for being absolutely phenomenal as a teammate, giving some very funny answers and some insane energy. Runners up were Vic Reeves (who came VERY close), Paul Foot, Katy Brand, Tim Key, Holly Walsh, and Miles Jupp.
Best Musician Panelist: Theo Hutchcraft, Episode 9. Theo gave some unexpectedly amazing material in the midst of a very strange and uneven episode, even bouncing off of Vic Reeves. Runners Up were Mel B, Paloma Faith, James Blunt, Michael Ball, KT Tunstall, Example, Michelle Williams and Professor Green.
Best Sport: Chris Packham, Episode 11, for taking every single ‘Chris shags animals’ joke like an absolute pro.
Most Annoying: Hmmm….this is actually a tough one….let me think…
(…it’s Jedward, Episode 3. Who the fuck else could it have been?)
Most Confused Panelist: Howard Marks, Episode 2. Though, that is how Howard Marks was on a daily basis, making up ‘Team Fuzzy’.
Best Runner: Pat Sharp.

Nevermind Watchdown: S24E03, or ‘I’m in Jedward! F–k You!’

Well…I’ve had a good life.

You see, when handling an annoying panelist, like Dappy or Donny Tourette or Mickey Hutton, I have to cling to the fact that the host or someone will at least screw with them and make it worthwhile for me, so I won’t have to listen to them too much.

Jedward…is a different animal entirely.

Even if Guest Host Jack Dee, AS WELL AS comedian panelists like Katy Brand and Charlie Higson, and up-and-coming popstar Eliza Doolittle, take the mick at Jedward, there’s still gonna be bloodshed, mostly coming from my ears. Overall, I’m not excited for this one, but Jack Dee’s fantastic, so it can’t be that bad.

Dear gosh, the very first second of Jedward playback and I’m already done. They’re doing a horrible cover of Blink 182’s All the Small Things. One audience member frantically wails.

This is great- they show (for what must be the 80th time on Buzzcocks) Billy Bragg’s ‘Sexuality’ video…INCLUDING a clip of Phill doing air-guitar. Phill directed that video, and hopefully he’ll at least subtly mention it here.

Sure enough, Noel mentions it first chance he gets.
Phill: ‘I was just looking at the still there, and it appeared to me that in the 1980’s I was quite a successful lesbian…”
Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 12.57.46 AM.png

Jack: “Phill, I have to say that you and Charlie look like a very gay couple about to adopt a daughter [Eliza]”
Charlie, pointing at Jedward: “Yeah, but what do THOSE LOT look like?”

Noel, looking over at Jedward: “Never in my life have I looked more like a paedophile…”

Jon: “When we were younger, we had this sort of book on strangers, and-”
Noel: “I WAS ON THE COVER!”

Jack: “Did you learn anything from that book?”
Jon: “Yeah, it was a scary book, yeah.”
Jack: “…still went with Louis Walsh, did ya?”

Even Jedward talking amongst themselves is deafening:
Jack: “Can Jon finish the sentence before you start the next one?”
Noel: “It’s like an auction…”

Jack tries reading some of Jedward’s tweets, one of which is “It’s so weird- this morning Edward broke a bowel and then the cocoa pops went everywhere.”
The whole room takes a second to recover from the absurdity of that one.

Jack suggests that Jedward shut up so that Phill’s team can get the answer
Phill: “Chico’s gonna be the new Docto-”
Jedward: *inaudible clattering*
Phill: “…nearly there.”
Charlie: “No, go ahead. Persevere. You can do it!”

Jack, revealing the answer: “They were both goat-herders before they-”
Charlie: “NO THEY WEREN’T!”
Jack, channeling Angus Deayton: “Uh, I’m afraid they were..”

Katy, on the Cowell intro-clip: “I mean, whenever I see black and white footage of someone with that song, I just get attracted to them…”
Phill: “Most footage of Hitler’s in black and white…”
Jon: “Actually, I know a lot of people compare Simon Cowell to Hitler. I think he’s okay-”
Katy: “WHOA WHOA WHOA…it’s lines out of context like that, that get this show in trouble…”

On Simon & Noel Gallagher:
Katy: “Were they both goatherds?”
Jon, giving the one genuine funny line either of them have had all night: “Are they both the same height?”
Noel: “Have they both…recovered from lupus?”

Charlie’s tweeting throughout the show. During Eliza and Phill’s first intro, he types “…Eliza is making a strangely exciting noise…I’m distracted.”

Eliza’s finger piano thing is so good for Charlie that he motions for Phill to just stop. Eliza even goes “I’m happy to just do the fingers.”
Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 1.18.35 AM.png
Jedward: “YOU GUYS NEED TO FOCUS UHKAAYYY”
Phill: “SHUT UP!”

After a line about Johnny Rotten selling out, Jack: “Jedward have stood firm, and have refused to sell anything…even records.”

Noel: “Though to be fair, Jack, their album’s the biggest selling album this year.”
Jack: “Is it?”
Noel AND Jedward: “Yeah, in Ireland…”

Edward, before Intros, sung: “Are you REA-DY?”
Kary, confused: “…YES?!?”

Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 1.27.22 AM.png

Jedward and Noel’s ‘Under Pressure’ intro is aaaactually pretty good, if a bit needlessly annoying.
Noel: “I’m in Jedward! Fuck you!”

Phill, as the Under Pressure plays in, Comic Book Guy voice: “WORST. BOY BAND. EVERRR…”

Katy, right before the 2nd intro, just collapses due to the Jedwardness of it all. Shoving a prop piece of paper in her mouth and just crumbling.
Noel: “Katy’s just had an aneurysm!”
Phill, to the camera: “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s very important that you send what you can…to have Katy Brand freed from this quiz…”

Their 2nd one is, of course, Ghostbusters, and when they play it in Jon goes over and starts singing and dancing around Jack’s chair, all the while Jack’s keeping his deadpan, ‘kill me’ expression.
Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 1.35.08 AM.png

As if this show wasn’t insane enough…in Phill’s ID Parade, an old friend has dropped by..
Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 1.37.48 AM.png

This is great- the ID Parade is finding Mick Brown from Mick & Pat…but #5 is just Pat Brown. He’s just there. Grimacing a bit, even.

Eliza: “I know #4 because I’m friends with him on Facebook…”
Phill: “I don’t like to ask, as it seems a little impertinent, but have you poked him?”
Eliza: “with my fingers…”
She does the motioning she did earlier.
Phill, weak: “oh, please stop…”

Jack: “Are you gonna make your guess?”
Phill: “It’s a nice respite. The longer this round goes on….I don’t think I need to go on-”
Jack: “Yeah, you’ve made your point clear..”

Noel says he even liked Jedward, he says they behave themselves.
Edward: “We are actually really well behaved.”
Phill: “Well, within the context of this quiz, you make Dappy look like Stephen Fry.”
No joke…Jon stays frozen for five seconds before FINALLY GETTING THE JOKE and going “OH MY GOD…”

Even better, Pat Sharp returns AGAIN in Noel’s ID Parade for Pianoman. Just in sunglasses and a black coat. At least he’s getting a kick out of this.

Jon: “Why does one of them have hair and the other four are bald?”
Katy: “Because the other one’s Pat Sharp, you know, the Radio DJ. He’s in both ID Parades, that’s the joke of the round.”
Jack: “Thank you for explaining that Katy, because if I had to I’d be SICK…”

Phill and Noel agree, after that line, to switch panels…for some reason. Phill is willingly enduring all this?
Phill: ‘COME ON AND SIT WITH YOUR UNCLE PHILLIP!”
Noel: “I love you both, but you were bringing on a panic attack…”

Katy: “Phill, do you know which one Pianoman is?”
Phill: “No, but I know who Pat Sharp is, my friend…”

Jack even suggests that Jedward join the lineup so Pat Sharp can join the team instead, which everyone OVERWHELMINGLY agrees to.

I will say that Pat does a fantastic job as ‘Guest Captain’, as he’s a great personality and helps Katy and Phill swerve toward #1. Unfortunately at the end of the round he has to go back.

This is great- Next Lines, Jack gives Eliza her own lyrics…then he gives her My Fair Lady lyrics, wrong Eliza Doolittle…then he gives her DOCTOR Doolittle lyrics. Noel and Charlie are just cracking up the whole time.

Eliza: “I don’t actually know these!”
Jack: “You should! This is Doctor Doolittle! That’s your DAD!”

Phill, into Next Lines: “Boys…inside voices.”
Jon: “[Noel’s] my mom, you’re my dad, and [Jack’s] our uncle…”
Jack: “I would like a blood test.”

Jack: “If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call?”
Phill, very quickly: “Samaritans!”

After three straight Next Lines of ‘shut-up’ related lyrics.
Edward: “Are you trying to tell us something?”
Katy: “FINALLY…”

Overall: Yes, even if Jedward were very annoying…this was still a very nice show, aided by some great moments and lines. It helps that Jack Dee was a great guest host, keeping everything in order while still being funny, as well as Charlie and Katy still being funny (and both captains being awesome as well). Eliza had the least to do but was still charming enough. Not necessarily rewatchable but still pretty good.

Guest Host Rating: 9/10. Jack did pretty well for himself.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Katy
Best Runner: Jedward shut up!

Nevermind Watchdown: S23E08, or YOU’VE BROKEN THE SHOW!

The good news is that tonight’s guest host is NMTB recent favorite and pop culture’s favorite unsung hero, Martin Freeman. The also-good news is that Charlie Brooker, comic and creator of OH MY GOD SHOW of the minute Black Mirror, is also in the building.

The bad news…is that this, sadly, is a Dappy episode. So, we may not score very highly on coherency. I’m just hoping that Martin took Simon’s notes on fucking with him.

Simon Bird, from the Inbetweeners is here, and, I’m guessing, was a last-minute replacement for David Mitchell. Still, he’s from the Inbetweeners, so he’s probably funny. Martha Wainwright’s a singer songwriter- her brother’s Rufus, her dad’s Loundon the third, so you’ve probably heard of one of them.

Martin’s first lines sum up his entire career: “Hello, I’m Martin Freeman. You may recognize me.”
Heck, he may have used that one for his SNL appearance…

Of course, as this is the third episode for Dappy, and since this show’s basically brought him to the mainstream, his entrance is LITERALLY DESCENDING FROM THE CEILING, with smoke and everything. At least he knows who he is.

For some reason, instead of his usual little toof-hat, Dappy is wearing a genuine black Houston Astros cap. In 2009, the Astros were circling last. Good for Dappy, being with the times.

On the Bonnie Tyler video:
Martha: “My hair looks like that when I wake up…”
Noel: “When you wake up at the Grand Canyon?”
(Sidenote- Martha has the look of Tiff Stevenson and the sound of fellow Canadian Katherine Ryan. So yeah.)

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 12.09.28 AM.pngNoel: “Ah, there IS a man there. I thought it was just a horse…”

Dappy, to Noel: “If me and you went to a club, which one of us would get more girls?”
Martin: “It depends on which club, to be fair…”

After Martin calls Soulja Boy a twat in the intro clip (“If you want more information, text TWAT to this number”)
Dappy: “He’s got enough money to pay off the mortgages of his mum, his dad, his bruv. Why you calling him a twat?”
Charlie: “…he looks like one?”
Martin: “Sorry, I should have been a bit number. I retract that. If you want more information, text INTERESTING NEW POET to this number.”

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 12.15.36 AM.png

Classic Martin Freeman Reaction #1

Phill: “DAPPYYYY…stop sulking. Tell us about Soulja Boy. We don’t know anything about him, me and Charlie, we’re white and middle class.”
Simon: “…SO’S DAPPY!”

Martha, getting up for intros: “Very tough to stand…top with baby in it” [she points to her pregnant belly.]
Noel: “…Martha brought her baby on the show…I told her it has a green room…”

Noel and Martha’s first intro consists of Martha awkwardly dancing and writhing around, nearly sexually. After she finishes, she says “…that’s how I got pregnant.”

Simon: “I have no idea. I feel bad asking a pregnant woman to do it again…”

Then Simon tries guessing which Beyonce song it was.
Simon: “…she had a song about putting a ring on something…or putting something in a ring, I don’t…”
Phill’s absolutely losing it across the room. Simon’s just savage, even if he doesn’t mean to be.

Great moment…Dappy starts complimenting Martha for a song of hers…and it’s actually a song of Cerys Matthews’. The entire panel knows it’s the wrong person, even Martha does. Simon even goes “well, this is awkward.” Noel has to tell Dappy that it’s the wrong person, and Dappy completely crumbles.
Dappy: “You may be smarter than me on this show…”
Noel: “You know the way Dappy came in? Can he go out the same way?”

Simon knows the first few lines of Addicted to Love (‘the lights are on, and you’re not home…’), but he has no idea what the song is or who sang it.
Simon: “Oh, this is frustrating. Very frustrating.”
Phill: “I’ad no idear a quiz would be like this, I really…”

Martin: “You may as well take a guess.”
Simon: “….Yellow Submarine, by the Beatles.”
Martin: “…it’s not that. It’s…actually In My Life, by the Beatles.”
Simon, astonished: “IS IT???”
Martin: “No.”

Martin, summing up the show so far: “Me and Dappy having a cuss-off…Martha’s having an affair with Noel. I think the best behaved one of us so far has been TV’s potty mouth Brooker.”
Charlie: “…I’ve jerked off three times under this desk…”

I stand firm in my belief that Dappy is surprisingly good at Intros, and has nice teamwork with Phill- he and Dappy do a nice rendition of Two Tribes that Charlie’s able to guess instantly. So yes, Dappy is thick, but he’s a very good panelist in this regard.

Heck, after that intro, Charlie’s going “that was one of the most arousing experiences of my life. Would it put you off if I just started masturbating??”

Phill and Dappy’s next one is ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ by the Eagles, which is a great Intro…until Dappy starts adding, in the beats, ‘PHILL AND DAPS’.
Charlie: “HE’S PUTTING ME OFF. He’s adding new lyrics!”
Phill: “HE CAN AND HE WILL…AND YOU CAN’T STOP HIM!”

Dappy, on the ID Parade: “How much do they get paid to come on the show?”
Martin: “Not enough, uh, for us to keep them waiting too long…”

Simon: “Personally I think 3 but I could see it being 4.”
Noel: “Well, I did see #4 coming out of the office earlier today-”
Simon: “That’ll do it…it’s four.”

Phill’s ID Parade is for ‘Fairweather Friends’ band Symposium, so they’re all given weather related names. The best of which is “…#3, wet patches.”
Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 12.42.50 AM.png

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…and “#4, not as bright as forecast…”

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(you can hear Charlie give an audible ‘…oh’ if you listen closely)

Phill: “#3’s giving it the hard one, but he just giggled at ‘wet patches’ so we know…”

Oh dear lord…
Martin: “I should probably point out that Symposium were famed for their extremely energetic live shows.”
Dappy: “Okay, okay, so it can’t be #4 then, wait…”
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Phill, in response, walks off the program, towards the lineup…and gives #4 a high-five as he leaves.

Dappy, to Martin: “You started being all rude to him, and now look what you’ve done to by bloomin partner!”
Martin: “*I* was being nice…”
Charlie, to Martin: “YOU’VE DID IT, YOU’VE BROKEN THE SHOW!”

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Classic Martin Freeman Reaction #2

Dappy: “Where is Phill, is he seriously not coming back?”
Martin, dead serious: “He’s left. He’s gone.”
Dappy: “Look, has he done a Preston, cause IF HE HAS…”

Dappy even threatens to stop the show unless Phill comes back, even yelling “PHILL” towards the offstage area. I can just imagine Phill, sipping some soft drink off to the side of the backstage area, laughing his goddamned ass off at the fact that Dappy’s BEGGING for him to come back. He must have just taken some time to just compose himself, because he knew, obviously, that this’d throw Dappy off…BUT NOT LIKE THIS.

Martin’s still playing the ‘Phill’s serious’ card, which is classic.
Dappy: “DIRECTORS. IS HE SERIOUS?”
(Simon audibly loses it here.)
Noel: “Can I take Phill’s breakdown to go to the toilet?”

Dappy: “If it’s true [that Phill’s not coming back], then I’m walking off too…”
Martin: “BUT THEN POOR CHARLES!”
Charlie: “YEAH, THEN I’M ON ME FUCKIN’ OWN!”

Martin, begging Dappy to answer: “What is your vibration telling you?”
Dappy: “It’s telling me that Phill needs to get back on this blooming stage.”
Martin: “I don’t know if Phill can hear you. He may already be on the A1.”

Phill eventually does return, sort of chagrined.
Dappy: “Babe, are you gonna give me a hug, or-”
Phill: “Honestly, I’ve left a pie on, so…”
Dappy: “So you didn’t get pissed off about it?”
Phill: “No, of course I didn’t. It’s #5.”

Next Lines:
Martin: “I’m bringing sexy back.”
Dappy: “YEAH.”
Martin:
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Martin: “You’ll find that life is still worthwhile…”
Phill: “…no I won’t…”

Dappy’s exit is basically the exact same as his intro, with Martin wishing him a tearful goodbye before signing off.

Overall: Proof that Buzzcocks could go on stronger without Simon Amstell. This may have been one for the pantheon, folks- an entire episode with more laughs, more panelists on top of their game, more moments of hilarity, and an incident that elevated this one from just another great episode to an all-time classic. In terms of panelists, I’d rate Martha last, even if she had some fantastic moments in Intros, followed by Simon, and that’s a hard #3 as his lines made up the bulk of the middle half, Charlie, who nearly saved the last half, and Dappy…who, even if he was intentionally funny, made this one a joy and a thrill altogether. In terms of Martin…his guest-hosting skills were already prime, but his ability to take something like the Phill-walking-off incident and make it gold just by playing absolutely serious and screwing with Dappy made him truly a master of the Guest Host era. Not a dull moment overall, and something I’d gladly rewatch.

Guest Host Rating: 10/10. Would recommend.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Dappy
Best Runner: Dappy…just existing.

Nevermind Watchdown: S23E06, or IF THIS IS THE WAY THIS QUIZ IS GOING NOW….

Bit of a puzzler tonight.

The guest host is Claudia Winkleman- she’s been on a lot of panel shows, and Big Fat Quizzes, so she could be great. I just don’t know a ton about her. In terms of panelists, one has been on before, and that’s Jamelia (of ‘Javine’s a slag’ fame). The other panelist I’ve heard of is Harry Shearer, best known for being in Spinal Tap, as well as playing hundreds of characters on The Simpsons and being a sort of cranky guy in person, so I’m not sure how he’ll do here.

Little Boots is a popstar/solo act. Tom Basden’s a member of the sketch group Cowards.

Claudia, for a digression, asks what a gnu is.
Noel: “It’s basically a wildebeest, yeah.”
Tom: “If a dyslexic is holding a gnu, you’d ought to be careful.”

Jamelia tells an entire story about being on set with Vinnie Jones, and having a bear on set, and Vinnie keeps pushing in chicken sausages to deter the bear.
Jamelia: “When the bear doesn’t want anymore, they have this, they made it themselves, it’s a large broom, and on the end there’s a bottle of coke…”
Harry: “This is important: was it diet coke?”
Jamelia: “No, full Coke.”
Harry: “yeah, that drives bears nuts…”

Noel: “I love the idea that Vinnie Jones was getting into character. What, the character of a slightly-thick cockney?”

Noel: “I’d just love to paint that image, of Vinnie Jones pushing you toward a bear who’s been eating chicken sausage sandwiches.”
Jamelia: “Well, you’re never gonna see it cause the film’s shit…”
(‘Magic Boys’ has a 3.0 on IMDB. So, yes it was.)

Jamelia: “And I’m not really into the sort of…what, animology? the study of animals, what’s that called?”
4/6ths of the panel: “Zoology?”
Jamelia: “Yeah, zoology.”
Phill: “No, from now on, it’s ANIMOLOGY!”
Jamelia: “Right, zoology, I swear I knew that. But what would a bison, I mean aren’t bison from Africa?”
Harry: “Nono, North America.”
Jamelia: “Right, but AS I WAS SAYING…LET’S PRETEND they all live in Africa.”
Noel: “That’s geography, not place-ology.”

Also, tonight Noel is wearing a sort of knitted Navajo-esque sort of cover.
Phill: “Noel, tonight, is dressed as a Bjork roadie. ‘Hullo, would you like some herring?”
Noel: “I look like a Swedish film director…’I SHALL PUT ZE CAMERA HERE…AND HERE.'”
Phill: “PUT ZE SAUSAGE WAISTCOAT ON HER…AND PUSH HER TOWARDS ZE BEEEAAR…”

‘A fan’ is one of Phill’s choices for the ‘Hurt me’ round.
Phill: “If it’s a fan, are we talking ‘ooh, Mr. Darcy’, or are we talking ‘I LOVE METALLICA.” ?”

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Phill: “This is what I look like after I listen to Metallica.”
Noel: “This is a Marmite advert…”
(Noel’s had me laughing for a while, by the way.)
Jamelia: “Why isn’t anyone stating the obvious? It doesn’t look like marmite, it looks like shit….”
Phill: “Madam, you have bested us…”

Claudia is a decent enough proctor. What she’s doing, which I sort of like, is letting the madness go on a bit, and only sort of punctuating it every once in a while, like Mark. But she’s also keeping people into the conversation. She’s lower-key, but nice.

After Little Boots reveals she’s so short she’s sitting on a cushion.
Harry, to Phill: “You’re sitting on a cushion too, right? Or…oh, that’s just you.”

Also, what I’ll say about Harry Shearer is that he’s very good with keeping the crowd into it, and motioning toward the audience. For someone who’s been perceived as ‘difficult’ so often, I’m surprised how chill and fun he is so far.

As Jamelia and Noel get up for Intros:
Harry: “Is this gonna be worse than your movie?”
Jamelia: “No, not quite…”

Phill, on Noel and Jamelia: “IT LOOKS LIKE MATCH.COM HAS FAILED AGAIN!”

Tom: “Do you do Smithers as well?”
Harry: “Yes, I do.”
Tom: “So you have to talk to yourself then?”
Harry, as Burns: “YES, HE DOES!” then as Smithers: “Yes, he does.”
…good god I love that he’s actually into this.

Harry, after the first intro: “You’re very good…you get the job. I’m very ashamed to not know it, so I’m letting you down, i’m letting the team down…[as Burns]…BUT I’M GOING TO SAY IT IN A SIMPSONS VOICE SO I GET THE POINT ANYWAY!”

As Phill does the main riff of ‘Money for Nothing, Tiny Boots just politely pats the desk.
Harry: “I love what you’re doing.”
Tiny Boots: “I don’t wanna overpower the main guitar riff.”
Harry: “That’s very considerate, most drummers won’t feel that way….that’s probably why they die so frequently I THINK…”
Spot on. Probably the best panelist performance since Josh Groban, or even Moby.

Harry: “The first part was the call of the African Bison…and [as Kent Brockman] THIS JUST IN, HERE’S ANOTHER SONG I DON’T KNOW THE NAME OF!”
Jamelia: ‘Why don’t you give him one he knows, like [hums the Simpsons theme].”
Harry: “…hahaha…don’t pity me.”

This is great- The ID Parade for Noel’s team is a rapper that not only Jamelia KNOWS…but he tried to sell a story on her.
Jamelia: “I just find it kind of funny that I’m over here and he’s in the lineup…”
Claudia: “This is suddenly Trisha, isn’t it?”

Noel: “I mean, I’ve not been on Buzzcocks for long, but that is a pretty big faux pas right there…”
Phill: “If you bring out my P.E. Teacher on our go…IF THIS IS THE WAY THIS QUIZ IS GOING NOW…”

Tom: “What kind of story was it?”
Jamelia: “You don’t wanna know…”
Tom, motioning to the lineup: ‘Anyone?”

Claudia, announcing the real Maxwell D: “With a new solo single out next year…yeah, good luck with that…”

Harry, after Maxwell’s left: “Oh, I envy you. I’ve never seen revenge get served up like that…”

Phill: “I’ve got my eye on #1, I’m gonna be honest with you…”
Harry, channeling Stewart Francis: “For these purposes?”

Claudia: “I get knocked down, but I get up again.”
Jamelia: “I drink a whiskey drink, I drink a vodka drink, I drink a lager drink…”
Tom: “No, but Jamelia, the song!”

Claudia: “Well, you can bump and grind.”
Harry: “Thank you- OH.”
Yeah, he’s basically an American Stewart Francis at some points.

Great moment. Claudia gives Phill’s team the line of ‘See my Vest’. Harry realizes what it is…in Burns’ voice…and then crumples and realizes he doesn’t remember it.

And to cap it off, right after that Claudia gives Harry a line from ‘Stonehenge’…which he gets half of.

Claudia: “Wayne’s world, party time.”
Little Boots: “It’s excellent.”
Claudia: “Right. Mr. Burns voice if you don’t mind.”
Harry: ‘EEEEXXCELLENT.”

Claudia: “Can you feel the love tonight?”
Phill, as Elton: “DAVID, I’VE LEFT A PIE IN THE OVEN!!!”

Overall: WHOA. After a few thinner episodes, this one brought us RIGHT BACK on track. Very proud. It wasn’t even Claudia’s doing- she wasn’t the funniest, but she facilitated a pop quiz to the best of her ability, and was solid enough. No, the real heroes were Jamelia, nearly cracking, Tom, who had some of the episode’s greatest jokes, Noel, who finally is beginning to come into his own, and HARRY SHEARER, who took back my trepidations and had a fun, relaxed performance. Yes, they rested on the Simpsons laurels a bit too much but Harry was surprisingly game, as well as giving a ton of great lines. Fantastic show all around.

Guest Host rating: 8.5 out of 10. Nice enough job, Claudia.
Best Regular: Phill, by a hair.
Best Guest: Harry
Best Runner: Jamelia and the bear.

Nevermind Watchdown: S23E03, or AT LAST WE WILL HAVE REVENGE…AND CHEESE.

Last time they did a Guest Host season, they had a lot of comedians and TV personalities, and then in the middle they threw in Ricky Wilson, lead singer of the Kaiser Chiefs, just because they needed an actual musician. And it went…REALLY WELL. Ricky wasn’t the most professional, but he had so much fun, and also the panel, featuring Jim Jeffries, Rick Wakeman, Bez and Jeff Green, was something to be beheld.

So now…Alex James, the bassist from Blur is hosting. Which…could be really cool. Especially considering that two comedians that I absolutely adore, Peter Serafinowicz and Holly Walsh, are on the program tonight as well. This could be really nice. Also Jessica Origliasso was in The Veronicas, and Newton Faulkner’s a dreadlocked singer-songwriter type.

Immediately, Alex is a fantastic on-camera presence, and is just really happy to be hosting, even pulling out a buzzer and blasting Song 2 as confetti and smoke fly everywhere. This could be a nice one, even if his auto cue reading is a bit slow currently.
Also, the second the smoke clears, Peter and Phill start coughing loudly.

First second of the game, Phill and Peter have to explain to Jessica, a young person, who Peter Stringfellow is. Phill’s already like “aw, here we go…”

Peter has the first ‘just-cerebral-enough’ joke about babbles
“If you leave them on the side of the road for enough time, they become adult bels.”
Noel: “Or maybe ameo-bels. They split in two, and Keanu, or whatever his name is, puts ’em in his cheeks.”
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Alex permeates the Stringfellow bashing by saying the man took him under his wing and made him feel cool when he was still with Blur
Peter, immediately after: “He’s got a WING? That doesn’t surprise me, actually. Like, sort of webbed arms.”
Phill: “…like a sex-kestral.”
Peter: “yeah, a disgusting griffin.”
Man, the Peter-Phill dynamic is already electric.

Alex: “I have to pass it over-”
Noel: “No cloakroom, so he had to put his coat in his cheeks?”
Peter: ‘He must have tipped the stripper with change.”

There’s a nice runner- Alex, on the side, makes his own cheeses, so he keeps giving out a tray of them to the panels, which is nice (sort of like the vodka Mark was giving to people back in the day)

Noel: “Makes me slightly horny…is it supposed to?”
Alex pops the cheese in his mouth…then presses the button and ‘Song 2’ starts playing again.

Phill and Jess’s first intro, Loser  by Beck, is so good that Peter gets it in five seconds. To be fair, it’s a pretty recognizable hook, but they did it pretty damn well.

Generally great moment- Alex has a moment to geek out to Peter, because his four kids wish that ALEX was the voice of Darth Maul. I forget that Peter did that, but he’s very game about it, and it’s a very out-of-character moment for both of them.

Noel: “Alright, do a little Darth Maul…”
Peter: “AT LAST, WE WILL HAVE REVENGE…..AND CHEESE.”
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For the 2nd intro, Jess has this sort of vocal refrain to do (“AAOOOO-OOHHH!”)…and it gets so repetitive that Phill orders her to stand over ‘by cheese-man’ and do it.
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Holly: “Is it something by Girls Aloud?”
Alex: “Yes! What’s the title?”
Newton: “……AAOOOO-OHHH!”

Alex reads a story about a report of Girls’ Aloud being brutally murdered. “However, the judge dismissed it as pure fan-fiction after reading the graphic sex scenes with the ginger one.”
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Newton: “….you watch it.”

Noel: “When I was a kid, I wanted to be ginger-”
Newton: “WHHHY???”

Holly: “I know this one.”
Noel: “Yeah?”
Holly: “…I don’t know the title.”
Noel: “…pffff…”

ID Parade:
Alex: “I have some 911 facts here. They announced their split live on the Chris Moyles show.”
Peter: “Yeah, that was their 9/11…”

Noel’s ID Parade features Fuzzbox. The last time a member of Fuzzbox was on an ID Parade, they were used to completely screw over Phill’s team, who’d just talked shit about them in the preceding round.

Next Lines:
Alex: “The best thing about being a woman.”
Newton: “…is the nipples.”
Alex: “…close.”
Noel: “Not having to shave?”

Overall: Not perfect, but fun. Alex was having a wonderful time, and kept the cheese and blur jokes coming at high speed. Not really about the panel as much, though Peter and Newton were fun, and Holly had some nice lines.

Guest Host rating: 8/10. Not perfect but the energy was there
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Peter
Best Runner: Cheese

Nevermind Watchdown: S23E02, or Not as Easy as it Looks, is it Welsh Boy?

For the next Episode of the Guest Host series, NMTB turns to the man with the potato on his sleeve, Rhod Gilbert, to hopefully bring a nice enough performance. I imagine he’ll do pretty well, seeing as they end up giving him the gig 5 years later.

On the program tonight are Greg Davies, back again after a nice showing last time, former gymnast and current presenter Gabby Logan, Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp, and Jeremy Reynolds from Hockey.

Rhod’s demeanor is already killing me at the start of the show. Introing Martin, he says “BRILLLIANT. SPANDAU BALLET IS BACK. LET’S BOOK THE ONLY ONE THAT’S AVAILABLE!” He’s just killing the delivery by being loud enough, yet still charmed enough to be back.

Even better, they make Rhod read this: ‘SOOOO, WE BEGIN WITH…WOOP. WOOP. DAT’S DA SOUND OF DA POLICE’. And he says it in such a commonplace and, well, white way. Noel’s reaction of just cracking immediately is also mine.

Rhod: “Not quite as cool in a Welsh accent, I just figured…”
Phill: “I always wanted to know what it’d sound like if Snoop came from the Valleys.”

Rhod: “BUT HOW DID A MAN’S BALD HEAD GET MANSON IN TROUBLE WITH THE POLICE?”
Noel: “I have no idea.”
Rhod: “Well, then. At least try and banter around it.”
Noel: “I’m like Columbo, I’ll get around to it…”

Noel, on Manson: “He’s got one of Hitler’s coat-hangers, apparently?”
Gabby: “Where’d he get that?”
Rhod: “…from his wardrobe.”

Jeremy, explaining what Manson did: “And he, uh, he stuck his ‘wee-ey’ on the top of this guy’s head. Is that what you call it? Wee-ey?”
Phill: ‘He stuck an entire video game system on his head?”

Rhod: “But HOW DID A WALLAROOO…AND A GOAT-”
Phill: “What was that?”
Rhod: “A wallaroo?”
Phill: “What’s that, some kind of mythological welsh creature?”
Rhod: “I don’t know, I’m just guess-”
Phill: “WHAT KIND OF A HOST ARE YOU?!?!?!?”

Rhod’s close friends with Greg, so he takes the mick a number of times towards him.
Rhod: “Vanilla Ice found show-business hard. It’s a tough business- one minute you’re the star of one of Britain’s best-loved soaps, the next you’re sitting on a panel show with a teammate who looks like the bloated corpse of Rik Mayall!”
Greg doubles over. The odd part was Mayall was still alive at that point…

Phill: “Everytime I see Noel come towards Gabby, I feel like I’m watching 1970’s science fiction.”
Noel figures out what he’s referencing, even asking him “Blake 7”, before cracking up.

Intros:
Rhod: “You know, Gabby, you can just say it when you think you know it…”
Gabby: “Do you know it?”
Rhod: “Of course I do, or else it’d be a long bloody quiz, now wouldn’t it?”

Gabby: “Gotta be something like The Four Tops…or the Jackson 5-”
Rhod: “You’re just going with numbers?”
Phill: “She thinks she’s doing the results. TOPS FOUR, JACKSONS FIVE…”

Greg takes Phill and Martin’s first intro, and just turns it into a melodically sung duet with Phill, that’s probably not the one they’re doing but is still a wonderful duet and a great moment. Phill even ends it with asking Rhod “IS IT THAT?”

Rhod’s hint to Greg is that it’s what you use to put on glasses. Greg guesses hands and ears. Everyone knows it’s ELBOW, and is trying to get Greg to guess it, especially Phill’, who’s beginning to lose his shit.

Rhod: “I’ll pass it over”
Gabby: “It IS Elbow”
Greg: “WHATTT?!?!?”

Rhod: “In 2006, Elbow performed at the Manchester Against Cancer gig. If you don’t want to know the result, look away now.”
Gabby’s lost it completely.

The latest stowaway from the Lamarr era to be Garlicked- Keedie, singer of ‘I Believe My Heart’, now on the ID Parade. A shame, because she had a great game when she was on.

Greg: “It’s quite a musical number, isn’t it-”
Rhod: “Yeah, it’s a song.”
Greg: “…I will take you down.”

After Noel’s Next Lines
Rhod: “At the end of that round…you didn’t score much.”
Noel: “You were panicking more than we were. I mean, there was a sense of urgency, and you were going ‘UUUUE,SDGDSHAGREHAE'”
Rhod: “Yes, there WAS a sense of urgency because it’s meant to be a quick fire round. That’s not panicking!”
Noel: “But you’re welsh, AND with the sense of urgency. He’s American, he had no fuckin’ idea what you were talking about!”
Rhod: “Yeah, I know I am one for talking gibberish, Noel…”

Rhod: “He lives in a big house- HE LIVES IN A HOUSE. Sorry.”
Phill’s entire panel: “A VERY BIG HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY.”
Gabby: “Not as easy as it looks, is it, Welsh boy?”

Overall: Just a phenomenally fun show, even if it was a bit sparse in some parts. Rhod’s presence brought an incredible energy to the show, one that wasn’t malicious, even when he was giving Greg a hard time, but in the friendliest way possible. The panel was sharp- Gabby Logan was enjoying herself, Martin and Jeremy had nice moments, and Noel’s warming up to the show.

Guest Host Rating: 9/10. Fantastic job, Rhod.
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Greg
Best Runner: Greg and Rhod