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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stephen: “And it comes from the latin Ferito, which means-”
Christ, this episode so far…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David slowly increasing his output this show, in a conversation about this man, who bought his mother red stockings, thinking they were blue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


QI Watchdown: I15 (Immortal Bard), or OH! FRENCHWOMAN!

It’s been a while since I’ve truly devoted time to QI, and watching through it, to the point where I’ve basically taken 2 years to finish Series I. And it’s a shame, too, as this is a very funny season, with 3 10/10 shows, 2 extremely fun shows with Ross Noble screwing with a special guest, and just lots of great material.

Here, we see one of the last few instances of QI doing a ‘these 3 panelists are here a lot, let’s put them all together’ show; Bill Bailey, David Mitchell and Sue Perkins are all on a ton, and they’re all here tonight, on a special Shakespeare-themed QI, which should definitely make Stephen proud. It’s sad they couldn’t get an actual Shakespearean actor, like John Sessions, Brian Blessed or Emma Thompson, for this one, but with these three, including a guy who’d appear on a Shakespeare send-up years later (Upstart Crow), I think we’ll be fine.

Everyone is dressed for the occasion, as shown in the Intros:
Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 7.36.28 PM.png

Early on, Stephen asks about the David Tennant production of Hamlet, and asks who Tchaikovsky played. And it’s already amusing enough, seeing these four try to work out what that means. Eventually, Stephen reveals that he played the skull, which is a nice touch.

Stephen of course, quotes the line where Hamlet holds the skull, “alas, poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio-”
Bill: “Alas, poor Yo-…wait a minute, THIS IS TCHAIKOVSKY!”

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 7.44.57 PM.pngDavid: “You’d hope that they had to dirty it up again…like that’s not just a bit of the guy that’s still clinging…”

David has another line, about someone who wastes their life, and donates their skull to theatre, “and then all the reviewers say “…I dunno, Yorick felt a bit stilted…”

Stephen: “Name the Scottish Play, that Shakespeare wrote.”
Sue: “Ah, Taggart!”

Bill has a great moment here, where he ridicules Stephen for always tricking him, and naming fake Shakespeare plays that are clearly the wrong answer…and then he guesses Macbeth, which Stephen, rather matter-of-factly, goes “…yes.”

Stephen brings up that even saying Macbeth is bad luck
Sue: “Yeah, you have to sleep with all your costars immediately.”

Stephen talks of the John Gielgud production of Macbeth, saying four people died during the production.
Sue: “Was that the one where they used machine guns in it?”

The panel goes off on the idea that turning off mobile phones in a theatre should just be made a superstition, so more people will follow it. And they just keep building on it, saying it was an ancient curse from the time of King Tut.

Stephen: “I was in a theatre not long ago, where someone’s phone went off, and the actor just went “OH, FOR FUCK’S SAKE!”

Bill tells the story of a production of Diary of Anne Frank with Pia Zadora, and she was so bad that “by the time the Nazis started knocking on the door, someone shouted out ‘SHE’S IN THE ATTIC!”

Again, just the casual dynamic of these guys talking about Shakespeare and theatregoing is just fantastic. After a bit, they all just start telling stories of onstage interruptions, and it’s all great.

And then Bill tells the story of doing 12 Angry Men onstage, and one of the jurors fainted onstage, and they all had to help him off. “and you see the audience going ‘…I don’t remember a bit in 12 Angry Men where one of the jurors…died..”

The West Side Story question, which Bill guesses that the original title of West Side Story was…West Side Story (and is Klaxoned) is one I knew: Originally it was set in the east side. Sue knows this immediately.

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 9.35.11 PM.pngBill: “…all their pipes have been airbrushed out of this photograph…”
[But don’t take it from me, take it from Sweary Bob. “YEAH, THEY’RE FUCKIN’ GREAT!”]

Stephen gets the audience to answer that the Lion King is based on Hamlet, which Sue, like me, doesn’t entirely agree with: ‘AT WHAT POINT DOES HAMLET SING ‘HAKUNA MATATA??”

Stephen: “What about the Tempest, what movie was made of that?”
Bill, on the Lion King thread: “Wicked!”
Bill: “SPEED! SPEED 2!”
Sue: “Harold and Kumar Get the Munchies”

The way Stephen pronounces ‘Syracuse’, as ‘Syyyy-racuse’, angers me, as a New Yorker.

Stephen asks for the other main candidates for the ‘who really wrote shakespeare’s plays’ theory
Bill: “Oh, hang on-”
Bill presses his buzzer, then turns to Alan and goes “…what was it?”
Alan, through his fingers: “…MARLOWE!”

Bill: “Could he have theoretically dictated these plays, to someone else?”
Stephen: “I suppose it’s possible. Barbara Cartland used to lie on her sofa and dictate her marvelous novels…”
Sue: [cringes at that description]

Stephen: “I don’t suppose Shakespeare used every word he knew in his plays, as he left a lot out…[quieter]…I don’t remember the word ‘clitoris’ in any of them…”

Bill goes on a tangent about printing, about copying a vole, and printing a vole…and then it turns into a discussion of marzipan voles, which…again, this is classic Bill here, just going off about random things.

Stephen instructs the panel to figure out what all these seldom-used Shakespearean words mean
Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 10.26.55 PM.png
Alan: “…I’ve got a Swoltery Quatch at the moment…”
And he just looks over at Stephen, bashfully
Alan: “…it happened when I put me kicky-wickies on…”

Sue: “What is a kickie-wickie? Is that Russell Brand’s version of a football?”
Stephen: “It’s an affectionate term for a wife.”
David: “Domestic violence was a lot more acceptable, then…”
Sue: “Ah, the old Smashy-Washy…the ol’ Battery-Watter…”

On the list of words that DID catch on:
Alan: “FRENCHWOMAN? A bit of a stretch. “Yes, I invented it…”
David: “He invented ‘taking the space out’…”
Bill, french accent: “Zis is my wife, she is a…zuhdkfjg…uh, thingymagig, I dunno…what can I call her? OH! FRENCHWOMAN!”

Sue, on the list of phrases: “…How did he say ‘What the Dickens’? Dickens didn’t come along for another 200 years!!”

There’s a running gag where Stephen’s chain necklace keeps getting caught on his sleeve. It happens twice, and it gets laughter from the audience each time.
Stephen: “…this bit of ruff is not behaving, I’ve said that before…”

Sue, on the Dangerous Dan question: “Oooh, I sense I’m falling into a pit, but I’ll do it anyway…dunno why I’m talking like that…”

Stephen: “Of course, the trap you fell into, the rewriting of Shakespeare, was actually done by a famous couple, whose names were…”
Bill: “…Richard and Judy!”

On the Bottom actor who Morris Danced from London to Norwich
Stephen: “There’s a phrase that came of this-”
Sue: “Cocking about? Making a right tit of yourself?”

Stephen: “What d’you call a group of Morris Dancers?”
Sue: “…an ass.”
Bill: “A SWARM!”
Sue’s doing great with little jokes tonight
Bill: “Uhh, a plague?”
Alan: “A BELLEND!”
[and I’m gone]

Stephen mentions that American Morris-Dancing is taking off “in a big way”
Alan, American accent: “I’VE JOINED A BELLEND!”

The klaxons in this episode are kind of expected: Sue, in answering the Marlowe question, prefaces it by saying “…let me say it so you can mock me.”

This episode is great for collaboration as well, which is what the last show was missing: there’s a gag about a bill for a brothel, and all four are collaborating, juxtaposing restaurant bill jokes onto the brothel setting. It’s fantastic.

Stephen: “What made Lord Byron limp?”
[childish laughter]
Sue: “Now that’s a loaded question…”
Bill: “Item 4 on the brothel bill?…uh, eight hours of Morris dancing?’

Stephen: “There was a scandal, in which he’d possibly had sex with…”
Sue: “…a young…”
Bill, confidently: “Goat.”
And he just sits there, nodding

Stephen: “Now, what can the Queen do that an idiot can’t?”
Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 11.01.54 PM.png
Bill: “…by the looks of things, kill people with their own eyes…”

Overall: Along the same vein as Films & Fame- a very entertaining episode with great facts, that may not have been the funniest. I still enjoyed watching, as the panel was very coherent, and all four were capable of working with each other. Sue had the easier jokes, and not all of hers hit; David was the quietest of the four, but still had a great night whenever he spoke up; Bill Bailey, of course, had the funniest moments, and, like usual this series, is a delight at all points. A very fun show, and one, as a Shakespeare guy, that I got a lot out of.

MVP: Bill
Best Guest: Bill
Show Winner: David
Best QI Fact: Tchaikovsky’s head
Best Runner: Brothel bill

QI Watchdown: I13 (Intelligence), or “MARGARET, GET THE CORNFLOUR!”

Again, many times in Series I, QI tried to recreate classic lineups while still trying to plug forward with newer comics. So this show, featuring PHILL JUPITUS, as well as David Mitchell and Jo Brand, is reminiscent of a Series C or D taping, which is good nostalgia. With four left to go in I, this Series still has momentum, but doesn’t have as many ‘WOW THAT’S AMAZING’ shows as the first half did.

Tonight’s buzzers, each in succession, form the famous theme to Mastermind, though I would have appreciated some dramatic spotlights, or a smirking Paul Merton in the background. Alan’s is, of course, ‘UHHHHHHH….PASS!”

Stephen asks a question he prefaces as being incredibly difficult, and discussed in many academic circles: “How do you get a goose interested in volleyball?”
Jo: “…I’d like to reply with the question ‘How do you get ANYONE interested in volleyball?”

Stephen: “Name an intelligent bird.”
Jo, waiting for her Mastermind buzzer to end: “…..me.”

Jo: “Not really, I’ve got a very low IQ.”
Stephen: “Oh, don’t believe that for a second…”
Jo: “It’s 83.”
Stephen: “…my god, you’re barely even human-”
Jo brushes this off, saying she’s kidding.

Phill has a nice point that crows are only perceived as evil because of the dark music that accompanies them. If you put on more fun music, and give them a sombrero, there’s a different effect. This is a very Series B-esque digression, too.

Stephen: “What was the first move the government made to assemble the boffins at Bletchley Park?”
Alan: “…singles bar.”

This episode is starting with less emphasis on humor and more emphasis on ‘isn’t that amazing?’. Stephen talks of Alan Turing’s death by poisoned apple, and that it was widely believed that Apple computers dedicated their logo, the apple with the bite taken out of it, to Turing.
Stephen: “I was actually in a position to ask one of Apple’s founders, Steve Jobs, about it, and he said ‘no, it isn’t true….but god, we wish it were.”

(I find it very ironic that all of this Alan Turing information would be made public a year or so later, with the release of The Imitation Game.)

Stephen: “How long does the perfect job interview last?”
Jo, after waiting for her buzzer to end: “…how long does a blowjob take?”
The place goes mad. Jo is so far killing it tonight.
Stephen: “The extraordinary thing is…the answer is exactly what I’ve got on my card, and it’s ‘TWELVE SECONDS!'”

Stephen: “Have you applied for a job?”
Jo: “Yeah, I applied for many. Never got any, though.”
Stephen: “Well, you got this one.”
Jo: “Right…because I slept with you, as you well know…”
Stephen: “only the best 12 seconds of my life.”

Stephen, listing some questions they’re not allowed to ask at job interviews, stumbles a bit: ‘Are you originally from the O.K.- sorry, UK-”
Phill: “Yeah, but if you’re interviewing for a cowboy, that’s a good question…”

Stephen discusses that people aren’t supposed to answer the ‘what are your weaknesses’ question with a subverted strength, but a mild weakness.
David: “‘I’m a terrible thief…I, just, I love other people’s stuff…”
Stephen: “I also can’t concentr-Oh look, there’s a squirrel!”
Phill: “What are your weaknesses? Heroin and masturbating, not necessarily in that order…”

Stephen: “What are your strengths?’ Ah, now don’t say-”
Alan: “odor, I’ve got a powerful odor…It’ll only get stronger as the day goes on…”

Phill, on other questions they might ask to test your wit, gives a solid Phill answer: “Will you be participating in ‘Take your Kestrel to Work Thursday’?”

Stephen, pulling out another ‘Ingenious Interlude’, says ‘I’ve been trying to get better at these little chemistry experiments.’ Again, they’d be a permanent fixture come Series J.

After this Interlude, where Stephen puts a corn-starch fluid on a speaker, and has it react to sound pressure.
Phill: “You have just ruined every speaker of every QI viewer…”
Stephen, trying to continue: “Isn’t that creepy?”

Halfway through the show, a robot appears with some drinks. Having watched this show for several series, I’m not even shocked anymore.

Stephen introduces the robot, Asimo, to the panel.
Alan, as Asimo’s internal monologue: “Here i am, brain the size of a planet…opening DOORS,,,”

Stephen: “Why don’t you show us what you can do?”
Asimo: “I would love to!”
Alan: “Is it gonna kill me?”

Asimo approaches the audience, after going down some stairs.
Stephen: “Now he’s gonna do something that nobody in the audience is going to believe.”

Stephen: “Well, I think it’s only fair that you get some points.”
Asimo: “Thanks…but what I’d really like is a dance with Jo.
Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 4.38.24 PM.png

I will say that having Asimo and Jo doing some fun, funky dancing together is one of the most original, cool moments in the show’s history.

Alan, as Asimo departs: “I can’t help feeling…that he is heavily weaponized…”

As they discuss if Asimo had the right voice, Phill brings out a gruff, ‘allo’ voice that could also be taken as one of his many dialects from NMTB (“ALLO, I’M FROM BOTSWANA!”)

David: “I think it would have been more reassuring if its dancing was more robotic. I find its attempts to be human…tragic.”
Phill: “What I’d like to happen now, is for it to be like Jerry Springer and for the robot to come on, going “WHO. ARE YOU. CALLING. RUBBISH.” And then big blokes in QI black t-shirts have to pull it off of him. “GET. OFF. ME. YOU. SLAGS. HE WAS. ASKING. FOR IT.”
Alan: “I. WANT. A .DNA. TEST.”

Stephen, starting GI with a question from the job interview section: “How many piano tuners are their in the UK?”
Alan, frantically, grabs the Nobody Knows card.

Stephen: “On a clock face, how many times per day do the two hands overlap?”
David: “…Yeah, this is definitely a question to avoid answering at all costs..”

The behind screen for a new question has a blue sky, and clouds coming quickly.
Alan, without a choice: “….theeeee Siiiiimmmpsoooooonnnsss….”

Overall: Solid episode, boosted by some really interesting stuff, and great performances by Jo, Alan and Phill. David had a quieter show, and brought up the rear, but he still won the game. Jo had the best lines, Phill had some great moments, and everybody was able to collaborate on jokes. Plus, ASIMO’s appearances made the momentum grow even more. A truly nice one, even if it took a bit to get going.

Best Guest: Phill
Show Winner: David
Best QI Fact: Cornflour vibration
Best Runner: Asimo

QI Watchdown: I2 (International), or ‘Do What Ya Like, Wing Commander..’

We started with a great one, and now Series I rolls towards a pretty strong lineup- David Mitchell, Bill Bailey and Jack Dee. Three people that are well-suited to take this one pretty seriously. No Lee Macks or Johnny Vegases hiding in the distance, waiting to throw everything off.

The buzzers, as this an international theme, are all flight calls between countries/cities with I names (India to Islamabad). Alan’s is ‘UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA…”

Stephen goes over the Nobody Knows bonus for the new members.
Bill: “What are the points that you gain by using it correctly?”
Stephen: “…I think we all agree that nobody in this universe understands the QI scoring system…”
Bill: “So, by that logic, were someone to raise the subject of the scoring system and I were to raise the card…”

After a discussion on the scorekeepers
Alan: “I wonder what the score is NOW?…”
Stephen, checking: “…amazingly, Bill has 3, and everyone else has zero…”
David, amid applause: ‘WHY *THREE?*”

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 9.20.31 PM.pngStephen asks what would happen if the pilot and co-pilot were unable to land the plane
David: “I’d stop reading the kindle on the steering wheel…”

There’s a disagreement over what they call the guy on the plane who takes money for duty free. Jack says that he calls himself the Bursa-
Bill: “Yeah, he calls himself that…”
David: “Or is that the PURSA? The BURSA is the one who does the money for public schools.”
Bill: “Yeah, what kind of planes are you flyin’ on? ‘YES, THE BURSA will be coming around, collecting money for the end-of-term Jamboree…”
Stephen: “Here on this charterhouse flight…”
David: “The Bursa with the trolley…and then with the drinks, the groundsman.”

Stephen, bringing up another point: ‘Now, why do I say LuncHES here?”
Bill: “…because there’s more than one.”

Alan, listing a fact: “There are nearly 400,000 people in the air at any given time.”
Stephen, post-applause: “There’s no question that trampolining is a very popular sport…”

Stephen shows an example of the feats of the early auto-pilot:
Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 9.32.19 PM.pngJack: “…you wouldn’t want to be ball-boy, would you…”

Bill gets a question right, which even he’s surprised by.
David: “Another 4.5 points!”

On the world’s shortest commercial flight:
Jack: “Do they just lift off, throw peanuts at you, then land?”
Stephen: “Even worse is that the return ticket is 39 pounds!”
David: “Why don’t they just build a BRIDGE?”
Bill: “It’s a great flight. They just go over the exits, and go “…well, here we are!”

Stephen talks about how before World War I, the British army was required to all have mustaches. They cut back to him, and all of the sudden:
Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 9.40.17 PM.pngHe even throws in a ‘BAAAAHHHH’ after it’s subsided.

Bill: “I’m just imagining, Stephen, that that moustache is gonna have its own website by the time this is over…”

Stephen spins a story about the Disney head of PR sending out an email to staffers saying “The Disney Corporation takes strong exception to the use by many employees of the phrase ‘Mauschwitz’ to describe the Disney corporation. If it is used again, anyone who is caught using it will be summarily fired.”
Stephen: “WITHIN A HALF AN HOUR…they were using the phrase ‘Duck-au'”
David: “Perhaps they didn’t see the irony…of people using a fascist term to describe their organization- ‘OH, WELL, WE’LL PUT A STOP TO THIS!”

Stephen shows of a device (like Albert Finney used in Murder on the Orient Express) that guards the moustache while they sleep.
David: “What’s that FOR, though? You say you want to keep your moustache- keep it from WHAT, though?”

Stephen reveals that peeing on a jellyfish to suppress a sting actually doesn’t work…but peeing on a machine gun and a tomato is encouraged.
David: “I’ve never been stung by a tomato before…”

David: “If people would have known about [weeing on] machine guns in the first World War, it would have saved a lot of casualties…”
Stephen: “Well it did, actually. They did use them.”
David: “What, after the first wave in the Psalm, everyone’s firing with their cocks out?”

Jack: “When you said ‘urinate on tomatoes’, I thought you meant, like, instead of salad dressing.”
Jack is the quietest of the panel tonight, but he’s still having some great moments.

David: “I think it comes from our own self-loathing that we find our own excrement more disgusting than other creatures’..”
Bill: “Oy, speak for yourself…”

Stephen: “Now, what is the issue with machine guns?”
Alan: “They kill you, DEAD!”
Stephen, continuing: “Obviously we-”
Stephen, trying to continue: “We have here-”
Alan: “A GUN?? CHRIST!”

Stephen: “The russians actually made a gun with a hole in which to pee…”
Bill: “So you can pee, and shoot…WHILE you’re firing the gun?”

Stephen, moving on: “What was Italy’s biggest export in the year 1953?”
Bill: “…frozen urine.”
Bill: ‘What, URINE? URINE [sets it off]?”
Stephen: “We KNOW you, Bill Bailey!”

Stephen, describing the thing in question: “It had thousands of parts-”

Stephen’s looking for an italian dish. Alan guesses ‘POLENTA’, and says it in a very similar accent to ‘DE PEENK POLENTAAAA, I LOOOOVE IT…”

Stephen: “And Mussolini was joined by…surely you know of the Futurists, the futurist movement-”
Bill: “Not yet.”
Dear god, Bill Bailey’s on FIRE today.

Stephen, continuing a conversation: “If I want to torture my mother…”
He then realize he may not have phrased that correctly.
Bill: “Then…it’s a free country!”
Stephen: “In a RESTAURANT!”
Bill: ‘Do what ya like, Wing Commander!”

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 10.12.22 PM.pngStephen’s telling a story about Jesse Owens’ treatment at the 1936 Olympics, how Hitler didn’t congratulate him…and Alan just starts laughing hysterically. Stephen stops the story to wonder what the hell’s the matter.
Alan: “The bloke on the far-right’s just going like that…”
Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 10.13.41 PM.png
David: “I think…surely they’re ALL on the far right…”
Stephen: Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 10.15.35 PM

Bill: “They’re all just taking bets on how high’s the high-jumper’s gonna go…”
Alan: “The one on Hitler’s left is going ‘oh, I didn’t get the memo…”

Alan gets the NOBODY KNOWS answer by saying that nobody really knows where the rainwater from a certain part of a creek in Wyoming ends up. He does sort of end up mimicking Stephen as he’s doing the full answer, in this muted, garbled tone in the background, which the audience notices.
Alan, grunted: “…no…nobody knows…”

Stephen: “Name the Largest Pyramid in the World!”
[A picture of the Egyptian pyramids shows up on the behind-screen]
Jack: “…that one, there, in the middle…”
Jack: “…Am I really that predictable?”

David says the pyramid’s an Aztec one, and Stephen says he’ll give 40 points if he gives the full name.
David: “…I don’t know it’s name, but I’ll spit out some consonants…”

Stephen: “There is a word for a pyramid with a flat top…”
Alan: “…unfinished.”
Bill: “And the sign- ‘DUE FOR COMPLETION, EARLY BC, 447…”

Stephen asks for the world’s fattest country, and everyone just starts yelling out wrong answers like Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga.
Stephen: “I’ll give you a clue, it starts with N…”

Ah, yes.
Stephen: “When was the first World War named as such?”
Bill: “Uhh…the outbreak. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.”
Stephen: “You think they called it that straight away?”

David: “It’s gonna be some point after 1939, isn’t it?”
KLAXON: 1939
David: “EXCUSE ME! I *THINK* I SAID…I THINK WHAT I SAID, people in the box, was ‘AAAFTER 1939′, which may CONTAIN 1939, but does not mean it!”
David, still riled: “OKAY… NONONO…’AFTER 1939’ AND ‘AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR’ are NOT synonymous. Now…this is just GIVING YOU TIME TO *TYPE*, *AFTER 1939*!”
David: “…Why don’t you just type ‘MITCHELL IS A COCK’.”
Stephen: “…I wouldn’t put it PAST THEM…”

Stephen: “Why were the colonels and chief of the Royal Dragoon and the First King’s Dragoon Guards fail to turn up for duty at the start of the first World War?”
Alan: “They were entwined…in an embrace.”

David, thanks to his many run-ins with the Klaxon, gets -44 tonight, which is hysterical.

Overall: Dare I say even better than I-Spy? Literally every panelist was supremely on tonight. There were no rifts, everyone was collaborating with each other, and the jokes and runners were flying the entire night. The Bursa jokes, the mustache jokes, the pissing machine guns, Goering’s funny salute, Alan’s nobody knows grunting, and the ENTIRE KLAXONING DAVID MITCHELL BIT…all of that in one episode. Fantastic. A standard of excellence on the series, by far.

MVP: Bill
Best Guest: David
Show Winner: Bill
QI Fact of the Day: Piss-Powered Machine Guns.
Best Runner: Goering’s wave.

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

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: H10 (Health & Safety) or She was REVIVED…BY SMOKE!

It’s weird- this season started out really strong, got kind of bad for a few episodes, and since the last Ross Noble episode we’ve been unspectacular but fine. In fact, you might argue that Ross Noble has been responsible for the spikes of good in Series H. I certainly hope this is the case, because Ross is on his last show of the Series tonight, after conquering the first show of the season (with the Toblerone-Rolo Combo), and the Ruby Wax episode. Also on tonight are like-minded individual David Mitchell and…pissant Jeremy Clarkson.

As it’s the Health and Safety show, Stephen’s dressed as a doctor, while the panel’s all in hard-hats and construction outfits.

For the first time in a few episodes, the buzzers are kinda funny. Ross’s is an alarm sounding, with ‘DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!’, which he enjoys. Jeremy’s is ‘Vehicle Reversing’, which he facepalms to. Alan’s is an angry high-pitched voice yelling “DON’T TOUCH THE BUTTON!”

Right after intros, Stephen says they can take off their hats.
Ross: “Good thing, or else my hair would be ruined.”
He and Alan take turns whipping around their hair.

After taking the Whitely test, which is punctuated by putting a big Richard Whitely on the behind-screens, Ross scores low, meaning he’s not a hypochondriac
Ross: “But I am terrified that a giant Richard Whitely’s gonna kill me with a clipboard…”

Jeremy: “I didn’t even read the questions, I just put 5 for everything.”
Stephen: “Ah, this explains why you are…”DANGEROUSLY” a hypochondriac.”
Jeremy: “Well, I didn’t know it was because I didn’t read the questions, but I am. I’ve got every disease known to man!”
Ross: “You’re telling me that you’ve got elephantitis?”
Jeremy: “…of the scrotum. No, I’ve got a twisted testicle, a hideous rash, two slipped disks-”

Ross: “You know who I feel sorry for the most? Construction-working goths.Because goths, they love a black outfit, but they’ve got to earn a living, and this [uniform] goes against everything they stand for.”
Alan: “But these are reflective…”
Ross: “But…would you want a reflective goth?? I WOULD! I’d want one in me house. BRING OUT THE REFLECTIVE GOTH!”

Ross: “But of this test…what does it mean if you write the answers in your own blood? That’d mess with their heads, wouldn’t it?”
Alan: “Not as bad as if you wrote with someone else’s.”

Alan: “My favorite question from there was…ah, can’t remember it now.”

Stephen talks of an apparatus that’d save people from drowning by blowing smoke up their arse. And shows an older version:
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 5.37.09 PM.pngAlan: “BLOW, MAN! FOR GOD’S SAKES! IS IT SUCKING OR BLOWING, I CAN’T REMEMBER!…I THINK IT’S BLOWING IS IT? I DON’T KNOW! BE SURE, MAN, HE’S DROWNING….I’ll do both, I’ll suck first…”

Ross: “So there was a moment where [someone was drowning], and someone said “kiss of life? wait a second…hand me that pipe…”

Ross: “It would be a beautiful sight, though, if we’ve blown the smoke up there, and the person sputters back to life, and then takes off, with the smoke coming out the back! ‘LOOK AT THE SPEED THEY’RE GOING AT!'”
Alan: “Bloke on the left looks like he’s gonna rob his trousers if he doesn’t come ’round.”
Stephen: “No, he’s generating the smoke. They didn’t have an all-around device back then, so he’s getting the pipe ready-”
Jeremy: “Oh, Christ, so he has to french-kiss the pipe…THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SAVING A DROWNING MAN!”

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 5.44.10 PM.pngJeremy: “Well HE’S not drowning…he’s just in the pub!”
Alan: “This is like that scene from Pulp Fiction…”
David: “This is bad, because it feels like at any point, someone can say “I think I’m drowning!”
Ross: “As if that’s not bad enough, the bloke in the background’s going “…I think I’ll get my donkey in on this…”

Stephen talks of a woman who was nearly killed by a gorilla, thinking her long glances as mocking.

David: “Did they check that it wasn’t just an incredibly annoying woman?”

Stephen: ‘After attacking her, he went into a cafe, where he caused a bit of a commotion…”

Jeremy answers a question saying that a spike right in the middle of your steering wheel would improve car safety.
David: “Wouldn’t that sort-of reduce the point of having a car at all?”
Jeremy: “…quite a lot.”
David: “If you made cars perpetually on fire, people will probably be frightened to get in them at all…”

Stephen: “What equipment do children need to play conkers?”
Jeremy: “I haven’t heard the noise yet, so…”
He holds up his goggles.

Stephen: “Why would I stick my finger up your bottom if you couldn’t name seven bald men aside from Yul Brynner?…That is one of the oddest questions I’ve ever asked on QI…”

Alan reveals that sticking a finger up a dog’s bottom can help them stop biting you.
Ross: “You can use a stick, or other implement. It doesn’t have to…the dog’s not gonna go ‘is that a pen? I’m not releasin'”
David: “I think it’s such a considerate move…to take out a pen when a dog’s biting your arm. ‘No, not the fountain pen, just the BIC!'”
Ross: “Though, to be fair, the dog in my scenario is also a talking dog…”
David: “Going back to your sensible question…”

Stephen: “But, there is only one proven way of stopping hiccups, and that is-”
David: “DEATH!”
Jeremy: “I never knew the bottom was a passageway to so many medical cures…”
Stephen: “When you say digital rectal massage…was there a point where it changed from ANALOG?”

On how to save Jeremy from a threatening environmentalist:
Ross: “I’d punch a horse. I’d get a shetland pony, I’d just throw it around, not to hurt it but to punch it a bit, and there’d be a dilemma of ‘do we carry on the Clarkson attack, or do we go for the bloke with the horse?”
Jeremy: “Horses are tricky, because they produce methane, which some environmentalists believe is stronger than global warming-”
Ross: “Oh, well in that case I’d just turn the horse ’round, get a lighter, use it as a flamethrower.”

Stephen: “The point is, you’d help, wouldn’t you?”
Alan: “No, I’d video it, honestly…”

Look, as much of an ass as Jeremy is, he’s giving a nice showing tonight, he’s working well with people, and he’s being less of a loner-curmudgeon than he has in the past. He’s obviously not the best panelist of the night so far, but he’s still giving an effort.

On how a seahorse can help you get around town:
Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 7.35.51 PM.pngDavid: “That’s just disgusting. It’s like he’s got a leg of lamb for a face…”
Ross: “I love that he’s still put a tie on. ‘I might look like a freak, but I’m gonna be a smart freak…”

Jeremy “I read somewhere that, because of the limbic system, that you can be blindfolded and sense when a lion’s come into the room- you can sense danger.”
Ross: “And it’s going RRRRAAAAARRR. And everybody’s going ‘THERE’S A BLUDDY LION IN THE ROOM!”

Alan tries to ‘double up on safety’ by putting the gorilla glasses and goggles on at the same time.
David: “Great, now you can show a GORILLA a science experiment..”

Stephen: “The robin on the left wouldn’t be able to navigate at all…”
Alan: “Cause he’s pissed!”

After Stephen reveals that one of a pigeon’s eyes can see magnetism, and throws something off there
Ross: “So you’re saying that it’s physically impossible for a pigeon to carry a fridge magnet? NO WONDER MY BUSINESS FAILED!”

Stephen says that the only reason people are advised not to take antibiotics with alcohol is simply tradition
David: “Now I’m gonna be more inclined not to drink alcohol while on antibiotics. If it’s traditional, then that’s fine. I respect tradition! If we stop observing them, they’ll disappear.”
Ross: “The trouble with that is that by that logic, you’ll be dressed as a morris dancer!

You can tell that this was a pretty bombastic show because the second Alan learns he lost with -6, he wonders aloud how he got -6, and all four panelists start arguing and talking over Stephen as he’s trying to do the final standup.

Overall: Incredibly fun show to get things back on track. The panel dynamic was pretty great, and Ross and David had some of the best moments, the former with his really nice lines, the latter with some momentary logical rage. Jeremy had a nice show too, but brings up the rear solely for not connecting as much as the other two. Just a lot of nice moments.

MVP: Ross
Best Guest: David
Show Winner: David
Best Runner: Smoke up the Arse

QI Watchdown: H3 (Hoaxes)

Onto a more traditional lineup, as tonight’s episode features 3 guys who’ve been here since near the beginning, Danny Baker, Sean Lock and David Mitchell. David and Sean have done one together, but David and Danny, and Danny and Sean haven’t. So this’ll be an interesting panel formula.

One of the buzzers, according to Stephen, is NOT a deer’s mating call. The first three are, indeed, deer calls. Alan’s is a scottish voice saying “HELLO, DEAR!”

Ah, nothing like a good-old-fashioned episode-long-runner. All four contestants get a hoax card, and there’s one answer over the course of the show that’s a hoax. Not as exciting as the ‘squirrel’ card, but still lots of fun.

Sean brings up the idea that “how about, we all do it on the first question, we all lose points…done. What d’ya think guys, you all in?”
Danny: “Well, we’re all gonna SAY yes, but we’re not gonna really do it…”

Stephen: “One question we got [about the QI Cropcircle] was “Is it real or is it man-made?”
David: “I ask the same thing about sandwiches…”

There’s not a lot of momentum going for the first few questions. Yes, interesting, but not a lot of funny, collaborative stuff. Also, Danny’s very to-himself, and isn’t great with the other two.

Stephen: “How would you make your house the most famous house in Britain?”
Alan: “That’s easy. You murder lots and lots of people, dismember them, and bury them in the garden.”
Sean: “marry the queen.”
David: “Some sort of…spectacular suicide?”

Stephen: “What observation did the great biologist Stephen A. Gould draw from a lifetime of studying fish?”
Sean: “Oh…they haven’t got any legs…”
Sean isn’t doing a great deal tonight, but his little stuff sure is helping.
David: “After a while, they smell?”

Danny: “Starfish don’t have any brains. They’re like the Louis Walsh of the aquatic world.”
It’s like he knew what I’d just watched before this.

Stephen: ‘And he came to a conclusion which is-”
David: “They can feel no love.”
Stephen tries to keep going, but cracks up.

Stephen, after saying that the classification of ‘fish’ doesn’t really exist: “How many fish are in this photograph?”
Alan: “Well, given that there’s really no such thing as fish…”

Stephen: “What did Nostradomus get right?”
Sean: “The hat! He got the hat right!”

After Stephen reveals that Nostradamus made jams that still hold up
Sean: “I might make some jam…”
Alan: “Know what you’d need? Fruit…sugar…”
Sean: “No, I’m not gonna make nice jam.”
Stephen: “oh, what sort of jam are you going to make?”
Sean: “Horrible jam. Yeah, ‘Sean’s Horrible Jam’. You don’t know what I put in this stuff…it’s up to you. It’s- Lottery Jam, I’ll call it…Sean’s Bingo Jam! One jar in every hundred is amazing! The rest of the time it’s instant vomit as soon as you open the lid…”

Stephen: “Who is the most famous person to be beaten by a machine at chess?”
Sean: “Me.”
Stephen: “You played a machine at chess?”
Sean: “Yeah, I got beat by a hoover.”

David guesses the Queen
Stephen: “No, someone bigger than the Queen, and had a higher rank than the Queen in his day.”
Alan: “JESUS!!”
Stephen, confused and cracking up: “JESUS?? Jesus isn’t really a RANK…”

Stephen: “How can you tell if a person is lying?”
Alan: “Their hands become sweaty, pulse quickens, their sphincter, you know, tightens up…”
Stephen: “Let’s just suppose that you haven’t got a finger on their sphincter and aren’t holding their hand.”
Sean: “What they’ve said turns out not to be true.”

Stephen: “What do swimming pools smell of?”
Alan, channeling Jo Brand: “Children.”

Stephen eventually reveals that the hoax card was actually a hoax itself, causing some angry reactions from panelists.
Danny: ‘THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! This is like the end of Lost!”

Overall: A weaker number into Series H, but not without an incredible Sean Lock performance. This didn’t work because all four were mainly keeping to themselves, with the exception of Alan because that’s what he does best. Danny had some good jokes, but didn’t really collaborate. David mostly stemmed his rants off other people’s answers, which was alright.

MVP: Sean
Best Guest: David
Show Winner: Sean
Best QI Fact: Fish don’t exist.

QI Watchdown: G16 (Geometry), or “BECAUSE IT *IS*!”

After THREE months, we’ve FINALLY finished QI Series G. I started this series in October. Maybe this is due to me picking up ‘Buzzcocks’, but also this was a long, yet rewarding, series.

Tonight, to finish it all off, we have appearances by David Mitchell and Rob Brydon, some of this series’ heroes, and also from Johnny Vegas, who could make or break this episode, though he’s done relatively well in the past.

After Stephen explains the ‘stripes don’t make you look slimmer’
Rob: “It’s a bit like, when you’re hot, the best way to cool down is not by drinking a cold drink.”
Stephen, impressed: “ROB BRYDON!”
Rob: “It’s by going into an air-conditioned building…and THEN having a cold drink.”

Rob: “I have a friend, and he likes to wear vertical stripes because it makes him look taller.”
David: “Only when he’s not standing next to anyone! It’s not gonna make him look taller than a taller man. It’s all relative. They’ll just say “oh there’s a normal sized man next to an ENORMOUS man…oh thank god, he’s taken his striped shirt off, it’s actually a tiny man next to a normal man.”
Stephen, giving a voice to an entire generation: “I’ve missed your angry logic, David.”

Stephen: “Why do the columns around the Parthenon look straight.”
Alan: “Because they are.”
[Jimmy, presumably from three studios away: “THEEEYYYYY SAY OF THE ACROPOLIS WHERE THE PARTHENON IIIISS….”]

Stephen reveals that Alan was indeed right, which sort of break’s Johnny’s world.
Johnny: “THAT ISN’T A QUESTION! “WHY IS THIS MAN NOT THIN?” “Because he IS!” That has taken me on a WHOLE CIRCLE…a train of thought. THIS IS WHY I STRUGGLED IN SCHOOL!”
Stephen, trying to comfort him: “It’s the ‘Q’ of QI…”
Johnny: “If a train travels at 40 miles an hour, and leaves at 9 o’clock, and arrives in Glasgow at 12:00, how did it get there?” And you’re going “BECAUSE IT DID.”
Stephen: “It’s…it’s sort of that, it’s the Q-”

Stephen’s trying to help Johnny, and clarify things, but he’s still too far gone. He draws a squiggly line in his notebook, shows it to Stephen, and goes “WHY IS THAT LINE STRAIGHT.”
“BECAUSE IT’S *NOT*. That could have been a question.”
He then draws a straight line, and goes “WHY DOES THAT LOOK STRAIGHT?”
Now Johnny is completely breaking down, crying, still completely confused.

The guy who proved this straight lines phenomena, Peter Thompson, is actually in the audience. He compliments Johnny on his striped shirt, saying he looks slim.
Johnny, still sort of broken: ‘But i’ll still have a heart attack. Thanks to stripes I’ll be in denial.”

Observation: Peter Thompson, the geometrical guy from the audience, looks like Barty Crouch Sr. from the Harry Potter movies.

Peter, after his stripe terminology: “Now, if you’re really fat it’s not going to make that much of a difference.”
And Johnny, of course, stands up, semi-insulted.

On Greek columns, Stephen: “Do you know one thing that is missing…”
Rob, practical: “Well, the rest of the building…”

Johnny, studying the columns: ‘What about the lions on the gatepost?”
Stephen: “Do you have lions on your gatepost?”
Johnny: “Jeff and Marge!”
Stephen: “That answer was quick enough for me to believe you do have lions on your gatepost…”

Stephen brings up two odd, colored, Batman-esque shapes, saying they have actual names. Johnny, of course, guesses one of them is called “KAPOW!” He’s actually having a really nice game today, though it may be putting off the other two, like in Eating.

Stephen: “Wolfgang Kerker was, uh…”
Johnny: “A PIRATE!”
Stephen, natural: “A pirate, yes that’s the word I was looking for.”

Stephen is trying to read the cover of the textbook from the behind-screen.
Johnny: “Yeah, I’m not caught up with my Latin there…”
Stephen: “No, it’s written in English…”
Johnny just collapses onto the table. He just can’t win today.
Stephen: “But the names are written in Greek there…”
Johnny, still dejected: “Yeah, that’s what threw me.”

Johnny, after Stephen reveals this textbook was a pop-up book: “The thing about pop-up books,when you read normal books, you end up just putting them in front of you, and just kicking them from behind cause you just think they’re lazy…”
Alan: “What, so you go “POP! COME ON! DO SOMETHING!”

Stephen: “What do you call a left-handed lemon?”
Johnny: “A potato.”

Stephen reveals that an orange is the left-handed equivalent of a lemon, and hands them both to the contestants, except Rob, who’s still bitter about earlier.
Johnny: “Do they make scissors for both?”
That is a genius, very cerebral joke from a guy who’s act is being stupid.

Stephen says that there’s between 70 and 90% of the population that’s right handed.
Johnny: ‘It’ll be far less when the war comes.”
Stephen: “With the what? The morcomes?”
Johnny: “The War comes.”
Stephen: “What’s a warcome.”
Johnny: “The left handed and the right handed…”
Stephen, still not getting it: “Warcomes…”
Johnny: “Not…WHEN THE WAR-”
Stephen, finally getting it, collapses onto his desk. This is like him mistaking Phill’s fake Newcastle accent back in Descendants.

Stephen: “What city is the capital of Kansas?”
Johnny: “Arkanas.”
Stephen: “No, that’s another state.”
Alan: “Well, Kansas City.”

Rob, given an in with Kansas, goes on a very long spiel about Elvis Presley, cutting everyone off and going into actual fact. To contextualize, he goes “I hadn’t said anything in a while.”
David: “It’s like Radio 2 in the middle of the night.”
Rob, now infuriated: HE [Johnny] HAS COME UP WITH SUCH *BILGE*, AND YOU SIT THERE, like we’re in Rain Man, LOVING IT! I come out with something FACTUAL! And, there are a lot of Elvis fans out there who will be loving that.”

On the “where is the best place to look into the future” question.
Rob, completely serious: “You look backwards. Because history teaches us the future. Because from history, we learn patterns, and as Dr. Phil says time and time again, the greatest indicator of future behavior is past behavior.”
Johnny, grabbing Rob with an arm and looking right into his eyes: “When are you gonna realize he’s not interested?”

I just realized what this episode is. On both sides of one panel, you have the voice of information, and you have the voice of entertainment. And time and time again this show was teetered between being a supplier of fact and a supplier of humor. And this episode is Johnny Vegas breaking the fourth wall and throwing information out the window. This is important, because it points toward the direction the show would go later on, by employing more comedians and less fact-suppliers.

Stephen: “What’s the best place to punch a shark?”
Johnny: “In a pub. In a pub after loads of pork scratchings when he’s really dehydrated.”

Overall: A fantastic way to end the series, and a definite turning point in how the show will go about things. All four were great, though David, and in that matter Alan, got quieter as the show went on. I feel like it was like Phill in Eating, where he really couldn’t get a word in edgewise with Johnny. Rob and Johnny were in tip top shape, sort of quarreling with each other, though Johnny had some of the funnier lines, yet Rob played the part of Sean Lock in ‘Common Knowledge’, but saying “this isn’t fair, let’s make a joke out of it.’ A ton of layers to this episode, though it’s not necessarily laugh-out-loud funny enough to warrant a 10.

MVP: Johnny
Best Guest: Rob
Show Winner: Alan
Best QI Fact: Looking into the future
Best Runner: Rob vs. Rain Man

Best Episode: G10: Greats, featuring Sean Lock’s finest hour, and all four prattling about the delicious giant tortoises.
2nd Best Episode: G5: Groovy, featuring David Tennant, Bill “Up to Nine Wives” Bailey, Lee Mack, and Graham Osmond yelling things from the attic.
Worst Episode: G3: Games. Even with Sean and Phill, there wasn’t a ton going on in this episode, and Liza Tarbuck isn’t the greatest in terms of keeping things interesting.
Episode Most Worthy of Another Watch: G9: Gallimaufrey, because there’s enough little details and moments that I could get again the next watch. Also, for the ‘VHERE IS YOUR LICENSE’ runner.
Best In-Episode Runner: Klaxoning anyone who mentions the war, G8: Germany. Because so many amazing Sean moments came from that one, because he’d just end up mentioning the war every five minutes to piss off Stephen.
Best Recurring Guest: Sean Lock, for appearing in four episodes, and dominating every single one of them, giving his best material, and being looser, and funnier, than he’s been in years.
Most Underused Recurring Guest: Jack Dee.
Most Improved: Tie between Andy Hamilton (G9:Gallimaufrey) and Johnny Vegas (G16: Geometry), for dominating their respective episode after being a quieter presence on their last few shows.
Worst Guest: Sadly, John Hodgman G2: G-Animals, for not being terribly interesting, or funny.
Best Guest Appearance: David Tennant, G5: Groovy, for fitting right in with the panel, and being really cool and fun. It’s not everyday when an actual awesome TV star guests on QI. We’ll get another one of those in Series H, possibly bigger.
Guest we wish wasn’t done after this season: Hugh Dennis, G9: Gallimaufrey. Because he’s Hugh Dennis.
Most Welcome Return: Bill Bailey. Runner up: Danny Baker.
Rookie of the Year: In a very tight race, I’m giving it to Sandi Toksvig, for being a fresh, fun addition to the lexicon in two separate episodes. However, Honorable Mentions go to Jack Dee, Sue Perkins, Graham Norton and Lee Mack.
Best Single Moments:  Alan nearly destroys the set with a saw (G1: Gardens), Graham Osmond (G5: Groovy),  Sean keeps mentioning the war (G8: Germany), Alan’s ‘VHERE IS YOUR LICENSE’ diatribe (G9: Gallimaufrey), Alan and David on the delicious giant tortoises (G10: Greats) Bill’s metric method of timekeeping (G15: Green), The game breaks Johnny (G16: Geometry)

QI Watchdown: G10 (Greats)

We’ve hit our fourth and final Sean Lock episode of the series, and what a run he’s had this year, completely dominating all of his episodes (even with laryngitis), and making a case for Best Guest of the series. Tonight, he’s joined by Jo Brand, who’s had a nice enough series, and David Mitchell, who’s had some really nice episodes so far.

Alright. First joke out of the gate and I’m already in love with this episode.
Stephen: “Now, tell me about the Great Disappointment.”
Jo: “Have you been talking to my husband?”
Jo’s look of absolute astonishment once the Klaxon comes up is pretty priceless.

Stephen talks about a cult that believed that Jesus was to return and save everyone. He even says “a man jumped off his barn, hoping that Jesus would scoop him up and save him. He didn’t.”
Alan: “Did this happen in America, by any chance?”
Stephen: “How did you guess?”

Stephen: “Who had purple triangles in Concentration Camps?”
Sean: “Was it, eh, Barney the Dinosaur??”

Stephen explains that the alternative to the rapture is being marked by the anti-christ and being stung by gigantic wasps.
David: “But, on the plus side…the price of clothing goes WAY down…”

Stephen: “Well, the rapture is imminent.”
David: “Imminent?”
Alan: “What, d’you mean ‘this week’?”
Stephen: “Well, oddly enough they’re not being very specific…”

Stephen talks about how all of these great leaders (Stalin, Amin, Mao, etc) are all taller than expected.
Sean: “Usually they’re not judged by their height, are they…”

Sean: “It’s probably the one thing that short people have got to cling onto. That one day…they might be a dictator. And we [with the QI answer] have just taken that away from them. All this hope.”
David: “All this ‘not being able to reach things from shelves’ one day will be made up for when I kill millions of people. I can stand on their bodies…reach the jam.”

Stephen then says that short people are, on average, paid less than tall people.
Alan: “They should rise up!”

Stephen, with the Charlemagne question, explains that each person, going backwards, has thousands and thousands of ancestors.
Sean: “My brain’s…I can’t..How could have more ancestors than there are people that’s ever been?”
Sean, absolutely dumbfounded, mimes his head exploding, and falls onto the desk.

Stephen: ‘What about parmesan? When that’s grated, what does it smell of?”
Alan: “Cheese.”
Stephen: “No.”
Alan gives a “ARE YOU SURE” sort of look.

Sean: “I was just thinking, David. Rather than having a sell-by date on cheese, they should just have the date that cheese becomes poisonous. And then they know when to stop eating it.”
David: “Do they know that date?  Is it a global thing, TWO DAYS BEFORE THE RAPTURE?”
Sean: “Or maybe it’s the day they’ve worked out that everyone in the world’s related to Peter Andre.And they go “THAT’S THE DAY cheese becomes poisonous.”
David: ‘And people will happily eat it and die.”

Jo says that sell-by dates are a bit over-cautious, and that you could leave it out a bit longer after, “get it out the bin a few weeks later. You’ll be fine.”
Sean: “Put it down your pants, go in the sauna….take it out…obviously reshape it again…”
Jo’s reaction, of sheer disgust, is wonderful. Stephen eventually has to go “Sean…you’re not alone. There are PEOPLE here…”

David and Sean discuss the act of stealing the train, and how difficult it would be because it’s on rails. Alan eventually kamikazes this discussion and says ‘if you’ve got GROMIT in the gang…he can lay track as he’s going along…”

Earlier in the Great Train robbery topic, they discuss that the robbers spoiled everything by playing a game of monopoly (with the stolen money), and not cleaning up fingerprints. Later, Stephen discusses how they got the plan together, as the mastermind said “Look…I’m plannin’ this blag…”
Alan: “I’m planning a game of Monopoly.”
David: “I’ve just got to pick something up along the way. It’s that…I lost all the fake money, and the ONLY WAY OF REPLACING IT I can THINK OF…”
Alan: “I rung Waddington’s, they didn’t wanna know. “Get a new set”, they said. “Don’t be ridiculous”, I said…”

Stephen: “Why did it take so long for scientists to find a name for the Giant Tortoise.”
Sean: “Because Giant Tortoise was good enough?”
David, who takes a bit of time with this one: “Because they thought they were regular tortoises, but closer…”

Stephen mentions that Giant Tortoises were also edible.
David: ‘Anyone who saw one, couldn’t even stop to think of a name for it! They just HAD to eat it!”
Alan, mouth full: “THESE ONES…I’unno what they’re called…but they’re really, really good. Just call them ‘dinner.”
David: “There’s no latin name for pistachio nuts either… no one could be bothered. “SHUT UP WITH YOUR LATIN! EAT THEM!”
Alan: “No latin name for Maltesers.”

Stephen: “None of [the tortoises] made it to London!”
David: “NOW THIS TIME…WE’RE GONNA TAKE IT…we’re gonna bring it to London.”
Sean: “Ferry coming into Dover, there’s a bloke going [lip smacking sounds]”
David: “Alright, we take nine of them…WE LEAVE EIGHT…AND ABSOLUTELY…”
Stephen: ‘And now everyone’s looking at them…”
Alan: ‘And the moment they land…they’ve got one tortoise left, and they go “we’ve got to go back, get some more…”
David: “And they’re sitting there, eating the last tortoise, going…”we are TWATS…”

Jo: “Where are they from? Are they flights?”
Stephen: “THEY ARE NOW PROTECTED! All twelve species…”
David: “If they’re that delicious, they CAN’T be. They’re probably going “yeah, they’re all in there, we’ve protected them, no need to look…”

Stephen: ‘If a giant panda does a hand-stand in front of you, what is he trying to tell you?”
Alan: “Put some money in the hat?”

Stephen: “How did Catherine the Great die.”
Sean: “She…DIDN’T have sex with a horse….she died…”
Jo: “On the commode…OH WAIT THAT WAS ELVI-”
I mean, Jo’s already having the weakest episode of the four, but at least she’s getting a ton of klaxons.

Stephen: “No, she did have a stroke on the commode, but-”
Alan: “Is that a euphemism for something? I’M HAVING A STROKE ON THE COMMODE!”

Stephen: “What was the lingua franca of Ancient Rome?”
Sean: “DUTCH! Because I knew that wasn’t gonna come up… See, that’s where you’ve got to think, Jo. You’ve gotta think what they WOULDN’T put up…”
Jo: “Cheers, Sean. [presses buzzer] Latin.”
Jo: ” I did that deliberately.”
Sean: ‘Yes, but you-”
Jo: “I KNOW!”
Stephen: “She’s going for the record.”

For the ‘How many men have been President” question, they play the clip from Obama’s inauguration, where he says “44 Americans have now taken the presidential oath.”….and then they klaxon the President of the United States. Oh, QI. Gotta love ya.

David wins, because he’s David. Jo loses with -46 because she’s Jo. Obama comes in 4th with -10, because QI can do that.

Overall: An early candidate for the best episode of the series, because this panel was on from the first second of the episode. It helped that people like David and Sean were giving Grade A stuff, but it brought out the absolute best in Alan, and it even gave Jo some stuff to do towards the end. Obviously the tortoise bit keeps it so high up, but the episode was circling that point the entire time.

MVP: David
Best Guest: Sean
Show Winner: David
Loser of the Week: Jo, for getting every klaxon in the book.
Best QI Fact: Short men.
Best Runner: Tortoises.

QI Watchdown: G6 (Genius), or the one with RODNEY BEWES!!

Ah, yes. Graham Norton Hits QI. Quite the occasion.

Tonight’s episode features Dara, Graham Norton, and David Mitchell, so this will clearly be a pretty wild one to watch. You’ve got a quiet one liner machine, a loud one-liner machine, and a loud information machine. This will be interesting.

The buzzers are done in the style of University Challenge, except for Alan’s, who mistakenly thinks this is Blockbusters. Stephen does say that Alan’s actually a PhD, so his buzzers is an angry scotsman going “THA DOCTOR’LL SEE YA NOW!”

I love this. Stephen mentions that blocking the right nostril will make people instantly less happy. Alan takes this literally, blocks the right one, feigns sadness, and then takes the tissue out and starts smiling again.

Stephen: “Try and think of a really, really big number-”
Alan: “Seventeen.”

Alan says, of raising children, that you shouldn’t have them watch television until they’re four.
Dara: “Oh, that is not how parenting works, my friend…you train them to like the television as quickly as they possibly can…”
Alan: “Because there was no ADHD until TV was invented.”
Dara: “They’re happy with HD, my friend.”

Graham: “I mean, if you have a child listen to ‘One Potato, Two Potato’, they’ll at least learn that…and could count potatoes…”
And then Graham turns to other irishman on his side, and they reminisce about potatoes.

Stephen: “Do you know about the English Motzarts? Do they mean anything to you?”
Alan: “McFly.”
Man, that was almost a NMTB answer.

Alan: “My great-grandfather signed his marriage certificate with a cross.”
Stephen: “Of course, his name was Xavier…”
Graham: “He could have just used a pen.”
There are two ways of looking at a joke…

Stephen, on Mensa: “They used to be called MENS, which is Latin for mind, but they thought their magazine would look like some men’s special interest one…so they added an A…”
Graham: “Already, I’m not being filled with confidence that this is being run by geniuses.”
Man, Graham Norton really fits on this show.

Graham talks of a woman he did a game show with in America, whose father was a serial killer, and she didn’t tell her husband until after the wedding. He also mentioned the husband’s father committed suicide. “SO, YOU’VE GOT A SERIAL KILLER…AND A SUICIDAL MAN…AND YOU THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD GENE POOL TO BE SPLASHIN’ AROUND IN??”
Stephen: “She’ll give birth to a child who kills himself LOTS OF TIMES!!”

Dara, to Graham: “When you say ‘not til after she married him’, HOW LONG…was it after the speeches? Did she go “uh, Dad’s about to say a few words, this might be worth catching…”
Graham: “This may explain why he went with orange…”
David: “What you’d do then is you’d have her cover as a Serial Killer Themed Wedding.”

Alan spots Rodney Bewes in the background of the Da Vinci photo, and David just goes on a tangent about how Bewes might have just gone back in time to check Da Vinci’s pulse, or Da Vinci “might have INVENTED the Likely Lads…’

David: “The one on the left is gesturing to Rodney Bewes, as if to say “LEONARDO, WHO’S THIS DICK??”
Alan: ‘Well, that’s Matthew Kelly anyway-”
Stephen: “NOO! DON’T!”

Stephen: “Now I’ve got a horrible feeling that the Brian Blessed on the end has had the top of his head sawed of. CAUSE ‘E’S NOUUUGHH LONGAAUUHH BRIAN BLESSID!”

Stephen, on Da Vinci’s nephew: ‘sadly he died at only age 22, leaving 20 works behind him.”
Alan, calling back to Mozart: “Pushed out a window by Michaelangelo.”
Stephen: “Or, possibly by Mozart.”
David: “For having stolen…Rodney Bewes’ time traveling technology.”

Stephen: “The first cloned dog, from Korea, was called Snappy.”
Alan: “…and then they ate it…”

Great moment at the top of GI. Stephen asks the panel how old they are. Nobody buzzes in. Everybody thinks it’s a trap. Graham eventually buzzes in and goes “how old do I look?”

David, summing it up perfectly: “It just shows you the effect of this game, though. You ask a question, and all four of us think ‘that is something I definitely know the answer to, but I’m so UNCERTAIN…that I’m not even willing to give my own age, name or address.”


Stephen mentions a man named Spratt, who sold ‘dog cakes’, which confuses the hell out of Alan. He rewords it as dog biscuits. Alan goes “when you said ‘dog cakes’, I thought you meant it was made of dogs.”
David: “Dog biscuits are biscuits for dogs. Dog cakes are cakes that might have a layer of dog in them…”

Stephen says he loves watching golf.
Stephen, matter-of-factly: “…the golf…”

Stephen: ‘And finally, how many brains did the man with two brains have?”
Alan: “Two.”
David, nearly tearing out his hair: “IT’S SO CRUEL!!!”

David: “It’s just the technique of the bully. You hit us, and then you go ‘oh, did you think I was gonna hit you???”

SOUND THE ALARM. ALAN DAVIES HAS WON THREE EPISODES IN A ROW!!!! I cannot, for the life of me, figure out exactly why this has occurred, but I’m happy it has.

Overall: An episode that continued the momentum from the Christmas show (“AAAHHHHLIIVIINNINAYELLOWSUBMARIINNNNEEE!!!”), and managed to have a really funny, well-balanced show. Graham had a very nice debut, and his humor really fits well with QI, because he’s very manic and also very good in terms of connecting. Dara had a quieter night but still had some great moments. David Mitchell’s performance tonight was an AMAZING return to form, having not been this dominant on a panel since the Film episode.

MVP: David
Best Guest: Graham
Show Winner: Alan
Best QI Fact: Da Vinci’s nephew.
Best Runner: Rodney Bewes