Two people that have never been on before, and Sean Lock. Well then.
I’d be more worried about this show if one of the newbies wasn’t Frank Skinner. He’s wound up on the majority of the shows I watch- he worked really well on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and he didn’t work very well at all on Mock the Week. He’ll probably be great here. He’s joined by John Bishop, who’s like Mark Steel, but scarier-looking, and with a thicker accent- I didn’t love him on his MTW episode, but…then again, Susan Calman bomber her MTW and is great on QI, so who am I to judge?
The buzzers are nice tonight- John’s is an annoying fly that goes on for 10 seconds…which causes a prolonged wince from John. Frank’s is a high-pitched barking that goes on for…what, 20 seconds? He nearly cracks up.
John: “Can I ask- how long is this show?”
Stephen: “…it depends on how often you use the buzzer…”
Sean’s is an insanely loud baby scream, which causes him to grow concerned. Alan’s is…an automatic klaxon.
Stephen brings up the Nobody Knows card for John and Frank…which makes me wonder if this episode taped after a later Sean Lock episode, as the rule doesn’t need to be explained to him.
Frank, on the Nobody Knows card: “It looks like if they had Strictly Come Dancing one night, and someone had a dance that was so experimental that the judges…”
Frank is already perfect for this show.
Sean gets the first klaxon of the night right off the bat for guessing that ‘double entendre’ is french for Innuendo.
Sean: “…oh, I’ve just remembered that double entendre is actually french for ‘big tits’, isn’t it?’
Stephen: “You could say double entente, which is-”
Sean: “Two-man tent.”
John, summing up the whole thing surprisingly well: “So it’s a french phrase that the french don’t use…so it’s not french.”
Stephen asks for what they’d shout if you want more at a concert.
Stephen: “Right. What do they say in France?”
Stephen: “No, they shout a LATIN word, which means twice.”
Alan, after a beat of nothing: “…anyone?”
John: “Ya’d HATE to do a show where everyone in the crowd goes ‘BIIIIIIIIIIISSSS!’ It’s like that:
John’s buzzer: “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ”
John: “Do they at least use ‘bidet’?”
Stephen: “Bidet they do indeed have, though it’s easier, really, to do a handstand in the shower, to be honest….”
The whole room takes a second to recover.
Stephen: “If you’re as NIMBLE AS I AM!”
Sean: “I’d pay good money to see that! NO, I SEE YOU, with a camera, like that, going ‘tweet this!'”
Frank: “There’s a greek phrase…the greeks say catytrius diephtica (the spelling’s probably nowhere near that), and it means ‘who gives a shit?’. But LITERALLY it means ‘There is trouble in the Gypsy Village.”
There’s a very nice moment where Frank reveals he has a wealth of knowledge about George Formby, as he’s a huge fan. Stephen hands him a banjalele, in the hopes that he’ll play some on the spot.
Frank, tuning the banjalele: “My dog has fleas is what you need to remember. [tuning the strings] My dog has fl- [one of them’s really out of tune]…actually this dog has distemper..”
Frank actually does a few ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ lyrics, because he can, and because he’s been given the opportunity, which is a pretty nice moment.
Stephen gets everyone in the room to shout their favorite color. Then he asks Frank what John shouted.
John: “…I was mainly listening to me, there…”
Stephen: “John, d’you know what Frank shouted?”
John, looking Frank over: “…pink?”
Alan, on teamwork professions: “The one I like where people come ’round to your house and tell you what to do so it’ll sell.”
Sean: “Yeah, ‘specially when you don’t want to sell it…”
Alan: “Went in the toilet, put the toilet seat down, went “…Lid down when showing…”
Stephen: “Really? So…no floating solids?”
Alan: “Yeah, ya got to flush it first…”
John: “I’d stop my family from doin’ handstands in the shower…”
Frank, on the interrobang: “And what happens if it’s an exclamation point done upside down?”
John: “…it means someone’s in the shower?”
(This is the QI equivalent of Rob Beckett’s dad in the bath, I think.)
Frank has a very nice, David Mitchell-esque rant on the semi-colon getting preferential treatment on the keyboard.
Frank: “If I was a colon, I’d think ‘surely I take precedence in this…you are merely a SEMI version of me. I should be the one that only gets one key.”
Sean: “…I share your pain, Frank….I’ve stayed up til DAWN, with whiskey, going ‘WHY???”
Stephen introduces a round called ‘HOW IRONIC IS THAT’, where the panelists have to judge if scenarios are ironic or not.
Frank: “Are we judging on a scale from 1 to 100? I was just worried about how we grade the irony…”
Sean: “i’d say ‘SHINY’…down to ‘RUSTY’.”
Stephen: “I say this because people seem to be using the term ‘ironically’ incorrectly, like ‘IRONICALLY, HE WASN’T THERE”…which-”
Frank: “The Invisible Man!”
Frank even quotes a line from Richard III in regards to dramatic irony.
Sean: “Ladies and gentlemen, an all-around entertainer!”
Frank talks of an argument he had with David Baddiel, about whether or not Peter Falk’s glass eye played the part of a real eye during Columbo.
Sean: “How did this argument go on for so long?”
Frank: “David wasn’t having it!”
Sean: “Were you wrestling naked in front of a fire?”
Stephen brings up the old ‘Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theater, and Kennedy was shot in a Ford Lincoln’ fact, but he dismisses it as coincidence.
Sean: “Reagan was shot in Washington, and Washington was shot with a ray-gun…”
Stephen: “IF ONLY THAT WERE TRUE! It would almost be worth inventing a time machine, AND GOING BACK WITH A RAY-GUN JUST TO DO THAT!”
Stephen brings up the fact that brazil nut allergies are transmittable through sex.
Sean: “Boy, that’s a good murder plot, isn’t it?”
John: “I feel as if I’m on an episode of House. Who found that out?”
Alan: “Surely the woman would FEEL the brazil nut…”
(And I’m gone.)
Stephen: “I think you may have slightly misunderstood-”
Alan: “The man would too…”
Stephen, motioning to his crotch: “MAY CONTAIN NUTS.”
Stephen: “Does anyone know why, in a packet of nuts, the brazils always rise to the top?”
Alan, fetching his ? card and cracking up: “Surely nobody knows…”
Stephen: “YOU’RE RIGHT!”
Stephen: “What do the signal bars on your phone mean?”
Alan, cautiously trying to avoid a klaxon: “Well, it means…how much…signal you can…”
Stephen: “What’s the use of an inflatable anchor?”
John: “Is it for hot-air balloons?”
Frank: “Is it to stop submarines…from going too low?”
The audience applauds, and Stephen even goes “that’s so sweet…”
Stephen: “There were lions [during Richard III’s reign] all over Africa.”
Sean: “They were bloody everywhere. Y’ad a picnic in those days? Not wasps. LIONS. EVERYWHERE. “GET OFF ME SANDWICH!”
Frank, of course, talks about he and Baddiel doing Three Lions for the ’96 Euro, and Germany adopting the song as their own after their victory.
John: “THAT…is irony.”
Stephen talks of a distinguished council member and fan of Clint Eastwood, who emblazoned a motto of the latin translation of ‘Go Ahead, Make My Day’.
Frank: “On my coat of arms it says ‘catytrius diephtica’….’There is Trouble in the Gypsy Village’…”
Stephen: “Name an animal whose scientific name is the same as its regular name.”
Frank: “Isn’t a gorilla called ‘Gorilla Gorilla’?”
Stephen: “yes, but-”
Stephen says that bananas are radioactive, as they have a ton of potassium…and so, evidently, are certain private parts.
Frank: “Is that why they’re shaped like bananas?”
Sean: “SPEAK FOR YOURSELF!”
Frank: “I’m waiting for mine to stop being green…”
Stephen: “And finally, an easy one, which country is the world’s largest supplier of Brazil nuts?”
Sean: “COSTA RRRRICA!”
Sean: “oh, well…BRAZIL.”
Stephen: “Well, we have a TIE for first place”
Stephen: “…We’re not Harry Hill here…”
Overall: Another fantastic episode, though slightly below the caliber of the last two. All four panelists were on tonight. I was really amused by John, even if he was a bit quieter than the rest- his material was very sly, and really nice. Frank had a great night, proved he was definitely a great fit for this show. Sean probably had the best night out of everyone, just in doing Sean Lock things and building off of other people’s stories. The dynamic was definitely there, and there were a ton of really nice moments.
Best Guest: Frank
Show Winners: Frank and John
Best QI Fact: Radioactive Brazil Nuts
Best Runner: Upside Down in the Shower.