Nevermind Watchdown: S6E9, or ‘How did I know that would please you?’

WE INTERRUPT THIS QI OVERLOAD TO BRING YOU THE LONG-AWAITED MISSING BUZZCOCKS EPISODE!

I swear, if there’s one thing that keeps me up at night, it’s the fact that out of all the Mark Lamarr NMTB episodes, there’s one that was lost to the online public, thanks to copyright laws, youtube takedowns, and just…rarity. And I’d gotten, thanks to the ‘LOST EPISODES’ spree recently, a great deal of my missing pieces posted…but not 6×09. Which, as I’m a completist, kinda stunk.

However, thanks to, as I’ve come to believe, the internet’s patron saint of Buzzcocks, antster1983, the lost episode fell into my hands. Before I head into Buzzcocks’ Last Crusade (aka the Rhod Gilbert season)…I figured I’d post this sucker up.

As it’s been tattooed in my brain for two years, the panel goes like this- Davina McCall and Junior Simpson on Phill’s team; DJ and electronic artist Chandrasonic and fading-memory Radio DJ Tommy Vance on Sean’s team. And this is back in Series 6, or the ill-fated ‘series 7’ that didn’t end up actually being Series 7.

Mark, doing Tommy’s standup: “Tommy was the first voice heard on Live Aid. Who could forget those moving words: “…BURGERS, HOT DOGS, FANTA…sorry, I’ve run out of onions…”

The odd part of this configuration is that Chandra is in position to RECIEVE intros on Sean’s team…which means Tommy Vance is expected to do intros. This will be fun.

On Motley Crue and the Beatles:
Sean: “Did one of Motley Crue try to kill George Harrison?”
[OOOOOH, TOPICAL JOKE!]
Mark, ever the smartass: “…he had a good stab at ‘im…”

Sean: “Is the connection burning records? Like, in America people started burning Beatles records when they said they were bigger than Jesus. Or…they burned Motley Crue records, you know, when they ran out of firewood…”
Tommy chuckles at this…
Sean: “…what’chu laughing at, Tommy, YOU LIKE THEM!”
Tommy: “I do…but I also like a nice fire…”

Sean: “Is it to do with Pamela? She’s dating the drummer for Motley Crue. And she got rid of her implants, because they were useless, and the Beatles-”
Mark: “HEY! TAKE THAT BACK! I’m not having that kinda talk on the show. Implants are never useless, ladies. They enhance a saggy breast…”
Sean: “They were a NUISANCE…”
Mark, still going: “COME TO PAPA!”

Tommy eventually says that it costs 4 grand for a breast operation, 2,000 pounds each.
Junior: “TWO THOUSAND POUNDS A TITTY?”
Phill, still to Tommy: “…what, a breast?”
Junior: “TWOOOOO THOUSAND? For ONE TITTY?”
Tommy: “Yeah…you can use two hands, so it’s a thousand each.”
Phill: “I could buy a couple capris for that! Obviously it wouldn’t get me in a bra…”
Mark: “…still look a tit in ’em…”

The reason I love Mark so much, is that when this digression happens, he doesn’t let it stop the show cold. He goes “We’re looking for the connection between Motley Crue and the Beatles. I know we went off on a little titty tangent there, but…”

Mark: “I’ll give you a clue, it has specifically to do with the bass players.”
Sean: “Oh, they’ve both shagged Pamela Anderson?”

Junior, reminding me how quick in the clutch he could be: “Is it a domestic violence type of thing, because Tommy Lee used to beat Pamela Anderson…and Yoko Ono used to sing to John…”

Sean: “Does Tommy Sixx live on the Mull of Kintyre?”
Phill: ‘Do they fly ’round in a JET…ooooh-ooooh…”
Mark: “I’m gonna have to tell you the answer because I’m getting quite angry…”

Davina says the connection between Geri Halliwell and Pavarotti is intense anal wind.
Sean: “Was that on an episode of Don’t Try This at Home?”
Davina: “Yeah, it’s not a bad idea for a challenge-”
Mark: “Try and blow a midget over with a fart?”

Junior: “Her first single was called ‘Look at Me’…and [Pavarotti’s] the only guy who’s visible from space.”

Phill: “I believe Geri’s had some sort of nose job or something. Pavarotti, liposuction, horribly wrong, the machine backfired…he got thirty pounds of Judy Chalmers”

Mark gives them a clue that it has something to do with political service.
Phill: “SHE’S in the UN, Pavarotti was invaded by BURMA!”

And, what kind of Mark Lamarr episode would this be without a Geri slam:
Mark: “Geri Halliwell was brought up as a Jehova’s witness. And although she doesn’t practice anymore, she still enjoys being knocked up on a Sunday morning.”
Phill laughs so hard at this he nearly chokes on whatever’s in his mug.

Chandra, like the rest of us, is bummed that he doesn’t get to do intros. Mark actually comes down and has him do any intro he wants…just so Mark can do the drumbeat or whatever. It’s actually a pretty cool moment. However, it’s made ridiculous by Phill, halfway through, singing Pavarotti-esque opera in the background.

I’ll give Tommy credit that he’s a ton less senile than he was in his Series 10 appearance, and he’s actually relatively coherent in Intros.

Sean, pointing to Tommy’s shirt: “I was actually there on my holidays last summer…”
Tommy, turning his shirt around: “Ah, but what about the back?”
Sean, taking this the wrong way: “…No, I never went THAT far…”

And then…halfway through intros, the Tommy I remember returns, with him not remembering how the song goes, barely remembering the name of it (from the card), and going “…can’t see through these damn glasses…”…through his SUNGLASSES. INDOORS.

Phill’s entire team is in sync tonight- all three of them dancing to Red Alert by Basement Jaxx is something that’d be gif-worthy in the modern era.

I missed Mark’s ID Parade name prattling so much. #6 in Sean’s is “Lord of the Ring…RINGS! SORRY!”

On the Baron Knights ID Parade, Sean: “Tommy, you know when they did that Smurf song? Why did they kidnap Papa Smurf, #5?”
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.21.25 PM.png

Sean: “#6 had a good CHRISTMAS!”
Mark: “…this is goin’ out in February, by the way…”
Sean: “…#6 had a good JANUARY!”

Tommy knows who it is, so he guesses: “#1 and #3, but I’m half blind in these glasses, so it could be anybody. It could be YOU!”, motioning to Sean.
Mark: “So you’re going for…SEAN…”
And sure enough, Sean goes up to the lineup with that…
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.24.53 PM.png

Mark: “Well, let’s find out if Sean is either Pete or Butch…well, certainly not Butch…”

As an added bonus, Phill’s team has to guess which one of the 5 is Carl Douglas, of Kung Fu Fighting fame, which is a big deal.

Mark: “Is it #1, Fast as Lighting…#2-
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.28.08 PM.png
Mark: “…a little bit frightening.”
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Davina: “#2 looks so dark and mysterious, and when he smiles, it’s ‘AWWW…”
Phill: “You have to say #2’s cheer-him-up catchphrase, which is, as we all know…’a little bit frightening!”
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.31.08 PM.png

Phill: “…I’m just having a laugh. I just MET Carl Douglas last Thursday! It’s #3!”
Mark: “Yes, I’ve worked with Carl a few times, and he’s been on television quite regularly, BUT NONETHELESS…LET’S FIND OUT!”

Next Lines:
Mark: “J and D here, united”
Chandra: “…black and white here to show you how we…the…[to the audience] that’s one of ours, too…”
Mark: “Is this your resignation letter from the band?”

Overall: Not perfect, as it definitely fell off right after Sean’s team went for Intros, but still a fun episode. The panel was imbalanced, as I didn’t really get to know people, but maybe I say that because I’m used to new-NMTB, where everyone’s over-edited. Actually, the emphasis, when it wasn’t on Junior, was more on Phill and Sean. Davina, Chandra and Tommy all had nice moments, but not nearly enough of them. Junior was great, but had his moments of overexposure. Still a fun enough episode, with a ton of runners in Connected, Phill as Pavarotti, the entire Junior/Mark banter which was too funny to write, and the fact that it felt real, and it felt fun back in S6.

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Junior
Best Runner: Junior’s roots.

(Thanks again to antster for the help with this episode. Truly appreciated it.)

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Nevermind Watchdown: S5E2 or The Answer There was #3

Back when I was juuust getting my ankles wet into watching all of Nevermind the Buzzcocks, it occurred to me quickly that getting episodes wouldn’t be as easy as finding them for QI, in which they’re all easily accessible on youtube. Right when I was watching this series down, the Youtube police started coming in and deleting all the Buzzcocks episodes behind me. By the time I got up to Series 5, episode 3 was already gone, and I had no real choice but to keep going with the Watchdown without it.

Well…here I am watching Episode 2 of Series 5. For numerous reasons, I’m pretty excited about that, because Faye Tozer from Steps is here for Mark to screw with, Glen Matlock from THE SEX PISTOLS is here for Mark to fawn over, and Junior Simpson is here to be giggly and the requisite comedian. Additionally, Sara Cox, who I know from the old Scottish series Space Cadets (whew, haven’t mentioned that one in a while), is in the building, as another requisite comedian.

It’s very weird going back to the Sean era after all this Bailey-age currently. Indescipherable lyrics is still here, Mark’s still in ’50’s throwback’ mode. It’s…weird, but good.

Weird part is for the first time in years, I can actually sort of understand one of the songs in Indecipherable Lyrics, Alanis Morrisette’s ThankU.

Mark: “Did that song mean anything to you, whatsoever?”
Sean: “She’s got very hairy nipples…”

Junior: “SHE NEKKID! WHY IS SHE NEKKID?”
Mark: “JUNIOR, JUNIOR…you don’t have to scream, you have a mic.”
Junior, taking the joke: “oh, okay…”

Sean’s trying to interpret the lyrics as her Miss World speech, saying “she’s thanking India, and Thailand- Thailand, of course, were disqualified for bringing in a man-boy”
Mark, cutting him off: “SEAN! Man-boy…that would be male, wouldn’t it?”

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 5.03.39 PM

Annoyed Mark is still his best

Faye’s explaining that she gets Alanis and what she’s saying, and goes on to say “if you’re premenstrual, you can really understand what she’s saying…”
Phill, in response, just walks off the show. Junior can’t believe what he’s hearing.
Mark: “She says menstrual, and a big red blob leaves…”
Phill comes back eventually, relishing the applause.

Faye: “I think she’s fantasizing about being a topless waitress..”
Sean: “Where does she keep the menus?”
Junior: “Don’t ask…”
Sean’s panel is tight as hell. Junior can be a bit annoying, but he still fits in well with the show…

Sara: “Good tune, though. Skids really made the mark with that one.”
(Collective groan from the audience, and Phill)

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Sara, ashamed as hell over the skid marks joke

Mark: “When he left the Skids, Stuart Adamson left to become a big country member…and we do remember.”
JESUS THE WORDPLAY. Phill doubles over in laughter.
Adamson would be on shortly, so I doubt he actually meant that.

Phill, when he’s doing the Believe intro for Sara, eventually just ends up doing a Chewbacca impression, one he keeps going after the record’s been played

Mark: “In a recently released interview, John Lennon predicted that he would live to be 90. Perhaps his least successful prediction, apart from “it’s alright, Yoko, it’s only a water pis- BELIEVE, BY CHER-”
Phill’s entire panel has to stop to recover from that one.

Mark, giving Sean shit over his intro: “Sean…were you playing the world’s tiniest guitar there? Or was there some bellybutton fluff comin’ out?”

Faye, before another intro: “Am I gonna do percussion for this one?”
Sean: “Well what do you play in the band Steps? What instrument?”
Faye: “…..”

So Faye and Sean’s 3rd intro is so bad…not only does is absolutely horrify Junior, but after a while Mark just gives him the car. Junior just starts laughing harder than I’ve ever seen a person not named Drew Carey laugh.
Mark: “What is it, Junior?”
Junior: “THERE’S NO WAY THAT’S *THAT”!!!”
Mark: ‘It was Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio…”

Ah. Here we go. Sean’s ID Parade is Edwin Starr, the guy who sang ‘WAR’. among them, appearing for the first time ever…ATHELSTON WILLIAMS!

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 6.00.03 PM

#3…Evelyn War

Junior: “Okay, before I go any further, I’m not gonna take the mick too much, because one of these guys could be related to me…”
Mark: “What, because you’re black as well?”
Junior: “No, because my father may have cut some of their hair…”
Mark: “Then #3 probably wasn’t a regular, was he?”

Sean: “I’m a little worried about #3…he’s just looking at a light, transfixed. YA OKAY, #3?
#3: “……”
Sean: “HE DOESN’T KNOW!”

Sean: “Well, four of them of course are from around here, and one of them’s flown over from America, so who looks jet-lagged?..IT’S THREE!!! HE HAD A NEAR-CRASH AND HE’S TRAUMATIZED!”

Sean and Junior KNOW it’s #4, and Faye eventually agrees, “I actually like #4 the best-”
Mark: “Not who you like, who you think it is…”

Mark: “You know, you are in the lead, so you can just pick your favorite if you want…”
Sean: “Well my favorite’s #3, obviously…”
Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 6.06.35 PM

Mark: “….doesn’t seem so fond of you…”
Sean: “3, I love ya, you’re comin’ home with me, we’re gonna live together…”
Mark: “Must be a very PASSIONATE MAN!”
Sean, to Junior: “I’M WORRIED ABOUT THE FELLA!”
Mark: “When they all walk off and he’s still there…”
Sean: “He is the most professional, though. They probably said to him before he went out ‘now don’t move, just stay where you are’, and he said ‘I’VE GOT YA!”

Sean: “He’s the BEST! He should get time-and-a-half! The rest of ’em, fidgeting and movin’ about…HE’S A MANNEQUIN!”

Eventually #4, the real Edwin Starr, steps forward.
Mark: “And, uh, just to set MY mind at ease, would #3 please step forward…”

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Now he’s just doing it on purpose

Eventually Sean and Junior get him to step forward, which upsets Mark. He’s very smiley and appreciative.
Mark: “It’s like the parable of ‘The Bald Man That Could Walk’!”

And then, right after the Edwin Starrs leave, they cut back to Mark, and he’s doing this:

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Mark’s Athelston Impression

Next Lines: “When the feeling’s gone and you can’t go on”
Sean: “…..boom bang-a-bang…”
Mark: “You must know it, Faye. ‘IT’S A TRAGEDY’
Faye doubles over, embarrassed as hell.

Mark: “Who’s the cat that won’t cop out, when there’s danger all about?”
END OF ROUND SOUND
Mark: “The answer there was #3.”

Mark: “In a Big Country, dreams stay with you.”
He smirks, remembering his ‘big country member’ joke from earlier. Phill cracks up here as well.
Phill: “In a lover’s voice from a mountain side.”
Mark, still smirking: “Yes, In a Big Country by Big Country”
Now the audience laughs every time he says ‘Big Country’. Outstanding.

Mark’s signoff is “you’ve been watching Nevermind the Buzzcocks, I’ve been Mark Lamarr…”
Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 6.22.44 PM

Overall: Now…if I had seen this when I was supposed to, this would probably be one of the funnier episodes up to that point. Not only do we have the Athelston runner, which bewildered EVERYONE, but we have Junior being giggly as hell, Mark screwing with Sara about Northern jargon, Faye being a surprisingly good panelist, the Big Country runner, and most of the Alanis Morrisette Indecipherable Lyrics round. My one gripe was Glen was a bit too quiet, but was still in the right mood. The Athelston moments are amazing here, and I can see why they kept bringing him back.

Best Regular: Sean
Best Guest: Junior
Best Runner: Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 6.06.35 PM