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.”
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.28.19 PM.png

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: Never Rewind the Buzzcocks, or Have You Ever Seen Fish & Chips Like These?

We’re three seasons away from ending the NMTB Watchdown, and there are still two episodes I’ve yet to see or review. One of them is S06E09, which is bloody elusive, and the other is the direct-to-video special Never Rewind the Buzzcocks, put out in 1998, and featuring four of the most trusted NMTB regulars: Sarah Cracknell from St. Etienne, Jonathan Ross, Noddy “IIIIIT’S CHRIIIISTMAAAS” Holder, and Savior of the First Four Seasons Math Priest. It was an hourlong special, harkening back to the good old days of the series. So tonight, before S26, I’m watching it down.

Plus, it’s an excuse to go back to a time when Phill, Sean Hughes and Mark Lamarr were all tight as hell as regulars, and the show could be breezy, fun, and not try too hard.

In the middle of Panelist Intros:
Mark: “Phill, I hate to bring this up, but I noticed you’re sitting down very gingerly tonight.”
Phill: “…it’s always nice, when you’re recording a video, to have your ass explode 20 minutes before….the recording, and yes, the hemorrhoids have struck, but-”
Mark: “Was that a Led Zeppelin album, The Hemorrhoids Have Struck?”
Phill: “…it was a concept album…”

Mark plays in an ad Noddy did for a fish-and-chips frozen dish, which featured the lyric ‘I’ve never seen fish and chips quite like these…”
Mark: “It’s funny, because nearly every fish and chips I’ve seen have looked like that…”

Noddy, on the Blur video: “Nowadays, when you wear a hat in pop, you’ve got to have mirrors all round…”
Mark: “Yeah, or you’d look stupid…”

Math thinks one of the Indescipherable Lyrics is “The sand of magic mushrooms up his ass.”
Mark: “WHAT SOUND IS THAT?”
Math: “No, the SAND!”
Mark: “Oh….WHAT *SAND* IS THAT?”

Noddy: “Phill’s got mushrooms up his ass tonight…”
Math: “YEAH, LOOK AT PHILL!”

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 4.57.31 PM.png

“…uhm…”

Noddy: “SHOW US YOUR MUSHROOMS!”

Mark: “Is that your final answer, because between you, you have actually got all the lyrics there…but SEPARATELY, you’re fucked!”
OH YEAH, THAT REMINDS ME. This special’s completely uncensored. We get to hear Mark say the f-word in real time. Fantastic.

Also, thanks to Math’s expert arranging, Mark even exclaims that their finished guess of the lyrics is “the first time we’ve ever had it 100% right.”

Mark also gets to do jokes he couldn’t do in a primetime airing, like:
“In the summer of 1992, Damon Albarn opened a blur gig by saying to the audience “It’s gonna be fucking shit tonight, so fuck off!”…and everyone left, thinking Peter Andre was coming on…”

Even better- Phill’s bit for Indecipherable Lyrics is Slade’s ‘Bring the House Down’…so they’ll be doing it FOR NODDY. Already, this show is diabolical.

And, of course, Jonathan and Phill help tie the lyrics guess into the Fish and Chips ad from the top of the show, making it all fish themed.

Jonathan, closing up a long, drawn out rant about fish: “Pickled egg counteracts the saliva.”
Mark: “It’s an excuse I’ve given to many women…”

Again, Jonathan’s great, and Mark obviously loves having him on, but without buffering, he can take over any show, and he nearly does in the first round. Mark does have some moments of trying to get it back on track, but at this stage it’s worrysome.

Jonathan does start needling Noddy for stories, going: “i bet there was more than one occasion where you shared with Dave…”
Phill: “SHARED WHAT?”
Noddy: “You’re getting nothing out of me…”
Jonathan: “IIIIIIT’S CHRIIIIIISTMAAAAAASSS!”
(I did not think we’d be getting one of those out of this episode…)
Mark: “I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW.”
Phill, as Noddy: “DAVE, DAVE, GIMME BACK MY COPY OF MAYFAIR!”
Mark, as Noddy: “DAVE, DAVE! HAVE YOU EVER SEEN FISH AND CHIPS LIKE THESE?”

After performing the new lyrics, Jonathan goes to Noddy: “Anybody could do that! You weren’t the fucking singer, were you? Just a performing chimp in a hat! Even as a CHILD, I knew that…”
Mark: “Yeah. And it’s VERY HARD to say ‘Welcome to the Big, Big Talent Show…”
Jonathan: [walks off]
Mark: “He does this three-times a show, we always cut it out…maybe we’ll leave it in tonight…”
Jonathan, lying down: “YOU TIRE ME, LAMARR…”

After Noddy and Sean’s first intro
Mark: “Math, if you’re confused, Noddy’s doing the actual song, and Sean’s doing the same thing he does to every song week after week…”

Mark: “Johnny Kidd may not have set the chars aline, but he’ll be forever remembered for singing the King of Spain’s beard.”
The whole panel loses it here.

Mark: “Sadly, in 1981, Adam decided to get rid of the Ants. He avoided various legal procedures by just throwing boiling water on them…BUT HE’LL BE FOREVER REMEMBERED IN HISTORY…for singing the King of Spain’s beard!”

Mark: “In the early days, while on tour, Boomtown Rats guitarist Gary Roberts used to produce a fish from his flies…then, of course, they invented viagra…”
Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 5.22.25 PM.png

Mark: “In 1982, Bob Geldof played the starring role in the film The Wall, where he had to be stripped naked, covered in cold flour and water, and dragged down the staircase and into a swimming pool filled with blood….which coincidentally is what happened when he went ’round to Mr. and Mrs. Hutchence’s house to ask for his belt back.”
Even greater audience reaction here.
Mark: “Maybe you’re all going ‘oooh, too much’, but at least some of you are going “WELL CRAFTED.”

Mark, to Jonathan: “Look at that smug look out of you, you’re not gonna have a better joke tonight!”
Jonathan: “…I wasn’t even listening.”
Mark: “You can’t even SAY Boomtown Rats.”

As Phill gets up for intros
Jonathan: “Phill, if there’s a problem, don’t do the movements…”
Phill: “There’s only ONE kind of movement I won’t be doing tonight…”

Jonathan, like usual, doesn’t know any of the intros, but sells it. The first one, he goes “no such song.” The second one, which is OBVIOUSLY Maggie May, he still goes “No such song”, mainly because it’s a Rod Stewart number.
Jonathan: “NO! WAIT! WAKE UP MAGGIE I…YOU DID…SOMETHING!”

Jonathan: “The beginning bit scared the life out of me! I thought something was gonna pop out of his pants!”
Phill: “SOMETHING MAY VERY WELL!”

Mark: “At a gig in August 1992, the Stranglers grabbed an audience member, yanked his trousers down and used his bare buttocks as tom-toms during Golden Brown. But when this happened 3 nights running, they decided to ban Graham Norton from all future gigs…”

There’s an amusing bit where Jonathan and Noddy have to tidy up a hotel room in 90 seconds, both playing Chris DeBurgh whose spouse is on the way. It’s an odd segment, probably just added to fill time. While Noddy does a nice job in cleaning things up, Jonathan trashes the room further, flipping the bed, throwing a suitcase about and hiding in the closet.

The real shocker in this segment is the addition of MANDY SMITH, Bill Wyman’s preteen ex-wife, to judge the rooms. Mandy does commit a sin by pulling a blow-up doll out of the closet.
Mark: “I don’t think you could go looking for the things he’d put away…not really the point of the competition…”

This actually leads to some really nice moments with Mark and Mandy, trying to lead a segue into a joke about Bill Wyman as they go from Noddy’s set to Jonathan’s. Once they eventually reach Jonathan’s set, Mark goes “OH, JONATHAN’S DONE A FINE JOB!”
Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 5.40.16 PM.png

Mandy: “Well, where’s he?”
Jonathan, from inside the closet: “THERE’S NO ONE HERE. MR. DEBURGH, HE GO HOME!”

Mark: “I think the fact, Jonathan…that you’re hiding in the cupboard…”

Jonathan’s is great, because it leads to a very Thank God You’re Here-esque improv scene, where they’re all riffing on the vegetables that ‘Jupitus laid out’. It’s also great seeing Mark and Jonathan bounce off each other.

On Ray Davies and Thin Lizzy’s Lead Singer:
Math: “I was gonna say that they’ve both slept with Chrissie Hynde, but that doesn’t really narrow it down much, does it?”
Noddy: “Phil Linnet claimed to have plenty of kinks in his knob, and Ray Davies claimed to have plenty of knobs in his Kinks.”

Math: “Was it like…obviously Phil Linnet uses his fists there, and Ray Davies used his fists when he was in Bronski Beat…”
[OOOOOOHHHHH]
Mark: “Can’t believe they turned on that one!”
Math: “AFTER [MARK’S JOKE], AND NOW…”
Sean: “Do theyyy both take it up the arse?”
Mark: “WHEN HE WENT ‘ROUND TO MR. AND MRS. HUTCHENCE’S HOUSE TO ASK FOR HIS BELT BACK!’ ‘ahhhh…’ ‘Did he use his fist when he was in Bronski Beat?’ “OH, GET OFF! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO US? OUR EARS CAN’T TAKE IN THIS KIND OF INFORMATION!”

Sean: “Phil Linnet did have some bloke in Ireland pretending to be him-”
Noddy: “Wasn’t you, was it?”
Sean: “Could have been…”
Mark: “…didn’t work out, did it?”

After the Mark Morrison introclip:
Mark: “You’ll notice there that we couldn’t actually use music in the Mark Morrison clip there, because the record company said if we used it, we’d take the piss….obviously we’re gonna take the piss now, anyway…”

Jonathan: “Would I be right if I suggested that they both attempted to singe the King of Spain’s beard?”
Mark: “IT’S THE ANSWER ON THE CARD, JONATHAN!”
Jonathan: “Wow, I’m bangin’, now…”
Mark: “BUT, when they went ’round to Mr. and Mrs. Hutchence’s house for their belt back, they stuck their hand up Bronski Beat’s ass! Highlights of the video, ladies and gentlemen!”

On Morrison’s hair:
Phill: “That’s kind of like the Mark Morrison tribute to Mark Lamarr.”
Mark: “Can I just warn you…there’s a very good opportunity later on to REALLY RIP THE SHIT out of my hair, so don’t blow it now.”
Phill: “Oh, I’ll hold back, but-”
Jonathan: “There’s nothing wrong with your hair that a good shampoo wouldn’t cure.

There’s another Rock Motel bit, where the other two from each team have to dress a naked roadie lying in the room before the timer goes off.
Sean: “HE’S DEAD!”
Phill: “HAT!”

Several insane moments from this bit, involving Phill nearly losing sight trying to get the roadie’s pants back on, then nearly LUNGING AT THE GUY, SUGGESTIVELY, leading to the audience being insanely appalled.

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 6.26.16 PM.pngPhill’s finished product.

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 6.27.13 PM.pngSean’s finished product. Math looks happy with it.

Mark: “I can’t possibly give you any points for that. All you’ve done is fooled around near a nearly naked man!”
Math: “I DON’T OFTEN GET THE CHANCE!”
Mark: “Who, for some reason, couldn’t even stand up when you’d finished!”

The group for Sean’s ID Parade had some pretty similar coifs to Mark. I wonder if this is the coif joke he was referring to earlier.

Math: “Were they called Matchbox because each of them only worked once?”
Mark: “Yeah, because Dodgy are still PUSHING OUT THE HITS!”

Noddy: “You wouldn’t think that anyone would have that retro rock’n’roll look these days, would you?”
Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 6.34.43 PM.pngMark: “Yeah…it looks so foolish, doesn’t it? I wish I was dressed in LIME..”

Phill: “I must say, looking at the Matchbox boys over there…I can’t help but wonder who’s running the Dodgems tonight…”

It’s nice that Phill’s ID Parade is on the bassist from Sweet, as Sweet is pretty relevant now thanks to that very song appearing in the trailer for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’.

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 7.27.14 PM.pngPhill: “I just want to say to #3, that I hope that everything at the offices of the Rick Wakeman fan club is going alright…”

Jonathan tries to see if it’s the real Andy Scott by recounting a story about how Connolly once got sperm on the ceiling of a motel. This is after a good two minutes of purely Jonathan running.
Jonathan: “I’ve been down the country, something called the ‘sweet spot’ on the ceiling, no one really knows…”

Jonathan: “Love is like…COCKsegen…you get too much-”
Mark: “JONATHAN THE POINT OF THIS ROUND…you have to guess…It’s not ‘you have to sing a medley of their hits!”
Jonathan: “I am cleverly putting them at ease.”
Mark: “What, ’til one of them goes “I CONFESS, IT WAS ME!’?”

After all of this Ross babbling, Phill admits that he’s known who it was all along, and Mark even says they both did a radio show together with Andy Scott, so they BOTH know it.
Phill: “It’s #2.”
Jonathan: “Gotta be two.”
Mark: “…it’s gotta be two, cause Phill’s met him!”

Jonathan, after he’s stepped forward: “Was it true, about the old…”
Scott, over applause: “NO!”
Jonathan: “I bet it was true…”
Mark, trying to continue the show: “So, now per-”
Jonathan, OVER MARK: “You know what? He just never told you, did he?”
Mark: “SHUT UP!”
Jonathan: “Did you feel left out-”
Mark, exploding: “SHUT THE FUCK UP, ROSS!”
Jonathan, continuing: “Everyone else went-”
Mark: “ROSS, SHUT THE FUCK UP! I IMPLORE YOU! I THANK YOU! SHUT…THE FUCK…*UP*! ON BEHALF OF THE BBC AND THE VIEWING PUBLIC, WHO SPENT GOOD MONEY ON A VIDEO, SHUT YOUR *FUCKING* MOUTH!”
THE WHOLE ROOM APPLAUDS. Even Andy Scott. All the while, Jonathan’s going “who, me?”, and smirking it off.

Mark: “Jonathan, it wasn’t you knowing that story that got it, it was Phill’s met him!”
Jonathan, harkening back: “I did the groundwork!”
Mark: “If anyone did, I introduced the two!”
Jonathan: “I’ve got another good story about Paul Young if you’d like…apparently all of them at the back of the bus were having a wanking competiton-”
Mark: “ALL RIGHT…”

Man, there’s so much room in this episode that they even have time for a Legs and Co segment. It’s the episode that keeps on giving.

On the weird alien dance thing
Noddy: “People who like to sit in pods and smell their own farts?”
Sean: “Is it…’Too Drunk to Fuck’ by the Dead Kennedys?”

Math: “Is it Tragedy by the Bee-Gees?”
Mark: “…no.”
Math: “It was the last time I was here…”

Mark, cracking open a bottle of water: “As you can tell, after shouting at Jonathan for so long, much as I enjoyed it, I’m losing me voice…”
He then, confusedly, looks at the bottle of water.
Mark: “…what the fuck is this?”
Jonathan: “That’s- the bloke from the Sweet left that in his dressing room…”

One more round to the motel, where they have to loot the motel room with as much stuff as possible. Even better, the room is Richard Fairbrass’s, “so don’t touch the Toblerone in the minibar.”

Again, Jonathan goes for the less subtle approach, literally chucking the television out the window, flipping the bed over and ripping apart the furniture, including kicking in the closet door, while Math and Noddy try stuffing the TV into a burlap bag.

Next Lines:
Mark: “Am I really all that bad?”
Math: “yeah.”

Mark: “Phill’s team, you need 13 to win. It’s not gonna happen, but let’s have a go.”

Mark: “Relax, don’t do it.”
Jonathan: “When you wanna have fun.”
Mark: “No, it’s when you want to come…not necessarily on the ceiling.”

Overall: Judging by all that I just wrote…that was quite possibly the crowning achievement of Buzzcocks in that early era. Every segment had something worth laughing about. Every panelist, save for maybe a miscast Sarah Cracknell, had something to offer. Several laugh out loud moments, an amazing dynamic, and Mark Lamarr was on tonight like he’d never been to that point, possibly due to the lack of censorship. Heck, props go to Phill, for carrying on despite a hemorrhoid attack before the show, and to Jonathan Ross for being hysterical and not overstaying his welcome (too much)

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Jonathan
Best Runner: Mr. and Mrs. Hutchence

Nevermind Watchdown: S17E4

Well, one last Mark Lamarr episode that’s not been viewed yet on this journey through the lost Buzzcocks episodes, and man, is this a great one to go out on. Yes, S17 is notable for its very laid back, ‘let’s get this over with’ tone by Mark, but it did have some highlights here and there.

NOT ONLY is this a return for Dave Berry, who saved an episode away from Mickey Hutton last series, and NOT ONLY is this a return for Myleene Klass, but RICH HALL is here for the last time on Buzzcocks, and man am I excited. Also Brinsley Forde, former reggae singer, is also in the building.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 8.46.59 PM.png

Phill: “Sesame Street today is brought to you by the letter C. WHAT IS C FOR, BOYS AND GIRLS???”

Dave: “Maybe [Liza’s] womb’s like a deep fat fryer!”
Mark: “THAT’S JUST A RUMOR! We’ve had legal difficulties before saying that…”
Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 8.54.53 PM.png

Phill: “Is this Ready Steady Cook in Poland?”
Bill: “WE PUT POTATO IN HERE…and uh, wait for many days…”

First intro, which is Word Up, keeps being permeated by Bill doing a little whistle, which makes Rich think it’s Sergio Leone. So, when Myleene and Bill do it again, Mark adds in the ‘Good the Bad and the Ugly’ whistle to mess him up, which cracks him up.

Great Intros moment- for the Word Up intro, Rich keeps insisting it’s When Doves Cry, even when he knows it isn;t. So, after Bill and Myleene basically give him that it’s Word Up, Rich, weakly, goes “…is it, uh, when doves cry by Prince?”
Mark: “Yes, it is.”
He passes it over to Phill, who says it is Word Up y Cameo, only for Mark to say “ooooh, it was actually When Doves Cry by Prince.”

Brinsley and Phill do end up singing ‘When Doves’ Cry to the Word Up tune, and it fits so well- plus, Brinsley’s having a ton of fun. Myleene, Bill and Mark doing the Good the Bad and the Ugly all end up joining in, and keeping it going even after the song ends, which shows how much fun this one is.

Brinsley: “This is what it sounds like…:
Phill, yelled: “WORD UP!!!!”

After the entire bit, Rich looks around confused, and goes “…wait a minute…what just happened??”

Overall: Weaker episode, but, like the rest of this series, not without some really fun points, especially involving Rich Hall and Dave Berry.

Best Guest: Rich
Best Regular: Mark
Best Runner: When Doves Cry

 

Nevermind Watchdown: S16E11, or Nevermind the Buzzcocks Goes Classical

I’ll admit that I went about this SEARCH FOR THE LOST EPISODES because I was becoming disillusioned with how Simon Amstell was turning Buzzcocks into a makeshift Popworld, with more emphasis on interviewing, and humiliating, stars, and less emphasis on the actual quiz. Mark Lamarr’s character would have never HALTED the quiz to care about his contestants- not even in Series 17.

But, to end Series 16, I find myself staring Simon in the face yet again, as well as Bradley Walsh, who saved one of the worst episodes in Buzzcocks history. Estelle was, at the time, the Queen of British Hip Hop, and would eventually chart Stateside with ‘American Boy’. Melanie Blatt is a, according to Mark, allSAINTS survivor.

Bradley Walsh had the right idea- he has a higher-pitched, but still cockney-ish, voice that in no way fits him, like Andy Hamilton or the villain from Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.

On the Geri Halliwell video:
Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 2.49.22 PM.png

Bill: “I love the fact that the sheep is so embarrassed that it’s put sunglasses on…”
Mark: “He signed up for the sheep protection program.”
Bill: “If i stay still, no one will notice back at the flock…”

Phill, on the Britney video: “Let’s have a look at this image here…”
Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 2.52.48 PM.png
Phill: “Thunderbirds, the slutty years!”
Melanie: “Very Easy Jet.”
Mark, applauding: “I’d like to shake your hand…and I’d like to give you this award, on behalf of Buzzcocks…”

Bradley, before Intros: “Is this gonna be pop records?”
Bill: “…no, they’re all Gregorian chants.”
Bradley: “If it’s not classical, I won’t get it.”
Mark: “YOU LISTEN TO CLASSICAL? You’re from Watford, you like the Eagles and Queen.”
Bradley: “But that’s classical, innit?”
Bill: “Nevermind the Buzzcocks Goes Classical!”

Mark: “When the Lovin’ Spoonful lead singer was a kid, he had museum guards let him into the Museum of Natural History after hours so he could climb on the dinosaur carcass. He got the idea by watching Catherine Zeta-Jones’ wedding video.”

So Mark essentially tells Bradley what the second intro is…and he still doesn’t get it. Same thing happens with Simon’s first, so Mark just SINGS THE DAMN SONG and it does nothing.
Simon: “I mean, you’ve already had a go at Brian, so don’t…”
Mark, motioning to Bradley: “Brian?”
Simon: “…Connolly? No?”
Mark: “…no..”
Bradley cracks up a bit here.

Then, at Simon’s second intro, Melanie just hands Simon the card.
Simon: “oh, right…”
Mark: “IF ONLY WE WERE FILMING THIS, THEN I’D KNOW HOW MELANIE CHEATED!!!”

Mark, in retaliation, goes over to Melanie, and drinks her water, spilling it on himself. A second later, he comes back with a water bottle and essentially pours it on and around the glass, making an even bigger mess. Melanie just throws some of the water back at him. At least everyone, except maybe Simon, is having a nice time.

Mark’s ID Parade names are still fantastic- #2 is “M T Pants”
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Mark: “Estelle, I’m guessing that’s the beating I’m getting after the show, then…”

Mark: “Is it #3, W.C. Loiterer…”
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Mark: “…no it’s that one, IT’S THAT ONE!”

Bradley says that 1 and 4 were the Bronx version of Little and Large, so Mark makes Simon and Bradley switch places with both of them.

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The new, improved ID Parade

#4, sitting in Bradley’s seat, actually does a really nice Norman Wisdom, so Mark goes over to Bradley and says “I wouldn’t head back to Coronation Street, you’ve lost the part.”

Bill: “LET’S TRY AND GUESS…WHO ARE THE UNDERCOVER POLICEMEN??”

Mark: ‘I think it was #4- hello, Bradley!”
Bradley: ‘Ask Alan!”
Mark: ‘Alan??”
Bradley: “Alan Davies.”
Simon looks confused, but takes the rebuttal in stride.

For Phill’s ID Parade, #1 is obviously the guy, and they all seem to think he’s drunk so everyone’s waiting for the guy to fall over, or go over to Melanie and start hitting on her. Meanwhile, he’s just standing there laughing.

Overall: Not perfect, but definitely had its moments. Everyone on the panel was into it, and even Simon, who started out a bit moodier, possibly as a result of Mark, got better and more game. Bradley was having a wonderful time, cracking jokes and bouncing off a better panel than he had his last go-around. Melanie had some great jokes, Estelle was having a great time, and the bit with Bradley and ID Parade was fantastic- hell, BOTH ID Parades were great. A solid show to end the series with.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Bradley
Best Runner: Simon vs. Bradley- wrong names.

SERIES 16 SUPERLATIVES

Best Episode: Episode 9, featuring Kenzie being an AMAZING sport with Mark constantly giving him crap, Lucy Porter’s anecdote about being licked by a hobo coming up in every point in the show, and the presence of Jodie Marsh in Kenzie’s bedroom giving Kenzie even more pain than the thumb up his arse. Solid show all around.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 7, featuring Ricky Wilson channeling Bobby Darin, The Bangles apparently being a fruit-based band, Jim Jeffries being pessimistic, Phill’s team choosing between lesbian cowboys, and Bill going “looking to meet guys in YOUR area?” during ID Parade.
Honorable Mention: The Entire Second Half of Episode 4. Literally EVERY JOKE HIT in the bottom half, ID Parade on. It’s just the first half was pretty vacant, save for a few good jokes.
Worst Episode: Episode 8- other than Bill & Bez on Ice, the dynamic was dead and only Tony Christie doing Morrissey kept it alive.
Best Regular: Mark Lamarr, for being solid and peeling back enough of his character to remain fun in his second to last season on the program.
Best Musician Guest: Obviously Ricky Wilson for almost taking over the show, but Kenzie, Chris Park, Martin Fry, Raghav and Gary Brooker had some nice showings as well.
Best Comedian Guest: Ewen Macintosh, Episode 2, for being so dry and so ridiculous that he nearly took the emphasis off of Mark taking the piss off of Dom Masters. Dave Johns was incredibly close to taking it, for completely taking over Episode 1, and Lucy Porter, Steve Frost, Bradley Walsh and Nihal were considered.
Best Dartboard for Mark: By a hair, Dom Masters, Episode 2. I gave this to him over Kenzie because, unlike Kenzie, Dom deserved it.
Most Annoying Panelist- Mickey Hutton, Episode 5, for almost hijacking the episode and not being very funny while doing it.
Most Befuddled Guest: Bez, Episode 8. But that’s how Bez is.
Best Runner: Mark giving the panelists vodka, Episode 3. It was the gift that kept on giving.

Nevermind Watchdown: S16E6 or YOU’RE WITH DICKS! GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY!

We’ve seen Raghav before, and we’ve seen Nihal Arthanayake (‘I’M PROPER ‘APPY!’) on the program before, but this LOST BUZZCOCKS one has both of them, as well as Gary Brooker, of Procol Harum (and, according to Phill, Lord Lucan’s Fashion House), and Paul Heaton, of The Beautiful South and the Housemartins- this is actually a really nice panel, to be honest.

Mark’s introclip caption for Chris DeBurgh is “or is it Chris….DIE…DIE…DIE…DIE…DDIIIIIIIE….Burgh……DIIIE!”
With a black mask over his face. There goes subtlety.

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Nihal: “Is this an outtake from Saving Private Ryan, this bit here?”
Mark: “The beaches of Normandy don’t look so bad there, do they?”
Nihal: “And with a Latvian family there as well… ‘MA, IT’S DA VUN FVUM QVUEEN, VE LUEV HEIM!”
Mark: “Never met anyone from Latvia, have you?”
Nihal: “I *AM* LATVIAN!”
Mark: “‘AND DE VUN FUOM QVUEEN!’ You’ve met MUPPETS, haven’t you?”

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Phill: “That’s actually, uh, he did actually shag the nanny’s brain out, and he just found it.”
Mark, covering himself with the black mask, is even cracking up a bit.
Phill: “OKAUUY MISTUH DEBURGH…IT WAS UNDER THE SOFA!”
Nihal: “‘Lady is deeeaaddd…'”
Phill BURSTS OUT LAUGHING here.

Raghav tries a really bad joke about how the Eurythmics were nicknamed the ‘You’re With Dicks’ by MTV, tying into the Lennox question- he even has to explain the joke, which also doesn’t get anything.

Gary’s got to do Intros, but doesn’t have glasses. Mark just goes over and says ‘well, uh, the first one’s Rasputin by Boney M.’
Gary: ‘DON’T TELL HIM!”
Nihal’s already giving a thumbs-up to the crowd.

Before they even start, Nihal: “RASPUTIN, BY BONEY M!”
Phill: “What?…WAIT!”

Phill and Gary do their first intro bending over.
Mark: “Hang on? Why are you doing the intro at half-mast? Are you expecting a visitor??”

Now Nihal tries guessing this in an over-the-top Russian accent. In response, Mark goes “AH-AH-AHHHH, I LOOOOVE TO COUNT! What’s the matter with you? Try doing it in your own voice! There are enough people who hate asians as it is, don’t make them hate them further…”

Gary, trying to read the card: “What’s this…Baboon…H?”
Mark: “Yes, BABOON H. OR, AS WE ALL CALL THEM, MAROON FIVE.”

There’s a running gag about music being played over a clip of a monkey riding a bicycle. So, for Raghav and Bill’s first intro, they do theirs over the clip of the monkey, and Mark asks “does that help?” to Paul.

Gary: “The one without a hat is very suspicious…”
Phill: “How about the other one without a hat?”

Mark discovers that Raghav can do a really great Shrek impression…so he gets him to crouch behind Bill and do it like Bill’s saying it. It’s a fantastic moment.
Raghav: “YOU’RE WITH DICKS! GOODNIGHT EVERYBODY!”
Mark: “He’s here all week. Alright, Nihal, get behind Bill and do Latvian!”

And sure enough, Nihal does his Latvian with the same line (“For Crying Out Loud, Donkey”), and Bill sells it. It’s hysterical.

Paul: “I think it’s 2 or 4…can we have both?”
Mark: “This isn’t an auction…”

Next Lines: “Just an old sweet song…”
Gary: “…what do we do now?”
Phill: “Be easy on him, Mark, he thinks he’s in Dictionary Corner…”

Mark: “Keep away, keep away…”
Nihal: “…from my onions…”

Mark: “Chicks and geese and ducks better scurry.”
Raghav: “Jacko’s on his way.”
Mark: “….YES. HE’S NOW A WILDLIFE MOLESTER”
(Though I was half-expecting “if you don’t want to end up in a curry…”)

Overall: Lighter but still really nice in parts- Gary was confused but still pretty game. Nihal and Raghav were both having a really nice time- Raghav especially was a HUGE improvement over his last appearance, and Nihal was wonderful as ever. Yeah, Paul was kind of quiet, but it wasn’t a bad show, just light on some jokes.

Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Raghav
Best Runner: Monkey riding a bike

Nevermind Watchdown: S16E4, or KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN AND A PIZZA HUT

Onto what is probably going to be a much better Series 16 episode, much closer to our first two entries, is one with a panel, 3/4ths of which we’ve seen before. Pete Tong, a radio personality, Fearne Cotton, the ubiquitous TV presenter, and Steve Frost, man of a thousand eyebrows.

The only newbie is Chris Park, a member of boy band Fixx, who I only know because Simon brought them up later on in Mark’s era, to which Mark responded he’d never heard of them, ‘which is sad, as I’ve had some of them on…’

After Phill and his team can’t get the first question about Wilson Pickett, Mark just sets fire to the middle of the card, and says “it’s like Bonanza.”, as he hums the theme song.

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“Imagine a map of Texas (belts the Bonanza theme)”

Oh dear. Bill’s 1st round involves Cradle of Filth. I bet Mark will have some fun with this one, especially after the Dani Filth show.

Bill: “Where they from, anyway, Ipswich?”
Mark: “Ipswich, yeah”
Bill: “There’s something about…coming from rural areas, that…uh..”
Mark: “Makes ya look freaky???”

One thing about this episode is that the guys are definitely enjoying themselves, and this is evident during Phill and Chris’ Radar Love intro. Pete’s bobbing along to the intro, really into the music. Once the actual intro plays in, and the “I’ve been driving all night, my hands wet behind the wheel’ line plays, Steve just mimes driving a steering wheel, grinning.

Bill and Fearne’s first intro has a lot of sound effects, which Bill adds by going “…EY…WHOA…LOOKOUT!”.
Mark: “I think, Steve, what would make it easier was if you ignore Bill’s bit…and also, Fearne’s.”

Before Fearne and Bill start their intros, Mark goes “Steve’s pretty good at this round.” Steve looks over at him and chuckles a little- he remembers otherwise.

Bill explains that there are new-agey sound effects in the song, but once they try the intro again, Mark stops them, and plays in the actual intro to see if there are any sounds resembling Bill’s…which there aren’t, especially, though Bill’s still trying to convince him.

Bill and Fearne’s 2nd intro is confusing, as they both do it in different time signatures, and Fearne’s doing this very faint whistling.
Mark: “One of them doesn’t know this song.”
Steve: “Can somebody turn the kettle off, we’re trying to do a show here…”

Mark: “In 1988, Kim Wylde supported Michael Jackson on his Bad tour, which means that for two months, both artists on that bill were doing Kids in America on a nightly basis.”
Steve rears back for that one. At least Mark never held back the MJ jokes.

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Chris: “It’s definitely not #3 because she actually works at McDonalds, because I bought a Big Mac off her an hour ago. Or is she from one of the films I’ve got?”
Mark: “YOU BUY FILMS OF MCDONALDS EMPLOYEES? I mean, if anyone was gonna say that, I’d look [at Phill]”

Phill: “I wanna know…what #2 and #5 are doing after the show…”

Pete: “It’d be too obvious if it was #2 or #5”
Phill: “No, I know who it is, I just want to…look at the food porn a bit more…”
Mark: “I imagine this is the sort of thing for you, isn’t it? A woman dressed up as food…”
Phill: “Aw, yeah…”
Mark: “What more could you want in life?”

Phill, giddy with anticipation: “…I THINK-”
Chris: “Which one would you want a bite of?”
Phill: “Well, 2’s a big bun, but 5’s got EGG!”
And with that, he writhes around, aroused, in his seat.

Chris: “Numbers 1, 3 and 4 look very smart, but numbers 2 and 5-”
Phill: “SAY ONE THING AGAINST 2 AND 5, SPARKY, LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENS.”

Next Lines:
Mark: “What do you want, what do you want, what do you want?”
Phill: “KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN AND A PIZZA HUT!”
Mark: “…it is true.”

Mark: “What do you see when you turn out the lights.”
Phill: “….KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN AND A PIZZA HUT!”

Mark: “Food, glorious food.”
Phill: [breaks]
Pete: “Hot jelly and mustard.”
Mark: “oooooh. ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut'”

And now we go to Bill, Fearne and Steve for Next Lines. Buckle…the fuck…up.

Mark: “I’ve been to paradise.”
Bill: [LOUDLY COUGHS]
Mark: “…that’s how Cradle of Filth would have done it…”

Mark gives Fearne, like, 10 kid’s songs in a row, and she keeps answering sarcastically.
Mark: “You said that like ‘I’m above this.’ I mean, she’s a kids’ TV presenter.
Fearne: “It doesn’t mean I’m actually five!”
Steve, in the background, goading her on: “GO ON, FEARNE! GET ‘IM!”
Mark: “No…kids TV presenter doesn’t mean they’re kids and they present TV.”
Fearne: “…but that’s what you’re saying I am.”
Mark, after a beat: “…well, a little bit, yeah…”

Mark: “We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo.”
Fearne: “….”
Bill: “…TO LOOK AT THE *EARS*, *EARS*, *EARS*!”

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Mark’s puzzled reaction

Bill: “Ears on the elephant go round and round….THE WHEELS ON THE OTTER GO UP AND DOWN….THE EYES IN THE WALRUS GO ROUND AND ROUND!….I’m not five!”
Mark, putting the card away: “We’ll never know, we’ll have to chop off his leg and count the rings…”

Mark: “Bananas in pyjamas.”
Fearne: “….”
Bill: “….GO ROUND AND ROUND!”
Meanwhile, I’m dying over here.

Mark: “Polly put the kettle on.”
Bill, suddenly a soul singer: “…if you’ll STAAAAY WITH ME, TIL DAWWN.”
Mark looks over at Phill and Pete, who are DYING laughing. He confers with them, because he doesn’t know what song it was, and once Phill tells him, he turns to Bill and goes, after a beat, “yes.”

Fearne: “We did very poorly in that one…”
Mark: “WELL, YA WON…”

Overall: From the start it took some time to get going joke-wise, but the dynamic was there from the very beginning- all four were in a great mood, and once ID Parade started, things picked up BIG TIME, from Phill and the food, to Phill CONTINUING with food in Next Lines, to Bill’s entire next lines round with Fearne arguing with Mark, Steve screwing with her, and Bill…being Bill. A classic, I’d say, even if people like Chris and Pete weren’t as wild as the others, they still had some great moments.

Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Steve
Best Runner: KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN AND A PIZZA HUT.

Nevermind Watchdown: S16E3

Now our Quest for the Lost Buzzcocks takes us to Series 16, the last great season of Buzzcocks under the Lamarr era. Tonight, we’ve got a nice amount of trusted regulars- Richard Park from Fame Academy is hear, as well as the lovable, and loudly dressing, Martin Fry from ABC.

Therese fronts Swedish dance act Stonebridge. Mylo is a electronic/dance mixer from the Isle of Sky.

Mark, introing Richard, says he counts Geri Halliwell as a friend, and won’t hear a word said against her. Then, he throws him a pair of sound-canceling headphones and goes “…you might need them.”

Bill, looking at this particular still from Jay Z’s ’99 Problems’ video:

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Bill: “…NOW!”
Mark: “You say it like you’ve cracked the puzzle.”
Bill: “hm…AH! YES!”

Bill: “It’s John McCrirrick before he’s had a bit of a wash and brush up. Or, perhaps what Bez sees in the mirror…”

Mark, introing Jay-Z: “And the guy who’s been shot at more times than the Jodie Marsh calendar…”

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Richard: “Dannii Minogue went out, for a while, with, he’s a famous radio personality, Dr. Fox.”
Phill: “Right. Dannii went out with Fox, and 50 Cent was raised by bats.”

Halfway through Intros, Mark cracks open the bottles of Vodka given to him for the JayZ-Chopin round, and has a sip of each. By the time Richard’s ready to start an intro, Mark starts faux-drunkenly yelling at him. “HEY RICHAR’…I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY MATE!”

Then, while Phill and Richard are doing their 2nd intro, Mark goes over to Mylo, hands him the bottle of vodka, and says “here, this might help…”

Bill, after a LARGE SIP of the Chopin vodka: “STICK YER QUIZ UP YER ASS!”
Martin, all the while opening the other vodka: “easy, Bill…”

Mark, after a few old guys in their underwear come up, holding ‘ROUND 3’ signs, to Therese: “Doesn’t happen on quizzes in Sweden, does it? Wait, actually it does…”

Phill’s ID Parade is a keyboardist, so Phill wonders if they can see his fingers, so Mark asks them to hold out their hands.
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Mark: “OH, I LOVE THIS…Lumberjack zombies…’MUST KILL BEAVERS…'”

Mark: “Bill’s team, you need 13 points to win. Unheard of?”
Bill: “Has it ever been achieved?”
Mark: “There’s only 12 cards…”

Overall: Lighter episode- Richard and Martin made this one good, as the rest of the panel, and the rest of the show, didn’t give me tons to write about. Still, there were a few nice moments.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Richard
Best Runner: Chopin Vodka

Nevermind Watchdown: S15E7, or Arnie Goes to Hollywood?

Well, as we do indeed have Noddy Holder in the room tonight, I feel it’s quite appropriate to give a full-on “IIIIIIIIIIIIIT’S CHIIIIIIIISTMAAAAASSS!!!”

Actually, this is a pretty nicely stacked Christmas show. Aside from Noddy, we have Bananarama’s Siobhan Fahey, one-time QI contestant and comedian Jackie Clune, and ‘Ollie’, who was singing with Freefaller, who’s a rocker of sorts.

Mark, starts the show off with what I THINK is a slip up (but knowing him, could have been intentional), “Hello, and welcome to a special festering- sorry, FESTIVE…”

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Jackie: “Bon Jovi here, achieving what most men dream of doing, kissing his own balls.”
Mark: “Do ya HATE men, Jackie?”
Jackie: “No…”
Mark: “Lucky you’re not sat next to one.”
Bill: “Yes, for i am Ozymandias…KING of the woodland.”
Mark, cracking up: “Beautiful work there…”

Jackie, on the Perry Como video: “Also, Leo Sayer is there…”
Noddy: “Well, I thought it was a lookalike, but apparently the lookalike was too expensive so they had to get him…”

Oh, dear lord.
Mark: “As a sort of Christmas gift to you, but mostly to Bill, your intros are gonna be performed by the Wurzels.”
Bill’s already applauding them as they set up.

Of course, the first intro that they play is, in fact, Combine Harvester, so Bill has no choice but to stand up.

Jackie: “Ooo Arr Ooo Arr!”
Mark: “Yeah, well worked out, the Ooh Arr Oo Arr. D’you think if they were playing the 1812 Overature (does a rendition of it)- OOH ARR OOH ARR!”

After the first intro turns out to be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Bill guesses the second one.
Bill: “I know what it is, but it’s probably something you’ve tried to do, like, uh…Firestarter, or SMACK MY BITCH UP.”
Mark: “That was like an old judge trying to be hip.”

The whole bit with Bill basically crying at the Wurzels being there is all great. Of course, right afterward, Phill gets his own dream come true, as Bad Manners, featuring the immortal Buster Bloodvessel, come out to do some Christmas Intros.

Bad Manners just does a five second horn intro, and that’s all they get. I do find their first one, which turns out to be a wonderfully ska-infured version of Walking in the Air by Aled Jones, to be one of the most delightful things I’ve seen- even Phill’s absolutely loving it.

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Bad Manners doing Walking in the Air (look at how into it Buster is)

Mark: “All them people thinking…’THEY can’t follow the WURZELS….”

Noddy just starts completely rocking out to the second intro.
Mark: “Noddy don’t care, he’s just like…’BLACK COUNTRY METAL!”

The most amusing part of Mark’s ‘music stars we WISH we’d lost this year’ is when Westlife come up, a good portion of the audience is heard going ‘AAAAYYYY!!!’

Phill’s ID Parade is a member of the boy’s choir in Pink Floyd’s Another Brick Pt. 2, but wasn’t in the video, just on the record (“so that should help”)

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Mark: “And can I just say, for whoever books people for the lineup…HE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN OLDER BY NOW….IT BEING A WHILE AGO…”

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At least he gets a kick out of it…

Well, once again, as it’s the Christmas show, the Next Lines are performed by various bands. This time, Bill’s are performed by a German oompah band.

Mark does say for them to sing them back in the same style, so for the first Next Line, ‘i Will Survive’, Jackie and Bill end up YELLING them back in German accents.

My favorite:
German Guy: “Relax/Go do it, when you want to get to it, Relax, go to it.”
Bill, emulating Dolph Lundgren: “VEN YOU WANT TO *come*”
Mark: ‘Arnie Goes to Hollywood?”

Aaaand Phill’s is done by a Barbershop Quartet.

I do absolutely love the visual of Noddy, Phill and Ollie singing ‘Come On Feel the Noise’ in absolutely perfect harmony.

And of course, Noddy polishes off that one with a good old fashioned ‘IIIIT’S CHRIIIIISTMAAAAAAASSS!”

Mark: “I’m actually gonna give you a bonus point for that one, not for the It’s Christmas, although that was pretty great, but for being the only version of that song I’ve been able to listen to the whole way through.”

Overall: A really fun, really enjoyable Christmas show that certainly pulled out all the stops. noddy and Jackie were in fantastic moods, and Ollie gave some nice answers. The Bad Manners, Wurzels and both Next Lines performances were all wonderful and brought out some of the best moments. However, like the rest of Series 15, it was just kind of thin panel-wise.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Noddy

SERIES 15 SUPERLATIVES!
Best Episode: Episode 1, featuring a surprisingly calm Preston, Matt Goss combing over Bill’s hair, the most ridiculous Intros round ever (featuring Bonanza), and a bizarre troll-like guy having to fix the lightning effect.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 7, the most fun and relaxed Christmas show in years, featuring Noddy Holder and co. melodically singing ‘Cum on Feel tha Noize’, and one of the most entertaining Intros rounds in recent memory featuring Bill fawning over the Wurzels and Bad Manners absolutely rocking Aled Jones’ ‘Walking in the Air’.
Worst Episode: Episode 6- without Katie Melua and Jane McDonald, this episode would be absolutely nothing.
Best Regular: Mark, for keeping his regular demeanor through a fairly uneven and light series of shows.
Best Musician Guest: Tough one, as most of the standouts this year were musicians. After close consideration, I’m giving it to Joe Brown, Episode 5, for immediately getting the hang of the game and having a ton of fun with Mark, even putting up with all his Cockney jokes. Though Noddy Holder, Toyah Wilcox, HarMar Superstar and Buster Bloodvessel (showing up and running away with TWO SEPARATE EPISODES) were all in the running.
Best Dartboard for Mark: Lisa Scott Lee, episode 4. Not only did she get a lot thrown at her, but she took every Steps jab with humility and class. You don’t get that everyday.
Most Confused Panelist: Preston, Episode 1. But that’s just Preston.
Best Runner: ‘Showaddywaddy’ being a euphemism for oral sex, Episode 2.

Nevermind Watchdown: S15E4, or SO, I WAS CLONED.

Onto another one of the Lost Buzzcocks Episodes, now headed into Series 15, which was, upon the initial watch down, pretty weak, save for the first couple episodes. Now we at least have an episode with Lisa Scott-Lee from Steps AND Toyah Wilcox, which should be fun…at least for Mark.

Larry Hibbitt plays guitar with rock band 100 Reasons. Nick Atkinson sang lead with rock band Rooster.

Toyah, trying to prove a point: ‘But do bands smash things up anymore? Did Steps ever smash up a hotel room?”
Lisa: “…what do YOU think???”
Mark: “I did once when they were on the radio…NO OFFENSE.”
Lisa: “I’ve heard all the jokes about Steps…I was in it for 5 years, I know ’em all.”
Mark: “I wrote them all.”
Lisa, smiling: ‘Yeah, you probably did…”

Phill, proving a point to Toyah after she recalls someone planting a bomb in a theatre she was performing in: “Y’see, Toyah? Orange hair.”
Toyah: “It’s almost as bad as having a pink shirt, isn’t it?”

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Bill is suddenly appalled.

Bill: ‘…WHAT DO YOU MEAN?”
Phill: “It’s like the gay, hippie Dennis the Menace.”
Bill: “I thought it was more of an outraged bee.”

Bill talks about Toyah’s This is Your Life, where people like Charles Dance and Noddy Holder came on to talk about her.
Toyah: “That’s nothing! They then had Ron Moody on who didn’t know who I was!”
Mark: “Did he just come on to say there was a bomb under your seat?”

Mark, explaining how Tony Wright fell from the rooftop and broke his ankles, cracking up throughout: “In an effort to make the Hard Rock Cafe more Northern, Tony was climbing up the sign and tearing off the H so it read ‘ARD.
Phill audibly loses it here- he KNOWS Tony. He can see that!
Mark: “And the sentence ‘a man pulling off the H’ does remind me of backstage at a Steps concert…”
Lisa’s already grinning and nodding- she’s actually a fantastic sport.

Nick, on DMX: “Can you imagine him at a children’s softball game, though, cheering for his kids?”
Phill: “Yeah, most dads are really competitive anyway, but the hardcore rap dads…that’s gotta be terrible.”
Nick: “People going ‘RUN FASTER OR I’LL POP A CAP IN YO’ ASS, FOOL!”
Phill: “Dad, stop shooting at the other dads!”
Mark: “…is he on the A-Team now? ‘I PITY THE FOO WHO DON’T LET MAH DAUGHTER WIN!”

Lisa: “I think it’s B, because I can’t really see him at a softball game.”
Mark: “…but you can see him posing as an FBI agent?”
Phill: “I can see him as Clarice Starling from the film Silence of the Lambs. [DMX voice] “YOU CAN SMELL MAH WHAAAAT?”
Mark: “…I really got a little shiver when I heard Phill say that just now…”

Halfway through her and Bill’s first intro, Toyah collapses over her chair in embarrassment, as she can’t remember the song. She does insist on doing it again, even Mark says there’s no point.
Toyah: “I tell you what…if he can’t guess this, I’ll stick my tongue down your throat…”

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Mark’s initial reaction

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Mark’s immediate decision.

Of course, the second Bill and Toyah start back up again, the exact same problem occurs.

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Then, after a couple seconds more of the intro, and realizing she’s not gonna make this in ANY way believable, she goes “…CAN YOU FEEL IT COMING, MARK?”

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JESUS CHRIST, TOYAH!

Mark, not knowing how to react: “….I’m gonna get my jaws clamped…”

Larry does eventually get it, mainly because Toyah shows him the card and Mark starts absolutely PLEADING with him to get it.

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Toyah: “Is #2 Bill’s brother??”

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Bill, looking for the resemblance

Bill: “SO, I WAS CLONED, uh…”
Mark: “The Hobgoblin Twins.”

Next Lines: “I am human, and I need to be loved- don’t answer this, Bill, it’s not true…”

Mark: “So, Cindy get your coat on.”
Lisa: “You’re cold…”
Mark: “…d’you know what? As this is the Faces, that is the sort of thing they would have written…”

Overall: Although this episode fell off a bit, towards the end, there was still a lot to love, from how far Toyah was willing to go, to the fun Lisa, Phill and Nick were having, to Lisa taking all of Mark’s Steps slams, to Bill finding his long lost brother. A bit of unevenness stops this from being a classic, though.

Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Toyah
Best Runner: Toyah trying to kiss Mark

Nevermind Watchdown: S14E11

The Last of the Series 11 LOST EPISODES, this one…even if it is the finale, must have been a weak one, as I’ve never heard of any of these guys. Ah well. Guess we have to find out.

Asher D’s a member of So-Solid Crew, which is a relief, since it’s been a while since we’ve had one of them on. Kenny Lynch is a 60’s/70’s comedian, singer and legend. Mark Joseph had a hit with ‘Get Through’, and that’s about it. Carrie Grant’s a singer and Fame Academy judge.

Actually this might be a good one, because THIS is Bill’s reaction to the question “How did Disney’s Goofy get John Lydon in trouble with the law?”:
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Mark: “…You KNEW I was gonna ask you questions, right Bill?”
Bill, still caught off guard: “…I thought, since it was the last show, it’d be a bit different…”

Mark, explaining Courtney Love to Kenny: “She’s…like the Yoko Ono of Nirvana, only instead of splitting up the band, she split up the sides of her husband’s head…”

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Phill: “There’s a lovely image here of some of the, uh-”
Kenny: “Ah. So-Solid Crew!”
Asher, laughing it off: “Yeah…before they were black…”
Phill and Mark, in unison: “BEFORE THEY WERE BLACK?!?!?”
Mark: “So when did ‘y’all turn black? When it became FASHIONABLE?”

Phill: “This is like the Blazin’ Squad in about 6 months. ‘Can I interest you in some fragrance?'”

This is great. For Bill’s intros, Carrie essentially votes Bill out, leaving Mark to repeat the intro himself. But he can’t remember it, so he needs Bill to help him, and he’s already going ‘no no, you do it…” Just a really good Bill moment.

There’s a joke involving the music from the cigarette advert, which Mark just starts using every time a joke bombs, at which point he takes a cigar and lights it. Later on, after an ID Parade intro bombs, he takes a cigar, and he tries to light it, but he ends up fumbling around with it for 5 seconds, cracking up Phill, AND MARK.
Mark: “If that’s not the most perfect Hamlet moment…”

Next Lines: “I’m going down to South Park, gonna have myself a time.”
Bill mouths those lyrics to himself, realizes he doesn’t know what comes next, and thinks of the next best thing: “SHUT YOUR FUCKING FACE, UNCLE FUCKER..”

Overall: Not a great final note for this Series, other than some really nice stuff between Mark and the regulars. The panel, save for I guess Carrie, wasn’t really into it tonight.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Carrie
Best Runner: Cigarette advert

SERIES 14 SUPERLATIVES

Best Episode: E1, featuring Terry Hall at his driest, Dave Fulton representing America, Phill’s entire panel squaring off against a pirate who won’t drop his sword, Kwame mistaking Top Cat and Shaft, and Mark absolutely butchering Bill in Next Lines. One of the best.
2nd Best Episode: E10, featuring Rich Hall, Phill and Bill dubbing over a David Bowie video, Amy Winehouse sober and full of laughs, Fearne Cotton putting up with Mark and Rich arguing with Mark over ‘Mr. Blue Sky’.
3rd Best Episode because this Series was pretty good: Episode 2, which was too good to not mention, featuring Alice Cooper surprisingly having a great time, Katie Melua and Tony Hadley in great showings, and Athelston appearing with a pirate in ID Parade.
Worst Episode: probably this one, E11. Just not a ton going on except for some Mark and Bill stuff.
Best Regular: Mark, for shifting his mean persona into full gear and almost commanding the show, while at the same time letting his character break enough to ensure the audience knows he’s still having a great time.
Best Comedian Guest: Rich Hall. Even at his most argumentative he’s killer.
Best Musician Guest: So many to choose from. I’m going with Terry Hall because he was as close to a comedian as a musician can get, but Alice Cooper, Amy Winehouse, Fatman Scoop and Martha Reeves are all very close.
Best Dartboard for Mark: I’d have to say Jill Jackson, for getting SO MUCH shit slung at her that it damn near knocked her out of the business.
Most Annoying Panelist: Sheila Ferguson, by far. Even if she was a lot better this series.
Most Clueless Panelist: Probably Kenny Lynch, for being a tad out of his element, even if he tried to keep the jokes coming.
Best Runner: Constantly adding pirates into the ID Parade, at one point having 4/5ths of them as pirates.