QI Watchdown: 12 (Illumination)

A few lasts here, as this is Jack Dee’s last QI appearance, and Rich Hall’s last appearance until much later, which is sad, because we’re gonna lose two of QI’s resident grumps, but on the plus side…we still have Chris Addison for a little while. I know people don’t seem to like him, especially on Mock the Week, but he’s an amazingly funny fellow who’s won several emmys for directing Veep, and even if he’s mostly gonna be playing the defensive tonight, he’ll definitely be a good presence against said grumps.

The buzzers are cool tonight. Jack’s is a lightsaber noise, which he uncharacteristically gets a kick out of, and mimes wielding. Rich’s is a loud clang/thunder clap, which he shrugs off.

The show-long runner involves a set of symbol cards, which the panelists have to decipher. Alan, of course, has the right idea.
Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 5.05.33 PM.png

Alan: “THAT’s Lady Gaga…”

Also, as Stephen explains the Nobody Knows card, and Chris and Alan hold theirs up, the NOBODY KNOWS sound effect blares in, giving Alan a nice heart attack there.

Stephen’s going on about the invention of lamps and bulbs.
Rich: ‘Well, what did moths do before then?”
Stephen: “I mean…how come moths don’t come out during the day if they’re so fond of the bluddy light…”

Chris: “You know, Edison electrocuted an elephant- this is one of my favorite facts of all time-”
Alan: “I think you know this because you saw it on QI…”
[or Bob’s Burgers…]
Chris: “Yeah, the problem with joining you people so late is that you’ve already covered basically all of human knowledge…”
Alan: “I’m listening to the story going ‘…now this rings a bell…'”

On the people that turned on the lights in Blackpool, including Jayne Mansfield, Michael Ball, and Dale Winton
Rich: “Ohhh, they should have electrocuted him…”

Stephen, going on: “But it cost them 50,000 pounds worth of ele-”
Alan, misreading: “TO GET DALE WINTON??”

Chris: “Pancho Villa actually took his name from his grandfather, which is one of the best names I’ve ever heard-”
Rich: “Aston.”
Chris, getting it: “…Aston Villa? No, it was Jesus. Jesus Villa, which just sounds like the Pope’s summer home…”

Stephen says that Pancho Villa’s war was staged by the American film business. For more information, watch the 2003 HBO film ‘And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself’. No, seriously. It’s got Antonio Banderas in it.

Chris Addison’s tactic, which is a lot more visible now that Dara’s not with him, is very information based, with a ‘this is what I know about the topic’, but not in the Sessions way of being pedantic.

There’s an even better conversation on what Pancho Villa’s last words were, as he was killed while in his car.
Jack: “It may have just been ‘reverse’.
Rich: “or ‘CUT!'”

Rich: “I think the number one rule of war photographers is ‘always run towards the shot when everyone else is running from it’…which, I think, weeds a lot of people out right away…I’m gonna shoot WEDDINGS.”
Dear god, I missed him..

On the ‘transparent coat’ subject, Stephen and Alan bring up the invisible Ford Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as well as some Romulan technology. Lots of very geeky moments, especially considering the lightsaber moment with Jack.

AND THEN, Stephen mentions Jim Lovell, and Rich is very quick with ‘oh, the Apollo 13 guy…’. Man, the references are just FLYING today. Add that to just some really cool stuff i’m not writing all of down, and this is a pretty cool one so far.

I’m very disappointed, because Chris brings up that his main subject is the moon, and I was expecting Rich to pipe in and go ‘WHICH MOON ARE WE TALKING ABOUT STEPHEN?’ I mean, we just had one earlier this season, so it could be worse.

Stephen: “Tell me something interesting about the original geishas.”
Jack: “They’re all men.”
Stephen: ‘YES!”
Jack: “…oh god…”

I’ve noticed that this season there’s been at least one instance per episode of introducing a visual, or tactile, aid for the panelists to expand upon a subject with. In talking about the hydro-gel beads, there’s a bowl of water with a bunch of them in front of each pairing, and they’re allowed to explore. This is slowly working toward the weekly prop-segment Stephen will institute next series, but it’s still loose enough to give good moments.

Jack, on the hydro-gel: “Might have a play around with that later…”
Stephen tries to move on, but can’t, as the whole place erupts, as Jack cheekily looks around.
Alan: “Jack’s gonna put his willy in it!”
Jack: “I’ve already put it in that one…”
Alan: “…it’s weird, because when he put it in, you couldn’t see it…”

Stephen: “Why can’t blindfolded people walk in a straight line?”
Alan: “Can’t see where they’re going…..NNNNNEXT QUESTION!”

I love how in the midst of being grumpy and pervy, Jack Dee manages to have a brilliant point about why people can’t walk in a straight line while blindfolded. Again, beneath the character’s exterior is a legitimately smart person.

And now, one of the greatest klaxons in the show’s history. Stephen commands the panel, the viewing audience, and everyone watching, to close their eyes and point to where they think is Northeast.
And then everyone in the room, INCLUDING ME AT HOME, gets a klaxon for going the wrong way.

Stephen: “You were pointing down for some reason.”
Alan: “Nonsense, I was just stretching me leg…”

Stephen: “Closest was Chris, I think.”
Jack, after Chris’ huge day: “You’re not gonna tell me Chris gets points for THAT as well…”

Stephen: “What use, to a pilot, is a Morning Glory?”
Alan, already seeing this the wrong way: ‘AAAH…”
Chris: “Well, when your joystick fails…”

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 11.12.11 PM.pngThe audience reacts even more now that THIS is on the behind-screen.
Alan: “I think it’s the co-pilot’s joystick as well…”
Chris: “That’s why they always sound so relaxed! ‘Morning ladies and gentlemen….mmmmmmm….”

Stephen: “What can you tell me about an Indian Granny Cloud?”
Alan: “…is it a fart, in a restaurant…”
Jack: “Or do they go up in the sky and they can’t remember what they went up for?”

Stephen: “Name the largest black body in the solar system.”
Rich: “Oprah Winfrey”
HUGE audience reaction.

Stephen: “How long does light from the center of the sun take to reach the earth?”
Alan: “Now……….I know this….it might not be in the center because that’s a trick, but light from the sun takes 8 minutes.”
Stephen: “…..mmmmmmmm”

Stephen: “How many earths would you be able to fit in the sun?”
Alan: “Four. EASILY,”

Overall: Light and fun, if uneven. The fact of the matter is you had three people playing very separate games, to varying degrees of success. Nobody really came together on anything. I mean, it was a funny show, had some good moments, but the collaborative force (that will likely be very present next show with Phill, David and Jo) was gone. Jack had his best show in his last show, Chris had some great lines, and Rich, in his last show for years, was quieter than he’s even been.

MVP: Jack
Best Guest: Chris
Show Winner: Rich
Best QI Fact: hydro-gel
Best Runner: blindfolded walking in a straight line.

QI Watchdown: I4 (Indecision), or ‘IT’S TRUE, GIRLFRIEND!’

So far, this season of QI has been more than making up for the quieter, less amusing Series H. Up next, we have a combination that’s never really failed on QI, and that’s Jimmy Carr, Phill Jupitus and Rich Hall. All 3 have carried funny episodes on their own, and all three are wholly capable of collaborating.

Right off the bat, Stephen asks why someone was thrown out of the Magic Circle.
Jimmy: “Was he using…REAL magic?”

Phill reveals the trick was ‘find the Lady’, or ‘3-card Monty’ as they call it in America.
Jimmy: “I rather prefer calling it ‘3-Card Monty’ myself, because…’Find the Lady’…I had a really bad experience in Thailand once…”
Stephen: “Did you feel a bit of a dick?”

Phill, on the ‘Find the Lady’ demonstration: “…right, you three put money on a card each, and I’ll stick this [hundred] in a lady’s knickers from the audience…”
Stephen: “That’s a whole different game. That’s a whole other lady to find.”
Phill, standing by it: “There’s a lady that’s put her hand up, Stephen…”
Stephen: “She put her hand up what?”
Phill: Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 12.24.57 AM.png

During Stephen’s discussion on tossing, as he holds a wad of money up, someone from the audience sprints onstage, yells ‘AAAH!’, grabs the money and leaves, prompting an audible ‘what the fuck?’ from Stephen.
There’s a few beats where nobody really knows what to think.
Stephen, finally: “…I think somebody thought it was real money.”
Alan, to the audience: “I’M NOT IN ON THAT! I just want you all to know…”

Great moment: Stephen asks, in all earnest, who expected the Spanish Inquisition.
Jimmy: “Was it, uh…no.”
The fact is that they were all waiting to make the Monty Python reference…none of them actually did.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 12.30.38 AM.pngJimmy: “Was it the Klu Klux Klan? Because those two fellows…”
Phill: “I’m sorry, I thought that was the Pet Shop Boys…”

Stephen: “The fact is that the Spanish Inquisition always gave you 30 days notice.”
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 12.32.15 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 12.31.40 AM

Stephen, trying to continue: “If you were selected to be-”
Phill, miming a phone call: “Hello, is there a Mr. Rabinowitz? Yeah, it’s the Inquisition here…HOW AAARE YOU…listen, we’re gonna come ’round and we’re gonna pull your balls through your mouth.”
Jimmy: “We’re in the area…but only for the next 30 days…”
Rich: “So ya had to wait around the house all day. They’d be there ‘between 8 and 5’…”
Stephen: “Yeah, ‘torture my neighbor, I won’t be in’…”

Rich guesses the Spanish Inquisition was started in 1483, which Stephen is dumbfounded by, as it’s shocking close.
Stephen: “Was that a guess?”
Rich: [starts dealing out the fake money from earlier.]

Stephen: “It’s actually 1478, but you’re 5 years off-”
Rich: “Well originally it was 5 years- they’d call you and say they were coming around within the next 5 years…”

In the audience tonight is a winner of the IgNobel Prize, a guy who did research on scrotal asymmetry.
Jimmy: “I’ve got an issue- maybe you could help, because you’re an expert…”
Chris: “Perhaps I should examine you afterwards, it’s probably easier…”
Jimmy: “I think I should explain- one of mine is bigger than the other two…”

Chris: “Usually the right one is higher, and the left one is lower…and that’s the normal way around…”
Rich: “wait a minute…”
Phill: Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 12.43.33 AM.png
Stephen: “PHILL, IT’S OKAY…”

Chris brings up the Aristotelian theory that testicles were used as sort of ‘weights’ to lower voices in people.
Jimmy: “And that’s NOT the case?”
Phill: “THAT is why Barry White never ran marathons…”

Phill, noticing the mouse on the behind-screen: “I think…if I were to stage an all-mouse production of West Side Story…”

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 12.49.14 AM.png

Alan: “The way this is set up, though, it does look like the hippo’s slowly sneaking up on the mouse…”

Stephen: “What could an Irishman never be if he didn’t have nipples.”

Stephen asks what the tactic is to make the correct decision, and he gives a hint by taking a drink.
Phill: “Drink lots of water!”
Stephen: “Yes, so that in forty minutes’ time-”
Alan: “You’ll be in the loo and you won’t have to make the decision…”

Stephen confirms that people make their best decisions when they really have to go to the loo.
Phill, absolute disbelief: “SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”

Phill: “I think I’m gonna do Celebrity Mastermind now. Just 20 bottles of Evian before I go on…”
And he just starts writhing around, uncontrollably, in his seat, needing a wee.
Jimmy: “Red Orange Hitler- I’m trying to think what that would be the answer to…WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALIST SUBJECT???”
Phill, naturally: “…PAINTING!”

There’s a great moment that goes unnoticed by half the room. Stephen talks of twins that committed a robbery, and went unconvicted because police couldn’t tell them apart.
Jimmy: “What if they were conjoined twins?”
Alan, in the background: “If we get caught, split up!”
Phill laughs here, but Stephen’s explaining so nobody else really does.

There’s a discussion on Identity Parades, and Stephen brings up the money-thief from earlier, and SURE ENOUGH…
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 1.13.04 AM.png
Stephen: “Was it #1, Stealing Our Money
or #2, stealing our hearts…or is it just me?
#3, stealing himself for a spanking
or #4…stealing a format idea from Never Mind the Buzzcocks…”

Before Phill can even respond, Rich gets an idea:
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 1.14.41 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-06-05 at 1.14.28 AM.png

Stephen asks everyone to give who they thought the culprit was, and asks Phill to go first.
Jimmy: “This isn’t fair, Phill’s had much more experience in this game than any of us…PHILL’S BUILT A CAREER on this game…”
Alan: “…he knows which one is in the Kooks…”
Phill does laugh at this one.
Phill: “Just stick a bass-player in there for me…”

Stephen, post-ID Parade: “Shows it isn’t always useful having an ID Parade-”
Phill: “It is on a pop quiz…”
Rich: “I got it right, too! You know how I got it right? I wet my pants!”

Stephen, top of GI: “Who was the first person to go ’round the world in 80 days?”
Jimmy: “Michael Palin…”
Jimmy: “REALLLY?”

Stephen discloses it’s a real person, and that it’s not Phileas Fogg

I will say…I’m kind of disappointed that none of the panelists knew it was Nellie Bly because I knew that from a Hollywood Squares question.

Stephen, on finding the genitalia of chicks, phrases it as “in 1929, the Japanese finally found a way to sex chicks, and-”
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 1.25.02 AM.png

Stephen: “1927, at the World Poultry Congress in Ottawa, it was-”
Phil, in hysterics: “THE *WHAT?*”
Alan: “That is a LOT of chickens…”

Stephen says that may have been a very big gig at one point, and Jimmy says ‘I probably did the last 15 minutes of it one year without knowing it.”
Stephen: “We’ve all been there. I once did Phillips’ Small Appliances.”
Alan, taking this the exact wrong way: “Poor boy…”
Stephen: “It was a long time ago-”
Alan: “Leave his appliances alone!”
Stephen: “…which is why I won’t have him in the house anymore…”

Stephen: “And the Zen-Nippon Chicken Sexing School was founded…”
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 1.30.10 AM.png

Jimmy: “…and you’re looking at a graduate!”

Stephen, on sexing techniques: “You’re not going to like this- they do a slight squeeze-”
Alan: “And if they go ‘OW!’- GIRL.”
Jimmy: “and if they go…’steady on, mate’…”

Stephen: “In Norfolk, there is a community of Vietnamese Turkey Sexers…”
Stephen: “I’m sorry-”
Phill, miming a gun to his head: “WHAT SEXY CHICKEEEEENNN…YOU TELL ME NOWWWWW..”
Stephen: “I know it sounds-”
Alan: “They live in tunnels under the fence…”

It’s great- Stephen asks what direction the moon sets in, and I already know there are two running gags that could be in play here. Rich, thankfully, sets off one by going “which moon are we talking about here, Stephen…”
Rich turns around in awe.
Jimmy: “This show is getting TOUGH…”

I am very sad that when Stephen asks ‘where does the moon set’, Phill didn’t buzz in and go ‘IT’S NOT THERE!’ But at least we got a ‘Rich and Cruithne’ moment out of this.

Phill wins, and he’s absolutely flustered. He turns to Alan and goes “I don’t know how that happened. I have NO IDEA how that happened…”

Overall: Our 3rd A+ of the season, and we’re already four episodes in. Jesus, Series I is just THAT GOOD. The panel was even sharper than it’s been all series, with literally everyone jumping in at all times, even Rich, who acted like he did back in Series B tonight, even if he did bring up the rear in the edit. Jimmy also had a good night, but his jokes didn’t always hit. Alan and Phill were tremendous tonight, not only in giving some of the best lines of the show, but just having so much fun together, joking aside and helping each other out with jokes. You can tell Phill and Alan are quite friendly outside the show. A ton of moments, like the Chicken Sexing discussion, Rich bringing up Cruithne again, and Phill getting yet another ID Parade, truly stand out.

MVP: Alan
Best Guest: Phill
Show Winner: Phill
Best QI Fact: Chicken Sexing
Best Runner: Rich and the fake money.

QI Watchdown: H13 (Holidays)

After a siesta from QI to finish up Series 25 of Buzzcocks, I figured we’d dip back into a series that has taken over a year to finish, with an enjoyable looking episode, featuring a matchup that last hung together on QI back in Series C, in Campanology- Bill Bailey, Rich Hall and Rob Brydon. Rich has been quiet so far this series, but Rob and Bill have had some standout episodes, and putting them all together for a semi-Christmas episode is an inspired idea.

The episode begins with an odd digression, where Stephen gives all four panelists a country, and they have to come up with a quite interesting fact about them. Bit of a gamble.

Rob talks about going to Hungary, and on a picture of some spandex-decked Hungarians, Stephen asks him if they all dressed like that.
Rob: “Well I did, which was a bit odd…with the long sock-”

Rob’s fact involves hands, so everyone starts guessing
Alan: “They don’t wipe their bums!”
Rob: “I don’t think there’s a need for that, Alan…”

Alan: “They DO wipe their bums…but they don’t use their hands to do it…”
Rob, very confused: “How else would- UNLESS YOU HAD ANOTHER APPENDAGE BACK THERE…”

Bill gets distracted by Rob’s ‘welsh harp’ buzzer
Bill: “It’s like whenever you press the buzzer we go back in time. Like, TELL US ABOUT IT…TELL US…”
(Harp noise)
Rob: “It’s 1974, and goulash…”

Rob attempts a bad joke on Alan’s stamp-collecting story.
Rob: “I collected stamps myself, when I was about that age, and eventually I gave it up, because I thought to myself ‘philately will get you nowhere…'”
The audience groans.
Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 11.06.47 PM.png
(Harp noise)
Rob: “I collected stamps when I was an early teenager, and, uh, I loved it.”
Stephen: “YES! GOOD!”

Bill, on Bhutan: “It’s written into the constitution that the forest area of Bhutan shall never dip below 60%.”
Alan: “And the cows are not allowed to fart.”

Even though that the Holiday Report bit is imperfect, and just involves pre-show googling, Rich Hall being Rich Hall makes it all worthwhile, in describing Hawaii
“This wood is called willy-willy…which means ‘Willy’ twice.”

Rich says that Hawaii has twelve letters in the language.
Rob: “Five of those are ‘o’…”
Audience: “….”
Rob: “…Hawaii 5-0?”
Audience: *groans*
Bill: “Some of his jokes come with a pamphlet…”

Stephen: “Where in the world are you most likely to see fish falling from the skies?”
Rich: “Oooh. Sardinia.”
To the audience’s credit, they do applaud this one. Adv- Rich.

Alan: “How much, in comparison, does a human excrete in a year?…I’m looking at you, and I’m like ‘How would you know that?’
Stephen: “I mean…”

Stephen talks of the Unluckiest Man in the World, and says, as his name is Yamaguchi, that he’s from somewhere beginning with H.
Bill: “…Holland?”
Alan: “HARWICH!”

This question’s about the fellow who lived through both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, whom Stephen says “was a very cheerful fellow” after the fact.
Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 11.29.25 PM.png
Bill: “Doesn’t look so cheerful there.”
Stephen: “Yes, well..wedged between two mushroom clouds…”
Bill: “He’s going ‘AW, NO…IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN!”

Rob: “I mean, is the glass half full, is the glass half empty? Well, either way, it’s radioactive, so don’t drink from it…”

30 minutes into the episode, Rich gets the first Klaxon of the show by saying that the tree in question requires moss.

This is a pretty light episode, but Rich does revert back to his old tactic of giving out information for points ‘you can float a pine needle on the water…you know, just to kill time…”

Stephen reveals a fact that if we’re blindfolded and told to walk in a straight line, within 66 feet we’ll have ended up back where we’ve started, and asks why this is.
Alan: “Homing pigeons. We’re descended from homing pigeons.”
Bill: “What, we’re asymmetrical?”
Stephen: “What, one foot shorter than the other?”
Rob: “We have a lot of loose change in one pocket.”

Once the first GI question, which is which country contains the most of the river Nile, Bill is giddily quick to get the Klaxon for ‘Egypt’. Alan just keeps spitballing: “CHAD! UGANDA! BELGIUM!”

There’s a great moment where Stephen asks if land in between belongs to Sudan or Egypt. Bill guesses Sudan on a whim, and gets the Klaxon.
Bill: “Could have been the other one, then…”
Alan: “Yeah, the one above…”

Alan does ask what a similar striped territory is, next to the one in question.
Bill: “Oh, wait a minute, isn’t that the loose coalition area between Egypt and Sudan? The lib dems- THE LIB DEMS OWN IT!”

Stephen says that, because of the oil wealth of the second territory, neither territory wants to claim ownership of the first, which is smaller and arid.
Alan, to Bill: “it’s available, let’s snap it up!”
Rob: “So this is ongoing?”
Alan: “Yeah, meanwhile Saudi Arabia have tunneled beneath the red sea…and STOLEN THE TRIANGLE!”

Stephen, as a last-question stinger, reveals that the age of consent in Vatican City is TWELVE!
Stephen: “There are odd reasonings behind it-”
Rob: “I think we know what the reason is, Stephen…”

Stephen: “What would you say is the population of Vatican City?”
Alan: “Five.”
Bill: “Eight…..hundred…’

Stephen also says that Vatican City has the highest crime rate in Europe.
Rich, deadpan: “Lot of eleven year olds getting married…”

Overall: The only momentum this show had was gained in the last fifteen minutes- before then it was quiet, with only a few tremors. When the dynamic here was on, it was alright, but this is a very ho-hum episode from a great panel. Nobody did a particularly bad job, though Rich was, like usual this series, quiet, and Bill and Rob were funny, but there weren’t a ton of funny moments until GI. Also, the Holiday Report that opened the show did a bit to slow the dynamic. An imperfect show, but not horrible.

MVP: Bill
Best Guest: Rob
Show Winner: Rob
Best QI Fact: Vatican City
Best Runner: Rob’s jokes.

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: S9E8 or ‘Or #5…AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!’

Now, with our Search for the Lost Buzzcocks Episodes, onto yet another Rich Hall episode that Youtube wouldn’t let me see. Also, this is probably the last Sean Hughes episode we’ll be getting on this ‘lost episodes’ journey, unless S6E9 comes my way anytime soon.

Alesha Dixon from Mys-Teeq is also here, as well as Jo Breezer, pop solo artist, and Richard McNamara from Yorkshire soft-rockers Embrace.

Rich does have a legendary monologue about Destiny’s Child: “I do know a lot about this band. They’ve had horrible luck choosing…originally they were gonna be called Megadeth…and it turned out somebody already had that name, so they went with Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass…horrible luck. These three were actually backup singers for a 6-month-old rapper. He was called Dez the Tiny Child.”
Mark: “He had a very good first album, called The Afterbirth.”
Rich: “And, uh-”
Sean: “Dead now, of course.”
Rich: “Yeah, he was dropped by his record company…on his head.”
And you wonder why people love having him on panel shows.

Sean, reading the 3rd intro: “So Rich, did you spend your childhood in England?”
Rich: “…..no.”
Sean: “Well…doesn’t matter WHAT we do, here…”

Rich, trying to figure it out: “It’s some kind of…”
Sean: “…song!”

Mark: “Crystal Gale’s mother gave birth to no less than 8 children. At that point, I’m guessing it wasn’t her brown eye that was blue…”
Most of the panel slumps over the desk in laughter after that one.

Mark keeps having fun with the clip from ‘Stand and Deliver’, first with how his performance of ‘Where did our love go’ sounded (with the opening drums of Stand and Deliver spliced in), and then how it sounded when he fell into the orchestra pit at a gig, that time while smirkingly setting up the sound clip (and cracking up at just the sound of Adam Ant’s yelling, to represent the fall).

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 11.42.59 PM.png

Mark setting up the audio clip, knowing exactly what’s coming

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 11.43.30 PM.png

Once the screaming Adam Ant kicks in

Richard, after a mark-interrupted intro: “I know what it is?”
Phill: “What?”
Richard, after a beat, sinks and puts his head in his arms.
Phill: “…THEN YOU DON’T!!!”

Great bit with Sean’s ID Parade- both Sean and Mark know it’s #3, and keep trying to convince Alesha it is, in fact him (she thinks it’s #2). When the real one is announced, #3 brings 2 and 4 up with him, jokingly.

Phill says this is gonna be tough, because he doesn’t remember seeing the orchestra conductor’s face, but Mark says they’d cut around to the front.
Mark: “Unless one of them turns ’round and goes like this”
Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 12.01.32 AM

Mark goes over and tries to help Jo through all five of the ID Parade.

Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 12.02.30 AM.png

Mark: “Would you go for #1, the one nearest to us?”
Jo: “No.”
Mark: “Or #2, the one with the 2 on his badge?”

Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 12.03.33 AM.png

(Now #3 is laughing…)

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Mark: “Or #4, who’s never been to the big city before. Or #5….AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!”

Richard, after #2 is revealed: “We were robbed. I think he was lyin”
Mark: “There’s a lot of charlatan Simon Parks around.”

Mark: “I’m the dandy highwayman that you’re too scared to mention”
Sean, remembering the Adam Ant runner: “DOO-DOOT-DOO-DOOT-DOO-DOOT. AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!! DOO-DOOT-DOO-DOOT!”

Mark: “I’m the one and only”
Rich: “Koo-koo-ka-choo”
Mark: “…are you just making baby sounds now?”

Overall: Without Rich we’d have a hell of a clunker. Aside from a great Intros round and a pretty nice ID Parade for Phill, we don’t have a ton going on other than some Rich quips. Of the rest, Alesha did the most, and Jo was kinda sweet, but the panel was mostly quiet, and it was mostly Mark doing the heavy lifting. Still, from the Adam Ant joke alone, I will probably rewatch this one.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Rich
Best Runner: Adam Ant

Nevermind Watchdown: S7E10

Well, as I am allowed to say this since a member of Slade is on hand tonight, IIIIIIIIIITTTTT’S CHRRRISSSSTMAAAAASSSSS!!!!

Tonight’s long-delayed Series 7 Christmas Episode, brought back thanks to the quest for the lost episodes, features Rich Hall, Dave Hill from Slade, the last appearance of one of the members of the NMTB old guard, Tony “Not Metal, Don’t Know” Wright, and Daytime TV host Lorraine Kelly

Heck, Mark even recycles the ‘Christmas is about one man…but we couldn’t get Noddy Holder’ joke from last time. At least now Dave Hill’s in the room.

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Rich, on Bon Jovi and Kim Wilde: “She’s also got two doorbells…she’s clearly STOLEN Jon Bon Jovi’s doorbell…I don’t understand it, why are there two doorbells? Is it a doorbell to GET INTO the doorbell?”

Sean makes a joke that Lorraine Kelly’s on the wrong program, “because R. Kelly’s doing a makeover program next door…”

Rich: “Alright, this is a longshot…she’s wearing a polka-dot dress
Mark, not amused: “yeah…”
Rich: “…polka…polish dance…Poland invaded by Hitler…DIDN’T WANT TO, but he had Goebbels up his ass. Cindy Crawford…went out with Richard Gere…”

Sean: “Is it to do with Chris Evans? Cause I know Kim used to go out with Chris Evans- actually, is it to do with Chris Evans showing up at parties? Cause he’s decided he’s not going to Bon Jovi’s party, hence the big smile. Kim gets the shock of her life- Chris Evans has turned up at her Christmas party. Cause they broke up after Chris beat her senseless…”
Mark: “Did he?”
Sean: “…at Monopoly.”
Rich: “beat her to a Pulp….concert.”
Mark: “How many more of these are there?”
Sean: “He knocked her flying….lessons, said ‘oh, these are very expensive…’

Sean: “Jon Bon Jovi was supposed to DJ once on Chris Evans’ show, but the government wouldn’t let him because he didn’t have a work permit.”
Rich, hearing this, scurries offstage.
Sean: “Rich, I’ll marry ya! Come back, it’ll be legal!”

Sean: “Are both their records being used to reinforce sand bags during the flooding?”
Mark, knowing when this is broadcast: “Which, you may remember, happened a few months ago…”
Sean: “AND STILL CONTINUE TO THIS DAY…I think we’ve got that covered…”

Phill: “Tony, have you got anything-”
Mark: “Oh, I was looking forward to this. The ‘Tony, Have You Got Anything’ portion of the show…”

Tony, on Sinead O’Connor: “No, she is a woman of the cloth…”
Sean: “A cleaner?”
Tony: “…she did have a pledge!”
(Everyone loses it. Tony, as dim as he can be, is really damn funny at times)

Rich, guessing an intro: “They’re doing…Rockin’ Robin. It’s Christmastime!”
Mark: “A robin’s a christmas related bird, I think.”
Rich: “It’s winter! The robins are dead at Christmas!”
Mark: “…really?”
Rich: “They’re dead, they’re falling out of the frozen trees, it’s a sick premise!”
Mark: “But on Christmas cards, I don’t know if you have them over there, but we have robins on the front–albeit dead, pressed ones…”

Dave, trying to explain to Tony what instrument he’s miming: “This is a hobo”
Mark: “A HOBO??? Is this the Puff Daddy Orchestra?”

Mark, like usual, just lets Tony struggle in intros, this time by letting Dave give him hints for ‘A Winter’s Tale’ “because I know you’re never gonna get it.”
The closest he gets is ‘A Cold Winter’s Tale’.
Mark: “You’re very close”
Tony: “A Chilly Winter’s Tale?”

After the song’s been played, Mark: “A Cold Winter’s Tale? As opposed to all the warm winters we’ve been having…”

Dave: “Does he need us to do it again?”
Phill: “Please, for the love of God, no.”
Mark: “I’ve had easier-moving Boxing Day shits than this…”

Mark: “Lorraine, I know you know it…but hold on, I’m gonna give him an anagram…Christmas Merry Wombling…”
Tony: “…Merry Christmas Wombling! Wombling Christmas Merry!”
Mark, to Phill: “….he didn’t get it, didn’t he?”
Phill: “Nah.”

Mark: “Mike Batt’s big break came on Top of the Pops, when he stood behind Jimmy Savile waving in his Wombles suit. It’s the only time in history of television that children have run TOWARDS Jimmy Savile.”

This is great- f0r Phill (and Dave’s) ID Parade, they have to pick out who plays Noddy Holder in a Slade tribute band.

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once #3 is shown, there’s a definite audience reaction. The guy looks around, wondering what’s so funny.
Mark’s name for #3 is ‘Bill Oddie Noddy’. Which makes the audience laugh harder.
#4 is ‘ShowwoddyNoddy’
And #5, “and I’m really uncomfortable saying this, ‘If I said you had a beautiful Noddy would you hold it against me'”

Dave, on the confounding fake Noddys: “Has this been personally put on to annoy me?”
Mark: “No, YOU’VE been- never mind…”

Tony: “I’ve got #2 down, because all the other 4…3?…no, 4…”
Sean: “No wonder your gigs take so long, Tony. “1…5…2..GO!”

Sean, on the Mel C’s mom choices: “It’s not #2, because she plays Dave in the Slade tribute band…”

Sean: “#1 could be Baby Spice’s…uh…sister.”
Mark: “Oh, you smooth talker…”

Mark jokingly admits he didn’t know that Jesus was born on Christmas Day
Dave: “Actually, he wasn’t born on Christmas Day, but that’s another story…”

Next Lines: “And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime.”
Rich: “…NO SHIT.”

Mark: “Frosty the Snowman was a happy, jolly soul.”
Sean: “…and then he met, Dave, and…now he’s a bit pear-shaped…”

Mark: “…AS IF THE TORTURE WASN’T ENOUGH…the scores are equal.”

Sean, guessing the tiebreak: “43 seconds.”
Sean: “I want Phill to win! I want him to have a happy Christmas.”
Mark: “Yes, but that means Dave has one too…”
Sean: “Oh, do we have to WATCH the clip? 4 seconds.”

The end of this episode is Anne Robinson telling Mark he’s the Weakest Link, which must have been a pretty topical joke then…

Overall: FANTASTIC Christmas show, with a solid panel, consistently funny games, running gags that kept coming, things for all three regulars to do, and lots of Rich Hall lines. This was a nice last hurrah for Tony, and he had a hysterical, if inept, showing. Dave was in a great mood, even in being lampooned, and Lorraine, while bringing up the rear, still did a fine job. Good stuff all around.

Best Regular: Sean
Best Guest: Rich
Best Runner: Tony in Intros


Best Episode: Episode 2, featuring Daphne & Celeste annoying the hell out of Mark, Par Wiksten being surprisingly edgy for a musician, Graham Gouldman being himself, and Mark going for the jugular with every goddamn joke.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 10, this very one, featuring Rich Hall being Rich Hall, Tony Wright absolutely bombing at Intros and Dave Hill being tortured by Noddy Holder lookalikes.
Worst Episode: Episode 3. Man, there was just NOTHING GOOD about this one. Just boring all the way through.
Best Regular: Mark, for being his angriest yet this season, which was a good sign for the future of the program.
Best Musician Guest: Alvin Stardust, Episode 9, for taking the opportunity and having fun with it, and having fun with Mark. Runner up goes to Per Wiksten.
Best Comedian Guest: So much competition this year, but I’m going with Rich Hall, Episode 10, for completely dominating his episode. Sean Lock, Bob Mortimer, Johnny Vegas and Dave Gorman were all considered.
Most Confused Guest: John Entwistle, Episode 1.. A shame, too.
Best Dartboard for Mark (and Everyone): David Soul, Ep. 8. So. Many. Starsky and Hutch Jokes.
Most Annoying Guests: Daphne and Celeste, Episode 2. I believe they nearly broke Mark.

Nevermind Watchdown: S12E07 or HELLO, BARBARA…

Another blast from the past, this one’s a Rich Hall episode (YAAAAYYYY!), also featuring Christian O’Connell, who last appeared on the same panel as Pete Burns (poor guy)

Guy McKnight was a member of Eighties Matchbox, a hard-ish rock band, Nick Bracegirdle’s a member of electronic group Chicane.

Phill, bringing up Tatu for the Gareth Gates clip: “There’s Russian lesbians in the charts and I have to watch Gareth Gates videos. It just doesn’t seem fair.”
Mark: “Have you HEARD that record? It does seem fair.”

Christian says the driver in the Gates video is Stevie Wonder, and it’s his doing that winds Gareth into showing up late to the gig.
Rich: “Can I just point out that this man is white?”

Mark has Guy, who’s not saying much at all, say hello to his mother, which Guy reads at his own mother, so he goes “Hello to my mother!”
Mark: “No, my mother! Her name’s Barbara!”

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Mark: “Those girls are looking really into that gig, ain’t they?”
Bill: ‘Girl in the blue looks bored out of her mind.”
Rich: “That’s cause her knees have been mangled.”
Bill: “She actually has 3 knees. ‘Now, I got three knees, and I’ve gotta listen to this.hm..”

Rich: “Now look at the guy on the right. There’s a kid on the right- that’s their manager.”
Bill: “The poor guy looks horrified. He’s thinking ‘if I just run across the stage and pull that lede out, maybe then the horrible noise will stop…”

Mark, after reading the German answer: “it WOULD HAVE caused an international incident, but the UN went “….ehhh, it’s Deep Purple…”

After Christian says he doesn’t know what Phill’s 1st intro is.
Nick: “Where do you work?”
Mark: “He’s on XFM.”
Nick: “Is that like a music thing?”
Mark: “Well…sometimes. They do chat a bit in between the records.”
Nick: “So…you don’t know what that is?”
Christian: “Not the sort of song we’d play…”
Mark, raising an eyebrow: “How d’you know?”
Christian: “Dunno the sound of it.”
Mark: “You don’t know what it is! It might be exactly the sort of thing ya do play! But done badly.”
Nick: “I am very, very disappointed in ya.”
Mark: “I am disappointed in him, but not because of that.”
Nick: “It sounds like an Erasure record!”
Christian: “Is it, Erasure, I Love to Hate You?”
Nick: “BOLLOCKS! I just said that!”
Mark, devilishly: “…Not in the finished show, you didn’t!”

Rich is wonderful on this show, even if he’s not too keen on modern music. Within 3 seconds of Bill and Nick’s 1st intro, he already goes ‘I don’t know it…’

Mark: “T. Rex’s percussionist Steve Peregrine Took took his name from a character from Lord of the Rings. Coincidentally, one of our team captains got his face from a character in Lord of the Rings.”

Rich: “Uhhh…#1”
Mark: “Okay, that’s that!”
Rich: “You know anything about any missing equipment around the East German border…TELL THE TRUTH.”
#1: ‘…….’

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Rich: “#4 looks like an Elvis impersonator…had Elvis lived…”

Nick: “#1 does have a Chas and Dave thing about him…”
Mark: “You’re right, #1 does look a bit like him…”
Nick: “I think it’s the hat, though.”
Mark: “…yeah, AND the face…”

So Mark and Guy have an argument about what the actual lyrics to Guy’s song are, as they’re not printed correctly on the card.
Mark: “Let’s try it this way. What comes after ‘it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.”
Guy: “I want to fuck your mother…”

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Mark’s immediate reaction

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Rich’s absolutely befuddled expression

Phill, harkening back to earlier: “…HELLO BARBARA…”

Mark: “God, I can’t believe I’m gonna give someone a point for saying they wanna fuck my mom…HOW MANY QUIZZES does that happen on?”

Mark: “Your time starts….NOW.”
Rich, thinking it’s a question: “THE END IS NEAR.”
Mark: “No” (cracks up)
Rich, outraged: “OH, COME ON!”
Mark: “I’ll give you a point for that, fair enough…”

Mark: “Set me free why don’t ya babe.”
Rich: “You just keep me hanging on.”
Mark: “You do, but that’s not the next line.”
Rich, out of options: “…I wanna fuck your mother.”

Mark, after the umpteenth ‘i’ll give you that’: ‘We’re gonna run til midnight…”
Rich: “…at the oasis…”

Overall: Really nice show, better than Ep. 6, with a lot more fun stuff from Rich and Christian. Guy’s quietness gave a lot of material, especially toward the end, and Nick was actually in a nice mood. Still, Rich gave the funniest stuff, as he does seem to enjoy NMTB but his schtick doesn’t always fit, which…he actually uses to his advantage.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Rich
Best Runner: ‘Hello Barbara…’

QI Watchdown: H6 (Happiness)

How appropriate. An episode called ‘Happiness’, and a panel of three people that make me very happy indeed.

The show made a grand success last year by putting Phill and Andy together, and had a less applauded success by putting Phill and Rich together. No sign of an Andy-Rich combo, though.

Tonight’s episode-long runner concerns the audience ‘pleasure gauge’, like the ‘noise-o-meter’ at a sporting event. The meter hits its highest (with laughs), and somebody on the panel gets a bonus point.

Stephen: “What would make Britain a happier place?”
Andy: “Hope?”
Stephen: “The Pope?”
Andy: “No, HOPE, not the Pope!”
Stephen: “I was gonna say, that seemed odd.”
Alan: “I thought you said a GROPE!”
Stephen: “A grope of the Pope-”

Alan: “I think moving us slightly south in order to improve the weather would make us happier-”
Phill: “Could you do that by just putting an outboard motor on Aberdeen?”
Rich: “You’re never in the same latitude. Britain just keeps cruising the globe. Like Somali Pirates…”

Alan: “Give everyone the mental age of six…”
Andy: “Well, the media are working on that, aren’t they?”
Huge audience response.

Stephen: “I mean, six-year olds cry 70 or 80 times a day”
Alan: “Yeah, because they can’t go up and down stairs without falling. Whereas I can.”
Phill: “70 or 80 times- WHERE IS this lachrymose six year old??? What does Uncle Stephen do???”
Stephen: “I try to teach them Latin, I just…”
Alan: “‘not the british museum, agaaainn!”
Stephen: “…don’t…”

Stephen talks about the ‘Make Slough Happy’ campaign
Rich: “I think one of the important things would be to get rid of the name ‘Slough’.”
Stephen: “I fear you’re right. It’s not a very happy name, is it?”
Alan: “Yeah, change it to ‘YIPPEE!'”

Phill talks about trying not to laugh at a mine disaster in the Wanky Colliery
Rich: “It’s like a headline I read in Ireland once- ‘Cork Man Drowns'”
THAT is why Rich Hall is still hysterical. Heck, he even gets a bonus Pleasure Gauge point.
Rich: “You know what…his name was Bob. COME ON!”
Even more applause. At this point all the applause just annoys him.
Rich: “Well…I think I’ve won this. I’m not gonna answer another question.”

Stephen: ‘But how many real friends do you have?”
Rich: “Just one. James Taylor.”
Phill bursts out laughing.

Andy: “Four. Actually, I’m not sure about him. Because he once spiked my drinks and stole my trousers when I was…he’s coming off the list, yeah.”
Phill: “Which d’he do first?”
And Phill holds this jackass-like expression, just getting Andy’s goat.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 12.53.30 AM

This exact jackass expression

Andy just looks at him and goes, like he’s an idiot, “drinks first, Phill”, and goes back to his notes. The Phill-Andy dynamic is actually a pretty good one, only touched on briefly in Gallimaufrey, when Andy stole Phill’s identity for a round.

Stephen: “How can you tell if a friend is really pleased to see you?”
Alan: “They will….be engorged…”
Stephen: “You know 150 people that become engorged at the sight of you?”
Alan: “I know THOUSANDS…”
Phill: “I know Alan well enough for a light twitch…”
Alan: ‘You’re not in my 150, bruv…”

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 1.03.34 AM

Stephen describes this set of photos from a guy trying to find sincerity in smiling by wiring people to smile when they didn’t want to.

Alan: “These are all the QI researchers. Bending over backwards for the show.”

Andy: “Second one from the bottom, he looks like the bloke’s coming in from a different side. He’s been surprised.”
Phill: “Actually, Andy, there is a third probe you can’t see…”

Phill: “I imagine they gave them names, like ‘Fifty Eight, I forgot my mother’s birthday!’ ‘Sixty One, left the gas on!'”
Alan: “That’s not ‘left the gas on’. That’s ‘trod on a cat and it’s died.'”

Stephen: “The Duchenne smile, with only the mouth and not the eyes, is known by people who study this as-”
Alan: “A Gordon Brown.”

On how there’s no tipping in Singapore: “There used to be signs in the little rickshaws and things that said ‘no tipping’.”
Phill: “That’s like something drunk students do. Rickshaw Tipping.”
And then…Stephen gives Phill this look.

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With a subtle little purr attached to it.

And then literally everyone looks at Stephen. Phill’s feeling kind of gratified.
Alan: “That came out out loud, Stephen.”
Stephen: “I’m sorry, I didn’t-”
Andy: “We were all thinking it, but you said it!”

Stephen: “Why was everybody in the world expected to die laughing in 1910?”
Andy: “Was Michael McIntire going on tour?”
Alan: “That IS Arthur Smith on the far right…”

Rich’s story of John McCririck falling out of a boat is a pretty nice one, especially the part where he just gets back in the boat and says “alright, where were we?”, like nothing happened.

Stephen: “So, the bees, they…suck on your misery.”
(Phill laughs)
Stephen: “What, don’t look at me like that!  It sounded rather poetic when it came into my head!”
Phill: “There’s your cue to make your first Heavy Metal album, and you have to call it…suck on my misery.”

The show’s sort of slowing down in the last half, but there’s still some great stuff going around.

Stephen asks what dictates a convincing laugh.
Alan, channeling Johnny Vegas: “Ice cube in the anus.”
Stephen: “….RIGHT. Yeah, that might do SOMETHING…”
Alan: “It’ll make you laugh. Try it later.”

Stephen: “What is the five-pound note made of?”
Alan: “….PAPER.”
Alan: “Let’s just get that one out of the way…”

Overall: Fell off toward the end, but overall a pretty nice episode. Only Andy really stood out, as Phill and Rich gave their usual performances with a few standout lines. Andy’s become very good at weathering a packed QI panel, and Alan had a much more prominent show than his last few.

MVP: Andy
Best Guest: Phill
Show Winner: Phill
Best QI Fact: Bentham’s Front Lawn

(Mr.) Nevermind Watchdown: S14E10, or SPIT OUT THE STRAW!

Bad news is Episode 9’s evading me. Good news is we’re skipping right to Episode 10, featuring the most inexplicable panel combination in NMTB history.

Mike Peters sang lead with the Alarm, of 68 Guns fame. Additionally, Fearne Cotton’s on Bill’s panel, which is always fun. But that pales in comparison to Phill’s. ON ONE TEAM…we have the master of dry humor, Rich Hall, and the ruby-throated booze-hound Amy Winehouse. This…is gonna be good.

Phill: “I mean, Lou Reed’s said to have had affairs with David Bowie…”
Amy: (high pitched MMMM)
Phill: “And Iggy Pop”
Amy: (higher pitched MMMM)
Phill: “The hell is that?”
Amy: “That’s my jewish mother cluck noise, like MMMMMM.”
Mark: “I thought i’d brought a really cheap box of fireworks in tonight.”

Phill: “Bowie you can sort of see. Gentle englishman. “Oh…Yes….Oh…” But WHO’D HAVE SEX WITH IGGY POP? He’s like “RUUUAAAAAUUUGHHHH!”
Mark: “Hold up. I like the way that you did, quite a touching impression of Bowie being buggered there. “OOOOHHH….OHHHH YOU PRETTY THING…” Is this based on something? Is this The Secret Diaries of Adrian Jupitus?”
Phill: “YES!”
Mark: “Gays don’t want to just sleep with everyone…as you know, Phill.”

Phill: “Oh, to get passed over by Iggy….”
Mark: “Is that a Jewish festival?”
Amy even nods approvingly.

Mark asks if anything Amy says is taking out-of-context.
Amy: “I was quoted in saying Dido was bland and Posh was an idiot…”
Mark: “How is that EVER out of context?”

Bill: “David Bowie, he is the chameleon of pop. And you know how to kill a chameleon, right? You put it on a two-toned suit. It’ll go “RED! BLUE! RED! BLUE!”

Bill’s panel keeps playing with the bit in the China Girl video where his chinese girlfriend jumps up quickly out of bed and David spits his straw out, like other things he could react to. Some of them best ones.
Bill: ‘David, there’s no horse in horseradish!’ “WHAT?” (Mark goes ‘in China there is…’)
Bill: “What do you mean there’s a train service in Gatwick that’s cheaper than Gatwick Express?”
Phill: “I’ll have a go at this, this seems like a laugh: ‘David, behind you! Iggy Pop!”
Bill: “Alright, one more. “I’M ACTUALLY…A BLOKE!” “WHAT?”
Phill: “I think Rich has got one.”
Rich: “Ready? “SPIT OUT THE STRAW!””

Mark: “In a way, David Bowie’s music is a perfect reflection of this program. If I look to my left, I see a Space Oddity.”
(Bill’s expression drops.)
Mark: “If I look at Phill’s pants- clearly Under Pressure.”
(Phill just nods. The fat jokes don’t even bother him anymore.)

Thankfully Intros is back this week, but instead they’re doing Instrumental Breaks. As long as the round still exists.

Amy: “You start, I’ll come onto you.”
Phill: “WILL YOU NOW???”
Mark: “They’re all the same, aren’t they, women?”

Rich makes a point that no heroin addict has no hair. “Look at Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, all luxurious heads of hair, all heroin addicts. That must be why they call it hair-oin.”
Later on, he goes “I just thought of one. James Taylor, no hair, heroin addict.”

Rich becomes adamant because he answers a question (That Mark gave him) with ‘Blue Skies’, when the title is Mr. Blue Sky, and he doesn’t get the point.
Mark: “Rich…they HAVE quiz shows in America, right? This isn’t a new thing for you?”
Rich: “Yeah, but on those we get a fuckin’ car…”
Mark even cracks up a little here.

Phill gives Amy some shit for having some very meek sounding guitar solos. “Sounds like a kitten.”
Amy: “But I’m small. I can’t manipulate my voice like you, you’re a big man.”
Phill, taking it the wrong way: ‘WHOA.”
Mark, giving him shit for taking it the wrong way: “In all fairness, she meant you’re really fat. She can’t see the other guest.”

Mark: “Rich, have you got it, then?”
Rich: “Yes, it’s MISTER Free Bird.”

Phill, ID Parade: “I already know who it is, so I’ll let these two answer it. So Rich, on star-power alone-”
Rich: “I’m not answering unless you call me MISTER Rich.”
Phill, as Terry-Thomas: “I SAY, MISTER RICH, WHO D’YOU THINK IT IS?”

Rich, not wanting to pick ‘Mr. #5″: “I think it’s #3.”
Phill: “It’s not. It’s obviously #5.”
Mark: “I’ll give you it if you say #5.”
Rich: “I don’t trust you. I’m gonna go with #6!”
Mark: “Alright, well you can maybe trust Phill, who knows who it is. Max, could you just wave.”
#5 just nonchalantly waves toward the panel.
Mark: “You can maybe trust him…”

Mark: “Alright, Rich, have a guess.”
Rich: “…there’s something sinister about this whole thing…”
Mark: “Alrght, Max, could YOU AND #3 SWAP? NOW who d’you think it is?”
Rich: “…uhhh…”

Mark tells him he’s getting a point anyway, so Rich says “does that mean if we get it right we get that PLUS one point.”
Mark: “Anything so we can all go home eventually.”
Rich: “Amy, you’re Jewish, haggle with him.”

Mark, Next Lines: “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.”
Bill: “You haven’t had your dinner yet.”

Mark: “68 Guns will never die.”
Mike: “Ooo-hooh-ohoo-hooo…”

Mark: “I fell like a lady.”
Mark: “I’m not, but it’s right…”

Mark: “BLUE SKY, Please tell us why.”
Phill: “I think you’ll find it’s MISTER Blue Sky.”
Mark: “*”I* didn’t start there.”

Overall: The jolt of momentum this season needed, especially with all the holes in the season. Hysterical episode with great panel work from all four, even though Phill’s had slightly more disfunction going on with Rich’s Mr. Blue Sky runner, and Amy being in a great mood, and surprisingly sober. Mike and Fearne were pretty great too, and Fearne was a nice little dartboard for Mark.

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Rich
Best Runner: Mr. Blue Sky

QI Watchdown: G14 (Greeks)

Because there’s such an emphasis on mixing semi-regs with newcomers, there aren’t a ton of repeat panel combinations on QI, but tonight is a combination we have seen before, way back in Series B, in the Bombs episode, which was one of the funniest, in my opinion, that series.

Now, Clive Anderson, Rich Hall and Phill Jupitus, as the former two were beginning to phase out of their QI semi-reg days, reunite for one more episode, this one concerning Greece.

Phill, on Stephen’s question about wealthy Athenians purchasing ships: “Well, if you were rich, did you have to-”
He then realizes there is indeed a Rich sitting next to him, and a golden opportunity.
Phill: “Not if you were Rich, because that would…Have you ever funded the greek navy?”
Rich: “I have never funded the Greek navy, not to my knowledge, no, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that I should’ve.”

Stephen reveals the origin of a Roman orgy came to describing a dinner party.
Rich: “There was also stuff for kids, at an orgy. It wasn’t all just adults. What, a petting zoo?”

Stephen: “What else do we know about the Spartans?”
Alan: “They were really good in that film, 300. Very erotic. Quite camp, actually.”
Stephen: “Very camp. Oddly enough, it could have been much camper, because in the actual historical fact, those 300 spartans were accompanied by 700 thespians!”

Stephen describes how the Spartans beat the Athenians, how they weren’t in favor of math, science, the arts, and just in favor of war, how much of a travesty that was.
Stephen: “It’s a bit like if the Klingons beat the Vulcans, in the world of Star Trek.”
Alan: “That would be AWFUL.”

Stephen: “Do you know the word Laconic?”

Stephen: “Athens sent a message to Sparta, they said “if we beat you, we will not spare your children, we will destroy your civilization, we will kill everybody, we will spare no one.” The Spartans sent back a one-word reply.”
Alan: “Bothered.”
Stephen: “No. Similar…”

Stephen: “He won the gold medal for poetry.”
Phill, not buying it: “SSSHHHUT UP…”
Stephen: “OH, YOU THINK THAT’S WEIRD? All the way up to 1948, there was a gold medal for town planning in the Olympics.”
Clive: “Won by Milton Keynes.”
Stephen: “LOST by Milton Keynes, you would imagine…”

Stephen mentions that sculpture was also an early Olympic competition.

Stephen: “Who knows what Olympic Gold Medals are made of…”
[silence for give seconds]
Alan: “They might be…partially…”

Eventually Alan just says “gold, they’re made of gold.”
Stephen: “OH, BLESS YOU…”
Phill: “Hang on, I think they might have another one in there…CHOCOLATE!”

Clive: “Why are they so big. Like, they used to be smaller-”
Phill, looking at the ones on the behind-screen: “THEY’RE NOT ACTUAL SIZE, CLIVE.”

Stephen: ‘If it left a mark, it wasn’t gold.”
Phill, over-serious version of what Stephen just said: “and if you were eating lead, you would…DIE.”
Alan, remembering an old QI fact: “But there’s no lead in pencils…”

Alan, on Greek plate-throwing: “I can remember when I was on holiday, but there were too restaurants, one with plate throwing, and one there wasn’t.”
Clive: “Camden, then…”
Alan: “It was the main choice you made of an evening. Plate-throwing or not-plate-throwing? And you sit in the quiet one, having a nice quiet meal, and about half-ten you can hear them kick off..”

Stephen: “Nowadays it tends to be something softer…”
Alan, serious: “Women.”
Stephen literally has to stop to compose himself. It’s ridiculous.
Stephen: “I don’t even know where to begin with that one.”
Alan: “Obviously not the best women, the second…”
And then he mimes throwing a woman across the room, which made me laugh hard.

Stephen: ‘Because I can say that Alan is coming in last.”
Alan: “It’s one of my best features…”

Overall: Fairly strong show with great moments, though the slow parts in the middle detract from its greatness a bit. Panel was on, and Phill, Rich and Clive interacted like their S2 selves, with a lot of teamwork and good gags. Alan was also really fun tonight. It was just strong in the beginning and ending, and couldn’t keep the momentum going all throughout.

MVP: Phill
Best Guest: Phill
Show Winner: Clive
Best QI Fact: Naked gym