Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S02E14, or Whose Front, Though?

Onto the last two episodes of a relatively boilerplate Series 2 (though admittedly less scary-hectic than S1). This one features the LAST RORY MCGRATH EPISODE, thank the lord, as he’d retire to the producer’s office after this. It also features aggressive American comic Ron West, and…thankfully Tony Slattery and Sandi Toksvig.

Authors: Annie the Orphan, Get Your Rifle
Ron: Kurt Vonnegut
Sandi: Enid Blyton
Tony: Marquis de Sade
Rory: Desmond Morris

Note that everyone keeps adding suffixes to their authors after Ron goes with ‘Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’. We get ‘Enid Blyton Sr.’ and ‘Desmond Morris…….the Third.’

Tony: [slaps self] “mmmmmm…”

This is a pretty well-connected round, as everyone’s getting equal time and working together, as well as coming up with really funny stuff.

Very simple scene, but effective because nobody was disrespectful.

Film and Theatre Styles v1- Ron and Sandi- taking a pet to the vet

Sandi: “Well he doesn’t look good, but YOUR TIRES are in great condition, you can see the hull of the tread on the back…”

Sandi’s acting in the horror style is really good, nailing the sort of macabre staccato and eventual romanticism (“WAIT….I THINK I LOVE HIM…”)

Clive: American gangster
Ron: “…so, you’ve been seein’ my dog, huh?”

The reason why this scene works is that Ron and Sandi are able to adapt to each other, and not have any jarring mood changes. Sandi’s able to control Ron’s propensity for more obnoxious, bawdy choices, and reeled him into just naming various animals and getting them into jokes. It’s not THE FUNNIEST, but it’s good improv.

Film and Theatre Styles v2- Tony and Rory (two commandos in a submarine)

Audience member: “FARCE!”
Clive: “Grass?? OH, *FAAAHSE!*”
Rory: “If anyone HAS any grass, by the way…”
Clive, covering for this: “Yes, Rory likes to play football…”

Tony, top of the scene: “….I love you.”
Rory, with the periscope: “….going up…”

The ‘farce’ suggestion actually works well, with Rory lowering his trousers to cover for Tony and Rory’s relationship, to hide from someone coming in. Works even better than Stephen Fry’s dare I say it.
Tony: “Just HIDE…IN THE TORPEDO CHUTE…”

Jackanory style
Tony: “D’you know what we’re going to be doing with our missiles?”
Rory: [cracks]

Advert
Rory: “Ladies, stop shaving your legs!”
Tony: “……BLOW UP RUSSIA INSTEAD!”

This was a very funny scene, owed to the fact that it was so silly to begin with, and got progressively sillier as it went on, while still holding onto the plot. Rory even behaved, which goes back to Tony bringing out the best in bad improvisers in this game.

Interview v1- Tony, from a rock magazine, interviews Sandi, Snow White.

Tony: “So, is it true that you went to bed with each dwarf in turn? Or is that just light gossip?”
Sandi: “Well, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve loved each dwarf individually…in their own special, little way.”
Tony: “….are they very little, in every way?”
Sandi: “Well, certainly Grumpy’s not very big…and I think that’s what makes him quite so grumpy…”

Sandi makes a reference to having Coca Cola and crisps.
Tony: “…yeah, I bet you have 7 up as well…”

Sandi, on her relationship with the Wicked Witch: “well…it’s not been carnal, but we do like to do it looking in the mirror.”

Really great work from both parties- Tony from setting up a character and slinging lines (literally and figuratively), and Sandi in responding well literally every time.

Interview v2: Rory, from TV AM, interviews Ron, Rasputin

Ron has a nice move in getting Rory to interact- Rory spends the first 10 seconds setting up his own character, and the show, without actually getting to the, well, interview. So Ron, trying to get him to the point of the game, yells ‘I AM RASPUTIN, TALK TO ME NOW!”

Rory: ‘What’s particularly grabbing about this morning’s Sun to you?”
Ron: “I thought it was very interesting…that a woman could give birth to a mermaid!”

As Rory ONCE AGAIN tries to NOT-interview Ron, Ron instead complains of Bolsheviks all around the studio, which leads to some really nice saving-of-the-scene.

Ron did great, but…THE NAME OF THE GAME, RORY, IS ‘INTERVIEW’. FUCKING INTERVIEW, RORY.

World’s Worst- Things to say/do at a funeral

Sandi: “His last words to me were ‘I’M COMING, DARLING’, it was so nice- oh, you’re his WIFE…”
Ron: “Uh, yeah, Mrs. Smithers…he owed me ten pounds, if you could see your way clear…”
Tony: “Uh, dearly beloved, ashes to ashes- oh, this is too dreary, we should do something else, uh YESSIR I CAN BOOGIE…”
Ron: “HAPPY NEW YEEEARRR…”
Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 4.34.34 PM.png
Ron: “…..SURPRIIIIIISEEEE!”

Truly great Ron, with fantastic stuff from Ron and Tony

Props: Tony and Sandi vs. Ron and Rory

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 4.47.01 PM.png

Sandi: “Well, I know it looks a bit vicious darling, but honestly it’ll make sex so safe!”

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 4.48.00 PM.pngRory: “Salman, it’s a great disguise!”
[Topical joke!!!]

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 4.49.04 PM.pngRory: “…I now pronounce you man and basket..”

And, of course, the return of:
Sandi: “Hello, I’m Anne Diamond”
Tony: [vomits into prop]

Film Dub: Sandi and Ron

NO SCENE PROMPT???? WHOA.

Actually, the lack of a prompt gets them working early, and it’s a nice little scene. I did laugh at the loud kissing/vomiting noises Ron and Sandi made.
Sandi: “Boy, that’s the fastest we’ve ever done it.”
Ron, as they get cigarettes: “Boy, time for a smoke, huh?”

Ron, reading a letter: “…I’ve been called to the front.”
Sandi: “…whose front, though?”

Actually a pretty nice scene, even when it had every motive to be bad (especially with the lack of a prompt).

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Ron: thinks he’s a reptile
Sandi: having a secret love affair with Tony
Rory: Accident-prone

Sandi, from the getgo, is amazing: “ooh, someone else is here, TONY, DARLING HOW ARE YOU, you left your watch….”

Sandi, after Ron has a nice line about eating penguin eggs: “Tony, quick word…..you, uh, left your underpants…”

Rory electrocutes himself ringing the doorbell, bellowing out an “OH SHIT!”

After Rory falls off the step, Tony: “…not an England fielder, are you?”

Rory: “Tony, uh…I’ve got a twiglet stuck up my nose…”

Ron: “The rival gang that I often battle is the amphibians…”
Tony: “I dunno, West Side Story?”

Tony barely manages to guess everyone (Sandi does help in guessing Ron).
Clive: “Tony, you really are a natural at that game, aren’t you?”
Tony, bashful: “Oh, I’m sorry…”

Overall: Not a single bad game on the night, and a ton of really nice moments throughout. Everyone behaved, though Rory had a few more flaws than everyone else, even if he still had more highlights than his last time out (especially in Props). Ron had his best show of the season, really standing out in World’s Worst and Film and Theatre Styles, and holding back his more aggressive responses. Sandi and Tony, as per usual this half, excelled, having great lines and great improv throughout. Tony had the better show, just for controlling Rory in F&TS, and just having a very funny show all-around.

Show Winner: Sandi
Best Performer: Tony for the second show in a row.
Worst Performer: Rory, but not without improvement.
Best Game: It was a very close race between Film and Theatre Styles v2, Interview and World’s Worst, but….Interview takes it by a nose, just for the work Sandi and Tony did off of each other. Maybe on another watch World’s Worst takes it.
Worst Game: Interview v2. Still funny, but Rory was adamant about not collaborating with the person he was supposed to be interviewing.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S01E12

Another compilation, so I’ll be judging games based on how they stack up to the rest of their original taping, rather than judging the show as a whole.

Film and Theatre Styles: Josie and John (showing around a museum)
Original Episode: S01E10

First of all, we’re only seeing one version of this game, which makes me wonder what the Stephen and Enn playing from this taping must have looked like, or why it didn’t make air.

Audience member: “CARRY-ON FILM!”
Clive: “That’s the…13th successive week we’ve had that suggestion…”

Clive: “How about a Doctor in the House movie? They never suggest that, why don’t-”
Cheeky Scottish Audience Member: “DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!”
Clive: “….well, that’s a great echo we’ve got in here..’

Josie, responding to John’s thick accent: “You’re not from these parts, are you?”
John: “No, I am from Shropshire…”

The Bill Forsyth round works really well, as both do middle-class Scottish accents, and towards the buzzer, John runs off yelling for Gregory. Bit of an obscure choice, but somehow they’d both heard of him.

And then, with Dirty Harry film, John goes into a really good Clint Eastwood and the tension between the two is really nice, as Josie brings the scene back to the museum setting they’d briefly gone away from.

Josie: “Is that a gun in your pocket?”
John: “No, it’s a very, very, very, VERY big sculpture.”
As the buzzer goes off, John grabs Josie and attempts to make out with her.

They lost me a bit with Doctor in the House, but the Astaire and Rogers scene brings it back, tonally and structurally. John even sings, which…he doesn’t even do during SINGING GAMES..

Relatively nice one, though I can only assume the Enn & Stephen playing left this game back from the taping, which is sad.

Story: Rory tells, Jonathan, John and Tony act
Title: I was a Russian Fighter Pilot
Moral: Never do it on the first date.
Original Taping: S01E07

Rory, even though he’s a bit shaky to start off, pulls a nice one on John, previewing a character named John Johnovitch Jonovitch Denisinov. John bounds onstage, smiling, pointing at the sky.
Rory: “…he was a miserable bastard…”
John’s expression sinks.

Rory, again, is a bit too cheeky for my tastes, bringing in a football reference that A.) I didn’t get, and B.) He should have just saved for They Think it’s All Over in a few years. He also breaks the fourth wall in pointing out the inaccuracy in an accent or something, which brings him closer to George McGrath in his ‘I can’t control how this is going, and it pisses me off’ mood.

Rory eventually introduces Tony as, well ‘TONY’, and he arrives, already selling the scene.
Rory: “Tony was a beautiful girl…”
Tony: Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 3.21.05 PM.png

The scene limps along, with John having an indecipherable russian accent, and Tony trying to save things, but only doing so much.

I’ll give Jonathan credit for a really inspired joke, as Rory introduces him as Mikhail Gorbachev, and Jonathan makes fun of the one distinguishable feature Gorbachev was known for, while also fitting in the aviation theme.
Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 3.23.57 PM.png

This scene, like the George McGrath one, didn’t work, because the storyteller was too cheeky to keep an integrity-laden story going, instead going out of his way to make corny jokes. Stephen at least had the jokes arrive naturally rather than stopping the action to make them. The scene was kind of a mess, despite Jonathan and Tony’s best efforts.

Rap: Josie, Mike, Tony and John- Handbags
From: S01E09

Like last rap, Clive credits a drummer for the electronic drumbeat Richard provides: “so, take it away Ringo…”

John’s rap was better than usual, though he lost tempo a bit. I’d say it was a bit similar to Russell Howard’s knowingly pathetic raps in Scenes We’d Like to See (“he’s just like me, except more beardy”)

Like most singing games, Tony cringes here, but he has a nice enough verse about shoving a handbag up his ass.

For some reason, this playing goes for another round. WHY? Aside from Tony’s hilariously violent 2nd verse, this was fine with just one round.

Song Styles: Josie sings about a TV set in a Eurovision-inspired number
From: S01E05

Josie does well here, doing a knowingly-cringy Eurovision entry (probably by some other European country), getting the mood AND enthusiasm down pat. There’s a TON of really nice Josie vocal moments, and it ends right with a final reference to a TV set. Very cool, maybe the John song stopped this one from getting in.

Party Quirks
Tony: Host
Rory: compulsive liar
Jonathan: undertaker looking for business
John: someone from Thunderbirds
From: S01E07

This feels like a later-series playing, because Tony starts out just riling off gags and interacting with people, and it feels like he’s been doing this for a while (even though it’s only been a few shows).

Jonathan is really great here, asking if Tony’s mother is doing any better, with this hangdog expression.
Tony: “Well, she has been dead for years.”
Jonathan, undeterred: ‘Ah, how’s your father then…”
[“how’s about a bit of how’s your faaather..?”]

Then John, as a malfunctioning marionette, just falls on the floor once he enters. This feels really contemporary in terms of the show.

It’s even funnier when John, Rory and Jonathan start interacting with each other, as Tony just tries to figure out who’s who. Clive, as usual, has to press him to choose.
Tony: “IF YOU THREE WANT TO HAVE SEX, YOU CAN GO UPSTAIRS!”

Still, Tony nabs Jonathan and Rory in succession, as John flops around on the floor. Hell, his mic even comes unattached, and he basically gives it to Tony, pathetically.

Great round, would have definitely improved the caliber of 1×07 greatly.

Every Other Line: Josie reads, John plays: booking an airline ticket
From: S01E03
End Line: It’s Not as Small as it Looks

Finally something from this taping appears in the compilation, as I was worried the producers were ashamed of letting any more drunk Peter Cook make air. Thankfully, this game, a near-classic, appears here.

On the end line, Clive: “Have you ever had to say that, Stephen?”
Stephen: “No, because, oddly enough, it is!”
Clive: “Well, let’s not go on about your nose.”
Stephen gives Clive a knowing look here.,

This game works so well because Stephen’s able to respond brilliantly to the lines Josie’s reeling off, without losing his cool, or the scene.

Josie: “Someone has punctured their back tires.”
Stephen: [goes for a closer look, curiously]

As Stephen once again asks for an airline ticket
Josie: “With treacle?”
Stephen: “I think we have, uh…rather severely crossed lines here. No, I wouldn’t like to EAT the ticket, nor with honey, treacle, marmalade, anything of the kind. Just a plain, ordinary, VANILLA, if you like, airline ticket.”

Josie: “With treacle, your boys have put treacle in one of the toolbags of my girls.”
Stephen: “….is this some kind of euphemism for something?”
Josie: “In their toolbags, that’s a new one to me…”
Stephen: “Well, I mean, it’s possible- they’re only sort of NINE…I doubt their toolbags are that advanced…I mean, Johnny there, worries me, because he has got a toolbag that, frankly, isn’t as small as it looks.”
BUZZ. BRAVO.

I think this scene wasn’t in the show because the game Peter and John played, probably Couples, wasn’t airable. What a loss, though, as this is Stephen’s finest moment in the game…at least for another 8 seasons…

American Musical: hang-gliding, getting lost in a maze, going to a party
Mike, Josie, Tony and John
From: S01E09

So…they did an ALTERNATE American musical from this taping? Because the one they aired was really good, so…why did they need to play another one? Just for the compilation?

Mike and Josie start off with a really good moment, falling while hang-gliding, featuring the immortal line, “if I had to go down…I’d go down with you.” Dewey Cox would be proud.

In terms of scene structure, this game really works, with Tony’s section leading them to the maze, and having a really nice moment, as well as John appearing to change the mood again. This is structurally close to a musical, even if, ONCE AGAIN, John is refusing to sing.

Josie, winding to a close: ‘Does it mean that no matter where we run, we’ll still come back to the same spot?”
John: “That’s right! You’ll keep looking like an asshole!”

That was…actually really nice. I ask, calmly, why that one didn’t make the finished episode? Yes, the ‘abused me with his truncheon’ line is great, but the clumsiness of the original Musical drags it down. This one has a great structure, everyone has a moment to shine, and even John does well in a scene.

Best Performer: Josie Lawrence, for standing out in all of her games tonight.
Worst Performer: Rory McGrath, for screwing up his one game of the night.
Best Game: Every Other Line. In a perfect world, that one goes into 1×03 and makes it a little better. Musical, Party Quirks and Film & Theater Styles chased it, though.
Worst Game: Story. Just…fell apart.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S01E07, or SPACE…AND BOOBS.

What’s worse than having 1 famous git? TWO OF THEM! John Sessions AND Rory McGrath in the same show! This is gonna be a tough one to get through.

Oh well, at least TONY’S BACK, as well as Jonathan Pryce. So it should be evenly matched, at least.

Authors: Stanley the Stockbroker and the Day of the Big Bang
Tony: Dennis Wheatley
Jonathan: Egon Ronay
Rory: Jorge Luis Borges
John: Robert Louis Stevenson

Rory spends about 20 seconds doing his author intro, working in a Jeffrey Archer joke that doesn’t work as well as he thought.

Tony: She found herself suddenly sucked into a vortex of child sacrifice, depravity, and goat droppings.”
Buzz
Jonathan: “The goat droppings were served up on a rather tasteful…”

Rory’s consists of talking mostly in Spanish for his entire timeslot. Again, at least RORY can understand his humor…

Okay round, but far too much time for John vs. everyone else.

Film and Theatre Styles v1
Jonathan and Tony- conversation with a loan shark

Jonathan, giving his character a voice: “I, uh- I used this voice last time, I reckon-”
Tony, building on it: “Yeah, I recognize you from last time, you were in debt then as well…”

Clive: Japanese Noh Theatre
Jonathan: [speaks Japanese]
Tony: “NO!”
[And I’m gone for about an hour]

Tony and Jonathan compliment each other well throughout the scene, continuing the plot to an extent, doing well in each scene (especially bedroom farce). It was evident that Tony was carrying it a bit, but Jonathan did well, especially in the Gilbert and Sullivan ender.

Film and Theatre Styles v2
John and Rory- one has smashed the other’s car

Rory, after the last scene: “Come on, John, we’ll piss on ’em….well, not now, after the show.”

Already, Rory is just plain disrespectful, to John AND to Clive. He brings up a racial stereotype, then talks over Clive as he tries to add a style.

Now…THE PROBLEM WITH HAVING JOHN *AND* RORY IN A SCENE TOGETHER…Is they’re like children- once you get them going, like in the Punch and Judy style, they keep going until about 15 seconds after the first buzzer.

Good news is John and Rory NAIL Brechtian theatre.
John, mounting Rory: “Are you sad on the mountain, sad with a weakness, sad with the happiness of the people below you?”
Rory, channeling Paul Merton: “I will be if you stay there…”

During the black-and-white minstrel portion of the scene, which tries not to be racist but fails, I am reminded that John Sessions is, in fact, a UKIP supporter..

World’s Worst- Person to Meet on a Blind Date

Tony: “Hello Peter, I’m Tony, does it matter that you’re expecting a woman?”
Tony: “Hello, you must be Deb- BLOODY HELL, NOBODY TOLD ME YOU HAD A FACE LIKE A DOG’S BUM!”
Jonathan, after a very quiet round: “…I just wanted to say that I did lots, but they were all edited out.”

Amusing enough round, with Rory giving way too many unfunny ones, and Tony giving diamonds.

Props: Johns vs. Tony and Rory

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 5.38.57 PM.pngJonathan, a la the stock exchange: “No no, SELL…SELL…”

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 5.40.53 PM.pngJonathan: “I know I speak for John…and myself, and the rest of the crew….we just want to thank you all, so much…”

Kind of a weak round, but Jonathan and Tony seemed to be having fun.

Advertisement:
Tony: BMW
John: Toupee

Tony, as the dramatic, soap-opera music comes on: “…have you ever wanted to own something that is the extension of your penis?”

Tony’s is really nice, because he nails the sexual nature of the ad, and comes off as still suave and a a good salesman. Plus, he nails it in about 30 seconds, which is nice.

John’s was…interesting. He had an odd, Kremlin-infused interpretation of the sinister music, and turned it into a very…interesting add. I’m not sure whether or not it worked.

Film Dub:
Rory and Jonathan- complaining to a hotel manager

Rory groans as he realizes what game he’s about to play, sort of like how I groaned when I realized this was a Rory McGrath episode.

For some reason, Rory’s really good in this game, and Jonathan takes more of a passive approach, which was the opposite of how he played last time. This was actually really funny, though it petered out towards the end, due to some ‘i’m talking now’ lines.

Remote Control: Pornography
Tony: Star Trek
Jonathan: Call my Bluff
Rory: Breakfast Television
John: Sgt. Bilko

I really don’t see the point of playing this in the same episode as Authors, as they’re essentially the same game, but, whatever they want.

Rory: “I’m standing in for Anne this morning, who’s having her baby. Good luck from the team, we all hope it’s a human.”
[How did RORY MCGRATH beat Tony to an Anne Diamond joke?]

Tony: “SPACE……..AND BOOBS. Lots of them. These are the voyages of my hands.”
and then “Lt. Uhura, would you like to gasp at my veiny bang-stick?”

Somehow, that one was really good, even if there wasn’t a ton of teamwork abound. Everyone did really well, though John and Rory STILL couldn’t figure out when to shut up.

Overall: Okay show. Very, very okay. If somebody else would have been on in Rory’s place, we’d have been in good shape, but Rory and John, funny as they are, were too manic and cheeky to do good improv. Jonathan had a lower-key day after his excellent showing in Episode 5, and Tony…as good as he was in E4, he was even better here. As time went on, he’d have more opportunities to shine.

Show Winner: Rory
Best Performer: Tony, of course.
Worst Performer: Rory. Would have went with Jonathan, except he didn’t do a ton wrong when he was on, and Rory relied too much on being funny and obnoxious than on his improv skills.
Best Game: Remote Control.
Worst Game: Film and Theatre Styles v2. Very off-color, and not in a great way.

QI Watchdown: C6 (Cockneys)

Whew, it’s been a while. It’s nice to be back home after a long semester. Let’s see, who’s on the slate for tonight- OH, LOVELY! Phill and Bill! Who else.

(realization pause)

Oh no…

Yep, tonight’s episode, Cockneys, also counts as Episode II in this Series C saga, the Massive Git Strikes Back. Rory McGrath did so well ruining Common Knowledge that he’s back for this one. Thankfully, my two favorite guests are here with him, Phill Jupitus and Bill Bailey, and Alan is always at his best. So, this episode could be salvageable…that is, if Rory behaves. And it’s very unlikely that he’ll behave.

Might as well get into the fuckin’ thing:

Not sure if anybody notices, but when Stephen introduces Rory, there are about four or five people in the audience that boo, but they’re mostly drowned out by the cheers. Which begs the question: WHO DID THIS GIT HIRE TO CHEER FOR HIM?

Interestingly enough, Stephen wants to start with Bill tonight, obviously knowing something Bill doesn’t, rather than Phill, as he usually would. It’s only when Bill says something that Stephen actually listens to him and does the rotation like he usually would. Of course, when he gets to Bill’s buzzer, it’s Patsy Cline’s ‘Bill Bailey, won’t you please come home?’, which is most notable for Bill’s reaction, because he’s obviously heard it a million times. Just going ‘yeah, right, whatever…’ Alan follows this up by playing the idiot, going ‘it’s very clever what they’ve done there.’

All the buzzers are very cockney-ish songs, most of which I’ve never heard of but the audience definitely has. Alan’s is, of course, a fake cockney, Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins singing ‘Chim-Chim-Chiree’

Stephen starts the episode speaking in a lot of Cockney slang, so he even says that if anyone gives an answer in slang, he’ll award extra points…however, he says it in that slang, causing a confused Alan to yell “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??”

Phill is most confused by the fact that ‘woman’ equals ‘buzz’, because women means ‘does’. Phill responds by going ‘so now we’re doing middle class Cockney rhyming slang!?”

Stephen and Rory are trying to figure out something that rhymes with ‘Davies’. Stephen suggests going to a restaurant and asking about the different types of Davies, ‘gravies’. And Bill, outraged, goes “HOW MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF GRAVY DO YOU KNOW OF??”

4:40 in: Rory gets his first correct answer. And I guess it’s all downhill from Guinness, to coin a Cockney phrase.

Okay, eventually Stephen introduces a nice game of ‘Pin the Taste Buds on the Catfish’, which everyone has to play with a toy catfish and taste bud stickers. I sometimes adore how inventive this show can be.

Bill realizes he has to press his buzzer, which starts playing ‘bill Bailey’, and he’s already going ‘no…NO…NO!’ I just love his general disgust whenever he hears that song. He just presses Alan’s, which plays Chim-Chim-Chiree, which Alan blankly bobs his head to.

Phill proves he’s been paying attention this entire series, by saying that bamboo’s a grass, not a tree. Stephen responds by saying ‘well done, little one’, to which, Rory and Phill, at the same time, go “LITTLE?”

All four are trying to guess the ‘coal and toothbrushes’ question. Alan just reaches and guessed ‘toothbrushes used to be alive billions of years ago…’

Okay, now I’m back onto this episode’s reins. Rory tries to get more points by pointing out an obscure fact about nylon, only for Stephen to subtract points, because he knew he’s try to say that and set the klaxon trap. That’s ingenious, and wonderful.

I adore the discussion about ‘Stephen Fry’s all-endangered-species bathroom cabinet’, sparked by using ivory for a toothbrush handle, and then everybody, especially Phill and Bill, taking it further. Bill ends it by going “I’ll use this coelacanth to rub my back!”

Stephen is caught in a very-rare fuck-up. He says someone committed suicide by ‘taking saliva’ when his wife was pregnant. Of course Rory’s the one to catch him on that, calling it a ‘freudian blowjob- I MEAN SLIP!’

At this point in the episode, a bit more than halfway, I think I’ve heard Rory’s buzzer more times than I heard the Lord of the Rings theme at the 2004 Oscars, which, if you’ll remember, was every goddamned second for three and a half hours.

Stephen describes what goes in to a baby’s stool. Bill says ‘yes, we laminated it.’ Bill is having a very nice night. Matter of fact, all four are doing really well in terms of jokes. It’s just that Rory just knows too goddamned much.

Stephen: “Why shouldn’t I strip Alan naked and cover him in gold paint?”
Phill: “You…win your Oscar properly like everyone else.”
(Probably the quote of the episode)

Stephen says that Ian Fleming once wrote that homosexuals can’t whistle. After which, he tries, and fails, at whistling.

Once Stephen announces the question, “how many senses do you have”, and Alan buzzes in, you can hear Bill, from off camera, go “I sense a buzzer coming…” And sure enough…

I love how Alan just writes ‘CATFISH’ in taste buds on his catfish. Gotta love Alan

wait…BILL WON??? I mean…what? how? why?

I don’t care. I’m just overjoyed that Rory didn’t win.

Even better, Rory has negative points! YES!

Final Thoughts: Not a bad episode, but not a flawless one. Phill and Bill were in top form, even if Phill was a bit more quiet than usual. Rory wasn’t as trollish as he was last time, but still took a lot of the fun out of it. Alan looked like he was having a lot of fun tonight.

MVP: Alan
Best Guest: Bill
Show Winner: Phill
Gyles Brandreth Award for Knowing Too Goddamned Much: Rory
Best QI Fact: toothbrushes.

QI Watchdown: C3 (Common Knowledge)

I haven’t done one of these in a while, so I might as well. Tonight’s episode features the first time in QI history that Jimmy Carr and Sean Lock perform in the same show. This is also the first appearance of a comedian I’ve not seen since Whose Line, and thankfully at that.

DISCLAIMER ABOUT TONIGHT’S EPISODE: A lot of people really don’t like this one because the common rumor is that Rory McGrath knew all the answers ahead of time, and essentially ‘hi-jacked’ the show, leading to a lot of people calling this one of the worst episodes of the series. I’m just going to see for myself.

Rory McGrath has gained a bit of weight since Whose Line. I never really liked him when he was on there, because he was never the funniest guy on the show, and I always liked the other Rory (Bremner) a bit better. And seeing as he’s basically going to be the goat of the audience tonight, I’m just gonna watch him implode.

All four buzzers are common noises, like fire alarms, sirens and lawnmowers. Alan’s is a parade of boos.

Stephen teases that tonight, there’s a question so difficult that he’ll give 100 points to anyone who gets it right. This is an interesting runner, one that I’m guessing Rory’s gonna take advantage of.

Rory basically sums up this episode by buzzing in, giving the correct answer, and saying to the audience, bashfully, ‘it isn’t very funny.’

Okay, all four guys do have some fun with the ‘having sex with the chicken’ question. This is mostly Alan and Sean, saying stuff about the egg-shaped girth and things.

Sean does have a nice twist to this, ‘or did they catch one in six men in Iowa, going’, and he does this intricate pantomime of a guy screwing a chicken.

Jimmy’s first line of the episode is ‘well, they definitely didn’t get a blowjob, obviously.” I like how all four guys are not beneath joking about having sex with a chicken.

Jimmy has a nice line about the decimal point guy and his black cock (rooster). “Did he do that purely for double-entendre? Like, have you seen my massive black cock?” Jimmy is still one of the funnier guys on this show.

Stephen, upon Rory’s THIRD correct answer of the night, turns to the rest of the panel, possibly dying on the inside, and goes “isn’t he good?” I think the fan theory about this one is that Rory had gotten all of the answers ahead of time, and it definitely shows.

The thing about Rory that especially vexes me is that he claims to be a comedian, and yet he’s not especially funny. He’s tried to make a few jokes this episode, and I haven’t laughed. On the ‘chevin’ question, Rory says, jokingly, that it’s a portmanteau word for ‘a Chav named Kevin’. And the part that made me laugh was the fact that it gained him a Klaxon.

Rory even admits that he’s forgotten about the forfeit. And the rules, evidently.

He also tries making another joke about a Chavender being the episode of Eastenders where there was a Chav, and says ‘but I’m not going to say that’. Thankfully, the elves give him a Klaxon anyway. Poetic justice, I guess.

Sean: “The thing about the koala is that they are the most law abiding of all the bears.”
Alan (after a pause): “They’re not bears.”

Alan: What’s your favorite bit of the koala? D’you like the little hands?
Jimmy (not missing a beat): “I like the cock.”
Sean: “I like the lips, toasted.”

Stephen asks “what’s the commonest metal in the human body?” Immediately, I’m thinking “ALAN, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT SAY IRON!”

AND OF COURSE, Rory rings in with ‘calcium’, and not only gets it right, but gets a special alarm reading GENIUS. I mean, CHRIST! That’s NOT how this game works, man!

Jimmy does have a candidate for line of the episode once Rory gets his umpteenth point. Jimmy looks at Stephen and goes ‘this is a team game, right? I’m on his (Rory’s) team? Because we’re KILLING them!”

Alan: “Something’s 98 percent liquid, I know it…”
Jimmy: “Is it the sea?”
Okay, that’s brilliant.

But then Sean goes “No, the sea is only 4% water.” And Stephen, exasperated, defers to him.

Alan: “if you took all the fish, and the whales, out of the sea-”
Sean: “They’d die!”

Again, Sean, Jimmy and Alan are doing so well that I’m really wishing this episode had somebody like Phill or Bill, or even Rich, instead of Rory, who’s just ruining this game. Even Gyles Brandreth is going OH, FUCKING STOPPIT! And to be clear, I actually liked Gyles Brandreth. I thought that even if he knew a lot, he was still interesting, and it was because he was that smart, not because he looked up all the answers the night before. Gyles is a great person. Rory’s just a twat.

Jimmy even gets respect points for doing a Stephen Wright joke: “Imagine how deep the ocean would be if there weren’t sponges.”

YAAAAAAY, RORY GETS ANOTHER KLAXON! I know, he’s still gonna win, but I DON’T CARE!!!

GI’s early this episode. Which means, yay, the episode’s almost over and I’m almost done dealing with Rory…for a few episodes.

Sean trying to recall all of the stuff Rory said was hysterical. After a while he just starts making shit up. “Uh, koalas invented rice?” Sean and Jimmy are saving this episode.

Again, after another Rory fact, Sean feels the need to screw with him. He goes, “probably about four blokes at Oxford going, “heheh””

Okay, I think the funniest part of the episode just happened. Rory and Stephen are arguing about a technical term for something, and Sean decides he’s going to take the attention for himself. So he looks under his desk, and motions around, nervous. Then after a few seconds he starts playing like he’s being sucked under the desk, getting the attention of Alan. Stephen and Rory hear the audience reacting, but are still arguing. After this, Sean gets back in his seat, and goes “I’m sorry about that. There’s a portal to the underworld underneath here…”

Then, immediately after that, Rory and Stephen go RIGHT BACK INTO IT, and Sean, still not believing it, goes, ‘SORRY, I MISSED THAT, COULD YOU GO OVER THAT AGAIN?” Sean is KILLING IT this episode.

And Jimmy manages to sum up the entire episode with one single quote:
“You know how the show’s called Quite Interesting? Yeah, I think we’ve veered off that a bit…”

Sean continues trolling Rory, this time going “Hey, would you give me more points if I say it in a different language? OCHO! OCHO CARDIGAN-ES!”

Rory ONCE AGAIN gives a latin name, this time for a puffin, and Stephen, now a bit annoyed, goes “you’re just beginning to try my patience.”

Stephen: “Why does the House of Commons smell of urine?”
Jimmy: “Is it because they’ve got one of those Glade plug-in things?”

Jimmy, jokingly, goes “Tweed, as we all know, is made with urine.” To which Stephen goes “yes, that’s the answer.” Jimmy’s reaction is hysterical- he meant for that to be a joke. He goes “WHAT? IS IT…YES! YES IT IS!”

WAIT, HOW DID JIMMY LOSE THIS ONE??? This is a very odd episode.

So…Rory wins with 88. Uhm, yay, I guess.

Final Thoughts: Well…that certainly was an episode, wasn’t it? I’m not even sure how to categorize it. On one hand, you had Rory McGrath basically destroying everything the game held dear, and making a case for the worst ever showing from anyone ever on QI. On the other, you have Sean Lock completely owning Rory at every chance he gets. So it’s a mixed bag. I think that it’s a weak episode, because Rory definitely weighs it down, but it definitely has its moments, especially as far as Jimmy and Sean are concerned.

MVP: Sean
Best Guest: Sean
Show Winner: Rory
The Gyles Brandreth Award for Knowing Too Goddamned Much: Rory
Best QI Fact: Urine in Tweed Jackets.