Nevermind Watchdown: S28E05, or NO, NOT EXPLODING FEET!

Way back in Series 1 of the show, a bespectacled, bald man sat next to Phill Jupitus and claimed to be 80’s star Adam Ant. I’m not sure what happened to that guy, because the real Adam Ant, complete with wild facial hair, cowboy hat and neckerchiefs, is in the building tonight, along with Paul Foot, Sara Cox, and rapper Fuse ODG. Can they keep the momentum of Series 28 going?

Adam even talks about his last appearance on the show, 27 series ago, saying, with a chuckle, ‘I’ve just got over it.’ He talks about the suit he wore and the cropped hairstyle, saying he looked like an egg.
Rhod: “How can you remember what you wore 18 years ago?”
Adam: “…it’s important.”

Rhod confirms that Paul’s one of the lowest scoring NMTB contestants of all time. This makes sense, as Paul even says “I don’t know anything about pop music.”
Rhod: “That doesn’t mean nothing.”
Adam: “Well, I’ve…I’ve heard of certain things, like…D-Duran?”

Fuse eventually gets Paul to get up and dance with him to a traditional Ghanan dance. This is quite the visual. Paul dancing is something so wonderful and unexpectedly joyous.

Fuse, afterwards: “Uh, Paul…you’d actually get stoned in Ghana for doing that.”

As Fuse offers to teach Paul the proper methods.
Noel: “This is like the weirdest episode of Strictly Come Dancing ever…”

Paul tries it with the new, Fuse-approved technique, which is great…and then he goes back to his crazy-dancing from before. Fuse, obviously getting a kick out of this, just mimes throwing stones at him.

Phill, after the number: “And if you turn over to BBC News 24 now, we are at war with Ghana…”

Adam thinks the chainsaw corresponds with Aerosmith, saying “we’ve stayed in a lot of the same hotel rooms they’ve stayed in, and they’re pretty rock and roll.”
Sara: “And were any of the legs shorter on the beds?”

Adam tells a story about Aerosmith leaving a log behind a tile in a hotel bathroom.
Phill: “Ever since Right Said Fred were on, I no longer have Toblerones from the minibar.”
Now…I, as someone who’d been watching Buzzcocks for years, GET this reference. But Rhod has to ask Phill for clarification.
Phill: “They would unwrap them, insert them, remove them, re-wrap them, put them back in the fridge.”
The whole audience takes a moment to recover.

Noel: “What, a TOBLERONE?” [He does an impression of the sides colliding with the sides of the…you know]
Phill: “They’re ridged for your pleasure.”

There’s a nice gag where Rhod uses the prop of a blowdart to fell a rogue crew member and catapult him down to the floor.
Rhod: “Noel, g’head and finish him off.”
Noel: “What should I do to him?”

As Paul and Noel run over to the crew member with a cake, Fuse picks up the dart and goes ‘I think it’s really unfair that you leave the African with this weapon.’
Gosh, Fuse is just naturally funny. He’s making Wretch 32 look calm.

Fuse even admits that he’s watched this show so much that he’s thrilled he gets to be a part of it, as Adam and Rhod are going over all the people Adam hasn’t dated.

Noel and Rhod have a disagreement and call each other some names. Unlike Simon and Noel, they know it’s all in good fun, and they don’t actually question each other’s methods or character. It’s just some nice joshing, sort of like Mark and Bill. There’s no hard feelings, it’s just a show.

Noel crouches down during Rhod’s standup, and is looking at the bag of tricks…and he’s trying to get his head to pop up through the bag. So they orchestrate it, and Noel’s head just pops out of the bag of tricks on Rhod’s desk.
Rhod: “Okay, round two.”
Noel: “Let’s just do the show like this!”

They pan back to see the caked crew member is still on the ground, while Noel’s head is still in the bag. Man, this episode is weird.

Then Rhod, cracking up, has to give Noel, still in the bag, his intros for he and Fuse. Noel’s just entertained as all hell.
Noel: “It’s not even funny, I’m ACTUALLY stuck! Fuck you!”

Noel, after Paul fails to get another intro: “Look, it’s literally like a dog watching a play…”

Rhod, to Adam: “Whose idea was the white lines? Was that yours?”
Adam: “Uhhh…the native American indians…the Apache…”

This is odd- even if Adam is in the ‘ejector seat’, Sara has to do intros with Phill instead of the other way around. Maybe Adam just didn’t want to do Intros, last-minute?

Phill and Sara’s ‘Run to the Hills’ intro is fantastic, not only in execution, but because Adam seems to get a tremendous kick out of it, even if he has no idea what it is.

Phill and Sara’s second intro…is Prince Charming. So they just start with the guttural scream from the top of the song. Adam immediately gets it (obviously), and just laughs out loud.
Then, of course, Adam chimes in with the correct pronunciation of the guttural scream at the top of Prince Charming, so they’re sort of doing it back and forth to each other.}
Phill, afterwards: “I am AROUSED.”

Rhod even cracks up delivering the scores. And, as they pan back out, the caked crew member is STILL on the ground.

Hell, the passed out crew member is pegged in at #6 in Phill’s ID Parade, billed as ‘Nasty Fall’.

Phill: “Adam, there, has gone with his gut instinct, and that’s fabulous…of course, the whole card that we have…is that [Sara] interviewed him two weeks ago…”
Rhod cracks up here. Even Adam’s just amused.

And, as per usual with a Paul Foot episode, Paul has to go up to the ID Parade and sniff out the real guy. Like usual, I’m not gonna write all of this down, but it’s some funny stuff.

Rhod’s visual next line is Madonna’s Into the Groove, and he does this by trying to fit his feet inside a vinyl record.
Paul: “Exploding Feet!”

Rhod: “You waste your time…huh!” [he looks at Phill, as if to say ‘go figure’]

Rhod: “You waste your time with hope and regret, you’re broken.”
Noel: “Yeah, I know, but PAUL’s on my team.”

Overall: “While not quite as good as episodes 3 and 4, still a really nice show, with some just plain odd moments, and a fantastic retrospective for Adam Ant. It felt like everybody had some real appreciation for the guy, and it was even better that he was game enough to come back. Noel’s team did have the better edited show, as Fuse had some hilarious moments, and Paul was himself. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t like Paul as much as everyone else seems to, and I don’t think his ID Parade moments are too great, but he still had some nice lines. But yeah, good enough show, thanks to some nice moments, and to the unconscious crew member.

Best Regular: Rhod
Best Guest: Adam
Best Runner: passed out crew member


Nevermind Watchdown: S27E04, or GOAT! GOAT! GOAT!

As per usual with these Guest Host series, NMTB likes to throw in a tv-presenter in between all the music acts and comedians. Some have worked well, like Dermot O’Leary, Richard Madeley, Claudia Winkleman, Lorraine Kelly… okay, they’ve all actually worked pretty well (Westwood doesn’t count). Tonight, Sara Cox will be hosting, and she seems pretty excited, as her last appearance was WAY back in Series 5, on the infamous ‘Athelston as Edwin Starr’ episode, one of the greats. She’s a funny person, and hopefully it’ll translate to a nice show.

Iggy Azalea’s on the panel. So there goes any hope of it not being dated. Eliza Doolittle’s also on the panel, which is nice. Also on the panel is ‘requisite comedian’ Matt Richardson and Jake Humphrey, who’s a sports presenter.

Among the implications of Phill’s content advisory round: The Police released a song called ‘Wanking on the Moon, evidently; Elton John’s ‘I’m Still Standing’ included the lyric ‘fucking like a true survivor, fucking like a little kid’; and, more sweetly, Michael Buble’s famed love ballad was actually called ‘I Just Haven’t Fucked You Yet’. Man, I love this round.

Eliza: “I met Buble, yeah…and actually, he married the girl in that video, so I met her as well…”
Phill: “…couldn’t he have just paid her?”

Sara: “Eliza, have you met Robin Thicke?”
Eliza: “…no, I-”
Sara: “Good, don’t. Stay away.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 11.57.37 AM.pngSara: “Oh, to be there, and to be able to change it from ‘has’ to ‘is.”
Noel: “i think it actually says ‘Robin Thicke has a Big Duck…”
Matt: “The way she’s standing there, it also looks like ‘Robin Thicke has a Bi-Duck’, as if he’s got a bisexual duck that also likes geese…”

Jake talks about failing a color-blindness test at 7, and them telling him ‘here’s a list of jobs you can’t have’, and policeman being at the very top.
Noel: “Can’t believe that ‘policeman’ was at the top…what about ‘rainbow shepherd’?”

Sara, trying to push the game along: “We’ve got to leave the color-blind thing behind…”
Jake: “I can’t, though, can I?”

Noel’s Explicit Content round has these gems: Rod Stewart’s version of ‘The First Cock is the Deepest’; The Bangles’ classic ‘Wank Like an Egyptian’…followed by some PANTSLESS COMMONERS.

Noel, halfway through some Sara jokes, just turns to the audience, points out a guy and goes “…scuse me, your laugh is not acceptable in any way…it’s like you’ve carried a goat in…”

After a digression about goats, Jake: “…and I was thinking I’d be left out of the conversation because I know nothing about MUSIC…”

Iggy talks about being naked in a video.
Jake: “But your grandparents’ll see that…”
Iggy: “No, they won’t see that- it’s on the internet, they won;t-”

For the ‘Gay Bar’ intro, Iggy just starts dry-humping (lightly) Noel, as Noel actually does the intro.
Jake: “I have never felt more uncomfortable in a television studio in my entire life…”

Sara: “Did it help at all, Jake?”
Noel: “Helped me…”

After more Iggy grinding against Noel

Sara, trying to get an answer out of Jake: “What are you getting out of that?”
Phill: “I’m getting the Snow Queen and Mr. Tumnus…”

Noel, reading another intro card that Iggy knows the movements for: “…if we don’t get our own spinoff show, I’m gonna be furious…”

Matt, on Phill’s guitar style in intros: “You’re just saying ‘gin gin gin’- you’re like my mom!”

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 12.52.56 PM.pngSara: “#4’s lovely, isn’t he? He looks like he should be on a strong mustard tin!”

Sara: “Iggy, which one would you most likely go out on a date with?”
Iggy: “…#4’s the only one who looks like he has any pubic hair, so…probably him.”
Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 12.54.44 PM.png

Iggy’s getting really hyped up that it’s #2, putting forth “Iggy rage” as Sara calls it.

This is a pretty tremendous get for Buzzcocks- Phill’s ID Parade is…Haddaway. Of ‘What is Love’ fame. That’s actually pretty nice.

Phill, trying to deliberate: “…I never, ever saw it performed. And Eliza and Matt are…12.”

Amazing moment: Sara gives just a phonetic beat for a Next Line. So Jake comes in with the bassline from Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’. Pretty soon, everyone in the room is contributing, even Phill with the killer guitar riff.

The next one is the next lines from Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble. Jake gives the line from two verses later. Iggy just screams “NO!” at him.
Phill: “GOAT! GOAT! GOAT!”
Iggy: “You messed up! WHYYY!”
Noel: “I hate it when Mommy and Daddy shout…”

Overall: A bit more middle-of-the-road than last few, but it had its moments. Sara Cox was pretty boilerplate guest host, even though she had her moments. The panel was quieter, with no real stand-out members, save for maybe Iggy Azalea in her craziness. Not a ton to write about, but at least there was the grinding incident…

Guest Host Rating: 8/10
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Iggy
Best Runner: Iggy’s grandparents and the goat.

Nevermind Watchdown: S5E2 or The Answer There was #3

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

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

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

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

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

Mark: “JUNIOR, JUNIOR…you don’t have to scream, you have a mic.”
Junior, taking the joke: “oh, okay…”

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

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 5.03.39 PM

Annoyed Mark is still his best

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 5.11.19 PM

Sara, ashamed as hell over the skid marks joke

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

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

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

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

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

So Faye and Sean’s 3rd intro is so bad…not only does is absolutely horrify Junior, but after a while Mark just gives him the car. Junior just starts laughing harder than I’ve ever seen a person not named Drew Carey laugh.
Mark: “What is it, Junior?”
Mark: ‘It was Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio…”

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

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 6.00.03 PM

#3…Evelyn War

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

Sean: “I’m a little worried about #3…he’s just looking at a light, transfixed. YA OKAY, #3?
#3: “……”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 6.11.03 PM

Now he’s just doing it on purpose

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

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

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 6.13.31 PM

Mark’s Athelston Impression

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

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

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

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

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

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