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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark: “Is it #1, Fast as Lighting…#2-
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.28.08 PM.png
Mark: “…a little bit frightening.”
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.28.19 PM.png

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“…uhm…”

Noddy: “SHOW US YOUR MUSHROOMS!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nevermind Watchdown: 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

Mark: “Or #3…THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF!”
(Now #3 is laughing…)

Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 12.04.16 AM

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: S8E6, or HANG ON, LET ME WRITE THAT DOWN…’DAWW NAWW NAWW NAWW…”

Back into the depths of Buzzcocks for an episode featuring Johnny Vegas, Take That’s Mark Owen, and Hear’Say’s Noel Sullivan AND Kym Marsh. Lot of miming, and incoherency, abound.

Noel, on the Bowie Indescipherable Lyrics: “The first line is ‘I’ve laughed and I’ve needed muff’
Sean: “YOUR MOTHER’S HERE FOR GOD’S SAKES!”

Sean: “Next one’s ‘ain’t got no money and ain’t got no hair’
Noel: “The Elton John Story, i reckon.”
Noel’s actually pretty damn funny here…

After Sean’s IL round ends with ‘Owen Owen Owen Owen”
Mark O: “Can I hear that ‘OWEN OWEN OWEN’ bit again? Cause it’s been a long time.
Sean: “You had your moment, don’t worry…”
Mark O: “This is me comeback, I think.”
Johnny: “I thought it was a quiz but apparently it’s a relaunch.”

Oh dear. Phill’s team has to do Indescipherable Lyrics for metal core band Mudvayne. Not since the Napalm Death one have we seen so much incoherent screaming.

Mark, on Mudvayne: “That’s Bruce Forsythe…”
Mark L: “I’d love it if Bruce just came out and went “…AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!”

Mark O goes to perform the lyrics. Sean, of course, goes “good luck with the comeback.”

Kym translating: “Knickers are ripped, they will do for the dog…”
Mark: “…why does a dog need knickers, Kym?”
Kym: “When I was a kid, we had a dog, and it was, you know, it was a bitch, and it was menstruating, and so I put knickers on it.And I cut a hole in it for its tail and everything…”
Johnny, absolutely serious: “I did that with me mum…”

Johnny has a ‘BECAUSE IT IS’-esque breakdown about knowing Bergerac, which leads to a breakdown about gardening and knives, and culminates in him ripping his shirt open (Jarred Christmas-style) and Mark getting him to go on with the round. Johnny’s not always my cup of tea, but him at his most animated is still pretty funny.

Other than some Johnny moments, or Mark screwing with Mark O about not getting any intros, there’s not a ton in this one.

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Noel: “Wasn’t #3 on Only Fools and Horses?”
Sean: “Now, Noel, #3 might be coming down your chimney this Christmas!”

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Johnny: ‘Is there any biological reason why #4 can’t join his hands together?”
Sean: “BECAUSE HE’S THE GRIM REAPER!”

Mark: “Let me take you down, cause I’m going to.”
Johnny: “Daww naww naww naww…”
Mark: “HANG ON, LET ME WRITE THAT DOWN…DAWW NAWW NAWW NAWW…”

Overall: Light episode, but with a few good moments, featuring unhinged Johnny Vegas, Mark Owen desperate for a comeback, and Sean not getting a word in edgewise in Next Lines. Didn’t really gain anything by seeing this one late.

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Johnny
Best Runner: Mark vs. the sound guy

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…”
Phill: “AND ON THAT THEOLOGICAL BOMBSHELL, GOODNIGHT FROM NEVERMIND THE BUZZCOCKS…”

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.”
Mark: “FORTY THREE 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

FINALLY, SERIES 7 SUPERLATIVES!

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: S7E9

The quest for the lost episodes continues, this time taking us to Series 7, which, to be honest, is one of the weakest series’ of the Sean Hughes era. like, to that point it was ascending every series, but 7 was a bit of a step back, with the exception of the Daphne & Celeste episode.

We’re onto episode 9, featuring Alvin Stardust, Liz McClarnon, Lloyd Cole, who used to front The Commotions, and DJ Trevor Nelson.

Mark, introing Alvin: “Alvin’s been in the industry for almost 40 years, and if I may make a suggestion…lose the coif.”
Nice nab at his own lack of hairstyle.

The first round is about how Sting got his name…can’t be good.

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Sean: “Is it because he’s really tiny? Because if you look at the first shot there- that’s actually a chessboard…”

Mark: “In an interview, Sting revealed that his biggest worry was being killed by a falling coconut, as he would always be remembered as the bloke who was killed by a coconut. “I can’t think of anything more embarrassing”, said Michael Hutchence in an interview.”
…wow. I’m just shocked that he went the whole segment without bashing Sting.

Alvin: ‘I’ve got to be very careful with Oasis, because apparently, I saw ’em in an interview once, apparently I was one of the people on their wall. Mind you, Mark apparently had me on HIS wall, so it doesn’t say a lot-”
Mark: “Are you implying that we’ve had a homosexual liaison together?”
Phill: “Imagine, if you two DID have sex, the SUPER-COIF THAT WOULD BE BEGAT…like a GODZILLA coif!”

Alvin’s saying something about the Captain Sensible clip, and Mark’s looking around, looking in his glass, distracted. Finally, Alvin just goes over to Phill and says “I realize now why Reeves and Mortimer kept him down so much. He can be a real shit, can’t he?”
Mark cracks up at this one, knowing he’s right.

Alvin’s referring to something with Mark that he’s not supposed to talk about.
Phill: “Is it a coif thing, like Star Wars, going “MARK, I AM YOUR FATHER!”
Alvin: “You’re very close, there…that’s it, it’s out now…”
Phill: “MY SON, WITH OUR HAIRCUTS WE’LL TAKE OVER THE WORLD!! WHY DID YOU SHAVE YOURS OFF, MARK? WHYYY?”

Trevor asks if Phill and Alvin can make the intros funky. So, as they’re doing their first intro, Mark just sings over them, ‘One Nation Under a Groove’ by Funkadelic, just to A.) distract him, and B.) Piss him off.
Trevor: “It’s ‘One Nation Under a Groove’
Phill: “No, it WASN’T ONE NATION UNDER A GROOVE.”
Trevor: “Then SHUT UP, MARK!”

They try it again, and this time Mark just sings ‘You Make me Feel (Mighty Real)’ over them, which…also pisses Trevor off.

Mark: “How you doing there?”
Trevor: “…..One Nation Under a Groove?”
Phill: “NO??”

Some of the fake names for the ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ ID Parade
#2: Porn Star. (Big audience reaction
#3: Freddie Star (he cracks up)

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Sean: “#1 and #2 know each other, 2 from the porno, and 1 looks like he’s on the censorship board. ‘VE VILL *NOT* BE SEEING DAT IN OUR COUNTRY!”
Mark: “Which country is that, then, Sean?”
Sean: “Um….Switzerland?”

Mark keeps saying that Lloyd is unable to smile throughout the show, so he decides to swap #4 out for Lloyd in the ID Parade.

He redoes the ID Parade intros, and calls #4, Lloyd, “Miserable Bastard Star”, which causes him to break a bit.
Mark: “I GOT HIM! I GOT HIM!! I GOT YOU, COLE! I’M YOUR DADDY NOW!”

Overall: As much of a good episode as Series 7 could give. Alvin was in a fantastic mood, even working off of Mark. Lloyd’s mood rose as they went on. Liz and Trevor got a lot done without doing a great deal on the panel. Not a TON going on, but the Alvin moments elevate it.

Best Regular: Sean
Best Guest: Alvin
Best Runner: Lloyd won’t smile.

Nevermind Watchdown: S5E2 or The Answer There was #3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Annoyed Mark is still his best

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

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

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

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Sara, ashamed as hell over the skid marks joke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#3…Evelyn War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Now he’s just doing it on purpose

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

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

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Mark’s Athelston Impression

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

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

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

Mark’s signoff is “you’ve been watching Nevermind the Buzzcocks, I’ve been Mark Lamarr…”
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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

Nevermind Watchdown: S10E10- Eurovision Song Contest Special or ONE EUROPE! ONE HAIRLINE!

Ah, so tonight’s episode, not only is the last episode of the series, and NOT ONLY is the LAST EPISODE OF THE SEAN HUGHES ERA…but it’s also the special NMTB put out for the Eurovision Song Contest, in partnership with Terry Wogan, who is also a guest on the panel tonight.

As for the other guests, Johnny Logan’s a 3-time ESC placer, Cheryl Baker was in Bucks Fizz, and Sonia was a 80’s-90’s hit maker, repping the UK in 1993.

Cheryl mentions she was in Cocoa in 1978.
Phill: ‘AAHHH! Ooh, cocoa. Ain’t it lovely?”
Mark: “Well hold on, I wanna find out what their favorite drinks are! Terry, what’s yours. I assume something very Irish. BAILEY’S IRISH CREAM!”
Terry: “Ah, you know my weakness. BUT NO…”

Phill: “How do Portugese people breed if the chaps look like that?”
Mark: “Because the women look like that as well…”

Sean, on the Swedish rep: “Apparently he was gonna wear a white leather jacket.”
Johnny, taking off his white leather jacket: “I mean, somebody’s gonna die on this stage, and it’s not gonna be me.”
Mark: “Yeah, it’s gonna be you.”

In lieu of the ESC, the scores are read by a correspondent in Belgium, which seems to crack up Phill.

After another barb at Johnny’s dad, Johnny threatens Mark, saying “do you wanna sit in that seat, or wear it?”
Mark, ever the smartass, goes “let’s find out”, and picks up the chair and puts it on his chest, walking like a model, and goes “MARK IS WEARING THE NEWEST…”

Phill, trying to give Cheryl a clue: ‘Will someone, for the love of God, cut off my penis!”
Mark: ‘What, AGAIN? Did’ja find it??”

Terry: ‘I don’t remember a single Eurovision song?”
Johnny: “Sorry?”
Terry: “I don’t remember a SINGLE song from all the-”
Johnny: “SORRY?”
Terry: “EXCEPT THE THREE THAT YOU HAVE WON!”
Terry polishes this with an eye-roll.

Because I’m American, I don’t get a ton of these jokes, but at least Terry is having the time of his life.

In the midst of the THIRD time Terry’s distracted a Intro guess by suggesting an old Irish song, Sean: “THERE ARE PEOPLE IMMIGRATING AS WE SPEAK!!”

So for the ID Parade for Sean’s team, which is a Norweigian act, he’s so obviously the guy, #4, that it puts Mark off, and he asks Sean to pick the four who AREN’T the guy, because he’s just too obvious.

Overall: A weaker episode, but Johnny and Terry were having so much fun that this episode can’t be ignored. Still has its moments, like the ID Parade guy being so obvious, and Johnny and Mark’s patter, but a lot of the humor was lost to me, a foreigner. Still a nice enough one for Sean to go out on.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Terry
Best Runner: Johnny’s dad.

SERIES 10 SUPERLATIVES:
Best Episode: Episode 5 featuring Pete Burns, Kerry Katona, and the points inside Pete’s mind.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 8 featuring Dave Johns and some Stealth Bombers.
Worst Episode: In my opinion Episode 10, but since I may be biased as a foreigner, I’ll go with Episode 3. Had the least amount of stuff.
Best Regular: Mark, for going even more into goofiness, and making this series look promising even after Sean leaves.
Best Musician Guest: Boy George from Episode 1 because he’s so much fun, and he respects and enjoys the game (unlike Pete Burns)
Best Comedian Guest: Dave Johns, for being an even funnier version of Johnny Vegas.
Most Confused Panelist: Shaun Williamson, who looked way out of his element.
Most Annoying Panelist: Terry Wogan, by default. Some people would put Cathy Dennis or Kerry Katona here, but not me. Those two at least played by the rules.
Best Dartboard for Mark: Lesley Warren, Episode 4, or Pete Burns, Episode 5…and 6…and 9…
Best Runner: Mark’s Top Hat

Nevermind Watchdown: S10E9, or WAS I in the Skids??

Tonight is the SECOND-TO-LAST SEAN HUGHES EPISODE EVER…which is pretty sad, but this season’s been pretty nice so far, and Sean’s been the best part of it, so it’ll be bittersweet.

Tonight features the return of Bruce Dickinson, and an appearance from Ian Stone, who was on Mock the Week a few times. Colleen Nolan was a member of the world famous Nolans (not, as previously thought, alongside Athelston “I’m in the mood for Staring” Williams). Shaun Williamson was on Eastenders and Extras.

Phill, noticing a cloaked black and white figure in the BSB video: “Is that Mariah Carey in the back there?”
Mark: “That could be Pete Burns after a fire..”

Mark goes on a whole Jamie Oliver diatribe, about his lisp, how Colleen can’t have him say any food with an ‘s’ in it, or else “there’ll be Oliver phlegm everywhere”. “NO, DON’T GO FOR THE SALSA!” “FANTATHHTIIIIC!”

Mark: “When he was young, AC McLean was Dopey in Snow White. He’s not that sharp in the Backstreet Boys, either…”

Mark, halfway through an unsuccessful Shaun intro guess, says “we only booked Shaun because we thought he was the guitarist from the Hives.” And then they play the clip from the Hate to Say I told You So video…and that’s kinda perfect.

Bruce, in trying to do a high keyboard note, goes literally high in elevation, and Sean just follows him. Mark eventually sees this, and calls them out on it. Later, they try this again, when Bruce mimes driving a taxi, and then he just goes really high.

So they have to do ‘You Spin Me Round’, and in order to let Ian know he’s Pete Burns, Sean just puffs out his lip. Sean, justifying, goes “IT CONFUSED ME WHEN HE WAS ON THE SHOW!”
Also, whenever Phill and Mark talk about him, they just say HIM, without mentioning his name, which is amusing.

Mark: “Rod Stewart was once thought to have his eyelids lifted, after which the doctor said ‘oh, my mistake, he’s still alive…”

For the Yorkshire ID Parade, Mark names #5, “And I’m really going out on a limb with this one….B…York.”

And #5 for the Skids is, music clip of “THERE SHE WAS, JUST A WALKING DOWN THE STREET, SINGING-”
Mark: “Doo-waa skiddy-skiddy-dum, skiddy-doo.”
Man, Mark is having too much fun with these…

Bruce has a theory that whoever he hits the closest with a paper airplane is the real Skids member. Mark disapproves because “what IF you poke someone’s eye out.” So he makes a guess, but throws it anyway…and it lands on Mark’s desk.
Mark has no choice but to go: ‘Are you right, WAS I in the Skids???”
He stands up, jokingly.

Mark pretends to launch the paper airplane at Colleen.
Colleen: “After everything I did for you backstage, Mark?”
Mark: “Yeah, I’m getting you back for it…I kept asking you not to.”
Colleen: “Liar.”

Next Lines, Mark: “Why must you record my phone calls?”
Phill: “You’re the only Bin Laden in the phone book.”

After Mark throws another joke towards Colleen.
Colleen: “You’re so annoying!”
Mark: “Me? YOU were in the Nolans!”

Mark, directly to Colleen: “Don’t love me…too hard.”
Colleen: “Don’t push me…too fucking far…”

Mark: “White man came across the sea- HOLD ON!”
He immediately shoots a look over at Colleen.
Mark: “I mean, you’ve got to admire that level of ejaculation.”

To commemorate Sean leaving the show, they replay the clip from the Johnny Vegas show from a few seasons ago where Sean couldn’t get a Next Line in until late in the round, just to show ‘how valuable he was’. Great stuff.

Overall: Another solid episode that picked up steam late in the game. Great stuff from Bruce, Ian and Colleen, and not a lot coming from Shaun. Bruce always has fun on the show, so I wasn’t worried. Colleen had a lot of fun with Mark, too. Also, this was a great sendoff to Sean.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Bruce
Best Runner: Mark and Colleen before the show.

Nevermind Watchdown: S1OE8, or A Field Guide to Stealth Bombers

Onto another episode, featuring another appearance from Paul Young, a musician who was good enough his last time out.

Christian Ingebrigtsen was in A1, along with Mark’s favorite one Ben. Dave Johns is a comedian and panel show staple. June Sarpong is, of course, another MTV presenter.

Sean, on Adam Ant: “You worked with him in the early days, right?”
Paul: “Yeah, I did, which makes it very difficult for me to comment on him in his current status.”
Sean, sarcastic: ‘Why, what happened?”

Mark, on Adam Ant’s look: “So if the police ask for any distinguishing features, they’ll say ‘he had a white stripe across his nose…”
Sean: “The white stripe was a brilliant look but it had many restrictions. For instance, you couldn’t park on him back half six at night…”
Mark, to the camera: “Sean’s thinking of yellow lines.”
June: “Close enough.”
Mark: “No, not close enough. The yellow ones run down the middle, June. Your boyfriend helps run the country, June, and you don’t know this! June’s boyfriend’s an MP. She’s had the loins of our country in her…”

Dave sees a ‘stealth bomber’ closing in in the Toploader video, and says they’re trying to hide it behind ‘a couple of trees and a garage.”
Mark: “I think you don’t actually need to hide a stealth bomber. They’re not invisible in real life. They’re only invisible to radar, otherwise you’d just see a pilot in the sky…”
Dave: “Looking down, AAAAGHHH…”

Dave notices they’re spreading leaves, so he goes “DEEEA THIRTY-FIVE IN THE BEEG BROTHA HOUSE…the housemates are spreading leaves around the house so they can spend the rest of the show like tiny little woodland creatures.”
Christ, this guy is a slightly-more-coherent Johnny Vegas.

June, trying to place the Pulp song: “It’s about…the one…he liked a girl when…she was younger…”
Mark: ‘That’s a Gary Glitter song you’re thinking of.”

Mark’s name for #5 in the ‘Sugar’ ID Parade is “#5, DAHLING YOU GOT TO LET ME KNOW (guitar clip) SUGAH STAY OR SUGAH GO.”

June: “#2 looks like he’s about to fall over.”
Sean: “THEY ALL look like they’re about to fall over!”
Mark: “Well, except for #5, he’s got something to support him.”
(#5’s the only one with a harp.)

Sean: “D’you think #5 carries his harp around with him just to say ‘this is my height!”
Mark: “His parents bought him that when he was young, and said “as soon as you can reach this, you can have the house!”

Dave: “What we should do is have ’em all fight, and the one that survives…”
Mark: “Is allowed to be in Champ 69. That’s a nice way of working it out. I wish I’d thought of that with the Temperant Seven [the last ID Parade act]. Wouldn’t it be great to smash a banjo ’round another man’s head?”

Phill: “It’s #3”
Christian: “But look at 2, 4, and 5. They look very calm. But #1 looks very uneasy.”
Mark: “That’s true, but…”
Phill: “Yeah, but #3, ya see, was in Champ 69…”
Mark: “And that’s a much better way of guessing…”

Dave: “Maybe if you went over and licked each of their faces there’d be some residue left over from the punk era.”
Phill: “MAYBE IF *YOU* WENT OVER THERE AND LICKED THEIR FACES!!!”

Next Lines, Mark: “I remember when rock was young.”
Dave and Phill in unison: “Me and Suzy had so much fun.”
Mark: “No. [beat] just kidding, you’re right…”

Christian, justifying an A1 lyric slip-up: “I didn’t write those lyrics.”
Mark: “Yeah, but you must have heard them before…”

After Paul does a verse in a German accent, Mark just goes, in a very strict German accent: ‘Laurel und Hardy ANUDDER FINE MESH YOU’D GOTTEN ME INTOOO!!!”
Phill: “Now, Eva’s coming for DINNER…I don’t want YOU in da way, Goebbels…”
Mark: “I hope da Allied Powuhs don’t see us on TV, then we’ll be in…A WHOLE HEAP’A TROUBLE!”
Dave, in a perfect Stan Laurel voice: “AH’VE LOST DA TANKS!”

Dave: “See, ya can’t fear them if ya make fun of them?”
Mark: “What, d’ya fear Rommel?”
Dave: “Yeah.”
Mark: “He’s dead!”
Dave, faux-surprise: “IS HE? OH THANK GOD!”
Mark: “That’s gonna be a wipe off your mind tonight.”
Dave: “So they’re just BUSES going by my room, not tanks??”
Mark: “THEY’RE STEALTH BUSES!”
Dave: “Well, maybe it’s a stealth Rommel!”
Mark: “Well, if he’s dead then it doesn’t matter. If it’s an invisible dead man, what’s the fear?”
Dave: “You could trip over him…”

Mark, after a good 30 seconds of laughter, goes “we’re lucky we’ve got him before they wear off…”
He then realizes he’s gone for minutes without continuing the round, and goes ‘QUICK FIRE!”

Mark: “I’m 18 with a bullet.”
Sean: “I would have preferred a bicycle actually, DAD!”

Overall: A pretty nice episode that picked up a TON of momentum as it went on, especially thanks to some great running gags, and some awesome Dave Johns lines. Dave, by the way, is one of the funniest comedians to come on the show in a while, and does Johnny Vegas’ schtick much better than Johnny does. June was aloof, Paul was awesome, Christian didn’t give too much. It was just a really nice, funny episode.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Dave
Best Runner: Stealth bombers (and Stealth Rommel)