Nevermind Watchdown: I14 (ICE), or ‘SEAAAAN’S ALIIIIIIVEEE!”

I know. It’s been a while. But I feel like now’s a good enough time to do another QI. Why not?

Besides, we have three more episodes left in what’s been described as the ‘Golden Age’ of QI, and I fear that things are going to go downhill once this series ends.

But…to quote one of tonight’s guests: “Oh, well…WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER? AHAHAHAHAHA!”

That’s right, BRIAN BLESSED, one of the most beloved, yet one of the least subtle, actors in history, gets to be a guest on QI, the CHRIIIIISTMAAAAAAAAS Special no less, alongside Ross Noble and Sean Lock. One sad piece of business is that this is Sean’s last QI, as after this he’d swear off all other panel shows in order to focus on 8 out of 10 cats. The man will be missed, but hopefully he’ll finish strong.

Even the opening makes me laugh- Stephen, in introing Ross, uses his accent to say ‘Russ NuOBLE’. Ross gets a kick out of that. Stephen even intros Brian as ‘FATHER CHRISTMAS HIMSELF!’ And even from the getgo, Brian seems so happy to be here.

The buzzers even know what’s up. Sean’s and Ross’s are quaint little bells. Brian’s is A LOUD SET OF ORGAN CHIMES.

Ross, in bringing up the Nobody Knows cards, to Sean: “Could you, uh, could you just put that card there?”
Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 2.42.54 PM.png
Ross: “It really IS the Riddler!”

On the first question, about where there’s the most rest days and most expensive Big Macs, Brian, offers a place in Canada where the “BIG MACS ARE BLOOOODY HUGE…and there’s lots of sex.”
Ross: “That would be the greatest voiceover ever. AND THEY’RE BLOODY BIG BIG MACS…”

Stephen: ‘Iceland has more Nobel Prize winners per capita than anywhere else on earth. D’you know how many that is?”
Alan: ‘FOURTEEN?”
Stephen: “No…”
Sean: “One.”
Stephen: “IS THE RIGHT ANSWER!”

Alan, on Iceland: “Doesn’t everybody live on the edge?”
Ross, taking this the wrong way: “What d’you mean?? ‘LET’S TAKE LOADS OF DRUGS! LET’S DRIVE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!'”
Sean: “Living on the edge in Iceland is just going out in just your pants…”

Also, already Ross is having an amazing time, judging by his ridiculous Icelandic accent which he keeps bringing back.

Early observation- Ross, Sean and Alan are zooming at 500 miles per hour, collaborating…and Brian’s just taking his sweet time. He obviously can’t keep up with them, but he’s at least enjoying himself.

Ross tries to explain a ‘prawn ring’, which is just a circle of prawns, that nobody else seems to understand.
Ross: “You wanna get yourself a tiny sheepdog…and a tank.”
Sean: “You’d need a prawn dog. Not a sheepdog.”
Ross, not getting it: “…of COURSE, uh, what was I thinking-”
Alan, under them: “What is the icelandic equivalent of a sheepdog?”
Sean: “What are you TALKING ABOUT, ROSS? YOU’RE TALKING ABSOLUTE NONSENSE! A SHEEPDOG? FOR PRAWNS? YOU DON’T GET A SHEEPDOG, YOU GET A *PRAWNDOG* FOR PRAAAAAWNS!”
Ross: “That explains why, 1, I’ve lost that competition, and 2, I’ve been banned from Crofts!”

Brian’s not really collaborating with everyone, but right at the start of every question he’ll have an insanely inspired, and really funny, answer. I’ll give him that.

Alan, after Stephen explains the Genghis Khan- icelandic volcano connection: “So what do we have to pronounce?”
Stephen: “Now, THAT’S WHAT- how did you know I was going to ask that as a supplementary question?”
Alan: “…I thought you already did.”
Stephen: “Oh, did I already say it-”
Alan, realizing: “Well, that or I read it off the autocue…”

The whole panel takes turns trying to pronounce the Icelandic volcano. Alan comes closest. Ross’s is too silly. Brian BELTS IT OUT, MAKES IT SOUND NEARLY KLINGON.
Stephen: “…you may have set it off again, by doing that…”

Sean: “I think the umlaut changes things a bit, and I think they way you’re supposed to pronounce it is ‘….ETCH!..”

After Stephen gives the actual pronunciation.
Ross: “And is that translated as ‘Big Smokey Bastard?’
Alan: “Or ‘You Will Go By Ferry’?”

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 3.11.18 PM.pngStephen: “These are icelandic. What’dyou reckon they are?”
Alan: “….LEGS.”
Stephen: “Yeah. If I were to tell you that those are empty, does that help?”
Alan: “….HOLLOW LEGS.”
Ross: “Oh, are they Icelandic Cock Pants?”

This week’s Prop Interlude involves trying to pull two interled phonebooks apart. It works so well on Sean and Brian’s side that Sean falls out of his chair and onto Brian’s lap.
And then, Sean, as he emerges from under the desk, bellows, in honor of Brian, “SEAAANN’S ALLIIIIIIVEEEE!”

Stephen, to Sean: “How come your water hasn’t spilled?”
Sean: “It’s an old trick- yeah, me and Brian have been doing this trick for years…”

After 30 seconds of hysterical struggling, and throwing the phone books round with fury, Alan finally separates them.

Stephen, as another prop, hands the teams a sticky ‘lubed rod.’
Alan: “He’s been trying to get me to do this for YEARS…”
Sean: “Sorry, Stephen, but this contravenes my superinjunction…”
[Yeah, but Ian told me…]

And then, they do this Alaskan olympic sport…and Sean falls out of the chair YET AGAIN…

Alan, once again, gets the Nobody Knows bonus because he’s one of the few that remembers it exists.

Stephen explains the members of the expedition bringing all of these random things with them while under heavy lead poisioning
Sean: “I can imagine they went to open a really disappointing shop”

Stephen talks of Scott bringing a player-piano to the arctic, mostly because on his first expedition he’d brought a real one “only to discover that nobody on board could play”

Brian Blessed is capable of adding his own arctic knowledge to Stephen’s stories, in a doubly interesting way. As Stephen tells the story of Scott who raced to the South Pole, and Amundson of Norway who beat him to it, Blessed tells the addendum of how Amundson’s wife informed him of Scott’s death while Amundson was in the bathtub, to which he replied “he’s beaten me to it!”, and that in death he’d conquered the territory Amundsen had physically claimed. It’s a very interesting element.
Ross: “What he should have said was ‘can I have his piano?”

Stephen: “What happens when a penguin steps on a landmine?”
Alan: …I dare say nothing at all-”
Sean, being Sean: “IT FLIES!”
AHAHAHAHA

Stephen talks of whalers burning penguins for the oil, which frightens the audience but cracks up Ross
Ross: “‘CHUCK ANOTHER PENGUIN ON THE FIRE, WOULD YA?”
Sean: “That’s brilliant! ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?’ ‘I’ve just finished BURNING UP THESE PENGUINS SO I CAN BOIL THIS WHALE!’ THAT’S a job!”

Stephen, as with the rest of this series, let’s a special guest go on about his specialist subject; here, Brian is allowed to discuss Yetis, and the place of the abominable snowman, which, in being an arctic explorer, he knows quite a bit about.

Brian, in discussing with Stephen, brings up a ton of intriguing dialogue about yetis, and belief of such, and while it’s not funny and doesn’t involve the other players, it’s still very eye-opening, and I’m glad he’s on the program.

Stephen: “Why did the Spanish Duke of Alba invest in 7,000 pairs of ice skates?”
Sean: “Because he was a millipede.”
Oh, gosh, I’m gonna miss him on this show

Sean goes on a tangent about show-jumping. Dare I say it, but is Ross Noble really the voice of reason on this panel?

Stephen talks of the Spanish buying all the ice-skates for an ice war, just to be safe.
Ross: “THERE IS a Saturday Night program I would watch. It’s Celebrity WAR ON ICE.”
Alan: “Here come the Spanish, they’ve never skated before! WHOOPS! Look out, Manuel, it’s cold!”

Stephen has everyone a cup of ice cream, and asks them to give tasting notes.

Stephen reveals that it’s fox testicle ice cream. Alan sickly scoops one more bite. Ross feverishly shovels more in.
Ross: “Oh, I KNEW IT! I’m a SLAVE to a fox’s bollock, me…”
Stephen: “Well I’m playing with words here, because it’s not ACTUALLY from the testicles of a fox-”
Ross: “PFFFF- AWWWW, WHAT??”

Brian gets a klaxon (?????) for saying igloos are made from blue ice.
Alan: “GLUE!”
Stephen: “Nice thought”
Alan: “Is it actually an apple glue, and it actually is…”
Stephen, getting it: “…iGlue…”

Stephen: “Now, what d’you say to a husky to make it go?”
Panel: “…..”

Brian talks about being in Mongolia and having just a giant wolf in his tent. “It adored me, and I gave it mars bars and such…”

He talks about getting back to his tent with the dog after a hike, and goes “…you have to understand, ladies and gentlemen, even at my age, in my 70s, I’M A RANDY BASTARD. AND I WAS MISSING MY WIFE, HORRIBLY. SO I TOOK THIS GREAT BIG BLOODY WOLF…”
Eventually, this story has a happy ending; Brian just sings a love song to him, and gives a wholesome kiss to the wolf. No penetration, thankfully.
Sean: “You know how earlier you said you don’t suffer from altitude sickness? I THINK YA DO…”
Ross: “I think we’ve worked out- I think we know why Brian’s huskies were goin’ so fast. ‘HEY, HEY! QUICK, HE’S GAINING ON US!”

Another question, on a Loch Ness Monster fake, appeals to Ross, as he’s read up on the legend, and he’s right there with Stephen’s questions on a reporter out to get revenge
Ross: “Ah, yes, he was su- shut up, I know something!”

As he tells this story, Stephen squints a bit, as he’s gotten some details wrong. As Stephen’s about to chime in, Ross goes “If you say no, I’ll punch you in the face!”

For the finale, Stephen gives everyone specific bells, and expects them all to do a bell rendition of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’, without disaster.
Stephen is essentially stringing the four of them along, but it sort of works.

Sean loses his last show, which is sad but characteristic. ALAN WINS! THAT’S ODD!

Overall: A delightfully fun and well-balanced Christmas show. Obviously Brian wasn’t up to the speed of the other three, but he gave a great deal of information himself, and it was good enough just to have Brian Blessed on QI; the others were also great at responding to his stories, especially the wolf one. Sean was nice here, but this was essentially a passing of the torch to Ross Noble, who was doing his weird, panel-carrying schtick better than he was. Ross is great not only at connecting, but at weird jokes; Sean, also good at both, could battle no longer.

MVP: Ross
Best Guest: Ross
Show Winner: Alan
Best QI Fact: ice skates for the war
Best Runner: Icelandic accent

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QI Watchdown: I6 (Inventive)

Five episodes in, and we’ve still yet to hit an episode below ‘great’. Tonight, we have a rather inventive pairing of Bill Bailey and Sean Lock, plus an assist from ventriloquist and scene-stealer from Christopher Guest’s Family Tree, Nina Conti, along with her friend Gran. I’m not sure how Conti’s stuff will translate to QI, but having Bill and Sean’s a nice enough start.

Observations right off the bat- Sean’s already there with his insincere ‘thank you’ right off the bat, and as this is his second-to-last QI episode ever, there’s probably a reason for the insincerity. Bill’s wearing a Naruto shirt. Wow.

Gran sounds a ton like Mrs. Doubtfire. As they demonstrate the ‘Nobody Knows’ card, Bill, patronizingly, asks if he should hold the card for her.

Bill: “There was a bloke the other day, went through a machine, and his whole body went through a tunnel the size of a CD. And…he survived.”
Stephen: “…what?”
Sean: “Was it Ronnie Corbett?”
(Man, if only Rob Brydon were here)
Bill, stifling laughter: “..yeah, that’d explain it…”

Stephen talks of the man who invented the parachute suit, and died while jumping from the Eiffel Tower.
Stephen: “He ripped a page from a book to see which way the wind was blowing-”
Bill: “Unfortunately, that was the instruction manual…”

There’s a nice discussion about putting Gran in the overhead compartment…and how she feels about that.
Sean: “I don’t know why you even go on the plane! Why don’t you just post yourself?”
Gran: “…too expensive, dear. I’m heavy.”
Nina: “I once lost her once, actually, on a plane…by an airline, of which, for legal reasons, i’m not supposed to name.”
Gran: “…Ryanair…”

Having Nina and Gran on is great, and they have very funny stuff, though their digressions are very independent, and it’s difficult for them to build off of other people. Sean and Bill, of course, have no trouble building off of them.

For a question about ventriloquism, Bill and Alan wind up with their own puppets, and try to say the phrase ‘pig in a poke’ (which Nina did so masterfully before). Bill rolls his over to Gran, trying (and failing) and ventriloquism.
Gran: “You’ve had a stroke, dear…”

It’s an amusing sequence, having everybody try ventriloquism. Sean doesn’t even try, he just doesn’t say anything, while moving the puppet around. Unlike the bug runner from last show, it doesn’t exactly take off, but it’s still amusing.

Even better, Bill tries pressing the buzzer with his puppet, is successful…and ends up breaking the thing. He just starts playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with the plastic pieces of the buzzer.

Gran, summing up Bill’s failed puppeteering attempt: “You know, the first rule of show-business is to make everything look easy…and this half-wit over here…”

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 8.19.16 PM.pngStephen talks of a woman who used ventriloquism to protest to Anne Boleyn.
Gran: “…nice tits, too…”
Alan: “No, look at the bloke looking at her tits…”

Gran: “Nina is a ventriloquist, apparently…though I’ve yet to see evidence of that…”

There’s a semi-Mastermind-ish aspect to this one, sort of like Imbroglio, where Nina, for a while, talks about her specialized subject (ventriloquism, of course), sort of like Frank Skinner talking about George Formby, or Anneka Rice talking about her racing or whatever. Unlike Anneka Rice or whatever, Nina and Gran are pretty active, and still contribute a lot to the show, aside from the specialized subject material.

They show a picture of this ‘vent-haven’ place, (‘where dummies go to rest’)
Sean: “AAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIGGHHHHHH!”

Stephen asks Nina if ventriloquists get too close to their dummies and characters, and if Keith Harris ever went too far down
Nina: “Well, I can’t speak for him-”
Gran: “No, cause you’re not that good a ventriloquist…”

Stephen asks Sean if he had an imaginary friend when he was younger.
Sean: “:I’m not aware of it. They didn’t use to come around much…”

Stephen gives everyone inventions, and has them guess what they do. Bill’s is done with him specifically in mind.
Bill: “Is it a beard-measuring device?”
Stephen: “Well, I wouldn’t call your beard of quality…”

Stephen: “And what have you got there, Sean?”
Sean: “…’ts a BOTTLE, Stephen.”
Stephen: “And what d’you think it’s for?”
Sean: “…for putting stuff in.”
Stephen: “…okay, so NEXT, moving onto Nina…”

Nina get some sort of ‘suppository for Charlie McCarthy’ as hers, and hands it to Bill so he can unscrew it. Alan guesses it comes with preparation H, and he’s right.
Bill: “Wait, this has been up someone’s ass?”
He frantically drops the device.

GREAT MOMENTS IN PHRASING!
Stephen talks of a Policeman’s ‘lady-reviver’, a bit of smelling salt.
Stephen, explaining: “So when a lady would faint, in the street, the policeman would whip it out, and-”
He has to stop there, because the audience beats him to the punch.

Stephen asks a question with a convoluted sort of wind-up.
Bill: “Uhh…NOBODY KNOWS!”
Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 8.51.10 PM.png
Stephen: “…he’s put up the card backwards.”
Bill: “oh…you CHEAPSKATE! You just put it on one side? Ya cheap…BASTARD!”
Alan: “Yeah, that’s THEIR fault…”

It’s nice when Stephen starts GI by saying ‘fingers on buzzers, those that are still working…”

Once again, Alan gets the Nobody Knows answer, though this time the question is something as ridiculous as ‘how did dinosaurs have sex?’

Overall: A cute little middle-of-the-road show to bring Series I back to earth a tad. There were some nice moments, Bill had some great lines, and the entire sequence of 3/4ths of the panel trying ventriloquism was inspired, but a lot of the show was more factual and less fun. Sean was quieter than he’d been in a while, mostly keeping to himself. Nina and Gran were a fantastic presence, having great lines and giving great knowledge, though they seemed to take up the show a bit too much.

MVP: Bill
Best Guest: Nina
Show Winner: Nina
Best QI Fact: the parachute suit guy.

QI Watchdown: I3 (Imbroglio), or MAY CONTAIN NUTS.

Two people that have never been on before, and Sean Lock. Well then.

I’d be more worried about this show if one of the newbies wasn’t Frank Skinner. He’s wound up on the majority of the shows I watch- he worked really well on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and he didn’t work very well at all on Mock the Week. He’ll probably be great here. He’s joined by John Bishop, who’s like Mark Steel, but scarier-looking, and with a thicker accent- I didn’t love him on his MTW episode, but…then again, Susan Calman bomber her MTW and is great on QI, so who am I to judge?

The buzzers are nice tonight- John’s is an annoying fly that goes on for 10 seconds…which causes a prolonged wince from John. Frank’s is a high-pitched barking that goes on for…what, 20 seconds? He nearly cracks up.
John: “Can I ask- how long is this show?”
Stephen: “…it depends on how often you use the buzzer…”

Sean’s is an insanely loud baby scream, which causes him to grow concerned. Alan’s is…an automatic klaxon.

Stephen brings up the Nobody Knows card for John and Frank…which makes me wonder if this episode taped after a later Sean Lock episode, as the rule doesn’t need to be explained to him.

Frank, on the Nobody Knows card: “It looks like if they had Strictly Come Dancing one night, and someone had a dance that was so experimental that the judges…”
Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 11.12.05 PM.pngFrank is already perfect for this show.

Sean gets the first klaxon of the night right off the bat for guessing that ‘double entendre’ is french for Innuendo.
Sean: “…oh, I’ve just remembered that double entendre is actually french for ‘big tits’, isn’t it?’

Stephen: “You could say double entente, which is-”
Sean: “Two-man tent.”

John, summing up the whole thing surprisingly well: “So it’s a french phrase that the french don’t use…so it’s not french.”

Stephen asks for what they’d shout if you want more at a concert.
Alan: “ENCORE!”
Stephen: “Right. What do they say in France?”
Alan: “…MORE!”

Stephen: “No, they shout a LATIN word, which means twice.”
Alan, after a beat of nothing: “…anyone?”

John: “Ya’d HATE to do a show where everyone in the crowd goes ‘BIIIIIIIIIIISSSS!’ It’s like that:
John’s buzzer: “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ”

John: “Do they at least use ‘bidet’?”
Stephen: “Bidet they do indeed have, though it’s easier, really, to do a handstand in the shower, to be honest….”
The whole room takes a second to recover.
Stephen: “If you’re as NIMBLE AS I AM!”
Sean: “I’d pay good money to see that! NO, I SEE YOU, with a camera, like that, going ‘tweet this!'”

Frank: “There’s a greek phrase…the greeks say catytrius diephtica (the spelling’s probably nowhere near that), and it means ‘who gives a shit?’. But LITERALLY it means ‘There is trouble in the Gypsy Village.”

There’s a very nice moment where Frank reveals he has a wealth of knowledge about George Formby, as he’s a huge fan. Stephen hands him a banjalele, in the hopes that he’ll play some on the spot.

Frank, tuning the banjalele: “My dog has fleas is what you need to remember. [tuning the strings] My dog has fl- [one of them’s really out of tune]…actually this dog has distemper..”

Frank actually does a few ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ lyrics, because he can, and because he’s been given the opportunity, which is a pretty nice moment.

Stephen gets everyone in the room to shout their favorite color. Then he asks Frank what John shouted.
John: “…I was mainly listening to me, there…”
Stephen: “John, d’you know what Frank shouted?”
John, looking Frank over: “…pink?”

Alan, on teamwork professions: “The one I like where people come ’round to your house and tell you what to do so it’ll sell.”
Sean: “Yeah, ‘specially when you don’t want to sell it…”
Alan: “Went in the toilet, put the toilet seat down, went “…Lid down when showing…”
Stephen: “Really? So…no floating solids?”
Alan: “Yeah, ya got to flush it first…”
John: “I’d stop my family from doin’ handstands in the shower…”

Frank, on the interrobang: “And what happens if it’s an exclamation point done upside down?”
John: “…it means someone’s in the shower?”
(This is the QI equivalent of Rob Beckett’s dad in the bath, I think.)

Frank has a very nice, David Mitchell-esque rant on the semi-colon getting preferential treatment on the keyboard.
Frank: “If I was a colon, I’d think ‘surely I take precedence in this…you are merely a SEMI version of me. I should be the one that only gets one key.”
Sean: “…I share your pain, Frank….I’ve stayed up til DAWN, with whiskey, going ‘WHY???”

Stephen introduces a round called ‘HOW IRONIC IS THAT’, where the panelists have to judge if scenarios are ironic or not.
Frank: “Are we judging on a scale from 1 to 100? I was just worried about how we grade the irony…”
Sean: “i’d say ‘SHINY’…down to ‘RUSTY’.”

Stephen: “I say this because people seem to be using the term ‘ironically’ incorrectly, like ‘IRONICALLY, HE WASN’T THERE”…which-”
Frank: “The Invisible Man!”

Frank even quotes a line from Richard III in regards to dramatic irony.
Sean: “Ladies and gentlemen, an all-around entertainer!”

Frank talks of an argument he had with David Baddiel, about whether or not Peter Falk’s glass eye played the part of a real eye during Columbo.
Sean: “How did this argument go on for so long?”
Frank: “David wasn’t having it!”
Sean: “Were you wrestling naked in front of a fire?”

Stephen brings up the old ‘Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theater, and Kennedy was shot in a Ford Lincoln’ fact, but he dismisses it as coincidence.
Sean: “Reagan was shot in Washington, and Washington was shot with a ray-gun…”
Stephen: “IF ONLY THAT WERE TRUE! It would almost be worth inventing a time machine, AND GOING BACK WITH A RAY-GUN JUST TO DO THAT!”

Stephen brings up the fact that brazil nut allergies are transmittable through sex.
Sean: “Boy, that’s a good murder plot, isn’t it?”
John: “I feel as if I’m on an episode of House. Who found that out?”
Alan: “Surely the woman would FEEL the brazil nut…”
(And I’m gone.)
Stephen: “I think you may have slightly misunderstood-”
Alan: “The man would too…”
Stephen, motioning to his crotch: “MAY CONTAIN NUTS.”

Stephen: “Does anyone know why, in a packet of nuts, the brazils always rise to the top?”
Alan, fetching his ? card and cracking up: “Surely nobody knows…”
Stephen: “YOU’RE RIGHT!”

Stephen: “What do the signal bars on your phone mean?”
Alan, cautiously trying to avoid a klaxon: “Well, it means…how much…signal you can…”

Stephen: “What’s the use of an inflatable anchor?”
John: “Is it for hot-air balloons?”
Frank: “Is it to stop submarines…from going too low?”
The audience applauds, and Stephen even goes “that’s so sweet…”

Stephen: “There were lions [during Richard III’s reign] all over Africa.”
Sean: “They were bloody everywhere. Y’ad a picnic in those days? Not wasps. LIONS. EVERYWHERE. “GET OFF ME SANDWICH!”

Frank, of course, talks about he and Baddiel doing Three Lions for the ’96 Euro, and Germany adopting the song as their own after their victory.
John: “THAT…is irony.”

Stephen talks of a distinguished council member and fan of Clint Eastwood, who emblazoned a motto of the latin translation of ‘Go Ahead, Make My Day’.
Frank: “On my coat of arms it says ‘catytrius diephtica’….’There is Trouble in the Gypsy Village’…”

Stephen: “Name an animal whose scientific name is the same as its regular name.”
Frank: “Isn’t a gorilla called ‘Gorilla Gorilla’?”
Stephen: “yes, but-”
KLAXON

Stephen says that bananas are radioactive, as they have a ton of potassium…and so, evidently, are certain private parts.
Frank: “Is that why they’re shaped like bananas?”
Sean: “SPEAK FOR YOURSELF!”
Frank: “I’m waiting for mine to stop being green…”

Stephen: “And finally, an easy one, which country is the world’s largest supplier of Brazil nuts?”
Sean: “COSTA RRRRICA!”
Stephen: “…no.”
Sean: “oh, well…BRAZIL.”
Stephen: “NOOO!”
KLAXON

Stephen: “Well, we have a TIE for first place”
Alan: ‘FIGHT!”
Stephen: “…We’re not Harry Hill here…”

Overall: Another fantastic episode, though slightly below the caliber of the last two. All four panelists were on tonight. I was really amused by John, even if he was a bit quieter than the rest- his material was very sly, and really nice. Frank had a great night, proved he was definitely a great fit for this show. Sean probably had the best night out of everyone, just in doing Sean Lock things and building off of other people’s stories. The dynamic was definitely there, and there were a ton of really nice moments.

MVP: Sean
Best Guest: Frank
Show Winners: Frank and John
Best QI Fact: Radioactive Brazil Nuts
Best Runner: Upside Down in the Shower.

QI Watchdown: H7 (Horrible)

Brilliant, another Halloween episode. Not only is this another Sean Lock episode, our third and final one of the season,  but this one features Dara O’Briain, and tonight he’s brought along one of my favorite MTW regulars, Chris “There’s a Robin on the Corner of the Building!” Addison. Man, this will be fun.

All the buzzers are, true to theme, horrible sounds. Chris’ is a “EUUUUGHHH!”, which cracks him up. Sean’s is someone flat out vomiting. His response is priceless:

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 1.06.10 AM

‘Lovely…just lovely”

Alan’s, continuing the horrible theme, is just someone going “hello, I’m Piers Morgan.” Works well enough, I think.

Sean, on where the parasite lives: “I think it lives on something that’s long.”
Stephen: “Well…”
Sean: “Something with a lot of blood in it….maybe a couple of veins….to give it a bit of purchase, because if it was long and smooth it’d slide right down-”
Stephen: “WHERE ARE YOU GOING WITH THIS?”

Stephen: “I agree with Sean that it’s a slidey organ, a sort of wet organ-”
Alan: “The hell are you looking at me for???”

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 1.14.06 AMSean on the snot-flower: “I’ve coughed something like that once….that looks a bit like KFC.”
Chris: “Tempura.”
Sean, chuckling: “TEMPURA? That’s so middle class!”

Stephen: “What sort of length do you think the average tapeworm is.”
Sean: “EIGHT METERS.” (I laughed at this for some reason.)
Chris: “Fourteen miles.”
Stephen: “Fourteen miles is perhaps a little long. But thank you for joining in.”

Stephen: “What is the key ingredient in the world’s nastiest cocktail?”
Sean: “Malibu.”
KLAXON
Sean: “I RECKON…I reckon you’ve got someone up there who’s a really quick typer!”

Stephen talks about the Toe Cocktails in canada, that have a human toe in them. Dara’s delivery of “WHERE DO THEY GET THE TOE?” makes me laugh, and the fact that Stephen’s ready with that on the next slide.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 2.04.21 PMSean is distracted by the guy in the middle, when talking about the toe cocktail. “He probably thinks it’s hilarious. I can imagine him going “HE HE…YOU’RE GONNA HAVE TA DRINK THE TOE!”‘, and Sean does that in this high, southern voice.

Stephen’s next question is ‘give me one reason to put a frog’s bottom in your mouth.” And then this comes up on the screen:
Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 2.13.46 PM

Alan has no choice but to look behind him in absolute disbelief.
Stephen: “Do you remember posing for that?”
Alan: “I remember that…what a night that was! You should see what I’ve got in my hands!”

Stephen talks about sucking water from a frog’s bottom to gain hydration in the desert.
Dara: “Essentially, it’s a Capri-Sun.”
Sean: “Or, just get a straw, and you can make a hole wherever you want!”

On how you get rid of a leech:
Alan: “You don’t wanna rip them off, do you?”
Stephen: “Why not?”
Alan: “Doesn’t that do more damage, or leave bits of them in you or something?”
In a millisecond, Alan sees Stephen’s reaction coming, and, knowing exactly what’s coming,  immediately goes “It’s gonna turn out to be ripping them off-”
KLAXON
Alan: “All right, BURN it off.”
KLAXON
Alan: “Douse it in some sort of vulgar…whiskey spirit or something.”
Stephen: “You’re safe with that one.”

Stephen talks about a people being covered in leeches in surgery, for personal aid.
Dara: “I hope the leech guy, in the surgery, dresses differently than the rest of the operational staff. I hope the leech guy arrives like the Child Catcher, in a fancy hat with leeches hanging off it. And then he arrives in, “HEELLOOOO, I AM THE LEECH MAN!”

Stephen asks what a horrible way of transporting smallpox vaccines was, and behind him, a picture of Marty Feldman from Young Frankenstein appears.
Chris: “Was it via Marty Feldman?”

During the conversation about smallpox being protected.
Dara: “I’m sorry, this whole thing feels like we’re in the opening scene of an apocalypse movie.”
Chris: “But don’t worry, it’s in THIS test tube, nothing can-” [drops it]

Completing a house guidebook: “Never rub your eyes, except with your…”
Dara: “Frog.”
Chris: “Other eye.”
And then Chris tries to demonstrate how to rub his eye with the other eye.

Another one has a line about Germans having a gloating zeal in _____
Chris: “A gloating zeal enclosure?” He puts on his usual German accent and goes “This es my Gloating Zeal! I HAVE ZE BIGGEST ROCK! HAHAHAA!”
Stephen, after a confused beat: “…It could be that…”

The answer ends up being that Germans have a gloating zeal in collecting salacious postcards.
Alan: “I love that these were the warnings given, pre-2-World-Wars. ‘Previously known for collecting salacious postcards, later for exterminating millions!”

Sean: “I’m guessing that seriously violent criminals are amazing at sex.”
Stephen: “Are they?”
Sean: “I dunno, I’m just guessing.”
Alan: “Or at least they say they are…”
Sean: “I imagine they’re quite horny, just…RRRRR….”
Chris: “….on a moped.”

Stephen’s next question, ‘Name a Pizza Topping that eats insects”, leads to this visual:
Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 2.48.28 PM

Dara is now very confused. He goes “Don’t know why I get to be…MARIO in this situation.”

The first question of GI is “where does a snake’s tail begin.” There’s ten seconds of silence.
Sean: “After its bottom.”
And just for the hell of it, he bangs his puke buzzer.

Sean, upon learning of his -33 score, instead doing his usual ‘thank you’, goes “…WHAT?…WHAT??”

Overall: A solid episode, though without too many huge moments. All four were having a good time, though Dara and Chris were quieter than I would have liked, even though Chris had some very good answers. Alan had another on-day, and Sean made a case for yet another career-defining series.

MVP: Sean
Best Guest: Sean
Show Winner: Dara
Best QI Fact: Toe Cocktail

QI Watchdown: H5 (H-Animals), or I’ll Come at ya like a nun!

The bad news is that tonight’s episode features Ruby Wax, a US-born TV personality that people are saying is incredibly annoying.

The good news is Sean Lock and Ross Noble are here to cancel that annoyingness out. So I think we’ll be fine.

Stephen gives the panel 2 points for every horned animal they can think of. So Ruby just riles off this long list, including joke answers, that just steers the episode to a halt right off the bat. There is a point, however, where she turns to Sean and says “did I say that one already”, and Sean just has this look of absolute disgust.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 11.56.19 PM

Sean, praying for sweet release from Ruby Wax

Eventually the cycle of cacophony is halted when Ruby guesses ‘unicorn’, and gets a klaxon. However, immediately after, Alan guesses ‘rhino’ and gets one himself.

Ross: “What about a Viking Dog…cause it would have the horns!”
More evidence that Ross Noble saves latter-era QI.

Stephen tells the story of the 18th century nun who grew a horn by banging her head on the cell repeatedly. Ross, in response, says “I’M DOIN’ IT NOW!” and starts banging his head on the desk.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 12.02.08 AM

Ross, trying to grow a horn

Ross, going on: “What she should have done, is had a bible with a hook on it, put it [on her head] and you’d be peeling potatoes, reading the bible! Cause you’ll have that on QVC! ‘Are you sick of not being able to read the bible as doing domestic duties? Try banging yer head off a wall! It works for nuns! 8 out of 10 nuns prefer it!'”
(I find it funny that as soon as he said the ‘8 out of 10′ line, they cut to Sean. Thaaaat was good)

Stephen says the difference between horns and antlers is antlers “are shed every year”
Sean: “So what do they keep in this shed? They keep their antlers in a shed?”
Stephen: “No, not IN a shed”
Sean, blankly to the audience: “I know so little.”

Ross: “So when the two horn creatures are goin’ at it, when they lock horns…does that ever happen to nuns? ‘That’s not your bible, that’s my bible!”
Stephen: “I’d walk a mile on broken glass to see that…”
Ross: “I’d also pay to hump them as well…”

A bit of the way through, Ruby notes that she’s never heard someone talk like Ross, in a Geordie accent, which amuses Stephen and Ross.
Ross: “I’d just like to point out…I’m actually on the show, I’m not on the screen…You just saw me and went ‘what the hell is that thing?”
Ruby: “The way you bent your head-”
Ross: “I’ll come at’ya like a nun!”
Sean: “That’s one of the worst threats I’ve ever heard…’like a nun’. “Would you like a sweet?””

Stephen asks what would happen if you pushed a hippo into the deep end of a swimming pool.
Ross: “It’s not the first thing that would happen. The first thing that would happen was you’d get your swimming card revoked.”
Sean: “But also, Ross, I think there’d be a huge sense of relief, that you finally got the hippo…you’d got through the turnstiles with it, through the changing rooms…and you think ‘Ah, Christ, at least I’ve bloody done it!”…probably take the traffic cone of your head.”

Stephen points out that hippos can’t swim. Alan points out the BBC clip of the hippos swimming in a circle (previously referenced by Russell Howard on Mock the Week), and Stephen points out that it couldn’t have been true.
Sean: “A lot of Eastenders isn’t true, either.”

(On how hippos can reach the surface)
Sean: “They can’t use a ladder!”
Ross: “You said that with anger. Like…’bloody hippos’. You’ve paid a few of ’em to do some decorating. And they just sat ’round smoking, and you went “…can’t even use a bloody ladder!”

Ruby has moved on from sharks and talks about swimming with dolphins. “Sometimes disabled kids will go in, and they’ll sort of-”
Sean: “With sharks???”
Ruby: “…NOT with sharks…”
Stephen: “With dolphins, we’re talking-”
Sean: “Oh, sorry… I thought you were throwing disabled kids in with sharks. I was going ‘WHAT SORT OF CHARITY IS THIS????”

Ross sees the video of a hagfish secreting slime when hampered with.
Ross: “I think my daughter, then, might be a hagfish. Cause THAT’S NOTHING! To be honest, I’ve got that on me trousers…every morning.”

Ross: “Given the choice, if I had to have special powers, I’d like to be bitten by one of them , cause Spider Man just does a bit of climbing and all that, but imagine if you just…sat in a chair, somebody went ‘do your thing’ and you just went ‘bleeeahhhh’.”
Ross is fantastic this episode, and he’s having so much fun with this hagfish bit.

Sean: “But, Ross, superheroes are meant to HELP people. How would you HELP people with this mucus?”
Ross: “Oh, there’s a child who’s got his head stuck in the railings! ‘fffhhhmmm…”
Sean: “Yeah, that’s a really good comic book story, isn’t it??”
Ross: “Or, OH, This gravy is unnecessarily runny! ‘fffhhhmmmm…”
Stephen: “This couple is dry-humping!”
Ross: ‘EXACTLY!”

Alan: “I’d rather have hippo powers. Cause you’re bulletproof, you can run at 35 miles per hour, and you can walk at the bottom of the deep end. AND, you only have to brush 4 teeth in the morning.”
Ross: “The only problem with that is your arch nemesis, LOCK-BOY, pushes you into a swimming pool!”

Ross: “I’m just saying, if that humpback whale got the flu, and he’s taking up all the chairs [in the waiting room], and all the pensioners and me are pressed against the wall-”
Alan: “Are we gonna have to encourage the whales to ring NHS direct?”
Ross: “The only trouble with that is NHS direct pick up the phone, and they think it’s a fax machine.”
And then Ross does an impression of a humpback whale on the telephone, which I legitimately laughed at.
Ross: “Wrong number again. And he’s there going “I’m really ill! And they won’t let me come into the doctor’s because I take up too much room, and I keep knocking the posters off the wall with me barnacle arse!”

Stephen: “You’re taking a hamster on holiday. How do you make sure he doesn’t get jet-lagged?”
Ross: “Holiday in England!”
Where was this guy the first 7 seasons???

Stephen asks what the most aggressive mammal is.
Ruby: ‘A rhino’
Stephen: “No, rhinos aren’t very aggressive at all.”
Sean: “They also aren’t mammals, either.”
Stephen: “Yes they are.”
Stephen: “I thought it was a dinosaur.”

Stephen says the Honey Badger is most aggressive of mammals.
Sean: “So why aren’t they in charge, then? Why are we in charge, and not them.”
Stephen: “Because we temper our aggression with altruism, with knowledge, with cognitive faculty-”
Sean: “No, Stephen, it’s BOMBS.”

The whole episode, there’s a running gag with Sean, whenever he brings up an animal fact that’s wrong, he says that he’s getting them from Jordan on a headset. There’s moment where he’s just giving the straight feed, and Ruby looks at him with the same confused look that he gave her earlier. Great full circle stuff.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 1.19.52 AM

Now you know how it feels

Ross wins tonight, which is pretty cool. Sean, in second, does his usual ‘thank you’, and is credited as ‘Sean Lock and Jordan!’ Thanks to Ruby, at least Alan doesn’t end up in last.

Overall: After a pair of dull episodes, Series H is back on track, thanks to a pretty solid episode punctured by a slower finish. the first half of this episode, by the way, is electric, and gave so much great material, between Sean pushing hippos into the pool, Ross and the mucus, and the nuns with horns. Ross had a career night and proved his worth as a panelist, and Sean found himself back to his usual tricks after a slower go a few episodes ago. Alan had a quieter night, though had some nice lines here and there. Ruby was just wrong for QI, and wasn’t especially funny or added anything.

MVP: Ross
Best Guest: Sean
Show Winner: Ross
Best QI Fact: Morphing Madagascar species
Best Runner: Sean pushing hippos into the pool.

QI Watchdown: H3 (Hoaxes)

Onto a more traditional lineup, as tonight’s episode features 3 guys who’ve been here since near the beginning, Danny Baker, Sean Lock and David Mitchell. David and Sean have done one together, but David and Danny, and Danny and Sean haven’t. So this’ll be an interesting panel formula.

One of the buzzers, according to Stephen, is NOT a deer’s mating call. The first three are, indeed, deer calls. Alan’s is a scottish voice saying “HELLO, DEAR!”

Ah, nothing like a good-old-fashioned episode-long-runner. All four contestants get a hoax card, and there’s one answer over the course of the show that’s a hoax. Not as exciting as the ‘squirrel’ card, but still lots of fun.

Sean brings up the idea that “how about, we all do it on the first question, we all lose points…done. What d’ya think guys, you all in?”
Danny: “Well, we’re all gonna SAY yes, but we’re not gonna really do it…”

Stephen: “One question we got [about the QI Cropcircle] was “Is it real or is it man-made?”
David: “I ask the same thing about sandwiches…”

There’s not a lot of momentum going for the first few questions. Yes, interesting, but not a lot of funny, collaborative stuff. Also, Danny’s very to-himself, and isn’t great with the other two.

Stephen: “How would you make your house the most famous house in Britain?”
Alan: “That’s easy. You murder lots and lots of people, dismember them, and bury them in the garden.”
Sean: “marry the queen.”
David: “Some sort of…spectacular suicide?”

Stephen: “What observation did the great biologist Stephen A. Gould draw from a lifetime of studying fish?”
Sean: “Oh…they haven’t got any legs…”
Sean isn’t doing a great deal tonight, but his little stuff sure is helping.
David: “After a while, they smell?”

Danny: “Starfish don’t have any brains. They’re like the Louis Walsh of the aquatic world.”
It’s like he knew what I’d just watched before this.

Stephen: ‘And he came to a conclusion which is-”
David: “They can feel no love.”
Stephen tries to keep going, but cracks up.

Stephen, after saying that the classification of ‘fish’ doesn’t really exist: “How many fish are in this photograph?”
Alan: “Well, given that there’s really no such thing as fish…”
KLAXON

Stephen: “What did Nostradomus get right?”
Sean: “The hat! He got the hat right!”

After Stephen reveals that Nostradamus made jams that still hold up
Sean: “I might make some jam…”
Alan: “Know what you’d need? Fruit…sugar…”
Sean: “No, I’m not gonna make nice jam.”
Stephen: “oh, what sort of jam are you going to make?”
Sean: “Horrible jam. Yeah, ‘Sean’s Horrible Jam’. You don’t know what I put in this stuff…it’s up to you. It’s- Lottery Jam, I’ll call it…Sean’s Bingo Jam! One jar in every hundred is amazing! The rest of the time it’s instant vomit as soon as you open the lid…”

Stephen: “Who is the most famous person to be beaten by a machine at chess?”
Sean: “Me.”
Stephen: “You played a machine at chess?”
Sean: “Yeah, I got beat by a hoover.”

David guesses the Queen
Stephen: “No, someone bigger than the Queen, and had a higher rank than the Queen in his day.”
Alan: “JESUS!!”
Stephen, confused and cracking up: “JESUS?? Jesus isn’t really a RANK…”

Stephen: “How can you tell if a person is lying?”
Alan: “Their hands become sweaty, pulse quickens, their sphincter, you know, tightens up…”
Stephen: “Let’s just suppose that you haven’t got a finger on their sphincter and aren’t holding their hand.”
Sean: “What they’ve said turns out not to be true.”

Stephen: “What do swimming pools smell of?”
Alan, channeling Jo Brand: “Children.”

Stephen eventually reveals that the hoax card was actually a hoax itself, causing some angry reactions from panelists.
Danny: ‘THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! This is like the end of Lost!”

Overall: A weaker number into Series H, but not without an incredible Sean Lock performance. This didn’t work because all four were mainly keeping to themselves, with the exception of Alan because that’s what he does best. Danny had some good jokes, but didn’t really collaborate. David mostly stemmed his rants off other people’s answers, which was alright.

MVP: Sean
Best Guest: David
Show Winner: Sean
Best QI Fact: Fish don’t exist.

Nevermind Watchdown: S11E3

YAY SEAN LOCK’S BACK! Finally we get an awesome comedian to grace the stage and give some great lines. Additionally, we have Budgie, the drummer from Siouxie and the Banshees, Jason Perry from boy-band A, and Lorraine Pearson from Five Star

Bill and Lorraine get Mark to play the Shadows clip backwards, so it looks like a bunch of teens are dancing to it…and then realize it’s terrible and leave. Bill dubs it, MST3K-style, like “Hey, listen to this music…this is really groovy…i’m really wigging out to this…OHHH…WAIT A SECOND…THIS IS THE WORST SOUND I’VE EVER HEARD…”

Bill points out that the drummer, who’s bent his knee, ‘has one leg’.
Jason: “What, is he trying to get into Def Leppard? [realizing he actually has 2 legs]…oh…”

Bill, at a point in the Commodores video: “Here he’s talking into his ring-phone…”Have we got the Nigeria gig yet? Yes or no?”

Phill on the Knopfler video, a green lighted window: “This is a clip from an episode of the Waltons where the Incredible Hulk appeared, completely unexpectedly. “Goodnight The Incredible Hulk.”
Sean: “RAAAARRGHH”

Mark: “In June 1988, Dire Straits played a Nelson Mandela tribute, which is odd, because they look nothing like him…”

Mark: “In 1966, Fleetwood Mac formed, in 1968 they released their first album, and in 1973 they released the Penguin. Fortunately within a half-an-hour the caped crusader had foiled his fiendish plans to steal…”
Amazing misdirect there

Mark says he’d rather be a plate than a horse, via Sean’s analogy, because “at least I’ll never have Lester Piggott on me goin’ ‘IGHEGHEAJLDHEHHHEHHH!”
Jason: “Was he a dwarf?”
Sean: “No, he had a cleft palate…”
Mark: “And he was deaf.”
Sean: “No, he had a cleft palate, TALHED LIHE THITH..”
Mark: “NO, HE WAS DEAF!”
Sean: “No, he wasn’t deaf!”
Mark: “This is the sort of argument I love!”
Sean: “okay…let’s find out…”
Mark: “What, are we gonna WRITE to Lester Piggott? I’d ring ‘im, but HE WOULDN’T FUCKIN’ HEAR!!”
Sean: “He would, but he wouldn’t be able to tell you-”
Mark: “HE WOULD!!!”

Sean: “When did you hear he was deaf?”
Mark: “I asked him if he was deaf, but I COULDN’T WORK OUT WHAT HE SAID!!!”
Budgie: “If he was deaf, how would he know when to start the race?”
Sean, in his usual tone: ‘THANK YOU!”

Overall: Aside from Sean and the Sophie Ellis-Bextor plate, not a lot going on here. Panel was good and played well, but not a ton of funny moments other than the Lester Piggott argument.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Sean
Best Runner: Sophie plate.

QI Watchdown: G10 (Greats)

We’ve hit our fourth and final Sean Lock episode of the series, and what a run he’s had this year, completely dominating all of his episodes (even with laryngitis), and making a case for Best Guest of the series. Tonight, he’s joined by Jo Brand, who’s had a nice enough series, and David Mitchell, who’s had some really nice episodes so far.

Alright. First joke out of the gate and I’m already in love with this episode.
Stephen: “Now, tell me about the Great Disappointment.”
Jo: “Have you been talking to my husband?”
KLAXON: HAVE YOU BEEN TALKING TO MY HUSBAND
Jo’s look of absolute astonishment once the Klaxon comes up is pretty priceless.

Stephen talks about a cult that believed that Jesus was to return and save everyone. He even says “a man jumped off his barn, hoping that Jesus would scoop him up and save him. He didn’t.”
Alan: “Did this happen in America, by any chance?”
Stephen: “How did you guess?”

Stephen: “Who had purple triangles in Concentration Camps?”
Sean: “Was it, eh, Barney the Dinosaur??”

Stephen explains that the alternative to the rapture is being marked by the anti-christ and being stung by gigantic wasps.
David: “But, on the plus side…the price of clothing goes WAY down…”

Stephen: “Well, the rapture is imminent.”
David: “Imminent?”
Alan: “What, d’you mean ‘this week’?”
Stephen: “Well, oddly enough they’re not being very specific…”

Stephen talks about how all of these great leaders (Stalin, Amin, Mao, etc) are all taller than expected.
Sean: “Usually they’re not judged by their height, are they…”

Sean: “It’s probably the one thing that short people have got to cling onto. That one day…they might be a dictator. And we [with the QI answer] have just taken that away from them. All this hope.”
David: “All this ‘not being able to reach things from shelves’ one day will be made up for when I kill millions of people. I can stand on their bodies…reach the jam.”

Stephen then says that short people are, on average, paid less than tall people.
Alan: “They should rise up!”

Stephen, with the Charlemagne question, explains that each person, going backwards, has thousands and thousands of ancestors.
Sean: “My brain’s…I can’t..How could have more ancestors than there are people that’s ever been?”
Sean, absolutely dumbfounded, mimes his head exploding, and falls onto the desk.

Stephen: ‘What about parmesan? When that’s grated, what does it smell of?”
Alan: “Cheese.”
Stephen: “No.”
Alan gives a “ARE YOU SURE” sort of look.

Sean: “I was just thinking, David. Rather than having a sell-by date on cheese, they should just have the date that cheese becomes poisonous. And then they know when to stop eating it.”
David: “Do they know that date?  Is it a global thing, TWO DAYS BEFORE THE RAPTURE?”
Sean: “Or maybe it’s the day they’ve worked out that everyone in the world’s related to Peter Andre.And they go “THAT’S THE DAY cheese becomes poisonous.”
David: ‘And people will happily eat it and die.”

Jo says that sell-by dates are a bit over-cautious, and that you could leave it out a bit longer after, “get it out the bin a few weeks later. You’ll be fine.”
Sean: “Put it down your pants, go in the sauna….take it out…obviously reshape it again…”
Jo’s reaction, of sheer disgust, is wonderful. Stephen eventually has to go “Sean…you’re not alone. There are PEOPLE here…”

David and Sean discuss the act of stealing the train, and how difficult it would be because it’s on rails. Alan eventually kamikazes this discussion and says ‘if you’ve got GROMIT in the gang…he can lay track as he’s going along…”

Earlier in the Great Train robbery topic, they discuss that the robbers spoiled everything by playing a game of monopoly (with the stolen money), and not cleaning up fingerprints. Later, Stephen discusses how they got the plan together, as the mastermind said “Look…I’m plannin’ this blag…”
Alan: “I’m planning a game of Monopoly.”
David: “I’ve just got to pick something up along the way. It’s that…I lost all the fake money, and the ONLY WAY OF REPLACING IT I can THINK OF…”
Alan: “I rung Waddington’s, they didn’t wanna know. “Get a new set”, they said. “Don’t be ridiculous”, I said…”

Stephen: “Why did it take so long for scientists to find a name for the Giant Tortoise.”
Sean: “Because Giant Tortoise was good enough?”
David, who takes a bit of time with this one: “Because they thought they were regular tortoises, but closer…”

Stephen mentions that Giant Tortoises were also edible.
David: ‘Anyone who saw one, couldn’t even stop to think of a name for it! They just HAD to eat it!”
Alan, mouth full: “THESE ONES…I’unno what they’re called…but they’re really, really good. Just call them ‘dinner.”
David: “There’s no latin name for pistachio nuts either… no one could be bothered. “SHUT UP WITH YOUR LATIN! EAT THEM!”
Alan: “No latin name for Maltesers.”

Stephen: “None of [the tortoises] made it to London!”
David: “NOW THIS TIME…WE’RE GONNA TAKE IT…we’re gonna bring it to London.”
Alan, pointing: “NO…LEAVE IT…WE’RE TAKING IT BACK…”
Sean: “Ferry coming into Dover, there’s a bloke going [lip smacking sounds]”
David: “Alright, we take nine of them…WE LEAVE EIGHT…AND ABSOLUTELY…”
Stephen: ‘And now everyone’s looking at them…”
Alan: ‘And the moment they land…they’ve got one tortoise left, and they go “we’ve got to go back, get some more…”
David: “And they’re sitting there, eating the last tortoise, going…”we are TWATS…”

Jo: “Where are they from? Are they flights?”
Stephen: “THEY ARE NOW PROTECTED! All twelve species…”
David: “If they’re that delicious, they CAN’T be. They’re probably going “yeah, they’re all in there, we’ve protected them, no need to look…”

Stephen: ‘If a giant panda does a hand-stand in front of you, what is he trying to tell you?”
Alan: “Put some money in the hat?”

Stephen: “How did Catherine the Great die.”
Sean: “She…DIDN’T have sex with a horse….she died…”
Jo: “On the commode…OH WAIT THAT WAS ELVI-”
KLAXON: ON THE LOO
I mean, Jo’s already having the weakest episode of the four, but at least she’s getting a ton of klaxons.

Stephen: “No, she did have a stroke on the commode, but-”
Alan: “Is that a euphemism for something? I’M HAVING A STROKE ON THE COMMODE!”

Stephen: “What was the lingua franca of Ancient Rome?”
Sean: “DUTCH! Because I knew that wasn’t gonna come up… See, that’s where you’ve got to think, Jo. You’ve gotta think what they WOULDN’T put up…”
Jo: “Cheers, Sean. [presses buzzer] Latin.”
KLAXON
Jo: ” I did that deliberately.”
Sean: ‘Yes, but you-”
Jo: “I KNOW!”
Stephen: “She’s going for the record.”

For the ‘How many men have been President” question, they play the clip from Obama’s inauguration, where he says “44 Americans have now taken the presidential oath.”….and then they klaxon the President of the United States. Oh, QI. Gotta love ya.

David wins, because he’s David. Jo loses with -46 because she’s Jo. Obama comes in 4th with -10, because QI can do that.

Overall: An early candidate for the best episode of the series, because this panel was on from the first second of the episode. It helped that people like David and Sean were giving Grade A stuff, but it brought out the absolute best in Alan, and it even gave Jo some stuff to do towards the end. Obviously the tortoise bit keeps it so high up, but the episode was circling that point the entire time.

MVP: David
Best Guest: Sean
Show Winner: David
Loser of the Week: Jo, for getting every klaxon in the book.
Best QI Fact: Short men.
Best Runner: Tortoises.

QI Watchdown: G8 (Germany), or DON’T MENTION THE WAR!!

After an episode featuring three people who were intermittent, to this point anyway, we get right back into a semireg-heavy episode, featuring Sean Lock, his 3rd of the season, Rob Brydon, his 2nd of the season, and Jo Brand, her second of the season.

Stephen, after a very German-friendly intro, says he’ll be cracking down “on any mention…of the war. DON’T…MENTION…THE WAR. YOU HAVE BEEN WAR…NED.”

Stephen asks for a sentence featuring the correct usage of Schadenfreude.
Sean: “That statue’s all covered in Schadenfreude. Must have been a cold night.”
Alan: “Look at the size of my Schadenfreude.”
Jo: “I enjoyed the Schadenfreude I experienced when my husband was killed by a local gangster.
Stephen, somehow: “IS THE RIGHT ANSWER!”

Stephen: “How upset are the Germans about the 1966 World Cup.”
Rob: “Well, very, I would say.”
KLAXON
Rob just shakes his head.

Stephen says that the Germans care more about beating the Dutch than losing to England.
Sean: “Though, surely, the Dutch have never provided a great deal of opposition to them. Generally, in history, they’ve just walked into Holland whenever they’ve fancied it.”
Stephen, trying to set up a klaxon: “Oh, well in that sense.”
Sean, still rolling: “ANYTIME THEY WANT, THEY CAN JUST GO INTO HOLLAND, SPIN THE-”
The Klaxon does eventually go off, and Sean, ever the smartass, goes “I HAVEN’T MENTIONED IT YET!!!” I NEVER SAID IT!” All the while Rob is pointing at him, going ‘yeah, you did…’

Rob talks about wearing extra-long socks, saying “they do give you a feeling of security.”
Jo: “They do make you look like a knob-head.”

Jo and Rob do get into a rather large argument about the socks. Sean even goes “they don’t make you look cool.”
Rob: “Well at the risk of turning this into Ready, Steady, Cook, why don’t we let the audience decide?”

Stephen: “The Dutch were at war with Britain many times-”
Jo: “You mentioned the war.”
Stephen: “At war with, not THE war.”
Sean, pointing at Jo: “YOU DID.”
KLAXON
Rob: “Can I just say, Jo…bit of a knob-head.”

Stephen, on the mystery german innovation: “It’s to encourage men to do something when they’re in the toilet.”
Alan: “Is it the seat?”
Stephen: “It has to do with the seat.”
Sean: “They dive off it, into the toilet…”

Rob keeps carrying on about the magical sock experience.
Sean: “I just want to know what’ll happen to you, you know, when you try skydiving. You’ll go “WOW, THIS IS INCREDIBLE. FORGET THE SOCKS, THIS IS AMAZING!”
Rob: “I have been skydiving.”
Sean: “Have you tried jelly? That’s nice. “OH MY GOD! The SOCKS were good, THIS IS INCREDIBLE!”

Rob: “They laughed at Edison…”
Stephen: “Yes, they laughed at a lot of weirdoes as well.”

Sean says that nudism works better in Germany, “because Germans have decent summers…and if not, they just expand to somewhere where the summers are nicer.”
KLAXON

Stephen: “What’s the most repeated TV show of all time.”
Rob: “Top Gear. IT IS! There’s not a time of day where it is not possible to watch Top Gear.”

Stephen: “What does the airlift and Germany bring to mind?”
Sean: “Berlin Airlift.”
Stephen: “Right, and-”
Sean: “The war.”
Stephen: “NO, IT DOESN’T-”
KLAXON

Stephen mentions Captain Wiggly-wings throwing down candies to children in Germany.
Rob: “Can you imagine a Terry’s Chocolate Orange heading down at you at great speed?”
Stephen: “D’you see those boys holding up little-hanky-style parachutes?”
Rob: “That’s no match for a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.”
Sean: “Of course the Chocolate Orange could have landed like the bouncing bomb…like it did in the war.”
Stephen: “OH NOW NOW NOW-”
KLAXON

Stephen says there was a man who made prison escape kits out of Monopoly boards, and gave intricate designs to MI9
Alan: “So he’d use the Get out of Jail Free Card-”
KLAXON

Stephen: “He said that hidden in the Monopoly board were very useful things.”
Rob: “Like a small dog…and a little hat…and a tiny ship.”

Stephen: “Who wrote Brideshead Revisited?”
Sean: “It was Evelyn War.”
EVELYN WAR KLAXON
DON’T MENTION THE WAR KLAXON

Stephen: “What happens in Germany on the 11th of November at 11:11 every year.”
Alan: “Everysing carries on as Normal.”
Alan just gives this determined German look, which cracks me up.

Alan eventually answers, saying “the phone rings, and on the other end is the british prime minister going “hahahahahaha….we won.”
KLAXON

Jo somehow wins. Mostly because Sean pissed away his points by mentioning ze war.

Overall: Great episode getting us back on track after a slight step backward. It helped that the panel tonight was so on, humor wise and dynamic wise. Sean and Rob were wonderful, with Sean screwing with everyone and Rob arguing about socks. Jo gave a lot less during the later leg of the show, but still gave us funny stuff.

MVP: Sean
Best Guest: Sean
Show Winner: Jo
Best QI Fact: Nude house cleaners.
Best Runner: DON’T MENTION THE WAR.

Nevermind Watchdown: S7E7, or, AAAAHHH FREAKOUT!

Okay, good, we’ve got another Sean Lock episode. Always extraordinarily promising. Also, it helps that we’ve got Sporty Spice back in the house, after the great job Scary Spice did a few episodes back.

Dermot O’Leary is a DJ and TV presenter, best known for hosting the X Factor for a while back there. Paul Young was in the Q-Tips, and sang the first few lines of the Live Aid single.

Phill says that Hendrix’ face in the video looks like he’s auditioning for a German porno film. He then says that the line ‘move over, rover, let Jimi take over’, is “about how happy he was when he went on ‘My Man and His Dog’? “Come by, Hendrix”
Mark: “That could have been a credit at the end of the porn film, ‘cum by Hendrix.'”

Sean: “Is it about spontaneous canine combustion, when dog just go “WOOF”, and blow up.”
Mark: “Oh, Jesus…”
Sean: “I mean, I think that fit in quite well…”
Mark: “Not in the finished show it won’t…”

Mark: “In a recent book, Hendrix’ former girlfriend Cathy Essingham-”
(Mel coughs loudly)
Mark: “…COUGHED OVER A JOKE.”
Mel: “I’m sorry…”
Mark: “It’s alright…I’ve had fits over some of your records…”

During one of Phill’s jokes, someone from the back of the audience can be heard going “EEEHHHHH!!!” Mark has to stop everything, and go “HOLD ON, HAVE YOU BROUGHT IN SOME OF YOUR ESSEX MAFIA?” And then they scream even louder.

For Phill and Paul’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ intro, Phill does the main guitar melody and Paul does the bass. Mark, after about 20 seconds, makes them switch, because “Paul’s a world class singer, and you’re you.”

Paul eventually does do the melody in the same sort of tone, and Mark has to go “HOLD ON, MY MISTAKE…”

I love how Mark just keeps bringing back Freak Out in every bit. He yells it at the beginning of one of Sean’s titles, and names one of the ID Parade ones #5, ‘AAAAHHH Freak Out.’ He’s just keeping this going.

Sean: “#2 seems like he’s in a far our place…like Lawrence of Alabia-I MEAN ARABIA!”
Mark: “LAWRENCE OF A LABIA?? That’d be a good porno…”

Overall: Another weak episode. At least Mark had Sean to quarrel with and mel to screw with, but there weren’t a lot of big moments to remember.

Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Sean
Best Runner: AAAAAAAAH FREAKOUT!