After another random absence from me, we crack on with Series J, with an episode featuring trusted anchor Ross Noble in his second of three episodes this series, trusted goof Sue Perkins in her third of three appearances this series (both of the prior ones being standout ones), and another member of the Australian invasion of this series, Julia Zemiro, who’s an Australian TV personality and comic, having been on Thank God You’re Here a few times. She also shows up on a few more QIs, so hopefully she’ll have a nice showing here.
The buzzers are all danger-themed. Julia’s is the theme from Psycho, which she relishes. Sue’s is the theme from Jaws, which she chuckles at, then tries to dance to. Ross is an old-timey ‘dun-dun-dun’ sort of thing, which he reacts accordingly to. Alan’s is just ‘vehicle reversing’.
Stephen starts by revealing that people normally spill coffee in 7 to 10 steps of walking. Ross responds by saying that long jumpers must never spill, as it only takes them three to do a long jump, and by then they’ll already have drank the coffee. Just the right amount of bizarre.
Stephen, on the coffee question, mentions something called ‘anular ring baffles’, which Alan points out, and the double entendre game is already on.
Ross: “Let me tell you, the amount of times my anular has been baffled…”
Alan: “Baffle your ring, sir?”
And then, Alan: “If you put a baffle in your anus, does that mean you’ll have quiet farts?”
Stephen bites down on his glasses for a moment, sighs, and goes “…I suppose it would…UNTIL pressure builds up to such a state…”
Alan: “Then it could be lethal”
Stephen: “Then you could have someone eye out in the aisle at waitro’s.”
Alan, as Stephen goes on: “THHHBBTT. Baffle your ring, sir?”
There’s a really good discussion on why not to march in time on the Albert bridge, as enough marching would set off an oscillation and make the bridge unstable.
Ross: “And that’s why…Michael Flatley can never get north of the Thames. He’s FURIOUS! He’s always wanted to get to Madam Tussauds…but he’s at the Elephant and Castle going ‘AAAAH, AY CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”
Stephen: “Now, what’s smaller than the moon, and keeps moving the sea around?”
Ross: “Is it a seal on caffeine?”
Alan: “Is it one of our OTHER moons?”
Alan: “….this better be the blue whale.”
Stephen: “…it so is NOT the blue whale.”
Stephen: “How many jellyfish are pictured here?”
Ross: “Is it one with a very flamboyant hat on?”
Ross: “yes, but where are the words ‘with a very flamboyant hat on’?”
Stephen says that Portugese Man of War stings are very common in Australia
Julia: “Toughens you up, though. I mean, that’s life, isn’t it?”
Stephen: “One day it’ll toughen you up enough to win a test match against us.”
OH. LOW BLOW, STEPHEN.
Julia rolls her eyes, and feigns pulling a Preston and walking off.
Stephen: “What is Australia’s deadliest creature, though-”
Julia, buzzing in immediately: “Rupert Murdoch.”
Surprisingly there’s no Klaxon for this.
Stephen: “Excluding a member of the human race, which…I’m not sure that does or not…”
Sue talks through a specific spider, but once the klaxon buzzes halfway through her describing it, she just starts singing it. I love that she has an upbeat attitude to getting deductions.
Ross, overdramatically: “IS IT MAAAAN? THE MOST DEADLY OF ALLLLL THE CREATURES?”
He then presses his buzzer for good measure, basking in the camp of that line.
Stephen does a great impression here of horses overreacting to common things. “RBRBRBRBRBRBRBRB WHAT’S THAT, it’s a HEDGE. RBBBBBBRRBRBBRBRB IT’S A PIECE OF PAPER!”
Ross talks about owning a narcoleptic horse, and it’s a fantastic anecdote, and he ends with the line “and I’ve got a friend over here, and he never came to visit us unfortunately, and he’s got narcolepsy himself, and THAT would have been the funniest thing…he would have to be on the horse, and if they got it in TIME- obviously it’d be a bit rubbish if he was awake and the horse went…”
Ross: “Did you see that woman who, she had her bum bitten off by a shark…and, you know how they do face transplants?”
Sue cracks up
Ross, to Sue: “No, they didn’t put a face on her bum…”
Stephen: “They did that to Anne Widdicombe…”
Ross, and the audience, wince at that one
Stephen, on this dinosaur question: “But no dinosaur was bigger than what? The biggest living creature that has ever existed on the planet.”
Alan: “…the T-Rex?”
Julia sneaks in: ‘the blue whale’
Stephen: “YES, THE BLUE WHALE! IT WAS YOUR CHANCE TO BE RIGHT, ALAN!”
Alan takes a moment, sighs and facepalms.
Alan has a great bit talking about the two servants of the blind king who loved war, saying they essentially did a sound version of the battle by clanging their swords together and whistling arrows.
This show’s humor is coming from anecdotes and personal bits, rather than collaboration. Which…isn’t bad, it’s just not as effective as it could be.
Sue talks about doing the Wall of Death, where the bike keeps you ’round the curve with centripetal force.
Sue: “It was fun, my dad detached his retina.”
Ross: “What, before you got on, just ‘well, here we go'” [mimes taking them out]
Stephen describes this Euthanasia Rollercoaster, which kills the person with a huge drop and force.
Sue: “Have Chessington World of Adventure bought it yet?”
[No, but they have banned Hugh Dennis from riding it]
Ross: “You could build a chapel at the end…and then, after the funeral, you get a picture of your loved one…”
Ross is just killing it this show. Sue and Julia are fine, but much quieter and less funny than Ross so far
Stephen: “So, what’s the biggest dead body in the world.”
Alan, with a pause: “…blue whale.”
Tons of applause for this
Stephen: “I’ll give you a hint, it’s a body of water”
Alan: “The dead sea”
Stephen, still playing with the blue whale runner, asks what weighs as much as an blue whale and lives in the sea
Alan: “..an elephant on holiday.”
Stephen mentions that nobody can really go deep enough to find out what blue whales really do
Sue: “Just gossiping”
Stephen: “Or having quizzes in which people say ‘is the answer Alan Davies?”
Stephen talks about picking your nose leading to vulnerability to meningitis and syphilis
Sue: “FROM PICKING YOUR NOSE??? GOOD GOD.”
Ross, not at all serious: “yeah, that’s how you get syphilis”
Alan: “Yeah, it slightly depends what you’re picking it WITH…”
Ross: “That’s how ya explain it to the wife- ‘NO, I WAS JUST PICKIN’ ME NOSE!”
I love the little clapping Ross does when Stephen reveals he’s going to set fire to something in the studio
Stephen puts something out wrong for the Jolly Jape, says ‘the man in my ear is furious with me’.
Alan: “-T YOU FUCKING DOING??? PUT THE WATER. DOWN. DO THIS PROPERLY, OR YOU WILL DIE. DO YOU UNDERSTAND???”
Stephen, trying to move on: “No,”
Alan: “START AGAIN, FOR *FUCK’S SAKE*”
Stephen: “…he was MUCH gentler than that…”
Stephen: “I’ve been told to tell you NOT to try this at home”
Ross: “Try it in someone else’s home…”
Stephen: “What I have hear is some normal, everyday washing-up liquid. We’re not allowed to mention its Fairy- NAME.”
Ross, as Stephen points out all the things on his table: “Oh, this is like going on a picnic with Heston Blumenthal…”
Alan: “When are you going to put the safety goggles on, Stephen?”
Stephen: “I’m about to now, because I’m about to open the bottle of acid”
Alan, again as the guy in the booth: “PUT THE FUCKING GOGGLES ON.”
Ross: “Can I just say something…YOU’RE putting on safety goggles…YOU’RE putting on a mask…”
Stephen: “You’re fine, you’re expendable.”
Alan goes and hides behind his notebook
There’s a moment where he’s spurting the bubbles with water…and it’s not doing anything, where Stephen realizes he may have fouled it up, and goes “oh GOD”. But then the bubbles catch fire, and it’s all good.
I will say, the Jolly Jape is one of the better ones we’ve had this season, and then right at it’s wrapping up, we hear Alan, again, going “PUT THE FUCKING LID ON THE ACID.”
It’s a good sign when as Stephen reads the scores, he has to stop because the hydrogen smell is still putting off Alan and Julia. Just says a lot about the dynamic.
Alan somehow doesn’t get last, only third.
Overall: A wild show. A ton of lulls, and a disappointing performance from Julia, who took an informational angle, but Alan and Ross were on a roll, Sue had some good lines, and the Jolly Jape was a definite highlight. Definitely not a series highlight, but…something about the dynamic, the wild little moments, and the amount of callbacks, like the other moons, the headless chicken, and, of course, the blue whale, boosted this one’s resume a bit.
Best Guest: Ross
Show Winner: Sue
Best QI Fact: Euthanasia Rollercoaster
Best Runner: Baffling the rings.