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And welcome to tonight's QI.
And tonight, we have a higgledy-piggledy,
hotchpotch of things beginning with H.
And joining me tonight are the humungous Phill Jupitus...
..the hyperbolic Ross Noble...
..the hygienic Jack Dee...
..and ho-hum, it's Alan Davies.
So, any time you want to say "hi", give me a bell. Jack goes...
-And Phill goes...
And Ross goes...
# Ring-a-ding, ring-a-ding Ring-a-ding, ring-a-ding
# Ring-a-ding-a-ding A-ding-ring-ring-a-ding. #
Yeah, thank you. And, Alan goes...
I'm so, so not sorry.
Let's give this pudding a stir, gentlemen.
Why do bankers like
Is there any need for that...really?! I mean, come on.
The scariest thing is, I'm wearing the same shirt.
Look at that, that is appalling, isn't it?
I've got to hand it to you, Ross, you've got lovely legs.
Unfortunately, that suppository was the oddest shaped one I'd ever used.
LAUGHTER It was...
No wonder he's not smiling.
Oh, I've only just noticed you.
The full question is why do bankers like long-haired men
and short-skirted women?
Is it like when you're in the bank
and you sort of lean forward like that,
the hair brushes off all the little receipt stubs.
And the bankers are sat going,
"Brilliant, I don't have to go round and clean that up."
-Like a sort of a reverse Hoover.
-Right, OK. Fair enough.
What do financiers look for, when are they happiest?
When they're rolling in money.
Yes, and when do they earn more money?
In the summer.
In the '60s.
What's the word for a period of prosperity?
-A boom, as opposed to a bust or a recession.
Now, it just so happens that throughout the 20th century,
the length of women's skirts in fashion
was exactly correlated to the rise and fall of the stock market.
And as skirts got shorter and shorter,
right up to the Wall Street crash, the flapper skirts,
and then instantly skirt lengths got longer again
during the depression.
And the long hair is correspondingly...
Long hair means a boom?
Yes, it's a negative correlation.
The further down the hair, the further up the market.
There are other indicators, or at least, things that go with boom and bust sales...
Dogs in bags.
-Dogs in bags.
-Dogs in bags, I would imagine that's a boom thing.
Isn't that like an Essex delicacy?
"Can I have a couple of dogs in bags, mate? Couple of them."
-Chicken in a basket.
-Yeah, chicken in a basket.
It's a Korean delicacy.
-People buy more
perishable foods during a boom,
you know, meats and fish and things like that, and the more...
pastas and things you can store, during a bust.
Anyway, it seems that according to hemline theory,
girls' hemlines go up as the market goes up
and so when a banker looks at a girl's legs
his mind is strictly on business.
What starts with H and means you'll always be the bridesmaid and never the bride?
Oddly enough, you're surprisingly close!
-You got the right first and last letter.
Halitosis is the right answer.
I could have come up with that and got the laugh in the first place.
Halitosis was made up.
It was made up by Listerine,
the company that made Listerine - Lambert Pharmaca.
And they had this product who they named after Joseph Lister -
the father of antiseptic surgery
who made everybody wash and everything
and they used it first of all as an anti-septic
and then without changing the formula,
it was for washing floors,
and then it was a cure for gonorrhoea, then they thought,
we'll call it a mouthwash. Same thing!
Was there a point where that was combined?
It was like a gonorrhoea thing and then, actually, my mouth's quite...
Oh, me halitosis is gone there.
They invented, essentially, this new product - a mouthwash.
It never existed before. So they had to invent a problem for it to solve
and they started this campaign saying, you know,
hotel clerks say that one in three guests who check in have halitosis
and dentists saying that 83% of patients have halitosis
and people began to get very nervous about their breath.
Of course people have dog breath - let's be honest, there are -
and dogs, I dare say, have people breath.
How can you tell someone?
It's so difficult. That was part of one of their campaigns actually.
That's why packets of mints were invented.
I always feel like if someone's offering me a mint,
that's definitely what they're saying.
It's true, I mean these were the kinds of things they used
as advertising slogans.
They went from a tiny company to a vast one.
By inventing a name for something that was quite...
Calling it a disease and people thought, "Oh, I've got halitosis
"and this is a medical product that will deal with it."
And no-one before... People had probably eaten things
to sweeten their breath before, but, er...
I had a picture taken once with a koala...
You could just leave that there.
And it was eating eucalyptus leaves, like they do, which are poisonous,
but they've got a 48-mile intestine or something and they can digest...
But its breath was amazing.
It's sweet, it's lovely, isn't it?
It was pure eucalyptus, it was like Olbas Oil.
Even their fur smells lovely. It is gorgeous.
It looked at me and went, "Huhhh..."
Is it the koala or is that the excuse you use
when you started putting the moves on it?
Koala started it.
It was cuddling me, next thing you know,
beautiful breath, I thought I'd have a go.
None of that happened.
You say it didn't happen.
If you had a bad throat could you get a koala,
put it in a big bowl and then a tea towel...
It'd be a way to cure it.
You wouldn't want your wife coming in and seeing that.
-No. Sorry, darling, it just frothed in my mouth.
Why not buy one of my outback inhalers?
They're cuddly and gorgeous.
People just sucking on a koala.
Here he is, the little critter, here he comes now.
Or, Australian asthmatics going, "Oh, no, dear,"
getting the koala out. Just holding his balls and going...
ROSS: Wouldn't that have been brilliant if...
Why his balls?! You tickle his feet!
Poor little fella.
It lets all the female koalas off the hook though, doesn't it?
That would be brilliant if in Star Wars,
when they took off Vader's helmet he just had a koala in there.
HE INHALES LIKE DARTH VADER "Oh, that's better."
So - halitosis was invented by an advertising agency to shift mouthwash.
Now, to handedness. Who might use a left-handed motorbike?
-Funny outfit I've got on.
-Yeah, do you remember wearing that?
-No. I remember that motorbike ride,
that was exhilarating.
Is it one-armed men?
No. I mean, I guess they would have a use for it.
Because there was a real market for left-handed...
-By which you mean throttle on the left?
Was it something to do with needing your right hand free for
-holding a gun, or...
-Spot on. Holding a gun.
-Where can I get one of these motorbikes?
They turned the company that made them - the Indian motorcycle company -
there they are, the Indians - it's an American motorcycle company.
Between the wars, they were the largest motorcycle company in the world.
And part of it was because they sold so many of these left-handed bikes
-Ah, the police.
Police all over America, so they could drive and accelerate
-and kill people with guns at the same time.
-Why didn't they just
-fix a bayonet on the front?
-That would be fun.
In fact, I'm thinking of getting one of those for my motorbike
-Not to stab them or anything. Just a cheeky...
Cheeky little poke.
-It doesn't need to be a bayonet, then.
If you can use a bayonet, then use a bayonet, that's what I say.
-It could be something else, like a...
-A broom handle.
A cucumber or something. You don't need a right-handed...
If you've just got a bloke at your side, you're fine!
Unfortunately that was the only photograph we could find.
I've got some left-handed things here,
some of which you can see the point of.
This is a left-handed Biro, or pen, it's rather peculiar shape.
It makes me feel sick looking at it.
It's strange. I think the idea is so you don't smudge...
Left-handed people are naturally evil, that's what they say, isn't it?
That's a well-known fact. Those pens, all they write is, "I will kill again, I will kill again..."
Possessed pen, is it?
-It's really hard to write with.
-This is a left-handed...
Do you want to try that with your right hand?
-It'll drive me crazy.
-Have any left-handed people in the audience
ever found that pencil sharpeners are a real bore,
-in a right-handed world?
-That has already annoyed me.
Well, that's how a left-handed person would feel with our thing.
Well, they should have just adapted when they were younger.
What's wrong with having a stutter?
-It's not a condition, being left-handed!
-Well, you say that.
Left-handed scissors are well-known.
Don't give a left-hander scissors, they'll stab you in the face.
Stab you in the face soon as look at you.
JACK: It's where the word sinister comes from, isn't it?
Sinister is the Latin for left. If you're ambisinistrous,
-what does that mean?
-Left-handed and left-footed.
It means you're crap with both hands.
Ambidextrous is you're good with both hands,
ambisinistrous, can't write with either hand!
But this, this will annoy you then.
A left-handed can opener.
Just assume that all left-handed people are just as annoyed by right-handed things.
-They're a minority so they should be punished...
One of those could turn up in your kitchen with no warning.
You'd wake up in the morning and go, "Oh...WHAT?!"
The only thing that could annoy Jack more now is if he opens that can
and it's all left-handed peaches.
Well, thank you. You can give them back, I can see they've upset you.
There is a left-handed shop where you can buy all these things
and my sister is left-handed and one Christmas, I thought, I will buy her something,
it'll be thoughtful. I found the shop and went bang, right into it,
of course, the door opened on the other side.
There's another motorbike question that might interest you.
Why do you think motorbikes aren't charged congestion fees?
-You're expecting us to say cos they don't cause congestion
and the thing will go WHOOP! But it's because of the cameras.
-Motorbikes have a plate on the back
and they don't have a plate on the front.
-So the camera only takes a photo from the front so there's no way of knowing who it is...
You are absolutely right
and there are points for that.
I'd just like to point out that is the only thing I know.
The only thing.
And it's come up. I can't believe that in my brain, you started saying that, I went,
"I know what he's going to say here. I can use my one bit of knowledge."
-Superb. Well done. Very good indeed.
-They used to have a number plate on the front mudguard.
-They did, sideways on.
That's why all cars now are all smooth, soft-fronted things.
-JACK: It's actually now safe to be run over.
-It's perfectly fine.
ROSS: It would be brilliant if they had external airbags.
As soon as you hit somebody, your car became a bouncy castle.
It'd be brilliant. You'd be walking along... Oh, no!
And then, BANG! Heyyy!
You'd get collateral damage, a passer-by getting shot into a shop window.
Or he's just about to be run over and go, "Oh, better take me shoes off."
Thank you. Good, well,
left-handed motorcycles allowed right-handed American policemen to shoot at people whilst chasing them.
Now, why would a hoplophobe be particularly nervous
of a Sturmgewehr vierundvierzig with a Krummlauf modification?
BICYCLE BELL TINGS
Cos he was French.
Yeah, kind of... It is of course a German something -
Is it a firearm?
-It is a firearm.
-A machine gun?
-It's not a machine gun.
-Funnily enough...I have one.
-MAN: Assault rifle?
Oh, assault rifle. Somebody speaks German there. Sturmgewehr.
That was slightly scary, wasn't it?
-You know you said that out loud?!
-"It's an assault rifle..."
"I've got eight in my bunker."
"I can't tell you where, it's a secret location."
"I've got hundreds of these as well."
"Come the day..."
-Would you like to see one?
-"Come the day..."
"..we'll be ready."
-They're very big, very heavy...
-All your Christmases have come at once.
You've got no idea what you're doing.
There's the Sturmgewehr, which is a German
Second World War assault rifle. The first assault rifle there ever was.
-But the Krummlauf is the interesting part.
-Oh, I can see it.
The Krummlauf is this modification...
They don't like it up 'em(!)
So...this is a genuine article.
It's brought to us by our very nice friends
from the Royal Armouries in Leeds,
it's going to spend the night in the Tower of London tonight,
and this is this extraordinary Krummlauf...
-You can shoot over the trench.
-You shoot over a wall or round a corner,
and this is a periscope. And so if I'm here, I can actually...
I assure you, it HAS been deactivated.
There's no chance, it's been checked and double-checked, but I can see
the audience in my... And I can see the sights as well in the periscope.
Yes, it's been converted into a waterer for flower baskets.
I can point at the back row of the audience,
or, as you rightly say, round a corner.
But there's another gun, isn't there, that actually shoots round a corner?
Yes, the Israeli army uses that. We might even have a picture of it.
It's a much more modern development.
There it is. That really is extraordinary.
And behind, though, is the first of its kind, a very simple invention,
an Australian invention in the First World War, where you see a genuine
rifle on top of the trench and a thing holding it
and a periscope, looking through the sight.
-But, much cooler just to go...
-Oh, yes. You're so right.
There it is. 1943 it was invented, they started making them in '44.
It was too late - Jerry didn't win the war, as you probably know.
We gave them a bit of an old spanking, in fact.
But this was in great demand for the Panzer people, in their tanks...
Please tell me on the other side of the desk you've got the left-handed one.
ROSS: That one that goes round the corner -
do they have ones that go that way and ones that go that way?
Cos that would really annoy you if you ran up and you went, "Oh, no..."
"I've got to go all the way round the block!"
It was invented by a man called Hans-Joachim Shayede,
who was a washing machine manufacturer, in fact...
So it's got a spin cycle?
So was he just trying to drum up a bit of business -
on the adverts where they go, "It gets blood out.
"Oh, I tell you what... HE MIMICS RIFLE FIRE
"You'll be needing a washing machine."
And I said a hoplophobe, and a hoplophobe is someone who hates weapons.
I thought it was someone who's scared of hooplas.
According to urbandictionary.com - this literally is their definition -
"An irrational fear of weapons, generally guns,
"usually occurring as a result of a liberal upbringing,
"or the fact the person is just a wimp in general.
"Rather than deal with the fear, said hoplophobe will assign human characteristics to a weapon,
"i.e. "guns are evil" or "guns kill",
"to justify the fear rather than deal with the core problem of being a sissy."
-I'll tell you something.
-He wrote that.
He may have done. Assault rifle.
-ROSS: I bet he wrote it with a left-handed pen.
-Don't play with it
because they did ask that nobody else touch it because it's very valuable.
I was going to make it go over the desk!
I'm sorry. I'm afraid I was given a specific, "Alan not to touch."
It's very valuable.
I love the fact that somewhere there's a memo that just says,
"Machine gun. For Stephen Fry's use only."
Anyway, yes - the age-old problem of firing guns round corners
has been solved by making guns that fire round corners.
Time to inject a bit of humour and hilarity,
so why did the bomb disposal expert go to the joke shop?
Something you can get there that helps with bomb disposing?
-Take me through the chain of...
-I don't know how...
Is it er...whoopee cushions?
Put a whoopee cushion under, to release the pressure plate?
That's quite smart thinking. It's not that, actually.
They're called ammunition technicians, and they use
a thing you might get in a joke shop or a party shop...
-A flower that sprays water.
-It is something you spray.
-Oh, is it that squirty stuff...
-ROSS: Silly string.
Silly string! Now, what use would silly string be?
Does it fill up the fuse area and block everything up?
No, it's not that. It's in case there are invisible tripwires -
and you spray it, and they fall on the tripwire without triggering it.
And particularly they have fluorescent silly string, so in dark corners where you might...
There's always the possibility, because so many bombs are booby-trapped.
It's nice that that's a real thing, but I just prefer them leaning over a bomb going...
HE MIMICS PARTY HOOTER
-In a big Margaret Thatcher mask.
With a rubber chicken.
I have to say, that would have improved that film The Hurt Locker.
PHILL MIMICS NOISEMAKER
PHILL MIMICS HORN
The army uses silly string to check for tripwires in booby-trapped houses.
From houses to holes, you can't fit a square peg in a round hole.
So how would you make a square hole with a round drill?
-That's the question. Can it be done? Yes, Jack Dee?
I would drill four small holes that, don't laugh before it's happened...
I might surprise you yet. I'm thinking while I talk.
I would drill four small holes that would describe a square...
-Corners and then with a hacksaw I would join them and knock the square through.
It's a way of punching a square into the surface, but there is actually a way of using a round drill bit.
Well, my way's better.
That would be brilliant if it had gone "woo-woo"
-at every word you said...
Don't laugh before you've...
There's a particular shape, a sort of circular triangle
which when it revolves, a part of it makes a square.
A circular triangle?
Oh, no, no, no!
This is your first time. This sort of thing happens all the time!
"It's a sort of circular triangle!"
Yes and it makes a square!
It's not the fact that I'm boggled by that,
it's the fact I now realise there's a possibility
that you could have a Toblerone-Rolo combo.
I've dreamt about that for years.
Do you know the weird thing? Do you know what will freak you out completely, Ross Noble?
Is the name for this form a triangle is a Reuleaux.
It genuinely is!
You have to have points for that. You somehow found a triangle that was a Reuleaux.
It's a Reuleaux triangle, that's what it's called. It's a very particular shape.
If we come on this show and we discover things,
what I like tonight is I've just discovered the best three words to hear in a Geordie accent
are, "Toblerone-Rolo combo".
Thanks, now everyone I meet's going to go, "Can you say Toblerone, please?
"Go on, Geordie man, dance for us."
You've got to form a band now. Called that.
-Me and Cheryl Cole?
Her, me and Jimmy Nail as a trio.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the Toblerone-Rolo Combo!"
-You're not going to play the trombone?
-Do you want to see a picture of this Reuleaux triangle?
-A Reuleaux triangle...
-Is it only available in airports?
No, let's roll it... There.
Now, you see that's a sort of round-ended triangle.
There it is and that is the drill bit and it is describing a square, if you see, exactly.
Isn't that crazy?
How loony is that?
You've sickened me.
Now that shape may be familiar if you like cars and bikes.
It's a type of piston, rotary piston which is known as a...
-A Wankel or "Vankel" if we prefer to say it that way.
-Wankel was a bloke though, wasn't he?
-He was. Mr Wankel was indeed a bloke.
That's all you could do. If your name was Wankel.
You'd go, "What are you going to do?" "Well, it's going to have to be engines, isn't it?
"Or sex toys!"
And I for one, looking at that, am glad that he went the engine path,
because I can't see that as being particularly comfortable.
There's nothing worse than a motorised sex toy,
just the fact that at the end of the bed, the bloke from the AA
just like, "Try it now. Try it now."
Oh, my heavens!
Sorry, I'm going to have to tow you.
As long as we don't go past my mum's house.
You've got the awful problem it's not doing it now.
As soon as you come it's working perfectly. Sorry!
No, no. Right.
Yeah, OK. So you can make a square hole with a round drill but...
this is something more extraordinary in a way.
This is from an ordinary cylinder.
And all you do is just cut two wedges off it.
As long as the cylinder is as long as it is wide,
you cut the two wedges and you can do something again that you're not supposed to be able to do.
Ah! Wedge the door open on a rabbit hutch?
No, it's rather amazing.
You've got the three Play School windows, you've got the square, the triangle...
-You can push it into all of them.
-That is a square now, look. See?
It's a square.
-Look. See, square? Square.
-Go on. Put it through then.
Also it's...hang on.
It's also a triangle.
-Triangle. And...it's a circle.
Isn't that amazing?
-Just one shape.
Can we just leave that, like at a playgroup and watch the kids' heads explode?
Do you want to try?
Put the round into the square.
No, doesn't work now.
-It's stopped working!
It's broken. Get the AA man.
-Yeah, you got the circle.
-Circle, good, yes.
JACK: He wasn't great at school, Alan.
ROSS: Do you realise, if you get this through, a banana comes out of a chute?
No bananas for you!
-I'm such a tool, aren't I?
-"Don't patronise me!"
-Applause for getting a bit of thing through a hole...
So you can get a round peg into a square hole and a square peg in a round hole.
I want to play with the gun that shoots round corners!
-No, you can't play with the gun.
-Special instructions?! "Don't let Alan play with it."
Police were baffled in London tonight by a series of murders committed round corners.
The fact is, thanks to the wonders of geometry, it's quite possible
to drill a square hole with a circular bit.
While we're sanding and polishing, what is the roundest thing in the universe? Yeah.
No, just saying.
Oh, no! Phill!
-Ah, not at all.
You should see it when... Er, no. The roundest thing in the universe?
-Ball bearings are quite round, but...
-I swallowed a ball bearing once.
Do you mean the smoothest, most rounded...?
Yeah, the most purely, purely round. In other words...
Cos if you... Well...
The earth is, er, thingy as it's squashed. It's not round.
It's an oblate spheroid.
Oh, Nelly Furtado!
He's got a word for everything.
Is it, er, a liquid drop,
a water drop?
They can get jolly round.
They can be very round.
We're actually further out of space than earth, beyond earth.
It's a cosmic phenomenon.
Is it a black hole?
-It's that kind of a deal.
-Oh, it's those, erm,
space helmets, those big round space helmets,
with the things on the top.
JACK: Is it the thing called the genius point?
-Is it the point to which everything...
-..goes to ultimately.
Not that. When a supernova has a gravitational collapse, it turns into something called...?
A neutron star.
JACK: Yeah. ROSS: Oh, the neutron star(!)
-They're really round...
-That's not round!
-That's a supernova, I think. That's a supernova, going supernova.
Then show us the round thing!
He's very upset, aren't you?
It only has a diameter of about 15 miles or so
and there isn't one near enough to be able to see it with the naked eye.
Have you ever noticed how we always have to take Stephen's word for it?
What's interesting is, if I had a thimble full of a neutron star,
it would weigh more than a mountain.
Yeah, but you don't!
I'll tell you what,
imagine how confused the old woman darning your socks would be
if you had a thimble full of it. She was just trying to fix a hole and... Whoomph!
It was all space and time coming out of a thimble.
That's no way to treat the elderly.
-So you put a thimble down and no-one could pick it up.
And when you've got a good cleaning lady, you want to hang onto them. You don't want to mess them around!
"I'm leaving, Mr Dee." Why? "It's all this space business with your thimbles. I don't like it."
It might have double the mass of the sun, but it's only 15 miles across roughly.
And the highest mountain on it is 5mm, so it is superbly round, as opposed to the earth, which...
Although the earth is jolly round, apart from the flat bits at the top...
The earth is jolly smooth compared to, say, a billiard ball.
-Smoother than a ping-pong ball.
-Yes, now why is that?
I'm sorry, I did not know there would be a follow-up question.
If you were to scale up a snooker ball to the size of the earth,
the mountains and trenches would be HUGELY greater
than our highest mountains or deepest trenches.
The little pits you see when you examine a snooker ball closely,
if scaled up to the size of the earth, would be gigantic!
The earth is smoother than a billiard ball, which brings me round
to a hypothetical question - what's made of jelly and lives forever?
BICYCLE BELL TINGS
Shark-infested custard? Wrong joke.
-Is it a famous jelly?
-Royal jelly. Bees?
No. What lives and is made of jelly?
-A jellyfish. What sort of jellyfish would live forever?
- The Highlander! - An eternal jellyfish.
An eternal, or as it is known, the immortal jellyfish.
-The immortal jellyfish, as I was about to say.
-Yes, you were.
Turritopsis, is its proper name and the extraordinary thing about it is it doesn't die.
What happens is after it sexes, er, after it sexes...
I'm going to sex you!
I'm a jellyfish and I'm going to sex you.
After it's had sex is the normal way of saying it.
Marjorie, shall we sex?! Come on!
-We haven't sexed for a good week.
-I can't talk now, I'm sexing.
Why don't we say that? It's perfectly logical.
-Some of us do say that!
-There you are!
But anyway, after it's sexed, it can then turn back into a child.
Its cells change, function, the muscle cells and the sperm cells and the egg cells change back
and it literally goes as it were back in time and just starts again. But it's the same creature.
That would be a bit unnerving for its partner though.
You know what I mean? You've just made love and then...
Can we watch Grange Hill?
Of course they do die, because they get eaten or they get diseased, but they don't die of old age.
I'm trying to work out which of those five phases is the emo one that doesn't talk to you for weeks.
Well, now what about human attempts to be immortal or to rejuvenate at least?
-What was the great popular one earlier in the 20th century?
-Being frozen. Cryogenic.
That doesn't rejuvenate, that's just waiting until there's a cure.
Monkey glands, royal jelly.
What do they mean by monkey glands?
The glands of a monkey!
They were not really glands though, were they? They were testicles.
Yes! It started as human testicles, I'm sorry to say.
They're perfectly round...
Get them into my thimble!
If you were to scale them up to the size of the earth, they'd take hours to scratch.
Chinese farmers with rakes.
Monkey balls. There was a man called Serge Voronoff who was a Russian who lived in Paris...
Whoa! Hello, ladies!
And I'm talking about the dude in the middle.
It started as human testicles, he would inject parts of the human testicle...
Hang on, injecting parts of the human testicle?
Is that what he told the ladies, was it?
It was very popular and in fact Wolverhampton Wanderers,
they had a striker in the late '40s called Dennis Westcott
and the manager, the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers,
I like this period in English football when managers were called things like Major Frank Buckley.
You don't get many Majors managering football teams anymore.
Or indeed sexing.
Or indeed sexing.
I love the fact that you did one impersonation of me and now you can't use grammar at all.
"Next week's QI has been cancelled.
"Noble has infected Fry's brain."
-"Welcome to QI! Way-hey!"
"Get the monkey balls out, we're sexing it tonight."
ALAN IMITATES MONKEY
Major Frank Buckley insisted on his striker being injected with monkey testicles
and amazingly he went on to score 38 goals in 35 games. Then...
Then married hundreds of monkeys!
Then the manager of Plymouth made his team
inject themselves or be injected with monkey...
That's got to be an interesting team talk.
What I want you to do, lads...
But it was, of course, bollocks in every sense.
It was very fashionable. The search for eternal youth.
And now, look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
It's time for General Ignorance.
How do snakes manage when their lunch is bigger than their head?
They dislocate their jaw?
-Oh, Ross, you were doing so well!
I'm so sorry. This is a common misapprehension.
They don't do any such thing, they just have very stretchy wide mouths.
They have a special bone, which in mammals has become our anvil and other ear bones.
The choice was I could either hear very well or eat something bigger than my head?
He can't hear you.
But we've only got your word for it
that that is a snake eating a mouse.
That might be a new mouse creature that has a snake head.
-It might! It's a lovely thought.
-I'll have them points back, please.
Doesn't it slip out or something?
No, it's a double-jointed hinge.
Is that what they use on snakeskin handbags?
To get the...
Gosh, that would be a very impressive handbag, wouldn't it?
But sometimes they do over-reach themselves. There was a case in 2005 in the Everglades of Florida
where a Burmese python attempted to eat a whole alligator
and it got into it, that is an alligator inside a snake.
But the alligator was still alive inside the snake and tore at the stomach and the python exploded.
-So...isn't that extraordinary?
-Who lived? Who survived?
I think the alligator was probably dead as well, unfortunately by this time.
-So not a happy ending?
-There were no winners.
-No, no winners.
What, you may ask, was a Burmese python doing in the middle of Florida?
-He was on holiday.
-He was on holiday!
-A very popular destination!
-It's a popular destination!
They're popular pets and that's the reason they're in Florida,
because they escape and they find the swamps very similar
to the Burmese swamp "where the python romp," as Noel Coward puts it.
So yes, snakes don't actually dislocate their jaws to swallow.
They just have stretchy mouths.
What does a judge do when he wants order in his court?
-BICYCLE BELL TINGS
He bangs his gavel.
British judges have never had gavels. They do on some television programmes.
It may be because I think props people think it looks good but they've never had them.
Sometimes if they're conducting an auction at the same time, they do.
But it's unlikely that's going to happen.
Auctioneers do have gavels.
-Judges don't have gavels. No.
-You've got one there.
I was a judge in Kingdom and I had a gavel in that.
-You were. Oh, did you?
-I think so, yes. I seem to remember.
-We got that wrong.
-Another reason why that show was cancelled!
British judges have never used gavels, unlike American judges.
And finally, the notorious pirate, Blackbeard, has just given me a map.
What does the X mark?
If anything, I suppose, it may well be a signature because he probably can't write.
Most pirates couldn't. The fact is, there is no case in history that anyone knows of
of pirates burying treasure and drawing maps with X on.
-It all comes from...
-By Robert Louis Stevenson.
Why would a pirate want to bury treasure?
To stop the other pirates getting it!
-But you want to spend it.
-They can hardly go to Bradford And Bingley!
IMITATES PIRATE: "Hello, we've got a chest full of dubloons and booty."
Yes, would you like fixed term or extended interest?
Oh, God! I went to Bradford And Bingley and got stuck behind a bloody pirate!
I was there my whole lunch hour.
I've got 20 Portuguese whores!
That's why they brought in those pens on chains -
they couldn't get it with a hook. They'd be like that.
So they just hook a pen and it would go like that
and then you just do this.
There are a lot of myths about pirates.
Look at that man's face! It's the colour of a strawberry! That's incredible!
You know who that is?
-No, I don't.
-It's Robert, erm...
Who really invented pirate speak, that, "Ooh arr, Jim lad!"
That's Robert Newton.
In fact, Tony Hancock's career started as a Robert Newton impersonator.
That's what Tony Hancock did.
That was his act. There's an international talk-like-a-pirate day in September.
I met a kid from Somalia. He came up alongside me on his pushbike.
He said, "You is on TV, innit? You is on TV, innit?"
I said, "Yes, yes. Nice to see you."
"Don't walk away, don't walk away. You've got to help me get into TV."
I said, "OK, well..." "How do I get in?"
I said, "Well, join your local drama group..." I don't know what I said!
He goes, "I'm Somalian, but I can do Eritrean."
There may be a demand for that somewhere.
I said, "I'll see what I can do. I'll speak to the producers of Jonathan Creek."
On that bombshell,
pirates very rarely buried treasure. They preferred to spend it.
They never used a map with an X to help them locate it. That's it!
We've hobbled our way through higgledy-piggledy hodgepodge
and all that remains is the humiliation of the final scores.
My goodness, my gracious, my knee.
Holding his head high this week with a staggering plus 2 points is Jack Dee!
holding his own in second place, a very creditable entry into the QI stakes
is our newcomer Ross Noble with -6.
Oh, what a triumph here because holding out the hope of greater things, it's Alan on -8.
Which means sadly...
hanging his head in shame on -10, is Phill Jupitus.
That's all from this heterogeneous edition of QI,
so it's good night from Jack, Phill, Ross, Alan and me.
And I leave you with this - good night.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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