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Good evening. Good evening, good evening, good evening,
and welcome to an absolutely choice edition of QI,
which is all about indecision.
All in a dither tonight are A, Jimmy Carr...
-..B, Rich Hall...
-..C, Phill Jupitus
..or D, none of the above, Alan Davies.
Your buzzers are designed to help you make up your mind.
-WOMAN: "Turn right. Turn right."
-WOMAN: "Turn left. Turn left."
-WOMAN: "Turn around. Turn around."
-And Alan goes...
-MAN: "Excuse me, sir. Is this your vehicle? Are you sure?
"Would you blow into this bag, please, sir?"
And don't forget your "nobody knows" jokers.
Have you got them there?
FANFARE "Nobody knows."
There is a question, to which the answer is "nobody knows".
If you can flag it up, you get extra points.
Now, why was this tosser thrown out of The Magic Circle?
-"Tosser" is a technical term in this particular -
-Was he using real magic?
That's not the reason, but it's a damn good thought.
-What gets you thrown out?
-Giving away the secrets.
Yes. This guy, John Lenahan, was thrown out of The Magic Circle
for giving away a particular, a very famous,
you just have to buy a book and you know how to do it.
He said if he'd been a murderer, he'd have been let out of prison by now,
but he's out of The Magic Circle for life
because he appeared on Des Lynam's "How Do They Do That?"
..one of the classic card scams
that is used on street corners to make money.
-Find the Lady?
-Or as they call it in America, Three-card Monte.
-Because Find the Lady...
I prefer Three-card Monte because I had a really bad experience in Thailand once.
-Did you feel a bit of a dick?!
Oh, I'm sorry!
-Have you got some money there?
-I have some to pay you, in case you get it right.
Here you are. Watch the screen. All you have to do is find the lady.
Watch and then... There we go.
-There she is.
-Keep your eyes on her.
OK, which is she?
-On the left.
-It's obviously the left.
Course it's on the left. You just follow it with your eyes.
OK, let's have another go. This time, we'll do it for money.
Keep your eyes on the lady.
-There she is.
-OK. Where's she gone?
-Right, OK, you three put that on a card each,
and I will stick this in a lady's knickers in the audience.
That's a whole other game! That's a whole other lady to find.
There's a lady put her hand up over there.
-She put her hand up what?
That's the trouble with this game. You always want to see it a second time.
-Place your bets.
-I'm going left.
-I'm going left.
-Three lefts and a right.
OK, let's show.
-It is indeed the left!
-Two in a row! Come on!
-That's it, I'm getting my real money out. I'm on a roll!
That's the time to quit!
I ought to explain when talking about John Lenahan,
when I called him a tosser, that is the name for the guy who does that trick.
It's called tossing. You can win a lot of money by tossing.
I think somebody thought it was real money. Anyway... Interesting.
-What the hell was that?
-We'll find out, maybe or maybe not.
-OK, so -
-I'm not in on that, I just want you to know!
John Lenahan was expelled from The Magic Circle
for exposing the secret of Find the Lady on TV.
The real secret is, even if you choose correctly,
someone is likely to run off with the money, because that's the way they work.
Now for something beginning with "I" that you wouldn't choose in 100 years.
Who expected the Spanish Inquisition?
Was it... Er... Was it...
According to Monty Python, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
But, in fact, they couldn't be more wrong.
The Spanish Inquisition always gave you 30 days' notice.
They said... They said, "We're coming to inquisite you," or whatever verb they would use.
"Is that Mr Rabinowitz? It's the Inquisition here. How are you? Good.
"We're going to come round and pull your balls out through your mouth."
"We're in the area.
"But only for the next 30 days. Take advantage."
-They gave you 30 days?
-They're like the TV licence van!
They gave you 30 days to prepare and prove that you weren't a heretic.
You had to wait around the house all day.
-"We'll be there between eight and five."
-Or get a priest!
Or say, "Torture my neighbour. I won't be in.
"He'll take my torture for me."
No, it is a surprising thing, perhaps. But when was it instituted?
It went on for 350 years.
-Give me a century.
-I can tell you -
-Bloody hell, that's close! Did you say 1483?
-Is that a guess?
It was 1478. But five years... That's very close.
They called and said, "We're coming around in five years," so in '78...
The Spanish took it upon themselves to have their own inquisition.
There was a Papal Inquisition, but they wanted their own.
It was an anti-Semitic piece of legislation.
They doubted that Jews who had to convert to stay in Spain,
they doubted that they actually really meant it.
-It was under these rulers of Spain at that time, Ferdinand and Isabella.
-She's a dog.
She wouldn't mind you saying that. She'd take it on the chin.
The Catholic Church, you won't be surprised to know, still has the Inquisition.
-It's changed its name.
In 1908, it changed to the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office,
in 1965, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
and the leader, Pope John Paul II, was...
-Who was in charge of it?
-It was indeed. Our current Pope.
He was in charge of the Spanish Inquisition?
-Not the Spanish.
-They're good at changing their name.
When people talk about the Roman Empire falling, I don't think they did fall.
-They continued on regardless.
Now then, given the choice,
what would be the next best thing to having a Nobel Prize-winner in our audience tonight?
Dennis Leary had a joke about the Peace Prize.
He said, "I'd kill for one of those."
That's very good. There is a sort of comic version of the Nobel Peace Prize.
-It's the Ig Nobel Awards.
The prize is given to people who usually are genuine scientists
who have conducted research, some of which is just a little bit weird.
We have on our left a woman who invented an emergency bra
that can be torn apart and turned into a gas mask.
Two gas masks, obviously!
On the right is the inventor of the Ig Nobel Prize, Marc Abrahams.
I'm proud to say that in our audience, we have a winner of the Ig Nobel Prize,
Professor Chris McManus! Are you there?
There he is! Whaa-hey!
Professor McManus, they called you in the Press the "Oddball Professor".
Perhaps you'd like to tell us the reason you won the Ig Nobel Prize.
I got the prize in 2002
-for some work that was done half a lifetime earlier in 1976.
And the paper was published in the most prestigious of science journals, Nature,
and it was called "Scrotal Asymmetry In Man and In Ancient Sculpture".
So, your work was looking at how male testicles were asymmetrical?
-I've got an issue. Maybe you could help.
Perhaps I should examine you afterwards. It's probably easier.
I think I can explain. One of mine is bigger than the other two.
Very good. You are actually speaking with purpose, aren't you?
A higher percentage of men have one ball lower than the other. Tell us which that is.
Most people have the right one is higher and the left one is lower.
-And that's the normal way round.
Wait a minute.
-Phill, it's OK...!
I've got two on the left.
-There's nothing on the right at all!
But the surprising thing is, in Ancient and indeed Renaissance sculpture,
-If you look at Michelangelo's David or any of these great sculptures,
the right one is higher and the left one is lower and it's bigger.
Which makes sense, if you think about it.
Why does that makes sense?
-You'd expect the heavier one to go lower.
-Oh, I see.
-But it's against -
-The trouble is, it ain't that way.
-When you get home later, you'll find that...
-No need, man!
..the higher one is also the bigger one.
So the Greeks got it wrong. That was where it got interesting.
That's odd, because they had bodies. Is it because they used mirrors
and therefore got it the wrong way round, or was there some other reason?
Their real problem is that they had a theory,
-and there's nothing more dangerous than a theory that's wrong.
They didn't know what the testicles were for. It seems strange, but they hadn't quite worked it out.
JIMMY: Mine are purely decorative. LAUGHTER
-What was the theory?
-Aristotle had this charming theory
that little boys have tiny testicles and very high voices.
But as you get bigger and you go into puberty, the testicles get bigger,
-they pull down and they tension the body and the voice gets deeper.
So they thought they were weights to tension the male body.
JIMMY: And is that not the case?
Which is why Barry White never did a marathon.
Well, Professor McManus, thank you very much indeed.
-That is quite interesting.
-It is quite interesting.
Anyway, the next best thing to winning a Nobel Prize is winning an Ig Nobel Prize.
First they make you laugh and then they make you think.
You've got a big decision coming up in 40 minutes, imagine, OK?
What's the best thing you can do now to make ensure you make the right choice?
-Just make the decision now.
No, it's coming up. You may not know what it is, like Dwight here.
Get into a rage. You make the right choices when angry.
Very well remembered from a previous edition. One of them is anger.
Apparently you make better decisions when you're angry. I'm giving you a clue.
-You're giving me a clue?
-Have some water.
Lots and lots of water.
-Drink lots of water...
-So that in 40 minutes...
You'll be in the loo and you won't have to make the decision.
You'd be popping to go to the loo and that's when we make our best decisions.
-When we need a wee?
It's true, girlfriend!
APPLAUSE Shut up!
-I think I'm definitely going to do Celebrity Mastermind now.
-Just 20 bottles of Evian before I go on.
HE BARKS WORDS
"Red! Orange! Hitler!
"I've got to go, John!"
"Red, orange, Hitler"? I'm trying to think what that would be...
What is your specialist subject?!
Painting. JIMMY: Love it!
Now, what big decision did the driver of the number 78 London bus have to make
in December 1952?
-Ooh, yes, Jimmy?
-The Coronation is all I know about '52.
-The Queen didn't get the bus, did she?
-No, she didn't!
You might, if you were bus users, know where the 78 goes.
-It doesn't go my way.
-He had to jump the bridge.
He had to jump the bridge!
There was some mistake with the warning sign.
As he was getting on... Do you know what they call these?
They're called bascules, for the French for a seesaw.
And as he was approaching the first one, he was already on it when he saw they were rising.
He took a split-second decision and accelerated.
The second one was lower down
and, three foot in the air, whatever it was, he landed on the second one.
No-one was injured. And he won, for his bravery, £10.
And Employee of the Month.
-I'm sure Employee of the Month.
-Maybe Driver of the Week.
It was very brave. Very brave fellow.
-You'll want to know his name.
It was a good bus driver's name. Albert Gunton.
-Of course it was.
He should be proud. If his family are watching, I hope you're still proud of him.
What is that thing about split-second decisions?
-I don't know. He just made the right one.
-He must've needed a wee.
Making a split decision and coming close to something and...
It's weird when that happens. There are two odds.
One is, there may be something small you've seen that you can't remember.
The other is, you wouldn't be able to tell the story if you'd got it wrong.
-Everybody is alive, by definition -
-So, all the anecdotes about
"I made a split-second decision and it went very badly", they're not here?
-They're not there to be told! There is that side of it!
-Like the conductor who fell out the back!
-The one thing we can say -
-As he falls into the Thames,
One thing we can say with confidence, Boris,
is that that wouldn't have happened with a bendy bus.
The brilliant thing with the bendy bus,
it would go between the two things, and the bridge could play the accordion!
That's true! It never occurred to me!
Now, identity parades... Fascinating things.
As you know, you are a suspect and the police are supposed to get people who look vaguely like you,
wear the same clothes, and an eyewitness says "number three" or whatever.
-Nowadays, they use something called VIPER.
Video Identification Parade Electronic Recording.
Because as recently as 1997, South Yorkshire Police had a suspect
who was six foot three, 16 stone and black.
They couldn't find anyone of that description,
so they got a makeup artist to black-up a group of white men,
-but not including their hands.
Unsurprisingly, the eyewitness chose the genuinely black person.
These days, they have all kinds of ID parades,
but the old type is not regarded as reliable.
There are reasons for that, and we might be able to demonstrate what those reasons are.
Earlier in the show, you may remember a rascal ran across the set
and stole some money from my hand.
-You all saw it happen.
-You apprehended him!
-Can you pick the culprit from this line-up?
We've apprehended him and we've got some others
to see if you can find out who it is.
Here they are. One, two, three and four.
Was it number one, stealing our money?
Was it number two, stealing our hearts? Or is that just me? Er...
-Was it number three...
Was it number three, stealing himself for a spanking?
Or was it number four, stealing a format idea from Never Mind The Buzzcocks?
Very good control from our ID parade.
So I'll ask each one of you to give me a number.
You all saw the moment, or at least very briefly, which is how crimes are committed.
-Phill, one, two, three or four?
This isn't fair. Phill's had much more experience in this game. He's built a career on this game.
He knows which one is in The Kooks.
If you could just stick a bass player in there for me...!
-It was fleeting, wasn't it?
-I'm going one.
-Two and one.
-It's number one.
-Number one. We're split between two and one.
Those in the audience who think it's number one, raise your hand.
That's quite a fair number.
-Who thinks it's number two?
-You probably had a better view.
-That's quite a lot.
A few of you. And number four? Again, a few of you.
-Would the real thief please step forward?
-Wait a minute!
There you are! Number two. Well done.
Well done. Very good. Very good indeed.
Thank you all for our line-up, including the three innocents.
It isn't entirely useless having an ID parade.
-You did very well.
-I got it right!
-You got it right.
-You know how I got it right?
-I wet my pants.
-That's it! Exactly!
You're learning! All right.
It is more difficult than we think, or realise, to pick a suspect from a parade,
although half our panel did very well.
And now to the moment when I'm afraid you have no choice at all. Fingers on buzzers, please.
Remember, we haven't had our "nobody knows" question.
Who was the first person to go round the world in 80 days?
"Turn right." Michael Palin.
I meant a real person. I'm not counting fictional.
-In fiction, of course...
A blue whale.
The "first person" was very much in the question.
But it's interesting I said "person". It was a woman.
Amy Johnson? WOMAN SHOUTS FROM AUDIENCE
Shout that again, in the audience.
-Well done, audience member!
-Nellie Bly is the right answer!
APPLAUSE DROWNS OUT SPEECH
Very impressed indeed.
Nellie Bly is someone we all should've heard of.
She was possibly the world's first investigative journalist.
She was a remarkably bold, brave and adventurous woman.
She worked for The World, which was Joseph Pulitzer's newspaper.
In 1890, after the astonishing success of Jules Verne's Around The World In Eighty Days,
Joseph Pulitzer decided that he would try and get someone genuinely to go round the world in 80 days.
He awarded the role to one of his journalists and Nellie Bly said,
"If you don't give me the task, I will go to another newspaper."
And so valued was she, he said, "You've got the job."
And she did it in 72 days, which is pretty damned impressive.
In those days, before aeroplanes, obviously,
getting from one place, all the way round the globe, to another
in that amount of time was a heck of an achievement.
-It took a long time to get from Scotland to London in those days.
Can you remember in the book the forms of travel Phileas Fogg used?
-There were some trains, weren't there?
-Hot air balloons.
-Not hot air balloons!
-There's a balloon on the screen!
-Because of the film.
In the Michael Todd film with David Niven,
one always thinks of the balloon, but he doesn't use a balloon.
Anyway, she did it in 72 days, six hours and 11 minutes from New York to New York.
She should be remembered for campaigns against bad landlords,
injustice, injustice to women in prisons
and, most amazingly, she managed to smuggle herself into an insane asylum
and wrote an extraordinary report about the unbelievable cruelty dealt to the mentally ill.
It sounds like she managed to talk her way out of an insane asylum...
-..with a story about being an investigative journalist. That is genius.
In both cases, impressive.
How can you tell which of these chicks is male and which is female?
This must be... This must be...
-I'm afraid not!
Had you said that in the 1920s, the answer would've been "nobody knows".
But in 1929, the Japanese astonished the world
by revealing that they'd found a way to sex chicks.
In other words, to determine their gender.
It sounds... It sounds so wrong, doesn't it?
-"I know how to sex a chick!"
-JIMMY: I can do that!
It seems impossible with the naked eye to do it
because you have to wait till they're six weeks old.
And in the egg-laying industry, that's a heck of a waste,
because the male chicks are of no use whatsoever to them.
Gassed on the first day. Enjoy your eggs!
That's why... Good point!
In 1927, at the World Poultry Congress in Ottawa,
-this was announced -
-The World Poultry Congress.
That's a lot of chickens.
"Will the representative of Albania make himself known?"
"Albanian chicken!" CLUCKING
It's one of the biggest businesses in the world.
The most popular bird we eat, then we eat their eggs.
And so there are World Poultry Congresses!
We've all done corporate gigs. I imagine I did 20 minutes at the end.
I once did Phillips Small Appliances. Sounds mad.
-That poor boy!
-It was a long time...
-It was a long time ago -
-Leave his appliances alone!
-It was a long time ago -
-Which is why I won't have him in the house any more!
-How do you sex a chicken?
-It's very complex, that's the point.
And it's highly... No, we do know. It's highly paid.
The discovery lowered the price of eggs worldwide overnight.
That's how important it was.
The Zen-Nippon Chick Sexing School was founded.
I know you're laughing, but it's true! It's true!
You're looking at a graduate.
And they taught their sexers in such a rigorous way
that only five to ten percent of applicants received accreditation.
When you passed, you were paid huge sums of money.
-You are chick master!
-Yes. Hundreds of dollars a day. It was a really big business.
-It still is!
-"Boy..." "How do you know?" "I know."
-"You don't know. You pay."
The best in the business can sex around 1,200 chicks an hour
and there are some talented ones who can have one in each hand...
"Boy, boy, girl, girl, boy, boy, boy, girl,
girl, girl, boy, boy. Boy, girl, boy, girl. Boyyyy."
-The point is...
The point is, you go like that, and pop them in bins. Girl bin, boy bin.
And you can do 1,200.
-Is it to do with the weight?
-No. They do a slight squeeze -
-You won't like this.
-They do a slight squeeze -
-And if they go, "Oww!" it's a girl.
And if they go...
-If they go, "Steady on, mate..."
-It's a boy!
They have a cloaca tract, which is their reproductive and excretory tract,
and there is a slight difference in the ridges and bumps, the innies and outies.
So you do a slight squeeze. If it's too big, you throttle them, or the outie becomes an innie.
It's a real skill. It's something I vaguely knew about growing up in Norfolk,
because in Norfolk there is a community of Vietnamese turkey sexers, who live...
I know it sounds mad!
I can never watch Platoon again!
You've ruined Apocalypse Now for me.
-I'm sorry about that.
-"What sex is chicken?!
-"You tell me now!"
-I know it sounds bonkers.
They live in tunnels under the fence!
-Not in the fence, it's in Norfolk, he said defensively.
-I beg your pardon.
-Tell me they work for Bernard, please!
Bernard Matthews is the largest employer.
"Mr Matthew, this one bootiful!" LAUGHTER
All right. Chicken sexing is a fine art these days.
The sun rises roughly in the east, as we know, and sets in the west. But what does the moon do?
-What direction does the moon -
-Which moon are we talking about?
-This show is getting tough.
-It goes the other way.
-The opposite direction?
-Actually... That isn't true, either.
-No, it's the same.
-It's the same.
-"Are you sure?"
-Correct! Well done!
The moon rises in the east and sets in the west.
Lastly, how many different species of mussel can you see here?
-Is this it?
-Oh! Oh, oh, oh, oh! There you go.
-Jimmy got there first!
-I just found it quicker than Phill.
-It had to be!
-It's the last one.
-It's almost impossible to identify -
-Impossible to do or impossible to care?
Do you think they just go, "Shall we just boil these and eat them? Time's a-wasting."
We used to think, by size and appearance, you could tell.
We now find the genome tells us. Species we thought were different we've discovered are the same.
And conversely, species we thought were the same are different.
But the time has finally come to act decisively and declare tonight's winner.
It's very exciting. Yes, indeed.
Let's... Well, let's start at the top.
With a fantastic result,
our winner with a clear plus-10 points is Phill Jupitus!
I don't know how that happened. I never know how that happens.
In a rather surprising second place, with four points, it's the audience!
That puts Jimmy, who would otherwise have come second,
-in third place with minus one.
And in fourth place with minus two, Rich Hall!
But, erm, it still doesn't stop Alan from coming last, I fear,
-with minus 14!
So, thanks to Rich, Jimmy, Phill and Alan.
I leave you with this tail of choice in Soviet Russia from comedian Yakov Smirnoff.
"In Russia, we had only two channels. Channel One was propaganda.
"Channel Two consisted of a KGB officer telling you,
"'Turn back at once to Channel One.'"
-Thank you and goodnight.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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