QI (2003) s08e14 Episode Script


CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Well, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello.
God rest ye, merry ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to QI's Christmas party.
To celebrate this most magical time of the year, we've conjured up a show absolutely heaving with hocus-pocus.
Waving their fairy wands tonight are - the bewitching Graham Norton.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE The mysterious Lee Mack.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE The wizardly Daniel Radcliffe! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE And of course, my glamorous assistant, Alan Davies.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE So, release your incantations, gentlemen.
Graham goes 'Hey presto!' Very nice.
Lee goes 'Abracadabra!' Daniel goes 'Expelliarmus.
' LAUGHTER And Alan goes - CHILD'S VOICE: - 'Please!' - LAUGHTER That was the magic word, wasn't it? So, izzy wizzy, let's get busy with our first question.
What is the oldest trick in the book? - LEE: Can we take these off now? - You can, if you're hot.
Otherwise I'll have a sudden desire to sort out my pension.
So, what is the oldest trick in the book? 'Abracadabra!' Debbie McGee.
GROANING Shame on you, Lee Mack! It's Christmas as well, isn't it? - It is, yeah.
Was that charitable? - Not really, I take that back.
- OK.
- Is it an ancient Greek book? - Even older.
Ooh - Egyptian? > - Egyptian is right.
- I think I might - You might know this?! Is it about a man called Dedi? Dedi.
How do you know about Dedi? You're right.
He was a man who did the first magic trick, which was, I think, - the decapitation of a goose.
- You're right.
Andtore it off and did it to impress the king, and it's in an ancient scroll.
- It is! - Which I do know the name of, I think I do.
- Go on.
- The Westcar Papyrus? The Westcar Papyrus.
This man is brilliant.
- CHEERING AND APPLAUSE - How incredible.
- I mean, I should say I have had - Do they teach you? Yes, there is a certain amount of - They teach this in Ancient Wizardry at Hogwarts? - Absolutely.
- I don't want you to think - This is going to be a very short show! Next question! I'm not about the jokes.
It's all about points for me.
- All about points.
- I'm here to win.
That's pretty much it.
What part of pulling a goose's head off is a trick? - Yes! And then restored it.
- That's the point.
- That's the point.
- Oh, the old "two geese in my bag" trick? He did a goose, a duck, then he moved on to an ox, and he would wrench their heads off, and then they would be restored.
You may say, "I want to see this trick," and that's the point, because it is the oldest trick in the book.
It's recorded then, all that time ago, nearly 5,000 years ago, but it's still done today.
And do you know what? We have a magician who's going to come on and show you that trick.
All right? So But first - ladies and gentlemen, it's Christmas time - we have to summon him.
His name is Scott, so let's say, "Accio Scott," all right? It was all so mystical until then.
"His name isScott!" It's a fine name.
It's Scott Penrose.
He's the vice president of the Magic Circle.
- So, after three, two, one, we go, "Accio Scott.
" Three, two, one - ALL: Accio Scott! - Whoa! - Oh, my God! He wasn't there and then he was there.
What happened?! It's magic, Lee, isn't it wonderful? Scott, welcome.
- Lovely to see you, sir.
- So, I believe you can do the Dedi trick that Dan told us about? - Indeed.
Would you like to do it, please, with? I'll give it a go with Norman.
Just give it a bit of a pull There we go, just pop his head back on.
- There he goes.
- Brilliant.
The sensational Scott Penrose, ladies and gentlemen.
There you are.
The oldest trick in the book.
I can do the first half of that trick.
LAUGHTER But was it a trick? So But That was really the very first trick ever? That we know of.
It's written down.
Surely someone did "Pull my finger" before that?! Maybe.
The oldest trick in the book involved pulling the heads off Egyptian animals.
So, what might go wrong if you tried to catch a bullet in your teeth? I say! - Is that you, Lee? - That's a good-looking lad, whoever that is.
- 'Abracadabra!' - Is the danger that you will end up turning into one of Britain's top light entertainers? - STEPHEN LAUGHS - So charming.
There is something about your teeth getting knocked out, isn't there? - How does the trick work? Do you think someone fires a gun into your face? - No! But if you don't open your mouth properly, then the bullet would break your teeth from the other side? It's It's secreted in the mouth in some fashion.
There are other dangers and there have been disasters.
In 1869, Dr Epstein, who was a magician, he used to tamp the end of the gun down with his wand in this magical fashion, and he left a tiny bit of wand in, and he had the bullet in his mouth and when his assistant fired the gun, a bit of the wand went out and killed him.
- That can happen.
- It must have been amazing being in the audience.
"God, this is good! What's going to happen now?! There's blood spurting from the back of his neck.
" There was a man called Raoul Curran, who in 1880, made the mistake of doing the trick in the wild west.
A drunk fellow said, "If you can stop a bullet, stop this one," and just shot him straight in the head .
right in the forehead, and killed him - stone dead.
Sort of serves him right, though.
If you are tempted to catch a bullet in your teeth, don't.
Now, from testing spells - you'll like this - to spelling tests.
"I before E" Fingers on buzzers.
excepting after" 'Please!' C.
KLAXON SOUNDS No, that just isn't a rule, and why isn't it a rule? Because of < Because of words where Where it's not! - E comes before I after C.
- There are more exceptions to the rule than the rule itself, by quite a long way.
Who's counted that? > "Ceiling"! - They've been counted.
- "Ceiling".
There are 923 English words that have a C-I-E in them - Do we have to name them all? - No.
Name some.
- "Ceiling".
- No, that's C-E-I.
LAUGHTER - C-E-I, that's what you said! - No.
No, the supposed rule is - ALAN: - "I before E, except after C.
" But I'm saying in fact, there are 923 which break that rule.
"Receive", "receipt" > So if it's, "I before E except after C," - we're looking for words where E follows C, aren't we? - No.
No, the rule is it should be C-E-I, according to that.
Oh, you're saying it's wrong.
- There are 923 - I know one which isn't.
"Ceiling", that's not one.
- "Ceiling" isn't one.
- No! - "Ceiling" isn't one of the ones you're looking for.
- Yes.
I want the ones I am looking for.
- Not "ceiling".
- Lee, I'm looking for the ones I'm looking for, so give me a C-I-E.
"Ceiling"? Oh God.
I may explode at any minute.
C-I-E, um - "Receipt" > - Those are the ones that conform to the rule.
- OK, the rule is looking good.
- "Glacier".
Yes, but now I know them and I didn't think I knew any.
The point is, there are lots.
These are ones with E-I, without the C in front, obviously, - as well as the C-I-E - You don't even have to have a C now? No! They're E-I! Are you incapable of rational thought? LAUGHTER Are you? You cannot be that stupid! You cannot be that - Nobody - Stephen, can I just say, you really are going to have to work on your Bruce Forsyth patter.
- "Are you really capable of rational thought? I mean, really.
" - This is not the Generation Game.
This is QI.
- "Are you a human being? I don't think you are.
" - Work it out.
These words don't count, they're not even English words - "hacienda" and "concierge".
The point is, there are 21 times as many words - that break the rule than don't.
- However, if you want to spell "ceiling" - If you want to spell "ceiling" - Or "receipt".
> - .
or "conceit" or "deceit".
- ALAN: - I before E except after C.
- Yeah, but if you want to spell "veil" and "weird" Yeah, but there's no C in those.
It's, "I before E" - every time - "except after C," but in "weird", that's the point.
- Oh, I see.
> - That's the point.
APPLAUSE You cannot be that stupid! He said it and you're looking at me! How do I get the blame for his stupidity? I've got my own, thank you.
Wow! - ALAN: - Daniel, you're the only person on this show who isn't a complete idiot.
- No! It's become clear.
I assure you, I am.
That's why I'm keeping so quiet.
Anyway, "ceiling" begins with S(!) What about my surname, am I spelling that right? There's an I and an E in that.
It's I before E always.
- Yeah, always.
- According to the rule.
- But the rule's wrong, Stephen.
- It is.
It's now officially no longer taught in schools because it is so clear.
Really? Is it not? So the rule now is, "It's I before E or sometimes it's E before I.
" LAUGHTER - Mostly after a C, it's I-E.
- If in doubt, look it up, you lazy git.
"I before E, except for the following 923.
" - And then you reel them all off.
- Thank God for spell-check.
Number one, "ceiling" LAUGHTER I am Number two, "red ceiling".
"Blue ceiling".
Help me, lads, I'm running out of colours.
I am slightly shocked by my intolerance, and you'll have to forgive me, but I think we've got it through.
The spelling trick "I before E" is wrong on so many occasions that schools have stopped teaching it.
Which of these would you rather have on your Quidditch team? A muggle, hagrid, or dumbledore? Is it the one that looks like Julius Caesar about to be sick in a bucket? I don't know which one that is.
On the left.
Oh, I see.
Yes, he does! - I think that'sDudley, is it? - Yes.
The point is, in a lot of JK Rowling's work, the words are real, and dumbledore is a real English word, as is hagrid, as is muggle.
And I want you to tell me what they really mean.
Dumbledore has got to be some sort of a term for village idiot.
Funnily enough, yes, it became that.
In Thomas Hardy's Under The Greenwood Tree, it means a slow simpleton.
It's used that way.
But actually, it has an earlier meaning.
Is there a hagrid reference in one of the Thomas Hardy books as well? - There may well be.
- One of them, I don't know which.
- I'm sure - The longer form, hagridden, I've seen many times, - but start with - LEE: Monster-like.
- Start with muggle.
Do you know where the word muggle might have been used? Sounds like some sort of woodland creature or something furry.
Actually it's an American jazz-age word.
It's a drug.
- Marijuana? - Marijuana is the right answer.
It was a word for marijuana, for cannabis, and more particularly for people who smoked it.
- Really?! - People who smoked marijuana were called muggles.
- Hilarious! - What's the next word? We've got hagrid, which is used in Hardy, the Mayor Of Casterbridge.
- GRAHAM: - I've seen it in the longer form, hagridden.
- Yes, hagridden.
- LAUGHTER - Very good - clever of you! It means Hagridden Oh, it means, "A bony old horse" - It's a MARE.
- It's a nightmare.
- Yes! - It's a nightmare involving a horse No? Is it something to do with somebody placing through? If you had bad dreams, you were said to be hagridden.
- Ah, that's great.
- Witches would come to you in the night.
- That's fantastic.
- What's happened to her?! - Is that a drunk person not finding the toilet? Since records began That's horrible.
They'll feel terrible when they wake up.
That's the relationship that's not going to survive, isn't it? When people sleep badly these days, they think they've been probed by aliens, but before the idea of aliens came, it was goblins and witches and demons, and hags.
And that's what hagridden means.
- What's the horse doing? - That's the night-MARE.
- He's operating the video.
- LAUGHTER - ALAN: - Early sort of animal dogging.
- Very good.
- With his big hooves.
So that leaves us with dumbledore, which as you say, has been used to mean a simpleton.
There's the great Gambon.
But it had an earlier meaning.
The first half of it.
- Dumble.
- Think of a rhyming word for dumble.
- Jumble.
- Jumble, mumble, crumble - Not mumble.
- Ceiling! LAUGHTER - Don't try me too hard, Lee Mack.
- Stumble.
- No, you're - Bumble.
- Yes.
- Bumblebee.
A type of bee! - It is a bumblebee.
- I've redeemed myself.
There were different ways of saying it.
A dore means a humming insect in old English.
A dumbledore means a bumblebee.
- That's great.
- Isn't it? Pleasing.
- I can't believe I didn't know it.
I'm really annoyed.
I've missed out on precious points.
- LAUGHTER - You got some points, from knowing it was in Hardy.
- I'm pleased.
But how did hogwarts tackle drinking problems? - Is that a character, Drinking Problems? - No.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Special Brew.
LAUGHTER - The word existed before the book, then.
- Yes.
When the hog finds that the creek's run dry, there's nowhere to drink No, it's drinking problems of an alcoholic sort.
It's sailors.
> Yes, it is.
In the US Navy.
Very good.
They came straight to your mind, didn't they? I just thought, "Who drinks? Who drinks?" Sailors.
And a particular branch of the US Navy - submariners.
Now, torpedoes, right, used to run on ethyl alcohol.
That was their fuel.
Since 1914, the US Navy have been dry, you're not allowed to drink.
On board, they had 180% proof alcohol, so how to stop them drinking it? - Well - Putting it in It would kill you unless you add tonic, I think.
It wouldn't kill you.
They had plenty of juices they could add to it, and they did.
Delicious, then.
No, that's the point.
You wanted to stop it being delicious, or make it dangerous for them.
Putting it inside a torpedo would go some way It had to be stored as fuel and it could be got at, so what you do is add something.
They started by adding methanol, known as pink lady, which makes you blind.
They said, "If you drink this, you will go blind.
" We've all been told things like that.
It didn't stop us.
That's the problem.
LAUGHTER That's exactly the problem.
Anyway, it didn't work, so they added? Something called croton oil, which came from the spurge plant, known as the hogwart.
So they added hogwart's juice.
And that made you vomit and gave you diarrhoea.
But that didn't work either because they boiled it up, and it condensed off again and they would carry on drinking it.
- They added pineapple juice.
- And also, regular alcohol makes you vomit That's a night out, isn't it? That's probably true.
But that was the role that hogwarts played, anyway.
JK Rowling, in interviews, when it was pointed out that there was such a thing as hogwart, said that she thought she'd made it up herself, but that maybe she'd been to Kew Gardens and seen it and it just registers in the back of your mind, as these things often do.
I have visions of JK Rowling with a bottle of meths, "I made it up and if anyone says different" - PRONOUNCED AS "ROLLING": - Rowling.
- What did I say? - Row-ling.
- W before O, except after R.
Like "bowling", not like "howling".
It could be either, you're right.
Anyway, I'm sorry.
I'm not picking on you, Lee.
I love you deeply.
- LEE LAUGHS - Sorry, mustn't overdo it.
If you were, it would be the most middle-class way of picking on anyone.
"I think you'll find it's "Rowling" like "bowling".
" "Stop the bully.
" During the war, American sailors used to drink torpedo fuel cocktails, though the Navy tried to stop them by using hogwart oil.
Now here's a Harry question.
Why does the Domesday Book contain so many empty villages in Yorkshire? 'Expelliarmus!' Is itthe Harrowing of the North? - The Harrying of the North.
- Ah right, OK.
My understanding of it is that there was basically, in the city of York, there was an uprising against the Norman troops that were there, and then, basically, all the people in the city realised that they were vastly outnumbering the soldiers.
He's right, you're doing well! But then there was a decree sent by the king after this uprising, and everything was burnt from 100 miles.
You got the salient points, yes.
William the Bastard, as he was known, William the Conqueror.
What's the matter? Don't be put off by a young person knowing more than you, Alan.
- You must be used to it by now.
- I'm just mucking about, sir, sorry.
- So what did he say, what is it? - I wasn't listening.
- LAUGHTER - Oh, you're in trouble.
- The Harrying - We weren't concentrating.
We were thinking about ten-pin "bowling".
Wellthe Harrowing of the North, for those at the back, was the worst example of genocide G-E-N-O-C-I-D-E Oh, you're in trouble! As it's Christmas, I'm going to be very lenient.
It was actually our worst ever act of genocide LAUGHTER You see? - Sorry, what about this? - It's Mack, sir.
He made me do it.
- People from the north were ruthlessly killed.
- Oh.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE You say ruthlessly.
Were they killed with a war-cry of, "It's Rowling as in bowling! Off with his head.
" Yes, exactly.
They killed them, sir? They killed them in the north? They killed them.
The Normans slaughtered 100,000 people.
And those that survived mostly died of starvation or lived in But little did they know how good we were at breeding.
Anyway, who'd like to pull a Christmas cracker? I've got one.
They've even got your names on.
That's Lee'sand that's Alan's.
- Thank you.
- There you are, pass them on.
You can see the names there.
One for Graham, one for Daniel.
- With each other? - < Shall we do that? Oh, I lost twice.
That worked quite well.
Give him one of the jokes, Alan, if you'd be so kind.
- No way.
- Oh, you must.
Let him have a joke.
- So, Graham, would you like to read your joke? - OK, here we go.
- Oh! - Did you write these, Stephen? - Are they good? - It just sounds like something you might write.
- Knock-knock - Who's there? - To.
- To who? To whom, surely.
- LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE - That's a good joke.
"S Fry.
" Oh dear.
Lee, what's your joke? - Knock-knock - Who's there? JK Rowling No.
What cheese do you use to coax a bear out of its cave? What cheese do you use to coax a bear out of its cave? Camembert.
Come on, bear! - Come on, bear.
- Camembert, very good.
Is that really it? Yeah.
I didn't even know bears liked cheese.
- They love it.
- No.
I'm not going to I'm not going to fall for that one, Lee.
Who is the most famous married woman in America? - SHOUT FROM AUDIENCE Yes! - What? I didn't hear that.
Mississippi! > Mrs-sippi! That's reallyexcellent.
- Alan.
- What disease can you get from decorating a Christmas tree? < Syphilis.
- Tinsel-itis.
No? - Yes, it is.
Well, there you are.
Now, you'll be pleased to know there's a department of the University of Hampshire called the Public Understanding of Psychology, and Richard Wiseman has a theory about cracker jokes, which is they SHOULD be bad.
Why Why is that a good thing? Alan.
Who's speaking? - You're wishing you hadn't had that methanol now.
- Jokes should be bad? - Is it because To make us feel superior? - Sorry.
- To make us feel superior? - Sort of the opposite.
- They've always been bad and we don't like change? - Partly, maybe, but his theory is that not everybody will always find a joke funny.
Therefore, the moment you tell a joke, at a party in particular, you divide the room into two - those who liked it, and those who didn't.
And sometimes nobody likes it and the person who tells it feels bad, whereas if everybody knows the joke is a terrible groaning joke, it's everybody against the joke.
Everybody's bonded.
So yes, cracker jokes are bad because they are, and that's why they're not bad.
So that's it for this cracking QI Christmas.
Let's just check the scores and see how we're doing.
- Oh, my goodness me.
- I think I've done very well.
- It's really exciting.
Winning, on his first appearance, with 10 points, is Daniel Radcliffe.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE And in second place with 4 points, Graham Norton.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE But it's pretty tight below the salt.
In third place with -18, Lee Mack.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE That just leaves you, son.
And, just in last place is our stable donkey, Alan Davies, on -19.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Well, it would be no kind of Christmas party if it didn't end with tricks and japes and larks of all kinds, so have you got a trick or a jape lined up, Alan? I have something, yes.
- Ooh, who are you going to play it on? - If I could ask Lee to be my Debbie McGee.
LAUGHTER I'm not falling for this again.
- Take it.
Take it away.
- Come on.
This is my equipment, Lee.
If I could ask you to lie in the box, your head at that end, please This is like the time you told me to smell your hankie.
What?! - Chloroform joke.
- Oh, chloroform.
Thank God! LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE All the way back, if you don't mind.
All the way in.
- Just tuck yourself in under there.
- Hang on, sawing! I didn't see that.
Just look this way, concentrate on the audience.
- You're very happy, you're relaxed.
- I'm having the time of my life(!) - Are you sure you're all the way in? - Are you sure you know what you're doing?! Ooh, hello! I can see why Phill Jupitus wasn't invited on this week.
Ow! Ow! Maybe I should have had Daniel.
- I think that would have been more sensible.
- I can't feel my legs! I used to play a magician's assistant, you know? - Ow! That's the bit.
- Just try and relax.
- ELECTRIC SAW BUZZES Oh, my God! - Whoa! Yes! Are you ready? just relax.
It won't hurt at all.
LEE SCREAMS - Are you all right? - What? - I said are you all right? You're cutting my belly in half! Wow! Brilliant.
Don't worry, you've worked with all the professionals.
Douglas Bader, Heather Mills LAUGHTER - I'm under stress.
- Let's just see, there's his arm.
- Yes.
- The arm's not the bit I'm worried about.
- Yes, that's working fine.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, if this has worked - AUDIENCE: - Ooh! Oh, my word! - CHEERING AND APPLAUSE - Yes! Look at that! Blimey.
Alan Davies, and the glamorous Lee Mack, ladies and gentlemen! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE - Well, all I can say - Hang on! Surely you don't leave it like that? Just hang there for the moment, Lee, and we will see.
It's going to be hard to top, boys.
Can you do something similar? Well! Come with me, Daniel Radcliffe.
Oh, I say.
This did seem like a good idea, so, er - Shall I? - If you want to kneel down there.
This feels very wrong, doesn't it? LAUGHTER Children are watching and sobbing! What's he doing?! "He found Dorothy, now he's killing Harry Potter.
" - OK - Daniel, you have - Are you all right, there? Daniel, have you finished both of the Harry Potter films by now? It'll be fine, it'll be fine.
They can easily finish them without you.
I'm so bad at this, I was about to lean through.
LAUGHTER Are you all right, there? Are you comfortable? - Yes, it's lovely, thank you.
- Nothing can go wrong.
Wouldn't it be awful? No, you know what I mean? We had the stuff about the bullet, and There'll be a story - "Then Graham got distracted by a bright light.
Oh, he's dead.
" Have I done? I think I've done it all right.
LAUGHTER - You'll live on in films forever.
- LAUGHTER - DRUM ROLL - Drum roll! - OK, here we go.
So, three, two - AUDIENCE: - One GASPS AND APPLAUSE On that bombshell, ladies and gentlemen Thank you, Graham.
You saw it here.
It'll be on YouTube before you can speak, but my goodness me, on that bombshell, it's thanks to Lee and Alan APPLAUSE And it's thanks to Graham and the late Daniel Radcliffe.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE And a very merry Christmas to you all, good night!
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