QI (2003) s15e10 Episode Script

Origins and Openings

1 CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Good evening, and welcome to QI for a truly original episode about origins and openings.
Please welcome with open arms the open-eyed Rich Hall.
APPLAUSE The open-minded Susan Calman.
APPLAUSE The open-mouthed Josh Widdicombe.
APPLAUSE And opening a can of worms, it's Alan Davies.
APPLAUSE So, without further ado, I declare the show open.
Rich goes MUSIC: Grieg's Piano Concerto That's lovely.
I have to wait for all of that before I can answer? Yes.
Susan goes DRAMATIC ORCHESTRAL MUSIC Some of the greatest openings in the world.
Josh goes MUSIC: Beethoven's Fifth Symphony Alan goes MUSIC: The Muppet Show theme APPLAUSE Right, I'd like you to act out the opening scene of the classic film All Together Passionately.
Sorry, am I on the wrong show? I mean, I'm happy to do it, as long as I can go on top.
I think you should speak to Josh.
As long as you've got a cushion, I'm fine with it.
Anybody know All Together Passionately? A great film.
It's not ringing any bells.
It is the Italian name, I will tell you, for a very famous film.
Tutti Insieme Appassionatamente.
I'll be honest, if anything, I'm further away from the answer.
OK, if I do this The Passion of the Christ.
No.
Titanic.
Titanic? No, and I'm twirling around on top of an Austrian mountain Oh, The Sound Of Music.
The Sound Of Music.
It is the Italian name There's no Italian phrase for the sound of music? Apparently, that's what they called it, All Together Passionately.
In Italy? That sounds like a film you wouldn't watch on a train.
Do you watch a lot of films on trains? Lots of them.
You have to Oh, yes, because you don't fly, so you spend your life on a train.
Yes, so you have to be very careful sometimes if you have a film with a bit of Naughtiness naughtiness.
You have to turn it to the window.
Does anybody here cry at movies on planes that you wouldn't normally cry at? Like Paul Blart - Mall Cop.
That's I'm in floods.
Floods! Not just at movies, sometimes just a credit card ad.
Like, "Oh, my God, she lost her" "Oh, she got it back.
Thank God!" So many emotions to handle in one commercial! Well, here is a thing about The Sound Of Music.
It was so popular in South Korea when it was first released, one theatre owner in Seoul made the film shorter by cutting out all the musical numbers LAUGHTER .
.
so they could show it more often.
Do you know what? I've never seen it.
SANDI GASPS Josh! Oh, really? Never? You've never seen THROATILY: You are 16 Going on 17 Yeah, it's like that, but with a tune.
APPLAUSE Do you know, I was once lucky enough to meet Julie Andrews? It's the only time in my entire life I have been completely speechless.
Because she wouldn't shut up? Kept harping on about what her favourite things were.
It was very annoying.
COCKNEY ACCENT: "Do you like them tied up with string?" "I bet you do, girl! I bet you do!" "What's a deer? What's a female deer? Come on!" Oh, Julie, leave me alone! "I'll get the puppets out.
I'll get the puppets out!" "Do you want to see the goat herd?" High on the hill "It wasn't me singing.
" High on the hill "I'm Maria.
I'll be back with you.
I'm Maria.
" Shut up, Julie! God! APPLAUSE I'll be honest, I understood none of that.
OK, let's try five more original movie titles.
The top one, I can tell you, Please Don't Touch The Old Women, an Italian version of a famous film.
Is it Cocoon? No! It's The Producers.
What?! The Producers.
Yes.
Because, you know, the whole thing is about him raising money from the old women, so I guess that's the bit they most focused on.
Try the next one - this is the Brazilian title of the famous film.
11 Men And A Secret.
Ah, it was 12 Angry Men, but one of them is transgender.
Ocean's Eleven.
It is Ocean's Eleven, you're absolutely right.
Yay! OK, this one is also Italian, this next one.
Don't Open That Door! Das Boot.
APPLAUSE It's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Right, this next one is Chinese.
I'll be honest, when you say which country it's from, it's of no relevance.
"Oh, it's Chinese, oh, yes.
" It's Chinese, yes.
His Great MUPPET SHOW OPENING THEME Yes? The Man With The Golden Gun.
Come on! No, it's Boogie Nights.
Oh! No, no, no, no! Would you like to see my great device? Now, next question.
What did Mr First think of Mr Second? Oh! Didn't like him.
We are talking about Omero Catan, an American man who claimed to have been the first person at over 500 opening events, and he was known as Mr First.
And his brother Michael very occasionally took his place, and he was known as Mr Second.
But the rivalry between the two was truly terrible.
So he would just turn up at openings? So, when he was 13 years old, Omero Catan heard of a family friend who had been the very first to cross the Brooklyn Bridge when it opened, so that is 1883, and that inspired him, one year later, when he was 14, to become the very first American passenger aboard the Graf Zeppelin.
There it is, the Graf Zeppelin.
Look at that thing! You could fit three 747s on one of those airships.
But he was the very first American passenger to fly the Atlantic in that airship.
Yeah.
Which took four and a half days in those days.
And then he rose to fame.
He did all sorts of things.
He set up camp outside the Lincoln Tunnel for four days so he could be the first to drive through.
He was the first person to buy a ticket for the Eighth Avenue Subway, first person to skate on the Rockefeller ice rink, first person to drive across the Hudson Tappan Zee Bridge, and the first person to put a quarter in a New York parking meter.
You should never be first to do things like that.
Why not? Because the danger aspect.
You wait until a lot of people have done it and then you know it's safe, and then you pop on.
It's so good Neil Armstrong didn't make that speech.
Oh, I bet he hates Neil Armstrong, doesn't he, Mr First? No, actually, he said, "I wouldn't have had the nerve," is what he said about Neil Armstrong when he was asked.
I bet Mr First is an absolute bore at dinner parties.
Yes.
"I've been here ages!" But what happened was, in 1945, the third Lincoln Tunnel opened and Mr First was in the UK.
And so his brother Michael was asked if he would be there in his place.
He began to step in more and more regularly, and the papers started to give them equal status, and Mr Second became Mr First.
GASPS Terrible tensions.
Terrible tensions between them! Oh, my God.
Omero became convinced that his brother was trying to steal the limelight.
There were offers from Hollywood to make a movie, he wouldn't have it because he didn't want his brother to get equal billing and his very last first was a drive through the newly opened.
I-595 highway from Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport to the Everglades.
Not one of his classics, that, was it? No.
Now, what's the worst thing that can happen when you open something? Well, if it's the gentleman that pressed the button on the Virgin Train from Glasgow to London, he'd say it's seeing me on the toilet, which is what happened today.
Those doors take so long to open! Especially If you're a gentleman, you can go, "Oh, gosh!" If you're a lady, you just have to sit and go But the problem is The problem is, because I'm so short, my legs were swinging.
LAUGHTER I love that you felt you needed to explain that to ME! We used to take the train to visit my aunt in California and it took five days to get there.
And so it's quite boring for children, so what we used to do was go to the toilet on the train and then flush, and then run to the back of the train.
And there was a little sort of platform, and you could watch all the toilet paper rushing out across the desert.
The most marvellous entertainment for children.
It was very good.
When did you grow up?! It was a black and white time.
I was born in 1958.
That is astonishing What, that I'm still working? Five days! No Josh, just a wee thing for you, sweetie pie.
See when a woman talks about her past, don't go, "When did you grow up?!" I was It's not the 18th century.
In the '60s, yes.
No, that's what I presumed.
I presumed the '70s or '80s, actually.
Thank you.
And this week's winner is Josh! APPLAUSE OK, what's the worst thing that can happen when you open something? Is it something that begins with O? Well, it's lots of opening nights that have not gone as well as possible.
Oh.
So the O-lympics, we could start with.
There will be no doves at the Tokyo 2020 Oh, no! .
.
which is because they were banned after the 1988 Seoul Olympics, when, instead of flying out, as this photograph suggests GASPS .
.
into the sky, they decided to perch on the huge saucer in the centre of the stadium with the Olympic Flame, and several birds were incinerated.
You say incinerated, but you mean roasted.
I do, yes.
Mm! Just a little bit more! Absolutely delicious.
Most delicious opening ceremony I've ever been at! Opening night of BBC Two was a disaster.
Oh, that's There was a power outage and the whole of Television Centre went dark that night.
But the best bit of the story is, to publicise the launch, they had been using a graphic of a kangaroo.
So the kangaroo represented BBC One and then in the pouch, the little joey is BBC Two.
So they thought, "For opening night, let's get some real kangaroos" Oh, no.
".
.
in the studio.
" And they had just got them into the lift and pressed the button at the moment when the power went Oh, my word! .
.
and apparently, the kangaroos went berserk! I'd like to think that there was just some guy in the lift, going, "Oh, my God!" Also, some opening nights of plays have been disastrous.
So, Balzac wrote a play called Les Ressources De Quinola, and it opened to a completely empty house on March 19th 1842.
So he had hoped to create a buzz about the play and he told everybody that the tickets were sold out, it was impossible to get a ticket.
Oh, no! So nobody bothered.
Oh, no! Yeah.
Nobody came.
Did they do the play? Well, the Equity rule is you don't have to do the play if there are fewer members of the audience than there are in the play, so whether it was That's true.
Once, I was doing a gig at Willesden Library Centre LAUGHTER Bill Bailey was there in The Rubber Bishops.
So there was the two of them, I think Bob Mills, me, someone else and then there were seven people in the audience.
So we're thinking, "Oh, shit, there's more of them than there are of us.
" And then this couple came over to us and said, "Would it help if we left?" LAUGHTER And we said, "As a matter of fact, technically, it would.
" So they left and we didn't have to do the gig! That's great.
So, when Disneyland opened, the very first Disneyland in California, July 17th 1955, it's known as Black Sunday, because so much went wrong.
The first thing was there were 15,000 gate-crashers.
Apparently, it was incredibly easy to counterfeit the tickets, plus somebody got a ladder to the parking lot and people could pay 5 to climb over the hedge.
The asphalt had been poured at 6.
00 that morning, so all the guests' shoes got stuck in it.
There was a circus parade in which a tiger and a panther broke loose and had a fight.
I mean, if they're going to break loose, at least they've cancelled each other out.
Yes.
Yeah, lucky there were two of them out.
Not the tiger looking for a fight.
"Release the panther! The tiger's already out!" There was a plumbers' strike and so they had to choose between drinking fountains and flushing toilets.
Definitely flushing toilets.
Yeah! If I go to someone's house, "Have you got a toilet?" "No, but I've got a drinking fountain.
" There's a drinking fountain, but Susan Calman's sitting on it at the moment.
Now, I'm open to a bit of artistic paper folding.
Of course, the art of making folded paper models without cutting the paper comes from Japan.
KLAXON No.
I forgot about that bit! Yes! It does not come from Japan.
"Ori" means folding and "kami" means paper, so the word "origami" comes from Japan, that is correct.
But Japanese paper folding was done with white paper which was both folded and cut.
The modern version, in which we only fold and we don't cut it, often done with the coloured paper on one side and the white paper on the other side, it's actually imported from German kindergartens into Japan, after Japan opened its borders in 1860.
So the answer is that origami, as we now understand it, is German.
Is anybody good at origami? I did that thing Oh, yeah, that one.
The only thing I've done is that thing where it goes, "Pick a number, Josh.
" Oh Three.
SUSAN MUMBLES.
"Pick a colour.
" Red.
SUSAN MUMBLES "He fancies you!" That's all I've done.
How is it so accurate?! But I've got some very good ones for you, so, Josh, you can have Oh! A frog.
.
.
a little jumping frog.
And, Rich, you have a jack rabbit.
There's a jack rabbit for you.
And, Susan, you've got an elephant.
Oh! And, Alan, what's this? That's a blue whale.
KLAXON APPLAUSE No, THIS is a blue whale.
Oh, of course.
All these years, still don't recognise it.
There you are, there's your blue whale.
A friend of mine is brilliant at origami and he made This is a little badge.
It is a 1 bill which he has made into a badge for me.
Isn't it lovely? And that is without any cutting, it's all folded and beautiful.
Wow! Josh, your frog is rather marvellous.
If you press the back of it, it will Yes.
Well, be less violent with it.
Oh, sorry.
It will jump.
Be gentle, like you're touching a woman.
Let me show you.
Let me show you, darling.
APPLAUSE I've never wanted someone to fail so much at anything! Right, so, let's put our origami away, please.
Still playing.
My rabbit, look out for the car! ASTONISHED LAUGHTER Right.
I've got oysters, ox horns, wood and the walrus penis.
What are my plans? That's like those old ads in Loot.
"I've got" "oysters ox horns, wood," "and a walrus penis.
" "No time wasters, please.
" "It's a set, I can't break it up.
" Sometimes I watch Nigella Lawson and she always goes, "I went to my pantry to make some supper" "and I had what everyone has, which is some oysters, some oxtails," "some wood and a walrus penis.
" "I'm going to make myself a frittata.
" It's like she's in the room! The answer is that all of those materials can be used to make windows.
Can you imagine making windows out of penises? Well, let's start with the oyster.
The windowpane oyster is found in the Philippines, and the shells, look at those beautiful windows, the stuff in between the wood there is windowpane oyster.
The shell lets 80% of the incident light through and it's been used for thousands of years.
It's also incredibly strong.
Despite being 99% calcite, which is a really brittle mineral, it can withstand multiple blows because of the way the material is structured.
And it may have some uses for the military.
They may even have a look at windowpane oysters for visors you can see through, but are also bulletproof.
You wouldn't think that from an oyster Isn't it beautiful? It's a pity they put those two big pillars in front of it.
Wood, you can have see-through wood.
It's being developed.
Much stronger and more insulating than glass, so we're not really interested in the leaves, but to show how much you can see through, what you do is you boil the wood in water, sodium hydroxide and other chemicals to remove the lignin, so that's the bit that gives wood its colour.
And then epoxy resin is poured over it to make it stronger.
But look how much you can see through.
Wow.
Cow horn, used for windows in medieval times.
So, all of that stuff between is cow horn, and it becomes translucent if you soak it in water for three months, then it becomes malleable.
Now, the walrus penis, and who hasn't wanted to think, "What am I going to do with?" "Make a sofa out of the walrus.
" Yes, historically used in the construction of Arctic dwellings.
It's stretched over window openings.
The bit I don't know how to say this, it's a bit like clingfilm, really.
It stretches out? Well, it depends how excited the walrus is, really.
Yes, it's a stretchy thing, and you can stretch it out and use it a bit like clingfilm.
So, it'd be the skin of the penis and not the the the Penis.
I don't know Doesn't feel good in your mouth, does it? So, the walrus has to stand outside your window for the rest of its life, with its cock stretched out? A really annoyed walrus.
"How did I get this gig?" "I'm not getting paid enough.
" Now, for a question on job openings.
What will be the first occupation done exclusively by robots? Oh, I hope it's not people on panel shows, otherwise LAUGHTER I would think something like surgery.
OK.
Which kind of surgery? Keyhole heart surgery maybe, something like that, or brain surgery, where they can be incredibly precise.
So, I need you to go to the other end.
It would be anal surgery.
Wiping arses.
You have to try and imagine that you are training to be a proctologist and you need to, at some point, have a look inside a rectum, that's going to be your basic training.
Until recently, the UK has had only one registered rectal teaching assistant, who travels around the country, visiting medical schools offering up his rectum to students.
Oh, no, Sandi.
Oh, yes.
But somebody says, "I'll do it!" Yeah, "Leave that with me.
" So, there are some problems with this.
You'd definitely make up what you did for a living, wouldn't you? There are a few problems with this.
First of all, the strain of training an entire country of doctors with one rectum, I think is pressing.
And then the problem with using a real person is that the professor who is teaching you, can't really tell if you're doing it properly because they can't see what you're doing.
Sorry, can I just? Sorry.
For the profession of proctologist Yes.
.
.
everyone in the country Yeah.
.
.
is using the same person? You can see the problem with this, can't you? So you apply for it or does it? Well, they only got one applicant.
It's been a problem, so Imperial College have come up with a robotic rectum.
So, this guy can go home and sit down.
There are tiny robotic arms that apply pressure to the silicon rectal passage.
SUSAN SQUIRMS.
And then the hardware can be changed to different levels of difficulty.
You can change the size and shape of the rectum .
.
you can change the prostate.
Eventually, you get to a boss fight at the end.
And each one of these arse holes costs £25,000.
So, once the current rectal teaching assistant retires, we will go from a workforce of one to a workforce of none, and there will be just robots.
My arse definitely needs a good looking at.
CONSTERNATED LAUGHTER I've been wondering what to give as a prize this evening.
The UK's a rectal trailblazer in more ways than one.
People who have rectums that no longer function can be fitted with a bionic rectum.
Oh, yeah! They can fire out their shit over 40 feet! Or they just pull their pants down and launch themselves up.
You know, like, Steve Austin, they can get on the roofs of buildings.
MAKES LOUD FARTING NOISE So, was the 6 million man technically a robot? Well, depends how much percentage He was a cyborg.
Cyborg, yeah.
What's the difference? Depends on how much of you is a robot and how much of you is still a human being.
RICH: So, what about Robbie Williams? What about him? Cyborg or robot? LAUGHTER That's a game we could play for a very long time.
I'm going to carry on with my bionic rectum if it kills me.
I hope someone's just tuned in at that point.
Anyway, if you take a muscle from the inside of a leg and you wrap it around the anus, and then you hook it up to the device with electrodes that makes the muscle contract or relax with an electric signal, so, basically, you activate it by remote control.
The only thing I think is if you have a bionic rectum, keep hold of the controls.
Don't let the Don't let the children Imagine the panic when you've lost that remote down the sofa.
Anyway, we salute the passage of the UK's only rectal teaching assistant and welcome our new robot bottom overlords.
Now, it's time to open the floodgates to general ignorance.
Fingers on buzzers.
When's the best time to rob a bank? Yes, Susan? Thursday morning.
Why? It's when I'm most free and I think I can fit you in around ten and then I've got coffee with Sandi Toksvig.
RICH: Ski season because everybody would have a ski mask on.
There would be a lot more suspects.
Yes.
Alan, do you want to give it a go? Well, it's either when it's open or when it's closed KLAXON Bless you.
Here's the thing, you cannot rob a bank when nobody's there.
Why is that? No-one's going to open anything.
No, a robbery's when you steal something by threatening somebody.
So, if you steal from somewhere and nobody sees you, you know this, you're lawyer, it's a burglary.
Yeah.
So, the Hatton Garden heist was actually a burglary not a robbery.
I also like a Friday about four o'clock.
Right.
I think the best time to do anything Is Friday at four? Is Friday about four o'clock.
RICH: How are you going to get in the safe? You can't even get into a train toilet.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE She could get in the safe, then it would shut her in again.
So, the only time you can rob a bank is when there's somebody there.
What colour is the pigment in this person's eyes? BEETHOVEN'S FIFTH SYMPHONY Yes, Josh? Mauve.
Mauve is a very good colour that we hadn't thought of, so APPLAUSE I'm going to give you a point for your colour knowledge but not because it's correct.
OK.
Obviously, it's a bluey-green colour, isn't it? KLAXON So, everybody has melanin in the iris of their eye and all melanin is dark brown in colour.
The thing is that people with blue eyes have less melanin and people with brown eyes have more.
This is called the Tyndall effect.
So, melanin absorbs light.
If you have less of it, so you have blue eyes, that means that the light is not absorbed and, instead, some of the light is reflected back.
So, people with blue eyes are reflecting back more light.
So, people with dark brown eyes, are they better, then? You just checked my eyes before you said that! You looked at me and thought, "I'm going to win this one!" Anyway, to finish off, let's go right back to the origin of man.
What is happening in this diagram? RICH: If you reverse that, it's the story of Alabama.
Very good.
What do we think it is? Well, it's not right, is it? Why is it not right? We didn't evolve from monkeys in that way.
There are various branches of the tree of evolution, aren't there? Yeah, the diagram's originally called The Road To Homo Sapiens.
It was done by an illustrator called Rudolph Zallinger and it was to illustrate a book called Early Man.
Remember those Time-Life Books that were incredibly popular? It's most famously known nowadays as the March Of Progress, but all of these things are incredibly misleading because the road from early primates to humans cannot be shown in such a neat diagram.
So, the first four figures there are in fact offshoots to the road to Homo sapiens.
They aren't ancestors of us at all.
The original drawing had 15 figures in it, and there they are.
Slightly better.
Again, it's got some blind alleys in it.
Species that died out or didn't evolve into modern humans at all.
And the author said it was not supposed to imply that one led to the other.
But it clearly does.
What you need in the middle are the four Beatles crossing the zebra crossing.
What is, in terms of human evolution, what is the biggest problem with this particular picture? Is it the guy second from the left? He's the best one.
He's spoiling for a fight.
Look at him! So, this is a picture of the whole of human evolution.
There's no women.
There's no bloody women in it! There we are, you're absolutely right.
APPLAUSE It's like watching an episode of Mock The Week.
Which brings us to the open and shut case of the scores.
And in fourth place, well, it's magnificent, with -25, it's Alan! APPLAUSE In third place, with -8 points, it's Josh! APPLAUSE I'll take -8.
In second place, with three points, it's Rich! APPLAUSE And tonight's winner, with a magnificent nine points, it's Susan! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE So, thank you to Susan, Josh, Rich and Alan, and I leave you with advice that Professor Walter Kotschnig once gave his students at Holyoke College.
"Keep an open mind", "but not so open that your brains fall out.
" Thank you and goodnight.