QI (2003) s17e03 Episode Script


This programme contains some strong language.
CHEERING, APPLAUSE Good evening, and welcome to QI, where, tonight, we'll be quarrelling with each other all night long.
Here to query everything I say, aw, quick to criticise - Jason Manford.
APPLAUSE Constantly quibbling - Aisling Bea.
CHEERING Quashing all opposition - Anuvab Pal.
APPLAUSE And, oh, will you be quiet? Alan Davies.
LAUGHTER, CHEERING We've got some particularly pugnacious buzzers.
Jason goes CATS SCREECH Oh, that's horrible, isn't it? Hm.
Aisling goes DOGS BARK - Sounds like my - SHE CLICKS HER TONGUE So sorry.
So sorry.
LAUGHTER Um Anuvab goes I was hoping the attention wouldn't come to me after that.
Order, order! CATS SCREECH And Alan goes - Oh, yes, it is! - AUDIENCE: Oh, no, it isn't! Wow.
They're so pleased with themselves, they can't carry on.
- That was alarming.
- Wasn't it? What happens when you quarrel with the bellower? Sandi, I'm new to London, and I'm beginning to realise that, when someone has a dispute or a quarrel, the English language works at two levels.
- Yes.
- I realised, in Britain, when someone says to me, "Anuvab, I have a slight issue.
" Yeah, yeah, it means I've killed their whole family.
LAUGHTER That is entirely true.
OK, so the bellower is the nickname of an actor called James Quin.
He was the leading actor in London in the first half of the 18th century.
What has he come as now? - Well, apparently that's him giving his Coriolanus.
- Is it, really? I think it's more anus than corio, really.
He was unbelievably quarrelsome, and he actually killed two people in duels and wounded multiple others.
He had one of the loudest voices in show business.
He also did excessive gesticulation, and he left extremely long pauses.
These were all the hallmarks of a great actor at that time, so would-be actors were schooled in three different pauses, and there was moderate, longer and grand.
And, because you're all natural performers, I think we would see how you would fare on stage in Quin's era.
So we're going to act out what's written on the script cards that you've got on the desk.
So, Jason and Anuvab, a bit of quarrelling, please, from Titus Andronicus.
Very loud, very big gestures.
- Yes.
- Pausing.
- OK, here we go.
Villain, what hast thou done? That, sir, which thou canst not undo.
Thou hast undone our mother?! LAUGHTER Very good.
- I was taken aback for a second.
- Do a pause! - Do a grand pause! VillainI have done thy mother.
That's an early "your mum" joke from Shakespeare there.
He invented the word quarrelsome, actually.
It's, in fact, the only word he coined beginning with Q.
Comes up in As You Like It and in The Taming Of The Shrew.
Alan and Aisling, I've got an EastEnders-style script for you.
I'm actually going to take a small part in this myself.
- Oh! - I know.
So, you know, big gestures, big pausing.
- Here we go.
- OK.
Oh, Aisling.
COCKNEY ACCENT: I'm having some real Barney Rubble with me old trouble and strife.
a pair of your Alan Whickers in my Lucy Locket! GRUFF VOICE: Oh, Alan.
LAUGHTER APPLAUSE You absolute doughnut.
You need to be more careful.
COCKNEY ACCENT: NOW! What's this all about?! LAUGHTER STAY OUT OF IT! - You cow.
- It's you, it's you.
Silence, cow.
You're not me mum.
she is.
APPLAUSE I can see that making a comeback as a style.
So Quin killed two people.
The first man he killed was an actor who mispronounced kato as keto on stage.
- I'm like that with Pacific and specific.
- Are you? I'd just take him out long range.
So Quin mocked him in front of the audience, and the guy decided to challenge him to a duel, - and, in fact, he was - HE mocked somebody? - Yes.
LAUGHTER What did the other bloke look like? He only got done for manslaughter, and that was it, and then he just went back to work, frankly.
He was a notorious womaniser.
There's a marvellous story.
He once invited a married woman to his boudoir, and then he realised he'd forgotten his key, so he thought, "Oh, no, I'll take her to a brothel.
" Anyway, awkwardly, her husband happened to be there.
LAUGHTER And the husband walked in on them, you know, in flagrante, and, in the ensuing fight, Quin stabbed him in the leg.
Quin's big rival at the time - David Garrick.
- Great, famous actor.
- Oh, David Garrick.
First actor, in fact, to move towards acting rather than shouting.
"Where's my glove?! WHERE'S my glove?! "Props!" They were friends, and Garrick eventually wrote the epitaph that is on Quin's tomb in Bath Abbey.
That's the Garrick Theatre named after him? Yeah.
I mentioned that James Quin was handy in a duel, but now let's see how you fare.
So, for this question, please start with your hands on your heads.
We have changed your buzzers so they all make the same sound.
Which of you is the quickest at pressing your buzzer? Go, go, go.
- I'm just going to check with VAR.
- Oh, yes.
Get the replay there.
And the answer isJason! Jason, you were the winner.
- APPLAUSE - Eh, there we go! Sovery good, but how would a Victorian have done it differently? A Victorian? Yes.
It's whether you think the Victorians would have been quicker.
Would they have beaten Jason? - No, I think slower.
- Why? Just cos it's a long time ago? Partly, and there's less things to move out the way of quickly.
So here's the thing.
We would think, maybe, that we would be quicker today, but, really, the Victorians had quicker reactions - than we do today.
- What? So in the 1880s and '90s, there was a statistician called Francis Galton.
He tested thousands of people to see how quickly they could react to lights and sound, and we have consistently got slower.
So, on average, about 10% over the past century, and we don't really know why.
So, possibly, modern pollutants have had an effect on our brains.
That is a possibility.
Possibly This one, I don't like at all.
- It's because we are taller is one of the reasons given.
- Aw.
So our nerve impulses have got further to travel in our bodies, and so they take longer to get to their destinations, but it does seem to be that the Victorians were a bit faster than us.
And do you think boys or girls are faster? - Say girls.
- I'm going to say girls.
- Be careful, Jason.
Nice try, Sandi! Girls.
- It's usually boys.
- Aw! But what they've discovered in the past 40 years or so - is that the gap has decreased.
- Boys are getting increasingly jumpy.
Are left-handed or right-handed people quicker? Left-handed people are the devil, so I would say right-handed people, Sandi.
I'm left-handed, so I'm going to say right.
It's left-handed people.
And you did win.
- Of course! I should have used my own experiment.
- Yes! - Dammit.
- It's probably because most right-handed people are very, very right-handed.
In other words, most left-handed people, so yourself at least, are more mixed.
The two brain hemispheres of the left-handers tend to be more balanced and split, so they work more It's one of the lesser disabilities.
You know, I don't want everything, just the blue parking badge.
- That's all I want.
- LAUGHTER Now, nothing is more likely to cause a quarrel than a badly ordered queue.
So my question is what's the best way to board a plane? The people are in the lounge, and you want to board them onto the plane.
What's the most efficient way of doing that? Minimise hand baggage.
All those wankers who can't be bothered to check their bags in.
Come on like mules, like pack mules.
Fill up all the overhead lockers.
with their very important shit.
LAUGHTER Then they sit down, farting all the way to Malaga.
Sorry, what was the question? LAUGHTER There's a lot of bitterness in this, isn't there? I had a moment on a flight last week, actually, when I was flying from Aberdeen to Shetland, and I was with my tour manager, who's also a big chap, and we sit next to each other cos we're pals, and there was hardly anyone else on the flight.
It was only a small plane.
And the stewardess came over, and she said, "Mr Manford, Mr Isaacs," she said, "would you mind separating "and sitting on either side of the plane?" LAUGHTER Oh, no.
- Weight distribution.
- Weight distribution! You're as heavy as a wing.
What, so he's going to land like this if we? Well, that's what you should have done.
We will at the start, but during the flight, we're going to set you a series of challenges.
Zig-zagging about the plane.
First time in the history of the world where turbulence is a person.
- That's how I'm going to think of you now, as turbulent.
- That's me.
By the back row, then the next row, then the next row.
That is the most common.
Yeah, that is the most common way of doing it.
It is also the least efficient.
Or in the middle and then fan it out towards the back and the front.
Take the top off the plane LAUGHTER .
let them all swarm in over the top like ants.
So there's an astrophysicist called Dr Jason Steffen.
He made a computer model, and then he teamed up with a TV producer to get people to act out boarding planes in various different arrangements.
So he compared boarding from the front, from the back, at random, and what he called Wilma boarding - which is window, middle, - and then aisle - Nice.
- Block boarding, by far the slowest.
That's the way the airlines currently do it, so they say, "This group of seats, and then the next group of seats.
" The absolute best way to do it is board first the even-numbered window seats followed by the odd-numbered window seats, then repeat with the middle seats, and then repeat with the aisle seats.
It's rather complicated, and so he actually recommends just board at random.
That would still be much faster than what we currently do.
You don't want too random, though, do you? You don't want to be, like, 16 rows back, and the pilot's there.
LAUGHTER I was boarding recently, and this lady announced, "We are boarding everyone not in zone F.
" And then she said, "And also not in zone A, B, C, D, E.
" Then she paused and said, "We're just not boarding.
" LAUGHTER I think there's two types of passengers.
There are the ones who think that, if anything happened to the pilot, they could probably be all right if they took over and got talked in.
That's me.
And there's the other ones who think there's no way they could do that.
I sort of fancy myself being able to fly a plane.
You're right.
I think I could bloody give it a go.
But don't you think that, when you've watched a load of ER, for example, then you think, "I totally could do that heart surgery"? I sort of feel like I'd be naturally good in emergencies.
Like, I can't speak Spanish now, but I feel like, if there is an emergency, I probably could give it a go.
What kind of emergency suddenly requires Spanish? I feel like A Spanish girl, Sandi.
She's come in, she's choking, no-one else in the hospital speaks Spanish.
- Right.
- Something's wrong with her.
- Yeah.
- She can mime, but we're not getting it.
- No.
- They haven't trained like me in the dramatic art of mime.
paella Eh, Venezuela And I'm like, "Don't worry.
penicillin?" "Penicillin!" And then it'll just be like that for That poor child is dying, and you're the last thing she sees.
LAUGHTER Here's a Randi Scandi fact.
There's another queuing study from the fine country of Denmark.
Economists concluded the very best method of serving a queue is to serve the last person first, so, when you have a first-in, first-out system, it encourages people to queue.
If the last person got served, nobody would start to stand in the queue because there'd be no point in it.
Queues just cause backlog, and so it's much better to serve the last person first.
The way different people queue, you know, around the world, can lead to problems.
I had a friend of mine recently in Manchester went to use a cash machine.
When he got there to the cash machine, there was a man already using the machine, and, six foot behind the man, there was a woman sort of waiting her turn.
So he says, "Are you in the queue for the cash machine?" And she says, "I'm Nigerian, and my religious beliefs are that, "because I don't know this man, and we're not related, "this is the distance that I feel safe and respectful, you know, "to what I believe in.
" So, cos Ste's a very thoughtful person, he then stands six foot away from her.
You know, it's like a 12-foot, three-person queue out of nowhere.
Then the man moved, and the woman moved to the machine to do her money business.
Steve then stayed the six foot behind.
- Perfectly nice.
- And he was in his sort of daydream when another man come over and said, "Are you in the queue for the cash machine?" and Steve went to explain but, not loaded with all the information, said, "I am, yeah, but I'm standing here because she's Nigerian.
" LAUGHTER It's a minefield.
Even when you're trying to be nice! So, anyway, why might you put a mirror next to a lift? Any thoughts about this? We're talking about waiting.
Next to a lift or in a lift? No, next to it.
It's to do with looking at yourself.
People dislike waiting in line, but they do like looking at themselves.
People don't complain if the lift takes a long time to arrive if they can constantly see themselves.
I love this picture, though.
So we had an experiment to see if we could recreate this with all of you.
So let's have a look.
Are we able to do that? There.
What do you think? I know! Oh, it's Top Of The Pops from the '70s.
LAUGHTER I love it! It's like a giant centipede! - That is brilliant.
- That is really good fun! Wow.
Can we do, like, the swimming thing where we go? LAUGHTER APPLAUSE This is beginning to look like a Bollywood movie.
Just keeps going after you've finished.
Do you know what I did there? I actually tried to catch myself.
Aw, there she is.
You had me, you had me.
- It's like synchronised swimming on your own.
- Brilliant.
Very good.
Our queuing advice is to really rile people up by ignoring the instructions at an airport and standing on the left of an underground escalator.
AUDIENCE GASP - That's really upset you! - No, no, no.
- That's the only thing I care about after Brexit.
- Yeah.
- That's only down here that that's a problem.
- That is London.
Only London.
It's not even questioned anywhere else.
Just stand wherever you want.
- You stand wherever you want? - Yeah, it's not a thing.
- LAUGHTER - Do what you want! - It's just a thing down here.
- You stand on the right.
Not anywhere else.
Fucking stand on the right.
Who's famous for generating about 25,000 quarrels a year? Piers Morgan.
KLAXON Someone had to say it.
CATS SCREECH - Ah, who's that?! - Donald Trump.
- What, Donald Trump? Yes.
KLAXON - You want another one? - Yeah.
Katie Hopkins.
KLAXON LAUGHTER We're doing well.
That's the three! What might a quarrel be? It's a thing rather than it's a dispute.
Like a vase of some sort.
Why do you think it's a vase? That's a lovely idea.
Why would you think that? I have no idea.
LAUGHTER - Is it a hat? - No, so So it's not a vase, and it's not a hat.
You haven't left us with much, Sandi.
We are going to go back in time.
So, between the 10th and the 15th century, what was the principal weapon of war, do you suppose? Stink bombs.
The plague? No, the crossbow, - and the bolt for a crossbow is called a quarrel.
- Oh.
- Oh.
And there was a man called John Malemont, and he was England's chief quarrel maker in the 13th century.
He made up to 100 a day, so he made about 25,000 quarrels per year And the earliest crossbows, I mean, this is sort of an image of one of the earliest ones.
They were really, really difficult to operate because it was so tight to pull it back so you had to get on your back, use the strength of both legs, your back and your arms in order to pull the mechanism backwards, then, eventually, they invented something called the crossbow stirrup, which meant you could put your foot in the thing and then pull back with I mean, that looks like it can backfire pretty badly.
That feels like before the adverts on You've Been Framed.
LAUGHTER Harry Hill's like, "What's going to happen after the break?" Can I ask you, Sandi, weren't there female crossbow people who used to chop off their baps? You're thinking of bows and arrows, and you're thinking of the amazons who allegedly cut off their left breast in order to make it easier.
Actually, it depends on which You'd cut off your right breast - so that the - You'd be annoyed if you cut off the wrong breast.
Yes, I know.
LAUGHTER - "Aw, you're joking.
" - "Oh, no.
" I was looking in the mirror, I was looking in the mirror.
It must have been really odd for them when cannons and bullets came about.
This is the thing.
What happened was guns superseded crossbows in warfare, so you're talking about the 16th century, and, eventually, crossbows became reserved just for recreational use.
I bet when guns come out, there were some pretty annoyed one-titted women knocking about.
LAUGHTER "I chopped off me tit for this!" Right, moving on.
It's time for the hostile interrogation that we call General Ignorance.
Fingers on buzzers, please.
What's the most dangerous part of this ship? DOGS BARK - Yes? - Eh, the buffet.
LAUGHTER APPLAUSE So you can see it.
You can see it in this picture.
The lifeboat.
It is the lifeboats.
You are absolutely right.
- They're the most dangerous bit? - Yeah.
So there was a safety study carried out by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch in 2001, and lifeboats killed more people than they saved in the UK and Australia over a ten-year period.
In fact, they found it was the most common cause of death on board a ship.
It accounts for 16% of all lives lost.
Almost all of the accidents happen during training or maintenance, and, in the same time period, no lifeboat was actually used in an evacuation, so they didn't save any lives whatsoever.
It is considered a really serious problem.
Airplanes have a similar issue with their apparently life-saving devices.
In fact, we can try them out now.
We're about to crash-land on water.
Fortunately, your life jacket is under your seat, and, since we know you always pay attention to the safety demonstrations, here we go.
Brace, brace, brace! KLAXON Go, go! AIRPLANE ENGINE WHIRS - That's it! - Toggle, toggle, toggle.
LAUGHTER Stick it on, stick it on.
Inflate it.
LAUGHTER As far as we can ascertain, life jackets have never saved anybody's life .
in a modern commercial airline.
I feel like I overreacted then, if I'm honest.
So you're going to have to take them off.
So if you just take them Can you get it off, darling? Can you? HE GRUNTS INDISTINC No! SCREECHING LAUGHTER Oh, my God! APPLAUSE - Bloody hell! - Are you all right? Do you remember when that plane crash-landed on the Hudson? - I do, yeah.
- Oh, and Tom Hanks was in the plane.
Only 33 of the 150 passengers who were on board had even managed to get hold of their life vests, and, of those 33 who'd managed to find them, only four were wearing them correctly.
They're only intended for planned water landings.
In other words, when there's been advanced warning, and that hasn't happened for several decades.
Well, I often wonder that, when I'm flying Heathrow to Edinburgh, they give it all that, "Well, it'd have to be a good shot, mate.
"Where are you going to?" Right into Windermere.
There's a woman called Cynthia McLean, she's the Federal Aviation Authority's principal cabin safety investigator.
She says the best advice is leave the bloody life vest behind.
It takes too long, and, actually, the best thing you can do if you land on the water is get off the plane.
Why don't they replace them with parachutes? I've never understood that.
Because if people can't put the life jacket on properly, who the heck is going to manage? LAUGHTER Why can't the plane be equipped with two enormous parachutes? - Yes! - Yes.
That's a good shout.
When it's going down, they just release the two enormous parachutes, - and it floats to the ground.
- Yeah, like Wile E Coyote.
Moving on.
Where did the Great Fire of London start? Oooh.
Go on, then.
You think you know.
Go on.
Let the audience get it.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Pudding Lane! KLAXON Not nice, is it? It's not nice.
Makes you feel stupid, don't it? - At the monument.
- So, well, closer to the monument than we thought.
So it did start at a bakery.
It was a baker called Thomas Farriner, and he left his fuel out too close to the oven, but they've now discovered planning documents from 1673.
It was an academic called Dorian Gerhold, and he revealed the oven was actually situated on Monument Street, so it's about 60 feet east of Pudding Lane, and, of course, Monument Street wasn't called that then because? - There was no monument.
- There was no monument.
- Yes.
So the monument was built in 1677.
Now, the thing about the monument is it's 202-feet tall because it was supposed to be 202 feet from where the fire started, but it's probably now too tall because it probably started much closer to the monument.
Anyway, moving on.
How should you position your hands when holding the steering wheel? Ten-to-two.
KLAXON Used to be.
Not any more.
Why not? - It's no longer recommended.
- Well, it's definitely not that.
Something has changed in cars since the origins of the ten-to-two idea.
- What has changed? - Seat belts? No, not seat belts.
Airbags is absolutely right.
So, if your hands are too close together, which is the ten and the two, it increases the risk of injury, and some of the injuries are horrific.
- Airbags inflate at up to 250mph.
- Jesus.
Broken hands, entire hands sometimes, requiring amputations.
There is a really stomach-churning injury called de-gloving.
- AUDIENCE GASP - What? - Yeah.
- So lifeboats, airbags.
Like, what is? What, the paramedics just come round and slit your throat? - LAUGHTER - What's going on? The best thing is like that, nine and three, because that way the airbag has got space to come up between your hands.
Keeps you out of the way.
I just steer with my cock.
LAUGHTER Just loop it round once.
The British driving test changed in 2018.
- What did they get rid of? - Oh, that's good.
I failed my theory test three times last year.
- Have you passed now? - No, she hasn't.
I do believe I'm just too much of a genius to grasp something so simple.
- That's how I feel.
- I failed the practical six times.
What did they pull you up on? I got to a junction, I looked right, I said, "All right your side?" LAUGHTER I failed my test cos, when I was meant to go forwards, I went backwards.
LAUGHTER They got rid of the turn in the road manoeuvre.
That's gone, and that reversing around the corner is gone as well.
- Yeah, good.
That was hard, that one.
- Is that because that's creepy? LAUGHTER There's a wonderful survey they did in 2015 of the most common reasons people fail their tests.
Unusual reasons for failing included - "I thought a line of parked cars was a line of traffic "so waited behind it.
" "I went too far forward at a zebra crossing "and bumped the bumper on a pedestrian ".
and then argued it wasn't my fault "as his outfit had made him blend in with the stripes.
" LAUGHTER "A good-looking man on a motorbike caught my attention, "and, without realising, I started to drive directly towards him.
"The instructor had to enforce an emergency stop "because I nearly crashed straight into him.
" - Driving instructors, just as a type of people, are quite mean.
- Mm.
I was getting my driving test.
I just sat down.
He looked at me, and he said, "I don't think you're going to make it.
" - Wow.
- Wow.
At least he wasn't a doctor.
LAUGHTER And, with that questionable image in your minds, it's time for the scores.
Well and truly quashed in last placewith minus 37 - - it's Alan! - Thank you very much.
CHEERING, APPLAUSE INDISTINC In fourth place with minus 25 - Jason! Fourth? Is that not the same as last? In third place with minus 17 - Aisling! CHEERING, APPLAUSE In second place with minus nine - it's the audience! CHEERING, WHISTLING And our winner today with a full four points - Anuvab! CHEERING, APPLAUSE THEME TUNE PLAYS Which only leaves me to thank Anuvab, Aisling, Jason and Alan, and I leave you with this quick quotation from the quarrelsome Elizabeth Gaskell.
"I'll not listen to reason.
"Reason always means what someone else has got to say.
" Goodnight.
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