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Series: Never Mind the Buzzcocks aka: Nevermind The Buzzcocks
British Panel Game based around pop music, named after the Pop Punk band Buzzcocks and the album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols. The most recent lineup consists of host Rhod Gilbert, with Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding as captains of the two teams of three. The two other members of each team are whatever musicians, comedians or other recognisable faces the producers can secure at the time — there has been Lampshade Hanging about the poor quality of the guests on numerous occasions... which some guests take more good-naturedly than others.The show debuted in 1996. Mark Lamarr was the original host, and after his departure there were a series of temporary hosts, including Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs and Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear before Simon Amstell took over until 2009. The show returned to using guest hosts until 2013. Previous team captains were Sean Hughes (Series 1-10) and Bill Bailey (Series 11-21), each time taking the opposing side to Phill Jupitus.The format was exported to VH-1 for American viewers.
Bait and Switch: A regular feature of the presenters' jokes. In a Christmas special when Mark began the show by doing the usual spiel about not forgetting that Christmas is really about one remarkable man, before adding that, unfortunately, they couldn't get that man, Noddy Holder, as a panelist.
Phill tends to get keyed up whenever the person in the lineup is very famous and he doesn't want to make any jokes at their expense.
Beware the Nice Ones: Whereas Mark Lamarr tended to make jokes at the expense of his least-favourite artists, frequently concocting mock evil schemes to get them killed, Simon Amstell spends much more time chatting to his guests of the week. Which in effect means that he spends much more time mocking them personally than Mark ever did (and much less time mocking the team captains, which Mark used to love doing.)
Big Eater: Phill Jupitus, at least according to Mark's intro jokes.
Mark: Phill cooked Christmas dinner for eight, but before he could eat it, some people turned up...
Sean rattled off a garbled Irish Gaelic phrase ("Thanks very much to the toilet, please.") in one episode as a Batman Gambit to pick one of the Nolan Sisters out of a lineup (she being the only one who understood it and couldn't keep a straight face).
Bill Bailey speaking French while discussing The Kooks' criminal record.
The Board Game: Only one round from the TV show survived in the board game adaptation.
Briefer Than They Think: As presenter, Simon Amstell lasted four series compared to Mark's seventeen. This hasn't stopped his tenure being just as popular.
British Accents: Mark occasionally talks in an exaggerated "yokel" form of his native Swindon accent, as does Bill with his West Country speech.
Mark introduced the first few series with "Hello and welcome to Never Mind The Buzzcocks, the pop quiz that says..." followed by a pun based on a line from a song. Later, it was "Hello, and welcome to Never Mind The Buzzcocks, a..." followed by a alliterative phrase like "rumbuctious ransack through the rainforest of rock". By series 10, it was "Hello, and welcome to Never Mind The Buzzcocks, the comedy equivalent of..." followed by something painful, or in one case, "landfill".
Series 9 featured a different catchphrase in each episode, including "I'll be the judge of that, cheeky chops", "That's rich coming from you", and "I can't work under these bloody conditions!", complete with throwing papers.
When furious at a guest (or someone in the ID Parade Lineup) he would occasionally yell "YOU'VE MADE A MOCKERY OF THIS SHOW!"
He would do monologues which started with a positive statement about a popstar, followed by "And what I mean by [X]", making the statement more insulting. This would continue until the original statement was turned into a total burn.
"I really enjoyed this show. I say enjoyed, I tolerated... I say tolerated, I [insert extremely painful torture or self deprivation]. Still I quite liked the [something positive]."
"I SAY liked..."
Censored for Comedy: "Explicit Content" has guests asked to identify which songs are this trope ("Do you really want to *** me?") and which are genuinely censored.
Bill Bailey was the resident strange mind during his tenure as team captain.
In series twelve, episode four, Kathryn Williams proved to be as much of a cloudcuckoolander as Bill. Scott Mills tried to keep up with the two of them by saying "Fishcakes! D'you know what I mean?!"
Mark: "Are you two related?"
In series twelve, episode eleven, Dave John's first joke of episode managed to make Bill roll his eyes and say "yeah", which made Mark laugh at the prospect.
Lauren Laverne came across as this on her appearance, first insisting that David Bowie was violently pursued by Avon ladies and then, when trying to figure out some indecipherable lyrics, came out with 'He's relating bananas to rock bands... from the seventies. It's just a thought...'
Rick Wakeman of Yes, especially when he and Bill Bailey do a live Intros round. In wizard outfits.
Bill Oddie. From his bizarre insistence that Shakira was "sacrificing a kitten" to his attempts to sing "I Just Wanna Make Love To You" in the next lines round. Heavily lampshaded in the closing titles which were, as Stewart Lee had suggested "a series of slow fades, suggesting the passage of time", which made Oddie look utterly mental.
Noel. In season 23, he found his queen: Paloma Faith, who many viewers ship with Noel because they're both just so crazy.
Jedward: *imitated by Noel* We really wanted to be Ghostbusters but we weren't brave enough.
Noel: Like that was the biggest barrier.
Country Mouse: Occasional jokes about Mark Lamarr being one due to his origins in Swindon, complete with Mark "slipping into his natural accent" (an exaggerated rural yokel accent).
Cross Over: For Comic Relief in both 1999 and 2001, the series crossed over with Have I Got News for You and They Think It's All Over for a special entitled Have I Got Buzzcocks All Over. Phill Jupitus appeared on both specials, accompanied by Jo Brand and Meat Loaf in 1999 and by Sean Hughes and Moloko singer Róisín Murphy in 2001. Both specials featured variations on the Identity Parade, with Jupitus' team having to pick out Hungry Eyes bassist and singer Peter Kilfoyle (better known at the time as MP for Liverpool Walton and Minister for Public Services) in 1999, and indoor bowls streaker Tracy Sergeant in 2001.
Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much everyone. Simon Amstell didn't quite meet the 'deadpan' requirement as he would smile gleefully as he destroyed your ego. Mark Lamarr, however, was the embodiment of a deadpan snarker, and his comedy was heavily based on this.
Digging Yourself Deeper: In the early-Noughties series, Mark Lamarr had a Running Gag of doing this deliberately with his faint-praise "compliments" for a group that had just been mentioned.
Lamarr: "People criticised (group's song), but I quite enjoyed it. I say I enjoyed it...I tolerated it. I say I tolerated it...what I actually did was (horrible description of him torturing himself rather than having to hear the song). Having said that, I thought the B-side was quite tuneful."
The Ditz: Tony Wright from Terrorvision came across as this, especially in his second appearance. Phill and Mark seemed to find his inability to remember the letters of the alphabet more adorable than mockable.
Mark: "LL Cool J likes to boast that his penis is "half a block long"; however, it's also just an eighth of an inch wide. It does, however, become very useful when he gets locked out of his car."
Genre Savvy: In series fourteen, episode nine, Phil addresses Mark's tendency to award more points to guests he particularly liked, such as Martha Reeves and, along with the rest of his team, decides to deliberately give wrong answers in the "Next Lines" round:
Phil: With Martha Reeves being on the other team, we're not gonna win are we?
Mark: Then you should throw the game.
Guest Host: There was a series between the hosts Mark Lamarr and Simon Amstell of only guest hosts, and as of Amstell leaving they are going down the Have I Got News for You route.
Mark:"In his autobiography, Marc Almond strongly attacked this programme for making references to his sexuality. That's Marc Almond who once released an album called "This Last Night In Sodom" — oh, sorry, let the cat out of the bag."
Insane Troll Logic: Often used in the ID Parade game when nobody has a clue, such as "It'll be the one who's wearing the maddest shoes!" Sometimes Phill or Bill will have an informed opinion but will keep quiet at first and let their guests come up with this stuff just for humour value.
The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Done in rounds such as the "Explicit Content" round, where the teams are shown four censored music videos and have to guess which one is actually explicit; the last one will usually be something obviously clean that has been censored for fun, such as the music video for Bob the Builder.
Long-Runner Cast Turnover: Every cast position except Phill's has been held by multiple people. Phill is the only original cast member still on the show, and he only ever missed one episode which was filled by Frankie Boyle.
Malicious Slander: Parodied with Mark's "Wicked Whispers" running joke, where he gives 'shocking celebrity facts' such as a rumour that Elton John may be gay.
Man of a Thousand Voices: Parodied. Mark claims all of Phill's impressions consist of saying that celebrity's catchphrase (e.g., "Ooh Betty" for Frank Spencer) in the same throaty Bernard Manning voice.
Phill does, however, do a startlingly good Chewbacca impression.
This was also used when Bobby Davro was a guest — all his impressions were incredibly cliche ones predating The Nineties.
Bobby: It's Tommy Cooper! It's Frank Spencer!
Mark: IT'S NOT ANYONE!!!
Mark did a pretty good Benny Hill impression in the Series 9 premiere. In a different episode he said he learned many accents from Benny Hill.
Phill is generally good at impressions, though once he did impressions of practically any foreign country in the same exact voice. He even mocked it himself after Lamarr pointed it out.
Mark (To Sean): Have you been to Zimbabwe recently?
Phill: I've been to Zimbabwe, Mark. 'ELLO, I'M FROM ZIMBABWE!
Narrowed It Down To The Guy I Recognise: Meant to be the entire point of the Identity Parade, but they're usually such obscure celebrities that it doesn't work out that way. However, when it does, Phill will often explain his choice that way; e.g., "I think number 3 is Wee Willie Harris, because it's Wee Willie Harris!". Also occasionally inverted when the panel rule someone out because they recognise them as a Recurring Extra or a member of the crew.
N-Word Privileges: Anthea Turner chastised Simon for using the C-word, on the grounds that he can't say it because he doesn't have one.
Obligatory Joke: The first episode of one series had party poppers go off periodically as Mark made "the first Kurt Cobain joke of the series!" or "the first Tony Hadley joke of the series!"
Offer Void In Nebraska: An odd but increasingly common internet example. While vast numbers of episodes can be found on YouTube, there are some that are automatically hidden from British internet users because of copyright laws for the music specific only to the UK - despite Britain being the show's country of origin. You can still watch the episodes in other countries, like America.
Christopher Biggins: Joan Collins likes punching people like you.
Simon: What do you mean? What, Jews?
Simon:[to camera, mock-seriously] I should say, for legal reasons, we have no reason to suspect that Joan Collins dislikes Jews.
Mark once told a joke about Tom Jones dipping his genitalia in mouthwash (don't ask) and then said that their lawyers would like him to tell the joke in a slightly less vulgar way, which Mark did while the words "Legal Obligation" flashed on-screen.
On "Double Points Night" when, for each point scored, Simon would add one extra point "out of [his] own pocket".
In one of the Christmas episodes, all scored points went to charity.
Alan Davies loses his team a point by saying Robbie Williams is a nice person.
Jimmy Cliff got points from Mark Lamarr just for being Jimmy Cliff.
Mark would also refuse to give points to obnoxious guests, and help the other team win. Like when Pete Burns was a guest.
Simon: And you get four points for that! Or one. However that works.
In Series 28: Episode 8 Rod Gilbert decided to deduct points from Noel's team because Paloma Faith stuck a ball in a sponge-cake. At the end of the show he didn't even read out the scores telling us who won because he was so distracted by his dog.
Precision F-Strike: The show doesn't shy away from using profanity, but the jabs and insults are always wrapped in eloquence and metaphor; so when Bill's only comment on Loose Women (a daytime chat show) is "Oh God, I hate those bitches", you know he means it.
Phill(Aside Glance): No, but it is indeed a tasty sweet treat!
The Quiet One: Sean Hughes. When he left the show, Mark commemorated him with a montage of 'his contributions to the show', which consisted of clips of Sean's other team members answering questions while Sean sat quietly in the background.
Ratings Stunt: Parodied in a series 22 episode which claimed the ratings were down, which ended in assorted contrivances such as loan sharks turning up, an explosion in the studio and an anvil falling on Phill.
Rouge Angles of Satin: The "complete the Youtube comment" round during Adam Buxton's episode. In the first outing, one of the comments claimed that magician Dynamo must be "an alien or sutin" to the delight of all involved. It helps that Adam Buxton read all of the comments with the misspellings intact.
Noel's hatred for Coldplay, to the point that David Tennant felt the need to defend the band when he hosted.
A rather persistent gag regarding R'n'B star Craig David and unspeakable deeds involving small cotton-tailed mammals spanned 4 episodes in Series 22.
In one of Bill's early appearances, he started defending Star Trek fans, upon which Mark replied "We're not having a go at Star Trek, you fucking Klingon nonce!" When Bill reacted with shock, Mark pretended it was a nickname they'd always called him behind his back—and it went on to reappear many times when Bill became a regular.
In a series 24 episode, Phill gives Josh Groban, the presenter, an angry look every time the latter sings. Finally, at the end of the episode, Groban tells Phill to fuck off and starts singing a duet of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables with guest Michael Ball, who originated the role of Marius Pontmercy in the London production of the musical.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: More than one guest has walked off the show after getting fed up of being mocked. Coincidentally, all three sat in the seat to Phil's left. In the episode after the second departure, Phil labelled it the "ejector seat".
The first was Lemmy of Motorhead, in series three, episode two. Unlike subsequent examples, he disappeared during the retakes, so it was not evident to television audiences.
The second was Preston from The Ordinary Boys, in series twenty, episode three. As it was halfway through the show, Bill promptly searched the audience for a lookalike. Throughout the rest of the show, the other guests would feign walking off after Simon "slighted" them. The following week, after no one walked off, Simon gave everyone lollies congratulating them for staying to the end of the show.
Thirdly, Huey Morgan of Fun Lovin' Criminals in series twenty-seven, episode seven. He stormed off as soon as the show ended, unhappy at the way he was being treated by the guest hosts; Rizzle Kicks. Notable in that he'd been appearing on the show intermittently since 1998 (including as a guest host in 2006) and never got annoyed or irritated. Rizzle Kicks might be partially responsible for this one.
Self-Deprecation: A big portion of the show's jokes are about the poor quality of the jokes and guests.
James Blunt made lots of jokes about himself and his music when he guest-hosted.
Species Surname: Bizarrely subverted in the episode with the puppets in the ID parade, where a Cloud Cuckoo Lander guest was convinced that Gordon the Gopher was a hamster.
Springtime for Hitler: Phill was involved with the left-wing music and comedy movement Red Wedge, which campaigned against Margaret Thatcher's re-election in 1987; a tie-in NMTB book claimed that it was single-handedly responsible for her remaining in power.
Subverted Kids Show: In an episode where the ID parade consisted of puppets who had all had novelty singles. Amongst them was ventriloquist Keith Harris with his puppet Orville the Duck, known for Tastes Like Diabetes Christmas singles. Keith took the opportunity for being past the watershed to have Orville swear mildly. When Mark encouraged him to go further...
Mark: I think we're all curious, does Orville know the word c(BLEEP!)t?
Suspect Is Hatless: The 'Identity Parade' can often degenerate into this. It's responsible for some of its best moments.
Terrible Interviewees Montage: Used in the eleventh series premiere when they're searching for a new team captain following Sean's departure. It ends with Bill walking in and instantly being offered the job.
Mark: We wanted to name the round after a well-known chocolate bar which apparently helps you work, rest and play, but we were told we weren't allowed to. So we decided to name it after me. So this is the Mark Lamarr's bar round.