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Shout Out / Taskmaster

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This is the Shout-Out page for the UK version of Taskmaster

In General

  • The large portrait picture that hangs in the living room of the Taskmaster house is always a mugshot of Greg that is done in the style of a famous picture, or a general art style. This changes for each series:
    • The First series has the picture reference Andy Warhol's "Shot Marilyns".
    • The Second series' painting references Le Sommeil (Sleep) by Salvador Dali.
    • The Third series's seems to be based off Roy Lichenstein's "Oh Jeff, I love you too, but..." image.
    • The Fourth series has a picture of Greg painted in the style of one of many of the Vincent van Gogh self-portraits.
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    • The Fifth series has the picture parody of René Magritte's Son Of Man.
    • Series Six has a portrait that references M.C Escher's "Hand with reflective Sphere".
    • Series Seven generally homages Pablo Picasso's "Cubism" style, but specifically riffs on Seated Woman.
    • Series Eight has a picture that is an original piece made for the show, which references various anime villain tropes; Greg with Tsurime Eyes, an Eye Patch Of Power, holding a Classy Cane with a metal hand.
    • Series Nine has a picture of Greg made up of vegetables, in the style of the painting "Vertumnus", originally painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
    • Series Ten adopts a "western" theme, with the picture of Greg being styled as a colourised old-timey photograph of him dressed as Wild Bill Hickock.
    • The 2021 New Year Treat has a "golden age of silent cinema" theme, with Greg's portrait being a homage to Buster Keaton.
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    • Series Eleven is themed around Soviet "socialist realism"-style art/propaganda, with the portrait of Greg naturally referencing over-the-top homages to Stalinist dictators. One wonders how it took them so long.
    • Series Twelve is themed around Steampunk, and the protrait depicts Greg wearing a mechanical monocle on his left eye, and a bicorne with a pair of goggles perched on top.
  • Greg will occasionally reference Lord of the Flies to describe task attempts that see careful, orderly planning descend into absolute chaos (For example, Josh, Roisin and Romesh's attempt to get to 11 points in the squash court in the episode "Down an Octave").
  • In Series 2 and 3, there is a mural on the side of the Taskmaster House of Greg holding some balloons resembling Banksy's well-known Girl With Balloon. The mural gets reference again for series 11's "Absolute Casserole" where Mike and Lee took inspiration from it by stenciling Alex's outline for the "vandalize the wall" task.
  • Occasionally Alex will sneak a subtle little shout-out into his tasks:
    • The "get this camel through the smallest gap" task in "Spatchcock It" is a reference to The Bible, specifically Matthew 19:24 ("Again, I tell you it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."). If they realise, none of the contestants comment on it.
    • In the "make your way back to your starting spot after walking away blindfolded" task in "Boing Boing", the contestants are given a slice of bread without explanation — a clear reference to the Trail Of Breadcrumbs from Hansel and Gretel. In this case, only Bob Mortimer picks up on it immediately (though both Aisling Bea and Mark Watson realise eventually, but after they've already started).

Series One

  • For Roisin, Romesh, and Josh's homemade Blooper in "The Last Supper", when Greg asked why the camerawork was so shoddy, Roisin (who was manning the camera) claims she was "Blair Witch-ing" it.

Series Two

  • In "Pork Is a Sausage", for a task involving creating a music video out of a nursery rhyme, Richard Osman makes a homage to The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony while singing "she'll be coming round the mountain". He also framed it as a YouTube video, complete with a skippable advert prefacing the music video.

Series Three

  • In "The Dong and the Gong", Paul Chowdhry shouts "SHORYUKEN!" during the balloon popping task. After his attempt was show, he name-drops Mortal Kombat, causing Greg to mistakenly think that he had gotten the earlier reference, but Paul clarified, and he pointed out it's from Street Fighter.
  • In "The F.I.P", Al Murray's submission for the "do something that looks amazing sped up or slowed down" task is a homage to the iconic Vanity Plate for films produced by the Rank Organisation, which involved a man striking a gong impressively (though in the originals, said man wasn't wearing a toupee which fell off due to his swing).

Series Four

Series Six

  • One of Asim's "obscure animals" for the team task charades in the episode "Roadkill Doused in Syrup" is a "three-eyed raven."

Series Seven

  • Phil Wang's pre-recorded outfit is a Whole Costume Reference to Bruce Lee's iconic yellow tracksuit from Game of Death.
  • One of the tasks in "I Can Hear It Gooping" has the contestants make real-life video game homages. Kerry goes for Tetris with Alex providing the bricks and Kerry being the player, James goes for Grand Theft Auto and even references the infamous "WASTED" screen, Jessica goes for Mario Kart using golf carts and bananas, Phil goes for Goldeneye 64 with intentionally bad first-person camera view recreated by tying his and Alex's left arm behind their backs, and Rhod goes for Space Invaders. For his attempt, he recruits a large amount of people to create real-life space invaders, where Rhod is the player shooting balls at the people descending. James won the task, specifically because his act was so convincing.

Series Eight

  • Paul Sinha's pajama-and-bathrobe ensemble for pre-recorded tasks pays homage to Arthur Dent.

Series Nine

  • In "Join Our Cult", one task has the contestants make the most dramatic entrance. David arrives via Tardis, theme song and everything, as a rather unimpressive Thirteenth Doctor while Jo dresses up as Henry the Eighth and unveils the head of one of his wives (Alex) on a platter. But the real kicker is Rose camouflaging herself in the bushes before she popped out and screamed "STELLA!!!"

Series Ten

Series Eleven

  • Lee Mack pays homage to famed stunt daredevil Evel Knievel twice:
    • For the pre-recorded tasks, he wears a star-emblazoned white jacket and a crash helmet that is similar to ones Evel Knievel used to wear, though he doesn't go full jumpsuit and just wears a shirt and jeans underneath it.
    • In "Slap and Tong", when tasked with making the best uniform for a bee, Lee transforms his bee into "Bee-vel Knievel", complete with a frozen pea for a helmet. He even tries to make the bee jump a row of buses while riding a motorbike.

Series Twelve


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