Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cats Countdown

After devoting so much time to Would I Lie To You? and QI, I’ve fallen down the British panel show rabbit hole again with “8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown,” which is technically a combination of two shows.  You have Countdown, the long-running game show, being played by the goofy regulars (Jimmy Carr, Sean Lock, Jon Richardson) of the panel show with the ever-confusing name of 8 Out Of 10 Cats.  Those three comedians are joined by Countdown’s resident math and words experts (Rachel Riley and Susie Dent) and a revolving door of other panelists.  The other players are all from the UK’s roster of around 45-50 comedians that just appear on all of these programs in constant circulation.  It’s quite amazing if you watch enough of these shows, the same names will inevitably pop up again and again.

Anyway, the actual playing of Countdown is just curtain dressing for the comedians to mess about with various anecdotes and other nonsense.  And, having seen actual Countdown and actual 8 Out Of 10 Cats, I prefer the mashup of the two programs rather than the original versions — proper Countdown is too dry, and proper 8 Out Of 10 Cats is too unstructured.  It’s the best of both worlds, like how a drive-thru window combines the best of getting food with the best of being incredibly lazy.

You can’t go wrong with most of the episodes, I suppose, though this one is particularly legendary.  A murderers’ row of guests (Holly Walsh, Greg Davies and human laugh machine Miles Jupp) and a particularly memorable Sean Lock bit.  None of this has anything to do with learning about words or math.  None at all.


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