Has no one else heard of QI?

A while back (and tucked into the folds of a thread about YouTube) Peak Banana recommended this show for Dopers who were looking for new things on YouTube. I was astonished by how much I loved this show, but I was equally blown away that I did not recall ever hearing about it before or after that thread on the Dope.

Stephen Fry hosts the BBC program that is part game show, part educational and part comedy. I found it to be the apotheosis of what Dopers were and would love. If you watched the first two episodes (I believe they are all on YouTube), and did not come away with a feeling that contemporary television had completely redeemed itself, then you had no business being a Doper.

Here are the first two episodes from YouTube in three parts each:

Episode one:

Part one

Part two

Part three

Episode two (one of the best EVER shows):

Part one

Part two

Part three
Frequently on the SDMB there are references to The Princess Bride, Joss Whedon shows, The Lord of The Rings and countless other shows, but I am stunned that this show doesn’t get much mention here. Is it simply because of lack of exposure? Is it not all that popular, even across the pond?

I’m dying to know what the Doper collective thinks of this show!

QI is simply wonderful. I’ve bought the first three seasons on DVD and never regretted it for an instant.

The only problem is that, having watched one episode, it’s just so easy to go on to the next that you can find an afternoon simply vanishing …

Has the new season started yet?

My favorite part is when Alan gets a question right, he looks so, so pleased with himself…

I love this show. It’s my favourite ever panel show. I’m collecting the DVDs too.

Oh, thank you so, so much for posting the links!

I just watched the first one, and really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to watch the rest. More importantly, my son and husband, who are huge Fry and Laurie fans, will adore them, which means we can all watch them together.

Those of you who have the DVDs: where did you find them?

And again, Euthanasiast, thank you!

Either Amazon.co.uk, or the QI website.

I was watching a documentary on Stephen Fry’s life a while ago, and they mentioned that with QI, they wanted to make a show that was not just interesting and funny, but that left you feeling good. Where everyone liked one another and enjoyed the process of making the show. Now that that’s been pointed out to me, I think that aspect is a big part of its appeal. Stephen Fry seems to genuinely like everyone on the show and enjoy whatever they say.

I discovered it a few months ago looking into Fry’s work (I’ve seen lots of Laurie, and heard they were great together), and instantly fell in love with it. This show is more fun than just about anything else I’ve seen on TV, even with explosives.

And as a bonus, I now know what happened to Rich Hall.

I’ve been hooked on this show since I moved here, plus Mock the Week, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Have I Got news For You. People make fun of the Dave channel but all these are on in repeat almost every night.

Stephen Fry is such a pleasure to listen to compared with a lot of the loud meaningless crap elsewhere.


It feels to me like it’s been a long, long time since the last series/season. I think that was the ‘E’ series? (The loose theme of each edition starts with the same letter throughout the season, so they’ve done A, B, C, D and E now.) I guess Fry has been busy making his …in America documentary (starts next week, I think), breaking his arm while watching manatees etc.

Yes, that’s exactly it. Well put.

I think it’s one of the most genuinely funny, clever and entertaining things ever to be on TV, and completely lacking of pretentiousness. I’ll often just watch random episodes on YouTube, to lift me up when I’m a bit down (and I’ll usually be in hysterics half way in), to get a fresh supply of (quite) interesting factoids, or just to entertain me for half an hour. It never fails to deliver.

The ‘F’ series would normally be due to screen now, but they’ve moved it from BBC2 to BBC1, and in the new channel’s infinite wisdom have decided to delay releasing it until early next year.

The fans are outraged and disappointed by this pointless shift. After looking forward to it for so long, waiting even longer (without any prior warning) is most upsetting indeed.

Hope it’s not thread-pooping to say that I find QI a bit challenging; I wouldn’t mention it except that it surprises me, because the ingredients seem excellent on the face of it. Stephen Fry is one of my Favourite People I Don’t Actually Know™ and an absolutely brilliant comedian; regular contestants Bill Bailey and Rich Hall are another two people I could watch all night. But I find the show almost unbearably smug and self-satisfied, without really having done much to warrant patting itself on the back. It just seems like Stephen Fry giving a recitation of mediocre facts at times, which, given that he’s got it all written down on cue cards, isn’t that impressive. It’s like listening to five dinner party bores all at once. Okay, four bores and one idiot, by whom everyone else pretends to be greatly entertained.

I really don’t know why this show irritates me so much; clearly it’s much better than most of the tripe on TV. I think it’s because it ought to be brilliant, but (in my view) is much less than the sum of its parts.

Also, I hate Alan Davies, Alan Davies’ face, Alan Davies’ voice, and anyone Alan Davies has ever met.

Now, why the hell would BBC postpone Series F to next year. Ridiculous.

Dead Badger, Stephen Fry is a bit smug at times and certainly a touch too verbose. I still recall this one instance when Fry asked about the “theory of relativity”; after some hesitant syllables, Alan, of course, chimes in with Einstein, and gets the siren. Fry then smugly presents Galileo as the answer and qualifies Einstein’s theories as ‘Special’ and ‘General’. Of course, as Wikipedia states, Max Planck coined ‘theory of relativity’ in 1908 to refer specifically to Einstein’s special theory of relativity. And that’s the sense in which I’ve always heard the phrase used.

Nonetheless, it’s an entertaining show worth watching.

You should check out Never Mind the Buzzcocks on Wednesday. Stephen Fry is guest captaining in Bill Bailey’s absence.

I love QI. I went to London this past May (I live in the US) to go to two tapings for the F series. I have a friend with connections who got me on the production guest list, so I got to go to the green room afterwards. I very briefly met Stephen Fry, sat around at the bar for a couple hours on the second night listening to Alan Davies be funny (I like him, so there!), and also met a number of the behind-the-scenes people.

I’m upset about the new series not being on until next year, but I’ll live. :slight_smile:

I’m really curious to see how this is going to go, considering Stephen famously has no musical ability whatsoever. The Intros round might be special…

(side note: I haaaate Simon Amstell’s new hair. Gah.)

I’m totally in love with this series, too. Everyone I’ve ever made sit down and watch it has had a total blast.

I know that they taped the ‘F’ series a while back - can’t believe we have to wait so long to see it. URGH!!!

I stumbled onto the show a couple of months ago myself and fell in love with it. I’m yet another person in the US who has to jump through hoops to see it. I’m a bit surprised that BBC America hasn’t picked it up yet since it seems like perfect light filler for them.