QI: Series M, Episode 4 – Miscellany


This week’s episode of QI fell into the category of their “general” shows. The ones with no central theme or topic, but instead is a random assortment of interesting material focusing on the letter of the series.

This time Welsh comedians Cariad Lloyd and Rhod Gilbert, along with the surreal Noel Fielding, joined Stephen Fry and Alan Davies to talk on subjects including the most dangerous children’s science kit ever sold (complete with polonium); how the brown-headed cowbird makes you an offer you cannot refuse; how moss nearly destroyed the world 470 million years ago; and why Australian scientists like to use alcohol to pump up a moth’s penis.

The most impressive member of the panel was Cariad, mainly in a section about “bicycle face”, a sexist belief in Victorian times that women who rode bicycles would end up with stressed-out faces. This led Cariad to talk about something which shocked the men on the panel: the clitoris. Thus much of the show was devoted to what one 19th century Frenchman referred to as the “female organs of matrimonial necessity”. Most of the humour was coming from the fact that the guys were shocked about what she was talking about. One wonders how this will change when Sandi Toksvig takes over next year.

Other highlights included the discussion on lead ponchos, how the world’s rarest moss can be found in Derbyshire, and why the people of Madagascar like to party with their dead, in a ceremony you won’t find in any animated children’s film anytime soon. Overall, a fairly decent episode.