That’s Quite Interesting

Feb 25 2010

I’ve been feeling ill today, so as usual when I’m feeling ill, I spent most of the day on YouTube, watching Craig Ferguson and QI.

Alan Davies and Stephen Fry on the set of QI

QI is a BBC TV program(me) hosted by Stephen Fry. It’s nominally a quiz show, but in the spirit of Whose Line Is It Anyway (and undoubtedly dozens of other BBC program[me]s), the points don’t matter. Stephen brings in four comedians, asks amazingly obscure questions primarily to prompt the panelists to respond with some funny lines.

Stephen also attempts to predict the most obvious answers, and if those are guessed, an alarm goes off. Players get extra points for saying anything that’s Quite Interesting, which is the origin of the show’s title.

It’s all a lot of genial fun, full of banter and interesting asides. An example:

Stephen Fry: “But one thing [Thomas] Edison did invent. A 100% genuine Edison invention, that we use every day, probably, most of us.”

Jimmy Carr: “Is it nasal hair clippers?”

Stephen Fry: “No; it’s not even an object.”

Bill Bailey: “So it’s a way of being. Sarcasm!”

Stephen Fry: (laughing, then sarcastically) “Oh, yeah, he invented sarcasm.” (rolls eyes)

The answer, incidentally, is the word “Hello.” There was a genuine in Edison’s time need for a word to respond when answering a telephone, and Edison retooled the British word of surprise, “Hullo!”

Now isn’t that Quite Interesting?

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