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Hodgman activates rage gland against BBC America for not picking up QI

by Danny Gallagher, posted Aug 8th 2009 2:02PM
John HodgmanJohn Hodgman seems like a gentle and mellow soul who uses wit, grace and intelligence to make his arguments, instead of more American methods of debate, such as yelling, name-calling or numb-chucks nunchucks.

However, when something gets stuck in his craw, he can unleash an unholy tornado of rage and seething anger. He can muster the unstoppable force of an undersea volcano and spew forth a raw stream of pointed arguments and reasoned thinking that could melt the butt off of an Eastern gray squirrel.

This time, Hodgman pointed his pressure washer of wit towards BBC America for refusing to pick up a comedy panel quiz show called QI.

QI, for those who aren't in the know, is a hilarious show that deserves your attention. You can find several clips of the show on BBC's YouTube page. It's hosted by writer, actor and humorist Stephen Fry who quizzes four television comedians on a series of questions that would make Ken Jennings's brain try to make a break for it through his nose.

The show instead awards points for answers that are interesting and takes away points for extremely boring ones. It's been a personal favorite of mine since a traveling friend discovered the show in England, so much so that I included it on my "bio page" as one of my all-time favorite shows. If that can't get it aired in America, then maybe we need to think about some kind of nuclear option, metaphorical or otherwise.

James Harkin, one of the show's researchers AKA QI Elves, said in an email that Hodgson recently taped an appearance on the show last spring and has become one of the show's many "friend(s)". So when news came down the pike that BBC America refused to pick up the show because the network needed more (as Hodgman put it) shows of "people finding things in attics" and less shows they think us Yanks "are too stupid to get," Hodgman took to the streets.

Harkin said he couldn't elaborate on the reasons why QI didn't get picked up, noting, "The reasons that QI has not appeared in America are somewhat complex, though, and it is certainly not the place of a lowly QI elf to comment on them." He was nice enough to pass along my questions to someone higher in the know, presumably some kind of "QI hobgoblin" or "QI orc."

[via QuickStopEntertainment and QI's Twitter page]

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Good on him. I've been hoping for approximately forever that BBCA would pick this show up, and if they won't, they deserve what-for.

If you get some answers from that "QI orc", please do pass them on.

August 09 2009 at 3:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RobynM's comment
Danny Gallagher

Here ya go, an interview with the head "orc" himself...


August 11 2009 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Four hours of Youtube clips later... new best show ever. :)

August 09 2009 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What the heck is a numb-chuck?

August 08 2009 at 6:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Points aren't taken away for being boring, they're taken away for being wrong, and stupidly obvious. This is why Alan Davies almost always loses by a huge margin of negative points, in fact typically getting more than 0 points would be considered a good performance.

August 08 2009 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love QI! Yet another reason to get my TV shows off the torrents.

August 08 2009 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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