British TV Comedy Gold (Quiz Round)

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As they seem to be popular, I thought I’d share another of my quiz rounds. Another you say? Yes indeedy, take a look at Cryptic Computing (Quiz Round) if you want to know the origins.

This quiz is one for fans of classic British TV sitcoms, old and new. No, not old fans, although I fear that category might include me these days, as I owned many of these on VHS, cassette and even LP.

Best in the World

Now, it’s just my opinion (but also FACT) that British TV comedy is the best in the world. Something for the British to be immensely proud of and worth paying our antiquated TV licence fee for; particularly as many of the classics in this quiz were produced by the BBC.

Pst!! Don’t care what I have to say? Scroll down for the quiz then, see if I care!, Bozz.

Still here? Good. So what makes British comedy the best? Well, this isn’t going to be a University thesis on the matter (I’ve got a day job to get on with!), but I reckon a few things: interesting characters, excellent timing, originality and knowing when to stop.

Knowing when to stop?

Obviously there are a few exceptions (Last of the Summer Wine, Men Behaving Badly to name a few), but on the whole most British sitcoms have the good grace to quit whilst they’re ahead. Once the original ideas start to make a second appearance, they call it a day.

Fawlty Towers had just 12 episodes, because as John Cleese said, they’d covered everything funny they could think of that might happen in a hotel.

Our US cousins however, love to milk that cow. Friends had 238 episodes, each one of them indistinguishable from the other. “Could Ross be any more repetitive?”.

A quick gripe then if I may…

Now, given how great British comedy is, why oh why when it is shipped to the States, do their TV networks feel the need to make god-awful US versions of them?

The resulting efforts are soul-less dumbed down empty mimics of their original selves and very few make it past the pilot episode. Is our language and character that far removed from the country who inherited it from us?

I realise the American networks are mega-profit driven, but do they always have to go for the lowest common denominator? Surely with a population that is fives times that of the UK, there’s a market there somewhere.

I think I just feel a bit bitter for having imbibed so much American culture and slang from watching US films and TV shows and resent the fact that it isn’t reciprocated. Still, I suppose, at least it’s making money for British script writers.

Anyway, onto the quiz…

So, wherever you are, if you’re a fan of British comedy try your hand at this quiz. Can you name the character and show from which the following lines originate?

The Questions

  1. Right! My turn again. What begins with “Come here” and ends with “OW”?
  2. The whole panel’s deader than A-line flares with pockets in the knees!
  3. Is no rat, is hamster.
  4. Never before have I seen such a blatant display of poofery!
  5. I am the head of IT and I have it on good authority that if you type “Google” into Google, you can break the Internet.
  6. May I say, what a SMASHING blouse you have on?
  7. And what he done, he sent Mary and Joesph to Bethleham to have his son, and thereby to start the Christian faith.
  8. Good old Columbo. Just the one technique, of course. Still, shits on Quincy.
  9. A conman, sweetie?! Cher Abu Corma – the reincarniation of Abu Babu?! The spiritual leader of Sag Aluuh?!
  10. Knickers! A pair of feckin’ women’s knickers!
  11. Is that true Bambi? Did you do a Disney Nasty?
  12. Ooh Betty, the cat’s done a whoopsie…
  13. You won’t get a splash on you! Well… We’re across.
  14. Hey, toilet-mouth! There’s a child’s bike outside!
  15. Bed? Bed’s for sleepy people! Let’s get a kebab and go to a disco!
  16. This time next year, we’ll be millionaires!
  17. Are you going to make a brew or what Barbara? I’ve got a throat here like Gandhi’s bloody flip-flop.
  18. When people say to me: would you rather be thought of as a funny man or a great boss? My answer’s always the same, to me, they’re not mutually exclusive.
  19. Oh, those wrinkled stockings
  20. Some place Govan eh? Where else can you get a fish supper at 9am? Simple, just steal it off a drunk that’s been lyin pished outside a close all night.
  21. It’s pronounced b-stard!
  22. That was Big Yellow Taxi, by Jodie Mitchell. A song in which Jodie complains that they paved paradise, to put up a parking lot. A measure that would have actually alleviated traffic congestion on the outskirts of paradise.
  23. Why is it that no matter how many millions of pairs of socks I buy, I never seem to have any?
  24. And now for something completely different.
  25. Harold!!

Intermission

Time for a quick break. Can’t have you peeking at those answers can we? Let’s fill the space with a short clip from one of the shows featured.

Here is the very talented Stephen Fry as General Melchett from Blackadder Goes Forth delivering a classic line and sending up the British aristocracy of the time perfectly.

Okay folks, time to check those answers and see how well you did. With 2 points available per question, the best score on the night was 38 points.

Have you beaten it I wonder?

The Answers

  1. Captain Blackadder – Blackadder Goes Forth
  2. The Cat – Red Dwarf
  3. Manuel – Fawlty Towers
  4. Battery Sergeant Major (BSM) Willams – It Ain’t Half Hot Mum
  5. Jen – I.T. Crowd
  6. Richie – Bottom
  7. Alf Garnett – Til Death Do Us Part
  8. Mark – Peep Show
  9. Edina / Eddie – Absolutely Fabulous
  10. Father Jack – Father Ted
  11. Neil (The Hippy) – Young Ones
  12. Frank Spencer – Some Mothers Do Ave Em
  13. Geoff – League of Gentlemen
  14. Brian Potter – Phoenix Nights
  15. Gary – Men Behaving Badly
  16. Del Boy Trotter – Only Fools and Horses
  17. Jim Royle  – Royle Family
  18. David Brent – The Office
  19. Compo – Last of the Summer Wine
  20. Rab – Rab C Nesbitt
  21. Alan B’stard – New Statesmen
  22. Alan – I’m Alan Partridge
  23. George, Prince Regent – Blackadder the Third
  24. John Cleese – Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  25. Albert Steptoe – Steptoe and Son

Never heard of them?

If you haven’t seen many of the above shows, then your life is officially incomplete. Most of them are available on-line these days (both legally and illegally), so get Googling and immerse yourself in some uniquely British comedy.

My personal recommendations would be: Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Father Ted, Peep Show, The Young Ones, I.T. Crowd, Monty Python, Red Dwarf… Well, nearly all of them really!

Want more?

If you enjoyed this quiz, check out my Song Intros (Quiz Round), Cryptic Computing (Quiz Round) and Am I becoming a “Quiz Addict”? posts.

Right, that’s put me in the mood. Time to watch some DVDs methinks…

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Cryptic Computing (Quiz Round)

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In my previous life I was a software development manager and every now and then, myself and the Dev team (many of whom have now also left) get together for a catch-up, a few beers, meals out and the occasional quiz.

As nominated quiz master the other night, I gave some thought as to a quiz round specifically targeted to test the wits of IT nerds such as ourselves…

So what to include?

Well, we’re all coders so I originally thought about some sort of SQL or other programming puzzle, but as a few of our non-IT partners (including my own) were due to attend I decided to spare them the trauma.

Looking for questions they might also know the answers to is how the Cryptic Computing round was born. The answers are pulled from anything and everything to do with computing, including the internet, software, jargon and more.

And most of them are commonly known and used, with just a few more specific computing ones thrown in…

Test Yourself

I’ve included the questions I used below, along with the answers further down – no peeking!!.

Being an IT geek will definitely be an advantage, but everyone should be able to get some of them. Although, if you live over the pond from the UK, a couple may cause you problems as they’re British specific.

Enjoy…

The Questions

  1. Waterway becomes major literature distributor
  2. The male sheep stood for something, but what?
  3. Assistance from office furniture
  4. Harry Potter helps user through the process
  5. Sounds like microwave oven timer sound effect fights whoopee equivalent for 2nd place
  6. Asked what could he see, Satan replied…
  7. Penguin does for free, what others charge for
  8. Flying trapeze artist spends a lot of time reading
  9. Bed making step is a big improvement on the abacus
  10. Unexpected charge on adornment for driveways
  11. The repeated steps were bigger than expected
  12. That is to say, in other words, used for browsing
  13. Arthur thought a character set was the stencils you got from the stationers
  14. Wise counsel was given as to the safety of the user’s data
  15. Classic British motorbike brings PCs to a protected standstill
  16. Bus station achieves an exceeding low IQ
  17. Cubed parliamentarians lead to demise of high street music purveyors
  18. Misleading suggestion that edited images will be sold
  19. The 11th letter contains 24 more of these than most people think
  20. Shop selling cash gives financial advice

Answers Below

Purely to break the page up a bit and create some space to make peeking at the answers more difficult, below is a photo of yours truly with questions in hand…

And if you’re thinking I look a little “worse for wear“, it’s because I am!

So, wondering how you’ve done?

You’ll kick yourself I’m sure for any that you’ve missed.

Well take heart, my old team didn’t do too brilliantly either, with the highest score being just 12. Although in their defence, I think alcohol may have played some part.

The Answers

  1. Amazon
  2. Random Access Memory
  3. Help Desk
  4. Wizard
  5. Bing
  6. ICL (or Syntax)
  7. Linux
  8. Acrobat
  9. Spreadsheet
  10. Bill Gates
  11. Macro (or Infinite Loop)
  12. IE
  13. ASCII
  14. Oracle
  15. Norton
  16. Dumb Terminal
  17. MP3s
  18. Photoshop
  19. Bytes
  20. Money Supermarket

And if you need some explanations…

2. A male sheep is a ram. 5. In the UK, Bing and Yahoo (whoopee is an exclamation similar to yahoo) are currently fighting for 2nd place behind Google. 6. “I see Hell”, although “Sin Tax” as supplied by one of the team is also good! 7. Linux is a free alternative operating system to Windows and Unix, the logo for which is a penguin. 10. Charges are referred to as “the bill” on this side of the pond. 12. Look up the definition of i.e. 13. Ref: Arthur Askey. 15. A reference to Norton Anti-Virus now famed for slowing PCs to a crawl. 17. MP is the title for a British member of parliament. 20. Ref: www.moneysupermarket.com.

Copyright Free

Please feel free to use these as you’re own, but if you do publish them anywhere, please include an acknowledgement and a link back to this blog page.

Finally, hope you enjoyed them. Why not post how well you did below?

Am I becoming a “Quiz Addict”?

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It all started whilst planning for a quiz night with some of my old workmates (from before I became a self-employed software developer / web designer). The intention was a night of playing Buzz on the old PS2. Great for a beer-fuelled gathering if you’ve never tried it.

Anyway, as a few of the party are at a slightly higher intellectual level than the aforementioned Buzz game, I thought I’d print out a few sheets of other challenges to peruse between breaks. 

I came up with the idea of finding a blank map of the world with country borders, but no country names on it and set to work trying to find one on Google.

Within a few clicks I encountered Sporcle and the following page containing an on-line name the countries of the world quiz:

Have a go! I managed 89 on my first go, but would have a got a few more if I could’ve spelt them! Bosnia and Herzegovina definitely got the better of me…

Anyway, that was 9th January and a day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t been back on the site. That’s it. I’m addicted, which isn’t a good thing as I work from home on a computer and the ability to quickly alt+tab from what I should be doing to the Sporcle site is hampering my working day…

Help!! Is there an organisation that caters for this sort of thing?

The thing is, the quizzes are short (up to 15 minutes), but often fast and furious so there’s a real “just one more…” feel to it. Plus, there’s 1000s of quizzes on there covering a wealth of different subjects and best of all, it’s fast to load, requires no registration, is relatively advert free and doesn’t require any browser plug-ins.

Is there a word for it?

Quiz addiction that is. I did have a brief look on Google, but couldn’t find one. If you know of one, let me know in a comment below and I’ll credit you.

And do you know of any other similar free sites?

I know even at the rate I’m going, it’ll take a considerable length of time to work through all Sporcle has to offer, but it’d be interesting to know if anyone else has encountered any other sites they’d recommend. Again, stick it in a comment below.

Remember though, to compete with Sporcle it needs to be easy to search through, super fast and require no browser plug-ins in order to work.

Finally, beware…

Everyone that I’ve mentioned this site to so far has also become addicted. You have been warned!

Right, better sign off for a quick quiz. Think I’ll do a music one this time…

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