I <3 Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry hosts QI, a British quiz show. It has two teams of two comedians each, and Stephen Fry is the quiz master. The questions are obscure, and points are awarded for interesting answers, whether or not they are right, or even relate to the original question. Points are deducted for answers which are “not only wrong, but pathetically obvious,” – mostly answers that are believed to be true, but are not. Some panellists end up with negative scores. All on a completely arbitrary basis.

It’s very amusing, just the thing for a light half hour of TV before heading off to bed. Currently it’s showing on ABC 1 at 9.30pm on Tuesday evenings. One of the questions last night was: “Why are women good at fishing?” There was all sorts of banter, and eventually one of the panellists offered an explanation based on pheromones. “Wrong,” said Fry. Apparently it was an urban / rural myth. Then the conversation moved on to women being the best fishers in the UK, based on the biggest fish having been caught by women, rather than men. Whatever. But Fry said something to the effect of:

Why do we have to go around looking for an explanation about women being good at fishing? Why do we have to think there’s something special about them? Couldn’t it just be that they are good at fishing?

Just so. And well said.

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15 responses to “I <3 Stephen Fry

  1. I was falling asleep on the lounge when this came on so I went to bed. I hope a repeat is on ABC2 soon. It sounds great.

  2. Yes, we cheered too. Stephen Fry seems to be lining up for sainthood. First he comes out of the bipolar closet, then this. I admire him more and more – for his humility and honesty, mostly.

  3. I can haz youtube? 🙂

  4. Can try…. but that could be a technical challenge for me!

  5. Yep, very entertaining show. Didn’t Fry kind of phrase it also along the lines that if the biggest fish had been caught by a man, no one would be asking a quiz question “What makes men so good at fishing?” It’s only because women are good at something that it becomes cause for inquiry and a demand for explanation

  6. Love QI, love Stephen Fry, love what he said about women and fishing, buuuut… if any country in the world has a plentiful supply of funny, smart women with a media profile it’s Britain, so why are there so few women on the show? Usually it’s one or sometimes none. One of those times when you notice how far we are from what should be the “normal” look of a panel: half men, half women. How hard can it be?

  7. I ❤ Stephen Fry too. Wish we got this programme in NZ.

  8. Yes, I think that’s right, Anthony. Mr Strange Land made much the same comment. I haven’t recalled it correctly. If I can track down a youtube clip (per Julie’s request), I will make sure I record it accurately.

  9. No youtube clip, alas, but this comes from the Wikipedia summary of the program. I’ve bolded the relevant sentence.

    Women are the best fly fishers as women hold the British records for the largest fish caught. There is a myth that was generated by a man in a fishing magazine that female pubic hair will attract fish because they give off pheromones, but humans don’t give off any pheromones at all. The reason that the myth has become so widespread is that if a man had held the record, no-one would care as much.

  10. I agree orlando, but a panel of men (some of them are even straight!) taking the piss out of sexism and homophobia is pretty damn fine in its own way.

  11. Couldn’t find the fishing clip either, but I’d like to share my favourite moment from QI, back in series C, which came courtesy of Helen Atkinson-Wood.

  12. Is QI not on YouTube any more? I watched many episodes of it there last year and it is entertaining.

    Stephen Fry, however, I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand one admires his talent and humour. On the other, he has the prejudices typical of his class and particularly of his educational background, as his novels make clear. Without accusing him of outright misogyny, he has no trouble envisaging a world without women, much like Tolkien. The Clubbable Old Buffers Syndrome, I call it. Men are real people, women optional extras, and he’ll opt out, thanks very much.

    (Just as the Tolkien Real Men characters find all their solace in tobacco, Fry wrote a play called Tobacco, which proffered a deeply dodgy vision of Utopia. Check it out.)

  13. I must say I find your comment rather extraordinary, Daleaway. From where do you get the idea that Stephen Fry “has no trouble envisaging a world without women, much like Tolkien”? I’d be very interested if you could point me in the direction of any evidence that he envisages such a world.

  14. You can test yourself with a quite interesting quiz based on this programme at: http://uktv.co.uk/dave/quiz/aid/580052

  15. Pingback: Quite Interesting « Homepaddock