Taskmaster: Series 1
February 11, 2021 5:19 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Greg Davies is the Taskmaster. Alex Horne is the Taskmaster's assistant. Contestants for series 1 are Frank Skinner, Josh Widdicombe, Roisin Conaty, Romesh Ranganathan, and Tim Key. All episodes (in the USA) are on the Taskmaster YouTube channel.
posted by Huffy Puffy (21 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Oh cool - I've been wanting to watch this but didn't know it was available on YouTube! I know what I'm doing tonight.
posted by beandip at 7:28 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]

The youtube comments for the first episode are really kind of interesting for explaining how fragile the production was before it got off the ground - a comedy show where the participants are asked to do impossible / stupid / stupidly impossible things? Eccccch.
posted by Kyol at 8:11 AM on February 11

I fucking loooove this show. Binged the entire thing a couple months ago and I might just go through it all again.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:39 AM on February 11

Watching Alex bite into the hot toothpaste pie is a very distinct type of horror. It's so much worse watching him do it, since we know he knows what he's biting into. There's a specific sort of gut-punch distress I experience, watching him bring it up to his mouth.... Eurgh!

Of course I love it.
posted by meese at 9:49 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]

I was impressed with Alex' commitment to that. When the big glob of toothpaste was coming out of the pie he really didn't have to suck the whole thing up but he did. But I guess it is his show so he wants to do what he can for it to succeed.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:02 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]

FYI in case anyone wasn't aware, the official podcast now has episodes covering all episodes of the first season (episodes 13 through 18). The podcast does show up on their youtube channel as well, but it's usually delayed by a few days.
posted by juv3nal at 6:25 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]

The moment Romesh hurls a melon to the floor and drops to all fours was the moment I was sold on this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:37 PM on February 11 [5 favorites]

I just found out this was a thing! So excited!
posted by jessamyn at 8:25 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]

Reporting back: my husband and I watched three episodes last night and liked it a lot! It seemed like an exercise in lateral thinking (my husband called it "how to cheat creatively"). I feel like there's something interesting going on in how some contestants seem like they are more comfortable asking for extra props or using stuff they find or whatever, rather than adhering to the unstated implied rules of the challenges. Like in the "throw the tea bag into the mug from the furthest distance " challenge, one guy just started asking for tools that would be helpful and they gave him every one! My rule-following brain would have thought I had to stay in the room we started in and only use the materials given to us.

This was way smarter and funnier than I thought it would be. So fun!
posted by beandip at 11:34 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that was exactly what caused me to love it too, when the panelists would just go.. well, it'd be easier to throw this if it were _wet_, right? Etc etc etc. Unfortunately, I think that was sort of a victim of its own success, subjectively it feels like later seasons tended to try and nail down the intended scope of the challenge, which prevents some of those wildly chaotic lateral solutions.

I wonder if there was some behind-the-scenes drama there, like that it tended to end up with unusable challenges because one panelist ended up doing something risqué and not-suitable-for-television.
posted by Kyol at 11:46 AM on February 12

In later seasons, Tim Key is in the credits as a “task consultant”. I assume it’s either because he’s Alex’s friend and helps him come up with ideas, or because he’s a master of cheating and helps them nail down the task rules.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:59 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]

subjectively it feels like later seasons tended to try and nail down the intended scope of the challenge, which prevents some of those wildly chaotic lateral solutions.

You’re not wrong. Greg Davies says that on the later seasons, Alex has added more codicils and stipulations to tasks to avoid the loopier solutions. And some approaches get vetoed without ever being filmed: Alex has said that at least once every season, someone wants to get on the roof of the house and either jump off or throw things off. This is a thing which gets stopped in the planning stages.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:36 PM on February 12

For UK viewers who can't see the Youtube links, it looks like the entire run is available on the Channel 4 website.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:05 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]

Roisin Conaty has this well-intentioned idiot schtick that makes me crack up so hard. If you enjoyed her here, look for her appearances on 8 out of 10 Cats do Countdown and other panel shows where she absolutely flourishes. She is my favourite part of Man Down as well.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:12 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]

In the last episode where Josh is standing in front of Greg he looks like a kid because Greg is so much taller than him.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 9:34 PM on February 19

I noticed that too! (just finished the first season last night) Like is Josh really short? Or is Greg really tall? 2nd Season has a truly tall man as one of the contestants, so I guess I'll go checking everyone's Wikipedia pages. I fell asleep the other night thinking "If I was going to make a meal using one thing from every letter of the alphabet...." And was kind of surprised no one included a green salad because you can stick a LOT in a salad.
posted by jessamyn at 10:55 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]

Greg Davies is 6’8”. “Little” Alex Horne (a gag which hasn’t started yet) is 6’2”.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:01 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]

Thankful for the post on the Blue that introduced this, because I previously assumed it was a variant of Taskrabbit and now I have binged the entire first season. Watching people break the games (or get lightly broken by them) is a delight.

I think my relatively least favorite tasks are the ones that rope in bystanders (high-five a 55-year-old, make a Swede blush), just out of the sympathetic embarrassment factor.
posted by eponym at 11:51 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]

In the last episode where Josh is standing in front of Greg he looks like a kid because Greg is so much taller than him.

As noted by Huffy Puffy Girl, Greg stands 6’8” (Josh is a modest 5’6”). The two in contrast, coupled with Josh’s very hobbitish hair, makes their appearance look like unused special effects test footage from The Lord of the Rings.

In the second and subsequent seasons, the trophy is a golden bust of Greg’s head. One of the second season contestants is the 6’7” Richard Osman. In introducing the new trophy, Greg mentions something to the effect that “one of these five players will lift my heavy golden head to the height of my actual head, unless Osman wins it, of course.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:17 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]

(sorry, I weirdly misgendered Huffy Puffy above through an autocorrect typo. I think I terribly mistyped the word “there” and here we are.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:43 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


posted by not_on_display at 2:42 PM on March 26

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