Taskmaster: Series 16, "I think my legs are actually arms without fingers..."
September 12, 2023 8:00 PM - Season 16 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Taskmaster: Series 16! (TRAILER) — This autumn, battling it out for the Golden Head Of The Taskmaster will be: Julian Clary!, Lucy Beaumont!, Sam Campbell!, Sue Perkins!, and Susan Wokoma!. Make the biggest bowl of popcorn: your time starts on September 21, 2023.
posted by not_on_display (137 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is not a comment on series 16 particularly, but I was rewatching old episodes recently and I noticed something pleasing: I clued in back in about the second episode that the contestants are seated alphabetically by first name.

In season nine, when illness sidelined Katy Wix for the studio tapings of two episodes, her spot was filled by past contestants Kerry Godliman and Katherine Ryan. It was delightful that her two subs were still in the right alphabetical position to be in the fourth chair (between Jo Brand and Rose Matafeo).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:09 AM on September 13, 2023 [6 favorites]


Speaking of Rose Matafeo (who has no shid), Junior Taskmaster is still scheduled for early 2024.

I'm expecting silly auntie vibes from Rose and Provincial Dad vibes from Mike.
posted by Molesome at 7:40 AM on September 13, 2023 [6 favorites]


Yay!! Can’t wait.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:11 AM on September 13, 2023


Here's my semi-annual statement that I'm not sure about this cast.

Sam especially has me a bit nervous that he'll stay in character from his stand up and not actually interact with people without shouting in his mock gruff voice. Although I saw him on Buzzcocks a few weeks back and he and Greg seemed to be laughing it up, so I assume TM filming went well.

Of course, as usual, by episode 3 I will love them all forever and ever.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 11:22 AM on September 13, 2023 [3 favorites]


who has no shid

Wait, where does she hang her Fishes of New Zealand poster?

Mrs Abehammerb bought one of those and put it up in our shid. I love my wife so much, but know she would leave me for Rose in a heartbeat. Also for Wozniak. Probably for Greg. I'd ask her to take me along for Greg though.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:15 PM on September 13, 2023


I! Am! Excite!
posted by merriment at 4:14 PM on September 13, 2023 [1 favorite]


"I think my legs are actually arms without fingers" of course immediately going into the hall of fame next to "it's a shame my hands aren't my feet" and "the foot is the hand of the leg." As my friend put it, every few years they go back to that planet for another contestant.

Important trivia about Sam, via the podcast: he's the genius behind the drawing of James Acaster with witch tits and two penises. I've only seen him on his Buzzcocks appearance a few weeks ago and I wasn't especially struck by him, but that fact alone is giving me hope.
posted by babelfish at 7:30 PM on September 13, 2023 [1 favorite]


Here's my semi-annual statement that I'm not sure about this cast.

In the fourteen times (or more like nineteen counting CoC and New Years’ Treats after the initial season, I have said this about eight times. And yet, they keep delivering. In the main show (i.e. not counting the above curiosities), we’ve now had seventy-five contestants and I’d say maybe three have been meh. That’s a pretty solid success rate.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:06 PM on September 13, 2023 [2 favorites]


Covid season 10 was the only one that never really fully gelled for me - there were good tasks, there were competitors I like outside of the show, but as a whole it just sort of was more of a "thank god we're still getting this in the pandemic" than anything else.

I dunno if it was ultimately the competitors, the switch to channel 4, covid (and therefore) the lack of a studio audience, or what.
posted by Kyol at 5:38 AM on September 14, 2023


And now the waiting begins for some kind soul to upload the new season to YouTube :(

The Algorithm is pretty good at bubbling them up to me.
posted by art.bikes at 6:58 AM on September 14, 2023 [1 favorite]


I stopped watching after series 7. Am I missing anything? 7 was just pure gold, so I'm worried that watching any more will just be diminishing returns.

Thanks for your thoughts!
posted by Fister Roboto at 12:46 PM on September 14, 2023


Oh you are missing so much. So so much. The returns did not diminish. Series 11 and 13 were particularly good in my opinion.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:18 PM on September 14, 2023 [2 favorites]


Am I missing anything?

I enjoyed 7 at the time and James was pretty great and entirely justifed in his righteous anger, but I can't rewatch it because Greg is just so completely shitty to Phil. It also made me dislike Rhod Gilbert somewhat.

I didn't love 9 or 10 particularly... Jo Brand unsurprisingly just gave up on a lot of things, and I can't tolerate David Baddiel under any circumstance. 10 was just sort of out of rhythm.

Lee Mack was surprisingly fun in 11, just a lot more chill than he is on WILTY; also really liked Mike Wozniak.

I think since then 14 and 15 were quite good. 14 had a good portion of hilarity with some surprisingly funny people and plenty of exasperation as well. Series 15 seemed to be an extra good-natured bunch.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:48 PM on September 14, 2023 [2 favorites]


> I stopped watching after series 7. Am I missing anything?

No—except for a life lived to its fullest. Have you ever seen...

• Rose Matafeo serenade herself?
• Mawaan Rizwan perform the best magic trick?
• Chris Ramsey invent a new style of competitive sausage eating?
• Victoria Coren Mitchell forget her glasses?
• Iain Stirling try to explain what a sang-which is?
• Daisy Cooper almost murder Richard Herring onstage during a prize task?
• Jenny Eclair captain an unwieldy barge down a narrow canal?
• Mike Wozniak after a trip to the barber?

I could go on and on. Those are just the random things that float to the top of my mind when I think of the later seasons. Sure, there's no James Acaster... but there's also no Rhod Gilbert! (However, you will have to reckon with Lou Sanders—and it was fun to root against her anyway.)

The tasks stay fresh. The covid seasons remind you of how fucked up everything was, but in a fun way. Hubris is almost never rewarded. Lee Mack wears a spot-on Evel Knievel outfit. blah blah blah on with the show!
posted by not_on_display at 6:35 PM on September 14, 2023 [4 favorites]


Oh man! I thought Rhod was funny in 7. I don't know much about him outside of TM though.

How about 8 and 11-13?
posted by Fister Roboto at 6:58 PM on September 14, 2023


Can I get some commotion for 12 in the chat? One of the most charming casts ever! And 14, come ON, two towering juggernauts clash and Munya is also there!

Sure, there's no James Acaster... but there's also no Rhod Gilbert! (However, you will have to reckon with Lou Sanders—and it was fun to root against her anyway.)

I like Lou! Iain was the one I wanted to murder on that season. So okay, maybe don't start with 8, too many pitfalls.
posted by babelfish at 7:26 PM on September 14, 2023 [1 favorite]


No—except for a life lived to its fullest. Have you ever seen...

...

• Victoria Coren Mitchell forget her glasses?


Victoria Coren Mitchell learn to ride a bicycle in the two minutes before a bicycle-riding task starts?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:30 PM on September 14, 2023 [10 favorites]


The Fern Brady theme!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:48 PM on September 14, 2023 [5 favorites]


I also wanted to mention that I have thoroughly enjoyed Taskmaster New Zealand when I have been jonesing for TM in between seasons. It's pretty much the same vibe when it comes to contestants, tasks, editing, etc. BUT, their Taskmaster (Jeremy Wells) mostly sits back and lets the contestants provide the funny while he doles out very astute observations and fair-enough points. And, while their analog to Alex (Paul Williams) is super awkward like Alex, he's also less like an over-alert squirrel than Alex.

I'm watching the TM:NZ Season 4 finale, fresh off of the datawebstreams, before I hit the hay tonight.

And, as for Rhod Gilbert and season 7—I like Rhod Gilbert wherever else I've seen him, but on that panel, every single prize task was sullied by his entry. I did, however, like the way he approached each task by suddenly going into a fugue state.
posted by not_on_display at 10:07 PM on September 14, 2023 [2 favorites]


• Chris Ramsey invent a new style of competitive sausage eating?

I cannot remember any other time when I went beyond laughter, into some sort of catatonic mirth state of being that rendered me incapable of any further laughter, possibly even vibrating between dimensions from the involuntary laughter reaction meltdown The Sausage Arena caused. I'm tearing up with the giggles just thinking about it.
posted by Molesome at 1:22 AM on September 15, 2023 [6 favorites]


I like Rhod Gilbert wherever else I've seen him, but on that panel, every single prize task was sullied by his entry.

Sometimes that approach works, sometimes no. I did like the point when Greg clued in about six episodes in that every prize task submission from Asim Chaudry was basically another different picture of Asim Chaudry.

I have also enjoyed the occasional callbacks to previous episodes or seasons in prize tasks — was it Jessica Knappet that boosted Kerry Godliman’s Taskmaster trophy out of her garage? As well, Victoria Coren Mitchell having a prize task submission rejected as “ridiculous” and she resubmitted it two episodes later when the call was for “the most ridiculous thing.” Check and mate, Greg.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:33 AM on September 15, 2023 [3 favorites]


I laugh so hard at least once in every episode that I need to pause the show and recover. Only Taskmaster has ever done this to me.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:59 AM on September 15, 2023


Taskmaster NZ is my favourite of the non-UK ones. I rarely have even a passing familiarity with any of the contestants so it's just all about the discovery. The hosts are, to my mind, better than the originals. I had no idea there was a fourth season, so that's great news for me!
posted by Acari at 12:24 PM on September 15, 2023 [1 favorite]


Seeing someone say "the hosts are better than the originals" about Jeremy Wells is a true "isn't life a rich tapestry" moment, but I have so much admiration for Paul Williams, who has created and owned his own perfect version of the Taskmaster's Assistant which is totally distinct from Alex's except for the most important factor (being a virgin).
posted by babelfish at 1:45 PM on September 15, 2023 [3 favorites]


Alex Horne Interviews JULIAN CLARY | Series 16 | Taskmaster
Alex Horne Interviews LUCY BEAUMONT | Series 16 | Taskmaster

I saw Fern Brady do her stand up show in Paris last night! It was the last show of Autistic Bikini Queen and she’s going to do Work in Progress sets in London next, she was so funny! I went with my girlfriend who is French, and I’d sent her some clips to make sure she’d understand Fern’s accent, she did really well and just needed some British culture context explanations!
posted by ellieBOA at 1:13 PM on September 17, 2023 [5 favorites]


just needed some British culture context explanations!

This is often the way of things for those of use who are not Brits but enjoy the comedy, with its occasional inward-turning reflections. In my house, everyone enjoys BBC panel shows but I watch more UK content than the wife and daughter combined, and they occasionally have to turn to me after a punchline and look for further insight as to who Michael Gove is or why Croydon is a funny answer.

The QI elves host the podcast No Such Thing As A Fish; it grew out of their research work for the show and the framework is each of them sharing the most interesting fact they have found in the last seven days. With Anna Ptaszynski on maternity leave at the moment, they have a rotating series of guests in her chair. A week or two back, guest Richard Osman’s astonishing fact was that, “There is no Waitrose in Tunbridge Wells,” which I submit is pretty opaque for anyone not well-versed in UK references. (My grasp of this is that Waitrose is a fairly posh grocery retailer and Tunbridge Wells is a UK parliament constituency noted for a genteel middle class population, so the lack of a Waitrose is jarring.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:27 AM on September 18, 2023 [1 favorite]


Most of what you need to know about Michael Gove is encapsulated in this one cartoon.

Croydon is just a naturally funny answer. Used to be Milton Keynes was the go-to punchline.
posted by Molesome at 8:43 AM on September 18, 2023 [2 favorites]




Most of what you need to know about Michael Gove is encapsulated in this one cartoon.


A friend of mine in Edinburgh observes that Gove bears the possibly unique distinction of having been ejected from three cabinets by three PMs; as such, he points out that it requires only a tiny adjustment to make him Michael Gone.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:35 AM on September 19, 2023


And now the waiting begins for some kind soul to upload the new season to YouTube :(

If you can wait a day, they will now be posting it on their own channel! (Asssuming you live in North America or one of the "lots of other places" that they reference.)

I'm looking forward to being part of the official viewcount for the first time...
posted by yuwtze at 3:23 PM on September 19, 2023 [3 favorites]


Such good news! I, too, will be glad to be part of the official view count!
posted by merriment at 6:12 PM on September 19, 2023


In further general Taskmaster news, I find it now impinges itself on my viewings of other shows. Just today I was watching an episode of QI from last year: the three guests — besides the regular Alan Davies — were Jo Brand, Guz Khan, and Sally Philips. I thought, “Huh. Taskmaster veteran clean sweep.”

My worry, though, (and my apologies if this is too chatfiltery) is at some point we’re going to run out of likely prospects for TM contestants. Of the people who show up regularly on the panel show circuit, who do we still have? Some, like David Mitchell, have declared it’s really not for them. Others (your one-two punch of QI hosts, Fry and Toksvig) seem too dignified to stack cans while being pelted with scones. Dr. Brian Cox is probably likewise too cerebral to make a good fit. Jimmy Carr’s persona I think would not leave him comfortable in the sort of tasks the show requires.

Phill Jupitus seems a good prospect. Ross Noble likewise. I think it sad that Claudia Winkleman was a one-and-done appearance because she seems creative and out of the box enough to be promising. Cariad Lloyd? Bill Bailey? Alex Jones? Holly Walsh? Jason Manford? Of course, they usually have a salting of people who I don’t know: Rose Matafeo, Joe Thomas, Fern Brady, Asim Chaudry, Sophie Duker— all people I barely knew of before TM.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:34 PM on September 20, 2023 [1 favorite]


My current dream lineup:
Bill Bailey
Harriet Kemsley
Masie Adams
Miles Jupp
Phil Jupetus
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:12 PM on September 20, 2023 [4 favorites]


Public Service Announcement: the Taskmaster Youtube channel in the US seems to be forecasting live broadcast tomorrow. Maybe I won’t have to watch illicitly this time!!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:13 PM on September 20, 2023


> ... I find it now impinges itself on my viewings of other shows...

I started watching Ghosts (the UK 2019-2022 ver.) sight-unseen, and was happily surprised to see a large chunk of the ensemble filled by former TM'ers (Katy Wix, Lolly Adefope, Kiell Bynoe Smith, Charlotte Ritchie).

I would love to see Matt Berry (or anyone from Toast of London especially Clem Fandango), Richard Ayoade, Julian Barratt... Ed Byrne, Rosie Jones... there are a lot of shows I liked before TaskMaster, but when I saw Taskmaster starting to incorporate some of those actors (e.g. Katherine Parkinson, Tim Key, Noel Fielding), it was like unfolding a whole new hidden section of a large map. I would learn about other shows via who was on the panel, or I'd find new comics I liked via shows that I'd seen because of TM'ers, and then they'd show up on TM (e.g. Dara O Briain, Ivo Graham, Frankie Boyle, ...). It was not that surprising to me Sue Perkins is finally on the show, but to be able to learn more about the ticking minds of Lucy Beaumont and three others, well, it's always a good season.

Who else would I like to seeeeeee... Jamie and/or Nastasia Demetriou, Dylan Moran, Stewart Lee (if he would stoop so low, his time starts now)... Simon Pegg, Nick Frost... Charlie Cooper... geez, the more I hit Wikipedia, the more I want to stack up comics and actors on TM. I'm sure there are a ton of others I'd like to see, and an exponentially larger amount I will delight at having met via TM. I like how it propels some contestants' careers, and serves as a rejuvenation point or a badge or respect for others already established.

NO I DON'T MEAN TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION
posted by not_on_display at 3:20 PM on September 20, 2023 [1 favorite]


Backup dream lineup:
Ellie Taylor
Hannah Waddingham
Nabil Abdulrashid
Sindhu Vee
Tom Allen
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:21 PM on September 20, 2023 [2 favorites]


Oh, not_on_display, you’ve just given me the dream of having the core cast of Spaced for a mini 3-episode series.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:23 PM on September 20, 2023 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I wish there were some sorta way (aside from the always-arriving AI revolution) to place any five comics onto a TM roster and run a simulated series.

(And I don't want to google "Taskmaster fanfiction". I already guess it's full of detailed descriptions of five peoples' attempts at peeling a satsuma with their socked feet, or Greg/Alex slashfic ad nauseum.)
posted by not_on_display at 3:42 PM on September 20, 2023


The idea just popped into my head to write a children's book titled "How the Knappett got its name."

"Listen my children to the words on this page
about a silly young woman who fell off the stage."

We can read it every Taskmaster Eve.


I'm not sure why my brain works like this.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:18 PM on September 20, 2023 [5 favorites]


Dr. Brian Cox is probably likewise too cerebral to make a good fit.

Dr. Brian Cox has already appeared in the form of a toaster pastry.

My dream get would be Siobhán McSweeney—she isn't really on the panel circuit, though, so I don't know if it's her bag. Oh, and Susan Calman! Imagine Greg hugging Susan Calman!
posted by babelfish at 7:48 PM on September 20, 2023 [1 favorite]


"Listen my children to the words on this page
about a silly young woman who fell off the stage."


She was trying to do an extravagant walk,
But she fell clean off the side, to our shock.

Even the Taskmaster, normally stern,
Half-rose, with a grave look of concern.

She recovered, and finished her walk with a flair,
While Greg settled back in his chair.

In her honour, it’s now called the knappet;
Turns out walking is the thing she was most crap at.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:49 PM on September 20, 2023 [2 favorites]


Imagine Greg hugging Susan Calman!

We’ve already seen two folk of comparable calibre side by side: Sandi Toksvig and Richard Osman.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:53 PM on September 20, 2023 [1 favorite]


Sindhu Vee

OMG, now that you've suggested this there is nothing I want more in the world. She would kill it on the show.
posted by Molesome at 1:47 AM on September 21, 2023 [3 favorites]


The first episode of Series 16 was one of the best first episodes I've seen so far IMO.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:03 PM on September 21, 2023 [3 favorites]


This cast is chaotic madness and I love it. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much in a TM episode. I'm so excited for this season!

I also don't remember Alex being quite so gleeful during so many tasks. He was having the time of his life during the can towers and the final live task.
posted by paisley sheep at 10:54 PM on September 21, 2023 [2 favorites]


I honestly wondered if someone had told Alex that we love it when he giggles behind his clipboard and he can let loose a bit! He was LIVING.

The arms/legs conversation and “are you a child of divorce” both had me struggling to breathe, between Lucy and Sam I fear for my life this season.
posted by babelfish at 4:53 AM on September 22, 2023 [2 favorites]


Sam is everything. When he kissed Alex’s hand!

I started on Series 10, have now gone through all series, and am on my second watch through. I still love Johnny Vegas’s bumbling good natured despair, Daisy’s wheezing laugh at literally everything during the live taping, Mawan’s general rizz and Katherine being hopelessly terrible in a weirdly dignified way? It remains one of my favorite seasons!

In the USA, where can I legally watch Taskmaster NZ? I was able to find season 3 on YouTube but that’s it! I loved it!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 3:54 PM on September 22, 2023


Ohh, that was brilliant from start to finish! We're in for a legendary season, I suspect.
posted by merriment at 6:52 PM on September 22, 2023 [1 favorite]


In the USA, where can I legally watch Taskmaster NZ? I was able to find season 3 on YouTube but that’s it! I loved it!

Not sure about your definition of legal, but Channel 4 has the first 3 series of TM NZ and is easily accessed with a VPN.
posted by paisley sheep at 9:16 PM on September 22, 2023


I hope that at the end of the series we have enough material for a supercut of all the ways Sue Perkins calls Alex 💩
posted by jazon at 6:37 AM on September 23, 2023 [2 favorites]


Episode 1 was so good!
My hopes for the rest of the series are as high as a gleaming tower of cans.
posted by Acari at 6:41 AM on September 24, 2023


Channel 4 has the first 3 series of TM NZ and is easily accessed with a VPN.

I have a VPN & Channel 4 already so this has totally made my weekend. ❤️❤️❤️
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 10:12 AM on September 24, 2023 [1 favorite]


Prepare for David Correos in season 2.

Well, I say to prepare, but maybe just practise your confused face. He does not go halfway.
posted by Acari at 3:24 PM on September 24, 2023 [2 favorites]


I hope that at the end of the series we have enough material for a supercut of all the ways Sue Perkins calls Alex 💩

It's almost like there's a secret task this year.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 8:49 AM on September 25, 2023 [2 favorites]


Prepare for David Correos in season 2.

You cannot prepare for David Correos
posted by babelfish at 9:57 AM on September 25, 2023 [2 favorites]


David Correos is a force of muppet chaos nature who should be given complete control of the universe.

And I think he became a writer/consultant for Taskmaster NZ the next season ... which featured Josh Thomson, also whom you cannot prepare for.

But not as much as you cannot prepare for David Correos. He's the one contestant who has simultaneously frightened me and made me laugh, and a lot of times wordlessly, reacting to seeing his efforts on the big screen. Never mind the tasks.

TM New Zealand has some big personalities. Angella Dravid—you can't prepare for her either! and she's the first contestant you meet!
posted by not_on_display at 10:04 PM on September 25, 2023 [2 favorites]


And as for this first episode—this is like watching my favorite musician pumping out album after album of good stuff, sticking to the formula that works, and still coming out fresh. Like ACϟDC. I know they had backhistory, but they landed on the international stage fully formed.

[OH YES BRIAN JOHNSON SHOULD BE ON TASKMASTER at least as a new year's treat]

But yeah, this episode kept the tradition going! Triumphs, heartbreaks, ducks, clever workarounds, sneaky hurdles. What me and my sweety noticed is that they pulled the first team task out of the box early this season. The teams are great.

I already love every one of them. No hesitation this season. Usually there are one or two who have to rub off on me, but no, this is a great panel Julian to Susan.
posted by not_on_display at 10:18 PM on September 25, 2023


[And I'm steaming through TM-AU pretty quickly, and all those chuckleheads have become my heroes, too, four episodes in. And the AU-Taskmaster definitely has the Taskmaster swagger down, in his own way.]
posted by not_on_display at 10:20 PM on September 25, 2023


Omg Sam Campbell is so funny! Now off to find other stuff of his to watch. And have loved Lucy Beaumont for a while, she is chaotic funny.
posted by ellieBOA at 8:36 AM on September 26, 2023


Lucy is the only one I think hasn't broken character yet. Normally Taskmaster reveals the authentic person behind the comedic persona. Sam is clearly just as chaotic as he first appeared, but Lucy seems to be maintaining her "ditzily naïve" character.
posted by Molesome at 8:18 AM on September 29, 2023


I JUST realized this episode that Sue's tasking outfit is the twin of Mel's! Adorable.
posted by babelfish at 5:43 PM on September 29, 2023 [5 favorites]


Widdicombe!!
posted by jazon at 7:06 PM on September 29, 2023


Portcullis!
posted by paisley sheep at 7:45 PM on September 29, 2023 [3 favorites]


MICE fish!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 5:32 AM on September 30, 2023 [1 favorite]


Slightly embarrassed and slightly proud to report that as soon as Sue got Devon I said "Josh Widdicombe is from Devon!" I should watch this show less, arguably.
posted by babelfish at 12:40 PM on September 30, 2023 [1 favorite]


Julian is savage to Alex 😂 I need Sam’s energy from the underneath task!
posted by ellieBOA at 9:30 PM on October 5, 2023 [2 favorites]


"Do you want a hand with cleaning this up?" Such chaos energy. And Julian is the other side of too old for this shit that sometimes doesn't play well on Taskmaster, although I can't remember previous contestants who sort of tried to play it that way.
posted by Kyol at 8:41 AM on October 6, 2023


Susan's Spirited Away shirt! (also seen on this cast page)
posted by moonmilk at 3:45 PM on October 6, 2023


What's my name, Is it... Chain Bastard?
posted by jazon at 6:54 PM on October 6, 2023 [1 favorite]


first set of outtakes are out and it's like 75+% Lucy
posted by juv3nal at 10:06 PM on October 7, 2023 [8 favorites]


Of course it is! It must be so hard to be in the same room as her and also keep a straight face.
posted by Acari at 7:57 PM on October 8, 2023


I can't remember previous contestants who sort of tried to play it that way.

Jo Brand, series 9, definitely, although team tasks when she's paired up with David Baddiel reinforced that sometimes pausing for a cup of tea and a sandwich still win you the points. Al Murray, series 3, regularly substituted tackling a task with paying for a solution which could end up feeling a bit bothersome.

We're losing so much of Lucy in the edit!
posted by Molesome at 12:51 AM on October 9, 2023


I totally felt the same way as Sue when the camera shot showed how not only was Alex originally obscuring the red flag with his leg, but that it was actually up his pant leg. That was just vicious.

Also, I have a chance to catch Sam Campbell doing a bit of standup in a few weeks, I hope I can make it. He seems like a chaos muppet. You can see the energy about to burst when his eyes light up.

And I am loving all of the contestants. Julian's tall! Lucy's so tiny next to him during stage tasks!

Also, Susan Wokoma's pants
posted by not_on_display at 11:27 PM on October 9, 2023


Episode 4: I felt the prize task was weak, and then it took off. The Sausage! The group task! The Art!! Really solid episode this week. "Two Groovy Chicks 😆"
posted by jazon at 6:52 PM on October 13, 2023


I laughed so hard at “threw a crap off the balcony” that I had to stop the show and curl over into a fetal position.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 5:09 AM on October 14, 2023


My mistake, it was "Two Dynamite Chicks" and they deserved those points!
posted by jazon at 9:33 AM on October 14, 2023





I totally felt the same way as Sue when the camera shot showed how not only was Alex originally obscuring the red flag with his leg, but that it was actually up his pant leg. That was just vicious.


Yeah I'm not a fan of the tasks where they are outright tricking people. Obscuring the flag is one thing and hiding it another.

Whenever I see Greg being a bit too mean to people like he was with Lucy this week I always wonder what it would have been like to have him as a teacher.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:30 PM on October 20, 2023 [1 favorite]


This week was an absolute debacle, but still so unbelievably entertaining. How do they do it?
posted by merriment at 4:09 PM on October 20, 2023 [2 favorites]


"TITS!" - Susan Wokoma
posted by Molesome at 1:42 PM on October 26, 2023 [1 favorite]


holy crap that was an amazing episode imo.
posted by juv3nal at 7:41 AM on October 27, 2023


The QR code from episode 6 leads to taskmastersbirthday.com.

Redditors are on the case but no answers yet that I can find!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 8:56 AM on October 27, 2023


Also, hooray for poor Lucy!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 8:58 AM on October 27, 2023


This cast, except for Sue Perkins, seems unusually bad at Taskmaster. Maybe we've just had a couple of very adept casts recently so this one seems extra feckless by contrast, but I feel like we're seeing more punting on tasks than usual. Still very funny (the studio task this week was especially ridiculous) but I do wish some of the contestants this season were putting more effort into engaging with the tasks.
posted by merriment at 5:03 PM on October 27, 2023 [1 favorite]


Lucy Beaumont: one of the best to ever do it, despite not fully understanding what "it" is.

My favorite undersung line of the night: "That thing you have on churches that's evil." "Crucifix."
posted by babelfish at 5:34 PM on October 27, 2023 [5 favorites]


This cast, except for Sue Perkins, seems unusually bad at Taskmaster.

I mean you say that but iirc Sue isn't even 2nd in the standings much less in the lead.
posted by juv3nal at 12:13 AM on October 28, 2023


Totally true, juv3nnal, and I'm now realizing that being "good at Taskmaster" can mean totally different things, depending on what you value about the show. So it probably is just me!

For my part, I'm thinking less about point totals and more about cleverness, or brio, or something. True that "good at Taskmaster," could mean understanding that Greg rewards contestants who fuck up Alex's plans, but it's not my favorite strategy to watch. I like when contestants are willing to solve the puzzles in a way that isn't to just plow like a tank through them and fail (Lucy) or to pick the lowest effort solution (Julian). They're all so funny in the studio that it saves the whole thing, but I feel like Sue is making more of an effort within the format and some of the others just aren't that interested in succeeding within the format at all.
posted by merriment at 4:46 AM on October 28, 2023 [2 favorites]


I think Sam is mostly trying.

I really do enjoy this group! But yeah. I don't feel that they as a whole are invested in the tasks.

I hate Julian's attitude, but I am loving every moment he's on screen. I cannot figure out Lucy, but I'm not sure I want to.
posted by Acari at 4:06 PM on October 28, 2023 [2 favorites]


I'm glad Lucy won after she was sad last week, but I don't feel like many of the tasks this week were very good or interesting on their own. I did like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (Knees and Toes) because videos tend to bring out the surreal and wacky in most contestants. I think the middle of the series tends to have more lackluster things grouped into that period and I am hopeful the next few weeks get really fun again.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:04 PM on October 28, 2023


Now I'm wondering about a fantasy lineup of 'clever' contestants, and a lineup of 'not so clever' contestants. (spelling is not something I double-checked)

On the clever season, I think you could choose five of:
Mel Giedroyc
Kiell Smith-Bynoe
Bob Mortimer (could go on either team)
Rhod Gilbert
Liza Tarbuck
Sarah Kendall
Guz Khan
Victoria Coren Mitchell
Frankie Boyle
Mae Martin
Sue Perkins
Mawaan Rizwan


Not-so-clever (choose five):
Alice Levine
John Kearns
Lucy Beaumont
Fern Brady
Charlotte Ritchie
Joe Wilkinson
Judi Love
Paul Sinha

It feels mean to write that second list, but some of those people are doing characters, and some are real joys to watch. I am not saying they're not clever in real life because I can't know that.


Now, which season would be more fun to watch? And who did I miss considering?
And obviously Mike Wozniak would be on both teams but he doesn't need to get any points. He's just happy to be there.
posted by Acari at 1:31 PM on October 30, 2023


This is an interesting idea, but I would put Mel in the latter group. I found her tasks not very good even though I had been excited to see her in the show. Victoria CM is very very smart but was not very good at tasks. And David Baddiel is an idiot who is also Not Clever in Real Life. All I could imagine was him growing up as a spoilt child who never had to do anything for himself his entire life. Turns out he's a terfy creep too so maybe he shouldn't be on TM at all...
posted by oneirodynia at 3:00 PM on October 30, 2023 [1 favorite]


Per the above, I do think you can break down the "not so clever" folks further and divide the ones who really did have a lot of brio and were just not good at doing tasks from the true minimal effort contestants (thankfully rare). I'd add Johnny Vegas and Bridget Christie to the former sub-divided category and Joe Thomas and David Baddiel to the latter.

I'd add Dara Ó Briain to the clever list. Actually really looking forward to the next Champion of Champions; Sarah Kendall, Morgana Robinson, Sophie Duker, Dara Ó Briain, and Mae Martin is a hell of a line-up.

I think there's an argument to be made that Series 12 has the highest concentration of clever people in it overall (and is thus my favorite, go figure) and Series 8 had the most feckless overall cast.
posted by merriment at 3:29 PM on October 30, 2023 [5 favorites]


I don’t think someone simply saying “Harry Potter” has ever made me laugh so much.
posted by chill at 10:50 AM on October 31, 2023 [3 favorites]


Hello, at the moment this is my dream Champion of Losers cast:

Fern Brady
James Acaster
Johnny Vegas
Desiree Burch
Kiell Smith-Bynoe

I will be taking no questions.
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 2:22 PM on November 1, 2023 [5 favorites]


Also for next Champ of Champs my money is on Mae Martin but Dara Ó Briain is such a Taskmaster fan he'll probably take it (sadly). I can't wait to see how those teams shake out!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 2:24 PM on November 1, 2023 [1 favorite]


Skin as smooth as a canoe 😂
posted by ellieBOA at 3:48 PM on November 3, 2023


Yeah, “please don’t make me fart in the dark to the sound of my own name” may be the line that goes down in history but “he’s right, you look like a canoe” was my favorite of the night.

So surprised nobody brought in a book of dad jokes (or similar) for the prize task! Even on the podcast it took them ages to consider that angle and then Mark Watson described them as “Christmas cracker jokes, or like… uncle jokes.” Does the UK not have the concept of dad jokes???
posted by babelfish at 8:11 PM on November 3, 2023


Without viewing the rest of this thread because we're still between eps 3 & 4 on the big sofa:

I saw Sam Campbell do a work-in-progress show this past Monday at the Angel/Bill Murray. It was just amazing. He has such chaos muppet agent energy, and POWERPOINT SKILLS to back it up. If you are in or live in London, go check it out.
posted by not_on_display at 11:07 PM on November 3, 2023 [1 favorite]


Champion of Champions 3 is filming this month according to sources I haven't clicked on because I don't want the algo to think it should show me potential TM spoilers.
posted by Molesome at 1:36 AM on November 4, 2023 [2 favorites]


That’s awesome not_on_display!

Does the UK not have the concept of dad jokes???

Omg we definitely do 😂
posted by ellieBOA at 10:49 AM on November 4, 2023 [1 favorite]


BRIAN BLESSED!

The Wayne task was superlative. I enjoyed every bit of that one.
posted by merriment at 12:36 PM on November 4, 2023 [3 favorites]


I think there was a little slip where Alex admitted that the Wayne task was his favourite. Maybe not, but I thought so.

I would, with 100% certainty, have hit the don't switch immediately.
posted by Acari at 4:40 PM on November 4, 2023 [1 favorite]


I saw the same Sam-Campbell show but a few days earlier.
He is very much holding back on taskmaster. He's genuinely weird.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:00 PM on November 7, 2023 [1 favorite]


I LOVED the secret task task (task).
posted by Paul Slade at 2:21 PM on November 9, 2023 [1 favorite]


Has there ever been a team as supportive and invested in each other's success as Sue and Susan? I don't think so. They are a powerhouse couple.
posted by Molesome at 12:26 AM on November 10, 2023 [1 favorite]


The secret task was so much fun. Sue and Susan and their helpful comments when they crossed paths, Julian hovering over his two "aliens from another planet" children to make sure they found the task and beaming when they did, Sam being thrilled that everyone was talking about him, Sue's amazing new hat, Lucy playing the French horn in the middle of the search--just an amazing time all around. All five contestants in this series are so charming and daft and wonderful, I'm going to be so sad when it's over.

Also, +5 points to Sue Perkins for having the presence of mind to put together her own FUCK OFF jacket and wielding it at just the perfect moment in just the perfect way. Take that, Greg.
posted by ceejaytee at 10:05 AM on November 10, 2023 [5 favorites]


I just about died laughing at Lucy sadly blowing into a French horn during the Secret Task.
posted by zompus at 1:19 PM on November 10, 2023 [2 favorites]


Has there ever been a team as supportive and invested in each other's success as Sue and Susan? I don't think so. They are a powerhouse couple.

Not since Nish and Mark did we ever see such a perfect team pairing.

We have now heard hundreds of explanations of why a particular item was submitted for a prize task. Sam Campbell’s explanation of cobalt this week (S16 E08) was the best one yet.

In general, this has been a very strong contender for Best Season Ever. As I said way upthread, I often read the announcements of a new cast with mixed feelings, but never has my foreboding and the actual result been so far apart. Of this crop: I have loved Sue for years, but when Julian or Lucy has turned up on QI or Eight Out of Ten Cats Does Countdown or something, they’ve always struck me as the least interesting person on the show. Sam and Susan I knew not at all.

This season, though: Sue is great as always, Lucy is delightfully spacey, Susan’s faintly desperate enthusiasm is delightful (£30,000, baby), and Sam’s puppydog sensawunda, and Julian’s narrow-eyed acidity are a perfect combo.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:51 AM on November 11, 2023


One of the funniest intros! The secret task!

Did Sam pay Flossie??

I’d watch Susan and Julian play charades!

sam campbell and his grey wardrobe [Reddit] It’s the opposite of rainbow Janusz on Bake Off!

Series 16 Outtakes - Part 2 | Taskmaster
posted by ellieBOA at 5:03 PM on November 11, 2023 [2 favorites]


Did Sam pay Flossie??

He paid her in book tokens (not quite the deal, but probably a good way to honor his promise while also staying on the good side of her parents, who are almost certainly TM crew in some capacity).
posted by babelfish at 7:26 PM on November 11, 2023 [3 favorites]




Interesting to see Lucy step ever so slightly outside her chosen Taskmaster persona in the stage task this week. Her responses to the questions there had a "written" quality about them rather than being any attempt to simply recall what she'd just seen and heard. This was a professional comedian coming up with something she thought might be funny, rather than the perma-baffled innocent she likes to present on the show.

This comes as no great surprise - she did write Hullraisers, after all - but it's an intriguing little glimpse behind the curtain even so.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:39 AM on November 17, 2023 [1 favorite]


"Cheesecake tits" - Lucy Beaumont
posted by Molesome at 8:24 AM on November 17, 2023 [1 favorite]




Shame the final task in the whole season (balls in bathtub) turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax. Still, I guess a reshoot could have produced a different series champion, and that wouldn't have been fair on Sam. Also, the cast of Taskmaster's New Year treat has now been revealed.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:50 PM on November 24, 2023


That hotel task was an all-timer. This season had some lackluster passages, but at its peak, it delivered some of the funniest moments in the show's history.
posted by merriment at 3:13 PM on November 24, 2023


I wasn’t ready for it to be the final! Loved Sam’s new look!
posted by ellieBOA at 4:59 PM on November 24, 2023


The final made me both cry and come closer than I'd like to vomiting - Julian's understated sincere tribute to his friend who passed away was genuinely touching, and Susan's donut task was truly truly disgusting.
posted by lizard music at 4:30 PM on November 25, 2023


Yeah, my wife and I made a mistake of eating dinner while we watched. We thought Lucy's was going to be the worst of it, then Susan did her... Whatever that was.
posted by Kyol at 7:33 PM on November 25, 2023 [1 favorite]


She trained at RADA, you know.
posted by Paul Slade at 10:36 PM on November 25, 2023


She trained at RADA, you know.
RADA?

In other news, there's an extended version of the Sue & Susan hotel task on yt (presumably the other team's is on the way though it's not up yet).
posted by juv3nal at 12:42 AM on November 26, 2023 [1 favorite]


Woohoo! That was one of the best panels ever: friendly and funny; everyone had their surprising, or absurd, or despairing moments... The team tasks were a delight because the team members all liked each other and cooperated. And, overall, the contestants treated each other respectfully and kindly, and there was a softer edge to the sometimes cringey Alex/Greg bantering, and in Greg's assessment of the tasks in general. This season beamed seriously positive energy.

This season also demonstrated how, while the show's structure may be formulaic by now, (a) it's a good formula, and (b) there's plenty more room to mess about (e.g. last season with the barges and this season with the street sweepers; the in-studio task with Alex and Greg on stage, the secret task, ...)

Anyway, great season and I'm looking forward to the New Year's Treat, and then a new season when the leaves start reappearing on the trees. And eventually, a really good Champion of Champions III!
posted by not_on_display at 9:19 PM on November 26, 2023


RADA?

Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. London's most prestigious acting school.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:43 PM on November 26, 2023


Susan trained at RADA? Why did she never mention this?!
posted by Molesome at 1:33 AM on November 27, 2023 [2 favorites]


30 grand babyeeee!
posted by ceejaytee at 8:46 AM on November 27, 2023 [2 favorites]


Trailer for the Taskmaster VR game coming in 2024. With added "puppets of Alex & Greg kissing" footage!
posted by not_on_display at 3:05 PM on November 29, 2023


For Canadians (and most likely Americans) they've started posting the New Zealand one on the official youtube if anyone hasn't seen it yet.
posted by juv3nal at 11:47 AM on December 1, 2023


It’s global!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:15 PM on December 2, 2023


Info about Sam and Lucy’s podcast!
posted by ellieBOA at 2:27 PM on December 5, 2023


And actually you can subscribe here, click on the Spotify link and it shows all podcast apps.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:30 PM on December 5, 2023 [1 favorite]


"I looked it up and half the Biggles book titles are innuendo."
posted by pwnguin at 11:59 PM on December 6, 2023


Apparently, Kiell Smith-Bynoe will be subbing in for Mae Martin for Champion of Champions.
posted by juv3nal at 9:01 PM on December 14, 2023 [1 favorite]


On my radar: Alex Horne’s cultural highlights [Guardian / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 10:49 AM on December 23, 2023


Season 17 lineup! and info about them!
posted by ellieBOA at 3:41 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


> Season 17 lineup! and info about them!
posted by ellieBOA

Nick Mohammed dressed as a vampire for his TM Season 17 field tasks outfit!?

wiiicked.
posted by not_on_display at 7:51 PM on January 14


Finally caught up with the New Year Treat, I was already a fan of Kojey Radical but he was so good on it! Someone made a petition for him to be a regular contestant.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:48 AM on January 29


Outtakes from the special.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:56 AM on January 29


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