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mrsdalgliesh

Past Seasons Talk: Wherein Graham Prompts Guests to do Interesting Things

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Oh, yay!  This is the only chat/talk show I watch, and I watch it via YouTube.

The recent episode with Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Hugh Bonneville was one of the best ever -- but I have so many favorites.  Anything with Miriam Margolyes is fantastic (especially the episode with Will.i.am).  The episode with Rob Lowe, Alex Kingston, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms is classic.  

Mostly I just enjoy the fact that bringing all the guests out at the same time (1) produces moments of genuine spontaneity; and (2) exposes celebs who are too cautious about and/or full of themselves to be spontaneous.

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I've been clearing space on my DVR and can't bear to delete the Damon/Bonneville/Murray episode. It's just so much fun to see the three of them enjoying one another so much.

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Oh, yay!  This is the only chat/talk show I watch, and I watch it via YouTube.

The recent episode with Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Hugh Bonneville was one of the best ever -- but I have so many favorites.  Anything with Miriam Margolyes is fantastic (especially the episode with Will.i.am).  The episode with Rob Lowe, Alex Kingston, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms is classic.  

Mostly I just enjoy the fact that bringing all the guests out at the same time (1) produces moments of genuine spontaneity; and (2) exposes celebs who are too cautious about and/or full of themselves to be spontaneous.

I agree about the Murray/Damon/Bonneville episode. Just an amazingly funny and entertaining piece of television.

Also, yes.  The "all at once" format makes the damn show.  I've always been shocked that at least one US talk show hasn't tried it.  I mean back in the classic Carson days Johnny might occasionally have one guest stay while another comes on.  And Conan even still does that occasionally.  But it's not quite the same thing.  Doing it from the start, having them all there, sets up a completely different energy.

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I love that the couch format forces celebs to interact with each other and Graham is a party host more than a talk show host as a result. He tries to ask questions of all of them and has planned segues as well. I actually can't see most of the American hosts (who have their own strengths too) doing it that well. On the shows where some of the guests aren't comfortable or not use to the format, the comedian guest and Graham usually make them feel at ease or just do their best at entertaining the show. I think the Harrison Ford episode where Jack Whitehall is an example of this. Someone who went to the taping noted how Whitehall did his best to be inclusive with Ford and set him up with jokes, etc. I think Lee Mack, Miriam Margolyes, and a couple of other comedians do this to keep the spirit going.

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Craig Ferguson could do it if he wanted--although since he typically only has 2 guests it wouldn't really have the same effect.  Conan MIGHT be able to do it.

Its interesting.  I assumed Norton had the advantage of extra time, but he actually doesn't.  His show "hours" are even shorter than the American ones.

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I really do think we should be drinking while watching the show and while commenting on it. It's in the spirit of it all.

I'm glad there are people are coming into this forum! Graham's chat show is too entertaining and funny not to have a forum on it.

The show returns April 4th in the UK!

I agree on all points.  This is my favorite talk/chat show.  I am really looking forward to it's return.

Also, yes.  The "all at once" format makes the damn show.  I've always been shocked that at least one US talk show hasn't tried it.  I mean back in the classic Carson days Johnny might occasionally have one guest stay while another comes on.  And Conan even still does that occasionally.  But it's not quite the same thing.  Doing it from the start, having them all there, sets up a completely different energy.

I, too, wish the guests would stay on for the whole show on some of the American talk shows.  I think it happened on Carson often, actually.  They didn't all come out at once, but that was why there was a couch.  They would scoot down as new guests came on.  And it was often really funny too.  I agree with others though, that not all of the American shows could (or should) handle it or be set up that way.  But I wish a couple of them still did that, if not all the time at least regularly.   Watching our talk shows (American ones) you'd think the celebs would never want to interact with each other.  Watching Graham's is quite the opposite impression, even when they don't know each other or had met before,  I love it when one guest is a big fan of another, but it's also equally as fun when they have no idea who the other person is.

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's first 14 seasons. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Anything with Miriam Margolyes is fantastic (especially the episode with Will.i.am).

 

Fantastic and hysterical.  Some times I can't breath I'm laughing so hard when she's a guest.

I don't think you could have a show like this with an American home.  The guests drink, swear and while they do "sell their upcoming projects" it's not the main focus of the time spent on this show.  Not going to happen in North America.  Someone like Miriam would have to be so careful with their anecdotes that the censors would be having heart attacks, or the show would be edited to make no sense.  Could you imagine the scrambling that would go on when she talks about "offering to suck him off"?  OMG!  Just not going to happen.

The candid and unexpected stories and interactions between the guests are a huge part of the appeal of the show for me.  I also really like that he manages to get guests who don't usually do talk shows, or at least haven't appeared on some of the ones I've watched over the years. 

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My absolute favourite episode was the one with Adele, Miranda Hart, and Jack Whitehall. I had never seen an interview with Adele before and she just charmed the hell out of me. She was absolutely hilarious! At one point Miranda has to re-enact a scene from that awful Will & Kate TV movie with the hottie who plays Will, and Adele is just sitting there on the sidelines laughing so hard she spits water everywhere.

And Jack Whitehall is precious no matter what he's doing, so.

The Star Trek episode with Cumberbatch and Chris Pine was also so lovely because of the actors going into the audience and hugging their fans.

Oh, and now that I'm on a roll, nothing beats Chris O'Dowd and Ewan McGregor having a lightsaber battle...

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I'll echo favorites already mentioned:  Damon/Murray/Bonneville ("I got my warmest wooly jumper, but not my red lippy"), Margolyes and anyone, both episodes with Benedict Cumberbatch (<dramatic deep voice> "Woo.  Hoo."), Adele/Miranda Hart/Jack Whitehall, O'Dowd/McGregor.  I also like whenever John Bishop is on.  Before this, I had no idea who he was, but he always kills in his episodes and he does admirable charitable work. 

My additions: 

  • O'Dowd/Carell/Wiig and the bit with the fly; I couldn't breathe. 
  • I'm generally apathetic towards Will Smith, but his appearances are pretty good. 
  • Henry Cavill/Amy Adams/Russell Crowe; "Let's all just look at Henry..." and I've never like Crowe more than in this interview. 
  • Any episode with Judi Dench is usually fabulous, but I really enjoyed the one with Dame Judi, Mila Kunis and Jude Law, especially Graham embarrassing the crap out of Olly Murs by using Olly's tweets re: wanting to have babies with Mila in front of Mila.
  • Robbie Williams tends to be consistently strong on the couch.   
  • Tinie Tempah and Miranda Hart were awesome goodness. 

Currently, I don't know if this format could work with any of the talk show hosts we have here at home.  I think Craig Ferguson could work because he like a bit of chaos, but his strength isn't focusing all that energy and keeping it moving along.  Conan can juggle multiple guests nicely too and he's very quick on his feet. 

In terms of wishlist, I'd love to see Tom Hiddleston.  Tom is just a wonderful, charming little kid and he gives funny interviews (seriously, look up any of his stuff from his stints promoting The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World).  I also wouldn't mind seeing some of the other Marvel actors.  Robert Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo have been on and were great.  I think Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie would kill on the couch.  I don't why he would be on, unless Justified becomes big in the UK, but I'd love to see Timonthy Olyphant, as he always comes to play on chat shows.

Edited by TrininisaScorp
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A lot of my favourites have been mentioned already. I need to go back to early Graham Norton as there were some gems there. I remember one episode where Graham sets up a skit with Juliette Binoche and Gordon Ramsay to resemble a black and white New Wave French film. He makes them say these really silly French lines and there's a random cutaway to Graham holding a candlebra at one point. Ramsay laughs through his line reading which really humanizes him to me, and Binoche remarked afterwards how she had no idea that this talk show was so silly or something.

One of my most memorable moments from the show is the super awkward episode with Mark Wahlberg where he sits on Graham's lap. I was completely turned off by Wahlberg since that episode. Poor Michael Fassbender almost never got a word in. The episode showed me how professional Graham can be because he was clearly uncomfortable with the whole thing, but he kept his cool and moved the show along as best as he could. He was a bit more candid about it on his radio show that week though.

Edited by Athena

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Another example of not-so-good-guest-behavior and Graham handling it well was the one with Micky Rourke and Jessica Biel and ??? (someone else).  MR was very being very crude with JB (I think he thought he was being flirty).  After a while Graham asked JB "Are you sure you don't want me to ask about your boyfriend?"  She was dating Justin Timberlake and was asked not to talk about him and focus on her and her work, of course, in the pre-show interview.  But since it got so uncomfortable he just slipped that in there.  She kind of laughed it off.   I think there was more to it that impressed me, but I'm not sure.  

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So many favourite interviewees listed and their interactions with the other guests.  This is the beauty of this show.  I think with very few exceptions there is always a segment/guest interaction that stands out or is guaranteed to make me laugh. 

I tape this every day off of BBC Canada and have to say so many of the stories the guests tell wouldn't make it onto North American television.  They might pass here in Canada, but not in the U.S.  So much would be edited out that it wouldn't be worth telling the stories in the first place.

I have developed a totally inappropriate age crush on Jack Whitehall courtesy of his appearances on this show.  

 

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I have developed a totally inappropriate age crush on Jack Whitehall courtesy of his appearances on this show.

You aren't the only one. Stephen Fry even has a thing for Jack as hinted by the two times Jack appeared on QI. It's rather cute actually. Jack is great on panel and chat shows. I thought his show was one of the best interviews or appearances Harrison Ford has had on a tv show.

Edited by Athena
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Love reading about some of my favourite memories from this show with a bunch of people who love it as much as I do. Another Canadian here, who watches the new episodes on YT.

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So many good shows to choose from, but I think my favorite was the one with Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and Judi Dench. They were promoting Skyfall, and sat there giggling (especially Craig and Dench) the entire show. I think they were all at the wine early  :)

As for the all-guests at once format, the old Johnny Carson show was that way - sort of. The 1st guest came on and was interviewed while sitting in a chair next to Johnny's desk. Time came for the 2nd guest, that person sat in the chair and the 1st guest took a seat on the couch on the other side of the chair. 3rd guest comes out, 2nd guest takes the 1st guest's sofa seat and the 1st guest slides down. Almost everyone stayed once brought out. The only ones that routinely did not were stand-up comics and musical guests. It was a big deal if Johnny asked you to stay if you were in those groups.

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I'm such a fan of Graham's show, and like so many others, my favorite past episodes have to include the Harrison Ford/Benedict Cumberbatch episode, which I thought was the most funny, relaxed and charming I've ever seen Ford to be on a talk show. He really seemed to be enjoying himself, which was nice to see (and Graham really did subtly go the extra mile to keep him included and having fun). Although to echo Valerie the one with Cumberbatch and Pine was absolutely wonderful too (the guys were both so funny and generous with the audience).

 

TrininisaScorp: O'Dowd/Carell/Wiig and the bit with the fly; I couldn't breathe.

I agree -- this one goes in the Hall of Fame. One of the funniest things ever. Just the shot of O'Dowd's face and that little crumpled fly on the table after Dowd spit it out -- and everyone laughing themselves silly (and Wiig looking sympathetic yet horrified at the same time). So funny!

 

To echo many others, I also adored Paul Rudd and Helen Mirren (even if Leslie Mann didn't offer much to the discussion, and Rudd kissing Mirren -- while playacting as Jack Nicholson kissing PAUL RUDD! -- was fabulous), as well as the recent episode with Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Hugh Bonneville (Hugh Bonneville's hilarious lipstick and sweater anecdotes!) Bill Murray doesn't always have the warmest reputation, so great to see him having so much fun in that episode.

 

I always love Judi Dench's appearances (remember the one when she found out her name had become a slang term?), although my favorite is the one with Daniel Craig after Skyfall. They just seemed so chummy and cute together. I also enjoyed the Man of Steel couch (way more than the actual Man of Steel, truthfully) and it was nice to see Crowe enjoying himself (and genuinely interesting to know he had once actually taken the time to encourage Cavill as a kid).

 

Another past favorite moment for me was when Graham played the "Anna Paquin" song for Anna Paquin 3-4 years back (and he was such a fan of the song he was bouncing up and down and singing along -- it was quite catchy). I also loved Emma Thompson this year, who blurted out, "Oh, GOD, no," when Graham asked if Arnold Schwarzenegger could act. I also always get a kick out of Will Smith because he's so soft-hearted when it comes to the Big Red Chair ("Don't you DARE!"). 

 

My favorite single guest moment ever, though, will always be the one in which Liam Neeson acted/recited his entire Taken speech for an audience member as her outgoing voicemail (then cheerily ends with, "Leave a message!").

 

Just in case it's of interest, Graham gave a pretty insightful interview last year on the art of "Chat Choreography" -- I thought it was fascinating: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-11-08/graham-norton-reveals-the-secrets-of-chat-choreography--and-why-he-wouldnt-work-on-itv

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My favorite single guest moment ever, though, will always be the one in which Liam Neeson acted/recited his entire Taken speech for an audience member as her outgoing voicemail (then cheerily ends with, "Leave a message!").

Shades of that from Sam Jackson in the most recent UK airing:

 

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My favorite single guest moment ever, though, will always be the one in which Liam Neeson acted/recited his entire Taken speech for an audience member as her outgoing voicemail (then cheerily ends with, "Leave a message!").

That was ADORABLE. I laughed so hard at the end. The cheeriness made the entire message work.

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Anything with Miriam Margolyes is fantastic (especially the episode with Will.i.am).

 

Oh my God, I'm just watching this now and will.i.am was trying to tell the story of mixing Dirty Dancing without using slang and I am CRYING with laughter.

 

Any episode with Judi Dench is usually fabulous, but I really enjoyed the one with Dame Judi, Mila Kunis and Jude Law, especially Graham embarrassing the crap out of Olly Murs by using Olly's tweets re: wanting to have babies with Mila in front of Mila.

 

That was hilarious!!  Just watched it.  The minute he realized where Graham was going with that I started laughing.

Edited by dusang
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I've been clearing space on my DVR and can't bear to delete the Damon/Bonneville/Murray episode. It's just so much fun to see the three of them enjoying one another so much.

This somehow made it onto my dvr (NO idea how) and I'm laughing so hard there are tears streaming down my face. "Mark Wahlberg, ladies and gentlemen!" Any time Bill Murray was baffled by the Brit-isms, the picture of Hugh on Top Gear, flipping the blonde....

 

Yeah, this one is definitely staying on the dvr!

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Oh my GAWD, I just watched the 50 Cent / Catherine Tate / Jimmy Carr episode from S6 -- I think it might actually be the funniest episode I've ever seen!!  50 Cent was a really good sport about everything and Jimmy Carr was just beyond inappropriate in the best way.  Everything about it was hilarious, it was even the very first time in the series (according to Graham) that someone in the Red Chair got to walk off because her story was so good.  Apparently Fiddy was investigating producing sex toys but declined when he realized the toy makers wanted to make a replica -- Graham and Jimmy went on an extended riff about "who could afford that much latex?"... oh my God, it was so ridiculous.

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I think I have loved every episode, and watched each one more than once, with one exception. Kristen Stewart and Chris Rock.  What a big dull dud. 

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Loved this bit from years back:

 

 

The bits not in this clip--the leadup--are arguably pretty funny too (a long discussion of why Christina Ricci can't be the one to do the cartwheel--because she's doing a nude scene in a period movie for which she's growing tons of underarm hair and then Ricky Gervais taking the piss out of that).


Wait.  Here's most of that:

 

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I was walking down Graham Norton memory lane on You Tube the other day.  Faves?  Chris O'Dowd and Ewan McGregor (really either of them on any episode, but this one is great - light sabers, dog bit story, Ewan's Velvet Goldmine story), Hugh Jackman/Michael Fassbender/James McAvoy - amazing - all three looking extremely handsome and hilarious and have great rapport and they dance to Blurred Lines, Jamie Dornan talking about how he doesn't know how to walk (Aaron Paul was the other major guest), Adele/Jack Whitehall/Miranda Hart (classic, all of it, Adele's laugh), and Miriam Margolyes on anytime.  American guests tend to suck, frankly, or take a while to warm up to the format.  I prefer an all-Brit couch (I'm American) because they get it.

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I was walking down Graham Norton memory lane on You Tube the other day.  Faves?  Chris O'Dowd and Ewan McGregor (really either of them on any episode, but this one is great - light sabers, dog bit story, Ewan's Velvet Goldmine story), Hugh Jackman/Michael Fassbender/James McAvoy - amazing - all three looking extremely handsome and hilarious and have great rapport and they dance to Blurred Lines, Jamie Dornan talking about how he doesn't know how to walk (Aaron Paul was the other major guest), Adele/Jack Whitehall/Miranda Hart (classic, all of it, Adele's laugh), and Miriam Margolyes on anytime.  American guests tend to suck, frankly, or take a while to warm up to the format.  I prefer an all-Brit couch (I'm American) because they get it.

 

Those are all top episodes for me -- the Would You Rather with Ewan MacGregor and Chris O'Dowd is legendary.  He's just really close with Bey.

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Will-I-Am and Miriam (Mir-I-Am!) Margolyes is always going to be my favorite, I think.  I also love the Will Smith, Gary Barlow, and Tom Jones.

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