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What I like best about QI, the humorous panel-type television quiz show hosted by Richard Fry is the bizarre scoring system.

First, and I find this pleasingly Kafka-esque, is that the scoring system is never explained. The programme just bowls along, ends suddenly at what appears to be a random juncture and Richard Fry just announces the scores.

And it the scores that really delight me.

Typically the winning score is about four with most runners-up scoring negative. A typical spread might be: winner; four, runners-up; 1, minus two and zero. Brilliant.

The other night the winner scored thirteen with the other contestants tied on minus seven apiece. I find this hysterically funny. Again, in a recent episode the winner managed about fifteen (very high) and the others registered a result asymptotically approaching zero with the ‘house’ permanent contestant Alan Davies coming in with minus one hundered and forty-four, though I doubt that last would have passed the stewards inquiry.

I find these scores somehow typically British in their satirical and self-effacing modesty and hauntingly Pynthonesque in the extreme difficulty it takes to score more than zero.

What do you like about QI ?


Lovers of this post may also enjoy, ‘What I Like Best About Insiders’ and The Intolerable Ubiquity Of Pencil Sharpenings

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