Favorite Bits: Taskmaster, series 5
the four thirty-something chaotic male comedy horsemen of the apocalypse
do it for him
I don’t think I have properly acknowledged the fact that before I watched Taskmaster or other panel shows, I knew Nish Kumar well as a regular guest and then as the host of The News Quiz. This is a fairly intelligent show. I mean it’s a comedy show and they make dick jokes sometimes (and vagina jokes, they’re one of the better shows for gender parity), but I’d call it higher-brow humour than, say, 8 Out of 10 Cats. They legitimately get into the news of the week and panelists have to actually know some things about the news (political and current event news, not reality show news, 8 Out of 10 Cats) in order to have anything to say. They frequently make jokes about how they’re on BBC Radio 4 and only old people and nerds are listening to them.
After Sandy Toksvig quit her job as host of the show years ago, Miles Jupp took over. After he left, Nish Kumar took over for a bit. He’s moved on now but I thought he did a great job as host, and of course I knew him before as a frequent guest. I have listened to every episode of The News Quiz since 2010-ish, and I only got into panel TV shows in 2020.
Because The News Quiz only exists in audio form, I didn’t know how any of these people looked. Now that I’ve seen Sandi Toksvig, I can say my guess as to what she looked like was about right. But the way I pictured the next two hosts was way off. I overestimated the ages of Miles Jupp and Nish Kumar by at least a couple of decades.
When I saw Miles Jupp on panel shows, I was surprised to learn that 1) that’s John Duggan from The Thick of It, a character I know well and did not realize was played by a host of The News Quiz, and 2) he is much younger than I expected. But that’s really all that surprised me. Other than his age he was mostly what I expected from hearing his voice on The News Quiz.
But Nish was something else. I think I haven’t fully appreciated how weird it is that that guy who I heard host News Quiz episodes for a long time is also that guy kicking that basketball on Taskmaster because my brain has not fully accepted that they are the same person. I never saw Nish Kumar the News Quiz host and I just can’t wrap my head around him being the same person as Nish Kumar the Taskmaster contestant.
I realize it is not actually unusual for Nish to do political commentary; I haven’t seen The Mash Report but I hear it’s good. I just. I watch season 5 of Taskmaster. I watch Nish Kumar’s guest appearances on other panel shows. I cannot believe that is the politically astute man I heard hosting a radio show for so long. I mean, good for him. Fucking great guy, Nish Kumar.
nish kumar called me sensational on twitter once and i’m not embarrassed to say it was one of the best moments of my life
Claudia Winkleman and Nish Kumar have the best chemistry on panel shows yall like i love them
Get you a best friend who supports you through difficult times like Nish Kumar and Mark Watson support each other through their disasters on Taskmaster season 5.
Drew two lil stickers for myself :) Two of my favourite teams in Taskmaster history.
Ahhh nish kumar retweeted a thread about bi visibility !!