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Top 10 Richard Ayoade Moments


Written by Aaron Cameron Energetic. Outgoing. Dynamic. These words do not describe Richard Ayoade. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Richard Ayoade Moments. For this list, we'll be looking at all those little moments of brilliance that hooked us all on the sleeper genius. Moments from scripted comedies, panel shows, guest appearances, and other programs are for grabs today, so sit down, buckle up, and set your satnav to Chuckletown. Special thanks to our user Dan Paradis for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Richard Ayoade Moments


Energetic. Outgoing. Dynamic. These words do not describe Richard Ayoade. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Richard Ayoade Moments.

For this list, we'll be looking at all those little moments of brilliance that hooked us all on the sleeper genius. Moments from scripted comedies, panel shows, guest appearances, and other programs are for grabs today, so sit down, buckle up, and set your satnav to Chuckletown.

#10: Moss Does Countdown
“The IT Crowd”

The marriage of Maurice Moss and Countdown is almost as perfect as that of Moss and Ayoade. Bland, dull, and with more than a whiff of OAP, it's the perfect showcase for the unique genius that lurks within. Per maths expert Rachel Riley, Moss hasn't gotten less than an 8 letter word during his Countdown run, including the nine letter word that was staring everyone right in the face: Tnetennba. This of course, given the logic of the show, leads Moss to be invited into the 8+ Gang and the shady, rough and tumble, milk-fuelled world of Street Countdown.

#9: Missing Out on “Call Me Maybe”
“The Big Fat Quiz of the Year” (2012)

For most of us, 2012 was a whirlwind of Carly Rae Jepsen “Call Me Maybe” fever. But for Ayoade it was different, having spent weeks underground, missing the initial infection, and only emerging when the situation had been contained. And boy was he smug about it. Basking in the irony of the video's twist ending, Richard's Big Fat moment is nearly snuffed out when Jack Whitehall buts in with a crass joke. Jack gets a couple laughs, but Richard flips it, douses it with logic, and takes the new, better joke to its outer most limits.


#8: “Cold Water Pressure”
“The Big Fat Quiz of the Year” (2010)

The cynical among us know that rarely is anyone genuinely interested in the answer to “how are you?” In 2010, Jimmy Carr took advantage of a Big Fat lull to check in on Richard, who opted to give a sincere, yet mundane, reply. Going into great detail about the state of his flat's waterworks, Richard reveals that his shower lacks satisfactory cold water pressure - and admits that he’s removed the cold water tank and replaced with a bean bag chair. And we just have to sit and listen. Brilliant.

#7: Jimmy's Mum
“The Big Fat Quiz of the '00” (2012)

When there is no other joke to be made, there's always “your mother”. It's juvenile, it's played out, and in the right hands that's why it can still work. Partnered up with fellow 'Indoor Kite' veteran Noel Fielding, the pair give “your mum” as the answer to Jimmy's Big Fat question. Rather than acknowledging it as an empty joke, the two commit to it, expand it, and ask every variation on it that they can. And it gets worse, and worse. Ending with a bad sex joke… about dying. Jeez.

#6: “Blurred Lines”
“The Big Fat Quiz of the Year” (2013)

When Robin Thicke's inescapable summer hit “Blurred Lines” crops up as a correct answer in the 2013 Big Fat Quiz, it naturally leads to some banter. Dara Ó Briain finds Thicke creepy and Kristen Schaal is at peace with him, despite the, quote, “date-rapiness” of the lyrics. Richard, meanwhile, plays the devil's advocate and tries to view the song from Thicke's perspective. What does “no” really mean? Is rejection really a reality? Is it possible to not hook up with someone? Richard – within this context – is thoroughly confused, but the rest of us are thoroughly amused.

#5: “The Learner”
“Man to Man with Dean Learner” (2006)

Before Maurice Moss, there was Dean Learner. Housing the mannerisms of a British James Cagney, mixed with a bit of 1950's female objectification, the character was given his own faux-chat show in 2006. Hosting special guest, Formula Five Racing champ Steve Pising, their conversation about auto-racing and car parts distribution reveals some subtitle sinister backstory, and when the chat runs its course, it segues into an Apprentice-style reality show. Steve handles the heavy lifting, the dull, and the male contestants, while Dean makes off with the sole female contestant, who is – naturally – declared the “winner”.


#4: “I'm Too Busy Just Staying Alive!”
“Garth Marenghi's Darkplace” (2004)

A real world sleeper turned cult hit, “Darkplace”'s internal framework presents it as an unaired, yet still classic bit of British television. In it, Richard plays Dean Learner – author Garth Marenghi's book publisher – who, in turn, plays hospital administrator Thornton Reed within the fictional series. Through comically bad acting, weird line delivery, misuse of props, and generally playing the character as a hard nosed, shotgun-toting boss-cop, Ayoade shines throughout the unfathomably bizarre series. There are many gems throughout, but Reed's green-screen contribution to Dr. Rick's already ludicrous bike chase is an absolute cracker.

#3: No Foolishness
“Never Mind the Buzzcocks”

Following the departure of Simon Amstell, and until the arrival of Rhod Gilbert, “Never Mind the Buzzcocks” adopted a “Have I Got News For You” endless cycle of guest hosts. One of those guest hosts was Richard Ayoade. Establishing early on he'd only agreed to host the show as long as pop and rock music was treated with respect, Richard spends the half hour keeping the energy good and low, avoiding jokes, and discouraging the humour and lightheartedness the show was normally known for. Effectively, Ayoade became the anti-host, and it’s hilarious.

#2: Trying to Put Out a Fire
“The IT Crowd”

For world wide audiences, it was “The IT Crowd” and the role of Moss that thrust Richard Ayoade into his portion of the limelight. Per both series creator Graham Linehan and Ayoade himself, Moss is basically just Richard but with scripted lines and situations. Ayoade's general disinterest and reserved wit, therefore, comes out as Moss's awkwardness and difficulty socializing and interacting with the world around him. So naturally, when the basement dweller is faced with something as primal and analogue as a fire, he has no idea whatsoever.

Before we unveil our top pick here are a few honourable mentions.

“Do You Get Through A Lot Of Eggs?”
“A League of Their Own” (2010-)

Giving Jimmy Carr the Tour of his Mini House
“Gadget Man”

#1: Richard Goes Ballistic
“The Big Fat Quiz of Everything” (2016)

All out of bananas, Richard decides to snack on some Maltesers, which, being an orderly sort of fellow, he's organized on a tray. But rather than top off his blood-sugar levels, Richard is bullied by Rob Beckett, and left candy-less. Richard manages to be the bigger man, but when Jimmy uses him as a punchline a moment later, the panel feels the long overdue nerd-rage of Ayoade. Renaming the Buxton/Ross team, Richard sets his sights and tees off on Rob, claiming the younger comic was “born 20 minutes ago” and was “still wet from the womb”.
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