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Out of Order

Comedian Benny Hill (1924-92) is mostly remembered for his now dated and undeniably sexist 'silent' comedy videos where he would be chasing a succession of scantily clad girls to the soundtrack of Boots Randolph's Yakety Sax. Sadly, this doesn't do justice to one of Britain's all-time comedy greats. He was an early pioneer of TV comedy and some of his funniest routines involved clever word play. Benny Hill liked to get plenty of mileage out of his sketches, however. He would commonly rework the same idea so that it became a regular feature. One such was was the out-of-synch interview. The premise was usually that an interview was being conducted over a shaky international link and that the interviewee had been given the list of questions in advance. There would inevitably be a muddle over the introduction so that the interviewee would always answer the interviewer's previous question rather than the one immediately asked. The net result was that the innocent answers often came across as hilariously ribald.

Gibson Games' Out of Order follows in the tradition of this classic Benny Hill sketch. It's essentially a thick deck of question cards each of which lists five questions. A questioner reads out the first question to the player on their left but rather than answer, that player replies 'Out of Order'. They have to give the actual answer to the first question to the next question they are asked, and so on.

The questions are mostly very simple but their juxtaposition is chosen for their likely misdirection and their comedy effect, so, one card asks the word for a frightening dream (Out of Order); Someone who repairs or removes teeth is called a what? (Nightmare); Name the well-known comic character Dennis the who? (Dentist); In the UK, what name is given to the leader of Her Majesty's Government (Menace); In the past, ducking and burning at the stake were punishments for what type of person? (Prime Minister).

You've got the idea. It's a party game, probably at its best after a few drinks. Some even may choose to play it as a drinking game. You're not playing to show off your voluminous general knowledge - it's all about the laughs generated by the juxtapositions.

There are markers supplied for keeping score - tho', like most party games, you should expect to play for the fun of the game without worrying overly about tracking scores. The box suggests the game is for 2-6 players but you could certainly play it with more if you forego the scoring.

If you're looking for a light-hearted game for Christmas which anyone can immediately pick up and play, then you should definitely order Out of Order.

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