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David Mitchell

David Mitchell

David Mitchell is the British actor who is known for his educational rants and angry logic which are most frequently seen on the BBC panel/game show Would I Lie to You where he is team captain and is pitted against fellow comedian and opposing captain Lee Mack. But David's most educational rants are voiced when he is a guest on the somewhat more intellectual and quite interesting show Qi. On Qi David has ranted on topics as varied as whether you should avoid bread and milk or if vertical stripes on a person's clothes make them look thinner than people sporting horizontal stripes.

Oh, yes, CooperToons knows that David achieved his fame as one half of the comedy duo, Mitchell and Webb. Alas, CooperToons cannot render a verdict on the merits of the act, never having seen it.

David was educated at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, where he read history (to use the English educational patois - Americans say "studied"). However, he does not come off as your typical Oxbridge graduate, and his individuality manifested itself when he was quite young. His first word was "hoover."

Lest American audiences scratch their collective pates, "hoover" is the British word for "vacuum cleaner", particularly of upright design. So in England when you vacuum a rug, you "hoover" it. That's the actual expression, and you never hear of the English "vacuuming" anything. If you pick up a copy of the the English edition of the James Bond novel, the Man with the Golden Gun, you read that while Bond was in the hotel owned by arch villain Francisco "Pistols" Scaramanga and his thuggish business partners, he saw the servants were "hoovering" the rugs.

"Hoovering" was also the name given to a pastime popular - at least at one time - for undergraduates at David's university. Hoovering consisted of sneaking late at night into someone's dorm room after first taking the vacuum cleaner - sorry, the "hoover" - out of the broom closet. Then with the lights out and taking care not to wake the sleeping students, you would then plug in the hoover and start it up. The perpetrators would beat a quick retreat and wait in the hall. Supposedly the noise of the hoover carooming along the floor and crashing into furniture would terrify the room's inhabitants and bring much amusement to the hooverers. That's the theory at least.

But as George Plimpton told it, the episode usually ended by the crash of the hoover being tossed into the hall, followed by the irritated shout, "Christopher Corey, for God's sake act your years". This from the university which produced 14 of England's prime ministers.