The rare female creeper!

When creepiness is discussed here in the mud wrestling grudge match that is the internet, sooner or later someone always whines that it's always men accused of being scary creeps, and that's sexist. Although, culturally, the behaviors that are characteristic of creepiness are associated mostly with men and social notions of masculinity, it's entirely possible for women to get into the act, and occasionally one does.

One of the recent episodes of Never Mind The Buzzcocks featured as a panelist an Italian woman inexplicably named Nancy. I don't have any idea who she is or why exactly she's there, but I gather that her two main claims to fame are dancing on some competition show and sleeping around. Not that both of these aren't perfectly good hobbies -- it just happens that I don't follow the kind of TV programs that feature either of them, and so am not familiar with her work. She wound up on Fielding's side of the stage, along with some kid who is evidently touted as the UK's answer to Justin Bieber.

At first I thought perhaps her English was not as good as she claimed it was, and there might have been some trouble with communications -- people tend to get awkward and tense when they have to constantly worry about whether they're being understood properly, and a lack of comprehension would explain the bit near the start where she asks whether they're talking to/about her. But no. She makes it pretty clear over the course of the taping that she really does think pretty much everyone on Earth is drooling after her, and that she doesn't think very much of either the NMTB crew or Brits in general. She looks less than happy to be there, except when she's interacting with Fielding. Apparently he is cute enough to be condescending to.

Which is unfortunate for her, because Fielding doesn't like her at all. Whoever's in that end chair normally gets pretty much leaned on when he's turned towards the host; reactions vary from ignoring him to taking it as an invitation to chat off-mic while other things are going on. Most panelists get sort of patted and hugged and so forth, commensurate with what they'll allow. The way Fielding interacts with the UK!Bieber kid is pretty typical of what he does to someone permissive whom he's decided he likes. Women sometimes get kissed on the cheek, especially if they've just managed to perform or guess an intro that he's not familiar with and has absolutely butchered.

He is trying like hell to stay away from the Italian lady. She grabs at him a lot, but he is totally not interested in helping her with that. Probably he's being as tolerant as he is because the camera is on, and this is work. She decides to lean all the way in and hook her chin on his shoulder during the guess-the-next-line round, and he gives her a really obvious disapproving side-eye. I've seen hours and hours and fucking hours of this show now, and they have had other panelists who were uncooperative or unhappy or just idiots, but that's the first time I've ever seen Fielding actually look displeased by someone touching him -- we are talking about a man who will let people pet his fancy hair at signings as long as they ask nicely, f'r chrissakes. Also only the second time I've seen him grow enough spikes to say something direct and unfunny to someone who seems to think he's stupid, ignorant, or uneducated. (The first was Chelsea Lately, when she's rambling about globes. Is she always that much of a twit? Or possibly drunk? I don't watch her, and if that's a fair sample of her show, I'm not about to start.) Phil Jupitus evidently doesn't want her either; when the suggestion is made that he swap his weird panelist for her -- musical chairs does sometimes happen on this show, if it's funny -- he immediately shoots it down. By the end, they've pretty much had it with her, I think, and have both gotten significantly meaner and more personal with the teasing than they normally do.

Contrast with this. (Quite a long interview, but well worth watching if you're actually interested in 25 straight minutes of the inside of Noel Fielding's head. He is remarkably cogent at explaining the weird.) The lady from ABC is apparently subbing for someone else who didn't make it, has never done an on-air interview before, and is a fan of his; understandably, she spends a lot of the chat just short of terrified. He very politely keeps his distance until the very end, when she manages to pat him on the arm during the wrap up -- in response she gets an immediate smile and a kiss on the cheek, because normally Fielding likes being able to touch people, especially if it makes them happy, and she finally got brave enough to give him permission.

So there you have it. You can ignore the next person who claims nobody ever acknowledges it when women are creepy, particularly at men, because now you have video evidence.


  1. Bleah, definitely one of the worst guests I've seen on there, from what little I've watched. I've seen creepier (unfortunately had creepier: my first major public creepery was at a goth club, perpetrated by a fellow female, totally drunk though that doesn't totally excuse it). It may in fact be that the public perception that "women can't be creepy" even aids and abets that sort of thing.

    Funnily enough, one of my favorite NMTB appearances was by comedian Kristen Schaal, who's best known for playing the crazy stalker fan Mel on the HBO comedy series Flight of the Conchords. She's not only lovely and funny and willing to play along as part of Noel's team, but half the comments attending the video are about how much chemistry there is between her and Noel. I think there's definite positivity between them, but I think it'd take an eye like yours to tell whether it's just professional appreciation for fellow wacky humorists, or whether Noel asked her out afterwards.

    1. I've seen that one -- I've seen most of them at this point -- and I doubt it. I don't keep track of the love lives that people don't talk about, but Mog's tumblr dash does, and I gather he had a proper girlfriend at that point. I'm not privy to the details of their relationship, but she'd been around for quite a long while, and they seemed fairly serious.

      Fielding has a very quick and startling chemistry with a lot of people, male and female, and I don't get the feeling there's anything else to this bit than that. I've heard him make a few comments in interviews to the effect that most of his friends are women, because they're less likely to get themselves all tied into knots over mucking about like that than most men are. He's pretty uncomplicated about wanting to connect with people -- it is insanely easy to get him to answer back during live shows, f'r example, and he bitches a bit if the venue is so big he can't see the audience -- and as a result has rather a knack for getting under people's skin, usually in a good way. He's one of the few people I've seen who can consistently crack Richard Ayoade's deadpan, and Ayoade is so painfully shy when OOC he tends not to make eye contact in interviews.

      The comments on YouTube posts of NMTB are basically all like that, unless the show is particularly crap, and then they're all complaints. No idea why, except 1) young adults in the Western hemisphere seem to be annoyingly acculturated to perceive any kind of personal connection as potentially sexual, and 2) internets.


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