Well this is timely isn’t it? With Season 14 well under way, what better time to look back on the best tasks from the previous 13 seasons? The basic premise of the show is 5 comedians, actors or TV personalities humiliate themselves for terrible prizes and a chance to win a rubbish golden Greg Davies head. For context, Davies is the Taskmaster whilst Alex, the creator, is his assistant. If after this list you fancy watching Taskmaster, I’ve linked it’s All 4 page here where you can watch all the episodes. So before I get into the best Taskmaster tasks ranked, here is a bit of history about the show.
Before Series 1 started properly in 2015, Taskmaster’s creator Alex Horne put on Taskmaster 1 and 2 at the Edinburgh Fringe festivals in 2010 and 2011. From my research, these shows were very much a template for the chaos that would ensue later. Proof of this in the tasks with classics like find Alex a hedgehog, down a pint of milk as fast as possible and send Alex a picture of an egg. These shows would later prove so popular that Dave gave Horne a chance to make the concept into a TV version and let’s say it was mildly successful… By that I mean, it currently has 13 full seasons, 1 champions special not to mention the current season and another champions special. Well, you’ve waited long enough, here are the best Taskmaster tasks ranked.
Number 10: Run up a hill with three exercise balls (Series 2)
What’s better than 1 exercise ball? Two exercise balls and why should we stop there? I’m convinced this was Alex’s thought process for this task. In theory, you have to move 3 exercise balls up to a mat on top of a hill as fast as possible. In practice, it becomes very difficult as most contestants found out. For example, Joe Wilkinson and Jon Richardson decided to take all three up the hill at once. Doc Brown decides to use tiny pebbles to weigh the exercise balls down but the winner of the task: Richard Osman goes with a different approach. He moves the mat down the hill and puts the balls on it. My only question is couldn’t Richard just have reached up to the top of the hill? I mean he’s tall enough….
This task was just supposed to be a lovely task yet Liza Tarbuck decides to go unconventional. How? By making Alex, without pants, sit on a cake and then tell Greg how it felt. After sitting on said cake, Alex responds ‘It was like nothing I’ve ever felt’. Besides Alex being humiliated by Liza, Asim decides to create a rap about Greg. Iconic lines from this rap include ‘We go together like steak and cheese’ and ‘I love you like Greggs the bakery’. Inspiring stuff. The other major highlight was Russell Howard inventing a new kind of building style: sticky tape architecture.
Number 8: Don’t Blink (Series 7)
The reason I’ve included this is simple: Rhod Gilbert’s horrifying Clockwork Orange homage. That ends up being the highlight with Rhod not blinking for nearly 7 minutes by holding his eyelids open. This doesn’t even include Alex ‘helping’ Rhod as he gives him a tape bandana. I mean what more do I need to say? I’m not even convinced I need to mention everyone else due to how Rhod eclipses them. Special mention to Greg for the famous line ‘Fifteen years of friendship and that’s the most impressed I’ve ever been with you’. Let’s move onto the next entry in the best Taskmaster tasks ranked.
Number 7: Make the best music video for a nursery rhyme (Series 2)
Next up is another one from Season 2: make a music video for a nursery rhyme. Whilst there were some excellent attempts, Jon Richardson’s three blind mice and Katherine Ryan’s weird one about a tooth spring to mind. But there is one which is head and shoulders above them: Doc Brown’s video for Once I caught a fish alive. Why is it so good? To name the best bit, Doc punching a salmon out of the air in slow motion. But special mention to the disgusting visual of his hand (if you’re squeamish, skip this bit), which was a mix of real and fake blood because he punched the salmon in the face that many times. This is how much winning a terrible gold Greg Davies head means.
Number 6: Complete the 7 Tasks (Series 9)
To repeat a joke I made earlier in the best Taskmaster tasks ranked, what’s better than 1 task? 2 tasks and why should we stop there? For the contestants to finish this task, they had to complete 7 tasks in the order that they opened them. The tasks in question? I’m going to spare my sanity by not writing everyone out but just know most of the tasks were very silly. The best part of this task? How it could massively mess you up if you did them in a weird order. Case in point David Baddiel and Katy Wix. Both of them ended up with a task where you had to hide the jigsaw pieces around the garden. A bit troublesome as you had to make the jigsaw as well. Wonderfully entertaining chaos.
Number 5: Destroy this Cake (Series 4)
Now time for a task from my favourite series and this one is very fun. Where to begin? For simplicity, Noel Fielding ‘ruined’ his Bake Off hosting job by putting a cake in a washing machine. Other highlights include Hugh Dennis and his knives, Lolly Adefope making the cake into a piece of art and Mel Giedroyc unleashing her pent up Bake Off frustrations by squashing the cake. However, the piece de resistance is Joe Lycett’s attempt by blowing the cake up with fireworks then deciding to eat some of the charred cake after. This task truly feels like a bit of a forgotten classic.
Number 4: Make the most exotic sandwich/eat your exotic sandwich (Series 4)
Back to back entries for Season 4 on the Best Taskmasters tasks ranked? It’s almost like this is my favourite series…… Anyway, this task has two highlight, with Mel and Noel both going for wildly stupid interpretations. Mel decided to make a sandwich filled with chocolate bars, sugar and so much sweetness it could honestly raise your blood sugar levels by looking at it. Truly a diabetic pagoda. To mention Noel’s exotic sandwich, he ties some bread to Alex and makes him dance with his trousers half down. In his mind, a true exotic sandwich but nothing compares to Noel lightly nibbling a piece of bread off of Alex’s ear. Although the best moment of the task goes to Mel as she realises she has to eat her sandwich and the look she has is beautiful. This task was equal parts hilarious and disturbing.
Number 3: Get the potato into the golf hole (Series 2)
Next on the best tasks of Taskmaster ranked is arguably the moment which solidified Taskmaster as a TV classic. This task is memorable for several reasons, see Katherine Ryan attaching the potato to a string like a little inanimate pet. But obviously this task is remembered for one thing only: Joe Wilkinson’s disqualified attempt. Like Mel’s disappointment, when Joe realises he could get disqualified is equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious. But the truly cruel thing isn’t the disqualification, it’s the vote. Rather than do it initially, Greg asks the other contestants to decide Joe’s fate. However, they can’t agree to disagree so he is disqualified. If anyone wants an introduction to Taskmaster, this is it in a nutshell.
Number 2: Impress this mayor (Series 2)
Well what do you know? Back to back entries for Season 2 on the best Taskmaster tasks ranked. Anyway, this task is a much lighter affair than the potato throwing tearjerker. How to win this task? Impress the then mayor of Chesham who would score the contestants out of 10 depending on how impressed he was. Highlights include Doc Brown rapping Tony Bennett’s Rags to Riches and Richard Osman juggling whilst reading a poem. But the undisputed king of this task was Joe Wilkinson who took a rather different approach. He decides to buy 42 calippos, 8 cans of lager and £15 to impress the mayor. Whilst it wasn’t as impressive as others, this episode cemented Joe as one of the funniest to compete on the show.
Number 1: Write a song for a stranger (Series 5)
What else could I put at number 1 on the list of best Taskmaster tasks ranked? This song encapsulates the joy and hilarity of watching Taskmaster. The task was simple: write a song about a stranger and perform it to them. Bob Mortimer, Aisling Bea and Sally Phillips wrote ‘Rosalind’s a nightmare’ which while catchy maybe had a slightly off sentiment. However, Mark Watson and Nish Kumars song ‘I try my best (but it’s never good enough)’ is a genuine joy. Simply put seeing the two competitors who finished last nearly every time hug and embrace whilst receiving a standing ovation is heartwarming. Mark and Nish managed this despite Mark playing on a children’s drum kit. Inspirational stuff.
What are your thoughts on the best Taskmaster tasks? Let me know down in the comments?