If you've ever watched the TV series Top Gear, you're probably all too familiar with the trio of hosts. Jeremy Clarkson is the loudest and most boisterous; James May is most famous for being the aloof hipster that's incredibly slow, at well, everything. Then we have Richard Hammond, who is best known for being the short, professional and quirky one. Most importantly, he's the one you can always rely on for trustworthy car advice.
Richard may not be known for being funny, but he has had some good comebacks in response to his co-hosts. Having worked together for over 25 years, with over a decade spent on Top Gear and three spent on Amazon's The Grand Tour, they have clocked a lot of time together — often with brotherly-like antics. Here are ten quotes by Richard Hammond that are still hilarious today.
10 "I'm Not Doing It On Purpose."
On Top Gear, you can often find Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson wildly teasing James May. Aside from being the butt of many jokes, James' car was often the target of teasing too. In one notorious Top Gear challenge episode, Richard continually slammed into the back of James' car. With a serious face, Richard said "I'm not doing it on purpose. No, I haven't got any brakes. That's how I stop." The most hilarious part was, he wasn't kidding. Richard's clunker of a car had almost given up entirely, but in typical Top Gear fashion, it was driven until it completely died. .
9 "I Can't Remember If I Took My Malaria Pill This Morning. If I Were A Girl I'd Be Pregnant A Lot."
Can you even say that on TV? Well, he did. Richard has gotten in trouble a few times for certain controversial remarks. Then again, the rest of the team have had their own mix-ups and flubs.
During one episode, Richard was traversing through the woods in a Toyota Jeep. The path he was on was treacherous, with deep divots surrounded by trees and branches that hit the side of the Jeep as he drove through. In reflection, one would expect Richard to say something rather brilliant about the Jeep's drivability or something hypothetical about life. Instead, Richard brashly said this bon mot.
8 “Oversteer Is Best 'Cause You Don't See The Tree That Kills You.”
Richard Hammond has proven on multiple occasions that he can't drive in a straight line, or around corners for that matter. He managed to crash one of the world's rarest cars.
In an effort to help fellow drivers, he once described the dangers of understeer and oversteer. He explained understeer by saying, "You drive down the road, turn the wheel, but the car goes straight on, crashes into a tree and you die." He continued to describe oversteer as "You drive down the same bit of road, turn the wheel, but the back of the car comes round like this [using hand gestures to show how a car fishtails 180 degrees], and you go off the road, crash into a tree and you die." As the takeaway, he shared that, “Oversteer is best 'cause you don't see the tree that kills you."
7 "OM NOM NOM."
There was a running joke on Top Gear about Richard Hammond's height. It was mentioned or alluded to in almost every single episode — so much that he was given the nickname "Hamster." It's no secret Richard has a small stature at 5'5," compared to his fellow host Jeremy Clarkson at 6'4".
The joke hit a pinnacle when in one episode Richard ate those words, rather literally. Piece by piece, he ate a paper card the hosts were using as part of an award show. Much like a hamster, he filled both sides of his cheeks. From that point on, there was no going back from the nickname.
6 "Is He An Idiot Or A Moron?"
While the guys were filming Top Gear 'Africa Special,' Jeremy suddenly had the bright idea to ask if water turned in a different direction at the equator. Having been to the North Pole and South Pole, he knew that water moves counterclockwise in the Southern hemisphere and opposite in the Northern hemisphere. Rather than find water to conduct the experiment, he got into his BMW station wagon and began doing donuts in each direction.
Watching from the side, Richard Hammond turned to James May and asked: "Is he an idiot or a moron?" To which James May responded, "That's a difficult question. Moron, I think."
5 "Have You Got It Out Of Your System Now?"
One of the most interesting parts about watching Top Gear is the guys doing ridiculous car challenges. From driving precariously on the side of a mountain to crossing a rapid river on a handmade raft, they've seemingly done it all.
No matter the country, car or challenge at hand, they always found time to do pranks. This has included writing bad words on the side of vehicles, hiding fish in the engine bay and purposely making sure the other's car breaks down.
In many episodes, Richard Hammond is caught off guard and left nearly speechless. Possibly in an effort to sensor himself for TV, he has also been known to ask "Have you gotten it out of your system now?"
4 "Dunno! Drunk, Missed It. Found It Like This."
Being the first to test drive a new car is a true honor, and likely a dream come true for any car enthusiast.
On one film shoot, Jeremy Clarkson had the chance to be the first UK journalist to get into the new Mercedes-Benz SLR. The only caveat was, he was incredibly drunk at the time. His co-hosts so kindly reminded him that at one point he was hanging out of the passenger window waving and yelling at model Elle MacPherson. Richard took the chance to rub it in by adding, "You wouldn't make much of a war correspondent, would you, standing there in war-torn wherever with a desolated landscape, 'So, Jeremy, what happened?' 'Dunno! Drunk, missed it. Found it like this.'"
3 "The Engine's At The Wrong End, Yeah...So What? Sure, It's A Flaw, But It's A Flaw Like Cindy Crawford's Mole."
The Top Gear guys have reviewed hundreds of cars during their time on the show. There have been countless debates about the merits of each one, from the looks, speed, control, and comfort, among many others.
In an episode debating the Porsche 911, there was banter surrounding the placement of the engine, which is behind the rear axle. Porsche superfan Richard was fully onboard with how crazy that idea is but hilariously summed up his thoughts as, "The engine's at the wrong end, yeah... so what? Sure, it's a flaw, but it's a flaw like Cindy Crawford's mole...It's become its defining feature. It's the whole point of the car. The GT3 is final and absolute proof that evolution works." In that case, there's little wonder how Richard feels about Smart Fortwo's three-cylinder engine that sits behind the rear axle.
2 "Every Summer They Arrive, Ruining Our Roads Just So They Can Pull Up Side By Side With Their New Best Friends And Pee In A Bucket."
For those that prefer to enjoy the open road as a vacation, summer traffic is all too familiar. As far as the eye can see, roads are packed with rows of trendy camper vans, and those monstrous RV rentals that probably have nicer living quarters than your first apartment.
Car connoisseur Richard Hammond feels your pain, lamenting with this gem of a quote.
1 "They Probably Were Entirely Satisfied With The Handling Of Their 911 Porsche Right Up Until They Hit The Tree."
Richard Hammond is well known for his passion for Porsche cars. During the review of a Porsche 911, one of his favorite cars, he mentioned one of its biggest critiques, which is its somewhat scary handling. To prove his point that it was an all-around amazing car, he spoke about a survey that was conducted saying, "Ninety-six percent of 911 owners in this survey claim to be absolutely satisfied with their car's handling, which is very good. It leaves four percent, and they probably were entirely satisfied with the handling of their 911 right up until they hit the tree."
Some things will never change, and that's Richard's honest opinion and his love of Porsche.