Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E12, or TOMORROW PEOPLE, AH AH AHHHHH.

After Jeff’s first-half taping was fraught with Greg, Jeff got his own taping in the second half, with everybody. This is very just.

The guest star for this show is Robbie Amell. Robbie’s brother Stephen is the Green Arrow. Robbie had a role on a short-lived CW series called The Tomorrow People in 2014 before joining the Flash in a recurring role, and sort of cramping his cousin’s style. The Amells were very big deals in 2014, so getting one for WL was a big deal, even though it probably should have been Stephen.

Questions: A busy night in a hospital

This game’s officially programmed as a consistent opener

Wayne takes a clown wig to bring back his Ed Wynn impression: “Can’t you see that 45 of my friends are trapped in a VW bug?”

Jeff: “Can you stick out your tongue?”
Wayne, trying a loophole: “…BLAAAAH?”
BUZZ

Colin comes in with a hat with eyeballs hanging everywhere: “have you ever seen anything like this?”
Jeff: “Have you got a lot of balls to ask me that question?”
JEFF.

I also love Jeff’s ‘KIIIIIIAAAHHHHHH’ noise when he doesn’t think of a question here.

Ryan comes in with a nurse hat: “will you take down your pants?”
Colin: “are there any good-looking nurses?”
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 11.19.21 AM

I love Ryan’s casual reveal that he’s actually the janitor

Colin, in the middle of a line, just goes ‘AH SCREW IT’ and leaves.

Wayne, with a very funny old man voice: “IS IT TIME TO BE EXAMINED?”
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 11.21.40 AM
Ryan: [leaves]

Jeff, perfectly: “DID SOMEONE SAY THEY WANTED TO GET EXAMINED?”
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 11.22.43 AMWayne: “AAAAHHHHHH HELL-”
BUZZ

Ryan, as a cowboy: “…why you lookin at me so deep in the eyes like that?”

Ryan asks Colin when he first knew he loved him
Colin: “When did the bird…first…BURST FROM ITS TREE…SINGING A SO-naahh, it’s…”
BUZZ

A pretty fun, and kinda classic-seeming, Questions. Some scenes were shorter than others, but I did like Colin divebombing both of his runs .

Duet: Wayne and Jeff sing a One Direction song to Robbie

Robbie’s one power, says he, would be “to be one of the guys from One Direction”.
A little closed-minded, seeing as that was the suggestion, but I’ll allow it

Wayne: “ALLO EVERYBODY. I’M HARRY.”
Robbie, breaking: “…what’s the other one’s names…”
Wayne: “I dunno either…”
[shit, even I know that..]
Jeff: “I’M THE GUY WITH THE BIG EYEBROWS.”
So…Zayn, right?

Wayne: “and as sure as I can dance, the direction that I’m going is in a girl’s pants..”

Robbie is very good with keeping up with Jeff and Wayne with dance moves

Wayne suddenly pimps Robbie out to do a rap, which catches him completely off-guard. Robbie struggles MIGHTILY IN THIS RAP PORTION, to the point where it boggles the mind why they chose to air this.
He literally counts to four, then has Wayne remind him how many members of 1D there are, and gets five…and then struggles to rap.

Jeff rebounds, pimping him out to dance and/or sing instead
And Wayne….oh, Wayne…
“Because I know you’ve got that mind, and you’ve got telekinesis
You can just see you dance, but don’t show people your penis…”
AND ONCE HE REALIZES WHAT HE’S SET HIMSELF UP TO RHYME WITH, he COMPLETELY BUCKLES. Not since ‘Two big meatballs’ have I seen Wayne completely lose it mid-verse like this. He screwed himself by having to rhyme with ‘telekinesis’.

Jeff has the best reaction to Robbie refusing to do that as well: “No, don’t say no way
You’re on Tomorrow People, but you’re doin this shit today.”
10/10

AND THEN ROBBIE JUST…BREAKDANCES. He was hiding THAT?
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 11.46.12 AM
I love Colin here.

So…against all odds, they got through that one. It was haphazard, kinda messy, but the Jeff-Wayne portions kept the middle bits from tearing it all apart. Jeff and Wayne had great lyrics, great screwing with Robbie, and kept it going despite Robbie’s reluctance to do things.

Wayne, as he sends Robbie away, recreates the ‘inability to count to 5′ gag from earlier.

Wayne, as the seats, is talking about how great Robbie is on Tomorrow People. “he can move things with his mind…”
Jeff: “Yeah, and he can count to five, too…”
Wayne: “THAT’S HIS POWER.”
Aisha: “So he’s like a hotter version of Count Count. TOMORROW PEOPLE, AH AH AHHHHH.”
Aisha’s missing a Von, but I’ll allow it

Ryan, suddenly: “And the guy with the eyebrows is Niall, okay, so if you don’t know their names, don’t talk about it…”
HA

Aisha awards Robbie “1-2-3-4-5 points, ah ah ah ah’ for his breakdancing, or as Wayne descriptively refers to it, “a coffee grinder into a backspin”

Dubbing: Ryan is an Army drill sergeant putting Robbie, voice by Colin, through basic training and then Wayne enters as Robbie’s female rival determined to prove that she’s the best cadet

Aisha: “but Robbie’s not gonna use his own voice-”
Robbie: “probably for the best…”
Ah yes, Duet still stings..

Wayne’s reaction to playing Robbie’s “…female rival”:
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.02.59 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.03.11 PMRobbie kindly brushes Wayne’s shoulder

Aisha, right as she starts the scene, refers to this as ‘GI Jane, the black version’
HOW DARE YOU USE THE PHRASE ‘THE BLACK VERSION’ WITHOUT GARY OR NYIMA BEING ON!
Wayne: “…GI Janesha?”

Ryan starts by asking Robbie how long he’s been in the army. I reckon everybody onstage except for Robbie knows what joke is coming.
Colin: “FIVE YEARS, SIR. ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE.”
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.12.56 PM

Ryan: “IS THERE SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT THE UNITED STATES ARMY?”
Colin: “ABSOLUTELY NOT, SIR, IT’S JUST THE NUMBER FIVE MAKES ME LAUGH.”
I love the way Colin riled off that line

Ryan: “I don’t suppose you’d like to get down and do 20 with me, would you?”
Colin: “I hope you’re talking pushups…”

Colin, on how Robbie knows Wayne: “yes, we were in college together, we took…Animal Gynecology for 3 years.”
A Colin standby. Of course this gets Robbie, but Ryan and Wayne are kinda immune to it

I also love Robbie’s dawning realization once Wayne pimps him out to do pushups with him. A lot of moments of Wayne or somebody pimping out Robbie, and him slowly sinking, realizing he has to do the thing.

Sure enough, Robbie and Wayne get down and do a bunch of pushups together. Robbie even switches to one-handed.
Colin: “ONE…”
Eventually, Wayne joins in one-handed, but Robbie bests him, and just sits on Wayne’s back as he crumples down, exhausted.

Colin: “I would have challenged you to no hands, but then I realized you didn’t have a penis.”
TWO STRAIGHT RANDOM DICK JOKES IN THIS SHOW.

A genuinely great Dubbing. The air of silliness was all around, but a ton of the lines worked, the eventual pimping and push-ups worked, and Robbie did well here in between crack-ups. This game continued the runner while still being pretty good itself.

Ryan: “it’s harder to do pushups real slow like that, too”, and he does an impression of Wayne struggling near the end
Wayne: [starts doing an impression of that push-up, and then:]
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.28.46 PM

Scenes from a Hat:

“Bad things to say in a job interview”
Jeff: “let’s see, special skills? uh….one-two-three-four…..FFFFFUCK.”
HAAAAA

And a classic one: “if Sesame Street was a Soap Opera”
Ryan is giggling coming down with a big-bird mouth. Jeff has one: “Mr. Big Bird, I’m afraid you have…ONE tumor. TWO tumors. ONE TWO THREE, AH-AH-AHHHH.”
Hell, this is a callback to Aisha after Duet. This is great

Colin, with Wayne: “WE USED TO BE SO CLOSE [moves to the back of the stage] NOW WE ARE FAR.”
10/10
Wayne, inevitably: “You need to leave…ABIERTO…..SERRADO.”
Colin: “I’M CARRYING YOUR CHILD.”
Once again, Colin must always say the last thing in order to throw Wayne. He’s so good at this

Jeff, as Ernie, brings up Ryan as Bert: “I’ve got some bad news, I’m actually straight.”
The audience ‘OHHHHHs’
Ryan, however, has a better joke in response:
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.39.10 PM
Ryan: “Sesame Street is brought to you by the Letter H.”
AN OLD FAVORITE RETURNS.
Jeff, however:
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.40.15 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.40.35 PM

Wayne has one, calls up Ryan and Jeff again
Ryan: “THE SAME? …ohhh no no…”
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.42.17 PM
Wayne: “CAPITAL H.”
Jeff:
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.42.59 PM
Ryan sees Aisha coming, and before he realizes why, he thinks it’s another H joke, but:Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.43.14 PM
Jeff: “I DON’T WANNA BE ON THE SHOW ANYMORE…”

Then, as Jeff passes to the side, Aisha nearly slaps him on the ass.

“Chants schoolgirls never sing during jump-rope”
Wayne, who regrets this right as he comes up: “jumping rope, all day long, daddy thinks I’m a virgin but daddy is wr[…]ong…”
I love Colin’s eyebrow raise at that.
Ryan: “OH, LET’S GET OUT ON THAT.”

Wayne does a longer one, doing a ‘stay away from me’ chant
“I will never be a capital h in a man’s alphabet.”

A really damn good SFAH, not just good at keeping runners going but also good at doing really funny scenes, like the entire Sesame Street round, which was too damn funny.

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, is Robbie’s Italian mother passing down her family’s secret Italian recipes

My, what a basic game-load.

I love Ryan’s reaction to the audience applause once he puts on the grey wig. Like ‘…really?’
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 1.34.57 PM
Jeff, with one of the best background jokes I’ve heard in a while: “NORMAN? NORMAN IS THAT YOU???”

Robbie: “Mama…you look like crap…”
PFFFFF

Ryan, after a cute face kiss: “Robbie, what’s with the tongue? No tongue, Robbie…”

I love Colin crushing the tomatoes, and spatter getting on Ryan’s apron.

Ryan: “and it’s good for the face too, the complex-”
Colin: [puts hands towards Ryan’s face]
Ryan: “NO, I ALREADY GOT SOME ON ME…”

Ryan then moves for Colin to squish another tomato, and Colin instead chucks it downward. It’s a funny subversion

Ryan, realizing Robbie hasn’t done much in a while, snaps: “ROBBIE, HELP-A YOUR MOTHER!”

Once again, as Ryan’s eating out of Robbie’s hand but not the inverse, Ryan uses the character to snap again: “WHY IS MAMA NOT FEEDING YOU?”
And as Ryan exalts, Colin talks with his hands, while still holding a bunch of spaghetti, and just…hits Ryan in the face with it.

Ryan: “…sometimes I hate-a my arms…”

Ryan now grabs the olive oil, wanting Robbie to take a swig, which, of course, Robbie rejects.
Ryan: “HEY! Did mama shove the pasta in your mouth? No, she didn’t. Cause Mama arms were chicken, weren’t they?”

Ryan, as Colin raises the bottle of olive oil to his lips: “god, I hope this is something else and not-a real oil…”
He takes a sip, and winces. “….DA REAL OIL.”
PFFFF

So…that was a good game, despite Robbie essentially refusing to participate. The good news is, Ryan used this to his advantage, and played the character as more cloying and desperate for Robbie’s love, as Robbie…did what he could without getting messy. The ending olive oil stunt was also pretty funny. Not as good as last show’s.

Colin, defending himself postmortem: “I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING. My head was in his back. I was heading towards where I thought his mouth would be.”
[Uhh…phrasing?]
Aisha: “that could describe a lot of personal encounters…”
Colin: “I am taking points away from you…”
Aisha: “You know what, I will voluntarily give you my points…they’re in bitcoin, they’re worth nothing…”
Colin, immortally: “I’m sorry, was that bitch-coin?”
THE PLACE GOES WILD.
Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 1.52.35 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-23 at 1.52.47 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-23 at 1.52.58 PM
Ryan: “SHOVE SOME PASTA IN HER MOUTH!”

Aisha and Colin do kiss and makeup, while staying away from Colin’s dirty hands.

Overall: Back when I covered the Drew version, I got a lot of shows that people remembered, and had great running gags, but weren’t as good as I remembered because a lot of the material was ‘good’ rather than ‘incredible’. The Africa show, the Ryan the freak show, the Letter H show, etc. And this one is in the same category.

There was great continued energy through this show, and Robbie Amell brought that energy through all his games, but his games aren’t funny because they’re well-improvised, they’re funny because Robbie does good and funny things in them, like screwing up a rap or not wanting to do anything in Helping Hands. Therefore the humor can’t come from unified improv, but the absence of unity, and therefore more localized, less-long-lasting laughs.

Not that this show wasn’t funny. It was very funny. ‘Counting to five’ is a great running gag, and Colin bringing it back in Dubbing was a great move, one of many moves that impressed me in that game. But Duet and Helping Hands, and even Questions, are funny not for improv reasons, but for funny, mistake-y things that happen in them.

The best actual improv game is Scenes from a Hat, actually, because there’s good interpersonal moves, and the saga of Jeff getting caught in dirty suggestions. That is both lifted by the runner and self-sustaining. I wish the rest of the show were that good. And yes, this show having amazing seats energy, and so many good moments of the performers at rest still succeeding, also makes this one a lot better in my mind than the games show.

But yes, this is a solid show, one of the better ones of the season, and another great entry into the S10 Part 2 run. It’s just a 9/10 for me rather than a 10/10. Which isn’t bad.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Colin had some early wins that stuck, for me, but Jeff was tailing him the whole show.
Worst Performer: This was very close for me, cause everyone had a lot of outward moments. I just had to do the math, and Ryan had more moments of deferring to others, despite Helping Hands.
Best Game: Scenes from a Hat was outrageously funny.
Worst Game: Questions had the least to it.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. Robbie was game, but his reluctance at several points puts him down a few pegs for me.

COMING UP NEXT: The other prodigal son of Whose Line returns to the fourth seat. Also, a guest star that probably got a lot of teenage girls really excited in 2014.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E11, or Shouldn’t Have Bleached..

So, uh. Fun fact. I started this blog to do a watchdown of a show that isn’t Whose Line.

Yeah, a little old panel show from england called QI, hosted by Stephen Fry and later Sandi Toksvig, which had a lot to it substantially and was easy to binge a ton of early on. Eventually, I found other shows that were zippier and less ‘work’ to write, and did watchdowns of them instead.

I’ve made it to Series K, and there’s an episode I have to cover in a bit with Graham Linehan on it. I don’t wanna explain why Graham Lineham sucks, just google it. But that man is one of the most detestable people on earth, and I don’t wanna have to give him publicity, so I’m stonewalling that project for right now.

…why bring this up right when I’m about to cover Rob Gronkowski, you might ask?

It’s different. It’s a different kind of hatred. I’m from Philadelphia, I grew up rooting for the Eagles and despising the New England Patriots, then the Pats won like a TON of rings in the 2010s and it was miserable for me, and one of the catalysts behind those wins was Rob Gronkowski, a tight end who came up in 2010 as a rookie, immediately took the league by storm, won a few rings with the Pats, then retired in 2019, at which point the Pats started losing, to the point where Gronk signed a deal to play for Tampa Bay after they signed Tom Brady to play QB as a sort of reunion deal. The joke’s on them, cause the Bucs aren’t doing very well as I write this. However, seeing as the Bucs recently got a win over my other football team, the Green Bay Packers, including lots of sharp time for Gronk, I’m doubly pissed at him right now.

[I can do this, but I couldn’t cover They Think It’s All Over]

But…covering noted Patriots knucklehead and infuriating football presence Rob Gronkowski is different from covering transphobic git and all around waste of brain matter Graham Linehan. Gronk has a lot of charisma, actually, and doesn’t believe in many truly infuriating concepts [other than, like, Go Pats].

So this will be a little easier than that QI episode that I’ll probably get to in like…May next year.

Anyway, Gronk marks the beginning of Whose Line getting some surprisingly high-profile guest stars from this point on in S10. Not just…CW-adjacent stars, people hanging round the studio. Actual people with careers and names. ROB GRONKOWSKI’S here. In 2014, that’s a very big deal. Hell, the 2014 season would be another one that ended in a ring for New England and Gronk, so it’s great timing for him. However, it would come at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, so bad timing for Ryan.

This is also the first Jonathan Mangum show of S10, and…it’s about time. The guy was great in S9, and he’ll be great here

Wayne has a goatee starting in this stretch.

Let’s Make a Date: Jonathan must choose from Wayne, Excited male stripper getting a group together to rival the Chippendales, Colin, Enthusiastic dog show judge who thinks the others are dogs, and Ryan, Moose trying to mate during hunting season

Wayne’s physicality, thrusting and suggestive moves here are great

Wayne: “I need to get the other ass….stronauts…YOU, GALILEO…YOU, COPERNICUS……..TIM!”
PFFFF

Wayne, to ‘Copernicus’: “Now, stand over here so you’re not blocking his shot…”
Classy

Jonathan: “okay, so…four in one, fantastic.”

Colin, to ‘Copernicus’: “Ooh, big one…YOU’RE A BIG ONE.”
Then Colin just checks Wayne’s crotch, just to get a reaction out of him
Colin: “…oh, this is a female, alright…”
I do love Wayne’s stern, frozen expression after this, keeping it inward, internally shaking his head as Colin feeds him a treat

Ryan’s initial moose noise is funny enough
And then:
Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 11.55.56 AM

And then Ryan starts wandering around the back of the stage.

Wayne, doing a poem for Jonathan: “You will see how my ship will sail
Believe me, it’s long, and [eyes Colin] NOT A FEMALE.”
Perfect

Jonathan: “Bachelor #2-”
Ryan, from backstage: “EEEEUUUAAAAAGHHHH”
And we just see things being flung from nowhere, and just shots of nothing. Which is an insanely funny visual.
Jonathan: “….Bachelor #2-”
Ryan: [runs across the back of the chairs]
This is so damn funny. Wayne’s even cracking at it

Colin, as Wayne kneels in front of him: “Sometimes when they’re like this, that means they’re going to attack”
Wayne just…thrusts against Colin’s leg, as Colin just holds this disappointed expression
THEN GUESS WHO COMES BACK:
Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 12.02.52 PM
Ryan: “EEEEUUUURRRGHHH!”
PFFFF

And then Ryan just….
Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 12.04.03 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-22 at 12.04.12 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-22 at 12.04.22 PM
Yeah, he just starts humping the camera. Of course.
Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 12.06.14 PM
Dear lord. He keeps doing this for 10 seconds after the buzz, then goes, to the others, ‘oh, are we done?’

Jonathan: “I WOULD DATE ALL OF THEM RIGHT NOW IF I COULD…”

Jonathan gets ’em all pretty spot-on

This is honestly one of the funniest, and best, LMAD rounds I’ve seen in a while. Felt like an ABC playing. Ryan’s was directly out of the Drew version. The Wayne-Colin stuff was also really funny and well-developed, but…Ryan’s cracked me up.

Duet: Jonathan and Wayne sing a stadium rock song to Gronk, who also enjoys dancing

Thank the gods, Wayne asks Gronk one of his other interests, and Gronk, absolutely earnestly, admits he likes to dance.

Laura and Linda’s  backing for this one resembles Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. They’d use this again during Songs of The ‘Leans next season.

Jonathan, cracking as he says this: “he is a tight end, but his front is loose…”

Wayne, even more lethal: “He’ll make you scream, Gronk will make you moan
When he grabs the balls and […] gets into your end-zone…”

I do like Gronk’s knowingly-goofy white guy dancing. Ryan cracks at the point where Gronk shakes his head and keeps going

Then, Wayne rushes at Gronk trying to tackle him, and for the THIRD TIME IN THE CW RUN, WAYNE GETS KNOCKED OUT OF THE WAY BY A GUEST STAR:
Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 1.04.20 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-22 at 1.04.37 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-22 at 1.04.45 PM
HOW IS THIS A TREND? WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?
I do love Wayne’s little ‘aw hell’ the second Gronk pushes him. Like ‘oh no, not again’.

Jonathan challenges Gronk to bench-press him, and sure enough:
Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 1.08.37 PM

I love Jonathan’s super-high note to end it.

So that was a blast. Fun lyrics, great physical tomfoolery, and Gronk seemed pretty into it. I know that nowadays he’s playing up his moron persona, but he came off insanely likable and cool here, and I love that Wayne and Jonathan had fun with him

I also love that Wayne watches Gronk leave, and Jonathan literally has to say ‘come on, we’re done, buddy…’
Wayne: “that is a handsome man…”

What’s in the Bag: Astronauts on a space station that’s been damaged by a meteor shower, Ryan and Colin must make repairs and then fix their malfunctioning android Wayne

…they shoulda played this with Gronk, man.

Wayne does some good malfunctioning robot stuff
Ryan: “it’s like a bad rap album…”

Colin pulls out a used tissue: “ungh, don’t know how long that’s been in there…”

Ryan knocks Wayne out by shoving a pair of socks in his face.

Wayne, after rebooting, points at Colin: “ELTON JO[…]HN…”
Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 1.15.31 PM

Ryan and Colin use makeup mirrors as tricorders
Colin: “there’s no one on the other end”
Ryan: “I’M TALKING TO YOU!”

Ryan ‘turns Wayne off’ by plugging a car-key into his ass, which gets a nice reaction out of Wayne [AND JONATHAN].

A messy game of this, but fun in parts. Ryan admits postmortem that the bags didn’t give them much to work with

Wayne is still confused by the presence of socks. “Were you planning on going to the gym after the taping?”
Aisha: “she had a really exciting purse, CHOPSTICKS AND SOCKS. GONNA BE A BIIIIIG NIGHT FOR YOU…”

Props: Ryan and Jonathan vs. Colin and Wayne

Ryan and Jonathan’s opening pac-man one is easy, but Jonathan’s game-accurate sound effects crack Ryan up

Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 1.21.17 PMJonathan: “I think you’re right, gay bigfoot went this way…”

Wayne does a good one as Ursula from Little Mermaid. “All you have to do is give me your voice.”
Colin, scratchy voiced: “OKAY.”
Wayne: [dies]

Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 1.23.11 PMWayne: “is it time for a wax?”
[Colin takes a moment]
Wayne: “be honest, cause it’s only for your eyes.”
Colin: “…shouldn’t have bleached.”
THIS GETS WAYNE.

I kinda love the ‘clorox reggae’ one Wayne and Colin do

Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 1.24.57 PMJonathan: “I’M A PEARL!”
Ryan: [slowly breaks]

Colin does a bagpipes one, but the funny bit is him taking a moment to cough, then continuing

A genuinely awesome props. Even the usual ones had more energy and spark than usual. Jonathan had one of his best Props showing yet, even throwing Ryan a few times. Wayne and Colin’s were slightly more notable, as somehow Colin just had a way of throwing Wayne every time.

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, is a tough fitness coach helping Gronk achieve a healthier lifestyle

Gronk already is pretty good at yes-anding and keeping along with Ryan’s nosy coach.

Ryan: “what kinda diet you on right now, what’s your favorite food?”
Gronk: “…chicken?”
Ryan: “no, that’s out the window now…”

Ryan: ‘the chicken breast you can have.”
Colin: [flings it out of shot]
Ryan: “….OH, NO YOU CAN’T.”
Gronk: “I don’t eat chicken breasts, I only eat other kinds of breasts, I’m sorry…”
Ryan, impressed: “I GOT YOU THERE. Hey, for 30 million dollars for 3 years, you can eat whatever kind of breasts you want…”

Ryan, as Colin opens a container: “We should probably have some electrolytes, a little liquid…..some electrolytes….OPEN THE DAMN THING.”
Gronk: “what do the electrolytes even do?”
Ryan turns around as Colin just drops the container on the table. NOW they’re in sync.

Ryan, after a full monologue about electrolytes: “you should take maybe, uh, 10 dollars of that 30 million dollars and BUY A BOOK.”
The actual dialogue and improv is working really damn well in this scene
Gronk, perfectly: “I can’t read. Why do you think I’m a football player?”
HE’S SO GOOD IN THIS. This is a genuinely competent improv scene with a guest star. We haven’t had one of those in this game since Wilson Bethel was on.

Ryan holds up a quart of chocolate milk, and asks Gronk if it’s ordinary milk.
Gronk: “is that milk from those breasts I eat?”
I CACKLED. I WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT. Also, this throws Ryan:
Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 1.51.41 PM
Ryan: “you know what…what happens in the dressing room, stays in the dressing room…”

Colin ends up pouring the chocolate milk into the gatorade, which….good lord.

Gronk, again setting him apart from other HH guests, agrees to drink the concoction. He does a big chug, and does a ‘Macho Man’ stance right after.

Then, Gronk starts lifting weights as ryan feeds him carrots. The dedication is impressing me.

Even better, Gronk sees a Twinkie on the table and says he wants that next. Putting some of the work off Ryan’s shoulders

Ryan, as Gronk has the weight: “now lift that to the back of your neck with your foot.”
Gronk, sure enough, does just that. Aisha’s impressed enough to buzz there.

I was so impressed with that Helping Hands. Not only was the focus less on torturing Ryan and more on actually doing an improv scene with a partner, but Rob Gronkowski was a fantastic foil, doing a lot of the work himself, no matter how ridiculous it got, and presenting a very fun character and some great lines. Of all people to really work in this position, I did not expect Rob Gronkowski to be one of them. A really fun, really substantial Helping Hands, and the best one so far this season.

Overall: Damn near perfect. Only What’s in the Bag holds this back from perfection for me, as that one was closer to okay, but the other four were fantastic. LMAD felt like a classic Drew game, Duet was super fun, Props was a really strong package of suggestions, and Helping Hands was a true balanced scene without feeling like it was going through the motions. It helped that we saw a lot of Jonathan this show, and it helped that Rob Gronkowski was in a great mood and game for whatever was thrown at him. But really, this show had more energy, more live feelings, and more of the magic that makes this show great, which was all sorely missing in the last four shows.

This show made me feel like Season 10 was about to get insanely good. A shame it took a lull to get there, but still.

Show Winners: All four- WAIT, IT TOOK THIS LONG TO DO AN ALL FOUR WIN SHOW???
Best Performer: Ryan once again did the heavy lifting in the best way possible.
Worst Performer: I can’t give it to Jonathan, so I’ll say that Colin only really excelled in Props, so it’s him.
Best Game: I was torn between LMAD and Helping Hands, but I’m giving it to Let’s Make a Date for just being really damn funny, and having some great inter-performer moments…and also for Ryan’s entire quirk.
Worst Game: What’s in the Bag was a bit haphazard.
Guest Star Rating: 10/10. Impressed the hell out of me at every point. This coming from an Eagles fan, as well.

Coming Up Next: Jeff finally gets his solo taping, and another pretty high-profile CW booking.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E10, or That’s a Sausage, You Idiot.

It still pisses me off that Dan&Mark didn’t invite Nyima back for more tapings after these showings. Yes, she had prior commitments ONE TIME, but that doesn’t mean she’s gonna have prior commitments for the rest of his life, Dan. Just because a woman tells you she’s busy on Friday doesn’t mean you should move on from her, you fucking cuckold.

…anyway.

Nyima’s lack aired show to date is this one, 10×10. It’s also the last show to air from the first 5 tapings of S10, most of which’s output is limited to those two shows. CW would get better at this as they went on [OR WOULD THEY?].

This show also marks a return for Jack Osbourne, who’s worked with half this panel on Trust Us With Your Life, in a rather..glum affair overall. So hopefully with a better improv environment he gets a better showing. The problem back in TUWYL wasn’t Jack, it was…well…TUWYL. Unless you’re a whoser from Ireland, in which case any member of the Osbourne family is bad, including the one who’s responsible from some of the best hard rock songs of the late 60s and early 70s apparently.

Hollywood Director: Ryan is a hunky farmhand mucking out the stalls and flirting with lusty farmer’s daughter Nyima, who is milking the cows, Wayne enters as Nyima’s furious father who drives in on a truck full of pigs

What is it with quirk writers and the word ‘lusty?’

Nyima’s opening cow-milking noise is great
Ryan: “…you know that’s a bull, right?”
Of course

Ryan and Nyima are so good in this scene that I’ll even let slide that one of the comedic hooks they’re working with is ‘lil’ bucket of poopoo’.

I love Wayne bringing out and naming all his pigs, ending with “…and PIGGY cause I ain’t got no imagination”
It’s like James Acaster and his cakes..

I love how Wayne breaks as Colin suggests ‘Mexican soap opera’. Ryan nearly buckles as well

I love Wayne’s very specific Mexican accent and cadence, trying to be the sort of tough guy here.
Wayne, to Colin: “I was going for the less obvious choice…”

the ‘getting an electric shock every time you have a sexual thought’ scene is the more impressive one here. Ryan gets some as Nyima milks the cow.
The Wayne gets some as he handles the pigs, and Colin very quickly mercy-kills. Just very funny
Colin, as the other 3 giggle: “…I may have led you down the wrong path there”

Right before the ‘all twerking dancers’ scene, you can hear a male voice from the audience yell, very clearly, ‘TWERK IT WAYNE’.
….2014, man. Wild times.

Nyima has to shake Ryan’s ass to get him in the right pace for twerking. Ryan…responds with more electric shocks, which is a great callback

As Wayne twerks to end the scene, Ryan starts shaking one of his pigs. The second Aisha buzzes and Wayne sees it, he cracks up. That was a great move.

This one took a bit to really impress me, but I liked this Director. There have been better recent ones, but Nyima and Wayne’s pigs brought some charm.

Ryan: “It’s hard to jiggle solid muscle”
Aisha: “It is! When you’re one big lean solid muscle-”
Ryan: “BZZZZZT”

Dubbing: Ryan is a sexy female singer trying out new guitarists for her rock band, Jack, voiced by Colin, is a top guitarist auditioning to be in the band, and Ryan’s jealous boyfriend Wayne is going to enter as a rival guitarist

…why have Ryan play a woman when you HAVE NYIMA SITTING IN THE BACK BEING MISUSED? Fucking Dan…

Having Linda Taylor on call for this game is a nice idea, as Jack rips into a pretty decent air guitar solo.
Colin: “AND THAT WAS ONE FINGER”
Jack: [confidently nods]
Yeah, he’s got the right idea

Jack moves to the drums, and he’s good at adopting Colin’s suggestions [“TRIPLE TIME! ONE HAND!”]

Wayne, entering with a Russell Brand accent: “NOT SO..QUICKLY…”
PFFFF
Ryan: “It’s Ick Jagged!”

I love that Linda pipes in bad guitar playing when Wayne starts. Ryan just goes and turns off the amp

Wayne’s rebuttal is playing guitar with his teeth, but…he cuts his tongue in the process.

Colin brings up “electric ballet”
Ryan: “Oh good, if it’s electric ballet, I don’t need to sing…”

The eventual ‘electric ballet’ ending is pretty fun, with Jack’s guitar playing against Wayne’s dancing. Wayne even comes in and starts playing the guitar with Jack’s leg

A cool Dubbing. Pretty basic all around, but the guitar element with Linda impressed me.

Secret: Ryan and Colin are Batman and Robin

I love Colin’s peppy mood at the top being met with Ryan’s “it’s Saturday, take a day off, would ya Robin?”

Eventually, Colin pulls two wigs out of the trunk.

Colin: “I knew it, I knew this was about my premature balding!”
Of course

Screen Shot 2020-10-21 at 5.03.13 PMThis alone is funny

Ryan: “LOOK AT US…WHO [smirk] WOULDN’T FEAR US?”
Colin, just casually brushing past his hair: “I suppose you’re right.”
Ryan: “my god, we look like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills…”

Also, I love the subtle moment of Colin picking hairs out of his mouth, shaking his head.

Ryan: “Instead of having a bat as a signal, we could have a thigh…a big, thick thigh.”
Colin: “and we could have utility garter belts.”
Ryan: “DON’T GET AHEAD OF ME.”
There are great moves in this scene, but a lot of them are going unnoticed

Ryan: “I cashed in the Batmobile, it doesn’t suit us anymore, I bought a minivan…”
Colin: “And now you’re gonna be Bruce-INA WAYNE?”
Ryan, with a slow pan to camera 3: “…I hadn’t thought of that.”

Ryan has Colin look in the mirror: “HELLO, YOU.”
Colin: “…this is seriously creeping me out…”

Ryan cracks, due to Colin’s wig nearly clocking him at one point.
Colin: “It’s alright, I can use that as a weapon while fighting close…”

Dare I say it, a  better Secret than E8’s? this one was more fleshed out, had better improv moves, and more of a story and arc to it, while also being very silly and at the edge of cracking. It just took a bit to get going.

Scenes from a Hat:

A classic: “things you can say about your car, but not your partner.”
Wayne: “wow, trunk so big I can keep stuffin’ thing after thing in it…”
Colin: “no matter how much I pump, I just can’t fill this thing.”
lord.
Nyima: “OOOH, you need a wax!”

“Things you don’t want to hear from the person you’ve just woken up next to”
Colin, second show in a row: “…BAAAAH.”
Wayne, who seems to regret this the moment he says it: “YAY, I’M A REAL BOY!”

“Inappropriate things to say at a wedding.”
Colin: “I now pronounce you man and HYYIIEUUUGH”
That cracked me up

Nyima: “Are you gonna kiss the bride or can I?”
Wayne, pulling out a camera: “GO ‘HEAD.”

Wayne: “Today…I have not lost a son…I’ve gained a WHOOOORE.”
OH GOD.

“Odd things to say or do during a lap dance”
Ryan: “…could you break a dollar?”
PFFFFF

An alright SFAH. Picked up towards the end.

Aisha: “Nyima, you get no points because you’re pretty, and your life is too perfect, I’m sure, and you’re super fly-I’M HAVING LIKE A GIRL MOMENT RIGHT NOW…”
Nyima: “…y’wanna make out?”
And she and Aisha have this very cute back-and-forth here.
SO THAAAAAT’S WHY DAN DIDN’T INVITE HER BACK…
Also, another one for the ‘Aisha dropping hints’ supercut I’ll inevitably make post-watchdown.

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, is an irritable short-order cook in a New York diner training new employee Jack

Fun fact, this is the first time since 1994 where someone with MS has had to play this game.

Jack casts himself as a female server with a high-pitched, Brad-in-LMAD-esque voice, which means he’s pretty game for whatever.

Ryan: “I tell you what, why don’t you take a sausage…for free…”
Jack: “Only if you feed it to me…”
Ryan once again forgets the name of Lady and the Tramp, and calls it ‘the dog film’
Also, what is it with Angst improv shows, Jack Osbourne, and sausages?

Ryan, post sausage: “…could that be colder?”

The little moment that gets me is Ryan taking off his hat, as Colin’s about to put things in it, and exchanges a series of eyebrow looks with Jack, as he says ‘here’s what we do, Susan’. Not believing what this game’s turned into, and hoping Jack can stick with him.

Ryan: “a little bacon in there…that’s a sausage, you idiot, BACON IN THERE…”
I love this. Arguing with his hands. You idiot.

Ryan, as Colin grabs the hot sauce: “Let’s put that in the hat- NOT IN MY MOUTH…NOT IN MY MOUTH…”

I also love Jack disagreeing to taste the concoction with “it’s against my professional code.” It’s better than just the disgusted nod no, but he’s staying with the scene.

Ryan, after discretely spitting the sausage back into the hat: “…wow, that hot sauce has got a bit of a whack to it…”

Then, Ryan asks for whipped cream “to get the heat off the hot sauce”, but nothing comes out. “NO, THAT’S JUST AIR. I’M HIGH AS A KITE NOW.”
PFFFF. This game is getting ridiculous in a good way

A solid HH. Jack did well in support, but this was all Ryan and his struggle with sausages, hot sauce and whipped cream. I don’t love the gross food Helping Handses, but this one had some added elements, like Ryan calling Colin an idiot, and the ending whipped cream disaster. A good one for Ryan losing control over Colin. Not PERFECT, but not bad.

Aisha, once Ryan’s back at the seats, informs him he’s got a little something…
Screen Shot 2020-10-21 at 6.03.46 PM
“It’s mad cow.”

Aisha: “Is the hot breath of Colin’s Mochrie pouring into your back as he’s pouring hot sauce and gas into-”
Ryan: “EW…I don’t like the sound of that…”

Colin: “What I loved- at one point, he called his arms an idiot. Said ‘NO, THAT’S THE SAUSAGE YOU IDIOT.”
This whole banter sequence was thrown into the CW bloopers from this season.

Overall: I probably shouldn’t like this show as much as I did, but this felt like an improvement. I didn’t dislike any games, even though some were more ‘okay’ than others. I thought Secret and Helping Hands were higher-tier playings on the season, I thought Jack was a decent guest star, and I thought, more often than not, that this show was better than the average of this season.

Here’s what’s holding me back. A lot of the shows this season that have been in the back half quality-wise for me still have good games, like E5, which was an impressive show til Michael Weatherly showed up, and E8, which focused on good improv when the guest wasn’t around. And this one, while still a decent show, had less improv moments and less real substance to it. So it only does so much to me to break out of ‘middling’, even if I liked a great deal of it.

I’m also just struck by how little of Nyima was in this show, how Ryan didn’t miss a game, and how even with interesting moves like adding Linda to Dubbing and having Jack do a character in HH, I still wasn’t completely won over by this show.

I think it also just speaks to the back half of the first 10 shows, to me. The first six shows impressed me in a lot of different ways, and set the stage for a better run than the remaining four, which all were flawed in different ways, even moreso than the first six. We’re at the end of the first half of the season, and even if they did their quota of episodes per these 5 tapings, it feels to me like they limped there.

Hopefully the second half picks things up. Knowing what I know about some of the gems we have coming, I imagine it will.

Show Winners: Colin and Nyima
Best Performer: Ryan had the most time in the spotlight tonight.
Worst Performer: Nyima was barely in the show, flirtatiousness notwithstanding.
Best Game: Helping Hands was a mess, but it had the most outward laughs from me.
Worst Game: Scenes from a Hat was very basic this show.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. Jack was a pretty basic guest star, but there was some charm to him that came up in both games. Just not enough of it.

COMING UP NEXT: It took him long enough, but Jonathan Mangum finally arrives in Season 10. He’s also bringing in the era of Season 10 where they can actually get people who are famous as guest stars.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E09, or Luckily It’s Parked in the Living Room

It is disappointing that the only guestless shows of this first stretch of the CW version are Keegan shows, especially when other tapings from these era only get the two done for them. Not that Keegan isn’t deserving, just…why play that many games if you’re not gonna air half of them?

Argh. Anyway. This is a guestless show from this season’s Keegan taping, it’s his last show til S11. Not many other factors in play.

Let’s Make a Date: Keegan must choose from Wayne, Flamboyant glamour photographer getting people to pose for sexy photos, Colin, All of Ryan and Wayne’s former lovers returning for one last fling, and Ryan, Angry bee who thinks people’s possessions are pollen to take to the queen, Colin

Keegan’s contestant voice sounds exactly like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite

Colin’s is funny because of the array of characters he can work in. He starts out as a normal stood up date from Wayne, then gets a gruff voice, turns to Ryan, and goes “…if you wanna pass art class…”
PFF

Knowing where the humor is, he turns to Wayne as a beautiful model, then turns back to Ryan, “BAAAAH”

Ryan grabs a purse and gives it to Colin. Colin, like it’s a S9-staple, just puts it on his shoulder

We only see one round of this, sadly.

I love how Keegan’s trying to guess Colin while multiple thought processes are going on. “A teacher with multiple personal…wait…he’s….WHO THE HELL ARE YOU, COLIN?”

Keegan’s guess of Ryan as ‘a dragonfly who’s a kleptomaniac’ is even funnier than the actual quirk
Ryan just…shows his card to Keegan, and Keegan conveniently guesses it correctly

Not a great LMAD, but the raw energy from the guessing portion lifts it a little

Forward/Rewind: Wayne is a heavily-pregnant woman whose water breaks, she has to be driven to the hospital by her panicking husband Colin, Ryan enters as the gung-ho midwife, and Keegan is whatever character strikes his fancy

Wayne makes it difficult for himself from the start by jumproping and throwing in a split, knowing he’ll have to do that over and over again

Colin: “get in the car….[remembers logic] luckily it’s parked in the living room…”

I love Ryan running alongside the car even before he’s introduced…then, on a rewind, having to do it backwards

Wayne climbs into the backseat with Ryan, which is a funny motion
Colin: “I’m gonna adjust the mirror so I can see…..AAAAGHH!”

Keegan gets the wise idea to cast himself as Wayne’s baby, so he comes up under Wayne’s legs. I do love how the producers know this is the funny bit, so they make Keegan do it a few more times
Around the fourth time, Wayne begins to crack a little. Keegan is perfectly game to keep doing it, but it’s just dawning on Wayne how funny it is

Colin, finally: “HE LOOKS JUST LIKE ME!”

I like, on the last rewind, Wayne and Colin keeping the car in mid air for a few extra seconds to throw Ryan

Also, as we get the reverse of Wayne’s water breaking, Wayne…shoves the baby back up, which always is a funny choice at Whose Line

Hell, we even go before the opening of the scene to see Colin smoking a blunt, which is a funny ending

A really nice Forward/Reverse. Like the Jeff one last year, they knew where the funny was coming from, and hit those points super hard. Also, I love Keegan immediately knowing that he had to play the baby and selling it without cracking up

Film Dub: One morning on the slopes

First film dub of the CW run!

Ryan’s first line seems tampered with. The ‘these pajamas aren’t keeping me warm anymore’ seems like it’s from a different mic source than his opening line, and also seems like there’s an edit before ‘warm’. So, already, the CW guys are learning the same faking tricks as the ABC editors.

Ryan, as his character has stayed in the same posture for like 15 seconds: “hah…I just can’t stop gazing at this one thing”

Colin, as an entering character: “boy, skiing uphill is hard!”

Ryan: “It must be nice to ski, I haven’t moved out of this one spot in 3 years…”
Colin: “oh, you should try it…”

Ryan’s ending line is looped from mid-scene.

I mean, this had good moments, but this felt severely tampered with, and not good enough to get by. Keegan’s bit just wasn’t as funny as the rest. And the editors blatantly tried to save this game.

Scenes from a Hat:

“strange things to see or hear in a children’s TV show”
Wayne: “Time for my power-up juice….agh, burns goin down…”

Colin, aided by another strategically placed cut: “hey kids, it’s Willy the dysfunctional penis…”
Screen Shot 2020-10-19 at 12.17.22 PM

Wayne has a really disgusting one with Gargamel taking nude pictures of Smurfette, which he defends against a grossed-out Aisha.
Wayne, eventually: “aw…girl, you’s gonna be black and blue tonight.”
Aisha: [buzzes til the end of time]

“names of cars that would never sell”
Ryan: “ooh…I see you have a Pinto”
when in doubt, go for the easy gag

Colin: “starts real fast and then slows down, the 2014 Bieber”
THE BIEBER JOKES…KEEP….COMING.

“If the Old Testament were a soap opera”
There’s a Keegan/Wayne one that does too much of the work for us, which makes it even better than Colin and Ryan do a great show-don’t-tell one here:
Screen Shot 2020-10-19 at 12.21.40 PM
Colin: “Mary…I find that so hard to believe…”
The joke is ours to figure out, and it’s a genuinely good one when we do. Plus, that upstage turn from Colin sells it.

Wayne does one with him as Abel and Keegan as Cain, and Wayne does a ‘look over there’.
Keegan, who’s been confused this whole time, realizes Wayne’s mistake: “Wait a minute…I’m confused…I’m Cain and you want ME to look over there?”
HAAAA
Screen Shot 2020-10-19 at 12.24.31 PM
Wayne just going ‘dammit’ internally. As he’ll explain later, he used to teach sunday school, so this is a pretty big gaffe for him.

A good SFAH, but it had a few lulls in between the peaks [like that ending].

Greatest Hits: Songs of Spring Break

Colin: “We have many great artists, both from the past and from the future”
Ryan: ‘DO WE?”
Colin: “…no, well…we only have them from NOW…”
Keegan loves this one. This game in general is a great Keegan-watching game, cause he’s right at the edge of the Colin-Ryan shot
Ryan: ‘And I went along with you! i’ll do anything to sell this…”

Ryan, on Macklemore: “is it a him or is it a band, cause I always make that mistake…”
yes, Kid Rock remembers…
Ryan: “like Green Day, I thought that was a guy…”
[footage not found]
Colin: “you’re thinking of Doris Day”
HA

I am surprised that Colin can even name the album, The Heist. “I knew him when he wasn’t doing so well, when he was MackleLESS”
Oh, you mean, after that album?

Wayne does a good job at impersonating not only Wanz, but also Macklemore’s more fast-paced rapping. Clearly he and the backer are aping Thrift Shop, as that was the big hit at the time even though Can’t Hold Us is arguably the better song, but it’s sounding pretty close.

Wayne, in this one, even throws in a ‘ding-ding, SCHLA-DONG”, which is…not exactly ‘schpling-dong’, but definitely in the same vein as E2’s runner.

It’s a pretty good, if lowbrow, Macklemore number from Wayne, though

Ryan tries doing the Lady Gaga scratch, then asks Colin what he’s doing
Colin: “….a…gay lion?”
Ryan: “NO, that’s Lady Gaygay…”
Colin: [holds a finger up]
Ryan not knowing music has been a great runner this round

Wayne actually does a really good melodic Gaga impression, though I genuinely snorted when he undercut his serious lyric with a to-side ‘GAGA-GAGA’. I was NOT expecting that.

I love Wayne detailing the number of people in this story, including a break-inducing “and then at the bar we met a 40-year-old guy and some of his friends…”

Yeah, Wayne’s Gaga number was genuinely great, made that way from some really cool synth-pop chords from Laura and Linda. Wayne chuckles once he’s done, but he genuinely achieved a fun, good song out of that.

A really strong Greatest Hits. Both the banter and the songs were higher-tier, and it all fit together really well. This is also a great playing when you know how loose the banter was in outtakes, including Ryan doing an extended Neil Diamond bit that Keegan was howling at.

Overall: Another okay show, made even more disappointing by the fact that this was the only guestless show of the first half, and it still decided to be just okay. So many games, like LMAD, SFAH and Film Dub, just went by without really making too much of an impact [SFAH at least had the ending Cain/Abel bit]. Forward Reverse and GH are comparatively fantastic, and keep this show from being completely without merit.

Which begs the question: Did the CW make this show bad on purpose?

Let me explain. The CW had to have known about the fan response to the guest star episodes, and the fact that fans preferred guestless shows to guest star shows, which is why 9×08 felt like such a triumph. So…would Dan&Mark, and the CW, want to purposely get the fans off the team of ‘guest star shows are bad’ by making the sole guestless show of this half of S10 disappointing while also including several really good guest star shows? It seems likely to me.

This is a tactic that another show I watched in this period, Survivor, used. Survivor in the early 2010s found success by using returning player seasons to get ratings, even to the point of including two returning players to compete against 16 newbies while giving ample screentime to the returnees. What they also did in this era was purposely make all-new-player seasons really bad by purposely casting really underwhelming players, mostly LA-area recruits rather than actual applying fans. That way, with two all-newbie seasons pissing off fans in this era [S21 and S24], they could successfully trick fans into admitting that the returning player seasons [like S23 and S25] were better. Unfortunately, by Season 28, they accidentally book their best returning player season in years, and that gets the fans back on that camp.

Similarly, the CW’s plan to stigmatize the guestless show would fail during the second half of this season, where we’d get some really good guestless shows, all of which paving the way to our current era of predominantly guest-free shows.

So that’s where I’m at with this episode. The editors could have included some better games in this show, and yet decide not to just out of principle. Which is, sigh, not the only time I can say that about an episode from this taping.

Show Winners: Wayne and Keegan
Best Performer: Colin by a hair. Just did the best in every game he was in, had the best jokes.
Worst Performer: Ryan only really excelled in Film Dub.
Best Game: Greatest Hits. This show was letting me down til this game.
Worst Game: Film Dub was all over the place.

COMING UP NEXT: The last show of the first half of this season, and the last offering from the first five tapings. Also, a farewell for Nyima Funk, and a return for a guy who did what he could back in Trust Us With Your Life.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E08, or WELL, ARE YOU?

Onto the second and last [to date] episode from the first Gary taping of S10. There’s other material from this one, but because it’s S10 and they had less shows with less material, we haven’t seen it yet. But hey, we’ve got another year without new content coming up, so maybe we’ll get one next year.

Our guest star is Mircea Monroe, who was starring on Hart of Dixie with Wilson Bethel at this point. She’s one of those sitcom actors who’s bopped around for years, and was about to bop around some more after Hart of Dixie got canned. 

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Gary, Colin’s loudmouth grandfather for whom Colin is a constant disappointment, co-anchors, Wayne, Going through an entire relationship with Aisha, does sports while Ryan, Drill sergeant putting the whole audience through physical training, does weather

Aisha, reading Wayne’s for the first time: “oh my god.”
Wayne: [dances]

Gary, who can do this sort of character in his sleep yet still brings it: “why didn’t you come out brown like I wanted you to?”

UNFORTUNATELY, THAT IS THE ONLY LINE WE SEE. We cut to Aisha after that and Gary is done. Why do the editors keep doing Gary dirty like this? He’s clearly the most kindred of the new fourth seaters to the three regulars, so he shouldn’t be used like this. 

Wayne’s is pretty effortless, going from asking Aisha out to the next date, where he conveniently doesn’t have any money to pay. 

Wayne, now getting defensive: “I came into this relationship with status, I’m on the NEWS, BITCH!”

I do like how Wayne progresses towards asking Aisha for forgiveness, Say Anything style. 

Gary: “NOW HE’D HAVE MADE A FIIIINE GRANDSON”
Colin: “oh, shut up!”
PFF

Ryan, of course: “ONLY TWO THINGS COME FROM THE SIMI VALLEY, JASON…TRAFFIC……AND JASON!”
PFFFFF

Ryan then forces Jason to do push-ups while another audience member sits on his back. Ryan is really getting into this one, which is nice, cause he always does this sort of quirk well.

Ryan, leading the entire audience: “I DON’T KNOW BUT I’VE BEEN TOLD. WEEKEND’S LOOKIN MIGHTY COLD.”
And then Ryan just goes: “…see, you can do it yourself, you don’t need me…”

Another okay WN. Yes, the Wayne and Ryan stuff was good, but both felt like classic, basic WN stuff. Gary’s was fun but edited out. Nothing really new and dynamic was here, even though this wasn’t a bad game.

Dubbing: Ryan is a lustful teenager making out in a car with a student Mircea, a full moon appears, Mircea, voice by Colin, starts to turn into a werewolf, and then Wayne enters as another werewolf on the lookout for a mate

This is the one where, I think for a pickup, Colin, as Mircea, just starts dressing down Ryan for his lack of lovemaking skills, and saying “IT IS WRITTEN ON ALL THE BATHROOM WALLS…”. Ryan has to go “I FUCKING GET IT” to get him to stop. I think that was a pickup, but I remember it just from Mircea’s cutesy face as she says “you’re the worst lover I’ve ever had”

Nobody says anything about Aisha’s bizarre pronunciation of ‘WEIRwolf’? True, nothing comes close to ‘wharwilf’ territories, but it caught me off guard. That’s like a Fred Willard pronunciation. 

Colin, similarly: “I never know when I’m gonna find the right man…and until I do, you’re good enough…”
Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 9.47.58 AM

I’ll give Mircea credit, she’s really good at doing this weird werewolf transformation thing as Colin pipes in gibberish. Colin does it for like 10 seconds and Mircea stays with it.
Colin: “…I’m a baptist.”
PFFFFF
Ryan: [steps out of the car]

I actually do like Ryan’s genuine acting in here, as it’s a great contrast to Colin’s, and eventually Wayne’s, goofy werewolf stuff. Like, Ryan knows where the game is, and what he needs to be, and it’s a fantastic contrast in that respect

Then, as both Wayne AND Colin start doing werewolf noises, Ryan just…steps back and checks his watch.

Then, as Wayne and Mircea start really bonding with physicality, Ryan, walking across, goes “suddenly I feel like a third wheel here”

I love how Ryan points something in their direction, and both Colin and Wayne have to remember what repels werewolves
Wayne: “oh, it’s a….”
Colin: “GUN.”
Ryan: “loaded with one silver bullet. Only one.”
Wayne: [hides behind Mircea]
Mircea: [gives him a look]

Colin, after Mircea bites Ryan: “Your snout is elongating”
Ryan, knowing that Colin HAD to say it that exact way: 
Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 10.00.13 AM
Colin: [smirk]

That was…clumsy, and goofy as hell, but…I think I liked it? Look, it wasn’t SUBSTANTIAL improv, and it mostly got by on goofy motions and sounds, but…it wasn’t bad. Mircea was fully into the madness, and Ryan knew his move as the straight man. I think this one grew on me, though it’s still definitely a flawed scene

World’s Worst: Commercial

World’s Worst returns as, like 9×03’s playing, a split-stage quickfire round like Hats, rather than a ‘step-forward’ game. 

Wayne: “Do you find yourself smelling TOO GOOD, or feeling TOO CLEAN? Try this….shit!”
And then…he just buckles
Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 10.27.19 AMGary: ‘…that’ll make it…”
Wayne: “IT’S ORGANIC…biodegradable…and, it’s nature’s chocolate.”

Colin’s erectile dysfunction aid: “With only two popsicle sticks and some duct tape…”
PFFF

Gary, making this wonderful stance:
Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 10.31.22 AM
“BELIEVE IT OR NOT….I USED TO BE FAT.”
This line has actually aged really well!

Ryan: “want people to know more about you? Come on down to Target.”
It’s finally happened…we’ve reached a topical joke that I lived through that I’ve completely forgotten the relevancy of. 

Wayne: “ARE YOU….[cracks]”
and he just walks off.
Colin: “….WELL, ARE YOU?”
Perfect
Wayne: “I AM.”

Colin: “Having trouble writing that next great screenplay. Come on down to the Shia LeBoeuf writing school!”
THERE’S one I remember

Wayne: “come to my school of self-chiropracty” [snaps own neck]

A pretty strong WW, but very short. I could have used more from Ryan and Gary. 

Ryan: “…that is some good shit he was selling.”

Secret: Ryan and Colin are Tonto and the Lone Ranger

Another classic game returns slightly retooled. The difference is the secret isn’t made up by Colin or Ryan, but it’s in a trunk displayed onstage, and the players have to work with said prop for the rest of the scene. Either way, it’s still Secret.

I think it’s interesting that the case is carried onstage by Colin, and Ryan kicks it around a few times. So they can determine how light the object is. Later installments, the trunk would be squarely onstage as they come up

Ryan: “mmmm. Buffalo come.”
As he does in most scenes with these characters.
Colin: “Yes, I know…if you just move to the left you’ll be out of it.”
AND THE EASY LAUGH IS GONE. I still like this version of the joke, but, as Ryan points out, “oldest joke in book.”

Colin introduces the conflict that he’s going off on his own
Ryan: “What Tonto do now? It not just Tonto, it Tonto, Lone Ranger”
Colin: “…maybe buy some more verbs or something.”

Eventually, Ryan reveals what’s in Colin’s trunk:
Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 11.06.36 AM
Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 11.09.36 AMScreen Shot 2020-10-16 at 11.09.45 AMScreen Shot 2020-10-16 at 11.09.54 AM
Fun fact: this screenshot right here has been my screensaver for several years now. Eternally disappointed Ryan. Just…really does it for me. 
This is all perfect, just understated reactions

Ryan: “Lone Ranger love woman of air?”
Colin: “Please…I call her kimo-Sally.”
OH MY GOD, COLIN

Ryan: “TONTO COULD PUT ON…FRILLY UNDERWEAR…AND STAND LIKE…”
Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 11.18.21 AMAnd Ryan keeps doing this face. Good lord.
Colin: “Could I just say…that could make a goat vomit.”

Colin: “Out in the desert, when it gets really hot, I could just…” [lets air come through]
Ryan, turning around: “TONTO COULD DO THAT TOO.”
oh lord

So…on one hand, there’s less substantial improv going on because there’s prop diversion, but on the other hand, this was still a great debut for Secret, as the characters were already strong enough initially to handle that subversion, and Ryan took the gift and ran for the rest of the game. A sentimental favorite of mine, even though there’s a Secret coming that tops it.

Irish Drinking Song: Divorce

GARY GETS TO DO IDS. OH WOW.

Wayne: “California is a no-fault state”
Gary: [INDECIPHERABLE GIBBERISH] SHOOORE-AH”
Colin: “I have left my wife”
Ryan, smirking as he says this: “that dirty little whore…”

The end of the Ryan verse ends with Gary, Colin and Ryan doing nonsense words in celebration. Such a goofy mood already

Ryan: “Now I can’t even look at her.”
Wayne: “She is no longer hot.”

Ryan: “She will be much younger”
Wayne: “and she will appreciate schlong”
PFFFFFF

Colin: “I’ve finally found the love of my life”
Ryan: “blonde, silky hair”
Wayne: “arms…..like a linebacker”
I love that detail
Gary: “AND BIG OL BOOBIES THERE.”
Gary may not seem like a natural at this game, but he’s killin it

Wayne: “She accepts me as a complete human being”
Gary: “and she’s not very tall!”
Wayne’s big, descriptive lines contrasting with Gary’s more broad gags work for me

Also, I love Gary’s arm-swinging dancing during the refrain

Ryan, with a nice fourth-verses reveal: “okay, she’s made of plastic”
Wayne: “yeah, she’s blow-up”
Gary: “sure, she’s full of air”
Colin: “On her I rest my cup”

Ryan: “but she understands me”
Wayne: “and she never ever talks back”
Gary: “but I will never poke her”
Colin: “…YAKK-KAK-KAK-KAK-KAK”
Good god…
Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 11.30.50 AM
This is the kind of verse ender I prefer. Not a dirty joke, not something bizarre, just…random nonsense, or wholesome copping out, that ends it on an airable but ridiculous note. Colin couldn’t think of a rhyme, so he made up words, and that alone is funny.

Ryan, though, as we pan up, is going to Colin: “I DID HER IN THE SACK? ANYTHING!”. Like, Colin COULD have done something dirty, but chose not to, and Ryan’s floored by that, considering Colin’s track record

A really good IDS, and I may have liked it better than E5’s because every verse was substantial, it told a good, fun story, and everybody had moments to make you laugh, even Colin with that cop-out ender. 

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, is James Bond on a date with a Russian spy Mircea in a casino, and he is trying to get information out of this Russian spy

Ryan: “would you like a martini?”
Mircea: “…Oui.”
And she immediately knows she’s done the wrong nationality.
Ryan, saving her: “would WE like a martini?”

I love Ryan responding to Colin dabbing some of the vermouth on Ryan’s neck

Colin dumps the WHOLE THING OF COCKTAIL ONIONS into Mircea’s vodka glass.

I love the difficulty of Mircea and Colin trying to intertwine glasses and fit mouths. Colin knocks the vodka over in doing this, and Ryan keeps trying to catch the glass that doesn’t have the onions in it

Ryan, after uncovering a steak: “now, this meat is very special, cause I’m sure it’s been sitting for a long, long time…”

Ryan, after handing Mircea a hunk of steak: “remember, fire your agent in the morning.”
Unlike the last person Ryan said that to, Maggie Q, Mircea’s actually doing a good job this show, and is definitely more into the gig than Maggie was.

Ryan, surprisingly, enjoys the steak. Usually the meat is spoiled by the time it comes out, but he doesn’t seem to hate it

Ryan: “is this your card?”
Mircea: “it VAS.”
Ryan: ‘…WAIT, YOU HAVE YOUR ACCENT BACK NOW.”
PFFF. At least they’re having fun with that

Mircea: “it go in and out”
Ryan: “…I love that, have another drink”
RYAN.

The vodka bottle spills again
Ryan: “OH, GOD I’M SO WET.”
PFFFFF.
Colin: [rubs Ryan’s lower torso]

Obviously something was cut, cause by the time Aisha buzzes, there’s a case that was open that never got shown in the game. 

A decent Helping Hands. The focus wasn’t SOLELY on eating gross things, and Mircea did her best to stay in it, though the wavering accent was at least kept in stride. Not the best we’ve seen, but certainly not the worst.

Aisha calls Ryan the “most confusing Bond ever”
Ryan: “even worse than Pierce Brosnan?”
HE WASN’T THAT BAD! Even the audience disagrees
Ryan: “is he here?”
And Ryan chuckles as he says “…and special guest, Pierce Brosnan”
[same energy as ‘AND SPECIAL GUEST, CAROL CHANNING!’ [faints]]

Overall: A mostly okay show that came alive once it went towards the improv-heavy games after Dubbing. World’s Worst, Secret and IDS were all fantastic, and kept the mood of this show loose and high. But…you also have basic games like WN and HH and clumsy games like Dubbing, so I can’t completely call this show a win. Mircea was a good enough guest, but neither of her games truly impressed me. Also, Gary was cut out of this show for the most part, save for IDS, really. Good things happened here, but not enough of them. 

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: Ryan was all over tonight’s show, and did a phenomenal job in all his games. 
Worst Performer: Gary, despite his usual joyous performance, was edited poorly this show.
Best Game: Irish Drinking Song, barely beating Secret just on consistency’s sake.
Worst Game: Helping Hands wasn’t BAD, but it wasn’t much either. 
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. Happy to be here, though her effort masked a lack of real improv ability, which…is fine.

COMING UP NEXT: Our first guestless show of the season. According to the trend, it’s a Keegan show, his last of S10. 

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E07, or We All Gotta Grow Up

We go back to the same taping as 10×04, which means we have our second of two [to date] Greg-Jeff episodes. Like E4, we only get one guest star game, and it’s a…small child.

Nolan Gould, who plays Luke on Modern Family, was 15 when he filmed this. He’s only in one game, but he’s 15. Modern Family…isn’t a WB product, but Aisha knew a lot of the cast from guesting, so she funneled some over.

Weird Newscasters: Greg anchors, Jeff, Drunk college kid shouting his drive-thru order into Greg the intercom, co-anchors, Wayne, Head of a big hillbilly family, gathering his clan for a photo, does sports while Colin, Highlight reel of all the great horror movie characters

COLIN, for the first time since S9-era, does the weather. Interesting.

Greg: “Good evening, I’m Unfeasibly Large”
Good to have ya back, Greg

The immediate Greg blowback reaction to Jeff yelling “BRO” is great.

Jeff, towards the backseat: “HEY, BIEBER, QUIET, DUDE!”
So many Bieber references this season

Jeff also throws in his cartoon vomiting from IAG [“SOMUCHPUKE”]

Wayne gets some people out of the audience for his. I also love his little voice he’s doing. He asks for ‘Lawrence’, and then a girl comes up.
Wayne: “y-you’re not Lawrence, you got boobies…”

Wayne is doing some really funny rationalizations for all the audience members who come up, like “Tay-Tay, she works at a store right next to a Hooters”
and:
Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 12.04.58 PM
Wayne: ‘this is the….the black sheep of the family…”

And the eventual photo:
Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 12.09.09 PM[take that, Ellen!]

Colin, immediately as Bela Lugosi: “THANK YOU GREG”
Okay, I already love this

Colin, as Karloff Frankenstein: “BUSHFIRE! FIIIRE!”

Colin throws in Alien, before doing a very topical: “…I’m the mayor of Toronto!”
HA! Yeah. Remember when Rob Ford smoking a ton of crack and retaining office was the worst we thought a politician could do?

Greg, as he’s on the CW, says “stay tuned for a 17-hour version of Tomorrow People”
He hasn’t even met any Amell brothers or anything..

A pretty good WN, though this falls more into the category of ‘basic’ than anything. Wayne’s was funny, but a very basic ‘wrangling audience’ members. I loved Colin’s just from a movie-buff perspective, and he should have done more before the Rob Ford punchline

Sound Effects: Cavalry officer Colin and his bugler Greg are defending a fort from an Apache raid and they decide to move their womenfolk and children to safety

A Colin-Greg SFX. Getting some IAG vibes from this one.

Aisha, painfully telling the difference between Whitney and Britney: “Oh my god, I’m so…sad I drank before this.”
If this is true, join the club…

Greg, to start, actually makes the bugle noise, forgetting what game he’s in
Colin: “…why are you doing sounds?”
Greg: “Sorry, I guess I got a little confused, it’s that whole Whitney-Britney thing racing around in my mind…let me try this again, with humor”
Britney: “CA-CAAA, CA-CAAAA”
[no, robin williams movie reference, hush]
Colin: “Oh good, we got the birds!”

Colin ends up having to chuck one of the carrier pigeons away.
Whitney: “RAAAEEEERH”
Colin: “Oh, I threw it right into the mouth of that mountain lion…”

Greg, yelling offstage: “ARE THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN SAFE?”
Britney: “AAAAAAHHHHHH”
Greg: “…evidently not.”
Ryan is more of a rock in this game, but Greg’s charm is definitely working

I love Whitney doing more gunshots than Colin is prepared for, and Colin turning this into the gun going out of control
Colin: “I’M IN CHARGE, I don’t have to be GOOD!”

Greg sounds the bugle call again
Britney: “LILILILILILILILILI”
PFFFFF

Colin goes to whistle for his horse, but Whitney just adds the galloping noise already, so Colin just puzzledly scrapes his fingers off his tongue
Colin: “THAT’S NOT EASY TO DO”
Greg: ‘that’s an amazing horse sound you make with your WHISTLE…”

Greg calls his horse, and Britney does a full BLOWING NOISE…which Greg, second show in a row, passes off as flatulence 

A pretty funny SFX. Britney and Whitney were fun. Not as good as last show’s SFX, just from the spontaneity levels of that one, but this still had some good moments. 

Jeff, to Wayne: ‘they gotta be sisters, right?”
JEFF, WHERE WERE YOU DURING THE INTRO. Wayne even calls him out on this.

Aisha: “no, you know what it is, Jeff- we just all look alike…”
Wayne tries to vouch for Jeff here, saying it was more than that
Jeff, playing along: “BRITNEY, BE QUIET.”

Living Scenery: Greg and Colin are a honeymooning couple using different modes of transportation to travel across America stopping to see the various sites. Wayne and Nolan are props

Aisha: “please keep in mind that Nolan is young and his bones are still developing”

Colin: “First, let’s get on the horses. You get the pony.”
Nolan has a brief look towards Colin at that line
Colin, on Wayne: “GO, BLACK BEAUTY!”

Colin then casts Nolan and Wayne as a ‘magnificent waterfall’, which they do relatively well
Colin: “When I said ‘magnificent’, it’s about five feet…”

Greg, on the motorcycles, gets to switch. Colin, shrugging, goes “I’ll take the moped.”

Nolan is giving a lot of energy in this, just from doing prop work. I think he’s just genuinely excited to be on, which is a plus. Maybe he grew up a fan of the show?

I do love both going over a hill, and Nolan and Colin landing first as Wayne really taking his time to come down. Colin just goes “oh, we landed already..”

Greg: “Look over there, a totem pole!”
Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 1.28.26 PM
Colin: “This one was made in Bollywood”
Wayne cracks at this

Colin: “Not only that, it dispenses maple syrup!”
And Colin pulls a lever down near Nolan’s crotch. YEP. SURE.
Jeff, in the back, curls over his seat.
Greg: “I WANT MORE MAPLE SYRUP THAN THAT”
Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 1.30.24 PM
Colin ‘turns the knob’, Wayne’s head, and…
Greg: “That’s LOADS of maple syrup.”
Dear god

Greg: “Oh god, I could really use something to drink.”
Colin, with no ideas: “well, uh….there’s maple syrup.”
PFFFFF. I was gone.

Greg puts on his robe, Nolan
Colin: “oh…good thing you left it hanging here…weeks before we got here.”
Greg is clearly not as adept at this game as Colin, but he’s getting by. Colin is leading this game, which is rare as Ryan usually does, and he’s doing a great job.

A fairly chaotic LS, but good. Nolan was game, even with the…immensely dirty maple syrup joke that dominated the second half. Again, Greg isn’t a pro at this, but Colin made up for it. 

Aisha: “…you should all be ashamed of yourselves.”
Wayne: “WHO?”
Colin: “hey, we all gotta grow up…”
pFFFF.

Aisha: “I would just like to say to Canada, ‘I’m sorry'”
Colin: “Have you BEEN to Canada?”
Aisha: “I HAVE…BEAN to Canada.”
[I love that. Making fun of the accent a little]
Colin: “well, you haven’t been to the…totem pole maple syrup festival…”
Aisha: “…IT SOUNDS DELIGHTFUL.”
Colin: “Pour it all over your beavertails.”
COLIN.
Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 1.38.11 PM

Hoedown: Food

FIRST HOEDOWN OF THE CW ERA. RYAN DOESN’T EVEN GET TO TAKE PART. IT’S JOYOUS

Aisha even goes “ladies and gentlemen, Whose Line Nation, you’ve been waiting for it…HERE COMES A HOEDOWN”
Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 1.39.18 PM
That is exactly what I’d expect

Like usual in the US, they switch things around so Jeff ends it. They’d do this well into the newer seasons. Maybe Ryan was sick of it?

Wayne has an amusing enough verse about “if I ate too much I’d end up on the Biggest Loser”

Colin: “I eat 50 pounds a day, I don’t get fat, don’t fear
Because I’ve had diarrhea for 15 years”
PFF

Greg’s is about his wife being a vegetarian, which means it came after his original try at HIM being a vegetarian [“oh, no fucking way…”]
There’s a good punchline: “she will never eat me, so I eat myself instead”
Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 1.44.06 PM

Jeff has a clever verse about eating roadkill
“Hell, I am sure glad that I live by a dam
Lately I’ve been eating all the beaver than I can!”
A good verse, though it’s very telling that the first person who goes ‘YEAH’ to this is Aisha. Again, they were dropping hints in way before Emily Bett Rickards shows up

I love Greg and Jeff’s spirited high-five as they head back to the seats.

A decent Hoedown. Some good verses, though nothing too classic or great.

Scenes from a Hat:

You have Hoedown, why end with SFAH? 

Unlikely Cosmetics Commercials:
Greg: “Hi, I’m before:
Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 1.55.39 PM

Jeff, inevitably: “Hi, I’m after..”
Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 1.57.16 PM

And now, an exchange that is so much better in the uncensored version
Jeff: “Colin, I have to ask, how do you keep your hair so soft and manageable?”
Colin: “FUCK OFF!”

“Unappetizing flavors of potato chips”
Wayne, cracking in the middle: “…Balls and vinegar?”
Wayne stays and lingers as Aisha buzzes repeatedly, getting another idea, in mid-laugh: “YOU CAN’T JUST STOP AT ONE!”

Wayne, with another one: “MMM, sh…ingles…”

Colin, shaking his head towards Aisha before he goes up with it: “hm…’Kardashian’…”

“Unlikely things for your proctologist to do or say”
Some easy jokes here. Wayne doing magic, Jeff icing the rim like a bottle, Colin asking “is that the ocean?”.
Jeff and Wayne do more bottle-rim sound stuff, making harmonies and everything, which is pretty fun

Jeff:
Screen Shot 2020-10-15 at 2.04.59 PM
Jeff: “LOOK, I’M YOU”
Colin, with a different interpretation: “I’ve been trying to find a way out”
I initially thought that was a bad move, but…now it just is a move that says the guy is bigger than Jeff thought

Greg: “OKAY NOW DO ME!”

A good SFAH, though not as good as the last few. 

Overall: Sad to say, but our most okay show of the season so far. Living Scenery was definitely the highlight, and nothing else in this show came close. It wasn’t BAD, but…lots of games, like WN, SFX, Hoedown and SFAH just felt…basic to me. Like, this felt like an insanely basic, entry-point show, but without any real substance to it, save for the Nolan game. 

In comparison to the other show from this taping, Greg was edited better than Jeff. Jeff only really stood out in the later games, but Greg had the bulk of the show to lift. While Greg came off better in SFX than LS [even after Greg forgot he was playing SFX], he still struggled slightly at filling Ryan’s shoes, which led to the lack of similar variation tapings [until Wayne’s Hamilton run]. It did lead Colin to lead more games in Ryan’s place, and he did admirably.

But really…the main issue I have with this show was the structure. Weird Newscasters was really the only game that was in the right place this show. I would have ordered it WN-SFAH-SFX-LS-Hoedown. There, you have a better ender, a more climactic placing for Living Scenery, and a better, earlier place for SFAH, which didn’t feel like a great ender for me. 

Show Winner: Colin
Best Performer: Colin did the most heavy lifting, and the best character work, throughout the night. 
Worst Performer: Jeff, despite some funny stuff late, was cut out of a lot of this show.
Best Game: Living Scenery, just for having the most insane energy
Worst Game: Hoedown was the most take-it-or-leave-it, sad to say
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. Nolan didn’t have much to do, but gave his all in Living Scenery. Unlike the other one-gamer from this taping, Darren Criss, Nolan didn’t exactly make a GREAT impact in his one game, hence the lower rating.

COMING UP NEXT: The second of two shows from the E6 Gary taping. The guest star brings more CW corporate synergy. 

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E06, or Nothing Like Your Flatulence

It took long enough, but Gary Anthony Williams has finally arrived in S10. Around S10, you’ll begin to see some of the weight loss methods Gary’s implementing begin to take effect, as by S11 or 12, he looks a ton slimmer and happier. Which is wonderful.

Meanwhile, our guest star is a FREAKING SUMO WRESTLER tonight. Yes, we haven’t gone beyond the novelty of ‘amazing profession guest stars’ apparently, so Dan and Mark got an ACTUAL SUMO WRESTLER FROM MONGOLIA, Ulambayaryn Byambajav. Okay then. Good for you.

Scenes from a Hat:

Because screw actual openers. I’ll accept it, because this is one of our first LEGENDARY SFAH rounds

“people you wouldn’t want to go on a long road trip with”
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.02.40 AM
Ryan: “Hi, we’re the Kardashians.”

Gary, with Wayne: “I don’t BELIEVE in deodorant….[smirk] KEEP THE WINDOW UP!”

Wayne has Ryan and Colin come up and start, and then he just:
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.06.00 AM
Ryan waits for Colin’s eye-contact, and then:
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.09.22 AMScreen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.09.31 AM
Then, once Ryan realizes Colin turned as well, he starts cracking up.
Wayne: “WHAT CAR WAS THAT?”
Aisha: “Somebody should invent that car, right? Like, if you were in a fight with your spouse, just…”

Aisha takes SEVERAL TRIES to get this next scene out, and I don’t blame her:
“Using the word boing, demonstrate bad times for Viagra to kick in”
She just…loses it halfway through like TWICE

Wayne’s first one isn’t great, but the ‘BOIIIIING’ gets Colin laughing

Gary: “DADDY, I LOVE YOU SO MUUUCH, BOING.”
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.13.35 AM
Gary: “…let…let go, daddy.”
Ryan: “no.”

Note that Ryan starts smiling the second he realizes what’s coming back:
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.16.18 AM
Wayne: “BOING”
Ryan and Colin:
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.17.31 AM
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.18.15 AM
I love that addition. Wayne just…in the middle of the road.

Gary, with Wayne: “AND I WILL THROW THIS KNIFE AS CLOSE TO HIS BODY [cracks] AS HUMANLY…POSSIBLE.”
Wayne: “BOI-AAAIIIGHHH!”

Ryan and Colin’s…has always summed up this scene for me
Ryan: “Pinocchio, are you lying again?”
Colin: “BOING.”
Ryan: [just shakes his head and cracks up]
Even if Ryan knows the punchline, the way Colin delivers it just cracks him up

Gary comes up with a genius one: “OHHH, LITTLE SAMMY DAVIS JR., HOW ARE YA TODAY?”
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.20.54 AM
Wayne, barely holding it together: “BOI…ng”
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 11.21.57 AM
Wayne keeps it together long enough to do the epilogue in a good Sammy voice: “…*RIGHT* IN MY EYE…”
Ryan, from the side: “WHAT IS HAPPENING???”

A phenomenal SFAH. Yes, only two scenes, but…such funny stuff. The entire boing scene is probably the first classic SFAH suggestion to me, and the idea of bringing back Wayne in the back of the car was genius. So many good bits here.

Sound Effects: Ryan and Colin are astronauts about to blast off in their rocket and go to the International Space Station to tackle a rampaging alien

Colin: “i tell ya, I’m worried about this rampaging alien”
Katrina and Terry: “OOOOUUGHGHGHGHGH”
Colin: “… my stomach’s going funny just thinking about it”

Ryan does a variation on IAG E40’s ‘TOWER?’ gag, asking Katrina if they’re clear for take off
Katrina: “…not quite yet”
Ah yes, the famed rule of NOT QUITE YET, AND
[I do think Chip’s “NO” lady was funnier]
Colin does a little ‘smoking a joint’ motion to rationalize Katrina taking so long

I LOVE the ‘button noises’ Terry and Katrina make
Colin: “Oh, hey, I beat my high score!”

Ryan runs the countdown, and then:
Katrina: “PFFFT.”
Colin takes the right gift, and just clutches his stomach: “I’m…very nervous.”
Ryan: “What is wrong with you?”

Ryan: “Alright, this time I’m gonna fire the rockets. It’s gonna sound NOTHING like your flatulence”

Katrina, after the left off, throws in a high-pitched yipping noise
Ryan, melding genres: “WE’RE BEIN’ CHASED BY INDIANS”
[Judges ruling…no, this line still works. Genre parody, not especially a stereotype]
Colin: “It’s okay…they’re all on horses!”
PFFFF

Terry emits a ‘woooooooo’ noise as Ryan and Colin are in the space station
Colin: “GHOSTS!”
I also love Colin doing zero-g floating, and then Ryan going ‘what are you walking around like that for?”

Ryan says that the door-opening could lead to suction, and Terry GASPS
Ryan: “…that was more of a GAG…”

Ryan whips his tricorder out
Katrina: “RRRRREEAARH”
Ryan: “…it’s a PARROT, WHY WOULD I BRING A PARROT WITH ME?”
Ryan just snaps the parrot’s neck and throws it away. DARK MOVE, even if it gets some ‘AWWWs’ from the audience

Ryan says that the Russians left a message, “probably in Russian”
Terry, as this is evidently not one of her strengths: “…no.”
THAT cracked me up
Ryan: “NO, what’s that mean? Look it up, ‘no'”
This joke works in both ways. It works in the context of the scene, as they’re literally translating ‘no’ from Russian. It also works in a very meta way, as ‘no’ is LITERALLY NOT IN RYAN AND COLIN’S VOCABULARY. That is the single cheekiest improv joke Ryan could do, and I don’t know if he even meant it.

Terry does a ‘BIPBIPBIPBIPBIPBIP’ coming from the kitchen
Colin: “…I think we’re gonna be okay with THIS alien…”

Ryan lights up the flamethrower, which produces ANOTHER FART NOISE FROM KATRINA
Colin just wilts over, shaking his head.
Ryan: “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”
I kinda love this runner. From the makers of ‘the land of one noise’, it’s ‘the land of fart noises’

So…that was really funny, way better than this season’s first SFX game. Katrina and Terry were very funny, both lawfully and unintentionally, and pretty much every gag hit. Katrina going “not quite yet”, and both ladies’ fart noises, brought so much joy to this game. Definitely a high standard for this game on the CW.

Duet: Gary and Wayne sing a motown song to Byambajav

And I quote Chip Esten: “he has larger breasts than she, what are they going to do?”

1000 points to Aisha for nailing what must be one of the toughest pronunciations in the show’s history. 2000 points to the PA who must have outlined it phonetically for her.

Already, the sight of Byamba moving his hands along with Gary and Wayne is pretty silly

As Wayne says “I’ve never been bodyslammed by a big dude in a kimono”, Byamba just starts casually pec-bouncing, which means we don’t need Terry Crews to come on this show

This leads to all three squatting onstage. Gary is musically both worried and surprised by this.

As Gary takes control of the melody, Wayne and Byamba start goofing around, and uh:
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 12.22.04 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-14 at 12.23.18 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-14 at 12.23.26 PM
I laughed out loud.
Also, Wayne’s best move is EXAGGERATING HOW FAR HE’S BEEN THROWN:Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 12.23.34 PM
and just…walking away, out of shot.Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 12.23.48 PM
Aisha, for the second time this show, is HOWLING.

And then Wayne runs back onstage and just starts, horrified of being hit again, just dancing stilted and like he’s at-gunpoint

Gary: “Ya broke Wayne Brady’s NECK…I don’t want nothing for me at all…TELL ME HOW TO SAY ‘PLEASE DON’T DO THAT TO ME’ IN JAPANESE…”
And Wayne’s just…cowering, trying to be nice. This is so damn funny

Then, Gary defers to Wayne, thinking he’s got another verse, but Wayne’s doubling over, cracking up and trying to compose himself, still. Gary picks the refrain back up again [“DON’T DO THE SUMO”], and Wayne just joins in, still not completely over it.

Gary: “We’re gonna get belly to belly, we’re gonna do our thing.”
Wayne, finally: “I’ve never been much of a cryer…but I think I sprained my ding-a-ling…”

Gary: “Well let me tell you right now, from here to Des Moines
When he socked you like that, I heard something go-”
Wayne, perfectly: “BOOIIIING”
I FORGOT ABOUT THAT CALLBACK

That was too damn funny.  Byamba was having a grand old time, Gary took most of the lead in the lyrics and did really well, and…Byamba injured Wayne, which cracked me up, as did the fallout lyrics. An insanely funny, and well-done, Duet. Won’t forget this one anytime soon.

Wayne jokingly hobbles his way to the seats.
Wayne: “I feel…a constant vibration in my body…”

Aisha: “He was very flexible for a large and substantial man.”
Gary: “We’re very limber, as a people…”

Props: Gary and Ryan vs. Wayne and Colin

Gary cracks after Ryan describes him, with the red props, as “the red winged blackbird”

Colin has a great way of subverting Wayne’s usual ‘hair salon’ bit:
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 1.13.28 PM
“IT’S BURNING! IT’S BURNING!”Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 1.18.43 PM

Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 1.20.18 PM
Gary: “awww, Bessie, looks like it’s that time of day…”Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 1.20.31 PMWayne, exact same read: “awww, Bessie, looks like it’s that time of day”
This had me roaring. How did that make it on?

Wayne finally does the ‘hockey’ mime I was waiting for, swishing a bit too fast
Colin, resident Canadian: “You’ve never played hockey, have you?”

Ryan, not one to let a runner die:
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 1.23.17 PM
“BOOOIIING”

Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 1.24.24 PMColin: “Well, that gray man won’t bother us now that we’ve taken his penis and testicles…”
Of course

A really fantastic props. Wonderful energy all around, even through Gary and Ryan doing some basic ones. Like usual, the crazier ideas came from Wayne and Colin

Living Scenery: Ryan and Colin are Aladdin and Princess Jasmine are travelling across the desert by camel, battling the elements before spending the night in the sultan’s luxury palace. Wayne and Byambajav are props

This is the part of the show where I really hope Byambajav understands english verbal cues.

Byamba comes in as a camel
Ryan: “a sturdy one for you to ride!”

Byamba even lifts with Colin on him
Ryan: “Don’t worry my friend, I’ll be right behind you on the goat…”
of course
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 2.12.36 PMWayne just…keels over, trying to hide his reaction
Ryan: “MY GOAT IS SICKLY.”
Colin, with a line that doesn’t get enough response: “I hope you don’t want children…”

Then, Ryan has Colin ‘unravel the tent’, cracking up as he realizes he’s gonna be dealing with Byamba

Colin does a minimal amount of work, not going near Bymaba’s robe, and Byamba cracks up a bit doing a tent position. Ryan isn’t impressed.
Colin: ‘well, why don’t YOU show me?”
Ryan cracks as he comes over.

Ryan, after untying Byamba’s robe, “put the sticks here to keep it up”
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 2.20.45 PM
Wayne is really going through it this show..

Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 2.22.20 PM
Colin: “I CAN SEE THE MOON!”
Perfect
Wayne, regardless:
Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 2.24.54 PM

Wayne casts himself as the flying carpet
Ryan: “There it is…I hope it can support both of us…”
Byamba gets down alongside Wayne
Ryan: “It’s gonna be hard to get over that sand dune”
HA

Byamba casts himself as a beautiful woman at the sultan’s palace, which is a GREAT move. Ryan talks of ‘her’ great beauty, “known throughout the village”
Colin: ‘…remember, you’re on your HONEYMOON.”

Ryan: “Honey…a date tree…[breaks] pick some DATES for me…”
Wayne: [puts arms up]
Colin, barely keeping it together himself: “…there’s a WIND COMING…”
[flashbacks to 6×02’s Improbable Mission]

Colin, reaching at Wayne’s crotch: “oh, these are small and withered…”
Yeah, after Duet..

A really funny Living Scenery. Byamba once again brought it, Ryan and Colin kept cracking themselves up with different uses, and the juxtaposition of Wayne against the more useful Byamba kept hitting. Not sure if it’s better than the Verne one, but still a good playing.

Overall: fuck it, first 10/10 show of the season. Nothing even remotely disappointed me. Both Byamba games, I was really worried the show would trivialize him, or go against customs, but far from it- Byamba played along wonderfully, really getting into the improv, and even knocking out Wayne at one point. The show began with a top-tier SFAH, had top-tier SFX and Living Scenery playings, one of the funniest Duets in recent memory, and a really good props. I have nothing bad to say. Plus, Gary got a ton of screentime, which is rare in this era. Just…a really satisfying, fun show that I enjoyed watching.

Show Winner: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: I had to photo-separate Gary and Ryan, and Props actually made my decision. Gary brought it in all three of his games tonight, while Ryan took the quickfire rounds to mostly do support work. So Gary has the show win, which is pretty awesome.
Worst Performer: Sadly, Wayne took more of a backseat, HA, to the others on multiple occasions tonight.
Best Game: Scenes from a Hat. A classic of the early CW seasons.
Worst Game: Props, because…it’s Props. It’s a REALLY GOOD Props, but I can’t put any of the other 4 here.
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. Herculean guest effort from Byamba, very impressive.

COMING UP NEXT: The second of the two Jeff-Greg shows that have made air. Like the first one, there’s only one guest game, so the chance of lots of improv is high.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E05, or Never Take Valium and Drink Wine

Our second, and, to date, last episode from the initial Greg Proops S10 taping brings us a guest appearance from Michael Weatherly. When this aired, Weatherly was a noted regular on NCIS, a rare case of the CW allowing corporate synergy to CBS as well, given that they’re both WB companies.

In 2016, Weatherly leaves NCIS. It’s not explicitly stated why, but it’s a very errant leave for someone so well-loved by fans. Nevertheless, Weatherly starts a new CBS drama, a courtroom drama called Bull. Then, in 2019, Eliza Dushku leaves Bull, and accuses Weatherly of multiple counts of sexual harassment and general skeeviness. Of course, as this is Hollywood, Dushku is punished while Weatherly keeps the show, which is still on for some reason.

Bottom line- Michael Weatherly’s a creep, and seeing him in a positive light on this show will be…odd.

Hollywood Director: Ryan and Greg are two bickering city slickers on a weekend duck hunt and Wayne is a pair of outraged Appalachian brothers who ambush them

Wayne, as Aisha reads the description: “Appalachian brothers, or Appalachian BROTHERS?”

Ryan: “…I think it was a duck call. Not sure if I had it backwards, it might make them go away.”
THAT is a good joke. Heck, Ryan smirks near the end of it

For some reason, Greg doesn’t get to say much before Wayne enters. Maybe he had a line cut.

Wayne enters as…an Appalachian brother, and an Appalachian BROTHER, making it a very fun contrast, and a combination of both prerequisites.
Wayne: “MAH NAME IS LEROY….and my name is Kendrick.”

Ryan, as Colin enters: “I didn’t know who was who.”
Colin: “No, NO ONE KNOWS who is who. It’s like a whole new continent in here…Craptartica…”

Colin, to Wayne: “I’m sorry, but…budget.”
Wayne loves this move.

Just the initial sight, in ‘too much caffeine’ style, of Ryan aggressively shaking his gun, and Greg just jumping and shooting anything in sight, is funny. Then Ryan accidentally shoots Greg

Wayne does the full ‘frantic arguing with himself’ bit. I like how he messes up the names, and thinks they’re Kendrick and Lamar.

Ryan, after Colin entered: “…seemed a little Diff’rent Strokes.”
Wayne, once again, just looks up to hide his laughter
Colin: “And you looked like you had the biggest one”
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 11.23.16 AM
Just…trying not to crack

Colin, once again, casts them to their impression strengths- Woody Allen, Eric Cartman, John Wayne.

Greg: “I, eh, I don’t like being outside, there’s no chinese food.”
That is a joke that has taken on a new meaning since this has taped

Ryan, in an extra level of impression skills, does a John Wayne cadence into the duck call. THAT IS IMPRESSIVE.

Ryan: “AW, HELL, THERE AIN’T NO DUCKS AROUND HEAYARHE…”
Greg: “There is ducks, and they’re definitely anti-Semitic…”

Wayne’s Cartman has not aged a day. He even throws in Kenny as the other brother, “SHUT UP, YOU’RE THE BLACK ONE.”

Colin, cutting, just goes “No.” As if that justifies.
Ryan: “I didn’t even get to do the walk”
Colin: “You know what, the kids are gonna need Google anyway with you…”

At the top of the ‘strippers’ one, Ryan goes onto the ‘offstage step’ for a moment, then puzzledly comes back down, not sure why he did that at all

Ryan just…starts pole-dancing and duck-calling at the same time

Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 11.32.33 AMUh…so, there’s this guy on twitter that’s been asking for the episode where Greg rides Ryan for the last year or so nonstop, and uh…..while he was looking for the ABC game that never aired, he does also now have this one, I suppose. So happy birthday, you weirdo.

A really good Director. Wayne had the funniest material in playing the ‘brothers’, but Greg really helped with that ending.

Aisha gives Ryan 500 points for “an extraordinary John Wayne made only by duck sounds.”

Newsflash: Ryan and Greg in the studio, Colin in the field in front of animals grooming and mating

I love Colin’s gag of holding the mic upside down and no sound coming out, then flipping it.

Colin: “well, they say a picture is worth 1000 words……so make up some.”
pfff

The cute animal montage is interrupted by some birds genuinely screwing.
Colin just turns around, without even knowing, and goes “GET AWAY FROM THERE!”

Then, once a turtle climbs upon another turtle, Ryan, not liking where this is going, chuckles and goes “OH, WOW…”
Colin: “HEY, COME ON, PUT THAT DOWN!”
Ryan: “THAT’s gonna take a while…”

Ryan: “what do you attribute all this love to?”
Colin: “Well, uh…I think it was a green tea…”

As Greg describes a season where ‘things come together’, a pair of screwing pigs run in and out of the shot. THAT’s funny
Colin, turning around right when the audience starts up again: “STOP THAT! STOP THAT RIGHT NOW! YOU ARE ON TELEVISION!”

A good newsflash. There was some substance to this, and I liked the runner of Colin stopping to yell at the animals whenever the audience raised eyebrows.

Ryan compares the turtles to ‘Betty White and Ed Anser’
Greg: “Try to sleep now, audience…”

IRISH DRINKING SONG: Your brand new baby

YES. THE FIRST IDS OF THE CW VERSION. HOORAY.

I love Ryan describing the birth with “it just went SPLOT”

Colin: “I am so delirious”
Ryan: “I might have two or three”

Ryan: “I did use a condom”
Wayne: “She said it doesn’t belong TO YOU”

The second Wayne verse was actually from a second playing, or at least a reshoot. This one has Ryan and Wayne collaborating on “but I’m kickin him out of the house because he cannot dance.” Greg cracked up in the original take, and we instead got “I guess I’ll try again, I’ll be on Jerry Springer weekly” from Ryan and Wayne. Still, the verse we got was pretty funny

Greg’s verses are kind of nondescript, but I like, after Ryan and Colin say ‘it’ instead of a proper pronoun, Wayne even says “I’ll learn to stop calling him ‘it”

The last verse sets up that the child’s now moved on
Greg: “He’s off to university”
Colin, who has to rhyme with ‘later’: “He works for Purolator”
WHICH IS A CANADIAN SHIPPING COMPANY THAT COLIN JUST HAD IN HIS BACK POCKET. He’s glaring at Wayne as he says that rhyme

Ryan: “I miss him every day”
Wayne, once again giving Colin a tough rhyme: “We write and call by phone”
Greg: “sometimes he just texts me”
Colin, seemingly with no choice: “…we never circumcised his bone!”
AND THE PLACE GOES WILD
Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 7.58.28 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-10 at 7.58.37 PM
The thing is…this is Colin’s first IDS bomb in 13 years, and they all react like this is a usual, recent sort of thing. Like no time has passed. ‘Oh, brother, he’s done it again’.

The reactions keep coming:
Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 8.00.37 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-10 at 8.00.45 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-10 at 8.00.54 PM

Aisha: “i don’t know who to give points to, it was confusing…and alarming”
Colin: “I know who you SHOULDN’T give points to…”

So…it’s so good to be able to cover insane, game-busting IDS playings again. That was a pretty good game, with some basic but fun moments, and a killer ending that broke it all open. Not a perfect playing, but a very funny one

Scenes from a Hat:

“Things you should keep to yourself on a first date”
Greg: “this is kinda special for me, I’ve never not paid to be with a woman before…”
Ryan: “This is so much nicer than just sneaking around looking at you through a window…”
Wayne: “My wife is gonna love you”
Greg: “I’M WEARING A FULL BODY CONDOM.”
Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 8.06.24 PM
Good god
Wayne: “see, I TOLD YOU SHE’D LOVE YOU”

“The dumbest ways to die”
Colin: “woo, boy it’s stuffy in this submarine.”
HA
Ryan: “pitbulls….I shouldn’t have worn my meat pants…”

Wayne, taking this a different direction: “oh, scuse me, sister, may I touch your hair?”
THAT is a nice subversion.

“what the whose line cast say in their sleep”
Colin: [hums the Irish Drinking Song]
sounds about right

Greg: “I don’t miss Ryan at all…”
Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 8.11.18 PM
1. Weird how this foreshadowed E4’s taping
2. Greg, circa-S9, in a podcast on the show, proclaimed WL “the gayest show in the history of gay”. So at least he contributes to it.
Colin: “How did this happen?”
Greg, being Greg: “Never take valium and drink wine”
Wayne, coming in: “hey guys”
Ryan, entering via door: “HEY GUYS, SORRY I’M HOME SO LATE-”
Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 8.14.01 PMAnd Ryan just…leaves

I didn’t remember a great deal of this SFAH, but it’s surprisingly really good. The ‘dating’ one had a lot of good stuff, and I liked the meta ending. Greg had some really good stuff this round.

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, is a Customs officer who has stopped businessman Michael as he goes through an airport

Again, guest star only gets one game. Which means there’s a Song Styles and a Dubbing that, likely, will never be released to the public.

I do not like the way Michael looks at Aisha.

Michael, to get into character, does this:
Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 8.21.25 PM
…okay then

Michael hands Ryan his passport: “I’ve been to a lot of places”
Ryan: “…when were you Chinese?”
Michael: “That was the fifth marriage.”
[facepalm]

Ryan: “These your clothes, sir? [….] These your clothes? It’s a simple question, sir, I’m starting with the simple ones…”

Ryan runs the handheld detector along Michael’s person, and it goes off around the crotch area. Oh god, what’s about to happen?

Ryan asks if Michael has any prosthetics, but Colin, meanwhile, is making the detector go off LOUDLY by putting it right on the clothes in the luggage.

Ryan, inspecting a magazine: “Ohhh, JUGS, JUGS AND JUGS. You a pottery fan, sir?”
pfffff

Ryan starts downing some of the vodka in the luggage. Michael pops a pill into Ryan’s mouth, going “it’s better with this”, and WOW HAS THIS GAME NOT AGED WELL AT ALL.
Ryan: “You ARE a rockstar…”

Ryan finally finds what he’s looking for:
Screen Shot 2020-10-10 at 8.27.55 PM
Greg and Wayne have to get up to see the full scope of the sausage. Also, according to CW-exclusive stuff, that sausage REEKED.

Michael, for a lot of this scene, is speechless. He’s got his mouth open when Ryan pulls the sausage out [okay, fine, I may have phrased it that way on purpose], but he can’t think of a retort quick enough.

Ryan: “Planning on flying a BI-PLANE TODAY, ARE WE?”
I may be mixed on this scene, but that is a great line

Then, as Colin’s swinging the sausage, the majority of it breaks off and flies offscreen, leaving them with a small bit.
Ryan: “It’s alright, sir, it happens to me too…”

Ryan ends the scene with a very easy ‘two tomatoes and a banana’ visual.

So…yeah. I’m not sure how I feel about that one. I loved this concept as a way to get away from the usual ‘eating gross things’ HH trend, and I loved Ryan’s character dressing down Michael. But Michael was not the right fit for an improv program, he said next to nothing, and the things he said were really pervy. The jokes were also crude and easy, and the game itself went at a very stop-start pace. So…there’s good, but there’s a lot I feel uneasy about.

Overall: This show was all over the place. Director and SFAH were the highlights, and the entire non-guest portion went by without much folly, but Helping Hands was just…this weird, skeevy oddity of a game, thanks to an odd performance by Michael Weatherly and some very easy jokes. And that sole game drags this down a bit, because…again, nothing else was bad. Newsflash and IDS were both reliant on upswings, but Director and SFAH made this a good show. I just…can’t fully recommend it because HH made me feel really weird.

Show Winners: Ryan and Greg
Best Performer: Colin. Newsflash, IDS and SFAH all back to back made it clear to me.
Worst Performer: As much as I enjoyed Greg this show, he had the most moments where he stuck to support work.
Best Game: Director, once again, was the highlight.
Worst Game: Helping Hands. I…don’t know, man.
Guest Star Rating: 6/10. I just…feel really odd after his game. He’s also a perv and he just stood open-mouthed whenever Ryan prompted him.

COMING UP NEXT: At long last, our first Gary show of the season. If you can believe it, the guest star’s larger than he is.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E04, or That’s Gonna be on the Internet Forever..

Whose Line hasn’t had many constants in its 30+ year run, but one of its sole constants since 1995 has been the presence of Ryan Stiles in the fourth chair. He’s been the backbone of the show on three networks. He’s also one of the reasons we even got a US version in the first place. It’s always been hard for fans to imagine the show without him.

And yet, days before an LA taping during the first batch of 2014 sessions, Ryan Stiles fell ill. I don’t know, maybe he groped a sumo wrestler or something. Nevertheless, the taping would proceed without the use of Ryan Stiles. It was designed to be a normal Jeff taping, just Jeff, Wayne, Colin and Ryan, and…Ryan couldn’t make it.

So Dan & Mark phoned Greg Proops, who was likely still in town, and Greg, for his second episode of the CW version, claimed Ryan’s seat. It was an odd, perplexing moment for Whosers, and the first time in the US that Colin Mochrie would be without his chief comedy partner.

Even weirder, the show’s guest star, Darren Criss, bisexual icon and star of broadway shows and Glee, would only be relegated to one show. Meaning that, if the CW could get off their ass, they could potentially release a second episode of two Darren games, including Three Headed Broadway Star, and more Jeff-Greg odd games. But they haven’t. So fuck them.

Regardless, this show, with Greg filling many of Ryan’s roles, would be a very, very odd show. But the ensemble element, the ‘anyone can be on any show’ element that hasn’t been present since the early 90s, will enhance this show, as it will enhance some S12 shows where Wayne Brady is similarly sidetracked.

It is, though…so weird to hear Greg in the fourth position, where Ryan should be. After Colin. So weird.

As Aisha runs down the stairs, Jeff starts bursting out laughing, and leans over to Colin. Perhaps this is the beginning of Jeff realizing how aggressively Aisha takes the stairs, cause he’ll make fun of it a lot as we go.

Aisha points out that Ryan can’t be with us, and gives Greg his due there.

Hollywood Director: Greg and Jeff are two pilots flying a plane when a storm hits, Wayne enters as a terrified passenger who’s being attacked by some escaped snakes

Jeff: “Captain, should be all clear, we’re en route and should be there in about 45 minutes.”
Greg, still smiling: “I thought you were the captain.”
Jeff, also smiling: [fake laughter] “we should switch seats, I’m sorry…”
Yeah, they’re nailing this.

Jeff, reaching over: ‘that’s my margarita, thank you…”

Jeff, noticing a storm cloud: “I’m putting it on autopilot, I need a bigger margarita.”

Wayne’s horrified read of ‘….got snake on a PLAAAAAANE’ is so good.

Wayne, frightenedly explaining: ‘an’ i was watchin a movie, HEY MATT DAMON’S ON THE SCREEN’
Jeff: [slaps Wayne repeatedly] “SPEAK SENSE, MAN!”

Once Wayne reveals he has snakes in his pants, and Jeff, unbuttoning Wayne’s trousers, yells “I’LL GET IT”, Colin has to intervene. Drastically. Just going “CUT……CUT………CUT.” Like this is the worst thing he’s ever seen

Colin casts Greg, Jeff and Wayne as Elvis, Walken and James Brown, respectively, knowing all three’s strengths

Greg’s Elvis is, as usual, pretty damn good.
Jeff: “WAIT….shut you MOUTH….we gotta switch SEATS.”
Clearly Jeff’s Walken is still pretty good.

Wayne, pounding on the door: “UH! UH! TWO TIMES!”
THAT is good.

And…Wayne’s James Brown is probably the best one here, cause his mumbling and rhythming overtakes the scene

Colin enters
Wayne: “I didn’t even get to do the stuff on the ground.”
Colin: “Yeah, there’s a reason for that.”

Jeff, Evangelists: “AND YAAAEEE, THOUGH THE CAPTAIN WHO WAS THE CAPTAIN WAS NOT THE CAPTAIN, TWAS THE WRONG SEAT SAT HE.”
So good.

Jeff: “BEHOLD…Upon the screen, a storm of biblical proportion doth approach”
…he’s doing Shakespeare
Jeff: “A TORNADO OF A-LOOOCUSTS-A!”
There we go

Wayne makes an entrance…dramatically parting Greg and Jeff. And the audience loves that

A pretty strong Director. Maybe not as good as E2’s, but still really good, and with great improv work from Greg and Jeff. Wayne had the bigger moments but still did nicely.

Props: Greg and Jeff vs. Wayne and Colin

Ah yes. THESE Wayne and Colin props.

Aisha, and the whole audience, realizes the possibilities of giving those dark, testicle-looking brown things to Wayne. The audience cracks up as Aisha intros the game, so Aisha adds “as many interesting…TELEVISION-SAFE ways as possible…”

Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 1.37.27 PMWayne: “…aw, no, I’m keepin my money…”
Colin: [wiggles props]

Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 1.38.25 PMJeff: “I dunno who the golfer is, but he’s got big balls…”

And then, what’s so good about this next one is by the time we cut back to Wayne and Colin, the camera’s already in place, so that this essentially happens in progress:
Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 1.39.13 PM
Colin: “LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT WALRUS!”
PFFFFF
Jeff, still not over it: ‘that’s gonna be on the internet forever”

Colin has a funny subversion for ‘the guards as Buckingham Palace won’t smile’, by just shooting Wayne

Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 1.48.20 PMGreg: “well…it started as a rash a couple of weeks ago…”
Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 1.49.08 PM
Wayne, inevitably: “well, it started as a rash a couple weeks ago…”

A good round of Props, boosted by…the ridiculousness of Wayne and Colin’s props. Jeff and Greg did what they could, but theirs weren’t as ripe for comedy

Aisha: “you are a DELIGHTFUL BUNCH OF FELLOWS…”
Colin: “wow, you gotta get out more…”

Dubbing: Street criminal Greg is being arrested by robot cop Darren, voice by Colin, who starts to wildly malfunction, and then Wayne enters as Darren’s robot cop rival who tries to bring both of them under control

As thankful as I am that we got multiple non-guest games…why is it that the one guest star with talent to spare gets shafted? AND he’s cute. Sorry, I’ll…I’ll continue.

Aisha: “street criminal, Greg, who…looks very much like a street criminal.”
Greg: [does a gang sign]
Aisha: “representing the…west side of…Beverly Hills…”

Colin: “I can tell by your sharp clothes that you are a criminal.”

Colin: “My x-ray vision shows that you are holding a stash of…drugs, liquor and…bad color underwear.”
…you must know Greg.
Greg: “that ain’t my sack, and that ain’t my underwear, I’m wearing it for a friend of mine…”
PFFF

Darren doing some super-fast movements as he malfunctions is…why I’m glad he’s on the show, and why I’m sad he’s only on for one episode.
Hell, he even does some spinning on the floor. My gosh, he’s good.

Wayne enters
Colin: “Oh no, it’s RO-BRO COP.”
Wayne takes a moment to just give Colin a look for that one

Wayne: “You are inadequate for job, I saw you doing a curly-spin on the ground”

Greg: “As far as I can see, it’s robot day, and you’re the brother from another mother.”
Wayne…gives that line a moment, then attacks Greg: “HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW, BITCH.”
This scene is barely working, but Wayne is adding some inverted energy

Colin pimps Darren out to ‘hug and kiss’ Wayne, and…yeah, he does, which is a wholesome pivot.
Greg, arriving with a bible: “I now pronounce you…by the power invested in me by the state of California.”
THAT MOVE made me laugh. Greg didn’t always know what to do in this scene, but he really impressed me there.

So…that scene sort of went all over the place, but dammit, I liked it. I liked Greg’s knowingly-out-of-place character, I liked Darren’s willingness to go for it, I liked Wayne’s trash-talking robot, and I LOVED the ending. Not a perfect scene, but a fun enough Dubbing. Would have loved to see more from Darren from this taping.

Wayne says he feels like he’s done Glee, now that he’s worked with Darren
Colin: “I THINK I HAVE A SHOT NOW! Hey, Rachel, here’s your grandfather.”
[same energy as Sean Hughes going, to Eastenders star Michael Greco, ‘I COME ON AS BEPPE’S LOVER’]

Aisha: “And now, beloved…men of my panel…”
Colin: “…has no idea of our names.”
Colin is so loose this taping, and I love it. Even without Ryan

Scenes from a Hat:

“Things you can say about your computer, but not your partner”. A rerun from US S5, but still:
Wayne: “…LOAD!”
and then:
Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 2.54.53 PM
HE KNOWWWS…

Jeff, augmenting a Colin one from s5: “No, I don’t want a floppy disk, I want a HARD DRIVE.”
Colin: “Oh, it’s gonna be hard to get those crumbs out of there…”
PFFFF

Colin: “This is the fifth time it’s gone down this month” [bows for the camera]
Colin is having one heck of a show

Unlikely Greeting Card Messages:
Colin: “…so you killed your first hobo.”
That one got me.
Greg: “Congratulations on your divorce, I thought she was a bizznitch too!”
Colin: “Congratulations, it’s just a rash!”

Greg: “Hooray for you, you’ve finally dumped that loser you’ve been with”
The audience doesn’t love this one, as it’s a bit too believable. Wayne saves it by angrily taking the card.
Jeff, opening a new one: “Hey Greg, funny joke!”
Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 3.01.18 PM
My favorite part of this is Jeff slowly turning to Greg to see his reaction, cause Greg has been known to murder people who make fun of him onstage [“YOGA HURTS”]. But, sure enough:Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 3.01.31 PM
Yeah, he loves it
Jeff does a little bow and leaves.

Wayne has a rebuttal for Greg, and has a card he can send to Jeff, “it’s one of those pull-tab things”
Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 3.04.04 PMAnd Greg and Wayne demonstrate this mechanism a few times as Jeff cracks up
Now WAYNE does the same bow Jeff did as he leaves

A pretty good SFAH. These weren’t new scenes, but the energy of the suggestions to them was nice, and the Greg-Jeff moment gave this a late boost.

Greatest Hits: Songs of Kindergarten

Ah yes, the return of the underrated Colin-Greg GH combo, which we’ll also see in S13&15 tapings where Ryan sings with Wayne

Colin: “Hi, we’ll be right back to our porno medical drama, 50 Shades of Grey’s Anatomy, in just a second.”
Perfect

Colin brings up big-band music. Greg, probably getting a cue from the ghost of Ryan, goes “must bring back a lot of high school memories for you”
Colin: “OHOHO, YOOOU…horrible man.”
SEE? THIS DYNAMIC’S COOL TOO
Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 3.09.16 PM

This big band number has a great lyrical start from Jeff:
“Okay Mr. Teacher…tell ya what I’m gonna do.
I hold up one finger for pee…two for poo.”

Wayne even has some well-done scatting here, complete with a ‘ZIZIZIZIZIZ-PEPEPEPEPE”, which, while lowbrow, definitely works

It’s a strong, albeit quick, number that Jeff leads, and Jeff and Wayne have some great harmony in it. The second it finishes, Wayne turns to Jeff and goes “….issues.”

Greg: “god, that reminds me of growing up.”
Colin: “Oh yeah? Which part?”
Greg: “the, uh…ending.”

Colin brings up the first of CWLIIA’s ‘unusual pairings’ GH numbers. Colin mentions some previous ones, like ‘Macklemore and JERRY Lewis’ [clever], and ‘Dolly Parton and Dolly the Cloned Sheep’.
Colin: “But THIS…I think this is my favorite duet. Kanye West and Neil Diamond.”
WAYNE AND JEFF:
Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 3.17.02 PM
THAT IS PRICELESS. As if it’s not obvious who’s playing who, they’re playing rock-paper-scissors over it. Perfect

Jeff: “….WHEN I WAS A YOUNG BOYYahh”
Okay, he’s got this
Wayne, meanwhile:
Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 3.18.31 PM
Yeeeahhh..

Jeff: ‘HER NAME WAS [to Colin] WHAT?”
Wayne: “SALLY.”
Jeff, smirking: “SALLY WAS HER NAMEEEAH.”
Oh man..

Even funnier is Wayne doing some Kanye rapping as Jeff does some ‘TA-NIGHT’s

Wayne even throws in a ‘I LOVE YOU KIM, WASSUP GIRL’ as he’s hyping up Jeff

Hell, as this goes towards the end, Wayne gets even more wild as Kanye, even yelling ‘WHOSE LINE? MY LINE!’. And yet Jeff, as Neil Diamond, keeps doing his refrain and making the song work, even getting the audience to clap along. Jeff even runs into the audience and gets everybody going, which is super fun

That’s a phenomenally good number, the first of many great unconventional duets in GH, and a fantastic game-ender.

Also, this GH was really good as a whole. The Jeff-Wayne songs were the best part, but Colin and Greg’s banter was super strong, and arguably just as good as Colin and Ryan’s.

Overall: A solid show. Nothing truly bad, and only one classic game with GH, but this worked for me. The unconventional Jeff-Greg quality shined for me in Director and SFAH,  but, really Wayne and Colin took Ryan’s absence to become even stronger. Wayne ruled over Props and GH, Colin was on fire all day and especially in SFAH. Even Dubbing, which in other hands wouldn’t have worked, was a fun one thanks to Darren Criss being really in on it. So, while some of these games paled in comparison to other playings this season, it’s still a great show, and a great unusual dynamic for the very stagnant series.

Winners: Greg and Colin
Best Performer: Wayne Brady narrowly defeats Jeff Davis for coming alive during GH.
Worst Performer: Greg, despite great moves in Dubbing, mostly did setup work tonight.
Best Game: Greatest Hits, without even stopping for a dull moment at all. Great banter, great songs, and a killer ending to this episode.
Worst Game: Dubbing, but even that one I had fun with.
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. Darren shone in his sole game, and I can only imagine how much he brought to his other ones.

COMING UP NEXT: We return to the initial Greg Proops taping to bring a guest episode featuring a guest star that…hasn’t…especially…aged well.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E03, or Look at the Little Rubies

For our first Nyima Funk episode of the season, and sadly it’s one of only two that would go out in the 2010s, we bring forth a guest star that’s…kind of a big pop culture name. Verne Troyer is one of the more impressive little person actors of his era, doing a TON of creature/animal parts over the late 90s and early 2000s, and most immortally portraying Mini Me in the Austin Powers films. Troyer to me always felt like a less-composed version of Warwick Davis. Davis has the personality, the showmanship, the thick skin, and Troyer had more problems with drugs and alcohol, ultimately leading to a tragic early death in 2018, just 4 years after this show airs.

I’m sincerely hoping that Troyer’s height isn’t used as a crutch against him, but…I also know how insensitive we were in 2014. So I’m not holding my breath.

I love how Colin’s intro shot has an unexpected cameo:
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 11.29.03 AMAnd then, as a rebuttal:
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 11.31.04 AM
I love these two

Aisha does the intro from a different section of the audience than usual, further to the left of the shot. So it takes her longer to get to the chair

Let’s Make a Date: Nyima must choose from Wayne, Aggressive fashion cop arresting people and interrogating them back at the station, Colin, Extremely embarrassed sex-education teacher using people for demonstrations, and Ryan, Newborn baby looking for the perfect breast

We only got one LMAD last year. So at least we’re doing more now.

Wayne’s quirk is one that Robin Williams did back on the ABC version, but knowing Wayne’s approach to acting, he’ll probably have a different way of doing this

Wayne’s dressing-down of an audience member is pretty masterful, and has a lot of good comedy details baked into it

Nyima: “I love using twitter and my favorite hashtag is….BlackSexy”

Colin’s is also masterful, as he’s pointing towards Wayne’s crotch and stuttering once he’s supposed to actually name the the sexual organ.

Nyima: “#3, one of my most proudest moments was the day I got out of prison.”
I’m not ready for her to be done with shows, guys

This look sums up the Colin-Ryan duo:
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 11.41.40 AM
Ryan looking for an opportunity, and Colin KNOWING what he’s thinking and hoping he doesn’t go there. Colin just glances at Nyima, not believing this. The actual outcome, of Ryan just unbuttoning Colin’s shirt, looking in and not finding anything while Colin just looks horrified, is very funny

Which…leads to THIS succession of shots:
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 11.43.51 AMScreen Shot 2020-10-07 at 11.44.00 AMAnd Ryan just does an ‘oh shoot’ hand gesture…before it just gets to him:
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 11.46.12 AM

Also, OMG A CW LMAD WITH A SECOND ROUND? WHAAAAAT?

Wayne just goes to Nyima “I can see your headlights”, which has a moment of impressed tension from Nyima…AND THEN RYAN SPRINGS INTO ACTION
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 11.49.38 AMNyima: “bachelors…keep lookin'”

Ryan, in the middle of a Colin bit, goes for it:
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 11.51.00 AM

Nyima guessing Colin as a ‘sex ed teacher who had never HAD sex’ is funnier than the actual quirk

Nyima, on Ryan: “I thought you, maybe, was an old lady who was attracted to nipples.”
A DENNY SIEGEL GUESS FOR GOOD MEASURE

Aisha: “What we learned there is that baby and elderly person looking for a teat is essentially the same thing…”

A very strong LMAD to start us off, and the two-round nature gave a lot more depth and variance to these characters as well as Nyima, presenting a fuller story rather than a truncated one.

Sound Effects: Ryan is a dentist and Colin is his flirtatious assistant and they’re working on a patient when suddenly they have to flee to safety when the clinic is attacked by robots from the future

SOUND EFFECTS IS BACK! HOORAY!

The setup has Ryan and Colin shaking their heads, confusedly

Ryan: “drill.”
Colin: “ABSOLUTELY.”
That, folks, is how you establish a dynamic.

Ryan and Colin testing out the various dental tools is really funny, and allows some good noises from Mags and Marty. Ryan, after a petering-off suction noise, just goes “I’m gonna have to let you go”
Colin: [races to Ryan’s side] “WHY?”
Ryan, noting scene dimensions: “..well, #1 you just walked through the patient”

Colin: “Look, a giant spaceship”
“….WSSSSHHHHHHH”
Colin: “it’s raining, too”
Ryan, going back: “no, it’s the suction…”

I love Mags’ confused shrug after doing some killer robot noises.

Ryan tries using a megaphone, but Colin suggests the ‘robot dialect’. So Marty responds IN JAPANESE. THAT’S A GREAT JOKE.

Ryan: “Let’s go up into the…tower, where all the guns are.”
Colin: “…I forgot, this is the safest dentist’s office in the world!”
Thank god for Colin bringing in rationalizations

Ryan tries firing a shotgun, but it’s “all wet”. Colin tries a bazooka, but Mags throws in a machine gun noise.
Colin: “I’M A GIRL, I DON’T KNOW ABOUT WEAPONS.”
Ryan: “It sounded just like your damn drill!”

Ryan tries firing a grenade, but Marty sets it off too soon, and they react immediately. Again, it’s always nice to have audience members with comedic timing

Colin: “Look, they’re still marching towards us.”
Mags: “…shoop-shoop-shoop-shoop-shoop”
Colin: “oh, well that one’s tap-dancing, so…”

So, Aisha’s about to end the scene on a laugh line, but the laugh line subsides before she thinks it would, and the buzz comes off as awkward.
Ryan, confused: “…you alright?”
Colin, using THAT as a sound effect: “no, just had some burritos…”

A good SFX. Not exemplary, and not as good as further CW playings, but a good start. Mags and Marty were funny as SFX people, and Ryan and Colin had good rationalizations, but this was a basic playing that sets the tone for future ones.

Aisha describes Colin’s character as ‘very sexy in a Santa-Claus-y kind of way”
Colin: “Thank you….I don’t think that’s really a compliment…”

Song Styles: Wayne sings a hip-hop song to Verne

Wayne seems generally jazzed that Verne’s made it on the show.

Wayne’s got some great lyrics here [“he’s just like a little stick of fire, gonna make you burn”], and Verne himself has the moves to stay into it

Wayne has moments of stalling, but gets into even-finer fast-rapping motions, adding in the line “ladies, he can touch your BUTT”, and “best part about him is he comes up to booty level”

Wayne: “This is not rehearsed
You’re talking to the Ebony Prince and the dude that can fit in your purse”
Oh yeah, he’s ON tonight

Wayne even carries his attitude to ending the song, just saying ‘stop’ to Laura and Linda and high-fiving Verne.

A pretty awesome Wayne number, with so many great epic-speed rhymes and verses, backed up by a very game Verne Troyer. There wasn’t an opening question, but the style itself tailored the song to being about a sort of ‘watch out for this guy’ sort of thesis with Verne, which was very cool.

Also- NO INFANTILIZING, NO LOW-HANGING FRUIT JOKES…just taking Verne Troyer at face value without being rude. I have some respect for that.

Props: Ryan and Nyima vs. Colin and Wayne

Nyima’s ‘zit’ one gets more of a reaction than it usually does in this game

Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 1.14.47 PMColin: ‘this town ain’t big enough for two sheriffs…”

I love Ryan incorporating physics into his deadlift
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 1.15.51 PM

Ryan realizes the ball function on the prop can slide, giving him an idea for a ‘dropping of the NYC Times Square ball on New Year’s Eve’ one, which is great

This one…caught me off-guard:
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 1.17.45 PM
Colin: “….the jolly green giant’s penis exploded.”
PFFFFF
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 1.18.40 PM
That was my reaction as well…

Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 1.19.58 PMColin: “we found a new race of humans in the…”
He realizes what Wayne’s doing and just trails off

A really strong Props round. Colin and Wayne had the funnier ones, as Ryan did a lot of his standbys, but Nyima brought a lot of much-needed energy to them. Also, Colin and Wayne’s were great cause they switched off breaking each other

Aisha: “I can’t get the image of Wayne’s…droopy rubber breasts out of my mind…”
Wayne, in an African accented delivery: “There is nothing wrong with nature.”

Living Scenery: Indiana Jones, played by Ryan, and his girlfriend Colin wake up in their tent before traveling through the jungle to an abandoned Aztec to look for treasure
Verne, Wayne and Nyima are props

Yes, THREE PROP ACTORS. Your two-and-a-third jokes will come at my boots.

Aisha delivers a special warning to Ryan and Colin to treat Verne with respect. I think she just…sees the height difference between Ryan and Verne, and doesn’t want either of them to make any easy jokes

Aisha runs by the characters so that Colin only has a chance to do a usual eyeroll, but goes back: “always the lady, Colin…”

Colin: “Lemme just turn the propellers [to the audience] PLANES IN THE EARLY DAYS HAD PROPELLERS…”

Ryan, getting into the plane, grabs Verne’s hand; “I’ll take the controls”

Ryan: “alright, we’re landing.”
Wayne: “SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK…”
Ryan: ‘…we skeeted right up to the mountain”

Colin: “oh look, there’s an entrance to a cave”
Verne:
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 1.38.14 PMScreen Shot 2020-10-07 at 1.38.23 PM
This gets laughs
Colin: ‘…it’s a little entrance at the beginning…”
Ryan: “WE HAVE TO FIT THROUGH THERE??? Alright…this is gonna be tight.”

Ryan, inevitably: “I’M STUCK!”
Colin tries pushing him
Ryan: “DON’T TOUCH MY ASS.”

Ryan, after muddling through: “are you coming?”
Colin: “OOH, LOOK, THERE’S A DOOR.”
Classic improv move. Go Colin.

Verne comes running across doing an ‘EE-EE-EE-EE’, which…shit, I just got Austin Powers flashbacks
Colin: “OH MY GOD, A SPIDER! I HATE SPIDERS!”

Colin and Ryan orchestrate swapping the gem, Nyima, for the bag of sand, Verne. Colin just…picks up Verne
Ryan, realizing this, cracks a little: “WHEN I MOVE THE G…EM…”

Colin then casts Verne as a minecart. Ryan races over, then goes “THERE’S NO ROOM FOR YOU!”
Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 1.44.15 PM
Good lord
Colin, with no choice, just starts running alongside of him

Colin, to Wayne and Nyima: “Oh look…some ancient statues…[to Wayne] look at the little rubies!”
OF COURSE.

Once the game ends, all four are really kind to Verne as he leaves, and he returns the favor. I’m genuinely glad this booking went so well, I was kinda scared it’d be a mess.

Aisha brings up the minecart thing: “If you got on ME you’d be a giant person.”
[Uh…are we not doing phrasing anymore?]
Wayne loves this

Yeah, a pretty good Living Scenery. Verne was really good here, got the tone of the game, and was versatile for the whole thing. I feel like Nyima wasn’t used as much as Wayne and Verne, but she was cool. Kinda glad she got to be part of it. Good Ryan-Colin stuff [not as many rationalizations as SFX but still some good ones]. Yeah, this worked really well as a guest game, and I’m happy with it.

Overall: A really damn good show, possibly better than E1 for me. There weren’t any bad games tonight, and even the ones that I said ‘oh, this wasn’t as good as future playings’, like SFX, is still pretty good. This worked in terms of being a good improv showcase show, with LMAD and SFX, a good guest show, with both Duet and Living Scenery impressing me, and a chance for Nyima Funk to showcase her energy in small form. A definite rebound from last show’s foibles, and a great guest star game without compromising its abilities as an improv show.

Show Winner: Colin
Best Performer: Colin had the best night, and the most laugh lines for me.
Worst Performer: Sadly I have to put Nyima here, as the edit had her in mostly support.
Best Game: Let’s Make a Date. As good as Duet and Living Scenery were, you can’t top a good opener, and this was one of the best ones we’ve had in some time.
Worst Game: I really, really don’t want to put anything here. By the numbers, Sound Effects is our worst game, but I still liked it a lot.
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. Verne Troyer was not only Verne Troyer, but he seemed genuinely happy to be there, and the show felt pretty happy to have him there.

COMING UP NEXT: For the first time in 19 years, Ryan Stiles misses a taping. Which means our regularly-scheduled Jeff taping comes with a second fourth seater. Also, we get a pretty cool Glee-star guest star for a game.