Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E11, or WHERE’S WAYNE?

Seasonal Code: S12E11
Production Number: 404
CW Seasonal Code: S12E03

During the Season 10 tapings, Ryan fell ill and had to be replaced by a very stoned Greg Proops, altering the strong three-man regular team of Ryan, Colin and Wayne. In Season 12, it happened again, but this time it was Wayne’s turn.

Yes, Wayne Brady was simultaneously Lola-ing on Broadway in Kinky Boots while the tapings were going on in LA. Most of them he was able to make in between performances. This one he was not, and had to choose Broadway over Whose Line. It’s an admirable reason to miss a show, as Wayne is a professional and has done Broadway and theatre work occasionally [even starring as Aaron Burr, sir, in Hamilton Chicago in 2017], but it would still leave Whose Line without Wayne Brady for the first time since 1998.

So the producers booked two different fourth seaters, and two that had worked with each other before on IAG- Jeff Davis and Brad Sherwood. Which means it’d be a show for the Jeff-Ryan duo, the Jeff-Brad duo, the Ryan-Colin duo and the Brad-Colin duo. So a lot of possibilities, especially considering that we haven’t seen much of this taping other than guest star shows.

Which this is, actually. Misty May Treanor showed up, and the olympian beach volleyball player did a few games, yet only one makes this show for…reasons we will get into. Treanor is a friend of popular culture, making appearances on The Soup during her eventually injury-plagued run on Dancing with the Stars, and marrying former Dodgers backup catcher Matt Treanor.

Still, this is a Wayneless Whose Line, and will be covered as such

Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.28.59 AMThis is cool as heck

Questions: Passions erupt on the farm

Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.31.12 AMBrad: “do you know that I find you udderly beautiful?”
Jeff: “…d’you want some pussy?”
AND WE’RE OFF
And Jeff has to motion to Aisha that he is referring to the cat. The old Tiffany Haddish trick
Brad: “…oh, nevermind.”
PFFF.

Ryan, with a chicken hat: “thigh or breast?”
Jeff: “I’m more of a leg man.”
Aisha: *DOES NOT BUZZ FOR SOME REASON*
Ryan: “are you going to stuff me?”
Jeff: [leaves anyway]
I think Jeff knew his last one should have been buzzed

Colin, corn-cob hat: “care to play with some niblets?”
Ryan: “whose niblets are we talking about?”
Colin: “do you know the kernel?”
HAAAAA
There’s a very funny moment where Ryan has a surprised expression waiting to think of response, then Colin leans in with a similar expression, like ‘that would be your cue’, and that cracks up Ryan and gets him off the step

Brad, dog-ear hat: “did you see a pussy around here earlier?”
Colin: “who’s asking?”
Brad: “are you Lee J. Cobb?”
SO IF THEY DIDN’T GET THE WILFORD BRIMLEY JOKE FROM LAST EPISODE, HOW ARE THEY GONNA GET THAT ONE??

Jeff, with a chicken hat, gets away with answering “BU-CAAA?” by shrugging it off as a question.

Jeff: “DID YOU KNOW THERE’S A SNAKE ON YOUR HEAD?”
Ryan, snake hat: “a snake???”
Jeff: “DIDN’T YOU HEAR WHAT I JUST SAID?”
Ryan: “you’re making an asp of yourself.”
BUZZ
Ryan, panicking: “…ARE YOU MAKING AN ASP OF YOURSELF?”
[The occasional lapse in this game from someone who’s usually really good always kills me]
Jeff:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.44.40 AM
I love that. Just ‘leave’
Ryan, still trying: “WHAT’S AN ASP??”Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.44.57 AM
Ryan: “THIS WAY??”
That’s a great ending. Jeff literally shoving Ryan offstage

A really strong Questions to start us off. Fun stuff from everybody and great opening energy

Aisha mentions ‘such incisive political satire’, meaning there was a Trump joke cut from the game. Also, Ryan brings back a rifle from the box with him and we never get a payoff. Something happened.

Duet: Brad and Jeff sing a Beastie Boys song to Misty-May

Brad takes the Wayne role of interviewing the subject, which he’s a natural for. Then, right when he gets a good amount, Misty-May goes “but there are downfalls”, right as Laura and Linda start
Jeff: “HOLD ON, STOP THE MUSIC.”
PFFFF

Brad: “NEWS ALERT, what are the downfalls?”
Misty-May: “who wants it?”
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 10.55.37 AM
Of course
Aisha: “he really does want it to, he really wants it”
Jeff: [pretends to bring Misty-May offstage]
Misty-May: [waves]
Aisha: “MISTY-MAY TREANOR EVERYBODY”
Wouldn’t it have been something if that was the extent of the guest material this show?
Brad: “that’s one of the downfalls…”

Misty-May: “our uniforms, shaving and waxing-”
Jeff, looking at Colin and Ryan: “HELLO…”
WHY THEM?

Jeff and Brad’s Beasties stuff is pretty good. For some reason, nobody’s doing the higher-pitch/nasal Ad-Rock voice, as Brad usually covers that in Wayne duets, but they’re getting along well and Misty-May’s having a great time
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.01.50 AM
This gets Jeff to pause his verse, suffice to say

Jeff: “YEAH, I GOT SAND UP THERE, GIRL
GOT SO TIGHT I MADE A PEARL”
[Misty-May loves this one]

Look, Brad and Jeff get to a point in this game where they’ve got energy, lyricism, and are moving all around with Misty into it. That is where they want to be, Wayne or no Wayne.

Heck, there’s even an audience call and response bit that Jeff makes work. They are on FIRE
Then, the audience responds with the beat as Jeff hesitates, and he has to go “I DIDN’T SAY IT.” Same reactive energy as his “NO, WRONG” in Flap My Jack, but this is slightly more sober, I think

A fun-as-hell Duet. Maybe not as substantial as some of the other big ones this season, like Tamera’s, Yvette’s and Joey’s, but a fun one, and a great Brad-Jeff showcase.

Aisha talks about a Misty-May gold medal win where she and her partner hugged “and every 13 year old boy exploded”
Brad: “hey, they weren’t ALL 13…”

MOVING PEOPLE: A worldwide shortage of wedding dresses; Colin and Brad

The first playing of Moving People on the CW, which would be thrown into the rotation here and there going forward. This is a hell of one to start with, as you’ll see. Also, this is a Colin-Brad moving people, meaning we do not get a traditional Colin-Ryan game this show despite both players being here. This is even a scene prompt right out of the Colin and Brad shows [“what could there be a shortage of?”]

I had a feeling that everyone onstage knew what was happening except for Amanda. Cause as Aaron and Amanda come onstage, Jeff is smirking, and Ryan is keeping stonefaced.

Also, you can tell something’s about to happen because Aisha’s onstage explaining it as well. Not behind the desk. Onstage.

Then, as Aisha asks if Aaron has any questions, she goes “take the microphone, I wanna make sure that everyone can hear you”, and as the audience, AND AMANDA, realize what’s going on, the place goes nuts
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.13.59 AM
My one note is that maybe Aaron could have blocked this a little better. If the cameramen were in on it, they’d be right there with him getting the pretty angle. But this is…not exactly playing to the audience’s eye view.
I KNOW IT’S A SWEET MOMENT but I gotta think about this from an improv performance standpoint
Hell, Brad has the exact same note:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.16.17 AM
LITERALLY MOVING THEM LIKE THEY’RE ABOUT TO MOVE COLIN AND BRAD. It’s honestly kinda perfect

Of course Amanda says yes:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.17.57 AM
Jeff is friggin great this show
Colin and Brad, meanwhile:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.20.24 AMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.20.33 AMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.20.41 AM
HAHAHAHAHA

Heck, Aaron has to re-put the ring on Amanda on camera, at Aisha’s request, so they can get a good shot of this. Aaron just didn’t have a good mind for TV, I suppose

Then, after another very sweet moment:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.23.54 AM

Aisha: “we’re gonna do this game now”
Colin: “just when you thought things couldn’t get any better…”

Aisha needs a moment to wipe her tears. “Oh, you’re gonna get SO LAID TONIGHT, AARON…”
PFFFFF
Aaron, kissing Amanda, to the audience: “I’M GONNA GET LAID!”
At least he’s honest

Brad has a funny moment to start where Colin tells him to come in and Amanda’s not moving him, so he sort of has to wait awkwardly for a second before she starts tapping the backs of his legs. And he does a raspier version of his LMAD voice

Aaron has Colin cover his mouth, so he does a worried shout, completely incoherently. They are still pros at this game

Colin, as Aaron twists him towards the camera without moving his legs: “well first I’m gonna…crush my testicles…that clears up my mind.”

Colin, responding to Aaron randomly covering one of his eyes with his hand: “I’m just…checking out this eye chart”
Brad, similarly responding to misuse: “I’m saving my left arm for a special occasion”
Colin, smiling: “WELL, THANK YOU.”
dear god

Brad, as Amanda has him climb with just his arms: “I don’t need my legs, I’m strong like an orangutan”
THERE’S THE OBLIGATORY BRAD PRIMATE REFERENCE

Brad, frantically, to Amanda: “TOUCH ME, I CAN BE THE LAST OTHER MAN YOU EVER TOUCH!”
PFFFFF. Amanda dies at this

Colin, confused, as Aaron moves him back: “wait a minute, I’m just trying to figure out how my legs work..I’M SO NERVOUS, I’M TOO IN LOVE WITH YOU TO THINK RIGHT.”
Amanda and Aaron, cutely:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.32.37 AMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.32.53 AM
‘awww…anyway’
I have always loved that move. A slight meta moment, then right back into the game. It’s also a great ending move, as Aisha calls it right after this

So, even with the pregame angle to it, that was a fantastic Moving People. Mostly it was great to see this game again, and Brad and Colin had some great response moments, but Amanda and Aaron were really good movers who understood improv as well as humor, and while the top-heavy edit made this a little shorter, it was still a great game that’s a classic for a number of reasons

Ryan: “…they really moved us…in so many ways.”
Ryan, for several reasons, is getting a milder edit this show, but at least he can still do that
Jeff, bringing us right back to Questions:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.40.36 AM

Scenes from a Hat

Only one scene, but that’s all this one needs.

There’s some extra giggliness as everyone comes down to positions. Brad takes a longer time than usual. Not sure what happened there

“Bad times to say what you’re really thinking”. It’s the only scene we get, and it’s vague enough to go for a while
Brad: “now that’s an affordable casket…”

Jeff, as he is prone to do this season:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 11.52.00 AM
Jeff: “HI, I’M AISHA TYLER WELCOME TO WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY, WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CAREER I’M *DOOMED!*”
Like the ‘Colin and Ryan go as themselves’ gag, I will never not laugh at a ‘Jeff running down the stairs’ gag
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 1.46.19 PM
Just flailing his arms and crying off. Also, HEY, AARON AND AMANDA ARE STILL THERE

Ryan has a different idea:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 1.47.48 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 1.48.02 PM
I love Aisha’s expression here. Just waiting for the joke. It’s an expression that also doubles as her ‘stopping Wayne from going backstage’ expression back in S10.

Ryan: “…god I can’t get a good angle…”

Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 1.48.19 PM
AND JEFF IS GONE. AGAIN

Aisha: [gets up towards the stage]
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 1.51.52 PM
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 1.52.24 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 1.52.36 PMAisha loves this, too

“…Jeff:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 1.54.49 PM
“…I thought this was Let’s Make a Deal.”

HAScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 1.54.55 PM
Jeff: “BOOOOOOO….WHERE’S WAYNE?”
AMAZING. The meta joke we were all waiting for, because to this point Wayne’s absence hasn’t been acknowledged.
My favorite part of this is Brad’s reaction:

THE SUDDEN DROP. Brad’s sad face, which the camera ZOOMS IN ON. So damn funny. Also confirms that maybe Brad was the fill-in.

Then Aisha runs into the audience with the same chair
Aisha: “…I really thought there’d be more black people on this show…BOOOOO..”
Perfect
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 1.59.37 PM
This is a great shot, too. Aisha unified with the audience.
This one ends with Jeff just buzzing out, but in the CW version:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.04.42 PM
[repeated buzzing]Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.05.40 PM
“…we’ll be right back.”

So that’s a cool formula-switch, and one of many in the next season or so.

A strong SFAH, even if it was only one suggestion, and even if, yes COLIN DIDN’T GO UP AT ALL. For a show that needed to fit everything in, I get that some cuts were taken, but it’s a slightly odd move.

Aisha gives all 4 points to spend on “the therapist of your choosing…or booze.”
Ryan: “Booze is therapy…the best kind of therapy there is.”
Brad: “my therapist, Johnnie Walker”

Greatest Hits: Songs of Football

Seeing Brad and Jeff do GH songs together brings me back to IAG.

Colin: “Hi, we’ll be back to our documentary on insane nudists, “I can see your nuts”, in just a second.”
HA

Ryan: “Colin, how long have we been doing this show together?”
Colin: “oh, 25 years, I guess”
Ryan: “25 years…welp…”
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.14.26 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.14.43 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.14.01 PM
Ryan: “Colin…would you do Greatest Hits with me?”
[SUCH A GOOD CALLBACK]
Colin, genuinely: “YES!”
SO WHOLESOME, TOO!
Aisha even feigns crying again

Ryan calling football “feetball” nearly gets Colin. He recovers quickly

So Jeff, in this punk number is clearly aping Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols, with just a little bit of Joe Strummer from the Clash.

Jeff does his verse, and then the editors, kinda shoddily, cut around Brad’s verse to get to the refrain, if only to save time for what’s about to happen with Jeff:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.22.10 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.22.55 PM
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.23.25 PM
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.23.09 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.23.35 PM
BOOM. Brad, who’s keeping the refrain going, audibly cracks up here.
Brad: “I THINK HE JUST BROKE-A COLIN. RIGHT THERE, NOW I AM STALLIN.”
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.27.03 PM
Ryan’s cracking up. Brad’s barely staying together.
Jeff finally returns:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.28.21 PM
Shaken but still very much in character.
Jeff: “I JUST KILLED COLIN MOCHRIE.”
Dear god this is good. Colin is staying down, Ryan’s dying, Brad is trying his best to keep composure, and Jeff is selling it.
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.31.44 PM
Even the wide shots are working this show. So much of the story is being told.

Jeff, right up to the camera: “AND NOW, COLIN MOCHRIE’S NEVER GONNA BE COMING BACK
BECAUSE I GAVE COLIN MOCHRIE A BIG LEG CRACK.”
And this is so punk, too. Most punk songs are against ‘the man’, and in this case ‘the man’ is Colin who introduces the songs. It’s perfect

JEFF EVEN COMES BACK:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.33.50 PM
Dear god

I also do love, as Jeff and Brad finish up the number, Jeff has one last look over at Colin and then decides not to go back there.

I also love, as Colin rushes to set up again and the number blasts out, Brad distantly throws in an ‘OI!’. It’s so goofy the way Brad does it
Anyway:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.35.55 PM
Just…acting like nothing happened
Ryan: “THIS IS RUINING OUR DAY”
Colin: “no, don’t worry, I’m gonna make a lot of money from the lawsuit…”
A great response to that. Making it clear that this happened IN-STUDIO

Colin: “You know…when Springsteen and Pavarotti joined together…”
So innocently delivered. Also, SECOND CONSECUTIVE SHOW WITH JEFF’S PAVAROTTI!

Colin: “Two different worlds, rock and opera, came together…you could say it was a rock opera, but it wasn’t.”
Colin is great in this game when he just lets funny dialogue like that stand alone
Ryan motions to Aisha, keeping the throughline going: “I don’t think he’s alright”
Ryan, to Colin: “Look, I think you took a blow to the head-”
Colin: “NO! IT WAS *SPRINGSTEEN* AND PAVAROTTI.”
Jesus christ this show…
Colin: “I’VE HEARD THIS SONG, I’VE HEARD IT. Pavarotti stayed in one spot the whole song and NEVER CAME NEAR HERE.”
Jeff: [cracks]
Ryan: [begins to leave]
Colin: “AND YOU’RE WITH ME…cause you gave me the ring, you’re not going anywhere!”

Brad’s Springsteen hasn’t aged a day, but as he starts singing, Jeff does something hysterical:
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.42.56 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.43.07 PM
That’s right. The hook of this one is that Brad is gonna keep singing over Jeff, which is very funny
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.45.14 PM
I love this shot. Turning and posing and still not getting anything

After a Brad chorus, Jeff does come in and do a big long Pavarotti note, which wins over the audience. And then stops, and walks off.
Brad: “That’s all he’s gonna say, he’s gonna hang me out to dry for the rest of the day”
Jeff, meanwhile, refills his water as Brad continues

Then, as Brad’s still in the middle of a stanza, Jeff barges right in with another long note
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.48.30 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.50.06 PM
So damn funny. Jeff is pulling some IAG moves in this game, and he’s absolutely dominating. And Brad’s fantastic at playing off him
Screen Shot 2021-04-06 at 2.51.11 PM

This ends in a fantastic final note, and a really impressive moment from both performers. Proof that not every Greatest Hits needs Wayne in order to be truly great. Brad and Jeff were great working off of each other, Ryan and Colin had great banter, classic even, and the leg crack incident made the rest of the game even more interesting as they used it as a runner. Such an excellent game on so many levels

Jeff: “I almost killed Colin”
Aisha: “I think he was just grateful for the rest”
Ryan: “I TRIED to catch you…”
Colin: “way to go there, flash…”

Overall: Proof that breaking the formula can pay off as far as Whose Line is concerned. Wayne Brady is not in this episode, yet it was still an all-time classic.

The first two games were good for a normal, solid guest star show, but once Moving People started this show became something entirely different, and it even put the first two games into perspective. Questions and Duet are great, fun games, but Questions becomes hooked to the rest of the show thanks to the ‘Jeff making Ryan leave’ runner, and it establishes a bit of normalcy before Moving People subverts the norm.

The one bit of this show that I think could have been better is the editing. The editors were mandated to include the proposal AND GH because they ran together, AND at least one guest star game, and an opener that had to connect to Moving People. Their hands were tied, and cutting out bits of Questions, songs in GH, pieces of Moving People and the other scenes in SFAH are understandable given the scope of what needed to be in there. If I were editing this show, I would have pleaded for it to be guestless, and just make it a four-game show with just Questions, Moving People, SFAH and GH, so all four games could breathe without being hampered for time.

But even with the editing issues, this show still soars. Moving People, SFAH and Greatest Hits are classic, having Jeff and Brad provided some excellent IAG-esque energy, the banter and asides seemed loose, and even big games like GH have throughlines and runners pulling it together. Ryan and Colin take a backseat to some of the action, but even they have nice moments throughout, especially in GH.

The biggest takeaway from this show? This is a CW episode without Wayne Brady, that doesn’t rely solely upon the Ryan-Colin duo, and that doesn’t underedit any of the fourth seaters, and it’s one of the best ones of the run. While Greg subbing in for Ryan felt a bit rushed-together [as that taping was], this show felt clean, smooth, and well-prepared, and proved that panel variance can still make this show work, as it did in the UK. Having different performers in different roles, and having shows without Wayne, or even Ryan or Colin, bring the show back to the ‘anyone can be a winner’ mentality that Clive’s version strove for, and Dan&Mark’s Mock the Week has continued to make work.

So why only do dual-fourth-seater shows in case of emergency? Well, since all three regulars are executive producers, and probably have in their contracts that Whose Line isn’t Whose Line without them [mostly Wayne but probably the other 2 as well], the show is going to continue to be set in stone until either someone leaves or Dan&Mark relent to the CW’s plea to make the show younger. Plus, you also have to factor in the outcry from casual fans of having someone who is usually there not be there, especially someone like Wayne who makes the show a slam dunk in certain demographics.

And while I understand why shows like this one may never happen again…I still kinda wish they could. Because this is one of the freshest, funniest, most anti-formula shows of the CW run, and the fact that there haven’t been similar taping formations, or even subsequent episodes from this taping after E20, saddens me.

Whose Line is best when it’s unpredictable. This show was absolutely unpredictable, even without Wayne. It’s that simple.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Jeff Bryan Davis. The lack of Wayne Brady opened the door for Jeff to truly shine, and his scenes working off of Ryan, Colin and Brad funneled him to the top of the heap tonight. He also wielded some Improv a Ganza energy both in the call and response bit of Duet, telling Ryan to leave throughout and, obviously, Greatest Hits.
Worst Performer: Ryan was barely in the show. He had good moments in SFAH, Questions and GH, but he was mostly a support performer tonight.
Best Game: Greatest Hits. Despite a few dodgy edits, this is a full and clear picture of an entire Greatest Hits game, with exceptional Colin-Ryan banter and great songs from Brad and Jeff.
Worst Game: Duet was the most normal. I like this game, but I wish production hadn’t have wanted this to be a guest star show.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. She was fun in her one game, but I didn’t think it was a good enough picture of her presence at the taping.

COMING UP NEXT: Brad does a show WITH WAYNE. Another guest star show, and this one hopes to be the better of the two WL guests from CW’s Nikita.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E10, or Ass-Related Points

Seasonal Code: S12E10
Production Number: 328
CW Seasonal Code: S11E28

This is the last official episode of S11, and it technically is listed earlier than the last two S12 episodes by CW, cause…the C stands for confusion.

This is a guestless show from the same Jeff taping that gave us the Gina Rodriguez and Karla Souza shows. Should be fun, I hope

Hollywood Director: Mad inventor Ryan is fixing his faulty security robot Jeff, when suddenly Ryan’s malfunctioning robot girlfriend Wayne bursts from the closet

Literally the first joke of the show is a penis joke:
Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 9.42.20 PM
Moment one. This is where we’re at

Ryan: “well, Jimmy, you had a loose nut.”
It’s that simple

I love the little interplay between Ryan and Jeff. Jeff starts making noises as he walks, and does a bit more coming towards Ryan.
Ryan, chuckling: “your noise was late that time”

Jeff: “WHAT IS LOVE?”
Ryan: “…what’s love got to do with it?”
ARE WE PLAYING SONG TITLES??

Jeff: “I’M HAVING A MALFUNCTION IN SEXCTOR SEVEN”
Motioning, once again, to the crotch-al region
Ryan, not letting that one go either: “SEX-TOR SEVEN?”

Then Wayne literally bends over in front of Jeff and Ryan immediately knows what’s about to happen, and yells “NO!” Colin essentially rushes in

Ryan starts the Spring Break style by opening a beer off of Jeff’s privates. IT JUST KEEPS COMING BACK

Jeff, after crushing several beers on his head: “OH MY GOD,I’M SUPER FUCKED UP.”
Jeff has a very simple role, but he’s playing it really well
Ryan: “YOU CAN’T SAY THAT!”

Colin interrupts robotic twerking with Wayne and Jeff
Ryan: “I don’t think you can say ‘fuck’ on TV, can you…”
Colin, with the perfect comeback: “Certainly not more than once…”
[so how both of these aired, I have no idea]

Look…this had funny moments, but there wasn’t much more to this scene than sex jokes. That was the sole dimension of the scene. The interplay and meta moments between Jeff and Ryan and Ryan and Colin are what make this work for me, and the rest just pads it down

The banter bit is about how nobody’s heard of Eugene O’Neill, which is actually a nice segue into the next game

Props: Wayne and Colin vs. Ryan and Jeff

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 9.55.14 PMWayne: “I saw the whole thing, the house just fell on Big Bird.”
Colin, as a muppet: “Amazing…house starts with H!”
That is how you scene-dress!

Wayne tries a ‘GET TO ZE CHOPPAH’ one that fails as miserably as Heather’s did last season. Heck, one of the props ends up hitting Ryan, who overreacts to it

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 9.57.38 PMJeff: “ladies and gentlemen, it’s your favorite comedian, CARROT TOP!”
The irony of him doing this in a Props round…

Wayne does a frantic pixie-stick one, and Colin’s set-dressing comes to save him again: “that’s mommy’s heroin”

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.00.02 PMColin: “and how long ago did the snake take viagra?”
The zoom out helps this one, which is great

Jeff sets Ryan up for a ‘nun’ one, and is still impressed when he turns it into a flying nun joke. Ryan can still surprise Jeff after all these years.

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.01.49 PMRyan: “HELLO, I’M WILFORD BRIMLEY.”
That is pretty fucking funny, for the record

Colin, using the prop as a shovel: “here at this archeological dig….IT’S A WILFORD BRIMLEY JOKE!”
HAHAHAHA

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.03.22 PMRyan: “car…ran right over my dick!”
I think the delivery gets Jeff laughing here

A really strong Props. Like last show, both sides were working off each other as well as providing funny stuff. Colin had the most wild ideas, and the best improv support.

Secret: Ryan and Colin are Tarzan and Jane

I love the initial setup- Tarzan has a job interview, and is wearing a suit [“have interview at bank”]. Already that’s a funny scenario for these characters
Colin: “…Tarzan you still don’t have your sentence structure right…”
Ryan: “WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEAVE DOLLAR IN?” [smiles]

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.07.27 PMThe reveal gets mostly ‘OHHHHHH’s rather than laughs
Ryan, perfectly: “…Tarzan already have interview at bank….it not go well for Tarzan….or people who work at bank.”

Colin: “DID YOU STEAL-”
Ryan: “Tarzan take little money…JUST TO SPRUCE UP TREE.”
This is all perfectly fitting together

I love the back and forth between Ryan and Colin over the moral obligation
Ryan: “How Tarzan get One Direction tickets??”
Ryan, I have some bad news for you..

Colin: “I’m taking the rest, I’m going to invest it”
Ryan: “ooh, just like REAL marriage!”

A cute secret. Lots of fun character stuff and back-and-forth, but I felt like it could have dug a little deeper into the concept

The banter begins innocently enough
Ryan: “A lot of people don’t realize that Tarzan and Tonto are related”
Aisha: “same…thinly-veiled racial stereotypes”
Ryan: “how do you stereotype a man of the jungle?”
Aisha: “WHY THE WHITE MAN GOTTA BE KING OF THE JUNGLE?”
Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.18.42 PM
Wayne walks off, comes back: “i’ve been saying that for YEARS. ALL OF THE NATIVES, ALL THOSE PEOPLE.”
Jeff: “CAN WE HAVE ONE SHOW WHEN WE’RE NOT DOING THIS??”
Wayne: “Johnny Weismuller can kiss my behind…”
And this would have been funny enough if it had ended there, but Ryan had to go and elevate it
“…well they need someone who could SWIM.”
OH MY GOD,
Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.21.16 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.21.24 PM
The entire place essentially blows up. The audience goes wild in a mix of shock and laughter. This is the kind of shit that Ryan can only get away with for working with Wayne for nearly 20 years. It’s a lot like a joke coming next season, where without context it could be perceived as racist, but I think it’s okay because it’s meant as a clapback in the realm of the banter argument.
And look at Wayne’s eventual reaction:Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.21.36 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.21.48 PMScreen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.22.02 PM
Aisha: “GET OUT”

Wayne: “See what you didn’t see was [points to a section of the audience] those two sisters going AW HEEEELLL NO”
We get a shot of the audience members in question fully agreeing with Wayne

Scenes from a Hat:

“Unlikely things to hear at Thanksgiving”
There’s some easy ones, then Jeff and Wayne come down and start speaking native american to each other. This is a joke Jeff and Wayne have to explain.
Wayne: “at the first Thanks…you know what, I can swim, fuck y’all.”
THAT is funny. He’s still angry one scene later, and it carries into this one

Aisha: “I didn’t say anything- I’ve done triathlons…I can swim MILES.”

“If everyday tasks were done in a sexy way”
Wayne starts stapling papers to Colin sexily
Colin: “…do you understand what ‘sexy’ is?”

Then Wayne and Colin do an overly-sexy ‘cop pulling someone over’ bit. Wayne and Colin just start wiggling in unison.

Ryan does a long setup for his, but the eventually ‘toweling off his ass crack’ bit gets Wayne HOWLING at the side
Wayne even comes back as his waxing lady from two seasons ago: “Mr. Stiles, I no do your laundry anymore”

“Unfortunate times to get food poisoning” returns
Ryan, with Colin: “oh, look, there in the pool, Aisha CAN swim…OHHH”

Ryan then pimps out the other 3 to twerk, which…my this is a transparently horny show. Jeff runs off, Colin holds his breath, Wayne tries moving his ass while keeping his stomach level. It’s a very silly bit. Then Jeff suddenly runs along the back. Drawing it out makes this work.

A decent SFAH, but a few too many that didn’t work for me

Greatest Hits: Songs of the Zookeeper

Colin: “Hi, we’ll be right back to Rodolfo, the Jerky Chicken and a man with no nose.”
Silence. Ryan cracks the slightest smile.
Ryan, saving Colin: “how does he smell?”
Colin: “AWFUL.”
Jeff:
Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.46.29 PM
this is another great Jeff-watching show

Ryan, tempting the gods with his second racist joke of the night, on Chinese Opera: “I love Concerto #5, which is of course Concerto with beef and broccoli”
More audience members groan. Perhaps the same section as before
Ryan: “It’s quite the night for me!”
HA
Colin: “Keep those letters coming in!”

Colin reveals that this is Chinese opera featuring Pavarotti, which means JEFF’S PAVAROTTI RETURNS!!

Wayne singing opera in chinese gibberish is why he’s so good at this game. Cause he OWNS it

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.52.46 PMI know it’s only been 9 shows, but I missed this

This number was played entirely straight, and used all great vocal tones and notes…but man was it silly

Ryan: “And when I think of Russian folk, I think of one my favorite folk songs ever to come out of Russia, that Russian folk song…”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.56.18 PMRyan:
Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 10.58.06 PM
“ooh, ask again later!”
Even in the moments of calm, he goes for the bald joke

The Russian folk song is also really good, because of Wayne’s strength in the verses and Jeff’s strength in the chorus, hopping along the stage

A pretty great Greatest Hits. The songs outshone the banter, and it was entertaining as hell

Overall: All over the place. Two games were great- Props and Greatest Hits. Lots of games fell short of my expectations, like Director, SFAH and honestly Secret. There were funny moments all around, memorable moments, like Ryan’s second f-bomb, the Wilford Brimley joke, and obviously that Tarzan exchange, but the segue from that to SFAH made it feel like there was still a bit of tension, and sort of soured a little bit of the show. So it’s hard for me to figure out how I feel about this one. A good portion of it worked, but enough of it felt…yeah, problematic, that I couldn’t immediately like it.

Also, the two big improvy-improv games, Director and Secret, disappointed me. Director went entirely to sex jokes, when it could have gone other places. And while Secret was very funny in where it went, it was missing some of the bizarre humor directions that most games of Secret thrive on. So there wasn’t a big IMPROV-improv game that won me over tonight, just stuff like Props and GH.

I…wanted to like this show more than I did. Cause good, funny things happened in it. It just kept taking away as it gave.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Even amidst the racism, I’m giving it to Ryan, because he did dominate this show, and he did have so many game-leading moments throughout.
Worst Performer: Jeff was mostly in charge of laughing tonight.
Best Game: Greatest Hits was a pretty great CW Greatest Hits game.
Worst Game: Director couldn’t even vary the TYPES of sex jokes.

COMING UP NEXT: Back to S12 stuff. For the last time to date, the sacred triptych of Ryan-Colin-Wayne is tampered with. Two fourth seaters, one guest star, loads of…material that should have aired as well.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E09, or Three of Your Steaks Didn’t Make It

Seasonal Code: S12E09
Production Number: 413
CW Seasonal Code: S12E02

Our first Greg Proops show of the S12 tapings gives us a guest star appearance from Tamera Mowry, one half of the twin stars of Sister, Sister, which aired on ABC and then The WB for the better part of the 90s. It was a fun show that eventually boosted revenue airing on ABC Family after Full House reruns, and boosting the nostalgia of the classic show. So getting Tamera was a good move for the 90s kids still invested in WL.

Also, it’s very cool that we’re finally getting to this taping, cause it’s one that we keep culling from for a while.

Two things:
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 11.46.01 AM
1. Wayne has graduated to being able to wear a suit. This is the version of Wayne that would most surprise viewers in 1998. Bald, clean-shaven [despite recently coming in with a beard], wearing a full suit. Wayne Prime.
2. …missing someone?

Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 11.47.36 AMIt would have been funnier if he kept the chair empty for the entire intro, but he just went to the craft services table for a second, I think

Scenes from a Hat:

We open with Scenes from a Hat, which means…we’re not gonna have any actual all-four improv games tonight, are we?

“world’s worst battle cry”
Wayne: “….OHNOOOOOOO”
[I giggled]
Colin: “…Best 2 out of 3!”
Ryan: “WE’RE GONNA DIE!”
Greg: “WHO’S SCARED?….WE ARE!”
These are all so good, and entirely free of connotation
Colin: “HOPE YOU DON’T MIND THE SMELL OF URINE!”
[from the makers of ‘GET MY BROWN PANTS’]

“Unlikely things to hear in court”
Colin: “after hearing both sides….I dunno.”
And he flips a coin. Why is the wholesome stuff just working with me so far?

Ryan, with Wayne: “I’m sorry, did you say my client is INNOCENT?”
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 11.53.00 AM
Wayne, running offstage: “AWWWW SHIT!”
SO GOOD

“Pick up lines on the golf course”
Ryan: “3 strokes and I’m in…”
Greg:
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 11.55.23 AMScreen Shot 2021-03-31 at 11.55.34 AMScreen Shot 2021-03-31 at 11.55.43 AM
I love how Greg is still able to crack up Ryan after all these years

Greg, with Wayne: “try to work your way out of my bunker.”
Wayne, who knows nothing about golf: “with my….nine iron??”
Aisha: BUZZ
Wayne: “I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT GOLF.”
Ryan: “REALLY??”
Colin: “SHOCKING.”
Wayne: “SHUT UP!”

Colin: “ever experienced a hole in one?”
….
Colin: “…I don’t know what it means either.”
Wayne, helping him out: “….would you like to see my penis?”
IT’S THAT SIMPLE

“Clips from the world’s weirdest game shows”
Ryan, as usual: “I’d like to buy a bowel.”
Wayne, as it fits: “Hey, I’m Wayne Brady and welcome to Let’s Make a Deal.”
He’s not wrong..
Aisha: “YAAAAAAAYYY”
Wayne: “IS THAT WHAT YOU WANTED?”

A strong round of this to open the show. No real lulls, everybody had funny stuff, and Wayne had some great energy at the top of this show [though not the taping].

Song Styles: Wayne sings a Motown song about maternity nurses to Tamera

So…I barely even watched Sister Sister, but it’s cool seeing that face 20 or so years later on Whose Line. You may not know anything about the show, but you know what the Mowrys looked like back then. So that’s cool.

Heck, Tamara even turns to the back chairs and says, genuinely, ‘I love you guys”, which means PEOPLE WHOSE RERUNS PLAYED ON ABC FAMILY TOGETHER ARE FANS OF EACH OTHER? I wonder if the Full House guys or the Everwood guys watched?

Wayne: “we’re gonna do this verse, that we didn’t rehearse
oh damn, I think I need a maternity nurse”

So, right around the end of Wayne’s first verse, Ryan gets an idea, and starts talking to Colin about it
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 1.52.18 PM
Then, once Tamera starts singing her verse, Greg overhears and Ryan explains it to him:Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 1.52.31 PM
Which is why as Tamera really gets into her verse, all three come down here as backup.Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 1.52.51 PM
Normally when Aisha or Drew make the other 3 come down as backup, none of them want to. Because it’s forced, rather than suggestive support. But Ryan saw that this number needed support, all 3 were into it, so they came down. That’s why improv without coercion from production is better than when it’s more regulated.

Tamera, pointing to Colin: “I SEE THE BABY COMING”
Wayne: “OH NO”
I love Colin switching from panic to joyfully bobbing his head back and forth here

Tamera: “5 centimeters, we got 5 more to go until THE RING OF FIRE.”
JESUS TAMERA.
Wayne: “oh wow, this is stuff that I really didn’t know”
Tamera: “DON’T YOU HAVE KIDS?”
Wayne: “hey man, I helped to make it, I didn’t help to GET it”
[and that may be why he’s divorced]
Also, Greg loves that line

SUDDENLY:
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 1.58.29 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-31 at 1.58.40 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-31 at 1.58.49 PM
EVERYBODY’S INVOLVED

Wayne: ‘this is how we get down
You know he’s a good daddy cause the baby is brown…”
The little smirk when he realized what the rhyme was

Aisha then starts sucking at Wayne’s chest, which catches him off-guard. Then, as she heads back to the desk, he chuckles and goes “DREAMS COME TRUE.”

Tamera is excellent in this game, both at singing and at improvising lyrics, right as Wayne pulls and twists another baby out of Ryan. This is still mostly a Song Styles [sort of like the Elizabeth Gillies one, where the guest assists but doesn’t completely act as a second piece], but Tamera is showing her talents for sure.

A very wholesome number, complete with support from EVERYONE, great lyrics from Wayne and Tamera, and some really fun stuff all around. One of my favorite guest song styles we’ve had in a while.

Ryan, finally: “what was the ring of fire, I don’t know anything about that?”
Wayne: “does anybody know what the ring of fire is?”
Someone from the audience: “DON’T ASK!”
Colin does an impression of this voice
Ryan: “well, it’s gotta burn, burn, burn.”
10/10

Themed Restaurant: Wayne and Tamera dine at a restaurant themed after Tom Hanks movies; Ryan, Colin and Greg are waiters

[pleeeeeease be better than the Gina Rodriguez one]

Also, damn, I wish they’d do this now so someone could come in as Chet.

Ryan: “let me get your waiter for you. WILSOOOOOON”
This is a movie-related topic we won’t need to worry about with Ryan. He’s seen enough Tom Hanks movies.

Greg: “would y’all like some hors d’oeuvres? All I got’s a box of chocolates…cause LIFE IS LIKE ONE.”
He drew that out enough to charm me

The game of the scene becomes very apparent- Wayne is trying to propose to Tamera, and the waiters cannot let that happen. While also doing Themed Restaurant things.
Colin: “the fish special…made quite the SPLASH.”
[of course Colin chooses the Tom Hanks movie with 2 SCTV alums]
Colin even bows for this one

Even better, Tamera’s good enough at improv that she sees Wayne’s trying to propose and tries to get him to continue, KNOWING the object is to be interrupted again. Which means, yes folks, ALL FIVE PERFORMERS ARE IN SYNC ON WHAT THIS SCENE SHOULD BE. THAT SHOULD BE THE GOAL OF GUEST STAR EPISODES, FOLKS.

Colin: “Some wine, from…PHILADELPHIA?”
Okay, 2 things
1. I’m from Philly. We may be known for our craft breweries, but we are certainly not known for our wines.
2. Colin is doing what he did in the Spielberg Themed Restaurant, and working in titles as feebly as he can, KNOWING they’re kinda pathetic. And this is working.
After Wayne and Tamera give silent reactions, Tamera laughing and Wayne confused, Colin goes “…I’ll send it back”

Greg comes in with a GENIUS move: “Perhaps you’d like to be in our PRIVATE area….PRIVATE RYAN!”
You can hear Ryan chuckle at this before he comes onstage
And somehow, despite being caught off guard, he delivers an excellent punchline AND excellent reference: “I’ve got some bad news….three of your steaks didn’t make it.”
This is why Ryan is so good. You never know which movies he’s seen, so that when he makes an awesome reference like this, it catches you off guard.
Ryan, leaving: “I’ll try to find the other two.”
And he places a hand tenderly on Wayne…pauses, and exits, cracking up. EVERYTHING IS WORKING

Colin: “Some oysters? That’ll give you a Woody.”
NO, COLIN, NO.

As Wayne proposes, Greg comes in to do ‘reentry’ from Apollo 13, which is a cool reference

Then, after Tamera agrees, Colin comes in somberly.
Wayne: “champagne?”
Ryan, entering with Greg: “I don’t think he has time for champagne.”
Colin: “I’m sorry, you’ve walked the green mile…”
WE CUT NOW TO THE ONLY PERSON UNPREPARED FOR A DARK TURN:
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.08.11 PM
This is like an episode of Punk’d
Wayne, a la Michael Clarke Duncan: “Okay…I guess I’ll be seeing you later baby”
It’s a very sad, emotional, dramatic moment that motions towards a sad ending. Tamera is shocked. And this is already a fantastic ending, but it needs to be a funny ending. Thank god for Colin Mochrie:
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.15.18 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.15.27 PM
“SO…”Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.15.36 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.15.43 PM
This is a GENIUS move. They can’t end on a completely dark ending, so instead of Wayne dying, it’s just a way of Colin taking over and continuing the date with Tamera, which is such a silly and funny subversion. It also works for Tamera, because she’s a fan of the show, and now she gets to do this: Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.15.58 PM
AND COLIN LETS HER

Okay, so…I think that might be the best round of Themed Restaurant Whose Line has ever done. There was a full beginning-middle-and-end, some fantastic reference interruptions from all 3 that progressed the story, so many funny interplay moments, and that incredible ending, going from dark to wholesome in a span of seconds. I am beyond impressed with this game, and now this episode.

Wayne, getting back to the seats: “Didn’t the black guy die in that movie?”
Ryan: “yeah, don’t kill Wayne…”

Wayne: “she made me feel the excitement of getting…I think I might wanna get married again now…”
Aisha: “oh, no…”
Ryan: “you should do it during the show”
Wayne: “yeah, well who would I get married to?”
A FEW LADIES FROM THE AUDIENCE SCREAM
Colin: ‘…that guy looks nice!”
PFFFF
Aisha: “LADIES, HE’S A NIGHTMARE.”
A distant audience member woman: “I’M OKAY WITH THAT.”
[i hope that’s not the DON’T ASK lady]
Wayne: “…and therein lies my problem.”

Props: Ryan and Greg vs. Wayne and Colin

A rare Props from CWLIIA that I don’t think I’ve seen since the airing. I don’t recognize these props at all

Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.29.58 PMGreg: “My god, the nuclear power plant shrunk to nothing”

Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.33.14 PMWayne, sung: “hey boys and girls, don’t make a fuss, it’s the story of Gary, the Amputee Octopus”
PFFFF

Greg and Ryan do a Japanese binoculars one that A.) wouldn’t have aired today, and B.) cracks Ryan up

Greg, with the props near his crotch: “Doctor, I think I’ve been taking too much Nyacin”
[…]
Greg: “…because Nyacin turns things orange.”
[He had to explain a lot of jokes this taping]

Greg, as he does every now and then, thinks of a great idea to combine the props:
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.36.36 PM
Greg: “I toldja you didn’t wanna see how hot dogs are made…”

A decent props. Some good suggestions, a few same ones, and some good energy from both sides.

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, is a stressed-out business executive firing his assistant, Tamera, who also happens to be his girlfriend

The first few seconds of this game, Tamera’s audibly laughing at Colin’s gestures as Ryan talks. For someone who seems to have watched enough of the show on her own time, seeing this game, and the Ryan-Colin duo in this game, up close must be really affirming to her. I’d laugh too if they were doing this for me.

Ryan: “knock-knock”
Tamera, stifling laughs: “who’s there?”
Ryan: “not you anymore. I’m sorry”
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.44.11 PM
I do think there is something cool about Tamera being caught off-guard so much by this show while also still being a willing and active participant in it
Greg, in the background, mimes sinking a free throw.

Ryan: “I think we should toast our final dinner together with a bottle of wine [eyes it] half…bottle of wine…I drank half of it before you got here…”

Tamera’s excellent here because she’s bringing the scene back to actual improv and scene progression as Ryan gives her the glass of wine and begins the ‘things on the table’ portion of the game. She understands that this game is best when it focuses on IMPROV rather than on the gross food stuff, so she’s improvising really well. Man, Tamera is REALLY impressing me.

Ryan: “cheers?”
Tamera: “TO WHAT?”
Ryan: “to me…to you…and what we were..”
[Tamera’s laughing again]

Ryan tries this ‘intertwine’ gag a lot, but this one is so goofy and tense that it works:
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 3.53.08 PM

Tamera: “I gave it my all!”
Ryan: “yes. TWICE.”
Perfect

Ryan, eyeing the cellphone on the table: “RING RING, excuse me, I’m getting a call…from 1980.”
In doing this, Colin spills the glass of wine over
Greg goes down in the back either way

Tamera does great gift-work, making Janeane ‘from the mailroom’, who called Ryan, into Tamera’s best friend, making it even more personal, LEADING TO HER LAUNCHING THE WINE AT RYAN. MAN, SHE’S GOOD!
Ryan: “…well that barely got me at all, did it?”

Aisha, in response, comes right onstage, refills Tamera’s wine glass, and gives it back to her. I LOVE THAT. DUES EX MACHINA. Coming in on the side of Tamera and wanting her to really get Ryan wet for his crimes in the scene. That’s why I love Aisha, because she knows how to scene-dress as well as anyone

Ryan knows that Tamera dousing him will be a better ender gag, so he brings us back to the food on the table.

Once Colin smears cool whip on Ryan’s face, Tamera audibly snorts. My god, she’s adorable

Tamera: “[you have] white cream on your face.”
THE AUDIENCE DOES THE WORK FOR RYAN.
Ryan: “STOPPIT. STOP IT WITH THE SEX TALK.”
And that line STILL WORKS

Ryan: “let’s keep it away from the sex-BANANA?”
Jesus, we were JUST THERE LAST SHOW
Then, as Colin clomps along the table looking for the banana, Ryan busts up. He can’t help it

Sure enough, Colin shoves the banana in Ryan’s mouth and Ryan starts making a circle around it with his finger. Not as phallic as the drip from last show, but close

Tamera tries to get him to have another one
Ryan: “NO NO. And I’m not going to swallow it.”
And he just spits it into Colin’s hands. AW, BUT THAT WAS A GOOD BANANA.

Ryan: “HOW ABOUT A BAKED POTATO…or as they say in France…the PETITE…”
And then both Ryan AND Tamera break down.
Ryan, barely hanging on: ‘…little potato…”

Note that the potato is STEAMING when Ryan opens it. DAMN HOT. So they did better at preparing food this season

Ryan makes a horrifying potato concoction with lots of butter and pudding, and Tamera still has the glass. SHE REMEMBERS THE STORY and asks for her job back in exchange for eating the potato. SHE’S THAT GOOD. Most guests would forget the scene, but not her.
Ryan: “…alright, if you eat this entire potato, I’ll give you your job back.”
The die is cast. Scene stuff is resolved, now Tamera has to suffer

So Tamera has a bite of the concoction, then Ryan, knowing we need that ender, goes “THROW IT, I’M READY”
Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 4.07.53 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-31 at 4.08.05 PM
BEAUTIFUL. Aisha erupts in applause, AND: Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 4.08.12 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-31 at 4.08.22 PM
Wayne LEAPS into the air in excitement.Screen Shot 2021-03-31 at 4.08.34 PM

Another titanic, triumphant HH, that worked so well as a story-based improv game while also indulging this game’s usual food stuff. Tamera was an excellent foil who kept the scene moving and held the threat of dousing Ryan until the game’s final moments, and had enough story-building dialogue with Ryan as they went on. A really impressive playing of this, which means we’re at two great HHs in a row. This shouldn’t happen, I dislike this game. But when it’s done well, which this and the Joey one have, then I’m all about it.

Ryan, his shirt all wet: “I look like I made love to a hippo…”
Aisha: “and honestly, who hasn’t?”

Overall: Second all-timer CW show in a row. While this show wasn’t as consistently-awesome as last show [thanks Props], this one’s highs went arguably higher, with an all-timer Themed Restaurant, insanely fun rounds of Duet and Helping Hands, and a really good SFAH to start off. Plus, while Greg was clearly given the usual fourth-seater edit, he still had enough moments to make his presence known, and was technically in 4/5 games counting Duet. This was another show for Wayne’s S12 dominance, and a show where Colin’s additions were just funny enough. I really, really enjoyed this one, and hope this season’s streak continues.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Colin did the heavy lifting in great scenes like SFAH and Themed Restaurant, so he gets it over Wayne, who dominated less games but more moments.
Worst Performer: Ryan did the most deference tonight. Even in Helping Hands, he deferred to Tamera.
Best Game: Themed Restaurant. The closest we’ve gotten to a perfect guest improv game.
Worst Game: Props was the most normal.
Guest Star Rating: 10/10. Excitement + ability + improv prowess equals one of the best guest performances I’ve ever seen from one Tamera Mowry. Well done.

COMING UP NEXT: One last time, we head back to the S11 tapings for one last guestless Jeff show.

QI Watchdown: L2 (Location), or SUFFICIENT.

For any of you alarmed by the sudden appearance of new QI on this blog yesterday, it’s mostly a whim, and partially an excuse to get to L2, which is an episode with a really impressive-looking panel. First of all, it’s the first appearance of Aisling Bea, who’s supposedly one of the strongest semi-regulars of the Sandi era, and has impressed me in everything I’ve seen her in. And then, it’s laden with two opposing humorists- Jason Manford, bringing raunch and lawfulness, and Johnny Vegas, bringing bizarreness and wholesomeness. Like last show, this will be a fun mix of accents.

I love Johnny’s shirt
Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 4.54.18 PM
Star Wars x Pokemon. Beautiful

All four buzzers are horns. Johnny’s is an errant train horn, which cracks him up. Alan’s is ‘are we nearly there yet?’

While demonstrating the ‘spend a penny’ cards, Alan bonks himself on the head with it and realizes it’s harder than he thought. Great early sight gag

Stephen: “what would you find at the exact center of the observable universe?”
Jason: “YOU?”
Stephen: “WELL ODDLY ENOUGH…possibly…”
Alan: “Norfolk!”

Stephen even says that somewhere in Idaho stakes a claim as the center of the universe. “Americans like to stake a claim, they’re land-grabbers…it’s in their DNA, so-to-be”
HEYYYY

Johnny: “Isn’t the sun the center of the universe”
Stephen, after laughing: “…I’m sorry, I don’t know why I laugh-“
That is the most Stephen thing ever. I can’t tell if he’s in character as the all-knowing host or if that was genuine
Johnny: “WHAT A WAY TO BUILD ME CONFIDENCE FOR THE REST OF THE SHOW…”
Aisling: “We both looked to you, and you looked down at us like the peasants on the land…WILL WE EVER BE FREE OF THIS TYRANNY? ‘MWA-HA-HA, NEVAHH”
Heck, like Phill Jupitus, Aisling breaks into a Stephen impression in her first episode

Stephen, wrapping up: “The center of the universe is, in fact, bank street in Wallace, Idaho, OR…”
Aisling and Johnny: “THE SUN! OHOHOHOHO!”
I already love this. Aisling and Johnny doing Statler and Waldorf impressions and slapping five, and THIS IS AISLING’S FIRST SHOW! Already she’s a pro at this.

Stephen: “We all know what the big bang theory, but what’s the big SPLAT theory?”
Aisling: “is it the last thing you hear before an anvil hits your head?”

Jason gets a second one spot-on, and just thanks his physics teacher on-air. Very classy

Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 5.15.25 PMAisling: “Looks like a sun hat the world is…going on a nice holiday…”
Johnny: “Has the world gone to the races?”
I am so glad that these two are getting along

Johnny tells a story about when Mt. St. Helens erupted, “I thought it was in my hometown…and I thought my parents were being really casual about the impending doom…while I’ve got a bag packed and going ‘we should really go to Blackpool…or at least to a safe zone'”

Stephen mentions the theory that our moon used to belong to Venus and Earth appropriated it, and the fact that scientists don’t believe it as much as they want it to keep being a relevant idea.
Jason: “I had an ex-girlfriend like that…”

Stephen: “Now, if Johnny and Jason got naked-“
Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 5.20.35 PM
JUST THAT VISUAL ALONE. GIVE THE GRAPHIC DESIGNERS A RAISE
Johnny: “I can’t wait, after the show, to open wedding gifts, too…”
Stephen: “be still the beating hearts of the nation…if they got naked, covered their legs in lard, and put their hands on each other’s shoulders, what could we expect to happen next?”
Jason: “I would guess OFCOM would get involved…”

Johnny: “I’d obviously be the female in the relationship…I’m the one who needs rescuing…”
Said with a straight face

Johnny: “it’s a red wine that we’re about to trample the grapes for and you can also fry with.”
Again, I love how he thinks
Aisling punctuates this with a great “this tastes kind of FUNNY, EHH?”

Stephen throws on a very specific northwest accent, which puzzles Jason. “Y’alright? You sound like you swallowed a sock”

Johnny knows it’s about shin-kicking because “me uncle was one!”

Stephen: “You know what they cry when you give up? You’d think ‘NOO, STOPPIT’, or ‘GO ON YOUR BOTHER’, but”
This gets Jason again.
Jason: “or STOP KICKIN ME SHIN YE BASTARD”
Stephen: “No, they shout ‘SUFFICIENT’.”
AND JOHNNY’S GONE

Johnny: “Oddly enough that’s my climax call. SUFFICIEEEENT!”
As the audience laughs at this, as they should, “I’D LIKE TO STRESS, THERE’S NO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INVOLVED, it’s just…we’re not GREEDY, in our nature up north…”
Stephen: “I’ve never heard the phrase ‘climax call’…”

I wanna note that after having a wild show last episode, Alan has been pretty quiet so far, and has mostly been supplying fact and knowledge, and letting the other 3 go.

Aisling: “Do they have a channel 4 program called ‘Shin-Kickers Wives”? [Geordie accent] “MAH GOD, ‘E’S MAKIN SO MUCH MONAEY KICKIN SHINS”
I love her already

Stephen mentions that shin-kickers pad their shins with straw, as the ‘tough northerner’ stereotype isn’t as accurate
Jason: “WAIT A MINUTE, LAD-“
Johnny: “NEXT THING YA KNOW, THEY’RE WEARIN’ *CROCS*”

Heck, the next question, about a pub called the Spanking Roger, has a Jason connection, as it’s a pub in Manchester that he knows. And this naked run that was a tradition on that road ties into how the pub got its name. So, man, the Elves are playing right into the players’ experiences

Plus, Jason remembering the pub owner also fought in Gibraltar just adds to how awesome Jason has been doing this show in terms of getting things right. 

Alan, of course, does a nonverbal impression of the ‘well-endowed’ Spanking Roger doing the naked run. He’s good at little gags like that. Just hitting himself in the face with it.
Jason: ‘that’s why he was called spanking Roger..”

Stephen: “But he caught the eye of a 65-year-old widow-“
Aisling: “with his…” [mimes being hit in the eye]
HAA

Stephen: “The great, much-lamented Christopher Hitchens once said that there is no surname in the english language that cannot be improved by having the word ‘Spanker’ put in front of it. SPANKER MANFORD, SPANKER VEGAS, SPANKER BEA….Spanker Bea’s terrific, isn’t it?”
Aisling: “yeah, it’d be hard to spank a bee…”
Jason: “There’s the queen bee, there’s worker bees…and then there’s a spanker bee.”
[Jason’s delivery and pauses there are great]

Stephen: “what’s short, talks gibberish, and is much sought after in Merseyside?”
Jason: “Kevin Keegan”
Aisling: “Johnny Vegas.”
Of course

Aisling does go into the way that the Irish and Liverpool accents are similar, and how they’re sort of intertwined with the sort of way they twist [she’s unsurprisingly great at accents].

On the question involving Leprechauns in Liverpool, and kids tearing the place up looking for them. Aisling: “can I just say, just to be a little bit of a nitpicker here, that those are garden gnomes, and…”
Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 6.13.27 PM
“…I’m very racially offended…”

Stephen: “should [a leprechaun] be bearded?”
Aisling: “if he’s not bearded, then he’s just a child wearing an outfit…”
Alan: “he’s got a big red bushy beard, because I have one…”
Aisling, of course: “…you’ve got a big red bushy beard?”

I also love Aisling’s impression of the singing Irish doll that Alan bought in Dublin, “like Chucky”
Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 6.16.37 PM
She’s having a GREAT debut show

Jason has a great story about his kid’s Teddy Ruxpin doll, autonomously going “I SEE YOU” in the middle of the night as Jason went to go to the bathroom

Stephen: “Who am I to say that [Aisling] was wrong in what a leprechaun looks like”
Aisling: “alright, Stephen…look down upon me and tell me what’s right…”
And that runner continues, which I love

Stephen, on the real leprechauns, “and they’re exclusively what?”
Alan, being himself: “white.”
Aisling and Jason completely break down at this one

Stephen does a whole story about a guy who fooled some kids into thinking he was a real leprechaun, complete with accents.
Johnny: “it’s like an episode of Brookside…”

I do love Aisling’s little giggle after making a Wizard of Oz reference, as Stephen explains the menagerie in Tower of London having lions, tigers and bears.

Eventually a Bill Bailley lookalike draped in black and carrying a bucket comes in and Jason holds up his penny, knowing there’s only one way this’ll end. He’s correct, thank god

Sure enough:

Stephen: “and I think there’s an extra farthing for a happy ending.”
Alan: “SUFFICIENT.”

Stephen: “There is a lot of peeing in the street nowadays”
Aisling: “yeah, I’ll admit to that, but…”

Stephen mentions one of these was fined for ‘overcharging’
Jason: “what, did he look in there and go ‘I think you’ll need a fiver…”

The bird that similarly shields with its wings is another link to Jason’s time writing for Walk on the Wild Side.

Aisling, making that shielding motion: “I do that with men at nightclubs.”
Stephen: “IT’S YOU!”
Stephen’s ability to yes-and always catches me, and the panelists, off guard

Stephen: “what’s black and white and doesn’t live in the arctic?”
Aisling: “penguins!”
Stephen: “OHHHH WHAT A SHAME”
KLAXON
Yep, that far into this show, 31 minutes, someone finally gets a klaxon

A note that since Spanking Roger, Johnny has taken a defensive angle and hasn’t said as much. Odd that we’re getting droughts from pretty much everybody but Aisling and Jason this show

Alan then gets a surprise correct answer by guessing that frog’s legs are an english delicacy. Man, this is a good show just for what people DO know

Stephen: “To the nearest…thousand tons, how many frog’s legs do the french get through every year”
Alan: “…500.”
Stephen: “FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND TONS?? HALF A MILLION TONS?”
Laughter all around again. Not pompous laughter like the sun thing, but lawful, knowing laughter
Stephen: “it’s 3 or 4 thousand tons…”
Alan: “I thought they had massive frogs..”

The northern roman border question gets a klaxon for Alan AND THE AUDIENCE. WOW.

Stephen passes Alan and Jason a dish of green food
Alan: “it’s not wasabi, is it?”
KLAXON. THEY’RE COMING FAST NOW

Seeing Jason reacting to the heat is pretty funny. I also love Aisling’s account of her mom’s spice aversion: “OOH, that’s too much for me Aisling, what’s in that?’ salt.” 

Johnny, coughing: “I PUT A LOAD IN CAUSE YOU SAID IT WASN’T..[hack]”
AND HE’S BACK
Alan: “YOU’VE NEARLY KILLED A MAN OVER THERE…this is not Jackass, it’s QI..”
Johnny’s silent struggle with the horseradish reminds me of another struggle he had on a panel show about 18 years earlier with a tranquilizer dart

Johnny: “You know what, Stephen, it would have been lovely if you would have explained that and put up some bloody pictures…rather than just going ‘right, put that in your mouth!”
Jesus
Johnny: “I CAN HEAR THINGS LIKE A DOG DOES…this amazing, I’ve been waiting all my life to become a superhero, and all ya had to do is give me a bloody spoon fulla that….I CAN SEE THROUGH WALLS.”
Here’s the big Johnny moment I was waiting for. Never disappoints

There’s a five second period where Johnny’s looking down, breathing, and Alan and Aisling are just chuckling. This is the power this man has

Stephen uses the behind-screen to demonstrate the water bubble, via pipet, moving uphill in certain reactions
Johnny: “that’s how my sperm reacts to a ridged condom”
Stephen: “you MAY be wearing it inside-out…”
PERFECT
Alan: “what, have you got your sperm in a pipet?”
Jason, sighing: “SUFFICIENT…SUFFICIENT…”

Jason wins pretty easily. but Johnny’s within a point of him. 

Overall: Better than last show but a few late lulls siphon the perfection out of this one. Otherwise, this is a banner show for this era- all four players had moments to dominate. Jason was on for most of the show, Aisling caught fire during the middle, and Johnny Vegas was running wild at the beginning and end. This may not have been as shockingly funny as last show, but it was better at just reaching great, fun QI heights with a great panel. 

MVP: Jason
Best Guest: Aisling
Show Winner: Jason
Best QI Fact: Directing water energy in moving platforms
Best Runner: SUFFICIENT 

QI Watchdown: L1 (L-Animals), or And the Pontiff Was to Swim Very Hard

It’s been a few months, I wanted to do a QI, so I’m doing a QI.

This is the start of Series L, shot in spring/summer 2014, so it aired right as I was beginning the initial QI Watchdown [yeah, it’s been 7 years almost, I know]. The implements put in place last series, involving having at least one woman on the panel every show and the beginnings of funneling the BBC payroll people onto QI, will continue here. For the most part, the semi-regular crew from last series or so remains intact, with the OG’s [Bill, Phill, Jo, Jimmy and David], the golden age humorists [Ross, Sue, Sandi and Jason] and the new breed [Josh Widdicombe, Sara Pascoe, Colin Lane and, well, someone we’ll meet in episode 2] all collaborating throughout this season. This is also Stephen Fry’s penultimate series as the host, which is something to at least keep in mind as we go. 

We start things off with a pretty amusing panel- Ross Noble and Colin Lane worked together before, in last series’ excellent Kit&Kaboodle, but neither have worked with Sarah Millican. I feel like this combo could go to some weird places, and it’ll definitely be a nice mix of accents. 

All the buzzers are l-animal noises. Sarah’s is, according to Stephen, “a lark…or possibly a ringtone.” Colin’s is an odd one that cracks him up.
Colin, to Alan: “I thought YOU were supposed to have the worst one…”

Colin, trying to translate the noise: “…IIII NEVAAAHHH”
Stephen: “It’s not a Melbourne housewife…”

Alan’s is: “STEPHEN! I WANT POINTS!”

The season-long runner is that everyone gets a penny card, and anytime a question looks like it’s going towards a bathroom-related answer, to go for it. It’s similar to the Elephant cards in Series E, but with a bit more commonality, like the Nobody Knows cards in Series I. 

Stephen: “What does the loneliest whale in the world sound like?”
Colin just rings his buzzer. “MMMNNNEEEVEAUUUGHHHH”
Alan: “I was gonna say Richard Littlejohn”

As Alan explains that the blue whale can make the loudest sound of any animal, Colin just starts progressively making louder and more alarming whale noises. This is the kind of improviser’s dedication that was only hinted at in his first appearance
Alan, tenderly: “it’s not even close..”
Ross, of course: “your wife is a very lucky woman!”

Sarah and Colin do a good job of arguing that perhaps the whale is an introvert. As Colin puts it, “there’s a difference between being lonely and being alone.”
It’s an intriguing point that’s immediately followed by Colin doing an impression of a whale reading a book

Ross: “If we’ve never seen it, how do we know that it’s a whale? It could just be a couple of dolphins muckin’ about with a big shell…”
Ross is unfortunate to do a gesture of his hands around his mouth going ‘OOOOO’ with his tongue. Colin even goes “I didn’t think you were doing a conch.”
Ross: “ARE YOU SUGGESTING THAT I’M SOMEHOW PLEASURING THE WHALE?”
Alan, benefitting from his time on this show: “a sperm whale’s penis is about three meters long…”
Screen Shot 2021-03-28 at 5.51.35 PMSarah does a similar mime, only ticking the bottom, which is even funnier

Colin, summing up this entire show: “isn’t it so great how we’re all so keen to be involved?”
Ross: “Hang on a second, if we’re all getting involved, I’ll start here- have it all along the desk…”
AND THEN ALL FOUR OF THEM HELP MIME JERKING OFF A WHALE TOGETHER. AND THIS IS JUST THE FIRST 5 MINUTES. HOLY CRAP.
Ross even goes “HEEEAVE, HOOOO”, which makes it even better
Alan: “HE’S GONNA BLOW!!!”

Heck, right after that, Colin, Alan and Ross all collaborate on using the whale’s low noise as a nightclub sound. We’re already THIS collaborative. I love it

Stephen: “Sarah, suppose you find a vampire, dear.”
Sarah: “…a vampire DEER?”
PFFF
Stephen: “who you gonna call?”
Sarah: “…well I’m tempted to say Ghosbusters…”
KLAXON
I love this show

Stephen takes a deerskull out from under the desk, in a plastic case.
Ross: “I tell you what, that must have been a horrible tupperware party…”

Sarah, on the vampire deer: “Does it have a lovely cloak as well?”
Ross: “that’s how you ride them, you get on the cloak…”

Sarah: “you’ve gotta be very careful because magicians have a similar cloak, and you don’t wanna ride one of them in the woods, do ya?”
So much gold, and we’re not even 10 minutes in
Ross: “that’s exactly what Debbie McGee said to me over tea.”
HAAAA

There’s a spokesman for the natural history museum talking about deer skulls and how these deer came from ‘a single pair’
Stephen: “so it shows that sometimes incest works…”
Ross, of course: “sorry, which area of the country are they coming from?”

Stephen, to the spokesman: “and are there any other things that would strike people as alien or odd?”
Alan, perfectly: “the prices in the gift shop…”

Stephen: “what’s wild, horny, comes from northeast england, and hasn’t been touch by a man in years?”
Ross: [slowly turns to Sarah]
Sarah: “DON’T LOOK AT ME!”
PFFFFF
Ross: “I’M NOT.”
Sarah: “No, I was touched by a man, there on me elbow, last tuesday. There you go.”
[Gary Delaney gives a thumbs-up from home]

Ross figures it out, whispers “watch this I’m gonna do something really smart”, and regally spouts out ‘is it the Chillingham white cows?”

Stephen says that thanks to hoof-and-mouth, they haven’t been touched in about 100 years
Ross: “Well, when I was a kid, we used to ride ’em, so that’s not true..shouldn’t have said that on telly, shh…”
Sarah: “Depends what you mean by ‘touched’…”

Stephen, connecting back to earlier: “again, incest seems to be best”
Ross: “yes, it was in that neck of the woods, I suppose…”

Stephen: “what’s a surefire way of telling two butterflies apart?”
Alan: “different color wings”
Stephen: “…that would be true-“
KLAXON
Stephen: “…of those that were different colors.”
tricky one there

Alan: “their breath!” And he mimes being repelled by a butterfly’s breath. This cracks up the panel. Alan’s been having a pretty nice day, too, even if it’s a very even panel

Stephen: “and he was very good at sexing butterflies.”
Of course, the whole panel gets the wrong idea. Colin has a great reaction
Colin: ‘what, did you say ‘texting’?”

Stephen brings up Nabokov as a butterfly sexer, as well as the author of Lolita
Alan: “I imagine Yew Tree are all over him now…”
Oh yeah, we’re in 2014 now..

Even funnier is Alan’s impression of ‘a butterfly who’s had his penis removed by Vladimir Nabokov’.
Ross: “was his name ‘knob-off’, did you say?”
Ross is so good at supplementing stuff with great punchlines. Always has been

Stephen: “I suppose [the butterfly penises] were the easiest bits to see…”
Sarah, taking him literally: “well, WINGS are easier to see…”
Ross: “BUTTERFLY PUBES, imagine that…how soft would that pillow be…just filled with butterfly pubes…”
Sarah makes an uncomfortable noise miming laying on one.
Ross: “not too many people know this, but all of Stephen’s suits are lined with butterfly pubes..by the FINEST TAILORS IN THE LAND…”

Even Stephen summing up the round, saying “the only way to tell a butterfly’s sex is to look them straight in the genitals”, is goofy.

Stephen: “Can you give me your impression of a pufferfish on the pull?”
Colin’s buzzer: “MMMNNNEEEVEAUUUGHHHH”

Stephen: ‘what do we at QI Central call a fish who drives a tank?”
Colin: “SIR.”
KLAXON
They’re that good!

Stephen feeds the fish-driving-a-tank “some ant’s eggs, or whatever we feed him”
Colin, quietly: ‘…butterfly penises”
Colin’s having a great show without having to be too powerful

Stephen, perfectly: “I say what do we call him, his name is Alan.”

Stephen: “and just to put your minds at ease, this is not his tank-“
Alan: “it’s MY tank”
Stephen: “the most beautiful place, where he lives, is full of toys-“
Ross: “it’s in Watford and he drives there every morning…”
This is turning into an MST3K bit. Every line can be riffed

Alan, on QI Elf Alex Bell: “here we have the classic elf…educated to within an inch of his life..”

Ross, in a question reminding me of his question about smashing ewoks into a lake of farts: “I think the question that everyone wants to ask is that…if you were to make a full-sized version out of the Popemobile…and the Pontiff was to swim very hard”
I love Ross so much

Stephen: “are there future uses for this?”
Alex, smirkingly: “…maybe military…”

Stephen: “What has 32 brains and sucks?”
There are so many easy answers to this one. The Jacksonville Jaguars, perhaps?
Alan, cracking up: ‘the front row…”

Sarah’s amazed that an octopus’ brains is on their genitalia 
Alan: “one of them, that is”
Sarah: “how’d’you know which one?”
Alan, perfectly: “you’ll soon find out…”
WHY IS THIS SHOW JUST COMING TOGETHER SO SEAMLESSLY?

Sarah, on how to attract leeches: “people have done that intentionally, filling a condom with blood?”
Alan: “SOME intentionally…others not so much..”
And he just does a horrified expression, mouthing ‘FUCK’ numerous times
And then, with the perfect set-dressing, “YOU ALRIGHT IN THERE?” “YEAHYEAHYEAH.”
Alan is so damned good this show

Ross: “that is the best way, in the wild, to catch one of those vampire deers…”
AND WE CALL BACK

Ross’s whole bit about crows being scared of very calm, docile posed scarecrows is fantastic. “At least set your scarecrows up like this”, and he mimes a fighting pose

Alan spends his penny on “what’s the most energetic thing a sloth ever does”, and he’s correct. I am predicting that, like Nobody Knows, Alan will get the most points from these this series because he’ll be one of the only people in each episode who remembers to look for them

Sarah, on the poo-eating sloths: “remember when the film Jaws came out it was really terrifying to go to the toilet in case a shark came up and bit your bum?”
Stephen: “I don’t remember feeling that, to be honest”
Sarah: “okay, then maybe it was just our house…”

Sarah: “now that’s another one we’ve got to worry about then…”
Stephen: “yeah, a sloth coming up and clawing at your ass.”
Alan: “well they wouldn’t do that, they’d just sit there like…”
Screen Shot 2021-03-28 at 8.51.21 PM
JESUS CHRIST ALAN

Ross, getting us back to more wholesome humor: “it must be hard for them to be both an animal and a deadly sin”

Ross helps confirm that when sloths die, they stay in the trees, and just stay there forever
Sarah: ‘that’s a hell of a way to find your nan, isn’t it?”
Ross: “it’s how we found mine…”

Ross even lashes out at the audience for being sad about this, which is a joke
Stephen: “we don’t know what goes on in the northeast, but we hear things…”
Another perfect line from this excellent show
Alan: “mainly from you…”

Stephen: “how can you tell your labradoodle is pleased to see you?”
Sarah, the realist: “…it’s got an erection.”

Ross, on the dog eyebrow thing: “so let me get this straight…dog sees his owner, left eyebrow…stranger comes in, ear goes that way…if I was to come in the house, and then quickly get a stranger to come in, I could flip me dog…”
Ross just thinks so creatively, but in a very wholesome way
Colin: ‘what’s it mean when it licks its willy?”
Stephen: ‘…it just wants to have a good time, I suppose…”

On the ‘which cat never changes its spots’ question, Ross riles off a great fact about the jaguar…which isn’t correct, incidentally.
Ross: “…right, I’ll be off, then.”

Stephen: “which is the biggest of the big cats, though?”
Ross, still not over it: “IS IT THE JAGUAR?”
Stephen: “Not even the V12, i’m afraid not..”

Ross, after the liger: “the best one is a ziraffe…it’s just got a zebra body with a giraffe neck, and it’s neck is ALWAYS falling forward”

Stephen: “there are zebroids, which are zebras crossed with all kinds of-“
Alan: “ASTEROIDS.”
PFFFF
Sarah: “hemorrhoids…”

Not confirmed, but the picture of the white liger is surrounded by a few people who look as though they work for Doc Antle from Tiger King. Not confirmed, but they just look like people that Doc Antle has fucked.

Ross, on the white liger: “their diet is exclusively magicians…”

Stephen: “and you get a wholfin, that’s-
Alan: “A WOLF AND A DOLPHIN???”
Ross: “and they howl out their blowholes…”

Stephen, reading the scores: “…he’s come THOUSANDS OF MILES to be -20…”
Colin just raises his arms in exaltation

ROSS SOMEHOW WINS. I’M AS SHOCKED AS YOU ARE.

Overall: A strong start to the season, even if it did even out slightly in the middle. Ross and Alan had extraordinary nights, collaborating with everyone, especially each other. Sarah and Colin also had really good nights, even if they could be a bit outdone by Alan and Ross in parts. There were a lot of very fun bits here, a lot of great energy, and just some pretty spot-on moments [not even counting the whale-jerking bit]. Already we’re off on the right foot in Series L, and I’m hoping the rest of the series is as refreshing as this one

MVP: Alan
Best Guest: Ross
Show Winner: Ross
Best QI Fact: Nabokov’s butterfly penises
Best runner: Colin’s frightening buzzer

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E08, or Never Eat Broccoli Again

Seasonal Code: S12E08
Production Number: 408
CW Seasonal Code: S12E01

We’ve FINALLY gotten to the actual S12 taping season from early 2016. Huzzah.

The Season 12 tapings were the last fully expanded bunch. After this, it’d be limited to five tapings, but here we get ten. Jeff, Jonathan, Gary, Brad, Greg and Heather each get one, with Jonathan, Jeff and Gary getting additional ones, and, uh…one strange case we’re gonna get to in about 3 episodes. This is the last taping season for Heather Anne Campbell, sadly, who’d be busy during S13 and would go through cancer treatments in S15. The same caliber of guest stars would be recruited for S12, with more nostalgia bookings, in the same vein as Bill Nye and Alfonso Ribiero.

The only downside is that this shipment of S12 material would emphasize the guest tapings, so there’d be only a few guestless shows until the supplementary seasons.

This first episode, a Jeff taping, would feature a guest star appearance from a former member of N’Sync. Unlike Queer Eye, I can name all 5 members of NSync- watch- Joey, Lance, Justin, JC, Chris. They were huge when I was a kid, had hits in the late 90s and early 2000s, and at least three of them found careers, but only one as a singer. Lance Bass has gone around as more of a personality, and Joey Fatone has gone into TV presenting and hosting, cause he was always more of the fun, comical one of the group.

Fatone, therefore, was a nice choice for Whose Line- he’d hosted a show called The Singing Bee for a bit, which rivaled Wayne Brady’s Don’t Forget the Lyrics in concept and in the ratings. He’d get the comical/musical aspect of Whose Line and he’d work well with Wayne, so…I’m down.

Important to note that the recently-bearded Wayne is clean-shaven this season on account of Kinky Boots performances on Broadway needing him to be.

Hollywood Director: Ryan and Jeff are a bickering couple whose snowmobile breaks down during a blizzard when suddenly they’re attacked by Bigfoot and his family all played by Wayne

The first of the Director playings to involve Laura and Linda in the finale

I love Jeff’s stuffy character voice for his character. “I’M NOT IN CHARGE OF THE WEATHER, DAMN YOUR EYES.”
Ryan: “JUST PITCH A TENT SO WE CAN START A FIRE”
Jeff: “…the last time you asked me to pitch a tent, we had to start a family.”
Jeff is still one of the best performers they have

Wayne comes out doing bigfoot roars. Ryan already is caught laughing at them. There’s a cut before a Jeff line. My theory is that this came after Let’s Make a Date, and Ryan went ‘are you a werewolf?’. BECAUSE WAYNE’S BIGFOOT NOISES SOUND EXACTLY LIKE HIS HORNY WEREWOLF NOISES. But Spence 12Medbe seems to think this was played before LMAD. So it’s hazy. But I think there was some sort of connection that was cut. 

Then, Wayne doing the contrast of the bigfoot father and son communicating with each other. So damn goofy. THEN HE COMES IN AS THE MOTHER DOING A ‘OH NO YOU DIDN’T’ IN BIGFOOT NOISES. JESUS, WAYNE

Ryan: “I didn’t listen to the suggestion, I wasn’t sure what he was.”
Jeff doubles over. Either Ryan is serious, or he’s referring to a cut line that referenced the horny werewolf.

Colin: ‘that crap was so big it should apply for statehood.”
And he does a little ‘hmmm’ noise, like he’s surprised at how good it was, which breaks Wayne a little

Colin: “Do it like you’re Chippendale…chipmunks. ACTION”
And Ryan does a succession of moves that made be absolutely burst out laughing
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 3.58.43 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-25 at 3.58.51 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-25 at 3.59.01 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-25 at 3.59.15 PM
That got me. Like a Robin Williams move. Confused, then the different pieces of it combined. So damn funny

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 4.03.23 PMThis is such a goofy style choice. Then Wayne comes in and Ryan pipes in stripping music. I was laughing for pretty much the whole thing

Wayne, dancing too far after the cut: “sorry, I was in character.”
Colin: “FINALLY.”
This is a line that reflects the improved quality of Wayne’s improv starting honestly from the S12 tapings. 

Once Colin calls ‘broadway musical’, Laura and Linda start up. From now on, the last style of Director will involve the musicians. This is something the last few playings have hinted at, so it’s a natural progression

Jeff and Ryan in the first part of this are very fun and pretty in sync.

Then, Wayne enters with a top hat doing MUSICAL BIGFOOT NOISES. 
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 4.07.35 PM
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 4.07.55 PM
This is incredible, the way they sing and dance and do a great broadway number even with Wayne doing incoherent bigfoot noises. Jeff is doing some of the melodic heavy lifting, but Wayne is the crowd pleaser, doing big dance moves and notes while still Bigfoot. Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 4.08.15 PM
And it ends with this triumphant, huge final note that impressed the hell out of me on my first watch.

As Aisha buzzes, Colin comes down, goes to Wayne and goes “MEDIOCRE.” Wayne laughs at that as they head back to the seats

So, that was a phenomenal Director. Every style had something for me to laugh at, the bigfoot noises were a great comedic hook, and all four had moments to be the comedic center of the piece. Literally everything you’d want in a Director playing

Duet/Trio: Wayne, Jeff and Joey sing an Nsync song to Eric

YEP. This is why you book funny singers, cause they can do improv along with the professionals.

JOEY IS FULL OF ENERGY RIGHT OUT OF THE STAGE DOOR. 

I have to say, the moment Aisha got someone out of the audience to make this a traditional whose line ‘song to an audience member’ game, I got super excited. They don’t do enough of those anymore, especially due to the onset of guest stars, so thank the gods they actually do one here.

Wayne: “I thought it would be a nice young lady to sing a song to”
Aisha: “yeah, but that would have been kinda obvious, wouldn’t it?”
I love Aisha. She’s just…that good

Eric takes Wayne literally in saying, in response to what he’s a student of, “uh, college?”
AND WAYNE GOES WITH THAT

Joey throws in some freestyle rapping with the little material he has to work with [read: not much]

Wayne has some good lines, saying ‘i bet you didn’t think Joey from NSYNC would be singing to you tonight’. And the thesis of the song, to a very uncomfortable Eric, ends up being ‘tonight we’re gonna make you the girl in this Nsync song’, which is very silly

Joey: “You’re a stud, you used to have boobs, but now you’re just changing and now you’re…a dude.”
So this wouldn’t work with most guests, but Joey’s earnestness, his commitment to the central theme of the song, and his self-awareness, make an awkward line like that work

Jeff: “I’m kinda like Timberlake, but without all the talent, AND MONEY”

Jeff starts feeling Eric up, and the bashful Eric continues to be very bashful.  AND JOEY,
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 8.29.02 PM
Remember what I said last show about Jonathan and commitment? Joey has that down. He’s mounting this poor audience member and making it work. I do love how taken-aback the usually-unflappable Jeff is, though

Wayne, doing his own rap break: “I didn’t know this is the way it would be
And now I have deniability
This song, it was cute
But I will not be blamed in that lawsuit.”
HA
Wayne: “it’ll be you and you, that’s what it’s about
Don’t sue the brother cause I love my house”

Jeff: “You’re not gonna go home alone
You’re gonna go home tonight…with Joey Fatone.”
Joey nods as we pull out for the ending. Man, he sold every second of this.

I like that one a lot, man. Joey had some moments of awkwardness as he figured out what the hook of the piece was, Jeff and Wayne had separate energies that came together, and once it was about making Eric uncomfortable, it became very funny. Joey is a great improv presence because he sells the emotion and is completely on your side while making you look great. Heck, his long-dormant pipes showed up here on a few occasions and complimented the other 2 perfectly.

Ryan, absolutely seriously: “He was my favorite member of that group.”
…name the other 4, Ryan.

Dubbing: Music producer Ryan is auditioning Joey, voice by Colin to join *NSYNC when suddenly his rival, the lovely and sexy Justin Timberlake, played by Wayne, comes in to show that he should be frontman, and Joey confronts him with his own lovely sexiness

This is a sort of precursor to the Chris Lee Dubbing [that Laura and Linda would help out with], though Colin’s improvised song [“HEY YOU, YOU’RE A GIRL…HEY ME, I’M A MAN”] doesn’t come close to ‘AND A SONG AND A SONG AND A SOOOOOONG’.

Joey takes Colin’s ‘WANGAWANGAWANG’ vocalizations literally and just starts miming swinging his privates. OF COURSE.
Ryan: “I get it.”
Colin just keeps making Joey to keep going.

ONCE AGAIN, we’re hurtled towards a ‘big move off’. Every Dubbing has to do this, I suppose, even one that’s charming me
Colin: “yeah, let’s see your big move.”
Wayne, to Ryan: “you mean the one that put me in the hospital?”

Colin: “Now you’re about to see something that will not only blow up your mind…BUT…will make you crosseyed for three days…you will drool onto your shirt, and THEN YOU WILL NEVER EAT BROCCOLI AGAIN.”
Colin goes big, Joey sells it. Gotta love it.
Ryan: “Sounds dangerous!”
[is Drew here?]
Colin, made even funnier by initial mic-distance: “STAND BACK AND BE AMAZED TO SEE…THE JOEY-JUMP-SWITCH-POOP.”
JESUS

I love, as Joey prepares for this move, in the back you see the top of Jeff’s head moving so he can see what’s about to happen

Then, as Joey does his move and rumbles all over the ground, Colin interprets this with some of his trademark gibberish [seen during the 100th episode or his unaired Tibetan hoedown verse]. It’s so goofy, and you can see Jeff clenching himself to keep from cracking in the back

It’s such a big finish, that Joey nails, that Aisha’s cracking up as she buzzes. Joey even seems humbled by shaking Colin’s hand at the end, feeling more honored to have been made to spout gibberish than anything

A fun Dubbing. Yes, it had a similar structure to usual, but Joey’s exuberance, Colin’s way of screwing with him, and the entire ending sequence, impressed me.

Scenes from a Hat:

“Perfume scents that won’t sell”
Wayne: “…mmmm…balls.”
And he cracks as he goes back
Colin: “everybody’s wearing Trump-hair.”
AND WE’VE REACHED THE 2016 ONSET OF TRUMP JOKES.
Jeff: “all new…’teenage boy bedroom'”
Like the Keanu Oscars joke from US S5, the audience has the desired reaction and groans. Aisha winces. Jeff is great at eliciting emotion from a crowd

Ryan and Colin have a great runner of going up and Ryan asking if Colin’s wearing one. “Scuse me, are you wearing ‘solitary confinement’?” is a dark but funny one
Colin: ‘…yeah”
Ryan: “oh you are?”
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 9.26.24 PM
HAAAAA

Wayne: “from the makers of ‘solitary confinement’, it’s ‘death sentence’!”

“Tasks you shouldn’t do in the nude”
Jeff, making this a regular thing: “HELLO, I’M AISHA TYLER, WELCOME TO WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY”
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 9.28.50 PM
And he just does all this physical gags. 
Wayne: “are those your boobies?”
Aisha: “I think they are..”

Aisha, eventually: “they’re much bigger than that”

Ryan does a ‘feeding the birds’ one
Colin:
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 9.32.55 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-25 at 9.33.19 PM
Ryan: “There’s lots of room, boys, don’t fight over it!”Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 9.33.29 PM
Jesus…

Wayne: “Everything is a penis joke this show.”
I will come back to this thesis in subsequent episodes from this taping. 

SIMILARLY:
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 9.35.51 PM
Ryan, from the side: “WHAT TH-“
PFFFFF. THAT’S ALL IT TAKES
Colin, of course, releases: “YAHTZEE!”

“If Olympic sports were done in a sexy way”
Ryan somehow conveys this to all four, and Wayne cracks as he gets into position:
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 9.37.45 PM
It’s funnier once you pick a face to focus on. Jeff’s is my favorite but OH MY COLIN

We’re back on the trail of awesome SFAH playings. Everything in this one was hysterical, every scene was taken advantage of, and the second scene had a lot of live energy. Like most games tonight, it had a hell of an ending

Ryan: “when you get older, your penis becomes like your high school yearbook, you know you have one, you just never ever look at it.”

Helping Hands: Lonely New York divorcee Ryan, hands by Colin, has invited Joey to her apartment for their first date

Already bits of this game is charming me. First, Ryan’s slightly european accent. Then, Joey’s proactiveness in grabbing the flowers for Ryan and going for the champagne. CHARACTER. GOOD GUEST SUPPORT. WE’RE IN BUSINESS.

Ryan: “IS IT A CORK? No one’s ever brought me champagne before-“
Joey, slightly disappointed: “it’s actually a twist-off”

Joey: “would you like to pour sir, that’d-MADAM.”
OOOOOPS. Jeff laughs at this. Let’s see how they play it
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.00.49 PM
PERFECT. The look, the hand gestures, and the unkempt hair combine to make a perfect reaction shot.

Joey, casually revising: “ladies first.”
Ryan: “…you got to know the difference….you will soon if you know what I mean…”
PFF

Ryan, who cares about the context: “do you like them in the spaghetti, or do you like to POP A BALL and then put the spaghetti in your mouth.”
That is a funny line. I don’t think it’s transphobic, even if you have to really read into it to make that connotation. If anything, it’s trans-friendly.
Joey, of course: “well maybe later on you might wanna pop some balls in your mouth.”

Colin tries launching meatballs into Joey’s mouth, all of which miss. Then Ryan just plops one in ‘softly’, and you can see right before we cut to Aisha that Joey sort of shrugs, as it’s not as bad as he feared. 

After Joey swallows and they continue, you can see Wayne reentering the shot and sitting down. What made him get up? I don’t think there was anything about the ball-shoving that was worthy of Wayne’s typical ‘stand up and walk away’ tactic in this game

Ryan, once again: “I don’t know if you saw that Disney movie with the puppies.”
IT HAS A NAME, RYAN. IT HAS A NAME.
Joey: “…Lady and the Tramp?”
THANK YOU JOEY. YOU SEE, THERE’S A REALIST.
[It’s also funny that Joey says that as a way to ground Ryan’s odd character]

Sure enough:
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.19.35 PM
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.19.45 PM
Joey, perfectly: “more champagne?”

Ryan holds up a chocolate covered banana. Aisha just goes ‘oh god no’ and already hides.
Joey: “that reminds me of something…”
DEAR GOD HE EVEN DOES THAT! MAN, Joey Fatone might just be the single best improviser in N’Sync. I know Lance Bass tries this in a few seasons, but how could he compare.
Ryan: “DON’T TELL ME…”

So…Ryan shoving the chocolate covered banana in his mouth is the single most phallic thing Whose Line has ever done.
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.25.32 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.25.46 PMScreen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.25.58 PM
THE DRIP. DEAR GOD THE DRIP. HOW WAS THIS ALLOWED ON TELEVISION??? HOW DID THE CW AGREE TO THIS? THERE’S NOTHING ELSE THIS LOOKS LIKE. GOOD LORD.Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.26.07 PM
I’m not sure which facial expression I like more. Jeff is looking over, confused and appalled. And Joey is a good enough improviser that he hasn’t moved and is even more won over.
Joey: “That is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.26.22 PM

Ryan: “And I know how you like your banana…with a couple of meatballs on the side.”
WE NOW GO LIVE TO THE CW CENSOR
shrug

I forgot to mention that Wayne got up again during the phallic banana bit, but as Ryan pulls one towards Joey, Wayne’s sitting like this:
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.31.24 PM
Just…ready to wince.

Ryan: “I tell you what, let’s do the same thing with the bananas as with the puppies.”
And there’s a small pair of looks here. Joey looks over at Aisha. Aisha has a hand signal telling him to go for it.

Right as both lips are around the banana, Aisha buzzes repeatedly and Ryan draws back, absolutely disgusted. YOU KNOW WHO DOESN’T DRAW BACK IMMEDIATELY? JOEY FATONE. Absolute pro.

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.35.17 PMJust…traumatized. 

So, I love that one as well. Joey was the perfect guest foil- he was very active in the game, he never said no, he moved the scene along, and he made some very funny jokes as it went on. The bulk of the scene wasn’t just on Ryan, even if he did have some moments of holding things down. Not as much gross food stuff, but some moments where phallic, insane things happened in the name of good food. And, like all night, a big ending. Just an insanely memorable Helping Hands. 

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.37.58 PMColin, perfectly: “…five years of theater school so I could shove my fingers inside someone’s mouth.”

Aisha: “Oh god, I wish I had a picture of this.”
Ryan, perfectly snippy: “IT’S ON TV….IT’S A LOT OF LITTLE PICTURES…”

Overall: Now I see why they chose this one to go out first- this was an immaculate show. There were no bad games, and no games short of ‘great’. Roughly 3 games here would go in a ‘best of the season’ reel, namely Director, Scenes from a Hat and Helping Hands. Director had literally every section of it making me laugh, SFAH improved on my length quibble from last show, and Helping Hands just kept pouring on the ridiculous, damn-near-sexual imagery with a game Joey Fatone basking in it. Duet/Trio was also really good, just for the way they tortured Eric, and the way Joey fit in with Jeff and Wayne. And Dubbing worked for the finale of that game, and what Colin put Joey through. This was a great show for Wayne Brady, who was making funny decisions all night and is about to embark on one of his strongest taping seasons yet. And it’s a great show because it kicks off a number of runners, even without knowing it [those bigfoot noises]. So I think this might be one of the best shows of the CW era so far, and an absolute highlight of S12 before I’ve even revisited any other S12 episodes. I know that’s high praise, but there’s so much to like in this show that I fully stand by it. 

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Wayne edges out Ryan just for dominating the top half of the show and THEN being a big part of Helping Hands without even being in it.
Worst Performer: Sadly, Jeff had the least amount to do tonight, even with strong work in Duet. 
Best Game: Director. It was either that or helping hands, and Director was the more traditional, but still more consistent, pick.
Worst Game: Dubbing was the most basic of everything, but even that one made me laugh. 
Guest Star Rating: 10/10. Joey was the perfect improv presence, he was stellar in all 3 games, and he came off as incredibly present and skilled in improv. 

COMING UP NEXT: Another nostalgia booking kicks off S12’s Greg taping.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E07, or That’s a Cajun Hello

Seasonal Code: S12E07
Production Number: 326
CW Seasonal Code: S11E27

Jonathan Mangum guestless. At long last.

This is from the same taping as the Randy Couture and Kaitlin Doubleday shows, but finally we let the improv breathe.

Also, and this is very important- Jonathan has his suit jacket on for the intro.

Hollywood Director: Ryan and Jonathan are two hunters in a canoe trying to catch alligators, suddenly crazy old Cajun Wayne arrives with his pet gator to chase them off his land

Wayne noticeably cracks a smile at ‘Crazy Old Cajun Wayne’: “that’s what I was voted in high school”

Jonathan immediately gets down and wrestles Wayne’s alligator.
Wayne: “rub your belly rub your belly…no, rub YOUR belly…”
Ryan: “the gator’s over here, I dunno what you’re doing to him!”
HA
Colin: “CUTCUTCUTCUTCUT”
Wayne: “That’s a Cajun hello!”
PFFFFF

Jonathan and Ryan are pretty in sync during the High School Musical style, and are great at picking up on each other’s musical ideas

Wayne enters, and:
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 1.00.48 AM
Perfect

Colin: “it’s just missing something…talent, I guess, but..”

Ryan and Jonathan start doing stripteases during the Chippendales style. Jonathan, fatefully, removes his jacket. Wayne just bounds in, way too amused by this.
Ryan, too casually: “hey Cletus.”
pfff

Then, as Wayne does a ‘wrestle with my gator’ line, Jonathan covertly undoes his belt buckle, AND FOLKS…
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 1.04.01 AMScreen Shot 2021-03-25 at 1.04.09 AMScreen Shot 2021-03-25 at 1.04.17 AM
Ryan just…has to turn away. Wayne’s still with it, but Ryan just…need look no more.Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 1.04.27 AM
Jesus, he’s THROWN.
Aisha buzzes, mercifully.
Ryan, still not over it: “…tightie-whities?”

Wayne, as Jonathan returns from rebuckling: “JONATHAN MANGUM, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…and LITTLE Jonathan Mangum…”
Ryan: “is that PROP underwear??”
PFFFF
Ryan: “TIGHTIE-WHITIES?”
Jonathan, with the defense I would use: “I just…like a little support.”
Colin: “when did we start wearing underwear?”
Of course

Then, Jonathan reveals that his pants weren’t the only wardrobe malfunction over the course of the game:
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 1.08.41 AM
Yep, Jonathan busted his jacket. He’ll be going without for the rest of the taping, making continuity very tricky for the editors.

So, Director…that was a pretty basic Director game until that final style. Yeah, everything was good and fun, but the way it was edited, it didn’t take off until the ending. And my was that ending something. So yeah, I do like this playing, but I wish the whole thing was as good as the end.

Scenes from a Hat:

“Odd things to protest about”
Wayne: “NO MORE PROTESTS!”
Ryan, similarly, miming holding a sign: “SIGNS COST TOO MUCH!”
Jonathan: “RIPLESS JACKETS!”
PFFFF

“Things you wouldn’t hear on a Bear Grylls-style survival show”
Wayne: “HI, I’M WAYNE BRADY.”
HAAAA.

Ryan has the best one: “…d’you have a room near the restaurant?”
BOOM. Because yeah, Bear will stay in a hotel once or twice instead of sleeping in the wild
Unfortunately, the audience doesn’t get it, so he has to explain: ‘in this hotel, which I would NEVER BE CHECKING INTO..”

And then
Ryan: “aagh, ripped my jacket.”
EVEN JONATHAN APPLAUDS THIS

Jonathan does a peeing ‘found some water’ one with Wayne, so Wayne goes back with him, reaching around. “Found some brownies!”
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 1.17.40 AM
Jonathan very quickly knifes himself rather than eating it

“things you can say while playing golf that you can’t say about your partner”
Colin, with his first line of the round: “…can’t believe it took that long to get into the hole…”
Ryan, jumping into Colin’s: “scuse me, mind if I play through.”
Wayne, distantly: “DAMMIT!”
As Ryan and Colin leave, Wayne admits “that was the ONE golf joke I had”

Jonathan: “well, these balls aren’t gonna clean themselves.”
THEN HE THINKS ABOUT IT. ABOUT YOUR PARTNER. And he cracks up, with every connotation. Colin, ever the ally, even gives him a look

A pretty good SFAH round. I think the golf one went on too long, but there was some fun energy throughout.

Newsflash: Ryan and Jonathan in the studio, Colin in the field in front of a variety of sea creatures

Ryan does a rare non-dirty ‘interrupted conversation’: “No, it’s because they don’t double-stitch anything anymore, it doesn’t hold up.”
Jonathan plays along. Man, this runner is relentless.

Jonathan: “if you could, quickly, in three words describe what you see?”
Colin: “…OH MY GOD.”

Both Jonathan and Ryan have had some very bad fish puns so far, but somehow Colin hasn’t lashed out at them yet [unlike a later vampire-related playing]

Colin, on a shot of a fish with something trying to pop out of its mouth: “…….makes you wonder about life, doesn’t it?”

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 11.56.30 AMLots of shots like this in this game. Colin just barely in danger

An alright newsflash. Not a lot going on, but enough charm

Props: Wayne and Colin vs. Ryan and Jonathan

Jonathan manages to do the one I immediately thought of, a pair of Daleks, fairly early on. Also, the audience goes WILD at this. Lot of Whovians in the audience? I mean, perhaps Wayne made note of this, because he makes a Doctor Who reference in Hoedown that the same fans seem to love.

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 12.02.42 PMJonathan: “Alright, I’ll set up the golf tee for you, Mr. Shaquille O’Neal”

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 12.03.48 PMWayne: “My first day in Abba!”
HA

Jonathan, in order to simulate a water fountain, takes a big gulp of water and just spits it at Ryan in a constant stream. The extra mile..

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 12.44.03 PMWayne: “Sweetheart, I don’t want you to get mad at me, but you’re not the same size as you were in high school”
Audience: [groans]
Colin: “…FUCK YOU, WILBUR.”
BOOM. I love how Wayne strokes Colin’s head as they cut away, as if he’s forgiving him.

Jonathan and Ryan’s ‘big plunger’ one is made even funnier by Ryan going “I’M SORRY. I’M SORRY.” as Jonathan plunges

Wayne, as Colin puts the props on his arms: “Orville, trust me. Just put on the other one, run as fast as you can.”
At this point, he sort of mind-melds with Colin, and sort of wills him to doing ‘fuck you Wilbur’ again, making sure he knows it’s about the Wright brothers trying out hazardous ways to fly.
Colin, sure enough: “FUCK YOU, WILBUR!”

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 12.48.06 PMRyan and Jonathan do this motion for long enough that I think Ryan wanted to give the audience the wrong idea.
Ryan: “SOON IT WILL BE BUTTERR…”
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 12.51.07 PM
Colin, proving he’s a great listener in this game: “…it’s butter!”

Then, as a reversal of Wayne and Colin’s first Props crack-up:
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 12.52.12 PM
Colin: “I CAN SEE THE HEAD!”

Such a strong Props round, all around. Yes, the fun, loose Wayne-Colin stuff reigns, but Jonathan was leading the him and Ryan combo, and coming up with so many inspired ideas.

Wayne: “I would like a king’s ransom [of points]”
Aisha: “A king’s ransom of points…delivered to you in a bushel. I have no idea what either of those numbers actually are, so just…a shitload.”
I love Aisha

Greatest Hits: Songs of Horror v1

Ryan starts the scene doing Frankenstein noises.
Colin: “…oh, you were ACTING.”
Ryan: “I was!”
Colin: “No Emmy again this year…”

Ryan says that ‘ska’ stands for “SUPER….KICKASS”
We’re only a few seasons away from Stupid Knife Attack

Like usual, Laura and Linda’s ska backing closely resembles ‘Sell Out’ by Reel Big Fish.

Wayne and Jonathan’s ska stuff here is fantastic. I dunno, I think I’m just gonna like it whenever they do this style cause it’s awesome, but there’s great lyrics from both. Both of them are doing great energy and runs back and forth.

Ryan: “The fun part about that ska hit is guessing which singer is as white as white could be.”
Jonathan smiles and reprises his ska bouncing. Jonathan has been taking a lot of gags tonight and he’s been very thick-skinned about it

Colin, on the Les Mis cut number: “In the original production, Javert was a werewolf. Then they decided to make it more French.”
This sounds like a Simpsons line

Colin squeaks out a title: “The Werewolf of Mersailles”
Wayne breaks.
Jonathan looks over at Colin: “MERsailles?”
Colin absolutely stands by his blunder.

Jonathan: “and it’s true, we will whack it with some sticks and with a bat
I happen to know a moon that is whiter than that”
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 2.02.50 PM
Judges review- this DOES count as a callback to Director

Jonathan sort of waves his ass with the music. Wayne catches a look at it and breaks a little as he’s doing his verse. I love that Jonathan can still throw Wayne after all these years

Wayne ends the number with a fantastic note while devouring Jonathan

Colin: “It’s always fun to listen to that song and figure out which one has always wanted to take off his pants.”
DOUBLE-CALLBACK. Beautiful
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 2.06.34 PM

The latest ‘strange duet’ pairing- Bob Dylan and the Swedish Chef. Which means, YAY WE GET TO SEE WAYNE’S BOB DYLAN IMPRESSION AGAIN. One of my favorites of his.

Even funnier, Laura plays an accordion tune while Linda does Dylanesque folk guitar. EVEN THE BACKING REALIZES HOW ODD THIS IS

Wayne’s Dylan gets recognition applause almost immediately. Nobody talks about how good his Dylan is, and every time he does it in GH, it’s ALWAYS funny. Even funnier, he’s doing Dylan even more incoherent, as a zombie. So that’s hysterical.

And, of course, Jonathan’s Swedish Chef impression is pretty funny too. I think it’s closer to Andy Samberg’s more stylized ‘smorgy-borg’ type one, but it’s still funny.

Jonathan: “BORSKY SMORGEN FLINGEN HEY, NOBODY KNOWS WHAT THE HELL WE’RE SAYING”
PFFFFFF

Jonathan goes over to Colin and Ryan, checking brains, and goes ‘NOPE NOPE NOPE’ for each, possibly as payback. Ryan’s cracking up, already knowing the punchline

A goofy end to a really nice GH. All three songs were great, the banter was fun, and I’m cool with it being a 3-song GH because the quality was so high, and because it matched the quality of the rest of the show. Plus, it felt like a throwback to ABC-era playings. Again, Jonathan was right there with Wayne in energy and comedic effort, and there was a tinge of goofiness and charm to all 3 songs. Especially the Bob Dylan one.

Overall: Not as good as the other guestless show from this leg of the season, but still pretty phenomenal. Director is a season highlight due to that ending moment, and Props and Greatest Hits are season highlights due to how absolutely brilliant they were. It’s easy to sleepwalk through Props and GH, they’ve been doing them forever, but these playings were fresh, loose, funny and impressed me. SFAH wasn’t bad either, though I would have shaved a minute off of it. And Newsflash, while a basic playing, wasn’t as bad as it was…passable. I would have replaced it with another similar-length game [film dub?] so that the quality could be higher. This is also probably one of Jonathan’s finest hours on the show, as he dominated with his fearlessness and goofy energy in a way that brought back memories of IAG. Despite Newsflash, I still really liked this show. And yet, because of how strong the first few shows of the season were, it’s still not the highest height we’ve seen in S12.

Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Jonathan Mangum. He lifted this show, even if it cost him a jacket.
Worst Performer: Colin was mostly responsible for setups tonight.
Best Game: GREATEST HITS. Caps off a runner while also being really funny all the way through.
Worst Game: Newsflash was the most basic.

COMING UP NEXT: We finally, FINALLY get a taste of an actual Season 12 taping. It’s a Jeff taping featuring a boy band survivor that definitely knows his way around comedy.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E06, or Your Chocolate’s Got Nuts

Seasonal Code: S12E06
Production Number: 305
CW Seasonal Code: S11E26

We return to the Jeff taping that gave us the really good Adelaide Kane episode and the decent guestless 11×09. Now we have the other guest star show from that taping, featuring olympic bobsledder and hurdler Lolo Jones! As Tara Lipniski and Shawn Johnson have done okay, I have middling expectations

Hollywood Director: During a violent storm, short-tempered Ryan and his injured fiancee Jeff break into a creepy cabin in the woods, when suddenly they’re attacked by chainsaw-wielding madman Wayne

There’s already an artificial edit, as there’s a laugh that doesn’t seem real after Ryan says ‘let’s split up’

The initial scene doesn’t have much going for it other than Jeff’s effete running

Spring break:
Jeff: “oh, Daryl, I’m scared!”
Ryan: “SHUT UP, PUT THIS IN YOUR MOUTH!”
Screen Shot 2021-03-12 at 3.23.21 PM

Ryan does his usual ‘tits out’ joke
Jeff, ever the realist: “Why do you have boobs too, Daryl?”
Ryan: “I got some implanted just for the weekend!”

I also love Jeff’s double take after Ryan goes “NOW WE CAN BOTH FEEL ME UP”

Wayne entering has some fun translations, like Wayne just stopping his chainsaw to test out Ryan’s boobs, then Jeff hopping around happily after Wayne saws off his leg

Vegas Entertainers style is fun too, because Ryan and Jeff try a magic act, a comedy act and a lounge act in a span of 10 seconds

Heck, Wayne builds on it by slowly turning his chainsaw noises into an Elvis impression

Colin: “First of all, we can’t use that song because of rights?”
Ryan, referring to his refrain: “Ho Ho?”
Colin: “yeah.”
PFFF

And we end with the Opera style, which is a fantastic musical moment from everybody, especially Jeff, who brings back his operatic tones from various GH playings. Even funnier, Ryan and Jeff end up singing in unison, and Jeff sort of ends up leading with Ryan clumsily following behind

A solid Director. Nothing too special, but some fun moments.

Duet: Wayne and Jeff sing a Stadium Rock song to Lolo

Wayne: “Lolo…what do you like?”
Lolo: “Chocolate”
Wayne: “HAHAAAHHH”
OF COURSE
Lolo: “Oh, okay, I shouldn’t have done tha-”
MUSIC STARTS. THE DIE HAS BEEN CAST, LOLO.
Wayne: “TOO LATE, YA SAID IT.”

Wayne: “You train so hard, and you need something to put in your mouth, and chocolate is a great carbohydrate.”
Even a setup lyric like that works.

Jeff: “you’ve had the dark kind over there, I hope you like white chocolate too…”

Jeff sets up a ‘bobsledding’ mime:
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 11.44.44 AM
Which is funny enough. But, inevitably:Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 11.44.56 AM
Perfect

I also love the moment where Jeff and Wayne start singing the refrain, and Ryan looks back at Colin and annoyedly starts singing the refrain as well. Like ‘we might as well sing, or else they’ll think we’re total pervs’

Then, the second the bobsled bit ends, Ryan and Colin immediately run back to the seats
Wayne, turning around towards Lolo: “I DON’T WANNA FACE THAT WAY.”
oh dear god
Jeff ends up doing the bobsled mime that direction anyway.

Also, I love how skilled Jeff is in finding rhymes for Lolo, like ‘You only live once, that’s called YOLO’, and ‘I don’t wanna have to go solo”

Wayne: “So raise your hand in victory, because yeah, your chocolate’s got nuts.”
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 11.50.37 AM
The depth of this shot. Lolo’s cracked. Wayne’s confused. EVEN COLIN’S CONFUSED.
AND FURTHERMORE:
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 11.52.31 AM
They literally make eye contact over this. Colin is just really confused.
Wayne: “I didn’t mean it that waayy…”

One more note as to how in control Jeff is here- he whips over to look at Laura and Linda and makes sure they’re ending when he is, then throws in an awesome final note to take us out. Wayne may have had the goofy moments here, but Jeff did a lot of the big lifting, and he should be commended.

A pretty fun Duet. Relatively basic in concept, but the bobsled moments, Jeff’s exuberance, and Wayne’s confusing moment, make this a pretty enjoyable one.

Aisha once again lampshades her bisexuality by dropping that Lolo is gorgeous.

Jeff: “my real mommy gives me points.”
Aisha: “YOUR REAL MOMMY IS DEAD.”
Audience: [erupts in awwwws]
Aisha: “OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, THAT IS NOT TRUE.”
Colin: “too far…”
Jeff: “it’s funny, because it’s true…”

Dubbing: Ryan is an amorous romantic personal trainer taking Lolo, voice by Colin, through a tough session at the gym when suddenly Wayne enters as Ryan’s jealous fiancee who wants to prove that whatever Lolo can do, she can do better.

A moment that didn’t get enough attention. Colin gives Lolo a double high five, then nearly falls off the Sound Effects step. Classy

Ryan pimps Lolo out to do some physical stuff, and Colin in turn pimps Ryan out, going “why don’t you follow me, there, skinny boy.” Goes all the way back to Ryan’s first playing of Expert.

Colin, after Lolo just did a few pushups: “Alright, let’s see you do that.”
Ryan: “Alright, get down.”
DOES EVERYBODY ON THIS SHOW WANNA FUCK LOLO????
Subverting expectations, Ryan just moves Lolo’s waist as she does pushups.
Colin: “THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT”

Wayne, coming in not with an accent but with a woman’s voice: “WHAT THE HELL?”
Ryan, forgetting that Wayne’s a woman in this: “Hello, Jerry.”
Wayne, cautiously correcting: “…short for Jeraldine, I assure you.”

Colin: “Pleea…believe her, there’s nothing going on between us, I’m just using him as a trainer.”
Ryan, not letting that go: “PLEA believe her?”
Wayne: “Plea’blee you? You want me to blee you?”
Colin: “yes.”

Ryan of course directs this towards a competition between Wayne and Lolo, because that’s what every Dubbing has to be, I guess. It’s not like you’re improvisers and you can do whatever scene you want, it just has to fit into this same stock scene as the last 5 Dubbings or whatever.

This exchange is pretty great though
Wayne: “The last time I had a work-off with anyone, we…greco-roman wrestled.”
Lolo [readies her arms]
Colin: “NICE TRY, MISTER, THAT’S NOT GONNA HAPPEN HERE.”
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 12.11.28 PM
Ryan, putting in a rationalization: “WHY ARE YOU FINGERING YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR?”
[Are we not doing phrasing anymore?]
Wayne hears this, goes ‘WHAT?’, and Ryan uses this as a ‘new choice’ and goes ‘WHY ARE YOU SO HARD ON YOURSELF’, as the audience is still laughing at the fourth wall break. This is saving the scene for me.

Colin, as Lolo does one-armed pushups: “NOW I’M GOING TO DO SOMETHING THAT’S ONLY BEEN ATTEMPTED ONCE”
Wayne: “Whatever you do, I can do.”
I think this was a cue for Lolo to do something intricate that she missed, and there’s a bit of awkwardness there.
Colin, covering: “Here I am, just standing here looking beautiful, there’s no way you could do that.”
And that is how you save a guest star’s ineptitude while still making them look good.
Aisha, buzzing: “OH SNAP”
Ryan: “It’s true.”
Colin: “it is true…”

So…that was kind of all over the place. The scene was the same stock plot of every Dubbing, to the point where I wish these IMPROVISERS would deviate from it every once in a while [they just did a fun one a few shows ago with Karla]. But the central fourth wall break moment, and the ending slam, make this a great game for the Colin-Wayne dynamic, and gave this a live feel despite Ryan barely having anything to do and Lolo making a few late mistakes. So it kind of works, just not enough to feel like a really refreshing Dubbing.

Aisha: “I love how COLIN decided that our special guest was gonna do one-armed pushups”
Colin: “SHE’S AN ATHLETE. SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE HAS TO GO THROUGH.”

World’s Worst: thing to say at an awards show

You can tell this came immediately after Dubbing, because Wayne, at starting position for this game, is still giving Colin a look and shaking his head, and Colin’s cracking up. Wayne’s still not over it.

Wayne: “I’d like to thank the academy for their amazing love of diversity.”
Oh yeah, this was the 2015 year where no black people got nominated. Damn.
Wayne, making it very clear: “WE DID IT! I HAVE A DREAM!”

Jeff: “I don’t wanna thank any of you pieces of shit..”

Wayne and Colin do a ‘Wayne as Colin’s signer one’
Colin: “…they can all hear.”
Wayne, once again:
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 12.22.35 PM

Ryan, holding the award towards the audience: “…wow, this is actually taller than Tom Cruise…”

Ryan, uncharacteristically: “LOOK WHAT I GOT BITCHEEEEZZZ”

An okay WW. Lots of ones we’d heard before, or lots of ones that were kinda one-note.

Living Scenery: Ryan and Colin are two competitors at the Winter Olympics trying out all the different sports before finally relaxing at the athletes’ village; Wayne and Lolo are props

I just realized, this is a Whose Line that doesn’t have Scenes from a Hat, Helping Hands or Greatest Hits. If only it was a little better.

Ryan: “I’m gonna snap on my skis.”
Lolo: [lays across both Ryan’s feet]
Ryan: “…or just my snowboard.”

Ryan and Colin are reacting to a lot. Colin takes Wayne and says he’s about to ski with only one ski, then Lolo comes in and becomes the other ski. Ryan, at that moment, accounts for Lolo by going ‘the snowboard just went down the mountain!’

Wayne and Lolo get on the ground as skis.
Colin: “…I like to have them that far apart because it makes it that interesting…”

The moment where Colin shoves his foot up Wayne’s ass to secure his foot on the ski, and you just hear intermittent Wayne giggles, is why the producers love this game so much. Not because the performers can torture the guest- because they can torture Wayne.

Ryan, very quickly: “LET’S TAKE THE SLEDS.” [climbs on top of Lolo]
Colin, sighs, and gets on top of Wayne. As Wayne starts giggling again.
Then, in getting on Wayne, he hits something, possibly a battery park or Wayne’s ass.
Colin: “Oh, sorry…..usually I like to apologize to my sled before I go downhill.”
Screen Shot 2021-03-24 at 2.53.30 PM
Wayne and Lolo buckle. Colin buckles. Jeff explodes in the back.

Ryan, getting off of Lolo, smokes a cigarette. Of course.

Colin uses Wayne’s crotch area to let off some steam in the sauna. Wayne cracks.
Ryan, giggling uncomfortably: “ohohoho…let’s get the hell out of here.”

Colin has Lolo on as a towel as Wayne rolls around as an avalanche.
Ryan, after a good minute of Colin carrying Lola: “…you gonna carry your towel around all day?”
JEFF DIES AT THIS IN THE BACK

Colin ends up dropping Lolo on top of Wayne, as Wayne jokingly comforts her
Colin: “…I wanted to give the avalanche a chance to have fun.”

A clumsy Dubbing, with at the very least more Colin-Wayne screwing. Lolo was minimal as props, but she was at least enjoying herself. A lot of usual Dubbing beats happened, and there was a messy ending.

Ryan and Aisha are joking about how they didn’t actually hurt Lolo.
Ryan: “How horrible would that be if we accidentally spoiled our chance for a medal?”
Colin: “I’M CANADIAN!”

Hoedown: Baseball v2

Wayne’s is very clumsy, saying he ‘went from a rookie to a hoedown MVP’

Colin’s is about how he envies baseball players because they get paid to run around. “I’d like to see ’em do a hoedown, I ain’t getting paid enough.”
Wayne even comments on the rhythm of the last line. ‘I-AIN’T-GETTIN…paid-enough…”

Jeff and Ryan go for dirtier verses. Not as good as last playing’s.

An okay hoedown.

Overall: The epitome of blah guest shows. Director and Duet were decent, the rest was a mix between passable and forgettable. Lolo wasn’t a bad guest star, but she didn’t bring out too many original improv concepts in anybody. The best moments of the show came from the Wayne-Colin dynamic, and there were tons in Living Scenery and Dubbing, and even WW. I just felt like the show sort of limped along without many new ways of going about tired concepts for half the show, and I didn’t love that.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Colin had the most game-saving moments all night.
Worst Performer: Wayne deferred to the rest for most of the show.
Best Game: Duet was the comedic and collaborative height of the show.
Worst Game: Hoedown was very blah.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. Happy to be here, minimal as an improv support.

COMING UP NEXT: Would you believe that we’ve gone this far without a single guestless Jonathan Mangum show? Here’s one!

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E05, or My Bean Shifted Slightly

Seasonal Code: S12E05
Production Number: 316
CW Seasonal Code: S11E25

Back to the Randy Couture taping with Jonathan. Thankfully, this is a guest star who likely won’t beat up anybody.

Kaitlin Doubleday was on Empire. You’ve probably noticed that she’s a bit white. So…the CW got a star of one of the biggest shows on TV in 2015, especially for black audiences, Empire…and forgot to get one of the black ones. Which is kind of hysterical. What, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard or Jussie Smollett won’t come on? Uhhh this is awkward but we can get Kaitlin Doubleday?

Nevertheless, Kaitlin Doubleday’s here. Oh yeah, she’d do some episodes of Nashville as well so she’d work with Chip. HEY, CONNECTIONS

Once again, Jonathan’s jacket is off for the intros.

Let’s Make a Date: Jonathan must choose from:
Wayne – Increasingly desperate marionette puppet pickup artist looking for action
Colin – A stressful day in the life of Bruce Banner, The Incredible Hulk
Ryan – Colin’s new bride trying to hide the fact she’s a dog

Visible reactions from all 3. Especially Ryan

Jonathan: “my favorite things are trailers and shame!”

Wayne’s is all physicality, and this is something he can nail in his sleep.

The audience member Wayne tries picking up is really cute. Just putting that out there.

Colin’s is great because it’s got the layer of self-control. He knows enough about the character that he’s at home in his lab working on formulas for radiation, then a pencil breaks, and he has to breathe it out and make sure nothing happens. It’s very funny seeing a very BIG CHARACTER doing very small emotional work

Even funnier, Ryan pestering Colin and eventually rubbing himself against him leads to further Colin agitation. It’s like those two quirks fall into each other perfectly.

And Ryan, for the second time in the history of this show:
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 10.19.34 AM

Wayne, describing a date: “you and me, enjoying the night…rubbing…sticks…”
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 10.20.58 AM
Colin:

I…
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 10.25.07 AM
…I’ve got nothin.
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 10.26.18 AM

And Colin just keeps escalating it:
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 10.27.10 AM
Ryan, perfectly: “WHO’S SHE??”Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 10.27.27 AM

A very shaken Aisha buzzes this out.
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 10.29.28 AMScreen Shot 2021-03-11 at 10.29.38 AM

Jonathan: “And Bachelor #3, that was pretty much just Ryan Stiles…”

An excellent LMAD. Fever pitch had everyone involved, even Aisha, and the interplay between Ryan and Colin, and Wayne and the audience, made this a very fun one.

Aisha gives Colin points for lifting her “on his shockingly strong shoulders”, which means this ties right into 11×12’s Living Scenery where he picked up Randy.
Aisha: “I was like, ‘dear lord, thank god that SEEMINGLY VERY OLD MAN did not drop me on my head”
The audience rebels against this
Aisha: “BUT HE’S NOT OLD. HE JUST LOOKS OLD.”
Ryan: “he can still get it up apparently…”
Heck, why wasn’t this one the first game in 11×12? Not that WN wasn’t good, just this would have fit even more with the runner. Maybe time constraints?

Duet: Wayne and Jonathan sing a hip-hop song to Kaitlin

YES. A HIP-HOP SONG…TO THE WHITE STAR OF EMPIRE. SOMETHING HAS CLEARLY GONE WRONG HERE.

Kaitlin’s ‘one rule’ of her empire: “everyone would have to adopt a homeless pet”
Wayne: “this is gonna be an improv song/PSA”
I love that he was cracking up as he said that

Just the beginning of this is so goofy. Jonathan hyping in with ‘HO-HOMELESS PE-HEHET’. Wayne scratching while also howling

Jonathan: “MEOW MEOW MEOW GO THE KITTIES AND THE CATS
MEOW MEOW MEOW, THEY NEED A PLACE TO LIVE AT.”
Jonathan may write himself off in future hip-hop-esque genres, but that’s a great rhyme there

Jonathan even brings it back to LMAD, which answers my question about why this wasn’t in 11×14:
“Yo yo yo, all the fishes and the guppies
LOOK AT THIS SAD, HOMELESS LITTLE PUPPY”
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 8.47.38 PM
PERFECT. And Ryan goes right back into it

I like that Wayne continues to use Ryan and Colin as some of the dogs in the back. Colin even mimes looking through some bars. This is a group effort!

Wayne, obviously: “oh, please help these pets, even help my bitch.”

Jonathan, who’s still killing it: “SNIP SNIP SNIP SNIP YOU KNOW WHAT I SAY
SNIP SNIP SNIP SNIP GET NEUTERED AND GET SPAYED.”
Isn’t that Drew’s thing?

A really strong number. Kaitlin wasn’t a huge part of it, but there were some great rhymes and runs from Wayne and Jonathan, great group-usage, and some really fun, genuine energy that we don’t always see in this game.

Dubbing: Evil sorcerer Ryan has captured beautiful princess Kaitlin, voice by Colin, and is casting spells to turn her into different hideous creatures when Prince Wayne gallops in to save the day

Wayne: “like Prince Prince or [brief audible Prince impression] Prince?”
PFF

The first half of this scene is insultingly basic. Wayne comes in, as is custom, with a very thick accent, this time a thick British accent, and helps it a little.

They’re building this towards an easy climax, with Wayne needing to kiss Kaitlin, but Ryan turns Wayne into a goat and removes Kaitlin’s lips
Wayne, being Wayne: “that is alright, even if I am a goat and you are lipless….we still gon’ kiss.”

Not a good Dubbing. At all. A lot of usual Dubbing beats and cheap plot developments. Did basically nothing for me. Not Kaitlin’s fault, she was pretty good, it just wasn’t a good scene.

Scenes from a Hat:

“If famous TV shows were performed by drill sergeants.”
Jonathan: “I’M THE DOG WHISPERER.”
…even THAT is funny.

I also love Wayne and Jonathan’s Dancing with the Stars one
Wayne: “I AM DANCING WITH A STAR
CRAP I GOT A PAIN IN MY LOWER LUMBAR.”
Jonathan gruffly repeating is also funny. This is a great SFAH for his gruff voice [“…BIIIIIATCH?”]

Colin: “FAR…”
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 9.10.22 PM
“…NEAR.”
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 9.11.24 PM
“….FARTHER.”
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 9.12.40 PM
“…TOO DAMN NEAR.”
10/10

Ryan, with all 4: “WELCOME TO THE TALK, GIRLS.”
Wayne: “AYE”
Ryan: “WHY DON’T WE ALL INTRODUCE OURSELVES. I’M SHARON OSBORNE.”
Wayne, of course: “AISHA TYLER.”
Ryan turns to Colin
Colin: “…..I’M ONE OF THE OTHER ONES.”
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 9.14.51 PM
dear god..
Wayne: “SARA GILBERT…ONE OF THE OTHER ONES…”
Colin: “I didn’t wanna insult Sherry [he means Sheryl] or Sarah…”
Wayne: “PLEASE SHOW THEM THIS CLIP”

“Dating Videos of Star Wars Characters”
Wayne: “…I am the boyfriend you’re looking for.”
BUZZ
Wayne: “…you will never do that again.”

Jonathan: “I have two moons surrounding my Tatoo-weiner”
AW GOD. Even the crass ones are good in this round…
Ryan: “You’re a princess I’d like to Leia”
AND HE IMMEDIATELY HIGH-FIVES COLIN

Wayne, coming up: “…aw man, you gotta be a real nerd to…okay.”
So Wayne does a very long Jawa impression with a lot of gibberish. “….AND walks in the park.”
This is why we keep Wayne on.

Then Aisha comes up and responds to the previous taping’s running gag, which we won’t see for SEVERAL seasons: “Meesa Jar Jar Binks. Meesa don’t know nobody like me.”
Wayne, doing what must be done:

Man, we’ve got a WAYS to go before Mr. Binks. That’s a GREAT one.

Ryan: “I’d like to meet a nice girl, cause I’m tired of doing it with my HANDS SOLO.”
BAM

Third straight awesome SFAH. We’re on a roll. Just great extended scenes and really funny runs. It’s that simple.

Helping Hands: Boss Ryan, hands by Colin, has called Kaitlin in for a meeting at an Asian restaurant to discuss her possible promotion

Immediately as Colin picks up the beer, which is slightly open, it begins to froth all over the place. Ryan clenches himself against it immediately, then realizing they now have to have bigger laughs than the easy laugh, goes “we’ll save that for dessert.”

Then, as Ryan goes for some rice, the beer begins to fall again, and he literally has to be very careful, nearly clenching, so that nothing else spills.

This is a usual ‘Ryan eating gross things one’. We JUST GOT AWAY FROM THOSE LAST SHOW and now we’re back. He even spits some of it on Kaitlin at one point, and has to apologize out of character. Why is this show thinking the laughs must come at the most extreme places?

The dangling green bean is more revolting than funny, honestly.

Ryan’s fake Japanese makes Wayne nearly lose his balance in the back.
Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 9.59.44 PM

Ryan, opening a fortune cookie: “Oh, what a coinky-dink, “you will fall in love with a tall man with a green bean hanging from his mouth”

Ryan, suddenly: “oh…my bean shifted slightly.”
This gag has gone on so long that it’s funny to me now
And now Colin FINALLY gets rid of it
Ryan: “oh…it’s gone now.”
Kaitlin, finally delivering a good line in this game: “but now what am I gonna fall in love with?”

Props to Colin for successfully wielding chopsticks without seeing

A typical gross Helping Hands with little to no guest support. Which is to say…a playing of Helping Hands. A few good bits, but mostly trodding the same territory.

Overall: This show was all over the place. LMAD and SFAH were awesome, Dubbing and Helping Hands were bad. Not ‘okay’. Bad. We haven’t gotten many bad games recently, and these two guest games added NOTHING that hadn’t been seen in guest games before. Duet was at least clever because they had an interesting topic and some good work from Jonathan and Wayne, but Dubbing and HH did not work for me. Which sucked, because LMAD and SFAH really did. Let’s Make a Date had great collaborative work and great stuff from Colin, and SFAH was the latest in a long line of fleshed out, funny scenes. So it pains me that the guest games sunk this one a bit, and put it a lot lower than most shows this season. Kaitlin wasn’t even that bad a guest, but she barely added anything to the proceedings, which makes her the most fearsome of all- a FORGETTABLE guest. OH NO.

Still, this isn’t an entirely bad show, but the guest games don’t make me wanna revisit things as often as the first 4 shows of the season.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Wayne Brady. Dude’s got a streak going. I think this is the season where he really begins to dominate.
Worst Performer: Jonathan did the least tonight, but at least he was good in Duet.
Best Game: Scenes from a Hat. Drill Sergeants felt classic.
Worst Game: Dubbing was NOTHING.
Guest Star Rating: 7/10. Very, very forgettable.

COMING UP NEXT: Another Olympian stops by during a Jeff taping we’ve seen some strong stuff from already.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E04, or Stop Squeezing the Guest

Seasonal Code: S12E04
Production Number: 320
CW Seasonal Code: S11E24

I watched Community for all six seasons. We should have had a movie by now as well.

What Community did well was using at-times bizarre writing and comedy writer logic, mostly courtesy of Dan Harmon who’d later be the brainchild of Rick and Morty [and, well, Harmontown], on a large ensemble of comedy actors who were all insanely game. There’s a reason that people like Joel McHale, Allison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, John Oliver, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong, the Russo Brothers, and, yes, Donald Glover, all have careers now. There’s also a reason why Chevy Chase has been blackballed- his feuds with Harmon went public, and for one of the only times, society took Dan Harmon’s side and told Chevy to go fuck himself like they always should have. 

That’s the thing- pretty much every principle cast member on Community has a career now. So getting Yvette Nicole Brown, even if she’s a lower-tier star of the show, is a smart move because she’ll GET the wild, bizarre Whose Line logic because she’s done…Paintball episodes and the Pizza multiverse episode, and all the weird shit Harmon and the writers laid out. 

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that she was on Drake and Josh for years in a recurring role. So she’s done scenes with Jerry Trainor as Crazy Steve. Whose Line will be NOTHING in comparison. 

So Yvette comes to Whose Line for this episode, [pushing CBS comedy The Odd Couple, with Matthew Perry and Tom Lennon HEY REMEMBER THAT EXISTED?] from the same taping as 11×14 and 12×01, with Gary. Sure to be fun.

Hollywood Director: Gary is a preacher performing an exorcism on possessed teenage girl Ryan, when suddenly Wayne materializes as the demon who has been unleashed

Gary: “Please get down on your knees as I say some special things over you.”
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-03-09 at 11.13.53 AMA very funny silence as the audience lets that sink in.
Wayne appears immediately to permeate this. “I thought you called me.”

Wayne’s acting in this is hysterical, like an evil Robin Williams genie. 

Ryan, after Colin cuts: “I WAS PLAYING TWO CHARACTERS! Evil and NICE!”
Colin: “You WERE playing two characters…and they both lost.”

Colin: “I haven’t seen so much crap since dysentery hit the cast of Dallas.”
Wayne: [takes a moment]

Maury guests style, Ryan acts pregnant
Gary: “OHHH, IT’S GON’ COME OUT OF YOU.”
PERFECT
Ryan: “FATHER…I DUNNO WHOSE DEVIL IT IS…”
Wayne, appearing: “EY, IT AIN’T MINE…”
THIS IS SO GOOD

Colin suggests they do it as famous movie stars. He motions to Ryan: “hey, if you can do anyone AFTER 1970, that’d be great.”
You’re one to talk, Mr. ‘I Do Bogart in Every Impression Game’

Gary opens it with a FANTASTIC McConaughey impression [circa the Lincoln ads]

Ryan then tries to do an impression of Jeff Davis’s impression of Keanu Reeves. “Whoa. That’s heavy, man.”
Gary barely keeps it together

Wayne then bursts in with a great Gollum impression. He turns to Gary and goes “oooh, car commercial, bad career move.”
Oh, shit, I have two different punchlines for this joke.
A.) Hey, at least it’s not an ad for Doritos 3D
B.) Come on, the CarMax ads aren’t THAT bad…

Colin, refusing to give Ryan the satisfaction: “great Scooby Doo.”

Gary, Ryan and Wayne do a fantastic ‘upbeat musical’, all with great verses and runs. This probably gave the producers the idea to add Laura and Linda to the game in subsequent seasons

Then, as Wayne ends the song with “[LOUD SCATTING] I GOT HORNS”, Colin bursts in with exaltation. “YES! YES! FINALLY!”
One of the first-ever times that Colin has actually been pleased with a take in this game

As they head back to the seats, Wayne and Gary are doing Wayne’s dancing from the end with the finger in the air.

Man that was a fun one. Pretty classic seeming structure to it, great individual styles, great work from all 3, and a really fun ending. One of the CW’s best Director playings. 

Wayne, affirming that last line: “Skeedly-deedly-deedly-bop, I got horns.”

Aisha is trying to figure out Ryan’s impression: “Keanu Reeves…or…”
Colin: “OH.”
Aisha: “…that guy from Taxi.”
Ryan: [does immediate Christopher Lloyd noise] “UHHHHH I GOT SOMETHIN INSIDE ME!”
Aisha: “technically that IS post-1970, though…”
Ryan, noting the lack of audience response: “that’s why I went with ‘WHOA’.”

Duet: Wayne and Gary sing a Jamaican dance hall song to Yvette

Yvette is happy to see Wayne, but it appears she knows the other performer better:
Screen Shot 2021-03-09 at 11.28.15 AM
Yeah, apparently they did some episodes of Boston Legal together. Man, what is it about working with William Shatner that brings people so close together?
Aisha: “Wayne and Gary, you are gonna be singing- STOP SQUEEZING THE GUEST.”
PFFF

Wayne asks Yvette what kind of guy she wants to knit and binge-watch shows with
Yvette: “Uh, tall…bald…”
Screen Shot 2021-03-09 at 11.33.51 AM
Gary AND Colin have great reactions
Yvette: “talented, funny…”
Wayne: “heheheh…hell yeah…”
Ryan, purposely getting the wrong idea: “so if we could just clone the two of us…” [motioning to him and Colin]

Gary is right at home in this style, throwing in his rasp and getting the rhymes down seamlessly

Then, after Gary’s verse, Wayne with his reminds Yvette that Gary’s married. Wayne, with perfect flow, goes “me single, and me ready to mingle, and me like a big black can of Pringles.” Yvette loves this.

This is just an insanely fun number, because Yvette is comfortable on an improv stage, and she’s just agreeing with the song and being impressed by it rather than breaking too much. It also helps she knows both these people, especially Gary, and it makes it even more authentic when they do a nice line.

Heck, the back-and-forth dance runs are good due to the motions, and Yvette throwing in a ‘TV’ mime

Wayne: “because, you and I together we can be a COMMUNITY, if you see what I mean.”
Yvette: “EEYYYYYYY!”

Gary and Wayne get into a competition of who’s blacker.
Wayne, finally: “but where I’m really black is, where it counts [cracking] right in my pants.”
Screen Shot 2021-03-09 at 11.56.17 AMScreen Shot 2021-03-09 at 11.56.38 AM
DEAR GOD.
Gary is TRYING to do another verse, but he just can’t get through with it. He just dissolves words. “GEhhehahah…OKAYehehehahah..”

Gary, trying: “Let’s just have a black-off, let’s just do that now
Let’s just have a black-off, Yvette lemme show you how…”
Yvette: [breaks again]

Yvette handles herself pretty well in the ‘now you go’ portion, and sort of recoils towards the end of the fourth stanza [“IT’S ON YOU GUYS NOW, GO!”]

An undeniably great Duet. Yvette was a fantastic subject, and did pretty well doing improv, and had a ball bouncing off of Gary and Wayne, who had so much funny stuff over the course of this song, so many good lines, and that immortal Wayne moment. Such a great live-feeling Duet, and even better than the Alfonso one I was raving about before. 

Wayne: “we just had the CW’s first black-off.”
Aisha: “that was a very masculine dance-hall version of the song ‘The Boy is Mine'”
HAHAHAHA. That’s great

Film Dub: one day in the hospital

Gary: “by the way, have you noticed the size of my forehead?”
Wayne and Ryan’s characters: [leave]

Screen Shot 2021-03-09 at 12.44.45 PMRyan: “Jerry…Jerry, can you hear me?”
Colin: “DID THEY REMOVE THE SPLINTER?”
Ryan: “you’re bleeding from the area around…your left eye and under your chinal area..”
Gary: “Chinal, that’s spelled C-H-I-“
Colin: “I UNDERSTAND HOW TO SPELL CHINAL!”
So goofy so far

Ryan: “JERRY…I’VE GOT MY HAND ON YOUR CROTCH, CAN YOU FEEL IT?”
Colin: “YES. YOU’RE PUSHING TOO HARD!”
Ryan: “there’s no such thing!”
Colin, as his character is writhing in pain: “NO, LET GO. LET GO.”

Gary, as an orderly: “this man’s gonna need a complete crotch-ectomy after that one…”
Colin: “i’M READY FOR MY SECOND TREATMENT.”
BUZZZZZ

A generally silly film dub that isn’t THE most memorable one we’ve had in the CW [EXFOLIAAAAATION], but is still pretty amusing

Scenes from a Hat:

“Strange things for a priest to say”
Gary: “…shalom, y’all.”
Colin, flipping through a bible: “…I can’t make heads or tails of this!”
An appropriate one that’s funnier the more you think about it

Ryan: “We are no longer taking donations.”
Wayne, similarly: “if each of you watching donates 300 dollars, I could have a JET!”
The audience goes wild.
Wayne: “you know that’s real, right?”
Ryan, returning: “we’re NO LONGER taking donations…”

Ryan, as if this is a line from a movie. “Confidentially…I dunno if there’s a god…I’VE never seen ‘im…he’s like the Tooth Fairy…”
Then, as he walks back, he jokingly mimes getting struck by lighting from the heavens
Wayne: “…the views expressed by Ryan Stiles in the previous scene do not reflect those of the CW or its affiliated networks.”
HAAAAA

Gary: “and the truth is…some nuns HAVE a fat ass.”
PFFFFFF. Gary’s killin it tonight

“If boy bands sang about embarrassing problems’
This has a few easy ones, and some big productions from Wayne, but Wayne’s ‘smooth down there’ number has a group refrain. Colin even demonstrates
Screen Shot 2021-03-09 at 1.00.34 PM

Another really nice SFAH, with a great extended scene followed by some tour de force song-based ones. This game is really taking off in this season.

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, has taken his girlfriend Yvette out for a lovely romantic picnic in order to propose

This is one of those where i’m glad I have the uncensored versions

Ryan, as Colin opens the champagne: “god, that might be real, so careful….I SAY TO MYSELF…”

Colin attempts to shove the champagne bottle into Ryan’s mouth
Yvette: “RIGHT TO THE HEAD!”
Ryan: “I have that same problem myself sometimes…as you’re well aware..”

I also love Ryan’s panicked “GOOD-JIT…FULL.” once Colin fills the champagne glass. Such frantic energy so far
Ryan: “I’m gonna put that downNOT ON THE GRAPES.”

They try the intertwined glasses trick, which is sillier because of Yvette’s struggle. Ryan gets it in his mouth, Yvette can barely get hers.

Ryan: “you know why they call it hummus? CAUSE IT DOESN’T KNOW THE WORDS!”
Yvette and Ryan do this finger-pointing reaction, which Gary repeats in the back. BRINGING IT RIGHT BACK TO DIRECTOR.

Ryan, with the cracker: “that’s a lot of hummus.”
Colin: [begins to move it towards Ryan’s mouth]
Ryan: “NO.”

Yvette nearly hurls upon having the very hummus-y cracker.
Ryan: “I’m not sure, it may have been sitting for hours…”

Ryan even throws in a ‘poultry in motion’ gag. Wayne just completely gives up in the back. You have someone like Yvette, who they did a whole raunchy song with, and Ryan’s just doing goofy white guy stuff.

Ryan goes for the chicken, and Colin holds it in such away that the smell gets to Ryan

“OH GOD.”

Then, the climax. Ryan pulls a ring case out of the chicken…then realizes the ring is missing. “It might be in the hummus.” Colin searches inside the chicken. Then Yvette notices on the table, Ryan sees it…and now the person who CANNOT SEE must pick up the very small ring that is somewhere on the table.
Ryan: “NO, I SEE IT. A LITTLE TO THE LEFT.”
Colin, very quickly:
Screen Shot 2021-03-09 at 2.24.45 PM
HAHAHA. It only lasts for a second, but the game must be broken for a moment. Like Rory confusedly opening his eyes in the middle of Dead Bodies. So good.

Ryan, still trying to help Colin: “I’ve got it, I almost have it.”
And Colin’s peeking his head out a little more so he has an idea of where it is.
And then….
Ryan: “…..OH, SHIT IT FELL ON THE FLOOR!”
I will never not laugh at that. It made me laugh the first time I watched it, and it makes me laugh now. Ryan barely keeps it together. Like, now he has to do even more work. It’s the funniest possible outcome, and it works so well. 

Ryan, kneeling with Colin: “LEMME GET IT. I’LL GET IT.”
Yvette: “I’LL WAIT.”

Ryan finally gets the ring off the floor, and the audience applauds. THEN it becomes stuck on Colin’s finger. 
Ryan: “…lemme put some hummus on my finger.”

The ending is great. There’s a very sweet moment with Yvette accepting Ryan’s proposal, then suddenly Colin, hands still full of hummus, claps. And some of it flies into Ryan’s face. 

Dear god that was an adventure. Yes, Yvette was honestly along for the ride for most of it, but even she seemed to know how to move the scene along. The number of events, like the champagne mishap, the hummus, the falling ring then getting stuck. Like Duet, so many great live moments, and well-coordinated mishaps that Ryan was great at reacting at. A sentimental favorite Helping Hands, and one that just works due to how everything seems to go wrong, in a way that doesn’t completely result in Ryan having gross things [he only has a little bit of hummus and some champagne, so not much, really]. 

Ryan: “I cannot tell you what the visual was when that chicken was split.”
Aisha, to Colin: “you never see the inside of the chicken, you’re just staring-“
Colin, perfectly: “i’m doing all the work! I’M *THE ARMS*.”

Overall: This season so far has been an upward slope. The first two shows were good, if flawed. Last show was the first 10/10 that still had some minor flaws with Hoedown. And this one is our first classic of the season. My god, there were barely any games I didn’t give an A to [it was mostly just Film Dub]. Director and SFAH are all-timer improv standards, Duet and Helping Hands were fantastic, live, unpredictable guest games that gave Yvette different dynamics, both of which worked. With Wayne and Gary she agreed, had a ball, and enjoyed herself. With Ryan and Colin she was more on edge, more fight-or-flighty, but was still a decent enough foil. This was also another great showcase for Gary, 

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Wayne sinks another one in. He came out strong in Director, led the proceedings in SFAH and Duet, and kept that fantastic energy going all night.
Worst Performer: Colin, once again, did a lot more support work in games. 
Best Game: Helping Hands. It was a tight race between HH, Duet and Director, but Helping Hands felt like an all-timer guest game, with everything that went wrong, and everything that went on. ‘Oh shit, it fell on the floor’ is one of the funniest lines in this game’s history. 
Worst Game: Film Dub. A funny one, but no match for the other 4. 
Guest Star Rating: This may hurt…but I’m giving Yvette an 8/10 because in both of her games, she didn’t add as much as she was a really exuberant bystander. Alfonso, even Karla, added stuff to the improv proceedings. In both her games, Yvette was a launchpad for the others- albeit a good launchpad. I hate saying this cause she was having a ball, but…she’s a bit lacking as an actual improv presence. 

COMING UP NEXT: Back to the ‘Jonathan nearly gets killed’ taping for another network’s cash-in guest star.