Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E03, or MY MOTHER’S ASHES!!!

A repeat lineup from last series, featuring Ryan & Colin paired off with Josie Lawrence and Caroline Quentin. Though Josie’s appearances would begin to wane from here on in, Caroline would get a ton of use this season, while also being paired with Greg Proops and Steve Frost.

Clive’s intros mention Josie’s stint with the RSC, Caroline’s run on Men Behaving Badly, and goes onto “fresh from playing Hamlet…and many other brands of cigar” for Ryan.
[cue Hamlet ad music]

Film and Theatre Styles: Josie and Caroline (Neptune visitor and android)

First F&TS of the series, and with quite an odd premise at that.

Audience member: “Sleeping with the Wolves!”
Clive: “Ooh, Sleeping with the Wolves!”
Caroline: “…what?”
Josie: “What’s ‘Sleeping with the Wolves?”
Clive: “…it’s a hobby.”

Josie: “Put on…gravity control? Gravity control, put it on.”
Caroline: “…No.”

Josie: “R23PCO….please don’t ask me to repeat your name…”

I love how straight Caroline is playing this robot character, how laid back and normal we’re getting.

For Baywatch, Caroline sticks out her chest, and starts running, sexily. Josie even supports her boobs, making them even more exaggerated as she runs.
BUZZ
Clive: “…do some more of that.”
[Which is honestly an inversion of E6’s F&TS. We’ll get there, but it’s a favorite of mine]

Clive has them go on for another second, then buzzes again. Caroline just puts Josie’s hands over her boobs, because if she’s gonna do something like this, she might as well go the full mile.

Clive: “Cop show”
Caroline: “Yes. Cover me.”

Josie and Caroline’s back-and-forth in Restoration Comedy is pretty great, as they’re definitely on the same page, and going at high-speeds for a laugh.

Josie: “There is someone else, pray tell!”
Caroline: “…tis Lord Enormous Codpiece, methinks…”

Clive lets this style run til the end, and…how could he not? It’s incredibly engaging and fun to watch, and captures the energy of the whole scene.

A pretty fantastic F&TS, made great by Josie and Caroline’s excellent teamwork.

Secret: Ryan and Colin are members of an orchestra. The secret is in the violin

Colin: [CRASHES CYMBALS] “…that’s me for another 20 minutes…”

RYAN, for a change, supplies the secret this time: “I was hoping you wouldn’t find that….it’s your baby blanket.”

Colin: “This blanket has nothing but bad memories for me. My mother used to…wet it, and twirl it, and smack me with it!”
Ryan: “I forgot about that murder charge!”
Colin: “….I FEAR I GO MAAAD!”

Colin: “I feel like I have nothing musical left in me.”
Ryan: “There’s nothing else in there if that’s what your wondering.”
Sure enough, Colin goes back into the violin case
Colin: “MY RATTLE!”
And I’m gone

Then, Colin hesitates for a third thing to be in the case, then figures it out: “My…….plug!”
He then sticks the pacifier in his mouth and sucks for 5 seconds, cracking up Ryan

Ryan: “Look, Roger, I can see I made a mistake!”
Colin, opening it again: “….MY MOTHER’S ASHES!!!”
Oh good lord.

The scene ends with Colin screaming “YOU BITCH” repeatedly into the ashes as Ryan pulls him away.

From an improv standpoint, the game’s one problem was the fact that it didn’t really go anywhere, and it was just a slow build from the same detail. HOWEVER…said slow build was also fucking hysterical, and just kept hitting me as the game went on. Colin’s hysteria was worthy of tears.

Let’s Make a Date: Josie chooses
Caroline: enthusiastic girl guide leader
Colin: fancies the other two contestants
Ryan: outraged tennis player disputing decisions (so…John McEnroe?)

Colin’s is great- he’s too distracted by, and too busy trying to flirt with, Caroline, to answer Josie’s question
Colin: “Yeah, yeah…push you out a window, I dunno…”

Ryan: “I, uh, suppose we’d go out- NOT IN! OUT! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, WE’RE IN?”
Colin, trying to comfort Ryan, rubs his back

The strength of this game is the Colin-Ryan dynamic. Colin starts detailing how he’d undress, and he starts doing this DIRECTLY TO RYAN, who’s just plain perturbed, and inching away, grouchily. The two couldn’t be more repellent, and that’s what makes them great in this.

Josie: “What’s your favorite type of music?”
Ryan: “Oh, anything other than Cliff Richard. I’m sick of hearing him OVER AND OVER AGAIN…”

Josie actually guesses Ryan as John McEnroe, which means she reads the blog, which is nice.

Duet: Josie and Caroline sing a blues song about a spanner

Unless there’s an unaired one that winds up in E12, this may be Josie and Caroline’s last of two duets, which is sad, as they were great together.

Josie, pre-song: “…This one’s for Johnny Depp, by the way, if you’re watching.”
Caroline: “Yeah, we know he watches this program.”
Clive, being Clive: “Who’s Johnny Depp?”
Josie shoots him a look, before going, soto, “…he’s gorgeous…”
I often wonder how they found out, or if he said in an interview that he watched the show. Wonder what he thought of the US version.

This is another really fun song, made great by the Caroline-Josie combo, but also by the fact that both are really adept at the blues style.

Hats: Dating Service Videos

Ryan, in a derby hat: “Annnnnd they’re out of the gate. It’s breast ahead of penis, penis coming up quick-”

Colin:
Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 5.41.51 PM.png
BUZZ

Then, with an audience-assisted lull, Ryan comes back up as the derby guy
“NOOOWWWWW IT’S PENIS COMIN’ HARD ON-”
BUZZ

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 5.43.30 PM.pngRyan: “….I really have nothing to say, I just like wearing this…”

Colin, in a white afro wig: “….fancy a shag?”
BUZZZZZ

Ryan, coming up in a jockey hat one more time: “AND THE WINNER IS! PENIS! BY A HEAD!”

A really funny, and quick-paced, Hats round. Caroline’s stuff didn’t really work for me though.

Picture: Caroline and Ryan (a marriage breaking up)

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 5.45.58 PM.png

Caroline, with the easy joke: “…yes….you used to have a lovely cock…”
Ryan: “…frankly, I’d rather shag this chicken than you.”
Caroline: “Frankly, I’D rather you shag that chicken, too..”

Caroline: “WHY! WHY HAVE YOU AIRBRUSHED OUT MY PRIVATE PARTS?”
Ryan: “Cause I don’t want ’em anymore. That’s why I’ve taken off my clothes and…I’M RUNNING FREE NOW! I don’t need you anymore!”
Caroline: “Yes, you’re running free. Running free in my mother’s hat!”

Caroline starts describing the other person she’s seeing, who fathered her child. All of the sudden, there’s an abrupt clink from offscreen.
Caroline: “Oh, I’m sorry, there’s a drunk in the audience…”
Ryan: “That’s him, isn’t it? It’s that alcoholic hobo up on the hill, isn’t it?”

The ending is a bit belabored, but this is still a hysterical round of this game, with Ryan AND Caroline reacting well to even the littlest things as the game went on, and having great back-and-forth

Party Quirks: Caroline hosts
Josie: in a deodorant ad
Colin: the history of the world
Ryan: food going through the body

Caroline tries hosting this show, which should be a nice enough opportunity, as she seems like the kind of person that could proctor this game well.

Colin, upon entering: “BANG!”
HA
Then, immediately, he goes right into his dinosaur impression, which the audience surely remembers.

Ryan has fun with his. He goes through the intestines and stomach, then makes a LOUD noise and falls on the floor. Always lowbrow with him.

As Caroline tries to guess Colin, Ryan has a fly buzz around him. The attention is diverted right back to him.

Caroline eventually guesses everyone. She focused more on guessing and less on interaction, which was fine, but made this a lower-key PQ round

Moving People: Ryan and Colin are two high-strung chefs having a fight in the kitchen

You can immediately see that these participants just keep moving them without rhyme or reason. Colin, angry, holds a hand up to Ryan’s face, and covers that by saying: “…I am going to threaten you, but not actually hit you.”

Ryan, saying something while the movements contradict it: “I don’t think I need you anymore; come to me now. I was wrong.”
Colin: “Can you look me straight in the eyes?”
Ryan: “I WILL NEVER LOOK [move] YES, I CAN.”

Colin: “I am going to make my soufflé right here…..where I am about to gesture…”

Ryan narrates all of the things he’s doing in the kitchen: “….all the time NEVER looking at what I am doing!”

Ryan: “FINALLY I must gaze at my creation. Quickly, into the oven with it.”
Colin, responding to the fact that he hasn’t been moved in a while: “WHILE YOU WERE TALKING, I FINISHED.”

Ryan, refusing Colin’s souffle, clutches his head.
Colin: “Oh, you’ve got a headwound!”

Another VERY FUNNY game, thanks to some very inept audience members, and Ryan and Colin soldiering on and continuing to respond.

Hoedown: Smelly Feet and Bad Breath

Josie does the Clive suggestion to combine the two, and talks about how she cured her smelly feet, but “unfortunately it’s given me halitosis”

Colin just has a very amusing and fun verse, ending with “because of my feet stinking, 7 species are extinct!”

Ryan’s is one that he has trouble with, but he soldiers on with anyway:
“What’s that that smells so bad, a lion on the beach?
It’s got smelly feet, and they’re [break] within reach
I will take a big night off and cut em off just for a lark
Throw ’em in the water….they’re food for a shark.”
He shrugs as they pan out. Still funny

Overall: Another solid show, with equal work from all four, and a much-needed emphasis on Josie and Caroline AS WELL AS Ryan and Colin. Proving that women could team up and be funny too…and in response, they wouldn’t have them together on the show after this, save for the 2nd episode from this taping. Still, Caroline Quentin ended up with the strongest show of everyone, by working with everyone and bringing out the best in herself as well as them, as well as just having some really fun, inspired moments tonight. That’s not to discredit Colin, and to a lesser extent Ryan, who also had nice nights. Josie was a bit quieter and had less stuff, but was still herself.

Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Caroline, for mastering her games, and improving from her last appearances.
Worst Performer: Josie Lawrence, solely for taking more of a passive approach to tonight’s show.
Best Game: Film and Theatre Styles. The Josie-Caroline combo was too strong, and led to so many fun, well-thought-out moments here. Picture was close, but Ryan’s last-act fat shaming ruined its case.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Not a great one compared to the new standard.

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Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E02, or HELLO FOOT!

One of the producers’ many tactics this season is to ingratiate other british performers into the fold…with Ryan and Colin. Which is a reverse of what they did in the beginning by slowly filtering Americans in.

Oh well. Rory Bremner is back tonight, after some decent showings in S1 and 6, and he’ll recur over the next two series, but only in episodes with Greg Proops…which is odd, because I wonder what he’d be like working with Josie or Steve.

Let’s Make a Date: Greg chooses
Rory: Prince Charles
Colin: In love with his own body
Ryan: a former business partner ripped off by Greg

Rory Bremner doing an impression of a royal. Of course. I just wish it were Hugh Dennis.

Greg: “What secluded place would you take me to?”
Rory: “Cornwall”
Greg: “…Cornwall?”
Rory: “Yeah, anywhere, I own most of it.”

Colin’s quirk is so…Colin…that Rory breaks a bit at it.

After some bitter Ryan lines
Greg: “…where would YOU take me?”
Ryan: “I’d probably take you somewhere where the sound of a gun couldn’t be heard…”

Greg: “#2-”
Colin: “HELLO FOOT!”
Greg: “….#3!”

Clive: “You think you’ve got it, Greg?”
Greg: “Oh, I think I do, Clive, but you know how this goes. There’s the hope of me getting it, and then the crushing disappointment of my actual guess…”

Greg gets everyone but Ryan, and then, as he returns the stools, he mutters to Ryan “George Washington?”. I don’t know WHY he mutters this, and we cut away before I can facially figure out why.

Solid enough round, but not as good as last show’s.

Secret: Ryan and Colin are Mr. and Mrs. Noah
Location: under the boat

Colin: “I’m tired of cleaning up after all of these animals.”
Ryan: “Hey, that’s your job, I BUILT the thing…”
Colin: “…two elephants. THANK YOU…”

Colin eventually reveals the secret, which is ‘…eighteen commandments’, which gets Ryan to break a bit.
Ryan: “I thought we’d better bring some spares along in case we break a few of the first ones.”
Colin: “‘Thou Shalt Not Wear Leather?”
Ryan: “Thou Shalt Not Lend Money? I thought that was a good one. I JUST MADE ‘EM UP!”

Colin evokes the lord’s word
Ryan: “You don’t have to listen to the lord about everything! LOOK! THREE PENGUINS!”
I always love that bit, especially the way Ryan reveals it

Colin pleads with Ryan to separate the rabbits, which ends him rabbits piling up to his armpits.
Ryan: “…and now we’re up to our asses in rabbits…”

Ryan, after Colin tries calling the lord, admits something else: “…You know how we said two of everything? I’d like you to meet Theresa.”
BUZZZ

A stellar, fast-moving Secret game, with some great jokes building off of each other, and Ryan and Colin equally screwing each other over.

Film Dub- Ryan, Greg and Rory (one day on the street)

It’s an episode of the Saint, so…Rory’s Roger Moore impression makes a much needed second appearance.

This one is funny because of the implied sexual tension between Rory’s Simon Templar and Greg’s Mustached Cabbie. Greg even goes “boy, he IS standing close, I can feel almost all of him.”
Rory: “Right, now…how about you and I go right behind tHAT BIKE SHED OVER THERE…”

After Greg leaves, placated by a fiver
Ryan: “Boy, if he’s worth five, I’m at least worth ten, doncha think?”
Rory: “I’LL BE THE JUDGE OF THAT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH…”

Rory, surprisingly, carried the scene himself, and did so splendidly, though his Moore impression was better in 6×07 (“…afternoon everyBODY…”)

Sports Commentators: Greg and Rory cover Colin and Ryan: showing off to a girl at a nightclub

Rory leads here with a scottish accent, but Ryan and Colin surprisingly do more of the directing here, with Ryan throwing a punch in, and Colin elbowing Ryan in the balls.

Greg and Rory do decide to pull a ‘let’s do that again’ slo-mo, which Ryan and Colin gladly recreate. There’s not a lot about this one that’s scene specific, as it’s mainly just your average Ryan-Colin sparring.

Not a ton to this one, but it felt like they were trying.

World’s Worst: Outtakes from a News Documentary/Program

Colin, running towards the camera: “…..IT’S A TIDAL WAVE!!!!”

Ryan: “These sharks are mostly found off the coast of-” [acts like his hand’s been bitten off] “AAAGH! AAAGH!” [smirkingly pulls his hand out of the sleeve]

Greg: “I’m here in the small, strife-torn Central American country of Gawanda, where the prostitutes are the cheapest I have found.”
BUZZ
Greg: “…what? WHAT?”

Colin: “Due to our slipping ratings, our next story…[song-and-dance routine]…FIFTY DEAD IN MANITOBA! SIXTY KILLED IN…”

Rory, after having a quiet round, drags Colin up with him, makes out with him, and then signs off “…Martin Bashir, BBC…”
Colin just looks bewildered the entire time.

A career-high WW round, with almost all entries being classics.

Home Shopping: Ryan and Colin sell a used banana peel, a book with no pages, and an unflushable toilet

A new game, one that would bring forth the rise of Infomercial in the US series, as well as cementing the eventual Greatest Hits banter between Ryan and Colin

Clive, getting the third item from the audience: “An unflushable toilet? Then somebody came here by train, obviously.”

The game starts really well, with Ryan talking quickly and tripping over his words, before passing it to Colin…who says “that’s right”, and passes it back to Ryan. Classic.
Colin: “What’s the first thing we’re gonna sell?”
Ryan, passing back: “Well, probably that thing you’re holding in your hand, Bobby…”

Colin, selling the book with no pages, or “no words” as Ryan says: “You save so much time…there’s the title…you finish!”

Colin: “How much would you buy this for?”
Ryan: 85 pounds?”
Colin: “YOU’RE CRAZY”
Ryan: 50 pounds?”
Colin: “You’re crazy.”
Ryan: “134 pounds?”
Colin: “…yeah.”

Ryan, demonstrating how the banana peel leads to finding love: “Ow, I’ve fallen, I’ve fallen, lady, can you help me? Can you help me? [hums Here Comes the Bride] I DO!”

Ryan also uses the banana peel to do impressions, first Abraham Lincoln, then Bob Marley, then…he puts the banana as a thin mustache that may be referring to one of his few fixations.
Ryan: “Who am I now?”
Colin, knowing who it is: “…ABRAHAM LINCOLN!”
Ryan: “IT DOESN’T MATTER!”

Ryan: “What is [the third object]?”
Colin: “Well, we have it all backed up-”
Colin then realizes the pun he just made accidentally and breaks a bit.

Ryan, selling the unflushable toilet: “I’m not one to brag, but sometimes I like to take a look at what I have.”

A surprisingly well-formed and silly debut for this game, with the banter starting off extra strong, and with both players doing something great.

Dead Bodies: Ryan and Rory are cowboys on the range. Greg enters later as an Indian girl. Colin moves them all.

Ah yes, to follow last episode’s masterful Dead Bodies round, we have another masterful Dead Bodies round

Colin’s first funny move is to get both men to do a botched high five. Then, he has Ryan do an ass-slapping motion to ‘giddy-up’, which gets him to crack. ALREADY.

Greg has the insanely creative death by falling totem pole for his character, which is great.

Colin also pulls in the silly point that both Rory and Ryan should just feebly yell ‘whoa’ as they stop the horses. It’s a very goofy detail. Also, he first says Rory’s going to go over and revive her, assesses the situation, then, as Rory, goes “actually, you’re closer, why don’t you get it?”

Colin eventually gets Greg and Rya super-close to each other, for a romantic moment, which is abrupt for both, hence both parties cracking up through this.
Colin, as Ryan: “Why don’t you come with me and my friend. We were just rounding up….the…cat-tle.”
Ryan: [breaks again]
Colin, as Greg: “Oh, that would be….oh….so….lovely…”

Eventually, when all three get back on the horses, Colin, as Rory, says: “look…why don’t we all have one big kiss?”
Rory, breaking:
Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 11.37.21 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-05-16 at 11.37.37 PM.png

He shrugs and goes with it. The scene ends with Colin smushing all three faces together for a botched kiss.

A slight bit subtler than last Dead Bodies, but still hysterical, and still with some great moments.

Party Quirks: Greg hosts
Rory: Clive Anderson
Colin: constantly dying and being reincarnated
Ryan: gazelle being stalked by a lion

The moment that I love to point out is that while Greg’s starting the party and Ryan’s still back at the seats, he’s trying faces, trying to break out his trademark gazelle look. The audience even sees this and laughs a bit.

Rory’s Clive impression is pretty good, and Greg takes a few seconds before realizing, then shouting “GOOD GOD, YOU’RE CLIVE ANDERSON!”

Greg lets Colin in, saying “We just had Clive Anderson here, I am so sleepy…”

Then, as Colin keeps coming back as various animals.
Greg: “No fair coming as Clive Anderson’s date.”

And, of course, the iconic moment:
Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 11.42.44 PM.png

I don’t think there’d be a Ryan PQ moment this great until the foal being born. I love this facial expression.

Heck, it doesn’t even subscribe to diminishing returns! Ryan does the ‘talk then stop and look’ thing 3 times and it keeps being hysterical every. SINGLE. TIME.

Clive, trying to end the game, to Greg: “He’s…a gazelle stalked by a lion, would you say?”
Greg, realizing: “…sure! HEY…”
And then he guesses the exact quirk Clive just told him to end the game.

A pretty fantastic through-and-through PQ game, with Greg being a great proctor and Ryan doing some amazing facial expressions.

Hoedown: Being a Tory Politician 

Something Rory would talk at length about on Mock the Week, perhaps?

Also, Clive is about to wrap up the episode…then throws all four for a loop by calling a Hoedown, just to make them feel safe for a moment. Ryan’s chuckling as he heads to the step. Greg even frolics down there.

Once the subject is announced, Ryan pulls a Rich Hall and just confusedly pulls his hands out before maddeningly dropping them down.
Clive: “Don’t look at me like that. Make it Republicans if you’re frightened…”

Rory does his Hoedown as John Major
“Nobody likes our party, they think we’re full of shit.
Divided over Europe, and most of us are split
We’re going off on Holiday, I do not really care.
The feel good factor’s coming soon, its name is Tony Blair!”
He ends with a breath, and a HA! A surprisingly admirable hoedown from the impressionist.

Colin begins his verse looking VERY, VERY perturbed.
He gets about 2.5 verses in, gives up, and faints. Rory, who’d never seen Colin ‘pull a Colin’ before, laughs at this. The other two are used to this. Greg, in character, does go over to feel his pulse, though.

Ryan ends his with “People in power will do anything on a dare
As a matter of fact that’s why Clive ripped out all his hair.”

A much better Hoedown than we’ve been getting lately, and some nice stuff from all around, even if Colin pulls a Colin.

The credit reading is a nice one, too: As good as Rory’s David Attenborough is, it’s Colin and Ryan who steal the show, showing up as various animals, including dinosaurs, before finally showing up with Greg as apes.

Overall: A much better show, even than E1, with all four doing a balanced amount of funny work, and with more than half of the games being exceptionally good. Rory fit in surprisingly well with this bunch, though his best moments were more solo efforts, though his Film Dub efforts were fantastic. Greg had a better show, feuding a bit more with Clive and taking more initiative. Ryan took a slight step back from last show, while Colin stayed exactly where he was, owning several games and being one of the more recognizable creative forces on the show. So many games worked tonight because everyone was game, and because Rory could allow himself to be on the same page as the other three, which is honestly rare for him.

Show Winner: Rory
Best Performer: Colin, for more masterful work with all three
Worst Performer: Rory, but ONLY BY DEFAULT. He still had a great show, but the other two had more great improv moments.
Best Game: Home Shopping. Any other day I’d go with Dead Bodies or Party Quirks…but something about Home Shopping was so wholly realized tonight, and with some strong banter from Ryan and Colin. Glad they finally rolled it out.
Worst Game: Sports Commentators: the opposite- barely realized at all.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E01, or DAS BOOT!

And just like that, we’re onto Series 8, where Whose Line officially becomes ‘The Mochrie and Stiles Half-Hour’

…not that this is a bad thing, as Ryan and Colin had just come off a masterful S7 of regularship. But after the series had prided itself on giving a different lineup each show, having two regulars began to take the sting off of things, even if they were both great.

With Mike and Tony gone, Series 8 saw a rise in appearances for Steve Frost and Greg Proops, both of which are in this Series Premiere. There would, like Series’ 5-7, be a small, compact rep company to draw from, with only one ‘guest star’ (and a bit of a doozy at that), and with only one member returning from the depths of the show. Most people who worked in Series 7, like Caroline Quentin and Niall Ashdown, are back this Series with expanded roles.

Tonight, we’ve got a solid, standard, Greg-Steve-Colin-Ryan show, so let’s get to that:

This is the first appearance of one of Steve Frost’s many hawaiian shirts, which will be a staple of these next two series.

Questions Only: IT’S A SHIPWRECK!

I say it that energetically in the description because…well, Clive does. “And what’s the scene?…IT’S A SHIPWRECK!”

Ryan, entering: “What’s with the wooden leg?”
Colin: [looks betrayed] “…haven’t you seen a coconut leg before?”
Ryan: “Are you talkin’, or is that the parrot?”
Colin, after internally going ‘goddammit’, exits

Steve: “IS THAT YOUR MAST? …or are you just pleased to see me.”
BUZZ
Steve: “That was a question!”
Clive: “I know, I’m buzzing you out for doing such an old joke…”

A pretty spry Questions Only, with the beginning of Clive being a stickler with this game.

Newsflash: Greg and Colin in studio; Ryan in the field in front of a Samurai Movie

A ‘new’ game for the UK edition, and it’s odd to see Ryan having to guess.

Clive even says, after introducing this, “that’s about the longest introduction I’ve ever given to a game…”

Greg: “Hi, I’m Lick Stickley”
Colin: “Hi, I’m Horny as a Hippo….but my name is Tim.”
GENIUS
Greg: “…frankly, I’m horny as a hippo as well…”

Colin, messing up: “We have a great…break…laking story!”
Greg: “We certainly DO have a Great Break Laking Story”

Ryan: “Everyone in the neighborhood has put up with this for weeks on end…we’re sick of it, and we’re sick of seeing our tax dollars go towards it, quite frankly…”

Colin point blank asks Ryan to describe what’s happening behind him.
Ryan, without a clue, looks behind him, and goes “…mayhem…is all I can say…”

Clive manages to stop this before it can get going, and Ryan has to inch his way to a semi-correct guess. Amusing enough round, though

Let’s Make a Date: Greg is the contestant
Steve: German u-boat commander
Colin: a fly
Ryan: on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Two guessing games in a row? Well then.

Steve gets the audience on his side almost immediately in showing silly physicality throughout this quirk, and asking Greg for radio silence.
Steve: “THANK-KKYOU!”
Greg: “……contestant two…”

Ryan, in contrast to the other two, actually has to act instead of doing something silly, and does a pretty nice job with it. As Ryan’s nervously writhing his hands, we cut over to Colin to see he’s just nonchalantly doing the little fly-hand movements. It’s a great contrast

Greg, very confused: “…Contestant Number One…”
Steve, who has removed his shoe: “DAS BOOT!”
AND THE CROWD GOES WILD! As do I, as this is one of his more famous jokes.

The scene ends when Ryan, fed up, hangs himself…and then Colin buzzes around Ryan’s hung body. How Ryan fails to crack here is beyond me. Eventually he has no choice but to spring back to life and yell “GET OFF OF ME!”

Greg gets the first two spot on, and Ryan gets Clive to give it to him for saying ‘a suicidal guy’.

A surprisingly well-formed and fun LMAD round, possibly the impetus to keep doing this game on WL.

Hey You Down There: Greg narrates Ryan and Colin trying to fly a light plane

You’ll notice, or at least I have, that there have been no audience suggestions thus far tonight. Odd.

I do love this game, and this is one of the premiere examples of how great this game can be, especially with Greg as narrator, which he was fantastic at.

Greg: “But did you run through all of the safety precautions?”
Ryan runs through his fingers
Greg: “Let’s run through them. Did you fill it up with gas?”
Ryan: [facepalm]

Then, Ryan lights a cigarette, which causes him to get set on fire, and Colin’s hair to go askew.

Greg: “I hope you brought a fire extinguisher along.”
Colin: [unzips pants…and puts out the fire]
Greg: “THAT’s using your head.”
HA.

There’s a moment where Colin remembers it’s a small plane, and starts the propeller, which catches Greg off guard. He even recollects himself, and goes “you’ll want to START the plane first”, forgetting what time period this must have been set in. Colin gives a thumbs up before starting the propeller and cutting his hand off.

However, the best part of this is the physical motion that follows. Colin’s yelping in pain after his hand’s been cut off. Ryan ‘grabs’ another hand, his own, then twists it onto Colin’s stump, yanking his hand back under and giving Colin a new hand. It’s a fluid, genius improv move, and the kind that Colin and Ryan must have done before in Second City Toronto.

After Ryan breaks the joystick
Greg: “I hope you have a flightplan.”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 2.20.45 AM.png

Ryan and Colin begin to slowly inch off of the plane
Greg: “Well, in the event of a crash landing, I’m sure you packed your parachutes.”
Ryan and Colin: [slowly inch back onto the plane]

As they head back to the seats, Greg, thanks to an odd cut, is heard saying “that was almost…” before the cut is Colin trotting back to the seat. Greg was gonna say something snippy, but we didn’t hear all of it.

Fantastic game, combining the Colin slapstick with the Colin-Ryan teamwork.

Hats: World’s Worst Ad Campaign

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 2.23.54 AM.pngColin: “…d’you hate people sneezing on the back of your head when you travel?”

Greg, in a chef’s hat: “Who doesn’t like the flavor of human flesh?”

Ryan, in a pink sun hat: “…I really have nothing to say, I just love this hat…”

Colin, in a porkpie hat: “…When…you’ve…got…DIARRHEA…”

The most famous one, of Greg in an American hat doing his John Major impression: “Hello Americans. I’m Prime Minister of a rather influential European country…”
BUZZ
Greg, still going: “…I’ll be looking for a JOB soon…”
BUZZ

A surprisingly fantastic Hats round, much better than the last iteration

Props: Ryan and Colin vs. Greg and Steve

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 2.28.50 AM.pngColin: “…we’re gonna take the blood from your snake and give it to you.”
After the buzz, both Ryan and Colin shake their heads at how weird that one was.

The goofy mood from the last two games carries onto this one, with some inspired prop uses from both sides, like Ryan using Colin as a phone booth, and Greg and Steve eating really black tacos.

Number of Words: A saloon
Steve: The sheriff, 4 words
Greg: The barman, 2 words
Colin: a troublemaker, 1 word
Ryan: a cowboy, 3 words

A debut for this tricky but fun game, which Steve would always have trouble with.

Clive, after explaining the game: “Have I made myself plain??….no, I was born that way.”

Colin, entering on a horse: “WHOA.”
Greg: “No horses.”
Steve: “Can’t you read that?”
Colin: “…No!”

Ryan, to Colin: “You look familiar.”
Colin: ‘…Frank.”
Ryan: “…Billy Jim Bob.”

Steve establishes Colin as ‘The One Word Kid’, after which Colin answers everyone, including Ryan when he asks if he’s here to kill him, with “YEP!”

Ryan, counting paces: “One…two…”
Colin, quickly turning around: “SIX!”
BANG
BUZZ

Old Job New Job: Colin is a patient, and Ryan and Steve, who is an ex-farmer, are nurses.

This is the quickest game since Scene with a prop. Steve enters, whistling for Colin to come over, and squat. Then Steve puts on a rubber glove. Before Steve can insinuate anything else, Clive ends the game. Perhaps he knew exactly where it was going, or maybe he just thought it’d be a good ending. But it’s rather quick, especially for OJNJ.

Ironically, we follow that round of bad taste with…

Dead Bodies: Steve is seeking Ryan’s had in marriage from their father, Greg, who enters later. Colin moves all three.

I adore this game, and it, like so many other late-series staples, debuts tonight.

Steve was good at this game, solely because he would amplify his gravity. Instead of staying in place, he’d fall over. So when Colin finishes his line, Steve falls onto Ryan’s chest.
Colin, as Ryan: “Oh, no, my father’ll be here any second, please don’t suck on my nipples.”

Then, as Steve is lying over the chair face up, Colin thinks they might need to kiss, and slams Ryan’s head into Steve’s neck. Ryan cracks slightly.
Colin yanks Ryan out of it for a beat.
Colin: “…oh…LONGER THIS TIME!”
He throws them back together

Greg, entering: “Samantha, Jim, I want you to…gak…”
Greg falls. Colin lets go of Steve in order to catch Greg.
Colin, as Greg: “…as I was saying.”
Steve:
Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 2.45.31 AM.png
The audience goes WILD at this. Colin, as Greg, angrily berates them under the applause

Colin, as Steve, thankfully sitting up: “Sorry, I….thought I heard something.”
Steve cracks yet again at this.

Then, as Colin operates Ryan, pleading to Greg…Greg, kneeling, falls forward, face down onto the floor.
Colin, as Ryan: “FATHER…CAN’T YOU FORGET YOU’RE A CARPET INSPECTOR JUST FOR ONE DAY???”

Colin, moving Steve: “Sir…I’m going down on bended…legs…”

The ending is great too. Colin, as Ryan, announces that she’s pregnant, prompting Colin to force Greg to do a double take…by just turning his head back and forth.

A damn near iconic game, made funnier by Steve and Greg going for gravity, and Colin dealing with so many randomly hysterical things throughout the game.

Hoedown: Bungee Jumping

Clive FINALLY consults the audience for something, and asks for a danger of living in the 90s.
Audience member: “CHANGING A TIRE!”
Clive: “…you’ve been waiting all evening for that…and it’s completely inappropriate!”

Let it be known that Steve gives one of his few coherent Hoedown verses in this one:
“I went up the Eiffel Tower just the other day.
I threw off myself…the braces and they swayed!
I went down and I went up and down and up again
I went up and down so fast, I ended up…in Big Ben!”
The audience applauds, and Greg even gives him a ‘ey? See?’ As if they all knew he’d been struggling with this.

Greg’s verse is uneventful, but right after he’s done, he looks to his left, smiles, and goes “COLIN!” right before his verse.

A wholly silly Hoedown, but nothing too monumental.

Overall: A solid start, with some noted retoolings and a new, more standard format for shows, so this is the beginning of the most homogenized run in the show’s history…and yet some games in this show were too fucking funny to be forgotten about. I’m mainly referring to Hey You Down There and Dead Bodies, but Hats, Let’s Make a Date, and Hoedown are also standouts. Plus, all four were on the same page tonight, even if the edit was leaning more towards Ryan and Colin. Steve Frost, however, had a great show, even if he had a few less great moments than Colin did. A spry, if slightly thin around the edges, way to start Series 8.

Show Winners: Ryan and Greg
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie, for owning his games tonight, and having a ton of showcase moments throughout the night
Worst Performer: Greg Proops, simply for sticking more to the background tonight, and for having less moments of success compared to the other 3.
Best Game: Dead Bodies. I would have gone with Hey You Down There, but Dead Bodies had so many inexplicably amazing things happen throughout, and had so much that even the dead performers influenced. I’ve seen this one a ton of times, even in reruns when I was a kid, and it’s one that never ceases to make me laugh.
Worst Game: Newsflash, for ending right as it got going.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E12, or His Plan Almost Worked.

It’s been a hot second. I had a semester to finish off. I’m back though, with the last episode of Series 7, a fairly decent series with lots of fun high points. This is the last appearance of Tony Slattery, and our last Mike McShane appearance until his moodier S9 episodes. Like last compilation, all the series’ players are here except for Eddie Izzard, and…Niall Ashdown as well. Don’t worry, he’ll be back in Series 8.

Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Colin (two competitors and their pets at a dog show)
From: E9

Immediately:
Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 11.39.48 PM.png

Judge Dredd:
Ryan, faux-Stallone: “This contest means a lot to my dog”
Colin, removing his helmet: “what?”

Then, after doing some more lines of a Stallone impression, Colin puts his helmet back on, having heard enough.
Ryan, breaking: “That’s the worst Stallone I’ve ever heard in my life…”
BUZZ
Clive, ever-snarky: “I assume you’re doing Stallone’s DOG, then..”

Thankfully, this style is followed up with a Jimmy Stewart western…which is most definitely an impression Ryan Stiles CAN do, and gets the audience back on his side quickly.

Superman:
Colin, looking at his lime jacket: “MY GOD! KRYPTONITE!”

A brief but still very amusing F&TS game. I do see why it didn’t get in, though, as the improv wasn’t as well-contained as other F&TS ones.

Questions Only: Steve, Tony, Ryan and Colin are at the pearly gates
From: E3

Ryan: “D’you have a smoking section?”
Colin: [embarrassed shrug]

There is some really good Colin-Ryan back and forth here that I’m not gonna completely transcribe, but suffice to say it’s some really good stuff, and proof that they absolutely ruled this season.

Song Styles: Mike sings a ragtime song about syringes
From: E6

Mike’s last Song Styles for a while. A momentous occasion.

Mike does belt out a laugh once he hears the style suggestion, especially how it was the first style suggested. ‘RAGTIME???’

This is a fairly standard Mike song, with some high-energy lyrics about drug use, but…halfway through, Richard’s piano drops off, leaving Mike to sort of peer over at Richard until he panics and continues the song. Mike keeps his composure though.

High-energy, and definitely spirited, but still not a career highlight for Mike, which is sad for his last high-mood one on the show.

Scene to Music: Caroline has just failed Tony’s driver’s test
From: E4

Tony: “…not only were your road signs very bad, but you DID kill three people…”
And we’re off to a great start

Then, as Caroline’s crying and talking in a higher-pitched voice, Tony, calling back to another scene from this taping, goes “you’re not that drunk woman from earlier, are you?”
I don’t know what he’s calling back to, or if we’ve seen it or not.

The music does eventually kick in, and it’s a somber, melodic, dramatic score, which turns the scene into an Oscar-worthy performance.

Caroline does turn this into a romantic scene, which Tony responds to by twirling around.

Tony: “Even though you’ve failed this test, you’re not going to fail me as a wife. My [smirk] eggs are always going to be perfect…”

Caroline suggests they have sex in the backseat
Caroline: “Let me throw my legs over…up against the windscreen”
Tony:
Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 11.58.59 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-05-13 at 11.59.07 PM.png

Tony: “UP AGAINST THE WINDSCREEN?”
Caroline: “YES-”
Tony: “…I’ll turn the wipers on, then!”

Then, as Caroline moves closer, erotically, to Tony, he lets out a chuckle, out of character. You can tell Caroline’s really throwing him for a loop.

Tony: “Let’s throw away the brakes and go downhill now!”
Caroline: “YES! LET’S GO DOWN NOW!”
Tony: “….Well, NO, DOWNHILL…”

A fantastic scene, with both parties throwing the other for a loop, and giving some great, funny, well-improvised work all around.

Whose Line: Ryan and Colin are two frogmen about to invade enemy territory
From: E3

Ryan: “Look, if I don’t make it…I want you to tell my wife something.”
Colin: “What’s that?”
Ryan: “I want you to…come home and tell her…”pull it out and let’s have a look at it…”

Colin’s suggested epitaph is ‘how did you lose your leg, Larry’?
Colin: “You know, you can’t tell that it’s fake at all. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t made out of oak. It keeps floating to the top as I try to get underneath…”

Ryan, underwater: “Well, it looks like-”
He then panics, and throws his breathing tube in. Very, very nice touch.

A lighter Whose Line round, but still with enough Ryan-Colin moments to form some later rounds of Mission Impossible.

World’s Worst: Thing to Say to your In-Laws (Tony, Mike, Colin and Ryan)
From: E6

Ryan: “I just wanna say, Mr. McDonald, Mrs. Mc-…HellLOOOO…”
and then, after a botched Tony joke
Ryan: “I just wanna say, Mrs. McDonald, Mr. Mc-HellLOOOO…”

Colin: “Well, actually, I’m a variety entertainer. I sing through my buttocks…”

Tony: “…Hello, my name’s Clive…”
BUZZZZ

Props: Colin and Ryan vs. Mike and Tony
From: E6

Lots of stuff from Episode 6 in this one…

Ryan, using the props as sideburns: “Very nice ta meet ya, sir, I’d like to marry your daughter, Priscilla…”

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 12.20.40 AM.pngTony: “SELL. SELL. I SAID SELL.”

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 12.21.38 AM.pngRyan: “Weeeee live in half…a windmill…”

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 12.22.16 AM.pngTony: “KING KONG, you’ve made the empire state building…” [breaks]

A surprisingly nice round of props from both sides.

Narrate: Colin is a gas station attendant, and Ryan’s a woman that pulls in
From: E9

The first moment we cut to this scene, Ryan is miming hanging himself. And that pales in comparison to his reaction to having to play a woman.

Colin: “Can I fill’er up?”
Ryan: “Yeah…why don’t you stick your hose in there, and…pump away…”
The audience loves this line

Ryan, rationalizing for a 1995 audience: “I knew he didn’t remember me…not since the operation…”

The scene ends with Colin, thinking he recognizes Ryan…and then Ryan not telling him it’s him.
Colin: “My plan didn’t work.”
Ryan: “His plan almost worked.”

It ended WAY too soon. They cut while the scene was still going, so the ending to this was hopefully good but probably had Ryan making a dick joke.

Press Conference: Ryan, Colin and Mike interview Tony, who has captured the Abominable Snowman
From: E6

More fun with the E6 taping. Must have been a whole lot that Dan initially wanted to let slide in favor of the painful-ish Party Quirks game.

Colin: “Did you have to use anything special?”
Tony: “Yes, GLUE…and some feathers.”

Mike asks if Tony ever felt he was in danger
Tony: “Yes, but my bodyguard saw to it that I had an armored…hat.”
He cringes at that, even if it gets a laugh

Ryan, with an essential giveaway: “Is he really as hard to get along with as his first name indicates?”
Tony, after taking a beat: “i don’t find him abominable at all!”
The audience erupts in cheers, as Tony actually got a guessing game correct.

Bartender: Mike consoles Greg, who lost his puppy
From: E5

This is Greg’s only game of the comp. Oh well, he’ll be all over S8.

Not a hell of a lot to this one, but it’s harmless enough.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Caroline: TOTP audience member
Colin: is being chased by low-flying aircraft
Ryan: frog spawn turning into a frog
From: E4

I find it very amusing that 80% of this taping features Tony Slattery, a guy the producers were trying to distance themselves from after E6.

Colin’s physicality, from the moment he runs in, is hysterical, crouching and shouting ‘WHAT THE?’, all while Caroline shrieks for her quirk. Tony is already confused. Fortunately he does manage to guess Colin kinda easily.

Ryan crouches down, fully turning into a frog
Tony: “…you should do that upstairs, really…”

Tony does manage to guess everyone, but doesn’t interact as well as he usually does, bringing his Party Quirks career, and his WL career, to a quiet close.

Hoedown: Josie, Caroline, Colin and Ryan sing about being born
From: E9

At the announcement of this game, Ryan gives a quick, sarcastically excited look to Clive before springing up from the seats. Josie similarly sarcastically bounds to the step, as she also clearly hates this game.

Josie and Caroline’s verses are cute but inoffensive.

Colin sings about his son being born, which dates this, as Kinley has come out as female since, but either way.
“I looked at him there, with his great big smile
I didn’t know I had him upside down all the while…”

Okay Hoedown. Colin’s verse saves it.

Best Game: Scene to Music, an absolute triumph
Worst Game: Bartender. Way too short and inconsequential.
Best Performer: Ryan, of course
Worst Performer: Greg, for being okay in his one game.

SERIES 7 SUPERLATIVES!

Best Episode: E10, with all four performers on, an uproarious F&TS round with Josie and Ryan doing accents, killer rounds of Stand Sit Lie and Moving People, and proof that the show could move on post-Tony.
2nd Best Episode: E6. Yes, Party Quirks is a tiny bit painful to watch, but this is Tony Slattery’s only moment of weakness in an otherwise energetic show, with a great round of Bartender, Ryan and Colin doing a great round of secret, and some killer stuff all around.
3rd Best Episode: E2, one that came up a lot on BBC America when I was younger, featuring Tony doing Brookside, ‘who invited the chicks’, a very silly News Report, and one of the last great Helping Hands rounds of this era.
Worst Episode: E8. The dregs and leavings of the far superior E10 taping.
Best Regular: Ryan Stiles, for getting back to excelling this series, though also for knowing when to take a backseat to guests and Colin.
Best Recurring Guest: Greg Proops, for owning the early stretch of this season, and taking some of the heat off of Mike and Tony. Nearly went with Steve or Josie.
Best Newcomer: Caroline Quentin, narrowly edging out her…minimal competition, by coming off like a pro in her two appearances with the show’s big guns.
Worst Guest: I am only going with Eddie Izzard, E7, solely because nobody else this series was truly bad, so I am going with someone who just didn’t especially fit with the show.
Guest We Wish Wasn’t Done After This Season: Tony Slattery. I am gonna miss this guy.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E11, or but then…I’m Just a Canadian…

Fuck it, I loved that episode so much that I’m going right to the compilation, especially considering that this is a rather good comp.

Also, note that everybody who appeared in an episode this series, even Niall Ashdown, is represented tonight…..except for Eddie Izzard.

Film and Theatre Styles: Colin and Ryan (Two Lumberjacks arguing)
From: E4

Clive mentions the ‘arguing over something’ bit: “…Ryan’s shirt, for one thing…”

Colin: “I’ll do it by MYSELF, I’m part beaver, anyway…”
Ryan: [looks behind Colin]

Clive: “Hugh Grant”
Ryan: “…there’s, uh, good things and there’s bad things. I guess I just did a bad thing…”
This, needless to say, is exactly what the audience was hoping to hear.
Clive: “Let’s leave it there…which I think is what he said to the officer…”

It’s even funnier when two North Americans have to do Carry On film.
Colin, going with the only thing he knows from a Carry On film: “ACK ACK ACK ACK ACK!”
Colin looks at Ryan to say something. He shrugs, motioning ‘do I look like I have a fucking clue what that is?’
Ryan: “…right…”
Colin: “PENIS REFERENCE! ACK ACK ACK ACK ACK!”
Ryan: “Oy, that tree’s got big tits, innit?”
BUZZ
Ryan’s shaking his head, and Colin’s facepalming away from the camera.

A very silly scene, but not without its highlights, like a Hugh Grant joke and Ryan having no idea what the Carry On films are.

Questions Only: Caroline, Ryan, Colin and Josie are at a nudist camp
From: E9

Caroline, immediately: “Is that a penis?”
Colin: “…doesn’t it look like one?”

Ryan, taking Caroline’s place: “…are you Jewish?”

Josie, pointing: “Does that upset you?”
Ryan: “Does it excite YOU?”
Josie, chuckling: “What do YOU think?”

Ryan has a nice streak, but it ends as the game does. Pretty inoffensive one, but still funny enough.

Bartender: Mike
Ryan: in love with his television set
From: E2

Well, for some reason, Greg and Tony’s verses aren’t here, so we just have Ryan’s.

Ryan, quite smartly, sings about ‘getting caught having unprotected sex with my tv’, which is a great twist. And, “before I knew it, I was yanking on his big TV love cable.”

Mike has a really cool extended response verse, which does make me a bit sad he won’t be this excited to be on the show after these comps.

Scene to Music: Ryan and Steve are Jehovah’s witnesses calling at a house
From: E3

Steve: “Listen, when we knock on the door-”
Ryan: “And who’s knocking?”
Steve: “…Jesus is always knocking…”

The music, a courtroom theme, kicks in. Ryan and Steve treat it like a Mission Impossible type theme, and it definitely works. Hell, this could even be a prototype version of Improbable Mission.

The scene ends with Steve and Ryan getting to the customer, with bibles as guns, and Steve yelling “HI…HAVE YOU HEARD THE GOOD NEWS???”

Just silly enough, which seems to be the theme of this show.

Whose Line: Ryan is a gang boss confronting Colin, who betrayed him
From: E6

Colin immediately goes into a stereotypical gangster voice. Ryan tells Colin to shut up.

There’s actually some really good acting here between the two, and it’s definitely well-suited to a lot of the gangster movies of the day.

Colin: “Remember…remember what SHAKESPEARE once said…’wait til you see what I’ve got in my pants.”

A bit lighter than most WL games, but still funny enough, and with some good acting.

World’s Worst: Show Business Routine (Greg, Niall, Ryan and Colin)
From E1

Clive: “…you can do your own one, Greg, if you’d like…”
Greg: “SEE HOW THIN THE LAUGHS WERE ON THAT, CLIVE?”

Greg, with the payback: “Hello, we’re microscopic explorers on Clive Anderson’s head.”
BUZZ
Greg: “We’re looking for hair follicles.”
BUZZ
Greg: “No luck so far-”
Clive, knowing where he’s going: “..yeah..”
Greg: “But we’ll be back in an hour…”

Ryan: “….A. Apple. B. Brontosaurus. C. Cookie. D. Dicky. E. Elephant.”
Then, as he knows exactly where he’s about to go with the next letter, he looks directly at Clive to try and get him out of it.
Ryan: “F…”
BUZZ
Ryan, under his breath: “…fuck…”

Greg: “Hello, I’m Sylvester Stallone, I’d like to read a soliloquy from Hamlet by William Shakespeare…”

Ryan, swallowing all of these objects: “A little flour…some eggs…some sugar…BLEH! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOOOU…”
The audience recoils, but I love this one.

A strange WW, with some out-of-the-box ones from Ryan

Props: Colin and Ryan vs. Steve and Tony
From E3

Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 12.48.35 PM.pngTony: “Well, Mr. Johnson, your sperm count’s very low, BUT THE ONE YOU’VE GOT IS JUST…”

A fairly basic round. Ryan and Colin were doing easy ones, while Tony and Steve’s were more hit-miss.

Narrate: Colin and Ryan are in a laundromat
From: E6

Clive does his usual ‘do you have a laundromat in America’ type thing, settling on ‘wherever you do your washing.”
Ryan, caveman voice: “Oh, stream! We call STREAM. ON ROCKS, WE BEAT ON ROCKS, IT STREAM.”

Colin: “…he had legs like a stork…and a brain to match.”

Ryan’s first great improv move is, mid-monologue, getting into the dryer, then bobbing around in the dryer for a bit. Genius.

Ryan announces he’s missing a sock, which he probably wanted to lead to an ‘up my ass’ type of joke, but…Colin makes sure it leads somewhere stranger.
Colin: “It was then I noticed the bulge…and then I thought, ‘I wonder where his sock went’.

Colin: “…I didn’t notice the tank until he opened the door. It was a tank! How could you not notice that? Boy…weird, huh?”

Ryan, not even trying to rationalize: “…pretty weird I got a tank in here, huh?”
Colin: “That’s what I thought…but then…[cracks] I’m just a Canadian.”

Then, as Ryan cracks up, Colin, as his next inner monologue, gets into the tank, and comes upstage, not saying anything, but driving the tank around. Clive buzzes, so both can collapse into laughter.

Just a damned funny scene, with nothing going according to plan, but in the best way possible.

EXTRA BITS: 

  • A sound effects playing from E9, where Colin’s driving a car. It suddenly completely runs out of gas. Then, of course, he gets out of the car and it drives off by itself, which is an insanely creative choice by Ryan. Colin has to run after it.
  • They also keep cutting back to a props round from E4, with Ryan and Colin and a big, cornucopia like thing.
    Colin, scooping into the giant cone: “How many scoops?”
    Ryan, stonefaced: “Five hundred.”
  • A F&TS round from E4, where Tony and Caroline do a Thunderbirds scene, which leads to some hands going out of control, and a Tony hand landing on Caroline’s boob. Caroline, unlike Josie, responds by grabbing Tony’s crotch to end the scene.
  • A Hey You Down There round from E1, where Greg narrates Ryan and Colin trying to barbecue. Greg’s HYDT voice is one of my favorites.
    Greg: “THAT’S NOT LIGHTER FLUID, THAT’S GASOLINE. BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU LIGHT THAT!”
    Boom!
  • A round of Picture from…either E2, E5 or E6, as it’s Tony and Mike. Mike’s lying behind Tony, and Tony has a nice gag with “…what’s that poking in the back of my ‘ead?”
  • The Gambling Hoedown, from E6. Colin’s verse, which is classic:
    “I entered the lottery, I bought myself a ticket.
    Watched all the numbers, I saw the people pick it.
    And now I’m very rich…”
    And then his Hoedown voice drops, he stops, and just says, point blank: “Hey, I don’t have to SING. I don’t have to do this. I’M RICH. I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!”
    And with that, he runs around the stage happily, as Tony and Ryan crack.
  • A F&TS round from E3, with Tony and Steve doing a very intense scene from Eastenders, complete with an ‘I SAAAAAID…LEAVE IT.’
  • Back to Hey You Down There
    Greg: “You’re gonna have to use a shovel to get that goat off. Uh oh, it’s stuck to the grill. [And, in a line that cracks me up in how Greg says it] BETTAH GET THE GOAT SCRAPAH!”
    Ryan gets a chainsaw, and shears the goat off, which backfires and hits Colin’s crotch area. Colin leafs around looking for where it went. Ryan picks something up, shrugs, and throws it aside.
  • Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 1.07.57 PM.pngColin stands there for like 5 seconds without an idea, then he gets one.
    Colin: “….today on Donahue, Anorexic Witches!”

Old Job New Job: Colin and Caroline try to buy a car from Ryan, who used to be a NYC cop
From: E9

Caroline: “…what d’you think?”
Colin: “…it’s a car.”

Ryan, effortlessly mixing both: “UP AGAINST THE CAR, UP AGAINST THE CAR…how’s that feel to ya?”

It’s actually genius- Ryan uses angry cop tactics in order to give them a full car salesman pitch. For some reason this works really well.

There’s this great running gag about Colin being a former ballet dancer, so when Ryan commands him to get on the ground, he does a full flourish beforehand.

Not a ton to it, but mechanically really impressive.

Stand Sit Bend: Ryan, Colin and Tony are in a fortress being attacked by indians
From: E6

Colin: “Let me get that arrow out of your back.”
Ryan, who’s bending, appreciates this rationalization
Tony: “Wait, let’s see if there’s a message attached….’you’re dead.”
All three: “HMMMM…”

Compared to other recent SSLs, there’s not a lot to this one, except for a moment where Colin and Ryan compete to sit down, which cracks Ryan up.

This scene does get going when Ryan does a motion that involves him standing, then bending, then standing, so that the other two have to react to his ever-shifting rationale.

Colin, as Ryan and Tony have an argument while alternating standing and sitting, just leans over and starts shooting people, though he keeps looking back to see if anybody’s letting him stand again.

There are a ton of funny moments in here towards the end, culminating in someone else shooting Colin an arrow to the head.
Ryan: “Wait, there’s another note attached…oh, sorry it’s just your brain.”

A bit less coherent than the last few iterations of this, but still funny.

Hoedown: Ryan, Colin, Caroline and Tony- Biting Nails
From: E4

Not a ton going on here, sad to say, other than a line from Ryan about “now I’m nibblin’ on my wrist”, and some general Tony foolishness.

Best Performer: Ryan Stiles, as per usual this series
Worst Performer: Niall Ashdown, for only doing one joke, and for it not being a successful one.
Best Game: Narrate. Just really, REALLY good, and capable of withstanding its own weirdness.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Ho-hum.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E10, or You’re from Australia, aren’t you?

With nine episodes wrapped for a strong enough Series 7, the producers of Whose Line were desperate to come up with one more show, but were being decreed not to use anymore Mike McShane or Tony Slattery. I can only assume that the last show set to be filmed was supposed to feature either one, and was cancelled after the incident in E6. So…the producers needed a spot to fill, essentially.

So they did something that was, at the time, revolutionary, but has since become a helpful tool for Whose Line to use. They made a second episode from a previous taping.

This episode, E10 of this series, is made up of leftover bits from E8, the Steve & Josie show. Instead of relegating all of that to the compilations (and I can only imagine some leftovers might be waiting in the comps anyway), the producers crafted a second episode out of them. They would do this a few more times over the next two series, though less as series-fillers and more as…time savers, essentially.

Note that this episode does have the same contestant intros as E8, as they didn’t know to film two intros quite yet.

Questions Only: Singles Party

There’s an audible noise from Josie as they line up for this game. It’s less of a groan and more of a nervous noise.

Josie: “Why are the walls painted this color?”
Steve: “Are you pissed?”
Right off the bat we’re onto something

Josie: “Do you french kiss?”
Colin: ‘…with my clothes on?”
Josie: “…do you HAVE a naked body under there, then?”
Colin: “Would you like to see?” [disrobes]
Josie: “….”
BUZZ

Once Ryan enters, both try and get one in at the same time, which catches Ryan off guard.

After a string of Colin getting people out
Ryan: “D’you have any vodka?”
Colin: “Russian?”
Ryan: “…is there any other kind?”
Colin: “…..”
BUZZ

It’s even funnier when Steve gets a chance to redeem himself at the end…and loses, loudly, at ‘how the hell have you been?’. Great way to end the game, too, as it’s a pretty great round.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Josie and Ryan (pram-pushers meeting in the park)

Clive gets, consecutively, “Richard and Judy” and “German Porno”, which he makes fun of.

Audience member: “Take That!”
Clive, missing the point: “…what? Is that…is that a pop group?”
Audience member: “Kenneth Branagh!”
Clive, losing his wit: “…that’s a PERSON!”

A very Australian voice yells out, clearly: “Australian soap.”
Clive, cheekily: “…yes, thank you, Jason…”

Ryan has to stop and ask what a pram is, which Josie very quickly explains
Clive: “How many years have you been coming here, and you…”
Ryan, self-referentially: “And a park is what, with the trees and…”

Ryan and Josie initially have great chemistry, with Ryan lying and saying the baby’s not his.
Josie: “Ohhh, I know what a tinker you are… [then, in a moment of wall-breaking genius]…do you know what ‘tinker’ means?”
Ryan, going with it: “…is it like a pram?”

Cookery Program:
Josie: “Your baby looks lovely, but it would look so much better with gravy on its head.”
Ryan: “First, let me flip him over, so he’s done on the other side…”

Ryan: “And you’re asking yourself, ‘what goes with baby? white, or red wine?”

Clive, again harkening back to Ryan’s American-ness: “…brilliant Loyd Grossman impression there, from Ryan…”

Australian soap:
Josie: “…I THOUGHT YEW LOVED ME!” [turns, drops accent] “I apologize to all the Australians in the audience”

Then, Ryan pulls up some indecipherable Australian accent which makes Colin start absolutely cracking in the background.

Then, halfway through another line, Ryan’s accent fades on him. He realizes it, nearly cracks, and shrugs it off.

Clive: “I liked that, I just buzzed there to put you out of your misery, Ryan.”
Ryan: “Thank you.”

The German Porn style is even funnier, because Ryan and Josie keep up the accents, and nail the tone…and then, right at the end, Ryan loses his accent, and struggles to keep composure again, right when Clive buzzes.
Josie: “…you’re from Australia, aren’t you?”
BUZZZ
Clive: “If we keep going longer, we’ll get to an accent Ryan can do.”

Agatha Christie:
Josie, in a great Marple accent: “Why…if you say you’re not married, do you have a baby?”
Ryan, absolutely nailing a proper British accent: “…don’t you see?”
The audience, and Steve, applaud this one as Clive buzzes them out.

THAT…was one of the best F&TS games in a while. Yes, it’s similar to a late-career Paul Merton one where he’d go in and out of the scene, but…Ryan and Josie at least kept the integrity of the scene intact, and kept the narrative going while still poking fun at accents and running gags and such. Just a fantastic top-to-bottom game.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Steve and Colin (stuck in a car teetering over a precipice)

The Steve and Colin combo is an odd one, but it excites me very much.

Colin: “DON’T SHOUT…the excess voice level might push us over the cliff.”
Steve nearly cracks at that line. We’ve only just started.
Steve: “But YOU’RE shouting.”
Colin: “But I’m using a different VOICE!”
BUZZ
Clive, already the MVP of this show: “…you’re going mad, Colin.”

Steve, in Boris Karloff style, is making faces at Colin, looking dastardly, which nearly makes him break.
Steve: “DO MY EYEBROWS OFFEND YOU???”

Emmanuelle:
Colin, to Steve, taking off his clothes for the second time all show: “Could you just empty that ashtray for me?”
Steve, coming directly behind Colin: “Sure’.”
Ryan, in the back, loses it at this.

Batman, in the same position.
Steve: “ROBIN…I’M GONNA TEACH YOU EVERYTHING!”
Colin: “Holy Back Pain!”

Not as good as Ryan and Josie’s, but still really funny, and with some fun interplay between the two.

Secret: Colin and Ryan are jockeys in a stable. The secret is in the hay

Clive has a slight mental lapse, when he can’t understand an audience member going ‘in the hay!’. He thinks it’s ‘IN BEHIND???” The other audience members around her have to clarify for him.
Ryan, not letting that go: “It’s Australian, you probably don’t understand…OUR language…”

Ryan, of course, makes a joke that he’s the first ‘mutant jockey’, and the camera pulls back so the audience can get the joke.

Colin, discovering the secret: “…my god…a tooth fairy costume…”
Ryan, for the first of many times during this game, breaks at the reveal.
Colin: “You’re not only a mutant jockey, you’re the tooth fairy!”
Ryan, casually slipping the costume on: “WHAT IF I AM?”

Ryan does give a complicated rationalization for being the tooth fairy as a jockey. Then, knowing how bonkers it is, he polishes it off with ‘IT ALL MAKES SENSE!’

Then, of course, they get on their horses and go about the race, which is a great visual just to see Ryan’s facial expressions.

A pretty great secret, with Ryan giving great post-reveal work.

Greatest Hits: Ryan and Colin pitch Songs of the Gas Station, while Josie performs the songs

A new addition to the fold, as apparently producers thought that Josie solo singing games weren’t enough, so they just added Ryan and Colin to them.

This is a different GH than we’d get later on, as Ryan and Colin just do plummy, banter-less intros, and Josie just goes ahead and sings then. It’s not reliant on the Ryan-Colin characters we’d later know and love.

Also, the excerpts are super short, as they’re 10 to 15 seconds each, just giving Josie the chorus. And yes, it’s pretty impressive that she can do these excerpts at the drop of a hat, but knowing the future form of the show, it’s a bit off-putting.

The audience gets a kick out of Colin’s song-title ‘Hands of My Muffler’, as well as the actual lyrics, which are pretty funny.

The funniest part of this game, though, is Ryan setting up a song…then realizing he doesn’t have a single good idea, and, at the verge of cracking, passes to Colin.
Colin: “Sure, it’s that great Disco hit, ‘lube up!”
Ryan completely breaks here

For Josie’s last number, Ryan and Colin jump into her side of the stage and start dancing along, which is a nice touch.

A pretty bold start to this game, even though the tinkerings we’d get to it would definitely improve things a lot. Still some fun stuff all around, even with Colin saving Ryan.

Stand Sit Lie: Ryan and Colin are on a sleeper train: Steve is the ticket collector

Steve, as Clive’s explaining the scene, sits down on one of the ‘bed’ structures, which there are two of. Once he hears he’s gonna be the ticket collector, he chuckles, and gets up so Ryan can sit down.

Steve begins the scene by opening the sliding door…giving it a beat, and then closing it again and walking off
Ryan: “I think he’s French.”
Steve, after spitting and walking in: “…yes, I am, actually…”

The best part about that is that the position changes in this scene are insanely natural, thanks to the intricate enough scene description.

Then, when Steve threatens to throw them off, Ryan angrily rises, and Steve, without an option yet so quickly, faints.

Then, in an insanely genius move, Ryan and Colin help Steve stand back up while both going into a lying position. Then, when they both realize what they’ve done, they play a brief simultaneous game of ‘no, I’ll change’, both sitting down or lying back down at the same time.

Once Steve finds something under the mattress chair…Colin and Ryan are standing, and Steve’s sitting, and Clive audibly says ‘…lying’. Steve, again without an option, collapses to the floor.

There’s a nice 30-minute stretch where Colin can’t catch a break, as Steve and Ryan are having a conversation about the diamond-smuggling. Colin will be lying down, then realize someone’s not doing something, race to get to a position then be beaten to it, and go back to lying down. It’s insanely amusing.

Then, in the end, as Steve rises, and Colin quickly lies back down, a standing Ryan realizes he needs to sit down, and both tables are blocked…so he sits down on Colin’s shoulder, which he immediately regrets, audibly yelling ‘OW’, and making both crack up as the scene ends.

One of the best SSLs we’ve had in years, with a coherent scene going on, and so many funny things happening with movements.

Foreign Film Dub: Colin and Josie act out the film ‘The Swahili Aubergine Lost in Space’, while Ryan and Steve translate

Josie starts by doing a weird noise, pointing, and doing a line.
Steve: “I can’t find Radio One on this damned thing.”

Colin’s tactic in this game, instead of faking the language, is doing INSANELY LOUD GIBBERISH. THIS WORKS.

Steve has the funnier lines here, such as ‘who needs aubergines when you’ve got cucumbers like these?’

Ryan translates a line as ‘you know, you’re looking very attractive to me at this moment’.
Then, Colin, holding the cucumber like a gun, strokes it up and down in a suggestive manner. Oh, Colin…

The scene ends with Colin dancing around spouting gibberish with a melon down his pants, which is certainly worth the price of admission.

Not a bad scene, but still very silly when it’s not being funny.

Moving People: Ryan and Colin are cowboys rounding up the herd

Colin: “..have you got the bull to cough yet?”
Ryan, as the audience member puts his fists up against his face: “…WELL…”

Colin has his hand up for a little while, as they’re talking.
Ryan: “Hey…put the margarita down, Jed…”

Then, as Ryan proposes a duel with paces, the audience members have to struggle to get Ryan and Colin to turn around and walk away, which is a very fun visual.
Colin, rationalizing: “Remember, I have arthritis…”
Ryan: “…and I’m a little drunk myself, so..”

Ryan: “ONE…”
Colin, who’s already turned around: “…ONE???”

Then, as they’re doing the paces, the audience members once again struggle to get them to walk or turn around. Colin, already turned toward Ryan, is smirking at this.
Ryan: “TWO…Boy, this is like a bad game of twister, isn’t it?”

Then, as they’re still being moved, they are free to shoot, which leads to a lot of ‘BANG! Oh, I missed ya. BANG!’

Colin: “Oh my god, your shot has started a stampede.”
Ryan, knowing exactly what he’s about to incite: “Oh my god. Run for cover.”

The audience members, instead of getting them to walk away, keep moving them closer to each other. Ryan, trying to keep it together, yells “NOT INTO ME, JED!!!”

The scene ends, and Ryan and Colin, shaking their heads, walk back to the seats. That game…just really worked, maybe because of all the work Ryan and Colin were making the audience members do, and the really funny ending.

Hoedown: Puberty

Steve, as usual, sings himself into a corner, ending with an oddly-prepositioned “his mother walked in and caught us kissing, and….joined in.”

Josie’s is a very well-thought out, cute verse, that’s very well sung, about her lament over puberty. “So, if this is a hoedown, I’ll just docey-do…”

Colin, taking the opposite suggestion and being himself:
“I like going grey, I really really do
I really really really really PLEASE DON’T MISCONSTRUE.
To many it’s a source of conterrrrnation
But I’m quite happy with my hair pigmentation.”
Clive ABSOLUTELY LOSES IT at this verse. He’s dying back in his chair.

Ryan’s is, comparatively, more commonplace, but it ends the hoedown, and the episode, on a fine note.

Overall: An absolute triumph, and the kind of show that makes you wonder why they didn’t just air this one first and have 7×08 come in this lot. Every game was truly hysterical, every performer had something very fun to do, and there was a huge Clive presence in a lot of the games tonight, which was a nice touch. Yes, the Colin and Ryan duo presided over this show, but that’s not especially a bad thing, as the combo is so strong that it’s automatically leading to great games, although the other duos tried this show, like Josie/Ryan and Steve/Colin, were also pretty successful, which owes itself to the durability of this lineup, which would be seen a few more times over the next few series. Just amazing stuff all around.

Show Winners: Ryan and Josie
Best Performer: Ryan Stiles, barely edging out his comedy partner, and giving some really great, commanding moments throughout the show.
Worst Performer: Steve Frost, solely for lacking in standout moments compared to the other three.
Best Game: Stand Sit Lie. I nearly gave this to the first Film and Theatre Styles, but SSL was absolutely masterful, and delivered on story as well as being host to a ton of incredible movement moments.
Worst Game: Foreign Film Dub, just for seeming quieter by comparison.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E09, or What Are You Implying, Clive?

Now onto another post-crisis S7 episode of Whose Line. Thanks to the success of Josie Lawrence’s return last episode, the producers gave her another taping, plus a combo with fellow female improv giant Caroline Quentin…along with the now-ubiquitous Ryan & Colin combo

Also, note that tonight, Colin attends with his world-famous lime-green jacket. It’s not neon-love-chicken levels of excessive, but it’s still noteworthy.

Film & Theatre Styles: Caroline & Josie (first two women to cross the Antarctic) 

Someone in the audience shouts of, as a style suggestion, ‘video nasty’…which is very ironic, because I was just watching that exact Young Ones episode before I started this.

From moment one of the scene, Josie and Caroline are on the exact same page, bouncing right off of each other perfectly.

Thelma and Louise:
Josie: “Wait a minute…there’s a man over there who says we can’t have the huskies…”
Caroline: “Let’s kill him!”

Caroline: “…there’s a real good lookin’ seal over there…Hi, Cowboy…”
Josie: “Honk honk HONK…”

There’s a very cute moment where, in Gone with the Wind style, Caroline offers to tighten Josie’s corset, and there’s a fun little exchange between the two as the audience applauds.

They did lose their footing towards the end, as Clive has to remind them of the plot, but it’s still a fun enough scene that works well enough.

Stand Sit Lie: Josie, Colin & Ryan are at the tattoo parlor

This scene does start out very plot based, as people are changing positions out of necessity, not out of trying to screw the other two over. Then, as Josie sprawls across the table, she lands on the floor, lying down, forcing Ryan and Colin to NOT use the table for lying.

Colin: “Wait, I’m a doctor!”
Ryan: “YOU’RE a doctor? I didn’t know that…”
Colin: “…well, not a real one…”
Ha. Might have been a bit meta, too.

There’s also a moment where Ryan angrily stands up from the table, and Colin and Josie both attempt to lie down at the same time. Then, as Colin and Ryan argue, taking turns sitting down, Josie continues to lie down, going “PLEASE DON’T ARGUE, IT MAKES ME TIRED!”

A really nicely fleshed-out playing of this, thanks to some great work from all three, and some alternating between plot and motions.

Press Conference: Ryan, Colin and Josie interview Caroline, the first female pope.

Caroline: “I actually trained four and a half years for this, a lot of it using….uh, weights.”
She has a moment of stumbling, but picks right back up.

Ryan, of course bringing up height: “Are, uh, people gonna have problems seein’ ya up on the balcony?”

Josie: “Are you a Catholic?”
Caroline: “…yes, I am. I actually had to CONVERT, in order to, uh…”

And then, Josie, with the kicker: “Do you enjoy having your ring kissed?”
The whole audience applauds at this one.
Caroline: “Yes, well it obviously depends very much on who’s doing the kissing…”

A really nice game, one that picked up as it went on, both for laughs and for Caroline’s abilities with it.

Clive mentions that she got it ‘suspiciously’ right after the ‘ring kissed’ line.
Caroline: “…what are you implying, Clive?”
Clive: “….I’m not sure, really…”

Duet: Caroline and Josie sing a love song about a beached whale

Note that Josie has appeared in all four of the first half’s games so far. Perhaps they were trying to sell her like they sold Tony.

Literally, as the scene starts, Josie and Caroline are intimately leaning together, making this very cute for both of them.

Caroline, with the first, wonderfully sung line of the song: “Look at the sea….then, look at me.”

The strength of both performers is INSANELY evident, as well as the ability to harmonize, improvise along with Richard’s key choices, and just do some really nice lyrics.

Once the final note hits, Ryan IMMEDIATELY rises and gives them a standing O. Colin follows. Caroline and Josie hug, knowing they’ve just pulled off one of the more impressive numbers in the show’s history.

Clive: “Incidentally, that puts you into a lead, Caroline and Josie…..because Ryan and Colin haven’t scored yet.”

Hats: Dating Service Videos

The old standard for Hats.

Clive: “So this is a quick-fire round. If you don’t do it well, you’ll be fired quickly…”

This isn’t a terrific round, as a lot of them are a bit too drawn out, especially from Caroline. Colin has a great one, in a Marching Band helmet, as he flails his arms around, catching batons and whatnot, and says “…and that’s with my hands…”

There are good moments, mostly from Ryan who gets the game, but not a ton of these hit.

Props: Ryan and Caroline vs. Colin and Josie

Right off the bat, Ryan nearly drops the prop in going for a joke, which leads to Caroline making sure he’s alright.

Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 4.04.30 PM.pngRyan: “Elephants on cocaine!” [sniffffff]

Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 4.05.34 PM.pngColin: “First time in an irish nudist colony?”

Caroline, hopping around the prop: “CRAP BARSTOOLS, DARLING!”

Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 4.06.58 PM.pngColin: “…I’m sorry, Mr. Jagger, we couldn’t save your lips…”

MUCH BETTER Props round. Tons of fun ideas coming from all four.

Party Quirks: Caroline hosts
Josie: in a tampon ad
Colin: a flu germ
Ryan: victim of a voodoo attack

Josie has not missed a game yet tonight. Good work so far, too.

Josie is great, doing a menagerie of strenuous things in an insanely peppy mood.
Caroline, getting it: “I hate to tell you this, but there’s a small stain on your trousers…”
BUZZ

It’s a very clever entrance for Colin: Ryan sneezes, and Colin bounds into the party.

Just the sight of Ryan going into random spasms and positions as Caroline looks on is a silly enough image. I think the fact that Caroline’s so out of it, especially after quickly guessing the other two, makes it even funnier.

Clive does have to give it to Caroline, but this was a swift-but-funny playing.

Prison Visitor: Josie
Colin: stole a pair of pants in Brazil
Caroline: murdered George in Italy
Ryan: got caught with a prostitute in Jamaica 

Josie has appeared in every game tonight, and she’s not even a series regular. Well bloody done.

Josie, getting the suggestion: “Stolen…pants?”
Clive: “I think that might be American for trousers.”
Josie: “…or English for Knickers…”

Colin turns his verse into something truly extraordinary, in a Brazilian accent:
“Oh get me out of here, I’m not having a good time.
They threw me in here for…impersonating a lime.
I needed green pants you see, to go with my whole ensem-bluh…
…what am I going to do, I…can’t rhyme with ensemble…”

Josie’s rebuttal verse is very fun, ending in calling Colin a ‘real brazil nut’. Still doesn’t overpower Colin’s insanely funny one.

Caroline makes her number very heartfelt, and very emotional, but between two comedians like Ryan and Colin, she leaves no choice but to bring up the rear of the game.

When Ryan gets up, he squeezes his head through the bars, so that once Josie turns around, she’s immediately caught off guard and laughs.

Someone in the audience shouts out: “He got caught in a car with a prostitute.”
This is 1995, so there’s only one real thing this could be referencing.
Clive: “RYAN IS A DISTINGUISHED ACTOR. There’s no chance…NO CHANCE…of a distinguished actor getting caught with a prostitute in a car…”

Clive sighs, and intros the scene, saying Ryan got caught with a prostitute in a car, ‘somewhere in Los Angeles, but…it’s the Jamaican quarter…”

Ryan: “the police run up to me one day, boy they rave and rant.
I made the same mistake as my good friend, the actor Hugh Grant.”
Ryan gives a whole stanza for the audience to recover

Josie does give a very funny response verse, eventually signalling for Ryan to ‘limbo under your cell’, which he does at the end.

Very, very good Prison Visitor game, utilizing all four in their own unique ways.

Overall: A brisk, fun, energetic show, with a career night for Josie Lawrence, and a huge-time emphasis on her and Caroline Quentin. This show proved, for the first time since Series 3, that women could get things done on Whose Line, and dominate a whole show. It’s also a blessing that they could do such a great show a few episodes after Tony, a guy who groped BOTH OF THEM onstage during shows, stopped appearing. Yes, Colin had some funny moments, as did Ryan, but it wasn’t about them as much as it was about Josie and Caroline.

Show Winners: All 4
Best Performer: Josie Lawrence, for dominating the whole night
Worst Performer: Ryan Stiles, for sticking to the background more often
Best Game: Prison Visitor, for being the most consistent in terms of laughs. Duet came close.
Worst Game: Hats. Not a ton going on.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E08, or Only I Make The Noise!

I don’t think it was a coincidence that Josie Lawrence waited until Tony Slattery had left the program to make her return. The groping may have been in good fun, but…her absence from the series up to this point felt very…obligatory. Either way, she’s back tonight, alongside Steve Frost, and…for the remainder of the show, Colin and Ryan

Superheroes: Peroxide Shortage
Colin: Bimbo Woman
Ryan: Captain Hallucination
Steve: Overindulgence Boy
Josie: Carpet Appreciation Girl (oh dear…)

Clive, in Ryan’s intro, mentions he’s the star of a hit sitcom, which lampshades that The Drew Carey Show had already begun by this point (wonder if the star of that would ever amount to anything?), as well as saying ‘star of 19 series of Whose Line is it anyway’, which…not too far off, Clive.

The audience suggestions for Colin’s superhero name are raucous and overflowing. Some poor guy even shouts out ‘EJACULATOR MAN!’
Clive, without missing a beat: “…Come again?”

After all that, Clive finally picks one: “…Bimbo woman, that’s good.”
Colin: “THAT’S good?”
Clive: “You heard all the others…”

Colin’s INCREDIBLY GOOD characterization cracks me up here, with his higher voice and meticulous arm-flailings. He’s really giving it his all.

Steve nails his quirk by drinking, doing all of the drugs, then landing on the floor. Then Ryan, still hallucinating, paddles him like a canoe

Josie, coming up with a solution: “I’m gonna see if there’s any in Axminster!”
Steve: “…I think there is. I’m gonna go eat them all!”

Then, Ryan at least leaves with a silly line: “I’ll see what I can tell the press, Mr. Nixon.”

A very silly scene, though in the best way possible. I also liked that we saw insight, in the pre-game, into how loose Clive had become, especially in interacting with the cast.

Fixed Expressions: Ryan (shocked) is a policeman who’s stopped Josie (happy) and Colin (constipated) for speeding

From the moment they’re getting up, Ryan and Colin are shaking their heads, not especially looking forward to this game.

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 11.58.39 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 11.59.10 PM.png[I’m already gone]

Ryan’s shocked face doesn’t top the one from 6×01, but it’s close.

Ryan: “Ya realize how fast you were going back there?”
Colin: “Uhhh, 60?”
Josie: “HAAAA HA HA HA…”

Colin ends on an easy line: “Aw, this is a real pain in the ass.”

Inoffensive and silly, sort of like the last game.

Film Dub: Ryan arrives to sell lederhosen to Colin and Steve

Colin: “WHAT’S YOUR WIFE DOING THERE?”
Steve, whose character has a giant mustache: “Never mind that, get this caterpillar off me face..”

Just the line of Ryan asking the other two if they have any interest in lederhosen gets a laugh from the audience. Maybe it’s from the juxtaposition.

Colin: “What kind of lederhosen do you have? What’s the price?”
Ryan: “Well we have all types, I’m sure the man over there who looks like a walrus would be interested…”

There’s a funny moment where Steve tries asking Ryan a question, but they keep cutting away from him before he can properly finish.
Ryan: “Yeah, I heard ya, if I throw you a salmon will ya shut up?’
Steve: “HEY, I DON’T LIKE HIM. TAKE HIM OUTSIDE NOW. DEAL WITH HIM.”
Colin: “I’m sorry, you’ve insulted my friend.”
Ryan: “Well, he’s probably not used to living in these warm temperatures.
SLAP

Such a good film dub. Ryan was just thinking quickly and giving good stuff, even at Steve’s expense.

Old Job New Job: Josie and Ryan check into a hotel. Steve, the bellhop, used to be in airport security

Josie and Ryan’s chemistry sell the majority of this, but Steve does give forth a nice laugh once he puts on a rubber glove and asks Ryan to have a look at the ashtray. Steve’s even smirking as he says it.

Ryan goes through ‘this gate’, then Steve sets off an alarm, and starts feeling all over Ryan, which nearly cracks him up.
Steve: “It’s alright, I used to be a german folk dancer.”

Ryan: “LOOK, WE DON’T HAVE TO TAKE THIS?”
Josie: “Darling, can I have a go?”
Then Josie goes through, and sets off the alarm herself, which makes a different sound
Steve: “No, only I make the noise, it doesn’t…”

Picked up as it went along, and became just a well staged and well-acted scene, with great stuff coming from the straight men as well as Steve.

Narrate: Colin is a woman who comes into Ryan’s hardware store

Not everyday you’re given more than just a location in this game, but okay then

Colin: “I’m a hard woman to please…even harder to look at.”

Colin: “I’d like a big hammer”
Ryan, crossing: “I knew she wanted a big hammer…maybe a couple nails and a good screw.”
Annnnd you all can go home now. No topping that.

Ryan: “I knew she hadn’t [had a man] just by looking at that big butt of hers. I knew that there was no man in Essex that’d go after her.”
Second Essex slam in two episodes.

There’s a ton of great moments here, just from what people are doing when the other is monologuing. Ryan even has a great moment where he interrupts a long, passionate monologue to yell at Colin to pay.

Ryan uses Colin pulling a gun on him to play his usual tactic of distracting Colin [by mentioning that the manager’s behind him with a gun] and then grabbing Colin’s gun himself.
Colin: “I fell for the old ‘store manager Phil behind me with a shotgun’ gag…it was the eighth time this week…but what he didn’t know was that Elmer, my pet termite, was slowly crawling up his leg, ready to bite into his jugular.”
Ryan, immediately crossing, channeling Steve Martin: “…what am I? Stupid?”
BUZZZ

Great Narrate. Both were doing fantastic character and scene work, and doing great work against each other.

Hats: Worst Audition Tapes

Normally this round would be ‘Worst Dating Service Videos’, but here it acted as a pseudo-World’s-Worst…but with hats

Steve, in a cowboy hat and John Wayne impression: “…put the wagons in a square.”
[My favorite part of this is Steve looking offstage and going “…no?”]

Ryan puts on a pink hat and instead plays director: “Okay boys, we’re going over that ridge, and we’re KILLING those Germans. KILLING THEM.”

Steve, in a Sailor’s hat, lifting up a shoe: “…Das boot!”
He chuckles and heads off immediately. Somehow, this isn’t the last time he’d do this joke on the show.

Colin, in a shipman’s hat: “…I said ‘all hands on deck!’ Leave Dick alone!”
HA

Ryan, in a different but still camp hat: “…we’re gonna kill ALL the Germans, sir?”

Yes, there were lulls, but this was still a fun round, with a good amount of inter-round runners (Ryan and the Germans)

Props: Ryan & Colin vs. Steve & Josie

Clive throws the prop around Steve, and it lands like a ring toss. It’s a great achievement.

Ryan, setting the prop up like a bed of nails: “Pain…is just a condition of the mind….[running across it] OW! SHIT! AH! FUCK! AIIGH!”

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 12.27.21 AM.pngRyan: “Oh my god, the wall of nails is closing in on us!”
Colin: “…this side’s fine!”
[They run off. Clever.]

Steve, pre-suggestion, says out of character ‘actually, I bet I can do this’…and then hula-hoops with the prop, prompting some applause from the audience.

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 12.28.50 AM.pngColin: “Only one is my real penis.”

A very fun round of props. Yeah, Colin and Ryan had the more interesting suggestions, but you could tell Josie and Steve were enjoying themselves.

Sound Effects: Colin takes a seat on a plane, Ryan does sound effects

This is a fairly commonplace SFX, right up until Colin closes his barf-bag, it makes a ‘squish’ noise…then ROLLS UP the airplane window and hits some poor guy in the head with it.

Funny, but I don’t think a great deal happened in it.

Party Quirks: Steve hosts (!)
Josie: finds bald heads irresistable
Colin: thinks the room is filling with water
Ryan: lives his whole life in a minute

I think this is Steve’s first time hosting, and as Tony’s gone, he’ll be the primary non-Greg PQ host in this era of the show…until Brad Sherwood comes along, that is.

Josie, of course, nails her quick, becoming instantly smitten with Steve. After a few seconds, she gets on the higher step and licks the back of his head, prompting a huge applause.

I think it’s a pity that Steve guesses Josie right before he lets Colin in. That would have been a golden opportunity, and Steve realizes that right as he does let in Colin.

Ryan manages to do the entire time-lapse thing in under 30 seconds, despite the quirk saying he should do it in 1 minute…which is nice.

Steve does guess everyone, making this a quick game.

Psychiatrist: Josie
Colin: thinks he’s an armadillo in Austria
Ryan: in love with a cameraman in Greece

Clive manages to name the wrong country right before Colin’s about to start, prompting a relieved expression from Colin. They cut over to Richard, and it looks as though even HE’S had a heart attack.

Colin ends his verse by going into nonsense-talk and barely making a rhyme with armadillo [“oh, what a nice pillow”]

Josie and Colin’s is very silly and quick…as per the theme.

Ryan’s number does get everyone snapping rather quickly, which is a nice ability to have.

This is another quaint number, but it ends with Ryan lunging in to kiss Camera 3, which is a great visual.

Overall: A very fun show, but also a very basic, silly, and uneventful one. It didn’t do anything too obnoxious or offensive, which may have been the point post-Tony. Everyone had a lot to do. Ryan and Colin, as the producers wanted, did most of the heavy lifting, and had the funniest moments, though Josie had a late-show boost in some very characteristically fun improv moments, and Steve had a few games to carry himself. It was slightly devoid of classic moments (and while Film Dub was very good, I wouldn’t call it a classic one), but still an incredibly breezy and fun watch, and it definitely seemed like all 4 were having a great time.

Show Winners: All 4
Best Performer: Ryan Stiles, for dominating all of his games, and getting the best of Colin in their matchups
Worst Performer: Steve Frost, but only for taking a more passive approach in the few games he was in tonight.
Best Game: Narrate, which just narrowly slides across a fantastic film dub simply for being a bit more consistent, and having a TON of great Colin-Ryan improv moments.
Worst Game: Sound Effects, for being pretty bland.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E07, or The Crew Seems to be Happy About it..

So. How do you follow the departure of two of the series’ finest improvisers? Well…with quite possibly Whose Line’s most ambitious guest starring appearance since Jonathan Pryce was on.

Eddie Izzard, at the time of this taping, was not only one of the foremost stand-up comedians of the time, but he was also becoming a panel-show staple, appearing on Have I Got News for You in Paul Merton’s absence, and taking the UK comedy world by storm. Having him on Whose Line was an UNBELIEVABLE get, and one that would need to keep the show relevant after the Tony incident in E6. Luckily, stacking the panel with people like Ryan, Greg and Steve, who would supplement or compliment Eddie’s bizarre sense of humor, was an inspired, trusted idea.

Remote Control: Lobsters
Steve: The Bill
Eddie: NewsNight
Greg: Game Show
Ryan: Cookery Show

Clive asks for a general topic all these programs can be about
Audience member: “HUGH GRANT!”
Clive: “Hugh Grant, nice idea, but…I don’t think we could do more than 5 minutes with him, could we?”

Greg: “HELLO, GOOD EVENING, and welcome to OUCH, stop pinching my butt!”

Steve: “We’ve got a crayfish in the third cell, Sarge. [Smirking, coming up with the best pun] It belongs to the Kray brothers.”
BUZZ
Steve’s laughing at that one

Greg: “Oh, I’M SORRY! That means YOU’RE going into the pot of boiling water!”

Ryan, referring to the other suggestion that almost made it: “While cooking lobster, it’s important not to set your oven too high because of global warming.”

Steve, with another one: “Alright, sargeant, take him into the interview room and, uh, grill him for us please?”
BUZZ

Simple game, with some people, like Greg and Steve, going for sillier jokes, while Eddie went for more satirical, longer bits.

Film and Theatre Styles: Eddie and Steve (Hannibal and his elephant keeper)

First of all: HAHA, EDDIE’S PLAYING HANNIBAL HERE, AND IN 15 YEARS HE’D BE ON THE *PROGRAM* HANNIBAL, HA HA HA. There. Got that out of our system.

Steve, picking a Northern voice for his elephant keeper: “I’ll tell you…they’re not gonna go up those bleedin’ mountains, they’re KNACKERED!”

And then
Steve: “How you gonna get an elephant up the alps? You can’t even get one in a ski lift, can you?”

For Ivor the Engine, Steve and Eddie go into fun, campy Scottish accents, much to the delight of the audience.

French with subtitles
Steve: [says something in french, then dubs below] “the elephants can’t go up the mountain.”
Steve: [says something else in french] “It’ll be okay.”
[Ahhh, that’s such an Eddie thing, too]

Captain Scarlet:
Steve: “You’ll never get my elephants up there…the strings won’t take them!”

Very fun scene, helped by a really nice Eddie-Steve dynamic, and some great lines from Steve.

Film Dub: Ryan and Greg have forgotten to do something

Ryan, getting up to see his wife: “…Ohhh my GOD, but you’re ugly!”
Greg, matching a random character motion: “If you think I’M ugly…well, look at the floor!”

Greg: “You’ve forgotten to put your robe on!”
Ryan: “Yeeeahhh, I should put it over my head so I don’t have to look at that ugly mug of yours…”

The scene ends a bit clumsily, but it’s still kinda funny, even if it is one-note.

Old Job New Job: Ryan is a dental nurse, Eddie is a patient, and Steve is a dentist who used to be a builder

Steve, as with the last time he was an ex-builder, enters with his ass-crack in full view. The audience response to this is OVERWHELMING.

Steve also spends the scene ordering around Ryan as the nurse, first asking for more sugar in his coffee, then whistling at him halfway through an Eddie line.

Ends a bit too soon, but still another great Steve scene.

Clive: “Steve shoots into the lead there, with some clever witticisms, and one of the funniest cracks I’ve ever…”

News Report: Gulliver in Lilliput. Greg and Eddie in the studio, Steve and Ryan in the field.

The ‘what are they doing while the music plays in’ bit this week is Eddie opening his mouth and Greg looking in it. It might even be a callback to the last game, but Greg goes “is it an abcess, d’you think?”

Greg, immediately: “GOOD EVENING…I’m Red When Excited.”

Greg, smirking as he delivers the blow: “We have a doctor here, who’s both an expert on diminutiveness…”
Eddie:
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 5.57.13 PM.png

Greg: “…and the condition of being GARGANTUAN…”

Eddie: “Tall people have always liked to be strapped down, and that’s what that story is all about!”

Steve, noting the obvious with Ryan: “…you’re pretty big for a small person.”
Ryan: “..I’m Jojo, the mutant small person.”

Greg, to Eddie: “Now, Gulliver also went to Brogdavnia, where he was the smallest person there. How does that feel?”

Eddie lets off that small people really rule the world
Greg: “How do small people rule the world, then, doctor?”
Eddie: “By pressing buttons.”

Ryan, as Gulliver: “i love the little people! I like to paint them all different colors and play snooker!…Tie ’em onto long pieces of rope, and use them as a sexual aid, if you know what I’m saying…”

Greg: “Doctor, any safety tips for the children out there who might travel to places where they might end up being tied down by small people.”
Eddie: “Yep. Take scissors.”

A really nice News Report round, with Eddie doing some really silly work from the studio, and Ryan doing great character work from the field.

Props: Greg and Ryan vs. Steve and Eddie

Eddie, using his props as guns: “Okay, I know you’re not loaded, but I’m gonna kill you anyway!”

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.04.44 PM.pngGreg, doing a David Attenborough impression: “…TO MY LEFT…you can see the exotic Irish Elk…”

Ryan, with the prop between his legs: “Not only do I have blood in my urine, but it’s damn cold out here…”

A better Props round than the last few, with some silly choices all around.

Sound Effects: Ryan and Greg are on the beach

Yes, this is another ‘canned sound effects’ round, but wouldn’t it be cool if Eddie was doing Sound Effects for Ryan or Greg?

Ryan: “How do I look?”
Greg: “I can’t turn, my neck is too muscular.”
Ryan, chuckling: “WHAT neck?”

Ryan says he’s leaving the lifeguard business, “perhaps pick up a new line of business”
As he says this, heavenly church organ music plays
Ryan: “…maybe become an organ donor.”
HA

Ryan dives into the water, expecting to prompt a sound
“…RED ALERT, RED ALERT.”
Ryan: “…I’VE GOT A SUBMARINE!”

Ryan hangs onto the hull of the sub as it surfaces, and there’s a maniacal laugh.
Ryan: “…the crew seems to be happy about it!”

As close as we’re going to get to an audience members SFX, as Ryan and Greg’s responding to these sounds were pretty great.

Film Trailer: The Creature from Essex. Greg narrates, Ryan, Eddie and Steve act it out

Greg, starting: “Just outside of London is a place where women with enormous hair and white stilletos go to bars and dance around their handbags. It’s called…ESSEX!”

Narratively, this is more advanced than previous ones. More than just Greg saying things and then they happen- there’s a conscious story, with Ryan creating Eddie in a lab, which is a very silly sequence, and Eddie going around and killing men.

Greg: “The first man she met, was the first man she wanted to make love to!”
Steve, entering: “HELLO, DARLING!”
Eddie then grabs chest balls and punches him in the nuts.
Greg: “BUT IT ALL WENT HORRIBLY WRONG!”

Greg: “She only stopped twice. Once at an off-license, and later at a cosmetic counter to pick up some white lip gloss.”
Eddie, in a move that always cracks me up
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.16.07 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.16.20 PM.png

Greg: “Who can forget that night on the cliff, when Tracy found her second victim?”
Steve enters, and Eddie does the exact same crotch grabbing move, which cracks up Steve…and Eddie.
Greg: “YES, SHE REPEATED THE SAME ACTION OVER AND OVER AGAIN.”
Steve: “You’re from Essex, inn’t you?”
Eddie:
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.18.04 PM.png

Then the actor intros. For Ryan’s, he walks onstage looking at Clive, takes a long pause, then quickly turns to the camera. This is enough to get the audience laughing.

Greg: “And introducing Fiona Lamb, as Tracy. She was the woman who had only the language of love at her fingertips.”
Eddie: “…….Hello.”
[I die every time]

Arguably the funniest top-to-bottom Film Trailer we got on this show, as this was (I think) the last one that aired. It was more of a coherent story than just a mixture of setups and scenes. Plus, Eddie got more opportunity to shine here, having a ton of fun, and smiling more than he has in the earlier games.

Moving People: Ryan and Steve are two firemen at the scene of a fire

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.21.55 PM.pngClive announces the scene as they’re in this position. “You’ve captured the atmosphere already…”

Steve, to start: “…I’ve forgot me bleedin’ helmet! I can’t go in there without me helmet.”
Ryan: “…what a coinky-dinky…”

Ryan gets the movers to get he and Steve to high five…by saying ‘HIGH FIVE’ for 5 seconds until they get the picture. Steve’s mover gets the bright idea to hit Ryan in the face instead, which is a great move.

Steve shushes Ryan for five seconds
Steve: “Listen…I think I can hear gas escaping…”
Ryan, who’s in the same, bent over position: “…I wish I could be of some help to you..”

Ryan: “Look, I thought if I use my OWN hose, then we can put out this fire quickly…”
Steve: “It’s not a very long hose, is it? I’m not getting personal, but it’s not fair…”
Ryan’s mover puts his hand around his crotch area.
Ryan: “…well, there ya go…”
BUZZ

A really funny Moving People, made better by the fact that the movers actually helped the scene get funnier, while Ryan and Steve knew when to react accordingly.

Party Quirks: Greg hosts
Eddie: child come to play in the playground
Steve: getting on the tube
Ryan: circus parade going by

Clive: “Is the party in full swing?”
Greg: “Yes, it’s a come as Greg Proops joke party. ‘OCELOT, OCELOT’ ‘NYEEEEEHHH’ ‘God, you’re bald, Clive…”

Steve’s physicality is pretty great here, being yanked around the stage, and occasionally being crammed between people.

Eddie, however, is just really good, and nails the innocence the quirk’s going for, sort of hanging around in the background.

Ryan’s quirk always cracks me up. He starts with a count off, then comes in as a marching band, racing around Greg, then turning into an elephant, then doing a juggler. Greg finally guesses him, he rolls his eyes and goes back to his seat. It’s the slack-faced-ness that kills me, sort of like his ‘all the dogs in a dog show’ one from US S5, just tiredly doing faces and motions until someone guesses it.

Greg manages to nab Eddie at the last second, which gets some cheers from the audience.

Overall: A great, fun little episode to lead us out of the dark times. Everybody was putting up great work, with a surprising emphasis on Steve, for just having great lines and showcase games all night, and carrying as well as helping others. It was a tough competition though, as Ryan had great moments in Sound Effects and Moving People, Greg had great News Report and Party Quirks rounds, and Eddie, while maybe a show or two away from being completely immersed in what this show was, still was decent enough in his only appearance, having funny moments in News Report and Film Trailer, and being himself as much as he could. Very watchable, very fun show.

Show Winners: Ryan and Greg
Best Performer: Steve Frost, for being in a great mood and working well with everyone
Worst Performer: Eddie Izzard, only for being outshone a bit by the other three.
Best Game: Film Trailer. Hilarious all the way through, and more successful than previous playings.
Worst Game: Film Dub, which was kinda one-note.

Whose Line Watchdown: S07E06, or It’s My Party, and I’ll be Crap if I Want to

(Deep exhale)

It’s at this point in the Whose Line journey that we must discuss the tragic downfall of Tony Slattery. A performer who was synonymous with the show in its early era, evolved with the Americanization of the show, and thrived alongside both John Sessions AND Ryan Stiles. Around the end of Series 5, however, his cocaine habits began to take hold, and awaken the more drastic aspects of his burgeoning bipolar disorder and general anxiety. Tasks that were once so simple to Tony, like guessing people in Party Quirks or getting through a singing game, were approached with nervous giggles and a general unfit nature.

Simply put, in Series 7, Tony Slattery was a shell of his former self. Everyone knew it. The performers knew it. His comedy partner, Mike McShane, knew it. The producers knew it. And, with Episode 6, the audience would know it too; this would be Tony’s final episode of Whose Line (not counting compilations). It would also be the last appearance for a few years for Mike McShane, who would leave the show out of respect for his friend Tony.

All of this being said, I think the episode does deserve to be looked at on its own, aside from the controversy surrounding it. This still has a great matchup, with Tony and Mike taking on Ryan and Colin. Colin and Mike hadn’t worked with each other since Series 3, so this was a nice change of pace.

Superheroes: Hole in the Ozone Layer
Colin: Tight Trouser Man
Ryan: Jilted Lover Boy
Tony: Obscure Reference Boy
Mike: Coquettish Slut Man

Colin’s opening physicality is fantastic, GETTING INTO said tight trousers, and having all sorts of struggles. Hell, the tightness even affects how he moves, as he sort of wiggles about without being able to move his legs very much.

Ryan, entering and noticing the elephant in the room: ‘Sorry I’m late, I couldn’t OHHHH MY GOD…”

Ryan: “…I would have been here earlier, but the BITCH HAD SOME ERRANDS TO DO!”
[Thankfully this is the type of character Ryan plays very well]

Ryan thankfully gives Tony something he can excel at. After Colin mentions the crisis again, Tony goes “And not the first time. REMEMBER? …Yes…” With a wink and a thumbs-up to the audience.

Mike: “WELLLLL, that’s a mighty-big hoooollleee…”
Ryan, outraged: “I KNOW HER! I KNOW HER!”
Mike: “Oh, you know me baby…”
Colin: “DON’T GET TOO CLOSE, MY PANTS ARE TIGHT ENOUGH!”

Ryan can’t think of a good exiting line, so he pauses, goes “…yeeeahhh”, then exits.

Colin, trying to wrap up: “Well, thank god that….[feels around his back]….the HANGER’s still in here!”

A really successful Superheroes, giving its best moments when everyone is interacting, especially Mike and Ryan, who had a really nice moment.

Secret: Ryan and Colin are prisoners. The secret is in the curtains

Finally, the debut of this simple but classic game.

Clive, getting the secret placement suggestion: “In the toilet??? They don’t have toilets in prison cells. Those are buckets!”
And then, “Between the curtains? You’re a frustrated theatre director, aren’t you? You can see it all…this prison cell with TOILETS and CURTAINS…”

Ryan starts the scene playing darts. Which reestablishes the ‘ridiculously high-end prison’ thing.
Ryan, then: “Wanna have a jacuzzi?”

Ryan and Colin actually do some really great acting pre-secret, with high tempers, and really nice lines about life outside prison. Proof that scenes like these could really bring out the best in them.

Colin, finally opening the curtains: “…My god…a HAMSTER WITH EXPLOSIVES AROUND ITS WAIST!”
Ryan: “…That’s Jerry. See, they don’t put bars in this prison, they just…wire up small animals. Same with the trip-mines. Like, anywhere you walk, you could set off a squirrel…or, a rhino could go off right in front of ya!”
[That’s some really bizarrely funny stuff from Ryan right there]

Colin: “THAT’S IN…HUMAN!”
Ryan: “I know it’s inhuman, but we’re saving money, don’t you see? People are tired of paying for prisons…and they hate small animals!”

Colin: “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LITTLE ANIMALS??”
Ryan: “WHO CARES? It’s not just the LITTLE animals, Phil.”
With that, he rips off his mask and pulls his arms up to his chest as Colin shrieks. Of course, that’s when Clive buzzes, as the scene can’t really top that.

Whoa…my god. That was some really bizarrely funny stuff right off the bat for this game. It was also surprisingly well-acted, and had some great serious moments for both guys.

Clive, postmortem: “How would you describe that improvisation. Surreal or drug induced?”

Foreign Film Dub: The Russian film ‘The Death of Boris Simpsinsky’, acted by Mike and Tony, dubbed by Colin and Ryan

Someone, when asked by Clive for a Russian film title, yells out ‘The death of Bart Simpson.’
Clive: “…That’s very big in Russia, isn’t it? Could we do the death of somebody else, somebody a bit more Russian, maybe?”
Another audience member: “Bart Simpson in Red Square.”
Clive: “…No, make the PERSON a bit more Russian…you’ve peaked too early with your suggestion there…”

Ryan, after a passionate Tony line: “Tell me, are you a man or a woman?”
[Both Mike and Tony crack a smile at that one]
Colin: “Today’s Tuesday,…So I’m a man…”

After Colin suggests they drink a celebratory shot “out of these Mickey Mouse cups”
Tony, abhorrent: “DAAAHHH”
Ryan, taking him literally: “…Yes!”

Colin takes a Mike line and translates it as “Why don’t you do that limerick you always do?”
Tony smirks, realizing that he has to do that now, and sighs.
Tony: “NYET!”
Ryan: “…there once was a nan from Chernobyl…”
BUZZ

A MUCH BETTER Foreign Film Dub than the last few, made funnier by Tony and Mike both being really serious in acting, and Colin and Ryan moving the scene along AND being really funny.

Sound Effects: Colin is a barber, Ryan does sound effects

Clive announces the scene to Colin: “You’re at the barber’s. Obviously not an everyday activity for you OR me, but you ARE the barber…”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.29.58 AM.png

The first great gag is Colin raising the chair so high that the patron bonks their head on the ceiling. Then, there’s the bit where Colin sprays until he thinks he’s run out, then sprays it towards himself as IT SUDDENLY HAS FLUID IN IT AGAIN, as Colin winces.

Then, there’s the obvious:
Colin: [does first shaving motion]
Ryan: “AGH!”

There’s a great amount of physical comedy done here, which ends with Colin just knocking the guy over the head after he struggles. It’s a really nice scene, even though I didn’t always know what Colin was doing.

Animals: Mike has brought bad news to Ryan and Colin. All are dinosaurs.

The first few seconds of this is pure joy- all three roaming around the stage as dinosaurs. Obviously Colin’s is the silliest, but Ryan and Mike don’t do too badly. They’re just sort of goose-stepping in circles.

The best part of the scene is the fact that all three sort of play their characters as paranoid, sort of jittering around at any second. Ryan hears that a friend of theirs has gone extinct, and begins to wobble over there before Mike calls him back.

Colin does throw in a great sight gag, with a dinosaur trying to smoke a cigarette with such small arms.

Then, right after a serious Mike-Ryan discussion
Colin: “UGH! Laid an egg.”

Mike and Colin just keep laying eggs. Ryan even does the same motion.
Ryan, after a moment: “Oh, uh, that’s not an egg.”
BUZZZZZ

Down a bit from the last few scenes, but still funny, and with enough silly physicality to keep people laughing.

Old Job New Job: Tony and Colin are waiting for their builder, Ryan. All three used to be models.

Tony and Colin are great in the first portion, using all sorts of excuses to strike various poses, looking dapper at any point.

Ryan: “I brought all my tools, including my hammer. It’s reversible and comes with a matching scarf.”

It sort of turns into a game of Stand Sit Lean, where all three pick various moments to pose with each other, in all sorts of positions.

Harmless but fun game.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Mike: in love with cameras
Colin: All 7 dwarves
Ryan: animals crossing the road

Ooof. Okay. This is where it begins to get hard-to-watch.

Mike, immediately won over: “….Nice cameras. Where’d you get ’em?”
Tony: “…are you Lionel Blair?”

Colin immediately gets the audience on his side, shifting into each dwarf after a second or so, doing all the obvious ones, giving a ‘fuck off’ sign for Grumpy, and, most cleverly, smoking a joint for Dopey.

The whole time, Tony is just watching bewildered. Without even trying to guess. After a while, the nervous laughter begins.

Then, Ryan comes in with his first of many silly animal quirks. It works as such- he comes in as an animal, glares at the camera, then tries to get across the stage. To be honest, if I were Tony, I’d be laughing at this too.

Tony does manage to get Colin, which is nice.

Mike starts pontificating about ‘early cinema’ and cameras…to the camera. Meanwhile, in the background, Ryan runs across, doing his fish impression. Tony can’t take any of this.

Tony: “Oh, Erich von Stroheim.”
Clive: “NO, BUT WHAT DOES HE LIKE?”
Tony: “DON’T RUSH ME!!!”
Mike, desperately trying to give it to Tony: “D’YOU KNOW WHAT I LOOOOVE???”
Tony: “You shut up, it’s MY PARTY…And I’LL BE CRAP IF I WANT TO!”

The sight continues. Mike points out the exact cameraman, Peter, and talks about wanting to see him buck-naked behind this exact camera, as Ryan’s running around in the background doing more animal impressions.
There’s a moment’s pause as Ryan gets back to the step. THEN HE COMES BACK AS A MONKEY, giving the PERFECT TIMED BEAT.
As Tony stares, bewildered, overwhelmed, Ryan gets on the ground and does a snake impression.

Then, once Ryan has been run over, flat on the ground, Tony points and goes “IT IS LIONEL BLAIR!!!”

Mike starts aggressively humping and kissing the camera. We cut back to Tony and he’s completely lost, and mentally drained. Yes, the audience laughs, but they think he’s doing this for a joke. He’s not. He’s completely overstimulated.

Tony, still trying to guess Ryan: “I said ‘a menagerie of animals’
Clive: “Yes, but what are the animals doing?”
Tony: [furrows brows]
Ryan, desperate: “LOOK OUT FOR THE THING ON FOUR WHEELS THAT RUNS ON UNLEADED GAS!!!”
There’s a serious of looks after that line that always kills me:
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.54.13 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.54.30 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.54.51 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.55.08 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.55.25 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.55.42 AM.png

It gets to the point where Clive literally has to give Tony the card.
Tony: “They’re animals crossing the r-GET YOUR HAND OFF! They’re animals crossing the road!”
He then looks completely disappointed as the audience applauds for the end of the game. He smiles, then walks back to his seat, still overwhelmed and crushed by that entire game.

Clive’s postscript doesn’t help any: “Well done, Tony, you’ve finally got it…just from the skin of the improvisation of me showing it to you, written on a piece of paper. So, no points to Tony, in fact I don’t think we’ll have him on the show ever again.”
Yes, that is Clive being Clive, but…if you know what happens, it’s incredibly harsh and too mean-spirited even for Clive. I don’t know if Clive knew what Tony was going through, but you’d think he’d at least have a hint.

Still, from an improv standpoint it was still a funny game. All three quirks were hilarious, the way Mike and Ryan kept going even as Tony looked dumbfounded was still funny, and even Tony gave an intentional laugh with his triple-take at the end. It’s a BIT hard to watch, but it’s not by any means an unfunny game. It’s not like the Rizzle Kicks episode of NMTB. I can still watch it and laugh, without COMPLETELY feeling bad.

Bartender: Mike
Colin: Angry about being jilted
Tony: in love with cats
Ryan: is celebrating being invited to the Queen’s garden party

Colin shakes his head in coming up first.
Clive: “…always strong on the singing ones, Colin…”

Colin does well enough, but eventually falls back to his own tricks:
“It wouldn’t happen ordinarily
But…la la la lee lee…”

As Mike sings his response verse, Colin takes a swig of the bartender bottle, and recoils immediately.

Mike sings a very fun verse, which Colin happily sings along to. As Colin leaves, he yells back a thank you to Mike.
Mike, under applause: “AND PAY FOR YOUR FUCKIN’ DRINK!”

Tony, upon entering, IMMEDIATELY takes a swig of alcohol, and he doesn’t seem to recoil as much as Colin did, though he does seem a little shocked by the blowback of whatever’s in that bottle.

Tony, immediately back to his best singing mojo:
“I’ve got a passion that can’t seem to be swerved
I’m like Mrs. Slocombe from Are You Being Served…
You may think that I’m some kind of wussy
But I can’t get enough of daily pussy so…”

Mike, immediately: “You’ve got a problem on your hands.”
Tony: [sniffs hand]
Mike: “I can smell it, it’s those kitty love glands…”
Tony: [bites lip]

Surprisingly cool stuff from Mike and Tony there, as Tony had left the strain of the last game completely behind him, it seems.

Ryan takes his suggestion and, because he doesn’t really know what the Queen’s Garden Party entails, twists it a bit:
“I got some kind of extraordinary news today
A special person’s called me over…for a little play
She’s the best one that I’ve ever seen
Unfortunately it’s not that same queen
that you’re thinking about…this girl’s name is Roy.”
Mike, as well as the audience, takes another bar to recover from that one

Mike does agree that Queen Roy’s parties are legendary
“There’s naked men…on a trapeeze
Nicholas Parsons covered with cheddar cheese
Singing from the balcony chandelier!”
Ryan: “Sounds like it’s great!”
Mike: “You’re just in time for the vomit fountain of beer.”
Ryan: [runs offstage]

A pretty fantastic Bartender, with all four getting moments to shine, and Mike having one last jovial singing game in his prime.

Overall: Well, there was exactly ONE hard-to-watch moment in the show, and that was the end of Party Quirks. Everything else was really, REALLY funny. A few games like Old Job New Job and Animals stop this from being a flawless show, but the rest of it? My god. Insanely funny stuff all around. It’s so funny that, aside from Party Quirks, Tony didn’t show too many other moments of anxiousness throughout the show. He was really funny in games like Old Job New Job and Bartender, mostly because he wasn’t being overwhelmed by having to guess people there. It was only the overstimulation of Party Quirks that did him in. In terms of the rest of the panel, nothing but gold stars all around for Mike and Colin for some solid work, but especially Ryan, for dominating another episode and even being a great supporter in games like Superheroes and Party Quirks. For such a monumental, end of an era episode, this one was a little sad, as Tony and Mike did make the show great, but mostly just a satisfying, truly funny show.

Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Ryan, for doing some heavy lifting in big places tonight
Worst Performer: Tony, for showing improvement but still limping through Party Quirks.
Best Game: Secret, just beating Bartender simply for having some more consistent laughs, and less fear to go to more bizarre improv places.
Worst Game: Old Job New Job, just for having the least to it.