Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E02, or Damn You, Klaus!

Seasonal Code: S13E02
Production Number: 420 [BLAAAAAAAAZE IT]
CW Seasonal Code: S12E14

We’ve already seen one episode from this Jeff Davis taping, the very excellent 12×14 with Rachel Bloom, and so here comes the other guest star show from that taping, featuring Brie and Nikki Bella, WWE’s Bella Twins, a well-known diva double act who became favorites during the late 2000s and early 2010s. Again, I don’t follow wrestling, I just feel like maybe they did something controversial or Vince McMahon fucked with them in some way? I dunno, I remember hearing that something happened, I just forget what it was.

Anyway, they’re here tonight, and the show does some cool things with ’em

Questions: Passions Erupt at a Busy Restaurant

As Aisha explains the game, Ryan sees something in the hat box and audibly chuckles. Already on at the top of the show, are we, Ryan?

Jeff, with a knight helmet: “is this your first time at MEDIEVAL TIMES?” [turns smiling to the audience]

Ryan’s turkey mask gets Wayne laughing immediately
Ryan: “can you hide me?”
Wayne: “what are ya, chicken?”
Ryan, crying: “why would you SAY something like that?”

Ryan tries doing another line but have to stop and come up for air. He takes off the mask, which was nearly impossible to breathe through, and walks off. Poor Ryan…

Colin:
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 1.30.21 PM
Dear god…
Jeff just immediately leaves after looking at this mask. Colin just outstretches his hands

Ryan enters, and right when he’s about to finish his line he actually sees all of Colin’s mask: “D’you get a table ye-OHHHHH GOD.”
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 1.32.37 PM
Ryan: “I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST A WIG!”

This entire Colin-Ryan scene is funny because Ryan’s on edge and trying not to completely lose it, so he’s sort of shouting his lines.

Jeff decides to out-weird Colin
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 1.34.21 PM
Jeff: “CAN I BREASTFEED NOW?”
Colin: [leaves]

Wayne has a very funny french character, completely flubs a line, then just rolls off a string of french. “Which means, BUZZ ME, DAMN!”
PFFFFFF

A hot mess of a questions playing. More weird than funny, but with some good moments.

Duet: Jeff and Wayne sing a Beastie Boys number to Nikki and Brie

Wayne admits he’s a wrestling fan, and tells the girls apart.
Brie: “or we could bodyslam you later, if you’d like?”
Aisha: “I think that’s what he’s been dreaming of his entire life”

A verse or two into his, Wayne removes his jacket, and sure enough: “shirt off, mm, let’s body slam.”

The thesis quickly becomes ‘kick the shit out of Wayne’
Jeff: “throw him up in the air, treat him dirty like he was Ric Flair”
NIKKI LITERALLY HAD A BEEF WITH RIC’S DAUGHTER, JEFF.
Heck, they’re both slightly taken aback, but go with it

Note that Wayne, and to a lesser extent Jeff, are just treating this like a basic rap number without many beastie-isms

Eventually Nikki and Bella shrug and get Wayne in a lock
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 2.09.32 PM
Nikki: “DO YOU TAP?”

Wayne, after being taken down by both girls: “when I do this, I’m no beginner/did I lose, or was I really the winner?”

A fun number with at least a good hook to it [Brie and Nikki beating up Wayne]. Lyrically there wasn’t much out of the ordinary though

Aisha: “neither of you get any points, and you both know why”
Wayne: “who needs points when I’ve got my memories?”

Sound Effects: Two cops patrolling an amusement park when suddenly everyone starts to turn into evil monsters

THE BELLA TWINS PROVIDE SFX. Not audience members. Guest stars.

So with actual competent people doing SFX, that makes it easier for Ryan and Colin cause they know it’ll have sound. Unlike many audience members who play this game, Nikki and Brie have been prompted that they’re playing this, and have probably seen clips for reference, so they know what to do. So when Ryan and Colin start with a swinging truncheon mime, and they get immediate swishing noises, they can just make subversion jokes:
Colin: “you think the hot dogs are cool enough to eat now?”

Colin, in setting up the shooting gallery, refers to it as “the little gun range”
Ryan: “…oh, the LITTLE GUN RANGE, here at the AMUSEMENT PARK…THE KIDS LOVE IT.”
Colin: “NO, THE LITTLE DUCKS AND THINGS.”
I missed good Ryan-Colin scene work

Ryan: “watch this, I’m gonna [shoot] the duck without even lookin”
Brie: “…p-QUACK”
Colin: “YOU GOT A *REAL* DUCK!”
Ryan, honestly impressed: “YOU HEARD IT. QUA-QUACK.”

Colin, just flat out stating the scene setup: “look, people are turning into monsters, of the evil variety.”

Nikki does a long “RAWRRAWRRAWR” noise
Colin: “oh, that one’s hungry”

Two great things about the roller coaster gag
1. Nikki eyeing Brie to make sure they’re doing a joined whooshing noise
2. Ryan responding to that great noise and going “I’VE JUST WET MY PANTS!”
Colin: “ME TOO!”

I also love Ryan mouthing to Nikki and Brie’s WOOOOOing noises. Just to sell it

Ryan: “That was fun!”
Colin, being transparent: “yeah, it almost made me forget about the monsters for a second”
Nikki: “RAWWRARARARRRR”
Colin: “oh, no, they’re right there”
That cracked me up. The wrestlers, they have timing

Ryan, after another RAWR noise: “we should have brought some ducks with us”
Nikki and Brie: “…quack?”
PFFFF
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 2.47.06 PM
PFFFF. I love that move

Again, a pro for actual accomplished stage people doing SFX: Ryan asks for a gun cocking sound and Brie delivers a very impressive one.
Ryan: “Oh, that sounded good!”

Ryan does play with Brie having a slight delay, going “I’ve got the delay gun, the bullet doesn’t come out until about five seconds later”, and to that point he fires, Brie doesn’t hear it, and it takes her another second to make the noise. “See?”
Jeff’s facepalming in the back at this

Colin: “these people, it’s not THEIR fault that they’re turning into monsters-”
Ryan, realizing Colin has a better idea for the scene, just goes, transparently, “what’s your theory?”
[Jeff loses it again]
Colin: “I didn’t have a THEORY…though you seem to be pretty gung-ho about just killing them…”

Colin fires a shot. Nikki has a modest firing noise.
Ryan: “…this is the gun from the DUCK RANGE, YOU IDIOT!”
SUCH A GOOD MOVE. And him punctuating that with ‘YOU IDIOT’ as well, taking the status back

SUCH A GOOD SOUND EFFECTS. Nikki and Brie were both good at SFX and had great comedic timing, and Ryan and Colin had a lot of very funny moves screwing with them, and each other. Not quite ‘throw your wife’ good, but a very funny one.

Ryan’s even repeating the RRRRRAWWWR noises as he hugs Brie and Nikki.

Scenes from a Hat:

Aisha, in introing this game, does an ‘OH’, and realizes she’s forgotten to have a hand on the hat in saying the name, so she clumsily grabs it anyway. Colin and Ryan are cracking about the ‘OH’ as they head up [“it’s called…OH.”]

“Pick up lines in space” we did in E14, but here’s more:
Wayne has a long pause before “shall we commence re-entry?”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 3.44.50 PM

Ryan: “I don’t wanna brag, but how bout a little Deep Space 9”
Wayne, one-upping: “forget that guy, how bout I give you Seven of Nine?”
Colin, confused: “…why not the whole thing?”

“Weird ways for Aisha to open the show”, which she confusedly chuckles through
Wayne does a variant on the ‘she’s really a man’ gag from S11.

Ryan borrows Jeff’s go-to, making fun of Aisha running down the stairs. “SO LET’S HAVE SOME FUN”
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 3.50.16 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-12 at 3.50.50 PM
PFFFFFF

Wayne: “LET’S HAVE SOME FUN”
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 3.53.34 PM
PFFFF

Ryan calls up Jeff: “How long do I have before i go on?”
Jeff: “five minutes”
Ryan: “You can’t see my dick, can ya?”
JESUS
Jeff just…slowly, unamusedly heads back to the step. Wayne’s losing it. Colin goes “WHAT THE HELL?”
Ryan, genuinely: “WHAT??”
Colin: “COME ON!”
And this is why I love Colin. This was maybe a year until the official announcement that his daughter would be out as trans. He tells the story that he was in the middle of taping WL, and suffering from a back issue, when he found out. This may have been one of Colin’s first few moments of being a trans advocate on TV, and he used it by striking back at the very first ‘chick with a dick’ joke that he could. Absolute legend.

Wayne calls up Ryan: “I’m a PA, I’ve been called to cover up your dick”
Colin, thankfully saving this: “Hi, I’m Dick!”
YES
Ryan: “Thank you, Dick. I don’t want you to be seen.”
Colin: “GET OFF MY BACK, AISHA!”

Two basic scenes, but some funny stuff here, especially during the second one. The only downside is Jeff didn’t get to do much at all here. Additionally, Colin was mostly on hand to support other jokes, meaning this was basically just Ryan and Wayne going back and forth with setups.

Living Scenery: Athletes Ryan and Colin are in the Alps training for the Winter Olympics when there’s an avalanche and they have to take shelter in a mountaintop chalet; Wayne, Nikki and Brie are the props.

Ryan and Colin start the scene with vaguely Scandinavian accents. Colin even wipes his eye from the refuse of a Ryan line

Colin, getting Wayne: “I’m going to go down on my snowboard”
Ryan: “…GO DOWN ON YOUR SNOWBOARD??”
Colin: “…down the mountain.”
Ryan, cracking: “oh, I see…”

Another LS where a foot winds up nearly all the way up Wayne’s ass:
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 4.03.48 PM

There’s an avalanche, and Ryan sneakily goes “ALL, I GOT ALL COVERED”, just to get the Bella Twins to just bring him down. SNEAKY.
Ryan: “i CAN’T GET OUT, KLAUS…”
Colin: “I’ll get you out-”
Ryan: “NO, DON’T GET ME OUT. DON’T RISK YOUR LIFE, KLAUS.”
[“Shut up, I’m asleep.”]
Hell, WAYNE gets the twins off of Ryan.
Ryan: “DAMN YOU, KLAUS”

I also love the moment where Colin sticks Ryan with Wayne as they do the ski lift, and Colin just smiles with Nikki and Brie lifting him up as Ryan shakes his head as Wayne carries his ass

Colin then uses Wayne as a door and opens it, grabbing his…you know as the doorknob. Wayne emits a SUBHUMAN NOISE, almost squirrel-like, as Colin’s hand comes towards his crotch. I wish the edit allowed for them to comment on that, that was so funny

Ryan: “While you sit in that chair, I’ll lay down here on this bear rug”
Brie: [does the chair]
Ryan: “…DAMN.”
I love this hook. Colin keeps getting all the luxuries, Ryan keeps getting Wayne

Eventually:
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 4.11.27 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-12 at 4.11.55 PM
Poor Wayne…

Then Colin puts on his longjohns:
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 4.13.22 PM
Ryan: “DAMN YOU KLAUS.”
PFFFF

Ryan: “We’ve got to get back to the bottom of the mountain”
Colin, channeling Gene Wilder:
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 4.15.26 PM
“….hang on…”

Ryan: “hey, let’s take the sleds down”
Colin: “alright”
And here is where i knew that Brie and Nikki also knew the hook of the scene, because before anyone says anything, they CHOOSE who they’re gonna support:
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 4.17.15 PM
Immediately, Ryan just scowls and looks over at Wayne. He just keeps…losing.
Colin: “here are mine…”
Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 4.20.17 PM
My favorite part of this is Ryan. He just looks back and shakes his head. Frustrated that Colin pulled that, but also not even trying to compose himself, as Wayne just politely waves. I’ve seen that move before,
Screen Shot 2019-10-06 at 7.24.14 PM.png
That’s what this felt like at times. Like a complete competition between Ryan and Colin that Colin was always trying to win. And yet this one also reminded me of 6×06’s Living Scenery, with the cheerleaders, which had similar moments of Ryan not wanting to move and Colin covered in women. This was a combination of both The Cat and that LS, and it led to, honestly, one of the best LS playings of the CW era. So many moments had so many beats baked in, both from the scene itself, interscene [Ryan and Colin screwing with each other], and also the element of Wayne being the less desirable option. It felt so complex, and so funny, that the goofy accents weren’t even the funniest part of it. Insanely impressive game.

Also, notice that Laura and Linda sneak onstage as the Bella Twins leave, which means that either GH was next, or this genuinely leads into the next game. Then again, Linda doesn’t do Hoedown, so it could have been for GH or Doo-Wop.

Hoedown: Cowboys

Aisha: “there was a lot of good ones…what about cowboy?”
Ryan: “well, there was a lot of good ones, right?”

Wayne doesn’t have much for his, and makes an easy Brokeback Mountain joke

Colin’s is…an adventure:
“I am a cowboy, I ride in one…direction”
Right there, he realizes what his rhyme has to be, and cracks a bit. BUT THEN HE DECIDES TO OWN IT
“and the…more I ride, the BIGGER, my erection.”
I love that. Cracking, confusion, and then acceptance.
“Everybody stands and goes…all the folks…”
and he’s gone again, struggling, cause he realizes he has to do a punchline, and he’s not confident
“look at him go [LOOKS RIGHT AT AISHA, SIGHING] he’s a mighty cow-poke”
AND SOMEHOW THIS WORKS. He knows he has to do another one, he knows this one got away from him, but if he were to do this one again, composed, it’d be a clear, good Hoedown verse. And so it is. The pun is corny, but it works.

Colin’s still cracking up as Ryan tries starting his

Ryan’s cowboy is accident prone
“One night I was riding and I thought I’d just blow up
Turns out my penis was caught in my stirrup”
Pff. He looks over at Laura to make sure he’s not losing too much of the tempo as he does the last line

This hoedown is so fun, cause you just see everyone cracking up and shaking their heads, and they’re loose. Ryan even adds in a ‘YOU’RE HUGE’ in Jeff’s verse as a hype

Jeff: “I had a reduction, and my surgery went great
I was the dirty dozen, now I am the Hateful Eight”
PERFECT. Also, fun fact, I was literally just talking to a Whoser about that movie.

A very fun Hoedown, with some impressive stuff and energy despite these being mostly dick jokes. They were their FINEST dick jokes, I suppose.

Aisha: “….well.”
Jeff: [is ashamed]
Ryan: “…has the show ended?”
[This is actually a really good ending line, honestly]

Overall: Another strong show, though maybe not quite as strong as last show due to a few more human games to start us off [Questions and Duet]. But after that we have knockout playings of Sound Effects and Living Scenery boosted by the very game Bella Twins, a pretty good SFAH and a really nice Hoedown. Living Scenery was one of the best ones because it had a clear game to it that just kept hitting, and had very similar energy to some classic ABC-era rounds. You also got a lot of very fun taping energy here, especially in Hoedown and LS. Just a fun show, and a strong watch to keep us going.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: This was a Colin and Ryan show, so those two were battling out all night, but Colin snuck through during Hoedown for making a stumbly one into a gem. Also, he was in most control during LS, and made some gems happen in Colin without doing many setups.
Worst Performer: Jeff was barely in this show. He also was barely onstage in two of the games he was in, Questions and SFAH.
Best Game: Living Scenery. I’m not sure who’s in charge of naming which games are classics in this era, but I think this is a classic LS playing.
Worst Game: Questions was the most normal, and had the least to it. It was also very unruly, and had some early-taping jitters
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. Nikki and Brie were both in good moods, displayed none of the wrestling-persona awkwardness from Chris Jericho’s appearance, and aided all three of their games. Not much more I could have asked for.

COMING UP NEXT: Oh boy. Uh…this is one I’ve been waiting to talk about for a while. It’s another guest star show, and a CW synergy booking as well, but…dear lord does this one make me fucking howl with laughter.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E01, or Tricking on Carpet

Seasonal Code: S13E01
Production Number: 418
CW Seasonal Code: S12E13

Like last season, Season 13 of Whose Line begins with leftovers of the previous season. And said leftovers will take up 2/3rds of the full season, meaning once we get good and comfortable with actual Season 13 material, Season 13 ends. It was a decision that pissed off the fans at the times, and made S13 something of an oddity, a season so backlogged with previous material that it couldn’t showcase its own season. This would delineate the way the rest of the CW version would go.

It was made even more disappointing by the fact that the 2017 taping season, despite only being five tapings, was a phenomenal one, with several Whosers attending tapings and waiting for the seeds to come across, teasing running gags and triumphant guest performances. Hell, there was even the return of a Whose Line legend that needed to be addressed, and the wait until the results of that show arrived was even more worth it. But…for the first ten shows of Season 13, we’re still in Season 12.

Though, since we only got 12 S12 shows in actual S12, I guess it’s a good thing that we get 10 more here. Again, with one exception, these are all guest star shows, so lots of Helping Hands and Living Scenery because that’s what the producers want first [the backlog of Greatest Hits will be emptied later]. But we still get the last guest stars from the previous season that needed to air.

More importantly, we FINALLY see the results of S12’s Heather Anne Campbell taping, her last taping to date [I assume she’ll come back when tapings do]. Somehow the first 12 shows couldn’t give us anything from it, or anything from an entire Jonathan taping, so we’ll get the requisite 2 shows from those in this block.

So up first, a Heather show, at long last, with a pretty damn impressive guest booking. Tony Hawk is a skateboarding legend, a video game and alt-rock star of the late 90s and early 00s, a likable pop culture figure, and one of those guys that people do not recognize unless he has a skateboard in his hand. He’s also into NFTs right now but let’s not think about that.

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Heather, High school girl trying to pretend she’s not drunk in front of her dad, Colin, co-anchors, Wayne, A group of Minions carrying out a kidnapping, does sports while Ryan, trigger-happy hillbilly who thinks the cameras are trespassers, does weather

Ryan elicits an audible ‘WHAT?’ at his

Also note as we zoom in, Ryan is staring at the musicians’ station for a few seconds. Thinking.

I kind of love Heather at the top of the scene. Heavy breathing. Completely gone. Occasionally:
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 3.22.47 PM
I am gonna miss her after these 10 episodes..

It’s even funnier when you interpret Heather’s looking down and head-in-hands as a reaction to Colin’s desk joke: “9 out of 10 people who are afraid of hurdles, never get over it”
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 3.25.45 PM
It just fits

Heather’s is less line-driven and more performance driven, desperate to keep up the act while physically in pain, eventually looking up at the ceiling, going “OHMYGAHHD”.

Heather, after a cut: “there is no more car.”
…honestly, I kinda like that we’re robbed of context for that line

Wayne, who has clearly been forced to see at least one Despicable Me movie:
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 3.28.34 PM
[fruit related gibberish]
Yeah, he has a daughter…

Wayne’s minion gibberish is a bit more spanish than french, and also skews more Jawa, but he delivers, and commits, which is what Wayne is great at in this era.

Wayne ends up kidnapping an audience member and bringing him back to the stage
Meanwhile:
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 3.31.37 PM
Heather’s just amused as all hell

I also love Wayne cocking the gun sideways and doing angry minion threatening to this audience member.

He then goes over to her boyfriend in the audience, goes “BANANASDA-RANSOM.”
PFFFFF
The boyfriend mouths “I don’t have no money”, and the audience REACTS WITH AWE.
Wayne: “uhmm….[motioning to self] Banana?”
HOW DOES HE EVEN MAKE THIS WORK???

Also, the second the audience member gets back to her seat, she immediately fake-hits the boyfriend for refusing to pay the ransom. I wonder if they’re still together?

We cut to Ryan, and:
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 3.37.11 PM
And I’m gone, already

Ryan: [attempts to play some banjo chords]
Wayne, from off-camera: [audibly laughs]

Ryan tormenting the cameramen is funny because of this faintly-accented old southern codger character, and how passive-aggressively serious he is. Just coming towards one and then immediately snapping its neck.

Then, he gets to talking to one, and:
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 3.50.37 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-11 at 3.50.45 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-11 at 3.50.55 PM
Jesus Christ, Ryan. That’s twice he’s humped a camera on this channel. Good lord.

Wayne, after Ryan’s gone back to the step:
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 3.56.51 PM
This is the frantic mood we’re starting this episode off with

A phenomenal WN. Every single moment, every quirk, pretty much every move made me laugh. It just kept hitting throughout, and it was the perfect way to ease into a new season of WL.

Song Styles: Wayne sings a skate punk song to Tony [perhaps auditioning for the soundtrack of the next Tony Hawk Pro Skater game]

TONY LITERALLY COMES SKATING ONSTAGE
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 4.58.43 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-11 at 4.58.53 PM
HEATHER IS SO DAMN GOOD FOR REACTIONS

As Tony shakes the others’ hands, Ryan even goes “if you had wiped out, that would have been so fantastic.”
[it would have been better if his head burst into flames, then?]

Wayne does not need any subsequent material for Tony, he just asks “are you ready for this?”
Tony: “…I think so?”

The backer Laura and Linda do for this one sounds almost exactly like Nirvana’s Breed. Just putting that out there.

Wayne, as Tony showboats a little on the board: “his tricks are so awesome, it’ll make your pants damp”

Tony does a casual flip and ONCE AGAIN:
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 5.27.41 PM
Heather, a lot like Jeff, is such a great audience member

Wayne even pimps Tony out to do a ‘180-360-720’, AND HE DOES
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 5.44.05 PM

Wayne pulls a fast one on Tony by grabbing his skateboard and attempting to do a trick
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 9.11.04 PM

Honestly, while the spectacle of it was very high, there wasn’t much to this number in terms of lyrics, and it was very short. So there’s not really too much for this song to say. Definitely fun, especially for Heather’s reactions, but very light

Ryan: “I bet he doesn’t get to skateboard on carpet a lot..”
Wayne: “He was tricking on carpet, which…depending on the neighborhood you’re from, means something [cracks] completely different…”

Themed Restaurant: Heather and Tony are a young couple having a romantic dinner at a sci-fi themed restaurant; Wayne, Colin and Ryan are the waiters

Heather: “thank you so much for…swiping right on me, or left, whichever…”
Heather must not use dating apps…which means Heather and I have something in common

Heather has a great move after Wayne places down a glass of water, with space thrusters: “…they only gave us one drink, I guess we share it.”
This taping, and the material we’ve seen from it, feature Heather melding to a lot of roles we’re not used to seeing her in. Between her being in this game, and eventually her hosting Party Quirks, it’s our chance to see her shine in a straight role while also having great fundamental improv material, so it’s always a plus for me
Tony does have a cute move of making it a double-straw date beverage

Ryan does his usual chestburster to bring out the menus. Heather, again impressing me, has to wipe off her menu.

Colin: “Here are your complimentary salads?”
Heather, not seeing where he’s going: “…salads?”
Colin: “uuuuse the fork!”
Not a new joke, but a good way of telling it

Heather, as to why she was confused: “Normally it’s bread, but they gave us SALADS??”

Wayne comes on as Chewbacca, and only gestures and makes wookie noises
Heather, rationalizing: “yeah, it didn’t work out between us.”
IS EVERYTHING SHE DOES IN THIS GAME GONNA BE AMAZING?

Colin: “You want some wine? FOR GOD’S SAKE, I’M A DOCTOR, NOT A WINE STEWARD!”
Not only a good Trek reference, but completely dedicated read from Colin

Wayne, entering: “IT’S A COOKBOOK”
Like 10 people in the audience get that fantastic Twilight Zone reference
Wayne just looks up, nods and mouths “thank you” to the people who did get it
Heather, in a very prophetic move, goes “…I got that one, that was nice…”
SHE HADN’T EVEN GOTTEN THE TWILIGHT ZONE GIG BY THIS POINT! THAT’S JUST EERIE!

Tony, ordering for Heather: “the lady will have the linguini with clam sauce, and a coke with no ice.”
Even if he’s just playing a generic character, he still comes off as the most California bro type ever.
Colin, as a T-800: “…I’ll be back.”
THAT is good
Heather, again noticing things that not every improviser notices: “…he didn’t take YOUR order…”

Tony, in another line that is made even better by being said in a California skater bro voice: “this place has some strange Yelp reviews.”
Gotta hand it to Tony, he is working in this scene despite not being classically trained in improv. He knows how to yes-and, and he knows how to keep a scene moving.

We end on a bun-throwing Matrix bullet time joke, which is at least pretty fun.

A very, very good Themed Restaurant. Not as good as the Tamera one from last season, but still very strong, with great scene work from Heather and Tony (!), and some pretty good waiter gags from the other 3.

Scenes from a Hat:

So, when the StilesSays channel still posted individual games, I used to just go down the list and just rewatch the individual SFAH playings. They posted the ones from S9 til S12 before the channel went down for good. So we’re getting to the era of SFAH playings that I haven’t rewatched as often. How thrilling

“Terrible names for dogs”
Heather: “this is my dog, NNNNO!”
PFFFF

Heather: “HELP! HEEELP!”
Look, maybe I have a bias, but Heather is having an incredible show

“Magicians On a Date” has a good Wayne one, where he makes everything appear for Heather, including the check, at which point he disappears

Ryan comes up with a joke so filthy that I’m surprised it made it onto the show:
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 9.46.59 PM
Ryan: “oh, you have to go…can your bottom half stay?”
Heather and Wayne cannot BELIEVE this one

Heather: “would you like to see me swallow a sword?”
Colin, almost channeling Paul Merton: “I’m looking forward to it..”
Then Aisha buzzes, Heather leaves, and Colin confusedly waits for the deed to be done. The extra touch makes it

“Inappropriate times to take your clothes off”
Wayne: “what’s up, Tony Hawk?” [drops pants]

Wayne does a ‘zero-g’ one with Colin, then does an easy zero-g dick joke
Colin, who was here only for support apparently: “…why am I here?”

Ryan does one with Colin where he readies Colin for a hanging. Colin catches Ryan off-guard by stripping THEN
Ryan: “Any last- OH…YOU’RE well-hung…”

A very nice SFAH, with good variety, short enough scene runs, and a high quality. Feels like a Drew era one.

Helping Hands: Party animal Ryan is throwing an extravagant New Year’s Eve party with his friend Tony

Ryan: “Pretty extravagant, eh Tony?”
Tony: “hey, man, I’m just excited to not have kids.”
THE INEXPLICABLE IMPROV TALENT OF TONY HAWK STRIKES AGAIN

I like the sort of quiet character detail that Ryan is trying to cover for people he invited not coming to the party to just having it with Tony.

Ryan’s skateboarder’s toast: “may your wheels always be on the ground…and may your board always be on the wheels…”

Colin attempting to tilt the glass back so Ryan can drink it ends with most of the champagne landing on Ryan’s face or falling onto the table. Wayne literally stands up in the back
Tony, perfectly: “you still have that drinking problem?”

Ryan, trying to move onto the next part: “ACH, GOT SOME IN MY EYE…THAT IS STINGY STUFF…”
This is hysterical. He’s trying to introduce the next bit but he keeps wincing.
Tony: “it’s perfect”
Ryan: “…lemme dry that off with a breadstick…”
Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 10.13.13 PM

Ryan seductively scarfs down a chicken finger
Tony: “…are you coming onto me?”
Ryan, mouth kinda full: “NOT YET!”

Ryan does his own California surf music as he rolls the sliders across the table, knocking over a champagne glass. Tony cracks a little at this. I don’t blame him

As Ryan douses a slider in ketchup and mustard, Tony goes “I didn’t realize that condiments were dips.” Perhaps Heather’s astute observations from TR are rubbing off on him

Ryan, after seriously messing up Tony’s slider: “me, I like mine dry.”
Heather loses it at this one in the back

Tony, to his credit, eats the messy slider, despite coughing a bit afterwards [there was a lot of mustard on there, and not the cool honey or dijon kind].

Ryan, downing some beer: “wow, that is a SHARP pull-tab.”
PFFF
Ryan: “Caught the inside of my lip! Oh well, takes my mind off my EYE.”
A lot of fun metascene moves in this one

The last bit of this, where Ryan has to rush towards a New Year’s finale and is directing Colin hazardously [“get my party favor here WHICH IS RIGHT BY MY GROIN”], is really funny

It just gets funnier as it goes on. Colin nearly smacking Ryan in the face with the favor, and Ryan going “god, that was AWFUL CLOSE TO MY EYE”. Tony barely keeping together throughout

A really funny Helping Hands. Tony was game, as well as being a fantastic improv support with great lines, and a good straight man to Ryan’s overly-excited, and often in pain, character. The escalation and eventual gross food stuff is handled pretty well and not over the top, and the ending is just frenzied enough to make me laugh.

Overall: A really strong show to open the season with. The guest games didn’t feel too boilerplate because Tony Hawk made them fun, and was actually pretty good at improv, especially in Themed Restaurant and Helping Hands. Both of those games were also great guest games because they focused on the improv and had details that deviated from the normal beats, like Heather’s fun realizations in TR and Ryan’s pain in HH. We also had a god-tier Weird Newscasters, a really nice and classic-seeming SFAH, and a very basic Duet. This show also had a lot of nice material for Heather Anne Campbell, who, despite being in 3/5 games, felt like an active participant in all 5 and a great audience support.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: This was so close between Ryan and Heather the whole show, but Ryan snuck away with it during Helping Hands. Also, Ryan was more active in the duration of the show, and I felt like if I gave it to Heather it’d just be me having a bias rather than being a fair judge of things. But Heather was awesome this show, let’s be clear.
Worst Performer: Wayne clearly had the least amount to do tonight, but he at least brought it in WN.
Best Game: Weird Newscasters. Every quirk was golden, every move worked, everything made me laugh.
Worst Game: Duet was insanely basic and too short.
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. Tony was surprisingly strong in improv scenes, and seemed to really enjoy himself.

COMING UP NEXT: We go back to the Jeff Davis taping that gave us Rachel Bloom’s show for the second of two WWE-related bookings during the 2016 taping season. This one’s a double act.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E20, or I Overindulged Again

Seasonal Code: S12E20
Production Number: 406
CW Seasonal Code: E12

We’ve reached the end of what the CW aired in 2016 as Season 12 of Whose Line. While, in my opinion, the now-consistent quality of the CW run began with Season 11, S12 cemented things. Not only did it give us some gems from the S11 sessions [the Keegan guestless show, the Yvette show, the pantsless Jonathan show], but it led with the biggest guns of the S12 sessions [Joey Fatone, the Tamera show, that stellar Brad/Jeff show]. Granted, there were some weak stretches, especially after the biggest guns of the taping season had passed, but I still call this one a really nice season, warts and all.

So, to finish us off, we have, to date, the last aired results of the Brad/Jeff taping, sans Wayne, that gave us the sensational Misty May Treanor show. There’s a ton of dynamic moments I wish we’d get to see, like more Greatest Hits, Hoedown or IDS, WN, Director and Props. Hopefully the CW will air another show from it one of these days.

But we finish off with its last guest star show, featuring a comedy-acting titan named Cheryl Hines, best known for playing Larry David’s perpetually-dissatisfied wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm, but also known at the time for the Jane Levy show Suburbatory [which was already off the air in 2016]. As Curb lent itself to improv, Cheryl is no stranger to acting on her toes, and is a great booking for this show. Hopefully she’ll come off well.

Let’s Make a Date: Brad must choose from Jeff, Keanu Reeves turning into the Incredible Hulk, Colin, a dentist fighting his urges to passionately kiss his patients, and Ryan, an easily panicked ostrich

How much you wanna bet that they had a Wayne quirk ready, learned he’d be out for this taping, and then the producers went ‘okay…what do we KNOW Jeff can do really well’. That quirk must have been written in sharpie. 

Also, this is the first time Jeff has played a bachelor on LMAD. He’s usually the contestant. 

I love Jeff’s pause to let the audience read the quirk, already straightlaced Keanu-ing. And they laugh. Hard.

The sudden bout of anger is something Jeff can do really well, so he sells this

Colin operating on Jeff is a very funny moment, cause he just stops and tries to resist
Jeff:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 4.05.08 PM
I love Jeff
Colin: [fights self]
Jeff: “AAAAAAARGH”

Ryan’s is all facial expressions and he sells it, similar to a WN all-facial-expressions one from a few seasons down the road

Jeff running around the audience and messing with audience members is why he should be allowed to do quirks more often

Ryan runs around to the green screen, horrified over Jeff, who has disappeared. JEFF THEN REENTERS:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 4.17.03 PM
HAHAHAHAHA. I love this shot

Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 4.19.53 PM

Aisha, to Brad: “do you feel prepared to guess?”
Brad: “Absolutely. Just because I don’t want anything else to happen.”
We didn’t see a follow up to Colin’s? Did he kiss someone and it got cut out???

Also, Ryan nearly gets clotheslined by a cameraman wire as he gets out of there

Brad gets ’em all pretty spot on. He’s really good at this

A very, VERY good LMAD. I would have loved to see Colin’s 2nd round, but seeing Jeff flip out and Ryan run away was enough. 

Doo-Wop: Jeff, Ryan and Colin sing about Rachel, who died tragically in a dessert-related accident

JEFF leads Doo-Wop. And Brad doesn’t get to play, but Ryan does. This is odd.

Jeff does insanely well doing the usually-Wayne lead role in this, easing right into those mid-range notes like it’s nothing. 

Jeff: “you died, when we made love, I could not stop
You ended up with cream on top”
JESUS, JEFF. Aisha just turns around, ashamed

Colin has another sex-related one: “you killed yourself once my…banana split.”
PFFFFF

Even Jeff’s ending verse is really impressive, ending with gusto and charisma. I genuinely think he knocked it out of the park here. 

A solid enough Doo-Wop, lifted by Jeff for sure.

Duet: Brad and Jeff sing to Cheryl, who also plays poker, as Mick Jagger and Neil Diamond

Jeff has a great move, after Cheryl hugs Brad, Jeff goes to hug Cheryl and instead hugs Brad. Smooth. Ryan even pulls a ‘sneak up and hug the guest’ gag because I think he knows Cheryl IRL. Colin takes one as well.

Jeff, in his exemplary Neil Diamond: “sometimes life is hard
when she’s holding an ace, and you’ve got the world’s crappiest card”

Jeff: “I can see the size of your stack
Baby I know you’ve got chips, you’ve got a…A HEAVY RACK”
Jeff is just going for it ALL NIGHT, isn’t he?

As good as Jeff’s verses are, and as respectful as he is, the second Brad steps in with his Jagger, Cheryl already begins clenching herself to keep from laughing

Brad: “BECAUSE I ONLY HAD AN ACE HIGH, AND SHE HAD AN AWESOME PAIR”
There are OTHER JOKES TO MAKE, GUYS…

Jeff, furthermore: “When I see that pair, I wanna Texas Hold’em”
GOOD LORD, CAN WE MOVE OFF OF THIS SUBJECT? Imagine if two women were singing to a male guest star and all they did was talk about his penis?

A decent Duet, just from musicality and contrast. But a lot of the jokes went to the same place, and there was more about the poker theme than Cheryl. Plus, it’s a Neil Diamond number and Jeff didn’t go ‘TA-NIGHT!’ ONCE. HOW DARE YOU.

Cheryl hugging Jeff: “that’s my new ringtone”
At least she enjoyed it!

Aisha: “I didn’t know there were so many poker euphemisms for boobs”
Brad: “We forgot one. Shuffle-muffins”

Scenes from a Hat:

Oh good, we get more than 1 this time

“Bad Things for a Psychiatrist to say”
Brad: “I’ve diagnosed you as someone with an acute case of shuffle-muffins.”
It’s that simple

“Pick-up lines in a grocery store”
Colin: “wanna have a clean-up in aisle 5?”

Jeff does an extended ‘lane divider’ penis joke that made me laugh the more it went on. Aisha was buzzing mercilessly, though

Colin: “oh, no…you’re not gonna want the express lane”
He tries doing a wink…then begins to come towards the camera before Aisha buzzes. The extra mile.

Ryan: “Oh, it looks like you spent some time in frozen foods…”
Jeff, going up with Ryan: “looks like YOU spent some time in frozen foods.”
Ryan: [leaves sobbing]

“Unlikely lines from a children’s movie”
Ryan, who must have seen a Mock the Week: “I dunno if you’re gonna enjoy THIS chocolate factory”

An alright SFAH. A lot of easy ones. Not as good as this taping’s other playing. 

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, is celebrating his first Christmas with his beautiful new wife, Cheryl

One of the few games this taping where the dynamic was not altered. 

Ryan begins the scene by referring to Cheryl as ‘Carol’. On a show hosted by Aisha Tyler. I shouldn’t have to explain further why this is funny. 

Cheryl gives Ryan a present, which is revealed to be a red lingerie thing
Ryan: “…I’m not gonna fit in that…”
Cheryl: “I wanna see you try”
She’s good!
Cheryl: “I’m into that sort of thing”
Ryan: “well, it’s gonna be a wonderful Christmas”

I also love the realization that Ryan’s gift for Cheryl is a tie, and that somebody must have mixed up whose gift was for who. 

The realization that the tie is meant as a sex restraint, and Colin mistakenly putting it around Ryan’s wrists instead of Cheryl’s, is more goofy speeding-this-along. Already we’re kind of in a messy sort of situation with how this all started, and both performers are just trying to keep it going professionally. It’s good to have a comedy pro like Cheryl in that situation

I love Ryan responding to Cheryl waiting for the eggnog to be poured to add the booze with a “LET ME DO IT!” Allowing Cheryl and Ryan to bicker for a bit. Ryan must know that Cheryl’s best work on Curb is bickering, so they go there

Ryan: “WHY IS EVERY CHRISTMAS THE SAME?”
Colin: [overpours the nog, spilling it all over the floor]
Ryan: “I OVERPOURED, OKAY? I OVERINDULGED AGAIN.”

Then, as Cheryl agrees they should put this behind them,
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 5.22.02 PM
PFFFFFF. Poor Colin. He eventually yanks it out of the glass

Cheryl moves the game over towards the turkey and gravy. “May I try them”
Ryan: “I WISH YOU WOULD!”
Strange.

Ryan, after he’s gravied the mash: “Now I’m just gonna get my spoon and-“
Cheryl: “WHO NEEDS SPOONS!”
It’s not everyday that someone shows up to this show with the sort of proactive drive in this game that Cheryl has. Her and Rachel Bloom. 
Also:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 5.27.01 PM
Brad and Jeff LOVE this move

I also love Colin just slapping the turkey as Ryan downs some of the mash

Ryan, after taking a bite of the turkey: “…that is STRINGY”

Ryan wants to put the turkey on his head, then struggles to try and operate that. “No, there’s a lot of sharp bones in there.”

Cheryl, as Ryan throws everything from the meal into the shot glass: “is this for me or for you?”
Ryan: “I’m not gonna say yet..”

The ending has two great moments- Cheryl at the last second tricking Ryan into downing the concoction, and Ryan’s mortified expression after downing it:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 5.32.13 PM

So while this HH hit a lot of very familiar beats, it was saved by Cheryl’s proactive nature towards scene work, and her great back-and-forth with Ryan. This isn’t a perfect Helping Hands, but it’s one of the best guest stints in one this year.

Overall: Not as good as E11, but still an alright show. This was definitely more guest-reliant than E11, which isn’t a bad thing as Cheryl was a pretty nice support all night. This was also a great show to watch Jeff take the reins of games and be an excellent musical lead in Wayne’s absence. Also, games like Let’s Make a Date and Doo-Wop saw Jeff prove himself in unusual roles, doing great quirk work, and leading Doo-Wop like a pro. Yes, Brad’s edit took a hit compared to last time, but he was still alright. This one skewed ‘okay’ a few too many times for me, but the unconventional quality of a lot of it boosts this show. 

Show Winner: All four
Best Performer: Jeff Davis, proving, along with E11, that he just had a killer night the entire taping.
Worst Performer: Brad didn’t have many moments to fully take the reins of the action. 
Best Game: Let’s Make a Date was a bit more Colin stuff away from perfection from me. The repelling forces of Jeff and Ryan in this game really tickled me.
Worst Game: Scenes from a Hat, honestly, had the least to it. 
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. Cheryl was minimal in Duet but KILLED IT in Helping Hands, as I knew she would

SEASON 12 SUPERLATIVES:

Best Episode: E11, the immortal Misty May Treanor show with Brad and Jeff instead of Wayne, featuring some killer dynamic moments, a one-scene Scenes from a Hat, a marriage proposal, and one of the most fleshed-out and strong GH rounds of the CW era. An all-timer as far as I’m concerned. 
2nd Best Episode: E8, the Joey Fatone show. The first offerings from the S12 sessions gave us new developments in the realm of Director and SFAH, and three exceptionally strong guest games thanks to the zeal of Joey Fatone. That Helping Hands is probably one of the best ones ever.
3rd Best Episode: E9, the Tamera Mowry-Housley show. I didn’t mean for the top 3 to be the first 3 S12 shows, but they were that good. Not only was this the only Greg show of the season, but it was another really good guest show, thanks to what I consider to be the best Themed Restaurant playing in the show’s history, a great Song Styles with backup, and another strong HH.
Best Leftover: E4, the Yvette-Nicole Brown show. Nearly went with the Keegan show but the Yvette show was bigger, had wilder moments, and had that insanely funny Helping Hands [“OH, SHIT, IT FELL ON THE FLOOR”]
Worst Episode: E16, the Katie Cassidy show. An insanely okay show with an insanely okay guest and not many memorable games. 
Episode Most Deserving of Another Look: E1, the Alfonso Ribeiro show. I remember this being a pretty strong start to the season, but as more and more titans kept arriving this season, I forgot what about it I enjoyed so much. I should revisit that. 
Best Taping/Taping I’d Love to See More From: The Brad/Jeff taping. It’s delivered two strong shows, and I want MORE.
Best Regular: Wayne Brady, who came off like an absolute pro this season, becoming more confident as an improviser and leading shows more often than not. He missed two shows this season and still takes this honor.
Best Fourth Seater: Jeff Davis had the most show wins of the season from me, was in some of the best episodes of the season, and came into his own as a leading musical performer in Wayne’s absence during the Brad/Jeff taping/
Best Guest Star: Rachel Bloom, E14. A fan of the show, and an accomplished musical and comedy performer in her own right, Rachel absolutely killed it during her show, and her games were so much fun. 
Worst Guest Star: Kaitlin Doubleday, E5, who seemed more frightened and deferential in improv than comfortable.
Episodes Ranked: See my Twitter, @WLIIAWatchdown

COMING UP NEXT: Season 13 begins in 2017 with the last 10 shows of S12, starting with, surprise surprise, the first offerings of THE HEATHER TAPING. YEAH, REMEMBER THAT? We haven’t seen her in an entire season!! Her first S12 show brings a super cool guest star who may not look like anybody until he grabs hold of a skateboard.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E19, or One of These Things Just Doesn’t Belong

Seasonal Code: S12E19
Production Number: 412
CW Seasonal Code: S12E11

Finally a guestless show. Because the CW was prioritizing guest bookings, we only got two before they moved onto S13 material, but both came from 2 performers that didn’t have a lot of guestless shows to this point, Jonathan and Brad. This is the Jonathan show, from the same taping as E15 and E17. Remember that we’re dealing with some Colin-Ryan tension, and some ‘Ryan doesn’t watch movies’ jokes.

Sure enough, Aisha’s opening ‘points don’t matter joke’ [“like computers at Ryan Stiles’ house”] ties right back into the runner of Ryan not knowing things
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 11.34.12 AM

Questions: Passions erupt at an emergency room

Jonathan enters in a giant hat: “would you like to see me pull a rabbit out of your ass?”
[the hat just casually falls off as he mimes this]
Wayne: “why can’t you keep your hat on…isn’t that how I got pregnant in the first place?”
The second Jonathan realizes Wayne is going there, he cracks up and just leaves. Not even touching that

Ryan, similar to 12×10’s Questions, gets so into his character that he forgets to ask a question, then pathetically tries to rephrase it as a question after the buzz [“IS IT MY MOTHER? IS IT MY HOME?”]
We just needed Chicken Jeff to tell him to leave
Ryan, finally: “I’ll be over here…”

Colin, with a lobster hat: “d’you have anything for crabs?”
PFFF
Jonathan: “…WHO?”
BUZZ
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 11.40.38 AM
Jonathan: “IT WAS A QUESTION!”

Ryan, with a different approach:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 11.41.38 AM
Ryan: “Am I supposed to see you if it’s more than 4 hours?”
Colin: “what HAPPENED??”
Ryan: “….you tell MEEE??”
[….]
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 11.43.09 AM
BUZZ
HAHAHA. That moment.
Man, Ryan is just not on so far

Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 11.51.59 AMJonathan: “have we met? I’m Colin Mochrie.”
JESUS
Colin, taking a beat: “…what a DICK?”
PFFFF
Also, this ties directly into Colin’s “no good places to hide Jonathan’s body” gag from E17’s SFAH

Ryan shows up in a pimp hat: “wassup, my man?”
Wayne:

Wayne, irish accent: “Would ya slap me some on the black hand side”
Ryan: “SAYYY WHAT?”
Wayne: [cracks]
Ryan, again: “I’ll be over here”
BUZZ

This Questions round needed a good minute for everyone to get warm, especially Ryan, but once everybody was, it took off. Jonathan slamming Colin, Ryan talking jive to piss off Wayne. From there it was really funny

Newsflash: Ryan and Jonathan in the studio, Colin in the field in front of people smashing things

The opening gag was edited out. My money is saying it was a Back to the Future joke.

Ryan: “Colin, have you been drinking? You seem a little smashed.”

A lot of these are pretty basic, but we have a random cut of a woman trying to smash a watermelon with her boobs. Ryan can be heard not enjoying what’s about to happen there.  “It’s melon vs. melon, Colin…there’s no winner there”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 12.11.18 PM
“…..what?”
PFFFFFF

Colin is still very confused about the breast thing as a lightbulb is smashed behind him
Ryan: “I’ve got an idea-oh, no I don’t…”
At least Ryan and Jonathan are entertained..
Colin: “…well I’ll just stand here and look pretty…”
HAAA. Colin just realizes he’s not gonna get it and they’re just making jokes, so he just calls them out on it

Colin, trying to guess: “…something has happened.”
PFFF

Colin does get it, though I think the breast lady was throwing him off

Colin: “I noticed there was a lot of silence as I was-”
Ryan: “well, that’s because there was a woman trying to squash a watermelon with her breasts…”
Colin: “…WE HAD MINDY???”
Oh, I love that line

Doo-Wop: Wayne, Ryan and Colin sing about Linda, who died tragically in a plastic surgery-related accident

It’s an early throwaway, but “Drat you, you surgeon, she died by the hand of plastic” is a very funny line from Wayne

We even get a callback: “and now in heaven, she’s squashin’ melons”
I forgot about that one

Colin: “Oh, Linda, your nose job was bungled
Why did you want it in the african jungle?
During surgery, you were hit by an animal, that bastard!”
OKAY STOP RIGHT THERE. We all know what the rhyme is gonna be. But Colin making it a point to stop explaining and go THAT BASTARD is a move that cracks me up more than it should
sure enough, “instead of a nose job, you got rhino-plastered”

A decent Doo-Wop. Not one of the best ones of this run, but alright.

Aisha just gives them a look after that one: “I don’t feel like giving any points for that”
Ryan: ‘oh jesus, I thought we got cancelled…”

Sound Effects: Ryan and Colin are two Top Gun pilots relaxing on their aircraft carrier, when suddenly the alarm sounds that London is being attacked by giant killer insects

Ryan starts the scene cutting something
Colin: ‘what are you doing?”
Ryan, sideeyeing Lauren: “not quite sure yet”
[…]
Ryan: “apparently nothing”

Sam does a good interpretation of the TV broadcast of what’s going on, including a high-pitched ‘HELP ME’
Ryan: “oh my god, the Queen’s in trouble!”

Colin, as “poop-eye one”, calls into the tower. Sam responds with a “sounds good”
Ryan: “Are you sure that’s the tower? Is that your wife?”
We’re not bringing wives into this one as well..

Ryan and Colin try machine gun noises. Ryan’s don’t make anything. Colin’s are a fainter gun noise
Colin: “i’m sure that insects don’t like water”

Colin: “Look down there! Giant insects!”
Sam: “BZZZZZZZ”
Colin: “…one’s shaving!”
I laughed hard at that one

I also love the excited face when Ryan actually hears Lauren doing machine gun noises. “MINE’S WORKING!”

Ryan, introducing a bomb: “careful, this is a very loud missile.”
Colin: “well…I love your optimism…”
HA

Ryan releases the bomb
Lauren: “ffffffff”
Ryan: “…I’ve just urinated!”
Dear god all of these are so good
Ryan: “I got nervous there would be no sound!”

Aisha calls it there. I would have loved a beat or so more.

A pretty good SFX round with great rationalizations. I think it could have been great had it gone on a bit longer, but as is it’s a solid CW playing.

Props: Ryan and Jonathan vs. Colin and Wayne

Bowling pins and a sleeping bag carrier. The props guys must have had the week off

Jonathan, pulling the prop out of Ryan’s ass: “yes, you do have a fever”

Wayne tries doing a flip on the ground clumsily with both the props concealing him
Colin, not amused: “OH. WHAT A GREAT SLINKY.”

Jonathan does a Dalek one for the second time during the CW run. Maybe he is a low-key Whovian

Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 1.35.57 PMWayne: “USED CARS! USED CARS!”
I got a sense of desperation from that one that cracked me up. A lot like the ‘I SAID *COOKIE*’ one from S8.

Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 1.38.08 PMWayne: “wow, Big Bird really is big…”
Just don’t ask Jonathan what he sounds like…

Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 1.39.11 PM
“…got rid of that fuckin one…”
HAAA. HE HATES IT AS MUCH AS I THOUGHT HE WOULD

A pretty good Props round. Wayne was working overtime to deliver some great ones. Felt a little short, a lot like Sound Effects.

Greatest Hits: Songs of the Big Box Supermarket

Colin, sounding it out as he does it: “hi, we’ll be back to our…JEWISH theater production…of the Nativity Scene….’Oy to the World’, in just a second.”
Easy joke, but with the buildup, it works

Ryan: “I am moving today, and I could use some big boxes. And where else would you find them than the big box supermarket.”
Colin: “boy…you really know how to grab onto a concept.”
The early period of GH is a good place to see Colin just transparently slam Ryan, interscene.

Colin: “As you know, I’m 3/5th Jamaican”
Careful with that fraction, Colin
Ryan: “really?”
Colin: “well, just for the basis of this…”

Just Wayne and Jonathan moving and ‘HEY’ing in unison as Jamaican dance hall music plays is funny enough. Jonathan of course knows how unfitting he is in this style

As masterful as Wayne is in this style, Jonathan actually does a pretty good job emulating the sort of deep growl.

Jonathan’s frantic ‘clean it up’ dance moves are really fun, and get Wayne to just stop and watch after a bit. Specifically Jonathan’s ‘sweeping motion’
Jonathan: “IT’S A MOP!”
Wayne, his mind elsewhere: “OH!”

Wayne barely gets out of that song with his composure intact. It’s a great number, and lots of fun, but Wayne barely keeps it together

Colin: “I don’t know why, but that reminds me of one of my favorite Sesame Street songs, “One of these things just doesn’t belong”
HAAAAA
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 2.25.04 PM

Colin: “You know, I am a very big fan of Jay-Z”
Ryan: “oh, how much are you?”
HA
Colin: ‘..no, I’m not PART JAY-Z…”

Colin: “In Canada, he’s actually known as Jay-Zed”
Yeah, and Kilometers Davis is a thing there was well, right?

Colin reveals Jonathan will be playing Rick Astley, which gets a great reaction
Ryan: “did you say Rick ASSley? Is that his name?”
Colin: “No, ASTley”
Ryan, cracking: “I think you said ASSley…”
Colin: “No, I didn’t say Assley…unless I was looking at you”
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 2.29.05 PM
BOOM. “Don’t cry, you’re not that good an actor…”

This backing is actually pretty genius, because it plays the Never Gonna Give You Up style backing that can work straight for Jonathan, but also as a basic sample for Wayne. Cause Jay-Z is from the class of rappers that would probably sample Astley [they sampled Diana Ross, The Police, the Annie Soundtrack in Hov’s case]. I honestly get a slight Mo Money Mo Problems vibe from it, and I mean that in a good way

Jonathan takes hold of the chorus, and does very well with Astley’s sort of boilerplate vocal range. The cheese is intact

Wayne’s Jay-Z stuff is honestly played pretty straight, to the point where Jonathan’s comparatively unfitting “ALWAYS GONNA LOVE-AT THE CHECKOUT” hook comes in it’s a lot funnier

The number ends with Wayne and Jonathan doing some goofy runs in unison together. Once the number ends, Wayne just doubles over laughing.

A pretty good GH. Honestly, a rare GH in this era where the banter outdoes the song portions.

Aisha: “I’ve never seen anybody do Rick Astley, that was exciting”
Jonathan: “and you never will again..”

Overall: There’s a section of whosers who prefer the guestless shows, even in this era, because they feel more like Drew shows. That being said, this one honestly suffered without some oomph from guest games. There’s nothing really wrong with this show, or really any of these games, but I didn’t find too many outstanding moments here either. There were games I LIKED, like the last half of Questions, Greatest Hits and Sound Effects. But nothing here really belonged on a best-of-the-season reel to me. And so in that respect, it does feel like a Drew episode, but not a very memorable Drew episode.

The difference between the Drew era and the Aisha era is that because there’s more guest shows in the Aisha era, a guestless show really needs something great in order to feel special. It can’t just feel special BECAUSE it’s a guestless show and those are so rare. We’ve had some great guestless shows so far this season, like E2 with Keegan, and E7 with Jonathan, and those have had moments and game runs that have stood out to me because the games don’t feel like leftovers. And that’s what a lot of the games in this show felt like to me.

This isn’t a bad show by any means. But compared to the other 3 guestless shows from this season, it doesn’t have a lot to show for itself.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Colin had the most bite to him tonight, and lifted the most games.
Worst Performer: Jonathan didn’t have a lot of moments tonight. They’ve been doing really well editing fourth seaters this season, but aside from GH, there wasn’t much of Jonathan in this show.
Best Game: Sound Effects. Really great responses from Ryan and Colin, and some very funny moments, especially during the second half.
Worst Game: Doo-Wop wasn’t much for me.

COMING UP NEXT: The CW run of Season 12 ends with one last [for now] look at the Brad/Jeff taping, with a guest star who’s no stranger to bald, white-haired men improvising lewd things.

Whose Watchdown, Allegedly, is it Anyway: S12E18, or I’M GEORDI, BITCH!

Seasonal Code: S12E18
Production Number: 416
CW Seasonal Code: S12E10

So…in the last few years, rumors have swirled about the supposed relationship between Emily Bett Rickards, long-time cast member on Arrow, and Aisha Tyler, long-time cast member on Archer and host of some improv show on the CW.

They appeared a lot together on social media…at award shows…press events…they seemed to REALLY like each other. And then in 2018ish there was a non-confirmation confirmation on Instagram that they were a thing, followed by downplaying and continued grey area stuff, which they’ve been mired in to this day. There’s a whole conversation about how it’s only okay when a lesbian couple consists of two actors both in the spotlight and both of them are white. It’s cool with Holland Taylor and Sarah Paulson, cool with Ellen and Portia, but…with Aisha and Emily…oh, they’re ‘good friends’.

Bullshit. I personally think that they’re a couple, and that they have been for some time. You could even theorize that Aisha left her husband for Emily. This appearance of Emily’s on Whose Line in 2016 must have been in the beginning stages of their supposed relationship. So I’m gonna be looking for little indications of such a relationship. As a supporter of it, of course.

I want to stress though, that I am keeping ‘allegedly’ in a lot of this, because it’s not my place to out Aisha. That’s up to her. She sort of came out in this Instagram post, then kinda reneged over time. So the proverbial closet door is sort of swinging back and forth. For that reason alone, I’m not gonna write this with the firm truth that Aisha is gay, but only with the personal theory of such an inclination. If she ever wants to confirm such a stance, then I’ll rewrite this in the present tense. But I’m not doing this as a way of forcing anyone out of the closet. As an open bisexual who literally came out onstage, I know what it’s like to not have a choice in the matter, and I remain supportive of Aisha no matter what the true story is.

Okay. Onto the tomfoolery. This is a show from a new Gary taping, his second of two.

First observation. Aisha seems really excited at the top of the show. Again, allegedly.

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Gary, Colin’s furious wife on Jerry Springer, co-anchors, Wayne, frantically selling parts of his body in the Wayne Brady Clearance Sale, does sports while Ryan, Crazed army general seizing control of the Whose Line studio, does weather

Even at the music kicks in Wayne is still giggling, and Ryan exchanges a look with him. The mood is already crazy

Gary, right before Colin can say anything: “Go ahead and talk. The light on, go ahead!”
[audible Ryan laughing]

Colin’s ‘psychic contortionist’ line is recycled from an old UK-era hoedown [“she foresaw her own end”]

Gary’s giving a very big, very emotional performance, and works very well off of still-sensible Colin

Wayne’s is a way of showing how much his fast-talking routine has improved since the ABC version. I noted his ‘Oprah’s Favorite things’ one as a step towards his improved improv abilities, and this quirk is another one, talking fast but also doling out a lot of great lines about his body parts, saying his elbow can be ‘used as a baby top. If you’re Jewish, dreidel dreidel dreidel, I made it out of BONE.” It’s the quick escalation of a concept that Wayne has gotten really good at.

Also, Wayne eventually turns around, proclaiming “CHEEKS. ARE FOR SALE.”, bringing back his old tendency of waving his ass around too damn much, which he has thankfully cooled down on.

Wayne: “Two for one, you buy the left one, [cracks a little] you buy the right one, [completely gone] I GIVE YOU WHAT’S IN THE MIDDLE…for fr…” [can barely say words]
The audience thankfully does the work for him

Wayne: “but if you call in now, we’ll even throw in Brady’s Boys”
of course
Wayne: “they’re great! and if you’re not satisfied, just return ’em….Aisha did…”
BOOM. Man, of all shows to make THAT joke…

Ryan, approaching the area of audience behind Aisha’s desk: “we’ve got a whole section of young Bernie Sanders fans, have we?”
Okay, FIRST OF ALL, OUCH. As a longtime Bernie supporter, and as a longtime young person, ouch.
Secondly, thank god he didn’t make this joke during a Greg taping. Greg, as has been reported, LOOOOVES democratic socialists…

Ryan leads this section through ‘left turn’ and ‘right turn’, and then “KISS THE PERSON ON OUR LEFT”
Audience: [holds back]
Ryan: “OHHH, WE’RE NOT GONNA KISS THE PERSON ON OUR LEFT…”
This was pre-MeToo as well…

I do love Ryan screwing with this audience member, getting him to crawl towards the green screen area, telling him to get back to his seat and getting angry when he doesn’t crawl back. I love the audience member’s exhausted reaction to having to go back

Another strong WN. Perhaps not as outwardly-good as 12×15’s, but this one had strong work from all four, and a top-tier one from Wayne, starting up a runner as well.

Ryan: “oh, wow, look how clean the floor is…”

Wayne eventually hands the guy the entire water pitcher.
Gary, and eventually Ryan and Colin: “CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG”
Sure enough, Wayne pours some into his mouth
Gary: “Wayne said to me before the show “I’m gonna make a white dude drink my urine”, I said ‘NO WAY'”

Duet: Wayne and Gary sing to Emily as dueling Barry Whites

Barry White of course being the patron saint of homosexuality, of course. Allegedly.

Aisha is obviously very excited to see Emily run out. A little ‘mwah’ on the cheek. Emily does seem really happy to be onstage with Wayne and Gary though

Wayne responding to Emily not wanting to be a doctor with “who wants to save lives and further humanity?’ reminds me of something from Improv a Ganza

Wayne, singing to Emily: “I’m so glad you came out tonight, darling.”
WAYNE. ALLEGEDLY. JESUS CHRIST I’M TRYING SO HARD HERE.

Wayne: “now why don’t you come over here and strap into your captain’s seat”
Of course

Gary obviously has the better Barry White of the two [I also recall his Lou Rawls being better], and his lyricism is similarly impressive. I also love his last-minute decision to go for the taboo rhyme: “I need some help, this black ma-THIS NEGRO, I NEED-”

Wayne: “ASTRONAUT? Astro-you-should..”
I love that line so much. You can also see Ryan audibly laughing at that one

The hook of this scene is easy, they’re competing for Emily, and dragging her to their parts of the stage, and she’s very good at playing that part and going back and forth. But it also seems like they’re competing with different parts of the pre-game answers, Wayne taking the astronaut answer and Gary taking the doctor answer. It’s a very interesting tactic that’s working out, at the risk of cohesion between Gary and Wayne

Wayne has a smart line: “you don’t need no suit but wear that helmet”
Aisha loves that one

Gary: “I suppose you could get inside of both of our cockpits…”
JESUS

There’s a very quick cut to the end, but this does have a very fun joined ‘Astro-yes’ musical moment from all three.

A pretty good Duet. Emily was mostly passive, but enjoyed herself. Wayne and Gary did well both with the style and lyricism. It’s a pretty damn fun one.

Don’t think I didn’t notice that little glance Emily and Aisha have before she runs backstage.

Aisha, postgame: “SHE’S ADOOOOOOORABLE.”
[Allegedly]

Living Scenery: Ryan and Colin are two castaways at sea who spot a mysterious tropical island and go to find food and make shelter and mayhem on that island; Wayne and Emily are props

Ryan: “I’m tired of being out here in the middle of the ocean”
Colin, who starts the scene standing next to Wayne: “…my shadow’s acting weird too”

Colin does his usual ‘coconuts off Wayne’s crotch’ joke for this setting. We’re doing a Wayne’s balls joke and there’s no Brady’s Boys reference?

Then, climbing through Wayne’s legs as shelter, Ryan rings his, well, boys, as bells. “SHING-A-LING-DING-DING”.

Colin spots a ‘ship in the distance’. Emily and Wayne move away in preparation
Ryan: “oh my god, the hut blew away!”
Emily and Wayne return to that position
Ryan: “oh, here it is…”
Colin: “THIS IS THE MOST…WEIRDEST ISLAND…it’s like it’s Lost…”

Wayne: “hey fellas…I’ve been on this island for years.”
Ryan: “IT’S AN OLD BLUES GUY.”
PFFFFF
Colin: “you know what? We could probably kill him and eat him.”
Jesus…just cause he wants to be a character ONCE…

Wayne ends up playing Emily as a harmonica. This is a weird one because Wayne becomes a third actor in it, and I think it’s a good twist on the formula
Ryan: “no, play it sideways like you’re supposed to play a harmonica”
He then bends Emily over and realizes what he’s being set up for. I feel like he wants to say something else, but he settles on: “either one would get me sued…”
Emily: [shrugs]
NO CUT TO AISHA HERE??? ALLEGEDLY???

Colin suggests making a fire, casting Emily and Wayne as sticks: “just rub it together until something happens.”
What, like Aisha’s husband leaving?  How amusing.

Ryan: “here, lay them across each other”
Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 5.27.13 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-03 at 5.27.46 PM
Once again, I really would have loved a cut to Aisha here
Wayne: [muffled giggling. HEE-HEE-HEE]

Colin: “no, it’s not working-”
Ryan, too confident: “it’s working…”
Wayne, peaking his head up: “IT’S WORKING!”
PFFFFF
Colin has to keep the integrity of the scene intact: “IT’S THE OLD BLUES SINGER!”
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 5.30.24 PM
HAHAHAHAHA. I love that.

Colin: “put that piece of wood down here, in the water”
Ryan, so transparent: “you think that’s gonna work for a big ending?”
I love this. They know they have to do something big for an ending, Ryan isn’t following Colin’s logic yet, so he just rips the conceit wide open and just talks to him, improviser-to-improviser. And this WORKS

Colin, after putting Emily down: “I’m gonna use it as a surfboard. I don’t care WHAT you do.”
PERFECT. Such a good move.
And Colin gets down and paddleboards off of a giggling Emily
Ryan, getting down towards Wayne: “I’LL PLAY THE ORGAN”
BUZZ
No work for Brady’s boys here.

Colin, in helping Emily up, goes “there’s SO MANY THINGS I THOUGHT…” Grade A for restraint, especially when her [alleged] gf was RIGHT THERE WATCHING.

Also, Aisha calls Emily “the very tolerant Emily Bett-Rickards”. OH, THAT’S FOR SURE. [you know]

A very strong Living Scenery boosted by out-of-the-box thinking for this game. Wayne comes in as a third performer for a bit, and it’s all good. Ryan and Colin have to be very careful with a beautiful woman who may or not be dating their boss, and they still have a number of funny moments. And the ending, which literally breaks the scene open for the purpose of inter-scene dialogue between Ryan and Colin, I loved. A really good one, and broke more ground than a lot of playings of this game usually do

Aisha: “What do you have to say for yourselves?”
Wayne: “I hope you’re not talking to me, they…”
Colin: “I did that respectfully, I apologized under my breath the ENTIRE TIME I was doing it..”
Wayne: “just like at home.”
[to be clear, are we talking COLIN’S HOME, or…allegedly…?]

Props: Ryan and Gary vs. Wayne and Colin

And we zoom back to earlier in the taping for both of these next 2

Wayne, prop on his head, Rastafarian accent: “what’cha name, mon”
Colin, prop on his head: “…Terry.”
PFF
[the humpless camel??]

Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 5.42.51 PMColin: “the pollution is really affecting the jellyfish…”

Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 5.41.25 PMGary: “as an archaeologist, what do you think happened?”
Ryan: “…I think the giant’s dick fell off…”

Colin, same position as last time: “the pollution is really affecting the sperm..”
That’s a nice subversion

Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 5.44.13 PM
Colin, quite obviously: “Ohhh, Brady’s Boys..”
Wayne, right back into his WN character: “Call now! You can get ’em! Brady’s boys!”
Colin: “Never been used!”

I loved Gary’s ‘rabbi with scissors’ one

Ryan, with scissors: “As mayor, I’d like to open this new brothel!”
Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 5.47.38 PM
Wayne: “as mayor, I’d like to USE this new brothel!’
YES.

A pretty good Props. Lots of fun stuff all around, and lots of good runners coming from Colin and Wayne

Scenes from a Hat:

This is actually a rare SFAH i’ve seen fully uncensored before this. The WLN youtube channel had the uncut version of this up for a while.

“Outtakes from Star Trek”
Gary, going up, making sure: “star TREK…”
Aisha: “TREK, yes…don’t ask Ryan the difference.”
Oh good, they made that joke so I didn’t have to

Ryan, playing right into this: “Mr. Yoda, set a new course…”
Aisha: [nearly bangs into the other side of the desk laughing]
Ryan: “what?”
Colin, from the side: “SULU!”

Aisha: “Well when I beamed down I was a D-cup, and when you beamed me back up I was a C-cup, tell me WHERE IS THE REST OF MY BREASTESES?”
[check the green room. Allegedly.]

Ryan: “BEAMING UP ONE FROM THE PLANET, SIR.”
Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 5.54.14 PM
PFF. He’s even amused by that

Ryan: “I…AM CHAKA KHAN”
Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 5.56.53 PM
Ryan: “…KHAN.”
PFFFF. I love how it’s Wayne that has to swoop in this time, rather than Colin.
Also, Greg beat Ryan to this joke by like 19 years [Wrath of Khan let me rock you, let me rock you Wrath of Khan]

“If all TV shows were performed by incredibly angry people”
Gary: “ALRIGHT, LET’S *MAKE* A DEAL, LET’S DO THAT. HOW MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE GOT A CHICKEN COSTUME ON.”
As good as this one is, not enough people get it
Gary, now cracking a little: “JONATHAN MANGUM, COME HERE. OH, Y’ALL DON’T KNOW WHO I AM? I’M WAYNE BRADY ON MY OTHER TV SHOW.”

Wayne: “WELCOME BACK TO THE SHOW WHERE THE POINTS DON’T MATTER. I’M AISHA TYLER, I’MYAHOST!”
I love the fluid way he says that.
Wayne: [buzzes repeatedly]
Aisha: [does so to make the noise]
Wayne does overdo the end of this, doing a whole King Kong thing for 15 extra seconds, then hopping back to his spot and going “okay”

Colin: “WELCOME TO THE 6:00 NEWS. OUR TOP STORY…EVERYTHING IS SHIT!”
PFFFF

Gary: “UHURA…PLOT A MUHFUCKIN COURSE!”
PFFFFF. It’s almost iconic.
Aisha comes racing in: “I ALREADY DID, MUTHAFATHA”
NOW…They censor this anyway, Aisha. Why do the fake curse word? And hell, if you’re the CW, WHY CENSOR IT ANYWAY? It’s as baffling as adding a bleep to Heather’s exclamation during that dentist Newsflash. WHAT IS IT WITH THIS SHOW AND CENSORING LESBIANS WHEN THEY’RE NOT ACTUALLY CURSING? ALLEGEDLY?
Gary: “DON’T FUCK WITH ME…”
Wayne, racing in before the bell:
Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 6.18.28 PM
“I’M GEORDI, BITCH!”
Perfect

“Weird places to put an advertisement”
Gary: “alright, Mrs. Jones, I’m just gonna finish your exa-”
Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 6.20.27 PM
“oh, ‘Eat at Joes…”
YES
And Wayne just pulls it over the edge:Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 6.20.56 PM
Wayne: “this birth brought to you by Brady’s boys!”
ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE TOP!

A very strong round of SFAH, with a lot of really fun runner energy and energy in general.

Overall: Another really good show from this season. This worked where a lot of the last few failed- a show that not only had good guest games [Duet and Living Scenery were both great] but had good improv games [WN, Props and SFAH were all a lot of fun], and not only had great runner energy [Brady’s boys] but managed to have substantial material throughout the show. There were no weak games here in my opinion, and there was some really fun energy all throughout, possibly due to Aisha’s alleged partner being in, allegedly. All this being said, while this show is pretty good across the board, there’s still quite a few S10 shows that top it in the seasonal rankings.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Another runaway from Wayne Brady this season. Not that any of you should be shocked.
Worst Performer: I hate to give it to Ryan considering how much he brought it in WN, but other than that his big moves were laughing in the background or making fun of his own patheticness.
Best Game: Living Scenery. Maybe it’s just cause I’m an improv nerd, but I loved how transparent the game became, and how anti-formula it was thanks to Wayne playing a character.
Worst Game: You expect me to put Props, but I actually WON’T THIS TIME! I’m actually putting Duet here, because even if I enjoyed the dueling-Whites bit of it, Emily’s lack of participation other than going over to each made it a bit more one-note than it should have be. I also just didn’t want to put any of the other 4 here.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. As much fun as she seemed to be having, Emily didn’t do much else other than sort of silently nod upon the action. She didn’t have the sort of outward wow factor a lot of recent guests have had.

COMING TOMORROW: One of only two guestless shows in the entire initial S12 block. This one comes from the Jonathan taping we’ve already gotten our two guest shows from.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E17, or You Think You’re God?

Seasonal Code: S12E17
Production Number: 409
CW Seasonal Code: S12E09

We just saw the Jonathan taping that this episode culled from in the Lea Thompson taping, but let’s go back for yet another CW synergy booking. Brett Dier is another cast member from Jane the Virgin, so hopefully he’ll be closer to Jaime Camil than Gina Rodriguez

Party Quirks: Jonathan hosts
Wayne – Loses control of his limbs every time he has a sexual thought
Colin – Princess kissing everyone in the hope they turn into a prince
Ryan – Hugely embarrassing things keep happening to him

PARTY QUIRKS IS OUR OPENER? COOL…?

Wayne’s eliciting a ‘HEEE-HEE-HEE-HEE’ laugh at his. Colin has an audible “oh…” when he reads his.

Jonathan has a great move in making this a literal sausage party [with brats and kielbasas], but Wayne takes this to the next level upon entry: “WOW…SAUSAGE…”
Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 11.26.41 AM
It is THAT SIMPLE

Wayne: “You been working out? HEEEEEHHHH” [falls]
Second episode in a row where Wayne is absolutely killing it right at the opening gun

Colin: “wow, this is a whole new world…”
Jonathan: “yeah…don’t you dare shut your eye-MMMMMPPPHHH”
Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 11.31.01 AM
PERFECT. I also should point out that this game probably taped after SFAH, so this might have been revenge for Jonathan’s licking trifecta
Wayne: “WOOOO” [falls]
Colin: “…darn.”

Colin: “OH!”
Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 11.49.49 AM
Two great subversions happen here
Wayne: [very quickly regains his balance]
Colin: “…not even close.”
So they slam each other SIMULTANEOUSLY

Ryan: “hey, you’ve got a great FBBBBTTT ohhhh…I have COMPLETELY lost my erection.”
This is a very easy quirk for Ryan, honestly reminiscent of a late-era UK quirk, but he’s selling it
Jonathan: “…that’s not the sound I thought it would make! Would you like some meat?”
Ryan, barely keeping together: “those were two separate things…”
Now JONATHAN’S gone

Jonathan tries wrapping up Wayne’s, but as he does:
Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 11.54.14 AM
Just in the background.
Also…this means Colin has TIED Jonathan’s record of licking all three other performers in the span of an episode, but he’s done it IN ONE GAME.

Jonathan is very off with Wayne: “that you are…narcoleptic upon tasting foods.”
Not quite a Denny Siegel guess, but close

Jonathan needs help with Ryan and Colin, but guesses them. To Wayne, he just goes “I have no idea who you are, so clean up when you’re done”, and he just walks off. A very unconventional PQ ending that I still liked because Jonathan still kept the scene in mind even if this is primarily a guessing game

A pretty good PQ, and with great quirks all around. It did end slightly abruptly, but I equate that to the editing. Jonathan’s a good party host, though maybe not the best of this version of the show [Jeff, Greg and Heather still have him beat]

Duet: Wayne and Jonathan sing an 80s breakdance song to Brett

I do love Brett spotting two friends in the upper row of the audience he passes, freaking out and fiving them before heading down.

Brett is full of energy all the way, jazzed about meeting Wayne, saying hello to Ryan and Colin. Not sure if he’s as much of a fan of the originals as Rachel was, but he seems to be in a good mood

Wayne’s just getting a read on Brett’s interests, even doing an ‘anything else’
Brett: “uh, piano and stuff?”
Aisha: “you gonna ask him on a date? Let’s go.”
Wayne: “…I THINK I MIGHT!”

Also, note that Brett basically has the look and sound of a dollar store Bo Burnham. Jeez, imagine if HE did a Whose Line..

Wayne: “do you DANCE as well?”
Brett: “I do breakdance, it’s true.”
Wayne: “SHUT UP…he’s having my kids…”
[isn’t he a little white for that, Wayne? Like, Wayne made it clear during the Maggie Q episode that he’s got a thing for asians]

Brett is doing some very rad breakdancing moves as Wayne lays in some pretty standard lyrics. The backer is very cool, with some great 80s-synth sounds from Laura

Jonathan’s opening verse is cut, in favor of some breakdancing stuff from Brett. Jonathan and Wayne just watch
Wayne: “WHAT THE…HECK?”

Jonathan finally gets a verse: “He’s on Jane the Virgin and he is really hot
Jane might be a virgin, but he sure as hell ain’t not”
Of course
Jonathan: “maybe I’m mistaken, maybe I am wrong
He won’t be a virgin by the end of this song”

Then, Jonathan starts doing parkour on the seats, which…is a doomed idea, but sure
Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 1.26.27 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-01 at 1.26.38 PM
What is it with Ryan scurrying away during Jonathan tapings??

Wayne: “Hold on a second….this ain’t right”
[people in the audience start laughing because they know exactly what rhyme Wayne is going with]
Wayne, sure enough: “Y’all can jump around, cause y’all are white…
That’s true, that’s something I don’t do
So when it comes to backflipping off of shit, brother that’s up to you”
Jonathan took a lead with his verse, but Wayne just won it right back
And Wayne, as Brett keeps going, just sits down and watches

Jonathan even does some decent goofy breakdancing himself. Then, as Wayne and Brett hit their final positions, Jonathan is keeling over, looking like he’s about to die. Perfect
Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 1.43.13 PM

A really fun Duet. Brett was very game, but there was also a hook to the scene, involving Jonathan’s willingness to do stupid human tricks as Wayne just sort of lets them. Just a lot of great lines and moments here

Aisha: “Jonathan, I was gonna give you points, but I think what you maybe need is CPR…”
Jonathan: [motions for Aisha to come here]
Aisha: “Colin is the only one of us who’s certified, unfortunately…”

Jonathan, to Wayne: “you could have showed up and breakdanced too if you showed up, motherfucker…”
It’s always weird to me when Colin curses, but it is SUPER-WEIRD to me when JONATHAN curses. He seems incredibly sweet and wholesome, and it’s so unlike him. Which I think he knows, and leans into

Dubbing: Evil scientist Ryan turns his assistant Brett, voice by Colin, into a hideous mutant, when suddenly Brett’s girlfriend, Wayne, who has also been turned into a hideous mutant, staggers in

Magic of editing. “We’re gonna play a game now, which we call, wwwwwDubbing.” I am 90% sure World’s Worst came immediately next in the taping order.

Colin starts the scene with some very loud, big reads
Ryan: “…you’re not a hideous monster YET.”
Colin: “NO, I KNOW…but you’re gonna turn me into one, I’m practicing.”
Ryan: “YOU DON’T KNOW THAT.”
[A rare case where Ryan is more in tune to the scene than Colin]

As Ryan sets up the equipment, Colin lets out this ‘NANANANAINNYNANANANONO’ noise that gets Wayne doubling over on the step. Good to know that when in doubt, Colin can always be relied upon for gibberish. Brett thankfully sells it

Ryan: “look at yourself in the mirror”
Colin: “I’M HIDEOUS…oh no, I’m looking at the thing behind me…”
Of course

Ryan, as Wayne enters: “Jared, what are you doing here?”
Colin, now closer to the scene than Ryan: “…my girlfriend, Jared, is here.”

Colin and Wayne’s eventual ‘I LOVE YOU BOY/I LOVE YOU GIRL’ number is so stupid it’s funny. Jonathan and Ryan start losing it

Ryan: “you’re both so hideous!”
Colin: “oh, look at a mirror!”
DING

The end of this scene saves it for me. Wayne suggests that “maybe you created us in your own image”
Colin: “YOU THINK YOU’RE GOD?”
Ryan, now hunching into positions like Wayne and Brett: “maybe I do…THINK I’M GOODDDD, I THINK I’M GODDD.”
And then they all start singing like they did before. It’s so stupid and goofy that I can’t help but love it, especially as a scene ending.

Wayne: “…and THAT’S what we get paid to do.”

Yeah, I think they all knew that was a complete goof, but they owned it, and they made it the silliest, most nonsensical, goofy scene they could, and to that end it still worked.

Scenes from a Hat:

“Pick up lines in the retirement home”
Ryan: “Ohoohoo…don’t put those back in yet…”
DEAR GOD

Jonathan does one where his hand goes further up Wayne’s leg with every question he gets wrong
Wayne, after Jonathan leaves: “OH, I KNEW.”
Wayne Brady, man…

Aisha, with Colin: “I CAN’T GET PREGNANT EVER AGAIN”
Colin: “You haven’t been with me.”
10/10

Jonathan, cracking up as he gets the punchline down: “ah, morning time…guess you’ll have to take the ride of shame…”
oh my gosh
Jonathan: “Don’t forget your teeth” [flings ’em at Wayne]
Wayne, almost immediately: “don’t forget yours” [reaches into pants]
Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 3.07.05 PM
I love this dynamic so much

Aisha says that “nursing homes have the highest rate of STDs, cause they can’t get pregnant no more”, then turns to Ryan and goes “yeah?”
Ryan: “…you’re asking ME on that?”
Jonathan and Wayne lose it
Ryan: “THAT’S RIGHT, AISHA! GOT THE CLAP M’SELF!”

“What Colin Mochrie is thinking right now”
Wayne, bravely: “why do they always call ME the bald one?”

Jonathan has a smart move, calls Colin up, and then leaves him out there. The literal approach.
So now Colin has to think on the fly, eventually coming up with “there’s so many places to hide Jonathan’s body…”

We bring back “the world’s stupidest record attempts”
Jonathan: [attempts to hop over his foot] “ONE!”
It’s odd that both suggestions from this scene we’ve seen so far are A.) callbacks and B.) Jonathan game-enders. I wonder if we see any more from this one, in any other place in the game?

Living Scenery: Ryan and Colin are a married couple traveling across Canada using various modes of transport, played by Wayne and Brett

Brett: “is that all I am to you? A prop?”
Ryan: “welcome to the club”

Colin, to the audience: “just so you know, we DO have various modes of transport in Canada…I mean, we have trains and planes and regular things…”

Ryan: “Honey, I love Vancouver, but we have to go across-country”
Colin, not helping: “OH.”

Ryan: “I mean, look at how tall those mountain peaks are”
Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 3.16.00 PM
Colin: “…nothin like old baldy…”
Well, since Wayne gave him permission last game, it’s only fitting…

As a gondola, Brett picks up Ryan entirely, even going “I can do it” as Aisha frantically protests in the back
Colin, by contrast: “I got the one that just drags you up the mountain”
Ryan: “my gondola whispered to me “I think I can do it”‘
Because sure, exploit the meta-scene exchange for all to see

Colin, preparing to snowboard on Wayne: “you gotta make sure you put your foot in the right place”
Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 3.20.08 PM

I do think that Colin placing us in Alberta and actually having some semblance of Canadian geography in this very wild improv scene is a nice touch, and brings authenticity. If you have two Canadians doing the scene, you at least wanna be respectful to Canada

Wayne and Brett cast themselves as the ‘royal train’, and Brett takes this literally and waves from it
Ryan: “OH, IT’S THE QUEEN!”
Good work by Brett there!

Colin and Ryan then ride Brett and Wayne as horses, which Ryan seems to enjoy [“honey, I’ll be back a little later..this one’s a STALLION…”]

This ends with Colin introducing the concept of ‘horse bunk beds’, and:
Screen Shot 2021-05-01 at 3.24.33 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-01 at 3.24.46 PM
Perfect

A pretty good Living Scenery, with funny stuff throughout, and Brett being very game and creative in his prop ideas. Nothing too wild or memorable, but it still worked as a solid enough round of this

Colin reveals that there is no such thing as horse bunk beds in Canada
Aisha: “I was sold”
Colin: “of course…ignorant American…”

Hoedown: Butcher

Ah yes, another song about ‘fucking meat’, to quote Ryan in a later playing.

Wayne’s is an easy one about accidentally slicing off his own junk [“now I’m the Mrs.”]

Jonathan has a funny way of doing this hoedown. The way he just curtly says “my occupation is the one in charge of cutting meat”, with this goofy staccato, cracked me up before his punchline, which was of course a ‘small meat’ joke

Colin: “I am a butcher, I work in outer space
I serve my meats to every different kind of alien race
I am famous throughout the world, yes, yes that’s true
You may know my motto, ‘may the PORK be with you!”
A non-sexual joke, and a great pun! Score for Colin!

And Ryan’s is an easy sausage joke. Come on guys, go for originality here!

An alright hoedown, but a bit too lowest-common denominator.

Overall: A pretty good show with a few alright moments. I put this on the same sort of level as the other episode from this taping, only while that one had great improv games and weak guest games, this one had pretty even quality all over, but the games that were less-than-great were non-guest ones. SFAH and Hoedown just had an okay quality to them, and Dubbing, while still a fun and goofy game, clearly isn’t for everyone just from how mindlessly silly it is. But we still have a strong Party Quirks, and excellent playings of Duet and Living Scenery, plus a great guest spot from Brett, some great Colin-Ryan energy and great Jonathan-Wayne energy, and some mild runner energy stemming from Duet. So I honestly think this is better than E15, even if that runner is more famous. This show is a lot more consistent in terms of quality, and is a lot less all-over-the-place.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: I had to photo-separate Colin and Wayne, because Wayne started insanely strong, but during the second half, Colin took over, nailing games like Dubbing and Living Scenery, and providing my favorite Hoedown verse.
Worst Performer: Ryan stuck to his go-to’s a lot this episode.
Best Game: Duet was a ton of fun and had a lot of great improv theses going around in addition to Brett’s showing-off.
Worst Game: Hoedown was a lot of the same jokes.
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. Brett was up for anything, charismatic, and good support in all his games.

COMING UP NEXT: What better way to start a new Gary taping than by bringing out Aisha’s girlfriend?

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E16 or A Little Problem With the O

Seasonal Code: S12E16
Production Number: 403
CW Seasonal Code: S12E08

We return to the Brad taping that gave us 12×12, and continue the parade of CW synergy bookings with Katie Cassidy, best known for her role on Arrow as well as the other CW DC Multiverse shows. Could be cool, who knows.

Let’s Make a Date: Brad must choose from Wayne , the Rocky-style biopic of a cockfighting rooster, Colin, a german pickup artist who gets turned on by ugly things, or Ryan, a hyperactive teething toddler

Wayne is doing some mad giggling right before Aisha hands it to Brad

I don’t know how Wayne not only does a Stallone impression as a rooster, but makes it dramatic and actually good. Again, he’s come a long way as a performer.

Colin, once his quirk is unveiled, of course looks over at Brad. “AREN’T YOU SOMESING?”
Then he turns around to see Ryan: “HOOOLY MOLY. ACH DU LIEBER, ZE MOTHERLODE!”
Ryan: [wipes spit off of eye]

Just the reveal of Ryan’s toddler face gets the audience going

SUDDENLY:
Screen Shot 2021-04-28 at 11.44.17 PM
Colin: “ARE YOU KIDDING ME??”
Screen Shot 2021-04-28 at 11.45.34 PM
I love Wayne here

Screen Shot 2021-04-28 at 11.47.01 PMJesus…

Colin: “I HAVE ANUZZAH ONNNE…”
Ryan: [finally stops]

Wayne does the whole ‘running up the steps’ routine, cock-fights a member of the audience, and does lots more Stallone and chicken noises. Dear god this might be a tour de force.

Ryan, eventually:
Screen Shot 2021-04-28 at 11.50.07 PM
Again, all of them are devoted

Aisha, helping Brad on Colin: “he’s turned on by what kind of thing?”
Ryan, who must know: “oh, incredibly handsome men?”
Aisha: [gives him a knowing look]
Brad: “turned on by…people that suck on your ears.”
Aisha: “OKAY, SURE…by ugly things.”
Ryan turns, betrayed, to Colin. Then pulls a ‘look over there’ and grabs his crotch.
Colin: “…that’s PUNISHMENT???”

A pretty good LMAD round. Some really good ones but honestly a bit too short.

Duet: Wayne and Brad sing a Mick Jagger song to Katie, who aspires to be a boxer

Brad’s Jagger has not aged a day. He has the ‘rooster stance’ down, he has the elongated ends of verses down, he has the facial expression down. It’s still an excellent impression

Also, Laura and Linda have a nice backer that’s reminiscent of Honky Tonk Women while also being a safe backer for any Rolling Stones song since 1990.

Wayne: “she hits me right in my sternum, and right in my heart
and right above my groin, that’s a very good start”
Also, note here that Katie is doing light punches towards Wayne, because the streak of guest stars that accidentally injure Wayne had to end with Randy Couture

Brad also nails the type of verse Mick does a lot where he keeps rhyming with the same root, even going more obscure, and keeping the same rock intensity.

A pretty basic duet. More cute than impressive. Nothing really wrong with it, I mean it charmed me, but it didn’t wow me like some other Duets have this season [once again I refer you to the Rachel one. I’m probably gonna be talking about that show for the rest of the season]

Brad: “she broke one of my ribs…”
Aisha: “…you need more calcium”

Infomercial: A kit to help you get the perfect beach body

Right from the starting gun there’s this position change:
Screen Shot 2021-04-29 at 12.06.24 AM
Makes me laugh more than it should

Ryan: “Hi there, how many months to summer?”
Colin: “…enough.”

Ryan tries pumping something into Colin’s arms, and it makes this high-pitched squeak
Ryan: “OH! SOMEONE CALL THE COPS!”
There’s a great physicality move here, where Colin acts like he’s actually had his arms inflated, then Ryan removes it and they go limp and wiggly. Colin really sells this physicality

Colin, with a yellow-ball-on-a-stick: “this is the sun. The earth moves around the sun. When it gets about here…start exercising.”
A classic-seeming Infomercial line

There’s a suggestive bit with Ryan using ‘the flabmaster 5000’ on Colin’s butt
Colin: “this is only recommended for the back portion of your body”

Ryan, as he empties the prop, adds in a fart sound. “Yeeeahehh…VISUALIZE IT.”

Colin does a usual ‘I don’t know’ with a prop, but adds in a twist: “oh, that’s for the erectile dysfunction thing”. Meaning it’s from a DIFFERENT INFOMERCIAL. It’s a very nice world-building move that I love
Ryan: [pockets the prop]
HA

Colin: “now what’s the most important part of having a good beach body?”
Ryan: “THE FEET. Because that’s the FIRST THING a woman looks at.”
Ryan and Colin are good at trading off who gets to be the sensible one in this game, cause suddenly Ryan plays knowing idiot here, and it works

Ryan starts building a diorama of what he used to look like. “That was my head”
Colin has a GENIUS MOVE: “Don’t forget your nose…”
Screen Shot 2021-04-29 at 12.14.06 AM
And Ryan just shakes his head, not happy about that as they wait for Aisha to buzz. MAN oh man.

A pretty good Infomercial. Not the best one I’ve seen on the CW version [“the playa” is pretty high up], but this one had some good moments and classic gags. Not everything worked, though.

Aisha asks Ryan to clarify the ‘call the cops’ joke
Ryan: “I’ve already forgotten what happened…”
Kind of a nod to how when you’re improvising, you don’t really retain everything you’re doing because everything’s so spur-of-the-moment. It’s using a different part of the brain than the memory part. So he may genuinely be telling the truth

Scenes from a Hat:

As they’re heading to the steps, Ryan mutters something to Colin that I didn’t hear all of, but I could hear “where you suggest the title for a soap opera.” No idea the context, or what the rest of it was

“Superheroes you wouldn’t want to be rescued by”
Wayne calls up Colin. “You’ve been rescued by The Groper.”
After Wayne does his thing, Colin stands there very confused…before being called back by Brad
Brad: “SORRY I’M LATE, I’M HIS SIDEKICK, CAPTAIN GRABS-A-LOT”
Screen Shot 2021-04-29 at 12.20.18 AMPoor Colin. He sort of stands there, waiting for someone else to screw for him.
Wayne, running in and immediately cracking: “YOU’RE BACK FOR MORE…”
Colin: “SAVE ME, SOMEONE”
Ryan: “I WILL, I AM THE FLATULENT.” [farts away with Colin]

Brad’s Amazing Porcupine has an easy joke for Wayne to hop on, but he makes his reaction: “AAAAH….ooooOOOOHHH…” A reaction Ryan also repeats and has fun with.

Ryan: “DID SOMEBODY CALL TRUMP?”
Of course

Brad: “I’LL SAVE YOU, I’M MARC-NARCOLEPTIC” [faints]
Ryan: “…was MARC your first name???”
Good way to save a near flubbed-line

“Bad ways to impress your date” returns from last episode
Wayne does one where he has his hand-puppet kiss Colin, then goes “Hey, save some for me.”
Colin, left onstage once again: “AM I JUST EVERYONE’S PLAYTHING???”

Colin, finally having a joke of his own: “My next full erection is due in August”

Aisha does one, but Ryan one-ups her: “I had your name tattooed on me, Carol, but it had a little problem with the O…”
Screen Shot 2021-04-29 at 12.27.41 AM
Aisha: [loses it]
Wayne: [buzzes]

Brad has an idea, though:
Screen Shot 2021-04-29 at 12.28.53 AM
“The problem is, if you don’t pull your butt cheeks apart, it just says ‘Carl'”
PFFFFF
Ryan, now flexing his butt cheeks: “CAROL, CARL, CAROL, CARL”
Dear god, Ryan hasn’t had this much fun with his butt since S9 of the UK version

A pretty good SFAH. The ‘let’s torture Colin’ runner impressed me, as did the extended stuff with Ryan’s butt. Also, great that we already saw a LOT of stuff from ‘bad ways to impress your date’ in the other episode from this taping, and this one had a lot left still.

Helping Hands: Camping enthusiast Ryan, hands by Colin, has taken his lovely girlfriend Katie out on a romantic camping trip

Ryan: “let me just pop that cork”
An audible thunk
Ryan: “oh, little flat…”
So Colin attempts to make the noise with Ryan’s mouth, which sort of fails.
Ryan: “wow, that really stretched my cheek out..”

No line about this being real wine? Odd.

Ryan, as Colin tosses some hot dogs in a pan: “you like the way I throw my wiener around?”
Of course

There’s some very phallic “Colin shoving a wiener in Ryan’s mouth” stuff [I’d like to stress this to the people of Greece that I mean a hot dog]. Treads some of the same territory as the banana earlier this season

Katie is a very worried foil, a lot like Lea. As Ryan’s spooning beans onto her hot dog, Katie is looking very worried over at Aisha

Then, as Ryan licks the beans off Ryan’s hands, Aisha buzzes. The scene honestly stops before it really got going for me, as it seemed like it was building to something that got cut. So…we have just another interchangeable, basic Helping Hands playing, I guess. Which is what happens when you air a fuckton of HH games back to back to back. The basic, dull, same ones are just gonna stand out even more. Hell, this makes last episode’s look a bit better by comparison, I guess.

Overall: Very okay. Not much in this show rose above okay. Infomercial and SFAH had some nice moments, but I had issues with them [the former was too short, the latter could have been trimmed]. Katie was a very blah guest that didn’t contribute anything to any of the guest games, or the show itself. All the games were pretty self-contained. Brad got a pretty normal fourth-seater edit, bringing an end to the streak of impressive fourth seater-led shows. The show was very Ryan-Colin based, but also had a very basic game structure even with Infomercial. Just feels like a step backward for such a nice season as this.

The new bar for ineptitude in S12. Lolo Jones’ show is off the hook. Also, she was a better guest.

Show Winners: Wayne and Colin
Best Performer: Wayne led the most games for me. His LMAD stuff was insanely impressive character work, and he led the charge in torturing Colin in SFAH.
Worst Performer: Brad had the least to do tonight, Jagger impression aside
Best Game: Scenes from a Hat had the cleverest moments and the best improv energy, from Colin’s struggle to Brad bringing Ryan back up to add to his ass conundrum.
Worst Game: Helping Hands brought absolutely nothing new to the table.
Guest Star Rating: 7/10. Very forgettable, didn’t do anything interesting.

COMING UP NEXT: The CW synergy bookings JUST KEEP COMING! This one acts as a return to the Jonathan taping we saw last show. I really hope I’m in a better mood for this one, and I imagine I will, seeing as I’ve already seen this taping’s Helping Hands, so it can’t have that.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E15, or Your Car’s Been Tooowed

Seasonal Code: S12E15
Production Number: 410
CW Seasonal Code: S12E07

Our first Jonathan Mangum taping of Season 12 brings us a really fun guest booking for any movie fans. Lea Thompson is an actress whose best known role is, of course, playing Marty McFly’s mom in the Back to the Future movies, as well as headlining Caroline in the City and appearing in Red Dawn and Some Kind of Wonderful. Thompson had some great roles in the 80s [and was also in Howard the Duck], and while the success didn’t exactly carry on entirely to present day, she’s still a favorite at cons and nostalgia events.

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Jonathan, Colin’s over-excited talking dog, co-anchors, Wayne, A series of people hitting on Aisha in a bar, does sports while Ryan, Back to the Future in 30 seconds, does weather

Like the Simmons show, they’re foreshadowing the guest in an earlier game

Aisha: “before we start, Ryan, have you SEEN Back to the Future?”
Ryan, chuckling embarrassedly: “no, I haven’t”
Colin: [claps excitedly. ‘this i HAVE to see’]
Ryan: “i’ll do what I THINK it might be”

Colin: “I’m Terry…fied of water.”
A slow-burn reaction there

Colin’s top story is a dog-related joke [“there are no leads”] that the audience doesn’t get [and neither did I], and gets a very confused Jonathan peering over at him

Jonathan can do a quirk like this really well, because not only is he clearly a dog person, but a lot of his excited characters are very doglike in nature. He’s also very fearless in this respect:
Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 6.23.56 PM
The licking goes on for about 10 seconds
SUDDENLY:

Was he coached by nose-lick boy?

Colin, as Jonathan returns: “…remember to spay your pets.”

Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 6.27.32 PMWayne: “…I saw the way you hold that mug…”
Aisha, who’s always incredible at yes-anding during these quirks: “mmmmhm”
Wayne: “how you use your lips…I know where I’d like to put those lips…”
Aisha: “uuhhh, you ’bout to put your lips around my 45 magnum if you don’t back up.”
YES
Wayne, of course: “that’s funny, I was gonna say the same thing to you.”
For all we know, when Wayne alludes to his ’45 Magnum’, he could just mean his 45-year-old Mangum.

It looks like one of Wayne’s characters was cut out for time, but he did a bunch. He comes off as another guy: “you know, everybody’s in an uproar about diversity…but i’m all for it, you know? I like black girls…….I like black girls…I like the other black girls…and I like you.”
Aisha: “I feel special, thank you…”
Wayne, flexing on Aisha’s desk: “so why don’t we cut out the knick knack paddy whack and come here and give this dog his bone.”
DAMN
Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 7.47.16 PM
Not sure what’s more impressive, the realistic smoothness or Wayne or the flippantness of Aisha

Wayne, cracking up: “why don’t you come and drink out of this here mug?”

Aisha holds up a mic and says “you must be THIS TALL to ride this ride…”
Wayne, to the camera: “MORE AFTER THIS.”
So smooth.

Wayne, as we cut back to Colin and Jonathan: “…I’mma have to get off your desk now…”
Aisha: “YOU NEED SOME HELP??”
Wayne’s cracking as Aisha pushes his legs back towards him. This completely ruptures the smoothness of that quirk

Ryan, doing his best guess of what Marty McFly would be: “boy, I yearn for the old days, I wish I could go back…I DON’T KNOW WHY…”

Ryan pulls out his excellent Christopher Lloyd impression: “I CAN GET YOU THERE!” This gets applause.

This is a funny quirk because you can see Ryan getting to the edges of what he knows about the movie and it just getting lawfully goofy as it goes.

Ryan’s conversations with himself as Marty and Doc keep cracking me up. “WHY DON’T YOU GO KISS YOUR MOTHER?” “My mother? Kiss my mother? Why would I do that?” “THAT’S ALL I KNOW!!”
PFFFF

Ryan: “But be back here…cause I THINK…LIGHTNING’S GONNA HIT THE COURTHOUSE…”
And he just pathetically looks over at Aisha. Why did you make me do this? I absolutely love this quirk, but it works in spite of Ryan’s usually-herculean knowledge. It works because Ryan doesn’t. Which is odd

Ryan at the end going, with the gravity of a finished movie without the subtext of it: “well that was…QUITE A JOURNEY.”
And he finishes it off iconically, back to Marty and Doc: “I still don’t know why I went.” “Well…try watching the fuckin’ movie sometime!”
AMAZING

Ryan, back at the seats: “I’ve seen parts of it”
Aisha: “…none of the parts that were in the movie…”

A much better WN than E13’s. Everybody had such great quirks and made the most of them. Wayne’s was a smooth highlight that proved he’d come a long way from his more self-contained quirks, and Ryan’s made the best of his own lapses in cinematic knowledge by using that as the basis for humor. A personal favorite of this era.

Aisha: “everybody gets points, Wayne, I don’t know what to say to you…”
Wayne: “SAY YES.”

World’s Worst: clips from an actor’s showreel or audition tape

Colin: “Uh, this next clip is when I did Back to the Future as a weatherman.”
ALREADY WE CALL BACK
And then Colin does a facial impression of RYAN’s impression of Christopher Lloyd. An impression within an impression

Ryan: “Every day…line.”
Colin: ‘what?”
Ryan: “line”
Colin: “…you’re fired.”
Ryan: “EVERY DAY…YOU’RE FIRED…line…..line…”
And he just keeps looking over at Colin. Aisha’s buzzed, it should technically be over, but Ryan isn’t
Colin, finally: “Get off the stage”
Ryan: “Every day you’re fired, get off ze stage…line…”
Colin: “Your car’s being towed”
Ryan, too proper: “Your car’s been TOOOWED…line…line…line…”
Colin: “…JUST FUCK OFF!”
AND THAT GETS RYAN. One of my favorites from this WW era, cause Colin’s vocal-only work here just makes it. The frustration is even funnier when you can’t see it. And Ryan’s unwitting zeal just builds on it

Wayne does a very drawn-out, callous ‘ROSE. I’M DROWNIN’. ROSE.” which doesn’t get the laugh from me until Wayne finishes with a “….bitch!”

Ryan does an easy ‘pushing Colin off the Titanic’ one, but Colin hangs onto Ryan’s nose. WHAT DID RYAN DO??

Jonathan, getting a chair: “for the part of Wilson in Cast Away…”
Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 8.21.44 PM
PERFECT

Ryan even brings it back to WN by casting Jonathan as Lassie then Jonathan licking Ryan in the face

A solid WW round. A few too many topical/easy ones, but the runner-based ones, plus Ryan and Colin’s extended one, work for me

Ryan and Jonathan are both traumatized by the licking. Ryan’s patting his face with his tie
Aisha: “you do it to yourself…”
Jonathan: “IT’S LIKE SANDPAPER! YOU CUT MY TONGUE!”
Ryan: “THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE LICKING A MAAAAAN.”

Duet: Wayne and Jonathan sing a techno song to Lea

Oh, here we go. The wind-up, or sneaker-upper, in full swing.

So Lea hugs Wayne and Jonathan, and Ryan in the back is clutching his heart, now embarrassed.
Ryan, to Lea: “I’m so sorry…my rendition of the movie, I’m so sorry.”
Lea is jokingly not talking to Ryan

Ryan: “DID HE KISS HIS MOM?”
Ryan must not know he’s asking the question to said mom, so Lea takes pride in answering “YES HE DID.”
Lea even offers to screen the movie for Ryan at her place, which elicits an excited Christopher Lloyd noise from Ryan [“AH! I’LL BE THERE!”]

Lea admits she’s a Trekker, and that she would have loved like a transporter [“cause I hate traveling”]. This will bode well for fellow nerd Wayne

Lea is already really into the techno beat, dancing and moving against Wayne and Jonathan

This is a knowingly silly number that all three are kinda in on, but to me it’s not a great deal more than that. The lyrics have been kind of basic and it’s just kind of chugging along. I do like Wayne and Jonathan’s unison chorus stuff in the same techno voice.

The funniest part is at the end, where Wayne thinks they’re going on for another verse, starts singing right as there’s no music coming out, and he has to do the ‘powering down’ motion from last season’s Animatronic Bear GH. A very silly ending that sort of masks the clumsiness.

Yeah, not a great Duet. Lea gave them material, they didn’t use it, it was very basic and kinda cringeworthy. Did not work for me. It capitalized on one part of Lea’s celebrity and didn’t go anywhere else.

Scenes from a Hat:

“World’s Worst Children’s Entertainer”
Jonathan, calling up Ryan: “TELL ME ABOUT BACK TO THE FUTURE”
Ryan: [shakes his head and leaves]

Ryan: “No, no, Brian, the Vermouth goes in LAST!”
I laughed harder than I was expecting to at that one
Ryan: “LET YOUR SISTER DO IT…”

Wayne does a wild one, playing the testicles and assholes of dogs as musical instruments.

Ryan does a great one where he introduces origami animals, then rolls a joint and goes “I’m gonna make a snake.” I think from here on out, the Washington state resident is gonna have a lot more weed-related humor

Jonathan does one that Wayne figures out almost immediately and starts cracking up: “Your mom’s here, your brothers and sisters are here, and if we knew who your dad was, he would be here too”
Screen Shot 2021-04-28 at 11.32.24 AM

Ryan: “okay, we could not find a piñata, but luckily your cat loves candy”
JESUS

“The world’s stupidest record attempts”
Jonathan, with Wayne: “…Three.”
Screen Shot 2021-04-28 at 11.34.16 AM
THAT’S RIGHT, JONATHAN HAS LICKED THE ENTIRE CAST OF WHOSE LINE. WHAT A DAY FOR JONATHAN

“Bad Acceptance Speeches at Awards Ceremonies”
Ryan, in one I’ve been waiting years to hear uncensored: “IT’S ABOUT. FUCKING. TIME.” [walks away] “…bitches”

Wayne: “Wow…I just wanna thank-”
Jonathan, coming on: “nono, this is the Oscars, you can’t win this.”
TOPICAL JOOOOOKE

A pretty strong SFAH. Colin only went up once and did one of his usuals, but the other 3 had strong showings.

Jonathan’s reaction confirms that the licking went last, cause he’s still regretting licking Wayne
Aisha: “you keep doing this to yourself, Jonathan”
Jonathan: “friends don’t let friends taste their friends…”
Ryan: “Friends don’t let friends watch ‘Friends'”
THE FIRST FRIENDS SLAM OF THE CW VERSION…which is kinda awkward cause the host was on that show for a bit
Aisha, sure enough: “FRIENDS MAKE THEIR FRIENDS WATCH ‘FRIENDS'”

Helping Hands: Ladies man Ryan, hands by Colin, is showing his flirtatious neighbor Lea how to cook the perfect barbecue

Lea’s accent casts this scene as a midwestern one, which Ryan picks up on [“GO OMAHA!”]

In contrast to last HH, Ryan flat out asks if Lea eats everything on the table, which she replies that she does. Lea’s not an improviser, Rachel Bloom is. That’s the difference

Ryan: “I hope you like all the condiments-I SAID CONDIMENTS”
Lea: “OOOOOOHOHOHO”
Maybe she will be a decent foil after all. Maybe it was just Duet

Lea, on the chicken: “I’m a little worried, are they cooked enough? Maybe you should try them first.”
Ryan, worriedly: “…really? Okay”

Ryan, tasting the leg: “oh yes, I think they were done about 9 hours ago…”
Colin: [launches the leg behind him]
Ryan: “they’re really good”
Can’t tell if he’s genuine or not but is this a rare acknowledgement of NON-disgusting food on this show??

Ryan hands Lea a bun with lettuce, tomato and watermelon on it, and Lea takes the most tantalizingly small bite.
Ryan, calling Lea’s bluff: “NO, NO, TAKE A *GOOD* BITE.”
Amazing. Yeah, suffice to say, Lea doesn’t have Rachel Bloom’s fearlessness in this game

Lea, post-bite: “you want some?”
Ryan: “no, I’m full of CHICKEN that you made me eat, thank you!”

Colin gets a laugh out of shaking the mustard bottle as Ryan wants to get it onto the corn, and just…mustard flying into the air
Lea: “…do you have coordination problems?”

Ryan: “SQUEEZE HARD. SQUEEZE HARD RYAN.”
Colin once again lifts the mustard bottle upwards and squeezes into the air

Ryan once again calls Lea out on getting a bite of the corn that doesn’t have mustard on it. “NO, TAKE A *GOOD* BITE.”

Ryan, as Lea finally takes the bite: “I don’t eat corn, ANYWAY”
Colin: [throws the corn back on the table]

Of course, the second that Colin picks up a beer, we all know he’s gonna shake the crap out of it

Ryan: “let’s crack this open, point it towards you”
[moderate amount of foam]
Ryan: “…hey, that wasn’t too bad…”

Ryan, post-sip: “…OH…I THINK THAT’S REAL BEER.”
How on earth is Ryan still surprised at this??

Ryan, with a slice of pie in his hand: “we’re neighbors now, and I don’t know if you know the Omaha way”
Lea: [audibly squirms]

I also love Lea’s “OHHHH NOOO” when she realizes they’re gonna feed each other

As they feed each other the pie balls, you can audibly hear Jonathan and Wayne shouting in protest in the back

Ryan has this deep, exhausted exhale as he returns to the seats.

A fairly basic Helping Hands. Ryan did a lot of the heavy lifting, Lea was an okay-if-very-frightened support, and it went along the usual beats. Not helped by coming right after last show’s excellent HH.

Overall: We haven’t had one of these in a while. A show with great improv games cut down by less-great guest games. Cause WN, SFAH and World’s Worst were all really good, and had some great runner-based energy that impressed me a lot. But then Duet disappointed me, and Helping Hands, while not bad, felt like a step back from last episode’s mighty playing. It wasn’t Lea’s fault, she was a very okay guest star who did what she could despite being slightly out of her league. There were just portions of this episode that didn’t work despite the rest of it being pretty damn good. Also, barely any Colin. That’s a problem.

Show Winner: Ryan
Best Performer: Ryan was on fire for much of the night, and had the most to do thanks to the BTTF runner.
Worst Performer: Colin had an unseasonably quiet show. He barely appeared in either of the quickfire games, had a straight man role in WN, wasn’t in Duet and was support in HH. The man barely did anything this show, which is too bad. And, even worst, his WN top story was a rare miss with the audience.
Best Game: Weird Newscasters. A masterful, all-timer playing that had great quirk work from everyone, set the stage for two running gags [Jonathan’s licking and Ryan’s lack of BTTF knowledge], and was just really damn funny.
Worst Game: Duet just wasn’t good, folks. It was too basic, and it ended too early. The only reason it aired was to tie it into the runner.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. Lea did well enough despite being a bit unnerved by the proceedings.

COMING UP NEXT: Back to the Brad taping with one more CW synergy booking.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E14, or I’m Gonna Collect on That One!

Seasonal Code: S12E14
Production Number: 419
CW Seasonal Code: S12E06

With the CW version nabbing guest stars who grew up in the 90s, it was only a matter of time before someone who grew up watching the ABC version got booked as a guest star. And while you can imagine that a lot of guest stars in this era watched the show at some point, being a fan was never the reason they came on.

Except, I think, for this episode’s guest star.

Rachel Bloom may be one of the most underrated success stories of the 2010s, as she was simply a theater nerd who wanted a platform and clawed her way to a golden globe. After going viral for her own comedy songwriting, Bloom bounced around the mainstream comedy circuit for a few years before getting a pilot with Showtime that became Crazy Ex Girlfriend, a genre-defying musical comedy classic that was one of the CW’s most unexpected successes in the era where Jane the Virgin ruled and Riverdale was a few years away. Bloom has made a career for herself as a voice actress in mainstream animated films, and is one of the most well-liked personalities in the biz. Heck, she even had a role co-hosting the Tony awards a few years back and her inability to contain her excitement was wonderful to watch.

Then, in 2016, she was booked for a guest starring appearance on Whose Line. And the whosers were…indifferent. Another CW synergy booking, so what? But, as Rachel Bloom had history as a theater nerd, this also meant she had watched a few Whose Lines in her life. She was very ready for the opportunity, and while I don’t remember a ton about my first watch of this one, I’m excited to see it now that we all know what Rachel’s turned out to be.

Hollywood Director:  Ryan and Jeff are a honeymooning couple camping in Jurassic Park, when suddenly a Park Ranger, Wayne, runs in being chased by stampeding dinosaurs also played by Wayne

Jeff: “Listen, Sharice, I spent a lot of money to take us here.”
Ryan: “IT’S JOANNE.”
Jeff, perfectly: “…LET’S NOT QUIBBLE ABOUT THE DETAILS, JOANNE.”
Ryan: “It’s our first night togethe-WHO’S SHARICE?”
Ryan forgot about the honeymoon detail, so Jeff has to reestablish that

Ryan: “hold me like you’ve never held me before”
Jeff:
Screen Shot 2021-04-26 at 11.35.30 PM
Yeah, Jeff’s on fire so far

Wayne, entering:
Screen Shot 2021-04-26 at 11.36.33 PM
“OHHHHH HELL NOOOOOO!”Screen Shot 2021-04-26 at 11.37.11 PM
Perfect

Wayne then shows up as another raptor
Ryan: “Oh, it’s his brother I think”
Wayne: [starts air-humping]
Ryan: “OH NO!”
Colin: [frantically cuts]

Colin casts them as their usual impressions. “Jimmy Stewart, Keanu Reeves, Munchkin.” At least he knows them.

Jeff, as Keanu: “OH MY GOD, SHARICE….WHOA.”
It’s that simple

Then, Jeff’s “hold you like you’ve never been held before” is a bullet-time lean backwards trick.

Ryan, not giving Wayne’s pretty impressive munchkin stuff the satisfaction: “I wasn’t listening, did he get Gary Coleman?”
Screen Shot 2021-04-26 at 11.43.00 PM

The rock opera style utilizes Laura and Linda, and it’s a very epic way to end this. I equate this section to the old school, UK Whose Line playings of American Musical- the beats of a scene sung, done seriously and impressively by all parties, and carried out wonderfully all around. I think Laura and Linda are aping Pete Townshend with how this all sounds. Even Ryan’s bringing it here, making ‘take my hand, call me Joanne’ into a serious motif, and nailing the sort of rock opera vocal themes. And then Jeff’s ‘hold you like you’ve never been held before’ even works in Jeff’s pseudo-Rock-of-Ages tone.

Wayne, entering: “I’m running and my news is the worst
Why does the brother always have to die first?”

I also love Wayne air-guitaring with his velociraptor hands

A very impressive and fun Director, though a step down from the Sasquatch one that led the shipment. The rock opera style may have been a better musical moment though, as it felt like a really impressively-handled musical game by all 3, and proof that maaayybeeee Musical should make a comeback on the US?? Heck, this would have been the show to do it, too..

Jeff challenges Wayne to do a dilophosaurus impression, which he does
Jeff: “that sounds like Mickey Rourke…”
PFFF

Scenes from a Hat:

“Bad recruitment commercials for the Armed Forces”
Colin, ever-literal: “You got arms?? You’re in!”

Wayne has the best one, because he’s not afraid to go on national TV and say this: “wanna serve your country and be appreciated for it? [laughs] I MEAN, UH, oh yeah, totally gonna happen”
Ryan, similarly: “Wanna climb in a big metal tube and go 100 feet underwater with 60 men with six months? …..you DO???”
PFFF

Colin: “In the navy, we’re looking for a handful of seamen, who-”
Wayne: [whispers something in Colin’s ear]
Perfect
Colin: “…HERE IN THE NAVY WE’RE LOOKING FOR A LOT OF SEAMEN.”
Wayne: [returns]
Colin, after a long pause: “…here at this clinic…”
SO GOOD.

Jeff: “Join the coast guard, cause you know…fuck it.”
[saved by the expletive, honestly]

“Pick-up lines in space”
Wayne, to Colin: “have you ever been in a black hole?”
Colin: [politely floats away]
Wayne, pulling him back in: “NUH-UHH…not even light can escape.”
Colin: “…how bout a swim in the milky way?”
PFFFFFFF. And Wayne absolutely loses it
Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 12.00.38 AM
Wayne, cracking up: “I’M GONNA COLLECT ON THAT ONE!”

Jeff does a dick-related lightsaber one, which is pretty impressive on its own.
Colin: “wow…it’s PURPLE.”
AND JEFF GOES DOWN. Colin is just killing EVERYBODY tonight

Ryan, beckoning everyone to stay cause he’s got a good one: “that looks like fun, can somebody undo O’Ryan’s belt??”
YEEEEEES
Wayne, entering as Yoda: “MMM, POLYAMOROUS, THIS IS!”

SUCH A FUN SFAH. Basically every suggestion worked, the loose ideas kept bouncing off each other, and everyone was having fun. Plus, Colin was mowing everybody down, just like the old days.

Duet: Wayne and Jeff sing an R&B song to Rachel, who would have been a surgeon if she didn’t create Crazy Ex Girlfriend

You can tell this is a lifelong dream of Rachel’s because of how overjoyed she is to be high-fiving audience members and racing towards Wayne and Jeff. This is not a normal gig for her.

I also love Rachel responding to Wayne’s ‘and you’ll sing along as well’ with an ‘…OHHHHYEAH.’ Like this is totally a lifelong dream of hers. There’s no speculation.

Already, Jeff gets some laughs with his early-2000s, pseudo-Timberlake kind of ‘yeeahh-yeahh’ sort of backing.

Unsurprisingly, Rachel’s great at musical improv. She fits right into the song, and is able to be funny [“and I cut it open with my knife of kisses- YEAH, DO YA GET THE METAPHOR?”]

Jeff, after a pretty impressive solo verse: “let me lay down on the ground and give CPR to me…”
OH, COME ON!

But sure enough, Rachel is very game:
Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 11.09.36 AMScreen Shot 2021-04-27 at 11.10.09 AM
I love Ryan’s immediate reaction. Adjusting his collar, going ‘WHOA!’

But what’s great about this is that Rachel knows what kind of R&B song this needs to be, the kind where a couple of men get their fantasies realized, and that she needs to be the woman for this. But it’s played for laughs, because it’s a knowingly silly trope, which is why she emphasizes “with my BODY…and my booty…and ma’boobs..”
It’s very rare to see a woman joke about her own objectification on this show. For years, the joke has been for the woman to be objectified sort of because that’s the rules, because this is a male-led show. But for Rachel to subvert this and be overly sexual as a way of subverting the perspective of Wayne and Jeff is very impressive. It’s a perspective shift she’d been working with on My Crazy Ex Girlfriend for years.

Hell, as she begins to lunge at Jeff and get on top of him, Wayne has to lift her off of him. Yes, there we go. Because she’s into it and controlling it, we have to stop. This is surprisingly meta for this show, and this game.

Another great thing about Rachel in this game. She knows a refrain when she hears one. When Wayne does a verse about “you know that cart with the things on it”, she joins with Jeff with “IT’S CALLED A DEFILBRILATOR”, and then does a hand motion to Wayne to get him to repeat it with her again.

Jeff starts up a similar refrain [“I said 1-2-3, clear”], then goes to Wayne and says “now turn around, lemme put it on your rear.”
Also subversion, bypassing the female ogling to just sexualize each other. This is a very advanced game.
Wayne: “NOT YOU…ohhh [motioning to his butt] this is not the operating room…”
Jeff, thinking of the perfect rhyme and going with it: “YOU DON’T WANT ME, YOU WANT SOME RACHEL BLOOM”

Wayne somehow turns this into a wholesome threesome anthem. “And both of us, before we do you, we’ll wear gloves”

Jeff ends with a final line: “and because you’re a surgeon, you’re gonna do us in shifts…”

A fantastic Duet. Rachel’s presence made this a subversion of the usual ‘hey let’s sing to a lady’ song and made this an overly-stereotypical sex anthem that made fun of itself while also getting humor out of Jeff and Wayne’s patheticness. This has been touched on before, but not to this extent, and certainly not led by a guest star. Just a fantastic musical game and a fantastic use of Rachel’s subversive humor onto the Whose Line formula

Props: Ryan and Jeff vs. Colin and Wayne

Wayne and Colin do a ‘Antebellum-era dresses’ one as sisters. Colin uses a gruff voice to go “PICK ME”

Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 11.51.29 AMJeff: “yeah, you know, it was expensive, but I finally had it bronzed..”

Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 11.52.31 AM
Ryan: “CAUSE I’M 57, THAT’S WHY!”Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 11.52.37 AMWayne: “CAUSE I’M 44, THAT’S WHY.”
I love when they copy jokes back to back

EVEN BETTER, A COLLABORATION:
Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 11.54.14 AM
Jeff: “Now, if you look closely, you can see the sperm cell coming towards the ovary…”Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 11.54.19 AM
YES!
Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 11.55.40 AM
Wayne: “and that’s how it happens”
Ryan: “what a HORRIBLE way to teach children at school…”

Wayne and Colin do an impressive ‘entering the space station’ one. Colin decides to break Wayne again by going “welcome to the Milky Way”

A decent Props. A lot of usual ones, but some good energy towards the middle.

Colin, back at the seats, to Ryan and Jeff: “did you do testicles?”
Jeff: “of course…DID WE DO TESTICLES…”
Aisha: “when DIDN’T you do testicles?”
Jeff: “it’s low hanging fruit…”

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, and Rachel are a couple on the verge of splitting up having a make-or-break meal at a romantic restaurant

I usually frown upon Helping Hands, but this time we get to see Rachel improvise.

Colin, as Rachel enters, goes “I’m so sorry…”, and Rachel just cracks up. Again, she’s just really jazzed to be on.

Ryan, as Colin pours wine: “what, you’re saying I have a problem with liquor?”
Rachel, trying to contain herself: “…I’M not saying it.”
Ryan, as Colin hands her a glass: “it seems like you were…there’s nothing in there, if that’s what you’re thinking, it’s just booze.”

I loved Ryan doing a toast, seeming like he was finished, then Colin beginning to raise the glass to Ryan’s mouth and Ryan continuing the toast.
Ryan: “Oh oh, cure my itch, don’t leave me you dirty bitch”
Jeff goes down in the back. Rachel just awkwardly shakes her head
Ryan: “…my father helped me with the last part”

Rachel: “it’s not really helping, I’ve gotta say”
Ryan: “is there another man?”
Rachel: “…no, you’re just a jerk, there’s not another man”
[all the humor so far is coming from dialogue and not prop abuse. I am loving this]
Literally as I type that, Colin picks up a roll and launches it at Rachel’s boob
Ryan: “I’M SORRY. I’M SORRY THAT I THREW A BUN AT YOUR BOOB….it’s like I WASN’T EVEN DOING IT!”

And yes, I did laugh at Ryan going ‘here’s your STEAK’, and then Colin picking it up and dropping it at Rachel’s feet.

Then, as Colin wields the gravy boat mercilessly, he tips over the wine glass and Rachel has to rush to keep anything from falling off the table

Ryan: “well the gravy’s a bit old, like our love, it’s…congealed…”

Ryan: “you’re not EATING WITH ME??? SOMEWHERE TO GO???”
Rachel: “I don’t eat steak with my hands like you!”
Ryan: “TRY!”
[Colin launches down the steak as he says this]
Ryan, now cracking up: “…just TR…Y..”

Ryan has a long look at Rachel after shoving the steak in his mouth. Ryan eventually goes “…are you a vegetarian?”
The way Rachel responds is another move that proves how good she is at improv. Most guest stars just go ‘well no’, or ‘YES’, or whatever at that. Rachel keeps the integrity of the scene intact and just faintly nods her head, while also keeping it in character, as if Ryan’s character should know this about Rachel’s already. It’s a hint to your scene partner without being a BIG GIVEAWAY of interscene information

Rachel, once she realizes the game is going towards oysters, just sort of shakes her head, not believing it.

Colin tries throwing an oyster in Ryan’s mouth and WE SEE IT ESCAPE
Ryan: “god, no it fell in the gravy!”
PFFFF. The cousin of OH, SHIT IT FELL ON THE FLOOR!

Rachel brings the story back, saying “you eat like an animal. This is why I’ve been having that affair- OHH.”
However, Ryan is too busy “chopping cakes in half with my fist”, and shoving it in his mouth, to really react to that

Rachel: “you just had a triple heart bypass, you can’t eat cake like this!”
Ryan: “…oh NOW you’re worried about my heart…”
Perfect

The scene ends with Rachel mercifully giving Ryan the heimlich, which is a very goofy way of ending this.

This scene reminded me of a Kathy Greenwood Helping Hands playing, and I mean that as a compliment. Kathy was always the best foil for HH, because she would add character, contrast, and occasionally give into the madness while being an admirable improv support. That was Rachel in this game. She added character dynamics, backstory, emotion, and kept the scene moving and concrete while Ryan did some usual food things. And there was EMOTION to the food things, and they worked more from that respect. This is one of the best Helping Hands playings of the season because it worked as a full improv scene.

Meanwhile, postmortem:
Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 1.21.47 PM
Aisha: “so, Ryan, could you just tell me a little bit about what was going through your mind in that scene…”
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 1.23.10 PM
Of course. Not his suit jacket

Overall: S12 delivers another excellent show. Not only did both guest games seriously impress me, but SFAH and Director had some really fun taping energy, and Props was a good outside-the-box one. My one gripe is that this doesn’t come across as much more than a guest show at times, but having Rachel Bloom as a guest gave us a very strong improv support in guest games, especially Helping Hands, and brought us back to the more improv-reliant moments in these games during the Drew version. And that’s why this show worked for me- Rachel Bloom brought the improv back to the center of the show without making it all spectacle, and turned both Duet and Helping Hands into more advanced versions of themselves, which all of her scene partners agreed to. This even comes after the very strong and musically-serious Director game, which Rachel might have even been a good addition to.

Because this season has produced shows like the Brad/Jeff show, and the Joey and Tamera shows, it may not even break the top of the rankings, but it’s still an excellent show, and a very nice, unconventional guest show.

Show Winner: Colin
Best Performer: In an odd twist, Jeff wins this one for nailing Director and Duet, and bridging Props together. I was not expecting this.
Worst Performer: Ryan had the most moments of deferring to other performers. Also, I can’t give it to Wayne and Colin due to Director and SFAH respectively.
Best Game: Helping Hands. Rachel brought so much to this game while also allowing for Ryan’s usual antics, and there were some very good ones this time around.
Worst Game: Call me basic, but with a show of this much energy in improv-reliant games, Props is always gonna come up last, even if it is a good one.
Guest Star Rating: 10/10. Rachel was a fifth improviser, a throwback to Kathy Greenwood, and she should have done an episode as fourth seater.

COMING UP NEXT: Another taping debut, the first of two Jonathan S12 tapings. This one has a very nerdy and fun guest booking.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S12E13, or Floating on the Jewish Marionettes

Seasonal Code: S12E13
Production Number: 402
CW Seasonal Code: S12E05

Gary Anthony Williams films two tapings in S12, and he’s slimmer than he was even in S11. Good for Gary!

This kicks off the first Gary taping, and it features a guest appearance from Chris Jericho, a wrestling favorite who is as much of a badass in the ring as he is a nice guy and pop culture figure in real life. He’s also a heavy metal lead vocalist and a Trump supporter…and he lost to former WL guest star Chyna in a ring match. Can’t win ’em all.

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Gary, fire & brimstone preacher attempting to exorcise Colin, co-anchors, Wayne, playing as many characters from Star Wars as possible, does sports while Ryan, Rapidly going through his teenage years, does weather

Colin just pulls his name out of his ass: “I’m your anchor….Clay, Lady Clay”

Colin: “Doctors are urging patients who are very sensitive to the cold to go stand in a corner, because corners, as you know, are always 90 degrees.”
PERFECT. AND A MATH JOKE

Gary, of course, has the zeal for this
Screen Shot 2021-04-24 at 11.43.01 AM

Gary ends with an ‘AND HEAL’ to Colin’s face, which not only catches him off guard, but:
Screen Shot 2021-04-24 at 11.44.09 AM
Gary can throw Colin. Of course he can

Wayne can do this in his sleep. His 3P0, Chewie and Han in carbonite impressions are great. Again, I’m glad the CW version has tapped into more of Wayne’s niche nerdy knowledge

Ryan does the perfect progressions of trying a beer, driving restlessly, and finally going on a date with Colin
Screen Shot 2021-04-24 at 11.47.22 AM
Ryan, cracking up: “…this is NOTHING like my 70s…”
And he pivots immediately, knowing he just gave away his age to everyone

Ryan: “Back to you, because I REALLY don’t remember a lot from the 70s..”

A pretty basic WN. Very self-contained, very proof-of-concept

Ryan: “Anything I did in my teens, I can’t do on television”

Aisha gives an extra 50 points to Ryan, “and I encourage you to use it on some kind of therapy”
Ryan: “I have no demons, I don’t think…all I remember is Linda Ronstadt and rollerscates”
Colin: “wow, listen to the googling…”

World’s Worst: Kids TV Show

Colin: “welcome to ‘a penis is your plaything’
Aisha: “OH GOD” [buzz]
Aisha has been very vocal these past few shows

Gary: “Alright everybody, time to lick Uncle Larry’s belly again”

Wayne, with a british accent: “hello, and welcome to another installment of ‘this is how you got here'” [removes pants]
Aisha: “OH NO!” [buzz]
Wayne: “…I’m afraid we’ve been cahncelled.”
A popular clip in the current Whoser community

Colin: “Welcome to ‘Algebra made easy’. You’re NOT GOING TO NEED IT.”
As funny as this is, Colin how d’you expect people to get your 90 degree angle joke if they don’t have algebra knowledge?

I love Wayne and Gary’s ‘Negro Puppet Hour’, with ventriloquist dummy Wayne throwing rocks through a window, then giving the black power handsignal

Ryan: [has hand on belt buckle]
Wayne, jumping in: “AND THAT’S HOW YOU GOT HERE!”

The timing of Colin’s Captain Leprosy one is fantastic.

Relatively basic. There were some good runs, but a lot of very easy ones

Aisha: “the problem is that none of that game is gonna make it onto television…”
Wayne: “well, every single thing that popped into my head was something horrible involving kids, and we’re all dads.”
Aisha: “YES, YOU’RE ALL DADS AND YOU ALL KEPT TAKING OFF YOUR PANTS”
Wayne: “how did we become dads?”
PERFECT

Duet: Gary and Wayne sing a stadium rock song to Chris, who is sensitive

Cause stadium rock went so well the last time a wrestler was on..

The second Chris runs onstage, the excitement level raises. Gary and Wayne are dancing, Chris is already at high-energy, and it’s all really fun

The stadium rock track is at a lower octave this time, perhaps to benefit Chris’s range, and it’s a bit more of a gradual ramp up to rock

Gary: “If you don’t know this song, feel free to clap along. If you don’t know it, hum it.”

Chris is right there on rhymes and refrains with these guys.

I like the thesis they’re working with, that even when Chris is beating up people in the ring, according to Wayne, “he calls a paramedic for you, cause that’s how damn sensitive he is”

Chris is surprisingly alright at improvising lyrics, getting right in and singing about how he’s untying Gary’s shoe.
Gary, getting up: “HE WILL TRY TO TIE A BLACK MAN’S SHOES. I know to a lot of you that might be some news”

Wayne: “I have seen him in the ring, covered in baby oil”
Gary: “I have seen him outside my window, watching me sleep at night”
Chris, and Wayne as he sees what he’s doing: “STILL COVERED IN BABY OIL”
That is GREAT

Gary specifies that Chris has to wear “hand-hued fabrics made by little Korean boys who live in Cuba”
This detail gets Chris to break

Chris even goes into a heavy metal octave to harmonize on that ending note.

A charming Duet. Chris seemed to enjoy himself, the thesis of the song was fun, and there were lots of fun comedy details. Heck, Chris is even keeping the refrain going as he runs offstage, getting the audience to clap

Aisha: “he is a very strapping man…I might have to sit behind my desk for a little longer tonight”
Wayne: “WHAAAT?”
Colin, very confused: “Because you have an erection??”
Wayne, hopping up: “I KNEW IT!”
Gary, reaching into his pocket: “WAYNE, I OWE YOU…”
Aisha: “I DO NOT…HAVE…AN ERECTION.”
A rare moment of Aisha being lower-status than the contestants rather than mid-status

Scenes from a Hat:

“pick-up lines of nursery rhyme characters”
Ryan: “…Hickory Dickory Dock.”
The audience: [knows exactly where he’s going]
Ryan: [shakes his head and heads off]

Gary: “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick…y’ain’t about to jump over no candlestick”

Colin, immortally: “Heyyy. Diddle-diddle?”

“What Aisha is thinking right now”
Gary, of course: “I mean, Wayne’s alright, but that Gary, OOOOH.”
Aisha: [loves this]
Gary, still going. “MMM. MMM. The darker the chocolate, the sweeter…”

Wayne, back to that banter: “I hope we go to commercial soon, I can’t keep that taped down…”

Colin, taking a different approach: “I guess I’ll start out with some bruchetta…then the veal, NO CHICKEN PARMESAN…”
This is him using his normal, room-tone speaking voice except one of his higher-tone character voices. Very rare

Wayne: “I sure would like to wrestle Chris Jericho”

Aisha: [goes up]
Ryan: ‘this is weird, cause she’s actually doing it…”
Wayne: “yeah, it’s very meta”
Aisha, absolutely straightfaced: “…I am so fucked up right now.”

Not as good as last SFAH, but that Aisha one had some really nice moments in there.

I like this banter bit, about how Wayne always says ‘let’s go out afterwards’ during the taping to Aisha [“we gonna get pasta, we gonna get drinks, we gonna get bitches”], and then always reneges.
Ryan: “No, he always goes out with…OHHHH”
Great yes-anding there

Living Scenery: Honeymooning couple Ryan and Colin are enjoying a luxury vacation in Hawaii until things start to go terribly wrong; Chris and Wayne are props

Ryan has a palpable reaction to playing another honeymooning couple. Just throwing his hands up and cracking.
Ryan: ‘can we EVER play two men??”
Aisha: [shakes her head]
Ryan: “You know what? I think *I* might be the woman this time..”

Ryan, extra-feminine: “Did I ever say thank you for bringing me here this year?”
Colin, who can’t give Ryan the satisfaction: ‘…no, Tom.”
Screen Shot 2021-04-24 at 2.14.12 PM
And so it happens again.
Ryan: “WELL, PHYLLIS…”

Colin: “listen, why don’t we start off slow-”
Ryan, taking the gift and continuing to be very flamboyant: “LET’S DO THAT!!!”
Colin: [breaks]

Chris, as a dolphin being ridden by Colin, keeps his hands clasped together
Colin: “…mine’s very religious”

Ryan: “this is like that movie where they’re stranded in the water…”
RYAN’S SEEN OPEN WATER??? He doesn’t WATCH movies!!!

Wayne: [circles Ryan with a finlike hand up]
Ryan, who, as I’ve said many times, will never, ever give Wayne the satisfaction: “…there’s an old Jewish man walking by…”

Colin: “they’re marionettes from the honeymoon puppet show, we can use them to float over to that island”
Ryan: “that’s a great idea, look at us, floating on the Jewish marionettes…”

This is the position that Chris, as a log, lands
Screen Shot 2021-04-24 at 2.21.27 PMRyan: “don’t put the knot side up, it’s not gonna catch fire”
Colin: “Well, if we put some kindling in there…”
Chris, on the floor, smiles
Ryan: “that’s true, puts some kindling in the knot”
And Colin takes Wayne’s hand…
Screen Shot 2021-04-24 at 2.23.16 PM
sesame street is brought to you by…
Aisha: [BUZZES REPEATEDLY]

Another good LS, though not as good as last show’s. Chris was game, and zany things happened, but a lot of the prop ideas were very basic, especially during the first half. The ending did help though, as did Ryan’s camp characterization

Aisha: “he stuck his hand inside another man’s butt…which is just another Saturday for Wayne…”

Doo-Wop: Gary, Wayne and Colin sing about Helga, who died tragically in a dairy-food-related accident

At least it’s not about fucking meat. Or dot dot dot cheddar.

From the reactions of Wayne and Colin, just trying shit in dancing to stay fresh, I don’t think this intro came from the initial playing.
But then we cut to Aisha and we’re in the initial playing, with ‘Listen, Fellas’ on. Immediately they’re more composed, less frustrated

Wayne: “she called me her king, she was my Dairy Queen”

Gary adds a cause of death- “cause you was crushed by the cow cause you squeezed her udder”

Colin: “Oh, Helga…oh, shoot
You loved me…I have one FOOT.”
THAT ALONE IS FUNNY
Colin: “and now your life, came to a close
I didn’t know you were intolerant to someone who lacked-toes”
PERFECT. SUCH A GOOD PUN.

Wayne even namechecks Ben and Jerry in his ending verse, which is classy

A decent Doo-Wop. Pretty much everything came together alright

Overall: The quality of the S12 shows takes another step down. There are some good games in this one, like Duet, SFAH and Living Scenery, but a lot of these games paled in comparison to last shows, and others played so well this season. Chris was a decent guest and was certainly game, but I got a very full-of-shit vibe from him, like he was trying to please everyone. Randy Couture was not like that. I don’t know if it’s the heel/face dichotomy, but…maybe it’s my limited pro-wrestling knowledge, but I don’t recall Chris Jericho being that much of a face-type character in WWE. Usually the ‘American boy’ archetype was filled by John Cena when he was around. He just seems like the sort of self-important ass that his character relied upon. At least Randy Couture didn’t try NOT to be a big, intimidating brute.

But yeah, a lot of this show just felt mostly okay to me, with a lot of very basic games, and some very self-contained energy. There were runners and banter, but it didn’t really break out of being from that central block of the episode.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: It was very close between Ryan and Gary the whole show, but I’m giving it to Gary for commanding his moments onscreen, having the highlights of both quickfire rounds, World’s Worst and SFAH, and just being on all night.
Worst Performer: Wayne had more dominant, game-leading moments than Colin tonight, breaking that tie for the bottom spot. I feel bad giving the worst spot to Colin a lot, but with only 4 performers, all of which being good, some shows you run wholeheartedly and some you do support.
Best Game: Most of the energy of the show converged into Scenes from a Hat.
Worst Game: Weird Newscasters was an extremely basic playing.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. He was fine. Zealous and willing, but slightly in-genuine

COMING UP NEXT: We intro the third Jeff taping and second solo Jeff taping of S12 by reaching a guest star who may, in fact, be the first of the people who grew up as fans of the show to guest on it.