Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E14, or Wayne, Wayne, Go Away

Seasonal Code: S13E14
Production Number: 510
CW Seasonal Code: S13E04

Something you’ve no doubt noticed about the guest star bookings so far in S13 is that the quality has gone down. Much less nostalgia bookings and awesome names, and a LOT more CW synergy bookings. That’s kinda where we’re at for the S13 and S15 taping seasons, but…it’s fine. The improv is what we’re here for anyway.

This Jonathan show, from the same taping as E11, brings us an appearance from Marisol Nichols, who had a role on Riverdale when this went out, another CW titan. She was also on 24 for a bit.

Once again, as Spence 12Medbe was in attendance of this taping, he’ll be providing notes as we go.

Weird Newscasters: Colin hosts, Jonathan, Moose that licks ice sculpture, Colin, co-anchors, Ryan, the world’s angriest teenage girl, does sports while Wayne, a James Bond film in 30 seconds, does weather

Genuine Colin reaction to Jonathan’s. “REALLY??” To this point, most of Jonathan’s WN quirks inevitably lead to licking Colin

Colin: “Welcome to the 6 o clock news, I’m your anchor….Wayne Wayne Go Away…”
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 2.31.00 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-11 at 2.31.11 PM
THAT IS PERFECT. They should have played the Incredible Hulk music in
Aisha just waves

Colin: “Apple has just developed a computerized car…there is a snag, they’re having trouble installing windows.”
THAT IS A PERFECT JOKE. One of his career best, I think

Jonathan, inevitably:
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Again, Jonathan’s fearless.
I do love him screaming as he realizes he’s become stuck to Colin

Then Jonathan stabs himself and leaves himself hanging by Colin.
According to Spence, Colin followed this with the line: “This just in, anchor debates renegotiating contract”, which would have been priceless had it been kept in
But we do have Colin going “just a reminder, it is cold and flu season”, smirking

Ryan’s is actually excellent, playing a jaded, rejected girlfriend, then going right up to an audience member and confronting him
Ryan: “DID YOU LOSE MY NUMBER, JEREMY? OHH, you lost your PHONE.”

I love the girl next to him that yes-ands as Jeremy’s new girlfriend.
Ryan: “GET OUT.”
I love that move. Oh, you’re gonna be good at improv? Get out.
Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 2.39.56 PM
I also love the girl coming back, playing jaded now WONDERFULLY, and Ryan still going “GET OUT”
[Apparently, the girl yelled “GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF MY MAN” at this point, Spence says, but it wasn’t completely mic’d]

Jonathan, who’d been sticking to Colin for the entire quirk, suddenly falls:
Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 2.42.21 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-11 at 2.42.29 PM
Ryan: “OOOOOOOW, MOTHERF-”
That got me. It didn’t actually hit Ryan, but he played it up
And he just lies down for the rest of the quirk: “THIS IS YOUR FAULT, YOU BASTARD”

Colin: “…is there any point to weather? Let’s see”

One of Wayne’s first moves is going over and shooting ‘Jeremy’.
Ryan, pulling a random phone out: “HERE. FOUND YOUR PHONE, BITCH.”
PERFECT. And Wayne just shakes his head as…Colin signs off? Wait, that was like a 20 second quirk? Next to nothing happened!

Wellll…according to Spence, Wayne’s quirk was rewritten and shortened to allow for the entirety of Ryan’s, and Jonathan’s, to air. “Wayne’s initial quirk was more action packed with different stunts being done; and he did two tuck and rolls, off of the stage. As he did the 2nd roll, his phone fell out of his pocket and landed on a stair. As he was doing a few more secret agent-esque things/stunts, Ryan comes to Wayne’s side of the stage to pick up his phone; Showing it to Colin (and Jonathan on the ground) — Wayne comes back to stage for “Here, Found your phone bitch!” — which got Wayne a bit surprised — what was cut was Wayne starting to crack up — you do see the aftermath at the Newscasters ending shot”

So basically, the majority of Wayne’s quirk that made air was from pickups. A few shots, like Wayne shooting Jeremy Ryan’s ‘FOUND YOUR PHONE, BITCH, and Wayne’s final reaction, were from the initial playing. Everything else was from the pickup.

Even with that knowledge, this is still a great round of WN. Wayne’s could have used more, but Jonathan and Ryan’s were so good that I kinda get it. A very full, collaborative and funny playing.

Also, apparently afterwards, there was some banter involving the phone drop:
Ryan: “What is with Wayne losing things on set?”
Aisha: “His phone just slipped out so fast”
Ryan: “So did his wedding ring”
A CALLBACK TO THE DREW VERSION PERHAPS??

Colin: “LICKED BY A MOOSE? Ohhh, it’s like that weekend”

Duet: Wayne and Jonathan sing a disco song to Marisol, about breaking into an aquarium

This is actually a really cool number, with very clear and fun lyrics from Jonathan and Wayne.

Wayne: “it’s a fact you can’t ignore
How many hours does she have on this mission?”
Jonathan: “HUH-HUH, 24.”
PFFF

Mostly just cool lyrics
Wayne: “This is a bulletproof vest, and goggles for your face
and here is just a jetpack, just in case you go to outerspace”
Like, everybody’s just having fun with it

I also love Jonathan figuring out dumb rhymes for Marisol, like aerosol or carou-sol. ‘Aerosol’ does end up cracking Wayne up, though

I also love Wayne and Jonathan torturing Marisol with ‘over the lasers’/’under the lasers’, and here just switching her position
Jonathan, after that: “NOW DANCE”

Wayne: “I’ve just got one question, how long can you hold your breath?”
Marisol: “2 minutes! Tops!”
Wayne, barely even in character: “wow…THAT’S IMPRESSIVE”

A pretty fun Duet. Not entirely substantial enough to really charm me, but all 3 were having a really nice time, and Marisol seemed really into it

Spence: “The cast seemed to be at a high post Duet; little did they know what’d be coming in 5 games.” Yeah, the Wanya one blows this one out of the water

Ryan, on the 2 minute breath holding: “is that a long time?”
Jonathan: “you’re thinking of something else…”
Aisha, not pleased: “OOOOOOOOKIE DOKIE…”

Aisha: “We are going to move on QUICKLY AND MERCIFULLY to a new game…called MMMMM-”

Living Scenery: Ryan and Colin are canoeing [“OH”] up the Amazon [“OH”] to their luxury jungle lodge [“AAHHH”]; Wayne and Marisol are props

Mixed Messages followed Duet in the taping, a few games passed, then LS happened

Colin, as Aisha explains the game, whispering “I’m so sorry…”. Which was from the initial game.

Then, as Aisha explains the scene, Ryan’s throwing in some OHs and AHHHs. This was done during pickups, Ryan was very cranky and wanted to go home. “After that pickup, Dan went “Ryan, stop that” to which Ryan flipped him off and went “Oooh!”’ I love how easily Ryan can snap at the producers.

Colin is very quick to designate Marisol as HIS canoe.

Ryan, placing Wayne in the water, points to his backside: “I’ve got a dugout…”
Wayne: [audible giggling]
Colin: “…..I just like mine”

Colin uses Marisol’s arms as paddles. Ryan, who does oar-paddling miming, looks over and goes “THE HELL ARE *YOU* DOING?”
Colin: “I’ve got a double oar”
[Wayne AND Marisol are now laughing]

Colin casts Marisol and Wayne as snakes, and Marisol just gets down and rolls onto Colin’s feet
Ryan: “I’ve never seen a snake roll over like that…”

Wayne: [does a perfect owl impression]
Ryan, who will never, EVER let Wayne have the satisfaction: “…oh my god, that giraffe’s choking on something”

Colin: “I guess we’ll have to go through the bush here to go through the-”
Ryan: “ohhh, don’t even go there. OKAY…”
A rare no-sell in this game

Colin sets himself up for an Indiana Jones style rock to come. Marisol crouches down and holds herself
Ryan, not following: “oh, my…monkey’s scared too”
Colin: “OH NO I STEPPED OFF IT”
Ryan, cracking: “HERE IT C…OMES…”
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 3.55.48 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-11 at 3.55.58 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-11 at 3.56.06 PM
Ryan: “that was easy…”

Ryan: “did you bring a cellphone?”
Colin, grabbing Marisol: “yes, I brought my phone from…1980”

I love Colin’s momentary struggle of lifting Marisol’s arms and realizing he’s made her chest the body of the phone, and not wanting to be too pervy, so he just…puts his head kinda hear her chest?
Colin: “NO BARS.”
Ryan, cracking again: “ah, DAMMIT…’

Wayne just suddenly appears on the scene and waves, cracking up Ryan
Colin: “…OH THANK GOD, IT’S JERRY.”
PFFFFF
Ryan: “JERRY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”
Wayne, in a too-casual voice that NO ONE was expecting: “…I was just walkin by, thought-”
Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 4.01.22 PM
As Aisha’s buzz is overlayed in, Ryan is doing an impression of this voice. Dear god

There was a lull midway through, but this was funny. I loved that ending, that just caught me off guard, similar to the voice of God in S3. The emphasis was more on screwing over each other than screwing over Marisol and Wayne, and Ryan and Colin had good reactions to things here

Props: Ryan and Jonathan vs. Colin and Wayne

Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 4.05.15 PMJonathan: ‘boing-boing-boing-boing’
Which is funny enough on its own.
Ryan, who somehow doesn’t crack at this, thinks of a punchline: “…Mister President, you’re wanted outside.”
HAAAA
Also, I honestly don’t think this counts as our third Trump joke of the administration. It’s more a general ‘president shouldn’t be on a playground’ thing.

Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 4.07.23 PMColin: “I got my penis caught in the shredder.”
Wayne: [tries touching Colin’s]
Colin: “it’s still a little tender..”

Ryan’s ‘Hawaiian boat’ one doesn’t get the applause it needs, so Jonathan saves HIM: ‘We should get out of the bathtub…”

Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 4.09.35 PMWayne: “YOU HAVE COME SEEKING KNOWLEDGE?”
Colin: “I’m sorry, I thought you were a table”
Wayne, in an understanding read that cracks me up: “OH, NO…”

Ryan makes one of his first true ‘lots of weed in Washington state’ jokes, of many

At one point, after Colin has to explain a car wash one, he just drops entirely:
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Then, immediately next:
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AUDIBLE SLAMScreen Shot 2021-06-11 at 4.12.47 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-11 at 4.12.55 PM
Oh my god. Ryan had to stop and crack up for a little after this during the taping. But this is really funny, and again is a symbol of Jonathan’s aggressive improv nature
Ryan, finally delivering a punchline: “we got a build a bigger tennis court, man…”

Colin: “…w-what would YOU do with these fuckin things???”
According to Spence, this was the end of pickups, and Colin was exhausted

Jonathan has one last good idea in him:
Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 4.15.49 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-11 at 4.15.55 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-11 at 4.16.05 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-11 at 4.16.14 PM
This is why Jonathan is so damn good. HE WILL do that thing no one else will do. Always.
“There was another variation of Jonathan’s spin the bottle prop; Where it stopped on the piano and he goes “Oh.. Guess I’m kissing no one”‘

A pretty good Props round. Honestly, we’ve been on a roll with Props playings over the last season or so. Usually they’re ‘worst game’ fodder by default, now they’re consistently pretty fun

Spence: “There was a slight pause during banter after Props, and all of a sudden out of the silence, Colin looks to his Prop off stage and goes “Should we have done a Trump Golden Showers joke?” The Entire Audience bursted out in one gigantic “AWWWWWW”. I can’t remember if they went back and did that suggestion in pickups.”

Greatest Hits: Songs of the Holidays

Colin: “We’ll be back to our documentary on a restaurant that serves eggs benedict on hubcaps….There’s No Plate Like Chrome for the Hollandaise”
JESUS CHRIST

Ryan does a very tired segue from his sadness at the holidays to Bollywood musicals, going “god, I can’t believe I got there.” Needless to say, this was from pickups. His original segue was longer.

Not only is Wayne’s Bollywood voice from nearly injuring Jonathan earlier this season still great, but Jonathan provides great harmony here

This is an excellent Bollywood number, taking the joke of making it about Christmas while also making it an authentic, funny Bollywood number that both performers are good at.

I also love that Jonathan randomly chooses this moment to tell Wayne: “You were adopted, I’m sorry told you now…Happy Holidays, YAY, HOORAY”

Jonathan tries going under Wayne’s legs again, but thankfully this time is more careful around the buckle area, and has a good ‘ball carrying’ gag

Colin: “…you just can’t buy memories like that…”

Colin calls Hamilton “a risky venture after the colossal failure of Coolidge”
THAT cracked me up

Doing a Hamilton number in 2017, the year Wayne Brady would be PLAYING Aaron Burr in Hamilton Chicago, is a very cheeky and meta moment. Wayne has done this show before, he’s doing it as they tape, so of course he knows the style well. He even starts out with “HOW DOES A HOLIDAY, ONE TIME, ONE PIECE OF YEAR…”, which is a play on Burr’s opening lines of the show.

Jonathan does have a perfect line here: “listen to the future, don’t listen to the past
Look at my skin, OOPS, I’ve been miscast.”
THAT IS PERFECT. A great reference to Hamilton’s race blind casting and preference for POC in main roles [with the exception of King George].
Jonathan does respond with a VERY Hamilton-y line: “you can be ANYONE on the fourth of July!”

Wayne has Jonathan prep some burgers [kinda taking from Yorktown, detracting from the My Shot-esque backer]
Jonathan, who recognizes the backer: “I’m not giving away my…CARBS.”
Wayne, knowing a good line when he hears it, repeats that as the refrain

Jonathan: “Yeah, ON THE FOURTH”
LONG PAUSE FOR THE REST OF THAT BAR
Wayne and Jonathan, on the next beat: “….OF JULY.”
Both of them crack at that

They finish the number with crossed arms, and I can tell they both know they’ve done a good one. That might be one of the best Greatest Hits songs they’ve ever done, seriously. Jonathan had Wayne on the ropes at some points, too.

An awesome GH. Fun banter, but both songs were the stars here, and Wayne let Jonathan have some strong moments along with him.

After GH, according to Spence, “Wayne joked about Whose Line pimping out Hamilton”. I don’t blame them, at least in this situation

Spence: “Pickups into Greatest Hits. Ryan & Colin did a secondary open to Greatest Hits, did different segues and tie into the songs. As the two went and on with their segues and banter, Jonathan and Wayne decided to sit down on the other side of the stage and started to lay down and act like they were sleeping (Unless they REALLY fell asleep and we didn’t know it!). One Point Dan yelled out to Jonathan and Wayne to get up.”

Overall: A pretty strong show, and one that felt less like a guest show and more like a great WL that happened to have a guest occasionally. The highlights were non-guest games, like that huge WN carried by Ryan and Jonathan, and the GH round where Wayne and Jonathan came alive in both their songs, including that incredible Hamilton one. While Marisol’s games were still good, and I did love the end of Living Scenery, they hit a lot of familiar guest game beats, and Marisol didn’t add a TON to the show. But this show was a great showcase for Jonathan, who was insanely well-edited and was in 4/5 games, and a great, proactive show for Ryan [at least early on]. There’s a lot to enjoy about this show, and while it’s not as good as the Wanya show, it’s still a great picture of some great moments from this taping.

Thanks again to Spence for your help. Very excited to hear about some moments from 14×07 when we get there. You know the one.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Jonathan Mangum. LMAD, Props and GH had some classic moments of his, and he was in peak form all over this show.
Worst Performer: Colin was mostly in charge of setting up other people’s material. He did well in LS, though.
Best Game: Greatest Hits, man. I can say this when we’re not being beaten over the head with it, but that’s just a GOOD ROUND OF THAT. Both songs were among the best this duo have done, and the best the CW has done.
Worst Game: Duet was fun, but was the lightest content-wise.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. She was having fun, but I didn’t get a ton from her

COMING UP NEXT: Just as quickly as it began, Season 13 of Whose Line ends. Last season I complained about getting a white person from Empire, so here’s a person of color from Empire.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E13, or It’s All About CLASS…

Seasonal Code: S13E13
Production Number: 504
CW Seasonal Code: S13E03

We open up the Gary Anthony Williams taping from S13 with a guest appearance from, sigh, YET ANOTHER CAST MEMBER FROM THE FLASH. Danielle Panabaker is on this show. I wonder if she’ll do as well as the other nameless associates of the DC Multiverse

Let’s Make a Date: Gary must choose from
Wayne – Tony Stark trying to save people in his malfunctioning Iron Man suit
Colin – French pig snuffling for truffles hidden in dark places

Ryan – Naked hillbilly who thinks people have stolen his clothes

Wayne gets his done perfectly, without having to say much at all, getting his suit on, and then:
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 1.50.42 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-09 at 1.50.48 PM
PERFECT.

Gary: “Bachelor #2, on the streets of Los Angeles, I’m known as puffy”
Gary is still excellent at throwaway lines in this game

Colin has a similar physical choice:
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Colin is always going to go the extra mile

Then, once Colin turns around to Ryan:
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Ryan is already prepared, just like that Party Quirks round.
Colin does, however, find another way:
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 1.59.08 PM
This is the mood we’re starting at

Ryan gets up, and OF COURSE throws his dick over his shoulder. It’s a legendary move for Ryan, why wouldn’t he?

Ryan takes an audience member’s scarf and just…puts it between his legs

Wayne does some things, as Ryan is still over in the audience. By the time we cut back to Ryan,
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.05.03 PM
Perfect
Ryan: “You’re gonna love my new coat…it’s from Forever 45…”
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.09.16 PM

Wayne has a very covert ‘fun guy’ pun when Gary guesses Colin’s

Gary guesses Ryan, or ‘MY LOVER’, as “a big…southern nudist with a big…member.”

Ryan, returning to the audience: “I stretched everybody’s clothes out, I’m sorry”

A good LMAD round, but I wish the editing allowed it to feel more authentic. Some edits took away from the game for the purpose of fitting the game into a guest show

Aisha: “I would like to issue a correction, it’s not Forever 45, it’s Forever THIRTY NINE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH..”

Duet: Wayne and Gary sing a pop song to Danielle

Danielle brings up a guy who broke up with her right before they were supposed to throw a party together
Wayne: “what’s his name?”
Danielle: “I can’t tell you that..”
Gary: “What’s his fake name?”
Danielle, shrugging: “BOB.”

Wayne: “I think that she’s a star, you left too soon
If you were here I’d pop you like a piñata balloon”

Danielle does her best in her own verse, and is sort of helped along by Wayne and Gary, but it still works. Danielle admits ‘I really can’t sing’.

Wayne, rest assured, kept putting in great lyrics:
“You didn’t realize what you had, see what you got
You didn’t know that Danielle would grow up to be hot”

Gary: “But now she’s about to have herself a double black man party!”
And we take this into a ‘BLACK ON THE RIGHT/BLACK ON THE LEFT’ refrain that cracks Wayne up. Very similar to ‘Let’s just have a black-off, let’s just do that now’
Hell, this whole verse not only cracks up Wayne and Gary, but Danielle is sort of bopping around, not really knowing what to do, and that cracks them up even further

Wayne realizes the song is still going, then realizes how to keep it going, and points to Danielle: “DO STEP ONE, TELL ‘EM WHY YOU LIKE BLACK ON THE RIGHT”
Yeah, he’s gone..
Danielle, taking a moment to regroup: “…what could be better?”
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.26.07 PM
Gary: “Step Two, tell ’em why you like BLACK ON THE LEFT”
Danielle: “..cause two’s better than one?”
Somehow she’s staying afloat. This whole game could have broken down entirely yet it’s still, by the grace of god, thumping along properly

Wayne: “Your feelings might be hurt
But I might get that [smirk] and put it on a t-shirt…”

Wayne just calls off the song in an instant, knowing it’s gone on too long and is searching for an ending.

A very clumsy, very bizarre Duet. From an improv standpoint, it only barely works, and had multiple moments of breaking down. It really worked in spite of itself, and in spite of Danielle’s lack of musical improv experience, and lack of knowledge of the show other than taking the gig. But it just got so funny after a bit that it still kind of worked.

We cut to a banter bit that was CLEARLY filmed during pickups, as Wayne has a glass of his ‘funny juice’ next to his water.
Gary: “By the way, if anyone wants to have a double black man party, we’re having one right after the show.”
Wayne: “Black on the Right, and Black on the Left, and you can check us both out on CW Seed.”
Ironically, this banter would NOT make it onto the Seed…

Ryan: “Colin and I are having a white over white party…”
Aisha: “they’re already having that at the White House.”
BOOM. SECOND TRUMP JOKE OF THE ADMINISTRATION. Ryan and Colin have jokingly BIG reactions to this

Mixed Messages: Colin is a surgeon and Ryan and Wayne are the nurses performing an emergency operation

NEW GAME. A variant on Two Line Vocabulary, only the lines are provided by texts from audience members’ phones.

Oh yeah, by the time they get up for this game, Wayne’s glass of alcohol is gone, confirming that bit was done during pickups

Ryan: “this is unfair.”
Colin: “I’m afraid LIFE is unfair…”
Wayne: “NOOOOOOOOOO”
Pffff. This is why I like this game. More spontaneity, and more unfittingness, abound

Ryan taps Colin on the shoulder and goes “ALANA HAS NO OPTIONS.” Again, out of context weird stuff works here cause it just throws Colin off more,
Colin: “I know…ALANA ONLY HAS ME.”
PFFFF
Ryan tries to do another line but Colin’s still going: “I’M NOT GOD, BUT I’LL DO MY BEST.”

Ryan: “…it’s called Alfred Coffee, it’s in Studio City, I’ll take you there sometime…”
Judging by his previous playings of Playbook, Ryan is great at this

Colin: “You’re gonna have to do most of the work.”
Wayne: “in the alley?”
PFFHAAAAAA
The audience also has a big response to this one

Ryan, suddenly: “IS IT STILL RAINING?”

Colin, to Wayne: “I need a scaplel”
Wayne: “eating sushi, will grab you later”
Colin: “WHY ARE YOU EATING FOOD???”
THAT got me on my first watch. It’s a more specific Two-Line reaction. Just Wayne dragging the scene a different way and Colin frantically trying to bring it back.

Ryan: “I WILL SEND IT THERE TOMORROW, you can pick it up.”
Colin: “NO, but I need the scalpel NOW, why would you send it tomorrow?”
Ryan: “TRACKING NUMBER?”
Colin: “…I DON’T NEED A TRACKING NUMBER.”
Man, I love this game

Then, as Colin gets the scalpel, Ryan: “IS IT STILL RAINING?”
GOOD GOD HE’S GOT IT

Wayne: “DOOON’T. TELL ME HOW TO LIVE MY LIFE. HEART.”
The cadence he puts on that makes it work

Colin, rationalizing that: ‘I, LIONEL HART, is the BEST heart surgeon there is.”
Ryan: “well, it depends on how much you drive and how big your tank is.”
It feels iconic even then.

A great proof-of-concept playing of this that was very funny on itself, even if the scene purposely went nowhere. Ryan’s adeptness at this game was also on hand here, which is odd, as by S15 he’s replaced with fourth seaters in this game.

Aisha: “that game just makes me wonder what the hell’s going on in those people’s lives.”
Ryan: “I don’t think I’ve ever sent a text that said ‘it depends on how much you drive and how big your tank is…”

Scenes from a Hat:

I think this intro is from a pickup, because LOOK AT WAYNE GO:
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.45.09 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.45.26 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.45.40 PM
Aisha and Gary are cracking up at this

“Bad things to say on your first day in prison”
Gary: “I dunno what it is about me, since I was a baby, I sleep with my booty in the air”
JESUS
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.48.59 PM
Again, what I love about Gary is he’s bashful about some of the dark jokes he does here
Also, THE GLASS OF BOOZE RETURNS. Shit, maybe Mixed Messages was done earlier than Duet and Wayne just had himself a nightcap.

Gary and Wayne bring on Colin
Wayne: “black on the right…”
Gary: “BLACK ON THE LEFT.”
Of course it comes back
Colin even starts dancing to it
Gary: “YOU REALLY SHOULDN’T BE ENJOYING THIS RIGHT NOW…”

Gary: “JUST WAIT, I’M GONNA TELL MY DAD, HE’S THE WARDEN.”
Wayne: “I just wanna let everybody in this prison know…my name is RICH…that rhymes with SNITCH-ohno…”
pfffff

Gary does a very easy soap-dropping gag, but Wayne enhances it as a nonspeaking inmate who just keeps glaring at the camera knowingly

“Unlikely things to read out in a sexy way”
Gary: “Substantial penalty for early withdrawal”
Ryan: “scuse me…I’d like to make a deposit”
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.55.10 PM
JESUS

Gary: “well that depends on how far you drivin’…and how big your tank is…”
Gary is just ON FIRE this game

“People you wouldn’t want to go into space with”
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 2.58.01 PM
This is just always gonna work for me..

Gary off-camera must have gone to Wayne ‘go up, I got one”
Wayne: “what’s our triangulated location?”
Gary, from the step: “well, that depends on how far you wanna go and how big your tank is.”
IT’S THAT SIMPLE
Gary: “…you ain’t gon’ make it”

“What the Whose Line audience is really thinking”
Ryan: “…I’m gonna have to burn this fuckin scarf…”
Very nice callback

A very nice SFAH. Great extended scene work, I loved Wayne’s nonspeaking washing character, and great runner energy. Just what this show needed. Literally ALL THREE OPENING GAMES were referenced at some point.

Colin: “it’s all about CLASS.”

Aisha mentions how nice Gary’s looking
Gary: “…I’m VERY sick..”

Living Scenery: Billionaire Colin is showing off all of the features of his private jet to his new girlfriend Ryan, when they land he entertains her at the world’s finest Alpine spa; Wayne and Danielle are props

Colin, to Danielle: “I’m so sorry for what’s about to happen.”
PFFF
Ryan cracks up at this. Aisha stops her intro to go “what’s happened?”
Ryan: “Colin’s already apologizing to her…”

Danielle has an initial struggle on how to get her arms around Ryan as the seatbelt.

There’s another funny moment where Colin slants to the right, then Ryan notices that and does so as well.
Ryan: “wow, it takes so long to get to this side of the plane…”

Wayne casts himself as a yodeling guy in the Alps.
Ryan, who will never, EVER give Wayne the satisfaction: “look at the giant CLOCK.”

Colin: “watch this intricate move to show that it’s three o’clock?”
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 3.11.36 PM
“DONNNNGGGG”Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 3.11.51 PM
“DONNGGGG”
Another mark to add to Wayne’s day. How he gets away with this, I have no idea.
Colin: “…it looked a lot less sexist in the brochure…”
Wayne loses it here

To the parachuting bit:
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 3.14.42 PM
Ryan: “I hope I’m not hurting my parachute…”
Danielle: [adjusts herself]

Danielle has a nice move when Ryan pulls his ripcord:
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 3.16.09 PM

Danielle has a panicked expression as she realizes she’s about to be used as a toboggan
Ryan: “I’M THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD”
Colin: “YOU ARE, CAUSE I GOT YOU THE BIG ONE.”
Beautiful move by Colin. Ryan’s gotten Danielle all game, now he’s giving Ryan Wayne. Perfect
Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 3.18.31 PM
[faint Wayne giggling]

Colin, very carefully getting onto Danielle: “I’M ALMOST SIXTY.”

A very fun Living Scenery. A few familiar beats, and some moments of Danielle struggling, but mostly good moves, and that great ending bit.

Overall: This was a good show, but a lot of factors of it took away from it. I do like this show, I like the very fly-on-the-wall feeling of the bulk of it, like the glass of alcohol, the moments where you can tell where the producers intervened, and the emphasis on banter. But this show has some huge flaws, like a very worried guest star in Danielle Panabaker, who never really felt at ease in a scene during this show, and whose guest games suffered. Duet was clumsy because Danielle never got the best footing onto it, and therefore neither did Gary or Wayne. Therefore when the ‘black on the right/black on the left’ moment happened, it was just Wayne deciding to torture Danielle some more rather than trying with the rest of the game. Living Scenery was better, but still suffered from having Danielle be less than enthused about a lot of the proceedings.

And to fit both of those games in, a lot needed to be lopped off of a pretty good LMAD. We still got great rounds of Mixed Messages and SFAH out of this episode, but they would have better off in a guestless show, kind of like LMAD. So while some of the content here was good, the show itself underwhelmed me. I wanted to like it, but I couldn’t entirely.

Show Winners:All four
Best Performer: Wayne takes another one due to running a great deal of the show, being attached to several great running gags, and that frigging washing himself guy in SFAH.
Worst Performer: Colin had the least to do tonight, doing mostly structural work without going for laughs.
Best Game: Scenes from a Hat connected the entire show together while also providing that too-funny Wayne character.
Worst Game: Duet was a mess. You can laugh at it all you want, and I have, but that game deserved a better guest star.
Guest Star Rating: 7/10. Danielle felt very out of her league with this one. Like she took the booking without realizing what it would mean

COMING UP NEXT: Back to the Jonathan taping, with…you guessed it…YET ANOTHER CW SYNERGY BOOKIINGGGG, YAAAAAYYYY

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E12, or Happens to a Lot of Us

Seasonal Code: S13E11
Production Number: 511
CW Seasonal Code: S13E02

Okay, two things we need to set up with this one:

  1. The whosers came to LA for the 2017 LA tapings. A few are visible in audience shots. I forget which one Angela went to, but this taping is the one Spence 12Medbe went to, and he’s very obvious if you look for him.
  2. Most people these days forget it, but in the 1990s, Boyz II Men were ABSOLUTELY huge. In the shadow of gangsta rap, some big, black dudes from Philly came into the spotlight and sang beautiful R&B and soul music and were the softest, most smooth artists out there. People went CRAZY for them. End of the Road and One Sweet Day were all-timer Top 40 hits. Even 20 years later there’s a lot of love for them.

And that’s all I need to set up. Jonathan Mangum’s taping had Spence 12Medbe in the audience, the special guest was Wanya Morris from Boyz II Men, and insanely funny shit is about to go down.

NOTE: For several points of this episode, I will defer to Spence’s recollections from the taping. A lot of what went into this classic show was left out of the final cut, and it’s important to the story of this one, especially if we HAVE an account like this here.

Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 11.47.31 AMOne of the people in this shot is Spence 12Medbe, famed youtuber, one of the chief minds behind the Watch Whose Line Tonight team, which starts up around 2017 by the way [OH SHIT, HOW DID I NOT EVEN BEGIN TO MENTION THAT YET?]. It’s very hard to guess which one, he’s dressed INSANELY SUBTLY.

Hollywood Director: Ryan and Jonathan are high-tech thieves breaking into a mansion, suddenly they’re confronted by crazy billionaire Wayne and his pet tiger Lil Wayne

During the later tapings, Jonathan, Brad and Jeff were among the few fourth seaters who would always default to Colin as director. Gary and Greg would usurp it from him. So here, even in the ‘we’re trying Colin in the scene’ era, Jonathan acts

Jonathan do some noises to start the scene, breaking through things
Jonathan: “step over the window”
Ryan: “…window, that’s all we’re worried about?”
Clearly they were both on different wavelengths
Jonathan: “IT’S A HIGH-TECH-”
Ryan, taking off his goggles: “SHIT, I DON’T NEED THESE, THEN…I thought there would be beams and stuff..”

Wayne takes the scene over with his entrance, doing a very funny character voice for the billionaire, and then doing some tiger noises as Lil Wayne…and then doing a Lil Wayne impression, because the obvious joke still works

As Colin cuts, Ryan emits some very loud “WHAAAT”s. Maybe confused by the Lil Wayne joke, but he sounds exactly like Lil Jon

Colin, sounding it out as he thinks of it: “So do it like a DAY…TIME…TALK….SHOWWWW……MOVIE.”
Ryan looks confusedly as Colin exits. “A Daytime Talk Show movie???”

I love how Ryan and Jonathan play this, a lot like a Film and Theatre Styles suggestion, with Ryan going “I understand you have a secret about this safe that someone doesn’t know about”.
Jonathan even winks at Aisha, who plays along.

Heck, Ryan casts Wayne as Jonathan’s former lover, who arrives with boos. This is perfect
Wayne: “Y’ALL CAN BOO, WHAT’S IN THIS SAFE IS MINE.”

Then Wayne comes in as the tiger and pisses on them. Amazing. And of course Colin cuts there
Colin: “first of all, we can’t afford those extras…”

Colin: “AGAIN, YOU DON’T HAVE THE EMOTION I AM LOOKING FOR.”
Wayne grimaces a little at that
Colin: “…yeah, THAT’s called acting…”

Colin prescribes them to do it “AS HOORRRRNNY AS HELL.”
And so…the following series of events happens:
Jonathan:
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 12.02.30 PM
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 12.02.54 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-04 at 12.03.02 PM
That alone is funny. LAUNCHING HIMSELF at Aisha. Who’s thankfully losing it. The doorbell gets hit numerous times in this struggle.
Then Colin decides he’s worried about Aisha’s mug:Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 12.03.15 PM
Which is a good move, but it leaves him open to:Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 12.03.29 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-04 at 12.03.45 PM
That cracked me up the first time I watched this. The fourth wall is completely broken. The scene means nothing anymore. The director is getting humped. The musical ending is diminished, because there’s no topping this
Colin:Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 12.03.59 PM
“CUT! CUT!”
Absolutely horrified. So damn funny

Jonathan, meanwhile:
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 12.09.42 PM
“augh….I can’t move…”

From what I can tell from the edit, the musical ending still happened [Spence suggests it was a Rock Opera], just from how Linda’s positioned when we bring the performers back to their seats, but we really didn’t need it. That was a phenomenal Director scene, with great scene elements all the way through, funny stuff from all four performers, and THAT ENDING.

Ryan: “That desk is stronger than I thought it was.”
Aisha: “Yes, it is. My cards however, not so much”
[the conversation continued, according to Spence
Ryan: “No neon to break, either”
Aisha: “no, we had to have it removed for your sake”
Ryan: “I’m still removing the pieces from my head…”]
Man, if that had gone in, that’d have been a great gift to the longtime fans. But, it did not.

Duet: Wayne and Wanya [and Jonathan] sing a 90’s R&B song about tires

According to Spence, the Wayna games were played after both Marisol Nichols’ Duet and Dubbing. “[They] had already set the mood for the taping, they went great, the audience, Aisha and the guys were already at a high. But then this Duet came and it just turned up the dial on everyone.”

Aisha seems genuinely happy to read Wayna’s name, and there’s a reason for that. From Spence: “I remember Aisha before the initial read, seeing the name come up on prompter for her and she went “Oh My God… No It’s Not!” like a Boyz II Men fangirl”

Wayne: “THIS is gonna be good…”
Aisha: “I MEAN…YOU have to sing to WANYA…WAH WAH WAHHHH”
Wayne: “No, Wanya’s gonna sing to US…”

Aisha, setting up the song: “OH DEAR LAWD, I CANNOT WAIT.”

Wayne has an interesting idea for audience suggestion, saying Wanya can make anything sexy, and asks for someone in the audience with “the least-sexiest job”

Wayne: “You’re a preschool teacher- HOPEFULLY NOT, SWEETHEART.”
Wayne is so damn good at audience-wrangling

Wayne goes with ‘tire salesman’: “And are you married?”
Tire salesman: “I am!”
Wayne: “wow…”
HE’S SO GOOD

Aisha emits an ‘oh my god’ at the start of the song. Spence seems to think the editors lifted that from Aisha’s initial reaction to finding out Wanya was gonna be on the show.

Wayne and Wanya start out doing a spoken word bit…and then Wanya takes off, with an absolutely beautiful verse about ‘treading on those tires’. It is gorgeous in so many ways. Ryan and Colin are impressed. AISHA:
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 2.40.49 PM
Absolutely losing it

Wanya is not only hitting some amazing highs in vocals…but he’s an incredible musical improviser. Admirably crafting this verse about ‘getting to you, baby’ with those tires, out of nothing, and making it feel like a Boyz II Men standard.

Then, once Wayne jumps in for his verse, he and Wanya work off of each other perfectly
Wayne: “You got to make sure each one’s balanced”
Wanya: “BALANCED!”
Wayne: “Make sure it’s balanced!”
Wanya, thinking of a rhyme: “WITH THE PSI”
Wayne takes that rhyme and they end that verse beautifully. Aisha’s still freaking out

Then, we cut to the one performer who hasn’t had a verse yet
Jonathan: “WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOOOOOOAAA…”
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 2.53.03 PM
“WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOOOOOAAA….”
Wayne and Wanya: “….”
Jonathan: “….I’LL BE OVER HERE.”
PFFFFF
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 2.54.05 PM
Poor Jonathan. And that’s the comedic hook of this scene. Wayne and Wanya are singing a beautiful song and Jonathan keeps trying to interrupt it by not fitting at all.

Wanya: “yeah, stay over there, that’s better…”
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 2.59.16 PM
I love this shot. So goofy

Wayne and Wanya go into the audience and start serenading a female audience member, because of course

Then, as Wanya and Wayne bring her onstage and go with this ‘just roll’ motif, beautiful and everything, Jonathan tries getting back in here:
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 3.09.00 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-04 at 3.09.12 PM
“WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA-”
Wayne:Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 3.09.21 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-04 at 3.09.28 PM
PFFFFFF. Seamless. I absolutely love this. Apparently Linda started losing it around here, thanks to Jonathan

Wanya, sung very B2M-esque: “I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THIS GUY OVER THEEERE.”
There is something so funny about Wanya Morris, in that voice, singing comedy lines and non-serious things, but still making them sound the way he does.

Wayne details the parts of the car- Wanya is the driver’s side, Wayne’s the passenger’s side, and he motions to Jonathan and goes ‘and that’s the WHITE GUY SIIIIDE…”
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 3.13.13 PM
Jonathan: “WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA…”
I love that even he’s okay with this

Then, after this ‘roll and roll’ motif, Wayne asks the audience member “do ya wanna buy some tires?”
The audience member, getting it, nods.
Wayne: “SHE’S SOLD, AND WE ROLL”

As they sing a last note, Jonathan sneaks back on and finishes with them.

The whole place applauds when Wanya leaves, and rightfully so. This was a beautiful, impressive, funny and damned powerful number, with great vocal prowess from Wanya and Wayne, both singers perfectly in sync and on the right track, and with such a funny comedic hook. And then you have Jonathan, KNOWING how out of place he is, absolutely nailing the contrast gag and just bringing it back. ‘WHOA-WHOA-WHOA-WHOA’ has been one of the things Jonathan has become most known for, and he owns it. He knows who he is. And I love that.

Jonathan does one more ‘WHOA WHOA WHOA’ back at the seats
Aisha: “he actually is Barry WHITE.”
Jonathan: “Bery Bery White…”
HA

According to Spence, Aisha “kept having to compose herself after Duet. She would compose and but then go straight to geeking out “OMGOMGOMGOMG WE HAD BOYZ II MEN!!”

But pretty much everyone there knew how good this Duet had come out, and how everyone at home was gonna love it. “Somewhere during the banter, Wayne looked to Jonathan and went “Man, THAT was good”. Dan [Patterson] even came out to the studio, which was a little surprising to the cast, as he’s more backstage during initial. He had a quick note: “That Duet was nothing short of incredible” When even DAN knows it’s dynamite, that says something. You don’t need to wonder why this went out 2nd out of all the S13 shows.

Spence also says that after the first playing of Film Dub, “Aisha asked if they could do Duet again. Jonathan reprised his “Woah Woah Woah”, to which Aisha came back with “And now I don’t need it”

Themed Restaurant: Jonathan and Wayna are having a business lunch at a restaurant themed on baseball; Wayne, Colin and Ryan are waiters

Let’s see if Jonathan remembers the scene description this time

Jonathan: “You’re gonna LOVE the fried granola cheese balls with quinoa sprinkles”
Wanya: “ohh…what the hell is that??”
AND HE CAN DO SCENE IMPROV TOO. BLESS.

Ryan, as the ump, brushes off the table. Then Colin, as the manager, argues with him right up against his chest. And we’re off.

Wayne: “I’ll be your waiter-WHAT?….sorry, I’ve just been traded…”
PFFFF
Wanya, perfectly: “happens to a lot of us”
WAYNE LOSES IT ON THE SIDE AT THIS. Wayne has to come back and give Wanya a handshake/hug for that one

Colin: “I’m sorry, you have to leave. Cause…the entire staff just went on…STRRRIIIKE.”
I love Colin. I think, out of everybody, he has the most baseball knowledge [go Blue Jays], so it’s nice to see him shine here

Wayne gives the specials to Wanya and Jonathan by signing them like the manager would. That’s pretty funny

Colin: “I’ve got some soup for…..I’m sorry, there’s a fly ball in your soup.”
ALL OF THESE ARE SO GOOD
Wanya loves this one, even if it’s an easy joke

Wanya of all people suggests they talk business. Man, once again, Jonathan always loses the scene in these games. Not that this one is suffering thanks to the pristine gag work

Wayne does an extended one with taking a lead on a base and trying to steal the plates, but Wanya gets up and tackles Wayne.
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 3.57.36 PM
Jonathan, in an entirely different tone from earlier: “WHOA! WHOA!”

A really fun TR. Wanya was a better scene piece than Jonathan, and Wayne and Colin had some really good suggestions.

Aisha, in a line apparently originally airing after Duet: “we all grew up on Boyz II Men”
Ryan, of course: “uh, what?”
PHRASING
Wayne’s giggling as we cross to…

Scenes from a Hat:

Oh boy.

According to Spence, the first scene we see was the first read out: “the world’s least sexy adult movies”
Jonathan, of course: “WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOOOOOOA”

Wayne: “These spreadsheets ain’t gonna do themselves…”
Jonathan: “Watch, these spreadsheets are gonna DO themselves!”
That is a perfect joke add-on

Spence admits he suggested this next scene: “things you can say about the weather that you can’t say about your partner”
Ryan: “ah, she’s really blowin’ hard…”
Colin: “I feel it in my bones…something’s comin'”
Wayne: “It’s too moist and humid if we all stand in here at once”
Jonathan:
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 4.25.50 PM
Jonathan, gone: “I’ll just leave, then…”

Aisha: “It’s been wet for WEEKS, when is this moisture gonna stop?”
Ryan: “I’m finding it kinda DRY…”
Aisha: “…now that you’re standing here, it is drying up quite a bit”

Jonathan, similarly: “you know, it only seems to get wet when Boyz II Men shows up…”
HA

“If Kids Television shows were about embarrassing personal problems”
Wayne goes up with Jonathan, as Snuffy: “HEYYY BIG BIRD…”
Jonathan:
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 4.29.38 PM
By this facial expression, he’s trying to get into character but he’s not sure if he has that impression
Wayne: “There just seems to be a lack of intimacy between myself and my partner…”
Jonathan, in a TOO HIGH voice: “OH, SNUFFALUPAGUS, YOU JUST NEED TO GET SOME SPICE IN YOUR LIFE”
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 4.32.07 PM
Wayne is BARELY HANGING ON. Knows something’s up.
Aisha laughs, waiting for the punchline to buzz
Jonathan, weakly: “….I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT BIG BIRD SOUNDS LIKE.”
BUZZZZZ
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 4.33.35 PM
Jonathan: “WHAT DOES BIG BIRD SOUND LIKE???”
Aisha and Wayne are gone, as is the audience. Remember, Spence, part-time Muppet fan, is in the audience, so of course he’s laughing his ass off here.
Wayne: “…Not like THAT…”

Ryan, with Colin: “Let’s go DEEEEEEP UNDER THE SEA…Oh, look, CRABS.”
I kinda love this. Ryan just bewilderedly picking the crabs out of Colin

Wayne does one as Mother Goose with her kids, then telling Jonathan he’s unwanted as the others laugh
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 4.37.18 PM
“PLEASE. Stop bullying, today.”

“Facts you wish were true.”
Jonathan, of course: “THIS IS WHAT BIG BIRD SOUNDS LIKE.”
Like with the ‘white guy side’, Jonathan knows the joke is on him, and is perfectly okay at keeping it going
Also, note that the cut doesn’t match here. According to Spence, Jonathan had an earlier suggestion of “the news”, which would have been TRUMP REFERENCE #2 had it aired, and a few other suggestions elapsed, before landing that big bird one.

At the end of game buzz, Jonathan goes back to the step, only to realize the game’s over, and quickly hikes over to the seats.

A strong SFAH. The runners are still in play, there’s lots of good extended scenes, and it’s a good picture of some mid-taping energy.

According to Spence, the Big Bird gag continued in later games like Props, Greatest Hits and Newsflash. Obviously they didn’t all make air.

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, has invited his soon-to-be-wed buddy Wanya over for a bachelor party at his house

I’ve been told to remind you all that HH taped after Hoedown, so Ryan is in a very goofy mood after some Joe Pesci and Abe Vigoda jokes.

The opening of this scene is very loose, very relatable dialogue

Ryan says he’s sad about losing a roommate
Wayna: “You know, sometimes you’ve got to give into the sausage party, and-”
Ryan: “SAUSAGE PARTY???”

Ryan: “I don’t want you to do ANYTHING today, this is YOUR wedding.”
This move is interesting. Is it because Wanya has brought it all night, or that he’s expressed trepidation towards scene acting, that Ryan is insisting on taking the lead?

I like that Wanya doesn’t play down his trepidation once Colin starts slapping hummus on the hot dog

Wayna does end up taking a bite, which…good on him for being game. Then, Ryan insists on washing down with a brewski.
Ryan: “YOU DON’T DO ANYTHING-”
Wanya, mouth still full: “MMMOOOKAAYYY”

Ryan, as Colin shakes the can: “MARRIAGE….MARRIAGE….I can’t speak anymore”
Ryan, of course, opens it:
Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 5.03.30 PM
Just enough foam

Usually I’m not wild about visible discomfort on this show, but Wanya is at least factoring that into his character, and the scene, rather than just making it a lot of NO in this improv.

Ryan: “And you couldn’t be marrying a finer girl…believe me, I know”
PFFF

Then, as Ryan says some more about Wayna’s fiancee, Colin just keeps slapping the top of the beer can, the suds.

Ryan, after having some beer: “hey, that’s actually good!”

Ryan, picking up the sandwich with the lingering detail of the affair still in the air: “…I wanna describe the night to you”
PFFF
Wanya, barely holding it in: “PLEASE DON’T”
By the way, right here we cut to a section of the game filmed in pickups. According to Spence, we went from the beer to a cake-throwing scene in the original playing, then Dan said the game was too short so they filmed more. So this sandwich bit was meant to lengthen the game.

Wayna’s visibly wincing as Ryan packs a sandwich with deli meat and ‘candy necklaces’. For once, I’m fine with this, because Wanya knows to play it up. I swear he’s good!

Ryan, as Colin slaps the necklaces: “That’s not goin down there, you know what that means? HUMMUS.”
Wanya: “HHHNNNNNNGGGGGGGG”
PFFFFFF. That got me. A FULL BODY CRINGE. WITH NOISE.

Ryan, post bite: “I left that meat out for a while.”
Uh, yeah, that was PICKUPS MEAT. THAT WAS SITTING THERE.

Wayna, mouth full: “I dunno, should I swallow it?”
Ryan: “NO, SPIT IT INTO MY HANDS.”
Full circle. The subversion of the trope. Wanya now can spit into Colin’s hands, rather than just Ryan.

Then, we buzz right after the spit. We don’t need to go to cake. We had this. This is a great ending.

An awesome HH. The fact that this was two parts joined together makes it even better, as it feels like a really fluid scene even knowing that more was added. The sandwich ending, complete with ending spit, is a really good way to bring this game out, also because it gave more Wanya discomfort, which he knew exactly what to do with while also being really game and a good improv foil. A few familiar beats, but a lot of good stuff here.

Overall: A perfect show. Classic, even. Not a single bad game tonight, or even a single not-great game. All five games were excellent and had fantastic, funny moments, and awesome endings. Duet is probably the biggest statement from this show, as it’s one of the single best musical games Whose Line has ever put out, period. Having Wanya Morris and Wayne Brady singing about tire salesmen, as Jonathan tries to ruin it, was a match made in heaven, and Wanya’s vocal and improv abilities boosted this show tenfold. The other two guest games were also excellent, and Helping Hands was a great one that Wanya knew how to boost with his horror at the food crimes being committed. The two non-guest improv games we had, Director and SFAH, were also phenomenal; Director was a really good, well-improvised Director game with a hysterical ending [“CUT! CUT!”], and SFAH had that Big Bird gag, and some really good mid-taping energy.

This is one of those shows where you understand why Dan and Mark keep insisting on having guest stars come on. Cause then they deliver gold like this, without even overshadowing the actions of the performers, all of whom had moments to shine tonight.

Thanks again to Spence 12Medbe for his notes on this taping and episode. See you in a few for the Marisol Nichols show.

Show Winner: Colin
Best Performer: Wayne Brady. Strong work all night, especially in Duet. The Big Bird runner doesn’t happen unless he shames Jonathan a little for it.
Worst Performer: Colin had the simplest work to do tonight, but he killed it in Themed Restaurant.
Best Game: Duet. Has to be Duet. That’s a series highlight right there, no hyperbole.
Worst Game: Themed Restaurant was the closest to a sore spot in the whole show, but even that one had some really funny moments.
Guest Star Rating: 10/10. With what Wanya did in Duet, even forgetting his other two great scene performances, I can’t not.

COMING UP NEXT: We intro the Gary taping with, that’s right, yet another CW synergy booking

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E11, or Drew, Here’s Your Chance!

Seasonal Code: S13E11
Production Number: 502
CW Seasonal Code: S13E01

Right. Season 13. The 2017 taping season. Obviously things have been minimized.

Yes, because of the glut of leftovers and lack of time to air it all, CW sent down to the producers that the taping season should be smaller and more spread out. So instead of 10 tapings, for S13 we were down to five. And because the BBC’s one-female-per clause didn’t carry over to the US, all five fourth-seaters were male- Greg, Jeff, Jonathan, Gary and Brad. Heather already had other commitments, mainly her own health, and Keegan was already taking on Hollywood, but…Nyima couldn’t have gotten a call back? Really?

Nevertheless, we got 5 tapings, enough for 10 guest star shows….well…really nine, because the one we’re covering today isn’t really a guest star show.

So, this is the Jeff Davis taping for S13. He was on for one, and oh what a one that was. Because the CW was able to get an old friend to come back to guest, mostly due to his show Nashville being pretty big at the time. Heck, I don’t think Chip Esten would have ever said no to coming back to Whose Line, and his schedule opening up made a potential yes into a definite yes.

So, what happened to Chip Esten since Improv A Ganza? Well…by 2017, he prefers Charles.

Chip Esten, thanks to his time on Nashville in a damn near leading role, had become a country music hero, releasing his own country music as Deacon and as Chip, playing numerous shows at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and becoming a serious actor on television, jumpstarting a career on television [which would continue in Netflix’s Outer Banks]. And all this time, he’s not improvising, he’s not being funny, he’s just focusing on being a serious actor and singer. And he misses it, I reckon. He’s also grown a full beard, and is embracing the rugged, country music character that has been thrust upon him [he is also a republican].

This is a completely different Chip Esten that arrives at Whose Line in 2017. And he proceeds to get right back to what he did best in the Drew era, and make some people laugh. Plus, he gets to work with Jeff again, which worked so well in IAG. So the excitement levels for this show were off the chain, and damn did it deliver.

A note here that I don’t consider the Chip S13 shows guest star shows, since Chip is used mostly as an extra improv performer, really a fifth seater. So Chip will be judged as a performer rather than a guest star in these.

From the intros, you know this is gonna be a good one:
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 10.44.25 AMScreen Shot 2021-06-03 at 10.44.33 AMScreen Shot 2021-06-03 at 10.44.44 AMScreen Shot 2021-06-03 at 10.44.55 AMScreen Shot 2021-06-03 at 10.45.08 AM
The shot stays with Colin for the longest time waiting for Ryan to get into position for his, but once they realize he’s not gonna come over, we finally cut to the empty chair. Perfect.

Even better are Aisha’s intros, which I never usually write down because they’re very derivative, but these are knowingly derivative
“Say something complimentary, Wayne Brady
Insert neutral reference, Jeff Davis
Make joke about baldness, Colin Mochrie, and
end on insulting punchline, it’s Ryan Stiles”
You have to wonder if this is the sort of template card that all the intros are derived from, or if this was made cheekily derivative for a meta joke. Either way, it works

Let’s Make a Date: Jeff must choose from
Wayne – TSA agent hitting on the people he’s checking over
Colin – Velcro-covered doctor who keeps getting stuck to his patients
Ryan – The life cycle of a bald eagle

Jeff: “bachelor #1, if I were a cocktail, how would you garnish my rim?”
How did this make air??

Wayne uses Colin for his quirk, taking him through the whole patting down procedure. “You work out? I’m just making sure you’re not carrying any illegal fruits. Ah, somebody’s smuggling ORANGES, huh?”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 10.51.14 AM

Jeff: “What’s the most romantic rap lyric you can think of?”
Colin shakes his head as his chyron comes up. “Of course, you’re right in my wheelhouse there…”

Colin, for the second time in the past few episodes:
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 10.52.54 AM
And Ryan just stifles a reaction. Then,
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 10.54.55 AM

Then, the second he gets free, Colin puts his hands on his chest, and rolls his eyes

Ryan’s is some good old fashioned animal physicality, stuff he’s been doing on this show for years, and he’s able to accurately depict the struggle of a young bald eagle while also making it funny, which is why he’s one of the best in the biz.

Once Colin realizes Wayne’s gonna use him again, he just shakes his head. Then Wayne goes into a really good TSA song, per Jeff’s suggestion. Then, as Wayne’s singing, Colin gets an arm stuck to Wayne’s lower torso, so we get both quirks at once.

Wayne, continuing: “just put all your valuables in the bin
and what I’m doing right now [smirk] I’M MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
DINGDINGDINGDINGDING. WE’VE REACHED THE FIRST WL EPISODE OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, WHICH MEANS…we’re gonna be tallying every last one of the Trump jokes made during the 2017-2019 taping seasons. And believe me, there will be a LOT of them. This is the very first one, and it’s a big one.

Jeff, after Wayne’s ‘pre-checking’ of Colin: “…35 years ago that would have made me so moist”

Then, Ryan begins to lay an egg, and:
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.05.10 AMScreen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.05.25 AMScreen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.05.42 AM
Everyone is going through it tonight…
Wayne: “that’s a fine piece of carry-on…”

Jeff gets everybody but Ryan, thinking he’s a pterodactyl
Aisha: “what’s the symbol of this great country?”
Ryan: “…a pterodactyl…”
Jeff: “….ANEAGLE!”
As they head back, Ryan makes fun of him for this

Aisha: “I was really looking forward to Ryan…laying Colin’s head.”
[Uhh…are we not doing phrasing anymore?]

A phenomenal LMAD. All three were interacting with each other and all the quirks felt live and funny, and it felt like a very classic, teachable game of this.

Props: Jeff, Ryan AND CHIP vs. Wayne and Colin

The first Chip game played this taping was Duet, which means our intro to Chip for this show was PROPS. THREE-MAN PROPS TEAM.

Chip sprints back onstage with such energy and enthusiasm that it’s really just a joy to see. Ryan, despite Duet happening, acts like this is his first game back. “WHAT? CHARLES ESTEN??”

Wayne and Colin’s first one is Space Invaders. Man, what a wonderfully nerdy reference

Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.14.25 AMRyan: “you guys wanna stampede?”
Jeff: “…yeah.”
Chip: “…I could stampede.”
Ryan: “I guess I could stampede..”
Jeff, thinking of the perfect punchline: “HEY, GUYS GUYS GUYS….this is some bull shit…”
And you’d have to wait until the other Chip episode airs to find out why that’s funny, but as is? Pretty funny.

The upside of a three-person props is that the Ryan, Jeff and Chip scenes feel more like extended runs, more similar to Freeze Tag than Props. So there’s some really cool energy there

I love the Wayne-Colin slo-mo boxing one, where Wayne punches Colin and Colin throws out one of the props as a flying tooth
Wayne, of course: “ADRIIAANNNNNN”

Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.21.44 AMColin: “this town ain’t big enough for two Santa Clauses…”
Wayne, lunging: “HO HO HO”
Colin: “THAT’S MY WIFE YOU’RE TALKIN ABOUT”
I lost it at this one. Hell, even these ones feel more extended

Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.23.10 AMChip: “I TOLD YE not to make fun of the judge…”
Ryan: “SHUT YE UP.”
Good to see Chip’s more creative moments are still par for the course

Colin: “we’ve finally reached it…the MOLAR ice cap.”
HAAAAA

Chip suddenly has a great idea:
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.25.40 AM
Chip: “hey guys, you have something in your teeth”
Wayne emits an ‘OHHHHH’, like he’s half disappointed and half impressed.

Chip tries a supremes one, then realizes Ryan has his upside down and tries to fix it
Ryan: “DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR”
Chip cracks.

Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.27.51 AMWayne: “mmm, Canadian Bacon on white..”

Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.29.11 AMChip: “that’s the ugliest ant I’ve ever s[…]een…”

And then this one always makes me laugh:

Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.30.03 AM
[Carousel music]Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.30.22 AM[THE SAME CAROUSEL MUSIC]
Jeff, Ryan and Chip were out of ideas, so they just redid Wayne and Colin’s. Ryan’s cracking once they start. Such a goofy move.

SUCH A GREAT PROPS. The three-man combo had some great ideas and dynamics, even if Jeff seemed a bit outshone in points, and Wayne and Colin had plenty to combat it with.

Chip: “I hate to do this, but…could I have a couple points? I haven’t had points in 10 years.”
Aisha gives him 10,000, “in honor of your triumphant return to Whose Line”. It’s a moment where it’s clear how much this meant to the show, and to the fans. So it’s pretty damn cool
Chip, to camera, emotional: “THEY MATTER. THEY MATTER.”

He goes backstage, but he’s literally not backstage for long in the timeline of this episode:

Hoedown: Wayne, Chip, Ryan and Jeff sing the Pilot hoedown

Chip comes back for this one, WHICH MEANS…COLIN GETS TO SIT OUT OF A HOEDOWN
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 11.35.57 AM
COLIN IS SO HAPPY. DANCING AROUND, CLAPPING.
Colin: “DO A WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM.”
PFFFFF
Chip: “COME DO IT WITH US!”
Colin, of course, refuses

I do have a feeling that this was the second hoedown filmed, mostly from Aisha’s much faker suggestion taking.

Wayne has a verse about someone wanting to be a pilot who smokes all day. “Just because you get high doesn’t mean that you can fly”

Chip: “Hello, I’m your pilot, this news is kinda rough
I studied hard at flying, but I guess just not enough
We’re gonna crash now, we’re going down for sure
Cause when I used the bathroom, well, I locked that cockpit door!”
A suitably fun one for Chip’s return.

Ryan’s feels like it came after some blown attempts, and it’s a “sit on my joystick” pun

Jeff does a similar one about hooking up on a plane
“We’re gonna land soon, I know she is wishin
That I am locked in the upright position”
Ryan immediately goes “OH”, and for the refrain, audibly sings “WHY DIDN’T I DO THAAAAAAT?” instead of that line. Which cracks me up.

A pretty good Hoedown. I like the other one from this taping better, as there’s some different stuff than just usual dick jokes, but Chip adds some class.

Ryan, sipping water confidently: “I thought that went rather well.”
PFFFF

Scenes from a Hat:

“What sesame street characters say during lovemaking”
Jeff, of course: “ONE BOOBIE….TWOOOO BOOBIES, AH-AH-AH!”

Wayne does a ‘near and far’ one, and I kinda like the lighting crew following him back. That’s new. Usually they don’t move ’em if the players head back towards the seats during a round

Colin: “TAKE YOUR HAND OUT OF MY ASS.”
…If i’m not mistaken, the CW censored this. Those monsters. No pun intended.

Jeff, hand on his zipper: “abierto…serrado…”

Wayne, as Snuffy: “No, Big Bird, it feels great.”
JESUS. Also, foreshadowing for next show
Ryan, running behind Wayne: “YOU’RE NEVER GONNA FORGET THIS, ARE YOU?”
I’m gone..
Wayne, with Ryan behind him, just cracks up

Ryan: “Sesame Street is brought to you by the letter OOOOOHHHH”
Better than H
Ryan: “OHHHHHHH. OOOOOOOUUUUGHHH.”
BUZZ
Ryan: “G.”
PFFFF

Wayne, as Kermit: “MMM, BACON”
Aisha buzzes almost immediately

“Pick up lines in the sandwich store”
SUB SHOP, you fucking west coast troglodytes…

Wayne, to Colin: “you know I like it on white…”
Colin: “…sure”
Wayne: “…MMM, BACON.”
This is not only a reference to the Kermit gag, but IT’S A REFERENCE TO PROPS

“Things you shouldn’t use your tongue for”
Once Wayne goes “I’m going outside to bring one of the piglets in”, we who know of the rule of threes know EXACTLY what’s about to happen next

Ryan, drinking and spitting: “okay, at your age, you should really have that done twice a year.”
A rare joke where he trusts the audience’s intelligence and doesn’t explain it, and I love it
Aisha, getting it: “OHHHH NOOOO” [long buzz]

Jeff:
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 2.28.50 PM
PERFECT
Then, as Jeff licks the doorbell and the buzzer again,
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 2.33.22 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-03 at 2.33.33 PM
i love that. Just sadly walking away.

The CW cut even included a cut to commercial with this assortment:Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 2.32.57 PMJeff cheekily going “we’ll see YOU after the break.” Gotta love him

Aisha comes back from exile and taps the buzzer with her elbow.

Pretty strong SFAH. The Sesame Street round was awesome, and it coasted with some funny follow-ups and runner energy.

Greatest Hits: Songs of Halloween [with Jeff, Wayne and Chip]

This is more of the Improv A Ganza energy. Greatest Hits with 3 singers. Like we’re back onstage at the MGM

Colin: “Hi, we’ll be back to a movie about a man who built a structure over a river, depressing the inhabitants, in Bridge Over Troubled Otters…”
JESUS, COLIN

Ryan does a ‘trick or treat’ gag to start.
Colin: “wow, scary mask!”
HAAA

Colin, with no irony: “as everyone knows, I was born in the 1880s.”
For once, HE says it
Colin: “I look good because of working out, and a….placenta facial.”

Colin: “One of my favorite ragtime Halloween-inspired songs…[smirk] out of…80.”

Wayne’s Ragtime trill, of course, hasn’t aged a day

Jeff: “If you eat too many sweeties, you’ll have Type 3 Diabetes”

Having a three-man harmony in this game, especially in styles like Ragtime, is really cool

Chip has a decent voice, but to be honest, his musical improv skills, at least in this song, feel slightly rusty

Wayne’s manic sugar high impression is great though

Yeah, I liked the Ragtime number, but it was a bit simple at times.

Ryan has a little ‘YEE’ at the 80s music style Colin mentions
Colin: “I can see you’re excited, your nipples expanded..”

For the 80s number, Chip raises his collar, and Jeff follows. The backing is like a cross between White Wedding and Take On Me
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 2.54.51 PM
Yeah, this is pretty perfect
Screen Shot 2021-06-03 at 2.59.03 PM

Wayne’s doing a Simon le Bon kind of pretty boy vocal job, and I love Jeff and Chip’s little ‘knock-knock’ backing refrain

EVEN THE CHORUS SOUNDS GOOD. With all three of ’em! Man this was a good idea

There’s a little moment where Jeff takes a verse right when Chip’s about to start, but Chip rebounds admirably
Jeff: “I WISH YOU WOULD GO TO HELL
WHY DON’T YOU GET A DAMN DOORBELL”

Then Chip goes in…with a PERFECT impression of Robert Smith from the Cure. He’s done this impression before, in IAG [WIPE THE WINDOOOOOOW], but it’s never been better than it is here. He’s got the exact cadence Smith would use in Love Cats, as well as the strained melodic tone of his stuff.
Chip does a full extended verse that keeps the intensity of the song, and gets the audience applauding after he’s done. That rustiness has completely vanished, and he’s BACK

Even the tail end, when all 3 are doing dance moves and bashing the refrain in, is insanely strong

I also love the final wonderful note of ‘HIS HAAAAANDS’, then Wayne realizes what the song title was, and just goes “…or Knuckles.” PFFFF. Okay, that’ll fix it…

An excellent GH. The three-man format made for some excellent musical moments, especially that ENTIRE second song, which was excellent. Plus, some really good banter tonight. This felt like a classic playing, or even a stage playing.

Aisha: “I’m gonna give Chip a thousand points…but I’m gonna give it to him in dollars from the last time he was on the show-”
Ryan: “QUIT FUCKIN WITH THE SHOW.”
PFFF
Aisha: “THIS IS MY SHOW NOW, RYAN.”
Wayne, yelling backstage: “DREW, HERE’S YOUR CHANCE!”
BOOM. A fitting final line to this one.

Overall: This show delivered on the expectations of the fans, and for that it’s a classic. You can tell it’s a good show, because even the non-Chip games, LMAD and SFAH, are both great, with LMAD having so many collaborative funny moments, and SFAH having that whole Sesame Street run and that Kermit runner. But then you factor in the Chip games, and you get an entirely new level of improv, with the three-man Props team giving some extended fun ideas throughout [which Colin and Wayne were still a match for, as well], and Greatest Hits giving that three-man singing group with all three having excellent moments, especially in the 80s number. And yes, you could even say that Hoedown was next level because it was a rare Colinless hoedown in the post-Drew era.

The bottom line is that Chip Esten added a lot to this show, especially when being added as the fifth man, and being reunited with all four performers who he’d worked so well with in the past. That being said, there were fleeting moments of early mistakes, solely because he didn’t start the taping with the rest, and warmed up cold unlike the others, who’d warmed up with Questions and Director and such. But some moments, like Props, and Greatest Hits, felt like peak Chip. And that’s what we wanted. So I’m glad we got it.

An excellent show, by far. And thankfully, the second Chip show we’ll see in S14 has even more great moments, an even better Hoedown, and Chip hopping into SFAH. I can’t wait for that one either.

Show Winners: Wayne and Jeff
Best Performer: Chip Esten. This was a pretty spread out show, but the entire middle of the show belonged to Chip, and he nailed it.
Worst Performer: Everybody else won games for me except for Jeff. He did have that great SFAH moment, but Chip sort of edged him out in a lot of the games they were in.
Best Game: It is so hard to separate Let’s Make a Date and Greatest Hits. Those two games are exceptional. But I’m gonna give it to Greatest Hits for feeling like a next level whose line game, and for some great dynamic work from all three singers, as well as some unstoppable Colin energy throughout. This is what I’d been missing since I finished IAG.
Worst Game: Hoedown, but even that one was still pretty good.

COMING UP NEXT: Spence, you have waited long enough, brother. We get to the Jonathan Mangum taping from S13, featuring one of the most impressive vocalist guest stars they’ve had to this point, a runner involving Sesame Street, and some weirdo in the audience wearing a tacky shirt.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E10, or I’m Grounded

Seasonal Code: S13E10
Production Number: 417
CW Seasonal Code: S12E22

We’ve reached the final S12 show of Season 13. 2/3rd of the way through the season. Gotta love the CW.

This is another trip to S12’s Heather taping, as we started this season with one, and it brings us a guest star in Jillian Michaels, best known as the tough-girl head trainer on The Biggest Loser for several seasons. Because of people’s problems with Biggest Loser from an ethical standpoint, as well as the fact that Jillian would essentially scream at people until they pushed themselves beyond the limits of their mental health, people don’t like Jillian. But sure, let’s put her on a comedy show.

This is also Heather’s last show from the regulation seasons. Every other Heather show would be from the backlog. She needs to get back and tape more.

Hollywood Director: Colin and Ryan are a young couple frolicking in their hot tub which starts to malfunction for obvious reasons when Wayne enters as a clumsy electrician to repair it; HEATHER DIRECTS

The second of the ‘Colin doesn’t direct’ experiment. And man is this a big one

This was the first one filmed, cause when Aisha announces “HEATHER is going to be the director”, Colin, who’s already on his usual step, moves back down to the stage. Heather, who is a fan of this show as much as she’s a part of this, goes ‘OOOH’, knowing WL history is being made as she ascends the step

Ryan and Colin’s opening ‘frolicking’ is funny enough on its own.
Colin: “we need a bigger hot tub…”

Colin, arms around Ryan: “I’m on top of the world!”
Ryan: “You’re on top of ME.”
And that is why Colin plays this game for a bit, so we can get the Colin-Ryan scene dynamic in Director as well

I love Ryan revealing that “I’ve RETAINED all the water!”
Colin: “…THAT gives me second thoughts”

Wayne makes an entrance as a russian electrician
Ryan: “I hope you can fix it from the inside”
Wayne just casually removes his clothes to reveal boobs. So either he’s a large man, or he’s just a very masculine woman.
Ryan, also thrown: “I didn’t see that one coming…”

Heather has the best rationalization: “My dad’s a famous director, so now *I* get to be a director too…”

In the Vegas performers style, Ryan and Colin start doing choreographed swimming moves inside the tub together, which cracked me up [as it cracked up Aisha]. It just turns into synchronized swimming

Wayne even enters as an Elvis impersonator, and brings back his excellent Elvis impression
Ryan, who will never, EVER, give Wayne the satisfaction: “AH! ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINCK!”
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 3.43.20 PMColin: “ENTER.”
Ryan: “ENTER, ENGLEBERT.”
Jesus…

Heather: “CUT CUT CUT”
Ryan: “I think I might have gotten my singers wrong…”

Heather suggests a ‘Cabaret’ scene.
Colin: “…like Cabaret?”
pff

Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 3.47.08 PMSo quite obviously, this Cabaret number is great. Both Colin and Ryan work with this style, getting the sort of camp aspect down while also putting in good lyrics [Colin’s “she will fill my loving cup/hey what’s THAT that’s coming up”]

Then, as Colin and Ryan do a refrain, Wayne enters, clearly as the MC, ringing the doorbell in german and getting that down. This is not only funny, but it works so well with the style.

Even the moment where Wayne turns to the audience, going “VELKOMEN ONE AND ALL TO ZE HOT TUB”, is exactly like the show, it makes this feel like a Broadway atmosphere, and is likeness as well as still being funny, even with Ryan answering ‘WE ARE’ to Wayne’s ‘ARE YOU READY TO HAVE A GOOD EVENING TONIGHT?’, directed to an audience that was like 1 game in or so to this taping.

And then, Wayne putting electrical wires in the center of the hot tub, to the rhythm of the backing beat, with Ryan and Colin in a circle, on top of each other. Leading to one of the single most ridiculously funny yet STILL IMPRESSIVE musical moments of the season. All three connecting on electrocution/orgasming noises, IN TIME WITH THE MUSIC, WITH AN ACCELERANDO.
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 3.54.56 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-01 at 3.55.09 PM
“OH! OH! OH! OH!”, etc. Getting faster, then evening out. What makes this so funny is that all three of these performers are in sync, in tune with the music and in tune with each other, and deliver this to be an outrageous, funny, and still musical moment.

The best part for me is the very end, after they’ve slowed back down and are preparing for a final note…and then all three slowly emit a relieved, post-orgasmic moan that slowly builds to a final note. Done perfectly against the final stanza of the backing. It’s a moment that could stand in an actual musical.
Wayne, as the song finishes: “I’m grounded.”

So…that’s an incredible Director scene. Even before Cabaret it was pretty good, with some great early scenes and dynamics, and Heather doing a decent job directing, but the Cabaret style was HUGE. A purely spectacular musical moment that was still funny while also being just a really impressive musical improv showcase, and a testament to these three working together for as long as they have. I used to share the final orgasming tempo change moment with my friends just to confuse them. I honestly think it’s one of the best musical moments of this era, and a way of reaching back to the musical improv legacy of this show, especially the first few UK seasons.

Aisha describes this as “something so funny I can’t imagine it actually appearing on television.” Thank god it did.

World’s Worst: relative

Lot of simple ones to start out. Heather has a very GOOD simple one: “HEY. Yew wanna have sex?” [stares til the audience gets it]
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 4.10.42 PM
“That’s what I was gonna do…”
PFFF

AND NOW:
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 4.11.53 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-01 at 4.12.03 PMWayne: “A toast…to the man who is marrying…”Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 4.12.14 PM
Ryan realizes he has no idea what he’s doing and tries to go back but Colin keeps following him. Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 4.12.28 PM
Wayne: “….what the fuck???”
I will never not laugh at this. What the hell is this?? What was Ryan’s idea? Why does Colin keep following him? Did they go on and then realize Wayne was up?
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 4.16.11 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-01 at 4.16.25 PM
If ya can’t beat em…

Heather: [does monkey impression]
She then stops, looks at the audience, and goes “…cause they’re ALL our relatives, guuuys…”
I love Heather

Ryan: “Son, you’re…big enough now, I…think it’s time you have my mustang.”
Colin: “thanks, dad”
Ryan: “oops, I’m sorry-”
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 4.19.09 PM
[PBBBBT]
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 4.19.45 PM
Ryan: “…gimme the keys back.”
Colin, after Ryan leaves: “WHAT KIND OF A LESSON IS THAT??”

We cut to camera 1:
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 4.21.32 PM
I don’t blame him

Wayne goes “HENRY, THIS APPLE PIE’S READY”, and then pulls the EXACT SAME MOVE TO COLIN. FART AND ALL.
Colin: “OH, COME ON!”

Jesus Christ, that’s such a good World’s Worst. Best one since World’s Worst Roommate. Between the random ‘walking around behind each other’ gag, some funny Heather ones, and that damned farting and bending over runner, there’s so much funny stuff in here. I applaud it.

Ryan: “My kids are gonna laugh at that because…I actually do that to ’em…”

Song Styles: Wayne sings a workout video song to Jillian; the Firefighter Workout

Through Jillian’s entrance, and her waving to the fellas in the back, we learn she’s a huge WL fan, and that she’s very nervous. Of all guest stars to be a Whose Line fan IRL, I would not have guessed Jillian Michaels.

Aisha: “if only hugging Jillian made you more fit…”

Also, Jillian seems really relatably humble when the style is announced, chuckling and saying “I’ll try and class that up for ya”
Wayne takes off his shoes for this
Aisha: “he just wants you to see the mustache socks..”
Jillian: “those are amazing…”

I kinda love this already. The cheesy synth-rock sound of the backer, and Jillian’s slightly put-off ‘yeeeahhh’ when asked if she’s ready. I was not expecting this much character from someone who seemed to aggressive and merciless on the show. Maybe it’s a Gordon Ramsay kinda thing
Wayne, re: ‘…yeeeeahhh’: “She’s the TALKATIVE one at the firehouse!”

I love how into this Jillian is, doing all of the different exercises Wayne lists off. At ‘you gotta hurt’, Jillian literally draws back with an arm injury.

Wayne, after Jillian does a ‘stop drop and roll’: “…get up, you gotta do it again,”
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 10.11.23 PM
Jillian’s second-long ‘oh come on’ reaction cracks up Ryan and Heather
Wayne: “Next time, a belt might be your friend”

Wayne: “get up, you gotta do it again”
Jillian:
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 10.16.22 PM
I also Wayne specifying “and after we’re finished we’ll eat some chili, LOW CARB.”

Then Wayne pimps Jillian out to do 50 pushups. Another eyeroll, but hey this is what she gets, right?
Wayne, as Jillian gets down: “I WAS KIDDING.”

Wayne: “Now my turn- I WAS KIDDING ABOUT THAT TOO.”

A super fun number. Jillian was having a nice time, and I liked that she was rolling with the things Wayne was throwing at her. Wayne also had some really fun lyrics, making the thesis of this ‘fight fires like a badass, like us’, and having him and Jillian fall right in line with that

Scenes from a Hat:

“Inappropriate times to take your clothes off”
Colin, while disrobing: “alright, if you just take off your clothes, I’ll examine you in a second”

Ryan, with Colin, disrobing: “don’t ever get me called into the principal’s office again!”
Wayne, entering and disrobing: “Mrs. Johnson, I came here to talk about your son!”
There’s some easy penis jokes, and Heather comes in to set-dress
Wayne, to Colin: “read this paper, Timmy”
And as Colin bends over, Wayne brings back the fart gag from earlier.
Ryan: “OHHH! THAT’S HORRIBLE!”
Colin: “That was my good eye!”
All four are cracking up. I don’t blame them.

Ryan has a slightly cleaner one, where he does an astronaut stepping outside naked, and immediately dying

“Weird reasons for the news to interrupt regular TV”
Heather: “We interrupt this newscast to bring you a TOTALLY SEPARATE NEWSCAST!”
Just the little smile she has before she gives that one. So funny
[also, Wayne tries to save it as Kanye, but it didn’t really need him]

Ryan: “We interrupt this program to bring you a special bulletin: NEVER BEND OVER IF SOMETHING IS DROPPED.”
Wayne, running in: “we have new copy”
Ryan, bending over: “new copy, what-”
Wayne: “PBBBBBBT”
JESUS
Colin is cracking as Ryan comes back. He looks over at Ryan and goes “…THIS is our running gag?” Which is a line that has stayed with me for years.

“Things you can say about your job that you cannot say about your partner.”
Heather: “maybe I’ll finally get a raise.”
[Man, that is not a prescient line for someone who’s about to get dropped for the next taping season]

“Statements that are clearly untrue.”
Colin, being himself: “boy, my penis is small.”

Wayne, with Heather: “all I want is your friendship and someone to talk to” [looks knowingly at the camera]

Ryan: “I will never fart on this show again.”
heheheheh
And he does a little one as he heads back

A pretty classic-seeming SFAH. It kept runners going, yet had some self-contained energy as well. Not as good as WW, but with some really funny stuff.

Dubbing: Ryan is a tough drill sergeant in an all-female army corps putting new recruit Jillian, voice by Colin through her paces when suddenly glamorous Private Wayne enters to show that she is indeed the fittest

Second consecutive show to feature Dubbing as the second and last guest game rather than a Living Scenery/Helping Hands finale. Which means both the Tony Cavalero and Jillian Michaels tapings have an extra guest game left over. In the case of this episode, I can respect them putting in so many guestless games instead, cause they’ve all been SO FRIGGIN GOOOOD.

Jillian, her first few lines, is miming to Colin’s lines but not really doing much else.
Ryan, rightfully: “well if you’re gonna be in this outfit, you’re gonna have to start moving your lips”
Jillian, out of character, just mouths ‘okay’, nodding and taking the note. Best way to respond to an improv move.
Colin: “MAMAMAMAMAMAMA”
Jillian now is laughing too hard to move her mouth with it
Ryan: “THEEEEERE WE GO”

Wayne tries out a move, “I call it the sexy serpent”
Colin: “I can do that- I can do it BACKWARDS.”
Jillian gets down and…does it the same way Wayne did it
Colin: “well, actually FORWARDS…”

There’s a brief shot of Wayne and Jillian undulating and Heather’s watching the back angle. Which is honestly the best place for a bisexual to be at this point. Happy pride month!

The climax is Wayne and Jillian running the ‘death course’, which is just the stairs to the audience. And so we get a minute or so of Wayne and Jillian running through rows of the audience, which is great

I love, as they come back towards the stage, and Wayne goes in slomo, Aisha just goes to Jillian ‘beat him’, and Jillian drags Wayne back and retakes the lead. I love that. Aisha teaching Jillian that she can just screw with Wayne and let that be an improv move.

After the buzz, Ryan whispers something to Jillian, possibly about the early cue to mouth things, and she cracks up. I’m just really happy that she was receptive to stuff throughout the game, that’s something we don’t see often.

A pretty good Dubbing. Not as good as Duet. Some funny moments, and a great ending, plus Jillian picked up some improv moves as she went along, but some basic Dubbing beats in between

Aisha gives Jillian points for everything she had to go through
Wayne: “what about…I ran? I was on the ground…”
Ryan: “it was like [Walken impression] I RAan…I was on the GROOuund…”
Ryan’s Walken isn’t bad at all

Doo-Wop: Wayne, Ryan and Colin sing about Carla, who died tragically in a hardware-related accident

Wayne, for his first verse, really, REALLY reaches for a Black and Decker pun. And he’s not proud of it, either

Wayne’s still cracking up as Ryan starts his:
“Oh Carla, you died right in the lightbulb section
That was too bad, cause I had quite an erection
We had some great sex, I had to say
Yes Carla, we had a great three-way”
HA

Colin has an easy ‘take you for granite’ joke

I love Wayne’s throwaway “I treated you like a tool”.
And then “of all the tools, you’s my favorite hoe.”

A pretty good Doo Wop. All the verses had some charm, and though Wayne had some trouble, he came together in the end.

Overall: Another one of my favorites from this era. Director, World’s Worst and SFAH were all iconic, with some of the best moments of the CW run in here. Director is an all-timer for me just for that Cabaret section, and that incredible all-three musical moment, the kind of thing the producers hoped for when switching Colin to a new role. Then SFAH and World’s Worst contained some BEAUTIFUL runner stuff while also being great quickfire rounds with really funny material [Colin and Ryan wandering into Wayne’s]. And you also had games I liked, such as Duet and Doo-Wop, that wasn’t classic but still kept the momentum of the show going. I also liked Jillian because she was a fan of the show, and she overcame her yips to learn some improv techniques throughout Dubbing. And while Heather was underedited here, she still had some fun moments throughout as well. Just an insanely fun show, one with a lot of my favorite games of the season, and one I love coming back to.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Wayne. He brought Director to that unison moment, he kept the fart gag coming, and he was strong in both guest games. He held this excellent show together.
Worst Performer: Heather was only in 3 games, and wasn’t used enough.
Best Game: World’s Worst. As much as I want to say Director, it took a little while to get to INCREDIBLE for me. WW gets there within a few lines, and doesn’t let up for the rest of it, then fuels the rest of the show.
Worst Game: Dubbing was the most basic of the night.
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. Jillian was very excited, fit right into Duet, had a great time, and improved over the course of Dubbing to the point where her early stumble was forgiven.

COMING UP NEXT: SEASON 13 TAPINGS AT LONG LAST. And we start with the one the Whose Line fans had been clamoring for, the return of a long-departed hero to the Whose Line stage, and to date one of the few five-man WL episodes we’ve ever had.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E09, or Pluck Yourself

Seasonal Code: S13E09
Production Number: 414
CW Seasonal Code: S12E21

The parade of S12 guest star shows in S13 continues, taking us back to the very strong Greg Proops taping that gave us the excellent Tamera Mowry show. This is…sort of a synergy booking, in that it falls under the CBS/Paramount umbrella as well…Tony Cavalero was on a Nickelodeon show called School of Rock, based on the Jack Black movie of the same name. It counts as a studio synergy booking, so I’m down.

Also, this is our only Greg show of S13, and the second consecutive season we’re limited to only one Greg show. Those cowards.

Let’s Make a Date: Greg must choose from
Wayne – Grouchy old man who keeps taking powerful but short-lived rejuvenation pills
Colin – Near-sighted hunter who relies on his other senses to identify his prey
Ryan – Angry goose

Wayne audibly laughs at his. Ryan just shakes his head

Wayne does a great job with his, nailing the old man physicality, then snapping into place and saying “I’d take you to the top and WAX DAT ASS”

Greg: “…like all men, it didn’t last very long”

Colin, grabbing Wayne: “oh, bald eagle, endangered…”

Also, Colin is using an Elmer Fudd esque speech impediment. Because of course he is

Colin, grabbing Ryan’s nose: “oh, anteater…”
Again, of course

Ryan’s initial goose noises are funny on their own.

Then, of course, Ryan retaliates at Colin by firing poop at him

The struggle between Ryan and Colin cracks Greg up

Wayne, on his second round, demonstrates “going to the top of the highest mountain” by climbing the top of the stairwell in the audience. AND THEN:
Screen Shot 2021-05-29 at 11.58.19 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-29 at 11.58.27 PM
And Wayne has a very funny staredown with Ryan when he gets back to the stools

Then, Ryan starts chasing the cameraman:
Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 12.00.25 AMScreen Shot 2021-05-30 at 12.00.47 AM
JesusScreen Shot 2021-05-30 at 12.01.03 AM
And he sort of wanders off behind the green screen

Wayne admits that he thought Colin was Mr. Magoo

Greg takes one out of the Josie Lawrence playbook: “and I thought Ryan was just bein himself..”

Greg: “I thought he was a series of dinosaurs, or perhaps”
RYAN, FROM OFFSTAGE: “GOOSE, GOOSE!”
Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 12.04.43 AM
I love this. We’ve cut to a vague approximation of where Ryan probably isn’t.
Ryan: “…ANGRY GOOSE!”
Good lord
Greg: “OH…I think he was an angry goose…”

Greg, after the buzz, just walks right up to the camera, almost like a PQ move, and goes:
Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 12.06.15 AM
“…angry goose…”

A pretty good LMAD. I wish it was a bit more substantial, but the physical work, and the eventual Ryan climax, made up for it.

Greg: “you know, all birds evolved from dinosaurs, so in a way, my guess was both completely wrong and unbelievably pertinent”
I do love Greg, and I wish this version of the show gave him more opportunities to be himself

Song Styles: Wayne sings a stadium rock song to Tony, about the School of Wrestling

There is a slightly different key for our stadium rock backer this time, and I am immediately distracted by Colin bobbing his head to it in the background

As Wayne does his first line, Tony does some casual pec-bouncing

Sure enough,
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 11.31.41 AM
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 11.33.18 AM

Wayne: “my dreams have come true…your head was not too far from [motioning to crotch] right down there..”
Tony, of course:
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 11.38.02 AMScreen Shot 2021-06-01 at 11.38.11 AM
Greg EXPLODES WITH LAUGHTER. He takes Colin with him

The difference between S12 and what came before is that Tony doesn’t actually physically hurt Wayne, to keep the ‘pro-wrestling theme going. Wayne even says “this is how it feels, don’t worry, it’s not real”, as Tony goes back to slap around Colin as well

Then, Aisha tags in, and Wayne goes: “you’re bout to get your ass kicked by a woman…”
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 11.41.52 AMScreen Shot 2021-06-01 at 11.41.43 AMScreen Shot 2021-06-01 at 11.42.02 AM
JESUS
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 11.45.00 AM

Heck, Wayne even reaches over to buzz.

A very fun Song Styles. Tony was game, Wayne was game, AISHA was game. Lots of fun, very big moments without a great deal of lyrical cleverness.

Also, important to note that the cut-to-break on the CW version was this:
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 11.49.08 AM
Aisha doing a cut to commercial. FROM THE STAGE, in full wrestling-promo zeal.

Aisha: “Uhhh…I have a feeling that Tony enjoyed losing that match.”
Ryan: “at what point did you realize he wasn’t going to catch you?”
Aisha: “when he saw my big black ass jump…”

Everyone suggests wrestling names for Aisha
Greg: “chocolate thunder”
Wayne: “The Ebony Huntress”
Ryan and Colin: “ANGRY GOOSE.”
HAHAHAHAHAHA

Secret: Ryan is Prince Charming and Colin is Cinderella; the secret is moneybags, a shotgun and a ski mask

Ryan spots Colin as he moves the trunk, jokingly helping him lift. Colin cracks up at this.

Ryan, with a great opening line: “that’s the third one that doesn’t fit”

Colin, after Ryan has another rude line: “I’m sorry, how did you get the name charming?”
Ryan: “it was my father’s name”
Colin: “I thought so”

Once Colin pulls out the moneybags and shotgun, Ryan is the most transparent he’s been in a game in a while: “why…that doesn’t fit this concept at all.”
Just not even sugarcoating it. I loved this move back in the day.

Colin tries one: “so this is how you became prince? By…robbing all the banks in…fairyland?”
Ryan: “I’m not prince anymore, I’m Jerry…the…robber formerly known as Prince.”
AND NOW WE’RE OFF

Colin holds onto Ryan after a line
Ryan: “Touch me, Cindy”
Colin: “I am!”
Ryan: “Touch me in ways I’ve never been touched before”
Colin’s hand goes out of shot. I really wish we’d cut wide here so we could see exactly what happens [even though…we all KNOW what happens]. Maybe the producers were still concerned about showing crotch-grabbing on TV in 2017 [actually, this was right in the midst of MeToo, so maybe that’s why]. Nevertheless:
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 12.02.00 PM
Ryan: “NO!”Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 12.02.16 PMScreen Shot 2021-06-01 at 12.02.31 PM
Colin: “I’M SORRY, I MISUNDERSTOOD.”
I love that Colin can still throw Ryan like this, even using drastic measures

Colin, taking enough of a pause: “Wow…THAT’S MY SECOND BALL TONIGHT!”
PFFFFF

Good lord that got funny. I could have used maybe one more beat, but that ending killed me. It was a wonky Secret for a bit, but once they got rolling, oh my gosh.

Ryan, heading back to the seats, to Wayne and Greg: “Cinderella with GUNS???”

Ryan: “Didn’t really make sense with the concept, did it? ‘You’re cavemen, here’s your cell phone”

Film Dub: One morning at the doctor’s

Greg: “would you like a cocktail before I perform the operation on you?”
Colin, as a very worried patient: “…I just have a cavity”
Greg, doing exactly what I would do: “yes, it’s down at the other end”

Ryan, in a very midwestern boomer voice: “HELLO, we’ve been waiting outside for an HOUR nowwww..”
Ryan tries to start another line but then his and Wayne’s characters leave: “this is my wife, we-…I’ll just go through the TINY DOORRRR…’
PFFFF
Ryan: “WE’LL BE OUT HERE IF YA NEED US…”
Haven’t seen him go full-goof into a Film Dub since the UK days

Greg, leaving: “I’m just going to go hide behind this WALL OF CEMENT.”
Colin, perfectly: “WHERE’S EVERYONE GOING?”
[“I hear something!”]

Greg, reentering to find Colin’s vanished: “oh my god, how will I collect my bill?”
Ryan, commenting on the actor: “well, he’s disappeared, but I’M NOT GOING TO ACT SURPRISED AT ALL.”

After Wayne and Ryan’s characters react to an invisible presence, Colin finally gets the film: “YES, I’M INVISIBLE…..APPARENTLY.”

An alright Film Dub. A little disorganized, but some good lines in here.

Dubbing: In a deleted scene from School of Rock, guitar teacher Tony, voice by Colin, is showing enthusiastic student Ryan how to rock out, when suddenly piano teacher Wayne comes in to show that he can rock the hardest

Like the Jack Osbourne one, this playing has some assistance from Linda, but it also features Laura on Wayne’s piano parts.

Colin suggests Ryan ‘be the guitar’: “be the strings, pluck yourself.”
Of course.

Points to Linda for emitting a guitar sound when Tony squeezes Ryan’s nipples.
Ryan, with his nipples: “I think I’m in tune, thank you…”

Wayne enters with a british accent of sorts
Colin: “why are you here, Mister…Ivory?”
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 1.04.54 PMThis gives the effect that Tony made that move and is confused by it, but he’s just wondering how Colin can get away with that. Colin was trying to give a piano-inspired name to Wayne, then made it IVORY.
Unfortunately, Wayne’s response to that is cut

I love Wayne wildly miming to Laura’s piano playing, and completely selling it. He even does a Little Richard-esque ‘HELLO BAYYYYYBY’, which…foreshadows another career path for him.

All three end up singing at once to this musical motif, and it’s honestly a really cool moment

Ryan does some more swinging around and making guitar sounds.
Colin, of course: “Lloyd, Lloyd…it’d be better if you had an instrument.”
HA
This move confuses Tony, and by the time Aisha buzzes, both Ryan and Tony double over, cause THAT was the ending note?

A good Dubbing, better than the similar Jack Osborne one, with some fun moments and ideas. A little messy, though

Scenes from a Hat:

“Unlikely things to see or hear in a biology class”
Wayne does a series. First saying “you need one of these”, then “you need one of these, and two of these”
Right as Greg’s about to go up:
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 1.10.50 PM
Wayne, with Aisha: “You need one of these…and one of those.”
Aisha: “UHHH”
Greg: [buzzes]

Aisha’s rebuttal:
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 1.12.26 PM
“You need one of these, and one of these, but you DON’T need one of these…”

Greg goes up with Wayne: “You know, you DO need one of these. Oh, I’m sorry, this is MICRObiology.”
HAAAAAA

“Things you don’t want to hear from someone who just moved in next door”
Ryan, Wayne and Greg do a good one with drilling holes through the side of the house
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 1.15.30 PM
Colin, entering: “hey, can I borrow your tools?”
I love that move

“Unlikely opening lines from a news report”
Wayne: “This just in…you NEED one of these…”

Greg: “Good evening. This just in, the wealthy would like to apologize.”
Is that a…relatively socialist joke from noted Bernie-hater Greg? Is he okay???

Aisha: “This just in, I didn’t have one of those, so I BOUGHT one of these”
Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 1.18.18 PM
PERFECT.
Wayne runs over and buzzes repeatedly

Wayne: “and congratulations to all 27 African-American Oscar winners.”

A pretty damn good SFAH. Yes, the big runner, but also lots of really fun extended bits.

Overall: Another solid show. This one didn’t have many classic moments per se, but some really strong games like LMAD, Duet, Secret, Dubbing and SFAH. I have some usual CW issues, like editing halves of great games out to fit in guest star games, not letting guest stars do enough, underediting Greg, all of that. But there wasn’t a lot that really went wrong here, and some bits, like SFAH’s ‘one of these’ runner, and the Angry Goose saga, are worthy of coming here.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Ryan led a lot of the middle games, and also had that Angry Goose run.
Worst Performer: Greg, once again, wasn’t edited very well.
Best Game: Scenes from a Hat. One of These, as well as a lot of fun stuff.
Worst Game: Film Dub was the most okay.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. Lots of energy, not a lot of really impressive moments from him though.

COMING UP NEXT: FINALLY the last S12 episode of S13. It’s also the second and final Heather show in regulation, and we get a very tough guest star.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E08, or We Have Another 300 Minutes Left

Seasonal Code: S13E08
Production Number: 421
CW Seasonal Code: S12E20

We just were introduced to this Jonathan taping two shows ago with Kearran Giovanni, and now we get the juicier guest booking of this taping. And I am firm in my belief that it came about at the wrong time.

Ralph Macchio’s best work came in the 1980s. Aside from being one of the many young actors whose career was jumpstarted by Francis Ford Coppola’s S.E. Hinton adaptation The Outsiders, Macchio found fame as Daniel Larusso in the classic 1984 film The Karate Kid, a movie that is definitely as awesome as you remember. After the sequels and movies like Crossroads dulled his career, he sort of got by as an 80s relic for a few decades, and he was in that era of his career when he came to Whose Line in 2016.

However, a year after this episode airs, Macchio returns to the Karate Kid canon, along with fellow costar and rival William Zabka, to star in Cobra Kai, which initially airs on Youtube Red. Once Cobra Kai is moved to Netflix, it explodes in popularity and becomes a favorite among both 80s kids and new kids alike. I’m literally posting this the day it’s revealed that Thomas Ian Griffith from Part III is coming back for S4- this show is huge as shit right now.

So…if Macchio had waited another year or so to come on, would the iron have been more hot? Probably.

But regardless, we have him here, and he seems up for about anything.

Also, as an act of foreshadowing, Aisha pulls some goofy karate moves before sitting down

Questions: Passions erupt at a plastic surgeon’s office

Wayne, in an undead-type mask: “…this is not what I was going forrr SHIT!”
PFFFF. IMMEDIATELY he forgets what game he’s playing and reacts in record time
Aisha is laughing too hard to buzz
Wayne: “IT’S QUESTIONS!”
BUZZ
Jonathan, with a pug mask on, hasn’t said a word and has taken out Wayne. He bows

Jonathan: “WHO NEEDS A PUG?” [hugs Colin]
AWWWWWW

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 10.43.50 AMRyan: “I thought you were supposed to wear a mask.”
Of course. Aisha doesn’t buzz for some reason
Colin: “why do you have your head in a fish-butt?”
Ryan: [grimaces and leaves]

Jonathan: “IS THAT YOUR OTHER EYE”
Colin: [looks down til his mask falls off]
Jonathan: [SHRIEKS]
HAAAA

Jonathan: “would you like to drop down and give me 20?”
Wayne: “would you like to be down there when I do?”
Delivered perfectly
Jonathan: “If I don’t ask, will you not tell?”
Wayne: “…if I do not yell, will you not scream?”

Ryan comes on in a demonic mask: “why don’t you just kiss me?”
Wayne: “…HELL NO.”
Ryan: “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?”
Wayne: “…I’M LEAVING.”

Colin:
Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 10.47.47 AM
“ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT?”
Ryan, after a few seconds of Colin goofily miming: “oh jesus..”

A very goofy Questions. Better than the last one, but still a bit haphazard in places. Got really good near the end, though.

Duet: Jonathan and Wayne sing an 80s movie montage song to Ralph, about surfing the pipeline in Hawaii and flying an F16

Gee, I wonder what they’re paying homage to..

Though the backer is a little more reminiscent of Eye of the Tiger than You’re the Best, but…hey, I’ll allow it

Jonathan, with the pun that I know he’s been waiting to use: “take your surfing board, WAX ON WAX OFF”
HELL YES. IT WORKS WITH SURFING. And it fulfills Jonathan’s geeky 80s dreams.

Then, Jonathan: “if you see a big wave, SWEEP THE LEG”
Yeah, you can tell that Jonathan loved the Karate Kid growing up, and I don’t blame him one bit.

Wayne, who has clearly seen the movie a few times as well: “there’s no need to deny, SCREW COBRA KAI”
Man, I guess I’m GLAD this came out a year or so before the show…

I do like the thesis Wayne and Jonathan are going with, that Ralph is an awesome enough person in general that he can still achieve his dreams and continue being awesome [“Ralph Macchio, on top of the wave”]. And that even famous people, or people who’ve been in movies, can still have life-goals that they can accomplish no matter their status. A lot more than the thesis of ‘she was in a movie once’ from the Lea Thompson one

Jonathan even sneaks in the line: “don’t wax off too much or you’ll go blind”
JESUS

Wayne and Ralph do a good F16 mime/motion, “but I didn’t realize that you and I would be sitting so close”

A very fun, and very substantial Duet. Ralph was all in on the fun, even getting close to Wayne at the end, and Jonathan had some really nice lines in there.

Ryan: “He’s BIG NOW. You know, you always think people are gonna be the same…he’s grown up!”

Themed Restaurant: Jonathan and Ralph are two BUSINESS ASSOCIATES MEETING OVER DINNER [JONATHAN.]. The theme of the restaurant is horror movies; Ryan, Colin and Wayne are waiters

The Tamera Mowry playing is everything this game should be as a scene. This one…is not.

Jonathan: “Ralph Macchio, have you tried the foccaccio?”
So yeah, Jonathan is too much of a geek to not have this scene be ‘him and Ralph Macchio’. Cause there were a few puns he missed in the previous game

Ryan, whispered: “the calls are coming from inside the restaurant…”

Jonathan, as Colin approaches: “so Crossroads 2…”
Yeah, the scene is that it’s a business meeting with Ralph Macchio. Alright.

Colin, lighting a candle on the table, goes right into his Frankenstein’s monster impression: “FIIIIIREE”
Jonathan: “…the bananas foster, we start with dessert here…”

Wayne: “I’m gonna be the first to die.”
The way Jonathan takes his shoulder after this means that he’s not shocked that Wayne pulled this one
Colin immediately slices Wayne’s neck as he gets back. Hey, that’s an OLD running gag…

Colin: “Would you like some buns? COME…COME…COME….[puts on table] the Walking Bread.”
That one got me

Wayne does a voodoo sacrifice without a punchline
Jonathan: “…well, thank you”
Wayne shrugs and leaves
Jonathan: “it’s a penta-graham cracker”
Wayne chuckles from the side

Colin: “some chianti, some fava beans…” [does Lecter hissing move]
YES

An okay Themed Restaurant. Very derivative, not much added to the formula. Jonathan did what he could as proctor but could only contain himself so often.

Scenes from a Hat:

“things that you wouldn’t see or hear on a cooking show”
Wayne does a good one as a Julia Child type tasting a dish, dropping the voice and going “that’s-OH MY GOD, WHAT THE FUCK?”

Jonathan: “and now that the pie is mixed, we’ll put it in the oven for two hours, AND WE WILL WAIT.”
Screen Shot 2021-05-29 at 10.44.58 PM
PERFECT

Ryan: “now we put the cake into the oven…at 90 degrees for 350 minutes” [looks, confusedly]

Ryan, coming back on: “…we have another 300 minutes left…” [walks away still confused]

Ryan, after a Colin one, opens the oven, shakes his head and leaves again.

“Things you can say during a sports game that you can’t say about your partner”
Wayne: “OHHHHHH…She sure can take a ball to the head.”
WAYNE
Aisha: “YOU’RE OUT!”

Colin: “aah, I didn’t think it’d be that easy to score…”

Wayne: “even though I know it’s fake, I keep watching…”
[Colin facepalms from the side]

Aisha: “I am watching this o-line, and this is the WORST PENETRATION I’VE EVER SEEN”
10/10

Ryan, enters again and opens the oven: “FUCK!”
I WAS WAITING FOR HIM TO DO THAT
Wayne’s keeling over laughing as everyone else returns to the seats

A pretty good SFAH. A few lulls, but nice runner energy and some good self-contained stuff. Could have been more collaborative though

Doo-Wop: Wayne, Ryan and Colin sing about Shirley, who died in a tragic floral-related accident

Ryan: “You were my rose, and you got so sick
I was your stem, and I killed you with my prick”
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-05-29 at 10.53.49 PM
“YES!”

Colin: “You drank the stuff that killed the bugs, and then you died
They say it was an accident, BUT YOU COMMITTED INSECTICIDE!”
An oldie but a goodie

A decent Doo-Wop. Good musical energy, but Wayne’s verses were arguably the weakest.

Colin: “…and now some comedy.”
Did that die with the audience? Looked fine to me…

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, is an energetic karate instructor preparing his protege, Ralph, for a big contest

Ralph takes a struggle getting his wardrobe on, tying in the front then stopping and going around. Aisha stops her intro to watch, and Ralph just sheepishly goes “I don’t know how to put these on…”
THAT breaks the mystique..
Aisha: “it’s been a long time, right?”
Ralph: “it’s been about 30 years…”
Jeez, maybe this is what gave him the confidence to do Cobra Kai in the first place

I love the little detail of Ryan naming his character Ralph, and so does Ralph, actually

Ryan, right after popping a sushi roll in his mouth: “mm…that’s WARM.”

Ryan, of course: “let’s bow again with our hands” [spits into Colin’s hands]

Ryan, with the beers: “cheers, or as they say in Japan…..CHEHS”
….judges rule that’s not racist, somehow

Ryan, after having some beer: “OHHHHHHH AAHHHHHH…[beat] THE EGG.”
That alone is funny.
Ralph: [emits audible burp] “oh, excuse me-”
Why Ryan didn’t work off that I have no idea

Ryan does some goofy shit with an egg in his mouth, because of course. Eventually the egg cracks open and he has to spit it into Colin’s hands

Colin is able to break a board! It may have been thin balsa wood, but it still happens

Ralph slashing through a green bean makes this the second bean-related Helping Hands in two seasons. And this is less disgusting than the other one at least.

Ryan: “ooh, what do we got here…a little wax I got from the wife.”
this is a basic HH, but the little things are at least charming me
Ryan: “I’m gonna put the wax on..”
Ralph, chewing, used to it: “of course you are…”
Ralph’s being a basic foil in this game, but he’s at least giving back at points
Ryan, and Ralph joining in halfway through: “and I want you to take the wax off…”
Ralph is jokingly nodding and going through the motions. I don’t think it’s a tired response to typecasting, I think he’s playing with that.

Aisha buzzes right as Colin slaps the wax on Ryan’s face.

Another basic HH. This had some little moments, and it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t add a lot to this game’s canon

Overall: Pretty okay. Some good games, like Duet, Doo-Wop and SFAH, but a lot was just pretty alright. Ralph was a good guest but didn’t add a great deal to the proceedings, with the exception of Duet. A lot of games, like Questions and Themed Restaurant, had good energy but were too stop-start, or flawed, to really get going. And Helping Hands was just a lot more of the same.

And the sad part is, this is the last episode we get from this taping until S17. We spend a few years not knowing what else is in this taping, and that it’s limited to two very basic, very unspectacular guest star shows. Which is not a great business model.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Ryan pulled ahead during Helping Hands, but dominated some late games, including SFAH and Doo-Wop.
Worst Performer: Wayne had the least standout moments tonight.
Best Game: Duet was the apex of the show, and gave the best energy out of Ralph, as well as Jonathan and Wayne.
Worst Game: Helping Hands was another very basic, very safe HH.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. Ralph had fun, did what was asked, didn’t add much more.

COMING UP NEXT: The WB synergy train even spreads to Nickelodeon with the return to the Greg taping

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E07, or I Liked the Butter Part

Seasonal Code: S13E07
Production Number: 411
CW Seasonal Code: S12E19

A guestless show? A BRAD GUESTLESS SHOW? IN SEASON 13? WHAT FUN!

This one comes from the Brad S12 taping that gave us the Lyndie Greenwood and Katie Cassidy episodes. So hopefully this one has some genuine fun coming from it

Ryan and Colin had some fun with their intros here:
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 11.43.38 AMScreen Shot 2021-05-25 at 11.43.51 AM

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Brad, Overbearing mother who thinks Colin is her wee baby, co-anchors, Wayne, An Aisha Tyler robot which is starting to go haywire, does sports while Ryan, Mad scientist commanding his army of the undead, does weather

Ryan has done this quirk before in an unaired LMAD, I believe

Colin: “I’m Barack….in the USSR”
JESUS, COLIN

Colin: “At LAX today, a man who had a compass, a protractor and a calculator was arrested for carrying weapons of math instruction.”
OH GOD THAT GOT ME

Brad has a Scottish accent, is the second straight co-anchor to put his lips to Colin’s head, and:
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 11.57.15 AM
CHRIST

Brad: “Ooh, lemme burp ya…”
Colin, whose mic is muffled right into Brad’s shirt, completely deadpan: “…burp.”

Wayne’s is very quick to the point- he very quickly becomes a T-1000-esque robot insisting on killing the original Aisha, so he goes over there.
Aisha, standing up: “I WILL FUCK YOU UP.”
Wayne: [turns back around]

Wayne, in continuing to malfunction, does a ‘sagging boobs’ visual joke that cracks up Aisha
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 12.00.53 PM

MEANWHILE,
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 12.02.43 PM
Colin’s expression is priceless. Just shaking his head.
Brad: “YA LOOK LIKE A HIPPIE.”
Colin: [sigh]

Ryan gets the goofy genre stuff in his quirk down perfectly, reading from ‘THE BOOK OF ELCARANCA’, which is just Aisha’s cards. He’s clearly aping a Vincent Price type movie, which is the best way to go about this

Sure enough, he starts yelling gibberish at that section of the audience getting them to rise, and they all go along with it, wonderfully:
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 12.06.32 PM
And then he immediately beckons them to sit. Then doing it again, and starting a wave in the front row. Ryan forgets how much power he has over an audience, as evidenced by an LMAD from earlier this season

Ryan, coming back towards the stage: “that just leaves one dead to make rise…the all important one”
Colin, as he says this, is just nodding, knowing exactly what’s about to happen
Ryan: “the one who has been dead for years…”
Colin: [bites lip]
Ryan, of course, tries reciting gibberish next to Colin, who just whaps him in the face

A very, very good WN, with good stuff from everybody, and a really impressive final quirk from Ryan, just as built up as his old-school ones

Hoedown: Plumber

Oh, poor Ryan in this one…

Wayne’s is a good one, about how his wife keeps nagging him to get a job: “maybe I should be a plumber, why? So I can take your shit.”
We cut to Colin, bobbing around like he has one. Then: “I should have been thinking while you were singing.”
PFFFFF

You can tell this Colin verse is a second/third-playing one because he sings it instead of speak-singing it:
“There was a recent job, I was called upon
A guy had dropped a pear, in the toiler, IN THE JOHN”
[now speak-singing again] “I didn’t panic, cause I knew how to repair
I just turned the handle, cause a flush beats a pear”
OKAY, COLIN. His pun game’s been on all night.
Wayne even shakes his hand for that one

Ryan: “I can see your bathroom habits have really taken a toll
I can see your big fat ass is stuck in that bowl
I’ll spread your ass with butter, and pop you like a cork, and-”
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 12.54.59 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-25 at 12.55.08 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-25 at 12.55.18 PM
AND HE’S DOWN. I equate this to an earlier Tony Slattery hoedown where he just got alarmed by where he was going [“and then I kissed a labrador and then I…”]. Ryan either didn’t have a punchline or saw what the punchline was and panicked.
Wayne: “I WANNA SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING.”
Colin: “Yeah, I wanna see-”
Wayne: “I SPREAD YOUR ASS WITH BUTTER…AND POP YOU LIKE A CORK.”

Ryan, starting again, still on the verge of cracking: “I can see your bathroom habits have r[…]eally taken a toll
Your big f[…]at ass [looks at Wayne] is stuck right in that bowl
I spread you with butter, I really don’t know what to DO
I’ll pop you like a cork and then you can have a poo”
AND HE NAILS IT. Definitely not the most highbrow of hoedowns, but he got through it

Wayne: “I liked the butter part, that made me happy…”

Brad, limping his way through his: “dookie caca poopoo….[FIGURES OUT A RHYME] those are the words
Those are all my favorite synonyms for turds.”
AND HE LOOKS SO PROUD AS HE NAILS THE RHYME. Just pulls it out of his ass, no pun intended

A chaotic hoedown for sure, but this one did work pretty substantially. It’s definitely one you remember, especially considering Ryan’s struggle, and how loose the hoedown got afterwards

Whose Line: Ryan and Colin are Adam and Eve

Colin, with a perfect opening line: “I don’t care what you say, I’m cold!”

Colin: “Last night you were rolling around, and you screamed at the top of your lungs, “I CAN’T THINK, I NEED TO PEE”
That just fits
Ryan: “Right. I’ve never peed before. It was my first pee.”

Colin: “it’s…still kinda weird that you don’t know how to pee but you know how to make a good martini…”

Ryan: “when god created you, the first thing he did was look down at you and say to himself, “DAMN you’re ugly”
PFFFFF
Colin, for the second time this show, does a lower lip move where he’s recovering from something.
Ryan: “GOD SPOKE. NOT ME.”

Colin: “there’s something written on the side of the apple. It says ‘wow, how did those get so big?'”
Ryan: “…what an odd thing for an apple to say.”
Ryan’s been the less-realist one this whole scene, but even he has to point out how odd that is

Ryan: “he’ll look upon your face and say…”you need to get waxed”
And Ryan looks at Colin and knows what he needs to do to end the scene
Ryan: “and yet, you already have…”
Colin: “HEY.”

Colin chomps the apple
Ryan: “oh, there’s something written on the other side”
Colin, who’s out of lines, goes with it: “Oh yeah- SCREW YOU.”

An alright WL. Not one of the better ones of this era, but with some amusing moments.

Scenes from a Hat:

“What baseball catchers really say to the batters”
Ryan, to Wayne: “that’s two balls”
HAAAAAA
[this episode brought to you by Brady’s Boys]

Wayne, to Brad: “your wife made me breakfast”
Brad:
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 2.05.19 PM

Brad, to Wayne: “your wife’s balls made me breakfast.”
A+B=C
Wayne: “…which part of that am I disturbed by?”

Colin:
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 2.10.43 PM
I loved that. He’s got one, he needs support. He just looks around frantically

Colin, standing with Wayne: “…I can’t squat anymore..”

Aisha has one, but Ryan runs in: “hold on, you need an umpire”
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 2.12.44 PM
Aisha: “I made all your buddies breakfast.”
Wayne takes the other angle, and high-fives everybody. “YEAH! TEAMWORK!”
Way to take a dirty subtext and make it wholesome

“If Olympic competitors were drunk”
Brad does a drunk shotput throw, and it goes very awry:
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 2.14.56 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-25 at 2.15.07 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-25 at 2.15.17 PM
Aisha goes from laughing to “OH GOD”

I also love Colin’s javelin throw, first accidentally hitting Wayne, then vomiting on him

Ryan just goes ‘synchronized swimmers’, and:
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 2.19.26 PM
They’d do another version of this with Greg in S17

Colin drunkenly doing the hurdles is also really funny

Wayne does a ‘starting gun’ one. The second Ryan fires, he collapses flat on the floor. That got me

Such a funny SFAH. The first one was very runner-based, the second one was just some really great physical and miming stuff.

Greatest Hits: Songs of the Water Park

Colin: “we’ll be back to our documentary about a group of priests who travel the world in Roaming Catholics”
WHY ARE HIS PUNS SO DAMN GOOD THIS SHOW???

Ryan, whose arms have been crossed since the start of the game: “I got FIRED by the record company, I’m just here to support my friend.”
Colin: “you know, you can at least put a happy face on it..”
Ryan: ‘no..”

After another line from Colin, Ryan just leaves.
Colin: “…he’ll be back, he just needs a little time”

Colin continues on waterpark facts, and struggles with a full sentence
Ryan, suddenly coming back on: “YOU REALLY NEED ME HERE, DON’T YOU?”
Of course.
Ryan: “he can’t talk without me.”
Colin, smirking: “I can work you like a yo-yo.”
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 2.29.35 PM

Of course the munchkin number is good, owing back to Wayne’s impeccable munchkin voice. It’s kind of a clumsy number, because of how uncomfortable both of them look in this style, but they both do it and make it funny [“this far’s okay, this far…nehhhh maybe I shouldn’t”]

Wayne’s character ends up drowning
Brad: “I should help him out right now, but CPR, I don’t know how”

Colin: “Nothing says ‘fun’ like a little person floating down in a pool…”
Ryan: “that was disturbing..”

This episode’s duet is Bruce Springsteen and Nicki Minaj, because of course. Brad’s Bruce is still awesome, and Wayne’s Nicki is one of his better modern musical impressions. Also, this is post-Anaconda, which means this song ultimately becomes about Nicki’s ass, which means once again, WAYNE’S ASS TAKES CENTER STAGE. It’s like we’re back in S4 again.

Brad now starts singing about Wayne’s ass:
“IT’S BIG AND WIDE AND LONG AND BLACK
AND I LOVE THE CENTER WITH ITS CRACK”
Wayne loses it here yet Brad somehow doesn’t

A pretty strong GH. Classic-caliber banter, some good Brad-Wayne duo stuff, and some nice energy. Perhaps a little lower-key than some of the big GH playings lately, but still good.

Overall: A solid guestless show. Everything was pretty damn good, even if WL wasn’t as solid as the rest of the show. Weird Newscasters and Greatest Hits were strong, if not exorbitantly showy, games, Hoedown was the big show-maker that still stands up despite being chaotic as all hell, and this one had a pretty brilliant SFAH round right at the center. Brad was edited well, but there was also moments of great Colin-Ryan interaction, and good Wayne musical moments. So this has everything that makes WL great, and is just a perfectly solid CW-era guestless show.

Show Winner: Colin
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie. Full-show domination, leading the most scenes, and having so many great puns.
Worst Performer: Wayne, despite a strong GH, was thrown by others more than he threw others tonight.
Best Game: Scenes from a Hat was wall-to-wall excellent.
Worst Game: Whose Line was the simplest.

COMING UP NEXT: Back to that new Jonathan taping for a nostalgia booking that may, in fact, have come too early

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E06, or Ass on a Sweater

Seasonal Code: S13E06
Production Number: 422
CW Seasonal Code: S12E18

Jonathan Mangum taped 2 shows in Season 12, and the second one didn’t even start airing until partway into Season 13. Which sums up the CW version, I think

This is the first of the two guest star episodes we will see in regulation. Kearran Giovanni, who I hadn’t heard of when I watched this, was on Designated Survivor for ABC, and TNT’s Major Crimes, which is WHY I hadn’t heard of her.

Also, I will warn you that I will be getting a bit political in this post, especially when a certain game comes around.

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Jonathan, A toddler who thinks Colin is a giant popsicle, co-anchors, Ryan, acting out the secret superhero life of Ryan Stiles, does sports while Wayne, accidentally starts a fire in the studio, does weather

Yep, you’re reading that correctly- similar to the Director switch, now Wayne does weather and Ryan does sports. I think after 18 years, Wayne spoke up that he knows nothing about sports, and Ryan is a Seahawks fan, so they were placed into better positions for both of them.

The reactions to these quirks seem like the one that made air was the pickup

Colin: “A man who was suing an airline for misplacing his luggage…unfortunately lost his case.”
It’s that simple

Jonathan, chuckling to himself: “GRAAAPE” [licks Colin’s shirt]
then: “OH, VANILLA”
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 3.34.17 PM
Colin has a moment to just go, internally, ‘oh no’, before Jonathan licks

Jonathan, cracking again: “…it’s takin a long time to melt…”

Colin, finally: “GOD’S SAKES, STOP!”
Jonathan: [cries]

Ryan presents things as dramatic and triumphant, turns around to pee…waits…”COME ONNNN”

This takes a similar route to his quirk from 12×02, going and picking up his dog’s poop and having a normal day

Ryan: [flips channels] “…JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!”
Of course

Ryan ends by finally peeing once he’s sat down.
Colin: “…he’s not even kidding”

Then, as Colin throws to Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 3.39.37 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-24 at 3.39.48 PM
DAMMIT, JONATHAN!

Wayne’s corduroy suit catches fire, and he gets a bunch of audience members to beat out the fire-HOW DOES HE DO IT?? He just drags it out
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 3.43.07 PM
I guess this also marks the return of Wayne’s ass-related quirks..

Wayne, heading back to the stage: “fire’s out…yep, works every time..”

Then, as Wayne returns to his post, he cracks a little, looking over at a very disappointed Colin.
Colin: “…shameless…”
Wayne: “aah…back to you, licky!”

Ryan, heading back to his seat, goes to Wayne and says “I shoulda come and peed on you. COME ONN” Missed opportunity

A pretty good WN. Some quirks hit similar beats for each performer, but it was pretty good, and suitably loose

Colin: “It just seems like every time Jonathan’s on the show, he licks me…”
Jonathan, perfectly: “he’s like a frog! I’m high!”

Duet: Wayne and Jonathan sing a broadway number to Kearran

Wayne hugs Kearran, then Jonathan goes and hugs Wayne, leading Kearran to confusedly wander around them for a moment

The impetus of this song is a makeup artist who tried hitting on Kearran with the line “you really have a…face for makeup.”
Wayne: “He should have gone “come on girl, lemme…put it on ya…”

The backing track is very Chorus Line-y, with a spritz of Cabaret.

I love the dumb voice Wayne uses for the makeup artist, as well as Kearran’s contrasting disgust. This does lead to ‘BOOBIES’ ending up being a refrain thanks to Wayne and Jonathan. NOTHING BUT CLASS

Jonathan sees the game here is being sleazy with cop-related pick-up lines, asking for a frisk, and using the line “wait til I whip out my CHALK”

Wayne: “but, c’mere officer, I think I need to be cuffed”
Kearran, genuinely: “oh, really, so that’s how it goes?”

Here they get into a nice groove, moving about the stage and with Jonathan delivering some strong lyrics.
THEN:
Wayne: “Ms. Giovanni, let me get on you
that’s not really a line, that’s more a request…”

A decent Duet. Good stuff from Wayne and Jonathan, Kearran was into it, but lyrically it could be a bit shallow.

Wayne: “that was all I had to do? Just sing a song and say ‘boobies’?”

World’s Worst: cop show clips

Colin: “NEXT, ON WHISTLE COPS. “Stop, or I’ll toot!”
PFFF. That’s a Mock the Week gag..

Jonathan, with Wayne: “alright, lemme whip out my chalk…”
Wayne: [giggles] “hold on…”
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.03.39 PM

Ryan does one where he shoots at cars who are speeding, then goes “it’s a bad show…”

Wayne, singing the theme song: “Police officer by day…and a MASSEUSE AT NIGHT. COP A FEEL!”
PFFFFFF
Wayne, barely keeping it together: “coming to the CW…’

And now, the moment that lit up the internet last year:
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.06.29 PM
Ryan: “now, ma’am, could you pick out the man that robbed you?”
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.07.37 PM
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.08.12 PM

Now, the joke here is that regardless of whether or not Wayne’s character actually did it, because he’s flanked by whites, and because Ryan’s character is racist, they’re all gonna assume it was Wayne. The joke is that, even in 2016, even pre-Minneapolis, it’s clear how racist and white-centric our society is, and that the black guy is always gonna be the scapegoat if there are predominantly whites in the room. Now, that’s hard to sell as a JOKE. Especially one that everyone’s in on. But I firmly believe they all were, and none of them were trying to be racist.

The internet, once this clip made the rounds on twitter, seemed to think the context was that this WAS racist, and that Wayne was putting Ryan in his place for saying it, or that Ryan did it knowing it was racist. Of course he knew, he meant for it to be the wrong thing to do, the game’s called World’s Worst. But without a lot of the game context, and a lot of the knowledge of the show being about putting trust in the hands of your performers, it would look like someone making a racist joke.

And yes, the audience laughs at this, but they laugh at the joke because they know it’s true and that society’s fucked. This is a comedy show audience. They will laugh at the smart, edgy stuff. And Wayne does come back on, and make it abundantly clear to the audience that this was a joke: “y’all know that’s fucked up, right?”
Ryan’s response: “sure it is. But that’s the way IT IS IN THE WORLD TODAY.”
Now, this is where people would get confused. Ryan is playing the part of someone who didn’t mean for a joke to be racist and is now going ‘YEAH, IT WAS RACIST, CAUSE IT’S TRUE’. Everyone knows he’s kidding, and that he never meant it to be racist, and that he actually knows that this is real life for some people, and so him playing someone who walked into that by accident is also part of the joke. He’s not going ‘SIT DOWN BLACK MAN’ or whatever, as a lot of people on Twitter did. He’s just yes-anding Wayne. As a good improv support should. Remember that even when they’re back at the seats, or on the steps, they’re not completely out of character. The performers still do improvised bits and lines and things, they don’t entirely drop. So Ryan’s still in character.

Back to World’s Worst for a bit

Colin, with Ryan: “look, Johnson, that’s not what we meant by a beat cop”
Wayne, suddenly:
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.17.03 PM
“THIS IS A BEAT COP. BEAT ME.”

Ryan does a really fun one with a chalk outline turning into a game of hopscotch

Then, Aisha decides she has a rebuttal to Ryan’s earlier one:
“Sir, can you pick out the man who embezzled HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM THE AMERICAN ECONOMY, and then made you pay for it?”
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.19.06 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.19.16 PM
THIS is a good comeback. With the robber one, of course people are gonna pin it on the black guy because society’s racist. But for this one, it could be any of them any rich white person with status could be a ponzi scheme artist or money launderer. The real people committing the crimes are the ones doing it right before our eyes, and they’re not being caught because the system is so white-centric. It is a statement so unflinchingly leftist and damn-near-communist that I’m surprised Greg Proops kept coming on the show.

And the best part of this bold political statement is that they still can make jokes out of it as a callback to the previous scene:
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.24.00 PM
So…they all did it and they’re pushing the blame on each other. A lot like the current dissolution of the former presidential administration. I did it, but so did this guy. Follow the money.

Wayne, taking the political statement a step forward: “You mean, systematically devaluing my education and relegating me to certain neighborhoods whereas I couldn’t actually pursue the education that would enable me to rise to certain fiscal stature in this country?”
At this exact moment, the Canadian flees:
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.26.50 PM
Aisha: “and also preventing you from signing any loans for homes or jobs or businesses or car lease.”
THEN THE GEN-XER LEAVES
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.29.56 PM
And before Aisha can go on, Jonathan buzzes
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.30.07 PM
Again, the white man controls how long the conversation can be had for. Feeding right into the joke, and the statement.

So this is a great World’s Worst, but it succeeds for reasons that don’t all have to do with WW. That entire political moment, and rebuttal, is a rare moment of Whose Line having a say in the modern political movement and being able to make comedy out of it without delegitimizing it. Yes, there is a racial and fiscal disparity in this country, and ignoring it is deluding yourself, but having people like Wayne Brady and Aisha Tyler, or even progressives in other movements like Colin and Ryan [weed counts, right?], come together to point out a societal flaw…that is making the most of still being on television. This is a comedy show, but scenes like this are important because they make sure the show isn’t blind to the failings of modern society.

So yes, this is a good game. And I’m glad more people have seen it thanks to social media. But if your takeaway from this game is that Ryan was being racist, you’ve completely missed the point.

Aisha: “depending on your chalk size, that’s how many points you get…”
Colin: [claps excitedly]

Living Scenery: Ryan and Colin are american pioneers exploring the Old West, surviving the elements, and building a cabin; Wayne and Kearran are props

Aisha’s intro comes right at the heels of World’s Worst: “surviving the elements, and building a cabin…apparently with black people.”
Yeah, the same sort of anger, but at least this time it’s directed at the producers…
Then, as the audience ‘AWW’s that, Aisha responds with a sarcastic “OHHHHHH” right back at them
Wayne: “WELCOME TO DJANGO.”
MORE AUDIENCE OHS
Wayne: “…what, too soon?”

Colin and Ryan begin with accents
Colin: ‘well, we’ve got the horse”
Wayne: [neighs into position]
Colin: “and we’ve got the cow”
Kearran: [does a cow noise]
Colin: “…so why don’t you milk her…”
AND WE’RE OFF

Kearran shrieks when Ryan tries to milk her.
Ryan: “Oh, THAT’S A BULL, PA!”

Ryan screws with Kearran, casting her as a mule, then as she sort of stands there, going “LOOK AT THIS, THE MULE’S WALKING ON TWO FEET, PA!”
Kearran: [gets down]
Ryan: “YOU DIDN’T SEE IT, HE WAS WALKING ON TWO FEET…OH, PA…IT’S GETTIN TO ME..”
I’m loving these characters

Ryan leads us towards using Kearran’s legs as the door to the log cabin.
Colin: “watch your head, you don’t wanna hit it on anything…”
By this point, Kearran is crouching more so Colin doesn’t know how to get through
Colin, confused: “…my door done shrunk…”

Ryan uses Wayne’s…chalk…as a bell to herald people
Colin: “careful, you broke a clanger”
Wayne: [giggles]

The last beat of the game is Colin laying down Kearran as a sleeping bag…then proceeding to take her himself, before Aisha buzzes

A kinda basic LS, but the accents and characters worked for me.

Wayne, on Kearran: “I’ve been married twice now…and I’ve gone through life thinking that I want to just keep the rest of my shit…but I’d give it all away now.”

Greatest Hits: Songs of the Coast Guard/Sailor Guy

Just the way Aisha coins this, “like a coast guard kind of a sailor guy”, translated by Colin as a very credible “COAST GUARD SAILOR GUYYYY”, is funny on its own

Ryan: “Songs all about the guys in the water who save people, you know, like the SAILOR GUY, the guys on the water…”
Cut to a laughing Aisha
Colin: “we could go on like this FOREVER.”

Ryan: “84 songs on 84 CDs, all about the sailor guys, the guys that save you, the coast guard, on the water.”
I love how committed to this gag he is

This episode’s odd duet: Snoop Dogg and his dog. Throwing in Jonathan’s dog impression skills. Wayne’s already shaking his head as they start:
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 4.59.51 PM

Wayne’s Snoop is pretty good, though at times it sort of peters into his normal rapping voice

Jonathan, in the middle of the song, runs off with an audience member’s jacket and nestles in it

Wayne, and Jonathan keeps rubbing himself: “you got your ass on a sweater, ass on a sweater
There are days where your sweater smelled better”
Jonathan, as Wayne keeps rapping through it, finally cracks
Wayne, also struggling to keep with it: “you’re better knowing what he drank, now it might be wetter…”
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 5.09.14 PM
Dear god

Colin: “You know what’s great about this CD selection-”
Ryan: “pudding?”
Colin: “…yes, it comes with free pudding.”
Take the gift and run with it

Wayne in the Bollywood style is really good, and he gets the rhythm and vocalization down

Then, as Jonathan and Wayne are doing some dance moves, disaster strikes:
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 5.13.12 PM
[BAM]
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 5.13.22 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-24 at 5.13.29 PM
Something clearly just happened with Jonathan. Wayne seems very confused.
Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 5.15.28 PM
Poor guy
Wayne: “I don’t want to raise a fuss, want to raise a racket
WHAT SOME PEOPLE WILL DO FOR A LIFEJACKET”

A pretty good GH, but man that was WILD. Lots of crack ups and insane stuff. Wayne obviously had more of the musical high points, but Jonathan was going CRAZY, and injuring himself in the process. Still, enjoyable GH.

Wayne and Jonathan deduce that Jonathan hit his head on Wayne’s belt buckle, and while there’s no blood, there’s definitely a welt.
Aisha: “I’m worried about you, Jonathan…”
Jonathan, who already faced injury during Infomercial, and is now very tired: “whathappen…”
Wayne, suddenly southern: “Ah think he cut his head on mah belt buckle while he was tryna look at mah peener.”

Aisha just sums it up: “You have a crotch-related injury…on your FACE.”
Jonathan nearly spits out his water.
Wayne: “That’s how we got the job.”

Aisha: “meanwhile, the lady whose sweater you scooted your ass on is going “THAT’S WHAT YOU GET”

Overall: Well. A lot of things certainly happened in this one. Between World’s Worst and Greatest Hits, a lot of big game-breaking, completely live, show-adjacent things happened in this episode. WW featured a political statement that went viral last year and is still important, while GH featured the equally politically-relevant visual of Jonathan Mangum shoving his ass on a woman’s sweater and ramming his head into Wayne’s crotch. Those two incidents at least made this an entertaining and unforgettable episode.

But…without those moments, what is this episode? Not much. Not many games went past ‘pretty funny’ for me, and a lot of games, especially the guest games, felt very same and okay to me. It wasn’t Kearran Giovanni’s fault, she was in a good mood and came to play. But both Duet and Living Scenery didn’t have many new ways of going about things. Even WN had some fairly basic Ryan and Wayne quirks. So, really, this show is just glad it has the crowd-drawing moments, because if not it wouldn’t be a very memorable episode at all. A lot like the similarly politically charged Tarzan episode from last year.

At the very least, this was a great showcase for Jonathan Mangum, who was all over this show, and whose fearlessness and wild mindset made for some awesome moments all night.

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: Jonathan Mangum. My god, man.
Worst Performer: Ryan didn’t have many scene-leading moments, and also had the moment that a lot of Twitter got pissed about. Even if I don’t think he really deserved it.
Best Game: Greatest Hits had the biggest laughs and moments, even if it was kind of a mess.
Worst Game: Duet. Fine enough game, but not a very original or impressive singing game.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. Pretty good, though nothing too special.

COMING UP NEXT: The second of two guestless S12 shows. This one has Brad Sherwood, though!

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S13E05, or Where Has Our Show Gone?

Seasonal Code: S13E05
Production Number: 401
CW Seasonal Code: S12E17

Shouldn’t an episode with the earliest production number of the season go out…first?

That’s what Wil Wheaton thought. When the new season of Whose Line began airing in summer 2016, he began to advertise his episode along with the CW, citing his fandom and his excitement to be on the show. The CW, it seems were originally going to air this show in S12, and Wheaton certainly thought they were going to, so when they threw in a different show instead [either 12×09 or a different one], it threw everyone for a loop, especially Wheaton himself.

And why care about what Wheaton thinks? Well, because Wheaton was something of a geek icon in 2016, after his years of starring as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and riding his snotty child star fame to a successful media personality career, culminating in, yes, the single best recurring character appearance on The Big Bang Theory. Wheaton was a nice get for the CW, and he was all-in on his improv abilities. So pissing him off…was not a good idea.

Nevertheless, in 2017 the episode finally aired, coming from the same Gary taping as 12×13, the Chris Jericho show. And, if memory serves, it ended up being pretty good

Ryan’s intro shot includes a stolen uke from the musical department

Questions: Passions erupt at a beauty salon

Gary, in a scottish hat: “PARDON ME MADAM HAVE YE SEEN ME GLASSES?”
Wayne: “have you seen yourSELF?”
Gary, unbuttoning: “have ya seen MOST OF ME?”
Oh god
Wayne: “is that Loch Ness monster?”
Gary buckles here, as if Wayne got him, and just goes “maybe” and exits. All it takes

Ryan takes the most obvious prop in the box and does this with it:
Screen Shot 2021-05-21 at 11.36.04 PM
Ryan: “Can you touch me and see if I’m still wet?”
HOW DID THAT GET ON??
Wayne just leaves. No way he’s topping that

Ryan and Colin do a really nice back and forth on one that brings me back to the UK era. Ryan stumbles a bit on “did you…get in an accident”, and divebombs.

Gary enters with a pink wig
Colin: ‘what do you call that?”
Gary: “…..PURPLEISH-YYY????”
Again, this is the first game, so it’s one of the few games where they’re all allowed to fuck up this frequently

Ryan comes in with Gary’s scottish hat and says something incoherent
Colin: “what part of Norway ya from?”
Ryan just shakes his head. “…dick.”
PFFFF. Somehow the Colin-Ryan duo just keeps delivering

Ryan comes in with this one next and cracks up Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-05-21 at 11.41.06 PM
Just going ‘oh my god’ after getting back to the side.

Colin, in a chicken hat: “wanna buy a friendly chicken?”
Ryan, of course: “when’s the last time YOU got laid?”
Then, in the pause, Ryan does a sudden move and noise that confuses Colin into leaving. Ryan is completely on, top of the show. I’m here for it

And yet a still-very-shaken Wayne comes in with a construction hat, goes “hoooow ya doin?’, and THAT gets Ryan to break. And brings us out of the game.

Definitely getting out some early-taping jitters there, but Ryan was going for the jugular all around, and there was lots of fun energy, even in the stop-start nature of the game.

Duet: Gary and Wayne sing a boy band song to Wil

I love Ryan’s silly move of beginning to stand up for this game only to realize it’s Duet. Colin just hits him playfully for it. Man, Ryan was in such a good mood to start this taping

Wil is, of course, a ball of energy, doing the ‘crowd high five’ and going, to Aisha, “I’ve never done that crowd high-five thing!” Wil also gives Gary a big hug, I think they know each other from…something. Some voice acting project?

Aisha: “Wil, you know I love you.”
Wil: “and I love you”
Aisha: “and I love your beard”
Wil: “…and I love your beard.”
Now…Wil, I think, meant this as a sort of improv back-and-forth absurdist move, but Wayne goes for the other meaning of beard, going ‘OHHH SNAP, HE SAID YOU GOT A BEARD, SON”. Which…okay, this one goes into the file for ‘foreshadowing Aisha’s bisexuality’. For the record, Wayne, she got rid of the beard 2 years ago.

Like last show, Wayne has Wil come up with a nerd pick-up line, and Wil’s is honestly funnier than ‘want some brains?’: “…roll for initiative.”
Wayne, with a smile: “and if you know what that means, you’re a real nerd.”
……HEEYYYYYYY

So here’s why this song works so well. Wayne has CLEARLY played D&D before. Many times. And so he has absolutely no trouble making a well-thought-out boy band song about D&D. There are so many great lyrics and concepts he lays out here.

Gary is a little less versed, and mentions a 28-sided-dice, which…dude, it’s only up to a 20 in most states, but he’s got the general idea of the piece down

Wayne: “you gotta roll for your attributes, because, you know, chicks dig initiative”

Wil is very into the number, taking the hook down a few times, even in a random falsetto [which cracks up Aisha]

Wil even gets to do a verse, and he comes off really well, even calling attention to how he’s still hanging on in there as it goes another stanza, but has a good punchline: “and I had my dice, but I threw a 1”. So yes, another rare guest star who can actually do well in a singing game.

Wayne, on the final note: “…Gary Gygax, bitches.”
…[stands and applauds]

That was an excellent Duet. It did get a little hook-reliant in points, and Gary was clearly not as adept in his D&D knowledge as the other two, but Wayne was on top of things and throwing in awesome lyrics, and Wil had a really nice verse himself while also knowing when to be the hype man.

Wayne: “girls wouldn’t talk to us back in the day, but now…”
Gary: “now they REALLY don’t talk to us…”

Secret: Ryan and Colin are Superman and Lois; the secret is the pill bottles

Ryan picks up the trunk and just casually drops it before Colin’s ready. “Hope there’s nobody in there.”

Colin, hearing who he’s playing: “yeah. That’s the woman? Yeah.”
This is where we’re at.

I do like Colin and Ryan immediately placing us post-lovemaking-session. Ryan’s offering to get Colin a cab, to which Colin replies “you can’t even fly me home?”

Colin opens the trunk, pulls out one of the pill bottles: “….VIAGRA.”
PERFECT
Ryan: “I wanna be…more powerful than a locomotive..”

Ryan: “I’ve got a bit of a ponch…there’s no phonebooths anymore, I don’t know where to change…”
The lines just keep hitting

Ryan tries to kick the trunk closed, but the top won’t even budge. “Look, I can’t even kick it closed.”
Colin just meekly closes it

Ryan just plays up how strained he’s become, knowing that’s the game of the scene, saying he’s got arthritis.

Then, Ryan figures out a new hook: “every pill has a reason to be in there. Name a pill, I’ll tell you what it’s for.”
Colin goes and grabs one: “this one”
Ryan: “PSORIASIS!”
Colin grabs another one
Ryan, struggling: “…Lymph NOIIIDSS”
He and Colin barely keep it together at that one
Colin just closes the trunk loudly and goes with that: “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU HAD LYMPH NOIDS??”

Ryan reveals he’s not really from another planet
Colin: “I thought you were from the planet Krypton?”
Ryan: “no, I’m from Pomona”
Man, it’s been a while since we’ve had a good regional reference
Colin: [turns away, confused]
Ryan: “But the TOUGH PART OF POMONA.”

Ryan then realizes that this is gonna go out all over the country, the world even, and clarifies: “you know Pomona, it’s a SUBURB OF LOS ANGELES.”

Colin: “I can’t be with you anymore.”
Ryan: “well, let’s face it, you weren’t really with me a few minutes ago either…”
Colin: “oh, I was thinking about Batman.”
HAAAA
Ryan: “Batman’s just as old as I am now. Robin’s 48.”

Ryan even gives Colin the gift that he’s been dating Spiderman as well
Ryan: “what’s he got that I haven’t got.”
Colin, as if he’d had this all along and didn’t just cook it up seconds ago: “a really big fly.”
PERFECT. 10/10
As Aisha buzzes, Ryan just shakes his head. Impressed but not happy he just got bested by that.

A MASTERFUL secret, right up there with some of the ones from the UK series. Colin and Ryan had each other on the ropes, they had lots of places for the scene to go, and there were so many funny lines. Probably the best Secret from an improv component that this version put out.

Ryan: “I had something for every pill in there.”
Wayne: “LYMPH NOIDS.”
Ryan, chuckling about it: “I didn’t say it quite that confidently..LLLLLLYMPH NOIDS?”
[YEEEEEES?]

Aisha remarks that “Lois was working her way through the entire DC Comics universe.” Spider-Man is marvel. ‘That was what threw me’.

Scenes from a Hat:

“If people behaved like frat boys all the time”
Wayne: “I rest my case your honor.”
Colin, initially not knowing what to do: “…WOO.”
He and Wayne eventually get the reaction down, but that initial woo cracked me up
Wayne: “I REST MY CASE….ON YO NUTS.”

Wayne and Gary do a ‘chugging an IV’ one that Colin joins in on as set dressing
Wayne, suddenly: “you know what, I’m not glamorizing that sort of behavior..”
Colin: “…I don’t know why I’m here”

“Things you wouldn’t want to be given an award for.”
Ryan: “I am so happy to accept this award for ‘Least Amount of Awards”
That rare appropriate backwards logic from Ryan

Colin has brief eye contact with Wayne before he goes up: “this is amazing, I….WHAT, STEVE HARVEY?”
PFFFFF. Referencing the Miss Universe controversy:
Screen Shot 2021-05-22 at 1.08.32 PM
“…I apologize…I apologize.”

Aisha: “oh, it’s true, I really do have the biggest lymph noids. Thank you.”
AND IT COMES BACK
Ryan, from the step: “I WON THAT LAST YEAR.”

Gary: “wow, when I found out I was the FOURTH guy tonight to sleep with Aisha Tyler, I…”
Ryan: [comes on and whispers something]
Gary: “oh, SEVENTH!”
PFFFFF
Wayne, coming back on as Steve Harvey: “I’m so sorry…”
Ryan, purposely misunderstanding: “KANYE, GET OFF!”

Aisha, with Gary: “I’d like to present you with the award for the guy with the smallest penis to have slept with me tonight.”
Ryan, again from the steps: “I WON THAT LAST YEAR.”
How many runners are in this damned game??

Wayne, after Gary comes back from that one: “…where has our show GONE?”

“What boxers say to one another in a clinch”
Wayne, to Colin: “use more oregano, it brings out the flavor”
Colin, to Wayne: “I’M WHITE, I SHOULDN’T BE HERE.”
PFFFF. DEAR GOD
Wayne:
Screen Shot 2021-05-22 at 1.14.38 PM
That’s harder than I’ve seen Wayne laugh in a while

Oh man that was a good SFAH. Improved on some of the issues I had with last show’s. Extended scenes, live-feeling without completely dissolving the game. So many runners, especially during the Award Show section.

Helping Hands: Veteran cop Ryan, hands by Colin, is breaking in his rookie partner Wil on Wil’s first ever stakeout

Aisha: “but Ryan cannot use his own arms, for reasons we are not able to provide at this time.”
I love Aisha. It’s very similar to the little asides Clive used to make.

Ryan: “no, don’t call me Phillips, SERGEANT Phillips, you’re beneath me, I’m above you”
[somehow not a height reference]

Ryan tries out the binoculars: “ooh, they’re across the street. Other way around? Miiiiles away.”

The structure of this game is actually more similar to a SFX playing, where they actually do a full scene arc of things happening and different tactics, only with real props. I love Ryan and Colin trying the megaphone, and Ryan’s wry surprise when he sees “hey, it works!”
Ryan, into the megaphone: “YOU, ACROSS THE STREET…[sung] I can see yoooou across the street…]”
Screen Shot 2021-05-22 at 2.42.13 PM
“with your uniform on, you look so neat…”
I love Ryan in this game sometimes

Ryan begins to put Wil through a hostage negotiation roleplay, then gets confused: “wait, I don’t negotiate with the hostages, I negotiate with the people holding the hostages…NO NO, say you’re a hostage who doesn’t want to be released!”
Wil, quickly:
Screen Shot 2021-05-22 at 2.48.32 PM
“I DON’T WANNA LET THAT GUY GO.”
Ryan: “…that’s a bit severe, isn’t it?”
Wil: “DON’T TRY TO NEGOTIATE WITH ME, COPPER?”
Ryan, barely in character: “damn, you’re really good at this, I think you missed your calling.”
Wil: “YOU’RE GODDAMNED RIGHT I AM.”

I also love the moment where it goes from Ryan complimenting Wil on his acting skills to being serious and going ‘PUT THE GUN DOWN’, all while Colin slowly peels the banana.
Wil, finally putting the gun down: “you’re really good at this-”
Colin: [FLINGS BANANA AT WIL]
Wil: “AAAAUUUGHHH”
Screen Shot 2021-05-22 at 2.56.14 PM
Wayne has to stand up and nearly walk away.
Ryan: “NEVER DROP YOUR GUN IF A MAN HAS A BANANA”
It’s literally just Self Defense Against Fruit now…

Wil and Ryan have a bite of a sub
Wil: “Oh, I think that went bad, sir”
Ryan: “…ohhh, that turkey’s BEEN THERE A WHILE…”
Wil: [throws sub down and starts shooting at it]
PFFF. HE’S SO GOOD

I also love Colin knowing to open the sub as Ryan just spits the rest of his bite into it. They know each other.
Ryan: “Seal that up for later, that’s gonna be evidence! I’m gonna keep that for when I file my lawsuit…”

Ryan: “this is something that every cop has to know about…the donut.”
That line alone is funny

I love Colin’s struggle with the donut on his finger. He has it there, drops it, then Ryan mentions “say I’m driving with the donut on my finger”, and Colin has to frantically feel around on the table to get the donut back on there.

Wil doing the full ‘eat donut and fire on sight’ motion just proves how game, and how good at improv, Wil can be

Ryan: “let me tell you something. After all these years? I’m happy to have a partner so I don’t have to eat all this crap.”
YES. Both in scene and out of scene, that line works. It’s the culmination of 20 years of doing this show and downing shit, and finally having an awesome foil to jump on the mine for him.
Wil nods and downs another bite of eclair
Ryan: “oh yeah, shove it in your mouth…”

Wil even pulls a Ryan and discretely spits some of it back into a bag [with beers in it]
Ryan, smirking: “those were beers for later..”

Ryan, again barely in-scene: “I didn’t notice we HAD beers. I would have had one had you not spit all your food in it…”
Wil: “…I’m a really bad cop.”

Ryan, getting a beer anyway: “Oh, that one’s got little remnants on it. AND LOOK WHERE IT IS. RIGHT AT THE TOP PART WHERE I DRINK THE LIQUID OUT OF.”
This is such a good scene. There are so many out-of-scene notes that still make sense within the scene.

After Colin’s shaken the beer up, Wil suggests they open theirs together, “like partners”, which is a great full circle character move. Ryan is not looking forward to any of what’s about to happen, so he’s cracking up throughout.

Wil does know that they need to shake the beers some more, so he leads Ryan in a cheer. Man, he came with a lot of improv muscles already, I love that
Wil: “I LIKE TO BE A COP. ONE, TWO, THREE, GO-”
Screen Shot 2021-05-22 at 3.07.11 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-22 at 3.07.28 PM
A DIRECT HIT. THAT IS PERFECT. Ryan’s only spills out a little, but Wil’s completely hit him. The biggest explosion since the S5 tapings. And the best part…Screen Shot 2021-05-22 at 3.07.41 PMScreen Shot 2021-05-22 at 3.07.51 PM
Gary AND Wayne have to walk away. Usually it’s just Wayne, but Gary JOINS HIM. That is incredible.

Ryan: “Was that out of yours or mine?”
Wil: [shrugs]

Ryan, throwing his hat off: “THAT was fun!”
When even HE knows he’s hit upon a good one, you know it’s good

So…I’ve been saying this a lot recently, but that was one of the best Helping Handses of this version. Like the Rachel Bloom one, the conflict was less about Ryan eating gross things and more about this character dynamic and Wil doing funny things. It helped a lot that Wil made this a very balanced scene with his character being all-in to try things and even scarf down donuts. A lot of the early stuff with the gun and stakeout tactics were really funny, and even though we eventually went towards eating things, it was less graphic, and it led to one hell of an ending with Wil being the aggressor and DOUSING Ryan. Absolutely incredible, and a high tier for this game.

Overall: If Questions had been a little more put-together, this would have been a full 10/10 show. I’m still giving it a 10/10, but it doesn’t clear E3. Still…holy shit this show was awesome. Duet was a great song, leaning into Wayne and Wil’s geekdom. Secret was an all-timer with some great improv moves from Colin and Ryan, moving us past the prop playings and towards the improv ideas of the original UK playings. SFAH was a great round that made up for last time’s too-messy feeling. And Helping Hands was one of the best playings I’ve seen thanks to Wil AND RYAN having some great improv moves and keeping each other on their toes. I have so many great things to say about this show, from the quality of improv, the high quality of the guest games thanks to an awesome booking, the fact that it delivered pretty much every type of WL game we can get [loose opener, ace singing game, godlike Ryan-Colin game, quickfire game, and ace guest game], and the fact that our runner was unconnected from the guest stuff. I absolutely adored this show, and it might be one of my personal favorites of the run. I just wish this had gone out in S12 like it was supposed to.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Ryan Stiles. Dude killed it all night. From Questions, you knew he was in a good move this whole taping, and he kept bringing it all the way through Helping Hands.
Worst Performer: Gary had the most human moments, especially in Duet, where he felt a bit out of his league.
Best Game: Damn this is tough. Either Secret or Helping Hands could go here. I’m going with Helping Hands because it felt more complete, consistent, and had different types of laughs throughout.
Worst Game: Questions was…a warm-up game. Warts and all.
Guest Star Rating: 10/10. Charisma, musical ability, improv ability, a fan of the show and a great Helping Hands foil? Wil Wheaton brought it all tonight.

COMING UP NEXT: We FINALLY get to the other S12 Jonathan taping, with another CW synergy booking, and some more accident-prone Jonathan stuff