Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E16, or You Never Stop, Don’t You?

If anything, Series 3 of UK Whose Line has been a wild ride. The UK run was one of the most consistently funny sections of the show we’ve seen, recapturing the energy from a very middle-of-the-road S2. The US run was more scattered, with less highlight shows, and more manic, uncontrollable energy. If the UK shows were focused, the US ones were scattered and all-over-the-place. Other than a miraculous comeback show from John Sessions, and the first appearance of Ryan and Colin together, we haven’t had a lot of truly great shows from this stretch.

However, tonight, WL attempts another ‘summation’ show, bringing four of the stronger acts of the series together to recapture the spark. In S2, this kind of show…sort of worked, but all the good stuff ended up in a compilation. Tonight’s show features the four people who made the flight from the UK together- Josie Lawrence, Mike McShane, Sandi Toksvig and Greg Proops. This would be Sandi’s last show, which is sad, but I’ll be missing the personality rather than the improv.

LITERALLY FROM THE TOP OF THE SHOW, there’s this fellow in the audience who seems to think he’s on the set of Arsenio, wooping and hollering from the back. A very confused Greg and Josie, from the seats, return the gesture.

March: Taxidermy

We’re STARTING WITH MARCH??? OKAY THEN…

Already, the quality of verses has vastly improved, as Josie and Greg’s are really well done and very sweet.

AND THEN SANDI…
Sandi, after missing a cue: “…god almighty…”

Sandi does stumble briefly, but lands on her feet with a good enough rhyme. For a game that always worried the hell out of Sandi, she sure knows how to leave it on a good note.

I do see why they did this early, because this game had a ton of energy tonight, rather than coming at the end and getting burned out, semi-coherent verses.

Alphabet: Greg and Sandi (at the optician’s) starting with X.

The scene starts well, as both of them are really good at this game. I’d also like to point out that Greg going “EEEEEEEEEHHHHHHH” sounds an awful-lot like a certain round-headed science-loving comedian from Ireland.

Greg: ‘Say, uh…what are you doing after this appointment?”
Sandi: “…tea time?”
Greg: “….Umbrella time? I open up, you get under…”

Very charming and fun scene, as you can see Greg and Sandi got along well on the show.

Tag: Greg and Mike start, Sandi and Josie enter later

The audience suggests Greg get down on all fours.
Greg: “…thank you…”
Clive: “get down, Greg…”
Greg, seeing this the other way, grimaces at Clive. “You never stop, don’t you?”
Clive, without missing a beat: “Well, you never start.”

Someone in the audience says Mike should be on his back.
Mike, pointing to Greg: “On HIS back?”
Greg, adjusting his glasses, flips off the audience.

Sandi, under Mike’s legs: “…well, it might be fun for you, darling, but I’m not enjoying it…”

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.12.39 PM.pngGreg: “…this is the best blind date I’ve ever been on…”

Quick round, but still very funny.

Psychiatrist: Josie
Greg: afraid of women
Mike: obsessed with poodles

Clive upon getting the suggestion that Greg’s ‘afraid of women’: “Well, uh…then maybe you know Greg…”
Greg has a priceless reaction here. He’s shocked, then smirks, and goes “well, YOU DO, DON’T YOU CLIVE…”

Josie and Greg’s song is fun, and there’s a nice amount of fun rhymes- Josie gives her character a nice accent, which helps.

I will give the edge to Mike’s for being a more masterful song, and giving himself more of a character.

Not sure why, but in the middle of Josie’s rebuttal, Greg absolutely loses it laughing in the background. I don’t know what he was watching, or what about the ‘really strange clipper’ line it was, but he’s GONE.

Props: Josie and Greg vs. Mike and Sandi

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.24.26 PM.pngJosie: “JUMP. JUMP, I DON’T LIKE YOU, JUMP.”

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.25.23 PM.pngSandi: “…alright, Mr. Wilson, d’you want to do a little pee in here for me…”

Party Quirks: Sandi hosts
Mike: WWII Submarine Captain
Josie: circus performer
Greg: horse racing announcer

This, if anything, feels like a later-era Party Quirks. Sandi has gotten better with reacting to thinks, and responding to players- when Mike pulls down a periscope, Sandi goes “what are you doing with my microwave?” When Josie enters doing countless circus things, Sandi mutters “Oh, the appetizers have arrived…” It’s quite a lot like what Brad Sherwood or Chip Esten would do while hosting.

Film and Theatre Styles: Mike and Greg (pilot and co-pilot in airplane)

This is down here, March is up there, Josie and Sandi don’t get to play? Curiouser and curiouser.

Greg has a nice moment of response- once the Rocky style is called, he goes into a Stallone face, but sees that Mike’s going for Stallone first, so he goes into a Burgess Meredith impression instead, which works even better.

Mike’s Tim-Currying in the Rocky Horror style is…something I did not expect to enjoy today.

Greg, at the end of love story, leaps into Mike’s arms, and it gets a couple ‘ooooh’s from the audience. Then, right into saturday night fever, where Mike throws Greg back down and does a Travolta stance. It’s pretty seamless, and a great way to end a nice playing of the game.

American Musical: psychology, tennis, training for a marathon, visiting roommates

The first segment is pretty long, pretty passionate, and irons out the story in a really nice way.

Greg, entering: “You guys have really run a long way…you’re in Minnesota, now…”

This isn’t the greatest musical, but once Sandi enters as Dr. Ruth, it gets really, really funny.
Greg: “Hey, thanks for helping me with my tennis grip, Dr. Ruth…”

Overall: A good show, but without a defining moment or anything too great, which sums up the majority of the US run. Everybody was in great form tonight, and no games were truly bad, but nothing really escaped ‘good’ for me. There wasn’t anything like the ‘smashed the car’ F&TS, or anything like that.

Show Winner: Greg
Best Performer: Greg, for having the show’s funniest moments, and for getting into some banter with Clive.
Worst Performer: Surprisingly, Mike McShane, for just having less ‘great moments’ than everyone else tonight.
Best Game: …Film and Theatre Styles, over Alphabet. Just a better top-to-bottom game, with more equally good moments.
Worst Game: Props by default

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Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E15, or Never Take a Bath With Another Man

Clive announces right off the bat that this is the first ‘All-American’ Whose Line in the show’s history, which is definitely a turning point for a show that started with a british mindset. Tonight, we have the three guys heating up the US tapings, Mike, Ryan and Greg, but joining them is…a very strange case.

George McGrath hasn’t been on a taping since Series 1, and it was the ill-fated Episode 6, cited by many to be the worst of the show’s history (which I disagree with, as Graeme Garden saved it). He’s also…a very strange person, having been credited as a writer and performed on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and actor in a recent…softcore-gay not actually porn parody thing?? Ah well, I’ll let it slide. This is his second and last appearance, which means S1E6 was good enough to keep the option up for a return, but this one wasn’t good enough for another one. Again, very strange case.

Story: George tells ‘My Favorite Toy’: Ryan, Mike and Greg act out.
Moral: Never play with electricity

(Or would George star in the parody ‘My Favorite Boy Toy’? I’m sorry, I’m still vexed’)

This game is very haphazard, and comes down to, heh, who lives, who dies, and who tells the story (I then receive a knock from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lawyers). George did well enough in his first go, but there were too many little hints of ‘I can’t control the story somebody help I hate this’.

The american audiences are silly, because already the story and moral amount to a sex toy joke. It’s fantastic.

George does well enough, getting Mike to play Santa, and setting things up, but Ryan takes it further.
Ryan: “Hey, St. Nick…it’s easter, what the hell are you doing here?”

This game is very strung along by George, but Greg and Ryan do have moments to save it, like when Greg enters as another boy, going “Hey Delbert, what up?”

George: “His friend suggested they both take a bath together.”
Greg: “….why don’t we go take a bath together, I suggest…”

The game does get to the outcome George wants it to, as he strings them along to their message.
Greg: “I THINK WE’VE LEARNED SOMETHING FROM THIS, DELBERT.”
Ryan: “We sure have- number one, never take a bath with another man…”

The game ends. George took a bit too much control with the scene, stepping over the few funny lines and haphazardly crushing the game into a compact block. Dare I say it, he did better his first time. Stephen Fry at least let them say funny things around his storytelling motifs. But George made the other three’s contributions null and void.

Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and George (windowcleaner eavesdropping on corporate boss)

Clive: “Sam Peckinpah”
Ryan and George just shoot at each other repeatedly for 20 seconds.

Cartoon style
Ryan coughs: “Look, all the bullets!”
[That might even be more ingenious than Paul’s ‘MISSED!’]

A very brief scene, marred by George not really wanting to interact with Ryan’s character.

Props: George and Mike vs. Ryan and Greg

Ryan: “Now, how would I smuggle diamonds through customs”
[prop falls out his backside]

Brief, but amusing.

Alphabet: Ryan and Greg (showing around the zoo)- Starting with Q

Ryan: “Salamanders, a small lizard that lives in Brazil, I believe.”
Greg: “mm, Tasty.”

I’d like to point out that this is the first scene Ryan and Greg do together, and both of them are really good at this game. The dynamic is there, and it’s only where Ryan completely forgets about the letter O that I got worried, but the game ended soundly, and Ryan was still cracking as he walked back, going “OH, I FORGOT A LETTER…”

Hoedown: Scuba-Diving

Hoedown #2. Ryan hasn’t really realized that this is gonna be the next 25 years of his life.

Nothing really stood out, though Mike’s last verse had the kind of energy that I could appreciate after a very limp first half. George, also, had too many weird looks and noises for me to enjoy.

Audition: The West Side of Oklahoma: Ryan directs, Greg, Mike and George audition.

Glad they brought this back, but this would be the last playing.

Ryan, to Greg: “And, uh, you done any other productions here in New York?”
Greg: “Yes, I was in the all-deaf version of King Lear.”

Greg’s demeanor on the end of the audition is great.
Greg: “WAS I IN THE LIGHT? COULD YOU GUYS SEE ME?”
Ryan: “Yes, you were very much in the light…”
Greg, in one swoop, adjusts his glasses and flips off Ryan.

FROM MIKE’S FIRST MOMENT, I’M LAUGHING.
Ryan: ‘And your name please?”
Mike, whose Mike isn’t completely set: “…KYLE BLOODMAN.”
Ryan: “Kyle, didn’t I see you in a production downtown-”
Mike, semi-lampshading: “Yeah, I auditioned for you a couple of times…”

Mike’s is not only emotional and angry, but it’s hilarious the more it builds, even as he finishes and holds the swaying, angry look towards the camera.

George, doing perhaps the one good thing he’s done all night, arrives with a cigarette as Anthony Newley, “and I’m here to make my comeback.”

George does…well…a very Anthony Newley number, comparing the West Side of Oklahoma…to, well, the East Side of Oklahoma. And of course, Ryan gives him the gig.

Arguably a better round than last time, with better performers and funnier stuff (and less cheating).

Helping Hands: Ryan, with Greg’s hands, pulls over Mike for speeding

As Greg throws off his suit jacket, you can hear an audience member going “oh yeah”, and heckling them. Ryan rolls his eyes and keeps going towards the stage.

Greg’s more elaborate arm movements make this, as they compliment Ryan’s more spastic nature onstage.

Ryan: “I’ve got my hand on my baton, and I’m not gonna take this from ya anymore…”
Greg, for a moment, goes for the crotch area, but corrects himself and goes for the side. Ryan cracks up at this.

Very funny game, with enough to warrant the, again, spry timing.

Party Quirks: RYAN HOSTS?!?!?!?!?
George: Shocked by everything
Mike: school bus driver
Greg: square dance caller

BUT…RYAN HOSTS???

Ryan starts off by singing along to ‘Ballroom Blitz’ by Sweet. This definitely helps.

Greg is on from the moment he enters, cracking me up even if Ryan’s guessing people a bit too quickly.

This is a good game, but it lasts a minute and change because Ryan’s really good at guessing.

American Musical: New York, going to Australia, working in television, skydiving, and having a car broken into

Mike and Greg starting as two car-jackers is a nice choice, as it’s a cool motif to begin this with, instead of just starting with ‘New York’.

George, actually factoring in the audience member for the first time: “Wait a minute…that car belongs to PAM! AND WHILE SHE’S IN AUSTRALIA, I’M GONNA TAKE CARE OF IT!”
Greg: “Yeah? What are you, Marshal Freaking Dillon?”
[“I was always more partial to Roy Rogers. I really did like those sequined shirts..”]

Mike, after George’s skydiving song: “I fell out of a building once..”
Greg: “Yeah, I pushed him!”

Greg has a great moment- George notices a note in the car, and Greg, still knowing about where the car physically is, bonks his head on the side before bending his head in.

Ryan enters as the ‘Big Australian Fairy’, which means it’s another Ryan accent that doesn’t go 100% perfectly.

It ends well, albeit with some rustled mics due to the skydiving positions, but it ends well.

Overall: Comparing this one to E14 is like comparing any two Transformers sequels. One is only slightly better than the last. This one did have one or two more ‘good games’ than E14, but George’s bad improv choices, a lack of Mike in most of the show, and some very bawdy audience moments kept bringing the momentum down.

Show Winner: Everyone!
Best Performer: Ryan, for just giving strong stuff in every game he was in, even when paired with George.
Worst Performer: George, for…not doing the best improv tonight.
Best Game: American Musical. Everything just came together in a nice way.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Just…nothing.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E14, or It’s Improvisation, Not Forward Thinking

This is one of two…very, very odd episodes in a row. For instance, this lineup, of Archie Hahn, John Sessions, Ryan Stiles and Mike McShane, could have been one from Series 2, but now that the power has shifted, Sessions, here for his last Whose Line, is in the FIRST seat, while MIKE is in the fourth.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Archie and John (Robin Hood and future Merry Man)

Ah, you can tell the tide has turned, because John’s here and we’re not playing authors.

The game starts with some references that neither I nor the audience gets. Nice that we’re beginning to lower John’s WL tenure into the ground.

Both John AND Archie are good at keeping up with the Shakespeare style, even with Archie throwing in some wordplay that nearly rivals Colin and Ryan’s from last show.

Now…in the slapstick style…Archie pulls out a whistle and uses it for some falling noises. There’s a general rule in improv not to supply your own props. Archie, like another American performer this season, has a hand that the show plays into perfectly, rather than just adapting to suggestions.

Archie, dog film: “I’VE GOT A 36 DOLLAR DOG WHISTLE, AND THE DOG HASN’T COME…”
BUZZ
Clive: “Alright, I’m not gonna wait here for a dog to come…”
John sees the wordplay and is impressed.

Amusing, but, like usual with John’s scenes, they completely lost the plot.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Mike and Ryan (passerby helps someone whose car has broken down)

At the suggestion of ‘ballet’, Mike and Ryan look at each other and sigh.
Clive: “Yes, horror…I think ballet is a bit of a horror with these two…”

Clive: “horror”
Ryan: [horrifiedly shakes the locked door handle]

After a relatively amusing horror style
Clive: “…I can postpone it no longer. Ballet.”

Ryan prances over, and motions for Mike to leap into Ryan’s arms. this…does not go well…
Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 7.12.43 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-12-05 at 7.12.32 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-12-05 at 7.12.53 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-12-05 at 7.13.01 PM.png

And THAT is how you end a scene. This had its moments, wasn’t perfect, but BY GOD THAT ENDING.

Song Styles: Mike sings a torch song about a suitcase

Mike: “Can I have a stool for this?”
Clive: “i dunno, depends on what you’re going to do with it…”

Very passionate, powerful song from Mike, giving some of his most vibrant vocal tones in a while, and not going on too long. It even ends with Mike running over and giving Richard Vranch a high-five.

Sound Effects: Ryan’s on the subway. Archie supplies the sound effects.

Ah, yes, one of the last few times Ryan wouldn’t do sound effects. Not that Archie’s have been bad (it was one of the few things he was truly great at on the show), but…Ryan’s are classic.

Ryan’s great at reacting, though. The first ten seconds are just the sounds of the subway system, which…sort of frustrates Ryan, as the train should probably get there, as the scene should probably have something happen in it.

Ryan does have a nice move. He motions to a dog, pets it…then throws it onto the tracks. Archie does have a great ‘AIIIIGH’ noise from the dog.

The whole game leads to Ryan jumping one, squeezing the doors open and getting on…only for Archie’s announcer to go “your attention please…the subway is now out of service…”

An odd game, as nothing happened, but it was a very funny nothing.

World’s Worst- Person to share an apartment with

John and Mike have 5 seconds of a ‘you go, no you go’, before:
Mike: “….what’s ‘rent’?”
John: “I believe that washing causes the body not to be as real and happy as it ought to be…”
Mike, going right up to the camera: “Yeah, I ate all the food. So what? YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT??”

Props: Ryan and John vs. Mike and Archie

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 7.25.50 PM.pngRyan: “I’m sick of bloody froot loops, alright, YOU EAT EM.”

John, in doing an unfunny joke that nobody’s getting, snaps the prop in half. LOWERING HIS WL TENURE FURTHER INTO THE GROUND.

Mike, not taking a single moment for granted: “Man, d’you see those guys in concert when they broke that scythe on stage?”

Audition: Ryan runs auditions for ‘The Dead Greasy Godfathers Society’- John, Archie and Mike audition.

This was a game they only tried in the US this series, and it actually had a few good playings, though this one was…a wee bit problematic…

Ryan, to John, a method actor: “Now, Tony I gather you’ve read the script?”
John: “No, I, uh…I looked at it, and then I imagined what it’d be like to feel it…”

John’s basically sums up his tenure on Whose Line: He gives a really bad acting performance, and Ryan Stiles tells him to go away.

Archie goes up as…well, an Archie Hahn character. Flamboyantly gay, dancer type.
Ryan: “Heinie, what are you doing right now?”
Archie: “I’m doing an off-off-off-off-off broadway production of Rear Window…”

Archie, ONCE AGAIN, skews the improv his way, putting the idea in Ryan’s head that his number has to include dancing, and doing a full dance number with castanets doubling for tap shoes. THAT’S…NOT…HOW…IMPROV…WORKS!

Mike awkwardly comes towards the stage
Ryan: “Uh, name please? Your name?”
Mike: “Uh…Bob Zoom?”
Ryan: “Hi Bob. Now, have you had a chance to read the script?”
Mike: “…..there’s a script???”

Of course, Mike absolutely kills it, doing a short, passionate, character-heavy song, culminating in a HUGELY ENERGETIC NOTE, and Ryan running on, going “you’ve got the job, Bob!”

This is a well-structured game, one well-proctored  by Ryan and well-ended by Mike, but John and Archie meddled with the momentum, by overdoing it, and, well, cheating.

Clive even deducts 500 points for Archie’s prop incident- “It’s improvisation, not forward thinking, that we want here…”

Helping Hands: Ryan (with Archie’s hands) complains to waiter Mike

Ryan: “Taste this soup, it’s freezing cold.”
Mike: “…it’s gazpacho, idiot…”

Mike does know that this game requires physicality, so he gets Ryan to do the secret handshake they did in high school, and it becomes this crazy, complete miss of an arm thing that I’m happy I saw.

Of course, Archie grabs Ryan’s crotch, which Ryan quickly responds to (“it’s just…my underwear’s riding behind me…”), but…if this went on the air in 2017 it’d get some headlines, I think, and some op-eds in the Times.

Really great game, crotch grab notwithstanding, as it was more physical than most other games of this.

Film Dub: Ryan and Archie are somewhere strange

This one’s a pretty awkward one, though it has a nice line or two (“that’s my coat!” “yes, I’m going to go take a dump in it, d’you mind”)- Archie does a big ‘no, but’ in the middle, which gets a laugh but doesn’t progress the scene.

Gospel: Milkmen

John and Archie’s…are not remotely good.

Ryan’s, though…
“Milk is a dairy product…just like butter.
It doesn’t just show up in a store, you’ve got to squeeze an udder…”

Overall: I didn’t think Series 3 would have a truly bad show, but here we are. John and Archie kept any scene from progressing, there were a lot of bad improv moves, and even if Mike and Ryan were having nice nights, there wasn’t truly a top-to-bottom perfect game on the entire night. It was just flawed as hell.

Show Winner: John
Best Performer: Ryan, for sticking with it and elevating even some bad scenes
Worst Performer: Archie Hahn, who did more improv no-nos throughout the night. It’s a wonder he ever did another show.
Best Game: Audition. Not pristine, but structurally cool, and with a great ending.
Worst Game: Film Dub. Just not good.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E13, or I don’t understand it, I don’t know how THEY do…

Battle of the Duos: Meskimen and Smith vs. Toksvig and McShane. I’m thinking the latter one might win.

Clive describes Jim as ‘arguably the best impressionist since Claude Monet’, which is a nice one.

Authors: Maidens in the Mist
Chris: sporting memoir
Sandi: Agatha Christie
Jim: Tom Clancy
Mike: Edgar Rice Burroughs

Sandi, responding to Chris’ general one: “Another famous sports person, Agatha Christie.”

Mike explains what Burroughs has written, stuff like Tarzan
Clive: “Yes, and Jimmy C-…No-”
Mike, proud that Clive went there: “YES, JIMMY CARTER OF MARS!”

The speed of this game has definitely improved now that John Sessions isn’t a regular. Sandi and Chris give it a nice start.
Jim: “Miles away, the Soviets were observing everything…”

Very funny game overall, with all four working together, and the second round just being a quickfire humor bath.

Explanations: Facuets
Jim: Chico Marx
Chris: Groucho Marx

Getting established comedy duos to do this game work, because Jim and Chris already work well off each other when playing themselves, but playing two of the Marx brothers makes it even faster.

Chris: “Well, actually I already have a drip, it’s a problem.”
Jim: “That’s-a some joke…”
Chris, looking out to the unresponsive audience: “Well, I’m glad YOU thought so…”

Jim: “Yes, I’m the fella that makes the water-go-downa.”
Chris: “…and you’re a plumber?”
Jim: “No, I’m a watta-go-downer.”
Chris, seeing the joke and going for it: “You know, I used to have a wife who was a wattagodowna.”
After the audience goes wild for this one, Chris, to the camera, goes “…I don’t understand it, I don’t know how THEY do…”

Jim: “You shouldn’t hang around a man who’s working, it makes ya tired.”
Chris, looking around: “I didn’t realize I was hanging.”

Really fun scene, with good impressions and good, heh, interplay.

Film Dub: Mike comes home from the Supermarket to Sandi

Very haphazard scene, with a lot of muddied accented back and forth, and reacting to the scene, but the ending’s great- Mike’s waiting for someone to come onto the now-revealed screen, and it’s a guy with white hair.
Mike: “IT’S….IT’S…..IT’S PHIL DONOHUE!”

Song Styles: Microwave
Jim: Frank Sinatra
Chris: Opera

…did Mike not want to do Song Styles???

Jim flirts with his Frank Sinatra impression- some parts are spot-on, some parts sound like Jim. The song is pretty nice, very sweet, and the rhythm is very Sinatra. I just wish the impression was a wee-bit more centered.

Chris’ song is nice, very well done and with some good rhyme scheme, which is surprising considering he’s not usually left to his own devices. He even fakes out the audience, rearing up for a huge final note and instead giving a very quiet one.

Party Quirks: Sandi hosts
Chris: politician
Jim: old-timer
Mike: zookeeper

Jim: ‘And the house! Oh, I remember when this was just a barn…”

Jim: “and here, where that bean-bag chair is…”
Sandi: “That’s my husband actually…”

Jim describes his desire for an egg cream, like from the olden days.
Sandi: “An egg cream…that’s fantastic, I didn’t know eggs could cream themselves.”

Sandi’s doing a much better job of letting people interact, mainly with her but also with each other.

As Jim is guessed, when Clive can’t exactly remember the quirk, Jim exits to the podium, going “AND OLD CLIVE, I REMEMBER YOUR MOTHER…”

Fairly nice game, with a lot of great work all around, and Jim having a great time.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Chris and Jim (boss letting employee go)

Man, they are doing these late in the show!

Chris: “You’re gonna have to go, Mitch. This is your swan song.”
Jim: “my swan song? We don’t even make swans at this factory…”

The Martial Arts style leads to some near-Stooges battering around with Jim and Chris.

Having two very white guys do a Blaxploitation style was not a good idea at all- Jim sends this into a very, VERY cringey place.

Clive: “How about we do a bit of Bergman?”
Jim: “He hit me….and now I still feel such strong feelings towards him.”

The style actually works, and culminates in both men making emotional Swedish Bergman noises.

The scene actually has a nice, and final, ending, with the Western style wrapping things up diplomatically. It wasn’t the greatest scene, but it wasn’t as horrible as it was during the Blaxploitation bit.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Mike and Sandi (visiting someone in prison)

Mike: “I haven’t been able to see you here because…I’ve been seeing someone else, BUT I LOVE YOU!”
Sandi: “I KILLED YOUR MOTHER FOR YOU!”
Mike: “…and THAT’S WHY I LOVE YOU!”

Sandi, realizing a different meaning halfway through: “Yes, with that simple blow I killed your mother, for I have power in my fingertips you clearly don’t know about…”

Sandi, at the dramatic culmination of the Horror style, announces that “IT’S ONLY TWO DAYS TIL MY PERIOD…”
Mike’s expression grows to one of, well, horror. So yeah, that worked.

In the 10 seconds in which Sandi and Mike hold their positions, Sandi, out of the corner of her mouth, goes “……I can’t believe I said that…” And then both of them, in their positions, crack up.

It ends semi-clumsily, but it’s a good enough scene, with that one hysterical moment.

Gospel: Bus Driver

Sandi notes verbally that it’s a very difficult game for her (“because I’m british”)
“But Lord, I love you through the teeth…which is much more uncomfortable than being loved form underneath.”
This, once again, cracks up Mike.

Jim’s gospel verse is actually pretty great, and even gets Richard to go into a different chord in the third bar, which gives it a very cool feeling overall, once which the audience eats up.

Mike ends this one on a great note, as usual.

Overall: Very, very, very okay. The problem was pitting two very different duos against each other, and that it was very difficult to intermix them, so getting a dynamic together wasn’t very successful. Jim and Chris had great games by themselves. Sandi and Mike had great games by themselves. The audience really seemed to like this episode. But it was very off, to me, and a lot of games were oddly structured or handled, perhaps by the dual emphasis on both duos.

Show Winner: Jim
Best Performer: This was very close, but I’m going with Sandi because she had the funnier night and everyone else was…okay.
Worst Performer: Chris. He was much better than last time, with many more jokes, but he still brings up the rear because Jim and Mike did more throughout the show than he did.
Best Game: Explanations. Nothing was really top-to-bottom fantastic except this and Party Quirks, and I laughed at Explanations more.
Worst Game: Film Dub. Not a very coherent one, save for the ending joke.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E12, or It’s Not Like the Sheep was Underage

The story so far: In Episode 5, Colin Mochrie makes his debut on Whose Line. This had made people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move.

Not really, but…it’s regarded that Colin’s debut left a bit to be desired, as he was tired, nervous, and not up to par with everyone else. The producers thought this as well, and when it came time to move production to New York, they were dead set on emphasizing Meskimen and Smith. Ryan Stiles had other ideas- he lobbied Leveson and Patterson to give Colin another chance, given the correct circumstances, sleep schedule, and environment, and that he’d do them proud. This was, after all, Ryan’s comedy partner from Second City we were talking about.

Nevertheless, the producers relented, and we got Episode 12, featuring Colin and Ryan, together at last, as well as Josie and Mike standing by for contrast.

I dig Mike’s Mickey Mouse pocket square.

Film and Theatre Styles v1- Mike and Josie (buying a gun)

Josie’s acting in the Horror style is pretty great, just macabre enough.

Clive: “Sports film”
Josie, pointing the gun: “I’m not sure if it’s quite right for me-”
Mike, running in front: “Okay, I’ve got the rhino suit on…”
And then Mike does this sort of rhino run around that…cracks me up, and kind of reminds me of Colin’s velociraptor impression.

Josie’s burlesque song:
“Oh, this man’s very funny, he’s a very funny one, and ladies you should see, the size of his gun…”

The scene ends well, but it didn’t seem to have a ton of momentum in my opinion.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Colin and Ryan (fixing a roof)

GUYS IT’S HAPPENING! RYAN AND COLIN ARE DOING A SCENE TOGETHER!!!

Right as they go onstage, Ryan shakes Colin’s hand and gives him a ‘you’ll do great’ look. He knows full well that this show is for him, even if he doesn’t.

I do adore Clive’s American accent, which he uses to  make fun of audience members “PORN! PORN!”

Already, they’re great at establishing a duration of time, a relationship…and Colin points out “look, you’ve used salami to cover the hole…”

The Surrealism scene is a classic, as both just turn it into this weird musing on salami, ending in both waving their arms at the camera going “YAY FOR SALAMI, YAY FOR SALAMI!” The whole audience, and Josie, are digging the hell out of this.

The kung-fu style is also great, because of how shoddily they dub for themselves, and how Colin hits himself in the face with a weapon. Also, it’s very odd seeing him with a great deal of hair, flapping down when he bends over.

Shakespeare
Ryan, giving one of his usual Shakespearean oxymorons: ‘Yay, but if I were a man like my woman, I would be my life.”
Josie absolutely loses it here. In an ‘oh my god’ sort of way.
Colin: “I do not mean to prick your allusions, but if you were a woman, thy prick you should not have!”

Clive asks them to finish on a B-Movie. Colin, as he does, takes this the wrong way, and tries swatting a bee. Ryan follows, and Clive ends the scene on that note.

As the first ever Colin&Ryan scene, this is a rather great one, with both having great laughs and great moments that’d mark the rest of their friendship.

World’s Worst- Person to defend you in court

Mike: “MY CLIENT HAS BEEN A FINE, UPSTANDING MEMBER OF THE COMUN-HEHEHE, I can’t keep this up…he’s guilty…HE’S GUILTY!”
Colin: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury…it’s not like the sheep was underage!”
Colin: “My final summation will be done by…Quicky, the hand-puppet. “ladies and gentlemen…”

Very funny round- Colin and Mike had the better moments

Helping Hands: Mike duels Ryan (with Colin’s hands)

And on top of this, this is the first time Ryan has to do a game with Colin’s hands. The first of many.

I love the high-class french accents and postures they use, as well as the faint slapping. It’s a very, very silly, near-Pythonesque scene.

Ryan: “I, myself…choose a bazooka…”

This is a very quick game that doesn’t really require the use of hands, but…I admire it enough to let it slide.

American Musical: Being a songwriter, Living in New Jersey, having a cold, having travel difficulties, and going to France

Not sure what’s odder- Musical in the 1st act of the show, or Colin in Musical.

Also, note that Matt the audience member comes from Montclair, New Jersey, summer home of Stephen Colbert, and somewhere I’ve been once or twice on particularly expensive days.

Mike starts his segment with a really nice point: “I’m a songwriter…so I can’t get a job…”
His whole segment is great because Richard knows the right sort of tone of music to start things off with.

Ryan comes in with an accent- this is a momentous occasion. His french accent is so silly and over the top that it works, as Ryan’s accents usually do.

Ryan’s France song is extremely good, in one of the few times that Ryan shows vocal prowess in a game- it’s also a very poignant number, especially in comparison to the first one with Mike alone.

Ryan, on French women: “They stay with you, day after day.”
Mike: “Aw, man…not like New Jersey girls…”
Ryan: “BUT THE CHEESE…SMELLS BAD…”
Mike, not resisting an easy joke: “…so does New Jersey…”

There’s a very amusing bit, where Ryan has a conversation with a Concord, Colin, in French- Ryan, a comedian, is using fake, exaggerated French, while Colin, a Canadian, is using ACTUAL FRENCH.

Josie comes in as an air-hostess, in order to shore up all the plotlines and finish with a nice number. It’s a very nice, well-sung moment that Josie and Ryan can collaborate on, with some great rhymes. Mike even finishes the whole thing with a very happy moment, and Colin doesn’t even have to sing, or speak English.

Fantastic game, very feel-good and very fun. Rivaling even the first Musical Film Review

Song Styles:
Mike: Country Western song about Glasses
Josie: Madonna song about the subway

Mike’s number is a pretty nice one, though the guitar track sounds less country and more Glenn Frey or Neil Young. Mike’s song does make it very country, singing about his wife, a pair of glasses.

Clive, for Josie’s number, asks for another something people hate. Some audience member shouts out ‘John Major’ for some reason.
Clive: “We can’t have John Major, that’s far too political..and half of you haven’t heard of him…”

Josie’s Madonna number is brisker, but just sexual enough to be worthy of being a Madonna song.

Party Quirks: Colin hosts
Ryan: peeping tom
Josie: vampire
Mike: thinks he has an invisible friend

Colin Mochrie is a very underrated party quirks host. He’s only done it a few times, only when there’s not a fourth seater that’s good at hosting, or when Robin Williams is in the building and he doesn’t want to guess.

Colin’s great, because he does give the contestants enough time to cooperate with him, and each other (especially Ryan), and then he guesses. Josie he actually has a really nice moment of pseudo-sexual tension with, before saying “you know, I always loved having vampires over…”

Very brisk game, thanks to Colin’s nice guessing skills, but still a really fun one.

Props: Mike and Colin vs. Ryan and Josie

Props and Musical should have been switched, but oh well.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 5.51.18 PM.pngRyan: “HARRY, WE’VE GOT YOUR MOTHER DOWN HERE…”

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 5.52.16 PM.png
Colin: “…it was horrible, Larry the Leprechaun went right through the shredder…”

Nice enough round.

March: Dog-Sledding

Ryan does one of his first ‘vulgar cop-outs’ in a singing game.
“I don’t know what it is, I think I’m rather lucky, when you get a dog in the sled, you really have…”
He pauses, and quickly moves on. The audience slooooowly gets it.

Colin has a truly great one, about shooting his dog in the feet, and then the dog returns later “looking for the guy who shot his paw (pa).”

Mike ends it with high energy and exuberance, as per usual.

Overall: A very nice show, with a lot of great moments, and a lot of important moments in the show’s history. Not only did Ryan and Colin work well with each other, but they worked well with everyone, making great jokes throughout the night. Mike was masterful in the middle half of the show, taking Song Styles and Musical to the next level. My gripe is that Josie seemed a bit upstaged by the Americans, sort of like Episode 10, but she still did alright enough.

Show Winner: Ryan
Best Performer: Ryan, for having another really nice New York show, even with Colin by his side.
Worst Performer: Josie, for giving an underwhelming performance in the States.
Best Game: American Musical, narrowly dodging out F&TS v2, by being top-to-bottom great, and allowing everyone to shine.
Worst Game: F&TS v1, just for having the least amount of great moments.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E11, or And Now…My Accent has Gone!

Well, this is an odd one. I mean, not the Greg and Mike part- it’s Series 3, they’re supposed to be here.

No, the odd part is the other two- Mark Cohen, who had a nice enough debut in E2 but was slightly bawdy, and John Sessions, in the first of his final two Whose Line episodes. It’s the equivalent of pairing Andy Samberg up with Derek Jacobi.

Also, a note that Mike McShane….Mike McShaved…as Prince of Thieves wrapped before Mike flew out to the US. So, R.I.P. Mike Beard…for now.

Authors: She’s Gotta Have More Macaroni and Cheese
Mike: Lewis and Clark
Mark: Mario Puzo
Greg: Millie, the White House Dog
John: Ernest Hemingway

Clive, on Greg’s style: “Is that an actual author?”
Greg: “Yes, it’s Barbara Bush’s dog…and she’s a damn fine writer.”
Clive: “…I thought it was called Dan Quayle, but nevermind…”
The audience groans/boos at this.
Greg, chuckling: “Welcome to America, Clive…”

Also, ONCE AGAIN, John picks the obvious author just to be pretentious. Good to see that, even if it looks like times are tougher, he can still be the same old git.

I’d like to point out that Mark is doing a DeNiro impression for Puzo. Puzo didn’t exactly write Godfather Part II…

Greg: [dog noises] “He had a horse’s head, and he had a horse’s ass…IT WAS DAN QUAYLE!”

John STILL GETS A GOOD 10 SECONDS MORE THAN EVERYONE ELSE. DOES THIS SHIT END???

This is a pretty good round, though, as the plot stays intact, Mark cracks up, Mike’s going high energy, and…
Mark, mid-crack-up: “They continued to make love…”
Greg: “DOGGY-STYLE.”
The audience loves this one. So does John, as it takes him a second to recover from this.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Mark and John (borrowing something from a neighbor)

MARK AND JOHN??? AH, THE SAMBERG-JACOBI COMBO COMES TO LIFE!

Someone shouts out ‘PORNOGRAPHIC!’. Mark, in response, goes back to his seat. It is only the force of Greg grabbing Mark’s ass that gets him back onto the stage.

Mark and John do a really nice scene-setup, of the relationship and the setting…and then John goes “Can I borrow your wife.”
OH MY…JOHN GOT FUNNY!

The surrealist style brings out the best in this, as, for the second time in his short WL tenure, Mark pops out from under someone’s legs. Then, John rides him around the stage, for the second time in HIS WL tenure.

Mark and John both do really well in the Commedia style, and it surprises me that Mark has such a grasp on it (obviously John would).

A relatively nice scene, especially considering the reputation of these two as performers.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Mike and Greg (son telling a father he’s smashed the car)

In two lines, Mike and Greg establish everything you need to know in just their vocal tones.

Thank God both Mike and Greg have seen their fair amount of David Lynch films (especially Blue Velvet, as both seem to be channeling Frank Booth), as this style is fantastic, and manic.

The Ibsen style goes well, with dueling Norwegian accents, though it ends with Greg stumbling, going “and now…my accent has gone.”
BUZZ
Mike: “Let us take a tour of Denmark with your accent.”

Clive: “Hitchcock”
Mike, taking him literally: “Good evening.”

Greg pulls out a really nice Peter Lorre, which is great, despite…the fact that i don’t think Peter Lorre ever appeared in a Hitchcock film.
Mike: “It’s not that I hate you…get into the shower…”

Greg then turns into Norman Bates (finally figuring out someone who WAS in a Hitchcock movie), and moves around Mike, doubling as Norman and his mother.
Mike: ‘….I love it when you use me as a split-screen montage…”
BUZZ
Both of them stand there, trying not to crack up. Once Clive ends it, they crack.

That was a masterful F&TS, culminating in a fantastic Mike quote, and some really funny stuff throughout.

World’s Worst- Idea for a TV program:

Mark: “This is ‘Bob Dylan’s Speech Class’!”
Greg: “Hello, and welcome to the Disney Channel’s ‘Snuggles, the Lovable Python!’

I do enjoy Mark’s bemused expression whenever Clive buzzes him right after the concept. Like, he’s almost betrayed. Every time.

Very nice round, with a lot of silly stuff from Mike.

Props: John and Greg vs. Mike and Mark

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 12.03.46 PM.png
John: “Daddy, when you give me a hula hoop, do you really have to put me in the microwave?”

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 12.04.54 PM.pngJohn: “…this snake likes itself so much…”

Pretty fun round, with Mike and SURPRISINGLY JOHN giving good stuff.

Song Styles: Mike sings a disco song about underwear

This is a very, very funny song about incredibly tight underpants, making up for its brevity with Mike’s effort.

Party Quirks: Mark hosts
Greg: auctioneer
Mike: US Football Coach
John: bad mime artist

Greg, obviously, nails the auctioneer voice immediately when he enters, not even shutting up for a decibel and going around trying to sell things.

Mike’s entry is the second time tonight a hand has come near Mark Cohen’s ass.

I do find it funny that Mark forgets the word ‘auctioneer’ exists. Like…we have those here, y’know…

John, as usual, talks through his….WHICH IS QUITE MADDENING CONSIDERING HE’S PLAYING A MIME.

Gospel: Lawyers

Well, believe it or not, JOHN SESSIONS ACTUALLY SINGS IN A SINGING GAME. I mean, it’s not his best, and he makes it about how bland LA Law is (all that time in the US really doing ya in, eh John?), but still.

Greg has a rousing start to his:
“My name is Perry Mason…I never lose a case…
Everybody’s always waiting…for Della to sit on my…”

Mark’s, of course, is pretty high energy, complete with a nice-sized pelvic thrust towards the end.

The energy that these four reach on that last beat…that’s something pretty special.

Overall: I was honestly not expecting much from this one, but lo and behold it gave some of the strongest dynamics of the season so far, by, ironically enough, returning to basics for a spell. This show, structurally, felt very Series 2, right down to the inclusion of John Sessions, and yet it worked out in more contemporary ways. Mike and Greg soared over this episode, the former having some great jokes, and the latter giving a performance more indicative of his later years. John was better than he’s been in a while, and a ton happier, too. Mark, despite bringing up the rear, tried, and had some nice moments, but honestly he wasn’t really right for the show when it comes down to it.

Show Winner: John
Best Performer: Mike by a hair. He just dominated the middle half of the show, and had the best lines in F&TS
Worst Performer: Mark, but not without effort
Best Game: Film and Theatre Styles v2, for being an all-time classic, and bringing the best out in Mike and Greg
Worst Game: Party Quirks, for being, essentially, the weak link in the show.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E10, or They’re Always Expecting Something More..

To quote Neil Diamond, WE’RE COMIN’ TO AMERICA.

…Appropriately enough, that’s a joke Ryan Stiles would kill me for, and he’s on the program tonight, along with Josie Lawrence, who, along with Sandi Toksvig, Greg Proops Richard Vranch and Mike McShane, made the flight to New York for the rest of the Series.

Debuting tonight are two performers trying to establish a comedy duo that would be the American equivalent of Sweeney and Steen- Jim Meskimen, son of Happy Days’ Marion Ross, [insert unneeded joke about a certain detail of his personal life here] and, to be perfectly honest, one of the single best impressionists ever to be scouted by Whose Line, and his then-comedy partner Chris Smith, whose blandness and straight-man-esque qualities complimented Meskimen perfectly.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Ryan and Josie (customer and gas station attendant)

LITERALLY THE FIRST AUDIENCE SUGGESTION FOR A FILM STYLE CLIVE GETS is some guy going “ORGASM!”

Also, interesting to note that Clive does an impression of the Southern fella who suggests “MELLOW-DRAMMER…”

The first joke Ryan goes with is a fart joke. Nice to see he’s appealing to American audiences.

Ryan and Josie work off each other pretty well, especially in the Silent Film section, where both have the sort of mute physicality to keep things really funny.

Clive finally goes with ‘Orgasm’, or a porn film.
Josie: “…I’d like to check your gear stick…”
Ryan: “Let me get the oil for ya…”
And, for the first of many times on Whose line, Ryan does the ‘throws cock over shoulder’ motion.

Josie: “I like the way the gas just…drips from the end.
Clive: [holds buzzer for what seems like 10 minutes]
Clive: “…that was a mistake, obviously…”

Josie ends the scene in a ‘WHAT AM I TO DO’ pose, and Ryan…takes this the exact wrong way
Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 6.33.15 PM.png

Josie realizes what she’s done, flips the suit jacket over and lays her head back. Ryan’s just…amused.
BUZZ. Clive already seems to have had enough of America.

Very fun scene, which improved as it got more blue.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Jim and Chris (hiring a private detective)

Clive gets insanely aggravated with all the audience members shouting at once, and has to section it off. Man, those Americans are starting strong.

Jim stumbles over his words, but rebounds: “It’s my wife- I think she’s been cheating on anoth…CHEATING ON ANOTHER GUY…ME!”

The Abbott and Costello sequence just proves how well Jim and Chris work off of each other, and how Jim just supplies the jokes while Chris acts as the backboard.

With the Bond style, Jim throws in his really nice Connery, which is basically a glorified Scottish accent but it’s very 60s Connery.

Chris, taking out a Bond gadget: “D’you see this pen?”
Jim: “Looks like nothing more than an ordinary fountain pen to me…”
Chris: “It is!” [spills ink on Jim] “They’re always expecting something more.”
YES! CHRIS MAKES A JOKE! Savor it now, as it happens very rarely.

Clive combines some styles, possibly knowing of the punchline, with ‘Bugs Bunny meets Jimmy Stewart’
Chris: “Eh, what’s up, doc?”
Jim: “…This is the largest rabbit I’ve ever seen in my life…”

Jim does manage to bring it back to the plot, but it ends kind of weakly, even if it wasn’t the worst F&TS.

Expert: Josie interviews Ryan, a watermelon expert

Yay, this game’s back! Ryan nailed it the last time, chasing Tony.

Ryan nails this with the characterization, adding some crazy-eyes and slightly manic affectations to what could be a simple character. Also, and this is a very long-shot reference, but the voice he gives his character sounds like a cross between Sweetnums from the Muppets and Mike Pipper from the Final Sacrifice episode of Mystery Science Theater.

Ryan: “And when ya cut ’em open, you can see things! One time I saw a….a VISION OF CHRIST INSIDE A WATERMELON! Just…the seeds were the eyes…”

Josie: “Now, pips.”
Ryan: “PIPS???”
Josie: “You always have to spit out the stones, don’t you?”
Ryan: “SEEDS is what we call ’em, SEEDS!”
Josie cracks briefly, as if she forgot where she was.

Josie, losing it: “Now, when was the first time you saw your first melon?”
Ryan: “Well….I was a young boy in private school! The nuns used ta bring ’em in to tease us with ’em, you know? ‘FINISH YOUR WORK OR YOU’LL HAVE THIS UP YOUR-‘ You-know-what”
BUZZ. Josie completely bursts out laughing.

Just like last time, that was a fantastic Expert, with Ryan giving a great performance. I’ll say that Josie was a bit less competitive than Tony was, but her cracking up definitely helped the game.

Book Writer: Chris interviews Jim, who’s written a book on rodents

So…why not make this another game of Expert??

Jim does nail this, with some very slight physicality that gets the audience laughing early, plus the idea of the ‘Rodent Olympics’, which is bizarre enough to work. Again, Chris is mainly here to set up jokes.

Jim, on the events in this olympiad: “Uhh, ‘Jump over a straw’…’run around the inside of a garbage can lid’…”

Chris, wrapping up: “And, uh, when will the games actually take place?”
Jim: “They will take place after the harvest…when all the nuts are buried, you know…”

Quaint enough game, proof that there was more to Jim than just impressions.

Song Styles: Spatula
Josie: Jazz
Jim: Sting

Josie’s number is really lively, very cool, and very understanding of the style. Her best lines is saying “I am just a spat with an ula at the end.” She has a ton of fun with this.

Jim’s number is the first time they give an actual musician instead of a general style. Of course, they do this because of Jim’s award-winning Sting impression (i mean, I imagine it won some).

Even when he looks over to Richard, going “whenever you’re ready maestro”, he’s already doing a perfect Sting impression. He’s going for early-Police-era Sting (which, FYI, is the best Sting).

Jim’s number is quicker, but it’s funnier, and that impression is…SPOT-ON.

Explanations: Toaster
Jim: James Tiberius Kirk
Chris: Mr. Spock

A lot of this episode has been playing to Jim’s strengths- throwing Jimmy Stewart in, having Sting in Song Styles, and now rolling out a game that hasn’t been played in a season to showcase Jim’s insanely good William Shatner impression. I don’t think the show has played so much into a performer’s hand since the John Sessions days.

And yes, from the first line “Why…Spock, I’m…surprised you eat bread”, you can tell how good Jim’s Shatner impression is.

Chris: “I don’t understand, the holes are the size of a normal piece of bread, only slightly larger.”
Jim: “…yes, yes…” [slightly quieter] “…of course they are…”

Jim does send a message to Scotty [thanks to a tricorder noise from Chris that Jim knows is better than his], about sending down dilithium crystals. After a beat, realizing nobody can play Scotty, Chris just throws an intercom Scotty impression in there, under his hand.
Jim: “…Sounds like you’re in the Lincoln Tunnel, Scotty…”

A good game, though it relied mainly on Jim’s impression as a source of humor, only finding jokes in slightly dissonance in improv.

Party Quirks: Chris hosts
Jim: Wall Street businessman
Josie: Searching for buried treasure
Ryan: astronaut on the moon

Jim absolutely nails his, with the kind of manic energy that one would need for this specific quirk. Josie’s isn’t as good as, say, Jonathan Pryce doing the same quirk, but she’s having a good time.

And then…Ryan has his first ‘Oh My God’ quirk, coming in with zero-gravity, in near-slow-mo, backwards.

Ryan does have to give it to Chris basically, and Chris doesn’t do great as a host, but it’s still a funny round.

Helping Hands: Chris is a dental patient, Ryan, with Jim’s hands, is the dentist

Ryan immediately shines at this game, reacting well to Jim’s motions and still keeping the energy that the scene requires, while still working off Ryan. Jim even does a nice job keeping Ryan in check, giving him more things to do while still listening to him.

Ryan misses a golden opportunity after a moment of sexual tension, and Chris asks “Are you gonna pull my teeth or what?” I mean, if Tony was there, he would have gone “Yes, but first I’d like to pull something else…”

‘Western Hoedown’: Stone-Carving

Historians from years in the future will look to this episode as the first ever appearance of the dreaded, much-maligned Hoedown. Here, it goes by the name ‘Western Hoedown’, has a different key, and is slightly similar to March in that the last participant, Josie, gets a longer verse. Modern Hoedown would chuckle at this.

You can tell that Jim doesn’t love this game, as he sort of stumbles through his verse. Chris has firmer footing, but his verse isn’t memorable either.

Ryan does end up with a nice ending: “I find I’m often carvin’ when I’m alone; but I find it’s much easier when I’M stoned…”
He smirks afterwards, as if he doesn’t realize how many more times he’s going to play this fucking game.

Josie ends strongly, but…like March, early Hoedowns are very hit-miss.

Also, note Ryan’s spit-take once he finds out he’s won. It takes him a bit to build up his self-esteem on the show.

Overall: Not perfect, but a refreshing start to the American run. You can tell Josie’s a wee-bit out of her element, but also, thanks to the emphasis on US performers, the spotlight isn’t really on her as much, and she spends a lot of the episode sitting out, which isn’t a great sign. The emphasis tonight was on Jim and Chris, and while Chris…made, like, 2 jokes, Jim, for the most part, was worth it, succeeding in a ton of places, and winning over the audience. The asterisk on Jim’s night was that the producers were very much playing to his strengths, asking for his Sting, Jimmy Stewart and William Shatner impressions as they were his strong points in his NY house team (I think that’s what that was).

Ryan easily had the best night, as he was able to work off of everyone, and the US scenery allowed him to be a ton more comfortable, and go into more of his most trusted material. Tonight’s show is probably the first step to his eventual regular-ship in both series’.

Show Winner: Ryan
Best Performer: Ryan, for owning his screentime and coming into his own.
Worst Performer: Chris Smith, for not breaking out of his role as a straight man.
Best Game: Expert, for letting Ryan shine, and for bringing the giggles out in Josie.
Worst Game: Helping Hands, just by comparison.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E07, or We Do Get Quite a lot of Shirley Bassey

(Edit: this didn’t post??? That’s weird. Ah well, here it is, two episodes later)

I’m on a Whose Line roll- let’s go onto our first Sweeney & Steen episode.

Tonight features a well-crafted panel that would have a few rounds on the program- Paul Merton, Mike McShane, Jim Sweeney and his world-famous comedy partner Steve Steen. Not too many grounds for failure there.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Jim and Steve (duh) (interviewing a suspect of a crime)

Clive, getting suggestions: “…and a hysterical one there, TV advert, because…well, you’re in most of them.”
Jim chuckles at this.

From the Game Show style, you can immediately see why Jim wanted Steve on the program- the two work so well of of each other, going back and forth like they’ve been at it for ages (and, well, they had).

Clive: “Let’s make it easy for you then, Gilbert and Sullivan.”
Jim: [chuckles]

Jim, fortunately, is able to craft a pretty great Gilbert and Sullivan number as Steve defiantly dances (he’s not singing crap today). Paul, from the background, gets a kick out of this.

Clive kept the scene a bit quick for me, but this was a very quick, crisp F&TS scene, and a nice little window into the Sweeney/Steen partnership, the likes of which we wouldn’t get until…well…episode 12 of this series?

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Mike and Paul (giving each other presents)

As Paul opens his present
BUZZ
Clive: “…..I may regret this….Porno.”
Paul: “…does it come with a pump?”

From 3D, Mike and Paul just start flailing towards the camera, throwing the blow up doll our way.
Paul: “They’re massive….I’m gonna have another look at that actually”
AND THEY DO IT AGAIN

Another quick scene, but very funny, and the fact that it skewed blue worked in the favor of the performers, as they were able to craft a nice one out of it.

News Report: Baa Baa Black Sheep: Jim and Mike in the studio, Paul and Steve in the field.

At last, a field reporter that isn’t Canadian. I was beginning to think it was a typecasting sort of thing…

Jim’s proctoring isn’t as breakneck as Sandi, and he at least gives people a chance, but is also capable of setups, and pulls a good one on Steve when he goes “Paul, I believe you have The Little Boy Who Lives Down the Lane with you…”

Steve, of course, nails this- at Paul’s question, he blankly asks “are you my daddy?”

I’d like to point out that it’s 7:10 into Steve’s first episode, and already he’s pulled out his Scottish accent. Expect this many more times in the next three series.

Very funny game, though it’s still a bit quick, and would probably slow down as the show would go on.

Expert Translation: Paul translates for Steve, an Albanian expert on television

This is the last-ever playing of this game on Whose Line, and it’s another one of my favorites. I’m sad that they didn’t play this one at all when they moved production to the States for the 2nd half, or when they got back for the first half of Series 4, as this game was a really fun one.

I’m just gonna reproduce Paul’s main discussion on this, because as great as Steve is in this game, it’s Paul who really knocks it out.
“How can I best describe the wonders of Albanian television? It’s rubbish. But when I say it’s rubbish, let me be a bit more specific than that. It’s more than just rubbish. It’s crap. Oh, I can hear you say, throwing your arms up in amazement, surely Albanian television isn’t as bad as that! Well let me tell you- we have Postman Pat on every night at half past six in the evening, but because of several cutbacks, Postman Pat ISN’T EVEN IN IT!!!”
It’s the kind of dissertation that would get laughs in literally any game in this show, but because it’s coming from Translation, and because Paul’s doing this in response to Steve’s inflections, it works so freaking well.

The game also has a great ending- Steve puts on a very huge, over-dramatic musical number for his last line.
Paul, taking a moment: “…we do get quite a lot of Shirley Bassey.”
BUZZ

I feel like writing about that one brings that above the Volvo one in my ranking. Not sure if it beats the Yaks going to the toilet, but it’s a really good one, and Paul actually makes an effort to, well, translate what Steve’s going for, as well as just doing jokes and steering the ship. Still freaking hysterical.

Musical Film Review: Paul reviews ‘The First Man Into Space’, while Jim, Steve and Mike act it out

A variant on a variant. Perhaps they wanted to do Musical Producers, but Steve wanted to sing as well? Or they wanted to do Musical, but Paul opted out, so they did a 1:3 formation?

Clive, as he’d do once or twice in similar games (especially one of my all-time favorite UK WL games), flips through his Halliwell’s film guide to find a film synopsis and title here, instead of getting it from the audience.

This is a strong game, because it’s more fluid than something like Producers- Paul provides structure, the other three provide visuals. It’s a very nice advanced, complex game that works well with three gung-ho performers doing the singing. Mike already knocks the first number out of the park, going less for comedy and more for legitimacy, which he’d do a ton during these types of games, and which rarely happens on US WL anymore.

The second number also works, A.) because it’s Sweeney and Steen, and B.) Steve really works well against Richard’s loose rock style.

Paul also proves his job isn’t thankless, as he sets it up for all three to die, in specific ways, and for the number to be really good, which is sort of screwing with them, in a sense.

The third number is campy in the absolute best way, evoking Rocky Horror, Little Shop of Horrors, and Weezer’s Songs from the Black Hole album (yeah, not expecting many people to get that one). The trick is that all three performers own up the the campiness, and absolutely go with it. Plus, as Mike does his final number, with felt fangs in his teeth, Jim and Steve both simultaneously start snapping to the music, while dead. It’s a hysterical touch that nearly distracts from the number.

That…may be one of the best musical games in the show’s history. I feel like I only recently used that hyperbole about something, maybe the one from 3×03, but every moment was terrific, and it had the sort of quality that it could exist outside of Whose Line.

Props: Mike and Paul vs. Jim and Steve

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 6.32.23 PM.pngPaul: ‘Hello…erm…did you see any Klu Klux Klan people go by?’

Very silly round, with a few too many obvious ones, but the dynamics made up for it.

Helping Hands: Paul meets customs officer Jim (with Steve’s hands)

This game is pretty seamless, as Jim and Steve work so well together that they seem like one fluid person on there.

The funniest part is when Jim grows very frantic towards Paul, and Steve just starts going mad with his hand movements, flailing every which way to fit Jim’s expression.

Quick, but still a very fun one.

Party Quirks: Paul hosts
Steve: Thinks he’s Paul Merton
Jim: compulsive gambler
Mike: US Sports Announcer

Paul: “Hello.”
Steve: “Hello.”
Paul: “Hello.”
Steve: “Hello.”
Paul: “Hello.”
Steve: “Hello.”

Steve nails this quirk by being simultaneously excited and disgusted with everything, as well as, well, NAILING THE IMPRESSION without Paul immediately getting it (unlike Rory Bremner trying a similar thing out on Tony a few seasons later).

Jim’s is great, as he keeps giving people tenners over wrong answers. He’d even bet that Paul was gonna bring Twiglets. Paul, catching on, says he’s run out.

Paul gets Mike’s in 5 seconds…mainly because Mike’s was really damned good.

Steve, as Jim leaves, goes for the jugular: “I’ve been listening to your records…none of those words rhyme.”
Paul, getting it: “DON’T THEY?”
The audience laughs here, and Paul very quickly realizes what they’re laughing at.
Paul: “Are you tone deaf or-”
Clive: “That’s close enough…”
Paul, realizing: “…he’s doing me…”

As Paul, absolutely betrayed, walks back to the seats, Steve’s incredibly apologetic. He’s got every right to be.

March: Typewriter Collecting

Jim gets SO CLOSE TO A GOOD RHYME (the best thing in the world), and cops out “Now I know that I am never going to find a rhyme”, when he could have easily gone done something about not getting any girls.

Paul brings back his ‘somebody please kill me’ look from the last time he played this game.

He does go for broke, talking right through it without the rhyme scheme, and eventually landing on a nice rhyme.

Mike actually has a great verse to finish it off, about having all this typewriter prowess just to type out the word ‘wank’. Very relatable.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out Steve’s really nice Jimmy Savile impression over the credits.

Overall: Inches away from perfection, but still an insanely funny show, and a return to form after two ‘okay’ episodes. Sweeney and Steen worked so well together, but you knew that. Mike rocked every musical and nonmusical game, but you knew that. Paul had a bit of a down show, but you knew that. This show had a ton of truly funny highlights and moments that i still rewatch to this day.

Show Winner: Steve
Best Performer: Mike McShane by a (heh) hair over Jim Sweeney, for having a ton of show highlights and having the gusto to power Musical Film Review
Worst Performer: Steve Steen, for not having many singularly great moments, and for being edged out by Paul for Expert Translation.
Best Game: Musical Film Review. How can I give this to anything else?
Worst Game: Props. Not enough good stuff here.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E09, or I’m Sorry, I Didn’t Quite Get That BALDY!

Right before Whose Line moved to New York for the rest of Series 3, Clive and the gang were able to slide in a compilation, ‘THE BEST OF THE LONDON SHOWS’ essentially. As the UK-set shows in S3 were among some of the best in the series’ history (Episodes 1, 3, 4 and 7 are pretty classic imo), this was much-needed, I’d say.

Props: Mike and Sandi vs. Colin and Tony
From: E5

It’s very odd starting the show with Props, typically reserved for the middle half, but it’s welcome here, as Colin finds his way into the compilation, which can’t even be said for Steve Steen, Mark Cohen or Julian Clary.

This was an EXTRA game of props, ft. EXTRA PROPS, that was filmed for the compilation. I don’t see the practicality of doing multiple games in one taping, knowing only one will get in, but…perhaps the producers did.

Also, the props here are a rug and a bike pump. Exhilarating stuff.

These were a ton tougher on the performers, too.
Tony: “Yes…you’re going to have the blue…rubbery thing…TORTURE!” [beats Colin with prop]

Colin, who stays silent for most of the round, does have a nice moment:
Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 12.28.54 AM.png
Colin: “….doctor, it’s Dumbo, he’s lost a ton of weight…”

Duet: Mike and Josie sing a love song about a stapler
From: E6

This one probably got cut in favor of Mike’s powerful soul number.

This, too, is a truly beautiful song, with both performers getting time to shine, and Richard doing really well in making this a bittersweet tune.

Tag: Mike and Sandi start, Colin and Tony join
From: E5

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 12.33.36 AM.pngSandi: “Oh, come on, Derek, it’s our honeymoon! You can show me!”

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 12.34.23 AM.pngColin: “…is this your first vasectomy?”
Tony: “No, actually it’s my twentieth…”

There’s a very amusing moment where Tony tags out Mike…then stops, grabs Mike, then tags out Sandi. A very confused Clive goes “you can only tag out one of them, Tony…”

Song Styles: Josie sings a punk song about a rubber duck
From: E1

This was done alongside her Calypso number, for some reason.

Josie’s amused by the suggestion of Gregorian Chant, after the Punk style has been suggested. Clive mentions she can throw a bit of Gregorian Chant in there, if she wants.

As Richard sets up his guitar
Josie, Gregorian Chant voice: “I AM GOING TO SING A PUNK-ROCK SONG NOW, I HOPE I DO IT GOOOOOD…”

Josie really gets into it, jumping around the stage…then turning around and flipping off the other three performers.

This is a really nice song, with some fantastic rhymes, a great understanding of the style, and the type of energy Josie normally saves for the truly great ones. Would have taken this over the Calypso one anyday.

Film Dub: Sandi plays the woman, Mike plays the man, Paul plays the dog
From: E3

I feel like this Film Dub would have thrown this episode way over the limit in terms of amazing games. Plus, it would have given Paul another highlight along with Translation had it made it in.

I always do enjoy Paul’s confused, nearly betrayed expression, once he learns that he’ll be playing the dog.

So many amazing Paul lines, as they just keep cutting to the dog
“…oh, blimey it’s her again.”
“Don’t look at me, I didn’t buy the dress, now did I?”

And then, after Sandi and Mike’s characters have had an emotional moment and development, and the scene is progressing…THEY CUT BACK TO THE DOG. FOR NO REASON. EVEN PAUL’S OFF-GUARD.
Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 12.45.33 AM.png
Paul, without any options: “……..Woof.”

Mike works this in, saying the dog “comes as a broach, with the dress. Let me just put it on.”
And then, finally, they cut back to the dog one last time.
Paul: “…Don’t listen to him, lady, he’s killed 14 women already this month…”

So random, yet absolutely hysterical. Paul saves this scene. This should have been in the show!

March: Surveying (Tony, Sandi, Colin and Mike)
From: E5

Tony cracks on the last line of his: “I’m not very trustworthy/ Why don’t you give me all your bloody money…”

Sandi makes a point about surveyors being men…then contradicts herself, cracks up, and asks to start again.

Sandi cracks, sighs, and goes “…I can’t believe we do this for nothing…”
Clive: “Not for much longer.”

Sandi does eventually rebound, pulling out a penis joke and cracking on it.

Mike’s is grandiose and wonderful, til he ends with “I’ve worked for 15 years, and I’ve never gotten better….and now I should be ending this song because I can’t THINK OF ANYTHING BETTER!”

This is a very silly March, maybe not as good as the Banking one, but still pretty good.

Extra Bits:
-The majority of this sequences is intercut with clips from an ill-fated game of Alphabet from E6 with Sandi and Josie. They try this several times, starting from Q, but Josie, poor Josie, isn’t especially good at this game. Sandi admits that Josie’s been practicing the game from A, so starting from Q is throwing her off-guard.
-Paul fucks up an Agatha Christie style of Authors, from E4. He just blows the take, going ‘sorry, I just got quite bored with that…’
-Back to Alphabet. Josie still doesn’t quite get the concept.
-A game of Tag from E3. A classic exchange:

Clive: “Alright, Sandi, although you bring out the worst in people, could you just be on your knees, though?”
Sandi: “What d’you mean I bring out the worst in people?”
Clive: “…Or have you been on your knees all evening?”
Sandi gets up, hears the audience booing, GETS THEM TO BOO LOUDER, and goes over to Clive’s desk, going “Sorry, I didn’t quite get that, BALDY!”
Clive, STILL GOING: “…it’s probably because your ears are closer to the ground…”
Paul, ever to get to Sandi’s side: “Are you bald, or is your neck blowing bubble-gum?”
Mike:
Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 1.03.56 AM.png
Clive: “I’m not bald, I’m just taller than my hair.”

-More Alphabet. They try it again, only this time, Josie forgets the letter ‘T’, and goes “ohhhhhhhhh SHIT!”

-A clip from a game of Musical from E2
Josie, to Mike: “Have you given up all your bad habits, darling?”
Tony, struggling to regain composure: “No, he still picks his bottom…”
Mike, now himself losing it: “DAMN YOU. DAMN YOU. AND I HAVEN’T STOPPED KISSING MEN ON THE LIPS!”
And then…
Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 1.06.19 AM.png

(Well, that completely trumps S2’s Extra Bits…)

Song Styles: Mike sings an American Folk song about bananas
From: E5

My god, there is a TON from Episode 5 on here tonight. I think it’s like S2E10, where they knew the finished episode was a tad underwhelming, so they threw in everything else on the compilation.

Also, this Song Styles comes after Mike’s initial one, the rock number that’s slightly underplayed by his standards.

This one’s also kinda underwhelming vocally, but this one is really funny, going into some absurd, funny places with the banana.

World’s Worst: Person to be the Last Person on Earth With:
From: E1

Greg: “The only thing I saved was all my home movies! Wanna watch?”
Tony: “D’you know, I have not been to the toilet for FOUR MONTHS…”
Josie: “…..and then I did a lager advert!”
OH! CLIVE ENDS THE GAME BEFORE TONY CAN RESPOND TO THAT ONE! HOW DARE YOU!

A really funny game, but WAY TOO SHORT. Maybe all the good ones were cut? Maybe those WERE the good ones?

Party Quirks: Sandi hosts
Jim: is magnetic
Paul: Can only use words with two syllables
Mike: a bodyguard
From: E3

BUT YOU HAVE PAU-nevermind.

Sandi’s very first pun gets her groans from the audience.

Sandi, after Paul has GREAT DIFFICULTY keeping his quirk together: “…just my luck, the only person who’s turned up is a git…”

There’s a great dynamic in this, as Sandi keeps losing all the interesting guests and keeps getting stuck with Paul, whose quirk is tough and one he can’t even do. Clive has to put the game out of its misery.

American Musical: Greg, Jim, Tony and Josie – getting a girlfriend pregnant, getting mugged, and becoming a TV presenter.
From: E1

Greg and Tony’s number is really funny, as neither knows where it’s going rhyme-wise until they get there, and Tony adds in a bit about all the ‘bits and pieces falling out of you’
Greg, adding: “…and her.”
Tony, as the song finishes, near-breaking: “And that’s what, uh, having babies is all about!”

Jim has a VERY SMALL MOMENT where, once he hears what musical motif Richard is going with, he smirks back to the piano. It’s very tiny, and nowhere near the caliber of in E3, but it still counts.

And then, Jim comes up with a genius rhyme: “Let me tell you about Sally….she was walking down an alley…”

Jim’s rhymes keep getting worse and worse in the song:
“She got mugged, Greg.
She hurt her leg, Greg.
SHE’S DEAD, GREG.”

Greg, noting the odd contrast: “Wow, uh…that news kind-of brings me down…”

The scene ends a bit clumsily, as Josie has a nice enough finish, but Greg brings it back…calls her by the wrong name, goes with it, and confuses the hell out of Richard as he’s trying to end it. He’s done a great performance, and it’s fantastic that he carried Musical for once, but his ending needed a bit of work.

I will say it’s very fitting that the last bit of the last UK episode of the season features an American going “Hollywood, here I are.” It’s almost like it foreshadowed where we’re going next episode.

Best Performer: Josie, for nailing her games tonight.
Worst Performer: Colin, but only by default. Everyone else had stellar moments, and Colin’s were, like in the show, very okay.
Best Game: Film Dub, which should have been in the episode.
Worst Game: Party Quirks. Why would they give something so cruel to Paul???

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S03E08, or Let’s Look Under ‘R’ for Realistic

Onto the last Series 3 episode of the UK Whose Line to, well, actually be filmed in the UK. This lineup seems like a summary of the series so far- Greg, Tony, Mike and Sandi. Of the four, only Tony would miss out on the trip to New York.

Greg is back in his skull shirt, which is nice. Also, Clive notes that Mike is in ‘from Sherwood Forest’, again noting Mike’s filming engagement.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Sandi and Tony (both are shipwrecked)

Sandi: “Weird, the island seems to be moving for me and not for you, that’s strange.”
Tony: “Yeah, like our orgasms.”
ANNNNNNNND WE’RE OFF.

Clive: “Yellow pages advert”
Sandi: “Well, if you don’t like the orgasms, perhaps we can find ourselves a new one…”
Tony: “Yes, let’s look under ‘M’ for Multiple, shall we Sandi?”
Sandi: “Seeing as it’s you, let’s look under ‘R’ for Realistic.”
THE JABS KEEP COMING.

Tony also keeps the offhand innuendo coming, especially in the Western style
Sandi: “So, you’ve come all this way-”
Tony: “HAVE I?”

They end on Whodunnit, as the subject of pregnancy comes up.
Sandi: “Now, who was there? There was a candlestick and a butler…”
The audience loves this so much that Clive ends the game before Tony can try and top it.

Really funny game, with a ton of great back and forth moments.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Mike and Greg (driving test)

I’m not writing a ton of the lines down, but the way Mike and Greg work with each other is pretty nice, and the dynamic shows in styles like Restoration Comedy and Sitcom. I feel like sitcom got a bit too broad, though.

Also, Greg’s physicality in the Restoration Comedy scene, including literally jumping through the car door, was pretty great.

One of Greg’s specialties is french babbling, so it’s no surprise to me that he and Mike kill with the french scene.

Much lighter scene, but still amusing enough.

Props: Mike and Sandi vs. Greg and Tony

Clive, handing Sandi the banana prop: “That’s your item…”
Sandi: “No, I think you’ll find that’s Mike’s…”

Tony: “Have you been to a spiritualist seance before- [vomits the prop]”

Very funny round, as it seemed like everyone was in a pretty odd mood, especially Mike.

That’ll be Charlie Now: Greg, Sandi, and Mike are at a building site. Tony is Charlie.

THIS GAME FEATURES THE FIRST OF MANY REFERENCES TO AN OCELOT FROM GREG. It is the WL equivalent to Phill and his kestrels.

I feel like they didn’t cut to Tony enough while the other three were setting him up. I would have loved to see his reaction to the Schubert love song thing.

Clive ends this one a bit too quickly, like the first time, but this is a pretty fun playing, with Tony throwing his all into the last bit.

Gospel: America

On the suggestion
Greg: where is that?

Sandi does a similar fire-and-brimstone technique to E6, in lieu of singing, i.e. “I HAVE BEEEEEEEN TO THE LORD…..I HAVE BEEEEEEEN TO SEE A THROAT SPECIALIST!!!”

To be perfectly honest, the only truly great verse in this is Mike’s, as he mentions having four-lane highways, and ‘Jesus runs a roadside restaurant’. Greg and Tony’s were a bit too minimalist for my tastes.

World’s Worst: Person to Captain a Submarine

Tony, singing: “We’re in the long big metal POOOOINTY THING…”
Sandi: “It’s not a problem, you see, you just pull down the…periscope” [she can’t reach it]
Mike, intercom: “….I’d like to tell the mess sergeant that we will NOT be having curry again this week…”
Tony: “Hello, I’m your new captain, I’m Clive Anderson.”

Really nice round, lots of funny stuff.

Song Styles: Mike sings an opera song about a hammer

Mike’s song is not only masterful, but it’s the rare WL song that’s self-referential, and Mike references his lack of career, ending with “I’VE GONE ON TOO LONG…Now I’ll kill myself with a hammer.” Really nice one, even though it took a bit to really get going.

Alphabet- Tony and Sandi (chat-up)

This is, like most alphabet games, a bit haphazard, especially when Sandi, who was so good at helping Josie two shows ago, forgets the letter Q, and Tony has to go back, hilariously, going “Queer, I am. Nevermind.”

It happens again, when Tony forgets the letter X, and Sandi outlines it for him.
Tony: “….Xylophone?”

Again, a bit frantic, but still pretty amusing.

Party Quirks: Sandi hosts
Greg: DJ
Tony: Elephant
Mike: chorus girl

Two landmark Party hosts, and you pick Sandi? Well then.

Greg does a phenomenal job with his, so much so that Sandi guesses him very quickly.

Tony does take a more…John Sessions-y approach to his quirk, talking through it rather than being physical. I told you he was better at hosting…

Sandi, as Mike is being especially camp: “I don’t know what you’re doing, but it could very well be an impersonation of Julian Clary…”
MAN, HE WAS ONLY ON A FEW SHOWS AGO…

Musical Film Review: Sandi discusses ‘Midshipman Easy’, while Greg, Tony and Mike act it out

It worked so well last show that I’m hoping for something near half as good.

Clive: “Ooh, this is a good one, this is Midshipman Easy.”
Sandi: “Oh, I’ve had him.”

Tony’s first song even cracks him up:
“Sometimes I dream of sailors…
Sometimes I dream…of an obelisk…”
He’s on the verge of losing it for what looks like the entire song.

Sandi’s storytelling is more along the lines of…well, Story (which we haven’t seen since S1, though Clive and co. will roll it out again once they get to the States), rather than actually reviewing the movie.

Mike does get a mention of ‘the love that dare not squeak it’s name’, which is even funnier in his Spanish pirate accent.

Mike and Greg’s song of lust is actually hysterical, with Mike even adding the line ‘my cajones are swollen with pride’. To be honest, this game isn’t as bad as I’d thought it’d be with Sandi in the driver’s seat.

Sandi, does add a nice element of having the three play multiple characters- midshipmen named ‘Midshipmen Easy, Midshipman I’ll Be Lucky, and Midshipman There’s Got to Be  A First Time for Everyone”.

Sandi cracks when describing that they sing “a traditional 1790’s Rock-and-Roll number”

There’s a nice twist, when the same people that saved the maiden from being accosted by the spaniards…ALSO want to screw her, which makes this a funny but slightly tasteless scene. As predicted, not as good as last episode’s playing of this, but still pretty fun.

Overall: A very light show, but with some funny moments. This seemed very boilerplate, as it was the end of a nice run of shows in England, and a few of these guys felt a bit burnt out. There were highlights, like the Tony-Sandi dynamic, both rounds of F&TS, and some incredibly silly quickfire games, but there wasn’t a ton that stood out as truly great. There was also just a lot of ho-hum stuff, like Alphabet, Gospel, Party Quirks and Charlie, that slowed down the momentum. Still, this one boils down to Mike and Sandi for elevating the games, and for Greg’s energy throughout. Tony had a nice night, but underwhelming compared to his other showings this year.

Show Winner: Greg
Best Performer: Mike, for proving why his regular-ship was a good idea.
Worst Performer: Tony, for not having his best stuff tonight.
Best Game: Musical Film Review, with its second show win in a row, for having a solidly structured game that all four excelled at.
Worst Game: That’ll be Charlie Now, for being really constricted and clumsy.