Whose Offseason: Trust Us With Your Life Episode 5, or If This Doesn’t Give You Material, You’re Finished!

To quote Jon Bon Jovi…’whoa……we’re halfway there’.

Trust Us With Your Life is halfway done, and I am 4 episodes away from hopefully never having to watch any more of this blasted show. What’s surprised me the most so far is how competent Fred Willard has been as an interviewer and off-the-cuff personality. True, his ineptness at hosting an improv program has not been exaggerated, but he’s not…entirely terrible.

This show features Brad’s 2nd and final fourth seater appearance, and his last appearance since CW S10. The guest star is someone who’s done this sort of thing before in US S5, talk-show host and former Cincinnati mayor Jerry Springer. Hopefully this show won’t be  as loose as his S5 taping.

I am getting very tired of Fred constantly going ‘and they said we’ll never get them’ when every guest star arrives.

Shorter and Shorter: Colin is Jerry’s expectant mother, Brad is Jerry’s dad, Jonathan is the midwife, and Wayne will join them as various other people in the underground station

A new game, also known  as Catastrophe Compression, and a low-key improv standard

Fred: “Colin, you  are Jerry’s expectant mother.”
Jerry: ‘…oh my…THAT’S WHO YOU LOOK LIKE!”
Unsurprisingly, Jerry Springer is great on this show

Jerry makes a good point: “what makes you think Wayne can’t be my mom or dad?”
This is a genuinely great point, and it points out the candid racism of a lot of these shows, especially considering that Wayne has played Kelly Osbourne and Ricky Gervais recently.
Wayne: “THAT’S RIGHT, FRED, I CAN BE ANYTHING I WANT TO.”
YES
The audience agrees. And Wayne and Jonathan start a full ‘JER-RY’ chant. THE FIRST GAME HASN’T EVEN STARTED YET

Brad: “Hold on, lovely, let’s see if  we can get to placenta circle.”
Brad gets behind a wheel, and Colin, curiously, grabs a subway bar, pivoting Brad
Brad: “I dunno why they have me driving the train, but someone’s gotta do it…”

Jonathan enters and slips: “YOUR WATER BROKE!”
HA

Wayne, owing to his earlier comment, bursts into the scene as the baby popping under Colin’s legs.

Wayne then goes over and plays a confused bystander, then goes back to being the baby. WAYNE  1, PRODUCERS 0.

Jonathan: “WRAP HIM IN THIS CILANTRO BLANKET!”
HA

Colin: “He must be hungry”
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THE LOOK ON JONATHAN’S FACE HERE. He’s going “…really?”

On 30 seconds, Wayne’s confused line as the passerby is resorted to “BLIMEY, BABY”, which is so goofy.

The ending is a ONE-SECOND SCENE, so Jonathan  and Wayne run on frantically  and Colin screams as Wayne  sprints under Colin’s legs. SO FUNNY. He leans up and knocks right up against his…um, undercarriage, and both Wayne and Colin have a moment of “…oh.”
Wayne just remains on the floor for a few seconds after everyone leaves, finally going “…that was not his chest”

Really good playing of this. Not only was the initial scene funny, but the numerous other iterations knew which funny bits to keep, and how to get laughs from speeding through  things.

Dramatic Episode: Colin is Jerry, Brad is a madame, Wayne and Jonathan are the girls who are introduced late

Jerry’s storytelling is really good, and he does a good job of really setting the scene. This is why Dan and Mark held onto their rolodex- having people familiar with improv, and with how the show works, HELPS. And I like him talking about these fraternity people taking him down to Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I’ve been  to Bourbon Street, it’s…a very sketchy place.

Jerry, on the swimming pool of beautiful women: ‘…I became a man.”
And then he  turns to the improvisers and goes “AND IF THIS DOESN’T GIVE YOU MATERIAL, YOU’RE FINISHED.”
Jerry might be the best fit yet for this show.

Fred, handing over the bell: “if the material is going  well, just give a little tinkle…to show-”
Jerry: “HOW DID YOU  KNOW WHAT HAPPENED?”
Fred: “we’ll get into that, uh, in  another show.”
Why is this  show working so well??

Brad does his character with a very fun N’awlins accent
Colin: “is this where they keep all the schoolbooks?”
HA
Jerry: [ding!]

Colin: “I’m looking forward to learning quite a bit”
Brad, motioning to Wayne and Jonathan: “Here’s some ANATOMY COURSES RIGHT OVAH HEAAAHHHHH…”
PFFFFF

Jonathan: “Look at that new guy, he must work out six days a week”
HONK
Jonathan: “look at BAGEL-BELLY”
DING

Colin, who’s straight man stuff here is really fun: “I don’t want to alarm you, but I think someone has stolen their clothes!”

Colin: “They look very cold, I better jump in and warm them up”
DING

This has a very innocent ending- Colin puts his arms around Jonathan and Wayne, then goes “I’m done” and gets out.

A pretty fun Dramatic Episode. Unlike Mark Cuban’s, I was fine with the lewd subject matter because it was bawdy, but it was also knowingly so. It’s New Orleans. Sex is nearly in the town’s slogan. So this worked for me, especially the way Colin and Brad played this.

Face the Music: David mimes to Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

UGHHHHHH

Jerry doesn’t get the connection either. Fred reminds him that he fought a bear for charity  when he was mayor
Jerry: “Do you want a litany of all the stupid things I’ve done in my life?”

Sideways Scene: Wayne is an aggressive drill sergeant putting the raw recruit Jonathan through the paces, and Colin, who plays Jerry, arrives late

Wayne and Jonathan’s energy at the top of the scene is well accounted for. Jonathan tries doing pushups on his side, which is amusing as hell

This is definitely a Wayne-centric scene, as his flips and energy throughout pushes him to the front of the action, which is nice after 2 support scenes from him

Jonathan has a great move in the horror style just in getting sucked towards the top of the screen.

A broader scene, but not bad.

Putting Words Into Your Mouth: Jerry, voice by Brad, is waiting impatiently in his car for his girlfriend Wayne, voice by Colin, to come out, Jonathan is the angry father who comes out to the car to see how everything went

I love Colin adding noises for Wayne’s eating and drinking pre-date

This is a very  funny scene, because we all know what’s coming, and in that  respect Colin and Wayne can draw it out and play with expectations, because he know vomit will play into it.

Brad: “I just got this new sports car, let me take you on the WINDIEST ROAD IN CINCINNATI.”
HA

The only thing funnier than Colin’s vomiting noises is Wayne gyrating and convulsing as he does it. This is funnier than just keeling over- Wayne overplays this so much it becomes even funnier, even falling off his chair and hanging onto Jerry.

Colin, after a good 15 seconds of vomiting: “…you better pull over.”
HA

Brad, again going back to the runner: “Cecily, how much cilantro did you eat?”

Jonathan has a fun move by popping out from behind them: “it’s me, your father, I was in the trunk the whole time…”

Jonathan: “my daughter and I have a lot of things in common-” [vomiting noise]
HA

And that’s how we end the scene. Look, Wayne and Jonathan found the game of the scene and kept making the vomiting funny, I have to hand it to them.

Credits: Messages from Random Acquaintances 

Wayne: “Hi, Jerry, I had a great ti-BLLEEEAHHHH”
HA

Colin: “I AM LAMBOR, THE GOD OF GOOD TASTE”
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HA!
[where were you during the Mark Cuban episode, then?]

Brad: “Hola, Jerry, I am cilantro. Sorry!”
HA

Wayne: “TIS I, SATAN…see ya soon.”
Low blow, but still works

Colin: “I am the head of the Cilantro Growers of the United States…Give us a TRY!! ONE TRY!!!”
God bless Colin and his random volume

Jonathan: “Jerry, it is I, Darth Vader…thank you for allowing ME to tell Luke that I was his father.”
YES. Great joke to end it!

Overall: Last show was the closest we could get to a normal, good WL show. This one felt like a GREAT WL episode. Yes, Fred and David Armand were still here to dial it down a  bit, but Shorter and Shorter, Dramatic Episode, Dubbing and even the ending quickfire round were so funny. Having Jerry Springer here not only aided the games, cause he’s a great storyteller, but also enhanced the improv because Jerry knows these guys and is used to what they do. The next two episodes will have  similar feels probably, because we’re in the territory of ‘people who the WL cast has worked with before’, and that tends to help. I laughed very hard at this one, and enjoyed it even more than last show. Not perfect, but a lot of fun.

Best Performer: Wayne impressed me the most tonight.
Worst Performer: I’m not putting Jonathan here because even as the odd person out a lot of the time, he still had some great lines. So, hell with it, David Armand.
Best Game: Shorter and Shorter. So much was good about the initial scene, and it kept getting funnier with every compression.
Worst Game: Face the Music
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. Jerry had a very nice time, knew the performers and the gig, and even  came off well in  Dubbing. Glad he finally did an episode of one of these that  actually worked.

COMING  UP NEXT: A return for Craig Cackowski, as well as, in my opinion, the single most successful WL Guest Star ever.

Whose Offseason: Trust Us With Your Life Episode 4, or Why Can SHE Talk?

We roll onward, with the second of two Greg Proops episodes, and our last Greg appearance until S10 of the CW version. Hopefully he’s used better in this one than he was in E1.

Our guest star is a sort of ratings-grabbing get, in genuine movie star and pop culture figure Ricky Gervais, who, if I recall correctly, was doing a lot of voiceover work for kids’ films around this point, and beginning to float back down to earth after his years of relevance. I don’t love Gervais’ current irreverent, ‘I’m an atheist and deal with it’ viewpoint, but I kind of love whenever he hosts the Golden Globes, though I do think this year’s focal point of ‘fuck rich celebrities’ may have gotten the wrong people excited.

Anyway, he’s on tonight, and he’ll probably behave.

Fred does a really good job of probing Ricky about why he doesn’t like spiders. Fred is a great interviewer on this show, but he seems to have trouble when he gets to the ‘hosting an improv show’ bit.

Ricky talks a lot. I think that’s why there are fewer games in this show than usual.

Rap It: Greg is Ricky’s mom getting supper for young Ricky, played by Wayne, they’re joined by his brother, played by Jonathan, and his dad, played by Colin, who are both late and very hungry

[sigh…this fucking game…]

Ricky has Fred repeat the  castings, cause he’s confused, and when Fred gets to Wayne, playing him, Wayne leans in and goes “…THE BLACK GUY.”
HA

Fred is looser in his intro to this game, throwing in little allusions to Ricky’s dad’s drinking as he discusses Colin’s character.

As Fred discusses the ‘rap it’ portion of the game, we cut to Ricky  and he’s confusedly going “what is going on?” I agree.

Greg: “I’ve made some..bangers and mash and OTHER ENGLISH THINGS!”

Ricky, rightfully, winces once the RAP IT cue comes in. THIS SHOULD BE YOUR SIGN, DAN AND MARK.

Greg and Wayne’s rap is honestly more polished than the opening one  from E1. So…improvement!

Jonathan, entering: “hey, sorry we’re late, the pony died…”
Wayne, grabbing  it: “OOH, SCIENCE!”
Greg: “NOT ON THE TABLE!”
This is actually pretty funny  so far

Wayne, after  Jonathan smacks him, and he’s already smacked Greg: “…we all smack each other in this household?”

Greg: “Where’s your dad? It’s time for drinks?”
Fred: [audible chuckling]
Colin, hobbling in: “ALLO EVERYONE, HOW ARE YEEEAU?”
Fred: [louder chuckling]
Yeah, this scene is really working for me

Colin once again gets the ‘In Da Club’ backing track, which he skillfully hobbles to.

Colin nails a ‘drunk/who’da thunk’ rhyme, but he does it in a way that’s actually more rhythmic than usual…and comes in with his usual fun dancing

The scene takes a turn when Jonathan refers to Wayne as a mistake, even catching an uncomfortable cutaway to Ricky, but Wayne saves it by going “I’m not a mistake, I’m a chocolate surprise!”
YES

A much better Rap It, and much more coherent and fun than the previous one, despite being very low on plot.

Sideways Scene: Wayne is Ricky and Colin is his grizzled old trainer putting Wayne through his final training session before the arrival of his opponent Jonathan for the big bout, Colin takes over as referee

Wayne and Colin begin the scene by jumping rope, which is a fun little visual

Jonathan, shuffling towards the door: “I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE, GERVAIS!”
Jonathan then attempts to kick down the door…which doesn’t work. Eventually it DOES kick in, and Jonathan just sort of jumps back:
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I love the goofy move of Colin staying in between them as he starts the boxing match, and they sort of have to fight on top of him, and he just gets in the way.

Wayne in the  Exorcist style is, of course, at home, flipping himself upside down and doing his possessed yelling

Fred has a move that I’m not sure whether or not is intentional- he has them continue in a ‘game of Twister’, has them go for a moment or two, and then buzzes back in “sorry, the MOVIE Twister.”

An okay Sideways Scene, but they definitely knew where the goofiness came from.

Ricky: “…I feel like someone slipped me some crack…”
Wayne: [raises hand]

Face the Music: David Armand mimes to ‘Fame’

ughhhhhhh

Not only did this game not work, but Ricky didn’t even get the connection to his stand-up tour. Why does this need to air? Why?

Putting Words Into Your Mouth: Ricky, voice by Colin, on the way to an awards ceremony with his girlfriend played by the lovely Wayne, and his writing partner played by Jonathan, voice by Greg, along the way, although they’re in a hurry, the ravenous Ricky sends his girlfriend to buy snacks for him

On going to the Golden Globes for The Office, Ricky mentions ‘Steve, the guy I wrote it with’, referring to Stephen Merchant. Very humble.

Ricky is funny in his story of being covered in Cheeto dust as the limo arrives, and he mentions the limo in front of them was Desperate Housewives, “and we wondered if they’d been doing the same…though they looked a bit orange…”

Ricky, reluctantly coming onstage, looks at Wayne and goes “this is gonna  be a weird lap-dance with myself, isn’t it?”
Wayne: NODS

Ricky, once he finds out Colin will be supplying his voice, cracks a little. Colin just shakes his head.

Greg  does a really good casual english accent for Jonathan, riling off all the things he ate.
Colin: “SHUT UP, STEPHEN.”
Perhaps Colin just knows it’s Stephen Merchant

Colin, playing off Ricky’s gesturing: “I’m starving, YOU  CAN TELL CAUSE I’M RUBBING MY TUMMY. I CAN’T INDICATE BETTER THAN THAT, I’M STARVING.”
Ricky: [breaks]

Colin: “OH, JANE”
Ricky takes a second  and turns to Wayne
Colin: ‘…you’re Jane, right?”
Ricky: [full on cackles]

Ricky, as he’s making very obvious gestures, is just facepalming, cracking up, and knowing how he’s blowing this scene.

Wayne: “DRIVER, STOP THE CAR, I’LL BE RIGHT  BACK.”
Ricky, out of character: “WHY CAN *SHE* TALK??”
PFFFF
Ricky, realizing: “OH, SORRY!”
Wayne: [shrieks]
Colin: “it’s alright, I’m practicing my ventriloquism…”

Ricky, as Colin’s talking, just isn’t moving his mouth and just has his hand on his head
Colin: ‘….LOOK, MY FOREHEAD.”
Ricky loves this as well
Colin: “I hope I get a Golden Globe for Best ACTOR.”
I LOVE THAT LINE. Ricky just facepalms, knowing how right Colin is.

Greg: “You’re acting hysterical.”
Colin: “I AM HYSTERICAL! JANE FELL OUT OF THE CAR!”

Colin, as Ricky  continues not to move his mouth: “OH, YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM. LOOK, I’M GONNA RUB MY TUMMY TO SHOW HOW HAPPY I AM.”
Ricky breaks at that. Man, this guy cannot keep it together AT ALL.

A very funny Dubbing. Ricky was shit at this, but all the other performers used this to screw with him and make the scene funnier, especially Colin and Wayne.

Credits: Messages from Random Acquaintances 

Colin has a great joke, as an alien: “On our planet, we have no sense of humor, so I’ve been sent down to kidnap the funniest man in the world…do you have Karl Pilkington’s address?”
HA. THAT IS GOOD.

Wayne: “Hello, I’m…Karl Pilkington…”
He just turns to Colin, clearly out of the loop. Greg and Colin, who BOTH know Karl, love this.
Wayne: “…apparently I’m very funny, but the black American does not know who I am…”

Greg: “Hi, Ricky, it’s me Eric, remember me, we met at university  before you  started going with JANE?”
HA. Ricky loves this one, too.

Overall: The closest thing we’ve had thus far to a good episode of an improv program. Yes, Ricky was a bit brash, talkative, and not good at improv, but his influence brought out some really funny moments, and his cackling added to a lot of the scenes. The games worked a lot better here, especially Dubbing and Rap It, and there was more balance to guys like Greg, though once again Jonathan’s screentime suffered. Still, a lot of funny jokes, a lot of great moments, and a better realized show than the first 3, despite the continued presence of Face the Music.

Best Performer: Colin made me laugh the most this show
Worst Performer: Jonathan wasn’t in a lot of tonight’s proceedings.
Best Game: Dubbing was too damn funny, despite being kind of clusterfuck-y.
Worst Game: Face the Music
Guest Star Rating: 7/10. Points docked for his performance in Dubbing, and his occasional cluelessness to the concept, but Ricky wasn’t too bad here.

COMING UP NEXT: One more Brad episode, and a return for a guest star that was at least well behaved during the S5 tapings of Whose Line.

Whose Offseason: Trust Us With Your Life Episode 3, or Hi, I’m Craig T. Nelson

Episode 3 brings in two bright ideas from America- Brad Sherwood joins the crew as fourth-seater, which should give a bit more versatility than the fourth seater just coming in later and doing support [I HOPE]. Our guest star is Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s Shark Tank, who definitely has proven he can make fun of himself.

Fred seems even more off than he was in the last two shows. His prompter reading is woodier than usual, and his pronunciation of ‘entrepreneur’ [On Tropanoor] is…while not the funniest mispronunciation of that word I’ve heard, very much up there.

Forward Rewind: Wayne plays Mark as a bouncer at a bar, Jonathan is a flirtatious girl who is stopped and frisked by Mark as she goes into the bar, Colin is the drunk man who threatens Mark, and Brad is the policeman who arrives to arrest the drunk

I am uncomfortable with Mark’s fist-pump once Fred says the phrase ‘stop and frisk’

Wayne and Jonathan do a unison “OH OH OH OH OHHH”. Wayne seems to have  gotten better at making reads specific for this game

Colin, of course great at playing drunks, stumbles in impressively.

There’s a funny bit where Colin gets the knife wrong  and accidentally keeps mauling his own body, but it’s hard to do in this game, which involves recreating things

Though, replaying Colin’s “GEDDOUTADAWAYYY” with  Jonathan’s screaming is still very funny

Brad entering: “what’s with all the blood?”
Colin: [accidentally shoots self in neck]
Yeah, this is goofy as hell

Wayne chucks Colin’s gun away, but Colin…randomly pulls out a lightsaber.

They rewind all the way back, and when it comes time for Jonathan to remember his elaborate name, he…stumbles, forgetting most of it, and spits something out anyway

An alright playing of this. Definitely more silly than substantial, and for the record there are substantial playings of this game.

Dramatic Episode: Colin is Mark and Brad is his cornbread roommate getting ready to entertain, two girls played by Wayne and Jonathan arrive at the door

Okay so we need to address this. Mark’s story about his roommates picking up some ladies has a punchline of A.) the ladies being transgender [“oh my god, it’s a guy”], and B.) the bros still being into it. Which is at least a good ending, because hooray for still sleeping with someone after you realize they’re trans, but…the way Mark frames it, it comes off very homophobic, at least for the frat bros who ‘don’t stop’.
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Note that this is 2011, a few years before Colin’s kid would come out as trans, and they still cringe over it. AS AM I.

Brad, playing against type: “I say, Mark, I can’t wait to meet these lovely ladies.”
HONK
Brad, FULL HILLBILLY: “AH CAN’T WAIT TA MEET THESE GIRLS, MARK!”
DING
Brad: “I’m wearin’ my favorite cologne- CORN.”
HAHAHAHA. Dear god, an actual chuckle from this damn show

Jonathan, at the door: “DING DONG…one of us has a DING-DONG…”
Ohhhhhhhh boy.
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You said it, Fred.

Wayne even has his character speak in a deep voice. EVEN FOR 2011 THIS IS HORRIBLY DATED.

Brad: “I like the girl with  the bumpy neck”
NOT YOU TOO, BRAD!

Wayne also does a cheap ‘pee standing up’ joke here. ARE THERE ANY JOKES IN THIS SCENE THAT AREN’T HORRIBLY TRANSPHOBIC AND PLAYED FOR LAUGHS?

That…was genuinely terrible. Brad maybe had a few good jokes, but the whole premise of this scene is ‘hey, let’s laugh at trans women’, which…NO. You don’t do jokes about trans people where them being trans and having non-affirming genitalia is the punchline. When is society going to move beyond ‘chick with a dick’ jokes? Cause they’re not funny anymore.

I will note…the only person onstage who doesn’t make a transphobic joke? You guessed it. Colin Mochrie.

Putting Words Into Your Mouth: Mark, Colin’s voice, is living with a female flight attendant with acting ambitions played by Wayne, joined by Jonathan, Brad’s voice, as Mark’s acting coach

Mark mentions he had two “very attractive flight attendants move in as my roommates.”
Fred: “…is this a movie you saw???”
Every once in a while, Fred surprises me.

Wayne: “Do you wanna rehearse that scene?”
Colin: “Absolutely, let me get the bananas and cream.”

Colin doing a FIREY, PASSIONATE MONOLOGUE and Mark doing his best to do it justice did make me laugh

Brad, as Jonathan, comes in yelling ‘CRAP CRAP CRAP’, which I always thought  was more of a Colin thing, but Jonathan helps it by motioning to his  ass

Brad: “BUT YOU NEED TO LEARN FROM ME…AS DOOGIE HOWSER-”
Jonathan:
Screen Shot 2020-07-10 at 2.24.45 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-07-10 at 2.24.53 PM.png
HA

Brad mentions they need to ‘start the scene with a passionate kiss’. YES, CAUSE THE LAST SCENE WENT SO WELL WITH CANDID HOMOPHOBIA. Wayne, to his credit, brings back his bottom-lip/tongue trick as he did a lot on the ABC version.

Colin: “Oh, this so reminds me of something I went through in college.”
……dammit, Colin, YOU WERE SO CLOSE TO GETTING OUT OF THIS GAME WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING HORRIBLY DATED AND WRONG.

A little better than last game, mostly for performances, but that ending left me with a sour taste in my mouth.

Wayne, as Mark goes back to his seat: “sorry, he made me…”

Face the Music: David acts out We Are the Champions

uuuuughhhhhhhhh

Yeah, nothing really to report here. Other than the  realization that the versions of these songs they get are cheap covers so they don’t have to pay rights. Wow.

Sideways Scene: Jonathan is a Mavericks basketball player who has been fouled by Wayne his defender, Colin is playing Mark who runs onto the court to defend his player

Wayne and Jonathan’s initial quarreling is pretty funny, as is this eventual goofiness:
Screen Shot 2020-07-10 at 2.33.09 PM

The gags that have been hitting in this game [Colin shuffling in, Colin climbing over Jonathan] work here

Colin’s overacting and yelling is giving me a smile or two here

The Harry Potter style ends with Colin struggling to fit through the hoop, which is a goofy visual

An alright Sideways Scene.

Credits: Messages from Random Acquaintances 

Brad: “Hello Mark, this is Dirk Novitzki, thank you for plucking me from ze German forest vhere I was working as a German Sasquatch”
HA

Jonathan, as Mark’s doctor: “I’m so glad I could prescribe you that little blue pill so you don’t have anymore Cuban Missile crisis”
MAN

Colin, with nothing: “…Hi, I’m Craig T. Nelson….I don’t really know you-”
BUZZ
HAHAHAHA. This was probably my  biggest laugh from the episode, because Colin is just riffing with nothing on his mind, and he even laughs at the eventual buzz.

Brad: “Hi Mark, it’s your proctologist, you left this horseshoe last time you were in.”
PFFFFFF

Overall: Another bad show. The sad part is, there were more individual laughs here than in the last  two games, so this was technically the funniest show yet, but no games were better than ‘meh’, and Dramatic Episode plummeted this episode’s goodwill down like an anvil. So much of this show felt cringey and dated, and Mark’s casual homophobia and misogyny didn’t help at all. This is definitely a guest bit more in line with the 2001-era bro-y bookings. Good news is the panel was a little more balanced, and Brad did some good stuff. But…MAN, this show just keeps disappointing me in new and different ways every show.

Best Performer: Brad Sherwood nailed most of his material tonight.
Worst Performer: Jonathan was mostly a supporting  player tonight.
Best Game: Dubbing did the most right, imo.
Worst Game: Dramatic Episode was one of the worst scenes I’ve had to watch on this blog. Not because it was badly done, but because nearly every joke was horribly unfunny and in horrible taste…and yet the audience, and Mark, laughed.
Guest Star Rating: 6/10. Eesh. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but there was a bro-y, locker-room esque aura to this whole show, and Mark added to that.

COMING UP NEXT: Greg Proops returns, and our guest star is someone who is probably super-comfortable around comedians.

Whose Offseason: Trust Us With Your Life Episode 2, or I Want it Nausage

So, just to warn you all…I don’t like this show. And…if you thought I didn’t like Episode 1, there’s a lot of Episode 2 that I’m not looking forward to either. So…I dunno how much you guys LIKE ‘Angry Jordan’, but he’s gonna be here a lot for the next 7 shows.

Especially this one.

Our fourth seater for this episode is Craig Cackowski, one of those ‘jack-of-all-trades’ performers who’s been in every comedy show from the 2000s onward in a bit part, especially stuff like Arrested Development and Community. He’s an improv lifer, being a 90s-era iO Chicago guy, doing some UCB stuff with the masters, and just sticking around those crowds without finding an actual niche.

I remember when Craig showed up in this episode, watching this in 2012, and audibly going ‘WHO??’. Cause if you’re gonna bring  in new talent, it’s gonna be younger or something, not somebody who’s probably as old as these guys [ironically I’d be fine with Gary Anthony Williams].

So that’s one strike there for confusing the shit out of me.

The guests are not a strike, though. Jack and Kelly Osbourne had garnered some minor TV staying power in the years after their family’s hit reality show, the Osbournes, left air. I’m not sure if people now are aware of how…undeniably huge the Osbournes were in 2002. Everything had a ‘SHAAAAROOOOON’. My elementary school that year had like 3 people dressed as Ozzy Osbourne. The show was a pop culture monolith, and paved the way for most of the ‘these trashy assholes at home’ reality shows we have now.

I have nothing bad to say about Jack and Kelly though. Jack had a great showing on Buzzcocks back in the day, he’s become an MS spokesman, and he has a sense of humor. Kelly placed third on Dancing With the Stars and did alright on S2 of Masked Singer [so yes, she’d stay in contact with Wayne Brady]. They’ll probably be fine here.

I get the feeling that this one was taped before the Greg taping. Just from how Fred explains the concept.

Kelly, cracking up: “When I was a kid, I told my mom that I wanted to be  a telephone operator so that I could press all the buttons…”
HA
Jack: “you could still do it, though?”
Kelly: “I DON’T WANNA DO IT!”
Fred: “There’s that in the future, yes, you can still dream..”
This is…wonderfully loose so far, and I kinda like it

Glee Club It: All four; inside the Osbourne family kitchen

Okay, okay. I…uuurghhh. Okay.

In 2011, the biggest show on television was a show on Fox called Glee. It was a show about a high-school glee club with musical performances in every episode, and 90% of the show has failed to age well. Glee’s soundtrack accounted for 113 songs that have charted in Billboard’s Top 100, which is insane if you know that 99% of these songs were bubblegum-pop covers of songs that were already hits [their biggest one was a 2009 cover of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing]. The majority of its fanbase has come to terms with the fact that a lot of the show was trash [as were several of the stars of it], and while not exactly denouncing fandom, they’ve viewed it in a new light.

So what I’m saying is that by 2020, popular culture has evolved past the need for Glee. By 2011, and as we’re going to find out 2013 and 2014, we were still swimming in Glee-mania. So much so that Bob’s Call/Show-Stopping Number was rebranded as [sigh] GLEE CLUB IT! Marked by a Jonathan Mangum sound clip that is just as grating to me as ‘RAP IT’.

Also, as I write this, one of the stars of Glee, Naya Rivera, has gone missing. Perhaps tragically. So I’m walking on so many eggshells here.

[Also, apologies to any former or current Gleeks reading this, I’m sure your fan-fiction is exquisite and exemplary]

Wayne and Colin’s initial reaction to that sound bite
Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 11.22.46 AM.png

Even Wayne is confused by this
Fred: “as if on the popular TV Show, uh-”
Wayne: “GLEE CLUB.”
And he gives him this knowing look. Like ‘are we really not above this?’. Colin even gives a very weak thumbs up to Craig and Jonathan. Both Wayne and Colin know how bad this game, and maybe this show, is going to be.

Wayne starts the scene by dialing some buttons on the phone, going ‘I ALWAYS WANTED TO DO THAT’.
Yes, that is how you use your gifts
Colin, remembering Jack’s: “shhh, I just put out a fire!”

The first music cue hits, and Colin and Wayne start dancing in unison to the peppy pop music. They go wide, and Craig and Jonathan find themselves bobbing to it as well. It is insanely silly

Wayne’s song is better than last time, because he manages to find a rhyme for ‘bangers and mash’, and ends a verse with “BOOP-BOOP-BOOP-BOOP, DOOT-DOOT-DOOT-DOOT-, I’M SO FULL OF ENERGY.”
You see…this is what we needed last show

Right before Colin’s about to sing, the ‘BACK TO NORMAL’ cue comes in, and he just repositions himself like nothing happened
Colin: “…Look what you’ve done to my sausages!”

Craig’s entrance as Ozzy  is…very funny, I’m not gonna lie. He has the confused expression and mumbling down pat.

Wayne: “DADDY, PHONE CALL FOR YOU. PHONE CALL.”
Thank god Wayne’s having a better episode

In the midst of a mumbled Craig line, the aforementioned audio cue pipes in. And then Craig’s dancing, more like bobbing from side to side as that’s all the movement he can do, as the music pipes in, is very funny. Colin and Wayne start cracking up

Craig’s eventual song is…well:
“She wants to push the buttons, she wants to push them all
She’s the one you want to call…when you make a call [!]
I want to have some bloody breakfast, where’s my blood-SAUSAGE.
I want it in my face [curdles] I want it nausage…”
And Craig just sort of wilts because he can’t figure out a rhyme in time and had to do that. Kelly bursts out laughing.
Wayne: “…only my father could rhyme ‘sausage’ and ‘nausage’

Colin, after Jonathan enters: “Relax, mother…”
HA
“GLEE CLUB IT”
Colin: [shakes his head]

This last number has some of Jonathan’s ‘whoa-whoa-whoa’s, which I’m now realizing is just one of his go-to song moves

Jonathan, making a suggestive motion: “You better clean up if you want some SHARON”
WHOA
Colin, like me:
Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 12.24.26 PMWayne: “NAUSAGE.”
HA

There’s no buzzer to end the game, Fred just says ‘that’s enough’.

Honestly…not bad. A lot of good lines in this, and a lot more substantial than Rap It. I can’t believe I actually came around on this damn game, but it’s not a bad Show-Stop variant.

Kelly: “…totally honest it isn’t really that far off…”

By the way, the errant, unfocused audience panning is…very off-putting to me. I’m guessing this was the pilot taping? Cause it seems very unpolished in comparison to [shudder] last show.

Again, Fred’s interviewing and probing is pretty good, and both Kelly and Jack get some good stuff. Kelly is very genuine, and gives really good, off-the-cuff answers, which is a complete 180 from Serena Williams’ very rehearsed, safe stuff.

Fred: “You’d break down the door, actually, kick them out?”
Kelly: “I did it to this one…[glares at Jack] ‘girl’…”
YES. Again, this is some very nice, UK, loosened candidness. I genuinely think it’s because UK chat-shows and panel shows are just looser and more fun, and US guys are more stiff and harder to bounce off of. Remind me to come back to this theory when Ricky Gervais is on.

Dramatic Episode: Colin is Jack and Jonathan is a girl in Jack’s bedroom, after a while Kelly, played by Wayne, tries to break in with the help of her father, the always responsible Ozzy Osbourne, played by Craig

This is First Date, but with more stipulations and less ‘date’

I love Craig’s reaction to having to play Ozzy again. ‘yeah, sounds about right’.

Fred hands the bell and horn to Jack
Kelly: “do I get any say in this?”
Jack: “No…this is all your fault anyhow”

Colin: “you have to keep it very quiet, my sister’s…woo-hoo”
DING
Kelly: [grabs Jack’s horn]

Jonathan: “You’re the first guy I’ve ever been with”
Jack: [ding]
Kelly: “LIAR”
Jonathan: “I have another appointment in two hours”

Jonathan: “your skin is as soft as a baby’s bottom”
HONK
Jonathan: “your skin is as rough as a lumberjack’s forehead”
DING
Colin: “thank you, I work out.”

Wayne: “They’re inside and I know that they’re doing nasty things.”
DING

I love the intricate methods Wayne uses to literally destroy the door, followed by:
Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 1.38.43 PM.png
thank the gods, Wayne’s having a much better show

An alright scene. Very broad, and Craig didn’t have much to do, but it wasn’t bad.

Face The Music: David Armand performs ‘I Will Survive’

[long facepalm]. Okay

One of the staples of Fast and Loose was a segment called Interpretive Dance, where three improvisers would use noise-cancelling headphones and have to decipher an interpretive dance to a pop song done usually by David Armand, who…usually just did this.

Here’s the problem- it’s not improv. So I don’t know what the fuck it’s doing on an improv show. This is like the Intros Round from Never Mind the Buzzcocks…but infinitely dumber. So, why do it on Fast and Loose, or even here? Was David Armand a producer’s nephew or something?

Nevertheless, they do this in EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THE NEXT SEVEN EPISODES. Meaning E1 was our reprieve.

I don’t even know how the fuck to cover this, cause it’s not improv, so usually I’ll just recap this with a shrug, and not mention it again until ‘Worst Game’

Sideways Scene: Jonathan is Jack trying to persuade Kelly, who is played by Colin, to leave the bar and then let him drive them home, Wayne is a police patrolman on a bicycle who spots them on the road

Unfortunately, Colin is not the third person this time, so we sadly don’t get the visual of him shuffling through the door this time

Immediately, Colin nearly injures Jonathan with the door. What is it about Jonathan falling victim to injury so often on WL/TUWYL?

Although, Jonathan and Colin shuffling across the mat is still a funny visual

Then, Jonathan has to carry Colin over himself into the ‘car’, which leads to a frantic yelp from Jonathan

Eventually, both of them figure out how to portray driving on this mat, and:
Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 1.56.31 PM
yeah

The styles muddy things a bit, but Wayne, in Pirates of the Caribbean style, breaks into a REALLY good Jack Sparrow impression

I do love the ending of that, with Jonathan losing another leg and falling to the ground.

An alright Sideways Scene, not as good as last show’s.

Putting Words Into Your Mouth: Jack is leading Kelly and Sharon in their dune buggies as part of his TV show, Adrenaline Junkie, when Sharon’s buggy tips over the show’s producer, played by Jonathan, rushes in to check if everything is okay. Craig dubs Jack, Colin dubs Kelly. 

I still hate this title.

Wayne remembers the detail about driving while on the phone, and uses that once Jack gives him the wheel

Craig’s dialogue is very  commonplace, but he notices Jack’s not moving his lips, and adds “maybe I’m thinking this and not saying it out loud”

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 2.09.42 PM.png

Colin: “That is it, Jack, I’m not gonna talk to you for at least half a year.”

Not great. Not very funny, and more of the broad stuff that dominated last show.

No credit sequence, we come back from break just to end the show. Very  impractical.

Overall: Better than last show, but still not great. Jack and Kelly’s looseness and fun attitude to this made for a lot smoother, breezier show. Only problem is Dramatic Episode, Sideways Scene and Dubbing were all too broad, and Face the Music begins its reign of wasting time. More of the improv tonight seemed skillfully funny rather than just broad, but the last half was very dumb and dispensable. Craig was also a very odd fit, being very unfunny in support and not adding a great deal to scenes, which Colin also did later in games.

Best Performer: Wayne deserved his overexposure in this one, nailing several games and characters.
Worst Performer: Craig was clumsy and awkward throughout. Fred fit more.
Best Game: Glee Club It, I’m sad to say, had the funniest moments of the night.
Worst Game: Face the Music.
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. Both Jack and Kelly were honest, transparent, and had great dynamic with the show without seeming too artificial.

COMING UP NEXT: Brad Sherwood enters the fold, as does a guest star that will confuse the British studio audience because they only know Dragon’s Den.

Why Aren’t These Whose Line Episodes Available for Streaming?

In the last month or so, as HBO MAX has rolled out their Whose Line package, it’s become cleared that they have the same missing episodes as the CW Seed, and that there is no real resource that has every single ABC episode in good quality, despite marketing saying otherwise.

And yet it’s not exactly clear why these 34 shows aren’t available for streaming, other than…like, greed. So, I’m going to run down each show that isn’t on HBO Max or the Seed and discuss any possible theories that could be holding them back from widespread release, ranging from probable to insane.

I’ll also include a percentage of how suitable for general audiences each show in question is, and if that has anything to do with being kept off streaming.

Season 1:

S01E04: 
Games Played: Weird Newscasters, Duet, Animals, Props, Party Quirks, Scene to Rap, Foreign Film Dub
Fourth Seater: Brad Sherwood
Possible Theories: Foreign Film Dub in Chinese includes an obvious Chinese food joke. Drew has a dirty joke with how his inability to tell the difference between a gazelle and a deer ‘got me in jail’. Maybe Ryan’s Allah joke in Moving People was too much? Or do references to Peyton Place and The Smurfs get them in legal trouble?
% Clean: 85%

S01E05:
Games Played: Let’s Make a Date, Song Styles, Daytime Talk Show, Props, Film Dub, Sportscasters, Hoedown, and Stand Sit Bend
Fourth Seaters: Brad and Karen Maruyama
Possible Theories: Is the Neroshi Song Styles offensive in any way? Is Colin’s Bambi reference in Hoedown a copyright infringement?
% Clean: like 100%. I’d love to hear the rationalization, because this isn’t a very dirty show at all.

S01E07:
Games Played: Daytime Talk Show, Song Styles, Moving People, Props, Party Quirks, Hoedown, and Foreign Film Dub
Fourth Seater: Greg Proops
Possible Theories: The Gone with the Wind-centric PQ quirk is eradicated before HBO MAX decides to put a disclaimer on the film. And I’ll once again guess that maybe they thought Foreign Film Dub would be too racist with the Egyptian language?
% Clean: 90%

S01E17
Games Played: Weird Newscasters, Scene to Rap, Moving People, Props, Greatest Hits, Party Quirks, and Hoedown
Fourth Seater: Stephen Colbert
Possible Theories: Like a later guest episode where the guest has some modicum of fame, perhaps Colbert’s agent nixed the release? That being said, his S8 episode is still up. It’s more likely due to Wayne playing Bill Cosby in Weird Newscasters, which OF COURSE hasn’t aged well. More references to Smurfs and Woody Woodpecker that may not allign with copyright.
% Clean: 70%

S02E11:
Games Played: Let’s Make A Date, Film TV and Theatre Styles, Props, Party Quirks, Song Styles, and World’s Worst
Fourth Seater: Greg
Possible Theories:  Colin’s LMAD quirk, especially his second round, maybe infuriated some people with taste? Drew does have a few dirty jokes after that game. Is I Love Lucy a brand they can’t touch?
% Clean: 80%

S02E14:
Games Played: Superheroes, Film TV and Theatre Styles, Props, Motown Group, The Millionaire Show, and Hoedown
Fourth Seater: Brad
Possible Theories: This has the first playing of Millionaire Show, and while the other subsequent playings aren’t all blocked from MAX, perhaps the likeness was too great here thanks to Brad’s Regis? Also, Suicide Boy as a name for Brad might also be a bit too tasteless, as well as Captain Bloodloss. F&TS involves killing, and eating innocent dogs. Ryan in Millionaire Show has multiple personalities, which isn’t a good look to be parodying in 2020.
% Clean: 55%

S02E23:
Games Played: Weird Newscasters, African Chant, Scenes From A Hat, Scene With An Audience Member, Dating Service Videos, and 90 Second Alphabet
Fourth Seater: Greg
Possible Theories: What about Drew saying Africa is a country is not airable now? Did Drew’s people nix it for defamation of character? Is it too toothless for black audiences? Greg’s ‘truck but not your girlfriend’ answer, “wow, you can fit four in there”, is probably one of the most vulgar variations of that suggestion. Maybe Ryan’s ‘laid’ Hats gag falls into this category as well, but that got censored.
% Clean: 80%

S02E30:
Games Played: Let’s Make A Date, Film TV and Theatre Styles, Props, Newsflash, Greatest Hits, and World’s Worst
Fourth Seater: Brad
Possible Theories: Going through this episode again, I’m having a hard time thinking of what’d be too much for streaming? Maybe Brad as a frisky dog in LMAD? Maybe ‘songs of the Psychiatrist’ is too taboo? I dunno, this one should really be on there. AS SHOULD ALL OF THESE.
% Clean: 100%

S03E09
Games Played: Hollywood Director, Duet, Party Quirks, Scenes From A Hat, and Props
Fourth Seater: Robin Williams
Possible Theories: It is most likely the case of Robin’s people being greedy and not wanting the episode out there for free, or even for subscription. Which absolutely blows. It could also be that Robin’s presence made this one of the dirtier WL episodes out there, with Director, PQ, SFAH and Props all having borderline unairable moments, thanks to Robin
% Clean: 40%, to be fair

S03E11
Games Played: Let’s Make A Date, Multiple Personalities, Hats, Props, Dead Bodies, Scene To Rap, and Stand Sit Bend
Fourth Seater: Greg
Possible Theories: Copyright issues with the Beavis and Butthead people? Other than that, this is a very clean show with no real unbroacastable issues.
% Clean: 100%

S03E15
Games Played: Let’s Make A Date, Whose Line, Props, Sound Effects (With Audience Members), Duet, and Hoedown
Fourth Seater: Jeff Davis
Possible Theories: Illegal use of the Klump family, and I Love Lucy again? Possibly Colin’s Moby Dick Hoedown verse, or most of Hoedown being badly mixed in general?
% Clean: 95%

S03E22
Games Played: Superheroes, Sound Effects (with audience members), Three-Headed Broadway Star, Whose Line, Irish Drinking Song, and Helping Hands
Fourth Seater: Chip Esten
Possible Theories: It’s most likely due to Irish Drinking Song, and the whole passed-stone saga. That’s the only part of this show that stands out to me as worthy of keeping this off streaming, but it’s the game this show is known for.
% Clean: 90%

S03E28:
Games Played: Let’s Make A Date, Scene With An Audience Member, Props, Greatest Hits, and Foreign Film Dub
Fourth Seater: Kathy Greenwood
Possible Theories: My guess is it’s the iffiness of the Molly Scene with an Audience Member, as she looks either really high or just plain underage, and it may not have gone the greatest. It could also be Wayne’s ‘Invading Peru for the Hell of It’, which may have been too political…he says, scoffing, remembering the Muppets gun control song Wayne and Gary do in S17.
& Clean: 80%

S03E35:
Games Played: Hollywood Director, Infomercial, Action Replay, Greatest Hits, and Props
Fourth Seater: Kathy
Possible Theories: A few minor things in GH, like the rejected suggestion of Exotic Dancer, Wayne’s Michael Jackson reference, but not a hell of a lot in this one that warrants this.
% Clean: 90%

S03E39:
Games Played: Let’s Make A Date, Two-Line Vocabulary, Greatest Hits, and World’s Worst
Fourth Seater: Brad
Possible Theories: Ryan pissing into Brad’s water in LMAD? The grisly subject matter of Two-Line? A few jokes in GH, like the ‘SLOTS’ one, or the ‘4 days in the #1 position’ one? Most likely it’s ‘I Dropped My Chips in Your Nuts’, which AC/DC’s people must not have liked, and the later ‘Sportin’ Wood’ line in a hooker-related song.
% Clean: 75%

S04E07:
Games Played: Let’s Make A Date, Title Sequence, Scenes From A Hat, Party Quirks, Three-Headed Broadway Star, and Hoedown
Fourth-Seater: Brad
Possible Theories: Perhaps the concept of cock-fighting in LMAD? More likely it’s Tyson and Lincoln, a one-joke scene at the expense of Evander Holyfield. That or the Gary Coleman jokes throughout SFAH. Or just the…ugliness of Ryan’s entire PQ quirk, which Brad dubs ‘the trailer for Deliverance’.
% Clean: 75%

S04E25
Games Played: Superheroes, Sound Effects (with audience members), Newsflash, Scenes From A Hat, and Hoedown
Fourth-Seater: Chip
Possible Theories: “Man, you don’t know how many butts I’ve had my dick up just to get this”. This is really the only line in the show that juts out to me, and it’s a big one. I’m saddened that something so small could derail this wonderful show hitting streaming, though.
% Clean: 90%

S04E26:
Games Played: Weird Newscasters, Hats, Greatest Hits, Film Dub, Show-Stopping Number, and World’s Worst
Fourth-Seater: Greg
Possible Theories: Both Greg and Ryan’s WN quirks push the envelope a bit. Greg has his big snap in Hats [“MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE OF THIS FUCKING MASK I’M WEARING”]. Also, maybe the ‘Priest or Rabbi’ World’s Worst also ruffled some feathers in standards
% Clean: 75%

S05E08:
Games Played: Scene to Music, Dubbing, Change Letter, Party Quirks, Irish Drinking Song, and Living Scenery
Fourth Seater: Brad [ft. Chyna]
Possible Theories: ‘possible’. This is one of the hardest-to-watch ABC shows, because Chyna makes every game she’s in needlessly sexual and ugly. Dubbing and Living Scenery are so cringeworthy. Even innocent-seeming games like Change Letter and IDS, missing a verse, are tainted.
% Clean: 35%

S05E10:
Games Played: Let’s Make a Date, Scene to Rap, Sound Effects (with audience members), Scenes from a Hat, and World’s Worst
Fourth Seater: Greg
Possible Theories: Ryan’s skeevy LMAD quirk. Another psychiatrist-related game with WW.
% Clean: 90%

S05E15
Games Played: Questions Only, Weird Newscasters, Irish Drinking Song, Scenes from a Hat, and World’s Worst
Fourth Seater: Kathy Griffin
Possible Theories. Of Kathy’s episodes, only one is on MAX/Seed, and it’s E2, where she’s not in a ton of it due to Miss America. This one she’s all over, she grabs and kisses Wayne in SFAH, has a very vulgar joke in WW, and lots in the ‘making love’ SFAH suggestion. That’s a big indicator, as is Irish Drinking Song, with the vulgar punchline everyone remembers and keeps echoing through the rest of the  show. OR…IT’S NEITHER, and the producers couldn’t get the rights to Boz Scaggs’ Lido Shuffle
% Clean: 60%

S05E19: 
Games Played: Newsflash, Song Styles, Two Line Vocabulary, Dubbing, and Three-Headed Broadway Star
Fourth Seater: Kathy Griffin, and David Hasselhoff
Possible Theories: Max’s continued dislike of Griffin, Hasselhoff’s dick joke at the end of Dubbing, and maybe Hoff’s people thought he didn’t come off too well after 3HBS. Also, a lot of Dubbing was pretty dirty, for the record. Still, I love this one and wish the masses could see it.
% Clean: 80%

S05E23
Games Played: Number of Words, Infomercial, Song Styles, Scenes from a Hat, Newsflash, and World’s Worst
Fourth Seater: Kathy Greenwood
Possible Theories: Prince’s people didn’t like Song Styles, or it was too close to Let’s Go Crazy? Probably because of World’s Worst, and Drew’s tasteless bestiality joke therein.
% Clean: 85%

S05E25
Games Played: Superheroes, Duet, Scenes from a Hat, Living Scenery, and Themed Restaurant
Fourth Seater: Chip [ft. Neena and Veena]
Possible Theories: Chip running to Colin’s udder during Superheroes? It’s more likely the fear factor of Wayne and the snake, and the eventual obvious dick joke…and also the dirtier-than-usual nature of Living Scenery. Maybe even Wayne’s dog-eating joke in SFAH? Or…copyright issues with all the movies featured in Themed Restaurant.
% Clean: 70%

S05E29:
Games Played: Press Conference, Sound Effects (with audience members), Irish Drinking Song, Party Quirks, Helping Hands, and Themed Restaurant
Fourth Seater: Kathy Griffin
Possible Theories: Again, Kathy Griffin. Wayne sets Colin up to rhyme ‘rock-tucker’, and there’s only one connotation there. Colin’s repeated refrain of ‘NICE BOOBS’ in PQ.
% Clean: 80%

S06E06:
Games Played: Press Conference, Sound Effects (with audience members), Duet, Living Scenery, and Irish Drinking Song
Fourth Seater: Chip and some Cheerleaders
Possible Theories: Most of Living Scenery could raise some eyebrows, especially when Ryan’s lying down with all those cheerleaders [“SHUT UP, I’M ASLEEP”]. It may also be for IDS, which is bathroom humor that skirts the line of taste.
% Clean: 75%

S06E08:
Games Played: Film TV and Theatre Styles, Title Sequence, Action Replay, Greatest Hits, and 90 Second Alphabet
Fourth Seater: Chip
Possible Theories: Ryan’s ‘one bad mother’, even with censorship, in F&TS. Rights issues from Tom Jones or Duran Duran? It is most likely due to the GH subject, Songs of the Hitman, being a bit of taboo one.
% Clean: 80%

S07E08:
Games Played: Let’s Make A Date, Film TV and Theatre Styles, Doo-Wop, Greatest Hits, and Props
Fourth Seater: Chip
Possible Theories: Out of the three from this taping, this one has the most games where Ryan looks miserable, with some audible coughs and him…dying basically in Doo-Wop. It may just be a solidarity thing. It could also be Props’ “careful, you were just about to step in that giant asshole”
% Clean: 95%

S07E09:
Games Played: Let’s Make A Date, Whose Line, Scenes From A Hat, Song Titles, Doo-Wop, and Props
Fourth Seater: Chip
Possible Theories: I may have found a pattern- Song Titles takes place in a psychiatrist’s office, so maybe the Seed/MAX people don’t like to make fun of psychiatrist’s offices or mental illness. It could also be Ryan’s LMAD quirk.
% Clean: 90%

S07E20
Games Played: Number of Words, Scenes From A Hat, Dubbing, Greatest Hits, and Props
Fourth Seater: Brad
Possible Theories: Rights issues for Number of Words and all the shows mentioned in GH, especially with what these characters are placed into [Spock kills himself, ‘get off of McCloud’]. It could have also been Colin’s ‘premature ejaculation’ joke in SFAH.
% Clean: 80%

S07E21
Games Played: Let’s Make A Date, Duet, Bartender, Party Quirks, Irish Drinking Song, and World’s Worst
Fourth Seater: Chip
Possible Theories: I am 99% sure it was ‘Joe had a nice bone’ that prevented this one from being streamed. It could have also been Austin Powers rights issues, or Ryan’s hot-dog joke in PQ.
% Clean: 70%

S08E02:
Games Played: Weird Newscasters, Title Sequence, Scenes From A Hat, Greatest Hits, and Hoedown
Fourth Seater: Chip
Possible Theories: The absolute mess that was this central runner, and its eventual messy conclusion on Hoedown, probably made this one a no-go for release. The threat of Ryan’s unaired hoedown verse certainly didn’t help either.
% Clean: 85%

S08E03
Games Played: Questions Only, Sound Effects, Song Styles, Sportscasters, Props, Daytime Talk Show, Hoedown, and Stand Sit and Bend
Fourth Seaters: Brad and Patrick Bristow
Possible Theories: A number of lewd props suggestions? Possibly Brad’s pork fried rice joke in Hoedown, or Ryan’s priest joke?
% Clean: 95% Really, this one should have gone out.

S08E18
Games Played: Hollywood Director, Whose Line, Two-Line Vocabulary, Greatest Hits, and World’s Worst
Fourth Seater: Jeff
Possible Theories: I am very certain it’s Hollywood Director, which took long enough to make it to the states, that cost this one MAX privileges. Possibly also Ryan’s hairlip joke in GH.
% Clean: 80%

All of this is barred from MAX, and yet ‘200 pound snatch’, ‘Cosby and Hitler’, the Richard Simmons show, the Melissa incident and Wayne’s thong are all okay. I really don’t understand their censorship people at all.

Whose Offseason: Trust Us With Your Life Episode 1, or I Got a Baseball Glove

Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 5.35.23 PM.png

So. It’s come to this.

Trust Us With Your Life, or the Whose Line equivalent of the Jim Henson Hour.

The Whose Line story, in the summer of 2011, turns into something of a divorce settlement. Like, okay, Drew’s had custody for 10 years, and now due to work obligations, you’ve gotta go to your Uncle Dan and Aunt Mark’s for a while.

That’s ultimately what happens for the rest of this watchdown. After Drew had custody of improv on television for two instances, in 2004 and 2011, and both failed, Dan Patterson and Mark Leveson, who in the interim had success crafting another improv-esque long-running show in the UK, with Mock the Week, would reclaim the reins of the Whose Line franchise in the summer of 2011.

[For those of you wondering, yes, I’ve seen Mock the Week, and am a big fan, and have no plans to cover it for the blog because, like Have I Got News For You, covering a topical news show 15 years after the fact robs me of a slight bit of context, especially early on]

So, for backstory, Mock the Week is doing really well in 2011, even after the departures of Frankie Boyle and Russell Howard. In 2010, Dan and Mark get one of the regulars from MTW, Hugh Dennis, along with some standard 2010-era up-and-coming improv talent, to form a new improv comedy show called Fast and Loose for BBC. I will not be covering this one immediately, as I don’t particularly need to for context on TUWYL, but there are pieces of TUWYL in Fast and Loose, such as more exotic, borderline weird improv games, the introduction of Sideways Scene, featuring an area where performers have to lie on their backs while improvising, and the roulette of performers in the makeshift troupe.

Why is this show important to WL, or TUWYL? Well, two of the performers on Fast and Loose were Americans, and they were contacted by Dan Patterson to add another level of expertise to the show- they were Jonathan Mangum and Wayne Brady.

Granted, Wayne and Jonathan only did two shows, and one taping really, but it was enough to bring them back into the Angst circle with Dan and Mark, and it got them all to think about doing a US version. Ultimately, Fast and Loose would only last one season, for several reasons I’ll get to when I cover Fast and Loose, in…like 2024, but Dan and Mark had succeeded in getting Wayne back, and getting his attention, two things that Drew had failed at in a large scale over the course of his improv shows.

So Dan, Mark and Wayne shopped a US Fast-and-Loose to the networks, catching ABC’s attention again, 10 years after the last LA Whose Line tapings. The deal came with some stipulations- Dan and Mark insisted on filming in London, while ABC insisted on star power, making them revolve the improv around a guest star in every show, and bringing in their own talent to host, rather than using Hugh Dennis [who would have been great]. As the network insistence on guest stars didn’t faze them during S5 of WL, Dan and Mark agreed, and plotted to tape in Summer 2011.

In terms of talent, Dan and Mark secured Wayne and Jonathan, and easily fielded Colin Mochrie for regular spots, while also utilizing fourth-seaters ranging from trusted [Brad and Greg] to untrusted [iO Chicago personnel Craig Cackowski and Boom Chicago [and MadTV] alum Nicole Parker] to…unlikely [Believe me, folks, I’m as excited as you are to get to E8, and not just because it means the end of the run]

For guest performers, Dan and Mark reached into their rolodex from Whose Line, fielding if people wanted to make the flight out to London. Luckily one of their old 2001-era contacts, David Hasselhoff, was in London already doing Britain’s Got Talent, and two others, Florence Henderson and Jerry Springer, were more than willing to fly out. ABC used their clout to reign in two ratings-grabbing guest stars, Serena Williams and Ricky Gervais, and a mild get that was currently on their payroll, Mark Cuban, and peppered the other shows with London-area cheap gets, like the Osbourne kids and Jane Seymour.

And as for the host…I can imagine Dan and Mark suggested people who would be good for it, probably including people like Hugh Dennis and Greg Davies, and maybe even Clive Anderson, but ABC wanted a star. They wanted someone who A.) American audiences would recognize, B.) was on their payroll in some way, and C.) was well versed in the ways of improv.

Fred Willard was introduced to America on a comedy-variety show called Fernwood Tonite in the late 70s, and made a name for himself over the next 3 decades as a scene-stealing comic actor of the highest caliber in Christopher Guest’s films. Willard made his way to ABC not only as Phil Dunphy’s father on Modern Family, but as a recurring guest  and punchline on Jimmy Kimmel Live. And Willard’s comedic improv abilities on set, making any line into a great one, and riffing to the point of breaking his co-stars, were the stuff of Hollywood legend.

So, by this logic, and by principle, Fred Willard seemed like a great choice to host an improv program. Over the next eight episodes, we’re going to see why this potential didn’t exactly amount to actual greatness. In multiple ways, Fred Willard, who is wonderful in most things and whose death has made this harder to write, was Trust Us With Your Life’s worst enemy.

Yet the show’s troubles didn’t end there. I am not sure if ABC ever made clear their intentions for airing the show with Angst, but Trust Us With Your Life was always going to be a replacement program. Something a network could put on in November or March to replace failing programming, and with enough episodes to be easily burned off in no time. ABC wasn’t going to give TUWYL, and subsequently Dan and Mark, a fair shake, and if it wasn’t clear to Angst in June 2011, it would be made very clear soon after.

Trust Us With Your Life would eventually air in June 2012, an entire year after its filming, and all 8 episodes would be burned off two at a time over the course of 4 weeks in summer 2012. To say ABC had little to no confidence in Dan and Mark, even 24 year after they’d given the network a sleeper hit with Whose Line, was the ultimate understatement.

To prove their lack of confidence, only 6 of the 8 episodes of TUWYL would air. The last two would be made online exclusive. Was this ABC’s final resounding conclusion over whether or not audiences wanted short-form improv on television, or was this their knee-jerk response to the show’s host getting caught with his pants down at an LA porno theater? The answer to that question is…yes.

So there’s clearly a lot to talk about with this show, and a lot that doesn’t work, but…because it’s a Dan-Mark improv venture, and because it directly led to the return of Whose Line, I have to cover it. It’s gonna be tough, but we’re all gonna get through it together.

The premiere episode would feature Greg Proops as the fourth-seater, and tennis champion Serena Williams as the premier guest star.

The performer intros are done by Jonathan Mangum TRYING TO BE SNEAKY.

Within seconds of the camera arriving on Fred Willard, I am cringing. This is like tension on styrofoam for me. Fred Willard, nearly every second of this show, feels either awkward or uncomfortable reading from the teleprompter. Even the opening shot of him, he feels really done with this show, really ingenuine.

Rap It: Wayne’s playing Serena, the princess, and Jonathan is the protector sister making breakfast in the kitchen when there’s an accident, Colin enters as the caretaker sister, who’s furious, and finally Greg joins as the forgiving sister

We START with Rap It. This…game…is our best-foot-forward.

The ‘RAP IT’ soundbite, also provided by Jonathan…makes my skin crawl. But not as much as a similar sound bite we will hear next show.

So the difference between this and Kick It is that unlike the generic rap backing track, we get a more specific, trap-esque beat, more befitting of like a Lil Wayne or Drake. SO…RAP HAS EVOLVED SO MUCH in like 5 months since IAG taped.
Also, because the backing track has so much character, Wayne’s lyrics can’t have much character which means…if Wayne was involved in production, he must have been behind the idea to focus rap scenes less on lyrics and more on form, which is less funny.

So already I’m pissed.

I will say that Wayne’s salt rap gets him into a faster-paced Eminem-style rap that the audience eats up, but…again, they’re applauding likeness and form, not actual dialogue or lyrics. Which is the epitome of Wayne Brady on WL- his improv is empty, and it is all form and no substance, and he grew into a better improviser by CW by embracing more substantial, form-breaking jokes. Here…I’m not laughing at anything he’s doing because the joke is ‘yes, he’s rapping about salt and eggs’. Without actually saying funny things or clever lines about salt and eggs.

I like Jonathan’s move of, as the protector, immediately patting Colin down like a TSA agent the second he enters.
Colin, exasperated: “I’M YOUR *SISTER*.”
THAT is funny. Cause that’s actual good improv.

Colin’s backing track for his rap is clearly a knockoff of In Da Club by 50 Cent. I don’t listen to rap and I know this.

Colin’s rap lyrics are more basic than funny. Wayne does some dancing and attitude to distract from the fact that he doesn’t have a funny line either. This didn’t bother me as much on  ABC WL, but it does here.

Greg calls on his long-dormant Scene to Rap abilities to be semi-competent here, but once again, the joke is ‘white guys rapping and Wayne rapping really well’. It didn’t work in Scene to Rap, or in Kick It, and it doesn’t work here.

Also, note that the ending buzzer sounds A HELL OF A LOT LIKE THE BUZZER FROM MOCK THE WEEK. The likeness is uncanny.

So, one game in and I’m already reminded of everything I hate about this show. There’s barely anything funny, the scene doesn’t work with four people, the ‘rap it’ calling is too haphazard, the concept doesn’t work, and Wayne isn’t focusing on lyrics because he gets applause just from rapping well.

So far, Fred Willard conducting interviews with Serena is kinda okay. Like, he seems kinda into it, and he seems on his shit. It’s the improv-proctoring where I get pissed at him. Like, yeah, he’s good at interviewing and bouncing off of Serena, but the second he turns to the prompter and has to explain the  game he’s stiff as all hell

Hollywood Director: Wayne is Serena, who accidentally breaks her piggy bank and then smashes those of her sisters, moments later Colin and Jonathan, playing two of Serena’s sisters, enter and discover their piggy banks have been broken, their mother, played by Greg, marches in to sort things out

Okay, so it’s director…but with…all four people in the game…and FRED stopping the scene and calling styles? Just…call it Film and Theater Styles and take out two people. It doesn’t need to be this complicated, DAN AND MARK.

Wayne doing a field-goal kick with a piggy bank is a pretty good way to start this.

So far the only laughs are broad ones, like Colin and Jonathan collapsing into sharp murmurs once they realize their piggy-banks have been broken.

Greg: “Oh, look, the piggy-banks exploded on their own!”

The Elvises style does bring back Wayne’s excellent impression of the King. Which means once again, the laughs come from likeness.

I did get a big laugh from Jonathan and Colin entering:
Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 9.34.17 PM
And both doing really pathetic babbling. And this is honestly where the laughs come from- Wayne gets laughs from being really good at something, and Jonathan, Colin and Greg [and eventually Craig, too] get laughs from being pathetic at that same thing. Basically every show.

Greg also comes in and does an impressive Elvis. As he does.

As Fred resets, it is clear to me that this is, in fact, the Mock the Week buzzer sound. I just wish a better show was utilizing it.

Fred switching to ‘Jerry Springer Show’ does give me a good laugh from Fred throwing in a ‘JEEEERRRYYY’ yell. Again, Fred Willard’s best moments on film, and even on Kimmel, come when he looks clueless and ridiculous, so the guise of him needing to be on top of shit, which is ruined by him not being good at prompter-reading, isn’t working for me. With that ‘JERRRYYY’ move, at least he seems like he’s having a good time, and so does Serena now that you mention it.

Wayne, dropping piggy bank: “…DID YOU JUST LAUGH AT ME?” [Storms into audience]
Thank god, this game is getting funny

And after some good audience yelling with Wayne, Jonathan and Colin enter, and:
Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 9.47.12 PM.png
…table for Satan’s grandpa again

It just keeps getting funnier:
Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 9.48.24 PM
Yeah…format be damned, funny is funny

Greg, to camera: “Here’s today’s message: always share…unless you have sisters.”

A better scene, but still flawed, at least just from a game-format standpoint. Once it became a modified version of Director, I got it, and it just got funnier.

Sideways Scene: Wayne is Serena warming up against Jonathan, her Russian opponent, before the start of a women’s tennis final, Colin enters as the grumpy umpire

So as you can see, the mat looks different from how it looked on the Colin and Brad tour:
Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 9.54.48 PM.png
THIS is more like it. Less set pieces, more minimalistic, more to play around with.

The first funny moment happens when Jonathan tosses the ball to serve…and it rolls off the mat, giving the effect that it just floated into the air. Jonathan luckily has another ball, but Wayne’s just looking around, panicking.

Wayne and Jonathan do some pretty competent tossing back and forth while lying down, I’m kind of impressed

My first laugh of the scene in this game consistently comes from Colin awkwardly shuffling his shoulder through the door, just at some insane accelerated speed, and this playing is no different.

Then, to get to the middle of the court, Colin climbs over Jonathan. Like the theme, the laughs are from broad things.

Colin has a nice move as the ref:
Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 9.59.13 PM
Yes, no chair, but the thought is there. Serena loves this

Fred, as puzzled me the first time I watched this, throws in styles, starting with Twilight. Jonathan has a smart move and FLIES up to argue with Colin. THIS IS A SUBTLE MOVE. A SUBTLE APPLICATION OF A STYLE TO THE SCENE. REMEMBER THAT, CAUSE THERE WON’T BE MUCH MORE SUBTLETY.

Wayne starts howling and crawling over the net. He cracks up after a bit of this, debuting his…soon-to-be-classic ‘horny werewolf’ noise.

Fred: “Continue in the style of a prison break movie”
Colin: “I’M GOING OVER THE WALL.”
There’s another one!

An alright Sideways Scene. The styles didn’t add much, but there was enough goofiness going on to feel realized.

Putting Words Into Your Mouth: Serena, voice of Colin has come for dance lessons with a top dance instructor, played by Wayne, Jonathan, voice of Greg as the dance instructor’s jealous girlfriend enters

  1. IT’S DUBBING. CALL IT DUBBING. ‘PUTTING WORDS INTO YOUR MOUTH’ is too damn complicated and ridiculous, and it doesn’t help that Fred reads it off the prompter like it’s not the name of the game.
  2. Are we really that desperate to get Greg involved that we dub Jonathan as well

Colin: “FIRST, I’m a princess.”
…sort-of callback?
Colin: “Secondly, if you shout at me, I will cry. Thirdly, if you keep shouting at me, I will kill you.”
Serena’s acting is…not great here.

Wayne  at least has a fun accent. Wayne is ALL OVER this show, and it hasn’t been a flattering episode for him content-wise. I’d expect this if he had an executive producer credit, but the odd part is…HE DOESN’T!

Colin: “Let’s see what you’ve got little man.”
Wayne…lets this slam sink in, as Serena is, in fact, taller than him. He looks RIGHT AT COLIN, WHO GRINS.

Greg also brings a fun accent to the proceedings. Jonathan is a lot better at matching his acting to the dialogue

Wayne: “Please, do not fight over me without me videotaping it…”

Colin, on Wayne: “LOOK AT THIS MAN. HE’S NOT WORTH FIGHTING OVER. Look at him, he’s a WORTHLESS EXCUSE FOR A MAN.”
Wayne: [again  gives Colin a look]
Greg: “YOU ARE SO RIGHT, LET’S GO GET DRINKS.”

Colin says he’s gonna tell Jonathan how to get “a nice man, one that’ll respect and love you”, and on ‘love you’, Serena does a gestural motion to her ass. Greg is IN AWE of that move as Fred buzzes.

A better game, and with a lot of funny  bits and moments, but still fundamentally flawed.

Musical Tribute: All four sing  to Serena as a boy band

ANOTHER NEEDLESSLY COMPLICATED GAME NAME. IT’S SONG STYLES. Look, you can use Hollywood Director, so you’re not gonna get sued by…your own producers. USE SONG STYLES. JEEZ.

We have Cat Gray, which sounds like the name of a woman bit is actually a dude, who’s the house musician on Let’s Make a Deal. He’s no Laura Hall or Bob Derkach, but he’ll do

Jonathan: “she likes her balls fuzzy and yellow”

I got a laugh from Greg, Jonathan and Wayne all sitting down next to Serena, mid-song

Colin gets his own soulful voice, and he does some melodic singing, knowingly sounding kind of pathetic but still selling it.
“Oh, help me serve…I ain’t no perv.”
PFFF

Colin’s confused last line is “I got a baseball glove”, which is so bizarre and unfitting that it works, and Serena cracks up

As they head back to stage, Wayne looks at Colin and says, making sure he heard it correctly, “SHE’S MY…BASE. BALL. GLOVE.”

A very, very okay Song Styles. Not much material to work with, clearly.

Credits: Quickfire round of acquaintances from  Serena’s past wishing her good luck

Colin: “Hi, Serena, it’s your sister…JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT THE PIGGY BANK.”
THAT IS A GOOD CALLBACK

Jonathan, running past the camera: “HEY……IT’S ME…….THE BALLBOY!”
HA

Greg: “Hi, I’m Reese Witherspoon, I’m hoping to play you in the movie.”
This aged well.

Colin, turning his head back and forth: “Hi Serena…I’VE SEEN EVERY ONE OF YOUR MATCHES…”
HA
Colin, still going: “I NEED HELP.”

Overall: Uhhhhhhh…well…there were some good moments, like in Director, Sideways Scene and Dubbing, but the majority of tonight’s games felt limp, over-tampered-with, and slightly artificial. Serena had a good time, but that’s because the material played it very safe. Fred was fine as a host, better than I remember, but still had some awkwardness reading the prompter. Obviously Wayne was the star of the show, but his lack of actual improv substance pissed me off. Colin, Jonathan and Greg did what they  could, but they seemed to be in support in every game, especially Greg. Yes, there were good moments tonight, but even they felt broader and more disposable, than usual WL material. Effort was made, clearly, but we start with a dud, probably the first of many.

Best Performer: Colin had the best lines and moments.
Worst Performer: Greg only had bit-roles, sadly.
Best Game: Sideways Scene did the most right.
Worst Game: Rap It pissed me off from start to finish.
Guest Star Rating: 7/10. Serena enjoyed herself, but didn’t seem to have more than one dimension, and I don’t think the performers got a TON of good material from her in terms of inspiration for games. She was also a bit stiff in Dubbing.

COMING UP NEXT: Someone I have covered on this blog before, and his sister, guest. Our fourth seater is someone new to the fold that is an intriguing case. We introduce perhaps my least favorite element of the whole show, and believe me, the stuff in this episode came close.

Whose Offseason: Colin & Brad: Two-Man Group (2011), or I’m Not Finished With the Duck

As this is technically a project based on history and accurately telling the Whose Line story, I made sure recently that I’d be exhausting all of my options before dipping into Trust Us With Your Life, which…I am not at all looking forward to. I sent feelers out, checked for other WL-related improv projects in this era, and made it a point that they needed to be officially released tapings. No youtube rips.

On a whim, a reader brought me towards one such account that was easily accessible by way of Amazon Prime. Colin & Brad: Two-Man Group, from 2011

What fun! I get to cover a Colin and Brad show that I HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

[And it sort of counts as a movie so I can also log it on Letterboxd!]

To refresh you all, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, after the success of Whose Line,  the All-Stars tours, and GSS, came up with the idea to do a two-man improv show across the country. Unlike two-person improv, like what you’d see in Middleditch and Schwartz or in improv theatres across the land, they’d still do short-form material, and do a lot of WL-esque games, but they’d do different material that’d accommodate a two-man team with…nobody else in the wings. Beginning in the mid-2000s, Colin and Brad’s tours became fan-favorites quickly, as they would tour on-and-off for the next  15 or so years, up until the present day, where Colin has alternated his Brad shows with Hyprov shows [somewhere, Spence 12Medbe seethes].

Now, as I’ve mentioned here, I’ve seen Colin and Brad live before, back in 2016 at the Purchase Performing Arts Center in Westchester County, NY, and talked to them before the show. I know what the Colin-and-Brad show was like in 2016, and ironically  the bill had the same title as this special, Two-Man Group. I do not know how/if it differs in form and gameload from the 2016 show I saw. In fact, I don’t know anything at all about this special, other than it exists, and this was shot in Milwaukee. Which makes me wonder if this is the same place they shot Jeff Dunham’s Christmas Special.

[I know. I know. 2009 was a year I regret]

Right, we’re diving right in. I’m honestly interested to see what kind of quality we’re looking at here.

Already, something about the graphics, the announcing, the music, the way the stage is lit, just screams late-2000s for me, even though I know it’s from 2011.

Colin, for his opening spiel, asks the audience if anyone thinks improv has any hidden tricks so it’s not entirely made up, and a few people cheer
Colin: ‘alright. You people are bastards.”

Colin, as this is technically a family recording, changes his and Brad’s usual catchphrase to ‘let’s make up some crap’.

Moving Bodies: Belgium, chicken, and spiders

Colin, to Amy and Joe: “We are going to play a game that is very easy…uh, for Brad and I.”

Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 3.45.53 PM.pngColin: “so, Amy, because you and Brad are almost the same height, you’ll move him…”

Colin brings back the ‘if you  want him to come home with you, there’s a good area’ joke, which we’ve seen on IAG
Colin: “You’ll never find it, don’t worry…”

Colin, getting Belgium: “however popular, one of our better dialects…”

Colin: “and an  usual object…A CHICKEN!”
Brad: [cautious thumbs up]
Colin: ‘…that’s WACKY!”

Colin: “So, we have Belgium, chicken, spiders…pretty much writes itself…”

So Brad goes to the other side of the stage, and Amy DOESN’T GET THE MESSAGE THAT SHE SHOULD GO OVER THERE TOO. She’s still standing  near Colin. Joe’s even trying to motion to her.
Brad: “DING-FRIGGIN-DONG.”

Joe and Amy are already doing a great job having them gesture along with their dialogue.

Colin: “Up in my attic I have a pantry.”
Brad: “Oh…you keep chickens in  your attic?”
Colin: ‘…doesn’t everyone?”

I love Colin’s confused, surprised reaction  as Joe twists his body  almost the entire way  around without moving his legs.
Colin: “First I must crush my testicles…for no reason.”
And just the ensuing  motion afterwards, of Joe and Amy moving Colin and Brad across the stage as if they’re some sort of conga line

Colin challenges the movers to have them go up a spiral staircase, and…yeah, it works pretty well

Joe: [lifts Colin’s arm potentially to turn on a  lightswitch”
Colin: “…hmm, I wonder what that was I just did…OH, I WAS PUSHING ZE ATTIC DOOR UP.”
Brad: “yes, EVEN I KNEW ZAT.”

Joe for a moment forgets how to move Colin forward, going as so far to lift Colin, which again confuses the  hell out of him
Colin: “everytime I walk up that staircase I get a tingling in my  buttocks!”

Joe is at least very helpful to Amy, sort of motioning that she should move Brad’s head as well. This is why you get movers who know each other

Colin, as Brad goes over to the cooler box: “…I’m still squeezing my testicles.”
Joe: [moves Colin’s right leg]
Colin: “AAAAHHH”
HA
Joe even has Colin wipe his brow. HE’S GOOD.

The last bit of this is very funny, because Brad and Colin have to yell things several times [like Brad yelling ‘RUN AWAY’ and Colin yelling ‘I WILL GRAB THE CHICKEN’], and because several things are happening at once, both movers take a bit to realize it’s a command
Joe even moves Colin towards the staircase as he’s still going “I WILL GRAB THE CHICKEN”. It’s so silly. AND HE KEEPS DOING IT AS JOE HAS HIM GO DOWN THE STAIRCASE.
Brad, as he’s clearly being moved in a different direction than Colin: “How many different spiral staircases do you have here?”
Colin: “I DON’T KNOW”

A very  silly Moving People, and one  that got insanely funny towards the end, as it got more complicated. The movers did their best, but I’m glad Colin and Brad could continue to screw with them

Sound Effects: white-water rafting

I find it funny that Colin asks “who thinks they would be  good at the sound effects game?”. Sharing the knowledge with the audience. He did this at our show, and a friend of mine got picked to do SFX, and did a bang-up job.

This is the way they do SFX on the road- one eager person does all of Colin’s, while an entire row of audience members does all of Brad’s. It works pretty well, on experience

Also, odd that  Colin pronounces the word ‘serpentEEN’, when I thought it was made clear that Colin pronounced it 20SerpenTINE

Jeff’s SFX are pretty  good in the demo round, although it may be because he’s a Green Bay Packers fan and he’s been asked to imitate the sound of opening a beer. [Hey, if only there was a Mystery Science Theater reference for that…]
Colin makes the joke for me: “I think Jeff KNOWS that sound..”
Welcome to Wisconsin, Colin

Colin: “I have my bear-repellent call”
Jeff: “BAAAAAAARROOUGH”
Colin: ‘they are very disturbed by foghorns’

Brad has a rifle cocked, and gets a ‘KA-BLAWWAWAWAW”
Brad: “you see…this one shoots a small duck…it launches a bear, distracting the duck, the bear eats the duck, we get away”
Why is Brad always funny when he’s talking about animals??

Brad’s sprinkler noise is a bit too errant: “it works kind of like a lawn sprinkler”

As Brad pushes off, Jeff throws in a “wSSHHHHHHHHH”
Brad: “Oh, I think I just tore my pants..”

We get to Colin…stapling Brad’s pants together.
Brad: “…didn’t feel a thing, I took an Ambien earlier”

Colin and Brad paddle, and Jeff does a “PFFFFF” noise
Colin: “I’m just paddling in mud”

Colin: “HEY LOOK, AN EAGLE”
[CAW…CAW…]
Brad: “is that  the one with the crow in its mouth?”

As they get to the rapids, Jeff does these really good sounds of the waters
Brad: “will you patch  that hole in the raft?”
Colin: “Should I use the stapler.”
Brad: “NO.”
HA

Colin: “…the BIGGEST BEAR I’VE EVER SEEN.”
Jeff: “RRRRREEEEEEEAAAARRGHHHH”
Brad: “…he looks confused. Use your bear repellent car.”
Jeff: “AWOOOOGA”
Brad: “they really hate vintage cars!”

Colin: “He’s coming into the water, he’s coming after us”
Jeff: [rustling noises]
Colin: “HE’S GOT RICE KRISPIES!!”

Brad: “I’ve got my duck gun.”
“POWWWW”
Brad: “OH, I FORGOT TO LOAD IT WITH A DUCK.”

The concept of Colin needing to do CPR on a duck, and Jeff doing hyperventilating noises…
Colin just gives Jeff a look. I don’t blame him
Colin, not believing this: ‘wait…I’m not finished with the duck…”
Colin continues, and Jeff does the noise
Brad: “WAITWAITWAIT…he’s upside down!”
HA

Then, as Colin shoves the duck into the gun, Brad is very close to breaking himself

The kid who eventually does Brad’s SFX for the gun: “…BQUAAAPP”
YES

Brad: “That  duck had quite a smile on his lips”
And as they continue rowing, Colin and Brad just let what  just happened with the duck wash over them and try to regain composure

As they head for a waterfall, Jeff emits another confusing noise
Colin:
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 5.33.37 PMBrad: “…d’you hear my stomach growling?”

Colin gets an idea to put “an outboard motor on the front and go back…I knew this would come in handy with a raft…”

Jeff eventually starts a motor noise…and Colin watches it as it takes off autonomously
Brad: “YOU SHOULD HAVE TIED IT TO THE RAFT!”
Colin: “I DIDN’T KNOW!”

Brad tells Colin to stuck his butt in the  hole in the raft to plug it. Colin, knowingly, places a single finger into the whole: “a butt will not plug anything.”
Brad seems to like this line

Colin, after drinking a beer, gets a truly great burping noise courtesy  of Jeff, which he helps by doing horrified facial expressions as he keeps going
Brad: “STOPPIT, YOU’RE ATTRACTING THE BEAR.”
HA

Brad: “I’ll show you a burp, watch this”
Audience member, not prepared: [high pitched giggle]
Colin: “you okay?”
Brad: “I thought of a really funny joke while I was about to drink…”

Brad’s audience member also has an impressively long burping noise

A very silly, and very impressive SFX game. The entire duck bit felt classic, and I’m glad Colin went back to that

Sideways Scene: Dog Pooped on the Lawn; kung-fu soap opera

WAIT A MINUTE. I thought that Sideways Scene started with Fast and Loose, or even TUWYL, but here it is in 2011 on the Ryan and Colin tour. I am shocked. And…I’m glad I did this before TUWYL

Brad asks for a reason two neighbors might be mad at each other: ‘DOG POOPED ON THE LAWN? Okay, I cleaned that up a little bit…”

Here’s what we’re looking at:
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 5.50.46 PM.png
This looks a lot different from the TUWYL sideways scene, and even the CW one, because it’s not red, and it has props and a scene set up ready to go. Also, they’re going in with a style of ‘soap opera kung fu’, rather than having someone yell them out in progress, as that just seems needlessly complicated, especially when Fred Willard does it

I love Brad’s struggle to get the door closed, saying the door’s being blown open by the wind, accounting for gravity

Brad: “I am tired of cleaning up the CACA…OF YOUR SHITZU!”
Again, Brad is just so clever with these

One of the things I love about this game is how it makes physicality a lot more cartoony and easier to muster, like here:
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 7.34.19 PM

Plus, Brad doing a kung-fu flip involves him nearly crawling onto the set and nudging his way to the other side of Colin

A lot of the rest of this scene is admittedly a lot of broad kung fu movements and physical gags. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m missing the extra styles

There’s a nice bit where they try pouring a glass of wine sideways, and it ends up spilling onto the ‘wall’

Brad’s spilled so much over by Colin that Colin just starts flicking the empty bottle towards Brad to try  and soak him a bit

As Brad goes to leave, the door nearly falls on top of him

Not a great Sideways Scene, as things would be  retooled a bit once we get to Dan&Mark productions

Two Headed Expert:

This one we don’t get an intro for, we just get right in- Colin and Brad sitting next to each other, and doing a presentation with every other word. “If you have any  questions, feel free to ask them of”
Colin: ‘…us”

There is actually an explanation- Colin and Brad are an expert on love and relationships, and they’ve opened it up to the audience to ask them things, speaking one word at a time. Clever.

The first guy has a good one: “is it better to be right, or is it better to be  happy”
Brad: “being”
Colin: “right”
Brad: “is”
Colin: “overrated”
HA

Another guy asks for pick-up lines for a girl in his class.
Brad: “HEY…”
Colin: “you.”
HEH

Audience member: “going bald is kind of a hereditary thing in my family, is balding really a bad thing for the ladies?”
Brad: “Balding
Colin: “is
Brad: “terrible….
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 7.47.44 PM.png
This is why I love their working relationship
Colin: “if”
Brad: ‘you”
Colin: “are”
Brad: “CANADIAN”
OH NO

Audience member: “what’s a good way to come out of the closet?”
Brad, of course: “open”
Colin: “the”
Brad: “door”

This one has aged well: “what if my partner wants to add a third person to the mix?”
POLYAMORY IN 2011??
“Have a wild time with them both, because variety is the spice of life, and three’s not company, it’s
Colin: “FUN”

Guy: “Around how much is it gonna cost for a night with both of you?”
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 7.55.11 PM
Brad: “we”
Colin: “are”
Brad: “absolutely”
Colin: ‘free.”
Random Audience member, when that applause dies down: “TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS”
Brad:
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 7.59.29 PM.png

Some smartass: “how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck…could chuck…wood?”
Brad: “I’VE”
Colin: ‘got”
Brad: “wood.”
What makes this game work so well is they can mind-meld and figure out the punchline each of them are going for

Finally, some guy: “does the female g-spot truly exist?”
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 8.02.45 PM
“To a normal person, finding the g-spot may be difficult, but if you have a GPS, then you are likely to find it”
PERFECT

A really, REALLY fun round of that, and a great testament to how good Colin and Brad are at working with each other.

Dubbing Jeopardy

Colin: “Can we have you two right there…no, both of you, nice try…NICE TRY SELLING OUT THE HUSBAND”

Colin explains that as they do this game show scene, Jennifer and Mike can move their lips as much as they want, “you’re just screwing Brad and I”

Once they set up the premise…OH DAMN, IT’S JEOPARDY. THEY’RE DOING JEOPARDY. Only they have audience members as the other two contestants, and Colin and Brad are dubbing them. This…seems tricky, but it could work

Jennifer, not entirely getting the game, once Brad starts talking, honks her horn. “OH, YOU SCARED ME, ALEX. I’M AFRAID OF GAME SHOW HOSTS…”

Brad, as Jennifer: “MY NAME IS JOSEEPHUS PESCATORE.”
Jennifer, not believing this, buckles a bit

Brad, as Jennifer: “Well, I’m a part-time martial arts instructor, and a FULL TIME exotic dancer…”
Colin: “d’you ever get the two mixed up”
Brad: “Not really, well, one time there were a lot of bruises after a lap dance…”

Mike, as Brad does his for #2, moves his lips, thinking he’s up
Colin: “Excuse me, contestant #3, why are you moving YOUR lips?”
HAHAHAHA
Brad: “IS HE MAKING FUN OF ME?”

Brad, in a very Russian accent: “My name is…Grabsack Turnandcough”
Mike: [moves away from Brad]
YEAH, THIS GUY HAS COMEDIC TIMING TOO

Colin, as Mike, is a gruff-voiced ‘alphabet interpreter’, which is a very Colin idea. “I go to schools and teach children the alphabet by using my body to make the shapes of the letters”, and Mike does a bunch of them
Brad: “He just spelled out ‘Syracuse'”
HA

Unlike IAG Jeopardy, the categories are on  cards, rather than contestants making them up, cause…y’only have two people really and it’s better to not really know each other’s go-tos

Ironically, the first  category Colin has is ‘elements of the periodic table’, which was Drew’s stand-by category in every single IAG Jeopardy

Brad also makes a nod to Drew/Kathy, for his answer for Nitrogen: “what is the opposite of Daytrogen”

I love the runner of Colin  consistently getting Jennifer, as Joseephus’, name wrong, and Brad always calling him out on it in his squawky voice

Brad has a similar one for bratwurst: “what is far inferior to brat-BEST”

I find it very  funny that Colin pronounces it ‘E-Mew’, rather than Emu, as E-Mew I always thought was the European pronunciation.

For Emu, nobody seems to have anything, and Brad decides to honk in FOR MIKE, screwing over Colin. As Colin  goes over to Mike, he mutters ‘oh, great”
Colin’s answer for Emu doesn’t seem like he should have been worried: “how do cows communicate on the internet?”
SO GOOD

Brad, for Zeus: “where do they keep all the animals?”
HA

Once again, for Chippewa, Brad honks and points to Mike, screwing over Colin. Mike jokingly checks his honker. Colin takes a while, and goes “WHAT…DOESN’T RHYME…WITH VERTICAL.”
…good ol Colin and his confusing logic
Colin: “well, technically that is correct…”
Brad: “That seems like cheating to me…”

Colin chuckles at ‘things associated with outer space’: “…popular one, Uranus”
Brad: “Where is the worst place to hide your car-keys?”

The answer for Monet was one I kinda saw coming, but Colin does it well: “what do french people pay with?”

Colin: “WAH-WAH-WAH-WAH- well, that sound I just made means we have no budget, and it’s time for Final Jeopardy”
Good variation on that SFX gag from IAG that rarely worked for me

Brad, as Jennifer: “I’m gonna bid both of my points, and…a lap dance.”
Colin: “Okay, we’ll I’m pulling for ya…”

Colin, getting his for anatomical terms, shakes his head, and goes “okay…”, goes back over to Jennifer, and reveals “the answer is penis”
Of course it is
Jennifer: [honk]
Colin: “WELL DONE”

Brad, as Jennifer, for penis: “what shows up everytime I do a lap dance”
Of course

Colin screws over Mike by making him spell out ‘Reginald’ with his body…twice.
Brad: “…he spelled Syracuse again”
HA

Colin, for Octopus, gives a dated joke that  also is kind of amazing, for Mike: “where did all of the Octomom’s children come from?”
WOW. W O W.
Then, as the audience responds, Colin just points to Mike, sort of saying ‘wasn’t me’

Brad: “I am going to wager all of my points, and a painting that I did, of Red Skelton as a buffalo”
Colin just shakes his head. A rare moment of someone throwing Colin

OH NO
For ‘spices and herbs’, Colin gets ‘cumin’, for Brad. WE ALL KNOW WHAT’S COMING.
Brad, thankfully, subverts and goes for “what will she be doin’ round the mountain?”
THERE. SUBVERT WITH WHOLESOMENESS. GOOD!

A really strong  Jeopardy, with a lot of really nice answers, and without IAG’s editing mishaps.

Job Interpretation:

I don’t know this one, but Brad will be interviewing Kevin the mall-cop, and “Colin will be interpreting for the hearing impaired”

Brad: “Good evening and welcome to All Types of Cops”
Colin: [mimes chomping on a donut]

Brad gets him to explain Victoria’s Secret stores so Colin has to mime all that
Brad: “D’you know if they sell crotchless panties there?”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 11.49.26 AM.png

Colin’s mime for ‘velcro crotchless panties’ is pretty great

Kevin: “Sometimes I accidentally fall down  the escalator, it’s kind of painful”
Colin: [mimes smoking a joint and getting on the segway, and then riding a segway down an escalator]

Brad, of course, keeps explaining this so Colin has to do the mime again

Kevin mentions walking cane stores in the mall
Brad: “and what kind of people show up at the walking cane store?”
Kevin: “people who usually can’t walk”
Colin: [falls over]

I do love the revelation that they also sell segways here, so Colin just brings back the segway mime, which I really like

Brad says ‘electric chair’, and Colin mimes ‘the electric chair’, and Brad clarifies that he means more of a recliner or heating chair and not “a chair that executes prisoners, because that would be inhumane”

A goofy round, but there wasn’t much to this one.

Torture Round: Questions/If You Know What I Mean/Letter Substitution [S is now K]; Coal Miners

This takes a lot of explanation, but it’s like Options, only at Freeze, the scene takes on a different limit, like Questions Only, Only Euphemisms, or Change Letter. It’s…very interesting

Colin asks Brad to cover his shift: “It’s my 30th anniversary, and I wasn’t going to invite you so I just figured you could take my shift…’

The Questions Only portion works because it lets them get into specificity over this shift-covering, and it also gives them some emotion and nuance. And the speed at which Brad and Colin do this is genuinely impressive, the type of speed that works BECAUSE they’re all warmed up and into the game, rather than using QO as a warm-up like on WL.

Colin: “Did that shaft seem longer than usual…if you know what I mean?”
AND WE’RE OFF
Brad: “The shaft gets longer all the time if you know what I mean. Some days you just can’t believe how long the shaft is if you know what I mean…Sometimes a shaft seems colder if you know what I mean…”
Colin: “Sometimes I worry, cause we really should have a back entrance…[PALPABLE PAUSE] if you know what  I mean”

Brad: “I’d be happy to go through your rear entrance if we need to get away from the large shaft, if you know what I mean.”
Brad is so good at this

Brad mentions making a hole
Colin: “What if there’s a river on the other side of the hole? I don’t want water squirting out of my hole all over our shaft.”
JESUS

Colin, after a moment of not thinking of any more, sighs, looks at Emma and goes ‘FREEZE’.

Brad is definitely having some trouble with letter substitution, because so many words use ‘s’
Colin at least edges around the letter, saying “I got my wife…a diamond ring”. I love the moments where they realize what words are okay  to use.

Brad: “…khe will be in  for QUITE A K-HOCK”
HA
Emma loses it
Brad: “YOU  WILL KHEE A LOOK OF K-HOCK ON HER FACE…”
HA

Colin: “I love to French Kikk her”
HA

The rest of that  section is basic, and has some good modified dialogue, and Colin and Brad know where the funny is with this

Colin, on his sister: “HER NAME IK…PRIKKY”
Brad: “PRIKKY?”
Colin: “IT IK KHORT FOR…”
Brad: “…Prikcilla?”
Even this works

There is some good escalation, including the detail that Brad has to go to a ‘koccer game’, and it leads to some good modified cursing [Colin throwing in an ‘akkhole’]. Brad finishes it off with a long streak of cursing and skillfully done substitutions, and it ends on a fun note.

Not perfect, but amusing.

Mousetraps: Someone Has Taken Someone Else’s Mail: Starting with Q

As Brad explains this, two go off, one on Colin and one on a  stagehand
Brad: “…248…LIVE MOUSETRAPS…2 not so live”
Of course

Brad explains that they’ll be doing this game as Alphabet, making it trickier on them for the improv. They’ve used this in future shows, and it works

UNLIKE future shows, Brad explains this scene will be in the style of an opera, meaning everything will be sung. Wow.

Even worse, 21 mousetraps will be  suspended in mid-air. This is an element that I believe was not present at my show, and this is kinda impressive

Already, the fight-or-flight from both is present as they get towards each other. Colin’s doing a line ‘IT SEEMS THAT I AM MISSING’ and steps right on  one, then frantically jumps out of the way and finishes the line ‘SOME MAIL’. He then flails his arms slightly to make sure none of the hanging ones hit him.

Colin: “UNDERSTAND-AAGH”
Poor Colin

Colin, as he keeps moving, just keeps running into all the suspended ones.

Brad has a funny read where he backs right onto one and yelps in pain in the middle of a line.

Also, Brad is the most mischievous in this game, but I love when he swings a mousetrap towards Colin, it misses him and swings back towards Brad, HITTING him.

There’s a few seconds of incoherent babbling, then Brad FINALLY hits Colin with one

Colin, in response, a few seconds later, hurls a hanging one towards Brad’s crotch. It bounces harmlessly off

Colin, who’s been flailing around for 30 seconds, hitting too many, hasn’t said the next line yet.
Brad: “Don’t you have something to say?”
Colin: “Eat me.”

Colin gets a  few and flings them at Brad, again getting a direct hit low

Colin: “I see it sticking out of your shirt pocket”
Brad, knowing this could be a trap, very carefully places his hand there, as Colin is in flinging distance.

Colin tries getting a line out while tangled in like 4 or 5 hanging ones, and he’s BARELY holding onto composure

Brad: “You are to blame for several things, including skipping letters of the alphabet…”
HA

By the end, Colin’s flipped up his goggles and just grabs a few and flings them at Colin.

Some audience member: “HIS GOGGLES ARE OFF”
Brad: [lifts up his]
Colin: [lifts his down acting like nothing  happened]
HA

A haphazard but alright Mousetraps. Not as good as some of the ones we’ve seen, but alright.

Overall: Yeah, that was a Colin  and Brad show. I can see why they retired some of these games from the lineup, as Sideways Scene, Job Interpretation and Torture Round weren’t as good as some of the other, stronger games, like Jeopardy, SFX, and Two-Headed Expert. Still a pretty fun special, and the bulk of it was made up of memorable lines and moments. It just petered off a bit towards the end.

Best Game: Sound Effects, an undeniable classic
Worst Game: Sideways Scene, but it’d be better in the studio.
Who Had the Better Night?: Brad was stronger in several games.

 

COMING UP NEXT: I’ve prolonged it enough. We head to the UK for a reunion with Dan and Mark and…a very perplexing 8-show series.

Whose Offseason: Drew Carey’s Improv-a-Ganza Episode 40, or It’s a Rather Drunk Day

This one went too quickly.

I genuinely adore this series, and can say that roughly 3/4ths of it is made up of solid shows, which is a really good ratio for an improv show. This show gave opportunities for different improv dynamics, different improv games, and spotlights for performers like Jeff Davis, Jonathan Mangum, Kathy Kinney and Heather Anne Campbell.

And now we’ve reached the last episode, and I have to wander into Trust us With Your Life and CW Whose Line, which I don’t know as well, and I don’t think are as consistent, arguably. This is gonna be tough.

The reason why this is tough that with this episode, 3 huge figures leave the Whose Line story, 1 temporarily and 2 for good. And all three contributed a ton to get us here.

One is Kathy Kinney, whose contributions this season grew on me more as we went on, and who proved that you could be a female improviser without pandering too hard to demographics and audiences. Not every improviser looks like Kathy Greenwood- some look like Kathy Kinney, and despite what Youtube commenters think, Kathy provided some of the most dignified and funny improv moves of the season. Like with Greenwood, you just weren’t looking.

Another is Chip Esten, who would leave the picture for 6 years after this show in order to focus on his priorities for ABC’s Nashville. Chip, despite his troubles during the back half of IAG, was a landmark musical performer whose quick wit and excellent lyricism brought out the best in his scene partners, and made for some really strong scenes throughout ABC WL, GSS and IAG. I’m gonna miss covering him for a bit.

And the final, and biggest piece, leaving the project at IAG Episode 40 is the man above the marquee, Drew Carey. After IAG, Drew wouldn’t produce another improv TV series, and would focus on Price is Right and later his show on Underground Garage. Say what you will about Drew’s improv abilities, and I certainly have on this watchdown, but without Drew, we don’t get US Whose Line, and we don’t get the Whose Line fandom. Drew made hosting look easy, he took slams with a grin, he worked well with just about everybody, and despite his subconscious sexism that came out in desk jokes, he was a fun host, and a great performer at times. Covering his WL, and his other series, was a lot of fun because of how much fun he was having at the helm.

And now we go into the last of Improv-a-Ganza, a show from the white taping, and a farewell to a few performers and a few games.

Greatest Hits: Ryan and Greg sell Songs of the Doctor, sung by Jeff and Chip

Greg gets doctor from the audience. Ryan, who’s gotten doctor a million times, has him ask “any particular type of doctor?”, and the audience member  replies “gastroenterologist”
Ryan: “SO DOCTOR IT IS.”
HA

Ryan: “Hi, I’m Neil Patrick Harris.”
of course
Greg: ‘AND I’M THE GUY FROM STYX”
Chip, off-camera: [loses it]

Ryan: “I love my boy bands”
Greg: [moves his stool away from Ryan]

Ryan: “Should you really be called a band if you don’t play an instrument? Or should you really  be called a boy when you’re 52?”
A casual age drop here. Nothing to the extent of Ryan’s “I’M 42 YEARS OLD” from Greatest Hits in the S5 tapings

Jeff and Chip dancing about the stage right at the start of this number makes me sad that this is probably the last Chip-Jeff number we’re gonna get for a while. Which is very  sad

The lyrics are pretty basic, but the harmonies and musical ability coming from this song is pretty impressive.

Thank god there are cameras in the audience so we can get this shot:
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 12.13.28 PM.png

Chip absolutely nails a rap break in the song. Again, I’m really gonna miss him

A really good GH, and a strong number to go out on.

First Date: Kathy and Drew, with assistance from the rest of the troupe, act out the first date of Taryn and Michael

Last broadcast first date, though it’d continue to be a staple of Whose Live, much to the behest of certain whosers.

Chip asks for a couple who’s in love, then goes over to Taryn and Michael and notes “I saw ONE hand…”

Chip asks where they met for their date
Michael: “coffee shop”
Drew: “A COP HAVIN’ A CUP OF COFFEE…”
Taryn, not helping: “AND DONUTS.”

Kathy: “HOLY CRAP, YOU’RE HOT, YOU WANNA GO OUT FOR A CUP OF COFFEE?”
Taryn: [ding]

Jeff, as Drew’s roommate: “what’d she look like?”
Drew: “Hot…GIANT TITS.”
Michael: [infinite dinging]
Man, I’m not gonna miss Drew making everything about sex…
Jeff, as he is prone to do, does not put out the fire: “BIG, BIG, BIG, BIG TITS??”

Greg, as Kathy’s friend: “You must have dated every cop on the Tallahassee police force!”
Taryn: [honk]
Kathy: “I tried!”
[they both look at Taryn, and Kathy reshuffles]
Kathy: “No, I was working my way through the, uh, clergymen…”
[honk]
Kathy: “Just the frat guys and the football team”
Taryn, honking: “HELL NO”

I love the detail that Kathy namedrops Starbucks, and…that get dings, so that was where they met
Greg: “You must be a big spender! That last guy took you to subway!”

Jeff: “Let me give you some advice because I know you’ve never been with a woman before”
Michael: [hesitantly dings, then honks a few times]
Jeff, sighing, takes Drew upstage: “…WHEN A  MAN LOVES A WOMAN…”
PFFFF
Jeff: “You gotta treat her with respect…”
Michael: […honk]
Jeff: “DO WHAT YOU WAAAANT…”

Kathy comes in and HUGELY EXAGGERATES HER CHEST SIZE, which is a fun callback

Kathy: “I’ve been with thousands of guys, so don’t worry”
[honk]
Kathy: “I’m a virgin, too…”
Michael [casually dings Taryn’s]

Kathy orders a complicated beverage while facing the audience
Ryan, to the side: ‘…Okay…you’ll have to order over here, though…”

Drew: “Just a plain coffee with cream, please.”
Ryan: “Oooh, that’s a tough one…just…plain…coffee…”
Ryan is stealing  this scene, for the record
Ryan: “Sorry, we’re closing for the day…”

Drew: “Hey, now that we’ve had our coffee, wanna go back to my apartment and have sex?”
MULTIPLE DINGS FROM BOTH

A pretty good First Date. Doesn’t top Poo Beans for me, but this had a lot of fun  details throughout.

Sound Effects: Ryan and Chip; skydiving; Mason and Greg do SFX

I do love how much fun Greg’s having with an audience member named Greg. Just jokingly forgetting his name.

Mason tries doing Chip picking up a kitty, and does a very  literal and sarcastic “PURR.”
Ryan: ‘very good, SHE’S VERY GOOD…’

SFX Greg does a HUGE, SLOPPY noise for Ryan’s saw
Ryan: “It’s the electric saw. I’m using the wet, electric saw. Kids, don’t try this at home.”
Greg: “I really don’t see what could go wrong…”

Greg gets ‘skydiving’ from the audience, for dangerous occupation
Ryan, relieved: “I thought he said ‘al qaeda’…”

Chip: [tries to start propeller]
Mason: ‘…pff”
Ryan: [rides in]
Greg: “AAAAAAAGGHHH”
AND WE’RE OFF.
Chip: “I didn’t know it was ‘ride your wife to work day'”
Ryan: “THANK YOU, SARA, I’LL BE BACK IN A COUPLE HOURS…”

Chip notes it’s windy. Greg  does some wind  with a  burp thrown in
Ryan: “it’s…a rather drunk day.”
HA
Chip: “the weatherman said it was partly gassy…”

Greg has a surprisingly good propeller noise. Ryan is surprised: “GET IN, QUICK, BEFORE IT STOPS!”
PFFFF
Greg: [propeller slows]
Ryan: “…aghhhh, get out and start it again. I knew that was gonna happen”
At least Greg  is playing  into the comedy

Chip: “Lemme talk to the tower- ‘UH, TOWER, ARE YOU THERE? COME IN’
Mason: “sssssssss”
Chip: “oh, they’re using the bathroom…”
HA

Chip: “TOWER, WE MUST KNOW, DO WE HAVE CLEARANCE?”
Mason: “NO.” [cracks up]
On one hand, it’s a ‘no’ improv move, but on the other hand it’s a subversion of expectations. After judges’ ruling, this IS, in fact, funny
Chip:
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 1.42.19 PM

Ryan: “I’m gonna try MY tower…”
Chip: “my tower’s pissy…”

Greg, to his credit, answers professionally
Ryan: “Yeah, are we clear for parachuting, THE OTHER TOWER SEEMS TO THINK WE’RE NOT.”
Perfect
Greg: “You have temporary clearance.”
Ryan, impressed: “THANK YOU, FELIX.”
Chip: “Lemme try this, HEY MY TOWER, COME IN.”
Mason: “…ask again later.”
PFFF. BOTH OF THESE SFX PEOPLE UNDERSTAND COMEDY.

Ryan, preparing Greg: “The SUCTION that happens when I open this door…especially on a drunk day like this…”
Greg: “RRRRRRRRUP”
Chip: “IT IS HAMMERED OUT.”

Greg does this spitting noise
Ryan: “QUICK, TRY TO JUMP ON THAT HORSE”
I was gone at that

Ryan: “I’m not sure if my chute’s even open”
Greg: “PFFFFFRRAAAHHHHHHHHH”
Ryan: “OH MY GOD, I PACKED IT WITH AN ELEPHANT”
Chip: “IT’S A PACK-ADERM”
YOU SLY DOG YOU

A very funny SFX. I think the Ryan-Chip ones just work really well because they’re awesome at reacting. Also, these two SFX people were very funny, and had a lot of silly things happen.

New Choice: Ryan and Greg; a nice restaurant; Jeff calls

The last scene of the last show, and the last New Choice.

Jeff: “You, in the blonde hair and the sparkly bracelet, what’s your name? BJ???”
Greg:
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 1.58.20 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 1.58.28 PM.png
PERFECT
Drew: [comes over and waves]
Ryan: [wipes sweat from Jeff’s brow]
Bob: [plays dramatic, tense music]
This is so damn funny

Jeff, high-voice: “…SO BJ-[cough]”

Ryan, for his opening miming, pours several glasses of wine…and drinks the rest of the bottle

Greg: “You guys open for breakfast?”
Ryan: “we’re open 24 hours a day”
Jeff: ‘new choice”
Ryan: “weeee are closed….but I’d be happy to make you something, sailor…”
Both Jeff and Greg chuckle at that line

Greg gets on a NC run of what he’d love, and lands on a sung “I LOOOVE…SPRING TIME.” AND BOB COMES IN WITH SOME MUSIC FOR THIS. I am gonna miss Bob, too

Ryan, NC’d a bit: “I’d like you to turn around for a bit”
Greg, shrugging, does so, bending over a bit”
Ryan: “…WAFFLES!”
Dear god

Ryan: “you’re wearing nothing but rollerskates and lederhosen”
Jeff: ‘new choice”
Ryan: “you’re wearing nothing but chaps”
Jeff: ‘new choice”
Ryan: “…I’M wearing nothing but  chaps”
Jeff: ‘new choice”

Ryan finally lands on: “I…want you for the rest of my life.”
Jeff: […]
Ryan: “I’M SORRY…I said something I probably shouldn’t have but [RIGHT AT JEFF] I HAD NO CHOICE, REALLY.”
I love when  Ryan does little meta moves like this in this game

Greg: “Do you mind if I put my syrup on your waffles?”
Jeff: ‘new choice”
Greg: “Do you mind if I put my ice cream on your ala mode?”
Jeff: ‘new choice”
Greg: “I wanna sprinkle your jello.”
Jeff: ‘new choice”
Greg: ‘pumpkin pie?”
Jeff: ‘new choice”
Greg: “I’m wearing it.”
PFFF
Jeff: ‘new choice”
Greg: “I have a cat in my slacks.”
Chip: [facepalms]

Ryan: “No one’s ever brought me a cat before..”
Greg: “Well I didn’t know I was gonna see you, but I always carry a cat in my pants just in case…”

Ryan: “I’ve gone out with 48 men in the last 2 months”
Jeff: ‘new choice”
Ryan: “i’ve gone out with…2 men in the last 48 months”
PFFF
Jeff: ‘new choice”
Ryan: “I’M MAKING THE BIG SWITCH.”
[…]
Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 2.23.11 PM
Greg: [makes horrified cat noise]
Ryan: “NOT CATS!!!!”
Oh god

Greg, NC’d has a really fun read of “I WANT YOU TOOO…PUT THOSE WAFFLES ON A PLATE…”
Ryan, thrown by Jeff’s silence, begins to do that: “That seems pretty easy”. He’s already on edge
Ryan: “I’ll hold your cat…”
He then gets an idea, throws the cat on the griddle, pulls it up, and goes “LOOK, WAFFLE-CAT!”
And then, as Greg and Jeff let that sink in, Ryan just puts syrup on it and licks at it. Dear god…

AND THAT IS HOW THE LAST GAME OF IAG ENDS. WITH WAFFLE CAT, AND RYAN,  after being thrown by Jeff, Greg, Colin, and nearly everybody on the show, finally throwing Jeff AND Greg, and out-weirding everybody. That is a fitting  ending to a 40-episode series if I’ve ever seen one.

Oh yeah, New Choice was pretty good. A little light on plot, but the Greg-Ryan combo lifted it.

Overall: An insanely strong show to end the run with. Nothing felt bad or unfunny or underdeveloped, these were four very strong games that brought out the best in the entire crew without any lapses in improv moves. New Choice is probably the most famous, but GH, Sound Effects and parts of First Date are all among the highlights of the run, and mark some of the best moments of this taping. This is also a great sendoff for Chip, who’s solid in both of his games, and great a showcase for Ryan and Greg.

Best Performer: Ryan Stiles, for being all over this show and providing some of the best improv moments.
Worst Performer: Drew, in his sole game of the night, took a backseat to Kathy, and Jeff
Best Game: Sound Effects. SO FUNNY.
Worst Game: First Date was the closest to plain ‘good’, but I even still liked it.
Best Dynamic: Ryan and Greg had two games worth, and both counted.
Best Host: Jeff, for prattling with BJ late.

IMPROV-A-GANZA SUPERLATIVES:
Best Episode: E6, featuring a really good Freeze, DAMNED CYNTHIA DOING SOUND EFFECTS, and the immortal Flap My Jack, cracking me up all the way through, and providing so many small improv moments.
2nd Best Episode: E21, most notably featuring the Forward Reverse in Cabo San Lucas [PARTAAAAAY], but also featuring an Options that always cracks me up, a GH where all three are in sync, and a truly powerful Bob’s Call
3rd Best Episode: E1. Right from the getgo this show impressed me, with a drunken Moving People, a career high Song Styles, Wayne  and Jonathan’s duo in Kick It, and a great Freeze to start off.
Worst Episode: E10, which pissed me off far beyond only doing 3 games, and had a lot of suspect moves from Sean, Drew and Kathy, while barely having anything I liked, even  including Mousetraps.
Episode Most Worthy of Another Look: E12. Yes, the HELEN *FROZE* one, but this First Date, Sentences and Freeze are all really underrated, even by this show’s standards
Best Performer: Jeff Davis, who had the most show wins, and like in GSS, impressed me the most all show. Jonathan Mangum had an early lead, though
Worst Performer: Sean Masterson. A long fall from IAS, yes, but…he didn’t feel as energetic and inspired as before, and now felt yelly and overwhelming.
Best One-Taping Performer: Heather Anne Campbell, nudging out Wayne Brady for coming  off like a pro without needing special treatment, and nailing what was essentially an audition for CWLIIA.
Best New Innovation: Greatest Hits mobility, and having more of an ensemble quality, without just having Colin  and Ryan and Wayne do it every time. It’d be preparation for a few choice shows in CW version.
Best Dynamic: Ryan and Jeff. There were a ton of good ones, like Jeff-Chip, Colin-Kathy, Jeff-Heather, Ryan-Greg, and of course Colin-Ryan, but we saw the Ryan-Jeff combo a ton, and it always seemed to pay off, culminating in scenes like E21’s Forward/Reverse, or E35’s IT LEADS ME TO WONDER scene.
Best Host: Ryan Stiles, who came off like a pro everytime he had to lead in a game.
Performer We Wish Wasn’t Done After IAG: Drew Carey. Despite his flaws, I’m gonna miss him.

COMING UP NEXT: I was gonna go right into Trust Us With Your Life, but a reader pointed out that there is, in fact, a wholesale filmed version of a WL stage show that fills the gap between IAG and TUWYL. It features one of the most venerable improv duos of the show’s canon, and it’s available on prime, and I’ve never seen it before.

Whose Offseason: Drew Carey’s Improv-a-Ganza Episode 39, or Is Everything You Say a Premise??

This episode marks the last of 6 shows from the purple tapings, giving us the last IAG appearances of Colin and Brad, who’ve had nice showings here, and will be missed…for the .5 seconds I’m not covering them in between this and TUWYL. Brad doesn’t appear at all in this show, as has already essentially bowed out, which is sad.

Greatest Hits: Colin and Kathy sell Songs of the Gas Pumper, sung by Chip and Jeff

KATHY presents? Again, score for switching things up

Colin, in another very prophetic joke: “we’ll return you to your movie about transsexual chariot drivers in Been Her, in  just a second…”

Kathy and Colin cast themselves as that ‘great singing duo, Donny and Dinny’
Colin: “We had great hits like…OOOH…and EEE…AND?”
Kathy: “aaah”
Colin: “…sometimes y.”
EVEN THIS WORKS

Colin: “I’m a big fan of the 80s, of course, I guess because I was born then…”
Jeff: “…1880s…”
OOOOOOHHHHHHH
Colin, smirking: “…I’m also a big fan…of Pat Boone music-”
Jeff: [dies]
Chip: “80s is good…”

Colin takes an extra few seconds to get the title: “…WIPE THE WINDOW…HANG THE FRESHENER….LET’S GO.”
Chip, as Bob starts up, is still sounding out the title, looking at Colin: “…WIPE THE WINDOW…”

Then:
Screen Shot 2020-07-02 at 7.56.26 PM.png

From one opening singing of the title, they have the style down…and once they get to ‘let’s go’, Chip cracks up

Just the silly walk Jeff is doing, just sort of strutting over while keeping his torso straight, is so funny

For 80s numbers, you can see these two go into specific impressions- Jeff always does Simon Le Bon, Chip always does Robert Smith from the Cure, and they’re both great here

Jeff: “HANG A FRESHENER, HANG IT FAST, I HAD A BURGER AND MY CAR SMELLS LIKE ASS”
[facepalm]

Jeff and Chip just keep rolling out the chorus, playing to the cameras. Jeff even slides onto the floor, yelling “AAAGHH, FLOOR BURNS, GAAHHHH”

As Jeff gets up, both Chip and Jeff look at each other and try  to start a new verse, but neither is the same, and they both sort of stop and are taken aback.
Screen Shot 2020-07-03 at 10.43.32 AM.pngSo they just recreate the shortened, unison noise, ‘OUGHHH’, a few more times

Chip gets insanely worked up for the last part of this song and he’s dancing back and forth and the audience is completely loving it, as Jeff sings the chorus. It’s a  very cool, very well-done musical moment

SUCH A GOOD GREATEST HITS. That song is probably Jeff and Chip’s best work on the program period. Colin and Kathy had really funny banter. One of the best GHs on the show in a while.

Sentences: Colin and Jeff, from the soap opera Like, Seriously, I don’t Know

Last playing of this til CWLIIA.

Jeff: “I thought you were let go after the…terrible things that happened yesterday.”
Colin: “I was let go, but then they forgot and I came back”

Colin: “Lesson 1, every doctor should say, right before an operation, “that looks like Einstein with an afro”

Colin has an explosive arm gesture towards Jeff during a line
Jeff, mimicking it: “DO NOT DO THIS TO ME WHEN YOU TALK”
Colin, now flailing both arms: “SERIOUSLY, SERIOUSLY I WILL, I DON’T KNOW WHY BUT I WILL.”
He suddenly stops: “oh, nipples.”
Then continues as if nothing’s happened. This is why I love Colin

Jeff: “We have a lot in common, you know…I’m [without a better idea]…having sex with your wife…”
Pause
Jeff: “Not right now, but EARLIER I was…”

Colin speaks of making mad, passionate love last  night, “and right in the middle she screamed out “SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND, HIS NAME IS PAUL!”
PERFECT
Jeff gives Colin a moment to bask in that, then fires: “…she used to call MY little friend Paul…”
Colin: ‘…’s more like a Ringo.”
HA

Jeff: “As the philosopher once wrote…’Gandhi and Joe Pesci in…”
Colin: “IS EVERYTHING YOU SAY A PREMISE???”

Colin: “But if you look at this x-ray, you’ll see that won’t happen-”
Jeff, taking his pronunciation literally: “A SEX RAY?? YOU INVENTED A SEX RAY???”
Colin: “yes, it’s…an x-ray of your sex parts, and as you can see from this low front coming down….’quick, take a video of me shooting a laser beam out of my ass and put it all over youtube’
Jeff: “I’LL USE THE SEX-RAY. I’LL FIRE THE SEX-RAY AT IT.”
Colin: “WAIT…let me put on the lead curtain.”
This scene has embraced bizarreness SO WELL.

Jeff: “I’m afraid it’s too late, doctor, I’ve irradiated your sex parts.”
Colin gives him a very confused look. YES, A RARE CASE OF SOMEONE THROWING COLIN. It’s interesting- you get Jeff and Ryan in a scene, Ryan gets thrown, you do a Jeff-Colin in a scene, Colin gets thrown. So who throws Jeff??

Jeff: “You’ll go on fine, but you’ll be sex-part-less”
Colin: “I don’t use them”
Jeff: “…I know, that’s what your wife said!”
HE PLAYED RIGHT INTO JEFF’S HAND

We cut off slightly early, and I would have loved to see the actual ending, but this was still a pretty good scene. Not perfect, as there were some early parts that weren’t as funny, but once we got going it was really funny, and Jeff and Colin worked really well with each other.

Options: Chip and Colin; embroidering; Jeff calls

Last playing of this as Options, which is a shame, as I loved this version

Colin: “Your last batch of hats have all been returned. They all say SAP RANCISCO. SAP. RANCISCO.”

Chip: “I told you, I’m not a good spellerer.”
Western style
Chip: “I DON’T TAKE TOO KINDLY TO BOOK-LEARNIN'”

Colin, silently, tries to do a John Wayne walk towards Chip, but it comes off very awkward and goofy
Chip: “YOUR BACK OKAY?”

Colin keeps the scene going, and says Black Bart’s game requested those hats
Chip: “He hated when I spelled his name with an F…”
Okay, that’s funny
Colin: “…FLACK FART.”

Jeff: “ANOTHER STYLE OF FILM….HORROR….at least I think it was horror, not porn. Horror.”

Chip and Colin’s overdramatic horror movie acting is really good.

Colin: “What you are about to face is the most horrible of all deaths.”
Jeff: “Freeze, horror porn.”
Of course
Colin, putting on gloves: “YOU ARE GOING TO HATE THIS.”
Chip: [runs away]
Jeff: “FREEZE, that’s all I want to see of that…”

Both Chip AND Colin knock the romantic Shakespeare style out of the park. Especially Chip.

An alright Options. It never got anywhere, but it was pretty good.

Sound Effects: Chip and Drew: Oil field mechanics; Hilan and Brandon

Jeff asks Hilan where she’s from, and she’s in from  Israel. For good measure, he also asks Brandon if he’s from anywhere exotic: “Halifax, Nova Scotia”
COLIN GIVES THE LOUDEST CHEER FOR THIS. A BIG “YEEEAHHHH”. I love how passionately Canadian he is.

Brandon gets the concept of the game, and throws in a fart noise AS JEFF IS EXPLAINING THE GAME.
Chip, ONCE AGAIN:
Screen Shot 2020-07-03 at 11.24.14 AM
Chip is the most consistent reaction supplier of this run
Jeff: “DON’T WORK AHEAD, BRANDON!”
Chip: “NOT YET!”

Brandon  and Hilan’s demonstration rounds are both very weak.
Jeff: “I DON’T SEE WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG”
He then goes to Drew, who has to work with Brandon, and goes “you’re screwed, bro”

Brandon, opening up Drew’s toolbox, does a “WOWWWWW”
Drew: “I also have a lot of ACME equipment”
Brad, in the back, literally turns around to crack up

Yeah, both SFX people aren’t very good, and just throw in random noises and words every once in a while, and Drew and Chip are trying their best.

Chip gets out a megaphone so he can warn  people to clear the area
Hilan: [high pitched woo]
Chip: “That was for the dogs…now I’m gonna warn the PEOPLE…WITH WORDS.”

On the third try to get Hilan to do a megaphone noise, Chip just sinks to the ground and gives up

Not a great SFX. And badly edited, too.

Overall: Nothing in this episode could top that amazing Greatest Hits at the top, so everything else sort of slid downhill after. We had some good two-person scenes in the middle, and Sentences was pretty funny, but this show just got progressively worse as it went on, and it was a meh affair by the end, despite Greatest Hits being awesome. Good news is it was a fitting sendoff to Colin, and had a lot of great Chip material. Bad news is we barely saw Brad, Kathy or Drew.

Best Performer: Chip Esten, who was strong in all three games he appeared in tonight.
Worst Performer: Brad was not in this show.
Best Game: Greatest Hits. A classic number, by far.
Worst Game: Sound Effects was just a big pile of nothing.
Best Dynamic: Colin and Jeff, Sentences. The moment where Jeff throws Colin is phenomenal.
Best Host: Jeff proctored both games in the second half and was great

COMING UP NEXT: We’ve sadly made it to the last episode of Improv-a-Ganza, which will be a sendoff for multiple members of this troupe on the blog. It is also a send-off for two classic Vegas games, First Date and Sentences, and we end with a bang.

Whose Offseason: Drew Carey’s Improv-a-Ganza Episode 38, or The Horse Put His Shoes Back On!

Another round of the white tapings, including some ‘lasts’ for not only the run but for WL in general

Moving People: Jeff and Kathy; Amusement Park Day

we won’t see this game again until well into the CW era

Drew: “Oh, you’re volunteering your husband? Oh, good, YOU!”
HA

Drew, coming on with Christy: “and what’s the other guy’s name.”
Jeff: “Drew.”
Drew: “NO SHIT?”
Ryan: “There ARE other people named Drew…”

Then, to the bespectacled mover Drew, Ryan: “do all Drews have bad eyesight?”
Again, he was in such a good mood this taping!

Already, mover Drew has forgotten how to move Kathy’s legs and is just dragging her shoulders over to Jeff

Jeff: “Well, let me look to see if the manager’s anywhere around”
Christy: [turns Jeff’s head, then back]
Jeff: “…he’s not, you’re in!”

Christy crouches Jeff as she moves him towards the ride: “duck down, this is kind of a low entrance, here…”

This is a pretty competent game, as both movers are good listeners and know how to move them onto the ride, and up the “really steep incline”
Christy, however, tilts Jeff a bit too far back:
Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 4.42.33 PM.png

Jeff, after the ride, gets Christy to lean him over to vomit…and she just keeps him there, and for like 10 minutes he keeps doing the sound, adding a ‘SOMUCHPUKE’ in between, which is like an Andy Samberg move

Jeff tries getting on his knees to get into a ‘secret tunnel’, but Christy doesn’t get him down all the way so he’s just sort of croucher over
Kathy: “I’m coming, but I’m only looking at one tunnel now…”
HA

I love how Jeff turns this scene into them thawing out Walt Disney, which is such a goofy idea, and it’s so well played by both of them
Kathy: “Oh my god, the SMELL”
Jeff: [brings back vomit prelude noise]
Kathy AND Mover Drew know what’s coming. Kathy goes ‘OHH NOOO.”

A solid enough scene. Not perfect, but Jeff took it to some really fun places, and the movers were pretty good.

Sound Effects: Kathy and Ryan; a rancher, Jeff and Heather do SFX

Kathy: [gets on something]
Heather: ‘EEK…EEEHEHEHEH…”
Kathy: “oh, sorry…saddled the goat”

Just Ryan bouncing in on something is funny, as are Jeff’s minimalist but funny SFX

Kathy: “I’m just surveying the herd, they’re really-”
Heather: “mrrr…”
Ryan: “There’s not much of a herd, we’ve only got the one cow left…PACKS OF COYOTES ATTACKING COWS…”
PFFF

Kathy fires a ‘coyote gun’, and Heather does a modest firing noise
Ryan: ‘…looks like you dropped your bullet…”

Ryan: “I’m hopping on my horse, hop on your…whatever it was that you rode in on…I think it might be a goat, but keep up.”

Ryan responds to the return of Jeff’s clopping noises: “Hold on…lemme take these tap shoes off…”
Jeff is at least enjoying this game himself

Once they arrive, and Ryan whoas, Jeff can barely emit a noise
Ryan: “That god, this horse is tired…”

Kathy: “Is that a woodchuck?”
Heather: “kht-khht-kht-kht-kht”
Ryan: “IT’S A BOMB, GET DOWN!”

Ryan: “there is a bomb in here, listen to it ticking”
Heather: “tik-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti”
Ryan: “THE HORSE PUT HIS SHOES BACK ON”
HA. I love that he brought that back

A pretty basic SFX, but Ryan did well leading it. Kathy mostly deferred to Ryan, but her stuff wasn’t bad either.

Freeze Tag: Greg on his knees, Jeff jumping jacks

The [sigh] last-ever Freeze. Well, I mean we did have a TON of good ones, so at least this feels right.

Greg kneels behind Jeff with his hands up.
Jeff, of course: “I told you, I have nothing to declare…”
Greg: “I haven’t finished looking”

Greg hops in on a Ryan-Kathy scene and starts a jumping-rope chant, but Kathy takes a second to figure out she’s in the middle, which is amusing

Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 8.04.19 PMJeff, between Ryan and Kathy: “LET…GO…OF MY NIPPLES!”
Kathy lets go, snapping Jeff’s side back into place. Ryan, cleverly, rolls his line up, dragging Jeff to him.
Ryan: ‘Alright, NOW, we need the rent money!”
I love that punchline so much.

Jeff, with Drew’s finger out…leans in and smells it. Ryan shushes the audience, giving Jeff so much buildup.
Jeff, finally: “ROOT BEER.”
PFFF. This Freeze is slowly getting to me

Chip: “In other news, a man in a Drew Carey mask has been robbing banks all over the tristate area.”
Drew and Jeff, with Bob’s assistance, make this into a 30s-era silent newsreel.
Chip: “…it happened in the early 1920’s apparently…”
Jeff and Drew keep miming admirably
Chip: “Police are certain it is not Drew Carey because he’s about 40 pounds lighter!”
HA

Greg and Drew do a really fun mirror scene, then Jeff brings Ryan in: “hello, sir, and welcome to Nerdy White Guys with Glasses”
HA
Greg: “I THINK YOU’LL FIND IT’S *SOPHISTICATED* WHITE GUYS WITH GLASSES”

Jeff: “They’re very nerdy, listen to this one-”
Drew: “Have you seen my new app?”
A callback to E1, and a taping that hasn’t even happened yet

Chip, with Kathy, Drew, Ryan and Jeff onstage, has an inspired idea: “And I’m sorry, that means it’s gonna go over on Celebrity Password to CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, you have 10 seconds.”
Jeff, as this is one of his marquee impressions, rears back: “…DOE.”
Ryan: “MONEY”
Jeff: “….BAMBI.”
Ryan: “uhh, FAUN?”
Jeff: “Get  the CRAP out of your EARS, I-”
Ryan: “Q-TIP! Q-TIP!”
Jeff: “NOOooOO! I swear to GOD, I’m gonna KILL him!”
Not a bad Walken at all

Kathy, with four guys onstage: “AND NOW THE BATHING SUIT PORTION OF MISS NEVADA.”
Greg enters in a walker and swaying, saggy breasts
Kathy: ‘and we have…MISS SUN CITY!”

Jeff stops it right when Ryan has a good idea for an ender, which frustrates him.

A pretty damn good Freeze. I’m certainly fine with this being the last one.

Bob’s Call: Ryan and Greg; collecting bathing suits

And the last-ever Bob’s Call. I will miss this game.

Ryan: “Do you really COLLECT bathing suits, or do you just have a lot of bathing suits?”
Audience member’s friend: “it’s a weight situation.”
Ryan, Kathy AND Greg are taken aback by that
Ryan: “That’s from your FRIEND…”

Ryan begins the scene trying on a bathing suit
Greg: “Been a while since you could fit into that one, huh, Nick?”
Ryan: [cracks]
Greg: [slaps Ryan’s butt]
Ryan: “well THAT was unnecessary…”

Ryan: “Why do people laugh at me, they tell me it’s wrong?
I’ve got the body for a thong.”
Obviously Ryan’s favorite article of clothing

Ryan: “I probably shouldn’t wear one, I just feel comfortable with something riding…”
PFFF
Bob: [comes in with a bouncy, fast-paced backing]
Ryan: [takes a moment to recover]

This is a similar backer to the Colin song from E32 [gibberish included], but right when it gets to the chorus, Greg peters out

Ryan, as Greg tries out one of his bathing suits, throws in the line “can I suggest some nair”
Jeff and Chip lose it at that
Ryan: “May I suggest for you…Brazilian wax…”
Of course

Ryan cracks up as he says this next line: “Look, I don’t know if that’s too forward of me, we’ve only known each other for a week…but we ARE in my room trying on bathing suits…”
PFFFF. When he puts it like that…

I feel like this is a funnier version of the shoe store Bob’s Call, because Greg and Ryan aren’t making this a serious gender scene, it’s just a goofy scene about guys who don’t know what guys do so they try on bathing suits. It’s a lot funnier, even though the songs aren’t as good

Greg: “I wanna try this one on over here”
Ryan: “That’s my wife’s but go ahead. That’s a whole different closet…”

Greg, with the suit on, gets a jazzy backer from Bob
Greg: “I got one…I got two.”
Ryan: “AND YOUR THING’S HANGING ON MY SHOE.”
WHAT???
Greg gets midway through his next line and just…loses it
Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 8.28.51 PM.png
And Jeff has to mercy-kill it. Such a funny ending.

A pretty good Bob’s Call. Not the best one [transformers one for sure], but still really funny, and with some good peas-in-a-pod moves from Ryan and Greg, escalating the silliness right towards the end.

Overall: A good show, though…I won’t be shocked if this one gets overshadowed by a lot of other good shows in this series. There were no bad games, and there were strengths like Freeze Tag and Bob’s Call, but not too much stood out period. Moving People and Freeze were good, but maybe not the best of the season. Sound Effects wasn’t bad either, but there’s better Ryan showcases. Also, a lot of the two-person scenes were very nominal, with only some commonplace, boilerplate improv moves going on.

Best Performer: Ryan edges out Jeff for appearing in more tonight and seeming strong throughout. The white taping seems to have been a good one for him.
Worst Performer: Chip was barely in the show.
Best Game: Freeze Tag. Lots going on throughout.
Worst Game: Sound Effects, for having the least to it, despite Ryan’s best efforts.
Best Dynamic: Ryan and Greg, Bob’s Call.
Best Host: Drew proctored multiple games tonight.

COMING  UP NEXT: The very last of the purple taping, and the last we’ll be seeing of Colin and Brad on IAG [but they won’t be away for long]. We also say goodbye to Options before it becomes Sideways Scene