Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S02E08, or Never Come Too Early

Back to our regularly schedules Series 2, post-Xmas-ep

Here we have two strong semi-regulars in Mike and Josie, an incredibly promising up-and-comer in Ryan Stiles, and a guy who’d make his one-and-only appearance here (not counting the comic relief special), the square-chinned Neil Mullarkey.

Clive intros an All-American show, with…Ryan, a canadian (from Seattle), Josie and Neil from the Comedy Store Players, “and Mike McShane, from Taunton.”

Also, NO AUTHORS TONIGHT. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN WHOSE LINE HISTORY, WE START WITH SOMETHING OTHER THAN AUTHORS. WOW.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Josie and Neil (the first two people on earth)

Neil, as people are shouting out styles: “I heard ‘Neighbours'”
Clive: “Okay, obviously your friend in the audience wants Neighbors…”

Neil and Josie are obviously great at working together, as evidenced by their work in the Gangster film segment, when Josie has a secret and Neil is drilling her out of it. Even better, Neil ends by picking up a log and smoking it.

Neil: “There are little people coming out of [the apple]: are they maggots, or are they from another world?”
Josie: “Wait- I know maggot language!”
Neil, motioning to the cigarette: “You’ve been smoking some of this as well, haven’t you?”

With the western ending, and the peck-on-the-cheek Josie gives Neil…and how awfully close together they are, it’s pretty fitting that they have really nice chemistry, and concocted a really cool scene as well.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Mike and Ryan (two people on a plane)

Audience member: “War and peace!”
Clive: “That was a NOVEL, the last time I read it…”

Mike asks for a drink
Ryan, the steward: “Little nervous?”
Mike: “Haha-yeeeahhh…”
Ryan: “You’ve heard about the pilot, huh?”

Tennessee Williams
Ryan, with the amazing pun: “Why look…out on the wing….engines!”
[or, injuns, in that accent]

Ryan does manage to move the scene into ‘Mike needs to fly the plane’, and the horror style moves Mike to scream, in a demonic voice, piloting the plane, “WE’RE GOING TO *HELL!*”

Clive: “A bit of war and peace.”
Mike, taking him literally, starts shooting gunfire
Ryan, holding up a peace sign: “Hey, don’t do that, man…”

This style actually progresses the scene, giving both characters Vietnam backstories, instead of just going for the Tolstoy, which is a really nice decision from both Mike and Ryan.

After a very silly vaudeville ending, the scene ends. Mike and Ryan did a ton of great stuff here, with some great ‘moving along the scene’ improv moves, and some great character work. Also, ton of really good jokes.

Song Styles: Cheese Grater. Mike as a boogie-woogie song, Josie as Kurt Weill.

Clive asks for an everyday household object
Audience member: “TERRY WOGAN!”
Clive: “…he’s not everyday yet, is he?”

Mike’s boogie song is really, really fun, and a pretty standard boogie song, as well as being a relatively standard song styles.

Josie’s is…MASTERFUL. It’s a dark, cynical and powerful song, that uses the theme of cheese grating as a metaphor for fascism. I was not expecting something this good from that style.

World’s Worst: Person to Audition for a Soap Commercial

Mike: “So you, uh…you put the detergent in, and- MY WIFE DOES THIS CRAP, I DON’T DO THIS…”

Not a ton going on here, though Mike had the best work by far.

Props: Ryan and Josie vs. Mike and Neil

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 2.25.28 PM.pngNeil: “I’m afraid there’s been quite a lot of inflation in this country. These are two pound coins…”

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 2.26.27 PM.pngRyan: “HEY, LOOK OVER HERE, HUH? HEY BABY!”
Audience: “….”
BUZZ
Ryan: “Construction Worker, IT’S A CONSTRUCTION WORKER! WHAT?!?!?”

Film Dub: Neil and Ryan are flatmates talking about Josie and Mike

This is a clip from Plan 9 from Outer Space. Score for Whose Line for landing more Ed Wood.

Neil: “Well, I dunno, I don’t like the things they wear!”
Ryan: “The things they wear? Well, why don’t you take a look at…yourself?”

Neil, after Mike’s character has stopped grabbing his neck: “OW….oooh, I like yooou…”

Party Quirks: Neil hosts
Ryan: bad stand-up comedian
Josie: thinks she’s at a prenatal class
Mike: roadie for a rock band

Neil, back to this season’s theme of getting the wrong people to host, hosts. He steps down nervously, going “Sorry, I don’t want to come too early…”
Clive: “Yes, never come too early…”

Josie, doing great, just lies on the ground right when she walks in. Even if Ryan is being showier, she’s nailing her quirk immediately.

Neil, guessing Josie: “Are you, uh, Sarah Ferguson?” Oh, nono…”
The audience doesn’t love that one.

Tony, at his wit’s end guessing Ryan: “You must be, uh, Tony Blackburn-”
Clive: “So close, but that’ll do…”

Good enough scene, because Neil let everybody interact, even though he wasn’t great at interacting WITH them.

American Musical: WWII airplanes, being a caretaker in school, and winning the pools.

This particular playing had great moments of solo work, like Josie telling off her boss, and Ryan explaining why he’s down on his luck, but there was something a wee bit awkward in pulling everything together into one narrative.

Neil’s entrance is even more awkward, and I get what he’s trying to do in make a secret more public, but…he’s one of the more unmusical people ever forced to do a musical game on this show (including Stephen Fry).

Mike, whose horniness has been saving this scene: “I’ll be your dog, as long as you’re rich.”
Ryan: “I’ll be your husband, you…stupid bitch.”

This one at least ended well, but was a bit clumsier than the last few Musicals, thanks to Neil mostly. Still not without its inspired moments, though.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Ryan’s reaction to winning his first Whose Line:
Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 2.44.46 PM.png

Overall: Perfectly quaint show, without too many good or bad moments, and with the occasional spark of madness along the way. The performances were relatively equal, though Neil did have a few missteps that may have led to him not being on any more shows, though he at least deserved one more try in my opinion. Mike, Josie and Ryan all had strong shows, with the emphasis going to Josie for some strong work throughout.

Show Winner: Ryan
Best Performer: Josie, coming up strong throughout the show
Worst Performer: Neil, solely for Musical, but also for some little things.
Best Game: Film and Theatre Styles v2, a great showcase for Mike and Ryan’s improv abilities.
Worst Game: World’s Worst, for being very boilerplate and dull, save for Mike McShane.

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