Onto the final compilation for Series 2, and a cap on a pretty okay series of Whose Line. I think the consistency would grow the more John Sessions stayed at home.
Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Sandi (couple meeting on a blind date)
Well, already the audience gets a nice laugh at the height difference between Ryan and Sandi. Sandi rams her head into the side of Ryan’s torso. It’s pretty great.
Sandi, on her and Ryan: “Yes, I think this will be very compatible.”
Clive: “Mel Brooks.”
Ryan: “Yeah, at least I’ve got a place to set my beer…”
Ryan: “Shall I take off my clothes and lie on the bed and start talking about nothing at all?”
Sandi: “You can if you’d like, but we’re still in Waterloo Station…”
Clive: “…I don’t know what this is, but a Dog Film.”
Ryan: [starts sniffing Sandi’s arse]
A lot like ‘Bearded Collie’
Sandi: “Lord preserve us, our tongue has gone wild.”
Clive: ‘Woody Allen’
Sandi: “…I’m sorry, I don’t know why I said that…”
Really nice round, great for both performers. The sad part of this is that, thanks to whatever went down during John and Tony’s playing, the game winds up here.
Duet: Mike and Josie sing an Andrew Lloyd Webber song about a lemon squeezer
On getting the style, Clive, to Mike: “Have you heard of Andrew Lloyd Webber?”
Mike, disgusted: “OH YES…we’ve heard a LOOOOT OF HIM…”
This is a pretty extraordinary one, with both doing an insane job, hitting melodic heights that hadn’t really been hit in this game. Also, thanks to Mike, the lyrics are pretty hysterical. It doesn’t even drag on for too long, either.
Clive, postmortem: “…and if you’re interested, LEMON is opening at the Prince of Wales theatre next week….”
That’ll be Charlie Now: Josie, Tony and Paul are waiting for a train, and for Charlie (Mike)
Tony, already looking to screw someone over: “….does he still have that awful habit of grinding up against people whose names begin with J?”
Josie sees this coming, and still cracks when it happens.
Paul, with the parry: “I don’t know, but anytime he has to speak to someone called Tony, he throws up into a galvanized bucket…”
Mike, of course, owns the scene the second he enters, nailing all of the prescriptions, and eventually, yes, grinding up against Josie, as she completely cracks up.
Even better, Mike starts talking about how the train’s arrival makes him ‘fill with sperm’, and Josie slowly walks to the other side of the stage, away from Mike.
Even better, Tony gives one last ‘train’ (which means Mike has to run an aerobics class). Mike takes 5 seconds, realizes the cue, yells ‘TRAIN’, and goes back into it. And then the game ends.
Far more successful than last Charlie, with more emphasis on letting the round run its course, and less on keeping it trim for time.
Interview: Tony, from a children’s program, interviews Greg, Noah.
Tony nods as he gets the style, then goes right into it. “…….hello……..today we’ve got Noah.” [weak grin] “……it’s a long word, isn’t it?”
This is a very quick game, but only because Greg mentions that all the animals ‘make a mess all over the ark’, and Tony, motioning to the camera, goes “…are you going to make a mess with us?” So, with the scene heading into ‘everyone at home is pooping’, Clive has no choice but to end the scene.
Rap: Arthur, Sandi, Mike and Josie sing of Dustmen
Arthur doesn’t follow the tempo, and thinks he’s got to follow Josie’s story, but he does well enough, and ends with a nice slam at the captain of the English rugby team.
Sandi’s is actually pretty good (“actually, I’m a sanitary engineer”), even if it looked as if it’d end in disaster.
Mike’s, as usual, is the strongest of the group, and he ends what’s honestly one of the better raps they’ve done.
-A Rap blooper from E4 where Mike gets tongue-tied, and goes “ah, fuck that!”
-JOHN fucks up a rap in E5, trying it for 2 seconds, going “nah, can’t do it. Fuck it.” Unlike Mike’s, THIS f-bomb makes it past the censor.
-Clive fucks up the opening of the show, and lands in disgust with his head on the desk.
-Paul ruins an Authors take from E3
-The most famous one, cut from E15, where Josie can’t get through a rap about fishing, and Clive…does a really damned good one for her…at which point, Paul stops and says “WHY DON’T YOU GET UP AND DO THIS?” In the background, you can also hear Mike egging him on.
Song Styles: Josie sings a jazz song about an ironing board
….Because her reggae one that got into the show wasn’t good enough??
I put this around the same kind of level as the one that made it- good, cute, but not memorable enough to stand out this series.
Film Dub: Paul is taking his driving test from Tony
Very haphazard, and very shouty, and relying on a few too many lowbrow jokes.
Party Quirks: Paul hosts
Archie: lounge singer
Jonathan: mad highland dancer
John: from The Great Escape
…..WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO ANOTHER ONE WHEN THE ONE THAT MADE THE SHOW WAS SO GOOD?
Archie, while killing it, is sent back to the seats by CLIVE, as apparently Paul’s guess of ‘Frank Sinatra’ was enough to get it? I don’t agree, and the audience doesn’t either, booing as Archie heads back.
Paul: “….that’ll make good television, won’t it?”
Yeah, that’s probably why this one didn’t make air
WHAT’S THIS???? JOHN ACTUALLY ELICITING *LAUGHS* OUT OF ME IN PARTY QUIRKS? He LEAPS into the game on a motorcycle, running offstage. WHY DIDN’T HE DO THIS ANY OTHER TIME THEY PLAYED THAT?
The game ends clumsily, as Clive forces JOHN out for a near-guess, and Paul’s even complaining as he heads back. Maybe they did the second one so that Clive would relax, and thank god he did.
Musical Producers: Paul and Tony describe a musical about hairdressers, sung by Josie and Mike
The first segment is great, almost exactly what a musical would be…until Josie, rhyming with bitch, goes “and you’re just a…smitch!”
Paul: “Yes, I’m not sure about ‘just a smitch’ as a rhyme…I DON’T THINK THEY’RE GONNA UNDERSTAND US IN LA!”
Tony: “Yes, or indeed ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD…”
Tony: “How about we set it in Barcelona, and instead of the rivalry they just really, really want to get it off with each other!”
Paul: “YES, YES, LESBIANS IN SPAIN!”
The second segment is actually a really sensual spanish sort of song, and both Mike and Josie truly nail it.
Paul: “…..I don’t know, I missed the ‘smitch’ that time around…”
The final segment, again, is something with the kind of harmony you would see on broadway, and with a really impressive final note, at that.
Dare I say it….that was better than Rock Opera. It would have been cooler if they’d put that in. Also, I love how most of these compilations are just showing us how much better E15 would have been.
Best Performer: Mike McShane, for nailing some of the bigger moments in this comp.
Worst Performer: Jonathan Pryce, simply because the little we saw of him wasn’t great.
Best Game: Musical Producers, narrowly edging out Charlie.
Worst Game: Film Dub. Way too frenzied.
SERIES 2 SUPERLATIVES
Best Episode: E7, the Christmas special that brought together 6 of the best performers of this era, and had them take part in some truly great games, including a great 6-person Musical Producers, a crazy Props, and a ton of really good moments along the way.
2nd Best Episode: E5, Ryan and Sandi’s first show, with star turns from both right off the bat, along with a great Remote Control, a fun round of tag, and Expert, one of the best games of the season, which turned into a round of ‘who can screw over each other more’ between Ryan and Tony
Worst Episode: E10. This season didn’t have any truly terrible shows, but this one, with Lee Simpson struggling, Jan Ravens being destructive, Mike and Tony doing their best, and only a fun Tony cock-up in Rap saving it from being forgettable, comes very close.
Best Recurring Performer: Tony Slattery, for OWNING the stage in nearly all of his appearances this season, and making a case for consistent legitimacy on the show.
Worst Recurring Performer: John Sessions. Nearly went with Ron West, but at least Ron showed signs of improvement along the way. John…did not.
Best Guest Star: Paul Rider, a graduate from the school of ‘WHY THE HELL DIDN’T HE COME BACK MORE OFTEN??’ Nearly went with Griff Rhys-Jones here, but the feeling was nayyyy, as was the answer (holy shit, I’m going into Shooting Stars references. What’s wrong with me?)
Worst Guest Star: Chris Langham. I imagine they tried to hype him up as a ‘star’, after a career with Not the 9 O’Clock News, the Muppets, and so on, but…once he tried improv, it didn’t seem as such, at least not completely.
Best Newcomer: Ryan Stiles, for bursting onto the scene and making great improv right off the bat. Sandi and Greg came close.
Performer We Wish Had More Episodes Later On: Griff-Rhys Jones. Because he seemed like he was still having fun.