Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S04E09, or Number One: Stop Tap-Dancing You Fool!

Last episode, we had three improv comedy legends get their performances hampered by someone who wasn’t very good at all. Tonight we hope to get things rolling again…by having the exact same equation. I’ve been an occasional defender of Ron West’s, as his performance in S02E14, proving that anyone can be funny when standing next to Rory McGrath. Tonight, when faced with three supremely funny counterparts in Colin, Ryan and Greg, I’m sure things will go over fine. [panicked expression]

Scenes from a Hat

Clive: “Strange traffic violations.”
Colin: “D’you know how fast you were going on that pogo stick?”
[A definite classic.]

Clive: “Seems to say ‘peeing your name in the snow’…”
Colin: Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 9.53.22 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 9.53.41 PM.png
Ron, trying to do at least something funny: “Lovely handwriting…”
Clive: “Enough of old Canadian traditions…”

Clive: “Giving up smoking”
Ryan: [pats Colin down furiously]
Ha

Lightest SFAH yet, with a few obvious jokes here and there. Ron couldn’t really get a laugh.

Old Job New Job: Colin and Greg work in a burger bar, Ryan, ex-marine, joins them.

Clive asks Greg if they have burger bars in America, saying: “well, that’s your contribution to the world.”
Greg: “No, we have CLEVVAH LITTLE CHIP SHOPS! OHOHOHOHOHO!”

Ryan shows the intensity that this game needs the second he enters, making Greg bob for fries and making Colin drop and give him 20…burgers. It’s clear he’s trying to ape R. Lee Ermey, but it’s not an impression.

One of the best parts is when Colin, after being yelled at for most of the scene, finally snaps and yells, even louder, “I’M DOING THE BEST I CAN SIR!” How Ryan didn’t crack at that I’ll never know.

Ryan: “I can be a nice burger man, OR I CAN BE A MEEEEAN BURGER MAN, D’YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING?”
Greg, scared out of his mind: “…..the happy meals are ready!”
[I laughed at that]

A really fun and worth-it scene. Yes, volume reigned supreme here, but also there was so much manic energy about that the whole thing worked, not just with Ryan but with everyone.

Questions Only: Ryan and Colin meet at the beach

This game gets its debut, and it’s different than future iterations- instead of being a quickfire contest, it’s more like early Song Titles- they have to stay up there and do an entire scene speaking in questions.

This scene skews homoerotic very quickly, as Ryan’s professing his love and Colin, in agreement, keeps asking rhetorical questions like ‘DOES A BEAR DOODIE IN THE WOODS?’

You can tell they’d need modification, because Colin gets very strained after a while, and Clive has no choice but to cut it. Ryan, as he heads back to the seat, is even going ‘MAN…THAT’S HARD, ISN’T IT?”

Party Quirks: Greg hosts
Ron: On a jungle expedition
Colin: thinks he’s an octopus
Ryan: a basketball player (HA!)

Colin as an octopus cracks me up, in how fast he’s moving, and how fluidly he’s moving. It’s not Ryan-esque physicality, but it’s still really funny in the amount of energy that’s there.

The game takes off when Ryan comes in, so that these three personalities bounce off each other perfectly. you have Ryan moving and dribbling, Colin moving manically with tentacles, and Greg…getting out of the way.

Greg does eventually guess Colin when Colin’s putting all his arms around Greg, which is hysterical.

Whose Line: Colin tries to get through customs, headed up by Ryan

Ryan notices that Colin doesn’t have a car, that he’s walking through customs.
Colin: “Well, I need to build up my thighs.”

Colin: “Well, my doctor told me…it was so long ago, he said …. [reads line] “damn you’re sexy”. I couldn’t take it, I had to get the hell out of this country.”

Ryan: “Now that you’re in the States, I have to read you some rules about being an American. Number one: [reads] “…STOP TAP-DANCING YOU FOOL!”
Colin: “BUT THAT’S PART OF MY THIGH-BUILDING PROGRAM!”
Ryan: “Give it up! I understand that’s what made you sexy, but you’re not gonna need that in the States!”
Colin: “I was gonna shuffle off to Buffalo!”

Colin, on his mother’s last words: “She looked at me with her big brown eyes and said [reads] “where did that kangaroo come from?” SHE DIDN’T SEE IT COMING, IT PUNCHED HER RIGHT IN THE HEAD AND GAVE HER A CEREBRAL HEMORRHAGE!”
Ryan: “My god!”
Colin: “So I decided to come to a country where there are no kangaroos!”

Ryan ends the scene by leading Colin in the national anthem…and then he goes into ‘America the Beautiful’, which is NOT our National Anthem. It puzzles the shit out of Colin, but he goes with it. Ryan does get in his last line in the song, which is “NEVER SIT ON BARBED WIRE WHEN YOU’RE NAKED!”

Another really nice round of Whose Line. Because this is longer form improv, it’s a chance to attempt a return to the more sophisticated humor of the UK version while still allowing for occasional Americanized beats.

World’s Worst: Person to be President

(from the makers of World’s Worst Person to be Prime Minister)

Ryan, getting the obvious one out of the way: “Hello, I’m George Bush.”
Greg, foretelling the future: “You know what’s wrong with this country? MINORITIES!”
Ron, with one of his few funny jokes of the night: “I hereby abolish congress, and am going to set up a gigantic water slide!”
Colin: “…Have you ever seen a penis this big?”
[This cracks up the whole panel, and Clive]

Funny round, though with a weak middle, and some unfunny Ron ones.

Props: Ryan and Colin vs. Greg and Ron

This is one of the first times where you can see that there was effort put in to make the props look strange and outlandish looking. Ryan and colin’s is a foam make-up, while Greg and Ron’s looks to be plastic or metal.

Ryan would do variants on this joke for the rest of his run, but let it be known that this one was actually really funny:
Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 10.23.35 PM.png
Ryan: “D’you have a table for David Byrne?”

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 10.24.41 PM.pngGreg: “Hi, I just got back from heaven. That atmosphere re-entry’s a bitch!”

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 10.25.26 PM.pngColin: “HEY YOU, THE GIANT! STOP PEEING ON THE ALPS!”

A pretty fun round. Also, we’re more than halfway through, and there’s been one funny joke from Ron.

Helping Hands: Colin tries to dictate a letter to his secretary, Ryan (w/Greg’s hands)

Character-wise, this is already great, with Ryan as a vain secretary. The pen lands in his mouth, and Greg uncaps it…while Ryan spits out the cap moments later.

A lot of the game is Colin making Ryan do things, and Ryan struggling because Greg can’t see over him. It’s a very silly, Mr. Magoo-type thing that works out because of Ryan’s character, and how impatient Colin grows.

Colin: “Type me something fast so I can stay hot.”
Ryan prepares to type something, but Greg tries sticking envelopes in the paper tray, which confuses Ryan. He goes “oh, there’s paper in there, I hadn’t noticed.”

The scene ends with Ryan professing his love to Colin, and before it has time to be emotional or funny through there…Ryan throws in a boob joke and the scene ends.

Good scene, with very funny stuff, but below the standard of Helping Handses for this season.

Film Dub: Ryan and Ron argue over who gets to sit in the comfy chair. Greg is the woman.

This is a surprisingly nice Film Dub, without any real lags or dissonance on who’s speaking. Ron even does well, going ‘man, everytime someone sits in my chair I’VE GOT TO KNOCK A BOX OVER!”

Greg: “That’s alright, fellas, I’ll just lay on the floor and you can sit on ME…”
Ryan: “HEY, THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA!”

Funnier than the last hunk of Film Dubs. Ryan, as he heads back, is heard aloud going “WHERE DO THEY GET THESE IDEAS FROM? ‘A COMFY CHAIR!'”

Superheroes: Acid Rain is terrorizing the world
Greg: Psychic Man
Ryan: Man Who Says Everything Twice Man
Ron: Man Who Censors Himself
Colin: Boneless Boy

Clive, getting superhero suggestions for Greg: “…Somebody there said Sperminator….unfortunately I didn’t hear.”

Greg does make the most of his superhero name, knowing the world crisis even before he reads it on the World Crisis Monitor.

Ron actually has a crafty approach- instead of using bleeps, he second-guesses, pauses, and goes ‘no, I don’t wanna say that’. Different approach.

Ron does seem discouraged by his quirk, and keeps quiet. Perhaps this is what Greg and Ryan wanted. Still, Ron does mention Boneless Boy, and Colin completely owns the quirk, falling down and doing the correct physicality.

Ryan and Ron spend about 10 seconds trying to get Colin back up, only for him to fall back down. It’s the Whose Line equivalent of Sideshow Bob stepping on the rakes.

Once Colin does figure out the solution, Ron and Ryan essentially throw him offstage, which is fantastic.

Very funny game, with good work from everybody (but Ron).

Hoedown: Skiing

Ron’s verse, as with the theme, is not funny.

Ryan, bringing it back arguably to Scenes from a Hat, ends his by saying ‘the best part is writing with pee-pee in the snow…”

Colin actually attempts to sing here, rather than doing his usual talk-singing, but his lyrics and eventual pun are pretty basic, though better than the pack here.

Not a great Hoedown, but there haven’t been many classics so far anyway.

Overall: Not as bad as the Archie show, simply because Ron’s better than Archie. Ron didn’t have an especially good show, but had some moments, and was able to produce some jokes that work, in between all the ones that didn’t. He wasn’t an obstruction, as the show went on pretty well thanks to the strength of the other three. This was a particularly nice show for Colin Mochrie, having some hysterical physicality, and some great lines early on, not to discredit some nice Ryan and Greg performances. Generally an okay show, even if it’s below the standard that’s been set by this impressive S4.

Show Winners: Colin and Ryan
Best Performer: Colin, for being really, really funny tonight.
Worst Performer: Ron. Not a great night.
Best Game: Whose Line, narrowly edging out Superheroes for just having more fantastic lines, and being a better-rounded scene.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Not a ton to it.

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