This is the first of two episodes of Ryan Stiles and Chip Esten on very, very strange tides. For the next two episodes, there will be no Greg Proops or Colin Mochrie. Tonight, we’ve picked out two people who’d never done whose line before…and would never do Whose Line again, from America. Jane Brucker was in Dirty Dancing, and did improv comedy in New York, as well as Sam Johnson…who no one online seems to have heard of. Good signs.
Scenes from a Hat:
Clive: “Things you must not do near electricity”
Ryan, making a fssssshhhh noise: “…just watering the sockets…”
Clive: “Arriving at the wrong place”
Simple, yet effective
Clive: “The last woman on earth”
Sam and Chip: “I GOT ‘ER!”
Another really light round of these.
Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan hijacks Sam’s plane
(I’d like to point out that there’s a voice from the audience that sounds quite like Greg Proops that yells out ‘BURLESQUE’ when Clive asks for styles. Maybe he spent his off day in style?)
Clive, after overwhelming response: “SILENT FILM? Yeah, let’s try the audience on that one…”
Ryan, holding Sam up: “I’m taking this plane….to Fresno.”
I laughed hard at that.
Silent Movie style shows exactly how different the two dynamics are- Sam just mouths out words passionately, while Ryan plays the piano jittery-like….like a SILENT MOVIE, SAM. NOT ONE WITH THE VOLUME TURNED OFF.
Thankfully they do get some physical motion when Sam grabs the steering wheel from Ryan, and Ryan gets his gun back.
Ryan pulls out another gun: “TWO OF THESE GUNS ARE NOT LIKE THE OTHER. ONE OF THESE GUNS JUST DOESN’T BELONG. [pause]….CAN YA GUESS WHICH GUN IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER?”
The Bruce Lee style is great, because I love Ryan’s expression when he’s getting hit in the face by Sam.
Ryan: “…I’m flying this plane…to Fresno- AAAA-AAAAHHHHHH-AAHHHHH….”
Sam: “Stop! Your background music is too strong for me!”
There’s an edit before Clive buzzes out, and you can tell Ryan is just about ready for the game to end. As he walks back to the seats, he goes to Sam ‘THERE’S THAT ENDING WE WERE LOOKING FOR!’
Pretty fun game, keeping the plot for most of the scene, though Ryan did make the better improv decisions.
Expert: Jane interviews Ryan, an expert on moldy bread
You can tell that this point that the show was structured around Ryan Stiles, and really nobody else. Chip barely factors into the first bit of the show, and Ryan’s been in every game,…and now we’re doing expert.
There are some rational suggestions in ‘ice cream’ and ‘nuclear fission’, but Clive goes for ‘moldy bread’ behind him. His ‘getting answers from British Telecom’ days may have started before S06E04.
Jane: “…I’m Jane Wonder, and welcome to Whose Suggestion was that Anyway?”
Jane throws herself for a loop in assigning Ryan a name, but goes for one anyway: “Welcome…Dr….Yeast.”:
Ryan, without missing a beat: “Thank you, I will rise to the occasion.”
Ryan: “As a matter of fact, we have a joke in the business: what’s the difference between moldy bread and Portland, Oregon?”
Jane, whose character is done with this shit already: “…very funny indeed.”
Ryan has to rebound and give the punchline: “It’s actually…moldy bread has more culture…”
The audience groans at this one.
Ryan, getting all the audience suggestions in one: “Yes, we’ve found that when moldy bread is mixed with ice cream, it causes a nuclear fission.”
Now, typically this game features Ryan needling the interviewer in this game into demonstrating something with him, but this time Jane throws Ryan for a loop, revealing that Ryan’s book about mold is a poetry book, and she asks him to read a sampling. He has a look of rebounding, which he’s had surprisingly a lot this show. And then, nervously, he goes “…I’d LOVE TO.”
Ryan’s mold poem: “Bread. Bread. The green doth grow.
…Grows on the bread and in between my toe.
Why it grows there, nobody knows…
…..Thank you, thank you, Doctor Scholl’s.”
Another really nice game of Expert with Ryan, with a lot more to it than regular ones, from the audience suggestions getting ignored, to there definitely being a dynamic between Jane and Ryan.
Whose Line: Sam goes to see Private Eye Ryan
…Two Sam&Ryan games on the night? And Chip has done NOTHING all night!
Clive mentions they call Private Eyes ‘private dick’s in the US
Sam: “Well, we call SOMETHING that, I dunno if it’s the same thing as you mean.”
I did not like the way he delivered that. And it doesn’t get good audience response either.
Sam: “I’ve come to you as a means to my last resort….”will you marry me?”
Sam, for a moment, breaks character and has this sort of annoyed, ‘oh brother’ kind of look. As if he didn’t come off gay enough in the dick joke.
Ryan: “I will, but I’ll no longer be a private dick…”
Ryan: “I’ve already got my vows prepared…you, the man I want to marry, come live with me forever….”beef, lettuce, tomato, hold the mayo”
Laughed very hard at that one
Ryan: “I want you to put everything on me and then lick it off!”
Sam’s second line is ‘watch out, the floor’s just been painted’
Ryan: “I knew that…for I am a private eye…”
Ryan: “But don’t even bear in mind, what they say about us….”Never trust sheep.”
A rather poignant moment to end the scene on
Pretty nice, very funny, though broader than most Whose Line games, and with some very broad acting from Sam.
World’s Worst: Person to be stuck in a lifeboat with
Chip, with his first line of the show: “….How you doin, I’m Jeffrey Dahmer…”
Ryan: “The sharks love this, watch- HERE BOY!”
Ryan: “I don’t like to pollute the ocean, so I’ll be relieving myself right here on the raft.”
Sam: “Okay, so here’s how you use a pickaxe!”
Ryan: “….do the sound of the Bee-Gees voices get you really excited?”
A lot of unfunny ones in there, but a generally okay one.
Props: Jane and Ryan vs. Sam and Chip
Ryan: “That’s right, I’m the Irish Bart Simpson. Problem with that?”
Not a very good round. Again, Sam’s choices were very broad and unfunny.
Backwards Scene- Ryan and Sam- doctor’s office
First Line: are you the proctologist?
Last Line: are you done yet?
Debut of this game, which would be done intermittently, and have a few nice rounds here and there.
This game gels into a formula very quickly- Sam says a line, then Ryan says something that sets up the line Sam just said. It goes on, and on.
Finally, Sam realizes what he should be doing, and goes “…1984, why?”
This gets Chip and Jane laughing, and throws Ryan for a loop.
Ryan: “…what’s your favorite wine?”
Sam: “Hey, you don’t have to beat me about the face and body”
Ryan: [does so]
Sam: “Well, I’ve seen a lot of asses in my time, but you’re the biggest one.”
And then, as usual, Ryan gets someone to tell a joke backwards. Sam has 5 seconds of ‘OH SHIT’
Sam goes ‘well, yes I am one, why?”
Ryan realizes he’s forgotten the starting line, then gets a genius idea: “My wife’s been…fooling around with a lot of men. You’re not one, right?”
Thankfully, Sam sets up the first line perfectly, and Ryan ends the scene. This got better as it went along, but Sam’s still not perfect at improv, and that takes me out of it occasionally.
Party Quirks: Sam hosts
Jane: TV aerobics instructor
Chip: Miss World contestant
Ryan: thinks he’s dog in heat
Sam is sweeping up
Clive: “…what are you doing?”
Sam, ever the improv smartass: “I’m creating a reality, Clive.”
Chip does garner a laugh upon entry, waving nonchalantly from the step.
Chip: “I’m Karen, from the great state of Texas, from the greatest country in the World, the United States of America, and I’d like to use my breasts to promote World Peace.”
Sam: “I’d like you to try my hors’doerves’
Chip: “Thank you- I think hors’doerves hold a vital role in any industry…”
Then, once everyone’s gone, Ryan comes over and humps Sam’s leg. The whole time, he’s looking over at Chip, not believing how ridiculous this crap is.
The rest of this is just very funny…Ryan sniffing butt and looking around at Sam, whose attempts to stay in the closet may have been foiled by this episode, looking bashfully at Ryan.
Ryan, after he’s guessed, walks back to the seats, going ‘…actually humping a man’s leg on TV’…still not believing that he did that, and to a gay man, no less.
Pretty funny game, though…again, something about Sam is pissing me off.
Helping Hands: Chip learns first aid from Ryan (ft. Sam’s hands)
Just great. Sam was just humped by Ryan, and now he has to be Ryan’s hands in this game. How the tables have turned.
Chip wisely gets Ryan to demonstrate mouth-to-mouth on the blow-up dummy. Sam is already raising it as Ryan’s trying to explain. It’s inevitable.
Ryan: “the hardest part of all of this is holding their entire body up in the air.”
Ryan: “You think you can do that, Billy?”
Chip: “I think so.”
Ryan: “Alright, I’ll get rid of the dummy, then. Try it with me!”
Sam has trouble getting the stethoscope around Ryan’s ears, nailing one
Ryan: “Only put half the ears in, then you’ll get half the heart!”
Chip is great at leading the game on, as there’s five seconds where he won’t put the bottle of antacid pills in Ryan’s, or Sam’s, hand.
The game ends with Ryan throwing pills in his, and Chip’s mouth. Afterwards, Sam hands some to Jane. They must not have been pills, probably mints or something.
Pretty solid game, with a nice amount of Ryan responding to frantic Sam moves.
Hoedown: Sex Change
This…has not aged well at all.
With the un-PC-ness, there is some good stuff in here. Jane sings about ‘discover[ing] that I’ve got a brand new bone!’, Ryan ends his verse with ‘they cut….off my willy!’
Chip’s verse is a pretty great one, though
“I had a little boy, you know his name is Tom
I was his daddy once, but now I am his mom
I was a tough one, as tough as old Charles Bronson
Until I went to the hospital, and they cut off my Johnson”
Again…the rhymes he comes up with. Nobody else is doing anything like that.
Better than the last few hoedowns, but still pretty unmemorable.
Overall: Well…this is a tricky one. Because this episode featured two people that didn’t work well with the show, absolutely shafted one of its recurring performers, and gave its other recurring performer the ENTIRE SHOW. So structurally, there was a bit amiss with this episode. HOWEVER…There weren’t any truly terrible games. Every game had some nice jokes, some great lines, and some great Ryan Stiles performances. If Ryan Stiles hadn’t been here, overexposure or no, this would have been worse than 1×06. Ryan brought out the best in Sam, despite Sam doing some really annoying improv things that I didn’t love. He also worked well with Jane, despite her not really playing well with others, and pissing him off a few times. Chip had a nice night, but we barely saw him. So while this was a fun watch, it’s marred by some internal decisions that fucked with the overall effect of the improv.
Show Winner: Sam
Best Performer: Ryan, by far
Worst Performer: Sam. Too catty, too broad, too obnoxious.
Best Game: Expert. They worked so much into that game, and it all worked.
Worst Game: Props. Nothing funny, and Ryan got rubbed the wrong way by Jane.