The last ever episode to be shot in New York, and the last non-compilation episode of the strong-starting but weak-ending Series 4, tonight’s show is essentially a ‘what have we learned’ wrap-up of the series. Greg Proops and Ryan Stiles are here, as usual, but so is Brad Sherwood, who had a nice enough first showing but wouldn’t appear again on Whose Line until Series 9, five years after this one, meaning that the producers liked him, but not enough to get him on a plane to London until 1997. And Ron West is also here, in his final appearance, after a disastrous showing in Episode 9.
Emotion Option: Brad and Ryan (on a production line)
The quick patter is nearly right off the bat, as during the ‘paranoia’ style, Brad and Ryan’s dialogue are nearly overlapping, and their humor definitely benefits each other.
Ryan: “…’member what you just said?”
Even the little things work. In the moment where Nostalgia becomes Angst, Brad’s expression goes from wistful to antsy, and he builds this little cringe which operates the rest of his movements.
Then, in the ecstasy style, Ryan and Brad start doing their production sound effects, but in the most horny way possible. When you can make sound effects have emotions, then you know you’re good at something.
Ryan: “OH! I’m caught!”
Ryan slides over to Brad seamlessly. It was a little like the spaghetti ending of the Old Job New Job from earlier this series, but it was still a funny ending to a really well-improvised scene.
Film and Theatre Styles: Greg and Ron (kidnapper and negotiating policeman)
Ron: “Look, let me through the door. It’s ridiculous talking through this microphone. I’m close to you.”
Greg: “I can see you, cause the door has an enormous window in it! Think how stupid I feel!”
Ron’s physicality in the Burlesque style is a ton like how he did Slapstick with Paul Merton, though sadly without the instantly-appearing folding chair this time.
Clive: Soviet realism
Greg: “I am never giving up my hostage, until all of the people in my country can have Reeboks of their own.”
The scene was going pretty well until Japanese Horror, when Ron just stops and goes ‘CUT TO SHOT OF GREG IN GODZILLA’S HANDS’, and sort of doctors the scene himself. Also, like usual, not a ton of emphasis on character and a lot of emphasis on ‘play’.
Scenes from a Hat:
Clive: “Strange good-luck charms.”
Ryan: “Hey, I see you’ve got a Rabbi’s foot!”
Clive: “sports that will never make the Olympics.”
Brad: “CATCH THE FROG! CATCH THE FROG!”
Ryan: [catches it in his mouth]
Again, I feel like the rounds of this game got weaker as the series went on, but good for some easy laughs.
Whose Line: Ryan is stopped by officer Brad
Brad: “Hey, buddy. Didn’t you see that sign back there. It said ‘always keep a jellyfish in your handbag.'”
And we’re off to a rousing start.
Brad: “May I see your handbag please?”
Ryan, rolling up the window: “I’m sorry?”
Brad smirks at that one. Adv- Ryan.
Ryan: “My friend, I have a jellyfish right here.”
Brad: “…yes, but it’s not in your handbag!”
Ryan: “Before I left the house, my wife yelled at me….[struggles to open line]…SHE YELLED AT MEEEE…’Send for the King and a plate of spaghetti!’….she’s been pregnant for 9 months, and she’s going out of her mind…”
Brad: “You know, last time I saw a guy like you, he tried to get out of it by saying…[breaks]…’Grab me big boy and kiss me like there’s no tomorrow!'”
Brad at least handles this one a bit better than Sam handled the ‘will you marry me’ line.
Brad, after the audience dies down: “…as I recall, I didn’t write that ticket…”
Ryan, instead of putting a bow on the kissing subplot, reads his last line, saying the motto of the Young Drivers of America is ‘.MY GOD, WE’RE CAUGHT IN QUICKSAND’.
Ryan: “….a lot of the members were pregnant at the time…”
World’s Worst: Person to pick up as a hitchhiker
Greg: “Oh, don’t pull over yet, I know MORE showtunes!”
Brad: “Do I smell like gravel to you?”
Ryan: “No, I’m just trying to find that all Bee-Gees channel.”
Brad, with the callback joke: “This is a rough stretch of highway, so I brought a jellyfish in my handbag…”
Props: Ryan and Brad vs. Greg and Ron
Ryan: “I don’t think it’s right to forge Gulliver’s checks…”
Also, this is the first of many ‘Blistex delivery for Mr. Jagger’ jokes.
Brad, holding the prop to his nose: “….alright, I was lying for god’s sakes…”
Ryan: “Your elephant’s got a temperature of 104…”
Great round, especially on Brad and Ryan’s end.
Helping Hands: Brad learns how to decorate cakes from Ryan (ft. Greg’s hands)
The first bit of the scene is hysterical because Greg can’t fit the hat or apron onto Ryan, so Ryan just decides to throw them both away.
Brad, as Ryan tries dumping chocolate icing onto the cake: “Why don’t you use the spatula, it’ll be a lot easier-”
Ryan, pointing a knife at Brad: “WHOOOO is the cook here…”
And, of course, Greg ends up spurting reddi-whip into Ryan’s mouth, though thankfully Loyd Grossman was not on hand.
This is a very funny scene, because there ends up being whipped cream all over Ryan and Brad by the end of the scene. Greg, after they finish, asks Ryan, calmly ‘did I get any on you?”
Superheroes: Airplane is going down
Greg: Soap Man
Ryan: Tight Underwear Man
Ron: Ripped Off in the Divorce Settlement Man
Brad: Overreaction Man
Ryan, immediately nailing his physicality: “The cabs just wouldn’t stop for me, I don’t know why!”
This is a pretty quick game, as there’s not a ton of attention to the plot, but it’s still pretty damn funny. Though it does go into some obscure territory when they just start talking about Airport 75.
A bit too light for me, but still not exactly bad.
Old Job New Job: Greg is a dentist working on Brad. Ryan, a former car mechanic, comes in to help.
Ryan goes with the obvious joke- he comes in, Greg tells him the diagnosis, and Ryan goes “mind if I have a look?” Then Ryan scoots underneath Brad’s stool to look from underneath. Just a good joke. It’s even better when Brad confusedly looks over at Greg.
Greg: “Ryan, how’s it look?”
Ryan: “Well, he’s got a huge cavity under here.”
OH GOD, IT GOT BETTER…
Greg: “I think you might see it a little better from up here-”
Ryan: “NO, I’LL PULL IT FROM DOWN HERE, GREG!”
Ryan, getting up from underneath: “That’s all it was, ya had a loose nut!”
Absolutely hysterical, even if the jokes were pretty simple.
Clive says that a hoedown’s a ‘very popular musical style over here, except for with…these four, oddly enough’.
Fairly inoffensive hoedown, without any standout verses, but, again, not what you’d call bad either.
Overall: A step up from the last few, succeeding in delivering several really funny games, as well as not allowing a bad improviser that much time for showcase. The show thrived on the Ryan-Brad games, as both performers were up to the challenge, and both were really funny tonight. Greg, as usual this series, wasn’t up to par with the front of the pack, though he had nice moments here and there. Ron, again, didn’t have a great go at it, but he was better here than he was in E9. Better show, and a solid way to leave the NY tapings.
Show Winners: Ryan and Greg
Best Performer: Ryan, for again proving why he was such a fixture during this stetch
Worst Performer: Ron. Not really his show, to be honest.
Best Game: Whose Line, narrowly edging out Old Job New Job on account of having a few funnier lines all-around.
Worst Game: Superheroes. A lot of emptiness for such a usually-packed game.