You can honestly sum the bulk of this season of Whose Line up with this episode’s tactic- a bunch of North Americans and Josie Lawrence. That’s honestly most of this season’s episodes, a solid 3/8, if we can somehow include Australia as part of northern America (which seems like something the current US president would think of).
Tonight is a fairly simple S5 matchup- Josie, Greg, Colin and Ryan. That’s honestly as basic as it got during this stretch. Eventually we’d get to the point where it’d just get to ‘which matchup will perform with Colin and Ryan this week?’, but here it’s fresh, and an entertaining enough matchup. Also, note that this is the last show of the season for both Greg and Josie, who’ve dominated the bulk of the run. The rest of the series is lined with Tony Slattery episodes.
Ryan’s camera-pattern shirt is very similar to the kind of wacky shirts Colin would start wearing around S3 of the US run.
Scenes from a Hat:
Clive: “The ultimate pop-up book”
Clive: “The four horsemen of the apocalypse.”
Greg: “Sorry, pestilence couldn’t be here today, I’m Nervousness.”
Clive: “A convention of wrestlers.”
Josie: “NICE TO MEET YOU” [Gets Ryan in a headlock and takes him down.]
You can even hear Ryan emitting a gargled, shocked noise as he goes down.
Clive: “Dog parties.”
Colin immediately starts humping Ryan’s leg. Ryan cracks up so much that he nearly loses his balance, and has to fight with Colin to make sure they both don’t tip over.
Alright round, though thin in the middle. A lot of these were pretty basic.
Whose Line: Mugger and victim
Clive: “…you do have that in America, right?”
Colin and Ryan: “YES!”
Ryan: “it’s like our church…”
Ryan: “Give me your money…sorry, I’m new.”
There’s a great Colin-Ryan sequence where Colin tries to teach Ryan to be more aggressive in mugging, and it backfires, as Ryan’s just goofy-loud going “GIMMEYEEHMONNEEYYY” as Colin facepalms.
Ryan: “Show me.”
Colin, taking the gun: “GIMME YOUR MONEY.”
Colin: “I have one piece of advice for you: “I must now return to my own time.” D’you want to come with me?”
Ryan: “I noticed the Nazi outfit, I was wondering about that…”
Colin’s silly but plausible rationalization here is one of the first few times in one of these games where the performers aren’t afraid of bending the narrative and going to stranger pastures with the scene, rather than just basing completely in reality. Colin brings this to a world where a Nazi got caught in a time warp and travels to the future, and he says it in a straight face.
Ryan: “I remember him dying on his deathbed, and he said to me…”your cheeks look so cute when you smile’…funny, I was…facing away from him at the time…”
Colin: “Well, I also don’t have any money, being a…Nazi General caught in a time warp…”
Ryan: “I mean, after all, isn’t the Nazi slogan “i’ve been flying my helicopter naked’?”
Yes, it is.
Then, Ryan swings something around below his legs, demonstrating, going “HIMMLER! REMEMBER HIMMLER!”, all while Colin’s denying it. This is such an insane but hysterical scene.
Colin: “No, we have a new motto: “it makes a bigger noise if you hold it the other way around…”
And then Ryan does so, turning the gun the other way around and killing himself, which is a very silly touch to an incredibly silly scene.
Song Styles: Josie sings a drunken auntie song about snails
Josie cracks up when she hears this style, probably the more creative one we’ve gotten lately.
Then, immediately, as Richard starts up, Josie motions to an unseen person “I KNOW THE WORDS, I KNOW THE WORDS!”
Funnier than a lot of the Josie songs we’ve been getting, and more memorable even, as she still sings really well while playing this drunk, strange character.
Greg: Hamster Man
Ryan: Fidget Man
Josie: Woman who’s shocked by everything
Colin: Rhyming Couplet Kid
Some poor schmo in the audience, when asked for a crisis, yells out ‘HE’S LOST HIS DINNER MONEY’, which cracks up Greg AND Clive.
Clive mentions there’s an earthquake going on, “probably in your hometown of San Francisco the way things are.”
Greg’s hamster motions crack me up. Even while pissed off, he can still deliver great improv.
Greg: “Oh my gosh, it’s an earthquake, and it’s in [looks right at Clive], OAKLAND, RIGHT NEXT TO SAN FRANCISCO!”
Of course, from the moment her name is announced, Josie absolutely nails hers.
Josie: “OH, IT’S THE RHYMING COUPLET KID!”
Ryan has a great line, as Fidget Man, pointing out on the world crisis monitor of the earthquake: “EVERYBODY LOOKS LIKE ME!”
Very fun game, though the banter beforehand did definitely factor into it.
World’s Worst: Person to sit next to on an airplane
Josie: “WE’RE GOING TO CRASH WE’RE GOING TO CRASH WE’RE GOING TO CRASH WE’RE GOING TO CRASH!”
Greg: “I’VE BEEN DRINKING WITH THE PILOT FOR HOURS!”
Ryan: “Some guy’s been drinking with me for hours!”
Colin: [repeatedly vomits]
Josie: “…I’ve got a tub of margarine in my bag.” [no one laughs, so she shrugs and goes back]
Ryan: “I’VE GOT LOTS OF MARGARINE DOWN MY PANTS.”
Another fantastic round of this, with everyone contributing something funny.
Props: Josie and Colin vs. Greg and Ryan
Ryan is given a long, colored stick. He smirks. EVERYONE IN THE AUDIENCE KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE HE’S GOING.
Josie: “And now, I will leap through the flaming hoop of fire.”
Colin, holding the hoop of fire: “AAH! AAAH!”
Colin: “My GOD! WE HAVE TO STOP THE SNAKES FROM SWALLOWING THEMSELVES!”
You can tell this isn’t a very inspiring bunch of props when Colin does an Ironside impression…and then comes back later and does another Ironside impression (‘IT’S ME AGAIN, MARK!’)
A noticeably weaker Props round, but not without funniness.
Scene to Music: Colin is someone who always borrows Ryan’s clothes.
Colin: “Well, I didn’t know you were taking a shower.”
CUE THE MUSIC: Like a Western/Epic theme
Ryan: “I was…right here in this booth.”
Ryan, with the spaghetti western lip lag: “But you’re good…very good…”
Colin, contrasting: “…thanks.”
Film Dub: Greg has come to Ryan for advice with women- Josie is a woman.
Greg, looking over Josie’s character: “Boy, you sure are a woman…JEEEESUS CHRIST…”
Greg: “Nice smoking jacket.”
Ryan: “Thank you very much it’s, uh…….”
Greg, as his character leaves, cutting off the silence: “So long.”
Ryan, thankful: “See ya.”
Another not-great film dub. I’m not fretting, as I know the very next film dub we get will be a classic.
Clive: “50 million points awarded to Tony Slattery, AND HE’S NOT EVEN *IN* TONIGHT’S PROGRAM!”
Helping Hands: Ryan (ft. Colin’s hands) teaches Greg how to make pizza.
From moment one, Ryan’s italian accent is wonderfully goofy.
Colin does the herculean task of catching dough while not being able to see his hands.
Ryan attempts to start rolling the dough. Colin takes the rolling pin and slams it down so hard that it tips over and cracks a bowl of tomato sauce. Greg jumps a mile.
Ryan is doing an admirable job wading through the chaos and keeping in character
Ryan: “These little things here, they swim in the ocean, they’re called….olives. Now…”
Ryan: “A lot of people throw the pizza at the beginning. I like-a to throw it up in the air at the end!”
Just as Colin attempts a mild launch, Clive ends things.
Not as good as the Helping Hands standard, and a bit more haphazard, but still entertaining.
Party Quirks: Greg hosts
Colin: Mr. Universe contestant
Ryan: thinks he’s a moth
Josie: “Come on, Greg-boy, let me mount you…”
Greg, as Josie gets on his back: “Josie, we’re not even dating…”
Greg, as he has to get the doorbell while Josie’s still on his back: “…could you just get the door, I’m holding your thigh.”
Also, a rarity, Greg gets to use the old, patented twiglet line, as he hands Colin “one of those reeealllly big twiglets…”
Ryan, upon entry: “D’ya mind turning off the outside light?”
Ryan’s physicality is fantastic- nibbling on Greg’s shoulder, frantically hovering around a candle.
Overall: Very, very okay. Not a ton stood out, but not a ton was truly bad. If it weren’t for Whose Line we’d be in some dire shape, but everyone did fine, and there were funny moments throughout, but…not enough of them. Josie had a down show after some great episodes this year, and, once again, this show was fastened to Ryan Stiles’s shoulders. He did most of the heavy lifting yet again.
Show Winner: Ryan Stiles
Best Performer: Ryan, for doing his usual excellent work
Worst Performer: Josie, for having less put-together work with the Americans.
Best Game: Whose Line. Just hysterical.
Worst Game: Film Dub. Not a lot going on.