Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E02, or YES, MISTER PATRONIZING BARRISTER, WE HAVE IT IN AMERICA

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the only episode of this series that does not feature Tony Slattery. Considering who they DID book, it’s not a terribly big loss: Mike McShane, Josie Lawrence and Greg Proops all make their first appearances of the series, next to basically-regular-at-this-point Ryan Stiles.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Ryan and Josie (racehorse owner and trainer)

Some guy in the audience shouts out “THREE NUNS AND A BABY!”
Ryan and Josie:
Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 11.55.28 AM.png

Clive: “…did you say ‘Three Nuns and a Baby’? You’re a sick man…and it’s a sunday as well. [beat, remembers when this goes out]…and it’s a Friday as well. I don’t…”

Josie: “Jake, why isn’t this horse growing? I paid quite a lot of money for this horse, and I’d like to get her on the track as soon as possible.”
Ryan, absolutely serious: “I know…perhaps I should feed her.”
BUZZ

Chinese Horror:
Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 11.58.25 AM.png

Ryan says things in a goofy Japanese voice in this style, but the biggest laugh is from Josie, hair still like this, going “…WHA?”
Even Ryan cracks at that, as the buzzer goes off. “WHA INDEED.”

There’s a great moment where, as the horse grows at ‘an inCREDIBLE RATE’, Ryan keeps following the horse’s growth upward, while Josie points to where the horse’s snout was…sees where Ryan’s looking, then revises her point, smiling.

Ryan: “QUICK, STAND BEHIND ME!”
Josie, clinging directly behind Ryan: “…oh, alright then…”

It ends in a very silly Chase Movie sequence, but by the end, it’s been a very funny, very great scene, as usual with these Josie-Ryan pairings.

Clive: “With 17 points each there, this puts you comfortably ahead of the guy who suggested ‘three nuns and a baby’.”

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Greg and Mike (fixing a motorbike)

After 1 minute of Greg and Mike doing biker vernacular, Clive buzzes in
Clive: “Let’s now do it in English.”
Greg, sarcastically turning to Clive: “Where’s that famous pluck?”
Clive: “Is that rhyming slang?”

Starsky and Hutch
Mike: “Hutch, your wife wants to talk to you” [holds up bike]
Greg grabs the bike, thinking it’s the phone, then Mike has to re-state himself.

Greg: “COVER ME!”
Mike:
Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 12.13.46 PM.png

Mike holds this for a few seconds, and Greg and Mike start whispering.
Clive: “DON’T YOU…”
Greg:
Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 12.14.54 PM.png
Clive: “I don’t know what you’re doing over there, but…stoppit…and do…biblical epic”
Mike, stepping back with the jacket: “YOU ARE HEALED!”
BUZZ

Mike announces, in Disaster Movie, that the bike is starting to tick.
Greg: “Quick, I’ll hide behind you…”

Note that Mike, in mentioning any hasbeen actor from the 70s who Greg can call, namedrops O.J. Simpson. By the time this episode aired, O.J. would be more relevant than Mike would ever have dreamed.

Another nice scene, though not as good as Josie and Ryan’s.

Old Job New Job: Greg and Josie’s car has broken down. Ryan, the AA man, used to be an astronaut

Clive: “Ryan is an AA man, over here, what you call-”
Ryan: “an alcoholic…”
Clive: “Yes, an ex-alcoholic..”

Ryan’s first move is to pop the hood, plant an American flag and wave to the camera.

Ryan then checks the oil, only for it to spurt up in zero-g, and Ryan to try and salvage it.

Greg, who’s been very helpful to the setup, throws a wrench at Ryan, which hits him in slo-mo, prompting him to crack a bit. You can tell he didn’t really know what to do with the scene.

Greg, still helping: “QUICK, GRAB HIS CORD!”
Ryan: “…that’s not my cord…”
BUZZZZZZ

Solid enough scene, though Ryan seemed like he didn’t really know what to do with the scene description.

Funeral: Frederick the trampoliner

A new game that would appear sporadically on this and the US version.

Clive gets the hobby, trampolining, internally wonders if he wants to do the ‘Greg, do you have that in America’ joke, gets to ‘d’you have’, and then aborts it, leading to
Clive, looking at Greg: “D’you have…yeah.”
Greg, who knows exactly what he was trying to do: “Yes, we have it in America…..YES, MISTER PATRONIZING BARRISTER, WE HAVE IT IN AMERICA….”

Clive: “Okay, now you take over from this and introduce everybody-”
Greg: “CHEERS, MATEY.”

Greg: “After this, we’re going to have a TWISTER PARTY, MARDI-GRAS THROWDOWN…[back to serious] BUT FIRST…”

Ryan: “Yes, I knew Frederick for many years, I…met him at a club when he was a bouncer…I think the…[pauses for audience laugher] I think the one mistake that he made was renting that basement suite…”

Then, after a few more lines, Ryan, quietly, goes to Greg “…is it time for Twister?”

Josie, mourning: “…and he use to have this way of lying on-”
Greg, knowing exactly where she’s going to go: “THANK YOU, TANISHA…”
Ryan: “I’d like to hear a little bit more of that..”
Greg: “No, that’s…”
Mike: “After the Twister!”

Greg, saying more than he could have realized: “Randall, you knew Frederick better than anyone, you were his twin.”
Ryan, realizing where Greg went with how Frederick died, breaks a bit.

After Mike says his piece about Frederick being on the top bunk in their old bunk bead.
Greg: “Yes, and he left you out of the will, now…”
Ryan, to Josie: “…and the tutu was all…”
Greg: “NOW…”

The centerpiece of the game is all four singing together, in one voice, a hymn for the deceased, which is usually haphazard, and usually just one guy leading and the other four following. Here, you can tell Ryan’s leading. It’s a simple enough one, no ‘NOW I SLEEP WITH HIS WIFE’, but it ends the incredibly funny game in a graceful way.

Stand Sit Lie: Greg is a patient, Ryan’s the doctor, Josie’s visiting.

A variant on Stand Sit Bend, now featuring a table to lie down on.

Beginning of the send-up, Greg and Ryan argue about who’s gonna sit down. Greg finally agrees to get the table.

Ryan, already putting the game at a high-concept level: “I don’t think you have anything to worry about, looks like 3 nines…”

I love that Ryan and Josie are having a conversation, switching positions while Greg’s just roaming around possessed, and they don’t seem to notice him.

Josie faints, and Ryan tries to help her up.
Josie, cracking: “OW, YOU STOOD ON MY HAIR…”

Ryan sits down on the table, pontificating, while Greg and Josie realize someone needs to lie down…so they lie down on each other.

Ryan: “Maybe it’s not…my god, it’s three sixes, I WAS WRONG!”

A very, very silly scene, but still incredibly funny. The table element makes it a ton harder for them to fluidly change positions, and it leads to very funny moments.

Props: Greg and Ryan vs. Mike and Josie

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 12.40.33 PM.pngJosie: “…Hello, I’m Roger Moore!”
That’s a very clever reference…

Ryan, drops prop from air: “…Gulliver’s sharpening his pencils again…”
Greg, as the buzz goes, to Ryan: “Well done…”

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 12.41.53 PM.pngMike: “Hello, welcome to Clive’s dream.”

Josie, as she’s doing a Coco Chanel joke, accidentally hits herself in the face with the prop, which is a great way to end the scene.

Great round of props. Ryan and Greg’s felt very similar to US-era suggestions, while Mike and Josie’s were more idea-based and similar to UK-era suggestions.

Duet: Josie and Mike sing a love song about a cat litter tray

Mike, top of the song: “…I wanted to show you something…”
Josie: “What?”
Mike: “Come into the hallway…look what she did!”
Josie: “It’s beautiful…”

Mike says that Josie and he are great because they love everything about cats, then goes into
Mike: ‘I LOVE WATCHING THEM SQUAT ON THE EDGE OF THE TRAY…’
Josie: “I LOVE WATCHING THEM DO THEIR LITTLE BROWN POOOOO…”
[Greg, in the background, is shaking his head]

Mike: “Whoever thought that feline defecation could such a swell and singular sensation.”
Josie, with the line of the century: “Whoever thought that our love would glitter, just standing her looking at shit and cat litter.”
[The whole audience is gone for days at that one]

Not only is this a beautiful song, one of their best duets in years…but goddammit, this is one of the funniest singing games we’ve had in a while, just on every letter, in terms of lyrics and earnesty. Probably one of the best Song Styles/Duet games out there.

Mike, as he sits down, motions to Josie for the audience’s delight. Josie, in return, looks like she’s gonna motion to Mike but just strokes Ryan’s hair.

Clive: “I think that’s the best song about cat litter I’ve ever heard.”

Helping Hands: Josie orders ice cream from Ryan (ft. Greg’s hands)

Clive, explaining the scene: “You’ve come to this strange, double-backed creature…to get some ice cream…
Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 1.32.20 PM.png
Clive: “…apparently from someone who’s been in the American Air Force, but…”

There’s 15 seconds where Ryan has to grab a cone, but Greg keeps grabbing random things that are not a cone. Ryan comes close to ‘no, you idiot’ levels, but stays solvent.

This is a little less put-together than other Helping Handses, because absolutely nothing seems to go right in terms of where Greg is aiming. Ryan drops the ice cream cone in order to make a whipped cream gag work, and then abandons a banana before he has to use it. There’s definitely some dissonance between Ryan and Greg here.

Ends before it gets going, and doesn’t have a ton of the best Helping Hands stuff, but Ryan and his accent are good enough.

Party Quirks: Greg hosts
Josie: olympic ice skater (TOPICAL AS OF FEBRUARY 2018!)
Mike: thinks he’s a car
Ryan: going down the plughole

Greg, starting the party: “Hmm…Clive Anderson spoken word on CD.”
[BOOTS OUT WINDOW]
Greg, putting on a Slade (or Quiet Riot but probably Slade) CD: “Boy, that was a close one. ‘come on, feel tha noise…”

Greg, as Josie skates in: “…did you step in something on the way over?”

Greg, as Mike sticks his ass in Greg’s direction: “…is it your birthday again???”

Once again, Ryan’s quirk is where the fun really starts, as his physicality and movements are 100% perfect, and the audience knows it.

Even better, as Ryan keeps doing these insane motions and noises, Greg sort of stands there, half-watching him go, and half-confused out of his mind. It’s not like a Tony ‘chuckle to meltdown’ type thing, but Greg is just bewildered.

Greg finally gets it when Clive gives it to him, to which he looks into Camera 1 and goes ‘…thank you.’

Overall: Lost momentum late, but in its highest point this show was absolutely insane, with some great performances from people I’d counted out, and great games from people I’d thought were going for ‘okay’. Josie, Ryan and Greg all had tremendously great shows, and all worked together really, really well. The edge goes to Greg Proops, though, for being a bright spot in all his games, hitting Clive all night, and narrowly edging out Josie for the show win.

Show Winners: Mike and Josie
Best Performer: Greg, for some hysterical and biting material all night.
Worst Performer: Mike McShane, who, aside from Duet, didn’t do a great deal all night.
Best Game: Funeral. Everyone shined, and everyone made me laugh
Worst Game: Helping Hands, for just not working as well as other playings have.

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