Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E07, or The Crew Seems to be Happy About it..

So. How do you follow the departure of two of the series’ finest improvisers? Well…with quite possibly Whose Line’s most ambitious guest starring appearance since Jonathan Pryce was on.

Eddie Izzard, at the time of this taping, was not only one of the foremost stand-up comedians of the time, but he was also becoming a panel-show staple, appearing on Have I Got News for You in Paul Merton’s absence, and taking the UK comedy world by storm. Having him on Whose Line was an UNBELIEVABLE get, and one that would need to keep the show relevant after the Tony incident in E6. Luckily, stacking the panel with people like Ryan, Greg and Steve, who would supplement or compliment Eddie’s bizarre sense of humor, was an inspired, trusted idea.

Remote Control: Lobsters
Steve: The Bill
Eddie: NewsNight
Greg: Game Show
Ryan: Cookery Show

Clive asks for a general topic all these programs can be about
Audience member: “HUGH GRANT!”
Clive: “Hugh Grant, nice idea, but…I don’t think we could do more than 5 minutes with him, could we?”

Greg: “HELLO, GOOD EVENING, and welcome to OUCH, stop pinching my butt!”

Steve: “We’ve got a crayfish in the third cell, Sarge. [Smirking, coming up with the best pun] It belongs to the Kray brothers.”
BUZZ
Steve’s laughing at that one

Greg: “Oh, I’M SORRY! That means YOU’RE going into the pot of boiling water!”

Ryan, referring to the other suggestion that almost made it: “While cooking lobster, it’s important not to set your oven too high because of global warming.”

Steve, with another one: “Alright, sargeant, take him into the interview room and, uh, grill him for us please?”
BUZZ

Simple game, with some people, like Greg and Steve, going for sillier jokes, while Eddie went for more satirical, longer bits.

Film and Theatre Styles: Eddie and Steve (Hannibal and his elephant keeper)

First of all: HAHA, EDDIE’S PLAYING HANNIBAL HERE, AND IN 15 YEARS HE’D BE ON THE *PROGRAM* HANNIBAL, HA HA HA. There. Got that out of our system.

Steve, picking a Northern voice for his elephant keeper: “I’ll tell you…they’re not gonna go up those bleedin’ mountains, they’re KNACKERED!”

And then
Steve: “How you gonna get an elephant up the alps? You can’t even get one in a ski lift, can you?”

For Ivor the Engine, Steve and Eddie go into fun, campy Scottish accents, much to the delight of the audience.

French with subtitles
Steve: [says something in french, then dubs below] “the elephants can’t go up the mountain.”
Steve: [says something else in french] “It’ll be okay.”
[Ahhh, that’s such an Eddie thing, too]

Captain Scarlet:
Steve: “You’ll never get my elephants up there…the strings won’t take them!”

Very fun scene, helped by a really nice Eddie-Steve dynamic, and some great lines from Steve.

Film Dub: Ryan and Greg have forgotten to do something

Ryan, getting up to see his wife: “…Ohhh my GOD, but you’re ugly!”
Greg, matching a random character motion: “If you think I’M ugly…well, look at the floor!”

Greg: “You’ve forgotten to put your robe on!”
Ryan: “Yeeeahhh, I should put it over my head so I don’t have to look at that ugly mug of yours…”

The scene ends a bit clumsily, but it’s still kinda funny, even if it is one-note.

Old Job New Job: Ryan is a dental nurse, Eddie is a patient, and Steve is a dentist who used to be a builder

Steve, as with the last time he was an ex-builder, enters with his ass-crack in full view. The audience response to this is OVERWHELMING.

Steve also spends the scene ordering around Ryan as the nurse, first asking for more sugar in his coffee, then whistling at him halfway through an Eddie line.

Ends a bit too soon, but still another great Steve scene.

Clive: “Steve shoots into the lead there, with some clever witticisms, and one of the funniest cracks I’ve ever…”

News Report: Gulliver in Lilliput. Greg and Eddie in the studio, Steve and Ryan in the field.

The ‘what are they doing while the music plays in’ bit this week is Eddie opening his mouth and Greg looking in it. It might even be a callback to the last game, but Greg goes “is it an abcess, d’you think?”

Greg, immediately: “GOOD EVENING…I’m Red When Excited.”

Greg, smirking as he delivers the blow: “We have a doctor here, who’s both an expert on diminutiveness…”
Eddie:
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 5.57.13 PM.png

Greg: “…and the condition of being GARGANTUAN…”

Eddie: “Tall people have always liked to be strapped down, and that’s what that story is all about!”

Steve, noting the obvious with Ryan: “…you’re pretty big for a small person.”
Ryan: “..I’m Jojo, the mutant small person.”

Greg, to Eddie: “Now, Gulliver also went to Brogdavnia, where he was the smallest person there. How does that feel?”

Eddie lets off that small people really rule the world
Greg: “How do small people rule the world, then, doctor?”
Eddie: “By pressing buttons.”

Ryan, as Gulliver: “i love the little people! I like to paint them all different colors and play snooker!…Tie ’em onto long pieces of rope, and use them as a sexual aid, if you know what I’m saying…”

Greg: “Doctor, any safety tips for the children out there who might travel to places where they might end up being tied down by small people.”
Eddie: “Yep. Take scissors.”

A really nice News Report round, with Eddie doing some really silly work from the studio, and Ryan doing great character work from the field.

Props: Greg and Ryan vs. Steve and Eddie

Eddie, using his props as guns: “Okay, I know you’re not loaded, but I’m gonna kill you anyway!”

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.04.44 PM.pngGreg, doing a David Attenborough impression: “…TO MY LEFT…you can see the exotic Irish Elk…”

Ryan, with the prop between his legs: “Not only do I have blood in my urine, but it’s damn cold out here…”

A better Props round than the last few, with some silly choices all around.

Sound Effects: Ryan and Greg are on the beach

Yes, this is another ‘canned sound effects’ round, but wouldn’t it be cool if Eddie was doing Sound Effects for Ryan or Greg?

Ryan: “How do I look?”
Greg: “I can’t turn, my neck is too muscular.”
Ryan, chuckling: “WHAT neck?”

Ryan says he’s leaving the lifeguard business, “perhaps pick up a new line of business”
As he says this, heavenly church organ music plays
Ryan: “…maybe become an organ donor.”
HA

Ryan dives into the water, expecting to prompt a sound
“…RED ALERT, RED ALERT.”
Ryan: “…I’VE GOT A SUBMARINE!”

Ryan hangs onto the hull of the sub as it surfaces, and there’s a maniacal laugh.
Ryan: “…the crew seems to be happy about it!”

As close as we’re going to get to an audience members SFX, as Ryan and Greg’s responding to these sounds were pretty great.

Film Trailer: The Creature from Essex. Greg narrates, Ryan, Eddie and Steve act it out

Greg, starting: “Just outside of London is a place where women with enormous hair and white stilletos go to bars and dance around their handbags. It’s called…ESSEX!”

Narratively, this is more advanced than previous ones. More than just Greg saying things and then they happen- there’s a conscious story, with Ryan creating Eddie in a lab, which is a very silly sequence, and Eddie going around and killing men.

Greg: “The first man she met, was the first man she wanted to make love to!”
Steve, entering: “HELLO, DARLING!”
Eddie then grabs chest balls and punches him in the nuts.
Greg: “BUT IT ALL WENT HORRIBLY WRONG!”

Greg: “She only stopped twice. Once at an off-license, and later at a cosmetic counter to pick up some white lip gloss.”
Eddie, in a move that always cracks me up
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.16.07 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.16.20 PM.png

Greg: “Who can forget that night on the cliff, when Tracy found her second victim?”
Steve enters, and Eddie does the exact same crotch grabbing move, which cracks up Steve…and Eddie.
Greg: “YES, SHE REPEATED THE SAME ACTION OVER AND OVER AGAIN.”
Steve: “You’re from Essex, inn’t you?”
Eddie:
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.18.04 PM.png

Then the actor intros. For Ryan’s, he walks onstage looking at Clive, takes a long pause, then quickly turns to the camera. This is enough to get the audience laughing.

Greg: “And introducing Fiona Lamb, as Tracy. She was the woman who had only the language of love at her fingertips.”
Eddie: “…….Hello.”
[I die every time]

Arguably the funniest top-to-bottom Film Trailer we got on this show, as this was (I think) the last one that aired. It was more of a coherent story than just a mixture of setups and scenes. Plus, Eddie got more opportunity to shine here, having a ton of fun, and smiling more than he has in the earlier games.

Moving People: Ryan and Steve are two firemen at the scene of a fire

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 6.21.55 PM.pngClive announces the scene as they’re in this position. “You’ve captured the atmosphere already…”

Steve, to start: “…I’ve forgot me bleedin’ helmet! I can’t go in there without me helmet.”
Ryan: “…what a coinky-dinky…”

Ryan gets the movers to get he and Steve to high five…by saying ‘HIGH FIVE’ for 5 seconds until they get the picture. Steve’s mover gets the bright idea to hit Ryan in the face instead, which is a great move.

Steve shushes Ryan for five seconds
Steve: “Listen…I think I can hear gas escaping…”
Ryan, who’s in the same, bent over position: “…I wish I could be of some help to you..”

Ryan: “Look, I thought if I use my OWN hose, then we can put out this fire quickly…”
Steve: “It’s not a very long hose, is it? I’m not getting personal, but it’s not fair…”
Ryan’s mover puts his hand around his crotch area.
Ryan: “…well, there ya go…”
BUZZ

A really funny Moving People, made better by the fact that the movers actually helped the scene get funnier, while Ryan and Steve knew when to react accordingly.

Party Quirks: Greg hosts
Eddie: child come to play in the playground
Steve: getting on the tube
Ryan: circus parade going by

Clive: “Is the party in full swing?”
Greg: “Yes, it’s a come as Greg Proops joke party. ‘OCELOT, OCELOT’ ‘NYEEEEEHHH’ ‘God, you’re bald, Clive…”

Steve’s physicality is pretty great here, being yanked around the stage, and occasionally being crammed between people.

Eddie, however, is just really good, and nails the innocence the quirk’s going for, sort of hanging around in the background.

Ryan’s quirk always cracks me up. He starts with a count off, then comes in as a marching band, racing around Greg, then turning into an elephant, then doing a juggler. Greg finally guesses him, he rolls his eyes and goes back to his seat. It’s the slack-faced-ness that kills me, sort of like his ‘all the dogs in a dog show’ one from US S5, just tiredly doing faces and motions until someone guesses it.

Greg manages to nab Eddie at the last second, which gets some cheers from the audience.

Overall: A great, fun little episode to lead us out of the dark times. Everybody was putting up great work, with a surprising emphasis on Steve, for just having great lines and showcase games all night, and carrying as well as helping others. It was a tough competition though, as Ryan had great moments in Sound Effects and Moving People, Greg had great News Report and Party Quirks rounds, and Eddie, while maybe a show or two away from being completely immersed in what this show was, still was decent enough in his only appearance, having funny moments in News Report and Film Trailer, and being himself as much as he could. Very watchable, very fun show.

Show Winners: Ryan and Greg
Best Performer: Steve Frost, for being in a great mood and working well with everyone
Worst Performer: Eddie Izzard, only for being outshone a bit by the other three.
Best Game: Film Trailer. Hilarious all the way through, and more successful than previous playings.
Worst Game: Film Dub, which was kinda one-note.

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Whose Line Watchdown: S07E06, or It’s My Party, and I’ll be Crap if I Want to

(Deep exhale)

It’s at this point in the Whose Line journey that we must discuss the tragic downfall of Tony Slattery. A performer who was synonymous with the show in its early era, evolved with the Americanization of the show, and thrived alongside both John Sessions AND Ryan Stiles. Around the end of Series 5, however, his cocaine habits began to take hold, and awaken the more drastic aspects of his burgeoning bipolar disorder and general anxiety. Tasks that were once so simple to Tony, like guessing people in Party Quirks or getting through a singing game, were approached with nervous giggles and a general unfit nature.

Simply put, in Series 7, Tony Slattery was a shell of his former self. Everyone knew it. The performers knew it. His comedy partner, Mike McShane, knew it. The producers knew it. And, with Episode 6, the audience would know it too; this would be Tony’s final episode of Whose Line (not counting compilations). It would also be the last appearance for a few years for Mike McShane, who would leave the show out of respect for his friend Tony.

All of this being said, I think the episode does deserve to be looked at on its own, aside from the controversy surrounding it. This still has a great matchup, with Tony and Mike taking on Ryan and Colin. Colin and Mike hadn’t worked with each other since Series 3, so this was a nice change of pace.

Superheroes: Hole in the Ozone Layer
Colin: Tight Trouser Man
Ryan: Jilted Lover Boy
Tony: Obscure Reference Boy
Mike: Coquettish Slut Man

Colin’s opening physicality is fantastic, GETTING INTO said tight trousers, and having all sorts of struggles. Hell, the tightness even affects how he moves, as he sort of wiggles about without being able to move his legs very much.

Ryan, entering and noticing the elephant in the room: ‘Sorry I’m late, I couldn’t OHHHH MY GOD…”

Ryan: “…I would have been here earlier, but the BITCH HAD SOME ERRANDS TO DO!”
[Thankfully this is the type of character Ryan plays very well]

Ryan thankfully gives Tony something he can excel at. After Colin mentions the crisis again, Tony goes “And not the first time. REMEMBER? …Yes…” With a wink and a thumbs-up to the audience.

Mike: “WELLLLL, that’s a mighty-big hoooollleee…”
Ryan, outraged: “I KNOW HER! I KNOW HER!”
Mike: “Oh, you know me baby…”
Colin: “DON’T GET TOO CLOSE, MY PANTS ARE TIGHT ENOUGH!”

Ryan can’t think of a good exiting line, so he pauses, goes “…yeeeahhh”, then exits.

Colin, trying to wrap up: “Well, thank god that….[feels around his back]….the HANGER’s still in here!”

A really successful Superheroes, giving its best moments when everyone is interacting, especially Mike and Ryan, who had a really nice moment.

Secret: Ryan and Colin are prisoners. The secret is in the curtains

Finally, the debut of this simple but classic game.

Clive, getting the secret placement suggestion: “In the toilet??? They don’t have toilets in prison cells. Those are buckets!”
And then, “Between the curtains? You’re a frustrated theatre director, aren’t you? You can see it all…this prison cell with TOILETS and CURTAINS…”

Ryan starts the scene playing darts. Which reestablishes the ‘ridiculously high-end prison’ thing.
Ryan, then: “Wanna have a jacuzzi?”

Ryan and Colin actually do some really great acting pre-secret, with high tempers, and really nice lines about life outside prison. Proof that scenes like these could really bring out the best in them.

Colin, finally opening the curtains: “…My god…a HAMSTER WITH EXPLOSIVES AROUND ITS WAIST!”
Ryan: “…That’s Jerry. See, they don’t put bars in this prison, they just…wire up small animals. Same with the trip-mines. Like, anywhere you walk, you could set off a squirrel…or, a rhino could go off right in front of ya!”
[That’s some really bizarrely funny stuff from Ryan right there]

Colin: “THAT’S IN…HUMAN!”
Ryan: “I know it’s inhuman, but we’re saving money, don’t you see? People are tired of paying for prisons…and they hate small animals!”

Colin: “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LITTLE ANIMALS??”
Ryan: “WHO CARES? It’s not just the LITTLE animals, Phil.”
With that, he rips off his mask and pulls his arms up to his chest as Colin shrieks. Of course, that’s when Clive buzzes, as the scene can’t really top that.

Whoa…my god. That was some really bizarrely funny stuff right off the bat for this game. It was also surprisingly well-acted, and had some great serious moments for both guys.

Clive, postmortem: “How would you describe that improvisation. Surreal or drug induced?”

Foreign Film Dub: The Russian film ‘The Death of Boris Simpsinsky’, acted by Mike and Tony, dubbed by Colin and Ryan

Someone, when asked by Clive for a Russian film title, yells out ‘The death of Bart Simpson.’
Clive: “…That’s very big in Russia, isn’t it? Could we do the death of somebody else, somebody a bit more Russian, maybe?”
Another audience member: “Bart Simpson in Red Square.”
Clive: “…No, make the PERSON a bit more Russian…you’ve peaked too early with your suggestion there…”

Ryan, after a passionate Tony line: “Tell me, are you a man or a woman?”
[Both Mike and Tony crack a smile at that one]
Colin: “Today’s Tuesday,…So I’m a man…”

After Colin suggests they drink a celebratory shot “out of these Mickey Mouse cups”
Tony, abhorrent: “DAAAHHH”
Ryan, taking him literally: “…Yes!”

Colin takes a Mike line and translates it as “Why don’t you do that limerick you always do?”
Tony smirks, realizing that he has to do that now, and sighs.
Tony: “NYET!”
Ryan: “…there once was a nan from Chernobyl…”
BUZZ

A MUCH BETTER Foreign Film Dub than the last few, made funnier by Tony and Mike both being really serious in acting, and Colin and Ryan moving the scene along AND being really funny.

Sound Effects: Colin is a barber, Ryan does sound effects

Clive announces the scene to Colin: “You’re at the barber’s. Obviously not an everyday activity for you OR me, but you ARE the barber…”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.29.58 AM.png

The first great gag is Colin raising the chair so high that the patron bonks their head on the ceiling. Then, there’s the bit where Colin sprays until he thinks he’s run out, then sprays it towards himself as IT SUDDENLY HAS FLUID IN IT AGAIN, as Colin winces.

Then, there’s the obvious:
Colin: [does first shaving motion]
Ryan: “AGH!”

There’s a great amount of physical comedy done here, which ends with Colin just knocking the guy over the head after he struggles. It’s a really nice scene, even though I didn’t always know what Colin was doing.

Animals: Mike has brought bad news to Ryan and Colin. All are dinosaurs.

The first few seconds of this is pure joy- all three roaming around the stage as dinosaurs. Obviously Colin’s is the silliest, but Ryan and Mike don’t do too badly. They’re just sort of goose-stepping in circles.

The best part of the scene is the fact that all three sort of play their characters as paranoid, sort of jittering around at any second. Ryan hears that a friend of theirs has gone extinct, and begins to wobble over there before Mike calls him back.

Colin does throw in a great sight gag, with a dinosaur trying to smoke a cigarette with such small arms.

Then, right after a serious Mike-Ryan discussion
Colin: “UGH! Laid an egg.”

Mike and Colin just keep laying eggs. Ryan even does the same motion.
Ryan, after a moment: “Oh, uh, that’s not an egg.”
BUZZZZZ

Down a bit from the last few scenes, but still funny, and with enough silly physicality to keep people laughing.

Old Job New Job: Tony and Colin are waiting for their builder, Ryan. All three used to be models.

Tony and Colin are great in the first portion, using all sorts of excuses to strike various poses, looking dapper at any point.

Ryan: “I brought all my tools, including my hammer. It’s reversible and comes with a matching scarf.”

It sort of turns into a game of Stand Sit Lean, where all three pick various moments to pose with each other, in all sorts of positions.

Harmless but fun game.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Mike: in love with cameras
Colin: All 7 dwarves
Ryan: animals crossing the road

Ooof. Okay. This is where it begins to get hard-to-watch.

Mike, immediately won over: “….Nice cameras. Where’d you get ’em?”
Tony: “…are you Lionel Blair?”

Colin immediately gets the audience on his side, shifting into each dwarf after a second or so, doing all the obvious ones, giving a ‘fuck off’ sign for Grumpy, and, most cleverly, smoking a joint for Dopey.

The whole time, Tony is just watching bewildered. Without even trying to guess. After a while, the nervous laughter begins.

Then, Ryan comes in with his first of many silly animal quirks. It works as such- he comes in as an animal, glares at the camera, then tries to get across the stage. To be honest, if I were Tony, I’d be laughing at this too.

Tony does manage to get Colin, which is nice.

Mike starts pontificating about ‘early cinema’ and cameras…to the camera. Meanwhile, in the background, Ryan runs across, doing his fish impression. Tony can’t take any of this.

Tony: “Oh, Erich von Stroheim.”
Clive: “NO, BUT WHAT DOES HE LIKE?”
Tony: “DON’T RUSH ME!!!”
Mike, desperately trying to give it to Tony: “D’YOU KNOW WHAT I LOOOOVE???”
Tony: “You shut up, it’s MY PARTY…And I’LL BE CRAP IF I WANT TO!”

The sight continues. Mike points out the exact cameraman, Peter, and talks about wanting to see him buck-naked behind this exact camera, as Ryan’s running around in the background doing more animal impressions.
There’s a moment’s pause as Ryan gets back to the step. THEN HE COMES BACK AS A MONKEY, giving the PERFECT TIMED BEAT.
As Tony stares, bewildered, overwhelmed, Ryan gets on the ground and does a snake impression.

Then, once Ryan has been run over, flat on the ground, Tony points and goes “IT IS LIONEL BLAIR!!!”

Mike starts aggressively humping and kissing the camera. We cut back to Tony and he’s completely lost, and mentally drained. Yes, the audience laughs, but they think he’s doing this for a joke. He’s not. He’s completely overstimulated.

Tony, still trying to guess Ryan: “I said ‘a menagerie of animals’
Clive: “Yes, but what are the animals doing?”
Tony: [furrows brows]
Ryan, desperate: “LOOK OUT FOR THE THING ON FOUR WHEELS THAT RUNS ON UNLEADED GAS!!!”
There’s a serious of looks after that line that always kills me:
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.54.13 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.54.30 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.54.51 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.55.08 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.55.25 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.55.42 AM.png

It gets to the point where Clive literally has to give Tony the card.
Tony: “They’re animals crossing the r-GET YOUR HAND OFF! They’re animals crossing the road!”
He then looks completely disappointed as the audience applauds for the end of the game. He smiles, then walks back to his seat, still overwhelmed and crushed by that entire game.

Clive’s postscript doesn’t help any: “Well done, Tony, you’ve finally got it…just from the skin of the improvisation of me showing it to you, written on a piece of paper. So, no points to Tony, in fact I don’t think we’ll have him on the show ever again.”
Yes, that is Clive being Clive, but…if you know what happens, it’s incredibly harsh and too mean-spirited even for Clive. I don’t know if Clive knew what Tony was going through, but you’d think he’d at least have a hint.

Still, from an improv standpoint it was still a funny game. All three quirks were hilarious, the way Mike and Ryan kept going even as Tony looked dumbfounded was still funny, and even Tony gave an intentional laugh with his triple-take at the end. It’s a BIT hard to watch, but it’s not by any means an unfunny game. It’s not like the Rizzle Kicks episode of NMTB. I can still watch it and laugh, without COMPLETELY feeling bad.

Bartender: Mike
Colin: Angry about being jilted
Tony: in love with cats
Ryan: is celebrating being invited to the Queen’s garden party

Colin shakes his head in coming up first.
Clive: “…always strong on the singing ones, Colin…”

Colin does well enough, but eventually falls back to his own tricks:
“It wouldn’t happen ordinarily
But…la la la lee lee…”

As Mike sings his response verse, Colin takes a swig of the bartender bottle, and recoils immediately.

Mike sings a very fun verse, which Colin happily sings along to. As Colin leaves, he yells back a thank you to Mike.
Mike, under applause: “AND PAY FOR YOUR FUCKIN’ DRINK!”

Tony, upon entering, IMMEDIATELY takes a swig of alcohol, and he doesn’t seem to recoil as much as Colin did, though he does seem a little shocked by the blowback of whatever’s in that bottle.

Tony, immediately back to his best singing mojo:
“I’ve got a passion that can’t seem to be swerved
I’m like Mrs. Slocombe from Are You Being Served…
You may think that I’m some kind of wussy
But I can’t get enough of daily pussy so…”

Mike, immediately: “You’ve got a problem on your hands.”
Tony: [sniffs hand]
Mike: “I can smell it, it’s those kitty love glands…”
Tony: [bites lip]

Surprisingly cool stuff from Mike and Tony there, as Tony had left the strain of the last game completely behind him, it seems.

Ryan takes his suggestion and, because he doesn’t really know what the Queen’s Garden Party entails, twists it a bit:
“I got some kind of extraordinary news today
A special person’s called me over…for a little play
She’s the best one that I’ve ever seen
Unfortunately it’s not that same queen
that you’re thinking about…this girl’s name is Roy.”
Mike, as well as the audience, takes another bar to recover from that one

Mike does agree that Queen Roy’s parties are legendary
“There’s naked men…on a trapeeze
Nicholas Parsons covered with cheddar cheese
Singing from the balcony chandelier!”
Ryan: “Sounds like it’s great!”
Mike: “You’re just in time for the vomit fountain of beer.”
Ryan: [runs offstage]

A pretty fantastic Bartender, with all four getting moments to shine, and Mike having one last jovial singing game in his prime.

Overall: Well, there was exactly ONE hard-to-watch moment in the show, and that was the end of Party Quirks. Everything else was really, REALLY funny. A few games like Old Job New Job and Animals stop this from being a flawless show, but the rest of it? My god. Insanely funny stuff all around. It’s so funny that, aside from Party Quirks, Tony didn’t show too many other moments of anxiousness throughout the show. He was really funny in games like Old Job New Job and Bartender, mostly because he wasn’t being overwhelmed by having to guess people there. It was only the overstimulation of Party Quirks that did him in. In terms of the rest of the panel, nothing but gold stars all around for Mike and Colin for some solid work, but especially Ryan, for dominating another episode and even being a great supporter in games like Superheroes and Party Quirks. For such a monumental, end of an era episode, this one was a little sad, as Tony and Mike did make the show great, but mostly just a satisfying, truly funny show.

Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Ryan, for doing some heavy lifting in big places tonight
Worst Performer: Tony, for showing improvement but still limping through Party Quirks.
Best Game: Secret, just beating Bartender simply for having some more consistent laughs, and less fear to go to more bizarre improv places.
Worst Game: Old Job New Job, just for having the least to it.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E05, or Don’t Bring Clive James into this!

The last time we had this matchup, of Ryan, Greg, Mike and Tony, it was a nearly immortal show, S06E04, the Neon Love Chicken show. Now we have everyone back, but Tony’s not himself, and Mike, as well as Tony, is beginning his first of two final-ish shows (what show in Series 9? Such a show doesn’t exist!) The dynamic may be a bit different, but damn if these guys won’t try.

Note that there’s a random guy sitting behind Clive in a Cleveland Indians hat. Didn’t expect to see that until Drew Carey got the reins.

Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Greg (person with odd insect bite ‘that’s going weird’ and friend)

Greg, after a ton of animated show suggestions: “Evidently we live in cartoon world! Has anyone ever seen live actors do anything?”
Clive: “…Once they’ve seen you, that’s enough.”
ADV. – Anderson

Greg: “Oh, you weren’t kidding, look at the size of that thing!”
Ryan, directly evoking the scene description: “IT’S GOING WEIRD!”

Charlie’s Angels
Ryan: “Oh look, it’s spreading to my beautiful breasts!”

The Beavis and Butthead style is just to confirm that Ryan and Greg have really, really good Beavis and Butthead impressions in their repertoire.

Greg, in the baseball movie style, uses this rough, squeaky voice for the team doctor that’s so ridiculous that it cracks up Ryan
Ryan: “…I can’t understand a bloody word you’re saying!”
BUZZZ

A quaint, inoffensive, but still alright scene.

Animals: Mike, Tony and Ryan act out a soap opera as penguins

There’s not a ton of physicality deviation here, as all three are just acting and walking around stiffly with their arms at their sides. Ryan, in doing these movements, nearly cracks after a bit.

Ryan and Mike start trying to head-butt Tony
Tony: “Stoppit, both of you, this is no time for a penguin three-way!”

This does get sillier as it goes along, as it’s revealed that Mike’s also pregnant. Then, in jealousy, Tony starts headbutting/having sex with Ryan from behind to end the game.

Very silly, but definitely picked up as it went on, and got funnier once the performers knew what they were dealing with.

Film Dub: Ryan is a briefcase salesman trying to sell to Greg

Ryan: “What are you working on there?”
Greg: “Oh, just drawing pictures of my eyebrows, they’re extremely large!”

Ryan: “If you sign those papers immediately, it could also come with a free negligee!”
Greg: “Negligee? How do I know it’ll fit?”
Ryan: “HEYYY, IT’LL FIT! It’ll rip those caterpillars right off your eyelids!”

Greg ends the scene by throwing Ryan out, but Ryan keeps going
Ryan: “But you can try the negligee on for me anyway! [as the character turns around] Look, I’ll turn my back!”

Fairly funny scene, though not as consistent as the last Greg-Ryan one

Let’s Make a Date: Greg chooses
Ryan: Greg’s ex-husband
Tony: Noddy
Mike: hard-bitten army sergeant 

As LMAD games go, this is pretty basic, with Ryan doing some great, bitter work on the end, but Tony and Mike are pretty on-the-nose with theirs.

Greg: “Number 2, how big is your house?”
Tony: “…not as big as my friend’s ears!”

There’s a nice moment where Tony and Clive are both trying to give Greg the answer, but he’s so unaware that he misses it.

Greg, amusingly enough, doesn’t get any of them, but I owe that more to this being the first iteration of this game.

Clive: “People often ask me ‘do games ever go wrong on a taping of Whose Line’…and there’s your answer.”
Greg, still not over it: “NODDY???”

World’s Worst: Thing to see while flipping through TV channels

[Immediately upon hearing the suggestion, Greg gives Clive a look]

Mike: “Ooh. Oh baby. Oh yeah. …..MOM!”
Tony: “It’s Anne Diamond.”
Mike: “It’s the OJ Simpson trial, year 2526…”
Greg: “MY NAME IS JOHN MAJOR…”

Greg comes up as an alien, and absolutely cracks up right in the middle, for no reason.

Then Greg comes up with his shoulders hunched, as Clive…which Clive notices IMMEDIATELY, buzzing before Greg can even say a word. Greg, hurt, audibly reacts and comes back to the step

Tony: “Oh, it’s that show where Clive patronizes lots of different people around the world!”
Clive: “Don’t bring Clive James into this!”
Tony: “No, I meant Clive Anderson!”
Mike: “It’s the OJ Simpson trial- HEY, HE’S BEING DEFENDED BY CLIVE ANDERSON! HAAAH!”

Tony: “And we’re back to round three of saliva darts…[spits across the room]”
Mike, under the audience applause: “YES!!!”
He even high-fives Tony as they walk back

A really, REALLY GOOD round of World’s Worst.

Props: Ryan and Tony vs. Greg and Mike

A ton of snafus mark the first bit. Ryan struggles to get the prop under him as a sumo wrestler, while Mike, acting as a human croquet ball, knocks both of the props over, much to Clive’s delight.

Plus, Ryan and Tony struggle get the props in place for another one.
Clive: “This better be good.”
Ryan, throwing the prop on his head: “HAVE YOU EVER BEEN OUT WITH A Q-TIP BEFORE??”

Of course, all this zaniness does result in a truly funny moment between the two:
Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 4.21.41 PM.png

Ryan: “That looks like a german U-Boat”

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 4.23.35 PM.pngMike, immediately: “NO…*THIS* LOOKS LIKE A GERMAN U-BOAT!”

The right amount of zaniness in this one, even if there were a few haphazard moments throughout.

Film Trailer: Jelly Wars: Greg narrates, Ryan, Mike and Tony act out

Greg, remembering last time: “Are we into a jelly like Jello situation, or a jelly-like jam?”
Clive: “It’s up to you, Greg…go crazy…use the word ‘jelly’ in any case”
Greg: “This is the nuttiest game that could ever be, Mr. A!”
Clive: “Could you not give a two-syllable word, it’s confusing our American friends…”

Greg, eyeing Clive: “FROM THE PEOPLE WHO BROUGHT YOU JELLO WARS, and the people who brought you ORANGE MARMALADE WARS…”

Greg: “A gigantic floating vessel is built, and the rebels must destroy it.”
Mike, as the vessel, floats onto stage, as Tony and Ryan fling jam at him.

Greg: “And introducing that new hero of the screen, Harrison SNORD, as Luke Nimnamber.”
Ryan: “I wish I had a condom.”

Then, as Greg signs off, going ‘NO ONE WILL BE SEATED DURING THE LAST 15 CONFUSING SCENES’, MIke, as the vessel, floats right towards the camera.

Silly, and not as good as other recent Film Trailers, but still fun.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Greg: Tony’s good and bad angel
Mike: thinks he’s come to a 19th century whorehouse
Ryan: has come to ride Tony’s camel

The first of two straight Party Quirks designed to completely break Tony Slattery.

Once the game’s announced, some bloke in the audience goes ‘EY!’ Tony, knowing what he’s ‘ey’-ing for, nods, wincing.

Greg: “This is wonderful, Tony. This is the most wonderful party that could EVER BE- [switching shoulders]- ARE THERE GONNA BE PEOPLE WE CAN HAVE GROUP SEX WITH?”
Tony: “…well, it’s just a normal party for me…”

Mike, entering: “I’ll take my hat and coat, my sexual appetite is that of a JAGUAR, and I need something to quench my engine.”
Tony: [breaks]

Ryan, entering in a frenzy: “I’VE JUST WALKED A MILE AND I’M READY TO HOP ON THE SUCKERRRR!”

Then, as Mike talks to Tony, Ryan jumps on the camel, and starts bobbing up and down, going ‘WEE-HAAWW’, repeatedly. Even as Tony’s trying to pay attention to Mike, he can’t help but notice Ryan.

Tony then gets the camel out from under him, and puts him on the other side of the room. Then, as Tony offers up twiglets, Ryan runs over and hops back on the camel, continuing. At that exact moment, the sight of Ryan turns Mike on. If I were Tony in this situation, I’d be cracking up too.
Ryan: “DON’T GIVE ‘IM ANY WATER, DON’T GIVE ‘IM ANY WATER! YEEHAAWWW!”
Tony: “…You’re from Wales!”
Ryan: “….” [continues riding]

Tony finally gets Ryan, after another 10 seconds of laughing.

Clive: “What’s Mike?”
Tony: “Yes, alright, I’m getting there!….Uh, I don’t know!”

Clive, finally giving it to Tony: “Mike thinks he’s in a 19th century whorehouse…which is surprisingly similar to riding a camel…”

Helping Hands: Mike has a high-powered business lunch with Ryan (ft. Greg’s hands)

Mike starts the scene by calling an offscreen boss. Ryan, grabbing another cell-phone, jumps onto the call himself.

Ryan snaps the cork off of a bottle of wine, seeing it’s a September 1995 wine (not very old, I guess). Then he pours an overflowing amount of wine into the glass. And then he sticks his tongue in the glass like a dog. Nobody like Ryan Stiles.

A bit more frenzied and haphazard than this game usually is, but still pretty amusing just for Ryan.

Overall: Third ‘okay’ show in a row. Yes, some games, like Party Quirks and World’s Worst, elevate from the alright-ness, but a ton of games didn’t really get off the ground, and a lot wasn’t as realized as it could have been. Ryan, once again, had a really nice show, Greg’s arguing with Clive made for good TV, and Mike’s usual energy gave for some great moments. Tony…ONCE AGAIN…succumbed to his anxiety and drug use. This was becoming a perennial problem, so much so that next episode would illuminate completely the full extent of it.

Show Winner: Ryan
Best Performer: Ryan, again doing what he does best without effort
Worst Performer: Tony
Best Game: Party Quirks. Literally everyone made me laugh in this game
Worst Game: Helping Hands

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E04, or Well, it’s Mother’s Day…

We move along with the last few Tony Slattery episodes. This time, the producers come up with the ill-fated idea to put Tony up against another woman. Seeing as it went so well the last time (I imagine post-groping, Josie said no to further Tony matchups), the decision to bring Caroline Quentin, improviser and ex-girlfriend of Paul Merton, into the fold now may have been suspect, but better now than later. She, like Niall Ashdown, would establish herself rather quickly.

Press Conference: Tony, who had his head transplanted onto the body of a dog, is interviewed by Ryan, Colin and Caroline

Like last time, Tony fields and answers questions very quickly, but it’s at an even quicker pace this time. Maybe he’s having a better night, as he seems more wry, and more unflappable than usual this series.

Ryan, finally with something that trips Tony up: “You finding that you, uh, smell things better now?”

Caroline: “And do you find that you can smell, for instance, your own private parts better?”
Tony: “Yes, and I think that’s a great advantage.”

Caroline: “Why exactly did you choose Corgi?”
Tony, after the laughter wears off: “Because that’s my favorite, er, resort…”

Tony essentially gets it, but Caroline, as they head back to the seats, explains the rest of it to him, which he understands.

Pretty nice game, though a bit lighter than the last one.

Clive: “Scoring this is pretty much neck and neck…which leaves me out…”
Ryan feigns laughter at this as the audience cracks up

Stand Sit Lie: Colin comes home to find his wife Caroline in bed with Ryan

The very first second of the scene, Colin, thanks to the camera angle, pulls a bouquet of flowers out of Ryan’s ass. Man, I love this show.

Ryan: “Look, there’s nothing happening here. Nothing at all.”
Colin: “NOTHING? I SEE YOU NAKED WITH FLOWERS IN YOUR BUTT?”
Ryan: “Well, it’s Mother’s Day…”

As the arguing intensifies, which is all great, all three swap positions rapidly, while it ends up being a fight for the table, with all three trying to squeeze on at one point.

A great SSL scene, with great work coming from all three.

Foreign Film Dub: The Hungarian Film “The Masked Onion”, acted out by Caroline and Tony, dubbed by Ryan and Colin

Colin: “Boy, this broccoli is hard.”
Ryan: “That’s an onion, ya dope!”

Ryan uses a shorter Caroline line to do an entire monologue, sort of like the Josie scene from last scene. They even cut to him going on and on, while Colin just looks at him, bewildered.
Caroline, as Ryan finally finishes, looks relieved.
Tony: “…Da?”
Colin: “…yeah?”

Slightly haphazard, but damn if everyone didn’t give their all.

Moving People: Drill Sergeant Ryan puts Colin through the ropes

When Clive tells the audience members to move Colin and Ryan as they fancy, Ryan, playing a trick on his audience member, reacts like the guy just touched his ass, going ‘HEY!’ and moving his hips forward. He then turns back to the guy and chuckles.

Clive keeps giving Ryan’s audience member crap for coming in camouflage, saying he’s ‘a member of the SAS’. Once he realizes what the scene is, he exclaims “Oh, this is fantastically lucky!”

The audience member puts Colin’s hand, with a weapon in it, into Colin’s head.
Ryan: “Never thrust a bayonet into your head…because the enemy WINS when you do that!”

Colin: “Let me climb the obstacle course!”
Ryan: “You can’t climb the obstacle course! You climb the rope IN the obstacle course. THAT’S WHY I’M THE SERGEANT!”
Colin: “i HAVE A BAYONET IN MY HEAD!”

An incredibly successful Moving People scene, spurned on by a LOT OF Ryan screwing with the guy moving him, especially when he’d hold a position instead of having him move. Lots of great comedy here.

World’s Worst: Person to Sleep With

Caroline: “Hello…my name’s Clive Anderson.”
Colin: “maaa”
Colin: “Then after you shave my back, I want you to get the cherry whip……no need.”
Tony: “D’you mind using marmalade as a lubricant?”
Ryan: “I hope you don’t mind if I scream my own name.”

Picture: Tony and Caroline are on their honeymoon

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 2.36.35 AM.png

Tony: “…I know what you’re looking at…”
Caroline: “…I wish I did…”
Tony: “It’s cold, that’s all.”
Caroline: “SHUT THE WINDOW!”

Tony: “I can satisfy you more than any other man can.”
Caroline: “…you SURE?”
Tony: “Yeah, d’you want me to cough?”

Tony: “Anyway, don’t go on about my size, you look like two asprins on an ironing board…”

Caroline starts crying after some harsh Tony lines
Tony: “Don’t cry, you stupid bitch!”
Caroline: “Oh, that’s rich comin’ from you, ya tosser!”

A really nice scene, thanks to a surprisingly fun Caroline-Tony dynamic, and some great rising and falling action.

Narrate: Ryan and Colin have breakfast in a diner

Oh, thank god we finally get this game back

Colin: “He sat there, like a big boil on nature’s back…”

Surprisingly, a lot here is done with miming and not with back-and-forth dialogue. Like with the Steve-Jim playing, a lot of the game is also one performer setting up the other one to do something.

A very one-note game, but still kind of silly.

Old Job New Job: Caroline is giving birth, Tony is probably the father, and Ryan, an ex-hostage negotiator, is the midwife.

Clive gives Caroline the direction to give birth to a baby.
Caroline: “Anything for you, Clive.”

Tony, in turn, sits on the table right on top of Caroline.
Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 2.45.50 AM.png
Clive: “No no, it’s the ending, it’s…nine months.”
Caroline:
Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 2.45.57 AM.png

Ryan, entering: “It’s alright. We’re trying to raise the 3,000,000 dollars, and I’ve got the parachute right here.”

Ryan, yelling into the vagina: “LOOK, WE’RE DOING IT AS FAST AS WE CAN!”

Ryan: “Now, I’m risking my life…and I’m gonna go in there and try to bring ’em out.”

Then, Ryan, to Caroline’s legs: “…ALL RIGHT…I’M COMING IN…I HAVEN’T GOT A GUN! I’LL KEEP MY HANDS…IN THE AIR!!”

A tremendously funny scene, with just some great work from Ryan. Tony, sadly, couldn’t really get a word in edgewise.

Helping Hands: Ryan, ft Colin’s hands, is a lounge singer. Caroline’s an audience member.

The great thing about this one is that, as Ryan’s a lounge singer, we have a Richard Vranch element to this Helping Hands, which is a nice change of pace. Ryan, on a whim, starts to improvise a song about Earl’s Court.

Also, this scene plays out really naturally, mostly because of the lower-key setting, and Caroline’s willingness to interact.

Of course, once Ryan’s about to sing a song dedicated to Caroline, he looks over…and Richard’s left.
Ryan: “Oh…apparently my piano player’s taken a bit of a break…”

Ryan, nevertheless, sings it acapella, which he does fine with…suddenly, Richard comes back in with the backing music, which he shrugs off.

Ryan, twirling the microphone: “SOMETIMES….I FEEL…”
Suddenly, Colin drops the microphone onto the ground.
Ryan: “I CAN’T SING, I’VE LOST IT! I’M NO LOUNGE SINGER ANYMORE! GIMME THAT BOTTLE!”

Ryan, heartbroken, throws back a beer, then spits out the gigantic sip he just took as he talks.

Ryan, in mid-smoke: “I used to do cruise ships. I USED TO BE ALLLLLLL OVER THE WORLD!”

The scene ends with a rejuvenated Ryan throwing a bunch of peanuts in the air and seeing how many he can catch in his mouth. This sort of works.

A really, really well-formed scene, with more back-and-forth and development than most Helping Hands games. For once it wasn’t ‘let’s see what silly things Ryan can eat’. There was a story, an arc, and an actual scene going on, in between a mic drop and some peanuts flying. Some fantastic stuff here.

Hoedown: Being Stood Up

Caroline has an admirable, seamless, well-thought out Hoedown. On her first try, no less. Impressive!

Colin takes an extra stanza to think things over, which gets a laugh from the audience.

Colin: “I met a girl, I really really liked
I hoped that she’d come over but she didn’t, CAN’T YOU BELIEVE IT?
….you know, I’ve been WAITING…….I’VE BEEN WAITING!
….NO CALL! NO PHONE CALL!”
And with that, he storms off.

Ryan has a really nice topical slam:
“I just run around, I scream and I rant
I guess I should just pay money like my friend Hugh Grant.”
HUGE RESPONSE FOR THAT.

Tony starts pretty well, talking about a night in a bar
“And then no one turned up in the end, and I thought ‘oh no’
and then I kissed a labrador, and then I…[completely cracks]”
Ryan even tries singing the ‘AND THEN I’ refrain, but the hoedown just sort of ends.

Surprisingly a really great hoedown all around. Funny, too.

Overall: Started slow, picked up in the last third. There were a lot of very one-note games throughout the first half, and only in the one-two-three punch of Old Job New Job-Helping Hands-Hoedown did this episode seem fully realized. Ryan returned to form after a few episodes of ensemble work, while Colin and Caroline also had some great moments throughout. Caroline had a nice debut, though there were a few VERY SMALL moments where she stumbled. She still acted like she’s been doing this for years, and wasn’t intimidated by Tony, Ryan or Colin. Tony, by the way, was slightly better than last two shows (especially in Picture), but still kind of shaken and anxious.

Show Winner: Tony
Best Performer: Ryan Stiles, for his series of really funny lines throughout the night, and for lifting games like Old Job New Job and Helping Hands
Worst Performer: Tony, yet again
Best Game: Helping Hands, which was more fully-formed and impressive than it’s been in weeks, with a ton of great moments not always owing to funny prop jokes.
Worst Game: Foreign Film Dub, for not working as well as other games.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E03, or “….SUSTAINED!”

Frost. Mochrie. Stiles. Slattery. Together for the last time. Ohhh, this could be pretty epic.

Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Colin (two people in a canoe in the Amazon)

Clive, fielding suggestions: “GRANGE HILL? Yeah, that should sort out our trans-atlantic cousins…”

Then, some genius audience member shouts out “WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?”
Clive: “…but that’s what we’re DOING now, isn’t it?”

Colin: “DAMN PIRANHA!”
Ryan: “You know, the hippos can be quite fierce here. You wouldn’t think of them as a mean animal, but they can a man apart.”
Colin: “…what about a woman?”
Ryan, smirkingly taking this the other way: “Welll, a woman can rip a man apart too, but…”

Mission Impossible
Ryan, as the tape: “Hello, gentlemen. Your mission is to canoe up the river. Should you choose to-” CHH, It self-destructed early!”

Colin, making a cheeky pun: “Let’s go to the bank there…I have to get some money anyway…”

Star Trek
Ryan, nerve pinching Colin: “…I didn’t know you thought of me that way…”
Colin: “It has been 7 years..”

Ryan: “There seems to be another canoe coming into our zone.”
Colin: “…MY GOD, IT’S A HIPPO!”
Clive: “…Dinosaur movie.”
Ryan: [nearly cracks, not expecting that]

Then, to end the scene, Colin, FOR THE FIRST TIME ON WHOSE LINE, rolls out his velociraptor impression and starts roaming around.

A very good, well-improvised, and quite silly F&TS scene.

Animals: Steve, Ryan and Tony act out a scene from Brookside as dogs.

For the second episode in a row, Tony has to do a Brookside scene, and my god does he ADORE that show. He WINCES when he discovers this has to be a Brookside scene.

Tony and Steve get this off to a great stuff, mixing the Northern shrieking with dogs noises seamlessly, and mixing in conversations about drugs with occasional leg-lifting. The contrast WORKS.

Ryan comes in and calls the characters by the wrong names (again, he doesn’t watch Brookside), but it’s forgiven when all three run around sniffing butts.

The scene ends and Steve immediately breaks. It was better than the last one, but so goshdarned silly that everyone involved cracked at least once.

Old Job New Job: Colin’s getting an operation from Ryan- Steve, a fellow surgeon, enters, but he used to be a hairdresser.

Ryan: “It’s a boy……you, I mean-”
Colin: “Yes, yes, I am a boy…”

Steve, entering: “Wait a minute, has he asked you if you want a cup of coffee yet?”

Steve asks Ryan for the tongs. Ryan gives it to him, Steve yelps in pain, then motions for him to give it to him the other way. That’s a nice little comedy detail.

Steve: “So, d’you go anywhere nice on your holidays?” [stabs Colin]

Another very silly scene, though not exactly bad. Steve definitely sold it.

Press Conference: Tony, the first man to make love in space, is interviewed by Ryan, Colin and Steve

A welcome premiere for this game. I find it odd that Tony’s guessing, as it’d later become a Colin showcase game.

Colin: “Was there any special equipment involved?”
Tony: “A certain amount of flour and eggs…and a snorkel…”

Colin: “How long did it take you before you could reenter?”
Tony, after the applause dies down: “Well, my wife’s very understanding…”

Ryan: “Have you ever seen Uranus?
Tony: “Many, many times, yes…”

Tony: “And last question, I think.”
Clive: “No, last GUESS, I think…”
Tony: “Look, this is MY BLOODY PRESS CONFERENCE…SHUT IT!”
Ryan: “Is this the first black hole you’ve encountered?”
Tony: [dials back laughing]

Clive: “Strange thing is you got everything but the sexual innuendo, which we thought would have been a gift for you, but there you go…”

A pretty nice debut round, helped by some funny questions and Tony being very sharp with responses.

Hey You Down There: Gardening, narrated by Steve, featuring Ryan and Colin

Another new game, though it feels odd not being narrated by Greg (or Denny Siegel)

Steve: “But wait a minute! What about that shovel you’re using! Shouldn’t you unwrap it first?”
Colin: [facepalms]

Ryan, in cleaning his shovel, smacks Colin in the face with it. This game is great because it’s a great source of casual slapstick and good miming.  Immediately after, Colin nails Ryan in the balls, and Ryan goes searching around for a missing testicle.

Steve: “Let’s put those seeds in!”
Colin: [throws some down, smiling]
Steve: “That’s right! We want some decent marijuana next year, don’t we?”
Ryan: [mimes smoking a joint]

Steve: “But don’t forget to disguise it so the police don’t see it.”
Ryan: [oh right’ signal]
Steve: “What do we use?”
Colin and Ryan start moving stuff in front
Steve: “That’s right, GIANT GARDEN GNOMES…No wonder they smile all the time…”

A surprisingly fun scene, with Steve really impressing as narrator, nailing the style completely, and with some fun mime work from Ryan and Colin.

World’s Worst: ad campaign

Clive: “You don’t have to include any you’ve appeared in, but away you go.”
Steve, regardless: “Carling Black Label gets you pissed.”
The audience applauds this one. Steve takes several beats, before going back up.
Steve: “Oh, and it pays rather well as well…”

Ryan: “Jimmy’s patented leather shoes. They’ll fit up your ass!”
Colin: “Many people think it’s in bad taste to advertise for an insane asylum….BUT COME ON DOWN. WE’RE GOING CRAAAAZYYYY!!!”
Steve, Australian accent: “You take HOW MANY dildos into the shower???”
Tony: “…FOUR.”

Picked up as it went along. Pretty good stuff all around, save for Tony, who was only good when he supplanted other jokes.

Courtroom Scene: “Case of the Stolen Chicken”
Colin’s judge, Steve’s the prosecutor, Ryan and Tony are witnesses.

Colin starts the scene by banging his gavel right by Steve’s hand, then immediately apologizing for it.
Steve: “OBJECTION, THAT BLEEDIN’ HURT!”

Steve: “Could you please raise your right hand…put it down, that stinks…”

Tony announces his character name.
Steve, just at that: “HA HAAAAH!”
Colin, commenting on the laughs that Steve got for that: “Sustained!”
Steve turns and gives him a ‘good one’ expression.

Steve asks Tony, wearing this thick fur hat, where he was on the date of the murder
Tony: “I was inserting myself into this badger.”

Colin: “PLEASE CALL YOUR SECOND WITNESS then call your mother, she worries.”

Ryan: “I raise chickens, I kill ’em, I freeze ’em and I eat ’em!”
Steve: “Sooo, this man would have EVERY MOTIVATION TO STEEEALLL THE CHICKENNN!”
Ryan: “Not really, I own the farm.”
Steve: “….NO FURTHER QUESTIONS YOUR HONOR! I made a complete prat of m’self on that one!”
Colin: “YOU BETTER COME UP WITH SOMETHING MORE SUSTAINING…I’m tired, go ahead!”

After Tony prattles with Steve
Colin, banging his gavel repeatedly: “OBJECTION! SUSTAINED!….THIS COURTROOM IS A MOCKERY!”
[HAAAAAAHHHH! A legendary self-referential pun]

Colin, still banging: “I WANT MY NEXT WITNESS!”
Suddenly, as if by magic, the top of the gavel flies off, and Colin watches as it arcs and falls to the ground.
Steve: “I’m sorry, your honor. Where’s the end of your gavel?”
Colin: “It’s immaterial!”

Top to bottom hysterical, with great lines coming from all ends, and some really good comedy throughout, intentional and no.

Helping Hands: Steve is training boxer Ryan (ft. Colin’s hands)

The first big laugh of the scene is Ryan attempting to throw his mouth guard in by putting it in the boxing glove. He peers around with the mouthguard hanging from his teeth. It’s pretty amusing.

Then, Steve hands Ryan the squeeze water bottle, which Ryan takes some of…then puts the bucket in front of Ryan, which he immediately spits it back into.

Steve starts training Ryan, and tricks him, by bopping him with the pad whenever he doesn’t aim the right way. Steve is quick enough to be right up there with Ryan, actively leading the scene, which is a relief for Ryan, who usually has to carry it.

Ryan, looking at the headgear: “I dunno if that’s gonna fit around my waist.”

Steve, ringing the bell: “Oh, dinner’s ready! No, wait…”

Another very silly scene, with some more great work from Steve Frost, leading the game and putting Ryan through stuff.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Steve: mime artist
Colin: parachutist
Ryan: a fish being reeled in

Tony, within 5 seconds of Steve’s: “…oh, not another boring mime artist…”

Tony also guesses Colin’s within 10 seconds. I’m guessing, given the theme, that Ryan’s is going to give him some trouble.

Ryan flops around on the ground, bobbing his head up and down with the hook. Tony just stands there and watches. For 15 seconds. Ryan just stays in this exact position, as Tony struggles to think of something, eventually going “…is it Dan Quayle?”

Tony does eventually get it, which may be one of the last few times he gets everyone in a game of Party Quirks.

Hoedown: Reading the Will

[Colin is the most unenthused of the four to do this particular hoedown]

Steve manages to do a really nice verse for once, after hearing he got 3 million quid
“So I went out and bought a horse, AND THIS IS WHAT I DID!”
[Mimes riding a horse]

Ryan has a pretty nice one, about using his dead brother in his ventriloquist act, which has Colin and Steve confusedly laughing.

Tony, as usual, goes for a blue one that isn’t very funny.

Overall: Probably the weakest of this particular matchup’s episodes together, but still a relatively good show, featuring one of Steve Frost’s best showings, a great rendition of Courtroom Scene, and some generally nice Ryan-Colin stuff. However, the show is brought down a bit by a ton of games in the middle that skewed more silly than funny, and another disappointing Tony Slattery performance.

Show Winner: Steve
Best Performer: Steve Frost, for dominating all of his games, and proving he’ll be able to survive without Tony
Worst Performer: Tony Slattery, for being a bit off yet again
Best Game: Courtroom Scene, for just being a really seamless, line-by-line hysterical scene from everyone.
Worst Game: Hoedown, for having the least amount of good stuff.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E02, or Hey, Who Invited the Chicks??

Onto an episode I remember BBC America rerunning quite a bit back when I was younger, the much-heralded grouping of Greg, Ryan, Mike and Tony, four guys who, together, did the infamous Neon Love Chicken episode, and have had many a many laugh together. Unfortunately, this would be the start of the end of Tony’s run on the show, as his drug use and anxiety would come to a head as the series went on.

Clive: “Featuring this week, the Buddy Holly of mirth, Greg Proops.”
Greg: [gives a ‘fuck off’ sign]

Tony, after some more comparisons, is waiting for his- he’s the ‘Hugh Grant of slapstick’, which in 1995 was an insult. He chuckles and winces at that one.

Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Greg (two high-tech thieves breaking into a gallery)

Clive, getting suggestions: “‘Valerie Singleton? Are you pointing out that she’s over there, or are you…OH, SHE’S OVER THERE? Well, welcome Valerie!”

The entire first part of the scene is Ryan and Greg testing out their gadgets and trying to go about a very dangerous motion.
Greg, rationalizing: “…my god, the door’s already open, Bill…”

Greg, Baywatch style: “I’m gonna start running, and the faster I run, the SLOWER I GO…”

Cable Shopping
Ryan: “How much would you pay for that 69 pounds?”
Greg: “Oh, way more than that.”
Ryan: “89 pounds?”
Greg: “Oh, much much more than that.”
Ryan: “How about your first born male child?”
Greg: “Why, I’d kill him!”

Then, for an obligatory reference, Ryan, in the second ‘much more than that’ gag, offers up ‘ALL MY AUTOGRAPHED PICTURES OF CILLA BLACK!’
I feel like he does this simply because he’s not sure who Cilla Black is…or maybe he does know, and he hates her.

A quick but silly enough F&TS, with great teamwork between Greg and Ryan

Remote Control: Earthquakes
Greg: Oprah
Mike: WWE
Ryan: ER
Tony: Brookside

“…one of these things is not like the other…one of these things isn’t on American TV…”

Ryan’s initial reaction to having to do ER is ‘oh, no…no no no.” Perhaps he’s in the UK filming this show so much that he hasn’t seen it yet…or maybe he just doesn’t want to.

Tony’s reaction to getting Brookside is a BIG eye roll. There’s a limited opportunity to see this, but we will get some moments of seeing Tony’s absolute hatred for Brookside on this show.

Ryan: “He needed a-”
BUZZ
Mike: “HE NEEDED A SOLID FIST IN THE HEAD. AND I, CAPTAIN CASUALTY, WAS THE MAN TO GIVE IT TO HIM. BRING HIM IN HERE. HE WON’T NEED A STRETCHER, HE’LL NEED TO BE UNSTRETCHED.”

Greg, working in the PMS suggestion: “Today on the program, PMS, the bastards that inflict it on women, earthquakes and stuff that falls down.”

Then, when Clive buzzes to give it to Tony, Greg, still as Oprah, goes “DON’T BUZZ ME, I AIN’T DONE TALKING YET…GET YOUR BALD, ENGLISH CANDY ASS, BACK IN THE HOUSE.”

Tony: ‘ARTIE, ARTIE, NOO NOO, THERE’S AN EARTHQUAKE AND BROOKSIDE’S FALLING DOWN, EY, EY…”
[i don’t think he even breathes through any of this]

Then, right after Tony finishes, he cracks up, realizes he was doing a bit of Cilla Black instead. Making this the SECOND Cilla Black reference on the night.
[Under the applause, you can vaguely hear somebody, probably Ryan though possibly Tony, go ‘what does Cilla Black do?’ So maybe this came before F&TS, which is why he brings her up in the first place? Or not?]

Clive lets Ryan go on for so long that, after he’s done what he imagines ER might be like, he, near-panic, looks over at Clive to buzz him out.

A pretty fun round, even though Tony was a bit short-shifted, and Ryan’s wasn’t nearly as fun to do as the others.

Film Dub: Ryan and Greg are compulsive gamblers

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 1.47.32 AM.pngGreg: “Hey, where can a guy get some fun around here…and what is this enormous tit you have your hand on?”
Ryan: “IT’S NO TIT, NO…”

Greg, responding to random cigarette smoke: “my god…my chest, I think it’s on fire!”

Then, heading back to the tit, Ryan: “…heyyyy, that looks a lot like the nipple of my ex-wife…”

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 1.49.45 AM.pngGreg, with some amazing timing: “…HEY, WHO INVITED THE CHICKS?”
BUZZZZZ

Not as good as last Film Dub, but still pretty funny, and worth it for that last line.

Song Styles: Mike sings a German drinking song about a little red triangle

You can tell that Mike’s semi dreading this, but Mike powers through this, with this diaphragm-aided side-of-the-mouth German singing. It’s a quick song, but the audience applauds all the way through it, and it’s definitely a fine effort from Mike.

Clive: “Suddenly we’d been transported to a cabaret in East Berlin.”
Mike, pulling out a grade-A reference: “Yes, you’ll see me in the Gert Frobe men’s dance troupe later on tonight…”
Clive: “…I always do. In my dreams.”

World’s Worst: Person to be a cub scout leader

Mike: “Now what you do is take these plants here and you let these plants dry. Now give me the skins.”
[The WHOLE audience applauds this one. Greg even nods, triumphantly. He’s definitely had some of those plants]

Tony: “Now, the first rule of cub scouting is that you must, MUST, learn to accept pain…”
Ryan, in a similar vein to Mike: “Okay, we’ve put a little something special in ALLLL the cookies we’re gonna sell this year…”
Greg: “I spent a lot of time making those frilly pink uniforms, and I expect you boys to wear them.”
Ryan, squatting: “And now we, uh, look for some leaves.”

A pretty great WW round from everyone except, as per the theme tonight, a quieter Tony.

Props: Ryan and Tony vs. Greg and Mike

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 1.58.57 AM.pngRyan: “Today, we say goodbye to Orson Welles.”
Tony flat out cackles at this one

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 1.59.56 AM.pngGreg, with an inspired amalgamation: “I said this Kabuki play ain’t big enough for the both of us.”
Mike: “ALRIGHT, PARTNER-SAN…”

Greg: “I just thought the flashlights were a tacky way to bring the planes in…”

Really fun round of props on both sides. Even Tony was throwing in some fun ideas.

Scene to Music: Mike’s about to get married, so he asks his flatmate Greg to move out.

Clive, after the scene description: “I’m sure we’ve all been through this life experience…trying to get rid of Greg.”
There’s a few ‘AWWWs’ at that from the audience.
Greg, to the camera: “SEE? SEE HOW THEY SIDE WITH *ME??* If we held an election right now, WHEEW. LOSER!”
Clive: “Yeah, we’d get someone as good as Clinton, wouldn’t we?”
The audience OOOOOOOhs at this, while Mike and Greg are just amused.
Greg: “Why the bitterness, you HAVE a job?”

The music is sinister-sounding, so Greg, as the roommate, crosses toward the camera.
Greg: “I’ll be really happy when she…moves in with us Mike. Heheheheheh…”

Mike, matching the tone completely: “You can’t…stay here anymore. You’re scaring the dogs.”
Greg starts making these shocked, off-kilter facial expressions. It’s pretty perfect.

Greg eventually regains control of Mike’s head, gets him to cluck like a chicken and tells him to leave while laughing. It’s hysterical, but the scene is just…GOOD. Like, it almost doesn’t succeed at being funny, it’s just really good suspense and acting.

News Report: Three Little Pigs. Greg and Mike in the studio, Tony and Ryan in the field.

A switchup, as usually Mike’s the field guy and Tony’s the expert, but I’m fine with this change-up.

Greg: “Good evening, I’m unusually thick.”
GREG is actually the one to nearly crack at this.

Mike: “Well, the pig and the wolf problem goes as far back as early pig and early wolf.”

Ryan, playing a rather camp Big Bad Wolf: “That’s right, I’m gonna huff, I’m gonna puff, and i’m gonna blow them…DOWN! DOWN!”
Tony: “…well, I just need a couple of minutes alone with the big bad wolf…”

Greg: “…I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut you off even though you weren’t talking…”

Tony gets another remote, and says to Ryan, without an idea, “we haven’t been properly introduced, who are you?”
Ryan, finger in ear: “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m covering the Little Red Riding Hood story…”
THAT is perfect.

Mike, with a final thought: “It’s better to have a pig in a poke than a wolf in a convertible.”

A very swift, fun News Report, even though it was down slightly from recent GREAT ones.

Helping Hands: Mike helps surgeon Ryan (ft. Greg’s hands) during an operation

This is a very frenzied one right off the bat, with Ryan having gloves barely on and a mask falling off, while spurting the anesthetic in the air.

Mike: “Doctor, you’re gonna want to use some gas.”
Ryan: [puts gas mask on self.]
Mike: “No, I mean…”

Ryan, grabbing a prop heart from the body: “Ahhh, looks like I’ve taken out the spleen!”
Mike: “I think that’s the heart, but-”
Ryan: “HEY, WHO’S THE DOCTOR HERE?”

Ryan completely uncovers the fake body and pulls out a little shark toy. “WELLLLLL THERE’S THE PROBLEM!” he says, showing the toy to the audience.
Mike: “He’s been to a Japanese restaurant!”
Ryan: “Too much sushi for this man! It’s known as the flipper complex!”

Ryan then pulls a rubber duck out of the body.
Mike: “Awww, isn’t it cute?”
Ryan: “CUTE? LET ME TELL YA SOMETHING. If you’ve got a duck blowing on one of your bladders, you’ve got troubles, my friend! TROUBLES!”
He bops Mike on the head with the duck. Mike, in a rare moment, is coming DAMN close to breaking mid-scene.
Ryan, losing it as well: “Let me tell ya something else. You’re the most unattractive nurse I’ve ever seen in my life.”

To cap off the scene, Ryan literally STICKS HIS HEAD IN the open hole in the body, then lifting it up and flinging the body up with him. It’s a very amusing ending.

Just really, REALLY funny. The Mike-Ryan interplay was just on fire, and there were a ton of funny lines and moments.

Hoedown: Excessive Drinking

Clive: “Can we have a human vice this hoedown can be about?”
Audience member: “frogs.”
Clive: “FROGS??? WHAT??? That is a SURREAL suggestion…”

Greg, however, sings about licking frogs for trips, which is a nice ‘F U’ to the suggestion guy.

Tony’s verse is…something else. He’s singing while slowly pulling his handkerchief out of his mouth. He does this for 7/8ths of the song, growing even more Tony as he goes along, finishing finally with “AND THEN I CUT IT OFF!”
It succeeds, but…it’s an odd choice from a noticeably down Tony.

A clumsy Hoedown all-around, without nothing truly standing out, but things still ending up funny.

Overall: Definitely a step up from E1, with some really fun games all around tonight, and some great performances, mostly from the Americans. This marked the umpteenth fantastic show in a row from Greg Proops, a return to domination from Ryan Stiles, some fantastic work from Mike McShane (even if he looked several times like he was getting very tired of putting up with Clive), and…well, Tony tried. But it just didn’t seem like he was in a good mood at all tonight, and it didn’t look like any of the proceedings could salvage that. His lack of presence didn’t destroy the show or anything, as his fun moments were still there in Remote Control and News Report, but it was definitely not the usual Tony Slattery.

Show Winners: All Four
Best Performer: Greg Proops, for giving inspired choices and funny stuff all throughout
Worst Performer: Tony Slattery, for looking very glum and uninspired.
Best Game: Scene to Music, just edging out Helping Hands, for being a really, REALLY good scene, and for emulating the style perfectly well with some great acting. I would have gone with something like Helping Hands or Remote Control any other night.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Not as good as the rest of the show.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E01, or THE MAN IS FORTY-FIVE YEARS OLD

After the insane success of Series 6, brought by keeping the band of regulars small, and making sure only the best improvisers were coming to the show, the producers decided that the best way to go about things would be to change all that.

Series 7 would be a Whose Line in slight flux. There would be some new additions to the fold, both of whom would recur over the next two seasons, and there would be an impressive get for a guest star. There would also be some controversy involving two beloved cast members, but we’ll….get there.

Tonight, we’ll feature the friendly assortment of Westerners that is Ryan, Colin and Greg, along with a new addition, a youthful brit named Niall Ashdown, looking unkempt compared to his S8 appearances.

Questions Only: In a men’s changing room after the game

After a few lines from Niall, Clive buzzes
Clive: “…too Geordie, I’m sorry.”

Ryan, getting extraordinarily close to Greg: “Mind if I lather you up?”
Greg: “Mind if I bend over?”
ANNNNND SERIES 7 IS OFF TO A WILD START INDEED

Colin: “Is this the men’s shower?”
Ryan: “Does this LOOK like the men’s shower?”
Colin: “Does Tom Cruise?”
[Hold for audience laughter]
Ryan: “…is Betty White?”

Niall comes back as the Geordie guy, to some recognition applause
Colin: “I’m sorry, are you speaking english?”

Niall: “You’re not from ’round here, are ya?”
Colin: “Don’t you recognize me?”
Niall: “…aren’t you the chap who’s not from round here?”
Nice save, Niall.
Colin: “How did you know?”
Niall: “Don’t you know that everybody points at you when you walk down the street and goes ‘there’s the chap who’s not from ’round here’?”
Colin: “Why don’t people tell me these things?”
Niall: “Don’t you listen?”
[My gosh, I did not expect Niall to be giving Colin the ropes in this game]

Very funny round, which gives me a nice preview of how Niall’s going to contend with the regulars (he’s right up there with them)

Film and Theatre Styles: Greg and Niall (tourist and local search for Loch Ness Monster)

The one F&TS they do in this episode DOESN’T include Ryan or Colin? Hmm.

Someone in the audience shouts out ‘DEEP THROAT’
Clive: “…that was a good one, but I didn’t hear it, unfortunately.”
Greg, to the audience member: “I think the answer is no.”

Niall, in his first line, attempts a Scottish accent, which sort of works.
Greg: “That makes my ears tickle, could you say that again?”
Niall: “ARE YEE….I can’t remember the next bit…”

Greg, trying to screw with Niall: “I think it’s a bit weird searching for the Loch Ness Monster in Wales, don’t you?”
Niall: “…Ya, cause it’d have to be a big WHALE to swallow Nessie…”
BUZZ
Clive: “…you’ve already doubled your points by out-punning him”

Greg, in the James Bond style, chooses to be a Bond villain, going “PERHAPS YOU’D LIKE TO MAKE LOVE TO MY MISTRESS BEFORE I HAVE YOU KILLED, MR. BOND, HMHMHMHMHHMMMMMM!”

Niall, as Connery, lights a cigarette, then stops Greg: “i’m sorry, I’ve just set fire to my fingers…”

Indiana Jones
Greg: “You’re some God. I’ve just been squashed flat by an enormous rock coming out of the Loch Ness Monster’s butt”
Niall: “That was no rock!”
BUZZ

A pretty good F&TS, made better by Niall matching Greg’s improv abilities, even if Greg had to bring the scene back at the end.

Whose Line: Ryan is a lawyer meeting his client, Colin, before the big case

Ryan: “Because, as a lawyer, I took that oath…’only your chicken impression can save us now!'”
Colin: [does chicken impression]

Colin: “Remember what the good book says. Luke 19…41…’go on, give it a squeeze'”
HA. The audience loves this
Colin: “And the lord said give it a good squeeze. And if it does squeeze good…will not good come out of it?”
[Greg cracks at that one from the seats]
Ryan: “You have quite a command of the Bible…”

Ryan: “When I plead insanity, I want you to go up to the judge, look him straight in the eyes, and say ‘GREASE ME UP, I’M GOING IN!'”
As Colin and Ryan argue about that, Clive buzzes. We never get to see Colin’s second line, but it’s still a funny enough, albeit quite compact, WL game.

Song Styles: Niall sings a love song to Drew the stripper

Niall surprises me with this one, in that he’s actually really good at coming up with lyrics, as well as making something heartfelt even if it includes the line “I saw you…buck naked.”

It meanders for a bit, but Niall does sell the ending, making it a very sweet moment, and a hint that maybe Niall was the version of Chip that the producers had been looking for all along.

Superheroes: The world’s running out of cornflakes
Greg: Obsessive Compulsive Man
Ryan: Wiggle Worm
Colin: Mispronunciation BoyNiall: Fascinated by belly-buttons boy

Greg, slapping back at the guy who suggested the cornflakes: “Oh no, the world’s running out of cornflakes! Sad losers everywhere will be bummed out!”

Colin: “WHAT’S THAT ON THE MINOTAUR! OH NO, ALL THE CRINN FLOOKS ARE GONE!”
Greg: “NO, YOU’RE SAYING IT WRONG!”

Niall spends 5 seconds staring at Ryan’s bellybutton as he keeps wiggling. Then, when Greg mentions the crisis, Niall takes out his own bellybutton.

I do love that Niall’s solution is pulling the world’s supply of cornflakes out of his bellybutton. That’s a goofy kind of rationalization we don’t get often in this game.
Niall even polishes it off with: “I borrowed it from the NAVEL SERVICE!”

Colin: “Well, I’ll just bogger if.”
Ryan: “I’m gonna see if I can get a job as a vibrator.”

Definitely picked up as it went along, solely because Greg’s quirk wasn’t exactly the funniest. The game worked when everyone was bouncing off each other, and once we got the solution.

Props: Ryan and Niall vs. Colin and Greg

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.29.12 PM.pngColin: “After the sleigh blew up, this is all we could find of Santa.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.30.18 PM.pngGreg: “scuse me, I’m looking for the sperm bank…”

Much better props round all around, especially on Colin and Greg’s side.

Animals: Colin and Ryan and Greg act out a soap opera scene as Hamsters

This is a new game, so Clive explains the set-up, and through the whole thing Greg’s just appalled.
Greg: “…what’s WRONG with you?…GET SOME FRIENDS!”
Clive, as they start: “..the hamsters ARE my friends.”

Ryan enters and sips vodka from the little sippy bottle for about 10 seconds.

Greg does FINALLY get the scene going somewhere, with a ‘somebody stole all the food’ plot. Ryan asks Colin what he has to say about it, and Colin, with his mouth full, hastily runs onto the hamster wheel, doing a motion that honestly makes the rest of this game worth it.

Still a ways from being a great game, but silly enough.

Backwards Scene: Niall is being kicked out of the army by Ryan

Thank God, someone other than Sam Johnson gets to play this game.

Ryan: “YOU’RE USELESS!”
Niall: “go on…tell me I’m useless.”

Ryan: “You just don’t match up to the other men.”
Niall: [pulls up trousers]
Okay, he’s GOOOOOD.
Niall: “Take them off NOW?”
Ryan, without an option: “…..take those trousers off!”
Niall: “Why are you looking at my trousers.”

Definitely more going for it than last time, but still not completely a great game yet.

Film Dub: “The Problems of Sharing a Flat”

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.39.40 PM.pngRyan is not expecting the film to look like this, so he cracks up slightly while having this guy talk about sharing a flat.

Eventually, Ryan’s character holds up a small model, which he rationalizes as ‘THIS for instance…is a dental bridge.”
The film does cut to another character, though

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.40.53 PM.pngGreg, with a moment of inspiration, in a nasally voice: “HE’S ALLLLWAYS BUILDING MODELS. DAY AFTER DAY.”
Ryan: “He had hair up until this morning.”

Ryan: “This is a toy car I’ve been working on, this-”
Greg: “THE MAN IS FORTY FIVE YEARS OLD! AND ALL HE DOES IS BUILD!”

Greg has another moment of genius, as his character’s holding up a screw. It fits so well into what he’s saying that he can’t help but go “‘Wanna screw?’ HE SAYS”

Ryan: “You know, Harold experimented with acid at a VERY EARLY AGE…Don’t you kids at home try that.”
Greg: “…OHHHH FOR *CHRIST’S SAKES!*”

Greg: “This is our car. HE’s taken the ENGINE out of it. HE’S INSANE. This is what happens when you move in with a cheap-”
Ryan’s character comes into frame, so Greg stops.
Ryan: “…A CHEAP BASTARD, IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO SAY?”

A truly hysterical film dub, simply because neither one had any idea where it was gonna go, and it became something really, REALLY funny just as Greg’s inspiration struck.

Party Quirks: Greg hosts
Niall: Doing as many accents as possible
Colin: A salesman who has reached his breaking point
Ryan: is white water rafting

Greg, dating this episode: “It’s come as an Elizabeth Hurley dress party” [flashes his jacket]

Colin: “LOOK, I’M ONLY GONNA SHOW YOU ONCE, SO WATCH!” [demonstrates product angrily] “WHAT MORE DO YA NEEEED???”

Ryan: “I’ll have a scotch please- NOT ON THE ROCKS! NOT ON THE ROCKS!”

Hoedown: Halloween

Clive asks for a reason why families get together:
Some audience member: “INCEST!”
Greg: [points to that one]
Clive: “Halloween. People get together on Halloween.”
Greg, who clearly wanted to do incest:
Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.52.28 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.52.38 PM.png

Colin does a characteristic hoedown, as he says he gives the kids an awful fright, “I really don’t know why, I’m not wearing a mask tonight…”

It’s RYAN of all people who ends his Hoedown with a Clive slam, saying everyone runs “because every year I dress as Clive Anderson.” I kinda thought of all people, Greg was gonna go there.

Overall: Some great moments here, but a lot of okay, half-realized and short games knock some points off of this one, and boil it down to a merely fine show. It’s not the fault of any of the participants, as all were equally great tonight. It’s just that even with games like Film Dub, Questions Only, F&TS and Whose Line, there was just a lot that made certain games ‘okay’ when they could have been great. Surprisingly the weakest link here was Ryan Stiles, the new regular-for-life, who stuck to background work while Niall, Greg and Colin had most of the funny moments. I’ll mention Niall again because his improv abilities were great tonight, and he could out-do the best of them.

Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie, for just having so many funny moments tonight, even in ensemble games.
Worst Performer: Ryan, for being a bit quieter than the rest tonight
Best Game: Film Dub. Hysterical all the way through.
Worst Game: Party Quirks. Colin aside, there’s not a ton to write home about.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E11, or I can’t describe what I just saw

The last episode of Series 6, and the last compilation. This has the same assortment of cast members as E10, only swap out Rory Bremner for Chip Esten.

Scenes from a Hat: Ryan, Colin, Steve and Tony
From: E6

The last ever broadcast SFAH game until Drew Carey would revive it.

Clive: “Worrying things to be given on a plane.”
Tony: “Hi. Here’s the engine.”
Steve: [dramatic double take]
Ryan, under the applause: “Always double takes. Ohhhhh we’re killin’ tonight…”

Clive: “Life’s big disappointments.”
Steve: “…oh so YOU’RE Tony Slattery…”
Tony: [rolls up sleeves]
Clive: “…well, he’s no more disappointing in real life than he is on the telly…”
Tony: “shut it…”

Clive: “Faux pas at a christening”
Tony: “I name this child Satan- STAN! STAN!”
I always loved that one

Film and Theatre Styles: Steve leads a mutiny on Tony’s ship
From: E3

The first part of the scene is hilarious simply because Steve is doing this half-pirate-half-north-country voice, and Tony’s just doing it in his normal voice. The contrast is already selling it.

Steve: “It’s all those frills you had us put on the sails. We didn’t like them!”
Tony: “..Why not?”
Steve: “Well it sorta slows us down ’round the Cape of Good OOOAAAUURRRHHH.”
Tony: “…Cape of Good What?”
Steve: “YOU HEARD, CAP’N, YOU KNOW!”
Tony: “You’ve been lucky…”
Steve: “THEY DON’T CALL YOU CAPTAIN HORNBLOWER FOR NOTHIN”
Tony: “You swab the bloody decks.”
Steve, confusedly: “…WE’VE FOUND BISCUITS IN THE MAGGOTS!”
Tony: “…I know.”
Tony then looks at Steve with the weirdest possible expression, and both of them struggle to keep it together.
Steve: “THAT AIN’T RIGHT! THAT AIN’T RIGHT AT ALL!”
Tony: “Which county d’you come from, it’s changing….moment to moment.”

Clive: “…I hardly like to interrupt…”
Steve and Tony crack again
Clive: “…but I don’t think I need to change much…”

Clive: “Medieval Mystery Play”
Tony: “Where’s the crew? …I dunno, it’s a mystery.”

Steve goes into a monologue, then mentions ‘if the lord is to be graced in this year of 12 and 22’, and Tony kneels and does sign of the cross, which Steve awkwardly follows…and then seconds later Tony does it again, followed by Steve.

Steve: “The men shall surely take prayer and throw you overboard as you cast adrift.”
Tony: “….bitch.”
BUZZZZZ
Steve, cracking: “THAT’S NOT MEDIEVAL…”
Clive: “Clearly you’ve never seen a medieval mystery play…”

For Hammer Horror, Steve pukes over the side of the boat…only for the puke to go and attack them.

They end on a combination of Jacobean tragedy and Carry On film, which Tony is able to recreate well, though it’s not as memorable as the rest of the scene.

Still, to that point, a RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY scene, going very off-the-rails in only the best possible ways.

Whose Line: Colin and Ryan discuss pre-wedding nerves
E3

Colin: “Well, it’s your pre-wedding, that’s why you’re nervous. If it was after wedding, it’d be post-wedding-”
Ryan: “LOOK…”

Ryan: “I just don’t know if Rebecca’s the right girl.”
Colin: “Well, she’s a bit of a tramp…”
Ryan: “COME ON, MAN…That’s not what I want to hear from you!”
Colin: “Well, I’m sorry, but she’s had more hands up her than the Muppets!”
Not only am I gone here, but Ryan nearly loses it for a moment.

Ryan’s vows are “Rebecca I love you, stay with me always….’on the whole, I prefer a dog.'”
After the laughter, Ryan somehow gets away with the line “OR AT LEAST THAT STYLE, D’YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN???”

Colin: “Oh, how about this. “Rebecca, Rebecca, I love you so much….’can you smell something burning?'”

Colin, helping Ryan go through with it: “Remember the first…date ya had? All those many years ago?”
Ryan: “You were there in the backseat, I remember that…”
Colin: “…well, I had the video camera.”
Ryan: “YOU WOULDN’T SHUT UP! Over and over again, you yellin’ out…”
Colin: “Well, I hope it’s on the wedding cake. Remember, I used to yell…’does it usually throb like that'”
IMMEDIATELY RYAN REACTS, struggling to keep it in. Clive’s even cracking up as he ends the game.

A really nice, very cute Ryan-Colin Whose Line. On par with some of the ones this season.

Song Titles: Steve, Josie, Ryan and Tony are on a boat
From: E5

Josie: “…we are sailing.”
Steve: ‘I WAS GONNA DO THAT ONE!”
Clive: “…I was gonna do that one, is that a song title?”

A very silly scene, one that got a bit more frenzied as more people came in. Proves that this game is better the less people there are in it.

Foreign Film Dub: The Italian film Farewell My Porcupine, starring Ryan and Tony, translated by Colin and Steve
E1

Tony, not leaving anything to the imagination: “E un pico enorme.”
Steve, subverting: “…it’s got a lot of pricks.”
Colin: “And so does my porcupine.”

Tony: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA”
Steve, master of playing with length in this game: “Ho.”

Ryan does a line that vaguely resembles Swedish, which he follows, cracking, with “I don’t know.”
Colin: “I found this porcupine in Sweden where I studied for a long time.”

Then, Ryan says a very long, exaggerated sentence, which Colin translates as ‘you’re right’. Already this game’s top joke strategies were being illuminated.

The humor in this scene does come from Tony and Ryan’s inability to keep these accents on- Tony keeps dropping other words like ‘Pizza’ and ‘the chef from the Muppets’, and Ryan’s italian keeps shifting into swedish. After a while, the translation takes a backseat to the accent wars at hand.

The game ends with Colin translating a long Ryan sentence as ‘HUH’, and Clive putting the game out of its misery. Very funny, but, like a lot of Comp 1’s games, succeeds due to breaking improv rules.

Song Styles: Josie sings a lounge jazz ballad about a mop
From: E2

Josie immediately laughs at the specificity of the particular style.

Very cute song, though nothing that really stands out above the barrage of Josie songs throughout the years.

Props: Greg and Tony vs. Ryan and Chip
From: E8

AT LAST, CHIP ESTEN LIVES!

I have to say that Tony and Greg had the more creative ideas, like Tony simulating an acid trip, or Greg delivering pizza on a stick. I feel like Ryan and Chip didn’t have as many good ideas.

Film Trailer: REVENGE OF THE SHEEP-SHEARER! Greg narrates, Tony, Colin and Ryan act out.
From: E9

(Oh dear. This one.)

Clive: “So, can somebody suggest an imaginary film title?”
A very meek-sounding audience member: “sheep cutting.”
Clive: “….sheep CUTTING?”
[I always found something very odd about that exchange]

Clive presents the idea to the group as ‘Revenge of the Sheep Shearer.’
Greg: “THAT’S NOT WHAT *HE* SAID!”
Clive: “I know, but I’m turning it into a film title! Don’t quibble!”
Greg, smirking: “I shan’t quibble Mr. Anderson. Pray, let us move on. Comedy awaits!”
Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 9.33.24 PM

Clive: “…it’s been awaiting for some time, Greg…”

Right before the music starts, Greg looks like he’s about to say something else to Clive, but instead goes right into the trailer intro: “FROM THE PEOPLE WHO BROUGHT YOU SHEEP CUTTING, IT’S REVENGE OF THE SHEEP SHEARER!”

The visual of Ryan picking up a sheep and biting its testicles off is one of the more grotesque yet inspired visuals the show’s ever seen.

Greg: “He was a fascistic Spanish colonel who would get his way no matter what.”
Colin: “…I want my way…”

Greg: “See the thrilling chase through the mountains with daisy the wonder-sheep.”
Ryan, onstage and without a choice: “…baaaah, baaaah…”
AND THEN THE OTHER RYAN CHARACTER BITES THE TESTICLES OFF IT

So, and this is a pretty nice point- by the time Greg’s announcing the actors, the scene’s been fucked up. Ryan comes down for Colin’s part, and realizes the error immediately, yet they keep going. So they all know this game probably isn’t gonna make it to air because of the little faux pas. Nevertheless, they persevere:

Greg: “CARL NIBBLEY AS VERONICA. HEAR HER HEAVE, FRETFULLY…”
Tony, genuine: “…I’ve split my pants, look!”
Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 9.39.15 PM.png

Then, when Colin does his line [“man, this sheep’s oughta hit the fan”], Tony exposes the rip again, scaring the audience and keeping Ryan on edge.

Right when the scene ends, Ryan immediately goes to Tony ‘did you really split your pants’. Tony, of course, shows him the hole. Then, as he’s back at the seat, he’s still figuring out a way to work with it.

Clive: “Tony, you deliberately split your trousers there to get some cheap laughs-”
Tony: “I DID NOT!”
Clive: “And you get double points for that, well done.”

This Film Trailer game was…very haphazard, and close to being a failure until Tony noticed the hole in his pants. Other than the banter and ‘I want my way’, it was listless to that point, so thank god for the rip in the trousers.

The ‘game’ doesn’t even end there- Colin and Ryan go upstage for Moving People, as Tony stays back at the seats. While Clive’s explaining the game, Tony tries fixing things.
Clive: “…leave yourself alone, Tony…”
Tony: “IT’S BAAAD!”
Clive: “Time enough for that later.”

As Clive continues to explain, Tony stands up and readjusts.
Greg, seeing WAY MORE THAN HE INTENDED TO: “OH JESUS! JEEEESUS!”
Ryan: [runs away panicking]
HELL, RICHARD VRANCH EVEN GOES IN FOR A LOOK! THIS IS HYSTERICAL.
Greg: “I can’t describe what I just saw.”

Extra Bits:

  • An excerpt, or rather the first half, of an unaired game of News Report from E9, with Greg and Tony in the studio reporting on David and Goliath in Bolivia. Greg’s reporter name is ‘Deliciously Huge’, which makes Tony smile.
    Tony presents David and Goliath’s vacation photos, which makes Greg exclaim ‘GOOD GOD! HE’S NOT AS SMALL AS HE LOOKS, IS HE DOCTOR?”
    Colin, as the camera cuts to him, is explaining to Ryan “and then you sauté the carrots, and then OH!”
    Hell, the round ends with David whipping out his gigantic penis, so while it’s sad that we never see the second half of this…I can only imagine it was just as blue.
  • Funeral from E3, for John the Trainspotter.
    “JOOOHHHHN WAAAAAS SPOOOOTTTTING TRAAAAAINS THAAAAT DAAAY…
    THEEEEEN AAAAA LOOOOOOCOOOOOMOOOOOOTIIIIIIIVE CAAAAAME AAAALOOOONNGGG…
    IIIIIIIIIT WAAAASN’T”
    Then Colin, without any options, falls ill.
  • A Film and Theatre Styles round from E4, where Clive’s getting audience suggestions. He asks for a ‘real wacky one’. Someone shouts out Zig and Zag.
    Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 9.52.33 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-03-12 at 9.52.46 PM.png
    Then Tony rushes up to the camera, angrily, yelling “IIII DOOOOOON’T KNOOOOW ITTTT!!!!!”
    Clive: “Whooooa, whoaa…that’s premature improvisation…”
  • Ryan goes up for a World’s Worst round in E3, and immediately expects to get buzzed. He doesn’t and Clive keeps making him go on with this suggestion, both knowing it’s not funny, until Ryan can barely breathe anymore. Ryan just does this pseudo-Channing voice about how these trees look like two women’s legs ‘spead wiiiiiide open’. FINALLY Clive does buzz, prompting a ‘thank you’ from Ryan.
  • Clive: “We go onto a game called old kno- new….”
    The panel: [cracks]
    Clive: “Old job new job was what I was trying to say…”
    Tony: “What was the first one that you said, then?”
    Clive: “It could have been Old Knob New Knob, I think…I was just thinking of my appointment tomorrow.”
  • A Party Quirks game from E3…that DIDN’T end in disaster for Tony, but one where Steve was a dodgems operator, and kept mounting and groping Tony as he went around.
  • A Foreign Film Dub Round from E5, with this classic moment. Ryan, for Josie, gives this whole, verbose monologue about wanting Tony like no one else has ever been wanted, going on for around 30 seconds [from Josie just saying a few words]. Tony’s just patiently waiting for the translation to end.
    Tony: “…okay.”
    Steve, translating: “PARDON?”

Hoedown: Greg, Mike, Ryan and Tony sing about Scuba Diving
From: E4

Clive: “Have you assembled yourself in the correct order for this particular game?”
Greg: “Yes we have, Mr. Anderson.”
Mike: “AND WE’RE NOT KEEN TO DO IT, SIR!”

You can tell this was supposed to be the last in the E4 taping, not only because everyone seems really tired, but also because Greg mentions an inflatable pig in his verse, which means this had to come after Bartender in the schedule, putting this after the last game of the original episode. So man, they must be fried.

Ryan ends his rather crafty verse with ‘where the hell when you need him is David Hasselhoff’, which certainly dates this taping.

A pretty okay Hoedown, though you could tell the best stuff had been spent earlier in the show, and none of them wanted to do this game…like, more than usual.

In terms of this compilation:
Best Performer: Greg Proops yet again, for narrowly edging out Colin for most ‘won’ games.
Worst Performer: Sadly Chip Esten for not contributing a great deal.
Best Game: Whose Line. Insanely funny all the way through, and a little more consistent than Film and Theatre Styles
Worst Game: Props.

SERIES 6 SUPERLATIVES (be prepared for a ton of writing as I loved this series):

Best Episode: Episode 6, with the immortal Ryan-Colin-Steve-Tony matchup, featuring some goldmine games of Whose Line, Stand Sit Lie and Old Job New Job, the beginning of the working Colin-Ryan SFX model, and Colin’s first ‘pulling a Colin’ in a Hoedown. Fantastic stuff all around.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 9, with a truly ferocious Questions Only game, a landmark World’s Worst, Ryan as a firework display, a ton of Clive slams from Greg, and some of the most insane energy going through the whole show.
3rd Best Episode: Episode 4. Don’t mess with the neon love chicken. That aside, there was one of the most infamous Superheroes rounds at the time, with Greg and Clive nearly sparring for suggestions, a very silly Film Dub, Mike having fun with Song Styles, just some great work from Mike and Greg all around right up until that fateful game of Bartender.
Worst Episode: Episode 8. Okay in a season of greats. Chip Esten was woefully underused, and Tony Slattery was woefully blissed out, leaving Ryan and Greg to try and hold the show up.
Best Regular: Ryan Stiles, for showing more mental stability than his counterpart Tony Slattery, and also for having great moments while knowing when to NOT dominate shows.
Best Recurring Guest: Greg Proops, for stepping up in a bigger way than S5 in quarreling with Clive and boosting his material tenfold. This was a looser, funnier Greg than we’ve seen, and one that the producers would bank on several times over the next few seasons.
Best Unlikely Duo: Tony Slattery and Steve Frost. This pairing SOARED in this season, as putting a blue comic with a northern clean comic was an excellent decision- so many great Steve and Tony games this year…which were mostly relegated to the fucking compilations, BUT NEVERTHELESS.
Performer We Wish Wasn’t Done After This Series: Chip Esten. And I also wish the producers had given him more airtime as well.
Best Runner: Neon Love Chicken, E4. Narrowly edging out Tony’s horrid jacket from E8. Just funny all the way through.

That was a fantastic series. I mean it. Now we go onto S7 and lose two of the best improvisers on the show to some controversy. Fun fun fun.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E10, or HE SHOOTS! HE SCORES!

The first of two compilations to end the strong and steady Series 6, this one seems to feature a general smattering of shows, and it looks to include pretty much everyone that participated in a show this series (whose name isn’t Chip Esten).

Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Colin (businessmen playing squash)
From E6

Clive, after a particularly raucous round of suggestions: “Biblical Comedy? Well, on the third day he fell over. What sort of…”

Ryan and Colin trying to do Ninja Turtles style is amusing, since neither has watched the cartoon, so they try playing squash AS turtles, just burrowing back into their shells. Clive giggles afterwards.
Clive: “…looks perfectly ordinary to me…”

Clive: “Agatha Christie.”
Ryan: “…where…is the ball?”
Colin: “My god, it rolled under that body!”

Ryan hands Colin the ball, saying something’s written in greek letters ‘and you read greek letters, don’t you?”
Colin, after several seconds of silence: “…it says ‘I’m a ball’.”

Film Noir
Colin: “…he was as tall as a post, and twice as thick…”

The film noir style is great, because Ryan and Colin just turn it into a game of narrate.
Colin: “I had nothing to say.”
Ryan: “/…he had nothing to say.”
BUZZ
Clive: “…well, we better move on then.”

Ryan and Colin in biblical epic style are so silly that Tony starts cracking up in the background, shielding his eyes.

Very fun game, though rather basic, still having more material than a lot of recent F&TS

News Report: A Nicaraguan broadcast of Adam and Eve: Greg and Ryan in the studio, Tony and Mike in the field
From: E4

A dispatch from the Neon Love Chicken episode. I find it odd that Ryan’s in the studio rather than Tony, but Mike and Ryan are both usually being interviewed, so I think it’s better that it’s Mike in this case.

Clive gives them ‘Nicaragewa’, “a spanish speaking country as I recall”
Greg: “Or as we say in the states, NicarA-gwa”
Clive: “Oh, do you?”
Greg: “Yes, we don’t pronounce every single letter.”
Clive smiles at this one.
Greg: “We’re having an embargo.”
Clive: “Let’s make it Cuban so you won’t get in it at all.”
Greg: “…and your name’s Cliv.”
Clive, with the comeback of the century: “…and yours is Wally over here, BUT ANYWAY…”
ADV- CLIV.
Greg, after the applause has died down: “HE SHOOTS HE SCOOORES!”

Sadly, due to the banter, we don’t get one of the world-famous ‘what are they doing in the studio as the music kicks in’ intros. Oh well.

Greg: “Good Evening. I’m Bulge Temptingly.”
Ryan:

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 1.47.35 AM

Greg names Ryan’s character Dr. Jose Offerman, which is the name of a major league baseball player who, at the time, was playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a cross-state rival of Greg’s hometown San Francisco Giants. I know none of you care about American sports. I’m just doing this for me.

Ryan, in a Spanish accent, starts going on and on about Eve’s private parts, even after Greg cuts him off with “I’d like to have you to go on, but I can’t.”
As Greg turns it over to Snack Whipley in the field, Ryan is still perseverating about Eve’s hips and body parts.

Tony and Mike have a good first bit, with Mike as the serpent, who “represents the Reptile Liberation Front down here in Nicaragua’. It works because both are doing accents as well as jerky motions, not especially staying still.

Tony, summing up: “So, that’s the latest- Adam and Eve made de sin because of a BIG LOVE SNAKE.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 1.53.47 AM

Ryan once again goes on about Eve’s body, and sexual details.
Greg: “I’d like to let you continue…but I’m bulging even as we speak.”
Even Clive enjoys this one.

Tony: “I am now with Eve, and she has quite a pair of hooters.”
Mike: “I’d like to say that they were made by God, but I got some help from Frederick’s of Van Nuys…”

Then, as Greg asks Ryan for a final thought…AGAIN, HE GOES ON ABOUT EVE’S LOOKS. It’s the kind of runner that actually doesn’t wear itself out.

An incredibly funny News Report. I think the only reason this didn’t make it to air is the fact that it was literally one big sex joke, from top to bottom. It’s still insanely funny, and with great work from everyone, but I don’t think this would have passed through the censors easily.

Superheroes: Trapped in the fridge
Colin: Rubber Band Boy
Ryan: Mesmerized by Arm Movement Man
Tony: Suicide Guy
Steve: Laughing Nymphomaniac Woman
From: E3

After a few seconds of Colin yelling for help, Ryan opens the fridge, grabs a beer, and closes it.

Tony has a moment’s lapse and forgets he’s supposed to name Steve (which is probably why this didn’t make the episode. Steve has to point to himself, smiling, for Tony to finally get it.

And then Steve, as Laughing Nymphomaniac Woman, starts laughing and humping Tony, which is why this one DEFINITELY didn’t make the episode.

Clive has to end the game before everyone leaves because Steve’s been humping everyone while Colin solves the problem himself. This was a very messy, very short, very crazy Superheroes, which almost failed completely…hence the comp space.

Remote Control: Chicken Rearing
Josie: Coronation Street
Rory: Question Time
Tony: GMTV
Mike: The Muppet Show
From: E7

A very S2-era game, with some very S2-era panelists. How fitting.

Tony, hearing what he’s supposed to be doing in this game, mimes wanting to puke.

Tony: “But now it’s off to Mr. Motivator who’s got a chicken at the front of his lycra tights!”

Josie, after doing a back and forth conversation about courting a chicken, chuckles and goes, under her breath, “I can’t do this…”

Rory screws up by doing a character from Corry rather than someone from Question Time, and doesn’t realize it until he’s already done the joke, backing off embarrassedly.

Rory, finally back on the right channel: ‘So remember…don’t be a chicken for the next few weeks. Be a chicken for the rest of your life, by voting liberal democrat.”

An odd game, with Mike getting a short-end edit, Josie losing it, Rory screwing up, and Tony surprisingly keeping things afloat.

Song Styles: Mike sings a grunge song about coal
From: E7

Clive: “Are you up to date on grunge?”
Mike: “GRUNGE?”
Clive: “You’re dressed for it…”

This is the closest we’re ever gonna get to a Nine Inch Nails song on Whose Line, as Richard’s grimy guitar and Mike’s calm yet edgy voice is very reminiscent of something Trent Reznor would produce and Greg would wear a shirt of.

Mike even gets RIGHT UP TO THE CAMERA singing the chorus, which cracks up the back panel, as well as getting some applause from the audience.

A REALLY NICE song, made great by Mike’s energy and surprising knowledge of the style.

Questions Only: Greg, Josie, Mike and Ryan are at circus auditions
From: E2

Clive immediately buzzes Mike out on grounds of doing ‘basically a statement’. Josie’s even surprised as to how strict he is.

Greg: “Why can’t you just do your audition?”
Ryan: “Is…Ted Danson….?”
BUZZ
Clive: “TOO CONFUSING!”

Ryan: “Can you put it in the bank?”
Greg: “Is there another way?”
Ryan: “D’you know my wife?”
Greg: “DOESN’T EVERYONE?”

Fun game, but very haphazard and with a lot of strict buzzing on Clive’s part.

Scene to Music: Steve sends his son Tony to get some washing powder
From: E3

Ohhhhhh my. Ohh, we’ve gotten to this game.

Tony, right off the bat: “We’ve run out of buxton mineral water!”
After this, Steve adopts a north country accent, so Tony amusingly gives his character the accent too, despite not having one in the first line.

After some babbling, the heavenly music kicks in, which changes both performers’ moods entirely.
Steve: “…BECAUSE…we need some POW-DAH…”
Tony, kneeling: “We need powder with power that cannot be found on earth.”

They go about this holier-than-thou dialogue about how white it must be, with Tony as the simpleton son, and I swear to God it’s like this was something out of a sketch comedy show. It’s like this was written. It’s timed PERFECTLY.

Tony gets up, as his knees get tired, and he’s about to say something silly about it when Steve goes “and he must go unto Nazareth.”
Tony: “Where?”
Steve: “Nazareth.”
Tony: “Is that near Stockport?”
Steve: “Yes.”

Tony: “And what will I find when I get there, father? Will it be WHIIITE? Will it be FLUUFAAAY? Will it be PEOPLE PLAYING ON CLOUDS?”
Steve: “Follow the supermarket neon light.”
Tony, amusingly.” “OOOH.”
[Tony cracks up at that]

Tony: “But will it wash my sins away as well as my underpants?”
Steve, suddenly getting very dramatic: “I KNOOOOWWW NOT! FOR SURELY I AM A HUMBLE MAN. THAT WASHES CLOTHES FOR MY SON.”
Tony struggles to keep composure, as Colin and Ryan are cracking up in the back.
Tony, at the verge of laughter: “You’ve…you’ve turned into Richard Burton!”
Steve, gone: “YES!”
Tony: “HIIIIII!”
Steve: “GO!”
Tony, mood shift: “…Alright, don’t shout!”
Steve: “Before it is too late, and my clothes become smitten with smut.”
Tony, attempting to pick up the serious tone again: “I will come back…and if not…then [breaks]…then you won’t see me!”
BUZZ

Uh…that may be one of the funniest games in the show’s history, solely because of how 100% into it Steve Frost was, even to the point where he was struggling to keep Tony in it with him. Tony was trying SO HARD not to crack, and he had no choice after a while. But it’s just really funny. In its crux, it feels like a Monty Python sketch. Well done to both performers.

Film Dub: Ryan talks to telephone sex line addict Steve
From: E5

This isn’t a very good one, even if Ryan does more of his sex talking from News Report. It’s just very stop-start, and it’s not really a terribly funny scene, as much as they try. I honestly blame the scene description.

Helping Hands: Ryan (ft. Colin’s hands) interrogates police suspect Tony
From: E1

Ryan’s first move is to try and take pictures of Tony, but the camera won’t work. So Colin turns it around so that when Ryan inspects it, the light would be right in his eyes if it did go off. Thankfully Ryan catches this.
Ryan: “Why don’t you take that yourself?”
Tony: “…I can’t…”

Then, Ryan prompts Colin to put the hat on his head, which he does, and:
Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 12.25.51 PM

Then, as Tony’s about to say something, the camera RANDOMLY GOES OFF, leaving Tony to turn, absolutely bewildered, towards it. Clive belly-laughs at that.

Tony, grabbing the gun off the table: “NOW WHO’S IN CHARGE, MISTER COP???”
Ryan, grabbing the gun out of Tony’s hand: “…ME!”

Then, Ryan has to get himself some coffee while nearly spilling over the coffee container, and struggling to grab a cup at the other end of the table.

Then, as Tony grabs the gun again, Ryan takes a sip of the ‘really hot coffee’, which is also not the best decision, as it’s still very hot.

Then, finally, Ryan distracts Tony with the donut, so Tony puts down the gun, and Ryan goes ‘HA-HA’…then Colin has to figure out which of the things on the table is the gun. He picks up several things first, as well as tipping the coffee container over, before FINALLY grabbing the gun and ending the game.

A really funny Helping Hands round, one of the few from this Compilation that actually worked all the way through, or wasn’t too dirty for television. Just some great stuff, and better than most of the HH playings this series.

Stand Sit Lean: Ryan, Tony and Greg are cowboys on the range
From: E4

Surprisingly without a table for this playing, with the usual two stools instead.

Greg, bending over with his ass to the audience: “How are my fans in sector R?”
He then turns towards the back corner of the audience, getting some applause from them.
Clive: “…that was sector R, was it?”
Greg: “Yes, babe, doesn’t- nevermind, we don’t really have time.”
Clive: “Always time for you…in that position…”
Greg:
Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 12.33.31 PM.png

This is a particularly silly, haphazard version of the game, with a lot of ‘wait, we should probably change positions’ moments, leading to Ryan leaning on Greg or Tony a lot. I think these guys were getting used to having the table, too.

Then Tony goes and leans on Greg’s legs, which he can’t do without cracking up.

Silly enough, and a good enough ender for the compilation.

A few overall notes: You’ll notice that a lot of these games feature some Greg-Clive banter that didn’t make it into the show. Mostly from Episode 4, which ALREADY featured some Clive slamming from Mike and Greg. Hell, the ones that were left out of E4 may have helped buttress the already-strong show, especially News Report. There were also a lot of really racy and sex-themed games that Dan didn’t want to go out during regulation, as well as a lot of games that quite frankly didn’t have great improv. Still, we managed to get News Report, Song Styles, Scene to Music and Helping Hands out of this show, so I think they did something right.

Best Performer: Greg Proops, edging out Ryan for having a few more biting moments, as well as taking on Clive for most of the games on here.
Worst Performer: Rory Bremner by default, for screwing up in his only game of the night.
Best Game: Scene to Music. An easy favorite, but it’s just really damned good.
Worst Game: Film Dub

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E09, or EURODISNEY SUCKS!

The last non-comp episode of a really nice Series 6, this one features the main success points of S6 so far: Greg Proops, who’s come into his own this year; Colin Mochrie, who has begun carrying shows; Ryan Stiles, who has taken a step back after dominating S4 and S5, and Tony Slattery, whose mental stability is beginning to deteriorate.

Questions Only: Vet’s Office

Clive: “So, the scene is, you’re going to the Vet…which in England means a veterinary surgeon, rather than someone who’s served in Vietnam.”
Greg:
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 3.53.22 PM

Greg: “…thank you, Mr. Pedantic.”
BUZZZZZ
Clive: “…that wasn’t a question, you’re out.”
Tony laughs at this.

Colin and Tony’s round goes on for a long time, with both giving each other the ropes, finally culminating in:
Tony: “What have you been feeding it?”
Colin: “…today?”
Tony: [breaks]
BUZZ

Ryan: “Is he Siamese?”
Colin: “Does he LOOK Siamese?”
Ryan: “Are YOU Siamese?”

Colin: “Weren’t we in class together?”
Ryan: “Are you Phil Johnson?”
Colin: “Are you Bob….Fillyfoo?”
BUZZ

And then Greg: “D’you think you can save him, Bob Billyboo?”

Greg and Ryan also take theirs a long way, with both coming close to breaking and yet staying on. It’s only when Greg takes out one of the cat’s internal organs and asks if Ryan has any fondue that FINALLY breaks Ryan and gets him out.

Fantastic round, with everyone doing some REALLY WELL against each other.

Old Job New Job: Greg and Colin go to the Mortician’s to meet Ryan, a mortician, who used to be a used car salesman

Clive: “Greg and Colin, you’re going to the undertaker…or mortician as you call it in America.”
Greg:
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.00.30 PM

Ryan, entering behind Colin and Greg: “…don’t wanna pressure you, lemme know when you’re ready.”

Greg: “This is our Uncle Jerry, and he…seems to not be living anymore.”
{I love the innocence of that line]
Ryan: “Quite a short man, huh? Probably looking for something in a compact? Walk over here.”

Then, as Ryan displays a coffin, he says to Greg “GET IN, SEE HOW SHE FEELS TO YA!”

A really fantastic OJNJ, as Ryan’s used car salesman acting is really good, and even elevates the dark premise without just doing singular jokes.

Superheroes: Trapped in an elevator
Greg: Captain Floppy
Ryan: Man Who Taps You On the Shoulder to Fake You Out Man
Colin: Drunk Tour Guide Guy
Tony: Misconception Boy

Greg, upon hearing his Superhero name, cracks up a bit. He then turns to the audience member and goes “Have we dated???”

Clive even says, with the crisis, “You’re trapped in an elevator, or a lift if you’re like me.”

Sure enough, Greg even works it in: ‘I’m trapped in a lift…or an elevator, if you’re American…”
[So much Greg-Clive stuff, and we’re only 3 games in]

Ryan, realizing there’s no way of anyone getting into the elevator Greg’s trapped in: “Sorry I’m late, I had to run…up the cable?”

Tony, continuing his trend of bizarre entrance justifications: “I’m sorry I’m late, I was having my prostate engraved!”

ONCE AGAIN, Tony leaves without presenting a solution, leaving Colin to have to do one by opening the doors.

A fairly funny Superheroes, though it sort of jelled into nothing after a while.

Sound Effects: Colin is on the beach, Ryan provides Sound Effects

Thank god, we’re back to the more familiar version of SFX.

Moment one of the game, Colin flips off seagulls and gets shat on. MOMENT ONE.

Then, as Colin removes his trousers, Ryan throws in a BOING effect, and people laughing. Colin embarrassedly covers up.

Then, as he lathers up with sunscreen, ANOTHER BOING, more laughing…so Colin squirts everyone with the sunscreen bottle.

Just more really good stuff for the rest of this- Colin throwing a frisbee and Ryan adding in a delayed ‘aaah!’. Then a dog coming over and biting Colin, so Colin kicks a field goal with the dog.

Then, as soon as Colin goes into the water, Ryan does the two-note Jaws theme, which is enough to get the audience laughing hard.

A really, REALLY funny Sound Effects, probably one of the best ones in a while.

World’s Worst: Thing for a Doctor or Surgeon to Say

Ryan: “Oh, I’m sorry, this is a rectal thermometer…”
Tony: “spits into his hands”
[The whole panel cracks at this one, ESPECIALLY GREG]

Colin: “Nowwww the penis is the droopy thing, right?”
Clive: “Usually.”

Tony: “Okay, Mrs. Johnson, if you’d just put your breasts there, and….FBFBBBBBBBBBB!”
Greg:
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.19.00 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.19.24 PM.png

Clive:
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.19.47 PM.png

Ryan: “…scuse me for one minute…. knee-bone’s connected to the…”

One of the more iconic, top-to-bottom fantastic World’s Worsts out there.

Props: Tony and Greg vs. Ryan and Colin

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.22.32 PM.pngGreg: “…YOU FORGOT TO DRAW MY PUPILS YOU BASTARD!”

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.24.01 PM.pngColin: “…I TELL YA, THIS FILM’S GONNA BE REALLY BIG!”

Fixed Expression: Drivers pick up hitchhikers
Colin: ecstatic
Tony: shocked
Greg: furious
Ryan: panicky

Tony’s shocked face:
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.26.26 PM.png
This cracks up the rest of the panel
Clive: “I’m sure I’ve seen you like that before somewhere, but I can’t…”

Colin’s strength in this game is saying things that contrast with his facial expression, like “WE’RE LOST, YOU IDIOT”, and, more famously, “EURODISNEY SUCKS!”

Tony stops to pick Ryan up, then Colin, realizing they still have to pick up Greg, goes “HEY, THERE’S ONE ON MY SIDE!”
It’s a very amusing moment, as that could only mean that Greg’s just been dodging traffic for however long he’s been out there.

This is an incredibly silly game, and Tony does let it end on a hilariously funny note by putting on some music, and have everybody bob around with the facial expressions. Greg, dancing with his furious expression, always cracks me up.

As they head back to the seats, Colin and Tony clutch their faces and make sure they can still move them. Tony and Ryan are still doing their expressions as they’re back, so Clive has to snap them out of it.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Greg: a surfer
Colin: thinks he’s in a toilet
Ryan: a fireworks display

Clive: “Each guest is given an envelope- inside the guest….sorry, inside the envelope, rather…”
The audience catches him on this one tonight.

Tony, after Greg does some very obvious surfer stuff: “Are you Margaret Rutherford?”

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.44.06 PM.png[The audience goes wild at this visual]

Colin holds this for a few seconds, leaving Tony to sort of stand around and chuckle. Colin even shakes a bit.
Tony, eventually: “You’ve been to my parties BEFORE!”

Ryan’s fireworks display quirk is probably one of his most iconic, as he looks like he’s having so much fun with it. After lots and LOTS of repetition, he finally begins to crack up Tony.

Tony does finally get Ryan, which makes this a successful round in that Tony gets everyone and doesn’t make a fool of himself, as well as people actually being really funny with their quirks.

Helping Hands: Tony gets a haircut and shave from Ryan (ft. Colin’s hands)

Ryan, of course, begins the scene by sticking the comb under his nose and doing a Hitler impression. Because of course Ryan would.

Ryan: “How’s your mommy?”
Tony: “…dead.”
Ryan: “And your papa?”
Tony: “…dead.”
Ryan: “Oh, that’s-a good, NOW…”

Ryan, of course, ends up drinking some of the aftershave, because this is Helping Hands and nobody’s ever nice to him here.

Ryan decides to shave Tony, then realizes he needs to get going, so tries speeding it up, trying to do his whole neck in a matter of seconds.

Another down Helping Hands, but still amusing enough

Hoedown: Sex

Greg’s verse is legendary, singing about a guy who loves having sex, ‘and that’s cause my name is Tony Slattery.”
Tony does get a kick out of that slam, though

Colin’s verse is clever, about making love to a contortionist: “She also is a psychic, she foresaw her own end.”
Tony ABSOLUTELY LOSES IT AT THIS ONE

Tony puts in a barely broadcast-able verse about George Bush being a kinky bastard, but the game does end on its feet.

Overall: A really, really fun end to a solid, strong season. There was energy all around tonight, populating even the meekest of games (Like Questions Only, Sound Effects and Hoedown), and even giving Tony Slattery a little bit of life in Party Quirks and Fixed Expressions. This show does come down to Colin and Ryan, for dominating the games with really funny choices, and great moments, though Greg and his Clive slams should not be counted out, nor should Tony, who was a little sharper than last show.

Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Colin, for being funny throughout, and bringing out the best in even Tony tonight.
Worst Performer: Tony, who still didn’t give enough funny moments to match up to the rest of the gang.
Best Game: Questions Only. Old Job New Job, Sound Effects and World’s Worst were considered, but Questions Only was a battle from start to finish, with everyone giving their scene partner a run for their money.
Worst Game: Helping Hands, for just not being as funny as the rest of the show.