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.
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: “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
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.
Clive: “No no, it’s the ending, it’s…nine months.”
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.