Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E11, or but then…I’m Just a Canadian…

Fuck it, I loved that episode so much that I’m going right to the compilation, especially considering that this is a rather good comp.

Also, note that everybody who appeared in an episode this series, even Niall Ashdown, is represented tonight…..except for Eddie Izzard.

Film and Theatre Styles: Colin and Ryan (Two Lumberjacks arguing)
From: E4

Clive mentions the ‘arguing over something’ bit: “…Ryan’s shirt, for one thing…”

Colin: “I’ll do it by MYSELF, I’m part beaver, anyway…”
Ryan: [looks behind Colin]

Clive: “Hugh Grant”
Ryan: “…there’s, uh, good things and there’s bad things. I guess I just did a bad thing…”
This, needless to say, is exactly what the audience was hoping to hear.
Clive: “Let’s leave it there…which I think is what he said to the officer…”

It’s even funnier when two North Americans have to do Carry On film.
Colin, going with the only thing he knows from a Carry On film: “ACK ACK ACK ACK ACK!”
Colin looks at Ryan to say something. He shrugs, motioning ‘do I look like I have a fucking clue what that is?’
Ryan: “…right…”
Colin: “PENIS REFERENCE! ACK ACK ACK ACK ACK!”
Ryan: “Oy, that tree’s got big tits, innit?”
BUZZ
Ryan’s shaking his head, and Colin’s facepalming away from the camera.

A very silly scene, but not without its highlights, like a Hugh Grant joke and Ryan having no idea what the Carry On films are.

Questions Only: Caroline, Ryan, Colin and Josie are at a nudist camp
From: E9

Caroline, immediately: “Is that a penis?”
Colin: “…doesn’t it look like one?”

Ryan, taking Caroline’s place: “…are you Jewish?”

Josie, pointing: “Does that upset you?”
Ryan: “Does it excite YOU?”
Josie, chuckling: “What do YOU think?”

Ryan has a nice streak, but it ends as the game does. Pretty inoffensive one, but still funny enough.

Bartender: Mike
Ryan: in love with his television set
From: E2

Well, for some reason, Greg and Tony’s verses aren’t here, so we just have Ryan’s.

Ryan, quite smartly, sings about ‘getting caught having unprotected sex with my tv’, which is a great twist. And, “before I knew it, I was yanking on his big TV love cable.”

Mike has a really cool extended response verse, which does make me a bit sad he won’t be this excited to be on the show after these comps.

Scene to Music: Ryan and Steve are Jehovah’s witnesses calling at a house
From: E3

Steve: “Listen, when we knock on the door-”
Ryan: “And who’s knocking?”
Steve: “…Jesus is always knocking…”

The music, a courtroom theme, kicks in. Ryan and Steve treat it like a Mission Impossible type theme, and it definitely works. Hell, this could even be a prototype version of Improbable Mission.

The scene ends with Steve and Ryan getting to the customer, with bibles as guns, and Steve yelling “HI…HAVE YOU HEARD THE GOOD NEWS???”

Just silly enough, which seems to be the theme of this show.

Whose Line: Ryan is a gang boss confronting Colin, who betrayed him
From: E6

Colin immediately goes into a stereotypical gangster voice. Ryan tells Colin to shut up.

There’s actually some really good acting here between the two, and it’s definitely well-suited to a lot of the gangster movies of the day.

Colin: “Remember…remember what SHAKESPEARE once said…’wait til you see what I’ve got in my pants.”

A bit lighter than most WL games, but still funny enough, and with some good acting.

World’s Worst: Show Business Routine (Greg, Niall, Ryan and Colin)
From E1

Clive: “…you can do your own one, Greg, if you’d like…”
Greg: “SEE HOW THIN THE LAUGHS WERE ON THAT, CLIVE?”

Greg, with the payback: “Hello, we’re microscopic explorers on Clive Anderson’s head.”
BUZZ
Greg: “We’re looking for hair follicles.”
BUZZ
Greg: “No luck so far-”
Clive, knowing where he’s going: “..yeah..”
Greg: “But we’ll be back in an hour…”

Ryan: “….A. Apple. B. Brontosaurus. C. Cookie. D. Dicky. E. Elephant.”
Then, as he knows exactly where he’s about to go with the next letter, he looks directly at Clive to try and get him out of it.
Ryan: “F…”
BUZZ
Ryan, under his breath: “…fuck…”

Greg: “Hello, I’m Sylvester Stallone, I’d like to read a soliloquy from Hamlet by William Shakespeare…”

Ryan, swallowing all of these objects: “A little flour…some eggs…some sugar…BLEH! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOOOU…”
The audience recoils, but I love this one.

A strange WW, with some out-of-the-box ones from Ryan

Props: Colin and Ryan vs. Steve and Tony
From E3

Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 12.48.35 PM.pngTony: “Well, Mr. Johnson, your sperm count’s very low, BUT THE ONE YOU’VE GOT IS JUST…”

A fairly basic round. Ryan and Colin were doing easy ones, while Tony and Steve’s were more hit-miss.

Narrate: Colin and Ryan are in a laundromat
From: E6

Clive does his usual ‘do you have a laundromat in America’ type thing, settling on ‘wherever you do your washing.”
Ryan, caveman voice: “Oh, stream! We call STREAM. ON ROCKS, WE BEAT ON ROCKS, IT STREAM.”

Colin: “…he had legs like a stork…and a brain to match.”

Ryan’s first great improv move is, mid-monologue, getting into the dryer, then bobbing around in the dryer for a bit. Genius.

Ryan announces he’s missing a sock, which he probably wanted to lead to an ‘up my ass’ type of joke, but…Colin makes sure it leads somewhere stranger.
Colin: “It was then I noticed the bulge…and then I thought, ‘I wonder where his sock went’.

Colin: “…I didn’t notice the tank until he opened the door. It was a tank! How could you not notice that? Boy…weird, huh?”

Ryan, not even trying to rationalize: “…pretty weird I got a tank in here, huh?”
Colin: “That’s what I thought…but then…[cracks] I’m just a Canadian.”

Then, as Ryan cracks up, Colin, as his next inner monologue, gets into the tank, and comes upstage, not saying anything, but driving the tank around. Clive buzzes, so both can collapse into laughter.

Just a damned funny scene, with nothing going according to plan, but in the best way possible.

EXTRA BITS: 

  • A sound effects playing from E9, where Colin’s driving a car. It suddenly completely runs out of gas. Then, of course, he gets out of the car and it drives off by itself, which is an insanely creative choice by Ryan. Colin has to run after it.
  • They also keep cutting back to a props round from E4, with Ryan and Colin and a big, cornucopia like thing.
    Colin, scooping into the giant cone: “How many scoops?”
    Ryan, stonefaced: “Five hundred.”
  • A F&TS round from E4, where Tony and Caroline do a Thunderbirds scene, which leads to some hands going out of control, and a Tony hand landing on Caroline’s boob. Caroline, unlike Josie, responds by grabbing Tony’s crotch to end the scene.
  • A Hey You Down There round from E1, where Greg narrates Ryan and Colin trying to barbecue. Greg’s HYDT voice is one of my favorites.
    Greg: “THAT’S NOT LIGHTER FLUID, THAT’S GASOLINE. BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU LIGHT THAT!”
    Boom!
  • A round of Picture from…either E2, E5 or E6, as it’s Tony and Mike. Mike’s lying behind Tony, and Tony has a nice gag with “…what’s that poking in the back of my ‘ead?”
  • The Gambling Hoedown, from E6. Colin’s verse, which is classic:
    “I entered the lottery, I bought myself a ticket.
    Watched all the numbers, I saw the people pick it.
    And now I’m very rich…”
    And then his Hoedown voice drops, he stops, and just says, point blank: “Hey, I don’t have to SING. I don’t have to do this. I’M RICH. I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!”
    And with that, he runs around the stage happily, as Tony and Ryan crack.
  • A F&TS round from E3, with Tony and Steve doing a very intense scene from Eastenders, complete with an ‘I SAAAAAID…LEAVE IT.’
  • Back to Hey You Down There
    Greg: “You’re gonna have to use a shovel to get that goat off. Uh oh, it’s stuck to the grill. [And, in a line that cracks me up in how Greg says it] BETTAH GET THE GOAT SCRAPAH!”
    Ryan gets a chainsaw, and shears the goat off, which backfires and hits Colin’s crotch area. Colin leafs around looking for where it went. Ryan picks something up, shrugs, and throws it aside.
  • Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 1.07.57 PM.pngColin stands there for like 5 seconds without an idea, then he gets one.
    Colin: “….today on Donahue, Anorexic Witches!”

Old Job New Job: Colin and Caroline try to buy a car from Ryan, who used to be a NYC cop
From: E9

Caroline: “…what d’you think?”
Colin: “…it’s a car.”

Ryan, effortlessly mixing both: “UP AGAINST THE CAR, UP AGAINST THE CAR…how’s that feel to ya?”

It’s actually genius- Ryan uses angry cop tactics in order to give them a full car salesman pitch. For some reason this works really well.

There’s this great running gag about Colin being a former ballet dancer, so when Ryan commands him to get on the ground, he does a full flourish beforehand.

Not a ton to it, but mechanically really impressive.

Stand Sit Bend: Ryan, Colin and Tony are in a fortress being attacked by indians
From: E6

Colin: “Let me get that arrow out of your back.”
Ryan, who’s bending, appreciates this rationalization
Tony: “Wait, let’s see if there’s a message attached….’you’re dead.”
All three: “HMMMM…”

Compared to other recent SSLs, there’s not a lot to this one, except for a moment where Colin and Ryan compete to sit down, which cracks Ryan up.

This scene does get going when Ryan does a motion that involves him standing, then bending, then standing, so that the other two have to react to his ever-shifting rationale.

Colin, as Ryan and Tony have an argument while alternating standing and sitting, just leans over and starts shooting people, though he keeps looking back to see if anybody’s letting him stand again.

There are a ton of funny moments in here towards the end, culminating in someone else shooting Colin an arrow to the head.
Ryan: “Wait, there’s another note attached…oh, sorry it’s just your brain.”

A bit less coherent than the last few iterations of this, but still funny.

Hoedown: Ryan, Colin, Caroline and Tony- Biting Nails
From: E4

Not a ton going on here, sad to say, other than a line from Ryan about “now I’m nibblin’ on my wrist”, and some general Tony foolishness.

Best Performer: Ryan Stiles, as per usual this series
Worst Performer: Niall Ashdown, for only doing one joke, and for it not being a successful one.
Best Game: Narrate. Just really, REALLY good, and capable of withstanding its own weirdness.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Ho-hum.

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Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E10, or You’re from Australia, aren’t you?

With nine episodes wrapped for a strong enough Series 7, the producers of Whose Line were desperate to come up with one more show, but were being decreed not to use anymore Mike McShane or Tony Slattery. I can only assume that the last show set to be filmed was supposed to feature either one, and was cancelled after the incident in E6. So…the producers needed a spot to fill, essentially.

So they did something that was, at the time, revolutionary, but has since become a helpful tool for Whose Line to use. They made a second episode from a previous taping.

This episode, E10 of this series, is made up of leftover bits from E8, the Steve & Josie show. Instead of relegating all of that to the compilations (and I can only imagine some leftovers might be waiting in the comps anyway), the producers crafted a second episode out of them. They would do this a few more times over the next two series, though less as series-fillers and more as…time savers, essentially.

Note that this episode does have the same contestant intros as E8, as they didn’t know to film two intros quite yet.

Questions Only: Singles Party

There’s an audible noise from Josie as they line up for this game. It’s less of a groan and more of a nervous noise.

Josie: “Why are the walls painted this color?”
Steve: “Are you pissed?”
Right off the bat we’re onto something

Josie: “Do you french kiss?”
Colin: ‘…with my clothes on?”
Josie: “…do you HAVE a naked body under there, then?”
Colin: “Would you like to see?” [disrobes]
Josie: “….”
BUZZ

Once Ryan enters, both try and get one in at the same time, which catches Ryan off guard.

After a string of Colin getting people out
Ryan: “D’you have any vodka?”
Colin: “Russian?”
Ryan: “…is there any other kind?”
Colin: “…..”
BUZZ

It’s even funnier when Steve gets a chance to redeem himself at the end…and loses, loudly, at ‘how the hell have you been?’. Great way to end the game, too, as it’s a pretty great round.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Josie and Ryan (pram-pushers meeting in the park)

Clive gets, consecutively, “Richard and Judy” and “German Porno”, which he makes fun of.

Audience member: “Take That!”
Clive, missing the point: “…what? Is that…is that a pop group?”
Audience member: “Kenneth Branagh!”
Clive, losing his wit: “…that’s a PERSON!”

A very Australian voice yells out, clearly: “Australian soap.”
Clive, cheekily: “…yes, thank you, Jason…”

Ryan has to stop and ask what a pram is, which Josie very quickly explains
Clive: “How many years have you been coming here, and you…”
Ryan, self-referentially: “And a park is what, with the trees and…”

Ryan and Josie initially have great chemistry, with Ryan lying and saying the baby’s not his.
Josie: “Ohhh, I know what a tinker you are… [then, in a moment of wall-breaking genius]…do you know what ‘tinker’ means?”
Ryan, going with it: “…is it like a pram?”

Cookery Program:
Josie: “Your baby looks lovely, but it would look so much better with gravy on its head.”
Ryan: “First, let me flip him over, so he’s done on the other side…”

Ryan: “And you’re asking yourself, ‘what goes with baby? white, or red wine?”

Clive, again harkening back to Ryan’s American-ness: “…brilliant Loyd Grossman impression there, from Ryan…”

Australian soap:
Josie: “…I THOUGHT YEW LOVED ME!” [turns, drops accent] “I apologize to all the Australians in the audience”

Then, Ryan pulls up some indecipherable Australian accent which makes Colin start absolutely cracking in the background.

Then, halfway through another line, Ryan’s accent fades on him. He realizes it, nearly cracks, and shrugs it off.

Clive: “I liked that, I just buzzed there to put you out of your misery, Ryan.”
Ryan: “Thank you.”

The German Porn style is even funnier, because Ryan and Josie keep up the accents, and nail the tone…and then, right at the end, Ryan loses his accent, and struggles to keep composure again, right when Clive buzzes.
Josie: “…you’re from Australia, aren’t you?”
BUZZZ
Clive: “If we keep going longer, we’ll get to an accent Ryan can do.”

Agatha Christie:
Josie, in a great Marple accent: “Why…if you say you’re not married, do you have a baby?”
Ryan, absolutely nailing a proper British accent: “…don’t you see?”
The audience, and Steve, applaud this one as Clive buzzes them out.

THAT…was one of the best F&TS games in a while. Yes, it’s similar to a late-career Paul Merton one where he’d go in and out of the scene, but…Ryan and Josie at least kept the integrity of the scene intact, and kept the narrative going while still poking fun at accents and running gags and such. Just a fantastic top-to-bottom game.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Steve and Colin (stuck in a car teetering over a precipice)

The Steve and Colin combo is an odd one, but it excites me very much.

Colin: “DON’T SHOUT…the excess voice level might push us over the cliff.”
Steve nearly cracks at that line. We’ve only just started.
Steve: “But YOU’RE shouting.”
Colin: “But I’m using a different VOICE!”
BUZZ
Clive, already the MVP of this show: “…you’re going mad, Colin.”

Steve, in Boris Karloff style, is making faces at Colin, looking dastardly, which nearly makes him break.
Steve: “DO MY EYEBROWS OFFEND YOU???”

Emmanuelle:
Colin, to Steve, taking off his clothes for the second time all show: “Could you just empty that ashtray for me?”
Steve, coming directly behind Colin: “Sure’.”
Ryan, in the back, loses it at this.

Batman, in the same position.
Steve: “ROBIN…I’M GONNA TEACH YOU EVERYTHING!”
Colin: “Holy Back Pain!”

Not as good as Ryan and Josie’s, but still really funny, and with some fun interplay between the two.

Secret: Colin and Ryan are jockeys in a stable. The secret is in the hay

Clive has a slight mental lapse, when he can’t understand an audience member going ‘in the hay!’. He thinks it’s ‘IN BEHIND???” The other audience members around her have to clarify for him.
Ryan, not letting that go: “It’s Australian, you probably don’t understand…OUR language…”

Ryan, of course, makes a joke that he’s the first ‘mutant jockey’, and the camera pulls back so the audience can get the joke.

Colin, discovering the secret: “…my god…a tooth fairy costume…”
Ryan, for the first of many times during this game, breaks at the reveal.
Colin: “You’re not only a mutant jockey, you’re the tooth fairy!”
Ryan, casually slipping the costume on: “WHAT IF I AM?”

Ryan does give a complicated rationalization for being the tooth fairy as a jockey. Then, knowing how bonkers it is, he polishes it off with ‘IT ALL MAKES SENSE!’

Then, of course, they get on their horses and go about the race, which is a great visual just to see Ryan’s facial expressions.

A pretty great secret, with Ryan giving great post-reveal work.

Greatest Hits: Ryan and Colin pitch Songs of the Gas Station, while Josie performs the songs

A new addition to the fold, as apparently producers thought that Josie solo singing games weren’t enough, so they just added Ryan and Colin to them.

This is a different GH than we’d get later on, as Ryan and Colin just do plummy, banter-less intros, and Josie just goes ahead and sings then. It’s not reliant on the Ryan-Colin characters we’d later know and love.

Also, the excerpts are super short, as they’re 10 to 15 seconds each, just giving Josie the chorus. And yes, it’s pretty impressive that she can do these excerpts at the drop of a hat, but knowing the future form of the show, it’s a bit off-putting.

The audience gets a kick out of Colin’s song-title ‘Hands of My Muffler’, as well as the actual lyrics, which are pretty funny.

The funniest part of this game, though, is Ryan setting up a song…then realizing he doesn’t have a single good idea, and, at the verge of cracking, passes to Colin.
Colin: “Sure, it’s that great Disco hit, ‘lube up!”
Ryan completely breaks here

For Josie’s last number, Ryan and Colin jump into her side of the stage and start dancing along, which is a nice touch.

A pretty bold start to this game, even though the tinkerings we’d get to it would definitely improve things a lot. Still some fun stuff all around, even with Colin saving Ryan.

Stand Sit Lie: Ryan and Colin are on a sleeper train: Steve is the ticket collector

Steve, as Clive’s explaining the scene, sits down on one of the ‘bed’ structures, which there are two of. Once he hears he’s gonna be the ticket collector, he chuckles, and gets up so Ryan can sit down.

Steve begins the scene by opening the sliding door…giving it a beat, and then closing it again and walking off
Ryan: “I think he’s French.”
Steve, after spitting and walking in: “…yes, I am, actually…”

The best part about that is that the position changes in this scene are insanely natural, thanks to the intricate enough scene description.

Then, when Steve threatens to throw them off, Ryan angrily rises, and Steve, without an option yet so quickly, faints.

Then, in an insanely genius move, Ryan and Colin help Steve stand back up while both going into a lying position. Then, when they both realize what they’ve done, they play a brief simultaneous game of ‘no, I’ll change’, both sitting down or lying back down at the same time.

Once Steve finds something under the mattress chair…Colin and Ryan are standing, and Steve’s sitting, and Clive audibly says ‘…lying’. Steve, again without an option, collapses to the floor.

There’s a nice 30-minute stretch where Colin can’t catch a break, as Steve and Ryan are having a conversation about the diamond-smuggling. Colin will be lying down, then realize someone’s not doing something, race to get to a position then be beaten to it, and go back to lying down. It’s insanely amusing.

Then, in the end, as Steve rises, and Colin quickly lies back down, a standing Ryan realizes he needs to sit down, and both tables are blocked…so he sits down on Colin’s shoulder, which he immediately regrets, audibly yelling ‘OW’, and making both crack up as the scene ends.

One of the best SSLs we’ve had in years, with a coherent scene going on, and so many funny things happening with movements.

Foreign Film Dub: Colin and Josie act out the film ‘The Swahili Aubergine Lost in Space’, while Ryan and Steve translate

Josie starts by doing a weird noise, pointing, and doing a line.
Steve: “I can’t find Radio One on this damned thing.”

Colin’s tactic in this game, instead of faking the language, is doing INSANELY LOUD GIBBERISH. THIS WORKS.

Steve has the funnier lines here, such as ‘who needs aubergines when you’ve got cucumbers like these?’

Ryan translates a line as ‘you know, you’re looking very attractive to me at this moment’.
Then, Colin, holding the cucumber like a gun, strokes it up and down in a suggestive manner. Oh, Colin…

The scene ends with Colin dancing around spouting gibberish with a melon down his pants, which is certainly worth the price of admission.

Not a bad scene, but still very silly when it’s not being funny.

Moving People: Ryan and Colin are cowboys rounding up the herd

Colin: “..have you got the bull to cough yet?”
Ryan, as the audience member puts his fists up against his face: “…WELL…”

Colin has his hand up for a little while, as they’re talking.
Ryan: “Hey…put the margarita down, Jed…”

Then, as Ryan proposes a duel with paces, the audience members have to struggle to get Ryan and Colin to turn around and walk away, which is a very fun visual.
Colin, rationalizing: “Remember, I have arthritis…”
Ryan: “…and I’m a little drunk myself, so..”

Ryan: “ONE…”
Colin, who’s already turned around: “…ONE???”

Then, as they’re doing the paces, the audience members once again struggle to get them to walk or turn around. Colin, already turned toward Ryan, is smirking at this.
Ryan: “TWO…Boy, this is like a bad game of twister, isn’t it?”

Then, as they’re still being moved, they are free to shoot, which leads to a lot of ‘BANG! Oh, I missed ya. BANG!’

Colin: “Oh my god, your shot has started a stampede.”
Ryan, knowing exactly what he’s about to incite: “Oh my god. Run for cover.”

The audience members, instead of getting them to walk away, keep moving them closer to each other. Ryan, trying to keep it together, yells “NOT INTO ME, JED!!!”

The scene ends, and Ryan and Colin, shaking their heads, walk back to the seats. That game…just really worked, maybe because of all the work Ryan and Colin were making the audience members do, and the really funny ending.

Hoedown: Puberty

Steve, as usual, sings himself into a corner, ending with an oddly-prepositioned “his mother walked in and caught us kissing, and….joined in.”

Josie’s is a very well-thought out, cute verse, that’s very well sung, about her lament over puberty. “So, if this is a hoedown, I’ll just docey-do…”

Colin, taking the opposite suggestion and being himself:
“I like going grey, I really really do
I really really really really PLEASE DON’T MISCONSTRUE.
To many it’s a source of conterrrrnation
But I’m quite happy with my hair pigmentation.”
Clive ABSOLUTELY LOSES IT at this verse. He’s dying back in his chair.

Ryan’s is, comparatively, more commonplace, but it ends the hoedown, and the episode, on a fine note.

Overall: An absolute triumph, and the kind of show that makes you wonder why they didn’t just air this one first and have 7×08 come in this lot. Every game was truly hysterical, every performer had something very fun to do, and there was a huge Clive presence in a lot of the games tonight, which was a nice touch. Yes, the Colin and Ryan duo presided over this show, but that’s not especially a bad thing, as the combo is so strong that it’s automatically leading to great games, although the other duos tried this show, like Josie/Ryan and Steve/Colin, were also pretty successful, which owes itself to the durability of this lineup, which would be seen a few more times over the next few series. Just amazing stuff all around.

Show Winners: Ryan and Josie
Best Performer: Ryan Stiles, barely edging out his comedy partner, and giving some really great, commanding moments throughout the show.
Worst Performer: Steve Frost, solely for lacking in standout moments compared to the other three.
Best Game: Stand Sit Lie. I nearly gave this to the first Film and Theatre Styles, but SSL was absolutely masterful, and delivered on story as well as being host to a ton of incredible movement moments.
Worst Game: Foreign Film Dub, just for seeming quieter by comparison.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E09, or What Are You Implying, Clive?

Now onto another post-crisis S7 episode of Whose Line. Thanks to the success of Josie Lawrence’s return last episode, the producers gave her another taping, plus a combo with fellow female improv giant Caroline Quentin…along with the now-ubiquitous Ryan & Colin combo

Also, note that tonight, Colin attends with his world-famous lime-green jacket. It’s not neon-love-chicken levels of excessive, but it’s still noteworthy.

Film & Theatre Styles: Caroline & Josie (first two women to cross the Antarctic) 

Someone in the audience shouts of, as a style suggestion, ‘video nasty’…which is very ironic, because I was just watching that exact Young Ones episode before I started this.

From moment one of the scene, Josie and Caroline are on the exact same page, bouncing right off of each other perfectly.

Thelma and Louise:
Josie: “Wait a minute…there’s a man over there who says we can’t have the huskies…”
Caroline: “Let’s kill him!”

Caroline: “…there’s a real good lookin’ seal over there…Hi, Cowboy…”
Josie: “Honk honk HONK…”

There’s a very cute moment where, in Gone with the Wind style, Caroline offers to tighten Josie’s corset, and there’s a fun little exchange between the two as the audience applauds.

They did lose their footing towards the end, as Clive has to remind them of the plot, but it’s still a fun enough scene that works well enough.

Stand Sit Lie: Josie, Colin & Ryan are at the tattoo parlor

This scene does start out very plot based, as people are changing positions out of necessity, not out of trying to screw the other two over. Then, as Josie sprawls across the table, she lands on the floor, lying down, forcing Ryan and Colin to NOT use the table for lying.

Colin: “Wait, I’m a doctor!”
Ryan: “YOU’RE a doctor? I didn’t know that…”
Colin: “…well, not a real one…”
Ha. Might have been a bit meta, too.

There’s also a moment where Ryan angrily stands up from the table, and Colin and Josie both attempt to lie down at the same time. Then, as Colin and Ryan argue, taking turns sitting down, Josie continues to lie down, going “PLEASE DON’T ARGUE, IT MAKES ME TIRED!”

A really nicely fleshed-out playing of this, thanks to some great work from all three, and some alternating between plot and motions.

Press Conference: Ryan, Colin and Josie interview Caroline, the first female pope.

Caroline: “I actually trained four and a half years for this, a lot of it using….uh, weights.”
She has a moment of stumbling, but picks right back up.

Ryan, of course bringing up height: “Are, uh, people gonna have problems seein’ ya up on the balcony?”

Josie: “Are you a Catholic?”
Caroline: “…yes, I am. I actually had to CONVERT, in order to, uh…”

And then, Josie, with the kicker: “Do you enjoy having your ring kissed?”
The whole audience applauds at this one.
Caroline: “Yes, well it obviously depends very much on who’s doing the kissing…”

A really nice game, one that picked up as it went on, both for laughs and for Caroline’s abilities with it.

Clive mentions that she got it ‘suspiciously’ right after the ‘ring kissed’ line.
Caroline: “…what are you implying, Clive?”
Clive: “….I’m not sure, really…”

Duet: Caroline and Josie sing a love song about a beached whale

Note that Josie has appeared in all four of the first half’s games so far. Perhaps they were trying to sell her like they sold Tony.

Literally, as the scene starts, Josie and Caroline are intimately leaning together, making this very cute for both of them.

Caroline, with the first, wonderfully sung line of the song: “Look at the sea….then, look at me.”

The strength of both performers is INSANELY evident, as well as the ability to harmonize, improvise along with Richard’s key choices, and just do some really nice lyrics.

Once the final note hits, Ryan IMMEDIATELY rises and gives them a standing O. Colin follows. Caroline and Josie hug, knowing they’ve just pulled off one of the more impressive numbers in the show’s history.

Clive: “Incidentally, that puts you into a lead, Caroline and Josie…..because Ryan and Colin haven’t scored yet.”

Hats: Dating Service Videos

The old standard for Hats.

Clive: “So this is a quick-fire round. If you don’t do it well, you’ll be fired quickly…”

This isn’t a terrific round, as a lot of them are a bit too drawn out, especially from Caroline. Colin has a great one, in a Marching Band helmet, as he flails his arms around, catching batons and whatnot, and says “…and that’s with my hands…”

There are good moments, mostly from Ryan who gets the game, but not a ton of these hit.

Props: Ryan and Caroline vs. Colin and Josie

Right off the bat, Ryan nearly drops the prop in going for a joke, which leads to Caroline making sure he’s alright.

Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 4.04.30 PM.pngRyan: “Elephants on cocaine!” [sniffffff]

Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 4.05.34 PM.pngColin: “First time in an irish nudist colony?”

Caroline, hopping around the prop: “CRAP BARSTOOLS, DARLING!”

Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 4.06.58 PM.pngColin: “…I’m sorry, Mr. Jagger, we couldn’t save your lips…”

MUCH BETTER Props round. Tons of fun ideas coming from all four.

Party Quirks: Caroline hosts
Josie: in a tampon ad
Colin: a flu germ
Ryan: victim of a voodoo attack

Josie has not missed a game yet tonight. Good work so far, too.

Josie is great, doing a menagerie of strenuous things in an insanely peppy mood.
Caroline, getting it: “I hate to tell you this, but there’s a small stain on your trousers…”
BUZZ

It’s a very clever entrance for Colin: Ryan sneezes, and Colin bounds into the party.

Just the sight of Ryan going into random spasms and positions as Caroline looks on is a silly enough image. I think the fact that Caroline’s so out of it, especially after quickly guessing the other two, makes it even funnier.

Clive does have to give it to Caroline, but this was a swift-but-funny playing.

Prison Visitor: Josie
Colin: stole a pair of pants in Brazil
Caroline: murdered George in Italy
Ryan: got caught with a prostitute in Jamaica 

Josie has appeared in every game tonight, and she’s not even a series regular. Well bloody done.

Josie, getting the suggestion: “Stolen…pants?”
Clive: “I think that might be American for trousers.”
Josie: “…or English for Knickers…”

Colin turns his verse into something truly extraordinary, in a Brazilian accent:
“Oh get me out of here, I’m not having a good time.
They threw me in here for…impersonating a lime.
I needed green pants you see, to go with my whole ensem-bluh…
…what am I going to do, I…can’t rhyme with ensemble…”

Josie’s rebuttal verse is very fun, ending in calling Colin a ‘real brazil nut’. Still doesn’t overpower Colin’s insanely funny one.

Caroline makes her number very heartfelt, and very emotional, but between two comedians like Ryan and Colin, she leaves no choice but to bring up the rear of the game.

When Ryan gets up, he squeezes his head through the bars, so that once Josie turns around, she’s immediately caught off guard and laughs.

Someone in the audience shouts out: “He got caught in a car with a prostitute.”
This is 1995, so there’s only one real thing this could be referencing.
Clive: “RYAN IS A DISTINGUISHED ACTOR. There’s no chance…NO CHANCE…of a distinguished actor getting caught with a prostitute in a car…”

Clive sighs, and intros the scene, saying Ryan got caught with a prostitute in a car, ‘somewhere in Los Angeles, but…it’s the Jamaican quarter…”

Ryan: “the police run up to me one day, boy they rave and rant.
I made the same mistake as my good friend, the actor Hugh Grant.”
Ryan gives a whole stanza for the audience to recover

Josie does give a very funny response verse, eventually signalling for Ryan to ‘limbo under your cell’, which he does at the end.

Very, very good Prison Visitor game, utilizing all four in their own unique ways.

Overall: A brisk, fun, energetic show, with a career night for Josie Lawrence, and a huge-time emphasis on her and Caroline Quentin. This show proved, for the first time since Series 3, that women could get things done on Whose Line, and dominate a whole show. It’s also a blessing that they could do such a great show a few episodes after Tony, a guy who groped BOTH OF THEM onstage during shows, stopped appearing. Yes, Colin had some funny moments, as did Ryan, but it wasn’t about them as much as it was about Josie and Caroline.

Show Winners: All 4
Best Performer: Josie Lawrence, for dominating the whole night
Worst Performer: Ryan Stiles, for sticking to the background more often
Best Game: Prison Visitor, for being the most consistent in terms of laughs. Duet came close.
Worst Game: Hats. Not a ton going on.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E08, or Only I Make The Noise!

I don’t think it was a coincidence that Josie Lawrence waited until Tony Slattery had left the program to make her return. The groping may have been in good fun, but…her absence from the series up to this point felt very…obligatory. Either way, she’s back tonight, alongside Steve Frost, and…for the remainder of the show, Colin and Ryan

Superheroes: Peroxide Shortage
Colin: Bimbo Woman
Ryan: Captain Hallucination
Steve: Overindulgence Boy
Josie: Carpet Appreciation Girl (oh dear…)

Clive, in Ryan’s intro, mentions he’s the star of a hit sitcom, which lampshades that The Drew Carey Show had already begun by this point (wonder if the star of that would ever amount to anything?), as well as saying ‘star of 19 series of Whose Line is it anyway’, which…not too far off, Clive.

The audience suggestions for Colin’s superhero name are raucous and overflowing. Some poor guy even shouts out ‘EJACULATOR MAN!’
Clive, without missing a beat: “…Come again?”

After all that, Clive finally picks one: “…Bimbo woman, that’s good.”
Colin: “THAT’S good?”
Clive: “You heard all the others…”

Colin’s INCREDIBLY GOOD characterization cracks me up here, with his higher voice and meticulous arm-flailings. He’s really giving it his all.

Steve nails his quirk by drinking, doing all of the drugs, then landing on the floor. Then Ryan, still hallucinating, paddles him like a canoe

Josie, coming up with a solution: “I’m gonna see if there’s any in Axminster!”
Steve: “…I think there is. I’m gonna go eat them all!”

Then, Ryan at least leaves with a silly line: “I’ll see what I can tell the press, Mr. Nixon.”

A very silly scene, though in the best way possible. I also liked that we saw insight, in the pre-game, into how loose Clive had become, especially in interacting with the cast.

Fixed Expressions: Ryan (shocked) is a policeman who’s stopped Josie (happy) and Colin (constipated) for speeding

From the moment they’re getting up, Ryan and Colin are shaking their heads, not especially looking forward to this game.

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 11.58.39 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 11.59.10 PM.png[I’m already gone]

Ryan’s shocked face doesn’t top the one from 6×01, but it’s close.

Ryan: “Ya realize how fast you were going back there?”
Colin: “Uhhh, 60?”
Josie: “HAAAA HA HA HA…”

Colin ends on an easy line: “Aw, this is a real pain in the ass.”

Inoffensive and silly, sort of like the last game.

Film Dub: Ryan arrives to sell lederhosen to Colin and Steve

Colin: “WHAT’S YOUR WIFE DOING THERE?”
Steve, whose character has a giant mustache: “Never mind that, get this caterpillar off me face..”

Just the line of Ryan asking the other two if they have any interest in lederhosen gets a laugh from the audience. Maybe it’s from the juxtaposition.

Colin: “What kind of lederhosen do you have? What’s the price?”
Ryan: “Well we have all types, I’m sure the man over there who looks like a walrus would be interested…”

There’s a funny moment where Steve tries asking Ryan a question, but they keep cutting away from him before he can properly finish.
Ryan: “Yeah, I heard ya, if I throw you a salmon will ya shut up?’
Steve: “HEY, I DON’T LIKE HIM. TAKE HIM OUTSIDE NOW. DEAL WITH HIM.”
Colin: “I’m sorry, you’ve insulted my friend.”
Ryan: “Well, he’s probably not used to living in these warm temperatures.
SLAP

Such a good film dub. Ryan was just thinking quickly and giving good stuff, even at Steve’s expense.

Old Job New Job: Josie and Ryan check into a hotel. Steve, the bellhop, used to be in airport security

Josie and Ryan’s chemistry sell the majority of this, but Steve does give forth a nice laugh once he puts on a rubber glove and asks Ryan to have a look at the ashtray. Steve’s even smirking as he says it.

Ryan goes through ‘this gate’, then Steve sets off an alarm, and starts feeling all over Ryan, which nearly cracks him up.
Steve: “It’s alright, I used to be a german folk dancer.”

Ryan: “LOOK, WE DON’T HAVE TO TAKE THIS?”
Josie: “Darling, can I have a go?”
Then Josie goes through, and sets off the alarm herself, which makes a different sound
Steve: “No, only I make the noise, it doesn’t…”

Picked up as it went along, and became just a well staged and well-acted scene, with great stuff coming from the straight men as well as Steve.

Narrate: Colin is a woman who comes into Ryan’s hardware store

Not everyday you’re given more than just a location in this game, but okay then

Colin: “I’m a hard woman to please…even harder to look at.”

Colin: “I’d like a big hammer”
Ryan, crossing: “I knew she wanted a big hammer…maybe a couple nails and a good screw.”
Annnnd you all can go home now. No topping that.

Ryan: “I knew she hadn’t [had a man] just by looking at that big butt of hers. I knew that there was no man in Essex that’d go after her.”
Second Essex slam in two episodes.

There’s a ton of great moments here, just from what people are doing when the other is monologuing. Ryan even has a great moment where he interrupts a long, passionate monologue to yell at Colin to pay.

Ryan uses Colin pulling a gun on him to play his usual tactic of distracting Colin [by mentioning that the manager’s behind him with a gun] and then grabbing Colin’s gun himself.
Colin: “I fell for the old ‘store manager Phil behind me with a shotgun’ gag…it was the eighth time this week…but what he didn’t know was that Elmer, my pet termite, was slowly crawling up his leg, ready to bite into his jugular.”
Ryan, immediately crossing, channeling Steve Martin: “…what am I? Stupid?”
BUZZZ

Great Narrate. Both were doing fantastic character and scene work, and doing great work against each other.

Hats: Worst Audition Tapes

Normally this round would be ‘Worst Dating Service Videos’, but here it acted as a pseudo-World’s-Worst…but with hats

Steve, in a cowboy hat and John Wayne impression: “…put the wagons in a square.”
[My favorite part of this is Steve looking offstage and going “…no?”]

Ryan puts on a pink hat and instead plays director: “Okay boys, we’re going over that ridge, and we’re KILLING those Germans. KILLING THEM.”

Steve, in a Sailor’s hat, lifting up a shoe: “…Das boot!”
He chuckles and heads off immediately. Somehow, this isn’t the last time he’d do this joke on the show.

Colin, in a shipman’s hat: “…I said ‘all hands on deck!’ Leave Dick alone!”
HA

Ryan, in a different but still camp hat: “…we’re gonna kill ALL the Germans, sir?”

Yes, there were lulls, but this was still a fun round, with a good amount of inter-round runners (Ryan and the Germans)

Props: Ryan & Colin vs. Steve & Josie

Clive throws the prop around Steve, and it lands like a ring toss. It’s a great achievement.

Ryan, setting the prop up like a bed of nails: “Pain…is just a condition of the mind….[running across it] OW! SHIT! AH! FUCK! AIIGH!”

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 12.27.21 AM.pngRyan: “Oh my god, the wall of nails is closing in on us!”
Colin: “…this side’s fine!”
[They run off. Clever.]

Steve, pre-suggestion, says out of character ‘actually, I bet I can do this’…and then hula-hoops with the prop, prompting some applause from the audience.

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 12.28.50 AM.pngColin: “Only one is my real penis.”

A very fun round of props. Yeah, Colin and Ryan had the more interesting suggestions, but you could tell Josie and Steve were enjoying themselves.

Sound Effects: Colin takes a seat on a plane, Ryan does sound effects

This is a fairly commonplace SFX, right up until Colin closes his barf-bag, it makes a ‘squish’ noise…then ROLLS UP the airplane window and hits some poor guy in the head with it.

Funny, but I don’t think a great deal happened in it.

Party Quirks: Steve hosts (!)
Josie: finds bald heads irresistable
Colin: thinks the room is filling with water
Ryan: lives his whole life in a minute

I think this is Steve’s first time hosting, and as Tony’s gone, he’ll be the primary non-Greg PQ host in this era of the show…until Brad Sherwood comes along, that is.

Josie, of course, nails her quick, becoming instantly smitten with Steve. After a few seconds, she gets on the higher step and licks the back of his head, prompting a huge applause.

I think it’s a pity that Steve guesses Josie right before he lets Colin in. That would have been a golden opportunity, and Steve realizes that right as he does let in Colin.

Ryan manages to do the entire time-lapse thing in under 30 seconds, despite the quirk saying he should do it in 1 minute…which is nice.

Steve does guess everyone, making this a quick game.

Psychiatrist: Josie
Colin: thinks he’s an armadillo in Austria
Ryan: in love with a cameraman in Greece

Clive manages to name the wrong country right before Colin’s about to start, prompting a relieved expression from Colin. They cut over to Richard, and it looks as though even HE’S had a heart attack.

Colin ends his verse by going into nonsense-talk and barely making a rhyme with armadillo [“oh, what a nice pillow”]

Josie and Colin’s is very silly and quick…as per the theme.

Ryan’s number does get everyone snapping rather quickly, which is a nice ability to have.

This is another quaint number, but it ends with Ryan lunging in to kiss Camera 3, which is a great visual.

Overall: A very fun show, but also a very basic, silly, and uneventful one. It didn’t do anything too obnoxious or offensive, which may have been the point post-Tony. Everyone had a lot to do. Ryan and Colin, as the producers wanted, did most of the heavy lifting, and had the funniest moments, though Josie had a late-show boost in some very characteristically fun improv moments, and Steve had a few games to carry himself. It was slightly devoid of classic moments (and while Film Dub was very good, I wouldn’t call it a classic one), but still an incredibly breezy and fun watch, and it definitely seemed like all 4 were having a great time.

Show Winners: All 4
Best Performer: Ryan Stiles, for dominating all of his games, and getting the best of Colin in their matchups
Worst Performer: Steve Frost, but only for taking a more passive approach in the few games he was in tonight.
Best Game: Narrate, which just narrowly slides across a fantastic film dub simply for being a bit more consistent, and having a TON of great Colin-Ryan improv moments.
Worst Game: Sound Effects, for being pretty bland.