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.
[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.
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?”
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!”
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!”
Ryan: “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.
Colin: “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.
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.