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.

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