It’s been a hot second. I had a semester to finish off. I’m back though, with the last episode of Series 7, a fairly decent series with lots of fun high points. This is the last appearance of Tony Slattery, and our last Mike McShane appearance until his moodier S9 episodes. Like last compilation, all the series’ players are here except for Eddie Izzard, and…Niall Ashdown as well. Don’t worry, he’ll be back in Series 8.
Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Colin (two competitors and their pets at a dog show)
Ryan, faux-Stallone: “This contest means a lot to my dog”
Colin, removing his helmet: “what?”
Then, after doing some more lines of a Stallone impression, Colin puts his helmet back on, having heard enough.
Ryan, breaking: “That’s the worst Stallone I’ve ever heard in my life…”
Clive, ever-snarky: “I assume you’re doing Stallone’s DOG, then..”
Thankfully, this style is followed up with a Jimmy Stewart western…which is most definitely an impression Ryan Stiles CAN do, and gets the audience back on his side quickly.
Colin, looking at his lime jacket: “MY GOD! KRYPTONITE!”
A brief but still very amusing F&TS game. I do see why it didn’t get in, though, as the improv wasn’t as well-contained as other F&TS ones.
Questions Only: Steve, Tony, Ryan and Colin are at the pearly gates
Ryan: “D’you have a smoking section?”
Colin: [embarrassed shrug]
There is some really good Colin-Ryan back and forth here that I’m not gonna completely transcribe, but suffice to say it’s some really good stuff, and proof that they absolutely ruled this season.
Song Styles: Mike sings a ragtime song about syringes
Mike’s last Song Styles for a while. A momentous occasion.
Mike does belt out a laugh once he hears the style suggestion, especially how it was the first style suggested. ‘RAGTIME???’
This is a fairly standard Mike song, with some high-energy lyrics about drug use, but…halfway through, Richard’s piano drops off, leaving Mike to sort of peer over at Richard until he panics and continues the song. Mike keeps his composure though.
High-energy, and definitely spirited, but still not a career highlight for Mike, which is sad for his last high-mood one on the show.
Scene to Music: Caroline has just failed Tony’s driver’s test
Tony: “…not only were your road signs very bad, but you DID kill three people…”
And we’re off to a great start
Then, as Caroline’s crying and talking in a higher-pitched voice, Tony, calling back to another scene from this taping, goes “you’re not that drunk woman from earlier, are you?”
I don’t know what he’s calling back to, or if we’ve seen it or not.
The music does eventually kick in, and it’s a somber, melodic, dramatic score, which turns the scene into an Oscar-worthy performance.
Caroline does turn this into a romantic scene, which Tony responds to by twirling around.
Tony: “Even though you’ve failed this test, you’re not going to fail me as a wife. My [smirk] eggs are always going to be perfect…”
Caroline suggests they have sex in the backseat
Caroline: “Let me throw my legs over…up against the windscreen”
Tony: “UP AGAINST THE WINDSCREEN?”
Tony: “…I’ll turn the wipers on, then!”
Then, as Caroline moves closer, erotically, to Tony, he lets out a chuckle, out of character. You can tell Caroline’s really throwing him for a loop.
Tony: “Let’s throw away the brakes and go downhill now!”
Caroline: “YES! LET’S GO DOWN NOW!”
Tony: “….Well, NO, DOWNHILL…”
A fantastic scene, with both parties throwing the other for a loop, and giving some great, funny, well-improvised work all around.
Whose Line: Ryan and Colin are two frogmen about to invade enemy territory
Ryan: “Look, if I don’t make it…I want you to tell my wife something.”
Colin: “What’s that?”
Ryan: “I want you to…come home and tell her…”pull it out and let’s have a look at it…”
Colin’s suggested epitaph is ‘how did you lose your leg, Larry’?
Colin: “You know, you can’t tell that it’s fake at all. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t made out of oak. It keeps floating to the top as I try to get underneath…”
Ryan, underwater: “Well, it looks like-”
He then panics, and throws his breathing tube in. Very, very nice touch.
A lighter Whose Line round, but still with enough Ryan-Colin moments to form some later rounds of Mission Impossible.
World’s Worst: Thing to Say to your In-Laws (Tony, Mike, Colin and Ryan)
Ryan: “I just wanna say, Mr. McDonald, Mrs. Mc-…HellLOOOO…”
and then, after a botched Tony joke
Ryan: “I just wanna say, Mrs. McDonald, Mr. Mc-HellLOOOO…”
Colin: “Well, actually, I’m a variety entertainer. I sing through my buttocks…”
Tony: “…Hello, my name’s Clive…”
Props: Colin and Ryan vs. Mike and Tony
Lots of stuff from Episode 6 in this one…
Ryan, using the props as sideburns: “Very nice ta meet ya, sir, I’d like to marry your daughter, Priscilla…”
Tony: “SELL. SELL. I SAID SELL.”
Ryan: “Weeeee live in half…a windmill…”
Tony: “KING KONG, you’ve made the empire state building…” [breaks]
A surprisingly nice round of props from both sides.
Narrate: Colin is a gas station attendant, and Ryan’s a woman that pulls in
The first moment we cut to this scene, Ryan is miming hanging himself. And that pales in comparison to his reaction to having to play a woman.
Colin: “Can I fill’er up?”
Ryan: “Yeah…why don’t you stick your hose in there, and…pump away…”
The audience loves this line
Ryan, rationalizing for a 1995 audience: “I knew he didn’t remember me…not since the operation…”
The scene ends with Colin, thinking he recognizes Ryan…and then Ryan not telling him it’s him.
Colin: “My plan didn’t work.”
Ryan: “His plan almost worked.”
It ended WAY too soon. They cut while the scene was still going, so the ending to this was hopefully good but probably had Ryan making a dick joke.
Press Conference: Ryan, Colin and Mike interview Tony, who has captured the Abominable Snowman
More fun with the E6 taping. Must have been a whole lot that Dan initially wanted to let slide in favor of the painful-ish Party Quirks game.
Colin: “Did you have to use anything special?”
Tony: “Yes, GLUE…and some feathers.”
Mike asks if Tony ever felt he was in danger
Tony: “Yes, but my bodyguard saw to it that I had an armored…hat.”
He cringes at that, even if it gets a laugh
Ryan, with an essential giveaway: “Is he really as hard to get along with as his first name indicates?”
Tony, after taking a beat: “i don’t find him abominable at all!”
The audience erupts in cheers, as Tony actually got a guessing game correct.
Bartender: Mike consoles Greg, who lost his puppy
This is Greg’s only game of the comp. Oh well, he’ll be all over S8.
Not a hell of a lot to this one, but it’s harmless enough.
Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Caroline: TOTP audience member
Colin: is being chased by low-flying aircraft
Ryan: frog spawn turning into a frog
I find it very amusing that 80% of this taping features Tony Slattery, a guy the producers were trying to distance themselves from after E6.
Colin’s physicality, from the moment he runs in, is hysterical, crouching and shouting ‘WHAT THE?’, all while Caroline shrieks for her quirk. Tony is already confused. Fortunately he does manage to guess Colin kinda easily.
Ryan crouches down, fully turning into a frog
Tony: “…you should do that upstairs, really…”
Tony does manage to guess everyone, but doesn’t interact as well as he usually does, bringing his Party Quirks career, and his WL career, to a quiet close.
Hoedown: Josie, Caroline, Colin and Ryan sing about being born
At the announcement of this game, Ryan gives a quick, sarcastically excited look to Clive before springing up from the seats. Josie similarly sarcastically bounds to the step, as she also clearly hates this game.
Josie and Caroline’s verses are cute but inoffensive.
Colin sings about his son being born, which dates this, as Kinley has come out as female since, but either way.
“I looked at him there, with his great big smile
I didn’t know I had him upside down all the while…”
Okay Hoedown. Colin’s verse saves it.
Best Game: Scene to Music, an absolute triumph
Worst Game: Bartender. Way too short and inconsequential.
Best Performer: Ryan, of course
Worst Performer: Greg, for being okay in his one game.
SERIES 7 SUPERLATIVES!
Best Episode: E10, with all four performers on, an uproarious F&TS round with Josie and Ryan doing accents, killer rounds of Stand Sit Lie and Moving People, and proof that the show could move on post-Tony.
2nd Best Episode: E6. Yes, Party Quirks is a tiny bit painful to watch, but this is Tony Slattery’s only moment of weakness in an otherwise energetic show, with a great round of Bartender, Ryan and Colin doing a great round of secret, and some killer stuff all around.
3rd Best Episode: E2, one that came up a lot on BBC America when I was younger, featuring Tony doing Brookside, ‘who invited the chicks’, a very silly News Report, and one of the last great Helping Hands rounds of this era.
Worst Episode: E8. The dregs and leavings of the far superior E10 taping.
Best Regular: Ryan Stiles, for getting back to excelling this series, though also for knowing when to take a backseat to guests and Colin.
Best Recurring Guest: Greg Proops, for owning the early stretch of this season, and taking some of the heat off of Mike and Tony. Nearly went with Steve or Josie.
Best Newcomer: Caroline Quentin, narrowly edging out her…minimal competition, by coming off like a pro in her two appearances with the show’s big guns.
Worst Guest: I am only going with Eddie Izzard, E7, solely because nobody else this series was truly bad, so I am going with someone who just didn’t especially fit with the show.
Guest We Wish Wasn’t Done After This Season: Tony Slattery. I am gonna miss this guy.