Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E11, or UNCLE BILL?

We’ve reached the ‘rehashing’ portion of this series, where now we feature two more episodes cobbled together from leftover material from a specific taping. This one would leaf from E2, the Rory Bremner show, which was a pretty nice one if memory serves, and featured the immortal ‘Look…why don’t we all just have one big kiss’ Dead Bodies.

So yeah, it’s Greg, Rory, Ryan and Colin, which means this should work pretty well, unless they truly are leftovers.

You can already tell that Clive’s intros are a bit rushed, as if he’s had to do them again WAY AFTER THE TAPING HAS FINISHED. He just seems out of it. Also evident: when he announces Greg, pre-joke, Greg is already doing this:
Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 6.17.31 PM.png
It doesn’t feel like he’s just easing into his comic sensibilities- it feels like this is the tail end of them, and he’s very tired after a long taping and wants to go home and not do anymore bloody pickups.

Ryan too is hunched over, giving Clive a look, and just wanting to go home. So, interesting that we’re literally starting with the end tonight, unless I’m very mistaken and this ISN’T, in fact, a pickup.

Questions Only: Right before a prison breakout

Yeah, and when they cut back to Clive, pre-game, he looks rejuvenated, and the top-of-the-taping energy seems to returned, so my theory that the intro was a late-taping pickup still stands.

Clive, after describing the game: “Sounds easy to do, but  often it goes wrong-”
Greg starts cackling at this

Ryan: “Have you finished the tunnel?”
Colin: “…THE ONE THAT GOES UNDER THE WALL?”
Ryan: “Weren’t you in charge???”
Colin, very weakly: “…no…”
BUZZ

After Rory fails to ask a question, Colin returns
Ryan: “Where the hell have you been?”
Colin: “How’d you know it was me in my disguise?”
Ryan, forgetting which game this is: “NIIIICE MASK!”
BUZZ

I do love how coherent of a scene this ends up being, where Colin, as the warden, asks if he can join into the breakout
Greg: “Can we stay at your summer home?”
Colin: “…the one in Miami?”
Somehow, Clive buzzes this one out, but it’s such a great comedy detail. Because OF COURSE a prison warden would just have a summer home in Miami.

After Rory stumps Greg with a good one, Ryan comes back out: “…who’s your favorite guard dog?”
Rory:
Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 6.26.14 PM.png
BUZZZZZ

An improvement on most of the more recent Questions Only games, solely because this one tries to bridge a coherent story, with real recurring characters and relationships, and it just so happens to be a Questions Only game.

Film & Theatre Styles: Greg and Ryan (two high-tech scientists on the rim of a volcano)

…but wouldn’t it be cool to see the Colin & Rory game? Battle of the Scotsmen who do voices?

A very gruff man behind Clive: “Tourist Infuhmation Video!”
Clive, doing an impression of him: “…Tourist INFUHMATION VIDEO.’ You do the voice for it, don’t you? I think it’s Kent you do, right?”

Ryan, being himself: “…that’s one big hole.”
Greg: “Hang on, let me check my high-tech device- NINININININI- you’re right, it’s huge!”

Then Ryan uses one of HIS high-tech devices.
Greg: “I didn’t know you brought the-”
Ryan: [uses the device to light a cigarette]
Greg: “….the cigarette-o-tron?”

Tourist Information Video:
Ryan: “And if you can’t afford to be here, why not visit the lovely town of Bath?”

The Dracula style is great- Greg is doing a goofy Peter Lorre-esque accent, and lunging at Ryan’s neck whenever he looks away from him. It’s just silly enough, AND IT KEEPS THE PLOT GOING

The FUNNIEST PART is that Greg can’t reach Ryan’s neck, because Ryan is 6’6, so by the time Clive buzzes, Greg is LITERALLY HOPPING to reach Ryan’s neck.

Clive: “Woody Allen”
Greg, as Woody, right to the camera: “Perfect…stuck on a Volcano with a fetishist.”
PERFECT

Airline Safety Video
Ryan, to Greg: “I just want you to know, that…if this thing blows…and we don’t make it out of here…there’s two exits at the front, and rear…”

Clive: “…but, perversely. Colin wins that one and he wasn’t even in it.”
Colin looks shocked, and Ryan nonchalantly pats him on the back

This was a pretty nice F&TS game, one of the more subtle ones we’ve had since S2 or S3. And yes, it helps that Ryan and Greg are great scene partners.

News Report: The Princess and the Frog: Greg and Colin in the studio, Rory and Ryan in the field.

Oh, how I missed this game. I know it’s gonna be phased out soon in favor of Daytime Talk Show, but…there’s just something so hysterical about this game whenever they play it.

This week’s ‘What are they doing when the music kicks in?”: Greg is seductively kissing Colin’s fingers, until Colin, with his elbow, nudges Greg.

Greg: “Good evening, I’m Salty Basket”
Colin: “…And I’m Hoss Cartwright”
Greg, smirking: “No relation…”
Clive is laughing at this through Greg’s next line of dialogue

Greg: “The princess found a frog, she went to kiss it, and then something happened? Hoss?”
Colin, going literally: “…That’s right, a very long tongue went down her throat!”

Greg is nice enough to prompt Rory to do his Des Lynam impression, which, of course, is one of Rory’s strengths, leading him to take the reins of the field interview with frog breeder Ryan.

Ryan: “This is an especially interesting frog, usually when a princess kisses a frog, it turns into a prince. This one turned into The Frog Formerly Known as Prince.”
HA. Old joke, but Ryan sells it. He’s turning, smirking to Greg and Colin, as if to say ‘see if you can top that’

There’s a lot of smaller jokes here and there: Colin mentions that said princess had to try a lot of different animals, having the most trouble with a hedgehog; Rory asking Ryan, the princess, if he can call her Diana; Ryan saying he tried a lot of other frogs, but “they all croaked”.

Colin does save the scene before it ends, as while Greg tries to wrap up, Colin exclaims “My thing’s gone right into my ear! RIGHT IN! Like, I can’t get it out!”

Noticeably weaker in comparison to other News Reports (like the Little Bo Peep one, and the Three Little Pigs one, and ESPECIALLY the delightfully raunchy Adam and Eve one), but still pretty good, especially considering that everyone had something fun to do, and had a good line here or there, even if this, as usual, was Greg’s game to proctor.

Picture: All four 

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 8.07.59 PM.png

Ryan: “Heyyyy, who’s the boy in the leather pants? I don’t believe we’ve met?”
Rory: “Is that your dog? I had 5 fingers when I came in here…”

Ryan: “Say, you’re not German, are ya?”
Rory: “…what’s it to you?”
Ryan: “….well, if not, I’d say those leather pants are awful weird…”

[Halfway through the scene and Colin hasn’t said a line yet]

FINALLY:
Colin: “I’ll take it, we just came in for the siamese twin special…”

Ryan [to Greg]: “And tell those people behind ya to stop staring…”
Colin: “WE’RE NOT FREAKS!”

Rory challenges everyone to arm-wrestling, “my side of the table!”
Greg: “….alright, I’ll be right over…..but first, let me serve this drink!”

A bit ho-hum after a while, but definitely had its moments.

Stand Sit Bend: Ryan, Colin, and Greg are in a Wild West saloon.

Ryan begins the scene by playing the piano. Greg, leaning, jumps around happily.

Ryan sets the first domino off by getting up, and Colin and Greg have to fight to see who gets the chair. Colin wins, and Greg takes a few seconds to realize he should be leaning.

Colin, after Ryan asks who he is: “I’M…Black Bob Boomby”
Greg, kneeling and pointing: “That’s right, he is!”

Greg, rising: “I DON’T THINK YOU’RE SO TOUGH!”
Ryan, sitting back down and playing piano: “DING-DING-DING-YOU-AIN’T-SO-TOUGH-”
Colin: “SHUT UP!”
Rory, in the background, loses it

Then, Colin sits down…while Ryan’s also sitting down. Here, I can only describe what happens next as a melee, as all three literally start hedging up and down like a game of whack-a-mole in an effort to fulfill the scene title. Eventually Ryan takes a lean as Greg stands up to Colin, barely keeping composure.

Ryan, in an effort to screw the other two over, starts leaning and standing all over, yelling “HEY, THERE’S GONNA BE A GUNFIGHT”

Then, as Colin makes Ryan sit down, he returns to his piano, going “GONNA-BE-A-GUNFIGHT-DING-DING-DING”
Colin: “…you’re probably in a bad place for a gunfight”

As Greg and Colin face off, and Ryan leans in the background, he stands and goes “Wait…I can’t let this continue.”
Then…everyone realizes that nobody’s sitting down. And they all scramble. Ryan makes his way back to the piano, going “Matter of fact, why can’t I sing ya a little song? I CAN’T LET THIS CONTINUE, DING-DA-DING DING…”

The game does go on for a beat more than it should, but the extra beat does allow for a few more moments where Greg and Colin fight for a position.

One of the best rounds of this we’ve had in a while, with so many funny back-and-forth moments between the three, which was welcome on a show like this.

Props: Ryan and Colin vs. Rory and Greg

There’s not a hell of a lot here, but there’s one good runner: Rory and Greg have two flying saucers land next to each other, then Greg comes up as an alien with the two props as his eyes. After Clive buzzes over, you can here him go “perhaps you’ve seen my craft!”

Ryan and Colin had the better ideas: Rory barely had any himself, and he mostly just laughed at Greg’s suggestions

Newsflash: Ryan and Colin in the studio, Greg in the field in front of penguins in the arctic

There’s a very awkward cut to Greg right as Ryan introduces himself, and they stay with Greg even as Colin and Ryan finish their intro

This is, admittedly, a very early version of this game, and Greg was the wrong choice, as he plays his befuddled reporter role a bit too broad, without giving the others time to give him hints.

Greg does guess it correctly, but this is still a very inefficient round of this game.

 

Superheroes: Shortage of Paint
Greg: Impotence Boy
Ryan: Huge Gesture Boy
Colin: Cramp Boy
Rory: Scottish Weatherman

The audience gets a nice reaction out of the ‘Impotence Boy’ suggestion.
Clive: “It’s strange, as we actually have a close friend of Greg’s in tonight, to…”
Greg is unamused by this, but eventually plays along, squinting to see who made that suggestion
Greg, finally: “…UNCLE BILL?”

Clive, getting the crisis: “Shortage of Paint? YOU’RE STRANGE…”

Greg: “Oh my goodness, there’s a shortage of paint, I….oh no…thought I almost achieved one…”
Annnnd already the audience is back on his side

Ryan: “I’m sorry I’m late, I didn’t think I’d be able to come…well, you must know all about that…”
Greg, as the audience laughs at this for 5 seconds, removes his glasses
Greg: “…you know, they say talking about it helps, but it hasn’t so far…”

Colin, of all people, hammers the runner home: “Sorry I’m late, I was just having sex constantly [stops, looks at Greg] SORRY…”

Rory makes the mistake of coming onstage with glasses, and an accent. Colin has no choice but to play directly into his hand
Colin: “Thank God you’re here….Scottish…weatherman…”

Rory says that the forecast brings a lot of blue…which Ryan hammers home as ‘ALL THE PAINT’S BACK’. It’s a very weak solution, but it’s fine seeing as Rory’s not used to this game.

Greg, after everyone’s gone: “I hope they come again, I know I can’t!”
BUZZZZZ

A damn-near classic round, marred only by Rory’s inexperience. The Ryan-Colin-Greg stuff was unbelievable, especially in response to his superhero name.

Animals: Greg and Colin are at home, Ryan comes in later. All three are cats.

The main thing about this game is that the physicality is definitely there. All three definitely have the cat motions down pat.

Greg is the one to eventually take the obvious line “that’s why you get so much pussy”

Not a lot to this one, other than the twist ending where Colin’s really a dog.

Hats: Dating Service Videos

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 9.38.09 PM.pngGreg: “Hi, Honey! D’you-”
Greg didn’t expect the audience to laugh at this part, so he just patiently waits for the laughter to die down before getting to his actual punchline:
Greg: “…do you enjoy long walks in the garden followed by a frenzied run into the house?”

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 9.40.40 PM.pngColin: “You know…being a pimp, it’s very hard to meet girls…”

Greg stays up for a long time with a fuzzy piece over his crotch, saying “I’m very sensitive, I like to cuddle…I don’t like the rain much”
Clive: “It’s as if Chris Evans were in the room…”

Overall: This show had some definite highs, and a nice amount of fun games, but there were also several moments where the show didn’t feel fully realized, and some elements were pulling them backwards, especially in games like Newsflash, Animals and Props. I’d like to give this one a higher rating, especially for games like Questions Only, Superheroes, and ESPECIALLY Stand Sit Bend, but the general momentum, and some of Rory’s inconsistency, weigh this one down a bit. Good news is Greg Proops was in a fantastic mood tonight, carrying most of the games; Ryan also had more on moments than usual for this series, and Colin, while quieter, had a good enough show. It’s just Rory’s non-improv background that holds him back in a lot of ways on this show.

Show Winners: Ryan and Greg
Best Performer: Greg, for carrying games with gusto and ease
Worst Performer: Rory, for still showing some learning curve after 8 years on the program
Best Game: Stand Sit Lie, for being so quick and funny from all three
Worst Game: Props was just really weak tonight

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