Onto the compilations! Tonight, everyone who’s appeared in this series, save for Ardal O’Hanlon and Rory Bremner, is in play. So, who knows what’ll happen?
Questions Only: Steve, Caroline, Ryan and Colin are at the circus
Steve and Caroline’s preliminary scene is surprisingly coherent, and thought-out, but ends when Steve can’t think of a better answer to ‘so DO YOU want me to join the circus?’
Colin: “Can I help you?”
Caroline: “I think you…NO…”
Colin, to Ryan: “Can I help YOU?”
Ryan: “Can you see my trunk?”
Colin: “Are you the famous elephant boy?”
Ryan: “D’YOU HAVE TO ASK???”
Colin: “How did this happen?”
Ryan: “Do you remember the year 1972?”
Colin, being Colin: “…wasn’t that right after 1971?”
Ryan just stops and smirks for a moment, leading Clive to buzz him out
The calling card of Series 8 is the fact that this game, in general, is stop-start until Ryan and Colin are onstage together. Caroline and Steve are only on for a bit, then Colin reemerges and asks Ryan “what do you do with the chickens?” And the audience starts laughing again. Clive has to call the game, though, but it’s a nice note to leave on.
Definitely stop-start, but still a fun Questions round.
Film and Theatre Styles: Caroline & Steve (doctor and patient before the operation)
Clive: “So Caroline, you’re shaving Steve before a big operation”
Caroline and the audience laugh at this.
Steve: [spreads legs]
Caroline, used to worse (with Tony), just goes at his chest, and says “you nervous about the heart operation?”
Steve: “No, I’m nervous about the shaving!”
Caroline: “Ay, and your britches are full…”
Steve exchanges a giggle with Caroline
Clive, confused: “WHICH EDITION OF JANE AUSTEN HAVE YOU BEEN READING???”
Steve murmurs something in defense, but cracks himself up
Clive, shelling out a joke from last series: “It’s not quite Hugh Grant- oh, I suppose it is..”
For the Aussie soap style, both Caroline and Steve’s accents are great, with an emphasis on Caroline’s, who’s ‘Oh Nauooooo’s are extra strong.
Steve: “Didn’t you used to live in PEEEEAAAHHHHTH?”
For the Star Trek style, Steve does a light but fun Shatner impression. Caroline does get very close to him, which is subverted when Clive changes to Carry On film, and the steaminess turns to awkwardness.
Light scene, but very fun mostly for the Steve-Caroline dynamic.
Sound Effects: Colin does farmyard chores. Ryan provides sound effects.
As Clive announces this one, Ryan’s chuckling, possibly because he was either caught off guard or not looking forward to this game. Or both.
Ryan starts the scene by playing some traditional farmyard banjo music. So, Colin just mimes playing it on his banjo. Ryan, realizing the scene must progress, has all the banjo strings just instantaneously break, which frustrates Colin
There’s a great gag, where Colin goes to milk a cow, but Ryan’s ANGRY MOOS confirm that it’s a bull; Colin has an ashamed, embarrassed apology face as he backs away…and then he waves the red cape around like a bullfighter.
This scene is just an excuse for Ryan to play around with animal noises. As Colin goes to feed the chickens, Ryan just responds with little ‘bock-bock-bock’s, and one renegade ‘BOCK’ that comes in louder than the others. He repeats this, and Colin annoyedly shovels more seed. As he’s doing this, Ryan comes in with the bull noise again, which made me laugh. Colin has to motion ‘not now, I’m dealing with the chicks’
The ending is great. Eventually, he finds his way to a horse, and starts riding it. And then THE BULL STARTS CHASING HIM. Colin frantically starts trying to get the horse to go faster as the angry bull keeps running after him. Clive ends here, but still.
I was laughing very hard throughout most of this. Very simple setup, with just Ryan doing animal noises, but the amount of insanely silly subversion here made it work, especially with the bull running gag.
Song Styles – Niall sings a reggae song to Liz the osteopath.
One more Niall song for the road
In a rarity, Clive actually makes Niall choose between reggae and jazz, and Niall chooses reggae, ’cause I’m a fool to m’self’. Once Richard pipes in with the guitar, and Niall goes right in with the Sting-esque vocal hook, we can see why he chose this one.
The musicality does fall into the more reggata-de-blanc sort of reggae, rather than Marley or anything, but Niall does manage to pull it off, albeit simply (moreso than his other songs). Niall does end the song with a nice quartet of rhymes (reminiscent of Chip Esten’s). Still a memorable enough one, though not one of his better ones.
Fixed Expressions – Parents Ryan (shocked) and Josie (flirty) go to Colin (disgusted) for their child’s christening.
Ah, this game’s back! I forgot they did one of these way down in S8.
Ryan’s shocked face is, once again, worth the price of admission
Colin still owns this game, just in subversion, saying “why he’s lovely” while holding the disgusted expression. [Though it doesn’t top yelling “EURODISNEY SUCKS” while smiley]
This scene sort of limps along after a while, even though the performers do their damnedest to keep it going. Just not as strong as their other ones.
World’s Worst – Greg, Niall, Colin, and Ryan act out the world’s worst outtake from a religious programme.
Another reject from my favorite episode of the series, and a nice, if underused-this-series, game at that.
Niall, scottish accent: “TA TELL YE THE TRUTH…I’VE ALWAYS REALLY LOVED THOSE CATHOLICS.”
Colin: “And the lord said, the meek shall inherit Perth”
[That is the second reference to Perth all show]
Niall: “And, I christen this child…..SHITTY LITTLE BASTARD!”
Greg: “What you wanna do is get yourself a fresh virgin, THE KIND THAT-”
Greg: [looks absolutely betrayed]
Ryan: “And the lord came to them, and said ‘you….HE SCORES! ENGLAND SCORES!”
Colin, holding a gun: “…Dirty Harry Krishna”
As they head back to the seats, and as Clive cuts to commercial, you can just hear Ryan going, absolutely amazed, ‘DIRTY…’ [and then they mute his mic, but he was just reacting to Colin’s last one]
Again, you can see why this taping was dynamite. I noted that Clive really didn’t give Greg the chance past initial punchline, which pissed him off. Also, after a quieter turn in 7×01, Niall was on FIRE IN THIS GAME, giving some really, REALLY funny suggestions. Just good stuff all around, even the stuff I didn’t write down.
Props: Ryan and Colin vs. Greg and Niall
More from E5! LOVELY!
Ryan: “…so you’re saying you haven’t seen the Little Mermaid?”
Niall: “I TELL YA, I DONNA WANNA WORK IN DIS PIZZA HUT ANYMORE…”
Greg: “Who’s a naughty minister, then?” [whacks Niall’s ass with prop]
TOO BRIEF! I feel like they had more good suggestions left to go! And the ones we got were just fantastic and really original, from both sides. Again…something about this taping just brought out the best in everybody.
Whose Line – The planet is doomed, so Ryan sends his son, Colin, to start a civilization on a new planet.
(Nice to see we’re getting such a variety of the nine tapings- just E4, E5 and E10 so far.)
Clive’s description is a bit redundant, emphasizing the fact that the planet is doomed several times, so Colin and Ryan start the scene thusly:
Colin: “Dad, Dad, everyone says the planet’s doomed!”
Ryan: “It’s doomed, and and I’m sending you to another planet because our planet it DOOMED.”
Early on, Ryan gets confused, in setting up a line: “Well, it was your father…I mean MY father…”
Ryan, again, keeps emphasizing that the planet is dead, and this keeps powering the scene forward, like a well-placed motif
Colin: “I remember when you first built it! You said to me, ‘someday, son…’The Answer is written on my butt cheeks.””
[The audience enjoys this one]
Colin: “I pulled down your pants and I poured over that for hours!”
[I actually prefer that one, though]
Ryan: “…that’s when we lived on Uranus, son, those days are gone…”
[ANNNND Ryan with the obvious one-liner]
Ryan: “Cause, remember, our creed as Glorgons…”
He takes the note, only to realize it’s upside down, and smirks a bit. Then, as he reads it, he does his best to keep from laughing: “…TAKE…THAT NEGLIGEE OFF!”
Colin, taking it off: “I guess you’re right…it might not handle the stresses of space travel”
Ryan: “The G-force’ll rip it right off ya.”
[ABSOLUTELY GONE LAUGHING. Just the littlest detail, and I’m gone.]
The game ends on a weaker line (“my arms are long and they’re ready to flap”), but it’s still a fantastic scene, one that definitely belonged in the original episode, and one that expounded on the Colin-Ryan combo more than some of the other Whose Line playings this season.
Newsflash: Newsflash – Colin and Josie are the anchors; Ryan is in the field in front of apes
Finally some episode variety
I was never a huge fan of Ryan as a Newsflash anchor, but he does very well here, taking a more balanced, intrigued perspective on the apes in the background.
Ryan says he really doesn’t know how to get through to them, “it reminds me of ’65, when I spent all those years in that hole in ‘Nam!”
Colin: “How did all of this begin?”
Ryan, caught off-guard but soldiering on: “Someone, uh someone took someone’s else’s cab!”
There’s a moment where Josie misdirects Ryan by mentioning honey, making him think bears, but Colin thankfully gets him on the right track by mentioning bananas.
As Clive motions for him to guess, Ryan points to his imaginary mic and asks “can I put this down?”
Superheroes: People all over the world are losing their hair
Greg: Beautiful Martini Man
Ryan: Self-Amusement Boy
Steve: Abusive Boy
Colin: No Need To Help Leave Straight Away Man
Audience member: “Beautiful Martini man!”
Greg: “I LIKE THAT!”
Clive gives him Boomerang Man anyway
Greg does the craftiest thing: he throws a boomerang, catches it, sees what he’s accumulated, and goes “…wow, you’re actually Beautiful Martini man”
He smiles, as the audience cheers him on
Greg, giving the obvious joke: “MY GOD, THERE’S HAIR LOSS ALL OVER THE WORLD! [gasp] Look…at…Clive…Anderson’s head!”
Greg, as the camera holds on this: “IT’S LIKE CONTINENTAL DRIFT! All the hair’s going AWAY!”
Ryan’s little laughing wiggle every time he has a joke is fantastic.
Steve, thankfully taking the jovial approach, starts batting around everyone onstage.
Colin, entering: “SORRY I’M LATE, I just lost my afro!”
Steve: “Thank god you’re here…no need to help, leave straight away man.”
Colin, slightly hurt by that but not resisting the break, leaves. Steve gives a thumbs-up
Unfortunately, the scene cuts right before there’s a resolution, which must not have been airable, or maybe Greg threw in one more Clive slam. But it was a nice enough game to that point.
Greatest Hits: Ryan and Colin present Songs of Unattractive Men, sung by Josie
As Clive announces this one will be ‘Songs of Unattractive Men’, Josie immediately looks right at Richard Vranch. For some reason, we don’t see/hear a reaction for this. I’m not wild about that.
The two tactics:
Ryan: “Hi! In your 30s and ready to pretty much give up on life?”
Colin: “Hey, you ugly?”
Ryan: “Are you a man?”
Colin: “…HEY, YOU UGLY?”
Josie’s country western song is cute, but short. She’s nice enough to add, as the song’s about ‘I’d rather sleep with my horse’, an addendum of ‘he’s hung better, too…”
Colin, tempting the hand that feeds him: “But there’s not just ugly people in North America! British people have their share too.”
For the first time, Whose Line does a britpop number, in the height of Oasis-mania. Richard even gets a faux-asis sort of riff, as Josie messes up her hair.
Josie’s song is very brit-pop, in the best way possible. It’s a very sweet, semi-angsty number that ends with an amazing rhyme with ‘beautiful’ (“and you always bite your nails right down to the cuticle”.)
Ryan gets a huge laugh with his name for Josie’s Heavy Metal number: “If I had a penis, I wouldn’t need you!”
Josie and Richard spend about 5 seconds waiting for the audience, and Clive, to stop laughing before they get into it. Josie’s kind of in awe of it all, too.
Like with S1, this Heavy Metal number sounds more like Led Zeppelin than Heavy Metal did in 1996. Still welcome, though, because Josie is up for the challenge. She absolutely rocks this song, even SNARLING that last line, as the audience goes WILD for her.
Greatest Hits is the kind of game where, in this era, every song title seemed like more of a challenge for Josie, and that last one was definitely a ‘your move’ sort of gesture from Josie, proving that whatever they could serve up, she’d excel at. Unfortunately, we’d only get to see her on Whose Line a few more times (why the producers decided this I’ll never know).
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie. He already won this series, and in tonight’s games he edged out everyone else in just being funnier in more games. Niall, Ryan and Greg all came close.
Worst Performer: Statistically, Steve Frost had the least number of games where he excelled, so I’m sadly gonna have to go with him.
Best Game: All three games in contention for this were from E10- Sound Effects, Whose Line and Greatest Hits. Whose Line gets the edge though, as it definitely should have been in that taping, and was a great use of the Colin-Ryan dynamic, no matter how silly it got. And…that 3 second Colin aside was MASTERFUL.
Worst Game: Fixed Expressions. Post-conceptual reveal, it was lifeless.