And on the heels of ONE bad booking decision by the producers, we go straight into another…
Debi Durst probably wasn’t brought on due to her own improv abilities or anything. I think she was just brought on because Greg Proops knew her, as they’d worked together on Nightmare Before Christmas (yes, Greg was in that!), and Greg recommended her for the show. And, uh…it makes George Wendt look like Ryan Stiles, let’s just say.
What people usually have problem with in terms of Debi is the fact that she came to the show adorned in a faux-baseball jersey, saying ‘Clowns’, which may rival the ’88 Comic Relief t-shirt from Paul Merton as the most informal WL dressing decision to date.
Questions Only – All four are in Star Wars.
One of the more intriguing things is that Debi is right there with everyone in terms of staying in the game on this one, only making a few minor rookie mistakes.
Ryan, stepping in with Colin: “…are you Yoda?”
This works, as Colin is wearing a green shirt.
Colin: “What race are you from?”
Ryan: “…does American sound too strange??”
Colin: “Can you perform the first test?”
Ryan: “…is that oral sex?”
Colin: [slowly cracks up]
Then Greg, without a choice, comes in, and goes “…do you WANT oral sex?”
Ryan: “…doesn’t every man???”
Greg: “Can’t you reach out with your feelings?”
Ryan: “…can I reach out with something else?”
[Ryan is just killing it tonight]
Greg: “Is it long enough?”
A really strong Questions Only over all, with no real moments of patheticness, even for Debi.
Superheroes: Mascara shortage
Greg: Wonder Woman
Ryan: Bad John Wayne Impression Boy
Colin: Pants Around the Ankles Boy
Debi: Nagging Jewish Mother Woman
Despite a cry of ‘sarcasm man’, Clive ends up picking Wonder Woman for Greg, which is a bit too mundane for me, but Greg rolls with it.
A gruff, man’s voice shouts out ‘shortage of mascara’ for the crisis
Clive: “…have YOU noticed this?”
Greg: “Oh my god, there’s a worldwide shortage of mascara! What are all the drag queens going to do??”
Colin, at Ryan adorning him with ‘Pants Around the Ankles Boy’, gives him this look:
And then he cracks a bit.
Greg, to Debi as Naggging Jewish Mother Woman: “There’s no mascara left, and I’m sorry I didn’t call!”
Debi: “I’ll just go home and get some out of the closet…”
…An actual working Superheroes solution from Debi Durst? Was not expecting that.
Greg, as Colin leaves: “Goodbye…oh, HELL-LO…”
Not a bad Superheroes, and better than last show’s. Again, Debi wasn’t bad here, either. I know people call her one of the worst, and I can definitely say she’s kinda bawdy so far, but she’s not committing any improv sins.
Let’s Make a Date: Greg chooses:
Colin: knows Greg’s dirty secrets
Ryan: in dental surgery
Debi: “AND THEN…I LOVE TA SMOKE.”
Greg: “…gosh, I love vaudeville!”
Colin, smirking a ton in this game: “everything’s fast with you, isn’t it?”
Greg, after a non-sequiter Debi answer: “…#2-”
Ryan, from across the stage: ‘AHHHH! AHHHHH!”
Colin: “DOES *THAT* SOUND FAMILIAR???”
Ryan, for his second round, talks like he’s on a lot of novocaine, with his lips deliberately kind of shut.
Greg: “#3, WHICH END ARE YOU TALKING THROUGH???”
Greg: “I’m gonna start with #3, because Debi is perplexing and baffling me…”
You and the entire WL fanbase, Greg
Greg: “#1 is either BURGESS MEREDITH IN ROCKY…or a pirate with some sort of glandular condition…”
Yeah, this one was pretty strong, because you had all three sort of bouncing off of Greg, and a lot of really good interplay moments. And Debi…didn’t have the greatest Popeye impression, but she was still getting laughs.
Animals – Ryan is a businessman taking prospective business partner Greg to a go-go bar, Colin is a dancer and Ryan’s wife; they are two cockerels and a hen respectively.
Man, these Animals scenes got really high-concept. All three performers are giving each other really weird looks pre-scene.
There’s nothing too out of the ordinary in this one, but the visuals of Greg and Ryan as horny roosters, and Colin’s entire act, is just silly enough.
Greg: “Look at the plumage on that hen!”
Then, as Ryan realizes who Colin is, he starts loudly ‘BA-CAAAAA’-ing, to the point where it just makes this scene worth it, as Colin runs around. Clive’s even losing it.
To be honest, this one was cut a bit too short for me, but it still worked, and was silly enough to work.
World’s Worst: Television Program
Greg, bringing out the John Major voice for the second consecutive show: “Good morning, children. I used to be Prime Minister…”
Colin: “Today on Famous Queen Waves…July 15th, 1954…”
Colin: “How d’you make wine…from pork? Let’s find out.”
Debi: “Alright, children. Now that your parents are out of the house, let’s smoke some cigarettes!”
Colin: “[cough]…[cough]…now you…”
Greg, nodding at Colin, goes straight into his second straight Clive impression: “Well, totaling up the scores, I see that sadly Ryan is the winner. All that remains is for me to thank…”
[He forgot ‘read the credits in the style of my choosing!’]
Not as good as last show’s WW, but still pretty strong.
Props: Ryan and Colin vs. Greg and Debi
Debi: “Yes, you CAN swing a dead cat in here!”
Colin: “DAFFY, GET OFF THE HIGHWAY- Ohhh…”
Greg: “GOOD MORNING! AND WELCOME TO THE *ADULT* MUPPETS!”
I didn’t even write down all the good ones, but MAN, these were some of the most original props ideas we’ve had in a while. Both sides were great. EVEN DEBI. I’m just gonna say it, we’re halfway through and she hasn’t bombed a game yet. She’s still bringing up the rear of the show, because…with these three, you’d have to be Brad Sherwood to NOT, but she’s still holding her own, IMO.
Weird Newscasters: Greg anchors
Ryan (a crazy old man) is the co-anchor
Debi (getting repeatedly massive electric shocks)
and Colin (desperate to catch a plane) is the weatherman.
Lots of Greg-proctored games tonight.
Greg: “Good evening, I’m Snide Anderson. No relation.”
Like many early incarnations of this game, you get the sense that Greg is trying to keep everything together, rather than later versions, where the anchor would just let things roll regardless. Still, it’s great seeing him struggle as Ryan threatens him with his teeth.
Colin’s impatience, even as Greg is wrapping up Debi’s segment, is fantastic: she’s waving her arms, pointing to his watch, and trying his best not to lose it.
Then he runs through his weather report at top speed, yells ‘HAVEANICEWEEKEND’, and then darts offscreen.
Ryan going on about a hot co-anchor while Greg tries to wrap up the show reminds me of the one News Report about Adam and Eve, I believe, where Ryan, whenever he’s handed the mic, just keeps going on and on about lewd details. It’s a nice touch.
A bit frenzied, but still alright.
Moving People – Colin is a girl checking into the Bates Motel; Ryan is the receptionist.
There’s a great moment where Clive tries to coax a member of the studio audience to move people, and she whispers to him that she’s never seen the program before.
Clive: “…then why’d you come along, then? What were you expecting, something a bit funnier than this, were you?”
Colin also does his best to help Steph feel comfortable, talking her down.
Clive: “Just go and stand behind him, don’t fall for any of that chit-chat…”
Heck, Ryan even goes and says hello to her. With him, I can’t tell if he’s also trying to help ease her nerves, or if he’s doing his usual ‘go and say hello to the hot girl even if he’s not part of the scene’ schtick.
AT MOMENT ONE, Ryan and Colin start screwing with the movers. Ryan says he’ll help Colin to his room, then nothing happens, and Ryan says “you know, why rush, it’s a really hot day…”
Ryan’s mover does get the memo to have Ryan grab a bag of Colin’s on the floor.
Ryan, after a few seconds: “…Okay, I’ll just shove it along, right to your door…”
Colin makes a reference to taking a shower.
Ryan: “A SHOWER………A SHOWER!”
He then eyes his mover, basically saying ‘DO SOMETHING’. The guy moves Ryan’s hand thusly:
Ryan: “…NAZIS DON’T TAKE SHOWERS!”
It’s like the guy played right into Ryan’s hand.
Colin, noticing Steph hasn’t really moved him that much: “You’re lucky, I almost slapped it off myself…..but I have GREAT self control!”
Then, as Ryan’s mover just keeps him with a hand in the air.
Colin: “DON’T TRY DOING ANYTHING!!!”
Ryan: “I’m not, I’m just waving to the neighbors. HELLO!”
Then, the movers finally get Ryan and Colin to awkwardly walk towards the room, taking hands for some reason.
Colin: “Look into my eyes and tell me that you’re not strange!”
Ryan’s mover moves Ryan’s head like a few inches from Colin’s.
Ryan: “…my GOD you’re a beautiful woman…”
As Ryan says progressively weirder things, Colin sums up the entire scene: “Oh, I want to turn away, but I CAN’T!”
The scene ends with Ryan being moved into an awkward hug with Colin as he tries to get away. It’s one of the more amusing ways to end such an insane, but funny, scene.
Ah yes, four north-americans talking about Cricket. This will be fun. Even Greg starts confusedly laughing at the suggestion.
Debi’s is very Steve Frost-ian. It finishes with something that rhymes, but rhymes by default. But..again…it doesn’t bomb the game. It’s not too bad.
Of course, then we have Greg’s, done in a very posh British accent:
“I’m a cricket player. I stand upon the pitch.
I wait for the ball to come, and then I give it a switch.
When the game is over, I retire, for a beer.
…and I know what you’re thinking. And no, we’re not.”
A CLASSIC HOEDOWN VERSE.
I also really like Colin’s:
“I hate watching cricket. How do they do that play?
It seems to run, and run and run, it goes on for 50 days.
It takes so long, it takes so long, it really is a crime.
In the time it takes to play cricket, I can make love 455 times!”
Ryan, on his first line, cracks up a bit. I’m not sure why. Maybe the fact that he knows nothing about cricket.
His verse isn’t that strong, and he’s looking over at Colin at the end, going ‘what the hell else could I do?”
Still, a pretty good Hoedown, especially considering what we just had.
Overall: A definite improvement on last show, and one that sort of succeeded where the last one failed. Here, we had a guest that didn’t match up to the other two in terms of abilities, but whose improv didn’t bog the others down, and who, and I want to make this clear, REALLY DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG. Debi’s appearance on a lot of the WORST OF WL lists really bogs down to her appearance as a bawdy american, but her improv was still pretty good, and she still had some funny moments. I’m not gonna say she belongs with the Paul Bird class of ‘why weren’t they brought back’, but…maybe she’s more of a Lee Simpson or a Neil Mullarkey, in that I wonder what would have happened on a second appearance.
The show was pretty good, though not to the caliber of our two big guns, the premiere and the Stephen Fry show. Obviously the Colin and Ryan duo ruled over this show, even though there was a surprising amount of ‘all four’ games, and a lot of games where Greg didn’t do much more than proctor. Some great dynamic all around, and some very interesting moments, like the audience members in Moving People being reluctant, and Clive having to work his charm there.
Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Ryan, for some mastery yet again.
Worst Performer: Debi, simply for not being as strong as the other 3.
Best Game: Moving People. Had the most laughs.
Worst Game: Not a ton of truly BAD games. I’ll go with Weird Newscasters just for being a bit more incoherent at times.