Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E03, or The Lesbos Want the Curds and Whey

Continuing the trend of funneling talent from Los Angeles’ Groundlings theatre, this episode features the return of Karen Maruyama, who killed it in her first taping back in 9×02, and re-pairing her with Greg Proops, which went pretty well last time. I do think it would have been nice to switch things up and have her do one with Wayne or Brad, but Greg is a good scene partner for her.

Questions Only – All four are in the White House.

Colin, IMMEDIATELY: “You my new intern?”

Karen: “D’you know that I’ll do anything for this job?”
Colin: “D’you know that you just got a raise?”
Oh, 1998

Greg, not shying away from any of this: “Would you like to sit on the presidential staff?”
HUGE AUDIENCE RESPONSE for this. One guy even does a full on “YEEEEEEAHHHH.”

Ryan, after Karen leaves: “Why aren’t you wearing any pants, sir?”
Greg: “Is it friday already?”

Colin chastises Ryan for not saluting for a president, pointing out a picture of himself on the wall.
Ryan: “Is that you?”
Colin: “Are you blind?”
Ryan: “Where did your hair go???”
Colin basically rolls his eyes here. Not sure if it’s in character or not.

Pretty strong game of this, even if it went almost immediately to the lowest common denominator. No weak points, though.

Quiz Show – Greg hosts “What’s My Disease?”; the other three are contestants

I find it…interesting that the UK LA tapings would rest on this game strongly, while the US LA tapings in Season 1 really wouldn’t

For this unlikely quiz show, someone from the audience suggests “PUT IT HERE.”
This, of course, confuses the hell out of Clive: “PUT IT HERE???”

Clive, getting a good one: “What’s My Disease, that could catch on.”
The audience groans at this. I laughed.
Greg: “Ooooh, go easy on those!”

Colin: “I’m Captain Jack, owner of Captain Jack’s Fish Emporium”
Greg: “AHOY, MATEY!”

I love how when Ryan announces he’s from Victoria, BC, Colin gives him a look, as if to say ‘I thought I was the Canadian here!”

Greg: “It makes your legs stiff-”
Ryan, buzzing in: “What is Baywatch”

Greg institutes a very demented final round: he gives Colin an infectious disease, and gives him 30 seconds to guess what it is, and he’ll give him the antidote. The audience is impressed with this as well.

Greg, in the final round, gives the contestants a president, and asks them to name his favorite disease.
Greg: “Ronald Reagan”
Ryan, bypassing the obvious answer: “Jane Wyman?”
Greg, looking at his card, stifles a smile: “I’M GONNA GO TO OUR JUDGES!”
Clive, caught off-guard: “Um, that’s good enough for me.”
Greg: “YES!”

Greg announces that Ryan’s prize is a stay at the last known leper colony in the world, where the staff will “always be there to lend you a hand”

Another really fun round of this, even better than What’s My Sin in that every round had some funny stuff going on.

Film Dub – Greg, Karen, and Ryan are a threesome on a date.

Ryan: “We’re gonna get a table easy with those pointy big breasts of yours…”

Ryan’s character ends up flipping a coin for Karen
Greg: “Heads!”
Ryan, as his character walks away with Karen’s: “…and I get the tails!”

Ryan and Karen’s characters kiss, very awkwardly
Ryan: “…someone had spinach ravioli for dinner…”

A character enters in a suit of armor

A very good round of this as well. Even if Greg’s character kinda got shafted, he still had some good lines, like that one at the end

Hats – All four act out the world’s worst dating agency video.


Greg, in a viper mask: “…I’m a young Republican…”

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 3.50.53 PM.png

Colin, as the Statue of Liberty: “…It’s so hard for Tall Women to meet good men…”

Greg, as a Native American: “Hello…I am Hung Like Snake.”
Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 3.52.41 PM.png

And Greg, with a big ear mask, gets a smidge more mileage out of his John Major impression.

A GREAT round of hats. Just so many fun suggestions.

Weird Newscasters – Greg is the anchor; Colin (has lost his notes and is desperately looking for them while making up the news) is the co-anchor; the sportscaster is Karen (doing seductive poses for a magazine); Ryan (strapped to a bomb which will explode 10 seconds after he moves) is the weatherman.

Immediately, Colin’s looking around, panicked
Greg: “Good evening, I’m Wide, But Not Painful”

Colin: “…The bones of Moses…found in the backyard…of a small woman…long said to have the properties of changing lead…into a thicker kind of lead…no comment…”
Greg, trying to save it: “…AND Friends comes back for another season, BUT LET’S THROW IT OVER…”

Karen’s doing a very good job with hers, and the audience is getting a kick out of the poses.


Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 3.58.18 PM.pngIMMEDIATELY the shot of Ryan is making me crack up. Just how horrified he looks. There’s even a gradual zoom which makes this even funnier

Ryan does the whole report like this, motioning to different parts of the board with his eyes, and barely moving his lips.

Then, as he signs off, Ryan moves an arm, then starts panicking. “GET OFF ME, I DON’T WANT THE KIDS TO SEE THIS.”

Colin: “This just in…all bombs that activate ten seconds after you move are defective.”
Ryan, relieved, spends the next few beats moving around, happily, as the audience applauds this move.

Then, as Greg is about to wrap up, we hear a distant, un-mic’d (which makes it even funnier), ‘BOOM”, and Ryan flies across behind Greg and Colin, and lands near Karen. It’s a ridiculous ending.
Colin: “…this just in, I was wrong.”

Greg, signing off: “I’m Wide But Not Painful”
Colin: “And I’m……oh shoot…”

One of the best Weird Newscasters we’ve seen so far. Even balanced, and with so many great moments between panelists. The whole ending Ryan bit was genius.

Party Quirks – Greg is the host. His guests are Karen (Greg’s teenage daughter throwing a tantrum), Colin (animals being pulled into a water hole by crocodiles), and Ryan (finds mundane activities as thrilling as a roller coaster).

Karen is incredible from the moment she walks in, displaying so much angry energy. As Colin rings the doorbell, she just repeats “I’m not gonna get that”

I feel like Colin’s quirk is one that would normally be given to Ryan, but Colin’s doing a good enough job with it.

And, of course, Ryan’s misplaced excitement is classic, just yelling with anticipation as he slowly walks in.

Greg, guessing Karen very wrong: “You’re my wife, no my EX-WIFE. No…you’re my underage bride!”
Karen has to stop from laughing at that one
Greg: “I WISH you were my underage bride, and then the show would be longer, and funnier…”

Clive: “And what’s happening to Colin?”
Greg: “I don’t care what’s happening, I’m loving watching it, Clive!”

It’s almost like a Tony moment for Greg. Clive has to keep throwing hints at him, and Colin is just trying so hard, like slowly emphasizing the jaws snapping.
Clive: “Does the word crocodile mean anything to you?”
Greg, finally getting it, just collapses onto the ground as Clive buzzes.

Greg, back at the seats: “Well I hope everyone at home feels superior…”

A truly great PQ round, made funnier by Greg’s guessing troubles, and the strength of all three quirks.

Daytime Talk Show – Greg hosts a show about Little Miss Muffet; Ryan and Karen are members of the public; Colin is in the audience.

As Clive fields suggestions, some juvenile audience member yells out “lesbians!”
Clive: “WHAT? HANG ON!! What nursery rhyme has lesbians in it???”

Greg, immediately: “Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, but we’re NOT gonna make a value judgment on her sexual orientation…”

Karen: “Yeah, my name’s Lee, I’m her next door neighbor, I AM a lesbian, thank you.”

Karen: “…yes they are.”
Greg: “Because you don’t see curds and whey that often in the store, unless two gigantic women wearing flannel shirts are buying it, usually.”
This, rightfully, gets a mixed reaction from the audience. Greg, playing off that, goes right back to the audience and goes “AND WE’RE NOT MAKING VALUE JUDGMENTS, ladies and gentlemen…or characterizing people, because labels…often disable, NOW-”

Ryan is already stopping himself to dissuade the audience: “DON’T JUDGE ME, YOU DON’T DO MY JOB!”
He even bleeps himself in continuing his rant

Karen begins hitting Ryan, as he’s still going “THE LESBOS WANT THE CURDS AND WHEY, I SAY EAT ‘EM SOMEWHERE ELSE”

Greg, nearly breaking: “Heyyy, let’s not get into a, uh, a tuffet situation…”

Colin keeps the curds and whey runner going, by appearing as the founder of the curds-and-whey manufacturing giant, and starts criticizing spiders for defaming his product, which Ryan begins to yell at him for.
Colin: “YOU attract spiders!”

Greg, with YET ANOTHER PUN: “I guess what he’s saying is talk to the many hands…”

Colin, as someone else: “Yes, I’m the head of Arachnids Anonymous.”
Greg: “…that would be AA?”

The scene ends with Colin charging the stage, and Ryan, but I would have loved Greg putting a button on the scene. Either way, this one REALLY WORKED. Something about both the lesbians runner AND the curds and whey runner really made this work.

Overall: Literally every game was a success, and the mood in the air seemed to just be ridiculous. This was a triumph of a show, even in S10. Greg was on FIRE all night, with great proctoring, and great small lines in scenes. Karen had another nice night, even if she didn’t particularly win any games. Colin and Ryan were strong, with an emphasis on Colin for some of his work in Weird Newscasters. So many games not only worked, but worked insanely well: Party Quirks was live for the first time since Tony was on, Daytime Talk Show and Quiz Show continued their good runs, and and Weird Newscasters just kept piling on the great moments. If anything, this show proved that Whose Line could still put out killer episodes, even in more homogenized zones.

Show Winners: Colin and Ryan
Best Performer: Greg, for nailing so many games
Worst Performer: Karen, but only by default- she was still fantastic this show
Best Game: I am torn between Weird Newscasters and Daytime Talk Show…and I’m gonna go with Weird Newscasters, solely for having the stronger ending, and for being slightly more collaborative.
Worst Game: No games were truly bad tonight, so I’m only going with Film Dub because it comparatively had the most lulls.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E02, or You’re a Geezer!

The LA tapings of UK Whose Line, in addition to resuming the emphasis on Ryan and Colin, also had a lot of Greg, which is nice, as Greg was still a solid improv presence at the time. Of the recurring performers, he appears the most in this series, with 5 episodes. A lot of the times, they’d just pair him with a new or burgeoning competitor in what had now become the ‘fourth seat’. And tonight, Dan and Company would enlist the first of many members of the prestigious Groundlings troupe ‘The Black Version’.

For those who are unaware, the Black Version has become a low-key monolith of black talent in Los Angeles over the last decade or so. The troupe was started by MADTV’s Jordan Black, one of the few members of the troupe not to appear on Whose Line, and has consistent of a varying combination of…Gary Anthony Williams, Nyima Funk, Phil LaMarr, Wayne Brady, Debra Wilson and Karen Maruyama.

…Notice anything…familiar about all of those names???

I’ll admit that Wayne and Karen are more recurring than the rest of the troupe, but they’re still very much Groundlings clientele. The Black Version’s gimmick is they spend an entire set doing the ‘black version’ of a given movie, suggested by the audience. It’s almost always hilarious.

I bring up the Black Version because…starting tonight, Dan and Mark are going to gut the shit out of it for the purpose of Whose Line. And they’re gonna start with Phil LaMarr. Why?? Because…he’s Phil LaMarr!!! The guy was Hermes in Futurama, he voiced the best animated Green Lantern, he’s Samurai Jack! And he’s also that guy that Travolta accidentally shot in the face in Pulp Fiction. Phil LaMarr is very ubiquitous in Hollywood, and I can confirm that he’s a very genuine dude in real life. Of course he’s their first choice. If you don’t know why yet, you’ll find out in this episode.

So yeah. Greg, Phil, Ryan and Colin. In LA. This’ll be a fun one.

Let’s Make a Date – Greg is the bachelorette. The bachelors are Phil (a boxer at a press conference), Colin (sitting on the geyser “Old Faithful”), and Ryan (a conceited nudist).

Phil, like Wayne, has the hang of the show almost immediately. His high-energy is even noticeable sitting down.

Greg, to Colin: “How are you?”
Colin, as his quirk is JUST getting to the audience: “I’m fine…for the moment.”

Colin does some great physical work here, getting past the obvious butt jokes, but also just the impact of the geyser shooting through his face.

Ryan feels like he’s been too prepared for this one, with some very open stances.

Once Clive asks Greg to guess, Ryan does his usual ‘swing over the shoulder’ gag.

Greg: “I am…so hesitant about Colin.
Colin nods. Ryan cracks a bit

Clive mistakenly pronounces it ‘geezer’, which Ryan ribs Colin about [“you’re a geezer!”]

Secret – Ryan and Colin are Batman and Robin; the secret is hidden in the Batmobile.

Colin and Ryan briefly argue over who’s gonna reveal the secret. Ryan goes “I thought you…might want to wear it for a change.”
Colin: “Batman, what am I going to do with a Wonder Woman costume?”
Ryan: “Look, people are talking! I hang out with you every day, “what’s with the tall guy who keeps a little boy in a cave…”

This is a great one, because Ryan portrays a Batman with very fragile masculinity, saying he needs to look heterosexual in order to be taken seriously.

This one kind of ends with a thud, though, which is sad, because this was a pretty nice Secret. In fact, I wish it were a little weirder.

Quiz Show – Greg hosts the show “What’s My Sin?”; the other three are the contestants.

Greg goes right from the name and turns this into a Televangelism quiz show. Which is perfect. Plus, he’s able to get the audience to shout the name of the show, which makes Ryan clap a bit.

Greg: “Napoleon!”
Ryan, buzzing in: “Tossing salad?”
Greg: “Correct! That is a venal sin in France on a Thursday.”

Greg: “J. Edgar Hoover.”
Colin, subverting expectations: “Too many vowels”

Greg, asking what the apostles were guilty of: “Mark”
Colin: “Graffiti?”

Greg: “Peter!”
Ryan: “Not signaling!”
Greg: “Yes! Peter made a left turn in Jerusalem and hit a donkey!”
Ryan has to give himself a moment not to crack at that

A very fun round of this, thanks to some killer proctoring from Greg, some very silly lines from Ryan and Colin, and Phil getting the ferocity of the style.

Press Conference – Greg, Phil, and Ryan interview Colin, who is having Clive Anderson’s love child.


Greg starts laughing immediately when he sees this. Ryan buckles inward a bit himself.

Greg, immediately: “Are you sore, at all?”

Ryan: “…Why?”
Colin: “This is something that I felt would benefit generations that came after me.”
Clive nods in approval

Greg: “Is it human?”
Colin: “What kind of a question is that? Of course it’s human! It’s..mostly…90% human!”
Greg, going for the jugular: “May I have a follow-up: Does it have a neck???”
I’m sad they didn’t cut to Clive there

Ryan: “When he was done, did he…buzz you out?”
Colin, after definitely getting it: “That rumor has been going around- I’m telling you, it’s a bald-faced lie!”

Greg: “Was it a natural childbirth, or was it in a manner of his own choosing?”
Colin: “It was very painful…and it was in the style of a Hoedown.”

Colin gets it spot-on, and shakes his head as he heads back to the seats. My god, this was a classic.

Props – Ryan and Colin vs. Greg and Phil

Phil, using the prop as a guitar: “This is the first time Art and I have seen each other in well over 25 years…”

A pretty basic props, though the Greg-Phil combo had some energetic moments

Multiple Personalities – Greg, Colin, and Ryan, who are broken down at night, exchange a torch (John Wayne), a petrol can (Elvis Presley), and a map (Captain Kirk).

Basically Changing Emotions, but with impressions. This game does benefit performers who are good at impressions, like Greg and Ryan. Poor Colin.

There’s the usual joke of once an identity is announced, everyone just hands that one to Ryan, this time being the John Wayne prop. He already seems enthused.

Right out of the gate, Greg’s Shatner gets a ton of applause. I mean, of course Greg has the upper hand with Shatner, he’s worked with the man.

Ryan does grab the map, but holds onto the flashlight. Greg, thinking he forgot, begins to grab the flashlight, but Ryan stops him. He then does a John Wayne impression with Captain Kirk pauses. THEN he hands the flashlight to Greg. He had to get that in.

For the first time this series, we get to hear Colin’s funny-but-bad John Wayne, which Clive laughs at almost immediately.

This one ended kind of clumsily, but it was still a fun enough scene, and a good enough impression showcase.

Weird Newscasters – Greg is the anchor; the co-anchor is Colin (a jockey in a race who, no matter how hard he tries, cannot beat Greg); the sportscaster is Phil (James Brown), and the weatherman is Ryan (keeps getting hit by a water cannon).

Ryan gets a confused, mortified expression once he gets his.

Greg starts, and Colin is already on his horse, doing fast-motion racing. It is that effortless for Colin

Of course Phil’s James Brown is great. I can imagine him doing it on Family Guy or something.

Ryan’s is just silly. Just repeated water-pistol abuse. Over and over. It’s basic, but it works

The ending is great- cutting back to slow-mo shots of Colin just missing the finish and Ryan wiping his eyes. Just overdramatic enough.

A pretty nice game of this. Could have been a bit bigger, but they’d get there

Hoedown – All four sing about Colin.

And the highlight of the entire show.

Ryan, immediately, has a physical reaction to this game, as usual.

Let it be known that they were gonna do this one about Cheese…and then someone behind Clive got the bright idea to make it about Colin. Which works even better than cheese, I think

In an audience shot right after the suggestion is confirmed, you can see somebody leaning to his wife and pointing. I bet his wife just asked who Colin is, and he’s pointing him out. Like…it’s the end of the taping, and you STILL haven’t figured out who Colin is???

Greg, starting in a Colin impression: “I LOVE TO SING LIKE COLIN. I REALLY REALLY DO.
He ends this by getting frustrated midway through a verse and doing a dinosaur impression

Phil had a disadvantage, because he didn’t know Colin as well, but he does a very gracious verse, and ends by saying Colin is one ‘fine folically-challenged Canuck’.

Colin takes an extra intro verse. He has every right to.
Colin, eventually: “Everybody’s having fun, they’re singing all about me
It really is quite wonderful, can’t you all see?
Look at them. Look at them. Of me, they’re making a Mochrie.”

Ryan: “You’ve got to love Colin, gotta love him to the end.
I have to admit that he is my best friend
I would not lie to you, this is no jive
Anyway you look at it, he’s still got more hair than Clive!”
And as the others sing the refrain, Ryan and Colin hug it out.

The capper is Ryan going over to Colin, right before he sits down, and saying “I was torn between that and fainting.”

Fantastic Hoedown. Well-remembered for a reason.

Overall: A very strong, if a bit simple, LA taping. Phil LaMarr brought his A-game, even if he occasionally got drowned out by the other three. Greg was proctoring games like it was season 6 again. Ryan had another quiet night, but Colin, once again, was masterful, even in games built around his own existence. The new games worked, for the most part, and it was a generally even show, though Greg and Colin did come alive more than the other two. Remembered for Press Conference and Hoedown, but a bit more wholly significant than just those two games.

Show Winners: Ryan and Phil
Best Performer: Colin. Who else?
Worst Performer: Phil, for not having enough chances to prove himself
Best Game: Press Conference. Strong all the way through
Worst Game: Props was just the weakest.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S10E01, or Our Narcoleptic Hornblower

So. Here, as far as I can gather, is what happened.

Around Series 6 or 7, Ryan Stiles gets a sitcom job in America, playing the regular comic relief character Lewis Kinski on The Drew Carey Show, which is a modest hit on ABC. The Whose Line producers decide to switch their taping schedule to the late spring and early summer, to accommodate Ryan’s sitcom filming schedule.

Meanwhile, Whose Line’s influence grows in the US, with reruns of the 6th-9th seasons of Whose Line paying dividends on Comedy Central, and introducing people with a basic cable subscription to short-form improv. But Dan and Mark wanted more. Using their influence, they managed to get an American version of Whose Line on ABC, with Ryan’s now-friend Drew Carey as the host. The funds were collected, a set was built, and tapings were scheduled.

…And then Dan and Mark remembered they still had the UK version. That they suddenly had no clue what to do with.

The solution was astonishingly simple: using the new US set on the CBS/WB lot in Burbank, California, they would film the regular number of tapings using all-American talent, and a jetlagged Clive Anderson as host, and air it only on Comedy Central (and, unless I’m mistaken, much, much later in the UK). The way they’d work it is by the time US WL would be in full swing, the S10 episodes would hit Comedy Central and provide a modest foil, and eventual beckoner, to the US version.

The UK shows would tape first. I know that because at least one talent recruited for this show would also carry over to the US tapings, with the effect that these early episodes paid way for a semi-regular-ship in the Drew run.

This season would feel very much like a dry run for US WL- several games would be the same, the structure of the show would be slightly different, and Laura Hall would take the reins of the piano (where she remains to this very day).

Tonight’s show would give us three trusted UK Americans, Brad, Colin and Ryan. For the fourth chair, Dan and Mark would go back to the LA well that brought them Karen Maruyama, the Groundlings…or at least an offshoot of the Groundlings. Either way, the guy they got went through several auditions with his entire troupe before it was discussed that he’d gotten on. And seeing as this guy is Wayne Brady, I’m thinking he did pretty well.

That’s a lot of writeup for S10, but…backstory is backstory. Here we go.

The crowd is louder in LA, and the set is the same as US WL, only with different signage, and a big Hollywood sign draped over the back stage. Clive, on the uproarious response from the LA crowd of people with free comp tix, marks “they don’t do this in England”

The intros have to do with good looks, like Brad’s ‘movie star’ good looks. Colin evidently has ‘knitting catalogue’ good looks, which he shakes his head at.

Let’s Make a Date – Brad is the bachelorette. The bachelors are Wayne (a Southern Baptist preacher), Colin (a very nervous driving instructor), and Ryan (a desperate actor who’s only come on the show to be discovered).

Ryan, for the first of many times, completely turns to the desk when he reads what his quirk is.

[For the record…Wayne is a natural for this program at moment number one.]

Wayne, giving a poem: “Because the roses are BLUE…..they can be red!”
[Clive loves this one]

Colin: “I, uh, always do what’s right…RIGHT…RIGHT!”

Because this is 1998, Ryan throws in an ‘I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD’. The audience, as expected, eats this up.

Brad gets pretty much all of them, though he’s a bit too on the nose by guessing Ryan is Leo DiCaprio.

Solid enough LMAD game. Little things carried this, like Colin’s crazy eyes and Ryan’s stances.

Duet – Brad and Wayne sing a modern pop love ballad to Barbara the actress.

Clive: “Bar-Barbara? If your second name’s Ann, I think they’ve got a song worked out already…”

Noted almost immediately is the incredible teamwork between Brad and Wayne, and how professional Wayne is at these singing games.

Wayne does say “why don’t you accompany me to the casting couch”, which is both sweet and disgusting.

A pretty basic number. I feel like Barbara didn’t really know what to think about it all, and she spent most of it looking over Brad.

Quiz Show – Brad hosts the show “Name That Amphibian,” with the other three as the contestants.

A game that surprisingly took this long to debut, and was a staple of this run.

That suggestion is right out of the gate, and gets Ryan laughing. Clive is pretty impressed, too.

Quite obviously, Brad is a great proctor for this one, as his smarmy game-show voice has gotten him almost to announcing for The Price is Right.

Brad: “It’s the only game show that evolves, if you know what I’m talking about, NOW…”

Ryan, finally playing to the right crowds: “My name’s Bruce Perry, I’m a housewife from Fresno, California.”

Brad asks why various amphibians come onto land
Brad: “Mudskipper!”
Ryan, buzzing in: “Sharon Stone?”

Brad: “I’m going to name…a flipper.”
Colin, buzzing in: “A FLIPPER!”
Brad: “YES!”

A very silly start to this round. Still not fully formed, but goofy enough.

Scene to Rap – All four are in a mall.

Ah yes, this one debuts as well, much to the horror of Colin and Ryan.

Clive, finally having the tables turned on him, guesses a mall is ‘a big shop’, before remarking to camera, “I’m new here!”
Man, if Greg was here he’d go to town on this.
Clive continues: “I haven’t even met Divine Brown yet”, which is a reference the audience THANKFULLY still gets.

Right up front you can tell that Brad and Wayne are pretty good at this, though Brad has troubles staying in time,

Ryan comes in and gets the scene going, as an escalator repairman, saying “you probably haven’t noticed the damn’ thing ain’t moving.”

Colin, the whitest man in Canada, attempting to rap: “HEY WHAT’S GOING ON, WHY’S IT SO SLOW

Wayne BARELY holds it together at Colin’s dancing. BARELY.

Another very silly scene, but this one did work more than Quiz Show did, I think. All four seemed to be on the same page, even if some, like Colin, came off goofier than others.

Whose Line – Colin is a general informing President Ryan that the Earth is about to be destroyed by a comet.

Aw, man, we haven’t seen this one in a while..

Moment one of the game, Ryan, as the president, is…playing an arcade game. Nice touch.
Colin, using this motion against him: “Mr. President, PLEASE…leave the intern alone.”

Colin: “We just got a message in, from….the message area.”
Ryan: “Are you talking about our satellite?”
Colin: “THAT’S IT!”

There’s a moment where, after Ryan’s line of ‘help me John, I’m shrinking’, Ryan’s hand is just lingering around Colin’s nipple area, occasionally making an impact. After a moment of his, he yanks his hand away.

Colin: “Me and the boys came up with this plan: “I’m in the mood for a big one.”
The audience loves this one. It just fits!

Ryan: “I don’t want to get up the next morning and read the headline in the paper: “Cover me in oil and let the games begin!”

The game could have used one more beat before the buzz, but this one largely worked, as the Colin-Ryan dynamic was strong as ever.

Daytime Talk Show – Brad hosts a talk show about Little Boy Blue; Ryan is Little Boy Blue, Colin is his disgruntled neighbor, Wayne is in the audience.

This is basically News Report, but done as Jerry Springer, and proctored a bit more strongly.

Ryan and Colin IMMEDIATELY get the Springer dynamic they’re supposed to go far, and are already bickering at lightning speed.

Ryan: “If you don’t like the horn-blowing, you should leave the neighborhood!”

Hell, Colin’s already strangling Ryan even before Wayne is polled in the audience.

Ryan just goes on a long rant about sleeping in a haystack, and of course he nails the clientele. Hell, even throws in a basic-cable censor-noise, for good measure.

Brad: “Let’s see what the audience thinks of our…narcoleptic hornblower.”

Brad, to Wayne: “Yes, sir, you, with all the lights on you!”

As Wayne is going on about wanting to kick Colin, he goes to the guy in front of him, also a black dude, and goes “I spit on you, SORRY!”

Colin: “Hey, I know him, that’s Little Jack Horner, he’s always got his thumb up something!”

Wayne, for his second character, does his ‘echoey microphone’ bit, and it works with the audience.

As this one ends, it’s clear that this game is MADE for US audiences. They eat up the sort of chaos comedy that this game is rooted in, and it just worked here, right from the start.

Greatest Hits – Ryan and Colin advertise “Songs of Hypochondriacs,” sung by Wayne and Brad.

The first ever interruption pun:
Ryan: “We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled show, Touched by an Uncle, in just a moment…”

Wayne in the reggae style is already natural. Brad wisely just backs him up here.

Ryan names his German song, after a moment of composure: “I’ve got them, and they hang like grapes!”

Brad kills this one, just by doing a very goofy German voice for this one, and picking a very basic and funny rhyme scheme. Plus, as is custom for Brad in this era, there is a mention of monkeys and bananas.

A very solid Greatest Hits, proving that Wayne and Brad could make great stuff together, and could overpower the Ryan-Colin banter.

Overall: A promising start. This is one of the first shows where the singing competitors seemed to outdo Colin and Ryan, and Wayne and Brad had a ton of great stuff throughout the night, with an emphasis on Wayne, who was stellar right out of the gate. The new games either sort of worked, like Quiz Show and Scene to Rap, or REALLY WORKED, like Daytime Talk Show, while not overpowering the standards like LMAD and Whose Line. If anything, Ryan had the more pedestrian show, as the other three easily outdid him, but if anything that’s a good problem to have.

Show Winners: Wayne and Ryan
Best Performer: Wayne Brady. It’s his first show and he’s already feeling like a pro.
Worst Performer: Ryan, for having a very quiet night.
Best Game: Daytime Talk Show
Worst Game: Duet. Just had the least to it.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E19, or WEASELS WEASELS GO AWAY

At long last, we’ve hit the end of Series 9 of Whose Line, and subsequently the end of the show’s run in the UK (asterisk). This show is the final one for the great Steve Frost, who did what he could while working with more talented improvisers over the last few series. Still, we’ve got Brad, Ryan and Colin here, and this comes from the same taping that has given us Episodes 6 and 10, the former being alright and the latter being a pretty great one. And…for once this series, we’re squeezing three episodes, plus some compilation refuse, out of a taping. Thankfully this won’t happen again until the longer tapings during the US era.

Film and Theatre Styles – Ryan has flown all the way from another galaxy to tell Colin that he’s the only one who can save the Earth

Audience member: “SLAPHEAD. I mean, uh, stick.”

Clive: “Playboy channel. And you look as though you enjoy that yourself, don’t you?”

Again, another very high-concept scene description.

Ryan: “CONGRATULATIONS. You have been elected the ONE TO SAVE THE PLANET.”
Colin: “Save it? How?”
Ryan: “…Ooooh, I didn’t find that out…”

Clive, immediately, has them do Playboy Channel
Colin: “Let me get into the shower.”
And it just turns into a steamy photo shoot.

Ryan even helps get Colin’s nipples erect. Once Clive buzzes, Colin just shakes his head. He looks at Ryan, still holding the camera. Ryan breaks.

Clive: “Religious epic.”
Ryan: “…and you shall TAKE your nipples…and go out amongst the people, and show them.”
Colin: “Yes, I will keep them abreast of me.”

Colin: “I shall lay down the laws of the lord. They shall come through me…as though I was a high-fi.”
Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 11.37.36 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 11.37.45 AM.png

Ryan, kung-fu, dubbing out a lot: “Then we…shall have to do battle…ME…..from my planet. YOU…………….from earth.”

There’s a great gag with Colin taking out Ryan’s still-beating heart, then using it for the Speed style. Colin has to say ‘here, you take it, my hand’s cramping.”
Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 11.40.21 AM.png
Clive: “…Playboy channel again.”

Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 11.40.52 AM.png

As they wrap that up…man, that was a funny one. One of the better ones in a while, and up to the surprisingly nice standard of F&TS from this series. Just so many silly moments, and so many moments where Colin or Ryan was about to break.

Interrogation – Steve and Brad interrogate Ryan, who mooned at the Queen.

This was a one-time game that was only done for this one, though Colin and Brad have adopted it for their stage show. It’s kind of odd Colin wasn’t in the guesser role, but Ryan seems to fit well.

Steve: “Yeah, you can blow it through your ass, matey.”

Ryan, though, has a genius move in mind. He looks towards the chairs, and says “AND DON’T THINK I DON’T SEE THE GUY BEHIND THE MIRROR!”
Colin, from the background, without a moment to think: “…I TOLD YA YOU SHOULD HAVE PUT THE GLASS IN THE OTHER WAY!”
The audience applauds at this. Brad and Steve hastily do up the curtains. Beautiful. Meanwhile, Colin mimes smoking a cigarette back there

This is a great game, because the guesses are gradual, and it’s more of a back-and-forth. Once Ryan gets that he mooned someone, the audience applauds, and the game keeps going.

Steve has a great monologue after Ryan says he doesn’t think the person is so special, and he goes “that’s just your problem. Because there’s a lot of people in this country who do. Who look up to her. Alright? I mean, you HAVE to look up to her, because she stands on that balcony all the time.”

Ryan gets ready to confess: “I pulled my pants down, and showed my pearly white butt to…”
And then he stops…he’s not sure. He needs more time. He turns to both Steve and Brad, nervously, and goes “…first to Cilla Black…”
That brings back a runner from like S7. Not bad.

As Ryan guesses the queen (“Look, she may be YOUR royalty…”), you can still see he’s very unsure, but once the audience applauds his command returns, and Clive buzzes. Plus, as he’s carried off, he yells at Colin “I STILL SEE YOU”, and Colin puts up his dukes.

A really nice game, one that should have been played more often on WL. Great showcase for Ryan, too.

Stand, Sit, Bend – Ryan, Colin, and Brad are 1940s gangsters blowing a safe while the cops close in on them.

Ooh, wow, we haven’t seen this one in a while!

The accents these three are using are all priceless.

This is a great group for this, because they’re constantly changing positions, and throwing each other for a loop.

I didn’t write a lot down, but this was a really fun one, and very fast paced.

World’s Worst – All four act out the world’s worst self-improvement/teach yourself video.

Ryan: “You don’t have to know how to sing to be the life of the party. Not if you know how to clench your butt right.”
Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 11.59.04 AM.png
He keeps going for WELL after the buzzer with this.

Colin: “Now you wanna have confidence…lots and lots of confidence…[sniff] OKAAAYYY”

Colin: “You can improve your memory in only 15 minutes with this book. [..] You can improve your memory in only 15 minutes with this book.”
Brad: “So, you’re gay AND you wanna learn the accordion.”
BUZZ. Brad facepalms after doing this one

Ryan does another weird one, and after the buzzer he just goes into the butt clenching again, just to piss off Clive.

Colin, after waiting for Ryan to finish: “….YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY WITH THIS BOOK IN ONLY 15 MINUTES.”

Ryan: “Sex can be fun if you have fun with sex. Next time you climax, why not yell your own name?”

I think they all broke Clive in this one. These were all really good, but Ryan especially was just terrorizing Clive.

Props – Ryan and Brad vs. Steve and Colin

Aww, the last of the legendary Steve-Colin Props combo

So many silly ones in this.

Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 12.05.31 PM.pngColin: “YOU DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME, MR. BOND.”

Colin, holding the props to his ears: “…Once I’m King…”

Super funny Props round there. So many silly ideas.

Number of Words – Brad (5 words) is the madam of a brothel in the Deep South, Colin (2 words) is one of the girls, Steve (4 words) is a customer and the mayor of the town, and Ryan (3 words) is a policeman coming to raid the building.

The performers did a good job of setting up the milieu and characters.

Steve: “I got no money.”
Colin: “…Bye bye.”

Steve: “Would you like some…”
Colin: “For free?”
Ryan: “Well…for free?”

Another really good scene. They really just fit into that scene description super well.

Foreign Film Dub – Colin and Brad act out the film “Return of the Bald Weasels” in Romanian, translated by Steve and Ryan.

Once Clive announces the scene, Colin and Brad exchange a puzzled look. Colin, for the umpteenth time tonight, just shakes his head and cracks up.

My first laugh of the scene was Ryan translating a line as ‘it’s very important that you get into your costume to scare them off’. Colin shakes his head at that as well.

Steve: “Can’t you see that I love you?”
Ryan: “But I am a man…and you are a man dressed up as a fish!”
Steve: “Put on the maggot uniform.”
Ryan: “Am I gonna have to de-bone you again?”
Clive completely loses it at that

Colin comes at the weasels in costume.

Man, this show is just on a roll. This was another really funny scene. Steve and Ryan did some good work here.

Greatest Hits – Ryan and Colin advertise “Songs of the Locker Room,” sung by Brad.

This game features our last-ever appearance of Richard Vranch, which is a very sad milestone to reach.

Ryan: “That would be that lovely french ballad ‘if you drop the soap, leave it where it is…”

Brad: “Don’t ever mind/ if you pick it up, someone’ll come from behind.”

Colin’s next title, “You call it football, I call it soccer, what the hell?”, gets Ryan to crack up. Not quite at ‘Don’t Want Your Milk’ levels, but still enough.

Brad ends on a very good German bierhall number, and that’s how we wrap up 5 series’ in the BBC studios. With a playful little round of Greatest Hits whose only weakness is that it’s not quite as good as the rest of the show.

Overall: A surprise triumph. I didn’t think this taping had anything left, but we still had classics like Interrogation, F&TS and World’s Worst, as well as hidden gems like Stand Sit Bend and Number of Words. Even Steve’s issues didn’t stand out too much tonight, as he still did what he could. Everybody dominated at least one game, though Brad’s early-season dominance was limited only to Greatest Hits. Ryan, however, had another insane day, having career games in Interrogation and World’s Worst. Fantastic way to end a very uneven series.

Show Winners: Brad and Colin
Best Performer: Ryan. [clenches butt again]
Worst Performer: Steve, but only by default.
Best Game: Interrogation. F&TS came close but Interrogation was just an innovative game, with a great performance from Ryan, and Colin who’s not even in the game.
Worst Game: Greatest Hits had the least to it.


Best Episode: E4. In which Stephen Fry and Josie Lawrence class up Whose Line one more time, and add Shakespeare, a trendy vicar, and that great F&TS. This one also has a stellar Colin SFX, and just good work from everybody, even Stephen.
2nd Best Episode: E1, right from the beginning you can see the spark of inspiration coming from all four, even in simple games like Props and World’s Worst. Weird Newscasters works from here on out, LMAD feels fully-realized, and Mission Impossible is pants-wettingly insane.
Worst Episode: E7, with George Wendt just bringing everything down with him.
Best Regular: TIE between Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie, who had the exact same number of show wins this year, and were both at the top of their game.
Best Recurring Guest: Brad Sherwood over Greg Proops. Not only did he have more show wins, but his material felt so fresh and energetic since returning from the depths after 5 years.
Worst Guest: George Wendt
Most Improved: Brad Sherwood. Even from where he was in S4, he was a ton better.
Most Unlikely Successful Combo: Steve and Colin, in several rounds of props this series.
Best Newcomer: Even with lack of real competition, Karen Maruyama, E2, for coming in with a fresh attitude from LA and feeling like she belonged up there with the greats.
Best Guest Star: Stephen Fry, E4. Quite interesting indeed.
Guest we Wish Wasn’t Done After This Series: TIE- Josie Lawrence and Steve Frost. Gonna miss them both.

Now? We move to LA. And we get even more new blood from the LA improv scene.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E18, or My Fax is Ruined

This penultimate show of the series is the last one featuring the great Josie Lawrence, who went from a staple of the show to an eventual foil for the show’s American stars. Yes, she makes an appearance or two during the US run, and of course she’s still performing at the comedy store TO THIS DAY, but…this is the end of her contributions to the UK run of Whose Line. Which is kind of upsetting.

This show, featuring Josie, Greg, Ryan & Colin…comes from a taping that has yet to have its own episode, only briefly seen in compilations. So at least we get a fresh one before we go.

Let’s Make a Date – Josie is the bachelorette. The bachelors are Greg (characters from “A Streetcar Named Desire”), Colin (has an acute sense of smell), and Ryan (horny Frankenstein’s monster).

Greg goes right into some lines after cutting off Josie
Josie: “…Can I ask my question please, first?”

Greg going right into a Tennessee Williams monologue is pretty perfect.

Ryan is VERY bawdy with his, but is just silly enough. He even stands up, beginning to go towards Josie, but Colin has to put him back down,

Greg, meanwhile, is doing a pretty nice Brando.

Colin: “Check the bottom of your shoe. Right now.”
Josie: “…’ts covered in poo!”
Colin: “mmmmmhm.”

Colin: [restrains Ryan again]

Josie manages to guess all of these pretty well…somehow, making this a successful slow burn of a round. The runner of Colin placating Ryan was a great one.

Sound Effects – Colin is a medieval knight preparing for a joust. Ryan provides sound effects.

My first big laugh is a cat somehow winding up in Colin’s armor, and him having to remove everything, take out the cat, and put everything back on

So many silly little things: the amount of animals flying out the window, accidentally stabbing himself with an axe, getting on a horse only for it to be a goat…and then throwing THAT out the window.

An insanely silly SFX round- not completely great, but I laughed a bunch.

Hoedown – All four sing about foreign travel.

Bit early for a Hoedown, isn’t it?

The verses vary, but there aren’t bad ones. Josie’s is cute, Greg’s is a bit too on the nose about the US.

Colin’s is great though:
“Come on over to Canada, we’ve got mountains galore!
We’ve got people who sleep soundly, you’ll never hear them snore!
We’ve got seas and planes and things and things and things and things and things.
And everyone, EVERYONE….can sing better than this.”

Fine Hoedown. Maybe not as good as the last few, but still fine.

Hats: TV AdvertisementsĀ 

Ah, yes. This one.

It starts innocently enough:

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 5.30.20 PM.pngGreg: “Hello, you may remember me from the Secret Squirrel show many years ago. Now I’m selling my own line of cosmetics. They’re called…”
Greg: “Morocco’s Moles!”
He then decides to go on.
Greg: “You put them on your FACE”

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 5.32.56 PM.pngColin: “…Here at Wacko’s Funeral Parlor…”

The rest of this is just some moderately amusing jokes from Ryan, Colin and Josie, and Greg just going up and refusing to leave in different hats. He ends on this one:

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 5.34.13 PM.pngGreg: “You know, now that Hong Kong has been given back, there’s jobs in the communist army for all of us. Come on over.”
Greg: “Do you like a diet of rice and fish heads?”
Greg: “Do you like marching through the woods 24 hours a day?”
Greg: “Would you like to share one rifle with everyone in your platoon?”
Greg: “TODAY”
Greg: “The buzzing sound you hear is the capitalists, trying to oppress us!”

Dear lord, Greg’s defiance saved that game. I dunno what spurned him on, but he was just refusing to let Clive win. I respect him for it.

Mission Impossible – Greg gives Ryan and Colin to buy a pair of shoes.

Clive gets his task from the audience, but someone else keeps shouting something.
Greg: “Hey, no more callers, we have a winner, dude!”
Clive: “…and we may have a loser, Greg.”
Greg: [smiles, and mouths I HATE HIM to the camera]

Greg mentions the ‘Emiress of Groovesnackistan’, which must be a relative of ‘the Emir of Groovefunkistan’, who factors into the ‘The Cat’ scene.

Greg: “This tape will self destruct-”
Ryan, shutting off the tape: “It doesn’t matter. Look…”
Greg: “BOOM.”

Colin: “I’ve got the entire shoe readout in my pants.”
[A moment where Colin and Ryan try their best not to crack at this line]

Colin introduces the detail of having a fax machine in his ass, which is wonderful, and Ryan uses that to add a ‘help…let me out…’ joke, which Colin refuses to address.

Ryan: “Wait a minute, I’ve got a bellybutton that’s an outie.”
[Colin gives Ryan a very weird look]
Ryan: “Grab on and I’ll lower you down”
Colin: “You are a man of many talents.”

Colin does try to one-up Ryan: “It’s alright, my bellybutton’s an INNIE, i can try and catch you in it!”

Colin notes that one of the shoes is ticking.
Ryan: “You’re right. This one’s quiet, it must be a Hush-Puppy.”

Ryan does return the favor again: “You can smother it in that innie bellybutton of yours!”
Colin briefly gives Ryan a look. My god this game.

Colin: “Oh, my fax is ruined!”
Ryan has a frustrated look, but once the buzzer sounds he breaks. Like he was waiting to all game.

A very funny Mission Impossible. It got just weird enough.

Greatest Hits – Greg and Ryan advertise “Songs of the Hospital,” sung by Josie.

GREG doing Greatest Hits? Alright then

Ryan: “I had my first kiss to that very song.”
Greg: “That’s amazing. I had my appendix out while that song was playing.”

This is a pretty standard one, but Josie’s children’s song is pretty funny, and manages to crack up Colin in the background.

Overall: A perfectly fine show. I feel like I could have used a little more of Josie, but she still was fine whenever she was used. There were good games of Mission Impossible and LMAD, and a chaotic Hats, but everything else was very middling and forgettable. This show was a tour de force for Greg, who seemed to be back in his dominant form for the night, and a quieter, comparatively, night for Colin.

Show Winners: Greg and Colin
Best Performer: Greg Proops, for owning games like the old days.
Worst Performer: Josie Lawrence, whose best stuff wasn’t really present here
Best Game: Mission Impossible. So many bizarre choices
Worst Game: Greatest Hits by default. Not really a lot to say about it.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E17, or THE EYES OF THE WORLD WERE UPON ME.

Good news is we’ve gone from a second episode from bad tapings to a second episode from a really, really good taping. This show brings us back to Episode 1, which was a strong show all-around, and had that insanely funny Mission Impossible. Hopefully even the table-scraps of that show will work here.

This also means we’re gonna go through some lasts pretty quickly- this is Rory Bremner’s last ever-Whose Line. Not a HUGE loss, but still a loss.

Film and Theatre Styles – Ryan and Greg are scientists about to shrink themselves down to get into someone’s body, in the styles of Woody Allen, sex eduction video, kabuki, Riverdance, and horror movie.

Another high-concept F&TS

Ryan: “Step into the chamber”
Clive, buzzing: “Woody Allen”
Greg, to camera: “Perfect. Going to shrink myself to go inside with HIMMLER.”
That might be better than his Allen from last show

Clive: “sex education video!”
Ryan: “…Before we step into the chamber….it’s always important to get to know your partner.”
Ryan, to Greg: “Hi, I’m Ryan
Greg: “Hi, I’m Greg. This is my body, and THIS…is my penis.”

After a conversation on ‘heavy petting’, Ryan ends up doing this to Greg:
Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 11.48.56 AM.png
After the buzz, Ryan and Greg crack up at this.
Clive: “…I guess that’s Ryan’s idea of heavy petting…”

For the kabuki style, Greg says something in Japanese and translates it with subtitles. Ryan then says something in Japanese…then translates it as the exact same thing he just said.

The image of Ryan and Greg riverdancing is a truly wonderful one.

There’s a very goofy ending to this one, but it’s a solid enough F&TS scene. No match for last show’s, but still good.

Press Conference – Greg, Rory, and Ryan interview Colin, who claims to have slept with every member of the Royal family.

Ryan, immediately: “I’m wondering who was first?”
Colin: “I think it was obvious, quite obvious, from the photo; it was me.”

Greg: “How long did it take?”
Colin: “It took about fifteen hours. ALTHOUGH…I did hear of one mexican who managed to do it in fourteen minutes.”

Rory: “Was anybody watching?”

Rory: “So, when is the book coming out?”
Colin: “The book will be coming out next week, as I was writing as I was doing this.”
Man, this is just too good this week

Greg: “Which one was your favorite, out of all of them?”
Ryan: “Yeah, I think we all wanna know that.”
Colin: “I would say…the one that was the gentlest.”
Greg, really pressing Colin: “And which one would that be?”

Colin, still not really knowing, guesses ‘Softie the Gentle Elf’
Ryan, taking this: “Oh, is that the one with the ears? Okay.”

Colin, given the short amount of time, doesn’t get this one, but it’s still a phenomenal round. Just from the quality of Colin’s responses.

Sound Effects – Colin is a New York cop in his patrol car who gets called to do a drug bust.

Great start to this one. Colin’s sleeping…then Ryan throws in a car horn. Colin shrugs, gets up, and continues driving. Fantastic subversion of expectations.

I also love the sound of Colin running over various dogs and people on the way to this bust.

A very okay SFX scene, but still relatively funny

Film Review – Rory reviews the film “Attack of the Giant Bananas,” acted out by Greg, Colin, and Ryan.

I forgot they did this game. Sort of a sequel to Musical Film Review, except without the singers.

This is a showcase for Rory’s Barry Norman impression, which is very quick and witty, but…plays right into his niche, like usual.

Ryan: “We’ve lost contact with the ship, sir. It seemed to just…slip away.”

Greg gets to bring back his “CITIZENS OF EARTH, REMAIN IN YOUR HOMES” character from 7×05, this time without the cracking up.
Greg: “I am Chief Banana. This…is my bunch.”

Rory: “…the wonderful Greg Proops literally acting out of his skin, there.”

Rory does make the mistake of ‘pimping out’ Colin, by making him do an Alec Guinness impression, and solve the entire conflict within one minute.

Luckily, Colin’s Guinness leads to a good line: “…Use the Sauce”

Ryan, pouring the chocolate sauce on Greg: “Look, the banana’s split!”

Amusing enough, but…nothing more that bad banana puns and haphazard proctoring by Rory.

Secret – Colin and Ryan are Esmeralda and the Hunchback of Notre Dame; the secret is hidden inside the bell.

Colin: “There’s beauty deep inside of you!”
Ryan: “Then kiss me!”
Colin: “…COME ON, NOW!”

Colin gets to reveal the secret this time, and it’s a good one: “…A TUBA!”
Ryan: “Yeah…I get tired of ringing the bell all the time.”

Colin: “Quasimodo, I could never love a man who plays a tuba. My mother was…killed in a tuba accident! She was walking under the tuba cathedral when…a juggling trick went horribly wrong.”

This is kind of a weak one, but it’s got a great ending. Colin rules out Ryan because of his ugliness, but he takes a pause, brushes his hair, then Colin disrobes for him. It’s hysterical. It’s just too bad the whole middle bit of the scene really didn’t fly.

Picture – All four act out a day in the jungle.

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 12.17.21 PM.pngGreg, before Clive can even throw in a scene description: “HOW D’YA LIKE THE SIZE OF MY VINE???”
Clive: “It’s ‘one day in the jungle’
Greg: “Okay, thanks, I’ll do the joke over to less laughter this time…”

Colin: “I HAVE A CRAMP.”
Rory: “Here, let me hold it for you?”

Ryan: “If you think a cramp is bad, my butt’s right above your head!”

Greg, as Ryan clenches: “I told you not to eat those green bananas, cheetah!”

Very short, but still a very silly scene.

Party Quirks – Greg is the host. His guests are Rory (John Motson on The Pull), Colin (trapped outside a submarine as it starts to submerge), and Ryan (trying to smuggle animals through customs in his underpants).

Greg: “Yes, it’s a move gradually to your right party.”
Clive: “…a bit like the labour party, then?”

Ryan’s is fantastic, because it combines A.) great physicality, and B.) animal noises.

Again, very okay, but with a few fun moments for the road.

Hoedown – All four sing about winning the lottery.

When Clive announces this game, Ryan briefly does his gazelle face, and sarcastically paces right up to the step. The other three follow. Colin even lands in a very dynamic stance.

Greg’s is kind of uneventful. Rory kind of speeds through his, similar to Niall, but doesn’t do an impression, and ends with a great line: “I can’t wait to see the smile on their face when they see my bonus ball.”
…and I think he stole Ryan’s.

Colin’s…is legendary
Colin: “If I won the lottery, I’d be one happy clown.
Cause then I’d hire someone, to do this Hoedown
So if what I say isn’t funny, and you’re vexed.
Don’t worry, cause…Ryan’s coming up with funny, he’s next!”
Rory was cackling through most of this one, as was I.

Ryan, now with no choice but to be funny:
“I hope to win the lottery, with a lot of luck
Boy would I go crazy, I’d probably even [COUGH]”

A much better hoedown than the norm.

Overall: You can see why all the good games went with E1, because…barring Press Conference and Hoedown, there wasn’t a ton left here. A lot of games were very one-note, and it didn’t help that Rory is still out of the other three’s league. This one was another triumph for Colin, as his inspired moments are making the most of these second-episodes.

Show Winner: Rory
Best Performer: Colin. That Hoedown verse was just the cherry on top.
Worst Performer: Rory. Sad to say, he was never really a match for the other three.
Best Game: Press Conference.
Worst Game: Film Trailer. Very disjointed and lame.

Good news is we only have two episodes left in this…very long series, and one of them, which is up next…is one from a taping we haven’t even gotten a full episode from yet. It’s also a final show for a Whose Line legend, and I’m excited to talk about it.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E16, or OCH AYE.

We’re well within the ‘giving tapings a second episode’ portion of Series 9 of whose line, and the only cases where they’re better than the original episodes is when the original episode…is shit. [I wrote that like an Andy Parsons MTW joke] Last show, E15, was an improvement over its source episode, E9, so hopefully this show will be an improvement over it’s source show, E7.

…the, uh…George Wendt show.

Dear God, I hope it is possible to get good material out of this taping.

Film and Theatre Styles – Colin has forgotten to heed the warning to keep his pet gremlin Greg away from water, in the styles of Braveheart, Australian soap opera, and Woody Allen.

[Pretends he hasn’t watched this one a million times already]. Ah. I wonder if this’ll be better than the George-Ryan]

In fielding suggestions, Clive is confused by a woman yelling ‘Three Stooges’. He initially thinks she’s saying the Goodies, due to her very shrill, accent voice…which Greg proceeds to do a perfect impression of.
Clive: “…I’m sorry, madam, the improvisers are not supposed to make fun of the audience”
[Heh, wait until Wayne Brady pulls down an audience member’s pants]

Couple of things to note. 1. The unusual pairing of Greg and Colin, which is rarely used but definitely works. 2. The insanely high-concept scene suggestion, based off of the film Gremlins

The first bit is just standard, high-energy stuff from both, though it’s kind of odd to see Colin as the straight man.

Braveheart style:
Greg: [cracks at the juxtaposition, then]: “YE CAN DRY ME OUT…BUT YOU’LL NEVER TAKE AWAY ME FREEDOM!”

Greg: “I’m a Scottish Gremlin, so don’t expect me to buy the drinks.”
Colin, obviously knowing this accent well: “Dinnae gimme that rubbish, ye…wee ballarney…bochy-nochy-fochy….”
Greg, questioning if Colin just got away with something on national television: “DID YE JUST CALL ME A WEE BALLARNEY BOCHY NOCHY *FOCHY*??”

Once that style ends, with Colin oching all over Greg, Clive, cracking up, makes the mistake of saying “very good shirt for this, but I’m not sure if the accent’s very convincing.”

In the Australian soap style, Greg starts right in with “you gabbed all ovah me, mate”
Ryan, in the back:
Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 4.23.33 PM.png

Greg: “Now you’re gabbin’ all over yourself.”
Colin: “Och, I hate bein’ doon under.”
Greg: [cracks in mid-sentence]

Clive buzzes, and both Colin and Ryan crack. Colin just sort of shrugs it off.
Clive: “…Why have the Scots invaded Australia?”
Ryan is STILL cracking up in the back.

For the Woody Allen style, Colin wisely just lets Greg roll with his impression, a great one, until he tries to leave the scene, at which point Colin, STILL SCOTTISH, goes “OCH YOU’RE NO GOIN’ ANYWHERE.”

Dear lord, that was masterful. That was just Colin Mochrie doing something diabolical with a scene solely because he could. One of the best F&TS since…roughly the ‘You’re from Australia, aren’t you?’ one with Ryan and Josie.

Old Job, New Job – George takes his wife Greg to a restaurant; the waiter, Ryan, used to be a drugs squad officer.

Oddly enough, Clive sounds out the name of the game very slowly. Perhaps he made another ‘old knob new knob’ slip-up beforehand.


Ryan, as he pats down George: “Smoking or non-smoking?”
George: “I’m smoking right now, baby.”
[insert gritted teeth Clive from that Superheroes when Greg insulted him]

Ryan tried his best, but this was a weak one. No avoiding it. If anything, George looked bored.

Let’s Make a Date – Greg is the bachelorette. The bachelors are George (a builder on a construction site), Colin (trying to impress Greg with his seductive accents), and Ryan (suffers from tremendous mood swings).

Yeah, IMMEDIATELY you can tell that George isn’t especially into this.

Colin: “Bonjour”
Greg: “Ooh, Bonjour. En chante?” [Badly translated from French by an American]
Colin: “…yes.”
Ryan turns to crack at this. Clive starts laughing loudly at the seats.

Colin’s is great, because he keeps going through goofy accents…eventually landing on his Scottish again, giving a very sexy ‘Och Ayyyyyye”

This one is actually perfect for Ryan, because he’s fantastic at going from 0 to 10, then back to 0.

Greg manages to get most of these, though I love his guess of Colin as someone “whose accent is taking a train across Europe”

Fairly solid LMAD. Improvement on last show’s.

Foreign Film Dub – Colin and George act out the Turkish film “The Return of the Chicken;” translated by Ryan and Greg.

…George Wendt…doing Foreign Film Dub. Okay then.

Clive, fielding dialect suggestions: “…we’re not doing anymore Scottish tonight”

Clive, to the audience member that gives the title: “You’ve got a lot of suggestions in tonight. None of them have worked so far, but…”

A lot of George and Colin’s Turkish lines have some stereotypical ‘tongue-waggling’ things thrown in. Greg responds by adding a dryly-read one into one of his translations.

There’s a fantastic moment where Colin’s Turkish accent begins to get very Scottish…and then he wipes the spit from around his mouth.
Ryan: “…I miss the chicken as I miss the hair from my legs”
[this little exchange kills me:]
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Ryan: “It smells like goat pee.”
Greg: “You’re close! It’s chicken juice!”
Dear lord!

Not a perfect game, as George kept going in on Colin as if to make the translations difficult, but a very funny one, with some good choice lines.

Press Conference – Greg, George, and Ryan interview Colin, who claims that President Clinton exposed himself to him.

…and this went out BEFORE the Lewinsky scandal?

Not one of the better Press Conferences out there. A bit too quick, the questions weren’t memorable, and…given the topic, it didn’t do a whole hell of a lot.

Weird Newscasters – Greg is the anchorman; Ryan (constantly moans about his personal problems) is the co-anchor; George (gets excessively turned on by sport) is the sportscaster; and Colin (always wanted to be a chorus line choreographer) is the weatherman.

Colin cracks up at his quirk description. I don’t blame him.

The back and forth between Greg and Ryan is pretty good here, especially considering that it’s a contrast between them, and Ryan keeps bringing every topic down.

George: “Giant basketball stars…uh…I think it’s time we listed penis size in the program…”

Unsurprisingly, Colin absolutely owns his, going all over the stage, dancing and flailing his arms.
Greg: “So does that mean we can expect rain tomorrow, Colin?”
Colin, arms outstretched: “…I don’t know.”

This one worked, solely because all four seemed to be in sync, and there was enough that carried over, especially with Ryan’s, that it all worked out. Still, we’d have to wait a few years to see this game’s full potential.

Mission Impossible – Greg gives Ryan and Colin a mission to take the car to the car wash.

Greg: “Remember, if you two are caught or killed, that’s tough shit.”

Ryan goes to click off the tape.
Greg: “I’m not done yet!”
Fantastic. Ryan even seems impressed by this.

Colin suggests jumping out the window: “Put on the big puffy shoes!”
Ryan, cracking already: “RIGHT!”

They finally get into the car.
Colin: “Wait a minute…we better pretend we’re in England.”
With that, he hands the steering wheel to Ryan, who’s sitting on the driver’s side in England.

Ryan takes a gadget out of the front compartment…Colin puts it on his head.
Ryan: “…baseball hats? That oughta keep terrorists away…”
Colin: “But you press these buttons, and a cricket match comes on the front part, it bores the terrorists, and then you can take their stuff away…”

Clive ends the game on the image of Colin and Ryan being anally probed by car wash brushes.

Not a bad Mission Impossible, but not up to this series’ standard [“You’re gonna have to go in there!”]

Overall: Like the last show, better than its previous episode, but only by…not being its previous episode. This one had one classic game, F&TS, and a few good games like Weird Newscasters and Foreign Film Dub, which has been getting better lately, but…overall, a lot of games tonight were marred by George’s unfamiliarity with the Whose Line structure. He, once again, didn’t really work in any games, and only had one or two lawful moments. Meanwhile, Colin had a career night, with both the Scottish runner and some all out fantastic performances in scenes.

Show Winners: All four
Best Performer: Colin. Och Aye.
Worst Performer: George. Oy Vey.
Best Game: Film and Theatre Styles. A classic.
Worst Game: Press Conference. Pretty forgettable.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E15, or BECAUSE…..NOW THEN NOW THEN NOW THEN

Onto another Whose Line, giving us another rendition of the Brad-Steve-Ryan-Colin taping that’s been used in Episode 9, which was kind of a letdown. Hopefully this one has better material.

This show even uses the same panelist intros as E9, which…I mean, they’re still funny…

Superheroes – Women and wives are causing trouble the world over, but here to save the day are Constipation Man (Colin), Embarrassed About Your Erection Boy (Ryan), Captain Menu (Brad), and Captain Crotch-Grabber (Steve).

Clive asks for suggestions for Colin, and the audience is raring to go
Clive: “Either Impotence Man or Constipation Man. Can we perhaps get a little more elevated than that?”
Audience member: “No Hair Man!”
Colin: [begins to angrily walk into the audience]
Clive: “…I don’t find that especially funny…”

For crisis, a teenager yells out “WIFE TROUBLE”
Clive: “…a bit young to realize that, are you?”
They even get a nice zoom shot on this kid, who looks like his folks dragged him to this taping.

Colin, of course, nails the physicality. I love his little grunted pause right before “IF…only my super friends…”

And then Ryan NAILS his as well. Of course Colin gives Ryan a penis joke, as he knows he’s great at them. The best one is when he puts his arms down, then mimes being hit in the face, before pushing it back down.

There’s an even better moment, as Brad is telling everyone about the specials, Ryan has the erection pop out again, and…well, it goes up Brad, as he moves around with Ryan. Very lowbrow, but still hysterical.

Brad has been working with Steve for so long that he knows he’d benefit from a superhero name like ‘Captain Crotch-Grabber’. So Steve gleefully starts grabbing everyone’s crotches. Brad even cracks up at the amount of force Steve uses.

Even funnier, when he goes to grab Ryan’s, Ryan has to specify ‘it’s up here’, and Steve just…grabs it up there. The audience gives him a long ovation for this.

The problem doesn’t get solved, but this scene was so ridiculous that it deserves some credit. The runners with Ryan’s erection and Steve grabbing crotches just made me laugh insanely hard.

Let’s Make a Date – Brad is the bachelorette. The bachelors are Steve (a leprechaun), Colin (becoming increasingly ill), and Ryan (hates people not finding him hilarious).

Colin’s increasing food poisoning reminds me of the old Carell-Colbert sketch ‘Waiters Who Are Nauseated by Food’. He’s just getting more and more nauseous as the scene goes on.

There’s not a ton to this one other than Colin’s nauseousness and Ryan’s annoyance at Colin not getting his jokes.

Brad guesses Ryan is a ‘part stand up comic/part gynecologist’, which sounds more like something that would be a quirk on modern whose line. Possibly one of the ones Ron West would write.

Secret – Colin and Ryan play the Lone Ranger and Tonto. The secret is hidden in the gun holster.

With this setup, I am reminded of the Secret scene from S10 of the US run. Especially from Ryan’s opening line:
Ryan: “Buffalo come.”
Colin: “…you didn’t really have to put your ear in it to know that…”

Ryan: “You…hear that from Silver, kimosabe?”
Colin: “He’s a horse, he doesn’t talk!”
Ryan: “He talked to me, kimosabe. He tell me all about you.”
Ryan: “He say you heavy, and butt sweaty.”

Another one where Ryan has to come up with the secret: “…cocktail olives, kimosabe…”

Ryan rationalizes that the two of them should have a drink sometime.
Ryan: “This side, small onion.”
Colin: “Anything to drink?”
Ryan: “No.”
Ryan, in a moment of genius, gestures to the buffalo…ejaculate from earlier: “Well… No.”

Then, in another moment of genius, Ryan drops his Tonto accent for a moment, then tries to cover for it.
Colin: “Waaait a minute. What’s this makeup?”
Ryan: “…Allo, gov…”
Colin, knowing how to screw with Ryan: “Tonto…I’m guessing you’re from England…”
Ryan, post-crack: “…Well, hopefully I can clear that up, yes.”

Colin: “Well, then what is your real name.”
Ryan, without a better idea: “…LORD PIGLY.”

A phenomenal, masterful Secret game, taking so many turns, and coining so many great lines. I’m surprised more people don’t talk about this one.

Clive: “Well, later on, we’ll be doing a survey to see which is least convincing: Ryan’s english accent or Ryan’s Tonto accent.”

Foreign Film Dub: Colin and Brad act out the film “The Return of the Killer Tomatoes” in Polish; Steve and Ryan translate.

Ryan: “You know, I can’t remember, how many of us does it take a to change a lightbulb?”
Colin responds in a semi klingon-esque Polish
Steve: “Never mind that, I’m pissed.”

Steve: “Where have all the cabbages gone?”
Ryan: “I gave them to Susan as an engagement present.”
Colin: [very dramatic read]
Steve: “…Susan, with the big tits?”

Ryan does his usual ‘go on a very long monologue after a very short line’ bit with Brad, which he’s amused by.
Steve, being Steve, responds with “Pardon?”
Ryan, at the verge of cracking: “It’s not important, we must stop the tomatoes!”

A much better FFD scene, mostly because all four seemed to be on the same page, and because Steve was doing some really funny translations.

Props – Ryan and Brad vs. Steve and Colin

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Colin: “Now…you just follow…the M15…”

A fairly standard round of props, with only a few ‘stranger than usual’ responses.

Song Styles – Brad sings a love song about Angela, who works at a video shop.

Brad: “…That’s a good rhyming name.”
[Hey, at least it’s not Neroshi…]

Brad: “I started singing this little song
And she said ‘why don’t we bring some porno videos along…”

A very one-note song from Brad, focusing more on the smut aspect than anything else.

Film Dub – Ryan, Colin, and Steve are at the barber’s.

Steve starts the scene by dubbing a traditional Japanese samurai type with long hair…as Jimmy Savile. Alright then.

Colin: “Hey, barber, my friend needs a haircut.”
Steve: “I…could fix it for you.”

This is just an insanely silly, nonsensical scene, with just the repetition of Steve’s ‘NOW THEN NOW THEN NOW THEN’ getting more and more laughs as it goes on.

Definitely an amusing one. I don’t see how enjoyable this is for you if you A.) haven’t heard of Jimmy Savile, or B.) have heard of what Jimmy Savile HAS DONE, but I definitely laughed.

Sports Commentators – Steve and Brad commentate on Ryan and Colin, competing barbers sharing the same equipment.

More with barbers. I wonder if Jimmy Savile will pop up in this one as well?

Ryan just…goes and cuts Colin with a razor
Steve: “Now, he has done that before, in last year’s semi-finals.”
Brad: “Well, he is the demon barber of Fleet Street.”
Points to Brad for a killer reference there.

Brad, beginning to lose it: “He’s actually…disemboweling him. I haven’t ever seen that!”

Not a great playing of this one, though it had some good moments.

Hoedown: BarristersĀ 

Once Clive announces this one, both Ryan and Brad essentially faint at their seats. Steve sarcastically kicks his legs.

Steve: “I was doing my final speech, it was going really well.
When the judge fell asleep…BLOODY HELL!”
An actual good Hoedown verse from Steve! Miracles never cease.

Colin has a verse about being sued for impotence, with the punchline “luckily they couldn’t make it stand up in court.” This gets applause. Ryan, for an extra five seconds, shakes his head, wondering how he’s gonna top that.

Ryan’s has a very simple verse, saying he’s going to jail because “I’m being represented by Clive Anderson.” We’re beginning to get into the realm of Hoedowns where, when Ryan doesn’t know what to say, he’ll just slam the host.

Overall: Better than E9, but still generally an inoffensively good show, rather than a great one. There were a ton of good games, like Superheroes, Secret and Foreign Film Dub, but a lot of the show had an undercurrent of ‘this was too disjointed to air the first time out’. Several games, like Props, Sports Commentators, Let’s Make a Date and Song Styles, were just too uneventful for E9, and the aforementioned highlights were probably too raunchy [Need I refer you to Embarrassed About His Erection Boy]. Still, regardless of its stop-start nature, this was a fun show, and there’s a number of games here that I’ll come back to.

Show Winners: Steve and Ryan
Best Performer: Colin by a nosehair. Everyone had an even number of game wins, but Colin sneaks away with the win thanks to his Hoedown verse.
Worst Performer: I’m only going with Brad because the games he excelled in weren’t the strongest ones of this episode.
Best Game: Secret. I mean, come on.
Worst Game: Props. Very weak round.