Well, with this episode we FINALLY hit the halfway point of Season 2. And what better way to celebrate that throwing in another recurring fourth seater?
From what I’ve heard, competition was fierce to become the replacement for Denny Siegel as long-term female semi-regular. I feel as though Karen Maruyama was considered, but was only interested in doing one show per season, which…wouldn’t last. And I’ve heard rumors that Heather Anne Campbell, pre-Midnight-Show (and yes, pre WL), auditioned at this point as well, but didn’t get it, and as compensation remained part of the Drew’s Improv All-Stars network, eventually joining Improv-A-Ganza.
You could honestly link any mid-2000s WL-esque name to these auditions. Julie Larsen? Sure. Kaitlin Olson? Why not. Kathy Kinney? Please dear god no, but probably. All that matters is that Kathy Greenwood, Toronto improv mainstay and veteran of Second City and This Hour has 22 Minutes (which means, big shock, she knew Colin before WL), got the job.
Kathy’s tenure on WL has arguably become the most misunderstood. She’s remembered by most fans of the US edition as ‘…the woman’. Because she never did Hoedowns, or singing games, or often didn’t contribute much to quick-fire/all-four games, a lot of people wrote off her presence on the show as obligatory. And if that is the case…blame the producers.
My theory, as well as the theory of many other whosers on here, is that the producers wanted a fourth-seater that wouldn’t upstage Ryan, Colin or Wayne. I know what you’re thinking- Chip, Greg, Brad, even Jeff Davis were all allowed to upstage the big three and stayed on the show. But, due to the 2000s-era sexism that…has passed into this decade sadly, the producers didn’t think audiences would like a dynamic, outwardly funny lady. Look at S2 as evidence- they got great, outward material from Josie Lawrence, Denny Siegel and eventually Karen Maruyama. The one female performer who takes a more passive stance, and lets the other 3 upstage her more, gets extended for 3 more seasons. Funny, eh?
And to curtail this rant slightly, this is a trend that’s continued to the CW version, with Heather Anne Campbell and Nyima Funk being emphasized less than the three men, to the point where this past batch of US tapings featured no female fourth-seaters.
Kathy Greenwood is a very funny, and skilled, presence on Whose Line, and my hope is that these reviews end up vindicating her status a bit. She’s more than just ‘the woman’ on WL. She could, when given the opportunity, throw the ‘big boys’ for a loop whenever she wanted.
Rightright, onto E20. This is the first of a taping that will give us some definite gems. Also, Colin’s wearing a shirt here that he will also wear on a very famous S3 episode.
Questions Only: wedding at a nudist colony
Wayne: “Does this look good?”
Kathy: “…my goodness, you have to ask?”
Colin, coming onstage: “…can you help me with my tie?”
Kathy has a great line with ‘well if THIS is where you wanna put it…”
Then she wonders why Drew is buzzing, realizes what game she’s playing, and walks off.
Ryan: “Guess who’s the best man?”
Colin: “Can I have three guesses?”
Ryan, suddenly sung: “WHY DON’T YOU TELL ME YOU LOOOOOVE MEEEEE?”
Colin: “…what the hell was that?”
Ryan: “Any idea how to keep these pigeons off here?”
Colin: “Can you look less like a worm?”
Ryan: “what’s THAT supposed to mean?”
Colin: “what do you think it means?”
Ryan: “…WERE YOU INVITED HERE?”
Colin, so quickly: “who can say?”
Kathy is still having trouble keeping doing questions, but…to her credit, she’s doing a great job trying to keep scenes going. Then Ryan comes on and does a question version of the line Kathy just said.
Colin: “How can you tell her apart from all the other women?”
Ryan: “…aren’t you the minister?”
Colin: “Isn’t the collar a dead giveaway?”
Ryan: “why…JUST a collar??”
Wayne: “HAVE YOU SEEN MY PIGEON?”
He then takes it off the end of….yeah, and strokes the pigeon
Ryan: “…heh heh heh…”
BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ
A very fun game of this, but it reminded me of a UK playing in that nothing really got going unless Ryan and Colin were on together.
Sound Effects: In the Wild West, tough new sheriff Colin, on an urgent mission to clean up the town, arrives at the saloon
Drew, lampshading, handing the mic to Ryan: “…we got him his own microphone, because he SPITS SO MUCH…”
Colin cracks at being called ‘New Sheriff Colin’
Ryan, offscreen: “another sheriff?”
I believe this refers to either Film, TV and Theater Styles, which must have been filmed before this, or another game that went unaired. Either way, it seems from this that Colin did not play the sheriff for the first time this game.
The obvious joke: Colin rides in, gets off horse…horse runs off. Then he gets back on, skids to a halt, ties him up…and shoots him. Already, he’s off to a rousing start
Colin: [pushes open doors]
Ryan’s having a guy playing the piano as Colin comes in. Colin comes over and slaps the piano player. Kathy AUDIBLY laughs.
Genius move by Colin. He asks for a drink, but the bartender keeps sliding them past him, breaking the glasses. So he inflates his glove, asks for a drink, and it slides right into his hand. That is perfect
In the midst of what could be a brawl, there’s a feminine sound coming from next to Colin. So he takes a moment, dips her around and kisses her, then returns.
Colin does the whole ‘throwing the gun in between both hands’ trick…except he loses control of the gun and hits the guy. So many fun gags in this one
Colin goes to dip his girl again
Ryan, gruff voice: “HEY, WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA!”
Colin gets ready to draw again
Colin: […slowly pulls up his belt]
Ryan: [does piano guy again]
Colin: [shoots him]
Kathy’s loving this as well
FANTASTIC playing of this, one of my personal favorites so far. So many really good gags.
Drew, looking over the mic: “…I’ve seen less germs on the pole at the strip club”
Ryan: “That’s why I use protection on the mic”
Drew: “Man, this thing is soaked….if I had a nickel for every time I heard that…”
Ryan: “YOU’D HAVE A DIME…”
Props: Ryan & Kathy vs. Colin & Wayne
Colin does his first ‘knocking the cane away from Tiny Tim’ joke.
Ryan: “…what do you mean ‘punk’s dead’?”
Colin: “…you ordered some green tea?”
OKAY, BILL BAILEY…
Not a spectacular props. Kathy didn’t do a lot, which…is kind of the theme so far tonight.
Newsflash: Ryan and Kathy in the studio, Colin in the field in front of maggots
I love Ryan’s initial reactions here:
I mean, the jokes aren’t selling this so far- it’s just the audience’s absolute repulsion, and eventually it hits Kathy and Ryan:
I’m not screencapping this, but there’s a shot of like a rainbow full of maggots
Ryan, without any words: “…wellllll LOOK AT THE FESTIVE COLORS…”
Ryan: “Colin, I’d like to ask you another question, but I’m afraid if I open my mouth I might vomit.”
Colin: “Ya mind if I eat?”
Drew has to stop this at once, and thankfully Colin gets it spot-on.
This was…not dialogue-wise funny, but it was so much fun watching Kathy, Ryan, Drew and the audience squirm while Colin just stood there. It was frigging great.
Greatest Hits: Songs of the Attorney
…oh yeah, this is Cece Worrall’s first show. That’s cool.
Colin: “Hi, we’ll soon return you to the dyslexic theatre production of ‘Bitty Bitty Chang Chang…”
I love Colin’s delivery of the first song, “SUE HIM. SUE HIM BIG.”
Wayne’s yiddish folk song is surprising good. He gets the all-over-the-place octave and the occasional dancing down. Fun stuff. He even finishes by saying ‘CALL ME SOMETIME.’
Ryan: “Suddenly I feel like havin’ a matzah!”
Colin: “Oh, I miss my boobie!”
Drew cackles at this. As someone with jewish relatives, I can see why.
Wayne’s jugband number has a very good ending- he pauses for a measure, and is about to do a jug solo, but…the second he does, the music stops. He takes about .5 seconds to crack at this, and goes “MY JUG BROKE!”
Drew loves this
Ryan: “JUST FLIP DISC 1 OVER…and you get the other half of that song”
Colin: “It also comes with ‘Dick Clark’s Practical Jokes & Jugband Bloopers”
On a price joke, Colin throws in a ‘what about us who only have ONE network show?’
Drew nods at this
Colin, with an immortal monologue: “When I was a young boy, I had a dog named Joe, and whenever he’d get too far away, I’d put on a Yoko Ono record and he would come running back quickly. And luckily…that song is on this album.”
I love the nervous laughter from the audience here, and Wayne. Like “…they’re really gonna do a Yoko Ono song?” Drew’s dying, Wayne’s struggling, and Colin’s completely straightfaced, and knowing the right times to take a pause
Colin: “…..the GREAT YOKO ONO ATTORNEY HIT…”
And now I’m gone
I love Wayne’s reaction here. He’s doubling over, and like…he really has to sing this.
I’ll give Wayne credit…he does know about Yoko’s brand of batshit performance art music, like belting out the title and then banging a random gong.
A very strong GH game, even if it’s below the caliber of a few of the greats this season.
Foreign Film Dub: Kathy and Drew act out the Swedish film Bikini Jones, translated by Ryan and Colin
When we pan over for audience suggestions, you can hear Ryan audibly going “Look out, Snow”. I don’t even think it’s like Colin going “AAAALICE IN WONDERLAND” in order to cover for an audience member not yelling it out during pickups. I think Ryan was just…goofing around? Maybe yelling for an audience member that wasn’t being heard? It’s not even like Tyson & Lincoln where he’s making his own suggestion, either.
Drew, making fun of what they would have gone with: “Oh, Look Out, Snow- A BIKINI JONES MOVIE.”
Wayne: “A Quinn Martin Production”
Wait…so Wayne wasn’t kidding about being a latchkey kid. He must have watched a lot of Barnaby Jones to sneak in that insanely obscure, but still funny, reference.
Kathy needs to figure out that she should wait for Drew’s line to be translated in order to say her line, but…she’s great at faking languages, as we’ll find out in these games.
Drew takes off his suit jacket, with his mic hopefully attached to his shirt this time
Ryan: “I bet you can’t wait to see my thong!”
Drew cracks in the middle of a faked line
Ryan: “I love you so very much, but I’ve had too many meatballs.”
Drew pulls a Sid Caesar and throws a random english word into the sentence, saying ‘IKEA’ halfway through. Not the last time he’d do this.
Drew: “harta farta…unbelievable prices…”
Ryan, not even bothering: “…THANK YOU.”
Drew ends up undoing his suspenders, which…causes the mic to fall for the second time this season
Ryan: “Sadly I have but one nipple to give…”
A pretty good game of this, even if it wasn’t entirely laugh-out-loud material.
Overall: Not a bad show, and definitely above ‘okay’ levels, but…I was missing a bit of oomph from this one. It just felt like there was one dynamite game missing that could have made this better, or even something small. As is, we got an assortment of perfectly fine games, with an INSANE Sound Effects, and a pretty good Greatest Hits. We also got a Kathy Greenwood performance that, while fine and lawful, purposefully didn’t take away too much from the main three. She was very passive tonight, made some rookie mistakes, and…well, did exactly what the producers wanted her to. I did enjoy this show though, and there’s some very fun bits throughout, even in Newsflash, but…suffice to say this taping has better material. As we’ll find out in exactly 2 shows.
Show Winners: Kathy, Colin & Ryan
Best Performer: Colin, easily
Worst Performer: Kathy, for struggling in her first time out.
Best Game: Sound Effects.
Worst Game: Props, once again, came up short.
COMING UP NEXT: Man, have we really gone 8 shows without Chip Esten? That must be why we’ve had so many bad shows in this stretch. Let’s get him back, and let’s make this another show from the taping that gave us E1 and E5