Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S02E26, or I Said Punt!

I feel like a lot of the episodes this season can be separated by their fourth seater in terms of content. For instance, a majority of Chip Esten’s shows have risen to the top, the majority of Greg Proops’ shows have fallen towards the bottom, and Brad Sherwood’s shows have made up a lot of the middle of my rankings. He’s had some great shows this season, but…mostly, a lot of them are okay. I say this knowing that we’re going to get some classic Brad episodes in the next few seasons.

Anyway, I’d already covered two shows from the taping that brought us E26 (E2 and E18, which are pretty evenly meh for me), so…here’s one more. Hope it’s at least an improvement.

So, Drew’s opening spiel this time is…a trainwreck. He stumbles over some words, then goes back on his words again. The guy’s been doing this spiel every episode for at least 3 times, and he still doesn’t have it down?
Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 7.44.21 PM.png

Drew, afterwards: “That’s why I’m just the host, I’m not playing any of the games”
Wayne’s dying after all this.

Let’s Make a Date: Wayne must choose from Brad, in a 1960s teen beach movie, Colin, Dr. Jekyll desperate not to turn into Mr. Hyde, and Ryan, going through all the stages of marriage with Wayne

Colin’s is a masterclass of silly faces, going from straight-faced to goofy and then back in a manner of seconds.

Ryan’s is good for his growing bitterness, which he’s done a million times.

Brad, turning to Colin: “Get a load of the forehead beard on THIS dude…”
Colin: [reaches over to strangle Brad, but stops himself]

Then, right into Wayne’s 2nd question for him, Colin snaps and his hand tears out Brad’s heart abruptly. It’s a surprising, and silly, moment.

Colin, after trying and failing to revive Brad: “…oh, I was never very good”

Ryan ends with ‘meeting someone else’, Colin. A lot of these gags feel like they’re done better in better LMADs.

Wayne doesn’t get Colin’s immediately
Drew: “Well, what’s the most famous one”
Colin, into his hand, subtly: “DOCTORJEKYLL”
Drew even repeats this
Wayne, not even remotely getting it: “Oh, he was Lon Cheney”

Drew: “Ryan, Colin and Wayne, you married guys, I’m gonna give you 500 points each and a free pass to a strip club”
Brad: “…whaaat about the bachelor?”
Ryan: “Keep the car running”

Not a favorite LMAD of mine. It felt very weak, and a lot of moments meant to get laughs came up kinda weak. Colin’s was more interesting than funny, even though he was great in this.

Scene to Rap: Towering Inferno

Drew: “Because when I think of rap music, I think of everybody but the people in front of me right now…”

Drew literally has to yell at the audience to get them to stop suggesting things. He just repeats ‘TOWERING INFERNO’, gradually more annoyed, until they stop, even pressing the buzzer a few times

Brad: “I’ve got something scarier and more
OJ Simpson’s on the 32nd floor!”

Ryan does have a fun move, coming in and announcing ‘this building’s only 3 stories high’
Brad: “You’re the first guy that I’ve seen/are you Fred Astaire or Steve McQueen?”

Colin has a very silly verse that kind of trails off, and he looks over at Ryan, having nothing left, muttering “let’s…get jiggy?” And then he dances. This, needless to say, works.

Ryan has another nice move, helping people get down, and “grab my hose.”

Drew, postmortem: “…I’m gonna take 5 million points…and I’m gonna send ’em to Canada so I can teach people how to rap.”
Colin: “I’m jiggy with it.”
Good god, I love him

Slightly above the average Scene to Rap, but…still kinda odd in parts

Props: Ryan & Brad vs. Colin & Wayne

Another early-youtube upload.

In a Pinocchio one, Wayne turns to Drew going “Hey, Geppetto, that’s a fine boy!”. This may be the first reference to a certain Wonderful World of Disney movie that’s airing between seasons 2 and 3.

Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 8.17.18 PM.pngColin: “Perhaps you’ve heard of me, ze nozzle?”

Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 8.17.50 PM.pngBrad: “…I was peeing in the blizzard…”

A very okay Props

Moving People: Ryan is Superman and he’s about to rescue Colin, who is Lois Lane, from the cliff where she is hanging

Colin immediately panics at the ‘where she is hanging’ part, as that’d imply a lot more moving. So as we start the scene, and Colin just goes “hurry, Superman, luckily my pantyhose snagged on the branch above…”

Ryan, with his hands up: “I’M GOING TO FLY NOW. OFF THE GROUND.”
His mover turns him towards Colin
Ryan: “…oh, hi, you’re right there…”

Colin: “…this is hard air I’m walking on…”

I do love how Ryan’s talking about why he’s wrong for Colin, all while they’re entangled in an embrace. Colin’s mover eventually just turns Colin’s head towards Ryan’s face, making it even more contradictory…then randomly turns his head back. He’s just as surprised

I love the goofiness of the scene ending with Ryan removing his arms and Colin falling back, but…honestly, this game was too short. By the end, both movers had really gotten the hang of things, and were working double time, which is what you want from this game.

Ryan has a great move- he shakes his mover’s hand, then when he goes to hug Colin’s mover, he hugs above her, missing her because she’s so damn short. It’s a goofy move, but knowing Ryan it’s pretty classy.

Greatest Hits: Songs of Football

Funny that I’m watching this during week 2 of the 2019 NFL season. Go Eagles.

Ryan: “Hi, I’m Neil Patrick Harris.”
[A rare Whose Line gag that has aged extremely well]

Colin: “Football and music, music and football- no matter what order you put it in, it makes no sense.”

Colin: “Barbara Streisand, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, these are just some of the people whose relatives play on this CD.”

The disco number is pretty good, and Wayne and Brad have some good lyrics, but Brad goes for some notes he can’t really hit comfortably here.

This marks the first of many Ryan rhetorical questions that end badly:
Ryan: “Colin, what comes to mind when I say the word ‘kremlin’?”
Colin: “…Jack…Sprat.”
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I laughed SO HARD at this reaction from both of them.

The Russian number is pretty fun, with both working with accelerating tempos, and Brad even making a Brett Favre reference

Colin: “If you order now, we’ll send you one of Ryan Stiles’ shoes free, which comfortably seats four.”

I do love Colin’s RHCP song title, “I SAID PUNT.” Said so dryly, as well.

Brad’s refrain of ‘GET IT DOWN THE FIELD’ is…perfectly RHCP. They’re definitely channeling earlier, Give-it-away era Peppers than slower, chiller jam-band RHCP (which…GOOD!), but this is still a pretty cool one.

This is also s a great one if you want to see Brad and Wayne narrowly avoiding saying the c-word. You’re not allowed 9 of those in the US.

A very solid GH round.

Questions Only: In an office where rumors are circulating

The first bit of this with Colin and Wayne is so natural that it doesn’t feel like QO.

Colin, suddenly: “How much for the donkey?”
Wayne: “How much are you willing to pay?”
Colin: [breaks]
BUZZ

Drew has a nice move in establishing the donkey point as canon, and making this scene have a central plot, which is kinda rare for this game

Wayne: “Are you gonna cry?”
Drew: “Will you hold me if I do?”
Wayne: “…are ya…YEAAH…”
buzz

Ryan: “You new here?”
Drew: “Who wants to know?”
Ryan: “…you wanna help me kill the boss?”

This ended…VERRRRY clumsily. First Ryan made it a Drew Carey joke, then Drew said a line that didn’t make sense, then he took forever, then the round caved in on itself. It was fine up until that point, but…not a great ending.

Overall: Well, this show had a standard of forgettability to live up to from its siblings, and damn if it didn’t deliver. Other than Greatest Hits and Moving People, not a hell of a lot to take from this one. Lots of clumsy moments, ESPECIALLY FROM DREW, as this show is bookended by some lousy Drew reads. A very standard game displacement as well- Colin and Ryan carried the bulk of the games, Brad barely stood out, Wayne had a few good moments, and Greatest Hits was the standout. So…this is basically every other weak WL of the season- nothing’s too memorable except Greatest Hits.

Show Winner: Brad
Best Performer: Colin had the funniest bits
Worst Performer: Brad kept to support roles
Best Game: Greatest Hits, without a ton of competition
Worst Game: Questions Only. Kind of died late.

Coming Up Next: It’s very weird knowing that while we have several more shows from Brad, Chip, Denny and Karen left in S2, this next show is our penultimate Greg Proops show of the year. We burned through ’em all this quickly. At least we get some changes in pace for this one.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S02E25, or Sometimes I Change from C to 3

On the…admittedly lengthened heels of the very strong E24, we move onto a Greg Proops show that came from the same taping as E23, the Africa show. Is there anything good left from there? We’re about to find out.

Superheroes: Too Hot
Greg: Chocolate Bunny Man
Ryan: Mimics Everyone Behind Their Back Boy
Colin: Captain Lounge Act
Wayne: Can’t Control his Legs Man

I love the knowing looks Greg and Drew give each other, and the camera, once they finalize the name-crisis combo. Like ‘there’s only one way this can end’

Greg, eventually: “This could be devastating for me, I could end up a bowl of bunny soup! My god, my tail’s drooping as it is!”
Then, of course, Greg tastes some of it, which is a pretty good improv move
Greg: “I never realized what a delicious creamy center I have!”

Then Ryan arrives and tastes more of Greg. Weirdest part is this doesn’t seem too sexual or cannibalistic. They’re just…eating Greg.

I’ve always adored Colin’s Captain Lounge Act, just asking everyone where they’re from [“THERE’S NO TIME FOR THAT!”], and doing some off-key crooning that Ryan mimics behind Colin

Colin stalls slightly on naming Wayne, and slows down as he thinks of it, “My very good friend….can’t…control his legs man…”

I love the visual of Wayne essentially riverdancing and Ryan just…also riverdancing behind him

A relatively standard Superheroes, only some little moments stood out

Sound Effects: a teenage boy goes on his first prom date

Or as Drew calls it, “Sound F….effects.”

Also, note that before Sound Effects, everybody’s already really loose, really giggly. Perhaps SFX happened after African Chant in the taping?

Drew, reading the suggestion: “Remember those days, when ya had hair and all that?”
Colin: [glares at Drew for a milosecond]

I love Colin’s eventual decision to spiff up his chesthair, and the excited ‘HAAAAA’ that Ryan emits because of it

There’s the usual ‘car doesn’t start’ gag, and I’m surprised Ryan doesn’t pull his usual move of the car speeding off right after Colin gets out. Colin does have a nice move of hopping on a bike.

[door opens]
Ryan: “AIIIIIGH!”

This is a pretty silly and violent one, involving the girlfriend getting stabbed by the corsage, then getting plucked onto the bike the wrong way, then falling off the bike as a bus passes. So silly.

Not one of my favorites, but pretty alright.

Song Styles: Wayne sings to Linda, a geographer, as MC Hammer

Drew, perhaps referring to recent legal troubles, refers to Hammer as ‘the broke brother himself’, which gets Wayne laughing

Wayne: “Have you been to India
Do you know cartography
And just for laymen out there
that’s making maps, you see!”
That’s a fun line. Greg loves that one

WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT. HOLD ON HERE.
So Wayne goes “tell me this country- India [dance break] EUROPE [dance break]”
NOW…I know Drew is more of a punchline than Wayne on this show, at least in S2, but…how does Drew get shat on for calling Africa a country while Wayne clearly calls Europe a country here and most of the community doesn’t remember this. I honestly forget if anybody calls him out on this, too.

Wayne: “And maybe by the third date I can touch your Mountain range”

And, as Drew cuts to commercial right afterward, there’s no blowback. I can hear Ryan and Wayne murmuring about something faintly as Drew signs off, but…I’m not sure what. I honestly think Song Styles was filmed before African Chant. If this had happened after African Chant, Drew would have stopped the game, gone HAHA, and then he would have been put in the same category as Drew. Colin seems like the only person who picked up on it when it happened, as he turned to Ryan in the back- later in SFAH, when he does his ‘the difference between continents and countries’ joke, perhaps he’s referring to both Wayne AND Drew, even if it’s a Drew-centric round.

Look, this is a solid game, and there are a ton of nice lines from Wayne, but…y’all whosers have let me down by not making this a fun footnote of the Africa episode. I can’t be the first to notice this, but the fact that people don’t make this connection often…saddens me.

The Millionaire Show: German Themed: Greg hosts, Ryan plays, Wayne’s in the studio, Colin’s on the phone

Ah yes, there goes the entire second act of this show.

This one seems very early in the game’s run, as I feel like this taping shot before the ‘jar of almonds’ one did, as they’re very slow in getting to places. Also, they already premiered a game this taping [African Chant], so maybe they knocked out multiple new ones

Greg nails the style pretty well, though nearly stumbling on changing the title to ‘Machionaire’

Greg: “I’m here alone, so zat lady in the morning Kathie Lee is not vith me, and I feel FREE!”

Greg, as he explains the rules: “…or if my accent slips to another country, you may call me on zat…”

Greg: “It’s a multiple choice question, like all de other ones”
Ryan and Greg: [simultaneous maniacal laughter]

Greg has an odd move in making this a ‘what is 2 + 2’ kind of thing, because the humor can come from places other than contestant idiocy, but his multiple choice answers are great: “A, Seven. B, …SHUT UP PIG, C…I VOULD LIKE TO INVADE POLAND…or D….FOOOUR.”

I’m getting a kick out of the German ‘ja’-ing from everybody tonight. I also love how Ryan’s german accent isn’t as good as Wayne’s.

I love Greg’s subversion of the ‘stern Regis’ trope, where he asks ‘is that your final answer’ in increasingly glaring anger, until we get this series of shots:
Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 9.23.57 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 9.24.05 PM.png

And then the tense back-and-forth here is very silly. This is where the game shines. It’s easy to do the same kind of game everytime you do Millionaire Show, but here is where the German subversion works.

Greg, reading out the answers again: “A., pork, B., that FESHTUNENAH NEIGHBOR OF MINE…”
and then disaster strikes
Greg, cracking: “…three…”
Then he realizes his mistake, clings desperately to composure, and goes to Ryan “…sometimes I change from C to 3.”

Ryan goes for a cheap joke by naming Colin’s character “HOGAAAAAAAN”
Colin, through the phone, responding in a perfect Colonel Klink impression: “…how can I HELP YOOOOU?”
Ryan, who somehow was NOT expecting this:
Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 9.29.47 PM.png
[I’m gone too]
Colin: “What can I DOOOOOO?”
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 9.31.33 PM.png

Ryan: “I NEED HELP VITH DE QUESTION, A B C D”
Ryan just shakes his head
Colin: “…ARE YOU SWEDISH??”
Ryan: [breaks again]
Drew is gone too

The Greg-Ryan tension’s even funnier the second time, with Greg adding “we have ways of making you CHANGE your answer”, and just getting tensely close to him, going through all four letters before Ryan gets to A, and Greg goes “ALRIGHT.”

So…this game was obviously meant to be the centerpiece, and in some ways it succeeded, but like its first iteration it was weak in places, solely because I feel like Greg, Ryan, and even Wayne were on different pages with how far the concept should go. In a game like this, I thought the questions themselves should relate to German things only the contestants would no, not going into Celebrity Jeopardy-esque stuff that have only the punchline of ‘this character’s an idiot’. I feel like it worked a little better than the A Jar of Almonds one, because instead of it just being about Ryan, all four were altered by the concept, and all four got some time to shine. And, of course, we had great dynamic moments between Ryan and Greg, and then Ryan and Colin. Where the last one was Brad dragging the game on his shoulders essentially, this one was slightly more even, in that Greg knew his strengths would be to have those tense back-and-forths with Ryan.

This game is still inherently flawed, in that there’s not a lot for Wayne, Colin, or even Ryan at times, to do, but…this one was a pretty funny centerpiece. Like last time, it was an uneven success, but it still made me laugh.

Hoedown: You’re Ugly

This has a funny start- Wayne’s about to start his verse, and then he realizes the audience isn’t even remotely clapping in time. He sort of squints out at them. This shot is even funnier, though:
Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 9.40.08 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 9.40.33 PM.png

They literally have to stop for about 10 seconds to make sure the audience knows how to clap in time. Greg, Colin AND Wayne are trying to help, and it takes them THIS LONG.

Wayne eventually gets the groove though, talking about an ugly date he went out with, ending his with “when that heffer was born, her mama should have pushed her back in”

Drew: “I met a girl in the nightclub, it was really dark
Thought I’d take her home…just for a lark
But when I saw her in the light, I ran a mile
Cause she looked…just like Ryan Stiles.”
HAAAAAH.
Drew, as he dances around with Wayne, does this little ‘hee-hee-hee-hee’ thing that I love.

Colin’s is amusing, just talking about being an ugly woman, and ending on a rare GOOD Lewinsky joke from this era: “The only person who’ll sleep me is the PRESIDENT”
I kinda love how he says the word ‘president’ in that verse.

Ryan: “I am so ugly that I’ll never have a lover
When I leave the house, all the dogs run for cover
I’m big and white and round, and my back is real hairy”
[he now sees the audience getting to the rhyme before he does, nodding and smiling]
Yes, you guessed it, my name is Drew Carey.”

At the very least, Drew and Ryan are laughing about this as they head back.

Pretty damn good hoedown, I will say. No bad verses in the lot.

Overall: Just simply an okay show. Honestly, I feel a show as nonessential as this one would be more at home in S6, with other essential rejects from S2 tapings. Not that this one was bad, but except for Song Styles and Millionaire Show, and also maybe Hoedown, I can’t really see a lot of this show that screams ‘second episode from a great taping’. Again, it’s an uneven show because of that mammoth Millionaire Show block, but it’s…fine. I’ll come back and watch Greg and Colin’s best bits.

Show Winner: Greg
Best Performer: Greg Proops, for making his heavy lifting very apparent in multiple games.
Worst Performer: Wayne, who aside from Song Styles was kind of absent from tonight’s strongest moments
Best Game: Millionaire Show, over Song Styles, because it had the most laughs. But this is still a flawed game.
Worst Game: Honestly, Sound Effects’ second half killed the momentum of its first half for me.

Coming Up Next: Speaking of shows that I didn’t think had much material left, another show from the taping that brought us episodes 2 and 18.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S02E24, or Have I Told You How Much I Love Working With You?

After a week of work-related shenanigans, I’m back with another WL. This is a personal favorite. Somehow it comes from the same taping as the Melissa show, and it’s still as good. That’s why I love S2, especially the Chip tapings.

Drew: “Welcome to Whose Line is it anyway, the show where-”
Ryan: [is still clapping]
Drew: “…thank you, Ryan.”

Superheroes: Out of Spam
Colin: Cheese Man
Ryan: Random Acts of Violence Boy
Chip: Captain Limbo
Wayne: Captain Hugs-a-lot

This has to be the fastest suggestion-to-written-on-card turnaround I have ever seen. Drew asks for suggestions, the guy yells ‘CHEESE MAN’, and before anyone else can yell anything out, Drew repeats it and writes it down. DAMN, that’s fast.

Again, it’s hard to hear things when audio tracks are layered, but I am 90% sure that after Chip and Ryan repeat the ‘out of spam’ suggestion, you can hear Chip say, audibly, ‘what is spam??”. Did Spam not hit the south?

Drew has so much delight in saying this: “Cheese Man…we’re out of Spam! What are we gonna do??”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 7.45.52 PM.png

I love the opening detail that Colin is drinking wine, and eating a bit of himself, because it’s always nice to pair a wine with cheese. THAT’s a funny, subtle bit, even before he goes “mm, that’s gouda!”

Colin: “I’ll need my super-friends quickly.”
[…]
Colin: “OR SLOWLY.”

Ryan eventually does enter, and starts poking holes in Colin.

Ryan: [punches Colin in the face repeatedly, then goes for the groin]
Ryan: “…sorry, that was rather random”

In a change of pace, Chip leaps in, takes a beat, and goes “…I’M HERE.”

Ryan’s adorning of Chip’s Captain Limbo is perfect, because Ryan can keep punching at Chip and Chip can limbo out of the way, going “MISSED ME!”

This is such a wholesome Superheroes, even with Ryan punching everything, and himself. Wayne comes in, hugs Chip, then adorably hugs Colin.

Then, in order to get out of being punched by Ryan, Wayne goes an alternate route:
Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 7.52.48 PM.png
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[Is it me, or is Wayne tackling a lot of people this taping?]

Then, as Wayne leaves, he reaches over Drew’s desk and tries to hug him. I love the detail of the desk lifting slightly off the ground at this point.

Ryan, leaving, apologizes to Colin, then headbutts him. Classic.

Colin: “I’ll go down to the schoolyard and give the children all the cheese I have, but…oh, no, I don’t give edam.”
He’s even shaking his head, knowing how awful that pun is. Ryan’s repeating it to him as he comes back to the seats with him.

A really fun playing of this. Everyone was on their game, and doing a lot of silly stuff to each other.

Title Sequence: Chip & Wayne sing ‘Satan and the Schoolgirl’, acted out by Colin & Ryan

This game finally premieres. It’s…an interesting one.

I love Ryan’s immediate reaction to this game: he shakes his head, and looks behind him, not believing this setup.

Drew announces the winning combo, ‘schoolgirl and satan’, and Ryan confusedly looks toward another part of the audience, who clearly had a satan one, and goes “…well then what was the OTHER Satan one???”
Drew, to the audience member: “…can I have your phone number for when the show’s over? ‘Satan and the Schoolgirl’…yeah, honey, I’d LOVE to play that with ya…”

A great detail: Ryan starts out the scene brushing ‘her’ hair, and by the time he starts applying lipstick, Chip sings about her character “brushing her hair”, so Ryan smirks and pivots back to brushing his hair.

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 8.00.36 PM.png[I’m gone!]
And the casualness of Chip saying “who should walk in her front door but Mephistopheles?”

I love the visual of Ryan gradually becoming more possessed, and Colin just smiling alongside.

I also love the end of this, when they do the ‘head against each other’ ending…and then Colin can’t get his horns unhooked.

A very cute, very fun number all-around. I feel like after a bit Colin and Ryan didn’t know what else to do (one point, Ryan looked over to Laura and Linda to see if they were doing another stanza), but they made it work, as did Chip and Wayne.

Drew, smirking: “…I smell a spinoff.”

Scenes from a Hat:

Drew: “Unlikely definitions found in Webster’s Dictionary”
Colin: “…’practical joke’, see ‘fooling someone…’fooling someone’, see ‘practical joke’.”
HA

Drew: “Inappropriate things to do with a loved one’s ashes”
Colin: [vaccums]
Drew, to the audience: “…it was inappropriate, what d’you want?”

I also love him going, immediately after “…in the same vein, “Bad things to say to someone on their deathbed”

Wayne: “…IT’S ME, DEATH-just kiddin!”

Drew, shaking his head: “Things you don’t want to see on your TV screen.”
Wayne: “…..DREW CAREY NAKED WRESTLING CHIMPANZEES!”
Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 8.09.08 PM.png

Chip: “….it’s Saaatan, and the schoolgi-”
Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 8.09.44 PM.png
HA

Drew: “Bad songs to serenade her with.”
Ryan: “…who?”
Drew: “her.”
Ryan: “…oh.”

Ryan, eventually: “…you’re…the…best I can get…”

Drew: “Lines you should not open a sermon with.”
Ryan: “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL???”
Colin: “…how’s it hangin?”
[I laughed WAY HARDER than I anticipated at this]
Chip: “LLLLLLET’S GET READY TO GOSPEEELLLLLLL!”
YES

A really fun round of this, with a lot of great scenes. So far, every game has been really solid

Narrate: Colin & Ryan are at a gas station

Colin, with an immortal opening line: “…he had a face that only a mother could love…if that mother was blind in one eye and had that sort of milky film over the other one…you know what I mean?…but still, he was my identical twin.”
Halfway through the line, Chip loses it in the back. Because of the badly placed ABC-family logo, I can’t tell if Ryan reacted at all while down on the floor

Ryan, still on the floor, to camera: “…as I was looking up his dress I knew who it was…”
Colin: [bends and tucks]

Colin: “Last time I saw him he tried to murder me. But when you kill someone by…chopping off their head, rolling him up in a carpet and burning it…ya better make sure they’re dead!”
Drew loves this line, as do I.

Ryan: “Apparently he’d forgotten why he was kicked out of time. The sheriff caught him giving his wife a lube job in late November.”
Colin: [bites lip]
Ryan: “I wasn’t gonna bring it up again, I knew it was a touchy subject with him”
Colin: [knows exactly what he’s about to do]
Ryan, returning: “…haven’t seen ya since the lube job-”
Colin, with PERFECT TIMING: “HEY. COME ON, WHAT THE HELL? NEVER MENTION THAT AGAIN”
Ryan, as Colin goes upstage: “…sorry, it slipped”
Absolutely perfect. That timing is why ABC banked on the Colin-Ryan duo

Colin: “…I overreacted.”

Another great Ryan moment, after Colin smacks Ryan’s nose, and Ryan says he’s not gonna let the pain show…then coming back downstage and crying.
[There’s an obvious cut between Ryan crying and Colin pulling out a gun]

Also, Colin pulls out a gun
Ryan: “…take it easy with the rivet gun.”
[I love this game]

Ryan, coming upstage: “What he didn’t was-know was, OR WAS KNOW…[weakly]…was that I was dyslexic!”
BUZZ

Drew: “Each a thousand you points for!”
Ryan: “…that made sense to me!”

SUCH a great scene. So many great lines, twists-and-turns, and that amazingly timed moment from Colin. This show’s on a roll.

Greatest Hits: Songs of the Pizza Place

Fun fact: a lot of early whosers used to just call this ‘Songs of Pizza’, which I always found amusing. Drew always asks for a location, so now he just asks for a food?

Ryan, for the second time this show, tries to skew the suggestions, even saying “Oh, I heard pizza!”
Drew, sighing: “…alright, fine, we’ll do pizza…”

Ryan: “You know, an interesting fact is that pizza was discovered, OR MADE FIRST, cause if it was discovered than it would be under a rock or something…”

Also, second game tonight having to do with cheese.

Wayne and Chip’s yodeling is, as predicted, pretty fun

Colin: “Oh, that brings back memories of…people being trapped in the snow and having to each each other…”

Colin, still on his college days: “Oh, I studied too, I studied very hard…I didn’t get very far, LOOK!”

Note that Colin has gotten both song titles so far, and he’s done them effortlessly. Remember this in a moment.

The college fight song cracked me up, just the seriousness of Chip’s expression as he’s doing these goofy lyrics and marching around.

I love watching the last segment as sort of an analysis, because I often try and locate the exact moment Colin realizes that Ryan has nothing, and I think it’s this:
Ryan: “…growing up in the…40s, as I did”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 8.36.03 PM.png
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[IT’S THERE. IT IS RIGHT THERE. LOOK AT THAT FACE. HE KNOWS! OHHH…HE *KNOWS*

Ryan: “It’s a doo-wop hit”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 8.36.25 PM.png
[I’m gone. He’s completely figured Ryan out. And right around here, Ryan realizes this:
Ryan: “I don’t know if YOU remember it…”
Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 8.37.50 PM.png
Colin, visibly shaking his head: “No, I don’t.”
Ryan: “I don’t either.”
Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 8.38.33 PM.png
Ryan: “It’s a Doo-Wop hit…and its title is-”
And now Colin realizes that he needs to give Ryan more time…but he needs to do so in a way that makes it GLARINGLY OBVIOUS TO EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM THAT RYAN HAS NOTHING:
Colin: “OH, THE ANTICIPATION IS INCREDIBLE. I BET IT’S GONNA BE SO HILARIOUS.”
Ryan: “Ohh…”

Ryan has to stifle his frustration. He asked Colin for help, and Colin couldn’t help him. Remember, he made a similar request back in UK S9, with ‘Lube Up’, but…it couldn’t happen here. He just turns to Colin and goes “…have I told you how much I love working with you?”
Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 8.42.45 PM.png

THEN, OUT OF NOWHERE, INSPIRATION STRIKES:
Ryan: “It’s that Doo-Wop hit: Keep the Buck!”
Ryan sighs…and then retaliates against Colin

Chip and Wayne’s doo-wop number might actually be my favorite song here. I love the energy, the musicality, the backup Chip does, and the final note. Cherry on top of a great GH.

Obviously wonderful. I do think it’s a tiny bit bottom-heavy with the banter, but the banter’s kinda good throughout, even if it does really lead to that ending.

90-Second Alphabet: At a zoo, tourist couple Colin and Drew rush up to zoo keeper Ryan to report that the animals are escaping, starting with Q

Drew: “QUICK! ANIMALS ARE ESCAPING!”
Ryan: “…really?”

Drew just…skips over the letter S. Which is a pretty important letter

Colin, finding an easy out: “…vipers.”

This is a silly scene, with some good bits like the name of it being ‘Just Very Strange Zoo’, but…overall, like usual, this game is kind of a momentum-killer.

Yeah, not a great ender, but there was definitely some charm. Least that made the ‘worst’ category easier to write.

Overall: One of my personal favorites, as I said, but…seeing this again, I’m reminded how wholesome and fun this one was, even in games like Narrate, where it just ends in a dyslexia joke, or Superheroes, where violence-man gets carried away by Captain Hugs-a-Lot. This proves how on everyone was during this taping, as these games are just as strong as the ones in Melissa’s episode. Lots of games here were classics, like SFAH, Title Sequence and Narrate, but I also love Superheroes for its cohesiveness and Greatest Hits for that epic Ryan/Colin moment. And…90-second-Alphabet was also in this episode.

Show Winners: Ryan & Colin
Best Performer: Colin swept the floor with everybody tonight
Worst Performer: Wayne was kinda quiet tonight
Best Game: This is too damned hard. As of right now, I’m saying Narrate, but…at any point in the future, I could change this to Superheroes, Scenes from a Hat or Greatest Hits,
Worst Game: 90-second alphabet. Even the best of shows have duds.

COMING UP NEXT: Two shows after the Africa show, we get another one from that taping.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S02E23, or The Difference Between Continents and Countries

It’s nice to know we’re in the midst of a hot streak. We haven’t had a bad show since E16, and since then we’ve had some great shows and some okay shows. Nothing worse.

So now, for this Greg Proops show, from a taping we haven’t seen anything from yet…let’s have another really damn good show. With a legendary running gag.

Drew: “And the winner has to do a little something special with me, and the loser has to go back to CANADA WHERE HE BELONGS.”
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.23.43 PM.png

Weird Newscasters: Greg anchors, Colin, a puritan who is convinced that Greg is a witch, co-anchors, Wayne, a knight looking to rescue a damsel in distress, does sports while Ryan, refuses to abandon his dream of performing in a Busby Berkeley musical, does weather

I love Ryan’s mouthing ‘WHAT??” when Drew gives him his.

Greg: “Mississippi changes its state motto to ‘hey, we’re all named Bubba’…”

Colin’s is too damn silly, just shouting at random about Beelzebub and Greg being a demon, and pivoting by ending with ‘GO…TO…heck.”

Colin: “OH, THOU TRULY ART THE DEVIL…excuse my spit!”

Wayne, of course, gets an audience member for his, prompting her to get on the ‘back of the horse’, but…he keeps moving and she stays there, as she wasn’t exactly sure how that mime worked. So he panicks as she’s fallen off.

Wayne’s ends with him chopping himself in half with his own sword, which seems like more of a Ryan ending

Greg: “And let’s throw it over to Ryan, at the…….stop…staring at me…”
Colin: “THOU HAS MADE ME NOT ABLE TO BLINK.”
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.32.00 PM.png

My favorite thing about Ryan’s is how he faces the weather board for the beginning of his, so he can do a full dramatic turn as he starts his number. That is…SUCH a 30s musical trope. And he absolutely nails his number too, dancing upstage and everything.

Then he goes up to the cameras, drops down, and starts doing this:
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.34.00 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.34.08 PM.png
This is…ridiculous

A very strong opener for this show, which is even funnier when you realize that, unlike a lot of the rest of the show, it has nothing to do with the runner.

African Chant: Wayne sings to CHRIIIISSSS the VFX Artist, while Ryan, Colin and Greg goof around in the background

And now we get to this game, which is the second or third playing of this game at a taping. Drew even mentions “I love this game, it’s kinda new this year..”
Colin taps Wayne on the leg, and Wayne defiantly stomps onstage, before breaking. Yeah, obviously they all kinda hate this one.

Drew, to the audience: “Uh, Africa’s a big country, right by India over there. Madagascar’s an island off the side-”
And now Greg starts laughing, and the rest of the cast, especially Wayne, join him.
Greg: “Yeah, IT’S ALSO A CONTINENT IF YOU’RE A GEOGRAPHER…”
Wayne loses it even more. Ryan’s drinking his water, so this is probably just normal for him. Colin facepalms. Drew, shaking his head, tries to show the camera that IT SAID CONTINENT ON THE CARD.

Greg, as the audience laughter subsides: “I couldn’t help it, Drew…”
Drew: “I KNOW…”
Greg, referencing WN: “I feel like a little witch here…”
Drew: “I know, I said country instead of continent, I can’t read the cards…”

Drew: “Wayne is gonna make up a song…”
Wayne, channeling his S4 self: “WHY D’I GOTTA DO THE AFRICAN CHANT?”
Drew, heading into the audience: “…cause Colin would just mess it up.”
Colin laughs, but then furrows his brows. Thinking…’wait, WOULD I?”

I love Drew’s insistence that Chris has worked on ‘big movies, I’m sure’, even if he’s probably a small time VFX guy.

Once again, Ryan facepalms back at the seats once he realizes he’s doing backup

Wayne: “First, I’d like to apologize to every African watching the show right now”
Colin: [smiles and waves]
Wayne: [does a bashful Black Panther symbol]

Already, the other three’s dancing and swaying in unison is making me laugh.
Wayne: “…CHRIIIIIS…”
Greg and Colin: “CHRIIIIIS…”
Chris: [breaks]
Wayne, barely together himself, looks back at the other three, and emphasizes: “CHRIIIIS.”
Greg, Colin and Ryan: “…CHRIIIIS…”

At the background 3’s first ‘AWOOOOO’, the audience cracks up. It’s the goofiest damn thing, even goofier than E3’s.

Even funnier, when Wayne tries to ‘AWOOO’ in time with them…and then the next beat, they do another one:
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.58.13 PM.png

Then, Wayne tries to do a little ‘oh-me-ah-me-ah’ thing, which the other 3 think is a refrain they should copy on. Wayne stops, as that was NOT where he was intending that to go, and cracks again

Wayne even has a funny bit, where he gets Chris to do a motion, then on the fourth time, where he does it without Wayne, Wayne goes ‘GOTCHA!’. Chris then…gives the dumbfounded look Wayne’s been giving the rest of the game.

Then, as Wayne and the other 3 start dancing around the stool, Chris doesn’t realize it until Ryan’s about to run into him, then he frantically scurries towards Wayne.

Wayne, finishing the song, to Chris: “…did you work on Blair Witch projeect?”
Chris: “noooo…”
Wayne: “Thank Godd…”

As Wayne heads back to the seats, Greg is still ‘awoooo’ing. They can’t believe it

Wayne: “That’s gonna put me in good with all the brothers and sisters in the motherland.”
Ryan: “Don’t you live in Sherman Oaks?”
PFFF
Greg: “AAAWOOOO…”

As funny as this was…this was also a pretty good African Chant game, that didn’t succeed due to Ryan, Colin and Greg sucking in the back. Wayne made a great, funny, MEMORABLE song, and the other 3 didn’t take away from it too much. And it did help that it had some insanely funny moments throughout, according to the Africa flub. And…as a note- the game happened without a mention of said flub. They’re at the point where they’re thinking it can be edited out if no one else mentions it.

…Now, all we need is a game that doesn’t rehash running gags.

Scenes from a Hat:

…or that.

Drew accidentally hits the doorbell in buzzing the first one.

Drew: “Other gifts the 3 wise men considered.”
Greg and Colin come onstage
Colin: “Well…we’ve brought Frankincense and some gold- I brought Murray.”
Ryan, entering: “hey”
That pun is just stupid enough to work

And now, the first of many variations on this: “Phrases you can use to describe a truck, but not your girlfriend”
Greg, immortally: “Wow, you can fit four in there!”
Drew loves all of these, even the ones I didn’t write down

Odd Things to Hear from a Talking Doll:
Wayne goes up and Greg pulls his…then Wayne realizes he has nothing.
Wayne, without a better idea: “…I LOVE YOU GREG…”
BUZZ
Wayne, pulling more: “…butthead”
THIS gets Greg to break

What Doctors Really See When they look in your Ears
Greg and Wayne: “Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go…”

And then, after Dirty Jokes and Beer was slammed earlier this season…
Drew: “The title of Drew Carey’s 2nd book.”
Wayne: “My Life of Leisure: Behind THE DESK…”

And let it be known that, if the Africa gag STARTED thanks to Greg, it CONTINUED thanks to Colin Mochrie
Colin: “…The difference between continents and countries!”
Drew, of course, must end the game there.

Pretty great round of this. Lots of fun stuff, especially the first ‘not your partner’ one, and some general silliness all around.

Drew cuts to commercial and flings the hat, but right before they cut, Drew looks to where the hat landed and flinches. Perhaps he hit an audience member? He certainly didn’t hit a camera, because…we’ll see when he does that.

Scene with an Audience Member: Ryan is a sheriff who bursts into a saloon to win back his sweetheart Ms. Kitty, Margie, from evil gambler, Colin

A new game that had a few iterations over its tenure on the show. In this playing, Margie can say whatever she wants, really.

Drew, as he gets back to the desk, realizes his audience member is a teacher. So, seeing as the joke’s gonna make air anyway, he goes “I KNOW…Africa is a continent…”

Colin is great at subverting wicked expectations- he’s won Margie in cards, so Colin starts by saying “you lose, give me another hug.”

Margie: “What are we playing?”
Colin: “Oh, don’t worry, you’re losin!”

Ryan: “TELL ME YOU’RE NOT IN LOVE WITH HIM!”
Margie: “….”
Ryan: “AH, DON’T BOTHER…I can tell by the look on your face that you are!”

Colin: “Even though I’m an evil gambler, I’m thinking of changing my ways for…whatever her name is…”

Ryan: “Well it looks like you fell into our trap-NOW!”
Margie…goes right into Ryan’s arms instead.
Colin: “AH, I DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING”

This does have some moments where they make the quiet Margie improvise, like Ryan having her sing the next verse of a song about tall men:
Ryan: “OHHHH Tall men…”
Margie: “…they are the greatest!”

Amusingly enough, Colin ends up fighting Margie for Margie, which is a very silly physical thing, as Margie’s waving to Ryan for help, but Colin wants her to improvise, going “NO TAG TEAM ALLOWED!”

The scene ends when Margie tackles Colin to the ground, and runs to hug Ryan, Greg gets a kick out of this ending, too.

Such a cute scene! Yes, there are some fundamental problems with the game that will be changed when it returns later on, with the addition of a joke-page (in honor of Jackie Martling?), but this one was fun, and Margie definitely warmed up to her role.

Drew: “Margie kicked your ass, man…”
Colin: “I WAS ACTING!”

Drew: “Where d’you teach school, here in LA?”
Margie: “Orange County.”
Ryan: “…that’s in Africa…”
AND THE GAG KEEPS ON ROLLING
Drew: “Ohhhh man…”
Greg: “Orange county’s a BIIIIG COUNTRY…”
Drew, not happy: “ALRIGHT, MOVIN’ ON…”

Hats: Dating Service Videos

Fun fact: this one was on YT early in WL’s youtube presence, so I knew this game, but I didn’t know it’d come right after another Africa reference. The video usually started with “alright, we’re MOVIN ON”, but I had no idea what had happened. It’s better with context, honestly

Ryan, with the noose, smiles as the audience starts laughing before his ‘guess who’s well-hung’ joke. They figured it out before he could even do it

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 8.30.16 PM.pngWayne: “Guess what? You ain’t gettin’ nun.”
pffff

I do love Ryan’s voice on ‘HOW HORNY CAN ONE GUY GET?”

This is the first time Colin does an impression of a Jawa in lieu of a joke.

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 8.32.09 PM.pngRyan: “…IT’S TIME FOR SOMETHING OTHER THAN AN EGG TO GET LAID AROUND HERE.”
That is a brilliant joke. Sadly, ABC censors ‘laid’, because of course they do

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 8.33.16 PM.pngRyan: “…it ain’t gonna be a rabbit…”

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 8.34.04 PM.pngGreg: “HELLO…I’M COLIN MOCHRIE.”
The reactions to this are amazing:
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 8.34.32 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 8.34.52 PM.png

The funny thing about Colin’s reaction: Compare that to the reaction he had when Greg pulled this joke back in the UK version:

ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME.

Greg: “…have you been to Canada?”
Then he does the dinosaur and goes back to the side. They cut back to Colin, and he’s got the same expression.

There was honestly a cut, because we don’t get Colin’s rebuttal, even though he’s in position, but we instead get:
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 8.37.31 PM.png
Ryan: “…did you know Africa’s a continent?”
Yeah, that’s all it needed. One more to push it over the line.

A really good round of this as well, even with the runner coming through it.

90 Second Alphabet: Two park rangers, Colin and Drew, are desperately trying to talk crotchety old recluse, Ryan, into evacuating his cabin because a nearby volcano is about to blow
Starting with: Q

Drew: “Quick, quick, there’s a volcano about to blow!”
Colin: “…right…soon…”

Colin: “WALK NO MORE…RUN…”
Ryan: “…xerox copies of the volcano will be available in the lobby…”
Ryan turns to the audience, not loving how that came out
Ryan, cracking: “my mind’s going…”

Ryan, for his A, cannot resist: “…AFRICA WAS A PLACE I VISITED MANY YEARS AGO…”
AND THE CROWD GOES WILD

Drew: “Ever been hit in the face?”
Ryan, as Drew hits him: “Four times-OH, FIVE TIMES!”

Ryan, cracking: “Perhaps you’d like to…push mee…”

A very silly scene that at least was a fine ending to this episode. I’d forgotten an Africa gag was in this one, tbh.

Overall: Second truly strong show in a row- not a single bad game, and only one truly okay game with 90-second, but…everything else was really funny, and the running gag is obviously a legendary one. This was a great show for Ryan and Wayne, with both helping out a lot with the runner, and Wayne making sure the game it originated from wasn’t a dud but…finally a success. Greg, despite helping incite the runner, wasn’t edited very well in this one, but he was funny in support. I definitely see why people love this episode so much, as it’s a very full, cohesive show, with the runner connecting every game except WN, and everyone getting involved with it. Not a season high mark, but definitely a highlight.

Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Ryan has his second show win in a row for elevating tonight’s best games, as well as Weird Newscasters and 90-Second Alphabet
Worst Performer: Greg, with the curse of the fourth-seater rearing its ugly head again
Best Game: African Chant. The funniest, and also the most satisfying, game of the night. Perhaps on another watch I’ll say SFAH.
Worst Game: 90-Second Alphabet was merely okay.

COMING UP NEXT: Would you believe that the Melissa taping has more than one really good show packed into it? It’s up next.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S02E22, or I am REALLY Gonna Have Some Nightmares Tonight…

Two episodes after our first Kathy Greenwood show, marred by some general awkwardness by Kathy but still strong enough, we get another one. This one…is a little more notable.

The most ironic detail of this episode is that Drew’s intros are for fast-food restaurants. That is some ‘badly-timed bald joke’-esque coincidence going on.

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Kathy, Colin’s spoiled bad-tempered teenaged daughter, co-anchors, Wayne, having trouble mastering his jetpack, does sports, while Ryan, a lifer about to attempt a daring prison escape

Colin: “Famous TV dolphin Flipper was arrested under prostitution ring charges. He was allegedly seen transporting two 16-year-olds across state lines for immoral porpoises.”
And the string of amazing Colin puns begins

Colin, after Kathy’s really good, kinda-boozy, performance: “..well, this was an experiment that went awry.”

Wayne’s is all physicality, as he’s flinging himself around the stage, but thankfully this one doesn’t end in tragedy for Wayne’s character.

I’ve always loved how Ryan starts out- he says a code-word into a mic, switches on a tape recorder, and does more of his weather routine out the corner of his mouth as he escapes.

I love how Ryan escapes into the divider, takes a beat, and then runs across the area behind the chairs. Last show I mentioned how I love the lighting behind there, and this show I realize it’s because it helps Ryan’s quirk- it legitimately looks like he’s running to avoid prison searchlights. It just fits.

And it’s even better that Wayne’s character is still alive, and has figured out his jetpack, so that Ryan can make his escape. That is a wonderful touch

A really good playing of this, especially for that collaborative ending.

Song Styles: Wayne sings a singing strip-o-gram song to Lee, the retired lunchlady

Right. Here’s some legendary stuff right here.

Drew’s ‘nice to meet you Lee, I’m Grant’ gag has thankfully been lost to time.

I love Colin and Ryan’s immediate reaction once they hear the style. Completely gone. Wayne just tilts his head back, which is subdued comparatively. Though he does have to make sure the card DOES say that, and Drew’s not screwing with him

Ryan, from the back: “GO WAYNE…GO WAYNE…”

Wayne already has a great gag, when he rings the doorbell twice, and…Lee doesn’t get the hint, so “I’ll let myself in”.

Wayne: “Can you fix me a treat/maybe some mystery meat?”
And he thrusts downward a bit. ALREADY he knows exactly what he’s doing
Note that right after this line, he looks back towards the seats for one second, losing it slightly, before recovering and going onto the next line

Wayne, as he’s singing, is unbuttoning his shirt and tugging on his belt. This is the kind of fearlessness that had been hinted at before but never fully glimpsed

Halfway through, and I’m surprised how quiet Lee has been in the seat. She’s just kind of watching it. I don’t know if SHE knows how to feel. Meanwhile, Wayne’s doing his thing, shaking his butt back and forth rhythmically.

Wayne, going into the most memorable part: “ON MONDAY…MEAT LOAF.
ON TUESDAY [slaps ass] STEAK.
ON WEDNESDAY….PORK.
ON  [smiling] THURSDAY…CHI-CKEEEN…”

Wayne then hits the killer bridge, knowing what he needs to build to:
“AND FRIDAY…IT’S THE BEST DAY OF ALL
BECAUSE YOU GET TO HAVE…A LITTLE SPAGHETTI…AND TWO BIG MEATBA-“[breaks]
I think the reason why Wayne couldn’t finish that word is because the whole verse, he’s facing Lee, but turned towards the seats…and he sees Ryan and Colin. They crack up once they realize he’s going with ‘meatballs’, which is before he even starts saying the word ‘meatballs’. So they’re dead before he starts the word…and it hits him right as he’s singing the word, so he can’t even finish it. He completely dies. The performers in the back lose it. Drew takes off his glasses. Lee finally loses it. The whole place goes wild. Wayne takes SEVERAL MEASURES before he starts singing again, as he can’t believe he just said that to an older woman.

Wayne can only muster an ‘Oh Lee’ before going back into giggles again. The song peters off, the other 3 are facepalming in the back, and as Wayne hugs Lee, he AUDIBLY goes “I’M SO SORRY…”.

Wayne is crying back at the seats. Ryan and Colin still can’t believe he said that
Drew: “…I am gonna have some bad dreams tonight, folks…”
Wayne, mid-laugh-fit: “I feel so dirty…”
Drew: “YOU feel dirty? How bout poor Lee the lunchlady??”

An all-time classic Song Styles. Not only was it pants-wettingly funny, but it was a lyrically-smart song from Wayne, and a well-mimicked style as well. And it’s not even the best game from this show.

Themed Restaurant: Colin and Kathy are two business associates who’ve stepped out for an illicit romantic lunch. Ryan and Wayne are waiters, the theme is War Zone.

A debut for this recurring favorite that’d eventually be retooled slightly.

So QUITE OBVIOUSLY, Kathy and Colin have great chemistry here. Something about Canadians…

Wayne: “I’m your waiter. My last name’s Ryan.”
10/10

I love Ryan covertly pouring water while hiding behind the chairs.

Wayne pulls over Ryan’s chair, gets on it and drives on it like a tank. He opens the lid and yells something in German. Just goofy enough

Ryan, parachuting by: “We’re outta the spaghetti!”

There’s also another nice gag of Ryan tossing buns to the table like grenades.

Wayne shows up as an SS Officer, and his bit doesn’t work until Ryan comes up from behind him, pulling a knife and going “you’re wanted at table four!”

A light scene, but still a fun debut for this one.

Drew, coming back from commercial, mispronounces the name of the show, which gets everyone laughing, especially Ryan.

Narrate: Burger Joint

Colin and Ryan are shaking their heads as they head upstage to play this. Either this is from pickups and they know what they’re building to, or they…don’t love this game.

Colin starts the scene off right: “I’ve been searching for the Maltese Burger for 3 years…”

Ryan, coming upstage: “TEHHH HEEDEDHH HORDDHHH GEEEHHH HODDAHHHH”
Which gets a laugh. And then he returns, flips a switch, and goes “sorry, the speaker’s broken.”
THAT is a great joke

Ryan: “You wanted fries?”
Colin: “Yeah”
Ryan: “…you want fries with that?”

Colin teases an incredible plan that’ll get him the Maltese Burger
Ryan: “Here ya go”
Colin: “Thanks, where’s the Maltese Burger?”
HA. And THEN…HE DRINKS HIS FRIES. What a silly comedy detail

Colin: “He was playing me like he’d play a fish…”
Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 11.19.25 PM.png
Colin: “…I can’t make it much clearer than that…”

Ryan’s monologue to camera is an underrated part of this scene: “Oh, I knew who he was. Disgruntled employee who had worked here 5 years ago. I couldn’t forget that face, he used to…bob for fries.”
Hysterical. And I just realized now that that’s a reference to the ‘drinking his fries’ gag.

Ryan: “I guess it’s all yours. You got me.”
Colin, coming upstage: “It all seemed too easy. Way too easy.”
I think he was just referring to the scene in general. It was. And what he does next is genius.
Colin: “That’s when he did something totally unexpected.”
[In the background, Ryan sighs. Visibly. I believe it is RIGHT HERE when he figures out what he’s about to to]
Colin: “Something so crazy and wild it took me totally by surprise. Even though it was kind of funny, it still was really weird.”
Kathy cackles. Colin steps downstage.
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 11.29.35 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 11.29.46 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 11.29.00 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 11.29.53 PM.pngAND THE PLACE GOES WILD. Kathy’s losing it. Drew’s losing it. People are SCREAMING.
Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 11.30.36 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 11.31.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 11.31.16 PM.png
[I absolutely love Colin’s reaction. He has literally no idea how to react]

Ryan ends the scene by continuing grilling like nothing happened, and closing the drive-in window, like that’s exactly what Colin’s character was looking for in the first place. It’s actually a perfect move from Ryan, even without the shock value- a lot of Narrates have the connotation that Colin’s character is the crazy one who’s dramatizing these situations [see Ryan’s eventual read of “…I’m going to get my gun”] while Ryan is the sane, realist who’s annoyed as hell by Ryan. And Ryan making this about Colin’s quest for resolution, in two ways, is a genius move.

Drew buzzes, literally saying STOP
Ryan, as they head back to the seats: “I think that’s the first time I’ve ever kissed you on on here.”
Colin: “Yes, that was very nice, thank you.”
Ryan is a lot more composed than I thought he’d be.

Ryan, after a cut of him heading to Drew’s desk, hands something to Colin: “breathmint”
This is likely the first of many appearances of Drew’s soon-ubiquitous desk-side can of Altoids.

Drew, referring to Song Styles as well: “I am REALLY gonna have some nightmares, I’m telling ya…”

Drew: “And kids, if you’re watching at home with your parents…just pretend you didn’t understand that last part…”

The real reason this game works is because of the rare, dangerous method of ‘pimping your scene partner’. In improv classes, they tell you NEVER to pimp out your scene partner, which means to set your scene partner up with so many gifts that you’ve done the work for them, or made them have so many attributes that it’s hard. Colin challenging Ryan to think of an intricate, unexpected way for the scene to end is a variant on pimping out your scene partner, because it’s an admission that A.) you have nothing, and B.) your partner is going to do this insanely big, difficult thing to finish this off in one fell swoop.

And the reason Colin does this, and the reason this payoff works, is because of Colin’s strong relationship with Ryan. Colin knows Ryan enough that he can pimp him out (see the Series 9 UK instance when Colin pimps out Ryan’s hoedown verse, saying “Ryan’s coming up with funny, he’s next”, sacrificing his own verse to make Ryan think of a really good one. Colin knows Ryan’s limitations, and Ryan knows Colin’s. To this end, Ryan is more comfortable kissing Colin than Colin is kissing Ryan- he knows this. So the second he realizes Colin is pimping him out, he knows he needs to kiss Colin, solely because it’ll catch him off guard, and because Colin won’t do it to him first. And he does so in a way that works not only for shock, but narratively. That’s the bit not enough people remember- a lot of people are like ‘AH, MEN KISSING’, but…in the context of the scene, and of improv, it’s about a lot more than that.

You can also honestly credit Whose Line for de-stigmatizing men kissing. Kinda like how Rudy from Survivor de-stigmatized the word ‘queer’, Whose Line de-stigmatized two guys kissing on TV. And that’s why this scene is, while funny, one of the most important ones in Whose Line history.

Scenes from a Hat:

And now we have SFAH to follow that.

Note that, I believe for the first time, Colin is on Drew’s side of the stage, while Wayne is on Ryan’s side. Perhaps they’re separating the two of them after Narrate?

Drew, reading the next one: “Please be kind…uh, ‘The #1 thing that you shouldn’t lick.”
And as weird as the groupings for this scene are, it thankfully leads to this exchange:
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HAHAHAHAHA. Perfect

‘Alternate Endings to Famous Films’
Ryan and Colin are Thelma & Louise…and the car doesn’t start. THAT is great.

Colin: “….ROSEBUD’S THE SLED.”
HA

‘Things That Can Spoil a Date’
Wayne turning into a werewolf isn’t funny until he starts doing the dance moves from the Thriller video

Colin comes up with Kathy
Colin: “…I once kissed Ryan Stiles”
I love Kathy’s reaction- she takes a milisecond to giggle, then puts her hands up, immediately not dealing with that information.
Ryan:
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Drew: “Things you should never, ever say while making love”
Kathy: “Mmm, honey could you just hand me the yeast infection medication over there?”

Pretty good game of this, though some scenes worked better than others

Hoedown: Halloween

The first of many Hoedowns Kathy will not do.

Wayne talks about having the scariest costume:
Wayne: “If you see me, get a sheet man
Because I’ll pull it over my head and go as the Klu-Klux-Klan”

Drew makes a cheap ‘rubber mask/condom’ joke, but it’s charming enough

Colin has a fun verse, saying “this is the last year that I go as a nude”
And then Ryan turns around, suddenly nervous. Wayne taps Drew, and points at Ryan. Colin turns. They ALL know he has nothing, and that Colin took his rhyme. Ryan is gonna have to wing this like hell.

The Hoedown that makes air is his 2nd try
“When it comes to costumes, there is none more scary
I put on stupid glasses and go out as Drew Carey”
Yeah, because he had nothing, he went with a standby.

Obviously that is not the verse Ryan originally went with. Ryan, in his original fried, beaten state, musters up this, while rubbing his eyes a lot:
“I have to say that Halloween is my favorite day
When I open up the door kids and mothers run away
I have no costume, I don’t care in the land
…I open up the door I’ve got my penis in my hand.”
Then he stops singing the refrain, and yells out ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT? EVERYBODY TOOK MINE!”
The cut to commercial they filmed after this, where Drew is laughing so hard and can barely do it, and Wayne falls into the show laughing harder, is one of my favorites.

Not a bad Hoedown. Actually pretty funny, but…in a show like this, it’s not much.

Overall: I relate this one to the Neon Love Chicken episode from the UK series. Obviously, if you’re a UK WL fan, you remember two games: Superheroes, where Greg gets in a fight with Clive about where he’s getting suggestions from, and Bartender, where Ryan and Tony have legendary verses about Ryan’s wardrobe and Porky Pig. Both are all-time greats. The rest of the show…is GOOD, don’t get me wrong, but not to the standard of those other 2. And that’s what I’d say about this game. Song Styles is legendary, and Narrate is the show’s most dissectible game to date, but…other than strong games of SFAH and Weird Newscasters, the rest of the show is just lawful, without being too spectacular.

Again, nobody’s fault, as even Kathy made less mistakes than in E20, but…I think the taping didn’t have enough games to supplant the legendary ones. Yes, 3HBS happened in 3×33, but…conceivably, where do you put it? In place of Themed Restaurant? Then you only have one game that Kathy’s not an optional performer in. In place of SFAH? Then you don’t have ‘I Kissed Ryan Stiles’. I genuinely believe that this is as well-crafted as it could get knowing this taping, but…I still love this episode, even with its slight flaws. It’s still incredible every time, and it still has those two insanely good games, and lots of other fun stuff to like too.

So, not a full victory like E5 or E12, but…definitely a legendary episode. Warts and all.

Show Winner: Kathy
Best Performer: Ryan. The most genius move of the night was his, along with a few others.
Worst Performer: Kathy, again for sticking to the background.
Best Game: Do I even need to say it.
Worst Game: Hoedown was okay, but…the okay game is the worst here.

Coming Up Next: You want a running gag? I’ve got a running gag for you, and it’s kind of Greg Proops’s fault.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S02E21, or Albert, Stop Playing the Xylophone!

We’ve seen two shows from this Chip taping already, and they’re both in my seasonal Top 10 right now. Knowing what we know about Ryan not being gay, watching this third taping from it should be fun, especially seeing what gags run into other games here.

Superheroes: Dry Skin
Colin: Captain Obvious
Ryan: Captain Hyperactive Moth
Chip: Jitterbug Boy
Wayne: Thinks Everybody’s on Fire Man

I always find it funny that they only play this game with three fourth seaters in this era: Greg, Chip and Brad. Whenever Brad and Greg are on, they start this game. Whenever Chip is on, Colin starts this game. Funny how the hierarchy works.

Colin, nailing this: “…I’m standing.”

Colin: “…DRY SKIN!” [itches self]
I think only Colin could make this one work

Colin: “Oh, that’s air going into my lungs…”

Colin, as Ryan enters: “HEY, HERE YOU COME THROUGH THE DOOR.”
Ryan stifles a smile. This quirk is so stupid but it works

Colin hesitates a LOT before going “Captain Hyperactive moth”, which Ryan picks up immediately

Colin: “Look, there’s dry skin…that’s my shirt, THAT’s my shirt.”

Chip, in his energetic jitterbugging, lifts Ryan off the ground twice, which he seems pretty surprised about. That god he’s not jumping on his back

Colin, looking at the camera: “Hey. You have to be in some kind of shape to do that.”

Wayne is quick to turn his into a Michael Jackson joke, because of course.

This is great for collaborative energy. Wayne and Chip are rolling around on the floor, and Ryan is flapping around the studio

Colin, as Wayne leaves: “You know…he wasn’t really on fire.”

This one had so much charm to it, even if it’s kind of a simple playing of this, with a lot of very simple jokes. Good though.

Film TV & Theater Styles: Ryan arrives at his ski lodge a day early to discover his wife, Colin, in the arms of amorous ski instructor, Wayne

Wayne: “So, now I’ll show you the proper way to grasp the pole”

The image of Colin and Wayne bopping around doing this seductive skiing bit is pretty great.

And both Ryan and Wayne’s shift into western is pretty great too
Ryan, with his boots: “KA-CHINK. KA-CHINK. KA-CHINK.”
BUZZ
Colin, meekly in the back: ‘high-heel, high-heel, high-heel”
Ryan:
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For Three Stooges, Colin and Wayne do the usual bit of slapstick. Ryan goes for a different approach
Ryan, as Chico Marx: “Hey, what’s-a-going on, can’t we all get along together here?”
Colin gives him a look
Ryan: “…I don’t know…”
Colin: [smacks him]
BUZZ
Ryan, FINALLY REALIZING: “I GOT THE WRONG ONE!”
I love the way he looks over at Drew here, sort of like how he’d look over at Clive
Drew: “What Stooge was that?”
Ryan: “I know I know!”
Drew: “That was the Marx Broth-”
Ryan: “I KNOW, I KNOW!”
Then, briefly, he shifts into Captain Hyperactive Moth and gives Drew a look

Cooking Show:
Ryan: “You know, I find that when my wife is cheating, it’s best to put her in an oven at 350 for 2 hours…”

Wayne: “Now because we couldn’t do this on the other show, we have a prepared wife in the other oven…”

South Park is another tricky one, because Wayne’s the only one that watches it. Ryan just know there’s bad animation, and Colin knows nothing about it.
Colin, with no choice, as Chico Marx: “I DON’T-A KNOW-A WHAT’S-A GOIN ON AROUND HERE!”
Ryan: “I was just gonna do that impression!”

I love the ending, where Drew’s repeatedly buzzing as Ryan vomits for an uncomfortably long time

A very strong round of this, even if it was wobbly in points. Certainly one of the better F&TS we’ve had in the American version

Newsflash: Ryan & Chip in the studio, Colin in the field in front of 1950s reducing machines

I love the intro to this, because as Drew explains how the green screen works, the cameramen, and Ryan and Chip, decide they’re gonna pull a fast one on Colin:
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I love this because Colin can see what they’re doing, and he’s just shaking his head.

Colin: “It all started with, uh, a bad order of shrimp…”

Ryan: “How do you think this is all going to WORK OUT?”
Colin, not following, shrugs

Then, as the shot moves to a repeatedly throttled butt, Colin just turns around and stares at it.

Colin gets it, but the preamble wasn’t worth the alright rest of this

Duet: Wayne and Chip sing a Springsteen song to Tina, who’s on vacation from Canada

Again, odd post-commercial placing for Duet. Not that I’m complaining

Once Tina announces she’s from Canada, the place goes wild. Ryan, in the back, does his moose impression, while Colin comes up to hug her after Chip and Wayne.

There are strong Bruce impressions from both guys, with more of an edge to Chip, I’d say.

I also love that Chip indicates that “we’ve got Tina, and we’ve got Colin and Ryan”, finally making it clear that Ryan…technically is Canadian, despite his Seattle upbringing.

I also love the touch that Wayne tries dancing with Tina kinda like Bruce and Courtney Cox in the Dancing in the Dark video.

I also really love Wayne and Chip’s harmony at the end. Impressive stuff all-around

Party Quirks: Chip hosts
Wayne: a rescue on Baywatch
Colin: trying to incite a mass riot
Ryan: Wile E. Coyote

Chip, in his opening phone call, mentions he even has the ‘whose line is it anyway home game…a game with an inflatable Drew doll”

Wayne makes the smart decision to do his rescue behind the chairs, which is always a funny spot for anything, because of the different lighting back there

Colin: “I’M HUNGRY AS HELL, AND I WON’T STAND FOR IT ANYMORE!”
And he goads the audience into a ‘HUN-GRY’ chant

Plus, even better, after Colin’s call to arms has succeeded, Wayne grabs him and starts doing backstroke. I love his confused reaction to this. It reminds me of Colin’s similarly confused reaction in a later PQ when Wayne tries tackling him.

Chip, to Colin: “Martha Stewart said that was enough!”

I love Ryan’s- he has the full physicality down, the look on his face, and the insane ACME gadgets. He lights a rocket on his back, and goes flying down the corridor at the side of the audience, out of sight. We only see the billowing audience curtains in the back, to show that he crashed. THAT is a nice touch

I also love Ryan coming back, crashing into the divider by his chair, then thinking in the background. This is a man who’s CLEARLY seen a lot of Looney Tunes cartoons

Chip guesses Wayne right as he begins to do CPR on Drew

I also love how Ryan has a bus come and run into him as he wobbles, cartoon-like

Drew gives Chip a major hint in order for him to guess Ryan, but it’s still great.

A very funny round of this. Just goofy enough

90 Second Alphabet: Ryan the pitcher, Drew the catcher, and Colin the manager are having an argument on the mound at a crucial point at a baseball game, starting with E.

Ryan: “Fred, tell him that I can’t understand any of your signals”
Colin: “…Gordon…”

Colin: “Maybe as the manager…we should listen to ME.”
Drew: “Never won a championship.”
Ryan: “OHHHHH……OHHHHHH, now we hear about the Championship!”

Ryan: “RIGHT FIELD! That’s where you should be, cause you’re NOTHIN!”
Colin: “…stupid, too…”
Drew has a genius comeback to this: “…teh…”

Colin: “Vernon…I mean, whatever your name was.”
[I mean, Colin’s still good, because he hasn’t named Ryan yet]

Ryan: “…Xylophones…”
Colin: “Young man, you have to concentrate!”
Drew: “ZOUNDS, I HEAR IT TOO!”
Colin, offstage: “…ALBERT, STOP PLAYING THE XYLOPHONE.”

There’s some jitteryness from Drew and Ryan on who gets to do B, and Drew eventually ends with “…ever feel like you’re at the end of the game?”, which makes Ryan crack.

A very fun, surprisingly cohesive round of this. Everybody in this one did well, even Drew.

Overall: Like E1, a solid, if a little unspectacular, episode. I’d say E1 still has a leg up because that one has an incredible game, with Timber, and this one…had some good games, but no standout. Still, this was another great show for Colin, and another good one for Chip as he was edited pretty damn well. This was also a great day for the Chip-Wayne duo, as they were just meshing well all night. So…not a complete standout, but a solid, fun show that I’d love to come back to another time.

Show Winners: Wayne
Best Performer: Colin, once again
Worst Performer: Honestly? Ryan made the most mistakes tonight, and it took him til halfway through to really standout in a game
Best Game: Film, TV & Theater Styles is the obvious crowd-pleaser
Worst Game: Newsflash, aside from the opening, is pretty limp

COMING UP NEXT: There was no avoiding it. We get our second show from this season’s Kathy Greenwood taping. There’s an amusing Song Styles in this episode and absolutely nothing else any fans are looking forward to me talk about.