QI Watchdown: J13 (Jobs), or Old Jeremiah Software

Yeah, I know the QI ones are going really sluggishly, but my WL writeups have an audience, and these, like I used to, I kinda just do for fun.

This seems to be an interesting lineup though- David Mitchell’s our anchor, Sarah Millican’s our supplemental comic. Good to see Sarah back after a strong showing in Invertebrates.

The other panelist tonight is an interesting case- Richard Coles, who was in the Communards with Jimmy Somerville, then became a Vicar and now is a sort of…religious activist that also does radio shows? I dunno how to classify him. But he’s here, and he’s made a few appearances over the years.

The buzzers, and intros, are based on former jobs they all had- As David was a former cloakroom attendant, his buzzer is a toilet being flushed, which he has a bewildered reaction to. Richard’s is an out-of-tune sax. Alan’s is a street barker hawking sandwiches.

This goes into a conversation about how the cloakroom David attended was actually a room FOR cloaks…which leads to the revelation that Richard actually HAS a cloak, being a reverend.
Sarah: “Does it have pockets?”

Stephen, going by his only reference for priests, asks if he’s ever done a full on Exorcist style exorcism, as a joke
Richard, smirking: “…well actually I HAVE done a couple of those…”

Richard is already doing well with anecdotes, talking about a colleague who treated a guy who thought he was God, and asking him hard questions about the fabric of the universe only for the guy to reply “I never talk shop.”

Alan’s about to answer a question, but he’s distracted by the silliness of his ‘SANDWICHES’ buzzer, and he buckles a bit

He gets to the cluster of words to define, sees the word ‘ripper’, and guesses: “…a ripper…is a murderer…”

David: “These days, murderers are very amateur, aren’t they? It’s very difficult to make a living out of it…”

David: “Burgrailer, presumably that’s someone who grills burgers?”

Stephen: “A burgrailer is someone who removed burrs from the teeth of combs-”
Alan: “Oh, I thought it was gonna be from the queen mother…”

On a Willyer
Richard: “Is that someone who was in both the Black Eyed Peas and the Wurzles?”
Man, Richard’s impressing me so far
Stephen, getting it: “WILL I ARR!”

Stephen mentions Worf from Star Trek: TNG
Alan: “It always surprises me, the moments you dip into popular culture, which ones you choose!”

Richard has a cool name-checking moment, talking about going on tour with T’Pau and PIL, and having breakfast in between Carol Decker and John Lydon

This leads to Stephen talking about being in a hotel with Black Grape, featuring three people I’ve covered on Buzzcocks (Shaun Ryder, Bez & Sausages enthusiast Kermit)
Stephen: “It was so…rowdy on the hotel floor”
[Alan cracks at the word choice]

Sarah: “A nut-steamer…is that somebody who works in a spa?”
I missed Sarah

Stephen explains that these professions came from the 1890 census, and some, like ‘macaroni loper’, have never been explained
David: “Cause nowadays in the census, don’t people put that their religion is ‘Jedi’, as a sort of joke? Maybe the macaroni lopers are having a laugh at our expense

Richard, because he seems to have an anecdote for all of these, explains that he had a guy in prison who wanted a Jedi chaplain
Richard, somehow with a straight face: “In the end we found a Shaman…in Lincoln, who did the job”
Stephen: “and did he have a little lightsaber?”
Richard: “No, he had this…shaking stick. But we thought that was the closest we could get…”

Alan: “Star Wars will outlive all the major religions…”
ONE PERSON CLAPS. This cracks everyone up.
Alan: “…there’s this one little ewok in the back…”

Stephen: “How does snake-farming work?”
Alan: “…ya plant them in the ground…”
Sarah: “Unless they’re doing the actual farming. That’d be tricky, just put ’em on a tractor and watch ’em go..”

Stephen, after Richard talks about snake handlers in American religious practices, jokingly goes “WHY D’YA HAVE TA DRAG RELIGION INTO EVERYTHING?”
Richard has the best reply: “…sorry, bishop’s watching..”

Alan talks of having a green chile on holiday in India, one that wasn’t as edible, “and I could see three Indian ladies peering their heads ’round…virtually nudging one another…cause they clearly put these out as a trap!”

Richard talks of Icelandic people serving petrified shark extract to tourists “as a joke”
Stephen: “And we’re supposed to feel sorry for their financial crisis…UP YOURS, BJORK.”
David: “Were they worried that tourism was gonna get out of hand on that?”

The whole ‘soil scavenger’ bit is very lowest-common-denominator, and while there are jokes, they all hit kind of pathetically because it’s all about poo

Sarah, on autocorrect: “If I wanna type the c-word, and I do sometimes, it comes up with Cynthia, and that’s my mother-in-law’s name…and she’s lovely, so it seems so unfair”
Richard: “Let’s hope it doesn’t work the other way ’round”
[I did not predict Richard would be so good at QI]

Richard is getting so close to the answer of the ‘first software engineer’ question with really reasonable guesses
Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 12.29.51 PM.png
Stephen: “…so disappointing…”
This is the QI equivalent of “everyone got CLOSER AND CLOSER AND CLOSER, and then SUDDENLY they’re denying wearing bedspreads!”

Alan, out of nowhere: “Where would we be without trees?”
Stephen has to stop in order to react to that

Stephen asks for some famous Butlers
Richard, knowing who he’s dealing with, guesses “JEEVES”

Then, the shot of Stephen from Jeeves & Wooster comes up, and the second he sees it, he mutters “oh, Christ”

Stephen talks of being asked to address the Oxford union
Alan: “They have asked me, but I always thought they’d ask me just to go “PFFFFFF..WE HAVEN’T ENTERTAINMENT, PFAHAHAHA…ASK HIM SOMETHING!”
Stephen: “They’d BOW DOWN to you…you’re thinking of someone from Essex”
Alan, still going: “HE DOESN’T KNOW!”

Stephen’s story goes towards the introduction of one Jacob Rees-Mogg, a figure who represents such villainy that I’d hoped he wouldn’t be mentioned on QI. Thankfully, they go on and make fun of him for being a bit posh, here

Stephen ends the discussion on Rees-Mogg with “I’m sure he’s a lovely man”
yeah….not really…

Stephen: “What use is a sheep during a gold rush?”
Richard, smirking: “…it can be cold and lonely on those prairies…”

David, still stuck on this: “HANG ON…THE LORD IS YOUR SHEPHERD…given a cold night on his own…he might shaft you?”
Stephen: “I believe his rod comforts you…”

Stephen explains that the Swiss have been cleaning debris out of space
David: “Why the Swiss? Why have they taken it upon themselves, after years of…not joining in and stockpiling Nazi gold…”
MAN, just going for the jugular when you don’t expect him to. Heck, that’s even technically a reference to Bill Bailey’s stand-up.

Stephen: “I’ve got a horrible thought…it might be for profit.”
Sarah: “They’re not just a bit OCD?”

Stephen mentions the Swiss base where they plot these space clearing things:
Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 2.45.48 PM.png
Stephen: “…actually, that’s Telly Savalas’s hideout in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service…”

Stephen asks what a good planet to “take your annual holiday on” is
Sarah: “…Earth.”
Stephen: “…absolutely the right answer, I can frankly say…”
David, bluntly: “well, the great advantage of earth is…you can survive on it…”

Stephen: “As you know, Alice in Wonderland was written by…”
Alan: “…Lewis Carroll”
Stephen: “right, who was, in real life…”
Alan: “…a dog.”
Stephen has to stop for a moment, before saying “you’re one letter off…”
Richard: “he was a don…”

Stephen mentions a “new world coming into math”
David: “the invention of the number 9, of course…very controversial…”
Stephen: “squeezed it in between 7 and 10…or EIGHT and 10, sorry-”
David, helping him out: “8 came even later…they needed it for the war.”
Stephen: “they needed it for Bingo, I think”
I love that they can do some tangents working off each other like this. Sad part is this isn’t THE most collaborative panel- everyone’s bouncing off Stephen, but with some exceptions (honestly Richard), not really each other

Stephen, still referring to Alice in Wonderland: “The cat was brilliantly played in the Tim Burton film by…uh, who did the voice of the cat? It was, um…”
Alan, ever the clever one: “HUGH LAURIE!”
Stephen, yes-anding, goes “that’s right!”

Stephen, after the applause had gone down: “…minus 2000 points…”

Stephen adds on that the guy who wrote this theory book on AiW also wrote a book for Queen Victoria “called Something Like Problems and Symbolic Logic, and so her majesty, Queen Victoria, must have read it and gone ‘WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?”

Stephen mentions, when he has his green laser for his Jolly Jape, “they keep shouting in my ear ‘DON’T POINT IT AT PEOPLE’S EYES!”
Alan has no choice but to resume the role of the angry director from a few episodes ago: “DON’T POINT IT AT THEIR FUCKING EYES!…it’s FUCKING DANGEROUS.”
Stephen: “The thing is…HE knows…he’s the one that’s gonna be fired..”

Stephen points it upwards so people can see the length of the laser light
Alan: “The lighting men are going ‘AAAAIIIIIGHHH!”
I love Alan so much

The eventual trick is the laser pops the black balloons but not the white one [“WOW, GREEN, COOL” yells Alan]
Stephen: “The black ones pop and the white one doesn’t.”
Alan: “…racist.”
Screen Shot 2020-02-15 at 3.08.14 PM.png

Stephen asks Alan to draw a target on the balloon, “and I’ll let you press the button as a reward if you do it sensibly”
Alan: “…so tempted to draw a cock-and-balls…”

Stephen points out that nobody finished with a negative score, which is very cool. We only saw one klaxon tonight, and the guy who got it, Richard, had a lot of points when he did get it.
Alan, at the ooing audience: “…patronizing bastards…”

Richard, upon winning: “so sorry, I’d like to give my points to the poor..”

Overall: A solid enough show, though a few dry spells towards the end bring it down a few pegs, as does the sort of individuality present with some of the better performers, like Richard and David. Sarah wasn’t as good as last time, but knowing she has a better showing coming immediately next helps. Richard was a great fit for QI, and was both funny and had a lot of good anecdotes. Alan had a really good day, especially late. David might have had the best night, solely because he’s begun to morph into like a Rich-Hall-esque cynic, and his more deadpan, offhanded lines tonight really worked.

MVP: David
Best Guest: Richard
Show Winner: Richard
Best QI Fact: midnight soil men
Best Runner: Hugh Laurie

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E03, or Someone’s Thong is Too Tight

This Brad Sherwood taping is one of many Season 4 tapings leftover without actually being used in S4. And now, here it is in Season 5. Just hanging out.

All seriousness, this is a pretty good episode, and I often wonder why exactly it was pushed out of S4. Too many contractually-obligated third episodes from okay tapings? I dunno. It’s here now.

Award Show: Brad & Wayne present the award for Frat Boys to Ryan and Colin

Colin spikes the camera on the way into the audience, and:
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You can tell this is an early playing, because Ryan doesn’t know that he and Colin have to start in the audience

Ryan ends up crouching behind Drew and getting into the shot to get to the audience, which is fun

Wayne and Brad already have the tone down. I love that Brad’s mouthing the words that Wayne’s saying, making fun of prompter readings

We cut to Ryan and Colin, and:
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 12.47.30 PM.png

Colin’s abrupt wooing as they come downstage carries until they get to the podium, which is a fun gag

Colin: “I’d like to thank whoever it is I’m sleeping with right now…”

Plus, I love Colin getting serious about studying hard, “cause I really want to be a gynecologist”.

Colin, looking at the podium: “Hey, man, this’d be good to put our chips in…”

Brad comes back on, which is a new idea, and says “what better way to end the show than with some MOONING, DUDES?”
Wayne, chuckling, goes “you first”. This is our first clue
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 12.52.34 PM.png
Brad…actually unbuckles
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 12.53.08 PM.png
And Wayne’s standing there…awkwardly

The game ends, everyone goes back to the seats, and Wayne’s standing and talking to Brad. He’s literally saying “I would have done it with you, but I have a g-string on”, and he motions around his butt area.
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 12.54.27 PM.png
And he goes “Are you serious???”

Brad, meanwhile, takes an extra second with the knowledge that’s just been handed to him, straightens his belt, and sits down
Drew, smiling TOO WIDE: “WAYNE JUST SAID TO BRAD…”I would have done it with you, but I have a G-STRING on.”
The place suddenly understands.

Wayne, on the few audience members who are doing ‘OHHHH’s: “HEY, IT GIVES ME SUPPORT.”

Brad, defending Wayne: “It’s a G-string”
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 12.56.59 PM.png
Wayne, kinda pathetically: “…for when I’m hangin’ with my homies.”

Sure enough, he pulls the side of it up so the audience can see, which gets a WILD reaction from the audience
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 12.58.24 PM.png

Drew: “…oh yeah, we got a show to do…”

A pretty good Award Show. Not my favorite, and we won’t get to that one for TWO SEASONS, but a solid one

Party Quirks: Brad hosts
Wayne: The I’ve Got a Secret episode of the SOUTH-AMERICAN Jerry Springer show
Colin: Performing seal in a marine park pool playing up to the cameras
Ryan: Series of hunting accidents caught on tape

This seems pretty consecutive. Which either means PQ was played early or AS was played late.

Ryan has some VERY NERVOUS LAUGHTER at his

Wayne comes in with full Jerry Springer ‘Y’ALL SHUT UP’ mode, proving he read 60% of the quirk. As for the other 40%….eh…

Wayne: “Me and Maurice, we were watching, you know, an episode of our favorite show, you know, The Drew Carey Show”
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 1.28.11 PM.png

[this was at the beginning of her feuds with Bobby Brown, I presume?]
Colin, in response…bewilderedly claps his hands. Perfect

Colin does some seal tricks towards the central camera
Brad, smirking: “Whitney Houston, I’d like you to meet Stephen Hawking!”
Colin, still trying to do his thing, has the best reaction:
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Just…barely holding it in, but visibly shocked.

Ryan, firing: “…….SORRY, GARY!”

Colin makes his way towards the camera, and…yeah:
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 1.32.06 PM.png
I love that, in the background, Ryan accidentally shoots Wayne, Wayne falls and gets mad…AND THIS is what we continue to focus on. Man, oh man

As more violent things continue to happen with Wayne and Ryan…we stay focused on Colin, arfing into another camera

Brad guesses Ryan and Wayne, and Colin’s left with the camera, leaving us this shot:
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 1.34.09 PM.png

Brad gets Colin and caps a pretty solid, and very frenzied, PQ. I do like this one, and I like the decision to focus on Colin as sillier things are happening in the background

Drew, when everyone gets back to the seats: “…that was the South American version of the Jerry Springer show…”
Wayne, not following: ‘….yeah.”
Drew: “I kept on waiting for the South American version to pop in there…”
Wayne: “was that what it said?”

Wayne thinks that’s not what it said, and opens the envelope, “now that the game’s over”, and reads it: “…I’ve Got a Secret episode of the…AWWWW CRAP.”
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 1.37.06 PM.png
The audience gives a nice amount of applause, but…poor Wayne. Dude’s embarrassed in two straight games

Ryan, of course, has the perfect punchline: “…SOMEONE’S THONG IS TOO TIGHT…”
Wayne has no choice but to laugh at this one. Ryan got him good

Scenes from a Hat:

Drew, chuckling: “What life would have been like if your parents were insult comics”
Brad, to Wayne: “You gaining weight or is your ass eating your pants?”
This…sort of counts as a thong reference?

“What’s on TV in Hell”
As it’s 2001, this gets a lot of audience response

Colin, keeping the gag going: “…BUTT CRACKS OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS!”
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I love the little recurring chuckle Drew has before “Things Found in Hillbilly Fortune Cookies”

Wayne: “……hell, I can’t read…”

Ryan, with a truly dark one: “You just ate what could have been your lover.”
The audience is SPLIT on this one, and there’s a lot of outcry, sort of like there has been at Brad’s jokes all night. Ryan sees this and bows.

Colin: “….Howdy.”
The simplicity kills me

Drew, kind of ashamed: “…hit numbers from a musical about breasts.”
Colin: “…I got a dime…FOR TWO NIPPLES.”
Wayne, a la Streisand: “….MAMMARIES…”
Colin, dancing way too happily: “I LIKE TO STICK MY HEAD IN, GO BBBBBBBB”
Wayne, with the speed to nearly outdo the censor: “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH DAMNTHOSESOMEBIGTITS”

Pretty strong round of this. SFAH rounds are now shorter, but have longer, more fleshed out scenes, which I like.

Bartender: Brad tends bar
Wayne – Excited about Brad
Colin – Angry about a speeding ticket
Ryan – In love with ugly shoes

BARTENDER’S BACK! A game we haven’t seen since late in the UK era finally returns for some S4 & S5 tapings, and I couldn’t be happier, as this was always a fun one. Brad’s a great choice to tend, as well.

Also, as this game starts, all four are still cracking up over something. Not sure what game happened directly before this.

Already, we get a semi-reprise of the ‘in love with the barman’ one that Tony and Mike did, with Wayne being excited about Brad

Wayne’s admission of ‘dating girls for so long, it’s time for a switch’ gets laughs, because this is 2001.

Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 2.00.34 PM.pngWayne does this right as Brad starts, which is a fun move

Brad: “And you know I’ve got a girlfriend, but I just might leave her
ever since I’ve found out I got Jungle Fever”
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 2.01.33 PM.png

A very fun and cute Wayne-Brad number

Colin, already angry, enters: “…WHAT D’YA HAVE TO DO FOR SERVICE AROUND HERE?”

Colin, with a very clever verse: “I got a ticket, for going fast
I knew my good luck would never last
It seems like I was born under an evil star
I got caught for speeding, I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE A CARRR!”

Brad: “I’m the kind of guy who never stops
You saw me last week without a shirt on an episode of Cops”

Another fun number, and the intensity Brad and Colin brought worked

Ryan, possibly referring to Wayne’s: “Ah, glad to see this is still a gay bar.”
Brad: “you shoulda met my boyfriend Wayne, he was in here a while ago…”

Ryan: “I’m in love with my shoes and I don’t know how
It’s a shame that they had to kill 47 cows”
YES. Brad needs a moment to recompose himself after this. He does a spit take, and Ryan just casually wipes some of it from his brow

Brad: “You love your shoes cause they give you a little tongue.”
Ryan nods

Once Brad ends a sentence with ‘don’t you frown’, he IMMEDIATELY knows the punchline that’s coming, and nods along with it:
Brad: “even though it looks like you stole your shoes from a clown..”

A really strong round of Bartender for our first one in several seasons. All 3 were strong, funny, and Brad made for a strong lead for this game.

Props: Brad & Wayne vs. Ryan & Drew

Colin, handing Drew a still-large prop: “you have the little one..”

Ryan: does Alfred Hitchcock Presents theme:
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Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 2.13.52 PM.pngRyan: “d’you have a table for Gumby?”

Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 2.14.37 PM.pngDrew: “…I’d like to report a missing wing…”
I love this one

Wayne and Ryan use theirs for consecutive “COME ON BABY, PUSH!” ones

Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 2.15.39 PM.pngBrad: “Now our Igloo have cable!”

Drew ends by doing a Twilight Zone reference. Ryan and Drew started with Hitchcock and ended with Serling, which is a fun contrast

Great round of this. Ryan and Drew had the better ones, but it felt pretty fun all around

Overall: Solid show overall, with no bad games, a fun runner, some good work from all four and a long-lost game returning to kick ass, so I have no complaints here. Bartender and Party Quirks were the strong highlights, but I liked everything, even Props and SFAH. I liked that Wayne felt vulnerable tonight as he was responding to thong jokes, and I like that Brad felt angry in responding to the audience response.

Show Winner: Colin
Best Performer: Colin once again nailed it, mostly from Party Quirks and SFAH. You know you’re doing well when there’s collaborative stuff going on, and the camera still wants to focus on you.
Worst Performer: Wayne’s job was to be the victim tonight, and he did little else
Best Game: Bartender. Every segment made me happy.
Worst Game: Award Show isn’t great til that ending.

COMING UP NEXT: Right back into S5 we go with another Brad show, one that came from the same taping as the Hef show last season. And, funnily enough, we have another guest star from that taping. It’s nowhere near as bawdy as Hef- think of the cleanest possible TV legend. Yeah, and watch as she does some dirtier material.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E02, or Use The Bat-Tering Ram!

Couple reasons why I’m interested in getting to this one

  1. Kathy Griffin is our fourth seater, and she’s a very interesting case to talk about in 2020, because when she did the show in 2001, she was a very normal character actress, having been on Seinfeld and whatnot, and then after this she became a staple of the E network, became an overmakeupped patron saint of gays, held up a fake severed head of the president and now everyone has to pick a side with her. I always thought she was a bit too provocative for me, but this was a little before she really mastered that comedic persona.
  2. This is a guest star episode, but instead of someone kinda big like Hugh Hefner or David Hasselhoff, they got…Miss America, Katie Harman. Like Hef, very indicative of early-2000s culture. But yeah, Miss America’s here.
  3. This entire taping has several instances of the SINGLE MOST NOTABLE AUDIENCE MEMBER IN WHOSE LINE HISTORY. This lady has a very deliberate, memorable laugh, and we will hear this laugh NUMEROUS TIMES thoughout this episode and its sisters. So, everytime I hear this laugh, I will denote it by throwing a ‘HAAAEEEEHH’ into the writeup. Because that’s what it sounds like. It’s like a cat being thrown against a window.

Right. Got all that? Onto the episode

Hollywood Director: Hunky golf pro Ryan is giving a private lesson to flirtatious Beverly Hills wife Kathy, Wayne is Kathy’s elderly millionaire husband who rides in on his motorized cart to confront them because he suspects they are planning to steal his fortune

Drew: “Wayne is Kathy’s….elderly millionaire husband!”

Ryan suggests Kathy keep her eye on the ball
Kathy, in a very fun European accent: “…I can’t keep my eye anywhere…except on that little ball you call a head…”

I love the detail that Ryan’s blender makes the exact same sound effect as Wayne’s motorized cart

Wayne’s very funny, going along the back of the stage, then accidentally passing onto Colin’s step because he can’t get the thing to stop

Wayne comes to a stop, then lifts up his little goggles

I’m not sure how I feel about Kathy really being taken aback by Colin’s ‘crap’ intro line

Colin, to Wayne: “By the way, nice Moms Mabley.”
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Ryan does a ‘THAT’S WHAT I WAS THINKING’ at one of Colin’s comments. Unlike usual, Colin limits himself to a mumbled little ‘…muheeyyy’, which cracks me up

Ryan and Kathy as stand-ups have some really great back-and-forth, both doing bits with each other

Kathy, to Ryan: “Hey, nice shirt, WHO SHOT THE COUCH?”

Wayne comes on, and Ryan and Kathy start booing his jokes and heckling
Wayne: “Well, you have fun at her 18th hole.”

Wayne, after Colin enters:
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Colin, to Wayne: “…you know, we ARE owned by Disney…”

Ryan and Kathy muttering German to each other is also pretty funny. Was not expecting those two to work so well together
Ryan even throws in a ‘HOGAAAAAAN’

Instead of coming in on the cart, Wayne goose-steps in.

All of the fake German being played straight is cracking me up, even when Ryan starts yelling ‘NEIN’

Ryan and Kathy are even great in the Obnoxious Drunks scene. My gosh.

Kathy has a great move in vomiting, then grabbing Ryan and kissing him. Which, to his credit, Ryan doesn’t seem too caught-off-guard by.

Wayne enters, loses control of the cart and falls downstage. So Kathy and Ryan start putting golf balls at him. That is funny

Drew buzzes, and you can hear Ryan go “oh, it’s so nice to kiss a girl instead…”

A very goofy, and entertaining scene. I was surprised how well Ryan and Kathy worked together, and how Colin kept screwing with Wayne.

Drew gives Kathy 2000 points for kissing Ryan
Colin: “I never get 2000 points for kissing him…”
Drew: “Because you LIKE to kiss him”
Ryan, of course: “It’s gotta be on the SHOW…”

Song Styles: Wayne sings to Katie, Miss America, as a boy band.

Drew asks Wayne how the wife is before he brings out Miss America. Oh, 2001…

Katie, who hails from Oregon, gets Northwesterner Ryan to give a ‘GO DUCKS’ from the seats.
Ryan, also in the back:
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Wayne has some surface level stuff, going ‘God Bless Old Glory’
Wayne, rapping: “Oh my goodness, you got class
It would not be right, no no
Because we’re on a FAMILY SHOW”
As good as that joke is, if we’re on a family show, why bring on Hefner??

A pretty okay SS from Wayne. Again, only so many targets you can hit here. Katie seemed to enjoy it though

Scenes from a Hat:

Drew: “Unusual Things for a Neighbor to Ask to Borrow”
Colin: “Hi, I need some monkey testicles AND A COLA…”
Everyone takes a few moments to recover

“If you used stripper moves to do mundane activities”
Ryan, crawling around: “WHERE IS MY CONTACT?”

World’s Worst Thing to Say the First Time you See Someone Naked:
Colin, shaking his head as he comes down: “aw, that reminds me, my tire needs new treads.”

Strange Television Shows for Mister Rogers to Make an Appearance on is the first of many similar categories, but I believe that Fred had died by the time this aired
Fred, as Rogers: “…well yes, I have to say that is mah final answer…”
Ryan, up to the camera: “…well…I’m gonna have ta vote out Billy..”

Disturbing Times to make Animal Noises:
Wayne, proposing to Kathy: [SQUEEEEEEEEAL]
Colin, peeing: [ROOSTER CAW]

A pretty good SFAH, and they let it go for a bit.

Living Scenery: Batman, who is Ryan, and Robin, who’s Colin, are in the Batcave when they get a call from Commissioner Gordon saying that Batgirl is being held in an abandoned mineshaft
Wayne and Katie are all the props

Colin is good enough to establish the stakes early, getting the call from the commissioner with Katie as the phone. He then remembers who he’s supposed to be, and tries for something: “HOLY….KIDNAPPING.”

There’s a confusion as to where the batpoles are, which gives Ryan the opportunity to slide down Katie.
Colin wisely comes back up and goes down the Katie pole himself

Ryan first suggests they take the Batmobile, then realizes who he can work with, and reneges: “NONO, LET’S TAKE THE BAT-SCOOTERS”
Katie laughs at this, and struggles to keep it together as Ryan rides her as a scooter
Ryan: “I’m gonna drive around the block a couple times-”
Colin: “NO!”

I love the detail of Katie bending her leg outward when Colin notices Ryan has a flat

Colin, remembering again who he is: “HOLY….CLUE!”

Then, Colin picks up Katie and uses her as his utility belt, which is a very inspired choice. Katie, again, is laughing her ass off

Colin: “Use the bat…terring ram.”
Colin shrugs as this gets a middling response: “I’m just Robin, what do I know?”

Ryan, still holding Katie, decides to play Batgirl “a little song on the guitar”

Colin starts playing Wayne as a bass, which is a very silly visual that nearly breaks him

There’s a moment where Ryan and Colin have to remember where they were, when Wayne does an out-of-shot ‘HELP ME’
Colin: “It’s Batgirl!”
Ryan, briefly turning this into Sound Effects: “She’s turned into a fly!”

Another fun moment, of Ryan setting up that he needs a bat-grenade, thinking he’s gonna get Katie…then Colin grabs Katie to use as a gasmask, and Ryan just:
Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 2.59.24 PM.png

A pretty good Living Scenery, though not as good as last show’s. Katie was having a hell of a time, but Ryan and Colin had a few clumsy moments, especially late

Drew: “So what was that like sliding down Miss America, huh? Was it fun?”
Colin: “It was better than playing Wayne as a fiddle…”
Wayne: “So says YOU…’dear diary, today I became a man’..”

Props: Drew and Wayne vs. Ryan and Kathy

Another rare pairing, as Drew, who usually does Props with Ryan, is paired with Wayne, as Ryan’s paired with Kathy. Interesting.

Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 3.05.25 PM.pngDrew, feebly: “Give me your tired, your poor…your huddled masses…”
The prop falls off his head halfway through

Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 3.06.06 PM.pngRyan: “No, I’m known for my SHOES on the show…”

Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 3.06.42 PM.pngKathy: “I cannot believe you came to this party dressed as Bjork too…”

There’s a nice back-to-back of Ryan and Kathy holding theirs up, going “WE’RE NUMBER FIVE”, and then Drew catching on with his, going “…WE’RE NUMBER EIGHT.”

A pretty strong Props round. I’m kinda surprised how well Kathy fit into this one as well. And again, there’s that Ryan-Kathy combo from HD.

Overall: A solid show without many real highlights. Honestly, some of the best moves of the show were just well-improvised moments, like most of Hollywood Director and the bits in Living Scenery where Ryan and Colin fought over who got Katie. Other than that, it was all pretty good, if unspectacular. Kathy Griffin, as we’ll see in the subsequent shows from this taping, brought a lot of fun energy to the proceedings, and was great at some improv fundamentals, especially in HD and Props. I’m also of the opinion that if WL did a Summer 2003 taping session, they would have asked her back, as she was a great fit for the show, and arguably one of the funnier women Dan & Mark asked on the program since landing in the US (is she the funniest? A sandy blonde-haired California-based improviser might have something to say about that)

The guest star material here was merely okay. Yes, Katie was into it, but I do feel like she could have brought more to the proceedings than just ‘being Miss America’. Then again, Miss America isn’t exactly a personality contest, is it?

Show Winner: Colin
Best Performer: Ryan, by a very slim margin.
Worst Performer: I really don’t wanna put anyone here. Everyone was so in step this episode. And as much as Wayne had a really good Director and Song Styles, he was shut out of the other games.
Best Game: Hollywood Director has the best picture of these four’s improv dynamic.
Worst Game: Song Styles was by no means bad, but was the most okay.
Final HAAAEEEEHH Count: SEVEN. Which is arguably restraint.
Guest Star Rating: 7/10 for Katie. Was happy to be here, laughed through Living Scenery, but you could have replaced her with anybody.

COMING UP NEXT: A renegade Season 4 taping, one we haven’t seen anything yet, but they’re putting their best foot forward. For instance, here’s an episode where Wayne wears a thong.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E01, or Look, it’s Crazy Ted!

Yes. Time to start Season 5 of Whose Line, the show’s last gasp of relevancy on ABC, and the last ‘new tapings’ the show would get for 10 years.

Season 5 is a very weird one to talk about, as so much of it has been denoted that it’s not exactly clear which tapings actually come from season 5. Most people regard true Season 5 stuff as material from the ten tapings done in the fall of 2001, as well as the renegade Season 4 tapings that didn’t make it into actual Season 4. I’m more difficult, and I don’t consider tapings like the two Kathy ones, one Chip one, one Jeff one and one Brad one that didn’t air any material in S4 as S5 tapings, since they’re not coming from the same sessions as the other S5 tapings.

Right. Now that I’ve confused all the casual fans.

Season 5 is also an interesting one in that A.) most of the tapings were well-reported on  by fans and Whosers, and that B.) a lot of these tapings have a lot of material left to extract from to this day. A lot of time in S5 is devoted to unaired S4 material, which is…fine, but at least the other unaired S4 material got dumped into Season 7. Season 5 never had one season where all the unaired stuff got dumped like that. And that’s a shame, because we have a lot of material that was reported about by Whosers that has yet to be produced.

Nevertheless, we soldier on. This episode comes from the same taping as 4×14, the Whoopi Goldberg taping. The first episode from this one was good, but a little shaky for me.

The Whoopi ass-kicking continues from 4×14, as there’s a lot of repeated mentions that Whoopi’s on.

Questions Only: It’s the last night of an international singles cruise

Wayne starts the scene by freshening up, knowing he might kiss Whoopi
Whoopi: “Could you leave me alone?”
Wayne, pointing to Whoopi’s dress and going for it: “Is that the Color Purple?”

Whoopi replies with a Helen Keller joke that has NOT aged well.

Wayne: “Don’t you want some of this?” [does some sexy gyrating]
Whoopi: “Didn’t I HAVE that and threw it out?”
Wayne: [is aghast]
Whoopi: “Wasn’t it a little on the wee side?”
Wayne, not topping that: “…yes.”

Colin: “Do you want some of this?” [does some goofier motions than Wayne]

Whoopi: “Don’t you think it’s too late?”
[My god, she’s awesome at this game]

Colin: “…don’t you want to feel a pleasure that only one other woman has felt?”
Whoopi: “Is that the one who died?”
I also love the wry smile that forms as Colin reacts to this

Colin: “Don’t you know it’s not the package?”

This tension eventually leads to Whoopi laying a very quick, cute kiss on Colin. Colin just smiles.
Ryan comes in next and has the ultimate comeback: “How’s it feel to kiss a woman for a change?”
MY GOD. So much of what the show’s become to this point is necessary for that joke to work, and it really hits

Drew deducts points from Whoopi for letting Colin give her “some of that Canadian Bacon”
Colin: “I’m the only white meat”

A very strong QO playing. My only gripe is that Ryan didn’t get to do enough, but Whoopi killed it, and had great chemistry with Wayne AND Colin, and kept the scene, and the threadline, going throughout

Two Line Vocabulary: Colin is the leader of the last few members of a space colony on Mars, they are under attack from enemy aliens and desperately trying to work out a plan
Ryan’s lines: “What is that?” and “I’m really in the mood”
Whoopi’s lines: “Have you thought this through” and “that’s impossible”

Colin nods at his character description.
Ryan: “…is he a man, or a woman?”
Drew: “…DOESN’T SAY…”
Colin: “okay!”
Drew: “If I was gonna guess….woman.”

Whoopi: “Have you thought this through?”
Colin: “…well…no, but…as your leader, I must appear as though I have.”
Whoopi: “…that’s impossible”

Colin: “That’s why I brought THE GUN”
Ryan: “What is that?”
Whoopi: “That’s impossible”
Colin, to both: “…it’s a GUN….IT’S NOT.”

Whoopi: “Have you thought this through?”
Colin: “LOOK, you ask me that one more time, I’m ripping your face off”
Whoopi, mockingly: “THAT’S IMPOOOSIBLE”
Wayne loves this one

Not a great one, as these lines were a bit more specific than usual, and they never really got anywhere.

Props: Wayne & Whoopi vs. Ryan & Colin

It’s not typical that they start with bizarreness, but Ryan goes with…elephants playing poker:
Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.19.27 AM.png
Ryan: “…aaah, I raise ya three peanuts…”

Colin’s ‘gigantic tea restaurant’ gets Ryan laughing, which reminds me…RYAN AND COLIN DON’T GET MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO BE PARTNERS IN PROPS. It’s usually Ryan and Drew, or Ryan and the guest. Colin usually pairs with Wayne. Ryan and Colin haven’t been props partners since Season 1-era. And theirs were usually really fun (I think about the “dragging those things around” one)

Whoopi and Wayne do one where they use theirs as walking sticks, just wobbling around, but it’s dying.
Wayne DIES at this

Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.23.02 AM.pngColin: “….COME BOY WONDER, TO THE BATMOBILE.”
I have no idea why suggestions where the performer’s voice is muffled a bit by the prop are so funny. It’s like Ryan’s ‘Anorexic Tin Man’ one from S2.

Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.24.11 AM.pngColin, muffled again: “DON’T ASK ME HOW, JUST GET ME OUT OF THE MAILBOX.”
Ryan cracks here. I’m really glad they reteamed for this one

Whoopi, as she’s about to start one, hits herself in the head with the prop, exclaiming “OW!”
Then, on the spot, she thinks of one, looks at Wayne, and goes “…are you swinging your nuts again?”
Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.25.50 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.25.56 AM.png
I love that. Wayne just goes back to his seat. He is DONE.

A VERY FUNNY PROPS. Closer to the CW version in how wild it was, but man, Ryan and Colin were on FIRE.

Living Scenery: Ryan is trying to impress his girlfriend Colin at the carnival as they try out the rides and play the games (Wayne and Whoopi are the props)

Drew: “Ryan is trying to impress his girlfriend, Colin”
Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.27.32 AM.png
Colin constantly being cast as the woman is one of my favorite WL series-emcompassing running gags.

When Ryan and Colin go on the roller coaster, both them use Wayne and Whoopi in different roller coaster suspension ways. Colin VERY QUICKLY fixes it, which cracks up Wayne
Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.33.53 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.34.01 AM.png
Great improv moment- gotta match your partner, even if it makes a laugh getting it right

Wayne and Whoopi rear them back a bit for this
Ryan: “this one’s got padding in the back!”
THAT is a great line. Not quite to the caliber of a similar observation Colin makes in this game around 16 episodes from now, but close

Ryan pimps Wayne out and makes him go up as the ‘Big Bear Jamboree’, which has him do an entire animatronic bear related show by himself.
Whoopi, eventually joining in: “Welcome to the Big Bear Jamboree
We’re here with all our good friends, and you can watch us pee”
Drew: [gone]
Colin: “…I don’t remember THAT before..”

Wayne does a perfect recreation of a carousel horse
Colin, not giving him the satisfaction: “…oh, look, it’s Crazy Ted”
Wayne, holding in laughter, changes from a carousel horse to a crazy drunk guy within seconds

There’s a discombobulated ending (Crazy Ted returns), but this was a pretty good Living Scenery, though it took a bit to get going and took some routes that not every playing of this takes. I still liked it though.

Ryan, Colin and Wayne are still laughing about Crazy Ted back at the seats
Wayne’s gone again. He’s been especially giggly this show

Helping Hands: Ryan, hands by Colin, is a cold-blooded pirate captain who is showing new recruit Whoopi how to be a pirate

I love how right as the game starts, Colin hands himself the hook hand, and puts it on…AND THEN SCRATCHES HIS NUTS WITH IT. THIS IS WHERE WE ARE *STARTING*

Whoopi follows suit, and readjusts her crotch as she shakes Ryan’s hand

Ryan starts reciting a pirate verse as Colin is getting the hook stuck in the bottle mouth he’s holding
Ryan, looking down: “…it’s open, I guess!”

Ryan, after having a drink: “OOOH, HEY- THAT’S REAL!”
Not the only time Ryan will imbibe actual alcohol this season, though a cleaner version than later ones
Also, Colin has him go back for multiple sips. It’s late in the taping, so whatever

Whoopi has a smart move and mentions a spot around Ryan’s thigh, which has him go into where the whale bit him. It’s good move, as this game can go into just ‘Colin making Ryan eat horrible things’, but they can definitely do character stuff along the way. One of my favorite playings of this was a UK playing where Ryan played a depressed lounge singer.

Ryan, using a visual aid, accidentally opens one of the bananas
Ryan: “…THAT’S what he did to my leg…”

Ryan, of course, knowing Colin will eventually need the other hand, confesses ‘this ain’t a real hook’, so Colin can take it off

Colin shoves a banana in Ryan’s face, and he takes a chomp…and has an odd look on his face. Colin, as he does in this game, puts a hand under Ryan’s chin, thinking he’s gonna spit it out. Ryan, unusual for him, goes “naaah”, knowing it probably won’t be worth it. THAT’s a great deconstruction of other HH playings

Still, as Ryan needs to wash it down, he yells for Colin to get the beer bottle back again…and Colin has trouble with that. Colin also has a funny move in pouring out some of the beer and putting it on Ryan’s face as aftershave

Whoopi, trying to help: “You mean the one to the left, there?”
Colin reaches, and the parrot falls off the table

Whoopi tries to get Ryan to get back to food, as she knows that’s what makes this work, but Colin grabs…a periscope
Ryan: “….LET’S HAVE A LOOK.”
Colin just keeps pointing the thing down

The big denouement of the scene seems to be both attacking chicken legs…except Whoopi’s a vegetarian, so she asks Ryan to do it.

Ryan, of course, takes another swig from the beer after this, and also takes a moment to let that digest, with an audible “aaah” as the beer goes down. He’s trying to stay in character, but he NEEDED that beer

The scene ends with Ryan singing a very silly song on a toy accordion, that Colin just violently pumps as he goes

SUCH A GOOD HELPING HANDS. Whoopi was very passive, but even she had some nice moments letting Ryan go for it. Meanwhile, Ryan had so much fun with this, between the beer, the botched chicken, the bananas, and the eventual accordion. So much fun stuff in this one, and one of the better playings of this over-played era of the game.

Three-Headed Broadway Star: Ryan, Wayne and Whoopi sing “When I Think About Your Pants” to Drew

This isn’t a Drew game, somehow, it’s in regulation. So…a lot of Drew games weren’t good enough?

Whoopi’s last minute change from ‘I’ to ‘I’M’ throws off Wayne, and he settles on a line of “wit….h”. Ryan and Whoopi look at him strangely at this

Whoopi, on a line, just goes “I DON’T KNOW”, which gets a look from Drew. I think it was less of a mental lapse of how the game works, and more of Whoopi not having a good one in the moment

“I crave your pants, so I have
Wayne: “…CHANCE.”
Whoopi: [cracks]

“When I dance beside you, your pants
Whoopi: “Sing”
My god.

A very fun final line, of “I can’t live without your pants, so I’ll just take them off”

A really good playing of this, and it was pretty impressive skill-wise, as there only a few lapses in judgment. The rest of this made a lot of sense and was very funny and coherent, and one of the better playings of this from S5, an era where there was less and less of it.

Overall: Much better than 4×14, and a truly strong showing that was WELL WORTH the publicized guest star in Whoopi. Last show, I worried that Whoopi’s star power was overpowering both the other 3 AND the guise of the show, and she was making a lot of the descriptions feel very questionable. I did not feel that in this one, as only Two-Line really felt like it was wasting her. The clear S5 guest participation games, like Living Scenery, Three-Headed and ESPECIALLY Helping Hands, were insanely strong, and gave Whoopi enough things to do without having her overshadow great performances from Ryan and Wayne. And the other two quick fire-ish rounds, which would be belittled in any other show like this, felt insanely strong, and gave some very LIVE moments between Whoopi and both Colin and Wayne.

Simply put, this show gave me some of the excitement and prowess that I was missing from 4×14. This should be the more wider-known Whoopi Goldberg episode, because she was as good here as she was in the other one.

Show Winner: All Four, I think
Best Performer: Colin, surprisingly, for carrying the first half of the show, and for introducing Crazy Ted.
Worst Performer: Wayne only really came up big in Three-Headed, but he mostly used the show to laugh at other people’s stuff
Best Game: Helping Hands, man. So many fun things happened in there.
Worst Game: Two-Line felt the most disposable

COMING UP NEXT: Now that you mention it, S5 of Whose Line is beginning a trend of staying away from Kathy Greenwood, as she may not have been able to make the fall tapings. At least they recruited other female performers, like Whoopi, and next show’s fourth-seater, an interesting one to talk about. Also, there’s a guest star that I always forget about.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S04E31, or One of Those Rare Scottish Blues Singers

I know that Season 4 is the shortest of the bulk OG WL seasons, but this one felt longer than its 31 episodes for some reason. Maybe the middle third of this season just dragged.

Either way, I’m overall pretty happy with S4 of Whose Line, despite the fact that it could never really match up to its SCORCHING first ten shows, but there are some gems all throughout, and it’s one of the last lawful, non-engineered portraits of WL at its best.

This last show of the season comes from the 100th Show taping, which we’ve already gotten one classic show and one okay show from. Here comes something closer to the latter.

Drew has a fun ‘sound guys are cutting off my mic’ gag to start the show

Let’s Make a Date: Greg must choose from Wayne, smooth rap star blindfolded and handcuffed to the bed by his new girlfriend gradually realizing the evening is going wrong, Colin, deranged window dresser whose only friends are mannequins Wayne and Ryan who he has fun undressing and dressing after hours, and Ryan, horse whisperer calming and mounting the others who he thinks are wild stallions

My first laugh of this game came right at the end of Colin moving Wayne around, where he suddenly drops his creepy demeanor and yells at the camera “THERE’S NOTHING TO SEE HERE!”

The slow way Ryan gets onto Colin and frantically begins to ride him is also pretty funny, but so far my laughs are very sparse

Heck, you can tell how dire this one is when Greg makes a Mod Squad joke…and ONLY DREW LAUGHS AT IT. Greg has to stop and go “thank you, Mr. Carey…”

Greg: “#2, all womens l-”
Colin: ‘removes one of Wayne’s shoes”
Greg, rolling with it: “…love SHOES.”

Colin, disgusted, towards Ryan: “I WISH YOU HAD GENITALIA!”

Of course, Ryan realizes Colin needs a friend…and Drew ultimately realizes what the rest of this game is about to turn into
Ryan: “This one over here looks like he needs a bit of exercise!”

Ryan goes back to riding Colin, and Colin moves Ryan’s arm to sticking straight out. Once Drew FINALLY buzzes, Ryan remarks “now I look like a Nazi…”

Drew: “Who were Wayne and Colin, and who did Ryan used to be?”

Wayne hands Greg the quirk after he guesses it, and Greg is ASTONISHED as to how long they are now, going “THERE’S TWO PARAGRAPHS OF TEXT ON THIS!”
In a future taping, Greg will remark “remember when it was just ‘a cow’?”

Greg: “…and Ryan used to be on your show AND Whose Line before he treated you like a horse!”

Not one of my favorite PQ playings. The complicated nature of a lot of the quirks, and the forced cooperation, lost me early

Drew: “That’s right, Ryan used to have TWO SHOWS…before he called me a fat horse on national TV.”
Ryan: “…I don’t think I used the words FAT HORSE…”

Narrate: Maternity Ward

Ryan’s going into this right from LMAD, waiting for Drew to clap back at him

Colin notices Ryan’s position of having his hands up and outstretched, and Colin concludes “…I caught up to him….doing something strange with a watermelon”

Ryan: “When he came out, I didn’t know which end to slap,”

Colin, exacting his revenge on Ryan, slaps him on the ass. “HUH? YA LIKE THAT?”

Ryan: “I knew what he was angry about. So many years ago…I forgot to cut the cord. Couldn’t have been easy for him, traveling through life like that all these years…”

Ryan makes a ching-a-ding-ding noise after cutting the cord
Colin: “…it was then I noticed that he’d had a parrot on his shoulder the entire time he’d been talking to me.”
[Only Colin can make something like that work]

You can immediately see that Ryan has no idea what to do with this parrot information, though. He prefaces his long, scene-tying speech with “THIS IS GONNA MAKE SENSE, LISTEN TO ME.”
And Colin’s just shaking his head, knowing Ryan has no idea what he’s doing. He goes up again, and clarifies that Ryan doesn’t know what he’s doing, saying “I knew he was gonna explain EXACTLY how it all interconnected”
Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 6.45.56 PM.png
[Ryan reacts very well to that]
And then Colin just…does this
Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 6.46.13 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 6.46.32 PM.png

Ryan: “Sure, I can explain it…but wouldn’t it be better coming from the parrot?”
And then one ups Colin, giving him the parrot so he doesn’t have to explain anything.

There’s one more misstep to end the scene, with Colin saying “and…then he died”, and Ryan thinking he meant HE died, only for Colin to clumsily go “…no, not the…OH!”

A slightly haphazard Narrate, with some good moment, but you could tell both of them had trouble with this one.

Film Dub: Greg, Ryan and Colin are three years into an international space mission


Ryan, whose character is the only one in black: “hey…new uniforms are in!”
Colin: “Hey, it’s very slimming…except on you, of course”

Ryan: “And I haven’t taken my hand out of my pocket the entire trip! Anyone wonder about that?”
Greg: “You bet we’ve been wondering. What do you do in there?”

Ryan’s character eventually pulls a cigarette out, but Colin stops him

Third meh-ish scene in a row.

Greatest Hits: Songs of Retirement v2

Colin has a fun, completely appropriate gag by saying we’ll return to “Crouching Tigger Hidden Pooh in just a second”.

Ryan bitches about retirement to start the game
Colin: “well you’re years away from that…you’ll probably be fired long before then!”

Ryan: “It’s a big one…and it’s made out of chocolate”
[…an AWARD WINNING PAUSE from both of them]
Ryan, finally: “…I had a little something to drink earlier…”

Ryan has a funny move, where he introduces a protest song called “I’m moving to Florida”, then right as Laura and Linda start, you can hear him realize “…I’m not sure why that’s a protest song…”

Wayne’s Dylan impression, as usual, is pretty great, and he has some funny old person lyrics involving bunions and joints

Wayne also has a funny move where he holds the note right before the last note of the song for a long time, holding out his watch, just to keep the musicians at bay. And then when he finally hits it, they come in perfectly

Colin begins his most ambitious intro ever with “as our regular viewers know, I’m a child of the streets”, which explains why he reminds Ryan of this during the GH in E13 [“I TOLD YOU, I’M A CHILD OF THE STREETS”]
Colin eventually goes on a whole cycle of all the animals that raised him, including wolves, beavers, and a platypus, which is such a goofy comedy bit
Ryan, bringing the goofiness home: “…military brat, huh?”

Colin continues, saying he loves blues, “but you know what specific blues I like? I like those really old blues songs where you can really not understand the words at all, where the singer seems to be so old and grizzled and filled with blues and soul that…it’s more emotion than actual words?”
Ryan: “…you mean like Pat Boone?”
Colin: “NO.”
[another grade A pause]
Ryan: “…then I have no idea what you’re talking about”
Colin: “Well, I think you’re going to, once you hear the…..singing blues of…”
And right here, Colin decides he’s gonna go for broke in screwing over Wayne, and figures out the most ridiculous name for this blues singer: “…Wet Biscuit McGlee…”
Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 8.09.50 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 8.10.07 PM.png
Ryan’s BARELY hanging on
Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 8.10.38 PM.png
Wayne’s also pretty gone

Right here, Ryan realizes that if Colin’s gonna pimp Wayne out like this and set him up for so many ridiculous things to do, Ryan’s gonna join him: “One of those rare Scottish blues singers”
Colin: “Yeah, but you’re gonna love it…”
And right here, Colin realizes what he’s wrought, looks over at Ryan, and breaks down. “Ya won’t…” and he’s GONE. Which brings Ryan with him. It’s so rare that Colin cracks up that this is a pretty cathartic one.

Colin, recomposing: “THIS IS A VERY RARE RECORDING!”
Ryan: “wow, I’ll bet!”
Colin: “and the title of course is…..”AAACHHAWIILLEBAUGHOUGHCIJIBAHHCHH”

Wayne takes a second to compose himself, as he should, before going RIGHT IN.

And so…Wayne does an entire 12-bar blues song made up of pseudo-Scottish gibberish. And oh my god does he own it. Once Laura and Linda give him a 4-bar riff to go off, he completely nails it, so going into character and coming off as a powerful blues act. This is probably the ultimate ‘BEAT THAT’ moment, as they give Wayne the most complicated style possible, and he still does it like a pro

So…that was just insane. Like the previous playing, pretty strong, and great in terms of Ryan-Colin banter AND Wayne’s prowess. But that Wet Biscuit moment pulled this over the edge. My god. Sad that it took THIS LONG for this show to impress me, cause before this the momentum was pretty dead.

Props: Wayne and Colin vs. Ryan and Drew

Ryan’s first idea is a pretty fun one:
Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 8.20.45 PM.png
Yes. The scene from Big. Amazing

And another wholesome and creative one from Ryan:
Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 8.21.30 PM.png

Colin wearing the prop like a diaper is amusing as hell

Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 8.23.38 PM.pngWayne, a la Levi Stubbs: “SEYMOUR! FEED ME SEYMOUR!”

A bit light, but there were some I liked in this one.

Overall: Greatest Hits. One awesome Greatest Hits round. And that is all I have to report. Everything else was forgettable. But man was that GH good.

Show Winner: Greg
Best Performer: Ryan had the best moves tonight, even including calling Drew an overweight horse and all of Props.
Worst Performer: Greg didn’t have any opportunities to stand out tonight.
Worst Game: Film Dub went nowhere.

Best Episode: Episode 8. I went into this season wondering if anything in this season would be able to top the show I’d always assumed was one of the best ones here, and nothing did. Between those killer rounds of Director, Living Scenery and Helping Hands, AND that amazing tape recorder runner, this one caught fire like no other show could.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 1, another one I went in already adoring. The 100 dollar bills make this an easy favorite, as does the much-heralded round of LMAD, but I think this show has the single most successful Sound Effects round of the US series. And also Jeff Davis’ starmaking turn, a show that made the producers realize what a gem they had with this guy.
3rd Best Episode: Episode 9, left over from Season 3, and featuring a sick, broken Ryan…but with some laser-sharp running gags, some STELLAR work from Chip, some nice corduroy pants, and some insanely funny stuff all the way through.
Worst Episode: Episode 11. Lemme tell ya, this one came close, but Wet Biscuit saved it. What did E11 have? A ton of games that didn’t work, a lot of dead space, and a sole round of Whose Line that made me crack up. Even the bad shows this season still had good parts.
Episode Most Worthy of Another Look: E22. A Kathy show where the other 2 are better remembered, but there aren’t many bad games here. Also, a lot more Kathy than even the better shows from her tapings this year.
Best Taping: 401 taping. We got two goldmine shows from this taping this season, we get another one with Animal Porn next season. So much strong stuff was going on this season. Maybe it was the 100 dollar bills.
Taping We Wish We’d Seen More of: I guess this counts as a S4 show, but the 318 taping, which we saw the Ryan’s Back show from this year, we’ll see a S6 episode from, and that’ll be it. A lot couldn’t make air, and I think we all deserve to see some of it.
Best Regular: Colin Mochrie, for dominating 16 of the 31 shows, and…still being too damn good at this.
Best Fourth-Seater: Brad Sherwood, who had more ‘Best Performer’ placings than any other fourth-seater, for the umpteenth time. Never thought it’d be Brad to stand out so much.
Best Guest Star: Well, now that I can include game-spot guest stars, let’s give it to Sid Caesar in E15. The goal was to salute a TV icon, and Sid came off like a pro, being as hysterical as he was impressed by the others.
Best ‘Special Episode’: E14, the Whoopi Goldberg episode, narrowly edging out the SALUTE show by feeling like a SPECIAL EDITION, and being kinda alright.
Episodes Ranked: See my Twitter, @WLIIAWatchdown

COMING UP NEXT: Season 5 begins with a show from the last batch of LA tapings, the Whoopi Goldberg taping. If you liked her first episode, you might also like this one.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S04E30, or My Pack is Halfway Up My Ass

Like Season 3, the Whose Line producers stacked the tail end of the season with some good shows, and then picked a breather show to end the season with. So this one, episode 30, is the last BIG show of the season. Compared to something like the big guns from last season (the Neon Light show and the Horward show), it may seem kinda small, but this one’s a classic.

I remember back when WL was being slowly trickled onto youtube, there was a guy who uploaded full episodes of the show onto YT in 3-part heats, and he tried to do whatever landed on ABC Family, but he did requests, too. When he posted 4×30, he added the caption ‘requested by the world’. So the WL community loves this one, and we’re gonna explain why

This is a Greg show, from the same taping as E23. I liked that one, and I sure as hell love this one:

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Greg, a German insult comic, co-anchors, Wayne, girl scout selling cookies who’s possessed by the devil, does sports while Ryan, old man who takes extremely short-acting rejuvenation pill

Colin: “Our top story, a man is still in critical condition after swallowing 250,000 dollars in large bills. No change is expected.”

Greg wonders if Colin’s ready to hear about more news, “but I’m afraid you can’t, because you don’t have enough HAAAIIIR to think with.”
Colin just holds a stare towards Greg

Greg, flashing back to Millionaire Show: “It reminds me of the time I invaded Poland!”
Colin: “…like I’m gonna help you…”

Colin, chuckling: “…you’ve yet to win a war…”
Ryan, for the record, looks over at Keith to see if that line’s kosher. It apparently is.
Greg: “…and yet you drive a BMW.”

Wayne’s fantastic at doing the switch between sweet and demonic, and here the switch happens in an instant, which is fantastic


Wayne’s is just over the top enough

Greg interrupts Colin’s next sendoff by just going “have I mentioned you’re ugly?”
And as Colin tries to throw it over to Ryan, Greg keeps trying to distract and interrupt him, which is pretty amusing

Ryan holds his opening old man position for a solid 10 seconds

I do kinda love this Ryan character, and how goofily old he is, as well as the little shock he gets when he becomes younger. Then, he immediately takes off his clothes.

Then, as Ryan regresses, he looks down and shouts “…NO, DON’T GO AWAY!”

A pretty good WN. Some aspects took me away from fully loving it, but it had some great moments, like the Colin-Greg banter and Ryan’s.

Drew, to Wayne: “This is gonna sound funny, but you’re not the first girl scout I’ve seen possessed by the devil.”
Ryan, jumping on the offensive: “Those weren’t real girl scouts, those were girls you paid to PRETEND they were girl scouts…”
Drew, of course, has the ultimate comeback: “…tell your wife I said hello.”

This is all hysterical, and you can tell they’re gonna be arguing all day, so Drew calls a cease fire, saying “I love you, man.”
Colin, however, has a different idea: “HEY, COME ON, MAKE FUN OF THE BALD GUY! I’ll be your lightning rod of hate!”
This cracks everybody up. Ryan just loves that Colin described himself as a lightning rod.

Drew: “Alright, you asked for it, this next game’s for Ryan and BALDY!”

Whose Line: Dr. Frankenstein, played by Ryan, and his devoted assistant Igor, played by Colin, are trying to bring the monster to life before the mob arrives

Yep, this came DIRECTLY after WN. Ryan’s even still going “lightning rod of hate..”

Colin does a little salute when he hears he’s playing Igor.
Drew: “…also known as the lightning rod of hate…”

I love that Colin’s just jumping around with this really goofy physicality as Igor

Ryan, noticing this: “…you’re a little peppy today!”
Colin: “the plumbing’s down again!”

Then, as Ryan tries to do a dramatic line, Colin’s still moving around. Ryan has to go “STOP MOVING, IGOR”, so they can actually have a moment.

Ryan: “I’VE GOT A HUNCH YOU’RE GO- I’m sorry…”
Colin does a little ‘talk to the hand’ move in response to this

Ryan: “When people ask about you, I say “IGOR, OF COURSE’…”What are you looking at, fatboy?” [cracks] Usually it’s fat people who ask me!”

Ryan: “I love you, Igor…not in that way-”
Colin: “Well, I wasn’t hoping…”
So much of this relationship hinges on Ryan and Colin’s preexisting comedy relationship, and I like that

Colin: “Well, I heard the villagers talking the other day, you know what they said? “What’s with the sheep outfit?”‘
Damn, that’s like something out of Improbable Mission
Colin: “THEY SAW ME! THEY NOTICED ME RIGHT OFF! I was the only one walking like this- BAAA!”
And he hops around like he did before

Ryan: “People will think of Frankenstein and they will say “I can’t believe it’s not butter…”

Colin throws in a ‘DA-DA-DA-DAAAA!’, which cracks up Ryan enough to get Drew to end the scene. It’s an out-of-nowhere ending, but it still sorta works.

I liked this one, even though it was hard for them to get a really scene structure going. I loved Colin’s Igor bouncing, though.

Drew: “The old Canadian disco dancing of Colin Mochrie….WAY TO GO BALDY!”
Colin: “…lightning rod, SSHHHHHHH!”
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Action Replay: On a safari, a tourist and his guide set up camp for the night when they’re confronted by a hungry lion
Greg and Wayne go first, Ryan and Colin watch

As usual, Colin notes how loud the headphone music is. Even going ‘OW!’

I also love the shots of Ryan and Colin bobbing their heads in unison
Greg: “…you guys want a drink or something?”
Drew: “if you like Pina Coladas…”

Wayne, winkingly naming who’s who: “…HELLO, GUIDE.”

Wayne gets his by something
Greg: “It’s alright, it’s not too lethal, it was just a hummingbird flying too low”
I forget how good Greg is at rationalizations. It’s a shame the producers don’t let him do actual scene work much in the US version

Greg: “THIS IS WHERE THE ELEPHANTS BATHE- ugh, they don’t just bathe!”

The difference here is that Greg actually works on doing a good physical scene for themselves, while Wayne is more trying to screw over Ryan and Colin’s scene. Wayne does a gag where he yanks his legs upward, because he knows Colin will have to replicate it

Wayne starts running from some natives
Greg: “Don’t run, they’re friendly, stop and wave to them!”
And for a moment, Wayne and Greg cheerily wave

So that alone is a pretty fun scene, and proves that Greg is actually really good at this game without just making it about Ryan and Colin’s scene

THEN, HOWEVER, Ryan and Colin get up there

Ryan frames their scene as two Broadway actors trying to do a run before opening night. Ryan uses Greg’s crawling as some choreography

Ryan, taking Colin’s neck-grabbing: “you’ve been shot by a dart from your understudy up there!”

Then, Ryan uses the crawling around to announce “CATS SHALL GO ON AS A MUSICAL!”
Colin: “MEOW. MEOW.”
[he’s just foreshadowing S5 now, isn’t he?’

Ryan instructs Colin to do the legs thing by exclaiming he’s got the wrong dancing shoes on, so he reluctantly drops to the floor and puts his legs up
Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 3.43.18 PM.png
Colin: “WHAT??”

Then, as Colin gets up, he clutches his backside and exclaims a small ‘ow!’

Colin, pointing off to the side: “OH NO! CRRRITICS!”
[I love that delivery]

As Drew buzzes, Colin’s still clutching his back, and both Wayne and Ryan check if he’s okay.

Drew even inquires:
Colin, with the best amount of calm: “…I’m fine, Drew, thank you, I’ve just lost my battery pack somewhere in the area of my buttocks.”
This itself gets some laughs, but Colin has a very casual “…it’s okay, my pack is halfway up my ass”. The eyebrow move he throws on there is pretty fun.
Ryan, like a lounge singer: “MY PACK IS HALFWAY UP MY ASS…”

Drew makes DAMN SURE Colin’s okay. Cause he already lost Ryan’s back in S3, and he doesn’t want to lose Colin’s here
Colin: “I’m fine, I’m just getting the feeling back in my legs.”
Drew: “Aw man…1000 chiropractor points to you…”

Drew: “I don’t know why I laugh when you get hurt so much…”
Colin, of course:
Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 3.49.06 PM.png
Drew just laughs for another few seconds, just…at everything. There’s something to be said about why it’s funnier when Colin gets hurt vs. when someone like Ryan or Jon Mangum gets hurt. Perhaps it’s just that Colin’s funnier-looking?

Drew, still going: “Ya fell down and you were like GAAAK…”
Ryan, going back to E23: “You want me to throw one of my blue shoes at him?

I really like this playing, not just because of Colin’s mishap, but because the first half was so strong and worked well enough on its own. Remember, it doesn’t HAVE to be as good in the start, because the whole joke of the game is getting Colin and Ryan to do these movements, to the point where the first half is kind of expendable. Yet Greg and Wayne, with emphasis on Greg, did enough here to make the first scene strong enough that the game was enjoyable the whole way through, which is tough for Action Replay. Good stuff.

Scenes from a Hat:

The cut from laughing Drew in AR to SFAH is very unnatural.

Similar to last show: “Versions of hell other than eternal flames”
Ryan: “That’s a thousand points, IT’S TIME FOR HOEDOWN.”

Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 3.56.45 PM.png

Greg: “Mississippi…I’m still in Mississippi…”
Audience: “AAWWW..”
Wayne: “…Mississippi, I’M still in Mississippi…”
Second show in a row where Wayne’s repurposed a joke that didn’t get response

Famous Film Scenes As Performed By Cartoon Characters:
Colin, as Elmer Fudd: “FEELING WUCKY PUNK?…”
Ryan, as Scooby Doo: “RRRRI’M SPARTACUS!”
Colin, as Snagglepuss: “ROSEBUD, EVEN.”
This one is so ridiculous that everyone needs to take a moment to laugh at it. Drew has a full on ‘haw haw haw’ laugh at this, and Wayne has to pull a Hugh Dennis and stop his suggestion before he cracks up too much

The “if morning show hosts acted like most people did in the morning” one is kinda weak, though I liked Ryan giving Colin, as a prostitute, cab fare home

We also get part two of ‘What the Whose Line casts say to their therapist”
Greg: “No one knows, it’s actually a bald pate. It’s just makeup, and yet they make fun of me NIGHT AFTER NIGHT AFTER NIGHT.”
And Greg exits with Colin’s dinosaur impression

Colin, on a similar note: “ah, it doesn’t really bother me, it’s all about penis envy…”

Drew: “Announcements that tend to ruin parties.”
Ryan: “I’M GAS FREE!”
I love the little cutaway to Colin, who just sort of shrugs weakly.

A refreshingly strong SFAH. Lots of fun stuff from all corners. Also, I feel like this might have aired before Action Replay

Hoedown: Hockey Player

Wayne, cracking: “where else can you do a job where you’re missing teeth?”

Wayne has a punchline about riding naked on a zamboni, which Colin PHYSICALLY REACTS TO. I sense Wayne took his rhyme. Colin even runs back towards the seats. Oh, man

Drew has a very easy ‘what the puck’ punchline.

Colin does something more genius than anyone could have imagined: he does most of his hoedown speaking without having any audible dialogue come out, so for like 3 and a half verses he’s just mouthing words, which is funny enough.
Then halfway through his last line, he feels around his butt, smiles, and goes “My Battery Pack!”
The whole place LOVES THIS, and it’s such a fun move.

[Brief digression, but somebody on youtube doctored this clip back in the day to give us a taste of what Colin was actually saying, and instead threw in 3/4ths of Colin’s plastic surgery hoedown from S3:
“My plastic surgeon gave me a face that is so new
In fact they even put in a hair transplant, too
Boy it was so horrible, the people made a crack
Because they got all the hair from” “My battery pack!”
Honestly, one of the most genius YT shops of the early WL era, before the Seed made everything too accessible]

Ryan has an alright one about showing up pantsless, and “I guess I look funny with a puck stuck in my crease.”

An alright Hoedown, but Colin’s verse might be one of the most epic Hoedown moves in a while.

Overall: Like the last few shows, the presence of a strong runner does not guarantee an unstoppable show. This one had great games, and Action Replay and SFAH were both pretty fantastic. And I can say with certainty that this one-upped E23, despite the blue shoes. But it wasn’t perfect, and a few games, like Hoedown, Whose Line and WN, were just a few notches away from great for me. WN is the best of the three because there wasn’t a ton of dropoff in quality, and it jumpstarted the whole banter runner. But the other two just didn’t stack up to the high quality of those core games, which is sad for a beloved show like this, especially in a season where the biggest shows are ones without any shows that are even remotely okay. This is still a classic though, and I’ll rank it above E27, which I also noted was lacking in quality across the board.

The bulk of this show, especially Action Replay, the desk bits, and most of SFAH, had me laughing very hard, and was a picture of a show that just kept rolling despite Colin being randomly in pain. And even the meh games had fun moments, like Colin’s dancing and his Hoedown verse. So while I agree it’s a classic, it still can’t compare to some of the heights of earlier this season.

Show Winner: Greg
Best Performer: Can’t not give it to Colin. The man was in peak form all night, even while dealing with battery pack-induced pain.
Worst Performer: Wayne, once again, was outshone by the improv-friendly performers
Best Game: Action Replay, man. Possibly the best playing to date.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Without Colin’s verse, that’s a dire-ass game tonight.

COMING UP NEXT: We end Season 4 with one more dispatch from the 100th episode taping, and one of the most deliberately complicated GH rounds ever.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S04E29, or You’re From Canada, Aren’t You?

Last Kathy Greenwood show of the season, and the first of a new taping we’ll see more material from in S7, which says a lot about the producers’ faith in this taping, tbh. Good news is, a lot of the best material is getting out here.

Hollywood Director: Fiendish Spanish colonel Ryan rides in to kidnap beautiful Mexican girl Kathy, Zorro, who is Wayne, arrives to rescue her

Ryan has a panicked reaction when he realizes he’ll be playing a Spaniard, eventually going “let me just say this Spanish guy has some Italian in him.” Ryan’s still not a pro at accents, but at least he’s aware of it

Kathy has a very Carol Burnett-esque “YOU KNOW…I DO NOT DANCE FOR THE LIKES OF YEOOUUU…”
And she just sort of nods. Ryan raises his eyebrows a little. Wayne cracks entirely
Ryan: “…you’re from Canada, aren’t you?”
[like 3/4ths of the cast is!]
Kathy: “…yes, and my mother’s from Sweden”

Ryan emits a very silly “ZORRROOOOOOOOOOOOOO” when Wayne eventually enters. Perhaps a cousin of his Latin American soccer announcer
Wayne: “…si si?”

Wayne, in a very GOOD accent: “Let go of the girls- I SAY GIRLS, I MEAN GIRL.”
Ryan, smirking: “…funny how we ALL come from a different part of Spain.”
I love this. It’s a funny enough scene, but they’re all poking fun at their accents because they can

Colin enters and throws them ALL for a loop by doing an even better, and thicker, Spanish accent: “JOO KNOW…when I first come to dis country with nothing but a hammer and a powerful laxative…”
Ryan, not thinking he was gonna go there, turns to Wayne and cracks.

Ryan: “I’m sorry, it’s a Spanish piece”
Colin: “…SSPAHNISH?”
His delivery of that will never not crack me up

Colin, after a pause, to Ryan: “…PLEH on you”
Ryan, wiping the spit from his eyes, struggles to keep composure


Colin’s delivery of ‘1950’s MUUUUsical’, in that accent, continues to crack up Ryan.

The entire 50s Musical portion is really good, with Kathy doing some great, peppy work [“Another Spanish day in Spain, or is it Mexico”], and Ryan doing a very dramatic song to Kathy all of the sudden

Wayne, in a fun number: “Oh my goodness, I’m in a box
Did you know that Zorro is Spanish for fox?”
[meanwhile, the producers of Masked Singer begin to take notes]

Hell, Ryan and Wayne even make their sword fight have musical motifs. So silly

Colin gets another laugh by saying ‘perfect DOHRK’, and having to pull an Inspector Kemp and slightly break out of his accent to clarify [“DARK. NO LIGHT.”]

Ryan is so good at this that he can get a laugh by doing the same opening position he’s done in the first 2 iterations, watching Kathy dance, and do it facing the other side of the stage. THAT is great

Then, Ryan trying to feel around for Kathy and accidentally walking into her and nearly knocking her over. It’s simple, physical comedy, but it’s very funny

Then, in an even better move, Wayne appears on the scene, but somehow he’s ended up in the area behind the chairs, and is wandering around there.

Drew: “By the way, Colin’s wife LOVES that accent.”
Wayne: “I know!”

Such a funny scene. The accent roulette is funny enough, but it actually works both in the initial scene, and as a HD scene. And Colin’s accent was too damn funny

Song Styles: Wayne sings a James Bond theme to Doug, a chemistry professor; the other 3 do backup

As usual, Ryan is the last to come down for backup

Drew, referring to HD: “Another chance to see that Kathy Greenwood dancin’ magic..”

Doug is so up for all of this. Wayne starts the song by pointing a gun at Doug, and Doug, concerned, moves out of the way. Wayne even does a ‘oh no, we’re cool’ gesture for Doug.

Wayne does make a fun generalization of “he had not one date for prom, I bet.”

Ryan’s in the back of a Doug close-up when he starts bouncing his boobs for a gag.

Such a fun number. I don’t know if it tops the other Bond number Wayne did [for Bob the pastor], but the backup element was very fun, and Doug got a kick out of it all

Drew, foreshadowing a famous AMC drama: “He says he’s a chemistry professor, he actually owns a meth lab in Van Nuys.”
Doug, to his credit, laughs at this
Drew: “They call him ‘The Professor'”

Newsflash: Ryan and Kathy in the studio, Colin in the field in front of Bats

I love Colin bouncing around a little as a bat comes out to lick near Colin.

Kathy: “How are you handling this?”
Colin: “I…uh, I took a muscle relaxant…”

I love Colin spastically jumping around at clips of bats carrying away frogs. This is a very light Newsflash, but Colin moving around is still working

Then, the quick pivot from Colin screaming “ARE THEY IN MY HAIR” to him suddenly being alert again:
Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 1.43.13 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 1.43.27 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 1.43.33 PM.png

Not much too this one, but Colin saves it with some silliness.

Living Scenery: Ryan and Colin arrive at the beach to sunbathe and surf- Kathy and Wayne are their props

The lack of applause, and the Drew intro, makes me think that this was the first time the four of them played this game. And yeah, this playing comes chronologically before the the other Kathy tapings from this season, so it probably is the first playing.

Colin does his first LS jab at Kathy’s chest, taking a beer out of the ‘cooler’, which warrants a stifled smirk from Kathy

Wayne and Kathy are already great at this game, though the pattern is that Wayne is more active, especially as a bottle of suntan lotion, and Kathy is more passive, as she’s yanked over Ryan as a towel

Colin does point out that Ryan put the suntan lotion in his hair, and looks at him strangely for it

Wayne running up and playing the waves is a fun move

Colin, putting his ear to Kathy: “I can hear the ocean!”

Ryan and Colin finally decide to surf a little, and both grab the other 2 as surfboards. Ryan’s decision to wax Kathy gets a laugh from the audience.
Colin: “Boy, my board has a big bump on the back…”
Wayne has a big smile. Ryan cracks. Drew loses it.

Once the game ends, Wayne’s still shaking his head back at the seats.

A pretty good Living Scenery, though not as good as the other Kathy ones from this season.

Scenes from a Hat:

Drew: “Difficult things to say with a straight face”
Wayne calls up Colin, and already has trouble with this one: “you really should comb it forward more.”

Colin gets his revenge on Wayne: “…I didn’t mean the thing about the big bump on my ass earlier…”
They hug it out, now even

Drew gets a kick out of ‘Announcements Made over Hell’s PA System”. And he should get a kick out of it, as it’s a great suggestion:
Wayne: “Tickets for Yanni, on sale in the main room…”
Colin, scaling back: “…clean up on aisle five”

Rejected Ideas the Wise Men Considered is one that gets a ton of hits from all 4
Wayne: “Mary, we have brought this, a Playstation 2 for the young one”
Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 1.57.54 PM.png

Ryan, to Colin: “…you can’t give him a PORK ROAST.”
I love this one. Just the tone Ryan uses.

Colin, with a truly smart one: “…water skis.”
It takes the audience a moment, but it’s a nice one

Ryan: “They call it…A THONG.”

Like last show’s, very light, quick, and similar to a CW round. I’m liking these shorter ones, even if it’s harder for them to really be knockout playings.

World’s Worst: TV Advertisement 

Drew and Wayne do the easy ones themselves:
Drew: “Hi, I’m Drew Carey for Slimfast.”
Wayne: “Hi, I’m Wayne Brady for the DarkRight2000 Tanning Bed”
Drew has fun with Wayne’s little pointing stance there, and they do it together. Two Masked Singer contestants pointing like mad.

Colin: “It’s a breathmint…AND A SUPPOSITORY!”
Oh, Colin..

Ryan: “And if you act by midnight, we’ll throw in one of Drew Carey’s people’s choice awards!”
[Why does this sound like a line he’d use in GH?]

Colin: “Aluminum- the condom you can trust!”

Ryan: “Is your penis too small. Well let ya-…AH SHIT.”
Wayne, saving Ryan’s: “Is your penis too small?” [bursts out laughing]

Wayne: “Do you have problems with dialects? Order Colin Mochrie’s guide to dialects in different countries!”
Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 2.07.17 PM.png
Wayne: “You get French, ‘HELLOOO’, Spanish, ‘HELLOOO’, Indonesian, “HELLOOO!”
I always laugh at the Indonesian one just being louder and angrier than the other 2

Colin finally gets Wayne back tho: “The Wayne Brady surfboard, with a bump big enough to sit on!”
Wayne loves this one, and Drew and Colin high-five

A VERY STRONG World’s Worst, with some great material from all 4, even Colin, who’s usually quieter at this game.

Overall: A solid show with one or two great-if-not-classic moments. Newsflash was the only game I didn’t really like, and I can definitely say I’ll remember Director, Living Scenery and World’s Worst from this one. There was a runner, and I do like how it brought out some escalated ribbing from Wayne and Colin, but it didn’t happen til halfway through, which gave the first half some time to breathe. Also, Colin and Wayne had the best showings tonight, giving fun performances and lots of energy to a show that would have been standard in another case. Kathy’s still being under-edited, but what else is new?

Show Winner: Kathy
Best Performer: Colin. From HD on, he was slaying this show.
Worst Performer: Kathy didn’t have much to do other than HD.
Best Game: Hollywood Director. All four were thinking of hysterical stuff at every moment, and the accent thing only added to it all.
Worst Game: Newsflash was light.

COMING UP NEXT: For our penultimate S4 show, we get a Greg episode from a taping that already impressed me in episode 23. This episode has more things going on, more runners, and so much more funny energy.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S04E28, or NOT A DAMN THING.

Coming down from the insanity that is Hitlergate, we reach the last Brad show of Season 4, coming from the 415 taping that also gave us 4×20. Again, the greatness of this taping will become clearer around S7, but it is nice that it cranked out a good show during regulation.

Weird Newscasters: Brad anchors, Colin, psycho hitchhiker getting a ride with the anchor, co-anchors, Wayne, a very enthusiastic bikini car wash girl looking for shiny surfaces to clean, does sports while Ryan, Hollywood’s most demanding temperamental star trying to give an award-winning performance, does weather

Brad’s opening joke is cut, which is odd

All of Brad’s character names, like Frozen Underpants, and Nippy Frostbite, allude to the fact that it is too goddamned cold in the studio.

Colin’s deranged maniac routine is pretty good, as he tries to give this onset of calm in front of the mania.

Colin: “Oh, look at the way the bugs hit the windscreen” [eats some]

Colin, to Brad: “you’d look purdy as a blonde.”
Brad: “…WELL, thanks for that uncomfortable report..”

Wayne immediately runs up to a bald guy in the audience and goes “FIVE DOLLARS, MISTER!” The bald guy just seems overjoyed to be a part of it

Wayne, inevitably seeing Colin: “…THAT’S THE BEST ONE OF ALLL!”
At least he hasn’t gone after Drew yet…

Colin responds by ripping off Wayne’s clothes and cavorting around, fanning his head. Colin may not exactly be going for laughs, but he’s killing it here

Brad, again commenting on the lack of actual news: “Well that sure was a…close game..”

Brad, still not over the temperature, names Ryan “Brisk Ice-Cube-Pants”

Ryan’s giving a hell of a performance, but I do love the meta-ness of the demanding angle, as the poor lighting people have to follow Ryan to the piano, and then towards the cameras

Ryan: “For…towards the end of the week there will be A TORNADO SWEEPING ME AWAY…”
My gosh, everyone’s acting their asses off in this game

As Ryan bows, we end on this image:
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A very standard, lawful WN outing. Great performances, but not a TON of laughs.

Scenes from a Hat:

The “if human doctors acted like animal doctors” category is pretty standard, but I love Drew buzzing Brad before he can look at Colin’s privates.

“The Good News and the Bad News” returns, which is a fun one:
Brad, with the best one: “The good news is…we’re going to name a disease after you” [leaves stage]

Colin, to Wayne: “You’re in a very funny show….it’s against Friends.”
First Friends reference in a while, right?

Wayne, to Colin: “Honey, I’m pregnant….meet the father!”
I love Brad just joyfully coming down and joining Wayne here

Drew: “Refreshingly Honest Statements That Could Earn You a Black Eye”
I love Wayne’s genuine laugh at this suggestion

Wayne: “….Drew doesn’t do a DAMN THING.”
YES. I love Drew dancing around, buzzing rhythmically as Wayne just mocks him and mimes him being lazy
Hell, Drew keeps the rhythm going even after Wayne goes back to the side, even throwing in a doorbell

Brad: “Ryan, has anyone ever told you you look like Dougie Howser?”
I love Ryan’s mechanical-ass punch to Brad’s face

Brad, being literal: “I want you to punch me hard in the eye.”
Ryan, going for a laugh anyway:
Screen Shot 2020-02-05 at 11.49.08 AM.png

Drew’s about to do another one as Wayne goes down, but Wayne insists Drew go on
Drew: “I insist.”
Wayne: “Honey, those jeans DO make you look a little fat…”
Audience: [heh]
Wayne: “…SEE?”
Drew: [overexaggerated laughing]

Wayne, just for that: “NOT A DAAAAMN THING.”

Dare I say it, this SFAH seemed very similar to an Aisha-era playing. Short in duration, only a few longer scenes, some prime host-Wayne screwing. It felt very loose, and I liked that.

After the break, Drew: “For you regular viewers of the show, you might have noticed by now that I don’t do a DAMN THING.”
I love him bringing that back

Two Line Vocabulary: An army captain, Colin, is looking for two volunteers to go on a dangerous mission
Brad’s lines: “That’s easy for you to say” and “is that good?”

Ryan’s lines: “What are those?” and “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening”

Colin: “I’m not much for beating around the bush, I’m looking for two volunteers to go on a dangerous mission!”
I love that. It sets up the scene verbatim and it establishes everything, even in a meta way.
Colin: “Two volunteers, and now that I only have a platoon of TWO, it may be easy to get those volunteers. We have to go over to enemy territory armed with nothing but a can opener, some barbed wire…and a very quiet goat.”
Colin’s so damn good at games like these.
Of course, so is Ryan: “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening..”

Colin, after establishing he’s the captain and Ryan and Brad are privates: “NOW…I was told to take HOLD of the privates.”
HA. Oh, man…Colin’s definitely knowing what he’s doing

Ryan: “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening”
Colin, extending his hand: “LOOK…”
Ryan: “…what are those?”

Colin: “We’re going into enemy territory, it’s very dangerous”
Brad: “Is that good?”
Colin: “It’s…good in one way that we’re helping out country  win the war, it’s bad in one way that we may be killed.”

Ryan, pointing down: “What are those?”
Colin: “…that’s what I call the ground. It helps that you walk on it…like that.”
Brad: “That’s easy for you to say” [falls]
Brad’s been acing his pratfalls all night

Colin: “Alright, I’m going to show you some basic skills”
Ryan: “What are those?”
Colin: “I haven’t shown you them. ONCE I SHOW YOU THEM, THEN YOU WILL SEE.”
Ryan: “…I’m sorry-”
Colin: “You weren’t listening. I KNOW.”
Colin then turns to Brad, and just goes “Yes, that’s good.” Colin’s just the best at being straight man in this game

The game ends after Brad does another pratfall, but there’s an edit right before it, as I think Colin just smacked Ryan again.

A sentimental favorite playing of this, even though it’s not the best with this trio, it’s got some funny payoffs, especially with that great Ryan line.

Greatest Hits: Songs of the Flight Attendant

The game begins with a pause.
Colin, finally: “HI!”
Ryan, of course: “Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.”
BEAUTIFUL. That is how you bring back a gag.

After a very easy ‘Tom Petty cash’ joke
Ryan: “Sometimes I make myself laugh!”
Colin: “Yeah, it’s nice to have SOMEONE doing it..”

Brad’s Tom Petty impression is a little better than Wayne’s, but Wayne’s at least good at the ‘vocal fry speak-singing’ Petty does

Wayne and Brad’s harmonies in this are very cool, and honestly very 90s.

Ryan: “I LOVED the Flappers. You had to love something when you couldn’t have  liquor..”

Ryan has a moment where he cracks, having nothing for a title. Colin encourages him, going “No, GO WITH IT, I’M WITH YA”. Thankfully, in this half-second he thinks of one.

Brad and Wayne are also really good at working off each other in the Flapper number, with some good overlapping lyrics and dancing

Colin pulls a minor faux pas with the final intro, where he assumes Thrash is a band, and not a style of metal. So when he describes the “Hyper-metal sounds of THRASH. ANNND THEIR GREAT FLIGHT ATTENDANT SONG.”
Drew, knowing the difference, LOSES IT. A VERY LOUD “HAAA HAAA HAAAAAAHHH.”
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This is a very fun number from Brad and Wayne. Wayne’s low-voiced melodic singing is usually good in this style, but both Brad AND Wayne play directly to the camera. Wayne’s just getting up in its face, going ‘WHAT’, and yelling the title into the camera before yanking himself out of shot. It’s very animated, and very funny

As Brad does a solo, Wayne runs into the back, and throws one of the water glasses on his table into the air, sort of as a tribute to earlier in the taping

The final guitar-smashing is pretty fun, as Laura even does a ‘end of the piano’ noise on each crash. Wayne even smashes the guitar in Brad’s face, which leads to Brad’s umpteenth pratfall of the show

A pretty alright GH. The Wayne-Brad stuff outdid the Colin-Ryan banter for me.

Foreign Film Dub: Drew and Wayne act out the Swedish film Meatballs Blow Up; Ryan and Brad translate

Wayne, after someone in the audience suggests ‘Meatballs Blow up’: “THEY DO.”

Drew does a very passionate line, feeling up Wayne’s face.
Ryan, of course: “…I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.”
[Wayne cracks a little at this]

Drew does a line while jogging in place
Ryan: “This is the first exercise I’ve had in 30 years!”
Drew flips Ryan off under his jacket

Drew says a line with his mouth full
Ryan: “I’m doing Brando, can you TELL I’m doing Brando?”

Very meh FFD. Ryan had good lines, but the scene itself was barely a factor.

Overall: Another show that pales in comparison to its runner. This one was the victim of two very okay tentpoles and a weak Drew game. SFAH and Two-Line were strong, but they weren’t enough to really launch this one. Nor was the ‘I’m Sorry, I Wasn’t Listening’ runner, which, while funny, was too basic to really HIT upon reprises. Also, you can see remnants of the future episode, and signs that it was too cold in the studio, without much to actually say about it. Fine enough, but disappointing.

Show Winner: Colin
Best Performer: Colin, in a close one. Just did the best character work tonight.
Worst Performer: Wayne, who only really had Greatest Hits and SFAH to be really great in.
Best Game: Two-Line Vocabulary. These three are so damn good at this game.
Worst Game: Foreign Film Dub didn’t have much at all.

COMING UP NEXT: A new Kathy taping premiering very late in the season (and that’s not even counting the two other S4 Kathy tapings that don’t premiere til S5). This one brings the big running gag out first, as well as some strong anchor games.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S04E27, or Would Ya Like Some Jello…..Hitler?

Oh, man…where do I even begin with this one?

This is from the same Brad taping as episode 17 of this season, which was a great show with a lot of awesome improv moments. This was shot in April 2001, 66 years after the end of World War II, and 13 years before Hannibal Burress would bring allegations of sexual misconduct by one Dr. William Cosby to light.

Yeah, that’s all the setup we need. Onto an all-time classic:

Let’s Make a Date: Wayne must choose from Brad, a puritan witch hunter who sees the devil’s work everywhere, Colin, Pompous politician at a press conference who starts a terrible fight with his fiancee in the audience, and Ryan, the head of Colin’s angry ex-wife sprouting from Colin’s neck

Wayne has a little ‘OH, YES!’ when Drew announces he’s the contestant in this

Ryan gives Drew a confused squint upon reading his

Wayne: “What kind of uniform would you dress up in for……me?”
That pause cracks up Drew
Wayne, still off-camera: “You have to pardon my inflections…’

Brad: “I don’t know WHAT kind of work you’re doing, but I know it can’t be the LOOORD’s work.”
Gotta love Brad just inching right up against what it says on the card

Colin has a very funny stance and voice for his character, and his squabbling with an off-camera girlfriend is very funny, again bringing out the pseudo-Lithgow tones of his voice

Colin: “I’M WEARING THE SHIRT…..I’m having second thoughts. I’M HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS.”
Then he turns to Wayne and remembers the question, and pompously goes “…yes, I’d sleep with you”
In past viewings of this, I’d always thought Colin’s character was the least interesting of the three, but now he’s really winning me over

I love the moment where the audience reads Ryan’s quirk, and Ryan is just looking at Colin, knowing he’s gonna have to get in there. Colin sees this, and knows something’s coming

As Ryan burrows out of Colin’s shoulders, Colin is just shaking his head, so used to Ryan’s crap. And Ryan gets in there, and the first thing he says is “SO YOU’D SLEEP WITH HER, HUH?” Which has to be just what the quirk writers wanted to happen

Ryan keeps going on, Colin has to shush him, leading to this procession of moments:
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The randomness and abrupt timing of that line gets me now more than it ever has.

Colin, barely hiding his feelings toward Ryan, just wipes his nose. Yes, this counts as a nose jab.

Wayne has a snafu where he asks for Colin when he should be asking Brad. Ryan, for Colin, goes “YES?”

Wayne: “Bachelor #1?”
Brad: “YES, HARLOT?”
Wayne, perfectly delivered: “…now HOW’D YOU KNOW MY MIDDLE NAME?”

Then, Colin stands up for his, which means Ryan has to stand up with him. It’s a very silly visual of Ryan’s head being yanked upwards behind Colin.
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Wayne: “I like a man who’s able to make decisions”
Ryan: “SO DO I!”

Colin: “I am very concerned, blather blather, platitude platitude”
Brad, swooping in again: “HE’S SPEAKING IN TONGUES!”

Then, as Colin goes towards the audience, Ryan struggles to A.) hang onto Colin and B.) keep composure. This point, it’s just Colin trying to screw with Ryan as much as he can while still doing this character to the best of his ability

The audience member Colin picks to play his fiancé does perfectly, and plays along, and has a full fake argument with him. And acts like Ryan being on Colin’s neck isn’t weird. 10/10. I also love Ryan asking ‘WHO IS SHE?’ as Colin does this, and Colin’s continued voice for this character

The only person missing from this confrontation is Brad, and once again he SWOOPS IN to protect the audience member

Then, Colin continues to screw with Ryan by turning in a circle in going back to the seats and avoiding Brad. This is amusing as hell

Ryan, to Colin: “Nobody treats you like I do…”
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OH MAN. The restraint from both of them is amazing. Ryan of course going the extra mile, but…both guys refusing to crack up despite this ridiculous position to end the game on.

Drew buzzes, mercifully, and Ryan doesn’t notice for a bit:
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Immediately after, Colin just…cleans his entire ear. Without facially reacting.

Ryan, meanwhile, takes most of Drew’s altoids

Drew: “That picture’s so nasty, they won’t even post that on the internet..”

Ryan, coming back to the seats, spits out most of the altoids, and then goes to Colin: “My mouth’s on fire…I put about thirty of ’em in…”
And they crack at that
Drew: “You know these mints are curiously strong if you pop ALL OF EM in your mouth at once…”
Wayne: “He’s gonna have great breath for like 20 years now…”
Brad, being himself: “FINALLY.”
Drew: “The poor stage guy’s gotta pick them all up…”

Probably a candidate for one of the best LMADs of the show’s history. All three quirks kept coming back up and interacting, everyone had funny things to do, Brad kept cracking me up and popping back in, and Ryan…went for that lick.

If You Know What I Mean: Ryan, Colin and Brad are hotel employees working the night shift

Colin, immediately before the scene starts, is shaking his head. As you can see, he’s still not very good at this game

Brad, starting with a fun one: “I’ve gotta take some bananas up to room 405 if you know what I mean…”
Colin: “I was up there yesterday, I had to go down to the FOURTH FLOOR, if you know what I mean”
Brad: “You don’t wanna go to room 69, if you know what I’m talking about…”
Is it me, or are all of these really good tonight?

Colin: “You’re one with no reservations if you know what I mean..”
Ryan, inevitably: “…no idea…”

There’s a pause where it looks like Ryan’s about to say something, Colin sets him up, and Ryan buckles a bit.
Colin: “You look like you’re expecting a vacancy, if you know what I mean…”

Ryan eventually shakes his head- he’s got NOTHING. For the first time, someone other than Colin comes off pathetically in this game.
Brad, perfectly: “Looks like your elevator’s not going up, if you know what I mean…”

Brad: “Don’t let me be the one to put the mint on your pillow, if you know what I’m talking about”
Ryan and Colin don’t respond
Brad, shaking his head: “…N-no?”

Ryan: “DING-DING-DING-DING-DING….if you know what I mean…”
Ryan shrugs after this one

Colin, after a long silence: “Well, I’m holding out for a bigger tip, if you know what  I mean…”
Ryan: [stiles laughter]

So…a little haphazard, but still very funny, because this worked similarly to Stand Sit Bend to watch all 3 to see who has a lapse next, and who has to get around thinking of a new one. Ryan was shakier than he’s ever been at this game, and Colin was at his strongest in this game.

Duet: Brad and Wayne sing to Susie, who sells drywall, as the Rolling Stones

Like usual for this duo, both of them are kinda doing Mick Jagger, but the Mick impressions are pretty great across the board

Brad gets some fun lyrics down, especially ‘A LITTLE STUCCO’, which gets Susie laughing

Wayne, flailing some arms: “When she laughs, she cackles
Does drywall have anything to do with spackle?”
[Susie is loving the hell out of all of this]

Wayne is nailing the crazy dancing Mick does, probably more than Brad

Brad eventually starts doing some Mick faces up against the camera, which is a nice touch

Heck, Brad even goes back to the seats and keeps dancing, which gets Ryan to do an ‘avert your eyes’ signal

I even like when Wayne sucks his cheeks in and plays guitar like Keith

A very fun number, and it looked like Brad and Wayne were enjoying it as much as Susie was

Title Sequence: Wayne and Brad sing the title sequence of the hit sitcom Bill Cosby and Hitl The Insurance Salesman; Ryan and Colin act it out

So this all starts innocently enough: Drew asks for two unlikely roommates
Audience member: “…Bill Cosby and Hitler.”
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Drew’s even nodding, going “Bill Cosby and Hitler, CERTAINLY unlikely roommates”, and he’s very down with the  suggestion.

Of course, for the first time on the broadcast show, we hear Keith, the director, interrupt the taping by yelling HOLD, and re-pivoting Drew to do something cleaner. Drew’s even going “You’ve gotta be kidding me”, but this is television.

I do love Ryan just reverting and fucking with Keith, like this won’t make air: “Not THAT Hitler…”
[i love his delivery of that, too]

By the time we restart the proceedings, Ryan’s still laughing at Cosby and Hitler, even though it’s probably been eradicated and isn’t making air.

Drew, on a word from Keith, asks the other end of the audience for an occupation, insurance salesman. This would go on to be the way they played this game, getting a celebrity AND THEN an occupation, so they don’t get two unsavory celebrities. But, as we find out, the censors didn’t like Hitler, and Drew, who couldn’t be more pissed and spiteful through all of this, goes “the name of this 70s sitcom you guys are gonna be singing about is Bill Cosby and the INSURANCE SALESMAN. FUCKIN’ HILARIOUS, ISN’T IT?”

The obvious funny thing about this is that in 2001, Hitler is the objectionable thing in this song, yet 19 years later, NEITHER OF THEM would probably make air.

I love that, while Drew explains the game, Brad gives an overly cheery look, and Ryan and Colin are still cracking up, and everyone’s pretending Cosby and Hitler never happened yet IT FEELS LIKE SOMETHING DEFINITELY DID.

Ryan immediately goes into Cosby, which is a very amusing impression of his.
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Wayne: “One of them is an insurance fellow
The other goes ‘DAAAAHH’ and loves the jello!”
Even post-scandal, I still love this line. I also love Colin doing insurance things while Ryan gleefully has jello pudding.

Brad: “One is a crazy sitcom star
The other helps you protect your car
The hilarity never stops
With policies and jello pops”
Man, even if this isn’t the desired suggestion, these lyrics are friggin great. And Ryan cracking me up by keeping the cigar in his hand

Ryan, however, decides to just be himself and bite the hand that feeds him:
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This…will always crack me up. Because not only is it funny enough itself [So Cosby’s a Nazi], it also FORCES the editors to include the prelude to this, because why else would Cosby doing a Nazi salute be funny?
Colin IMMEDIATELY shakes his head no, which is a fun detail- this is the sitcom dynamic. ‘OH, DR. COSBY. DON’T MAKE FUN OF HITLER.’
Wayne even cracks up in the middle of a lyric

A genuinely solid playing of this. Honestly, you didn’t NEED the prelude in order for this to be a good game, as it’s just well done by Brad and Wayne, and with that goofy Ryan impression. But WITH the prelude it becomes legendary, and a deconstruction of censorship. It also makes the following game funnier:

Scenes from a Hat:

“How the cast of Baywatch would react to an actual emergency”
Ryan: “…waitrighttherei’ll….WAITRIGHTTHEREI’LL…….LINE!”
Wayne: “I’M FALLING” [inflates implants]
Drew, STILL BITTER: “…you can do that, but whatever you do, don’t fuckin make fun of Hitler.”
Wayne comes on and does the exact same joke in German. PERFECT

Drew: “If Tarzan and Tonto were roommates”
Brad: “…you want watch TV?”
Wayne: [Tarzan yell]

Brad thinks of a truly great one:
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“…Tarzan, your in-laws are coming.”
Drew, STILL BITTER: “I love it, let’s make fun of the Native Americans all we want, who gives a shit about them?”
Again…they have no choice but to air all this now. It’s so good.
Drew: “…What did I do?”

Drew: “If you could give the youth of America just one piece of advice, it would be…”
Colin, diverting to another gag: “…don’t let Ryan’s tongue near your ear”

Drew: “Unlikely Souvenir T-Shirts”
Brad: “HOW AM I WALKING? 1-800…”
Colin, ever so wholesomely: “I’m with Me.”
Brad, shooting his shot: “COSBY AND HITLER!”

A pretty fun round of this, even if it was short, but the goal of this was keeping the legend of Cosby and Hitler going, and letting this runner sprout legs.

Hoedown: Director

I do think it’s very telling that they went with this topic TONIGHT. After Keith messed up the show.

Wayne talks about getting into the Hollywood business out of nowhere:
Wayne: “My first directing job was in a homemade Drew porno movie”

Drew stumbles towards the middle of his, talking about his first directing gig:
“It was a porno movie starring Wayne’s mom.”
[It’s kind of appropriate to see Wayne and Drew going after each other right after the allegations that Drew might be on a famous US reality show that Wayne won a few months ago]

Colin: “Nothing really scares me, I know no fear
Nothing scares me since…Ryan licked my ear.”
I do love Colin bringing back this gag, because it’s a great gag, and LMAD is still the best game of the night, even in the wake of the showier Title Sequence drama

Ryan, however, goes for the jugular in the best way possible:
“Our director, he really is the boss
For yelling and screaming, he’s never at a loss
He’s the meanest guy that you will ever see
He should sprout a mustache and move to Germany!”

A pretty good hoedown. Not perfect, but everyone had something fun to contribute.

Overall: Despite this show’s classic status, I can’t call this one much more than a solid overall S4 effort. Ya got one ironclad game, and it’s LMAD. True, there’s a FAMOUS game here, but Title Sequence isn’t a classic playing, it’s just a good playing where a classic thing happens. And that’s sort of what this episode is- a good episode where a classic thing happens. A lot of games here, like If You Know What I Mean and Duet, could have landed in any episode from this taping. And even the games that cemented the runner, like SFAH and Hoedown, weren’t too substantial themselves other than keeping the runner going. Hell, Title Sequence was keeping the runner going itself, because the runner happened BEFORE Title Sequence.

Now, how’s this different from 4×08, where the runner happens between games? Well, there the games are strong enough themselves, and it’s a powerful enough WL episode, that the runner just makes them better. Take out the runner, and this episode falls apart on itself. Let’s Make a Date is the only game that either doesn’t pale in comparison to a runner it’s attached to, or doesn’t pale in comparison to a runner it’s disappointingly NOT attached to.

Keep in mind- I still really like this episode. It’s funny. Some games, like IYKWIM and Title Sequence have their best playings. And yes, the fact that the Hitler incident happened at all, AND MADE AIR, is funny as hell. But as a Whose Line episode, especially compared to some of the strong shows we’ve seen so far in Season 4, it can’t help but come off as a little weaker.

Show Winner: Brad
Best Performer: BRAD SHERWOOD. Not only does Brad own the entire first act of this show, but a lot of the progression of the runner is thanks to him, especially after he hammered the gag home in SFAH. He also kicked ass in both singing games AND made me laugh every time he popped into the shot in LMAD. This combined with his strong showing in E17 proves Brad was ON FIRE during this taping.
Worst Performer: Wayne, aside from Duet and Title Sequence, didn’t have much to contribute here.
Best Game: Let’s Make a Date. A career high, arguably
Worst Game: Duet was very take-it-or-leave it, despite Susie’s exuberance

COMING UP NEXT: Another Brad show. This one comes from the same taping as E20, which was a very meh show. This one is better.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S04E26, or I’m Talking About Cuba, Colin..

After a good stretch of middling-to-okay shows, NOW Season 4 finally begins to kick into high gear again

This Greg Proops show is the first episode of a new taping of his. There’s a rather famous S5 episode from this taping involving a lowbrow joke from Colin, but here we have an equally-famous episode that’s known, really, for one game. And my what a game it is.

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Greg, the dominatrix Colin has hired for the evening, co-anchors, Wayne, outraged secretary desperate to find out who left a photocopy of their butt in her in tray, does sports, while Ryan, about to die, his whole life flashes before our eyes, does weather

Ryan reacting to his quirk: “…how appropriate..”

Greg, right after Colin’s opening line: “GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES.”

Greg: “WHO’S A BAD BOY.”

Colin, confused: “MORE, MORE…MA’AM….SIR.”

Greg burns Colin with a cigarette
Colin: “Hey, I’m trying to cut down!”
I kind of love that Greg has turned this usually formally-structured game into a deeper character study, and we’re seeing this usually stern Colin character in a different light, which is DEFINITELY a Second City idea, as they liked to establish their trunk characters before completely deconstructing them (at least on SCTV)

Wayne: “I took this job because I thought it was a  NICE, DECENT COMPANY. I DIDN’T COME HERE TO SEE SOMEBODY’S BOOTY ALL OVER THIS PAPER.”

Wayne proves himself by picking an audience member who CLEARLY does not want to be a part of the proceedings, and then getting any other audience member out of the way and FORCING him to be a part of the scene. The poor guy looks so uncomfortable as Wayne’s sizing up his ass, but this arguably works

And, as this is Season 4, Wayne’s eyes go to Drew eventually.
Drew, sighing:
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By the time we cut back to Colin and Greg, Greg is twisting Colin’s finger back. Greg has essentially taken over the anchor duties, which, given his character, is fine. I do love Ryan’s confusion as he starts, waiting for the audience laughter to die down a bit

Ryan’s is a usual tour-de-force, simulating birth, youth, adolescence, war [“what are we fighting for Grenada for, I don’t even want this country”], and finally…doing a Hoedown. Which gets the whole place laughing

And after the poignant ending to Ryan’s, Greg is spanking Colin. Never a dull moment.

Drew quizzes Ryan on his service in Grenada
Ryan: “Yeah, I did two tours there, a week. Not the country, the car.”

A very fun WN, and I loved how it broke from tradition and became a deconstruction, especially with Colin and Greg. The two other quirks were great.

Hats: Dating Service Videos

Wayne, in a cabbie hat: “Alright, that’ll be 12.50.”
The audience doesn’t like this at all
Wayne, amused: “FOR THE TAXI CAB RIDE. You guys are horrible!”

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Colin: “No. Let me give YOU a tip…”

Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 1.18.33 PM.pngRyan: “If I don’t come in less than 30 minutes, I’m free”

Greg, in a bunny mask: “I’m not into protection”
Audience: […]
Drew: “…say it again? I don’t think they heard you.”
Greg, being Greg: “Oh, could no one hear me. MAYBE IT’S CAUSE OF THIS FUCKING MASK I’M WEARING.”
I love Greg lashing out at the audience during this game

Colin, Santa mask: “AT THIS POINT, I’D EVEN TAKE A HO, HO, HO.”
[this one is funny BECAUSE there’s slight muffling under the mask]

Ryan holds this for about 10 seconds:
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Ryan, eventually: “Oh, you can measure me, but you won’t be throwing ME back”

Pretty good Hats. Eventually we’d see the second half of this, which isn’t bad

Greatest Hits: Songs of College

Annnnd here we go

On the ‘what people do when they first leave home’ suggestion, ‘College’ wins but one girl yells out ‘DRINK!’
Greg, from the back: “DRINK!”
Wayne gives a thumbs up

Colin mentions Ryan could have been smarter if he’d gone to college
Ryan: “Well, I quit high school halfway through to serve our troops in Grenada.”
I forgot that was a running gag
Ryan: “I didn’t fight, I just…served my troops”

Ryan mentions this has “50 SONGS ON 50 CDS.”
Colin: “How many CDs is that a song?”
Ryan: “well that’s-” [fails to do the math]

Ryan does one of his ‘Colin gets a segue wrong gags’ here: “What comes to mind when I say ‘Ricky Ricardo and great cigars’?”
Colin, being himself: “Oh…TAPIOCA.”
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Ryan, beginning to lose it: “….really? Why’s that?”
Colin, again not meaning  to set off a wave of laughter: “Wasn’t that his big song? ‘TAPIOOOOOOCA. TAPIOOOOOOCA.”
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Ryan, not hiding his amusement: “…No, Colin…”
I have no idea WHY this makes him laugh so hard. Maybe it’s just the sort of thing where if you work with someone for a while, you get in each other’s heads and you know how to set them off? Whatever the case, Colin, without meaning to, sets Ryan off, as he’s gone. Before he COMPLETELY LOSES IT in a second, he is VERY GONE here. What makes it very clear is what happens next:
Ryan: “I’M TALKING ABOUT CU-” [trails off into laughter]
And then watch Colin’s face:
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Colin’s just thinking ‘I GOT HIM. I GOT HIM TO BREAK.’ Which is a gratifying feeling when you’re doing improv with someone. But Ryan is COMPLETELY gone.
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One of the best parts of this is once Ryan’s gone and laughing, Colin does this small look to the camera:
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THAT IS PRICELESS. He has no idea why Ryan lost it at THIS, but he’s not exactly complaining
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And he’s just watching him go again
Ryan: “I’m talking about Cuba, Coli-” [loses it again]
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And it gets even better:
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This is probably the best shot. It’s the full experience. Wayne’s amused. THE ENTIRE BAND IS AMUSED. They’re all waiting for the first song, and Ryan’s peeing himself. Colin’s just trying to get him back to composure

And now Colin screws with him again:
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Colin, trying: “CUBA. It’s a SMALL ISLAND.”
Ryan, still very gone: “It is…”
And he thinks he’s good to go on, and tries looking back at camera…but he’s not. So he just weakly goes “…why don’t you tell the people about it?”
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Now Colin, and some offstage producer, realize it’s better to just switch to a different style and come back to Cuba, so Colin wisely takes control and says “why don’t we just leave Cuba behind for a second”
And Ryan gets back up and regains composure

Colin mentions this is a Ska number, and the audience cheers
Ryan: “…like a bunch of crows, SKAAAAAAA”
Colin, threatening him: “TAPIOCCAAAA.”
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Colin: “…no?”
[it’s like proof that Ryan’s back and it won’t set him off again, which is nice]

Wayne’s ska number is pretty damn cool, and he has the flow and tempo down

Wayne does mention: “I listen to Cuban music, I love Tapioca”, which is a nice nod

Ryan has the perfect epilogue here, asking Colin: “What comes to mind when I say Tapioca?”
Colin: “The magical country of Cuba.”
It’s such a cute ending, proving that Ryan could get past it and keep composure once they went around it for a bit. Rather than working against Ryan’s giggles, Colin worked WITH HIM, and the game has not suffered

Ryan’s cuban title, “Alma Mater, Alma Faddah”, cracks up Wayne right before he’s about to sing. Which just fits with this game
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Wayne, in his intro, does throw in a Ricky Ricardo ‘eh, eh, eh’. Possibly a tribute to Robin Williams

Wayne, once again, throws in ‘Tapioca’ as a vocal flourish late in the song. Somehow I’d forgotten how gung-ho Wayne was with this runner, using it in the songs just as a tribute to that Ryan moment, and maybe just to ensure it made air.

A GREAT Greatest Hits. I love it because it could easily be defined or marred by the opening blooper, but Colin and Wayne held on to keep Ryan composed, and made this a strong enough game on its own. Wayne’s songs are also really good here, even with the Tapioca references. Just a wholesome reminder of how good Colin and Wayne are at making their scene partner look good, even when they’re losing their cool.

Film Dub: Greg, Ryan and Colin are celebrating a special occasion

Ryan, immediately: “We’re getting divorced tomorrow and I want a special meal!”

Ryan, who’s character snaps disappointedly: “Oh, I forgot, I was gonna bring a knife to put in your back!”
Greg: “Have you tried your drink, it’s poison”

Ryan, opening a gift for Greg
I love that line

I also love Colin’s character cheeringly bringing over a cake, as Colin just goes “HAPPY DIVORCE, HAPPY DIVORCE!”

Colin: “Look, the cake is burning like your love-”
Ryan: “I hope it’s made outta gun powder like I asked ya!”

I also adore Greg’s ‘FU-FOOOOF’ noise when his character blows out the candles
Colin: “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t-”
Greg: “Yes, if I’d done that while we were married, we’d still be married!”

Honestly, one of my favorite Film Dubs of the US run. All three are really in sync, and have such fun characterizations, and all get down the game of cheery malice.

Show-Stopping Number: Colin, Ryan and Wayne work in a toll booth

Well, we have a running gag, so this game makes sense

Colin: “Ya know what? I’m gonna wallpaper.”

I love the darkness of the eventual plot, where Ryan and Colin are gonna use the money they get from tolls to freshen up their booth and add wallpaper.
Ryan: “We can just scoop it up, look, I’m rich!”
Colin: “well….you’re not rich, we’re gonna use that to buy wallpaper!”
COLIN THEN, FOR A BAR, JUST DANCES, SMILING. He did not think that’d be his cue line. So now he’s just thinking
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Colin churns out a song about how much he loves his little toolbooth, culminating in some Busby Berkley arm-flailing
Greg and Ryan react well to this:
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Ryan: “It’s kinda like stealing, isn’t it?”
I love Colin

Ryan says if anyone finds out about this “you’re done for, my friend”
Colin: “What, are you gonna hurt me?”
Ryan, not even masking the late-in-the-taping feels: “…I’m too tired to hurt ya!”
Ryan, shaking his head, goes right into his dancing while ALSO doing an extra bar to compose himself. I’m guessing this was an early playing of this game

Ryan does his verse while at the verge of losing it again:
“I’m taking the money, but I’m not on the take
I just find it hard, to stay awake
Oh boy, I’m sleepy, I could use a mocha
…I crack up when I hear TAPIOCA!”

I love Wayne’s hard-nosed toolbooth inspector character, just not hearing a word from them til he checks the money

Ryan pats Colin’s pocket and makes a ‘CHING-CHING-CHING’ noise
Colin: “That’s just my….Ching collection…”
Wayne: “It appears that your Ching collection belongs to the state, and YOUR BUTT belongs to the state as well.”
Drew, who clearly was very new at this game, buzzes here as well.
Wayne, given the theme, ALSO TAKES A BAR IN BETWEEN.

Wayne’s song is pretty fun, and a good capper on the scene, ending with “your butt’s gonna be the finest ching in the penitentiary”

This is probably the best Show-Stopping Number in this run. There’s a full story, each song progresses it, it’s fucking funny, and there’s a really fun idea with stealing government money for wallpaper. That’s some Coen Brothers shit. I loved this one. And the Tapioca reference helped too

World’s Worst: Priest or Rabbi

Wayne cracks a bit at the suggestion, as he should. The addition of ‘or Rabbi’ is enough to drive this into silliness
Greg, taking that suggestion to heart: “HOLD ‘IM STEADY, I’VE HAD A DRINK!”

Drew, as Clinton: “Yes, I heard your confession, and let me tell you, I don’t think you had sex with that woman…”
Ryan: “I understand, you slept with 3 women, [stage whisper] HE SLEPT WITH THREE WOMEN”
Colin: “hmm…well, say 10 Hail Marys and the Gilligan’s Island theme”

Greg has a fun one where he’s speaking in Latin, forgets some, and just goes “…uh…ixnay on the in-say…”

Also, Wayne is LOSING IT at these. Perhaps it’s his background as a Sunday School teacher [or something like that], but he’s loving these

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I think what makes it so funny is…Drew Carey has been hiding an impeccable Jerry Lewis impression from us all these years, and the sudden shock of hearing him doing a Rabbi is so ridiculous it just pulls everyone over the edge. Even Ryan’s going, in disbelief, ‘JERRY LEWIS AS THE RABBI?”
Greg snorts, leading Wayne to crack up again.
Hell, Wayne’s laughing so hard that he buzzes out Colin before he even does a joke, just to sustain composure

Ryan: “Today, I’ll be delivering the sermon as John Wayne. “IN DA BE-GINNING…”
Somehow this is NOT a reference to Multiple Personalities

SUCH a funny WW round. Even Colin had some good ones, and he’s normally quiet in this game. Just the silliness of Drew doing Jerry Lewis, or Greg doing pig-latin, and how much fun Wayne was having, drove this over the edge for me.

Overall: Was not expecting much more than GH from this one, but…once GH happened, everything became indestructible. And it wasn’t even the fault of a runner, just every game after that felt like the best playing of it either ever or in a while, and it didn’t feel light enough to just say ‘well that happened’. EVEN FILM DUB felt substantial. Even Show-Stop and World’s Worst felt good. Even HATS. And the tentpoles might be the big takeaways- WN is a deconstruction that works because of what it goes around, and what Greg brings to this game, as well as how well the rest of it goes. GH is also a deconstruction, as it obliterates the Ryan-Colin bickering and turns it into Colin understanding how broken-up Ryan is and altering the game so that he doesn’t feel horrible about cracking up in the middle of a round. Pretty much every game worked, every cast member had strong material all night, and even Drew felt like he was sinking free throws in WW.

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: This was a three-way tie between Ryan, Colin and Greg, and I had to break it by asking ‘who had the smartest improv moves of the night’. And that’s obviously Colin, because of how he restructured Greatest Hits to help Ryan. But let it be known that this was Greg Proops’ best show in a while.
Worst Performer: This is what irks me. Wayne technically owned the least amount of games, but I still point to Weird Newscasters, Greatest Hits and Show-Stop as points where he did awesome work. It just sucks that he was overshadowed by people doing awesomer work, but that honestly speaks to how good this show was.
Best Game: I kinda have to go with Greatest Hits here, as it’s the classic, but there’s a ton of great games in this show.
Worst Game: Probably Hats? But in a worse show, Hats would be a highlight

COMING UP NEXT: Wellllll…it is a Brad Sherwood show, from the same taping as the very strong E17…and it’s one of the first instances on the show where we actually see the directors stop the show and censor an audience suggestion. And all I’m saying is that, with this cast, and their ability to bring back running gags, the censors should know better.