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,”
AND THE RIBBING BEGINS
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”
[Ryan reacts very well to that]
And then Colin just…does this
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
Greg: “…AM I SICK OF LOOKING AT YOUR ASS!”
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
Colin: “DON’T…WE’RE STILL IN CALIFORNIA!”
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?”
[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…”
Ryan’s BARELY hanging on
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”
OH MY GOD
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:
Yes. The scene from Big. Amazing
And another wholesome and creative one from Ryan:
“…..NNNNINETY-NINE BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL, NINETY-NINE BOTTLES OF BEER…”
Colin wearing the prop like a diaper is amusing as hell
Wayne, a la Levi Stubbs: “SEYMOUR! FEED ME SEYMOUR!”
ACE MUSICAL THEATER REFERENCE.
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.
Best Game: AAACHHAWIILLEBAUGHOUGHCIJIBAHHCHH
Worst Game: Film Dub went nowhere.
SEASON 4 SUPERLATIVES!
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.