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.

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