Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E02, or Hey, Who Invited the Chicks??

Onto an episode I remember BBC America rerunning quite a bit back when I was younger, the much-heralded grouping of Greg, Ryan, Mike and Tony, four guys who, together, did the infamous Neon Love Chicken episode, and have had many a many laugh together. Unfortunately, this would be the start of the end of Tony’s run on the show, as his drug use and anxiety would come to a head as the series went on.

Clive: “Featuring this week, the Buddy Holly of mirth, Greg Proops.”
Greg: [gives a ‘fuck off’ sign]

Tony, after some more comparisons, is waiting for his- he’s the ‘Hugh Grant of slapstick’, which in 1995 was an insult. He chuckles and winces at that one.

Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Greg (two high-tech thieves breaking into a gallery)

Clive, getting suggestions: “‘Valerie Singleton? Are you pointing out that she’s over there, or are you…OH, SHE’S OVER THERE? Well, welcome Valerie!”

The entire first part of the scene is Ryan and Greg testing out their gadgets and trying to go about a very dangerous motion.
Greg, rationalizing: “…my god, the door’s already open, Bill…”

Greg, Baywatch style: “I’m gonna start running, and the faster I run, the SLOWER I GO…”

Cable Shopping
Ryan: “How much would you pay for that 69 pounds?”
Greg: “Oh, way more than that.”
Ryan: “89 pounds?”
Greg: “Oh, much much more than that.”
Ryan: “How about your first born male child?”
Greg: “Why, I’d kill him!”

Then, for an obligatory reference, Ryan, in the second ‘much more than that’ gag, offers up ‘ALL MY AUTOGRAPHED PICTURES OF CILLA BLACK!’
I feel like he does this simply because he’s not sure who Cilla Black is…or maybe he does know, and he hates her.

A quick but silly enough F&TS, with great teamwork between Greg and Ryan

Remote Control: Earthquakes
Greg: Oprah
Mike: WWE
Ryan: ER
Tony: Brookside

“…one of these things is not like the other…one of these things isn’t on American TV…”

Ryan’s initial reaction to having to do ER is ‘oh, no…no no no.” Perhaps he’s in the UK filming this show so much that he hasn’t seen it yet…or maybe he just doesn’t want to.

Tony’s reaction to getting Brookside is a BIG eye roll. There’s a limited opportunity to see this, but we will get some moments of seeing Tony’s absolute hatred for Brookside on this show.

Ryan: “He needed a-”

Greg, working in the PMS suggestion: “Today on the program, PMS, the bastards that inflict it on women, earthquakes and stuff that falls down.”

Then, when Clive buzzes to give it to Tony, Greg, still as Oprah, goes “DON’T BUZZ ME, I AIN’T DONE TALKING YET…GET YOUR BALD, ENGLISH CANDY ASS, BACK IN THE HOUSE.”

[i don’t think he even breathes through any of this]

Then, right after Tony finishes, he cracks up, realizes he was doing a bit of Cilla Black instead. Making this the SECOND Cilla Black reference on the night.
[Under the applause, you can vaguely hear somebody, probably Ryan though possibly Tony, go ‘what does Cilla Black do?’ So maybe this came before F&TS, which is why he brings her up in the first place? Or not?]

Clive lets Ryan go on for so long that, after he’s done what he imagines ER might be like, he, near-panic, looks over at Clive to buzz him out.

A pretty fun round, even though Tony was a bit short-shifted, and Ryan’s wasn’t nearly as fun to do as the others.

Film Dub: Ryan and Greg are compulsive gamblers

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 1.47.32 AM.pngGreg: “Hey, where can a guy get some fun around here…and what is this enormous tit you have your hand on?”
Ryan: “IT’S NO TIT, NO…”

Greg, responding to random cigarette smoke: “my god…my chest, I think it’s on fire!”

Then, heading back to the tit, Ryan: “…heyyyy, that looks a lot like the nipple of my ex-wife…”

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 1.49.45 AM.pngGreg, with some amazing timing: “…HEY, WHO INVITED THE CHICKS?”

Not as good as last Film Dub, but still pretty funny, and worth it for that last line.

Song Styles: Mike sings a German drinking song about a little red triangle

You can tell that Mike’s semi dreading this, but Mike powers through this, with this diaphragm-aided side-of-the-mouth German singing. It’s a quick song, but the audience applauds all the way through it, and it’s definitely a fine effort from Mike.

Clive: “Suddenly we’d been transported to a cabaret in East Berlin.”
Mike, pulling out a grade-A reference: “Yes, you’ll see me in the Gert Frobe men’s dance troupe later on tonight…”
Clive: “…I always do. In my dreams.”

World’s Worst: Person to be a cub scout leader

Mike: “Now what you do is take these plants here and you let these plants dry. Now give me the skins.”
[The WHOLE audience applauds this one. Greg even nods, triumphantly. He’s definitely had some of those plants]

Tony: “Now, the first rule of cub scouting is that you must, MUST, learn to accept pain…”
Ryan, in a similar vein to Mike: “Okay, we’ve put a little something special in ALLLL the cookies we’re gonna sell this year…”
Greg: “I spent a lot of time making those frilly pink uniforms, and I expect you boys to wear them.”
Ryan, squatting: “And now we, uh, look for some leaves.”

A pretty great WW round from everyone except, as per the theme tonight, a quieter Tony.

Props: Ryan and Tony vs. Greg and Mike

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 1.58.57 AM.pngRyan: “Today, we say goodbye to Orson Welles.”
Tony flat out cackles at this one

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 1.59.56 AM.pngGreg, with an inspired amalgamation: “I said this Kabuki play ain’t big enough for the both of us.”

Greg: “I just thought the flashlights were a tacky way to bring the planes in…”

Really fun round of props on both sides. Even Tony was throwing in some fun ideas.

Scene to Music: Mike’s about to get married, so he asks his flatmate Greg to move out.

Clive, after the scene description: “I’m sure we’ve all been through this life experience…trying to get rid of Greg.”
There’s a few ‘AWWWs’ at that from the audience.
Greg, to the camera: “SEE? SEE HOW THEY SIDE WITH *ME??* If we held an election right now, WHEEW. LOSER!”
Clive: “Yeah, we’d get someone as good as Clinton, wouldn’t we?”
The audience OOOOOOOhs at this, while Mike and Greg are just amused.
Greg: “Why the bitterness, you HAVE a job?”

The music is sinister-sounding, so Greg, as the roommate, crosses toward the camera.
Greg: “I’ll be really happy when she…moves in with us Mike. Heheheheheh…”

Mike, matching the tone completely: “You can’t…stay here anymore. You’re scaring the dogs.”
Greg starts making these shocked, off-kilter facial expressions. It’s pretty perfect.

Greg eventually regains control of Mike’s head, gets him to cluck like a chicken and tells him to leave while laughing. It’s hysterical, but the scene is just…GOOD. Like, it almost doesn’t succeed at being funny, it’s just really good suspense and acting.

News Report: Three Little Pigs. Greg and Mike in the studio, Tony and Ryan in the field.

A switchup, as usually Mike’s the field guy and Tony’s the expert, but I’m fine with this change-up.

Greg: “Good evening, I’m unusually thick.”
GREG is actually the one to nearly crack at this.

Mike: “Well, the pig and the wolf problem goes as far back as early pig and early wolf.”

Ryan, playing a rather camp Big Bad Wolf: “That’s right, I’m gonna huff, I’m gonna puff, and i’m gonna blow them…DOWN! DOWN!”
Tony: “…well, I just need a couple of minutes alone with the big bad wolf…”

Greg: “…I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut you off even though you weren’t talking…”

Tony gets another remote, and says to Ryan, without an idea, “we haven’t been properly introduced, who are you?”
Ryan, finger in ear: “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m covering the Little Red Riding Hood story…”
THAT is perfect.

Mike, with a final thought: “It’s better to have a pig in a poke than a wolf in a convertible.”

A very swift, fun News Report, even though it was down slightly from recent GREAT ones.

Helping Hands: Mike helps surgeon Ryan (ft. Greg’s hands) during an operation

This is a very frenzied one right off the bat, with Ryan having gloves barely on and a mask falling off, while spurting the anesthetic in the air.

Mike: “Doctor, you’re gonna want to use some gas.”
Ryan: [puts gas mask on self.]
Mike: “No, I mean…”

Ryan, grabbing a prop heart from the body: “Ahhh, looks like I’ve taken out the spleen!”
Mike: “I think that’s the heart, but-”

Ryan completely uncovers the fake body and pulls out a little shark toy. “WELLLLLL THERE’S THE PROBLEM!” he says, showing the toy to the audience.
Mike: “He’s been to a Japanese restaurant!”
Ryan: “Too much sushi for this man! It’s known as the flipper complex!”

Ryan then pulls a rubber duck out of the body.
Mike: “Awww, isn’t it cute?”
Ryan: “CUTE? LET ME TELL YA SOMETHING. If you’ve got a duck blowing on one of your bladders, you’ve got troubles, my friend! TROUBLES!”
He bops Mike on the head with the duck. Mike, in a rare moment, is coming DAMN close to breaking mid-scene.
Ryan, losing it as well: “Let me tell ya something else. You’re the most unattractive nurse I’ve ever seen in my life.”

To cap off the scene, Ryan literally STICKS HIS HEAD IN the open hole in the body, then lifting it up and flinging the body up with him. It’s a very amusing ending.

Just really, REALLY funny. The Mike-Ryan interplay was just on fire, and there were a ton of funny lines and moments.

Hoedown: Excessive Drinking

Clive: “Can we have a human vice this hoedown can be about?”
Audience member: “frogs.”
Clive: “FROGS??? WHAT??? That is a SURREAL suggestion…”

Greg, however, sings about licking frogs for trips, which is a nice ‘F U’ to the suggestion guy.

Tony’s verse is…something else. He’s singing while slowly pulling his handkerchief out of his mouth. He does this for 7/8ths of the song, growing even more Tony as he goes along, finishing finally with “AND THEN I CUT IT OFF!”
It succeeds, but…it’s an odd choice from a noticeably down Tony.

A clumsy Hoedown all-around, without nothing truly standing out, but things still ending up funny.

Overall: Definitely a step up from E1, with some really fun games all around tonight, and some great performances, mostly from the Americans. This marked the umpteenth fantastic show in a row from Greg Proops, a return to domination from Ryan Stiles, some fantastic work from Mike McShane (even if he looked several times like he was getting very tired of putting up with Clive), and…well, Tony tried. But it just didn’t seem like he was in a good mood at all tonight, and it didn’t look like any of the proceedings could salvage that. His lack of presence didn’t destroy the show or anything, as his fun moments were still there in Remote Control and News Report, but it was definitely not the usual Tony Slattery.

Show Winners: All Four
Best Performer: Greg Proops, for giving inspired choices and funny stuff all throughout
Worst Performer: Tony Slattery, for looking very glum and uninspired.
Best Game: Scene to Music, just edging out Helping Hands, for being a really, REALLY good scene, and for emulating the style perfectly well with some great acting. I would have gone with something like Helping Hands or Remote Control any other night.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Not as good as the rest of the show.


Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S07E01, or THE MAN IS FORTY-FIVE YEARS OLD

After the insane success of Series 6, brought by keeping the band of regulars small, and making sure only the best improvisers were coming to the show, the producers decided that the best way to go about things would be to change all that.

Series 7 would be a Whose Line in slight flux. There would be some new additions to the fold, both of whom would recur over the next two seasons, and there would be an impressive get for a guest star. There would also be some controversy involving two beloved cast members, but we’ll….get there.

Tonight, we’ll feature the friendly assortment of Westerners that is Ryan, Colin and Greg, along with a new addition, a youthful brit named Niall Ashdown, looking unkempt compared to his S8 appearances.

Questions Only: In a men’s changing room after the game

After a few lines from Niall, Clive buzzes
Clive: “…too Geordie, I’m sorry.”

Ryan, getting extraordinarily close to Greg: “Mind if I lather you up?”
Greg: “Mind if I bend over?”

Colin: “Is this the men’s shower?”
Ryan: “Does this LOOK like the men’s shower?”
Colin: “Does Tom Cruise?”
[Hold for audience laughter]
Ryan: “…is Betty White?”

Niall comes back as the Geordie guy, to some recognition applause
Colin: “I’m sorry, are you speaking english?”

Niall: “You’re not from ’round here, are ya?”
Colin: “Don’t you recognize me?”
Niall: “…aren’t you the chap who’s not from round here?”
Nice save, Niall.
Colin: “How did you know?”
Niall: “Don’t you know that everybody points at you when you walk down the street and goes ‘there’s the chap who’s not from ’round here’?”
Colin: “Why don’t people tell me these things?”
Niall: “Don’t you listen?”
[My gosh, I did not expect Niall to be giving Colin the ropes in this game]

Very funny round, which gives me a nice preview of how Niall’s going to contend with the regulars (he’s right up there with them)

Film and Theatre Styles: Greg and Niall (tourist and local search for Loch Ness Monster)

The one F&TS they do in this episode DOESN’T include Ryan or Colin? Hmm.

Someone in the audience shouts out ‘DEEP THROAT’
Clive: “…that was a good one, but I didn’t hear it, unfortunately.”
Greg, to the audience member: “I think the answer is no.”

Niall, in his first line, attempts a Scottish accent, which sort of works.
Greg: “That makes my ears tickle, could you say that again?”
Niall: “ARE YEE….I can’t remember the next bit…”

Greg, trying to screw with Niall: “I think it’s a bit weird searching for the Loch Ness Monster in Wales, don’t you?”
Niall: “…Ya, cause it’d have to be a big WHALE to swallow Nessie…”
Clive: “…you’ve already doubled your points by out-punning him”

Greg, in the James Bond style, chooses to be a Bond villain, going “PERHAPS YOU’D LIKE TO MAKE LOVE TO MY MISTRESS BEFORE I HAVE YOU KILLED, MR. BOND, HMHMHMHMHHMMMMMM!”

Niall, as Connery, lights a cigarette, then stops Greg: “i’m sorry, I’ve just set fire to my fingers…”

Indiana Jones
Greg: “You’re some God. I’ve just been squashed flat by an enormous rock coming out of the Loch Ness Monster’s butt”
Niall: “That was no rock!”

A pretty good F&TS, made better by Niall matching Greg’s improv abilities, even if Greg had to bring the scene back at the end.

Whose Line: Ryan is a lawyer meeting his client, Colin, before the big case

Ryan: “Because, as a lawyer, I took that oath…’only your chicken impression can save us now!'”
Colin: [does chicken impression]

Colin: “Remember what the good book says. Luke 19…41…’go on, give it a squeeze'”
HA. The audience loves this
Colin: “And the lord said give it a good squeeze. And if it does squeeze good…will not good come out of it?”
[Greg cracks at that one from the seats]
Ryan: “You have quite a command of the Bible…”

Ryan: “When I plead insanity, I want you to go up to the judge, look him straight in the eyes, and say ‘GREASE ME UP, I’M GOING IN!'”
As Colin and Ryan argue about that, Clive buzzes. We never get to see Colin’s second line, but it’s still a funny enough, albeit quite compact, WL game.

Song Styles: Niall sings a love song to Drew the stripper

Niall surprises me with this one, in that he’s actually really good at coming up with lyrics, as well as making something heartfelt even if it includes the line “I saw you…buck naked.”

It meanders for a bit, but Niall does sell the ending, making it a very sweet moment, and a hint that maybe Niall was the version of Chip that the producers had been looking for all along.

Superheroes: The world’s running out of cornflakes
Greg: Obsessive Compulsive Man
Ryan: Wiggle Worm
Colin: Mispronunciation BoyNiall: Fascinated by belly-buttons boy

Greg, slapping back at the guy who suggested the cornflakes: “Oh no, the world’s running out of cornflakes! Sad losers everywhere will be bummed out!”


Niall spends 5 seconds staring at Ryan’s bellybutton as he keeps wiggling. Then, when Greg mentions the crisis, Niall takes out his own bellybutton.

I do love that Niall’s solution is pulling the world’s supply of cornflakes out of his bellybutton. That’s a goofy kind of rationalization we don’t get often in this game.
Niall even polishes it off with: “I borrowed it from the NAVEL SERVICE!”

Colin: “Well, I’ll just bogger if.”
Ryan: “I’m gonna see if I can get a job as a vibrator.”

Definitely picked up as it went along, solely because Greg’s quirk wasn’t exactly the funniest. The game worked when everyone was bouncing off each other, and once we got the solution.

Props: Ryan and Niall vs. Colin and Greg

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.29.12 PM.pngColin: “After the sleigh blew up, this is all we could find of Santa.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.30.18 PM.pngGreg: “scuse me, I’m looking for the sperm bank…”

Much better props round all around, especially on Colin and Greg’s side.

Animals: Colin and Ryan and Greg act out a soap opera scene as Hamsters

This is a new game, so Clive explains the set-up, and through the whole thing Greg’s just appalled.
Greg: “…what’s WRONG with you?…GET SOME FRIENDS!”
Clive, as they start: “..the hamsters ARE my friends.”

Ryan enters and sips vodka from the little sippy bottle for about 10 seconds.

Greg does FINALLY get the scene going somewhere, with a ‘somebody stole all the food’ plot. Ryan asks Colin what he has to say about it, and Colin, with his mouth full, hastily runs onto the hamster wheel, doing a motion that honestly makes the rest of this game worth it.

Still a ways from being a great game, but silly enough.

Backwards Scene: Niall is being kicked out of the army by Ryan

Thank God, someone other than Sam Johnson gets to play this game.

Niall: “go on…tell me I’m useless.”

Ryan: “You just don’t match up to the other men.”
Niall: [pulls up trousers]
Okay, he’s GOOOOOD.
Niall: “Take them off NOW?”
Ryan, without an option: “…..take those trousers off!”
Niall: “Why are you looking at my trousers.”

Definitely more going for it than last time, but still not completely a great game yet.

Film Dub: “The Problems of Sharing a Flat”

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.39.40 PM.pngRyan is not expecting the film to look like this, so he cracks up slightly while having this guy talk about sharing a flat.

Eventually, Ryan’s character holds up a small model, which he rationalizes as ‘THIS for instance…is a dental bridge.”
The film does cut to another character, though

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.40.53 PM.pngGreg, with a moment of inspiration, in a nasally voice: “HE’S ALLLLWAYS BUILDING MODELS. DAY AFTER DAY.”
Ryan: “He had hair up until this morning.”

Ryan: “This is a toy car I’ve been working on, this-”

Greg has another moment of genius, as his character’s holding up a screw. It fits so well into what he’s saying that he can’t help but go “‘Wanna screw?’ HE SAYS”

Ryan: “You know, Harold experimented with acid at a VERY EARLY AGE…Don’t you kids at home try that.”

Greg: “This is our car. HE’s taken the ENGINE out of it. HE’S INSANE. This is what happens when you move in with a cheap-”
Ryan’s character comes into frame, so Greg stops.

A truly hysterical film dub, simply because neither one had any idea where it was gonna go, and it became something really, REALLY funny just as Greg’s inspiration struck.

Party Quirks: Greg hosts
Niall: Doing as many accents as possible
Colin: A salesman who has reached his breaking point
Ryan: is white water rafting

Greg, dating this episode: “It’s come as an Elizabeth Hurley dress party” [flashes his jacket]

Colin: “LOOK, I’M ONLY GONNA SHOW YOU ONCE, SO WATCH!” [demonstrates product angrily] “WHAT MORE DO YA NEEEED???”

Ryan: “I’ll have a scotch please- NOT ON THE ROCKS! NOT ON THE ROCKS!”

Hoedown: Halloween

Clive asks for a reason why families get together:
Some audience member: “INCEST!”
Greg: [points to that one]
Clive: “Halloween. People get together on Halloween.”
Greg, who clearly wanted to do incest:
Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.52.28 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.52.38 PM.png

Colin does a characteristic hoedown, as he says he gives the kids an awful fright, “I really don’t know why, I’m not wearing a mask tonight…”

It’s RYAN of all people who ends his Hoedown with a Clive slam, saying everyone runs “because every year I dress as Clive Anderson.” I kinda thought of all people, Greg was gonna go there.

Overall: Some great moments here, but a lot of okay, half-realized and short games knock some points off of this one, and boil it down to a merely fine show. It’s not the fault of any of the participants, as all were equally great tonight. It’s just that even with games like Film Dub, Questions Only, F&TS and Whose Line, there was just a lot that made certain games ‘okay’ when they could have been great. Surprisingly the weakest link here was Ryan Stiles, the new regular-for-life, who stuck to background work while Niall, Greg and Colin had most of the funny moments. I’ll mention Niall again because his improv abilities were great tonight, and he could out-do the best of them.

Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie, for just having so many funny moments tonight, even in ensemble games.
Worst Performer: Ryan, for being a bit quieter than the rest tonight
Best Game: Film Dub. Hysterical all the way through.
Worst Game: Party Quirks. Colin aside, there’s not a ton to write home about.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E11, or I can’t describe what I just saw

The last episode of Series 6, and the last compilation. This has the same assortment of cast members as E10, only swap out Rory Bremner for Chip Esten.

Scenes from a Hat: Ryan, Colin, Steve and Tony
From: E6

The last ever broadcast SFAH game until Drew Carey would revive it.

Clive: “Worrying things to be given on a plane.”
Tony: “Hi. Here’s the engine.”
Steve: [dramatic double take]
Ryan, under the applause: “Always double takes. Ohhhhh we’re killin’ tonight…”

Clive: “Life’s big disappointments.”
Steve: “…oh so YOU’RE Tony Slattery…”
Tony: [rolls up sleeves]
Clive: “…well, he’s no more disappointing in real life than he is on the telly…”
Tony: “shut it…”

Clive: “Faux pas at a christening”
Tony: “I name this child Satan- STAN! STAN!”
I always loved that one

Film and Theatre Styles: Steve leads a mutiny on Tony’s ship
From: E3

The first part of the scene is hilarious simply because Steve is doing this half-pirate-half-north-country voice, and Tony’s just doing it in his normal voice. The contrast is already selling it.

Steve: “It’s all those frills you had us put on the sails. We didn’t like them!”
Tony: “..Why not?”
Steve: “Well it sorta slows us down ’round the Cape of Good OOOAAAUURRRHHH.”
Tony: “…Cape of Good What?”
Tony: “You’ve been lucky…”
Tony: “You swab the bloody decks.”
Tony: “…I know.”
Tony then looks at Steve with the weirdest possible expression, and both of them struggle to keep it together.
Tony: “Which county d’you come from, it’s changing….moment to moment.”

Clive: “…I hardly like to interrupt…”
Steve and Tony crack again
Clive: “…but I don’t think I need to change much…”

Clive: “Medieval Mystery Play”
Tony: “Where’s the crew? …I dunno, it’s a mystery.”

Steve goes into a monologue, then mentions ‘if the lord is to be graced in this year of 12 and 22’, and Tony kneels and does sign of the cross, which Steve awkwardly follows…and then seconds later Tony does it again, followed by Steve.

Steve: “The men shall surely take prayer and throw you overboard as you cast adrift.”
Tony: “….bitch.”
Steve, cracking: “THAT’S NOT MEDIEVAL…”
Clive: “Clearly you’ve never seen a medieval mystery play…”

For Hammer Horror, Steve pukes over the side of the boat…only for the puke to go and attack them.

They end on a combination of Jacobean tragedy and Carry On film, which Tony is able to recreate well, though it’s not as memorable as the rest of the scene.

Still, to that point, a RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY scene, going very off-the-rails in only the best possible ways.

Whose Line: Colin and Ryan discuss pre-wedding nerves

Colin: “Well, it’s your pre-wedding, that’s why you’re nervous. If it was after wedding, it’d be post-wedding-”
Ryan: “LOOK…”

Ryan: “I just don’t know if Rebecca’s the right girl.”
Colin: “Well, she’s a bit of a tramp…”
Ryan: “COME ON, MAN…That’s not what I want to hear from you!”
Colin: “Well, I’m sorry, but she’s had more hands up her than the Muppets!”
Not only am I gone here, but Ryan nearly loses it for a moment.

Ryan’s vows are “Rebecca I love you, stay with me always….’on the whole, I prefer a dog.'”
After the laughter, Ryan somehow gets away with the line “OR AT LEAST THAT STYLE, D’YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN???”

Colin: “Oh, how about this. “Rebecca, Rebecca, I love you so much….’can you smell something burning?'”

Colin, helping Ryan go through with it: “Remember the first…date ya had? All those many years ago?”
Ryan: “You were there in the backseat, I remember that…”
Colin: “…well, I had the video camera.”
Ryan: “YOU WOULDN’T SHUT UP! Over and over again, you yellin’ out…”
Colin: “Well, I hope it’s on the wedding cake. Remember, I used to yell…’does it usually throb like that'”
IMMEDIATELY RYAN REACTS, struggling to keep it in. Clive’s even cracking up as he ends the game.

A really nice, very cute Ryan-Colin Whose Line. On par with some of the ones this season.

Song Titles: Steve, Josie, Ryan and Tony are on a boat
From: E5

Josie: “…we are sailing.”
Clive: “…I was gonna do that one, is that a song title?”

A very silly scene, one that got a bit more frenzied as more people came in. Proves that this game is better the less people there are in it.

Foreign Film Dub: The Italian film Farewell My Porcupine, starring Ryan and Tony, translated by Colin and Steve

Tony, not leaving anything to the imagination: “E un pico enorme.”
Steve, subverting: “…it’s got a lot of pricks.”
Colin: “And so does my porcupine.”

Steve, master of playing with length in this game: “Ho.”

Ryan does a line that vaguely resembles Swedish, which he follows, cracking, with “I don’t know.”
Colin: “I found this porcupine in Sweden where I studied for a long time.”

Then, Ryan says a very long, exaggerated sentence, which Colin translates as ‘you’re right’. Already this game’s top joke strategies were being illuminated.

The humor in this scene does come from Tony and Ryan’s inability to keep these accents on- Tony keeps dropping other words like ‘Pizza’ and ‘the chef from the Muppets’, and Ryan’s italian keeps shifting into swedish. After a while, the translation takes a backseat to the accent wars at hand.

The game ends with Colin translating a long Ryan sentence as ‘HUH’, and Clive putting the game out of its misery. Very funny, but, like a lot of Comp 1’s games, succeeds due to breaking improv rules.

Song Styles: Josie sings a lounge jazz ballad about a mop
From: E2

Josie immediately laughs at the specificity of the particular style.

Very cute song, though nothing that really stands out above the barrage of Josie songs throughout the years.

Props: Greg and Tony vs. Ryan and Chip
From: E8


I have to say that Tony and Greg had the more creative ideas, like Tony simulating an acid trip, or Greg delivering pizza on a stick. I feel like Ryan and Chip didn’t have as many good ideas.

Film Trailer: REVENGE OF THE SHEEP-SHEARER! Greg narrates, Tony, Colin and Ryan act out.
From: E9

(Oh dear. This one.)

Clive: “So, can somebody suggest an imaginary film title?”
A very meek-sounding audience member: “sheep cutting.”
Clive: “….sheep CUTTING?”
[I always found something very odd about that exchange]

Clive presents the idea to the group as ‘Revenge of the Sheep Shearer.’
Clive: “I know, but I’m turning it into a film title! Don’t quibble!”
Greg, smirking: “I shan’t quibble Mr. Anderson. Pray, let us move on. Comedy awaits!”
Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 9.33.24 PM

Clive: “…it’s been awaiting for some time, Greg…”

Right before the music starts, Greg looks like he’s about to say something else to Clive, but instead goes right into the trailer intro: “FROM THE PEOPLE WHO BROUGHT YOU SHEEP CUTTING, IT’S REVENGE OF THE SHEEP SHEARER!”

The visual of Ryan picking up a sheep and biting its testicles off is one of the more grotesque yet inspired visuals the show’s ever seen.

Greg: “He was a fascistic Spanish colonel who would get his way no matter what.”
Colin: “…I want my way…”

Greg: “See the thrilling chase through the mountains with daisy the wonder-sheep.”
Ryan, onstage and without a choice: “…baaaah, baaaah…”

So, and this is a pretty nice point- by the time Greg’s announcing the actors, the scene’s been fucked up. Ryan comes down for Colin’s part, and realizes the error immediately, yet they keep going. So they all know this game probably isn’t gonna make it to air because of the little faux pas. Nevertheless, they persevere:

Tony, genuine: “…I’ve split my pants, look!”
Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 9.39.15 PM.png

Then, when Colin does his line [“man, this sheep’s oughta hit the fan”], Tony exposes the rip again, scaring the audience and keeping Ryan on edge.

Right when the scene ends, Ryan immediately goes to Tony ‘did you really split your pants’. Tony, of course, shows him the hole. Then, as he’s back at the seat, he’s still figuring out a way to work with it.

Clive: “Tony, you deliberately split your trousers there to get some cheap laughs-”
Tony: “I DID NOT!”
Clive: “And you get double points for that, well done.”

This Film Trailer game was…very haphazard, and close to being a failure until Tony noticed the hole in his pants. Other than the banter and ‘I want my way’, it was listless to that point, so thank god for the rip in the trousers.

The ‘game’ doesn’t even end there- Colin and Ryan go upstage for Moving People, as Tony stays back at the seats. While Clive’s explaining the game, Tony tries fixing things.
Clive: “…leave yourself alone, Tony…”
Tony: “IT’S BAAAD!”
Clive: “Time enough for that later.”

As Clive continues to explain, Tony stands up and readjusts.
Ryan: [runs away panicking]
Greg: “I can’t describe what I just saw.”

Extra Bits:

  • An excerpt, or rather the first half, of an unaired game of News Report from E9, with Greg and Tony in the studio reporting on David and Goliath in Bolivia. Greg’s reporter name is ‘Deliciously Huge’, which makes Tony smile.
    Tony presents David and Goliath’s vacation photos, which makes Greg exclaim ‘GOOD GOD! HE’S NOT AS SMALL AS HE LOOKS, IS HE DOCTOR?”
    Colin, as the camera cuts to him, is explaining to Ryan “and then you sauté the carrots, and then OH!”
    Hell, the round ends with David whipping out his gigantic penis, so while it’s sad that we never see the second half of this…I can only imagine it was just as blue.
  • Funeral from E3, for John the Trainspotter.
    Then Colin, without any options, falls ill.
  • A Film and Theatre Styles round from E4, where Clive’s getting audience suggestions. He asks for a ‘real wacky one’. Someone shouts out Zig and Zag.
    Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 9.52.33 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-03-12 at 9.52.46 PM.png
    Then Tony rushes up to the camera, angrily, yelling “IIII DOOOOOON’T KNOOOOW ITTTT!!!!!”
    Clive: “Whooooa, whoaa…that’s premature improvisation…”
  • Ryan goes up for a World’s Worst round in E3, and immediately expects to get buzzed. He doesn’t and Clive keeps making him go on with this suggestion, both knowing it’s not funny, until Ryan can barely breathe anymore. Ryan just does this pseudo-Channing voice about how these trees look like two women’s legs ‘spead wiiiiiide open’. FINALLY Clive does buzz, prompting a ‘thank you’ from Ryan.
  • Clive: “We go onto a game called old kno- new….”
    The panel: [cracks]
    Clive: “Old job new job was what I was trying to say…”
    Tony: “What was the first one that you said, then?”
    Clive: “It could have been Old Knob New Knob, I think…I was just thinking of my appointment tomorrow.”
  • A Party Quirks game from E3…that DIDN’T end in disaster for Tony, but one where Steve was a dodgems operator, and kept mounting and groping Tony as he went around.
  • A Foreign Film Dub Round from E5, with this classic moment. Ryan, for Josie, gives this whole, verbose monologue about wanting Tony like no one else has ever been wanted, going on for around 30 seconds [from Josie just saying a few words]. Tony’s just patiently waiting for the translation to end.
    Tony: “…okay.”
    Steve, translating: “PARDON?”

Hoedown: Greg, Mike, Ryan and Tony sing about Scuba Diving
From: E4

Clive: “Have you assembled yourself in the correct order for this particular game?”
Greg: “Yes we have, Mr. Anderson.”

You can tell this was supposed to be the last in the E4 taping, not only because everyone seems really tired, but also because Greg mentions an inflatable pig in his verse, which means this had to come after Bartender in the schedule, putting this after the last game of the original episode. So man, they must be fried.

Ryan ends his rather crafty verse with ‘where the hell when you need him is David Hasselhoff’, which certainly dates this taping.

A pretty okay Hoedown, though you could tell the best stuff had been spent earlier in the show, and none of them wanted to do this game…like, more than usual.

In terms of this compilation:
Best Performer: Greg Proops yet again, for narrowly edging out Colin for most ‘won’ games.
Worst Performer: Sadly Chip Esten for not contributing a great deal.
Best Game: Whose Line. Insanely funny all the way through, and a little more consistent than Film and Theatre Styles
Worst Game: Props.

SERIES 6 SUPERLATIVES (be prepared for a ton of writing as I loved this series):

Best Episode: Episode 6, with the immortal Ryan-Colin-Steve-Tony matchup, featuring some goldmine games of Whose Line, Stand Sit Lie and Old Job New Job, the beginning of the working Colin-Ryan SFX model, and Colin’s first ‘pulling a Colin’ in a Hoedown. Fantastic stuff all around.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 9, with a truly ferocious Questions Only game, a landmark World’s Worst, Ryan as a firework display, a ton of Clive slams from Greg, and some of the most insane energy going through the whole show.
3rd Best Episode: Episode 4. Don’t mess with the neon love chicken. That aside, there was one of the most infamous Superheroes rounds at the time, with Greg and Clive nearly sparring for suggestions, a very silly Film Dub, Mike having fun with Song Styles, just some great work from Mike and Greg all around right up until that fateful game of Bartender.
Worst Episode: Episode 8. Okay in a season of greats. Chip Esten was woefully underused, and Tony Slattery was woefully blissed out, leaving Ryan and Greg to try and hold the show up.
Best Regular: Ryan Stiles, for showing more mental stability than his counterpart Tony Slattery, and also for having great moments while knowing when to NOT dominate shows.
Best Recurring Guest: Greg Proops, for stepping up in a bigger way than S5 in quarreling with Clive and boosting his material tenfold. This was a looser, funnier Greg than we’ve seen, and one that the producers would bank on several times over the next few seasons.
Best Unlikely Duo: Tony Slattery and Steve Frost. This pairing SOARED in this season, as putting a blue comic with a northern clean comic was an excellent decision- so many great Steve and Tony games this year…which were mostly relegated to the fucking compilations, BUT NEVERTHELESS.
Performer We Wish Wasn’t Done After This Series: Chip Esten. And I also wish the producers had given him more airtime as well.
Best Runner: Neon Love Chicken, E4. Narrowly edging out Tony’s horrid jacket from E8. Just funny all the way through.

That was a fantastic series. I mean it. Now we go onto S7 and lose two of the best improvisers on the show to some controversy. Fun fun fun.


Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E10, or HE SHOOTS! HE SCORES!

The first of two compilations to end the strong and steady Series 6, this one seems to feature a general smattering of shows, and it looks to include pretty much everyone that participated in a show this series (whose name isn’t Chip Esten).

Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Colin (businessmen playing squash)
From E6

Clive, after a particularly raucous round of suggestions: “Biblical Comedy? Well, on the third day he fell over. What sort of…”

Ryan and Colin trying to do Ninja Turtles style is amusing, since neither has watched the cartoon, so they try playing squash AS turtles, just burrowing back into their shells. Clive giggles afterwards.
Clive: “…looks perfectly ordinary to me…”

Clive: “Agatha Christie.”
Ryan: “…where…is the ball?”
Colin: “My god, it rolled under that body!”

Ryan hands Colin the ball, saying something’s written in greek letters ‘and you read greek letters, don’t you?”
Colin, after several seconds of silence: “…it says ‘I’m a ball’.”

Film Noir
Colin: “…he was as tall as a post, and twice as thick…”

The film noir style is great, because Ryan and Colin just turn it into a game of narrate.
Colin: “I had nothing to say.”
Ryan: “/…he had nothing to say.”
Clive: “…well, we better move on then.”

Ryan and Colin in biblical epic style are so silly that Tony starts cracking up in the background, shielding his eyes.

Very fun game, though rather basic, still having more material than a lot of recent F&TS

News Report: A Nicaraguan broadcast of Adam and Eve: Greg and Ryan in the studio, Tony and Mike in the field
From: E4

A dispatch from the Neon Love Chicken episode. I find it odd that Ryan’s in the studio rather than Tony, but Mike and Ryan are both usually being interviewed, so I think it’s better that it’s Mike in this case.

Clive gives them ‘Nicaragewa’, “a spanish speaking country as I recall”
Greg: “Or as we say in the states, NicarA-gwa”
Clive: “Oh, do you?”
Greg: “Yes, we don’t pronounce every single letter.”
Clive smiles at this one.
Greg: “We’re having an embargo.”
Clive: “Let’s make it Cuban so you won’t get in it at all.”
Greg: “…and your name’s Cliv.”
Clive, with the comeback of the century: “…and yours is Wally over here, BUT ANYWAY…”
Greg, after the applause has died down: “HE SHOOTS HE SCOOORES!”

Sadly, due to the banter, we don’t get one of the world-famous ‘what are they doing in the studio as the music kicks in’ intros. Oh well.

Greg: “Good Evening. I’m Bulge Temptingly.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 1.47.35 AM

Greg names Ryan’s character Dr. Jose Offerman, which is the name of a major league baseball player who, at the time, was playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a cross-state rival of Greg’s hometown San Francisco Giants. I know none of you care about American sports. I’m just doing this for me.

Ryan, in a Spanish accent, starts going on and on about Eve’s private parts, even after Greg cuts him off with “I’d like to have you to go on, but I can’t.”
As Greg turns it over to Snack Whipley in the field, Ryan is still perseverating about Eve’s hips and body parts.

Tony and Mike have a good first bit, with Mike as the serpent, who “represents the Reptile Liberation Front down here in Nicaragua’. It works because both are doing accents as well as jerky motions, not especially staying still.

Tony, summing up: “So, that’s the latest- Adam and Eve made de sin because of a BIG LOVE SNAKE.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 1.53.47 AM

Ryan once again goes on about Eve’s body, and sexual details.
Greg: “I’d like to let you continue…but I’m bulging even as we speak.”
Even Clive enjoys this one.

Tony: “I am now with Eve, and she has quite a pair of hooters.”
Mike: “I’d like to say that they were made by God, but I got some help from Frederick’s of Van Nuys…”

Then, as Greg asks Ryan for a final thought…AGAIN, HE GOES ON ABOUT EVE’S LOOKS. It’s the kind of runner that actually doesn’t wear itself out.

An incredibly funny News Report. I think the only reason this didn’t make it to air is the fact that it was literally one big sex joke, from top to bottom. It’s still insanely funny, and with great work from everyone, but I don’t think this would have passed through the censors easily.

Superheroes: Trapped in the fridge
Colin: Rubber Band Boy
Ryan: Mesmerized by Arm Movement Man
Tony: Suicide Guy
Steve: Laughing Nymphomaniac Woman
From: E3

After a few seconds of Colin yelling for help, Ryan opens the fridge, grabs a beer, and closes it.

Tony has a moment’s lapse and forgets he’s supposed to name Steve (which is probably why this didn’t make the episode. Steve has to point to himself, smiling, for Tony to finally get it.

And then Steve, as Laughing Nymphomaniac Woman, starts laughing and humping Tony, which is why this one DEFINITELY didn’t make the episode.

Clive has to end the game before everyone leaves because Steve’s been humping everyone while Colin solves the problem himself. This was a very messy, very short, very crazy Superheroes, which almost failed completely…hence the comp space.

Remote Control: Chicken Rearing
Josie: Coronation Street
Rory: Question Time
Tony: GMTV
Mike: The Muppet Show
From: E7

A very S2-era game, with some very S2-era panelists. How fitting.

Tony, hearing what he’s supposed to be doing in this game, mimes wanting to puke.

Tony: “But now it’s off to Mr. Motivator who’s got a chicken at the front of his lycra tights!”

Josie, after doing a back and forth conversation about courting a chicken, chuckles and goes, under her breath, “I can’t do this…”

Rory screws up by doing a character from Corry rather than someone from Question Time, and doesn’t realize it until he’s already done the joke, backing off embarrassedly.

Rory, finally back on the right channel: ‘So remember…don’t be a chicken for the next few weeks. Be a chicken for the rest of your life, by voting liberal democrat.”

An odd game, with Mike getting a short-end edit, Josie losing it, Rory screwing up, and Tony surprisingly keeping things afloat.

Song Styles: Mike sings a grunge song about coal
From: E7

Clive: “Are you up to date on grunge?”
Mike: “GRUNGE?”
Clive: “You’re dressed for it…”

This is the closest we’re ever gonna get to a Nine Inch Nails song on Whose Line, as Richard’s grimy guitar and Mike’s calm yet edgy voice is very reminiscent of something Trent Reznor would produce and Greg would wear a shirt of.

Mike even gets RIGHT UP TO THE CAMERA singing the chorus, which cracks up the back panel, as well as getting some applause from the audience.

A REALLY NICE song, made great by Mike’s energy and surprising knowledge of the style.

Questions Only: Greg, Josie, Mike and Ryan are at circus auditions
From: E2

Clive immediately buzzes Mike out on grounds of doing ‘basically a statement’. Josie’s even surprised as to how strict he is.

Greg: “Why can’t you just do your audition?”
Ryan: “Is…Ted Danson….?”

Ryan: “Can you put it in the bank?”
Greg: “Is there another way?”
Ryan: “D’you know my wife?”

Fun game, but very haphazard and with a lot of strict buzzing on Clive’s part.

Scene to Music: Steve sends his son Tony to get some washing powder
From: E3

Ohhhhhh my. Ohh, we’ve gotten to this game.

Tony, right off the bat: “We’ve run out of buxton mineral water!”
After this, Steve adopts a north country accent, so Tony amusingly gives his character the accent too, despite not having one in the first line.

After some babbling, the heavenly music kicks in, which changes both performers’ moods entirely.
Steve: “…BECAUSE…we need some POW-DAH…”
Tony, kneeling: “We need powder with power that cannot be found on earth.”

They go about this holier-than-thou dialogue about how white it must be, with Tony as the simpleton son, and I swear to God it’s like this was something out of a sketch comedy show. It’s like this was written. It’s timed PERFECTLY.

Tony gets up, as his knees get tired, and he’s about to say something silly about it when Steve goes “and he must go unto Nazareth.”
Tony: “Where?”
Steve: “Nazareth.”
Tony: “Is that near Stockport?”
Steve: “Yes.”

Tony: “And what will I find when I get there, father? Will it be WHIIITE? Will it be FLUUFAAAY? Will it be PEOPLE PLAYING ON CLOUDS?”
Steve: “Follow the supermarket neon light.”
Tony, amusingly.” “OOOH.”
[Tony cracks up at that]

Tony: “But will it wash my sins away as well as my underpants?”
Tony struggles to keep composure, as Colin and Ryan are cracking up in the back.
Tony, at the verge of laughter: “You’ve…you’ve turned into Richard Burton!”
Steve, gone: “YES!”
Tony: “HIIIIII!”
Steve: “GO!”
Tony, mood shift: “…Alright, don’t shout!”
Steve: “Before it is too late, and my clothes become smitten with smut.”
Tony, attempting to pick up the serious tone again: “I will come back…and if not…then [breaks]…then you won’t see me!”

Uh…that may be one of the funniest games in the show’s history, solely because of how 100% into it Steve Frost was, even to the point where he was struggling to keep Tony in it with him. Tony was trying SO HARD not to crack, and he had no choice after a while. But it’s just really funny. In its crux, it feels like a Monty Python sketch. Well done to both performers.

Film Dub: Ryan talks to telephone sex line addict Steve
From: E5

This isn’t a very good one, even if Ryan does more of his sex talking from News Report. It’s just very stop-start, and it’s not really a terribly funny scene, as much as they try. I honestly blame the scene description.

Helping Hands: Ryan (ft. Colin’s hands) interrogates police suspect Tony
From: E1

Ryan’s first move is to try and take pictures of Tony, but the camera won’t work. So Colin turns it around so that when Ryan inspects it, the light would be right in his eyes if it did go off. Thankfully Ryan catches this.
Ryan: “Why don’t you take that yourself?”
Tony: “…I can’t…”

Then, Ryan prompts Colin to put the hat on his head, which he does, and:
Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 12.25.51 PM

Then, as Tony’s about to say something, the camera RANDOMLY GOES OFF, leaving Tony to turn, absolutely bewildered, towards it. Clive belly-laughs at that.

Tony, grabbing the gun off the table: “NOW WHO’S IN CHARGE, MISTER COP???”
Ryan, grabbing the gun out of Tony’s hand: “…ME!”

Then, Ryan has to get himself some coffee while nearly spilling over the coffee container, and struggling to grab a cup at the other end of the table.

Then, as Tony grabs the gun again, Ryan takes a sip of the ‘really hot coffee’, which is also not the best decision, as it’s still very hot.

Then, finally, Ryan distracts Tony with the donut, so Tony puts down the gun, and Ryan goes ‘HA-HA’…then Colin has to figure out which of the things on the table is the gun. He picks up several things first, as well as tipping the coffee container over, before FINALLY grabbing the gun and ending the game.

A really funny Helping Hands round, one of the few from this Compilation that actually worked all the way through, or wasn’t too dirty for television. Just some great stuff, and better than most of the HH playings this series.

Stand Sit Lean: Ryan, Tony and Greg are cowboys on the range
From: E4

Surprisingly without a table for this playing, with the usual two stools instead.

Greg, bending over with his ass to the audience: “How are my fans in sector R?”
He then turns towards the back corner of the audience, getting some applause from them.
Clive: “…that was sector R, was it?”
Greg: “Yes, babe, doesn’t- nevermind, we don’t really have time.”
Clive: “Always time for you…in that position…”
Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 12.33.31 PM.png

This is a particularly silly, haphazard version of the game, with a lot of ‘wait, we should probably change positions’ moments, leading to Ryan leaning on Greg or Tony a lot. I think these guys were getting used to having the table, too.

Then Tony goes and leans on Greg’s legs, which he can’t do without cracking up.

Silly enough, and a good enough ender for the compilation.

A few overall notes: You’ll notice that a lot of these games feature some Greg-Clive banter that didn’t make it into the show. Mostly from Episode 4, which ALREADY featured some Clive slamming from Mike and Greg. Hell, the ones that were left out of E4 may have helped buttress the already-strong show, especially News Report. There were also a lot of really racy and sex-themed games that Dan didn’t want to go out during regulation, as well as a lot of games that quite frankly didn’t have great improv. Still, we managed to get News Report, Song Styles, Scene to Music and Helping Hands out of this show, so I think they did something right.

Best Performer: Greg Proops, edging out Ryan for having a few more biting moments, as well as taking on Clive for most of the games on here.
Worst Performer: Rory Bremner by default, for screwing up in his only game of the night.
Best Game: Scene to Music. An easy favorite, but it’s just really damned good.
Worst Game: Film Dub


Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E09, or EURODISNEY SUCKS!

The last non-comp episode of a really nice Series 6, this one features the main success points of S6 so far: Greg Proops, who’s come into his own this year; Colin Mochrie, who has begun carrying shows; Ryan Stiles, who has taken a step back after dominating S4 and S5, and Tony Slattery, whose mental stability is beginning to deteriorate.

Questions Only: Vet’s Office

Clive: “So, the scene is, you’re going to the Vet…which in England means a veterinary surgeon, rather than someone who’s served in Vietnam.”
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 3.53.22 PM

Greg: “…thank you, Mr. Pedantic.”
Clive: “…that wasn’t a question, you’re out.”
Tony laughs at this.

Colin and Tony’s round goes on for a long time, with both giving each other the ropes, finally culminating in:
Tony: “What have you been feeding it?”
Colin: “…today?”
Tony: [breaks]

Ryan: “Is he Siamese?”
Colin: “Does he LOOK Siamese?”
Ryan: “Are YOU Siamese?”

Colin: “Weren’t we in class together?”
Ryan: “Are you Phil Johnson?”
Colin: “Are you Bob….Fillyfoo?”

And then Greg: “D’you think you can save him, Bob Billyboo?”

Greg and Ryan also take theirs a long way, with both coming close to breaking and yet staying on. It’s only when Greg takes out one of the cat’s internal organs and asks if Ryan has any fondue that FINALLY breaks Ryan and gets him out.

Fantastic round, with everyone doing some REALLY WELL against each other.

Old Job New Job: Greg and Colin go to the Mortician’s to meet Ryan, a mortician, who used to be a used car salesman

Clive: “Greg and Colin, you’re going to the undertaker…or mortician as you call it in America.”
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.00.30 PM

Ryan, entering behind Colin and Greg: “…don’t wanna pressure you, lemme know when you’re ready.”

Greg: “This is our Uncle Jerry, and he…seems to not be living anymore.”
{I love the innocence of that line]
Ryan: “Quite a short man, huh? Probably looking for something in a compact? Walk over here.”

Then, as Ryan displays a coffin, he says to Greg “GET IN, SEE HOW SHE FEELS TO YA!”

A really fantastic OJNJ, as Ryan’s used car salesman acting is really good, and even elevates the dark premise without just doing singular jokes.

Superheroes: Trapped in an elevator
Greg: Captain Floppy
Ryan: Man Who Taps You On the Shoulder to Fake You Out Man
Colin: Drunk Tour Guide Guy
Tony: Misconception Boy

Greg, upon hearing his Superhero name, cracks up a bit. He then turns to the audience member and goes “Have we dated???”

Clive even says, with the crisis, “You’re trapped in an elevator, or a lift if you’re like me.”

Sure enough, Greg even works it in: ‘I’m trapped in a lift…or an elevator, if you’re American…”
[So much Greg-Clive stuff, and we’re only 3 games in]

Ryan, realizing there’s no way of anyone getting into the elevator Greg’s trapped in: “Sorry I’m late, I had to run…up the cable?”

Tony, continuing his trend of bizarre entrance justifications: “I’m sorry I’m late, I was having my prostate engraved!”

ONCE AGAIN, Tony leaves without presenting a solution, leaving Colin to have to do one by opening the doors.

A fairly funny Superheroes, though it sort of jelled into nothing after a while.

Sound Effects: Colin is on the beach, Ryan provides Sound Effects

Thank god, we’re back to the more familiar version of SFX.

Moment one of the game, Colin flips off seagulls and gets shat on. MOMENT ONE.

Then, as Colin removes his trousers, Ryan throws in a BOING effect, and people laughing. Colin embarrassedly covers up.

Then, as he lathers up with sunscreen, ANOTHER BOING, more laughing…so Colin squirts everyone with the sunscreen bottle.

Just more really good stuff for the rest of this- Colin throwing a frisbee and Ryan adding in a delayed ‘aaah!’. Then a dog coming over and biting Colin, so Colin kicks a field goal with the dog.

Then, as soon as Colin goes into the water, Ryan does the two-note Jaws theme, which is enough to get the audience laughing hard.

A really, REALLY funny Sound Effects, probably one of the best ones in a while.

World’s Worst: Thing for a Doctor or Surgeon to Say

Ryan: “Oh, I’m sorry, this is a rectal thermometer…”
Tony: “spits into his hands”
[The whole panel cracks at this one, ESPECIALLY GREG]

Colin: “Nowwww the penis is the droopy thing, right?”
Clive: “Usually.”

Tony: “Okay, Mrs. Johnson, if you’d just put your breasts there, and….FBFBBBBBBBBBB!”
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.19.00 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.19.24 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.19.47 PM.png

Ryan: “…scuse me for one minute…. knee-bone’s connected to the…”

One of the more iconic, top-to-bottom fantastic World’s Worsts out there.

Props: Tony and Greg vs. Ryan and Colin

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.22.32 PM.pngGreg: “…YOU FORGOT TO DRAW MY PUPILS YOU BASTARD!”

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.24.01 PM.pngColin: “…I TELL YA, THIS FILM’S GONNA BE REALLY BIG!”

Fixed Expression: Drivers pick up hitchhikers
Colin: ecstatic
Tony: shocked
Greg: furious
Ryan: panicky

Tony’s shocked face:
Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.26.26 PM.png
This cracks up the rest of the panel
Clive: “I’m sure I’ve seen you like that before somewhere, but I can’t…”

Colin’s strength in this game is saying things that contrast with his facial expression, like “WE’RE LOST, YOU IDIOT”, and, more famously, “EURODISNEY SUCKS!”

Tony stops to pick Ryan up, then Colin, realizing they still have to pick up Greg, goes “HEY, THERE’S ONE ON MY SIDE!”
It’s a very amusing moment, as that could only mean that Greg’s just been dodging traffic for however long he’s been out there.

This is an incredibly silly game, and Tony does let it end on a hilariously funny note by putting on some music, and have everybody bob around with the facial expressions. Greg, dancing with his furious expression, always cracks me up.

As they head back to the seats, Colin and Tony clutch their faces and make sure they can still move them. Tony and Ryan are still doing their expressions as they’re back, so Clive has to snap them out of it.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Greg: a surfer
Colin: thinks he’s in a toilet
Ryan: a fireworks display

Clive: “Each guest is given an envelope- inside the guest….sorry, inside the envelope, rather…”
The audience catches him on this one tonight.

Tony, after Greg does some very obvious surfer stuff: “Are you Margaret Rutherford?”

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 4.44.06 PM.png[The audience goes wild at this visual]

Colin holds this for a few seconds, leaving Tony to sort of stand around and chuckle. Colin even shakes a bit.
Tony, eventually: “You’ve been to my parties BEFORE!”

Ryan’s fireworks display quirk is probably one of his most iconic, as he looks like he’s having so much fun with it. After lots and LOTS of repetition, he finally begins to crack up Tony.

Tony does finally get Ryan, which makes this a successful round in that Tony gets everyone and doesn’t make a fool of himself, as well as people actually being really funny with their quirks.

Helping Hands: Tony gets a haircut and shave from Ryan (ft. Colin’s hands)

Ryan, of course, begins the scene by sticking the comb under his nose and doing a Hitler impression. Because of course Ryan would.

Ryan: “How’s your mommy?”
Tony: “…dead.”
Ryan: “And your papa?”
Tony: “…dead.”
Ryan: “Oh, that’s-a good, NOW…”

Ryan, of course, ends up drinking some of the aftershave, because this is Helping Hands and nobody’s ever nice to him here.

Ryan decides to shave Tony, then realizes he needs to get going, so tries speeding it up, trying to do his whole neck in a matter of seconds.

Another down Helping Hands, but still amusing enough

Hoedown: Sex

Greg’s verse is legendary, singing about a guy who loves having sex, ‘and that’s cause my name is Tony Slattery.”
Tony does get a kick out of that slam, though

Colin’s verse is clever, about making love to a contortionist: “She also is a psychic, she foresaw her own end.”

Tony puts in a barely broadcast-able verse about George Bush being a kinky bastard, but the game does end on its feet.

Overall: A really, really fun end to a solid, strong season. There was energy all around tonight, populating even the meekest of games (Like Questions Only, Sound Effects and Hoedown), and even giving Tony Slattery a little bit of life in Party Quirks and Fixed Expressions. This show does come down to Colin and Ryan, for dominating the games with really funny choices, and great moments, though Greg and his Clive slams should not be counted out, nor should Tony, who was a little sharper than last show.

Show Winners: Ryan and Colin
Best Performer: Colin, for being funny throughout, and bringing out the best in even Tony tonight.
Worst Performer: Tony, who still didn’t give enough funny moments to match up to the rest of the gang.
Best Game: Questions Only. Old Job New Job, Sound Effects and World’s Worst were considered, but Questions Only was a battle from start to finish, with everyone giving their scene partner a run for their money.
Worst Game: Helping Hands, for just not being as funny as the rest of the show.


Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E08, or Always Let the Wardrobe Mistress Choose Your Clothes

The last two episodes of this season feature the same three performers: Greg Proops, Tony Slattery, and Ryan Stiles. And both have a, well, ‘fourth seater’. Next episode’s will be a more logical choice, as it’ll be a Colin episode, but here…we have an appearance from the guy Dan & Mark thought would be where Ryan Stiles is right now. Chip Esten, whose inconsistency during the later S4 episodes may have cost him more time on the UK series, is back for one final episode. Here, he’ll prove that he was still one of the more impressive talents to come out of the states.

Scenes from a Hat:

Clive: “Invitations you’d never accept”
Tony: “…d’you want my jacket?”

Clive: “Rejected Proverbs”
Tony waits for someone to tell his to, no one comes in, so he turns to the camera, and THEN SOMEONE FINALLY COMES IN
Tony: “Let the old man who never does….YES.”
Greg, to Ryan: “Cheese is often found where you least expect it.”
Ryan: “My groin is sore.”
Tony, STILL SORE ABOUT HIS JACKET, to everyone: “Always let the wardrobe mistress choose your clothes.”

Clive: “24 hours from Tulsa.”
Chip, to Tony: “…how long ’til we hit Tulsa?”
Tony, cracking: “…I don’t know.”

Clive: “Okay, we’re halfway there on this one, What Hell Looks Like.”
Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 4.00.59 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-03-06 at 4.01.10 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 4.01.23 PM.png

Clive: “I GOT THAT! I got that straight away, I’m sorry…”
Greg: “You won’t even let us!”

For ‘sea shanties that never caught on’, Ryan and Tony get the whole panel to do one big one, which is kind of indecipherable, and then leave only Greg and Chip.
Greg: “Ohhhh, the…land is better than the water.”

Fairly decent round, though lacking in a few areas.

Superheroes: Trapped in a Bank Vault
Greg: Termite Man
Ryan: Kid Kangaroo
Chip: Kleptomaniac Boy
Tony: Captain Thinks-He’s-Invisible

I love Ryan’s immediate reaction to being Kid Kangaroo, near-cracking but still bouncing.

Chip, in his first move, grabs something out of Ryan’s pocket.


Tony’s stuff as Thinks-He’s-Invisible boy is very silly, although he forgets to solve the crisis, leading Greg to think one up right after Tony leaves.

Ryan, as Chip’s already left: “Hey…I think he took one of my legs!” [falls offstage]

A very thin but still funny Superheroes, though Tony didn’t really help the group.

Song Styles: Chip sings a love song to Allison the court clerk

Here we go- just a singer doing a song to a member of the audience, part of Dan and co’s initiative to bring the audience into more games.

On our cut to Richard Vranch, we see he’s winking at Chip. Glad to see he’s still himself.

Chip nails this from moment one, getting into the right stance, and the right ‘head slowly comes up’ move, going into his usual insane-rhyming skills, and just hitting this one out of the park, to the point where you wonder exactly why they stopped using him after this series.

Hell, at the moment Chip finishes, everyone gives him a standing O, and he goes back and hugs a standing Ryan.

Sound Effects: Greg, Ryan and Tony are in a submarine

Yet another SFX variant- this time, three people act out a scene and have to respond to pre-recorded sound effects played throughout. Which is…an early hint at the audience member SFX to come, though with 3 people, and dumbed down a great deal.

Ryan, to periscoping Greg: “Sounds like someone’s knocking on the hull.”

The hull is opened, and there’s a HNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGG ringing noise.
Tony, with a big chest, enters as Pavarotti.

Once Tony enters, there’s an explosion.
Tony: “…sorry.”

This game, after a while, does get very haphazard, with random sound effects being thrown in, and there not really being a quiet moment at all in the scene. It’s as if one of the old ladies they’d get to do SFX in the US version took a bunch of cocaine. I mean, funny scene, but very frenzied after a while.

Though, as they’re heading back, a still-cracking Ryan is going to Tony “right…Pavarotti aboard a sub…’

News Report: Australian coverage of NOAH. Greg and Tony in the studio, Ryan and Chip in the field.

Thank God, back to the old, funny version of News Report.

This week’s ‘what are we doing while the music plays in’:

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 4.31.48 PM.png

Tony, Clive, and the audience all crack at this.

Greg prescribes Tony the character name “Dr. Hank Galangalangalang.”
Tony, taking a moment to recover: “…G’DAY?”

Greg: “I have something in my ear, it’s Snack Wenkley, he’s out in the field!”
[Tony tries to but in after ‘something in my ear’, possibly with a dirtier joke, but is denied]

Chip, to Ryan: “Well Curved just thinks he’s so great because he sits in the studio”- [slowly turns to realize he’s on air]

Greg: “Now, isn’t it going to be a problem collecting two of everything on a continent where there’s just marsupials?”
Tony: “Ye[…]s. that’s true. And a lot of people are saying that Noah being Australian, like a lot of Australians, is vulgar. [BURP] That’s not true…”

There’s a great moment where Ryan’s doing a weather forecast…then realizes which camera he’s supposed to talk into, and restarts, recovering.

Ryan: “There’s a high pressure zone headin’ over the New Zealand coast, and…as a matter of fact, straight over my ex-wife’s house, so the bitch should be gettin’ pretty wet this weekend.”

Tony: “Well, with all those animals, there’s only one thing to do with the excrement…that’s make a soap out of it, called Home and Away.”

Greg: “Next week, we’ll look at the story of David and Goliath. Should Jewish men date taller Philistines?”
Tony: [breaks]

Another supremely funny News Report, to the same caliber as the Little Bo Peep one.

Film Dub: Greg and Tony are on a date, and interrupted by Ryan, a father coming home early

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 4.54.24 PM.pngTony: “You know, darling…oh, I thought there was a candle sticking out of my crotch, it’s my tie!”

Greg: “My breasts are made of wood. Is that going to be a problem?”
Tony, reacting to a quick cut: “You- OH, LET’S DANCE!”

Tony: “You move really well. Where did you learn?”
Greg: “…I’m having a fit!”

Ryan’s character comes in, outraged.
Greg: “Dad, your eyebrows, they’ve grown!”
[It’s Steve Frost!]

Ryan, as there’s random smoke coming from the frame: “…Have I told you I’m on fire?”

A very silly Film Dub, though down a bit from the current caliber of amazing ones.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Chip: writes advertising jingles
Greg: a vacuum cleaner
Ryan: a sperm

Clive, setting up the game: “If he [gets everyone], then he’ll get a lot of points. If he doesn’t…then it’ll be like most weeks…”
Tony slumps as he hears that.
Clive: “You know I’m only speaking the truth, Tony.”
Tony: “You’re gonna get such a smack…”
[The audience LOSES IT here]
Tony: “oH, ANYWAY, PARTY’S HERE…mister grumpy sod…”


Tony looks around bewildered.
Ryan: “Look, if you see around 40,000 guys who look like me, I’m not here…”
Tony: “…are you Janet Street-Porter?”
Ryan: “…CLOSE!”

Ryan jumps onto a towel…stays there for 10 seconds…then jumps back up, CRACKING, going back into ‘where’s the women’. Tony’s losing it as well.

Tony, after several seconds of wrong guesses, looks at Clive, and goes “……OHHHH I DON’T *KNOW*!”
Clive, buzzing: “Obviously he’s a sperm!”
Tony, disappointed in himself: “OHHH…”

Stand Sit Lie: Greg is a bed salesman, Tony is a customer, Ryan is the manager

Greg, after starting the game lying down, sits up on the bed. Ryan, realizing no one’s sitting down, goes faint and collapses. That never happens this early on.

This is an incredibly fast paced game, with people falling back onto the bed and standing back up, but it’s beginning to become apparent that Tony’s not as spry as he was, cracking a bit as people change position.

Still, he’s able to be very funny.
Tony: “WHAT I WANT….[to Ryan] God, you’re beautiful…”

Not as good as past SSLs this season, but still very funny.

Bartender: Chip
Greg: drinking to forget his taxes
Ryan: In love with his dog
Tony: angry about his jacket

Greg’s verse is inoffensive enough, but Chip’s response ends with a line about ‘driving a car-bomb into the IRS’, which is a nice enough take.

There’s a moment before Ryan’s where he adopts a sad persona…then Richard starts in with happy music, which catches him off guard, so he gives Richard a look. Sort of like what Jim Sweeney used to do.

Ryan’s verse is great, especially with the late twist that he’s in love with his retriever, and Chip is able to sift in enough dog puns, ending with “your girlfriend can fetch a bone!”

The ‘angry about his jacket’ suggestion comes just as naturally as the ‘angry about your wardrobe’ one from E4. Tony even chuckles a bit.

Tony: “The most important thing, and this is what I’d like to share
I hate this jacket ’cause it’s made of bits of Lionel Blair.”
[The audience, as they should, eats this up]

Chip, barely holding it together: “Man, you got reamed, when you went into that store
They said it’s velvet, when it’s only cheap velour.”

A nice enough Bartender game, though a bit lighter than other ones this series.

Overall: The first ‘okay show’ of the year, coming eight episodes in which is nice. The problem was the imbalance present throughout- the airtime imbalance between Greg, Tony and Ryan…and Chip, who was essentially only onstage whenever singing was needed…as well as the sanity imbalance, between Ryan, Greg and Chip…and Tony, whose material was noticeably less put-together than usual, and debilitatingly so tonight. Only Greg and Ryan were on the same page, and they did well tonight, as well as giving some strong group games like News Report and Party Quirks all night, but…for the most part, the show suffered because not everyone was on the same page.

Show Winners: Ryan and Greg
Best Performer: Greg Proops, for taking initiative throughout the night and giving the funnier moments of the show.
Worst Performer: Tony Slattery, for feeling very anxious and down all night.
Best Game: News Report, for giving everyone something truly funny to do.
Worst Game: Stand Sit Lie, for being too quick and too imbalanced.


Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E07, or “Can I Just Say…I’m Not Playing Anymore”

In 2014, Ryan Stiles fell ill before a taping of Whose Line is it Anyway, currently being filmed in Los Angeles, California. While short-term preparations were made (Jeff Davis was brought to suppress current-guest Greg Proops), the long term realization was the fact that this was the first time in 20 years that Stiles had missed an episode of Whose Line.

The last time was, of course, this episode of WL, the last time Patterson and co would try to stack a panel with people that weren’t Ryan, after the success of two shows in Series 5 featuring Sweeney & Steen. Instead of doing that, they showcased the OTHER series regular, Tony Slattery, the two frequent old-guard guests, Josie Lawrence and Mike McShane….and an impressionist and actor that hadn’t been on since John Sessions was still a regular, the talented Rory Bremner.

So we had a strong, nearly S1-esque panel…right before the remainder of the series, which is all Ryan stuff. This could be the last gasp of the early era of the show…or a reason why they never went back.

Scenes from a Hat:

As Clive explains the game, Mike starts making silly, competitive glances with Josie, to the point where, as Clive is about to announce the first game, both SQUAT INTO A SUMO POSITION.
Clive: “…yes, very convincing.”
This is the energy at Moment 0

Clive: “What your adolescence was really like”
Tony: [enters]
Josie: [enters]
Tony: [exits]
Clive: “…yes.”
Tony: “‘t’s true!”
Clive: “We all believe you, Tony.”

“Two politicians meet in the urinals.”
Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 11.18.40 PM.png
Rory, premiering his infamous John Major impression: “I must say, it makes a change to take the piss out of myself…”

Clive: “Unlikely erogenous zones.”
Tony: “Algeria.”

Clive: “The Biggest Jerk in the World.”
Josie, IMMEDIATELY: “..Tony?”

Clive: “Pointless things to take when crossing the sahara.”
Josie: “I’ve got the sand!”
Tony: “And I’ve got Marg Thatcher.”
Josie: [Breaks]

Sports Report: Tortoise and the Hare- Rory and Tony in the studio, Josie and Mike in the field

Clive: “In the field will be Josie Lawrence, who will be interviewing anyone who comes along…and anybody who comes along will be Mike McShane.”
Mike: [nods. “figures”]

Instead of this being a NEWS REPORT, this is actually covering the race, replacing the world-famous News Report music with some SUPER-90s SPORTS MUSIC. There’s not a lot of time for Rory and Tony to do the ‘fast-motion silent babblin’ while the music comes in, but Tony does manage to say ‘..shall I bring a bottle’ right before Rory goes in.

Rory: “Tortoise and the hare- the hair, of course, a subject very close to Clive Anderson’s head.”
Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 11.54.01 PM.png

Rory, in proctoring, focuses less on jokes and more on mimicking a sportscaster, which is not to Greg caliber, but still very indicative of Rory.

Josie: “You don’t think you’re being a bit cock-sure about this?”
Mike: “Listen sweetheart, I’ve bred maybe 50 family members this morning, I’m sure cock-sure…”

Rory, afterwards: “Right, a man that makes Chris Eubank look, uh, modest, there.”

Mike’s slow movements as the tortoise win over the audience very quickly.

Josie: “D’you think you’re going to win?”
Mike: “……………..It depends.”

Tony and Rory do well, but are making references to very specific people and sports things, so that it’s not an especially accessible round, but was still very funny, especially the Josie-Mike stuff.

Film Dub: Tony and Rory are three (!) men arguing over what to have for lunch

Tony, upon Rory’s first impression: “Yes, I’m afraid I’ve got a very boring Michael Caine standing behind me…”

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 12.04.28 AM.png

Rory: “…Afternoon everybody…I ordered the egg mayonnaise..”
Tony, as a foreign general in a great accent: “YOU KNOW THIS MAN IS EVEN MORE BORING THAN MICHAEL CAINE.”

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 12.06.46 AM.pngThe shot holds on this for 10 seconds, while Moore is still talking. There’s silence. So Tony improvises
Rory: “I see you went to the same acting school I did!”

Rory, in delivery that will never not kill me: “…..very interesting.”

Tony: “I walk with this terrible piece of acting towards the camera, and you are all left in the background. Now, tell me what you think about that, eh?”

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 12.09.38 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-02-27 at 12.09.47 AM.png
[PERFECT. Even Clive’s losing it.]

A very, very fun scene, made better by Tony’s accent and Rory’s fantastic Roger Moore impression.

Prison Visitor: Josie
Tony: stole a jumbo jet
Mike: smuggled a grandfather clock

Tony has a great moment that not a lot of people catch:
Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 12.12.05 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-02-27 at 12.12.14 AM.png

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Tony embraces the goofiness of his, by singing about how he ‘hooked a 747 down my pants’.

As Josie sings the rebuttal verse, Tony grabs the bar set and swings it to whichever direction he’s bobbing to, which is a hysterical visual, the prisoner picking up the iron bars and dancing with them…and not choosing to escape.

Tony gives Josie a look at the end of her rebuttal verse, and as Tony walks back to the seats, Josie gives him a swift kick in the butt.

Then, as Clive gets the suggestion for Mike, Mike is doing a Gorillas in the Mist routine with Josie over the bars.


A very cute number all around from Josie and Mike, and a capper on a really fun game of Prison Visitor, which is refreshing in the age of Bartender taking over.

World’s Worst: Person to be President During an Intergalactic Crisis

Rory, as Reagan: “…will ya give me another go?”
[Mike HOWLS at that one]

Tony: “Ladies and gentlemen, Richard Nix-….oh dear.”
The audience applauds, then boos, which Tony notes.
Tony: “…reconciliation, then…”
Clive: “topical now, but it’ll be great in 6 months time when this goes out.”
Tony: “He’ll still be dead!”

Rory, as Clive: “Right, well, I’d like you to form a government in the style of, um, well…”

Very funny round, especially for those dark highlights.

Props: Rory and Tony vs. Josie and Mike

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 12.29.41 AM.pngTony: “…Naomi Campbell!”

Rory, beating the props: “I learned to drum in a library.”

This one got REALLY silly after a while, especially on Tony and Rory’s side.

Duet: Mike and Josie sing an early rock and roll song about a boiler

Mike: “Early rock and roll, what, before THIS point in your hairline, or THIS point…”
Man, the Clive slams are coming from everywhere tonight..

Josie has a great start, but Mike amps the energy the second he starts singing, and gets the audience laughing along with him.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Josie: football player
Rory: thinks he’s Tony
Mike: pig wrangler

[Mike loses it in the background]
Tony, figuring it out: “OH, HA HA HA….HAAAAA HAAAA…”
The audience applauds for about 10 seconds after the buzz-out.

Tony, to the camera: “Can I just say….I’m not playing anymore…”

Mike’s is great, because he starts wrangling a pig, then tosses it to Josie, who bounces it on her head. It’s a fantastic collaborative move.

A lower-key party for Tony, even if it ends in him not knowing what a pig-wrangler was even after Clive gives it to him.

Clive: “You’ve proved one thing, Tony, that you can always recognize it when they’re impersonating YOU, so I’ll give you a few points for that.”
Clive: “…and you can take a joke.”

Helping Hands: Mike is a plane passenger, and Josie, ft Tony’s hands, is the stewardess.

Tony, ever the cheeky one, holds his arms up so his forearms are right against Josie’s chest, which cracks her up.

Mike starts the scene by making a very oblique reference to Air Canada, and immediately apologizes for it. Either he was making a product plug, or there was a 1994-era reference that’s lost on me.

Josie mentions it’s actually Air Bangkok, and Tony responds by doing a lewd finger gesture.

Josie, realizing what Tony’s going for: “And if you’ve got a baby on the plane, we ALWAYS LIKE TO PUT…[..] a cake on its head…”

Josie: “They’re not thinking “OH DEAR I’M FLYING IN THE SKY”, they’re thinking “…what the bloody hell have I got a cake on my head for…”

Josie gets something in her eye, so Tony throws his hand towards Josie’s face. Josie, in a rare show of retribution, opens her mouth and bites down on one of his fingers. You can see, sort of like Colin’s coffee disaster, the pain and reaction. He also responds by grabbing Josie’s chest once again.

And not even playfully rubbing up against her chest. Tony, at the end of this game, is outwardly feeling Josie up, in an effort mostly to get a reaction out of her. In 2018, people would cry foul, but Tony was literally going for retribution and screwing with his fellow improviser rather than being a perv. It’s like Colin trying to figure out who’s a man and who’s a woman in Party Quirks.

The game ends abruptly, as Tony’s feeling around, and as Mike’s trying to revert the game back to good improv, but it’s still a funny enough scene, even if it did get a bit crazy.

Hoedown: Pony Trekking

Rory: “I like going on ponies, and bashing them with bricks
It doesn’t really hurt me but it makes them go much faster…”

Both Mike and Josie do more unconventional Hoedowns, and this only sort of works for them.

Tony: “I like to go a-trekking on the country on a pony
I’m very friendly with the critter, I say HELLO I’M TONY…
And then- OH LOOK OUT there’s something nasty in the way
It’s not a pony dumpy, but it’s Mr. Anderson’s toupee.”
ONE MORE CLIVE SLAM to end the night.

Overall: Another strong show from a very strong series. The presence of Ryan Stiles wasn’t exactly missed, as Tony, Mike and Josie were all strong enough together, as they have been on various occasions since the beginning. This was Tony’s show to carry, as coke-aside he was pretty funny tonight, working well with everyone, and giving good stuff in every game, even if he had to grope a fellow improviser. Josie and Mike excelled at musical moments, and gave some classy stuff to the proceedings. While Rory Bremner brings up the rear, this was still a welcome return for him; his impressions were fantastic, but his improv still needs work. He would return intermittently and interact with the Ryan-Colin-Greg crowd.

Show Winner: Mike
Best Performer: Tony Slattery, for making me laugh even while guessing himself
Worst Performer: Rory Bremner for not doing much else other than impressions.
Best Game: Helping Hands, for having so many funny moments in a short span, and for having some lampshading with Tony and Josie.
Worst Game: Props, by default


Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E06, or I HAVE NO LUNGS.

More fun with people who are really, really good at working together this series- our third and final Colin, Ryan, Steve and Tony show of the season, and one of the most colorful ones. Lots of different colored shirts from everyone, plus Colin’s world-famous red Woody Woodpecker tie.

Questions Only: At a clothes shop

Tony, as Colin enters: “Yes, sir, can I help you?”
Colin: “…CAN you help me?”
Tony: “…..”

This round is great not just for lines, but for seeing people work together, especially Steve working with Tony and Ryan. You can tell he’s sensationally happy tonight.

Ryan: “Is your face easy to forget?”
Colin: “Does William Hurt?”

Ryan: “Did I go to school with you?”
Clive’s buzzed Ryan for that anyway.

And then Clive brings Tony back in, and he blows it in one line. Still, as they walk back to the seats, you can tell everyone was having a really fun time.

Whose Line: An airplane is going down, and Colin convinces washed-up pilot Ryan to take the helm

Colin, ever the smartass, starts the scene with the line: “Have you finished washing up?”

Ryan: “I CAN’T! I LEARNED MY LESSON IN ‘NAM! They used to yell at me [indecipherable Vietnamese yelling]”
Ryan: “It means…’Get on your knees and bark like a dog!'”
Hey, that actually really fit…

Then, as Ryan starts barking like a dog, Colin throttles him to get a hold of himself, saying “I TOLD you not to vacation in ‘Nam…”
Ryan: “Look, I like Skiing, it seemed like the place ta go…”
Colin: “NO!”

Colin: “Remember the…instructions from our flight instructor…CAUSE HE GAVE INSTRUCTIONS, *BEING* AN INSTRUCTOR…”
Ryan: “Yeah, number one, grab the wheel.”
And then, both Colin and Ryan start doing thigh exercises next to each other. It’s a fantastic visual.

Colin: “I can’t take the wheel…ever since I lost control of my limbs in that…chicken accident…”

Also, I applaud Ryan’s frantic, crazed acting in this, as he starts steering the plane downward, diverting into Vietnamese yelling and the barking noises as Colin tries to snap him out of it,

Colin: “I remember looking at you in those jockey shorts…and saying “the ice cream’s dripping down my chest.”
Ryan and Colin exchange a knowing look, and laugh it off as they head back to the seats.

A FANTASTIC Whose Line game, better than the last few we’ve seen, and reminding me of the ‘Why Are You Dressed Like a French Maid’ WL in the US run. Everything seemed to come together, and the Colin-Ryan duo were perfect for this.

Stand Sit Lie: Tony, Ryan and Colin are on the beach

Clive: “We go onto Stand, Sit, Lie Down…that’s not my chat-up line, that is a game for…”

The ‘see who can stop Colin from getting the table’ plot from last SSL is foiled immediately, as Colin takes it from the start and takes his sweet time holding onto it.

Eventually, Ryan makes his way to the floor, and Tony leans on the table so he can’t get back on it. He briefly stands, but then sits back on the table.

Then, once Tony’s lying on the table, Colin goes for a dip, getting Tony to sit up as Colin lies down, thumping across the stage.

Then, once Ryan hops up on the table.
Colin: “Man, that was refreshing, I’ll have another one…”
He gets back down, getting Ryan off the table.

Also, there’s a point in this game where everyone’s moving at the same speed. Ryan lays back down the second Colin stands up, and Tony lays down right when Ryan sits up. They’re all in sync, which is fantastic.

Eventually Ryan goes through too many positions in a 5-second span, so Tony, sitting on the table, pushes Ryan back so he can lie down. It’s a very funny move.

A fantastic round of this, with so much going on at once, and all three paying so much attention to each other.

Old Job New Job: Colin is a patient, and Ryan’s a doctor- Steve, another doctor, comes in, but he used to be a magician. 

Ryan, looking at Colin’s x-rays: “Hmm, looks like you’ve swallowed a lightbulb….oh, sorry…”
There’s universal applause from this one

Steve comes in and reverses the x-ray, as if a trick.
Ryan: “…thank you.”
Steve: “THANKYOU!”

Steve plays this as a mentalist trick, as he wrote down the diagnosis and put it in Colin’s pocket
Steve: “Now, if you could read it out IN A VERY CLEAR VOICE FOR EVERYONE TO HEAR.”
Colin: “…..I HAVE NO LUNGS!”

There’s an amusing moment where Ryan has something in his mouth. Steve goes on for a few seconds without noticing, FINALLY DOES, and pulls something out of Ryan’s mouth.
Steve: “Is this YOUR intestine, sir?”
Colin: “YES, IT IS!”

Hilarious Old Job New Job round, made so by the energy and volume that Steve was bringing, and how gung-ho everyone else onstage was.

Fixed Expressions: Patrons at a sports game
Steve: Happy
Tony: Cheeky
Colin: Puzzled
Ryan, the peanut vendor: Spooked

Tony displays his cheeky expression, which gets a nice reaction from the audience.
Steve, through his teeth: “IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING.”

After everyone does their initial expressions before the lead-in, they’re all shaking their heads at how ridiculous this game is, especially Ryan and Colin.

The actual game is pretty funny, and it’s one of the few where there’s consistent audience laughter all the way through, just from people reacting to the expressions.


An incredibly funny game, even if it was quick. It just had so many funny contrasts and visuals the whole way through.

World’s Worst: Person to Sit Next to During an Exam

Tony: [spits]
Ryan: [looks around, then unzips fly]
Ryan: [blows up something] “sit next to me…”

A very silly round all the way through

Clive: “Everyone here is neck and neck…except for me, as I haven’t got one, NOW…”

Props: Steve and Tony vs. Ryan and Colin

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 2.41.07 PM.pngSteve: “…I can’t breathe…”
Tony, either way: “PROBLEM BLACKHEADS?”

Relatively nice round, even if I didn’t write down a lot.

Sound Effects: Colin takes a shower- Ryan does sound effects

Colin: [opens shower curtain]
Ryan: “AIIIIGH!”
Colin: [embarrassedly closes shower curtain]
I, and the audience, die at this.

Even better, Colin jumps in the shower, gets the water ready…and THEN REMEMBERS to take off his clothes. So many little details in this game.

There’s a lot of fun stuff here- Colin putting a ton of shampoo in his hair, the shower spurting but coming back when Colin washes his butt, Colin cutting himself shaving and getting his hand stuck there.

Very, very funny round.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Colin: thinks he’s being chased by a swarm of bees
Steve: school bus driver
Ryan: olympic fast walker

Colin comes in and immediately hides in the toilet, which cracks Tony up.
Tony: “…this isn’t one of Jeffrey Archer’s parties, now…”

Tony gets caught in the middle of Steve yelling and Ryan running around, which isn’t nearly as bad as some recent quandaries, but close.

Tony manages to guess everyone, which is a nice change of pace.

Moving People: Colin goes through airport security and is stopped by Ryan

Clive tells the movers to set the performers for the start of the scene, and Colin’s ends up moving every single limb, which puzzles Colin.

We’ve finally hit some audience members that aren’t great at doing what they’re told, but are great at moving, as Ryan’s beginning to lose it.

Colin announces he’s gonna make a run for it, so the audience member starts frantically moving Colin’s legs as Ryan and Colin are arguing about moving forward. Ryan starts to move toward him as well. It’s amusing as all hell, and a great way to end the game.

Very silly, especially considering how excited the audience members were to move everybody.

Hoedown: Christmas

Steve: “I LOVE CHRISTMAS, I wish it was every day [SO FAR SO GOOD]
I love Christmas, do you HEAR WHAT I SAY
Sometimes I go up, sometimes I go down
Did you know there was a man called Coco the Clown?”
Steve puts up his arms in disbelief. He never plans his endings, does he?

And then we get to Colin. Oh boy, do we get to Colin. He isn’t remotely ready, but he soldiers on.
“I love my Christmas, I love it every year.
Because I shove food in my mouth, I grin from ear to ear.
My Cholesterol is high-”
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Meanwhile, Ryan just becomes so shifty-eyed
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Ryan’s verse is alright, but mostly accelerated by his nervousness at Colin’s consciousness. He does end with a great line about sleeping “with a reindeer with a red nose”.

Tony’s is his usual amount of smut, but the final pullback, to see everyone doing the refrain and the dead Colin, is priceless. I also adore the confused but impressed look Ryan gives Colin when they’re back at the seats.

Overall: Dare I say it, the first A+ show of the series. Every game was fantastic, every performer was funny, there were multiple classic games, everyone had a moment to shine, and there’s so much that I’d want to come back and watch. Also, when you think of this taping, you also think of the games that didn’t make the cut, like the Scenes from a Hat with the eyes in the wrong place, or my favorite Scene to Music of all time. But still, there was a lot to love here. As good as everyone was, this one does come down to Colin and Ryan, especially the former, who had a TON of funny, wacky moments, from Sound Effects, to Questions Only, to divebombing a Hoedown for the first time.

Show Winner: Colin
Best Performer: Colin, for making me laugh hardest tonight (especially in Hoedown)
Worst Performer: Tony, but only for having slightly less standout moments. He was still funny.
Best Game: Whose Line. I could have gone with Old Job New Job, Stand Sit Lie, Moving People or Hoedown, but Whose Line just had some amazing moments of improv throughout, and some great acting from Ryan.
Worst Game: Party Quirks, for being the lightest, especially in comparison to other Tony-led ones this year.


Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E05, or Why Did I Invite These People??

The consistently-strong Series 6 continues, featuring the two essential regulars of the series, Ryan and Tony, and the two more prominent semi-regulars, Steve Frost and Josie Lawrence.

Film and Theatre Styles v1: Josie and Ryan (gondola passenger and driver)

There’s a nice starting gag of Ryan ducking bridges while steering the gondola, which Steve gets a kick out of.
Josie: “Whoa, it’s amazing, your stick goes down with you…”

The Revengers Tragedy style is very well-done by Josie, up until the moment where she and Ryan stand up at the same time, bonking their heads simultaneously and sitting back down.

Josie overacts so much during the Melodrama style, and ends the segment right here:
Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 4.21.35 PM.png
Clive: “…sp..[breaks]…Spy Movie.”
Ryan: “Find anything?”
Josie: “…so THAT’s where you put the microphone?”

A nice, quite silly scene with two actors that could really complement each other.

Film and Theatre Styles v2: Tony and Steve (late night passenger and taxi driver)

Audience member: “WELSH TV DRAMA!”
Clive: “And you’ve come all the way from Cardiff to say that…”
Tony: [slumps]

Soap Opera
Tony, Australian accent: “Have ya got a tinny of fresh aiih?”
Tony: “…am I???”

Clive: “Russ Meyer.”
Tony: “I’m sorry, my breasts won’t fit in your cab.”
Steve: “It’s alright, put them in the back.”

Tony, in Greek Tragedy style, starts doing an overdramatic monologue about his breasts, kneeling in front.
Steve: “You couldn’t have a look at the motor while you’re down there, could you?”

They end on Welsh TV Drama, which has Tony doing a high-pitched Welsh accent that has Steve cracking up by the end of the game.

On par with the last one, but I did like Steve’s rationalizations to the scene.

Helping Hands: Ryan and Josie (ft. Tony’s hands) are two women freshening up


This doesn’t work as well because Ryan’s more willing to put these things in his mouth, and Josie will say no to some of them, which happens in this scene.

Although there’s a great moment where Josie finds a tampon in this handbag, and throws in her mouth like a cigarette.
Ryan, taking it out: “THOSE ARE NOT CIGARETTES.”
Josie: “What are they?”
Ryan: “…I don’t know!”

Luckily, whenever Josie doesn’t want to do something, Tony will stick his hands in Josie’s face anyway, as she tries to carry on the scene without cracking up.

An amusing deviation with some nice moments, but not as good as the ones where Ryan has to suffer.

Hoedown: Going to the Cinema

Oddly paced show, as Hoedown and Helping Hands are earlier than usual, but this doesn’t stop Ryan and Tony from facially dreading the game as they head to the step.

Clive: “Is there any one of life’s great pleasures that any of you would like to name?”
Audience member: “GOING TO THE TOILET.”
Clive: “…you sad, sad man.”

Steve’s problem with Hoedowns is he’ll go for a rhyme that has nothing to do with the previous word, which is why he ends his Hoedown with “but that’s alright with me, I’ve only got one ball.”

Ryan’s verse is great- he opens by saying he’s the person everyone wants to kill, “because I’m the guy that comes in, and sits in front of you.”
And at 6’6, of course he is.

Tony: “I saw a film the other day, it wasn’t very good.
It starred something that looked like a plank of wood.
I looked a little bit closer, I must have been going insane
It wasn’t a plank of wood at all, It was Michael Caine!”

Props: Tony and Josie vs. Steve and Ryan

There’s some very silly work all around tonight, with an ongoing gag about a codpiece, some very raunchy stuff from Tony (“…I GIVE YOU MANY BABIES.”), and Josie flat out yelling “sod it!” right before the camera cuts to her.

Film Dub: Josie tells Tony it’s his baby

The initial reveal, that the clip is from claymation series Camberwick Green, gets a big laugh out the audience, as does Tony’s opening line, in a Northern accent.
Tony: “Oh, I love living near Sellafield, it’s given me such interesting features.”

Tony, as Josie presents the baby: “I put that bun in YOUR oven?”
Josie: “Yes, it’s yours, and you can keep it, I don’ wannit…”
Tony: “…..what a dreadful smell of poo, is it you?”

Tony accuses Josie of being a whore
Josie: “At least I don’t use my mouth!”
Tony, breaking: “THAT’S CAUSE YOU DON’T GOT ONE! And if ya did, every[…]one would be usin’ it…”
Tony: “No, I am not paying maintenance to you, you fat cow!”

Tony: “Look, me bread’s all gone flat now, and it’s all thanks to you-OOOoooOOOOOHHH…”
Josie: “Yeah, your dough’s always drooping…”

A magical, absolutely hysterical Film Dub, made even funnier by the fact that the dialogue contrasts to the sunny, fun claymation footage.

Old Job New Job: Josie’s a cook, and Ryan’s chief waiter. Steve, a fellow cook, used to be a builder.

Steve comes bounding in, and…
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Josie, at this point, is trying so hard not to laugh.

This is a shorter scene, but it’s carried by Steve whistling for tea breaks and other builders. Not one of the better OJNJs for Steve, but he still makes it good.

Clive: “I think Steve wins that game, for having the funniest crack of the night.”

Bartender: Josie
Ryan: in love with his teddy bear
Tony: angry about his middle name

Ryan’s song is very wholesome, very cute…until he ends on “it’s hard to turn down that little furry thing between my legs.”
Josie gives the audience a few bars to recover

Josie responds with a cute response verse, ending on “don’t keep on doing it, just use your neighbor’s pet.”
Clive, as Ryan has walked back: “…does the expression ‘teddy bear’ mean something different in America?”

Clive: “Anyway, Tony is angry about something…”
Josie: “oh, this’ll be a clean one…”

Clive: “Angry about his middle name. That’s a good suggestion for this game.”
Tony: “I am, actually. It’s ‘Declan’.”

Tony actually goes with his parents giving him ‘Patricia’ as a middle name, and adding, in the verse, “when I say it, it actually makes my testicles explode…”

Josie ends hers my going: “Come on Patricia, go ahead and take my flattery
It’s much better than being called Tony Slattery…”
Tony: [spits on table]

Solid Bartender game in both rounds. Ryan gets the edge for completely subverting expectations though.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Josie: a penis
Steve: Goalkeeper
Ryan: a baby learning to walk

I love Josie’s double-take upon reading hers.

The ENTIRE AUDIENCE goes wild when Josie hops in, and Tony cracks a bit. Josie’s facial expression is also killing me.

Josie: “Have you got anything to, you know, button me up a bit?”
Tony: “Are you princess Margaret?”
Josie: [breaks]

Ryan, from the moment he stumbles in, has the physicality down completely, as well as the bewildered facial expression. Then Josie starts ramming into him.

Then, when Ryan starts to hobble around the stage, Tony absolutely loses it. Just the sight of Ryan Stiles, all 6’6 of him, hobbling around like an infant is absolutely magical.
Tony, recovering: “…Why did I invite these people???”

Right as Tony’s about to say something about Ryan, he falls down, completely subverting the guess.
Tony: “No, you’re a-”
Ryan: [gets back up]
Tony: [breaks]

Tony, without an idea what to do: “…..ANYWAY, LET’S ALL DANCE!”
Josie: “I do like a bit of head-banging…”

Josie, desperately trying to get Tony to guess: “I LIVE IN YOUR PANTS…though my friend who lives with you is slightly smaller.”
Tony, FINALLY getting it: “OH, YOU’RE A PENIS!”
Once she leaves, Tony cracks up at that quirk, completely facepalming.

He then looks back at Ryan, still bounding around the room, and he has absolutely no idea.
Clive, trying to end the game: “AND RYAN, WHAT’S HE?”
Tony: “Uh…are you Gerald Ford?”

Once Clive finally tells Tony what Ryan is, he lets out a big ‘OHHHH….’

Overall: Fifth insanely great show in a row on the series. There were moments where it lagged slightly, but the entire last half of the show, with Film Dub, Bartender and Party Quirks, made this one pretty incredible. Ryan, for the second show in a row, stuck to more ensemble-driven pieces, while people like Josie and Steve rocked some showcase games throughout the night. Nobody did a truly terrible job tonight, because even Ryan and Tony, who didn’t excel as much, still had games like Party Quirks and Film Dub where they were hysterical. Still, Josie Lawrence does get the edge for being the funnier part of some of the most impressive games of the night.

Show Winners: Josie and Ryan
Best Performer: Josie Lawrence, for a smashing success all around, and with some energetic, fun musical choices throughout the night.
Worst Performer: Ryan Stiles, but only in comparison to the other three, who had more showcase moments throughout the night.
Best Game: Party Quirks, for being absolutely hysterical the entire way through.
Worst Game: Props, for being a little lighter than everything else tonight.


Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E04, or WHO ORDERED PUMPKIN??

Right. Now to pretend like I haven’t seen this one a million times.

A couple reasons why this episode is so great- there’s a panel of Mike McShane, Greg Proops, Ryan Stiles and Tony Slattery, and all four are gonna be rearing to go tonight. Secondly, there are some series-high games, and an energy that couldn’t be stopped. Thirdly…

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 2.40.19 PM.png

Look at it. LOOK AT IT. This is the single most jarring fashion choice in Whose Line history, so soak it in.

Superheroes: An asteroid full of jam is headed for Earth
Greg: Soap Opera Man
Ryan: Itchy Man
Tony: Bad Impressions Man
Mike: Nose Lick Boy

Clive, as usual, immediately asks for a crisis that’s gonna be solved.
Someone DIRECTLY BEHIND CLIVE: “a jam shortage.”
Clive: “A jam shortage.”
Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 2.46.45 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-02-21 at 2.46.52 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-02-21 at 2.47.03 PM.png
Clive: “I didn’t hear that one…”
Mike, crossing forward, at which point his mic volume gets turned up: “How are you receiving suggestions, from BRITISH TELECOM?”

Clive, trying to move on: “What was that one, then?”
Greg, still stuck: “THERE’S *GOLD* COMING FROM OVER HERE.”
Greg: “And you’re getting [british accent] THEH’S A JAAAAHM SHOORHTIGE!”
[For some reason, that British accent killed me more this time than it ever had]

Clive, trying to bring it back: “Okay, could all the jam shortage people-”
Greg, easing out of it: “No, no, it’s fine-”
Greg: “No, I don’t know him…”
Audience member: “An asteroid’s about to crash into the planet earth.”
Clive, compromising: “There’s an asteroid full of jam about to crash into the planet earth…”

Greg does his Soap Opera man bit, having an intense, romantic conversation…with himself. Mike, who’s in the shot, cracks at this one.

Even better, when Greg goes for the world crisis monitor, Mike gives a whirling, ringing noise to finally give the WCM its fanfare.

Greg: “Oh my god, there’s an asteroid full of jam heading for earth….NIXON’S COME BACK FROM THE DEAD- no time for that now…”

Greg explains to Ryan, as Itchy Man, the crisis
Ryan: “OH MY GOD, let’s have a toast!”

Tony, entering: “I came as quickly as I could, I was waxing Richard Nixon’s bikini line…”

Tony, as Bad Impressions, brings back Shirley Bassey and Danny “I’ve been in the business FORTY YEARS” LaRue. Greg, of course, goes “WHO ARE YOU DOING???”

Tony, upon naming Mike ‘Nose Lick Boy’, should have known what was about to happen: Mike comes bounding in, and licks Tony’s nose first, then Ryan’s…then the camera’s?
Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 2.57.53 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-02-21 at 2.58.03 PM.png

Ryan, with his cue to depart, not knowing what joke to pull: “Okay, I’ve gotta go….do something….”

Clive: “Double points for Greg for being so sporting and enthusiastic about the suggestions.”

A landmark, hysterical game, bringing in running gags, and giving really funny stuff to every competitor. Greg was edged out for a few Soap Opera man lines, but was still a great proctor.

Song Titles: Mike, Greg and Ryan in an airport

Ryan, appearing: “D’you know the way to San Jose?”

Greg, getting some bonus points from me: “Shine on, you Crazy Diamond.”
Ryan: “Like a Virgin.”

The game culminates in Greg having to choose between Ryan and Mike, with Ryan winning by ending with “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts…”

Solid game, though, as usual, kinda thin.

Film Dub: Ryan’s picking up the frozen remains of his wife, while Greg helps sort them.

Clive, after the audience is appalled as the scene description: “HEYYY, IT’S A HAPPY SHOW…”
Greg, as Soap Opera man again, to the camera: “Seems unlikely, and yet here we go.”

Greg reveals that a different part of the wife’s body is in each glass.
Greg: “I drank out of one of them, so I have to remember which one it was…”

Ryan’s character goes to grab a bottle
Greg: “Nono, don’t touch that one. That’s strawberry, that’s for later when we have pudding.”

Greg, grabbing a bottle: “Here, try some of these…it’s my uncle Louie.”

Ryan: “You have a fine place here. There’s a fine little door with a knob.”
Greg’s character drops the glass.
Ryan: “Hey, what was that?”
Greg: “You said the word…knob…”

Greg, in front of the spill: “I can’t tell if this is my uncle Louie or some other delicious concoction.”
Ryan, tasting some: “…mmmm, that’s Louie alright…”

A really fun game of Film Dub, with some great lines all around, but mostly from Greg, who had the right morbid sense of humor for it.

Alphabet: Tony tries to help Mike, a scientist slowly turning into a fly. Beginning with W.

Mike, starting off: “WAIT, WAIT WAIT…Don’t clean that dog bin, I wanna have some lunch.”

A surprisingly fun, fluid scene, that both actors give their all too, and has a ton of really funny moments. It barely feels like a game of Alphabet.

Clive: “500 points to Mike, and it would have been 500 to Tony if he hadn’t left out V at the very end…”
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Song Styles: Mike sings a disco song about a train set

Mike’s song is simple, but really fun, and it definitely gets the audience on his side rather quickly, as they’re clapping along.

Also, note that when they cut to the audience and people singing along to the refrain, and they even sneak a shot of Clive singing along in there:
Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 3.18.11 PM.png

Film Trailer: He Invaded My Chip Shop. Greg narrates, Tony, Ryan and Mike act it out

A new game, one that would recur over the next 2 series, and lead to some very funny moments.

Almost immediately, Greg: “….FROM THE MAKERS OF ‘HE STOLE MY DONER KABAB, IT’S….”

Greg, revising his narration because he remembers that Mike and Ryan are already onstage and that only leaves one person to come in: “BUT THEN THE NIGHT CAME, WHEN A T…SMALL DARK STRANGER ENTERED THE CHIP SHOP AND CHANGED THEIR LIVES FOREVER.”
Tony, getting on his knees: “HELLO.”

Mike, without options, cradles Tony
Ryan, Mike and Tony run around stage
Mike, Ryan and Tony spit out their chips.

Pretty fun game, with Greg doing some more really nice proctoring, and Tony doing some really funny little things.

Clive: “And, into a shock lead goes Michael Jackson, who isn’t even here.”

Helping Hands: Tony is on a boy scout camping trip with Scoutmaster Ryan

Tony picks up a guitar, and asks if Ryan can show him some tunes. Greg grabs the guitar, and nearly smacks Ryan in the head with it. He cracks, keeping the character moving, though.

Ryan: “I’ll play a small little song for you.”
Greg starts patting the guitar, which he’s gotten backwards.
Ryan: “…The other way, of course.”

Ryan grabs a bottle of seltzer, which explodes even before he opens it.

As Ryan puts together a beans/weiner concoction, Tony feeds Ryan some beans out of his hands.

A pretty fun Helping Hands, though not to the caliber of some of the other ones.

Party Quirks: Tony hosts
Greg: giraffe
Ryan: on a rollercoaster
Mike: Columbian drug baron

Clive: “Now, is the party in full swing., Tony?”
Tony, motioning around: “Obviously…”
Clive: “No, I know, I’ve been to some of your parties…”
Tony, smirking: “…for the last bloody time, mate…”

Ryan, of course, nails his physicality, going all around, screaming, and doing loops.
Tony: “…are you Lionel Blair?”

There’s an insanely funny visual of Mike, doing a Tony Montana impression, talking to Tony while an inconsequential Ryan flies by the camera.

Pretty nice Party Quirks round, thankfully working in subtle ways after last episode’s…less-than-subtle turn of it.

Bartender: Mike
Ryan: Trying to forget his wardrobe
Tony: in love with an inflatable pig

Clive: “Ryan’s drinking to forget something, what is it?”
Audience member: “TONY SLATTERY!”
Clive: “He’s drinking to forget Tony Slattery? AN UNLIKELY proposition…”

Of course, someone from behind Clive, like in Superheroes, comes in with the real suggestion, which Clive even says “that’s really cruel. Cruel but accurate, I feel. You’re drinking to forget your wardrobe.”
Ryan: [gets up and leaves]
Mike: “Aw, maaaan…”
Clive: “IT WASN’T ME! It wasn’t me, it was the beautiful girl behind me.”
Mike, to Clive, with the immortal line: “…Don’t mess with the neon love chicken, alright?”
The audience loses it at this.
Greg, from the audience:”WHO ORDERED PUMPKIN???”
Clive, as the music kicks in: “…it’s the Stiles tartan…wish I hadn’t have said that.”

Ryan has a nice, nervous verse, saying “people make fun of me, because I wear fashions from Sunkist.”

Mike has some really clever lines, even Ryan’s impressed by, like “with a shirt like that, you must be getting your vitamin C”, or “dip your shirt in this vodka and have a screwdriver…”

Mike, as Tony comes up to the bar set, possibly remembering the last Bartender game he did with Tony: “…I’m sorry, WE’RE CLOSED.”

[There is an underrated shot of Tony taking the alcohol bottle from the bar table, opening it and smelling it…and getting a nice amount of blowback once he realizes it’s real alcohol. They cut before he truly reacts to it, though]

Clive, asking for something Tony’s in love with.
Half the audience: “HIMSELF!”
Clive, almost angry: “EVERYBODY ALWAYS SAYS HIMSELF! EVERY TIME! Surely he must love something else…”
Mike, to Tony: “I owe ya 5 bucks…”

As Clive gets the ‘inflatable pig’ suggestion, someone else shouts out ‘THE BARMAN’, which Tony thinks he’s gonna get again until Clive gives him the real suggestion, which he thinks is the most preposterous thing he’s ever heard.

Clive, as the suggestion came from behind him, mutters “THESE GIRLS ALL *KNOW* YOU GUYS!”

Tony’s still facepalming at what he has to sing about.
Clive, to the audience member: “Have you been out socially with Tony?”

Tony’s first line is: “I’ve got a problem I’d like to report, when I see Porky Pig, my pants distort.”
He has another one, which is ‘I see that pig, and I spill my seed.” Ryan and Greg absolutely lose it at this one.

Mike has a pretty nice response verse, ending in “doing too much pork raises cholesterol.”

Overall: At a glance, this episode comes down to its bookends- an uproarious round of Superheroes, and a series-classic round of Bartender. Yet in between, there are so many instances of four landmark improvisers doing some of their best work. Even games like Alphabet, Film Dub and Film Trailer work really well because everybody here is really good. Sadly, a lot of one-note games in the middle keep this from being a 10/10 show, but this is still a fantastic episode, one that proved the show didn’t always have to rely on Ryan Stiles, as he took a less showy approach to the show, letting the California duo of Greg and Mike to win the day.

Show Winner: Tony
Best Performer: Greg Proops, for taking several proctoring roles, as well as working well as an ensemble player and hitting back at Clive throughout the night.
Worst Performer: Ryan Stiles, with slightly less funny moments than Tony Slattery.
Best Game: Bartender. I almost went with Superheroes, but Bartender feels in every moment like it’s live, and Mike is not only doing good work in song, but interacting with the performers and Clive during the interims. It’s already a show-classic, but it’s also just a really well-done game.
Worst Game: Song Titles, by default.