Nevermind Watchdown: I14 (ICE), or ‘SEAAAAN’S ALIIIIIIVEEE!”

I know. It’s been a while. But I feel like now’s a good enough time to do another QI. Why not?

Besides, we have three more episodes left in what’s been described as the ‘Golden Age’ of QI, and I fear that things are going to go downhill once this series ends.

But…to quote one of tonight’s guests: “Oh, well…WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER? AHAHAHAHAHA!”

That’s right, BRIAN BLESSED, one of the most beloved, yet one of the least subtle, actors in history, gets to be a guest on QI, the CHRIIIIISTMAAAAAAAAS Special no less, alongside Ross Noble and Sean Lock. One sad piece of business is that this is Sean’s last QI, as after this he’d swear off all other panel shows in order to focus on 8 out of 10 cats. The man will be missed, but hopefully he’ll finish strong.

Even the opening makes me laugh- Stephen, in introing Ross, uses his accent to say ‘Russ NuOBLE’. Ross gets a kick out of that. Stephen even intros Brian as ‘FATHER CHRISTMAS HIMSELF!’ And even from the getgo, Brian seems so happy to be here.

The buzzers even know what’s up. Sean’s and Ross’s are quaint little bells. Brian’s is A LOUD SET OF ORGAN CHIMES.

Ross, in bringing up the Nobody Knows cards, to Sean: “Could you, uh, could you just put that card there?”
Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 2.42.54 PM.png
Ross: “It really IS the Riddler!”

On the first question, about where there’s the most rest days and most expensive Big Macs, Brian, offers a place in Canada where the “BIG MACS ARE BLOOOODY HUGE…and there’s lots of sex.”
Ross: “That would be the greatest voiceover ever. AND THEY’RE BLOODY BIG BIG MACS…”

Stephen: ‘Iceland has more Nobel Prize winners per capita than anywhere else on earth. D’you know how many that is?”
Alan: ‘FOURTEEN?”
Stephen: “No…”
Sean: “One.”
Stephen: “IS THE RIGHT ANSWER!”

Alan, on Iceland: “Doesn’t everybody live on the edge?”
Ross, taking this the wrong way: “What d’you mean?? ‘LET’S TAKE LOADS OF DRUGS! LET’S DRIVE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!'”
Sean: “Living on the edge in Iceland is just going out in just your pants…”

Also, already Ross is having an amazing time, judging by his ridiculous Icelandic accent which he keeps bringing back.

Early observation- Ross, Sean and Alan are zooming at 500 miles per hour, collaborating…and Brian’s just taking his sweet time. He obviously can’t keep up with them, but he’s at least enjoying himself.

Ross tries to explain a ‘prawn ring’, which is just a circle of prawns, that nobody else seems to understand.
Ross: “You wanna get yourself a tiny sheepdog…and a tank.”
Sean: “You’d need a prawn dog. Not a sheepdog.”
Ross, not getting it: “…of COURSE, uh, what was I thinking-”
Alan, under them: “What is the icelandic equivalent of a sheepdog?”
Sean: “What are you TALKING ABOUT, ROSS? YOU’RE TALKING ABSOLUTE NONSENSE! A SHEEPDOG? FOR PRAWNS? YOU DON’T GET A SHEEPDOG, YOU GET A *PRAWNDOG* FOR PRAAAAAWNS!”
Ross: “That explains why, 1, I’ve lost that competition, and 2, I’ve been banned from Crofts!”

Brian’s not really collaborating with everyone, but right at the start of every question he’ll have an insanely inspired, and really funny, answer. I’ll give him that.

Alan, after Stephen explains the Genghis Khan- icelandic volcano connection: “So what do we have to pronounce?”
Stephen: “Now, THAT’S WHAT- how did you know I was going to ask that as a supplementary question?”
Alan: “…I thought you already did.”
Stephen: “Oh, did I already say it-”
Alan, realizing: “Well, that or I read it off the autocue…”

The whole panel takes turns trying to pronounce the Icelandic volcano. Alan comes closest. Ross’s is too silly. Brian BELTS IT OUT, MAKES IT SOUND NEARLY KLINGON.
Stephen: “…you may have set it off again, by doing that…”

Sean: “I think the umlaut changes things a bit, and I think they way you’re supposed to pronounce it is ‘….ETCH!..”

After Stephen gives the actual pronunciation.
Ross: “And is that translated as ‘Big Smokey Bastard?’
Alan: “Or ‘You Will Go By Ferry’?”

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 3.11.18 PM.pngStephen: “These are icelandic. What’dyou reckon they are?”
Alan: “….LEGS.”
Stephen: “Yeah. If I were to tell you that those are empty, does that help?”
Alan: “….HOLLOW LEGS.”
Ross: “Oh, are they Icelandic Cock Pants?”

This week’s Prop Interlude involves trying to pull two interled phonebooks apart. It works so well on Sean and Brian’s side that Sean falls out of his chair and onto Brian’s lap.
And then, Sean, as he emerges from under the desk, bellows, in honor of Brian, “SEAAANN’S ALLIIIIIIVEEEE!”

Stephen, to Sean: “How come your water hasn’t spilled?”
Sean: “It’s an old trick- yeah, me and Brian have been doing this trick for years…”

After 30 seconds of hysterical struggling, and throwing the phone books round with fury, Alan finally separates them.

Stephen, as another prop, hands the teams a sticky ‘lubed rod.’
Alan: “He’s been trying to get me to do this for YEARS…”
Sean: “Sorry, Stephen, but this contravenes my superinjunction…”
[Yeah, but Ian told me…]

And then, they do this Alaskan olympic sport…and Sean falls out of the chair YET AGAIN…

Alan, once again, gets the Nobody Knows bonus because he’s one of the few that remembers it exists.

Stephen explains the members of the expedition bringing all of these random things with them while under heavy lead poisioning
Sean: “I can imagine they went to open a really disappointing shop”

Stephen talks of Scott bringing a player-piano to the arctic, mostly because on his first expedition he’d brought a real one “only to discover that nobody on board could play”

Brian Blessed is capable of adding his own arctic knowledge to Stephen’s stories, in a doubly interesting way. As Stephen tells the story of Scott who raced to the South Pole, and Amundson of Norway who beat him to it, Blessed tells the addendum of how Amundson’s wife informed him of Scott’s death while Amundson was in the bathtub, to which he replied “he’s beaten me to it!”, and that in death he’d conquered the territory Amundsen had physically claimed. It’s a very interesting element.
Ross: “What he should have said was ‘can I have his piano?”

Stephen: “What happens when a penguin steps on a landmine?”
Alan: …I dare say nothing at all-”
Sean, being Sean: “IT FLIES!”
AHAHAHAHA

Stephen talks of whalers burning penguins for the oil, which frightens the audience but cracks up Ross
Ross: “‘CHUCK ANOTHER PENGUIN ON THE FIRE, WOULD YA?”
Sean: “That’s brilliant! ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?’ ‘I’ve just finished BURNING UP THESE PENGUINS SO I CAN BOIL THIS WHALE!’ THAT’S a job!”

Stephen, as with the rest of this series, let’s a special guest go on about his specialist subject; here, Brian is allowed to discuss Yetis, and the place of the abominable snowman, which, in being an arctic explorer, he knows quite a bit about.

Brian, in discussing with Stephen, brings up a ton of intriguing dialogue about yetis, and belief of such, and while it’s not funny and doesn’t involve the other players, it’s still very eye-opening, and I’m glad he’s on the program.

Stephen: “Why did the Spanish Duke of Alba invest in 7,000 pairs of ice skates?”
Sean: “Because he was a millipede.”
Oh, gosh, I’m gonna miss him on this show

Sean goes on a tangent about show-jumping. Dare I say it, but is Ross Noble really the voice of reason on this panel?

Stephen talks of the Spanish buying all the ice-skates for an ice war, just to be safe.
Ross: “THERE IS a Saturday Night program I would watch. It’s Celebrity WAR ON ICE.”
Alan: “Here come the Spanish, they’ve never skated before! WHOOPS! Look out, Manuel, it’s cold!”

Stephen has everyone a cup of ice cream, and asks them to give tasting notes.

Stephen reveals that it’s fox testicle ice cream. Alan sickly scoops one more bite. Ross feverishly shovels more in.
Ross: “Oh, I KNEW IT! I’m a SLAVE to a fox’s bollock, me…”
Stephen: “Well I’m playing with words here, because it’s not ACTUALLY from the testicles of a fox-”
Ross: “PFFFF- AWWWW, WHAT??”

Brian gets a klaxon (?????) for saying igloos are made from blue ice.
Alan: “GLUE!”
Stephen: “Nice thought”
Alan: “Is it actually an apple glue, and it actually is…”
Stephen, getting it: “…iGlue…”

Stephen: “Now, what d’you say to a husky to make it go?”
Panel: “…..”

Brian talks about being in Mongolia and having just a giant wolf in his tent. “It adored me, and I gave it mars bars and such…”

He talks about getting back to his tent with the dog after a hike, and goes “…you have to understand, ladies and gentlemen, even at my age, in my 70s, I’M A RANDY BASTARD. AND I WAS MISSING MY WIFE, HORRIBLY. SO I TOOK THIS GREAT BIG BLOODY WOLF…”
Eventually, this story has a happy ending; Brian just sings a love song to him, and gives a wholesome kiss to the wolf. No penetration, thankfully.
Sean: “You know how earlier you said you don’t suffer from altitude sickness? I THINK YA DO…”
Ross: “I think we’ve worked out- I think we know why Brian’s huskies were goin’ so fast. ‘HEY, HEY! QUICK, HE’S GAINING ON US!”

Another question, on a Loch Ness Monster fake, appeals to Ross, as he’s read up on the legend, and he’s right there with Stephen’s questions on a reporter out to get revenge
Ross: “Ah, yes, he was su- shut up, I know something!”

As he tells this story, Stephen squints a bit, as he’s gotten some details wrong. As Stephen’s about to chime in, Ross goes “If you say no, I’ll punch you in the face!”

For the finale, Stephen gives everyone specific bells, and expects them all to do a bell rendition of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’, without disaster.
Stephen is essentially stringing the four of them along, but it sort of works.

Sean loses his last show, which is sad but characteristic. ALAN WINS! THAT’S ODD!

Overall: A delightfully fun and well-balanced Christmas show. Obviously Brian wasn’t up to the speed of the other three, but he gave a great deal of information himself, and it was good enough just to have Brian Blessed on QI; the others were also great at responding to his stories, especially the wolf one. Sean was nice here, but this was essentially a passing of the torch to Ross Noble, who was doing his weird, panel-carrying schtick better than he was. Ross is great not only at connecting, but at weird jokes; Sean, also good at both, could battle no longer.

MVP: Ross
Best Guest: Ross
Show Winner: Alan
Best QI Fact: ice skates for the war
Best Runner: Icelandic accent

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Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E03, or Clive, What Are You Doing in My Closet?

As I said before, when Dan Patterson and Mark Leveson scoured their rolodexes for American talent, they look to new places, but they also looked for old contacts, anybody who wanted to come back and re-Americanize the show. Tonight, we see two people that haven’t appeared on the show in a while. For one, his improv career would be invigorated. For the other…it’d be less than that.

Brad Sherwood’s last appearance was the US run of Series 4, working predominantly with Ryan and Greg, and…surprisingly only briefly working with his future comedy partner Colin Mochrie (yes, in case you didn’t know, Colin and Brad tour together as a double improv act. I’ve seen them live. They’re wonderful, and super nice.) Bringing him back was an inspired, but understandable choice; Brad’s two episodes weren’t exactly fraught with bad improv choices, and his return was only delayed by a desire to return to predominantly british performers. Brad would be back for SEVERAL shows this season, typically being paired with Steve Frost.

If Brad’s return was gracious and welcome, Mike McShane’s return was seriously unlikely, as he still felt scorn and betrayal after being told by the producers that the American audiences wouldn’t enjoy seeing a man of Mike’s stature doing improv. He also hated how they threw Tony under the rug. So, his return, a short-lived, single-appearance gig, would be under less than favorable circumstances. The jovial, high-energy Mike wouldn’t always appear during this episode.

Okay, that’s enough setup. Brad, Mike, Colin, Ryan. Together, at last. On with the show:

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 6.56.35 PM.pngThis…is not the Mike we’re used to. Less hair, greyer hairs, and a very determined death stare…and this is top, or, well, bottom, of the show.

Clive describes Brad as somebody who’s becoming a new favorite on the show, so maybe this one didn’t tape before some of his other shows.

Questions Only: A Passionate French Love Story

Mike: “Do you remember the first time we met?”
Brad, immediately himself: “Wasn’t that before you were a Spice Girl?”

Mike’s improv hasn’t changed- he embraces Brad in his arms immediately.

Ryan and Mike’s scene is pretty great, as you can tell their earlier chemistry still works after 2 years. Mike stumps Ryan by saying something in French, to which Ryan responds “…I wish I knew what that meant.”

Mike and Brad’s chemistry, again, gets very close
Brad: “Are you going to kiss me now?”
Mike: “Am I going to give you a tongue-slathing? YES!”
Annnd Mike grabs Brad and kisses him. It takes him ONE GAME to return to his old habit. Fantastic.
BUZZZZ
Clive: “…I’m buzzing you out, Brad, to spare you further punishment.”
Brad, as he heads back to the step, slips Mike an imaginary card and mouths “call me”

Ryan slowly approaches
Mike: “ARE YOU NEXT??”
Ryan: [shrugs and heads back to the step]
Mike: [gives a DAMMIT motion]

Brad, reentering: “Did you have garlic for dinner?”
Mike, cracking up: “Did you notice the flex?”
Brad: “NOTICE?”
BUZZ
Brad, cracking, returns to the step.
Mike, in between giggles: “But that’s a question!”
I imagine Colin’s gotta be relaxing

Ryan, entering: “…have you seen my accent?”
Mike: “…this small, imperfect thing over here, you mean?”
BUZZ
Mike, internally: “THERE we go.”

Colin, fluent in French, says a whole line in french, asking for a cigarette
Ryan: “…who the hell are you?”

Clive sadly ends it there. I would have preferred that Colin got a few more lines, but…it was a long enough game either way, and it was basically the Mike show, which is nice.

Sound Effects – Colin is arriving at the honeymoon suite with his wife on their wedding night. Ryan provides sound effects.

The scene begins with Colin carrying his, albeit heavy, wife through the doorway, and plopping her onto the bed. Ryan adds a loud crashing sound as she lands.

Ryan’s goofy, faux-suave noises make Colin’s character especially goofy. He shakes a drink, and opens the top, only for it to spurt everywhere like a garden hose. In order to stop the flow, he puts it to his mouth and swallows a bunch. Then, realizing there’s none left for his wife, he adds a cute little shrug.

Colin, in the bathroom, puts deodorant on both armpits, then…turns around…and puts it somewhere else. Then…there’s an audible ‘BOING!’ Colin has to tie it to his leg with a towel. It’s amusing as hell

And then, of course, the second he picks her up again, she’s asleep. Clive takes a few seconds too many to end the game, but it’s still a pretty nice one.

Number of Words – Ryan (3 words) is Dr. Frankenstein, Colin (2 words) is his monster, Mike (1 word) is Igor, and Brad (5 words) is the chief of police.

Ah yes, around this point Number of Words playings would become a bit more high concept. This will be especially evident this and next episode

Brad is already chuckling when he hears Clive’s given him 5 words. Upon entering, he bounds in, going “Dr. Frankenstein, you’ve done bad.”

Brad: “Your monster is an” […yeah, that works] “ABOMINATION!”
Ryan, as if it’ll change anything: “HIS NAME’S GARY!”
Mike: “GA-RY?”
Colin: “…..GARY GARY.”

Ryan: “He’ll be PRESIDENT!”
Brad: “No he won’t. He’s…freaky!”

Colin, after seeing himself in the mirror: “ME DISAPPOINTED!”
Ryan: “No, Gary, No!”
Colin: “EXPECT HAIR.”

There’s a frenzied end of this, where Colin lunges at Brad. Mike, finally figuring something to do, lunges around the other side of Brad, going “SANDWICH!”

Funny enough, but the looseness of concept prevented the game from fully taking off; at times Mike didn’t know what to do

Hoedown: Tight Trousers (and Pasta)

Ryan IMMEDIATELY BOUNDS TOWARDS THE STEP IN THE MOST SARCASTIC WAY IN A WHILE. Perhaps too many renditions of “a bit more up, Ryan” from Dan

Mike’s is…not much

Brad goes for the opposite suggestion: “I think pasta is religious, in fact I think it’s holy
I cover myself in marinara, and pans of ravioli
I sometimes clean al dente, by using it like floss
And then I stir it my pants to make the special sauce”
MY GOD. Not since ‘LOTS OF WARM RUNNY BRIE’ has Brad gone for the dirty joke like that in a hoedown. He looks a bit ashamed by it, too

Colin: “Sure, sometimes it cuts off my circulation, but I-”
He then realizes the only rhyme for ‘circulation’ is gonna make him have to do another one of these hoedowns, and faints.
Mike, as it’s been years since he’s seen Colin pull a Colin, applauds

A nice enough hoedown. It’s kind of odd that it’s not last in the show, though.

Weird Newscasters – Brad is the anchor, Colin (a bad stand-up comedian) is the co-anchor, Ryan (Elvis Presley) is the weatherman, and Mike (has been sacked and it’s his last day) is the sports presenter.

Colin would do a similar version of this quirk during Season 1 of the US version, with some of the same jokes.

Brad: “Why don’t you tell them about the genocide-”
Colin: “Oh yes, a horrible accident at the popcorn factory. Fifteen colonels were killed.”
[Kernels. Colin doubles over again]

Mike’s quirk is SO INDICATIVE of his conundrum in coming back. Mike’s first line is “yeah…everybody wins…I lose.”

Ryan’s Elvis is, again, a fantastic impression. And he handles it pretty well.

The game wraps up, and, again, Mike had only 1 line, and not enough to do. Perhaps he didn’t understand the game, and thought Brad would interact more with him, but he just had his one line. And it wasn’t enough to drive home the quirk.

Party Quirks – Brad is the host. His guests are Mike (tyrannical European conductor), Colin (can’t stop doing Riverdance), and Ryan (various things caught in a tornado).

More Brad proctoring! Fun!

Brad, premiering a joke he’s use with Drew, establishes the stage space, and opens a door, saying “…Clive, what are you doing in my closet?”

Mike, entering: “You have Shostakovich on. Shostakovich should have been killed by Stalin. PTUI!”

Colin’s is…diabolical, but he smiles throughout it, as you can see how painful this is.

Ryan manages to throw a ton of things into his tornado, like a cow, a taxi, and…Clive. He goes into “all that remains is to thank our contestants” before going back into cacophonous nonsense. Clive enjoys the nod, though

All in all, it takes Brad a minute to guess everyone, but it doesn’t feel truncated. Everyone has a chance to be funny, and Brad has a chance to interact with them all, making this a better Party Quirks playing.

Moving People – Ryan is on a very early emergency call at Colin’s farm to deliver a calf.

Clive talks to someone in a GWAR shirt, saying “you’ve got the scumbags of the universe on your shirt there…oh, it’s named after this show, isn’t it?”

Colin, starting the scene with his arms wide open: “I can’t hold her legs open much longer!”

Ryan’s bending over shaking Colin’s hand, and Orly goes to move his nearest foot to Colin
Ryan, semi-out-of-character: “…I can’t put the weight off of that foot, or I’ll fall!”

Orly, Ryan’s mover, keeps moving the SHIT out of him, which is nice, but with someone like Ryan it’s tough.

This game works because it’s a cross between Ryan playing an eccentric and Colin having to deal with him…and Ryan playing someone credible and the audience member making him look weird. And there’s a lot of effectiveness in just how Ryan won’t look at the right thing.

Orly puts Ryan’s hand on Colin’s face in a very plot-heavy moment.
Ryan, without a choice: “What I’m saying is after this is over…how about we get a drink somewhere.”
BUZZ

Not a bad one, as Ryan had a lot to handle, and Colin was a great straight man.

Greatest Hits – Ryan and Colin advertise “Songs of the DIY Centre,” sung by Mike and Brad.

Brad and Mike’s disco song is pretty good, but they cut away before Mike’s about to sing. Again, there’s an alarming trend of the editors butchering Mike McShane’s material, perhaps in an effort to boost the other three’s US-audience potential. So…they’re doing Mike dirty, even if he agreed to come back on the condition that they wouldn’t. That…is thirteen flavors of wrong.

Colin: “Yeah, I feel like hammering something right now…”
Ryan: “Not me I hope!”
Colin, chuckling: “No…”

Colin: “Remember that great protest song….”WHAT THE HELL IS IT WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS?”

Mike does take the lead on this Simon-and-Garfunkel-esque number, leading with “Part X goes to Part Y, then you die.” Brad gives some fantastic harmony with him, as well

Brad, giving the most on the nose line: “This thing needs fixin, and we hate Richard Nixon”

Mike gives his exuberance and energy to the 70’s Reggae number, channeling Jimmy Cliff in starting with a megaphone proclamation of sorts

Brad, on the other hand, gives a sillier, more goofy reggae voice, with the vocal hooks, more of the stereotypical reggae thing, in comparison to Mike’s emotional yelling.

Still, on the reggae number, Brad and Mike are eventually able to work together, do some unison vocal hooks and work off of each other’s lines and work towards the same outcome. It’s a pretty good number overall.

At the end of the game, Brad and Mike give a very polite handshake as they head back to the seats, as their duo effort made the game pretty great, despite Mike’s issues.

Overall: A step down from the first two shows of the season, but not without its charm. When all four players were in tune, like in Questions Only and Greatest Hits, the games were electric. Still, some games were a bit foreign to Mike, and from the way he was edited and his general demeanor in some of the games, you can tell this was a down night for him. True, his energy and vigor was seen in several games on the night, but for the most part you could tell it wasn’t all genuine. He was doing this for the money, not for the appreciation of it. The producers needed an American, and Mike McShane took the easy paycheck, and didn’t come back.

Still, this show meant a lot toward the future of the series, as you saw how well Brad could connect to not only Mike, but Ryan and Colin. It felt natural seeing him up there, even 5 years later. He’d only get more comfortable as the series went on. And Ryan and Colin, of course, continued to excel.

Show Winner: Mike
Best Performer: TIE between Ryan and Brad. Statistically this was hella close, as both dominated the same number of games, so I’m not breaking this up. They both won the show- Brad for showing his versatility and openness, and Ryan for carrying games and not cracking under pressure (even in Moving People)
Worst Performer: Sadly, Mike McShane. At times it felt like he wasn’t on the same page as the other three, and that’s a shame.
Best Game: Questions Only, where all four performers, save for maybe Colin, are able to shine with one another
Worst Game: Weird Newscasters. Just had the least to it.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E02, or Not Done With That Banana?

So, we covered Episode 1, and while a bit different, it was still normal for WL, especially considering we’d just gotten off of Series 8. Now…we move to Episode 2, and now things begin to get a little weirder.

This is another Greg-Colin-Ryan, as most of the weirder ones this series are, but the fourth seater is Karen Maruyama, one of the first attempts to breed new blood from North American improv theaters. Karen came from the Groundlings in Los Angeles, and this would NOT be the last time the show would draw from that well (roughly half of ‘The Black Version” has appeared on Whose Line at least once). Karen is also famous for keeping many of her Groundlings connections to this day–she’s still a friend of Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy, who cast her in a small role in this year’s Life of the Party. Her best known mainstream role is playing a housekeeper in The Campaign, and she steals every scene she’s in.

Karen would end up being one of the flagship female performers of the early US run, and she often is forgotten about in terms of her contribution to the show. Let’s see how she stacks up to the other three titans of improvisation.

Superheroes: Perishing Elastic (and Painful Nipple Erections)
Greg: Muscle Zimmer Man
Ryan: Seductive Eating Man
Colin: Incoherent Boy
Karen: Shampoo Commercial Woman

In the annals of Greg-Clive banter, one instance reigns supreme. And it might be this very one.

Clive: “Mr. Muscle! That’s not bad. Can we combine that with a little sort of humor as well?”

Clive: “And what is the problem he’s solving?”
Audience member, matter-of-factly: “..Painful nipple erections.”
Clive, shaking his head, turns right to the guy that said it. AS DOES THE ENTIRE PANEL. GREG LITERALLY WALKS OVER AND LOOKS AT HIM.
Greg: “That can’t be right!”
Clive: “Painful nipple erections may be YOUR problem, but it’s scarcely…a worldwide problem. I’ll see you afterwards…hell, I can see you from here. I wondered what was nudging me in the back while I was, ANYWAY-”

Greg is confused by ‘perishing elastic’
Clive, taking the wrong part of that: “Elastic is a substance we have over here, it stretches…and things fall down, and stop.”
Greg, having just about enough of this over the last 7 years: “…when’s it gonna stop, huh? The aggression?”
Clive, without even batting an eye: “When are you gonna give us our colonies back?”
As the audience applauds this, Greg nods.

Clive, trying to get on with it: “So you’re Mr. Muscle, Mr. Zimmer Man-”
Greg, still not done: “YOUR colonies…”
Clive: “And there’s perishing elastic-”
Greg, to the camera: “CLIVE’S colonies.”

Greg: “We call zimmer frames walkers. Just for our American friends.”
Clive: “Oh, okay. They’re crisps over here. And you’re just one letter away from what we call you…”
ANOTHER POINT TO CLIVE.

Greg: “My god, my strength is so enormous that I always crush this zimmer frame. Here, I’ll throw it at the prat with the bald head.”

Ryan: “Sorry I’m late, I was bungee jumpin’ and got stuck.”

Greg takes about 5 extra seconds to come up with ‘Seductive Eating Man’.
Ryan, without batting an eye: “Banana?”

Colin, entering: “Sorry I’m late, but I wasn’t on time.”
Ryan, still deepthroating the banana: “Thank god you’re here Incoherent Boy”
Colin: “……MONKEY LUKE.”
[Gee, I wonder where THAT came from. She goes by Monkey Kinley now, for the record, but I digress]

Karen, entering and ALREADY CEMENTING HER STATUS ON THE SHOW: “Sorry I’m late, I had a PAINFUL nipple erection.”
AND THE PLACE GOES WILD

Karen not only nails her quirk, and has enough asides to the camera, but, and this is a rarity for the UK version, she actually finds a solution to the crisis, instead of just leaving. She makes a proactive choice, and solves the problem. This is proof that the Groundlings actually new a thing or two about objective-based improv.

Colin stands confusedly about
Greg: “It’s time for you to go now! Or as you say, BLING BLANG, POBOLOLOBLA!”
Colin nods and leaves

Ryan remains, still deepthroating the SAME EXACT BANANA
Greg, seeing this: “….not done with that banana?”
Ryan: “Yeah.”

Then, as Ryan exits, “to go by some kiwifruit”, he literally moonwalks to the step while still deepthroating the banana. It’s fantastic

A pretty masterful Superheroes playing, as it’s one of the few that satisfies the complete specifications of the game, as well as having 4 really funny Superheroes, some banter, and an actual good solution.

Let’s Make a Date: Greg chooses
Karen: a call girl
Colin: first-time nudist
Ryan: thinks Greg’s the ugliest woman in the world

Clive, explaining the game: “And this could be really fun, or it could just provide Greg with a social life at last.”

Karen goes one step further with her quirk and becomes a Thai call girl, the sleaziest, ending her first round with a ‘i love you hard and long’
Greg: “…well, that answers my first question.”

Greg: “Do you believe in sleeping together on the first date?”
Ryan: “…not without a bag over your head?”
Ryan slowly brings up a ‘sign of the cross’ with his finger

Greg: “You sound very nice and accommodating”
Karen: “Mmmhm, for 5 dollar I treat you real nice”
Greg: “………..I LIKE SHOPPING. If we were gonna go shopping where would you take me?”
Karen: “I would take you to Sporting Good store, where we would buy some ping pong balls and I could keep you up ALLLLL NIIIIIGHT.”
Dear god, why don’t people remember her more? She’s doing great so far

Greg: “CONTESTANT NUMBER TWOOOOOOO”
Colin: “Are these seats vinyl???”
Colin’s physicality in adjusting himself is hysterical, as he’s trying not to show anything. Clive’s loving that

Greg: “Number 3, I love boxing, do you?”
Ryan: “…uhh, it’s obvious YOU do…”

Clive: “And number 3 is?”
Greg: “…A BIG JERK is what he is-”
Clive: “Yes, but who is he pretending to be?”
[FOR SHAME?? Ryan’s one of the nice ones!]

Greg only gets Karen, but it’s still a nice enough version of the game. All three quirks worked really well, and I loved Colin’s shuffling around and nervousness.

World’s Worst- Chat-up Line

Karen: “These implants are biodegradable…”

Colin takes a few seconds before going: “…you know I have wooden legs, and I know how to get rid of splinters.”
As the audience gets it, he has this confused expression, as if he has no idea how he came up with that one.

Ryan: “Sure I like to have sex, but it’s hard to find four or five hours during the day.”
Clive: “…That’s a GOOD line!”

Colin: “….Wanna hear a Hoedown?”
HAHAHAHAHAHA
Greg loves that one

Karen: “You look just like my dad…”
Greg: “So, you’re the Duchess of York. D’you wanna go to an all-you-can-eat place?”

Dead Bodies: Ryan and Karen are a boyfriend and girlfriend at the beach; Greg is a muscular rival. Colin moves them all.

Oh lord, this game returns…

This one starts innocently enough. However, eventually Colin realizes that in order for Ryan to successfully apply suntan lotion to Karen, he needs to move her closer, so he tips her chair over so she’s right on Ryan. Thankfully, this is the playing where Karen’s chair stays on the ground.

Of course, Colin slumps Karen over Ryan’s lap, which leads to an easy visual.

Colin, as Ryan: “How’s that?”
Colin, as Karen on Ryan’s lap: “MPHHMSPPHHMMM”
Ryan: [breaks]

Colin’s next trick is standing Greg up, and then going back over to Ryan and Karen without letting Greg fall. So, as Colin operates Karen, Greg just leans on Colin’s back

Colin, as Karen: “Oh, no, it’s the bully! It’s the beach bully! Stand up for me.”
Colin, as Ryan, with Greg on his back: “…actually I think I’ll sit for a while.”

Colin realizes there should be some sort of conclusion, so Colin, not even moving Ryan’s mouth as much as his bottom lip, goes “…ALRIGHT…I AM GOING TO JUMP UP…TO A HEIGHT OF SIX FEET…GO COMPLETELY HORIZONTAL…AND THEN KICK YOU INTO YESTERDAY, MISTER.”
Colin, realizing the better way of ending this scene, as Greg: “….oh, I’m scared.”
He then shuffles Greg offstage
BUZZ

A quainter, simpler, and slightly less funny Dead Bodies, made great though by Colin’s force of will

Mission Impossible – Greg gives Ryan and Colin a mission to catch hairy caterpillars.

Ah yes. And now we follow the unmistakably hilarious 9×01 playing

Greg, in the intro, is stumbling over a few words, and making some gaffes. He ends with “this…mission will self destruct before this tape makes sense.”
[Audience laughter]
Greg: “BOOM!”

Ryan: “Look, I just want you to know- if I don’t make it back, I want you to have my thong.”

Colin, with some plot convenience: “MY GOD, LOOK! THE HAIRY CATERPILLAR FARM!”
Ryan shakes his head
Colin: “D’YA THINK??”
Ryan: “I hope there’s not admission, I’m broke”
Clive’s cackling at this

Colin and Ryan brainstorm ways to keep the caterpillars
Colin: “I have a better idea. We put one on my head, make it look like hair.”
Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 5.03.07 PM.png

Colin: “You better go get it?”
Ryan: “Why me??”
Colin: “It’s your last mission! If you die…who cares?”

Ryan grabs the huge caterpillar, and puts it on Colin’s head, when he just starts moving his head around aimlessly, carrying the weight. Then, Ryan holds a mirror up in front of his head and starts combing it.

Ryan, taking after Colin, tries to pull the whole ‘the caterpillar’s ticking’ gag, and throws it off to the side.
[….]
Ryan: “…it didn’t explode, he must have just had a watch on.”
HAAA

Colin ends the scene by doing the ‘Hairy Caterpillar Mating Dance’, which lures them all out of the tree. It’s a fantastic visual, one that Clive can’t help but end on.

Like Dead Bodies, this game paled in comparison to the last playing, but was still a lot of fun, and had some nice moments.

Party Quirks – Greg is the host. His guests are Karen (infomercial for exercise equipment), Colin (keeps waking up during an operation), and Ryan (a dog in a car).

Clive: “I presume the party’s in full swing?”
Greg: “Yes it is, it’s a ‘come as Colin doing a dinosaur’ party.”
[Greg proceeds to do his best impression of Colin’s dinosaur impression. Colin even nods in approval.”]
Clive: “Well, let’s hope he doesn’t. Colin’s very good at doing a dinosaur, unlike, say, you.”
Greg, once again not taking this shit: “…You know I could sit in the chair and smart off, and you could get your butt up here and work!”
Clive, as he rings the doorbell: “You oughta get a better agent”
Greg goes and opens the door, and then closes it, looking right at Clive, going “Oh, I can hold this door closed as long as you have quips.”
The audience applauds this. Greg’s about to open it, and go ‘but I won’t!’
Clive: “What are you hoping to do?? Wear my finger out???? I’ve got loads of practice with this finger!”

Karen’s imitable energy is worthy of attention, as she’s using a strained voice and challenging Greg to hit her

Colin’s quirk cracks me up, especially as he keeps passing out at the exact right time.
Greg, seeing a golden opportunity: “Hey, Karen, look, your date’s here!”

Ryan, immediately:
Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 5.15.03 PM.png

Greg makes the mistake of leaving all 3 onstage together, so the energetic Ryan and Karen and the screaming Colin all blur together

Greg does manage to get everyone, though Colin takes the longest, as his yelling of “I SHOULDN’T BE SEEING THIS” gives it away.

Hoedown: Giving Birth

Greg bobs his head to the opener verse, with an annoyed smirk, as if he’s heard a million of these fucking Hoedowns by now.

Greg: “But when I go into the room and have those little drugs,
I…FUCK MY ASS!”
The audience applauds, and Clive, chalking up another tally for himself, grins.
Greg: “You know…failing is one of the major parts of television…”
Clive: “yeeeeah, yeah…”

Greg does eventually get a workable one out, inverting his original verse to end with “so she doesn’t cry I hope she takes a lot of drugs.” Karen, Colin, and the audience cheer him on.

Karen: “Having a baby should be given to men
Cause, when I had mine I killed my OBGYN…”

Colin: “Just seeing this filled me with ecstasy
The thing I liked best was THANK GOD IT WASN’T ME!”

Ryan talks of being so excited about childbirth that he parks right at the woman’s feet
“They called the police on me, so I’m heading out the door
Apparently because she’s never seen me before!”
BRILLIANT! Great way to end the hoedown, and the show!

Once Clive calls that Greg, Ryan and Karen have won, Colin applauds, only to realize he’s the only one that didn’t win, and slumps back down.

Overall: Not quite as good as E1, but still fantastic, with coherency between all four, and a newcomer that showed only a few signs of immaturity. You can tell Karen was not only well versed in improv, but also studied up on the show after she got the audition, and made sure she was good at the short form rounds as well as the long form rounds she was more famous for in LA. She fit in well with the 3 regulars, especially Greg. Speaking of Greg, he, along with Colin, was one of the two MVPs of the show. Greg’s strength was less involving improv and more involving fucking with Clive, which he did THE ENTIRE SHOW. It was kinda amusing. Colin, though, made the best improv moves, the wackiest moments, and continued his recent streak. Ryan was kind of quiet this show, if we’re being honest.

Show Winners: Ryan, Karen and Greg
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie yet again, for using the best improv moves, especially in games where he wasn’t always the spotlight
Worst Performer: Ryan Stiles. He just had the least to do, imo, aside from the banana deepthroating
Best Game: Superheroes, for being the most well-balanced, and for having some incredible banter at the beginning.
Worst Game: Nothing really stood out as bad, so I’m going with World’s Worst because it had the least amount of funny stuff.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S09E01, or You’re Gonna Have To Go In There

Forgive the soonness of this one, but we’re about to enter an era of Whose Line that I’ve always wanted to go in depth about.

In my opinion, Whose Line in the UK had three turning points.

  1. Series 5, when Ryan Stiles becomes a regular and the last all-Brit show happens
  2. Series 7 Episode 6, Tony and Mike’s last show, when the reins are practically handed to Ryan and Colin for the rest of the run
  3. Series 9. When Whose Line UK becomes an American product

Around this time, Dan and co. were very aware of their show’s appeal on their American market. Their decision to expel Tony and Mike had to do just as much with Tony’s mental health than it did with appealing to American audience who were now seeing this show on Comedy Central, on an accessible time slot. This was Americans’ first venture into improv comedy, and Dan and Mark have the power to alter this viewpoint. So, in order to capitalize on this, they decided to not have bawdy humorists like Tony or overweight humorists like Mike on the show anymore. [I, as an American, would argue that obesity would still appeal to Americans, but I digress]

By the end of S8, Dan and Mark would realize that in order to appeal FURTHER to Comedy Central audiences, they would need to make their show even more American. So, the new British semi-regulars they started piping in in S7? Gone. Bye, Caroline and Niall. The remaining UK semi-regulars? This would be their last full season of appearances. The UK performers would be limited to one per show, with the exception of one…strange case…which I’m also excited to talk about.

In making the show more American, Dan and Mark would begin to open the floodgates in North America for the first time since Series 4, and start looking for talent at improv theatres like Second City and the Groundlings, as well as asking established stars and friends of performers if they’d like to come on (two iterations of which…did not work whatsoever). Hell, they even searched America for former US-hailing Whose Line performers who’d stopped attending tapings due to high plane ticket costs, or…being asked not to return due to a weight problem, and being especially bitter about it (and yes, we will get to that one as well.)

This series would feature a then-record of nineteen total episodes, with compilations in the middle of the series rather than the end. The majority of the tapings would be used for multiple episodes, rather than just stagnating the initial episodes first and then going to cobbling. This expanded series would be engineered solely towards being broadcast in America, in hopes of creating more of a market for the show, and for improv. Would it work? Well…sort of. There would be a market for improv, and there would be more American influence to this show, but it would be only partially thanks to Series 9 of Whose Line. As a matter of fact, the American influence of Dan and Mark’s Whose Line is it Anyway would be multiplied by a very famous friend and costar of Ryan’s, who would eventually get wind of the show. But we’ll get to him in Series 10.

That’s a lot of build-up for a Rory Bremner episode, I know. But it’s some stuff I’ve wanted to write about for a while. For better or for worse, Whose Line is it Anyway would feel a lot different during Series 9. And you’ll see the differences immediately when we get to Episode 1, featuring a familiar pairing of Greg-Rory-Colin-Ryan. Fun Fact: This is the only episode of Whose Line not easily accessible on YouTube, thanks to a game that we’ll get to later.

Clive mentions the ‘unchanging’ face of Greg Proops, though Greg looks a bit older and less hip than he’s ever been on the show, looking more like his US-era self.

Let’s Make a Date: Greg chooses
Rory – Princess Diana
Colin – 1940s gangster squealer,
Ryan – Hollywood star doing photo shoot.

For the first time in a while, the show would have a clear opener, in LMAD, which would carry into the US version.

Clive, explaining the game: “And if he gets it right, he goes out with them; and if he gets it wrong, he goes out with ME…”

[This episode aired a month and a half before Princess Diana’s death. Thank god they went with this episode first…]

Greg asks Colin what type of sauces he likes
Colin: “I like all sauces…all types of sauces…look for a sauce that holds Big Eddie DeLuca…”

Ryan’s is great. He just keeps doing more and more poses for the camera, looking more and more vain, as Greg tries to start asking questions.

Greg: “Where would you take me to eat?”
Rory: “…well, you’d have to buy a dress because I haven’t got any left…”

Colin: “Lemme tell ya something, don’t pick #3. That’s all. YA DIDN’T HEAR IT FROM ME. THAT’S ALL.”
Ryan: [poses]

Greg, in an echo of one of the last few LMADs, guesses Rory was the Duchess of York, which is a callback to when he thought Caroline as the Duchess of York was Princess Diana.

Not a bad one to start the series with, though we’re gonna see a lot of this game.

Animals: Colin a sheep being comforted by his mother (Greg) after a bad first date with the local stud ram (Ryan).

Colin and Greg are amused by the fact that the “local stud ram” is played, as Clive says, “for comedic purposes, by Ryan”

Colin, top of the scene, sheep voice: “Ohhh, I feel so dirty.”

Greg: “Why, I oughta Bo Peep you this instant-”
Ryan: “HEEEEYYY. She lied to me. Virgin wool my ass.”
Greg: “You said you wanted a sweater, and instead you got a screamer.”
DEAR GOD THAT LINE. Even RYAN stops and acknowledges that one

The second half of this scene is just hard to get through, though. And it goes on for a few beats too many, at which point Clive has to mercy-kill it.

Weird Newscasters:
Greg – anchor
Colin (co-anchor) – listening to a horse race on his walkman while the show’s on and his horse is actually winning,
Rory (sports presenter) – Bill Clinton,
Ryan (weatherman) – turning into a werewolf.

A debut of a game that’d eventually become a show opener itself

I will say, it is fairly nice to hear the old-school Weird Newscasters theme again, as it’d be carried over to the US version.

Greg: “We have got a hot and heavy weekend of sports ahead of us, don’t we, Bill?”
Rory: “Well, ah’ve got a hot and heavy weekend ahead, but that’s nuthin’ to do with sports.”

What’s interesting about this game here is how dynamic-based it is. Later, it’d become more about individual performance, but here the performances kind of depend on each other.

Ryan, of course, has the physicality to take this quirk, especially as a gradual transformation. Then, for the first time in Whose Line history, someone, Ryan, knocks over a background chair and cavorts about the back of the stage–this would be a staple of the US version.

The scene does end with Colin’s horse winning, and him yelling “SCREW YOU” at everyone in sight. Suddenly, as Colin, celebrates, FROM THE FAR CORNER OF THE STUDIO, OUT OF SIGHT, WE HEAR RYAN HOWLING. It’s the silliest goddamned detail, and I love it.

A pretty nice start to the game, as there’s more emphasis on weird dynamics then there is the general performance. I did like this very much, especially Ryan taking on the studio.

World’s Worst: Person to Present a Joy of Sex video

An all time classic

Greg: “I can think of so many that aren’t gonna get on the air.”
Greg steps down, then immediately gets back to where he was, going ‘no, no…”
Clive: “You don’t have to stick to members of your own family, Greg.”

Ryan: “There’s nothing better than sex with the loving words, and the soft touching, and the hard, driving power…..even better with a partner.”
Greg: “When a woman is approaching orgasm, at that time, it is appropriate to order a pizza, now-
BUZZ
Greg: “Now, you’re going to want to watch television after…”
BUZZ

Ryan, sing-songy: “IT…GOES…..IN. IT COMES OUT. IT GOES IN. IT COMES OUT.”
[I love that one]

Ryan: “Here’s a new move that a lot of people haven’t seen, it’s called…rotisserie.”
[Ryan jerks around in a circle]
BUZZ
Colin gives Ryan a very confused and disturbed look when he gets back. Ryan is already completely regretting that

Rory, as Loyd Grossman: “Okay, we’re gonna give you two minutes, to deliberate, coordinate and masturbate…”

Ryan: “Hi. I’m Suzie the Vagina.”
BUZZZZZ
Ryan, holding up a finger: “AND I LIKE TO BE TOUCHED-”
BUZZZZZZZZZ

A wonderful, wall-to-wall hysterical World’s Worst, just with Greg rebelling against Clive, Ryan just being his usual self, and…just so many good moments.

Props: Greg and Rory vs. Ryan and Colin

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 1.27.17 AM.png
Greg: “My god, they’ve buried President Lincoln.”

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 1.28.04 AM.png Ryan: “Now, this is your fourth try on it. We’re gonna need that #8 by Tuesday…”
A CLASSIC

Greg struggles to carry both props at once, and tries to do binoculars, which cracks up Rory

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 1.29.27 AM.pngRyan: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who-”
Colin: “SHUT UP, YOU’RE UGLY!”

Greg, putting the props on the ground: “…I think we’ve arrived too late, the Titanic’s  going under…”

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 1.30.30 AM.pngColin: “Look, I’ll give you one more chance, but we need that Olympics sign by Tuesday”

Wall-to-wall fantastic round of props, possibly one of the more creative ones in years. Hell, even Rory had some original ones.

Newsflash: Ryan and Greg throw it to Rory, reporting in front of a nudist colony

So…this one doesn’t hold back. There are actual breasts in this clip Rory goes in front of. This explains why this game usually got plucked out of US broadcasts, and why this game’s never in the cut posted on YouTube. Hulu, though, is fine with nudity.

Rory, being Rory gets right into this one, not really giving Ryan and Greg an opportunity to lead in to him.

Ryan, obviously loving what he’s seeing: “Rory, if you wouldn’t mind just moving a bit to the right…”

Ryan: “Rory, are you going to become one of them, to slip into their ranks?”
Rory: “Well, all of that of course is very much up for grabs at the moment…and indeed, so am I.”

As Rory’s going on, Greg ALSO starts liking what he’s seeing
Greg: “COULD YOU MOVE TO YOUR LEFT, JUST BRIEFLY?”

Rory: “Well, I don’t know how you’re feeling, but I’m feeling an awful lot better standing over here.”
Greg: “Yes, so do we.”

Ryan: “Keep us abreast of the details as time goes on”
Greg, hammering it home: “YES, DON’T BE A BUM, GET BACK TO US…”

Rory does guess it, and while…I can see why that didn’t air, it’s still a very fun, very loose Newsflash, one very similar in Ryan and Colin’s questions to a US game of this.

Mission Impossible: Greg instructs Colin and Ryan to put on a pair of tights and wax a bikini line

THIS is where this game truly takes off, though

Clive amusingly gets both suggestions from the same woman–one LITERALLY AS THE GAME’S ABOUT TO START.

Greg: “…There’s a woman in Cheswick with no life whatsoever…she can’t get her tights on. Oh, and one more thing. There’s extra hair down there.”

Greg: “Remember to be careful. AND…..spit.”
Colin shuts off the tape.
Greg: “BOOM.”
Colin and Ryan look over, annoyed.
Greg: “Sorry, I didn’t tell you I was gonna destruct.”

Ryan: “One of us may not come back.”
Colin, recycling a great joke from last series: “I hope it’s you.”

For the first silly move of the game, Ryan realizes they’ll have to get into the chimney, so they both disguise as Santa and a reindeer, which is an INCREDIBLY goofy idea.

Ryan then begins to scale the chimney, and has Colin follow him, so they start going down together. Then:
Ryan: “UP. UP. UP. FIRE. FIRE. FIRE.”

Ryan gives Colin an insanely intricate action to do, involving not using his hands to get the tights, then says “good luck, I’ll read a book.”

Ryan, looking at the woman: “My God….HOW CAN SOMEONE LET SOMETHING LIKE THAT GET SO OUT OF CONTROL?”

Colin hands Ryan the machete, and he gives him an impressed but strained-laughter look. He then proceeds to cut through the hair like it’s the forest. It’s SO GENIUS. Greg even adds some jungle animal noises in the background.

Ryan: “Alright, I’m putting the wax on.”
Colin: “Got it.”
Ryan: “…..it’s gonna take a while with this candle…”

Ryan and Colin do a count of three and wax everything….and then realize they’ve taken her leg off as well, so they shoddily reattach it.

They get the tights on, and Colin realizes the scene has to end with some sort of conflict, so…he does this:
Colin: “Wait….d’you hear that ticking?”
Ryan: “Yeah?”
Colin: “MY GOD…SHE’S GONNA GO OFF!”
Ryan gives him…to date the most confused look he’s ever given Colin. He was NOT prepared for this concept. He even goes “…WHAT?”
Colin: “You’re gonna have to go in there.”
Ryan stifles an even bigger laugh, looking away from Colin. He cannot believe what’s happened.

Ryan: “Wait…I’ll use the two hunks of wax we’ve got as skis.”
Colin, subverting, with a chuckle: “I’m not following you.”
Ryan: “I don’t blame ya, I wouldn’t follow me either..”

Then, on the image of Ryan Stiles skiing into a hairy vagina, Clive ends the scene. At which point, Ryan looks directly at Colin, finally free to break, and goes “AW, GOD” as they head back to the seats.

Before “THE CAT”, this is the most insane this game would get, and the funniest. This game works best when Ryan and Colin throw each other for the weirdest loops, and here, when Colin made Ryan climb into a vagina to defuse a bomb, it was the weirdest loop in their history on the program. My god, that was so funny. Crude, yes, but funny.

Hoedown: World Leaders

Possibly due to the last game, Clive makes his own suggestion rather than going from the audience. This possibly makes it easier for Rory, who does a bunch of impressions in his.

Colin takes an extra verse to think about this, but he gets a funny verse out of it, ending on the line “the best thing about being a dictator is I look good in black.”

Ryan ends his on a very strained Golda Meir pun, but at least he looked ashamed of it.

Overall: It’s not everyday that we start a series with a 10 show, and yet here we are. Everyone was phenomenal, even the usually-tardier Rory Bremner, who carried a game or two tonight. Greg worked well WITH Ryan and Colin, rather than against his ideologies and on his own. The Ryan-Colin dynamic was insanely strong tonight, culminating in Mission Impossible, which made me laugh so hard. On top of that…SO MANY great games. Props and Worlds Worst were hits tonight, along with LMAD and Weird Newscasters, and obviously Mission Impossible. The most important part of this show was that it proved that even with OBVIOUS format changes, the show could still sail smoothly and make people laugh just the same as before. Would the format changes continue to let the show be itself? Only time will tell.

Show Winner: Rory
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie, for having the most original ideas, and owning the most games
Worst Performer: Rory Bremner, for bringing up the rear on a night where Colin, Ryan and Greg were all untouchable
Best Game: Mission Impossible. It was already classic even before Colin made Ryan ‘go in there’.
Worst Game: Hoedown. Just had the least to it.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E14, or The Teeth Right Off Her Gums

The final compilation from Series 8, an overall pretty great series if we’re being contemplative. Tonight’s show features everyone who has appeared on an episode this series, except for Caroline Quentin. That means Ardal O’Hanlon and Rory Bremner are on the bill tonight…for some reason.

Questions Only – Greg, Colin, Ryan, and Ardal are at a police station.
From: E7

Oh boy. Ardal O’Hanlon plays Questions. This will be fun.

I had a theory that this series’ Questions playings don’t really start until Ryan and Colin are onstage together, and that’s proved by Ryan, relieving a listless Greg, coming down and asking Colin “is there a reason you’re not wearing clothes?”

Ardal, once he relieves Colin, proves he’s alright at asking questions, but does have a bit more hesitation than necessary. Also, it feels less like he’s asking questions and more like he’s just spitting questions back in blank character.

Ardal, barely staying on task: “Would…the german shepherd have more than one leg?”
Ryan, confused both in AND out of character: “…don’t they all?”
Ardal: “…WHERE IN THE HELL D’YOU COME FROM?”

Colin: [reenters]
Ryan: “Back again?”
Colin: “Weren’t you here last time?”
Ryan: “…aren’t I the same guy?”

Clive ends this before Greg can redeem himself…further illustrating my theory.

Solid enough game, and Ardal did well enough for himself, but comes down to its Colin-Ryan interactions

Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Colin (roller coaster operators)
From: E7

The audience suggestions are bypassed, perhaps to hide something vulgar, as is the game intro. We’re just thrown into this one.

Colin, tugging on something: “…seems fine to me.”
Ryan: “But the lever’s stuck. What if people are going down the hill and you can’t stop ’em because the lever’s stuck like that, Jim?”
Colin: “IT MAKES IT MORE EXCITING!”

The Elvis Presley movie style is an excuse for Ryan to show the audience that his Elvis is actually pretty incredible. It gets some great audience response.

Pink Panther:
Colin, running around on a roller coaster cart, doing his best Peter Sellers impression: “How d’yeauoou stop dis?”
Ryan, as the cartoon panther, comes in and stops it completely. Mixing the Sellers and the cartoon opening. Ryan, who’s clearly seen more of the cartoons than the movies, shrugs, and starts licking himself.
BUZZ
Clive: “YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A PINK PANTHER MOVIE, HAVE YOU?”
Ryan: “No…”
Clive: “You thought it was an actual panther!”
Ryan: “YES!”

Quentin Tarantino:
Colin: “…you know what they call this ride in France?”
Ryan: “No, what do they call this ride in France?”
Colin: “…la puk-ee royale.”

We end before Ryan can prove HE’S seen Pulp Fiction, but all in all it’s a fun enough scene.

Let’s Make a Date – Greg is the bachelorette. The bachelors are Niall (a show jumping commentator), Colin (a hypochondriac), and Ryan (obsessed by erotica).
From: E5

Like the last game, this one gets RIGHT TO THE ACTION

Something about Niall’s show jumping voice makes me laugh. I don’t know what, though.

Ryan is great here, just riling off sexy details about bananas, and just keeping this stare locked in the same place.

This isn’t a very funny scene in terms of interplay, but all three are just really good at these quirks. It’s very simple in that regard, but I am definitely amused, especially by Niall and Ryan

Clive asks Greg if he has any ideas
Greg: “…I dunno, I’m still kinda dwelling on #3…”
Ryan: “Well think harder. HARDER.”
Then, right after that, we get a rare wide shot of the stage, and Ryan’s purring in relation to Greg at the other end of the stage. I dunno why, but it’s a really interesting cut.

Greg guesses the first two, then gets to Ryan
Greg: “…#3 is a Tory cabinet minister…”
Clive: “YES, CLOSE ENOUGH!”

Psychiatrist -Josie is the psychiatrist. Her patient is Ryan (in love with sheep in Jamaica).
From: E10

Clive: “There are no sheep in Jamaica, but I don’t care.”

As the reggae music kicks in, Ryan comes in with a vocal hook…one that he still uses in similar numbers to this day…matter of fact, he used it in an episode of the US Whose Line that aired just last night.

Ryan does come in with his usual “making love to a sheep is not baaaaaaad” pun, which…is at least welcome here.

Not much to it, but amusing enough

Secret – Ryan and Colin are priests. The secret is hidden in the confessional.
From: E1

Ryan: “Good morning”
Colin: “…Ah. Father Mother.”
HAAA
Ryan: “Father KnowsBest, how are you?”
The laughs are sustained on this one, but Clive gets a kick out of it

Colin, in finding the secret, thinks of the most ridiculous secret yet: “…these are secret plans to make you God!”
Ryan surprisingly handles this one well.
Colin: “YOU’RE GONNA START A NEW RELIGION!”
Ryan: “I’ve…lost the faith, brother. I’m not sure there is a God anymore, but when people see me, they’ll know there’s a god. They may not LIKE ME, but there I am!”

Ryan: “Don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to be God yourself. I’ve seen you…in your room…up against the wall…”
They both realize that Ryan’s sort of lost his indication there.
Ryan: “…whatever that means…”

Colin: “DOES NOT THE GOOD BOOK SAY, LET THERE BE ONE LORD, AND MAY HE BE THE ONE WHO IS NOT YOU?”
HA. This ties into his ‘own interpretation of the bible’ from Here he is now.

Ryan: “I have powers much like him, but a little different. Look, simple water- POOF. POTATO SALAD!”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 11.27.19 PM.png

Colin: “I’M BEGINNING TO DOUBT MY VERY SELF AND BELIEFS!”
Ryan: “Then doubt away! I shall part your hair!”

An absolutely phenomenal Secret, going the most ridiculous route they could have gone, and piping in some silly lines along the way. Yes, this one even tops the ‘ventriloquist dummy in the oven’ one.

Hats – Steve, Josie, Colin, and Ryan act out the world’s worst dating service video.
From: E10

Oh god, this one…

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 11.31.00 PM.pngRyan: “YOU’RE A PIECE OF METAL! I’M A PIECE OF METAL! When things get real hot [flips down helmet] we KINDA FUSE TOGETHER. YA SEE, OUR LEGS-”
BUZZ
Immediately as Clive buzzes, Ryan lifts the helmet back up and looks at Clive, betrayed

Then, after a few more suggestions, like Colin coming out in a space helmet and no words coming out, Ryan returns in that helmet
Ryan: “Okay, maybe ya didn’t understand what I was saying…YOU’RE A PIECE OF-”
BUZZ

Josie, with a police hat on: “OKAY, BOYS. SPREAD ‘EM.”
And she gives the most devilish look right after. She knows what she’s done.

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 11.34.17 PM.pngSteve: “…NOW THEN NOW THEN, I’D LIKE TO-”
BUZZ

Then, Ryan returns, just staring at the camera with the same helmet on
Ryan: “……alright, this is the last time I’m gonna explain this to you-”
BUZZZZZ

Narrate – Colin is a door-to-door salesman visiting housewife Ryan
From: E4

Ryan, because he can’t simply play a woman, feeds in the ‘3 days since the operation’ line. Then finally goes to the door.
Colin, upstage: “…something answered the door.”
The audience goes wild. Ryan grins and bears it.

Ryan, perhaps not too in-character, says “I couldn’t think of a thing to say to him.”
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 11.39.32 PM.png

Colin, upstage: “She gave me the kind of look that would give a lovesick yak second thoughts.”

Ryan: “He looked nervous. I thought, maybe at this point, that I should put some clothes on.”
Then, Ryan, as he dresses, realizing along the way what he’s set himself up for: “Pour yourself something tall…and long.”
Colin: “…I looked for a sledgehammer.” [shrug]
THAT made me laugh

A very nice Narrate scene, made great by some very silly choices across the board, made possible by some desperation- Ryan spent a lot of the scene trying not to let the scene die, and he made it pretty great.

Press Conference – Greg, Rory, and Ryan interview Colin, who spent six months living inside a whale.
From: E2

Finally they get the bright idea to let Colin be the base of one of these, and it’d work well enough to get him into Newsflash as well.

Greg: “What did you do to while away the time?”
Colin: “…well, of course, I decided to paint the house…”
That’s why Colin works in guessing games like these. He’ll legitimize the ridiculous, because it might fit with what the answer really is.

Rory even pipes in with a Loyd Grossman impression…I guess, because he can. Not the only time he’d do that impression on this show (it’s coming immediately next episode, no pun intended).

Greg asks Colin if Geppetto was worried about him, which Rory, getting a few seconds later, just laughs at.

Ryan: “Is sperm your favorite.”
Of course. The audience loves this one.

Definitely a better playing of this than usual, not to knock Caroline. They’d use Colin more often in these, including a very important playing coming very soon.

News Report: Pinocchio- Colin and Greg in the studio, Ardal and Ryan in the field
From: E7

AND WE FOLLOW THE WHALE ONE WITH PINOCCHIO? PERFECT!

Greg: “Good evening, I’m Long…Lovingly.”
Colin: “And I’m Randy as a Mink…but of course, my name is Jim.”
Greg: “Come to think of it, so am I.”

Ardal, who’s mostly been passive, sets Ryan up as a wooden girl who fucked Pinocchio. A bit too much there, Ardal.
Ryan, reacting like a pro: “He was okay, but the splinters are killing me.”

Colin: “What kind of lie d’you have to tell to satisfy that woman.”
And as the audience stews on that hell of a joke, we cut away

Helping Hands: Colin and Ryan (hands provided by Greg) are Arctic explorers.
From: E6

A lone game from E6 lands on the compilations? Proves how good that show was.

A slow start, but eventually Colin convinces Ryan to have a drink, and Greg plays with getting the flask to Ryan’s face, which is fun.

Colin does weave a bit of the story: Ryan has gone mad after this time in the arctic, and is making up rules about self-preservation. When Colin tries to call for help, he takes out a snowshoe and bats around a stuffed dog.
Ryan: “I thought we might have a little game of arctic tennis!”
Colin: “MY GOD! YOU’VE KILLED OUR ONLY MODE OF TRANSPORTATION!”

Greg finds two flags, a union jack and an american flag, and starts waving them around as Ryan talks about sharing warmth
Ryan, realizing: “AND GOD BLESS BRITAIN! GOD BLESS BRITAIN….AND THAT OTHER COUNTRY OVER THERE!”

This one has some funny moments, but it’s ultimately pretty frenzied, and slightly incoherent. Which is sad, as this is the lone HH round from S8. Which is kind of a good thing, seeing as the game was played to death back in Series 4 and 5.

Hoedown: Steve, Josie, Colin and Ryan sing about Grandmothers
From: E10

Josie is particularly excited for this playing of Hoedown.

Not a lot going on in this hoedown- Steve and Josie’s are kind of hit-miss, Colin’s takes the secondary suggestion and ends on ‘I’M INSANE’….AND THEN WE GET TO RYAN

Ryan: “I love my grandmother, and when the day ends
I discover that we are a bit more than friends”
The audience starts losing it here, and Ryan realizes he doesn’t really need to go on, so he just sits on that, looking kind of ashamed. Then…as he needs to finish the verse, he just ads, as the end “….the teeth right off her gums”. Which gives an even darker connotation as to what he may have skipped over. But the rest have no choice but to repeat it for the last stanza.

As the show goes to credits, Ryan can be heard turning to an amused Colin and going “…I couldn’t go through with that one.”

Overall:
Best Performer: Ryan Stiles. This show was essentially his finest hours.
Worst Performer: Ardal O’Hanlon. He just wasn’t good at all even in his games here.
Best Game: Secret. Absolutely masterful.
Worst Game: Psychiatrist, for being kind of limp

SERIES 8 SUPERLATIVES!

Best Episode: E5, featuring Niall Ashdown buttressing Greg, Ryan and Colin, and doing a nice job of it, Colin carrying games like Changing Emotions and Director like a pro, Greg quibbling with Clive throughout the second half, culminating in a classic Bartender, and an overall series-defining feel.
2nd Best Episode: E2, featuring Rory Bremner snogging Colin, an unbelievably funny Dead Bodies, Rory doing Clive in Party Quirks while Ryan premieres his gazelle impression, an insanely-fast Home Shopping round, and some unmistakable banter.
3rd Best Episode: E6, featuring Caroline mastering Greg for a round of Film and Theatre Styles, Greg quarreling with Clive throughout the show, a classic round of Here he is Now, some pretty cool dynamic stuff aside from just Ryan and Colin, and just a fun Questions Only round.
Worst Episode: E7. Ardal O’Hanlon was a dynamic destroyer, and it was hard for games to stand out in a good way with him on the panel.
Best Regular: Colin Mochrie, for OWNING games this season, and just getting ‘Best Performer’ a ton of times this series.
Best Recurring Guest: TIE between Caroline Quentin and Greg Proops. The former broke down boundaries all across the season, getting some incredible laughs and somethings being more comfortable than the regulars. The latter had some strong shows this season, and cemented his status as the voice of snide against Clive.
Worst Guest: Ardal O’Hanlan. You let Dougal do a Funeral????
Most Improved: Niall Ashdown, who came back from his fine but forgettable S7 episode, and started doing REALLY FUNNY stuff here, especially throughout E5, going up with the best of them, and doing well in singing games.
Most Unlikely Successful Combo: Steve and Caroline, successful in a few games during E4, and combining powers to deliver the classic Butcher’s Scene to Music.
Guest We Wish Wasn’t Done After This Season: Caroline Quentin. She was so good here that it’s very sad to hear that other commitments would keep her away from the show from here on out.

I’ve heard from a few people that the ‘Golden Age’ of Whose Line ends with Series 8, and while I don’t completely agree…I also don’t completely disagree either. And we’ll find out exactly why with 9×01, which…SHOCKINGLY isn’t entirely on youtube. If you know the episode, you know EXACTLY why. If it weren’t for Hulu, we’d all be screwed, no pun intended.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E13, or HEY, YOU UGLY?

Onto the compilations! Tonight, everyone who’s appeared in this series, save for Ardal O’Hanlon and Rory Bremner, is in play. So, who knows what’ll happen?

Questions Only: Steve, Caroline, Ryan and Colin are at the circus
From: E4

Steve and Caroline’s preliminary scene is surprisingly coherent, and thought-out, but ends when Steve can’t think of a better answer to ‘so DO YOU want me to join the circus?’

Colin: “Can I help you?”
Caroline: “I think you…NO…”
BUZZ
Colin, to Ryan: “Can I help YOU?”
Ryan: “Can you see my trunk?”
Colin: “Are you the famous elephant boy?”
Ryan: “D’YOU HAVE TO ASK???”
Colin: “How did this happen?”
Ryan: “Do you remember the year 1972?”
Colin, being Colin: “…wasn’t that right after 1971?”
Ryan just stops and smirks for a moment, leading Clive to buzz him out

The calling card of Series 8 is the fact that this game, in general, is stop-start until Ryan and Colin are onstage together. Caroline and Steve are only on for a bit, then Colin reemerges and asks Ryan “what do you do with the chickens?” And the audience starts laughing again. Clive has to call the game, though, but it’s a nice note to leave on.

Definitely stop-start, but still a fun Questions round.

Film and Theatre Styles: Caroline & Steve (doctor and patient before the operation)
From: E4

Clive: “So Caroline, you’re shaving Steve before a big operation”
Caroline and the audience laugh at this.
Steve: [spreads legs]
Caroline, used to worse (with Tony), just goes at his chest, and says “you nervous about the heart operation?”
Steve: “No, I’m nervous about the shaving!”

Jane Austen:
Caroline: “Ay, and your britches are full…”
Steve:
Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 1.21.15 AM.png
Steve exchanges a giggle with Caroline
Clive, confused: “WHICH EDITION OF JANE AUSTEN HAVE YOU BEEN READING???”
Steve murmurs something in defense, but cracks himself up
Clive, shelling out a joke from last series: “It’s not quite Hugh Grant- oh, I suppose it is..”

For the Aussie soap style, both Caroline and Steve’s accents are great, with an emphasis on Caroline’s, who’s ‘Oh Nauooooo’s are extra strong.
Steve: “Didn’t you used to live in PEEEEAAAHHHHTH?”

For the Star Trek style, Steve does a light but fun Shatner impression. Caroline does get very close to him, which is subverted when Clive changes to Carry On film, and the steaminess turns to awkwardness.

Light scene, but very fun mostly for the Steve-Caroline dynamic.

Sound Effects: Colin does farmyard chores. Ryan provides sound effects.
From: E10

As Clive announces this one, Ryan’s chuckling, possibly because he was either caught off guard or not looking forward to this game. Or both.

Ryan starts the scene by playing some traditional farmyard banjo music. So, Colin just mimes playing it on his banjo. Ryan, realizing the scene must progress, has all the banjo strings just instantaneously break, which frustrates Colin

There’s a great gag, where Colin goes to milk a cow, but Ryan’s ANGRY MOOS confirm that it’s a bull; Colin has an ashamed, embarrassed apology face as he backs away…and then he waves the red cape around like a bullfighter.

This scene is just an excuse for Ryan to play around with animal noises. As Colin goes to feed the chickens, Ryan just responds with little ‘bock-bock-bock’s, and one renegade ‘BOCK’ that comes in louder than the others. He repeats this, and Colin annoyedly shovels more seed. As he’s doing this, Ryan comes in with the bull noise again, which made me laugh. Colin has to motion ‘not now, I’m dealing with the chicks’

The ending is great. Eventually, he finds his way to a horse, and starts riding it. And then THE BULL STARTS CHASING HIM. Colin frantically starts trying to get the horse to go faster as the angry bull keeps running after him. Clive ends here, but still.

I was laughing very hard throughout most of this. Very simple setup, with just Ryan doing animal noises, but the amount of insanely silly subversion here made it work, especially with the bull running gag.

Song Styles – Niall sings a reggae song to Liz the osteopath.
From: E5

One more Niall song for the road

In a rarity, Clive actually makes Niall choose between reggae and jazz, and Niall chooses reggae, ’cause I’m a fool to m’self’. Once Richard pipes in with the guitar, and Niall goes right in with the Sting-esque vocal hook, we can see why he chose this one.

The musicality does fall into the more reggata-de-blanc sort of reggae, rather than Marley or anything, but Niall does manage to pull it off, albeit simply (moreso than his other songs). Niall does end the song with a nice quartet of rhymes (reminiscent of Chip Esten’s). Still a memorable enough one, though not one of his better ones.

Fixed Expressions – Parents Ryan (shocked) and Josie (flirty) go to Colin (disgusted) for their child’s christening.
From: E10

Ah, this game’s back! I forgot they did one of these way down in S8.

Ryan’s shocked face is, once again, worth the price of admission

Colin still owns this game, just in subversion, saying “why he’s lovely” while holding the disgusted expression. [Though it doesn’t top yelling “EURODISNEY SUCKS” while smiley]

This scene sort of limps along after a while, even though the performers do their damnedest to keep it going. Just not as strong as their other ones.

World’s Worst – Greg, Niall, Colin, and Ryan act out the world’s worst outtake from a religious programme.
From: E5

Another reject from my favorite episode of the series, and a nice, if underused-this-series, game at that.

Niall, scottish accent: “TA TELL YE THE TRUTH…I’VE ALWAYS REALLY LOVED THOSE CATHOLICS.”
Colin: “And the lord said, the meek shall inherit Perth”
[That is the second reference to Perth all show]
Niall: “And, I christen this child…..SHITTY LITTLE BASTARD!”

Greg: “What you wanna do is get yourself a fresh virgin, THE KIND THAT-”
BUZZ
Greg: [looks absolutely betrayed]

Ryan: “And the lord came to them, and said ‘you….HE SCORES! ENGLAND SCORES!”
Colin, holding a gun: “…Dirty Harry Krishna”
[HA!]
As they head back to the seats, and as Clive cuts to commercial, you can just hear Ryan going, absolutely amazed, ‘DIRTY…’ [and then they mute his mic, but he was just reacting to Colin’s last one]

Again, you can see why this taping was dynamite. I noted that Clive really didn’t give Greg the chance past initial punchline, which pissed him off. Also, after a quieter turn in 7×01, Niall was on FIRE IN THIS GAME, giving some really, REALLY funny suggestions. Just good stuff all around, even the stuff I didn’t write down.

Props: Ryan and Colin vs. Greg and Niall
From: E5

More from E5! LOVELY!

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 1.48.38 AM.pngRyan: “…so you’re saying you haven’t seen the Little Mermaid?”

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 1.49.35 AM.pngNiall: “I TELL YA, I DONNA WANNA WORK IN DIS PIZZA HUT ANYMORE…”

Greg: “Who’s a naughty minister, then?” [whacks Niall’s ass with prop]

TOO BRIEF! I feel like they had more good suggestions left to go! And the ones we got were just fantastic and really original, from both sides. Again…something about this taping just brought out the best in everybody.

Whose Line – The planet is doomed, so Ryan sends his son, Colin, to start a civilization on a new planet.
From: E10

(Nice to see we’re getting such a variety of the nine tapings- just E4, E5 and E10 so far.)

Clive’s description is a bit redundant, emphasizing the fact that the planet is doomed several times, so Colin and Ryan start the scene thusly:
Colin: “Dad, Dad, everyone says the planet’s doomed!”
Ryan: “It’s doomed, and and I’m sending you to another planet because our planet it DOOMED.”

Early on, Ryan gets confused, in setting up a line: “Well, it was your father…I mean MY father…”

Ryan, again, keeps emphasizing that the planet is dead, and this keeps powering the scene forward, like a well-placed motif

Colin: “I remember when you first built it! You said to me, ‘someday, son…’The Answer is written on my butt cheeks.””
[The audience enjoys this one]
Colin: “I pulled down your pants and I poured over that for hours!”
[I actually prefer that one, though]
Ryan: “…that’s when we lived on Uranus, son, those days are gone…”
[ANNNND Ryan with the obvious one-liner]

Ryan: “Cause, remember, our creed as Glorgons…”
He takes the note, only to realize it’s upside down, and smirks a bit. Then, as he reads it, he does his best to keep from laughing: “…TAKE…THAT NEGLIGEE OFF!”
Colin, taking it off: “I guess you’re right…it might not handle the stresses of space travel”
Ryan: “The G-force’ll rip it right off ya.”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 3.03.42 PM.png
“…oh…”
Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 3.04.03 PM.png

[ABSOLUTELY GONE LAUGHING. Just the littlest detail, and I’m gone.]

The game ends on a weaker line (“my arms are long and they’re ready to flap”), but it’s still a fantastic scene, one that definitely belonged in the original episode, and one that expounded on the Colin-Ryan combo more than some of the other Whose Line playings this season.

Newsflash: Newsflash – Colin and Josie are the anchors; Ryan is in the field in front of apes
From: E3

Finally some episode variety

I was never a huge fan of Ryan as a Newsflash anchor, but he does very well here, taking a more balanced, intrigued perspective on the apes in the background.

Ryan says he really doesn’t know how to get through to them, “it reminds me of ’65, when I spent all those years in that hole in ‘Nam!”

Colin: “How did all of this begin?”
Ryan, caught off-guard but soldiering on: “Someone, uh someone took someone’s else’s cab!”

There’s a moment where Josie misdirects Ryan by mentioning honey, making him think bears, but Colin thankfully gets him on the right track by mentioning bananas.

As Clive motions for him to guess, Ryan points to his imaginary mic and asks “can I put this down?”

Superheroes: People all over the world are losing their hair
Greg: Beautiful Martini Man
Ryan: Self-Amusement Boy
Steve: Abusive Boy
Colin: No Need To Help Leave Straight Away Man

Audience member: “Beautiful Martini man!”
Clive: “Beauti-…eeerrnngh-”
Greg: “I LIKE THAT!”
Clive gives him Boomerang Man anyway

Greg does the craftiest thing: he throws a boomerang, catches it, sees what he’s accumulated, and goes “…wow, you’re actually Beautiful Martini man”
He smiles, as the audience cheers him on

Greg, giving the obvious joke: “MY GOD, THERE’S HAIR LOSS ALL OVER THE WORLD! [gasp] Look…at…Clive…Anderson’s head!”
Clive:
Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 3.16.07 PM.png
Greg, as the camera holds on this: “IT’S LIKE CONTINENTAL DRIFT! All the hair’s going AWAY!”

Ryan’s little laughing wiggle every time he has a joke is fantastic.

Steve, thankfully taking the jovial approach, starts batting around everyone onstage.

Colin, entering: “SORRY I’M LATE, I just lost my afro!”
Steve: “Thank god you’re here…no need to help, leave straight away man.”
Colin, slightly hurt by that but not resisting the break, leaves. Steve gives a thumbs-up

Unfortunately, the scene cuts right before there’s a resolution, which must not have been airable, or maybe Greg threw in one more Clive slam. But it was a nice enough game to that point.

Greatest Hits: Ryan and Colin present Songs of Unattractive Men, sung by Josie
From: E10

As Clive announces this one will be ‘Songs of Unattractive Men’, Josie immediately looks right at Richard Vranch. For some reason, we don’t see/hear a reaction for this. I’m not wild about that.

The two tactics:
Ryan: “Hi! In your 30s and ready to pretty much give up on life?”
Colin: “Hey, you ugly?”
Ryan: “Are you a man?”
Colin: “…HEY, YOU UGLY?”

Josie’s country western song is cute, but short. She’s nice enough to add, as the song’s about ‘I’d rather sleep with my horse’, an addendum of ‘he’s hung better, too…”

Colin, tempting the hand that feeds him: “But there’s not just ugly people in North America! British people have their share too.”

For the first time, Whose Line does a britpop number, in the height of Oasis-mania. Richard even gets a faux-asis sort of riff, as Josie messes up her hair.

Josie’s song is very brit-pop, in the best way possible. It’s a very sweet, semi-angsty number that ends with an amazing rhyme with ‘beautiful’ (“and you always bite your nails right down to the cuticle”.)

Ryan gets a huge laugh with his name for Josie’s Heavy Metal number: “If I had a penis, I wouldn’t need you!”
Josie and Richard spend about 5 seconds waiting for the audience, and Clive, to stop laughing before they get into it. Josie’s kind of in awe of it all, too.

Like with S1, this Heavy Metal number sounds more like Led Zeppelin than Heavy Metal did in 1996. Still welcome, though, because Josie is up for the challenge. She absolutely rocks this song, even SNARLING that last line, as the audience goes WILD for her.

Greatest Hits is the kind of game where, in this era, every song title seemed like more of a challenge for Josie, and that last one was definitely a ‘your move’ sort of gesture from Josie, proving that whatever they could serve up, she’d excel at. Unfortunately, we’d only get to see her on Whose Line a few more times (why the producers decided this I’ll never know).

Overall:
Best Performer: Colin Mochrie. He already won this series, and in tonight’s games he edged out everyone else in just being funnier in more games. Niall, Ryan and Greg all came close.
Worst Performer: Statistically, Steve Frost had the least number of games where he excelled, so I’m sadly gonna have to go with him.
Best Game: All three games in contention for this were from E10- Sound Effects, Whose Line and Greatest Hits. Whose Line gets the edge though, as it definitely should have been in that taping, and was a great use of the Colin-Ryan dynamic, no matter how silly it got. And…that 3 second Colin aside was MASTERFUL.
Worst Game: Fixed Expressions. Post-conceptual reveal, it was lifeless.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E12, or First, Let me Conserve My Strength!

The last non-compilation episode of Series 8, this one is essentially the scraps of Episode 3, itself already a pretty great one. However, since Episode 6 has ended, we’ve been in a very mediocre rut in this series…perhaps due to the absence of Caroline Quentin, who’s here tonight alongside Josie Lawrence for her last full appearance. I really wish Caroline hadn’t have left so soon, as she was quickly becoming one of the standout female talents of the show.

Questions Only: in a lingerie shop

Ryan’s cracking up as he heads to the step. I don’t know why. I don’t think he does.

Colin: “would you like something sexy?”
Caroline: “…would I like you to show me something sexy?”
Colin: “…d’you want me to put it on?”
Oh, Colin. This is why he’s been ruling this series.
and Caroline: “wouldn’t anybody?”

Ryan: “D’you think I’d look good in this?”
Colin: “Would you like it in an extra large?”
Ryan: “d’you think I have the legs for it?”
Colin takes a moment to embrace that visual, cracks, and exits

Josie: “What size is [your wife?]
Ryan: “Doooes 36 sound too big?”
Josie: “…THAT’S A SIZE???”
Good to see she’s improved at this game. Of course, right after this, she hesitates and is buzzed out.

Ryan, as Colin reenters, does the whole ‘back again’ thing, which Colin’s confused by
Ryan: “Weren’t you just in here 10 minutes ago?”
Colin, pinpointing it: “Don’t you know my brother?”

After a few digressions, Colin reenters as Caroline’s onstage
Caroline, harkening back to the top of the game: “Why did you ever leave me?”
Colin, crossing like he’s in a Soap Opera: “…can’t you see that our love can never be?”
Caroline: “…AAH!”
BUZZ
Ryan, entering: “I’m sorry, what did you say?”
Colin: “…can’t you see our love can never be?”
Ryan: “You’re in love with me?”
Colin: “Isn’t it obvious?”
Ryan: “…pffff.”
BUZZ

Caroline, entering with Colin for the third time: “WHY ARE YOU TWO-TIMING ME?”
Colin, completely fried: “…….”
BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ

A shockingly well-formed Questions Only game with some great continuity throughout, even though Josie got lost easily (as she does)

Film & Theatre Styles: Ryan and Colin (on an air-sea rescue mission)

Audience member: “FREE WILLY!”
Clive, being Clive: “I’M SORRY? I’ll just adjust myself before we carry on…”
Caroline, in the background, checks her watch, not believing this crap
Clive: “heh…FREE WILLY…”
Caroline: “have we time?”

Colin and Ryan begin the scene by jumpstarting a catchphrase they’d use frequently in another game:
Ryan: “Look, this may be a mission that one of us doesn’t come back from, Brad…”
Colin: “…I hope it’s you.”

Ryan: “I didn’t want to tell you this, but one of those people on that yacht that sank? Your wife.”
Colin: “My god. I, uh, guess we should save her anyway.”
AND WE’RE OFF. Just already, pre-styles, these two are already in peak form

Ryan and Colin doing Tom and Jerry slapstick is hella amusing, as their little facial expressions already match the two characters perfectly.

Free Willy:
Ryan: “What’s that down below us?”
Colin: “It’s my wife, on Willy.”
Ryan: “I’ll lower myself down onto the…wife AND Willy…and grab the Willy wife!”

Clive: “Biblical epic!”
Ryan, as this surprisingly fits: “…I’M INSIDE THE WHALE! AND LO, I SEE A SMALL BOY MADE OF WOOD.”
At this point, Colin, out of character, gives him a look for this reference, but Ryan exchanges this with a look that says ‘no, stick with me, I’ve got this’.
Colin: “LO, HIS COMING HAS BEEN TOLD?”
Ryan, barely in character: “…REALLY?”

Film Noir, Ryan presents the wife’s dead body, then starts smoking. Beautiful.
Colin: “I couldn’t help but notice the knife sticking out of her back.”
Ryan: “…that was one mean whale.”

Clive buzzes in: “Horror.”
Ryan has a brief 2 seconds where he figures out exactly what he’s going to do, as he knows the scene should have ended on that last line. So he decides to bomb the scene.
Ryan, interpreting the suggestion: “She was nothing but a cheap tramp! She’d sleep with he….[to Clive] HORROR? Oh.”
The audience IMMEDIATELY GETS THIS, AND GIVES HIM A HUGE REACTION. Clive has no choice but to end the scene.

A very complex, well-thought out, and very funny F&TS, even if it was a bit dry in the middle.

Foreign Film Dub – Josie and Caroline act out the Russian film “Godzilla Eats the Dust;” Ryan and Colin translate.

There hasn’t been a great run of this game lately, so hopefully they’ll change that here

Noting the title, Colin’s first line is “is it me, or is it really dusty in here?”
Caroline already cracks a smile at this

Ryan is taking the Steve Frost strategy of just taking a long sentence from someone and translating it as something simple. Josie has a strong declaration that, according to Ryan, means “…isn’t that Jerry?”
Caroline: [long, emotional sentence burrowing into Josie’s arms]
Colin: “…I think it is!”

Josie, in the entrance of the large lizard, takes out a gun and does a ‘POOF-A-POOF!” noise
Ryan: “Stand back, I will light this cigarette and have a puff, puff.”

Josie then clutches her back, and mutters something under her breath
Ryan, being Ryan: “…my god, the baby is coming!”

This one goes off the rails kind of quickly, but Josie and Caroline do throw in a ‘NICOLE!’ ‘PAPA!’ reference to cap it off.

Props: Ryan and Caroline vs. Josie and Colin

Ryan: “Congratulations, you’re the mother of a bouncing baby boy!”
[Ryan bounces the prop]

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 11.57.12 PM.pngColin: “DON’T PANIC, WE’LL GET YOU OUT OF THE QUICKSAND!”

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 11.57.57 PM.png

Ryan: “Not only is this chicken done, but I think it’s a communist!”

Caroline swings the prop around to her backside, and can’t even keep herself composed, saying “…I’ve got murder with these piles…”

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 11.59.12 PM.pngColin: “Yeah, right, we SHOULDN’T pee in the cold.”

A much better, and much more original, Props round than we’ve been getting.

Sound Effects: Colin is a surgeon doing an operation; Ryan provides sound effects.

Literally the first moment of the scene is Colin stepping in something. Unbelievable.

There’s also a great moment where Colin turns on the faucet…then forgets to turn it off. Once he does, Ryan keeps turning it on again.

Ryan does his usual ‘wrong scalpel end’ joke with Colin, though it works here because it’s just done in Sound Effects

Very, very odd round- it’s awfully morbid, and it ends with Colin pulling a still-alive cat out of the body, which is…very weird. The game still works pretty well, though

Press Conference: Josie, Colin, and Ryan interview Caroline, who has given birth to an alien.

Ryan: “How long did this whole process take?”
Caroline: Seven hours.”

Colin asks if there were any unusual tools being used
Caroline: “Well, you say unusual, for me they were the only thing TO use. Uh, a thimble. Um…a stepladder-”
The audience LOSES IT over this one

Ryan, with the giveaway: “Did it come out easy, or was it a Klingon?”

Caroline guesses it after one extra Josie question, and she does a really nice job of carrying the game, but overall this one was kind of thin.

Dead Bodies – Ryan and Josie play a couple on the first night of their honeymoon; Caroline is an ex-lover confronting them; Colin moves them.

One thing I have noticed here: there were playings of this game during 8×01, 8×02 AND 8×03’s tapings. If they were, in fact, recorded in order, one might surmise that the health and safety people caught on, especially as this particular round is dubbed Fainting Bodies, and due to that they didn’t play it as much during the other 6 tapings.

Right as they walk up, Caroline and Ryan exchange a word or two, possibly about the game, which has them cracking up.

Colin gets the first laugh out of Ryan by running Josie’s hand up and down Ryan’s crotch area.  Then Colin has Ryan start rubbing his chest. The whole time he’s just got this grin frozen expression, trying not to react. Colin’s making inhuman howling noises and everything, and Ryan’s holding it together.

Colin, as Josie, her hair completely over her eyes: “…KISS ME YOU FOOL!”
Caroline, waiting on the side, just BURSTS INTO MANIACAL LAUGHTER.

Caroline enters, and without saying a word, faints to the floor. Possibly because the censors wanted it that way.
Colin, as Josie: ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”
Colin, as Caroline: “I JUST THOUGHT I’D DROP IN!”
Caroline stifles a chuckle as Colin heads over to Ryan

For about 30 seconds, Colin does most of the work with Josie and Caroline slumped onto the floor. Then, he sits Caroline up and gets her to start whacking Ryan on the leg repeatedly. After which, he runs over to Ryan and has him give a belated, high pitched, “…OW, OW!”. Ryan cracks at this.

Colin, as Josie: “I WANT YOU OUT! I’LL REMOVE YOU BY BODILY FORCE IF I HAVE TO!”
Then, Colin attempts picking Josie up to stand, which doesn’t work entirely as well as he thought. He just ends up sitting her back down.
Colin, as Josie: “….FIRST LET ME CONSERVE MY STRENGTH.”

There’s an underrated moment where, after Colin controls Ryan in having him angrily berate Caroline and tell her to get out, he sits down on the vacant second stool, and takes a breather for 2 seconds, before moving back to Caroline. It’s a small moment, but it makes me laugh every time.

Colin, as Caroline: “BUT THERE’S ONE THING YOU SHOULD KNOW!”
Colin goes over, raises up Josie, whose hair is still askew, and sits her up, just to have her go “….yeah?”
Colin, back to Caroline, realizing the confusingness as he goes along: “HE WAS MAKING LOVE TO ME THROUGHOUT YOUR ENTIRE…WEDDING CEREMONY.”
Then, before anyone has time to get confused, he moves to Josie, on the floor still, and has her say ‘…WHAT?’. And then he moves to Ryan and he says the same thing, “WHAT?”

Colin, as Caroline [who’s trying to keep from laughing]: “You heard me! AND I’M CARRYING HIS CHILD!”
Colin, moving back to Ryan: “….OHHHHH NOOOOO!”
BUZZZZ

An absolute triumph. Possibly better than E1’s classic one. Colin had some of the goofiest moments here, complete with his 2 second mental lapse. Josie and Caroline had a ton of fun, and Ryan tried his damnedest to keep from laughing. So much was hysterical.

Greatest Hits: Ryan and Colin present Songs of the Bathroom; Josie sings

Clive: “It’s Hits of the Bathroom. That’s bathroom in the british sense, not in the American sense of…where you go and do what you do in the American sense…”
Ryan and Colin both give him a weird look
Clive: “…YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!”
Colin, muttering: “no, not really…”

Josie’s ‘Use the towel marked His’ song is…well, it’s a classic. She nails the rock opera style, and she has some really great lyrics, keeping in mind the more lowbrow conceptions of the theme. She knocks it out of the park there.

Ryan: “That really takes me back to my childhood.”
Colin: “It certainly does…take me back to your childhood.”

Josie, with the 50s number, keeps the incredibly happy, loving tone of the song and juxtaposes the dirtier lyrics, i.e. “you went into every little crack, didn’t you John?” Still a pretty nice one, as she’s been energetic as hell this game.

Ryan’s title for the protest song, “I’m so small cause you used all the hot water”, cracks up the audience AND Josie.

Josie, smartly, turns it into a Peter Paul and Mary anthem: “Where has all the hot water gone…”

Josie’s number is very sweet, and very well handled, but Clive, for some reason, is laughing throughout the entire thing.

A pretty solid round of this, even if the focus was less on the Colin-Ryan banter and more on the Josie songs, which is great because that was the point of this game during this era.

Overall: Just as good as its original episode, as all four contributed some nice stuff, and there were some truly funny games abound, especially Questions Only, Film and Theatre Styles and Dead Bodies. Unlike E3, which was more balanced, this episode was clearly more built around Ryan and Colin, as they were in every game tonight, and had more showcase rounds than Josie and Caroline did. Which isn’t a bad thing, as Ryan and Colin were both very funny tonight. They weren’t necessarily overexposed, but I would have liked to see a bit more Josie and Caroline, especially considering that Caroline was carrying games like a champ tonight, even if Josie is still adjusting to the newer games and brand of comedy that Ryan and Colin were marketing (literally). A nice enough episode, even if it was a bit flawed.

Show Winners: Josie and Caroline
Best Performer: Ryan Stiles, with a slight edge over Colin for doing a bit more lifting in games where he wasn’t the center.
Worst Performer: Josie Lawrence, not that she was bad at all tonight, just that she had a few more moments of being human than the other three.
Best Game: Dead Bodies. By far.
Worst Game: Foreign Film Dub. Again, this game just did not work for me. I don’t know if it’s me or the game.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E11, or UNCLE BILL?

We’ve reached the ‘rehashing’ portion of this series, where now we feature two more episodes cobbled together from leftover material from a specific taping. This one would leaf from E2, the Rory Bremner show, which was a pretty nice one if memory serves, and featured the immortal ‘Look…why don’t we all just have one big kiss’ Dead Bodies.

So yeah, it’s Greg, Rory, Ryan and Colin, which means this should work pretty well, unless they truly are leftovers.

You can already tell that Clive’s intros are a bit rushed, as if he’s had to do them again WAY AFTER THE TAPING HAS FINISHED. He just seems out of it. Also evident: when he announces Greg, pre-joke, Greg is already doing this:
Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 6.17.31 PM.png
It doesn’t feel like he’s just easing into his comic sensibilities- it feels like this is the tail end of them, and he’s very tired after a long taping and wants to go home and not do anymore bloody pickups.

Ryan too is hunched over, giving Clive a look, and just wanting to go home. So, interesting that we’re literally starting with the end tonight, unless I’m very mistaken and this ISN’T, in fact, a pickup.

Questions Only: Right before a prison breakout

Yeah, and when they cut back to Clive, pre-game, he looks rejuvenated, and the top-of-the-taping energy seems to returned, so my theory that the intro was a late-taping pickup still stands.

Clive, after describing the game: “Sounds easy to do, but  often it goes wrong-”
Greg starts cackling at this

Ryan: “Have you finished the tunnel?”
Colin: “…THE ONE THAT GOES UNDER THE WALL?”
Ryan: “Weren’t you in charge???”
Colin, very weakly: “…no…”
BUZZ

After Rory fails to ask a question, Colin returns
Ryan: “Where the hell have you been?”
Colin: “How’d you know it was me in my disguise?”
Ryan, forgetting which game this is: “NIIIICE MASK!”
BUZZ

I do love how coherent of a scene this ends up being, where Colin, as the warden, asks if he can join into the breakout
Greg: “Can we stay at your summer home?”
Colin: “…the one in Miami?”
Somehow, Clive buzzes this one out, but it’s such a great comedy detail. Because OF COURSE a prison warden would just have a summer home in Miami.

After Rory stumps Greg with a good one, Ryan comes back out: “…who’s your favorite guard dog?”
Rory:
Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 6.26.14 PM.png
BUZZZZZ

An improvement on most of the more recent Questions Only games, solely because this one tries to bridge a coherent story, with real recurring characters and relationships, and it just so happens to be a Questions Only game.

Film & Theatre Styles: Greg and Ryan (two high-tech scientists on the rim of a volcano)

…but wouldn’t it be cool to see the Colin & Rory game? Battle of the Scotsmen who do voices?

A very gruff man behind Clive: “Tourist Infuhmation Video!”
Clive, doing an impression of him: “…Tourist INFUHMATION VIDEO.’ You do the voice for it, don’t you? I think it’s Kent you do, right?”

Ryan, being himself: “…that’s one big hole.”
Greg: “Hang on, let me check my high-tech device- NINININININI- you’re right, it’s huge!”

Then Ryan uses one of HIS high-tech devices.
Greg: “I didn’t know you brought the-”
Ryan: [uses the device to light a cigarette]
Greg: “….the cigarette-o-tron?”

Tourist Information Video:
Ryan: “And if you can’t afford to be here, why not visit the lovely town of Bath?”

The Dracula style is great- Greg is doing a goofy Peter Lorre-esque accent, and lunging at Ryan’s neck whenever he looks away from him. It’s just silly enough, AND IT KEEPS THE PLOT GOING

The FUNNIEST PART is that Greg can’t reach Ryan’s neck, because Ryan is 6’6, so by the time Clive buzzes, Greg is LITERALLY HOPPING to reach Ryan’s neck.

Clive: “Woody Allen”
Greg, as Woody, right to the camera: “Perfect…stuck on a Volcano with a fetishist.”
PERFECT

Airline Safety Video
Ryan, to Greg: “I just want you to know, that…if this thing blows…and we don’t make it out of here…there’s two exits at the front, and rear…”

Clive: “…but, perversely. Colin wins that one and he wasn’t even in it.”
Colin looks shocked, and Ryan nonchalantly pats him on the back

This was a pretty nice F&TS game, one of the more subtle ones we’ve had since S2 or S3. And yes, it helps that Ryan and Greg are great scene partners.

News Report: The Princess and the Frog: Greg and Colin in the studio, Rory and Ryan in the field.

Oh, how I missed this game. I know it’s gonna be phased out soon in favor of Daytime Talk Show, but…there’s just something so hysterical about this game whenever they play it.

This week’s ‘What are they doing when the music kicks in?”: Greg is seductively kissing Colin’s fingers, until Colin, with his elbow, nudges Greg.

Greg: “Good evening, I’m Salty Basket”
Colin: “…And I’m Hoss Cartwright”
Greg, smirking: “No relation…”
Clive is laughing at this through Greg’s next line of dialogue

Greg: “The princess found a frog, she went to kiss it, and then something happened? Hoss?”
Colin, going literally: “…That’s right, a very long tongue went down her throat!”

Greg is nice enough to prompt Rory to do his Des Lynam impression, which, of course, is one of Rory’s strengths, leading him to take the reins of the field interview with frog breeder Ryan.

Ryan: “This is an especially interesting frog, usually when a princess kisses a frog, it turns into a prince. This one turned into The Frog Formerly Known as Prince.”
HA. Old joke, but Ryan sells it. He’s turning, smirking to Greg and Colin, as if to say ‘see if you can top that’

There’s a lot of smaller jokes here and there: Colin mentions that said princess had to try a lot of different animals, having the most trouble with a hedgehog; Rory asking Ryan, the princess, if he can call her Diana; Ryan saying he tried a lot of other frogs, but “they all croaked”.

Colin does save the scene before it ends, as while Greg tries to wrap up, Colin exclaims “My thing’s gone right into my ear! RIGHT IN! Like, I can’t get it out!”

Noticeably weaker in comparison to other News Reports (like the Little Bo Peep one, and the Three Little Pigs one, and ESPECIALLY the delightfully raunchy Adam and Eve one), but still pretty good, especially considering that everyone had something fun to do, and had a good line here or there, even if this, as usual, was Greg’s game to proctor.

Picture: All four 

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 8.07.59 PM.png

Ryan: “Heyyyy, who’s the boy in the leather pants? I don’t believe we’ve met?”
Rory: “Is that your dog? I had 5 fingers when I came in here…”

Ryan: “Say, you’re not German, are ya?”
Rory: “…what’s it to you?”
Ryan: “….well, if not, I’d say those leather pants are awful weird…”

[Halfway through the scene and Colin hasn’t said a line yet]

FINALLY:
Colin: “I’ll take it, we just came in for the siamese twin special…”

Ryan [to Greg]: “And tell those people behind ya to stop staring…”
Colin: “WE’RE NOT FREAKS!”

Rory challenges everyone to arm-wrestling, “my side of the table!”
Greg: “….alright, I’ll be right over…..but first, let me serve this drink!”

A bit ho-hum after a while, but definitely had its moments.

Stand Sit Bend: Ryan, Colin, and Greg are in a Wild West saloon.

Ryan begins the scene by playing the piano. Greg, leaning, jumps around happily.

Ryan sets the first domino off by getting up, and Colin and Greg have to fight to see who gets the chair. Colin wins, and Greg takes a few seconds to realize he should be leaning.

Colin, after Ryan asks who he is: “I’M…Black Bob Boomby”
Greg, kneeling and pointing: “That’s right, he is!”

Greg, rising: “I DON’T THINK YOU’RE SO TOUGH!”
Ryan, sitting back down and playing piano: “DING-DING-DING-YOU-AIN’T-SO-TOUGH-”
Colin: “SHUT UP!”
Rory, in the background, loses it

Then, Colin sits down…while Ryan’s also sitting down. Here, I can only describe what happens next as a melee, as all three literally start hedging up and down like a game of whack-a-mole in an effort to fulfill the scene title. Eventually Ryan takes a lean as Greg stands up to Colin, barely keeping composure.

Ryan, in an effort to screw the other two over, starts leaning and standing all over, yelling “HEY, THERE’S GONNA BE A GUNFIGHT”

Then, as Colin makes Ryan sit down, he returns to his piano, going “GONNA-BE-A-GUNFIGHT-DING-DING-DING”
Colin: “…you’re probably in a bad place for a gunfight”

As Greg and Colin face off, and Ryan leans in the background, he stands and goes “Wait…I can’t let this continue.”
Then…everyone realizes that nobody’s sitting down. And they all scramble. Ryan makes his way back to the piano, going “Matter of fact, why can’t I sing ya a little song? I CAN’T LET THIS CONTINUE, DING-DA-DING DING…”

The game does go on for a beat more than it should, but the extra beat does allow for a few more moments where Greg and Colin fight for a position.

One of the best rounds of this we’ve had in a while, with so many funny back-and-forth moments between the three, which was welcome on a show like this.

Props: Ryan and Colin vs. Rory and Greg

There’s not a hell of a lot here, but there’s one good runner: Rory and Greg have two flying saucers land next to each other, then Greg comes up as an alien with the two props as his eyes. After Clive buzzes over, you can here him go “perhaps you’ve seen my craft!”

Ryan and Colin had the better ideas: Rory barely had any himself, and he mostly just laughed at Greg’s suggestions

Newsflash: Ryan and Colin in the studio, Greg in the field in front of penguins in the arctic

There’s a very awkward cut to Greg right as Ryan introduces himself, and they stay with Greg even as Colin and Ryan finish their intro

This is, admittedly, a very early version of this game, and Greg was the wrong choice, as he plays his befuddled reporter role a bit too broad, without giving the others time to give him hints.

Greg does guess it correctly, but this is still a very inefficient round of this game.

 

Superheroes: Shortage of Paint
Greg: Impotence Boy
Ryan: Huge Gesture Boy
Colin: Cramp Boy
Rory: Scottish Weatherman

The audience gets a nice reaction out of the ‘Impotence Boy’ suggestion.
Clive: “It’s strange, as we actually have a close friend of Greg’s in tonight, to…”
Greg is unamused by this, but eventually plays along, squinting to see who made that suggestion
Greg, finally: “…UNCLE BILL?”

Clive, getting the crisis: “Shortage of Paint? YOU’RE STRANGE…”

Greg: “Oh my goodness, there’s a shortage of paint, I….oh no…thought I almost achieved one…”
Annnnd already the audience is back on his side

Ryan: “I’m sorry I’m late, I didn’t think I’d be able to come…well, you must know all about that…”
Greg, as the audience laughs at this for 5 seconds, removes his glasses
Greg: “…you know, they say talking about it helps, but it hasn’t so far…”

Colin, of all people, hammers the runner home: “Sorry I’m late, I was just having sex constantly [stops, looks at Greg] SORRY…”

Rory makes the mistake of coming onstage with glasses, and an accent. Colin has no choice but to play directly into his hand
Colin: “Thank God you’re here….Scottish…weatherman…”

Rory says that the forecast brings a lot of blue…which Ryan hammers home as ‘ALL THE PAINT’S BACK’. It’s a very weak solution, but it’s fine seeing as Rory’s not used to this game.

Greg, after everyone’s gone: “I hope they come again, I know I can’t!”
BUZZZZZ

A damn-near classic round, marred only by Rory’s inexperience. The Ryan-Colin-Greg stuff was unbelievable, especially in response to his superhero name.

Animals: Greg and Colin are at home, Ryan comes in later. All three are cats.

The main thing about this game is that the physicality is definitely there. All three definitely have the cat motions down pat.

Greg is the one to eventually take the obvious line “that’s why you get so much pussy”

Not a lot to this one, other than the twist ending where Colin’s really a dog.

Hats: Dating Service Videos

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 9.38.09 PM.pngGreg: “Hi, Honey! D’you-”
Greg didn’t expect the audience to laugh at this part, so he just patiently waits for the laughter to die down before getting to his actual punchline:
Greg: “…do you enjoy long walks in the garden followed by a frenzied run into the house?”

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 9.40.40 PM.pngColin: “You know…being a pimp, it’s very hard to meet girls…”

Greg stays up for a long time with a fuzzy piece over his crotch, saying “I’m very sensitive, I like to cuddle…I don’t like the rain much”
Clive: “It’s as if Chris Evans were in the room…”

Overall: This show had some definite highs, and a nice amount of fun games, but there were also several moments where the show didn’t feel fully realized, and some elements were pulling them backwards, especially in games like Newsflash, Animals and Props. I’d like to give this one a higher rating, especially for games like Questions Only, Superheroes, and ESPECIALLY Stand Sit Bend, but the general momentum, and some of Rory’s inconsistency, weigh this one down a bit. Good news is Greg Proops was in a fantastic mood tonight, carrying most of the games; Ryan also had more on moments than usual for this series, and Colin, while quieter, had a good enough show. It’s just Rory’s non-improv background that holds him back in a lot of ways on this show.

Show Winners: Ryan and Greg
Best Performer: Greg, for carrying games with gusto and ease
Worst Performer: Rory, for still showing some learning curve after 8 years on the program
Best Game: Stand Sit Lie, for being so quick and funny from all three
Worst Game: Props was just really weak tonight

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E10, or IT SMELLS LIKE BERNARD!

After a hiatus, here’s the last episode of S8 in regulation, before repeat tapings and compilations. Here, we have the combination of Steve Frost and Josie Lawrence, sure to be a nice one, alongside Colin and Ryan.

Questions Only: Red Alert on a Space Station

Ryan has a great faux pas to start the game. He goes over to his usual right-side step, only to realize that they want him on the other step, so he makes a big stride in the other direction, just as Steve is heading to that step. They meet in the middle, and attempt to get around each other.

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 4.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-06-21 at 4.36.50 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 4.37.17 PM.png

Ryan and Steve are still laughing as the scene gets underway

Josie, cutting off Clive still explaining: “WAS THAT THE RED ALERT -oh, sorry…”
Clive: “No, you’ve beaten ME out there…”

Ryan: “What’s with the green thing coming out of your chest?”
Colin: “Didn’t you get one?”
Ryan: “They were handing them out?”
Colin: [leaves]

Steve, pointing towards Ryan’s crotch area: “Is that a cling-on?”
[HA!]
Ryan: “…you noticed?”

This is a bit more quickfire than usual, as Josie takes a bit to figure out how to keep saying questions past her second go-around.

Ryan: “D’you miss your wife?”
Colin: “…You’ve been seeing her, haven’t you?”
Ryan: “D’you smell her cologne?”
Colin: “…was that cologne?”
Ryan: “…was it YOU?”
Colin, once again out-sillied by Ryan, leaves

Again, I feel like this round was very haphazard and not together whenever Colin and Ryan weren’t together onstage. Josie and Steve were very silly and not great at keeping the scene going, but Ryan and Colin’s scenes together were great.

Film and Theatre Styles: Josie and Ryan (telling the boyfriend that she’s pregnant)

Josie: “Been to the shops today, darling…I bought a shirt, for you, you need a new one…”
Cut to Ryan, wearing a light plaid shirt, stifling a reaction

Josie shows Ryan the little baby booties she bought. Ryan, thinking they’re for him, attempts to try them on.

Clive: “The Muppets”
Ryan, in a perfect Kermit voice: “Pink?”
Josie, doing a just as good Miss Piggy: “YES! YES! I’M GOING TO HAVE A LITTLE PIGGY-FROGGY BABY!”
Ryan: “…you mean something’s gonna come out of THERE?”

James Bond:
Ryan: “…apparently that pen could do more things than write…”

The James Bond style is pretty good, nailing the tone of the films, and the double entendres. Josie polishes it off my saying “you’re going to have a 0-0-3 and a half.”
Ryan: “…I’m shaken, but not stirred!”

Clive: “1950s Health….well…”
Josie: “HOW DID WE HAVE THIS BABY IN THE FIRST PLACE? Ryan?”
Ryan, caught off guard: “well…FIRST…I became…AROUSED.”
The audience is eating this whole part up

Then, as Ryan explains everything, Josie does little demonstrations with her hands, which the audience also loves. As Ryan explains foreplay, Josie holds up a finger and sticks out her tongue, leading Clive to mercy-kill the game.

Still a great F&TS game, as expected from these two. I do think it’s their last one together (unless there’s one coming up in a comp or in late S9), but it proves how great their scene chemistry was.

Mission Impossible: Steve instructs Ryan and Colin to clean the toilet

Finally we get a simple 2-person Mission Impossible game, with the storied Ryan-Colin combo

Steve: “Gentlemen…welcome…”
Ryan and Colin: [brief murmur]
Steve: “…I can’t hear you.”
Ryan and Colin: [louder murmur]

Steve: “Should you choose to accept it, then…you should…do it.”
Colin: “Let’s fast-forward to the good part!”
Steve: “…repete…apre moi…”
Ryan: “No, no, go back…”
[The first of many iterations of this joke]

Steve: “But, gentlemen, there’s one small catch…[the toilet]’s just been used by Bernard Manning. So it’s very, very dangerous up there. SO GOOD LUCK. THIS TAPE WILL oh, it already has…”

You can tell that, like the burnoose, Ryan and Colin don’t really know who Bernard Manning is (and yet Ryan knows who Cilla Black is???).
Colin: “I’m gonna ring up Bernard Manning on the computer.”
Ryan: “…any idea?”
Colin, purposely taking the other route: “…yeah, he was there.”
Ryan smirks, still having no idea who Bernard Manning is.

Ryan: “i’m gonna rub myself down with cooking oil….just cause it feels good…”

There’s a great moment where Colin’s furiously climbing the stairs. Ryan, not wanting to put up with this, sighs, and uses the elevator as Colin keeps heading up the stairs.

Colin uses ‘suction pads’, and gets himself “OVER THE TOILET”, which gets a nice reaction out of Clive, who was probably expecting him to clean the ‘bathroom’ rather than just the toilet.

Ryan: “I’m over the toilet.”
Colin: “Good, get the brush?”
Ryan: “….brush?”
Colin: “YOU DIDN’T BRING THE BRUSH?”
Ryan: “I thought YOU were the brush guy…”
Colin: “Alright….we’re gonna have to use your head.”
[And here begins the tradition of Ryan and Colin screwing with each other in this game]

Ryan, before he has to stick his head in the toilet bowl, looks at Colin and cracks a bit.

Ryan, with his head in the bowl: “IT SMELLS LIKE BERNARD!”
[I don’t know why, but that line has always stuck with me]

Ryan, stuck: “QUICK! PUT THE JETPACK ON!”
Colin, flying around on the jetpack: “…ON YOU OR ME?”

The first of many incredibly funny games of Mission Impossible, made great by Steve’s silliness on the tape, the back-and-forth between Ryan and Colin, and the eventual use of outlandish gadgets that would eventually become a staple of the game (see “my fax is ruined!”). Fantastic showing from all 3

Props: Colin and Ryan vs. Josie and Steve

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 5.07.06 PM.pngColin: “…boy, the house fell on a really big witch…”

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 5.08.25 PM.pngRyan: “Ah, see? Don’t tell me there’s no Loch Ness Monster…”

Josie and Steve were a lot less put together in this one, mostly because their props were worse, but also they took more time to think of some, even when the camera was back on them.

Still a nice enough Props, especially from Colin and Ryan

Foreign Film Dub – Josie and Colin act out the Spanish film “Jack and the Cucumber,” translated be Steve and Ryan.

Ryan, on Colin and Josie’s cucumber: “We shall peel it, and raise it as our own”
Josie: [in tears]
Steve: “Oh, that’s really funny!”

Ryan does another one of his trademark ‘talking for 25 minutes after Colin does only a sentence or two’ ones.

Josie: “Jack…Jack…”
Steve: “JIMMY. JIMMY.”

Very silly, but not one of the better playings of this.

Party Quirks: Steve hosts
Josie: thinks Steve is a wild horse
Colin: wins lottery then loses ticket
Ryan: goes through puberty in 15 seconds

Josie, as usual, is fantastic with this quirk, in the way she talks to Steve, and motions things. Sadly, Steve does guess this in 10 seconds, but it’s very warranted.

Colin starts energetically looking on the floor
Steve: “What, what have you lost?”
Colin: “JUST MY DREAMS! MY HOPES!”

Steve cannot for the life of him guess Colin’s, even when he’s trying his damnedest, and Clive, in the background, yells “SOUNDS LIKE…OTTERY TICKET!” His final guess is “…YOU’RE A VIETNAM VET!”

Psychiatrist: Josie
Steve: thinks he’s a peanut in France
Colin: scared of psychiatrists in Germany
Ryan: in love with as nurse in Mexico

Richard comes in with accordion music for the first one, which Steve, bringing back memories of Jim Sweeney, gives him a look for.

Steve surprisingly does well in this singing game, giving a simple but still charming enough verse about doubt, and, well, peanuts.

Josie, with the genius line: “You obviously need to come out of your shell.”

Josie ends by saying that Steve’s better than his adversaries, because “at least you are dry-roasted…”

Immediately on starting his, Colin scooches to the side of the chair, barely hanging on, frightened out of his mind.

His verse is…classic. He sings entirely in German, scared shitless, barely looking at Josie, and nearly yelling his lines. Of course, his final line, after the German, is “I’M…SCARED OF PSYCHIATRISTS.”
The whole house comes down. It’s the first time Colin would through random bilingualism into a scene

There’s a fluid motion that I have always loved this game, as Josie sings her reply verse:

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 5.26.31 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-06-21 at 5.26.39 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-06-21 at 5.26.49 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-06-21 at 5.26.56 PM.png

And then, as Josie sings closer and closer, as she does…
Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 5.27.54 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-06-21 at 5.28.01 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 5.28.21 PM

It’s so indicative of both of their acting personas- Josie is so touchy-feely, and Colin is so neurotic. It’s absolutely perfect.

Colin leaves the table with this incredible smile on his face (and possibly the weirdest boner he’s ever had), and as he turns back to Ryan and Steve, still smiling, Steve absolutely loses it.

Right as they turn Ryan’s mic back on, he’s still cracking up, probably at what Steve just said in response to Colin’s scene. Not sure what Steve said, though. I’m also 90% sure that, after Colin’s round, he knows he’s not gonna compare, so he literally gives himself the sign of the cross.

Ryan’s is pretty basic for this type of game
“She’s the kind of girl that makes people scoff
But I love it when she grabs me by the testicles and says cough”
[The audience loves this one, though]

Josie ends her verse with “and she knows where to bump her thermostat”, which makes Ryan visibly react, and has him going “OW” as he’s heading back to the seats.

Overall: Three great games and a lot of meh. Not a bad episode, but subscribes to the ‘just okay’ tone of several of this season’s episodes. Not really anyone’s fault, though in several games it seemed tough for Steve and Josie to keep up with Ryan and Colin, but it still had some great moments, especially in Film and Theatre Styles, Mission Impossible and Psychiatrist. This was very much a Ryan and Colin show, as they dominated the games, despite some occasional nice work from Steve in Mission Impossible, or Josie in Psychiatrist. Perhaps the imbalance came from Steve and Josie realizing that it wasn’t exactly their show anymore.

Show Winner: Steve and Josie
Best Performer: Colin, for having the best funny moments, as per usual this season
Worst Performer: Steve Frost, keeping his streak going from the last few episodes in terms of not-great improv moves
Best Game: Psychiatrist. Almost went with Mission Impossible, but Psychiatrist was more consistent all the way through, had all 4 in good form, and had a better ending than Mission Impossible. Plus, it had Colin’s verse, which is a classic
Worst Game: Foreign Film Dub. Not enough to it.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S08E09, or Isn’t My Face the Picture of Innocence?

I’ll give the producers credit- they did try and make more unusual pairings this season to combat Ryan and Colin. We’ve already had stuff like Caroline & Steve, Greg and Ardal O’Hanlon, and Greg and Rory. Tonight, we see Steve Frost and Niall Ashdown, two Brits that sort of complement each other in humor. This is Niall’s last appearance, which is a shame, as, like Caroline, they should have taken a chance on him in S9.

Clive introduces Niall as “someone who was such a big hit after his first time out, and so we’ve rushed him back, only a year later”, which leads me to believe that this one was filmed before E5. Chronologically, this would explain why this ep’s 3-person Mission Impossible came before the first 2-person one.

An interesting note- Niall and Steve are wearing green and pink shirts respectively, while Colin and Ryan wear yellow and red shirts, albeit under jackets. We’d have to wait until S9 to get a fully colorful show in terms of outfits.

Questions Only: In a Scout Camp

Niall and Ryan’s round is great, because Niall is coming at Ryan being all serious, and Ryan is deflecting everything by being stupid and/or overly nice (“ARE YOU JOHNNY MILLER?”) Niall, not even coming close to winning this one, leaves.

Ryan: “Is it apparent that this is my first trip?”
Colin: “What d’you mean?”
[Colin is so quick on this that by the time the camera cuts to  him he’s done saying this]
Ryan: [leaves]

Steve: “D’you know how to put up a tent?”
Colin, his old standby: “Is the Pope Catholic?”
Steve, trying to one-up him: “…does a bear shit in the woods?”
Colin: “Can you get a badge for that?”

Steve: “How old are you?”
Colin: “…is 4 the right answer?”

Colin, poking a fire-pit: “Would you like to hear a scary story?”
Ryan: “d’you know you’re on fire?”
Colin: [jumps back]

Ryan: “Don’t you look guilty?”
Colin: “Isn’t my face the picture of innocence?”
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.44.43 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.45.08 PM.png

A quick, and pretty fun Questions Only round. Nice amount of momentum to start the show with.

Film and Theatre Styles: Ryan and Colin (missing goldfish owner and suspected thief)

Clive has fun this week with audience suggestions, ridiculing the section behind him, or ‘The Silent Ones’, for not shouting anything, and getting scared half to death by someone loud from afar.

Ryan, of course, begins the scene by miming something in his mouth. So reliable.

Colin: “OPEN UP!”
Ryan gives him the goldfish back
Colin: “…I see the cat in there too”
Ryan hands him the cat
Colin: “…that’s not mine!”

Colin’s little Muttley laughing makes the American sitcom bit, substituting canned laughter for just looking at the audience and grinning like an idiot.

The Addams Family:
Ryan: [Lurch noise]
Colin: “…see what happens when you eat goldfish?”

Ryan, in trying to talk to Colin, snakes his hand out of his jacket, like Thing
Colin, knowingly: “What’s that Thing?”
Ryan: [smirk]

X-Files style features a great David Duchovny impression from Ryan, inspecting the hand.
Ryan: “Look at this side: ‘made in Uranus’
BUZZ

Runaway Train
Colin: “Oh my god, we’re heading for a mountain!”
Ryan: “Oh my GOD, can anything save us from this?”
Colin: “…well, there’s a tunnel, that should help…”
That is a perfect ending line, but Clive doesn’t take it, as once the audience dies down, Ryan and Colin are still rocking back and forth in a scene that should have ended at that line. So, Ryan does the next best thing and does the buzzer noise himself. Clive has no choice but to end the game.

A pretty fun, if strange, F&TS game. It did feel more broad than some of the ones from last show.

Song Styles: Niall sings a love song to Catherine the secretary 

Catherine is initially very shy and bashful about the whole thing, but once Niall starts the scene with a little point toward her, I imagine she’s fine

Niall has some pretty basic lyrics here, but the passion and musicality he puts into this one is impressive, and is another great song of his.

Eventually he does get to the raunchier stuff
“I wanna do it to you, again and again
Come on and squeeze all the ink out of my fountain pen!”
Catherine, immediately:
Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 6.06.28 PM.png

A very nicely done song by Niall, possibly his last one that made air.

Number of Words: surgery
Ryan: the surgeon: 1 word
Niall: his assistant, 3 words
Steve: a nurse, 5 words
Colin: the patient, 2 words

Ryan: “scalpel”
Niall: “there you go”
Ryan: “…TURN…”
Nobody caught this, but Niall removes the scalpel from Ryan’s hand. It’s a nice joke. The distraction is Colin arriving late for the surgery, which gets a nice reaction.

Immediately, you can see Steve’s difficulty with this game, as he’s forced to count on his fingers behind his back (“YES, I BROUGHT IT….MYSELF.”)

Niall: “Are you ill?”
Steve: “NO…I’m just a little…”
And then, without a word, Steve just bobs his head back and forth in a silly way.
Ryan: “Inebriated?”
Steve: “Yes! You’ve seen through it.”

Steve, with the anesthetic: “I’m just going…to do…”
Ryan: “HURRY!”
Niall: “Just count to ten!”
Colin: “One, two-” [slumps over]

Steve: “Are you sure you’re…doing…?”
Niall: “….it properly? Yes!”
Ryan: “YES!”

This scene does get very silly quickly as Ryan grabs Colin’s heart, then keeps grabbing more hearts out of him as Colin watches. “TWO!” “THREE!” Like a bizarre episode of Sesame Street

Colin gets up, healed
Steve: “…THAT WILL BE FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS PLEASE.”
Colin, fainting again: ‘oh shit…’
BUZZ

As the four head back to their seats, they’re all counting on their fingers to see if Steve’s line made sense. Ryan, with his fingers, shows Steve how far off he was, at the seats- “THAT. WILL. BE. FIVE. HUNDRED. POUNDS. PLEASE.” Steve cracks at this.

An incredibly silly, yet effectively funny game. Steve’s ineptitude at this didn’t hinder the game; if anything, it made it funnier.

Props: Ryan and Colin vs. Steve and Niall

Colin sarcastically races up to retrieve the prop, perhaps in response to someone telling him to be happier in a pickup.

Colin doesn’t seem to be loving this round. After a few seconds with Ryan on the ‘see-saw’, he’s already glancing at Clive, in a ‘BUZZ ALREADY’ type of way.

Steve and Niall’s are fairly normal suggestions, but it’s the zeal and energy that they put into them that makes them stand out.

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 6.22.26 PM.pngNiall: “See, I told you I was a real redhead…”
Steve has a similar reaction here to Caroline’s ‘doing me own drippings’ line.

A low-key props, but not without that huge Niall joke

Sound Effects: Colin is a cowboy. Ryan does sound effects.

Colin starts out walking, without many sounds. He looks at Ryan confused. Ryan eventually comes in with the ‘KUH-CHINCK’. Colin nods.

Lots of amusing Colin moves here. Colin walks into a saloon, whose doors make noise…he then greases them until they don’t. He goes in, where there’s a piano player…which he shoots, immediately.

Lots of ‘KUH-CHINCK’ in this game, but eventually Colin gets into duel stance and grabs his guns…before frantically pulling his belt back up. Classic.

A characteristically goofy SFX, starting the trend that Colin will just start killing people, or being violent, for no reason in these games.

Film Dub: Ryan is the police chief dressing down the other members of his force, played by Steve.

Ryan: “Well, DUE TO BUDGET CUTBACKS, we’re going to have to remove ALL THE POINTS FROM OUR HELMETS!”

I do absolutely adore the voice Steve uses for his characters here, as it’s so ridiculous and YET IT FITS, especially with the short, squat guy sitting down.

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 6.31.49 PM.pngRyan: “Now, who wants a cigarette, I’ve got ’em all attached to my jacket here…”

Ryan: “We’re ALL gonna start smokin’ now! We’re not allowed to have guns anymore, so we’re gonna have to SMOKE out the enemy. […] You, why are you sitting when I told you to stand?”
Steve: “I’m admiring your wallpaper, it looks like a map! Where’d ye get it, Lord or Astley?”

A nicely silly and well-done, if quick, Film Dub. I like it more than I should, mostly for Steve’s voice.

Mission Impossible: Colin instructs Steve, Niall and Ryan to wash up

Colin is one of the few to bring it back to the original series as the informant, saying “Good morning Mr. Phelps”, meaning that Steve Frost gets to be Peter Graves, or Jon Voight, here.

Colin: “Your mission, and remember this is a tape so don’t answer,”
Steve: “Sorry!”
Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 6.38.01 PM.png

Colin: “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, and remember, if you refuse to accept it, a fat man with a saw will kill you…”

Colin mentions breaking into the German embassy
Ryan, rewinding: “Did he say GERMAN Embassy?”
Colin: “…break into the Lithuanian Embassy”
Ryan smirks, knowing Colin would do something like that. Niall breaks.
Colin: “Using your incredible powers of disguise, electronics, and…that thing you do, Jim.”
Steve, messing up the continuity slightly but nailing the joke:
Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 7.15.24 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 7.15.47 PM.png

Niall, watching Ryan break, breaks again
Colin: “Good luck! Please throw this tape out the window because we can’t get the stuff that explodes.”
I’ve always had a soft spot for Colin as the informant for that line, even though he was better at confusing Ryan in-game. Must have been a consolation prize for feeling lost in E8

Ryan does throw the tape out the window, at which point Colin adds a distant “aaaahhhh” noise. Nice touch.

Steve: “They’re crazy. Lithuanian Agency?”
Niall, smirking: “Embassy.”
Steve: “Embassy. Oh, that’s not so bad, then.”

Ryan does manage to play with Steve’s overdramaticness in this one, in reference to E8’s playing. Steve runs through an exhaustive list of gadgets and supplies. Ryan cuts him off with “LOOK, IT’S JUST ACROSS THE STREET, IT’S NO BIG…”

Steve, at one point, starts yelling something indecipherable at Ryan, which no one gets, especially Ryan. Steve even goes, cracking, “Oh, DON’T USE SURNAMES!”
Ryan, still on edge: “THE SOAP’S RIGHT HERE FOR GOD’S SAKE.”

There’s an obvious edit here that leads us to a quieter moment, where we’ve gotten to the usual red-blue wire conundrum.

The climax of this scene is Steve cutting a wire on the automatic squeezy bottle…at which point, Niall is hit in the face with it, and reacts in horror. Clive ends the scene out of that.

Funnier than the last playing, and more frenzied, but the 3-person format still fails this game, especially Niall, who had nothing to do but correct Steve and die. Steve was also confusing people in this game, taking it way too seriously, and allowing everyone to operate on their own…which is not the right thing to do in an improv scene. Yes, it’s still funny, especially Colin on the tape, but not an especially strong scene improv-wise.

Party Quirks: Steve hosts
Niall: On the dambusters raid
Colin: has 15 seconds to live
Ryan: having an orgasm

Steve gets Niall within 5 seconds. Alright then.

Colin runs through ‘Mississippis’, then says ‘NICE PARTY’ and collapses. Leaving Steve to crack up.

The audience goes WILD when they see what Ryan is. I MEAN WILD.

Ryan does, of course, nail the sex noises, as Steve keeps guessing all of the wrong things in the background, all the wrong sex-related things. Which…gives Ryan all the more reason to keep going.

Even better, Ryan gets louder and louder the closer Steve gets, culminating in Steve yelling “YOU’RE COMING!” and Ryan nodding, under copious amounts of audience applause.

Clive knows Steve won’t get Colin’s, so he does it himself: “HE’S GOT 15 SECONDS TO LIVE, WELL DONE!”
Clive cracks as he heads back to the seats.

A quick PQ, solely due to Steve’s more guess-heavy hosting style, but Ryan’s quirk made it.

Clive: “Well, it’s funny that you immediately recognized Ryan’s orgasm…”
Steve: “We had a late night last night…”

Hoedown: Women

Steve has a surprisingly competent Hoedown verse tonight:
“I’m scared of spiders and animals too
So I really freak out, when I’m at the zoo
But the things that scare me most of all, and occasionally now and then,
Are those great big tall long leggy things they call WOMEENNN!”
Nicely done, Mr. Frost!

Niall’s is forgettable. Colin’s is great, because he confuses women with vampire bats, which is a nice gag.

Not a bad Hoedown, but not wholly amazing either

Overall: This one’s a favorite of mine from the BBC America rerun days, so imagine my surprise that this doesn’t hold up as well as I’d like. There are some nice games, and Questions Only, Sound Effects and Film Dub are as good as I remember, but a lot of the games are the products of rushed decisions by improvisers and producers. Mission Impossible failed because of the 3-person format. Party Quirks didn’t work with Steve as host. Many games were just really weird. Steve had another down night, even if Niall’s stuff was more compatible than truly great tonight. Colin is still owning this season, though, as he saved even some dire games (like Mission Impossible). And yes, this show is still kind of funny, which is why it’s not a complete failure, but a lot of the improv wasn’t great, and from four guys that are essentially professionals on this show, that’s kinda inexcusable.

Show Winners: Ryan, Colin and Niall
Best Performer: Colin, for another night of just being too damned funny
Worst Performer: Steve, down again tonight
Best Game: Questions Only, by default. I would have gone with Number of Words, but the Steve bit took away from the overall punch of that scene.
Worst Game: Props, I guess