Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E21, or There’s Something Terribly Wrong Below Deck

Right. The peak’s been hit. Now back to our regularly scheduled Season 5

This episode comes from the same taping as the Halloween episode, a Greg taping that has oodles of great content just waiting to be released. Tonight’s guest star is female bodybuilder Jayne Trcka, who comedy fans will remember from Scary Movie as ‘Miss Mann’. The joke was that she’d taken so much steroids that she’d become more masculine than feminine. Ah, 2000.

Let’s Make a Date: Greg must choose from
Wayne – Fitness guru demonstrating his exercise techniques on various people in his video “Tighten Your Buns in 2 Minutes”
Colin – Psychopathic male flight attendant whose anger management thong tightens whenever he loses his temper
Ryan – Glamorous Russian female spy using older brother bullying techniques to extract secrets from the others

MY THOSE QUIRKS ARE LONG. Even Ryan and Colin are reading for a while

I’m gonna do a tally right now, because SO MANY S5 EPISODES have had a game involving Wayne’s ass. FIVE SHOWS so far have had an ass-related Wayne bit. NOW WE’RE AT SIX. Because this one also involves Wayne’s ass.
It’s a lot like last season’s Weird Newscasters playings all having Wayne go right to Drew. Wayne’s great, but he goes to the same crutches for humor- his butt or screwing with Drew.

Wayne, as his excited, enthusiastic character: “I’M 87 YEARS OLD.”

Colin demonstrates his, goes down with a pain in his ass, and Wayne uses this to help Colin with the bun-tightening routine

Greg: “..I guess miniature golf’s out of the question…”

Ryan enters in an accent
Greg: “Oh, you’re from another land…”
Ryan, smirking: “Good luck guessing which one.”
Ryan would have two tapings in this weekend in September 2001 where he’d have to work through specific accents, knowing he’s not proficient.

Ryan, trying: “…WHEREVER IT WAS…no…”
He knows he can’t get to this accent, for some reason. And he’s trying  to find it.

Ryan gets his quirk right on, interrogating Colin by giving him a noogie.
Colin: “STOP IT” [drops to the floor with the pressure from down below]

Greg, as…himself: “I’m not much of a fitness freak, in fact I love smoking and drinking until I fall over.”

Of course, Wayne pulls several people out of the audience to demonstrate.
Greg: “You  in the plaid shirt, CALL ME”
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.24.12 PM.png

The culmination of this game is Colin collapsing, yelling “PEANUTS”, Ryan twisting his nipples, and Wayne holding his ass trying to demonstrate the bun-crunch. All three are collaborating on the same gag, and it just mellows into a solidified noise in unison.
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I can only think of one other moment where all three are on the same vocal page like this, and that’s a Hollywood Director moment from the CW involving Cabaret. [“If you grab zis vire…”]

Greg guesses Wayne’s easily, then goes “that’s all I’ve got! Thanks, that’s been our show, stick around..”

Greg: “Colin is a flight attendant, but…there’s something terribly wrong below deck.”
I love Greg.
Drew reading what it really is gives Greg opportunity for one of his trademark cackles

Greg: “Ryan is a brutal interrogator”
Drew: “From where!”
Greg: “…That’s a VERY GOOD QUESTION!”
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This didn’t make the cut, but Ryan makes a remark of how long the quirks have become, and Greg goes “Remember when it was just ‘a cow’?”

Strong LMAD. All three worked off each other, Greg was funny, and it worked insanely well.

Song Styles: Wayne sings a stadium rock number to Jayne

Thankfully we only get one Guest Star game here, but it’s a good one

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.32.03 PM.pngOkay, I’ll rephrase this- in addition to steroids, one of the things bodybuilders use to stay jacked is testosterone. So Jayne looks to have taken advantage of some of that T and, uh…looks a little masculine. While being very much a female.
Also, just noticed Greg hiding behind the chair. Man, I wasn’t this distracted when Chyna came out. At least Jayne’s on drugs that aren’t addictive.

Ryan’s also horrified:
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Drew: “So Jane here claims to be a bodybuilder…”
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Wayne…takes a few measures. He doesn’t know how to start.
The other three in the back start rocking out and trying to help

Wayne does a few lines of solid lyrics. Not his best, but solid. And he goes into his chorus. And about halfway through his chorus, Jane slides a hand along his crotch area, and he starts cracking up. He just doesn’t know WHAT to say to that.
After a cutaway, he gets an idea:
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Wayne just…goes all out.

This is our peak:
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Wayne just said fuck it to the lyrics and witticism, and just played around with her, because when else would he get the chance?

Wayne, sung: “You’d lose your composure too if this big chick was semi-nude”

Ryan, still wowed, tries throwing water in  his face to wake himself
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An alright Song Styles, but I don’t exactly know if this one aged well. Thank god she didn’t do Living Scenery. Ryan woulda had too much fun

Wayne, immediately afterwards:
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Ryan: “What time do ya WANT me to be home, honey?”

Drew: “She made you look downright skinny. When you took your jacket off, I was like ‘UNNNGH'”

Scenes from a Hat:

“The first verbal exchange between Adam and Eve”
Ryan: “Where do you wanna go for dinner?”
Colin: “I dunno, where do YOU wanna go for dinner?”

Drew: “Moments where cheerleading is inappropriate”
Greg may have mellowed out in later seasons, but he’s still capable of great moments

“Strange Welcome Greetings on Signs as you Enter Different US States” is a better version of the Oklahoma one from last show:
Wayne: “…come and HANG OUT in Alabama”
[Took me YEARS to get that one]
Ryan: “Welcome to Montana, there’s nobody here”
Greg: “Entering Ohio, watch out for Drew-BUMP”
Ryan: “Welcome to Hawaii, how’d you get here in a car?”
I love that one
Colin, most memorably: “Welcome to Rhode Island…THANKS FOR VISITING RHODE ISLAND.”
HAHAHAHAHA. Colin’s not even from this country and he’s killin it with America jokes
[Also according to the taping report, apparently Wayne pulled a Colin and mistook a California city with a state]

Not a bad SFAH, but mostly that State Signs one boosts the whole of it.

Drew after the ‘shower cam’ scene: “I hated to end that right before Ryan took off his shirt, but I’ve already seen it.”
Ryan: “Well, I’m not built like most of the women around here…but I can hold my own. And I usually do.”
Ryan…is just too damn smart.

Party Quirks: Greg hosts
Wayne – Every photo from the sexy new Whose Line Is It Anyway? calendar
Colin – Group of Jurassic Park raptors setting up a trap and stalking the other guests
Ryan – High school boy who discovers that the camera is a window into the girls showers and wants to get his buddies to look

Wayne’s is just…solid goofiness:
Screen Shot 2020-04-01 at 5.30.56 PM.png

Colin goes right into his world-famous dinosaur impression, which gets recognition applause.
Greg: “Have you met my friend, Colin Mochrie? He thinks he’s COLIN MOCHRIE.”
Wayne: “This February, he does!”
Screen Shot 2020-04-01 at 5.33.16 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-04-01 at 5.34.03 PM.pngRyan’s is great because he has this whole mini scene with Greg, but it takes up a lot of the game. Colin and Wayne, with no part in this, start miming playing cards back onstage.
Screen Shot 2020-04-01 at 5.35.22 PM.pngGreg and Ryan keep looking in there. At one point, there’s a brief dinosaur noise from Colin that makes them turn around, but they go right back to it

Greg calls Colin a ‘dinosaur spreading rumors’
Drew, buzzing: “That’s better than the one we have!”

Screen Shot 2020-04-01 at 5.37.28 PM.pngThe audience member  Wayne spends ‘March’ with is the same one from LMAD.

Wayne: “It’s an August Hoedown!”

It ended clumsily, but this PQ was alright. Not the best, but alright.

Sportscasters: Ryan and Colin are two competitive female college roommates have to get showered, dressed, and made up before their dates arrive- Drew and Greg commentate

Ah yes, the ever-intermittent Sportscasters

This one takes a bit to get going. The first one I laughed at is Colin shoving the lipstick in Ryan’s mouth

Colin yanks off Ryan’s wig. Ryan tries this with Colin, but…yep. Colin’s baldness actually works to his advantage for once

Not a great Sportscasters, to be honest. Couldn’t really get going.

Overall: An okay show. One game really impressed me, the rest I could take or leave. The Jane game was more worth it for the spectacle than the substance. Everything after that petered off.

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: Ryan nailed two games tonight.
Worst Performer: Greg only played straight-man roles in scene games.
Best Game: Let’s Make a Date. A very grand, complex, built-up LMAD that paid off.
Worst Game: Sportscasters was weak.

COMING UP NEXT: From the same Chip taping as E9 and E14, one more helping of S4-era goodness.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E20, or Aren’t We All Just Rats in a Maze?

This is the other Season 5 show I’ve been looking forward to. Same taping as the Richard Simmons show, same Greg Proops energy. And…while it may start out kind of pedestrian, it eventually just transforms into a mutated free-for-all of a show. Which I’ve adored for years.

Drew: “Let’s get the show going, but before I do I wanna say a hello to our little buckaroo, Ryan”
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Ryan: “I’m trying to take some focus off the shoes.”
Greg: “Didn’t you love him in Toy Story?”

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Greg, a goofy white guy trying to act ‘street’, co-anchors, Wayne, Aging female Broadway performer in a big song and dance number whose extensive plastic surgery begins to collapse, does sports while Ryan, a very strict father whose deadbeat sons are in the studio and he’s decided it’s time for them to get real jobs, does weather

I feel like from Greg and Wayne’s reactions, they did some pickups for this one

Colin’s opening joke, “Only Hugh can Prevent Florist Friars”, is a bit too long in the tooth  to really work

Greg: “I wanna give some SHOUTS OUT to my people over in Glendale, California”
Wayne, Glendale-area resident:
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 6.22.28 PM.png

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Is Wayne just playing Cicely Tyson?
[I know, boo me all you want]

This is a great quirk for Wayne, as he’s great at gradually collapsing, or gradually coming apart, so he’s really good at knowing what parts of himself to slow down

Ryan, spitefully: “I have a JOB, that’s how I make MONEY.”

Ryan has an insanely smart move, and makes his sons the cameramen- ‘You five, look at ya. Listening to your rock-n-roll music all day…[to Drew] THIS ONE’S THE LAZIEST OF ‘EM ALL, BUT AT LEAST HE MAKES MONEY.”
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 6.31.38 PM.png

Ryan: “Now take the headphones off. All of ya.”
Ryan: “Ya want me to get out the stick??”

It just turns into Ryan running  around, trying to wrangle all the cameramen, but none of them are moving from their posts

A pretty good WN. Everybody had something fun to do, and while I wish there was more interplay, it was still enjoyable enough.

Drew: “Thank you, Cowboy Bob.”
Ryan: “Someday, we’re gonna get you out of a suit.”
Drew: “I need to get some giddy up in my git’alongs, is that what you’re trying to say?”

Drew: “You’re wearing a cowboy shirt, what am I supposed to do? And big blue shoes. A cowboy shirt and big blue shoes!”
Ryan, like it’s a country song: “A COWBOY SHIRT ‘N BIG BLUE SHOOOES…”

Scenes from a Hat:

The ‘Oklahoma! versions for other states’ one is just a worse version of a SFAH suggestion we’d get next show about road signs.

Sumo Wrestlers in Other Professions:
Colin, after squatting: “…anyone else want their clams…shucked?”
HAHAHAHA. It’s so out there that he and Drew lose it

“Anecdotes Talks would tell if they appeared on talk shows” is the big one:
Greg: “So get this, Jay. We can’t come apart. So the neighbor comes out with a hose…”
THAT made air????
Greg, continuing: “Oh, this bitch was in heat!”
Ryan, with a really wholesome one: “…So, I’m chasing what I think is another dog’s tail…”
I forget that Ryan’s a dog person, and he can do very cute dog material if he wants.

Ryan, with Colin: “Jerry, I’m here to tell my husband I’m in love with a cat.”
Colin, not entirely following: “…me-OW.”
[There’s some laughter here from all 4]

Colin: “So, as I’m licking, I hiccup, and my testicles become lodged in my throat. Well…I COULDN’T BREATHE. I still have a bit lodged there now.”
[The audience goes WILD at this]

Light SFAH, but not exactly BAD.

The ‘special yipee-yi-oh’ is reprised from 5×17

Film Dub: One day in the doctor’s lab

Drew: “This is for Greg, Colin and Cowboy Bob.”

Greg’s specimen:
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 6.46.10 PM.png
Greg: “Oh look, it’s the traffic outside of Los Angeles…”

Lots of good ‘take it as it is’ lines, like Greg emitting an ‘hmmmmm’, and ending on that.
Ryan: “You know, many years ago when  I worked in this lab, I…”
Ryan’s character turns away
Ryan: “well, more on that later”

I also love Ryan handing multiple vials to Colin’s character and making sure they don’t get confused, and also just the amount of vials the guy gives up.
Colin, saying his first line: “There’s no good parts for Latinos!”

For another Colin character, the editors placed in a ‘MEOW’ from Hats, to thread this together. It’s a very obvious edit

Ryan: “This is my work of art, this is a stone I passed last week.”
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 6.51.07 PM.png
Ryan: “It was this big when it first came out…”
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Ryan: “I clenched myself, LIKE THIS, and it came out!”
Just playing into Ryan’s hand

A brief but amusing Film Dub, similar to the UK ones. I just wish it’d gone on longer.

Party Quirks: Greg hosts
Wayne: Having a series of stormy love affairs from beginning to end with each person at the party
Colin: Serious scientist testing how much annoyance people can stand before cracking
Ryan: Rat traveling through a maze to reach the cameras where he’s given either cheese or an electric shock

Greg: “Ah, a Richard Simmons video party! OH MY GOD WHAT’S HE DOING TO COLIN?”
[that’s a fun postscript to 5×17]

Wayne does a great job of doing an entire relationship in 15 seconds, even with escalating tensions

Something about Colin’s is really funny, mostly how he does these annoying things and is so matter-of-fact about it. Like a real psychologist

Ryan’s is a fun one, cause he’s just doing rat physicality in all these different directions.
Ryan, eventually:
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Then, Ryan tries another camera and gets shocked. I love his little slack expression as he bobs around, recirculating.

Greg’s first guest for Ryan, “he’s a drunk sea otter”, gets a laugh out of him.

Colin: [checks watch]
Yeah, he’s so droll about it. I love that.
Ryan, from across the stage: “BZZZZT”

Greg’s still trying to guess Ryan, and Ryan’s trying to stress the right animal
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 9.07.28 PM.png
Greg: “…he’s a FISH…”
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 9.08.03 PM.png

Greg, postgame: “WAS he an anthropologist?”
Drew: “No, he was just a rat in a maze-”
Greg: “NO, NO…Colin!”
Colin: “Aren’t we all just rats in a maze?”

Drew, to Ryan again: “You know I hardly get to say this to anybody, but chaps would really make that outfit”

A surprisingly good PQ. I’d always forgotten about this one, but Greg working with Colin AND Ryan at once was pretty fun. And Greg, as usual, was a fun host.

Hats: Dating Service Videos

The YT cut of this game always included Drew’s “I hate to do this, but we’re gonna move on”, which must have come after a Simmons game

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 9.12.56 PM.pngWayne, full Don King: “ME AND YOU! ON A DATE! JANUARY 12TH! AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN!”

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 9.13.44 PM.pngGreg starts cracking up, and barely gets the joke out.
Greg, giving up: “…I have a giant fish head on! I’m 42 fucking years old.”
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Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 9.15.26 PM.pngColin: “I will churn thy butter”
[Fun fact: when my girlfriend met Colin, she personally thanked him for this line. Out of everything.]

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 9.17.43 PM.pngColin: “Lemme help ya hit those high notes.”
Then, as the audience laughs at this, he emits the show’s second official “MEOW”

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 9.18.31 PM.pngWayne: “Hi, I’m Michael Jackson.”

Really strong Hats, too. We’re going into the house-breaker and every game has been good. Not all exemplary, but good.

Irish Drinking Song: Yelled Out the Wrong Name in Bed

Ah, yes. Here we are.

So, let’s examine this trainwreck
Wayne’s first line: “One night I was getting freaky.”
Drew…trying to have Ryan rhyme with ‘name’: “With my…er…girl Elaine.”
Ryan…now has to decipher that because it came so late, and it’s harder than it needs to be.
Colin, shaking his head: “Boy, we had some fun.”
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 9.23.30 PM.png
Ryan now decides to make fun of Drew: “AND THEN UURGHH-AHH-EHH-AGHHH”
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[this ALONE cracked me up to high hell as a kid]

So the reactions to THAT:
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Colin, as Wayne and Drew aren’t going: “MEOW.”
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So…normally, you start again, do another one, throw that out. Laura on the other hand decides to keep going, and after a break, the producers instruct them to go to the fourth verse. This is going to air, in this form. And they just have to finish it.
Ryan is holding his own, just glaring down Drew, as this whole thing’s his fault. Drew and Wayne are still laughing.

Ryan, spiteful: “I lost track of the STORY.”
Wayne, still recovering: “I don’t know what has happened.”
Drew, trying: “…He wrote me a letter.”
Colin: “My underwear is snappin.”
EVEN THAT’s a funny line.
Ryan, still trying to add plot, ANYTHING: “I think there was a girl involved”
Wayne, with an easy rhyme to wrap this up: “That’s what I’m thinkin'”
Drew, still kinda gone: “I don’t know what to say.”
Now, in a perfect world, Colin finishes the song with ‘we’ve all been out drinkin’ or something, and it doesn’t air, and they do another one. But…this is not a perfect world, so Colin looks right at the camera, knowing exactly what’s gonna happen, and goes.
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Wayne…drops to the floor. For the first time since WN. Ryan’s gone. Drew’s standing up, but gone. And Colin…finishes the song solo. As he should.

So…that song is a mess, a botched failure of an IDS game that bombed because Drew flubbed a line. And in all honesty, this game never should have aired. The only reason it did air, is because Colin yelled ‘MEOW’ in that punchline and tied it back to SFAH and Hats. The producers had context for it, and how MEOW had become a Pavlovian cue to laugh, so they took the remains of this IDS and aired it anyway, knowing it’d be funny in itself to see this panel break down like this. As it stands, it’s an oddity in itself, a rare moment of the Whose Line cast failing to even TRY to keep it together, and Colin still getting a lawful laugh out of it. It’s only partially good improv, but it’s definitely one of the funniest things that they let onto a show.

Overall:  A relatively solid show with one huge moment at the end. Other than that, there are GOOD games here, like Weird Newscasters, Party Quirks and Hats, but nothing as classic as that IDS. The Ryan’s shirt runner works, the Meow runner works, and it just works in general to see this many scene games in a taping based around a gay man pretending to give Colin a blowjob, but deep down, nothing in this episode can compare to Irish Drinking Song. As much as I enjoy this one, I know full well it’s not pristine, and I don’t allow that to affect my opinion of it.

Show Winner: Greg
Best Performer: I had to separate this very finely, but Colin takes it over Ryan. With that IDS save, how can I not?
Worst Performer: Wayne had a few misfires tonight.
Best Game: Irish Drinking Song.
Worst Game: Film Dub was lightest.

COMING UP NEXT: Another S5 Greg taping, from the Halloween taping. The guest star is a supporting cast member from Scary Movie.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E17, or This One Wants More Coins

In doing this Watchdown over the past 3 years, I’ve learned to look forward to certain milestones in Whose Line history.
When I started the UK version, I looked forward to getting to the Neon Love Chicken episode in Season 6.
When I started the US version, I balanced out when I’d get to the Melissa show, the Captain Hair show, the Robin Williams show and the Howard show.

And now…we are here. 5×17. The one that even people who don’t know a goddamned thing about Whose Line know about. The Richard Simmons episode.

The entire internet has united behind the fact that this is the funniest moment in the show’s history. When I started going on YouTube to find clips from this series, back in 2006, this was one of the few clips that was already there, waiting. Hell, if it weren’t for the public outcry for WL clips after the Richard Simmons one went huge, 12Medbe may never have started posting clips on a weekly basis, and the fanbase for the show may have never been cemented.

[I know I keep bringing up 12Medbe a lot, but I can’t quite root the success of the ABC family era of the show back to bigfishpotatoe or TadekDDZ, can I?]

So, I’m gonna be looking at this episode, this Greg episode from the 504 taping that we already got 5×10 from, that the fans have dubbed the funniest one in the show’s history, and I’m gonna try and figure out why. I like this episode a lot, but I never found it as funny as everyone else did. So I’m gonna really dive in and think about what here is so amazing.

Multiple Personalities: Greg, Ryan and Wayne are on a safari in the deepest African jungle when they realize their guides have deserted them and they are lost
Fly-swatter – Richard Simmons

Machete – Elvis
Binoculars – Scooby-Doo

One of the things I love about this show is how they set up the guest star with the games before it. This and Newsflash foreshadow things a bit.

Also, interesting that once again they pick Wayne to play this over Colin. Woulda loved to see Colin’s Simmons impression

Greg, as Simmons, immediately rushes to Drew, who’s one of the ‘natives’, and starts doing his schtick: “I can help you. Go through my plan, each day take one of these, one blue card, one PINK CARD, ALL RIGHT?”

Greg, finally to Drew: “You need to get up from behind that desk, mister!”

Wayne’s Elvis is INSANELY strong, going into a Heartbreak-Hotel-esque song about going ‘that wayyyyy’

Ryan, finally, and immortally: “RUH-OH.”
We were all waiting.

Wayne, as Richard: “Oh my god, there’s…RIGHT’AS ON THE RUH-ROH…”
Just trying to interpret Ryan

I love that when Ryan passes Wayne the binoculars, he tries to do it without getting the Simmons flyswatter, and grits his teeth, NOT WANTING to do that impression

I also love Greg agreeing with Wayne AS SCOOBY. Like a Scooby-fied ‘that’s what I was trying to say’.

Wayne grabs the flyswatter from Ryan, and for a second, does Simmons AND Elvis, and does great. He passes Ryan the machete, so it’s not as long as it could be. Greg, thinking well, gives Wayne the binoculars, and he does a ROUSING  ‘Scooby Doo as Richard Simmons’ routine, doing army crawls on the ground as Scooby. It’s hysterical

A pretty good Multiple Personalities. Not exactly the height of the game, like we’ve gotten recently, but all 3 had fun, and Wayne was a tour de force.

Drew gives a “special YIPEE-YI-OH for Ryan Stiles”
Ryan: “I never tire of it.”
This makes a lot more sense in the context of 5×20

Newsflash: Greg and Ryan in the studio, Colin in the field in front of clips of Richard Simmons

Greg and Ryan’s intro is one of my favorites in the game’s history:
Greg: “So she’s left! I woke up this morning, and the place is…just empty.”
Ryan: “She’s over at my place.”
Greg: “What d’you mean she’s over at your place.”
Ryan: “Give her a call, she’s just staying for a couple-”
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I wish the rest of the times they try this sort of opening were as good as this one

Just from the opening shot:
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That’s just great

My theory is that RIGHT HERE:
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RIGHT HERE…Ryan realizes who the guest star might be for this episode.

Also, let it be known that THIS is the first phallic Richard Simmons gag of the show:
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.06.41 PM.png

Greg: “This has been described as one of the most terrifying sights any human can imagine”

Colin, motioning to Richard: “It started off quite small, and then it grew to THIS.”

Right after a shot of Richard’s vibrating chest
Colin: “I’m sorry, sometimes I just have to STOP AND LOOK.”

Colin gets it right, thank god.

Not a bad Newsflash, though like the Springer one, the clips themselves did a lot of the work

Song Styles: Wayne sings a disco song to Richard Simmons, backed up reluctantly by Ryan, Colin and Greg

And now…we go down the rabbit hole with Richard Simmons

I love Wayne’s surprised arm movements once he finds out who’s here. Like he’s kind of frightened.

Richard is…exactly what you’d expect. He rushes in, getting the audience to stand and applaud, getting the whole place to go crazy. And, of course, he gives Wayne a big hug. HE EVEN HUGS THE OTHER 3, which Greg gets a kick out of.

Literally, the whole panel’s laughing after Richard’s entrance. Richard is EXACTLY what they thought he’d be, and they can’t believe it

Richard, to Wayne: “You have the most beautiful teeth!”
And he’s as straight as you’d think, as well

Drew: “I  want my  clothes back after the show”
Richard: “I have a tank-top for ALL OF YOU, TONIGHT”
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.34.53 PM.png
aw, man

Greg, as Drew intros the game, is HOWLING laughing. Haven’t heard him this giggly in a while

Wayne, right before he starts, to Richard leaning on his shoulder: “MA, CAN I KEEP HIM?”

Richard: [gets the entire audience clapping]
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.36.47 PM.png
He cannot believe this

Then, Richard goes to Ryan, and Colin and Greg but mostly Ryan, and motions for him to come up. Ryan, of course, would rather not.
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.37.47 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.37.54 PM.png

Ryan, as this is not his comfort zone, stays to the background, DJing

Richard is SO into this number,  dancing around and hyping Wayne up as he sings to him. Richard may not know a lot about improv, but he knows one of the golden rules- MAKE YOUR SCENE PARTNER LOOK GOOD. And not only is HE making Wayne look good, but he’s got the entire audience AND the other 3 on his side, dancing and clapping. He’s making sure Wayne can’t fail even if he tries. And that’s admirable as hell.

Richard does a dance move that has Greg double over in mid dance move

Also, middle of this, Colin glances at Drew:
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Colin’s just amused as hell

Wayne: “When I say P-H-A-T, damn, he’s so phat”
Very careful there

Wayne, in the middle of another dance move, in song, “WHAT THE HELL YA DOING, RICHARD?”
[I always laugh at that. It goes from ‘look at him go’ to ‘WHAT THE HELL’S HE DOING?’.]

Richard, and then Wayne, lift a leg up while laying down. Greg and Colin, meanwhile, take pictures in between legs
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[Poor Ryan. Turning away]

Wayne: “I’m funky with Richard, WHAT’S MY WIFE GONNA SAY?”

Immediately after the song ends, Colin checks his pulse. BROTHER, JUST YOU WAIT.

Drew: “I dunno about you, but I feel 10 pounds lighter already.”
Wayne: “I feel 10 pounds lighter and JUST A LITTLE DIRTY.”
Greg’s howling in the back. I don’t blame him

Greg: “Aw, man. If you all got to see what me and Colin got to see…”
Greg: “He was dealing so much more than a meal!”

A really strong Song Styles, with a ton of energy, some fun lyrics, and some great participation from everyone. And OF COURSE Richard loved it.

Living Scenery: On a luxury cruise liner, a couple, Ryan and Colin, makes the most of a day of sunbathing, water sports, and entertainment.
Wayne and Richard will be all the props for these men


I love how once Richard pops up next to Ryan, he’s gonna put an arm around him or something, but he has no idea what to do with said arm, and he just…awkwardly places it by his side.

Richard, still very high energy: “THIS IS MY FAVORITE GAME, HOW ABOUT YOU ALL?”
My…god. There’s a Never Mind the Buzzcocks where Jedward had a whole thing of chocolate before they went on and bounced off the goddamned walls. They’ve got nothing on Richard

Drew explains the game: “However, since they don’t have any pro-”
Dear lord.

I love that Richard knows he’s winning over Wayne, Colin and Drew, but not Ryan, so he just does this…butch, arms-crossed, gruff position, just trying to either act like or make fun of Ryan, and drops his voice down a few octaves, a lot closer to his actual tone I believe, going “…hey Drew…”
It’s like he knows he just made a gay joke, and is jokingly trying to contradict it by acting really masculine. Richard Simmons may have been more self-aware than anyone realized

Ryan wisely casts himself as the woman early. Just to give Colin a break. God knows what Richard would do to Colin if HE’S the woman.

Colin first uses Richard as a city-based telescope thing, which Richard does well, only,  uh…
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Colin: “…this one wants more coins…”
The audience is already dying at this. Richard once again tries to kiss him, and they laugh  harder. Just making this clear- the big laugh that puts the game off-kilter happens right at the start, not just at the jet-skis

Of course, the reactions to the coins line…are huge
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Meanwhile, Richard’s still trying
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Ryan, rationalizing: “I saw something funny!”

Colin: “Why don’t we get out the deck chairs? You get the shiny one.”
Yep. Switch who gets Richard
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[they’re all still howling]
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So at least he’s amused

Colin, lost: “why don’t we, uh…”
Again, Ryan saves Colin’s ass in thinking of this
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And Ryan scurries over to Wayne. This is the opposite of most Living  Scenery playings. Usually, Ryan races AWAY from Wayne to get to whatever hot guest they have. Here, he’s racing TO Wayne

Colin…shows his inexperience. He flips Richard over, so he can get a better bend, and uh…
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Richard is bobbing his head in place, making this the single most suggestive goddamned thing in the world.
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AND NOW *HE’S* GONE. And he still has to do the scene and be neutral
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Now Ryan’s gone
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This is…the hardest I’ve seen Drew laugh in a while. He can barely breathe

Colin, obviously getting the joke, smokes a cigarette after he gets off Richard

After this, Drew’s dead. Greg has completely folded over, crying. AND FOR THE FIRST TIME, WE JUST SHOW THE AUDIENCE
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Colin, smirking: “…believe me!”

Ryan now realizes he needs to set Colin up for more suggestive Richard things, since that seems to be the game here.
Ryan: “Honey…PLEASE climb that tree and get me a coconut…”
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Wayne’s still dying
Colin just grabs one off his crotch area. Of course. Low-hanging fruit.

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.17.14 PM.pngColin: “…this tree fell down”
And Colin collects some coconuts from Wayne’s crotch area. Poor Wayne
EVEN RICHARD’S laughing at this

Ryan tries to progress the scene forward: “we need to build…a raft to get off this island.”
Colin: “…we’re not using the jetskis?”
Ryan, saving Colin’s ass: “THEY’RE BROKEN NOW”

Ryan: “And you know how to build a good raft? You put pieces of bamboo together”
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Ohhhhhh man
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Okay, now this scene’s got to me. This scene has a very clear game, and that’s that Richard jokingly wants to screw all three of these guys. And it’s a very belabored game, and they keep hitting beats over and over…but eventually, it breaks me. It’s the old Sid Caesar ‘This is Your Life’ bit. He goes back to repeatedly hugging his Uncle Goopy like seven times, and you get to the point where the second he gets up you start laughing. So seeing Richard knowing exactly what’s about to happen, and breaking the forth wall and adding that little Bugs Bunny touch…that’s what does it for me. Not just the jetskis, or the coins, but everything right after each other, pounding and pounding until it’s all washed over.

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Ryan, continuing to screw with Wayne: “IT’S GOTTA BE TIGHTER! TIGHTER!”
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Drew is CRYING. Wayne can barely keep together himself.

And this is the visual we end on:
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After a few seconds of paddling, Ryan, looking  RIGHT AT DREW, literally goes “OH, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE.” Drew finally buzzes.
I love that that’s how it ends. Ryan literally calls an audible. It’s like Clint Eastwood ending his takes with “that’s enough of that.” Ryan literally goes “for heaven’s sakes”, and the scene ends. I don’t blame him or Drew

Sure enough, Richard gets an UNPROMPTED Standing O. The audience knows he delivered one of the funniest improv scenes they’ve sat through in a while, and they give back.

As they head back, Ryan’s recounting his favorite bit, and he’s cracking while repeating “this one wants more coins”. Greg’s crying. Wayne’s exhausted. Drew’s wiping his eyes.

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Colin, of course: “You know what? I have never had a jetski lesson in my life. BUT…I THINK I’M TAKING IT UP!”
I love Colin. He admits his inexperience led to that blowjob joke. And he’s still standing by it

They’re all still basking in it. Drew’s making fun of the jetski. Ryan’s making fun of Richard’s mouth with the coins. Greg’s just…crying. Literally crying.

Greg, finally composed, sums it up: “…I’m just so happy!”

So…that was a fantastic game of Living Scenery. It had a very funny ‘game’ to it, Ryan and Colin responded well to Richard’s suggestiveness, then kept using it to elicit laughs. Lots of really funny bits that have been overheralded all over the internet, but enough that still makes me laugh. May not be THE funniest one, according to me, but still really damn good. Also…Richard Simmons was born for this game. He was INSANELY capable. And funny as hell.

Moving People: Ryan is an outlaw who holds up beautiful heiress Colin’s stagecoach [moved by Drew and Richard]

I like them bringing this one back for Richard, knowing it’d be fun

Richard: “…where’s Wayne?”
Wayne, at the desk: “…wassup baby, how you doin?”
Richard, dropping octaves and using his butch voice, smirking: “I’m doing pretty fine, Wayne, how YOU doin?”
aw, man.

Richard, realizing: “…who’s gonna move…Wayne?”
Drew: “ya can’t move him anymore, he’s been moved already…”

In the interest of time, this scene starts in progress, and only lasts 1 minute. But I wouldn’t want to cut any of Living Scenery either

Colin  suggests Ryan feel his butt
Richard, doing what he’s told:
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Aw god, it’s like no time has passed with him and this game
Ryan: “…your butt is much firmer than mine…”

There’s a lot of random head movement between  Drew and Richard, until we get this:
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And, of course:
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THAT breaks Colin. THAT does it. Ryan’s already had trouble staying together, but when it finally hits Colin, after a whole show of staying together, how ridiculous this is, that’s when you know you’ve got a good one.

A good, fun game of this…but I really wish we’d gotten an extended cut of this. I would have traded Newsflash for it. Just to see the top half of this game. Unless it really WAS that short. In which case…why? It was slightly haphazard, but why THAT short?

Ah, whatever, it’s the Richard Simmons show, so it’s still great.

Overall: Damn. Aside from a few games that were kind of alright in the beginning, this was a jolt of energy. i’ll admit this isn’t THE BEST guest star show (Florence Henderson still tops this one in terms of quality), but in terms of laughs. Oh, man. Song Styles, Living Scenery, and even Moving People are all legitimately funny. It should also be pointed out  that Richard Simmons  was a lot more lawful of an improv presence than you’d think. In  Song Styles, he makes sure everyone’s on Wayne’s side. In Living Scenery, he does the best object work he possibly can, while also being himself. Yes, his fast moving in the ender does take away from this, but it’s not like you can say he wasn’t a good improviser. It’s not like you can say he didn’t want to be there. And it’s not like you can say the show suffered from him being there. This is everything the producers wanted from a guest star taping, and in the future, they’d judge every guest star booking in comparison to this one, trying to find more ‘Richard Simmons moments’.

The other thing that surprised me was how this…still aged pretty well. There was no gay-shaming. The gaiety of the show wasn’t rejected or blocked or anything. Richard still came off as an unmistakable personality despite his flagrant personality. And the laughs did not come from  Richard being gay- they came from Richard Simmons being Richard Simmons, and all of these suggestive things happening with him CONTINUING to be Richard Simmons.

Hell, you can even argue that this show solidified Richard’s place in popular culture. The weight loss videos made him a star, but this Whose Line episode made him a wholesome gay icon that was able to make people laugh, intentionally or no. After this show, Howard Stern would have Richard on his program all the time, where he would repeatedly chase after Stern’s producer Gary Dell’abate [“GARY??? GARY WHERE *ARE* YOU?”]. You can also make the argument that the only reason people don’t call Gary ‘Baba Booey’ as much as they used to is because of Simmons yelling specifically ‘GARY?’. Whatever pop culture bookings would happen with Richard contemporarily, it would be this Richard, and the Whose Line episode put the image in people’s minds that this is who Richard was.

However, you can also make the case that this episode ruined his legacy. Since 2014, speculation has loomed over why Simmons hasn’t made any public appearances, and whether or not he’s being held by members of his estate against his will. The same portrayal of Simmons that Whose Line helped cement, the accurate portrayal, was the one in people’s minds when imagining Simmons being held down by his housekeeper. And through all the other false rumors, including one where he was apparently undergoing gender confirmation therapy [which has been debunked], people had to have been thinking about the Whose Line Richard Simmons. The openly gay, innuendo-friendly Simmons. And how this could be his life, and how much sense it made.

Now, granted, you can argue that Simmons made that persona for himself once he started doing weight loss videos and public appearances in general, which I don’t have a big amount of knowledge on. Maybe this is how he was even when marketing to overweight middle-aged women in the 80s. Maybe he didn’t tone it down for them at all. But I honestly think that this was the first mainstream window into how flamboyant and suggestive Richard could be, because everything else might have been either too niche or too sanitized.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m overstating. But Whose Line may have created the legend of Richard Simmons in the modern lexicon. And if that’s the only way average people know about  Whose Line, then fine.

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: Wayne Brady. How can I not?
Worst Performer: Greg had the least to do, but even he had great lines during the games he wasn’t in.
Best Game: Living Scenery. It’s a classic for a lot of reasons, and I can say I understood most of them.
Worst Game: Newsflash was the most okay.

COMING UP NEXT: Somehow we have to follow this show. Here’s one from the Salute to TV taping, and some amusing games and runners featuring Brad.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E12, or Who Knew That Wolves Like Muffins?

We’ve hit another guest star episode, and it comes from a S5 Greg taping we haven’t seen yet, delineated by Colin’s pumpkin shirt.

This time, they got a guest star that would be  perfectly fine with being in on the joke. After all, Jerry Springer’s speciality on his long-running talk show was knowing where the line was between intentional and unintentional humor, and toeing it politely. Jerry Springer knew EXACTLY who he was as a pop culture figure, and to this day is a figure of class despite the trashiness of his show.

So, getting him for Whose Line? Genius. He’ll be great. And one of the ways they use him tonight is a pretty awesome idea for him, too.

Drew’s opening joke: the points are just like “football in LA. Oh, you  don’t have a team here yet, do ya?”
Give them 20 years, they’ll have 2.

Hollywood Director: Greg and Ryan are the leaders of rival biker gangs facing off in a dramatic race towards a cliff’s edge in a game of chicken; as they begin, Greg’s girlfriend Wayne rides in, trying to stop them, whatever it takes

I love Greg, thinking he’s starting from the side, slowly edging  his way onstage in Wayne’s place. If I remember correctly, this is not the only time he does this during this taping.

But, after Wayne’s character is revealed, so is the fact that the bud Greg smoked before the show is still in effect:
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The opening detail that Greg’s bike is a lot smaller than Ryan’s works, and gets an audible laugh out of Wayne

I love how wonderfully physical and goofy the first scene is, with Wayne hopping between bikes while Ryan and Greg knife-duel

On the ‘gremlins’ style, Ryan does the obvious  joke of getting into a tiny car, then  going “oh, sorry, I thought we were DRIVING Gremlins…”

The ending style, where everyone ‘loves the feeling of carpet on their skin’, Greg pulls an aroused face he hasn’t pulled since his F&TS scene with Caroline Quentin in UK 8×06

The scene ends with Greg and Wayne getting intimate on the floor.

Wayne: “Sometime tonight, during the show, I’m humpin’ someone in the audience”

Not a great HD scene. Felt very fragmented, kind of off. There were good moments, but a lot of it felt underwhelming

Newsflash: Ryan and Greg in the studio, Colin in the field in front of the Jerry Springer show

Between Drew flubbing a line and blaming it on his mug, and the patter in between  scenes, I’ll just say it- it is VERY LOOSE in the studio tonight. More than usual for this season.

Greg, with an original interruption joke: “So she’s tickling me, and I go…’look, the truck driver can SEE us…”

The sight of a grown man in women’s undergarments prancing around the Springer stage gets the audience going. I’m not capping that.

Another clip, little person wrestling, hasn’t aged well. As a lot of Springer stuff has, I reckon.

Of course, the  second they show a gun with fish duct-taped to his body, the audience goes crazy. And Ryan…doesn’t know what to say

The next thing to make the audience squirm is a lady taking out her dentures. Drew even writhes in his seat

Colin, after several minutes of this, deadpan: “…this is amazing, isn’t it?”
There’s even a cutaway to Wayne, who’s standing  and shaking his head

A pretty okay Newsflash, but the stuff on  the tape did more than Colin could do. He just seemed confused

Ryan  explains the fish fetish guy, and the context. “Not that *I* watch it, but I saw a clip of it…”

Song Styles: Wayne sings a Gospel tune to Jerry Springer

Sure enough, the former mayor of Cincinnati, which is odd because Drew’s big into a DIFFERENT Ohio city, seems pretty happy to be here

Just…just Jerry being there, and Wayne having to sing to him, gets both of them cracking up. Again, the energy in this studio is so wild tonight

Sure enough, Wayne cracks one more time, just going, in disbelief, “it’s Jerry Springer!”

I love that the book the audience is opening  up, according to Wayne, is “Jerry 3:81 Syndicated”

Wayne: “that if thou…live in the park of the trailer…thou shalt go to the promised land which is the Circle K”

Then, as Wayne dances around, he turns to the chairs to hide how excited he is to be singing to Jerry Springer. This is HUGE for Wayne

Wayne: “I’ve seen a 550 pound woman  in a g-string
Now who in their right mind would want to see such a thing?”
His lyrics in this one are really  well-defined, and he’s got a fun angle on this

Then, as he lists all the people that come on his show, he does a callback and lists “one guy who would sleep with fish!”
Wayne, adding in: “and there was even a breakdancing group but they  couldn’t keep a beat”

Then, after a “I’mma beat her ass cause she is a ho” line from Wayne…he turns to the chairs once again. Trying to hide his crack-ups, cause this is THE GUY.
Wayne, cracking: “I think the censors said no, Jerry…”

Wayne, in his final big revue line, where he goes into detail about where he’s at at 2 am when the shows on, and who’s on his show, including “the big bald guy, Steve, I really like him…”, he’s just proving how appreciative he is that Jerry came on

A REALLY STRONG SONG FROM WAYNE. He should be  commended. So much  love and passion in there, and such great lyrics. Jerry seemed to really like it, too

Wayne starts saying he shouldn’t have said ‘ass’ and ‘ho’ in that
Ryan, sarcastically: “I think Jerry was SHOCKED.”

Daytime Talk Show: Little Red Riding Hood
Jerry hosts, Ryan and Colin are guests, and Wayne and Greg are in the audience

THIS is a genius idea. Not only bringing back Daytime Talk Show, which was an awesome game on the UK version AND in Season 1, but getting Jerry to do some improv and host the show. now, I’m not sure how good his improv is gonna be, but…this is a pretty  fun move, and proof the producers were really putting their heads together with ways to make these guest star shows fun.

Jerry throws it to Ryan, not trying too hard with improv. Ryan casts himself as the wolf, and “before we start, can I rub Drew’s head?”
Jerry, looking at Drew: “…yeah”

Jerry, to Ryan: “…you wanna rub the other one”, motioning to Colin

Ryan cracks for a moment [maybe  due to the Springer-ness of it all], during an explanation: “I was waiting for Red to uh, well, how do I put this…have a little snack…”

Ryan FINALLY casts Colin as Red Riding Hood, as we went on for a bit without knowing who he was

Colin: “I was violated in so many ways….HE CRUMBLED MY GOODIES.”

Ryan explains that every day Colin passes through with a basket full of “things wolves like”

Ryan, perfect Springer logic: “So I made a little mistake…killed her grandmother, pretended to be her.”
That’s a good line
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Jerry makes a decision to cut Wayne off mid-question after he insults Jerry. Which is a choice.

Man, he sounds exactly like the candidate that he blocks people on twitter for supporting nowadays…
PERFECT SIDELINE SUPPORT. Finding the funny thing, the muffins, and driving home Ryan as the mark. Greg’s a pro at this

Ryan: “HEY, YA WANNA TELL HER?” [opens mouth]
I missed this game

I kinda love Jerry’s…annoyance at Wayne and Greg coming downstage, almost like he’s on the show. His improv isn’t perfect, but he gets EXACTLY what this game’s supposed to be. He’s just not as strong a proctor as Brad or Greg when they play

Jerry comes forward to give his final thought.
Ryan, being  tackled by Wayne: “WHERE’S YOUR SECURITY, JERRY?”

A pretty fun game of this. Not perfect, and it’d be cool if Greg hosted like old times, but the Springer quality shone through, and all 4 gave a lot of effort to make this fun, with emphasis going to Ryan and Greg.

Three-Headed Broadway Star: Wayne, Ryan and JERRY sing ‘I Dream About Your Yarmulke’ to Shannon

No Drew game, just another guest game.

The guy who yelled out ‘yarmulke’ did so at a record speed for this game. Like, ZOOMED OUT.

Already, Jerry’s throwing on a fake New York Jew accent.

I love Ryan accidentally throwing the verse into a loop and making himself rhyme with ‘fool’, which makes him give a look.

Wayne, who’s drawn himself into a corner, takes an extra measure and just says ‘tuchus’

Yeah, Wayne’s taking a lot of pauses between lines, as this one’s not going anywhere. Not Jerry’s fault, he’s got the hang of the game. It’s just hard to sing about yarmulkes.

Jerry starts messing up, taking too much of a pause, and doing two words at one point

Overall, this one was…fine. Kinda wonky. But Jerry gave his all.

Overall: All over the place, this one. Some games were great, like Song Styles and Daytime Talk Show. Some games were duds, like 3HBS and Director. Some games, like Newsflash, were just kinda there. And the energy in the room was just…odd. This felt looser than usual, in a way that was more noticeable than ever. Jerry was a fine guest, and the show was well-tailored to him, but he had his share of slip-ups. So…this is an alright show, but just…weirdly inconsistent. And just plain weird in general.

Show Winner: Jerry
Best Performer: Wayne Brady. Song Styles sealed it for me, but he had a lot to do all night.
Worst Performer: Greg, I guess? He was kind of present, but left behind by the rest.
Best Game: Song Styles. Wayne crafted this one insanely well.
Worst Game: Three-Headed fell flat, despite their best efforts.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. Jerry was happy to be there, and boosted games, even if his improv skills need a bit of work.

COMING UP NEXT: A look at the last of the new, uncovered S4 Kathy Greenwood tapings. This is definitely a ‘best foot forward’ show, because there’s a truly great runner, two if you really think about it, involving, of all things, Wayne’s ass.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E10, or Who Knew There’d be Ghosts?

This episode brings us a new taping, a S5 one featuring Greg Proops, one of three he did during the fall 2001 sessions. In 7 shows, we get a classic from this taping. In 10, we get a second classic from this taping. If this show pales in comparison to those, blame the glut of content in general from this taping.

Let’s Make a Date: Greg hosts
Wayne – Stage hypnotist who uses his butt to hypnotize people
Colin – Abrasive coach looking for new members to train for his all-women wrestling team
Ryan – Secretly setting up an erotic 24-hour webcam on stage and is surreptitiously trying to include the others in his broadcast

Wayne, with an eyebrow raised, already has the audience on his side.

Wayne’s subtle butt-shaking is enough to get the audience going crazy…and to elicit an impressed expression from Colin

Colin just picks two blonde ladies out of the audience and attempts to wrestle them. It’s mildly amusing

Colin keeping the girls onstage works well with Ryan’s, who starts eyeing them once his chyron comes up for the audience

I also love the subtle stiff-arm Colin gives to Ryan once he starts leaning  on one of the girls.

Then, as there’s no avoiding it, Ryan sets a camera up under Wayne’s chair. Because of course.

Then, as Wayne starts back up again, Ryan takes his camera and tries following him around without being too obvious

Wayne even brings someone down while shaking his ass, and the audience member he picks cannot, for the life of her, stop laughing. Man, if she’s a fan of dying laughing, she picked the right Whose Line taping

Then, as Wayne tries hypnotizing her, Colin grabs her and tries auditioning her for the team. It’s rare when ALL THREE players can use the audience like this

Ryan is also still dragging  around cameras, first to the audience members, and then…under Drew’s desk.  Drew, playing along, lifts his leg up from behind the desk. Ryan, watching the feed, is amazed…and stabs his eyes out.

Greg gets Wayne’s basically word-for-word.

Greg: “At first I thought Colin was you, of course”
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Greg: “And THEN I THOUGHT *RYAN* was you…”
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Drew, helping Greg: “What kind of places to you go to get 24-hour cameras in action.”
Greg: “…do *I* go???…there’s a little place in Tijuana…”

Drew tries a ‘keyboard’ motion
Greg, confused: “…oh, a…piano bar…”

Not a bad LMAD, but a lot of the humor came from subtleties rather than dialogue

Drew: “I’m gonna give a thousand dollars to- thousand POINTS that is-”
The whole audience ‘AWWWW’s

Ryan, after Drew awards points to Wayne’s ass: “Hey Wayne, can I borrow that butt for the  weekend?”
Wayne, of course: “Sorry, my brother, you gots to get your own…”

Scene to Rap: Top Gun

Oh GOD, I wasn’t looking forward to this one returning

Wayne has a fun line up front: “I’m not Tom Cruise, cause I’m darker and taller…”

Wayne does set up Ryan, saying “here comes one big tall blue Russkie”
This owes back to the ‘cowboy shirt’ runner we’ll encounter in a few shows

Ryan gets himself out of this early, coming in as a duck and landing on the windshield, so he doesn’t have to do much more.

Colin, also flapping: “Look at me, I’m here with you
I’ve got no character…boo-hoo.”
[Ryan, in the back, cracks at this]
Wayne: “I thought he was a bird, but then oh snap
Cause everybody knows Canadians can’t rap”
[Aubrey Graham would beg to differ]

There’s a fun ending where Colin turns out to be Superman and shoots them down. There’s a moment where the camera’s on Ryan to do another line, he opens his mouth…and Drew buzzes. So he shrugs towards the camera. It’s always been a fun moment for me.

A very alright Scene to Rap, but not as bad as these usually are.

Sound Effects: Ryan and Colin are two gung-ho astronauts who take off on a rescue mission to save an international space station orbiting Mars, but when they get there they discover that the station has been taken over by deadly aliens

Colin starts by taking the scene description very literally: “GUNG-HO!”

I kind of find it funny that, in response to Ryan’s usual naming of Phillip, Colin responds by naming Ryan ‘Terence’. Terrence and Phillip.

Ryan puts on his helmet, and Debra does a ‘JHHHOOOP’
Ryan: “My sucks EVERY BIT OF AIR OUT.”

Once they get on the elevator, Ryan waits for the car to land when suddenly Debra emits a HUGE POWERING-UP NOISE
Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 8.25.05 PM.png
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And they play it perfectly, like the elevator’s traveling the speed of sound.

Ryan eases into the space capsule
Debra: “RUUAAARR.”
Ryan clutches his stomach: “That tang’s catching up to me…”

Colin: “You must have really good ears”
Karina: “ONE….TWO…”

The eventual takeoff noises the ladies make are lawfully hysterical. These two SFX ladies are both really good at this, and are actually doing decent SFX that are also really damn funny. It’s not like most cases where they just…don’t do it.

Colin suggests they put on their jetpacks as Debra makes a ‘fssssh’ noise
Ryan: “…apparently mine just took off by itself…”

Karina: “WOOOOOOO”
Colin: “Oh, ghosts!”
[Greg loves this move]

The ladies also crack everybody up with  their jetpack noises. They just keep going, and getting louder.
Ryan, suddenly: “STOP!”
[The force of this always makes me laugh]
Colin angrily chucks the jetpack away, and Ryan and Colin are left floating around, angry. It’s such a  silly moment

Colin, to Ryan, getting out his raygun: “You expecting trouble?”
Ryan: “You never know out here…WHO KNEW THERE’D BE GHOSTS?”

Ryan prompts one of the alien creatures to talk, and one of the ladies emits an indecipherable noise
Colin mimes pulling out his translator book. That’s a fun move

Such a  silly SFX. Both effects people were in great moods, and thankfully Ryan and Colin  didn’t screw with them too much. So many goofy moments and sounds.

Scenes from a Hat:

Ending a long-term relationship in song:
When I look in your eyes…I GET INFLAMATION OF THE BUMMMM…
Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 8.45.52 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 8.45.59 PM.png

Drew: “Things you’ve always wanted to say to the audience at home.”

The ‘when a kiss is completely out of hand’ one is kinda basic, but I love Colin’s quick kiss on Wayne in a ‘your kid’s beating up my kid’ one.
Colin, back at the step: “Can we get women on the show?”
Perhaps the Chyna kiss was a direct response to this

Ryan’s ‘unusual ways  for an optometrist to test your vision’ one is a personal favorite:
Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 8.49.34 PM.png
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Another thin SFAH

World’s Worst: Psychiatrist 

Colin, to someone who isn’t there: ‘…I was just gonna tell him….I KNOW!”

Ryan: “please, sit down”
Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 8.54.04 PM.png

Colin: “PENIS ENVY? Look at THIS…”

Not a lot going on here.

Overall: Very basic. Let’s Make a Date and Sound Effects were the standouts, everything  else was very okay. No sign of other runners, which honestly hurts this one more. Just a lot of unconnected stuff lying around, which isn’t the best foot forward for a monolithic taping like this one.

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: Colin had the best lines.
Worst Performer: Greg wasn’t very present here.
Best Game: Sound Effects made me laugh the hardest
Worst Game: World’s Worst was limp.

COMING UP NEXT: Ironically, another show that tries to be boilerplate while having two sister shows that are insanely good. This is a dispatch from the Florence Henderson taping, and the third show we’re getting from the 508 show featuring Brad Sherwood. And it’s…alright.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E07, or SCREECH…SCA-REECH…

As I mentioned earlier, after the 100th show went well, the producers suggesting including more ‘holiday’ episodes to the Fall 2001 tapings, to get more ‘event’ ratings, and they subsequently filmed shows for Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day, though only the Halloween show aired during regulation.

This…is the Halloween show, from a very frenzied and well-reported-upon Greg taping  which I’ll no doubt get to talk in detail about.

Drew: “To make it feel like Halloween, we have somebody egging your house right now”

Make a Monster: Colin, Dr. Frankenstein, and Greg, Igor, construct monsters, played by Ryan and Wayne

This is a very odd yet very cool game that debuted in the Fall 2001 tapings, and was a great choice for the Halloween show.

Colin and Greg go right into some very fun characterizations as Frankenstein and Igor. They figure out that they should do the head of someone one of the two of them can do an impression of, so they give Ryan the head of John Wayne:
Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 7.55.36 PM.png

Greg has a nice move of making the legs different, one being from a soccer player, and the other being from “a Radio City rockette”, making it extra difficult for Ryan

Colin, for the arms: “Oh, I know- how about the robot from Lost in Space.”

Once Ryan ‘comes to life’ he does a good job of displaying every attribute at once without seeming too overwhelmed by any of it.

Greg, who actually seems to be better at this game than Colin, gifts Wayne with the head of Sammy Davis Jr., KNOWING that Wayne can do that impression

Greg, leaning into Colin’s torso: “He might sing a ROMANTIC TUUUNE”
Colin: “…what are you talking into?”
Greg: ‘…just checking your [CENSORED]”
This is one of those censored lines I’ve never been able to decipher. Is it ‘briefs’?

Colin ends up slapping Greg at a truly animated moment
Greg: ‘…THANK YOU!”
These characters are probably the best part of this game

Greg starts Wayne off with an arm from Muhammad Ali
Colin, out of ideas: “and the other arm…..from a woman.”

Also, I like the sudden, odd use of monster movie sound effects when Greg turns the machine on. Adds to the Halloweeny feel of it

Ryan, as John Wayne: “HEAD ON OVER HERE AND GIVE US…some sugar.”

The song portion sort of works, though you can tell there’s some clumsiness from both singers, ESPECIALLY RYAN, who seems like he’s reaching for most of this.

Once the game ends, Ryan mutters something to Wayne, possibly about who was really the man and the woman as they clearly forgot, and Wayne cracks up.

A very clumsy first playing of this, and honestly the opening Colin-Greg portion was better than the ending song. But this game has promise, even though we’d only see it once more (in a playing I prefer)

Drew, postgame, says he asked the producers for some candy, but all the produced was jelly beans, which “…maybe Halloween candy in England, but here it’s…Easter candy…”
So Drew just…chucks a handful at the seats. Knowing full well how pathetic this is.
Ryan does a chicken motion, as if Drew just passed out seed
Greg: “Jelly beans on the floor? This is the best holiday ever, Drew…”

Scenes from a Hat:

And now…one of the shortest SFAH rounds in the show’s history. Don’t worry, we’ll eventually see more scenes from this taping in a later show.

Drew: “Things you don’t want to hear in the dark”
Colin: “Trust me, the points don’t matter.”

And Greg and Wayne do a pretty genius one:
Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 8.13.23 PM.png
Wayne, offstage, in a Jamaican accent: “…hey baby, move over.”
Greg, giving us a location: “…GUARD!”

Also, as an observation, the buzzer sounds a lot different this taping. It’s kind of lower, if that means anything.

“What Slasher Movie Villains are Really Thinking While They’re Waiting To Pop Out” is such a good suggestion, it makes up the rest of the game
Ryan: “….man, I gotta go…”
Colin, practicing: “…stop, you’re about to DIE…no…you’re going to DIIIE…”
Colin, concerned: “…where are they? Gee…hope nothing’s happened to them…”

And this ends with Greg and Ryan stabbing each other over a turf war, which is a very funny ending

Short and sweet, though not really to the caliber of other recent SFAHs

Drew, with a new bowl on his desk: “Funny thing happened while you were doing that- I found the GOOD Halloween candy…”
So Drew flings some lollipops and jawbreakers at them. Ryan just absentmindedly comes down and gets some
Greg: “You know, who doesn’t wanna be seen eating a tootsie roll on TV?”
Least it’s not a Toblerone..

Greg, laughing on a lull: “…THAT BAZOOKA JOE!”
I kinda love the laid back feel the candy’s giving this show. Especially the mood Greg’s in. This mood would carry throughout the taping, and there’s a GREAT bit from Greatest Hits that didn’t make air with him and Drew discussing what Whose Line would be like if World War II never ended [“it’d just be called Whose Maginot Line is it Anyway”]. One day I hope they release it.

Weird Newscasters: Colin anchors, Greg, politician filming a smear campaign against his rival Drew, co-anchors, Wayne, Frat boy doing a serious of outrageous dares to impress his drinking buddies in the front row, does sports while Ryan, rise and fall of a 1940s Boxer, does weather

Ryan’s quirk confuses him.

I can  confirm that this Colin intro and opening joke is from pickups. This one has a punchline of “now the snakes don’t even have a pit to hiss in”, which is a cheeky pun

Greg: “As you know, my opponent, Drew Carey, lives in a house made entirely of chocolate…where he allows children to slide down the chocolate into a pool made up of nothing but gelatinous fluid.”
[Colin has a great disgusted look to camera here]

Greg’s able to nail this quirk  AND leave Drew laughing rather than mad at him. Greg’s good at making up ridiculous details instead of just…insults.

Wayne’s good at playing off the audience, especially one random guy who WOOs once he grabs the candy bucket on Drew’s desk.

Sure enough, Wayne starts shoving as much of the candy as he can into his mouth, which Drew somehow abets him on.

And, eventually…
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Ryan…takes a creative approach to ‘1940s Boxer’
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Yep. Different kind of boxer entirely. Once the audience gets it, they LOVE this

Of course, the ‘fall’ is Ryan spontaneously being mowed down by a truck

A fairly solid WN, but a bit disjointed in parts. Nothing really interacted, everything was self-contained, and a little smaller than expected. Ryan’s was a great cop-out, Wayne’s was a messy but fun idea, and only Greg’s really felt fully-realized.

Drew, realizing that people now need to clean up the candy, just shakes his head
Wayne: “Here are the show-brakes. SCREEECH.”

A line not used in the edit but definitely said by Drew was “it looks like Walt Disney threw up…”

Hats: Dating Service Videos

Ah yes, Hats. The game the producers kept making the performers go back and do ALL THROUGHOUT THE TAPING. It’s hard to tell which pickups some of these are from.

Drew: “Take it away…RYAN AND COLIN.”
Ryan and Colin:
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This must have been in pickups. They have NOTHING

I can confirm that these hats came from Halloween blowout sales. I can also say that I DEFINITELY saw this hat being sold in Halloween stores in 2001:
Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 8.37.38 PM.png
“…you’ve got one down to go!”
[middling response]
Colin lifts up the hat, looks at the camera, and mutters “…yeah”. this is what the whole round feels like for them

Colin, Elmer Fudd hat: “I’m just wooking for a wittle wove…”

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 8.39.48 PM.pngWayne: “…I like long walks….poo…”
This not only gets a good reaction from the audience, but Wayne as well

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 8.40.45 PM.pngGreg: “Well, I’m out of the caterpillar stage.”
Drew, back to last game: “SCREECH. SCAAAREECH.”
Greg, standing up: “You put the goddamned wings on…”

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 8.42.43 PM.pngWayne: “I don’t have one, I just wanted to wear this…”

Ryan aborts a wolf-one halfway through, thinking it won’t air. Meanwhile, we get this shot:
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Eventually, Drew gets Ryan to do his:
Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 8.44.32 PM.png
Ryan, barely into it: “…ALL THE BETTER TO EAT YOU WITH.”

A weird, barely-airable Hats round. Would have loved to see what didn’t make it.

Helping Hands: Drew goes to see old witch Ryan, hands by Colin, to have his fortune told and buy some magic potions

Ryan, as Colin just sticks his fingers in his mouth early: “…MY FINGERS TASTE UNUSUALLY ODD TODAY…ALMOST LIKE I HAVEN’T WASHED THEM IN WEEKS.”
Almost like the producers kept shoving them back into a box of used hats for two hours…

Ryan: “Here’s what you need, the spell of LOVE.”
Drew: “I can get that for 15 dollars?”
Ryan: “Not good love, FAST love…”

Ryan, with a gummy snake: “Why don’t you do the other end, and we’ll do the puppy thing”
Second time he’s forgotten the name of Lady and the Tramp. BUT A SECOND LATER HE REMEMBERS IT

Drew and Ryan go right up the snake, closer…but right when Ryan pulls in, Drew just yanks the  whole thing out of his mouth. One guy in the audience boos. He REALLY WANTED them to kiss.

It culminates in the usual ‘making Ryan have something disgusting’, and this isn’t even the best one of those. So this one petered off for me.

Overall: As a HALLOWEEN SHOW…kind of a disappointment, in terms of game selection. Helping Hands and Make a Monster could have been swapped out with a festive Hoedown and Hollywood Director. As is…this show’s alright. Nothing too special. SFAH’s fine, Weird Newscasters is flawed, Hats is done at gunpoint. Nothing seems to succeed entirely, more…partially. But the theming bits, and the candy, are all very funny. Greg even had a nice show despite not doing a whole hell of a lot.

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: Yeah, Greg gets it. Had marvelous showings in Make a Monster, Weird Newscasters and SFAH.
Worst Performer: Honestly, Wayne. Didn’t do much.
Best Game: …fuck it. Scenes from a Hat. It was quick and didn’t disappoint me.
Worst Game: Helping Hands just didn’t work for me.

COMING UP NEXT: Well…next show is a very weird one to talk about. It’s an episode from a Brad taping that only had two episodes from it, both ‘event’ shows. And this one is a guest star episode, that, uh…features a guest star that’s going to be very difficult to write about.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E05, or THAT’S Where Poo Comes From…

The funny part about this taping is that even though 4×26 is arguably the more well-known episode, and with that Greatest Hits I can’t argue with that, I honestly think of this episode first when I think of this taping. I guess it’s a simpler gag, but it’s still a good show.

Superheroes: A Shortage of Post-It Notes
Greg: Delayed Reaction Man
Ryan: Becomes Hysterical Too Easily Girl
Colin: The Happy Flasher
Wayne: Constantly Run Over by a Car Man

Greg nails the character immediately, just in reacting to the suggestion, with a late “……WHAT?”

Drew does his usual sendoff: “Delayed reaction man, there’s a shortage of post-it notes, what are you gonna do?”
Greg, for like 10 seconds:
Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 8.56.31 PM.pngGreg: “…..oh, RIGHT.”

Greg: “RING RING RING……..I’ve GOT to get that phone.”
Greg  is great at making silly quirks like these work with complete earnestness. Something about getting behind a silly idea and making it seem like second nature to him…makes me understand why he supported Kamala Harris
Boo me for that in January 2021

Greg does his usual “I hope my super-friends arrive soon”
Ryan, wisely: “Ding-dong”
Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 8.59.36 PM.pngHe answers the phone, confusedly. My god, he’s so good at these


Ryan rolls off several hysterical lines, ending with “AND WHAT IS WITH THAT HAIR”, pointing out how uncharacteristically floofy Greg’s hair is tonight
Greg: “…Hi, how are you?”

Ryan names Colin ‘the Happy Flasher’, and within SECONDS:
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I love how well those two know each other

Greg brings back a UK S6-era ‘WOW’ to the camera


Wayne has the timing to make his work, and Ryan even shrieks the first time he gets hit by a car
Greg: “…..WATCH OUT!”
Wayne: [gets hit]
Greg: “…no, I meant BEFORE…”

Before Colin leaves, he flashes Ryan like 6 more times, knowing he’s gonna have the same reaction each time. It’s really amusing

Ryan, with NOTHING: “Well, I’ve gotta go…”
Greg, saving him: “….HI, HOW’S IT GOING, GOOD TO SEE YOU…”
Ryan: [runs offstage]

A VERY FUN Superheroes. Very silly stuff from everyone, and all four just worked really well off of each other.

Song Styles: Wayne sings to Ivy, a professional bingo caller, as Michael Jackson from the Thriller video; Ryan, Colin and Greg backup

As usual, once Drew announces the other 3 are doing backup, Ryan takes the longest to come downstage.

Wayne…of course has that MJ impression down. He knows what he’s doing.

Colin  seems to be having the most fun dancing. Greg’s doing some hunchback Rocky Horror kind of stuff still

I actually like how clever a lot of Wayne’s lyrics are in this one, and how he skews his verses a little differently due to the MJ of it all.

In the middle of the chorus, Ryan just…falls over. It’s very amusing. I feel like he didn’t want to do this song much longer, though. Even more amusingly, Greg and Colin go over and try to help him up, which takes away from the spooky tone of the song- they’re not spooky, they’re just trying to help each other. That’s a very silly juxtaposition

By the end, Ryan, Colin and Greg in the back are cracking me up more than the song is. The song’s fine, but…the other 3 are too damn goofy.

An alright song, but good for the backup

Multiple Personalities: Greg, Ryan and Colin are on a deserted island
Binoculars – Jimmy Stewart
Knife – Braveheart (William Wallace)
Canteen – Carol Channing

Yes, Colin still has to do this game.

Drew, reading the card AND seeing Ryan’s holding the canteen: “…man are we lucky we’re not talking about serendipity…”
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To their credit, the writers did get two impressions the majority of people can do- Colin and Ryan are known for doing Jimmy Stewart, and Colin and Greg are known for doing Braveheart. Greg’s also done Carol Channing once or twice, even if that’s mainly Ryan’s thing


Ryan, very early on, is forced to do Braveheart and Carol at the same time, and it’s…more amusing than accurate. Ryan even squints after he’s done, knowing he bollocksed it up

Greg,as Jimmy, mentions a rabbit
Ryan, doing a surprisingly good Braveheart: “THAT’S THE RABBIT OF RICHARD’S MEN”
He moons the camera. Also, him saying ‘rabbit’ just reminds me of John Cleese as Tim the Enchanter for some reason

Greg: “D’you think they’ll be confused when they see two moons?”
Ryan: [is confused]
Colin, doing a VERY BAD CAROL: “YE-EEEES”
Ryan: [is even more confused]

My favorite unsaid improv move here- he hands the knife to Colin, he’s done being Braveheart, and he clearly wants the binoculars because he hasn’t been Jimmy Stewart yet. But Colin hands him the canteen, because HE’S done being Carol. So Ryan has a moment of mental lapse, not wanting to do Carol again. He’s left holding the canteen AND the binoculars for a second, barely holding on, until Greg grabs the canteen.

This works- Ryan pulls off a PHENOMENAL Jimmy Stewart, like usual, and Colin goes to his comfort zone of a Scottish accent.

Colin: ‘…who brought Liberace!”
Hell, that’s kind of meta, because they’ve done Liberace in this game before
Greg, in retaliation, sticks Colin with the canteen and grabs the knife. This game has become strategic, because all three of them know that no one wants the canteen, and everyone wants the comfort of a Scottish accent.

The game ends with Colin getting all three, and having to do a combination of the three. So, we get…angry, slightly-camp stuttering. Which works.

Dare I say it…maybe the most successful playing of this ever? Usually when they play this game, I don’t love it because there’s not much to it other than bad impressions, but here there was the strategic element to the back-and-forth, and here it was juicier when certain people got certain objects, and it brought out the best in the other 3. Probably my  favorite playing of this one. I know I recently said that about 4×23’s, but….I dunno, I like this one a lot too.

Funeral: Greg holds a funeral for Katrina, who died in a freak miniature golf accident- Ryan and Colin attend

ANOTHER GAME WE HAVEN’T SEEN IN YEARS. We last saw Funeral around S7 of the UK version, and it was played only a few times. Now it’s brought back as a Greg showcase during two S4 tapings. Possibly the 100th show taping, though probably not.

Drew leads this game in without telling anyone what it is. Around Drew asking for a hobby, Colin audibly goes ‘oh’, figuring out what it is. Maybe he thinks it’s Doo-Wop, because that’s what the lead-in is for that game…but Greg doesn’t play Doo-Wop.

Drew eventually reveals the game, and BOTH COLIN AND GREG LAUGH. Because it’s such a rare, and tricky game, and they didn’t know they’d be doing it.

Greg: “We all know how she met her end…she tried to stuff the ball in the dragon without using her club to get the free game…her hand got stuck and…”

Greg, to Colin: “Barney, you were Katrina’s coach…”
I like that angle. Trying to make mini-golf into something more serious and professional than it is

Very funny juxtaposition of Colin telling a funny memory as Ryan does an over-the-top wailing cry.

Ryan: “I’ve known Katrina for 20 years…she was into miniature golf, miniature bowling, miniature basketball…she loved everything miniature…which explains why we dated for 4 years…”
RIGHT ON THE MONEY. Such a great bunch of details there

Greg: “I think if Katrina were alive…she’d be hitting a little orange ball toward a gopher-”

Like usual in Funeral, the joined-song makes it apparent who’s leading early, and this time it’s clearly Ryan leading the other 2.

Ryan’s stringing the other 2 along so loosely they lose key AND rhythm, but they get the final rhyme right: “When you died, I yelled FOOOOOOOORE”

Like the theme tonight, very silly. Very, very silly. But also, substantial enough to warrant a return. Though…to be honest, the other S4-era playing of funeral is a little better. It saddens me that I have to wait a few more seasons to get to it.

Scenes from a Hat:

And here we go
Drew: “Unlikely subjects to be the basis for a musical”
Ryan: “What’s the matter with roadkiiiiiiillll…”
Colin, immortally: “How does food become POOOOOO? I’LL! TELL! YOOOOOU!”
And as he does his interpretive intestinal dance, the audience just…dies laughing
He comes back…and shakes his head. Not proud. Meanwhile, Drew, Greg, Wayne and the audience are still laughing at it

Ryan, after another one of his, comes back, looks at Colin, shakes his head, and repeats: “…how does food become poo…”

Drew: “Things you shouldn’t do…last minute”
Greg, to Wayne: “And have a good first day at school- DADDY’S GAY.”

Unlikely first lines of Medical Ads
Colin, deadly serious: “…ever wonder how food becomes poo?”
[THAT is how you bring a joke back. Subvert it]
Greg: “…been decapitated recently?”
I also have a soft spot for that one.

As this is early 2001, “What’s really going through George W. Bush’s mind during cabinet meetings”
Wayne: “….”
Greg: “Hm…what DOES the W stand for?”
Greg: “…WHATEVER.”

Colin, being Colin: “…there isn’t even a cabinet IN here…”

Wayne does have a nice one, and his first good moment since Song Styles: He goes up, points to his stomach and mutters “…THAT’s where poo comes from…”

Another strong SFAH. Very concise, and very consistent.

What confuses me is why we didn’t go right to commercial from here, as it seems like there’s no transition between here and IDS

Irish Drinking Song: Got pregnant on a date

Drew: “Now we all know in life that one man’s heaven is another man’s hell, and to PROVE THAT, we’re gonna do a game called the IRISH DRINKING SONG”
That about sums it up

Drew emphasizes he needs something embarrassing that happened ‘on a date’, but someone behind him still goes ‘GOT PREGNANT’. Lemonade from lemons.

Greg: “…ON A DATE?”
Ryan, jokingly, waves: ‘…I remember you…”

Wayne makes a BOLD decision on the first line, as this is about pregnancy: “I once went out with a GUY.”
So the character is a female. Or a pregnant man. Greg’s kinda thrown off, as he cracks up through his line

Wayne: “We went back to my place”
Greg: “And then it got intense”
Colin: “Boy we had a lot of fun”
Something about that visual makes me laugh. Ryan’s great with IDS visuals. I equate this to ‘woke up to an ugly head’, because I just imagine Ryan awkwardly constructing a fence after some sex-related window shattering.
Greg also gets a kick out of this one. He’s on edge for most of this one

Wayne finally makes a decision about the sex, after Colin mentions swelling ovaries: “I’m a dude, what the hell”
SO…Wayne starts by specifying he’s going out with a guy, then ends his punchline by specifying that HE’S a guy. Boy…it’s almost like Wayne’s improv isn’t as good as the other 3’s.
[Wonder which line off of this people will kill me for, the Kamala one or that one?]

Wayne: “I had me baby”
Greg: “…right in me underwear”

Ryan: “The head started to crown”
Wayne: “He turned around and said ‘dad'”
It’s a random line, but it’s funny as hell. Colin even gives him a look, to which Greg shrugs.

Greg: “And when I slapped his bottom”
Colin: “I slapped the doctor instead”

Colin is set up by Wayne to rhyme with ‘good’
Greg: “And when I got him home that night”
Colin, pushing it for a guaranteed laugh  line: “You can get poo from fud!”
Ryan turns away, Wayne stumbles and laughs, Greg BARELY holds it together. Eventually Greg buckles, and by the end, Colin’s the only one singing the refrain. As it should be.

Adding to the overall theme of silliness, this one was on the verge of getting lost for most of the game, but they pulled through and made it a very funny, comedy-detail-oriented game of this. So many good points, and that insanely funny ending.

Props: Ryan and Drew vs. Wayne and Colin

My god, this show’s packed. All this AND Props?

Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 10.00.08 PM.pngColin: “…I guess Yogi didn’t hear ya say Timber…”

Ryan’s goofy flower face here kills me:
Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 10.00.54 PM.png

I do love the practicality of Drew’s Daffy-Duck bill, just sort of flapping around

Colin does a ‘that was one sick dog’ with his, but I feel as though he missed the opportunity for a ‘how does food become poo’ gag there

And we end with…triumph:
Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 10.02.33 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 10.02.46 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 10.02.52 PM.png
I love Ryan’s surprised, pleased reaction there

Pretty dang good Props.

Overall: This one could be classified as a 9 or a 10, but…dammit, so much happened in this one that I’m giving it a 10 anyway, because that felt really fulfilling. All of those great games and a running gag, and I don’t feel exhausted. It feels like what whose line is supposed to be, just a bunch of solid improv games one after the other, with no guest stars or external factors swaying things one way. It also helped that Greg was a really strong fourth seater this show, and took a front-seat presence in several games, including Superheroes and Funeral. The highlights, and there are many, include an insanely compatible Superheroes, one of the best Multiple Personalities games, a hysterical Scenes from a Hat and a breakneck, nearly-disastrous yet hysterical Irish Drinking Song. And it didn’t even feel like there was Tapioca games done around this one. It just felt like…the quintessential, consistent standard for all great Whose Lines. Hell, maybe more people can break into the show using this one, because it’s enough to make anybody a fan, I think.

Show Winner: Greg
Best Performer: Colin takes it, not for the ‘poo from food’ thing, but just for acing a number of games he doesn’t usually knock out of the park, like Multiple Personalities and Props. Versatile ass day for him.
Worst Performer: Wayne’s only highlight was Song Styles.
Worst Game: Props is the lightest, but it’s not even remotely bad.

COMING UP NEXT: Now that you mention it, this next one’s a little similar to this episode. True, it’s a Kathy show, one of the unreleased Kathy tapings from S4, but it has a song styles with backup dancers, and it has a crass running gag that starts in Scenes from a Hat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Narrate: Maternity Ward

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can immediately see that Ryan has no idea what to do with this parrot information, though. He prefaces his long, scene-tying speech with “THIS IS GONNA MAKE SENSE, LISTEN TO ME.”
And Colin’s just shaking his head, knowing Ryan has no idea what he’s doing. He goes up again, and clarifies that Ryan doesn’t know what he’s doing, saying “I knew he was gonna explain EXACTLY how it all interconnected”
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[Ryan reacts very well to that]
And then Colin just…does this
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Ryan: “Sure, I can explain it…but wouldn’t it be better coming from the parrot?”
And then one ups Colin, giving him the parrot so he doesn’t have to explain anything.

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

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

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


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

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

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

Third meh-ish scene in a row.

Greatest Hits: Songs of Retirement v2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Props: Wayne and Colin vs. Ryan and Drew

Ryan’s first idea is a pretty fun one:
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Yes. The scene from Big. Amazing

And another wholesome and creative one from Ryan:
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Colin wearing the prop like a diaper is amusing as hell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wayne’s is just over the top enough

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THEN, HOWEVER, Ryan and Colin get up there

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

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

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

Ryan instructs Colin to do the legs thing by exclaiming he’s got the wrong dancing shoes on, so he reluctantly drops to the floor and puts his legs up
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Colin: “WHAT??”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scenes from a Hat:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hoedown: Hockey Player

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greg: “WHO’S A BAD BOY.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hats: Dating Service Videos

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

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Colin: “No. Let me give YOU a tip…”

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

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

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

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

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

Greatest Hits: Songs of College

Annnnd here we go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ryan, opening a gift for Greg
I love that line

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World’s Worst: Priest or Rabbi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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