Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S06E06, or SHUT UP, I’M ASLEEP!

Five shows ago we had a triumphant debut, with the first offering from Chip’s 505 taping, the last one we’d yet to see from that season. Now we have one more, which is, of course…the last episode we’d see from it. There is so much unaired material from this taping, but…sure, just cap it at two.

This is the Valentine’s Day special. It aired in August. That’s how much ABC cared.

Thank you Drew for telling the truth about Cheez Whiz. As a Philadelphian, I feel this doesn’t get talked about enough

Press Conference: Chip, Ryan and Wayne interview Colin, the Queen  of England announcing her affair with Ryan Stiles

Drew famously has trouble with the intro to this one. It takes him three tries to say ‘Chip, Ryan  and Wayne  are NEWSPAPER REPORTERS.” This gets applause
Drew, mumbling on: “attendeh a pwess confwence hewd by Colin…but Colin doesn’t know  who you is- COLIN DOESN’T…”
Colin, with no choice: “WHO IS YOU?”

Ryan: “Not as much a question as just i’d like to compliment you on your wonderful taste.”
It  occurs to me how funny it is  that we’re getting this game 4 episodes before we get a similar Ryan-related game

Chip introduces himself as ‘Carl pretending to be a reporter’. Originally he said “Carl, from Carl dot com’, and they had to refilm it because Dan looked and there was, in fact, a Carl dot com. As of April 2020, that domain is free.

Chip, with a great delivery: “I’d like to know…why on EARTH you would ever go public with this…”

Ryan asks why “…that choice”
Colin: “It all started with muffins”
[why  did no one address that?]
Ryan: “Believe me, I KNOW why…”

Wayne’s question, of if “the height difference [is] any concern to you”, didn’t get enough laughs. THAT’s great
Colin: “Well, once you take off the shoes…pretty much the same height”
HA

Ryan: “Does that make me anything?”
Colin: “…about 40,000 a year?”

Colin gets who he is after Chip asks if Ryan “saw you on his money”
Colin: “Yes, and also on a stamp, and that’s when I got my first licking”
WOW. PERFECT.

Colin gets it spot on, but to be fair the other 3 were great at giving him clues

Colin: “Heyy, not only do I do great character work, I’M BRIGHT!”
Words to live by.

A pretty good Press Conference, though I feel like a few steps down from what this one should have been given the self-deprecating nature

Sound Effects: Ryan is a gallant knight trying to reach Rapunzel, Colin, in the tallest tower of the witch’s castle, he must free her and escape past the witch, the sleeping dragon, and other dangers so they can be wed

As expected, Colin disapprovingly shakes his head once he finds out he’s playing the woman

Drew justifies the scene description by saying ’cause it’s Valentine’s Day’
Colin: “Yeah, nothing says Valentine’s more than a bald damsel”
He’s just full of good nuggets tonight

Ryan, after arriving with no sound: “I would have been quicker, but I thought I had a horse”

Colin demonstrates the squeaky  door, which Andrea adds a high ‘EEE’ to
Ryan: “Well there’s a mouse caught in there as well..”

Neely actually does some good whistling, but Ryan still justifies: “had some crackers on the way over”

Nelly, once Ryan has the horse come in, does a full ‘CLIPPITY-CLOP, CLIPPITY-CLOP’ effect.
Colin, with a  concerned delivery that cracked me up: “…maybe we should just walk.”

I love how Ryan and Colin pass the dragon with the intent of an audience member making  some sound and having that be a plot point, but neither of them have that happen. So Ryan  and Colin have to just move on

Ryan slays the dragon in one stab, leading to Neely doing an exaggerated ‘augh’ noise
Ryan: “Hey, I’m stickin’ with this sword…”

I love the noises Neely and Andrea make for the trolls. They seem to amuse Ryan as well

Colin, after kicking trolls: “We can’t keep this up much longer”
Ryan then cracks, knowing what’s gonna happen before he even says the line: “I WISH MY HORSE WOULD COME…”
THAT cracks me up. Not only is it an ace callback, but it also just goes back to how funny Neely and Andrea have been, and how even the thought of them doing the horse cracks up Ryan

Of course, both Neely and Andrea do the ‘clippity-clop’ noise
Ryan: “TWO OF ‘EM!”
Colin: “Oh, they’re…bringing some beer”
He shakes his head, knowing that line when absolutely nowhere

And then once they start riding the horses, Neely pipes in the calvary theme. As if this is suddenly a sequel to 4×25’s SFX [EEEEE HAAAA, EEEE HAAAA]

A very silly SFX. Honestly, it took a bit too long to really get going, but the last minute of this was extremely funny.

Duet: Chip and Wayne sing an  R&B  song to the Loyola Marymount Cheerleaders

EIGHT CHEERLEADERS. EIGHT OF THEM. ALL ONSTAGE.

Of course, right after they come on, Wayne gives Drew a  hug and a handshake. Perfect

There’s not a ton to the lyrics, but this is a fun enough song. Even though when I think R&B, I don’t always think of songs this fast-paced.

Honestly, a very empty Song Styles. Not much to this one at all, which is kinda disappointing. No real jokes, nothing I haven’t seen before with ‘look at the hot girl’ SS playings.

Living Scenery: Ryan and Colin are two cowboys who tend to their cattle and set up camp for the night. Jennifer, Pamela and Lyann from LMU are all the props

Colin: [jumps with glee]
Ryan:
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Here, Ryan AND Colin try removing their wedding rings. Usually it’s just Ryan

Right before the scene actually starts, Ryan lets out a sigh, as if he can’t believe he actually gets to do this game with cheerleaders

Colin starts the scene by feeding the three cheerleaders, as horses
Ryan: “I can’t believe you have 3  horses and ya made me WALK.”

The visual of Ryan and Colin rubbing the three of them together to make a fire is very silly. Wayne has to stand up in  the background

The scene goes towards Ryan and Colin needing bed rolls, and the three of them form two bed structures.
Colin, pointing to the two of them: “…I’ll take the twin.”

Ryan has no problem with his, Colin…struggles getting underneath both of them, so he moves on:
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Colin: “I SEE SOMETHING!”
Ryan, very  close to his mic: “…SHUT UP, I’M ASLEEP.”
Genius. Just a very fun improv move, just refusing to move on with the scene because he loves where he is now.

Colin: “I hear rustlers”
Ryan: “WELL, GO TAKE CARE OF IT! I ain’t gettin’ up…”

I love how Ryan’s cheerleader chuckles, worriedly, right before Ryan is about to pick up his “big bear rifle”. Like a cartoon character going “oh NO”
Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 8.13.37 PM.pngColin: “DON’T POINT IT AT ME!!!!”
Pffff

Colin puts on his chaps, and…
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Man, they’re really  good at this

Ryan, helping  this visual, puts on his ‘jacket’:
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Honestly, a really  good Living Scenery, made great by the enthusiasm the cheerleaders had, and how close they were to just actual audience members. Hell, one of their sisters got to be a subject of a 3HBS in  this taping. They’re basically members of the public, and it came off like that, though they were very game, and knew exactly where to go. Colin and Ryan were also great at moving the  scene along in between stopping to enjoy everything.

Colin, as the cheerleaders leave, jokingly  chases after them. Once he’s about to get back to his seat, he turns around, looks  at Drew, and goes “THIS is a great country!”

Colin: “I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but that’s the closest I ever got to cheerleaders”

Colin does a reprise of his ‘your wife’ ‘who?’ joke from 5×25, but Wayne adds in that this is going out on Valentine’s Day
Colin awkwardly waves: “Happy Valentine’s Day”

Irish Drinking Song: Passed Wind

No Drew game, but…I don’t think I’d trade a Drew game for this IDS. No sir. Duet, maybe, but not this.

Drew asks for “something embarrassing that happened to you on a date”
One lady: “FARTED!”
Drew turns wordlessly to the four of them.
Chip, semi-mockingly: “FARRRTED!”
Drew: “Let’s see if we can get away with that one”
Ryan and Chip both turn to Keith, who I imagine just shrugs

Wayne: “It started to rumble”
Chip: “It felt kind of neat”
Colin: “Boy it was so horrible”
Ryan: “I dropped right off my feet!”

Chip: “She said ‘what is the matter?
Colin: “Are you feeling fine?”
Ryan: “I had to lie to her that day”
Wayne: “I had things out my behind”
PFFFF. Wayne has been doing a lot of cool odd jobs all night

Colin: “She took me took the doctor”
Ryan: “She took me to the cops”
PFFFF. That detail makes me laugh. Your boyfriend farts so you try to have him arrested?”
Wayne, for escalation’s sake: “She took me to the judges”
Chip: “CAUSE THE GAS, IT WOULDN’T STOP”
Colin: “It just kept emitting”
Ryan: “The paper’s said it was so”
Wayne, who’s SO GREAT in this one: “It  became a nationwide epidemic!”
That’s funny. Guy farted on a  date, nationwide epidemic. And it’s arguably funnier that Chip puts it into perspective with his ender: “The wind began to blow!”

Ryan: “And now I’m world famous”
Wayne: “Everyone knows my name”
Chip: “They all say ‘he’s a comin'”
Colin, thankfully putting this  into perspective: “My passing gas is my fame”

Ryan: “I’ll live on in history.”
Wayne: “What is a guy to do?”
Something about rhyming with ‘do’ in these tapings. Wayne sets Colin up here with it, and again in  the Kathy Griffin taping, and Colin never rhymes lawfully with it.
Colin: “OOPS….I POOED.”
AMAZING.
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So…I’m gonna make a bold statement. This…might be the best Irish Drinking Song they ever did. There’s competition, and you can say the ‘Voted for Ross Perot’ one or the ‘Got Mugged’ one, but…this is a complete story, every verse has some laughs, everyone stays together til the final line, and it’s a ridiculous story that handles escalation and perspective really well. So many amazing moves over the course of this song, it’s kind of a marvel.

Overall: A holiday special that didn’t have much to do with the holiday, a guest star show where the guest stars were glorified audience members, a Chip show where Chip barely comes across in  it…dare I even say that this was a little weird, and a little off? This is still a fine show, and Press Conference, Living Scenery, IDS and the last half of Sound Effects are all solid. But the fact that the producers rushed this as both a guest star show AND a holiday show, without letting either breathe, or without just deciding to release 2 separate episodes…makes this one feel very off. Not bad, but off. I mean, a show with this level of Irish Drinking Song AND this level of Living Scenery can’t be bad, but Duet, and a few editing factors, take away a lot here.

Show Winner: N/A
Best Performer: Colin had the best lines all night.
Worst Performer:  Chip, as discussed, didn’t have much to do, which is a shame.
Best Game: IRISH DRINKING SONG. Perfect from beginning to end.
Worst Game: Duet. Big nothing.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. They were great in Living Scenery, even if they’re not really STARS per se.

COMING UP NEXT: A Greg show from a Season 4 taping. To be honest, this is the one that I always am confused about why it didn’t air in S4. Cause I remember it being really good, even with some amusing game choices.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E30, or Why Don’t You Talk for a While?

One more episode from the Jerry Springer taping. Here, for the first time, we get a leftover game from a guest star episode, just…hanging out here, in between all the usual S5-era guestless games. How odd. But yes, there is a Jerry Springer game here, which…sure.

Still, this is our last show from the last Greg taping of S5, the last taping of S5. So the generally too-loose feel might still come through

As evidenced by the off-feeling of the taping, the show starts with Drew messing up a points don’t matter joke, and Colin and Ryan losing it over it.

Make a Monster: Colin and Greg are Dr. Frankenstein and Igor, crafting monsters out of Ryan and Wayne

The second and last playing of this S5. I do wonder why they didn’t do much to flip the script on the setup. Perhaps this wasn’t made for multiple playings, as the variations come from Colin and Greg, and not from the description. So it’d be a tricky game to play multiple times, too

Also makes me wonder if they played this one at the Richard Simmons taping as well.

Greg  pulls a Young Frankenstein gag, oblivious to the confusion of him having the same name as his ‘twin brother, Igor’.

Greg: “I heard that you’re the most evil scientist in all the world, and not only evil, TERRIBLY evil, you’re…anti-nice.”

Greg: “How about the legs of…olympic skater Brian  Boitano…”
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[AND HE’S HERE TONIGHT! no..]

Colin: “Let’s give him the arms of a dirty old man!”
Ryan, immediately:
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Ryan, who’s really good at this game, remembers to do all 3 attributes, especially his ace Elvis impression, while occasionally grabbing a crotch

I love Wayne springing  into his Mr. T face:
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Colin, making the second Young Frankenstein joke of the game: “Oh, sweet Mr. T of life, I love you”
Greg takes a second, but he eventually gets the joke

There’s a cut in between words, but I love Greg giving Wayne the arms of a ‘Benihana chef’

Wayne’s motion is arguably better than Ryan’s doing cutting motions, dance moves, AND yelling “I PITY THE FOOL”.

Ryan, noticing Wayne, does an obligatory grope

Ryan, in song: “I can’t stop your arms, I think I gotta grab your booty”

Wayne: “But I will kill you, if you touch my butt, I pity you fool.”

Once Wayne realizes his chorus motif is ‘Ooh, just grab it’, he cracks a bit

MUCH BETTER than the first round of this. Seemed better realized, with a better Ryan-Wayne segment, and more fun Colin-Greg bits. Obviously the game itself isn’t perfect, but this got the desired audience effect

Dubbing: Lovesick bored housewife Colin is amazed when a male Strip-o-Gram, played by Jerry Springer, voice by Wayne, arrives at her door, at that point her husband Ryan arrives home and starts to compete for his wife’s attention

I kinda love that the Drew shot also has Wayne leaning over his desk, cause there’s a lot for Wayne to react to early in this game

Wayne ding-dong’s a lot, and Jerry doesn’ always connect
Colin, with the perfect go-around: “wow, without your hands, how’d you do that?”

Jerry’s really good at this game. He’s doing a good job at looking like he’s saying Wayne’s dialogue

Also, Wayne pimps Jerry out to do some “feats of athletic prowess” in dancing a bit. Which is a fun move

Ryan, with another great move: “GUNTHER WHAT ARE YOU DO…..I MEAN WHO’S THIS?”

Ryan: “You think you’ve got something better than what she rejects every night?”

Ryan, setting up the rest of this scene: “…we just happen to have a couple of brass poles in the closet…”

Colin: “Have you worked with brass, Gunther?”
Wayne: “Yes, but I prefer teflon myself.”
Jerry: [shoots Wayne a look]
Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 3.30.44 PM.png

Jerry has a  ‘grab your pole’ mistake that reminds me of David Hasselhoff’s similar gaffe from the day before’s taping. Hoff did it better

Ryan, shaking Jerry’s hand after the game: “I’m so sorry.”

Not a bad Dubbing. Like 5×12’s stuff, Jerry was very game, and lifted the material. However, also like that episode, this one could have been better, and came off like they’d done better games of this previously.

Scenes from a Hat:

“Weird Things to be coin-operated” has a good gag from Ryan, warming up defibrillators to save Colin, realizing he doesn’t have a quarter, giving up and leaving

Drew cracks up at the ‘talent segments we’ll never see in the Miss America pageant’. If only he knew he’d struggle with the name of that pageant in pickups.

Colin: [ingests an entire banana]
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“If Department Store Mannequins Could Talk”
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“…would it KILL to add a LITTLE genitalia?”
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Greg: “….what the HELL are we pointing at?”
HA

Light, kinda weak SFAH. Should have been combined with E28s so we could get more of…

Greatest Hits: Songs of Science Fiction

So, keep in mind…this is the last GH of the Fall 2001 tapings. Ultimately, this ends up being the last Greatest Hits of the Drew era. And all of that…makes this one hell of a round to go out on

Colin: “Hi, we’ll be right back to Yankee Doodle Gandhi…”

According to taping reports, Ryan made a DIRECT reference to 5×11’s Greatest Hits, yelling out BACKSTREET BOYS to confuse Colin. Unfortunately, only those in attendance that had been at Friday’s taping as well knew what the hell they were talking about, so that’s why it didn’t make air

Also, I kinda love the goofy sci-fi gags Ryan and Colin are doing to start the game

Colin, apparently after a few songs, goes right in: “I gotta tell ya…there’s something very special on this CD…it’s an excerpt from a video.”
Ryan, confused: “WHAT? You’re kidding”
Colin, in an underrated delivery: “…we have the technology”

Colin, getting to his point: “it’s a music video…it’s a BREAKDANCE music video…but wait, that’s not all…..I’M IN IT.”
Yeah, that’s right. Colin will be participating.
Ryan: “This is a bonus offer, WELL WORTH 39.95…”

Colin: “Just sit back and enjoy this….well, what you’re about to see…”

SURE ENOUGH:
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Wayne and Colin make a really good duo doing the robot and dancing together. I’m glad Wayne’s so supportive

Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 3.46.41 PM.png…oh, man

Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 3.50.20 PM.pngGenuinely fun number. Wayne’s lyrics were good, but it was all about the dancing, and Colin AND Wayne were going all out

Then Colin has to return to the stool:
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There’s genuine applause, even from Wayne and Drew, but Colin’s trying to act like nothing’s different…while also being insanely tired.
Ryan: “Is that the only shirt you HAVE?”
Colin, still very tired: “….why don’t YOU talk for a while?”
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Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 3.53.18 PM.pngpoor Colin. He looks FRIED.

Wayne casually hands Colin a glass of water, which he downs pretty quickly.

Ryan, feeling  Colin’s pulse: “…it’s like a little gerbil bouncing off a wall in there…”

There’s a cut, and they do another song that didn’t make it, because Colin eventually retains his breath. Thank god.

Colin now intros a “really incredibly fast jitterbug”
Ryan, immediately: “ARE YOU IN IT?”
Colin: “No, I am not in it.”
Ryan: “Come on, BE IN IT.”
Colin: “NO…..but don’t think I couldn’t be.”

Here…the ENTIRE AUDIENCE starts chanting for Colin. It is literally  the culmination of every Greatest Hits playing to this point. What had started as just an experiment in banter had become a beloved, comedy-duo character thing, and now the audience was so on the side of Colin’s character that they were rooting for him to do some more dancing with Wayne. WAYNE EVEN JOINS IN. AND LAURA, LINDA AND CECE. EVERYBODY WANTS THIS FOR HIM.

Ryan: [hands Colin his glass of water back]
That move basically says to Colin ‘you’re doing this whether you like it or not’
Colin: “You know what? As I recall, there may be a snippet.”

Wayne starts the song…and Colin isn’t down yet. So he TURNS TO COLIN, AND MOTIONS FOR HIM TO COME DOWN.
Colin:
Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 3.59.08 PM.png
Eventually, he has no choice

Right when Wayne starts, you can  see Greg in  the background taking his pitcher of water over to Drew’s desk, KNOWING Colin’s gonna need it

Wayne and Colin do some really fun fast-paced dancing together, and it’s such a fun moment. Wayne is so accommodating and collaborative, KNOWING Colin’s not great at things like this, and he’s making it work for him, which is so great

Colin does a move where he picks up Wayne’s legs and carries him for a bit. You can audibly hear Colin go ‘UNGH’, in pain, so Wayne starts laughing again

Another really fun number from  Wayne. And we cut back, and:
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PERFECT

A phenomenal, near-perfect Greatest Hits that only  could  have happened at the end of the taping run, and after so many years of continuity with this game. This was such a great deviation, and Wayne AND Colin were amazing doing dancing bits together. Colin was also amazing playing his tiredness for laughs. So much to love about this playing. So much.

World’s Worst: Thing to say or do on your first day in prison

Colin: “Who here loves to crochet?”
Greg, along the same lines: “who wants to hear some Judy Garland?”

Greg: “ah yes, I’ll have the coc au van, with potatoes au gratin and…a Chardonnay I think this evening…AH, SLOP. Perfect!”

Colin: “Scuse me…there’s a hole in my floor that leads to the outside…”

Greg: “Uh, no, Duke, I’m not familiar with the term ‘bye-atch’
HA

Ryan: “Hey look, my aunt sent me some BUTTER.”
PFFFFFF

Lots of gay jokes, but there were some memorable ones.

Overall: An okay show lifted by  an INCREDIBLE GAME OF GREATEST HITS. This is kinda like 4×31, where the rest  of the show isn’t much at all, but the  one game lifts it enough out of the realm of bad shows. Make a Monster and Dubbing aren’t bad, but there’s a lot of purely alright material here, and the general looseness of this taping is only stifled so much.

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: Colin took the middle games, so he takes it.
Worst Performer: Ryan honestly took a backseat to a lot of the major games.
Best Game: GREATEST HITS.
Worst Game: SFAH was very light
Guest Star Rating: Still 8/10. He was great with the potentially-embarrassing material

COMING UP NEXT: The last truly great show of Season 5, and therefore of regulation. It’s also the last season 5 taping of Season 5, and the last Brad episode of Season 5. Knowing what this one gives us, I can understand them rushing to pump this out in S5.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E28, or Lighten Up, Ya Wastard!

The rest of season 5 is arranged immaculately- 4 straight Season 5 tapings, followed by 3 straight Season 4 tapings. And then that’s the end of regulation. After this season, ABC cancels the show and only agrees to produce new seasons from old tapings, eventually handing them to ABC Family.

The block of S5 episodes begins with one of two dips into the final taping of the Fall 2001 sessions, the Greg Proops taping that brought us the unsavory Jerry Springer episode. Here we have a different guest star, back into the ‘really reaching’ territory, with Las Vegas contortionist Undarma.

Scene to Music: A newlywed couple, Colin and Wayne, are in their honeymoon suite in a luxury hotel, just as they are getting undressed a gung-ho pest exterminator, Ryan, knocks on the door to tell them that their room is infested with roaches

Very interesting that they used this one as a Director alt in S5

Wayne starts out by replicating Drew’s hand-waving sex move [if you’ve seen the Season 1 bloopers, you know what I’m talking about]. Drew just…shakes his head. It’s the end of a taping season, he’s done with Wayne. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know HOW done with him he actually is.

Drew: “a newlywed couple, Colin and Wayne”
Colin: [shakes his head]
Drew: “…decide who’s the woman!”

Wayne, picking early: “You are the most beautiful wife a man ever had.”
Colin, screwing him anyway: “So are you.”
PERFECT

Wayne puts on some smooth R&B to screw to. Colin, purposely not following, turns it off and puts on some polka. I love Colin

Ryan enters and several roaches pop out of his mouth. Which is a very Ryan move

Ryan: “Well, you’ve got a roast infection- NOT ROACHES. ROAST.”
YES

The first music is horror movie music. As Wayne runs around screaming, Ryan says to Colin: “it’s about your wife- she’s not who she appears to be.”

Then, as the plot thickens, Colin and Ryan start dancing  to the Morricone music they play in next.

Wayne starts using smoke signals to communicate
Colin: “THIS IS A NON-SMOKING ROOM!”

Ryan, as the romantic music comes in: “it’s just…how I feel about roast…”

In the Indiana Jones style, Wayne turns into a boulder and rolls after Ryan

Then, of course, we end on Riverdance. Which all 3 do in unison.

Like the last Scene to Music, a very silly, broad scene with some funny moments. Still, the use of this game as a Director variant is flawed, because eventually they lose the scene.

Scenes from a Hat:

Drew: “Famous Film Roles as Played by Scooby Doo”
Ryan: “RASTA RA RISTA, RARY.”
HA

Greg brings Colin up, and goes, regular, “but Rhett, where will I go? What will I do?”
Colin knows what he’s been set up for, but now he has to rely on a  Scooby  impression he’s not confident in:
Colin: “…FRANKLY MY DEAH…NO GIVE DAMN.”
Greg:
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Colin’s laughing. Greg’s just confused
Colin: “…Scooby’s not one of mine”

Greg: “ROU RAVE TO RASK ROURSELF RHIS RUESTION, RUNK…ROO I FEEL…RRRRRUCKY?”
Perfect

Drew: “If Welcome Signs in European Countries were Truthful”
Greg: “Entering France, roll up windows”
awww…
Greg: ‘and then they boo…”

Things You Don’t Want  to Hear Your Grandmother Singing About:
Ryan: “ohhhhh  I put rat poison in the Christmas Dinner”
and then, Ryan: “…I like to be on top!”

An alright SFAH. Felt kind of disjointed, though

Song Styles: Wayne sings to Undarma as Prince

I do wonder if Undarma, and Neena and Veena, were scouted during Drew’s Improv All-Stars tour in Vegas during that summer

Drew: “Undarma, this is Greg, Greg, Undarma. Undarma and Greg.”
HA. It’s a very 2001 gag, but I laughed.
[it’s a Dharma and Greg joke]

So, uh…
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Like the Jane number, Wayne might be a little distracted. At least nothing’s headed for his crotch this time

Wayne’s lyrics are very basic. To prove a point, he bends down, tries lifting his leg back, and fails.

Undarma lifts up a leg in a pose. Wayne, smartly, uses said leg as a microphone

And now, the single most prophetic line in Whose Line history:
Wayne: “After this episode ends, I’ll probably get a divorce.”
So, uh…this was the last US taping. So, after this episode ended…Wayne does, in fact, get a divorce. In 2007. So, uh…Wayne’s doing the work for me here.

Not a great number from Wayne, at least lyrically. I just wasn’t impressed.

Ryan: “You could sneak her on the plane in your carry-on.”

Change Letter: Greg the team doctor is treating naked star basketball player Wayne after the game in the locker room, Colin, a flirtatious female reporter, enters to interview Wayne, when suddenly, the coach, Ryan, comes in to tell Wayne he’s been benched
Can’t Say B, Have to Say W

Greg: “Alright wawy…”
AND WE’RE OFF

Colin: “Hello, I’m a reporter for the Wugle.”
Heh

Greg  tells her to leave
Colin: “Lighten up, ya wastard.”
HA. Some versions of this episode censor this, but not the one  I am watching.
Greg: “WHO YOU CALLIN A WASTARD YOU WITCH.”

Ryan, entering: “…yoooou call yourself a Wadger.”

Ryan: “THAT WAS A WAD GAME. A WAD GAME. [to Colin] What are you doin here, with your…woows flappin all over the place?”

Greg and Ryan forget that ‘Wobby’ has some more B’s they’re forgetting about

Greg: “Here, lemme hold your walls.”
Wayne: [grabs two basketballs from offscreen]

A very silly scene. Kind of alright as Change Letter goes but…still very silly

Living Scenery: Ryan and Colin are arctic explorers on a race to the North Pole run into trouble and must find food, warmth, and shelter until they can be rescued. Wayne and Undarma are props

Wayne and Undarma start the scene as dogs. Wayne…does a bit of Scooby Doo, and leans on Undarma a bit.
Colin: “…hey, get off my dog!”

Ryan slaps Wayne on the butt to go over there. He turns to Undarma, knows the boundaries, and goes “…you too…”

It’s actually pretty cool how Undarma can use unorthodox ways of getting into formation, like when Colin needs a parka:
Screen Shot 2020-04-10 at 2.05.48 PM.png
It’s not ha-ha funny, but just really interesting

Ryan: “You know what? I’ve got one that looks exactly like that!”
Screen Shot 2020-04-10 at 2.06.48 PM.png

Ryan: “I’ll tell ya one thing, I’m just gonna leave the zipper down”

Undarma bends herself so she can be the flames of a campfire. Wayne has a fun move here:
Screen Shot 2020-04-10 at 2.08.14 PM.png
Just…acting like he’s part of the scene, cause he can’t do that. Greg loves this.
Ryan, similar to his move in the Whoopi show: “HEY, A BEAR!”
Then Wayne returns as a…photographer bear?

Colin suggests they cut a hole in the ice, which Undarma casually gets herself into, even as Wayne’s doing his.
Colin: “You know what? I’ll fish with THIS one…”
Wayne…nearly strains himself bending in a similar position, and cracks
Ryan: “This one’s cut wrong!”

Colin: “i have to say, that is the smallest icehole I’ve ever seen!”
This is where I mention that 2 days earlier, they taped the ‘icehole’ episode with Brad [which we’ll be getting to soon]. This is one of two instances where Colin or Ryan brings back a gag from this taping. The other happens in Greatest Hits and doesn’t make air

Wayne gets a chance to redeem himself as the fish Colin catches
Colin: “…OH, IT’S AN UGLY ONE!”
Ryan: “BEAT HIM!”
I love that this is the game of the scene- shitting on Wayne

A very funny Living Scenery. It didn’t feel like the ‘ooh, let’s ogle the pretty girl’ kind of thing they’d do with other guests  this season. Undarma was great at finding creative ways to suit the needs of the game, and Colin and Ryan responded by torturing Wayne  because he’s not as good. It was really fun, even if it had a slower start.

Hats: Dating Service Videos

So I just watched Tiger King recently, and Ryan’s look here reminds me of Rick Kirkham, Joe’s producer:
Screen Shot 2020-04-10 at 2.15.52 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-04-10 at 2.16.46 PM.pngGreg: “GONDOR NEEDS WOMAN.”

Wayne, in a confederate hat: “Wanna go down South?”

Screen Shot 2020-04-10 at 2.17.39 PM.pngRyan: “Care to have a frog in your throat?”

And we end on Ryan breaking the game:
Screen Shot 2020-04-10 at 2.18.28 PM.png
Ryan: “…I don’t have one, I’m just really hungry…”

An alright Hats, but very short

Sportscasters: Greg and Drew comment on Ryan and Colin as two rival office workers trying to impress their boss

The first gag of the game, Ryan pouring coffee down Colin’s pants, works

Greg, revising his usual line: “I don’t care if you’re a temp, or your full time…”
Drew, joining in with Greg: “THAT’S GOTTA HURT!”

I love the detail of, after getting a scorching paper cut from  Ryan, Colin taking the time to sew up the wound. Greg also loves this detail

Colin  has a good rebuttal, shoving the pencil in Ryan’s ear.
Greg: “If I’m not mistaken, that was a #2 Ticonderoga right through the cerebral cortex”
Drew, going bizarre: “And I think that pencil laid some eggs, that’s gonna hurt later on..”
Drew says ‘right out of the Twilight Zone’. ACTUALLY, THAT’S A NIGHT GALLERY  EPISODE, DREW. I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about, and that’s a Night Gallery episode. Same writer, different show.

A better Sportscasters than usual, but I still don’t love this game.

Overall: A very meh show. Nothing in this was too bad, but only  Living Scenery really impressed me. Everything  else was the product of tight editing, amusing game choices and just…boilerplate energy. This one didn’t feel too ‘live’, again owing itself to the antsy energy I detected in E12.

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: Ryan lifted several scenes throughout the night.
Worst Performer: It was between Wayne and Colin, oddly enough. Gave it to Wayne cause he essentially disappeared for the second half of the show.
Best Game: Living Scenery. Just very impressive, and better than some other recent playings.
Worst Game: Song Styles was a dud from Wayne
Guest Star Rating: 7/10. She was more ‘interesting’ than really in on the fun.

COMING UP NEXT: One last episode from the Kathy Griffin taping. We got our guest star episodes out of our system, we got one solid non-guest show. What’s left? Well…a few things..

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E25, or The Early Snake Gets the Worm

Onto another taping that’s been well-reported on but has seen very little material, the September 2001 Chip taping. There’s a really fun episode in S7 from this taping, but until then, we have the guest stars from this taping rolled out in S5 due to convenience- Neena and Veena Bidasha, a pair of professional bellydancers. This, Jane and Undaarma is where I figured Dan & Mark were scraping the bottom of the barrel. At least on the CW version, they got better at stunt people, like a SUMO WRESTLER, or the WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN. These are just…very 2001-era stupid human tricks.

Right as Drew comes to his desk, he drops the microphone. Just casually. And acts like nothing happened. Wayne and Chip laugh their asses off at this

Superheroes: The Museum’s on Fire
Colin: Mad Cow Man
Ryan: Athletic Slap on the Butt Man
Chip: Ants in His Pants Boy
Wayne: The Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better Kid

I kinda love the zeal of the guy in the back of the audience who shouts out ‘THE MUSEUM’S ON FIRE.’

Colin begins the scene by frustratedly milking himself: “WHY AM I SO DRY??”

Colin: “GREAT UDDERS OF DISAPPOINTMENT!”
[He doesn’t do the exclamation bit often, other than like HOLY VOTE or something, but this is a fun one]

Colin: “THE MUSEUM……..SOMETHING’S HAPPENING  TO IT……..[ANGRY MOOS]”
Colin’s on fire. Even his PAUSES are making me laugh.

Ryan’s opening gag is asking Colin for some milk, which he shoots across the stage into Ryan’s mouth

Colin: “Thank goodness you’re here, Athletic Slap on the Butt Man”
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 11.49.52 AM.png
I’m getting flashbacks of Colin’s hi-fi line from S9 of the UK version

And so, Ryan begins repeatedly slapping his ass. Something something Greece.

Ryan slaps Colin’s ass a few more times. Colin sprays milk in his face and yells “DON’T DO THAT!”

Chip, entering: “I CAME AS FAST AS I COULD!”
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 11.52.33 AM.png
I am gonna miss covering Chip once we get to the CW version.

Chip starts running around as Ants in his Pants boy AS Ryan starts chasing him with butt slaps. Like Ryan knew what he’d be able to play right into

Then, Chip starts rubbing his ass all over the carpet. The man is fearless.

Then, once Chip names Wayne, WAYNE starts rubbing his  ass all over the carpet. The physicality going on in this game is pretty fantastic

Then, as Wayne’s spurting milk out, something flies off his body and onto the floor. IT’S HIS WEDDING RING. Wayne goes chasing after it and exits to put it back on. Unfortunately, this means that YET AGAIN, Wayne has failed to give a solution in Superheroes. RRRRRRRGH

Colin, for the second straight show, calls out Wayne: “…I…don’t know if we solved the problem…”

Drew: “Well, that wedding ring slips off kinda easy, doesn’t it?”
Me: [cringes with dramatic irony]

A strong Superheroes, despite Wayne’s cop-out. The physicality and collaboration were on highs, and I loved Colin’s character

Duet: Wayne and Chip sing a middle-eastern themed song to Neena and Veena

Neena and Veena come out WITH SNAKES. ACTUAL, LIVE SNAKES.

Ryan, as usual, goes up and introduces himself to the beautiful women. Chip, comically, pushes him back to the seats. THAT is funny.

Once Wayne realizes there are snakes there, he panics and backs away towards the seats.

The first couple bars of this…Wayne looks so scared. I’m not sure what his overall opinion is on snakes, but…he’s on edge

Sure enough:
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 1.18.25 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-04-05 at 1.18.31 PM.png
He emits this ‘RAAAAH’ noise once he realizes the snake is going for his crotch, and completely buckles and doesn’t finish the verse. I laughed HARD at this.

Chip: “Look at her, she really shakes that ASP.”
I don’t know how Chip’s keeping it together, after Wayne’s…barely doing so himself.

Wayne, still on edge: “You better keep your snake from my priiii-vates.”
and “I just hope that boas aren’t like squirrels, they don’t like nuts”
Poor Wayne

An amusing, if kind of limp, Song Styles. The sight of Wayne wriggling away from the snake gave me a BIG laugh.

Chip, ever fearless, takes one of the snakes and hands it to Wayne. Wayne barely has time: “…I WILL-”
Chip, immediately, handing the snake back: “thank you”

Drew: “You know what they say…the early snake gets the worm.”
Wayne, his confidence back: “Let’s just say that her boa would have had a fight with an anaconda.”

Scenes from a Hat:

Anybody who complains that modern Whose Line has too much Scenes from a Hat, I tell them that US S5 tried to prepare you for this.

Drew: “Fast food orders that sound sexy but aren’t.”
Wayne, of course: “Yeah, I’d like the footlong.”

Wayne does one about a ‘two-piece’ that bombs.
Wayne, cracking back at the step: “I gave up!”
Drew: “so did I!”

“Inappropriate Times to Show Off Your Stomach Muscles”
Ryan: “Okay, that’s 1000 points for Colin [rolls stomach]”

Colin: “DING DONG, THE WITCH IS DEAD”
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 1.45.36 PM.png
Oh, Colin…
Ryan’s completely gone once Colin gets back. Colin’s acting like it’s nothing.

“Things you don’t want to hear as you finish your last bite of dinner”
Colin: [chomp]
Wayne: “SCRUFFY!”
[AHAHAHAHA]
Colin: [eats faster]

Ryan, to Colin: “Mr. Lecter would like to know if you enjoyed your dinner…”

Giving Your Date’s Parents Too Much Information is a really nice progression of scenes:
Wayne: “Don’t worry Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, I’ll have her back by 10, I’ll be finished by then.”
Chip: “Don’t worry Mrs. Johnson, I’ll have her back by 10, that’s when the wife gets home.”
and then:
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 1.50.50 PM.png
Wayne: “Don’t worry Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, WE’LL have her back by 10.”
and then, to cap it off
Chip: “Don’t worry Mrs. Johnson, I’ll have Mr. Johnson home by 10.”
SO MANY FUN LAYERS OF PROGRESSION. I’m reminded of the World’s Worst “Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Johnson-HELLO” run that Ryan and Mike did back in the UK run.

Wayne’s still laughing at the Johnson saga as Drew tries to read the next card.

Drew: “Things that would make you suspect your doctor did not graduate from medical school”
Chip: [does the goofiest faint I’ve seen in some time]
Ryan:
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 1.54.36 PM.png
“COUGH?”
Colin, sighing:
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 1.54.57 PM.png
I love this. Just spikes the camera. “This is my life now.”

Pretty good SFAH. Thankfully these have been getting better lately.

Living Scenery: Ryan and Colin are a newlywed couple is gambling in a Vegas casino just before retiring to their elaborate honeymoon suite- Neena and Veena are props

Ryan: “Maybe they’d like to put a coat on or something?”
Colin, nudges Ryan, jokingly

Ryan begins by operating Neena and Veena like a slot machine, which cracks him up a little.

Ryan: “AH. TWO MELONS.”
Good lord. Wayne starts cracking up in the back, and Ryan has to give him a look

Ryan places another bet using Neena’s rear end. Neena and Veena are taking this all in stride, and cracking up throughout.

Colin makes Ryan  a milkshake using Veena as the machine, leading to some hip-shaking. Ryan conveniently drops it so Colin needs to make another one. Hah.

Veena does some more shaking, which gets the audience’s attention.
Colin: “It’s gone out of control! It can’t stop!”
Ryan: “RUN!”
Colin: “…well it’s not like it’s an EXPLOSION, it’s a milkshake!”

Ryan suggests they get their bags and picks up Neena.
Colin, not wanting to pick anyone up: “mine’s a roller.”

Of course, there’s a jacuzzi.
Colin: “You want me to adjust the jets?”
Ryan, knowing this will make Colin go for a woman’s chest, as he won’t usually, agrees.
Veena, conveniently:
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 2.07.36 PM.png
Yeah, that’s MUCH easier

Ryan: “And I can honestly say this…this is the best trip we’ve ever been on.”
Colin: “Wait til ya get on the vibrating bed.”
OH GOD

It’s even funnier here when Ryan and Colin start arguing about who gets to test it first, then Ryan  trying  to do rock paper scissors. Colin wins though.

Colin: “Ya gotta be careful when you get into these things, because….well, you know why.”
He wasn’t even gonna  try to find an in-character explanation. He just banked.

Colin takes like 10 seconds figuring out how to do this without hurting either Neena or Veena.
Colin: “…I don’t even know where the entrance is!”
OH MY GOD

And we end on triumph:
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 2.13.55 PM.png

A very good playing of this, one that had so many  good lawful moments, and great Ryan and Colin response moments. It also helped that Neena and Veena were very game and aware. THAT ENDING was also fantastic. This might be one of the better guest star Living Scenery games they did without turning into self-parody (read: Richard)

Colin: “I LOVE THAT GAME.”
Ryan: “I was gonna accidentally swear so we’d have to start all over.”
Drew: “How’s the wife and kids, by the way?”
Colin: “Who? [pause] They’re lovely, they’re fine. I’m sure they are. [pause] This doesn’t air for a while, right?”

Themed Restaurant: Steven Spielberg Movies [“so Planet Hollywood”]
Drew and Chip dine, Colin and Ryan serve

Drew actually has a good rationalization to start the scene: “Spielberg started this up with Tom Hanks and a few other people”. For once, we’re going into this game knowing how lawful the world is, and knowing the backstory.

Ryan, extending a finger: ‘MENUS’
HA
Drew mistakenly thinks he’s doing R2D2. SPIELBERG MOVIES, DREW.

Colin: “Have some wine. This is my last table before I go home and see the wife and-BAM”
That’s a good move.
Drew, after a pause: “…from Saving Private Ryan”
Colin, like an impressionist: “Thank you”

Drew, to Ryan: “Is anybody here from 1944?”
Ryan: “I don’t know.”
[1941, Drew.]

Ryan messes one up, confusing Spielberg’s most-recent film at the time, AI, with ‘IE’. Drew calls him out on it, and Ryan awkwardly exits

Then, inevitably:
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 2.24.32 PM.png
Drew, smartly: “I’ll have some of  the Jurassic Pork.”

Colin runs across: “BIG MEATBALL”
Another moment of silence, so he just turns to Drew and Chip and goes “….RAIDERS.”
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 2.25.33 PM.pngDrew LOSES IT.
Colin, knowing he has Drew in the palm of his hand, running back across: “HERE IT COMES AGAIN!”

Chip: “That really helps when they yell part of the title, doesn’t it?”

Ryan has a smart move, in grabbing the empty bread basket like it’s the idol in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Thank god some of these are movies Ryan has actually seen.
Then, after the smoke has cleared from Ryan’s, Colin runs across again: “MEATBAAALLL!”

Chip, knowing what big Spielberg film hasn’t been mentioned yet, starts doing the Jaws theme, knowing something’s about to approach.
Colin enters, worriedly: “Sorry, that shouldn’t be on.” And he switches it off. Fun anti-climax move

Colin comes in one last time with  a train engine, smiles at Drew and Chip, and goes “…Duel!”
Chip can’t help but break here. He was NOT expecting Duel. No one was.

Slightly clumsy, but still funnier than a lot of games of these. The Colin runner with the meatball still makes me laugh.

Overall: A surprisingly strong episode. There’s some baseline-level jokes involving the male gaze, but Neena and Veena were in on the joke, and were completely game for the direction of the humor. There were genuine laughs, like Colin’s Mad Cow Man character, Wayne shrieking as the snake came near his crotch, “COUGH”, the vibrating bed, and Colin’s RAIDERS bit. This is a genuinely funny show that’s probably gone overlooked due to stigma against guest stars.

BONUS  RANT: I was hoping to save this for a later episode, but I kinda have to let this rant out now- the guest stars in this era of the show are very indicative of 2000s-era ideologies, especially in a male-driven industry. What men have we had on? Hugh Hefner, misogynist icon, David Hasselhoff, buff dude, Richard Simmons, effeminate weight loss icon, and Jerry Springer, harbinger of trash. All of the men leave, for the most part, with their dignity intact. But what women have we had on? Two playboy playmates, a drug-addled wrestler, a steroid-addled gymnast, Miss America, and now two bellydancers. Soon we’ll have a contortionist on. The only woman who wasn’t sexualized in any way was Florence Henderson, and even she was pushed to make dirty jokes, because ‘OH, TV’S MOM IS DOING IT’. So much of the boomer mentality is draped over these bookings that only a few, like Henderson, Hoff and Simmons, have really stood the test of time.

So here we have these beautiful belly dancers whose whole existence on the show is to be ogled by the four men. With the exception of one early booking, we don’t get that a ton in the CW version. Even when they book quote unquote BEAUTIFUL women, like Nina Agdal or Carmen Electra, they’re not overtly sexualized, and they come in on the fun lawfully, and leave without being completely stared down by men. That’s because mid-2010s culture is a lot different than early-2000s culture in terms of sexism and feminism.

Again, this show was really good, and the bellydancers prevailed over the shallow humor, but I really wish the show would do better sometimes.

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: If Wayne had been in more games I’d have given it to him, but Colin had the most scene-carrying moments.
Worst Performer: I really, REALLY don’t want to put anyone here. It’s between Ryan and Chip, and neither of them made many mistakes. I also don’t want to put Chip here because he was such an active fourth seater, but Ryan was just as active. Fuck it, the Worst Performer is Wayne’s wedding ring. I’m opting out. Try and stop me.
Best Game: Living Scenery was VERY strong.
Worst Game: Song Styles, shriek aside, wasn’t much.
Guest Star Rating: 8/10. They didn’t say much, but they were in on the jokes, and were kind enough to make Wayne Brady scream like a girl at the sight of a boa.

COMING UP NEXT: Another S4 taping that the producers have neglected to inform us about until late in S5. This is Jeff Davis’ last Drew-era taping, done late in S4 (as opposed to early in S4 like his previous one). Most of the material here would be reserved for seasons 7 & 8, but here we get a few of the better games from the taping.

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.
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.26.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.26.12 PM.png
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!”
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.29.50 PM.png

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:
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.34.40 PM.png

Drew: “So Jane here claims to be a bodybuilder…”
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.35.49 PM.png

Ryan:
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.36.13 PM.png

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:
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.40.32 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.40.39 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.40.47 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.40.57 PM.png
Wayne just…goes all out.

This is our peak:
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.41.30 PM.png
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
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.44.19 PM.png

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:
Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.53.14 PM.png
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: “GRANDPA’S DEAD, GIMME A D!”
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: S05E19, or Two of Us Need Look No More

Ah, never thought I’d use my ‘David Hasselhoff’ tag from covering the Guest Host series’ of Never Mind the Buzzcocks again.

We return now to the HAAAEEEEHH-tastic Kathy Griffin taping, which we’ve already seen 2 relatively good shows from. Now comes the second of two Guest Stars from that taping, and a relatively big get at that, TV icon David Hasselhoff. The Hoff was 3 years away from revitalizing his celebrity image with a tongue-in-cheek cameo in the Spongebob Squarepants movie [oh you better believe I’m bringing that up], and only 4 years from becoming a judge on America’s got Talent. You can argue that Whose Line helped, but the Hoff episode isn’t quite as well-remembered as the Simmons one.

Newsflash: Ryan and Kathy in the studio, Colin in the field in front of RATS

We start with a ‘let’s go onto’ from Drew, proving that there was no openers left for this show.

Ryan, starting with Kathy: “Was she friendly?”
Kathy: “She was alright, but…Miss America can be kind of whiny sometimes-”
DIRECT CALLBACK TO THE EVENTS OF E2

Also, PROPS TO KATHY FOR KNOWING HER CUE TO THROW TO COLIN AFTER RYAN INTERRUPTS THIS STORY. Most people, like Kathy Greenwood, need Ryan to keep going. But Kathy Griffin gets it. She did her homework

I love Ryan trying to get a hint out, but being interrupted by shrieking audience members every time

Colin: “It all started with some bad soup!”
HAAAEEEEHH NUMBER ONE

Colin: “AND THEN THIS, THIS…AND THIS.”
On the cut to a mouse and its young, we get a FRANTIC HAAAEEEEHH NUMBER TWO

Ryan, with a very obscure reference: “Frankly, the two of us NEED LOOK NO MORE.”
[HAHAHAHAHAHA]

Colin: “I am totally protected, and the refried beans helped”
HAAAEEEEHH NUMBER THREE.

Ryan: “Colin, HOW MANY OF THEM ARE THERE.”
Colin: “There must be upwards of TWENTY.”

I do love Ryan’s amazed, cracking disgust at the amount of nice, just random “ohhhh”s peppered in

Kathy, who’s been doing alright so far, tries to give a hint with “you used to work as a police informant”, as in ‘you dirty rat’, but Colin does not get it at all, and just looks at her, very confused.

Ryan: “Now Colin, after this you’re off to cover the opening of Cats?”
[HOW DID THIS LINE AGE WELL???]

I love that once Colin gets it and comes back to stage, he peers into the monitor, sees it, and gives a perturbed expression before heading back

Ryan: “He didn’t catch onto my ‘need look no more’ clue…”
Colin: “…isn’t that weird…”
Colin and Ryan do go into the next verse, just like that.
Ryan: “I didn’t wanna just go ‘Hey, watch out for the RATS.”

A surprisingly strong Newsflash. Good clues, good replies, lots going on, Kathy only made one mistake. Good stuff.

Song Styles: Wayne sings a Gospel song to David Hasselhoff

[what, they wouldn’t let him do a German drinking song? Too on the nose?]

David’s nice enough to run into the audience and shake hands and slap fives.

Also, David seems SO HAPPY to see everyone, shakes Drew’s hand, Wayne’s hand, knows the other three’s names. He’s pretty much the mayor of LA.

Drew instructs David to do “pretty much all you ever did on Baywatch: relax, have a seat”
Drew…there’s a very famous show David did involving a TALKING CAR that would have been a MUCH BETTER PUNCHLINE HERE.

I find it funny that Wayne does gospel here, and then the FOLLOWING NIGHT, the Jerry Springer taping, he does another gospel song. They couldn’t have switched things up?

Wayne: “and it doth say…he who WEARS…the thong-th-thong-thong?”
Oh yeah, this was 2001, Sisqo was still ‘in’.
Wayne: “…gets SAND where it don’t belong-long-long”
[Wayne even cracks a little at this]

I love how when Wayne mentions Knight Rider, David even talks into his watch. Like, he knows exactly who he is, which I love

Wayne has another crack after he mentions “Pamela Lee just bouncing in slow-motion”

Wayne even gives Hoff his own mic, and Hoff does some pumping up/backup for Wayne in a refrain, which is nice.

Wayne, in his fast-paced ender “I sold 50 million records in Germany, but 20 over here- NAH, I’M JUST KIDDIN”
David has a BIG laugh at that line

A very fun number, and David was really into it, but compared to the Springer number it’s a lot more baseline and obvious lyrics-wise. I feel like these ‘song to a special guest’ ones would be better once Wayne would ask for a detail to work off from said special guest, which would come on the CW version.

As David leaves, he’s doing his ‘running in slow-mo’ and ‘talking to his watch’ motions, milking it for applause. Is David just the American version of John Barrowman, because that’s the kind of self-referential I think he is.

Two-Line Vocabulary: Colin is Indiana Jones and Ryan and Kathy are his two sidekicks. They’re looking for the Holy Grail in an ancient temple full of dangerous traps
Ryan’s lines: “What does that do?” and “I want in”
Kathy’s lines: “Are you kidding” and “I love this!”

Colin: “We’re gonna go in there, and we’re gonna go get the Idol of Makatuti”
Ryan: “…I want out”
Perfectly timed

Colin: “Remember what happened in Persia?”
Kathy: “I LOVE THIS”
Colin: “No you didn’t, remember, you got bitten by 3 snakes?”
Kathy: “Are you kidding?”

Kathy, Colin and Ryan approach the cave
Ryan, whispered: “I want out”
Ryan’s really damn good at finding different ways to drive home a line on a repetition.

At one point, Colin tries to grab Ryan’s nose, which leads to a pained reaction from Ryan

And then, as Colin talks to Kathy again, you see Ryan slowly inching downstage, eventually yelling  “I WANT OUT” from near the seats. Something about that line is just WORKING tonight
Colin eventually has to get him back in at gunpoint, which is a fun way of accelerating the stakes

Colin: “I’m using my whip”
Ryan: “What does that do?”
Colin, rolling his eyes: “…THIS!” [WHAP]
Ryan: “AIIIIGH”

Kathy, grabbing Colin’s arm: “uhhh…you kidding?”
HAAAEEEEHH NUMBER FOUR

Kathy, as Colin’s trying to exposit, grabs his ass: “I LOVE THIS.”
HAAAEEEEHH NUMBER FIVE
Man, Kathy’s great at this game

Colin, with the right amount of frustration: “we’re WORKING.”
Ryan, also grabbing Colin’s ass: “WHAT DOES THAT DO?”

A pretty strong Two-Line. Again, Kathy’s been acing games that I’d recalled her stalling in. This, World’s Worst, Newsflash. How did I forget how good Kathy Griffin was at Whose Line?

[Figures, this is her last game of the night]

Drew: “Thousand points to everybody who grabbed Colin’s ass”
Ryan and Kathy politely raise their hands

Dubbing: Colin is a beautiful woman who’s gone swimming and is in trouble, hunky lifeguard David Hasselhoff, Wayne’s voice, comes to her rescue, just then, Colin’s boyfriend Ryan arrives, determined to show that he is the hunkiest and fittest lifeguard on the beach

And now, David Hasselhoff has to do improv. With rules. Here, my friends, is where he has trouble.

Drew: “[Wayne] won’t make you look like an idiot or anything”
Wayne: “I PROMISE.”
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 5.19.57 PM.png

Ryan, after the scene description: “…just as long as I’m a guy, man…”

Wayne, making fun of David just walking right up to Colin: “…look how I stand on the water!”

Wayne: “You are one of the most exquisitely honed woman I’ve ever seen in my life”
Colin: “You gotta get out more..”

I love Colin casually putting his clothes on after Ryan enters. This is usually Ryan’s move, so it’s a nice touch

Wayne: “I can’t lie- I never lie, I’m a lifeguard. I’ve sworn to tell the truth and wear this thong.”

Ryan, of course, goes back to his old standby: “I’m wearing a thong, too, but…two thongs don’t make a right!”
This does David in a little

As Wayne explains what happened, David gestures the whole thing.
Wayne: “…and I’m quite proficient at MIME, LOOK!”
Colin: “He’s great, and he has a talking car!”

Wayne: “Hector doesn’t deserve the  love of a woman so beautiful”
Colin, with a great contrast: “No, he doesn’t Kill ‘im.”
Wayne: “Very well. Let me show you the-”
Ryan: [cocks gun]

Wayne: “Look at this weapon I have in MY hands:”
David:
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 5.28.09 PM.png
Ryan: [breaks]
Colin: [claps]
BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ

Ryan, to David: “It’s like ‘rock paper scissors!’
COCK paper scissors, if you will

Really strong Dubbing. Lots of little things all 4 people did. Apparently David had moments that were cut where he forgot to not speak, but he held his own, and Wayne was great at throwing his lack of improv logic at him.

Drew: “And -1000 points for Ryan for ‘two thongs don’t make a right’. I thought we were above that kind of thing here.”
Ryan: “…two of us need look no more.”
HA. Excellent callback. Hell, this line’s probably the reason we have Newsflash as an opener, rather than in Two-Line’s place.

Three-Headed Broadway Star: Wayne, Ryan and Hoff sing ‘I Can’t Live Without Your Mother’ to Venus

Annnnd here we go.

This show doesn’t have a traditional opener, OR a traditional closer. Because Newsflash had to be  here, 3HBS had to be here, and Two-Line fit better than another opener

David: “Least I get to talk this time”
A MONKEY’S PAW FINGER CURLS OMINOUSLY

I love Ryan’s move of coming around David and being the middle after it’s revealed that David isn’t tall enough and Ryan being in the middle is a better shot

I don’t think David was listening when Drew mentions “one word at a time”. I think he’s still thinking about the concept

Wayne: “Your”
Ryan: “Mother”
David: “IS SO”
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 5.36.17 PM.png
This is what we’re in for.

“When your mother is around me, I always get
Wayne: “…BUGGED.”
HAAAEEEEHH NUMBER SIX.

Ryan: “Mothers”
David: “…OF INVENTION”
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Ryan’s gonna react EVERY TIME, isn’t he?

Ryan: “If”
David: “YOU COULD SEE”
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 5.38.42 PM.png
now WAYNE has the best reaction. He’s just…caught very off guard

They eventually get this back on track, and go back to single lyrics, and composure, though David does one more ‘THE BOYS’
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 5.39.58 PM.png
They STILL CAN’T TAKE IT

After this, they get into a groove where it’s all coming together, like David emulating Wayne’s ‘eeee-nough’ a few words after he says it, and them keeping the same tempo and scheme to it.

Wayne: “with”
Ryan: “your”
David: “…tongue.”
Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 5.41.23 PM.png
Poor Wayne

The game ends, and David says something to Ryan: “That’s an initiation for me…” And that’s honestly the best attitude to have about it. It’s probably David’s first time doing improv, especially a game like this, and he had to fail for a bit before becoming great and ending with a cool flourish or two. Let’s compare this to another ‘first 3HBS’- 2×10, the ‘You’ve got Sole’ playing where Drew makes one mistake and can’t recompose himself. That one is so hard to find funny because you feel bad for Drew. He NEVER recovers. And he spends the whole time cracking and making mistakes. Here, David makes some mistakes, stumbles a bit…and keeps going, gets the hang of the game, and finishes STRONG, unified with the other 2. That makes this game a ton more fun to watch, and a ton more satisfying. David lands on his feet, which is more than I can say for Drew in his first time doing this.

So yeah. This one’s better than You’ve Got Sole. A much better song, with much funnier slip-ups, and a much more endearing final outcome.

Right as David says goodbye to the audience, you can hear Ryan, whose mic is still on, go, to Colin, “annnnd TAKE ME ON A.” So EVEN HE MADE THE YOU’VE GOT SOLE CONNECTION. Even he knew what this felt like.

And of course, there’s some great postscript back at the seats:
Ryan, to Drew: “Remember your first time?”
Drew, mistakenly: “ANNND When I think about yooou-”
[SAME ENERGY]
Ryan, correctly: “AND TAKE ME ON A.”

Drew: “[David’s] gonna hop in his talking car and get the hell out of here]
Ryan: “He’ll be singing with his car on the way home: ‘I!’ ‘DRIVE!’ ‘YOU!’ ‘AND!'”
THAT cracks me up. David playing 3HBS with Kitt. That visual just kills me.

Overall: A very solid show. Nothing short of great here. And even with an usual structure [No opener or closing Drew game, no winner, Newsflash starting off], everything here tonight felt really good and cohesive. Some guest star shows feel really cobbled together, but this one felt right, though a lot of that involved making sure Newsflash started to set up the end of Dubbing. Wayne and Kathy had great nights, despite Kathy not appearing in many games late.

The Hoff did not disappoint, and was fun and enthusiastic in all his games. He knew he wasn’t great at improv, but he didn’t let that stop him from having a good time, AND the panel from delivering a good show. Dubbing and Three-Headed were stronger BECAUSE of the effort he put in, and how fun he could be off the cuff. He also definitely got the concept of working WITH people, as his collaboration in all three games made them look even better. There’s a reason why he’d stay friendly with Colin and Wayne when it came time to film that inferior Fred Willard show I need not mention.

Show Winner: N/A
Best Performer: Wayne Brady, carrying all three guest games.
Worst Performer: Ryan honestly had the least to do, and broke most often.
Best Game: Three-Headed. A classic for a reason, and the Hoff learned as it went on.
Worst Game: Song Styles? Maybe it’s because we just had the Springer one, but it felt very inferior in comparison.
Final HAAAAEHH Count: Six. Same as 5×19
Guest Star Rating: 9/10. He made mistakes, but David Hasselhoff was up for anything, was having a great time, and boosted Dubbing and Song Styles just by his zeal for it. And having his vocal flourishes in 3HBS definitely helped as well.

COMING UP NEXT: My favorite episode growing up. A game from this one made me laugh harder than I’d ever laughed to this point. And it comes from the same taping as the Richard Simmons show. Yeah, THIS ONE.

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-”
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.00.18 PM.png
I wish the rest of the times they try this sort of opening were as good as this one

Just from the opening shot:
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.00.58 PM.png
That’s just great

My theory is that RIGHT HERE:
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.01.30 PM.png
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”
AND HE’S HERE TONIGHT!!!

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]
Greg:
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
HAHAHAHAHAHA
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:
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.41.55 PM.png
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
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.44.46 PM.png
[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…”
Ryan: “LITTLE RICHARD!”
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

EXPECT LOTS OF WORDS

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-”
Richard, STARTLING THE HELL OUT OF COLIN: “I’LL BE THE PROP! I’ll be ALL THE PROPS for these men…”
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…
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.56.57 PM.png
…yeah
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
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.59.26 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.59.32 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 10.01.03 PM.png

Meanwhile, Richard’s still trying
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 10.01.14 PM.png

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
Richard:
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.05.23 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.05.55 PM.png
[they’re all still howling]
Ryan: “THIS ONE’S WET!”
Richard:
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.06.56 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.07.04 PM.png
So at least he’s amused

Colin, lost: “why don’t we, uh…”
Ryan: “JETSKI. I’D LOVE TO!”
Again, Ryan saves Colin’s ass in thinking of this
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.08.31 PM.png
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…
…well…
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.10.43 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.10.50 PM.png
Richard is bobbing his head in place, making this the single most suggestive goddamned thing in the world.
WAYNE NOW SEES THIS
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.10.58 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.11.07 PM.png
AND NOW *HE’S* GONE. And he still has to do the scene and be neutral
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.11.16 PM.png
Now Ryan’s gone
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.12.52 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.13.15 PM.png
AND DREW
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.13.21 PM.png
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
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.14.32 PM.png
THEY’RE LOSING IT

Ryan: “IT WAS REALLY ROUGH OUT THERE”
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…”
Richard:
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.16.28 PM.png
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”
[“WAIT A MINUTE. THE CAT.” “THE CAT’S WET NOW”. Same energy.]

Ryan: “And you know how to build a good raft? You put pieces of bamboo together”
Richard:
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.19.38 PM.png
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Ohhhhhh man
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Ryan: “LAY THEM DOWN ON THE  GROUND-”
Richard:
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DEAR GOD.
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.

SURE ENOUGH:
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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.

Wayne:
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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?”
Ryan: “…WAYNE’S ALREADY BEEN MOVED…”
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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Ryan: “…HMMM…LET ME COMPARE THE TWO.”
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”
Ryan: “…so KEEP YOUR TICKET STUBS HANDY”

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
Colin: “No. I DON’T RUB HEADS, IT WAS JUST A PHASE.”

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”
Colin: “MUFFINS. WHO KNEW THAT WOLVES LIKE MUFFINS?”

Ryan, perfect Springer logic: “So I made a little mistake…killed her grandmother, pretended to be her.”
Colin: “HE DEVOURED MY GRANDMOTHER. HE ACTUALLY ATE HER UP.”
Ryan: “AT NO TIME DID SHE SAY ‘NO'”
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.

Greg, sporting a New York Jew accent: “I AM RED RIDING HOOD’S GRANDFATHER, AND I AM A LITTLE T’D OFF ABOUT THIS”
Man, he sounds exactly like the candidate that he blocks people on twitter for supporting nowadays…
Greg: “I COME HOME, I FIND MY WIFE INSIDE THE WOLF, AND THERE’S NO MUFFINS IN THE HOUSE.”
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: S05E08, or It’s So Nice to Have a Woman on the Show!

…I don’t really know how to go about this one.

This is an episode that was engineered to make big guest star ratings in 2001, and…features someone that hasn’t exactly come off wonderfully since the episode’s debut. Of course, I’m referring to WWE Siren superstar Chyna.

Well…I would be referring to her as Chyna if Vince McMahon had allowed her to go by that name on ABC. He didn’t, as by the time this show would air, Chyna had basically been deemed persona non grata by the WWE for…reasons. She’s billed as Joanie Laurer, her real name, and there’s mention of her being a wrestling star (I think), but not CHYNA. So…even the producers didn’t really know how to go about this one.

And to provide the context that not everyone may have about Chyna, after leaving the WWE, and after this WL episode wrapped, Chyna’s life spiraled out of control thanks to being cheated on, dumped by the WWE for sexism reasons, and, of course, copious amounts of drugs and alcohol. By the time of her death in 2016, she had not only alienated a lot of her WWE-era fans, but she’d become one of the worst things a former wrestler can become…a tabloid star. Like…’friends-with-Anna-Nicole-Smith’ tabloid star.

So…covering an episode of Whose Line with THIS PERSON as my feel-good guest star? OH GOODY.

Ah well, at least Brad’s here. This episode comes from a taping that has BARELY seen any output released. Just this and a Season 8 episode. That’s. It.

Scene to Music: Colin and his new wife Wayne are relaxing in a Jacuzzi at a health club, they are shocked when Ryan, the maintenance man, joins them in the tub to fix the jets

A GAME WE HAVEN’T SEEN SINCE THE UK ERA. This game’s been retooled to resemble something like Film and Theater Styles, but it’s still good to see it again

Drew: “Colin and his new wife, Wayne”
Wayne: [smiles at Colin]
Colin: [routinely nods at Wayne, as this is not his first rodeo]

Ryan: [enters]
Wayne: [shrieks]
Ryan: [puts on scuba mask]

The Jaws theme gives them the first  style, adding an ominous tone, which Ryan reaffirms by warning them, “didn’t you see the sign?”
Colin gets sucked in

Right as Ryan shoots Colin, romantic music plays
Colin: “…I feel better!”
Ryan: [playfully shoots an arrow]

Wayne: “Thank you so much for saving  my husband”
Ryan: “your HUSBAND?”
Colin, eyeing Ryan: “…it’s nothing permanent…”
HA

Wayne suggests he’ll do anything, even if it means “getting out of the way of true love”
Suddenly, pulpy surf music plays, and he turns it into a striptease

I love the detail of Wayne whipping his hair, and the hair hitting Colin slightly every time

A very broad game, but it worked. The three of them focused more on movements and subtle touches than just dialogue, and that really worked. Not a COMPLETE triumph, but still a lot of fun.

Dubbing: Ballet dancer Colin is in love with his dancing partner, star ballerina Joanie, voice by Brad, a passionate woman with violent tendencies [OH MY GOD THAT CHARACTER DESCRIPTION HAS NOT AGED WELL AT ALL], as they are limbering up, her jealous husband, tyrannical ballet coach Ryan, storms in

Here we go. And Drew is, technically, allowed to use Joanie’s name of Chyna, which gets some gasps from people in the audience. AS DOES THIS GETUP:
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Drew does mention that they can’t use her WWE name “or else they’ll sue us”, but…Drew, you mentioned it when you came in…

The ‘passionate woman with violent tendencies’ bit gets a hearty laugh from Drew AND Joanie.
[tugs at collar]

Also, once Drew mentions Ryan’s character, Brad points to him, and Ryan scurries to the other side of the stage. I bet Ryan thought he’d be dubbing Chyna

Brad, as Chyna’s on Colin’s leg: “I’m just gonna work out this knot”
Colin: “…that’s not a knot”

Colin, calling forth the inevitable: “I’m really nervous about this Wonder Woman ballet we’re doing…”

Once Brad yells “KISS ME YOU FOOL”, Chyna has no choice but to lunge at Colin:
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So far, we can confirm at this taping session that Colin has kissed Whoopi Goldberg, Florence Henderson, and now Chyna. The man is building a rolodex

ALSO, THIS KISS LASTS FOR LIKE SEVEN SECONDS. MY GOD.
Brad:
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yoooooou perv…

AND IT KEEPS GOING. LONGER THAN TEN SECONDS. GOOD LORD ALMIGHTY, WHY DEB MCGRATH DIDN’T JUST MOVE OUT…
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Colin…whispers something to Chyna right before Ryan comes in, which makes her giggle. I’m not sure what. Maybe an intimacy note? Like a ‘was that alright?’ kind of thing?

Colin, nevertheless: ‘OH, It’s so nice to have a woman on this show!”
HA
Ryan:
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Funny mix-up where Ryan asks “how does that explain that lipstick on your face”, and Brad starts with an explanation, only to be undercut by Colin going “I think he was talking to me…” This cracks up Ryan a little

Brad sort of writes the scene into Chyna giving Ryan a  “farewell kiss”
Ryan:
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And as they do this:
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Ryan’s hand just…keeps lingering over his own behind. Repeatedly.

This ends in a dance-off between Ryan and Colin
Brad: “YOU TWO DANCE LIKE CRAZY, and I’LL JUST…SHIMMY…”

Colin goes in with some avant-garde interpretive dance which the audience seems to like.

And then…suddenly:
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AS IF NO WHOSE LINE  WAS COMPLETE WITHOUT IT.
I love how Chyna just…backs out of the shot, absolutely floored. THAT is a funny reaction. Somehow she was not expecting that

So…that was wild. I think it was good improv? I’m not sure. But it just felt like Chyna just gave the entire game an exclamation point. She did fine in mouthing words, but just…really delivering her movements and…kissing Ryan and Colin was the bigger takeaway. I’m not sure whether it was good or bad, but I was entertained.

Drew: “Hey, Ryan, were you spanking yourself while she was kissing you?”
Ryan: “Doesn’t everyone?”
Drew: “…for a second he forgot he  was on camera…”

Change Letter: It’s new-members day at a nudist camp and experienced couple Brad and Colin are setting up a picnic- Wayne and Ryan enter soonafter
Can’t Say P, Gotta Say G

Brad, already establishing the obvious: “let’s start our GICNIC.”

Colin: “OHHH, GOTATO SALAD!”
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Brad, struggling: “..and…gotato chigs…”

Ryan, entering with Wayne: “Sorry we’re late, the Gorsche broke down.”
Brad, obviously: “Nice genis.”
Ryan, perfectly: “…you are gonna GAY for that…”

Colin: “You have to excuse Geter, sometimes he can be a little grick.”
HA

Ryan defies the game of the scene by introducing himself as ‘Dave’. Which is a fun touch

A few straight slip-ups, Ryan says ‘Gerhaps’, forgetting that there’s another p in there, which Brad tries to help him with.
And then, Colin introduces ‘gog’, which…is lost on Ryan, who clearly grew up in ‘soda’ territory, rather than ‘pop’ territory. He just loses it, not following at all.
Colin: “What? Am I SGEAKING ANOTHER LANGUAGE?”

A haphazard but kind of fun playing of this.

Party Quirks: Brad hosts
Wayne – The talking mirror image of everyone
Colin – A perky shoe shine who has brushes on his chest and an electric buffer in his butt
Ryan – All the characters in a gay Western

Brad figures out the concept behind Wayne, and gets in close enough  to warrant the FOURTH  kiss of the show. Second between dudes

Once Ryan rings, Brad tries the same ‘close kiss’ strategy to Colin, which weirds him out. THAT is a fun character detail

Ryan: “…well throw a rope over the rafters and hang me high…”
The audience loves this

Brad, guessing Ryan: “You’re not the cowboy from the Village People, are you?”

Not a great PQ. Honestly, I prefer Drew and the gang riffing on gay westerns back at the seats
Ryan: “I’M GONNA BLOW YOU….AWAY.”
Brad: “Let’s not forget fistful of dollars…”
[HOW DID THAT MAKE AIR???]

Irish Drinking Song: Knocked Over the Christmas Tree

This one has a messy, in-and-out refrain beginning

Colin talks about starting to fall
Ryan: “I put the presents underneath”
Brad: “And broke my Christmas ball!”
HA

SOMEHOW THE THIRD VERSE IS MISSING. WHY THE HELL WOULD THEY REMOVE THE THIRD VERSE? PART OF THE STORY IS GONE!

Ryan: “I put the fire out myself”
WHAT FIRE? WE MISSED A FIRE?
Brad, too happy: “WITH THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER.”
Wayne: “Then, after I was finished.”
Colin, without a better rhyme: “DING-A-DING-A-DINGISHER.”
Ryan, barely together: “I didn’t know what to do that day”
Brad, breaking: “It was so sad…”
Wayne: “No one got angry.”
Colin: “I peed my pants.”
BRAD LITERALLY SQUATS ONTO THE STEP HE’S LAUGHING SO HARD. Wayne and Ryan don’t do much better

A messy, haphazard, badly-edited IDS with a funny ending.

Living Scenery: James Bond, Ryan, and his Bond girl, Colin, have been captured and left to die in a fiendish way by Dr. No, they must escape from his snowy alpine hideout and make their way back to the safety of Bond’s luxury apartment
Drew and Joanie are the Props

Colin, getting Chyna around him: “I’ll never escape this rack!”
YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID

Once Ryan mentions snowmobiles, he RACES TO GET CHYNA FIRST. Possibly remembering what happened with the cheerleaders we won’t see til S6?

HOWEVER…THE POSITION RYAN HAS CHYNA IN IS QUITE REVEALING…And I believe her top wasn’t prepared for that much downward action. Also, noted perv [and by noted I mean I made that joke earlier] Brad Sherwood races to see if anything fell out
Ryan, saving the day: “MINE’S FLIPPED OVER!”

Ryan gets the bright idea to use Chyna as an igloo. Just so he  can climb  under her cleavage. Ah, 2001…

Colin then uses Chyna as a periscope, which is at least pretty funny.

I feel like Drew hasn’t gotten to do much fun in this, so Ryan uses him as a toilet and reads a magazine.
Afterwards, Drew shoots Wayne a look

Colin uses Chyna as a jetpack, and she jumps right on his back. Drew gets his arms around Ryan, and as he gets on the step so he can actually do this, Ryan turns to him and mutters something, perhaps getting a flashback to Chip during 4×09’s Hollywood Director

Ryan: “MINE AIN’T GOIN NOWHERE!”

Not a great Living Scenery. Especially in comparison to some other recent ones that aren’t just ogling. Chyna seemed to take it in stride, but it was very…broad.

Overall: [sigh] This wasn’t good, guys. What highlights do I take away from here that also count  as good improv. Scene to Music? Just that one, probably? Cause Dubbing was…entertaining, but it wasn’t GOOD improv, and I cringed a few times just at how much Chyna was throwing herself into this. I wondered if this was all funnier in her head than it was in anyone else’s? It was odd. And then you had games like Party Quirks, which wasn’t good, Irish Drinking Song, which was bungled by the editors, Change Letter, which was okay, and Living Scenery, which was just awkward. Not a lot I liked here. Not a lot that’s aged well. And not a lot that the editors could make great even THEN. Maybe THAT’s why the rest of this taping hasn’t aired- the shadow of Chyna just looms over this thing so much that everything else isn’t airable. I don’t know, I just…didn’t like this one at all.

Show Winner: Wayne
Best Performer: Colin’s stuff was most obvious.
Worst Performer: Wayne, once again, didn’t have much  to do. I feel like I’m picking on him too much, but…it’s also kind of the edit.
Best Game: Scene to Music. Closest to great  improv tonight.
Worst Game: Party Quirks was one big shrug.
Guest Star Rating: Uhhhhhh I’ll go with 7/10 because she was really into it, but also scared the shit out of me with how into it she was? I’m not sure, guys.

COMING UP NEXT: OH THANK GOD A HAPPIER SHOW. Mother of God, I was worried. Anyway, a Chip show leftover from Season 4, in a taping we haven’t seen yet. Definitely a best foot forward case, as the games I usually remember when I think about this taping are here.

Whose Watchdown is it Anyway: S05E04, or Look What I Can Do With The Donuts!

I know, another impromptu hiatus. Work has sucked lately. But I’m back now, and we’re onto another guest star episode in Season 4, fresh from the same taping as 4×24, the Hef episode. Unlike THAT round of raunchiness, this booking is a ton more wholesome- Florence Henderson, the actress best known for playing Mrs. Brady on the Brady Bunch, and being a celebrated TV mom. Contemporarily, she’s also known for being a really good sport.

So, Brad joins the regulars to do some games around her. Which isn’t a bad booking at all.

Change Letter: A young guy, Brad, and his girlfriend Colin are making out in her bedroom when her disapproving parents, Ryan and Wayne, walk in unexpectedly
Can’t say L, must say P instead

A game we haven’t seen in a while, since it was a two-person round in the UK version, usually between Jim and Steve. Here, it’s a full-cast game

There’s the obvious spike when Drew announces Colin’s playing the woman, but he stops the audience “WAIT, IT GETS BETTER- they’re MAKING OUT IN HER BEDROOM.”

Colin, edging out of the embrace: “I’m so filled with PUST.”
[missed a few l’s there, Colin]

Brad: “I POVE YOU MORE THAN…MORE THAN ANY OTHER GIRP…IN THE WHOLE…WORPD.”
Brad also missed an L.
Colin, being very careful: “I’M THE PUCKIEST GIRP IN THE WORPD.”
The whole time, Brad and Colin are straining themselves. This is a very hard game

Brad, to Ryan and Wayne: “PISTEN.”
He stops, realizing what this sounds like.
Ryan: “YOOOU PISSIN.”
Brad: “PISTEN TO ME.”

Brad: “She was…pooking at something on my pip.”
Ryan, with some fantastic wordplay: “…I hope you’re ON the pipp..”

Ryan, again being careful: “….are you gonna…EPOPE.”
HA
Colin: “…maybe?”
Ryan, trying not to lose it: “YOU’RE GONNA EPOPE?”

That was very silly, and while it worked overall, there were a lot of moments where they all were straining themselves to try and stay within the specifications. It’s a hard game to get to work, which is why we only see it a few times. Wayne was pretty much shut out, which will be a theme after the 1st commercial

Duet: Brad and Wayne sing a disco song to Florence

Pay attention to how happy Wayne is to see Florence. He grew up as a fan of the Brady Bunch, and I believe he’d worked with Florence once before. So he’s in his element. Also, he leans into the whole ‘same last name’ gag, going “MAMA”

Florence, pointing to Wayne: “That’s the long-lost Brady kid, right there”

Florence gets away with calling Wayne “the cutest one”, which gets some ‘awww’s, but also some groans, from the audience. Wayne, enjoying the hell out of this, just goes “AW, HUSH.”

Brad steals an obvious line early: “I wanna be the top banana in your Brady bunch”
Florence, of course, gets a kick out of this

Wayne’s giving more heartfelt, on the nose lyrics, while Brad’s just doing goofy innuendos [“I’ll be Sam the Butcher and you can try my meat”]
Though Wayne does laugh at the dissonance between the raunchy material and…the fact that they’re singing to Mrs. Brady. Won’t be the first time

[Around here, Ryan starts whispering something to Colin in the back, perhaps just saying something about that juxtaposition, because everyone had to know it]

Wayne: “I’ll have you sayin ‘OH WAYNE’ instead of ‘OH MIKE’
DAMN

A very fun number. Both Brad and Wayne had some great lines, and Florence seemed to be really enjoying herself

Then, as she’s hugging Brad and Wayne goodbye, she motions to Ryan and Colin to come up, and WITHIN SECONDS THEY BOUND DOWNSTAGE TO GIVE FLORENCE A HUG. As everyone there grew up in the 70s, it cannot be understated how important the Brady Bunch was to this generation, so it’s gotta be so cool for EVERYONE in the cast.

Drew describes that scene as “really cool”
Ryan: “It was cool ’til the one day where this lady met this fellow”
HA

Drew: “I feel like going backstage and asking her for advice”
Brad, too happy: “I feel like going backstage and apologizing to her for the butcher joke”

If You Know What I Mean: Colin and Brad are two bakers finishing the night shift at a bakery when Ryan comes in to open up

As usual, Ryan and Colin are not at all excited to be playing this game

Brad: “My dough’s starting to rise, if you know what I mean”
Colin: “….”
as usual, this is what we’re in for

Colin: “I’m gonna squeeze some icing if you know what I mean”
Brad: “…don’t squeeze it too hard, if you know what I mean”
[Not the only game of this in S5 that has a line involving icing]

There’s a moment where all eyes are on Colin, as Ryan just let a joke die, and Brad’s done a bunch. Colin has nothing. So he does this:
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Colin: “LOOK WHAT I CAN DO WITH THE DONUTS.”
He twists his fingers around, then puts ’em all back down.
That’s a genius move, because it seems like a non-sequitur to amuse the audience in lieu of another innuendo…but it also COULD BE another innuendo. So it’s a mix of both.

Ryan: “I have no problem with my yeast, if you know what I mean”
Colin: “Looks like you’ve been freshly sugared…[cracks]…if you know what I mean”
Wayne, in the back:
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Brad does another line, but Ryan and Colin are still laughing at Colin’s last one.

Ryan: “My soufflé has fallen, if you know what I mean”
Brad: “I’ve never had that problem, if you know what I mean.”
Ryan, in a small move that cracks me up, does this little head nod to Colin, as if to say, ‘your turn.’ Brad follows.
Colin: “…perhaps you need chunkier raisins if you know what I mean.”

They get back to the seats, and Wayne’s still dying over ‘freshly sugared’. Ryan just asks “did you take a drink during that?”

Drew: “What does ‘chunkier raisins’ mean?”
Colin: “…if you don’t know what I mean…”
Wayne: “That’s an old Canadian saying”
Colin: “Along with the showing of the donuts.”
Wayne and Drew admit that was their favorite part

Drew: “I’ve said that before, ‘look what I can do the donuts’…if you know what I mean”
Wayne: “…you’ve got Krispy Kreme, if you know what I mean.”
OH MAN. HOW DID THAT MAKE AIR. A product plug AND a sperm gag. Man oh man. For all that Wayne spends on the bench this show, he’s still capable of great lines

I’mma be honest…that might be one of the best IYKWIM rounds outside of ‘fluff your Garfield’ and ‘200 pound snatch’. The formula just seemed sharp and well-defined here, and Ryan had one of his best showings, going toe-to-toe with Brad. But the little things Colin did, and tried, in lieu of good innuendo, were funnier than ever. The donut gag, the raisins, Ryan’s head nod. It may have been an eye into the improv, but it was still damn funny.

Drew: “The points are just like a peephole in a nursing home”
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Dubbing: Hunky pool boy Ryan starts flirting with saucy housewife Florence (voice by Brad), as he persuades her to go skinny-dipping with him, her hot-headed husband Colin arrives home with a gift for her

Drew, like usual this taping, screws with Colin and Ryan in reading the scene description. He reads: “HUNKY POOL BOY…” and then waits for them to wonder who gets to be that, especially Colin:
Screen Shot 2020-03-04 at 5.27.43 PM.png
Drew: “…RYAN”
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I LOVE THAT REACTION
Ryan just gives him a half-hearted “sorry…”

Brad is essentially using his LMAD voice here for Florence.

Brad then goes rogue: “I HOPE YOU CAN CLEAN MY LEAF TRAP IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.”
NOT ONLY IS IT A GREAT REFERENCE TO THE PREVIOUS GAME, NOT ONLY is Brad once again trying to subvert Florence’s appearance my making her say and do raunchy things…but as he says ‘if you know what I mean’, Florence does a suggestive thrust. Meaning she’s well aware, and game, for that kind of material.
The reactions are all across the board:
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Florence taps Ryan’s shoulder to make sure he’s still going on with it, as he’s clearly stunned by everything.
Ryan: “Oh, sorry…I dozed off for a minute.”

After Ryan admits he’s fallen in love with Florence
Brad: “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT.”
Florence’s body motions make this earnest line sound sarcastic, which is a brilliant mood.

Colin, entering: “WHAT. THE. HELL. IS. GOING. ON. HERE. UGH. gotcha something.”
I love Colin so much

Florence swears nothing’s going on
Colin: “Oh, I’ve seen that look on your face with the other…hunky pool boys! THIS WAS THE LEAST HUNKY I COULD FIND, AND STILL YA GO FOR HIM!”
Brad: “HEYYY, that’s not very nice. He’s been working out! Sure, he used to just be a stick with a nose, BUT NOW HE’S HUNKY.”
And a reference to a game that won’t air til the end of Season 5. PERFECT
Brad:
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I’m just gonna say it- this show might not be editing Brad as well as Ryan or Colin, but the man is KILLING IT with small lines and moments.

Ryan, with a great move: “If you two are gonna argue, I’m putting on my trunks and leaving.”
Yep. Naked the whole scene. A classic Ryan move
Ryan pivots, comically, for Colin: “Oh…HOW DID MY TRUNKS FALL OFF?”
Colin, also covering another plot hole: “HOW DID I NOT NOTICE?”

Brad, as usual with this game, turns it into a kiss-off between Ryan and Colin. Which Florence seems perfectly fine with.
Ryan, before he leans in to Florence, breaks for a moment, as if the prospect of kissing Mrs. Brady isn’t something absolutely insane.

Sure enough:
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AND THEN:
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this episode is absolutely killing me

Ryan, barely staying in character: “Let me just say that I’ve fulfilled a fantasy I’ve had since childhood.”

Colin, as Florence goes for him: “To show you how confident I am…I’m only gonna use one lip.”
Colin, ever the gentleman, takes Florence and swings her over his other side. It’s a very fun moment.

Ryan, in a great move, just packs his stuff up and leaves, as he’s not topping that.

Colin, as Ryan’s leaving, has a very puzzling ending line: “…my third nipple is hard.”
It cracks up Florence and Ryan, and ends the scene. Whatever works.

Ryan and Colin hug Florence, and thank her for being such a good sport, and so open to whatever, and to be honest, I agree. Not everyone would do what Florence did in that scene, and she was as active in it as Ryan and Colin, making for a really, really good Dubbing. Nobody felt underdone, no joke felt unrealized, everything came together and it all just made me laugh. Even Wayne, a bystander, had a laugh in peeking in during Ryan and Florence’s kiss. Wayne has become the surprise best runner of the show, and he’s not even doing anything.

Ryan: “…that just leaves Mrs. Cunningham now.”
So here’s why this line is funny, and ironic. Mrs. Cunningham, from Happy Days, was played by Marion Ross, who’s actually still with us as I write this in March 2020. Marion Ross’s son…is Jim Meskimen, famed actor and impressionist, and improviser. And that’s why that name is familiar to anyone who’s followed Whose Line.  Jim Meskimen did Whose Line back in UK Seasons 3 and 4…and did some episodes WITH RYAN. SO RYAN HAS WORKED WITH MRS. CUNNINGHAM’S SON. AND HERE HE IS JOKING ABOUT HAVING A THING FOR HER GROWING UP. SO THAT’S JUST WEIRD.
THEN, as reader Kevin pointed out, Ryan has WORKED WITH Marion Ross at this point. As has Drew, because Marion Ross has played Drew’s mother on the Drew Carey Show on MULTIPLE OCCASIONS by September 2001, when this tapes. So Ryan’s making this comment NOT ONLY about his former scene partner’s real mom, but about his co-star and friend’s TV mom. That’s, like, TEN DIFFERENT LEVELS OF WEIRD.

Ryan: “That was my most exciting moment on Whose Line. Ever.”

Helping Hands: Over family dinner, Jan Brady, played by Ryan, hands by Colin, is talking with her mother, played by Florence, about how to attract boys

No Drew game, but one more guest star game. As it’s Florence, I’m not exactly complaining.

Yes, this is a Brady Bunch related scene. Because of course it is.

Of course, Ryan pulls a ‘Marcia Marcia Marcia’ early.

Florence, with a nice left hook: “Honey, I know you’re not too attractive, but…”
Colin:
Screen Shot 2020-03-04 at 5.57.39 PM.pngFlorence: “There you go, you cry all the time, STOPPIT-”
And with that, she slaps Ryan. Once again, subverting the wholesome tone she’d brought with her, and making this the kind of subversion that turns the whole scene on its head, in the best way. This isn’t the regular Brady Bunch, this is Whose Line’s postmodern, grown-up Brady Bunch, and THIS is the tone we’re going with. It’s a perfect improv move from Florence, and it’s been a nice surprise how good she is at improv.

Ryan: “I don’t feel pretty”
Colin: [accidentally yanks off Ryan’s wig]

Ryan, as Colin tries to straighten it: “ALRIGHT, THE SECRET’S OUT”
Florence, breaking for a moment: “…you’re a boy, aren’t you, darling?”
Ryan, dropping his voice: “YES, I’M A BOY.”
Colin: [grabs crotch]
DON’T THINK WE DIDN’T SEE THAT, COLIN.

Florence, with another great improv move, weaves that into the scene, saying “we tried to keep that a secret”. Man, she has this much improv knowledge just…lying around?

I love the detail of there being a framed picture on the table of…David Cassidy. From the Partridge Family.
Florence, picking this up: “Oh…then that’s the wrong show, you-”
She hits Ryan’s chest with it, and flings it off-camera.
I like Florence taking a moment to decide whether she wants to run with the meta joke about different shows, but goes with it. Ryan, of course, calls her out on it: “What are you talking about SHOW, mom?” Not as a ‘hey, stay within the lines of improv’ move, but because he thinks they can take that revelation somewhere.

Ryan: “LIFE IS NOT A TV SHOW. D’you think we just live out life for a half-an-hour each week and it ends?”

Florence: “Well, you can’t pretend that you’re ever gonna get someone as good as David Cassidy, okay? Shirley Jones has him.”
Not only is that a funny line, but that’s a MEAN swipe at her former TV rival, potentially pointing out that she was possibly romantically inclined with her stepson. It definitely got laughs though, especially from Ryan

Eventually this scene does get to the ‘shoving food in Ryan’s face’ portion, as both Colin and Florence force feed him meat loaf.
There’s a moment where Colin sticks out a hand, knowing of Ryan’s inclination to spit things out, but before he can, Florence stuffs mashed potatoes in there

In the background, Wayne has to stand up to see the mess of food that’s been shoved in Ryan’s mouth that he’s been unable to swallow. It’s amusing as hell

Eventually, Ryan does spit it all into Colin’s hand. Of course he does.

Ryan, cracking: “I had a little bit of my hair in there…it was all the way down my throat..”

Florence does say “this is the worst meatloaf Alice ever made.”
Ryan: “Maybe Slam- heh, SLAM- Sam had….nevermind.”

Ryan: “I think I need something sweet right now.”
Colin: [grabs ketchup]
Ryan, shaking his head: “…and when I want sweet, I always go for ketchup”

The disgusted sound of the audience when Ryan squirts ketchup onto the apple pie reminds me of the sound the UK audience made when Josie poured the ketchup into the wine glass

Drew throws to commercial, but the shot continues, of a disgusted Ryan…who then does this:
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…yeah, that one’s gonna do well in Greece….or Seattle…

FANTASTIC game of this, mostly because it didn’t JUST focus on Ryan eating weird things, but also his dynamic with Florence, who herself had some great lines. Honestly, Colin had the sneakier moves, not only his usual ‘hand under Ryan’s mouth’ gag, but the random crotch grab. Such a great tribute, and subversion, to Florence, who herself was awesome in this scene.

Overall: I’d seen this one a few times as a kid, but it never really registered how AWESOME this one was…until now. Change Letter was really the only game tonight that didn’t impress the hell out of me, but it’d be hard to put in a different opener, as Hollywood Director has a runner connected, and Questions takes a bit longer I think. Even that one was alright, but…everything else was so damn funny. Duet was cute and a good singular use of Wayne tonight, IYKWIM impressed the hell out of me, and the one-two punch of Dubbing and Helping Hands was stellar, showing the best of Ryan, Colin and Brad, as well as some superb improv work from Florence Henderson, who was phenomenal all show. Everything together just gave a very BIG, very fun feel to the whole thing, and made for so much good energy flowing through all the games. I genuinely adored this one, and am glad something this good was waiting for me during my work hiatus.

Show Winner: Florence Henderson
Best Performer: Call me a heretic, but I’m giving this to Brad. He ruled the first act, felt confident in all of his games, and had some great little lines throughout. Ryan came very close late in the show.
Worst Performer: Wayne was essentially an audience member, but his reactions helped to make this one great.
Best Game: Dubbing, narrowly beating Helping Hands thanks to that ‘leaf trap’ line
Worst Game: Change Letter.
Guest Star Rating: Only a few small jitters throughout stop her from being a full 10, but my god, Florence Henderson was up for ANYTHING, and she had a HELL of a time. 9/10.

COMING UP NEXT: A stowaway from the S4 tapings, but this one came from the same taping as 4×26, the Tapioca episode. This one might be just as good, as Colin teaches a valuable lesson on where poo comes from.