Whose Line Is It Anyway?
There were several years after the death of my son and the divorce from my first husband, that my daughter and I lived alone. She and I began to form our own nightly rituals and routines. One our fondest routines was watching two back to back episodes of "Whose Line Is it Anyway?" just before going to bed. We found that laughter really was good medicine. It was a special bonding time for us that we still talk about.
Just recently, we started watching pieces of episodes of "Whose Line is it Anyway" that we found on YouTube. It's beginning to be part of our nightly routine again. It's nice to have that time to laugh just before going to bed. You should try it.
Typical US LineUp for Whose Line is it Anyway?
The remaining seat position was held by various people in various episodes such as:
- Greg Proops
- Brad Sherwood
- Chip Esten
- Denny Siegel
- Kathy Greenwood
- Josie Lawrence
- Robin Williams
- Kathy Griffin
- Whoopi Goldberg
- Sid Caesar
- David Hasselhoff
- Florence Henderson
- Jerry Springer
- Joanie "Chyna" Laurer
- Richard Simmons
- Katie Harman
- Jayne Trcka
- Kathy Kinney
- Hugh Hefner
The History of "Whose Line Is It Anyway"
For anyone who may not be familiar with the show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? is an improvisational comedy TV show that originally began as a British radio program in the UK. It made its transition to television in 1988 in the UK and in the U.S. in 1998. The British version lasted for 10 series and a total of 136 episodes all hosted by Clive Anderson. The US version was hosted by Drew Carey and was cancelled in 2003.
The show is made up of a panel of four performers and a host. The host prompts the performers based on a series of topics and some audience suggestions. The performers then create skits, characters and songs on the spot.
The US catch phrase was "the points don't matter". Drew Carey would pretend to give points with the idea of determining a winner. It's all done arbitrarily and although a winner is chosen at the end, it has nothing to do with anything. It's just a cute gimmick for laughs that allows for quite a bit of joking around.
A partial list of the games they play are listed below. Of all of the games, I think we enjoy "Sound Effects" the most. It really showcases their improvisational abilities. Our favorite segment is shown below. Be sure to watch it, if you don't laugh at that, you won't laugh at anything.
Games Played on "Whose Line Is It Anyway"
There is a pretty good core group of games that they regularly play. Every now and then, they'll throw in a new one. Some of the common games are:
- Scenes from a hat-the host has a large magician style hat that he draws slips of paper from. The slips are suggestions from the audience for things they'd like to see the performers demonstrate. One might be: "Things you'd never want to hear your spouse say while making love" The performers then take turns coming up with funny answers to that.
Hoedown-all four performers create a country-type song with a couple of lines at time. The song will be based on a suggestion from the audience.
Irish Drinking Song-all four performers create an Irish type song a couple of lines at time based on a topic from the audience.
Props-the four performers break up into two teams and are given some random items that they must create as many uses for as they can.
News Flash/Green Screen-Colin Mochrie would stand in front of a green screen playing the role of a field reporter. The remaining performers would play the role of news anchormen and watch the segment being shown to the audience on the screen and give Colin clues about what was being shown. Clues were in the form of puns or plays on words. Colin would then guess what the segment was about.
- Greatest Hits: Colin and Ryan would act as pitchmen for an infomercial selling compilation CDs based on a topic provided by the audience. They would make up off the wall song titles to be sung in the style of some well-known performer they named. It was usually Wayne Brady who did the singing.
Show Stopping Number: The performers create a scene based on audience suggestion and when the buzzer sounds they last performer speaking now sings a show-stopping tune based on their last line.
Three-Headed Broadway Star: The audience provides a song title and three performers sing a Broadway-style song, with each performer singing one word at a time, in turn.
Alphabet: Two performers enact a given scene in which each sentence must begin with the subsequent letter of the alphabet beginning with an audience-suggested letter. The performers must go through the entire alphabet once.
If You Know What I Mean: Three of the performers improvise a scene in which they make up as many sexual innuendos related to the given topic as they can, ending each with the phrase "if you know what I mean."
Number of Words: The four performers enact a given scene but can only speak in sentences or phrases with the exact number of words they have been given.
Questions Only: Two performers enact a given scene speaking only in questions, while the other performers wait to replace them if they mess up or take too long.
Let's Make A Date: One performer plays a contestant on a dating show while the other three act as potential dates. The contestant asks questions while the dates act out the character they have been given in an envelope. The contestant tries to guess who they are based on the clues given.
Party Quirks: One performer hosts a party which the other three arrive at the party pretending to be odd personalities given to them in an envelope. The host guesses who they are based on the clues.
Director / Hollywood Director: Three performers are given a scene. A fourth performer, Colin, is the director, who interrupts the scene and has the performers re-enact the same scene in a different style or performance suggestion.
Hats/Dating Service Video: Each pair of performers is given a box of hats and headgear. They take turns creating characters from "the world's worst dating service videos".
Superheroes: One performer is a superhero with an odd audience-suggested identity. He faces an audience-suggested crisis, and is joined by another performer. In welcoming this performer, he provides them another odd superhero identity. The third and fourth performers arrive in turn, and are named by their predecessors as well.
Weird Newscasters: One performer is the lead anchor of a news broadcast who acts normally; the other three are the co-host, sports anchor, and weather anchor, and are each given an odd personality or character which they must exhibit. The anchor is always Colin, the weatherman is always Ryan and the sports director is always Wayne.
- Helping Hands: Three performers enact a food/cooking scene; Ryan puts his arms behind his back and Colin's arms come from behind him to become his hands. Ryan will interact with another performer while cooking and eating concoctions that Colin's hands make.
Living Scenery: Two performers enact a given scene where two other performers or sometimes special guests stand in for props during the scene.
Moving People: Two performers enact a scene, but they cannot move on their own. The get two audience members to move them into different positions during the scene.
Sound Effects: Two female audience members are chosen to provide the sounds effects for Colin and Ryan. They are given a scene to enact and Colin and Ryan improvise using whatever sounds become available to them from the audience members.
Our Favorite Sound Effects Segment-You Must See This!
More by this Author
Harry Houdini is a fascinating character. Enjoy some fun facts and get to know him a bit better.
C'mon gals, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's that deep soulful toe-curling growl that some men just instinctively know how to weave into songs. Conway Twitty had it. Kenny Rogers has it. Jeff...
A fascinating look at Beatrice Wood, the woman James Cameron modeled Rose Dewitt Bukater Calvert after in the movie "Titanic".