TV Talk 2×02: Get Improvisational with Whose Line Is It Anyway?


tvtalk2.2Previously on TV Talk, I have only reviewed scripted, non-reality television shows, but as the column expands so does its repertoire, and so for the first time I’m covering a non-scripted show. That lucky show is Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and is best described by the saying that is repeated at the start of every episode: “Welcome to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the show where everything is made up and the points don’t matter.”

Whose Line Is It Anyway? is an improvisation comedy show that features comedians Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Ryan Stiles, along with a fourth guest performer that varies from week to week, including comics such as Keegan Michael Key (from ComedyCentral’s Key & Peele), Gary Anthony Williams, Jeff Davis, and Greg Proops. The show is a spin-off of the British show of the same name and was originally hosted by Drew Carey when it aired on ABC Family from 1998 to 2007. After a hiatus, the show was revived by The CW in 2013 and is now hosted by The Talk’s Aisha Tyler.

Again, the host explains the show perfectly at the beginning of each episode when she states that “everything you see tonight from our performers will be completely improvised, off the top of their heads, based on suggestions from the audience and these cards that I have in my hands right here.” Each episode, the performers play a series of different games, ranging from musical games to guessing games to rapid-fire games. Some of the most notable games include Scenes from a Hat (where the performers act out scenes that were written down by the audience before the show), Let’s Make A Date (where one of the performers is appearing on a dating show and the other three are the contestants that have all been given a weird characteristic or identity), and the fan-favorite Hoedown (where the performers sing a hoedown-style song based on a subject provided by the audience). After each game, the host awards points to the players (but remember that the points don’t matter — although, if you are keeping score, before the revival Wayne Brady was the winner with a total of 50,072,587,425 points), and at the end will crown a winner (who may or may not be the one with the most points) whose “prize” is getting to perform a scene with the host or read the credits in a particularly funny way.

Since the revival, almost every episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? also features a celebrity guest that will participate in a few of the games with the performers. Many of them come from CW shows themselves, such as Misha Collins from Supernatural, Maggie Q from Nikita, and Candice Accola from The Vampire Diaries, but there are also many other guests like boxer Laila Ali and the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski. Usually, the celebrity guest will be the subject of a song performed by Brady or will be props for Stiles and Mochrie in a game called Living Scenery.

Much like Tuscarora’s own comedy show Shenanigans, WLIIA always provides countless hilarious jokes that will have you laughing until you cry before you know it. The show is currently airing on Fridays on the CW at 8pm EST, and a third season has already been confirmed for 2015.