I loved the originally-British, eventually Drew Carey-hosted, improv-extravaganza that was Whose Line is it Anyway?. From the lanky expressiveness of human-cartoon hybrid, Ryan Stiles to the “I don’t know what I’m doing. No, really, I’m just winging this.” Colin Mocherie approach to the “I see sexual innuendo in kindergarten classroom instructions” style of British improviser, Tony Slattery, the show could have me in near-hysterical tears by the end of a sketch. I prefer the British to the American version, mainly because the jokes on the British version would become so adult, all you can do is stand in shock and awe, because you cannot believe these jokes are airing on television. The American version would ocassionally venture into that territory too but with far less regularity.
In honor of the new version of the series, currently airing on the CW and featuring Whose Line veterans Ryan Stiles, Colin Mocherie, and Wayne Brady, as well as new host Aisha Tyler, I thought it would be fun to present my Top 10 (in no particular order, because it’ kind of impossible for me to sort these) Whose Line sketches(both British and American):
10) World’s Worst…Things a Doctor or Surgeon Could Say:
“World’s Worst…” was one of the staples of the British series that rarely saw the light of day in the American version. That’s a shame, because as this sketch demonstrates, comedic brilliance could frequently ensue. Check Tony Slattery’s “gentle anesthetic” or Ryan Stiles’s memory of human anatomy that caps the sketch.
9) Sex Hoe-down
Another classic from the British series, in which the jokes become so blue, you wonder how this ever made it on the air.
8) Irish Drinking Song:
Sometimes, some of Whose Line’s best bits come from sketches that don’t go according to plan. Watch as an Irish Drinking Song falls apart in spectacular fashion.
7) Greatest Hits interrupts…Animal Porn?!
Sit and behold as Colin Mocherie briefly references animal porn and brielfly brings a sketch to a jarring halt. The rest of the sketch is pretty great too!
6) Party Quirks and the Carol Channing Mishap
One of the best unplanned mishaps involving Ryan Stiles, a desk, and Ryan Stiles’s head.
5) Richard Simmons Brings Improv Surrealism:
Sometimes, words fail me:
4) Josie Lawrence visits prison:
I love the sketches in which songs had to be made up on the spot, and this one has a great pay off involving a grandfather clock.
3) A Bartender sketch inolving Ryan Stiles’ shirt:
This segment (the only version I could find on YouTube) also has a really funny Party Quirks sketch, but the reason I’ve included this here really has to do with the bartender sketch involving Ryan’s shirt and Tony’s love for an inflatable pig.
Questions only was one of show’s more challenging games (except for the song styling bits, of course), and most of the fun stems from the players’ frustration with being unable to answer a question. Watch Stephen Frye struggle below:
1) Film Dub
This is one of my favorite film dubs, mainly because it’s using the movie The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, which was also featured on one of my favorite episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
So, what do you guys think? Do you have some favorite bits we left out? Are you excited for the new CW series? Let us know in the comments!