Stephen Fry (yes, that one) has a very unique way of playing Number of Words (normally one of the harder games) here. You even see him counting off on his fingers a few times.
Fry: I'm going to count... to six.
"Well, I'm sorry, but it gets." (Beat) "My goat to hear her talking."
A game of Expert (obviously from the show's early years) had "taxidermist" as the suggestion for what Ryan was an expert on. Greg is then faced with the task of interviewing an unresponsive Ryan, who spends the entire game completely motionless. He doesn't flinch. He doesn't blink. He never once cracked a smile until the buzzer sounded. Even on repeat viewings, it's a mesmerizing, awesome performance.
See the Josie Lawrence "faux-Albanian" clip. That was Jim's very first time on the show, where he got the idea to follow the trend of taking potshots at Josie. And he pulled it off.
Caroline Quentin's Song Styles duet with Josie, from the incredible pipes she unleashed to Colin and Ryan's standing ovation. To think the song was supposed to be about a beached whale.
Quentin's Hoedown verse about being stood up also deserves a mention. She does it with an authentic country twang and it took her all of fifteen seconds to come up with the verse as she was the first performer.
On the last season of the British version of the show, Colin makes an awesome crack at Clive in World's Worst.
In one of his first British appearances, Ryan is chosen to be the host of Party Quirks. He immediately guesses every quirk mere seconds after the guest walks in the door, and never has to be the host ever again.
First US version:
One episode had Oscar-winner Whoopi Goldberg as special guest. Colin went toe-to-toe with her on "Questions Only," and managed to buzz her out.
One of Colin's best must have been during the "Going Bald" hoedown, after both Drew Carey and Brad Sherwood had riffed on Colin's distinct lack of hair. The look on his face as he is about to deliver it just cements it:
Colin: People always kid me 'cause I'm losing all my hair / I can't really help it that I'm follically impaired! / It really is quite horrible, but my life is not through / I still get way more sex than either Brad or Drew!note Colin is married. Brad and Drew were not at the time.
This Newsflash game is widely considered the show's single funniest game and the most awesome and heartwarming for Mochrie, if only for the line:
Colin: It all started with a badly-timed bald joke!
Which ironically makes it the best timed bald joke ever. Also, you can calculate to the second where it dawns on him that it's a montage of him from earlier episodes.
"We're watching animal porn!" Colin says something stupid, realizes how stupid it was, and delivers a spectacular punchline to his own stupid statement... all in less than seven seconds.
Best part, Colin is so professional and so good at keeping a straight face (while Colin often gets Ryan to crack, Colin himself almost never breaks) that after the punch line, he consciously avoided looking at Ryan in order to help himself keep a straight face and didn't loosen up until Ryan broke character, signaling the scene was temporarily over.
And from that same episode, we have Wayne and Jeff performing a jaw-dropping operatic song about motorcycles. It has to be seen to be believed.
Considering the unscripted nature of this show, a few Moments stem from the genuine unplanned accidents that take place. Special mention must be made here of Ryan Stiles, who accidentally shattered the neon light on Drew's desk with his head, and refused to break character until the scene had ended. Less damaging but equally Awesome 'accidents' include:
At the end of one Newsflash game. involving footage of numerous rats, Drew admits that he didn't get Ryan's reference to the early Michael Jackson song "Ben", upon which Ryan and Colin start singing one line of the song. Again, at the exact same time. Crosses into Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in a way.
In one Film Dub game, Wayne makes the assumption that one person in the film is about to get violent. It pays off.
Even better, this follows a line from Ryan suggesting that the characters' outfits make them look gay. Right after he says it the other characters take off their suit jackets.
In a similar vein, this Sound Effects involves Colin as a monk who sneaks out of a monastery for a night on the town, so Ryan sort-of-beatboxes a club theme with Gregorian chanting thrown in. It works.
And of course the infamous Y.M.C.A parody where Wayne and the others sing to a crowd member named "Howard". The tempo on the keyboard malfuctions, and the song suddenly speeds up, with the whole troupe trying to keep up.
And in the same game, Wayne manages to misspell Howard ("H-O-R-W-A-R-D!"). Throw in Howard's profession (designing closures for hazardous waste sites), Howard's enthusiasm and lack of rhythm, and the silly hats, and you have a perfect storm of hilarity.
The Newsflash game is known for its use of increasingly obscure footage that most people wouldn't even believe existed - yet Colin has not only guessed very closely each time, but in one case, gave the movie's exact name.
Chip's killer Snagglepuss impression during a Weird Newscasters, finishing by running off and leaving his stool rocking just like in a Hanna Barbera cartoon. It's pretty much impossible to tell if that was deliberate. The only way it could have been better is if he actually got Colin to crack up afterwards; as it is he still needs a few seconds to regain his composure, something he's usually doing to everyone else.
Awesome for Wayne and for the show's musicians - watch the back and forth between Wayne (singing in the style of Louis Armstrong) and the trumpet player here.
One round of Weird Newscasters had Chip, as a gameshow announcer, inadvertently sabotaging Colin's Theme Naming shtick by calling out his actual name. It doesn't stop him.
(Beat) "...Welcome to the 6 o'clock news, I'm Colin Themarines."
Ryan said that his best time on the show was when he gave a passionate kiss to Florence Henderson.
Sid Caesar's guest appearance. It's great to pay tribute to a comedy legend, but when he came on stage, he looked a little worse for wear. Then he breaks out into the greatest round of Dubbing the show has ever seen.
Brad finds words that rhyme with the name Naroshi.
Even funnier when Drew jokingly dares Brad "try rhyming that!" As you can see, he does.
Wayne's absurdly high note at the end of this game of Greatest Hits.
Once when Wayne, Ryan, and Chip were playing Motown Group: Wayne and Chip turned in their usual brilliant musical performances; Ryan, who's usually so-so at the musical games, busts out w/ a phenomenalbass verse, stealing the scene from Wayne and Chip.
Stephen Colbert's appearance. He was hilarious throughout but his CMOA was probably Foreign Film. The fake language was German and since Colbert actually speaks German every line he said was an actual German phrase including a line from one of Hitler's speeches ("Heute Deutschland, morgen die Welt!"/"Today Germany, tomorrow the world!").
Wayne: Order Colin Mochrie's guide to dialects in different countries! You get French, "HALLO!", Spanish, "HALLO!", Indonesian, "HALLO!"
Colin: The Wayne Brady surfboard - with a bump big enough to sit on!
The episode with Robin Williams as a whole. Awesome for Robin because hefittheshow's format like a glove, and awesome for Ryan, Wayne and Colin because they managed to hold their own with Robin freakin' Williams, one of the most manic improvisors ever.
One episode ended with Drew participating in a World's Worst "priest or rabbi"; his impression of Jerry Lewis as a rabbi practically brought down the house.
Denny Siegel makes the best Let's Make A Date guess of all time. You know you've scored one when you can get a reaction from Colin AND Ryan.
During a game of "Props," Ryan and Drew are horsing around with horseshoe-shaped pink foam pads. Drew doesn't miss the chance for comedic gold and has Ryan play the appropriately-shaped tall and skinny polewhile Drew flings his "horseshoes" at him with granny-style tosses. Drew misses the first toss miserably. Not expecting to nail the second, he chucks it at Ryan's head... and gets it hooked around his neck. Cue cheering from the amazed crowd, Ryan smiling with utter humility (his expression says, "I can't believe he actually did it - and now I look like a fool again"), and a priceless look of sheer astonishment and happiness on Drew's face as he celebrates with a victory dance.
After Richard Simmons has some fun in "Living Scenery," his insane, over-the-top antics have Ryan and Wayne laughing their asses off, Greg can barely contain himself from his seat, Colin, the hardest to crack out of the guys, has completely lost his composure, Drew's in tears from laughing so hard, and everyone in the studio audience is thrashing wildly with the greatest laughter ever triggered in one single show, something so rare and unprecedented it may very well be THE funniest episode Whose Line ever spawned during the course of the whole series.
Luke Mochrie: That man (referring to his father, Colin) did things with Richard Simmons that no one else would do!
Drew's comeback to a fat joke Ryan makes at the beginning of this video
Ryan: Of course, some of us needed a wide angle lens.
Drew: And some of us needed a zoom.
Ryan's incredibly moving (as well as hysterical) monologue during a game of Weird Newscasters, in which he plays a demanding temperamental Hollywood actor trying to give an Oscar winning performance. Given the standing ovation he got from both the audience and other performers, he succeeded big time.
This game of African Chant sung to Julia, a dance instructor who definitely stole the show when she started leading the performers with dance.
During one episode, when Drew announced Colin, Ryan, and Wayne for the next game, the audience cheered even louder than ever, to the point where the three ended up giving a bow before the game even began!
Colin as Disco Boy in this game of Superheroes. His dance moves were surprisingly swift, and the entire room roared in thunderous applause (Drew even gave him a standing ovation).
The "Greatest Hits" about taxi drivers had three great songs: "I Can't Pronounce the Driver's Name" (in the style of disco), "I Think We're Goin' Around in Circles" (in the style of Elvis), and "Your Air Freshener Smells Like Crap" (in the style of heavy metal). Jeff and Wayne had amazing singing chemistry.
Brad does a fantastic impression of Fred Schneider from The B-52s, and always gets an enthusiastic audience response. In the first instance he did this (in the Greatest Hits about ant farmers), the audience applauded/cheered after he had only sang two words.
Let's face it: we would buy absolutely anything if only it was advertised by Colin and Ryan.
In general: The cast famously hated Hoedown. But Drew loved it and kicked ass at it. A game that was loathed by a collection of some of the world's best improv comedians for being so dang difficult, and the host, not a trained improv performer, was the best at it.
Second US version:
Wayne was named an executive producer. He has a lot of good ideas, and he has given a lot to the show. He deserves it.
While the first episode was good but a bit uneven, the second episode of the new CW version demonstrated that Whose Line has made a solid comeback with one of the funniest "Scenes From A Hat" rounds in series history. Clearly they needed that first episode for practice.
The musical games have come back, with Laura Hall and Linda Taylor once again providing the music.
They also brought a bunch of the old crew back. The buzzer even makes the same sound as before. It's like coming back home.
During the Helping Hands segment, Ryan passes popcorn to special guest Kevin McHale by pouring it into his own mouth and shooting it to Kevin's. Kevin catches one
Also, by the third episode Aisha Tyler has started making Canada jokes and issuing joke points. While she's not as good as Drew yet, she's clearly opening up to the cast.
The first two episodes brought in an average of 2.96 million viewers (only one other show on the network that week managed to get over 1 million viewers) and averaged a 1.15 rating among viewers 18-49, whereas most shows on the network over the summer are lucky to get a 0.5 18-49 rating.
Kyle Richards (from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) doing the splits.
Another one for the "Greatest of Greatest Hits" collection: Wayne and Jeff sing "Pulling Sally's Pigtails" as Kanye West and Neil Diamond.
One episode brought back the Irish Drinking Song, and well, let's just say that Colin Mochrie STILL got it after all these years!
Similarly, the return of Hoedown, in particular, how excited Aisha was knowing that the fans had been waiting for it for so long (judging by the huge applause it got when it was announced), and that she'd get a front-row seat to the players having to suffer through their favorite game in the world.
Nyima Funk had a moment of awesome in the Scenes From a Hat where the topic was "Tattoos you don't want to discover on a new partner's body". Wayne said "Next rest area ten miles?" and without missing a beat... well, you gotta see it for yourself.
One word: boing. Even Ryan said "What is happening here?" in the middle of it.
Forget Breaking the Fourth Wall, Kathie Lee Gifford breaks the first wall by taking what Colin would've fed to Ryan to feed Brad and Wayne!
The fans get one for following through on their calls for a revival, watching Whose Line? lovingly, and quickly earning the show a third season.
The entire "sexy jobs" Scenes from a Hat, and pretty much that entire episode was a Crowning Moment of Awesome. From Wayne finally getting the best of Aisha with the waxing gag, to Jeff Davis milking a bull, to Wayne's impression of Stephen Hawking, to Jeff taking over the camera, Ryan taking over Aisha's buzzer, and Aisha herself smacking the buzzer with her breast... It transcended funny and went right for awesome.
Gary Anthony Williams plays a British metal singer in a game of Duet. And pulls it off remarkably well!
Gary again in a ragtime number in Greatest Hits, which earns uproarious applause.
On Thanksgiving Day 2014, Whose Line? aired in a two-hour block from 8P.M. to 10P.M., just like ABC used to do when their schedule was lean. Treat for the fans, perfect ratings opportunity, win-freaking-win!
They did it again on Thanksgiving Day 2015, with even higher ratings.
In a way, the sea creatures Newsflash leads to the audience becoming surprisingly quiet and well-behaved for a change, most likely fixated with the shots of seldom-seen sealife.
The game of Props from the same ep really shows how the guys have learned to step up their game, from Jon spitting water as part of his bird bath act to Wayne putting his own shoes on his hands for... well, just watch. For some, it's just the fact that Jonathan Mangum did a long overdue Doctor Who reference that the audience got!