This leaves Paul and Josie to audibly groan, as Clive ruined the punchline of their Scenes From A Hat skit.
Kick the Dog: "Unfortunately that was a non-scoring round..."
Mondegreen: He often misheard audience suggestions for film and theatre styles as nonsense phrases ("Bearded Collie", "Fifty" for Disney, "Mwah Mwah" for Braveheart, etc.) and sometimes even actually used these as styles to give the players a real challenge.
Take That: Once after declaring the winner of the game to be Tony Slattery, he assigned him to read the credits in the style of a comedian who was constantly cracking up while trying to tell a joke. Tony was not amused.
Take That, Audience!: Often mocked the audience during the "Film and Theatre Styles" round for suggesting low-brow and proletarian styles from TV. To be fair, so do some of the players.
Known for being the first regular performer, John is still, hands down, the most knowledgeable performer in the show's history... sadly, he would be better known for his somewhat misguided application of said knowledge, while paving the way for the ones we would come to know as the legends of Whose Line.
Achilles' Heel: Sure he had his references down pat, and he pulled off a credible Leonard Cohen during one Song Styles, but the one thing that would always be a problem for him was the actual improvisation. Seriously, he messed up a couple of the guessing games by giving the answer away.
Man of a Thousand Voices: Impressions were Archie's primary strength - one end credits reading saw him going through random cartoon voices, including Donald Duck. He was also talented with providing sound effects.
Memetic Molester: Because he once randomly touched Ryan's crotch during a game of Helping Hands, and humped Chip Esten during Scenes From a Hat, Archie has this reputation with some fans.
"You're travelling with Air Bunkup!"
The first regular female player, and fondly remembered as one of the most versatile.
Known for being one of the legends of the UK run - even if he seemed out of touch for the most of it. Known mostly for his quick, deadpan wit and generally being a Jerk Ass to the other contestants (Played for Laughs of course).
He was also very good at the Hoedown game, and was often given the very last spot in these games whenever he played. (The creators actually have come out saying the last spot on Hoedown is the hardest. It gives the most time to think, but if the player can't think of something funny, then the entire game feels like a waste of time.)
Downer Ending: He was fired after a bad episode in season seven. After this, he had a nervous breakdown.
To clarify: Tony began suffering from severe bipolar disorder a few years before he was fired, and, instead of seeking professional help, he turned to drugs and alcohol instead as a form of self-medication. It didn't work. His career was the only thing keeping him even remotely sane. Eventually, though, he did begin seeking professional help, and now he's sobered up and gradually easing back into show business (occasionally he performs live improv with the Comedy Store Players, including Paul, Josie, and Steve), so it's not a complete downer.
Early-Bird Cameo: Eagle-eyed viewers can spot him in the audience in the very first episode.
The Napoleon: It's not obvious till much later that Tony really is one of the shortest players on the stage, especially after more Americans join in.
It's not so much that Tony is short (he's 5'11") more than everyone else is giant. Even Josie, the female performer who appeared the most, is 5'10"!
Precision F-Strike: After a particularly disastrous playing of Party Quirks, Tony yelled "Oh, well, FUCK OFF!" at Clive...consequently losing every point he'd ever won on the show up to that point. We all know The Points Mean Nothing, but damn.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Tony was suggested as a replacement for Stephen Fry when Stephen backed out of becoming a regular on the show. The producers were skeptical, but he quickly won them over.
Take That: Tony's occasional throwing out of the name Patricia, rumored to be an old girlfriend of his. Also note some of his initial guesses.
Greg: *playing a Surfer* "Dude, what's up, broheim? Screaming flat, man! Look, shredding snacks! Whoo!" *'surfs' over to the 'snack table' while humming a surfing tune*
What the Hell, Hero?: When playing film and theater styles, Clive would sometimes give the style: "Musical." If that happened, Tony would say to the other: "You know a song about that don't you? Well, off you go then!" Only Greg Proops was able to give a good response by encouraging the audience members to sing with him.
There have been US guests before Mike of course, but Mike stands out for being the most versatile - and well, being the most.
Tropes associated with Mike:
Achilles' Heel: He was a very good singer, both in performance and lyric creativity, but it seems he did not understand the point of a hoedown game was less to sound like an actual hoedown and more to make up a simple four-line poem set to music. The few times he participates in a hoedown he completely derails the scheme.
Acrofatic: He will bust out the dance steps if needed.
Hypocritical Humor: Mike once made a bald joke about Clive. Clive wasted no time in pointing out the hypocrisy in this when he has a noticeable bald patch as well.
"[By] early rock 'n' roll, do you mean at this point in your hairline or at this point in your hairline?"
I Resemble That Remark: When suggesting a song for a Bartender game, a member of the audience suggested Mike was drinking to forget a problem with his diet. He fired back with: "Wow, all these weight references, I've never heard them before. Get some original material."
True Companions: Rumor has it that Mike quit the show when Tony Slattery was fired during season seven in a display of camaraderie and to protest how Tony was treated by the producers. He did however make one more guest appearance on the show in season nine.
It's a bit more complicated than that, as Mike explained in a recent radio interview. Both he and Tony were let go simultaneously in 1995, as Dan Patterson and Mark Leveson (the show's creators) were in the midst of selling the show to American producers, who deemed Tony too vulgar for US audiences, and Mike too unappealing looks-wise. Although Mike was allowed back for one show in season 9, he still was not allowed on the US show. Mike also went on to say that both he and Tony were not happy with Ryan Stiles, who went up to bat for his friend Colin Mochrie (whom US producers also wanted removed), but still stood back and allowed Mike and Tony to get thrown off.
Creator Backlash: Admitted a few years ago on MySpace that he never really cared much for Whose Line. He explained that while it was fun to do, true improv should never be seen more than once, as would be the case for live shows. He said that Whose Line loses its quality if you watch reruns because you already know what's going to happen, and there's no spontaneity.
Keet: The real reason he brought his longtime partner Steve Steen on the show - their chemistry. Partner Jim with someone else, and the building nervousness makes him look like he's been shooting up on caffeine.
Jim: "Well, I have to go..."
Greg: "Yes, I know you have to leave now, to see the... musical instruments..."
Jim: (beat) "...Xanadu was a really bad film, wasn't it?!"
Nerd Glasses: Actually carried a pair for his more specific impressions.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Rory won many of the games he appeared on. He was also always given a chance to show off an impression he was good at, or another subject he knew about. See for example the Tory Politicians Hoedown, which was the topic when the other three contestants were two Americans and a Canadian. Greg is able to show off his UK politics knowledge, but Colin and Ryan just sort of flounder.
In one game she is paired with Steve Frost and given the scene At the Butcher's. He asks if she wants "some dripping to go with that." She answers: "Don't worry, I'm doing me own," to Steve's complete revulsion.
"Welcome to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, where the points don't matter, that's right, the points are like the plot of a porn movie, they don't matter!"
Known for already having an eponymous sitcom, Drew went with his co-star Ryan's idea of adapting this show for US audiences and became host and executive producer of Whose Line until its initial cancellation.
Tropes associated with Drew:
Achilles' Heel: It's not hard to get Drew to laugh, but it's even harder to make him stop.
Adipose Rex: Drew was the performers' and musicians' boss during his run. He even sometimes jokes about Ryan's place on his sitcom show whenever he makes a joke on him.
"I'm your host Drew Carey, c'mon down, let's have some fun!"
"Welcome to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the show where everything's made up and the points don't matter... if you've never seen the show before, this is how it works: our performers are going to make up everything you see here, right off the top of their heads, based on suggestions from the audience... we give 'em some fakey points, it's just a gag to hold the show together..."
"A thousand points to everyone!"
This last one was lampshaded in one episode when Drew brought in a tape recorder with him saying "One thousand points" on it. He joked that he's trying to get to the point where he doesn't even have to show up at all. Ryan said "Damn close." in response to that.
Comes back to bite him when Wayne steals it while Drew's out of the room, mutters "My ass, my ass, MY ASS, MY ASS" into it, and runs back to his seat before Drew even notices anything's happened. He finds out later, though.
Character Development: A sorts. Drew got much better at improvisation as the show went on. Compare early performances where he flubbed the one-word rule of "Three-Headed Broadway Star" multiple times in the same game to episodes nearer the end of the run, where he had become much more competent thanks to by-then years of practice and observation with the pros.
Comedic Sociopathy: Drew, as the series progressed, used schadenfreude more and more as a major part of his humor. He relished in watching the cast squirm.
Running Gag: Many of the players always joke about the fact Drew is the producer of both Whose Line and his own Drew Carey Show, ranging from the fact he's astoundingly wealthy and that he has two shows in the first place.
Self-Deprecation: "...the points don't mean anything. Just like my treadmill..."
"Yes, Mister Patronising Barrister, we do have trampolines in America..."
One of the best known US regulars in the UK run, mainly for his distinct voice and his habit of directing jokes at Clive's expense. Whether it was Clive's relative inaction during the UK run, or his habit of condescending cracks at the US players, or both, it's turned Greg vs Clive into the best known Running Gag (the distinguishing aspect even) of the late UK run.
The Bus Came Back: After rumors that The CW didn't want too many of the older players back, he reappeared in the second season of the revival series.
Totally Radical: Looking back, his early appearances have shades of this; it's hard to tell how much of it is self-mockery/exaggeration and how much is genuinely what hip Californians talked like then...
It's self-mockery AND accurate. If you've seen his solo act, most of his jokes revolve around how dumb stereotypical Californians sound.
Viewers Are Morons: After failing to get a laugh with the joke: "Wow Alice, there are two Cheshire Cats!" he indignantly yelled out: "It's called a book!"
He's done that more than once.
"That's right, I'LL respect YOU in the MOOORNIIING!!"
From early in the UK run to the last episode of the original US run (and then to the 2013 revival), Ryan Stiles has become a staple of the show. He's its driving force in more ways than one, as he served as executive producer on the show for helping to bring it to the US.
Butt Monkey: Meta-example - from being fed with the weirdest suggestions in the cards to being fed with pretty much anything by Colin in Helping Hands.
"I'm just leaving a little time here so everyone can read the novel that is my suggestion..."
Also often gets poked fun at for the outrageous shoes he would wear, which are custom-made due to the unusual size of his feet.
The Cast Showoff: A minor example; Ryan is very good at remaining very, very still, and some party quirks etc are written with that in mind (such as being a taxidermic stuffed corpse or being strapped to a bomb that will go off if he moves).
Covert Pervert: It's been noted out that he's by far more familiar with certain subjects than he'll own up to.
Gag Penis: From imaginary ones to actual ones thanks to some of the Props.
Game-Breaking Injury: Ryan's bad back has come up once or twice, even resulting in the only Ice Skaters game ever being aborted. In the 2013 revival, he's notably left out of the Sideways Scene game, presumably because of this.
Also the Hoedowns: The last slot in the hoedown is the most important; a good player can use it to elevate the entire episode to legendary funniness while a bad one can leave the audience feeling cheated. Ryan was good at it, really really good. It was one of the reasons why there are so many Hoedowns in the US run, so many that Ryan came to hate the game with a passion because he was always last and always had to try and top not only the other players but himself. When the Hoedown returned in the revival, Ryan is now situated in the #3 slot, with Jeff Davis bringing up the final verse.
Multiple Choice Past: Sort of. Ryan was born in the U.S. but spent much of his childhood in Canada. When he needs an excuse for getting something wrong, it's usually something along the lines of, "I'm Canadian. It's different there." But he's still allowed free passes to mock Colin for being Canadian, implying Ryan isn't.
Oddly, Ryan is identified as Canadian far more in the UK episodes than he is in the US episodes.
Murder the Hypotenuse: He'll jokingly threaten to do this to the spouse or boyfriend of any attractive female audience member.
Those Two Guys: So much so with Colin, as the two are regularly paired together in games (such as "Infomercial" and "Greatest Hits") and are the only performers to have been regulars for the show's entire duration, appearing in every episode of the original US series' run together with Drew (Wayne was a recurring player in Seasons 1 and 8).
Colin has admitted the Hoedown is the only game in which he feels real fear while playing.
Colin often freezes in "If You Know What I Mean", but he has his moments, like "I'll help you fluff your Garfield, if you know what I mean.".
He's often implied on-camera to having difficulty with impersonations (usually deferring to a general Walter Brennan western accent whenever it comes time to do one), and thus seems hesitant whenever participating in "Questionable Impressions".
Catchphrase: Only when playing the role of the "director" in Hollywood Director, when he interrupts the scene with the first cut, he will use the word "crap" somewhere to describe the bad acting of the others.
Refuge in Audacity: Not just in the usual sense but in-game - how else do you explain him filling his third of a session of "Three-Headed Singer" with repetitions of "YOU!" up to nine times. And copping out of Hoedown, of course.
Those Two Guys: So much so with Ryan, as the two are regularly paired together in games (such as "Infomercial" and "Greatest Hits") and are the only performers to have been regulars for the show's entire duration, appearing in every episode of the original US series' run together with Drew (Wayne was a recurring player in Seasons 1 and 8).
"This just in, Wayne's got a fig old futt."
Joining as a semi-regular late in the UK run, having appeared in a few of the earlier episodes, Brad stands out not just physically but for his distinctly fratboy-juvenile style of humor.
Tropes associated with Brad:
The Ace: At Questions Only.
The Big Guy: At 6'4", he's the second-tallest performer in the American edition.
Unintentional in this clip'sHoedown, when he was called out for mentioning "pu-pu platter".
From an Olympic-themed "If You Know What I Mean", "There's nothing better than a 200 lb snatch if you know what I mean...", which prompted Ryan to say "That's never gonna make it to air, if you know what I mean..."
Ryan: "Hey Wayne, can I borrow your butt for the weekend?" Wayne: "Sorry my brutha, you gots to get your own."
Becoming a regular guest early into the US run, he's well versed in singing, dancing, and has a repertoire of stock impressions. Logically, many of the games that include music often have only him singing, or him taking the lead. Starting with the 2013 revival, he is now credited as an executive producer.
Tropes associated with Wayne:
The Ace: As noted below, Wayne is THE go-to guy for song and dance numbers.
Wayne Brady once joked after one African Chant that he would never be allowed to go back to Africa; another time, he jokingly protested, "Why do I have to do the African Chant?" to which Drew responded, "Because Colin would screw it up."
Stylistic Suck: Certain acts require him to sing badly, which is done very convincingly and a hundred times funnier as a result.
Those Two Guys: Pretty much relegated to this with whoever the special guest is, as they'll often be the ones to perform "Greatest Hits" while Ryan and Colin stand to the side and advertise.
Interestingly, Wayne and Jonathan Mangum were established as this well before the revival series, which added Jon to the lineup but doesn't play it up quite as much.
Token Black: He appeared to be this at first, but proven in time to be a full-fledged Ace. Also joked about it with good humor.
Wayne: Why do I have to lead the African chant?
Took a Level in Badass: Once the revival got started, Wayne's years of experience hosting othergigs finally pay off - he's now known for pulling additional audience members and grabbing additional suggestions for more laughs, and even matured into the filthy jokes quite a bit. There's a tradeoff though, as he's been corpsing more often.
Verbal Tic: Next time Wayne sings, see how long it takes him to hit on the word "because". Here's a hint: it's usually as soon as he opens his mouth.
Dumb Blonde: Subverted in that she was a very good at Dating Quirks with guesses best described as 'disturbingly accurate'.
Played straight in Ryan's neon tube accident:
Drew: "His what keeps sticking to what, Kathy?"
Kathy: "Your head is... velcro?"
Drew: "Close enough." *buzzes* note The card read "Carol Channing whose head keeps sticking to things"
Although in fairness, many of Ryan's quirks are rather tough to determine.. and she was simultaneously trying to work out how badly he'd hurt himself. And she'd already figured out the first part of what the card said by herself; she was just trying to work out the rest of it.
Older than They Look: She's younger than Drew, Greg, Ryan and Colin, but older than Brad, Chip and Wayne.
"...if you come down this weekend you can drive off the lot with Colin Mochrie right here! There's some wear on the tread here, that can be replaced for no extra charge..."
After appearing late in the UK run, Chip rejoined the US in season 2, but the audience warmed up to him very quickly. You can't go wrong with looks and talent in equal amounts.
Her piano playing can also slow down or stop entirely when the cast manages to make her laugh. It's kind of a game for players.
Pregnant Badass: Carried out all her usual duties while being very visibly pregnant for a stretch. That, folks, is what we call a trooper. Several jokes were made about how she can possibly play the piano when she can barely reach the keys.
Affirmative Action Girl: She's usually seen standing and has her hair in a bleached-blonde crewcut. Makes you wonder, don't it? Although in some of the later episodes and especially the 2013 version, her hair has grown out more.
Catchphrase: At the end of the intro when she stands in the audience introducing herself before heading down to the desk, she alternates between the old "Let's have some fun," phrase that Drew Carey used before or her own new phrase, "Let's make some stuff up."
Fandom Nod: Before announcing the return of the Hoedown, Aisha acknowledged that the fans were waiting for it.
The Cast Showoff: A minor case, as he makes sure to give it all (his ham, that is) in whichever role he gets.
Crosscast Role: Certainly capable of these, going by his work on Key and Peele, but downplayed here. There's a Casting Gag of sorts when he plays the Big Bad Wolf impersonating Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother.
Large Ham: It's easy to forget that everything in Key and Peele is scripted, considering he's running on the same level of horsepower here.
N-Word Privileges: Moreso than Gary or Nyima. There's that Red Riding Hood skit mentioned above, where Wayne as the woodsman deliberately starts playing it in Blaxploitation style (actually setting up a gag where he thought he was a 'hoodsman'), but Keegan managed to quip early on "he's from the Black Forest!"