Tropes associated with Clive:
- Amoral Attorney: The players sometimes called attention to Clive's legal background and suggested he was one.
- Butt Monkey: At least once a season, someone will go "hello, I'm Clive Anderson" before getting buzzed out.
- Also, any disaster would often be attributed to him, such as the dinosaurs being wiped out by a plague of Clive Andersons.
- Catch Phrase:
- "The winner shall now read the credits in a style of my choosing... it remains to me now to thank our contestants, (four names in rapid succession) and Richard Vranch on the piano, thisismeCliveAndersonsayinggoodnight,goodnight!"
- (at the end of Film Dub) "Bonus points for actually getting the original dialogue..."
- (at the end of Stand Sit Bend) "One of my favourite games, but it's not much fun on your own..."
- Deadpan Snarker: Not even the audience is spared, as he will pick at the more ridiculous suggestions they give him.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "Our next round is called 'Different Games', because different games are played in this round..."
- When introducing Props: "The contestants will be split into two pairs of two..."
- Don't Explain the Joke: "Elephants packing for a holiday. Packing their trunks, I suppose."
- 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.
- Motor Mouth
- The Napoleon: While Clive's actual height in comparison to the players never comes up, his wideset build and noticeable... lack of a neck qualifies him for this trope.
- Not So Stoic: Getting him to crack up is a challenge of sorts. The US players, being US players, went to town in this aspect.
- Self-Deprecation: At some point Clive learned how to get out of the bald and 'neck' jokes... by doing them first.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis with Greg Proops (see below)
- 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.
Tropes associated with John:
- The Ace
- 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.
- The Cast Showoff
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Intentional or not, John's habit for ignoring the buzzer and carrying on one of his spiels was legendary.
- Large Ham
Clive: (after holding the buzzer down for some time) "Are you doing this in the style of two deaf actors?..."
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Season 2 episode 12 had a new guest performer, Chris Langham, who could give John a run for his money.
- Meaningful Name: Someone named Sessions becoming a regular on a show with this format, what are the chances?
- The Smart Guy: Depending on how much you like him, John is either this or an Insufferable Genius. Everyone can agree, however, that John Sessions has read more books than you.
Archie HahnThe first American performer ever in the UK version.
- Eagle Land: Not deliberately, but he's been singled out for it anyways.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: His return to the show after getting Put on a Bus saw him sporting a ponytail. He didn't stay for long.
- 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.
Tropes associated with Josie:
- '80s Hair: In the earlier seasons...from the 80s.
- Achilles' Heel: Her tendency to crack up - and it's not even her own fault, since at some point she became...
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Her faked foreign accents are sometimes as charming as they are convincing, check out her faux-Albanian.
- Butt Monkey to Paul and Tony
- Ship Tease with Mike McShane
- Skinship Grope with Caroline Quentin.
- The Smurfette Principle
- Thanks for the Mammary: Josie bites Tony's hand during a game of Helping Hands with Tony providing the hands for Josie. He gets his revenge by openly groping her for the rest of the scene.
- True Companions: When Josie went to America to film the US version of the show, she stayed with Greg and his wife at their LA home. Say it with me: aww.
Tropes associated with Paul:
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: His routines with Tony tend to fall into this rut. Which of them gets which role depends on who you ask, though.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Paul used this trope like a WEAPON. If he saw an opportunity he'd casually break character for a joke.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: From Volvos to bestiality in 5 seconds flat.
- The Comically Serious: Paul's appeal stems primarily from acting like this.
- Deadpan Snarker: Paul took this Up to Eleven. He was THE person who could stop a routine completely dead with a single comment.
- Only Sane Man: Parodied.
- Perpetual Frowner:Clive: And next we have Paul Merton, whose radiant, smiling face... we have yet to see.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni with Tony Slattery
- The Stoic: Paul's schtick, although he doesn't take it to the extreme some comics do.
Tropes associated with Tony:
- The Ace
- Achilles' Heel: Tony is very, very good at laughing. Often at himself. Jury's out on whether or not he has an Annoying Laugh.
- Ambiguously Gay: Tony's sexuality is a favorite topic amongst fans with too much time on their hands.Clive: *playing Scenes from a Hat* "Robin Hood selecting his merry men."Tony: *comes out in the middle of the stage with the other (male) performers, and throws his arms out flamboyantly* "I'll have all of you!"
- The Cast Showoff: He was pulling dance moves long before Wayne Brady.
- 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.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Not only does Tony have two middle names, but one of them is "Declan." [Pronounced like "Dek-lin" not "The Clan".]
- Face Palm: Tony had a very nice one when the audience suggested and Clive told him to make up a song about him being in love with an inflatable pig.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: when Caroline Quentin (below) became one of the first players (the first lady even) to get his goat.
- I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: It says a lot that the end of his tenure was marked by some of the most unflattering outfits in the show's history.
- Large Ham
- Lovable Sex Maniac: To the extent of whatever passed for Memetic Mutation in those days.
- 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.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Shut. Your. Face."
- Red Oni, Blue Oni with Paul Merton
- Refuge in Audacity: Some of the dirtiest lines on the show are attributed to Tony.
- Running Gag: Sneaking a Vomit Discretion Shot into any session of Props.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Occasionally. For example, during one Party Quirks, Greg was playing a "compulsive liar." Tony guessed that he was a "inveterate bullshitter."
- 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.
- Encouraging. Thaaaat is what we call it.Greg: "SING, DAMN IT!"
- Encouraging. Thaaaat is what we call it.
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.
- The Big Guy
- 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."
- Large Ham
- 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.
Tropes associated with Sandi:
- Achilles' Heel: Any musical games.
- Affirmative Action Girl
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: She tends to get paired up with Mike for FT&T styles, also she played one with Ryan. Many people noticed the slight difference in height.
- Iconic Outfit: It's been speculated that the jockey outfit was all they had in her size...
- The Lad-ette: There's a reason for that...
- The Napoleon
- Pungeon Master: Her primary strength.
- Self-Deprecation: Seen in this Worlds Worst Submarine Captain"Well it's not a problem, you just pull down the periscope. You just pull... (Jumps to try to reach it)
Tropes associated with Jim Sweeney:
- '80s Hair
- Deadpan Snarker
- 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?!"
- Spiritual Successor to John Sessions
Tropes associated with Steve Steen:
- Iconic Outfit (a very distinctive vest-and-shirt combo)
- Man of a Thousand Voices
- The Napoleon
- Red Oni, Blue Oni
Tropes associated with Steve Frost:
- Achilles' Heel: Steve was especially bad at the Hoedown game. He had a terrible sense of rhythm and his rhymes made no sense.Steve: When I was a young man, I went to my friend's house for tea. Well he was growing up too fast, he was going through puberty. He had hairs on his top lip, and underneath his arms. His mother came in and caught us kissing. And... joined in.
- It doesn't help that he was almost always in the first spot, which meant he got basically no time to think of a verse.
- He had a third spot in one of the first games he appeared on. One would think he was moved to the first spot because the producers realized the extra time didn't help him.
- It doesn't help that he was almost always in the first spot, which meant he got basically no time to think of a verse.
- Artistic License – Biology: During the vasectomy hoedown, Steve described the procedure as: "Gonna cut your balls off, and put 'em in a jar!"
- Ass Shove: Steve pretending to pull on a long rubber glove is usually a sign for Clive to hit the buzzer.
- Bald of Awesome
- Big Ol' Eyebrows
- Boisterous Bruiser: To the extent that his turn on "Weird Newscasters" as a "soccer fan" started becoming disturbingly realistic.
- "...ENGLAAAAND! ENGLAAAAND!!" *takes his seat and starts swinging it around*
- Cool Old Guy: You really get the feeling that Colin and Ryan were basically his understudies during his tenure.
- Face of a Thug
- Iconic Outfit: It's been speculated that those baggy Hawaiian shirts were all they had in his size...
- Make Me Wanna Shout: He's known for his very loud and sharp whistle, able to cut right through the pace of whatever act he was in.
- Refuge in Audacity: He actually lowered his pants for a laugh twice.
- Stock Characters: Jimmy Saville ("Now then now then now then!")
- Violent Glaswegian: Practically oozes this.
Tropes associated with Rory:
- Catch Phrase: Ironically, none are actually his own. He's known to have milked Murray Walker's "Look! At! That!" a few times.
- Man of a Thousand Voices
- 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.
- Stock Characters: Implied to have a dozen, but his British politicians and Eagle Land acts come to mind.
- Take That: His impressions of co-stars can be pretty spot on, check out his takes on Tony and Clive.
Tropes associated with Caroline:
- Refuge in Audacity: In American terms, she was the Colin to Josie's Ryan.
- 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.
- Thanks for the Mammary: Much like the example with Josie, Caroline is groped by Tony in revenge after she slaps him in the face. She counters to this by openly grabbing his crotch immediately afterward. Can be seen here.
Tropes associated with Richard Vranch:
- Iconic Outfit: How often is he seen without those earphones of his?
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: He slings a guitar alongside that piano, and there's a synthesiser on top and probably some other musical implements behind it.
- He's also literally a scientist. He has a doctorate in physics from Cambridge University.
- Suspiciously Apropos Music: He's also known for impromptu piano playing to flavor up the non-musical games.
- The Voiceless: Richard Vranch rarely spoke during all of his years on the show. He did smile and occasionally move his head though.
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.Drew: I have the power to hire and fire.
- Catch Phrase:
- "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.
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Allison.
- Freudian Excuse: Drew lost his father and was molested by an adult male as a kid, so his relish for hoedowns is dampened when the subjects of Christmas and family reunions come up.
- Iconic Outfit: Not just the suit but the suspenders struggling with his pants.
- If I Had a Nickel
- It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Drew's reaction to the Colin Newsflash.
- Kick the Dog: "A thousand points to everybody but Wayne..."
- Nerd Glasses: Carried over, not from his sitcom or even his standup routine prior, but from his days in the US Marine Corps.
- Pet the Dog: "A thousand points, and my heart goes out to all of you man..."
- 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..."
Tropes associated with Greg:
- Deadpan Snarker
- Fascinating Eyebrow: The first 15 seconds of this.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Heavily invoked, despite the similarity to Drew's Nerd Glasses.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: "I have someone coming in my ear right now!" (During News Report.)
- Iconic Outfit: The glasses and the suit, especially the jacket that Wayne borrows at times.
- I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: You wouldn't know it by looking at him, but Greg was◊ not◊ always◊ the suit-sporting man he is now.
- Last-Second Word Swap/Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: A specialty of his during the UK run.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: His most underrated strength, possibly because of an very nasally tone in all of them.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Clive Anderson.
- Smug Snake
- Stock Characters: Woody Allen
- Take That Me: Played with while hosting one game of "Party Quirks."
- 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.
Tropes associated with Ryan:
- Absentee Actor: Missed two episodes in 2014 due to illness.
- The Ace: From general quick wit and Refuge in Audacity to some some actual singing ability, it's easy to see why Ryan's the main man of the show.
- Berserk Button: You can pick on Ryan, you can pick your nose, but don't pick on Ryan's nose.
- The Big Guy: At 6'6", he's the tallest performer.
- 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.
- 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.Drew: That's close enough... (lets Greg see the answer)Greg: (reads) ""A Series Of Delivery Guys In Porn Films"?"Ryan: "I had to just, think about what that's be like cos I've never... ahem..."Colin: "...AAAAHAHAHAHA!..."
- Xaviera Hollander, his frequent pick for X in 90 Second Alphabet, is a former prostitute.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Gag Nose
- 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.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Colin.
- Hidden Depths: He really can sing if he puts his mind to it, just take a listen here.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Any time Ryan's attempts to strongarm the current act in a direction of his own choosing is thwarted by Colin.
- 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.
- Iconic Outfit: His shoes.
- The shoes, the cowboy shirts, the ties.
- Large Ham
- Likes Older Women: That episode with Florence Henderson...
- Made of Iron: Takes a neon light to the head and keeps on going.
- 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.
- Nice Shoes
- One Head Taller: Given his height, every time he's involved with a woman ends up this way.
- Pungeon Master: One of his specialties.
- Refuge in Audacity: Many of the show's racier gags (and, by extension, outtakes) seemed to occur during Ryan's final Hoedown line. Just one of many examples.
- Rule of Funny: To the extent that the nickname "Anything-for-a-Laugh" has been used
in-universeon the show.
- Subverted when taking a mouthful of Altoid mints comes back to bite him in the worst way.Drew: They are curiously strong when you pop them all in your mouth at once.
- Subverted when taking a mouthful of Altoid mints comes back to bite him in the worst way.
- Running Joke: Ryan would tend to make as many references to Nazis or impressions of Adolf Hitler as he could get away with, especially in the Helping Hands game.
- Stock Characters: Elvis Presley, Carol Channing, John Wayne, animals of all kinds.
- Suicide as Comedy: He's mimed hanging himself several times.
- 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).
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Drew Carey.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Accents are not his strongest point... and he knows it, too.Ryan: Lemme just say that this Spanish Colonel has some Italian in him..."
batter, patoota / patoota monkey monkey!
Look! There's a gerbil! / I'm going up and down!
60 Minutes, where are you? / Here's an expose for you!
Tropes associated with Colin:
- The Ace: All around, though perhaps most notably with Irish Drinking Song.
- Achilles' Heel: Any music-based game - except possibly the Irish Drinking Song.
- 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".Colin: (steps up onto the stage, speaking in his normal voice) "Got anything for Craig T. Nelson?"
- Bald of Awesome: And the other actors never let him forget it.
- Berserk Button: Played for laughs whenever Colin needs to be "held back" by Ryan after one too many bald jokes.
- Beware the Nice Ones: See The Woobie below - when he finally decides that it's time for a comeback, expect comedy gold.
- Butt Monkey: "Hey, make fun of the bald guy! I'll be your Lightning Rod of Hate(tm)!"
- Canada, Eh?
- 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.
- Chivalrous Pervert: "I'm gonna stick my nose in there!..."
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He often blurts out weird stuff randomly. Especially in the games "Irish Drinking Song" and "Three Headed Broadway Star".
- The Comically Serious: The man has an amazing talent for bringing down the house without making a facial expression.
- Cool Old Guy: The hair makes it hard to tell that he's merely 2 years older than Ryan.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Double Standard: Everyone takes potshots at Colin for being bald and/or Canadian, but one time when he made fun of Ryan's nose, the audience reacted negatively, making him say "Notice how all the melon jokes, the bald jokes? I make one nose joke, it's OHHH!"
- Enemy to All Living Things: Colin's earlier performances usually involved miming the killing of small animals - and people.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Ryan practically make this trope.
- I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: While nearly everyone who'd been in the UK series prior were hit with this, Colin stood out thanks to some very ill-fitting jackets.
- "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over your shirt."
- Large Ham
- Meaningful Name: Someone who's done equal amounts of time on the giving and receiving end, named Mochrie.note Think about it. He even punned on it in one late UK Hoedown about himself.
- Nice Guy: He's the least sweary of the lot, even in deleted outtakes, making the animal abuse jokes that much more random."You big... poo-head!"
- Overly Prepared Gag: One of Colin's specialties. Considering that any 'preparing' starts from the moment he sits down...
- Pet the Dog: "Canada - the UPSIDE!"
- Pungeon Master
- 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.
- That does not even compare to the Party Quirks game where his quirk was "Suspects that people are not the sex they claim to be and is trying to find out for sure." Any and every time Refuge in Audacity and Whose Line Is It Anyway? are mentioned together, this scene is the go-to reference.
- 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).
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.
- Large Ham
- Lovable Sex Maniac: "Did you see the jugs of that girl in row 4?"
- Made of Iron: Brad's deliberate pratfalls have a disturbingly loud thump.
- Falling on his front while wearing a Lapel mic can have that effect.
- Pungeon Master: Not quite to Colin's extent, but he's known to throw in some serious groaners here and there.
- Refuge in Audacity: The game "If You Know What I Mean" is a specialty of his."I hope my husband licks Bush tonight..."
- Unintentional in this clip's Hoedown, 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..."
- Spiritual Successor to Tony Slattery.
- The Bus Came Back: Just like Greg above.
- Toilet Humor: "Goodbye, beautiful. FLUSH."
Wayne: "Sorry my brutha, you gots to get your own."
Tropes associated with Wayne:
- The Ace: As noted below, Wayne is THE go-to guy for song and dance numbers.
- Achilles' Heel: Wayne is known for cracking up the most often.
- He has a real one in that he "has a tickly butt".
- Bald of Awesome: In the 2013 revival, he's balder than Colin.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Parodied. He's known to slip briefly into psychotic personas for a gag, but otherwise almost never snarks or teases.
- But Not Too Black: Partially in retrospect from Chappelle's Show jokes about Wayne. It's made even funnier when Wayne makes jokes like in a Did I Just Say That Out Loud? bit saying "No one realizes that I'm white!"
- 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."
- Butt Monkey: Happens literally after his big secret* came out... (See here.)
- The Cast Showoff: How often has the second or third game of each episode been a Wayne showcase?
- Crosscast Role: Not as much as Colin... apparently it's not as funny if done well enough.
- Everything Is Racist: Invoked (for laughs) a few times when a role he has for a game has potentially Unfortunate Implications, like when he asked why he had to do the African Chant.Answer
- Funny Afro: Loves to mime having these.
- Heroic BSOD: Two mild ones. One comes after he gets a little too close to Richard Simmons. The other is the result of the Jane Tricker incident.
- Iconic Outfit: Tight tees... and The Thong.
- Don't forget his flared pants, probably the only straight guy who can pull them off.
- Keet: The man can move, and talk in some cases.
- Nice Guy
- Older Than They Look: By the 2013 revival, the years show on Wayne the least compared to Ryan and Colin.
- Renaissance Man: Apart from what's already mentioned here, he's also a television host and a father.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: He really does.
- Sesame Street Cred: "Aren't you supposed to be good at making things up in a moment? Good luck!"
- Series Mascot: When the American version peaked on ABC. Drew was often alongside Wayne; it made it easier to advertise The Drew Carey Show simultaneously.
- The Southpaw: Look carefully at how he mimes playing a guitar.
- Stock Characters: Sassy Black Woman, Uncle Tomfoolery, Bill Cosby, Sammy Davis Jr, Michael Jackson, accented Mexican bandito, hick/hillbilly.
- 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 other gigs 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.
- Viewers Are Morons: Has happened to Wayne a few times:Wayne: (during "Scenes From a Hat") Yea! The two revenuers from Verona approacheth! (dead silence) Read a book, people!
Tropes associated with Karen:
- Iconic Outfit: She wears that same outfit—either with or without suspenders—in every single episode she's in.
- N-Word Privileges: Her routines - even if her acts don't specify it.
- Stock Characters: Mrs. Robinson
- Token Minority: Asian
Tropes associated with Denny:
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Not just in-character, note some of her answers during guessing-type games.
- She's Got Legs: No really, has anyone looked at her legs, in the episodes where she wears a skirt instead of pants? She has beautiful legs.
- The Smurfette Principle: The first female regular in the US run.
- Token Minority: Jewish.
Tropes associated with Kathy:
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign / What the Hell Is That Accent?: Faking European accents is her most underrated strength - and a bit of an Achilles' Heel as it bled into her attempts at anything different.(laughter explodes, then...)Ryan: You're from Canada, aren't you?Kathy: Chè, and me mother is from Swëëden.
- Canada, Eh?: She is from Canada, but Drew tends to save all the Canada jokes for Colin.
- Cute but Cacophonic: Her turn as "whiny girlfriend of gangster boss Colin" in Weird Newscasters.Colin: "This just in: all dogs in a five-mile area go deaf."
- Dumb Blonde: Subverted in that she was a very good at Dating Quirks with guesses best described as 'disturbingly accurate'.
Drew: "His what keeps sticking to what, Kathy?"Kathy: "Your head is... velcro?"Drew: "Close enough." *buzzes* note
- Played straight in Ryan's neon tube accident:
- 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.
Tropes associated with Chip:
- I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Two words: UK hair.
- Keet: Especially notable as he's gone toe-to-toe with Wayne on occasion.
- Large Ham: In his UK debut, Clive brought up Chip's stage musical experience, and it really shows.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Watch the end credits - sometimes they say Charles Esten.
- Pun: When he punned his name, and this Hoedown:My wife caught me with a prostitute
She came into the room and she began to shoot
And then she went and yelled all around the town
I know there's more prostitutes; I guess that's one hoe down.
- Put on a Bus: First appeared in the UK version, then took a long hiatus before reappearing in the US one.
- Retraux: His chiseled good looks invoke '60s screen idols, and has been lampshaded once.
- Stock Characters: Snagglepuss.
Tropes associated with Jeff:
- Deadpan Snarker
- Full Name Ultimatum: Jeff gets this for grossing Aisha out.Aisha: Jeff. Bryan. Davis.
- Large Ham"Antonio! NOOOOOOOOOO!"
- Iconic Outfit: The shinyish suit.
- Mysterious Middle Initial: Back in Drew Careys Improvaganza we heard Jeff being introduced as "Jefferson B. Davis". In the revival series we learn that it's Bryan.
- Retraux: The suit, that hair - he'd fit right in with The Beatles, really.
- Stock Characters: Christopher Walken.
- Twinkle Smile
Tropes associated with Laura Hall:
- Not So Stoic: She's never failed to deliver whatever music is required, but noticeably messed up at least once - her piano play went Off the Rails thanks to one Irish Drinking Song.
- This one too.
- 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.
- This one too.
- 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.
- The Quiet One: Has only two lines for the entire run, and only after the keyboard crashed this one time.
- Those Two Girls: With Linda.
Linda TaylorTo add versatility to the music center of the show, guitarist Linda was added to Laura's corner (Later episodes would have brass specialists Cece Worral-Rubin or Anne King joining in.)
Tropes associated with Linda:
- A Day in the Limelight: Provides the guitar work in a game of Dubbing with Jack Osbourne.
- 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.
- Those Two Girls: With Laura.
- The Voiceless: She never really speaks in any episode.
Tropes associated with Aisha:
- Berserk Button: Played for Laughs when all the ribbing between her and Colin reaches a head (so to speak). She makes a crack about Bit Coins, which Colin claims he misheard as 'bitch coins', leading to Aisha getting out of her chair and tossing her jacket.
- Catchphrase: At the end of the intro when she stands in the audience introducing herself before heading down to the desk (as per tradition), 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."
- Genki Girl
- Iconic Outfit: Always has a jacket of some sort on. Always.
- Older Than They Look: Born in 1970, which means she started hosting this show at 43.
- Sassy Black Woman: Usually in an attempt to ground the unpredictable Whose Line staff.
- Statuesque Stunner: She's six feet tall! And still needs heels!
- Twofer Token Minority
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Colin. They snark at each other but they are clearly good friends.
Tropes associated with Jonathan:
- Adorkable: Can be counted on to send the goofiness meter into red.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Can be spotted in the audience for one of the season 2 US episodes (the one where they did Greatest Hits - "Songs of Golf").
- My Greatest Second Chance: He auditioned for the initial US version on ABC, but was turned down by the producers.
- Nice Guy: He may be even less sweary than Colin.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Thanks again to Wayne Brady's influence.
- Remember the New Guy
Heather Anne CampbellDrew Careys Improvaganza, Heather Anne's performance back then practically ensured her a place here.
Tropes associated with Heather:
- Chickification: She grew her hair out and found a floral top this time.
- Cleopatra Nose: It wasn't that obvious in Improvaganza, thanks to the large theater making good closeup shots very difficult.
- One Of The Guys: Especially notable is her chemistry with Ryan, considering how he's practically binary-bonded with Colin by now. Maybe it's the noses...
- Remember the New Guy
- Screaming Woman: #DentalFears anyone?
Gary Anthony Williams
Tropes associated with Gary:
- Acrofatic: For a portly guy, he can dance.
- Badass Baritone: Did we mention he can sing?
- Bald of Awesome
- Big Fun
- Crosscast Role: Every now and then, and sometimes deliberately played with.
- Self-Deprecation: Known for digging at his own weight or playing up the fat-slob mannerisms on occasion.
- Spiritual Successor to Mike McShane
- Uncle Tomfoolery
Tropes associated with Keegan-Michael:
- Bald of Awesome: By choice, though Aisha agrees that the jury's out in his case.
- But Not Too Black: "If I die, you're next!"
- 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.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: The "do as many impressions as you can" thing seems intended to pit him against Wayne and Ryan in this aspect. He even steals an impression Wayne was already known for!
- 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!"
Nyima FunkSecond City alumnus much like some of the Whose Line veterans. As for improv credentials, Nyima participated in the Spiritual Licensee Nick Cannon presents Wild 'n' Out as a regular in 2005.
Tropes associated with Nyima:
- Affirmative Action Girl: She's far more active and forward than both Aisha or Heather Anne, so this trope is applied twofold.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Removed her heels for the "Sideways Scene" game. She explained on Twitter, that she took them off because she feared accidentally hitting Colin and Wayne with them at some point.
- One Of The Guys: Ready to play along with the filthy jokes or take them one step further if need be.
- Painted-On Pants: In her second season appearance.
- Sassy Black Woman
- Trrrilling Rrrs: Eartha Kitt would be proud.
- Twofer Token Minority