Sarcasm Mode and Sincerity Mode: Hoedown is "everyone's favorite game in the whole wide world." The audience really does love it, but the cast (except for Drew) hates it. A lot. Either the audience is blissfully unaware of the sarcasm, or they're ignoring it.
Drew: 1,000 points to everybody, especially to you, Colin. Colin: Why, thank you, Drew! Drew: (feigned sincerity) 'Cause you know, you're the best director ever. Colin: (feigned modesty) Gosh. Drew: (to camera) I gotta humor him, 'cause he's bald.
In the "salute to American TV" episode, after the commercial break, this exchange occurred:
Drew: We really wanted to make tonight something special, but unfortunately, Mr. T wanted too much money. Brad: (sarcastically)Salute to television!
Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: The basis of several games, and invoked in others out of necessity. Sometimes literally - Ryan has a habit of saying "squeaky squeaky" instead of something normal (also see under Running Gag above), and Wayne has actually said "slam" while miming closing a door once. Also averted on occasion - Archie Hahn in the UK run might have been too good at this, to the point that Paul would often mess with him; and Wayne makes disturbingly realistic fart sounds.
Scrappy Mechanic: Only for Ryan Stiles - he really hated Hoedown in the US version. invoked
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: During a "Hoedown" about winning the lottery, Colin sang only two lines about that now that he's loaded, he could do anything he wanted. To which he proceeded to run into the audience, kiss a few girls, then come back and "punch" Wayne.
In a Hoedown about speeding tickets, Drew's song goes as follows: "I drive fast, I do it all the time. Usually 105, sometimes 109. Burnin' rubber, flippin' off the CHP. 'Cause they don't give no ticket to a rich celebrity.
There's an earlier one in tthe UK clip show, where he stopped singing outright; and one session of "Weird Newscasters" where he's the co-anchor whose horse just won the race, and he actually yells "screw you" at his "colleagues".
Sdrawkcab Name: Ryan: "Did you know "embargo" backwards is "o grab me"?"
Self-Deprecation: See the page quote. There's also Drew, who sometimes goes "the points don't mean anything, just like my Thigh Master (or Gym Bag other fitness thingy)..."
When Drew played "World's Worst" and the theme could potentially be used against him, he was generally the first to take advantage of it (presumably so nobody else would be able to do it after), like quoting The Drew Carey Show for "World's Worst TV Show" and saying "This is Drew Carey for Slim-Fast" during "World's Worst Celebrity Endorsement".
Ryan: Do you know anything about ice cream, Drew? Drew: Only that I love to eat it, 'cause I'm fat, fat, fat!
The Running Gag of Ryan and Colin stepping out and doing nothing during the game of Scenes From a Hat, during such suggestions as "People who shouldn't rap".
In the Salute to Great American Television episode, Drew called it ironic that they were doing such a show.
In the episode when Jerry Springer guest starred, he finished a game of daytime talk show with the final thought "May you never be on my show."
Whenever Ryan and Colin have to do a scene where they have to speak in an accent, it tends to be all over the place. Rather than ignore this, they usually point it out and make up some wildly unlikely explanation for it.
Inadvertantly done by Colin during a game where he stands in front of a green screen and reports on the events shown based on the comments other players make. It wasn't until a bald joke was made that he caught on that the footage being shown was himself being a Large Ham in previous episodes.
In his sole episode, Robin Williams pondered during "Scenes From a Hat": "I have a career; what the hell am I doing here??" Also doubles as a Take That.
Shameless Self-Promoter: Drew said after a game: "I'm gonna give 1,000 points on that one to Ryan Stiles, who can be seen every Wednesday at 9/8 central on "The Drew Carey Show", right here on ABC." Ryan remarked, "Shameless." Drew replied, "If I'm gonna give points, might as well make 'em worth my while."
The Whose Line game in US season 2 ep. 17 somehow has "don't miss The Drew Carey Show Wednesday nights on ABC" on one of the supposedly pre-written notes.
Share the Male Pain: The Newsflash segment with skateboarding bloopers had dozens of ...bad landings... often in a row. The audience reacted to every one, but Colin, who could only react to their reactions, got bored with it.
Shirtless Scene: In the 2013 revival. "Hollywood Directors" had Colin telling the guys to do it like fratboys, leading up to Wayne junking his top and running shirtless and screaming in the back.
Show Stopper: Unsurprising, as it is played in front of a live audience.
Shutting Up Now: Frequently done in "Greatest Hits" when Colin rambles on and on about something. He even put himself to sleep once before Ryan could say anything.
Signing Off Catch Phrase: The British version ended with the host saying the names of the cast and crew, and finishing with, "And this is me, Clive Anderson, saying 'goodnight', goodnight".
Colin would often end "Weird Newscasters" with a "Good night, and good news!"
Sleeper Hit: The U.S. version wasn't expected to be a huge hit; after all, it aired opposite of ratings juggernaut Friends. Nevertheless, Whose Line gained unexpected popularity. And ABC didn't really have a major reason to remove it from the schedule if it received at least modest ratings, given its relatively low production costs.
Small Reference Pools: Played straight due to the nature of the show, but subverted in time thanks to an increasingly Genre Savvy audience - the obligatory Star Wars jokes saw a fresh surge of life thanks to the prequel trilogy. "Jar Jar Binks sing blues!"
There was also a Film, TV, and Theater Styles game with "Anime" as one of the suggestions. Apparently the only anime that any of the performers had ever even heard of was Dragon Ball Z. Although to be fair, this was before the big Anime boom.
I Am Not Shazam: The best known example would be everyone from Clive to Drew using "Braveheart" when they mean Mel Gibson as William Wallace. Another case involves a reference to Beauty and the Beast, where Colin introduces himself as "Beauty Smith".invoked
This gets notably averted on the US version, during Scenes from a Hat when the suggestion "times you wish you could fast-forward Real Life" comes up. Wayne fast-forwards through a "date" with Greg, which actually involved Greg making humping motions on Wayne in the middle - presumably to set up the final gag, with Greg crying "this never happened before!"
The Smurfette Principle: For some obscure reason, Drew's run of the show had a maximum of one female performer on occasion. And why are all the musicians women anyway?
Thank God you're here, Man Who Says Everything Twice Man!
Sound Effect Bleep: While most bleeps in the US version were of stronger curse words, occasionally there were head-scratching bleeps of what the censors apparently considered inappropriate remarks. It got out of hand at times, especially since the beep actually made the comments sound more taboo than they actually were:
Ryan: (during a "Hoedown" about Christmas) Every Christmas Eve You'll find me (porking Mrs. Claus!)" Brad: (during a "Party Quirks" where Colin is a seal) "I'd like you to meet (Stephen Hawking)." Drew: (after "Song Styles") "Doug's a chemistry professor, but he actually owns a (meth lab) in Van Nuys. They call him "The Professor"." Ryan: (during "Narrate" about a pizza shop) "Like that pizza in the oven, I wanted him (in me). It just occurred to me: We're never gonna be able to use that." Brad: (during "Scenes From a Hat" where the suggestion was "What Politicians' Wives Are Really Thinking As They Smile and Wave at the Podium") "I sure hope my husband licks (Bush) tonight." It's an election thing! Ryan: (after a "Party Quirks" where he played all the characters in a gay Western) I'm gonna (blow) you a-way!"
Colin afflicts these on himself during the "Millionaire Show" playing where the theme was Jerry Springer.
One of the "Scenes From a Hat" suggestions was "Statements That Will Get Bleeped By the Censor". The cast responds accordingly.
Wayne: In espańol, I'm El Grande Ricardo, but you can call me Big [bleep].
Colin: (during "Scenes From a Hat") (singing) I've lost my (erection).
Drew: (World's Worst person to share a desert island with) Now let me show you one more way I like to (masturbate)!
Soundtrack Dissonance: Occurs in two games. Narrate's "Private Investigator", a lonely film noir track, contrasts with the absurdity of the situation Colin and Ryan create. Hey You Down There's "Folli the Foal", a peaceful 1950's theme, contrasts with the often violent undertakings of Colin and Ryan's demonstrated activity.
Spaghetti Kiss: Seen in a playing of "Helping Hands" about two Italian lovers. The spaghetti kiss was between Kathy Greenwood and Ryan.
Speaking Simlish: If Ryan's the one with the mic in "Sound Effects", everyone speaks this way.
Speak In Unison: The premise of "All in One Voice", which was only played a few times due to its high difficulty.
In the "Greatest Hits" about zookeepers, Colin and Ryan said "polka hit" at the same time, and said the name of the song simultaneously as well: "Beers and Slavs".
The infamous Foreign Film Dub in Canadian even leads to Wayne going into a spit take (also unintentionally) without a actual drink involved.
Brad got a full one, drink and all, during a game of Bartender. He got Ryan full in the face to boot.
Spoof Aesop: In a "Greatest Hits" about Las Vegas, Colin delivered a "we're all the same" aesop in an unusual way:
Ryan: What do you call it when a Smurf relieves himself on your lawn? Colin: ...Crab... grass? Ryan: No, bluegrass! And that's our next music style! (audience groans) Colin: Although, Ryan, I think that no matter your outside color, all urine is the same. Ryan: That's true. Colin: It's what's inside that counts. Ryan: You give a hope to a lot of people.
Staircase Tumble: On one occasion, when venturing into the audience, Drew almost fell down the stairs but regained his balance. He lampshaded this after returning to his desk: "Man, 200 crew guys just yelled, 'My mortgage!"" Greg added: "We were just watching our career pass before our eyes up here." In another instance, Drew did some fancy footwork when going to his desk at the top of the show, and Ryan asked him to keep that to a minimum because he has a wife and kids to feed.
During one "Let's Make a Date", Ryan's quirk was that he was Colin's highly competitive uglier brother. After the game, Colin addressed the stealth insult in how Ryan's quirk was worded:
Colin: I love the fact they put the word "uglier".
Stock Footage: Many times when multiple episodes were created from the same taping session, we see some of the same in-between game banter. It's not uncommon to hear Drew make a joke that you swear you've heard before (ex: "Never make fun of the popular funny guy, that's the thing you shouldn't do."). Thankfully, the transition between old and new footage is pretty seamless anyway.
There are exceptions, though: During an episode that came from the same taping as female bodybuilder Jayne Trcka, Ryan remarks that he's not built like some of the women on the show, but can usually hold his own. In the episodes from this taping that don't feature Trcka, this joke doesn't make sense.
This gets milked for all the laughs possible in two notable Newsflash games, using footage of past Colin and Ryan performances.
Stock Lateral Thinking Puzzle: In a playing of "The Millionaire Show", Colin quizzes Ryan on what the capital of Paraguay is. The last choice (and the correct one) is "P".
Straight Man: Most games had one of these, by design. In the US version, this was almost always the fourth chair (in particular Greg or Kathy), but on occasion, Colin would fill the role instead (especially when it was a two-player game with Ryan).
Greg (as Yoda): Waiting, you are? Ryan (as Katharine Hepburn): Well aren't you just the cutest little thing I've ever seen? Greg: Teach you, will you like to learn?
After a playing of "Narrate" where Ryan got Tongue Tied (see example below), Drew said: "That's, uh, each a thousand you points for."
Street Urchin: Colin remarked in a "Greatest Hits" that he was a child of the streets. This joke is revisited later when he performs an improvised rap about metal music:
Colin: I'm just talkin' metal. It could be heavy, it could be light, it could be aluminum, it could be lead. Is lead a metal? I don't know. Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa! Ryan: Hey, you just rapped there! Colin: I told ya, I'm a child of the streets!
Streisand Effect: The Cosby/Hitler incident. When the sketch was prohibited right there on the stage (Hitler had to be changed to "insurance salesman"), the cast retaliated by bringing up Hitler as much as they could during the rest of the episode.
Similarly, whenever Drew warns the performers not to come near his desk (usually during "Weird Newscasters" or "Let's Make a Date"), it's near impossible to resist.
Strictly Formula: The layout of games was significantly more rigid in the UK version (they even rotated 2-player games to give all 4 equal exposure - compare with Wayne's showcases in the US run), and the US run would occasionally subvert the end credits reading depending on the final cut of the footage, but both sides seem to agree on making the first game a 4-player affair to get the ball rolling.
Both versions ended with a Hoedown more often than not. The US has an excuse - it's Drew's favorite part of the game. The UK doesn't, guest performers on Hoedown would turn it into a muttering-down more often than not.
While nearly all episodes feature Drew repeating that the points don't matter, one episode averted this formula by Drew announcing that the points DO matter. He gave specific point totals to each performer and kept track on a card. About halfway through the show, he almost gave up on this, but changed his mind when goaded by Ryan and the audience.
Lanelle, you make my heart swell Sometimes I think I died and went to... heaven.
In a playing of "Irish Drinking Song", Wayne said the verse "I became a rock tucker", and when they got to Colin, he deliberately sang nothing, because we all know what can rhyme with "tucker".
There's another option, too— consider a phrase that rhymes with 'rock trucker' note the second word is "sucker"
During a "Hoedown" about wrestling, Colin's third line ended with "turnbuckle", and his fourth line was:
Colin: Because of all my injuries, I've lost the ability to rhyme!
Averted in the love song Brad sings to a girl named "Niroshi." He has to resort to some Painful Rhymes, but that just makes it funnier. invoked
In a Hoedown about game shows, Ryan's third line ended with "heinous" (pronounced as "heenus"), and instead of ending the fourth line with the expected "penis", he made the sound of a game show buzzer instead.
Greg does this in a Hoedown blooper about valet parking. The end result is more profane than the presumed rhyme.
Greg: I will drive a thousand miles an hour 'round the block, and you'll be...God...mother fucking shit...
Colin: And I love the hyper-metal sounds of THRASH. AND THEIR GREAT FLIGHT ATTENDANT SONG- (Drew laughs loudly) "DO YOU WANT MEAT OR FISH?!"
Suddenly Voiced: Not in the traditional sense, but it was never necessary for Laura Hall to talk during the episodes. So it was a surprise when she suddenly spoke up after the Off the Rails playing of "Song Styles" with Howard the engineer, where her keyboard malfunctioned and played part of the song at double the speed.
Drew: You had a little equipment breakdown, right? Laura Hall: Uh, it's hard to explain! (audience laughs) I'm so sorry. Drew: It's all right. I didn't even know The Village People did polkas!
Suspiciously Specific Denial: Ryan, during the one playing of "Meet the Family", played a dominatrix. After the game, he says he doesn't know a thing about dominatrices:
Ryan: If they hook up electricity to people nipples, I wouldn't know about that sort of thing.
In a "Narrate" set in an emergency room:
Colin: Hi, I'm here to help you with your operation. I'm not undercover or anything.
Sure, Let's Go with That: the early UK game Authors relied entirely on the players' reading habits, giving the resident genius John Sessions an unfair advantage, so Clive gamely accepted anything the other players suggested - the AA handbook, a child's letter to Santa, Millie the White House dog, and the nonexistent "Japanese novelist" Yakishimo Okomo (which was basically Paul Merton making up Japanese-sounding gibberish).
In the "Greatest Hits" about songs of marriage:
Colin: Hey, how much would you pay for this [CD]? Ryan: Oh, I'd pay... $37.59? Colin: (shrugs) Sounds good to me.
The Tag: The contestant(s) reading the credits in a particular style is basically one more scene.
Take That: The contestants LOVE sneaking in Take Thats at each other. Colin is often a target for being bald and/or Canadian, but Ryan and Drew are constantly belittled too.
Especially evident during the Drew Carey run was the number of Take Thats against Friends, airing in the same timeslot as their show on a rival network. UPN and George W Bush are also recurring targets. One of the best examples was "What George W. Bush thinks during Cabinet meetings".
The UK version wasn't above this, often picking on shows like Eastenders or Neighbors, or digging at the Royal Family and other politicians. They even would make fun of Clive Anderson, too.
Clive:(to a US audience) "...hey, I'm new here... haven't even met Divine Brown yet..."
When Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was taking off, Drew made a couple good-natured jokes about it, such as awarding a billion points to the performers to make it look like Millionaire's prizes were peanuts in comparison. "Feel the heat, Regis."
"Okay, so you have to sing to Joe the pool guy using his name and occupation in the style of famed misogynist and homophobe Eminem."
Slattery's verse for the Sex Hoedown:
I'm a little kinky, my panties are made of fur, I like to stay in evenings, just me and my cucumber. And then I pull my pants down, and start to paint my tush, And dress up in leather, and squat on Barbara Bush!
On the UK version while Tony Slattery was still around, he would make a common practice of making his Props teammate say, "Hello, I'm [unpopular celebrity name]" followed by Tony pretending to throw up in the prop.
One more Tony one, this time from the game Authors:
Barbara Cartland, witch and hag Too much makeup, fascist bag
In a playing of "Award Show" with the theme of hillbillies, Ryan thanked his acting coach, Ned Beatty.
During the same playing, Drew tells the performers to just "pretend it's the Golden Globes."
After a playing of "Superheroes", Drew remarked about zippers on Wayne's pants, who said it was a tribute to Michael Jackson. After a bit of brief banter, Greg said, "Here's my tribute to LaToya", and made an unflattering face, also using his hands to push up his nose.
In the new "Dating Profiles" game, Wayne wasted no time at all to do a jab at Honey Booboo, and then Justin Bieber. In one "Weird Newscasters" he tears into Oprah Winfrey.
Take That, Audience!: Usually right after returning from a commercial break, Drew would make a joke at the home audience's expense.
Drew:Hey! If you're at home watching this with your girlfriend, why don't you call your wife and ask her to tune in, too!
An even better example:
Drew: Hey, during the commercial break, did you tell your kids you loved them? Did you pet your dog? Did you tell your wife you were glad to see her? Didja? Didja? Huh? (shouting) NO! You just sat on your fat butt waiting for the show to come back on! (calm) Now during the next commercial break, don't forget to kiss your wife.
Drew would also say he pitied any viewer who was seriously keeping track of the points.
In one episode, Drew said he was pleased at how, thanks to the show, amateur improv is at an all time high. However, he didn't want any more people to send him their crummy audition tapes.
After getting suggestions from the audience before a playing of "Film, TV & Theater Styles":
Drew: Boy, "surfing", "South Park", what a smart crowd we have!
Talk Like a Pirate: Used, appropriately enough, in "Helping Hands" when Ryan and special guest Whoopi Goldberg played a couple of pirates.
Tempting Fate: Subverted so wonderfully in a playing of "Sound Effects" where Ryan and Colin were two GIs escaping from a POW camp. Colin finds a vehicle he plans to hotwire. Ryan warns him to be careful. Colin then goes into a long rant about how he's done this millions of times and nothing will happen, in order to egg on the two audience members off-stage to supply sound effects of him getting zapped. But he successfully hotwires the car with no injuries and says, "See?"
An unaired game of 90 Second Alphabet was between Ryan and Drew with the premise being two lovers in bed and they had to start with the letter F. You can probably figure out why it was unaired.
Making fun of another performer in a hoedown often gives them time to come back with a comeback. Colin was particularly awesome at this.
Colin: Oh, by the way, Chip has a little penis.
After the "Song Styles" with Howard the engineer:
Drew: If this ever makes it to air, I'll be so amazed.
In the 2013 revival, one game of "What's in the Bag" started with Aisha saying "I hope there's something fun in there, like a FOOT! Or a NAKED PICTURE!" It was this one.
That Came Out Wrong: At the end of one "Irish Drinking Song" about breaking up, Colin delivered this line: "Joe had a nice bone." After the game concludes and the rest of the cast loses it, Colin says, "That's not what I meant to say."
In the "Greatest Hits" about motorcycles, Ryan remarked:
Ryan: When I'm feeling romantic to- with the wife, or to the wife... sometimes she's sleeping... but when I'm feeling romantic with the wife- Colin: Oh, a much better situation.
In one "Irish Drinking Song" about divorce, Ryan self-censored his verse.
Colin: And then I'd be so rich... Ryan: And then I'd never have to... (takes Wayne's line) Invite that b- oh never mind!
Played with in "Greatest Hits" about a safari; there was no actual curse word involved but Ryan pretended like there was:
Ryan: (after "Ants, Ants, Ants in My Pants") You know Colin, we might have to put a label on this CD, 'cause I coulda sworn I heard the word "ant's home". (Beat) I think I did! Colin: Sometimes, I just don't know about you! (both pretend to giggle)
In a "Greatest Hits" about Las Vegas:
Brad: (singing) And you can't say "nuts" unless you're talking about the kind you eat!
This Is Gonna Suck: When Drew got the suggestion of "Norway" for a country to do a Greatest Hits on, Colin said, "We're screwed."
Drew: You think if you're screwed, how would you like to be Wayne and Jeff?
Greg: This tape will self-destruct as soon as you toss it out the... (Colin throws tape out the window) BOOM!
Those Two Guys: the UK version had a habit of rotating its roster in pairs of performers. Some were forgettable, but the ones who left their mark include the UK's Jim Sweeney and Steve Steen, and Americans Chris Smith and Jim Meskimen - Jim in particular demonstrated the vocal talentsthat led to his successful voice acting career. In the US version, Colin and Ryan seemed to be this.
Averted till just before the end when "if dogs could talk" came up in Scenes from a Hat.
Title Drop: One of the games is actually called "Whose Line".
Title-Only Opening: In the U.S. version, there is no "intro" to speak of, only the title superimposed on the screen as Drew went through his introductions of the performers and himself.
Title Please: Not only are there no episode titles listed on the screen, but there aren't any, period. Titles just go by number, which can make it confusing if you're trying to remember which episode had what game played, or who was on it.
Revival episodes are named for guest stars (unless there is none; then the episode is named for the guest performer), a la Saturday Night Live.
Toilet Humour: Ryan, during "Changed Letter" (where "F" replaces "B"): "Ah, I just had a great fowel movement."
Colin as Stinky Man in "Superheroes": "Ooh, time for some beans!"
Colin, in "Scenes From a Hat": "What color's your poo first thing in the morning?"
Colin, in two different "Irish Drinking Song"s: "Oops, I poo'd!" and "You can get poo from food!" (which was a Call Back to Scenes from a Hat (again), about "unlikely subjects for Broadway musicals".)
Colin's last verse of an "Irish Drinking Song" was: "There's blood in my stool!"
In another "Changed Letter" (where "G" replaces "P"):
Ryan: (stand up) Ohhhh!!! I'm sitting in goo!
Tongue Tied: Due to the improv nature of the show, very little is edited so we get plenty of goof-ups. Drew provided most of them, such as before "Hollywood Director" where he said, "This is for all four of you. Greg- why- R- Ryan..." Ryan replied, "Six years, he doesn't know my name." Greg added, "You are so drunk!"
Another Drew example, but in this case it's adding too many words: When describing the scene to a "Hollywood Director", he says "Ryan is a vampire bat who flies into the bedroom out of mouthy college girl Wayne. Oh, "of", I'm sorry, not "out of"."
Drew again: One time before "Boogie Woogie Sisters", he accidentally combined Wayne's and Brad's names to "Wad".
Before a playing of "Press Conference", Drew tongue-tied "newspaper reporters" so badly that when he finally got it right, the audience applauded. In the same intro, Drew said: "But Colin doesn't know who you is."
After a playing of "Hollywood Director", Drew said: "Now we gonna wanna go- now..." Wayne and Ryan jumped on his flub immediately.
Another example of too many words: Ryan got tongue-tied during "Greatest Hits"'s Songs of the Scoutmaster when he meant to say "And none is more beautiful than..." but instead said "And none more is more beautiful- I'm a little..." Colin took advantage of the situation and said, "I guess you didn't get a badge for SPEAKING!"
Another from Ryan: During a "Whose Line" parodying Star Wars, Ryan (as Obi Wan) told Colin, "I have not got long left... (Drew laughs; Ryan realizes what he said is awkwardly worded) or I have not long left, I will... I'll die soon, Luke."
A Colin instance occurred during "Greatest Hits" when Colin accidentally says "chiropractor" as "chiropactor". He immediately corrects himself and runs with it: "Oh, I knew I shouldn't have had a nip!"
Before a playing of "Helping Hands", Wayne got tongue tied when describing the scene to Drew and Ryan:
Wayne: Ryan is the bad-temper owner- is the bad tempered owner... Drew:Not so easy, is it? (Wayne laughs) You thought it was just ringin' the bell, ringin' the buzzer, noooo! It's a LOT harder than you thought it was.
Another Wayne instance: When he was asked what the "World's Worst" scene was, he got tongue tied:
Wayne: World Worst Nnnn— World's Worst- Drew: Not so easy, is it? I earn my money, pal, that's all I gotta say!
And thanks to Colin, Wayne got saddled with singing a song called "You Yellow Bellied Lily Livered' Oooo...Mutha", stumbling over the pronunciation and eventually going "what the hell am I sayin'".
In a "Greatest Hits" about "Songs of the Dog Walker", Ryan had a hard time getting his words just right:
In the "Greatest Hits" about beekeepers, Colin said: "But I've always been a flan of the alternative music." Ryan immediately jumped on this, and Colin replied: "A flan, a nice, because it's nice to eat while you're listening to music."
In a "Greatest Hits" about marriage, Ryan mentioned that he liked honky-tonk music, and Colin replied with, "Oh, I tell, I... oh."
On a couple occasions, this got Drew in "trouble"; he accidentally gave the performers $1,000 instead of 1,000 points, and when he corrected himself, Ryan bemoaned, "Ohhhhh, you said dollars!" In the second instance of Drew accidentally giving dollars instead of points, Ryan and Wayne chanted "You said dollars!" until Drew gave in and replied, "All right, soon you will receive... soon your business managers will receive a check from the Warner Bros. Corporation that will have at least $1,000 in it." Ryan remarked, "That's two shows!"
Before a playing of "Number of Words", Drew said, "Now the trick to this game, and this is what makes it a rainy gay- day fun game for the kids..." Ryan jumped on his flub, of course.
The Tooth Hurts: One Newsflash featured dental footage that made everyone scream.
Translation: Yes: Often used in Foreign Film Dub (usually after Colin has gone off on one of his endless rants of gibberish)
During the UK version with Film TV Theater Styles (done with Eddie Izzard), one of the suggestions was "French With Subtitles". Both Stephen Frost and Eddie would spout French gibberish, and the subtitles would be "Yes" or something similar.
Transsexual: Parodied Up to Eleven in a playing of "The Millionaire Show" where the cast did the Jerry Springer version of the show: Colin reveals that he's been sleeping with Kathy (Ryan's wife in the skit), who is apparently two men. This is made even more amusing when you realize that Ryan apparently never found out about Kathy being a man the whole time they were married.
True Beauty Is On The Inside: Seen in a "Whose Line" sketch parodying Beauty and the Beast. Colin, who is Beauty, remarks to Ryan, who is Beast, that true beauty is on the inside, although Colin readily admits that the Beast's outward appearance is extremely ugly.
Turn Your Head and Cough: In one "Scenes From a Hat" segment, one situation which came up was "Things You Wouldn't Want to Hear Your Doctor Say After 'Turn Your Head And Cough'."
Wayne: (singing) Who did it? Who did it? Chip: (singing) Wasn't me; must've been him. (indicating Colin) Colin: (kinda-singing) GUILTY AS CHARGED!
Un Entendre: one session of Greatest Hits was about "Songs of Golf", whereupon Ryan cooked up the title "A Squirrel Chewed My Bag". Brad figured out one possible implication of this, but without any time to word it properly, the refrain of the song became "He chewed on my bag, and my balls fell out".And it made it to broadcast.
In another Greatest Hits, "Songs of the Cowboy":
Ryan: Hey Colin, what comes to mind when I say "cow poke"? (Colin looks disturbed) Oh no, let me finish it for you: Cowboy, is what I was thinking. Colin: Oh, me too, me too!
In the 2013 revival, the Living Scenery game involving two synchronised swimmers in just their swimsuits led to a whole string of these:
Colin: "Looks like there's a lot of bush we have to get through." (Jeff in the back breaks down) [...] Ryan: "Why don't you collect some wood?"[...] Ryan: "Why don't we stay up and talk for a while?..."
Drew in the infamous "Yelled out the wrong name in bed" Irish Drinking Song.
In the UK version, Colin plays a game of Superheroes as "Incoherent Boy."
During a "Showstopping Number", Colin's song degenerated into gibberish for the last two verses, prompting Ryan to cut his number short and ask what he was doing.
Scene to Rap in US season 2 ep. 15 had the audience giving "brain surgery" as a suggestion, which led to Wayne (who normally rules in this game) to let out a strangely rhythmic babble ending with "I like birds."
In the infamous "Narrate" about the Maltese Burger, Colin asked Ryan (playing a fast food worker) a question, and Ryan made an aside to the audience in gibberish. When he addressed Colin, he said normally, "Sorry, the speaker's broken."
Unit Confusion: The last British series was filmed in Hollywood to transition to the US version, and the veteran players like Colin and Ryan were never sure whether they were playing to the American audience in the studio or the British audience in front of the TV set. This led to gems like this one, during Greatest Hits:
Ryan: How much would you pay for this 50-CD set? Colin: Why, I'd pay over 400 pounds...or dollars. Ryan: Well that's great because it is over 400 pounds or dollars!
Unusual Euphemism: "If You Know What I Mean" seemed to be a game designed to see who could make the most confusing euphemism. Colin usually came up with the most out-there examples, like "Look what I can do with the donuts!" and "I'll help you fluff your Garfield, if you know what I mean."
Unsound Effect: In a scene where two of the other performers imitate walking in spurs, Colin adds "High heel, High heel"
Uranus Is Showing: Done by Greg Proops in a game of "Hats/Dating Service Video". He donned an astronaut's helmet and said "I'd like to visit Uranus".
During Weird Newscaster
Colin: NASA sends probe to Uranus. People everywhere giggle.
Also, during Scenes From A Hat with the topic being "Inoffensive words that immature people are prone to snicker at". A thousand points to everybody for guessing what was said.
Verbal Backspace: The premise of Quick Change, wherein two performers act out a scene with a third calling out "change!" whenever and as often as they wish, forcing the performer who most recently spoke to change whatever they just said.
Verbal Tic: The performers will sometimes reuse the same short bits of verbal patter, especially when they've been locked into a specific role in a specific game.
Wayne almost always starts his songs with the word "because" (presumably to give himself more time to think of a relevant lyric).
"Let me tell you something" is another phrase you'll hear quite a few times from him in the musical games.
Colin uses the line "It really is quite [x]" a lot during his Hoedowns.
And in "Two Line Vocabulary", Colin (always playing the straight man) often responds with "LOOK...!" when one of the two other players drives him crazy by repeating the same two lines over and over.
VideoTV Game Cruelty Potential: The cast members involved in Moving People aren't allowed to move themselves, only when they're moved by the audience members, so there is usually some abuse taken. Case in point, Colin once started the scene with his finger up his nose.
Fixed Expressions always led to the players massaging their own faces on the way back to the chairs. No surprise that it was phased out...
In Greatest Hits, Ryan and Colin enjoyed giving the other member(s) of the cast difficult titles to sing to.
Ryan: I don't think I felt any more like I was on the beach when I heard that lounge hit simply titled, "(gurgling noise)" Wayne: (glares at Ryan)
Colin shoving random things into Ryan's mouth in Helping Hands takes the cake (and cake is hardly the worst thing here).
Viewers Are Morons: Parodied in one "Film, TV, and Theater Styles" as Drew explained the scene:
Drew: Ryan is a WW 2 pilot — that's World War II. Ryan: Alright. I thought it was a wrestling pilot. Drew: So do a lot of people; that's why I had to say it.
Done straight a couple times when the audience doesn't get references to literature, and are called out on to read a book.
After one game, Drew awarded a specific amount of points to the performers because some idiot out there wanted to know what the score was.
Drew: We get letters, folks, I can't believe it.
Virgin Sacrifice: One of Ryan's "Weird Newscasters" quirks was that he was an Incan high priest who had to sacrifice a virgin to appease the gods. Rather than grab someone from the audience (which the writers of the quirk probably anticipated, and which might've been embarrassing for whoever he chose), Ryan instead took a brief look at the audience and shouted, "We're all gonna die!!!"
Drew Carey made reference to a more obvious joke, threatening Ryan if he came anywhere near his desk.
Visual Pun: The whole point of "Props" and "Hats".
A playing of "Weird Newscasters" had Ryan using bodies as weather maps. Among the examples he used were: Turning Colin's butt towards the crowd ("we're gonna have a full moon"), pointing to Drew's glasses ("visibility will be low"), and pointing to Drew's crotch ("and for you boaters, we've got a small craft warning!")
Vitriolic Best Buds: In the British version, Greg and Clive. In the American version, just about everyone, but especially Ryan and Drew.
The Voiceless: Kathy Greenwood didn't speak at all during one episode, as she only participated in games where her voice wasn't required ("Living Scenery", "Song Styles" as a back-up dancer), and didn't come up with any scenes during "Scenes From a Hat".
In a Hoedown about hockey players, Colin deliberately didn't sing but instead mimed that he was talking... except for the very end of his turn, when he said "...My battery pack!"
Volleying Insults: Frequently seen in "Greatest Hits" with Ryan and Colin's banter. One of the best instances was this exchange, after Ryan answers a riddle Colin posed about Destiny's Child:
Colin: Sometimes I just wonder why I talk to you! Ryan: Because if you didn't, you wouldn't be talking to anyone! Colin: That's right! I'd still get better answers.
Greg vs. Clive or, in a larger sense, America vs. England. It was good-natured, of course. One time, they exchanged barbs for so long before a scene that Clive shouted, "GET ON WITH IT, GREG!"
Drew: A lot of people forget that on The Drew Carey Show, Ryan and I have been totally naked. Ryan: Of course, some of us need a wide angle lens! Drew: And some of us needed a zoom.
In a playing of "Award Show" about bitter divorces:
Colin: I've never seen you move that much! Ryan: Maybe if you had some hair... Go ahead. Colin: You BASTARD.
Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Variation: Helping Hands usually ends with Ryan spitting out whatever Colin just fed him, sometimes into Colin's hands.
Twice in "Film, TV and Theater Styles", the style was South Park, which ended with Ryan miming repeated vomiting (an early shtick of Stan).
Colin: It was then I realized I had nothing to kill him with. But then the dung gave me an idea. (audience laughs) But then I got rid of that idea and came up with a better idea.
Wardrobe Malfunction: the Melissa incident for one (Wayne was playing King Kong and grabbed a girl from the audience, but accidentally hiked her skirt up too high in the process), and allegedly during Richard Simmons' appearance.
Greg: "If you all got to see what me and Colin got to see..." Ryan: "Little Richard!"
Western Zodiac: In a "Party Quirks" where Ryan played a number of hillbilly beauty contest contestants, he said he was a Sagittarius.
Wham Line: The game Whose Line plays this for laughs by treating whatever (and we mean whatever) is in their notes like this.
A somewhat straight example; after Ryan's infamous moment where he breaks the light on Drew's desk, everyone screams and is worried, with him constantly assuring Drew that he's fine. Then, still in his Carol Channing voice, he says, "You wouldn't happen to have a suture around the house, would you?" That one line shows that he's staying in character and telling Kathy to keep going.
What Could Have Been: Drew Carey merely wanted to produce the show, after learning about Ryan Stiles and Kathy Kinney's improv background in The Drew Carey Show and finding the UK version. The network wasn't interested until Drew offered to host, giving the show significant name recognition.
Steve Carell and Mike Meyers auditioned for the British version, but were turned down.
Wayne Brady said in a radio interview that he really hoped for Stephen Colbert to become a semi-regular 4th Seater like Greg and Brad, but the producers were not impressed by his one appearance.
What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The whole point of Weird Superheroes. Impossible Mission would sometimes lead to Colin and Ryan accusing each other of having some kind of inane ability through surgery.
Colin: I've got the entire technical readouts in my pants! (audience laughter) I had a fax machine...inserted ...into my buttocks!
What the Hell Is That Accent?: In a "Hollywood Director" about Zorro, Kathy delivered a So Bad, It's Good Spanish accent: "J'know I will not dance for de likes of yuuuh." Drew laughed hard and Ryan remarked, "You're from Canada, aren't you?"
Wire Dilemma: In a playing of "Party Quirks", Colin played a bomb disposal officer who suspected bombs of being in people's pants. At one point, he said, "Red buttock, blue buttock, red buttock, blue buttock..."
Ryan also did a straighter example in "Weird Newscasters" when he's strapped to a bomb that will go off ten seconds after he moves. When he accidentally sets it off, he tries to disarm it while muttering "red wire, green wire, red wire, green wire..."
Word Salad Lyrics: If you write out the lyrics to a typical playing of "Three-Headed Broadway Star", they don't make much sense. This is no surprise, as the song is made up one word at a time and thus can go in odd directions very quickly.
The Worf Effect: In the 2013 revival, Kyle Richards from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stunned everyone by pulling off a perfect split, which Wayne couldn't. Wayne got showed up by a reality show person. It's happened a few other times though, intentional or not.
World of Ham: Arguably so, as all of the cast members have been known to ham it up at some point.
After a playing of "Multiple Personalities", Drew told Colin and Ryan that they had the worst Beavis and Butt-Head impersonations he had ever heard.
Worthy Opponent: Special guest Sid Caesar took Drew to school in "Foreign Film Dub" when it came to faking another language; eventually, Drew awarded Sid the winner of the game, both out of respect and because he admitted he couldn't keep up with Sid.
Writers Suck: In a playing of Party Quirks, Colin's quirk was that he was a dinosaur setting traps for the guests of Jurassic Park. Greg guesses incorrectly: "You, the one who's a dinosaur spreading rumors!" Drew lets him have it: "That's better than the one we have."