Oh Colin Mochrie.
September 4, 2011 11:29 PM   Subscribe

Whose Line Is It Anyway. Watch it all online. You're welcome.
posted by Phire (50 comments total) 90 users marked this as a favorite

 
They should rename it the Buffering Video show. I'll try again later when it's not getting hammered. Thanks for the heads up Phire.
posted by unliteral at 11:37 PM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fantastic! I'm going to bed now, but I'll be sure to bookmark this for later. Is this with the full blessing of The Beeb & ABC?
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:37 PM on September 4, 2011


I wonder what B.B. King would have to say about Wayne Brady?
posted by bpm140 at 11:41 PM on September 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


They're asking for donations. If it's legit, I'll improv eating my hat.
posted by Mikey-San at 11:46 PM on September 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is this with the full blessing of The Beeb & ABC?

WHOIS says the domain name is registered through privacyprotect.org with the registrant postal code QLD 4218 (Australia).
posted by vidur at 11:46 PM on September 4, 2011


I seriously doubt it's official, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless. I'm sorry the connection's sucky for you, unliteral. I've been watching it all night with no problems but I have friends who're having trouble buffering as well.
posted by Phire at 11:52 PM on September 4, 2011


I think of this as the series where British comics commit spur-of-the-moment hip-hop atrocities, most always beginning with "Well my name is X and I'm here to say..." But it's been a while.
posted by mumkin at 12:04 AM on September 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


I now require an XBMC plugin for this. Thanks so much. :P
posted by wierdo at 12:45 AM on September 5, 2011


Stephen Fry, Peter Cook, Josie Lawrence and John Sessions in the same episode. Wow.
posted by John Shaft at 1:17 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


There is another site with all the old WLIIA episodes that was previously linked here. It's on blogspot, but all the videos seem to be hosted at the same place as the new site. Maybe the same people are behind both sites, maybe not (the old site has no donation box).

If neither site is getting driven off the Web it may be because there are multiple confused rightsholders involved... Hat Trick Productions, the BBC, Warner Brothers Studios, ABC and whatever piece of the action Drew Carey owns (maybe the outspoken libertarian is walking the walk by being very laissez faire about the rights... ABC's parent company Disney certainly wouldn't) be.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:15 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, John Shaft, this was a genuine classic, if only for seeing a very young Stephen Fry stand up next to a rather old Peter Cook and drop his pants.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:27 AM on September 5, 2011


...and extra points for Stephen Fry making a Doctor Who joke with a sheet of bubble wrap.

And I must correct myself and others that the British WLIIA was not on BBC, but on the UK's Channel 4. And the episode I mentioned ended with a tag for A&E Home Video, so apparently they may never figure out who owns the rights so these will stay on line forever... right? Right?
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:43 AM on September 5, 2011


I still have a crush on Tony Slattery, after all these years.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:14 AM on September 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


aha!
posted by growabrain at 3:25 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


or if you don't like the above 'Aha'
posted by growabrain at 3:26 AM on September 5, 2011


I always got the impression the show was supposed to be improv. Was I correct in assuming that was the premise?

Because parts of it were so obviously scripted. It was the WWF of improv.

Only ever caught the American Drew Carey version.
"Scripted" is too strong a word. Sort of the level below that, whatever that's called. "Scratch out a game plan in the sand" before they started recording. That sort of thing.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:47 AM on September 5, 2011


This is where I get to brag that I've actually been up on stage with the Whose Line gang, at a Whose Live Anyway show in Delaware a few months ago. The game was Moving People, and Greg Proops and Jeff Davis were playing Wii Sports. I moved Jeff.

Life Goal Achieved.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:00 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I suppose another scenario is that they've worked as a team long enough that they can effortlessly recycle jokes and visual gags. Either way, bogus enough to look bogus all too frequently. Terrible show.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:01 AM on September 5, 2011


You can buy it on DVD UK version or US version so the rights holders aren't under any doubt. This website is no better than downloading a dodgy torrent from Pirate bay.
posted by Lanark at 5:08 AM on September 5, 2011


This website is no better than downloading a dodgy torrent from Pirate bay.

Yeah, and they even have the gall to ask for "donations". Flagged.
posted by modernnomad at 5:11 AM on September 5, 2011


Is there a way to get the UK version legally, not just the first two seasons?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:13 AM on September 5, 2011


I suppose another scenario is that they've worked as a team long enough that they can effortlessly recycle jokes and visual gags.

This, added to the fact that they were all very capable improv actors. The show was pleasant enough to me, but I always got the feeling that they weren't stretching themselves too far. Most of the games they played on the show were the acting equivalent of a 25-piece puzzle. I would have loved to see them attempt more long-form improv, but that stuff is more difficult and less-suited to a television audience.
posted by The White Hat at 5:14 AM on September 5, 2011


Well put, The White Hat. Sober ying to my raging yang.

Mine was just an observation, but it mighta sounded like I was getting my h8 on.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:35 AM on September 5, 2011


yin

dammit
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:35 AM on September 5, 2011


All UK surfers can watch all 10 series legally online in the UK via Channel 4's 4oD service
posted by almostwitty at 6:10 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cluck, cluck, drill, drill, oh what a thrill.
posted by Ickster at 6:33 AM on September 5, 2011


Say what you want about the American version, but Ryan Stiles breaking glass while channeling Carol Channing is comic gold.
posted by dr_dank at 7:01 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does copyright law matter? If so, delete or disable this post. If not, carry on then.
posted by andreaazure at 7:20 AM on September 5, 2011


No. No it does not.
posted by Optamystic at 7:27 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Excellent.

My favorite Stephen Fry bit from this show was when the topic was "things not to say to the Queen", and one of his was "mmm...I need to buy stamps...". I love Stephen Fry.
posted by biscotti at 7:37 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this show, as well as my dormant crush on Greg Proops.
posted by smirkette at 7:40 AM on September 5, 2011


"Say what you want about the American version, but Ryan Stiles breaking glass while channeling Carol Channing yt is comic gold."

There was a Who's Line marathon on the night after my c-section and I was mostly giggling here and there, pleasantly amused, in a painkiller haze, and then this episode came on and I was laughing so hard and helplessly I was honestly afraid I was going to tear open the incision and OMG it hurt so bad!!!! But I am still giggling thinking about it now. It's also one of the few things from the painkiller haze where my memory is quite vivid.

"most always beginning with "Well my name is X and I'm here to say..."
That I love fruity pebbles in a major way?

posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:54 AM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think of this as the series where British comics commit spur-of-the-moment hip-hop atrocities

Proops has mentioned (on his podcast, which is fabulous) that they weren't super-fond of the singing games, either. I think they kind of dealt with it because it was always a plum opportunity to watch Josie be amazing.
posted by mintcake! at 8:31 AM on September 5, 2011


I spent about five hours watching this last night. It's a marvel to me that I used to think this show was totally dumb when it was still on the air.

Moral of the story: Kids don't know what they're talking about. Feel free to smack them.
posted by Phire at 9:18 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ryan Stiles Carol Channing is sort of like Liza on Pills, which somehow make it funnier
posted by PinkMoose at 9:21 AM on September 5, 2011


This show is like a time capsule for fantastic sartorial choices.
posted by dismas at 9:31 AM on September 5, 2011


My favorite show....and no, it's not scripted...just watch the bloopers and out takes.
posted by eggtooth at 9:56 AM on September 5, 2011


I'm an improviser who does occasional short-form (like the games on this show) but really prefers long-form. For the people who complain that this feels a bit scripted despite being unscripted... I know exactly what you mean.

There are only a finite number of these short-form improv games, and if you're a competent improviser (an understatement for most of the performers on Whose Line) you get very GOOD at understanding the ins and outs of each game, and the types of moves that are likely to get the biggest laugh out of the audience.

You've probably played each of these games at LEAST a few dozen times before you're asked to do it on the show, and the only new element is the suggestion that the host or the audience provides you. You play the game as you always play it, but work to respect and incorporate the suggestion the best way possible.

This stuff is improvised in the same way that a football game is improvised... people know all of the rules ahead of time, and know that they're going out there to play a specific game, but may not know how the game is going to pan out. Is the other team going to intercept a pass today? Am I going to tackle someone? We'll see, but no matter what I'm going out there to play football, and I'm going to keep it up until the clock runs out.

Compare this to long-form improv where we don't even know what sport we're playing until we're out there on stage. Maybe one night we end up performing a weird racketball/bowling hybrid. Tomorrow's show might resemble curling mixed with hang-gliding. We can create all sorts of insane situations because there's no preconceived notion of what we'll be doing, and there's no referee with a whistle to stop the play and reset the field. There's no guy giving commentary to the audience, explaining the game as it goes along, because we don't even know what we're creating until we've created it.

Now, I really enjoy Whose Line, even if it is a bit like football, because we're seeing amazing performers at the top of their game. But short-form in general, especially in the hands of young or inexperienced teams, has the potential to be terrible. Missed blocks, fumbled plays, etc. Forgive me for not attending any of the local high school games.

And yeah, as RAH-RAH as I am about long-form, and how my mind has been BLOWN by great Harold performances, I will be the first to admit that it can often be a terrible experience for the audience. Bad long-form is pretty rotten. The audience has no idea what's going on AND isn't laughing. It's weird hippie shit that is painful to sit through. At least in the most vanilla short-form game the audience gets to know ahead of time that Performer X is going to act like a horny bobcat. And then even if Performer X totally phones that performance in, the audience thinks "YAY, the promise that was made to me has been delivered!" -- laughter, applause, repeat.
posted by adamk at 10:30 AM on September 5, 2011 [26 favorites]


Hang-gliding curling would be the most awesome sport ever.
posted by troll on a pony at 10:35 AM on September 5, 2011


Colin Mochrie is still to be seen performing around Toronto from time to time. Loads of fun.

The one problem with Whose Line is that for the first 30 years of my life, I thought the role of the musical improviser was to play "Hoedown" over and over again. Poor Laura Hall! I wonder why they never really used her?
posted by bicyclefish at 10:39 AM on September 5, 2011


The "everything's made up and the points don't matter" line was only used in the American version. The reasoning behind it always blew my mind: viewers who need that explained to them aren't going to understand the show anyway, so dumb down the intro for them?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:04 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a Brit, it pains me to say this, but... the US version is so much better. Despite Drew Carey.
posted by Acey at 11:15 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is where I get to brag that I've actually been up on stage with the Whose Line gang, at a Whose Live Anyway show in Delaware a few months ago. The game was Moving People, and Greg Proops and Jeff Davis were playing Wii Sports. I moved Jeff.

Aieee, jealous! I didn't remember Jeff from the few episodes of Whose Line he was on, but became familiar with him via Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza on GSN. He is easily my favorite performer and I'll confess to having quite the fangirl crush on him. I'm so bummed that the Whose Live dates that are actually within a few hours drive from me are on days that I absolutely can't get off from work, otherwise there would be a Whose Live roadtrip in my future.
posted by booksherpa at 1:18 PM on September 5, 2011


The one thing I never understood in the American version was at the beginning Drew would say that the winner -- the one with the most points -- would get to do "a little something special with me" at the end of the show. But the winner always sat behind the desk for the final game (usually Hoedown or something musical) while Drew joined in. That always seemed weird that he would phrase it like that.
posted by Clustercuss at 1:34 PM on September 5, 2011


Aieee, jealous!

That's right, booksherpa; I had my hands all over Jeff Davis. You may bask in my presence.

It really was great. The moment I was proudest of was when Jeff was getting beers out of the fridge and handing them to Greg, and I took it a little too far, making him say, "That's one beer... and two beers! Wait, I'm getting three beers... I'm getting four beers for some reason... Screw it, I'm getting five beers!" The audience also got a laugh out of our hands-in-the-air-like-you-just-don't-care victory dance.

Moving People is harder than it looks, though. You think you've got everything under control, but then you realize you've forgotten about your performer's left leg, and all of a sudden he's about to fall over. The human body has a surprising number of parts to keep track of.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:08 PM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


In Delaware?! And I missed it? Aaaargh.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:31 PM on September 5, 2011


I love how Jeff responds in the games that make use of audience members. He and Ryan Stiles were in a game of Moving People on Improv-A-Ganza where they played hotel maids. Ryan's audience member was AMAZING. Jeff's was good, but not as on the ball as Ryan's. Still, Jeff made the most of it with his lines. If you go to the video page on the show's site, click "full episodes" and pick episode 26 (they start at 40 and count down), it's the first game in that episode. I'm annoyed that the show wasn't picked up for a second season; I really enjoy it.
posted by booksherpa at 4:20 PM on September 5, 2011


I wonder what B.B. King would have to say about Wayne Brady?

He'd change his tune if he saw Wayne Brady behind the scenes.
posted by cereselle at 11:17 AM on September 6, 2011


I wonder if my friends who were big fans of this show ever moved on to be fans of long form.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:19 PM on September 6, 2011


dr_dank: "Say what you want about the American version, but Ryan Stiles breaking glass while channeling Carol Channing is comic gold."

That and the time when Wayne accidentally lifted up a girl's skirt (while picking her up) and exposed her underwear to the entire world.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:40 AM on September 7, 2011


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