12 March 2007

Whose Line

I've been enjoying a few good laughs from watching on DVD the first season of the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? The show is basically improvised comedy. The host Drew Carey, with the help of the live audience, would throw at the four comedians situations for them to act out. The star comedians are Wayne Brady (the black singer), Colin Mochrie (the bald Canadian), Ryan Stiles (The Tall Guy from the Drew Carey Show), and a guest comedian. The situations can be as commonplace as a house party or a dating contest, but most of the time they are exotic/uncommon ones like an encounter between Dracula and his slayer or a love triangle. The situations are usually twisted by requiring the comedians be restrained in some way, like not able to move on their own but instead moved by volunteers from the audience, or acted out in some styles of songs, etc. Further complicating matters, the comedians are usually assigned some strange characters, on the spot, and they must rely on their knowledge and quick wit to come up with something funny. My favorite routine is the Hoedown, in which Drew Carey and three of the comedians make up a ditty to describe some topics. In these days of instant web search via Google and such, sometimes it's hard to tell the smart person from someone who just happened to know how to look things up quickly. With improvisations, you just have to know your stuff to carry out the tasks. I truly admire these resourceful comedians.

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