Whose Line Hoedown Topics For Argumentative Essays

It's a successful Improv slash Sketch Comedy slash Panel Show that originated on British radio before moving to Channel 4 for a ten-year run. Clive Anderson hosted the show, in which four improvisational comics took suggestions from the audience to act out hilarious unscripted scenes. The performers could change radically with each episode, and because of the nature of the show, they could cobble together upwards of four episodes worth of material from one filming session.

An American version was created for ABC with Drew Carey as host that ran five seasons (though they filmed so much material that three more seasons were created after filming stopped). Because of the wider broadcasting of American television this show is better known than the British original. Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie were regular performers on the British version (who between them gave us much Ho Yay) and on this version they appeared in every episode. Ryan and Drew (who worked together on The Drew Carey Show) also provided the show with an ample supply of Foe Yay. From the second season onwards, Wayne Brady was added to the regular line-up, which essentially launched his career. The fourth player varied, the most common performers being Brad Sherwood, Greg Proops, Kathy Greenwood or Chip Esten.

The shift from mostly rotating players to mostly regulars with an occasional guest -- which began in the later British series and became the standard for the American version - made the show's format less "experimental" and more formulaic, yet at the same time led to the players being more familiar with each others' foibles and led to richer humour. One example of how this changed the show is that in early series the quirks in "Party Quirks", the personas in "Let's Make a Date" and so on were very simple and one-dimensional (e.g. "a sperm"), while in later British series and especially the American version they became comically complex and specific (e.g. "horse whisperer calming and mounting the others who he thinks are wild stallions"), as the players knew each other well enough to discern more details in their performances.

Very much subject to a Broken Base, although the most you'll see these days are a few remarks about how they like or dislike which version or which host.

Despite this, many people on both sides find the two shows hilarious.

Another improv show, Drew Carey's Green Screen Show, ran for a season on the old WB channel. A second show featuring the cast and crew of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (minus Wayne Brady, but with Brady's Let's Make a Deal sidekick Jonathan Mangum), Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza, premiered in Spring 2011 on Game Show Network. And the old gang got back together on ABC in July 2012 with Trust Us With Your Life, a celebrity-based version of the improv game "Day In The Life", where the celebrity tells stories from their life, and the improvisers take it from there.

As to the show itself, if you don't feel like hunting through cable channels, basically every episode can be found at a fan-run repository, Whose Line Online.org. Alternatively, if you're in Britain you can watch the UK run legally on 4OD (albeit with ad breaks)

Tropes Used By Both Shows Include Edit

  • Accentuate the Negative: After a commercial break, Drew once said: "I'm Drew Carey, reminding you to call your cable operator and complain. Nothing specific, just in general."
  • Adaptation Expansion: Every now and then, certain sessions of earlier games get popular enough to be turned into games in their own right. Film Noir in particular started as a Scene to Music with appropriately noir-ish music and Jim Sweeney and Steve Steen's epic performance. Hollywood Director is essentially a meta variant of Film TV Theater Styles, and the lesser-played late entries Doo-Wop and Boogie-Woogie Sisters came from Wayne and Chip's "They Shot My Paw" and Wayne and Brad's "Roulette of Love" from two different Greatest Hits.
  • The Adjectival Man: in Weird Superheroes.
  • The Alcoholic: Parodied, most often during "Greatest Hits", when Colin will say something odd and Ryan will ask if Colin is drinking again.
    • Wayne can get this role either deliberately (as "an old drunk who used to do the sports" in Weird Newscasters) or by accident (he was supposed to be mimicking a carousel horse in Living Scenery, but Colin assumed he was being a drunkard). Unfortunately he winds up sounding like Bill Cosby...
    • Many jokes about what exactly was in Drew's mug were made about this.
  • Bob and Alice Johnson: Invoked often by the US players. ThisScenes from a Hat session has a whole string of it.
    • Chances are, if Ryan's making up the name, the first name will be either Phil or Gary (Greg makes fun of this once during a UK credits reading), the last name either Phillips or Johnson, or, if he's playing Alphabet, "Xavier Hollander." (Rarer, but still present, was the female equivalent, Xaviera: Xaviera Hollander was the author of the autobiographical book The Happy Hooker and its sequels).
    • One of the funniest Home Shopping Channel games had Colin take advantage of this proclivity of Ryan's:

 Ryan: It's four o'clock and it's...

Colin: ...time to shop!

Ryan: I'm Gary!

Colin:And I'm Gary too!

  • All Cheering All the Time: Parodied in a game of "Scenes from a Hat" on the American version: "Moments When Cheerleading is Inappropriate".

 Greg Proops: Grandpa's dead! Gimme a D! Gimme an E! Gimme -- Come on! Where's your enthusiasm?

Ryan Stiles: Vasectomy! Vasectomy! Clip clip clip!

Wayne Brady: Okay! Somebody's goin' to the 'lectric chair! Gonna fry! Gonna fry! Somebody's goin' to the 'lectric chair! Gonna -- Come on! (makes buzzing sounds) Say what?! Come on! Come on!

  • All Gays Are Promiscuous: Played straight in a "Party Quirks" where Ryan played all the characters in a gay western. Every single character flirted with the host in some fashion.
  • All Men Are Perverts: When an attractive and/or famous woman appears on the show, Ryan and Colin usually flirt with her and if they're playing "Living Scenery", they'll spend the whole game finding suggestive poses to put her in. Wayne also sweet-talks some of the female audience members during the "Song Styles" game.
    • Audience members brought on stage to participate/be the victim in a sketch are overwhelmingly attractive young women.
    • Some of Drew's "The points don't matter" jokes are also fall under this category; he compared the points to the part of the Victoria's Secret catalog where they sell the pants as well as foreplay for men.
  • Almost Kiss: Occurs a few times. One of the funniest ones was an outtake where Drew and Colin's lips almost met, but they stopped in the nick of time.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Invoked by Ryan in a playing of "Hollywood Director": Colin announced the next style should be Gremlins. When Colin yelled action, Ryan bent down as if getting in a Gremlin car.
    • Similarly, in a playing of "Weird Newscasters", Ryan had the quirk of "The Rise and Fall of a 1940's Boxer". Instead of imitating the sport of boxing, Ryan acted like a boxer dog.
    • Likewise, in one British episode's "Film, TV & Theater Styles" game, "Japanese Noh Theatre" came up. One of the performers began energetically spoutingmock Japanese in the style of a samurai film; the other simply looked at him and said "No!" repeatedly.
  • Ambiguous Gender: During an "Award Show" about the best bitter divorce, Ryan brought a random man from the audience on-stage and said he brought his lawyer with him. Colin remarked that it won't do any good, because he's been sleeping with the lawyer. After Ryan allowed the man to return to his seat, Ryan mumbled to Colin under applause, "You're gonna be the woman?" Apparently, Ryan had started the scene with the intention that he was going to play the woman, but Colin turned the tables on him very quickly.
  • Amusing Injuries: While it probably wasn't so funny for Ryan himself, jumping on Ryan's back was a riot, especially since the cast was joking about it soon afterward.

 Colin: Are you crazy?! He's over forty!

Ryan: It's [the next "Hollywood Director" style] "porn", so I can lie down, right?

Ryan: That disc popped right back in!

Chip: I broke Ryan!

    • Another amusing one was when Colin was held upside down during "Action Replay" (as per imitating Wayne's and Greg's actions) and struggled a tad to get up afterward. Drew could scarcely contain his glee after the game: "I don't know why I laugh when you get hurt."

  Ryan: Do you want to throw one of my blue shoes at him?

 Ryan:(arranging a mess of copper wires around Colin's face) This will measure the size of one's head!

Colin: And also it can remove those pesky eyes!

  • Anachronism Stew: Frequently seen in "Film, TV & Theater Styles" and "Whose Line", as many of the scenes take place in the past, yet feature modern technology or references anyway.
  • And Now for Something Completely Different: Questions with Wigs, Questions Only WITH WIGS.
  • Angels Pose: Done in "Film, TV & Theater Styles" whenever the style is Charlie's Angels.
  • Angrish: Frequently in games where Ryan plays a usurper who puts the moves on Colin's wife, Colin comes home and spouts angrish when he sees the two of them together. One time, it's played with: During his angrish rants, he interrupts himself to tell his wife, "Here, I got you something", then continues his angrish.
  • Animated Credits Opening: The last few UK seasons.
    • Evolving Credits: The big move to the US was indicated by swapping out the red background from the animated OP with a Hollywood skyline.
      • The OP evolved even before then. The first UK season featured John Sessions (the show's regular) prominently; the second season (in which he didn't appear nearly as often) removed the clips of him and had silhouettes performing the various games. Then it changed to the animated opening.
  • Anything That Moves: In between games in one episode, Wayne randomly remarks: "Sometime tonight during the show, I'm humpin' someone in the audience. (audience cheers) That's all I know. That's all I know."
  • Are You Sure You Want to Do That?: Not said outright, but the meaning of the trope was definitely there. During a game a Greatest Hits, Drew asks the audience for a European city you would go to to have a good time, and gets back Paris and Amsterdam and has to make a decision.

 Drew: "Paris...Amsterdam...umm...let's do uhh...P...Am...Amsterdam..."

(Ryan, Colin, and Wayne all give Drew bemused, questioning looks)

Ryan: "Ooookaay!"

Drew: "...Let's do Paris."

  • Artistic License Military: During a playing of "Reunion" where all three were drill sergeants, Greg said "At Ease". Colin and Greg did the appropriate "at ease" stance, but Ryan put his hands on his hips, before noticing the other two and quickly switching. Cut to Drew (who served in the Marine Corps), mocking Ryan's mistake, though according to the official regulations, Ryan's initial stance was still acceptable.
  • Artistic Licence Geography: One of the first occurrences of "African Chant" saw Wayne get up and walk off in mock-protest. After sharing a few laughs, Drew responded with...

 Drew: Uh, Africa is a big country just by Madagascar...

(Greg laughs loudly)

Greg Proops: It's also a CONTINENT if you're a geographer!

 Josie: Are you going to the Parthenon tonight? (Stephen fumbles and gets buzzed out)

Stephen: (to Clive) Could you tell her the Parthenon's in Athens? (leaves, Ryan steps in)

Josie: Is the Parthenon in Athens?

Ryan: Would you like to buy a map?

      • She probably meant Pantheon, which is in Rome.
    • During a "Scenes From a Hat" about state mottos, Colin gave a suggestion about Miami. Drew immediately corrected him: "Miami's a city." Colin's response: "Florida: Not to be confused with Miami."
  • Artistic Licence History: Done for laughs during a playing of "Greatest Hits" about "Songs of Rome": Ryan remarks that Rome's been around for about 100 years.
  • Artistic License Physics: At the end of a barber shop-themed "Narrate", Ryan traps Colin in one of the chairs, straps him in, and spins him to launch him out of the shop. Colin spins in the opposite direction, but catches himself a few seconds later and corrects himself.
    • If you watch Ryan's reaction to this, it is simply amazing.
  • Artistic Licence Statistics: Occasionally happens in "Number of Words"; for instance, in a scene from the U.S. version, Ryan Stiles, playing Rocky Balboa's coach Mick, said "Smack the meat, Rock! Smack it!" and "Hit the meat, Rock! Hit it!", even though his character was only allowed to say five words, not six. After the game, Drew Carey called attention to this, and Ryan replied, "With the exchange, it all works out."
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption
  • As You Know: Parodied to hell and back in "Greatest Hits", as Colin and Ryan atempt to explain a "personal connection" to whichever obscure musical style they're about to hit Wayne with.
  • Author Appeal: Colin doing his dinosaur impression, Ryan's John Wayne and Carol Channing impressions, Greg's Braveheart and Woody Allen, and Wayne's Bill Cosby and Michael Jackson.
    • Brad does a pretty good impression of Fred Schneider from The B-52's in "Greatest Hits".
    • Chip Esten is well known for his Snagglepuss impression.
    • Also Jeff Davis, who in his nine appearances has imitated Christopher Walken at least three times.
  • Awesomeness By Analysis: Ever wonder why Ryan never hosts the "Party Quirks" party? Apparently, he is able to guess anyone's quirk in thirty seconds, which is why so few of the ones taped with him ever make it to air.
    • Colin has been employing some of this during "Newsflash" and "Press Conference".
  • Back to Front: "Backwards Scene".
  • Badass Bystander: Every once in a while you get an audience member who can match Wayne in the dancing department. Sam the fitness instructor and Julia the dance instructor come to mind.

 Wayne:(singing to Sam the fitness instructor in the style of Riverdance)

Well, she'll get busy and dance

I thought that there was my chance

But let me tell you all, don't you see

I didn't know she could actually Riverdance!

    • Another audience member, Derek the diesel guy, danced/made YMCA-style hand symbols with Wayne and Chip during "Duet". After the game...

  Wayne: Derek, you want a job, dude?

  • Bad Impressionists: Colin, during a "Questionable Impressions" game: (in his regular voice) "Do you have a table for a Craig T. Nelson?"
    • Also, Wayne Brady during "Multiple Personalities", in the style of John Wayne: "Howdy, pilgrim. It appears that someone's... got a flat. (Ryan and Greg just stare at him, smiling) Got a flat!" It was so bad that Drew made mention of it after the game: "A thousand points to John Wayne Brady! Man of a thousand faces!"
    • Wayne Brady again when trying to imitate Woody Allen in "Film, TV & Theater Styles". When the next style was "horror", Ryan remarked, "Oh my God, that was a horrible impression."
    • During a "Film, TV & Theater Styles", the next style was The Gong Show. Colin pretended to be Jaye P. Morgan, and when asked his opinion:

  Colin: (faking a hoarse voice) I thought it... SUCKED. (Beat) That's the best Jaye P. I do.

  • Bald of Awesome: Colin's known as one of the best players on the show, if he's not teased for it.
  • Bank Robbery: One "Hollywood Director" featured this as its scene.
  • Bawdy Song: The Hoedown songs that don't make it to air are sometimes this. Drew likes these. For some reason,this song about puberty was cut.
  • Beat: Occurs most often in "Greatest Hits" during the Colin and Ryan banter. Examples:
    • During "Songs of the Beekeeper", Ryan said: "We have "Songs of the Beekeeper", and what a lonely profession it is, really." (Colin stares at him)
    • During "Songs of the International Spy", Ryan said: "Oh, and so many styles to choose from." (again, Colin stares blankly)
    • And one that got somewhat out of control:

 Drew: Things you don't expect to find when you wake up in the morning.

Wayne: (Pretending to wake up and looking over) Colin?!

Colin: (Runs onto the stage and shouts at a retreating Wayne) Teach me to sing like you!

Ryan: (Joining Colin onstage) What's his problem?

Colin: I don't know.

  • BFG: The "Director" segment of the episode of Robin Williams guest-starring. Wayne yanks out a giant... thing with mechanical noises each time he's called in to exterminate some rats. Even during "Riverdance".
    • Justified in a session of "Film, TV, and Theater Styles" -- the style called out was Anime. Says it all, really.
    • "Sound Effects" sometimes involves Ryan calling out Colin and whoever's making sounds for him on having a pithy gunshot sound, then proceeding to one-up him with a supposedly bigger gun. It doesn't always pan out, of course.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: A running joke with Ryan. Also the source of gags when Greg was "Viagra Man" in a Superheroes game.

  Greg: Thank goodness the crisis has been averted. (poses) Now I've got a date with the Grand Canyon!

    • In a round of "Scenes From a Hat", the suggestion was "How the naked Fridays policy worked out at your office", which was nothing but jokes about impossibly long dicks.
    • During a "Weird Newcasters", Greg insinuated that Colin's character (a streaker who bets he can get in every shot) had a small penis when he said: "And I wouldn't say that's an Italian sausage, more like a Vienna sausage."
  • Big No: Said by Ryan in "Weird Newscasters" when he realized that the glass slipper fit on Drew's foot.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In one playing of "Foreign Film Dub", Jeff Davis spoke a bit of actual Spanish.
    • Wayne also does this regularly, it appears he knows at least a moderate amount of the language.
    • Similarly, Colin and his French. Which is spectacularly inverted during this session of Hollywood Director. "Just to give it that sort of... I don't know what." That phrase some of you may be thinking of is je ne sais quois, which means just that.
    • Stephen Colbert brought some actual German to the table during his appearance, even getting a Hitlerquotepast the radar.
    • In one UK show with Stephen Fry he spoke an entire "Questions Only" scene set in Rome entirely in Latin.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Lampshaded by Wayne Brady during a game of "Questions Only" set at the Bates Motel and also during a game of "Themed Restaurant" with the theme being horror.

  Wayne: Am I going to be the first one to die, like I always am?

    • After a playing of Questions Only where one of Wayne's characters is an elderly man who removes his dentures before trying to kiss the other player, Drew says, "Thousand points to everybody but Wayne. Thanks for this: (mimics Wayne's "toothless mouth" expression that he used in the game) Thanks for that visual. I have enough trouble falling asleep at night."
  • Brand X: In this "Helping Hands", there's a box of Twinkies with the T painted over. Another one involved what Colin described out loud as "a tin of furniture polish with the brand name erased!"
    • Before a playing of "Superheroes", Drew got a suggestion from the audience that the world was out of Cheetos, but chose the suggestion of no more shaving cream instead, as he was worried about the brand name. True to form, Greg brought up Cheetos during the skit anyway.
      • Interestingly, another round of Superheroes had Brad get the name "Captain Morgan", a pretty blatant reference to the liquor.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: After a commercial break, Drew said:

  Drew: I'm Drew Carey. My turn-ons are big, crackling fires, romantic walks on the beach, and strippers.

  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During a playing of "Let's Make a Date", Ryan's quirk was the overly long "a witch who entices the beast to her magic sleeping stool and then must find his true love to break the spell and turn him into a prince". When Ryan was asked his first question and the quirk appeared on the screen, Ryan said:

  Ryan: I'm just leaving a little time, so everyone can read the novel that is my suggestion.

  • Brick Joke: In one episode, Drew used a tape player and a pre-taped message of himself giving points to the performers. While Drew was away from the desk during a break, Wayne grabbed the tape player and recorded himself saying "My ass." over and over. A "Helping Hands" was played, and afterwards Drew prepared to award points from his tape player... only to hear "My ass, my ass..."
    • In a later episode of the U.S. version, Drew mentioned after a game that Wayne just ate a whole bucket full of candy (this is in reference to a Party Quirks where Wayne played a member of a fraternity who performed various stunts, including eating a bucket full of candy). The audience remained silent, as it wasn't really a joke, and Greg broke the silence by saying "Screech!" Later on in the episode, during "Hats", Greg wore some insect wings and said: "Well I'm out of the caterpillar stage..." The audience barely reacted and Drew got back at Greg by saying: "SCREECH!"

  Greg: You put the *bleep* wings on.

    • In a game of "Irish Drinking Song" with the subject of getting mugged, Ryan finished the first verse, after a Beat, with "A stone I passed!" It cracked the performers up enough to require two rounds of "Oh, hi-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di" to get back on track. Then, in the final verse, Colin finishes with "He put my stone back in my end!" to much laughter and applause. See it here.
    • During a game of Newsflash, the scene shown was of a bodybuilding competition, and during the game, Ryan was making jokes about the female bodybuilders looking like men. After the game Drew said "I gotta say Ryan, some day, when you least expect it, a big body building chicks gonna leap out in front of you and kick your ass." to which Ryan respond in a scratchy voice "You made fun of me! You made fun of me!" 15 episodes later, Drew introduces special guest Jane Tricker, a female bodybuilder. Ryan immediately leaps out of his seat and goes to hide backstage.
    • In a playing of "Greatest Hits", Colin said, "The great thing about this CD is we have music from everywhere!", and proceeded to flail his arms wildly, presumably indicating that he's pointing to different parts of the world. Ryan asked: "Have you been working out?" Colin replied, "No, I'm a drummer!" and began to imitate Bill, who was previously sung to in "Duet" and who mimed drumming motions while Brad and Wayne sung to him. Then Ryan began to imitate audience member Debbie's minimal stretching from "Dubbing", which wasn't from the same episode but came from the same taping.
    • In one episode, Brad and Wayne sung to Angela, a sign language interpreter. After the game, she taught the cast how to say "I'm sorry" in sign language. Later in the same episode, after Drew made a flub where he called Wayne and Brad "Wad", Wayne said, "You better say..." and made the sign language for "I'm sorry".
  • British Brevity: Averted; the U.K. version lasted for ten seasons (or series), with 136 episodes total. Not too shabby.
  • British Rock Star: Wayne plays one in this round of Let's Make A Date.
  • British Teeth: Played straight in a few "Scenes From a Hat" suggestions on the U.S. version, and with some Props on the same versions.
  • Buffy-Speak: Unavoidable with the nature of the show. Colin of course is usually responsible.
    • In this "Scene to Music":

  Caroline: Yes! The spurty spurty, with the little washy things!

  • Busby Berkeley Number: In one "Weird Newscasters", Ryan had the quirk of delivering the news in the style of a Busby Berkeley musical number.
  • But I Digress: During a playing of "Greatest Hits", Colin mentions that the next artist is Jerry Van Dyke. Ryan interrupts and says, "I knew him when he was Jerry Van Lesbian, years and years ago. (audience laughs) But I digress."
  • Butt Monkey: Colin, who was the source of many bald jokes, although he was likely the most skilled performer (he almost never cracks up while in character). Lampshaded by Colin himself when he offered to be everyone's "Lightning Rod of Hate."
    • The UK version turned Josie Lawrence into this. Paul Merton and Tony Slattery, we're looking at you.
    • Happens literally to Wayne after his big secret[1]came out...
    • The US version featured several jokes about Drew Carey's weight. Those jokes were usually done by Ryan, but other members of the cast got in on it from time to time - even Drew himself every now and then.
      • Drew also gets mocked for "sitting behind a desk and doing nothing"
    • During the opening introductions, Ryan is always introduced last, and every performer has a joke told about them. As the jokes get played more and more at the actors' expense, Ryan thus gets the worst of it.
  • But You Screw One Goat!: Before the "Duet" where Wayne and Brad sang to Lassie the dog, Wayne remarked that Lassie looks so pretty. Drew agreed, then gave Wayne a smart aleck look. Wayne seemed annoyed that Drew took his comment in a sexual direction.

  Drew: Whatever dude, I'm not judgin' you.

    • Jokes like this were actually more prevalent in the UK version, and not just from the UK players (Ryan's impression of a World's Worst "nature documentary", for example). One session of Hey You Down There even ended with Drew commenting "sheep jokes... that's why we're so popular in Scotland" (even though the actual joke was about running over a sheep instead).
    • A specific UK-version example: the game was the World's Worst Person to Defend You In Court.

  Colin: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it's not like the sheep was under-age!

    • "We're watching animal porn! Mary Had a Little Lamb will be right back..."
    • The Sex Hoedown on the UK version has a verse from Ryan regarding this.
    • In a playing of "Hats":

  Ryan: (as The Wicked Witch of the West) I want to make love to you... you and your little dog!!

  • Call Back: Showstopping Number always, ALWAYS featured a call back to a previous incident during Ryan's song. Some examples:

 Ryan: In case you forget, my name is Ryan! (regarding an audience member forgetting Ryan's name during "Sound Effects")

Ryan: I crack up when I hear "tapioca"! (regarding Colin making Ryan laugh during "Greatest Hits" by answering a riddle with the nonsensical "tapioca")

Ryan: I can't think straight since you grabbed my penis! (regarding a "Party Quirks" where Colin checks the sex of everybody else)

Ryan: At least I can pronounce the name "Howard"! (regarding Wayne misspelling audience member Howard's name as "Horward" during "Song Styles")

Ryan: Come on and fluff my Garfield! (regarding a catchphrase Colin created during "If You Know What I Mean")

Ryan: We didn't get the suggestion, we almost didn't get the hint, because Drew almost choked on an altoid mint! (self-explanatory; see the Mood Whiplash entry on this page for the full story)

Ryan: You probably don't understand. You're cerebral! (regarding Colin saying his comedy is cerebral after few got his joke in "Weird Newscasters")

The Games

This is a (near) complete guide to the games played on WLiiA.

Some are linked to an sample transcript, or some lyrics from one of the games.

Addicts Anonymous
Three contestants attend a meeting run by the fourth, for their strange addiction.

A contestant advertises an audience-suggested product in the style of some music that is played in.

African Chant
A contestant sings about an audience member's job, with the others accompanying the chants.

Contestants act a scene with each sentence starting with successive letters of the alphabet.
Variation:90 Second Alphabet - as above but with a time limit.

The contestants act out a soap opera, but as animals (e.g. hamsters, dinosaurs)

One contestant auditions the others for roles in a play, giving them songs or acts to perform.

Audition Piece
Contestants present the World's Worst auditions for a role (name used in radio series).

The contestants improvise a story given the title, in the style of their chosen author.

Backwards scene
Two contestants act out a scene starting with a last line and working backwards to the beginning.

Bad Applicants
Contestants present the World's Worst applicants for a job (name used in radio series).

Ballad Of...
Two contestants sing a ballad about an audience member.

Bartender (Bar Scene, Bar)
Contestants sing their troubles to a bartender, who sings back some advice.

Book Writer
One contestant interviews another, the author of a book on a chosen topic.

Change Of Company
Contestants act out a story, changing into various types of casts (occupations, nationalities etc.)

Changing Emotions/Room
Contestants act a scene, displaying the emotion associated with whichever prop(s) they are holding.

Charity Anthem
Two contestants are famous singers performing an anthem on a topic with the other two introducing.

Two contestants improvise a scene changing into various famous couples suggested by the audience.

Courtroom Scene
Contestants play the judge, prosecution, and various witnesses (using props) trying to solve a court case.

Credit Reading
The "winners" (or Drew's choice of players) read out the credits in a given style/impression/scene.

Dating Service (Videos)
Contestants act out short dating service videos using hats & masks (see also "Hats").

Daytime Talk Show
Contestants act out a talk show with one as host, two guests and one audience member.

Dead Bodies (Fainting Bodies)
One contestant in a play must move, and speak for, two dead bodies and a third who enters and dies.
Variation: An audience member is sometimes used as one of the dead bodies.

Two contestants perform a scene directed by a third, the director, based on audience suggestions.

Contestants act a scene with one (often the guest) having their voice provided from offstage.

Two contestants sing a duet on a given topic (see also some "Song Styles").

Emotion Option
During a scene contestants switch into the emotions suggested by the audience.

Every Other Line
One contestant reads from a play, while the other acts a scene and tries to reach a given end line.

One contestant is an "expert" on an obscure topic, interviewed by another contestant.

Expert Translation
A contestant translates as another explains an aspect of a foreign country in that language.

Fashion Models
Contestants commentate on the others acting as models at a fashion show.

Film and Theatre Styles (Film, Theater and TV Styles)
Two contestants are given a scene and then various film/theater/TV styles to act it out in.

Film Dub(bing)
Contestants must improvise a new soundtrack for a piece of film on a given topic.

Film Review
One contestant reviews a film, acted out by the other three.

Film Trailer
One contestant narrates a film trailer which is performed by the other three.

Fixed Expressions
The contestants act out a scene while maintaining a given expression (happy, constipated, etc.)

Foreign Film Dub
2 contestants act a film in the given language, with the others translating.

A scene is played with contestants switching between forward and reverse (see also Video Players)

Contestants speak at the funeral of a person with a strange quirk, usually singing a unison hymn.

Game Show
A host and three contestants act out a game show with the show name taken from the audience.

Gangsta Rap
A two person "Song Styles"-type game about a particular occupation.

Genre Option
See "Film & Theatre Styles". (name used on radio and in the pilot)

The contestants each sing a verse of a gospel song on a given topic.

(The) Great Debate
Contestants debate a given topic, each playing a particular type of person (occupation etc).

Greatest Hits
Two contestants advertise a Greatest Hits album, naming songs performed by another (or 2).

Green Screen
See "News Flash".

Hands Through/Helping Hands
Two contestants act out a scene but one has his hands provided by a third contestant.

Contestants give "World's Worst" examples (dating agency video, audition) using weird hats (see also "Dating Service").

Here He Is Now
Two contestants discuss quirks of the other two contestants, which they must show when they enter.

Hey you down there
One contestant narrates a public information video whilst others act it out.

The contestants each sing a verse of a hoedown song on a given topic.

Hollywood Director
See Director, but usually played with one contestant directing and three acting.

Home Shopping
Two contestants perform a home shopping programme selling useless items.

If You Know What I Mean
Contestants perform a scene speaking in (or inventing) euphemisms.

Improbable Mission
See "Mission: Impossible"

Contestants present an infomercial on a given topic using random props from a box.

Two contestants interrogate another about a bizarre crime suggested by the audience.

A contestant interviews fictional/historical character in the style of a given magazine/TV show.

Irish Drinking Song
Contestants each sing single lines in an Irish Drinking Song on a given topic.

Let's Make A Date
A contestant is on a dating program and must ask questions and guess the quirk for each date.

Letter Changes
Two contestants act out a scene, but must each replace one particular letter with another.

Living Scenery
Two contestants act a scene using the others (or audience/guests) as any required props.

The contestants each sing a verse of a march on a given topic.

Millionaire Show
Contestants are host, contestant, audience and phone friends in a styled Millionaire game show.

Mission: Impossible (or Mission Improbable)
Contestants perform a scene Mission:Impossible style, with one providing the tape message.

Motown Group
Three contestants each sing one verse of a song on a given topic, the others backing them up.

Moving People
Two contestants act out a given scene, but they can only move when moved by two audience members.

Musical (American Musical)

The contestants perform a musical based on the life of an audience member.

Multiple Personalities
Contestants during a scene become a particular character when holding a certain prop.

Musical Film Review
Clive reads a movie summary from a guide, a contestant reviews the film which the others perform.

Musical Producers
Two producers discuss a musical on a given topic, which is acted out by the other two.

Narrate (for each other)/Film Noire
Two contestants perform a scene, narrating their thoughts on the other's actions.

News Flash
Two 'hosts' question a field reporter in front of a green screen who must work out where he is.

News Report
A host, expert, reporter and interviewee cover a news report on a children's/biblical story.

Number of words
The four contestants are given a scene, but each can only speak a fixed number of words at a time.

Old Job/New Job (or vice versa)
One (or more) contestants must incorporate aspects of a previous job into their current one.

Opera (Rock Opera)

The contestants perform an opera based on the life of an audience member.

Party Quirks
The party host must guess the strange quirks assigned to each party guest.

Using props (wigs, hats, etc), contestants become panel members discussing a topic with Clive as host.

Party Pieces
Used in radio series for other games (couples, home shopping) catering to specific pairings.

Two or more contestants put their heads through holes cut from a picture and act out a scene.

Press Conference
A contestant must work out their achievement from the questions asked at a press conference they give.

Prison Visitor (Prison Scene, Prison Cell)
The prison visitor has problems of prisoners sung to them, and sings back replies.

Each of two pairs of contestants gets a prop for which the contestants must find uses.

Contestants sing their troubles to a psychiatrist, who sings solutions back.

Questionable Impressions
See "Questions Only", but contestants must maintain a different impression each time they enter.

Questions (Only)
Only questions may be used in a scene. Contestants may swap when one makes a mistake. Sometimes played with hats.

Quick Change
Two contestants act a scene but when a third shouts "Change" they must alter the line they have just said.

Quiz Show
One contestant is the host of a bizarre quiz show, the others are the contestants.

The contestants each sing a verse of a rap song on a given topic.

Remember That Song?
During a scene, characters recall each others' past songs which they must perform.

Remote Control
The contestants are given a show, and must discuss and audience-chosen topic in that show's style.

A reunion is enacted for people of a certain occupation, concluding with a song.

Rock Out
The contestants each sing a verse of an Oz Rock song on a given topic.

Scene to Music
Contestants act out a scene in the mood/style suggested by music which is played in.

Scene to Rap
The contestants perform a scene by rapping.

Scene with a Prop
Contestants are given a prop and must develop a scene using it.

Scene With Audience Member
Contestants perform a scene with an audience member reading lines from a card.

Scenes Cut From A Movie
The contestants invent scenes that never made it into audience-suggested movies.

Scenes from a Hat
Clive pulls audience suggestions for scenes out of a hat, which the contestants step forward and perform.

Given a scene and secret's location, two contestants act the scene during which the secret is revealed.

Sideways Scene
A scene is performed lying down on the stage with the camera shooting from above.

Soap Opera
The contestants perform the start and end scenes of a soap opera set in a location given by the audience.

Song Styles
A contestant is given a topic and a style of song to perform.

Song Titles
The contestants act out a scene speaking only in song titles.
Variation: Contestants swap over (as in Questions Only) if they mess up.

Sound Effects (i)
One contestant acts out a scene whilst another provides the sound effects. Variation: Two contestants act whilst audience members provide the effects.
Sound Effects (ii)
The contestants act out a scene and have to incorporate sound effects which are played in.

Sports Commentators/Sportscasters
Two contestants act out an activity in slow motion, while the other two commentate.

Stand, sit, lie (down)/bend
At all times in a scene, one contestant must be standing, one sitting, one lying down/bending.

One contestant narrates a story with the others acting it out. The audience gives a title and moral.

Strange Bedfellows
Contestants act out a scene, each given a particular character they must perform.

A contestant is given a worldwide problem, and superhero name. He names the others as they join him.

Survival Show
Contestants are appearing in a 'Survivor'-style show, stuck in a strange location.

The audience chooses initial positions of 2 contestants. They start a scene based on those positions, when another contestant shouts "freeze", they swap places and start a new scene from the current positions.

Two contestants host a telethon, the others sing the 'help-a-song' as various celebrities.

That'll Be Charlie Now
One contestant is Charlie, the other 3 discuss his many quirks which he must show when he enters.

Theme(d) Restaurant
Two contestants visit a restaurant with a chosen theme, with the others as waiter and host.

This is the Story of Your Life
The contestants are host, guest and acquaintances on a "This is Your Life" show.

Three-Headed Broadway Star
Given a style and title, three contestants sing a broadway song, alternating words.

Three of A Kind
Similar to Old Job, New Job. Three contestants in a scene must involve an occupation they used to share.

Two Characters
Two contestants act out a given scene as two characters (e.g. Capt. Kirk and Mr Spock).

Video Players
Three contestants act scenes from a chosen movie, another fast forwards, rewinds, etc.

Weird Newscasters/Weird Newsreaders
A news anchor has a co-anchor, sports/finance reporter and weather/traffic reporter with strange quirks.

What Are You Trying To Say?
Two contestants converse, but keep reading insults into everything the other says.

What's In The Bag?
Contestants perform a scene incorporating items they find in audience members' bags.

Whose Line
Two contestants act out a scene, incorporating audience-suggested lines on pieces of paper given to them.

World's Worst
The contestants, on the "World's Worst step", perform examples of the World's Worst of a given topic.

Wrong Theme Tune
Contestants improvise a TV show in the style of another TV show whose theme is played in.

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