Whose Line Is It anyway? and the key to improv
I figured I’d start a new post while I’m still hopped up on Mountain Dew and orange whip (or as I like to call it, an Orange Avalanche).
“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” is a show I used to watch a lot in my middle school years. Going back to it on DVD, it holds up splendidly. I daresay it’s at least as funny now as it was back then.
But what makes it funny? To make a long story short, I’d say it was the fact that these guys could pretty much do what they wanted. Allow me to illustrate: When I was in high school, during a session of theater arts workshop (don’t ask), we were told that we would be doing improv that day. Finally, I thought! We can let loose and do the kind of stuff they do on “Whose Line”! Yeah, right. The teacher never let us go for more than a few seconds without stopping us for one reason or another. In short, she never really allowed the jokes to play out or build up to anything. That’s a problem I would encounter more than once in various classes. Whenever a “creative” exercise is assigned, the creative decisions have already been made by the instructor. In other words, there’s little room for real creativity at all. Whether you’re learning piano, studying theater, or taking a writing class, it seems like you jump through an endless series of hoops without ever getting to do what you really wanted to do. This may be one of the reasons that blogging is so popular. This youtube clip illustrates how the guys on Whose Line managed to mine comedy gold out of almost anything:
Over the show’s run, a number of guest stars were featured. Here’s an excerpt from a memorable episode featuring Robin Williams:
Hope you enjoyed!