We never did find out Whose Line Is It Anyway? But the gang's all back together again to perform short-form improv games, only this time they're on a big Vegas resort stage (at the MGM Grand) and it's all for Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza, which debuts tonight at 8 and 11, airing weeknights on GSN, aka the Game Show Network.
Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Colin Mochrie and Kathy Kinney talked up the new series recently, but before we hear their thoughts, let's look at a promotional clip!
So what makes them want to work with Drew Carey again?
Kathy Kinney: "Well, I was just going to say, Drew Carey—we were all there when Drew got addicted to improv. We heard the click and he has created these venues, places for us to just come and do the improv with, and because he’s loyal like a big wet dog, you know, he just always invites us all to come play with him. That’s my story. I’m sticking to it."
Colin Mochrie: "And I have pictures of him dressed as a big wet dog, so he tends to hire me for anything."
Ryan Stiles: "If Drew asks, we do it. We went overseas with him. If Drew asks, you want to do it. you want to please him
Kinney: "It's just about loyalty."
And how exactly will this be different from Whose Line is it Anyway?
Mochrie: "So it, it’s more like a taping of what our Vegas shows were. Where everyone takes time. Everybody has a chance to introduce the scene, set up the characters. So there’s no host that way. Also, unlike Whose Line, Ryan and I would always work together, you know, Brad and Wayne would always do the songs. So it’s really mixed up that way. We got a chance to work with everybody. I got to do a couple of singing games, which I — Whose Line I think was contracted not to have me sing. So, it has many, many differences."
Stiles: "Can I add a couple?"
Stiles: "Also, on Whose Line a lot of the suggestions came down from the producers on cards that Drew read. We still didn’t know what the suggestions were but, because we don’t have that everything comes from the audience and we—I think we use the audience more in this show too, and we can take our time with scenes. In Whose Line we—we just needed to boom, boom, boom, everything just kind of goes, but we can kind of work through scenes here. It’s a little more fun that way so we can explore characters and stuff. I’m making it sound like theatre, it’s not. It’s still funny but we just have more time in this show. We have a big stage. We’re not confined to a little eight-by-twelve foot stage where we have to stand in a line and speak. We can actually move so it’s—it’s just more fun for us to do."
Kinney: "I just want to add one, too. I know you only asked Colin but because it’s improv and we rely on the audience having this unbelievable energized audience in this Las Vegas casino and these are people from all over the world, the heartland, Europe and everywhere, and we’re feeding on them and they’re feeding on us and so there’s this sense of almost—it’s almost like a Cirque du Soleil show, you just jump and you fly."
Years later, old episodes of Whose Line are still on the air. Why do the shows hold up on repeat viewing?
Ryan Stiles: "I think people just see us enjoy — we enjoy it when we do it and I think people pick up on that and I think it’s kind of nice to watch a show that’s not a bunch of people arguing with each other. It’s just a feel-good show. You watch it and you just you feel good watching it, so I don’t know what else to say about it. It’s kind of a happy show."
Mochrie: "I think you sorta hit the nail on the head when you say everyone can see how much fun we’re having. It’s just—it makes it timeless. It’s like watching the old Carol Burnett show and seeing Tim Conway and Harvey Korman break up and no matter how often you see the scene you still laugh when you see it because you realize that they had so much fun performing it and it just becomes contagious."
Kinney: "Yeah. That’s true isn’t it? Even after all these years we’re just — we’re really making each other laugh and we’re the biggest critics because we’ve been there all along so, you know, it’s just fun isn’t it?"
Proops: "I don’t think people realize like when we show up in Vegas we haven’t seen each other for a while. It’s just nice seeing people for that first time and going out for dinner with them and doing shows."
And this is just a great quote that sums it up from Colin Mochrie:
Improv is—you go against everything you do in real life. You have to listen to people. You have to accept their ideas and build on it, so that really is the most difficult thing. It sounds simple to just listen on stage but really that is the beginning of good improv. All you really have are the people you’re working with and you know they can say something as a throwaway line, but it could all of a sudden take the scene in a whole new direction and make it comedy gold. So it’s just getting to -- that place where you’re really comfortable on stage and you trust the people that you’re with. That’s all it is, making sure you have a group of people you trust.
Here's another clip that actually shows scenes from the show:
Related reading: Ryan Stiles and Drew Carey also weighed in on Charlie Sheen's unexpected performance with the group, which airs tomorrow night.