Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Popular 1990s improvisational comedy show presented by Clive Anderson

AKA:
Whose Line; WLiiA
Genre:
Improvisation
Broadcast:
1988 - 1998  (Channel 4)
Episodes:
136 (pilot + 10 series)
Starring:
Clive Anderson, Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Tony Slattery, Greg Proops, Mike McShane, Josie Lawrence, Stephen Frost, Paul Merton, Jim Sweeney, Steve Steen
Writers:
Dan Patterson, Mark Leveson
Production:
Hat Trick Productions

Whose Line Is It Anyway is an improvisational comedy show presented by Clive Anderson. Each week, four guest performers from Britain and America work their way through a series of short-form, improv games. Points are scored at the end of each round, although like many panel shows they have little significance.

Popular WLIIA games include Party Quirks, Film and Theatre Styles, Hoedown, Superheroes, Props and World's Worst. The winner of the show gets the reward of reading the credits in a style of Clive Anderson's choosing.

Our Review: Thanks to digital repeats, Whose Line is enjoying something of a revival at the moment. Much deserved it is too - it was consistently one of the funniest and most popular comedy shows in the 1990s.

Most fans feel that the show was at its best from Series 2-6, with Series 1 being too smart and low-budget, whilst Series 7-10 stretched the format too far.

Former barrister Clive Anderson does a good job of keeping the show moving, although it should be noted that a fairly large section of the viewers found him annoying - too often hesitating during his un-scripted introductions and over-using the buzzer (bringing rounds to an end just as they were getting funny).

Although this is a British comedy, we begrudgingly admit it was often performers from the other side of the Atlantic who impressed the most. Many consider Greg Proops, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie to have been the best regular contributors. The show is recognised for giving many British performers their TV breakthrough though - most notably Paul Merton.

There's nothing stopping Whose Line from one day returning for a new series; with repeats on the digital channel Dave proving popular, we keep our fingers crossed!