Originally Published In The Daily Free Press on 11/2/11
To many our age, Whose Line is It Anyway? comes to mind when one mentions improvisational comedy. Drew Carey and his cast of comedians entered American homes and ushered in a new era of popularity for the genre. While Whose Line hasn’t aired since 2007, many still have fond memories of watching the show and its classic games such as “Scenes From a Hat,” “Party Quirks,” “Let’s Make a Date” and more. Relive those memories this Saturday when two former Whose-Liners, Brad Sherwood and Colin Mochrie, bring their hilarious brand of improvisational comedy to the Wilbur Theater.
Recently, Brad Sherwood answered some questions for Muse Music Editor Lucien Flores. If anything, Sherwood’s answers teach us that e-mail interviews with comedians might not be as predictable as you think.
Lucien Flores: An Evening With Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood has been going on since 2003. Combined with the years of being on Whose Line with Colin, how good is your chemistry?
Brad Sherwood: Our chemistry is like a volatile beaker of toxins that turns into something funny.
LF: What has Colin taught you all of these years and what can you still learn from him?
BS: Colin has taught me that senior citizens can still be hilarious…
LF: I’ve read that Colin Mochrie believed that the musical numbers were his weakest, noting that he felt total fear during the sketch “Hoedown.” Is there any improvisational sketch that unnerves you more than others?
BS: I fear no sketch!
LF: On the other side of things, what are your favorite sketches?
BS: I [like] having a lovely sketch on a cocktail napkin of Colin being eaten by hamsters. That is my favorite.
LF: What draws everybody to Drew Carey? He seems to be a great organizer of improvisational comedy with Whose Line, Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza, Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show and the live episodes of The Drew Carey Show. How does he always manage to get such great improvisational talent together?
BS: Drew has embarrassing blackmail info on all of us. So, we have little choice but to be part of his TV shows and soccer team cheerleading squads…
LF: You’ve hosted games shows such as Dating Game and The Big Moment while being a regular panelist on To Tell The Truth and Hollywood Squares and a guest announcer on The Price Is Right. Former Whose Line cast members Colin Mochrie, Wayne Brady, Drew Carey and Greg Proops have all also hosted game shows. What is it about improvisational comedy that translates over to game show hosting?
BS: Dealing with contestants is an unscripted adventure.
LF: Why isn’t Ryan Stiles hosting anything?
BS: Ryan doesn’t have a suit.
LF: What drew you to improv comedy?
BS: I’m lazy and didn’t want to write a stand-up act.
LF: What do you think of dramatic, non-comedic improv?
BS: Shouldn’t this question be #6?
LF: Who is the funniest person you’ve worked with?
BS: Why are you greedily cramming 3 questions into the guise of question 5? I let it slide when you asked “double questions” for 1, 2, & 4, but I think I really have to put my foot down on this sneaky “triple question” crap…
LF: Sideways Scene is something I’ve never seen on Whose Line. How do you develop new improv sketches to keep the act fresh?
BS: We have a laboratory in Roanoke, Virginia where we field-test all of our games using chimps and foreign exchange students.
LF: What do you think of the integration of television and improv with shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office, Parks and Recreation and others?
BS: I think those shows have created a new genre of script/improv programming. Thanks, Ricky Gervais!
LF: Are you a bigger fan of shows/projects that integrate improvisational comedy?
BS: Again with the hidden-multiple-questions. I thought you had learned your lesson…
LF: What shows/movies do it best?
BS: Shows with me and Colin in them…
LF: You and Colin are coming to the Wilbur Theatre on November 5th. What are your favorite things/places to see when in Boston?
BS: I like to visit the Boston Fire Department t-shirt booth in Faneuil Hall on the weekends.
LF: How do you entertain yourself on the road?
BS: I think of ways to make Colin funnier.
LF: Is it easier to entertain yourself on the road when you’re a comedian and your co-worker is a comedian as well?
BS: I can’t compare the ease with which I entertain myself to the ease that others entertain themselves. I would have to videotape others, while they were entertaining themselves. Then I would have to videotape myself “self-entertaining” in the same way. Then I would have to compare the videotapes and subjectively determine who was accomplishing their task with more ease.
I would also have to determine what the criteria is for establishing the definition for measuring “ease.” Is “ease” determined by fewer calories burned, or least amount of time to achievement of goal? Man, these questions are hard…
LF: How do you prepare before a show?
BS: Red Bull, coffee, toupee glue.
LF: At the 2007 White House Correspondents Dinner, you and Colin Mochrie famously rapped with Karl “MC” Rove. How did you get Karl Rove to agree to it and did you know that Karl Rove, David Gregory and Ken Strickland could dance like that?
BS: I just asked him on the spot and he said “yes.”
LF: Obviously that was a few years ago from today, but how did you prepare?
BS: We don’t prepare.
LF: How does it feel to be behind one of the most fantastically disturbing moments in White House history?
BS: As a liberal, I always enjoy making conservatives look goofy.
LF: How often do you and Karl get together?
BS: I haven’t seen him since Dick Cheney’s last hunting accident.
LF: When asked by The Washington Post about his biggest regret during the Bush administration, MC Rove replied, “I regret accepting that invitation from CNN and going to that stupid dinner and getting turned into MC Rove.” Now, is this just your standard Paul Is Dead charade or when can we expect new material from the dancing resident to the [ex]president?
BS: If I am responsible for just one member of the Bush administration expressing “regret” for something that happened in those “amazing eight years,” I guess I did something with my life.