Continuing to make audiences laugh 20 years later, comedians Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, and Colin Mochrie put their improv skills to the test in Season 15 of Whose Line Is It Anyway? The original ‘90s show, hosted by Drew Carey, found these real-life comics taking audience suggestions and turning them into skits on the spot.
It was unrehearsed and unscripted, which made it all the funnier. The series, rebooted by The CW, follows the same format as the original, in which the three comics and one guest comedian participate in improv games. Host Aisha Tyler awards points to the sketches that work and the ones that don’t, ultimately deciding a winner. So, is Whose Line Is It Anyway? rehearsed, or is the show scripted?
Is Whose Line Is It Anyway rehearsed?
The short answer is, no, the series is not scripted. In a blooper reel that was released, sometimes Whose Line producers would need to intervene on topics that were deemed inappropriate. As a long-time fan, you’d always see the comedians playing with the audience, throwing things at the camera, and basically not abiding by any rules. It was TV comedy gold.
In a 2015 interview with TheCelebrityCafe.com, Colin talked about why the show has had success through the years, telling the outlet, “Part of it is the excitement of improv.”
He continued: “You know with a lot of sitcoms, there’s sort of a rhythm that goes with it. You can sort of see where the joke comes. But with our show you have no idea where it is going to come, because we don’t know what the set up is. We don’t know what the punchline is going to be.”
According to the comedian, each season of the show is shot in two long weekends, which will typically be 30 episodes worth of material. Though producers need to edit down The CW series to fit the 22-minute show format, according to Colin, they don’t edit too much. This keeps the authenticity of the improvisation factor intact.
“We never shoot retakes or anything. So whatever happens, they keep in. They just cut (a) scene out, because it wasn’t as funny as the other ones, but during the actual scenes they don’t edit anything. They pretty much keep everything in,” he said.
According to a Reddit thread, many fans agree that the series is improvised; however, one fan did note that the cast members "know the games beforehand, but only which games, none of the content."
Another fan also commented that some may think the bits are rehearsed because the skits are executed so brilliantly, but explained that the comedians improv numerous games and producers take the "funniest parts of that day and edit it," making it entertaining for viewers.
Aside from the hysterical bits of comedy, it’s also great to watch the actors break and start laughing uncontrollably because of a particularly funny line or skit. These small moments aid in the show’s authenticity, which is why we continue to tune in 20 years later.
Catch new episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.