Dating game improvisation
The show's 'short-form' approach to improv received criticism from some improv actors. Another performer who made frequent, recurring appearances was Wayne Brady, who appeared in the majority of episodes of the original format.However, performer Colin Mochrie has stated the show was never intended to be the "be-all and end-all" of improv, but that it was meant to introduce improv to the masses. During his tenure as host, Drew Carey also took part, though only in one game, after one of the performers was declared the "winner" and allowed to take his place at his desk in the studio; host Aisha Tyler did not take part in games when the show was revived.
Additionally, the show was marked by humorous banter among the performers and host.The British television version lasted for a total of 10 seasons, with 136 episodes, all of which were hosted by Clive Anderson.Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles, who would later star in the U. version, became regular cast members in the seventh and eighth seasons.Others were new and unquely created for both the U. In addition, the host would control a buzzer which would signify the end of most games, or the end of individual sections of rapid-fire games such as "Scenes from a Hat".In addition to being tested on their comedy skills in improv games, the performers are also tested on other skills, such as singing, dancing, or impressions, as Whose Line features a number of musical games, with one or more of the show's resident musicians playing live backing music for them, except on a few occasions when pre-recorded music was also used.Some featured all four performers, while others featured fewer.
Between games, the performers sat in four chairs facing the audience.
The original host Drew Carey awarded arbitrary point values after each game, often citing a humorous reason for his decision.
The points were purely decorative and served no practical purpose.
Improvisational musician Laura Hall, who appeared in the final season of the UK original, joined the original U. format for its entire run and performed piano and keyboards in games featuring improvisational singing by the cast members.
From the second season onward, other musicians joined Hall – Linda Taylor made frequent appearances playing guitar and occasionally keyboards, while Cece Worrall-Rubin, Anne King, Candy Girard, and Anna Wanselius appeared alongside Hall (and sometimes also Taylor) on occasion.
Alongside Mochrie and Stiles, other veterans of the UK series appeared on the U. version included Greg Proops, Brad Sherwood, and Chip Esten, with the show introducing several newcomers that took part, including Denny Siegel, Kathy Greenwood, Jeff Davis, Patrick Bristow, Stephen Colbert, Kathy Kinney, and Ian Gomez, though mainly in the early seasons of the show.