AOH :: WLIIA.TXT|
Who's Line Is It Anyways? British comedy show FAQ file #1 ~OUploaded by: ~POdie
ABOUT WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?
Whose Line is it Anyway? is television's first improvisational game
show. Four stand-up comedians (mostly from London's Comedy Store
Players, with a few from the USA) participate in games monitored by
host Clive Anderson. During many of the games, Clive calls upon the
audience to shout out suggestions for the game to keep the game
Whose Line? has been in production in England since 1988. The show
airs weekly on England's Channel Four. The show was exported to the US
via HBO's "The Comedy Channel", which later merged with MTV's "Ha!" to
become Comedy Central. Currently, WLiiA? airs daily on Comedy Central,
showing episodes from 1988 to the present. Most viewers agree that the
early episodes are inferior in quality to the newer shows, probably
due to the fact that in the early episodes, the WLiiA? players were
just getting their bearings.
WLiiA? is taped in May for the following season. If you're in London
at the time, you can visit the WLiiA studios and possibly participate
in the show.
WLiiA is produced by Hat Trick Productions and Channel Four.
These are brief explanations of the games played on "Whose Line?". If
I've missed any, please let me know by eMailing me at
Film/Theater Styles: Before the game starts, Clive selects two
contestants to play. He then calls upon the audience to give him film
and theater styles that their scene can be enacted in (example:
Western, Sci-fi, melodramatically). He then gives the contestants a
scene to act in (such as two old friends meeting at a supermarket.)
During the course of the scene, Clive cuts in with his buzzer and
instructs the actors to continue acting the scene but in the different
styles suggested by the audience.
Questions Only: Two contestants enact a scene given by Clive, but
can only use questions in their dialogue. In 1994, the game format
changed. Two contestants enact the scene in only questions, but if one
slips up and puts in a statement, they are replaced with another
Sitting, Standing, Bending. Clive picks three players to play in
this game. On the stage is a chair, and nothing else. Clive gives the
three players a scene to act in, and at all times during the scene,
one player must be sitting down somewhere, one player must be standing
up, and one player must be bending over somehow. If one player stands
up, one of the others must assume the position the other had. In the
1994 season, this game was changed to Sitting, Standing, Lying Down,
although the former name sounds better.
Alphabet: Clive gives two players a scene, and they must act it out
using sentences with succesive letters of the alphabet. (Example:
Player 1: Are you going to the gym? Player 2: By george, yes! Player
Scenes from a hat: All four players assume positions on the sides of
the stage. Clive draws scenes from a hat which were suggested by the
audience prior to the show. The players must act out the scenes
suggested by the audience.
Props: The players divide into two teams of two each. Clive gives
each pair a prop and they have to construct scenes around it. Clive
uses his buzzer to switch between pairings.
March/Rap/Gospel/Hoedown: All four contestants step forward on the
stage and make up a song about a topic suggested by the audience in
one of four styles: either a March, a Rap, a Gospel, or a Hoedown.
Richard Vranch provides the musical accompaniment, except for "Rap",
which is a rap beat on tape.
Emotion Option: Similar to Film/Theater Styles, but instead of using
film and theater styles, the players enact different emotions
(example: euphoric, estatic, erotic).
That'll Be Charlie Now: Three players act out a scene onstage while
the fourth sits on the side of the stage. The players on stage act out
a scene involving fictional Charlie, giving him habits during their
dialogue (example: "Have you ever noticed how Charlie barks like a dog
when he hears the word 'cheese'"?). Clive rings a doorbell and
"Charlie" comes in, enacting all the characteristics that the players
Party Quirks: Before the show, the audience suggests three different
quirks for the players of this game to have (examples: He thinks he's
a robot, She can't stop humming). When this game is played, the fourth
player is acting as host of a party and the other three players are
guests enacting the quirks assigned by the audience. The "host" must
guess what quirks the other players have.
Remote Control: Host Clive plays a TV viewer switching between
channels. He assigns players a different TV show to act in (example:
Star Trek, game show). He assigns the players a topic that the shows
are about (example: baldness) and each player must act out the topic
in his assigned "show."
Every Other Line: One player is given a script to a play. Clive
assigns both players a scene to do (whether it as anything to do with
the play or not). The second player says a line and the other player
responds with a line from the play. The second player has to react to
that, and the game continues. Occasionally, Clive would also ask the
audience to provide the player without a script an "end line" to shoot
Expert translation: Two players stand on stage. One player is
assigned a nationality (suggested by the audience). The other must
translate what he/she is saying into English. The "ethnic" player
doesn't have to be a native or be able to speak the language; they can
improvise as best they can. The translating player must work some
topic into their translation (example: driving, washing the dog).
News report: The players pair off in this game. Clive assigns the
players a fairy tale to do a news report on. Two players act as if
they are in a newsroom doing a special report about the fairy tale,
while the other two players enact a field reporter and any witness
Super-Heroes: One player starts out as a superhero, chosen by the
audience (examples: Undercover Elephant Man, Ballet Boy). Clive then
gives him a crisis situation, and one by one, the other players come
in as superheroes (each one assigned by the previous hero). Somehow,
they have to solve the crisis and leave in reverse order.
Helping Hands: Two players enact a scene using props. However, a
third player assumes a position behind one of the other players and
sticks his hands around the first player (therefore, the third player
becomes the "hands" for the other player). The players have to act out
a situation, with the third player providing the hands for the other
(using props on a table). The situation can get messy at times.
Tag: Two players assume positions on stage based on audience
suggestions (example: on all fours, standing on one foot). The players
begin a scene based on those positions. The other two players yell
"freeze" and tag one of the onstage players out and assume their
position. Play continues.
World's Worst: The four players stand on "the world's worst step"
and have to come up with examples of the worst things (example: the
world's worst doctor, the world's worst TV program). One by one, the
players step forward with examples, as Clive buzzes between
Scene to music: Two players enact a scene onstage and have to react
to music played in midway through.
Authors: Each player steps forward with an author in mind. Clive
gives the players a story to do, and one by one, the players tell bits
of the story in their author's style. Clive uses to his buzzer to
switch between players.
Panel discussion: This game had all four contestants wearing funny
costumes and being a panel, with Clive as host, talking about a
certain topic. This game was played once in the 1988 season and was
never seen again, probably because nobody actually "got it".
Film Dubbing: Two players (or sometimes three or all four) are given
a clip of a film from which the sound has been removed. Players must
provide a new soundtrack based on what they see and a suggestion by
Clive. Generally, it's totally unrelated to the actual film clip.
Song styles: A player is asked to sing a song with Richard Vranch's
assistance based on a subject and song style suggested by the
Sound fX : One player mimes a scene suggested by Clive with sound
effects provided by another player.
Scene with a Prop: Two players are given a prop and must construct a
scene around it. This game was only played once, and was only shown in
a compliation edition of the show.
Couples: : Two players act out a scene, and as Clive buzzes, they
switch into doing it in the styles of various couples. This game was
played in the first season then resurrected in a different format a
few years later: one couple is suggested at the onset and the players
keep that style througout the game.
American Musical/Opera: All four players must improvise a musical or
opera (with help from Richard Vranch) based on various facts about an
audience member's life.
Bartender/Psychiatrist/Prison Visitor: In each of these three games,
one player poses as their appropriate character, while the other
three, in turn, come to him or her and sing their problems to them.
The Bartender/Psychiatrist/Prison Visitor must sing back a reply.
Whose Line?: Before the show, members of the audience write random
lines of dialogue on four pieces of paper. When this game starts,
Clive gives two contestants two slips each and they put them in their
pockets. Clive then gives them a scene, and and during the scene, each
player must pull out a slip of paper and use that line of dialogue
(most of the time, totally unrelated to the scene or anything else,
for that matter) in the scene.
Expert: One player is an interviewer, and another is an expert on a
subject suggested by the audience. The two must enact a "news program"
about that person's field of expertise.
Letter Changes: Two players are given a scene, however, they cannot
say certain letters of the alphabet and replace them with others (for
example, a player may be told he can't say the letter P and must
replace it with T. If he wanted to say Period, he'd have to say
"Teriod"). This game was also played only once.
Foreign Film: Two players are asked to enact a scene from a movie in
a foreign language suggested by the studio audience. The other two
players provide translation. Similar to "Expert Translation." This
game was only played once.
Video Player: First, Clive flips through a film guide to select a
real movie. Next, one player acts as they're a viewer at home watching
that movie. The other three players act out scenes in the movie. When
the "viewer" wants to fast-forward, rewind, or pause, the other
players must act as if they're being fast-forwarded, rewound, or
Story Tellers: : Clive asks someone in the audience to give him a
title for a ficitional story. One player improvises the telling of the
story, while the others act it out. Played primarily in the 1988
Old Job, New Job: : Three contestants play in this game. One of the
two players is given a job to have now, and a job he used to have (for
example: he was a baseball player, but now he's a teacher). He must
incorporate characteristics of his old job in his new job, while the
other two players react.
Song Titles: : In this game, three contestants act out a scene, with
one restriction: they can only speak in titles of well-known songs.
Moving People: : Two contestants play this game with the aid of two
audience members. The contestants act out a scene, but cannot move.
Instead, the audience members move their arms, legs, head, etc. for
them. This game was played once in 1994.
Funeral Narration: All four players play as relatives and/or friends
of a person who has recently died. They, in turn, deliver "eulogies"
about this person. Played starting in 1994.
The Changing Room: Three contestants play people in a locker room.
Each one has a certain item (like a gym bag, a towel, etc.) and each
one carries a certain personality with it (ex: the gym bag may cause
somebody to become angry). The players act out a scene, and whenever
they switch props, the personalities switch with them. Played
beginning in 1994.
Fixed Expressions: All fours act out a scene, but keep a fixed
expression (ex: happy, nervous) throughout the entire scene. Played
beginning in 1994.
Film Noir/Narrating for Each Other: Two players enact a scene
(sometimes to music) and describe what the other player is doing to
The final game: Once all the games are finished, Clive totals up the
points awarded to each contestant (not really... the point system is
completely arbitrary), and declares one contestant the winner. He or
she has to stand in front of a TV monitor and read off the closing
credits in the style of Clive's choosing (examples: a taxi driver, a
The entire AOH site is optimized to look best in Firefox® 3 on a widescreen monitor (1440x900 or better).
Site design & layout copyright © 1986- AOH
We do not send spam. If you have received spam bearing an artofhacking.com email address, please forward it with full headers to email@example.com.