New ‘Whose Line?’ hits its stride

By Joshua Alfrey

The latest episodes of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” embellish the hidden gem of improv comedy.

“Whose Line is it Anyway?” has no script and little preparation. The show’s host presents a game to the comedians and leaves them to their devices to entertain the audience.

There’s no need to hold your breath: The majority of the original cast from the U.S. edition returned. Veteran comedians Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles have not missed a beat since the show’s hiatus started in 2007. The only change you’ll see from them is a few more gray hairs and a couple wrinkles.

The core three fit into their roles like an old sweater saved for holiday parties. Brady continues to shine in his musical improvisation pieces and brings an incredible amount of energy throughout his scenes. Stiles and Mochrie return as the hilarious dynamic duo who have been working together for more than 20 years.

“When you have Ryan, Colin and Wayne on one show together you really can’t go wrong,” said senior communications major David Reczynski.

The producers did a phenomenal job selecting guest performers so far this season. Gary Anthony Williams and Heather Anne Campbell were hilarious and certainly held their own. My favorite has been Keegan-Michael Key. The star best known from the series “Key & Peele” brought his own flavor of comedy to the show and mixed well with the cast.

I can certainly agree with Kate Humphrey from when she wrote, “…Keegan is always spot-on with his physical comedy and his funny sounds.”

Though the show is still very funny, it’s far from perfect. A lot of aspects feel uneasy like celebrity guests, lack of audience participation and new host Aisha Tyler.

The show has begun using a celebrity guests for a couple of games each episode. Bringing on guests Lauren Cohan from “The Walking Dead” and Kevin McHale from “Glee” disrupts the show’s comedic flow. Watching these actors struggle or be used as props gives the audience a better idea of how hard good improve is, but it takes away from the show.

Using celebrity guests has moved the show away from audience participation. Some of the funniest moments in the original episodes came when random audience members joined the show. Hopefully, the show gains enough viewers to turn away from the promotional pandering of guest stars.

Tyler has had an awkward start to the show with a lot of her jokes falling flat. She does seem to improve a little more each episode. Fans can only hope she will fill that hole the original host Drew Carey left in their hearts.

“Aisha Tyler as a host is no Drew Carey, but I think she can improve in time,” Reczynski said. “She just needs to get comfortable with the other members.”

The revitalization of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” hasn’t come without its faults, but I’m glad to see great improv back on TV.