Skip to content


I guess I just like liking things

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Whose Line is coming back to TV this summer, with Ryan, Colin, and Wayne returning. Drew won’t be, but we get Aisha Tyler instead, and by the look of her in this clip, I think we’ll be fine:

That wasn’t a comment about Aisha being prettier than Drew, by the way.  I mean, not initially. I guess now it is?  Good gravy, I’ve messed everything up forever.

What I mean to say is that it’s good to see the gang back together.  And what I mean by that is that I don’t understand why this show ever left the air.  Anybody who has ever watched it likes it, and many love it.  Maybe it was a planned “absence makes the heart grow fonder” move that will now pay off in spades.

Let me make this perfectly clear, Internet: this move will pay off, or there is going to be some trouble.  Okay?  I don’t want people to be all “meh” and then the show goes away again after two episodes. I want this show to go on long enough that eventually they will let me fill that fourth spot on the show just once. I have dreams, people.

I saw my first improv show in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1988. Someone was trying to explain it to me beforehand, but I didn’t really understand until I saw the show.  I was young enough and far away enough that I couldn’t go back to the show as often as I wanted, but I went as often as I could, which ended up being enough to annoy one of the performers, but that was my own stupid teenager fault and if I could see the guy now I’d apologize.

Over the next several years I got involved as much as I could in improv – attending shows, taking workshops, teaching workshops, organizing fundraising improv shows, and whatever else I could manage. Nine years ago I joined a local improv troupe and performed as much as possible with them. I took a break for a couple of years and have been back with them now for a few months. Honestly, if I could find some way to make a living off doing improv, I would do it: I love it.

I’ve come to understand that improv comedy occupies a strange place on the comedy scale: man, many, many comedic performers got their start in some sort of improv, yet when they’re given the chance, they make fun of improv. I’ve seen improv mocked on 30 Rock, Mad TV, and SNL, and those last two are treading on some thin ice there, I feel. Most jabs are at the “wackiness” inherent in the genre, and it’s a jab that hits home because I’ve seen it plenty of times (and have probably participated more than I intended to!). What they don’t generally  seem to attack are the people get really into improv, like the theory and long form and yeesh.  No thank you. I can respect it, but I don’t enjoy it.  (Well, I mean, some theory, sure, but pick comedy apart too much and you’re left with… I don’t know, bones or something.)

All this to say I’m happy to see Whose Line coming back. A national audience for improv is a good thing for local troupes, and even though I know they get multiple takes and have the advantage of editing, it’s still great to see performers who know what they’re doing.  I can’t wait to see what they have in store, and I hope that this will somehow lead to the release of all the previous seasons on DVD.


Written by: