In the clips I saw of the Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood show, the two have scrubbed up nicely — tuxedoes replacing the usual schlumpy Whose Line couture. But that doesn't stop them from going all out, slithering about on the floor in the "Sideways Scene" — played lying down, with a camera filming from above. And the formality adds a certain something as they trip and stumble through the audience, taking written suggestions on note cards and declaiming in passionate Shakespearean language.
Mochrie and Sherwood make it look easy, but let me tell you, improv is hard. I took a workshop in it once and lasted about an hour and a half before shrinking home to put on my bathrobe. But I remember this: the key to success is elegantly simple. You listen closely and use what you're given. How cool is it that such a basic tenet can result in a scene in which, say, a rabid antelope goes to a cocktail party with a depressed superhero — and makes thousands of intelligent adults laugh till they cry. Mochrie and Sherwood are masters at this.
[Review published July 2006]