riffing on given themes. And few do improv comedy as well as members of the cast of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the TV show that ran on ABC from 1998 to 2004.
My wife, who is usually way ahead of me in finding good things, discovered WLIIA about ten years ago, but we only recently started watching as a family, when we stumbled on highlights from the show on YouTube. Judging from her reaction—she’s laughing even harder now—the show has aged well. There were almost no topical jokes on WLIIA. Instead, it consisted of virtu-oso versions of stock improv shticks, like “Helping Hands,” the old camp game where one person, with both arms behind the back, delivers a monologue while another, standing behind him, slips his own arms through the first one’s armpits, gesticulating wildly and manipulating objects in response to the monologue. Other skits, like “Hoedown” or “Irish Drinking Songs,” unique to the show, used suggestions from the audience as the basis of lyrics the comics improvised to music.