‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’ returns to State: An improv interview with Brad Sherwood
“Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” starring Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, returns at 8 p.m. Nov. 16 to the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton.
In the comedy show, part of their “Scared Scriptless” tour, Mochrie and Sherwood combine audience participation and improvisation.
In a recent interview, Sherwood combines interviewer participation and improvisation.
“We make improv look difficult so that more people don’t try it,” Sherwood quips, adding, “Job security.”
“Whose Line Is It Anyway?,’ adapted from the British television show of the same name, aired 1998 - 2007 on ABC-TV before moving in 2013 to The CW Network.
The Emmy-nominated series, hosted by Drew Carey, featured Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie as regular performers, with a fourth guest panelist.
In 1992, Sherwood became a recurring performer on three seasons of the British “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” before starring on the United States version for seven seasons.
The performers create characters, scenes and songs on the spot. Topics are based on audience suggestions and prompts from the host, who sets up situations in which the performers improvise.
Sherwood and Mochrie have performed together since 1992.
Sherwood initially teamed up with Mochrie to tour the U.S. and Canada for their two-man improv show, “‘An Evening With Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood.”
“We have done our two-man show for 17 years. We have spent almost 28 years together, acting like eight-year-olds,” Sherwood says.
The duo developed “Scared Scriptless” about two years ago.
“Consistently funny and occasionally breathtaking,” raves the Dallas Morning News of their live show.
Sherwood, a Chicago native, moved with his family to New Mexico when he was a child.
“I was raised [in Chicago] and then moved to Santa Fe when I was 10 because I wanted to chase roadrunners and eat green chilies,” he jokes.
Sherwood has performed on Drew Carey’s “Improv-A-Ganza (2011), ABC’s “Trust Us With Your Life” (2012) and the 2013 relaunch of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” which wrapped up its seventh season on The CW and is in its 15th season overall.
Sherwood has hosted VH-1 music television series, including “I Love The 80s,” “100 Greatest Rock Ballads” and “Greatest Game Show Moments.”
He’s been a panelist on TV’s “Hollywood Squares,” “Chelsea Lately,” with Chelsea Handler, and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Sherwood says the format of “Scared Scriptless” is similar to that of “Whose Line is it Anyway?,” “except we don’t have TV cameras, a host or producers telling us to wear ugly shirts.”
When asked if the live show’s content varies from city to city, Sherwood says, “Audiences are like puppies: unpredictable, but trainable with the right snacks.”
Mochrie and Sherwood have been called masters of their craft. “We prefer ‘grand maestros of mind magic,’” Sherwood quips.
What’s the key to keeping their live show’s material up-to-date and witty?
“We always try to keep our material fresh and free of GMOs [Genetically Modified Organisms].
Sherwood adds, “Most of our shows are also gluten-free.”
There’s that combination of interviewer participation and improvisation again.
Tickets: State Theatre Center for the Arts box office, 453 Northampton St., Easton; statetheatre.org; 1-800-999-7828; 610-252-3132