Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood of Whose Line is it Anyway? bring their hilarious and completely improvised show on the road in the “Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: Scared Scriptless Tour”. Mochrie spoke with Current ahead of his and Sherwood’s Ann Arbor Summer Fest performance on June 24. Mochrie very graciously answered many ridiculous questions.
How does it feel to be performing under the Whose Line title again after being on so many different improv shows?
It has always been the same producers. The cast for the most part has been the same as well as the set-up. It has always been a matter of freedom. [In] the British version of Whose Line, we had absolute freedom to say whatever we want – the American incarnation with Drew, there was a censor during the taping. They would actually stop us in the middle of scenes. It was very hard to find the line. There were some things that we thought would never get on air and it did, and things that we thought were totally innocent, were censored. This incarnation is a little freer, but we still have some limitations. Not that we are trying to make the show filthy, but it is always interesting to find out what people get upset about. It seems to change year to year. It is trying to figure out what you can get away with.
Is that one of the benefits of the touring show?
Yeah, we are our own bosses. We are not trying to make it a swear fest, but the pressure isn’t there.
How would your life change if house flies made the same sounds as hawks and just as loud?
It would help with a warning. House flies tend to sneak up on me. A hawk noise would allow me to gird myself at least.
Why are Canadians so funny?
I think part of it is (that) growing up we had a strong British and American influence. We were exposed to a lot of great comedy; everything from The Andy Griffith Show to Monty Python. We kind of came up with a hybrid of both humors. We are also like America’s little brother so we develop a comedic sensibility to get noticed.
True or false you legitimately thought you were good at dancing in middle school?
True. I always had an exceptional sense of rhythm.
How awesome would it be to really have a sour patch kid?
You wouldn’t worry as much if they fell down. A lot of pressure would be taken off though I don’t know how socially adapt they would be.
Have you ever cried at a parade?
No (laughs). I’m not a parade person. I don’t like large crowds. If I was going to cry, it would be out of fear. I don’t get. I don’t understand crowding with people to watch people walk in a straight line.
Does comedy come from a place of anger?
I think it can be true especially with stand-ups. Their material comes from things that are bothering them. With improvisors not so much: our comedy comes from a place of panic. We don’t have time to be angry.
Would you rather your fart be replaced with a text tone or your text tone be replaced with a fart sound?
This is intriguing. I would like the farts to be exchanged with a text tone. It would at least be a conversation starter.
Do you see yourself being over fireworks, like if you never saw one again, would that be ok?
Yeah it is pretty much the same. About quarter of the way through you go ‘Hey I’ve seen that’. It would be like watching the same re-run of Seinfeld over and over again. You go ‘Wait, I know where all the jokes are’.
What goes in the bowl first milk or cereal?
Cereal. It is easy to over or under estimate your milk quotient.
You have to share a sandwich with the first person that bullied you or the first person that cheated on you?
What if they are the same person? I like to make my life simple by combining as many negative things as I can. I think I would have to go with the bully because maybe they have changed and I’m bigger now so maybe I can overpower them.
How much math do you remember?
Oh you know the basics-addition, subtraction and the other two. I never understood the whole algebra thing. You know, the basics. I’ve survived almost 60 years only knowing that.
Who would win in a fight with a box of animal crackers or teddy grahams?
Animal crackers. They have more variety.
What are the differences between Whose Line and the touring show?
We do some games that will be familiar. We do some that are adapted for two people. And we do some that would never be on Whose Line like the “World’s Most Dangerous Improv Game” where we set up a 100 mouse traps and we are blindfolded and barefoot. It is pretty stupid, but the audiences seem to like it.
Best and worst place to find a clown?
Best would be at a circus. The worst place would be in your recycling bin.
If you could have anyone take you to the airport, who would it be?
My wife who I enjoy and she knows enough not to talk to me in the morning.
Do you have any strange obsessions?
I guess I’m obsessed to find out about things that I can never have the answer to like all the conspiracy theories things like the Kennedy assassination. I wish somebody would come out and say this is what happened. Those are the things that nag at me.
Who are some of your comedic inspirations?
There are so many. As a kid, I used to watch so many movies. I was a big Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton fan, Dick Van Dyke and John Cleese. Anyone who would make me laugh, I would study them and take something from them. I have taken some of the physicality of John Cleese and his use of anger and the absurdity of Monty Python is something I really connected with.
Which character from the office do you identify with the most and it can’t be Jim.
It can’t be Jim?
No, everyone picks Jim.
Pam. I’m definitely a Pam.
She is very sensible.
Yeah. Admittedly with who I hang out with it; it is a pretty low bar.
Anything I didn’t ask you?
(Laughs) I think you probably hit the spectrum of questions that I’ve never been asked before.
“Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: Scared Scriptless Tour”
Saturday, June 24. 8pm. $45.
The Power Center, 121 Fletcher St.
734-647-3327 | Tickets/More Info