Fans of the Emmy-nominated "Whose Line is it Anyway?" will be quick to recognize comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood. (Mochrie is the bald one and, less obviously, Canadian, and Sherwood often sang improvised lyrics alongside Wayne Brady on the American version of the television show.)
The comedians have teamed up for a "Whose Line"-inspired show of improvisational comedy that will stop at William-sport's Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., on April 6.
Despite the obvious connections to "Whose Line is it Anyway?" like audience interaction or scenarios involving the blindfolded-and-barefoot comedians navigating a mousetrap-laden stage, "The Colin and Brad Show" is its own unique entity.
“An Evening with Colin and Brad” will feature two comedians known from the popular television show “Whose Line is it Anyway?,” Colin Mochrie, left, and Brad Sherwood.
"A lot of the games will be familiar to fans of 'Whose Line is it Anyway?' but unlike the show, we don't have time constraints and can explore the scene more fully, or as we like to put it: 'milk the comedy cow till it's dry,' " Mochrie said, adding "our show is even more interactive than 'Whose Line'. Every scene starts with a suggestion from the audience and we have audience members onstage with us for about 80 percent of the games. Also there's 70 percent less bald jokes."
Mochrie and Sherwood met when Sherwood was hired to work on a TV show called "My Talk Show" with Mochrie's wife, and fellow comedian and performer, Debra McGrath. The two began doing improv comedy shortly after with other former members of "The Second City" comedy troupe, home of another future "Whose Line is it Anyway?" star, Ryan Stiles.
It quickly becomes apparent in watching "Whose Line is it Anyway?" that Mochrie and Sherwood have a great chemistry, and aren't afraid to rib each other. "Brad approached me to do a two-man tour during the last few seasons of the show. I figured why not. He was one of the least funny ones so I could really shine," Mochrie quipped.
The comedians are no strangers to the risks of improvising in front of an audience of laugh-hungry ticket-holders, but they don't just rely on "sure hits" to get a reaction. "Over the 10 years that we have been touring, we go through little 'Eureka phases' where we come up with new games. Those are the ones we look forward to because it truly is going out there without a net and not having the comfort zone we have with proven favorites," Mochrie said. Some bits however, can't be avoided - no matter how hard the comedians try: "Yes, we dread Mousetraps. We have tried to phase it out, but the audience keeps asking for it," Mochrie admitted.
Because the two comedians have worked together for such a considerable amount of time, they are able to take comedic risks, test new ideas, trusting the other's abilities to both deliver a punchline, and take a punch.
Even when the comedic scenarios are the same, the results are always different. "The beauty of our show is we can get the funniest and the worst on the same night, no matter where we are," Mochrie said, adding "both Brad and I enjoy this facet of our careers the most. We plan to continue till my hips give."
Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood and their aptly named "An Evening with Colin and Brad" will be at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., at 7:30 p.m. April 6.
On the show's website, www.colinandbradshow.com, the duo stresses that the show is completely improvised, every time. They add that the show is driven by audience participation and that throughout the show, audience members are brought up on stage to add an extra element of the unexpected. Regarding whether or not the show would be appropriate for children, they say that many people have brought their 8 to 10 year old children to the show with no complaints.
Although they do attempt to keep the show family friendly, Colin and Brad can't be responsible for audience suggestions. Therefore, they recommend comedy fans make their own judgment call based on their own "child's sensitivities to bald men."
For tickets and-or more information about the show, visit the Community Arts Center online at www.caclive.com or call 326-2424.