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On this edition of THE INTERVUE, the bad news is that this interview that we’re about to read is our final interview of the year. Can you believe it? However, I am so glad that we’re about to end the year with a bang.

Today, we have one of the best, improvisational comedians of all time. If you haven’t known him from the British and US versions of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” where have you been? He has honed his comedic talents through Vancouver’s Theater Sports and Toronto’s Second City Theater. For those of us who are near Washington, DC, you get to see his amazing skills up close and live at the Capital One Hall on January 7, 2024 for his new show, “Asking for Trouble” with his costar, Brad Sherwood.

Friends of the Revue, I’m so blessed to have with us – the one, the only Colin Mochrie!

Colin, welcome to THE INTERVUE!

Thank you, thank you. So please be seated.

Well, I am staying seated because I know I am going to be in for a ride. It is exciting that you are coming not only to the DC area, because you have been here numerous times through variations of improv shows. For those who have not seen, “Asking for Trouble, which is coming up on January 7th, tell us what this show is all about.

Yeah, we’d like to say it’s sort of a live version of Whose Line Is It Anyway, but without the dead weight. Speaking of course, Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, they bring us down, we’d left them at home. Every theme is totally improvised. Every scene starts with a suggestion from the audience. We have audience members on stage with us improvising with us. It’s just two hours of goofy, wild fun.

While I’m so glad to hear it. I honestly have been a fan of both versions with the US version and the British version. The show has lasted so many years. In fact, the American version just premiered its 20th season in March of 2023, which is amazing. Well, the original ABC version started airing back in August 1998 – so 25 years. And I wanted to know from your perspective, why do you feel that Whose Line has lasted all of these years and kept coming back from ABC to other networks?

I think there’s a couple of reasons. I think when we first arrived on the scene, there really was nothing like it. Improv was still kind of new people didn’t know what it was, you know, when you’re watching a regular sitcom, there’s almost a mathematical formula to it and you can almost come up with a punch line at the same time the characters on television does. With Whose Line, nobody knows where the jokes start or end. It’s just controlled chaos.

I mean, we had a really good cast. Everyone was a seasoned professional, everyone worked together. Everyone on the show had their own sort of separate fan clubs. So, it was it was just a great combination of the cast. The time that when we showed up, we were gone for a couple of years. And while we were touring, we realize our show, our audiences are getting younger, which doesn’t happen at all to a touring group. We realized it was because kids that weren’t born during the Drew Carey years were catching it on YouTube and on the internet. It was because of that sort of groundswell that it came back on the CW, they started realize the show still has legs. I mean, we’re all very grateful for that show gave us all sort of a career. So, thank you. Thank you, Whose Line!

And both you and Brad Sherwood have toured the North America for two man show since 2002 with “An Evening with Colin & Brad” and then “The Scared Scriptless Tour. What is it about this tour that keep you guys going and touring across the country and meaning not only to fans of the original, Whose Line Is It Anyway, but to meet newer and younger fans, as you mentioned a moment ago?

What keeps us going is that we’ve never are doing the same thing night after night. It’s your last night just to play your greatest hits every night. With us, every show we do a show for that audience only because of all the suggestions we get from them, because whenever we improvise, no one will ever see that particular show again. It keeps it interesting for us. We’re constantly trying to find ways to make ourselves more uncomfortable on stage but we find that’s when we have the most fun. So as long as that keeps happening, we’ll just keep touring.

That’s the most important thing. Now for those who haven’t heard your story, when did you realize that you were blessed with the gift of comedy?

I guess in high school, I was. I was very studious. I was an honors student. My plan was to become a marine biologist. And a friend of mine dared me to go out for the school play, I got it. And when I got my first laugh, that’s when I thought, “oh, no, this is what I want. Forget science, forget logic. I just want this feeling all the time”. I was very fortunate, I think, even when I was quietly not pretty much out there, I was a big fan of comedy. I used to watch a lot of old movies, a lot of comedy shows. I was sort of studying and getting ready for my good moment.

What is it about Brad Sherwood that kept this partnership going after all these years?

He has pictures of me that I do not want to make public. It’s horrible. I mean, we’ve been friends for a long time. We were certainly we would be friends longer than we’d be touring. And it was when we were doing Whose Line that got him thinking, why don’t we try to have a two person show and I thought, “for sure, I like Brad, we worked well together. And it just sort of went from there”. Didn’t think we’d be doing it 22 years later, but we have a lot of fun. We have service sibling relationship where he’s sort of a young emerging brother and I’m the older wiser one.  I think our relationship is very evident on stage that we do enjoy each other and find each other amusing.

Now you incorporate a lot of audience members into any of your shows, is there a particular example of how that can go a little bit sideways somewhere that you never expected but somehow because of your and Brad’s experience that you can just pick it up as it’s nothing?

It I mean it always goes sideways. And that’s the beauty of the show. We find the more people we have onstage, the more it really screws us up because we’re getting them to give us lines to say throughout the scene. And sometimes you go, “wow, that was inappropriate” or “that should not have allowed”. It gives us a chance to figure out “okay, if we have to use this, how do we incorporate it into the scene? So, it still makes sense and so that we can make a scene that is a story unto itself”. So, everything they give us, even when it seems inconsequential becomes a very important part of night.

And I have a feeling it’s gonna be a great night, especially around the Nation’s Capital. What is it about the DMV that kept you coming back here to make us laugh, and to almost split our pants every now and then?

The main reason for me is, they keep asking us, that’s wonderful. We’d go where you want to Washington needs a few laughs but a lot of serious business, in and around there. So anytime you can get a little revenue, I think it helps the nation helps the world. So, I feel we’re doing our bit for world peace.

You have indeed the gift of laughter is always important. What’s the best piece of advice would you give to anyone who would love to venture into improv?

I would just say, do it. There’s so many reasons you can come up with not to do it but don’t listen to yourself. Do it is a great thing to do. Not only, of course, is an entertainment business, but it’s a great life skill to have to be able to think on your feet to be able to walk into situations without any pre-judgment. And to work with people that people think it’s harder than it is in the only reason people think that is because it goes against what we do as human beings, which is accept other people’s ideas, work with them, try to make them look good. That’s really good. And listening, listening is the most important thing. So, I would say do it, you’re probably surprise yourself.

Of all the improv games or setups that you have done over the years. What is your all-time favorite if you have one or a couple?

Games sort of go in and out of favor if you’ve done them too long, or if you’ve had a bad streak of working out. But I would say consistently, The Greatest Hits Game has always been one of my favorite sites. Enjoy it mainly because I sit down which is always good. And then run a nice banter, which is fun. And then we get to watch the amazing musical improv guys like Wayne and Brad and Jeff Davis, do their stuff. I get to be a participant and audience members the same time. So that’s always been my favorite show.

With 2023 ending in the next few days, what are you looking forward to in 2024?

That’s a really good question. What am I getting been planning to pull back a little just because this will shock you, I’m getting old. Just spend a little more time with my wife I found out I still enjoy each other. I have a couple of vacations planned. So, I’m looking forward to that. You know, nothing will ever take me off the stage completely. So, I’m always traveling can get a little tiring but the shows have always been wonderful and always seen. I’m looking forward to getting a balance, a beautiful balance in my life.

See Colin with Brad Sherwood in “Asking for Trouble” at the Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner, VA – Thursday, January 7, 2024 at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $32 and can be purchased HERE.

Thank you all for a great 2023 and we are looking forward to seeing you in 2024!

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