Clive Anderson on Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Clive Anderson (born December 10, 1952) is a British former barrister,  known for being a comedy writer as well as a radio and television presenter in Britain. Winner of a British Comedy Award in 1991, Anderson began his success during his 15-year law career with stand-up comedy and comedic script writing, before hosting Whose Line Is It Anyway? on BBC Radio 4, then later, Channel 4 – the role which made him a household name….. well at least in my house.

I have been giving you examples of games from the show, but I feel all of them are incomplete without Clive’s own quotes, who deftly managed the show…. often engaging in run-ins with the performers but all in good humour.

Here is Clive introducing the show.
“Welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?….”

…or if you’ve been watching repeats, a brand-old edition of Whose Line.

…If you haven’t seen the show, this is the greatest show on TV. If you have seen this show, you’ll know I always start the show with a very big lie.

…the show which has been compared to Titanic. No, I’m not talking about the movie, the sinking ship

…another amazing, funny, brilliant… no wait, it’s Whose Line is it Anyway?

…we are going to show you the pilot episode. Most of the elements present in the final show are present in this experimental version; though you will notice, I hope, that I’m not introducing it at all; it’s introduced by my identical twin brother who’s looking very, very, uncomfortable

…where everything is made up as we go along, whether they make sense or badger.

…the show where “rehearsed” is a dirty word, and dirty words are over-rehearsed.

…the show which does for comedy…

…the show which makes Neighbours look over-rehearsed

…the show that’s funnier than a speech by John Major. Or, if you are in America, a speech by that chap who took over from Margaret Thatcher.

…the improvisation show that makes Reservoir Dogs look like 101 Dalmations and Silence of the Lamb look like an advert for pure virgin wool

…the improvisation show that keeps the performers on their toes, the audience at the edge of their seats and me at the end of my tether.

…the improvisation show that makes comedy out of nothing. Or is it nothing out of comedy?

…if you haven’t seen this show before, then this is the first time you’ve seen it.

…the programme which puts the performers on the spot, puts the audience in command and keeps me in a job. Well, just about

…the show which makes Melrose Place look over-rehearsed

…the improvisation program which offers more excitement than a rainy day at the test match, or a whole series of games of baseball.

…in Hollywood, yes, we’ve come to the town of megabucks and megabudgets to do our usual economy priced programme

…tonight, we’ve got the A-team, the best we can put together. No, wait, I read that wrong. We’ve got a team, the best we can put together

And after some games, announcing the scores.

(after a rude game) I have to give the most amount of points to that game. 69.

(after Stand, Sit, Lie) That’s always my favourite game, although, it’s not much fun on your own.

The scores are level. All different scores, but all levelly written out on the score sheet.

(after the Sex Hoedown) If we are still on the air, I think it’s time to stop…

You gained 2 points out of 3 for that, Greg: two gained and three deducted.

That’s the best game we’ve ever played this week, shame it isn’t a scoring round.

It’s always good to end a game on a laugh, but you can’t always get what you want.

The scores are so exciting, I can just be bothered telling you what they are.

The scores are very exciting, but then, I have no life.

The scores are really hotting up, if only in my armpits.

What’s the score for that round? Who cares.

I found scoring that round confusing, so I split it into four columns, hoping it will help.

(in 1995) I’m a bit behind on my scoring, as I have just scored series 1.

10 points to Colin and a contract to the Royal Shakespere Theatre to Ryan (Ryan: The sky is blue…)

The scores are neck and neck, which rules me out.

169 points. I have never scores in that number, but there it is.

The scoring is very interesting. In fact, I think I’ll stop and look at them, they are so interesting

The scores are very exciting, of course, I’m lying.

The scores are even Steven. No, even Stephen is winning.

The scores are dead level, apart from the one that’s just gone into the lead.

Ryan and Greg has went into a shock, third place.

I have just given alot of points in that round, but to who? Who knows?

Ryan has went into a one point lead. I don’t think the other’s are going to catch him.

Well, that’s changed the scores. Oh, wait, I’ve got the score sheet upside down.

(introducing Scenes from a Hat) Lots, of points in this round. Remember, the more we get through, the more we will have done.

There are lots of points in this round, as if you cared.

Lots of points… um… over there.

Quite alot of points in this round, so… so there.

…and they said that game wouldn’t work. And it didn’t.

I don’t know how to score that game. Mostly because I was asleep.

To be continued…..


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