40. Whose Line is it Anyway?: Season 5 (2002 – 2003)

It’s Got: Richard Simmons, Colin breakdancing, Florence Henderson’s leaf trap, “Meow.”

Who in God’s name is qualified to tell you which Whose Line season is better than

ME. THIS GUY, RIGHT HERE.

One time, I was running out the clock on what had become a really horrible job. Luckily it was a job where I had internet access and some ear buds, enabling me to watch every single episode of the Drew Carey era Whose Line in a tiiiiny browser window undetectable from my boss’s office. You might expect all the seasons to run together. It’s always the same guys on the same set in the same bad clothes (except Greg Proops, my GOD that man wears a suit). But as it turned out, Season 5 was the standout from among the eight (pre CW revival) years. I can think of a few reasons for that.

Most of these episodes were compiled from the best material from the last tapings the guys did before the show shut down. By now, the comfort level between all the regulars was at an all time high. There was a looseness to the games, which made for better comedy. Earlier episodes had been faster paced and more tightly structured, episodes this season left in more mistakes and banter. Whoever was in charge of writing the quirks in the character games was becoming steadily more unhinged in their efforts to challenge the players (“Psychopathic Male Flight Attendant Whose Anger Management Thong Tightens When He Gets Mad”). There was a great deal of Greg Proops and Brad Sherwood. And as much as I think Aisha Tyler is a funnier host, the chemistry between Drew Carey and the gang isn’t possible to replicate.

But mostly, an awful lot of funny games and classic moments from this season. When it comes to Whose Line is it Anyway, what else matters?

If I Had to Nitpick…: “Let’s bring out our special guest…” Actually, this was about 50-50. Sometimes you got a Richard Simmons or a Florence Henderson who actively added to the quality of the episode. And sometimes, you just wanted to see the guys play off each other. Not nearly as bad as the CW era though.

#41 | THE LIST | #39

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