IF YOU GO
What: Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood “Scared Scriptless” Tour.
When: 8 p.m. May 4.
Where: Xcite Center at Parx Casino, 2999 Street Road, Bensalem.
Info.: www.parxcasino.com/xcitecenter, (888) LUV-PARX.
Known for their TV roles, especially on “Whose Line is It Anyway?”, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood have been touring with their two-man improv show for 16 years now.
It all began with former “Whose Line is It Anyway?” host Drew Carey’s Super Bowl weekend tradition of putting on an improv stage show at Caesar’s, Las Vegas. However, with 11 people sharing that stage, it made the duo realize they wanted more. “Brad and I are stage hogs,” Mochrie chuckled in a phone interview.
However, an audience paying money for an unrehearsed show that technically doesn’t exist until the audience calls out scene suggestions still grips Mochrie with sheer terror — hence the name of their latest tour, “Scared Scriptless.”
“The reason I think we love doing improv is there’s a masochistic streak in our make-up,” he said.
When asked if there was ever a risk of repetition, because the bursts zaniness have such a short life, Mochrie said in a phone interview that they’re about to do their 18th or 19th performance in Milwaukee. In cases like that, “we always check previous set lists to see what we did.”
It’s why they’re always changing up the improv games. “Most of the work we do is coming up with audience suggestions for things we haven’t done before,” said Mochrie, a Scottish-born Canadian.
“We have a game called ‘Song Cue.’ At any point in the scene, people can go: ‘That sounds like a song ...’,” he said.
The cast of “Whose Line is it Anyway” will probably never satisfy the doubters that refuse to believe they can be that funny spontaneously. “If you see my musical improv, you see how hard it is, Mochrie said. “It’s one of those things you have to do in front of an audience. There’s a lot of failure before you get any kind of success in improv.”
Will you end up on stage May 4 at Parx Casino for the “Scared Scriptless” Philly tour stop? Quite possibly. Mochrie estimated that 80 percent of the show involves audience interaction.
“The audience is almost like the third member of our troupe. We really trust the audience members. We’re not there to make fun of them; they’re there to help us,” he said.
Mochrie, who was a cast member of the 1990s British version of “Whose Line is It Anyway?”, said that the censorship issues the cast ran into making the first season of the show in America for ABC “kind of ruined it. In Britain you could pretty much do anything, and get away with it.”
Even with the occasional bawdy joke that pops out, Mochrie and Sherwood still draw crowds ranging in age from 9-year-old children to grandparents. “It’s a fun, goofy show,” he said.