Whose Line is it Anyway?, on Channel 4 (UK)
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A British improv comedy show, which used a lot of ridiculous props, and ran from 1988 to 1998. It was a kind of mock game show, where four comics would take suggestions from the studio audience for scenes to act out. It was hosted by Clive Anderson, and the contestants would change from episode to episode, but the ones I saw most commonly included Ryan Stiles (of The Drew Carey Show), Colin Mochrie (whom I'd later see a bit of on This Hour Has 22 Minutes), Greg Proops, and Tony Slattery. The show aired on Comedy Central, in the U.S., and while I never watched much of it, I do recall occasionally watching a bit of it while I was in college (and probably to some extent after). Though I mainly think of it as something of which my friend Jerry was a fan. The comics would compete for points, which would be assigned by Anderson pretty much randomly, regardless of their actual performances. In fact, while he'd choose sketch ideas ostensibly from what the audience members shouted, I'm not at all sure the ideas he selected were necessarily anything that was actually said. And... I guess the sketches were one game on the show, using props was another game, and there were any number of other things I don't really remember. The points assigned by Anderson were meaningless, and wouldn't have anything to do with who won at the end of each episode, and the prize they won was just... well, it wasn't a prize, just a chance to do some more ridiculous comedy. I did enjoy the chaos of it all, but mainly in theory. I'm not sure I ever found the show all that entertaining, but I definitely like the concept.

From 1998 to 2004, an American version aired on ABC, hosted by Drew Carey, with a lot of the same performers who had been in the British show. I never really watched much of that at all. But I feel like I must have seen Carey host some episodes on Comedy Central... like, of the original British show. I'm probably wrong about that, because my memory sucks and my understanding of what I'm watching while I'm watching it isn't always reliable, either.

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