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“Whose Line” returns with big laughs and fresh ideas

“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” is back from a six-year hiatus, and these comedians definitely returned with a bang.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? has returned after almost six years off the air.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? has returned after almost six years off the air.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? has returned after almost six years off the air.

America’s favorite improv comedians are back in business and just as witty as ever. “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” returned to cable television Tuesday night after almost six years off the air.

The new season started out with a comfortable mix of old and new. Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie and Wayne Brady, the viewers’ three favorite faces, brought back their usual hilarity and awkwardness. The trio was part of the original British series and older U.S. seasons, so they were essential for a successful premiere (and will continue to be for the rest of this revamp). On the new side, we saw unfamiliar guest comedians like Gary Anthony Williams and Heather Ann Campbell. I’ve never seen these two perform elsewhere, but they had me laughing and fit in perfectly with the show’s random wit.

Most notably, however, “Whose Line” has a new host: Aisha Tyler. Tyler is most well-known for hosting “The Talk”, but she’s also the voice for the sassy and sexy Lana on “Archer”. And she did not disappoint. I never liked Drew Carey, but I also knew going into this that a new host could be a complete bust. However, her comedic contributions were fantastic, and she gave Mochrie and company the freedom to do their thing without constant interruption.

Tuesday’s episodes also featured celebrity guests: Lauren Cohan of “The Walking Dead” and “Glee’s” Kevin McHale. They were fun enough to watch, and they didn’t interfere too much. I do hope they kill the celebrity guest thing eventually, though. I like to focus on the comedians, and I feel like the wrong celebrity could completely ruin a sketch.

Speaking of the sketches…oh man. After an hour of viewing, my abs were sore from how much I laughed. The show renewed games from back in the day including “Scenes from a Hat”, but they also incorporated a lot of new(ish) ideas. My favorite by far was “Sideways Scene”. This sketch was featured in the British version of “Whose Line”, but had never made its way to the U.S. Am I glad it did. Mochrie, Brady and Campbell crawled around a red set acting out scenes from James Bond to “The Poltergeist”, and I could barely hold back my tears.

I’m usually skeptical of revamps, and “Whose Line” was no exception. However, after two hilarious episodes, I’m far from disappointed. My biggest critique is the celebrity guests, but that won’t come close to ruining it for me. Brady, Stiles and Mochrie are as brilliant as ever, and the new faces and ideas bring promise to an already amazing show. I look forward to the rest of this season, tears, snorting and all.

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Haley BeMiller is a senior journalism and international politics student at DePaul University in Chicago. She works with online and print media, and also dabbles in photography. In addition to journalism and politics, she is passionate about art, music, theater, food, and all things nerdy.

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