Emmy-nominated improv group coming to Ames


From https://www.center.iastate.edu/

Jeff B. Goode, Joel Murray, Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops from “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

The current cast of the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” will showcase their skills at Stephens Auditorium on Friday for their “Whose Live Anyway?” tour.

This Emmy-nominated comedy show includes comedians Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff B. Goode and Joel Murray. A mix of new skits and the classic games played in the original show will be performed.

“It’s improv, so every night it changes,” Tammy Koolbeck, executive director of Stephens Auditorium, said. “That’s the beauty of it, they just kind of go with the latest news of the day. Their shows are pretty much different every time they perform.”

Proops, who joined the show in 1989, found his passion for improv after seeing a show at San Francisco State, where he was a student. After working as a standup comedian, he thought this was something he could succeed at. After volunteering to participate, he was asked to perform with them the following week.

“‘Whose Line’ came to San Francisco in 1988 to audition,” Proops said. “I didn’t get in that year. I was on the road with Tom Kenny, who plays Spongebob; we were standups playing in Idaho or some awful place. My friend called and said there was an improv show in town, and I was crying in my room. Then, fortunately, they came back, and the next year I got on.”

After 18 months of not touring due to COVID-19 and rescheduling all of their shows multiple times, the group is excited to perform again.

“I was, you know, laying on the couch and crying a lot,” Proops said. “I said to my wife, ‘no one will ever like improv again, no one will ever come to the show,’ and she said, ‘no, they will when you start up again.’ It’s been really good; we’re doing really well.”

For fans of the show, Proops believes this will be a much better experience than just watching at home or even going to a live taping.

“It’s way more interactive,” Proops said. “It’s a little more of a party atmosphere; you’re seeing us at our best. We bring people out from the audience, so if you’re sitting in the front, wear something you like and be ready to play.”

When looking at who had already purchased tickets, Koolbeck said she noticed people of all ages, including students, Ames residents and guests traveling from out of town.

Tickets are currently available online, and students who show an ISU ID can purchase discounted tickets. The show starts at 8 p.m., with doors opening 45 minutes prior.