A life in improv: ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ comedy duo to perform at Iowa State


Courtesy of Iowa State Center

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, at Stephens Auditorium.

Melissa Garrett

With their hilarious custom-made comedy show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26, with their two-man comedy group at CY Stephens Auditorium.

For 11 years, Mochrie and Sherwood’s duo have performed live in addition to their taped performances of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” where the comedians will stop at nothing to make people laugh.

Whether performing on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” or in their two-man group, Sherwood calls himself and Mochrie “stage hogs” since they love to be on stage.

“We were doing bigger shows with the gang of “Whose Line,” but we only did a couple of shows a year in Vegas, and it was kind of a fun stage,” Sherwood said. “You would do a game and sit on the bench for two or three games, and then you get up and do another game.”

In a two-hour show, Sherwood said he might only be in 15 minutes, so he and Mochrie tried to figure out a way they could perform on stage more often.

Even though Sherwood wanted to be an actor when he was eight years old, he liked being funny and was better at making people laugh.

“The moment you make someone laugh, you’re onto the next moment of ‘Oh my gosh, what am I going to do right now?’ Every moment you are just in crisis mode, willing to do whatever it takes to make someone laugh,” Sherwood said. “Short of nudity, I think all the guys on the show would be pretty much willing to go anywhere to be silly and ridiculous.”

With a live comedy performance there is no way to prepare for each scenario. Each new audience offers something unique to the show, and Sherwood said he often does not remember what he says or does on a particular show. Opening night jitters are part of the performance since Mochrie and Sherwood have to create new scenes, songs and scenarios every night.

“The sense of humor for the show is kind of goofy. I think it appeals to the kid in everyone. It’s not like childish humor, but it’s humor that adults like to see us being witty and stupid at the same time,” Sherwood said.

After performing hundreds of shows, Sherwood never says the same thing twice, apart from when he and the other comedians introduce themselves on the show.

“The content of the game is always different, so we get to do something fresh and different every single night,” said Sherwood. “We get to make people laugh and perform in front of a live audience. I would say this is definitely my dream job.”

One of the most challenging things Sherwood created on the show was a song made up of “a lot of things that rhymed with Niroshi.”

“Well that’s the fun,” Sherwood said. “People make me do that song, and everybody goes, ‘Oh my God. Nothing rhymes with that!’ and, ‘What are you going to do?’ They laugh at the way I paddle my way out of that problem.”

As a show that people of all ages can enjoy, Angela Ossian, director of marketing for the Iowa State Center and Performing Arts Series, recommends Mochrie and Sherwood’s show to anyone looking to laugh for 90 minutes.

“Their unscripted performance, quick wit, plus the fun of audience participation will make for a very entertaining evening,” Ossian said. “Even if you’ve never seen their show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, Colin and Brad will not disappoint.”

Tickets are available for purchase through Ticketmaster and at the Stephens Auditorium ticket office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with student tickets at $26.

For more information on Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood’s comedy show and ticket prices, visit the Iowa State Center’s webpage.