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"Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Season One (Vol. 1)

First volume featuring one of the best improv comedy shows in TV history.

Without a doubt: Whose Line is a comedy show that really grows on you, and certainly, grows with you continuously. I've been a huge fan since I was in sixth grade, and a release on DVD made it that much better.

It is an improvisation, comedy show where every scene and performance acted out are completely made up on the spot direct from the performers' creative minds. The host awards points for the performer(s) on their bit/piece/performance(s), and the performer(s) with the most points wins at the end of the show. Originally a hit show in Britain, hosted by Clive Anderson, the show eventually revived here in the states with nearly all American improv cast and a new host Drew Carey.

Though I understand that many never figured out the show's premise, it's one of those programs where you need to watch from the beginning; an open mind and intellectual visualization, where your mind requires to draw up the scenes being acted out, are also needed. That makes this show extremely nerdy, and for its large fan base and generating the popularity of improvisation among aspiring actors, there's clearly nothing wrong with that. However, once you understand the goings-on, as well as the inside jokes played among the cast members, the actors' style of delivery, with a touch of general knowledge on pop culture, celebrities, good listening skills, various classic films and TV, you may want to keep a new pair of pants handy because you are going to moisten the pair you're wearing right now from nonstop laughter. It's that damn good.

The first DVD features the first five episodes of Season One. Because the show was originally recorded in 1.33:1 (4:3), the menu is presented in widescreen. I suppose it's to showcase the photos of the cast presented in the background. Other than that, the episodes are of high, broadcast quality. The DVD cover states it's 110 minutes long, but because it includes two DVDs plus bonus clips, it spans more than two hours. As for the episodes, I've presented to you the games played for each one. They are as follows:

Ep.001 (Show No.103): Let's Make A Date, Sound Effects, Hats (later titled "Dating Service Videos"), Greatest Hits, Party Quirks, Foreign Film Dub

Ep.002 (Show No.104): Let's Make A Date, Film Theater & Television Styles, Duet, Weird Newscasters, Moving People, Scene To Rap, 90-Second Alphabet

Ep.003 (Show No.106): Let's Make A Date, Scene To Rap, Hats, Weird Newscasters, Greatest Hits, News Flash

Ep.004 (Show No.101): Weird Newscasters, Duet, Animals, Props, Moving People, Party Quirks, Scene To Rap, Foreign Film Dub

Ep.005 (Show No.105): Let's Make A Date, Song Styles, Daytime Talk Show, Props, Film Dub, Sportscasters, Hoedown, Stand Sit Bend

As for the second DVD, here are the list of games played:

Ep.006 (Show No.102): Let's Make A Date, Sound Effects, Daytime Talk Show, Props, Helping Hands, Hoedown, 90-Second Alphabet

Ep.007 (Show No.107): Daytime Talk Show, Song Styles, Moving People, Props, Party Quirks, Hoedown, Foreign Film Dub

Ep.008 (Show No.111): Let's Make A Date, Song Styles, Props, Party Quirks, Greatest Hits, Helping Hands

Ep.009 (Show No.108): Super Heroes, Song Styles, Weird Newscasters, Greatest Hits, Party Quirks, Questions Only

Ep.010 (Show No.117): Questions Only, Song Styles, News Flash, Sound Effects, Weird Newscasters, Scene To Rap, Hoedown

Right by Episode 8, the lighting of the show underwent change. It looks more soft and nice to watch, as well as a vibrant, colorful background behind the actors' seats.

What's odd is the arrangement of the episodes. Immediately after Clive's version ended—his last season was the "Hollywood Edition" taken place here in the US—the show started with nearly the same set design. In this case, Episode Four—Show No.101—was supposed to officially be the first episode but was slated as the fourth. I mention this because of Drew's desk. On the fourth episode, the desk was of similar size Clive used on his show, then was used once on Drew's version, as shown on that very episode. Producers immediately expanded the size of the desk to fill the whole shot, horizontally (or Drew was too big for the desk). Although this has no concern on whether the purchase of this DVD is worth your pockets, I'd thought I'd state this oddity despite the arrangement of the episodes being jumbled up.

On the second DVD includes a "Special Features" option. This is it, folks: outtakes from segments, and gag reels—completely uncensored. They feature the playing of games that were excluded out: Questions Only, Scenes From A Hat, Animals, Duet, Bar Scene and Greatest Hits. I had a great laugh from the "Scenes From A Hat" outtake. Oh, and how about that Duet game singing to Christy (or is it spelled Kristy?) working in pharmaceutical? Gerbils—something to think about during the start of the game "Bar Scene." As for the Gag Reels, well, explaining here would spoil the whole thing, but believe me, everything is uncensored...everything. Both gag reels are totaled at over 20 minutes, nearly a full episode. If you have what I call "editor's eyes," you will finally get the full scoop as to why episodes have some mediocre cuts; it features all the mishaps that would be too much work for the censors. Yup.

All in all, it's an excellent volume for fellow fans. Even though you're familiar with these episodes to the point where you memorized nearly every line (am I the only one?), the bonus features would still make up the worth of your purchase. If you've been watching the later seasons of Whose Line, this volume shows you how it all took off, the quality of the acting back then and the games that were played a few times, as some were never played again. It's all there commercial-free and available to provide you with uninterrupted laughter at any time, no matter how bad your day is going.





  • Episodes from the very first season of "Whose Line."
  • "Special Features" includes clips never aired on TV (reasons are obvious).
  • None.
100% (A+)
Fan Rating
Title Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Description If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it just might be Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the hilarious series where gifted comics devise sketches, impersonations and songs based on suggestions, props and inspired goofiness from off-beat and off-the-wall host Drew Carey and an equally playful audience.

Ever wonder what an excitable dog would do on a Let's Make a Date TV show? Or an astronaut with an alien inside him? And what would a newscast be like if the anchors were smart-aleck school kids showing off in class? Join Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Wayne Brady and other stars in one hilariously hot-wired situation after another from 2 delicious discs worth the complete, first 10 episodes of Season One, plus Uncensored, Adult Versions of the Special Features. It's daring. It's delirious. It's comedy without a net. There is, however, a website: whoselineisitanywaydvd.com.
ISBN / Bar Code number 1-4198-4173-4
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) / Full screen
Audio Format Dolby Digital Surround Stereo
Disc Count Two (2)
Language(s) English
Genre Comedy
Subtitles Español & Français (Episodes only)
Rated Not Rated
Region Region 1 - NTSC
Specification Color
Features [DISC ONE] Show No.103, Show No.104, Show No.106, Show No.101, Show No.105. [DISC TWO] Show No.102, Show No.107, Show No.111, Show No.108, Show No.117. [SPECIAL FEATURES] Questions Only, Scenes From A Hat, Animals, Duet, Bar Scene, Greatest Hits, Gag Reels
Studio ABC (www.abc.com) - Tribune Entertainment
Production Hat Trick Productions
Company Warner Bros. Television - A Time Warner Entertainment Company
Item / Product Number #110021
Closed Captioning Yes
DVD Release September 26, 2006
Run Time 110 minutes (actual DVD time: 220 minutes)
Copyright © 1998, Package Design & Supplementary Material Compilation & © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Other Formats ????
Quoted Reviews --
Other --
Developed for Television by
Dan Patterson
Mark Leveson

Executive Producers
Drew Carey
Ryan Stiles

Executive Producer
Dan Patterson

Executive Producers
Denise O'Donaghue
Jimmy Mulville

Mark Leveson

Directed by
Ron de Moraes

Produced by
Tom Park

Anne Marie Thorogood

Senior Producer
Jeff Cooperman

Hosted by
Drew Carey

Ryan Stiles
Colin Mochrie
Wayne Brady
Greg Proops
Brad Sherwood
Denny Siegel
Karen Maruyama
Kathy Kinney

Laura Hall

Associate Producer
Ruth Phillips

Production Designer
Bruce Ryan

Lighting Designer
Kieran Healy

Associate Director
Steven Blum

Stage Managers
Jon Hill
Lionel Max Pasamonte

Production Manager
Billie Spear

Segment Producer
Anne Hardy

Production Coordinator
Raoul Germain

Script Coordinator
Jean Severson

Art Director
Eric Larson

Ray Miller
Mykola Pawluk

Casting by
Brian Dorfman

Prop Master
Kristan Andrews

Costume Designer
Julie Rhine

Production Staff
Angela Stowers
Wes Thomas
Jesse Wolfe

Technical Director
Kenneth R. Shapiro

Audio Mixer
Doug Nelson

PA Mixer
Mike Manasa

Audio Assist
Andrew McCartney

Camera Operators
Bert Atkinson
Sam Drummy
Larry Heider
Brian Reason
Dan Webb
Easter Xua

Video Operator
Jay Griffiths

Bruce Solberg

Engineer in Charge
Jim Corbin

Lighting Director
Kim Killingsworth

Chris Dale

Prop Assistant
Alison Sideris

Wardrobe Assistant
Michelle Pershing

Craft Service
Alexia Gerardo

Board Operator
Victor Lopez

Steve Law
Bob Tully

Michael Johnston
Kim Perrodin

Tom Cannon
Robert Schmidt

Kevin Andersen

Sherrie Lucas

Music by
Mark Matthews
James Griffith

Videotaped at
Tribune Entertainment

Post Production Facilities
Complete Post, Inc.

Copyright © 1998 Riverside Productions Inc.


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