Members of the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” — whom comedian Jeff Davis calls “the funniest people in the world” — are coming to Cal Poly for an encore performance of their live comedy show, “Whose Live Anyway?“.
The comedians include Ryan Stiles, a regular on the Emmy-nominated show, and “Whose Line“ guest comedians Chip Esten, Davis and Greg Proops, who entertained a sold-out crowd at Cal Poly last spring.
The troupe will perform an hour-and-a-half of unscripted comedic skits and musical numbers, Davis, a comedian for the live show and frequent TV show guest star said.
“First of all, you have Ryan Stiles who, for my money, is the funniest person ever, so he does everything he does — he can’t have a bad show,” Davis said. “Chip and I (also) sing songs that we’re making up on the spot, and that always is a real highlight of the show. Most people are afraid to sing in public or even in the shower, so to get up there and make it up, I think people think that’s pretty wild.”
Audience members aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the troupe’s quick wit.
“I get to work with the funniest guys in the world,” Davis said. “I don’t like working very hard, and when you’re with guys that funny, you really don’t have to do a lot — just ride on Ryan’s coattails and slide downhill.”
Davis said second-time spectators can also look forward to seeing a brand new show.
“Every show is absolutely different,” he said. “If the same group of people came to see us five nights in a row, each show would be different. We have different things in our mind. The suggestions are going to be different. We wouldn’t even know how to repeat anything. Our memories aren’t that good.”
Steve Lerian, director of Cal Poly Arts, said he is looking forward to watching a repeat performance.
“When I saw it the last time, I think people were literally in pain from laughing so hard,” Lerian said. “The guys have the fastest minds I’ve ever seen on stage, so they can take a topic and come up with stuff that you can’t even imagine.”
Lerian said audience members will do more than join in the laughs; they may even join the comedians onstage.
“Basically, to set up their improvs, they’ll ask people to shout out topics and locations and lines of work and all kinds of stuff like which helps them create the scenario for them to make up a story or a sketch, and then, in a number of the pieces,” he said. “The guys make up songs based on whatever you make it — I don’t know, Van Halen singing opera — and they’ll come up with a song, made up on the spot. They’ll bring people up on stage to be participants in the improv too.”
Charles Williams, an aerospace engineering senior and cast member of Cal Poly’s improv troupe, Smile and Nod, said improv audiences get to interact with performers in ways that they wouldn’t be able to with other types of comedy acts.
“With improv, the audience gets to interact with the performer, whereas with standup, they’re sitting, and they’re listening to whatever the comedian has set up,” Williams said. “So the audience gets to see a little bit of themselves in improv. The comedy isn’t forced at all, and it just comes and crescendos in a perfect way. I think that’s really exciting as an audience member.”
Tickets can be purchased online or at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office. Prices range from $24 to $42. Rush tickets will be available to students an hour before the show starts for $10 if it is not sold out.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, and will be held in the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center.