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Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood will be ‘Scared Scriptless’ at the Fox

Jan. 10, 2023 Updated Thu., Jan. 12, 2023 at 2:45 p.m.

Improv artists Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood will make things up as they go along on Friday night at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.  (Courtesy photo)
Improv artists Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood will make things up as they go along on Friday night at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. (Courtesy photo)
By Ed Condran For The Spokesman-Review

If “Whose Line Is It Anyway” entertainers Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood appeared on the classic game show “What’s My Line,” the panel would be completely stumped.

“What we do is unusual,” Mochrie said. “You need to see it to fully understand it. To put this in perspective, one time before we came on (Brad) whispered to me, ‘When you go out, open your legs up so it’ll look like I’m coming out of your butt.’ Where else can someone say, ‘Sure’ and be fine with that and it be completely normal?”

The unpredictable and inventive tandem, who are on their “Scared Scriptless” jaunt, have been touring as an extemporaneous duo for 20 years. After making their mark on the amusing series “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” which ran on ABC and ABC Family from 1998 to 2007, Mochrie and Sherwood hit the road.

“It’s still so fresh for us,” Mochrie said while calling from his Toronto home. “That’s so since every show we do is different. Each audience witnesses a unique performance since no show is like another.”

As improv players, Mochrie, 65 and Sherwood, 58, are in the moment throughout any evening, as they will be on Friday at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.

The crowd shouts out suggestions and in an instant the performers become anything from barnyard animals to aliens to bridges.

“Nothing we do is planned,” Mochrie said. “We just go by the seat of our pants and make something happen.”

Every night Mochrie and Sherwood walk the equivalent of a high wire without a net. “Even though Brad and I have a very high success rate, something can go really awry,” Mochrie said. “What’s wonderful about improv is that you move on immediately after something flops, and you forget about it. The audience is behind you since they’re a part of the show. The bottom line is that they have a good time.”

Mochrie and Sherwood are thrilled to perform before crowds again since they delivered improv without an audience during lockdown.

“It was bizarre creating comedy in total silence but Brad is used to it,” Mochrie cracked. “It actually worked out better than we thought it would. I was in Toronto and Brad was in Las Vegas but it looked like we were in the same room. The work kept us fresh and our comedy muscles toned.”

But it took some time for Mochrie and Sherwood to get back into a groove once they performed before fans again. “We were a little rusty when we started up in front of a crowd again,” Mochrie said. “When we would introduce games, we would look at each other, like, ‘What do we say here?’ ”

Mochrie and Sherwood figured it out and are back in form. “Now it’s just like old times,” Mochrie said.

When Mochrie isn’t on the road he is on the set of “Whose Line,” which was resurrected by the CW in 2013. How much longer can the program, which is in its 19th season, last with Mochrie, Wayne Brady and Ryan Stiles?

“I don’t know,” Mochrie said. “Who knows if the three of us will be back for another season? Perhaps it’s time for younger and better looking performers to take over.”

If Mochrie leaves the show, the writer-producer will continue to work with Sherwood on the road. It’s difficult to imagine Mochrie saying goodbye to improv since he’s been an extemporaneous entertainer since he turned 23.

“It’s funny how I took to improv,” Mochrie said. “I’ve just been a natural at it since I was young. Performing in the moment is like second nature to me and I’m still very passionate about it.”

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