Whose Line Is It Anyway? (sometimes referred to as Whose Line?) is an improvisational comedy show. It originated as a British radio show, but was then transferred to British TV, where it was hosted by Clive Anderson (1988-1998), and eventually American TV, hosted by Drew Carey (1998-2007), then Aisha Tyler (2013-present).
The show's games (both British and American versions) have referenced the Muppets several times.
- In the game Film and Theatre Styles, Muppets or Sesame Street were frequently used styles. (e.g. Ryan re-enacts One of These Things with his guns as he hijacks Sam Johnson's plane. Another had Greg explain to Caroline Quentin how to shoplift. Yet another scene had Ryan as Kermit in the Africa mist being told to come back.
- In a game of Whose Line, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie discuss Ryan's pre-wedding jitters. Colin calls his bride-to-be a tramp saying that "She's had more hands up her than the Muppets!"
- In the second episode of season 1, during a game of "Let's Make a Date," Ryan Stiles was a man with an alien coming out of him. Brad Sherwood guessed he was either that or Jim Henson.
- In a season 3 episode, Wayne Brady and Chip Esten reference Sesame Street in a game of "Props" by holding two parenthesis-style pieces together. One of them says, "Today's show was brought to you by the number 8!". In a Sixth Season episode featuring the "Props" game, Wayne and Greg Proops are on one side. One of them references Sesame Street by forming a letter O and announces the traditional "brought to you by the letter/number" line.
- In a 5th season episode, in the game "Scenes From a Hat", a suggestion reads: "If lessons of love and sex were taught in the style of Sesame Street." Wayne puts on a Latin accent for "cerrado/abierto", Colin Mochrie wants to take a look at Big Bird, Colin, Kathy Greenwood, and Wayne re-enact the One of These Things segments, and Colin and Ryan form a (reverse) letter H. This joke is later referenced in "Jeopardy! questions where the Whose Line cast members are the answers" (Wayne: "Reasons Why the Letter 'H' Will Keep Me Up For Years to Come"), "Bad things to say as you're about to kiss her" (Colin to Kathy: "I was once part of the letter 'h'."), the Police Officer Hoedown (Colin: "I was once the best cop in all the land. People as they saw me would go 'Boy, is he grand.' I was so respected, believe me I'm not lyin' till I got fired for making an 'h' with Ryan.")
- In another season 5 episode, a game of "All in One Voice" had two panelists on one side each, portraying a couple. Brad and Ryan sang as Kermit the Frog, and Wayne and Colin sang as Miss Piggy.
- In an episode from the 7th season, Kathy Greenwood sings part of "Rubber Duckie" in Scenes From a Hat ("Bad songs to sing while making love").
- In a game of "Props", during Season 4, a large red pompom-like object is used. At one point, Wayne pumps it into the air and chants, "Animal!" Another game had Greg hold a foam ring to his head as Cookie Monster. Yet another had Ryan hold up two pieces as Oscar's eyebrow.
- At the end of one episode, the cast is told to read the credits as if they were wild animals attacking the screen. Once again, Wayne refers to Animal, chanting his name and running wildly toward the screen. At the end of another one, the credits were read as Colin having a bachelor party and Jeff says they'll "make an 'H' out of you", referring again to the letter "h" gag.
- After one break, Drew says he, too, has a hand up his butt.
- In another game of Props, Ryan Stiles, holding two gangly-looking props, says "Big Bird and the wife passed out." Yet another had Wayne hold a yellow boa, with Brad connecting the ends saying, "Big Bird has a hernia." The audience predictably groans. One game in the revival with Aisha had Wayne hold up something he uses as Snuffy's trunk ("Big Bird, I'm so sad.")
- One playing of "Film, TV & Theatre Styles" had the style of Sesame Street. Ryan imitates Count von Count, Colin imitates Oscar the Grouch and Wayne acts as Ernie, Grover (referencing his famous "Near and Far" sketch) and repeats the cerrado/abierto gag. An earlier playing on the eleventh episode of season 1 had Greg ask the audience if they can spell "bee".
- In the revival, one Scene From a Hat was "If Sesame Street characters appeared on other shows"; Ryan was Big Bird on The Apprentice, Nyima was Cookie Monster on one of Gordon Ramsey's cooking shows, Colin repeated Grover's Near and Far sketch with Ryan as a zombie from The Walking Dead. Wayne as Elmo claims that since he "killed the opposing families, I've won the Game of Thrones."
- Another suggestion was "If Sesame Street were a soap opera"; Wayne was Snuffy asking Big Bird (Colin) for more Oxycontin, Jeff was the Count telling Big Bird (this time Ryan) that he has "one tumor, two tumors, 1-2-3. Ha-ha-ha! Three tumors!" Colin once again does Near and Far, Wayne repeats cerrado/abierto and Colin claims he's carrying Wayne's child. Jeff as Ernie tells Bert (Ryan) that he's straight. Ryan bends him over the exact same way he did with Colin as the letter "h". Wayne piles on ("Capital H"). Aisha comforts Jeff ("I don't want to be on the show anymore.") and slaps him ("Really got used.") As with Colin, the joke is referred to in "Chants Schoolgirls Never Sing During Jump Rope". (Wayne: "I'm a good girl and I'm gonna be that way. I'm a good girl; stay back is what I say. Mmm-hmm. And you bet I will never be a capital 'H' in a man's alphabet.")
- In that same episode, the special guest, Robbie Amell, was referred to as a hot version of the Count, after a game of Duet where Wayne and Jeff sang as One Direction and he asked how many were in the band while improvising a rap, which also led to the "count to 5" gag for the episode.
- In yet another SFAH, Ryan forms the letter "E" as "if famous TV shows had been performed in the nude."
- Later in the same season, during "Hollywood Director"; Jonathan Mangum was told he had to perform the scene as different Muppets. Jonathan did impressions of Beaker, Kermit the Frog, and Animal
- On the ninth episode of the eleventh season. "The Dating videos of Sesame Street Characters" was performed in SFAH.
- In the twenty-fifth episode of season eleven, Colin re-enacts "Near and Far" as a part of a Scenes from a Hat suggestion about drill sergeants in famous TV shows.
- In the twenty-seventh episode of the eleventh season, during "Greatest Hits: Songs of Horror," Wayne Brady and Jonathan Mangum perform "We Need Brains" as Bob Dylan and the Swedish Chef.
- On the third episode of the thirteenth season, Colin and Wayne sang Mah Na Mah Na with their props.
- On the eleventh episode of the thirteenth season. "What Sesame Street Characters say during love making" was performed in SFAH.
- On the twelfth episode of the thirteenth season. In "If Kids Television shows dealt with embarrassing problems"; Wayne as Snuffy confides about marital problems to Jonathan who does an unflattering Big Bird impression.
- In the fourth episode of season fifteen, Chip Esten plays "Kermit The Frog After Too Many Coffees" in "Weird Newscasters."
- When Wayne Brady appeared on Sesame Street in a 2003 episode, Elmo asks him to show between. Wayne was unaware of this, but Elmo encourages him, saying he's good at making things up on the spot, a reference to Wayne's musical presence on the show.
- Cast and Crew
- Wayne Brady is a regular cast member on the ABC and CW versions, and appeared in a few season 10 episodes of the British version
- Stephen Colbert appeared in two episodes the American version
- Dawn French appeared once on the radio version
- Stephen Fry made several appearances on the British version
- Whoopi Goldberg appeared in two episodes of the American version
- Lenny Henry made an appearance on the radio version
- Eddie Izzard appeared in one episode of the British version
- Phil LaMarr appeared in two episodes in season 10 of the British version
- Chris Langham appeared in one episode of the British version
- Hugh Laurie made an appearance on the radio version
- Kathy Griffin appeared in four episodes of the U.S. version
- Michael McCarthy was a program consultant on the American version
- John Sessions was a regular on the British version
- Robin Williams appeared in one episode of the American version
- Rachel Bloom, season 12
- Sid Caesar, season 4 (US)
- Cedric the Entertainer, season 11
- Kathie Lee Gifford, season 11
- Chris Hardwick, season 15
- David Hasselhoff, season 5
- Tony Hawk, season 13
- Florence Henderson, season 5 (US)
- Padma Lakshmi, season 10 (US)
- Lassie, season 4 (US)
- Wendi McLendon-Covey, season 10 (US)
- Bill Nye, season 11
- Penn and Teller, season 11
- Gina Rodriguez, season 11
- Richard Simmons, season 5
- Lea Thompson, season 12