|Birth name||Ryan Lee Stiles|
|Born||April 22, 1959|
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Medium||Stand up, television, film|
|Notable works and roles|
Ryan Lee Stiles (born April 22, 1959) is an American-Canadian actor, comedian, and producer whose work is often associated with improvisational comedy. He is best known for his work on the original British series and American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and for his role as Lewis Kiniski on The Drew Carey Show. He also played Herb Melnick on the CBS comedy Two and a Half Men and was a performer on the show Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza.
Early life and career
The youngest of five children, Ryan Stiles was born in Seattle to Canadian parents Irene and Sonny Stiles. He grew up with his mother, a homemaker, and his father, a supervisor at a Vancouver-based Canadian fish processing plant. When he was ten, his family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. Ryan Stiles attended R.C. Palmer Junior Secondary School and Richmond Senior Secondary in Richmond, British Columbia. Although he was a good student, Stiles has admitted that "being a high-school senior gave [him] too much freedom." He got so carried away with his flexible schedule that at age 17, he quit school a few months shy of graduation.
Despite his parents' objections, he was able to support himself doing stand-up routines at clubs near his home in Vancouver. He helped Rich Elwood start Punchlines Comedy Club. During this time he was the head writer of The Don Harron Show on CTV and the host of Comedy College on CBC. Stiles was a regular improv performer with the Vancouver Theatresports League and Punchlines' "No Name Player" before joining the Second City comedy ensemble at Expo 86. He continued performing with Second City in Toronto and later in Los Angeles.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? and The Drew Carey Show
By 1989, Stiles had gained the attention of the producers of the British improvisational comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Stiles was a regular on the show until its end in 1998. His performance on the program earned him both critical praise and a devoted fan following in the United Kingdom. In 1995, Stiles was asked by American comic Drew Carey to be a regular on his comedy The Drew Carey Show. Stiles played Carey's erudite but underachieving best friend, Lewis Kiniski.
In 1998, Carey successfully lobbied ABC to produce an American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Following the final season of the British version in 1998, the American version premiered, with both Stiles and Carey credited as executive producers. Stiles received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program in 2002 for his work on the show. A running gag of the show is Stiles' flashy dress shoes.
Though he never appeared in the series, Stiles (along with Kaitlin Olson) performed in the taping of the unaired pilot episode of Drew Carey's Green Screen Show, which involved improv games similar to Whose Line? games played in front of a massive green screen. Animation was later added to the improv footage.
Other television and film work
Stiles appeared in the 1991 film Hot Shots! as Mailman Farnham and its 1993 sequel, Hot Shots! Part Deux, as marine Rabinowitz. He portrayed recurring character Dr. Herb Melnick on Two and a Half Men from 2004 until the show's end in 2015. He made short guest appearances on Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Murphy Brown, Mad About You, Mad TV, and Dharma & Greg. In July 2008, he was a guest star on Reno 911! as Sergeant Clift, an acting coach.
During the 1994 Major League Baseball strike, Stiles appeared in several commercials for Nike, hanging out in an empty ballpark, doing things such as playing the organ and attempting to do the wave alone. The commercials ended with the line: "Play ball. Please."
In 2005, Stiles appeared in the mockumentary Conker: Celebrity Squirrel produced for the promotion of the Xbox video game Conker: Live & Reloaded. This role led to gamers voting to induct him into the 2015 class of the DK Vine Hall of Fame.
Stiles has been a frequent fundraiser for children with burn injuries, raising over $500,000 for the Burned Children Recovery Center since 2009 and helping the foundation to recover from the Great Recession.
In 1981, Stiles met Patricia McDonald at Punchlines where she was a waitress. They married in 1988. They have three children.
|1985||Rainbow War||Short film|
|1991||Hot Shots!||Dominic "Mailman" Farnham|
|Public Enemy #2||Sidewalk Santa|
|1993||Hot Shots! Part Deux||Rabinowitz|
|1997||Courting Courtney||Chad Gross|
|2003||Nobody Knows Anything!||Harold||Uncredited|
|The Devil Made Me Do It||The Devil||Short film|
|2006||The Extra||Clyde||Short film|
|2009||Astro Boy||Mr. Mustachio / Burning Robot||Voice|
|1985||The Beachcombers||Leo aka Tall Suit||Season 14, episode 6: "Halibut Stu"|
|1986||The Hitchhiker||Maker||Also known as Deadly Nightmares in the United Kingdom; Le Voyageur in France|
Season 3, episode 7: "O.D. Feelin'"
|1988||110 Lombard||TV movie|
|1989–1999||Whose Line Is It Anyway?||Himself||UK series, 76 episodes|
|1990||It's Garry Shandling's Show||Kenny Tuchman / Bob #2||Season 4, episode 13: "Chester Gets a Show"|
|1991||Who's the Boss?||Bobo the Clown||Season 7, episode 20: "Party Politics"|
|Life As We Know It!||TV movie|
|1991-1992||Parker Lewis Can't Lose||Weather Guy / Clerk / Sweepstakes Guy||3 episodes|
Uncredited - 2 episodes
|1992||Say What?||Actor||TV movie|
|1993-1994||Mad About You||Boss / Video Vogue Manager||2 episodes|
|The John Larroquette Show||CIA Agent Kinkaid / Mac / Dave||3 episodes|
|1994||Weird Science||Dale Griffin||Season 2, episode 13: "Unplugged"|
|L.A.X. 2194||TV pilot|
|1995–2004||The Drew Carey Show||Lewis Kiniski||Main role; 231 episodes|
Director - Season 5, episode 23: "Kate vs. Speedy"
|1996||Saturday Night Special||—||Creative consultant|
|1997||Murphy Brown||Acolyte Monk #2||Season 9, episode 19: "Desperate Times"|
|Whose Line Is It Anyway?||Himself||US series, 335 episodes|
Executive producer; 294 episodes
|1999||ABC TGIF||Lewis Kiniski||Segment: "Drew Clues 2"|
Season 2, episode 8: "Gambling Man"
|2000||The Cartoon Cartoon Show||Vivian||Voice|
Episode: "Foe Paws"
|Buzz Lightyear of Star Command||Professor Spyro Lepton / Von Madman||Voice|
Episode 37: "Eye of the Tempest"
|2001||Hollywood Squares||Himself / Panelist||10 episodes|
|Improv All Stars||Himself||TV special|
|Dharma & Greg||Abraham Lincoln||Uncredited|
Season 4, episode 10: "Dutch Treat"
Season 8, episode 4: "Bow Wow Wedding Vows"
|2004–2015||Two and a Half Men||Dr. Herb Melnick||Recurring role; 30 episodes, Seasons 2, 4–10, 12|
|2008||Reno 911!||Acting coach||Season 5, episode 15: "Undercover Acting Coach"|
|2009||Memory Lanes||Ryan Murray||TV movie|
|Bless This Mess||Paul||TV movie|
|2011||Working Class||Dr. Edwin Gould DDS||Episode 2: "Dental Claims"|
|Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza||Himself||Recurring performer, 34 episodes|
Producer; 7 episodes
|2012||Are You There, Chelsea?||Jerry||Episode 9: "Fired"|
|2013||Bellingham T'Nite||—||TV short|
|2019||American Housewife||Bill Doty||Season 4, episode 3: "Bigger Kids, Bigger Problems"|
|2020||Young Sheldon||Dr. Bowers||Season 3, episode 20: "A Baby Tooth and the Egyptian God of Knowledge"|
|2023||Ted Lasso||Bruce (voice)||Season 3, episode 10: "International Break"|
|1991||Chrysler||Miming Pitchman||New Yorker Fifth Avenue, in comparison to the Cadillac DeVille|
|1994||Nike||Organ Player||Pleading for the end of the 94/95 MLB strike|
|1998||KFC||"Famous Actor"||New Hot 'N' Spicy Chicken|
|Kwik Save||Customer||Kwik Save Hotline|
|2004||Progressive Automotive Insurance||Himself||Various|
|2011||Zaxby's||Himself||Birthday cake milkshake|
- "Ryan Stiles". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
- Tracy, Kathleen (1997). Home Brewed: The Drew Carey Story. Boulevard. p. 97. ISBN 9781572973619.
- "Whose Line Is It Anyway?". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
- "Whose Line Is It Anyway? Returns to Television as Part of The CW's Summer 2013 Schedule" (Press release). The CW. March 1, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2021 – via The Futon Critic.
- Nellie Andreeva (March 1, 2013). "CW Brings Back Whose Line Is It Anyway? For Summer Run, Aisha Tyler To Host". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
- Conker: Celebrity Squirrel. November 9, 2006. Archived from the original on December 11, 2021. Retrieved December 26, 2015 – via YouTube.
- DK Vine Hall of Fame 2015 (Part Five). August 10, 2015. Archived from the original on December 11, 2021. Retrieved December 26, 2015 – via YouTube.
- "Burned Children Recovery Foundation". Retrieved December 26, 2015.
- Spalding, Derek (May 8, 2008). "Iconic actor likes to stay close to home". Nanaimo Daily News. CanWest. Archived from the original on March 26, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
- Bryan, Saint (March 24, 2006). "Ryan Stiles, back home again". Evening Magazine. Seattle: KING-TV. Archived from the original on May 26, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2008.
- Chant, Ian (June 2006). "Shooting From the Hip – Upfront Theatre Improv mixes it up". Bellingham, Washington: What's Up magazine. Retrieved July 27, 2008.