Whose Line Is It Anyway?

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Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Created byDan Patterson
Mark Leveson
Original workWhose Line Is It Anyway? (radio series) (1988)
OwnerHat Trick Productions
Films and television
Television series
Radio programme(s)Whose Line Is It Anyway? (1988)

Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a short-form improvisational comedy show originating as a popular British radio programme, before moving to British television in 1988. Following the conclusion of the British run in 1999, ABC began airing an American version, which ran until 2007 and was later revived by The CW in 2013.

Each version of the show consists of a panel of four performers who create characters, scenes, and songs on the spot, in the style of short-form improvisation games, many taken from theatresports. Topics for the games are based on either audience suggestions or predetermined prompts from the host. Both the British and the American shows ostensibly take the form of a game show with the host arbitrarily assigning points and likewise choosing a winner at the end of each episode. However, the show lacks the true stakes and competition of a game show (by design). The "game show" format is simply part of the comedy.


Adaptations and similar series[edit]

In the United States, a similar show called Sponk! was aimed at a younger audience and featured child performers playing games similar to Whose Line? games. It aired on Noggin from 2001 to 2003.[2]
De Lama's
In the Netherlands, a show based on Whose Line Is It Anyway? was called De Lama's. Besides a number of games from Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the show used a lot of new games. The show won several prizes and was one of the most watched shows on Dutch television. It aired from 2004 to 2008.
Lo Kar Lo Baat
In India, a television programme based on Whose Line Is It Anyway? was called Lo Kar Lo Baat. Most of the games were taken from the original.
Also in India, a frequent theatre production similar to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, started in 2005 by Divya Palat.
Onvoorziene Omstandigheden
In Belgium, a similar programme was made under the name Onvoorziene omstandigheden (Unforeseen Circumstances), presented by Mark Uytterhoeven on één.
Frei Schnauze
In Germany, this version of the UK original entertained its audience with many similar games. The show started as a half-hour programme and expanded to one hour in 2006. The show aired until 2008. The host of Frei Schnauze was the German comedian Dirk Bach. Another improv show was Schillerstraße, featuring many well-known German comedians, but it used a sitcom format.
Hatten Rundt
In Denmark, this show featured a setup very similar to that of Whose Line?. However, the Danish show had much more emphasis on acting and much less on wild comedy.
Minus Manus/Spinn
Norway had two separate shows based on the Whose Line concept. The first, Minus Manus, shown on Norwegian TV3, was more or less identical in tone and form to the British show, but the second, Spinn, shown on TVNorge had a slightly different set-up. Among other things, Spinn split the contestants into two competing teams (the green team and the orange team, both wearing appropriately-colored T-shirts) and also heavily involved a rotating stage that provided scenery and props for the various improvised skits. Though the shows were completely separate, many of the contestants (such as Helén Vikstvedt), featured on both.
Shel Mi HaShura HaZot? (של מי השורה הזאת)
(Translation: Whose Line Is It?) This is the Israeli version of the show.
Wild 'n Out
Hosted on MTV by Nick Cannon, this is a hip-hop version of the show with guest stars (among them Wayne Brady from the original show) and hip-hop performances. It is also derived from ComedySportz.
Whose Pie Is It Anyway?
An unofficial, very short-lived Australian version of the programme was created by comedy troupe The T Team. This was a spoof of the British and U.S. versions of the programme.
Anında Görüntü Show
In Turkey, The Turkish version is called Anında Görüntü Show, which means Immediate Vision Show. Although there are some differences in the format of the Anında Görüntü Show, it is still very close to the original Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Players include: Ayça Işıldar Ak, Ayhan Taş, Burak Satıbol, Dilek Çelebi, Özlem Türay and Yiğit Arı.[3]
Tsotskhali Show
(Translation: Live Show) In Georgia, this show is a copy of the original with minor changes.
Pagauk kampą
(Translation: Catch The Corner or Get It Quick) In Lithuania. Quite a successful Lithuanian copy of Whose Line? with similar rules and games.
This is the French-Canadian version of the programme on the Radio-Canada network in the early 2000s. The show didn't gain much popularity due to its lack of advertising. The only airings of the show were unannounced and used as a replacement after the sitcom Catherine went on hiatus during the holidays. The show was almost identical to the U.S. version, using the same set and playing similar games such as "Old Job New Job."
Another French-Canadian version, entitled L'audition ("The audition"), aired in 2006 on TQS in Quebec. The concept of the show was based on the WLIIA game "Hollywood Director," where the host played the director. Every week, three guests from the Québec pop-culture were invited to improvise various scenes and games such as a fake cooking show or a modified version of "Scenes From a Hat." TQS decided to cancel the show due to three months of poor ratings.
[4] (Translation: Stand-In) The Hungarian version. The first show piloted on New Year's night 2007. The show consists of four actors playing improvisational games. The games are slightly differ from the original Whose Line games, and the show introduces some new games as well (like a hook-word which has to be used through the show as many times as the performers can). The show was successfully aired on the Hungarian national public service television (Magyar Televízió), but one year later it passed it to Cool TV because of financial reasons.[5]
Black fish (Pakistan)
This show was carried out live in Karachi by four performers who more or less played the same games as were seen on the American version of the show.
Actorlympics TV (Malaysia)
The Malay version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?; aired on NTV7.
Quinta Categoria (Brazil)
Aired between 2008 and 2011, starting with 2009 it had incorporated similar games to the original Whose Line is it Anyway?, aired on MTV Brasil. This show, in its improvisational format, was carried out by four players: Marcos Mion and the three members of theatrical comedy group Cia. Barbixas de Humor: Anderson Bizzocchi, Daniel Nascimento and Elidio Sanna. Sometimes a fifth member, Mionzinho (Victor Coelho), would join the games. There is also a special guest who suggests the rules of the last game of the show. For the 2010 and 2011 seasons, the format was maintained, but with a different cast of comedians consisting of Tatá Werneck, Paulinho Serra and Rodrigo Capella, plus one guest host every week.
É Tudo Improviso (Brazil)
Spiritual successor of Quinta Categoria, aired on Rede Bandeirantes between 2010 and 2011, and in 2019. Presented by Márcio Ballas, it had a format more similar to the Barbixas group's theater shows (they themselves appeared only in the first season of this format).
Partička (Slovakia)
สายของมันอยู่ดี (Thailand)
Vedetään hatusta (Finland)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hat Trick's Whose Line is it Anyway? heads to the Middle East – TBI Vision". tbivision.com. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  2. ^ "Sponk! - TV.com". TV.com<!. 2008-09-26. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  3. ^ ":: Mahşer-i Cümbüş ::. Tiyatro Sporu | Beyin Fırtınası - Ana Sayfa". Mahsericumbus.com. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
  4. ^ Beugró (Official Site)
  5. ^ "Új hazát talált a Beugró". tévé (in Hungarian). [origo]. 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-10-02.