Clive's Intros - Series One
1.01 / 1.02 /
1.03 / 1.04 /
1.05 / 1.06 /
1.08 / 1.09 /
1.10 / 1.11C /
1.12C / 1.13P /
(C = Compilation, P = Pilot, S = Comic Relief Special)
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, which is an improvisation programme, as you'll discover
if you don't improvise yourself too quickly with the off knob on your television set. What I'll be doing
is I'll be giving the contestants here a variety of things to do, to get them to think on the spot, to
perform off the cuff, or otherwise go completely round the bend. And to make sure it's nice and
spontaneous, or at least scruffy, I'll be involving the studio audience here, who'll be yelling out
suggestions and ideas for the contestants to play. The audience themselves have been specially selected
for their good looks, their intelligence... and their susceptibility to flattery. Now, the contestants,
now the first contestant comes from America. America has given us some great performers over the years,
I'm thinking of Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Champion the Wonder Horse... but tonight it's given us
Archie Hahn (applause)... oh yes... you may have seen Archie in Spinal Tap, or even Mork and
Mindy, the Sunshine Boys, ... less likely you'd have seen him in Fatal Attraction, because he wasn't in
it. Next we have Josie Lawrence, who... (applause) oh... she'll need no introduction to anybody
who's met her before, which will include people who have seen her in the Comedy Store Players, the
famous troupe of improvisers, who've also lent us our next contestant who is Paul Merton, he's sometimes
an improviser, sometimes a stand-up comedian, but always a dead misery. And finally we have John
Sessions. What can I say about... (applause) ... what can I say about John? Actor, academic, and
all round nice guy. Well those are just a few of his ambitions. Well, ladies and gentlemen, those are
the contestants, let's get on with the game..."
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, which is a series of improvisional... improvisational...
sorry, just improvising a mistake there to make it all seem genuine... improvisational games to be acted
out by some of the wittiest and cleverest people in the land. Or, in the case of this show, by the usual
collection of deadbeat entertainers, stand-up comics, and friends of the producer. Now our first
competitor on tonight is the American actor and comedian Archie Hahn who, I've just been told, is very
big on the West Coast. Which should please our Cornish viewers. And then we have Rory Bremner, well known
of course for his having the skills of a great impressionist, the looks of a pre-Raphaelite, and the mind
of a primitive. And then we have Jimmy Mulville whose sharp comedy skill and creative performing
ability... he really ought to make use of in his show "Who Dares Wins". And finally we have our regular
John Sessions who only today was described in these words: "A genius with a talent unmatched by any
contemporary... in fact I'm absolutely marvellous". Well, those are the competitors, let's get on to our
"Hello, welcome, this is Whose Line is it Anyway? and if you've seen the programme before, then you're
seeing it again now. It's an improvisation programme in which we set a number of games to our contestants
to test out their ability to live off their wits, to perform off the cuff, or otherwise to shrug off
their embarrassment. Now I don't mind telling you we've got a really top line line-up tonight... but I
don't mind telling you that every week, whether it happens to be true or not. But let me first of all
introduce our first contestant, who is Stephen Fry, actor and writer, Stephen is an intellectual man of
letters who can turn his hand to broad comedy, but does return from time to time to his first love, which
is advertising peppermints and building societies. Then we have Peter Cook who, of course, for many years
has been described, and rightly, as the funniest man in England, oddly enough even when he's abroad. And
then we have Josie Lawrence from the Comedy Store Players, who is beautiful, talented and charming, in
fact in many ways a sort of female Derek Jameson. And finally we have as usual John Sessions, who I
regard as perhaps the most gifted actor of his generation, but that's not just my opinion... that's his
as well. So here they are, the contestants."
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, which is an improvisation programme with a number of off
the cuff games to be played in a moment by a collection of actors, comedians, and masochists. And the
four volunteers to stand on the quick firing line tonight are: Tony Slattery, he's an actor who's played
the title role in Me And My Girl... so that means he's played either me, or my girl. And then from the
U.S. we're pleased to welcome Betty Thomas. She's perhaps best known over here for her portrayal of
Sergeant Lucy Bates in Hill St. Blues, so I reckon she's a sort of American Dixon of Dock Green. Then
next we have Paul Merton, now there's been an enoromous public response since Paul last appeared on the
programme... but despite that we decided we'd have him back anyway. And finally our resident scallywag
John Sessions, who no doubt will be wagging his scally later on in the evening. Ladies and gentlemen,
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, the improvisation programme, and once again we bring to
the screen the wittiest, the cleverest, the most exciting talent available today. Well that's enough
about me, let me introduce the contestants, and our first contestant tonight we welcome back Josie
Lawrence of the Comedy Store Players, and as we've seen her before we know her acting is second to none,
her singing is second to none... in fact if she got a part in The Sound of Music she could be playing a
nun. Next, well I must say it's not often that we have a film and theatre actor of truly international
distinction and ability... in fact we never do, but we do have this week the very proper actor Jonathan
Pryce. Then we also have the comedian Paul Merton whose distinctive performing style is not so much
dead-pan as dead miserable. And last but not first, our resident maestro, or is it Mini Metro, John
Sessions, without whom let's face it, this programme would have somebody else in it. Ladies and
gentlemen, the contestants!"
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, the improvisation programme, where the participants think
up brilliant and entertaining lines just on the spur of the moment... or sometimes just after the moment
has passed, when it's just too late. But pitting their witticisms against the games tonight, we have
first of all, doctor, comedian and Goodie-Goodie Graeme Garden, here in the flesh to prove that his
Body Matters. Then Jan Ravens, who provides some of the voices for the rubbery satire of Spitting Image,
and all of the voices in her own acting roles. Then from Los Angeles we have George McGrath, currently
regarded as one of the funniest performers in America, at least by people who haven't seen senator Dan
Quayle in action yet. And finally, actor, writer, comedian, impressionist, scholar, academic, wit,
raconteur, and president of the John Sessions fan club, John Sessions. Ladies and gentlemen, the contestants!"
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, if you haven't seen the show before, then you're seeing
it for the first time now. Now in this programme the performers have to make up things as they go along,
without preparation or rehearsal, which, let's face it, hasn't been seen on television since... what,
Crossroads went off the air. Now in the show tonight we have Tony Slattery, who was apparently a great
success with the viewers the last time he was with us... you can stop writing the letters now, Mrs.
Slattery. Also returning for a second visit is top-line actor Jonathan Pryce, tonight taking time-off
from Check-ov. And next, well, it's always a pleasure to welcome a close personal friend to the
programme... but until one comes along here's Rory McGrath, of Who Dares Wins, Chelmsford 123, and maybe
one or two other shows that used to be on the television. And finally, the incomparable John Sessions
who, let's face it, has more talent in his little finger... than the rest of his body put together.
Ladies and gentlemen, the contestants!"
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, 30 minutes of extemporised wit, impromptu wisdom, and
when things go wrong, totally unfeigned embarrassment. But trying tonight we have Richard Kaplan,
American comedian, bringing us the excitement of Chicago improvisation all the way from his home in Los
Angeles. Griff Rhys Jones, who for my money remains the funniest man on British TV's Alas Smith &
Jones, who isn't called Smith. And then returning to this programme for perhaps his 3rd or 4th visit,
Paul Merton, whose radiant smiling face and cheery grin... we have yet to see. And finally, the batter
of laughs himself, John Sessions, clearly destined for fame and fortune, once he throws off his natural
diffidence and shyness. Ladies and gentlemen, the contestants!"
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, and tonight we're looking forward to more than our fair
share of fun, interest, excitement and entertainment, but first we must record the programme. And on this
week we have from America, Mike McShane, a very talented writer, comedian, actor, and winner of the
Southern California All-Comers Cyril Smith lookalike contest. From the Comedy Store Players, Josie Lawrence,
who on previous weeks has demonstrated her astounding singing, acting and ad-libbing abilities, tonight I'm
sure she'll be moving onto piano playing, juggling and unicycling. Next Tony Slattery, who has also made
several appearances on this show which have led to an immediate success for him, in the form of an
appearance on this week's show. And finally John Sessions, a man of many parts, most of which he'll be
using in the course of the programme tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, the contestants!"
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, the improvisation programme in which anything can happen,
but usually doesn't unless it's off camera or too late. But forming the brigade of guards in the battle
of wits tonight, we have first of all Stephen Fry, the writer, actor, comedian and egghead, once
described as a Renaissance Man by somebody with a very poor idea of which century we're living in. Then
Josie Lawrence, once described as a Renaissance Man by someone with a very poor eye. Next Enn Reitel, who
shot to overnight success as TV's Lucky Jim in the 1970s, and has been solidly in and out of work as an
actor and impersonator ever since. And finally, John Sessions, who as far as this show is concerned, is
absolutely irreplaceable. And goodness only knows, we've tried. Ladies and gentlemen, the contestants!"
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, the improvisation programme. Now this edition of the show
is not a normal one, it's been compiled from parts of the 10 or so recordings which have not been
broadcast. Each week some of the most entertaining bits of the shows have had to be cut in the interests
of time, or balance, or for one of any number of reasons that I can only just pretend to understand. Well,
Waste Not Want Not is the motto of Channel 4, or do I mean Taste Not Watch Not? So this week and next we
feature some of the magic moments from the recordings that have been saved from the cutting room floor.
So why don't you just sit back and enjoy them, or start to write a letter of complaint, or whatever you do
normally during the programme. Here we go."
1.11 (Compilation) - Guide
"Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, featuring tonight the second and last of our compilations
of the ones we wouldn't let get away, parts of the programme they wanted you not to see because there
wasn't time, or they were too messy, or because the producer didn't get the joke the first time round.
Well, I hope you do. Here we go."
1.12 (Compilation) - Guide
Pre-Credits: "Hello and welcome to this very special edition of Whose Line is it Anyway?, in fact
we're showing you the pilot or tryout version which was made some time ago. There tryouts are called
pilots because they're always rather nervous affairs, they're often affected by drink, but everyone does
hope that they will finally get off the ground. Most of the elements present in the final show are
present in this experimental version, though you will notice, I hope, that I'm not introducing it at all.
Instead it's introduced by my identical twin brother, who's looking very very uncomfortable...
1.13 (Pilot) - Guide
After credits: "Hello and welcome to Whose Line is it Anyway?, the improvisation programme of
the air. Now, extemporising their way through the games tonight we have with us Jon Glover, who has a
hand in many of the voices heard on Spitting Image. Then we have Jimmy Mulville from the hard-hitting
strong-talking late-night Who Dares Wins, and the more cuddly situation comedy That's Love. We also have
Josie Lawrence, a regular cabaret improviser with the Comedy Store Players, and you may also have seen
her on Friday Night Live. And last but not most, we have the multitalented actor, writer and all-round
showoff, John Sessions.
Intro unavailable. If anybody knows the intro for this episode, please e-mail me.
1.14 (Comic Relief Special) - Guide