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Two well-known comedians coming to eastern Idaho (Chances are you’ve seen their popular TV show)

Arts & Entertainment

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Listen to our conversation with Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood in the video player above. | Courtesy photo

IDAHO FALLS – Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are “Scared Scriptless,” and they’re inviting you to come and watch.

The performers from the CW’s popular comedy improv show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” are bringing their live stage show to the Idaho Falls Civic Center for the Performing Arts later this month.

Mochrie tells the show will be a night of family-friendly entertainment similar to what you see on the TV show.

“It’s like a live version of ‘Whose Line’ without the tall guy and the black guy,” Mochrie says. “The difference is it’s even more interactive than the TV show. On television, everything has to be fairly short, fast and snappy. In the stage show, we can take more time with scenes. We can go 10, 15 minutes.”

Everything you see in the show is unscripted and made up on the spot right in front of you. It incorporates a variety of games, skits and musical elements. Some of the bits include “Scenes from a hat,” where cast members make up scenes based on audience suggestions that are drawn from a hat. “Greatest Hits” is another game where the performers make up songs based on a certain topic.

“The producer’s come up with a lot of the suggestions (for the TV show), and then they might have the host turn to the audience and ask for one thing,” Sherwood says.

But the stage show is 100 percent audience-driven. Every game starts with suggestions from the audience, and audience members join them onstage the entire time.

“I think it makes it more fun when you see the show live to know that we’ve got all these people coming up putting us through our paces and they’re setting little traps for us and making us work. I think the audience enjoys seeing us dig our way out of ideas that don’t seem like they’re usable,” says Sherwood.

Audiences around the world have laughed themselves silly as they’ve watched the duo make up original scenes and songs for the last 17 years, and the No. 1 question people ask is “How do you do it?”

“It’s sort of a relaxed panic,” Mochrie says. “We’re in survival mode because we’re trying to make a show from things the audience gives us. So basically, all the preparation is just trying to be as relaxed onstage as possible so that we’re ready for anything that comes our way.”

Sherwood says instinct also plays a role.

“If you trained for 20 years and became a grandmaster martial artist, you wouldn’t know what the person coming at you (during combat) is going to throw at you. So you have to use all your instincts to react. (This show) is the comedy version of that,” he says.

And the stage show is 100 times more fun than the TV show, according to Sherwood.

“Whose Line is it Anyway?” is an improvisational comedy show that aired on ABC from 1998 to 2007. A new version of the show was picked up by the CW in 2013, but it began on the British airwaves in the 1980s.

“We actually just celebrated last year in London. We did a 30th-anniversary special (at the Royal Albert Hall), which Colin and I were in. Clive Anderson, who was the original host, came back for the special, (along with other members of the cast),” Sherwood says.

The American version of the show was hosted by Drew Carey. Aisha Tyler hosts the CW version.

Mochrie and Sherwood have been part of the cast since the beginning and they’re excited to return to Idaho Falls for the first time in five years.

“It’s still as much fun as when we first started,” Mochrie says. “I love the fact that it’s always different. Unlike rock bands, we don’t have to play our greatest hits every show. It’s always fresh for us because everything is different.”

Although they plan to keep the show family-friendly, the duo says they can’t be responsible for audience suggestions.

“If you love ‘Whose Line,’ then you’re going to be blown away and will really love this show,” says Sherwood. “Seeing it live is a totally more exciting experience.”

“Scared Scriptless” is happening Friday, Nov. 29 in Idaho Falls. Ticket prices range from $30 to $55, depending on the seating. You can purchase tickets by clicking here. Learn more on the show’s website.