Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, two of the regular players on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, have been off taking their improv comedy skills on a tour for awhile now - and if you missed it, well, Image Entertainment just saved your bacon. They've recently released the DVD Colin & Brad: Two Man Group, which captures all of the fun for you. Let's take a look at it, shall we?
Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood were two of my favorite performers on Whose Line, so I was thrilled to hear that they were touring; I didn't get to see them live, but this DVD is the next best thing. These two are hilarious, and play very well off one another as well as their audience. (For example, when a game show answer is "Uranus," Brad responds with, "Where is the worst place to hide your car keys?")
Some of the games will be familiar to you from Whose Line, but there's some new material here as well. There's a great bit called "Sideways Theatre," where Colin and Brad do a scene laying on their sides and are filmed from above so it appears as if they're standing. They're remarkably good at it, even through the expected hiccups - at least, until they break out a bottle of wine, and then it goes wonderfully wrong. They earned a standing ovation from the audience for this part, and rightfully so.
The show doesn't even suffer from the one flaw of most improv - audience participation. A lot of the audience members who were picked on Whose Line weren't just understandably out of their element, but sometimes painfully bad. The audience participants in Two Man Group are actually pretty decent; the one guy who does Colin's half of "Sound Effects" is really good compared to some of the people who've tried and failed. While there are the usual good-natured slip-ups, I never felt as if the audience was screwing up the game.
This is a fairly short program - just over an hour - which is on the short side for live performance DVD's I've seen but not egregiously so. You're getting your $12 worth, that's for sure.
And that mousetrap cover? Not a gag. That actually happens.
Two Man Group is pretty simplistic as far as DVD releases go. The widescreen presentation is serviceable, but not outstanding; it's comparable to watching standard definition TV. That's nothing to sneeze at, of course, but I've seen better presentations of other live performances. The same goes for the sound mix, specifics of which aren't listed on the case.
The case is basic (except for that pesky thing with having the recycle symbol cut out of it again). The menus are a bit weird, artistically; they remind me more of an extreme sports video than an improvisational comedy DVD. But smaller releases like this tend to be a lot simpler when it comes to aesthetics on principle anyway, so I'm not bothered too much.
The Special Features
There are two special features on this release:
The Do's and Don'ts of Improv: This is more or less Colin and Brad taking shots at one another, though there is some legitimately good advice mixed in there, if you're interested in improv.Interview with Colin & Brad: The two guys riff on Inside The Actors Studio for five minutes. Brad does his best James Lipton impression. It's funny at first, but it does start to get old by the end.
Not a lot of special features here, but if you own other comedy DVD's, you know that they generally don't come loaded either.
The Bottom Line
It's a simple, fairly bare-bones DVD release. I'd have liked more extras just because I enjoy these two so much, but I don't know what else they could've added. And for a cheap $12, there's not much to complain about. If you're a fan of comedy, you have to at least give this one a look.