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Newsflash was a game played on both the British and American editions of Whose Line.

The principle was that one performer (a role frequently assigned to Colin Mochrie on the American edition) would stand in front of a green screen on which a video would be projected. This performer was the "reporter in the field". Two (Occassionally three) other performers would take the part of news anchors interviewing the reporter about what was going on - with the catch being that the reporter could not see what was going on. The anchors were supposed to provide clues in the questions to what was going on.

This game belonged to Colin, who both had a knack for providing appropriate reactions, comments and business as well as an almost superhuman ability to guess the scene based on surprisingly few clues. Attempts by others to play the reporter on the scene were less successful.

One common device was to use a scene that elicited feelings of revulsion from the audience so that their reactions became a big part of the joke. Examples of this included scenes of a nudist colony, maggots, cockroaches grossly overweight strippers, body stunts, root canals, and animals mating. The last produced a memorable line from Wayne Brady, "That was wrong on so many levels".

Much like Press Conference, another game working on similar lines, much of the humor of Newsflash came with the reporter's answers to questions - frequently very inappropriate for the situation. Ryan Stiles and Colin developed the technique of asking "How did this begin?", a question which resulted in a series of unusual scene-setting responses by Colin.

As tradition, the anchors would pretend to have been having a conversation, not realizing that they were live on the air.

One famous rendition of this game featured Colin standing in front of a projection of his own appearances on Whose Line - including things such as his "Dinosaur" act. When asked how the scene began, Colin replied: "It all started with a badly-timed bald joke," one of the most accidentally humorous lines in Whose Line history. In response to Drew Carey's question of what he was standing in front of, Colin's response was "I hope it's me with my clothes on".

This idea was used again later, only this time, Colin in front of clips of Ryan, with Ryan giving hints about himself. This playing was less successful, or surprising, as many viewers knew ahead of time what the subject on the screen would be.


UK series

Series 8: 1, 11, 13
Series 9: 1, 4, 13

US Series

Season 1: 3, 10, 12, 18
Season 2: 2, 6, 8, 10, 20, 21, 28, 30, 33, 34, 39
Season 3: 4, 8, 20
Season 4: 11, 12, 25
Season 5: 6, 12, 17, 19, 22, 23, 26, 33
Season 6: 7, 10
Season 7: 19
Season 8: 9, 10, 14, 15
Season 9: 7, 10
Season 10: 5, 19, 24
Season 11: 3, 6, 9, 17


  • One piece of footage was used on two seperate occassions. A piece of low budget King Kong footage was used on the UK series, with Stephen Fry as the field reporter, as well as once in the early American edition, with Drew Carey out on the field.

See also