In Advance of His State Theatre Show, Comedian Brad Sherwood Talks About the Joys of Being ‘Scared Scriptless’

In a matter of casual conversation, comedian Brad Sherwood mentioned to fellow comedian/touring partner Colin Mochrie that he particularly liked the title Scared Scriptless as the name of an improv show. He said he’d loved to use for it the tour that he and Mochrie, both of whom perform on improv comedy TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, were about to embark upon, but he figured the term belonged to someone else.

He figured wrong.

“That’s a fun title that Colin came up with years ago,” explains Sherwood, who brings Scared Scriptless to the State Theatre on Sunday, in a phone interview from his Las Vegas home. “I said to him that my favorite title of an improv show was Scared Scriptless. He told me he had come up with. It was his idea for a Second City show. I said, ‘You came up with that?’ I wouldn’t have used it because I had heard the title and thought someone would accuse us of stealing the idea, but it’s Colin’s so we can use it.”

For the show, the two will improvise new material every night based audience suggestions and participation. The performance will include variations on many of the games showcased on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, including “Sound FX” and “One Word Expert.” Throughout the evening, the show becomes interactive as audience members are called to the stage to participate.

“I got into improv when I moved to L.A. after college,” explains Sherwood when asked about his background in comedy. “I saw an improv group and thought they were amazing. I was always into comedy and was always trying to be funny and make my friends laugh. Doing that, you’re already thinking like an improviser. I went to a workshop where I learned all the ins and outs of how to do it as a performance-based thing. I took to it naturally.”

Sherwood worked in several improv groups before landing on the British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and then transitioning to the stateside rendition.

“The live show [with Mochrie] has evolved [since 2003], but it’s always been the two of us doing improv and playing some games that we’ve done on Whose Line,” he says. “We change the title from time to time just to sort of spruce it up and rebrand it to have something different to put on the posters. We’ve been non-stop touring for 15 years. It’s not a like being a band because you don’t have to put out a new album to tour. And it's not like a stand-up comic who does an act for a year and a half and then retreats to their den and comes up with a new show and tests it on the road until it’s polished. [Our show] is always different. We use audience member suggestions, and so it’s fun for audiences if they come back to see the show again.”

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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