Published on March 16th, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Brad Sherwood On His “Scared Scriptless” Tour & His Years On “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
Brad Sherwood first made international audiences take notice when he was cast on Whose Line Is It Anyway? in the early 1990s. Like Sherwood, many of his castmates from both of the British and American versions of Whose Line — including Wayne Brady, Greg Proops, Ryan Stiles, and Colin Mochrie — continue to work steadily not only on television and film projects, but also as touring comics within the improv world. Sherwood regularly tours alongside long-time castmate Mochrie, as paired together under the Scared Scriptless moniker; the next “Colin and Brad” performance is scheduled for April 6th in Laramie, Wyoming at the University of Wyoming.
On behalf of The Hype Magazine, I had the pleasure of doing some Q&A with Sherwood over e-mail. The Las Vegas-based performer can be followed on Twitter via @TheBradSherwood, while further tour dates for Sherwood and Mochrie can be found at www.colinandbradshow.com.
You are primarily thought of as an improv comic, but did you start out doing stand-up? Or at any point did you have aspirations to be a stand-up comic?
Brad Sherwood: I tried stand-up twice in college. It was terrifying. Doing a joke in a comedy club — that doesn’t get a laugh — is like asking a room full of people if a photo of your baby is “adorable,” and no one says a word.
Your success predates Upright Citizens Brigade and a lot of other now-prominent improv schools. How did you learn to do improv? Were you initially part of a troupe? Or did you have a way of practicing regularly?
Brad Sherwood: I did Second City in L.A. and Theatresports. My first group was called Gopher Broke — thanks, Mike. I did shows in L.A. for a decade before getting on Whose Line.
Do you feel that there are any misconceptions about doing improv?
Brad Sherwood: At its best, improv is sublime, instant comedy. At its worst, it is charades for extroverts. I have been in both those types of show.
Most people seemed to have noticed you first from the British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Before being cast on that show, had you been to England before?
Brad Sherwood: I had not been to England prior to my second season of Whose Line; my first season was shot in New York. And this December, we will be back in London doing Whose Line Live! at a little English theater called The Royal Albert Hall.
Had you met any of the Whose Line Is It Anyway? cast before landing a role on the show?
Brad Sherwood: I knew Colin, Ryan, Wayne, Greg, Jonathan, Jeff and Gary prior to working with them on Whose Line. We all came up in various factions of the L.A. improv scene.
You and Colin have been touring together for years. How would you describe Scared Scriptless to someone who has never seen you beyond television appearances?
Brad Sherwood: Our live show is more interactive. We give the power to the audience. They are the puppet masters. And we are at the mercy of their demented brains. We’re like MacGyver on Chopped — we take questionable ingredients and turn them into something funny.
Tour aside, do you have any other upcoming projects that you can talk about?
Brad Sherwood: I’m waiting patiently for all the kids that grew up watching Whose Line to become successful film directors. I think the Whose Line cast needs to be in a gritty Western. I want to ride a horse.
Is there something within your career that you have not accomplished that you are still hoping to do? For example, you are known for being a great musical impressionist, but have considered doing original music?
Brad Sherwood: I paint and write music. I find myself attracted to jobs that are almost impossible to succeed at. Maybe I’ll try competitive figure skating next.
When not busy with your career, how do you like to spend your free time?
Brad Sherwood: My favorite thing to do, in my free time, is to answer interview questions about myself, in a way that makes me seem incredibly charming, talented, and humble.
What’s the last comedy show you attended for fun?
Brad Sherwood: I live in Vegas now, so I get to see a lot of shows. I saw Jerry Seinfeld and he was as good as he’s ever been. Great show. “Older, angry Jerry” might be even funnier than “young, irritated Jerry” was.
Finally, Brad, any last words for the kids?
Brad Sherwood: Dear, kids…don’t let your phones steal your potential for greatness.