The show Whose Line Is It Anyway? had a run which aired for 8 seasons from 1999-2008. Each episode had 4 comedians doing improv. Two of them were always Collin Mocherie and Ryan Stiles, of the other two, it seemed like Wayne Brady was on at least 80% of the time and then for the other comedian there was an alternating guest slot which rotated between different repeating guest stars. But on the times when Wayne Brady wasn't on, there would be two alternate guest stars.

So I'm wondering what exactly was Wayne's official status on the show? Was he a co-star or a guest artist? He definitely seemed like more than just a slot filler for the alternating guests, and arguably was an intricate part of why the show was so successful with his amazing ability to improv musical styles.

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    The show ran for 8 seasons but eight season was made from cuts from other 7. There are also episodes that were never aired that included two guests. So when the episodes were recorded Wayne Brady was on 50% of the episodes. Sep 30, 2019 at 10:18
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    Nitpick: This is the original TV series.
    – chepner
    Sep 30, 2019 at 14:04
  • Is the "new" series even still in production? Last time I saw it, the improv seemed to have kinda taken a one-track vein and wasn't nearly as fresh anymore.
    – David W
    Sep 30, 2019 at 14:18
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    Pretty Sure I saw WLIIA in the late eighties. How can you say it originally ran from 1999? Oct 1, 2019 at 13:48
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    Thanks everyone for kindly pointing out my error in thinking this was the original run of the show. I've edited my post to remove the word "original" so we can now focus on the actual question I asked :)
    – sanpaco
    Oct 1, 2019 at 14:30

2 Answers 2


First, some history:

The Original series of "Whose Line Is It Anyway" was a 6-episode Radio Series on BBC Radio 4 in early 1988. It was hosted by Clive Anderson, with John Sessions and Stephen Fry as the 2 regular performers, joined by a pair of guest performers: Dawn French, Lenny Henry, Hugh Laurie, Enn Reitel, Nonny Williams, Jimmy Mulville, Kate Robbins, Griff Rhys Jones, John Bird, John Glover and Rory Bremner. Jimmy Mulville was the only guest performer to appear twice.

In September 1988, it moved to TV on Channel 4. Stephen Fry opted not to return, leaving John Sessions as the only regular performer. During the second season, John Sessions was phased out, in favour of a full roster of guest performers. By the eighth series, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie had taken on the role of regular performers. The tenth series (filmed entirely in Hollywood, and consisting almost entirely of American comedians) failed to display much new talent, received low viewing figures, and the series was scrapped. Wayne Brady appeared in 5 of the of series ten.

(History lesson over)

Ryan Stiles then introduced the series to Drew Carey, who then successfully pitched an American version of the show to ABC. Drew Carey hosted the show, with Colin Mochrie and Ryan Styles as regular performers (appearing in every episode). Wayne Brady appeared as a recurring guest in 16 of 20 episodes in the first season. For the second through seventh series, he was a third regular performer (in every episode). For the eighth series, he was a recurring guest once more (17 of 21 episodes), and for the ninth through 15th series he has been a regular performer again.

(Also, while Colin Mochrie has appeared in every episode of the American series, Ryan Styles did not appear in 2 episodes of series ten, being replaced by Greg Proops)

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    Many thanks to LCIII for correcting my Freudian slip... Oct 1, 2019 at 16:17
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    Note that Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady are all Executive Producers as well as performers on the current series.
    – Mohair
    Oct 1, 2019 at 23:20
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    Fun fact: later when Stephen Fry started with QI, Clive was one of the frequent guests on the show.
    – Mast
    Oct 2, 2019 at 12:47

According to this IMDB page which covers the 8 seasons from 1998-2007, Brady was in 212 episodes, only 8 less than Mocherie and Styles.

Wikipedia shows him as a recurring non-regular participant in 2 seasons and a 'main' performer for the other 13 seasons for the entire period of 1998-2019. He has performed in 329 episodes compared to 339 for Mocherie who has appeared in every show. That's 97% of episodes.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'official status' but with those statistics I don't think we could consider him a guest performer.

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