Colin Mochrie, actor, writer, producer and improvisational comedian best known for his appearances on the British and U.S. versions of the improvisational TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” will guest on the Mop & Bucket Company’s virtual 8 p.m. show this Saturday. The link to the free show: live.mopco.org.
Local audiences have seen Mochrie onstage at Proctors a number of times in “An Evening With Colin and Brad,” his touring show with Brad Sherwood.
A few years back, Mop & Bucket Co. member Jon Kimlicko reached out during one of those local visits, and recorded a podcast episode with him. Kimlicko recently got in touch with Mochrie’s manager and was happily surprised when the improv star agreed to guest on the Mopco virtual show.
Mochrie is also a veteran of TheatreSports League and Toronto’s Second City theatre. He has appeared in dozens of television series and films, as well as theatrical shows. He has written for numerous other series and events, and wrote and performed for the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
Mochrie’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, including two Canadian Comedy Awards, a Gemini Award, and a Writers Guild of Canada award.
He was named Canadian Comedy Person of the Year at the 2013 Canadian Comedy Awards.
Mopco Improv Theatre has had other brushes with famous comedy stars: In 2018, comedian Amy Schumer performed a pop-up standup evening in the theatre, and Dion Flynn, best known for his portrayal as Barack Obama and other characters on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” has taught workshops and performed with Mopco.
When the COVID-19 pandemic called for a shutdown, Mopco immediately began offering free virtual shows on Friday and Saturday nights. The company also offers virtual classes at reduced prices.
Although the situation for the theatre is dire, Artistic Director Michael Burns remains somewhat upbeat.
“We’ve had to cut some costs, but we’ve been lucky enough to be able to keep some employees on payroll with the help of a PPP loan,” Burns said. “Our mortgage is a Small Business Administration loan, so there is some protection there. We are starting to book virtual consulting work [through the company’s organizational development wing, Koppett] and classes are starting to ramp up in their new form.
“This situation calls for improvisation in real life, and we are improvising a lot — we intend to weather this storm and return to North Jay [Street], though of course we realize we may need to modify our procedures in the future.
“It’s not just about keeping our business afloat: this is such a stressful time for everyone, and laughter really is great medicine, so we are hugely thankful to Colin for giving us some time to bring a smile to our community.”