Anne Sutherland – The Gazette – July 16th, 2008

      When a show is titled Unplanned with two guys, one couch and no script, there’s no telling what’s in store.

      When the stars are improv legends Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops, you anticipate some sort of wild, flying-off-the-handle, no- holds-barred free-for-all.

      And a breathless last-minute message from the Just for Laughs publicity machine that there would be a surprise guest further piqued the interest.

      A full house at the Centaur last night came ready to laugh, and for the most part we did, although the show little resembled Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the show that rocketed both Stiles and Proops to superstardom and made for some pretty amusing television in the day.

      No, this was more like a talk-fest between two friends on any and all subjects that crossed their inventive minds, or as Proops introduced the format: “Some dissembling, riffing, quipping, and if that fails, then dick jokes.”

      The two sat on a sofa and threw out subjects, inviting input from the audience and lambasting anyone who had the audacity to slink into the theatre after the show had begun.

      A word to the wise: don’t be late or you will be mocked.

      Proops and Stiles touched on such topics as lesbianism, teenage children, rogue hairs, wrestling and, for local content, poutine and sugar pie.

      “Poutine, now that’s a butterfat bomb. It’s a wonder everyone in this province doesn’t weigh 400 pounds,” Proops observed.

      The show’s highlight was a song Proops sang to a woman from the audience who gamely went along with their schtick.

      And then came a knock at the door and the surprise guest was Margaret Trudeau, wearing a beige mini-dress, great gams and snazzy red Chanel pumps. She played along like a good sport, though the shenanigans and the zippy repartee of the duo left her in a bit of a tizzy.

      There were the predictable jokes about the Rolling Stones, but Maggie wasn’t thrown at all and smiled through it all. Number one son Justin, sitting right in front of yours truly, even got in on the act to the delight of the crowd when he bounded on stage to defend his mother and told the comics to “stop picking on my mum and be nice to her.”

      Organizers are planning a surprise guest for each show.

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