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Colin Mochrie
Colin Mochrie at BANFF, 2008 (crop).jpg
Birth name Colin Andrew Mochrie
Born (1957-11-30) November 30, 1957 (age 66)
Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland
Medium Stand-up comedy, television
Nationality Canadian
Education Langara College (BFA)
Years active 1977–present
Genres Improvisational comedy
Debra McGrath
(m. 1989)
Children 1

Colin Andrew Mochrie (/ˈmɒkri/; born November 30, 1957) is a Scottish-born Canadian actor, writer, producer and improvisational comedian, best known for his appearances on the British and US versions of the improvisational TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Mochrie honed his comedic talents with Vancouver's TheatreSports League and Toronto's Second City theatre. He has appeared in dozens of television series and films, as well as theatrical shows. With his wife, comedian Debra McGrath, Mochrie co-wrote, co-produced, and co-starred in the Canadian sitcoms Getting Along Famously and She's the Mayor. 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.

Early life

Colin Mochrie was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland, the oldest of three children. His father was an airline maintenance executive. He was shy as a child, stating that neighbours would have commented that he "watched way too much television." In 1964, when Mochrie was seven years old, his family emigrated to Canada. They first settled in a neighbourhood just outside Montreal, Quebec, and five years later moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Mochrie attended Killarney Secondary School, where he was a self-proclaimed loner who wanted to become a marine biologist. He was persuaded by a friend to try out for a play titled The Death and Life of Sneaky Fitch in which Mochrie played the role of the undertaker. He was hooked when he got his first laugh, which inspired him to pursue a career in entertainment. After graduating from high school as valedictorian, Mochrie attended the Studio 58 theatre school at Langara College for four years, where he discovered the art of improvisational comedy.


Improvisational beginnings

Upon graduation from Studio 58, Mochrie found his first line of work as a member of the Vancouver TheatreSports League. He started working with the group in 1980. Fame was slow to start, as Mochrie "literally had to pull people out of McDonald's to come see the shows." Mochrie originally had parts in plays while working for the group, but working for the TheatreSports League eventually became a full-time job for Mochrie. He met fellow improvisor Ryan Stiles during this time. He was visiting a mutual friend in New Zealand when Stiles was doing comedy at Punchlines. After the two met, Stiles and Mochrie began working at TheatreSports together. Though it has been stated that the two met while members of The Second City, the pair were already close friends, according to both Mochrie and Susan Trimbee, the former manager of The Second City Toronto (1985–1988).

Following Expo '86, Mochrie ended his tenure with the Vancouver TheatreSports League and moved to Toronto. Once there, Mochrie auditioned for The Second City comedy troupe, where Stiles was working. He began performing with the Second City National Touring Company where he met Debra McGrath, who was the director of the company at the time. The two married in 1989 and had a child, Kinley, in 1990.

Mochrie worked for The Second City for three years, co-writing and starring in three productions and directing three seasons of their national touring company. As a member of the touring company, he performed in many skits, including one where he and two others are at a bar, and they help him to rewrite an anecdote from his youth involving his father taking him to a baseball game; and a five-minute version of a James Bond movie, complete with Mochrie in a downhill ski chase and parachuting off a cliff.


Upon finishing his stint with Second City in 1988, Mochrie's career was quiet for a while as he spent some time with his new wife and child. In 1989, he auditioned for the new British Channel 4 improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? but did not make the cut. Mochrie has stated that the audition was a good learning experience because while improv is about setting other people up to be funny, auditions should be about giving yourself the chance to stand out. He moved to Los Angeles the following year, but again auditioned for the British Whose Line, this time making the cut and being asked to fly to London. He appeared on one episode and was again let go. The third time Mochrie auditioned, he earned a regular spot on the show. He spent seven years as a regular on the UK version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and remained a cast member until the show's end in 1998.

After the British version of the show ended its run, Mochrie joined the American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? hosted by Drew Carey on ABC. He was brought on alongside Ryan Stiles, who was also a regular member of the UK cast. Mochrie appeared on every episode from its debut in August 1998 to its finale in 2006. He noted his favourite games as "Scenes From a Hat", where he would have to act out scenes based on suggestions by audience members, and "Whose Line" where he and Stiles would act out a scene and have to add in lines written on pieces of paper. He believed his weak spots were the musical segments and the "Hoedown" game, which he said was the only time during the show when he felt total fear. Mochrie, who cannot sing, usually spoke his lines instead of singing them.

Mochrie's co-stars on the show would frequently mock him for being Canadian and for his receding hairline. Very early on in the UK version, however, Mochrie still had a fairly full head of hair, and the bald jokes were done at the expense of the UK host, Clive Anderson. In the American version, Mochrie would often perform the female role in certain frequently-performed skits, such as "Whose Line" and "Two Line Vocabulary". In the few times he played the man in the scene, the producers were making further fun of his baldness (e.g. Colin was Samson, and Ryan was his girlfriend, and Samson had lost all his strength because Ryan had cut off his hair).

According to Mochrie's agent, Jeff Andrews, during the show's run Mochrie was better known in Canada as a "commercial king", performing as characters such the Detergent Crusader for Sunlight detergent. In March 2005, a Nabisco advertising campaign starred Mochrie as the "Snack Fairy", in which he wears a ballet tutu over ordinary slacks and a shirt. At the end of each commercial, he declares "Snack happy!" and waves his scepter with a smile.

Mochrie remained active elsewhere during his tenure as a Whose Line cast member. In early 1994, he played the role of Mike Brady in a musical version of The Brady Bunch, directed by fellow Second City member Bruce Pirrie. In the production, Mochrie plays the character as caffeine-fuelled, jittery, and neurotic, an exaggeration of the Mike Brady television character, who often had a coffee in his hand on the show. Shortly before his move to the US version of Whose Line in 1998, Mochrie starred in the Canadian comedy series Supertown Challenge as the host of game shows, which the show spoofed. He also appeared in several episodes of the Canadian improvisational comedy series Improv Heaven and Hell.


In an interview, it was revealed that in 1999 Mochrie worked on the Miloš Forman film Man on the Moon, but his scenes were deleted from the final movie. Mochrie was a guest star in three episodes of The Drew Carey Show: "She's Gotta Have It" (1999), "Drew Live" (1999), and "Drew Live II" (2001). He also appeared on Nickelodeon's Figure It Out as a celebrity guest panelist; in one segment of the show, he was slimed. He had a one-liner in the "Bad Hare Day" episode of Goosebumps, and he made special guest appearances in several episodes of The Red Green Show.

From 2001 through 2002, Mochrie co-starred in the Canadian comedy series Blackfly for the series' two seasons. He appeared in This Hour Has 22 Minutes on CBC Television from 2001 through 2003, and on the WB Television Network series Drew Carey's Green Screen Show in 2004.

In 2003, Mochrie, Leslie Nielsen, Wayne Gretzky, and Roy Halladay appeared in print and television advertisements to encourage people to visit Toronto after the SARS outbreak that struck the city.

In May 2004, he hosted a tongue-in-cheek guide to surviving animal attacks on Animal Planet known as Wild Survival Guide. He has done a commercial supporting Habitat For Humanity. He appeared briefly in a commercial for Buckley's Cough Syrup, and he was featured in a commercial for New York Fries, manning a steamroller. He appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as the superhero Overly Sensitive Man (inspired by Whose Line).

By 2004, Mochrie was appearing in so many media spots that a new Canadian television series, Corner Gas, made light of it by having him do a cameo appearance in the tenth episode. In 2005, Mochrie appeared in "Burnt Toast", a series of eight comedic mini-operas, each depicting a different stage of a romantic relationship in a contemporary setting, produced by Canada's Rhombus Media. He also appeared in an episode of The Surreal Gourmet. Along with Rosie O'Donnell, Mochrie hosts a video introduction to a tour of the bakery in the Pacific Wharf area of Disney California Adventure Park. In the video, he helps explain how sourdough bread is made. On December 25, 2005, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation premièred the TV movie The Magical Gathering. Mochrie starred in this, and his daughter, Kinley, co-starred as Mochrie's character at a younger age.

Mochrie starred in Getting Along Famously in 2006. In February 2007, he made a guest appearance as a priest in the seventh episode of Little Mosque on the Prairie, a Canadian television comedy series.

On March 28, 2007, Mochrie and his Whose Line costar Brad Sherwood hosted part of the Press Correspondents' Dinner with the President. At that event, Sherwood and Mochrie featured Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove rapping. Rove's only line was "MC Rove". On August 29, 2007, it was announced that Mochrie would host the Canadian version of the game show Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?. The first of five episodes aired on October 25, 2007. As a result, Mochrie became the fifth member of the American Whose Line? cast to become a game show host, after colleagues Brad Sherwood (The Dating Game and The Big Moment), Greg Proops (VS., Head Games and Rendez-View), Wayne Brady (Don't Forget the Lyrics! and Let's Make A Deal), and Drew Carey (Power of 10 and The Price Is Right).

The image of Mochrie's face is used extensively in Animutation, a style of Flash animation. Neil Cicierega, the creator of Animutation, would place Mochrie in almost every Animutation he made, making the inclusion of him in Animutation somewhat of a running gag. Mochrie is aware of his status among Animutation artists and fans, having been quoted, "It was very odd when I first saw the animutations. Obviously, the animators are more than a little crazy, but I am very proud of my standing in the animutation arena and hope that some day I can make millions off of it."


In 2010, Mochrie acted in the Canadian television sitcom She's the Mayor, which debuted in 2011. On July 19, 2010, Mochrie starred as the divorce lawyer working on the case of Spinner and Emma in Degrassi Takes Manhattan.

In 2011, Mochrie appeared as a regular cast member on Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza on GSN. In 2012, Mochrie starred in the ABC improv comedy series Trust Us with Your Life.

Mochrie returned for the CW network's revival of Whose Line Is It Anyway? in the summer of 2013. He had a recurring role in the short-lived television comedy series Working the Engels.

In 2017 Mochrie made a cameo appearance complete with his trademark dry humour, as Ralph Fellows a hotel detective in an episode of the Canadian detective TV series Murdoch Mysteries.

In 2020 he hosted Mass Hysterical: A Comedic Cantata, a webcast collaboration between Second City alumni and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra which presented a comedic history of the use of classical and liturgical music in the church, for which he received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Lead Performance in a Web Program or Series at the 10th Canadian Screen Awards in 2022.

He has appeared on the revival of sketch comedy series The Kids in the Hall, which was released on Amazon Prime Video on May 13, 2022. Mochrie co-stars as the improvisational comedian in Hyprov, a comedy show that is a fusion of stage hypnosis and improvisation.

Ongoing two-man show with Brad Sherwood

Mochrie and Whose Line co-star Brad Sherwood have intermittently toured North America as a two-man stage show since 2002. Initially called "An Evening with Colin and Brad", they played primarily in small theatre venues. A DVD of their performances, "Colin & Brad: Two Man Group", was released on March 8, 2011.

As of 2018, Mochrie and Sherwood have continued their performances, billed as the "Scared Scriptless Tour", and are playing in larger venues such as the Sydney Opera House and London's Royal Albert Hall.

Personal life

Mochrie lives with his wife, Canadian actress Debra McGrath, in Toronto. The two have been married since January 8, 1989, and together they have a daughter, Kinley Mochrie. In 2017, with her permission, Mochrie revealed on Twitter that Kinley is transgender. In 2018, after Mochrie posted a picture with his wife and daughter on Facebook wishing her a happy birthday, he received hateful comments from trolls. He responded by saying in a post the following day, "Thanks to the fans of this page for being supportive and human. To the trolls, my thoughts and prayers to your body for losing it's [sic] mind and soul so tragically." When Mochrie competed on LOL: Last One Laughing Canada in 2022, he played for Rainbow Camp, an affirming summer camp program for LGBTQ youth in Thessalon.

Mochrie is related to Canadian actor Munro Chambers by marriage. In a 2010 interview, Chambers stated:

"I could say many things... my uncle, for one thing, is Colin Mochrie. He's been my inspiration getting into the industry. He's my uncle-in-law; his wife is my dad's cousin. My dad and his cousin, they were kind of like brother and sister growing up, so he's my uncle by law. We have a good relationship."



Year Title Role Notes
1983 Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone Guard Uncredited
1985 Rainbow War Short film
1989 The January Man Pat
1997 The Real Blonde Renny
1999 Road to Nowhere Tom Berman
2000 Lucky Numbers Jack
2001 The Midnight Hour Fred Dennis Uncredited
Totally Blonde Vulcan / Agent / Comic
Truth in Advertising John Stevenson Short
2002 Jane White Is Sick & Twisted Barney
Do It for Uncle Manny Maitre'd
Expecting Gary
The Tuxedo Gallery Owner
2003 Turnbuckle Connor O'Connor
Bitter Jester Himself
2005 Burnt Toast: The Argument Husband Short
2006 Cathedral Pine Dr. Brock Cosby
Young Triffie Sgt. Bill O'Mara
2007 Surviving My Mother Rick
I Do & I Don't Bagpiper
2007 Let's All Hate Toronto Himself
2008 Inconceivable Andy Stephenson
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Mr. Pennington
2009 Puck Hogs Irv Mason
2010 GravyTrain Mayor Chester Chubbins
2011 In a Family Way Oscar Direct-to-video
Mulroney: The Opera Jean Chrétien
2011 Ron Sparks Celebrity Roast of Colin Mochrie Himself Direct-to-video
2012 Please Kill Mr. Know It All Talk Show Host
The Train Gordon Short
2013 Hardsell Ben Short
2014 The Anniversary Carl
Beethoven's Treasure Tail Dr. Kelp Direct-to-video
2015 Business Ethics Higgins Short
After the Ball Colin Frost
Night Cries The Hat
2019 Boys vs. Girls Roger
Astronaut Interviewer
Canadian Strain Jack Banting
2020 Thomas and the Magic Railroad: 20th Anniversary Celebration Burnett Stone
2021 Drifting Snow John
Maybe There's a Tree Reggie Deuce
Ankle Biters Detective Morton
2023 Hey, Viktor! Craig Broner
2023 How to Ruin the Holidays Dad


Year Title Role Notes
1990 The Campbells Farmer
The World's Oldest Living Bridesmaid Outdoor Bar Waiter TV movie
My Talk Show Guest Star
1991–1999 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Himself United Kingdom version
57 episodes
1995 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Bus Driver Season 3 episode 4: "The Return of Sing Ling"
1996 Gotti Sound operator TV movie
Goosebumps Heavy Uncredited
Season 2 episode 4: "Bad Hare Day"
1998 Stories from My Childhood Himself Voice
2 episodes
Once a Thief O'Grady Episode 15: "True Blue"
Whose Line Is It Anyway? Himself United States version
1998–2000 Supertown Challenge Dick Powell Writer (3 episodes)
1999 George and Martha Oscar/Bud Chuckles Voice
Main role (26 episodes)
Shelly Fisher Mr. Niles TV movie
Show of Hearts Himself
Improv Heaven and Hell
Figure It Out Panelist
1999–2000 The Drew Carey Show Eugene/Eugene Anderson 3 episodes
2000 The Outer Limits Dale La Rose Season 6 episode 10: "Down to Earth"
Twas the Night Before Christmas Himself Christmas special
2000–2003 Seven Little Monsters Two Main role (49 episodes)
2001 Disney's California Adventure TV Special Himself
Improv All Stars TV special
Hollywood Squares Panelist
10 episodes
Cream of Comedy Host
2001–2002 Blackfly Cpl. Entwhistle 26 episodes
This Hour Has 22 Minutes Anthony St. George/Various 3 episodes
2002 Made in Canada Frank Roy Season 4 episode 10: "Alan's Brother"
Pyramid Himself Celebrity contestant
Episode dated December 27, 2002
2002–2003 Royal Canadian Air Farce Queer Eye for the Al-Queda Guy 3 episodes
2003 The Sean Cullen Show Himself Episode 1: "Seán's First Show"
Comedic Genius: The Work of Bernard Slade Narrator
I Love the '70s
This Hour Has 22 Minutes: New Year's Eve Special N/A Writer
2004 Cirque du Soleil: Solstrom Episode 10: "Winds of Courage"
Corner Gas Dave Season 1 episode 10: "Comedy Night"
The Red Green Show Frank Kepke 2 episodes
25 Years of Skinnamarink Himself
I Love the '90s
The Magical Gathering
TV Guide Close Up: From Comedy Club to Primetime
2004–2005 Drew Carey's Green Screen Show 12 episodes
2005 A Very Barry Christmas Santa Claus TV movie
Burnt Toast Dougald TV movie
Getting Along Famously Kip Delany TV movie pilot
Teleplay writer
Executive producer
I Love the '90s: Part Deux Himself
Comedy Gold TV short documentary
2005–2009 Winnipeg Comedy Festival Host
2 episodes
2006 Getting Along Famously Kip Delaney Main role
Executive producer
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Overly Sensitive Man "#14.181" (Uncredited)
Second City: First Family of Comedy Himself Mini-series documentary: "A College of Comedy" & "It Came from Melonville"
2007 Second City's Next Comedy Legend "Kreskin vs. Sean" & "Outsmart, Outlast, Outmug"
Are You Smarter Than a Canadian 5th Grader? Himself / Host
2007–2012 Little Mosque on the Prairie Archdeacon Gladwin/Plastic Surgeon "The Archdeacon Cometh" & "The Worst of Times"
2008 History Bites Himself Special: "Céline Dion"
2009 Hotbox "#1.6" and "#1.13"
Improv Monologue Project Himself
2009–2013 The Ron James Show Barry Crosby/Mr. Douglas 5 episodes
2010 Love Letters Andy TV movie
The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town Veterinarian Mini-series
Episode 4: "Big City Smack Down"
Degrassi Takes Manhattan Larry TV movie
Men with Brooms Episode 12: "How They Got Here"
Making a Scene Himself
Truth Mashup Episode 2: "Canadian TV"
2010–2012 Wingin' It Security Guard Bob/Security Guard 2 episodes
2011 She's the Mayor Scott Hawkins 13 episodes
Single White Spenny Dr. Brickman 1 episode
Almost Heroes Boyd 8 episodes
Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza Himself 21 episodes
Long Story Short: CBC Turns 75
Colin & Brad: Two Man Group
2012 Comedy Bar Lionel
Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town Judge Pepperleigh TV movie
Trust Us with Your Life Himself 8 episodes
The Casting Room Episode: "Colin Mochrie"
2012–2013 Match Game Panelist
4 episodes
2013 Off2Kali Comedy Season 1 episode 7: "Pick My Fake Indian Name!"
Downton Abbey at 54 Below: Season 4, Episode 1 Sneak Peak Julian Fellowes (Himself)
Satisfaction Manager Episode 12: "Daddy Issues"
#7DaysLater Colin Episode 1: "Drama Queen"
Fir Crazy Gary Dixon TV movie
Call Me Fitz Man in a Hot Dog Costume 2 episodes
90210: 4ever Himself
2014 Working the Engels Miles Episode 1: "Pilot"
Dark Rising Nacelle "The Nefarious" 5 episodes
Space Janitors Wondor Kenway Web series
Season 3 episode 5: "Hope Day"
Canada's Smartest Person Himself Linguistic Judge: "#1.1"
2014–2017 Annedroids Mr. Cooper Web series
5 episodes
2015 The Stanley Dynamic Mailman Season 1 episode 16: "The Stanley Student"
Gaming Show (In My Parents' Garage) Himself Season episode 7: "Pong the Movie"
Celebrity Name Game Celebrity player
3 episodes
2016 Hart of America Short
2017 But I'm Chris Jericho! Himself Season 2 episode 3: "Peace Out"
2017-2022 Murdoch Mysteries Ralph Fellows 4 episodes
2018 Let's Get Physical Bill Vanslooten Episode 8: "CAC Fight!"
Liverspots and Astronots Rossi 21 episodes
The Mission Ambassador Macdonald TV movie
2019 Michelle's Jerry Web series
Episode 2: "Lunch is for Troglodytes"
Go Away, Unicorn! Mr. Opus / Sensei Scotty / Scotty Voice
9 episodes
Pete Samcras Dad Mini-series
2 episodes
Private Eyes Ralph Duncan Season 3 episode 12: "Glazed and Confused"
Carter Neil Jacott Season 2 episode 1: "Harley Wears A Wig"
2020 Workin' Moms Mr. Hall Season 4 episode 2: "Black Sheep"
2021 TallBoyz Himself Season 2 episode 6: "All the Focus Is on the Diamonds"
A Christmas Letter Sandy Clause TV movie
2022 LOL: Last One Laughing Canada Himself 6 episodes
Sloppy Jones Frank Jones Episode 1: "Over My Dad Body"
The Kids in the Hall Police Detective Episode 8
Baking All the Way Mr. Weaver TV movie
2023 Ted Lasso Lanny Voice
Season 3, episode 10: "International Break"

Awards and nominations

Mochrie has been nominated for five Canadian Comedy Awards and has won two. He has also won a Gemini Award and a Writers Guild of Canada award for This Hour Has 22 Minutes. In 2013, Mochrie was awarded Canadian Comedy Person of the Year at the Canadian Comedy Awards.

Colin Mochrie awards and nominations
Wins 9
Nominations 19
Year Nominated work Award Category Result
2000 Colin Mochrie – Whose Line Is It Anyway? Canadian Comedy Awards Best Male Improviser Won
2001 Best Male Performance – Television Won
2002 Colin Mochrie – Jane White Is Sick & Twisted B-Movie Award Best B-Movie Hollywood Appearance or Cameo Won
This Hour Has 22 Minutes WGC Screenwriting Awards Best Script for TV Comedy or Variety Won
2003 This Hour Has 22 Minutes – "New Years Even Special" with Greg Thomey, Mary Walsh, Cathy Jones, Mark Critch, Mark Farrell, Paul Mather, Peter McBain, and Kevin White Canadian Comedy Awards Best TV Writing in a Special or Episode Won
This Hour Has 22 Minutes with Greg Thomey, Mary Walsh, Cathy Jones, Mark Critch, Mark Farrell, Paul Mather, Peter McBain, Luciano Casimiri, Kevin White Nominated
2003 This Hour Has 22 Minutes Gemini Awards Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series Won
2004 Colin Mochrie – Expecting Canadian Comedy Awards Best Male Performance – Film Nominated
Colin Mochrie – Expecting with Karl Pruner, Barbara Radecki, Cindy Stone Best Writing – Film Nominated
2005 Getting Along Famously Best Writing for a Special or Episode Nominated
2005 Gemini Awards Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series Nominated
2008 History Bites for episode Celine Dion Nominated
2010 Colin Mochrie ACTRA Toronto Awards Award of Excellence Won
Canadian Comedy Awards Canadian Comedy Person of the Year Nominated
2012 Phil Hartman Award Nominated
Dave Broadfoot Award Won
2013 Canadian Comedy Person of the Year Won
2015 ACTRA Toronto Awards Outstanding Performance – Male Nominated
2016 Colin Mochrie & Wayne Jones Canadian Comedy Awards Best Live Production Nominated

See also

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