Colin Mochrie recognized as one of Langara’s greats

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“I’m Colin Mochrie and I’m a proud Langara College alumnus.”

The star of the beloved Whose Line Is It Anyway? improv comedy TV show is a recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Alumni Awards from Langara College.

Mochrie was a part of Langara’s Studio 58 from 1977 to 1980 under Kathryn Shaw, who is still the artistic director at Studio 58 today.

Mochrie looks back

“I remember no matter how hard we worked it was still fun,” said Mochrie in a Skype interview with Pam Robertson, manager of alumni and donor relations at Langara. “I remember pulling down sets at four in the morning and just giggling and I thought I hope this is what it’s like in the real world in theatre. I hope that this continues forever.”

Mochrie joined Vancouver TheatreSports League in 1980. It was there he discovered his love for improvisational theatre.

Improv became his life

“I never thought that it would become a career,” said Mochrie. “I just thought that this is something I love doing. And I think part of it was, in that world, I felt very secure.”

It was at TheatreSports where he met Ryan Stiles, a fellow star on Whose Line. It was Stiles who got Mochrie into “Whose Line “and it was Stiles who introduced Mochrie to his wife Debra McGrath.

“He’s responsible for my career and my marriage … and still not sure about the son,” Mochrie said with a smirk.

This photograph of Colin Mochrie as Captain Boyle appeared in Langara College's newspaper on September 28, 1977. Mochrie was performing in Studio 58's production of Juno and the Paycock.
This photograph of Colin Mochrie as Captain Boyle appeared in Langara College’s newspaper on Sept. 28, 1979. Mochrie was performing in Studio 58’s production of Juno and the Paycock.

The improv business is fiercely competitive. There were many people that threw Mochrie under the bus and told him that he wasn’t good enough, which just fueled his “thirst for revenge,” he said.

“It made me work harder. The only person you have is you, so use that person to the best of your ability.”

Robertson was pleased to honour Mochrie with the alumni award.

“He’s a very funny man,” said Robertson. “I think we assume that comedians are funny but they’re not always funny when you meet them face-to-face. Making people laugh is something that is important in life.”

Reported by Jesse Lam

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