Colin Mochrie is a Canadian comedian best known for being a permanent contestant on the improvised comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, from 1998-2006.
He first got involved in improv comedy through Theatresports before moving to Toronto's famous comedy theatre, the Second City.
From there he experienced great success in both the British and American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, which has led to highly successful live tours with the Improv All Stars, as well as popular two-man shows with Brad Sherwood.
Colin was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland. As the son of an airline maintenance executive, his family tended to move around quite frequently. They first moved to Chateauguay (near Montreal) in 1964, then to Vancouver in 1969.
He considered himself a loner during his childhood days due to his shyness (a trait he still has) and the frequent moving.
At some point, as a child, he dreamed of becoming a marine biologist or a chef. However, at 16, he was dared by a friend to join a high school play where he had the part of an undertaker. It was then that he got his first laugh (by splitting his pants onstage) and afterwards, he "craved for nothing but more laughter."
After graduating from Killarney Secondary School in 1971, Colin attended Langara College's Studio 58 (a theatre conservatory in Vancouver) for four years before coming across an improv demonstration by the Vancouver Theatresports League.
Becoming hooked on improv, Colin soon joined the League where he learned and performed improv. It was there that he was introduced to Ryan Stiles, who at the time was doing standup comedy. He and Ryan teamed up to do improv and thus began a fruitful improv partnership and friendship that has lasted for over two decades.
Besides Theatresports, Colin's early career included small roles in the 1985 Oscar-nominated Rainbow War and sci-fi flick, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone.
Soon after attending Vancouver's Expo '86, Colin moved to Toronto. There, he auditioned for The Second City (the famed North American comedy theatre), where Ryan Stiles was working at the time.
He was hired by Debra McGrath, then director of Second City's touring company (and wife-to-be). Colin worked at the Second City for three years; during that period, he performed on both mainstage and touring company revues and directed the touring company for three seasons.
He and Deb married in 1989 and have a son, Luke. In 1991, the couple moved to Los Angeles where Deb was offered work on a TV show with Second city colleague, Linda Kash. But they hated it there. After three years of toeing the line of near-poverty (even resorting to selling Deb's CDs to buy diapers for Luke), the family moved back to Toronto to start anew.
Colin made his first appearance on the popular British improvisation comedy show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? in 1991. But it was a long road to becoming the Whose Line stalwart that he is known as today. He first auditioned for the show in 1990 in Toronto but didn't make the cut; later in the year he tried again in Los Angeles and this time was successful.
Colin soon became a show regular, appearing in every episode. British Whose Line continued its run until 1998 before moving to the US under the ABC network. But the move was not without its troubles.
When Whose Line producer Dan Patterson attempted to sell the show to US networks for syndication, they wanted a veejay to host it and famous celebrities (who may not have a clue about improvising) to appear on it.
Fortunately, Dan, Ryan and Drew Carey stepped in and insisted on hiring the Whose Line veterans. Thankfully also, ABC knew a good show when they saw it and were very supportive of Whose Line and the players.
Drew and Ryan (who also star in ABC's other show, the Drew Carey Show) took on extra duties as Executive Producers and so US Whose Line stayed the same.
Since then Whose Line in both its British and American incarnations has played all over the world, and continued on for years after the final tapings. Even a few years after the last tapings of the show, 'new' episodes have still been made from the improv games that have not yet aired.
Whose Line also led the way for a surge in the popularity of Improv, both in live tours and in other TV shows that followed that path.
Thanks to US Whose Line, Colin's profile in North America has increased considerably. He has appeared in numerous Canadian and American TV shows such as The Drew Carey Show, The Outer Limits, Improv Heaven and Hell, Supertown Challenge, Blackfly, and from 2001 to 2003 became a permanent cast member of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, a Canadian political-satire TV show.
On top of all this he also has done regular voice work for such animated series as George & Martha and Seven Little Monsters.
Philanthropy is also never far from his mind; Colin has helped to raise money for many charitable organisations in North America and used his celebrity status to help promote tourism in Toronto.
Continuing the list of early movie appearances, Colin has had cameos in Hollywood films such as Lucky Numbers (starring John Travolta) and The Tuxedo (with Jackie Chan) and Zoom (with Courteney Cox and Tim Allen).
He's also had major roles in acclaimed independent films such as Jane White Is Sick and Twisted, Do it For Uncle Manny, Turnbuckle and Mozart Loves Me.
He was an integral part of the show Expecting which co-starred his wife Deb McGrath and was made up of improvised scenes!
From the creative team behind Expecting came Canadian Accents Productions, a partnership that is continuing on in new uniquely Canadian ventures. Colin and the rest of Canadian Accents are working on a new CBC sitcom Getting Along Famously, a modern update on a famous 60s couple ala Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor.
In the US, Colin keeps a busy schedule with not only Whose Line's successor, Drew Carey's Green Screen, but also touring and doing live shows across the country with co-star Brad Sherwood in the wildly successful Evening with Colin and Brad tour, and in various Improv Allstars tours.
Colin can still be seen on Whose Line Is It Anyway? reruns on many channels.