. As of this writing, he appears on no fewer than three show
s in prime time Canadian
and American television
. The best-known of these is Whose Line Is It Anyway?
, on ABC
, though This Hour Has 22 Minutes
is very popular in Canada
Mochrie was born Nov. 30, 1957, in Scotland; his family moved to Montreal seven years later, then settled in Vancouver in 1969 (his father was an airline maintenance executive). He played an undertaker in a high-school play, and got hooked on making people laugh -- as with many performers, he was painfully shy in ordinary life but thrived on stage.
Mochrie practised improv with the local Theatresports (or, depending where you're from, "Theatersports") league, went to acting school, and moved to Toronto in 1986. He joined the Second City comedy troupe for three years, where he met fellow Whose Line performer Ryan Stiles.
He and his wife, Deb McGrath, moved briefly to Los Angeles, hated it, didn't see their careers take off (despite their both landing very small roles in movies and TV) and went back to Toronto.
Mochrie's comedy often features self-deprecation, so take it with a grain of salt when you read that Ryan Stiles forced the Whose Line producers to take him on. (Stiles's position was more established; besides his having appeared on the original British version, as Mochrie did, Stiles was on the successful The Drew Carey Show.)
As a comedian, Mochrie has a gift for off-kilter images and weird juxtapositions. He can't sing (occasionally a problem for an improvver, but not an insurmountable one) and he has little knack for physical comedy, but his deadpan is outstanding and his timing is impeccable.
Besides being a regular on Whose Line, Mochrie is one of a team of four mock newscasters on the Canadian satirical news program This Hour Has 22 Minutes (having joined in the 2001-2002 season to replace the departed Rick Mercer), and plays a British soldier on the Canadian historical satire Blackfly. He also does advertisements here and there.