ABC
Josh Wolk
May 26, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

It’s time for more rug-cutting on ”The Drew Carey Show” when tonight’s season finale (ABC, 9 p.m.) features yet another blowout musical number of the sort that has become the show’s recurring Sweeps event. (Tonight the ”Drew” crew swings to ”Brotherhood of Man” from the musical ”How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”) The cast ain’t exactly the Joffrey Ballet, but they’ve learned the key is at least pretending they know what they’re doing. ”(These numbers) used to bother me, when I tried to goof my way through them and make them a big joke,” says Ryan Stiles, who plays Drew’s gawky friend Lewis. ”But when you put 100 percent into it, the audience realizes you’re really trying so they’re more sympathetic. But you can definitely see that Diedrich (Bader, his costar) and I… are not dancers.”

Anyone who has seen Stiles’ antics on ABC’s hit improv show ”Whose Line Is It Anyway” knows that it would take an awful lot more than a little soft-shoe to make him self-conscious. In one of this year’s episodes, he pretended he was a foal being born and had his costar Colin Mochrie stand by the curtain while Stiles was…uh…”delivered” from offstage slowly, via Mochrie’s crotch. ”That’s the fun of doing the show,” Stiles tells EW Online. ”I just whispered to Colin, ‘Make your way over to the side, I’m coming out your a–.’ And he just says, ‘Okay,’ and doesn’t question why.” Of course, anything that involves a–es makes the ABC censors nervous, and they initially wanted Stiles’ scene excised from the show. ”We said, ‘There’s nothing bad about that,”’ he remembers. ”’I’m basically coming through his legs, but I’m not saying ”F—, f—, f—!” as I do it.”’ The bit stayed in the show.

ABC has renewed the Carey-hosted ”Whose Line” for a full season and has ordered 26 episodes of ”Carey” for next fall. (Stiles will work on the sitcom from Monday to Friday and the improv show on the weekends.) So he’s giving his dancing legs a much-needed rest this summer. ”I was offered to play the Olsen twins’ dad in some movie up in Toronto, but I can think of better things to do on my hiatus,” says Stiles. ”’Now you kids be good!’ I’d rather sit home and have a scotch and soda.”

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