Ryan Stiles

Ryan Lee Stiles is an actor, comedian, director, and voice actor, best known for his improv and co-production work on ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ and the role of Lewis Kiniski on ‘The Drew Carey Show.’


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Ryan Stiles

Dropping out of high school to pursue comedy work full time may not be a typical career path, Ryan Stiles is not the typical performer. As a teen, he was able to support himself doing stand-up routines at clubs near his home in Vancouver, and helped Rich Elwood start Punchlines Comedy Club. During this time he was the head writer of The Don Harron Show on CTV and the host of Comedy College on CBC. Stiles was also a regular improv performer with the Vancouver Theatresports League and Punchlines’ “No Name Player” before joining the Second City comedy ensemble at Expo 86. He continued performing with Second City in Toronto and later in Los Angeles.

By 1989, Stiles had gained the attention of the producers of the British improvisational comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Stiles was a regular on the show until its end in 1998. His performance on the program earned him both critical praise and a devoted fan following in the United Kingdom. In 1995, Stiles was asked by American comic Drew Carey to be a regular on his sitcom The Drew Carey Show. Stiles played Carey’s erudite but underachieving best friend, Lewis Kiniski.

In 1998, Carey successfully lobbied ABC to produce an American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Following the final season of the British version in 1998, the American version premiered, with both Stiles and Carey credited as executive producers. Stiles received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program in 2002 for his work on the show.[3] A running gag of the show is Stiles’ flashy dress shoes as well as his frequent impressions of American actress Carol Channing. Stiles returned as performer and executive producer for The CW’s revival of Whose Line Is It Anyway? in the summer of 2013.

Stiles appeared in the 1991 film Hot Shots! as Mailman Farnham and its 1993 sequel, Hot Shots! Part Deux, as marine Rabinowitz. He portrayed recurring character Dr. Herb Melnick on Two and a Half Men from 2004 until the show’s end in 2015. He made short guest appearances on Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Murphy Brown, Mad About You, Mad TV, and Dharma & Greg. In July 2008, he was a guest star on Reno 911! as Sergeant Clift, an acting coach.