Improv comedian Greg Proops is perhaps best known for his regular appearances on Whose Line Is It Anyway?
But his storied career also includes voice work for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Bob the Builder, as well as many other film and television projects.
The San Francisco native has also toured with comedian Lewis Black and appeared on Flight of the Conchords and Pamela Anderson’s Stripperella. His weekly podcast, The Smartest Man in the World , was called “some of the boldest comedy on the podcasting frontier” by Rolling Stone magazine.
Known for his extensive vocabulary (usually employed coherently) and his encyclopedia-like knowledge of all things trivial (from baseball to literature to history), Greg’s set regularly addresses issues of women’s rights, marriage equality and marijuana legalization.
Despite his chaotic touring schedule and booking obligations, I recently sat down with Greg for some Q and A. Our dialogue is presented below
1. You often reference old songs and movies, which your audience is generally unfamiliar with. Do you ever worry than in ten years, no one will know what you’re talking about?
A fuck I do not give. I do the show for me and those who dig. If someone is too feeble to make a reference, they must die on the tundra with the weak caribou.
2. Are modern movies/songs/books of a lesser caliber than those which proceeded them? Or, will Ke$ha be regarded as the Tina Turner of our time?
I pray to Zeus I will not live long enough to see Ke$ha canonized. I had hoped it would be Kelis, as her milkshake was so intriguing.
The problem with modern Hollywood movies is they have too many people named Ryan in them. That, and Jennifer Anniston is still allowed to perform her three moves in front of the camera. Plus, Michael Bay walks the earth.
3. The Republican Party has decided to open a cocktail lounge in Midtown. They still need a name, a theme, and a signature drink to set the place apart. What would you suggest?
Roofy’s is the place.
Their slogan? “Lie back and stop sniveling”.
The décor? Bright and mindless (like a conservative Christian)
Signature drink? Jesus rides a dinosaur (one part beer, one part ammo, topped with a narrow slice of pork rind).
4. Who do you invite to accompany you on opening night?
You, if you’re man enough. I need a wing man who has no hope of outshining me.
5. Your phone rings at four o’clock in the morning. A drunken Rick Santorum (former U.S. Republican Senator) is sobbing into the receiver. He admits that he secretly listens to The Smartest Man in the World every week. It seems he has privately doubted the existence of God for a long time, and is now looking for guidance from his comedy idol. What do you say to him?
Welcome to the fold, stray lamb. My God is cool as well, just without the hate, obsessive homophobia, revolting misogyny and wild ignorance. My God is a Filipina lesbian who smokes dope and listens to Bruno Mars. She wears the clit ring of power. Bow before her, Mr. Rick and beg for re-googling.
6. What’s going on with the Sodom-and-Gomorrah levels of assault and rape in India? How do you change the social norms of an ancient culture rooted in thousands of years of paternalism and caste systems?
Men in India are terrified of women’s power so they are lashing out in the time-honored way. If you consider assault a social norm, I am sending you to be cell mates with Jerry Sandusky.
7. What did you do for St. Patrick’s Day?
Chased some snakes into a pub.
8. Tell our readers something that most people don’t know about Paris.
The people are polite and have a sense of humor. It’s us who are loud hillbillies. By us I mean you.
9. What’s with the obituaries and poetry reading during your podcast? Do you hope someone will celebrate your life’s work after you pass?
What’s with poetry and eulogies? Really? We live in a world where Donald Trump is encouraged to share his thoughts and Dick Cheney rests un-jailed on a throne made of dead babies and money.
Poetry and remembering the dear ones help soothe the pain of this mortal coil. I hope for my eulogy to be given while I stand. That way, I can correct any errors.
Remember to follow me on Twitter: @Lukeboardman