The Greg Proops you may know from his tenure on the American version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway” is simply only one dimension of a truly remarkable and highly intelligent comedian and entertainer. Over the past year, Proops stretched and worked out his other talent muscles as the host and creator of a podcast that truly is his namesake. “Greg Proops is The Smartest Man In The World” features the spectacle wearing funny man as a one man band of sorts, sprouting out deliciously layered monologues going in a thousand different fantastic directions. On Saturday, Greg brought the popular podcast to Brooklyn’s The Bell House for a live taping. The LocalBozo comedy crew was front and center, ready to digest every nuance Proops would produce.
Before the show even began, Proops could be seen chatting with friends and fans all around The Bell House space. At 8:30pm on the nose Proops emerged from the back dancing his way onto the stage to his fans’ collective delight. With vodka drink in hand, he welcomed everyone in attendance with his larger than life persona. Like other live podcast tapings we have attended the hosts rap with the crowd before officially beginning the broadcast. Proops did that and then some. After making a joke about forgetting to hit record on some occasions, he went over some of his show’s stats from around the world including intimating a certain region of Panama that literally has only two people listening. This statement became a running joke well into the recording, allowing the live crowd an inside track into several funny riffs.
To my surprise and many others in the house, a huge portion of the taping had Proops humorously discussing a recent night out at The Brooklyn Academy of Music (or as he would call it “BAM!”) and Berlyn the German restaurant located directly across the street. His restaurant commentary ran the gamut from the fact that Berlin is spelled with a “Y” and that downtown Brooklyn is impossible for getting a cab. When this episode airs you will understand how many topics Mr. Proops covered literally tiring the audience out with laughter and brainstorming.
The night may have been filled with rapid fire brilliant comedy pieces that could satisfy any intelligence level, but this writer’s favorite part of the evening was when Proops began to discuss Pussy Riot. If you recall, Pussy Riot is the feminist punk group in Russia that has been imprisoned by the government for protesting. Proops ventured toward a more serious discussion, reading from a book written by the women of Pussy Riot themselves. Despite it being labeled as a comedy show, it was certainly refreshing to not have to wait around for the next punch line. Sometimes it’s important to just stop and listen and get informed from a guy who truly knows his shit.
- Jay Rubin