By Andrea Nemetz – Entertainment Reporter – Saturday, November 6th, 2010

      Comedian Greg Proops plays the Schooner Room at Casino Nova Scotia on Sunday. Proops may be most familiar for his time on Whose Line is it Anyway? with Drew Carey.

      Performing improv comedy is like taking a trip down the river – you don’t know where you’re going or where you’ll end up, explains comedian Greg Proops.

      Doing standup is more like using a laser beam.

      “I aim it at whatever I want to destroy,” says Proops, who will perform at Casino Nova Scotia on Sunday at 8 p.m.

      He said another difference is that in improv a comedian talks to the crowd.

      Best known for his appearances on both the British and American versions of the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway, Proops has no doubt which is his favourite.

      “Standup is my bag, my Cosa Nostra.”

      He was in Nova Scotia in 2008 as part of the Halifax Comedy Festival and enjoyed his visit.

      “I ate lobster as many times as I could in a two-day period and I loved the farmers market and it was April so it was only kind of freezing,” he says, calling from Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and pet ocelot once known as Lady Gaga.

      It’s the day after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series and he says he’s changing the big cat’s name to Cody in honour of Giants’ star Cody Ross.

      “I’ve been a fan ever since I was a kid growing up in San Francisco and Cody is one of their heroes.”

      Proops has starred on TV in the Nickelodeon series True Jackson VP and has been the voice of Bob the Builder on the children’s series. He recently provided the voice for announcer Hank Buckshot Holmes on the new Mad World game for Wii.

      “I worked with John Di Maggio, who is the voice of Bender on (the TV series) Futurama and is an amazingly talented voice player. It was a lot of fun. They let us make a lot of stuff up.”

      But he says sports, books and old movies are his favourite pastimes.

      “I like history most of all,” he says, citing ancient history as his favourite era and Cormac McCarthy as his favourite author.

      For movies, he picks Lawrence of Arabia, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as among his favourites, noting he also likes Casablanca, French pictures, gangster movies, Woody Allen and the Marx Brothers.

      He’s even been in a few movies.

      “I was in Star Wars and I was CGI’d out, but it was fun to be on set,” he says, noting movies are a very specific craft and not his forte.

      “I do voices well and standup.”

      At his Sunday show, he’ll let the audience know he knows he’s in Halifax.

      “I hate it when comedians do the same act, all about their selves, every show.

      “People in Halifax know who Kim Kardashian is, but American shlock culture is not of paramount importance the way it is in Hollywood. I’ll acknowledge I’m in Nova Scotia and riff about being there.”

      In general, he says, he thinks Canadians are a little more aware of the world around them and slightly less parochial than Americans.

      “If you watch the American news, there’s one second that’s world news. Other countries are not particularly big.”

      Proops is a frequent guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Lately on E! and Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld on Fox News Channel.

      “I love Chelsea Handler,” he says of the rapier-witted talk show host. “I love it when a woman can run with the big boys.”

      And he’s always been a fan of Ferguson.

      “He really cares about comedy. He’s the real deal, as far as the integrity of standup. He still does standup. You don’t see Jay Leno doing standup around the country and picking up comics at those shows.”

      Among his picks for top comics are Handler, Dana Gould, Margaret Cho, Joan Rivers and Louis C.K.

      “I adore a lot of older comics.”

      Proops, who has started doing podcasts, also has a new CD called Proops Digs In, recorded in a single night at the L.A. club Largo and available on iTunes.

      “It’s an EP, so the perfect listening length. I’m fairly happy with it, which rarely happens. When you do an album you want to go back and fix all the jokes.”

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