By Mia Schauffler – The Daily Emerald – August 12th, 2012

      Improv comedian and stand-up comic Greg Proops performed Friday at the McDonald Theatre. Proops is best known for his work on the American television show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and as a guest commentator on “Chelsea Lately.” Proops, who has done everything in comedy from film to podcasts, performed an hour and a half set for the diverse crowd including families, tipsy twenty-somethings and high school students.

      Sixteen-year-old Ean Card came out for the show because he remembers watching “Whose Line is it Anyway?” with his grandparents as a child.

      The show opened with a performance by Salem’s Capitol City Improv, and Proops began his set by volunteering for his opener’s last game.

      His set included notes of his well-known “Whose Line?” humor, but he also proved to be an extremely funny and thoughtful stand-up comic.

      He began by poking fun at Eugene and moving on to a scathing rant of the the rest of the country. Upon insulting Delaware, a heckler from the crowd yelled something indecipherable. After Proops responded that he wouldn’t accept heckles, he informed the heckler “vowels and consonants are super helpful in a word.”

      His set maintained an upbeat pace that left no room for boredom. He continued to rag on the Midwest and detested South Dakota’s importance over the Pacific Northwest in national elections, saying that people in South Dakota are already poor decision makers because they chose to live in South Dakota.

      He spent a large part of his show discussing his concern for the current state of the world.

      “Things have never been weirder than now,” Proops said. On previous generations claiming they had it bad, Proops asks, “Did the government give $700 billion back to the banks that stole it from you?”

      With this transition, Proops took the audience from a comedic look at life to serious issues that are at times easier to discuss through comedy. Taking a few easy but eloquent swings at the America, he said: “We are liberators. We liberate oil from countries that are hiding it from us.”

      He then moved to his opinion of the most recent Republican candidates, and with this, he showed his more serious side expressed through comedy — the political and feminist Greg Proops. On every Republican candidate being told by God to run for president, he said, “God doesn’t care who the president is … she is busy.” He also included a bit about the lack of female presidents and the rhetoric used to discourage women in leadership roles.

      “I loved that he really likes women in power,” audience member Kylee Bolton said. “I thought that was really different because a lot of the time, you get comedians talking down to women, and it’s not enjoyable; but he likes women, and he did it in a really funny way, and it was good to hear.”

      When Proops began to criticize the most recent pool of Republican candidates, he was met with boos from a portion of the crowd. To the boos, Proops responded, “It’s called sophisticated when you laugh at something you don’t agree with — I like to explain that to Republicans.”

      And with that remark, he addressed an aspect of his show that attendee David Watkins observed: “He pointed out the things that we all think about but don’t necessarily say nearly as well.”

      That being an articulate description of a successful comedian, Proops did not disappoint at entertaining, provoking and saying what we all at times think — but in a more eloquent and witty way.

Back To The Articles Archive