By Jenna Conter – Metro Halifax News – April 25th, 2012

      For a standup comedian, the best audience is always the one in front of you. Whether performing in Paris, France or Brandon, Man., for Greg Proops, it’s all about having the chance to connect and engage.

      “Of course, once you’re done the gig in Paris, you’re in Paris,” Proops said of the advantages of travelling with his new podcast, The Smartest Man in the World.

      Proops, who will be performing in the Halifax ComedyFest Gala Finale on Saturday night at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, remembers when it wasn’t always baguettes and brie.

      “Your first goal when you start in stand-up is simply to get paid,” he said.

      In 1989, Proops joined the cast of a new improvisational TV show, Whose Line is it Anyway? Surprising everyone, the show quickly became a mainstream success. Proops remained a star, across the pond and stateside, for 14 years.

      “We were legitimately making things up, so there was a sense of thrill,” he said. “It was genuine creativity.”

      Now, Proops has once again hit his stride as he tours around Europe and North America with his podcast.

      “The podcast has changed everything, and it’s the most fun I’ve had in 100 years,” he said.

      “It’s brought me back where I’ve wanted to be, which is in front of a comedy crowd.”

      “Ever since I’ve been doing the podcast, I’ve been able to communicate directly with the audience and watch it build — it’s been enormously gratifying.”

      As Proops’ podcast reaches its second birthday, he looks forward to expanding the gospel worldwide.

      “I’d like to take it all over the world and meet the people that come,” he said.

      “I want the crowd there because I need them to react and I enjoy that chemistry.”

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