By Robert Fulton – The Washington Examiner – June 6th, 2012

      First thing’s first. Greg Proops does not own an ocelot, a small, leopardlike wildcat. Though the comedian does affectionately refer to his fans and followers as kittens.

      “I don’t want to dispel that rumor,” said Proops. “I want people to believe, like I believe, that I have an ocelot.”

      Maybe Proops is the smartest man in the world. On a recent episode, Proops expertly, and hilariously, expounded on L. Frank Baum, Paula Abdul, the Turner Prize, Matilda Joslyn Gage, robots and Pete Rose.

      “I usually just start from wherever,” Proops said, adding that he improvises much of the material, with the aid of a few notes and a big glass of vodka. “It’s as old-fashioned as it can possibly be.”

      “The connection with the audience is more intense than anything I’ve ever experienced in comedy,” Proops added. “It’s more first-person than anything I’ve ever done with stand-up. People respond to it more. I love the freedom of it and being able to say whatever I want. It’s a little bit looser than stand-up. I don’t actually have to deliver a laugh every 15 seconds. I can expand on a point. That’s what I love about it. The upside is that people listen.”

      Proops will perform a more traditional routine for the remaining Improv dates.

      Audiences probably best know Proops for his work on the popular television program “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” The improvised comedy show starred Drew Carey, Wayne Brady, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie, and featured a number of recurring performers such as Proops.

      “People couldn’t believe that we could make it up,” said Proops, who has also appeared on “Chelsea Lately,” has done some voice-over work and still does live “Whose Line?” shows both here and overseas. “But we can. We can, and we do.”

      A new improv show titled “Trust Us With Your Life” premieres July 10 on ABC. The premise features a celebrity telling a story about his or her life, and an improv team acts it out. Fred Willard hosts, and some of the old gang, such as Brady and Mochrie, participate. Proops guest-stars.

      “I try to make up stuff as much as I can,” Proops said. “I love to go off the top of my head. I love that element of danger, of free falling. I prefer tossing it out there and seeing what happens.”

Back To The Articles Archive