By Eva Stone – Big Bud Mag – May 8th, 2011

      When standup comedian Greg Proops goes off on one of his signature rapid-fire rants on politics or American culture, not only does he come across as the smartest guy in the room, he’s also exactly the kind of person you’d want to get high with in a car listening to Parliament. As a San Francisco native living in Los Angeles, Proops has been a pro-weed advocate for years. He even hosted a benefit for Prop 19 to legalize Medical Marijuana at the SF Cannabis Comedy Festival.

      “People say, ‘What if a young person tries marijuana?’ Then a young person would laugh at Scooby Doo,” Proops joked at the 2006 National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Legislation Conference. “There is no downside to marijuana. It doesn’t mess up your life or career. It just makes it go really, really slow. ‘Drive around the block, I want to hear the end of my jam.’”

      Not unlike Bill Maher, Proops is a rare breed of stoner political satirist/commentator with the ability to be as sharp as the snazzy suits he wears and as fast as his PhD in improv can take him. After all, Proops is best known for his 14-year stint on the BBC and American versions of Whose Line Is It Anyway?

      “What marijuana does is it makes TV good again. Marijuana is TV helper,” the comedian once joked. “You could be watching the worst shit on TV and, if you’re high, it’s magic. You could watch a Saved By the Bell rerun and laugh your ass off. ‘Oh my god, Screech, this is like Shakespeare. I had no idea of the magnitude of his talent. Encore Screech, bellissimo. Thank goodness the marijuana’s kicked open the doors of perception so that I could see the majesty and grandeur of Screech’s innate talent.”

      Younger generations may recognize Proops for his recurring role on the Nickelodeon series True Jackson VP or as the voice of Bob the Builder on the popular children’s series seen on PBS. But put the kiddies to bed and check out what Proops has to say to Big Bud Mag about the blessed herb.

Big Bud Mag: You’re definitely the most dapper, elegant, stylish stoner comic on the circuit, which is surprising.

Greg Proops: Smokers can have wardrobe. I am surprised stoners don’t spend more time on wardrobe.

BBM: How does marijuana enhance your comedy or quality of life?

Proops: It helps with the blues as Louis Armstrong said.

BBM: You once said: “What marijuana does to you is it takes things that are not very funny and makes them very funny indeed.”

Proops: I stand by that. Even Gaddafi gets funnier.

BBM: Big Bud Mag recently spoke with Doug Benson. I hear that you personally popped his marijuana cherry on the road. What was that like?

Proops: We put Doug in a bathtub full of Jello, got him baked, and made him recite the Declaration of Independence. The usual.

BBM: How do you prefer to consume your marijuana? Bong? Joint? One-hitter? Vaporizer? Edibles? All of the above? Do you prefer using apples on the road like Doug Benson?

Proops: Joints are my go to. Not into gimmicks that much. Edibles are for the long haul. Apples are only used in desperation.

BBM: You’ve toured all over the world on your own and with Drew Carey in places like the UK, Paris, Turkey, Milan, Aspen, Montreal, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. How does marijuana culture and attitudes about it differ in the different countries you’ve visited?

Proops: Well, [New Zealand] has the awesome stuff but they are a bit conservative. Turkey I would be most circumspect. Vancouver is most weedy. England is growing its own. Spain and Switzerland have de-criminalized. Jamaica is rid-onk-ulous.

BBM: How would alcohol vs. marijuana fare on your old Comedy Central game show Vs., which pitted two stereotypical groups of people against each other?

Proops: The stoners would be slow on the buzzer…Booze makes people invincible. Pot makes them draw.

BBM: You once performed for Prince Charles at his 50th birthday gala and you appeared as Fode, one half of the pod race announcer, in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. Which one was more exciting?

Proops: His highness was very polite and has a groovy sense of humor. He is also shorter than you would imagine. I spent the day with Stephen Fry and Rowan Atkinson so it was a thrill. Star Wars Episode One had a huge accident destroy some of the plot.

BBM: Are you still doing your live chat shows at Largo in L.A.? I’ve always loved the sort of acoustic vaudeville that is Largo’s bread and butter—clever comics and brooding musicians. Which of your many talented guests was the most fun and candid?

Proops: Dave Grohl is hilarious. John C. Reilly is the world’s best storyteller. Margaret Cho is a real eccentric and original comic.

BBM: Your tour dates literally run through the end of this year. But do you have any immediate appearances, shows, or CDs/DVDs to mention?

Proops: My podcast, The Smartest Man in the World, is on iTunes. I have an EP called Proops Digs In on iTunes as well. A new improv show with all your Whose Line friends will premiere on the Game Show Network on April 11. It’s called Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza.

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