Greg Proops – The Washington Post – Live Online – Thursday, July 31, 2003; 10:45 a.m. ET

      On Thursday, actor, comedian, and “Whose Line is it Anyway?” regular Greg Proops will perform at the Improv in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the 16th Annual Comedy Sportz National Tournament.

      Proops was online to take your questions and comments on his career, improv, and his D.C. appearance.

      Proops is best known for his work on the hit improvised comedy series “Whose Line is it Anyway?”. Other television appearances include “The Drew Carey Show,” “Crank Yankers,” and “Just Shoot Me.” He has performed all over the world, including Ireland, Paris, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, Bosnia, and Prince Charles’ 50th Royal Birthday Gala. He is not only funny, but a smartypants, winning “The Weakest Link,” “Ben Stein’s Money,” and “Rock n’ Roll Jeopardy” without breaking a sweat.

      The transcript follows:

Greg Proops: Hello kittens.

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Woodbridge, Va.: Hi Greg–
I really enjoy your work, especially the Brit version of ‘Whose Line is It Anyway?’!

Have you found that American humour works well in the UK, or do you have to make adjustments for British audiences?

Thanks!

Greg Proops: I have nothing but good luck working my American trade in the UK.

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Washington, D.C.: Dear Greg,

Do you believe improv comedy is a fad, or do you think it has real staying power in the U.S.?

Greg Proops: I think it is a fad, and I think it has been a fad since the 50’s.

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Washington, D.C.: Are Ryan Stiles’ feet really that big? Why does Drew always make fun of them?

Greg Proops: No. His feet aren’t that big, it is just that the rest of his body is so small.

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Washington, D.C.: How’d you get your start?

For someone who all of a sudden decides mid-career they want to do ‘stand up’, any recommendations? Thanks.

Greg Proops: I got my start like everybody else, as a trapeze artist in the circus. For those just starting in stand-up, get as much stage time as you can and don’t take no for an answer. And don’t worry if you are not funny in the first five years. It takes a long time to be funny.

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Arlington, Va.: So I see you have won a good number of celebrity game shows. Are you that smart or is the rest of Hollywood that dumb?

Thanks!

Greg Proops: I am sorry. I didn’t understand the question.

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Alexandria, Va.: Do you still keep in touch with Clive Anderson from the British show? What is he up to? I have to admit, I like Drew Carey, but Clive will always have a soft spot in my heart.

Greg Proops: Clive does a live lingerie show every Tuesday at the Kings Head pub in North London. He is also pursuing a career as a David Beckham look-alike.

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Washington, D.C.: How often do you or the rest of the Whose Line is it Anyway players just want to shout out something dirty? Is it difficult to keep yourself from “working blue” on a family show? Do you all go for a drink after the tapings and just curse like sailors?

Greg Proops: Bite me.

Hard.

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Arlington, Va.: Are the ratings okay for “Whose Line?”

Greg Proops: Yeah, I think so.

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Washington, D.C.: What is the humor like in the United Arab Emirates? Or Norway, for that matter?

Greg Proops: We were playing for expatriates in those countries but my understanding is that in Norway they really love the Finnish jokes and in the Emirates always funny to make fun of Qatar.

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Puyallup, Wash.: How does performing on the American Whose Line Is It Anyway compare to performing on the British version, and what are some of the biggest differences?

Greg Proops: When in America, American audiences are the greatest in the world. When I am in England, English audiences are the greatest. Also, in England we have to improvise on the left hand side.

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Beautiful Silver Spring, Md.: I know some of the things you do on “Whose Line Is It Anyway” are similar, but have you had any experience with ComedySportz before? What type of improv do you most like to do? Thanks — I’ll see you at the Improv tonight.

Greg Proops: The kind of improv I like to do the most is the funny kind. I haven’t had any experience with comedy sports unless you count that time I accidentally killed a guy in Fayetteville, Ind.

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Huntsville, Ala.: I’m a BIG fan of “Whose Line is it Anyway” and have always wanted to ask all of you guys this: Are there “specialties” among you? I know Wayne Brady is really good at the improv singing — I love watching him make up a song on the spot — but is it just me? Or do you guys all have favorite types of improv you like to do and are better at?

What a terrific show! It’s the ONLY show on TV that regularly makes me laugh. I think I’m a tough audience — won’t watch anything that I think has a laugh track. But I LOVE that show. Wish it were longer, and on more often, and… and…

Oh, just keep up the wonderful work. Thanks for being out there.

Greg Proops: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you.

If you see us live you will see that we all do different things and in fact in Montreal — Me, Colin, Drew, Brad and Chip — Colin and I did song styles and rocked the house. So take that Wayne Brady.

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Fort Worth, Tex.: Hey Greg,

Are you planning on make a touring spot in Texas? I think you’re hilarious.

Greg Proops: Not that I know of. We were going to play in Texas but the impasse in the Texas Legislature has held us up. We are currently in committee Senate bill 465.

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Arlington, Va.: What do you think of Last Comic Standing? I’m addicted, although there seems no hands-down winner. Who would you want to win?

Greg Proops: I haven’t seen it. I think the funny one should win.

If there is one.

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Takoma Park, Md.: Hi Greg,
“Whose Line” is one of my favorite shows — it’s alot funnier than most sitcoms and really showcases your respective talents.
I DO wish you could get more women comics rotated in.

Greg Proops: Hi Takoma Park. I agree. We should have more women on, but you have to remember I don’t cast the show, so I got no juice.

And of course if you see us live, we often have women. We are crazy that way.

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Seat Pleasant, Washington, D.C.: Greg
The Washington Post needs a humor columnist! Interested?

Greg Proops: Are you in a position to give me this job? If you are, contact my people. And when I say my people, I mean the Village People. Contact the Construction Worker. He is in charge of my gigs.

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Washington, D.C.: Greg, I spilled coffee on my shirt on my way to work. Why do we live in such a cold cruel world?

Greg Proops: I sympathize with your unendurable agony. I once got lint on a Hug Boss jacket. Where’s my parade?

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New York, N.Y.: Hi, Greg –

Proops is a great name. Will you marry me?

Kathleen

Greg Proops: Sorry lady. I am taken.

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Bloomington, Ind.: You are hilarious! My wife especially enjoy your appearances on Whose Line. What is your favorite game on the show? Your least favorite?

Greg Proops: My favorite game is the one where I am the funniest. Tell your wife hi.

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Montreal, Canada: Hi Greg,
First of all, I have to tell you, I’m a big fan of yours. I saw you a few weeks ago at the Improv All-stars, and I have never laughed so much in my entire life. I wanted to know what is the status of “Whose Line is it Anyway?”. Thanks

Greg Proops: The status of Whose Line is that it is the Cadillac of improv shows. I believe we are cancelled but we will live forever in reruns.

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Washington, D.C.: I am a big fan of Whose Line but think the show is sometimes too predictable. For example, on the Newscasters skit Ryan is always the weatherman and Wayne is always the sportscaster. Why not mix it up some?

Greg Proops: Dear Washington, D.C.

I knew you were going to ask that.

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Boca Raton, Fla.: Greg, I’m a big fan of both the American and British versions of Whose Line. Could you compare Clive Anderson and Drew Carey as hosts? Which version did you think was more fun to work on? I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Greg Proops: Thank you. Drew – better kisser. Clive – more gentle.
Which one was more fun to work on? The one that paid more. I am joking of course. We never get paid. It is all part of a healing process.

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Fairfax, Va..: Hi Greg – “Whose Line” is the funniest show on TV bar none. On more than one occasion I’ve laughed so hard it brought tears to my eyes. What is the future for the show? I know it’s not on the fall schedule but any talk of a mid-season replacement spot? (That should get you guys back by early October!) What about a Whose Line uncensored DVD? Best of luck to you.

Greg Proops: Look for the Whose Line Got Wild Spring Break Tape with raw uncensored footage of Colin Mochrie. The future is in your hands. Call ABC and tell them you refuse to watch Life with Jim until Whose Line is returned to its rightful spot as the jewel in the crown of the Disney empire.

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Philadelphia, Pa.: Hey Greg — I watch you all the time on Whose Line is it Anyway?. What was the funniest moment of the show, in your opinion, off- or on-air?

Greg Proops: Once in England Tony Slattery’s pants split open. He doesn’t wear underwear and I saw the dawn of man.

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Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.: Which season of “Whose Line is it Anyway” (both U.K. and U.S.) has been your favorite?

Greg Proops: I have been on since 1948. I think the 1952 season when Colin and I were both in our 30s was possibly the best one.

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Washington, D.C.: So, is Howdy Doody really your father?

Greg Proops: I get it.

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Somewhere, USA: What are you doing while in D.C.?

Greg Proops: My customary role as an assistant curator of the Smithsonian Institution. Then I nip over to the Redskins training camp where I am defensive coordinator.

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London, U.K. (I wish): Last time I was in London, my husband and I saw the Comedy Store players (including Josie Lawrence — love her). How often do you perform with them?

Greg Proops: I should be there Sept. 3rd. I will also be performing with another version of the players in Edinburgh on Aug. 9th, 10th, and 11th at the Gilded Balloon Teviot. I will also have Steve Frost on my radio chat show on Radio Scotland on Aug. 11th. Is that enough for you big boy?

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Alexandria, Va.: Greg – do these pants make me look fat? Please, be HONEST.

Greg Proops: No. It is the size and shape of your enormous butt. The truth hurts.

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Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.: Dear Greg,

I know you get messages like this all the time, but here it goes. I’ve have had a crush on you for a long time. Yes, “have had” -— I did and continue to find you attractive. Before you get too excited, I should admit that I am a bit of a nerd. Okay, a big nerd. I played D&D in high school, I watched most episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway (the Clive version, i.e. the better one), and I am perhaps one of five women on Earth who truly find funny men sexy. I have a boyfriend, and I plan on staying with him. Probably. Depending on your answers to these two questions:

1. Are you single?

2. I included my email address below. Will you e-mail me? Even if you aren’t available, I can at least massage your ego.

P.S. Even if you don’t e-mail me, can you at least perform in my home town, Mahwah, N.J., when I move back next month? I’m tired of having to go to New York for my comedy.

Greg Proops: Dear Lady,

I am married to a woman who I don’t deserve. As much as I would like to contact you by email the terms of my witness protection program forbid me from doing so. I was in New Jersey two weeks ago. Once a year is my limit. Get off your butt and come and see me at Caroline’s Oct. 16th through the 20th. No excuses. If you love me so much you will make this small sacrifices.

Signed,

Married, but not with children.

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Greg Proops: Keep fighting the good fight. I think of you guys always. Thank you for visiting me and my super friends in Monteal, Atlantic City, Casinorama, Sault-Saint Marie, Boston, Denver, Calgary, and the Northwest. I love you. And need you. I want you. To want me. Do not let the forces of evil control your mind. Big ups. Your Proopdog.

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