By Tom Lewis – January 11th, 2008

      Whose Line Is It Anyway? was the mass media vehicle to inform all of us that Greg Proops is a gentleman and a scholar but that show and his innumerable appearances on shows like Ugly Betty, Last Comic Standing, Just Shoot Me, and all the late night talk shows require that Proops corral his wit and personality to something that is less than threatening and more acceptable to a lower denominator of the public. These encumbrances are relieved at his live shows so get ready for the real deal.

      Proops jokingly enjoys not being “burdened by [his fellow WLIIA] castmembers, ‘those people’ who keep standing in my light.” His stand-up act, honed in his native city of San Francisco “over the last 740 years” is both peppered with gems and is highly topical. Unabashedly liberal, neither the leaders of the established administration nor its many hopeful replacements will be safe from him. Not only had you better be able to find more than a few countries on a map, you’d better be up on your history – per our conversation, Proops predicted that our current Bush is working on creating “his own version of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution” with the current US/Iran boat shenanigans.

      What really opened up our discussion was mentioning MLB’s Mitchell Report. Proops is a huge fan of baseball with a million anecdotes and facts easily at hand. He’s an ardent defender of all players, either named in the list or the ones yet to be impugned. Proops proposes that “the players issue a report on the owners…. who are consistently wrong about everything in baseball…and who have colluded in attempts to essentially ruin the game for the last 70+ years”. As Proops tours the country he is frequently invited to go on the local sports radio shows because his combination of knowledge along with informed and hilarious opinions are so compelling.

      You can get a taste of Proops live on his most recent CDs, Joke Book and Houston, We Have A Problem as well as his tour schedule and his many other local appearances (he *is* an LA resident after all) at his website or hook up with him via his MySpace. If there is someone who can get us through these January doldrums it’s Greg Proops at the Hollywood Improv this weekend.

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