By Phyllis Bator – Thursday, February 7th, 2008

      Best known for his appearances on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Greg Proops will be performing stand-up comedy at Capt. Brien’s Off the Hook Comedy Club from Feb. 14 through Feb. 16.

      A terrific performer, he’s also the best dressed comic. When he’s on stage, his general attire is a suit with shirt and tie.

      “It makes me more professional. I’m a grown up and I’m too old to wear a t-shirt and jeans,” he said.

      Even though he writes his own material, Proops said he doesn’t think he’s a natural comic.

      “I knew I didn’t want to work. I thought I wanted to be an actor, but I got tired of reading other people’s lines. Once I got into playing night clubs and the lure of drinking and hanging out all night caught me, I decided it was more fun than being an actor, although I do act a little,” he stated.

      The first gig he actually got paid for was while in college. He studied improvisation and acting at San Francisco State University and joined an improvisation group after graduation.

      Producers of Whose Line were impressed and put him on the show.

      Working with Drew Carey and the other comedians, Proops had this to say: “We worked together a long time. We know each other and we all want to do it and you have to kind of want to do it and be able to sort of fly by the seat of your pants.”

      Proops also said that he’s not even the best one on the show as far as improvising goes.

      “You know, they asked John Lennon if Ringo was the best drummer in rock and Lennon said Ringo wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles! That’s how I feel about Whose Line,” he continued. “We go on tours and I’ve worked with Carey in Las Vegas. Ryan is one of the greatest improvisationists I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t do what I do. I can do stand-up all the time and tell jokes. Ryan’s not interested in that. But I was lucky to get on board with a bunch of guys who are so funny.”

      Performing in England for more than four years on the British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway, he continues to go back and forth to work in the UK. The British version can be seen on BBC America and the ABC Family Channel.

      Among his other talents is doing the voice of Bob the Builder on the PBS children’s series. He also helped Carey produce “Drew Carey’s Sporting Adventures” on the Travel Channel.

      Other television appearances include Last Comic Standing; Chelsea Lately; Ugly Betty; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson; The Drew Carey Show; Just Shoot Me and the Jimmy Kimmel show to name few.

      With his own show in Los Angeles, he said he has good musicians and comics, such as Jeff Goldbloom, Alana Douglas, Johnson Riley and all the comedians we’ve ever heard of.

      “I really enjoy that,” he said. “I can’t stand any kind of going to work at a set time as in the corporate world. I’m old enough to have held many jobs before I became a comic. I really enjoy the freedom of stand-up because along with the excitement of whether you’re going to work again or whether the calendar is going to get filled and all things that are certain in life, I kind of enjoy the uncertainty and certainly the freedom,” Proops continued.

      As far as performing in Marco is concerned, he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse.

      “It was a good deal. So I said, why not? I like Florida and the sun in February. It beats the winters in Chicago. And the Comedy Club seems to have really good comics. I check their website.”

      When I told him that Jackie Mason was preceding him, he immediately went into a Mason voice and schtick. Proops is one funny guy.

      “I’m excited to be coming to Marco Island. I don’t know if I’ll be wearing a tie every night. It might be a little warm,” he commented.

      When I asked his permission to take pictures during his performance, he said, “You can take pictures as long as you don’t blind me and I fall off the stage.” That’s Greg Proops.

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