Reno Gazette-Journal – Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

      Greg Proops made his name as the rotating fourth cast member on the improv show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” For his stand-up comedy act, though, he won’t rely on improv.

      “I think a lot of people know me from ‘Whose Line,’ but they also realize that they’re in a stand-up (comedy) club,” Proops said to the Winnipeg (Canada) Free Press.

      “There is, of course, the insane disappointment when they realize I’m not going to be cute and funny like I am on TV, and I’m going to be vicious and bitter like I am live. But that’s how I pull it all together,” he said.

      Proops gets it together for a May 24 show at John Ascuaga’s Nugget.

      On the U.S. version of “Whose Line” (he also appeared in the U.K. version), Proops came across as the more cerebral comic. Whether he was improvising a sketch or singing a hoedown, his sharp wit usually would cut through.

      The 48-year-old Proops started developing his humor as a kid when he was a “smarty boots,” he told the Vancouver Province (British Columbia, Canada).

      “When I got old enough to do stand-up as a teenager, I realized I wanted to do that,” he said. “I thought about being an actor, but you know about actors: Next to musicians, they’re about the stupidest people on Earth. Comics seemed a little more the way to go.”

      Born in Arizona and raised in San Francisco, Proops studied improvisation and acting at San Francisco State University. He took his comedy act on the road, touring the United States, as well as Europe and New Zealand.

      The bespectacled comic’s humor leans toward the sociopolitical, so Proops is getting in his barbs and rants with this year’s presidential campaign.

      “We have a black man and a woman running against the captain of the Mayflower, so it’s a very exciting time for us,” he said to the Winnipeg (Canada) Free Press. “The promise of the ’70s when I was young — the promise that women and black people would be equals — is finally being enacted. Except they’re not equals at all, really.”

      Proops also has built a career in television and movies. He hosted the TV game shows “VS.” in 1999 and “Rendez-View” in 2001, and he was a panelist on “To Tell the Truth” and “Hollywood Squares.” He’s appeared on “The Drew Carey Show,” “Ugly Betty,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “Just Shoot Me!” and “Veronica’s Closet.”

      His voice can be heard in the film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and as the pod race announcer Beed in “Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace.” He was the voice of Bob on the kids’ TV series “Bob the Builder.”

      “With the under-5s, I’m hot as Bob the Builder, and with everyone else, I’m the guy from the thing (‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’), but not the bald guy (Colin Mochrie) or the black guy (Wayne Brady). I’m the other guy,” Proops said to the Hamilton Spectactor (Ontario, Canada).

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