By Danielle Hatch – Journal Star – February 5th, 2009

      Although he’s a San Francisco native who now lives in Los Angeles, Greg Proops has an international air about him — perhaps because he’s performed live all over the world, from Paris to Turkey, Milan to New Zealand and throughout the United Kingdom.

      His comedy projects are just as varied. He plays Max Madigan, the president of Mad Fashion, in the Nickelodeon show “True Jackson VP.” The series stars Keke Palmer as True, who gets the chance of a lifetime when she is named vice president of the fashion empire.

      Proops often appears on Drew Carey’s ABC hit “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and is a regular on the British version, too. He’s a frequent guest on E! television’s “Chelsea Lately” and Greg Gutfield’s “Red Eye” on Fox News. He’s also provided the voice of Bob the Builder on the PBS children’s series. You may have seen him on “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Ugly Betty” or HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords.”

      We recently caught up with Proops, who performs this weekend at Jukebox Comedy Club.

How do American audiences differ from the English crowds you’ve entertained overseas?

      Well, they’re on the other side of the road, aren’t they? They’re not that different, other than the timing’s different; I think Americans will laugh over jokes, and English people tend to stop and go, ‘Wait, there’s more.’ Once you get to the punch line they don’t really attack it as much as we do, it’s a little bit of a timing thing. Obviously, they are very good audiences, but wherever I am is the best audience.

I notice you’ve done some work on HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords.” What was that like?

      Well, I was on the premier episode, the one that played (Jan. 18) and we shot it a couple of months ago in Brooklyn. I’ve known them for 10 years, I’ve worked with them in England and New Zealand and Scotland. They’re bigger here now, I think, than they ever were before because of the power of the HBO show. I would dare say they are probably one of the hottest four or five acts in the country. And I really love them, I think they are very women-friendly, too. I think that makes a big difference.

What are some of the other hot acts right now?

      The obvious ones — like Kat Williams and Artie Lange. Doug Benson or Brian Posehn, whatnot. But like I say, (the Conchords) are very friendly. When I go to see them, there are usually women in the crowd. They’re not very sexist and their humor is pretty subtle, though it’s not like what women are up against a lot of times with comics, like, there’s a lot of misogyny …

Are you friendly toward women?

      I’m very women-friendly. I wanted a woman president. (Regarding the election) I have a joke I say — It was very historic, it was a black man. But call me when it’s a Filipino lesbian, then you know the country’s really changed.

Did you do anything special for inauguration day?

      No. But I could barely see my television because of the cloud of hope. I didn’t go to Washington, but I did watch the election, of course, because I’m a comedian. Obviously, John Roberts couldn’t be bothered to read the 34 words of the oath off of a card, so instead he said the word ‘faithfully’ five times… I don’t think anything was more indicative of how wholesome and wonderful the Bush years have been than seeing Dick Cheney ride up in a black hat and a wheelchair. He just rolls out there, and he said he hurt his back and that’s why he was in the wheelchair. Apparently, lifting shackles and thumb screws is a very heavy job.

Do you have any other projects you want people to know about?

      Well, if you’re 10 years old, I’m on Nickelodeon, on a show called “True Jackson VP” on Saturday nights after “iCarly.” And that stars Keke Palmer, she was in “Akeelah and the Bee.” I play their boss, I hired her to be the vice president of the company, and she’s 15 years old.

Are you a nice boss?

      I’m a totally nice boss. I’m not the snide, snotty person that I am in real life. I’m benign and lovable on this show.

Why did you decide to take on this role?

      I really liked the role, I thought it was really funny, it’s a live sitcom filmed in front of a live audience.

Is that a difficult audience to be in front of, teenagers and younger kids?

      No, it’s fantastic. Kids are hilarious. If someone falls down or if someone gets hit in the butt, they go nuts, like they’ve never seen it before. So I really enjoy it. I love doing the slapstick, and I love playing a crazy person.

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