Lightsabre.Co.UK- March 22nd, 2009

      Welcome to Lightsabre. Our latest guest is best known in the Star Wars universe for providing the unique voice of Fode, one of the double-headed race announcers at the Mos Espa Arena as well as portraying Tal Merrick in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But there’s a whole lot more to him than just that. Please welcome to Lightsabre the Proopdog himself, Greg Proops.

Q – Greg , welcome to Lightsabre.

A – Thanks LS

Q – You became a part of the Star Wars universe with your role as Fode in The Phantom Menace. How does it feel to be a part of something so massively popular worldwide?

A – It feels groovy. I get letters from Denmark.

Q – Were you a Star Wars fan before these roles came along?

A – I saw the first one high with my buddy Leon, the week it came out.

Q – How did you come to the part of Fode? Presumably, Lucas hiring a noted comedian indicated that the role required an element of humour?

A – A very good comedian friend of mine, Scott Capurro who played Fode, and I went in and auditioned together. they had us read because we could riff and we have American accents. We had a lot of fun and came up with some of the lines.

Q – You’ve returned to Star Wars with a role in The Clone Wars as Tal Merrick. Tell us a bit about Tal and his part in the greater Clone Wars story?

A – Tal is an evil dude. That what makes it awesome for me. He is greedy, venal and a kidnapper. Good guys are never as exciting to play as a duplicitous traitor.

Q – You are best known in the UK for your long stint on the much missed Who’s Line Is It Anyway. Tell us a bit about those days as UK humour, especially on Friday nights, has never been quite the same since.

A – First off not to be to picky but it’s Whose not Who’s. That would be, “who is line is it anyway?” We had a lot of fun. We had no idea it would run 10 years. I still work with Josie, Richard, Paul Merton and all the Comedy Store Players. In fact I have been asked to guest with them at the Globe in London on April 27th. I will also be sitting in at the Store on April 29th and May 3rd and 6th. I also gig with Ryan Stiles and Chip Esten all the time in the States. I am friends and colleagues with most everyone who did Whose Line. Mike McShane and I are still pals after 25 years.

The big race – the Boonta Eve Classic…

Q – You’ve done a lot of voice over work, which clearly you get a lot of enjoyment out of. What attracts you to this aspect of your career?

A – No make up. Plus they usually give you lots of latitude in the studio. I have been very lucky to work on Nightmare Before Christmas with the excellent Henry Sellick and Danny Elfman. And recently on a wii game called Mad World with John DiMaggio the voice of bender on Futurama and my pal Jack Fletcher who is a terrific director.

Q – Got to ask you about Space Cadets, the sci-fi quiz show you hosted in 1997. That looked like amazing fun.

A – Holy cow. Craig Charles and Billl Bailey are sweethearts and so funny. I got to meet William Shatner and Walter Koenig for fuck’s sake. As well as Ed Bishop from UFO Terry Pratchett and Claudia Christaian it was a sci fi wet dream.

Q – When you started out at the beginning of your career you paired up with Mike McShane. What was it about Mike and yourself that worked so well as a duo?

A – One was fat and one was thin. Now we are both in the middle. He and I clicked because we share a horrible liking for the same kind of humor.

Q – You’ve worked on numerous shows, films and projects. Which one – apart from Episode 1 of course – is your favourite?

A – I just did an episode of Flight of the Conchords for HBO. They are swell guys and I got to play an advertising asshole. As if there are any other kinds of people in advertising. I am currently on a kids show for Nickelodeon called Tru Jackson VP where I play a crazy fashion designer who hires a 15 year old girl to be Vice President. So I am fortunate.

Q – What lies ahead for you in the future?

A – There is only the now. Zen, baby.

Q – A quick question about our site, Lightsabre. Any comments?

A – Love it. Haven’t seen it.

Q – It’s been a great interview, and thanks for being our guest on Lightsabre. Just one final question. Fode and Beed are offered a job they can’t refuse – Rancor Pit announcer in Jabba’s Palace. Every time the Hutt gets angry, another victim falls through the floor and you have to commentate. Give us a brief flavour of what Fode would have said when Luke fell through the grating into the Rancor’s clutches…?

A – “Golly that is gonna e on tasty tidbit for Rancor. Hope Luke wrote Leia a goodbye hologram!”

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