By Kate O’Hare – Kate O’Hare’s Hot Cuppa TV – October 16th, 2009

      Fans who stay up until 3 a.m. (ET/midnight Pacific – as for the rest of the nation and world, you’re on your own) to see Fox News’ comedy/news roundtable show’ “RedEye W/Greg Gutfeld” are very familiar with comedian, actor, writer, and voice performer Greg Proops, who drops in occasionally to offer witticisms and wry commentary.

      He also consistently comes out ahead among the show’s regular male guests for best hair and glasses (former CIA agent Mike Baker has equally good hair, but no glasses; comedian Jim Norton has very short hair and no glasses; and musician Andrew W.K. also has great hair, but again, no specs.)

      Proops might even accept a bit of credit for the show’s recent ratings success.

      “I like to be honest,” says Proops. “I think people are waiting for me to come on. It’s a nice show. I love doing it. Even though it’s on Fox News, I love doing it.”

      But before you assume that Proops is lining up with the White House against the news cablenet, he says, “It’s a reminder, a clarification. It’s not so much that I think Fox News is pure evil or anything — I think it’s fantastic that they’re willing to put on a show that’s as irreverent and gag-oriented as that show is.

      “They’re always accused of having no sense of humor, and I think that show is as funny as any comedy show, frankly, on TV. You don’t see any of the big networks trying anything like that, even though it wouldn’t cost them anything.

      “A little in-house operation like that is a very economical way to fill time in the middle of the night without showing infomercials or something, and it’s still funny and informative. Even if you disagree, it’s a joke.”

      Proops’ most recent appearance was on Thursday night of last week — click here to watch — and this time he was in person, not coming in via satellite from Los Angeles. The occasion was a promotional tour for the quiz show “Head Games,” premiering Saturday, Oct. 17, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on both Science Channel and Science Channel HD.

      Executive-produced by Whoopi Goldberg and featuring Proops as host, “Head Games” uses humor and technology to test the scientific acumen of ordinary folks in such categories as chemistry, space, biology, animals and physics.

      Asked how he’d describe “Head Games” to “RedEye” host Gutfeld and his “disgusting” sidekick Bill Schulz, Proops says, “I would say, ‘Greg and Bill, this is a science trivia quiz show, so you guys aren’t going to watch, but for the people coherent enough to watch, it’s fun for the whole family.’

      “We show amazingly weird videos like goats falling over and people charging a dead car battery with red wine — and then I think you’ll see Bill and Greg perk up a bit when I mention charging a battery with red wine, though I don’t think they ever drink red wine, because it doesn’t have a head on it.

      “I’ll say, ‘You know, red wine, you guys, like we drink in the swirling vortex of baby-killing gay celebrity where I live in Hollywood, that kind of red wine.’

      “And then I think the main point for Greg and for Bill, watching a show like ‘Head Games,’ all the questions are true/false or multiple-choice, so you have a good sporting chance, even if you don’t know anything about science.”

      Proops responds, “Kate, really, isn’t it obvious?” to a question about why he was chosen, but seriously, he does think he’s the man for the job.

      “Hosting is something I do all the time,” Proops explains, “and I really love doing it. They always call it, in TV, ‘directing traffic,’ but I think you can direct traffic with a great deal of humor and fun.

      “First of all, I don’t like a script. I like spontaneous, and a couple of rules make spontaneity great. We’re playing a game, so it’s a groovy form for me, because I can extemporize in between the questions, and yet I always have something to go back to.

      “So, I’m not going nuts for 15 minutes, but I can go nuts for 30 seconds. I’m the person to do that. I’m the person to keep it light, and I’m also smart enough to sound like I know what I’m talking about even if I don’t, and that’s the acting part.”

      As for his own scientific literacy, Proops says, “It could be better, I suppose. I can tell you who Galileo was and Copernicus and stuff like that, but I don’t know how exciting that is for people. It doesn’t get you the chicks.”

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