Greg Proops is the Smartest Man in the World

Superfans of Greg Proops will enjoy the intimate feel of being in the room at the time of his Podcast live recording. However, for readers unfamiliar with the format of the ‘Proopcast’, don't come expecting a solo rendition of Whose Line is it Anyway? Instead of improvised comedy, this is a news commentary show, where we overhear Proops’ eloquent and passionate opinions on American politics (modern and historical), sport, celebrity and LGBTQ+ issues, among others. It is a heartfelt cry out against injustice and nastiness. There are moment where we see Proops’ famous wit, but the humour is certainly secondary: after a particularly sobering analysis of low points in American presidential history, Proops wryly apologises for putting a dampener on an afternoon show and says “I hope you're going to see something funny after this.”

I would rather have listened to the podcast while doing something else

The first quarter of an hour or so was spent with Proops giving considerable attention to the various items he had been given by audience members before the show. For us, this ranged from a book about impeachment to two separate bottles of vodka to a poem about transgender experience. Each is ruminated upon by Proops, and leads to conversational tangents. From there, he begins to read from his large wad of paper which has his thoughts about recent news stories – though, he says, most was made entirely irrelevant following the events in Charlottesville and the press conference. It was these topics which justly occupied most of the hour.

You can listen in to the recording of this podcast by following the link on Proops’ website or social media (see if you can hear my aghast intake of breath when Proops reads out some of the tweets from ‘Orange 45’.) For readers considering whether to attend a future recording, my advice would be that not much is gained from being there live. Unlike some shows, there is not a sizzle of dangerous energy from being in the same room as the performer – the closest it comes to that feeling is when the roof starts violently rattling and Proops quips, with characteristic speed, that the aliens are trying to get in. If anything, I found myself becoming annoyed at being in the live show, because of distractions from keen audience members taking pictures with flash, deliberately laughing in a recognisable way during silences, or live tweeting that they were on the podcast.

If you are a particular fan, or have a topic that you feel passionately about that you wish to see discussed by Proops, then do bring a provocative item and give it to him. He is welcoming and sincere with his audience, as befits his liberal and inclusive politics. However, I was left feeling that I would rather have listened to the podcast while doing something else, or indeed, have just read Proops’ twitter account. 

Reviews by Lily Lindon

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The Blurb

‘Here he is, though, in front of a live audience each week, bravely recording some of the boldest comedy on the podcasting frontier right now’ (Rolling Stone Magazine). It's just Proops and you. There's no fanfare. Proops takes centre stage at a small table and chair set-up with a single microphone. Then he's off. An hour of great conversation that flies by at a breakneck clip. Part professorial, part crazed comedian, Proops forms the show around his talent and passions. Be there and experience joy for once in your life.

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