Is Greg Proops the smartest man in the world? Well, his 2013 Fringe show would certainly make you believe it. With a comedy IQ of at least 180, Proops presents an hour-long feast of Edinburgh-based anecdotes, hilarious commentary on current events, and good-natured heckling of the audience and the Festival staff.
The politically left-leaning will relish the opportunity to collectively boo corporations, Mayor Bloomberg, Fox News, the NSA and of course David Cameron. Scots (and open-minded Englishmen) will enjoy Proops’ clever observations about our funny wee island, and his fellow Americans (of whom there is no shortage in Edinburgh at this time of year), will surely find some solace in the fact that not even a Fringe veteran such as Proops can comprehend the local accents.
Proops’ show suffers a little from a particular section, in which Proops reads out news articles and obituaries of selected celebrities. While his commentary on the Reza Aslan/Fox News debacle is both incredibly intelligent and side-splittingly funny, his reading of a report on the interview is rushed and the crucial aspects are difficult to catch, especially for those unfamiliar with the story. Likewise with an obituary of hacker Barnaby Jack – while Proops’ own comments on Jack are witty and moving, his stilted reading of an official obituary is largely unnecessary.
However, fans of Proops will most certainly enjoy the section in which he answers questions both from the audience and from emails, prompting a very funny discussion about ‘dominatrix’ Siouxsie Sioux from Siouxsie and the Banshees, proving that Proops is still the king of improvised comedy.
Proops has pretty much cracked it this year and both devoted fans from his Whose Line Is It Anyway? days and anyone just looking to use their brain as well as their laughing gear will love The Smartest Man In The World.