This hardened satirist is back for his 39th round at the Edinburgh Fringe. There has to be a medal for that alone. If you were after the playful whimsy of Proops as seen in Whose Line Is It Anyway then this show is not for you. This sharp-edged critique of the dismal state of affairs in the world combined with an account of Proops’ suburban and dangerously drug-addled teen years make for an unrelenting hour of bitter comedy.
Greg Proops is a formidable presence on the stage. Strutting from one end to the other like a peacock with a well-paid tailor and sporting his trademark silver quiff, Proops is not someone with whom you would undertake a battle of wits if you knew what was good for you. His nasality and curt Californian inflections only augment the scorn in his delivery.
Proops systematically knocks each country flat with his mockery like a scathing game of dominoes. Americans are not immune to the attack; the mid-west has the stuffing ripped out of it and even his home in Hollywood undergoes a grilling. Obama gets a beating; tradition is mocked; child labour treated to comic ridicule. The inanity and stupidity of modern politics and the negative impact of technology rise as distinct themes. Proops has also reached such an age that he’s earned the right of passage to deride the younger generations. We see an angry man in a world gone mad.
When you’ve reached the level of seniority in the comedic world as has Proops you don’t require a show name or a through-line; the audience will listen to what he cares to share with them at that moment. The inexorable nature of his acerbic material was a little difficult to deal with at times, though this was partially relieved when Proops switched to the stories of his wild perilous narcotic adventures in his earlier days.
A king of caustic comedy and savage satire; catch him if you can this Festival.