On the Spot: Greg Proops


You probably remember Greg Proops as the fast-talking, sharp-dressed, pompadour-sporting cast member on the improv sketch show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Or maybe you know him as the voice of the titular character on “Bob the Builder.” But did you know that Proops, 52, is also “The Smartest Man in the World?” That’s the title of his stream-of-consciousness podcast, which he’ll tape an edition of Thursday night at the DC Improv between stand-up sets.

Most people know you for your improv, but you’re a stand-up comic, too. How do the two forms differ for you?
Well, I’m always willing to drop the script in my stand-up act. One night out of a run anywhere, I’ll try to just make the show up. I try to infuse a little improv into everything I do because I think it makes it funnier. There’s nothing to me like spontaneity.

Do you approach the tapings of your podcast in a similar manner?
I improvise almost all of it. I’m accused of going real quick and changing topics and not leaving any signs for anybody. I find that the more obscure I get, the more honest I am.

It seems like there isn’t a huge divide between the podcast and your stand-up. How do you differentiate?
I’m trying to make the stand-up more like the podcast, where I give my opinion more freely. But I still don’t reveal myself as much in the stand-up. I’m not quite up to the same level of expressiveness as I am with the podcast.

DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW; Thu.-Sun.; 202-296-7008. (Farragut North)
Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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Rudi Greenberg · June 6, 2012