The Smartest Man in the World

Greg Proops
Soho Theatre, London
June 18th, 2013

by Matt Thomas (@MrMattThomas)

Comedy podcasting as an art-form (and I use the a-word with absolutely no hesitation) is still very much in its infancy. However, even in these early days, a small group of leading lights is attracting a dedicated following. Every week (sometimes more) people like Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, and Todd Glass sit in front of affordable microphones in garages, small theatres or makeshift studios and entertain tens of thousands of listeners, usually for free and always with no studio involvement. The results are hilarious, informative, and unlike anything else going on in comedy.

When another of this industry’s chief pioneers, Greg Proops took to the Soho Theatre stage on Tuesday night, sat down behind a cardboard cat and a large glass of vodka and pressed record, it didn’t look like a traditional comedy show was about to begin. Nevertheless, within seconds Greg had the sold out room laughing as he recounted, in hysterical detail, a trip to the V&A’s David Bowie exhibition he had made the day before.

As those who remember him from Whose Line is it Anyway? will attest, Greg Proops has a staggeringly nimble comedy brain. This is just as well, as most of his show is improvised or, like the Bowie routine, very quickly written – one of the great things about a weekly podcast is that it does tend to remove the option of leaning on safe old gags.

Not that it’s all fun and games. The potential of this free (in all senses of the word) medium to get a serious message out is not lost on Greg who, it turns out, has a lot to say about the political landscape during the ‘boring preachy part’ (his words) that he fits into every podcast.

All in all, for me, this was an experience as heartwarming as it was hilarious. As I’m sure you will have guessed, I’m a fan of podcasts and of Greg’s in particular. Not least because, despite his undoubted talent Greg Proops never really found a home worthy of him on TV during his heyday. It seemed however, as Greg took a bow and left the stage with the words ‘You can’t imagine what this means to me’, that he had finally found a medium as versatile, dynamic and unencumbered as he is.


Greg Proops performs standup at Soho Theatre in London from June 19th – 22nd.  The Smartest Man in the World podcast will be recording at Soho Theatre on June 23rd.

One Response to “The Smartest Man in the World”

  1. Rosanna Eales says:

    We went to see Greg on Tuesday in Soho was an amazing night, intact we loved it so much when we got back to the hotel room we booked tickets to see him the next day doing stand up and we weren’t disappointed would not hesitate to see him again, in fact I’m going to have to seen as I managed to lose my autographed ticket somewhere in London haha. Look forward to seeing him again

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