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Proops gets jiggy with 1970s comedy
by Janine Kearney
May 26, 2008 | 652 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photo - Comedian Greg Proops performs Saturday at John Ascuaga’s Nugget.
Courtesy photo - Comedian Greg Proops performs Saturday at John Ascuaga’s Nugget.

Comedian Greg Proops from "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" fame, got down and dirty with a surprised Sparks audience on Saturday at John Ascuaga's Nugget.

Advertised as the bespectacled, intelligent and innuendo-flinging comedian from the popular hit ABC Family TV show, Proops delivered mostly adult-spiced humor that drew lots of laughs mixed with occasional "boos."

Proops, who grew up in San Francisco, recalled his family's escapades into the snow-covered Sierra Nevada for some "family fun."

With expert comedic timing, Proops recalled he and his two siblings sliding across the station wagon backseat, as his dad tore along the curvy, ice-covered and cliff-bordered mountain roads, steering with his knees as he smoked a cigarette and swigged whiskey from a flask.

The comedian's jokes about the "snow saucer of death" drew laughs from the mostly middle-aged to Baby Boomer audience, who remembered their own happy but injury-filled memories of what childhood used to be like.

"At the bottom of the hill, I'd be speared by an iceberg of pain, and jump up and want to do it again!" Proops said.

Proops' shtick on the current "f---ed-up, boring, pierced and tattooed, technology-chained" generation drew lots of laughs, as he joked about the current generation's whining and how "over-protective" many parents can be.

"It wasn't like growing up in the 70s," Proops said. "It wasn't about your child's development and making sure they were safe. When mom and dad had enough of you, they yelled 'GO OUTSIDE!"

Proops, apparently a Hillary Clinton supporter, compared her opponents to drooling hicks, and chided the male audience members who booed, saying in other words that they just missed their free pass to a "memorable evening" with their girlfriends and wives.

After some light-hearted humor about Barrack Obama, Proops struck a nerve and drew a loud chorus of "boos" over this joke, "Let's be honest," Proops said. "This is just the case of another black man looking for change."

He made fun of Nascar fans and questioned why watching cars drive in endless left-turns was considered a sport. The comedian also poked fun at how, when famous race car driver Dale Earnhardt died, national broadcasters reported it as a surprise.

"That's how he was supposed to die," Proops said. "I don't know why, when a man driving 100 mph in essentially a methane bomb in tight circles crashes and explodes, it's a surprise. Now, if Maria Sharapova exploded as she hit the back wall of the tennis court, that might be a surprise. I can hear it now, 'She's running back to return the shot and...Oh my God! She exploded in a ball of fire and there's green fluff everywhere!"

Proops' stand-up comedy act was peppered with literary references, local tie-ins, swear words and crude jokes that might make William Shakespeare laugh when no one else was looking.

The experienced stand-up comedian is best known for his antics on “Whose Line?” hosted by Drew Carey, and his unpredictable hilarity in the long-running British version of the same TV show.

His other TV appearances include “Last Comic Standing,” “Chelsea Lately,” “Ugly Betty” and “The Jimmy Kimmel Show,” among many others.

Proops has popped up in surprising places on television and theater screens, providing the personality-packed voices for cartoon Bob the Builder, and in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” “Brother Bear” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Proops’ live comedy chat show at the Largo Club in Hollywood has featured such guest comedians as Jack Black, Margaret Cho, Jeff Goldblum and Sarah Silverman.

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