What: Greg Proops is The Smartest Man In The World
When: May 9th, 8:00 PM
Where: Bar Lubitsch
7702 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
How Much: $Free
When: May 15th, 8:00 PM
Where: Nerdist Theatre at Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046
How Much: $10
Comedian and one-man-talk-show host/guest Greg Proops is the heady, spirit-sipping philosopher friend you always wished you had, but never had the time or intellect to sustain. At his live shows, like the one quickly approaching on May 9th at Bar Lubitsch and this May 15th at Meltdown Comics’ Nerdist Theatre, he lets you live out that fantasy as he doles out large doses of his personal thought-collection directly into your ear-holes, with nary a shred of filter between you, save for a few meters of hot, smoky air.
His head containing a brain only matched in size and potency by the pompadour atop it, Proops can wax poetic (and dare I say it, prophetic?) on any number of topics, though he most often chooses to focus on current events, golden-age Hollywood starlets, and a lifetime of experiences touring the globe as a stand-up comedian and (more recently) podcast host. At his live shows, which he appropriately (but make no mistake, self-awarely) calls The Smartest Man In The World, Mr. Proops sits alone at a table with a microphone on it and simply chats with himself, for as long as his schedule will allow it. Sometimes he comes prepared with talking points, be them news articles that caught his eye that week or questions received via e-mail at his personal webpage. Sometimes he recounts touching and heartfelt stories from his youth spent navigating the complicated racial politics of California’s Bay Area. And sometimes he just flings impromptu fistfuls of shit at worthy targets, such as prostitute-loving foreign “dignitaries” or fat, fire-starting LA assholes. No matter what has captured his imagination that week, expect laughing, squirming, and, sure, some dead air, as the audience tries to not only keep up with but also make sense of Proops’ hilarious rapid-fire rants delightfully obscure references.
If you were a fan of Proops’ tenure as the particularly salty, bespectacled improv artist on both the BBC & ABC versions of Whose Line Is It Anyway, well, you’re probably an old woman like my mother and aren’t likely to venture into the back of a comic book shop or WeHo vodka bar to see a recording of The Smartest Man In The World. But if your young, blog-post-authoring son has offered to chaperone you to such an endeavor, be forewarned: Drew Carey will not be stepping in to splash cool water on the evening should things get a bit too hot and heavy for daytime syndication. That being said, there is lots to like here for the open-minded and ready to laugh.
Word to the wise: The Nerdist Theatre is currently without liquor license to sell drinks at events such as The Smartest Man In The World. That certainly won’t stop Mr. Proops from enjoying a libation from the stage (he calls it a Vodcast, after all), so if you’re the jealous type, pack a flask.
By Alexei Bochenek