Heckle me and I will crush you like a jellybean | Greg Proops' Unforgettable Five gigs

Heckle me and I will crush you like a jellybean

Greg Proops' Unforgettable Five gigs

American comic Greg Proops – star of improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? and host of the Smartest Man in the World podcast  – is heading to the UK this month. Ahead of his appearances here, he shares some of his most memorable gigs.

Best gig

London Palladium with Whose Line? live. Magic. For stand-up, smoking dope on stage in Dublin at an Aids benefit. Or Just For Laughs in Toronto in a swanky theatre in 2018. Standing ovation. I may have cried.

Worst gig

In the UK, Preston. The promoter turned the power off until I agreed to do an interval. He was a gangster, so I agreed. In the US, a biker bar in Pleasanton, California, called the Sunshine Saloon. Beer in buckets. They would shut down the pool table when the show started so the bikers had ready-made weapons.

Strangest audience member

Geraldine Chaplin, Charlie’s daughter, once told me I was ‘so funny’.  I wish I had taped her. It would be my outgoing message.

Best heckler

Guy laughing at everything. I asked him:  ‘Why so jolly?’ He said he just got out of San Quentin (penitentiary) I said: ‘Fuck me!’ He said: ‘If you’d been there, we would’ve.'

As for bad hecklers - get Western with me and I will crush you like a jellybean. First night at the Comedy Store in London in 1989, I got heckled by a drunk dude. I asked: ‘What do you do?’ He said: ‘I’m a male prostitute.’ I said: ‘You must be the butt ugliest one in Leicester Square.’ I won

Most unusual location

A resort in Southern Turkey for IBM. They were wearing Roman garb. I said I left England because I had all my teeth and my ears were in proportion to my head. They didn’t like me and some were dressed as legionaries.

Or a podcast on a cruise ship off St. Maarten. Ship rocking ceaselessly. Egyptian themed cabaret. Captain was a mad Norwegian named Thor. When he gave the announcements, he actually said the words, ‘Bing, bong.’

Greg Proops will be performing in London later this month: At the Ealing Comedy Festival on July 20; with the Comedy Store Players  on July 23; and his solo show The Smartest Man In The World at Soho Theatre on July 26.

Published: 7 Jul 2023

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