Feeling groggy and unprepared, I spoke to this man in the afternoon of November 15, 2013. I was certain that I’d receive interesting answers to my questions, but had no idea that I was in for some of the most thoughtful and potent talks of any interview to date. You might know him from his standup, his frequent appearances on Whose Line is it Anyway, or more recently from his podcast The Smartest Man in the World.
He could only be…
David Luna: What is your earliest memory?
Greg Proops: Probably being in my house with my parents when I was little in Lancaster, California.
DL: Did you have a religious background or upbringing?
GP: Not particularly. I went to Sunday school until I was seven. I liked wearing the suit, because James Bond wore a suit.
DL: Do you have any supernatural or mystical beliefs?
GP: Not particularly. I think there’s such a thing as the supernatural that we don’t understand. I don’t think we can explain everything with rationality and science, in other words.
DL: Can you recall any profoundly funny moments from your childhood, where you sort of just “got it”?
GP: When I was in grade school and I met my friend Forest, we spent a lot of time really yukking it up when we were about 10 years old. We used to just make each other laugh, and I think that then is when I got that it was important to my life.
DL: From what age did you want to make it a career or central to your life?
GP: Well, I’d probably fool myself and say I wanted to do lots of other things, but probably from a teenager on; I’d say 15 or so. I just didn’t dream of it when I was 12 or 13. I was too insecure, I think, but I loved comedy.
DL: Who are your comedic influences?
GP: I have lots of influences. My cousin Donny; Warren Thomas, who was my best friend who passed away; my wife. As far as television and stuff, George Carlin, the Marx Brothers, Richard Pryor, the comics that were on TV when I was little, Rob Klien, Lilly Tomlin.