Tuesday, 1 April 1997

Greg Proops (US Comic), April 1, 1997

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Melbourne Town Hall until April 20, 1997
Reviewed by Kate Herbert around April 1, 1997

What a novelty! An American who hasn't had his irony gland removed. Greg Proops' stand-up is intelligent, politically informed and extremely silly. He works to the highest common denominator, which is a great relief.

Nobody can faze Proops. This is one confident gagmeister. Even the most obscure heckle, "Squeal Piggy, Squeal" was an appetiser for such an accomplished and witty comic. My face hurt from laughing too hard after an hour. Well actually after about ten minutes.

Proops prowls to and fro across the front of the stage like a caged leopard, firing razor sharp gags at an awe-struck crowd. He is slick. He likes England-bashing. "I like to visit a place where I'm the best looking person," and "I realised Fawlty Towers was a serious documentary."

But he does not rest with Brit-knocking. Any anti-freedom dodos are targets. To the delight of the obviously mostly left-of-centre crowd, he dumped all over Jeff Kennett. He wants to send him to Amsterdam for some free-choice therapy along with his whole country's red-neck, right wing, fundamentalist, elite morons. "Intolerance is the precept of modern Christianity, " he quips. Too true Greg my man.

Proops is a word machine, a walkin'-talkin' comedy thesaurus. His material is a relentless thrust and parry of esoteric and ordinary references, jibes and japes. My biggest belly laughs came with his version of Dutch, the world's most unpronouncable and guttural language and his impression of Kevin Costner, the most wooden actor in the known universe- after Brian Brown of course.

He demands attention from an audience. He keeps you on your toes. "Don't pretend you're shocked." He imitates the voice in your audient head as you question his taste.  We "vaulted over the wall of irony" with Proops a million times in this hour of shriekingly funny smart humour. Just go see him.


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