Greg Proops has quickly become a master of another new medium — with his “The Smartest Man in the World” podcast going from zero to more than 200,000 subscribers in less than 10 months, not to mention being named one of the Top 10 Comedy Podcasts of the Moment by Rolling Stone magazine. There’s even a viral video featuring someone’s pet dog and cat apparently enjoying themselves while listening to Proops’ podcast — in New Zealand.
The very witty “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” alumnus tells us he’s surprised himself by just how quickly “The Smartest Man in the World” caught on. Now he’s joined the league of performers who consider having a podcast an indespensible component of a comedian’s career. Proops also feels the form — which has none of the constraints of TV or clubs and allows comics to communicate with audience members one-on-one — is having a revitalizing effect on comedy in general. It’s certainly working for Proops, with his remarkable improvisational gifts. He does what seem like stream-of-consciousness pieces before a live audience, and does riffs with answers to audience members’ questions.
Right now, fans are getting treated to an abundance of comics guesting on each other’s podcasts. Proops describes a freewheeling and supportive atmosphere among them. “Nobody’s making any money on it yet, so we can afford to do that,” he says. In fact, the podcasts themselves are free.