1. The Smartest Man In The World
You probably remember Greg Proops from Who’s Line Is It, Anyway? He was the guy dressed in black with the cool glasses and hair that would have made him a runner-up to play the next Doctor. He was on both the UK and American versions of the show, and was later cast as one half of the two-headed podrace announcer in The Phantom Menace. (“That’s gotta hurt!”)
Proops is unique to the podcast scene for many reasons, primarily his choice of format. Most comic podcasters spill their guts in a studio. Proops does it onstage. When you listen to a new episode of The Smartest Man in the World, you’re essentially getting a new, free stand-up album every week. He has regular features, but the bulk of the show is a fresh, hilarious stand-up concert. It’s the antithesis of how most comics work. Traditionally, comics will use the same jokes night after night, sometimes for years. The internet, and its voracious appetite for new content, has made it harder for comics to get away with the impulse to rely on tried, safe material. We’re in a new era, one in which comics now have to change their act every night, lest the material be seen as old hat. Proops comes up with the funniest new material of any working comic, and does so on a regular schedule. The Smartest Man in the World is an audio diary of a working professional, and the best show of its kind.
This article was first posted on December 31, 2013