Mr. Knowitall

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The Smartest Man In The World review

Rating – 5 Brains

Posting this as something of a redress against whatever prejudices you may have aimed in my direction after my earlier review of The Last Podcast On The Left.

I first heard about this podcast back when I was just finding out what I liked to listen to, and Joe Rogan hadn’t been fitted for a foil hat yet. Greg was interviewed on Joe’s show and the second the interview was over, I subscribed and started listening. A few weeks later I decided I didn’t really like Mr. Rogan anymore.

People of a certain age *ahem* will know Greg Proops as the bespectacled stalwart of classic improv comedy show Who’s Line Is It Anyway?

Fewer still will have spotted him as a fez wearing street hawker in an Ace Frehley music video. Some people might also think he played guitar in INXS, but he didn’t.

So what’s it about?

Each episode sees Greg wax lyrical on a variety of subjects, from ancient Rome to the negro league baseball teams. From tales of drug and alcohol fuelled debauchery to politics and feminism. The subject matter is varied to say the least. Each hour long episode shoehorns so much information in that it’s usually easier to just let everything wash over you and enjoy Greg’s manic, synapse frying delivery for what it is.

Whereas most podcasts stick to one topic per episode, you have no such luck here. It’s impossible to try to pick and choose any episode over another. Even the titles don’t really give a clue to what the main subject will be. Just dive in and let it take you where it will.

Is it any good?

Yes. Well mostly yes. I say this because while a great proportion of the episodes are recorded in comedy clubs in front of a live audience, there are a few where he’s broadcasting from his home. The so-called ”Fortress Of Proopitude”. I don’t really like these as much, because like any comedy show, it helps to have the extra dimension of engagement (and laughter).

It’s worth noting that each show is entirely improvised. This herculean task is a testament to his skill at improvisational comedy. He bounces around subjects and digressions with skill, and it’s quite frankly astonishing that he never misses a beat.

Final thoughts

The next paragraph is geared more towards my UK readers…

This kind of comedy is not for everyone. If you’re a fan of the dearth of comedy panel shows, or really any comedian who has risen to stardom in the last 30 years, then you’ll probably hate this show. If however you like Stewart Lee, or Bill Hicks then you’ll love it. It’s a very highbrow show that is also amazingly funny. Mrs Brown’s Boys this is not (thank god).

May all your dawns be raspberry, and all your pages be Satchel.

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