Greg Proops is an internationally renowned comedian, best known for starring on the hit improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Read more...
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Greg Proops is an internationally renowned comedian, best known for starring on the hit improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? and for his popular award-winning podcast, "The Smartest Man in the World," which Rolling Stone called "some of the boldest comedy on the podcasting frontier right now." But Proops is also a fountain of historical knowledge, a wealth of pop culture trivia, and a generally charming know-it-all.
The Smartest Book in the World is based on Proops's sensational, iTunes Top 10 podcast that has been downloaded more than nine million times, in which his "bold, never-boring voice takes center stage" (The New York Times). The book is a rollicking reference guide to the most essential areas of knowledge in Proops's universe, from the noteworthy names of the ancient world and baseball, to the movies you must see and the albums you must hear.
Complete with history's juiciest tales and curious back-stories, Proops expounds on the merits of poetry and proper punctuation, delivering this wealth of information with his signature style and Proopsian panache. An off-beat and exuberant guide to everything, The Smartest Book in the World gives you everything you need to know to always be the smartest person in the room. Well, unless the Proopmaster is there, too.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Perhaps best known for his stint on the improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway, comedian and podcaster Proops’s compendium of trivia, passionate essays, lists, and observations might not be the smartest book, but it’s certainly an entertaining one. Readers may be distracted by his quirks—“woman” is always spelled with a capital W, and Proops lists numerous reasons why, such as “Old Women raise the world and know everything” and “war is menstruation envy”—and his deep, abiding love for baseball, which is both the subject of a lengthy essay and a common metaphor throughout the book for discussing Roman emperors, the British monarchy, bombshell beauties, and U.S. presidents, among other random subjects. Rather than offer a linear examination of a particular topic, Proops jumps around, citing the brilliance of poets Baudelaire, Sappho, Basho, and Blake in addition to T. Rex’s Electric Warrior album and Alfred Hitchcock’s film Lifeboat. Arguments could be made that some subjects, such as punk (he lists only the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks, the Clash’s London Calling, and the Ramones’ Rocket to Russia), don’t receive the attention they deserve, but what Proops lacks in breadth he more than makes up for in enthusiasm. It’s a terrifically random appreciation of cultural touchstones that’s sure to inspire readers to look further. (May)