Between 1999 and 2009 Lightsabre.co.uk brought news, fanfic, podcasts and much, much more to the masses. Our one hundred and thirty-seventh guest was half of the pod race announcing duo in The Phantom Menace – Greg Proops.
Lightsabre – Greg , welcome to Lightsabre.
GP – Thanks LS.
Lightsabre – You became a part of the Star Wars universe with your role as Fode in The Phantom Menace. How does it feel to be a part of something so massively popular worldwide?
GP – It feels groovy. I get letters from Denmark.
Lightsabre – Were you a Star Wars fan before these roles came along?
GP – I saw the first one high with my buddy Leon, the week it came out.
Lightsabre – How did you come to the part of Fode? Presumably, Lucas hiring a noted comedian indicated that the role required an element of humour?
GP – A very good comedian friend of mine, Scott Capurro who played Fode, and I went in and auditioned together. they had us read because we could riff and we have American accents. We had a lot of fun and came up with some of the lines.
GP – Tal is an evil dude. That what makes it awesome for me. He is greedy, venal and a kidnapper. Good guys are never as exciting to play as a duplicitous traitor.
Lightsabre – You are best known in the UK for your long stint on the much missed Whose Line Is It Anyway. Tell us a bit about those days as UK humour, especially on Friday nights, has never been quite the same since.
GP – We had a lot of fun. We had no idea it would run 10 years. I still work with Josie, Richard, Paul Merton and all the Comedy Store Players. In fact I have been asked to guest with them at the Globe in London on April 27th. I will also be sitting in at the Store on April 29th and May 3rd and 6th. I also gig with Ryan Stiles and Chip Esten all the time in the States. I am friends and colleagues with most everyone who did Whose Line. Mike McShane and I are still pals after 25 years.
GP – No makeup. Plus they usually give you lots of latitude in the studio. I have been very lucky to work on The Nightmare Before Christmas with the excellent Henry Sellick and Danny Elfman. And recently on a Wii game called Mad World with John DiMaggio, the voice of Bender on Futurama and my pal Jack Fletcher who is a terrific director.
Lightsabre – Got to ask you about Space Cadets, the sci-fi quiz show you hosted in 1997. That looked like amazing fun.
GP – Holy cow. Craig Charles and Bill Bailey are sweethearts and so funny. I got to meet William Shatner and Walter Koenig for f***’s sake. As well as Ed Bishop from UFO Terry Pratchett and Claudia Christian, it was a sci-fi wet dream.
GP – One was fat and one was thin. Now we are both in the middle. He and I clicked because we share a horrible liking for the same kind of humor.
Lightsabre – You’ve worked on numerous shows, films and projects. Which one – apart from Episode 1 of course – is your favourite?
GP – I just did an episode of Flight of the Conchords for HBO. They are swell guys and I got to play an advertising asshole. As if there are any other kinds of people in advertising. I am currently on a kids show for Nickelodeon called Tru Jackson VP where I play a crazy fashion designer who hires a 15 year old girl to be Vice President. So I am fortunate.
Lightsabre – What lies ahead for you in the future?
GP – There is only the now. Zen, baby.
GP – Love it. Haven’t seen it.
Lightsabre – It’s been a great interview, and thanks for being our guest on Lightsabre. Just one final question. Fode and Beed are offered a job they can’t refuse – Rancor Pit announcer in Jabba’s Palace. Every time the Hutt gets angry, another victim falls through the floor and you have to commentate. Give us a brief flavour of what Fode would have said when Luke fell through the grating into the Rancor’s clutches…?
GP – “Golly that is gonna be one tasty tidbit for Rancor. Hope Luke wrote Leia a goodbye hologram!”
Originally posted on www.lightsabre.co on 22nd March 2009.