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Stand Up and Be Discounted 

L.A. comic disses his co-stars. Even Drew Carey.

Between stand-up comedy and improv theater, ex-Whose Line Is It Anyway? regular Greg Proops thinks scripted joke-telling is easier, hands down. Off-the-cuff improvising with the likes of Clevelander Drew Carey is proof enough. "The guys I do improv with are terrible. So it's a lot of work — like dragging a giant block of ice behind me, really," says Proops, with the same kind of sarcasm he'll bring to his shows this weekend in Cleveland. "It's very difficult. Nobody likes them. So I have to provide all the warmth, sex appeal, and glamour." The 48-year-old Proops first found fame in the mid-'90s as a cast member on the British version of Whose Line? He quickly discovered that English audiences size up his talent far differently than their counterparts in the States. "There, I'm considered optimistic and peppy. Here, I'm considered cynical and snide. So it works out nice," says Proops. "You really can't be dour enough for the British."Since then, Proops has chalked up his work for the TV Guide Channel as one of his favorite gigs. He even doles out kind words for fellow co-hosts Joan and Melissa Rivers after teaming up with them on the red carpet at last year's Oscars. "I worship Joan as a comedian. Sadly, I find I'm the most like her when I'm around her," says Proops. "I always thought I was more like George Carlin. And it turns out I'm more like Joan Rivers." Proops goes onstage at 8 tonight, 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday, and 7:30 Sunday at Hilarities, 2035 East Fourth Street. Tickets are $18 to $35. Call 216-241-7425 or visit www.pickwickandfrolic.com.
Thu., May 15, 8 p.m.; May 16-17, 7:30 & 10:15 p.m.; Sun., May 18, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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