‘Whose Live Anyway?’ taking the hilarity on the road with stop at the Palace Theatre

Updated 3 hours ago

Greg Proops, who is a regular with Whose Live Anyway?,” will be replaced at the Greensburg show by Pittsburgh native and “Nashville” star Charles “Chip” Esten.

The replacement was announced after the deadline for Ticket on Sept. 12. Proops had to cancel because of a hand injury.

Esten is best known for playing Deacon Claybourne on the CMT series “Nashville,” but he started off doing improv on the British version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” with his friends Ryan Stiles and Proops. He also is a founding member of the “Whose Live Anyway?” tour company.

Proops was interviewed by the Tribune-Review before the casting change was announced.

Standup comedian Greg Proops says fans of the iconic television show “Whose Line is It Anyway?” should expect to laugh longer and harder at the live stage version of the improv comedy series.

“The live show is a zillion times funnier than watching on TV,” says Proops. The touring production, “Whose Live Anyway?,” is coming to Greensburg’s Palace Theatre on Sept. 18.

Audience participation is a key ingredient to a successful show. Those attending are encouraged to bring their suggestions and may be asked to join the cast onstage.

“We bring up hostages, volunteers from the audience for lots of games. It is hardcore interactive,” he adds.

If the crowd isn’t in the mood to play along, if they’ve had a bad day and just aren’t feeling the love from the guys, no worries, according to Proops.

“We work harder and are funnier. They will come round. We sing a lot and that usually gets them,” he says.

Proops, along with fellow funny men Ryan Stiles, Jeff B. Davis and Joel Murray of the Emmy-nominated TV show, are having fun on the road together with an improv tour Proops says never ends; they just take breaks between tour dates.

“We find each other wildly funny after all this time. I learn something new from Ryan, Joel and Jeff every night,” says Proops, a San Francisco native now living in Hollywood. “Plus, we go out on stage to kill. So we get a lot of great audience response.”

Their show features some of the popular improv games made famous on the long-running TV show, in addition to some new ones.

One of their favorites is “Greatest Hits,” where they improvise all the songs on an album based on audience suggestion.

“We do it on ‘Whose Line,’ but live it is wild,” Proops says.

They also have fun with “Film and Theater Styles,” in which a few of them, usually Proops and Murray, “have a great time doing Shakespeare and once in awhile New Jersey Russian dancing — only tasteless stuff.”

When he isn’t making people laugh onstage, Proops is busy doing his podcast, “Proopcast, the Smartest Man in the World” — in which he covers everything from “albums you should listen to, to art you should steal” — and promoting his book, “The Smartest Book in the World.”

Stiles has starred in all versions of “Whose Line” — the British TV show from 1989 to 1998; the American version hosted by Drew Carey from 1998 to 2006; and the current version on the CW. He executive produced both American versions. He also has acted in the TV series “The Drew Carey Show” and “Two and a Half Men.”

Davis is an actor and comedian from California whose first performances were at age 9 in Yul Brynner’s final production of “The King and I”, which toured nationally and closed on Broadway when he was 11. His TV credits include “The Downer Channel,” “The Sarah Silverman Show” and Drew Carey’s “Green Screen Show.”

Murray is a writer, director and actor who was a series regular on “Grand,” “Pacific Station,” “Love and War,” “Dharma and Greg” and “Still Standing” and has appeared on “Mike and Molly,” “My Boys” and “Two and a Half Men.” He also was in “The Artist” and “The Last Word.”

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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