Greg on the Road

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Greg Proops Returns

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The smartest man in the world, Greg Proops returns to the show to chat baseball & Pete Rose, the time he spends in England and his hatred of the “Who’s Line is it Anyway” hoedowns. Greg and Greg also discuss women trying too hard to look sexy once they reach a certain age.

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Steven Wright

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Steven Wright joins the show to talk with Greg about his monotone delivery, doing stand up in Boston, and working in a lot of violent movies.

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Beth Lapides

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Beth Lapides joins Greg to talk about the stylings of alternative comedy, doing stand up in the 80’s, stories from the UnCabaret club, having friends as bosses and Overheards.

Watch my buddy Tom Cotter on AGT.

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Greg on CSPnet.com!

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SPEED Debuts Gas Station Game Show

Pumped! is an “ambush”-style quiz show

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cable racing network SPEED debuted its newest game show on Thursday night. Pumped! gives unsuspecting motorists a chance to win gasoline gift cards for correctly answering trivia questions.

It is a fast-paced, ambush-style quiz show that transforms everyday people into instant game show contestants, all while filling up their gas tanks at their local gas station. Host Greg Fitzsimmons guides players through multiple rounds of automotive and pop culture question and answer games, affording them the opportunity to win cash and prizes while fueling their cars.

Fitzsimmons positions himself at undisclosed Sunoco gas stations in and around some of America’s busiest intersections, “ambushing” unsuspecting patrons for a chance to win up to $1,800 in cash (including $50 Sunoco gift cards) upon successfully answering a series of trivia questions.

Fitzsimmons is a comedian who has performed his standup routine on shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately and Comedy Central Presents, while also hosting his own radio show, The Greg Fitzsimmons Show, on SiriusXM Howard 101. He also offers the Fitzdog Radio podcast.

“I’m just a guy who’s coming up to them and trying to have some fun,” Fitzsimmons said. “I’m not putting pressure on them to play the game. Not trying to tell a bunch of funny jokes, I’m trying to bring out what’s fun in an already funny situation.

“I did improv in college and I’ve done standup. Now, my standup has been a lot of listening to people as opposed to just trying to say funny things. I think in this show, the best games we can play are when the people feel comfortable and respond to how they are feeling,” he said.

“The show is essentially broken down into three games and a bonus,” said Nick Rigg, Leopard Films USA President. “What we see in the first game is kind of a strict ‘true or false.’ Greg wants to push them hard, so they will make it through. He can be quite cutting and tough with them. In the second round, he becomes a bit friendlier. Once they start making some money and (move) into the third round, he’s very much behind and working with them. It’s based on fun and what we’ve found is the contestants have risen to it–and really enjoy it as well.”

Even though it’s a simple concept by design, it’s not always easy to shoot. With each segment set within an ever-changing environment, a multitude of distractions and obstacles can make shooting an episode more challenging.

“You’ve got fire engines and people in reverse making that beeping noise,” Fitzsimmons said. “Then you’ve got gas trucks pulling in to fill up the tanks, and our whole set is on top of where they need to be, so they aren’t the most pleasant guys at that moment. You also have people honking, people in the background waving their arms and helicopters flying overhead. For every take we get that’s clean, there’s another take where we have to stop or re-ask the question, so we’re definitely on our toes to make sure whatever we do, we get it right.”

SPEED, anchored by its coverage of NASCAR, is the nation’s first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Now available in nearly 84 million homes in North America, SPEED, is a member of the FOX Sports Media Group, the umbrella entity representing News Corp.’s array of multi-platform U.S.-based sports assets.


LOL WITH IT: Interview with Fitzdog Radio’s Greg Fitzsimmons

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During the late-nineties and early-aughts (shudder), I was a young comedy fan watching shows like Comedy Central Presents, A&E’s Comedy Showcase, and NBC’s Late Friday. Really popular acts like Chris Rock and Jeff Foxworthy were living large and guys like Louis Black, Mitch Hedberg and Dane Cook were gaining a lot of momentum. Everybody had an angle, a super-memorable gimmick. But there was another category of standup that seemed less celebrated: folks who simply had funny jokes.

These schtick-less performers weren’t loud or weird or interesting in appearance. They simply opened their mouths and said funny things. Guys like Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Louis CK, Marc Maron and Patton Oswalt were zeros in the fame game but batted a thousand whenever you could catch them for five minutes on TV. Nowadays, they are comedy household names, because eventually the Internet hit puberty and craftsmen can be judged for the actual quality of their work instead of their marketability.

Journeyman Greg Fitzsimmons is one of those guys. Luckily, today he’s reaping the benefits of sticking it out through decades of relative obscurity. His podcast, Fitzdog Radio, is in the top 25 for comedy podcasts on iTunes. You should check out the episode from last November where he dissects Philly’s ethnic culture and interviews our own Darryl Charles.

I recently had a chat with him where he talked about working in his undies, why he loves playing at Helium Comedy Club and his stance that Philly is actually part of New Jersey …

City Paper: How has podcasting changed the comedy business?


Greg Fitzsimmons: I definitely see a turnout for my standup shows and the listeners are really connected to what I have to say. I can tell they are invested in the podcast and are not going anywhere. That’s a great feeling. Also I enjoy performing in my underwear in my garage.

CP: When last you were in Philly, you described our fair city as “Italy fucked by Ireland, plus black folks” (which you admitted is also the Bronx, South Boston, etc.) Beyond ethnicity, how do you view Philly culturally?


GF: There is a self-delusion that Philly is not New Jersey. Does anyone really think it is part of Pennsylvania?Pennsylvania is chocolate and Amish and woods. You guys are Jersey. As soon as you get enough money you go directly to the Jersey Shore or Atlantic City.

CP: You’ve shown some loyalty to Helium. Are you generally still doing clubs? Where do you stand in terms of getting away from the bachelorette parties and playing theaters? Do you prefer a traditional comedy club?


GF: Theaters are tough because you have to sell every ticket for it to make sense financially for everyone. I prefer clubs because you can be more creative and feel the room. You can write more material and you don’t have to play it big to reach the back rows. Helium is a perfect layout and has an awesome feel to it. You can see everyone and the sound is good. Most of the waitresses are really into me.

CP: Who were your comedy heroes growing up?


GF: I listened to my Dad’s comedy albums and read his humor books when I was young so I really loved Bob Hope and Art Buchwald and Bill Cosby. The Marx Brothers and Mel Brooks’ movies were a real bonding thing for me and my Dad, also. I got older and got into Steve Martin, George Carlin and Richard Pryor. In high school the Jerky Boys changed the way I talk to this day. I still call people “sizzle chest” and “Jerky.”

CP: Where do you see your career in five years? Any projects coming that you’re excited about?


GF: I am hosting a game show on The Speed Channel starting in November. It’s 20 episodes where I ask people questions while they fill their tanks at gas stations. I’m actually not kidding. I also have a show in development at Nickelodeon and am waiting to see whether a pilot I executive produced for VH1 goes to series. I’ve got five straight weeks of standup booked for the fall and in the middle of that I will do two podcasts a week and a radio show each Monday night. Oh yeah, and I have a wife and two kids at home. They seem confused when I am around the house.

CP: How close are we to the breakdown of modern culture?


GF: If you track the Holy Roman Empire, right before the fall, the similarities to our country right now are frightening. They had a bloated government bureaucracy, paid mercenaries in place of true soldiers and a sense of infallibility. The GOP has the EPA in its crosshairs for the next election so any hope for the environment is shit. These are tough days to have kids …


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