Greg Shapiro and Pep Rosenfeld team up again for a US election show – about what may be the last-ever US election. This Boom Chicago show uses standup comedy and improvisation to answer the big questions: - How did America end up with Donald Trump as the Republican candidate? - Can America warm up to Hillary Clinton – before it’s too late?
– Is America ready for the first-ever male First Lady? And – in general – WTF?
Pep Rosenfeld and Greg Shapiro have written comedy shows together since 1985 in high school. Since 2000, Rosenfeld, Shapiro and director Andrew Moskos have created and performed in seven critically acclaimed political shows on Boom Chicago’s stage – including: - ‘Mr. America Contest,’ 2004.
‘Bye Bye Bush,’ 2008. - ‘My Big Fat American Election,’ 2012.
This show will grow and adapt to reflect the latest news of the campaign. We’ll run weekly through primary season and take a break for summer vacation. The General Election Edition kicks off at the end of August at Lowlands in Flevoland.
Not since President George W Bush has there been an idea so disturbing to many… yet so great for comedians. Never before have we done a political show this early before the election or run for so long. But then again Donald Trump has never run for president before.
While many comedians do corporate standup, Greg actually enjoys it. He has 15 years of experience in B2B, B2C & internal events. And he looks good in a suit.
Tailored ‘How to Be Orange’ – Shapiro offers Culture Shock Therapy as a loud American doing business in a tiny Dutch country.
Tailored Comedy Roast – for your company, your boss, or a special colleague. 3 parts sour; 1 part sweet.
Tailored Game Show – interactive Quiz Show with audience contestants.
‘We asked Greg to speak at our international managers meeting. He poked fun at all the Dutch stereotypes – and at himself as an American – but in the end his message was positive.’
– John Carter, Philips
‘Thanks so much Greg for speaking at the Diversity conference. You are truly a great ambassador for our country.’
– Julie R. Moyes, US Embassy
‘Powerful, intelligent and always funny product. Greg can see the flaws in your plans and turn them around to your benefit. Companies remember Greg. Audiences remember Greg. Greg makes an impact.’
– Rob Andristplourde, Boom Chicago
Greg has hosted private and public events since 1999. Using his background in improvisation, Shapiro has been known to bring out the human side of CEO’s, professors, and government ministers.
Event Host – Plenary Sessions, Auctions, Award and Diploma Ceremonies
Interview / Debate – Based on Shapiro’s TV show ‘United States of Europe’
Late Night Talk Show – from the ‘Graham Norton’ format to the ‘DWDD’ roundtable
‘Greg made the difference between a pretty-good event and an excellent event. His total understanding of the content, his humour, and his optimistic persona gave the event depth and made it sparkle.’
– Sylvester Lindemulder, Event Garage
‘Greg’s show was sharp, tactful and very, very funny. We did not make things easy for him! He dealt brilliantly with the many details and made the show very much tailored to EPO sizes.’
– Bert Lockhart, European Patent Office
‘The opening and closing ceremonies of the Delta Lloyd Cadet World Championships were more than successfully hosted by Greg Shapiro. He really made the difference and proved to be the icing on the cake!’
– Jan Martin Wilschut, Amsterdam Hotsprings
Greg has provided the voice for hundreds of Dutch commercials, films and live events.
Sales (Coca-Cola, McDonalds)
Character voices (Tele-2)
Narration (Philips News Network)
Explain-imation (FairWear Foundation, WakaWaka Power)
“Greg is a very energetic and inspiring colleague. And the best Obama-impersonator in the Netherlands.”
– Rens de Jong, BNR
‘He’s a delight to work with: professional, personable, and willing to pitch in to get the job done.’
– Becky Nelson, Rhythm New Media
‘We were all enthusiastic about Greg’s professionality and the fact that he mastered so much text so quickly. Onstage and off, he helped enormously to make our event a success.’
– Mark Bakker, Int’l Students
Greg offers workshops in improvisation, standup and storytelling. He uses his 15 years of experience as a speaker to provide practical, hands-on training. Having studied Theater & Communication at Northwestern University in Chicago, Shapiro re-acquaints you with the good habits you forgot you knew.
Groups of 200 (Bol.com)
Groups of 20 (KLM)
Trainings are for 2-hour or 4-hour blocks.
‘Shapiro gave us a workshop in Standup Comedy. He started with Storytelling and then coached us on presentation. I’m happy to say our team won the tournament.’
– Joep Driessens, Vodafone
‘For Bol.com he led 120 participants in a workshop on Strategic Use of Emotions. His 2 hours were well-structured, and his comedy style makes learning easier because it’s so fun.’
– Maureen Kamphuis, Maureen and Me
‘Gregory coached me on Ethos, Logos and Pathos, which really helped my presentations. He is an enthusiastic person, which gives you energy. You feel you can do no wrong.’
– Nafize Sener, The NetworKing
For universities with international students, or for high schools with a CKV requirement and a shrinking budget, Greg Shapiro is portable. From his years of performing with Boom Chicago comedy theater, Shapiro has no problem tailoring his shows to any age – or any location.
Orientation, graduation, convocation
Universities, Colleges, TTO programs
‘His jokes aren’t rude. Funny for the teenagers, and parents had a good laugh as well.’
– Belle de Knegt, Johan de Witt College Dordrecht
‘How can he be so sharp and critical, but still so charming? I’m still smiling about it.’
– Edyta Czarniecka, NUFFIC Int’l Students Den Haag
‘Greg makes the little things stand out and lets you see them like you’ve never seen them before. And that’s what makes you laugh.’
– Dennis Drop, Sancta Maria Lyceum Haarlem
Greg studied Theater at Northwestern University in Chicago and has appeared in films such as ‘Down’ with Naomi Watts. He’s been on Dutch TV (‘De Deal,’ ‘Bluf,’ ‘GTST’). And he’s had his own show on Comedy Central Netherlands (‘Comedy Central News’).
Character work (‘Radeloos,’ ‘MTV Behind the Speedo’)
Commercial (Chevrolet, Holland Casino)
Presenting (ING, Philips)
‘Greg is hilarious! He’s an exceptionally enthusiastic media professional. He’s hard working, intelligent, flexible, modest and truly funny.’
– Geert-Martin vd Jagt, Comedy Central
‘Greg did a series of very funny and sharp video news columns about the US Elections. Excellent work, very original.’
– Annette Posthumus, de Volkskrant
‘Greg seamlessly merges smart with funny. He has the remarkable ability to reduce all your information to a quick and hilarious nugget of truth with an offbeat point-of-view.’
– Becky Nelson, Rhythm New Media
In 2004 – before there was a YouTube - 'Florida Voting Machine' reached 1 million views. By now Greg has his own channel. Subscribe!
Trump, Zwarte Piet and How to Prepare for Prime Minister Wilders
Election Day 2016. Too bad America won’t have its first female President. But we hope you enjoy America’s first president who’s legally insane.
Congratulations America, you just had your own Brexit moment. And – in classic American fashion – it was bigger and badder. Yes, the Brexit campaign featured misinformation and xenophobia. But the Trump campaign had all that plus p***y grabbing, pathological lying and Russia-mania! And in America – just like in Britain – on election day it looked like cooler heads, saner heads, would prevail. It wasn’t politically correct to think otherwise. Perhaps that’s why so many people lied to the pollsters. And perhaps that’s why we might continue to end up with hotter, insaner heads in charge.
In the Netherlands, one politician’s head gets so hot it even bleaches itself platinum blonde: the populist politician Geert Wilders.
From the US to the EU, it is NOT a good year to be in the ruling class. Even if voters aren’t sure which class is ruling them, they’ll tear it down. The day of the Brexit vote, half the country said ‘No to the EU!’ The day after, a top search on Google was ‘What is the EU?’ Brexit voters wanted to be free from an unelected, upper class elite. So they ended up with an unelected, upper class leader who appointed a cabinet full of millionaire elites. But at least their Foreign Minister is not politically correct.
Where does this resentment of the politically correct ruling class come from? According to one writer: Dorkiness, Arrogance and Smugness. In the Harvard Business Review, Prof. Joan C. Williams writes that Hillary Clinton was the perfect storm: “The dorkiness: the pantsuits. The arrogance: the email server. The smugness: the basket of deplorables.” The Deplorables remark was a classic gaffe, i.e. that moment when a politician accidentally tells the truth. Hillary said “you could lump half of Trump supporters into a Basket of Deplorables. Racist, sexist, homophobic… you name it.” And let’s not forget in 2008 when Barack Obama was caught off camera saying of small town America: “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” He not only insulted small town America, he used the word antipathy. Well, who wouldn’t revolt?
Perhaps it’s no wonder there was an anti-politically correct backlash. Perhaps a backlash is what happens when people feel they’re being judged. If my 12 year-old son kicks his sister under the table and she says “Stop,” sometimes he’ll stop. But if she says “Stop, you’re so immature!” Then it’s a full-scale kicking war.
Is there a populist backlash waiting to happen in the Netherlands next? Look no further than the great Zwarte Piet debate.
Zwarte Piet is of course the blackface sidekick to Sinterklaas, the Dutch Santa. My wife, who is Dutch, insisted for years that Black Pete’s face is black “from the chimney.” I would reply that the Dutch must have magical chimneys to produce not just soot, but full blackface, afro hair and big red lips. We agreed on a Dutch-style compromise: if Zwarte Piet would lose the blackface, then he could stay. If he’s black “from the chimney” then let his face have soot from the chimney. And this common sense “Soot-face” approach is now being phased in on TV and in Amsterdam’s Sinterklaas parade.
Is there a populist backlash? You bet! And some people are doing their best to make it worse.
First came Quinsy Gario with his “Zwarte Piet Is Racism” protest. I’ve been part of Quinsy’s movement, but I also encouraged him to be a bit more specific. Saying “blackface is racism” one thing. But by labeling the entire Zwarte Piet tradition as racist, it may be doing more harm than good.
In 2013, the UN’s Verene Shepherd issued her (unauthorized) statement that the entire Sinterklaas tradition was racist. And that’s when the backlash of resentment made its way to social media. On Facebook the “Pietitie” page became the fastest-growing Facebook site to reach a million likes. Current polling says appx. 90% of Dutch people want Zwarte Piet to stay.
And – even though the blackface tradition is evolving faster than anyone thought possible – this year in Amsterdam a chocolatier with Zwarte Piet treats in its front window was covered with graffiti saying “You’re racist!” And yes, the graffiti was in English. Thanks. Now – when the inevitable populist backlash comes – they’ll be sure to target us English speakers first.
So does this mean that a populist politician like Geert Wilders will be elected Prime Minister next March? His Zwarte Piet policy is simple: blackface mandatory. In other words: yes, he’ll likely win. All the pieces are in place: a holier-than-thou, politically correct elite and resentful, neglected would-be populists. But don’t forget Geert Wilders was in the ruling coalition before, and when the populist joined the ruling class, it didn’t end well. The cabinet fell. And there’s every reason to believe he will overplay his hand again. I use that metaphor deliberately. When the last Dutch coalition fell in 2012, one headline compared the process to a famous Dutch card game, in which the loser is the one left holding the Joker, or the Zwarte Piet. The headline read “Zwarte Piet For Wilders.”
In America, most likely Donald Trump will also overplay his hand, and his bizarre experiment in the ruling class will be crushed under its own weight. In the card game that is American politics, Donald Trump is the Joker, and he will end up holding the Zwarte Piet.
Welcome to How to Be Dutch, the Quiz: the questions that SHOULD be on the Dutch citizenship exam, according to an American Netherlander, who’s been in the country for 20 years.
If you’re looking for an official guide to the Netherlands, this is not it. BUT if you’re looking for some odd Dutch quirks – in snarky quiz form – then this book is for you.
The official Dutch assimilation course can be described as ‘a room full of non-Dutch people learning things about Dutch people that are unknown to most Dutch people.’
If you want to take the official Dutch exam, you can do it online. You can also see the results of many famous Dutch people who’ve taken the exam – and failed. So welcome to this self-made quiz. It can’t be any weirder than the real one.
Gregory Shapiro: Comedian. American. Dutchman. Celebrating 25 years in comedy. He has catalogued his clumsy assimilation into Dutch culture with Boom Chicago Comedy Theater, BNRfm and Comedy Central.
Praise for How to Be Orange: an Alternative Dutch Assimilation Course:
‘Difficult topics are tackled with facts, sharp insights and often hilarious, personal anecdotes. How to be Orange is not an official guide book to Dutch culture, yet … essential reading.’
‘Shapiro holds up a hilarious mirror to Dutch society that magnifies all the stereotypes and shows you how you can look past them to become a true Dutch citizen.’
‘Humorous columns, funny illustrations, hilarious photos and observations. Very nice book.’
Netherlands Library Council
‘Shapiro storms through the polder culture at 130km per hour. He lands his blows with precision, but all the while you can tell he’s proud to be Dutch.’
‘What’s impressive is that he’s lived in Europe long enough to be well-informed of local politics.’
‘Greg is full of confidence, charisma and English – peppered with Dutch. Ingredients are in perfect working order.’
Gregory Shapiro: Comedian. American. Dutchman. Celebrating 25 years in comedy. As author of How to Be Dutch: the Quiz, Shapiro is known for his ‘Dutch Culture Shock Therapy.’ As comedian with comedy theater Boom Chicago, Shapiro covers the latest news from the US – and he was a contributing writer for the Dutch Press Correspondents’ Dinner. As host of ‘United States of Europe,’ Shapiro creates a ‘Daily Show’ for the EU.
Shapiro came to the Netherlands in 1994 to help establish comedy theater Boom Chicago, after graduating from Northwestern University. In 2007 Shapiro presented ‘Comedy Central News’ and then went solo. He’s since worked with BNR fm, Time Out Amsterdam and VARA HumorTV. Shapiro also has 20 years experience in Corporate Speaking / Entertainment.
Shapiro is currently the producer, writer and host of ‘United States of Europe‘ for Zoomin.tv. He is the host of the QuickestQuiz app. And he is the co-host of the Amsterdam Comedy Podcast. He tours with his 4th solo show ‘Part-Time Hypocrite.’ And his books How to Be Orange: an Alternative Assimilation Course and How to Be Dutch: the Quiz are available internationally.
Inez de Goede
GOED ID Producties
Jacob van Lennepstraat 375 hs
1053 JM Amsterdam
31 (0)20 618 2954
greg.shapiro ‘at’ xs4all.nl