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!
My Viral Video ‘The Netherlands Welcomes Trump in his Own Words’ has more views than Trump’s inauguration
(as told to Vanity Fair magazine)
1. How did you get involved in the Netherlands Second video?
The ‘Netherlands Second’ video was a concept from Arjen Lubach’s show, ‘Zondag Met Lubach,’ which is the Dutch version of John Oliver ‘Last Week Tonight.’ I’ve known Arjen Lubach since he was a comedian with the improv group ‘Op Sterk Water.’ Meanwhile, I was working in Amsterdam with comedy improv theater Boom Chicago. (I came over in 1994, “just for one summer” and never left.)
I was really happy to work with Arjen. He’s doing a great job with his show, and I know it’s not easy. I once hosted my own comedy news show on Comedy Central when they debuted in the Netherlands. Since then I’ve been working on a kind of ‘Daily Show for the EU’ called ‘United States of Europe,’ on YouTube. It’s a process. Arjen is in his sixth season now, and he has really found his voice, his groove.
The text for ‘Netherlands Second’ was pretty funny in the first draft I saw. I got the call from Arjen’s head writer Janine Abbring. She asked if I could come in and read their text as a native English speaker, ‘but not too Trumpy.’ Then I tried it again full-on Trump, and the room agreed ‘that’s the way to go.’
2. Were you given any instructions apart from the lines and to read them in Trump’s voice?
The writer who directed me on the voiceover was Diederik Smit. I know him from his work on the Dutch version of The Onion (De Speld). He asked if everything sounded authentic enough. We adapted a few phrases, and I added a few embellishments. I also free-styled a bit, but they didn’t use it. The original text was really good.
Part of the reason the original text was so good is that it’s so counterintuitive. Comedically, you generally have one perspective per piece. Either you’re making fun of Trump, or you’re making fun of the Netherlands. Normally you can’t have both. And is there a serious political point? If so, you might want to introduce it at the top. But no, this script squeezes it in at the very end: ‘If you abandon NATO, you’ll make our problems great again.’ The effect is that it catches you off-guard the whole time and then creates the opening for this genuine appeal.
3. How did you perfect your Trump impression? How long have you been practicing it?
I’ve been working on a Trump impression for our political show ‘Angry White Men: Trump Up the Volume’ at Boom Chicago theater in Amsterdam. My comedy partner is Pep Rosenfeld, and we’ve been doing election shows since 2000. We’ve been doing this show since the 2016 primaries. There was a point when Pep was doing Trump, as a classic New Yorker. (And I was doing Hillary, so I could debate Pep’s excellent Bernie Sanders.) But at some point, we switched when I realized Trump doesn’t have a typical New York accent. Just to be silly, I tried him once as a California surfer dude. And we realized that’s closer to the way Trump actually talks. ‘We’re going to go catch some awesome rays, we’ll catch some gnarly waves, it’s going to be totally tubular.’ To me, Trump is this uber-NewYorker who embodies a California accent, but he can only get elected by appealing to everywhere but those places.
4. What’s the key to a good Trump impression? How do you nail the voice?
I actually give a tutorial on my YouTube channel: ‘How to Do a Trump Impression – When You Have Large Hands.’ I freely admit I look nothing like Trump. But to me, the key to getting the voice right is the hands. The hands that are constantly making one of two gestures: ‘peeny-peeny’; or ‘teeny-teeny.’ Once the hands are going, then the face comes naturally. As Pep Rosenfeld pointed out: his eyes are never fully open, and his mouth is never fully closed.
I honestly didn’t set out to do a Trump impression. But now that I have one, I’m committed to answering questions as Trump online. My Fake Trump is now giving more press conferences than the real one.
5. What’s it been like to see all the videos that have followed, and the traction they’re getting?
I still can’t forget seeing the ‘Netherlands Second’ video play for the studio audience. Trump was sworn in on a Friday, we recorded on a Saturday, and they played it for the crowd on Sunday. It got so many laughs – some where I didn’t expect them. And then a couple of my favorite bits got nothing. There’s this non sequitur line that comes out of nowhere about a Dutch news reporter: ‘This is Gerry Eickhof.’ It didn’t get the laugh it deserved because the crowd was still laughing from the previous bit.
I expected the video might do well in the Netherlands. Arjen Lubach has scored other viral hits already as of last season. But when it went viral internationally, I was astounded. I heard it now has more views than the official Trump inauguration video. People are asking ‘Do you think Trump has seen it?’ I hope he’s got better things to do. But if indeed it has more views than his own video, he must have noticed.
When I saw the German video for ‘Neo Magazine Royal’ my first reaction was ‘Oh no, that’s a total ripoff.’ But then Jon Boehmermann admitted it was a ripoff, and he heightened the premise by expanding it to this European-wide contest with its own website ‘Every Second Counts.’ And now there’s this comedy version of the Eurovision Song Contest. Satire is uniting the EU. It couldn’t come at a better time. And I’m very proud to have played a part.
Here’s the video:
Here’s the wonderful first write-up in Vanity Fair.
Here’s the New York Times
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.’
Yes, it’s my voice impersonating Trump in the Dutch ‘Netherlands Second’ video.
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.
For requests and other information, please use this form to contact Greg’s management.