THE MADNESS OF KING DONALD
An Evening with the Voice of ‘Netherlands Second’
The voice behind the famous ‘Netherlands Second’ video (Zondag Met Lubach, VPRO) speaks out! Greg Shapiro (Boom Chicago, Comedy Central, BNR, ZDF) salutes the 45th – and possibly final – President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. No, America didn’t get its first-ever female president, but we did get the first-ever president who’s clearly mentally ill.
‘The Madness of King Donald’ is an evening of standup comedy, with improvisation as well. Shout out your questions for the President, and Shapiro will answer as ‘The Original Fake Trump.’
“Fantastisch. Feest Vieren met Griezelig Echte Nep-Trump” – Het Parool
Greg Shapiro: Comedian. American. Dutchman. He can be seen in the Boom Chicago show ‘Trump Up the Volume: Angry White Men and How to Avoid Them.’ His latest book ‘How to Be Dutch: the Quiz’ is available internationally. His YouTube show ‘United States of Europe’ has over 3 million views. And as the Trump impersonator from the ‘Netherlands Second’ video, he has over 75 million views worldwide.
Show is in English / Dutch, with intermission.
“There is no shortage of Trump imitators, but Shapiro goes far beyond imitating a voice or physical gestures – he even creeps into Trump’s head. Shapiro can, on the basis of a word or question from the audience, expand into a completely realistic tirade. It no longer has any meaning, but it works enormously well for generating laughs.” – Het Parool
Greg has 20 years of experience performing, speaking and giving workshops for corporate events: Philips; US Embassy; NL Ministerie Buitenlandse Zaken; etc. Shapiro uses material from his book ‘How to Be Orange’ and his online show ‘United States of Europe.’ And he takes questions as President Trump.
Watch Greg’s Tailored Comedy – see also Event Hosting
‘Thanks so much Greg for speaking at the Diversity conference. You are truly a great ambassador for our country.’
– Julie R. Moyes, US Embassy
‘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
‘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
2017 cv (highlights):
– Clingendael, Launch of Sustainability Center.
– Ministerie Buitenlandse Zaken PBL, Book Launch SDG Sustainable Dvpt. Goals.
– The Next Web Conference, live Trump commentary.
– Atlantische Commissie, Trump Commentary at Annual Gen. Mtg.
– Blockchain Innovation Conference, live Trump Q&A.
– Leiden University Career Day, Leiden.
– Expat Centre Leiden, 500th BSN event.
– VVTP Vereniging Vrije Theater Producenten AGM.
– Lexence Client Appreciation Day.
– ROC Teacher Training Day.
– ESOMAR Int’l Market Research Conference.
– TU Eindhoven / UTwente / Leiden Univ. / VU / Erasmus: Welcome Int’l Students.
– Tilburg Univ. Trump Conference, Night University.
– Hotel Nacht Amsterdam, Cafe Americain.
Using his background in improvisation, Shapiro has been known to bring out the human side of CEO’s, government ministers and even Dutch royalty. Formats include:
Event Host – Plenary Sessions
Interview / Debate – Based on Shapiro’s ‘United States of Europe’
Late Night Talk Show – ‘Graham Norton’ or ‘DWDD’ style.
‘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
‘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
‘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
– Koppert Biological Systems 50th Anniv., Royal Gala with King Willem Alexander.
– Award Host Groninger Studenten Cabaret Festival Finals.
– Nutreco Grand Opening New Corporate HQ.
– Star Alliance Video Promo.
– ASML Young Executives Awards.
– Aalberts Industries Annual General Meeting.
Greg is the voice of Trump in the ‘NETHERLANDS SECOND’ video. (50 million+ Trueviews)
He has also done hundreds of voiceovers in:
Sales (Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Mercedes)
Character (Tele-2: Frank the Sheep)
Narration (NL nature film ‘The Wild,’ Audiobooks)
Explain-imation (FairWear Foundation, WakaWaka)
Live (TEDxAmsterdam, The Next Web)
Greg studied Theater at Northwestern University in Chicago. He has appeared in films such as Thomas Acda’s ‘Oh Baby’ and Dick Maas’s ‘Down’ (with Naomi Watts). He has appeared 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, ANWB)
“Greg is a very energetic and inspiring colleague. And the best Trump-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
All I Really Need to Know About Dutch Education I Saw on De Luizenmoeder.
[As printed in XPat Journal, Spring 2018]
Dutch TV has a real hit with De Luizenmoeder, set in a first grade classroom at a Dutch school. I’m pretty sure it’s based on a true story, possibly my own. Here are some of the most recognizable quotes.
“Hallo Allemaal! Wat fijn dat jij er bent!” / “Hello, everyone! So fine that you are here.”
Such sweet words to start every class, but sung with a snarl by a teacher with a wide-eyed menace that is ready to explode at any moment. They could have been studying my kids’ school. Every day started with a song, but the teacher was so high-strung we didn’t know who was more afraid of her: the students or the parents.
“Niet zo kinderachtig doen!” / “Don’t act so childish!”
It’s not just the TV show teacher telling the children not to act childish. One day my kid came home from school with a crumpled up artwork in the bottom of his bag. “The teacher said it wasn’t good enough.” Apparently the assignment was to draw a picture for a classmate whose father had died. My son drew a rainbow with a mini father and daughter under it. I thought it was lovely. But apparently he’d drawn the father and daughter in pencil, and the assignment was to use crayon. So the teacher told him it wasn’t good enough to give to the classmate. He was 8. Just when I was ready to form my conclusion “This woman has lost it,” the kids got a lesson in “Early Teacher Burnout.” In the middle of the school year, the teacher announced she was leaving, effective immediately, to go be a farmer in Costa Rica. I told her “Good luck” in Spanish; she didn’t speak Spanish.
“Luizenmoeder” “Lice Mother”
The Lice Mother is the parent in the class who combs the students for lice and – when lice are found – must tell the other parents they are failures as parents and as human beings. It always goes well.
Inter-parental judgments and eye daggers are a part of the any school experience. But the Dutch language has a way of tripping up non-native speakers, for extra punishment. Sometimes you come close to saying something that makes sense, but then – with one missed syllable – you’ve said something completely different. I was once referring to a decision by the school board, meaning to use the word Uitgesteld. But instead I’d said ongesteld, which means menstruating. It was the men who looked at me the meanest.
Then there was the time I was picking up my son from school during World Cup 2014. All the boys were outside, wearing orange and playing football. It was the day of a big match for the Dutch. I asked ‘what’s your prediction for tonight?’ But instead of using the word voorspelling, I said voorspel. Which means foreplay. Yes, I’d suddenly become the guy who goes up to kids on a playground and asks them about their sexual plans for later.
“Iedereen doet mee bij de Klimop.” “Everyone is included at the Ivy School.”
If De Luizenmoeder is a bit like The Office, then the school principal is David Brent. I’ve met this character in Dutch schools as well, always speaking as if there’s a hidden camera somewhere.
If there are school directors who are confident and optimistic, the system seems to snuff it out. My son went briefly to the iPad school in Amsterdam. It was a new school with a new school principal, who was refreshingly open and unselfconscious. And he was young. Soon, it was time for the first school inspection. Though it was announced in advance, he treated it like a surprise inspection. He wanted to give the inspectors an honest impression of what his school was really like. The result: he got terrible scores. The inspectors advised him: ‘Most schools put on a bit of a show, to impress the inspectors. In comparison, your school was terrible.’ Would our young hero get a chance to take the advice into account for the next time? We’ll never know. The school closed soon after.
“Dat is niet raar; dat is gewoon heel bijzonder.”
De Luizenmoeder teacher is politically aware, but still can’t bring herself to be politically correct. I myself have encountered some wonderfully politically incorrect rituals. When there’s a birthday, there’s the song called Hanky Panky Shanghai. This is a song, to the tune of Happy Birthday, in which the teachers will make slanty-eyed faces and make the children join in, including the Chinese adoptee Xiang Xiang. They’re equal opportunity offenders.
And – once at my daughter’s preschool – I was invited to sit in for a singalong of Berend Botje. There’s a part at the end with the refrain “America, America.” And – since American leadership was then especially unpopular – the teacher sang “America” with a big Thumbs Down gesture, she stuck out her tongue, and she encouraged the kids to do the same. I mentioned to the teacher later, “You know I’m from America.” She responded, “I know.”
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
EERILY REAL FAKE-TRUMP
“Shapiro crawled into Trump’s skin and did a fantastic job. There is no shortage of Trump imitators, but Shapiro goes far beyond imitating a voice or physical gestures. He even creeps into Trump’s head and can, on the basis of a word or question from the audience, expand into a completely realistic tirade. The trick is that you never manage to finish a sentence and just have one thought flow into the next. Before you know it, there’s a beautiful, Trump-worthy word salad. It no longer has any meaning, but it works enormously well for generating laughs. Boom Chicago could make a whole show out of this.”
“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.”
“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.”
Gregory Shapiro: Comedian. American. Dutchman. And the voice of Trump in the ‘Netherlands Second’ video with over 50 million views. Celebrating 25 years in comedy. Shapiro is producer and host of the YouTube show ‘United States of Europe,’ giving EU leaders the respect they deserve – by ridiculing them on a regular basis. On his YouTube channel, he offers his video ‘How to Do a Trump Imitation, Even When You Have Large Hands.’
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 continues to perform there with the current events show ‘Trump Up the Volume.’
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 BNN/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 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.
PREVIOUS SOLO SHOWS
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goedid [at] xs4all.nl