Greg Shapiro (Boom Chicago, ‘Netherlands Second’ video) performs the multi-media, stage version of his YouTube show ‘United States of Europe.’ Each evening’s show consists of standup comedy on the latest news, video interviews with the people on the street, live-polling with the audience on the big issues, guest commentary, and a chance for the audience to ask questions to ‘The Real Donald Trump.’
‘United States of Europe.’
NEXT SHOW: 20 DECEMBER, UTRECHT. Café Hofman 8pm
Why is there no ‘Daily Show’ for the EU? Every day there’s ridiculous news coming out of European capitals, but no one is there to ridicule it on an continental basis. ‘United States of Europe’ gives EU leaders the attention they deserve – by ridiculing them on a regular basis.
‘United States of Europe’ – making fun of the EU, the American way.
Greg Shapiro: Comedian. American. Dutchman. You may know Greg from the Boom Chicago show ‘Angry White Men: Trump Up the Volume.’ And as the Trump impersonator from the ‘Netherlands Second’ video with over 75 million views worldwide.
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
3 Ways Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” is inspired by Zwarte Piet.
Hooray for Jordan Peele! The writer and director of ‘Get Out’ won Best Original Screenplay, the first African-American to win in that category. As Dutch NOS News reported, “2 Years After #OscarsSoWhite Chances Are Growing for Black Oscars.”
But the Dutch national news missed an interesting detail – JORDAN PEELE STARTED HIS CAREER IN THE NETHERLANDS.
In fact – having worked alongside Jordan for 3+ years – here are 3 reasons I think the inspiration for ‘Get Out’ was partly Zwarte Piet.
Note: I haven’t contacted Jordan for this article – yet. (He’s a bit busy.) The connection only occurred to me on Sunday, when Mark Rutte posted his campaign video “Celebrating Sinterklaas Doesn’t Make You Racist.”
Also note: I realize I am jumping on the bandwagon of Jordan’s phenomenal success, because that’s what white folks do. In fact – since watching ‘Get Out,’ I’ve had to guiltily wonder how much inspiration I myself may have provided.
In ‘Get Out,’ Jordan Peele’s main character Chris is invited to leave his home, go visit a bunch of white people, and feel like he’s onstage the whole time. That pretty much sums up Jordan’s life in Amsterdam.
Jordan Peele started his career in Amsterdam at Boom Chicago from 2000-2004. He was so young! He and Becky Drysdale were hired on the basis of their show ‘2 White Guys’ (neither of them being white guys). So it’s fair to say racism – and sexism – were on the top of his mind when he got to Amsterdam.
It was in the winter of 2000 that Jordan Peele experienced Zwarte Piet for the first time. He wasn’t the first African-American cast member to do so. That distinction goes to Holly Walker in 1998, whose experience must have softened the blow. Jordan didn’t write a lot about it at the time.
(But Amber Ruffin did. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za_e9Ip9o9U&t=28s )
I’m not sure if racism remained a theme for Jordan once he got to Boom Chicago – because he was high a large part of the time. Yes, the weed culture played a part in many of Boom Chicago’s transplants from the US. But Jordan took to weed like a fish to water. Jordan, high, was brilliant. He quickly developed some mainstay characters, including MC Forest Whitaker (‘I’m awkward, I talk weird. My left eye is Peter Falk weird.’). He also developed Rodrigo, the Latin lover, whose ‘love for all women’ would quickly go to the grossly overweight and burn victims – whatever it took to creep people out. He was already mixing comedy and horror.
But Jordan’s biggest hit at Boom Chicago was Ute, the Swedish supermodel – in which he transcended both racial and gender roles. The inspiration for Ute was a Eurovision Song Contest with a randomly blond hostess, who spoke terrible English with supreme confidence. He performed Ute as a duo with the hugely talented Brendan Hunt. And in 2003 the two of them took a show to Edinburgh called ‘Here Comes the Neighborhood,’ referencing the reaction of white folks when black people move in.
[Footnote: it was also in 2003 that Jordan joined the Boom Chicago tour to Chicago for the Second City Swap – the only time another comedy group has performed on the Second City stage. And it was at an improv set after the show that Jordan met Keegan Michael Key.]
[Front row left: Jordan Peele. Back row right, Keegan Michael Key. Second City, 2003.]
[Footnote: In 2001, Boom Chicago hired Colton Dunn, also African American. Jordan later revealed that he was afraid for his job, assuming that no comedy group would want TWO black ensemble members. Funny that Colton ended up a writer on ‘Key & Peele,’ where they made this sketch.
TWO. Jordan’s experience in Amsterdam inspired the central theme of ‘Get Out” – Progressive Racism.
A poster for ‘Get Out’ says ‘Just because you’re invited doesn’t mean you’re WELCOME…’
Dutch culture is famously progressive – tolerant, open and multi-ethnic – which can make it all the more jarring when you find out it’s still rather racist. Case in point: Zwarte Piet. I’ve seen progressive Dutch people insist that they’re really quiet progressive, and that Zwarte Piet is not intended to be racist – ignoring the effect it may have on people of color. It’s rather like Bradley Whitford insisting that he’d have voted for Barack Obama a third time, if he could.
Yes, the Dutch are famously open and tolerant. But if you feel uncomfortable with certain Dutch traditions, you quickly find you’re not exactly welcome. In fact, to quote the Prime Minister, ‘If you don’t like it here – GET OUT.’
In ‘Get Out,’ the main character finds himself in armed conflict with his hosts. And at Boom Chicago, Jordan Peele made this video, in which 2 Zwarte Pieten rise up in armed revolt against Sinterklaas.
aka ‘Zwarte Piet Unchained’
(written by Pep Rosenfeld)
SO, Dutch people, there it is. You can claim credit for Jordan Peele and ‘Get Out!’ All you have to do is admit that some people really do experience Zwarte Piet as a little bit racist.
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. 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
For requests and other information, contact Greg’s management at:
GOED ID Producties
+ 31 6 51152041
goedid [at] xs4all.nl