Greg Shapiro on NPO Op 1: How to Imitate Biden
Broadcast date: 4 November, 2020
Hosts: Charles Groenhuijsen, Carrie ten Napel.
Language: Dutch (and ‘Bad Dutch’)
SO I was asked to appear on a Dutch talk show. In Part One I was asked to comment – as Trump – on the results of Election 2020. In Part Two, Carrie asked me if I could do a Joe Biden imitation. I told her “I’m working on it.” (in Dutch)
At that point, Joe Biden was best known as Vice President – and wacky sidekick – to Barack Obama. Biden was known as ‘Uncle Joe.’ Well, by now Biden is ‘Grandpa Joe.’ Can he stay awake for an entire speech? Stay tuned! Or more to the point: are his eyes still good? Can he see the TelePrompter clearly?
Since we were in a TV studio, where the hosts were reading their intro’s from the TelePrompter / AutoCue, I took the opportunity to ask them how big do they like their text on the screen? I’ve hosted a TV show before. I know how the size of your text can determine the entire pace and flow of your delivery. If the text is too small, you have to squint your eyes. If the text is too big, you have to speak. your. sentence. word. for. word. You stumble through your phrasing. Or – in the case of Joe Biden – it’s like you stutter. Poor Joe is pushing 80 years old. It’s a miracle he doesn’t need glasses. But I guarantee his text needs to be gigantic in the TelePrompter. Sometimes, he can even got tripped up over words with too many syllables.
Earlier in the episode, the hosts played a clip from Biden. It was meant to be inspirational. But he clearly tripped over the text.
Biden: “So let me be clear. I / we are campaigning as a Democrats.”
So that’s part one of how to do a Joe Biden imitation: BE the smartest guy in the room, but SOUND like George W. Bush.