Dutch elections Tag

Shapiro Dutch Quiz Book

How to Be Dutch: THE QUIZ is back !

27 February, 2024

by Greg Shapiro, the American Netherlander

How to Be Dutch: THE QUIZ. All the questions that SHOULD be on the Dutch Citizenship Exam, according the expat expert who has been living in the Netherlands for close to 30 years. Critics loved The American Netherlander: 25 Years of Expat Tales. Now comes the perfect companion: the Shapiro Dutch Quiz Book.

How to Be Dutch makes you redefine the Netherlands you thought you knew.

  • “If Dutch people are so tolerant, why are they still judgmental as hell?”
  • “How should American parents react to a Dutch bedtime story called Sammy the Super Sperm?”
  • “If the Netherlands is the ‘Drug Capital of the World,’ why is it so hard to get antibiotics?”

 

Order here: https://hollandbooks.nl/product/how-to-be-dutch/

 

Reviews for How to Be Dutch: THE QUIZ (original printing, 2016)

How to Be Dutch plays deftly with clichés and knows how to transcend them. Even if you’ve never been to the Netherlands, Shapiro’s experiences will entertain.’
Access Magazine

‘Humorous columns, funny illustrations, hilarious photos and observations. Very nice book.’
Netherlands Library Council

‘A perfect toilet book.’
TROUW

‘Difficult topics are tackled with facts, sharp insights and often hilarious, personal anecdotes. At each turn of the page, you find yourself both laughing about and appreciating the Dutch. Greg Shapiro treats you to his version of the Dutch Assimilation Test. First, he analyzes the actual exam questions: “Every question tells a story,” Shapiro explains. And then he unveils “The Questions That Should Be on the Quiz.”
How to Be Dutch is accompanied by entertaining cartoons by illustrator Floor de Goede and hilarious photographs by the author.’
DutchNews.nl

Order here Shapiro Dutch Quiz Book:

https://hollandbooks.nl/product/how-to-be-dutch/

Or order via Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=how+to+be+dutch

 

Play the online Quiz!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLccmkVw5sINoSiRMXi9S2xbwnRu_Qwb8t

Read more reviews?

https://gregshapiro.nl/media/theater-reviews-for-greg-shapiros-latest-shows/

Shapiro at Royal Comedy Event

Shapiro at Royal Comedy Event

Shapiro at Royal Comedy Event

28 november 2023

In Praise of Folly! This year’s Dutch Erasmus award was given to a comedian: Trevor Noah. It was an event full of Dutch comedy royalty – and actual Dutch royalty.

The event started with King Willem Alexander making jokes – and getting laughs! “I have the distinction of having sat on the lap of the previous winner, the last time it was a comedian: Charlie Chaplin in 1965. …Don’t worry, this is not a Dutch tradition.”

Trevor Noah actually made fewer jokes than expected – until the end: “I’m very proud that – after 220 years – a South African is able to take a few resources from the Netherlands back to the Cape.” He zinged the King!

Then he went and sat down in between the King and his mother, (former) Queen Beatrix. It was like watching a mini White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner.

After the Royal Comedy Event – SCHMOOZING WITH THE KING

If you’ve never been inside the Paleis op de Dam, I can recommend visiting when the Dutch royal family is hosting. I’ve attended events with King Willem Alexander before, but he’s usually whisked away quickly. This time the Dutch King seemed to want to stick around and chat with Dutch comedy royalty, like Claudia de Breij and Peter Pannekoek and even Andrew Moskos. “Is it harder to make jokes in a tense political climate? What kind of jokes go too far?” (And I was thinking “Is it all a bit too white?”) But then Soundos el-Ahmadi swooped in and took over. “Can I take a selfie?” Willem Alexander: “I’m not allowed to say yes.” Soundos: “That’s not ‘NO’!” So she broke open the floodgates (a true Dutch taboo), and then everyone got selfies with the King. I did mine modestly, from a distance. To make sure it would be the worst selfie ever:

THE GREEN KING

But I did talk to the King! I told him I might see him at the event I’m hosting next spring for the Dutch green startup Growy and the first harvest of their urban vertical farm in Amsterdam. He said “Sounds interesting,” which I relayed to the founder of Growy – who still doesn’t believe me.
(I also bumped into former Queen Beatrix! She is so little, and she was saying “I can’t see… Where is my son?” So I cleared a path for her. A couple people gave me eye daggers, but then they saw who was behind me, and they moved aside real quick. At the end I asked her for a photo, and she looked at me like I was crazy.)

And yes, I said hi to Trevor Noah. But I didn’t take a photo, because he was getting mobbed. Trevor, next time I see you I’ll say thanks for the inspiring words. Yes, comedy does connect people. Even if we oppose each other politically, when we share a laugh – in real time – we agree.

 


Thank you to the PraemiumErasmianum for the invite! Thank you to Boom Chicago for saving me a seat. And thank you to Erasmus the philosopher who was indeed Dutch. Without his writings, there would be no Reformation or Protestant religion. His “most famous” work is a socio-political satire called In Praise of Folly. Happy 65th Anniversary to the Erasmus Awards. You did well to pick a comedian.

King and Trevor Noah Make Jokes at Erasmus Award Ceremony
https://nos.nl/video/2499585-koning-en-trevor-noah-maken-grappen-over-en-weer-bij-uitreiking-erasmusprijs

For more tales of Greg performing for King Willem Alexander, check out the book – The American Netherlander: 25 Years of Expat Tales.

New Book

Dutch Election Comedy Show Reviewed

Dutch Election Comedy Show Reviewed

Review ‘PEP & GREG POLITICALLY INCORRECT’ – a Dutch Election Comedy Show, by ARTS TALK MAGAZINE

24 November, 2023

Thank you to ArtsTalk Magazine for coming to review our Dutch election comedy show 2023! Friday, 24 November. The election results were just 36 hours old, and we rewrote half the show: “Pep & I are 99% shocked the Netherlands voted for Geert Wilders… And we’re 1% delighted. For every time back in 2016 when Dutch people told us ‘You Americans are so stupid to vote for a right-wing, anti-immigrant populist with strange blond hair.’ Well? Now how does it feel!?”

So much new material, and yes the emotions were raw. Did the reviewer notice? Oh yes. Rose Fawbert Mills noted that the show could have been tighter. But let’s focus on her positive quotes:

“a satirical night of comedy reviewing the American and Dutch political systems was very appealing and not to be missed.”

“Greg’s Trump impersonation …very, very good.”

 

Multi-Media

“the use of visuals – photos, memes, video clips – was engaging and entertaining. It gave the show a very ‘current’ feel.”

 

“the overall the show was good. laughed out loud.”

‘Pep & Greg Politically Incorrect’ is our way of saying we think politics are being done incorrectly. We use the show to celebrate the worst of Dutch & US politics. In the US, President Biden is actually a great politician – but a terrible candidate. And in the Netherlands, there are so many political parties it’s almost like we could start our own party based on the people in the audience that night. SO that’s what we do. And – when Joe Biden gets kicked out as leader of the Democrat Party in the US – why not have him lead our new Dutch party?

Pep & Greg will be back for more dates at Boom Chicago. Potentially in December. And definitely in 2024.

Read the whole review here:
https://artstalkmagazine.nl/pep-greg-are-back-and-politically-incorrect-at-boom-chicago-in-amsterdam/


(Technician Emil adjusts the “Pep Bot”)

‘Pep & Greg Politically Incorrect’ the show
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/pep-greg-politically-incorrect/

Pep & Greg Politically Incorrect

Pep & Greg Politically Incorrect

Pep & Greg Politically Incorrect!

7 nov, 2023

Pep & Greg are back! This time we’re comparing the Worst of the 2023 Dutch election to the Worst of US election 2024.

The Netherlands: “We sent angry farmers with pitchforks to protest in the Hague…”

USA: “Hold my beer! (… storms Capitol on January 6.)”

 

To us, “Politically Incorrect” means politics being done incorrectly. USA, you have a 2-party system, which is very binary – almost bi-polar. And if the USA is bi-polar, then the Netherlands has multiple personality disorder.

I’ve been writing comedy with Pep Rosenfeld since we were in high school. (In 1985, we predicted Rupert Murdoch would take over TV stations and make America dumber.) We’ve written & performed political standup specials since 2001, including Trump Up the Volume – the show we were only supposed to perform in 2016.
Along the way, critics say:

‘Superior. Hilarious satire’ – Theaterkrant.nl

‘Greg is a scarily real fake Trump’ – Het Parool

From the Boom Chicago website:

Boom founder Pep Rosenfeld (Emmy nominated SNL writer) and Greg Shapiro (the famous ‘Netherlands Second’ Trump video) are back at Boom Chicago with their famous mix of comedy and current events.

They will skewer the latest from American and Dutch society. Will America elect a president in prison?

Will the cranky farmers take over the Netherlands?

Like usual, Pep and Greg will tackle it all and hold nothing back!

In a world filled with fake news, AI, conspiracy theories, guns, race issues, climate change, Mark Rutte retiring and Joe Biden not, Pep and Greg will make you laugh!

Pep and Greg Politically Incorrect is a new Boom Chicago show that is not just for those who follow America (though they will love it).

With standup comedy, improvisation and sharp commentary, the duo from Trump Up the Volume have created a new, smart show for anyone who likes to laugh.

PRAISE for Pep & Greg’s previous Boom Chicago shows:

‘Sharp satire and world class improvisation’ – De Volkskrant

‘Five stars! Greg and Pep have an incredible charisma and are very funny….’ — D Robbinson, Trip Advisor

Jokes were well-sculpted and wide-ranging. Engaging with the audience, they were quick, provocative and pugnacious.’  ArtsTalkMagazine.nl

TICKETS: CLICK HERE
https://boomchicago.nl/pep-and-greg-politically-incorrect/

More Greg reviews? Click here:
https://gregshapiro.nl/media/theater-reviews-for-greg-shapiros-latest-shows/

Shapiro ListPusher Standup Special

Shapiro ListPusher Standup Special

Greg Shapiro ‘Shapiro ListPusher Standup Special’ now on YouTube 

17 October, 2023

“If you’ve been living in the Netherlands long enough you can pronounce the word Gemeenteraadsverkiezingen (city council election), then maybe you can vote in the Gemeenteraadsverkiezingen!”
– from LISTPUSHER – the American Netherlander Joins Dutch Politics

In 2022, I was asked by a friend of mine in the Amsterdam City Council if I’d like to help out with his election campaign. In fact, this time his team wanted me not just as a volunteer – but as a symbolic candidate on the list. No, I would’t be at the top of the list – that was the job of the Lijsttrekker, or “List Puller.” I would be at the bottom of the list, hence the term “List Pusher.” And indeed, my job was to help convince potential voters that they should vote. Much like a Pusher Man: “Give it a try, the first vote is free…”

Based on my experience in the 2022 election, I wrote a standup special called LISTPUSHER: the American Netherlander Joins Dutch Politics. And now I’ve posted the video as a YouTube playlist, and now the playlist is complete!
“Give it a try, the first video is free…”
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLccmkVw5sINrlCi3YOgFomtGlCF_0ZC4u

BACKSTORY

But first I had to make sure this party was for me. I had to make sure it was the most ideologically suited. So I found the online voting guide called stemwijzer.
They have 30 questions, you agree or disagree, and by the end they tell you which party is for you. As an experiment, you can click ‘No opinion’ for every question, and the party they give you? D66. That’s my party!
(NB – does not apply for 2023 election.)

CREDITS

Created for the 2022 UICF Utrecht International Comedy Festival.
Audio & video via UICF. Producers Edo Berger, Jeroen Pater (ComedyHuis Utrecht).
Intro by Trista Mrema. And extra thanks to Comedyhuis in Utrecht!

For more Greg Shapiro Solo Shows and Standup Specials:
https://gregshapiro.nl/greg-shapiro-web-archive/

Shapiro Hosts Kipster Event

Shapiro Hosts Kipster Event

18 sept., 2023
Hooray! I hosted another green event, this time for a sustainable chicken farm called Kipster. 
Kipster (not Kipsta) started with 2 Dutch chicken farms, creating the world’s first carbon neutral eggs. Now this Dutch business is expanding into the US, and to host their launch event, they called me: The American Netherlander. The event took place in North Manchester, Indiana (23 Aug). And Queen Maxima even taped a video message.

 

To prepare, I met with one of the founders Olivier Wegloop, who is a vegan and animal rights activist. Here he is in the blue shirt behind me (gawd it was hot in that tent…)


Olivier believes in the writings of animal rights activists like Temple Grandin, who said: “nature is cruel, but we don’t have to be. If we are raising animals to be eaten, at least we can treat them with some respect.“ (and then we got to interview Grandin… see below) Since chickens are traditionally forest animals, Kipster has created – not only a cage-free environment, but – a fun forest.

As you can see, they still lay plenty of eggs.

Another Kipster founder is Ruud Zanders, who explained the main reason their chickens are carbon neutral: they feed the chickens food waste.

Every year A) humanity grows enough food to feed 4 billion people – and then we give it to livestock, B) of all the food we produce, we waste about 33%. Kipster simply asks: “Why not feed the chickens food waste?” The motto of Kipster is “Crops should be about Food not Feed.” This ground-breaking strategy is actually thousands of years old. But …

KIPSTER’S REVOLUTIONARY TWIST

The revolutionary part of Kipster is: Roosters for Meat.

Since male chickens don’t lay eggs – and they’re considered too gamey to eat – the normal practice on chicken farms is to kill baby male chicks they day they hatch. (The waste product is hopefully repurposed into things like pet food.) But Kipster asks “what if we let the roosters grow to maturity (and then we eat them)? How gamey are they really?”

To end the event, Kipster served up the first-ever rooster meatballs. I met with Managing Director Sandra Vijn to try one. And I thought it the texture was perfect. The tray of ‘Boom Boom’ rooster balls was not finished at closing time, and I was afraid it might become food waste… but I suppose the rooster meat was fed to the hens. What better way to say ‘Death to the Patriarchy’ -?

Thanks to Olivier Wegloop for putting this event together. He was the one who arranged an interview with Dr Temple Grandin – via Livestream. Dr. Grandin is famously autistic, and she demanded to see all the questions in advance. Then – as soon as Olivier asked his first question – she just went on a rant about sustainable farming and animal behavior and didn’t stop. She’s a legend!


Thank you to Olivier & Sandra for inviting me. Thank you to the Dutch Consulate of Chicago for putting us in touch (years ago). And thank you to Markey’s Event Services who created the backbone for an extremely professional show – including full build and build-down in extreme heat. And they made it look easy.

For more about Kipster in English: 
https://www.kipster.farm/

More Green-themed events hosted by Greg Shapiro:
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/shapiro-hosts-sustainable-train-launch/

Greg’s new Green standup special GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/greg-shapiro-saves-the-climate/

 

Dutch to the Rescue - a Greg Shapiro Comedy Show

DUTCH TO THE RESCUE

DUTCH TO THE RESCUE – a new Greg Shapiro solo comedy show

6 January, 2023

Welcome to the Netherlands, where 30% of the land mass is below sea level, and the sea level is rising. But don’t worry! If the water gets too high, Dutch people will do what they’ve doing for centuries: make more land. It’s what they do.

In fact, when it comes to Climate Change, the Netherlands has a lot of answers to world’s challenges.
“Who do you call when you need a sea wall? The Dutch.”
“Which country’s thriving with sea levels rising? The Dutch.”
“Who brings you luck when your container ship’s stuck? The Dutch.”

The Netherlands doesn’t get nearly enough credit – and somehow that’s exactly how they like it. The entire country is allergic to anything resembling bragging.

Scheppen, goed. Opscheppen, niet goed.

Yes, Dutch people are producing the world’s first solar-powered car, creating lab-grown meat, cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch… but they don’t like to talk about it. The Netherlands is like a superhero obsessed with their secret identity. Netherlands, you need a sidekick. You need a wing man. You need a cheerleader!

Enter The American Netherlander: Greg Shapiro is Dutch enough to be proud of the Netherlands – and American enough to not care how loud he is about it. So many examples of Dutch traditions and innovations to fight climate change, but they don’t like to brag. That’s where I come in.

DUTCH TO THE RESCUE is Greg Shapiro’s seventh solo show. Previous shows include Leaving Trumpland and How to Be Orange.

On Friday the 13th of January, you can see the new solo show Work-in-progress at De Dakkas in Haarlem.
https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/dutch-to-the-rescue-with-greg-shapiro-tickets-490935329787?aff=ebdssbdestsearch&keep_tld=1 

Greg Shapiro: Comedian. American. Dutchman. As a comedian, he is known as the voice of the ‘Netherlands Second’ video – and as one of the originals at Boom Chicago theater in Amsterdam. He has hosted ‘Comedy Central News’ on ComedyCentralNL, and he has appeared on BNN-VARA, VPRO & ZDF. As author, Greg has written books such as How to Be Dutch: the Quiz and his latest The American Netherlander: 25 Years of Expat Tales.

Also coming soon in 2023: a return of Pep & Greg Save America at Boom Chicago in March.

For REVIEWS of Greg’s previous shows, click here
https://gregshapiro.nl/media/theater-reviews-for-greg-shapiros-latest-shows/ 

 

Greg Shapiro and the Office Jester Team Up for Trump Video

Greg Shapiro and the Office Jester Team Up for Trump Video
24 May 2022

We were both experts in corporate speaking, specifically comedic corporate speaking. Yet we came to our positions from completely different routes. I was a comedian / corporate speaker, and he was an academic / court jester.

1) Comedian / Corporate Speaker. Me, I started out at theater school, and I quickly transitioned to improv comedy. I came to the Netherlands to work with the Boom Chicago comedy theater in the booming 1990s – when every Dutch business became an e-business, and every Dutch office transitioned to English. Hence, Boom Chicago was quickly called upon to perform comedy for business events. Many, many business events: for Philips; Heineken; KLM; Shell; Unilever. All the biggies.

According to most comedians, corporate entertainment is the worst. “Vanilla jokes for boring events, just to get a paycheck.” But I quickly realized it can be the opportunity to ‘speak truth to power.’ We comedians can make jokes about the boss that the employees can’t. It doesn’t have to be ‘vanilla jokes.’ It can be more like a roast. Closer to the comedy speech at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner: you make jokes about the president to their face. Or, as I put it at Boom Chicago years ago: “We make fun of your boss in front of your boss, and the one who has to pay for the whole thing is your boss.”

2) Academic / Court Jester. I met Juri Hoedemakers at a networking event for Speakers Academy in Rotterdam. Juri was the man who had done his PhD on the role of the jester in the modern ‘court’ known as ‘Upper Management.’ Sounds familiar! It turns out we had come to the same place from different directions.

Juri had just written his book Gezocht: Hofnar. Reflective voor Leiders en Leidinggevenden.
Of course he did this all in Dutch (at Erasmus University). And now he’s speaking for corporate events about the importance of reflection for business leaders. According to his research, every leader has a blind spot, which is to take oneself too seriously. Leaders need jesters to help their message connect with their teams.

Juri was of course a fan of the Trump voice I did for the ‘Netherlands Second’ video on Zondag Met Lubach. So I did a quick voice recording to promote his book.
And here it is. [Video created by Jeroen Smolders]

English Language Amsterdam Election Debate – Hosted by Greg Shapiro

English Language Amsterdam Election Debate – Hosted by Greg Shapiro
7 March, 2022

Hey Expats & Internationals! You might be able to vote in the Amsterdam City Council Elections – aka the Gemeenteraadsverkiezingen.
Basically, if you’ve been living here long enough you can pronounce the term Gemeenteraadsverkiezingen, then maybe you can vote in the Gemeenteraadsverkiezingen.

Election Day is next Wednesday, 16 March. And on 9 March I hosted the ONLY English-language election event in Amsterdam. Here are some highlights.

As the host, I started out with a comedy version of the basics: If American politics is quite Bipolar, then Dutch politics has Multiple Personality Disorder. Even in Amsterdam – with only 45 seats in city council – there are 15 different parties. And there are 26 parties running in the upcoming election! That means there are 11 parties that have never existed before – and may never exist again. That’s the nature of Dutch politics: the smaller the country, the more they like to disagree.


Onstage last night we had three parties from the current city council coalition: GroenLinks; D66 & Labor PvdA. We also had VOLT – who have never campaigned for city council before. And we had VVD who are in city council – but not in the ruling coalition.


As the host, I welcomed the 100+ people in the audience, and I subtly switched from my native English to ESL ‘English as a Second Language.’ That also helped the five politicians on the panel, who were each rather nervous about their level of English. As expected, everyone’s English was FINE… with a few exceptions.

“If you live in an old house, you need isolation. The city needs to provide isolation. Isolation for everyone!” I quickly pointed out that in English it’s called INSULATION. That’s very different. 

HOUSING
There’s more housing coming! Pre-fab houses, 3-D printed houses, and floating houses. And if you’re smart you’ll get a floating house, because this city is going to be underwater soon.

SUSTAINABILITY
Thanks to Putin, everyone in Europe is now desperate to get off of fossil fuels. GroenLinks wants more solar, more insulation and even 6-7 wind turbines on Amsterdam land. I had to ask Rutger from GroenLinks “Why has Amsterdam been cutting down so many trees?” And admitted “It’s bad for optics,” but the truth is many trees that were planted 30 – 40 years ago were not well planned, and now their root systems are destroying canal walls, city streets and foundations. They’ve been replanting new, proper trees. But that doesn’t stop Thierry Baudet from putting tree stumps in his campaign photos.

ARTS / DIVERSITY
Well, since GroenLinks & D66 chose to hold this event at Podium Mozaiek, I guess that shows they support diversity as well as the arts. Anything is better than the place they had four years ago – the Marktkantine. Yuck.

Greg Shapiro New Comedy Show LISTPUSHER at Utrecht Int’l Comedy Festival

Greg Shapiro New Comedy Show LISTPUSHER at Utrecht Int’l Comedy Festival
3 March, 2022

Based on my experiences as a real-live (fake) politician – I’ve created a new 30-minute show called LIST PUSHER.

“List Pusher?” What’s that?

THE ORIGIN STORY
A friend of mine on Amsterdam city council asked me “Could you help us on our campaign to reach out to the expats and internationals?” And I said yes. The upcoming city council elections – the gemeenteraadsverkiezingen – are the one time expats and non-Dutch citizens can vote. Basically, if you’ve lived in the Netherlands long enough to pronounce the term gemeenteraadsverkiezingen, then maybe you can vote in the gemeenteraadsverkiezingen.

But then he asked “this time what if we don’t just have you as a volunteer – but as a symbolic candidate on the candidate list?” And – here’s how my big my ego is – I said “But wait – what if I win? If everybody votes for me, will I have to be on city council?” The answer is technically yes – but I’d be candidate 49 on a list of 50. The so-called Lijstduwer – the ‘List Pusher.’ So now I’m a pusher man. Telling expats “The first vote is free.”

WHO SHOULD I VOTE FOR
Before I could become a candidate for this party, I had to make sure it was the right party for me. Politically, I’m not too far right, but also not too far left – kind of in the middle. So I found the online voting guide called Stemwijzer. They have 30 questions, and you agree or disagree, and at the end they tell you which party is for you. As an experiment, I clicked ‘No opinion’ for every question, and the party they gave me was: D66. Because they’re right in the middle. And I thought “YES! That’s the party for me.”

(Also D66 are pro-Europe, pro-gay rights, pro-bilingual education and pro dual citizenship. You should vote for them. But don’t vote for me! I know what happens when they put a comedian in charge – the next thing you know you’re fighting off Russian missiles.)

VOTE ABM: (anyone but me)!

And come see my show:
LIST PUSHER. UTRECHT INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL
Friday 4 March
Saturday 5 March

https://utrechtinternationalcomedyfestival.nl/
https://www.ticketmaster.nl/event/big-binge-of-comedy-friday-tickets/275019