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greg shapiro berlin minitour

Greg Shapiro Berlin MiniTour

Greg Shapiro Teams Up with Ken Parsons for Berlin Mini-Tour Oct. 2023

27 sept., 2023

UNSUNG HEROES: Comedy veterans Greg Shapiro and Ken Parsons team up to tell stories of their early days. Ken Parsons was busking in Berlin in the days of 1989. Greg Shapiro was one of the originals at Boom Chicago theater in Amsterdam. Together they perform a mini-tour of Berlin.

greg shapiro berlin minitour
Comedians Ken Parsons & Greg Shapiro:

Both were born in ‘68, the year of tumultuous change and revolt.
Both left their native lands to seek their fortunes abroad.
Both have stuck to their guns and have watched the projects they helped kick-start flourish.

Greg achieved critical acclaim with his voice of Trump in the viral video ‘Netherlands Second’.  Ken set up a series of autonomous comedy stages which soon became renowned and have featured international acts, prompting Time to dub him ‘The Maestro of the Underground’.

Be a hero, too and try and catch them! All of the shows will be great but the Finale of the Tour at the brilliant Cosmic Comedy Club will be the one to head to if you want to see the show in its longest form!
Geil, ey!  Toppie, hoor!

 

Greg Shapiro and Ken Parsons: The ‘Unsung Heroes’ Berlin 29 Sept – 3 Oct  

29/09 The Wall Comedy, Friedrichshain

30/09 The Wall Comedy, Friedrichshain

01/10 East West Comedy, (open mic try out) Kreuz-Kölln

02/10 Karakas Bar, Mitte

03/10 Cosmic Comedy, Mitte

 

BIOGRAPHY GREG SHAPIRO
Greg Shapiro: Comedian, American, Dutchman. (And the voice of the ‘Netherlands Second’ video with imitators like Neo Magasin Royal). Shapiro was the host of Comedy Central News: “because Dutch news is news too.” His voice has appeared on ZDF’s Heute Show. And he helped establish the Amsterdam comedy theater Boom Chicago, helping launch the careers of alumni like Seth Meyers, Jordan Peele and the creators of Ted Lasso.

With Boom Chicago, Shapiro performed shows in memorable settings. He performed a show on 9/11. He has performed for the King of the Netherlands, French President François Hollande, and NATO. He has also performed on moving buses, student living rooms, and once in the Business Class section of a KLM 747 flying to Chicago. Shapiro’s latest standup special is Greg Shapiro Saves the Climate: 60 Minutes of Climate Good News.

BIOGRAPHY KEN PARSONS
The Wall Years

Ken comes from Plymouth but together with his friend Chris Stevens they formed a band called Who’s Rachel?

Ken- as if in an ETA Hoffmann tale- went on to study German and was assistant teacher at the Robert Koch school in Kreuzberg, aptly enough in Berlin’s ‘Grimm Kiez’.   Ken wrote a thesis on folklore and the style of his stories can be called ‘punk parables’ or ‘urban fairy tales.’

 

Shapiro Hosts Sustainable Train Launch

Shapiro Hosts Sustainable Train Launch

Shapiro Hosts Sustainable Train Launch

28 June, 2023

Looks like my Climate Good News series is paying off! Again I got the call to host an event with the theme of Sustainability: the launch of the new European Sleeper train from Brussels to Berlin.

photo credit: Alvin Williams JMT Mgmt & Events

Link: ‘Night Train Startup European Sleeper’

Background: Two Dutch entrepreneurs (and train nerds) created a startup company to offer more overnight train service throughout Europe. And – after years of crowd-funding and organizing – the day of the maiden voyage had arrived! While the two founders were focused on preparing the photo moment of the train departing… the event organizer told them they really should consider a professional host for the launch event.

I was told that the two founders were nervous and rather serious. So – as soon as I met them, I said “I hear you two are entrepreneurs… but I assume you’re primarily train nerds?” And I asked if I could take a selfie with them. Here’s what we got:

I could tell this was going to be fun.

The launch event was held in the Pullman Hotel. Hence, my intro wrote itself: “The Pullman Hotel refers, I assume, to George Mortimer Pullman – the inventor of the first railroad sleeping car. And where did George Pullman set up his business? Chicago, Illinois – which is where I’m from. …Hence, my entire life has been leading up to this moment!”

THE GOODNIGHT TRAIN

I had to ask a question of the two founders. “Everyone knows there’s a term for having sex on a plane: ‘The Mile-High Club.’ So why is there no term for having sex on a train?” And I was quickly corrected by founder Chris Engelsman, with a perfect deadpan delivery: “There is a term, actually. It’s called ‘The Mile-Long Club.’”

The event ended with the Belgian transport minister taking the stage and announcing the news: the Belgian parliament had voted to grant a subsidy to The European Sleeper and their Goodnight Train. Hey, I was already thrilled to hear that Belgium had a functioning government.

The train arrived on time and departed on time, with many happy first-time passengers.

And look at serious entrepreneur Chris Engelsman as the European Sleeper train arrives in the station.

 

The Goodnight Train is now running regularly from Brussels to Amsterdam to Berlin.
https://www.europeansleeper.eu/en
Next up, they plan to extend service to Prague. Soon, there will be a new service from Brussels to Barcelona. It’s like playing real-life game of Ticket to Ride!

Thanks to the excellent Alvin Williams at JMT Management for organizing a memorable event. Extra thanks for all the photos.

Read more about GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE: 60 Minutes of Climate Good News
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/greg-shapiro-saves-the-climate/

Greg Shapiro Tours Berlin

Greg Shapiro International Tour Hits Berlin

5 June, 2023

I’ve taken my international standup set to Brussels, to Paris, to Zurich… and so many comedian friends have told me: “You have to check out the English comedy scene in Berlin. There are so many shows! You can do 2 or 3 a night!”
What they meant was: “You can do 2 or 3 shows a night… and make about €30!”

Of course I took the train. Because I’d heard bad things about DB Deutsche Bahn, so it’s good for material. And quickly enough a German passenger claimed my seat (good luck trying to reserve a seat via Dutch rail…)

 

 

Indeed, the train to Berlin was way overcrowded. And when we arrived at Berlin Central Station, there was big welcome sign for all the English-speakers: “Travel if you dare.” Wilkommen!

I played my first show at a bar called Oblomov (in Neuköln), for the enigmatic stage animal Rohit Bhatia.

What a loving little audience! And as soon as we were done, the bar crowd spilled over into our room and put on music, but not for dancing. They were just standing in the stage lights and posing. It was like they were doing a parody of Mike Meyers from Saturday Night Live: “And now is the time on ‘Sprockets’ when we dance.” The bartender explained it to me this way. “Amsterdam is wild, but Berlin is weird.” Keep Berlin weird.

 

 

 

Friday night my international set killed – KILLED! In fact, I had two gigs – meaning I had to get from a bar in West Berlin to Comedy Cafè in East Berlin. And this was a highlight of my trip: I rented an e-bike and jetted through town at twilight.

  It felt like all of Berlin was one big green space – with apartments and shops in between. (And indeed, someone said Berlin is the greenest capital city in Europe.) I even tried out some jokes about biking in Berlin – on the Sonnenallee – and the audience gave an audible “Oooh!” Because “No one dares biking on Sonnenallee!” Well, this Amsterdammer does.

On Saturday I checked out Cosmic comedy, where I hope to play in October. On Sunday I played The Wall Comedy Club, and one of my favorite things to do is to take portraits of the other comedians onstage and send them after the show. My final show was for EastWest COMEDY in front of a familiar red curtain.

It was very warm while I was in town, so I found myself wearing my trademark suit and tie, but with shorts instead of suit pants.

Someone described me as a human mullet. “Business up top, but party down below.”
Doing my part to KEEP BERLIN WEIRD.

See you in October, Berlin! I’ll be touring a double bill with Ken Parsons.

COME SEE MY NEW SOLO HOUR GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE -?
https://comedyhuis.nl/shows/greg-shapiro-saves-the-climate-early-show/

FOR MORE GREG SHAPIRO STANDUP, click here:
https://gregshapiro.nl/greg-shapiro-upcoming-comedy-shows/

Greg Shapiro Summit Standup 'Summit for Democracy'

Greg Shapiro Summit Standup


Greg Shapiro Summit Standup

21 April 2023

Was that me performing standup in a global livestream called Summit for Democracy? Yes, it was. introducing a new category of performing: Greg Shapiro Summit Standup.

Greg Shapiro Summit Standup, performing for Summit for Democracy

I got a call from a friend who works at the Dutch foreign ministry. Was I aware of this ‘Summit for Democracy’ thing? It’s an initiative of the Biden White House, to push back against authoritarianism worldwide. There are various themes hosted by different countries, and the Netherlands gets to host the Freedom of Speech.

Would I be willing to perform three minutes of standup for this Summit for Democracy livestream? I said yes. “But,” he said, “the livestream might not be live in America, because they might want to censor some of the content. In fact, you want want to make a joke about that…” Oh, believe me I did.

I said: “I was told that this Freedom of Speech livestream was originally NOT going to be live in the United States, because they might want to censor some of the content. …Censoring the content? About the Freedom of Speech? Ah, America! We’re almost 250 years old, and still trying to grasp the basic concept of irony.”

Greg Shapiro Summit Standup comedy at Summit for Democracy

“Censoring content is very hot in America right now. On the Far-Right, you’ve got people banning books because they talk about homosexuality, or they suggest that slavery might have been racist. And then on the Far-Left they’re censoring books because they use the N-word, or they’re written by Roald Dahl. Oddly, banning books is one thing that could unite the Far-Left and Far-Right in America. And then we will have truly learned the meaning of the word IRONY.”

You can watch the 3-minute monologue here, BUT please note the students sitting behind me were apparently instructed: YOU WILL BE ON CAMERA! DO NOT LAUGH! 

 

THE SUMMIT FOR DEMOCRACY LIVESTREAM

The entire Livestream is worth a watch. Did you know how many initiatives are already in place to push back against anti-democracy disinformation? Samantha Power (USAID) explains. The Dutch Foreign Minister talks about ‘PersVeilig’ to protect journalists from harm. And Amanda Bennett talks about how Voice of America & Radio Free Europe are a vital source of news, even in Iran.
Here’s a teaser for the livestream (I’m in it briefly):

 

+ You can watch the whole live stream here:

 

CLICK HERE for more about Summit for Democracy events.

https://www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-foreign-affairs/activiteiten/summit-for-democracy

 

ALSO – GREG SHAPIRO’S POLITICAL COMEDY SHOW ‘PEP & GREG SAVE AMERICA’ AT BOOM CHICAGO:

Review: ‘Pep & Greg Save America’

Book Review: 'Shapiro Funny'

Book Review: ‘Shapiro funny’

Book Review: ‘Shapiro funny, informative’

22 March, 2023
ArtsTalk Magazine reviewed my book again! This time it was for their online supplement, and it’s an all-new review.
My third book debuted in 2020: THE AMERICAN NETHERLANDER: 25 Years of Expat Tales.

Greg Shapiro's New Book The American Netherlander

Click here for the: 

ArtsTalkMagazine Colour Supplement

(pages 18-20)

Below is an excerpt:

Greg Shapiro: The American Netherlander. Book Review

by Michael Hasted. November, 2022

“The book is full of apposite observations, canny advice, witty asides and some nice cartoony illustrations. It could well have been entitled The Netherlands – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly because, like the Dutch, it does not pull its punches.
“Greg takes us, chapter by chapter, through the different aspects of Dutch life and how to cope with – sorry – appreciate them. We learn of course about about sex and drugs and the ubiquitous coffeeshops. We find out more about bike etiquette. And …serious though it is, the Zwarte Piet subject is treated in an easygoing, unpreachy, unjudgmental manner.

“The last section of the book re-utilizes Greg’s previous book How to Be Dutch: the Quiz. This section is both funny and informative. Again, this is broken down into sections like bikes, health care, politics and … err… Zwarte Piet.

Book Review ‘Shapiro funny, informative’

“There is even a ‘Oh, I never knew that’ section which lists, in rhyming couplets, things we never knew were Dutch. Like half the place names in New York City, LED lights, multinationals Philips and Shell, the microscope, the discoverers and namers of New Zealand, etc etc.

“To round it all off there are pages of photos of shop signs taken by Greg over the years, showing how Dutch can produce names and words that we English speakers find amusing. For example a hair dresser called Down Under Hair or the Bad Hotel or the Dutch senator called Tiny Kox. You’ve got to love ‘em.

“The American Netherlander provides us with lots of information about the Dutch persona and way of life and is the result of not only Greg’s personal experiences and insights but a lot of thorough research as well . Oh and the laughs, don’t forget the laughs.”

To buy the book, click here: 
https://hollandbooks.nl/product/the-american-netherlander/

For more Greg Shapiro Reviews click here:
https://gregshapiro.nl/media/theater-reviews-for-greg-shapiros-latest-shows/

PePijn's Comedy Club

PePijn Comedy Club JANUARY

GREG SHAPIRO HOSTS PePijn Comedy Club JANUARY – IN ENGLISH
12 Jan., 2023

So much talent developing in the English-language comedy scene in The Netherlands! And I get to curate it for PePijn’s Comedy Club. Here’s the Best-of the January edition:

(Yes, I’m wearing a mustache. I hate it! I had to grow it out for a film role. Coming soon…)

(previously…)
I am lucky enough to be programming one of these English comedy nights, in one of my favorite little spaces: Theater PePijn in The Hague. Normally reserved for solo shows and Dutch ‘cabaret,’ it is known among comedians as one of the best spaces to perform.

 

The January show:

SJOERD SCOTT.

He’s a black man from the Caribbean – but his name is Sjoerd. The jokes write themselves. Yet the magic came in his crowd work: “Are you two together? I hope so, because she’s got her head on your shoulder. Sir, if she’s NOT with you, please blink three times.” Plus: “How did you two meet? At work? So: ‘unprofessional?’ Should someone be calling HR?

KEN PARSONS.

Ken is a folk-singing comedian, who is not afraid to talk about mental health issues during the holidays. Hence, he introduced a new song called “Bipolar Christmas.” Ken is also a Dutch teacher, and his roast of the Dutch language is legendary. And – as a former squatter – Ken knows all the best places to organize his many comedy shows.

JACK HEYJACK. Stepped in as our 5-minute spot. He talked about being legally blind. (After the legally deaf Lara Ricote last month, I can see a pattern developing.) If I can make him stick to material about the realities of blindness (and playing the kazoo), he’ll be all right.

KENDRA BORGEN.

Our headliner for the night! “Anybody doing any New Year’s Resolutions? Because statistically, 80% of people fail by Day 8. And the rest of us fail by Day 12. …That’s today!” Kendra also talked about trying to get in shape after the Covid lockdown: “The only 19 I got was kilos. I gained so much weight, I went from NOT being in an at-risk group – for getting the early vaccine – to being IN the at-risk group.”

Theater PePijn was established as a tryout space for the bigger names in Dutch theater and ‘cabaret.’ You can still find big name artists for a tiny little price, as they try out new material.

THE NEXT DATES FOR PEPIJN’S COMEDY CLUB – IN ENGLISH

13 April, 2023.
I’ll announce the comedians on the January lineup in early April.
https://www.diligentia-pepijn.nl/agenda/4432/Various_Stand_Up_Comedians/PePijn%27s_Comedy_Club_But_in_English


CLICK HERE FOR MORE GREG SHAPIRO STANDUP:
https://gregshapiro.nl/greg-shapiro-web-archive/

 

PePijn Comedy Club JANUARY

Greg Shapiro in 'Conference Matters'

Greg Shapiro in ‘Conference Matters’

Greg Shapiro in ‘Conference Matters’ Magazine

Finally, a magazine dedicated to Sharing Best Practice in the (Corporate) Events Sector! Conference Matters Magazine. I was happy to be interviewed for Conference Matters, and Jeroen Mirck’s questions were so good I love him now. Here’s a preview of the interview. Please do click the link and subscribe to the magazine, if you care about quality events.
https://conferencematters.nl/en/greg-shapiro-humor-can-be-the-safest-option-for-serious-events/

STAND-UP COMEDIAN GREG SHAPIRO: ‘EVEN FOR SERIOUS EVENTS, HUMOR CAN BE THE SAFEST OPTION’
CONFERENCE MATTERS MAGAZINE, 18-11-2022

By Jeroen Mirck

Greg Shapiro is a Dutch American comedian who gathered world fame with his vocal impersonation of Donald Trump in the viral ‘Netherlands Second’ video. He started his career as a member of the comedy group Boom Chicago and became a popular speaker at business events. “Humor is the safest option at a serious business event.”

Greg Shapiro was seven years old when he saw the first season of Saturday Night Live. “That’s when I knew I wanted to be a comedian. And I found out that John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray all started their careers at this one theater called The Second City. And it was in my hometown, Chicago! ‘The Second City,’ as in ‘New York first, Chicago second.’ …It was indeed my destiny.”

Did the viral video of your Trump impersonation in the Dutch tv show of Arjen Lubach change your life?

“Totally changed my life, bigly. Hyuge! Hahaha. I don’t know if the ‘Netherlands Second’ video changed my life, but I did enjoy hearing that it was used by the Dutch foreign ministry for trade missions! Personally, I used my Trump impression for a whole standup show – as well as for conferences like The Next Web. We interrupted the show with screens saying ‘Donald Trump Live by Phone’ and had me doing a voiceover from offstage. Then Trump would improvise his reaction to how the conference was going so far. It’s a formula we used many times since!”

 

When is humor a good recipe for a serious business event?

“Humor is always good. Even during a serious business event, humor can actually be the safest option. I recently hosted an event where the CEO wanted me to create an informal atmosphere – a ‘safe space’ for the audience to feel comfortable asking the difficult questions. And sure enough, someone asked about accusations of ‘greenwashing.’ The CEO gave a serious answer and admitted that in the past few years the accusations were partly true. And that’s why they’d appointed their first-ever Chief Sustainability Officer. Once he was done, I turned the humor back up to 100% by saying that if anyone complains about Dutch companies not being green enough, remind them that Shell Oil is now located in the UK.”

What is your expert advice for hosts and speakers who want to be funny?

“Good news! You don’t have to do anything – just be yourself. As we say in improv comedy, ‘Truth is funnier than fiction.’ All you need is a good co-host to help you be yourself. You need a good wing man!”

Greg Shapiro in in ‘Conference Matters’
https://conferencematters.nl/en/greg-shapiro-humor-can-be-the-safest-option-for-serious-events/
——-

Click here for Greg Shapiro on being a Cheerleader for the Netherlands, in Speakers Academy Magazine
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/greg-shapiro-netherlands-cheerleader/

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 Netherlands Cheerleader

Greg Shapiro ‘NETHERLANDS CHEERLEADER’

Greg Shapiro ‘NETHERLANDS CHEERLEADER’ – Speakers Academy Magazine, 2022-23
by Jacques Geluk

Greg Shapiro is world-famous, ever since he perfectly imitated Donald Trump’s voice in Arjen Lubach’s ‘Netherlands Second’ video. (It’s since been viewed almost 30 million times). Shapiro is already known in the Netherlands for his work with Boom Chicago comedy theater, and previously as host and writer of Comedy Central News. Now, he is also an author and vlogger, and he frequently focuses on the Netherlands and Dutch innovations – a self-proclaimed ‘cheerleader for the Netherlands.’

Shapiro moved to the Netherlands in 1994 and is married to a Dutch woman. “Came for work, stayed for love.” By now he has lived here more than half his life, hence he knows both American and Dutch culture quite well. He often gives a ‘Masterclass’ in Dutch culture called ‘Culture Shock Therapy,’ or additionally ‘How to Be Dutch: the Quiz.’

Given Shapiro’s unique Dutch-American status, he is a popular bilingual speaker at major events. He is known for hosting or performing for NATO, for the president of France, and for King Willem Alexander. “I’ve lived here long enough to be proud of the Netherlands, but I’m still American enough to not care how loud I am about it,” says Greg in his native language. “I am frequently asked by Dutch or multinational companies for business events, often to talk about culture shock. I confront the stereotypes like sex, drugs – and Dutch cheapness. Then I go into more detail, realizing that it’s actually better here than I was used to in America. As ‘The American Netherlander’ [which is also the title of his last book from 2020], I am already a fan of Dutch inventions, innovations, water management. I’ve become a kind of cheerleader.”

 

Business card

Shapiro finds it interesting that the ‘Netherlands Second’ video has been used by Prince Constantijn and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency during trade missions – as a kind of business card. “And as far as water management is concerned, yes there’s the Afsluitdijk – a marvel of water engineering. And there’s the Deltaworks in Zeeland – but also the New Orleans Deltaworks, built with the help of Dutch engineers at Royal Haskoning. It’s like the old commercials from Centrale Beheer: ‘Have a problem? Better call the Netherlands.’ Hurricane Katrina? Better call the Netherlands. Containership stuck in the Suez Canal? Better call the Netherlands (Boslkalis).”

“So many examples to mention! And not only foreigners are surprised to learn these companies are Dutch – it’s Dutch people too. Dutch folks are not giving themselves enough credit. That’s where I come in. And I’m collecting new examples all the time – for the shows and projects I do for clients like TU Delft, for Mosa Meat (lab-grown ‘cultivated’ meat) and for Wageningen University & Research.”

Event Host of the day

As an ‘improv comedian’, Greg Shapiro is also the almost ideal event host of the day. He puts guests, audience and organizations at ease with a lot of humor and always without being rude. If something goes wrong with the sound, a speaker who is not comfortable, the timing or the connection during a webinar… he improvises immediately, thanks to his many years of theater experience. “The unexpected actually makes it all a bit more lively and interesting for everyone.”

Greg Shapiro Netherlands Cheerleader 

Greg Shapiro NETHERLANDS CHEERLEADER – in het nederlands

‘Een Cheerleader voor Nederland’

Hij is wereldberoemd sinds hij de stem van Donald Trump perfect heeft geïmiteerd in Arjen Lubachs ‘Netherlands Second’ video (inmiddels bijna 30 miljoen keer bekeken). Greg Shapiro is al bekend via Boom Chicago theater en als gastheer en schrijver van Comedy Central News. Nu is hij ook auteur en vlogger, met als onderwerp Nederland en Nederlandse innovaties. Hij is een zelfbenoemd ‘cheerleader van Nederland.’

Greg Shapiro woont sinds 1994 in Nederland en is getrouwd met een Nederlandse. Doordat hij nu al meer dan de helft van zijn leven hier woont kent hij zowel de Amerikaanse als de Nederlandse cultuur heel goed en kan hij ze naast elkaar leggen. Vaak geeft hij een ‘Masterclass’ in Nederlandse cultuur die heet ‘Culture Shock Therapy,’ of zelfs ‘How to Be Dutch: the Quiz.’

Mede daardoor is hij een gewilde tweetalige spreker op grote evenementen, voor zelfs de president van Frankrijk, de NAVO, en voor Koning Willem Alexander. “I’ve lived here long enough to be proud of the Netherlands, but I’m still American enough to not care how loud I am about it”, zegt Greg in zijn eerste moedertaal.

“Ik word meestal gevraagd door multinationale bedrijven voor grote B2B evenementen. Vaak praat ik over cultuurschok, de stereotypes met thema’s als seks, drugs – en de Nederlandse bescheidenheid. Daarna ga ik er dieper op in, beseffend dat het hier eigenlijk beter is dan ik gewend was in Amerika. Eigenlijk ben ik als ‘The American Netherlander’ (wat ook de titel is van mijn laatste boek uit 2020) al fan van Nederlandse uitvindingen, innovaties, watermanagement en andere technieken. Ik ben een soort cheerleader geworden.”

Visitekaartje

Hij vindt het interessant dat de ‘Netherlands Second’- video is gebruikt door prins Constantijn en het Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency tijdens handelsmissies als een soort visitekaartje. “Wat het watermanagement betreft benoem ik net als in de video de Afsluitdijk, een wonder van waterengineering, en maak ik de connectie met de deltawerken, en met de New Orleans deltawerken gebouwd met hulp van Nederlanders. Even Nederland bellen. Ik heb zo veel leuke voorbeelden te noemen! Vaak zijn buitenlanders verbaasd te horen dat de uitvoerende bedrijven Nederlands zijn. Maar vaak zijn ook Nederlanders zelf verbaasd! Dat verwerk ik allemaal in mijn lezingen, voor TU Delft, voor Mosa Meat (kweekvlees) en ook voor een project met Wageningen Universiteit & Research.”
Greg introduceert ook zijn vernieuwde YouTube-kanaal, Climate News Comedy, met nog meer voorbeelden uit Nederland.

 

Dagvoorzitter

Als ‘improv comedian’ is Greg Shapiro bovendien de welhaast ideale dagvoorzitter. Hij stelt gasten, publiek en organisaties op hun gemak met veel humor en altijd zonder grof te zijn. Als iets misgaat met het geluid, een spreker die zich niet comfortabel voelt, de timing of de verbinding tijdens een webinar… improviseert hij onmiddellijk, Geen probleem dankzij zijn langjarige theaterervaring. “Het onverwachte maakt het eigenlijk allemaal nog wat levendiger en interessanter voor iedereen.”

door Jacques Geluk, juli 2022

 

GREG SHAPIRO’S VLOG: ‘WHY THE DUTCH DIG DIGGING’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YILSxeIhWwg

GREG SHAPIRO CORPORATE EVENTS
https://gregshapiro.nl/greg-shapiro-corporate-events/

 

Greg Shapiro Dutch Direct

Dutch Direct vs the Elephant in the Room

Greg Shapiro: ‘Dutch Direct vs the Elephant in the Room’
11 October, 2022

 

As ‘Dutch direct’ as you think may be, it still helps to have an American by your side. Dutch culture prides itself on being ‘Dutch direct,’ which is an indirect way of saying ‘rude.’ Sometimes I get hired by Dutch companies to host their events, to help ‘bridge the cultural gap’ between the older Dutch management and their mostly younger, more international staff. Practically, that means I get to share the stage with them and demonstrate how to not get upset when they say ‘Dutch direct’ things like “I wouldn’t have chosen that outfit” or “Ha ha – that joke didn’t work.”

Lesson Number One: start off by removing the tie.

To show how well integrated I am, I will sometimes respond to Dutch directness by teasing Dutch people right back. It makes the boss more human! There was one Dutch CEO who had a real ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ attitude. He liked to answer questions by saying “Okay, look…” But he was speaking English as a second language. So frequently – instead of saying look – he would use the Dutch word kijk. Luckily, he didn’t pronounce it the ethnic slur way. He said it more like “cake.” So I pointed out that – if he was going to start off every point talking about cake, there had better be some cake by the end of the day. (There was.)

DUTCH DIRECT + Yank Joke

For another event – for another ‘Dutch direct’ CEO – there was an elephant in the room. That’s partly why they’d hired me: to help keep the day loose and informal, so the audience would feel confident enough to ask the difficult questions. And the employees did ask difficult enough questions, about sustainability,  about equal pay, about fair hiring… But then came a question about accusations of fake sustainability claims, ie ‘greenwashing.’ The elephant had arrived! 

The CEO explained that he took the greenwashing accusations very seriously. He admitted that just a couple years ago those accusations would have been partly true. I said “I was here a couple years ago, and I can confirm! The last time I hosted for you guys, you had one HR manager saying ‘sustainability would be a good idea,’ and now she’s on the board as the first ever Chief Sustainability Officer. …And if anyone still comes with complaints that Dutch companies aren’t green enough, remind them that Shell Oil is now located in the UK.”

For more on Greg corporate events: 
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/greg-shapiro-hosts-citizenm-tv-season-2/