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…)
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 -?
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