live events Tag

Greg Shapiro PePijn’s Comedy Club

Greg Shapiro Hosts PePijn’s Comedy Club

23 November, 2022

The English-language comedy scene in The Netherlands is developing so much comedy talent these days! For under 20 euros, you can easily see ‘Tomorrow’s Netflix Special’ comedians – before they start charging 75 euros per ticket. 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.

 

LARA RICOTE – our First Headliner

Lara started out as an international student in Amsterdam a few years ago. She developed her first solo show based on her unique blend of demographic categories: GRL/LATINX/DEF. “Girl, Latin American, and hard of hearing.” Lara plays up her triple ‘Minority status’ to great effect. Now she’s winning awards like the UK Funny Women Award and the coveted Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022.

Click here: Lara Ricote Wins Comedy Award

Before Lara moves off to the UK – or the US – I managed to get her onstage for the November edition of PEPIJN’S COMEDY CLUB – IN ENGLISH.
WATCH (90 seconds):

 

Also featured in the November show

– Hermes Ahmadi. Afghan / Dutch comedian, known for his solo show You Might Be Here.
– La Hager – Egyptian / Dutch comedian, and female. She is a mainstay of the English comedy scene, particularly in The Hague.
– Lia Sulim – Ukrainian comedian – was in the New Talent spot. She is a recent immigrant, forced to flee from the invasion. She’s still working on her English, but her punchlines are killer. One to watch.
+ special thanks to Lia’s boyfriend ISIK ISIN for photos & videos!

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.

Greg Shapiro Hosts Pepijn's Comedy Club Nov 2022

 

The next dates for PEPIJN’S COMEDY CLUB – IN ENGLISH

…are 12 January, 2023 + 13 April, 2023.
I’ll announce the comedians on the January lineup in December.
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/

Review: ‘Pep & Greg Save America’

Review: PEP & GREG SAVE AMERICA at Boom Chicago

as seen in ArtsTalkMagazine.nl
“JOKES WERE WELL-SCULPTED AND WIDE-RANGING.”
“ENGAGING WITH THE AUDIENCE, THEY WERE QUICK, PROVOCATIVE AND PUGNACIOUS.”

15 November, 2022

REVIEWED BY Jacob John Shale :
Political comedy is largely useless. That is to say that it has no impact upon the figures, events and institutions it criticises. There’s a very funny moment in one of the comedian Doug Stanhope’s specials (or maybe it’s from an interview, I can’t find the clip online) in which he describes his exasperation at having to encounter people debating issues he has already dealt with in his previous stand-up routines. I’m paraphrasing, but Stanhope’s joke goes something like: How is this argument still going on? Don’t they know I’ve already shouted at thousands of drunk people about this?

Pep and Greg Save America

(hosted by Pep Rosenfeld and Greg Shapiro) wants to be regarded as a work of uncompromising satire. The premise of the show, which premiered at Boom Chicago on the night of the midterm election, is that America is a wonderful place currently captured by a band of right-wing lunatics whose ideals bear no resemblance to those on which the country was founded. They argue that the Democrats should once again embrace patriotism; rescue it from Republican hands. Against this premise, we have the hosts’ recognition that entertainment is not activism. Their title is self-mocking in the same manner as the joke by Stanhope mentioned above. Rosenfeld and Shapiro understand that America will not be saved by the end of the night, and how ridiculous it is to assume that comedy should serve this function.

The show’s targets

were about as predictable as the darts that were flung at them. Still, they landed. When faced with the gargoyles of the American political scene, many contemporary comedians seem to feel that there is little need in putting together a punch line. And why would they? All you have to do is quote a particularly stupid remark and you have your applause. This approach was thankfully not too much present in last night’s show.

The two comedians’ jokes were well-sculpted and wide-ranging in their references – everything from Tucker Carlson (of whom Shapiro performed an impression) to She-Hulk (used to make an unexpected comparison) to Twin Peaks (it dismays me to report that this joke, which I will not spoil, was the one that elicited the least laughter). Ultimately, it was in their crowd-work that I thought Shapiro and Rosenfeld were at their funniest. Engaging with the audience, they were quick, provocative and pugnacious. It made me wish that the rest of the show had not been so carefully engineered.

 Jacob John Shale    8th November 2022


Review Pep & Greg Save America

Review Pep & Greg Save America

http://artstalkmagazine.nl/pep-greg-save-america-at-boom-chicago-amsterdam/

 

FOR MORE REVIEWS, click here
https://gregshapiro.nl/media/theater-reviews-for-greg-shapiros-latest-shows/

 

Greg Shapiro November Dates

Greg Shapiro November Dates

Greg Shapiro November Comedy Dates 2022

2 November, 2022

November starts with a BANG. For FOUR nights only, we perform ‘PEP & GREG SAVE AMERICA’ at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam. (starting 3 Nov.) Just in time for the US Midterm Elections 2022. Pep and I have been doing standup comedy shows together for 20 of America’s 240 years. So this time we’ve added music and improv from Stacey Smith & Sacha Hoedemaker. It’s a hoot. And – based on the results on Election Night – Pep & I might just save America by putting a pillow over its face and ending the pain.

https://boomchicago.nl/pep-greg-save-america/

Special events after the Thursday, Saturday & Tuesday shows. Have a look below.
(For previous Pep & Greg Shows, click here:)
https://gregshapiro.nl/portfolio_page/boom-chicago-2016-election-show-trump-up-the-volume/

Another show I’m excited about is the new English comedy series at Pepijn Comedy Club in The Hague. (10 Nov.) I’m booking the shows as well as hosting. And guess who’s coming to be our headliner? The Best Newcomer at the 2022 Edinburgh Comedy Awards! Amsterdam’s own Lara Ricote. She is smart & funny.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgySVdjX86E

And I’ll be headlining the first show in a new series in Westerpark at the Pacific Amsterdam in Westergasfabriek. It’s called Jesterpark. 

I’ll be playing in Amsterdam, Leiden, Den Haag, Utrecht – and Paris! 

 

Photo: Michaelia Kramer

Comedy Dates

3. A’dam. Boom Chicago. ‘Pep & Greg Save America’ 20.00
https://boomchicago.nl/pep-greg-save-america/

4. Leiden. Qbus. ‘Int’l Standup Comedy Night’ 20.30
https://secure.tix4all.nl/tickets/international-stand-up-comedy-hl-greg-shapiro-2349/ticket

5. A’dam. Boom Chicago. ‘Pep & Greg Save America’ 19.00
 + Shot of Improv 22.00
https://boomchicago.nl/pep-greg-save-america/

6. A’dam. Boom Chicago. ‘Pep & Greg Save America’ 19.00
https://boomchicago.nl/pep-greg-save-america/

8. A’dam. Boom Chicago. ‘Pep & Greg Save America’ 20.00
https://boomchicago.nl/pep-greg-save-america/

8 A’dam. Boom Chicago. Election Night Party 22.00
https://www.democratsabroad.org/tgriffin20/election_night_show_watch_party?utm_campaign=novemeber_2022_event&utm_medium=email&utm_source=democratsabroad

10. The Hague. Pepijn Comedy Club (MC) 20.30
https://www.diligentia-pepijn.nl/agenda/4432/Various_Stand_Up_Comedians/PePijn%27s_Comedy_Club_But_in_English

 

11. A’dam. Boom Chicago. Comedy Embassy standup. 20.30
https://www.comedyembassy.com/shows/boom-chicago/

12. Utrecht. Comedy Huis standup @Domplein 4. 20.30
https://comedyhuis.nl/shows/all-english-comedynight-3/

13. A’dam. Comedy Night Zuidas @WUSH. 19.00
https://secure.tix4all.nl/tickets/stand-up-comedy-showcase-featuring-greg-shapiro-2351/ticket

16. A’dam. ‘Jesterpark’ @Pacific Amsterdam. 20.15
https://www.facebook.com/events/1160319617887890/

19. Paris. NY Comedy Night. @Palais des Glaces. 22.00
https://www.palaisdesglaces.com/programme/235-the-new-york-comedy-night

20. Paris. Sunday Night Showcase @La Kibéle. 21.30
https://www.comedyinparis.com/blast-off-comedy/446148822137

 

More dates to be announced as they come… And I may be picking up a show in Chicago in December…

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/

GREG SHAPIRO COMEDY DATES SEPT 2022

GREG SHAPIRO COMEDY DATES SEPTEMBER 2022
5 Sept., 2022

 

It’s comedy season again! I’m working on two new shows, and I’ll be making a lot of appearances coming up. See dates below 

SHOW ONE – Pep & Greg Save America
Pep Rosenfeld and I have been making comedy shows together since 1985. Our new duo standup show is scheduled for the 2022 US Midterm Elections in November. My pitch was for a poster with ‘Pep & Greg Save America’ and an image of us putting a pillow over the face of Uncle Sam. But then again – maybe Joe ‘Dark Brandon’ Biden is giving us something worth saving…

SHOW TWO – Dutch to the Rescue
Based on my video series ‘Climate News Comedy,’ I realize we all need something – anything – to make climate news funny. Luckily, I live in the Netherlands. Dutch people be like: “Rising sea levels? No problem! We’ll just make more land.” If Jesus would come back and walk on water, Dutch people would say “Ja, ja… we do that all the time.” But what about the farming crisis? What to do with all the manure from Dutch livestock mega-stalls? No problem, they’ll just spray it on Parliament.

PLUS IMPROV
Improv comedy is pure joy, and I haven’t had enough lately. I’ll be joining a couple improv shows in September, and look for me to add even more coming up.

Greg Shapiro September Dates

Here are some dates and links and details – 

Fri 9 Sept. IMPROV. A’dam. Crea (Post-show jam 10pm)
https://www.easylaughs.nl/event-info/show-stand-up-meet-the-cast-sept-9

Sat. 10 Sept. IMPROV. A’dam. Boom Chicago ‘Shot of Improv’ 10pm
https://boomchicago.nl/

Sun. 11 Sept. STANDUP. A’dam. Vondel Bunker 9/11 show 8pm
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/socrates-ironic-stand-up-comedy-september-11th-2022-vondelbunker-amsterdam-tickets-411472133227?fbclid=IwAR3Ny0Had2nYNwucxzOr5JghVrs52KV80KitxBcpMZNT8_hzQFPQeUC2cnc

Wed. 14 Sept. 14 STANDUP. A’dam. Comedy Cafe Open mic 8pm
https://www.comedycafe.nl/amsterdam/

Sat. 17 Sept. 17 IMPROV. A’dam. Boom Chicago ‘Shot of Improv’ 10pm (to be confirmed)
https://boomchicago.nl/

Fri. 23 Sept. STANDUP. A’dam. Boom Chicago, 10pm (post-show set, workshop ‘Pep & Greg Save America’)
https://boomchicago.nl/

Sat. 24 Sept. STANDUP. Utrecht. ComedyHuis, Domplein 4 8:30pm
https://comedyhuis.nl/agenda-en-tickets/

Thurs. 29 Sept. STANDUP. A’dam. Boom Chicago, 9pm (post-show set, workshop ‘Pep & Greg Save America’)
https://boomchicago.nl/

 

GREG SHAPIRO’S WEIRDEST GIGS EVER – Podcast Interview

GREG SHAPIRO’S WEIRDEST GIGS EVER – Podcast Interview
27 June, 2022

In theater school, one of the coolest things to do was ‘site-specific’ theater. The least cool thing to do was corporate entertainment. BUT – as I quickly realized – 90% of corporate shows are ‘site-specific.’ I’ve done shows on location at offices, pop-up performances in historic buildings, and even a standup set in the business class section of a KLM 747 to Chicago.

So when I was asked to talk about my ‘weirdest gigs ever’ for the ELEKTRA Podcast, I said YES. The interview was in Dutch, with plenty of English thrown in. I talked about performing for a Dutch bachelorette party in the mid-90’s, when they chanted something to me during the show. It was months later when I realized “Broek uit! Broek uit! Broek uit, op je rug!” meant “Pants off! Pants off! Pants off, on your back!” Yes, Dutch women are very direct.

Example: Weirdest Gig Ever
Here’s an excerpt of my book THE AMERICAN NETHERLANDER: 25 Years of Expat Tales.
I was hired with Boom Chicago to do a Christmas show for a major fashion label. Apparently, there were rumors that their Dutch office might be closing, and everyone’s jobs were at risk. Luckily, the rumors were not true! At the show, the boss was going to give the good news, and then introduce us to help celebrate.

One day later, the organizing committee had changed their minds: Since we were Americans, the boss would introduce us as upper management from the New York office. Then we’d address the bad rumors, and the boss would reveal: it’s a joke! And then he would give the good news. Weird, but okay! 

Then – on the day of the show – the idea had changed again. The boss did introduce us as upper management from New York. But then he lied to his entire staff and said, “You’re all being laid off.” Next, he laughed and left the stage. We had to cut in and say, “It’s a joke! We’re hired comedians.” And then we had to do a comedy show.

Dear reader, if you can think of a worse way to start a comedy show, please insert that image here. (For example, he could have yelled, “Fire!” Or he could have actually lit the theater on fire.) The result? The audience hated us. But the boss seemed genuinely happy.

Comedian Greg Shapiro Discusses Weirdest Gigs Ever
For more of my weirdest gigs ever, check out Wouter Monden and The Elektra Podast (in Dutch):
https://www.elektrapodcast.nl/gast/greg-shapiro/

Greg Shapiro Hosts CitizenM TV Episode 2

Greg Shapiro Hosts CitizenM TV Episode 2
20 June, 2022

Thanks, Covid! After the 2020 Lockdown canceled Christmas, CitizenM hotel group had to reinvent their annual Christmas party as a TV show in January. Thus ‘CitizenM TV’ was born – with me as the host. It went so well that I was invited back to host the live Christmas party in 2021. But would we be able to have a live Christmas party…?

NO! The latest Covid lockdown kicked in on 18 December, and canceled everything. Which is EXACTLY what CitizenM had predicted when they decided to make CitizenM TV Episode 2. Again, with me as host.


I must admit: when I’d hosted the first CitizenM TV, I’d never stayed at a CitizenM hotel before. I’d been to meetings at the Amsterdam Zuid location, just because it’s a cool place to meet. For Episode 2, I did my homework. I got to do an overnight ‘staycation’ at the Amsterdam Amstel location. And since then I understand their motto ‘affordable luxury.’ More than that, they recognized me from the TV show, and they treated me like one of the family.

The concept for Episode 2 was to show me warming up before the show – IN a CitizenM hotel room. Hence – WARNING: CONTAINS SOME MALE NUDITY. Episode 2 was again produced by Dutch media company GRNDPA. And this time they gave me more to do: I got to interact with CitizenM office staff, dressed as ninjas. And I got to play a mustachioed gym coach (inspired by Ted Lasso’s alter ego Led Tasso). That’s why you can see me yelling at CitizenM employees like Boyan.

Again, I got to chat with founder Rattan Chadha and CEO Klaas van Lookeren, and I noticed that yes they felt even more relaxed and on-message than in Episode 1.

Looking forward to seeing a live Christmas event this year… But if it ends up being CitizenM TV Episode 3, I won’t complain.

Comedian Greg Shapiro hosts CitizenM TV, Episode 2 (Dec. 2021). Produced by GRNDPA, NL.

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]

HOW NOT TO LIVESTREAM: a Greg Shapiro Online Mini-Show

HOW NOT TO LIVESTREAM: a Greg Shapiro Online Mini-Show

25 March, 2022

Comedian Greg Shapiro follows up his tutorial ‘How NOT to Zoom’ with a new livestream mini show: HOW NOT TO LIVESTREAM.

Now that we’re all ‘Post-Covid,’ who knew The New Normal would still include Working from Home? Well, surely by now we’ve all mastered the basics of Home Studio video conferencing… NOPE. 

Time for a new training strategy: HOW NOT TO LIVESTREAM. Kick off your next online meeting with 5-10 minutes of ‘Sharing WORST Practice.’ Whether you use Zoom, Teams, or whatever – Shapiro’s interactive presentation will parody the Seven Deadly Sins of video conferencing.
Including: Flimsy Webcams; Unflattering Angles; Terrible Lighting; Embarrassing Backgrounds; Green Screen Fails; and yelling at your kids when you think you’re on mute. 

Do yourself a favor and start your next video meeting with a guaranteed icebreaker. How NOT to Livestream. Because sometimes the best HOW-TO is How NOT to.

“Hi, it’s me Greg Shapiro. Here to remind you how livestreaming from your home studio can be easy and fun! [knocks over camera]

Now that we’re all working from home, your internet connection has never been more important. So give your cable a little jiggle to make sure it’s secure. [livestream froooo-zen]

If you’d like a pro-tip life hack, you can make sure that your lighting makes you as attractive as possible. Me? I’m using a diffuser, which I got from the camera shop for just €60. [injures self with fold-out prop]

Who needs an expensive home studio lighting system, when you can rig a series of desk lamps tho this clothes hanger? And who needs an expensive laptop stand, when you can use this simple household ladder? [displays embarrassingly amateur setup]

Now, if you want to look really professional, you need to make sure you have a virtual background. And that means you need to get a green screen! [injures self with fold-out green screen]

Once you’ve got your green screen and your lighting in place, it’s time to pick an appropriate background – and start livestreaming, like a pro.
[shows wildly inappropriate virtual background]