political comedy Tag

Greg Shapiro Mini Standup Special ‘LEAVING TRUMPLAND’ 

Greg Shapiro Mini Standup Special ‘LEAVING TRUMPLAND’
4 January, 2022

I wrote a comedy show about America during Trump and during Covid. It’s called LEAVING TRUMPLAND. And it’s partly about how Trump and Covidiots killed my stepfather.

Most of my performance dates were cancelled due to Covid. But thankfully, a Dutch performance series asked me to perform part of my show for them, at the ITA International Theater Amsterdam. And here it is:
GREG SHAPIRO’S LEAVING TRUMPLAND on ‘Cultuurexplosie Live.’ (link below)

My previous show was called The Madness of King Donald. This show is more personal. Ever since I moved to the Netherlands, my family and friends keep asking “When are you moving back? When are you coming home?” And now, since 2020, they’re asking “What is it like in the Netherlands? Maybe we could come live with you?” And I tell them “Nee! Vol is vol!

And yes, I wrote new bits about President Biden. Did you hear what he said today? No. No one did. No one cares! And it’s wonderful!
We don’t have the mental space to pay attention to Joe Biden. We’re still recovering from 4 years of Post-Traumatic Tweet Disorder.  America is like a toilet clogged with 4 years of toxic dumps. Biden is the plumber. And as happy as we are that Joe the Plumber is on the job, I hope he knows it’s not like we’re not going to WATCH, right? Just let us know when you’re done. 

We can’t pay attention to the current president, because some of us are still mourning. As for me, I found out in the summer of 2020 that my stepdad had Covid. In a nursing home at age 75. And the nursing home was in Trump country, aka ‘Trumpland.’ And my stepdad had a roommate. And the roommate was like many Republicans in the US: they believe in Freedom more than Science. In fact they believe in “Freedom FROM Science.”

And for the rest of the story, you’ll have to watch:

GREG SHAPIRO ADDED TO NEW TEAM: MODERATING.EU

GREG SHAPIRO ADDED TO NEW TEAM: MODERATING.EU
28 December, 2021

Since the Covid lockdown hit in 2020, I’ve been using the opportunity to branch out. One area that has been calling out to me is right around the corner in Belgium. It’s the EU HQ and the community known as ’The Brussels Bubble.’

A friend of mine in Brussels has been organizing a monthly EU-themed talk show called ‘Brussels Bubbles.’ And what do you know – they even have a website called ModeratingEU.  ModeratingEU is a booking agency dedicated to creating EU-themed events that are NOT BORING. And I offered my help.
https://moderating.eu/

I can now be hired via Moderating.eu to make your event less boring and tedious. Unless you WANT your EU meeting to be boring and tedious, in which case – just keep doing what you’ve been doing.
https://moderating.eu/greg-shapiro/
 
Here are some examples of what you can find on my profile:

GREG SHAPIRO – Using humor to make your message hit home.
For 20 years, I’ve been using my background in comedy and improvisation to take dry subject matter and make it more fun – and more memorable.

– Laser-focus on your Main Message – and how to use humor & interaction to make it stick.

– Native English speaker, but also fluent in ESL ‘English as Second Language.’
– Experienced improviser. Even when your event doesn’t go according to plan, I make it look like part of the plan.

A Gentleman Onstage.
Greg uses humor, but always with a diplomatic touch. Literally. He has performed for the Netherlands Embassy, as well as hosting events for French President François Hollande, and once for King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands. 

An Onstage Veteran.

Greg has experience hosting events where everything goes right – and when it goes wrong. According to Judith de Lange from Dutch Data Center Hub: “Greg provided lots of laughter in an otherwise very serious crowd. And although confronted with some technical difficulties, Greg was well-equipped to improvise and let the show go on. I would definitely recommend Greg as a host! 

A Published Author.
Greg Shapiro is the author of 3 books, such as THE AMERICAN NETHERLANDER: 25 Years of Expat Tales, available internationally. Greg uses his experience with dual nationality to bridge the gap between cultures, between organizations, and between the presenters and the audience.

RECOMMENDATIONS
“Greg’s hosting was sharp, tactful and very, very funny. We did not make things easy for him! He dealt brilliantly with the tailored EPO material.”
– Bert Lockhart, European Patent Office

“Greg made the difference between a pretty-good event and an excellent event. His total understanding of the content, his humour, and his optimistic persona gave the event depth and made it sparkle.”
– Sylvester Lindemulder, Logica Innovation Day

“Greg brought humor to our theme, mixed with a serious note. It gave energy and fun to a serious discussion, which led to more enthusiasm and interaction with our audience.”
– Marike Scholten, Windesheim Univ. Sustainability Event

“We had a lot of fun with Greg as our host for our young professionals event. A great mix between humor and serious interviews onstage. That led to good energy in the audience.”
– Marit van Heugten, Drecht Cities

ABOUT GREG SHAPIRO
Greg Shapiro graduated from Northwestern University in the US and then moved to Amsterdam to work with comedy theater Boom Chicago. He now has 20 years’ experience hosting events for multinational clients such as Philips, Shell and ING. Shapiro has hosted the tv show Comedy Central News in the Netherlands, and he is the voice of the ‘Netherlands Second’ video from 2017. Shapiro has published three books on Dutch culture. He has hosted events for the King of the Netherlands, the French President, and NATO. And he has performed in the Business Class section of a 747 flying to Chicago.

Greg Shapiro New Video Series: ‘DutchNews of the Week’

Greg Shapiro New Video Series ‘DutchNews of the Week’
7 December, 2021

“The headlines are from DutchNews.nl; the punchlines are from me.” So begins every episode of my new weekly video series ‘DutchNews of the Week.’

DutchNews.nl already has a daily newsletter and a weekly podcast. So I thought: “Why not a weekly video as well?” And, in the spirit of Branded Content, I decided to just start making the videos first, on my own. Then – instead of saying “What would it be like if I made these videos…” I can now say “Here, look at these videos.”

It’s like “Better to ask forgiveness than permission.” First I make the videos. Then I approach the client. “If you like it, pay me to make more.” (And if you hate it, pay me to stop…) (wink emoticon)

As it turns out, the founder of DutchNews.nl is a friend of mine: Robin Pascoe. What do you know: she likes the videos. (Robin is the woman who used to write for the English version of the Financiele Dagblad. There are other Dutch news sites in English, but DutchNews is my favorite.)

I love humor as a tool to make news items more relatable and more memorable. At first, I wanted to make videos that went a bit in depth for every major story of the week. The videos were still about 3 minutes long, like this one. WATCH:
https://youtu.be/IKIjvmmO4Rs

But I soon realized a couple things about social media. 1) Current events videos do not age well on YouTube. 2) If you want to post videos on other media – like Twitter and Instagram – you can only post 60 seconds max. And so the new format was born: Set-up / Punchline. Just like ‘Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live.

So keep an eye on your socials. If it’s a Friday – and if I have the time that week – then I’ll be posting to Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

And if enough people like it, I might just use the same technique for Politico.eu. But this time I might try to make content for their YouTube channel as well. They have a YouTube channel, but it suuuuuucks.

Wish me luck.

Greg Shapiro Guests at the ‘SNL of the EU’: The Schuman Show

Greg Shapiro Guests at the ‘SNL of the EU’: The Schuman Show
27 October, 2021

For years, I’ve been wondering why the EU doesn’t have a late night comedy show. I’ve even been trying to make one myself since 2014. But now there’s a new kid on the block: the Brussels monthly series called The Schuman Show. You see, Robert Schuman is one of the founders of the European Union. And The Truman Show is a movie from the 90s. Together, this is apparently enough to generate a full audience in Brussels. A very full audience. As I found out when I took part in October.

YOUTUBE: EuroNews: The Schuman Show: or how to poke fun at EU politics

The Schuman Show is the brainchild of Kelly Agathos, an expat who started out inside ‘the Brussels Bubble.’
These days, Kelly is the founder of ‘ImproBubble’ – the closest thing to a Boom Chicago comedy theater in Belgium. I made contact with Kelly and said I’d be interested in seeing a show someday. She turned around and asked if I would want to participate in the October edition of The Schuman Show. I said “YES, AND.”

 

I was invited to improvise a scene – as Donald Trump – interacting with an improvised Angela Merkel. Merkel would be played by Barry McKeon, a crowd favorite. Based on current events – Merkel would be at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, and Trump would ambush her backstage, since he was in Scotland to play golf and had no idea there was a summit going on.

 

The show started out with a cold open, reminiscent of Saturday Night Live. In which EU commission President Ursula ‘VDL’ von der Leyen has to deal with Poland and cutting off their funding. The scene ended in a rap battle called ’99 Problems But a Budget Ain’t One.’ There were sketches, songs, improvisations. And then I played my Trump imitation – probably too well. Wow, that crowd hated Trump! And they loved Angela poking holes in Trump’s thin skin.

 

Next up, I got to drop the Trump imitation and improvise as myself. With the other actors, I took part in a game of ‘Worlds Worst.’ The audience shouted out ‘Consultant.’ And as ‘World’s Worst Consultant,’ I simply said “Hi, I work for McKenzie.” And I got a huge laugh! Always gratifying to get a laugh based on an article I read in The Economist.

 

There was a sketch about James Bond trying – and failing – to infiltrate EU bureaucracy. There was an opening monologue about the news of the week. And there was a folk song about ‘The Answer My Friend Is Blowing Lots of Wind.’ With regular contributors to politico.eu.

There was a sketch about James Bond trying – and failing – to infiltrate EU bureaucracy. There was an opening monologue about the news of the week. And there was a folk song about ‘The Answer My Friend Is Blowing Lots of Wind.’ With regular contributors to politico.eu.

The Schuman Show according to Kelly Agathos:
“A Late-Night-meets-SNL variety show; I am the host and open with a monologue. It’s called The Schuman Show (named after Robert Schuman, one of the founders of the European Union, but also the name of a roundabout in the heart of Brussels’ European quarter- a bit like what K Street is for Washington).
Little by little, I found some Brussels-based folks from the local stand up and improv scene, and The Schuman show was born.

We’ve received a lot of attention and we have plans to put more content online in the future, so that we can really reach a large Europe-wide audience and finally make ‘Boring Brussels’ funny, interesting and relevant to the average citizen.”

Unofficial GREG SHAPIRO OCTOBER BENELUX Tour

Unofficial GREG SHAPIRO OCTOBER BENELUX Tour (feat. a stop in Luxembourg for cheap fuel)

October has turned into a busy month, as I have accidentally assembled a list of Dutch cities where I’ll be performing. (And at least one date in Brussels…)

But the big news is: I’ll be featured in CABARETFESTIVAL PEPER in Den Haag. Organized by Theaters Diligentia & Pepijn, this current events festival calls itself ‘De Lachspiegel van de Samenleving,’ ie ‘Holding a mirror to today’s society.’ I’ve repurposed my solo show LEAVING TRUMPLAND for Fall of 2021: now with less Trump and more Covidiots. At the end of my show, we will be joined (via Zoom) by my former Boom Chicago colleague Tarik Davis, who will give us his New York perspective on Before & After the Lockdown. (And he might give us a preview of The Amber Ruffin Show season 2 – as well as his new Broadway show Freestyle Love Supreme.)

This month, I’ll be doing a series of open mic shows to try out new material. Starting at De Pelgrim in Rotterdam. And I’m excited to try out the new Comedy Cafe Utrecht location! After that it’s back to Fox & Solo in Amsterdam. And I’ll be rounding out the month with my new friends in Brussels from ImproBubble. They’ve developed a new monthly sketch & improv format called The Schuman Show. And I’ll be improvising a sketch with The Real (fake) Angela Merkel.

-Thurs. 7 Oct. ROTTERDAM. ‘Comedy Brew’ @ Stadsbrowerij De Pelgrim. Open mic lineup show. 8:30pm.

-Tues. 12 Oct. UTRECHT. English Open Mic. @ Comedy Cafe Utrecht. Open mic lineup show. 8pm.

-Thurs. 14 Oct. AMSTERDAM. ‘Oh My Word Comedy’ @ FOX & SOLO. Open mic lineup show. 8pm.

-Sat. 23 Oct. DEN HAAG. Cabaret Festival PEPER. SOLO SHOW ‘LEAVING TRUMPLAND’. @West Den Haag (former US Embassy). 2 SHOWS: 6.30pm + 8pm.

+Thurs. 28 Oct. BRUSSELS. ‘The Schuman Show.’ Sketch & Improv show. @ Location TBA. 8:30pm.

(& driving back thru Luxembourg for cheap fuel)

Thurs. 7 Oct. https://www.facebook.com/events/4343295252428575/?active_tab=about

Tues. 12 Oct. https://comedycafe.nl/comedy-cafe-utrecht/

Thurs. 14 Oct. http://omwcomedy.com

Sat. 23 Oct. DEN HAAG. PEPER Festival! SOLO SHOW ‘LEAVING TRUMPLAND’. 2 SHOWS 6.30pm + 8pm

https://www.diligentia-pepijn.nl/agenda/4162/Leaving_Trumpland/Greg_Shapiro

Thurs. 28 Oct. http://schumanshow.eu/

 

Greg Shapiro on NPO Op 1: How to Imitate Biden

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.