Political Satire Tag

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/

Boom Chicago Book Review

Boom Chicago 30th Anniversary Book

Greg Shapiro Contributes to the Boom Chicago 30th Anniversary Book

14 June 2023

Finally, a proper oral history of the Boom Chicago Comedy Theater – and I got to contribute! About 30 years ago I came to Amsterdam to perform for one summer, and I never left. Along the way, I got to work alongside now-famous names, such as Seth Meyers, Jordan Peele and Kay Cannon. And the comedy form we all played was improvisation, where the Golden Rule is: “Make Your Partner Look Good Onstage.” And looking at their careers, versus mine, I like to think I did my job VERY well. 

The book features a foreword by Seth Meyers, a voorwoord by Ruben van der Meer, a BackWord by Jordan Peele – and a Who’sWho Section by me (and fellow Boom Chicago lifer Rob Andristplourde). Author Matt Diehl teams up with Boom Chicago founders Saskia Maas, Andrew Moskos and Pep Rosenfeld to write the book. Rob and focused on the some of the juicy anecdotes that did not get covered in the oral history interviews. Such as:
-The time Seth Meyers improvised with an audience member who pretended to be retarded.

-The time Jordan Peele got into a rap battle with that guy from Seinfeld.

+ The reason Amber Ruffin’s tooth was hanging on the wall.

And I added this bit about myself:

“Greg almost moved back to the US like Pep – until he met a Dutch woman named Inez (who was working in the Boom Chicago office). On the eve of his wedding to Inez, Greg’s bachelor party was crashed by Inez and a number of Boom Chicago cast members. These included Kay Cannon as a naughty nurse, Liz Cackowski as a Catholic school girl, Jen Bills as a cop, and Holly Walker as a straight-up dominatrix. Together, they performed a girl band version of the Boy Band song from the show called “That’s What He Likes.” And no, it wasn’t inappropriate! Because the only actual semi-stripping was done by Inez. And she is Dutch.”

(Here is a pose from 1994 with the founders of Boom Chicago Pep Rosenfeld and Andrew Moskos.)

 

Pre-order “Boom Chicago Presents the 30 Most Important Years in Dutch History” here:

https://a.co/d/9IB0HWf

Read perfectly self-aggrandizing review here:

https://lnkd.in/gQWShiFP

The book made the Chicago Tribune list ‘Books to Read This Summer’

https://t.co/glL3Evh5rx

For US book tour dates in NY Chicago LA:

https://linktr.ee/mattdiehl

Boom Chicago 30th Anniversary Book: “Boom Chicago Presents the 30 Most Important Years in Dutch History”

An exciting history of the improv group you’ve never heard of that changed comedy in America—this is the story of Boom Chicago in Amsterdam as told by its founders and most famous alumni

“It’s kind of crazy, the impact on culture so many Boom Chicago alums have had. Boom was where I became my best comedic self: the excitement of Amsterdam, the freedom of that environment, the letting loose—it’s magic. There’s no better training ground.” —Jordan Peele

“Boom Chicago should have ended up on the scrap heap of ‘Terrible Ideas Americans Have While Stoned in Amsterdam.’ But when you stubbornly love one thing (comedy) as much as another thing (Amsterdam), you just believe they should be together. And here we are—thirty years later, Boom Chicago is alive and kicking.” —Seth Meyers

“Working at Boom Chicago was an unbelievable experience. Thank goodness someone was smart enough to write it all down! You’re lucky ’cause you get to read about THE most exciting, fun, and illegal time I’ve ever had!” —Amber Ruffin

 

Featuring interviews with

Meyers, Peele, Ruffin, Jason Sudeikis, Ike Barinholtz, Greg Shapiro, Kay Cannon, and many more; and a sixteen-page, full-color insert with both behind-the-scenes snapshots and images from live performances.

What do Ted Lasso, Get Out, Late Night with Seth Meyers, 30 Rock, A Black Lady Sketch Show, Breaking Bad, Saturday Night Live, Girls5Eva, The Colbert Report, Inside Amy Schumer, Pitch Perfect, Key & Peele, The Daily Show, MADtv, Rick and Morty, The Amber Ruffin Show, Horrible Bosses, Portlandia, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Suicide Squad, Superstore, How I Met Your Mother, Wicked, The Pee-Wee Herman Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Broad City all have in common? They all feature writers, creators, directors, or stars who got their start at Boom Chicago.

Having risen roughly to the middle of Chicago’s cutthroat comedy scene, Andrew Moskos and Pep Rosenfeld decamped the Midwest for Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1993 to start their own improv comedy troupe, Boom Chicago. In a foreign land with zero tradition of English-language humor, Moskos and Rosenfeld unwittingly created the finishing school for some of today’s most groundbreaking comedic talents. They (along with coauthors Matt Diehl and Saskia Maas) document this journey in the definitive oral history Boom Chicago Presents the 30 Most Important Years in Dutch History.

From its stages, Boom Chicago went on to launch cultural game changers like Seth Meyers, Jordan Peele, Amber Ruffin, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Ike Barinholtz, Kay Cannon, and Tami Sagher (and that’s just a partial list). At Boom, these young upstarts honed their craft in front of unsuspecting foreign audiences and visiting dignitaries like Burt Reynolds, Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay, Dutch royalty, and the Netherlands’s prime minister—all while navigating a world with legal weed and prostitution, annual holiday celebrations involving blackface, cookies with weird racist names, and football that has nothing to do with the NFL. From this culture shock, this collective created a more topical, inclusive, tech-savvy humor that would become the dominant comedy style of our time.

 

Praise for Boom Chicago:

“The Groundlings. The Harvard Lampoon. Second City. These comedy institutions have been supplying Hollywood with a steady stream of talent for decades. Well, there’s another name—almost as influential—that you’ve never heard of: Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago. Huh?”—GQ

“A small theater in Amsterdam became the most influential American comedy factory you’ve never heard of . . . Boom alums have had a significant hand in many of the shows that defined the past two decades of comedy.” —New York 

 

For reviews of Greg’s book The American Netherlander: 25 Years of Expat Tales:
https://gregshapiro.nl/media/theater-reviews-for-greg-shapiros-latest-shows/

Greg Shapiro Saves the Climate

GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE – 60 minutes of Climate Good News

7 December, 2023 in Haarlem
Click here for tix:
https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/greg-shapiro-saves-the-climate-tickets-761757185247

In the Netherlands alone, there are solar-powered cars, wind-powered trains, garbage-powered trucks – and homes heated by cow poop (warning: contents are not vegan). Comedian Greg Shapiro shares an hour of uplifting environmental game-changers and asks “Why aren’t we ALL doing this?”

TALES FROM THE EXPERT

Shapiro’s day job is hosting events for Dutch green startups and leaders in sustainability. Greg has hosted events for: offshore wind, lab-grown meat, garbage-powered trucks, a sustainable chicken farm, the European Sleeper train, Extinction Rebellion – and even for Shell. Come hear the stories from the front lines – and behind the scenes.
And I was even hired by a company called New Motion to standardize EV charging stations in Europe. But then I was fired – because apparently the startup had been bought out by Shell Oil, and Shell “wanted to move in a different direction.” (f**k those guys.) I find it inspiring stuff, actually. So I thought: “why not make a show about it? With d**k jokes.”

“Yes 90% of climate news is bad. But if you ignore the 10% that’s good, you’ll go 100% crazy.” – Greg Shapiro

Preserve your mental health and come see GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE.

Greg Shapiro (Boom Chicago, Comedy Central, ZDF) is best-known as the voice of the ‘Netherlands Second’ video. Meanwhile, he has written and performed 6 solo shows including Leaving Trumpland and How to Be Orange. 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. He is a proud contributor to Boom Chicago Presents the 30 Most Important Years in Dutch History.

Greg Shapiro Saves the Climate Utrecht

photo: Inez de Goede


For more of Greg’s Solo Shows, see the ARCHIVE

https://gregshapiro.nl/greg-shapiro-web-archive/

 

TICKET LINK 7 December:
https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/greg-shapiro-saves-the-climate-tickets-761757185247

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’

pep & greg save america

PEP & GREG SAVE AMERICA

PEP & GREG SAVE AMERICA at Boom Chicago Theater
8 March 2023


Pep Rosenfeld (SNL) & Greg Shapiro (‘Netherlands Second’ video) are back at Boom Chicago – to save America! And also to make fun of Marjorie Taylor Greene. This political comedy show dares to make the argument: it’s safe to be proud of America again! In fact, that’s our only option – if we want to beat Trump in 2024. (yes, it’ll be Trump.)

The 2024 election is already underway.
-Will Trump be replaced by someone worse?
-Will Joe Biden survive until 2024?
– AND (Will FOX News survive until 2024?)
Inspired by Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy series, Pep & Greg Save America proposes 5 simple changes that could make a HUGE difference – and they make it funny. Pep & Greg have done 10 political comedy shows so far, with their patented mix of standup comedy and improvisation. As in their previous hit show Trump Up the Volume.

And this time we brought a friend! Pep & Greg Save America features songs and improvisation by the critically-acclaimed Stacey Smith and Sacha Hoedemaker.

Pep Rosenfeld: in addition to his work at Boom Chicago, Pep was also nominated for an Emmy for his work at Saturday Night Live.
Greg Shapiro: Greg is known as the host of Boom Chicago’s Comedy Central News, as well as the voice of Donald Trump in Arjen Lubach’s viral video ‘The Netherlands Second.’

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.”

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…. Sassy Stacey’s super singing is the icing on the cake.’ — D Robbinson, Trip Advisor
‘Superior. Hilarious satire’ – Theaterkrant.nl
|‘Greg is a scarily real fake Trump’ – Het Parool

 

TICKETS: CLICK HERE
https://boomchicago.nl/pep-greg-save-america/

 

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

Fun for the whole family! (Last time, these folks brought 3 generations.)

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/ 

 

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

pep & greg save america

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/