REVIEW 1: ARTS TALK MAGAZINE – ‘RECOMMENDED ON ALL LEVELS’
‘The book is full of apposite observations, canny advice, witty asides and some nice cartoony illustrations. It could well have been titled The Netherlands – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly because, like the Dutch, it does not pull its punches and is proud to tell it like it is, warts and all.’
REVIEW 2: DUTCHNEWS.nl – ‘PLENTY OF ENTERTAINMENT HERE… BUY THIS BOOK’
REVIEW 3: IAMEXPAT.nl – ‘SO FUNNY, YOU’LL HARDLY BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN!’
‘Written with a wry sense of humour and an eye for detail and the ludicrous, he manages to paint a picture of a nation that is part cartoon, part realism. At each turn of the page, you find yourself both laughing about and appreciating the Dutch.
And then, once you have seen the Dutch through Greg Shapiro’s eyes, you are treated to that very special aspect of deciding to live in the country; the Dutch Assimilation Test – which even the Dutch themselves have been known to score notoriously badly on.’
REVIEW 4: HEBBAN.nl – FOUR STARS (out of 5)
‘After all these years, his assimilation with Dutch society, language and culture is still clumsy and messy, which leads to hilarious situations that Greg is only too happy to entrust to paper.’
‘A Very Sharp and Dangerous Edge’ ArtsTalk Magazine, 14 October 2020
by Michael Hasted
Every serious comedian – I mean the ones with something relevant to say, not those that are not funny – must rub their hands with glee when someone like Donald J. Trump appears on the world stage. Love ‘em or loath ‘em, they are both larger-than-life characters. And they provide unlimited grist to the comedians’ mill.
Greg Shapiro is an American comedian who’s been in Amsterdam and fully assimilated into the Dutch way of life for over 25 years. But like any ex-pat, the ties that bind can never be fully severed. And you can feel his pain and anger at his homeland being brought to its knees by a president who is impossible to respect. And easy to despise and deride. Shapiro has his own personal axe to grind. His stepfather was killed by Covid 19 due, Shapiro believes, to the unwillingness or ineptitude of the Trump administration in taking the pandemic seriously.
Touring During Covid
Shapiro has dined out, professionally, on Trump for more than four years. He’s provided the President’s voice in various venues and scenarios and lampooning him in his numerous stand-up routines. But now it’s only a short time before, hopefully, Trump is ousted. Shapiro is shedding the voice and the jokes. And hopefully, along with the rest of the world, he’s moving on to pastures new. So he and all of us, with any luck, will be leaving Trumpland.
This tour is, perhaps optimistically, a pre-celebration of Trump’s demise. But it has been slightly compromised by the CoronaVirus restrictions. A thirty strong audience in a small club can be intimate and cosy; in a five-hundred-seater theatre where everyone is spread all over the room, it can seem the opposite. Nevertheless, Shapiro is a seasoned pro and he ain’t gonna let a little thing like that throw him.
A Very Sharp and Dangerous Edge
Despite having spent half his life in The Netherlands and having a Dutch family, Shapiro is still unmistakably American. He is almost of the old school, almost a stereotypical American. With his smart suit, Brooks Brothers shirt, neat hair and smooth delivery, one could almost imagine him as a 1950s crooner in a previous incarnation. But despite that, there is a very sharp and dangerous edge to the man. There’s an edge that cuts deep into Dutch and American politics and society, revealing the flaws and eccentricities as well as the myriad things that should be celebrated in both cultures. He has a unique viewpoint from where he can gaze on both sides, subjectively and objectively, all at the same time.
In Leaving Trumpland, Shapiro’s American family no longer asks, “When are you coming home?”, but “Can’t I come with you to the Netherlands?” Shapiro says he has never been so proud to be half-Dutch and that, looking at the current state of the USA, he finally understands the true meaning of gloating.
If you don’t know Greg Shapiro, I would highly recommend you buy yourself a ticket for this current tour. Discover a comedian who is not only very funny but one who applies his unique situation to provide telling insights into life on both side of, as they say, the big pond. It is no longer a case of God Bless America but one of God Help America. And us all, come to that.
Welcome to a gallery of Greg Shapiro press appearances.
Vanity Fair, 2017 – The ‘Netherlands Second’ origin story
De Telegraaf, 2020 for Leaving Trumpland
Greg & Inez in VARA gids, 2020
Het Parool, 2018
‘Boom Chicago Celebrates with a Scarily Real Fake Trump’
Greg & Inez in VARA Gids, 2016
Pep Rosenfeld & Greg Shapiro in Int’l Herald Tribune, 2003
New York Times, 2017 ‘Netherlands Second’ video inspires copycats
Greg Shapiro in De Volkskrant, 2020
Het Parool, 2020 – Op het Klapstoel
Greg Shapiro in Holland Media Combinatie, 2020
VANITY FAIR (February, 2017)
‘Meet the Men Trolling Trump in Those Viral European Videos’ – by Hillary Busis
Greg Shapiro and Shaun Streeter have ace Trump impressions—and they’ve been lending them to a variety of European countries.
It took a full five years after George W. Bush’s inauguration for a comedian to utterly rip apart the president with his words. By contrast, the comic outrage inspired by Donald Trump and his White House rogues gallery has been swift, unrelenting, and thoroughly vicious—and U.S.-based comedians aren’t the only ones getting in on the fun.
Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, a Dutch answer to The Daily Show made the new president a pointed welcome video that quickly went viral, inspiring imitators from across Europe, and, eventually, the globe. (Hello, Morocco!) The clips share an impish sensibility, a tagline (“America first; [insert country here] second”), and narration done in the voice of Trump himself. What you may not know is who’s behind said narration: Greg Shapiro, a comedian from Chicago who’s been living in the Netherlands since the mid-90s, did the voice heard in the very first European parody video.
Shapiro European Origin Story
Greg Shapiro is one of the founders of Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago, a comedy theater similar to New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade and Chicago’s Second City. For years, the theater has served as an informal Dutch finishing school for American comedians—including names like Jordan Peele, Ike Barinholtz, and Seth Meyers.
Since making his move across the Atlantic, Shapiro has written books with names like Going Dutch and How to Be Orange; he also hosts a web series called United States of Europe, a satirical take on European current events. Even so, the comedian has never forgotten his American roots. His resume includes Bush-spoofing Boom Chicago shows called Bye Bye Bush and 9/11 Forever—and, of course, that ace Donald Trump impression, which Shapiro is currently showing off in a new Boom show called Angry White Men: Trump Up the Volume.
‘So funny you’ll hardly be able to put it down’ – I AM EXPAT
‘Chuckle away the hours …plenty of entertainment here ‘ – DutchNews
‘Recommended on all levels’ – ArtsTalk Magazine
Book Review: THE AMERICAN NETHERLANDER ‘Sharp eye for detail …hilarious point of view’
Access Magazine, April 2021 by Giulia Quaresima
“With a sense of humour and sharp eye for detail …this is a good starting point to understanding life in the Netherlands. This book tells the story of Shapiro’s personal cultural adventure and assimilation in the Netherlands. …[it’s] a manual to understand the country, using the author’s personal anecdotes for a subjective and hilarious point of view.
The second part of the book is a Dutch assimilation test. [it’s] a collection of all the questions that should be included in the inburgering exams. According to Shapiro, these reveal more than the exam ever intended.
Give it a try and see how Dutch you are!”
(edited from the original)
“In 1994, American comedian and columnist Greg Shapiro came to Nederland to perform and write. …He reports having had a bit of culture shock, to say it mildly. In this book, he describes his confrontations with Dutch culture and society. …and how he experiences it as an American Netherlander. This book consists of humorous columns …[and] all elements of Dutch society are thoroughly teased.
He begins with the Dutch identity …and he takes on cheapness, bikes, and our ‘striving’ to be average. …and finally [there’s] a list of questions from the actual Dutch assimilation exam.
Includes funny illustrations and color photos with hilarious observations add value to this very nice book.”
J. Kroes, NBD Biblion Dutch Library Council
(edited from the original)
‘Sharp Satire of America Under Trump’ – Theaterkrant NL
‘A very sharp and dangerous edge’ – ArtsTalk Magazine
‘Razor Sharp Humor with a Personal Touch’ – TheaterParadijs NL
‘Superior Trump Bashing’ Theater review Lock Him Up (Boom Chicago)
FOR REVIEWS OF THE MADNESS OF KING DONALD (2019), CLICK BELOW
Theater Review: LEAVING TRUMPLAND ‘A Very Sharp and Dangerous Edge’
ArtsTalk Magazine, October 2020
by Michael Hasted
Greg Shapiro is an American comedian who’s fully assimilated into the Dutch way of life for over 25 years. But like any ex-pat, the ties that bind can never be fully severed. And you can feel his pain and anger at his homeland being brought to its knees by a president who is impossible to respect.
Despite having spent half his life in The Netherlands and having a Dutch family, Shapiro is still unmistakably American. … there is a very sharp and dangerous edge to the man. He has a unique viewpoint from where he can gaze on both sides, subjectively and objectively, all at the same time.
If you don’t know Greg Shapiro, I would highly recommend you buy yourself a ticket for this current tour.
(edited from the original)