Greg Shapiro is a loud American, trying to fit into a tiny Dutch country. He came originally to work for a few months at a comedy theater, but he met a Dutch woman and never managed to get back. Dutch people like to tease him for his loud voice, his awkward Dutch and his Americanness. Greg has learned to beat them to the punch: he makes fun of his own country first. Then he makes fun of theirs.
For 20 years, he’s been collecting stories about his clumsy assimilation into Dutch culture, which he draws upon for his many comedy projects onstage, on tv, on radio, and in print. He has become the go-to person for humorous perspective on America – or an outsider’s perspective on the Netherlands. Shapiro has worked with well-known figures from Dutch entertainment and politics to help them make jokes, and sometimes turn the tables.
His Dutch CV starts with Boom Chicago comedy theater, which he helped establish and where he still performs in shows such as ‘Bye Bye Bush’ and ‘Delete Zwarte Piet Niet.’ He helped launch a major comedy network in the Netherlands as host of ‘Comedy Central News.’ Greg is also keen to give something back, in the form of his video series ‘Behind Dutch Headlines.’ In cooperation with DutchNews.nl and expatica.com, Greg offers weekly insight into the Dutch news so that internationals can join the Dutch conversation – instead of being left to wonder ‘Who the hell is Badr Hari?’
After writing columns for everyone from Sp!ts to Volkskrant.nl to BNR Newradio, Shapiro is now quite pleased to release his first book ‘How to Be Orange: an Alternative Dutch Assimilation Course’ with illustrations by cartoonist Floor de Goede (Het Parool’s ‘Flo,’ Dansen op de Vulkaan). The book is based on his Greg’s solo show ‘How to Be Orange: Making the Dutch Take their Own Assimilation Exam,’ which can be seen on VARAHumorTV. Het Parool wrote: ‘Shapiro plays deftly with clichés, and he knows how to transcend them. He lands his jokes with precision …as he revels in ridiculing the clumsiness of the assimilation exam – and himself.’
Greg is an experienced presenter, who has worked with everyone from the City of Amsterdam to Caro Emerald. GM van der Jagt (MTV Networks) writes: ‘Greg is hilarious! He is an exceptionally enthusiastic media professional: intelligent, modest and truly funny.’
‘Greg Shapiro Presents’ started as a side-project, but it’s grown into a performance series. Three times per year, Greg calls his favorite US / UK comedians to tour with him through the Netherlands. He’s quite honored to have had cult comedian Steve Hughes, Chortle Award nominee Pete Johansson and Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner Brendon Burns. The TV registrations of the shows can be seen on VARA HumorTV as ‘Greg Presents.’
Greg is now touring his 3rd solo show ‘Superburger: the Man with Split Nationalities’ through the Netherlands. After releasing his first book, he plans to work on his next solo show and an international tour – including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014. Stay tuned!
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