Boom Chicago celebrates 25 years of improv in Amsterdam

Alumni from Boom Chicago reunited in Amsterdam over the weekend to celebrate 25 years of American improv comedy by the celebrated company.

Among the attendees you’ve seen on TV and the movies: Seth Meyers, Josh Meyers, Ike Barinholtz, Heather Anne Campbell, Matt Jones, Amber Ruffin, Colton Dunn, Holly Walker, and Boom Chicago founders Pep Rosenfeld and Andrew Moskos.

As the story goes, Rosenfeld and Moskos were just like any Americans taking a post-college trip to the Netherlands when they had “the best stoner idea ever” in 1993.

They wrote the Amsterdam board of tourism for some advice, and the VVV wrote back very quickly: “Your idea will not work.” The letter went on: “Dutch People do not want to see a show in English. Tourists do not want to see a show at all. You will need subsidy to do theater in the Netherlands. You will not get any subsidy.” (They were actually right about that one.) Their final advice? “Think twice about your plans.” But Andrew and Pep were not dissuaded and came anyway.  Joined by Saskia Maas, who had been an exchange student in the US and connected with them there, they started at a small theater Iboya, just around the corner from the Leidseplein.

Boom Chicago introduced Improvisation theater to the Netherlands and has grown into the influential and innovative international theater company it is today making more than a million people laugh.

Congrats, Boom Chicago, on 25 years!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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