One of the Boom Chicago shows on Leidseplein — Photo courtesy of Boom ChicagoBoom Chicago, an Amsterdam comedy club founded by American expatriates, will turn 20 in June. Festivities will kick off with the opening of “Seven Deadly Dutch Sins,” a show unlike anything the cast has ever done before. In the beginning of June, many famous alumni will return for a private party. Then in October, the comedy’s current home, the Rozentheater, will transform into a haunted house for “Nightmare on Rozengracht.” “Delete Zwarte Piet Niet,” Boom Chicago’s first show to run in both English and Dutch, will follow in November. “Christmas Bonus” will wrap up 2013.
It all began when Andrew Moskos and Jon “Pep” Rosenfeld, long-time friends, traveled to Amsterdam. While high, the idea for an improv comedy club was conceived. Little did they know it would be such a success.
The name originates from their hometown, Chicago, a city renowned for its improvisation, and Boom, a word that implies something big is happening, hence the name “Boom Chicago.” The show started in the back of a salsa bar in 1993, averaging about 40 visitors a night. Many notable people made their start at Boom Chicago, such as Seth Meyers, head writer and Weekend Update anchor for Saturday Night Live (SNL), and Jason Sudeikis, cast member on SNL.
Most of the inspiration for shows comes from Dutch people or current events. In addition, Boom Chicago is always trying to do something new and innovative, especially with technology or social media. The combination results in a creative and extremely funny show.
“We are constantly trying to change and reinvent what we are doing,” said Rosenfeld, artistic director and owner.
Twenty years, three relocations and numerous shows later, the comedy club welcomes between two and three thousand visitors per month and is loved by locals and tourists alike.