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Boom Chicago Presents the 30 Most Important Years in Dutch History

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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! Featuring a foreword by Seth Meyers and a backword by Jordan Peele.

*While supplies last, paperbacks ordered through the website will include a bookplate SIGNED by Andrew Moskos, Pep Rosenfeld, Matt Diehl, and Saskia Maas!

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$20.95 $15.71

What people are saying…

“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

“Many of today’s most thoughtful, emotionally and politically driven comedians honed their chops at Boom Chicago, an American theatrical and improvisational comedy troupe that primarily operates in Amsterdam. Jordan Peele, Seth Meyers, and Amber Ruffin are all veterans, and it’s where Brendan Hunt and Jason Sudeikis met and first worked together . . . The baby-faced photos of current legends are fun, but the book’s tone of fascination and how the sausage is made provides a compelling account of how improv is crafted, and how Boom Chicago’s approach informed so much of its participants’ later work.”

“Moskos and Rosenfeld debut with a fun oral history of Boom Chicago, the international comedy troupe they cofounded in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 1993 whose best-known alumni include Seth Meyers, Jordan Peele, Jason Sudeikis, and Amber Ruffin . . . An impressive array of former cast members reminisce on their time in the group; Meyers weighs in on adjusting to Dutch audiences, Peele recalls performing while high, and Ted Lasso cocreator Brendan Hunt discusses falling in love with the Dutch national soccer team. The recollections read like a lively conversation between old friends, offering a humorous glimpse into the freewheeling early days of some of today’s marquee comedians. This will be catnip for comedy fans.”
Publishers Weekly

“Dying, the cliché goes, is easy, comedy is hard. Boom Chicago by Andrew Moskos and Pep Rosenfeld. . . provides evidence with an oral history charting the unlikley importing of Chicago improv, with contributions by Matt Diehl and Saskia Maas and takes from Boom alum such as Jordan Peele and Seth Meyers.”
Chicago Tribune

“It is a book that truly tries to deliver 30 years in the history of a comedy club in a way that totally defies expectation. Even as you read it, it defies your expectations.”
—Book & Film Globe

“Boom Chicago has enjoyed three decades of success and provided stage and play for some of the entertainment industry’s brightest lights. This oral history gives the backstage pass. Before Jordan Peele was making movies and winning Oscars, he was ‘yes, and’-ing it up in the Netherlands. Same goes for the careers of Seth Meyers, Amber Ruffin, Jason Sudeikis, Ike Barinholtz, Kay Cannon, and so many more. The book also gives readers a playful American take on Dutch culture and what it’s like performing abroad.”

“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

“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?”

“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

“This is a story about two guys wanting to bring American improv comedy to the Netherlands, but also wanting that country to accept them. This is an immigrant story. As the years went on, the book shows how popular, and notable, they were becoming in their adopted homeland. By the time the book gets to the 2010’s, they are now the main tenants in one of Amsterdam’s most historic theatres, and working as joke writers for the Netherlands prime minister. A crazy idea spawned from smoking weed in Amsterdam in the early 1990’s turned into a over 30-year business, and love affair, with a country and its people.”—CJSF


Featuring interviews with Seth Meyers, Jordan Peele, Amber 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, Russian Doll, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Office , 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. 

Book Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Published: 7/4/23
  • IBSN: 9781636141046
  • e-IBSN: 9781636141084
  • Hardcover
  • e-IBSN: 9781636141671


Andrew Moskos is the cofounder and artistic director of Boom Chicago—the first ever English-language improv comedy theater in the Netherlands. Andrew also works on major business events and cowrote Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s “most successful speech ever.”

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Pep Rosenfeld is the cofounder and director of content for Boom Chicago. He received an Emmy nomination for his writing on Saturday Night Live’s 2000–2001 season. Rosenfeld is also a stand-up comedian who got a laugh out of Barack Obama, and a public speaker known for his humorous TED Talks and interviews with thought leaders like Malcolm Gladwell.

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Matt Diehl is a journalist and author renowned for his contributions to the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Interview, among others. Diehl has also written/coauthored nonfiction books such as Notorious C.O.P. (with Derrick Parker), Drinking with Strangers (with Butch Walker), and My So-Called Punk, as well as publishing essays in anthologies spanning The VIBE History of Hip Hop to The Rolling Stone Album Guide.

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Saskia Maas is the CEO of Boom Chicago and the founder of Inter-Acting—an Amsterdam-based organization which helps autistic teenagers develop social confidence utilizing improvisation techniques.

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