cover image Boom Chicago Presents the 30 Most Important Years in Dutch History

Boom Chicago Presents the 30 Most Important Years in Dutch History

Andrew Moskos and Pep Rosenfeld, with Matt Diehl and Saskia Maas. Akashic, $19.95 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-1-63614-104-6

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. Detailing behind the scenes stories of the group’s unlikely ascent to the status of comedy institution, Moskos and Rosenfeld—childhood friends who grew up around Chicago’s improv scene—recount having the idea for the troupe while stoned on vacation in Amsterdam, envisioning it as an “English-language theater that puts on smart shows good enough to be reviewed, but fun enough that you actually want to see them.” Despite city officials warning them that “your idea won’t work,” Moskos and Rosenfeld forged ahead, quickly earning a following with a winning mix of sketch comedy and improv and building a reputation that convinced promising young comedians to move to Amsterdam and join the troupe. 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. (July)