It started off as just another hazy post-graduation idea: Two Northwestern alumni traveling in Amsterdam decided to quit their jobs in the U.S. and move to the Netherlands to start an improv group. Never mind that the Amsterdam board of tourism thought it was an awful idea that wouldn’t attract Dutch audiences or tourists. Pep Rosenfeld ’90 and Andrew Moskos ’90 were determined to bring comedy to the city.
The two alumni are still living out this dream. Their creation, Boom Chicago, has made more than 1 million audience members laugh over the last quarter-century. Rosenfeld and Moskos have transformed the comedy scene in Amsterdam — where comedy clubs did not really exist in the early ’90s — while casting a few notable names along the way. Seth Meyers ’96 began his improv career at Boom Chicago, as did Jordan Peele. Meyers, who invited Moskos and Rosenfeld to sit with him at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, recently returned to the Netherlands to kick off the group’s 25-year celebration with a stand-up routine at the 3,000-seat Royal Theatre Carré.