The Chicago Tribune recently proclaimed Greg Schwem “king of the hill in the growing world of corporate comedy.” His humorous take on the 21st century workplace and work/life balance has landed him on SIRIUS Radio, FOX News and the pages of Parents Magazine. More than just a comedian, Schwem is also an author and nationally syndicated humor columnist. If your company or association wants to laugh at today’s fast-paced business world, and learn that laughter motivates employees in good times and bad, look no further than Greg Schwem.
A graduate of Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism, Greg never envisioned a career in comedy. Instead, he settled in Florida, becoming an award-winning reporter for NBC-owned WPTV in West Palm Beach. But the comedy bug bit Greg hard and he returned to his hometown of Chicago, where he honed his act in nightclubs. When he began inserting material about business and technology into his act, audience members approached him and said, “You really should come down to my office and tell those jokes.” Behold! A new approach to comedy was born.
Greg’s show provides a hilarious look at today’s corporate environment and the latest tools used to conduct business. Indeed, Greg’s client list includes such corporate heavyweights as McDonald’s, Microsoft, Motorola, IBM, Verizon Wireless, United Airlines and Cisco Systems. What sets Greg apart from other corporate entertainers is his ability—and willingness—to customize material for his audience while working within the parameters of the corporate environment. That means no profanity or politically incorrect material. “That’s never been a part of my show anyway,” says Greg.
When Greg hits the stage he already has perused the company’s Internet site, combed the internal message boards and even sifted through numerous PowerPoint presentations. “There is no such thing as too much information,” Greg says. “I know corporate audiences like to laugh at themselves so the more ammunition I get, the funnier it will be. Just don’t give me a 10-K report. There is NOTHING funny about that.”
Greg’s preparation always includes a conference call with company executives and, in some cases, an onsite visit. The personal touch strikes a chord with clients. “The fact that you came up to our facility beforehand to get a feel for our culture and how we operate proved to be very beneficial, “ said Skyline Display President Bill Dierberger. “I have never seen some of our corporate folks laugh as hard as they did.”
After a performance for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Human Resources VP Barbara Low said, “Your comments and insights were spot on, relevant and incrediblyfunny. Our employees wanted more!”
Some customized material from past shows:
For Citrix Systems: I just looked at your breakout list. You’ve scheduled ‘Advanced Dial Plan Design’ AND ‘Troubleshooting Cisco Unified Call Manager and Call Manager Express’ in the same day? Ladies and gentlemen, spread the FUN out!
For the Society of Actuaries: You use something called “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.” Generally accepted? Does that mean you can fudge once in awhile? Try giving your kids a generally accepted curfew of midnight and see what time they come home!
Besides customized material, Greg entertains audiences with stories about tedious business meetings, SmartPhone addiction, “frequently” asked questions and his fascination with the American Girl Doll company.
Today Greg performs close to 100 corporate dates a year and writes a weekly humor column nationally distributed by Tribune Media Services. He also is the author of Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad.