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The King of Staten Island Rocks

PETE DAVIDSON/SCOTT CARLIN WITH HIS BOYS MOISES ARIAS, RICKY VELEZ AND LOU WILSON ON STATEN ISLAND

People who know me know I don’t do “review” reviews. I write about my experience seeing a show, or a film or any type of creative performance. I write about how it made me feel, and what the characters did. And if I don’t like it I don’t write about it at all.

WITH PETE DAVIDSON THE STAR OF KING OF STATEN ISLAND

Fortunately that’s not the case with The King of Staten Island because it would have been very difficult for me to ignore this project. It’s literally packed with comedian friends and people I know for a really long time.

Kudos first of all to director Judd Apatow, for bringing this amazing cast together, and creating cinematic magic. He produced, directed and co-wrote the script with Pete, and former SNL writer Dave Sirus who all did an amazing job telling this poignant story. When I spoke to Dave he said the experience working with Judd was surreal, and opening day was “a very weird day”, … in a good way!

WITH THE KING OF HOLLYWOOD COMEDY JUDD APATOW

Just to name the comedy people first, it’s Pete Davidson, Bill Burr, Ricky Velez, Lynn Koplitz, Derek Gaines, Keith Robinson, Pamela Adlon, Rich Vos and Bonnie Macfarlane, Liza Treyger, Mike Vecchione, Carly Aquilino, and Jessica Kirson.

 
I’m particularly happy for Pete Davidson, because I think he had a lot riding on this film personally. So many people including me were waiting excitedly for it to come out, and it would have been devastating if it had not turned out as well as it did. 

Pete gets so much press about so many different things, from all different angles, but he should be very proud of this project, which is loosely based on his own life.

And Judd must have been so proud that his daughter Maude was so great in the film playing Pete’s sister, who loves Pete/Scott in spite of himself.
I called Dave to congratulate him and he said it was a really crazy, “weird” day for him. I can only imagine. 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film where I had a connection to so many people and even to a location in the film. I can’t do any spoilers so I’m going to keep this article limited mostly to the talent and the parts they played.

Pete, who stars in the film as Scott Carlin, and co-wrote it with Judd and Dave, plays a 24 year old Staten Island stoner who doesn’t have much direction, thanks to the confusion caused by his severe A.D.D.

He does have a dream though and that is to someday open a tattoo restaurant, which would be the first of it’s kind. Until that either happened or didn’t happen, he’d be just as comfortable hanging out in his basement with a few friends getting stoned.

He’s torn up about the death of his fireman Dad when he was only 7, but isn’t really in touch with that as the cause of his inner turmoil and emotional pain.

I happen to know Pete since he was about 17. He used to do my late night show at The Comic Strip. He’d come in late at night with Jordan Rock and was really shy and really funny. I had a feeling he was gonna do big things, but nobody could guess at the time where he would go, and the heights he would reach.

PETE DAVIDSON WITH JORDAN ROCK BACK IN 2011
WITH PETE DAVIDSON WHEN HE WAS 17

I shared the excitement with him when Nick Cannon took him under his wing and brought him out on the road, and Pete used to tell me how amazing it was being with Nick and Mariah.

And then some years later we shot some fun video interviews up in Montreal, when he was asked to perform at the Just for Laughs Festival two years in a row. I remember how excited he was about being up there.

Then one night at Gotham Comedy Club, where he performed pretty often, he introduced me to his girlfriend at the time, super funny comedian Carly Aquilino, and told her she could tell me anything because I was someone who could be trusted. That was very cool.

Carly also has a part in the movie as Tara, and I almost didn’t recognize her with her super blonde hair which has been many other colors including pink!

WITH CARLY AQUILINO OUTSIDE OF A COMEDY CLUB IN NYC

The last time I saw Pete was with Bill Burr when he and Bill produced Paul Virzi’s special and I drove up to watch the taping and hang out backstage with those guys.

Bill Burr, who is so great in this part, plays a fireman named Ray with a big caterpiller moustache, who winds up dating Pete’s Mom Margie, in the film played by my old friend, the incredibly talented Marisa Tomei.

WITH ACADEMY AWARD WINNER MARISA TOMEI

In 1995 I was working with the Audrey Hepburn Foundation and went to the first year of the Aspen Comedy Festival representing the foundation, whose goal was to help poor children all over the world. I knew Marisa from the Naked Angels theatre troupe, as she was one of the founding members, and I used to go every week as one of the writers whose work they’d read.

When I got back from Aspen the Hepburn foundation had a big event at Planet Hollywood and I asked Marisa to come and make a special appearance which she did as a favor. She had already won the Oscar for her performance in My Cousin Vinny, so it was a really big thing. And Bill Burr gets to kiss her in this film! #sojealous

BILL BURR WITH HIS BIG MOUSTACHE AND MARISA TOMEI

So many people had fun parts. Ricky Velez who’s one of Pete’s best friends in real life plays a best friend in the film as well, and is absolutely superb. He even gets to wear his favorite clothes, which is usually just jeans and a hoodie. He has a very big and important part in terms of what happens to him and to Pete/Scott during the film.

RICKY VELEZ JUST CHILLIN’ ON STATEN ISLAND

Derek Gaines from The Last O.G. plays a waiter in the Staten Island restaurant where Pete gets a job, and Derek is also a close friend and an old roommate of Pete’s. They actually lived together in real life and when I called him right after I saw the film to congratulate him he told me he was “so glad to work with a cast that knew how to play the line of comedy and drama together. Pete and Judd are a power collaboration that I’m so glad to be a part of.”

He went on to say ” Pete is my friend, we sorta grew up together in comedy. He was my roommate for Christ’s sake … I’m glad we stayed cool and he called me to do the part, .. and in the words of Lil Wayne, … it all worked out! (Tha Carter 5).”  In the film he even gets to show off his pop-and-lock skills!

WITH DEREK GAINES WHEN HE WAS MY GUEST ON SIRIUS XM RADIO

Keith Robinson has a funny scene playing a security guard, and Pamela Adlon who has a big part plays Bill Burr’s ex-wife, and the mother of their two adorable kids. Rich Vos and Bonnie Macfarlane have a cool scene in an Italian restaurant called Denino’s which happens to be owned by my dear friend Joe McBratney’s brother, Jimmy McBratney, and where I’ve actually eaten. Great food by the way!

WITH PAMELA ADLON STAR OF BETTER THINGS AT THE FRIARS CLUB

Lynne Koplitz has a very fun part and gets to let out her “inner Lynn” by playing a wise-cracking nurse and best friend to Marisa Tomei. All these people had a chance to act with Marisa Tomei! Amazing.

WITH LYNNE KOPLITZ BACKSTAGE AT SOME SHOW SOMEWHERE

And when I asked Lynne about working with Marisa she said, “ she was great to work with and needless to say so professional. It was very surreal at first being that it was my first role in a full length movie and there I was at rehearsal with this fantastic Oscar winning beauty, but she was very friendly and the entire environment of the movie was very family like which enabled me to get comfortable quickly.”

LYNNE KOPLITZ AND MARISA TOMEIE

She went on to say, “ I honestly can’t say enough nice things about working on this film. I adore Pete and always have and Ricky and Dave are just so generous, and fun and creative. And Judd, … well he just sets this confident and easy going collaborative tone that’s really great to work with.” Sounds like she liked it!

Liza Treyger plays a waitress in that same Italian restaurant where Pete’s character gets a job, Mike Vecchione doesn’t play a cop for which he’s so well suited, but he plays a fireman also with a moustache, and Jessica Kirson plays the owner of a pharmacy who has a very unusual interaction with Ricky Velez and his boys.

WITH STEVE BUSCEMI AT A FILM EVENT

And Steve Buscemi who has done some comedy parts in the past, like on Jim Gaffigan’s show, (where I accidentally walked onto the set while they were filming to say hello to Jim and ruined the take), plays a senior fireman as well, and adds his great talent to the already amazing cast.

But seeing Ray romance Margie stirred an emotional note with me because of all things, my parents were named Margie and Ray. That can’t even happen. When I told Bill Burr about it he said, “ What are the odds of that?” I was like “Basically zero.” And he also said he was glad I liked the film because he had a lot of fun doing it.

The film was very emotional in several spots, and ran the entire gamut of feelings. Some very funny parts and some very touching parts where Pete and I both had tears welling up in our eyes. Pete really showed that he had quite a range. He’s basically in every scene and it was very special to see him be so good and so believable in his role.

And I must give a special shout out to English actress Bel Powley who played Pete’s childhood friend and occasional hook-up in the film. She was just so good in her part as Kelsey, and she learned the Staten Island accent as if it was her own.

I read one review of the film where the writer used such big words and flowery expressions I couldn’t tell whether she liked it or not. I don’t even know how to write that way. I just write it simply the way I see it.

This is definitely a film you should see and I’m sure it will do great things for everyone who was involved in it. I sure wish I had been! (LOL)

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Comedy Matters RoundUp-Jesus Trejo’s New Show, Bill Burr, Patrice O’Neal Benefit, Mythic Quest, and So Much More!!!

COMEDY MATTERS TV PODCAST FROM THE COMIC STRIP STAGE

After years of people telling me to do a podcast I finally gave in thanks to radio legend Tim Sabean and comedy legend Richie Tienken, owner and founder of The Comic Strip. The Strip opened on June 1, 1976 and is still going strong.

It was the home of Jerry Seinfeld for the first 4 years of his career from 1976-1980, the place where Eddie Murphy came and was managed by Richie for the first 11 years of his career, where they discovered Chris Rock around 1985, and where Richie managed Adam Sandler at the beginning of his career. That’s why both Jerry and Adam came back to do their Netflix specials at The Strip.

So when Richie was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to do a podcast from the club, and allowed me to do it from the stage I jumped on it. I had the honor of doing both books on the club with Richie. The first was called “Make ‘Em Laugh” from Skyhorse Publishing, and the updated version is called “Laughing Legends” also from Skyhorse and features an intro by Chris Rock, and interviews with Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Colin Quinn, Billy Crystal, Jim Gaffigan, Lisa Lampanelli, Susie Essman, George Wallace, and every big star that came out of that club, including the younger guys like Colin Jost and Jordan Rock.

WITH MY TWO COMIC STRIP BOOKS ON THE STAGE OF THAT ICONIC CLUB

Richie sat with me as my first guest and told great stories about the history of the club and the stars that were in it. We had so many stories we’ll have to do a second episode with him. CLICKING THIS LINK WILL TAKE YOU TO THE AUDIO PODCAST ON I-TUNES! ALSO FOUND ON SPOTIFY, STICHER ETC.

Comedy Matters TV Podcast-Episode 1 with Richie Tienken

HOT ONES AND HOT TACOS WITH JESUS TREJO

Sean Evans has a show called “Hot Ones” from the First We Feast guys, where celebrities, … and I MEAN celebrities, sit down with him to be interviewed while eating progressively hotter wings from 1-10 in hotness.

It’s billed as a show with “hot questions and even hotter wings” and some of the guests have been Kevin Hart, Seth Rogen, Jordan Peele, Charlize Theron, Ken Jeong, Post Malone, and Scarlett Johansson, who I have a feeling will be seen in a lot more comedy projects in the future! Celebrities literally clamor to be on the show.

So these same FWF guys gave Jesus Trejo a new show which he hosts, called “Tacos Con Todos” and it’s described as a comedy/food show which will be released on the First We Feast YouTube page every Tuesday starting Feb. 25th, and it already looks like a hit!

JESUS TREJO WITH FLUFFY IGLESIAS

Jesus will dive in to the L.A. Taco scene which I don’t think exists in New York, and will explore it with comedians and celebs. This first season features my old friend Gabriel (Fluffy) Iglesias, another old friend Pauly Shore, and still another old friend, (LOL) Joey Diaz, plus Brendan Schaub, Andy Milonakis from Kroll Show, Blake Anderson from Workaholics, and more!

PAULY SHORE AND JESUS TREJO

Unbelievably the page already has over 8 millions subscribers which is why it’s easy to predict it will be a hit after being seen my so many people.

This is a YouTube video on the show that got 20K views in the first hour!

CHECK OUT THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THE SHOW

MYTHIC QUEST DEBUTS ON APPLE TV+

I think that everyone knows how popular FXX’s hit “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” is. It’s been running since 2005 and will soon be the longest running live action sit-com ever on TV.

At a press junket for the new show “Mythic Quest-Raven’s Banquet”, “Always Sunny” creator Rob McElhenny, who also co-created Mythic Quest with Always Sunny alumni Charlie Day and comedy writer Megan Ganz told me that they’re working to beat the all time record of Bonanza which was on the air for 20 years.

Mythic Quest is about the creation of a video game of the same name, and is kind of like a Middle Ages Game of Thrones ultra-violent kind of game with a great ensemble cast including YouTube star Ashly Burch, known for “Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?” a series of short comedy sketches she made with her brother that have 300,000 subscribers, relative Australian newcomer Charlotte Nicdao who audiences will fall in love with, David Hornsby who plays Cricket in Always Sunny, Aparna Nancherla who is one of the producers and plays a character named Michelle, and a big surprise, at least to me and a tremendous coup for the show is Academy Award winner F Murray (Amadeus) Abraham from Homeland who plays C.W. Longbottom a pompous, washed-up sci-fi writer. I asked him how he got involved and he laughingly said “Dumb luck.”

I think it’s great for him to open him up to a new, younger audience. I got to interview them in two’s which is not as easy as one-on-ones, but as you’ll see in this little video with Ashly and F Murray, F. Murray opened up talking about my hair! It was hilarious.

I asked him if people call him “F” and he said ” Only my good friends.” And when I continued my saying, ” So most people call you Murray?” He jokingly said, ” Yes, … or Your Highness!” He wants to try stand-up and has been invited to perform at the Coronet Theatre in LA where they do standup on Monday nights.

BILL BURR’S 8TH ANNUAL PATRICE O’NEAL BENEFIT

Every year for the last 8 years since the all too soon passing of Patrice O’Neal, Bill Burr and comedy exec. Maureen Taran produce a comedy benefit in his honor.

Rich Vos hosted as usual, with Cipha Sounds energizing the crowd with his comedy and on the ones and twos before the show started, with Ronny Chieng, Andrew Schulz, Sam Morril, Paul Virzi, Judy Gold, Roy Wood Jr., and a surprise visit from Louis C.K. who literally brought the house down with the level of applause he received before he even said a word. You would have thought G-d showed up with the reception he received.

It made Page 6 in the NY Post the next day where they referenced my attendance since I had the honor of being Patrice’s co-host on The Black Phillip Show along with my bud Dante Nero. Bill’s “All Things Comedy” in conjunction with Comedy Central will be producing a long-awaited documentary on Patrice and I was able to give them some very rare footage of us up at the XM studios where we recorded The Black Phillip Show.

Wherever I go, even in Japan this past October, guys stop me who were fans of the show. Two white guys from Ireland stopped me at last summer’s Skankfest, two African brothers, ( biological not just “brothas”) stopped me near the Village Underground, a Nigerian dude, Devin from Japan, and two guys in Boston. Amazing how that show affected people. They talk about it as having been life-changing.

And on the first night we did the show back in 2008, Patrice liked it so much that he called me at 4:05 A.M. and left me this message which I carry on my phone to this day telling me he’d like to do a show with just the two of us. He was so humble he even said he didn’t want to assume anything, as if there was any chance at all that I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with him. We hd a very special and unique relationship!

A PHONE CALL THAT MEANT THE WORLD TO ME

And it’s always a treat to see Patrice’s Mom Georgia, who is always so sweet. As we were leaving the show I heard someone calling my name and it was her and then at the after-party at The Stand we got a chance to chat and catch up. Very special!

LOTTA PODCAST STUFF

Besides MY podcast I got to visit a couple of others recently. Amazingly I had never been out to Governor’s, James Dolce’s place out on the Island of Long, so when I got invited to do Don Sill’s podcast from the club and also to their holiday party I jumped at the chance.

The club is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful and really big. They have a great podcast studio. It’s not the stage of The Comic Strip (LOL) but it’s really pretty cool and accommodates a bunch of people. The show is called “Put Up, Shut Up and Stand Up” and I got to share the mic with new comedy sensation Anthony Rodia who came back to comedy after many years and is currently killing it!

WITH ANTHONY RODIA AT DON SILL’S PODCAST AT GOVERNORS COMEDY CLUB

The holiday party was much more than I expected and worth the drive out from the city. It was packed with comics and great food and hot music and I ran into a lot of friends and wound up eating next to Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling and Chris Roach from Kevin James’ show “Kevin Can Wait.”

I met a great group of guys including Tony Walker who also runs a radio show on Govs Radio and I hope to be asked back to perform!

Madison Malloy has a podcast in a cool studio on the West side of Manhattan called ” Next To Madison” where she has all kinds of interesting guests and not just comedians, and we kicked it for an hour, and had lots of laughs talking about all kinds of important things like learning to change the way you think in order to achieve Happiness. She’s big on things like that and totally gets it!

She has had a lot of cool guests because who wouldn’t want to get “next to Madison Malloy?” ( Rhetorical question!!!)

LUCKY ME, … NEXT TO MADISON!!!

COMEDY BOP’S A BLAST

A few years ago at some show biz related conference two young guys came over to introduce themselves to me, and they were Jed Feiman and Nehemiah Markos. They told me they were a duo called “Never Sad” which I liked right away and that they did shows in Brooklyn, and would like me to attend if possible.

I put them into my mailing list and waited for the right time. The right time was a week or so ago when they had an Always Happy Video Comedy Bop event at the Chelsea Music Hall down on West 18th Street.

What made it even more appealing was that in the videos they showed there was one I was in. It was Matt Levy’s “Winter Symphony” in which I play a music conductor, ( I even put on a tux for this! LOL) and conduct a bunch of subway misfits who sneeze and cough and make other annoying sounds to the tune of a famous Christmas song.

Phoebe Robinson from Two Dope Queens with Jessica Williams opened the show, and Ronny Chieng was supposed to appear but was called out of town so comic David Rey Martinez came to the rescue and did some time on stage with Jed and Nehemiah.

The place was literally packed, not a seat to be had and they showed a bunch of fun videos, two of which they appeared in and I have to say they were probably the best. It was a great night and I look forward to attending more of their events in the future.

YOUTUBE STAR LAUREN FRANCESCA COMES TO VISIT

YouTube star/actress Lauren Francesca made a surprise visit to the Comedy Matters TV HQ in midtown and we shot some fun videos for my channel and for hers as well.

WITH YT SENSATION LAUREN FRANCESCA AT THE COMEDY MATTERS HQ

Among other things we talked about how I created her very first video for YT playing a character she brought to life based on Charo, (Google her!) called “Besame Mucho- the best kisser in the world!

In a more recent video I created for her Besame went on to become voted as “The Hottest Girl In The World” by none other than the United Nations! Both are on my Comedy Matters TV YT channel. Featured in it are comics Janice Messitte, Giulio Gallarotti, and Benny DeMarco.

She has over 2 million followers on Facebook, 300,000 subscribers on YouTube and 414K on Instagram. I hope at least some of them watch our videos! (LOL)

GILBERT GOTTFRIED FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN

For any of you that have children, the last person you might think of connecting them with would be Gilbert Gottfried, but every year he and his wife Dara put on a comedy benefit to raise money for P.S. 11 a school where their kids attend.

It’s always held at Gotham Comedy Club because owner Chris Mazzilli is big on charity and has held hundreds of charity events at the club.

The show was hilarious. Elon Altman who dressed as me for Halloween was the host. Gilbert closed with material that only Gilbert could do, and I visited with him in the green room before the show as he waited for Dave Attell to arrive and do a special guest appearance.

ELON ALTMAN AS ME FOR HALLOWEEN!!!

I brought a photo of Gilbert and I from 100 years ago when he still had a lot of hair and I had my 80’s porno moustache. They raised a lot of money for the school.

And with that, you’re probably tired of reading and I’m tired of writing, so I’m OUT!!! If you liked this, please feel free to tell someone! Send it to some friends, and please subscribe! XOX

Posted in: Jeffrey Gurian News

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Comedy Matters Round-Up With Artie Lange,Golden Globes, Angelo Lozada Tribute, Holiday Parties and Other Cool Stuff!!!

ARTIE LANGE ON HALFWAY HOUSE

I knew I had to go and see Artie Lange who was headlining at Gotham Comedy Club for the weekend because besides wanting to see him perform, I wanted to congratulate him on his 11 months of hard-earned sobriety.

ARTIE LANGE KILLIN’ IT ONSTAGE

I went with famed feathered hat designer Ivy Supersonic who’s also a friend of Artie’s and who’s gone on to become a paranormal artist and a filmmaker. No surprise it was a great show with Alli Breen who often opens for Artie on the road and Jim Florentine as the feature.

The fans love Artie as much as the comedy community does, and I’m always struck by his honesty on stage. There’s literally nothing he won’t talk about whether it’s embarrassing to him or not, including calling himself “an old junkie” and talking about his nose, which I did not mention during the course of our backstage interview.

WITH MY BUDDY ARTIE LANGE BACKSTAGE AT GOTHAM

I wanted to talk to him about his new podcast Halfway House which he’s taping twice a week at a studio in Manhattan. I saw his first two shows which were sold out.

ARTIE WITH IVY SUPERSONIC AFTER SHE FILMED THE INTERVIEW

After the show, Ivy and I went backstage to hang with Artie for a bit and Ivy went into her filmmaker mode and shot the interview. You can watch it right here.

BACKSTAGE WITH ARTLE LANGE AT GOTHAM COMEDY CLUB

ANGELO LOZADA TRIBUTE

When it comes to charity events and comedy clubs there’s no one more giving and more compassionate than Chris Mazzilli owner of Gotham Comedy Club. He once told me how many charity events he does every year and I couldn’t believe it. Luckily the club is successful enough that he can do that, but he does it with an open heart.

BRONX BOROUGH PRES. RUBEN DIAZ JR. HOLDING THE PLAQUE HE PRESENTED TO ISABEL MARTINEZ AND MARTIQUE

This was evident again recently when he held a tribute to our recently departed close friend and staple of the comedy community Angelo Lozada.

It was called from 5-8 P.M. and I didn’t know what to expect before I got there. I didn’t know it was going to be a show I just thought it would be a memorial where people would speak. I got there just before 5:30 and the place was packed with comedians, family and friends. My regular table was taken and I sat on the side where the comics usually hang out.

The very first thing that happened almost immediately as I entered the room was that I was approached by a guy who introduced himself and said he had to thank me for the tribute piece I wrote on Angelo’s untimely passing.

It was Danny Gonzalez one of the members of Nuyorican Rule, a sketch comedy troupe that Angelo founded and that he was part of, that ran for 12 years. Many members of the troupe, if not all, were there to pay their respects. Danny’s kindness made me feel right at home.

They had a great assortment of Puerto Rican food including chuletas, rice and beans, and I think they might have even had cuchifritos! (LOL) Don’t ask me how I know about cuchifritos! (LOL)

I forgot to ask everyone if they knew my old friend Izzy Sanabria, known in the Puerto Rican community as Mr. Salsa, a comedian who had a magazine called Latin New York magazine which I used to be involved with back in the 70’s and 80’s.

I used to be a regular on Izzy’s cable TV show called “The Dizzy Izzy Show.” That’s where I first came across the phrase “Nuyoricans” referring to Puerto Ricans that lived in New York.

The hilarious Mark Viera was the MC for the show and he did an outstanding job in what was a very difficult situation, alternating between laughter and tears.

First on stage was Ruben Diaz the Borough President of The Bronx where Angelo was from as was I. ( Near Tremont and the Concourse! LOL) Ruben spoke warmly about Angelo and presented his wife Isabel Martinez and look-alike son Martique with a beautiful plaque.

After that it was a succession of comedians and entertainers who were close to Angelo telling wonderful stories about what a great guy he was. Not only just super funny and creative, but a wonderful human being. I was wishing he could have been there to experience the outpouring of love there was for him. It was a very special day.

COMEDY LOVE ON THE GOLDEN GLOBES

The Golden Globes showed the comedy community a lot of love this year, first and foremost by them being hosted by Ricky Gervais who roasted the heck out of the audience.

RICKY GERVAIS HOSTING THE GOLDEN GLOBES LOOKING LIKE HE’S ABOUT TO POUNCE

I loved when he said they couldn’t do an “In Memoriam” segment this year because it wasn’t diverse enough. It was mostly white people that had died during the year, and it just didn’t seem right. “Not on MY watch!!!” he declared!

But the highlight for me was when he told them not to make any political statements. “You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. you know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg!” #HILARIOUS

First winner right out of the gate was Ramy Youssef for his TV series Ramy. He wore a tux and cool snow white sneakers, and started out by saying “Look, I know you guys haven’t see my show”, which got a big laugh, and went on to say that they probably thought he was just an editor.

He also acknowledged his parents who were there and said his Mom was rooting for Michael Douglas to win against him because Egyptians love Michael Douglas. He looked so happy and it was a great way to start the show. Ramy’s a good dude and I was really happy to see him win!

The comedy talent was so varied and ranged from Kate McKinnon, and Ellen Degeneres, to Amy Poehler, to Carole Burnett and even the award winning Laura Dern who I once did a scene with on Kroll Show.

WITH ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE AND 5 TIME GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER LAURA DERN ON THE SET OF KROLL SHOW ON COMEDY CENTRAL

She played C-Czar the toilet baby’s Mom in the Blisterito’s sketch I was in with Seth Rogen, Amy Poehler, Jon Daly, Jenny Slate and Katy Perry making her comedy debut!

SCENE FROM KROLL SHOW WITH LAURA DERN AS C-CZAR’S MOM AND NICK KROLL AS “LIZ”

THE MIRACLE AT THE GRISLY PEAR

Two and a half years ago The Grisly Pear was just another bar with a crowded and too often uncrowded back room where people came and tried to tell some jokes.

Then two hardworking comics named Kenny Warren and Gabe Dorado came along and changed the game. They made that back room into a legit comedy club that most of the time is packed with a paying crowd. They created a loyal community of comedians and papered the walls with large foam posters of each comic which made them feel like they were part of something special and they were.

WITH GABE DORADO ON THE LEFT AND KENNY WARREN ON MY RIGHT

They’re doing so well and are so grateful that they threw a big holiday party with food and drinks and a comedy show of course and the place was packed. I got to speak to Gabe and asked him about what they did that made the place so special. He was very humble.

Gabe: I don’t think we reinvented the wheel , we just took the characteristics of a show that worked and just ran with it. The main thing is we just wanted a place where everyone could get better at comedy. That was our goal and that’s why we call it “The Dojo” . It’s a training zone. Every show is practice and if we can facilitate a place that gets you better and working towards your goal then it’s a success.”

I asked him if he and Kenny had done anything together before this. He said they knew each other from producing bar shows, and “we liked each other’s shows because we were organized. The key is good organization, and having structure.”

Kenny said, ” I feel great that we have this kind of support coming out. There’s so many dope comics here right now. We got enough talent here right now to do ten shows in a row cause there’s so much talent and they just came out to celebrate with us. And I’m glad you’re here as well!”

SPEAKEASY COMEDY ON 18TH STREET

Another hard working comic making moves is David Suarez, the founder of New Comic All Stars that had been doing shows in clubs around town especially Dangerfields, and now moved into a very sexy arena in a place called “The 18th Room” on 18th Street and 9th Avenue, right in the red-hot Meatpacking District.

WITH DAVID SUAREZ AT THE 18TH ROOM

It’s literally a speakeasy where you have to be okayed by a big guy at the door, leading you into a very sexy, dimly lit intimate room where you can have dinner and drinks while you laugh. Most of the patrons are pleasantly surprised when a comedy show suddenly breaks out.

The place is owned by Dave Oz who also owns another cool place called Bathtub Gin and has many friends in the entertainment business. And besides the jokes a funny thing happened as well.

There was a guy in the audience who liked what I was doing so much that he texted a comedian friend of his to ask if he knew me and the comic told him I used to be a dentist. After the show the guy came over with his girlfriend and told me the story and that he also was a dentist. We had to take a photo together.

WITH DR. IAN MATZ AT THE 18TH ROOM – WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

DAN SODER AND DIVERSITY

So I attended the 25,000 strong march against hate and anti-Semitism last week and right in the middle of the throng of people was Dan Soder’s poster for his special “Son of Gary.” It was just such a funny juxtaposition I had to take a photo!

DAN SODER POSTER RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MARCH AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM

HOLIDAY PARTIES

Every year Gotham Comedy Club and Stand Up New York have their holiday parties on the same night but at least they don’t do them at the same time. Gotham starts at 7 and Stand-Up starts at 9.

Both were packed. Gotham had amazing food because Chris Mazzilli goes all out in everything he does, and for a while I stood at the door with Chris greeting people as they came in. I told Chris I love greeting people and making sure they feel welcome, and he said I would make a great host. Now all I have to do is buy a club so I have a place to do that!

It would be hard to name everyone that was there because it was basically the comedy community, but a couple of memorable interactions stood out to me. Dan LaMorte said hello to me and I almost didn’t recognize him. He’s literally half the size he used to be. He’ll have to re-write his act.

WITH MY NEWLY THIN FRIEND DAN LAMORTE

Madison Malloy, who’s got a great new podcast called “Next To Madison”, and recently opened for Steve Byrne finally let herself dress the way she wanted to!

Mark Viera came over and thanked me for my support at the Angelo Lozada memorial show which he hosted so admirably as I mentioned above. It was so crazy that night that we didn’t really get a chance to chat but this time we shared a big hug, and I got to thank him for doing such a great job during such a difficult time.

And comedy exec. Jodi Lieberman gave me a video from her charity Comedy Gives Back, that she organized with partners Zoe Friedman, and Amber Lawson which is described as an organization providing a safety net for stand-up comedians in need, whether for emergency financial relief, mental health or substance abuse treatment.

Sixty comedians sang an amazing song called Christmas Magic in the style of “We Are The World.” I had no idea so many of my compadres could sing so beautifully. You have to listen to it.

YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS AND DONATE

This has been a very long column and so because even good things must come to an end I want to wish each and every one of you the Happiest of New Years and hope that 2020 brings you good health, and all the things you’re supposed to have!
Love,
Jeffrey

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COMEDY MATTERS ROUND-UP-WEST SIDE OWNER EUGENE ASHE AT SUNDANCE, EDDIE MURPHY HOSTS SNL, CHAPELLE AT THE CELLAR, THE SULTAN ROOM, MARINA FRANKLIN BIRTHDAY AND MORE!!!

SYLVIE’S LOVE PREMIERES AT SUNDANCE

WITH WRITER/DIRECTOR EUGENE ASHE AT WEST SIDE COMEDY CLUB
(I’M THE GUY ON THE RIGHT!!!)

I dropped by West Side Comedy Club to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and ran into owner Eugene Ashe. Always good to see Gene but he’s not there as much as he used to be because he’s also a writer/director/filmmaker and travels quite a bit.

He had great and exciting news for me. A film he wrote and directed called Sylvie’s Love, will have its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, 2020, less than a month from when you read this.

It’s a period piece set in 1957, with a star studded cast, including Tessa Thompson,and Eva Longoria. Tessa Thompson plays Sylvie a young woman fighting to stay loyal to her fiancee who’s off fighting in the Korean War. She’s an aspiring film producer working in her father’s record store in Harlem when she falls for Robert, a talented saxophonist played by Nnamdi Asomugha, and try saying THAT 3 times fast.

Nnamdi Asomugha is a Nigerian-American actor, producer and former American football cornerback who’s married to Kerry Washington, and played for the Oakland Raiders, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the San Francisco 49’ers.A

Years pass, the world changes, and their lives take different paths — but fate brings them together again, and they discover that their feelings for each other remain. Now both must decide what they truly want.

It’s Gene’s 2nd feature and took him about five years to write. Many good scripts take that long and longer. In an exclusive interview while sitting in a booth at West Side, Gene told me they originally wanted to shoot in New York, but because of the weather and the schedules of the actors they used they had to shoot in LA. They basically shot around Tessa Thompson’s schedule because the girl is so crazy busy.

But he said it was so cool to shoot on the classic backlots like at Warner Brothers, Paramount, and Disney, and “we kind of leaned into the fact that we were shooting on these incredible historical backlots and created this fantastical Hollywood love story.”

He continued, “The film’s period ranged from 1957 into 1962-63 so it went into like the Mad Men/Breakfast at Tiffany’s era, and people compare it to The Notebook, or The Way We Were, or Mahogany with Diana Ross.”

I asked him if it was a problem getting the cars and clothing for a period piece like that and he said it was “but one thing about that was that we got gowns donated to us from Chanel, so we have about 11 gowns that Tessa Thompson wears, and all from that era.”

“Tessa had about three to four weeks available in February, between shooting Marvel movies, Westworld, and Lady and the Tramp for Disney and we just decided to shoot it then in Los Angeles and just followed her wherever we could, because she was just such a perfect lead for our movie.”

I wish him so much luck, but even more I wish I could be there with him in Sundance to actually see the premiere!

EDDIE MURPHY HOSTS SNL

They say if you wait long enough everything will happen. Well if you were willing to wait 35 years you got to see Eddie Murphy come back to host Saturday Night Live.

I actually stayed home to watch it and it was worth the wait. In the middle of Eddie’s opening monologue he was first joined by Tracy Morgan, then by Dave Chappelle, who I ran into the very next night but that’s a story for a few paragraphs down, and then by Chris Rock who he discovered at The Comic Strip back in 1985. Each one of them asked Eddie if he looked at the sketch they supposedly sent him.

WITH CHRIS ROCK, AND RICHIE TIENKEN AT THE COMIC STRIP AFTER CHRIS’ INTERVIEW FOR THE BOOK “MAKE ‘EM LAUhGH

Chris wrote the intro to my book “Make ‘Em Laugh” which is about the history of The Comic Strip and features interviews with all the big stars who came out of that club like Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Colin Quinn, George Wallace, Billy Crystal, Jim Gaffigan, Susie Essman, Lisa Lampanelli and more.

Eddie was being managed by Comic Strip founder/owner Richie Tienken, whose son Richie Jr. now works at SNL and introduced himself to Eddie after the show. Eddie remarked that Richie Jr. has the same cleft in his chin as Richie Sr.

TRACY MORGAN, DAVE CHAPPELLE, EDDIE MURPHY, AND CHRIS ROCK

Eddie himself is not in the book as we were told that he often doesn’t like to relive the past. However he did shout out Richie on a comedy awards show in recent years.

DAVE CHAPPELLE READING MY BOOK AT THE BAR OF THE COMIC STRIP

DAVE CHAPPELLE AT THE CELLAR

When you walk into the Olive Tree Cafe which is the restaurant connected to the original Comedy Cellar on Macdougal Street you never know who you’re going to see there.

I walked in on the Sunday night after Eddie hosted SNL and it was so crowded, you would have thought they were giving away money. “The table” where the Cellar comics sit was packed into two rows, and was headed by Dave Chappelle himself. Also around the table were Keith Robinson, Rachel Feinstein, Michelle Wolf, Mark Normand, Sam Morril, club manager Liz Furiati, and several more!

INTERVIEWING DAVE CHAPPELLE AT THE JUST FOR LAUGHS FESTIVAL IN MONTREAL IN A RARE RED CARPET APPEARANCE

I joined a friend at the bar and sat across from Eagle Witt, Neko White and Rafi Bastos the 6’7″ Brazilian comedian, actor, journalist and TV personality with literally millions of followers on social media, who I’ve profiled in the past and who came to the Comedy Matters TV offices to shoot a video interview.

AT GOTHAM COMEDY CLUB WITH RAFI BASTOS, WHO FORTUNATELY WAS SITTING DOWN AT THE TIME!

Rafi told me he moved here permanently after living in LA for a very short time. He said he was thrilled to be passed at The Cellar right away after auditioning for Estee!

Anyway Dave held court as comics came and went to say hello and pay their respects, and as he turned, saw me, and waved, I went over to exchange holiday hugs and tell him how cool it was to see him with Eddie on SNL.

Sometime after 1 A.M. as I was leaving I saw him go downstairs with Wil Sylvince and take the stage to the delight of the crowd. That’s how it is at The Cellar!

NEW COMIC MEZZY AT BROADWAY COMEDY

Every once in a while I’ll go check out a new comic which I did recently because I had met her years before while doing a radio show with L’il Nat. Her name is Mezzy Desravines and I took her to some comedy shows, and now years later she’s performing. She says I’m her mentor and I’m good with that because she’s a natural. She’s got great stage presence and was born to do comedy!

MEZZY ON STAGE AT BROADWAY COMEDY

BRETT DAVIS AT THE SULTAN ROOM

Brett Davis is an Andy Kaufman award winning comedian, known for doing some pretty cool and unique shows. He took over Chris Gethard’s space at MNN to produce The Special Without Brett Davis which I attended, and was a guest on more than once, as well as his Podcast for Laundry, and now he’s one of the creators on Evan Shapiro’s new National Lampoon Radio Hour.

So when he invited me to be the special guest to be interviewed on his new variety show at a place called “The Sultan Room” I immediately said “yes” even though it was out in Brooklyn. I packed a beard and headed out there. It was a real variety show with comics, sketches, character pieces, music, and surprise audience interaction!

The Sultan Room lived up to it’s name, and I was so impressed with the decor. I don’t think you could have a place like that in Manhattan. Maybe on West Broadway, but it was perfect Brooklyn vibe. The theme was New Year’s Eve 1970 and I might have been the only one there who actually remembered it! (LOL)

BRETT DAVIS CAME OUT WEARING A CROWN AND HUGE WINGS

Brett produced the show with a band called Tredici Bacci and had a cast of interesting and very talented characters like Dougie Poole, Colin Burgess, Caroline Yost, and Sally Burtnick. I had such a great time. It was a real experience and I was sorry when the night ended with the entire room dancing and swaying to the tune of Auld Lang Zyne!

BRETT DAVIS GETTING READY TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR OF 1970

MARINA FRANKLIN BIRTHDAY PARTY

Before I hit The Cellar and ran into Dave Chappelle I stopped off at Fat Black Pussycat bar which is also part of The Cellar to wish Marina Franklin a Happy Birthday!

When I walked in the party was in full swing with Yamaneika Saunders, Matteo Lane, Keith Robinson, Vondecarlo and Marina singing along to hot songs that the DJ was playing. They all had great voices. At one point Keith shouted me out on the mic.

(L-R) MATTEO LANE, YAMANEIKA, (BACK) MARINA, KEITH ROBINSON, AND VONDECARLO

There were all kinds of snacks, like fries, cupcakes, chicken wings and other good stuff and I sat down with my man Derek Gaines until he got up to dance with Marina.

Marina complained that not enough people were dancing, so the highlight of the evening was when Keith Robinson, despite having had a stroke, ripped off his jacket and got down with Marina, and she said ” If Keith can do it, the rest of you can too!” Keith is a perfect example of not letting obstacles stand in your way.

MARINA FRANKLIN’S BIRTHDAY PARTY AT FAT BLACK

At one point Marina made a very heartfelt speech thanking everyone for coming and alluding to people we lost recently. It was a very special evening.

There’s probably more but I’m tired, so tune in soon for the next edition of Comedy Matters! And please subscribe to Comedy Matters TV with over 2.1 million views at https://www.youtube.com/guriannewsnetwork

AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY COMEDY MATTERS PEEPS!!!

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Angelo Lozada-R.I.P. POP

Ever since I got the terrible news this past Thursday of Angelo Lozada’s passing I’ve been agonizing over how to write this.

With Angelo Lozada in our second hime - Gotham Comedy Club!
WITH ANGELO LOZADA IN OUR SECOND HOME, … GOTHAM COMEDY CLUB

I’ve been reading all the other tributes and wondering how to put into words the feelings I had for this man, who I was privileged to know for quite a long time.

Everyone has spoken about how funny he was, and that was indisputable, and how kind he was, … also indisputable, but I want to talk about how brave he was in the face of what he was facing.

I have a regular table at Gotham and for who knows how many years I’d sit there writing about the comedy scene. Owner Chris Mazzilli says I’m there more than he is! (LOL)

Angelo was very often the host, ( one of the best on the scene btw) and after his usual greeting of “What’s up Pop?” he’d often join me at my table and because I was always interested in what he had going on, he’d fill me in on what he was up to.

If I didn’t see him before the show started he’d drop by after he did his opening monologue even just to shake hands which gave me the opportunity to always tell him how funny he was. I always meant it and he always appreciated it. I knew him as a humble man.

I was excited to help announce the return of The Lozada Lowdown on January 31, 2018 to the downstairs lounge at Gotham, that he did with his comedy sidekick Tammi Cubilette, and kicked it off the first night Mike Britt, Ruperto Vanderpool and Ronny Chieng.

Then there was his comedy web series “Get Some” also co-starring Tammi about a Nuyorican couple from the Bronx with Angelo playing Sam and Tammi playing Viv his wife. We would laugh about what went on in the episodes and during the filming.

Then there was the excitement of him being chosen as Trevor Noah’s guy, warming up the audiences at The Daily Show and traveling with Trevor on private planes, something he was always grateful for.

I recall the excitement of being at the inaugural Daily Show the first night that Trevor hosted, thanks to Trevor and his manager Norm Aladjem, and watching Angelo kill it as he warned up the very first crowd.

But a year ago he sat down with me and shared something personal that took me by surprise, and something I never wrote about for obvious reasons. He shared with me his diagnosis, and I was shocked but also impressed by his bravery, and the courage it takes to share something like that with people. Many people hide things like that, but not Angelo. He said they were going to fight it and I know that he did as hard as he could.

I didn’t mention it every time I saw him, but whenever I asked him how he was doing healthwise he always said he was doing well. But when I saw him most recently and asked him, he joined me at my table and alluded to the fact that things were not going so well at all. Outwardly you couldn’t tell but I guess it was what was going on inside that told the story.

I remember giving him a big hug because that’s what we did whenever we saw each other, and that’s how I plan to remember him, as his always hilarious, formerly healthy self. R.I.P. Angelo, you were loved by all who knew you.

WITH MY PAL ANGELO LOZADA AT OUR SECOND HOME

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Comedy Matters TV On The Scene with National Lampoon, Chris Distefano at Gotham, The Irishman, and more!!!

National Lampoon Back on the Scene!

National Lampoon which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020, just launched a new comedy space and weekly stand-up series, “LIC Comedy,” in Long Island City thanks to Lampoon Pres. Evan Shapiro, and Exec. V.P. of Digital Media Gian Hunjan, along with Creative Associate Claudia Barran. They acquired the brand back in 2017 but just partnered with LIC Artists and The Plaxall Gallery to do a series of comedy shows, besides bringing back the beloved and iconic National Lampoon Radio hour.

Premiering December 19, the new, 11-episode podcast, in partnership with Forever Dog Podcast Network and available on iTunesSpotify and other podcasting platforms will feature a collection of National Lampoon comedy sketches, characters, music and more, thanks to lead writers Cole Escola (Emmy-nominated “At Home with Amy Sedaris,” “Difficult People”) and Jo Firestone (Adult Swim, “The Tonight Show”).  

I went out there for the inaugural show and the place is amazing. It’s a huge 12,000 square foot community center/art gallery, with many rooms, and fortunately I got there early enough that Gian found me wandering in the street, greeted me and guided me in, and then Evan gave me the tour including an outdoor space right on some kind of waterway that will be amazing for parties during the nice weather. That’s THEIR plan not mine! Those who know me know that I LOVE parties! (LOL)

The plan is to have a show every Friday night in perpetuity. The inaugural show was well attended by an interesting and upscale, handpicked group of people, in a very relaxed setting and each of the comics commented on the unusual setting, … performing in a spacious art gallery, with a slide of a huge frame on the wall behind them.

First up was Pat Burtscher, who was originally from Toronto, then lived in London and moved here to NY as of last May. He stuck out to me because he had such unusual and unique premises, which I love and respect. Things like, ” We’re the only animals that give ourselves jobs” which is a great premise and then he expanded upon it, which is how I learned to do comedy, from some of the greats. You get a strong premise and build a bunch of jokes around it. That’s the essence of writing comedy. Or at least it should be!

PAT BURTSCHER TALKING TO HIS LIVER

When I went up to him after the show to compliment him he reminded me that we had already met back in August when we were on the same show at the Fairfield Comedy Club, and I drove him and two other comics, Beecher and Jason Salmon back to New York. Pat was sitting in the back seat so I didn’t get to learn his face! (LOL) I love unique because it’s so hard to find!

Also on the show was Ali Kolbert who talks a lot about being 27 but looking much younger, which is true. Ali had been an NBC page and wound up making her late night debut on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

And the always funny Ricky Velez came on next. Ricky’s part of the Fat Baby crew with Giulio Gallarotti, Josh Wesson and Benny Demarco and I love the energy that those guys bring wherever they go. Ricky is also tight with Pete Davidson and performs on shows with him on the road.

Ricky talked a lot about his baby, being a Dad, his own Dad, and how his wife comes from money and wears pajamas, which to paraphrase him is a rich person’s game!

RICKY VELEZ HOLDING IT DOWN, IN THE TIGHTEST SAGGIEST PANTS EVER- – – BUT SOMEHOW HE MAKES THEM LOOK GOOD!

Dave Merheje followed and I had seen Dave this past summer on the Ronnie Chieng TV gala when he surprised me by performing in shorts and a T-shirt for television, while Ronnie was in a beautiful suit.

Dave’s background is Lebanese and it was funny hearing him tell the story of how his uncle once came to the door for Christmas proclaiming that he was Santa Claus, without a costume, just a beard, yelled out “Ha, Ha, Ha” instead of “Ho, Ho, Ho”, and the kids were scared that Santa Claus had an Arabic accent! Btw, he didn’t wear shorts this time, he wore bright red sweats pants!

Giulio Gallarotti came out and closed the show with a strong set, talking about how he doesn’t like to smoke weed and gave a strong reason why, and I was hoping he’d do a song as Lil Young Big his rapper alter-ego. Maybe next time.

But it was a very cool event, and when I asked Evan what he wanted people to know about it he said to tell you guys that the show will run every Friday at 10, part of the ticket sales go to support local artists, the tickets are 15 bucks and they have the least expensive drinks of any comedy club in the five boroughs!

Chris Distefano Uses Family As Inspiration for Jokes

I’ve known Chris Distefano since the beginning when we used to do open mic shows at Gotham Comedy Club and he was honing bits like “Tell me no”, and talking about his Mom dating a guy named Phineas with polio, and he was always hilarious. So it was great to see him headlining Gotham with sold out shows. The place was so packed they threatened to put strangers with me at my table! (LOL)

I was seated right next to Chris’ manager comedy heavyweight Rick Dorfman of Authentic Talent and Literary Agency, who jokingly asked me if I didn’t have anything better to do than go to a comedy show!

BACKSTAGE WITH CHRIS DISTEFANO AT GOTHAM COMEDY CLUB AFTER HIS SOLD OUT SHOW!

He held it down for an hour with non-stop laughs and his very unique delivery. That’s a very rare thing to have and I was glad to tell him that after the show. It’s very hard to have a unique delivery. Gilbert Gottfried does it, Judah Friedlander does it, and Chris does it too.

He makes it sound like he doesn’t know what he’s going to say next in that very kind of staccato way he has of speaking, jumping from one thing to another. To the audience it sounds like he’s saying it all for the very first time. He hits on very current topics like memes, peanut allergies, cancel culture etc.

And he kept his jacket on the whole time too, but took it off for the VIP meet and greet after the show. Almost the whole audience signed up for it and lined up to buy merch and take photos.

A lot of his merch was about History Hyenas the podcast he does with his comedy bro’ Yannis Pappas. Both of these guys were my guests on Sirius XM’s Bennington Show. After the Gotham show I went backstage to ask him a couple of questions.

THE INTERVIEW

JG: So tell me about History Hyenas.
CD – History Hyenas is a podcast I do with Yannis Pappas, it’s been going on about 18 months now, we just sold out The Gramercy Theatre a couple of weeks ago and we’re gonna do another show , actually a residency there throughout 2020, and we’ve had Jim Gaffigan on, Bill Burr, Andrew Schulz, and all the episodes are available on i-Tunes…
JG – But what’s the concept of the show?

CD – The concept of the show is it’s a history show but it’s comedy first, so you’ll learn but you’ll laugh first and foremost, it’s always comedy and then we’ll throw in some history stuff that you can regurgitate at a party and sound and look cool!

JG – Do the comics have to study history before they come on?

CD – No, we don’t require comics to study at all. They come on and if they are passionate about it, like Jim Gaffigan came on and did a whole episode about the Samurai culture in Japan because he had just come from there and he loved it. Bill Burr came on and did a whole history tour of Boston because he knows all about it, and that works but we’ve had other episodes where we just had Michael Kosta on or Sam Morril and just shoot the shit just being three comics in a room.

JG – I just got back from Japan and it’s crazy over there. I did a couple of shows there and it’s insane.
CD – Yeh, I would love to go to Japan.

JG – It’s a long fucking trip!

CD – Yeh, I’ll take an edible.

JG – You better bring more than one for 14 hours. What else do you have that people should know about, … your special 38 Waist?

CD – Well my special 38 Waist is on Comedy Central, but I’m gonna do a second special Size 36 Waist, that comes out on Comedy Central in August of 2021.
JG- Really? Or are you just fuckin’ with me?

CD – No I swear. Cause I’ve been on Keto, and I have a good boxing trainer Paulie, who’s here tonight that feeds me oregano pills, he’s here in the green room, I have a cartoon in development with Comedy Central, and of course I hope that all those things go, but my real passion right now is the podcast Hisstory Hyenas. That’s why the shows were sold out at Gotham this weekend, and why shows in general are selling out for me now is because of that podcast.

JG – Where do you tape it from?

CD – We tape it from The Comedy Cellar, RiotCast Studios, Bobby Kelly’s podcast network, and we tape anywhere from 4 hours a week to 8 hours a week depending on how much coffee Yannis has had.

JG – Tell me about the cartoon.

CD – It’s slated to come out hopefully some time in 2020, and I also have a non-scripted show in development with Comedy Central. The cartoon’s about my life. it’s about being a single Dad, with a bi-racial kid, and a father who’s in the Mafia. ( Lots of laughter)

JG – That’s a hilarious story. It’s gotta be a hit.

CD – So it’s me and my Dad raising this Puerto Rican kid doing the best we can.

JG – Is there anything you’d like to do that you haven’t done yet?

CD – Well in 2020, I moved up in certain markets to theaters, so I’m hoping to go from the comedy clubs to the theaters, and start selling theaters out, that’s really my main goal for 2020.

JG – Well I just have to say that I’ve seen you from the beginning and you’ve always been funny so I’m not surprised that you’re doing so well because you deserve it because you worked really hard.

CD – Thank you Jeff I really appreciate that. Thank you brother. Always a pleasure to see you!

John Belushi on Saint Marks

Thanks to long-time comedy manager Jason Steinberg of Steinberg Talent, I got to see this play. It’s called “With A Little Help – It’s John Belushi” and it’s at Theatre 80 on St. Marks Place, and owner Lorcan Otway told me his family has been in the theatre business for over 300 years! That’s longer than I’ve been in comedy!!! And the theatre is beautiful by the way filled with show biz memorabilia including some rare posters!

The award winning play is an ensemble piece with about 8 characters all of whom playing two or three parts except for Jack Zullo who wrote the show and plays a very spirited John Belushi. He definitely brings John’s energy level to the stage.

All good actors and very entertaining, but if I had to say anything at all in a positive yet constructive manner, 90 minutes into it they hadn’t gotten to the SNL years yet, and John’s discovery by Lorne Michaels. Otherwise as I said, … very entertaining. They mentioned National Lampoon a lot, so it was very fitting that when I left I ran out to LIC to catch the inaugural National Lampoon show mentioned above.

Jason by the way. who has been instrumental in the careers of many big stars handles Tony Woods who just had a big thing in the New York Times, and Donnell Rawlings who just launched a new podcast, The Donnell Rawlings Show. He announced it on Joe Rogan’s podcast that for the very first time he spoke by himself, all alone for 44 minutes! Joe had been encouraging him to do it for months, and he didn’t wanna show up on the show again without having done it, … so he finally did it!

KRYSTYNA HUTCHINSON GOES SOLO

I caught up with my girl Krystyna Hutchinson at Stand Up New York, and we hadn’t seen each other in too long so we took a moment to catch up. She was hanging with Justin Silver and she just did her first time solo headlining gig at American Comedy Company in San Diego and brought Justin to open for her.

She said that 4 out of 5 shows were sold out and she did 45 minutes for the first time and found it very draining, but lots of fun.

KRYSTYNA HUTCHINSON AND JUSTIN SILVER AT STAND UP NEW YORK

GM Jon Borromeo told me the club is focussing on discovering and promoting young talent, that hadn’t been able to get stage time at other clubs, and he named Zach Zimmerman as an example, who just happened to be standing next to him at the time, and said he did his one man show at the club!

COMEDIANS IN “THE IRISHMAN”

If you’re willing to sit through 3 hours of Martin Scorcese’s new hit “The Irishman” which I did because it’s on Netflix and I could get up, walk around, get a snack and pause it when I wanted to you’d see a bunch of comedians in roles, and I personally counted about 18 people I knew personally from the comedy and acting world.

Ray Romano has a big part as Bill Bufalino, the attorney who repped Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa and was the cousin of mob boss Russell Bufalino played by Joe Pesci.

WITH RAY ROMANO AT THE COMIC STRIP

In an example of perfect casting, Jim Norton had a nightclub scene where he portrayed the late legendary Don Rickles, and Sebastian Maniscalco who’s always hilarious had a great serious role playing the part of “Crazy Joe” Gallo, which he did so well.

WITH SEBASTIAN AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN AFTER HIS SOLD OUT SHOW

Bobby Funaro who started out working the door at Carolines on Broadway and went on to be in The Sopranos played a character named Johnny, Paulie Herman who used to own Columbus Cafe and is in just about every mob movie played Whispers DiTullio, the late Vinny Vella played a meat company manager and others I’ve known and/or worked with or interviewed in different projects over the years were the amazingly talented Bobby Cannavale who played a crazy character named Skinny Razor, Bo Dietl, legendary detective who recently ran for Mayor and unfortunately did not win, Kathrine Narducci who played Russell Bufalino’s wife Carrie, as well as Artie Bucco’s wife in The Sopranos, and attended my play “A Punch In The Face” dedicated to actor/martial artist/Hells Angel Chuck Zito who also attended, Stevie Van Zandt from E-Street who played Jerry Vale in this movie, and Silvio Dante in The Sopranos, my old friend Danny Abeckaser who went from a club promoter/owner to movie actor and producer, Garry Pastore who played Albert Anastasia, and most recently played a gangster named Matty ” The Horse” in HBO’s The Deuce and is the cousin of another old friend of mine, Vinny “Big Pussy” Pastore, and there were more!

BACKSTAGE WITH BOBBY CANNAVALE AND CHRIS ROCK AND THE CAST ON BROADWAY WHEN COMIC STRIP OWNER RICHIE TIENKEN AND I WENT TO SEE “THE M-F’ER WITH THE HAT”

LOVE FOR PATRICE GOES ON

So I’m walking down St. Marks Place the other night on my way to the John Belushi play when I hear someone yelling out to me. At first I didn’t turn around cause I’m from New York, but then he said “Mr. Gurian”, so I turned and looked.

It was this nice young musician named Supremo Massiv who happened to have a gig right across the street but ran out and had to tell me what a big fan he was of the work I did with Patrice O’Neal on the Black Phillip Show and how much the show meant to him.

It happens wherever I go, most recently in Japan, but in Boston, at Skankfest, at a Syndicate event, and with people from all over the world, the love for Patrice lives on. And a few months ago I started taking a photo with each and every one of them.

WITH “BLACK PHILLIP” FAN SUPREMO MASSIV ON ST. MARKS PLACE IN NYC

MEDERI CENTER BENEFIT

The Mederi Center located in Ashland, Oregon was founded by a master nutritionist named Donnie Yance, who specializes in treating cancer and other serious illnesses with herbs and nutrition in conjunction with traditional medicine.

Some friends of his, including consciousness guru Alan Steinfeld of New Realities, saw me performing at West Side Comedy Club one night and the next thing I knew I was the MC at a big fundraiser they held on 11/22 at the Warehouse of the Fairfield Theatre Company in Fairfield, CT starring pop star and cross over artist Gino Vannelli and jazz singer Grammy nominee Roberta Gambarini. It was a fabulous night, well attended and raised a lot of money!

WITH JENNIFER YANCE, GINO VANNELLI AND DONNIE YANCE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF THE FAIRFIELD THEATRE COMPANY

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Rockers on Broadway 2019 SMASHING SUCCESS!!!

I had the privilege of attending the 26th annual 2019 Rockers on Broadway show at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street and it was beyond amazing.

The show was created 26 years ago and co-produced by Broadway legend Donnie Kehr along with longtime producing partner Cori Gardner to benefit The Path Fund.

BROADWAY LEGEND DONNIE KEHR LEADING THE ROCKERS ON BROADWAY IN A MEDLEY OF 70’S HITS!

The Path Fund, Inc.® is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting arts education. They support pre-professional training organizations with scholarship and program funding. They also work with aspiring writers to develop new works of music and theater.

This year they chose to celebrate by performing many of the hits of the 1970’s, and it was so incredibly good! Especially if you were around when those songs first came out. The performances weren’t interpretations, you actually thought you were hearing the original rock bands who recorded them.

Bands like Led Zeppelin, Heart, The Stones, Elton John, … you name it. Rock, Funk, Soul, R&B, Pop, and Disco all carved out their place in the music history of the 70’s, and all were represented.

Le Poisson Rouge was absolutely packed but they found me a great seat right in line with the center of the stage, where I got to sit with amazing guitar player, and founder of Iron Smoke distillery Tommy Brunett who played on a version of My Sharona that had everyone out of their seats and dancing. More on that below.

Plus I got to see some of my friends perform like Jeremy Schonfeld and Jay Leslie who got to play saxophone solos with Alexa Ray Joel, Rupert Holmes who did his Pina Colada song, and Keith Carradine who sang as he put it, ” a medley of his hit”, “I’m Easy.”

Then there were kid performers, and I don’t mean to denigrate them in any way by using the term “kid” but one was 9 and the other was 13 and I don’t know what else to call them but incredibly talented kids.

Ethiopian born Mehret Marsh is only 9 but made her Broadway debut in The Lion King, and she is the first African Young Nala on Broadway.

MEHRET MARSH SINGING “SUMMERTIME” IS IN THE LION KING PLAYING YOUNG NALA

Isabelle Gottfried, (no relation to Gilbert, … I asked! LOL) is almost 14 and did a rendition of Elton John’s “Take Me To The Pilot” that also had everybody out of their seats. Unbelievable talent!

13 YEAR OLD ISABELLE GOTTFRIED SINGING TAKE ME TO THE PILOT

Actor, writer, producer Ryan Willard acted as the auctioneer for an auction that offered a lot of back stage access to hit shows and concerts, and he was so good I was glad to be able to tell him so at the after party which was across the street at Carroll Place right on Bleecker. Great food and great ambiance. And Ryan was so good he raised a lot of money for the charity.

And the whole thing was MC’ed by a very funny and really entertaining guy named Ben Cameron who I told could have been a stand-up comic. He said what a lot of people say, that stand-up is too scary, yet he entertained people with humor for the whole three hour show. Not easy to do.

A new super-talent named Sam Behr (a female), considered as a “developing artist” performed during the regular show and then took the stage at the afterparty and stayed on the keyboards until I left around 1:30 A.M. playing requests of any 70’s hit the audience called out to her, and made me feel bad for not practicing the piano enough.

One woman approached me at the after party and asked if I “played”, expecting me to go up on stage. I explained to her that I just looked like a music guy, but that comedy was really my thing. Everyone always thinks I’m in the music business! I wonder why!

I Wonder Why?

The level of talent was just superb, but one woman really stood out for me, Morgan James who was in a body hugging flowered dress and did a song that makes my heart race. Well it was a combination of that song and that dress! (LOL) She did Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” like it came off the album. To this day the opening of that song gives me chills and makes me want to drive really fast! (LOL) It was a truly amazing rendition and I didn’t get to tell her at the after party so hopefully she’ll read this.

THE INCREDIBLE MORGAN JAMES SINGING “WHOLE LOTTA LOVE” THE WAY IT WAS MEANT TO BE SUNG!

One of my favorite songs of all time “My Sharona” by L.A. band “The Knack” back from 1979 was performed by Max Sangerman backed up on guitar by my new friend Tommy Brunett, who I sat with for most of the show.

MAX SANGERMAN FROM SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE ROCKING OUT TO MY SHARONA WITH TOMMY BRUNETT ON GUITAR

Alexa Ray Joel, (Billy’s daughter) did an awesome rendition of New York State of Mind featuring a tenor sax solo by my buddy Jay Leslie. A tenor sax is the closest sound to a human voice and he literally makes that instrument sing! I’m pretty sure Alexa Ray and I share a birthday on 12/29. Unfortunately I didn’t get to tell her that! However, … there’s always next year!

ALEXA RAY JOEL SINGING NEW YORK STATE OF MIND WITH A GREAT SAX SOLO BY JAY LESLIE AND TOMMY BYRNES ON GUITAR

And last but certainly not least Constantine Maroulis came our wearing an outfit that only he could wear, … an Elvis-like white fringed jumpsuit with fringes that came down to the floor, and closed out the show with an awesome rendition of Freddie Mercury’s “Mama, Just Killed A Man” from Bohemian Rhapsody. It was a very fitting close to a star-packed extravaganza, and what an amazingly beautiful voice he has. He hits those high notes like it’s nothing!

As you might be able to tell from what I wrote it was truly an amazing evening. There were so many more performers that I didn’t get to mention but every single one was star quality. Lifetime achievement awards were presented to Broadway star LaChanze, and Grammy Award winning record producer/songwriter Russ Titleman but the truth is that every single performer deserved an award. Can’t wait till next year!!!

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“Dice” Clay Brings His Magic To The Stand, NYC

Every once in a while something very special happens to me. Last night was one of those times. I’ve known Andrew “Dice” Clay since 1998. There are very few modern day legends in comedy, but he’s definitely one of them.

TAKING AWAY A HEADACHE FROM DICE IN THE PARKING LOT OF MEL’S DINER BACK IN 1998

I had the honor of knowing and working with some of the legends from what they call “The Golden Age of Comedy” like Milton Berle, who was my sponsor in The Friars Club, Jerry Lewis, Henny Youngman, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Red Buttons, and more, but there’s only ever been one “Dice”. A comic who back in the day was one of the first and very few who could fill stadiums, … and did! ( AND STILL CAN!!!)

WITH MR. TELEVISION HIMSELF AT THE L.A. FRIARS IN 1985

Last night I went to see him at The Stand in it’s new location on East 16th Street in Manhattan. The place is amazing. It’s huge, on two levels, with two showrooms, and a great restaurant, … with a real chef!

The show was sold out but co-owner Paul Italia was nice enough to find me a great seat. Eleanor Kerrigan who’s been Dice’s opener for the last 10 years killed the crowd with her opening set, as she always does. More on that below!

Dice took “Dice” to a whole other level and his refreshingly un-P.C. material was rewarded by screaming laughter and applause from the crowd. There was no doubt they were loyal fans and were there to hear what he had to say. And when he said something particularly outrageous, he was like, “What are they gonna do to me, … I’m rich!” And I’m happy to say that no one was offended. They knew why they were there and who they came to see!

He interacted a lot with the audience which they love, and gave advice on marriage and relationships, which should probably be it’s own call-in show.
I think that would be a big hit, “Dice on Relationships”. Kind of like what I did with Patrice O’Neal on the Black Phillip Show back in 2008, which I still get thank you messages for from guys who were grateful for the info we put out!

During the show the audience was instructed to not take out any cell phones but at the end of his act he told the audience they could take out their phones and do whatever they wanted. He showed his warm side when an audience member asked to take a photo WITH him and he called her up on the stage.

It’s only when you get to know the real Andrew “Dice” Clay that you can tell him apart from the guy on stage. The real guy is a warm, caring family man, whether he’d want you to know that or not!

To close the show he broke into a few of his Mother Goose nursery rhymes, a blast from the past. He’d start them and then stop, and the audience would yell out the rest word for word! It was amazing!

He did an hour and 17 minutes of non-stop material, during which he came up with some new names for female body parts, one of which was something like purple bacon slices, and I might add the women laughed as hard or harder than the men, … and then after he left the stage he was escorted from the room by his longtime friend and security head Club Soda Kenny, a guy you don’t wanna mess with.

Dice breezed past and I called out to him, but I didn’t think he saw me. Kenny escorted him backstage, and I debated just leaving because I know that Dice likes to chill after a show, and I didn’t text him to tell him I was coming, like I usually do because I try and attend all of Dice’s shows any time he’s local!

Two minutes later, Kenny comes out and says ” Jeff, Dice wants to see you.” He led me backstage where Dice greeted me with a big hug. He was sitting with Eleanor Kerrigan, and he said to me, “Jeff, tell Kenny the bit that you wrote for me that I did in my special!”

It was a very rare honor for me that I got to write for Dice because hardly anyone else ever did. He actually talked about it and shouted me out three times during a one hour interview he did up at Sirius XM with Ron Bennington.

WITH DICE UP AT SIRIUS XM HOLDING THE PHOTO OF US FROM BACK IN 1998

I can’t repeat the bit here, but suffice it to say it had to do with Dice being able to cure world hunger in a very interesting and unique “Dice-like” way, and a couple of the keywords were pipeline, cropduster, and sparrows!

Dice said he often doesn’t remember things he didn’t write himself. I’ll never forget the night he did it for the first time on the stage of The Comedy Store. I was right there in the audience. He liked it so much he didn’t have time to memorize it so he did it right off the paper! So awesome!

When I asked him what he had coming up he said I could announce that he’ll be coming back to The Stand in December, and that’s a scoop cause nobody knows that yet, … except the owners of The Stand!

One of whom, Cris Italia came in to bring Dice a custom made pizza in his honor. I think Dice said it had honey truffle chicken.

CO-OWNER OF THE STAND, CRIS ITALIA WITH THE SPECIAL PIZZA THEY MADE FOR DICE

Before I left, Dice wanted to say a few words about Eleanor Kerrigan and his fans, who he lovingly says are “animals” and they’re proud of it and own it. I taped it to make sure I got it correctly.

Dice had just got off a tour with Roseanne, and he said that when Eleanor opened the shows for him and Roseanne, “and they were shows she’s not used to doing, like bigger than life shows, like the arena we were in in Atlantic City, it’s gigantic, and she came on cold in front of like Roseanne and myself and I felt that she stole the show.

It’s a gigantic stage so I was able to just watch her work, and she was just killing! You know, … like they were there to see her! And I’ve had certain openers, like I talk about Eddie Griffin a lot or Jim Norton a lot, but she’s like the best there’s been and also the fact that she’s a woman comic and has gone up against every kind of audience, and my audiences are probably the toughest there are.

And that’s why she’s the best, and that’s how I really feel about her, and I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true. We’re friends for nearly 25 years, but she’s been opening for me for 10. From nothing. From getting booed off the stage at Westbury, (which Eleanor acknowledged happened!). I put her up there, I knew it was gonna be tough, but my audience is animals, so it was just an experience, but instead of backing up she went forward with it and just became the best, and kills every crowd, every night, all year long, wherever we are.

And when I asked him if it was ok to quote that his audience are animals, he said, ” They know they’re animals. They made ME a star. Eleanor added, “That’s what makes them so great. That’s their energy.” And Dice added, ” They’re the real deal, my fans. They’re as honest as they come. They’re in your face and I would say that myself and Joe Rogan have the most aggressive audiences ever in stand up! Definitely!

And he ended by saying, ” This was so much fun. And I’ll just take the small clubs over the huge arenas. You gotta do the bigger places to make your living, but I love the smaller clubs more than everything, because that’s when you can really get into stuff, like I did tonight.

And with that he said, ” Gimme a hug”, we wished each other a Happy New Year, and promised to stay in touch!

He’s there for one more night if you’re lucky enough to be able to get tickets! For me it was one of those very special nights! And I wish I had taken a photo of Eleanor but maybe I’ll go back tonight and get one!!!

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The Love For Patrice O’Neal Lives On!

WITH THE LEGEND KNOWN AS PATRICE O’NEAL

On Nov. 29, 2011 the comedy world and the world at large lost a luminous presence, … the great Patrice O’Neal. I thought of Patrice not only as a comedian but as a comedy philosopher. He had such a specific and well thought out point of view. One of my greatest honors was being named a co-host of The Black Phillip Show on XM radio, by Patrice himself.

The first night we went on the radio together was Feb. 10th 2008. It went so well that he called me that night at 4:05 in the morning, and left me a message which I keep on my phone to this day, to tell me how much he liked the show, and that we should do our own show together. But he was so humble, that when you listen to the phone call (below) you’ll hear him say that he didn’t want to assume anything.

As if I might not have wanted to do it with him. I would have done ANYTHING to have been able to do that show with Patrice. Unfortunately it was not to be.

Bill Burr and Maureen Taran produce a benefit for Patrice every year for the last 7 years. It’s usually held at Town Hall in NYC, which holds 3,000 people, and sells out well before the date.

I always knew The Black Phillip Show had a great influence on a lot of guys by the calls that came in while we were on the air, but it’s been pointed out to me lately by the amount of messages I receive on Instagram, and by random encounters in the street.

Recently I was down at The Village Underground which is part of The Comedy Cellar hanging out with Ardie Fuqua who was hosting a great show that night, and as I left and was walking to my car I heard someone yell out, ” Holy shit, it’s Jeffrey Gurian.” Not accustomed to getting called out like that I turned and saw two brothers, … and not brothers because they were Black, (which they were) but because they were true biological brothers.

WITH ARDIE FUQUA AT THE COMEDY CELLAR

We stopped to chat and they told me what big fans they were of Black Phillip and how much the show changed their lives. They were so sincere and so excited that I stayed there talking with them for quite a while and told them how it was working with Patrice and then I walked them back to the Fat Black Pussycat bar to meet Ardie.

BLACK PHILLIP FANS THAT STOPPED ME IN THE STREET

This past weekend I went to a wedding in Boston. Late at night I went into the basement of the hotel I was staying in to grab a snack from a vending machine, and two guys were sitting at a table looking like they were doing some writing work. Next thing I know one yelled out, ” We love your interviews!” and when I went over to chat, once again it was two “brothers” but this time not biological, … and they admitted to being big fans of The Black Phillip Show but said they were reluctant to yell that out.

MAKALANI ADISA AND RAKIM WILLIAMS IN BOSTON

We talked for quite a while and again I shared stories of the fun we had up at the studio and how when I brought models up to the show, which I did each time, I would warn them that Patrice would try and “deconstruct” them to take away their power. They were always cool enough to go with the flow!

And the show didn’t only have Black fans. White guys stop me too lately. Skankfest, the outrageously crazy comedy festival out in Brooklyn draws fans from all over the world. Last year at Skankfest two guys from Ireland stopped me about Black Phillip and I didn’t think to take photos of them, which I try and do now each time it happens.

This year at Skankfest two Indian looking guys from Scotland stopped me who were Black Phillip fans, then a guy from England and then three guys from Canada came up to me talking about how much Black Phillip changed their lives as well. Only two are in the photo below because the third one volunteered to take the pic!

NOT SURE OF THE ORDER BUT IT WAS JOHN BOWLEY AND JAMIE MALCOLM AND BEN DELLER I BELIEVE WHO SNAPPED THE PHOTO! ALL FROM CANADA!

At this years’ Patrice benefit produced by Bill Burr and hosted by Rich Vos, I heard someone calling my name at the after-party. It turned out to be Patrice’s Mom Georgia, who called me over to take a pic with her and her daughter Zinder. It’s always so wonderful to see her. The first time we met was backstage at the taping of “Elephant In The Room” when Patrice called me over to introduce me.

AT THE PATRICE BENEFIT AFTER PARTY WITH PATRICE’S MOM GEORGIA AND SISTER ZINDER
BACKSTAGE AT THE TAPING OF ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM WITH HARRIS STANTON AND PATRICE O’NEAL

These are just some of the messages I’ve received lately on Instagram for my work with Patrice on The Black Phillip Show.

It’s just nice to know that Patrice’s memory and his words and his commentary live on to inspire people and that in some small way I was part of that history.
R.I.P Patrice!

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SKANKFEST 2019

It’s hard to describe the insanity and raucous good time that is Skankfest unless you’ve been there to experience it. It’s the 4th year and the second year at the Brooklyn Bazaar. They had to move from Long Island City’s “Creek and the Cave” because it just got too big. SKANKFEST IS A PHENOMENON!!!

Rebecca Trent, owner of The Creek is still one of the producers along with Christine Marie Evans, and the guys from The Legion of Skanks, Big Jay Oakerson, Luis J. Gomez, and Dave Smith. I’ve been at all of them, and it gets bigger and crazier every year.

I was there for the second night and will be returning for the third night later today, but I felt it deserves at LEAST two posts. People come from all over the world to celebrate with the Skanks. Within a short period of time I was approached by Patrice O’Neal fans from The UK and two Indian-looking dudes from Scotland believe it or not who said they loved listening to me and Patrice on The Black Phillip Show and asked to take photos.

The two brown dudes even had the kind of sense of humor where they said they needed a flash or all I would see was eyes and teeth! Skankfest is the home of the un-PC crowd which is so refreshing. Literally anything goes, as exemplified by Louis CK’s surprise set, where if you hadn’t heard anything he said, by the applause you’d have thought The Messiah had showed up.

Needless to say there were more beards than you ever thought could fit into one room, and for anyone who felt they didn’t have enough tattoos there was even a tattoo room for you to fulfill your tattoo desires.

I walked in when Bonnie McFarlane and Rich Vos were doing their show “Would You Bang Him?” with judges Kerryn Feehan, Kim Congdon, Corinne Fisher, and Krystyna Hutchinson the acknowledged experts on banging. Bonnie pointed out that their names all started with the “K” sound, the four cunts as she put it!

WITH MY GIRLS FROM “GUYS WE FUCKED” THE LOVELY AND TALENTED KRYSTYNA HUTCHINSON ON THE LEFT AND CORINNE FISHER ON THE RIGHT!

Josh Adam Meyers of Goddam Comedy Jam fame was the first of the contestants who coined the phrase “Journey Legs” to describe how the band Journey walks in their video, and how ridiculous it would be to walk that way in real life!

JOSH ADAM MEYERS DOING “JOURNEY LEGS”

Michael Che was one of the contestants who came out and said to roars of laughter, ” I don’t really wanna do this. This can’t help me at all!” And then went on to do a hilarious set including a story of how he wound up in an after hours club and some gay dude bought him drinks all night hoping to get with him.

MICHAEL CHE WITH JUDGES KRYSTYNA HUTCHINSON, CORINNE FISHER, ,KERRYN FEEHAN AND NOT SHOWN KIM CONGDON ( WITH A GAY BLACK GUY FROM THE AUDIENCE!)

After the comic performs the judges declare whether they would bang him or not, according to various factors including their history together. Corinne voted “No” due to Michael having once put her up on a show after two heavyweights like Joe Rogan and Bill Burr, where she felt a bit overwhelmed.

Ari Shaffir was also a contestant and at one point chased Rich Vos off the stage by pulling out his dick at the request of the judges and waving it around in a threatening manner! No one shook his hand as he left. It was an insane show to say the least! And packed to the proverbial gills!

For the big stand-up show that Louis CK was on, I went backstage for a bit and Louie stayed and hung around after his set schmoozing with Dan Soder, Joe List, MC Justin Silver, and Nate Bargatze who closed the show with amazingly funny stories.

Nate is also one of the great story tellers evidenced by his new Netflix special “The Tennessee Kid” and he will be co-starring in the upcoming sitcom with Jerrod Carmichael.

He told an amazing story about pranking Luis J. Gomez when they were out to eat at a McDonalds by taking a bite out of his sandwich while he was away from the table, and re-wrapping it and watching Luis go crazy on the McDonald’s staff for serving him a sandwich with a bite taken out of it. I actually laughed out loud as did Louis CK. Not sure about Louis, but very rare for me!

Back in 2014 I brought Nate on as my guest on the Ron and Fez show up on Sirius XM because I could tell even then that he was destined for great things. And last night he and I were wearing the exact same sneakers!

There’s a stand-up show every hour on the hour so I stayed till around 1 A.M. to catch late night sets from Derek Gaines and Sherrod Small.

CUL-DE-SAC BLACK DEREK GAINES ON THE MIC
SHERROD SMALL BRINGING THE HEAT ON SKANKFEST

Other stars expected today are Dave Attell, Gilbert Gottfried who I’m sure will do a squeaky clean set, Ron Bennington, Chris Stanley, Monroe Martin, Mark Normand, Judy Gold, The Lucas Brothers, Tony Hinchcliffe, Zac Amico, Robert Kelly and so many more!

I gotta run to get back there so more on Skankfest 2019 tomorrow!

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