Hot 97's Cipha Sounds Says "Don't Get Gassed"

Cipha Sounds is a straight-up cool dude from The Bronx, born Luis Diaz, who doesn’t speak Spanish, but speaks a language that lots of people like to listen to, which they do every day on his hit morning radio show, Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg.

I first met Cipha when I was co-producing Kevin Hart at Westbury last year in a comedy fundraiser for Haiti, right after the devastation that shook that country. The show starred Kevin Hart, featuring Tony Rock and Haitian comic Wil Sylvince who was also the host of the sold-out show. Check out the You Tube promo/commercial with Kevin Hart below.
Jeffrey Gurian and Jean Alerte Produce Kevin Hart at Westbury

We went up to the Hot 97 studio with Kevin to do some radio promos, and Cipha was great, and very accomodating, as was his partner Peter Rosenberg, another Jewish guy like myself who loves hip-hop music. I suspect there’s more of us than you might expect!

DJ Cipha Sounds, Jean Alerte, Kevin Hart, and Jeffrey Gurian up at Hot 97 studios.

I run into Cipha pretty often cause he hosts a lot of comedy shows. He’s very easy with his audience, and by that I mean he’s humble and makes them feel comfortable and relaxed. He’s a perfect host. I remember him telling me he didn’t really consider himself a stand-up comic, but I would argue that fact cause the guy is HILARIOUS!

Cipha Sounds and Jeffrey looking "hard" backstage at Carolines! ( You can't be smiling and looking hard at the same time! LOL)

I went to see him last night in his once-a-month. sold-out show at Carolines called “Don’t Get Gassed”. The room was so packed I had to smear Astro-Glide on my sides just to get through the crowd. And Cipha told me it’s usually even more crowded if that’s even possible. People had to take turns breathing, it was so packed. But there was plenty of room to laugh, and the line-up was killer!

I always like hanging out near the back wall at Carolines, right by the dressing rooms where the talent waits to go on stage. That way I get to offer my support to the comics before they go up, and take a few photos as well for my column and blog.

Cipha and I kicked it backstage for a little bit, and I meant to ask him what that title of his show was about, but it slipped my mind. We did discuss what happened recently with Gilbert Gottfried, and AFLAC, and unfortunately Cipha had a similar experience with an off-the-cuff on-air remark taken wrongly by a community of listeners.

As with Gilbert, Cipha is a man with no hate in his heart. Comics look for the funny and every once in a while they make a mistake, just like everyone else. The difference is that most people do it privately, and not publically on the airwaves. He apologized immediately,and all was forgiven.

Pat Brown chillin' with Capone in the audience after her killer set!

Cipha’s show opened with Pat Brown a really funny comic recently back in New York. I met her at Gotham one night when she first came back, and I had not heard of her yet. I was struck by her confidence, and when I saw her perform, I understood why she was so confident. She’s really funny, which always helps when you’re doing comedy! Not so important at the bank,or the supermarket … but when you’re up there on stage it definitely helps! She definitely held her own with the guys, and the crowd loved her.

Women have to be particularly strong to fit in on a show with Colin Kane, Mike Britt from Bad Boys of Comedy, and Mark Viera, “The Latin Prince of Comedy, three heavyweights in comedy as far as I’m concerned, ( and I’m still trying to figure out how far that actually is!!! LOL )

Colin Kane and Cipha Sounds showing us all the right way to look "hard"! Not really smiling!

It was great to see Colin again.  He and I go back to my early performing days at The Village Lantern with guys like Clayton Fletcher who often hosted the shows I would appear on. Colin always had an edge to his jokes, that made him stand out as a performer, and he’s developed that into a really unique stage personna.   I always knew he’d be big.  He’s the perfect white comic to play to a mostly Black crowd.
( For some reason I always capitalize the word “Black” in referring to race, but I don’t feel the need to do that with “white”. Is that reverse racism??? ) He doesn’t pander, although he does make fun of white people being kind of lame! (LOL)

Colin can get away with saying almost anything, and when he thinks he might have gone a little too far he says, ” Ohhh, so you want me to go home now? It’s 2011 people!” You can see Colin twice a month when he has a show he calls “Unzipped” at Gotham Comedy Club. The next one is coming up on April 7th.

Colin Kane being physical on stage at Carolines!

Now that we re-connected I definitely have to put that on my “to-do” list. You can see more about Colin at www.colinkane.com and follow him on Twitter at @colinkane.

Mike Britt is a more easy going comic, always funny, and he kills it every time I see him perform. Mark Viera is just so funny, especially when he imitates his grandmother, and does the Puerto Rican accent.  He’s definitely one of my faves.

He made one guy laugh so hard he accidentally spit his drink all over the stage. I think it was one of those deals where it shot out the guy’s nose. Hopefully he wasn’t on a date cause that could be really embarrassing. Not as embarrassing as dying on a date. That has to be the worst! How do you ever face the girl again??? You remember me, … I’m the guy that passed away after the appetizer!

Mark Viera backstage at Carolines just before going up on stage and destroying the room!

The great Capone, the gangster of comedy, was in the audience, sitting right next to me, laughing his ass off. He told me he was thinking of getting up to do a set, but I had to leave to put money in the meter, and run to my next event so I didn’t get to see whether he ever went up. I had just seen him perform at Gotham for Anthony Anderson’s Mixtape Show a few days before, so I didn’t feel as bad, in case I missed him. He’s a world class performer, even working clean like he was forced to do for Anthony’s show.

Capone and Jeffrey hangin' out at Anthony Anderson's Mixtape Show at Gotham!

When I told Cipha about my upcoming comedy fundraiser on Thursday April 14th, to help fight Diabetes, before I could even ask he volunteered to come and perform, since he lost his grandmother to that deadly disease.  I lost my Dad to that disease, and I look forward to seeing Cipha kill it at The Comic Strip on April 14th, and hope all of you guys out there will join us as well.

Tix are only $50. (plus 2 drinks of course!), and must be purchased in advance thru Pay Pal at

 

Diabetes Comedy Fundraiser at The Comic Strip-Thurs. April 14th, 8 P.M.-TIX ONLY AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE THRU PAY PAL, NOT AT DOOR

 

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Rocco Rocks Out At Lavo

Rocco taking a break from "table-dancing" to greet me as I came in to Lavo!

Anyone can throw a party, but getting people to show up is a whole other thing.  Rocco Ancarola has no problem with that.  He’s been throwing successful parties and events as along as I know him, and we met just before The Civil War. ( During the winter of 1860, I think! ) LOL

Sylvia getting into the music!

I wanted to make sure that his Sunday night party was not a fluke, so I went back this Sunday night and it was even more packed than the first week.

Who ordered this girl???

They must have extra strong tables to allow for all that dancing on top of them.

Guests calling friends and telling them to come join the party!

Then again, most of the people dancing on the tables were models and they don’t weigh all that much!  There was a rumour going around that one of the models actually ate something, but it was several weeks before, and she claimed it was an accident.

Rocco, ever the consummate gentleman, helping a girl drink champagne from one of her Jimmy Choo's.

One girl was so thin she had no room for her internal organs, and had to keep them outside her body! (LOLOL)

The mysterious Sylvia from Ecuador!

Next week I want to get there early enough to have dinner cause I hear the food is great too!  I’ll try and bring a girl who just LOOKS like a model but isn’t so we can actually eat together!!!

 

 

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Partying With Internet Sensation Lauren Francesca

Lauren Francesca and I are very excited about working together. Lauren is an internet star who has compiled over 250 million hits on all of her films combined.  Some get over 25 million alone.  She often plays Lady Gaga in the hilarious Key of Awesome comedy/musical parodies.

Lauren Francesca in "The Wearin' Of The Green" with Jeffrey at Patrick McMullen's Party at Pacha

We already shot two films that I wrote for her.  One is called “Besame Mucho’s Academy of Oral Skills” in which she plays a sexy Latina named Besame Mucho, ” voted by 3 major men’s magazines as the best kisser in the world.”  Click the link below to see the film:

Besame Mucho’s Academy of Oral Skills

She runs a kissing school, where she teaches girls how to kiss so they put men into a dream state.  She teaches them exotic oral exercises  like the “Besame Mucho tongue push-up”, and tongue swinging where you swing from a trapeze by your tongue to build up strength!

Lauren Francesca and Jeffrey ready to hit the dance floor!

Lauren found her sexiest green dress and she and I decided to go out and party for St. Patrick’s day.  We started out at celeb photographer Patrick McMullen’s annual bash at the huge club Pacha, owned by my good friend Zev Norotsky, and then went on to Erik Von Broock’s ultra-cool party at ultra-hot hotspot Lavo.

Lauren's hair dancing to the music, with Jeffrey nowhere to be seen!

Lauren Francesca doing her famous "booty-shake" move at Pacha!

At Patrick’s party I ran into my old friend talented actress Aesha Waks, who happens to be engaged to Patrick’s son Liam McMullen.  Aesha told me that Liam wants to do stand-up comedy so I plan to help him as much as I can.

An intimate moment between Liam McMullen and fiancee actress Aesha Waks!

A more public moment with Aesha Waks and Liam McMullen!

And then we wound up at Lavo to see my pal Erik Von Broock.

Jeffrey and Erik Von Broock at Lavo, with a beautiful unidentified guest!

Above are some of the photos from our memorable evening!

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Jeffrey Gurian Documentary Reel with A-List Comics and Film Stars

This documentary reel about me was shot as a pre-cursor to a proposed TV project that I would host, taking the viewers “behind the scenes” in the comedy world, the film world and behind the velvet ropes of New York nightlife, all places where I have strong connections.

In this reel you will see great comics from late night TV like Ted Alexandro from Comedy Central, Letterman, Conan O’Brien, & Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Fisch from Last Comic Standing, VH1 and Comedy Central, Macio from The Chapelle Show, Uptown Comedy Club, & Comedy Central, Goumba Johnny, afternoon host  from WKTU, 103.5 FM, film stars Marisa Tomei, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Jason Statham, John Leguizamo, Vincent Pastore, Chris Meloni, Kal Penn, Sidney Lumet, Guy Ritchie, nightlife and TV legends Wass, Noel Ashman, and Countess LuAnn DeLesseps from Real Housewives of New York City, and Camille Grammer from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Please watch and feel free to leave a comment, and/or share it with your friends.  Thanks!!!

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Speaking of Gilbert

My superstar P.R. team Goldman/McCormick has been working overtime and as a result, last night at 11 P.M., I got a call from Mark Amazon on 700 WLW News Talk Radio, known as “The Big One”, out of Cincinatti, Ohio for my take on the Gilbert Gottfried/AFLAC scenario.

Having known Gilbert for more than 25 years, I told them that I felt it was a mistake in judgment that Gilbert regretted, not only because he lost his position as the voice of AFLAC, but because he never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings.  He had already posted apologies on his own Twitter page.

With AFLAC having such a huge percentage of it’s business in Japan, I guess it couldn’t afford the potential losses from people who were insulted by Gilbert’s Tweets, and made the choice to let him go.  The only other way would have been for them to stick up for him, against an entire ravaged country, and that would be a very unlikely scenario for anyone to expect.

Gilbert was just being Gilbert, as he’s always been.  That’s what he does.  He goes where no one else dares.  Comedians often try to do that.  I have several thoughts on that matter.

 

Gilbert and Jeffrey back in 1992, when Gilbert starred in a short film Jeffrey wrote called “Seeing is Believing”, where Gilbert wears glasses like microscopes, and tries to get X-ray vision to see through women’s clothing. Also featuring Camille Donatacci Grammer, Kelsey Grammer’s recent ex, playing a very sexy nurse. Check it out at http://www.jeffreygurian.com

 

Comics spend every day looking for what’s funny about things that most people don’t see as funny.  Not cause they want to, cause they HAVE to.  They have no choice.  It’s how comics think.  It’s in their blood.  It’s a drug, and they’re addicted.

Some comics work clean, some work filthy.  Some comics say the most outrageous things, but they say them within the confines of a club, not in a forum to the world.  I think that’s what makes the difference here.

Sick, cruel humor has always been around.  Some people love it.  I happen not to, but that’s coming from someone who wrote nasty jokes for Friars Roasts for many years.  BUT, … I ALWAYS asked the person being Roasted if there was anything that was off-limits to him, so that I wouldn’t write anything particularly hurtful. That’s just me.

Maybe human beings have a naturally cruel side?  Just go to any schoolyard, or high school to see what I mean.  Probably all you have to do is think back to your own high school days.  Not a very comfortable time right?  Bullying isn’t something new.  Kids make fun of other kids if they don’t think you fit the mold.  And how many people actually did in those days.

I always say, ” If high school was the best time of your life you should probably kill yourself!” (LOL) For many people it was the worse time in their lives.

And very often those very same kids who didn’t fit in in high school went on to become comedians!  They used humor to help them fit in.  So many comics are socially awkward, and lacking in social graces. They only have personalities on stage.  It’s an amazing thing!  Offstage they can be quiet and shy.

In any case, Mark Amazon and the other radio hosts I spoke with didn’t seem to be coming down too harshly on Gilbert.  They all seemed to understand that Gilbert was being Gilbert.  It’s unfortunate that it had to happen at all, meaning the devastation that hit Japan in the first place, and the Tweeting that followed it.

 

Jeffrey Gurian and Gilbert Gottrried lunching at Pastis during Gilbert's interview for the book on the 35 year history of the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip, the club that launched the careers of Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Paul Reiser, Ray Romano and so many more. Jeffrey is writing the book with owner/founder of The Strip, Richie Tienken.

Let’s send Healing energy to all parties!

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Gilbert Gottfried Tsunami With AFLAC

Last night I was at a show produced by Scott Kluge for the Birthright Israel Foundation, a wonderful educational program that sends young Jewish adults on all expense paid trips to Israel, to diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world, and to strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewry.

It was a star-studded show with two of the funniest Jews I know, Gilbert Gottfried who was the host, and Dave Attell who performed along with an all star Broadway cast.  Associate Producer was my good pal comedian Ray Ellin and the hilarious Dan Naturman was a writer on the show.

(L-R) Ray Ellin, Scott Kluge, and Dan Naturman backstage at The Hudson Theatre.

Gilbert read the story of Purim putting in his own hilarious facts like Nebuchadnezzar not being able to get online, and change his status on his Facebook page.  In between he would introduce the next act, and then go back to his readings.  It looked like he was reading from The Torah.

Gilbert, in his best red shirt, looking like he was reading out of The Torah, onstage at The Hudson Theatre.

Dave Attell came out looking like a Russian peddler from the early 20th century, which is a look he pulls off well.  He was his usual hysterical self, and had lots of Jewish humor.  I wasn’t taking notes as I usually do but I believe when talking about brisket he said, ” I don’t think any kind of meat should be wetter than the front row of seats at a Justin Bieber concert.”

Dave Attell looking like he was auditioning for a part in Fiddler On The Roof

And then it got raunchier and the audience loved it!

In the all-star Broadway cast was Mitchell Jarvis, Nick Adams from the brand new Priscilla Queen of the Desert, (which I almost wrote as “Queen of the Dessert”, … which could be about Lisa Lampanelli before she lost all the weight!); Curtis Holbrook from West Side Story, Kelli Barrett from Baby It’s You, Garrett Long from South Pacific, Rachel Potter from The Addams Family, and my good friend, the beautiful and talented J.Elaine Marcos, also from the show opening next Sunday, Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

J.Elaine as she started out her number fully dressed!

J.Elaine came out on stage and did a number that was so sexy and adorable.  She sang in an accent, and danced around while taking off her clothes to the delight of the audience.  First her sweater, then her blouse, and just as she reached behind her to unclasp her bra, … the lights went out!

J.Elaine beginning to disrobe on stage during her number!

J. Elaine just about to undo the clasp of her pretty pink bra!

J. Elaine and I had met years before in a comedy class and she has always been very funny. Sexy and funny is a difficult mix but she manages to pull it off.  She’s also been in in Chorus Line,(which I saw and she was fantastic), The Wedding Singer, Sweet Charity, and Flower Drum Song, among others.

J.Elaine Marcos and Jeffrey Gurian both completely dressed backstage after the show!

She was as shocked to see me backstage as I was to see her onstage!

J. Elaine handling "the big pen" with great dexterity and ease!

Anyway,  I’m sitting enjoying the show when all of a sudden I get a text from my fabulous PR team Goldman-McCormick asking me if I could do a radio spot at 10:07 about Gilbert Gottfried being let go as the voice of the AFLAC duck, for what they felt were insensitive Tweets made regarding the devastation in Japan.

I was like,” I’m here with him now.”  Basically that can’t even happen!  What are the odds that someone would want to talk to you about someone you were with at the moment?

When the show ended I went backstage to see Gilbert, which I would have done anyway,because he has always been my favorite comedian, and he knows that.

I’ve been telling him that for years.  He was with his wife Dara, and I had just seen them last week at the taping of the Donald Trump Roast airing tonight at 10:30 on Comedy Central, btw!

I asked him if he wanted to come on the radio with me, but he told me that I could speak about it for him.  I could tell he felt badly about what happened.  Gilbert doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.  He might not offer to buy you a drink, but he would never purposely hurt anyone.

People who love Gilbert know what he does.  Not only does he push the envelope, he tears it to shreds.  Look at his performance in The Aristocrats. When Gilbert goes off the deep end, nobody can go any deeper.

Comedians see the world in a different way than most people.  That’s what allows them to see the humor that other people overlook.

Unless you’re there to see if for yourself, no one can possibly grasp the horror of a cataclysmic event like the one that happened in Japan.  You can’t really wrap your mind around it.  It’s too big.

Plus, people don’t have the capacity to feel other people’s pain.  It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time.  We would probably be incapacitated, and catatonic if we felt what other people were feeling.

It might also make for a kinder world, if people knew how their words affected others.  Children can be very cruel as we all remember from our early days in school.  They think it’s fun to single out one person and make their life utterly miserable.  I know I did it too, and I cringe today when I think about it.

Comics are very often extremely socially awkward and not well versed in social graces. They’re the first to admit that they were the guys, ( and girls!), who didn’t exactly fit in in high school.  Many were self-described nerds.  They used comedy to survive, and so their personalities only exist on stage.  Off stage they’re often very quiet, and even very shy, which is hard to believe when you see how animated and funny they are on stage.

They learn to say anything to get a laugh and often at other people’s expense. Shock value is getting harder to find because it’s all been said and done already.

Anyway, as of the time of the writing of this entry, I’ve already done two big radio shows about this today with two more scheduled.  I did the Bob Dutko Show on WMUZ coming out of Detroit, which is a Christian Radio station, and that was lots of fun.

The Bob Dutko Show WMUZ out of Detroit! Really fun show to do!!!

Until I told the producer Jan Foxx, that her last name was like a porn star! (LOL) When I realized that I had just said that to someone on Christian radio I felt very badly, and corrected myself.  I said Foxx with 2 “X’s” is like a rock star, like Nikki Sixx.  Foxxx with 3 “X’s” would be like a porn star!  She said I was very funny!  Thank G-d! (LOL)

The Big 810 show with Ed Tyll out of Orlando, Florida. Ed's a great host!

Then I did The Big 810 out of Orlando, Florida with Ed Tyll, on WEUS, and we spoke for quite a while on the mindset of comics and how they think.  Also, AFLAC has a tremendous business in Japan and for that reason alone could not take a chance and alienate anyone, despite the fact of how much they like Gilbert.

Gilbert has been open about his apologies and has posted them on Twitter, like the ones below.

“I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”6 hours ago · reply

“I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan.”6 hours ago · reply

So all in all it was a busy day, and I’m learning to like this blogging thing. People have been telling me for years that I should be blogging, but I didn’t get the significance of it till last week!  Now I can’t stop.  It’s addicting!!!

Let me know your thoughts on the Gilbert/AFLAC Tsunami thing.  Curious to hear your take on it.

 

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Preview Video On The Red Carpet of Tonight's Comedy Central Donald Trump Roast

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters was on the red carpet at the taping of Comedy Central’s Roast of Donald Trump, taping the arrivals and speaking with Roasters Jeffrey Ross, Lisa Lampanelli, Anthony Jeselnik, Whitney Cummings, Snoop Dogg, Marlee Matlin,and guests like comic/TV host Amy Schumer, Actor Ice-T and his wife Coco, Russell Simmons, and even MTV President Doug Herzog.  And Gilbert Gottfried was the surprise guest! This is a follow-up to an earlier story posted last week.

Watch the Roast and leave a comment below letting me know what you thought of it, who was the best Roaster, and what jokes you liked best and I’ll feature my favorite comments on the blog! Thanks!!!

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Rocco Ancarola Rocks Lavo

This blog is not only for comedy events but also to cover the NY nightlife scene, which I think everyone agrees, is the hottest scene in the world!

This past Sunday night, nightlife impresario Rocco Ancarola rocked NYC hotspot Lavo, with the first of a regular Sunday night dinner party/party that was reminscent of the wild nights we used to spend at his place called Boom down on Spring Street, back in the day! Rocco didn’t disappoint, with a fantastic, gorgeous crowd, lots of models, and hot music. As is his usual, Rocco got up on the table to dance, and immediately ripped off his jacket, then shirt, and danced bare-chested with one of the gorgeous models.

Rocco got things heated up by ripping off his shirt, and dancing on the tables!

When I told him I was planning on attending, he told me he’d save me a table and to bring somebody “hot”, cause he knows that’s how we roll! (LOL) I came from 2 other events and got there a little later, but the party was in full swing when I arrived around 11:30, and the place was packed.

It caught on and then everyone got up on the tables to dance!

So nice to see Jayma Cardoso, and Andrew Goldberg who are also part of Lavo and make it the special place that it is. At least I know where I’ll be on Sunday nights from now on!

Andrew Goldberg leading his side of the room in raising the roof!

For many years Sunday nights were always depressing because you had to go back to school in the morning, and when I was a kid we had to watch a show called “Meet The Press” and prepare some current events thing to talk about in school. You were assigned either local news, national news, or international news, and for some reason I ALWAYS got stuck with international news, which I hated and still do! So invariably I’d try to find a story like , ” A Chinese man lost his wallet”, and try and pass that off as international news.

Now all I have to do is go to Lavo! So much easier!

The producer always gets the best girls. I think her name was Sylvia, and she's from Ecuador. I'll let you know for sure next time!

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Richard Lewis Comes To New York

If you grew up idolizing the stand-up comedy of Woody Allen, … that’s assuming you’re old enough to remember when he performed stand-up on the Ed Sullivan show, …you can understand the frustration of knowing you’ll never see him perform stand-up again.

As a performer myself, I hate to compare one to another, but in my estimation the closest you can come to the kind of humor, and level of sophistication of humor that Woody did, is the great Richard Lewis, the Master of Angst!
(He’s also the creator of the expression ” the __________ from hell”, like ” the date from hell”, ” the vacation from Hell” This man put that into the lexicon!

Richard Lewis and Jeffrey backstage at Joe's Pub after Richard's sold-out show!

I’ve known Richard for a long time and was very excited to hear that he will be headlining Carolines on Broadway from March 24th thru March 27th. It’s a rare occurrence and one not to be missed! Especially if you’ve been enjoying him on HBO’s hit show ” Curb Your Enthusiasm” for the past 8 seasons.

I have a couple of Richard Lewis stories to share.

Back around 1996 or so, Richard was starring in a film called “Drunks” with Faye Dunaway, Calista Flockhart, Sam Rockwell, Parker Posey, Dianne Wiest, Amanda Plummer and other names that were not as big then as they are today. I was always determined to write for Richard not knowing that he never allowed anyone to write for him. I had gotten my start by actually showing my very early writings to Woody Allen himself, who was starring on Broadway in “Play It Again Sam” at the time,with Tony Roberts of course, and Woody was so kind he invited me back the next night to show him more of my work.

Richard Lewis and Jeffrey Gurian backstage at Westbury

One of the reasons he did that was because I had so little knowledge of what to do, that I went backstage during intermission instead of waiting till the end of the show, and he had to go back onstage. The story of how that all came about, and how I wound up backstage in the first place will be the subject of another blog, but suffice it to say that years later when I became friendly with both Jack Rollins and the late Charlie Joffe, both of whom managed Woody’s career for many years, they were both pleasantly surprised that Woody was so nice to me. Woody actually read through my ideas, and told me I had a very visual sense of humor and should think about making films of my work.

Jack said, “Woody must have really seen something in you to have done that.” Whatever Woody saw that night it took me many years to turn those early ideas I showed him into The “Men Who” Series a series of films about men who do very unusual things, like ” Men Who Take A Pitchfork To The Movies”, “Men Who Enjoy Latin Dancing With Tools”, and “Men Who Take A Fish To Hot Clubs.” You can actually see those films on my You Tube page at http://www.youtube.com/guriannewsnetwork

Anyway, I showed up at Drunks with jokes in hand expecting to give them to Richard in hopes he would use them. I wrote it as part of what I was calling his ” Born To Be Nervous” tour, which I wanted to suggest to Richard. Aside from the “Born To Be Nervous” Tour, I suggested a couple of the following lines-

My family are firm believers in the power of negative thinking. They feel you can ruin anything if you really put your mind to it.

Low self esteem goes back in my family to the beginning of time. I actually had an uncle who was the first man to walk erect. But he couldn’t hold it. He’d take a few steps and just slump over.

I was such a shy kid, I never even had the courage to go Trick or Treating. I tried doing it over the phone.

My apartment is a problem too. I just got my new lease, turns out I’m renting it by the hour.

I don’t like to burden my shrink with my problems. He’s too sensitive. One time I told him I was leaving him, he threatened to kill himself.

I think I would have made more progress with him, but when he told me to lay back on his couch, I couldn’t do it. My mother always taught me not to put my feet up on someone else’s furniture.

And I knew that if I did it, she’d find out and feel that somehow, it would be a reflection on her.

My shrink was treating me for feelings of loneliness. At one point I was so lonely I tried to develop a split personality, just for the company.

So anyway, I felt pretty good about the jokes and ran to the theatre with them in an envelope. The problem was I had planned to get there early to try and see Richard, but I was so nervous I made myself late, and when I got there, there was already a long line of people waiting to get in.

In a panic, I by-passed the line and ran down a staircase not knowing where it would take me, and who’s coming up the staircase right towards me but Richard Lewis himself. Those kinds of things happen to me on kind of a regular basis, although I have no idea why, or what to do in those circumstances.

He looked at me and said, ” Hey, what are YOU doing here?” I’m like, ” I came to see you”, and I was so shocked to actually run into him that I almost forgot to give him the envelope with the jokes in it. Fortunately I remembered and gave it to him, even though he was on his way into the theatre to do his presentation. Most people don’t like to be carrying things with them, but I didn’t know what else to do.

After the screening he took off pretty quickly, but by the time I got home there was already a message on my phone from Richard. I think it was the nicest decline of material I ever received. He said I was talented and hilarious, and you can listen to it right here because it meant so much to me I saved it all these years. He was so kind that he called me right away. That is a very, very rare thing for anyone to do, especially a star of his calibre. ( I think his caliber is 9 millimeter, or it could be .380. They’re very close in size! LOL)

Richard Lewis Phone Call

I always wonder if I didn’t put the (LOL) would people know it’s a joke? I guess if they didn’t, it wasn’t much of a joke! (LOL)

I remember seeing Richard in Westbury, and going to see him backstage afterwards when he told me that he stopped taking his notes out onstage with him at that very performance.

I also went to see him at Joe’s Pub a few years back, and again at Comix in 2008, and he did an incredible performance, in a kind of stream-of-consciousness style that is inimitable, and what he’s known for. I was amazed that anyone could go that long, with what looked like an unprepared act, in the sense that no one could memorize such a thing, with one thought leading him to another, and I wrote to him at the time –

“No one goes that long at that pace but you, with consistently funny, material that is not an act! Despite the fact that you rarely let yourself finish a sentence, it’s hysterical. You have the “un-act!”

So needless to say, I will be at Carolines at least once during his stay, which is one show Thursday at 8:00, one show on Friday at 8:00, two on Saturday at 8:00 and 10:30 and one on Sunday at 8 P.M. For tickets call (212) 757-4100 or go to the Carolines website.

All the info you need to see Richard Lewis at Carolines!

I also hope to see him at The Friars Club for lunch, cause when I asked him if I could come see him backstage, I got this e-mail :

I have six or seven tv n radio shows
Prep
Jet lagged
Five shows
Never backstage more than two minutes be it God, Dylan or you

PERFECT!!! He lumped me in with G-d and Dylan! Come see Richard at Carolines!
S

 

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Sarah Silverman Snaps Photo of Jeffrey Gurian at Friars Club

The film poster for Peep World, an IFC film opening March 25th.

So I went to The Friars Club to see the new film “Peep World” starring Sarah Silverman, Michael C. Hall, Rainn Wilson, Taraji P. Henson, Leslie Ann Warren, Ron Rivkin, and Ben Schwartz. It was presented as part of the new film program created by Charlie Prince who also produces the very successful Friars Club Film Festival. Assistant Executive Director of The Friars, Michael Caputo made sure things ran smoothly as he always does.

Sarah Silverman and Ben Schwartz at the Q&A at The Friars Club for Peep World

Sarah attended with Ben Schwartz to do the Q&A and was accompanied by her close friend comic Todd Barry, one of the few who makes me laugh out loud!  I don’t even make ME laugh out loud, but he does!

Todd Barry and Jeffrey Gurian at Comix, BEFORE it went out of business!

I went with singer/composer Rosa Gudmundsdottir, who’s a big star in Iceland. That sounds like a strange credit unless you know that she’s actually from Iceland, because if you were from America and were only a star in Iceland, that could be a problem.  Agents might look at that as a red flag of some kind! (LOL)

Rosa may be from Iceland… but she’s a very warm person!  Iceland sounds like such a strange place to be from! I want to know things like, ” Is it ever warm in Iceland?” Is it dark there like 24 hours a day in Iceland? Can you only get cold drinks in Iceland?”

Rosa Gudmundsdottir and Jeffrey Raymondsson( my Icelandic name!) on the "step and repeat" at The Friars Club

Rosa is a very talented performer, as you can see if you go to her site http://rosagudmundsdottir.com/ She’s an exotic mix of Icelandic and Thai, and if the word gets out that that mix works, expect to see lots more of them! (LOLOL)

Knowing her makes me want to say, ” Meet me in Reykjavik honey, we have some serious partying to do!” Has that phrase ever been used by anyone in the world??? Even in Iceland???

Ron Rivkin as patriarch Meyerowitz and Alicia Witt playing his girlfriend Amy

Anyway, the movie was very funny. It’s actually a family comedy that stars the great Ron Rivkin as the head of the highly dysfunctional Meyerowitz family. Sarah plays Cheri, the only sister to three brothers, pursued for 8 years by a funny Orthodox Jewish character played by Stephen Tobolofsky.

Stephen Tobolofsky and Sarah Silverman onscreen in Peep World

Ben Schwartz plays Nathan the youngest brother who destroyed the family by writing a tell-all about their lives. Cheri is suing Nathan for ruining her life. They all get together once a year for their father’s birthday and they all seem to hate each other.

Rainn Wilson looks totally different with a beard, and plays a total loser who’s being hounded by loan sharks for money he owes them. He’s dating Taraji P. Henson, who’s totally hot and looks nothing like the old woman she played in Benjamin Button. I really thought she was an old woman! Shows you how much I know!!!

Siblings played by Sarah Silverman, Michael C. Hall, Ben Schwartz, and Rainn Wilson

Alicia Witt who I had met in New York some years ago, plays Amy, Ron Rivkin’s young girlfriend who defends him to his family.  She was so striking and so dedicated to her craft that I always knew she’d be successful, so I’m never surprised when I see her in something big.

One funny scene is when for some unknown reason, on his way to a book signing, Ben stops off for a Viagra-type injection and winds up with an erection that won’t go away. He has to show up and try to face an audience while hiding it as best he can, but he’s in agony, and his portrayal is hysterical. Fortunately in a fantasty-like solution, his ultra-hot P.R. assistant played by Kate Mara offers to help him get rid of it the “old-fashioned” way, … and it works!

She even offers to attend the father’s birthday party with him, as long as he doesn’t introduce her as his girlfriend. Very empowering to women! She helped him out, strictly out of the kindness of her heart!

The film screened at the Toronto and Austin film fests last fall, and IFC Films will release it March 25. So Ben and Sarah showed up at The Friars to do a Q&A after the film. Sarah’s so above all that. She never seems comfortable with that kind of stuff.

Sarah Silverman holding the i-Phone with which she proceeded to take my picture!

But while they were in front of the room answering questions, and people were snapping photos of her, she took out her camera and said, ” I’m gonna take a picture of Jeffrey Gurian”, and snapped a photo of me sitting up front. It was very unexpected, and very funny. I hope somebody was shooting video so I can get a copy!  Michael Caputo, I’m calling you about this!!! (LOL)

Then I decided to ask my own question for the Q&A, so I asked Ben how he prepared for the erection scene, and he said he was very proud of his erection work, and tried to stay hard for a few weeks in order to prepare.

It was a fun evening and I look forward to attending the next film that Charlie has coming up.

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