Dr. Jeffrey L. Gurian has been an Assistant Clinical Professor at NYU since 1999, in the Oral Medicine/Oro-Facial Pain department and has worked with alleviating headaches and facial pain in patients suffering with stress-related illness and Depression. He has also been serving on the Board of The Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy, where he has lectured at Energy Psychology conferences on the use of his “STAR” Therapy, a very gentle system of “Talk and Touch” to alleviate things like Migraine-type headaches, should pain, neck pain, upper back pain, Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), jaw and tooth pain, etc.
Nick Cannon is definitely one of the nicest, most humble guys in the biz!
On June 1, 1976, Richie Tienken and Bob Wachs opened the legendary comedy club called The Comic Strip. Of course no one knew it would be legendary at the time. And 16 days later when a young Jerry Seinfeld came in to audition, no one knew he would become legendary either. His original sign-up sheet from that night is still up on the wall. He was graded ” Good”, and it said, “Definitely put on Mon. 6/21.”
Along with Jerry Seinfeld came other names that were to change the face of show biz forever, like Paul Reiser, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Lewis Black, Susie Essman, Colin Quinn, Gilbert Gottfried, Ray Romano, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock.
The first time Eddie Murphy came in to audition, Bob Wachs threw him out for being a wiseguy. He came back in to audition for Richie Tienken who agreed to see him, after Eddie apologized profusely for his behavior. Richie thought he was so good, he intervened with his partner Bob and the two of them wound up managing Eddie into being the biggest star in the world. From SNL to Beverly Hills Cop 2, they guided Eddie’s career.
Pretty good for Richie who had been a bar owner from The Bronx, and in terms of managing, had managed the largest Bingo hall in the country, but never saw himself managing the biggest star in the world. It all happened when Eddie realizing he needed a manager, asked his Mom what he should do. His Mom said ” Who do you trust most in the world?” And Eddie said “Richie Tienken”, so his Mom encouraged him to ask Richie.
Richie turned him down for about 10 days, because he couldn’t picture himself being responsible for somebody else’s career. He had no experience with that. But after about 10 days he gave in, and jumped in with both feet. Immediately he was playing with the big boys because Eddie’s career took off very fast. And in 1986, Eddie discovered a 19 year old Chris Rock on stage at The Strip when he asked if there were any Black comics he could see, and Chris was the only one around.
He had made a deal with Lucien Hold, the manager of the club for 25 years, that he could get stage time in exchange for setting up the chairs and cleaning up the club at the end of the night. That night he was glad he was there because Eddie was his idol, and he went from performing in front of 6 drunks at 2 in the morning, to performing for a packed house in front of his idol, Eddie Murphy.
That night changed the course of Chris’ career and gave the club two superstars who would appear on it’s stage.
It’s all in the book that Richie and I are writing about the 35 year history of The Strip, and to celebrate we had a big party in the club on June 5th.
And by “people” I basically mean men, cause you rarely hear women making fools of themselves the way men do. This group of so-called “people” who feel the need to yell out remarks or comment openly on other people includes “cat-callers” who think they will attract women by being rude and making noises, and just shmucks in general who feel the need to try and boost their own non-existent self-esteem by making remarks about others.
Children do this for some reason, but you’re supposed to grow out of it. Some people never do. Sometimes when I have to pass a long row of men sitting on a wall, which is where you can usually find them, … eating sandwiches out of a bag that their mother’s probably packed for them, since the chance they actually have any women in their lives is very slim, I feel sorry for the women I see approaching because I know what they will have to endure.
Having been the victim of this kind of behavior myself all of my life, I empathize.
If it’s Tuesday night and 10 P.M. you can usually find me at the Comedy Juice show at Gotham. It’s a long running show that started in California, and in New York a funny guy named Rus Gutin books the show and also performs in it as well.
Since Christmas Eve falls on a Tuesday this year, Comedy Juice was moved to Monday night, and let me tell you the audience definitely got their money’s worth tonight. Rus Gutin was the host and he did a great job. It’s very hard to host a show. <Much harder than it looks because you have to warm up the audience and get them ready for the comics they’re about to see. Then you have to keep things moving along to make sure it all goes smoothly.
First up was Nikki Glaser, late of MTV’s Nikki and Sara Show which I got to see a couple of times, and which I thought was a really fun show. My boy Ardie Fuqua was the warm up comic and if anyone can warm up a crowd it’s Ardie Fuqua!
Nikki talked about the MTA announcement on the subway which warns female riders ” A crowded train is no excuse for an improper touch. Don’t stand for it or feel ashamed, or be afraid to speak up. Report it to an MTA employee or police officer.”, and remarked that in order for there to even be such a message, some perv had to have used that as an excuse for groping women. “The train was so crowded. I had no other place to put my hands!”
She also talked about internet porn and how she came to discover “reluctant” porn, which we bonded over after her set! (LOL) If you haven’t seen it, look it up!
The Stone Brothers, Todd and Adam Stone were on next and they killed it like they always do. I happened to be sitting next to them before they went up and Rus told them to do 10 minutes and then kiddingly added, ” Five minutes each!” Anyone who’s ever seen the Stone twins perform knows they spend a lot of the time talking at the same time, so I told them if they do that, it’s more like they’re getting 20 minutes! (10 minutes each!)
Adam said he wanted to lose some weight and his doctor told him he had to do something that would elevate his blood pressure for a good 20 minutes, so he goes to his local Duane Reade and starts shoplifting for 20 minutes and then puts everything back! Of course he does cause he’s a nice Jewish boy! ( His brother Todd claims to be Jewish too! Small world!)
It was good to see Nic Novicki again cause he spends most of his time ou in LA where he lives. Nic has been in so many films and TV shows lately, but he’s best known for his turns on HBO’s “The Sopranos”, and Boardwalk Empire where he played a little person boxer, The first time I ever met Nick was at a party on Long Island and he accidentally spilled a drink on me. Ordinarily I’d be upset about something like that, but Nic was so nice that we became friends.
He told a funny story about going to a party dressed as a penguin, with his girlfriend, also a little person and dressed as a penguin and he fell down the stairs and broke his arm, and hurt his leg and people thought he was just trying to waddle like a penguin.
Mike Lawrence said he recently got engaged, and was warned by people that it would ruin his sex life. On the contrary, he claimed it would GIVE him a sex life! My biggest shock was finding out that he’s Jewish. Jews can usually spot other Jews right away. His Jewishness was hidden by his beard which is definitely not a beard of the Hebraic kind, but more like a Brooklyn hipster beard.
Mark DeMayo was a cop for 20 years and just retired last year. Now he can tell jokes about being a cop. While he was on the force he wasn’t allowed to, and as he told me when they tell you you can’t do something, you can’t do that thing!
The Friars Club held a major event last night to rename the famed monastery in honor of comedy icon Jerry Lewis.
Fifty-fifth street in Manhattan , which is known as Friars Way, was blocked off for a champagne celebration renaming the historic building. It was packed with celebs and media names that came out to honor Jerry, and they even created a special star for him to be placed as the first star in a “Walk of Fame” like they have in Hollywood.
Then they gave Jerry a huge pair of red scissors for a ribbon cutting ceremony!
Some of the attendees were Vincent Pastore, from The Sopranos, Steven ( Little Steven) Van Zandt from The Sopranos, and Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band, Marvin Scott, ex-Mayor David Dinkins, Gilbert Gottfried, Pat Cooper, Bill Boggs, Rick Newman and his wife Chrissy, Tamsen Fadal, Joe Franklin, Jackie Martling, Dominic Chianese, Richard Johnson from the NY Post, and many more.
I had the honor of escorting my good friend, and comedy superstar Lisa Lampanelli, who I’ve been friends with for many years. Lisa and Al Roker dressed up as construction workers to present Jerry with his star for the Walk of Fame!
Lisa was my recent guest on Sirius XM with Ron and Fez where I am a regular, and honored me by coming on despite the fact that she was not doing any other press. She is still recovering from the loss of her dear father just a few months ago, and she made a decision to not allow any negativity into her life.
She only wants to do positive things which eliminates a lot of other radio shows that can tend to be mean-spirited. Although she is known as “The Lovable Queen of Mean” I know another side of her, and that’s the side that came out on the Sirius XM show that we did. We talked about positivity, and certain Spiritual principles that are important to incorporate into your way of life in order to achieve Happiness, which I capitalize for a reason!
To me Lisa embodies empowerment. She has created more change in her life in the last year than most people do in a lifetime, and that takes a lot of courage. She underwent weight loss surgery and lost 107 pounds, cut off her hair into what at first was a Mohawk, and is now just a very hip short look, that had purple streaks for a few minutes, and she made the loving, but difficult choice to leave a marriage that wasn’t working for her, but to her credit she did it on a very high level. She and her husband Jimmy Cannizzaro, one of the nicest guys you can find, are parting on good terms.
As a matter of fact they are on such good terms that Lisa gave her blessing to his new relationship with singer Jenna Esposito.
She told me personally and on the radio that if Jimmy and Jenna have kids she wants to be like the favorite aunt who spoils them. That is a beautiful thing. I went to Lisa’s home in Connecticut just a couple of weeks ago for a Labor Day barbecue, in the home she shared with Jimmy, and it’s a happy, joyous place on the water. Very peaceful and filled with things that make Lisa happy to see, like her father’s art work. He was an accomplished painter whose works fill her beautiful home.
So Lisa was expecting Jimmy and Jenna at the Jerry Lewis event and we all planned to meet up. As I was walking into the monastery, I felt a tap on my shoulder , and heard someone saying ” Hey Jeffrey”, and it was Richard Johnson who for so many years ruled the gossip world as the king of Page 6, and now has returned with his own column, ” Richard Johnson- The Man Who Knows New York”, which should have had the tag, “Like No One Else!” LOL
We exchanged pleasantries as they say, and I pointed out Lisa, Jimmy and Jenna standing outside talking. He didn’t even recognize Lisa but I said to him, “there’s your story for the day! That’s Lisa, her ex and his girlfriend.” So later during the evening I got to take these cool photos showing how well they all get along.
The other photos below are of some of the other fun guests. And Vinny Pastore told me he wrote a new play about when he owned a bar in New Rochelle back in the 80’s and Steve Van Zandt’s wife Maureen is directing it, and he’s really excited about that. It was another great night at The Friars Club!
And I thought I would end this column with a photo of Jerry and I from 1986 when I worked with him alone for two nights in his hotel room to prepare for his Friars Club Roast!
Early in June, 2014 the world went wild with stories about Rihanna, who on June 2, 2014 walked into an event in a see-through dress. It was an event at Lincoln Center and she was there to receive a Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, presented by no less than the editor of Vogue, Anna Wintour! Rihanna’s gown was created by designer Adam Selman with over 216,000 Swarovski crystals. Her critics, including Andrea Peyser of the NY Post, felt it should have had at least 216,002 crystals, with the other two crystals covering her nipples which could be seen through the sheer material. ( I tried unsuccessfully to upload the photos from The Post but WordPress didn’t let me!)
On Wednesday June 4th the NY Post wrote an article about the occurrence, with a photo of Rihanna with the area showing her nipples blocked out. Two days later Andrea Peyser of the NY Post, ( same paper) wrote an article she called ” Hey, nip this nonsense”, with an unblocked photo of Rihanna’s nipples, but the “nonsense” she was referring to was not the nonsense of making a big deal out of seeing Rihanna’s nipples, but the nonsense of her doing such a dastardly thing as exposing them to public view!
What is it about the nipple that is so horrible that you’re allowed to exhibit and expose every other single part of the breast but that part? How can such a small patch of skin with a little bump in the middle inspire such insanity in people? Who was it who made that part of the breast so taboo, that it’s considered a sin for anyone to see it? is it because that’s the part of the body that Moms feed their children with?
In Europe, toplessness is considered kind of normal. European men must be geniuses! Somehow they managed to convince European women that they could go to the beach topless, and no one would notice! Maybe they just promised not to look! That makes European women either the most gullible women in the world or the most relaxed and enlightened!
There are some people who still haven’t gotten over the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson “Nipplegate” thing that happened back in 2004 during the Super Bowl in Houston, when 143.6 million people were titillated by the sight of Janet Jackson’s pasty covered nipple. It was blamed on a “wardrobe malfunction!” More than half a million people complained and some haven’t slept well since. Most were women without nipples who were just jealous!
Back in the old days, burlesque queens and strippers wore pasties to cover their nipples. Actually they still do! And back when I was doing comedy videos for Playboy TV, I had to audition girls from the strip clubs, and there was actually a time when they were letting them use clear, latex pasties that you’d spray on from a can. You could actually see through them, but just the fact that there was something over their nipples was enough to get past the “no nipple” rule!
In this so called age of “equality” between the sexes, it seems there’s a real double standard! You’re allowed to actually see men’s nipples, probably because they don’t do anything. It’s a wonder that we have them at all. I don’t think anyone’s ever found a real use for them. But on a man the penis is the most horrible part that no one is ever allowed to see. Now I’m not advocating that you should be allowed to see it or to show it to anyone, but it just seems strange from a comedic point of view, that there is a part of our body once again that is so horrible, disgusting, and obscene that you can actually be arrested for showing it to anyone. It’s literally a crime to show someone your penis. Unless they request a viewing!
Women have low cut tops, showing off most of their breasts. At any fashion gala or even some spectacular event like the Academy Awards you see women with their breasts pushed up so high, they look like they’re about to pop out. It looks more ridiculous than sexy! But again, there’s such a double standard. Men don’t have low cut pants. Fortunately there’s no such thing. It’s not like you can show off the entire length of the shaft of your penis except for the tip, which would be the equivalent of a woman showing off her entire breast except for the center!
It’s funny that the two parts of the male and female anatomy used to either make children or feed them are the two parts people are shamed by and are illegal to show. Where did that start? Maybe back in The Garden when Eve ate the apple because the snake told her to, and man was given shame! We’ve been paying the price ever since, but for us comedy writers, it’s really just a big joke!
Anyone who knows my posts knows I only like to write about positive things. I’ve been holding off on writing about the horrible accident that injured Tracy Morgan, and his fellow-comic passengers Ardie Fuqua, Harris Stanton, and Jimmy Mack who unfortunately did not survive. I didn’t know Jimmy personally but from mutual friends I heard he was a great guy and that Tracy considered him his mentor.
It’s a very different thing writing about someone you know. Especially when it’s something terrible. Most journalists write very dispassionately never having met the people they’re writing about. Writing about a friend is much more difficult in many ways, because you never want to feel that you’re trying to draw attention to yourself, through their misfortune.
I saw Tracy as recently as April 15th when he came up to Sirius XM studios to do a special ” Unmasked” interview with Ron Bennington, the “Ron” from the legendary Ron and Fez Show. Everyone was excited and Tracy did a very moving and intimate interview, really opening up about his life, and the things that are important to him, and moving both himself and the audience to tears! I was in the green room watching, and after the interview there were big hugs all around!
The shocking news came through on Saturday, June 7th that Tracy was in critical condition after a tractor trailer slammed into his SUV limo bringing him and his entourage back from performing at a casino in Delaware.
The limo Tracy was in turned over, and Tracy was said to have sustained several injuries including a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs. He already underwent surgery for the broken femur , and was said to be recovering, at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick.
Fortunately Harris Stanton got away with relatively minor injuries if you can call any injury “minor”, and was well enough to be released.
Ardie who has been opening for Tracy for a while now, is still listed in critical condition, and to my knowledge no one has said anything specific about his injuries. I last heard from him the Wednesday before the accident, when he texted me all excited that Chris Rock himself had brought him on to the BET Awards.
Ardie is a super guy, loved by all who know him, who’s still recovering from the loss of his beloved son Ardley Jamaal Fuqua in May of 2012 in a freak accident, but he still manages to go out and make other people laugh despite his own personal pain. He teased me for weeks about the fact that when I went out to Brooklyn a few months back to see him open for Tracy , I brought Tracy a copy of my book “Make ‘Em Laugh” as a gift, and signed it for him on the spot. Tracy had known about the book, and I promised him a copy but for some reason Ardie thought it was hysterical that I would think to give Tracy a signed copy of my book! I’m still not sure why he thought it was strange, but he did! And he told that to everyone he saw when I was around! (LOL)
Also seriously injured were Tracy’s assistant Jeffrey Millea, and there were supposedly two other people in the limo that were not injured. Thank G-d Tracy’s wife Megan, and 11 month old baby daughter Maven were not in the SUV as they usually travel with Tracy, and are there at every recent show of Tracy’s that I’ve attended.
Everyone, especially his friends in the comedy community are all praying for their swift and complete recovery!