Archive for Book Reviews

Joe De Rosa Takes On A "Friendly" Heckler at Broadway Comedy Club

Sometimes in the middle of a set, if a comic doesn’t think the joke they just told got enough of a response they mention it to the audience. Personally, I try and avoid it although I have been known to say, ” Thank you for obeying the “No Laughing” signs!”

Joe De Rosa on-stage at Broadway Comedy Club!

Joe De Rosa who is always funny and proved that long ago, was doing a bit in the main room of Broadway Comedy the other night about nurses, and about how some of them are not that attentive when you’re in the hospital. He was using his Mom’s recent hospital stay as a reference, and he happened to comment to the audience something along the lines of he felt he was losing them over this nursing material, when one woman in the audience became quite vocal in her response, that she wasn’t feeling the nurse material and said something to the effect, “I’m feeling your pain but you’re not rocking it right now!” Which was a strange remark on many levels.

Mostly I wondered where she had learned the term “rocking it”, and I pictured her just waiting for any opportunity to use it. Here was her chance so she yelled it out right in the middle of Joe’s set. Granted he basically asked the audience for their opinion of the nurse material, but not all questions have to be answered. You take a chance when you do that. People mixed with alcohol, can lead to a noisy result, which is what happened here.

Joe had also wondered where the concept of “hot nurses” came from, as they are often portrayed mostly in porn films, because the nurses he saw did not quite fit that bill. One of them said to him, ” Anything I can do for your Mom Mr. De Rosa?” And he said, ” Yeh, stay away from her wallet! You got a spider tattoo on your neck and I don’t trust you!”

Because Joe has so much stage experience he chose to engage her, and she kept insisting that she was a “friend”, and “fan” of Joe’s, hence the “Friendly Heckler” title, and she said she liked him as a comic but felt the need to stand up for nurses. All this while the show was going on, … or not going on!

Joe handled it well, but a lesser comic wouldn’t have been able to. He also said ” The President did badly in the debate because he ran out of lies. Politicians promise you things you like. You like water slides? If I’m elected, everyone will have a water slide!” It can’t be done. They know it but they promise it to you anyway!

Joe’s got a new book out called Cheat: A Man’s Guide to Infidelity, from Simon and Schuster, that he wrote with Bill Burr, and Robert Kelly, and the book is a hit! You can get it on Amazon!

Leah Bonnema was the host and she’s great at that.

Funny lady Leah Bonnema hosting the show at Broadway Comedy!

I also got to see Jason Salman who I had only seen doing five minute sets on some of my late night shows before that, but this night he did a 20 minute set and got lots of laughs with things like ” In Texas, ( where he’s from), we believe you can kill any animal for food, except a stork, because we consider that an abortion!”

Jason Salman, accompanied by his ever-present moustache onstage at Broadway Comedy!

And growing up in Texas, he thought vegans and French people were fictional characters from literature!

Neko White closed the show. Neko is very funny, and is only 19 years old, which is such a great time to be performing. I’ve performed with him many times and I see great things ahead for him. He’s one of those performers that the audience just loves to laugh at. He brings a strong comedic presence to the stage.

He questions some of the things that Black people fought for in the past, for instance not having to sit in the back of the bus. He feels that’s the most comfortable place to sit on the bus, and he’s right! It’s less crowded, and the seats are bigger, but thankfully you won’t find Rosa Parks there!

Nineteen year old Neko White killing it onstage at Broadway Comedy!

He talked about why he can’t be with “big girls”, cause he’s too thin and his bone density is not what it’s supposed to be. If a big girl layed down on him, he’s afraid his chest would pop like bubble wrap!

It was an entertaining show just like always at Broadway Comedy!

Posted in: Book Reviews, Books, Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Nightlife Events, Podcasts, Variety Show

Leave a Comment (0) →

"Make ‘Em Laugh" with Chris Rock Finally Hits The Bookstores

The Comic Strip opened on June 1st of 1976. It’s an iconic comedy club on the Upper East Side of NYC, that launched the careers of stars like Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Paul Reiser, George Wallace, Gilbert Gottfried, Jim Gaffigan, Lewis Black, Lisa Lampanelli, and many more.

Richie Tienken, Chris Rock, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip after Chris’ interview for the book “Make ‘Em Laugh” for which Chris also write the hilarious intro!

One day,on June 16th of 2008 I was at The Strip with Ann Curry, Gilbert Gottfried, and PR powerhouse Ryan McCormick of Goldman/McCormick PR, and after looking at all the talent on the walls, I suggested to owner/founder Richie Tienken that we do a book on the history of the club. He came to my house to talk about it, and saw even more photos than HE had in the club (LOL), and decided to trust me to tell his story. That was the long and the short of it.

(L-R) Jeffrey Gurian, Ann Curry, Ryan McCormick, Gilbert Gottfried, and Richie Tienken all trying to figure out why Ann looks so surprised! Maybe she heard it would take four years to do the book, and couldn’t believe it!

The front cover of “Make ‘Em Laugh” by Jeffrey Gurian and Richie Tienken with an intro. by Chris Rock!

That July, of 2008 I went up to the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, which is the biggest comedy festival in the world, and did my first three digital audio interviews. First was with Larry Miller at his hotel, then George Wallace in a restaurant, and then Paul Provenza at the main hotel where the festival was being held.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Larry Miller at The Strip! Larry was the very first comic interviewed for the book!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV backstage with George Wallace at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, 2008. George was the 2nd comic to be interviewed for the book!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Paul Provenza, at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, 2008. Paul was the the 3rd comic to be interviewed for the book!

From that point on, it took the next four years to see this book on a shelf in Barnes and Noble. I was on a quest to get every big star I could, who had come out of The Strip, to be interviewed for the book. And most of them came into the club to do it during the afternoon when we wouldn’t be disturbed. Richie and I would meet them there and sit casually in the showroom while we reminisced about the old days, into my recorder.

Jeffrey Gurian and Richie Tienken at The Comic Strip with Jerry Seinfeld after his interview for the book “Make ‘Em Laugh”!

We felt it was helpful to do it in the club, because we thought, and rightly so, that being in the club would help bring back memories, and it did. During Paul Reiser’s interview, he claims to have suddenly remembered for the first time ever, what started the annual New Year’s day brunch that he has attended every year for the last 30 years or more with Jerry Seinfeld, Larry Miller, and Mark Schiff. There was originally a fifth guy named Michael Cain, but unfortunately he passed away many years ago, way before his time.

(L-R) Richie Tienken, Ray Romano, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip after Ray’s interview for the book, ” Make ‘Em Laugh”!

So the book has cool stories from Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, who came in with his long-time manager Rory Rosegarten who he had met at The Strip, Jim Gaffigan, Susie Essman, Lisa Lampanelli, Gilbert Gottfried, Paul Provenza, Lewis Black, Judah Friedlander, Jeffrey Ross, Tony Rock, Adam Ferrara, and so many more!

I even flew out to LA to interview Billy Crystal which was a very special one to me, since during the middle of the interview he realized he knew me from the legendary Jack Rollins, who managed him, Robin Williams, and Woody Allen, back in the day!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Billy Crystal in his Beverly Hills office! Billy is pointing to his teeth referencing Jeffrey’s rumored history as a former dentist! (LOL)

I wanted to do all the interviews before looking for an agent and a book deal, because I knew that agents would be skeptical of someone saying they could get this many interviews, with such big stars, and I wanted to be able to walk in with them already done.

After three painstaking years of doing interviews, and transcribing them by hand, my pal media powerhouse Judith Regan, introduced me to her agent at N.S. Bienstock, because she said for a celeb-filled book like this I need a powerful agent, and I spent most of the fourth year editing it down to the length that Skyhorse Publishing wanted it to be.

Media heavyweight Judith Regan and Jeffrey Gurian holding the book that she made possible, “Make ‘Em Laugh”!

I started with about 500 pages, and had to whittle it down to about 250 pages. I have all the stories digitally recorded on a disk, so our next project will probably be a CD of the stories that didn’t make it into the book!

Then I had to get blurbs for the book’s back cover, so I went to some of my famous friends and contacts and asked them to read the galleys and to provide meaningful blurbs and I got amazing stuff from ten people; Barry Katz, co-creator of Last Comic Standing, Judd Apatow, the king of Hollywood comedies, Richard Lewis, Mike Birbiglia, Charles Grodin, Elayne Boosler the first woman ever to have a cable TV special, Danny Aiello, Michael Imperioli, Nick Kroll star of the upcoming The Kroll Show, on Comedy Central, Tom Papa, and even DJ Cassidy, the world famous DJ who is also the DJ for Russell Simmons’ show “The Ruckus” hosted by JB Smoove!

The back cover of “Make ‘Em Laugh” with blurbs from Barry Katz, Richard Lewis, Mike Birbiglia, Charles Grodin, Elayne Boosler, Danny Aiello, Michael Imperioli, Nick Kroll, Tom Papa, Bob Saget, and DJ Cassidy!

Speaking of JB Smoove, this summer in Montreal, I was the official celeb interviewer and shot 40 interviews with stars like Chelsea Handler,Bob Saget, Joel McHale, JB Smoove, Marc Maron, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Adam Carolla, and Howie Mandel, …

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Chelsea Handler at Just for Laughs in Montreal!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Bob Saget backstage at Bob’s gala at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal!

… and one night I got Jay Pharoah from SNL reading Chris Rock’s intro from my book, in Chris Rock’s voice, to entertain JB Smoove and a bunch of comedy execs that were hanging out in the lobby! That you must see, and it’s right here:

So as of Monday, 10/1/12 the book is in Barnes and Noble and is available on their site and on Amazon.com All the stars in the book are helping to get the word out and even stars not in the book like Dave Chappelle are posing with the book!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Colin Quinn holding “Make ‘Em Laugh”, which Colin is in!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Judah Friedlander holding a copy of “Make ‘Em Laugh” which he is in!

Dave Chappelle chillin’ at the bar at The Comic Strip reading “Make ‘Em Laugh” about the 35 year history of the club!

I hope you’ll all read it, enjoy it, and leave a positive comment somewhere where other people will see it! (LOLOL)

Posted in: Book Reviews, Books, Breaking News, Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Festivals, Comedy Matters, Comedy Videos, Nightlife Events

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 2 of 2 12
close

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word by Subscribing :)