Archive for Cabaret

Cult Comedy Pictures Holiday Show and Manhole Cover Presentation!

CCP xmas_stage72 flyer

I feel very fortunate to be considered part of Cult Comedy Pictures, a group of very talented, very funny, and very creative performers.  Their forte are comedy videos which is what drew me to them in the first place!

The core group is made up of George Gaffney, Brent Katz, Lance Rizzo, Jake Hart, Mark Becker, Justin Williams, Jose Vega, Jaclyn Brown, Akash Bhasin, and Candice Guardino, and they bring in regulars like comic/producer Alyse Kenny and myself.

The holiday show was an extravaganza of comedy, videos and musical parodies that took place at Rick Newman’s gorgeous new theatre Stage 72, which used to be known as The Triad Theatre on West 72nd Street, and the place was jam packed.  They had to insert two people next to me with a shoehorn!

Jeffrey Gurian with comedy icon Rick Newman the founder of Catch A Rising Star, and current owner of Stage 72!

Jeffrey Gurian with comedy icon Rick Newman the founder of Catch A Rising Star, and current owner of Stage 72!

The show opened with Jake Hart, the consummate host due to his commanding presence, (in a bright red suit no less!), and a booming voice which translates to a beautiful singing voice, and he brought up the hilarious Stone Brothers, Adam and Todd Stone who I see often performing at Friars events and clubs all over town.

I love when they speak at the same time.  It’s silly and always makes me laugh.  They are very likable and funny, and I understand they decided to be twins at a very early age!

The Stone Brothers otherwise known as Adam and Todd Stone doing their twin thing at Stage 72!

The Stone Brothers otherwise known as Adam and Todd Stone doing their twin thing at Stage 72!

The show was a succession of funny sketches and videos.  One of my favorites is the Black Israelites with George Gaffney, Justin Williams (with the really big hat), and Jose Vega who plays a character called Sup Son!  They are HYSTERICAL!  George works very hard both behind the camera and in front of the camera, and does really great character work, as well as a lot of the editing of the video pieces.

The Black israelites,(L-R) Jose Vega, Justin Williams and George Gaffney engaging with host Jake Hart!

The hysterically funny Black Israelites,(L-R) Jose Vega, Justin Williams and George Gaffney engaging with host Jake Hart!

Brent Katz spends most of his time behind the camera but also appears in some of the sketches as well!

I brought the troupe in to film a sketch I wrote with Lance Rizzo for Countess LuAnn DeLesseps and Princess Carole Radziwill of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of New York, which will run in the new season, starting in March, and they came through with a very funny video in a very short amount of time.

Carole Radziwill, Jeffrey Gurian, and LuAnn DeLesseps in character for the Real Housewives of New York at The PIT!

Carole Radziwill, Jeffrey Gurian, and LuAnn DeLesseps in character for the Real Housewives of New York at The PIT!

Truth be told they worked feverishly until the very last minute and actually got it finished literally 20 minutes before I left for the theatre where it was to be shown!  Luckily for me, I had a very strong heart, and very strong faith in them that they’d get it done, and they came through with flying colors!  Real Housewives of New York means NATIONAL exposure!

Alyse Kenny came up and she and Jake did a sketch which involved a “naughty or nice” contest, and a holiday give-away of prizes to the audience.

Alyse Kenny and Jake Hart on stage doing their thing!

Alyse Kenny and Jake Hart on stage doing their thing!

And Jaclyn Brown and Mark Becker did a hysterical musical sketch with Jaclyn’s Dad a famous musician who accompanied them on the guitar.   Mark wound up shirtless exposing a sculptured body that put everyone else to shame!  Great abs!

Jaclyn Brown, and Mark Becker in a musical parody with Mr. Brown on guitar!

Jaclyn Brown, and Mark Becker in a musical parody with Mr. Brown on guitar!

And Candace Guardino and Jake Hart teamed up to do a little musical number which parodied Dean Martin’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside” under the title “Baby, It’s Cult Outside!”.  Can’t wait for Candace to restart her hit off-Broadway show Italian Bred which Lance Rizzo is helping to produce, and I am participating in as well!

The show closed with the very sharp comedy of the always funny Leighann Lord, who’s an old friend and who I enjoy every time I see her perform!

Leighann Lord making them laugh at Stage 72!

Leighann Lord making them laugh at Stage 72!

But the high point of the evening for me was the group’s presentation to me of a very special award, which turned out to be a manhole cover with my face on it!  It was hysterical and I have it now in my apartment as a great piece of memorabilia!

Brent Katz filmed Lance Rizzo and I in the theatre district on 42nd Street one night in the frigid cold, and Lance presented me with the award on behalf of the rest of the group.  You can see my reaction in the video below:

Jeffrey Gurian holding his manhole cover award with his face imprinted on it!  PRICELESS!!!

Jeffrey Gurian holding his manhole cover award with his face imprinted on it! PRICELESS!!!

 

Lance Rizzo presenting Jeffrey Gurian with the Manhole Cover of the Year Award for the Comedy Walk of Fame!

Lance Rizzo presenting Jeffrey Gurian with the Manhole Cover of the Year Award for the Comedy Walk of Fame!

 

The manhole cover in it's proper place in Times Square!

The manhole cover in it’s proper place in Times Square!

 

 

I said to him at the time while we were shivering in the cold, people have no idea what some people go through just to make other people laugh.  The audience was all warm and snuggly in their homes while we were out in the arctic cold, freezing our butts off, busy presenting me with a manhole cover!

And the truth is I can’t wait to do it again! (LOLOL)  We’re supposed to do a series of funny, sexy videos, with big name comics and gorgeous girls, so stay tuned for that!

Cult Comedy Pictures rules!!!  Check out Mike Sgroi’s article on Cult Comedy Pictures as well!

CCPScreen_12:13:13

 

Posted in: Cabaret, Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Comedy Videos, Entertainment News, Jeffrey Gurian News, Nightlife Events, Off-Broadway Show, Stand-Up Comedy

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"In The Life" with Steve Stanulis

Steve Stanulis is one of those guys who does a lot of things. He’s an actor/writer/producer/director, and I met him originally through accomplished film director John Gallagher.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with actor/writer/producer Steve Stanulis at The DL, for Steve’s show ” In The Life”!

Both of us recently shot scenes for John’s new film called ” Act, Naturally” with his hilarious and talented co-stars Mia Pinchoff and Samantha Scaffidi.

(L-R) Mia Pinchoff with the lucky Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, and Samantha Scaffidi on the red carpet of the shoot for the John Gallagher directed film “Act, Naturally!”

Steve has a very interesting and eclectic history. At 18 years of age he was a Chippendales dancer, who worked under the name Steve Savage at the popular Manhattan club on East 61st Street.

At 20 years of age he entered the NYPD as a police officer, and worked in police precincts in Manhattan before being assigned to the 120th Precinct on Staten Island.

During the day he chased perps and at night he chased other things, as he strutted his stuff at Chippendales. He retired from the force in 2002 to pursue his goals in show biz.

I recently got to interview him on the red carpet of the Soho International Film Festival, an interview you will be seeing very soon, and I also went to see him perform in a play he wrote called “Stripped : The Play” about his days as a male stripper.

He co-wrote the script with the director Geoffrey Cantor, and in it he plays a character named Brock Hammer!

He took it to Las Vegas and now it’s in it’s second incarnation.

Every Thursday he tapes a show called ” In The Life” at the nightlife hotspot DL on Delancey Street in Lower Manhattan, and I was on as a guest.

It was a really fun show to do, and the guest who was on before me was Jake Robinson, one of the stars of the CW hit “The Carrie Diaries”, which is supposedly the prequel to “Sex and the City.”

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Jake Robinson of “The Carrie Diaries” at The DL!

And in the final segment Steve interviewed the five new guys who will be in the new incarnation of “Stripped”, Steve’s hot play about male strippers. Only Brian, who admits to being 50, but is in killer shape, has been in it before!

I actually saw it and it was really good. I can’t wait to see the new incarnation!

(L-R) Brenton Duplessie, Brett Zarfit, Darnell, Brian, Steve Stanulis, and in the back Alejandro!,

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Lynne Koplitz Proves Beauty and Comedy Go Well Together!

They say that beautiful women can’t be funny! Who “they” are no one actually knows, but whoever “they” are, Lynne Koplitz disproves that myth.

The beautiful, sexy, and funny Lynne Koplitz with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!

She also did a very brave thing. At least I thought it was brave. She was headlining Gotham Comedy Club, and taping her show to be used for an upcoming project, and with her manager Rick Dorfman in the audience, one of the top comedy managers in the biz, (who also works with JB Smoove), she decided to go off on her own, and not do the act she had been preparing to do.

It was the first show of her weekend headlining gig, and instead of doing her prepared material, she did what I compared to a Patrice O’Neal type of performance, which she thanked me for. She said I got what she was doing.

She was looking for truth, and talked to the audience about all kinds of things, mostly about getting older, and the state of her life. It was very ballsy, and I had to give her props for that. She even said about herself, “This stripper is chatty!”

Lynne Koplitz onstage at Gotham offering an audience member a sip of her drink!

The last time I had seen her was this past summer in Montreal in the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel, where I interviewed her for my Comedy Matters TV channel, which was chosen as the official celeb interviewer at the festival. She was nursing a broken shoe, which she also attributed as part of her hooker look! It’s about 31 minutes and 58 seconds in!

I’m sure the rest of her shows were her regular material but only someone who has performed before an audience knows how hard it is to perform at all, and then to get up and do something you didn’t expect to do makes it all that much harder. She’s a courageous performer to do something like that.

Jimmy Failla was the MC and is always reliably funny, and a great host. One of the lines that stuck out for me is that he wanted a child who would be friendly to other children, so he named his son Sandusky!

MC Jimmy Failla warming up the crowd at Gotham Comedy Club!

Ryan Hamilton gave a stand-out performance, and got huge laughs. Starting from the moment he walked out on stage. Before he even said a word!

Only in comedy are we happy when people laugh at our appearance. Performers use it as a prop. Not like a Gallagher or Carrot Top prop that you have to pull out of a suitcase, but a prop you always have with you! Your face!!!

Ryan Hamilton and Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV after a wild hot-air balloon ride, at Gotham Comedy Club!

Audiences always like when comics tell them who they look like. With me it’s a cross between Phil Spector and Elton John. Ryan says he looks like a comedy club logo. And because of that he can’t even go to a funeral. It wouldn’t be appropriate! (LOL)

Ryan Hamilton onstage, describing himself as looking like the logo for a comedy club!

He did a fantastic bit on hot air ballooning, about taking a girl up in a hot air balloon on a date. You have to go early, like 5 A.M. and it takes two hours which means you’re finished at 7 A.M. Not a particularly romantic time of the day!

He described it as a romantic experience with a guy standing in the corner. In a thing made of wicker. Wicker makes him nervous even on the ground.

And the guy who flies it calls himself a pilot! Ryan felt that was a very generous term to use. The guy doesn’t even know where we’re going! Do you wanna go up or down??? (LOL) Those are your two choices!

He also said he went out with a girl he knew from the 3rd grade who suggested they pick up where they left off, so he pulled her hair, and ran away!

Another great show at Gotham!

Posted in: Cabaret, Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Central, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Festivals, Comedy Matters, Comedy Videos, Nightlife Events

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Domesticated Primates Don’t Monkey Around ( At The PIT)

The People’s Improv Theatre better known as The PIT, along with UCB is like the epicenter of “hip”, alternative comedy these days. I’ve been seeing some very cool things there and the other night I got the chance to see a series of vignettes (if that word is still used anywhere!) called “Domesticated Primates”, which compares our mating habits, and ideas of sexuality to those of monkeys, our closest relatives in the animal kingdom!

This series of sexy,funny sketches starred four actors I think you’ll be seeing a lot of, Corinne Fisher, who is also a stand-up comic, and Improv performer, Kaira Klueber,(who for some reason pronounces her first name “Kara”! The “I” is silent, but if you leave it out, it makes her name too loud! It’s like the extra “A” in Aaron! LOL), the very funny Brian Berrebbi, and a multi-talented actor who goes by the name of Jonesy!

(L-R) Kaira Klueber, Jonesy, Corinne Fisher, and Brian Berrebbi outside at The PIT. Their show however was INSIDE at the PIT, (cause it’s easier to perform inside than in the street!)

All four of them are very funny and have great stage presence! And it doesn’t hurt that two of them are really pretty! With great smiles! ( Guess which two I mean!) LOL

Corinne Fisher and Kaira Kluber, two funny girls with great smiles!

The sketches examine how our male and female roles have developed in our modern day society, and whether monogamy is a natural state for human beings, since it only came about as a concept a mere 14,000 years ago. Before that it was one long party!

If you get a chance to see this show or any of the performers in this group, drop whatever you’re doing at the moment, (or put it down gently!), and run straight out of your door to see them. And make sure to tell them I sent you!

Posted in: Cabaret, Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Nightlife Events, Sketch Comedy, Variety Show

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Tuesday Night Comedy At The Friars

The flier for Tuesday night comedy at The Friars Club!

I’ve been going to The Friars Club since the late 70’s, and it’s as exciting today to walk in there as it was then. Granted, I don’t run into Milton Berle, Henny Youngman, or Joey Adams anymore, but I do run into people like Richard Belzer, Richard Lewis, and even people not named Richard, … like Alan Zweibel!

Friars Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV and Richard Lewis in the dining room of The Friars Club!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Richard Belzer in the dining room at The Friars Club!

In the last year alone, I shot video interviews there for Comedy Matters TV with Friar Lisa Lampanelli who made her singing debut at the club, Friar Richard Lewis who came to town to headline at Carolines, and Friar Brett Ratner, who was honored at the club, and you can see these videos on my Comedy Matters Channel at http://www.youtube.com/guriannewsnetwork

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Friar/director Brett Ratner at an event at The Friars in his honor!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Lisa Lampanelli at The Friars Club for her singing debut in preparation for her upcoming one-woman Broadway show!

The Friars is like a museum of show biz, and if you’re a comedy fan, you can’t help be excited to be within it’s walls. The club itself is a beautiful 6 story mansion on East 55th Street between Park and Madison, with a pool room, a well stocked gym, a couple of cool bars, like the downstairs Billy Crystal Bar, a fantastic dining room, a card playing room, and several gorgeous meeting rooms.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Billy Crystal in Billy’s office in Beverly Hills!

Once a month, comic/producer Aaron Haber puts on a comedy show in where else, “The Milton Berle Room” on the 2nd floor. Aaron is the busiest guy. He also produces shows at Al Martin’s Broadway Comedy Club, and also just launched www.evilnewsdaily.com

Jeffrey Gurian with Milton Berle in 1985 at the LA Friars, the year he sponsored me into the club!

This month he invited me to participate and in all my years at The Friars it’s the first time I performed stand-up comedy there.

I’ve been hosting shows at the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip for about a year now, so I felt I was ready to do The Friars. It was a great show. Aaron, who could have been the inspiration for Chris Rock’s play, “The Mother-Fuc*er With The Hat”, is a perfect MC, and somehow reminds me of Kevin Nealon, with his delivery. He’s very funny.

Aaron Haber or as he’s known, The Motherfu**er With The Hat, MC’ing his show at The Friars Club!

Also on the bill was Moody McCarthy, and I always mean to ask him how he got the name “Moody” cause he’s always in a good mood when I see him. He agreed to go on first which is always a tough spot, but not so much when you’re funny, and he is. It’s a very appreciative and supportive audience, and they loved him.

Moody McCarthy entertaining Friars in the Milton Berle Room!

Then my old friend Maureen Langan went up and killed it. Comics always reminisce about going on road trips together where they travelled to their gigs in the same car. Maureen lives on my block so we walked over together all the way from East 54th Street! What a reminiscence that will be some day! (LOL) Hey Mo, remember the time we walked three blocks together to get to that gig? And it was a little windy too! Remember that??? My hair almost got all messed up.

Maureen Langan making a comedy point to the audience at The Friars Club!

I followed Maureen and felt pretty good about my set. At least no one threatened to take away my membership, … and General Manager Michael Caputo was there, and was even kind enough to shoot the group photo you see below!

(L-R_ Moody McCarthy, Maureen Langan, Jeffrey Gurian, Aaron Haber, and in the back Josh Spear! ( A Spear in the back sounds painful! LOL)

The next comic up, Josh Spear, was an old friend of mine from the club scene days, where he used to promote hot parties. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while and was glad to see we were going to be on the same show, so it gave us a chance to catch up! He had a really good set, and told me he had to leave on the early side, because he was actually going back to college to pursue the education he never took the time to get previously. I thought that takes a lot of courage, and is very commendable since he already has a career in comedy.

Josh Spear being funny onstage at The Friars Club!

Friar Steven Scott doing his thing onstage at The Friars Club!

And closing the show was the always entertaining Steven Scott, who’s a perfect closer, cause he does so many things. Not only does he tell jokes, but he does imitations, voices, sound effects, and can even imitate music with his voice. Once we were on the Joey Reynolds radio show together, and he acted as an entire band, making the sound of each instrument with his mouth. It was truly amazing.

All in all it was a fantastic show, and all The Friars had a great time. You have to either be a Friar or a guest of a Friar to attend, so if any of you in the biz ever wanna come to a show, let me know and I’ll sponsor you for membership!

Posted in: Cabaret, Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Nightlife Events, Red Carpet Events, Variety Show

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My Cabaret Debut With 2 Time Mac Award Winner Dana Lorge

Most people wouldn’t want the reputation of being a two-timer, but for Dana Lorge it’s quite an honor. She’s a two time Mac award winner for 2012, and it’s only April! (LOL) By the end of the year that could multiply!!!

Dana Lorge, 2 time Mac Award Winner does a weekly show at Iguana every Wednesday!

Dana does a really fun variety show every Wednesday at a beautiful place called Iguana on West 54th Street, right near the theatre district in NYC.

As a matter of fact it’s directly around the corner from where David Letterman shoots his show for CBS. And the best part is that I had the honor of being part of it!

Another Mac Award winner, my old friend Joan Jaffe vouched for my comedic capabilities, and Dana added me to her show. I guess one Mac Award winner feels safe trusting another!

Dana Lorge and Joan Jaffe, a couple of multiple Mac winners at Iguana for Dana’s show!

It was billed as a “Variety” show, and I was lucky enough to be “the variety” cause I was the only comic, … which is just the way I like it! (LOL)

Joan is currently starring in her own show called Man-ha-ha-ha-Tan, coming to “Don’t Tell Mama” on West 46th Street, on May 6th at 7:30. Joan is a real talent and mixes her own brand of comedy with some very funny comedy songs. It’s a real treat to hear her, so I hope you’ll all join me there on May 6th.

Joan Jaffe mid-performance in Dana Lorge’s show at Iguana! What great hair she has! (LOL)

Dana is a spitfire and just before I went onstage I caught her doing an incredibly energetic version of “The Pony” a dance from a while back which only those in great shape can do, if you’re over 35. All she needed was white boots and a cage and I would have thought I was back in the 70’s again!

I can see why she won two Mac awards, not only for her talent, but also for the energy she puts out to her audience. They love her!

Dana was so relieved to see I was funny, we spontaneously started dancing! There wasn’t even any music at the time! (LOL)

The show was just one great singer after the next and the audience was first rate, and very upscale. I have to say my comedy went over well, and I had what you might call ” a killer set”! LOL I think I finally found my niche! Just in case you doubt me, I’m attaching the set for you to listen to, so you can see for yourselves!

Here’s the link:

DanaLorge_IguanaShow_4_11_12

One of the treats of the evening for me, among the many I had, was getting to hear Gary Russo, the construction worker, who spends his time building the 2nd Avenue subway, and who draws crowds during lunch hour with his Sinatra renditions. His You Tube video got over a million hits, and since I had read about him in the paper recently, when they announced who he was I was looking forward to hearing him and introducing myself. ( Not at the same time! I was planning on waiting till he was finished singing! LOL)

Gary Russo, singer/construction worker/You Tube phenom, singing Sinatra at The Iguana!

He was really great! What a gift he has, and before I could approach him, he was nice enough to come and say hello to me. We may even be doing something fun together coming up soon! More on that to come!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with You Tube singing sensation Gary Russo at Iguana!

In the meantime, I guess I did well enough that Dana invited me back on her show for Wed. May 2nd, so come out and support! Hope to see you all there!

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