Archive for Fashion Events

Comedy In An Alley

If you’ve been to any upscale, fancy Manhattan event chances are you’ve seen Francesco Belcaro. He’s hard to miss. Tall, handsome and stylish with 46 thousand followers on Instagram, and usually surrounded by models, chances are good he had something to do with making the event successful.

As a matter of fact I’ll be attending a black tie affair of his tomorrow night called The Venetian Carnival which will be held at The Top of the Standard. You can see him greeting me at a fashion party he arranged in a cool beautique, where the champagne was flowing freely in the  video below.

Pinko fashion Brand and Valdo Prosecco event.

Posted by Francesco Belcaro on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A force in marketing, promotion, and real estate you can imagine my surprise when he invited me to a comedy event.

And then I saw that Mehul Patel was involved and I know that he does comedy shows in upscale venues to try and create a party kind of atmosphere where the audience hangs out afterwards to keep the show/party feeling going. There was no question that I would attend. It was a concerted effort between those guys as well as Rick Rosa and Maria Ton.

This show was called Laughter at Alley Cat and was held at a place called “Alley Cat” on a street I didn’t even know existed in New York. Theatre Alley. I had no idea what to expect when I drove down there, but it was a good sign that Waze knew just where to take me.

Luckily I was able to find a parking spot where Waze said it was, but when I got out of my car I didn’t  know where to go. I was parked right across from this narrow alley and Waze said I had arrived so I tentatively walked into this alley. Late at night in New York you don’t just walk into any alley, but I didn’t know where else to go. When I first walked in all I saw was this.

I ventured further and suddenly saw velvet ropes which in New York is always a good sign.

As I got even closer I saw the logo of the Alley Cat and felt relieved that I was in the right place.

Right away it had a cool vibe. Security guided me downstairs and then upstairs into a showroom that was packed with people already drinking and having a good time. Francesco spotted me and took me to the VIP room where I saw the other comics, host Rashad Bashir who I had just met recently at a show at Alex Carabano’s V-Spot restaurant and comedy club, Kendall Ketchum representing those with two X chromosomes, Shawn Jackson, Elon Altman, the afore-mentioned Mehul Patel, and Matt Pavich.

Front Row: Shawn Jackson and Yours Truly, Rear )L-R) Elon Altman, Kendall Ketchum, Matt Pavich, Rashad Bashir, and Mehul Patel.

Rashad Bashir was a great host who really got the energy pumping, and one by one all the comics brought their A-game which wasn’t always easy because of the noise from the bar. That’s the only problem with doing comedy from a “hip” venue that is not a traditional comedy club, trying to control the noise from the bar, and from people who may have drank enough to forget their manners and that a show is going on.

Mehul Patel onstage

Fortunately the host reprimanded them and most of the comics projected loudly on the mic to overcome the background noise. Matt Pavich had a different approach which I really respected because it’s hard to do. Rather than yell, he took a chance and spoke quietly, and the audience in turn quieted down to hear him. I’ve seen it done before but it takes courage because if it doesn’t work you’re in worse shape than you were in the first place. I gave him props for that after the show because it was a choice he made that worked.

All in all it was a very strong show, and I hope to go back and perform on it myself one month.

That’s all for me. Just remember that Comedy Matters, … and with that I’m OUT!!!

And please go to my Comedy Matters TV You Tube channel to see fun video interviews with all your favorite stars, and follow me on Twitter and IG at @jeffreygurian

 

 

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The Most Horrible Parts of the Body

The Most Horrible Parts of the Body

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!

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Stand-Up For Heroes at The Beacon Theatre

The NY Comedy Festival had so many star-studded shows, but the one that stuck out for me as being the most meaningful, besides being just entertaining was the Stand-Up For Heroes event, at The Beacon Theater on 75th and Broadway, produced in conjunction with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, honoring our brave servicemen and women who have been injured while serving our country overseas.

NY Comedy Festival poster highlighting all the big stars attending!

The line-up of talent was impressive including on the musical end John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, and Roger Waters, and on the comedic end Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, and Mike Birbiglia. Also on the style end were the two gorgeous style experts Ann Caruso and Mary Alice Stephenson, who you know from TV!

Stand-Up For Heroes Poster for event at The Beacon Theater on November 8, 2012!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV having a grand old time with two gorgeous style experts, Mary Alice Stephenson on the left, and Ann Caruso right in the middle! (LOL)

Covering a red carpet is difficult at times, because the huge TV networks tend to monopolize the stars as they make their way down the red carpet, so that by the time they get down to the independent press people like us, very often they’re out of time to speak, because the event is starting. And it’s difficult for the press people running the event to hurry everyone along.

Luckily I know a lot of the red carpet honorees so they stop off to say “Hi” even briefly. Besides getting to speak to Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais, who asked if I did my hair like that for him, (LOL), I got a very cool interview with Ann Caruso and Mary Alice Stephenson who styled the wives and female soldiers for this great event, and managed to get clothing donated from The Limited and even from Dior.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV interviewing Ricky Gervais on the red carpet of Stand-Up For Heroes!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV interviewing Style Experts Mary Alice Stephenson and Ann Caruso on the red carpet of “Stand-Up For Heroes!”

One of the biggest honors I had was getting to speak to some of the “wounded warriors” themselves. In the video accompanying this post you’ll see interviews with Lance Cpl. Michael Martinez, USMC who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan, but walks so well with his prosthetics that you wouldn’t even know. He walks with a limp, but walked the red carpet proudly with his girlfriend Megan Waters.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV interviewing hero /Wounded Warrior Lance Cpl. Michael Martinez of the US Marine Corps at Stand-Up For Heroes!

I also got to speak to Capt. Pat Horan, U.S. Army who was there with his wife Patty Horan. Capt. Pat had a bullet explode under his helmet, which within an hour destroyed his ability to walk, the coordination of his body, mouth, and his vestibular system which controls your balance. He lost all sensation on the right side of his body, and the ability to speak, read, and write, but as you’ll see in the video through lots of hard work in rehab has made an incredibly miraculous recovery.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV interviews Capt. Pat Horan, US Army on the red carpet of “Stand-Up For Heroes” at The Beacon Theater!

It was truly an honor to meet these brave men and women who sacrificed so much for our country, and who were escorted down the red carpet by various stars in attendance. You can see the video right here:

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Oui 2 PR Firm Rocks Two Huge Events In One Day

For the past 15 years Rob Goldstone and David Wilson founders of Oui 2 Public Relations have been creating HUGE events and representing even bigger stars! They have a national and international network of connections.

Even in his early days, Rob was a force to be reckoned with. Originally from the U.K., (which is where he got that great accent! LOL) he traveled with Michael Jackson, as the only journalist personally chosen by Michael to cover his “down under” tour in Australia, and was chosen to accompany Bob Geldof to Ethiopia for his Band Aid Relief Fund concert back in 1985.

While living in Australia Rob represented almost every major international artist touring that country; from Cyndi Lauper to Julio Iglesias, James Taylor, Tracy Chapman, BB King, Marianne Faithful and Poison! Among his corporate clients were Saatchi and Saatchi, The Hard Rock Cafe, Chess: The Musical, Richard Branson’s Virgin Megastores, and HMV Music Stores.

After returning to England in 1991, he moved to The States the following year as the Head of International Marketing for HMV Group, (part of EMI Records)- a position he held until 1998. In this capacity, he oversaw the international marketing for the world’s largest music retail corporation, from the U.S. and Canada, to the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Japan, and Australia. His work led to close working relationships with artists, managers, and record labels across the globe.

David Wilson made similar moves, starting out in Northern California where he grew up, and winding up in Sydney, Australia, where he began his PR career at Rob Goldstone’s company, Crawford Goldstone Corporation, which at the time was one of the leading entertainment/lifestyle PR firms in the country. He moved first to London and then to NYC where he worked with a cross section of both music and entertainment heavyweights including Joe Cocker, Lisa Stansfield, Warner Bros. TV, Atlantic Records, HMV Records, and the New York Friars Club.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. Yesterday I personally witnessed the talent of these two Oui 2 guys as they pulled off two HUGE events in the same day! I first attended the red carpet event for the Friars Club Roast of Betty White, and finished off the day by covering the red carpet for the Caron Foundation event at Cipriani’s on 42nd STreet, in honor of Clive Davis and Judy Collins.

Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV with Gilbert Gottfried at the Betty White Roast!

Needless to say, (then why am I saying it? LOL) both were star-studded events, and packed with press. David and Rob made sure that everything ran smoothly, and you could see how hard David was working by how wet his shirt was! LOL Despite the tremendous pressure, and various demands made on him, he was still very accomodating.

The actual red carpet was so crowded with photogs and press, that David was kind enough to set me up with a spot at the end, so I could get some great video interviews for Comedy Matters TV with legends like Dick Cavett, Larry King, and Abe Vigoda, as well as Prior of The Friars Club Stewie Stone.

Larry King, making a point to both Uggie from The Artist, and Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV at the Betty White Roast!

Old friends Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV and actor/singer Dominic Chianese at the Friars Roast for Betty White!

Although I didn’t get to talk to Betty White or some of my old pals like Norm Crosby,(who just didn’t hear me when I called out to him! LOL), and Liza Minelli, I did get to talk to Donny Deutsch, who was shocked that I had met his parents at a comedy event I produced at the Westbury Country Club, Dominic Chianese who was shocked that we hadn’t seen each other in so long, and legendary talent agent Don Buchwald who was just plain shocked that I wanted to do an interview with him, (he’s just very humble!LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Donny Deutsch at the Friars Club Roast of Betty White!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with the legendary Liza Minelli at an earlier event! I missed her at both the Roast and the Caron event!

After the Roast, I went home to change my clothes so I wouldn’t be dressed the same in both events, got hold of a second DP to shoot the Clive Davis/Judy Collins event, and headed over to Cipriani’s where I got to interview not only Clive, and reminisce with him about the time I got him invited to his first Friars Roast, but also Laurie Dhue the MC for the evening, my old friend Chris Lawford, Geraldo Rivera, and Judy Collins, who pleasantly surprised both Geraldo and I by coming over to join us during our red carpet interview. It turned into a fantastic three-way, you should excuse the expression!

Patrick McMullen’s photo of Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV interviewing both Geraldo Rivera and Judy Collins at the same time!

MC Laurie Dhue with Stephanie Seymour on the red carpet for the Caron Foundation event honoring Clive Davis and Judy Collins!

Geraldo Rivera with his wife Erica at the Caron event honoring Clive Davis and Judy Collins!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with honoree Clive Davis at the Caron event at Cipriani’s!

I also got to reminisce with Geraldo about an evening we spent with Salvador Dali many years before at the St. Regis Hotel in the King Cole Lounge where Dali held court whenever he was in New York!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV reminiscing with Geraldo Rivera at Cipriani’s about an evening long ago with Salvador Dali!

You’ll see lots more when the video is posted, in the meantime I just wanted to give props to Oui 2, and Rob and David, for their amazing accomplishment!

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Irie Fashion Rave Scores Big Thanks To Marie Driven PR and Team Execution

Thanks to Marie Driven PR, and her Team Execution, I’ve been to some very exciting events from hip outlets like The Source, and Hot 97, but this one last night at LQ on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, was really exceptional!

If you’ve ever been to Jamaica you know that wherever you go, people greet you with the word ” Irie”, which is a word in Patois that describes a state of feeling great!

Covergirl, super-model Carla Campbell hosting Irie Fashion Rave at LQ!

So this event was the Irie Fashion Rave featuring lots of gorgeous Jamaican models wearing designs of several hot designers like Carlos Williams of Original Stush, John Paul Pierre, Hope Wade Designs, RepJA Clothing, which is a blend of Caribbean and American, Riddim Driven, (which I assume translates to mean Rythym Driven in regular English! LOL), and a line called MeeNeSsHouz, which I will need help with pronouncing, never mind understanding what it means! I’ll ask Marie to translate for me! (LOL)

I love the way Jamaican people speak! Sometimes you can almost figure out what they are saying! (LOL)

This was a really super fashion event. Most fashion shows are over in 10 minutes. This one went on for hours. It was hosted by Sports illustrated swimsuit Cover Model Carla Campbell, and an hysterically funny lady with shockingly red hair, who came in all the way from Jamaica, Miss Kitty,known as “The Fluffy Diva!”

Miss Kitty, the “Fluffy Diva” in all her “fluffiness” on the mic at LQ for Irie Fashion Rave!

I think she may use the term “Fluffy” the way comic Gabriel Iglesias uses it, to describe a “big” person! Miss Kitty was not only proud of her “belly” she flaunted it by wearing a tight white dress that accentuated her curves. She openly stated that “beauty doesn’t stop at Size 2!” A remark that got huge applause from the audience!

Now there’s a woman who owns her power! She even did kind of a “booty-shake” dance-off with Carla Campbell who has a smoking hot body, and even Carla couldn’t compete with Miss Kitty’s moves! Probably cause she was laughing so hard! (LOL)

There’s something really nice about a person who “owns” who they are. People come in all shapes and sizes and it’s nice to see people not only comfortable with who they are, but proud of it!

The Jamaican community seems to embrace the differences between people, and I like that!

The place was PACKED with press, from Getty, Wire Image, Vibe, The Source, Splash, AP Images and more, and was also packed with a really upscale, good-looking crowd, which I can also attribute to the hard work of Marie Driven!

The event drew a very upscale, good-looking crowd! No metal detectors were necessary! (LOL)

I myself spent a lot of time on the red carpet getting photographed, and ran into my old buddy Steve Mack as well as my pal nightlife guru El-Malik who was there “stylin” as usual, as well as shooting the event!

El-Malik’s hand on the camera shooting two gorgeous Jamaican dancers!

Also in attendance was Guest Model Oraine Barrett, and awards were given honoring record producer Robert Livingston, and female radio personality Pat McKay, who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The screen honoring Pat McKay!

They also presented what they referred to as “Reggae Soldier” Awards to former Rapper Music Executive and Actor Heavy D and music producer Joel Chin, and the hosting duties for that part of the show were shared by Jabba from Hot 97!

Honoree Pat McKay and Jabba from Hot 97 at LQ for Irie Fashion Rave!

I think everyone’s favorite part was the bikini fashion show, … or maybe I should just speak for myself! (LOL) No matter where you come from, it seems that both men and women appreciate beautiful women in hardly any clothing! (LOL)

Hot lingerie and bikinis, a great mix!

Gangs of women in bikinis roamed the runway! (LOL) But no one even thought to call the police!

Bikinis not only look good from the front, they look good from the back too!

And as you can see by the photos, everyone had a blast! Can’t wait till the next event!

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