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Mark Malkoff’s Bill Murray Show

When I first met Mark Malkoff I had no idea how much we’d have in common. He’s a very interesting guy! (That’s not what we have in common! LOL) He sets himself a difficult goal and then puts all his energy into making that happen.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Mark Malkoff of The Bill Murray Show on My Damn Channel!

Mark hosts The Bill Murray Show on My Damn Channel, and the sole purpose of the show is to get Bill Murray to come to Mark’s house in Queens and have dinner with him and his beautiful wife Christine. If I was Bill I’d go. When I went for the taping, Christine made me a great meal, and the two of them were so nice, and really fun!

So when I was asked to appear and talk about my new book “Make ‘Em Laugh” with Chris Rock, and my experiences with Bill Murray of which I had four to speak of, I was very excited to do so! Also because I love My Damn Channel and Rob Barnett rocks! (He’s the guy who created My Damn Channel, just so you know I’m not giving a shout-out to some random guy! LOL)

Grace Helbig’s “Daily Grace” on MDC is amazing and she gets millions, and millions of hits! I just saw her doing her version of “Gangnam Style” and she’s adorable, and does it so well. She must have gone to dancing school as a little girl in Korea!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with the ebullient Grace Helbig from “Daily Grace” on My Damn Channel at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal!

I actually got to interview both Grace and Rob up at Montreal this past July during the Just for Laughs Festival! ( See Grace’s interview above, and Rob’s interview right here!)

So basically all the My Damn Channel stuff is super and I was psyched to be on.

The reason I relate so much to Mark is that Mark sets out to do things that appeal to him, even if they’re unusual. When I looked him up, I realized I had read about some of his exploits without realizing it had been him.

He’s a former “Colbert Report” staffer, who also visited 171 Starbucks locations in Manhattan in less than 24 hours, moved into a Paramus, N.J., IKEA for a week, and convinced New Yorkers to carry him 9.4 miles.

If I had known that I would have told him about my film I made years ago as part of the “Men Who” Series. It was part of a series of short films about men who go to work in unusual ways entitled “Men Who Insist On Being Carried To Work”! You can actually see it on my website at http://www.jeffreygurian.com, where you will also see Peter Dinklage star of HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones” starring in a film called ” Men Who Dance Where They’re Not Supposed To” and he gets arrested for dancing in a “No Dancing” zone!

So the Bill Murray thing really resonated with me because when I was in my 20’s, before I knew anyone in show biz, there were only three people I ever wanted to meet, and they were Salvador Dali, Woody Allen, and The Beach Boys, and I got to meet and spend an evening with each one of them. I actually made that happen!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Woody Allen in a much more recent photo than when I first met him! I made him laugh by saying, ” Hi Woody, I’m a very close friend of yours!”

And that’s when I realized that if I could lose my self-consciousness, expand my comfort zone, and not be embarrassed to go out and try things, I could basically accomplish anything I wanted, and meet whoever I set out to meet!

Each of those three events is a story in it’s own, but when I realize what I was able to manifest in those days, it’s not unlike what Mark has set out to do. And if you want something bad enough there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.

I live in Manhattan and Mark lives in Queens so ordinarily I would drive, but just that day Pres. Obama came to town, specifically to mess up traffic, so I did something I never did before! I went to Queens by train! Mark gave me great directions and it wasn’t even that bad.

We had a great time and Mark speaks comedy! The guy is a fund of knowledge about comedy and was able to speak to me knowledgeably about people that were way before his time, and people that I knew well like Milton Berle, who was was my original sponsor in the LA Friars Club, Henny Youngman,Jack Rollins, Charlie Joffe, and Alan Zweibel to name just a few!

Also there was My Damn Channel’s Jesse Cowell, the Exec. Director of Original Content, who oversees 30 new series, ( not 10, or 20, but THIRTY!) that will be debuting on My Damn Channel.

Jesse was very low key but is also a lightweight karate champ and when I watched his You Tube videos of him kicking butt, I was like, … this guy’s no lightweight! (LOL) When you’re that well versed in martial arts, you can afford to be low key. It takes great discipline to get that far, and it was always one of my dreams to be that accomplished in Tae Kwon Do. One of my very few unrealized dreams!

In my interview which will air tomorrow, Tuesday Oct. 16, 2012 and will be posted on the My Damn Channel website (http://www.mydamnchannel.com), besides talking about my new book with Chris Rock called “Make ‘Em Laugh”, you’ll hear me telling my stories of my experiences with Bill Murray:

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Bill Murray at The Four Seasons Hotel in NYC! ( No, we weren’t staying there together! LOL)

1. How we originally met up at SNL in the early years!
2. How Bill Murray tried to repair my car one night during the 90’s.
3. Me and Bill Murray at a press conference for his film “Get Low”.
4. A screenplay I wrote, with Bill Murray specifically in mind for the lead called “Searching For Ed Zintz”, where as the result of a practical joke gone wrong, Hollywood winds up honoring a guy who doesn’t exist, it becomes the hottest ticket in town, people are fighting for tickets, and Bill Murray, a failed comedian, gets hired to play the guy “Ed Zintz”! But because of my ADD, I got so confused that while I was with Bill Murray, in his company, alone and right next to him, I forgot to tell him about it!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV in yet a second photo with Bill Murray just to prove to myself I was actually there!

Well, if he comes to Mark’s house for dinner, maybe Mark or Christine would be kind enough to mention it, and then we can all make the movie together!

And then I think my next goal after that is to get my own show on My Damn Channel, and have Rob Barnett come to MY house for dinner!

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Nick Cannon Stranded in Hospital In Aspen

Black Planet reports that Nick Cannon is recuperating from mild kidney failure in a hospital in Aspen. Fortunately his wife , Mariah Carey is at his side and not leaving, even when doctors asked her to. She said that Nick was there for HER when she was hospitalized while having twins Moroccan and Monroe, so now when the situation is reversed, she’s not leaving HIM! Good girl Mariah!

She tweeted this pic from Nick’s hospital room!

According to Black Planet, Mariah Carey tweeted this photo of her in hubby Nick Cannon’s hospital bed! What better nurse could he ask for???

I only had the pleasure of meeting Mariah once at a charity event at The Whitney Museum, to raise money for Operation Smile, a charity that provides poverty stricken children with facial defects like cleft lip and cleft palate, the opportunity of having corrective surgery.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, with Mariah Carey at a charity event for Operation Smile, at The Whitney Museum!

I know that Nick has a tour coming up on Jan. 12th, called the “Still Standing” Tour with Mike Epps and Nick’s new 18 year old protege Pete Davidson. It’s supposed to kick off at the San Manuel Casino in Highland, California.

So let’s keep Nick in our prayers, and hope that he has a speedy recovery. He’s one of the nicest guys in the biz and at 31 years old has lots of wonderful things to look forward to. Get well quick Nick!!!

A healthy Nick Cannon with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV at Nick’s New Faces Show at Gotham Comedy Club.

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Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant at The Friars Club

Besides the 60 plus films screened by the The Friars Club Comedy Film Festival, they also offered fascinating and informative daytime panels for the people who attended the festival. One of the best I attended was the one with Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, (who I know as Ben Garant), one of the most successful writing teams in Hollywood.

(L-R) Ben Garant and Tom Lennon on the “step-and-repeat” at The Friars Club for their new book Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at The Box Office and You Can Too!

Back before Ben was one of the team that formed MTV’s The State, he and I and Michael Ian Black wrote an inter-active film for Sony called “I’m Your Man”. As I recall, Sony spent about half a million bucks to outfit the Sony Theatre on 19th Street and Broadway with a series of buttons at every seat, where the actors would ask the audience to make choices during the film. “Should we escape out the window or should we go to the roof?” And the audience would vote, the votes would be tallied immediately, and the course of the film would be changed to accommodate the audience’s wishes. It was the first of it’s kind at the time.

The film poster for “I’m Your Man” written by Ben Garant, Michael Ian Black, and believe it or not Jeffrey Gurian! Ben wrote a billion dollars worth of movies since and I WATCHED a billion dollars worth of movies since!

A close-up of the credits on the “I’m Your Man” poster in case any of my readers don’t believe me!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Michael Ian Black at what must have been a formal event! If not, Gurian is way over-dressed!

He went on to become one of the founding members of MTV’s “The State”, (as did Tom Lennon), and then went on to be a co-creator of Comedy Central’s Viva Variety, a short-lived but very funny pseudo-European-type variety show of sorts. From 2003 to 2009, Ben and Thomas created and starred in Comedy Central’s hit Reno 911, a take off on the FOX show COPS that ran for 88 episodes over the 6 years it was on.

As writing partners, Garant and Lennon’s films have earned over $1.4 billion in box office revenue alone. Some of their films were Night at The Museum, Let’s Go To Prison, Balls of Fury, and Herbie Fully Loaded, to name just a few.

Tom Lennon stroking an imaginary beard, while making nefarious plans with Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV at The Friars Club!

In 2010, Garant and Lennon created a pilot for FX called USS Alabama, a sci-fi/comedy set a thousand years in the future, aboard a United Nations Peacekeeping spaceship, the U.S.S. Alabama, and they screened the pilot at The Friars Club!

In 2011, Garant and Lennon released a book about their careers called¬†“Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at The Box Office and You Can Too!

The book cover for “Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at The Box Office and You Can Too!

Ben and Tom met in 1988 while students at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and have been together ever since! They are so in synch when they speak! Like an old married couple,( in the best sense!) who know what the other is going to say before they say it. They did such a fun informative panel, and these were some of the their thoughts on L.A. and writing in general:

a. LA is gross! It’s an oil rig. As you land you’re like, ” Is that a poison gas?” It’s a lonely town. It’s a cess pit!”

b. No one reads anything in L.A, … they watch it! No matter what script you’re working on it’s too long! A script length of 105 pages is best!

When they were in The State, there were 11 people and they had to “pitch” ideas every day. “It was like getting thrown in the deep end of the pool!”

When they pitch they do a 12 minute rehearsed pitch, that they practice out loud. The two of them together do a very funny pitch. They kind of did one as an example.

They told a funny story about trying to sell a pitch about a Mall Cop to the studio that was already doing Paul Blart with Kevin James,( about a mall cop, … for any foreign men who might be reading this post!) and then had to show up at 11 other pitch meetings that were already set up to pitch the same project knowing that the answer would be “NO”!

They shot “Alabama” in 3 days on a Russian submarine. They describe it as Reno 911 on a rocket ship. It was very funny. Eddie Izzard who I recently ran into in Montreal plays the villain, the ruler of Tango.

Eddie Izzard in his on-screen personna as the villainous ruler of Tango in the FX pilot “Alabama”, written by Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon!

The “real” Eddie Izzard, the way he looked at the airport after The Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal this past July!

There was a character named Mr. Magenta who looked like a really hot girl, but was actually a male on the planet she came from. They didn’t really rehearse except for practicing how they would envision themselves teleporting, and then landing at their destination in a way that looked believable.

(L-R) Ben Garant in character with Mr. Magenta in the FX pilot “Alabama”!

Matt Kiernan, interviewing Tom Lennon and Ben Garant about their new book at The Friars Club!

The host of this fun, and well attended event was Matt Kiernan!

On a personal note is was really special for me to re-unite with Ben after all these years and to be able to congratulate him on all of his success. What was even more special was to see how humble he was and how happy he is with his new wife Kathy, who was kind enough to shoot the little video you will be seeing very shortly.

I seem to be starting a trend. When I interviewed Jimmy Fallon recently,my D.P. wasn’t able to show up so Jimmy’s wife Nancy who is a TV producer, shot the interview for me!

PART 1 – http://wp.me/p1pHIm-mc

PART 2 – http://wp.me/p1pHIm-mo

This time, Ben’s new wife Kathy shot the interview for me! I should probably just limit my interviewing to celebs who are married and who bring their wives with them! Maybe my life would be a lot easier. I wonder if Kathy can edit??

Watch for the Ben Garant video coming soon! And don’t forget to buy the book!

Ben Garant in a historic, and patriotic salute from the step and repeat at The Friars Club, with Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV!

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MTV Premieres New Animated Show "Good Vibes" At NY’s Comic Con

I get to see a lot of fun projects before they hit the big or small screen, but this one from MTV was really super! As part of Comic Con NYC, 2011, MTV held a screening and a panel for it’s new animated show “Good Vibes” premiering Thursday, Oct. 27th, at 10:30 P.M. The panel was moderated by none other than Gary ( Baba Booey) Dell’Abate, Howard Stern’s longtime producer.

Gary (Baba Booey) Dell’Abate, Exec. Producer of the Howard Stern Show moderating the Good Vibes panel at Comic Con 2011!

The series follows two high school surfers, Woodie, voiced by Adam Brody of The O.C., and Mondo, voiced by Josh Gad from The Book of Mormon, who live and surf in Playa del Toro, described as “a colorful Southern California beach community!”

Woody (voiced by Adam Brody) and Mondo ( voiced by Josh Gad) on their way to the beach to do a little surfing and girl watching!

Mondo is really small and overweight, and Woody is tall and skinny with a huge blonde afro, and a big “penis” nose,( description by Adam Brody!), and like any other high school guys,… and maybe any guys at all for that matter, are obsessed with sex and pretty girls.

Almost everyone from the show showed up for the panel. On the production end there was David Gordon Green the creator of the show, and Exec. Producers Mike Clements, Brad Abelson and Tom Brady, all of whom appear in the video below.

(L-R) Exec. Producer Mike Clements, Exec. Producer and Head Writer Tom Brady, and Creator/Exec. Producer David Gordon Green on the Comic Con panel for Good Vibes!

(L-R) Tom Brady, Debi Mazar, Alan Tudyk, Olivia Thirlby, Josh Gad,Adam Brody, and Brad Abelson in a Good Vibes line-up! They’re all guilty of a great performance!

On the talent side there was Josh Gad voicing the part of Mondo, Adam Brody voicing Woody, the fantastically sexy Debi Mazar voicing the role of Mondo’s super-sexy Mom Babs, Olivia Thirlby, who had previously worked with David Gordon Green in the Judd Apatow movie he directed “Pineapple Express”, and Alan Tudyk from Joss Whedon’s Emmy award-winning TV series, “Firefly”.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Debi Mazar, the sexy voice of Babs on MTV’s Good Vibes, premiering Thurs. 10/27/11 at 10:30 P.M.

Babs (Debi Mazar) in a towel being drooled over by Adam Brody’s “Woody”, which is a perfect name for him! ( Especially in this scene! LOL )

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Josh (Book of Mormon) Gad, the voice of Mondo, in MTV’s new animated show “Good Vibes”!

Check it all out right here and don’t forget to watch this Thursday, Oct. 27th at 10:30 ET/PT on MTV, right after the return of Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butthead!

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