Posts Tagged Brooklyn

Ashley Madison – Not What You Think

Ashley Madison – Not What You Think

Most of the time when you hear the names Ashley and Madison together the website for people who cheat on their spouses pops into mind. Now there’s a whole new affiliation since two talented comedians Ashley Austin Morris and Madison Malloy got together to create the Ashley and Madison Podcast.

And I got the honor of being their first guest! At least that’s what they told me! (LOL) Besides being a stand-up comic Ashley, originally from Texas, is also an accomplished actress who you may know from her role as Francine Carruthers in the  revival of the PBS Kids children’s series The Electric Company, or from her appearances on The Big Bang Theory and Desperate Housewives.

Madison Malloy has been a staple of the stand-up comedy scene for a while, and has performed all over the country, in clubs, at festivals, and on radio and TV as well. The two of them together are a dynamite combination, and prove that you can be funny and still be beautiful! Many legendary women in comedy’s past like Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and Phyllis Diller have had to downplay their looks to make themselves palatable for the public to laugh at, because as a society despite what some may think, we’re trained to treat women respectfully which makes it harder to laugh “at them.”

These days women own their power and come out on stage looking any way they choose. Our podcast day started with them offering to travel on the subway with me to Brooklyn so I could find the studio more easily. I had a better idea and offered to drive, which they liked, so the day started with them meeting me at my home, which is like a comedy museum, with photos going back decades.  In many of the photos I actually let someone else be in there with me! (LOL) Some people say I have more on my walls than some comedy clubs! (LOL)

                                         Such a fun day!

They asked for the tour and what impressed Ashley the most was that I had a phone mounted in one bathroom right next to the commode. I had seen this at The Four Seasons hotel and decided that “hotel chic” was for me. She asked if she could try it out and was so excited she forgot to pull down her pants! Ooops!!!

I got so excited with this phone, I can’t believe I forgot to pull down my pants! Good thing I’m wearing black!

And then just like that, we were on our way to their studio, The Brooklyn Podcasting Studio, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. When we got there our parking karma was right on the money and we got a great spot.  Then they led me to a garage. And I thought, is this gonna be like a Marc Maron thing where he does WTF from his garage?

But no it was more like a hidden speakeasy kind of thing where you had to walk through a garage and go up a couple of flights of stairs to get to this really cool studio. I thought we were gonna have to give some guy a password.

The studio had a big beautiful wooden round table/console set  up with a bunch of mics, in a very cool room with lots of snacks, and it was run by a great guy named Josh Wilcox, the manager and lead engineer who was very helpful and made sure that the sound was perfect and that everything went smoothly.

He also was kind enough to take some photos while everything was going on.

                           Jeffrey making a point!

They wanted to talk about my new book on Happiness called “Healing Your Heart, By Changing Your Mind – A Spiritual and Humorous Approach To Achieving Happiness” which hit Best Seller status on Amazon, and how I used the concept of changing your thoughts to cure myself of a severe stutter that plagued me well into my 20’s and beyond.

In reality it’s more about overcoming obstacles in our lives, which we all face. The concept is that we’re all holding thoughts that are not valid for us. Most of the time they are negative thoughts about ourselves, given to us by people who did not have our best interests at heart.

Sometimes it was our parents.  Other times bullies, school “friends”, people we dated, worked with or were married to. Those negative thoughts hold us back. They affect our self-esteem, our self-confidence and every decision we make in our lives. Every time you have to decide what to do you use your thoughts to decide but if your thoughts are faulty your decisions won’t work out for you.

 

                  You understand, … don’t you? 

In order to be Happy, you literally have to “change your mind.” Anyway even though this stuff sounds kind of serious we had a lot of laughs along the way, and the three of us had a great connection. The girls are so funny, and we were all on the same wavelength. It just flowed.

                Jeffrey making another point!

Then we had a fun ride back to the city trading stories, and we all made plans to do something cool together. More on that to come!

In the meantime the podcast officially launches this Monday Feb. 4th wherever you can listen to a podcast. My episode probably won’t air till March, but that’s ok.  Good things are worth waiting for!

                              See how Happy we look?

Until then remember, … COMEDY MATTERS!!!

Please subscribe to Comedy Matters TV on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/guriannewsnetwork and follow Jeffrey on Twitter and IG at @jeffreygurian

 

Posted in: Book Reviews, Books, Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Festivals, Comedy Matters, Entertainment News, General Information, Happiness Information, Jeffrey Gurian News, Podcasts, Point of View, Radio Show, Stand-Up Comedy

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The Phenomenon Known as "Keith and the Girl"

Ted Alexandro says I know everyone in comedy and that everyone knows me.

Richie Tienken owner and founder of The Comic Strip says I’m like the James Lipton of comedy. So imagine how embarrassed I felt not to be familiar with a comedy podcast phenomenon known as Keith and the Girl, currently celebrating 8 years of longevity!

Keith Malley and Chemda, better known as “Keith and The Girl!”

Keith and The Girl, began on March 7, 2005, and is made up of comedian Keith Malley and “The Girl”, who is Chemda Khalili. Chemda told me she doesn’t mind being referred to as “The Girl” since “Chemda” is a hard name for some people to say! (Not for me cause I’m one of “the tribe!” LOL)

Luckily their publicist Meredith Trotter thought to invite me to this weeklong 8th anniversary celebration of their podcast which gets over 1 million dowmloads a month and has an international following. (I’m not exaggerating about that!)

I hardly ever leave Manhattan with all the shows there are here to write about, but for KATG I drove out to White Wave, a very cool space on Jay Street in Brooklyn just to experience what KATG was all about. And I’m really glad I did!

I didn’t get to see the actual podcast but I attended two of the shows that made up their weeklong celebration, and then went to an after-party that they had for their fans in a special KATG space in a huge building across the street.

The last show was very special because it was Keith’s birthday and every year he records a new DVD of his comedy material. This year he did a compilation set of what he considered to be his best material culled from the last ten years of performing, but he attempted to do it all “clean” which he managed to do, … 99%! (LOL)

Keith in an animated pose during his stand-up set onstage at White Wave in Brooklyn!

Plus it was Chemda’s actual stand-up debut and I didn’t want to miss that.

Chemda making her stand-up comedy debut at the final show of the 8th anniversary celebration of “Keith and The Girl”!

A very funny guy named Tim Dimond (pronounced “Diamond”) was the MC and everyone seemed to know him so I guess he’s a regular part of the show. He has a deep, resonant voice which he claimed did not go with his “anorexic-looking” body! Only in comedy do we have the benefit of using self-deprecating humor. We say things about ourselves before other people do!

Tim Dimond, the very funny MC for last night’s KATG show!

Dan Soder was up next, and he’s always sharp and creative. I related to his line, “You can tell by my lack of facial hair that I’m from Queens!” Because everyone from Brooklyn looks like a farmer from the 1800’s with a full brush beard. They all look like “The Unibomber”. Like a guy who lives alone in a cabin in the woods and just cones out once in a while to tell a few jokes and then goes right back in to his cabin!

A clean shaven Dan Soder killing it for the KATG crowd!

They would all be perfect for my “Beard Painting” story in Weekly World News, ” Man Paints Replica of the Cistine Chapel With His Beard!” You need a Mike Lawrence type of beard for that. A Myq Kaplan kind of beard just won’t cut it! (Myq and John F. O’Donnell were two of the very funny comics I caught on the KATG show the night before, and I got there late, but I did happen to see Mike Lawrence in the background somewhere.)

Myq Kaplan at KATG, with a beard fit for many things but not “beard painting!”

John F. O’Donnell onstage at KATG with his own version of hipster facial hair, but not enough to actually paint with!

Dan also talked about how the current generation of kids would be when they take over the army. Everyone is allergic to Gluten! In 20 years he predicts our army will be in bad shape. “I WOULD storm the beach, but I have an allergy to shellfish!” (LOL)

So I drove out to Brooklyn two nights in a row and it was really worth it to me. I found it very exciting to see what was going on that I didn’t know about and how people actually traveled in from all over the world to celebrate with Keith and Chemda.

I spoke to one girl from Toronto named Mia who credited Chemda for giving her the courage to come out about her sexuality, and another girl and guy who traveled in from Colorado who are also rabid fans of the show. But that’s nothing. People actually traveled in all the way from Australia, and several other countries to attend and hang out with Keith and Chemda because they are totally accessible to their fans and audience.

That was one of the things that people said that I spoke to. They were not elitist and were very real, and made themselves accessible to their fans.

Chemda told me they have their own studio and record five days a week. Their next episode is this coming Wednessday, 4/17/13 at 2 P.M. You can find them on i-Tunes.

In the show, usually lasting an hour or more, Keith and Chemda discuss their lives and current events in a humorous and very honest, upfront, unedited fashion. The show’s tagline is “Keith and his ex-girlfriend talk shit”. They were once in a relationship which I think says a lot about them, that they could continue to work together after no longer being involved.

Keith now has a “fiance”, who Chemda told me had been a fan of the show, and Chemda introduced me to her significant other, a girl named Lauren who identifies herself proudly as a “transgender” individual. She was even kind enough to explain the difference to me between transgender and transsexual!

Chemda and her significan other Lauren! (I don’t know whether she identifies as bf or gf, and I forgot to ask!! LOL)

Keith and The Girl has consistently ranked in the top ten podcasts at Podcast Alley, and has also received multiple podcast-specific awards. The hosts have been interviewed by other popular podcasts such as WTF with Marc Maron, Never Not Funny, and many others, and I am excited to say that I have been asked to come on as a guest.

Keith Malley, Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, and Chemda at the KATG anniversary show!

I’ll let you all know when that’s scheduled to happen! In the meantime tune in to Keith and The Girl just like I’m gonna do! I’m already a fan!

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Comedy Juice with Cipha Sounds and Jay Pharoah

I’m becoming a “Juice” addict. Every Tuesday around 9:30 I find myself wandering over to Gotham Comedy Club to see the Comedy Juice show. I can’t seem to help it! They always have a strong line-up. (Not a line-up as in what you’d see at a Police station, where you’re expected to identify someone. This is a comedy line-up, where you don’t have to identify anyone! LOL)

Jared Logan hosting the Comedy Juice show at Gotham Comedy Club!

Jared Logan was hosting the show and he’s a really good MC. At one point there was kind of an angry woman in an unwanted dialogue with Jared, and she was saying something negative about New York City, that it made her realize how much she missed the small village near a stream where she came from.

Instead of yelling at her and trying to put her down, Jared made the opposite choice and did a bit of self-deprecatory humor telling her, ” I bet you’re wondering why a fat Lesbian is yelling at you on a microphone!” And that solved the problem. She finally shut up!

I was so glad to run into my boy Cipha Sounds from Hot 97 who came in to do the show. Cipha has to get up at 3 A.M. every day to be on the radio for his show Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg. He considers himself mainly a hip-hop DJ, and only recently began calling himself a “comic” when he felt he had enough experience to own that title.

Cipha’s real name is Luis Diaz and he’s from The Bronx, as he says, the only borough with a “The” in front of it. No one says, “The Queens”, or “The Brooklyn”, only “The Bronx” gets that distinction! I too am from The Bronx, so we had something else to bond over! (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Cipha Sounds of Hot 97 playing rock, paper, scissors backstage after the show!

He is one busy guy, and is always producing a show somewhere. Recently he did his annual April Fools show at Madison Square Garden with Marlon and Shawn Wayans, JB Smoove, Tommy Davidson, and a bunch of other heavy hitters, including a guest spot from a favorite person of mine, the very funny Chaunte Wayans!

Chaunte Wayans onstage doing her thing!

This coming Tuesday, April 24th he’s doing a birthday show at Carolines with Tony Roberts. They both share the same birthday. One year Cipha celebrates and the next year Tony gets to celebrate! (LOL)

Cipha Sounds from Hot 97 and Jay Pharoah from SNL who’s executing a very difficult and very different kind of hand signal I had never seen before, and I’m pretty fluent in hand signals! (Not!)

He also does his Friday night shows at Laugh Lounge with Burt Smooth, and a killer line-up. Everybody wants to perform with Ciph! One of these days, I’m gonna hit him up for a spot! (LOL)

(L-R) Comedy producer Burt Smooth, Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, and Mike Yard at Laugh Lounge. See if you can spot me! (LOL)

After his killer set, Cipha and I hung out downstairs in the green room of Gotham, and we shot this awesome video interview for Comedy Matters TV where I got to ask him all kinds of cool stuff, and he even answered me! He worked his way up to an on-air guy over 14 years that he’s been at the station. He is one hard-working M-F’er!!! (LOL)

Check out the video right here:

Also on the show was a favorite of mine, Jay Pharoah from SNL who I just added to my book on the 35 year history of The Comic Strip coming out this October from Skyhore Publishing. Jay is not only funny, he’s one of the most talented impressionists around.

Jay Pharoah getting into it onstage for Comedy Juice at Gotham!

He does such a great Chappelle, along with Kanye West, Jay-Z, Weezy, Dreezy, and that other great rapper Obama, (LOL) plus Eddie Murphy and Denzel. When he does Denzel you’d think Denzel was in the room. No wonder he’s such a favorite on SNL. He was there with his manager Shayna.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Jay Pharoah from SNL at the Comedy Juice show at Gotham Comedy Club!

Closing the show was a guy I had never seen before, but I’m sure I will see again. His name is Michael Lawrence, and as soon as I saw him I was like, this guy has to live in Brooklyn. In Brooklyn these days it’s important to take on the appearance of a woodsman, or a Civil War era farmer.

Mike Lawrence and his beard, on the loose at Gotham Comedy Club for Comedy Juice!

They seem to be going for the Unibomber look of a guy who lives alone in a cabin in some remote part of the woods, where no one can bother him and he can just sit by the fire and write jokes. I think maybe Zach Galifianakis started this look, and if you can attain that kind of success, I might be trying that beard thing next.

Look at Jason Mantzoukas. He and his beard are starring in the new Sacha Baron Cohen flick “The Dictator.”

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, with Jason Mantzoukas and his beard on the Nick Kroll set in LA! Watch for Jason in “The Dictator”!

Anyway, back to Mike Lawrence. This guy was really funny. He said he recently got into a fight with a homeless guy, who thought that HE was a homeless guy trying to cut in on his turf!

Mike Lawrence, not only a funny comic but one of the pre-eminent beard painters of his generation, who recently painted a replica of the Cistine Chapel with his beard!

He also said, believe it or not he’s in a relationship, and it’s actually going well. It’s been 10 periods already!

And he dispensed wisdom like, “When a bald man masturbates, it’s like he’s strangling a tiny version of himself!” The audience loved him. I tried to see if he left in a camper, but I got distracted.

Anyway, I’ll be back next week for more Comedy Juice!

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