This past week I co-produced a sold out comedy fundraiser to fight Diabetes at the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip with my partner, Richie Tienken owner and founder of the club. The club was packed to hear comedy from the first lady of comedy Elayne Boosler, Eddie Brill from Letterman, Goumba Johnny the afternoon host of WKTU, national headliners Jim Mendrinos, Louis Ramey, and Jeff Pirrami from The Friars Club, Chuck Nice from VH1 and the host of The Hot 10 on Centric TV, Sherrod Small from VH1’s Best Week Ever, Harrison Greenbaum, the winner of The Andy Kaufman Award and one of Comedy Central’s “Top 10 Comics To Watch”, and even I did a little surprise spot.
(L-R) Richie Tienken, Elayne Boosler, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip to fight Diabetes.
(L-R) JR Ravitz, GM of The Comic Strip, who also holds the auditions for the club, with host/MC Jim Mendrinos.
Jeffrey Gurian with fantastic host/MC Jim Mendrinos!
The incredibly straight Harrison Greenbaum with comedy writer/producer Jeffrey Gurian at The Strip.
(L-R) Harrison Greenbaum, Eddie Brill, Goumba Johnny, Jeff Pirrami, Elaine Boosler, and Jim Mendrinos in a rare group picture at the bar during the Diabetes fundraiser!
(L-R) Jon Fisch, Chuck Nice, and Harrison Greenbaum backstage waiting to go on at The Strip!
(L-R) A newly svelte Eddie Brill, Jeffrey Gurian, a newly svelte Jim Mendrinos, Richie TIenken, Louis Ramey, and an ALWAYS svelte Leighann Lord!
Sean and Jessica Mannion manning the new Sony VG-10 Hi Def camera during the show!
(Front L-R) Scott Blakeman, Sherrod Small,(Rear) Barry Weintraub, promoting our fundraiser on NY1's "Inside City Hall", with show host Errol Louis!
In the audience was a journalist named Rachel Wilgoren who writes for the Manhattan lifestyle site Nearsay, ( http://www.nearsay.com) and I thought it was good enough to send around to my peeps.
This Thursday, April 14th at 8 P.M. there will be a comedy fundraiser held to fight Diabetes at the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip.
The Comic Strip opened on June 1, 1976 and on June 17th a young Jerry Seinfeld walked in to audition. His first sign-up sheet is still on the wall, and it says ” Good. Put on Monday 6/21!”
Jeffrey Gurian, Jerry Seinfeld, and Richie Tienken at The Comic Strip after Jerry's interview for the book that Jeffrey is writing on the history of The Strip.
Aside from Jerry, the club also launched the careers of Paul Reiser, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock just to name a few.
Richie Tienken, Paul Reiser, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip with Paul preparing for his new show on NBC.
Richie Tienken, Chris Rock, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip after Chris' interview for the book Jeffrey is writing on the history of this famous club!
This show will feature appearances by the great Elayne Boosler, the first woman to ever have a one hour TV special, on Showtime, Chuck Nice from VH1, Goumba Johnny the afternoon host of WKTU, Cipha Sounds the morning host of Hot 97, Jon Fisch from Comedy Central and VH1, Sherrod Small from VH1’s Best Week Ever, Eddie Brill from Letterman, Harrison Greenbaum, winner of The Andy Kaufman Award, and voted one of Comedy Central’s ” 10 Comics To Watch”, Macio from The Chapelle Show, Comedy Central’s Louis Ramey and more, plus special guests!
Jeffrey Gurian and Elayne Boosler freezing their behinds off, outside The Comic Strip!
This event is being produced by comedy writer/producer Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters and Richie Tienken, original owner/founder of The Comic Strip.
Tickets are $50. plus a 2 drink minimum and can be purchased over the phone by calling (212) 861-9386.
Please come and help make this a sold out show to fight Diabetes! Proceeds from all ticket sales go directly to the American Diabetes Association!!!
Elayne Boosler is often credited with opening the doors of comedy to women, since she was the first woman to get a one hour cable TV special. In 1986, Showtime gave Boosler her own hour special called “Table For One” which she wound up producing herself.
Jeffrey Gurian and Elayne Boosler in the street outside The Comic Strip in Manhattan.
She came up at a time when there weren’t that many women doing comedy, and the ones that were, were all talking about the same boring stuff. Elayne broke that mould.
Networks weren’t convinced that people would tune in to watch a woman do an hour of comedy, but Boosler proved to them that it could be done. She got rave reviews, and a deal for 3 more specials, and then HBO caught on and came out with it’s own specials featuring women called “Women of the Night”.
All thanks to Elayne!
Elayne came up in the ranks with Seinfeld, Freddie Prinze, ( the original from Chico and The Man, not his son Freddie Prinze Jr.), Jay Leno, Larry David, Richard Lewis, Richard Belzer, and comics of that ilk. ( Who says “ilk” anymore? What am I living in 1943??? )
Richard Lewis sitting underneath his prized Al Hirschfeld caricature in the dining room of The Friars Club.
All in all she’s done 7, ( count them, … 7!) cable TV specials, acted in film and TV commercials, and now came out with a very funny rap song called “Facebook Is A Clock Sucker”, about how you can waste a whole day on Facebook, by just planning to post your status! The nice thing is, she worked with real rappers like Mac Lucci so… and let me see if I can phrase this properly, … it’s not a typical lame white person’s rap. (LOL)
Let me explain myself. Eminem is AMAZING, and showed the world that White people can rap as well, if not better than some Black performers, but most comics when they want to imitate something about rap do not have the ability to spit out beats the way you need to to make it sound real. It’s like when I was a young comedy writer, comics in those days would inevitably make fun of the “new rock and roll” lyrics. Their imitations were so lame that all these years later, I’m still embarrassed for them, just thinking about it.
Elayne’s song totally nails it and I think she”s got a hit on her hands that should go viral! Check it out the video below:
Elayne is back in New York for a while working on some important projects and I ran into her at The Comic Strip a few nights ago at a charity event she was doing.
Elayne Boosler, Nancy Parker, Mary Chestaro (singer Mary C.), and her mom singer Mercedes Hall outside The Comic Strip.
We have been internet friends for a while, and I’m proud to say she reads Comedy Matters. I’m even prouder to say she’ll be performing at the comedy fundraiser to fight Diabetes, that I’m producing at The Comic Strip with owner/founder Richie Tienken on Thursday April 14th at 8 P.M.
Diabetes Comedy Fundraiser, Thurs. April 14th, 8 P.M. at The Comic Strip
The Comic Strip is the legendary club that launched the careers of Jerry Seinfeld, Larry Miller, Paul Reiser, George Wallace, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler and so many more. I should know cause I’ve interviewed just about all of them already for the book I’m doing on the 35 year history of the club. It’s located at 1568 Second Avenue, in Manhattan, between 81st and 82nd Street.
Jeffrey Gurian with Jerry Seinfeld at an event in Manhattan.
George Wallace and Jeffrey Gurian hanging out at The Comic Strip.
Richie Tienken, Ray Romano, and Jeffrey Gurian all waiting to audition at The Comic Strip! (LOL)
Tickets for the fundraiser are only $50., plus a 2 drink minimum, for a night of great talent including Goumba Johnny the afternoon host of WKTU radio, Cipha Sounds the morning host from Hot 97 radio, Eddie Brill from Lettterman, Sherrod Small from VH1, Jeff Pirrami from The Friars Club, Jim Mendrinos from Comedy Central and VH1, Jon Fisch from Comedy Central, VH1, and Last Comic Standing, Macio from The Chappelle Show, Harrison Greenbaum,winner of the Andy Kaufman Award, which is very pertinent to this blog piece since Elayne actually dated Andy Kaufman for three years, and many surprise guests. Judah Friedlander may drop by as well as Louis CK, and other invited comedy luminaries.
Diabetes Comedy Fundraiser, Thurs. April 14th, 8 P.M. at The Comic Strip
FOR TIX CALL THE CLUB AT (212) 861-9386 AND TELL THEM YOU WANT TO ATTEND THE DIABETES FUNDRAISER ON APRIL 14TH OR YOU CAN GO TO PAY PAL AT NO EXTRA CHARGE AT