Posts Tagged Haiti

Tony Rock Headlines Gotham- New Host of Jamie Foxx’s Showtime at The Apollo

When I found out that Tony Rock was going to be headlining at Gotham Comedy Club I knew it was one show I wasn’t going to miss. Tony is not only hysterically funny, but he’s a great guy who deserves all the accolades he’s currently receiving.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV backstage at Gotham with Tony Rock!

I’ve known him for quite a while now, but I really got to know him when I interviewed him for the book on the 35 year history of The Comic Strip. That’s really where he got his start. July 27th 1998 is the day that he and his cousin Sherrod Small passed their auditions at The Comic Strip. And according to Tony, they were so happy they “hugged each other and cried on the corner like two little girls!” (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV getting some love from Chuck Nice(L) and Sherrod Small! Classic!!!!

Last year he was the featured guest on a huge show I co-produced as a benefit for Haiti starring comedy superstar Kevin Hart, with Wil Slvince as the MC. It was a sold out 3000 seat event, and Tony killed it!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kevin Hart at a promo for their show at Westbury Theatre!

(L-R) Jordan Rock, Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, Richie Tienken and Sherrod Small doing his best Gary Coleman impression in front!

In the exclusive video interview below, Tony tells me how it came to be that he’s the new host of Jamie Foxx’s updated “Live At The Apollo”. That’s gonna be AMAZING, and you will definitely find me hanging out on 125th Street when that goes down!

So this night at Gotham, Buddy Fitzpatrick was the always reliable host. He’s just really funny and a crowd pleaser! Next up was Jordan Rock, the baby of the family who I’ve seen really come along in the last couple of years. It was his 4th anniversary of performing stand-up, and Jordan and I alternate as late night hosts at The Comic Strip on 81st and 2nd, the club where his brother Chris, … who they call Chrissy, … got his start back in 1986. Jordan had a regular spot and he did really well. It’s so cool to see him hanging out with his brother. It must be really exciting for Tony to see Jordan moving up in the ranks.

Jordan Rock, next in line after Chris and Tony, doing major damage onstage at Gotham!

The very funny Corey Kahaney was next and had some good advice for the crowd. She said if you’re divorced you should never badmouth your ex to the kids. Cause then you ruin the day when they find out for themselves!

Then Tony took the stage and knocked it out of the proverbial park. Almost every line was a killer. I particularly liked when he was giving the example of a conversation with his friend who had smoked too much weed. ” If you were invisible, which ex-girlfriend’s house would you rob?” The answer was, ” That’s deep! Cause technically you is invisible but the shit you steal ain’t! So now you just got a TV floatin’ down the street! That’s how I got caught last time! “

Tony Rock holding it down onstage at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!

And then he does a take on why Black women should not work in Customer Service, and he imitates the “angry Black woman” who he hopes he never gets when he calls for assistance! It literally brings the crowd to it’s knees, cause unfortunately, we’ve all had to deal with that woman!

He does a lot of hysterical Black/White comparisons, like a Black vs. White McDonalds, and a Black vs. White Church, but what’s different about Tony’s take, and I complimented him on this, is that he does it from an honest point of view, not just from a Black perspective. He himself admits, in his jokes, that Black people are not always the winners, and neither is he! I think it’s that honesty that endears him to audiences both White and Black! ( And Asian and Indian too, I’m sure! ) LOLOL

Check out the video below! Tony, … good luck with Showtime at The Apollo! Can’t wait to be there!

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TWT Multi-City Comedy Benefit For Haiti

Jodi Lieberman, Amber J. Lawson, and Zoe Friedman are three powerhouses in the world of comedy, and I’m proud to say I know them all! They teamed up to create Transforming The World Through Comedy, a philanthropic organization simply known as TWT, because they said they wanted to use the power of comedy to help those less fortunate than them.

So tonight they held the world’s first multi-city,(NY, Chicago, and L.A.) multi-platform comedy fundraiser, which I attended. It was held at Gotham Comedy Club, thanks to owner Chris Mazzilli who always makes himself available for a good cause. He was there tonight as well, after having put in a full day of work before. ( In a suit and tie as usual! LOL )
The photo below was on a former night when he accidentally removed his tie! (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Gotham Comedy Club owner Chris Mazzilli, sans tie!!!

TWT teamed up with an organization known as Off The Mat Into The World, or OTM, to bring this event to fruition, and the monies raised will go to Haiti. By the time I left there were 40,000 people online watching, … and laughing, I’m sure! Haiti still needs lots of help. Last year I was privileged to co-produce a 3,000 seat sold out fundraiser for Haiti starring Kevin Hart, and featuring Tony Rock with Will Sylvince as the MC. It was at the Westbury Theatre on Long Island.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kevin Hart at a promo event before the fundraiser for Haiti at the Westbury Theatre!

The TWT show was streamed live on www.TWTComedy.com and Stickam, which carried the Japan Aid show as well. The New York show started at 8 P.M., the Chicago show held in Zanies comedy club started at 8:30 P.M. Chicago time, and the LA show at the Hollywood Improv started at 8 P.M. LA time, which of course is 11 P.M. here in NY.

The footage will be live on TWTComedy.com for the next 7 days until 11/21/11, to be able to continue bringing in the donations.

Eddie Brill from The Letterman Show MC’ed the NY event, which is always a good choice because Eddie is an excellent MC. It’s much harder to be an MC than a regular comic cause you have to keep the energy running all night, and bring the acts up in a timely manner, while keeping the audience connected to what’s going on. Eddie’s like the Energizer Bunny, especially since he lost so much weight! It’s also a good analogy for him, because he does a bit on the Easter Bunny, and how you don’t find anything about chocolate or bunnies in the Bible.

Eddie Brill onstage, MC’ing the TWT event for Haiti!

First up in New York was Bonnie McFarlane, who I’ve been seeing a lot lately and enjoying more and more each time I see her. She has a certain quality on stage that really draws you to her, and not just because she’s so attractive! Her punchlines are not predictable and come out of left field, which I always appreciate. She’s married to comic Rich Vos, and in saying that I’m not giving away any secrets, because they’re kind of open about it.

Bonnie McFarlane making people laugh at Gotham Comedy Club at the TWT event for Haiti!

They travel together a lot. In just the last week alone, I’ve seen them both perform at the tribute to Mike DeStefano, who was a comic who left us much too soon this past year, and they were both judges on The Lottery Show at The Comic Strip this past Tuesday night. Very often they have their beautiful little daughter Reina with them, who Bonnie explains away by saying, ” I have a daughter. That’s what happens when you do it in the front!” (LOL) She guesses her daughter is about 4! (LOL)

People tell Bonnie her daughter looks like her, but Bonnie disagrees. She thinks she’s so much better looking than her daughter! I think Bonnie’s very cool!

Rich performed as well and was a crowd pleaser as usual. He knows how to take control of a crowd, and make them pay attention. He too is a great host!

Rich Vos, a favorite of Opie and Anthony, doing what he does best onstage at Gotham for TWT!

Tom Papa has TWO little girls, and the audience absolutely loves him. No matter what he says he gets big laughs. It’s not only his jokes, but the energy he puts behind them. Audiences respond to that. I see why Jerry Seinfeld chose him to host his show “The Marriage Ref.” Tom wonders where all the money went from the US, Europe and even China. No one seems to have any money except for Jay-Z. He must have it all!

He talks about no kid wanting to have a “hot” Mom. You want a cinnamon-scented fat-ass in a flowered dress! That leaves out Bonnie McFarlane! (LOL)

Tom Papa in the midst of an animated gesture, killing it onstage at Gotham for TWT!

In talking about tall thin fashion models, Tom wonders what you’d do with one if you had one in your house! He said it would be like having a live giraffe in your living room. They’d probably knock things over, and move around awkwardly. His advice, … ” Feed ’em cocaine. They seem to like that!”

Rachel Feinstein was next, and she’s turning herself into a real comedy “babe”! I like seeing her transform, and have been watching it happen with great interest and appreciation for a while now! For a long time, I think girls thought they had to come across as real plain in order to make people laugh. She does great “voice” work, and is one of the few women working who can imitate a guy’s voice dead-on!

Rachel Feinstein performing at Gotham to raise money for Haiti at the TWT event!

Like when she imitates the guys who hang out on the stoops in her hood in Brooklyn, and harass her as if it was “her naughty little idea to be a woman!” And when talking about dating older men, she also referenced doing The Charleston a couple of times, which is always good to me. Obscure references always work in comedy! It reminded me of a joke I once wrote, “You know a guy is old if he asks you to do The Hucklebuck!” Any word like “The Hucklebuck” is bound to get a laugh!

Gary Gulman was next and I was glad to see Gary cause it had been a while since our paths had crossed. Gary is one of those good looking guys who seems to hate the fact that he’s good looking and does everything he can to play it down. I’ve known a few guys like that. There aren’t many. It’s a sign of humility! In talking about Greece’s troubles, Gary wondered what happened to them. In a relatively short time they went from Plato and Aristotle to John Stamos and Yanni!

(L-R) Colin Quinn and Gary Gulman genuinely enjoying each other’s company at the TWT event for Haiti at Gotham Comedy Club!

And my old buddy Colin Quinn closed the show! I never get tired of seeing Colin perform. He too performed at the Mike DeStefano Tribute. There are some comics who are always willing to give of themselves for a good cause. They could all be out making money, but instead they donate their time to make others laugh to help collect money for worthy causes.

I don’t know how Colin did in school, but he’s a master of language and nuance. Talk about obscure references. Maybe only Dennis Miller has more, but Colin is funnier! (LOL) He analyzes every word and phrase ever uttered by anyone since time immemorial, and shows you the foolishness of every remark. Like when he describes how New Yorkers talk, and accuse you of things at the same time : ” Where’d you get that ice cream?” Or how they can come off as being very confrontational over nothing : ” Nice day today, … right or wrong?” You could be afraid to answer a question like that!

Colin Quinn with the smile that endears him to the audience, raising money through laughs at Gotham, for TWT!

Or like when he recounts having a conversation with an old guy in his neighborhood and mentioning a guy who was strong. The old guy says something like, ” that guy is so strong he could take you by the neck, drag you into the middle of the street, pull down your pants, and “have his way with you!” ( Except he didn’t use those exact words! LOL) Colin then asks the old man, ” Isn’t there another way for you to prove your point without me being sodomized against my will?” And the audience shrieks with laughter because we’ve all known people who embellish stories like that, and you’d secretly like to sign them up to take some sort of psychological test to find out why!

Needless to say, the show was a huge hit! Congratulations Zoe, Amber and Jodi! You guys did good!!!

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Kevin Hart Releases Laugh At My Pain in Theatres

The Humor Mill is on top of everything in urban comedy, “urban” being a code word for those with more pigment than I have! (LOL) Which is just about everyone since I am one of the whitest men I know! (LOL) That makes it even funnier when I come out on stage and tell the audience, ” I know what you’re thinking, … another Black comic! “

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kevin Hart at a press promo event for their show at Westbury Theatre!

The Humor Mill broke the story of Eddie Murphy hosting the Academy Awards at least a day before it appeared in the NY Post. My partner Richie Tienken who owns the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip managed Eddie for 11 years, from his days on SNL right through Beverly Hills Cop 2. Then in 1986 they both discovered Chris Rock who was working at the club setting up tables in exchange for stage time.

The Humor Mill helped promote the show I co-produced at Westbury starring Kevin Hart along with Tony Rock and Wil Sylvince!

The Humor Mill recently announced the news that Kevin Hart was launching a new mobile app called “Little Jumpman”, which is a first in the comedy world, and is available at the Apple App Store, and through i-Tunes. Kevin is very tech savvy. He’s got millions of followers on You Tube, Facebook and Twitter, and spends lots of time on Twitter posting things personally, or at least he did when I was with him last year.

They also have backstage coverage of the red carpet event for the premiere of Kevin’s new film “Laugh At My Pain” which makes him one of only 5 comics to release a stage performance as a film. That group is made up of Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Richard Pryor, and The Kings of Comedy. Kevin is in rarefied territory with that accomplishment.

Richie Tienken, Wil Sylvince, Jeffrey Gurian, and Kevin Hart at the show Jeffrey co-produced last year at the Westbury Theatre on Long Island!

He’s a really funny and really nice guy who deserves all of his success. I had the honor of co-producing a comedy concert with my partner at the time, Jean Alerte, starring Kevin last year at Westbury Theatre, in New York, right after he had sold out his performances at the South Beach Comedy Festival. He also sold out Westbury, with 2800 seats, in a show featuring Tony Rock and Wil Sylvince where part of the monies went to benefit Haiti. Check out the TV commercial for the event:

Jeffrey Gurian with Kevin Hart after Kevin's sold-out performance at the South Beach Comedy Festival!

Every place I went with Kevin, to the radio stations, and even in the street, people swarmed him with affection. The public genuinely loves the guy. He’s funny and self-deprecating, and he definitely keeps it real!

(L-R) Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, Kevin Hart, Egypt, and DJ FaDelf up at WBLS radio, promo'ing Kevin's show at Westbury!

Comedy Central Insider did a promo for the Kevin Hart show at Westbury co-produced by Jeffrey Gurian in a benefit for Haiti!

This was a promo that Kevin shot specifically giving a shout out to me and my partner, thanks to WhatsPoppin.net. Check it out here:

Check out “Laugh At My Pain” at a theatre near you, and check out Humor Mill Magazine for everything going on in the “urban” comedy world! It makes me wonder, … what is the Caucasian comedy world known as, … “Suburban”??? LOLOLOL

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Soldiers in Afghanistan Want Kevin Hart

Last year I had the pleasure of co-producing a comedy concert starring the great Kevin Hart in a fundraiser for Haiti, at a huge amphitheatre in New York called Westbury Theatre. It’s a theatre in the round and as you might expect if you have heard of Kevin Hart, it was a super successful sold out event. Three thousand people laughing hysterically. The man is HILARIOUS!!!

Jeffrey Gurian with Kevin Hart at a promotional event at the W Hotel!

Also on the bill were TV and film star Tony Rock, who just happens to be Chris Rock’s brother, but is amazingly funny in his own right, and Wil Sylvince, a Haitian comedian and good friend, who also served as the MC. This was one of the promos for the event!

A few weeks before Kevin’s show at Westbury I was flown down to the South Beach Comedy Festival as their guest to cover the shows for Comedy Matters and got to see Kevin Hart kill there as well. Sold out shows wherever he goes!!!

Jeffrey Gurian and Kevin Hart hanging out at the South Beach Comedy Festival!

Afterwards at the after party Kevin was actually doing interviews for Comedy Central.

Kevin Hart jus' chillin' with the Comedy Central mic at the South Beach Comedy Festival!

When Kevin came to New York, the day before the event, my then partner Jean Alerte and I accompanied Kevin to several of the hottest radio stations in New York to sit with DJ’s like Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg on Hot 97, and Egypt from WBLS, and also to the WB 11 TV station, where Kevin went on air to do the weather. Hip hop weather. The weather was never so cool, till Kevin did it! ( Btw who was the first guy to take telling people the weather, and turning that into a business, when all you ever had to do was look out your own window and see what’s happening? How did that happen? ” Hey pal, nice day! That’ll be 20 bucks!” ) LOL

Jean Alerte, Kevin Hart, and Jeffrey Gurian doing promos for the show at Westbury

DJ Cipha Sounds, Jean Alerte, Kevin Hart and Jeffrey Gurian down at Hot 97 in NYC!

(L-R) Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, Kevin Hart, Egypt, DJ FaDelf down at WBLS radio where Egypt holds court!

Jean and I went down to Kevin’s hotel and shot a promo for the event, and we all had a blast. The evening of the show on the red carpet, we had some great guests among them Richie Tienken, owner and founder of the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip, in NYC. Richie discovered both Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock, and managed Eddie for about 11 years. The club also launched the careers of Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Ray Romano and so many more!

Anyway, very recently I got an e-mail from a soldier in Afghanistan. A female soldier named Devon Diaz, who was trying to do something nice for the soldiers she serves with in the 504th MP BN Deployed. I’m not sure what that is exactly, but I’m pretty sure I don’t wanna be there! Thank G-d for those people who are over there risking their lives to keep us safe. I’m including the text of her e-mail below, so you can see what she wrote. She found my name on the internet as having been involved with Kevin and sent me this heartfelt request to get in touch with him.

I thought it would be nice for people to see how well loved he is, and that he is being requested by our fighting troops overseas who have very little to make them smile some days, I’m sure!

Hi Jeffrey,

I am LT Devon Diaz with the 504th MP BN Deployed to Kandahar,
Afghanistan. There is not a day that goes by that you don’t hear
soldiers referencing a Kevin Hart joke. I think he is unofficially the
comic of the 504th. Nothing brings up our spirits more than a good
laugh. His CDs are watched and passed around constantly. We have had a few
losses in the past week and our unit is definitely in need of a morale
boost. I understand that Kevin Hart is an extremely busy entertainer but
if he truly knew how much it would mean to us, I’m positive that funds
could be worked out for payment, in order to have him come and entertain the troops.
I saw your name above one of his shows. Please reply, even if it’s a “hell no and have a nice
day.”
I have my non-official email address in the cc line. If there is
a possibility that it could happen then I will talk to higher-ups to see
where we will get the funding.
Also we return to Fort Lewis, Washington (Joint Base
Lewis-McChord) in late June so even if he couldn’t come out here (which
would mean the world) then could he come visit us then.

Wow, now that I have read everything I wrote, please believe I’m
not a fanatic or stalker, LOL. I just really want to do something for
my soldiers. They truly deserve this.
V/R
Devon Diaz
1LT , AG
BN S1, 504 MP BN
Camp Nathan Smith
Kandahar, Afghanistan

(L-R) Jordan Rock (Chris Rock and Tony Rock's younger brother), Sherrod Small, Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, Richie Tienken backstage at Westbury Theatre.

Kevin Hart should feel very proud that he can use his sense of humor to bring comfort to our fighting men and women overseas, and I thought it would be a good idea to post this, if for no other reason than to show that Comedy Matters!!!

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