Posts Tagged “Joe Franklin”

Lisa Lampanelli Takes Divorce To Higher Levels!

The Friars Club held a major event last night to rename the famed monastery in honor of comedy icon Jerry Lewis.

Jerry Lewis laughing at one of the many jokes that were told during the ribbon cutting ceremony naming the Friars Club after himself!

Jerry Lewis laughing at one of the many jokes that were told during the ribbon cutting ceremony naming the Friars Club monastery building after himself!

Fifty-fifth street in Manhattan , which is known as Friars Way, was blocked off for a champagne celebration renaming the historic building.  It was packed with celebs and media names that came out to honor Jerry, and they even created a special star for him to be placed as the first star in a “Walk of Fame” like they have in Hollywood.

JerryLewisStar_9_15_14

 

Then they gave Jerry a huge pair of red scissors for a ribbon cutting ceremony!

 

Jerry Lewis brandishing the big red scissors he used to cut the red ribbon naming the Friars monastery after him!

Jerry Lewis brandishing the big red scissors he used to cut the red ribbon naming the Friars monastery after him!

Some of the attendees were Vincent Pastore, from The Sopranos, Steven ( Little Steven) Van Zandt from The Sopranos, and Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band, Marvin Scott, ex-Mayor David Dinkins, Gilbert Gottfried, Pat Cooper, Bill Boggs, Rick Newman and his wife Chrissy, Tamsen Fadal, Joe Franklin, Jackie Martling, Dominic Chianese, Richard Johnson from the NY Post, and many more.

Vinny Pastore and Stevie Van Zandt sitting around at The Friars Club for Jerry Lewis!

Vinny Pastore and Stevie Van Zandt sitting around chatting at The Friars Club event for Jerry Lewis!

I had the honor of escorting my good friend, and comedy superstar Lisa Lampanelli, who I’ve been friends with for many years.  Lisa and Al Roker dressed up as construction workers to present Jerry with his star for the Walk of Fame!

Al Roker still dressed as a construction worker when he and Lisa Lampanelli presented Jerry with his "Star" for the Walk of Fame!

Al Roker still dressed as a construction worker when he and Lisa Lampanelli presented Jerry with his “Star” for the Walk of Fame!

Lisa was my recent guest on Sirius XM with Ron and Fez where I am a regular, and honored me by coming on despite the fact that she was not doing any other press.  She is still recovering from the loss of her dear father just a few months ago, and she made a decision to not allow any negativity into her life.

The new and improved Miss Lisa Lampanelli!

The new and improved Miss Lisa Lampanelli!

She only wants to do positive things which eliminates a lot of other radio shows that can tend to be mean-spirited.  Although she is known as “The Lovable Queen of Mean” I know another side of her, and that’s the side that came out on the Sirius XM show that we did.  We talked about positivity, and certain Spiritual principles that are important to incorporate into your way of life in order to achieve Happiness, which I capitalize for a reason!

To me Lisa embodies empowerment.  She has created more change in her life in the last year than most people do in a lifetime, and that takes a lot of courage.  She underwent weight loss surgery and lost 107 pounds, cut off her hair into what at first was a Mohawk, and is now just a very hip short look, that had purple streaks for a few minutes, and she made the loving, but difficult choice to leave a marriage that wasn’t working for her, but to her credit she did it on a very high level.  She and her husband Jimmy Cannizzaro, one of the nicest guys you can find, are parting on good terms.

As a matter of fact they are on such good terms that Lisa gave her blessing to his new relationship with singer Jenna Esposito.  

Jimmy Cannizzaro, Lisa Lampanelli with Jimmy's new girlfriend Jenna Esposito! One big happy family!

Jimmy Cannizzaro, and Lisa Lampanelli with Jimmy’s new girlfriend Jenna Esposito! One big happy family!

She told me personally and on the radio that if Jimmy and Jenna have kids she wants to be like the favorite aunt who spoils them.  That is a beautiful thing.  I went to Lisa’s home in Connecticut just a couple of weeks ago for a Labor Day barbecue, in the home she shared with Jimmy, and it’s a happy, joyous place on the water.  Very peaceful and filled with things that make Lisa happy to see, like her father’s art work.  He was an accomplished painter whose works fill her beautiful home.

So Lisa was expecting Jimmy and Jenna at the Jerry Lewis event and we all planned to meet up.  As I was walking into the monastery, I felt a tap on my shoulder , and heard someone saying ” Hey Jeffrey”, and it was Richard Johnson who for so many years ruled the gossip world as the king of Page 6, and now has returned with his own column, ” Richard Johnson- The Man Who Knows New York”, which should have had the tag, “Like No One Else!” LOL

Jeffrey Gurian with Richard Johnson ex-Mr. Page 6 who now writes "Richard Johnson- The Man Who KNows New York!"  An understatement if I ever heard one!

Jeffrey Gurian with Richard Johnson ex-Mr. Page 6 who now writes “Richard Johnson- The Man Who Knows New York!” An understatement if I ever heard one!

We exchanged pleasantries as they say, and I pointed out Lisa, Jimmy and Jenna standing outside talking.  He didn’t even recognize Lisa but I said to him, “there’s your story for the day! That’s Lisa, her ex and his girlfriend.”  So later during the evening I got to take these cool photos showing how well they all get along.

A dramatic example of how most wives usually handle a situation when they run into their ex with another woman!

A dramatic example of how most wives usually handle a situation when they run into their ex with another woman!

Even I got to join in the love fest! (LOL)

Even I got to join in the love fest! (LOL)

The other photos below are of some of the other fun guests.  And Vinny Pastore told me he wrote a new play about when he owned a bar in New Rochelle back in the 80’s and Steve Van Zandt’s wife Maureen is directing it, and he’s really excited about that.  It was another great night at The Friars Club!

 

With Vinny Pastore who told me he's excited about his new play!

With Vinny Pastore who told me he’s excited about his new play!

Jeffrey Gurian with Tamsen Fadal, the anchor from WPIX 11, and purple is his favorite color! LOL

Jeffrey Gurian with Tamsen Fadal, the anchor from WPIX 11, and purple is his favorite color!  At least it is now! LOL

And I thought I would end this column with a photo of Jerry and I from 1986 when I worked with him alone for two nights in his hotel room to prepare for his Friars Club Roast!

Jeffrey Gurian with Jerry Lewis at the Jerry Lewis Roast in 1986!

Jeffrey Gurian with Jerry Lewis at the Jerry Lewis Roast in 1986!

 

 

 

 

 

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Comedy Fundraiser at The Actor’s Temple

When Bob Greenberg puts a show together, he puts a show together! I flew back from LA just to be in it! (Well actually, I was due to come back that day, but one of the reasons I decided to return that day was to be in Bob’s show and to host the late show at The Comic Strip, which I do every Sunday and Monday!)

Bob Greenberg, Jeffrey Gurian, Sandy Ehlers, and Mike Fine at The Actor’s Temple!

There is a fabulous Temple on West 47th Street that each year is the beneficiary of a comedy event produced and MC’ed by Bob Greenberg, whose impressions of Jackie Gleason, Ed Norton, Oliver Hardy, and Stan Laurel just to name a few are killer! I’ve had the pleasure of performing with Bob several times and he’s always so funny!

The Actor’s Temple is actually Congregation Ezrath Israel, which was founded in 1917. The building we were in dates from 1923. Some of their former members were show business greats like Al Jolson, Joe E. Lewis, Sophie Tucker, Jack Benny, Red Buttons, Edward G. Robinson, and even my original sponsor in The Friars Club, Milton Berle. And to show you how powerful this Temple is, none of them were even Jewish! (LOL) Of course they were! In those days, EVERYONE was Jewish! (LOLOL)

Rabbi/Cantor Jill Hausman officiates at The Temple and she is the sweetest, kindest person you could ever want to meet. She thanked each of the performers personally with a big hug, which most comedy club owners don’t do! (Fortunately! LOL)

See if you can guess which ones are Stone and Stone, plus Mike Toro, and how did Mike Fine get in there again??? I guess he thought it was an open “Mike”! (LOL)

The place was packed so tight, you couldn’t even squeeze a Torah in there. We were packing them in by the “minyans!” And there were still almost as many comics as there were audience members! (LOL) This was Bob’s line-up in alphabetical order: Debbie Bazza, Ross Bennett, Sandy Ehlers, Mike Fine, Robin Fox, Joe Franklin, me – Jeffrey Gurian, Harriet Holloway, Rhonda Handome, Doug Kleiman, Dave Konig, Nancy Lombardo, Steven Scott, Stone and Stone, Mike Toro, and Doug Nervik. There were enough jokes to feed a village! And every single one of them did great!

Robin Fox, Ross Bennett and Dave Konig waiting patiently to go on at Bob Greenberg’s Comedy Mishagas at The Actor’s Temple!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with old pal Rhonda ( Passion) Hansome! I got her just before she left, … hence the coat!

(L-R) Debbie Bazza, Rhonda Handsome, and Nancy Lombardo at The Actor’s Temple!

It was especially great for me, cause I got to do a lot of my “Jewish” material, and I got to do it for Joe Franklin, who I don’t think had ever seen me perform, except as a guest on his show several times. Joe and I actually inaugurated a new radio show together last year!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with the legendary Joe Franklin. we were the first two guests on a new radio show from Alycia Kaback called “The It Factor”!

Joe Franklin performing at The Actor’s Temple, and to show you his dedication, he did all of his jokes in the original Aramaic!

I wanted to try and get a photo of ALL of the comics who performed but I didn’t have a wide enough lens! Actually they all scattered like a herd of wildebeestes, when a lion showed up at the watering hole, so I wasn’t able to get one! Hopefully next year, … in Jerusalem!

Thanks Bob for all you do!

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