Posts Tagged Jon Stewart

7th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards At Gotham Comedy Club

7th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards At Gotham Comedy Club

Andy Kaufman was one of the most unusual, most talented, most creative comics ever to hit the stage. He left us too young, but his memory certainly lives on. Manager/producer Wayne Rada, produced the 7th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards at Gotham Comedy Club and I spent two nights there watching the semi-finals and then the finals.

Andy Kaufman performing on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show wearing a turban, while singing a Slim Whitman song, “My Rosemarie”!

Contestants are not supposed to try and copy Andy, as if anybody could, but they are supposed to try and capture the essence of his spirit and creativity. He had no fear in doing what he thought was funny, whether it was wrestling women, or real wrestlers, or coming out on the Carson show in a turban and diaper singing a Slim Whitman song.

Andy Kaufman had the courage to come out on stage dressed in a diaper and turban to perform on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson!

On the first night the judges were Rory Albanese, a very funny comic in his own right, but more importantly the producer of The Daily Show! To me, that’s more impressive than even being Jon Stewart! You get to produce one of the most popular shows on the air!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with comic/producer Rory Albanese, the producer of The Daily Show! How’s THAT for a credit?

I was so glad to see Rory. I had been waiting over a year to tell him how funny he was in the South Beach Comedy Festival last year. I had never seen him perform before and he was absolutely hilarious! I wasn’t able to find him after the show, but the good thing is that it’s never too late to give someone a compliment. He didn’t complain and say, ” Why did you wait more than a year to tell me?” He was a perfect gentleman and just said ” Thank you!”

Then there was Comedy Central executive Anne Harris, who always extends herself to come out and be helpful at these type of events, joined by previous Andy Kaufman winner and Comedy Central darling Kristen Schaal, and lastly Andy’s younger brother, ( by 2 years), Michael Kaufman.

(L-R) Judges Rory Albanese, Anne Harris, Kristen Schaal, and Michael Kaufman at the Andy Kaufman Award show at Gotham Comedy Club!

I remember going the year that Reggie Watts won and I actually met Andy’s Dad who was there with George Shapiro of Shapiro/West. ( Seinfeld’s manager! You knew it sounded familiar right??? LOL I have to find that video somewhere!) Reggie was actually the guest performer on the next night for the finals.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Reggie Watts at Gotham for the Andy Kaufman Awards!

The first night there must have been at least 15 semi-finalists. Some of them tried to reach Andy’s level of creativity by dressing very strange in outlandish costumes and several chose a stage personna. I snapped photos of a few I thought were funny and entertaining.

First there were the “Nice Brothers”, who both wore shades, and punctuated their repartee with the word “Nice” every so often. I liked them.

Nice!

Then there was Mike Amato who came out and sang a song like he was one of the Ratpack, or maybe Perry Como, if you even know who that was, then ripped of his clothes and became a stone cold rapper, with two hot dancing girls. I thought he was good.

Mike Amato and his dancing girls! I wish I knew their names but I don’t!

Then there was Dave Thunder who came out as a character named Jimmy DeLuca, a Lower East Side kind of kid who told a very scary story while eating a piece of cheese. And every so often he broke into that “scary” voice that camp counselors would use when telling a scary story to campers on an overnight in the woods. I thought he was funny too! I actually laughed out loud!

Dave Thunder as Jimmy DeLuca telling a very scary story about a guy named Frank Tanzarian!

It just goes to show you how subjective comedy is cause none of those people won. The next night for the finals, Harrison Greenbaum was the host. He’s always hilarious!

Harrison Greenbaum on stage at Gotham Comedy Club hosting the finals of the 7th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards!

The winner was a guy named Nick Vatterott, who must have gotten permission to have the longest set of anyone else on the show. Every other performer got about 5 minutes. Nick left the stage and kept coming back because his act consisted of screaming obscenities at the audience and threatening to never come back again, except he had to keep returning cause he forgot his keys, or a couple of milk containers, and each time he came back he’d “interrupt” the show, and scream again. He screamed right into the faces of people in the audience. And I mean SCREAMED! With all of his might!

I for one would not have been happy if that happened to me at a show, but the audience members he screamed at were either too embarrassed or too startled to respond, so they just laughed. And he won!

Wayne Rada is such an accommodating guy. He knew I had to leave early to host the late shows at The Comic Strip so he arranged for me to get photos with the judges and guest stars during the show. As a matter of fact, when Kristen Schaal got off the stage from doing her guest spot, she was kind enough to run out into the hallway so we could get our shots before the next act went on!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kristen Schaal at the finals of the Andy Kaufman Awards! She is such a doll!

Wayne also books CB’s Comedy Club, a great little club downtown on MacDougal Street, with an amazing Italian restaurant attached to it, also owned by the fabulous CB. Check it out and tell Wayne and CB that I sent you!

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Jeffrey Gurian’s Learning Annex Class on How To Write and Perform Comedy

I was honored by The Learning Annex, the nationally known adult education forum, by being asked to teach an online class for them on Writing and Performing Comedy!

This is the link on U-Stream! Hope you will check it out! I did two other classes for them which I will be posting as well!

These are some of the people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and work with over the years!

A rare 4-in-1 photo of me, Richard Belzer and Paul Shaffer, holding a photo of me, Richard Belzer and Paul Shaffer, holding a photo of me, Richard Belzer and Paul Shaffer, holding atill a 4th photo of me, Richard Belzer and Paul Shaffer taken by Richard Lewin at The Friars Club!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Colin Quinn on Broadway at his hit show directed by Jerry Seinfeld, “Long Story Short”!

Paul Provenza, trying to teach Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV how to do to The Aristocrats pose! It’s not going well! LOL

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with JB Smoove in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Festival!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Billy Crystal in Billy’s Beverly Hills office after the interview for the book on The Comic Strip that Jeffrey is writing!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Chris Rock at The Comic Strip after HIS interview for the book that Jeffrey is writing!

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Jon Stewart Sponsors The Story Pirates

The Story Pirates is a story in itself. Founded in 2003 by talented, caring people like Kristen Schaal and Lee Overtree, and about 7 others who went to school together at Northwestern University in Illinois, it is a writing initiative for elementary school children to encourage their creativity and get them to write. From what Kristen told me it exists in different states under different names.

What they do is they take children’s stories and get well known actors to act them out within the framework of a musical-sketch-comedy show. But they stage them in such a wonderful way with great music, furry monsters, Viking costumes, flying cats, and sacks of treasure that they create an unforgettable experience for kids and adults alike.

Jeffrey Gurian interviewing Kristen Schaal and Lee Overtree on the red carpet of the Story Pirates event with Jon Stewart!

Just between you and I, I was totally prepared to be bored when I attended, thanks to an invite from my friend, performance artist Kiki Valentine who was also involved in the presentation, and who is friends with Lee Overtree, the artistic director of S.P., but instead I was captivated and totally entertained by the ideas, the huge puppets, and the fun of it all.

Jeffrey Gurian and the talented and beautiful Kiki Valentine at Story Pirates at Symphony Space!

So Tracey and Jon Stewart co-chaired the event at The Symphony Space on Broadway and 95th Street, and were joined by Lou Reed of Velvet Underground fame, The Daily Show’s John Oliver, comic/actor Kristen Schaal, comic/actor and friend Mike Birbiglia, currently starring in off-Broadway’s “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend”, Ana Gasteyer from SNL and Wicked, and Josh Gad, one of the stars of the Tony-nominated Broadway show, “The Book of Mormon” along with the troop of Story Pirates and they all took part in acting out these children’s stories.

Lou Reed on stage reading a piece that a child wrote!

The inimitable Reggie Watts, performing one of his unique pieces, based on a child's idea, onstage at Story Pirates!

Jon Stewart on stage acting out a story for the Story Pirates!

John Oliver getting ready to throw a pie into the face of one of the Story Pirates troop!

Mission accomplished! One actor got pied multiple times!

You can see the red carpet video below, in which I kiddingly tell Jon Stewart that the reason they call it “Story Pirates” is because they steal ideas from little kids, and then I suggest that they should do that on The Daily Show! Check it out!

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Preview Video of Red Carpet of Comedy Central First Annual Comedy Awards Airing Tonight


I got to cover the red carpet for one of Comedy Central’s most exciting nights, the first annual Comedy Awards at The Hammerstein Ballroom on West 34th Street in Manhattan.

The beautiful Comedy Central Awards stage at Hammerstein Ballroom.

This is the first ever multi-network, multi-platform event dedicated to honoring and celebrating the world of comedy, and it’s not a moment too soon!  People are being funny at an ever increasing rate.  Soon the entire planet will be absolutely hysterical, …  except for certain unnamed countries where laughing is still considered a crime!

The event airs Sunday, April 10th at 9 P.M.  simultaneouly across MTV Networks, Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, VH1, and Nick at Nite.  In other words you have to try hard to miss this show.  If you miss this show, it is obvious that you are determined not to have a good time in your life.

The show will honor not only stand-ups but also writers, directors, sit-coms and just about everything and anyone who ever made you smile!  The talent was amazing.  Bruce Willis presented an award, and for some reason grabbed himself during the presentation!

Bruce Willis looking all over for his wallet, while presenting an award!

As I got set up on the red carpet, with my assistant Sean Mannion manning my new Sony VG Hi-Def camera and my Sennheiser mic with the Comedy Matters flag, and the wireless set-up, (LOL) I noticed that Christian Finnegan was hosting the red carpet.  When I went over to congratulate him, he played it off very humbly, but I convinced him it was a great honor.

Jeffrey Gurian holding his brand new Sennheiser mic with Comedy Matters flag, while talking to Dylan Gadino, CEO of Punchline Magazine on the red carpet.

Aileen Budow ran the red carpet very efficiently as she always does with the help of Eve Kenny.

I got to interview Jon Stewart who I had not seen in a long time, and who acknowledged that fact on camera, Will Ferrell, Olivia Munn, The Gregory Brothers, Mark DuPlass who wrote, produced and directed Cyrus, and who was there with his beautiful actress wife Katie Aselton, Craig Robinson, and Louis CK who I got to congratulate for being honored this coming summer in Montreal as Comedy Person of the Year.  Many of them did a little promo for Comedy Matters. Check it out here!

 

Jeffrey Gurian and Craig Robinson hanging out after the award show.

 

Louis CK either giving me the finger, or telling the cops it was me who did it, on the red carpet of the Comedy Central Comedy Awards.

This night, he was up for “Breakthrough Performer” against Aziz Ansari, Ty Burrell, Whitney Cummings, Danny McBride, Emma Stone, Daniel Tosh, and Kristen Wiig, and if you promise not to tell anyone, I’ll confide in you that he won!  Do you promise?  If not, I won’t tell you!

I also got to see one of my favorites Kristen Schaal who recently hosted the Writers Guild Awards, and who for whatever reason, didn’t answer an e-mail I sent her telling her I was coming to see her.
She said that Nick Kroll had mentioned to her that I said “Kristen didn’t answer me”, and she was so sweet, and apologized, and I told her next time I’m sending her two e-mails at a time to make sure she sees it! 

Kristen Wiig’s handler got so upset that I didn’t recognize Kristen that she didn’t bring her over to talk to me.  For some reason Kristen looked different to me that day, but I was surprised her PR person would react that way. Maybe she was a little stressed?

The Roots came over to chat, mainly because they told me they dug my hair! Those are guys who are not afraid to express themselves through their hairstyles, especially Questlove!

Jeffrey Gurian with Questlove and The Roots complimenting each other on their respective hairstyles!

I explained to them my theory that most men wear their hair like they’re embarrassed for having any.  Almost like an apology.  Sorry I have hair.  I’ll try and wear it in a way you don’t notice.  Let’s see, is this short enough, and non-descript enough for you???

Jimmy Fallon was out of town, but they were “representing” as the house band for the show.

I had been waiting patiently on the red carpet hoping to see Tracy Morgan who was there to present Eddie Murphy with the Comedy Icon Award.

Tracy Morgan presenting Eddie Murphy with the Comedy Icon award, which Eddie said was an "old man" award!

Tracy told me he would try to make an appearance at my Diabetes Comedy Fundraiser, “Laugh at Diabetes” on April 14th at The Comic Strip but when I called him to confirm, his number had changed, and I couldn’t get the new one.

I stood on the red carpet freezing my butt off cause I took off my coat so everyone could see my nice tux ( it was Black Tie!), and just as I walked away to get my coat to warm up for a minute Tracy breezed right on by.  Sean tried to alert me, but it was too late, and I never got to find Tracy in the madness that ensued afterwards.  Very frustrating!

Jeffrey Gurian with Tracy Morgan at Anthony Anderson's Mixtape Show at Gotham!

So if any of you know how to reach Tracy, please ask him to contact me about this coming Thursday, April 14th at 8 P.M. at The Comic Strip at 1568 Second Avenue between 81st and 82nd Street.  Tracy himself is battling Diabetes which is why I was hoping he’d make an appearance.

Also there was Bill Murray, who presented an award to David Letterman who was actually there to accept it, TIna Fey, Ricky Gervais, Jon Cryer, who was crying about what happened with Charlie Sheen, Stephen Colbert who threw everyone else from The Daily Show off the stage so he could “faux rant” about Jon Stewart, Alec Baldwin, who received an award from Kick-Ass’s Chloe Moretz… I mean nobody but Comedy Central gets all these people to show up!

Bill Murray making a point at the Comedy Awards!

Jon Cryer lamenting the fate of Two and a Half Men while presenting!

Chloe Moretz of Kick Ass presenting an award to Alec Baldwin!

One of the coolest things happened when I ran into my old buddy James Dixon of Dixon Talent.  I know James from his days as an agent at William Morris when he used to pal around with another agent named Mike August.  James has become a powerhouse in entertainment and opened Dixon Talent where he manages some of the biggest names in comedy like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert to name just two.

After the show, James and I were catching up when Jon Stewart came by, and James said to Jon, ” You know Jeffrey Gurian right?”  And Jon said, ” Sure I do.”  And then James himself was kind enough to snap a photo of Jon and I, since my assistant Sean had to leave early to celebrate his wife Jessica’s birthday!  Besides being an amazing manager, James takes a good photo, don’t you think???

Jeffrey Gurian with Jon Stewart after the Comedy Awards. Photo taken by Jon's manager James Dixon.

I’ll be writing more about this exciting event in the days that follow but this will give you a little preview of what to expect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Look Who Reads Comedy Matters-Richard Lewis, Jon Stewart, Lisa Lampanelli & So Many More!!!

I’ve been doing so many red carpets lately and am thrilled to see how many big stars read “Comedy Matters.”  if you don’t believe me, watch for yourself, ( and then tell everyone you know!  Even if they’re sleeping.  Wake them up and tell them! Even if they’re very tired.  Trust me, they’ll be grateful!)

Lisa Lampanelli with Jeffrey at The Donald Trump Roast after telling Jeffrey she reads Comedy Matters every time she forgets to delete it! (LOLOLOL)

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