Posts Tagged Kristen Schaal

Todd Barry, Kurt Braunholer at Broadway Comedy

On any night at Broadway Comedy you’re liable to be surprised as to who drops in to perform. Recently both David Spade and Steven Wright stopped by and thrilled the audience with a surprise performance.

Dan Soder hosting the show at Broadway Comedy!

On the recent night I stopped by, the very funny Dan Soder was hosting, and had a line-up of funny local comics like Orlando Baxter who I had never seen before but offered his opinion on fire drills in schools. How often does it happen that there’s a fire in a school. He thinks it would be better to have “Hey, that M-F’er’s got a dun drill.” That would probably be more effective!

Orlando Baxter telling the audience about fire drills and what other things strike him funny!

Or Jeff Wesselschmidt, who once he got over his obsession with what I refer to as bathroom type material, had this comment on girls with big butts: “If a girl has a big butt, ,she has to know it cause guys who like big butts are generally not stingy with compliments!”

Jeff Wesselschmidt onstage at Broadway Comedy!

The always popular Jon Fisch came out and killed it for the crowd, but it felt like he was doing a longer set than usual, and it turned out that he was. Whoever was supposed to light him seems to have gone on vacation in the middle of Jon’s set, so being the pro that he is, he just kept coming up with more material, until finally someone noticed, and brought up the next comic! The audience had no idea, but Jon and I had a good laugh about it!

Jon Fisch killing it onstage at Broadway Comedy in a “hyper-extended” set! (LOL)

What Jon didn’t realize was that I caught him standing in what I can only describe as some sort of “ballet position”, which is something I have to ask him about! He seemed very comfortable in that position, so maybe he studied ballet at some point in his past!

Jon Fisch in “resting position”, or some sort of ballet stance onstage at Broadway Comedy! Nice going Jon! (LOL)

Kurt Braunholer, who teaches improv at The Pit, which is also where he co-hosted Hot Tub Variety Show, is another crowd pleaser who still performs with Kristen Schaal, a talented comic and Daily Show correspondent! They host a show together out in Brooklyn, and also do a show together on Sirus Radio called “High Five With Kurt and Kristen.”

Kurt Braunholer performing directly into the mic at Broadway Comedy Club!

The highlight for me was seeing Todd Barry who I don’t get to see perform all that often, but who I always enjoy. His laid-back understated delivery just makes me laugh out loud, which I don’t often do. If most comics had to face an audience filled with people like me, they’d be very unhappy.

I do a lot of smiling, but it takes a lot to make me laugh out loud. Not because I don’t want to, but I like to let it just happen because I can’t help it!

Todd Barry in a surprise guest spot at Broadway Comedy Club!

Todd makes me laugh out loud! His combination of sarcasm, and clever punchlines do it for me.

You’ve seen Todd in Louie, on Sarah Silverman, (not exactly on HER, but on her show!), in the 2nd season of Adult Swim’s “Delocated”, and in films like “The Wrestler.” I try and see him whenever I can. I think he tours a lot and appears in festivals occasionally!

But it was a great night at Broadway Comedy, and it just shows that you never know who’s liable to pop in!

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Red Carpet of 2nd Annual Comedy Awards Packed With Stars

I knew the 2nd Annual Comedy Awards from Comedy Central would be exciting, from the experience I had last year at the first annual awards, but it surpassed my expectations.

The beautifully designed Comedy Awards 2012 red carpet!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV ready to do battle on the red carpet of the Comedy Awards 2012!

Exec Produced by legendary producer Don Mischer, directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller, and with a 32 member Board of Directors that included Brad Grey, Adam McKay, James Dixon, Jon Stewart, Sandy Wernick, Steve Levine, and Rory Rosegarten, you had to know it would be a star-studded event.

The red carpet was staged before the event, at The Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th and 8th, and thanks to Aileen Budow, Eve Kenny and their team it worked spectacularly smoothly.

Everyone went out of their way to be helpful, and steer the talent towards the waiting microphones except some of the talent didn’t make it all the way down the line!

The lovely and talented Julie Klausner, who was the host of the red carpet for the Comedy Awards 2012!

Multi-faceted actress/author/podcaster/comedywriter-performer Julie Klausner was the host of the red carpet, and she was superb! She just lights up in front of the camera! Her first book, “I Don’t Care About Your Band”, was released in February 2010 by Gotham/Penguin Books, and by July 2010, it was announced that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Production Company, Gary Sanchez Productions, optioned the book for HBO.

Actress Lizzy Caplan who I met at a Gen Art Festival a couple of years back is attached to star and co-produce.

In October 2011, The Hollywood Reporter reported that NBC had picked up a pilot about a woman’s father that dates her high-school nemesis. It was based on Sue Margolis’s novel, Apocolipstick, and Julie is supposed to write and executive produce the series. I hope she has a part in it for ME!!! (LOL)

Julie Klausner interviewing Maya Rudolph on the red carpet of the Comedy Awards 2012!

She’s also written for Best Week Ever and The Awl. And she came over to say “Hi” and did such a fun interview with me! When we were done the camera crew suggested we talk about our hair, so we did another little thing together. I will be posting that soon as well! ( Really, … I will! LOL)

Even event photographer Larry Fink came over just to take a photo of my hair! I was wondering why he was shooting so close to me, and then he told me he had taken a shot of my hair!

Julie’s podcast, “How Was Your Week” was featured on Rolling Stone’s 10 Best Comedy Podcasts of the Moment, so maybe I could be on that too! (LOL)

I got to talk to several of the presenters and nominees for the awards, several of whom won, and even Doug Herzog the Pres. of MTV Networks.

A very trim-looking Doug Herzog making his opening remarks at the Comedy Awards, 2012!

I also unexpectedly ran into my old friend Noel Casler who was the Talent Logistics Coordinator for the event, sometimes known as the “talent wrangler” whose job it is to make sure all the creative elements are in place and that the talent like Robert DeNiro, Chevy Chase, and Jon Stewart all get where they need to be, and get everything they need to have.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with “talent wrangler” Noel Casler at the Comedy Awards 2012!

I started the interviews with my buddy Colin Quinn,and we agreed that if he lost, we’d drown our sorrows across the street in Dunkin’ Donuts, but we didn’t wind up going, cause neither of us wanted to gain the weight. Nobody really loses at these things anyway, because it’s an honor just to be nominated, and Colin knows that everyone loves him, and his Jerry Seinfeld directed show “Long Story Short”. Colin is one of the few comics to actually star on Broadway, not once but twice!

I also got to speak to John Oliver, and Kristen Schaal who were representing The Daily Show, and I kidded John by asking him why Jon Stewart was leaving The Daily Show! He got a big kick out of that! (LOL)

(L-R) John Oliver, Kristen Schaal, and Jeffrey Gurian sharing a laugh on the red carpet of the Comedy Awards 2012!

I also spoke with Reggie Watts who was so comfortable wearing whatever he was wearing on his head that he didn’t even respond when I asked him what it was. He answered about something else as if he didn’t notice he was wearing an elegant looking “Kafiyeh” of some kind draped across his head!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Reggie Watts and his elaborate headscarf on the red carpet of the Comedy Awards 2012!

Then Hannibal Buress stopped by to chat and he wound up winning for Best Club Comic, being up against heavy hitters like Ted Alexandro, Pete Holmes, Anthony Jeselnik, John Mulaney, Kumail Nanjiani, Chelsea Peretti who I just ran into in LA when I was out there appearing in sketches for Nick Kroll’s new show, Amy Schumer, Moshe Kasher, and Rory Scovel.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Chelsea Peretti in LA at The Comedy Store!

Randall “The “Honeybadger Guy”, as he’s known, was there, and to be honest, I hadn’t hear about his film before I met him. That didn’t stop him from hugging me like we were old friends, and he’s really genuine and very sweet. He hugs everyone he meets and he means it. I liked that about him. He seemed very sincere as you’ll see when I edit the video I keep claiming to have! (LOL)

His video about the Honeybadger has over 43 million hits so far, and when you watch it, you might be tempted to think to yourself, ” I could do that.” The difference is that he DID do it! He said he knew he was onto something when he got 1 million hits the first week it was up.

I also spoke to The Gregory Brothers who won for their viral original “Songify This,”Winning-A Song By Charlie Sheen”!

Louis CK won so many awards, that by the 4th one, he was embarrassed to get up and accept them. He even won for Best Sketch Series which he said his show wasn’t! (LOL) Louis happens to be very humble despite all of his well-deserved success!

Louis CK accepting one of his four awards at the Comedy Awards 2012!

A lot of the cast of the Judd Apatow produced hit “Bridesmaids” was there including Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, who unfortunately did not do the red carpet, (or at least the piece I was on! LOL), Wendi McLendon-Covey, and director Paul Feig, and they won for Best Comedy Film!

Best Animated Series went to Archer and a lot of that cast was there including Chris Parnell, and the funny and gorgeous Aisha Tyler who I met at The Friars Club event honoring Brett Ratner. We were supposed to do a video interview but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. At least I got to see her in the Press Room!

Best Comedy Writing went to 30 Rock, and Best Comedy Series went to Parks and Recreation, which was represented by creator Mike Schur, Amy Poehler, Jim O’Heir, Retta, and a few others I wasn’t able to identify!

The cast of Parks and Rec with Amy Poehler second from the left!

This is a little Comedy Central clip of them accepting their award!

The Daily Show, which won for Best Late-Night Comedy Series, was well represented and besides John Oliver and Kristen Schaal, I got to speak to Jessica Williams the newest and youngest correspondent who’s still in college and is really so energetic and soooo cute! She was really excited to be there!

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show onstage during his appearance at the Comedy Awards 2012!

Robin Williams came by briefly and shook hands with me. He was presented with the Stand-Up Icon Award, and seemed genuinely grateful to be in the room with all the young talent. He specifically said he was a big fan of Patton Oswalt and would love to work with him.

I was surrounded by friends on the red carpet. On one side of me was Clayton Fletcher and Ben Rosenfeld working as a team, and on the other side was radio guru, and Exec. Producer Jake Ray from Emmis Communications who works with Hot 97, 98.7 Kiss, and Loud Digital Network among others!

And after the red carpet we went to the Press Room where we had food and drinks and got to watch the show on a huge screen TV. Then when the winners were announced a lot of them made their way down to the Press Room for further questions. That was a great new innovation, but unfortunately while we were interviewing the winners, they had to turn down the volume on the TV, so we were missing the show. With all of our technology there’s still no way to do both! (LOL)

One of the highlights for me was running into Ed Helms as we were leaving. Ed is such a great guy and a big talent. I had recently seen him in LA while on the Nick Kroll set, since he was shooting sketches with Nick as well, so we had a chance to talk, and when he saw me this night he asked his companion to take a shot of us. (Not “AT” us, “OF” us! LOL) Then that gave me the opportunity to whip out my own camera and ask her to take a shot of us too!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with renowned actor Ed Helms of Hangover fame!

All I’ll tell you about the show is that Chris Rock was the first presenter for Best Comedy Special of the Year, and when he read the names of the nominees, he prefaced it by saying that three were funny, one used to be funny, and one was NEVER funny and then said that he wasn’t kidding! The nominees were Louis CK, Norm MacDonald, Patton Oswalt, Colin Quinn, and Daniel Tosh, and then Chris noted they were all White and said, ” I guess Kevin Hart didn’t do anything this year, huh?”

First presenter Chris Rock giving the award for Best Comedy Special of the Year!

The show’s climax was the presentation by Robert DeNiro, of the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence, which went to Don Rickles, and they showed a fantastic compilation of his TV and film appearances with Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin among others.

The legendary Don Rickles was presented with the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence!

When the video is edited I’ll write more. Just be ready to watch it on May 6th, at 9 P.M. on Comedy Central and you’ll see all these fabulously talented people for yourself!

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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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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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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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