Posts Tagged LA

Tom Segura at Gotham Comedy

I had only seen Tom Segura perform once, cause he’s an LA guy, so I went down to catch him headlining at Gotham, and I was glad I did. He’s really funny, which is a big plus when you’re in comedy! I can’t emphasize it enough, how important that is! (LOL)

Tom Segura onstage at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!

I was very glad to see Marion Grodin MC’ing the show. She’s really great and a consummate pro!

Marion Grodin making a point while MC’ing the Tom Segura show at Gotham!

Marion used to produce shows all over town, sometimes with Danny Cohen down at The Duplex, on 7th Avenue, and always invited me to perform, except in those days I wasn’t as experienced as I am now, and was often reluctant to go up on big shows.

Marion Grodin and Jeffrey Gurian down at The Duplex in 2001!

I remember one in particular with Adam Ferrara at the old Gotham. I agonized over whether to do it or not, and wound up not going up. I wish she was producing shows now, cause now I’m ready for anything! (LOL)

Marion Grodin with her Dad, the legendary Charles Grodin!

Marion was followed by Wali Collins, which as I’m writing it sounds very weird. He followed her on stage, not like on the street, like a stalker or something. What I meant to say was that he was the next act. Wali is always enjoyable and a real crowd pleaser.

Tom Segura has a very interesting delivery. Very relaxed and very laid-back, yet very matter-of-fact!

He started out by saying he recently did the fattest thing he ever did, and then corrected himself because he said the fattest thing he could ever do would be to eat another fat person!

He talked about unusual inventions like a toilet that makes turkey sandwiches, and a shoe that’s also a plane. It reminded me of my own inventions, like the 24 hour stapler, where when most staplers stop working at midnight, my stapler works 24/7, … and the battery operated beard, which took the beard-wearing world by storm!

Another view of Tom Segura saying very funny things onstage at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!

He said sex is the only thing he’s been doing so long that he’s not better at. He generally ends every session by saying “I’m sorry!”

And he talked about his cousin who’s so dumb, that they went out to eat and he ordered a jerk chicken and his cousin said, ” Oh man, I wanted to order that!” in a very disappointed tone. So Tom explained, ” Well go ahead. You still can. We’re in a restaurant. I didn’t order the last one!

Funny dude!

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Carlos Mencia Kills It At Gotham Comedy Club

Carlos Mencia is the 17th of 18 children, believe it or not, and was born in Honduras. As an infant he was sent to the US to be raised by an aunt and uncle in the Maravilla Projects in Los Angeles,” (the city of Angels” in Espanol), but went back to Honduras as a young teenager to get away from the gang culture in his neighborhood. When he came back to the US, the school system took notice of how smart he was and automatically put him into the 10th grade, …proving that ” The Mind of Mencia” was not just the name of his hit TV show on Comedy Central from 2005 to 2008!

Carlos Mencia onstage at Gotham Comedy Club making a very pertinent point!

( I had a choice with that tag! As a comedy writer, I could have said, “the school system took notice of how smart he was and automatically put him into the 10th grade. Unfortunately he was 19 at the time!” and gotten a cheap laugh, but I like Carlos, so I didn’t do that! LOL )

Carlos started performing stand-up at The Laugh Factory and went on to become a regular at The Comedy Store, which is where I first met him. He performed there every night and drew quite a following. There was always a buzz about Mencia.

The “fluffy” Carlos Mencia I knew when I first met him out in LA! “Fluffy” being Gabriel Iglesias’ term for slightly overweight! LOL

So when I found out he was headlining Gotham Comedy Club I made sure to attend. But he lost so much weight I almost didn’t recognize him.

The newly thin, healthier, and funnier than ever Carlos Mencia onstage at Gotham!

To address that, he comes out and right away tells the audience that he doesn’t have AIDS. One day a friend of his made a comment that he was fat! (I understand it was Gabriel Iglesias who said it, which is hysterical, on many levels!)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV and Gabriel Iglesias at a Latino Comedy Festival in LA! Gabriel is shocked by the size of Jeffrey’s big pen!

The next time they got together, Gabriel Iglesias got the bigger pen and Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV got stuck with the smaller pen!

Carlos couldn’t believe it cause he never thought of himself as being overweight! Then he saw photos of himself, realized he was fat, and decided to do something about it! That’s what is known as “taking back the power!”

The man is half his size! But if he’s half his size, he’s twice as funny, with a wealth of material that most comics could only wish for.

He talks a lot about how great it is to be an American, and makes sharp racial observations like discussing why it’s a common thought that most Black people can’t swim. “Cause we used to chase them away from the pool. So ironically they became fast runners, but they never learned how to swim!”

A very thin and very funny Carlos Mencia killing it on stage at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!

He also does great dialects including African, French, Spanish of course and Japanese.

But the one concept that stood out to me the most was his take on Columbus discovering America, when the Native Americans were already living here. I’m paraphrasing here, but he said something like, “You can’t discover a country if people are already living there!” He envisioned a guy from Mexico jumping the border and when he was stopped by border guards and told he was entering a sovereign country, would plant a flag and say, ” I am discovering this country for my people!” That’s comedic genius!

And that’s why the show was sold out!

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Aubrey Anderson-Emmons To Star In Modern Family

I’ve met lots and lots of stars in my day, but none more exciting, and adorable than Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who got on my lap almost as soon as I met her! Not because I’m that good with women, but because she’s only 4 years old! I have the pleasure of being good friends with her Dad, Kent Emmons who started All Comedy Radio, and headed up National Lampoon Radio for a while, and is now heavy into creating infomercials with his company Kent Direct!

Jeffrey Gurian holding Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, the new star of ABC's Modern Family, along with Ed O'Neill and Sofia Vergara!

When I told Kent I was coming out to LA last month to perform and also to interview Billy Crystal and Russell Peters, he insisted that I stay at his home in Westlake Village, and I’m so glad I did. Kent is the kind of host that makes you feel at home right away. And he and his assistant Sarah made sure I felt like part of the family for my whole stay!

Jeffrey Gurian and Kent Emmons in Kent's new home in Westlake Village!

As part of the family, I got to meet little Aubrey. I had met her before but it was when she was just born. I was out in LA with my new book at the time, “Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive”, which was based on my writings for the famed Friars Roasts for many years, and Kent was kind enough to make me a book party at his home in the Hollywood Hills. It was a great party and Budd Friedman, the father of comedy clubs was there, as was uber-literary agent Peter Miller, and Hollywood starlet and dear friend Kali Hawk, among others. Kali, by the way, is gorgeous and talented, and will be HUGE, and I’m glad to say I know her for a loooooong time !!!

Comedy Legend Budd Friedman of Improv fame at the party that Kent Emmons made for Jeffrey Gurian's book "Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive."

Super literary agent Peter Miller at Kent Emmon's party for Jeffrey Gurian's book "Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive."

Jeffrey Gurian with the gorgeous and talented actress Kali Hawk at Kent Emmons' part for Jeffrey's book, " Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive" with the favorite nasty jokes of 250 celebs!

Anyway, I think Aubrey had been born about a week before I arrived, and I felt badly for her mom, comic Amy Anderson who really didn’t need house company at a time like that. I did my best not to cause any trouble! (LOL)

This time, I got to see Aubrey all grown up! What a beautiful, happy, well-adjusted child! Her parents must be doing something right. Her personality is that of a 12 year old, but she’s so loving and adorable, and accomplished. I got to spend quite a bit of time with her, and at the time I was there, we knew she was up for the role of Lily, on Modern Family, replacing the twins Jaden and Ella Hiller, but we didn’t know she got the role yet!

Kent Emmons and his beautiful daughter Aubrey, having the best time at a Reggae Festival!

We all went all over together and we even went to a Reggae Festival with internet master Adam Gilad, because the Reggae Festival was being produced by his son Amit, who I had also met when he was just a kid! All of a sudden he has a beard, and is producing music festivals! What happened???

Jeffrey Gurian having a laugh with TV star Aubrey Anderson-Emmons over dinner in a Mexican restaurant!

Anyway, I just got the good news from her Dad, and Aubrey was all over the trades this week. This is a cool article on her in Entertainment Weekly!
AubreyEntWeekly

We wish her so much luck on her debut when the show returns on Sept. 21st. I already got an invite to return and stay with Kent, but I hope Aubrey doesn’t get so famous that she won’t wanna hang out with her uncle Jeffrey! (LOL)

Coincidentally, while I was in Montreal recently at the Just For Laughs Festival, I got a great little interview with Steve Levitan the creator and writer of Modern Family. You can check that out right here:

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Andrew "Dice" Clay in the NY Post

In today’s NY Post, Sean Daly did a story about the return of Andrew ” Dice” Clay, and his exciting comeback from being on HBO’s Entourage, where he’s playing an exaggerated version of himself. I think I can honestly say that Entourage is the ONLY show I watch consistently on TV, and everyone in the cast is incredible.

“Dice” is the first to admit that he’s been having career problems. He was one of the few comedians who were ever able to fill stadiums in his heyday, which was in the late 80’s, and until the Entourage thing kicked in, he was playing small comedy clubs to make a living.

I have some great memories of Dice. I don’t think he knows it but thanks to him, I wound up writing the movie ” Face to Face” with actor/producer Scott Baio. Back in 1998, I was out in LA for a month, staying at the Oakwood Apartment complex near Burbank, and meeting people left and right! ( What kind of a weird expression is that? )

Jeffrey Gurian and Scott Baio outside of Planet Hollywood in LA at the wrap party for Very Mean Men, after finishing their own script called "Face to Face"!

One night I was at The Comedy Store and wound up meeting “Dice” after one of his sets, and we stayed up talking in front of the club till about 4 A.M. I remember freezing but I didn’t want to leave because I was fascinated by “Dice”, and the stories he was telling me. He was already planning a comeback, and because of my background having written for so many Friars Roasts, he let me try my hand at writing material for him.

I gave him the material, and he liked it so much, he wound up doing it on the stage of The Comedy Store right off the paper. One bit that stands out in my mind, had something to do with his ejaculate being so nutritious that the government was building a pipeline from his “member” directly to African countries suffering from hunger, and they would spray it in a cropduster to alleviate hunger.

Anyway, Dice and I started hanging out along with a guy who was his cousin and another stand-up comedian. We would often go to Mel’s Diner on Sunset Blvd. for a snack. As a matter o f fact one day while we were there he had a terrible headache, and I opened up to him about my other career as a Healer whose specialty was taking away headaches.

The photo below shows me and Dice in the parking lot of Mel’s Diner and I’m working on taking away his headache. I have done Healing work in some very unusual places, i.e. the most crowded noisy clubs, in supermarkets, and once even in the bathroom of a gas station, although the details on that are kind of fuzzy! (LOL) Fortunately I took away his headache, and unfortunately I still had that moustache I was sporting since the 80’s, when Dice was hot! (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian doing Healing work on Andrew "Dice" Clay in the parking lot of Mel's Diner to take away his headache!

Most of the time at Mel’s, Dice and I would take an outside table on the street. Anytime you’re sitting with someone well known, or a gorgeous model, people want to know who you are. It’s a given.

So Dice and I were sitting and eating and a guy came by, introduced himself as a producer, and asked me what I did. When I told him I was a comedy writer out of NY, he asked me for my card and asked if I could send him some of my scripts. It just so happened I had some in the trunk of my car, as I was carrying them around with me, because in LA you NEVER know who you’re going to run into and it’s always good to be prepared.

A few months after I got back to New York, out of a clear blue sky, ( like those expressions??? ) , I got a call one day from this producer, telling me he liked my script and that he thought he had a project for me. The next thing I knew he had me on a phone call to Scott Baio, who pitched me an idea he was working on, about three Italian cousins who wanted to know their Dad’s better. So they kidnapped them for a weekend of forced male bonding.

I liked it, and felt it was something I could do. While I was on the phone, the producer put me on hold, booked me on a flight to LA, and made arrangements for me to come out to write the script.

They picked me up at the airport, installed me in a hotel, and gave me keys to an office on Sunset where they brought in desks, and computers, and set me up so I could work at my own speed, and my own hours. I could come and go as I pleased. I remember the first day I met Scott. It was also at Mel’s Diner, and we had a nice meal and discussed the story line, and got along famously. He’s a super guy.

We wrote the script in about 10 days, and it was called ” Face to Face” one of the only Italian themed movies, with no mob scene! It starred Dean Stockwell, Joe Viterelli, Alex Rocco, Thomas Calabro, Madchen Amick, Ellen Travolta, Meatloaf, and of course Scott Baio. We were chosen as the opening night film at the Taos, New Mexico Talking Film Festival, ( as opposed to the Taos Silent Film Festival, I guess! ), and we won two festivals for Best Comedy Feature. One of them was in Sedona, and that was really cool also. It’s an amazing feeling to have a feature film in a festival and see people lining up to watch your film, especially when you do it with a star and there’s a Q&A afterwards. It was very exciting.

Scott had just finished a film with Matthew Modine, and the great Charles Durning, called “Very Mean Men” and I flew out to LA to attend the wrap party for that film at Planet Hollywood.

Jeffrey Gurian with Matthew Modine at an event in NYC!

Scott Baio, Jeffrey Gurian and Charles Durning at the wrap party for Very Mean Men in LA at Planet Hollywood!

Anyway, I’m so happy for “Dice” that he’s getting back into the limelight again. He still holds the distinction of being the only performer ever to be banned from MTV for life. That could be a long time.

He’s a rebel and always was.

I also remember being so impressed with how important his wife and kids were to him. He was a very dedicated father. Sean Daly says he’s shopping an autobiography, and will kick off a nationwide tour on Oct. 1, 2011, at MCU Park, which I believe is in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn!

Good for you Dice! Work it baby!!!

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