Posts Tagged “Mike Vecchione”

Great Night At Broadway Comedy

On almost any night of the week you can find a great show at Broadway Comedy Club. Sometimes I just drop by unexpectedly and have yet to be disappointed! The last night I went Monroe Martin was MC’ing the show.

Monroe Martin MC’ing at Broadway Comedy Club!

He said he should never be working with kids because he looks like a huge child! And he does. He said if you detach his head from the rest of his body, he’s actually adorable! (I’m sure he didn’t mean to decapitate himself, cause that couldn’t be cute no matter who you are! LOL)

I had never seen Rich Aronowich before since he’s from Cali, but he’s really funny and the audience thought so too! He does a lot of physical humor, like his impression of a muppet running, plus sound effects, and crazy voices and faces, and it all works.

Rich Aronovich, Screech, or Horshack onstage at Broadway Comedy Club! All three of them did well!

Talking about internet dating he mentioned his favorite site, www.yourgonnadiealone.com. I liked his take on why he hates musicals! ” I don’t wanna pay $85. to hear every thought I ever had in song!” Exactly the reason why I hate musicals too!

He said he looked like either Screech or Arnold Horshack and again the audience likes when comics make fun of their own appearance!

Bryan Scott McFadden is so used to getting thunderous applause I don’t even think it phases him anymore. His character work is superb, like when he imitates the old fighters at the gym. Fantastic.

Bryan Scott McFadden making a point onstage at Broadway Comedy Club!

I liked his new bit about every job should have an MC to announce you when you get to work. And he told one couple they were sitting there staring like an Amish Village at Radio Shack!

Laurie Parmenteri was also very funny. I had also never seen her before. Her writing is very sharp and her jokes are succinct. She said she started birth control. Once a month she throws herself down a flight of stairs.

Laurie Parmenteri making people laugh at Broadway Comedy Club!

She said she was against abortion except in a case of emergency, like if SHE got pregnant! She also said she never got an abortion, but asked the audience not to tell her boyfriend because she already spent the money!

Kyle Grooms is another killer act. He said in Detroit you can buy a house for five dollars. Detroit is doing so bad, Haiti is throwing a benefit for them! I love when he talks about growing up in the hood with a name like Kyle. No one would ever be scared if they heard that Kyle was looking for them! “Kyle? That ni***r with the glasses??? Hysterical.

And his Barack Obama impression is so right on, I think Kyle should run for President!

The dangerous looking Kyle Grooms killing it onstage at Broadway Comedy Club!

And who better to end a killer show than Mike Vecchione? (That’s a redundant question, meaning it needs no answer! It answers itself!) Mike says that women love doctors so he wears a stethoscope on the subway.

He also has sex like he performs CPR, 15 thrusts, two breaths and then he checks for a pulse.

Mike Vecchione doing what he does best, onstage at Broadway Comedy Club!

Mike is a smoker, and when people tell him that smoking is bad and that every cigarette takes 7 minutes off your life he tells them that if their conversation goes on another 30 seconds he’s gonna kill himself anyway, so it won’t matter!

And before I knew it I laughed so much that the show was over! It’s that way every time!

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Next Generation of Stars At The Comic Strip

Well, after four years of hard work the final manuscript on the 35 year history of the legendary comedy club “The Comic Strip”, that I wrote with owner/founder Richie Tienken was handed in, and should be coming out in October of this year from Skyhorse Publishing. Chris Rock is writing the introduction.

Richie Tienken, Chris Rock, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip.

Since The Strip is like a family, I broke down the chapters into things like “The Parents”, which were Richie and Bob Wachs, “The Older Kids” who were like Jerry Seinfeld, Larry Miller, and Ray Romano, “The Younger Kids” who were like Lisa Lampanelli, Jim Gaffigan, and Judah Friedlander, and a chapter called “The Next Generation”, kind of like the grand-children, the up and comers, who will be the next stars of tomorrow coming out of The Strip.

These are names you may or may not know, but all have impressive credits and are on their way. There’s Marina Franklin, who was chosen as one of Jay Leno’s comedy correspondents, has been on Craig Ferguson,and Last Comic Standing; Ted Alexandro who’s been on Letterman, Conan, and Louis CK’s show “Louie”; Jon Fisch who’s been on Letterman, Last Comic Standing, and Celebrity Apprentice; Brian Scott McFadden who’s been on Letterman, Craig Ferguson, and in the Ice Age films with Ray Romano, and “Robots” with Robin Williams; Mike Vecchione, who had his own ( as opposed to someone elses? LOL) half hour Comedy Central special, and was seen on Leno, as a semi-finalist on Last Comic Standing, and on Russell Simmons special “Stand-Up at the El Rey.

Jeffrey Gurian with Marina Franklin whose “home” is at The Strip!

Jeffrey Gurian and Ted Alexandro in Jeffrey’s “Dancing With Comedians” Series!

Jeffrey Gurian and Mike Vecchione hanging out casually backstage at The Strip! (LOL)

Then there’s a group of really young comics who work out regularly at The Strip, like Pete Davidson who’s 18, lost his firefighter Dad Scott on 9/11, and has been taken under the wing of Nick Cannon, who he now tours with and opens for; Nore Davis, also a “young ‘un” who’s been taken under the wing of Tracy Morgan, (not only birds have wings, “angels” have wings too!), and has appeared on Russell Simmons “The Ruckus” with J.B. Smoove; and Jordan Rock, just turned 21, who hosts late shows at The Strip on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and is the latest in line in the Rock comedy dynasty along with his brothers Tony and Chris.

Pete Davidson and Jordan Rock chillin’ backstage while waiting to go on at The Strip!

Then there’s two young guys who are already on TV, and happen to be on the very same show. Colin Jost is a senior writer on SNL, but as a stand-up has been seen on Jimmy Fallon and was featured at the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, and Jay Pharoah, who drops by The Strip very often to work out new material is a regular cast member on SNL. He’s an incredible impressionist, and will soon be seen in the upcoming films “Lola Versus” with indie favorite Greta Gerwig, and CBS Films’ “Get A Job”.

Jeffrey Gurian with Colin Jost from SNL, a regular at The Strip!

Richie Tienken, Jay Pharoah from SNL, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Strip!

With this kind of talent calling The Strip “home” you can be sure it will be around for many, many more years!

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Thank G-d For Lisa Lampanelli! (Explanation to Follow!)

Lest my title sound a tad dramatic, let me explain! In a day when the NY Post, ( Monday March 26th, 2012, p. 5) runs a story about political correctness running wild in our city schools, which have banned mentioning references to seemingly harmless words like “wealth” “dinosaurs”, “birthdays”, and even “Halloween”, on city-issued tests, you have to be grateful that there’s someone like Lisa Lampanelli who has the courage to challenge this type of B.S.

Lisa Lampanelli entertaining the folks at Gotham Comedy Club!

You can’t even mention “swimming pools” or “computers” because kids who can’t afford those things might feel bad. Did they ever think that it might also encourage them to work hard so that someday that CAN afford those things?

They refer to it as “economic sensitivities.” This kind of so-called “correctness” sounded like a joke when they first started, and can be great fodder for comedians, but it affects our lives greatly. And NOT in a positive way!

Soon everyone will be absolutely silent. No one will be able to speak at all for fear of offending someone in some way, or possibly bringing some uncomfortable thought to mind! As long as you don’t dare offend criminals or terrorists. That is a high priority, because most criminals and terrorists are very sensitive people, and could be easily hurt by the wrong word or phrase!

One of the beautiful things about comedy is that it has the power to bring people together. People laughing at themselves first, allows them to be able to laugh at each other. It’s all in good fun. Lisa has made even the “C” word acceptable, and I’ve heard her use it to refer to her own mother, … while her mother was present! Lisa not only talks the talk she walks the walk!

Lisa Lampanelli with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV after her killer performance at Gotham Comedy Club!

Political correctness is killing us. It divides us and makes us hyper-sensitive to almost anything people say. There’s a great saying I once read somewhere, (and I wish I remembered where! LOL) that states, “Your ego always wants you to be offended. It actually demands that you’re offended. And when you live your life that way, you’re at the mercy of every stranger that crosses your path!”

You give every person the power over you to make you feel insulted or uncomfortable. That’s too much power to give away. People can tell when something is meant as a joke or comes from hate. All you have to do is see Lisa to know that she comes from a good place. She makes fun of herself as much as she makes fun of anyone else. So when she calls an Asian guy “Ching-Ping”, or every Spanish guy “Hector”, or makes fun of the gays, who she raises money for constantly, and who love her, the audience howls with laughter because she does it with love. She comes from a good place.

We need more like her, not necessarily that everyone has to use the “C” word, but she makes people laugh at themselves and not take things so seriously. No one of us chose our race, or ethnicity, any more than we chose our genetics. It was given to us. You get what you get, and that’s it! With so much hatred in the world, we need to break down the barriers, not create more of them.

Go to any of Russell Peters’ shows and see how multi-cultural his audience is. I call him “The Messiah of Comedy” because he makes every ethnic group laugh at each other and he does it by imitating them perfectly.

When did it become an insult, or racist to imitate an accent? Accents are real. People have them. We hear them. Do we have to make believe that we don’t? Therefore, talented people who can imitate them do. I wish I could. I talk about accents in my act. Especially the Chinese accent, which to me has to be one of the most unusual and non-sexy accents in the world.

You will never hear a woman say, ” When he speaks to me in that Chinese accent, I can’t control myself!” You could live to be a thousand, and you will NEVER hear that!

Anyway, when I heard that Lisa would be making a guest appearance at Gotham Comedy Club in a fundraiser for a Manhattan school P.S. 11, I knew I had to show up. P.S. 11, also known as The William T. Harris School, is a public elementary school located in the heart of Chelsea at 320 West 21st Street, known for it’s diversity. They should probably come to Lisa to make up the test questions! (LOL)

Barry Weintraub was the MC which was a great choice since Barry is one of the best. Wali Collins killed it especially when he went into how Black people name their children. He himself once dated a girl named La-ah, which he was shocked to find out she pronounced Ladasha!

Wali Collins onstage for the benefit for P.S. 11 in Chelsea!

Aside from making appearances all over the country, Lisa is also currently being seen on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, where she always tells it like it is, no matter who gets in her face. She claims to have gained 2o pounds on the show, and said she’s a five o’clock shadow away from looking like Chaz Bono! Although I can tell you that Lisa looks more elegant than ever, and I know her a long time! Success does wonders for people!

She kids her husband Jimmy Cannizzaro a lot, but he has a great sense of humor and takes it like a man! She said she flew in for this gig, but couldn’t sit next to Jimmy cause she flies first class! Everyone should fly with Jimmy. You’d definitely feel safe! The man is his own private plane! (LOL)

Lisa is loved on the show as was evidenced by the fact that sitting with her and her husband Jimmy, were Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa.

Vanessa trump, Don Trump Jr., Lisa Lampanelli and her husband Jimmy!

If there was a magazine called “Perfect Gorgeous Couples” they would be on the cover. The two of them absolutely shine, in a very humble unassuming way. I was so glad to see them cause I hadn’t seen them in a while. I first met them when they were engaged, and Vanessa told me they just had their third child 5 months ago. You’d never know it to look at her. Don looked trim and tan, which I guess works well since he’s on TV every week as one of the advisors and boardroom judges on Celebrity Apprentice along with his Dad, and sister Ivanka. Brother Eric also takes part from time to time as a task advisor or boardroom judge.

Vanessa Trump, Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, and Don Trump Jr. at Gotham Comedy Club!

Don also writes a very detailed Blog post on what went on on Celebrity Apprentice called ” In The Boardroom” on the NBC.com website. I’ve been telling him for years he should get into comedy, when I wanted to write his material for the Friars Roast of his Dad, back in 2004, which preceded the Comedy Central Roast. So when I saw him with Lisa I said, ” You see, I told you you’d eventually be involved in the comedy world, … in one way or another!” And we all had a big laugh!

I had met Don Jr. and Vanessa originally when they were Ambassadors for Operation Smile, a fantastic charity that brings plastic surgery for cleft palates and cleft lips to poor children all over the world. Don has been on the Board since 2007. I was a guest at an event they were at, we struck up an acquaintance, and have stayed in touch. I’m happy to say that he reads Comedy Matters and I’m planning to do a video interview with him and Vanessa sometime in the near future.

Comics like to follow a comic who does well, but not too well! How anyone can follow Lisa Lampanelli onstage is a miracle, because Lisa destroyed the audience, but Mike Vecchione managed to do it. He is just so funny and really one of my favorites. I often have to follow him onstage at The Comic Strip, and I say to him, ” Did you have to be THAT funny? Was it really necessary to be THAT funny? How am I supposed to follow that???”

Mike Vecchione making people laugh as usual at Gotham Comedy Club!

Mike, who says he looks like a nasty Staten Island, racial-profiling kind of cop, ( and he does) talks about his inability to work as an undercover cop. ” Well, if I LOOK like a cop, then chances are I won’t be that effective as an undercover cop.” On being tased : A taser is a weird weapon. Kind of like a mixture of a weapon and an energy drink. When you first get tased, you think you’re gonna get a lot done today, but then it hurts a lot!( Sorry Mike for the para-phrasing! LOL)

Mike’s soft low-key delivery, combined with his fantastic writing is what really makes him special. He will definitely be very big in the business!

In line with Lisa’s type of material he asked the Asian people in the crowd, “Who do you like better, Jeremy Lin, or General Tso? Both are number 17!” That is hysterical! I think it’s funny that his own people can’t say his name. They call him Jelemy Rin!

Most comics try to end on a strong joke. Every time I thought Mike was ready to end, he topped that strong joke with an even stronger joke. He’s really such a great performer, and the nicest guy!

It was an AMAZING show, which raised a lot of money for the school. I had hoped to shoot a little video with Lisa afterwards, but she had to run, so we will definitely do that soon. Jimmy said he’ll be in it too! She also has a one woman show coming up that we have to talk about as well! ( Lisa, Tweet the shit out of this Blog post! LOLOLOL )

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Cringe Humor Tribute To Mike DeStefano

Sometimes people say the comedy world is a cold world filled with backbiting and people getting screwed over. Cris and Paul Italia, and Patrick Milligan of Cringe Humor proved that to be false. As part of the NY Comedy Festival, they held a tribute to Mike DeStefano, a talented comic they were working with who left us much too young.

The event was held at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and it was a packed house. That was a tribute to them as well as to Mike, cause it’s not easy to get people to show up for anything in New York, when there are always so many other things to choose from.

Poster for the Cringe Humor Tribute to Mike DeStefano!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Mike DeStefano after one of his shows at Gotham!

Cringe was producing Mike’s one-man show originally called “Drugs, Disease, and Death, – A Comedy”, which got changed to be the more “user-friendly” name ” A Cherry Tree In The Bronx!” It was Mike’s story of living with HIV, losing his wife to AIDS, and carrying the message of recovery to sick and suffering alcoholics and drug addicts which was part of his past, and a very important focus of his life. Mike was about helping people, as well as making them laugh in the process!

It could have been a somber event, but thanks to MC Rich Vos, who can make any event funny, and a line-up that included Bonnie McFarlane,Eugene Mirman,Robert Kelly,Kurt Metzger, Mike Vecchione, and Colin Quinn, it was a raucous laughfest! Mike would have been happy. His look-alike brother Joe was there, and the likeness is astonishing.

(L-R) Rich Vos, Colin Quinn, and Richie Tienken at the Cringe Humor Tribute to Mike DeStefano!

Eugene Mirman onstage at the Cringe Humor Tribute to Mike DeStefano!

Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV with Robert Kelly at a previous comedy show!

I went with Richie Tienken, owner and founder of the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip where Mike was a regular, although it didn’t start out that way. When Mike’s Uncle Pete asked Richie to give Mike a shot, he did, but Mike was so dirty that Richie didn’t get it. Two years later, he came to perform for Richie again, and when Richie saw how much the audience liked Mike, he made him a regular. Mike hung out at The Strip a lot, before he did Last Comic Standing and afterwards as well.

So the comedy world may be a dysfunctional family, but it’s a family nevertheless!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Cris Italia of Cringe Humor and the producer of the Tribute to Mike DeStefano!

Check out the video below for an exclusive interview with Cris Italia from Cringe Humor!

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