Posts Tagged New York Post

Clayton Morris from Fox News Wins NY’s Funniest Reporter Contest

Seven years ago, Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick of powerhouse PR firm Goldman/McCormick came up with a very unique, and surefire way to raise money for charity. For the 7th year in a row, they have produced New York’s Funniest Reporter Show and gotten some of New York’s top TV and print news people/personalities to risk, if not their physical lives, certainly their emotional lives, by getting up on stage and performing five minutes of stand-up comedy.

(L-R) Mark Goldman, and Ryan McCormick of Goldman/McCormick PR onstage at The Comic Strip for their NY’s Funniest Reporter event!

It usually takes place at the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip, the club that launched the careers of such superstars as Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and Adam Sandler, and some of the powerful news names that have graced the stage were Ellis Henican, Courtney Friel, Lauren Sivan, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Rob Hoell, Cat Greenleaf, Taryn Winter-Brill, and so many more!

And each year they pick a different charity to benefit from the show. This year was The Humane Society, but the only dog to show up was Wendy Diamond’s dog “Baby Hope” who brought Wendy along with him/her! (I didn’t get a chance to check! LOL)

Judge Judith Regan, holding Baby Hope, with Judge Jeffrey Gurian holding his stomach in, at The Comic Strip!

Wendy, an animal advocate, and the founder of Animal Fair Magazine, comes out every year!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV capturing Wendy Diamond of Animal Fair Magazine in a bear hug, at NY’s Funniest Reporter Show in 2011!

The proceeds of the event will benefit the Lucky Diamond Critical Care Ward at The Humane Society of New York. Lucky Diamond was Wendy’s original dog, a little white Maltese, who unfortunately succumbed to cancer this past year! Wendy and I go back a long ways, as you can see in the photos below!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Wendy and Lucky Diamond back in ’06!

I was honored to be one of the two judges along with my friend, media powerhouse Judith Regan, who now has her own radio show on Sirius/XM radio. Thanks to Judith my book with Chris Rock called “Make ‘Em Laugh” about the 35 year history of The Comic Strip will be in stores as of this Monday, Oct 1, 2012. It was written with owner/founder of The Strip, Richie Tienken.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with his angel Judith Regan holding the book she made possible, “Make ‘Em Laugh”!

This time up they had Greg Kelly Fox 5 news anchor, Clayton Morris who is the co-host of FOX and Friends Weekend, Marianne Garvey from In Touch Weekly, who used to write for Page 6 in the NY Post, the most powerful gossip column in the world, Lauren Lyster from RTTV, Michele Steele, the sports anchor/reporter from ESPN, and Dr. Manny Alvarez, the Senior Managing Health Editor for FOX News Channel.

Marianne Garvey, who looked smoking hot by the way, opened the show with a very strong set about the guy she’s currently with. She got lots of laughs, and wound up coming in first runner up!

Marianne Garvey looking totally “hot” onstage at The Comic Strip! If we ever have a contest for NY’s Sexiest Reporter, she’ll def win!

Greg Kelly was next, because he had to anchor the 10 P.M. news broadcast, and it wouldn’t look good if he missed it because he was on stage doing stand-up comedy, … even at The Comic Strip! They would have sent his Dad, police commissioner Ray Kelly to arrest him! (LOL) So he had to leave before finding out he was the 2nd runner up!

Greg Kelly making ’em laugh right in front of the “Make ‘Em Laugh” poster onstage at The Comic Strip!

Greg had great stage presence and lots of confidence, which is just as important as the jokes sometimes! I told him I hope his Dad runs for Mayor. I think he’d be fantastic! He promised to tell him I said so! (LOL)

Michele Steele from ESPN was up next, and introduced herself as Ann Curry, since she says they are both half Filipino, and that people are always curious as to her ethnicity! Michele wasn’t taking any chances on forgetting her lines, and she openly referred to notes, which is usually only done by the biggest comics trying out new material who don’t particular care how it looks! Michele exuded the confidence of a well known comic and used her notes throughout her whole set!

Michele (Ann Curry) Steele confidently referring to her notes onstage at The Comic Strip!

Lauren Lyster came in all the way from Washington, DC for this contest and had the courage not only to get up and perform, but also to admit that she didn’t prepare anything. That takes real courage as it’s a lot different being funny at a party, or with your friends, than getting up on stage and trying to make strangers laugh with thoughts that YOU think are funny!

Lauren Lyster looking like she’s singing but in reality improv’ing onstage at The Comic Strip!

Dr. Manny Alvarez brought his best bedside manner to the stage and was dressed very casually in what he described as the outfit of a “Latino doctor”, which is very fitting (unlike his shirt! LOL) because he is Cuban! He wore a casual shirt out of his pants that he called his “Cuban-style shirt” and he definitely owned the stage for his set. I guess he gets that confidence from being a doctor.

A very animated Dr. Many Alvarez doing his thing onstage at The Comic Strip! Who says doctors aren’t funny???

Dr. Manny is an OB-GYN specialist, and he “brought it” to the point where his producers were yelling out for him to do a “vagina joke!” He didn’t, although he did make a reference to something called “Penis Soup”, which brings to mind a highly unusual and disturbing visual! (LOL)

I wanted to tell him that I was also a doctor, like I did at the end of my interview with Ken Jeong from the Hangover movies,( who is also a doctor!), but I didn’t get the chance. Hopefully, he’ll read about it here!

Clayton Miller went on last, and I guess it’s true when they say they saved the best for last, because he wound up winning! What Judith and I liked best about Clayton was that he did his homework and really came off as a stand-up. He structured his material the way a real comic would, talking about several things, and linking them together artfully, including being a new Dad, for the second time.

Clayton Morris, from FOX News Channel proudly displaying his award for Funniest Reporter, onstage at The Comic Strip with producers Ryan McCormick and Mark Goldman!

His beautiful wife was there cheering him on and she looked so slim, you’d never know she recently had a baby!

One of his observations was that babies are so small, you can put them anywhere! And then he added the killer tag, “As long as your wife isn’t home!” Then made some mention about balancing the baby on the mantle of the fireplace! That was hysterical!

There were two guest spots, one from last year’s winner Marlaina Schiavo, who showed why she won last year, and that she still had it this year, and WWE wrestling champion, 2 time best selling author, Mick Foley, who I had just seen in Montreal at the end of July, at the 30th annual Just for Laughs festival in Montreal! Mick is the proverbial “Gentle Giant”, and might be scary to face in the ring, but in person is the nicest guy in the world!

Marlaina Schiavo, winner from 2011, showing the audience she hasn’t lost it!

And funny too, which always helps if you wanna be in comedy! (LOL) What’s cool about Mick, (and I was glad I got a chance to say it on camera as the WWE Network was filming him that night for an upcoming special), is that one of the reasons that Mick is so likable on stage is that he’s not afraid to be vulnerable.

Mick Foley, man of many talents including comedy, “killing it” onstage at The Comic Strip!

As big and macho as he is, he’s not afraid to be self-deprecating or talk in a little voice that you wouldn’t even think would come out of a man that big. Add that to his humor and stage presence and you’ve got a budding comedy star. He’s also a favorite of Judith Regan who published both of his best-selling books!

I complimented him on being so comfortable onstage that he even sat down on the stool to talk to the packed crowd! He explained to me that it wasn’t confidence, but body pain that made him sit down! A very down-to-earth, humble guy!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with comedy/wrestling star Mick Foley, and a copy of “Make ‘Em Laugh” at The Comic Strip!

All in all, it was a wonderful night of entertainment thanks to Goldman/McCormick PR. They did it again!

Posted in: Breaking News, Celeb Photos, Charity Events, Comedians In The News, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Festivals, Comedy Matters, General Information, Important News, New TV Show, Nightlife Events, Page 6 Review, Variety Show

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Me and Arnold Schwartzenegger at SNL

I read an item about Arnold Schwartzenegger today on Page 6, something about him trying on a watch with a huge face, (which I’m sure he can handle),and then something about his recent shoulder surgery, but it made me think of one of the funniest stories of my career, when I met Arnold many years ago at SNL, and then wound up writing some jokes for him to do on the Mike Douglas show.

Growing up, I had always been a big fan of body building. I never had the genetics to succeed at it, but I read the magazines, and was fascinated by the sport. I was also fascinated by unusual names so when a friend told me about a young guy named Arnold Schwartzenegger, I thought it was a joke. I think his last name translates to mean something like ” Black-Black”!

I soon found out that it wasn’t a joke, and I became a big fan. He was absolutely immense and his nickname was “The Austrian Oak”! As time went on, I got married and I used to say to my wife, “Please don’t ever let Arnold Schwartzenegger insult you, because I’d hate to have to fight him.” It was kind of a standing joke between us.

A couple of years later, when SNL was new, I went to one of the early shows with a girl named Kathy Jonas, the daughter of famed comedy manager David Jonas, best known for managing Freddie Prinze Sr., and Alan Zweibel. As we walked in, in those days you had assigned seats. I don’t think they do that anymore. Anyway, we walked to our seats, and who was sitting in MY seat? None other than Arnold Schwartzenegger. I almost fell down. I was wishing my wife was there to share the experience with me. I recognized him from his photos in the magazines.

Anyway, I gathered up my courage, walked over to him and said ” Excuse me, aren’t you Arnold Schwartzenegger?” To which he said, “Yes.” I said, ” Well I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re in my seat!”

He jumped right up and was so apologetic. He was so kind and humble and apologized profusely. And I was thinking, “Life is so bizarre. (Or at least MY life is so bizarre!) I just asked Arnold Schwartzenegger to get out of my seat. And he did!!!

I told him I was a comedy writer and a big fan of his. I think Pumping Iron either just came out or was about to come out, and he said he needed some comedy material to do on the talk shows. We exchanged information, but didn’t connect for a while.

Then after Pumping Iron came out, I heard he was doing some kind of book signing at a bookstore in Westchester, not far from where I lived. I went over to see him, and we spoke again, and once again exchanged information, and this time I wound up writing for him for an appearance he did on the Mike Douglas Show.

Somewhere in my memorabilia, I still have a letter from him on his Golden Oak Productions letterhead. At least I think it was called Golden Oak. I have a feeling that was the precursor to Oak Productions which he created in 1985.

It’s going back a long ways! I wasn’t carrying a camera in those days like I do today, so I don’t have a photo of us together, because there was no such thing as small digital pocket cameras in those days. Cameras were huge, needed film, and lights, and definitely did not fit into anyone’s pocket. But even without a photo, it’s an experience I’ll never forget.

It makes me want to search my house to find it, but that’s probably just because I’m in the midst of a huge project and my ADHD is telling me to divert my attention to something less important! (LOL)

In more recent years, I had another connection to Arnold. Back in 2004, David Pecker, the billionaire who owns American Media and many magazines and newspapers under that vast umbrella, bought Muscle and Fitness and Flex magazines, and went into an association with Arnold, who was supposed to be an advisor, and editorial contributor. I was asked to write some humorous remarks for David to say at a big press event entitled “The Arnold Classic”, announcing their association, and this was part of what I wrote for David to say, in which he was comparing himself to Arnold:

“And in terms of comparing our experience in the world of fitness. Basically, I am to the world of bodybuilding what the legendary Luciano Pavarotti is to the world of pole-vaulting.

I am to the world of fitness, what the great Mike Tyson is to the world of speed-reading, … what George Bush is to the world of cliff-diving, what Al Sharpton is to the world of modern dance, and what the legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman is to the world of porno films.”

That’s all folks!

Posted in: Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, General Information, Nightlife Events, Page 6 Review, Red Carpet Events

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Weinstein Company’s Dirty Girl Should Be A Big Hit-Opens Oct. 7th

One of the perks of doing what I do is that I get to see films before they come out, and often get to interview the stars. Yesterday I was lucky to see the new Weinstein Company film “Dirty Girl”, opening in theatres October 7th, starring two newcomers who won’t be newcomers for long.

The lovely and talented Juno Temple as Danielle in the Weinstein Company’s Dirty Girl!

As seen on today’s Page 6 in the New York Post, the “Dirty Girl” is played by Juno Temple an English actress, who does a fantastic job, as well as a fantastic American accent in this film. She actually has seven more films waiting to be released. This girl is going to be a big star! Weinstein Company seems to have good “star-radar”, and in this film they’re right on the money!

Juno plays Danielle, a very promiscuous high school teenager, “the dirty girl” of Norman High,in Norman, Oklahoma, circa 1987. She’s like the proverbial “hooker with a heart of gold”, who carries an underlying sadness due to the fact that she never knew her Dad. She didn’t even know his name!

Jeremy Dozier as Clarke, Juno Temple’s co-star in the Weinstein Company’s Dirty Girl!

When her overtly sexual, rebellious behavior lands her in a remedial class with a bunch of other “losers”, she reluctantly becomes friends with Clarke,( Jeremy Dozier, in his first major role), an over-weight closeted gay kid, who is also leading a sad, lonely existence. He is constantly abused by his father, Joseph, played by Dwight Yoakam, who is horrified that he’s gay, and not protected at all by his mother, a quiet, mousey woman, played perfectly by Mary Steenburgen!

Danielle and Clarke each rebelling in their own way in class in the new sure-to-be Weinstein hit “Dirty Girl”!

Mary Steenburgen as Peggy, and Dwight Yoakam as Joseph in the Weinstein Company’s guaranteed hit, “Dirty Girl”!

When the teacher pairs them up for an assignment, the two loners, lonely for different reasons, become unlikely friends. They wind up in an exciting road trip to find her birth father, Danny, who she never knew, and which is a source of great pain to her.

Danny is played by Tim McGraw, who gave a heartfelt performance as a guy who suddenly and shockingly finds out he has a grown daughter, in front of his wife and his own little daughter. The scene where Danielle sees him being affectionate to his little girl, knowing she was wishing her entire life for just one moment like that, was so powerful, it brought tears to my eyes. Having had two little girls of my own, I know what that means!

After yet one more abusive incident, Clarke steals his father’s car, and he and Danielle take off for California together, in the kind of touching, heart-felt alliance that only two desperate “misfits” could have. They are determined to track down the guy who impregnated her mother, and who it turns out never even knew she was born.

Danielle’s Mom, Sue-Ann, is played by the equally talented Milla Jovovich. Sue-Ann herself was a “reformed slut” gone straight, set on marrying a straight-laced,no-nonsense Mormon, Ray, who Danielle can’t stand the sight of. And Ray is played by the great, and wonderfully talented Bill Macy.

Milla Jovovich, who plays Sue-Ann, Danielle’s ex-slut Mom, in the Weinstein Company’s “Dirty Girl”!

This film was cast so well. Each person was just perfect in their part. I find many things interesting about this film. First of all, that three of it’s stars were stars in other fields besides acting.

Milla Jovovich is a Ukrainian-born supermodel and fashion designer as well as a singer, Dwight Yoakam is a singer-songwriter most famous for his work in country music, who has sold more than 25 million records, and Tim McGraw is also a country-western singer,who has sold more than 40 million albums. I love when people step out of themselves to become yet something else. Some people have a dream, and it’s nice when they pursue it successfully. Even more-so when they have already been successful doing something else!

What I think I like most about this film, is the underlying story of overcoming obstacles in your life. You get what you get, and then it’s up to you to do something with it. The Spiritual approach is that we’re born into the families that we’re born into, to learn lessons we didn’t get a chance to learn in a previous life.

In simpler terms, who didn’t feel like an outcast in high school? There was always an “in-crowd” but it was small and super exclusive, and most of those people lived in fear that they would someday be excluded from it. It’s interesting to see those same people many years later! I have had that experience. Let’s just say that if high school was the best time of your life, I feel very sorry for you!

I read the production notes from writer/director Abe Sylvia, who started out as that overweight closeted kid in Oklahoma and turned into a handsome, accomplished Broadway dancer, and now successful screenwriter. I had to laugh when reading the Producer Statement from Rob Paris of Paris Films. It took five years until this film got made, but in the beginning he didn’t even want to take a meeting with Abe Sylvia. Just the name Abe Sylvia conjured up the vision of two elderly Jewish people ” arguing over sunsets in Boca.” He was fully prepared not to like the script by an unknown writer, whose manager, fortunately for us, would not stop badgering him to read it.

Turns out he finally gave in for the meeting and like so many execs, didn’t bother reading the script until the night before the meeting. Instead of tossing it in the garbage after the first twenty pages as he had expected to do, he found himself ” devouring page after page, … laughing and crying in equal measure as he arrived at the triumphant finish!”

To top it off, he pictured an unstylish, nebbishy guy, and in walked this ” tall, handsome, actor-looking type” who turned out to be Abe Sylvia, and who exuded so much confidence that Paris decided to let him direct right then and there!

According to Paris, it took “five years, four different financiers, twelve different budgets, twenty different actors, and twenty-five disparate locations”, to make this film, which is a lesson to all perspective filmmakers out there, ( including myself! ) to never give up, and to always believe in yourself when you know in your heart you have something special to say!

I was also happy to see that my childhood camp friend, super-star Melissa Manchester wrote and performed some of the music,especially one song “Rainbird” that she wrote with Mary Steenburgen!

Go see “Dirty Girl”! You’ll love it!

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Featured, Film Review, New Films, Nightlife Events, Page 6 Review, Red Carpet Events

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Page 6 Review-Kelly Cutrone To Replace Andre Leon-Talley as Judge on ANTM

Kelly Cutrone is a powerhouse! How do I know? Aside from the fact that I count her as a dear friend, and know her for many years, she managed to wind up on Page 6 two days in a row, about the same story. No one does that! (LOL) It’s hard enough to get on Page 6 at all, but to have two stories back to back? Only Kelly Cutrone could do that!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kelly Cutrone at the Barnes and Noble book signing for her hit book ” If You Have To Cry, Go Outside.”

On Tuesday, 9/27/11 the first story ran, entitled “Diva Swap” saying that ” Sources close to the catwalk competition say Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley will exit Tyra Banks’ hit series America’s Next Top Model, after its 17th season wraps, and Kelly Cutrone may take his place.” Cutrone’s people had no comment on that, nor did Talley’s people, nor the CW’s people. Nobody’s people were talking!

Kelly is the head of the hot fashion P.R. firm People’s Revolution, and when she arranged for me to attend the shows at Fashion Week that she was in charge of, it was very clear that she runs everything with a tight fist! Kelly doesn’t mince words when she’s on the grind! And people jump to do her bidding.

She’s had a lot of TV experience, including her run on MTV’s The Hills which led to her starring in the spinoff, ” The City”, and finally as the star of her own show on Bravo, ” Kell On Earth”, which she also Exec. Produced!

The very next day, another Page 6 item came out entitled ” Andre’s All Good” in which Andre says there are ho hard feelings about him leaving the show, that it was mutual, and that he had a fabulous time while he was on. They like to refer to Kelly as “tough-talking” which fits her TV image, but she’s always been very kind to me.

I recall my first trip out to LA many years ago. Kelly made one phone call, and got me a super room at an even better price at the Sunset Marquis hotel in Hollywood. Then when I was out there she hooked me up with lots of fun events to make me feel at home, like I was in New York!

I remember the event she created that really put her in the public eye. Many years ago, she produced a show in NYC, in an art gallery, and the show was called ” Love, Spit, Love”. It was basically naked couples in various intimate poses within an art gallery setting. Live art, if you will! And lots of people did! I remember being there as her guest and there were tons of cops, and police barricades to try and control the huge crowds that had come to try and get in.

She mentions that event as a monumental event in her career in her hit Harper One book ” If You Have To Cry, Go Outside”, which chronicles how she overcame the often difficult and challenging events in her life that led up to the success she enjoys now.

Kelly Cutrone’s hit book, ” If You Have To Cry, Go Outside” published by Harper One!”

I was at the book signing for that event, and I came away with one of the most special pieces of memorabilia in my whole long career. When Kelly signed my book she wrote: “Dearest Jeffrey,
You are a legend! I worship you!

And under that was a big Heart, and then her name “Kelly.” And if you don’t believe me, here it is!

No caption is needed! This photo speaks for itself! (LOL)

So I along with millions of other people will be watching for Kelly on ANTM, and rooting for her continued success!

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Susie Essman in Cindy Adams' Column-NY Post

Susie Essman got most of Cindy Adam’s column this past Tuesday, and she deserves it. Truth be told she deserves the whole, entire column! Everybody loves Susie as Susie Greene on HBO’s Larry David hit, “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” If I remember correctly, Larry saw Susie perform at the Friars Roast of Jerry Stiller and liked her so much, he cast her in “Curb.”

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Susie Essman at The Comic Strip!

I have the exact details of that story in the interview I did with Susie for the book I’m writing on the history of the legendary comedy club “The Comic Strip”, a club where she performed in her early days, but I’d have to look it up and I’m too lazy! I’m proud to say that Susie and I are friends for many years! We often joke that she and I have more photos together than she and her husband!

Jeffrey Gurian, Susie Essman, and Richie Tienken owner and founder of The Comic Strip after Susie's interview for the book on the 35 year history of The Strip!

I’m very happy for her that she and Jimmy Harder, a commercial real estate broker got married back in 2008. They got married at The Friars Club, and multiple Emmy-award winning writer/producer Tom Fontana who is one of the most talented and prolific TV writer/producers in the business, and who also happens to be a minister, officiated at the ceremony. Among other things, he wrote and produced such groundbreaking TV series as “Oz”, “St. Elsewhere”, and “Homicide: Life On The Street.” Tom is also an old friend, and was the Vice Pres. of the Writers Guild East where at least one of the photos below was taken!

Dean Winters, Jeffrey Gurian, and Tom Fontana at a party in NYC!

Jeffrey Gurian with Tom Fontana at the Writer's Guild Awards!

Susie’s TV husband Jeff Greene is played by the hysterically funny Jeff Garlin!

Jeffrey Gurian backstage at Carolines with Jeff Garlin from HBO's hot series, "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

I actually knew Susie’s Dad Leonard, who was a wonderful physician. He was an internist, ( which you would think all doctors were, since most of our organs are internal, right? LOL ), and he was partners with a doctor I went to. Once when my doctor was away, Susie’s Dad treated me, but in those days, I didn’t realize he was Susie’s Dad. He taught me something I never forgot. I had a pain in the back of my head, down into my neck, that wouldn’t go away, and he took his thumb and pressed really hard on something in the back of my head that made me see stars, but the pain went away. I have used that technique ever since!

Jeffrey Gurian with Susie Essman in Montreal at the Just for Laughs Festival posing with his book that she is in called "Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive."

Once when Susie was appearing at Carolines Comedy Club, she came down with some sort of eye infection and was afraid she’d have to cancel her gig. I wrote her a prescription for antibiotics, and according to her I saved the day, cause her eye cleared up right away and she was able to perform. How I was able to write her a prescription is a whole other story, but to keep it simple, I was and still am a doctor, and am licensed to write prescriptions!

Jeffrey Gurian and Susie Essman at an event at The Friars Club in NYC!

Susie will be headlining Carolines Comedy Club this coming week, and she doesn’t know it yet, but I’m planning on coming down to say “Hi!”. Please don’t tell her! I want it to be a surprise!

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Comedy Videos, Featured, Nightlife Events, Page 6 Review, Red Carpet Events

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Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake Back On Again?

Page 6 in the NY Post reported that Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake were spotted at the interactive play in Chelsea called “Sleep No More”, and then they were spotted riding bikes together. They had been together for 4 years before they broke up. It’s always nice to see people trying to make it work. We wish them well!

When I met Jessica at the press junket for Easy Virtue, a film she did with Academy Award winner Colin ( The King’s Speech) Firth,she was incredibly nice and forthcoming. She played the kind of role where you fall in love with her cause she was just so cool, and rebellious, and beautiful! Justin has good taste in women and is lucky to have her!

Jeffrey Gurian with Jessica Biel at the press conference for Easy Virtue with Colin Firth!

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Jeffrey Ross Producing Charlie Sheen Roast

In today’s NY Post, Sean Daly writes about Charlie Sheen using his upcoming Comedy Central Roast to steal attention away from Ashton Kutcher’s debut as his replacement on Two and a Half Men. 

The Roast is being produced by Jeffrey Ross, aka The Roastmaster General, a nick-name bestowed upon him from his years of successful roasting at the NY Friars Club roasts and for the Comedy Central Roasts.

Comedy Central Executive JoAnn Grigioni, Jeffrey Gurian, and Jeffrey Ross at the Donald Trump Roast after-party!

He’s someone I’m happy to say has been a friend for many years. When I wrote my own Roast book with journalist Tripp Whetsell back in 2007, Jeffrey was one of the people who came to the book party at The Friars Club and went up on stage to offer a few remarks.

Jeffrey Ross with Jeffrey Gurian at the Friars Club book party for Gurian's book, " Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive."

He told my co-author Tripp that it was obvious that he was into S&M, … spaghetti and meatballs! And he asked me how I got my hair to look like a squirrel. Check out that video right here!

I had a special moment with Jeffrey a few years ago up in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Festival, which is the biggest comedy festival in the world. Jeffrey and I were alone having a bite to eat in the VIP cafe when he was approached by the head of the film festival and told that his film “Patriot Act”, in which he went overseas to entertain our troops with a bunch of other comics, won for Best Film at the festival. It was a very exciting moment to share with him, and he was really, genuinely surprised and touched, and very, very grateful.

The Charlie Sheen Roast will tape this coming Saturday in LA and will air on Monday Sept. 19th. Charlie and I partied hard back in the day, when actor/HBO star Chuck Zito was then working as his bodyguard. This was way before he starred in the HBO series “Oz”, and way before I wrote a play dedicated to him called ” A Punch In The Face” after he knocked out Jean-Claude Van Damme with one punch at Scores in NYC.

Chuck brought friends and family to the play and it wound up on Page 6 of the Ny Post, the most exclusive, and powerful gossip page in the country!

The Page 6 piece on Chuck Zito attending Jeffrey Gurian's play "A Punch In The Face" which was dedicated to Chuck! after he knocked out Jean-Claude Van Damme at Scores!

Jeffrey Ross Producing Charlie Sheen Roast

Chuck Zito posing with the cast of "A Punch In The Face" written and directed by Jeffrey Gurian!

The photo below was when they both came to my office to visit me!

Charlie Sheen, Jeffrey Gurian, and Chuck Zito hanging out at Jeffrey's office back in the day!

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Comedy Videos, Featured, Hot Models, Nightlife Events, Page 6 Review, Press Junkets, Red Carpet Events

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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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Bobby Cannavale in the New York Post

In today’s NY Post, Michael Riedel writes about Bobby Cannavale, who is as humble as he is talented. He was up for a Best Actor Tony Award for his role in the recent Broadway hit, ” The Motherf**ker With The Hat”, and according to Michael will most likely be in the upcoming Gershwin show ” Nice Work If You Can Get It”, in his first singing role on Broadway.

The Marquis on Broadway showing Bobby Cannavale as one of the stars of The Motherf**ker With The Hat!

He’s taking singing lessons and his girlfriend, Broadway’s Sutton Foster, currently in The Roundabout’s “Anything Goes”, will also be able to help him pull that off. Personally, I think Bobby can do anything he wants, because he has the drive and the power to back it up.

I saw him most recently backstage at “The Motherf**ker With The Hat”, and then again shortly afterwards at an event honoring Wallace Shawn where I was able to do a more in depth video interview with him.

(L-R) Annabella Sciorra, Chris Rock, Jeffrey Gurian, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Richie Tienken, Bobby Cannavale

The M-F’er With The Hat proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that a playwright can call his play anything he wants, and if an audience wants to see it, they will have to say that name. I’m sure more than one person felt awkward calling TicketMaster and asking for 2 seats to “The Motherf**ker With The Hat” because it’s hard to put symbols in when you’re speaking. You either say it or you don’t. At least it’s better than the original name which was supposed to be, ” The C**ksucker With The Coat.”

What if that trend catches on and some guy writes a play called ” My Hand On Your D**k”. How are girls going to be able to invite a guy to see that? What girl is gonna call up a guy and say, ” If you have some free time next week, would you like to see “My Hand On Your D**k”? He’d probably be like, ” Yeh, I’d love to see that. When can we make that happen???” if names like that catch on, it could mean the end of Broadway, because if ” Hand” takes off, some other guy is bound to write ” My Lips On Your C**k”, and then Broadway would be finished, not only because of the marquis, but how is a girl gonna call a guy and say, ” By any chance, have you seen “My Lips On Your C**k”? Maybe on the other hand it would turn out to be GOOD for business, because every guy would be like, ” No, but I’ve been wanting to see that for years! ” LOLOLOL

Here’s the Bobby Cannavale video interview! Feel free to leave a comment!

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Page 6 Review -Aesha Waks and Liam McMullen

In this week’s Page 6 in the New York Post they talked about actress Aesha Waks 34, and DJ and photographer Liam McMullen 23, planning their wedding for the Spring of 2012. They were originally supposed to be married last August, but decided to postpone it indefinitely. Liam is the son of celeb photographer Patrick McMullen whom I’ve known for many years. I clearly remember him bringing Liam with him to parties when Liam was only about 12 years old, so he’s been exposed to the New York nightlife scene for quite a while.

Actress Aesha Waks and her fiance DJ, photographer, and hopeful stand-up comic Liam McMullen partying at Pacha!

I’ve had the pleasure of being friends with Aesha for years now. As a matter of fact she was with me the one and only time I met Mick Jagger, who was on the short list, ( the very short list!) of people I had wanted to meet in this lifetime. No one can ever get old as long as Mick is around because he’s maybe 67 and still the hippest guy in the room. When he moves on stage it’s like he’s 27. I know young bands that are in awe of him still.

Aesha and I were having dinner at Lotus that night, at the time the hottest club in the Meatpacking District, and a place where my old friend nightlife guru Mark Baker was part owner. I’m pretty sure it was a party for something or other, as I recall being at a party once! (LOL) (And I swore I’d never do THAT again! LOLOLOL )

Anyway, they happened to seat us right next to Mick and Jann Wenner if I recall correctly. It also might have been Jason Binn. I know it was someone big in publishing. So I went over and told him that when my kids were little, and my hair was very long, they used to ask me why I didn’t look like the other Dads who were living in Scarsdale. My answer was, ” Well you’d understand if I was Mick Jagger.” Their answer was,
” Yeh Dad, … but you’re not! “

Another cute photo of lovebirds Aesha Waks and Liam McMullen taken by Jeffrey Gurian!

I thought he’d get a kick out of the story. Turns out I got more of a kick out of it than he did! (LOL) But at least I got to meet him. I didn’t have my camera with me in those days which is one of my regrets, but I also didn’t have it when I met Woody Allen for the first time, Salvador Dali, when we spent the evening together, or when I got to meet The Beach Boys, the only other people on that very short list!

Jeffrey Gurian and Lauren Francesca partying it up at Pacha with Aesha Waks and Liam McMullen!

The last time I was with Aesha and Liam was at a party at Pacha, Zev Norotsky’s place. I was with Lauren Francesca, the internet star, best known for playing Lady Gaga in the Key of Awesome parodies, and they were very romantic, and totally into each other. Aesha had called me not too long ago because Liam now wants to get into stand-up comedy, and I told her I would definitely help him. I offered to bring him to audition at The Comic Strip.

Lauren Francesca in a "swoon" with Jeffrey Gurian! Maybe it was his cologne!

They said the wedding will be an eclectic mix of people of all different ages and attachments to the couple. Who knows, maybe I’ll be invited! Maybe we’ll do a little Roast for the wedding???

Now Aesha Waks is in a "swoon", from Liam McMullen's kiss! Btw, what the heck is a swoon???

All I know is this time, I’ll make sure to bring my camera!

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