Posts Tagged “Rory Albanese”

Artie Lange Serves Up Comedy Juice at Gotham

I had been hearing about Comedy Juice for a while. It’s one of the top live comedy brands in the world, producing hundreds of All-Star stand up comedy events each year, and run by a comic named Mark Serittella, who lives in LA. Comedy Juice has been called the best standup comedy show in the nation by sources ranging from Sirius Satellite radio to People magazine.

Comedy Juice has featured stars like Sarah Silverman, Daniel Tosh, Aziz Ansari, Dane Cook, and Marc Maron on a regular basis and has consistently been a place to discover new comedy stars before they blow up!

Now, every Tuesday night at 10 P.M. they’ll be at Gotham Comedy Club, so I went down to check it out, and was pleasantly surprised to run into my old pal Artie Lange who came in with a young comic named Chris DeStefano, who I know from performing on Yonah Grossman’s shows in the Vintage Lounge.

Helen Hong making people laugh during Comedy Juice at Gotham!

The show was hosted by Jared Logan who was very funny, and also on the show was Helen Hong who although she lives in LA now I seem to run into on either coast. Last week I was in LA and I ran into Helen, and then I’m back and she’s here too! And that’s a good thing. I love Helen Hong, or should I say “Herren?” LOL

Al Madrigal onstage at Gotham Comedy Club for Comedy Juice!

Besides Herren, they had Al Madrigal from The Daily Show, Rory Albanese, Chris DeStefano, and Donnell Rawlings. Unfortunately I missed Rory Albanese, the producer of The Daily Show, who is also a really funny comic. I first saw Rory perform at the South Beach Comedy Festival and he killed it. I was very impressed that a major producer was also so funny. When you have a serious job like that, the only reason you still do comedy is because you LOVE it! There’s no other reason to do it.

Donnell closed the show and was really strong. The audience loved him, especially Kristen J. Eddy ,the producer of Anthony Anderson’s Comedy Mixtape Show, who sat next to me and was laughing her little butt off!

Donnell Rawlings killing it onstage at Gotham Comedy Club!

Artie went up and destroyed the room. People love to see Artie Lange. He’s one of the only performers I’ve ever seen who got a standing ovation just by walking out on the stage. That was at Town Hall during the NY Comedy Festival.

Artie was very upfront about getting off heroin, and spoke about how different people try to give him advice. One guy suggested he start running to get a “runner’s high” which the guy claimed was better than heroin. Artie tried it and was like, ” I’m on my 8th mile. When does it start feeling like heroin?”

Then he convinced the guy to try heroin since he tried running and the guy got addicted to heroin, and wound up living under a bridge!

Artie said he used to be healthy, back around 1974. Now that he’s healthy again, he’s afraid he’ll die from an old time disease like Scurvy or something!”

Artie Lange dispensing laughter to the packed crowd at Gotham Comedy Club!

He did a lot of new material, which I never heard before like analyzing the lyrics to Biggie Small’s rap songs. And he also spoke to me about his new radio show with Nick DePaolo on Sirius Radio, weeknights at 10 P.M. on Extreme Talk XM 165. It’s a mix of sports and comedy.

The reason I missed Rory Albanese is because I was downstairs in the green room shooting a video with Artie. It was a rare opportunity and I couldn’t pass it up.

I really like Artie and I hadn’t seen him since he went to rehab so we had a lot to talk about, and we did it on camera. It was very cool, it ran about 20 minutes, and I’ll be posting it as soon as it’s edited. First I have to decide whether to keep it as one long film or divide it into two parts. People have such short attention spans these days, you may not even have read this post this far down!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV backstage at Gotham Comedy Club with Artie Lange!

Anyway, Comedy Juice was a great show and I plan to become a regular! Maybe I’ll even get to perform one week, … who knows???

Check out www.comedyjuice.com and come check out the show in person!

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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!

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, General Information, Nightlife Events, Red Carpet Events

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