Posts Tagged Russell Peters

Sebastian Rocks Gotham Comedy Club

I first met Sebastian on the Kandy Kruise, a special charity cruise from Cali to Mexico that had 500 guys and 1500 girls. All the girls were from Playboy, Penthouse, Maxim, … you get the idea. It was a very quiet, relaxing cruise! (LOL) He was performing with Cort McKown from Playboy Comedy.

Sebastian Maniscalco and Cort McKown on the Kandy Cruise back in 2007!

Then I saw him again with Russell Peters on Russell’s Best of the Fest show in Montreal at the Just for Laughs Festival, and ran into him again when I was out in Cali doing Nick Kroll’s upcoming show on Comedy Central.

This week, Sebastian has been having sold out shows at The Gotham Comedy Club as part of the NY Comedy Festival, and if you have to ask “Sebastian who” you’re not in “the know”! ( To use an expression from 1810! LOL) One name is all he needs like Cher, Lindsay, Brad, … very rare for a comedian!

Sebastian, killing it onstage at Gotham Comedy Club in one of his 6 sold-out shows for the NY Comedy Festival!

He’s lucky he’s so well known cause “Sebastian Maniscalco” is not fitting on a marquee that easily! I popped in to see him last night and not only was my usual table filled, but the entire place was so packed, I wound up standing, which is something I don’t do. When I see a show at Gotham I’m popping up every few minutes to shoot photos, so I cant be wedged into a seat where I have to disturb other customers every time I get up.

Gotham is built for filming and shooting photos as they have a private passageway in the back of the room where you can shoot through glass. Sebastian’s show was so good, I made the decision to stand. So I positioned myself back there and took all the shots I needed.

First the show was MC’ed by Angelo Lozada, who I think is one of the best hosts out there today. There’s a special thing about being a host. Besides having great material, you have to be able to warm up the audience with some crowd work, and get people in the mood for a show. Angelo is very strong when it comes to that, and he knows how to put people in their place very gently but effectively.

Angelo Lozada hosting Sebastian’s show at Gotham Comedy Club!

Mark Normand was also on the show. His lines are very clever, and the crowd really liked him.

The very funny Mark Normand onstage at Gotham opening for Sebastian!

But let me see if I can describe what makes Sebastian so special. First of all he had his crowd there. They were there for HIM, and to that there was no doubt! His strength is not only his material, but his physicality. He embodies whatever person it is he’s talking about whether it be male of female, and moves constantly around the stage.

Somehow he manages to create a visual image of what he’s telling you, and with his sculptured and manicured look, when he does his “Italian thing” you could almost see John Travolta in his Saturday Night Fever days, if he had been a stand-up comic. And I mean that with the greatest respect, not as a slam in any way, shape or form!

When Sebastian talks about how in the old days you’d pick up a girl at a club, not only by your approach, but with your dancing, he totally nails it, and his moves are great! I was standing with Chris Mazzilli, the owner of the club and he totally agreed with me.

Sebastian said his tough Italian father never bought him and his siblings things. Instead he told then what kids owned the things they wanted, and where they lived, and left the rest up to them. “You know that dog you want? A kid five blocks away has that dog. That’s your dog.”

And his father always wanted to haggle over a deal. The dentist told him he needed a crown that cost 800 bucks. The father jumped out of the dentist chair and said, ” I got a crown guy. If I pay you cash, how much???” and Sebastian makes the “paying cash hand moves” that we’ve all experienced, with guys like that!

He talks about how badly we’re treated by airline personnel when going through the airport and how the only time they’re happy is when your bag is over the weight limit. “You’re three pounds over” the woman told him. “You have to take out three pounds of clothing.” He said,”And where am I supposed to put it?” And she said, ” In your carry-on!” And he wanted to explode, ” It’s still going on the plane! What’s the difference if it’s inside my luggage or in the overhead compartment? It’s the same three pounds!”

That observation got him an extended applause break of which there were many. And that’s why I put up with standing through the entire show, with no food or drinks. It was that good. And what’s really nice is that he told the entire audience to come and meet him afterwards to take photos if they wanted to. That’s a guy who really appreciates his audience!

I may actually go back to see him again tonight at 8 P.M. I just hope I don’t have to stand again! (LOL)

He’s also doing a new podcast with the very funny Pete Correale, and I can’t wait to check that out as well!

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Al Martin To Open Third Comedy Club in NYC

It’s hard enough to own one comedy club in NYC and make it successful. Two is pretty amazing, but three is completely off the charts. Meet Al Martin the guy who soon will be opening this third comedy club, the Greenwich Village Comedy Club, somewhere on MacDougal Street.

That will mean he has New York Comedy Club on 24th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenue, Broadway Comedy Club on West 53rd Street, which is almost like three clubs in one anyway, with The World, and the upstairs and downstairs rooms going constantly, and now Greenwich Village Comedy.

I have a feeling Al won’t stop until he has a room in every part of the city. The Soho Comedy Club, The Turtle Bay area Comedy Club, … well actually he did have a club in Turtle Bay!

I remember when New York Comedy Club was around 52nd Street and 2nd avenue, and I’d come by to see the variety of shows he had. I recall meeting the late Eric Douglas there, the comedian brother of Michael Douglas, who died very young.

One of the things that Al prides himself on is the variety of the shows he offers. For instance coming up on June 3rd, “The Big Brown Comedy Show” hosted by Aasif Manvi from The Daily Show. Indian comedy is definitely on the rise, as evidenced by the success of Russell Peters, Aziz Ansari, and Kal Penn who plays Kumar in the wildly successful Harold and Kumar films.

The legendary J.J. Walker will be hosting a show there at the end of June, and one night recently, Vinny Parco from the TV show Parco P.I. was there hosting a show called “Naughty Girls”. Despite everything else he does, and with all the reality shows he’s planning, Vinny always makes time to perform comedy, a great love of his.

Vinny Parco of Parco P.I. fame hosting the “Naughty Girls” show at Broadway Comedy Club!

And true to the name of his show he brought a bunch of very naughty girls to do stand-up.

Tatiana, one of Parco’s “Naughty Girls” comics onstage at Broadway Comedy Club!

It was a very fun show including Judy Cianciotto, Maureen Langan, and Jen Raumero!

Vinny Parco with one of his “naughtiest” girls on stage at Broadway Comedy Club!

Al is a funny comic in his own right, so now he doesn’t have to audition at any other clubs. (LOL) He’ll have three stages with which to indulge his passion! Good luck Al. Can’t wait to start hanging out there!

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Sebastian Maniscalco With Sold Out Show at Gotham

The packed room that came to see Sebastian Maniscalco last night at Gotham Comedy Club got an extra little treat, a surprise performance by Jim Gaffigan. After MC Buddy Fitzpatrick’s great warming up of the crowd, which is a rare talent as anyone who’s ever had to warm up a cold crowd can attest to, Jim came on and killed it for ten minutes.

Sebastian Maniscalco destroying the audience on stage at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!

I’ll never forget when I interviewed Jim for my book, he told me he suffered with severe stage fright for the first six years of his career. You’d certainly never know it and I think of that a lot before I go on stage when I’m feeling a little anxious! You never know what you say to someone that resonates with them and has an affect on their lives.

Jim’s favorite topic seems to revolve around food, and he did a lot of material about McDonalds. Like about how good McDonald’s fries are, but if you try and reheat them in the microwave they become packing peanuts! He even comments on that one loose fry it’s so exciting to find at the bottom of the bag. He calls it “the bonus fry!” It’s always long and you find yourself wondering, ” How did I miss you?”

(L-R) Sebastian Maniscalco, Jim Gaffigan and Gotham owner Chris Mazzilli at Gotham Comedy Club!

He commented on hotels providing stationery, because like me, the moment he checks into a hotel the first thing he likes to do is write a letter!

Next up was Rajiv Satyal, an Indian comic from LA. Russell Peters gave a lot of Indian guys the courage to show they can be funny! (LOL) Rajiv talked about how different ethnicities mispronounce certain sounds in English, like the Asians with “R’s” and “L’s” and the Indians with “V’s” and “W’s”. He went into a Subway looking for a healthy sandwich and the Indian guy behind the counter offered him a “Weggie”, ( pronounced Wedgie!) I think I laughed out loud at that one! Great visual of a guy behind the counter grabbing a customer by the underwear!

Rajiv Satyal on stage at Gotham proving more than one Indian guy can be funny!

Then Sebastian took the stage. The first time I met him was on the Kandy Kruise from LA to Mexico. Five hundred guys and 1500 girls all from Maxim, Playboy and Penthouse. It was sick. and he was one of the “Playboy comics”. Just to get people just to show up for the show at all was a big accomplishment when there’s that many gorgeous girls to look at!

I saw him again this past July in Montreal when he was on Russell Peters’ show “Best of the Fest”, which Russell described as just another night of comedy in LA! (LOL) We were hanging out backstage after the show, where I took the photo below.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Sebastian Maniscalco backstage with Russell Peters in Montreal!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV backstage with Russell Peters at his show in Montreal, “Best of the Fest”!

The thing about Sebastian is that he makes comedy “hip”! Some comics play off their “lameness”, but Sebastian is cool. He slips into his Jersey Shore Italian voice, when he’s talking about the dancing and meeting girls on the club scene, and almost becomes Vinnie Barbarino, for those of you who remember John Travolta in those days. he’s so relaxed, and very physical which I never expect him to be. He dances around and often acts out his material, which is great! Most of the time, I stand there like I’m nailed to the stage! (LOL)

He started out talking about Customer Service at the airport, and how the people who work there look upset that you even showed up to fly. And what if your bag happens to be four pounds over the weight limit? They make you take four pounds of clothing out? And where are you supposed to put it? In your carry-on! It’s still going on the plane!!!

That actually happened to me, but it was about ten pounds I had to take out. Unlike most people, I don’t often travel with a clothing scale, so I’m guessing on the weight of each thing while people are walking by and I’m frantically grabbing things out of my bag and mentally weighing them! Trust me, it’s only funny afterwards!

He’s always busy, so he wonders about these people that have the time to demonstrate in the street, or to show up every day to follow a trial like the Michael Jackson trial. ” Whatta youse people do when there’s no trial? You got nothin’ else to do?

He even talks about “kids these days” without sounding like a comic from the Ed Sullivan days. If his father took him and his family out to eat there was no such thing as saying you didn’t like the food. “Chicken and broccoli? One look from his father and he’d be like, ” Don’t worry, I’ll get it down.” These days kids complain they don’t like the menu, and a Mom might say something like, “Timmy, is that a good choice?”

But when he talked about his Dad not being too tech savvy and he was trying to guide him onto the internet over the phone, that was hysterical! Especially when his Dad asked what to do with the foot pedal! He had put the mouse on the floor trying to work it with his foot! Sebastian had to tell him, ” It’s not a sewing machine Dad, it’s a computer!”

I hope I get to see him again soon! He was really great!

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Comedy Matters "Comedian Who Matters" Contest

Comedy writer/producer and writer of the national column/vlog Comedy Matters, Jeffrey Gurian, is set to launch a new comedy competition for up-and-coming stand-up comedians.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters with Chris Rock at The Comic Strip!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters with Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch!

Beginning on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011, relatively unknown comedians from around the world will be able to submit videos of themselves performing their best three minutes of stand-up comedy via a YouTube or Vimeo link (no file attachments, please!) to Gurian at COMEDIANWHOMATTERSCONTEST@GMAIL.COM. No entry fee is required, all contestants need to do to be considered is ‘LIKE’ Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters on Facebook and send in their best 3 minutes.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters with Bo Burnham at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal!

Jeffrey will watch all the submissions and choose his 10 favorites to be finalists. These 10 finalist videos will be posted on the Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters Facebook page where fans can vote by ‘LIKE’ing the page and then ‘LIKE’ing their favorite comedian video. At the end of the voting period, the comedian who has the most ‘LIKES’ wins.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters on the receiving end of a big bearhug from Bill Burr!

The prizes include an article/interview on Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters blog, a guest spot on Jeffrey’s Sunday or Monday night late show at the legendary Comic Strip Live comedy club in New York City, and the title of “Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedian Who Matters”.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters dancing with Lisa Lampanelli as part of his ” Dancing With Comedians” series!

For up-to-the-minute details on the contest, you can also follow Jeffrey Gurian on Twitter @jeffreygurian!

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If you’d like more information about Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedian Who Matters Contest, or to schedule an interview with Jeffrey Gurian, please contact his assistant, Corinne Fisher, at 908-265-2087 or via E-mail at CorinneFisherComedy@gmail.com.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters out in LA, with Billy Crystal who will be hosting this year’s Oscars ceremony!

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Andy Nulman King Jester of Just For Laughs

Way back when, a court jester’s job was to amuse the king. But what if the king had such a good sense of humor that he didn’t need a court jester? He’d be his own court jester! That kind of describes Andy Nulman, the current President of the Montreal based, Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, the biggest and most prestigious comedy festival in the world. Andy’s the King of the Festival, but he’s also a funny guy in his own right!

Not “stand-up comedy” funny, but funny as in entertainingly funny, as you’ll see in the photos below where we took turns being huge!

The inspiration for this action on our parts, was that when I went to see Andy backstage at Russell Peters hit show, “Best Night Ever” at the Place Des Arts in Montreal, Andy and everyone else were being guarded by two “HUGE” guys, the guys that run security for the festival, Alan “Fluffy” Schwartz, ( which is not the usual name that you would expect for such a HUGE guy! LOL ) and Big Bill. I decided to hang between them! I’m not sure they even noticed I was there!

Alan Schwartz and “Bill Bill” giving Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV some support backstage at Russell Peters’ show in Montreal!

Andy Nulman, President of Just For Laughs in Montreal and Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV taking turns being absolutely “Huge” backstage at Russell Peters show in Montreal! In this shot Andy is the “Huge” one!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, taking HIS turn at being “Huge”, next to with Andy Nulman, President of Just For Laughs in Montreal!!

As current President of the festival he helped found 29 years ago, Andy currently serves as the President of Festivals and Television, something he is truly accomplished at. Taking the festival from it’s original two days, and turning it in to a month long event, Nulman has created/Exec. Produced over 150 festival TV shows, all over the world, as well as bringing in multi-million dollar corporate sponsorships!

In the attached exclusive video interview Andy did with Comedy Matters TV’s Jeffrey Gurian, he tells the story of how the festival almost never got off the ground until Bob Williams of the Spotlite Agency got him Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno in the early days, and how in 1988 Marty Klein a top agent from APA who was also a Montrealer, told Andy that the next year he would get him John Candy as his host, and he’d get the festival a deal with HBO. That’s what turned the tide for the festival. A great story!

In 1999, Nulman left the Festival’s full-time employ, and limited his participation to directing the star-studded galas, which until recently were at the St. Denis Theatre. Now they are held at the much nicer Place Des Arts.

To say that Andy Nulman is a successful businessman would be such an understatement. It would be like saying, ” Einstein was a pretty smart guy!” Andy is also the founder, President, and CMO of Airborne Mobile, a media-space company, which he wound up selling to Japan in 2005 for almost $100 million smackeroos (Smackeroos are very similar to Japanese yen. I think the conversion rate is 15 smackeroos to each Yen!) Which is basically why I felt comfortable asking him to break a twenty for me!

In 2006, Airborne was cited as North America’s 4th-Fastest Growing Tech Company by the Deloitte Fast 500, so in June of 2008, Nulman and his partner Garner Bornstein re-purchased the company. ( With all that money you’d think he could buy a better name than Garner Bornstein! LOL )

Andy was always a go-getter. Even before helping Gilbert Rozon found Just For Laughs, he was a journalist, starting at the age of 16 at the weekly tabloid The Sunday Express, and was eventually promoted to the positions of Entertainment Editor and Promotion Manager. He was a freelancer for publications like Variety, Us Magazine and the rock ‘n’ roll music bi-weekly Circus Magazine. He even toured the US with comic superstar Howie Mandel another native Canadian!

Listen to Andy tell it in his own words right here!

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29th Annual Just For Laughs Festival In Montreal

It was the 29th annual Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and as you might imagine, everyone in comedy was there. I literally shot 20 video interviews with people like Garry Shandling, Ken Jeong, Bo Burnham, Bill Burr, Paul Provenza, Kenny Hotz, Russell Peters, Steve Levitan who created Modern Family and won an award for Best Comedy Writer, Amy Schumer and Anthony Jeselnik and not only people LIKE those people, but the actual people themselves! ( LOL – Do I really need the LOL or would you have known??? )

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Ken Jeong from The Hangover movies, in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Festival. Ken had just won the award for Breakout Comedy Star of the Year, at the Comedy Confference!

I’ve been coming up to the festival probably for well over 20 years, and for many of those years there was absolutely nothing scheduled for during the day! In recent years they created something called The Comedy Conference which is FANTASTIC! It’s a chance to meet and interact with people doing things in comedy, on the internet making web series, short films, and attending conferences where people speak on their particular specialty. You get to listen to and meet the movers and shakers in the comedy world, including people from You Tube, Google, Barely Political,The Onion, and Rob Barnett’s “My Damn Channel.”

This year at a special luncheon, awards were given to Garry Shandling, Ken Jeong, Steve Levitan, and Louis CK among others. I interviewed several of them, which you can see right here.

I started meeting people the moment I got off the plane with my trusty DP Sean Mannion. We shared a shuttle to the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which is the home base of the festival, with Kurt Braunohler, (who I mistakenly wrote about previously as “Braunholer”, a great observation if I was Roasting him!), then walked into the hotel and ran right into Russell Peters, who finalized my plans to come and see him that night, then ran into Kenny Hotz on the way to my room, who is the only Canadian talent to have two shows on American TV at the same time, and as soon as I changed and got my camera ready I ran into Bo Burnham, and did my first interview of the weekend.

Jeffrey Gurian with Kurt Braunohler at the airport in Montreal on the way to the Hyatt Regency Hotel!

See Kenny Hotz’s video interview right here. Kenny is a great guy and has so many loyal fans. Whatever I post about him goes through the roof!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with a self-described "disheveled Bo Burnham" at the Just for Laughs Festival!

Everything Bo does goes viral. Bo is grateful that antibiotics have no effect on a virus, so there is virtually no cure for what he does! (LOL) He was performing on the Amp’ed show along with Reggie Watts and others who mix comedy and music, and we had a cool, fun interview. He introduced himself on camera as “the disheveled Bo Burnham” as is everyone in Montreal. There’s not much “stylin'” in the comedy world. People are just chillin’ and having a good time networking, and meeting their peers!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with a distinctly non-disheveled Reggie Watts!

At Russell’s show that night called “Best Night Ever” I went backstage with Russell for some exclusive footage, in which I actually got him dancing to some hip-hop beats, and he looked great in a custom gray striped suit and brand new white sneakers! That video is down towards the bottom of this column!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV backstage with Russell Peters, in his custom suit, at his show in Montreal!

I also got to interview Russell backstage at Paul Provenza’s taping of The Green Room for Showtime. Paul taped two shows for the second season of his hit show, and he and Barbara Romen his co-producer, along with Christopher Barrett made sure I got to see whoever I needed to see.

Jeffrey Gurian interviewing the legendary Tony Clifton and his date Felicia backstage at Paul Provenza's Green Room taping for Showtime!

We were in “the green room of The Green Room” and I interviewed the legendary Tony Clifton, Andy Kaufman’s best friend, who was kind enough to introduce me to his date’s breasts, and watched intently as I interviewed them. They were kind of quiet on camera, but off camera they wouldn’t shut up!

Tony Clifton introducing Jeffrey Gurian to his date's boobs!

I also spoke to Bill Burr, who laughingly chastised me for mentioning Tony Clifton and Bob Zmuda in the same sentence, and then I interviewed Colin Quinn, who was ticked off that they weren’t told what they were going to talk about so no one could prepare but Paul!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV on the receiving end of a bear-hug from an affectionate Bill Burr!

Watch all that in the Bill Burr video interview right here:

And then Colin Quinn’s interview right here:

I missed Eddie Izzard at The Green Room but caught up with him at the airport when we shared a flight back home to New York. He was doing a guest appearance on CBS’s The Good Wife!

Jeffrey Gurian and Eddie Izzard waiting to fly back to New York after the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal!

I caught up with SNL’s John Mulaney, who is also Nick Kroll’s writing partner, and we had a fun interview after the Variety party. I also got to see John taping his really funny Comedy Central special, “John Mulaney Live”, a short time afterwards back in New York at NYU’s Skirball Center, where Comedy Central tapes many of their specials.

Jeffrey Gurian with SNL's John Mulaney after the Variety party at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal!

Check out John Mulaney’s Comedy Matters interview right here:


John swears he and Nick Kroll will not make another “Oh Hello” video without having me in it. That probably means he’s not going to be making any more “Oh Hello” videos! (LOL)

Also caught up with two rising young stars Amy Schumer and Anthony Jeselnik, bot of whom you will see this Monday on Comedy Central’s Roast of Charlie Sheen!

But I would have to say my most fun and rewarding interview was with Andy Nulman, the head of Just For Laughs and one of the founders of the festival 29 years ago. He had left for a while to run his telecommunications company which he recently sold for about 15 or 20 dollars, ( add about a hundred million to that! ), and is now back running the show.

Jeffrey Gurian with an absolutely HUGE Andy Nulman who had to crouch down to even be seen in the photo!

I got a hold of him backstage at Russell Peters show where I also ran into my old friends Alan Schwartz, and “Big Bill” who run security for the festival, and who range in size from about 6’6” to somewhere near 7’ tall. I have an amazing photo of me somewhere suspended between them hanging from their shoulders. It’s really funny, and I just found it so here it is!

(L-R) Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV suspended between Alan Schwartz, and Bill Bill backstage at one of the galas of the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal! ( They both know they can call me in case anyone bothers them!)

This is the really fun video of Russell Peters getting down backstage at his show in Montreal!

Anyway, Andy gave me this fantastic interview in which he says, “ If I wanna know what went on at my own festival, I read Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters, because he knows everyone, he covers everything, plus he really gives a s**t! That’s why when I say ‘This is Andy Nulman and you’re watching Comedy Matters’, it really means something!”

The video you see here is a compilation of everything that went on at JFL 2011! It’s all right here in the video so check it out!!!

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Bill Burr on Comedy Matters TV at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal

I caught up with Bill Burr backstage at the Showtime taping of Paul Provenza’s second season of The Green Room, a show where Paul gathers famous comics like Garry Shandling, Russell Peters, Caroline Rhea, Colin Quinn, ( and Bill Burr! ) and they just hang out and talk in a very real, unscripted, unedited way about very real things. Paul has that magical ability to bring that comfort level out in people.

The poster for Paul Provenza's hit Showtime show, "The Green Room!"

Paul Provenza applying the Krav Maga technique, otherwise known as "The Jewish Death Squeeze" to the face of Jeffrey Gurian, for no particular reason other than that he was happy to see him!

Fortunately for me, he says the same thing about me, in remarking how many huge stars appear in my column and Vlog! (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian holding Paul Provenza's book Satiristas, and Paul Provenza holding Jeffrey Gurian's book for which he wrote the foreward, "Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive!"

Paul wrote the forward to my book, ” Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive” which was a book of celebs favorite filthy jokes, based on my years of writing for the famed Friars Roasts. I had jokes from over 250 celebs including Drew Carey, Jason Alexander, Richard Belzer, Chris Elliott, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, Gilbert Gottfried, Robert Smigel and Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, and about 240 others.

Paul Provenza showing Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV some love, while Jamie Kilstein looks on bravely trying to ignore the situation!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with an exuberant Bill Burr backstage at The Green Room taping in Montreal!

So I got to go backstage and get exclusive footage of the stars and guests on Paul’s show like Bill Burr, Russell Peters, Colin Quinn, Tony Clifton, Greg Proops, and even producers Barbara Romen, and Christopher Barrett.

Bill Burr tours all over the country and is a regular on the hit radio show Opie and Anthony, on Sirius Satellite Radio. He and comic Joe DeRosa (another favorite of mine), have their own show on XM radio called “Uninformed.”

Bill also did a one hour special for Comedy Central entitled “Why Do I Do This” a question that many, if not most comedians ask themselves at least once a week! Bill is one of the few white comedians often featured on “urban” shows, since his days as a regular on the second season of the Chapelle show. Bill makes being white hip again! (LOL)

He’s also a regular on Letterman, and had his own half hour special on HBO, ( as opposed to having someone else’s half hour! LOL )

You can read more about Bill on his website at http://www.billburr.com which is a very appropriate name for his website. The next time I see him I must remember to ask him how he chose that name!

This little video is of me interviewing Bill Burr in the green room of “The Green Room.” Check it out here!

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JIMMY FALLON EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW – PART 2

Jimmy Fallon made a rare stand-up comedy appearance in NYC, at the Gotham Comedy Club on West 23rd Street. Jimmy sat down backstage with Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV in an even rarer video interview, with some great and funny stories from his past and his present. Check it out!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV does EXCLUSIVE Video interview with Jimmy Fallon!

This is Part 2!

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JIMMY FALLON EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW- PART1

NBC’s host of Late Night, Jimmy Fallon, who’s show is up for 3 Emmy Awards, made a rare stand-up comedy appearance in NYC, at the Gotham Comedy Club on West 23rd Street. Jimmy sat down backstage with Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV in an even rarer video interview, with some great and funny stories from his past and his present. Check it out!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV does EXCLUSIVE Video interview with Jimmy Fallon!

This is Part 1!
Jimmy Fallon In Exclusive Video Interview with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV

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Flying With Eddie Izzard

I was in Montreal last weekend for the 29th annual Just For Laughs Festival, the biggest comedy festival in the world. One of the special events was the debut of Paul Provenza’s great show on Showtime, The Green Room. Paul is a good friend and hooked me up with an “All Access” backstage pass so I could interview everyone for my Comedy Matters Vlog and column. I was the only one back there shooting video and I got some great stuff, which you will see in an upcoming post.

Paul Provenza earlier this month in NYC kissing Jeffrey Gurian shamelessly while Jamie Kilstein looks on casually, as if nothing unusual was happening!

Paul produces the show with Barbara Romen, and gets tons of huge comedy stars to appear on it with him. It’s a totally unplanned, unscripted, unprepared talk show. As Colin Quinn told me backstage, the only one who knows what’s going on is Paul. He said ” Paul looks good and we all look like schmucks!”

Jeffrey Gurian and Colin Quinn on Broadway at Colin's Show "Long Story Short" directed by Jerry Seinfeld!

Paul was taping the last two shows of the season at the Mainline Theatre on St. Laurent Street as part of the festival. The first show had Colin Quinn, Russell Peters, Paul of course as host, Caroline Rhea, Lizz Winstead, and Bill Burr on the panel, and in the audience was Greg Proops, and Vegas lounge singer Tony Clifton who some of you may recall was Andy Kaufman’s best friend!

Bill Burr showing Jeffrey Gurian some love backstage at the taping of The Green Room in Montreal at The Just For Laughs Festival!

Jeffrey Gurian, with Greg Proops and a moose at the taping of Paul Provenza's Green Room in Montreal. The Moose used Greg's name to get in, although he claimed they had never met before!

Things got hot and heavy when Tony began yelling out very inappropriate remarks even for cable, and at first people thought it was a joke, but he wouldn’t stop and kept interrupting the comedians while they were speaking. Paul eventually had to have security throw him out. No one knew if it was real or not, but it was.

I even thought it was planned until the security team literally wrestled Tony to the ground and he fell on the glass table where Paul and the panel were sitting. They wouldn’t have done that for a joke. I have it on video which I will post in a separate Vlog. He just got carried away. I had interviewed him and his lady friend before the show and he had me do a separate interview with her boobs. That’s on the video too!

The second show included Eddie Izzard who I also wanted to film, but the show started late and I still had to pack and get up very early to fly back to The States the next day. While I was waiting for Eddie to arrive, I was warned that he often didn’t like to be interviewed and that I should definitely ask first. That seemed strange to me since that’s the only way I work. I would never just start filming someone without their permission. But I recalled hearing that Eddie could be touchy at times. The truth is, who isn’t???

Anyway, I had to leave before I got to see him or I would have had to stay until the show was over about 2 A.M. Next day on the plane back to New York, who’s sitting right near me but Eddie Izzard. I’m two rows in front of him. I went to say hello and told him that I had just missed him last night, and went back to my seat.

Suddenly a guy comes over to him and asks him if he would change seats with him so he could sit with his girlfriend. I was expecting a scene, but Eddie couldn’t have been nicer and more accomodating. As a matter of fact, he was the one who went over to the girl, tapped her on the shoulder and said, ” Either that guy is your boyfriend, or he’s got a great pick-up line.” So now he wound up two rows in front of me.

When the plane landed in NYC, for some reason his overhead bag was right above me, and mine was right above him, because the overhead space above my seat had been filled, so I put it two rows in front. I gave him his bag and he gave me mine.

Turned out he was in New York to do an episode of CBS’s “The Good Wife” with Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth. He’s playing Abbott Thrush, an English barrister, … or a lawyer to those who have no idea what a “barrister” is!
Jeffrey Gurian and Eddie Izzard waiting for their bags at baggage claim at La Guardia airport in NYC!

The end result of this story is that Eddie Izzard is a heck of a nice guy. I saw how he treated the people on the plane when they asked him to move his seat, and I saw how he treated me. I didn’t get to do my video interview but we did take a couple of stills at baggage claim while waiting for our bags to come around.

And next time I see him we’ll get the video, and I do have a feeling I’ll be seeing him again!

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