Posts Tagged Russell Simmons

Spectacular Evening at Sotheby’s for 20th Anniversary of ACE

It was 20 years ago that social activist Henry Buhl created ACE which stands for “The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless” with the help of people like Tony Goldman,a real estate magnate, who’s also responsible for building up a lot of South Beach in Miami.

Prince Lorenzo Borghese, Tinsley Mortimer and Henry Buhl at the gala 20th anniversary ACE event at Sotheby’s!

Last night there was a gala event honoring ACE’s work over the past 20 years as well as honoring Russell Simmons and international opera star Jessye Norman.

I was covering the red carpet so I was really hoping to see and interview Russell, who I hadn’t seen since we honored Brett Ratner at The Friars Club some months back, but unfortunately he was detained in arriving.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV ready to man the red carpet at Sotheby’s for the 20th anniversary gala of ACE,, to assist the homeless!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Rosanna Scotto of FOX TV’s Good Day New York at the ACE gala at Sotheby’s!

I did get to see and interview Henry Buhl, Sara Herbert-Galloway who was one of the esteemed hosts,(and a friend!), Jessye Norman, who couldn’t have been nicer, Rosanna Scotto, the anchor from FOX’s Good Day New York, Prince Lorenzo Borghese who I hadn’t seen in quite a while and who was there with Tinsley Mortimer, my old dear friend Countess LuAnn DeLesseps from The Real Housewives of New York City, who was there with her boyfriend Jacques Azoulay, two other old friends Dr. Judy Kuriansky the famous sex therapist, and Mary Sliwa, ex-wife of Curtis Sliwa, and one very special interview for me, with Aviva Drescher one of the new women on Real Housewives of NYC. That was a real treat!

Countess LuAnn DeLesseps with Jacques Azoulay on the red carpet at Sotheby’s!

Jessye Norman was passionate about helping the homeless, and about Henry Buhl’s work over the past 20 years.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with international opera star Jessye Norman at Sotheby’s!

Lorenzo and I caught up on old times and he was shocked that I remembered the name of his line of pet products, Royal Treatment! It always amazes me what I do remember because very often I remember nothing at all!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Lorenzo Borghese at a party back in 2006!

And Tinsley Mortimer and I had a good laugh about the first time we met in of all places, a McDonald’s. You’d have thought maybe The Four Seasons, or Nobu maybe, but no, … it was McDonalds. It was very late at night and we were both hungry and on line for a snack! She has a new book just out for a month called “Southern Charm” and one day soon we’re going to sit down and shoot a little video interview about it for Comedy Matters TV!

Countess LuAnn and I always have something to laugh about together! We just look at each other and laugh! We’re friends since the 80’s, when she was still a nurse and a model, and we had lots of fun times together. It wasn’t that long ago when she was interviewing me on Plum TV in the Hamptons. I’m so happy for her for all of her success, and for being with Jacques who’s such a great guy, but could have been a little more creative with his name! (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Countess LuAnn DeLesseps at one of the opening parties for “Real Housewives of New York City”! ( Her Mom is next to us!)

Countess LuAnn DeLesseps and her beautiful Mom at a Real Housewives party!

Who would believe a French guy named Jacques? It’s like an Italian guy named Carmine! Or a Jewish guy named Sol! Not very creative! (LOL)

Anyway, I suggested to LuAnn that we do a comedy thing on Housewives, like some kind of comedy event, and we’re going to discuss it!

But I’d have to say my interview with Aviva Drescher was the highlight of the evening for me. I asked her about her charity “One Step Ahead” and she complimented me on my preparedness, which led to such a heartwarming interview on people overcoming obstacles in their lives.

Real Housewives Heather Thompson, LuAnn DeLesseps, and Aviva Drescher at Sotheby’s!

Aviva is an amputee which you would have no way of knowing unless she told you. She’s a gorgeous woman with a super personality, and a handsome husband with four beautiful kids. When she was six, she lost her left leg in an accident at a friend’s house. But she never let it get the best of her and I admire people so much for that. Because not everyone rises above difficulties like that. Some people let it overwhelm them.

And she shared with me that when she was younger she thought she might never get married or have children, but fortunately none of that was true. I was able to share with her my own story of overcoming obstacles, of which I feel there were many. None as serious as the loss of a limb, but I was a very severe stutterer until I was in my 20’s.

My parents took me for speech therapy but no one was able to help me. One day I realized that I did’t stutter when I was alone, only when I tried to speak to someone else. That basically told me there was really nothing wrong with me, and I vowed to cure myself. I was determined not to go through the rest of my life as a stutterer.

For the next two or three years I became obsessed with curing myself, and as I look at it now, I was given the Grace to figure out how to stop. I now work with other stutterers to teach them how not to stutter. I love doing that kind of work.

So Aviva and I had an instantaneous bond,and I can’t wait to see her again!

You’ll see it all when the video is edited!

And all of this glitz and glamour was thanks to the team at Oui 2 PR, Rob Goldstone and David Wilson who are both so humble and hate to be recognized, but the truth is they do A-1 events, that are well organized, and I for one appreciate that, and believe in giving credit where credit is due! So there!!! (LOL)

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Tony Rock Home At The Strip

When Tony Rock comes to town he always makes sure to hang out at The Comic Strip. He comes in to visit Richie Tienken, the owner and founder of the club, who was his first manager.

Tony Rock with his first manager Richie Tienken, owner and founder of The Comic Strip!

It’s where he got started, back in 1998 with his cousin Sherrod Small. They started performing the exact same day, and when I did their interviews for the book “Make ‘Em Laugh- 35 Years of The Comic Strip, The Greatest Comedy Club Of All Time”, they both answered all their questions in the “we” form. It was both funny and touching at the same time.

Tony stops by and usually surprises the audience by doing a guest spot, and then hangs out to check up on the progress of his little brother Jordan Rock who hosts the latenight shows on Wed. and Thursday evenings. It’s really great to see how the audience responds to Tony. They really love him.

A fun night at The Strip when Tony Rock comes to visit! (L-R) Jeffrey Gurian, Jordan Rock being held in place by Richie Tienken, and in the back Sherrod Small and Tony Rock!

When I co-produced a show starring Kevin Hart back in 2010, Tony was the featured performer. Needless to say it was an amazing show! (And if it’s needless to say, then why did I say it???)

Richie Tienken, Kevin Hart, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip!

Tony’s been in quite a few films lately, the most recent being Think Like A Man, with Steve Harvey, Kevin Hart, and Taraji P. Henson, but the real excitement is coming up for Tony on July 9th when he kicks off hosting the new Jamie Foxx produced show ” Apollo Live” on Centric, which is an updated version of “Showtime At The Apollo”!

Everyone’s excited about that, and Comedy Matters TV will be there for sure to get a fun interview with Tony, and hopefully Jamie as well!

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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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Tracy Morgan Gives Young Comic Nore Davis A Shot

Tracy Morgan Gives Young Comic Nore Davis A Shot

Nore Davis is a funny young dude. We perform a lot together at The Comic Strip. I even did a cool interview with him in the Comic Strip 35th Annual Holiday Party film which you can see right here in this previous blog post!

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So when Nore told me that Tracy Morgan himself, one of the funniest dudes on the planet, asked him to be his “middle” at Carolines, I knew I had to stop by and check it out! I’ve seen Carolines crowded before, but not like this. If they could have stacked tables like bunk beds, they could have filled the place twice. (Bunk tables? I wonder if that would even work? LOL)

Nore Davis facing a packed house and then some for Tracy Morgan’s show at Carolines!

I got there in time to see Nore hit the stage, and he hit it really hard! Huge laughs and the audience absolutely loved him. For a young comic, he has great stage presence. I recently also saw him perform at Russell Simmons’ new stand-up TV show, “Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus”, which will be airing in February, with J.B. Smoove as the host, and he killed there too! It’s really something exciting to watch, when a big star gives a young comic a shot, and they do well!

Tracy Morgan doing what he does best, … making people laugh, … onstage at Carolines!

Needless to say, ( so if it’s needless to say, then why am I saying it??? LOL) Tracy gave everyone what they were looking for. An hour of hilarity of the kind that only Tracy can bring! Not necessarily the show you’d want to bring your parents to, but a show you’d definitely want to bring your friend or significant other to! They laughed from beginning to end!

Great to see Tracy back in good health again, and engaged to be married to Megan Wallover. We wish them all the best, and a lifetime of Happiness!

He’s definitely a family kind of guy and loves to talk about his kids. I think the first time I met him was back in 2002 up in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Festival.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with a moustachioed Tracy Morgan back in 2002 at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal!

I once went to visit him on the set of 30 Rock, during an episode where he was co-starring with a horse (LOL) and we had a great talk about the importance of family and kids!

Tracy Morgan on the set of 30 Rock, back in ’07, with a guest-starring horse!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Tracy Morgan in his dressing room on the set of 30 Rock!

I was with him at the Writers Guild Awards one year –

Tracy Morgan, with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV at the Writers Guild Awards!

And then again more recently, after he had his kidney surgery, at Anthony Anderson’s Mixtape show at Gotham, where Tracy was a surprise performer!

Tracy Morgan and Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV at Anthony Anderson’s Mixtape Comedy Show at Gotham!

Last year I wanted to get him for the Diabetes comedy fund raiser I produced with a killer line-up at The Comic Strip. For whatever reason it didn’t work out, but there’s always this year! Are you listening Tracy!!!

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Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist With Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy Opens Today

The long awaited Tower Heist movie starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda and Matthew Broderick is opening today. In shades of the Madoff scandal, when a group of hard working guys led by building manager Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller), find out they’ve fallen victim to a wealthy business man Arthur Shaw’s Ponzi scheme, played by Alan Alda, they conspire to rob his high-rise penthouse apartment with the aid of street hustler Slide played by Eddie Murphy.

Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist opens today with Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda!

People are anxious to see Eddie in a funny action character again, and this could be the movie that puts him back on top. Eddie’s been making the rounds of the TV talk shows, like Letterman, Leno and Ellen Degeneres, and on each show he mentions The Comic Strip, the legendary comedy club that brought him to prominence. This year is the 35th anniversary of the club which is going strong. I know because I’m doing the book on the club, with owner/founder Richie Tienken, and have interviewed most of the big stars that came out of there including Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Colin Quinn, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Lewis Black, Susie Essman and many others!

Richie Tienken along with his partner Bob Wachs managed Eddie for about 11 years all the way from his SNL days through Beverly Hills Cop II. That included Raw and Delirious!

Eddie discovered Chris Rock there in 1986. And now that Eddie is gearing up to host The Academy Awards he’s gonna have to get back to his stand-up career which a lot of people feel he’s been wanting to do for a while now. I happen to know that Eddie has an open invitation from Richie Tienken to come and work out at The Strip any time he wants to. It would be like coming home for Eddie and we really hope he comes around.

In the meantime go and check out the film. Brett Ratner was recently honored at another legendary club, The Friars Club in NYC, where he is a proud member, and where he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by Russell Simmons. Also present were Richard Belzer, Ron Perelman, and Aisha Tyler. I have exclusive video on that right here! It’s not as funny as Tower Heist, but I think you’ll find it entertaining!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with director Brett Ratner at The Friars Club in NYC!

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Brett Ratner Receives Lifetime Achievement Award At Friars Club

Last night Brett Ratner was honored at The Friars Club during the third annual Friars Club Comedy Film Festival produced by powerhouse Exec. Director Charlie Prince, and his team some of which are Senior Programmer Susannah Gora, Social Media Director Sue Constantine, Programming Director Eric Johnson, Managing Director Jor Law, and Director of Communications, Jaime Marsanico, who did a fantastic job coordinating last night’s event.

The festival screened over 60 films over the five days that it ran and they were from an international pool of films. It was a HUGE amount of work and they are to be commended!

Brett Ratner is one of the most accomplished and respected film, and music video directors in all of Hollywood, and he’s only 42. He’s known for the Rush Hour series starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, as well as The Family Man, Red Dragon, and X-Men, The Last Stand. He was also a producer on the Fox drama Prison Break and will be producing the 84th Academy Awards next year, on Feb. 26th, 2012, with co-producer Don Mischer, and with Eddie Murphy as the host. What a team that should be!

Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV with Brett Ratner after he received his Lifetime Achievement Award from The Friars Club, during the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival!

Eddie recently received the Comedy Icon Award from Comedy Central at the First Annual Comedy Central Awards and was presented that award by Tracy Morgan!

Tracy Morgan presenting Eddie Murphy with the Comedy Icon Award at the First Annual Comedy Central Awards!

But in 1990, Brett was still a film student at NYU. How he got in is an example of his determination. He was initially rejected due to his poor grades, but he got in to see the Dean himself and after literally begging him to watch one of his films, impressed him enough that he let him in as a student.

Brett’s student film was ” What Ever Happened to Mason Reese?” It starred Rebecca Gayheart, Anthony Michael Hall, and of course Mason Reese, an actor who became famous as a child in the 1970’s for a TV commercial he did for Underwood Devil Ham that swept the country, in which he mis-pronounced the word Schmorgasbord as “Borgashmord”. People loved it and he was an instant star.

Jeffrey Gurian with Mason Reese at Mason’s birthday party! He served a Borgashmord of course!

As an aside, for anyone who’s wondering about where Mason is now, he’s right here in NYC and doing great! He currently owns two restaurants in NYC. One is Paladar, a Pan-Latino restaurant located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and the other is “Destination Bar and Grille” located on Avenue A in the East Village. He’s an old friend and I see him a few times a year!

Brett found himself short on funds to finish his film, so he made another spectacular life-changing choice, and sent out “plea letters” to 20 different producers in Hollywood asking for monetary assistance to finish his film. He got only one response, but that was all he needed. Of all people, Steven Spielberg, of Amblin Entertainment sent him a check for $5,000, without ever meeting him.

Brett brought that same film to the attention of Russell Simmons, who was impressed enough that he got Brett into directing music videos, for the likes of Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, and Madonna! Not bad credits for anyone’s resume! (LOL) Russell has since been a close friend and was asked to present Brett with his Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brett once said he wouldn’t attempt to direct a feature film until he had directed 100 music videos. In 1996, the director of a film called ” Money Talks”, starring Charlie Sheen and Chris Tucker, dropped out and Russell suggested Brett Ratner to take over, which he did. That launched his career and led to his multiple big-screen successes.

Russell Simmons himself is not only known as a music impresario, but also throughout the comedy world for creating Def Jam Comedy. I recently attended some tapings he did for Comedy Central that were hosted by JB Smoove, with DJ Cassidy on the ones and twos, that starred comics like Tony Rock, Capone, Tifffany Haddish, Wil Sylvince, Earthquake, Owen Smith and tons more!

Russell Simmons with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV on the step-and-repeat for Brett Ratner, at The Friars Club!

JB Smoove host of Russell Simmons Comedy Central Stand-Up NY specials with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV at the Edison Ballroom!

DJ Cassidy, super hot DJ for Russell Simmons’ Comedy Central special with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV!

Russell Simmons came to present Brett Ratner with the award, and even billionaire Ron Perelman dropped by to say a few words and pay his respects to his good friend Brett.

Russell Simmons making his opening remarks before presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to his pal Brett Ratner!

Ron Perelman paying his respects to director Brett Ratner at The Friars Club in NYC!

Everybody is anxiously awaiting Brett’s new film “Tower Heist” starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Matthew Broderick, which is set to open November 4th 2011, and should be a big hit!

(L-R) David Wain, Michael Ian Black, Jeffrey Gurian, and Ben Stiller at Fez, circa 2000!

The Tower Heist poster, showing the incredible cast for the film opening November 4th, 2011.

Video of this fantastic Friars Club event can be seen right here, showing not only an interview with Brett, but also with other celeb guests such as Richard Belzer, and Aisha Tyler!

Russell Simmons chatting up the gorgeous comic/actress Aisha Tyler!

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Russell Simmons Presents NY Stand-Up In Comedy Central Special

Russell Simmons shot three new episodes of “Russell Simmons Presents NY Stand Up” featuring the hysterically funny JB Smoove as the host/MC, and DJ Cassidy on the ones and twos! ( Only the very hippest of you out there will know that expression! LOL ) It was shot at the Edison Ballroom, on West 47th Street in the heart of the theatre district of Manhattan, and seating and arrangements were expertly handled by Samantha Black of The Black List, as usual.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with the hilarious JB Smoove, host of Russell Simmons shows for Comedy Central!

It needs to be said that JB Smoove is so funny he just has to show up for people to start laughing uncontrollably. He doesn’t even have to say anything. What a gift! His physicality is as funny as what he says. I have met so many legends in comedy that it usually doesn’t even phase me any more, but I remember being so excited to meet him in Montreal last year.

Click on the link below for audio interview with JB Smoove –

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I was even gladder to find out he’s been repped for the last 7 years by my old friend Rick Dorfman of Rain Management Group, who I saw at the taping. Not only did I see him but he was kind enough to take the photo you see above! ( Photo credit Rick Dorfman! LOL )

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV backstage at the Edison Ballroom with Tony Rock!

The first night I went I saw Dov Davidoff, Damn Fool, Tony Rock who I had come to support, Earthquake, Tiffany Haddish who I had met many years ago out in LA when she was just starting out at The Laugh Factory, and Wil Sylvince who was the MC in the Kevin Hart show I co-produced last year at Westbury Theatre.

Jeffrey Gurian with the lady in red, Tiffany Haddish backstage at the Edison Ballroom for Russell Simmons' show for Comedy Central!

The second night I got to see Kareem Green, Owen Smith who I had seen opening for my buddy Russell Peters in NYC, and a real favorite of mine Capone, the hardcore gangster of comedy!

Owen Smith klling it onstage at the Edison Ballroom for the taping of Russell Simmons' show "Russell Simmons Presents NY Stand-Up"!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Capone at Anthony Anderson's Mixtape Show!

Plus it’s ALWAYS fun to see my man DJ Cassidy spinning the best tunes. It really makes a difference to the audience and gets them in the mood when the right music is played before and during the show. Comedy and hip-hop definitely works as Russell Peters figured out long ago!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with his old friend DJ Cassidy who is the only man in New York who can pull off that look, and do it so well!

He got his first turntable when he was 12 years old, and now he spins for Jay-Z and Beyonce, Russell Simmons, Diddy, and all the big hip-hop stars. Give it up for my man DJ Cassidy!!!

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Page 6 Review – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and David Blaine

So as one of the new features of Comedy Matters I’m taking stories from Page 6 in the NY Post, the most powerful and influential page in the country, and adding some personal stories about the people I know who were mentioned on the page.

The top story this day was about Mick Jagger going into the studio with a new supergroup including Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics, Damian Marley, Joss Stone, and A.R. Rahman. And also about how pissed he was at Keith Richards for writing unkind things about him in his new book ” Life.”

I only met Jagger once but he has a very special place in my history. First of all, as far as I’m concerned, ( and no one actually knows how far that is! ) the man is a King. To me he’s the best of the best. No one has ever come close and his performance at The Grammy’s this year gave me the chills cause he’s 67, and rocks out better than most musicians in their 20’s. He’s thin and still has the moves that made him famous back in the 60’s.

The man is AMAZING. And thanks to Mick no one ever has to be old. Who ever heard of anyone being 67, and being so hip? Mick Jagger changed the world, and the world’s perception of getting old. Because if HE can do it, so can others. He’s an inspiration. As long as Mick is older than me, I can never get old. I look at him for inspiration.

Now when my kids were little, ( yes, … I have kids! LOL) and we lived in a fancy neighborhood in Westchester, they used to ask me why I couldn’t be like the other Dads. At the time, my hair was way, way below my shoulders, and I was driving a car that could only be described as a “pimp-mobile!” It was a Mandarin Orange Eldorado, with a white Cabriolet top, the big white wall tires, and I totally pimped it out with a Rolls Royce grille, just like the pimps did in the 70’s. The dealer where I bought it told me it had been made for one of the Eisley Brothers, and he decided not to take it, so I grabbed it.

My wife used to say to me, ” We’re Jewish and we live in Scarsdale. Why do I have to drive an orange Cadillac? All the women laugh at me! ” Obviously she didn’t get it! So when my kids said, ” How come you can’t look like the other Dads, my answer was, ” Well you’d understand if I was Mick Jagger!” And their answer was, ” Yeh Dad, but you’re not!”

In all my years of hanging out, I was sure I’d run into Mick, but it never happened until one night at a place called Lotus. I was at a private dinner party, with an actress named Aesha Waks, and right near us, seated with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone fame was Mick Jagger. I couldn’t believe it. He was like two tables away from me. Because I was a guest at the same party I was able to walk over and introduce myself to him. I actually told him that story about my kids, thinking that he’d think it was really funny, but to be honest, he didn’t seem that amused. And he didn’t ask me for my number so we could keep in touch! (LOL) Maybe he had other things on his mind.

I also met Keith Richards once as well. This was at an event for the Songwriters Hall of Fame awards, and it was black tie and I was with a gorgeous singer I was dating at the time. We were seated at a main table and with my tux and long hair, everyone took it for granted that I was someone big in the music business. To this day when people meet me, many people still think I’m in the music business. ( Even my parents think I’m in the music business! )

Anyway, on this night, three superstars stopped off at my table specifically to say “Hello” to me even though they had never met me before. I guess I looked like the kind of guy you should know, and they didn’t want to slight me. It was Keith Richards, who was there with Patty Hansen, Paul Anka and Billy Joel. I swear to G-d, each one of them stopped by to say “Hi!” and ” Great to see you! It’s been a while.” The girl I was with was absolutely shocked, and said ” No one would believe this! “

Perception is everything in show biz! If you like look a certain way, and carry yourself a certain way, and have a gorgeous girl with you, interesting things can happen! Unfortunately in those days I wasn’t carrying a camera the way I do now. They didn’t have small cameras in those days, and certainly not digital ones.

I missed getting photos with Woody Allen, Salvador Dali, The Beach Boys, and the three musical superstars mentioned above.

Jeffrey Gurian and David Blaine at Denise Rich's Angel Ball!

David Blaine, was also in a Page 6 story the same day, about him hanging out with Ashton Kutcher, who is replacing Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men. They were at a restaurant in Manhattan called Indochine. The first time I met David Blaine was also in a restaurant. I don’t recall the name but I know it was on East 21st Street, and I was with the legendary music agent, and long time friend Jonny Podell.

Jeffrey Gurian with Jonny Podell at The Friars Club for the book party for Jeffrey's book, " Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive". The book was based on Jeffrey's writing for the famed Friars Roasts for many years and featured the favorite nastiest jokes from over 250 celebs.

Jonny Podell is known these days as the father of DJ Cassidy who spins at every hot hip-hop party on the planet, whether it’s for Russell Simmons, Jay-Z, or Oprah! He was actually flown to South Africa to spin for one of Oprah’s New Years Eve parties a few years back.
DJ Cassidy at Heffrey's book party at The Friars Club holding a copy of Jeffrey's book, Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive!

D J Cassidy looking at Jeffrey Gurian at a party in NYC, where Cassidy was spinning!

Both Jonny and Cassidy came to my sold-out totally packed, book party at The Friars Club for my book “Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive” and it was written up on Page 6.

Page 6 did a great write-up about Jeffrey Gurian's book party at The Friars Club, with all the names of the celebs that attended!

Anyway, Jonny was representing David Blaine at the time and was also like a mentor to him. We were sitting with Alan Grubman, the famous entertainment lawyer and father of P.R. queen Lizzie Grubman. Jonny asked David to show me some card tricks and the one I remember most is where he asked me to pick a card, look at it and put it back in the deck. Then he threw the entire deck at the window of the restaurant, and the card I picked was stuck to the glass outside of the restaurant looking in at us. I never saw anything like that in my entire life. Even if he would offer to tell me how he did it, I wouldn’t want to know. I prefer to think he has magical powers! He amazed us for quite some time with many different and amazing tricks, but that’s the trick that stands out to me.

I think it was shortly after that that Jonny got him his first huge TV deal for a special. It could have been for about a million bucks if I’m not mistaken. Since then I see David periodically, usually at some fun special event like Denise Rich’s Angel Ball, and he’s even a fan of my short comedy films “The Men Who Series”, about men who do very unusual things, like ” Men Who Take A Pitchfork To The Movies”, “Men Who Enjoy Latin Dancing With Tools”, and “Men Who Dance Alone In Gas Stations After They Close For The Evening.”

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Comedy Central's Donald Trump Roast

Last night at Manhattan Center on West 34th Street Comedy Central went all out on the Roast of Donald Trump. Even The Donald said they paid him a lot of money to encourage him to subject himself to another Roast, after he survived the one from The Friars Club.

He’s donating all the money to charity. I happened to see him just before the Friars Roast and he asked me,” Do you think I’ll be able to handle it?” And I said to him, ” Donald, if anyone can it’s YOU!”

So it was candy-filled gold coins, gold balloons on the ceiling, gold lame pillow cushions wherever you sat. It was all about money and rightfully so when you’re talking about The Donald, one of the most well known billionaires on the planet.

Donald Trump making a point at his Comedy Central Roast.

As you might imagine it drew a star studded audience, starting with Doug Herzog who you will see me talking to in the video that’s coming in the next few days. Doug is currently serving as President of MTV Networks Entertainment Group. Among other things, he is credited with bringing South Park, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report to Viacom’s Comedy Central, and he’s a good friend of my buddy Richie Tienken, who owns The Comic Strip, which is how I met Doug, when he came to an event at The Strip.

 

RIchie Tienken, Doug Herzog, and Bob Wachs at The Comic Strip

On the dais were Whitney Cummings, Snoop Dogg, Anthony Jeselnik, Larry King, Lisa Lampanelli, Marlee Matlin, Mike ” The Situation” Sorrentino, and Jeffrey Ross. Also in attendance were Ivanka Trump, Russell Simmons, John Legend, Donald’s beautiful wife Melania, and Comedy Central executive, V.P. JoAnn Grigioni.

Aileen Budow, the head of press, was in charge of running the red carpet which she did so well, ( as always!) and was helped by newcomer to Comedy Central,  Eve Kenny.

JoAnn Grigioni, Jeffrey Gurian, and Jeffrey Ross at the after-party for the Trump Roast at Gotham Hall

I was hoping to see my buddy Don Trump Jr. who once told me that he appreciated the fact that when I wrote about him, I didn’t write anything snarky.

The beautiful Melania Trump enjoying seeing her husband Donald taking a severe beating!

I explained to him that I only like to put positive energy out to the world. There’s enough negative energy out there without me having to add to it, and that led to us becoming friends.

One night at an event where his father was present, he suggested to me that I don’t do something I was planning to do. I have this thing where I like to go up to a very rich man, and in the process of thanking him for something, fold a dollar into his hand as if I was giving him a tip. They call it ” palming” the guy. Something you might do to a doorman, not a billionaire. And it always strikes me funny, and after the initial shock of being tipped a single dollar, they usually think it’s funny too.

So when I told Don Jr. I wanted to do that to his Dad, he cautioned me against it. He said he wasn’t sure how well it would go over, and I took his word for it, and didn’t do it. Every once in a while, I listen to another person. Not often, … but every once in a while.

Anyway, when I write about comedy shows or performers, if I don’t like what you do, I just don’t write about it. I don’t write negative things, because as a performer myself, I really respect how hard it is for anyone to get out on stage and try to make people laugh. Some people just do it better than others. But it’s basically the hardest thing in the world to do.

I saw a well known performer at the South Beach Comedy Festival last year who did a show that actually made me angry. That’s how much I hated it. But when I wrote my column, I bit my tongue and didn’t mention it at all. His audience seemed to like it, but I thought it was so bad I actually left in a bad mood, and it stayed with me for a while.

That being said, Mike ‘The Situation” Sorrentino found himself in a very difficult situation to say the least. Having to compete with hardened, experienced comics is basically impossible, but he kept laughing through the whole, painful thing, which is how I am characterizing his set. You have to give the guy credit for even attempting something so difficult.

Finally Jeffrey Ross jumped up and gave him a few pointers on camera. I’m sure that will be edited out, as will a good portion of the Sitch’s performance. I wonder if he used the Comedy Central writers.  I ran into two of them, Kevin Schini and my buddy Jesse Joyce.

Roast writers Kevin Schini (L) and my buddy Jesse Joyce.

it was so great to see Lisa Lampanelli. I LOVE Lisa Lampanelli and when she saw me and went to introduce me to her husband Jimmy, she actually remembered he and I had already met, which was very interesting to me. She said, ” you guys met at my book party at Carolines.” It was for her book,”Chocolate Please!- My Adventures In Food, Fat, and Freaks” which I think came out in 2009. She remembered that I came out to support her, which I think is very important to do for your friends. You need to get out and support people in their efforts.

Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey at the Comedy Central Donald Trump Roast

And it shows how people remember those things, because I didn’t think she would. And she was right. I did meet Jimmy that day and they weren’t married yet, just engaged, but we all took pictures together, so we could prove she was dating someone white, (LOL).

It really shows how some people appreciate and remember those who come out to support them. And hopefully she’ll drop by my fundraiser to fight Diabetes on April 14th ay 8 P.M. at The Comic Strip. She said if she was in town she’d be glad to come.

Big Jimmy and Little Lisa at the Donald Trump Roast at the Manhattan Center

Some of the highlights:

Seth on Trump – Now there’s a Donald Trump cologne that never fails with women. You pour it on a cloth and hold it over her face until she stops struggling.

Seth on Lisa Lampanelli – Lisa recently appeared on The View, and blocked it! ( Lisa by the way looks fantastic. She must have lost a hundred pounds, and is blonde and pretty, and she has her new husband Jimmy with her at all times. Jimmy is like a building with clothing. He’s a really big guy, and they look great and very happy together.)

The very competent and confident Seth MacFarlane who was the Roast Master for the Donald Trump Roast.

Seth on Larry King – Seth referred to Larry as ” a chattering pirate skeleton, on loan from Disneyland.”

Lisa led off the Roast which is a hard place to be, but she killed it as always. She referrred to Anthony Jeselnek as Anthony Jism-neck, and Seth said that Anthony was only there because Greg Giraldo was dead. On the red carpet, Anthony told me he wrote for the Roast last year, and this year got a chance to perform.

Lisa on Jeff Ross – Jeff is in as much demand as the treadmill in Zsa Zsa Gabor’s house.

Jeffrey Ross sporting a hairstyle stranger than mine! He looks like Moammar Khadaffy did his hair, using his hat to guide the shape.

Lisa on Trump – You’ve ruined more women’s lives than Bulimia.

Lisa on The Situation – The Situation wrote a book which is being sold on Amazon. When you bring up the book it says, ” People who have bought this book have also bought a rope and a stool.”

Larry King looked almost too thin to speak. He referred to Lisa Lampanelli as Lisa Lumpbelly.

Larry On Lisa – She’s a shock comic, but only if you look at her face!

Larry on Snoop – Snoop had a DNA test and found out he’s only 71% black. That means he’s 29% not guilty!

Snoop referred to Lisa as Notorious P.I.G. which was hysterical, and referred to Anthony Jeselnik as “Anthony Jizzleneck”.

Snoop on Anthony – The last time I saw him on the mic he forgot to order my Chicken McNuggets.

Snoop on Donald – He’s rich but very cheap. The last check ( Czech) he ever picked up was Ivana!

Snoop on Donald – He wants the White House. Why not? It wouldn’t be the first time he put a Black family out of their house.

Seth on The Situation – We wanna thank The Pope for that marvelous speech.

Seth on Whitney Cummings – She wrote a new book ” How To Succeed in Business Without Really Swallowing.”

Anthony Jeselnik is a great joke writer. He said, “Look at this dais. You got a pimp, a drug dealer, a pornographer, a murderer, and 8 white people.”

Anthony on Larry King – Larry’s so old, he’s actually one of the Jews that killed Christ.

Anthony on The Sitch – Mike Sorrentino, sometimes known as The Situation. Never known as The Education. He has a book, a video, a tanning salon, … he has his name on everything but a high school diploma.

Marlee Matlin is on the new season of Celebrity Apprentice, and she is so charming and beautiful. When I interviewed her on the red carpet she had a “signer” who translated everything she said so fast you’d think she was speaking. He also sat next to her on the dais translating every dirty word!

Marlee Matlin and her new signer Gilbert Gottfried. She can't hear and he can't see because his eyes are always closed!

Marlee on Jeff Ross – You’re like bedbugs. People can’t get rid of you and they scream when they see you in bed!

Marlee on Lisa – We have a lot in common. I won an Academy Award and you won for Best in Breed at The County Fair.

In the middle of her set, Marlee’s signer walked off as if he was angry and was replaced by my favorite comedian in the world, Gilbert Gottfried. Gilbert just has to show up to be hysterical, and his jokes are always like depth charges. They destroy the room!

Jeffrey Ross closed the show and came out wearing a signature jacket befitting the Roastmaster General. with medals and epaulets, and something about it reminded me of something that Georgie Jessel might have worn. I’m concerned that no one will know who Georgie Jessel is.  He was a comedian during The Civil War.  I think his original name was Georgie Jeselnik, but he changed it to Jessel for show business reasons.

Jeffrey to Russell Simmons – Are you here for the Roast or to sign Marlee Matlin to Def Comedy Jam? ( Note – She’s deaf! )

Russell Simmons and his date enjoying the festivities at The Donald Trump Roast.

Jeffrey on Larry King – The first time he did an interview in Egypt was with Moses. He plans to spend his retirement opening a jar! ( Hysterical!)

Jeffrey on Whitney – ( Whitney by the way is the brunt of a lot of sex jokes in which she plays “the slut”! She’s a sexy girl who seems to do it naturally!) Whitney is working on three pilots at the same time, and that was just on the flight in!

Jeffrey on The Situation – We should call you “The Penetration.” I’m waiting for “The Cancellation!” I heard you’re shooting the next season of Jersey Shore in Italy. I hope that’s just a sneaky way of deporting you!

And finally The Donald got his turn and had some really funny things to say. Btw, I hope he runs for President. I think he’d be amazing, and would put the country back on track. That being said, …

Trump – What a great honor it must be for you to honor me tonight!

Trump about the dais – Look at this dais. None of these people can even get arrested, .. except for Snoop Dogg.

It was a great fun night and I can’t wait to show you all the video as soon it’s done being edited.

Please add your comments and follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jeffreygurian

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