Posts Tagged Sherrod Small

Tony Rock Hosts New Apollo Live on Centric

The Apollo Theatre, on West 125th Street in NYC is a legendary venue known for “breaking” lots of huge talent over the years. It started as “Apollo Hall” in the mid 1800’s.

The new stage of Apollo Live at The Apollo Theatre in Harlem!

It was always the pre-emiment showcase for African-American talent, which was definitely not a term that was used back in the 1930’s!

The great Ella Fitzgerald made her singing debut there at 17 on November 21, 1934, which was the year it introduced it’s regular Amateur Night shows hosted by a performer named Ralph Cooper.

Other stars that graced that stage at the beginning of their careers, as well as after they had made it, were Billie Holiday, James Brown, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Jackson 5, Patti LaBelle, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, Mariah Carey, The Isley Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Sarah Vaughan, and Machine Gun Kelly (rapper).

Comedy was also a big feature at The Apollo, and it spotlighted the performances of old-time vaudeville favorites like Tim Moore, Stepin Fetchit, Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham, and younger comics like Godfrey Cambridge, who some of my readers may never have even heard of. Jimi Hendrix won the first place prize in an amateur musician contest at the Apollo in 1964, but one thing The Apollo was always known for was how they rated the talent.

In the early days, they had a guy they called “the executioner”. Audiences were encouraged to let the performers know how they felt about their performance either by applause or by the loudest booing you ever heard. If it was boos, the executioner would come on stage with a broom, and literally sweep the performers off their feet.

Things haven’t changed much over the years. This Monday, July 9th was the debut of Apollo Live, Jamie Foxx’s remake of “Showtime At The Apollo” where aspiring singers put their self-esteem on the line, and come out to perform for audiences that have no qualms in standing up and booing, effectively drowning out the performance, while waving their arms motioning the performer to get off stage.

The sign on Tony Rock’s dressing room door, backstage at The Apollo!

Tony Rock was chosen personally by Jamie Foxx as the host of this new show, to air on Centric, which is a spin-off cable TV channel of BET (Black Entertainment Television). I wanted to be at the first one, cause generally I like to go to the first one and the last one and see how it changes during that timespan. They will be shooting for two weeks.

At this first show, Rob Stapleton was the warm-up comic and he is always great. Warming up the crowd is a specific talent in itself. Not every comic can do it. You not only need material, but you have to be really personable, and excellent at crowd work, which Rob is. I’ve seen him host several shows already and he’s always strong.

The very funny Rob Stapleton warming up the crowd at The Apollo before Tony Rock came out to host the show!

The judges were also fantastic and very right on the money with their decisions, even though the final decisions were left up to the audience. Michael Bivins from Bell, Biv, Devoe was one judge, Doug E. Fresh the rapper/beatboxer and inventor of “The Dougie” was a second judge, and the third judge, Gladys Knight, (without her “Pips”), got a standing ovation when she came into the theatre. She sat right near me and waved hello, ’cause everyone always thinks I’m in the music business.

Many years ago, I attended a black tie event in the music business with a girl I was dating at the time who was a singer, and one after the other, Billy Joel, Paul Anka and then Keith Richards all stopped off at my table to say hello to me personally, and shake my hand, to the great astonishment of the other people at my table, and the girl I was with, but no one was more astonished than ME! I guess they thought I was some music executive, and they didn’t want to take a chance and “brush me”!! (LOL)

Anyway, Apollo Live is a really fun show. The audience was out for blood, and started booing some singers almost as soon as they started. Some of them made it through their song anyway. The guy who won for the evening was really the best, and Gladys Knight for one said he touched her heart with his voice.

For a comedy break they had another Tony, Tony Roberts who I had seen recently with Cipha Sounds. Hot 97 was in the house, and after Tony’s spot he came backstage to shoot a promo for them. Seeing me in the dressing room, he pulled me on camera and introduced me as his real Dad! It was hilarious! Here’s the clip!

Jeffrey Gurian and Tony Roberts backstage at Cipha Sounds’ show at Carolines!

Tony Rock was a fantastic host. He looked slim and trim in a suit, and the crowd loved him. I went backstage afterwards with his youngest brother Jordan, who’s 21, and also a comic. Jordan performs at The Comic Strip the same way that Tony Rock, and Chris Rock did all those years ago.

Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Roberts, Tony Rock, and Jordan Rock backstage in Tony Rock’s dressing room at The Apollo!

When Tony Roberts came back to say hi to Tony Rock he was shocked to see me there. He was like, “Dude,you’re everywhere!” I was like, and when you get home, I’ll be waiting in your apartment! I think he was afraid to go home! (LOL)

I was excited for Tony, but almost even more excited for comic/actor Sherrod Small because he and Tony are like brothers, … even closer. They’ve been friends since early childhood, and started performing on the exact same night in July of 1998. And when they passed at The Comic Strip on the exact same night they hugged each other and cried on the corner, because they were so happy. It was great to see the honest joy that Sherrod had seeing Tony onstage hosting a major show like Apollo Live.

Tony Rock and his cousin and closest friend Sherrod Small backstage at The Apollo!

I think this show will be a hit. Make sure to tune in, and check it out!

Tony Rock and Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV backstage in Tony’s dressing room at The Apollo Theatre in NYC!

Posted in: Breaking News, Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, New TV Show, Nightlife Events

Leave a Comment (1) →

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!

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, New TV Show, Red Carpet Events

Leave a Comment (0) →

35th Annual Holiday Party At The Comic Strip

35th Annual Holiday Party At The Comic Strip

It seems like just yesterday that we were at The Comic Strip 34th annual holiday party, and here it was again! Most people said this year’s was one of the most fun parties The Strip ever had. The food was great, the place was packed and the show ran like clockwork, except for one comedy video by Modi which we never got to see due to technological problems.

Jeffrey Gurian interviewing owner Richie Tienken at The Comic Strip Holiday party!

Jeffrey Gurian interviewing owner Bob Wachs at the 35th annual Holiday party at The Comic Strip!

I was proud to co-host the party along with owners Richie Tienken and Bob Wachs, and got lots of cool video interviews for Comedy Matters TV with people like Judah Friedlander, Kyle Grooms, Howard Feller who told about being Jon Stewart’s sidekick on an unsuccessful show before Jon got The Daily Show, Dante Nero, Diane Passage from the new reality show “Wall Street Wives”, one of my oldest and dearest friends High Voltage, who talked about her “Energy Up” nutritional/self-esteem program for inner city high school girls, Greer Barnes, Dan Naturman, Eddie Brill, Marina Franklin, Scott Blakeman, Kristen J. Eddy who produces Anthony Anderson’s Mixtape Show, Barry Weintraub, Sherrod Small, and so many more!

World Champion Judah Friedlander of 30 Rock, asking Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV to punch him in the fist as hard as he could to show how he’s impervious to pain! Gurian had to be rushed to the hospital. He said, ” It was like punching a brick wall!”

Howard Feller being interviewed by Jeffrey Gurian for Comedy Matters TV!

“Sexy Fairy” Marina Franklin sharing a laugh with Jeffrey Gurian for Comedy Matters TV!

Producer Kristen J. Eddy at The Comic Strip, talking to Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV about Anthony Anderson’s Mixtape Show!

The beautiful Diane Passage at The Comic Strip telling Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV about her new reality show, “Wall Street Wives.”

Energy Queen High Voltage at The Comic Strip reminiscing with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV!

The highlight of the party was the show. Shauna Lane opened and closed the show with a musical number. There were a couple of fun videos made by the comics, and then host Ray Ellin, introduced a take-off on Latenight, with a comic named Sean P. Darr playing me as the host, since I host Latenight on Sunday and Monday nights!

It was weird hearing Ray announce, ” And now the Late Show. Please put your hands together for your host Jeffrey Gurian”, … and then another guy came out!

Sean P. Darr as Jeffrey Gurian, onstage “hosting” The Late Show!

I had heard it was going to be done, and was nervous at first as to how I would be portrayed, but everyone told me it was an honor for people to imitate you. And then I realized that it’s also an honor to be Roasted, and this wasn’t going to necessarily be a Roast, just an impression.

Jeffrey Gurian and Richie Tienken interviewing Jeffrey’s doppelganger Sean P. Darr backstage at The Comic Strip!

Sean came out in this wild wig, and dark glasses, which he took off too quickly! But he left them on long enough for me to get a photo of him! He even wore a scarf and a sport jacket just like me! Most of the time I wear three scarves, but I wouldn’t expect him to do that, or even to have that many scarves! (LOL)

He opened with a bunch of my jokes and started out really strong, having memorized them pretty well! I thought it was HILARIOUS, as you’ll see in the video! One comic, Mark Thomas did a great imitation of Adam Cozens, one of the Strip regulars, Sean the bartender did a great Modi from “the hood” which was fantastic because Sean has a lot more pigment than Modi! No one knew that Sean could be so funny. I guess Modi’s act works no matter who does it! (LOL)

Then Jordan Rock came out doing his brother Chris and the audience absolutely loved it. He chose to do the thing about Black people being more racist than White people, because the things that White people don’t like about Black people, Black people don’t like either! And then he went on a diatribe about the difference between Black people and the plural of the “N” word! (LOLOL! You can say it in your mind, as long as you don’t repeat it to anyone!!!)

Jordan Rock capturing the essence of his brother Chris Rock during the Holiday show at The Comic Strip!

The highlight for me was when Andy Pitz came out as Rodney Dangerfield. That was a thrill for me because I loved Rodney and Andy looked and sounded just like him. Rodney was the first big star I ever wrote for and he used to do my jokes on the Tonight Show and in his act. One of the first jokes I ever wrote for him was on his album “No Respect.”

Andy Pitz killing it as Rodney Dangerfield during the holiday party at The Comic Strip!

He said, ” I only get ugly girls. I went out with one girl who was so ugly, I bent down to pet her cat, it was the hair on her legs! She was a very ugly girl.”

Then I wrote jokes for his act. “You know my doctor, Dr. Vinnie Boombotz! I told him my ankles were swollen. He told me to build up my calf muscles and no one would notice! “

“My brother was tough. He was so tough, he got a job in a gas station, … as a jack!”

I remember being so excited when he used one of my lines as his opener with Johnny Carson. His standard opening was ” I’m alright now but last week was rough. Then he followed it up with my line: “I bought one of those whirlpools for my bathtub! The first night I used it I lost three of my best ships!”

Writing for Rodney was one of the most fun times of my life. We used to hang out together in his dressing room at the club. He would usually be in his bathrobe and pajamas which is how he liked to hang out at the club. And not a particularly fancy bathrobe either! He’d say things to me like, ” Hey Jeff, you know the difference between Italians and Jews?” I’d be like, ” No Rodney, what’s the difference?” He said, ” They both take a leak in the sink, but the Jews take the dishes out first!” He was always so hysterical!

Anyway, Andy nailed it. If you closed your eyes, you would have thought Rodney was there. That’s how good he was! Ray Ellin told him to stop wasting his time doing his own act!

The videos I shot will also be used for the documentary film being made on The Strip! Watch the action right here!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV shooting a promo in front of The Comic Strip right before the 35th annual Holiday party!

Richie and Jeannie Tienken having the best time at The Comic Strip’s 35th annual Holiday party!

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

Leave a Comment (0) →

Patrice O’Neal Goes Home

The comedy world is still in shock from the passing of the great Patrice O’Neal. I attended the services for Patrice yesterday at the Park Avenue Christian Church, on 85th Street and Park Avenue in New York City. I purposely did not use the word “funeral” because the program for the service was entitled “Going Home Services” for Patrice O’Neal.

Plus “funeral” is such a sad word, and as sad as it was to think of Patrice no longer being with us, the comedians who honored Patrice made it more into a “Fun-eral”! If it was possible to put the “fun” into “Funeral” they did it.

The Reverend spoke beautifully, and there were two world class singers. The first was Michael Wheeler who sang, ” I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”, and then the beautiful Antonique Smith sang ” Let It Be.” Their voices were like angels. Powerful angels! But I could almost see Patrice sneaking out, because I knew him as a humble man, (when he wasn’t on stage), and the attention, and having everything be all about him might have made him uncomfortable!

Jim Norton read the Obituary, which chronicled Patrice’s life and career, starting from when he was born in New York City and raised in Roxbury, Massachusetts, (where he led Roxbury High School to a football state championship in his senior year), to his recent first CD entitled “Mr.P”, which sadly will be released posthumously.

Patrice was a huge man in every way. At 6’5″ and 300 pounds he was a commanding presence, but not imposing when you were a friend. From the first time I met him, and told him I thought we should be roommates so we could save money and share clothing, I think he got a kick out of me! He laughed out loud at that one!

Standing side by side we couldn’t have been more different, but we were so much alike. And he knew that. And that was a Blessing to me. Patrice got me. He knew who I was, and welcomed me into his world.

Jeffrey Gurian with Patrice O’Neal at a comedy event for which Jeffrey was honored as part of Black History Month!

Whenever I saw him, I was compelled to hug him. There was just something about him, as big as he was, that just drew me to him. I can’t explain it in words, but he understood it, because when we were on the radio together and he would explain to his audience who I was, and why he had me on with him, he did it with love and affection. I told him if we ever did TV together he should walk out holding me in his arms like a baby! He laughed at that too!

(I also once told the head of the Hell’s Angels, who was about the same size as Patrice, that if anyone ever bothered him to let me know! I like doing that to really huge men. It makes them feel relaxed when they can have a good laugh!)

Many comics said he was harsh with them, or put them down in some way. I can honestly say I NEVER had that experience with Patrice. Patrice never ridiculed me, or gave me a hard time, as comics often like to do to each other. It seems to be some strange right of passage. I actually have tapes of us on air that I treasure, where Patrice said I was “amazing”, and that he was “envious” of me! I have it here, and it’s right at the beginning!

Our ideas of how to meet beautiful women couldn’t have been more opposite. I could NEVER get away with saying the things he said to women, and he could NEVER get away with saying the things I said, nor would he want to. He knew you had to be who you were. It had to come naturally from the heart! You couldn’t fake it.

That’s why to people who thought he was a misogynist, I say, you had no idea what he was about. He truly loved women. He just didn’t like what men had to go through to get them. How a woman’s power could reduce men to being such bumbling jerks!

Patrice could imitate a little girl’s voice on stage and you would see his gentle side come out. It was easy for him to expose that side of himself, because Patrice had nothing to hide. He was comfortable with who he was.

There was nothing you could say to embarrass Patrice, and there was nothing he wouldn’t say either on stage or in a personal conversation. One of my most treasured memories of Patrice is the excited phone call he made to me at 4 A.M. after one of our episodes of The Black Phillip Show on Sirius Radio. He was so happy with how it went that he wanted to call me that night, and suggest we do a show together, but he was so humble that he said he didn’t want to “assume” anything, … as if I might not want to do it! I jumped at the chance, but unfortunately it never developed. Shortly afterwards he went on the road, and like what happens with so many good ideas, it never came to fruition. Now it never will!

If you listen to it right here, you can hear the enthusiasm in his voice!

Patrice-Our Own Show

I write a lot about people in the comedy world who I’ve known over the many years I’ve been in it, and there’s a tendency when you do that to make it seem like it’s about you. How this person was to you. I wrote about ten drafts of this post trying not to do that.

I hope this post comes across as me attempting to explain how Patrice made me feel. If Patrice genuinely liked you, you felt validated. In terms of my comedy, a lot of people have no idea what I do. He took the time to find out.

In the obituary that Norton read, when he was talking about Patrice on “Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn”, he said that “many fans saw Patrice as the shows most controversial and obstinate performer, although only on the subjects of race, religion, gender, relationships, social status, and foreign policy! (LOLOLOL) Patrice was so smart. as I’ve described him before, he was not just a comedian, he was a comedy philosopher!

To some degree all comedians are comedy philosophers, giving you their world view. But Patrice was lightyears ahead in that respect. By the time he left the stage, and very often, he’d stay up there for a while, because he could pontificate, … you really felt you knew him. He made it very clear how he felt on certain subjects.

Several of Patrice’s closest friends got to give him a tribute. Robert Kelly, Wil Sylvince, Colin Quinn, Kevin Hart, and Rich Vos all spoke about the man we were there to honor.

Colin gave a heartfelt tribute, and also made us laugh, first by commenting on Robert Kelly’s opening with a fat joke about himself, and then with his stories of Patrice on Tough Crowd, how Patrice could go on for 20 minutes essentially taking over the whole show, and then say, “Sorry Colin, what do you think? After all, it’s your show!”

Robert Kelly was moved to tears during his tribute as was Kevin Hart. Wil Sylvince who had been Patrice’s roommate at one time said that Patrice spoke “Wil” and was able to translate when people didn’t understand what Wil was saying due to his speech impediment, … which I always thought was just a strong Haitian accent! (LOL)

By the time Rich Vos got up to speak, there had already been lots of laughter, which I know Patrice would have appreciated, especially when Vos told the crowd he’d be selling his CD after the service! I’m sure everyone there had a favorite Patrice story. I’m grateful that I get to give my tribute here!

Then Patrice’s beautiful stepdaughter Aymilyon got up to speak, read a prayer and talked about how “Mr. P.” which is what she called him, had added so much to her life in the seven years he was with her Mom Von. Von is Vondecarlo Brown, Patrice’s wife, and a talented singer/songwriter as well who wrote the song “Cool Ride” for Patrice’s recent one hour Comedy Central special “Elephant In The Room”. It was at that taping that Patrice brought me backstage to introduce me to his Mom, Gloria. You feel proud when someone does that.

It’s like dating someone and they decide it’s time for you to meet their parents! It’s an honor.

I got to the chapel an hour early hoping to see Von so I could express my personal condolences. I hadn’t seen her for a while, but she if anyone, knew what Patrice and I meant to each other. She was in a back room closed off for family so I just made sure I got a good seat and waited for the service to start along with everyone else. So many people came out to honor Patrice. Chris Rock was there, Dave Attell, Bill Burr, Gary Gulman, Ben Bailey, Jay Oakerson, Todd Barry, Keith Robinson, Wanda Sykes, and many more. Several people called and texted me that they were so sorry they were out of town. Macio was in Florida and Wayne Rada was very upset that his plane was delayed coming from Florida, and that he missed it. He and Patrice had a lot of history.

I was sitting on an aisle with Sherrod Small and his girlfriend Marisa. As the family procession came down the center aisle, I saw Von and was nervous to try and get her attention, because those kinds of situations can be very awkward. But as she passed me, she looked into my eyes and I threw her a kiss and touched my heart, and she got it.

After the service when everyone was leaving, I went into the back and was able to see her for a moment. We embraced, and I was able to tell her how sorry I was for her loss. She knew how much I loved Patrice, and as I tried to explain the bond we had, she said she knew, and that made me feel good. Even with his passing, it was important for me to know that Patrice felt the same way about me! And in the midst of her sadness, she did me the kindness of saying, “I was happy to see your face when I was walking down the aisle.” I can’t tell you how that made me feel. Just writing this brings tears to my eyes!

R.I.P. Patrice! You were a one-of-a-kind, and much loved!

Jeffrey Gurian in his last photo with Patrice O’Neal taken at The Comic Strip on 9/27/11!

P.S. As a sick perfectionist, more than once I asked Patrice the proper way to spell his last name, either with an apostrophe or without, and he told me whichever way I wanted was ok, which I never really understood. On the program it was spelled with an apostrophe!

See the previous Comedy Matters post “Pray For Patrice O’Neal” –
http://wp.me/p1pHIm-Aj

Posted in: Breaking News, Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Featured, General Information, Important News, Nightlife Events

Leave a Comment (0) →

Tony Rock Headlines Gotham- New Host of Jamie Foxx’s Showtime at The Apollo

When I found out that Tony Rock was going to be headlining at Gotham Comedy Club I knew it was one show I wasn’t going to miss. Tony is not only hysterically funny, but he’s a great guy who deserves all the accolades he’s currently receiving.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV backstage at Gotham with Tony Rock!

I’ve known him for quite a while now, but I really got to know him when I interviewed him for the book on the 35 year history of The Comic Strip. That’s really where he got his start. July 27th 1998 is the day that he and his cousin Sherrod Small passed their auditions at The Comic Strip. And according to Tony, they were so happy they “hugged each other and cried on the corner like two little girls!” (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV getting some love from Chuck Nice(L) and Sherrod Small! Classic!!!!

Last year he was the featured guest on a huge show I co-produced as a benefit for Haiti starring comedy superstar Kevin Hart, with Wil Slvince as the MC. It was a sold out 3000 seat event, and Tony killed it!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kevin Hart at a promo for their show at Westbury Theatre!

(L-R) Jordan Rock, Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, Richie Tienken and Sherrod Small doing his best Gary Coleman impression in front!

In the exclusive video interview below, Tony tells me how it came to be that he’s the new host of Jamie Foxx’s updated “Live At The Apollo”. That’s gonna be AMAZING, and you will definitely find me hanging out on 125th Street when that goes down!

So this night at Gotham, Buddy Fitzpatrick was the always reliable host. He’s just really funny and a crowd pleaser! Next up was Jordan Rock, the baby of the family who I’ve seen really come along in the last couple of years. It was his 4th anniversary of performing stand-up, and Jordan and I alternate as late night hosts at The Comic Strip on 81st and 2nd, the club where his brother Chris, … who they call Chrissy, … got his start back in 1986. Jordan had a regular spot and he did really well. It’s so cool to see him hanging out with his brother. It must be really exciting for Tony to see Jordan moving up in the ranks.

Jordan Rock, next in line after Chris and Tony, doing major damage onstage at Gotham!

The very funny Corey Kahaney was next and had some good advice for the crowd. She said if you’re divorced you should never badmouth your ex to the kids. Cause then you ruin the day when they find out for themselves!

Then Tony took the stage and knocked it out of the proverbial park. Almost every line was a killer. I particularly liked when he was giving the example of a conversation with his friend who had smoked too much weed. ” If you were invisible, which ex-girlfriend’s house would you rob?” The answer was, ” That’s deep! Cause technically you is invisible but the shit you steal ain’t! So now you just got a TV floatin’ down the street! That’s how I got caught last time! “

Tony Rock holding it down onstage at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!

And then he does a take on why Black women should not work in Customer Service, and he imitates the “angry Black woman” who he hopes he never gets when he calls for assistance! It literally brings the crowd to it’s knees, cause unfortunately, we’ve all had to deal with that woman!

He does a lot of hysterical Black/White comparisons, like a Black vs. White McDonalds, and a Black vs. White Church, but what’s different about Tony’s take, and I complimented him on this, is that he does it from an honest point of view, not just from a Black perspective. He himself admits, in his jokes, that Black people are not always the winners, and neither is he! I think it’s that honesty that endears him to audiences both White and Black! ( And Asian and Indian too, I’m sure! ) LOLOL

Check out the video below! Tony, … good luck with Showtime at The Apollo! Can’t wait to be there!

Posted in: Breaking News, Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Comedy Videos, Featured, New TV Show, Nightlife Events, Red Carpet Events

Leave a Comment (0) →

Kevin Hart Releases Laugh At My Pain in Theatres

The Humor Mill is on top of everything in urban comedy, “urban” being a code word for those with more pigment than I have! (LOL) Which is just about everyone since I am one of the whitest men I know! (LOL) That makes it even funnier when I come out on stage and tell the audience, ” I know what you’re thinking, … another Black comic! “

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kevin Hart at a press promo event for their show at Westbury Theatre!

The Humor Mill broke the story of Eddie Murphy hosting the Academy Awards at least a day before it appeared in the NY Post. My partner Richie Tienken who owns the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip managed Eddie for 11 years, from his days on SNL right through Beverly Hills Cop 2. Then in 1986 they both discovered Chris Rock who was working at the club setting up tables in exchange for stage time.

The Humor Mill helped promote the show I co-produced at Westbury starring Kevin Hart along with Tony Rock and Wil Sylvince!

The Humor Mill recently announced the news that Kevin Hart was launching a new mobile app called “Little Jumpman”, which is a first in the comedy world, and is available at the Apple App Store, and through i-Tunes. Kevin is very tech savvy. He’s got millions of followers on You Tube, Facebook and Twitter, and spends lots of time on Twitter posting things personally, or at least he did when I was with him last year.

They also have backstage coverage of the red carpet event for the premiere of Kevin’s new film “Laugh At My Pain” which makes him one of only 5 comics to release a stage performance as a film. That group is made up of Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Richard Pryor, and The Kings of Comedy. Kevin is in rarefied territory with that accomplishment.

Richie Tienken, Wil Sylvince, Jeffrey Gurian, and Kevin Hart at the show Jeffrey co-produced last year at the Westbury Theatre on Long Island!

He’s a really funny and really nice guy who deserves all of his success. I had the honor of co-producing a comedy concert with my partner at the time, Jean Alerte, starring Kevin last year at Westbury Theatre, in New York, right after he had sold out his performances at the South Beach Comedy Festival. He also sold out Westbury, with 2800 seats, in a show featuring Tony Rock and Wil Sylvince where part of the monies went to benefit Haiti. Check out the TV commercial for the event:

Jeffrey Gurian with Kevin Hart after Kevin's sold-out performance at the South Beach Comedy Festival!

Every place I went with Kevin, to the radio stations, and even in the street, people swarmed him with affection. The public genuinely loves the guy. He’s funny and self-deprecating, and he definitely keeps it real!

(L-R) Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, Kevin Hart, Egypt, and DJ FaDelf up at WBLS radio, promo'ing Kevin's show at Westbury!

Comedy Central Insider did a promo for the Kevin Hart show at Westbury co-produced by Jeffrey Gurian in a benefit for Haiti!

This was a promo that Kevin shot specifically giving a shout out to me and my partner, thanks to WhatsPoppin.net. Check it out here:

Check out “Laugh At My Pain” at a theatre near you, and check out Humor Mill Magazine for everything going on in the “urban” comedy world! It makes me wonder, … what is the Caucasian comedy world known as, … “Suburban”??? LOLOLOL

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Featured, Nightlife Events, Press Junkets, Red Carpet Events

Leave a Comment (0) →

Soldiers in Afghanistan Want Kevin Hart

Last year I had the pleasure of co-producing a comedy concert starring the great Kevin Hart in a fundraiser for Haiti, at a huge amphitheatre in New York called Westbury Theatre. It’s a theatre in the round and as you might expect if you have heard of Kevin Hart, it was a super successful sold out event. Three thousand people laughing hysterically. The man is HILARIOUS!!!

Jeffrey Gurian with Kevin Hart at a promotional event at the W Hotel!

Also on the bill were TV and film star Tony Rock, who just happens to be Chris Rock’s brother, but is amazingly funny in his own right, and Wil Sylvince, a Haitian comedian and good friend, who also served as the MC. This was one of the promos for the event!

A few weeks before Kevin’s show at Westbury I was flown down to the South Beach Comedy Festival as their guest to cover the shows for Comedy Matters and got to see Kevin Hart kill there as well. Sold out shows wherever he goes!!!

Jeffrey Gurian and Kevin Hart hanging out at the South Beach Comedy Festival!

Afterwards at the after party Kevin was actually doing interviews for Comedy Central.

Kevin Hart jus' chillin' with the Comedy Central mic at the South Beach Comedy Festival!

When Kevin came to New York, the day before the event, my then partner Jean Alerte and I accompanied Kevin to several of the hottest radio stations in New York to sit with DJ’s like Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg on Hot 97, and Egypt from WBLS, and also to the WB 11 TV station, where Kevin went on air to do the weather. Hip hop weather. The weather was never so cool, till Kevin did it! ( Btw who was the first guy to take telling people the weather, and turning that into a business, when all you ever had to do was look out your own window and see what’s happening? How did that happen? ” Hey pal, nice day! That’ll be 20 bucks!” ) LOL

Jean Alerte, Kevin Hart, and Jeffrey Gurian doing promos for the show at Westbury

DJ Cipha Sounds, Jean Alerte, Kevin Hart and Jeffrey Gurian down at Hot 97 in NYC!

(L-R) Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, Kevin Hart, Egypt, DJ FaDelf down at WBLS radio where Egypt holds court!

Jean and I went down to Kevin’s hotel and shot a promo for the event, and we all had a blast. The evening of the show on the red carpet, we had some great guests among them Richie Tienken, owner and founder of the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip, in NYC. Richie discovered both Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock, and managed Eddie for about 11 years. The club also launched the careers of Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Ray Romano and so many more!

Anyway, very recently I got an e-mail from a soldier in Afghanistan. A female soldier named Devon Diaz, who was trying to do something nice for the soldiers she serves with in the 504th MP BN Deployed. I’m not sure what that is exactly, but I’m pretty sure I don’t wanna be there! Thank G-d for those people who are over there risking their lives to keep us safe. I’m including the text of her e-mail below, so you can see what she wrote. She found my name on the internet as having been involved with Kevin and sent me this heartfelt request to get in touch with him.

I thought it would be nice for people to see how well loved he is, and that he is being requested by our fighting troops overseas who have very little to make them smile some days, I’m sure!

Hi Jeffrey,

I am LT Devon Diaz with the 504th MP BN Deployed to Kandahar,
Afghanistan. There is not a day that goes by that you don’t hear
soldiers referencing a Kevin Hart joke. I think he is unofficially the
comic of the 504th. Nothing brings up our spirits more than a good
laugh. His CDs are watched and passed around constantly. We have had a few
losses in the past week and our unit is definitely in need of a morale
boost. I understand that Kevin Hart is an extremely busy entertainer but
if he truly knew how much it would mean to us, I’m positive that funds
could be worked out for payment, in order to have him come and entertain the troops.
I saw your name above one of his shows. Please reply, even if it’s a “hell no and have a nice
day.”
I have my non-official email address in the cc line. If there is
a possibility that it could happen then I will talk to higher-ups to see
where we will get the funding.
Also we return to Fort Lewis, Washington (Joint Base
Lewis-McChord) in late June so even if he couldn’t come out here (which
would mean the world) then could he come visit us then.

Wow, now that I have read everything I wrote, please believe I’m
not a fanatic or stalker, LOL. I just really want to do something for
my soldiers. They truly deserve this.
V/R
Devon Diaz
1LT , AG
BN S1, 504 MP BN
Camp Nathan Smith
Kandahar, Afghanistan

(L-R) Jordan Rock (Chris Rock and Tony Rock's younger brother), Sherrod Small, Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, Richie Tienken backstage at Westbury Theatre.

Kevin Hart should feel very proud that he can use his sense of humor to bring comfort to our fighting men and women overseas, and I thought it would be a good idea to post this, if for no other reason than to show that Comedy Matters!!!

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

Leave a Comment (3) →

Diabetes Fundraiser Sold-Out Success-Article In Manhattan Blog

This past week I co-produced a sold out comedy fundraiser to fight Diabetes at the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip with my partner, Richie Tienken owner and founder of the club. The club was packed to hear comedy from the first lady of comedy Elayne Boosler, Eddie Brill from Letterman, Goumba Johnny the afternoon host of WKTU, national headliners Jim Mendrinos, Louis Ramey, and Jeff Pirrami from The Friars Club, Chuck Nice from VH1 and the host of The Hot 10 on Centric TV, Sherrod Small from VH1’s Best Week Ever, Harrison Greenbaum, the winner of The Andy Kaufman Award and one of Comedy Central’s “Top 10 Comics To Watch”, and even I did a little surprise spot.

(L-R) Richie Tienken, Elayne Boosler, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip to fight Diabetes.

(L-R) JR Ravitz, GM of The Comic Strip, who also holds the auditions for the club, with host/MC Jim Mendrinos.

Jeffrey Gurian with fantastic host/MC Jim Mendrinos!

The incredibly straight Harrison Greenbaum with comedy writer/producer Jeffrey Gurian at The Strip.

(L-R) Harrison Greenbaum, Eddie Brill, Goumba Johnny, Jeff Pirrami, Elaine Boosler, and Jim Mendrinos in a rare group picture at the bar during the Diabetes fundraiser!

(L-R) Jon Fisch, Chuck Nice, and Harrison Greenbaum backstage waiting to go on at The Strip!

(L-R) A newly svelte Eddie Brill, Jeffrey Gurian, a newly svelte Jim Mendrinos, Richie TIenken, Louis Ramey, and an ALWAYS svelte Leighann Lord!

Sean and Jessica Mannion manning the new Sony VG-10 Hi Def camera during the show!

(Front L-R) Scott Blakeman, Sherrod Small,(Rear) Barry Weintraub, promoting our fundraiser on NY1's "Inside City Hall", with show host Errol Louis!

In the audience was a journalist named Rachel Wilgoren who writes for the Manhattan lifestyle site Nearsay, ( http://www.nearsay.com) and I thought it was good enough to send around to my peeps.

Check it out at this link!

Click on this photo to see the article in Nearsay

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

Leave a Comment (0) →

Comedy Diabetes Fundraiser at The Legendary Comic Strip

 

This Thursday, April 14th at 8 P.M. there will be a comedy fundraiser held to fight Diabetes at the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip.

The Comic Strip opened on June 1, 1976 and on June 17th a young Jerry Seinfeld walked in to audition.  His first sign-up sheet is still on the wall, and it says ” Good.  Put on Monday 6/21!”

Jeffrey Gurian, Jerry Seinfeld, and Richie Tienken at The Comic Strip after Jerry's interview for the book that Jeffrey is writing on the history of The Strip.

Aside from Jerry, the club also launched the careers of Paul Reiser, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock just to name a few.

Richie Tienken, Paul Reiser, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip with Paul preparing for his new show on NBC.

Richie Tienken, Chris Rock, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip after Chris' interview for the book Jeffrey is writing on the history of this famous club!

This show will feature appearances by the great Elayne Boosler, the first woman to ever have a one hour TV special, on Showtime, Chuck Nice from VH1, Goumba Johnny the afternoon host of WKTU, Cipha Sounds the morning host of Hot 97, Jon Fisch from Comedy Central and VH1, Sherrod Small from VH1’s Best Week Ever, Eddie Brill from Letterman, Harrison Greenbaum, winner of The Andy Kaufman Award, and voted one of Comedy Central’s ” 10 Comics To Watch”, Macio from The Chapelle Show, Comedy Central’s Louis Ramey and more, plus special guests!

Jeffrey Gurian and Elayne Boosler freezing their behinds off, outside The Comic Strip!

This event is being produced by comedy writer/producer Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters and Richie Tienken, original owner/founder of The Comic Strip.

Tickets are $50. plus a 2 drink minimum and can be purchased over the phone by calling (212) 861-9386.

Please come and help make this a sold out show to fight Diabetes!  Proceeds from all ticket sales go directly to the American Diabetes Association!!!

 

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Comedy Videos, Featured, Nightlife Events

Leave a Comment (0) →

Jeffrey Gurian Documentary Reel with A-List Comics and Film Stars

This documentary reel about me was shot as a pre-cursor to a proposed TV project that I would host, taking the viewers “behind the scenes” in the comedy world, the film world and behind the velvet ropes of New York nightlife, all places where I have strong connections.

In this reel you will see great comics from late night TV like Ted Alexandro from Comedy Central, Letterman, Conan O’Brien, & Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Fisch from Last Comic Standing, VH1 and Comedy Central, Macio from The Chapelle Show, Uptown Comedy Club, & Comedy Central, Goumba Johnny, afternoon host  from WKTU, 103.5 FM, film stars Marisa Tomei, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Jason Statham, John Leguizamo, Vincent Pastore, Chris Meloni, Kal Penn, Sidney Lumet, Guy Ritchie, nightlife and TV legends Wass, Noel Ashman, and Countess LuAnn DeLesseps from Real Housewives of New York City, and Camille Grammer from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Please watch and feel free to leave a comment, and/or share it with your friends.  Thanks!!!

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Comedy Videos, Nightlife Events, Press Junkets, Red Carpet Events

Leave a Comment (0) →