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Aries Spears Kills It At Gotham Comedy Club

Aries Spears’ website identifies him as “The Funniest Muther-F#*ker On The Planet” and I don’t think I’d argue with that. Most people tend to hype themselves, but in Aries’ case it’s true. I can see why he was a star on Mad TV. His characters, and ability to do dialects, are amazing. And Gotham Comedy Club was packed to capacity, which not all comics can do.

To give you an idea of how crowded it was, they had to put two strangers at my table, cause they were totally out of space! And I was cool with that! They happened to be nice people!

Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV with L.A. comic Aries Spears at Gotham Comedy Club!

Jimmy Failla was the MC and opened with a strong set. Opening a show the right way is so important. It gets the crowd in the mood to laugh. Jimmy just has that way about him, and coupled with strong material makes for a good host.

Jimmy Failla onstage at Gotham getting the audience in a good mood!

I always knew that hosting was difficult, but when I started doing it myself at The Comic Strip, I REALLY appreciated how much harder it is than just doing a regular spot. A few nights later, Jimmy and I got to perform together at Gotham on Alyse Kenny’s comedy show for the charity, “The Cure Is Now”! Alyse produces a once a month show at Gotham in the Vintage Lounge, each month benefitting a different charity.

Veronica Mosey took the stage next, … and refused to tell us where she put it! (LOL) That’s so silly, but it reminds me of the line, ” I’m a hard act to follow cause when I leave the stage, I take the mic with me!”

Veronica Mosey doing her comedy thing at Aries Spears’ show at Gotham!

Veronica is always funny, and in a male dominated world, manages to hold her own! She recently got married and was also just profiled on National Lampoon’s Interview Show, the week after I was. You can see her interview at www.nationallampoon.com

Areis did at least an hour seamlessly. Never at a loss for what to do next. He jokes about Blacks and Whites equally, and does an incredible imitation of a “White” voice! He says he uses that voice when he’s talking to a white girl, so that he feels white. As he tells that story he plays the classic Rick Springfield rock song in the background, ” Jessie’s Girl”.

He also does a variety of great ” Black” voices which answers the question that many white people have, whether Black people know that they talk a certain way! Not only do they know, but they can modify it and even “Black it up” when they feel they need to! (LOLOL)

Aries says, you know you’re a big star when you can sell out Africa!

He says that Maury Povich’s show is “Black ignorance at it’s finest!”, which may be the best summation I ever heard.

He said, ” You’ll never see Black people on shows like, ” When Animals Attack.” Black people are too smart for that, to mess with wild animals. You may however see them on shows like
“When Cops Attack!”

He jokes about Africans being so black, that he told one African guy, ” If you stood against a building you’d like like the entryway to an alley!”

He likes when Black people go out to a show and when the bill comes, one person inevitably says, ” Who ordered gratuity???”

The multi-talented Aries Spears making a point during his sold-out show at Gotham Comedy Club!

He wants to be a film star but he thinks he needs to lose some weight first. He says, “You know you have to lose weight when you have to catch your breath from breathing!”

He also does great Indian and English accents, and fantastic impressions of Arnold Schwartzeneggar, and Denzel Washington! (If I had just written “Denzel”, would you have known who I meant? LOL)

And then as a finale he does a rap song while imitating all the rappers like Snoop, DMX, Method Man, Biggie and Jay-Z. The man is an entertainment phenomenon, and if you get a chance to see him go for it!

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Gilbert Gottfried Tsunami With AFLAC

Last night I was at a show produced by Scott Kluge for the Birthright Israel Foundation, a wonderful educational program that sends young Jewish adults on all expense paid trips to Israel, to diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world, and to strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewry.

It was a star-studded show with two of the funniest Jews I know, Gilbert Gottfried who was the host, and Dave Attell who performed along with an all star Broadway cast.  Associate Producer was my good pal comedian Ray Ellin and the hilarious Dan Naturman was a writer on the show.

(L-R) Ray Ellin, Scott Kluge, and Dan Naturman backstage at The Hudson Theatre.

Gilbert read the story of Purim putting in his own hilarious facts like Nebuchadnezzar not being able to get online, and change his status on his Facebook page.  In between he would introduce the next act, and then go back to his readings.  It looked like he was reading from The Torah.

Gilbert, in his best red shirt, looking like he was reading out of The Torah, onstage at The Hudson Theatre.

Dave Attell came out looking like a Russian peddler from the early 20th century, which is a look he pulls off well.  He was his usual hysterical self, and had lots of Jewish humor.  I wasn’t taking notes as I usually do but I believe when talking about brisket he said, ” I don’t think any kind of meat should be wetter than the front row of seats at a Justin Bieber concert.”

Dave Attell looking like he was auditioning for a part in Fiddler On The Roof

And then it got raunchier and the audience loved it!

In the all-star Broadway cast was Mitchell Jarvis, Nick Adams from the brand new Priscilla Queen of the Desert, (which I almost wrote as “Queen of the Dessert”, … which could be about Lisa Lampanelli before she lost all the weight!); Curtis Holbrook from West Side Story, Kelli Barrett from Baby It’s You, Garrett Long from South Pacific, Rachel Potter from The Addams Family, and my good friend, the beautiful and talented J.Elaine Marcos, also from the show opening next Sunday, Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

J.Elaine as she started out her number fully dressed!

J.Elaine came out on stage and did a number that was so sexy and adorable.  She sang in an accent, and danced around while taking off her clothes to the delight of the audience.  First her sweater, then her blouse, and just as she reached behind her to unclasp her bra, … the lights went out!

J.Elaine beginning to disrobe on stage during her number!

J. Elaine just about to undo the clasp of her pretty pink bra!

J. Elaine and I had met years before in a comedy class and she has always been very funny. Sexy and funny is a difficult mix but she manages to pull it off.  She’s also been in in Chorus Line,(which I saw and she was fantastic), The Wedding Singer, Sweet Charity, and Flower Drum Song, among others.

J.Elaine Marcos and Jeffrey Gurian both completely dressed backstage after the show!

She was as shocked to see me backstage as I was to see her onstage!

J. Elaine handling "the big pen" with great dexterity and ease!

Anyway,  I’m sitting enjoying the show when all of a sudden I get a text from my fabulous PR team Goldman-McCormick asking me if I could do a radio spot at 10:07 about Gilbert Gottfried being let go as the voice of the AFLAC duck, for what they felt were insensitive Tweets made regarding the devastation in Japan.

I was like,” I’m here with him now.”  Basically that can’t even happen!  What are the odds that someone would want to talk to you about someone you were with at the moment?

When the show ended I went backstage to see Gilbert, which I would have done anyway,because he has always been my favorite comedian, and he knows that.

I’ve been telling him that for years.  He was with his wife Dara, and I had just seen them last week at the taping of the Donald Trump Roast airing tonight at 10:30 on Comedy Central, btw!

I asked him if he wanted to come on the radio with me, but he told me that I could speak about it for him.  I could tell he felt badly about what happened.  Gilbert doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.  He might not offer to buy you a drink, but he would never purposely hurt anyone.

People who love Gilbert know what he does.  Not only does he push the envelope, he tears it to shreds.  Look at his performance in The Aristocrats. When Gilbert goes off the deep end, nobody can go any deeper.

Comedians see the world in a different way than most people.  That’s what allows them to see the humor that other people overlook.

Unless you’re there to see if for yourself, no one can possibly grasp the horror of a cataclysmic event like the one that happened in Japan.  You can’t really wrap your mind around it.  It’s too big.

Plus, people don’t have the capacity to feel other people’s pain.  It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time.  We would probably be incapacitated, and catatonic if we felt what other people were feeling.

It might also make for a kinder world, if people knew how their words affected others.  Children can be very cruel as we all remember from our early days in school.  They think it’s fun to single out one person and make their life utterly miserable.  I know I did it too, and I cringe today when I think about it.

Comics are very often extremely socially awkward and not well versed in social graces. They’re the first to admit that they were the guys, ( and girls!), who didn’t exactly fit in in high school.  Many were self-described nerds.  They used comedy to survive, and so their personalities only exist on stage.  Off stage they’re often very quiet, and even very shy, which is hard to believe when you see how animated and funny they are on stage.

They learn to say anything to get a laugh and often at other people’s expense. Shock value is getting harder to find because it’s all been said and done already.

Anyway, as of the time of the writing of this entry, I’ve already done two big radio shows about this today with two more scheduled.  I did the Bob Dutko Show on WMUZ coming out of Detroit, which is a Christian Radio station, and that was lots of fun.

The Bob Dutko Show WMUZ out of Detroit! Really fun show to do!!!

Until I told the producer Jan Foxx, that her last name was like a porn star! (LOL) When I realized that I had just said that to someone on Christian radio I felt very badly, and corrected myself.  I said Foxx with 2 “X’s” is like a rock star, like Nikki Sixx.  Foxxx with 3 “X’s” would be like a porn star!  She said I was very funny!  Thank G-d! (LOL)

The Big 810 show with Ed Tyll out of Orlando, Florida. Ed's a great host!

Then I did The Big 810 out of Orlando, Florida with Ed Tyll, on WEUS, and we spoke for quite a while on the mindset of comics and how they think.  Also, AFLAC has a tremendous business in Japan and for that reason alone could not take a chance and alienate anyone, despite the fact of how much they like Gilbert.

Gilbert has been open about his apologies and has posted them on Twitter, like the ones below.

“I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”6 hours ago · reply

“I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan.”6 hours ago · reply

So all in all it was a busy day, and I’m learning to like this blogging thing. People have been telling me for years that I should be blogging, but I didn’t get the significance of it till last week!  Now I can’t stop.  It’s addicting!!!

Let me know your thoughts on the Gilbert/AFLAC Tsunami thing.  Curious to hear your take on it.

 

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Preview Video On The Red Carpet of Tonight's Comedy Central Donald Trump Roast

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters was on the red carpet at the taping of Comedy Central’s Roast of Donald Trump, taping the arrivals and speaking with Roasters Jeffrey Ross, Lisa Lampanelli, Anthony Jeselnik, Whitney Cummings, Snoop Dogg, Marlee Matlin,and guests like comic/TV host Amy Schumer, Actor Ice-T and his wife Coco, Russell Simmons, and even MTV President Doug Herzog.  And Gilbert Gottfried was the surprise guest! This is a follow-up to an earlier story posted last week.

Watch the Roast and leave a comment below letting me know what you thought of it, who was the best Roaster, and what jokes you liked best and I’ll feature my favorite comments on the blog! Thanks!!!

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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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