Posts Tagged “Vince Vaughn”

My Friend Kali Hawk, The Movie Star

I just went to see Tyler Perry’s “Peeples”, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had quite a cast with Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier, Craig Robinson, S. Epatha Merkerson, Melvin Van Peebles, (who I almost called “Van Peeples!” LOL), Diahann Carrol, Ana Gasteyer and my old friend, the beautiful, and talented Kali Hawk.

One of the posters portraying the star-studded cast of Tyler Perry’s “Peeples”!

It’s not too often that you get to have a friend who’s a legitimate movie star,… especially one that you’ve known for many years. It’s a really nice feeling to be proud of someone’s accomplishments, and Kali has worked very hard to achieve what she’s gotten. Considering how young she still is, I’m almost afraid to think of how young she must have been when I first met her! (LOL)

(L-R) David Alan Grier, Kerry Washington, Tyler James Williams, Kali Hawk, and Kimrie Lewis-Davis in Peeples!

I remember her as a teenager, and how excited she’d be about watching stand-up comedy. I have this vague memory of standing with her at The Comic Strip, in the doorway to the showroom, watching the acts, while she wondered if she could do comedy. I recall going to see her perform in plays at the Theatre for the New City on the Lower East Side.

She was in high school by the tender age of 12 and in college before she was even 16. She started out doing commercials, but as gorgeous as she was, didn’t begin modeling until she moved out to LA, where she booked magazine ads and commercials for KFC, Clorox2, MTV Europe and was in several music videos for rock band Korn, Rob Zombie, Norah Jones, T.I., and Usher. It was only a matter of time until Kali made her way to the big screen.

Some years passed between the time we spoke and then in 2007, I was out in LA for a party made by Kent Emmons for a book I wrote called “Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive” based on my writings for the Friars Roasts, which are notoriously raunchy, and Kali came to support me.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kali Hawk in LA, for a book party in his honor, in 2007!

She looked so amazing I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her! She has grown into such an elegant woman!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kali Hawk, who’s holding Jeffrey’s book “Filthy, Funny and Totally Offensive” but he didn’t let her look inside!

Before “Peeples”, she was seen in the Lion’s Gate thriller ‘Holla’, alongside actor Michael Bergin. She would follow that project with a supporting role in the Spike Lee comedy “Lovers & Haters”, playing a scathing Hollywood diva opposite singer/superstar Mariah Carey, I saw her in “Get Him To The Greek” with Russell Brand, and Jonah Hill, and she played Trudy in “Couples Retreat,” another star-studded movie written by Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau.

On TV, she has also appeared on the hit CW sitcom ‘The Game’, executive produced by Kelsey Grammer, was accepted as a cast member for the ill-fated remake of “In Living Color” that unfortunately did not come to fruition, and worked with my boy Tony Rock, on a TV project he was starring in. Tony was the featured performer in a sold out show at the Westbury Theatre on Long Island, that I co-produced starring the one and only Kevin Hart!

(L-R) Jordan Rock, Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, Richie Tienken and down in front Sherrod Small backstage at Westbury with Kevin Hart!

Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV with Kevin Hart at a promo event for their concert at Westbury!

Tony is also the new host of the Jamie Foxx remake of “Live At The Apollo”, aptly named “Apollo Live” shooting right here in Harlem, NYC! I went to the opening of the first season to cheer him on. Tony is amazingly funny, and the nicest guy you’d ever wanna meet!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, Tony Roberts, Tony Rock, and Jordan Rock backstage at The Apollo!

So “Peeples” was exciting to me because Kali had so much screen time. She plays Gloria Peeples the lesbian daughter of Virgil Peeples played so well by David Alan Grier.

A cast shot of “Peeples” with Kali Hawk’s name on the big screen! Go Kali!

I hadn’t seen David since last summer in Montreal during the Just for Laughs Festival when he came in to kibbitz with Adam Carolla right in the middle of my interview with him. It was actually funny, because the door was closed, and we were backstage after Adam’s show, but nobody’s gonna tell David that he can’t come in, so he did! (LOL) And it turned out very funny, because as I recall he was trying to distract me, and we all had a good laugh!

Craig Robinson is also a great guy, and we did a cool interview together on the red carpet of the Comedy Central Comedy Awards.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Craig Robinson at a Comedy Central event at The Monkey Bar in NYC!

I’m heading out to LA in about ten days to shoot my third appearance on Comedy Central’s hit “Kroll Show” and I really hope to be able to get the chance to congratulate Kali in person!

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Central, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Festivals, Comedy Matters, Comedy Videos, Entertainment News, Featured, Film Festivals, Film Review, General Information, Hot Models, New Films, New TV Show

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Bret Ernst Headlines Gotham Comedy Club

Every so often I get to see someone I’ve only heard about, but never seen before. Such was the case with Bret Ernst who’s based in LA, but Chris Mazzilli makes sure to bring in the best talent from all over and gives them exposure at his clubs. That’s good for me! (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with headliner Bret Ernst at Gotham Comedy Club!

Bret was one of four comedians featured in Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights – Hollywood to the Heartland, along with Ahmed Ahmed, John Caparulo, and Sebastian Maniscalco.

Bret has also appeared on Comedy Central Presents and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,and was the host of the first season of Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too. He also appeared in Ke$ha’s Blah Blah Blah music video.

His Comedy Central 1/2 hour special was voted in the “TOP 5” of all of 2010, and his first comedy album “American Comic” was an instant success, breaking “TOP 10” on iTunes in its first week, so you can see why I was anxious to meet him and see him perform.

JImmy Failla hosting the Bret Ernst show at Gotham Comedy Club!

The always funny Jimmy Failla MC’ed the show and brought up Drew Fraser first. Drew is also a great host and often hosts events for Comedy Central. He said he’d rather get sick and lose weight than go to the gym. I often thought of that in terms of getting a high fever and hallucinating instead of taking drugs. It’s a legal way to hallucinate! But who do you go to to score a high fever???

Drew also talked about The Pope quitting, and said, ” you know the economy is bad when G-d starts laying people off!”

And on Latina women, he said they don’t age well. He was dating a girl who started out looking like J Lo and wound up looking like Ceelo!

Rachel Feinstein was next and she’s one of my faves! I love when she imitates her Mom talking about a joke she finds objectionable and asks Rachel, ” Can you take that joke out of your talent show?” She calls her act a “talent show”! That’s hysterical!

Rachel Feinstein onstage at Gotham, … as funny as she is pretty! Which means VERY!!!

And then she imitates her Mom as a rapper cause she says her Mom thinks she’s Wiz Khalifa! Just the juxtapostion of the words “Mom” and “Wiz Khalifa” in the same sentence you know it has to be funny!

And I’ve never heard another female comic do a guy’s voice as good as Rachel. When she imitates the “street” accents of the guys who cat-call her on the street by commenting on her appearance with lines like, ” Oh Mami, don’t do that to me!” … as if she purposely looks so sexy just to turn them on, she answers in her grandmother’s Jewish sounding voice with a come-back like, “I’m sorry Jorge,(Pronounced Hor-hay!), I guess I’m up to my old tricks again!” I could watch her all night!

Rachel Feinstein in one of her many characters, probably scolding some street guy who came onto her!

But her set ended and Bret Ernst took the stage to rousing applause. His crowd knew he was coming and turned out for him. Right away he proved his likeability, and went into imitating his cousin who tries to be super Italian, where he transforms himself into that “Jersey-shore” kind of Italian guy, even making up words and phrases like when requesting to use the GPS he’s like, “Put it in the “navigashe!”. Go to a restaurant and make a “reservache”! Just realizing that you understand what he’s saying, even using those made up words is funny in itself!

He has a great comedy voice, which not all comics have. Certain voices are better attuned for comedy than others and he has a good one! He also does a super “drunk” voice as well.

Bret Ernst in one of his many funny facial expressions to go along with his funny act!

Raised by a single Mom he wonders whether there are really any Dads anymore. Kids these days have “Dad sightings!” I think I saw your Dad in the mall!

Currently a bachelor, he explains that a “promise ring” is a ring that buys you some time. He wonders about all the rings you have to buy a girl these days, a promise ring, an engagement ring, a wedding ring. How many rings do you need? What are you Saturn?

Then he riffs on “Save the Date” cards. It’s basically a card that tells you to expect a card. He says it’s like me calling you up and telling you to hang up so I can call you back, “Yo, hang up! I’m gonna call you!” A great example of how comics take everyday things and occurrences that most people don’t notice, and make them funny.

Bret Ernst headlining and killing it at Gotham Comedy Club!

Talking about girls when they’re shopping he says his girl would say something like, ” That shirt would be great in Aruba!” He’s like, ” I don’t even know where that is!”

And he goes on to explain that girls make things more complicated than they have to be because they don’t know what they want. They live in a fantasy. They want to have fun but they make it impossible by coming up with things out of their head like ” I wanna go to a restaurant with a Mariachi band and a harp”, like an imaginary restaurant that only exists in Oz!

I’m really glad I got to see Bret Ernst and I hope I get to see him again soon!

Bret Ernst with his new fan, Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV!

Bret currently resides in Los Angeles, and hosts his own podcast on Tuesday nights at 9pm Pacific at the gocast.com network. If he likes this piece, maybe he’ll have me on as a guest???

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Central, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Entertainment News, Nightlife Events, Red Carpet Events, Self Help Information

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Weinstein Company’s Dirty Girl Should Be A Big Hit-Opens Oct. 7th

One of the perks of doing what I do is that I get to see films before they come out, and often get to interview the stars. Yesterday I was lucky to see the new Weinstein Company film “Dirty Girl”, opening in theatres October 7th, starring two newcomers who won’t be newcomers for long.

The lovely and talented Juno Temple as Danielle in the Weinstein Company’s Dirty Girl!

As seen on today’s Page 6 in the New York Post, the “Dirty Girl” is played by Juno Temple an English actress, who does a fantastic job, as well as a fantastic American accent in this film. She actually has seven more films waiting to be released. This girl is going to be a big star! Weinstein Company seems to have good “star-radar”, and in this film they’re right on the money!

Juno plays Danielle, a very promiscuous high school teenager, “the dirty girl” of Norman High,in Norman, Oklahoma, circa 1987. She’s like the proverbial “hooker with a heart of gold”, who carries an underlying sadness due to the fact that she never knew her Dad. She didn’t even know his name!

Jeremy Dozier as Clarke, Juno Temple’s co-star in the Weinstein Company’s Dirty Girl!

When her overtly sexual, rebellious behavior lands her in a remedial class with a bunch of other “losers”, she reluctantly becomes friends with Clarke,( Jeremy Dozier, in his first major role), an over-weight closeted gay kid, who is also leading a sad, lonely existence. He is constantly abused by his father, Joseph, played by Dwight Yoakam, who is horrified that he’s gay, and not protected at all by his mother, a quiet, mousey woman, played perfectly by Mary Steenburgen!

Danielle and Clarke each rebelling in their own way in class in the new sure-to-be Weinstein hit “Dirty Girl”!

Mary Steenburgen as Peggy, and Dwight Yoakam as Joseph in the Weinstein Company’s guaranteed hit, “Dirty Girl”!

When the teacher pairs them up for an assignment, the two loners, lonely for different reasons, become unlikely friends. They wind up in an exciting road trip to find her birth father, Danny, who she never knew, and which is a source of great pain to her.

Danny is played by Tim McGraw, who gave a heartfelt performance as a guy who suddenly and shockingly finds out he has a grown daughter, in front of his wife and his own little daughter. The scene where Danielle sees him being affectionate to his little girl, knowing she was wishing her entire life for just one moment like that, was so powerful, it brought tears to my eyes. Having had two little girls of my own, I know what that means!

After yet one more abusive incident, Clarke steals his father’s car, and he and Danielle take off for California together, in the kind of touching, heart-felt alliance that only two desperate “misfits” could have. They are determined to track down the guy who impregnated her mother, and who it turns out never even knew she was born.

Danielle’s Mom, Sue-Ann, is played by the equally talented Milla Jovovich. Sue-Ann herself was a “reformed slut” gone straight, set on marrying a straight-laced,no-nonsense Mormon, Ray, who Danielle can’t stand the sight of. And Ray is played by the great, and wonderfully talented Bill Macy.

Milla Jovovich, who plays Sue-Ann, Danielle’s ex-slut Mom, in the Weinstein Company’s “Dirty Girl”!

This film was cast so well. Each person was just perfect in their part. I find many things interesting about this film. First of all, that three of it’s stars were stars in other fields besides acting.

Milla Jovovich is a Ukrainian-born supermodel and fashion designer as well as a singer, Dwight Yoakam is a singer-songwriter most famous for his work in country music, who has sold more than 25 million records, and Tim McGraw is also a country-western singer,who has sold more than 40 million albums. I love when people step out of themselves to become yet something else. Some people have a dream, and it’s nice when they pursue it successfully. Even more-so when they have already been successful doing something else!

What I think I like most about this film, is the underlying story of overcoming obstacles in your life. You get what you get, and then it’s up to you to do something with it. The Spiritual approach is that we’re born into the families that we’re born into, to learn lessons we didn’t get a chance to learn in a previous life.

In simpler terms, who didn’t feel like an outcast in high school? There was always an “in-crowd” but it was small and super exclusive, and most of those people lived in fear that they would someday be excluded from it. It’s interesting to see those same people many years later! I have had that experience. Let’s just say that if high school was the best time of your life, I feel very sorry for you!

I read the production notes from writer/director Abe Sylvia, who started out as that overweight closeted kid in Oklahoma and turned into a handsome, accomplished Broadway dancer, and now successful screenwriter. I had to laugh when reading the Producer Statement from Rob Paris of Paris Films. It took five years until this film got made, but in the beginning he didn’t even want to take a meeting with Abe Sylvia. Just the name Abe Sylvia conjured up the vision of two elderly Jewish people ” arguing over sunsets in Boca.” He was fully prepared not to like the script by an unknown writer, whose manager, fortunately for us, would not stop badgering him to read it.

Turns out he finally gave in for the meeting and like so many execs, didn’t bother reading the script until the night before the meeting. Instead of tossing it in the garbage after the first twenty pages as he had expected to do, he found himself ” devouring page after page, … laughing and crying in equal measure as he arrived at the triumphant finish!”

To top it off, he pictured an unstylish, nebbishy guy, and in walked this ” tall, handsome, actor-looking type” who turned out to be Abe Sylvia, and who exuded so much confidence that Paris decided to let him direct right then and there!

According to Paris, it took “five years, four different financiers, twelve different budgets, twenty different actors, and twenty-five disparate locations”, to make this film, which is a lesson to all perspective filmmakers out there, ( including myself! ) to never give up, and to always believe in yourself when you know in your heart you have something special to say!

I was also happy to see that my childhood camp friend, super-star Melissa Manchester wrote and performed some of the music,especially one song “Rainbird” that she wrote with Mary Steenburgen!

Go see “Dirty Girl”! You’ll love it!

Posted in: Celeb Photos, Comedians In The News, Comedy Events, Comedy Matters, Featured, Film Review, New Films, Nightlife Events, Page 6 Review, Red Carpet Events

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