Posts Tagged Jeffrey Ross

The Making of "Make ‘Em Laugh"- 35 Years of The Comic Strip

On June 15, 2008, I was at The Comic Strip with Ann Curry, and Gilbert Gottfried and we were giving Ann tips on how to do stand-up comedy for some kind of event she was preparing for. And despite the fact that I had been there for so many years, and had seen the walls before, I found myself transfixed by all the amazing memorabilia that I noticed that day.

Jeffrey Gurian, Ann Curry, Gilbert Gottfried, and Richie Tienken on the day that Jeffrey suggested doing a book on the iconic Comic Strip!

So I said to Richie Tienken, owner and founder of the club, “You know we should do a book on this club!”

I didn’t know that other people had suggested that to him before but for some reason he wound up not doing it with them. He came to my home for a meeting and ended by saying “You have more photos on your walls than I have at the club”, and he decided to trust me with telling his story, and the stories of all the huge stars that came out of the club.

Jeffrey Gurian and Richie Tienken in the lobby of Jeffrey’s building after their meeting to agree on doing the book!

The club officially opened on June 1, 1976 with Billy Crystal as the opening act. On JUne 17th a young, and unknown Jerry Seinfeld walked in to audition. In those days people were graded on their auditions. Jerry was graded “Good”, and then someone wrote on his sheet, “Definitely put on Mon. 6/21!” Whoever that person was had a good eye for comedy! Jerry stayed at The Strip for four years until he left for LA in 1980. It was his home club.

Jeffrey Gurian, Jerry Seinfeld, and Richie Tienken on the day of Jerry’s interview for the book!

In the book Jerry said he felt like he was born in 1976, because that’s when he began working at The Strip and that felt like the start of his life!

Eddie Murphy spent his early years at the club, and Richie Tienken was his manager for the years when Eddie was the biggest star in the world. That period of time spanned his days on SNL through Beverly Hills Cop 2.

The one night in 1986 Eddie came into The Strip and asked to see a Black comic. The only one around was a 19 year old Chris Rock who was setting up chairs in exchange for stage time, and had only performed for very small audiences at 2 or 3 A.M. Not wanting to disappoint Eddie, they put Chris up in front of a packed house on a Friday night, and Chris killed it in front of his idol.

Richie Tienken, Chris Rock, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Strip on the day we did Chris’ interview for the book!

That was the start of Chris’s rise to stardom. He hasn’t lost his gratitude for all that Richie did for him and wrote a fantastic, and funny introduction to the book.

He also came into the club and gave Richie and I a really super interview. Most of the big stars came into the club for their interviews because Richie and I felt that being surrounded by those four walls would bring back memories, and we were right.

Alan Colmes who many people don’t even know started his career as a stand-up comic came in wearing his 30 year old Comic Strip jacket that looked as if it was brand new.

Jeffrey Gurian with Alan Colmes wearing his original 30 year old Comic Strip jacket, which looked brand new!

In the middle of Paul Reiser’s interview he suddenly recalled what started the annual New Years Day brunch attended every Jan. 1, by himself, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry Miller and Mark Schiff. There had even been a fifth member of the group, a friend named Michael Cain but he passed away very young.

Gilbert Gottfried and Lisa Lampanelli got interviewed outside the club, and Jeffrey Ross got interviewed inside the club with a dual book/documentary film video interview at the same time. That experience taught us never to do that again! (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian, Gilbert Gottfried and Richie Tienken at lunch at Pastis where GIlbert spent most of his interview denying he had ever been at The Comic Strip. He did say they had good electricity though!

Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey Gurian,(hidden behind the book! LOL) backstage at Westbury for Lisa’s recent sold-out performance

And then I flew out to LA to get an in office interview with Billy Crystal the first comic to hit the stage on opening night, back in 1976.

Other comics interviewed were Ray Romano, Susie Essman, Jim Gaffigan, Judah Friedlander, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Rick Overton, who has also gone on to have a very successful acting/film career, Jim Breuer, Tony Rock, Adam Ferrara, plus newer stars who frequent the club like Colin Jost and Jay Pharaoah from SNL.

Thanks to our agent J.L. Stermer from N.S. Bienstock, we got a deal with Skyhorse Publishing and the book is 250 pages down from the 500 I started out with. It took three years to get all of the interviews done and transcribed, because I did it myself by hand just by playing the interviews over and over again, and the fourth year was about editing and getting it down from 500 pages to the 250 that was needed. It was often a grueling process, but always a labor of love!

Since it came out, it’s gotten great reviews, tons of press, and lots of celeb attention as you can tell from the following photos.

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Amy Poehler, Nick Kroll, Michael Cera, Sarah Silverman and more at JFL Comedy Awards Show

Out of all the amazing shows and panels at this year’s 31st annual Just for Laughs Festival, I think the most exciting event was the JFL Awards Show.

The Awards Show poster showing recipients Amy Poehler, Edgar Wright, Mitch Hurwitz, Nick Kroll, Michael Cera, and Mark Lonow and Budd Friedman.

The line-up of talent was fantastic. And I would be remiss for not thanking certain people who made my attendance at this year’s festival even more meaningful than ever, so special thanks to Paul Ronca the Director of the Comedy Pro-Conference, Zoe Friedman the Artistic Director of The Awards Show, Olivia Benaroche the Industry Coordinator and my Guardian Angel, and Emily Shore my other Guardian Angel borrowed from Andy Nulman, Pres. of JFL. Thank you all sincerely!

So the Award Show was spectacular. Amy Poehler received the Comedy Person of the Year Award, presented to her by Seth Meyers. Interviews with both of them will follow very soon, in a separate Comedy Matters post.

Nick Kroll received the Breakout Comedy Star of the Year Award and it was presented to him by his old friend John Mulaney, which was a very meaningful experience for both of them.

Nick Kroll and John Mulaney in their personnaes as George St. Geegland (L) and Gil Faison!

Nick Kroll as Bobby Bottleservice.

Nick Kroll as Dr. Armond, eminent canine plastic surgeon!

In a later interview alone with Nick, outside of the Variety party for the Top 10 Comics To Watch, he said something to the effect that John was a funny guy with a lot of potential, as if he was a newcomer! Then he busted out laughing! You’ll see it in the video when it’s finished being edited.

The hilarious Michael Cera, who takes nerdiness to new heights in most of his Judd Apatow helmed films and who is back on TV in the resurrected Arrested Development now on Netflix, won an award for Best Comedic Short Film for his 16 minute short, Brazzaville Teen-Ager. It was presented to him by Sarah Silverman who did something so funny on the red carpet.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV on the red carpet of the JFL Awards with winner of Best Short Comedy Film, Michael Cera!

I was positioned at the end of the red carpet where I often prefer to be so that people have time to talk to me and no one else is waiting. That works except when the event is running behind and the PR people rush the celebs along. But in this case it worked out fine.

I was in the middle of interviewing Michael Cera, and discussing our mutual friendship with the wild and wooly Kenny Hotz, when Michael asked if Kenny was what he was smelling.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV interviewing Michael Cera on the red carpet discussing their mutual friend Kenny Hotz!

A few seconds later with no pre-planning, strictly by coincidence, Nick Kroll came over and started sniffing Michael. Nick asked him if he uses fabric softener because he told him he smelled great.

Nick Kroll sniffing Michael Cera and telling him he smelled great!

Michael left and I continued interviewing Nick, when right in the middle, one of my all time favorites, the incredibly talented and beautiful Sarah Silverman jumped in and said she had skipped all the other press people to come and talk to me. Sarah has the most amazing smile!

Sarah Silverman joins Nick Kroll in an interview by Jeffrey Gurian for Comedy Matters TV!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Sarah Silverman at the JFL Comedy Awards!

Then she and Nick double-teamed me, and wound up interviewing me, and evaluating my outfit! It was very funny because Sarah was wearing such an unusual outfit, like a hoodie on top with a T-shirt, and a very hot lingerie looking combo from the waist down, with boots!

Sarah Silverman and Nick Kroll evaluating the outfit worn by Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV on the red carpet of the JFL Comedy Awards!

Sarah Silverman presenting the award to Michael Cera in her sexy thigh highs and boots, topped off with a T-shirt and hoodie!

It was hysterical and you can see it right here!

I shot 32 interviews over the four days I was up there with people like Amy Poehler, Seth Myers, Judah Friedlander, Paul Provenza, Colin Quinn, Bo Burnham, about 26 more, and we’ll be rolling them out as they’re done, so keep your eyes on my Comedy Matters TV You Tube channel at http://www.youtube.com/guriannewsnetwork, and PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!

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Jack Black’s Friars Roast Red Carpet Coverage with Jeffrey Gurian

It’s a long-standing tradition that once a year The Friars Club raises money for charity by “Roasting” a huge star, where a couple of thousand people show up in the Grand Ballroom of The Hilton Hotel to hear other big stars say filthy things about the honoree. It’s been going on since 1950 when they Roasted Sam Levenson! Most of you will have absolutely no idea who that even was! (LOL)

More recently it’s been Donald Trump, Quentin Tarantino, Matt Lauer, Hugh Hefner, Kelsey Grammer, and on and on!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Friars Roastee Jack Black on the red carpet at the Hilton Hotel in NYC!

This year it was the multi-talented Jack Black star of stage and screen, who besides being an actor is also a producer, comedian, voice over artist, writer and musician. He’s best known for his film roles in High Fidelity, School of Rock, King Kong, Nacho Libre, Tropic Thunder, Bernie and Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2. He told me he’s working on Kung Fu Panda #3, which you can hear for yourself in the video right here:

He’s also a rock star with his comedy rock group Tenacious D which he formed back in 1991 with his friend Kyle Gass.

Jack Black on the red carpet of the Friars Roast in his honor being interviewed by Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV!

Bob Saget was the Roast Master and I hadn’t seen Bob since last July when he hosted one of the TV galas at the 30th annual Just for Laughs Festival, the biggest comedy festival in the world. He was hosting the “triple XXX” show, and I told him today that it seems that the raunchier the show, the more clean-cut his appearance. He agreed with me! He also reminded me that the last time he saw me in Montreal, he bumped his head!

Bob Saget with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV holding Jeffrey’s new book ” Make ‘Em Laugh” , for which Bob gave him a blurb that reads, “No matter how many years pass, I can never say “No” to Jeff Gurian. Hence this quote on his book’s back cover!”

Watch that video right here:

Bob gave me the nicest blurb for the back of my recent book “Make ‘Em Laugh” when he wrote “No matter how many years pass I can never say “No” to Jeff Gurian! Hence this quote on his book’s back cover!”

I was shooting video interviews on the red carpet and besides speaking with Jack and Bob, I also got some very cool interviews with Artie Lange, Amy Schumer, Gene Simmons of Kiss and his Family Jewels, The Beach Boys who I got to thank for saving my life in high school, Padma Lakshmi and more!

Gene Simmons was there with his wife Shannon Tweed and his son Nick, who’s really handsome and about 6’5″ at the very least! Gene is 6’2″ and Nick towered over him. When I told Gene that he was with his Family Jewels, Shannon corrected me and told me that Sophie wasn’t able to come and join them!

Amy Schumer and I talked a lot about her new show debuting very soon on Comedy Central called “Inside Amy Schumer” and about all the guest stars who have agreed to be on with her! She was very humbly amazed that they all said “Yes” to appearing!

I will be posting the video interviews as soon as I edit them! Stay tuned and please “Subscribe” to my Comedy Matters TV channel at http://www.youtube.com/guriannewsnetwork

Thanks and hope to see you soon at something fun!

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"Make ‘Em Laugh" With An Intro By Chris Rock

After four years of work, my book “Make ‘Em Laugh” with Richie Tienken, owner/founder of the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip finally came out, and is in bookstores all across the country.

The front cover of “Make ‘Em Laugh” with an intro. by Chris Rock, and interviews with Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Billy Crystal, Lisa Lampanelli, Gilbert Gottfried, Susie Essman and tons more!

It’s about the 35 year history of the club which Richie opened on June 1, 1976, and which is still going strong. I got the idea for it back in 2008 while at the club one afternoon with Ann Curry and Gilbert Gottfried, coaching Ann on how to do stand-up comedy for some event she was doing, and I suggested to Richie that we do a book on the club.

(L-R) Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, Ann Curry, PR guru Ryan McCormick, Gilbert Gottfried, and Richie Tienken, owner/founder of The Strip!

It took three years to get all the interviews and transcribe them from the digital audio recordings, because I did it all by myself. Every word. Every single word. It takes a long time to listen to an hour long conversation, which most of them were, if not longer, and transcribe every single word, by constantly pressing “Repeat” and playing each sentence over and over again to make sure you got it correctly.

That first summer, I went up to the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and got the first three interviews with Larry Miller, George Wallace and Paul Provenza.

Larry Miller with Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV backstage with George Wallace at Just for Laughs in Montreal, the biggest comedy festival in the world!

At the end besides having a killer, hilarious introduction from Chris Rock, I had interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Ray Romano, Paul Reiser, Gilbert Gottfried, Susie Essman, Colin Quinn, Paul Provenza, Jim Gaffigan, Lewis Black, Judah Friedlander, Lisa Lampanelli and many more! A book filled with stories from comedy legends on how they got their start and wound up at The Comic Strip.

Jeffrey Gurian, Jerry Seinfeld and Richie Tienken at The Comic Strip after Jerry’s interview for the book!

Richie Tienken, Ray Romano, and Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV at The Comic Strip after Ray’s interview for the book ” Make ‘Em Laugh!”

Although Gilbert Gottfried claimed he had never actually been there and just showed up to the interview for a free lunch! He did admit to having heard rumours around 1974 that a club would be opening so he stood in that spot for years waiting for it to open, and he heard it did eventually open and had electricity. He also heard that many comics came there for dessert, at which point he started yelling out to no one in particular that he wanted a Peach Melba!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV, Gilbert Gottfried, and Richie Tienken trying to get Gilbert to admit he had ever performed at The Comic Strip!

This was as Richie Tienken was getting nauseous after having paid $50. to park, and was picking up the tab for lunch, to hear Gilbert say he had never been to the club. Needless to say, the interview was pure Gilbert, and hysterically funny.

I flew to LA to interview Billy Crystal, and that was really a treat. I hadn’t seen him in many years, and we got to reminisce about the days when I was a dentist and his manager at the time, the legendary Jack Rollins, who also managed Woody Allen and Robin Williams, wanted him to play me in a sit-com about a dentist in show biz.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Billy Crystal in his offices in Beverly Hills! Billy is pointing to his teeth referencing Jeffrey’s former life as a dentist!

Most of the interviews were done at The Comic Strip because Richie and I felt it would be advantageous for the comics to be in that environment because it would help to bring back memories and it did.

We got to hear great stories like how Chris Rock was discovered by Eddie Murphy in 1986 when Eddie was considered the biggest star in the world and was being managed by Richie at the time. Or how Ray Romano started his career under the name “Jackie Roberts” for the first two or three months.

Then he “bombed” one night and experienced stage fright, so he quit and went back to selling futons for his best friend, which became an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond!” Two years later he returned to comedy at The Comic Strip under the name Ray Romano and the rest is history!

Richie Tienken, Chris Rock, and Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV at The Comic Strip after Chris’ interview for the book ” Make ‘Em Laugh!”

Interestingly enough, he even delivered a futon to Larry David who was already well known and true to character, was not happy with the futon, and made Ray take it back.

We have Jerry Seinfeld’s first sign-up sheet on the night he auditioned to perform at The Strip on June 17th, 1976. In those days you were rated, and Jerry was rated “Good” and then someone wrote, ” Definitely put on Monday, 6/21.” That person was smart!

And blurbs! You wanna see blurbs? I got so many celeb blurbs they almost had to use a separate page. I got blurbs from Judd Apatow the king of Hollywood comedies, Richard Lewis, Charles Grodin, Nick Kroll, (whose new “Kroll Show” comes out on Comedy Central in January with me on it!), Bob Saget, (who was kind enough to write: “No matter how many years pass, I can never say no to Jeff Gurian. Hence this quote on his book’s back cover!”) Plus Tom Papa, Danny Aiello, Mike Birbiglia, DJ Cassidy and more!

Back cover of “Make ‘Em Laugh” with blurbs from Judd Apatow, Richard Lewis, Tom Papa. Nick Kroll, Mike Birbiglia, Bob Saget and more!!!

Since the book came out we’ve been getting a lot of attention. Tons of press. A great review from Larry Getlen in the NY Post, an interview on NBC TV, Channel 4, 7 P.M. news with Roseanne Coletti, an interview with WPIX TV, Channel 11 with reporter Dan Mannarino, which will be airing the week of Dec. 10th, radio interviews with Judith Regan, and Ron Bennington of “Ron and Fez” on Sirius Radio, plus radio shows all over the country.

And the book is in the hands of lots of huge comedy stars like Chris Tucker, JB Smoove, Artie Lange, Colin Quinn, and Judah Friedlander to name a few!

Chris Tucker and Jeffrey Gurian up at Sirius Radio with Chris’ copy of the book ” Make ‘Em Laugh”!

Jeffrey Gurian with Artie Lange at The Comic Strip with Artie’s copy of the book ” Make ‘Em Laugh!”

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Richard Belzer at The Friars Club. Jeffrey is holding Richard’s book, and Richard is holding his copy of Jeffrey’s book “Make ‘Em Laugh!”

The book is available in all Barnes and Noble stores in NYC, and on Amazon.com

Coming up, I’ll be doing a guest spot on Artie Lange’s new podcast with Nick DePaolo, talking about the book and all things comedy!

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"Make ‘Em Laugh" with Chris Rock Finally Hits The Bookstores

The Comic Strip opened on June 1st of 1976. It’s an iconic comedy club on the Upper East Side of NYC, that launched the careers of stars like Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Paul Reiser, George Wallace, Gilbert Gottfried, Jim Gaffigan, Lewis Black, Lisa Lampanelli, and many more.

Richie Tienken, Chris Rock, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip after Chris’ interview for the book “Make ‘Em Laugh” for which Chris also write the hilarious intro!

One day,on June 16th of 2008 I was at The Strip with Ann Curry, Gilbert Gottfried, and PR powerhouse Ryan McCormick of Goldman/McCormick PR, and after looking at all the talent on the walls, I suggested to owner/founder Richie Tienken that we do a book on the history of the club. He came to my house to talk about it, and saw even more photos than HE had in the club (LOL), and decided to trust me to tell his story. That was the long and the short of it.

(L-R) Jeffrey Gurian, Ann Curry, Ryan McCormick, Gilbert Gottfried, and Richie Tienken all trying to figure out why Ann looks so surprised! Maybe she heard it would take four years to do the book, and couldn’t believe it!

The front cover of “Make ‘Em Laugh” by Jeffrey Gurian and Richie Tienken with an intro. by Chris Rock!

That July, of 2008 I went up to the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, which is the biggest comedy festival in the world, and did my first three digital audio interviews. First was with Larry Miller at his hotel, then George Wallace in a restaurant, and then Paul Provenza at the main hotel where the festival was being held.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Larry Miller at The Strip! Larry was the very first comic interviewed for the book!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV backstage with George Wallace at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, 2008. George was the 2nd comic to be interviewed for the book!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Paul Provenza, at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, 2008. Paul was the the 3rd comic to be interviewed for the book!

From that point on, it took the next four years to see this book on a shelf in Barnes and Noble. I was on a quest to get every big star I could, who had come out of The Strip, to be interviewed for the book. And most of them came into the club to do it during the afternoon when we wouldn’t be disturbed. Richie and I would meet them there and sit casually in the showroom while we reminisced about the old days, into my recorder.

Jeffrey Gurian and Richie Tienken at The Comic Strip with Jerry Seinfeld after his interview for the book “Make ‘Em Laugh”!

We felt it was helpful to do it in the club, because we thought, and rightly so, that being in the club would help bring back memories, and it did. During Paul Reiser’s interview, he claims to have suddenly remembered for the first time ever, what started the annual New Year’s day brunch that he has attended every year for the last 30 years or more with Jerry Seinfeld, Larry Miller, and Mark Schiff. There was originally a fifth guy named Michael Cain, but unfortunately he passed away many years ago, way before his time.

(L-R) Richie Tienken, Ray Romano, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip after Ray’s interview for the book, ” Make ‘Em Laugh”!

So the book has cool stories from Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, who came in with his long-time manager Rory Rosegarten who he had met at The Strip, Jim Gaffigan, Susie Essman, Lisa Lampanelli, Gilbert Gottfried, Paul Provenza, Lewis Black, Judah Friedlander, Jeffrey Ross, Tony Rock, Adam Ferrara, and so many more!

I even flew out to LA to interview Billy Crystal which was a very special one to me, since during the middle of the interview he realized he knew me from the legendary Jack Rollins, who managed him, Robin Williams, and Woody Allen, back in the day!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Billy Crystal in his Beverly Hills office! Billy is pointing to his teeth referencing Jeffrey’s rumored history as a former dentist! (LOL)

I wanted to do all the interviews before looking for an agent and a book deal, because I knew that agents would be skeptical of someone saying they could get this many interviews, with such big stars, and I wanted to be able to walk in with them already done.

After three painstaking years of doing interviews, and transcribing them by hand, my pal media powerhouse Judith Regan, introduced me to her agent at N.S. Bienstock, because she said for a celeb-filled book like this I need a powerful agent, and I spent most of the fourth year editing it down to the length that Skyhorse Publishing wanted it to be.

Media heavyweight Judith Regan and Jeffrey Gurian holding the book that she made possible, “Make ‘Em Laugh”!

I started with about 500 pages, and had to whittle it down to about 250 pages. I have all the stories digitally recorded on a disk, so our next project will probably be a CD of the stories that didn’t make it into the book!

Then I had to get blurbs for the book’s back cover, so I went to some of my famous friends and contacts and asked them to read the galleys and to provide meaningful blurbs and I got amazing stuff from ten people; Barry Katz, co-creator of Last Comic Standing, Judd Apatow, the king of Hollywood comedies, Richard Lewis, Mike Birbiglia, Charles Grodin, Elayne Boosler the first woman ever to have a cable TV special, Danny Aiello, Michael Imperioli, Nick Kroll star of the upcoming The Kroll Show, on Comedy Central, Tom Papa, and even DJ Cassidy, the world famous DJ who is also the DJ for Russell Simmons’ show “The Ruckus” hosted by JB Smoove!

The back cover of “Make ‘Em Laugh” with blurbs from Barry Katz, Richard Lewis, Mike Birbiglia, Charles Grodin, Elayne Boosler, Danny Aiello, Michael Imperioli, Nick Kroll, Tom Papa, Bob Saget, and DJ Cassidy!

Speaking of JB Smoove, this summer in Montreal, I was the official celeb interviewer and shot 40 interviews with stars like Chelsea Handler,Bob Saget, Joel McHale, JB Smoove, Marc Maron, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Adam Carolla, and Howie Mandel, …

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Chelsea Handler at Just for Laughs in Montreal!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Bob Saget backstage at Bob’s gala at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal!

… and one night I got Jay Pharoah from SNL reading Chris Rock’s intro from my book, in Chris Rock’s voice, to entertain JB Smoove and a bunch of comedy execs that were hanging out in the lobby! That you must see, and it’s right here:

So as of Monday, 10/1/12 the book is in Barnes and Noble and is available on their site and on Amazon.com All the stars in the book are helping to get the word out and even stars not in the book like Dave Chappelle are posing with the book!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Colin Quinn holding “Make ‘Em Laugh”, which Colin is in!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Judah Friedlander holding a copy of “Make ‘Em Laugh” which he is in!

Dave Chappelle chillin’ at the bar at The Comic Strip reading “Make ‘Em Laugh” about the 35 year history of the club!

I hope you’ll all read it, enjoy it, and leave a positive comment somewhere where other people will see it! (LOLOL)

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Oui 2 PR Firm Rocks Two Huge Events In One Day

For the past 15 years Rob Goldstone and David Wilson founders of Oui 2 Public Relations have been creating HUGE events and representing even bigger stars! They have a national and international network of connections.

Even in his early days, Rob was a force to be reckoned with. Originally from the U.K., (which is where he got that great accent! LOL) he traveled with Michael Jackson, as the only journalist personally chosen by Michael to cover his “down under” tour in Australia, and was chosen to accompany Bob Geldof to Ethiopia for his Band Aid Relief Fund concert back in 1985.

While living in Australia Rob represented almost every major international artist touring that country; from Cyndi Lauper to Julio Iglesias, James Taylor, Tracy Chapman, BB King, Marianne Faithful and Poison! Among his corporate clients were Saatchi and Saatchi, The Hard Rock Cafe, Chess: The Musical, Richard Branson’s Virgin Megastores, and HMV Music Stores.

After returning to England in 1991, he moved to The States the following year as the Head of International Marketing for HMV Group, (part of EMI Records)- a position he held until 1998. In this capacity, he oversaw the international marketing for the world’s largest music retail corporation, from the U.S. and Canada, to the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Japan, and Australia. His work led to close working relationships with artists, managers, and record labels across the globe.

David Wilson made similar moves, starting out in Northern California where he grew up, and winding up in Sydney, Australia, where he began his PR career at Rob Goldstone’s company, Crawford Goldstone Corporation, which at the time was one of the leading entertainment/lifestyle PR firms in the country. He moved first to London and then to NYC where he worked with a cross section of both music and entertainment heavyweights including Joe Cocker, Lisa Stansfield, Warner Bros. TV, Atlantic Records, HMV Records, and the New York Friars Club.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. Yesterday I personally witnessed the talent of these two Oui 2 guys as they pulled off two HUGE events in the same day! I first attended the red carpet event for the Friars Club Roast of Betty White, and finished off the day by covering the red carpet for the Caron Foundation event at Cipriani’s on 42nd STreet, in honor of Clive Davis and Judy Collins.

Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV with Gilbert Gottfried at the Betty White Roast!

Needless to say, (then why am I saying it? LOL) both were star-studded events, and packed with press. David and Rob made sure that everything ran smoothly, and you could see how hard David was working by how wet his shirt was! LOL Despite the tremendous pressure, and various demands made on him, he was still very accomodating.

The actual red carpet was so crowded with photogs and press, that David was kind enough to set me up with a spot at the end, so I could get some great video interviews for Comedy Matters TV with legends like Dick Cavett, Larry King, and Abe Vigoda, as well as Prior of The Friars Club Stewie Stone.

Larry King, making a point to both Uggie from The Artist, and Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV at the Betty White Roast!

Old friends Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV and actor/singer Dominic Chianese at the Friars Roast for Betty White!

Although I didn’t get to talk to Betty White or some of my old pals like Norm Crosby,(who just didn’t hear me when I called out to him! LOL), and Liza Minelli, I did get to talk to Donny Deutsch, who was shocked that I had met his parents at a comedy event I produced at the Westbury Country Club, Dominic Chianese who was shocked that we hadn’t seen each other in so long, and legendary talent agent Don Buchwald who was just plain shocked that I wanted to do an interview with him, (he’s just very humble!LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Donny Deutsch at the Friars Club Roast of Betty White!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with the legendary Liza Minelli at an earlier event! I missed her at both the Roast and the Caron event!

After the Roast, I went home to change my clothes so I wouldn’t be dressed the same in both events, got hold of a second DP to shoot the Clive Davis/Judy Collins event, and headed over to Cipriani’s where I got to interview not only Clive, and reminisce with him about the time I got him invited to his first Friars Roast, but also Laurie Dhue the MC for the evening, my old friend Chris Lawford, Geraldo Rivera, and Judy Collins, who pleasantly surprised both Geraldo and I by coming over to join us during our red carpet interview. It turned into a fantastic three-way, you should excuse the expression!

Patrick McMullen’s photo of Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV interviewing both Geraldo Rivera and Judy Collins at the same time!

MC Laurie Dhue with Stephanie Seymour on the red carpet for the Caron Foundation event honoring Clive Davis and Judy Collins!

Geraldo Rivera with his wife Erica at the Caron event honoring Clive Davis and Judy Collins!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with honoree Clive Davis at the Caron event at Cipriani’s!

I also got to reminisce with Geraldo about an evening we spent with Salvador Dali many years before at the St. Regis Hotel in the King Cole Lounge where Dali held court whenever he was in New York!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV reminiscing with Geraldo Rivera at Cipriani’s about an evening long ago with Salvador Dali!

You’ll see lots more when the video is posted, in the meantime I just wanted to give props to Oui 2, and Rob and David, for their amazing accomplishment!

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Charlie Sheen Roast With Amy Schumer, Anthony Jeselnik, Patrice Oneal, Jeffrey Ross and more!

Everyone loves a Roast, and everyone, especially in the comedy community, was anxiously awaiting the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen! The jokes could basically write themselves. There was so much to use for inspiration. I wrote for the famed Friars Roasts for many years, but I have to say the level of humor then was nowhere near as cruel as it is today! There’s nothing left to say that is considered shocking anymore! It’s all been done, so now people say the most horrible things they can think of, and it passes for humor because no one has the balls to tell them it isn’t funny!

I won’t say which jokes I think that applies to! I’ll leave that up to you!

This Roast was produced by my old friend Jeffrey Ross who I know for a long time. Jeffrey’s become known as the Roastmaster General, which is very similar to being the Postmaster General. The Postmaster General is in charge of delivering the mail, and the Roastmaster General is in charge of delivering the funny! I wonder how much Jeffrey had to do with who the Roasters were.

Comedy Central V.P. JoAnn Grigioni, Jeffrey Gurian, and Jeffrey Ross at the after-party for the Donald Trump Roast!

He himself commented, ” Look at this dais. This lineup is so pathetic, I was hoping I’D get replaced by Ashton Kutcher!”

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Jeffrey Ross, somewhere cool back in 2004!

Ross about Sheen – Charlie Sheen is to stand-up what Larry Flynt is to standing up! ( Brilliant! )

He went on to say, ” Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez would have been here tonight, but they had a family obligation”!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Jeffrey Ross at the Friars Club book party for Gurian’s book, ” Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive!”

Those are the kind of jokes I love. Clever, and funny but not cruel!

And then he asked Charlie about his kids, ” Don’t you wanna live to see their first 12 steps???” ( Hilarious! )

Greg Giraldo was missed, but was mentioned when Ross said about Anthony Jeselnik, ” Some say you’re the next Greg Giraldo. Let’s hope so!”

Also missed were Lisa Lampanelli who had another committment, and Gilbert Gottfried, who was committed!

Seth McFarlane is a great Roastmaster. He’s really found a niche for himself cause it’s a hard thing to do. I don’t know how much he writes himself, but his lines are sharp and he delivers them like he wrote them!

Seth McFarlane on TV when he hosted the Roast of Donald Trump!

I like his simple lines like ” Anthony Jeselnik’s act combines the excitement of standing there with the thrill of saying words!” That’s hysterical!

He followed it up by saying, ” You know him best by me saying his name right now! “

Anthony Jeselnik chillin’ at The Comic Strip after his set!

Seth on Mike Tyson – He’s beaten every opponent he’s gone up against so far, except the letter “S”!

Amy Schumer showed how she got on the dais with her clever lines:

Amy to Tyson – Mike Tython. Am I saying that right? You have a slutty lower back tattoo on your face! Men don’t know whether to be scared of it, or finish on it! ( To his credit Tyson laughed at everything that was said about him! )

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Amy Schumer at Gotham Comedy Club!

Amy to Sheen – You are really so famous. It was international news when you ruined the lives of those two girls that were living with you, … your daughters! ( Very edgy! I think family members used to be considered out of bounds when we wrote the Friars Roasts!) I remember one joke I wrote that got side-lined about an honoree who was so neat he let other guys f**k his wife so he wouldn’t have to get his c**k all messy!

Jeffrey Gurian with a very dressy Amy Schumer, including what look like pearls, at Gotham Comedy Club!

Amy mentioned Patrice Oneal’s bout with Diabetes and said this was also a farewell party for Patrice’s foot, and told a joke where his grandmother was the brunt of the joke. It almost looked like Patrice winced at that one, which is hard to do!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with his pal Patrice Oneal when Patrice was Jeffrey’s guest speaker at an event to create comedy workshops for inner city kids!

I was his co-host for a while on his Sirius Radio show The Black Phillip Show along with Dante Nero,who labeled me a “Level 12 Pimp”, a title I held proudly! (LOL) Patrice said he chose me not only because we got a long so well, and made for interesting partners, but because I was the only white man he ever met who knew all the words to AMG’s “Bitch Betta Have My Money!”

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Patrice Oneal at the Friars Club book party for Jeffrey’s book “FIlthy, Funny,and Totally Offensive.”

Check out some clips from the show here where Patrice is talking about me, and the beautiful girl I had with me, Jacqueline Beaulieu:

So again, there’s not many things that Patrice wouldn’t say, and I don’t know if I could even think of one, but I really think he winced at the grandmother joke!

But Amy took some unfair heat when referencing Ryan Dunn from Jackass who was killed in an auto accident, and was friends with Steve-O who was on the dais. She said, ” Sorry for the loss of your friend Ryan Dunn. You were thinking “it could have been me”, and we were all thinking, ” Why wasn’t it you?” Which doesn’t seem so harsh in light of the other things that were said, and remembering that it IS a Roast!

Seth McFarlane made jokes about Amy Winehouse, when writing Charlie Sheen’s make believe obituary, and no one said anything about that?

When Steve-O jumped face first into Mike Tyson’s fist and broke his nose, Seth said, ” That’s what it looks like when an asshole gets fisted!” No one’s that quick, so I guess that part was planned!

Anthony Jeselnik has such an unusual delivery. I can’t exactly explain what it is, but it’s great. It gives him the ability to say things you would never expect him to say. They said he’s dating Amy Schumer. I can see that happening! I think it works comedically as well as socially!

Anthony to Sheen – “The only reason you got on TV in the first place is because G-d hates Michael J. Fox!”

Patrice Oneal is like a philosopher. He does best when he has time to develop his premises of which he has many! He did great on the Roast when he told Seth McFarlane that he needs a partner to bring down his ego, like Hanna-Barbera had, like when Hanna thought he was bigger than Yogi and Barbera had to slap the shit out of him!

He also advised Seth to just come out and admit that he’s gay! He said ” No straight guy writes that many show tunes!”

You have to have a thick skin to be a Roaster or a Roastee! Everyone present gets what’s coming to them, … whether they deserve it or not!!!

Check out the previous post on Jeffrey Ross producing the Roast at:

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Jeffrey Ross Producing Charlie Sheen Roast

In today’s NY Post, Sean Daly writes about Charlie Sheen using his upcoming Comedy Central Roast to steal attention away from Ashton Kutcher’s debut as his replacement on Two and a Half Men. 

The Roast is being produced by Jeffrey Ross, aka The Roastmaster General, a nick-name bestowed upon him from his years of successful roasting at the NY Friars Club roasts and for the Comedy Central Roasts.

Comedy Central Executive JoAnn Grigioni, Jeffrey Gurian, and Jeffrey Ross at the Donald Trump Roast after-party!

He’s someone I’m happy to say has been a friend for many years. When I wrote my own Roast book with journalist Tripp Whetsell back in 2007, Jeffrey was one of the people who came to the book party at The Friars Club and went up on stage to offer a few remarks.

Jeffrey Ross with Jeffrey Gurian at the Friars Club book party for Gurian's book, " Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive."

He told my co-author Tripp that it was obvious that he was into S&M, … spaghetti and meatballs! And he asked me how I got my hair to look like a squirrel. Check out that video right here!

I had a special moment with Jeffrey a few years ago up in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Festival, which is the biggest comedy festival in the world. Jeffrey and I were alone having a bite to eat in the VIP cafe when he was approached by the head of the film festival and told that his film “Patriot Act”, in which he went overseas to entertain our troops with a bunch of other comics, won for Best Film at the festival. It was a very exciting moment to share with him, and he was really, genuinely surprised and touched, and very, very grateful.

The Charlie Sheen Roast will tape this coming Saturday in LA and will air on Monday Sept. 19th. Charlie and I partied hard back in the day, when actor/HBO star Chuck Zito was then working as his bodyguard. This was way before he starred in the HBO series “Oz”, and way before I wrote a play dedicated to him called ” A Punch In The Face” after he knocked out Jean-Claude Van Damme with one punch at Scores in NYC.

Chuck brought friends and family to the play and it wound up on Page 6 of the Ny Post, the most exclusive, and powerful gossip page in the country!

The Page 6 piece on Chuck Zito attending Jeffrey Gurian's play "A Punch In The Face" which was dedicated to Chuck! after he knocked out Jean-Claude Van Damme at Scores!

Jeffrey Ross Producing Charlie Sheen Roast

Chuck Zito posing with the cast of "A Punch In The Face" written and directed by Jeffrey Gurian!

The photo below was when they both came to my office to visit me!

Charlie Sheen, Jeffrey Gurian, and Chuck Zito hanging out at Jeffrey's office back in the day!

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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!!!

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