Posts Tagged Tina Fey

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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Colin Jost Takes Over Weekend Update on SNL Tonight

It’s been kind of a tradition that the head writer of SNL takes over the Weekend Update desk and now that Seth Meyers left to take over for Jimmy Fallon on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Colin Jost gets to occupy the co-anchor seat next to Cecily Strong, as of tonight, March 1, 2014.

Jeffrey Gurian with SNL Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost at a comedy show at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!

Jeffrey Gurian with SNL Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost at a comedy show at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!

And for that I’m staying home, because Colin is a friend and I feel like I support him better by watching it live rather than taping it!

It’s a very prestigious position held by only a relative few in the show’s 38 year history.  Chevy Chase was the first with Gilda Radner from 1975-1976, then Jane Curtin from 1976-1980, followed by Dennis Miller from 1985-1991, Kevin Nealon from 1991-1994, Norm Macdonald from 1994-1997, Colin Quinn from 1999-2000, Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon from 2000-2004, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler from 2004-2006. Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers from 2006-2008, and finally Seth Meyers and Cecily Strong from 2013-2014.

Like others before him on SNL Colin graduated from Harvard where he was President of The Harvard Lampoon, and joined SNL in 2005.  He worked his way up to head writer in 2012. 

I see Colin fairly often performing at The Comic Strip, which is one of his favorite clubs, and he’s really funny and very likeable onstage.  People will love him as the Weekend Update anchor.  His parents came to see him at one of the shows I was at and interesting fact, … his Mom is the Chief Medical Officer for the NYC Fire Department!

Colin Jost onstage at The Comic Strip!

Colin Jost onstage at The Comic Strip!

Make sure to tune in and watch!  But first watch this little video I shot with Colin backstage at The Comic Strip!

 

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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Host Golden Globes Again-Tonight on NBC

Last year when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted the Golden Globes, they both looked gorgeous and sexy, and viewership went up 17% over the year before, to almost 20 million people.  That’s a lot of people! Especially if you invite them all back to your house for a post-show snack!

I’m one of the lucky 20 million who got to tell Amy Poehler personally how much I enjoyed their performance.   It was on the set of Kroll Show, Comedy Central’s hit show starring Nick Kroll the man of a million characters, all of them funny, this past June.

Amy Poehler, Jeffrey Gurian, and Nick Kroll as Liz G. on the set of Comedy Central's hit Kroll Show!

Amy Poehler, Jeffrey Gurian, and Nick Kroll as Liz G. on the set of Comedy Central’s hit Kroll Show!

Nick had brought me out to LA to be in a sketch playing myself in a red carpet scene where I had to interact with Nick in character as Liz G., Laura Dern, Golden Globe-Award-winning actress, who played C-Czar’s mother, ( C-Czar is the toilet baby dating Pretty Liz!), internationally known singing sensation Katy Perry, and the super-talented UCB co-founder Amy Poehler!

Jeffrey Gurian with Laura Dern, as C-Czar's mom. on the LA set of Comedy Central's hit Kroll Show!

Jeffrey Gurian with Laura Dern, as C-Czar’s mom. on the LA set of Comedy Central’s hit Kroll Show!

Jeffrey Gurian with international singing star Katy Perry on the set of Kroll Show in LA!

Jeffrey Gurian with international singing star Katy Perry on the set of Kroll Show in LA!

What a thrill for me.  It’s enough to be on any show but when you get the opportunity to be on a show you absolutely LOVE it makes all the difference in the world.   Anyway after the shoot I got to tell Amy that she and Tina were incredible as hosts, and that I hoped they do it again.

Jeffrey Gurian with Amy Poehler on the LA set of Kroll Show in a sketch that will air in the new 2nd season!

Jeffrey Gurian with Amy Poehler on the LA set of Kroll Show in a sketch that will air in the new 2nd season!

When I think of comedy teams I think of the old greats Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, The Marx Brothers.  Comedy like that no longer exists.  It’s not hip enough.   Those guys probably couldn’t even get representation today.

Yet many young people still love the old comedies.

But there haven’t been any two women teams in comedy that I can think of and Tina and Amy  would be perfect to be the first ones to do it.  I told her that too! (LOL)

In their one co-starring movie, “Baby Mama” the film grossed more than $17 million in it’s opening weekend.

About a month or so later I saw Amy again in Montreal at The Just for Laughs Festival, and shot a little video with her again on the red carpet of the Just for Laughs Comedy Awards where she won for Comedy Person of the Year, in which she gave me the unexpected  honor of referring to me as her “co-star.”

Nick Kroll won for Breakout Comedy Star, even though he broke out a long time ago!  And John Mulaney who was recently written up in the NY Post as the next Jerry Seinfeld was there to present him with the award.

John also gave me a very unexpected shout-out in front of the entire comedy industry as he was introducing Andy Kindler to give his annual State of the Industry speech.  You can see it at the end of this little 3 minute video entitled “Who The F*@k is Jeffrey Gurian.”

I got to see Tina work in person when Tracy Morgan brought me to the set of 30 Rock where he was doing a scene with a horse.  I sat in the control booth with Tina’s husband Jeff Richmond and needless to say it was a really fun day! ( And if it was needless to say then why did I say it?)

Tina Fey, Jeffrey Gurian and Rachel Dratch at an Animal Fair event in NYC!

Tina Fey, Jeffrey Gurian and Rachel Dratch at an Animal Fair event in NYC!

Jeffrey Gurian with Tracy Morgan on the set of 30 Rock!

Jeffrey Gurian with Tracy Morgan on the set of 30 Rock!

Tracy Morgan and the horse he co-starred with in a scene from 30 Rock! I keep in touch with that horse!

Tracy Morgan and the horse he co-starred with in a scene from 30 Rock! I still keep in touch with that horse!

Tina and Amy have been friends for more than 20 years, as you can tell by the chemistry they have together.

Tina got SNL in 1997 and Amy came on in 2001 and since then they’ve become super-powers in Hollywood.  They both have 4 year deals with NBC, with Tina doing a new as yet unnamed series she’s writing with Robert Carlock the showrunner of 30 Rock, (how’s that for a credit on your resume?) , and Amy  has a new sit-com as well written with her brother Greg called ” Welcome to Sweden”, set to air this coming summer!

So tonight at 8 on NBC, I will be watching and cheering them on, and I’m sure you will too!

 

 

 

 

 

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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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"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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Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars, 2012

Every two years Comedy Central puts on a spectacular event to raise money to cure Autism and create programs to help autistic children. The evening, called “Night of Too Many Stars – America Comes Together For Autism Programs”, which will air Sunday, Oct. 21st, 2012, from The Beacon Theatre is produced in conjunction with Jon Stewart’s production company “Busboy Productions”.

The spectacular event ” Night of Too Many Stars” definitely lives up to it’s name!

The event is in honor of writer/performer/filmmaker Robert Smigel who is universally loved throughout the entertainment business, and also happens not only to be the father of Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, but also the father of Daniel Smigel, who is autistic.

Robert Smigel making a heartfelt thank you speech to the attendees, and explaining why Triumph couldn’t make an appearance!

Jon Stewart is the host of the show and everyone in comedy comes out for it. In the video that follows you’ll see many of the stars and VIP’s that attended ranging from Doug Herzog, Pres. of MTV Networks, to Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Tracy Morgan, Tom Morello, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ben Stiller, Katy Perry, Louis CK, and Seth Rogen.

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show who hosts and produces this Autism event every two years!

Lots more people were there, including stars you wouldn’t expect to see like Harvey Keitel, Steve Schirripa, Tommy Hilfiger, and Sting. Hannibal Buress and Bill Burr both performed great stand-up sets. Ben Stiller did a funny sketch in his character as Derek Zoolander, with Tommy Hilfiger, and Sting did an amazing musical number where someone bid about 25 G’s to have his name in an original song to be sung on air, and then gave the honor as a present to a guy named Paul Repps.

Sting singing to Paul Repps with Harvey Keitel and JB Smoove as back-up singers!

Sting sang “Paul Repps” to the tune of “Roxanne” and the name fit perfectly into the timing. The entire cast joined in as background singers, including Louis CK, (not usually known for his singing ability, Seth Rogen, Steve Schirripa, Harvey Keitel, Katy Perry (usually known for HER singing ability!) and all the rest!

The entire cast from Louis CK on down joined Sting in singing back-up for Paul Repps!

Aileen Budow and Eve Kenny ran the red carpet and did an amazing job as they always do. There’s almost as much press as audience, because of the caliber of talent that shows up, but sometimes the major TV networks keep the celebs talking so long they have no time to speak to the other people waiting to interview them, because the show has to start on time.

I got to speak to Hannibal Buress,JB Smoove, and Tom Morello, and that was very cool! I was anxious to hear Tom’s take on “Laughing Joe Biden” who laughed his way through the Vice Presidential debate. My point to Tom was that my opinion had nothing to do with politics or who you support in the election, but that it was a very childish, rude and arrogant thing to laugh like an idiot every time your opponent tries to make a point about something serious.

You can listen to those interviews here on Comedy Matters TV:

It was so beneath what you would expect from the second in command of the most powerful country in the world, that watching it alone, I found myself wondering whether it was just me who felt that way, or whether others agreed with me. I was so astonished by his behavior, that I went to the internet for validation of my feelings, and found out how many other people agreed with me. One night later, I got to talk on air about it to Curtis Sliwa, who asked me to come on and comment on the whiteness of Joe Biden’s teeth, and his propensity towards hysterical laughter!

Tom said he “would have slapped them both!” (LOL)

There were some really funny and different moments to this show and comedy is one force that can make people put their personal feelings aside for a moment and come together for one common puroise, as was the case of liberal Chris Matthews, participating in a debate with conservative Bill O’Reilly while both had to inhale helium from balloons before speaking. It was hysterical, and amazing to see the two of them laughing together like little boys, while still giving each other digs, and talking in helium-pitched tones!

(L-R)- Chris Matthews, moderator John King, and Bill O’Reilly surrounded by helium balloons! Very funny and creative gag!

Then Kevin Bacon came out dressed as “Butter” and Liev Schreiber came out dressed as “Broccoli” for a fun sketch with Paula Deen.

Kevin Bacon as “Butter” and Liev Schreiber as “Broccoli” arguing over who Paul Deen liked better!

During the live auction we got to see very creative bits like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler auctioning off their friendship for which two women each paid something like $36,000. each! The show did a very smart thing by letting two people win who were tied in a bid, thereby getting twice the money!

There was a very moving duet with Katy Perry and 11 year old autistic singer/pianist Jodi DiPiazza whose parents must have been “kvelling”, as they sang “Firework” together!

Katy Perry singing “Firework” in a duet with 11 year old Jodi DiPiazza, who is autistic and very talented!!

And Donny Deutsch wound up spending around 20 grand to take a pee with Seth Rogen, and two other guys who also paid the same amount. It was a group pee, and very original programming, I must say. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before!

Donny Deutsch, laughing hysterically with Seth Rogen in the Men’s Room where they relieved themselves together for Autism!

The broadcast, Sunday night at 8 Eastern, 7 Central will feature a live phone bank with celebs taking donations, including Ed Asner, Samantha Bee, Dane Cook, Bill Hader, Tom Hanks, Jason Jones, Hoda Kotb, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Al Pacino, Lara Spencer,Kenan Thompson, Allison Williams and Wendy Williams.
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There will be LIVE Video Chats with Phone Bank Celebrities including Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Bob Saget and Jason Sudeikis which will be offered to donors, and donor participation will determine the outcome of special stunts featuring Conan O’Brien getting a spray tan and Nick Offerman doing a striptease!
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All Donations of $100 or More Will Receive a DVD Featuring Tracy Morgan and JB Smoove giving audio commentary on “Game of Thrones”, and I got to see some of this and it’s hysterical so get out your Benjamins, and get a couple of these as give-aways!

This will be one heck of a show, and they already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars at the taping, so I can only imagine what they’ll bring in from the broadcast! Here’s hoping it’s millions!

And as a special treat, I even got to talk about my new book “Make ‘Em Laugh” with Chris Rock, to Hannibal Buress, Tom Morello, and JB Smoove!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with rock legend Tom Morello holding Jeffrey’s new book ” Make ‘Em Laugh” with an intro by Chris Rock!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Hannibal Buress who looks happy to be holding”Make ‘Em Laugh!”

JB Smoove flashing gang signs while helping Jeffrey Gurian to promote his new book ” Make ‘Em Laugh” with Chris Rock!

Posted in: Books, Celeb Photos, Charity Events, Comedy Central, Comedy Clubs, Comedy Events, Comedy Festivals, Comedy Matters, Comedy Videos, Important News, New TV Show, Red Carpet Events

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Red Carpet Video of Comedy Central’s Comedy Awards 2012 Plus Winners

I was covering the red carpet of the 2nd annual Comedy Central Comedy Awards Show 2012, and it was a star-studded event, with comedy legends like Robin Williams and Don Rickles, plus acting legends like Robert DeNiro, who presented Don Rickles with the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence.

From Julie Klausner who hosted the red carpet to Colin Quinn, John Oliver, Kristen Schaal, Randall from The Honeybadger film that got 43 million hits, The Gregory Brothers, (including Sarah, the hottest of the Gregory Brothers), Jessica Williams, the new “hot cutie”,and youngest correspondent on The Daily Show, Jim O’Heir from Parks and Recreation, Hannibal Buress, and so many more, plus private scenes from the press room, it’s all here in the following video!

So check it out right here:

Louis CK was the evening’s big winner with 4 trophies, including the awards for Best Sketch/Alternative Series,Best Stand-Up Tour and Best Comedy Special of the Year. Robin Williams was presented with the Stand-Up Icon Award by Patton Oswalt, and Don Rickles received the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence from Robert DeNiro.

The complete list of winners is here:
Comedy Special Of The Year: Louis C.K., Louis C.K.: Live At The Beacon Theater
Stand-Up Tour: Louis C.K.
Sketch/Alternative Comedy Series: Louie
Comedy Directing, TV: Louie
Comedy Series: Parks and Recreation
Comedy Film: Bridesmaids
Animated Comedy Series: Archer
Late-Night Comedy Series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Comedy Writing, TV: 30 Rock
Comedy Actor, TV: Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Comedy Actress, TV: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Comedy Actress, Film: Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Comedy Director, Film: Paul Feig, Bridesmaids
Comedy Screenplay: Bridesmaids
Club Comic: Hannibal Buress
Viral Original: Songify This, “Winning- A Song By Charlie Sheen”
Stand-Up Icon: Robin Williams
The Johnny Carson Award For Comedic Excellence: Don Rickles

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Red Carpet of 2nd Annual Comedy Awards Packed With Stars

I knew the 2nd Annual Comedy Awards from Comedy Central would be exciting, from the experience I had last year at the first annual awards, but it surpassed my expectations.

The beautifully designed Comedy Awards 2012 red carpet!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV ready to do battle on the red carpet of the Comedy Awards 2012!

Exec Produced by legendary producer Don Mischer, directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller, and with a 32 member Board of Directors that included Brad Grey, Adam McKay, James Dixon, Jon Stewart, Sandy Wernick, Steve Levine, and Rory Rosegarten, you had to know it would be a star-studded event.

The red carpet was staged before the event, at The Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th and 8th, and thanks to Aileen Budow, Eve Kenny and their team it worked spectacularly smoothly.

Everyone went out of their way to be helpful, and steer the talent towards the waiting microphones except some of the talent didn’t make it all the way down the line!

The lovely and talented Julie Klausner, who was the host of the red carpet for the Comedy Awards 2012!

Multi-faceted actress/author/podcaster/comedywriter-performer Julie Klausner was the host of the red carpet, and she was superb! She just lights up in front of the camera! Her first book, “I Don’t Care About Your Band”, was released in February 2010 by Gotham/Penguin Books, and by July 2010, it was announced that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Production Company, Gary Sanchez Productions, optioned the book for HBO.

Actress Lizzy Caplan who I met at a Gen Art Festival a couple of years back is attached to star and co-produce.

In October 2011, The Hollywood Reporter reported that NBC had picked up a pilot about a woman’s father that dates her high-school nemesis. It was based on Sue Margolis’s novel, Apocolipstick, and Julie is supposed to write and executive produce the series. I hope she has a part in it for ME!!! (LOL)

Julie Klausner interviewing Maya Rudolph on the red carpet of the Comedy Awards 2012!

She’s also written for Best Week Ever and The Awl. And she came over to say “Hi” and did such a fun interview with me! When we were done the camera crew suggested we talk about our hair, so we did another little thing together. I will be posting that soon as well! ( Really, … I will! LOL)

Even event photographer Larry Fink came over just to take a photo of my hair! I was wondering why he was shooting so close to me, and then he told me he had taken a shot of my hair!

Julie’s podcast, “How Was Your Week” was featured on Rolling Stone’s 10 Best Comedy Podcasts of the Moment, so maybe I could be on that too! (LOL)

I got to talk to several of the presenters and nominees for the awards, several of whom won, and even Doug Herzog the Pres. of MTV Networks.

A very trim-looking Doug Herzog making his opening remarks at the Comedy Awards, 2012!

I also unexpectedly ran into my old friend Noel Casler who was the Talent Logistics Coordinator for the event, sometimes known as the “talent wrangler” whose job it is to make sure all the creative elements are in place and that the talent like Robert DeNiro, Chevy Chase, and Jon Stewart all get where they need to be, and get everything they need to have.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with “talent wrangler” Noel Casler at the Comedy Awards 2012!

I started the interviews with my buddy Colin Quinn,and we agreed that if he lost, we’d drown our sorrows across the street in Dunkin’ Donuts, but we didn’t wind up going, cause neither of us wanted to gain the weight. Nobody really loses at these things anyway, because it’s an honor just to be nominated, and Colin knows that everyone loves him, and his Jerry Seinfeld directed show “Long Story Short”. Colin is one of the few comics to actually star on Broadway, not once but twice!

I also got to speak to John Oliver, and Kristen Schaal who were representing The Daily Show, and I kidded John by asking him why Jon Stewart was leaving The Daily Show! He got a big kick out of that! (LOL)

(L-R) John Oliver, Kristen Schaal, and Jeffrey Gurian sharing a laugh on the red carpet of the Comedy Awards 2012!

I also spoke with Reggie Watts who was so comfortable wearing whatever he was wearing on his head that he didn’t even respond when I asked him what it was. He answered about something else as if he didn’t notice he was wearing an elegant looking “Kafiyeh” of some kind draped across his head!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Reggie Watts and his elaborate headscarf on the red carpet of the Comedy Awards 2012!

Then Hannibal Buress stopped by to chat and he wound up winning for Best Club Comic, being up against heavy hitters like Ted Alexandro, Pete Holmes, Anthony Jeselnik, John Mulaney, Kumail Nanjiani, Chelsea Peretti who I just ran into in LA when I was out there appearing in sketches for Nick Kroll’s new show, Amy Schumer, Moshe Kasher, and Rory Scovel.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Chelsea Peretti in LA at The Comedy Store!

Randall “The “Honeybadger Guy”, as he’s known, was there, and to be honest, I hadn’t hear about his film before I met him. That didn’t stop him from hugging me like we were old friends, and he’s really genuine and very sweet. He hugs everyone he meets and he means it. I liked that about him. He seemed very sincere as you’ll see when I edit the video I keep claiming to have! (LOL)

His video about the Honeybadger has over 43 million hits so far, and when you watch it, you might be tempted to think to yourself, ” I could do that.” The difference is that he DID do it! He said he knew he was onto something when he got 1 million hits the first week it was up.

I also spoke to The Gregory Brothers who won for their viral original “Songify This,”Winning-A Song By Charlie Sheen”!

Louis CK won so many awards, that by the 4th one, he was embarrassed to get up and accept them. He even won for Best Sketch Series which he said his show wasn’t! (LOL) Louis happens to be very humble despite all of his well-deserved success!

Louis CK accepting one of his four awards at the Comedy Awards 2012!

A lot of the cast of the Judd Apatow produced hit “Bridesmaids” was there including Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, who unfortunately did not do the red carpet, (or at least the piece I was on! LOL), Wendi McLendon-Covey, and director Paul Feig, and they won for Best Comedy Film!

Best Animated Series went to Archer and a lot of that cast was there including Chris Parnell, and the funny and gorgeous Aisha Tyler who I met at The Friars Club event honoring Brett Ratner. We were supposed to do a video interview but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. At least I got to see her in the Press Room!

Best Comedy Writing went to 30 Rock, and Best Comedy Series went to Parks and Recreation, which was represented by creator Mike Schur, Amy Poehler, Jim O’Heir, Retta, and a few others I wasn’t able to identify!

The cast of Parks and Rec with Amy Poehler second from the left!

This is a little Comedy Central clip of them accepting their award!

The Daily Show, which won for Best Late-Night Comedy Series, was well represented and besides John Oliver and Kristen Schaal, I got to speak to Jessica Williams the newest and youngest correspondent who’s still in college and is really so energetic and soooo cute! She was really excited to be there!

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show onstage during his appearance at the Comedy Awards 2012!

Robin Williams came by briefly and shook hands with me. He was presented with the Stand-Up Icon Award, and seemed genuinely grateful to be in the room with all the young talent. He specifically said he was a big fan of Patton Oswalt and would love to work with him.

I was surrounded by friends on the red carpet. On one side of me was Clayton Fletcher and Ben Rosenfeld working as a team, and on the other side was radio guru, and Exec. Producer Jake Ray from Emmis Communications who works with Hot 97, 98.7 Kiss, and Loud Digital Network among others!

And after the red carpet we went to the Press Room where we had food and drinks and got to watch the show on a huge screen TV. Then when the winners were announced a lot of them made their way down to the Press Room for further questions. That was a great new innovation, but unfortunately while we were interviewing the winners, they had to turn down the volume on the TV, so we were missing the show. With all of our technology there’s still no way to do both! (LOL)

One of the highlights for me was running into Ed Helms as we were leaving. Ed is such a great guy and a big talent. I had recently seen him in LA while on the Nick Kroll set, since he was shooting sketches with Nick as well, so we had a chance to talk, and when he saw me this night he asked his companion to take a shot of us. (Not “AT” us, “OF” us! LOL) Then that gave me the opportunity to whip out my own camera and ask her to take a shot of us too!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with renowned actor Ed Helms of Hangover fame!

All I’ll tell you about the show is that Chris Rock was the first presenter for Best Comedy Special of the Year, and when he read the names of the nominees, he prefaced it by saying that three were funny, one used to be funny, and one was NEVER funny and then said that he wasn’t kidding! The nominees were Louis CK, Norm MacDonald, Patton Oswalt, Colin Quinn, and Daniel Tosh, and then Chris noted they were all White and said, ” I guess Kevin Hart didn’t do anything this year, huh?”

First presenter Chris Rock giving the award for Best Comedy Special of the Year!

The show’s climax was the presentation by Robert DeNiro, of the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence, which went to Don Rickles, and they showed a fantastic compilation of his TV and film appearances with Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin among others.

The legendary Don Rickles was presented with the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence!

When the video is edited I’ll write more. Just be ready to watch it on May 6th, at 9 P.M. on Comedy Central and you’ll see all these fabulously talented people for yourself!

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Tracy Morgan Gives Young Comic Nore Davis A Shot

Tracy Morgan Gives Young Comic Nore Davis A Shot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Comedy Matters "Comedian Who Matters" Contest

Comedy writer/producer and writer of the national column/vlog Comedy Matters, Jeffrey Gurian, is set to launch a new comedy competition for up-and-coming stand-up comedians.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters with Chris Rock at The Comic Strip!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters with Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch!

Beginning on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011, relatively unknown comedians from around the world will be able to submit videos of themselves performing their best three minutes of stand-up comedy via a YouTube or Vimeo link (no file attachments, please!) to Gurian at COMEDIANWHOMATTERSCONTEST@GMAIL.COM. No entry fee is required, all contestants need to do to be considered is ‘LIKE’ Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters on Facebook and send in their best 3 minutes.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters with Bo Burnham at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal!

Jeffrey will watch all the submissions and choose his 10 favorites to be finalists. These 10 finalist videos will be posted on the Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters Facebook page where fans can vote by ‘LIKE’ing the page and then ‘LIKE’ing their favorite comedian video. At the end of the voting period, the comedian who has the most ‘LIKES’ wins.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters on the receiving end of a big bearhug from Bill Burr!

The prizes include an article/interview on Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters blog, a guest spot on Jeffrey’s Sunday or Monday night late show at the legendary Comic Strip Live comedy club in New York City, and the title of “Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedian Who Matters”.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters dancing with Lisa Lampanelli as part of his ” Dancing With Comedians” series!

For up-to-the-minute details on the contest, you can also follow Jeffrey Gurian on Twitter @jeffreygurian!

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If you’d like more information about Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedian Who Matters Contest, or to schedule an interview with Jeffrey Gurian, please contact his assistant, Corinne Fisher, at 908-265-2087 or via E-mail at CorinneFisherComedy@gmail.com.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters out in LA, with Billy Crystal who will be hosting this year’s Oscars ceremony!

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