Comedy Matters Roundup with Jo Koy, Ali Wong, Jimmy Failla, Troy Bond, Josh Wolf, The Sunshine Comedy Festival, Comedy Cellar Podcast, Gotham Party and So Much More!!!
COMEDIANS RULE THE GOLDEN GLOBES
I was really happy when I heard that my buddy Jo Koy would be hosting the 81st annual Golden Globes. Such a huge honor. He took the gig with only about 9 days to prepare. It would be a difficult gig to host if he had had a month to prepare but with only 9 days he did an admirable job.
People who don’t do comedy and don’t know what it’s like to be on a stage like that facing an audience of the biggest stars in show biz had all sorts of comments, but I have the video of some of his highlights, and you can judge for yourself.
Ali Wong won an award for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Limited Series, for her starring role in Beef, Ray Romano was funny as a presenter with Keri Russell talking about “truth”, Jim Gaffigan presented the first ever stand up comedy award at the Golden Globes to Ricky Gervais who in true Ricky Gervais style wasn’t there to accept it, a very radiant looking Kristen Wiig and dapper looking Will Ferrell did a very funny dance as presenters, when some weird music kept coming on. It was one of the funniest bits of the evening.
All in all it was a big win for comedy!
GOTHAM HOLIDAY PARTY ROCKS
Chris and Steve Mazzilli always go all out with their after the New Year holiday party. It’s tons of good food, a live band upstairs, a DJ downstairs with a photo booth, and a kind of lottery for their employees where they win gifts. Two of the employees each won $500. in cash. Very special! Plus a ton of attendees! Their employees absolutely love them!!!
One of the first people I ran into was my pal JImmy Failla who was just named the host of FOX News’ Saturday night show, which airs Saturday nights at 10 P.M. He’s also the host of FOX News radio “FOX Across America” which airs weekdays from 12-3 PM/ET.
Just 10 years ago he was driving a taxi, and he’s living proof that if you work hard and have the talent to back it up, you can achieve great success. He’s even on billboards in Times Square!!! He told me he plans to infuse lots of comedy into the Saturday night show! You go Jimmy!!! Major congratulations on the show!!!
Comic/magician extraordinaire Harrison Greenbaum was also there with his new wife Emily. They’re back in New York after getting married in Vegas where he holds the honor of being the very first comedian to headline a Cirque du Soleil show after doing 650 shows for them.
David and Emily got married in David Copperfield’s secret magic museum, courtesy of David, … and when it came time to exchange the rings they were nowhere to be found. Then as a surprsie to all in attendance, David called out ” Maybe I can help” and he manifested a rose bush out of which he took the two rings! Congratulations and welcome back to NY to the happy couple!!!
Also at the party was Chris’ other half, comic Elyse DeLucci who I’ve had the pleasure of performing with, and who has such a great comedic delivery and unique voice , you would never know what an accomplished person she is besides her comedy career! She was also astonished that she got Chris to smile for the photo! He’s usually so busy making sure that everything is going 100% perfect he has no time to smile!
SUNSHINE COMEDY FEST A HUGE SUCCESS
As someone who has produced single comedy shows I know how hard that is to do. To produce an entire festival of shows is basically impossible, but Zach Moore, Austin Rodriguez and Brian Thompson, the owner of Side Splitters comedy club in Tampa just did it. More than 100 comedians from all over the country came down to Tampa/St. Pete for four days of shows.
Zach and Austin are partners in Coastal Creative TV a HUGE all-service, ultra-modern facility that is really beautiful and fully equipped to shoot film, TV or live shows in their two showrooms, one of which holds 350 people and the other that holds 150 people. They also have a huge LED room with an amazing screen where they made me this personalized screen for my book signing.
They brought me down there to perform, to do a book signing, and also to be the official interviewer for the festival. It was an exciting four days where I got to meet comics from all over and watch tons of shows, most of them at Coastal Creative hosted by guitar-playing musical comic Dan Bakst. Dan is aware that musical comedy can be something that some people make fun of, so he makes fun of it himself, but fortunately he’s very talented and does funny songs.
They connected me with my very own videographer, a young talented guy named Jake Lemon of Jake Lemon Productions, who accompanied me to all the venues where I wanted to interview people. Ryan Kern was another of the great video guys they had on hand to help me when Jake was busy.
I got to perform at Side Splitters in Tampa which was amazing, and owner Brian Thompson could not have been more accomodating. He set us up at a table to do my interviews and invited me back the next night to perform, which I got to do with new friend Katherine Blanford who is really funny, has done Fallon and I believe is based in Atlanta. I also got to meet and interview Marco Delvecchio from the TV show F-Boy Island who gave me one of the more unusual interviews. Jeff Dye was also there and did a great show.
I was really happy to run into Ryan Joseph who I had recently cast in my new TV pilot, The Raw Side of Comedy, that we shot over this past summer at Gotham Comedy Club. Ryan is a very unique comic, and a great writer with very unpredictable jokes, and an unusual sense of humor. He has a very difficult backstory and I think he’s going to be very big in comedy!
They had an absolutely HUGE green room at Coastal for the comics, and I was also thrilled to run into a bunch of my New York peeps, brothers and sisters in comedy like Ian Fidance who did his podcast live, Bein’ Ian with Jordan Jensen, and her new puppy, my pal Giulio Gallarotti, whose alter ego, rapper “Lil Young Big” doesn’t come around much anymore, Andy Haynes and wife Rosebud Baker with their adorable new daughter whose name I’m keeping secret, Ted Jones, and Torey Cole from Greenwich Village Comedy Club, who often opens for Troy Bond.
The great Mark Normand, who I try and have on all my shows, was there for one night but I didn’t get to see him. Hopefully I’ll be seeing him this Friday when he headlines The Beacon Theater in NY. I wonder if Jerry Seinfeld will be opening for him, since he’s been opening for Jerry who has nothing but praise for Mark!!!!
On arriving in Tampa I shared a car with LA’s Andrea Jin who I had been watching and liking her style on You Tube. We were both staying at the beautiful Beachcomber Hotel in St. Pete Beach. And on another day thanks to comic Raul Hernandez who was also a driver for the fest, I got to share a car with Jason Ellis the wild man/radio personality from Australia who is also an MMA fighter, skate boarder, podcaster and I’m sure a bunch of other things, who was to host a pool party but the weather was so cold I’m not sure it happened. I heard he came out on stage somewhere in a Speedo! And he’s totally covered in tats as you might expect from a skater!!!
There was a very nice moment when four local medical students approached my book table and asked if they could interview me because of my background as a doctor and how I was able to combine that with a comedy career.
I also met a couple of other comics from across the country that really stood out to me, Dean Allen Stanfield a good ole Texas boy from Austin, who was fun from the first moment I met him, Bianca Parato, a really funny comic also from Austin, and Nicole Aimee Schreiber a funny girl from LA!
But I had two very special encounters which will very soon be up on my Comedy Matters TV channel, one with NY’s very own up and coming superstar Troy Bond and the other with long-time star Josh Wolf. I had been hearing so much about Troy Bond from everyone I spoke to and I tried to go and see him at City Winery one night but he wasn’t able to make the show. So I was determined to see him at the fest.
Besides several shows he performed at, he was moderating a showing of the film Star Wars, (which I understand is a favorite of his), with off-screen commentary, and I patiently waited till the end to go and introduce myself. I was so pleasantly surprised when he already knew me and greeted me so warmly with a big hug, and when I told him I was looking forward to interviewing him, he humbly said he’d be honored to be on Comedy Matters TV because he’d been watching my interviews for the past 10 years.
I can see what all the buzz is about concerning Troy. He’s really funny, but also such a nice guy and so humble. We had a chance to sit and chat, just the two of us for a while, and it was very special. Can’t wait to show you guys the video. I feel like I made a new friend! He was there with his manager Logan Potter.
Basically the same thing happened with Josh Wolf. He was performing at a beautiful club called The Floridian which was not too far from Coastal. Sold out crowd. They had to add a second show. It’s more like a Broadway type theater than a comedy club. Very elegant stage. Josh performs with his son Jake, a fairly new comic who handles himself admirably, and after the show I went backstage with the other Jake, my videographer, and Coastal owner Zach Moore, and got the same kind of warm greeting from Josh. It was very heart-warming to say the least, to see how many people have seen my stuff! We also shot a really cool video that I’ll be posting soon.
RODNEY’S RE-OPENS IN MANHATTAN
Rodney Dangerfield and Tony Bevacqua opened Dangerfields in 1969. Rodney was the first big star I ever wrote for and besides doing my jokes at the club, he was doing my material on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson! #bighonor The club closed in 2020 due to Covid and sat empty on 61st and 1st Avenue for the last three years. It made me sad every time I passed by. Thanks to comic/lawyer Mark Yosef it’s back open again.
Now it’s called Rodney’s and they changed every bit of the club and modernized it because it had the same furniture and decor since it first opened in 1969. I sat with Mark and booking agent Jon Borromeo, who has a lot of experience in booking shows, right after the end of their early 5:30 Saturday evening show before they were getting ready for the 8:30 show.
Mark was also responsible for helping The Comic Strip solve a big problem, but now is putting all his efforts into making Rodney’s a success. They signed the lease in September and opened on New Year’s Eve. It took them about four months to re-do the place. All the old furniture had been left so they replaced it with all new furniture and all new fixtures. All the old photos of Rodney and celebs were gone when he took it over. He’s turning Rodney’s old dressing room into the green room for the comics.
Mark’s been so busy he hasn’t been able to perform himself for the past year. They have an open mic at the club most days at 6 P.M. He said the neighborhood has been very receptive and people are very happy that the club is back. They updated the kitchen, hired a chef and plan to be serving food by the Spring.
COMEDY CELLAR : LIVE FROM THE TABLE
Doing anything with or at the Comedy Cellar is a great honor if you’re in the comedy world. I’ve had the occasion over the years to shoot an episode of HBO’s Crashing there, thanks to Judd Apatow and Pete Holmes, to be in a scene with Colin Quinn, Wil Sylvince, Kevin Brennan and legendary booker Estee Adoram, and to do the podcast.
I’ve gotten to sit at “the table” with all the comics who perform there, got to shoot a scene there with Jessica Kirson for the documentary film that was done about me called “Who The F*ck Is Jeffrey Gurian”, and got to cover many comedy events there like Rich Vos’ birthday party, and lots of other shows and events where I shot video interviews, like the one I did with Noam after everything re-opened post Covid.
So when Comedy Cellar podcast producer/comedian Periel Aschenbrand invited me to come on, I was really happy. I had been on before but not since before Covid. They do it from the building adjacent to The Cellar, and Periel is not only the producer, and a very funny comic, but the co-host as well, with Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman, joined by second co-host Dan Naturman, and this time special guest comic and Cellar regular Carmen Lynch.
It’s always nice when you get to do a show with people you already know and feel comfortable with. Also people you know who are funny! But not everything is jokes on this podcast. There’s usually a spirited discussion about something because they all have strong opinions and are very smart. I came in on a discussion of whether Dan Naturman made a good choice about something he did. I won’t go into the details here, but let’s suffice it to say he wound up re-thinking his choice.
Carmen is so funny, has done a number of late night TV shows, movies, web series, has a special called Queef Week, and also performs in Spanish, which is amazing, … but maybe not if you’re fluent in Spanish! If you don’t speak Spanish at all, but are able to perform jokes in Spanish THAT would be truly amazing!!!
I got to talk about my Happiness books, my cure for stuttering which I used to cure myself and many others around the world, ( www.stopstutteringnowgurian.com) and the fact that I was leaving the very next day for the Sunshine Comedy Festival to perform and be the offical interviewer.
The hour and a half flew by and afterwards I sat with Noam, great comic Dov Davidoff, and Periel and had a bite to eat at the Olive Tree Cafe. It was actually quite a sumptuous dinner ordered for me by Noam himself. I was having such a great time I didn’t want to leave, but I had to go home and finish packing for my trip to Florida in the morning. (One of these days I really need to audition at The Cellar!!!)
ABE BIMPF RUNNING FOR MAYOR
It seems that a fairly unknown comedian named Abe Bimpf says he’s running for Mayor against Eric Adams. He’s blanketing the city with handmade signs drawn in crayon. They were plastered all over my neighborhood so I decided to ask people on the street what they thought about it and if they would ever actually vote for Abe Bimpf. What do YOU think???
Anyway that’s it for this column. Come back soon for more! And you can follow Jeffrey on Instagram at @jeffreygurian and there’s a good chance he’ll follow you back!!!