With the months-long writer’s strike finally at an end, Pete Davidson was able to host SNL which he was supposed to do last May before the strike started. He opened with a line about the war between Israel and Hamas, and said, ” I know what you’re thinking. Who better to comment on it than Pete Davidson?”

And then he went on to explain how his Dad was the victim of a terrorist attack when the towers came down on 9/11/01. His Dad Scott, had been a fireman who lost his life in the attack when Pete was only 7 years old. His mother tried to shield him from it, but he found out three weeks later by seeing it on TV.

I first met Pete when he was still a teenager and often came to do my late night show at The Comic Strip with his close friend Jordan Rock. Jordan and I were given the honor of hosting “late-night” at The Strip.

Owner/founder Richie Tienken gave us that honor because prior to that the comics introduced each other without much of an intro and just brought the next comic to the stage. I hosted Sunday and Monday night, and Jordan hosted Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Late night happened after the last show ended, and the audience was told they could stay for free to see up and coming comedians. And not just anyone could do “late-night.” You had to be passed in the club by doing “the Lottery Show” which was judged by Richie, and other comics like Patrice O’Neal, and Bobby Kelly.

Pete did such a great job as the SNL host. He was very self-deprecating and showed a lot of humility by referring to himself as a drug addict, talked about being bipolar, and did a sketch making fun of his talent and his great show Bupkis, with co-stars Edie Falco and Joe Pesci. He played a lot of fun characters, some of them shirtless, and people even got to see all his tattoos.

A fond memory of mine with Pete is when he introduced me to his girlfriend at the time, Carly Aquilino, one night at Gotham Comedy Club. Carly was a regular on the MTV show Girl Code at the time, and he said to her, ” This is Jeffrey Gurian, a guy you can trust!” A nicer thing could not have been said.

The night I’m writing this I’ll be seeing Pete perform at City Winery and so many people wanted to come out and see him that they had to add a second show! More on that in my next column!!!


I didn’t know my buddy Jim Gaffigan was waiting to go on next when I was on stage at New York Comedy Club. Not that it would have changed what I did, and sometimes it’s better if you don’t know who’s out there, but I was very surprised to see him. He didn’t seem that surprised to see me! (LOL) And I almost didn’t even recognize him in the dark!

He was working out some new material which was very funny, … no surprise! Last time I saw him was not too long ago at the 92NY when he was promoting his co-starring role in the new Peter Pan and Wendy movie playing Mr. Smee.


Sheba Mason did a very difficult thing. During Covid, July of 2020 to be exact, she opened a new comedy room on West 54th Street in a venue called Three Monkeys! Don’t blame her, that’s the name. In the days when most comedy clubs were closed and people were performing outdoors in parks, Sheba created an indoor/outdoor show that became very popular. The buzz was that it was definitely a room to perform in.

She called the show Sheba’s Speakeasy and Dave Attell was dropping by on the regular and Louis CK popped in as well. Recently she created a podcast that I was a guest on which she called “Beat The Meat” another unusual choice for a name, that has to do with two guests competing against Sheba using artificial intelligence.

I did the show and still can’t promise I understood what was going on, but it was fun. Each contestant gets a turn to choose categories that they “think” they have deep knowledge about, while as Sheba explains it, “Chat GPT generates a riddle about the answer chosen by one contestant while the other two have to guess what the hell it’s describing.” In addition I got to tell my heart attack story!


Mike Young and Ryan Reiss run a weekly comedy show at The Ned which draws great talent in a very upscale environment. It’s in the Ned NoMad Hotel on Broadway, a private club owned by nightlife king Richie Akiva, who I know from back in the Butter days, one of his first super successful celeb hangouts.

In the couple of times I dropped by to catch up with Mike, he had great line-ups like T.J. Miller, Matt Richards, Gina Brillon, Adam Ferrara and Tony Rock. I didn’t know Mike and Tony had toured together for a year and were really tight.

Tony and I go back to our days at The Comic Strip, and he was my feature when I produced Kevin Hart back in 2010 in a benefit for Haiti out at Westbury Theatre. Three thousand people showed up. He and Mike got up on stage together and they told a hilarious story about the time they got involved with a cousin of Tony’s who was 6’9″ and unknown to them was on the run from the law. They wound up spending the night with him in an assisted living facility for the deaf, that had a flashing red light to warn them if the police showed up.


Comic Paul Anthony produces comedy festivals like the Long Island Comedy Festival, which I have attended, so I was really happy when he asked me to be the surprise guest comedian at the Ha Ha Festival he produced in Sag Harbor out in The Hamptons. Great line-up, great crowd, packed house! No more need be said!!!


Jeremy Moses ran a great, fun and entertaining show called Game Breakers on Prime Video TV. It was a sports/comedy show hosted by two fun comedians Eitan Levine and Drexton Clemons. I was on last March and had a blast even though I don’t know one thing about sports!

I was happy to be called back this month but sad to learn the show was not being renewed, … but again happy to learn I was being called back because they told me I was one of their favorite guests. I still didn’t know anything about sports, so just told a lot of fun stories, and this time they had added a third fun co-host named Baker Machado, who also made me feel very welcome. We had tons of laughs and I’m sure they and Jeremy will be going on to another fun show.

Last time as I was leaving I ran into Zac Amico who was waiting to go on as the next guest, and this time I ran into the always funny Daniel Perafan.


For anyone not familiar with Laura Slutsky, she is an accomplished producer/performer and a leader and innovator in the advertising world for over 25 years. She made her name with her company People Finders, casting real people for testimonial videos for TV, radio and print ads all over the world. She’s appeared on Oprah, Larry King, GMA, The Today Show and more!

This month she did a fundraiser at The Triad Theater to raise money for the survivors of the Maui wildfires. It was a comedy/variety show that she hosted with comedians like Jamie deRoy, Nancy Parker and Todd Stone, … half of The Stone Brothers, and it was a really fun evening and a great success!!!


Not the State University of NY, but Stand Up New York and it’s an event produced by comedian and SUNY regular Kevin Hurley with his partner in crime comedian George Vanarthos. It’s a comedy competition for up and coming talent and the winners on the most recent night I judged were Alec Preston, Grace Lobo, Omry Hananya, and the overall winner was Mia Wilson. The finals were last week and the overall winner was Julia Kastner and runner up was Farzin Moradi.

(L-R) George Vanarthos, Alec Preston, Grace Lobo, Omry Hananya, Mia Wilson and Kevin Hurley!


Trying to write about Barry Katz could require it’s own entire column, because his history in comedy is so vast, so suffice it to say that he’s an Emmy and Grammy nominated TV-film-record producer, talent manager, and podcast host, who has worked with almost every big name in comedy you can imagine.

I know Barry since the days he owned The Boston Comedy Club down on West 3rd Street in the Village, from 1988 until 2005. I recall attending a birthday Roast there for new comic Jeffrey Ross. I’d often drop by with Patrice O’Neal.

Barry has represented and influenced the careers of comics like Louie Anderson, Ken Jeong, Hasan Minhaj, and Mike Epps, gave stage time to comics early in their careers like Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Sarah Silverman, Dave Attell, Bobcat Goldthwait, and the late Patrice O’Neal, as well as helping launch the careers of Dave Chappelle, Nick Swardson, Louie CK, Bill Burr, Marc Maron, Bert Kreischer, Jim Gaffigan, Dane Cook, Steve Byrne, Jeffrey Ross, Neil Brennan, and Tracy Morgan. Is that enough?

There’s more!!! He also sold 39 out of the 40 comedy specials he produced, brokered an unprecedented 100 TV development deals, created 3 television shows, and executive produced over 50 different specials, documentaries, reality shows, and scripted series, and I think the only person he never repped was ME!!!

Now he’s offering memberships to the comedy community called “Blueprint for Success” where comedians get a chances to learn from the great one and from comedy celebs and people on his team. Judging from his past, it’s gotta be a winner!!! I signed up, so maybe I’ll finally learn something!!!

If you’d like to sign up for Barry’s classes and guidance this coupon will give you 25% off using the code JEFFREY, and this is the link to sign-up:


Noel Leon is an LA based comedian/filmmaker/IG influencer with just about 1 million followers. So when she called me to star in her new short film I was definitely up for it especially when she described it as very Woody Allen-esque!

Woody was my early inspiration and my idol, from watching his stand-up on the Ed Sullivan show. He actually spent time with me and read some of my earliest material while I was still a junior in Dental School.

The film is called “A Walk In The Park” and it’s a story about a very unlikely friendship, the kind of story I love. We’re currently shooting it in Central Park. And as a matter of fact the bench we chose to shoot on, very randomly had a plaque on it dedicated to “Jeffry.” Spelled it wrong but theoretically, the fact that it even had my name on it can’t even happen!!! Stay tuned for more on that to come! Also in the film comic Victoria Arnstein!


Joe DeRosa is a multi-talented guy. Not only does he do comedy, host a podcast with Sal Vulcano called Taste Buds, and make delicious sandwiches in his shop called “Joey Roses” but he also has a kick-ass band called Salsa Windfall. I can attest to that because I had the honor of starring in the recent music video for his new song “Mouth On My Money.”

We shot it in the offices of The Impractical Jokers, and the song is so catchy I couldn’t get it out of my head for days. I originally thought I’d be part of an ensemble but it turned out it was just me and Joe, mostly me, … crazy dancing and lip-synching to the song.

This past weekend, Salsa Windfall headlined this cool space downtown on Stanton Street, and the place was packed with Joe DeRosa fans, many of whom recognized me from the video, and told me how much they liked it.

The band before SW was a band called Czarface, a rap band that totally blew me away. The lead singer Seamus, was just that good, and Josh Adam Meyers of Goddam Comedy Jam fame was the MC who totally brought the energy to the room.

As I came in the very first person I saw was The Homeless Pimp, uber-producer of the NoPresh network that produces both Taste Buds and Hey Babe the pod done by Chris Distefano and Sal Vulcano. I have been invited to be on both and am just waiting for dates. Pimp snapped some photos of me entering the club and again backstage in the dressing room with the Salsa boys, and their manager Emilio Savone, owner of New York Comedy Club, and the photos of the event below are courtesy of The Homeless Pimp!

Joe and his bandmate Paul Chell had such an interesting and innovative sound, some of it purposely discordant which reminded me so much of Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention who I absolutely loved. After the show I went up to Joe to congratulate him on such a great show, and took what I thought was a chance telling him his music reminded me of Zappa’s music. The reason I said “took a chance” was because not everyone appreciates their art being compared to someone else.

On the contrary Joe rolled up his non-existent sleeve and showed me a tattoo on his arm that said “Zappa Lives” a complete and total coincidence. It was too noisy for him to tell me the story but I’ll probably have it for the next issue of this column. Gotta go now! Life is waiting!!!

Btw, so fun seeing Joe and Paul do Mouth On My Money live with me dancing on the screen behind him! At the end though he did shout me out on stage, which was very cool!

Hope you will subscribe and you can follow Jeffrey on Instagram at @jeffreygurian

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So I’ve been covering the comedy scene for more than 20 years with Comedy Matters and until now I have NEVER seen anyone sell out Radio City and the very next night sell out The Theatre at Madison Square Garden until Chris Distefano did it this past weekend.

I’m still tripping on the excitement of being there both nights and watching him crush it so easily. He seemed very calm and I’m not sure why but I was as nervous as if I was performing! I think maybe it was the stress of getting there with the U.N. traffic that has been destroying New York for the past week!

James Mattern did a great job hosting both nights. My man Mike Cannon crushed on Friday night’s show, and The Homeless Pimp and NYVideoGuy filmed the whole thing. It was a classy affair with a band as the opening act, and Chris did a really smooth hour.

After the show the after-party was bangin’ with lots of food, and a very hip, stylish crowd. Ryan Ling was there, the creator of MTV’s Girl Code and Guy Code both of which shows Chris was on. We got to talk about a couple of new projects he’s developing.

And Chris’ Mom and Dad were both there, and he kept apologizing to his Mom every time he cursed or said something off color. His material is very family oriented, and I give him so much credit for being able to tell stories about his Mom and Dad, who have been divorced for many years, with them in attendance.

They are both good sports and I was very excited to meet his Mom and congratulate her for birthing such a big comedy star! We had a good laugh about all of his apologies, which she laughingly said were definitely needed!

But no one could have been prouder than Chris’ manager Emilio Savone, co-owner of the many iterations of New York Comedy Club that he runs so successfully. We always like to reminisce about the fact that 15 years ago he was selling tickets to comedy clubs all over the city and how he owns them! And of course big props to Tommy Russo, “Comedy Tommy”, who’s Chrissy’s tour manager and makes sure that every single thing is just right!!!

And uber agent Mike Berkowitz from WME was there because he handles every big comedy tour there is, and he too said to me that in his 22 years he has never seen a comedian sell out Radio City one night and the next night sell out The Theatre at MSG. True comedy history!!!

Chris ended the show by bringing out his “Puerto Rican family”, which was Jaz and their 3 kids and it was such a nice touch. He was carrying the little 2 year old.

The next night the show opened with a drummer who drummed along to lots of hit rock songs, and the girl I was with, Princess Cindy, knew all of them! She got along great with Princess Pixie who was there as well both bringing amazing energy to the event!

On the second night Sal Vulcano made a surprise appearance to THUNDEROUS applause. The applause was so loud and went on for so long that he finally asked the audience to stop so he could start performing. I was hoping to see him at the after party but he didn’t hang out!

He also did not disappoint and did a particularly hilarious bit on what it takes in his life for a woman to get dumped by him! Made perfect sense!!!

And then there was the after-after party at Richie Akiva’s private club The Ned down on Broadway! Very hip affair, with an amazing band and an hour in, tour manager Tommy Russo came and told me that The Homeless Pimp wanted me to come out and dance, which I did. Not with him though with Princess Cindy! (LOL) But it felt weird with me dancing and him not filming me, which is what he did when we filmed the Joe DeRosa music video Mouth On My Money! You MUST see this!!!

Chrissy finished his show by saying that his next goal was playing the 20,000 seat Garden and I assured him that I would be there for that too! And then we did this:


A few weeks before Chris’s show I got a call from Judi Marmel, an exec at Levity Live in L.A. telling me that Taylor Tomlinson would be performing at Radio City and of course it was also a sold out affair. I hadn’t seen Taylor since the year before up at JFL when we shot a video on the red carpet of the JFL Awards because she won for Breakout Comedy Star of the Year. Only one year later she’s selling out Radio City, … 6,000 seats!!! For not one but TWO shows which meant 12,000 tickets!!!

She was filming a new Netflix special, and recently signed a deal for not one but two more Netflix specials, which will be her 3rd and 4th specials for the network! The girl is prolific!!!

Her hour-long standup debut, “Quarter-Life Crisis,” premiered on the platform in 2020, followed by “Look at You” in 2022. I was just so impressed with her writing. She’s so clever and delivered a flawlessly smooth performance.

The fun part for me is always going back afterwards to congratulate the performer. I NEVER get tired of doing that, because it takes so much hard work for them to get to the point where they sell out a prestigious venue like Radio City and love to give them the support! Especially when she did such a spectacular job!


She’s on her “Have It All” tour and her opening act who was very funny was Dustin Nickerson. I hadn’t seen him before but I have a feeling I’ll be seeing more of him in the future. The after-party was packed and I was not aware that there were so many meeting rooms in Radio City. You go in elevators and up to other floors through winding hallways. Most people will probably never see them! Also interesting to me!


Magicians have always been a staple of Las Vegas shows but legit magician/stand up comedians are few and far between, and Harrison Greenbaum stands out amongst those few. He will be making a big announcement very soon, probably headlining his own show, ( just a guess on my part!), after doing 650 shows with Cirque de Soleil’s Mad Apple, and being the first comedy magician ever headline a Cirque de Soleil show.

I saw him recently in New York when he had a party and book signing for his new book “You Are All Terrible.” The party was at the famous Tannen’s Magic Shop, the oldest and most venerated magic shop in NYC, and the only place you can get the book.

And Harrison regaled the attendees with stories like how Criss Angel snuck in to see his show, how his 1 or 2 day gig in Vegas turned into a 1 1/2 year contract and how his jokes and tricks almost got him fired, sued or killed!!!

But one thing I will never forget about Harrison is how when I was in the hospital with Covid Double Pneumonia back in March of 2020, he and Corinne Fisher organized a get well video for me of many of the comedians in New York! Such a kind thing to do, which really helped me to gain the strength to recover. I always say it’s a shame you have to be so sick to know that people care about you! (LOL)

This is the video.


My long-time friendship with Ice-T and Coco goes back to my longtime friendship with Richard Belzer, which Ice reminded me about when I went out to Southampton to attend The Barbie and Ken Pink Rose Soiree, a charity event to raise money for sick and underprivileged children. The event was held at the fabulous Bentley Hotel, and was produced by nightlife guru Richie Hosein.

The event was absolutely packed. Valet parking worked overtime to accommodate all the cars, and Ice’s wife Coco Austin wore an amazing pink outfit that was definitely a highlight of the event! Both she and Ice were very gracious, as they always are, in interacting with the crowd and posing for photos with everyone who asked!



There was a time when women in comedy had to play it down and make themselves look plain. Not anymore! Lauren Francesca is a You Tube star with more than a million followers on Facebook and hundreds of thousands on IG.

I get to see her when she’s in NY, visiting from her home in LA, and planning a new project because she was in my very first You Tube video back around 2011 and I created HER very first You Tube video in which she played a woman named Besame Mucho, the “Best Kisser In The World.”

So she came by the Comedy Matters crib so we could shoot a couple of IG and Facebook Live videos. And it goes without saying that I took her to a show at Gotham Comedy Club, where I always have my own table, and where I recently shot the pilot for The Raw Side of Comedy! Shout out to Chris Mazzilli!!! (LOL) Stay tuned for more on Lauren!!!


Ernie Anastos is a broadcasting legend with over 40 years of radio and TV on his resume, even though he looks too young for that to be true. I was going to say “under his belt” but he’s still so slim it wouldn’t fit under his belt!!! (LOL)

Everyone knows that comedy carries a message even more than being serious, so I’ve had the privilege of being on air with Ernie on his 77 WABC radio show called Positively Ernie, talking about Mental Health and then again on the importance of Family. and connection to combat the epidemic of loneliness that is a true killer.

We impart information at the same time making it humorous and people love it, as evidenced by the number of callers who can’t wait to participate.

It’s always been a dream of mine to have a show that only present positive content, and Ernie is doing it! He just got his own TV show called Positively America which will air on Sunday mornings on WPIX, Channel 11. Congratulations Ernie I know it will be a big hit!!!


This seems to be a column for record breakers! Most comedy shows are glad if they can last a couple of years. In 2004 Seth Herzog, the warm-up comedian for Jimmy Fallon started a show called Sweet and it’s in it’s 19th year.

He celebrated it’s anniversary in it’s new location, Chelsea Music Hall on West 15th Street, with a variety of talent, including a mentalist, social media stars, and with the great Adam Pally as his co-host. I first met Adam through Nick Kroll when we shot Kroll Show together and had an amazing time with so many of Nick’s friends who were on the segment with us.

Adam opened the show and made sure to say he wasn’t a stand up comedian but was consistently funny the whole time he was on stage. Needless to say it was a great show. I did it once and Seth and I decided that I need to do it again! More on that to come!!!


The Soho International Film Festival is a very prestigious festival and I get to cover it every year thanks to Exec. Director and Head of Programming Sibyl Santiago, and Carlos Santiago, Jury Director of Film Selections, and their PR guru Rick Eberle! There’s so much competition especially to be the opening night film, and this year it was a film directed by actor/director Robin Givens, who I’ve wanted to meet for a very long time!

I actually met her once a long time ago at a place called Columbuis Cafe which was like the Spago of New York for celebs, but that’s a story for another day!

The film is called “The Nana Project” starring Academy Award winner Mercedes Ruehl with two very dissimilar grandsons played admirably by Nolan Gould and Will Peltz. She is their only family and they are her only family and it’s a great story.

Robin was very gracious and spent a lot of time on the red carpet allowing her fans to take photos with her. She was so excited she described herself in my video as being “speechless”! As a matter of fact she was so excited she ended my interview with a kiss and then offered me to return it which I did very gladly!

It was also a special treat that she knew jewelry designer to the stars Jessica Robinson who was there with me, and was kind enough to commandeer my camera, and take all the photos and videos I needed! Thanks so much Jess!!! The other videos and photos were snapped by celeb photog Jeff Smith who can usually be found on every “hot” red carpet!!!

The full video is below but in case it doesn’t open you can use this link:

Unfortunately every column must eventually come to an end, and I guess this is it! Please feel free to share this with your peeps and tell them it’s cool to Subscribe! You can also subscribe to the Comedy Matters You Tube channel at for more videos with your favorite comedians and follow Jeffrey on Instagram at @jeffreygurian. Bye , .. for now!!!

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Joe DeRosa is a man of many talents. He’s a comedian, actor, musician, podcaster, writer and food guru, but when he contacted me to ask if I’d be in his new music video, I wasn’t sure what to do. I thought I might be with an ensemble cast. Turned out it was basically just me! (LOL)

Joe has a band called Salsa Windfall and their new song is called “Mouth On My Money.” It’s on the No Presh network which is the home of the podcast he does with Sal Vulcano called “Taste Buds”, and the podcast with Sal and Chris DiStefano called “Hey, Babe” produced by Mike Lavin who prefers to go by the name “The Homeless Pimp.”

When I first met him I was reluctant to call him that, the same as I felt awkward calling “Ratso” Sloman “, … the former editor of National Lampoon, … “Ratso” until “Ratso” told me he was given the name by none other than Bob Dylan and wears it proudly. From that time on I never felt bad about calling him “Ratso”!

I thought about all the crazy things that Sal and The Jokers do on Impractical Jokers and used that as inspiration to agree to dance in Joe’s music video, and I’m so glad I did. It’s important to challenge yourself in life which is what I try to do on a daily basis. I was afraid of making myself look foolish!

But it was so much fun and I’m so glad I did it. We shot it in the downtown offices of The Impractical Jokers, and it was shot by Pimp and NYVideoGuy! I got to tell Sal that he was my inspiration later in the month when I saw him performing at City Winery. He said he LOVED the video!

We also talked about the new special he’s planning! This is how THAT went down!


The special effects Pimp created for Mouth On My Money were amazing and you can see it all right here!


Any of you old enough to remember the term “Borscht Belt” will definitely appreciate the festival that was held in Ellenville, NY to honor the hotels in the Catskill Mountains where Jewish people used to flock from the 1940’s and 50’s through the 1980’s.

One of the biggest and most popular was Grossingers, a hotel with a dining room that sat 1300 people, served 3 meals a day with all you could eat inclusive, a HUGE nightclub called The Terrace Room where big comedy stars of the day performed, like Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, Robert Klein, David Brenner, Jackie Mason, Buddy Hackett, and tons more, and it even had its own airstrip to fly in the big stars and ultra-rich people who stayed there.

Jennie Grossinger ran the hotel for many years until she passed away in 1972, and her daughter Elaine Etess took over. I was there at two different times in my life, … as a very young boy who sang solo in a Hebrew choir and was there for the High Holidays, and as an adult as a comedy writer where I got to meet many of the stars I wound up writing for.

I was honored to be asked to participate in a panel about Grossingers with the two producers working on a documentary film about the hotel, tentatively titled “Welcome To Grossingers.” Harris Salomon of Atlantic Overseas Pictures and the legendary producer of many films, Bob Friedman of Bungalow Entertainment are behind the project.

The night before the fest started there was a welcoming party in Ellenville at a place called Marbellas. I was thrilled to see that we had a packed room at our event and that so many people are still interested in that era. I think it has a lot to do with the success of Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” set in the 1950’s.

Jennie Grossinger’s daughter Elaine Etess, who is now 91, and her brother Mitchell both called in on Zoom to join the panel and reminisce about the great days of Grossingers.


While I was there I also caught a couple of comedy shows, one in particular hosted by the ultra-talented Lucie Pohl who often does one-woman shows. This show featured comedians who were immigrants as many of the hotel guest in the Catskills resorts were immigrants. And I got to see one of my faves, Daniel Simonsen from Norway who is hilarious and who has appeared in a couple of shows I produced.


Over 4,000 members of people who identify as belonging to the Hebraic persuasion showed up at the Coney Island Amphitheatre in Brooklyn for Dani Zoldan’s Chosen Festival, hosted by Elon Gold and Modi. There haven’t been comedy duos for many years, like Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Allen and Rossi, but these two guys come awfully close! And that’s a good thing!!!

Except while Marty Allen was the comic and Steve Rossi acted as the straight man, both of these guys, Elon and Modi are the comics, and with Modi being very open about being gay, he’d never agree to be called a “straight man!” (LOL)

Thanks to Dani and Jon Borromeo, the general manager of Stand Up New York, I had an All Access pass, so I went to the VIP room and got to hang with old pals Rich Vos, Elon Altman, Jeff Ross, and Ari Shaffir! Also on the show were Jessica Kirson, who makes the most unusual faces when she performs, Eli Leonard, Eunji Kim who somehow identifies as Jewish, and with a special guest spot from Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, and his owner Robert Smigel.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how many members of the Orthodox community are into comedy, and two of them came over to tell me they liked my Joe DeRosa video “Mouth On My Money.” Both of them happened to be musicians who were playing at the festival before the comedy began, Roli Friedman with the group Emotional Intelligence, and Yaakov Hyman-Zusha with his band Zusha, sporting a ZZ Top worthy beard, and a beautiful smile!!!


The biggest surprise was surprise guest Dave Attell who closed the show, and about whom Elon Gold said, ” If the Unibomber hung out at Katz’s deli” which was the best description of the evening. Dave always comes on stage with a bag or backpack, and of course he was hilarious.

(L-R) Jeff Ross, Ari Shaffir, Modi, Rich Vos, Dave Attell, Elon Gold – They almost had a Minyan!

Another thing about the festival. They could have saved money on Security. Not one fight or argument broke out. It was a very polite crowd. People apologized to each other if they got in someone’s way. I didn’t have to worry telling the guy next to me to stop rocking back in his seat every time he laughed, ( which was a lot) and shaking my seat, in fear that he’d pull out a weapon, and no Jewish street gangs showed up to spoil the fun for everyone. It was a “haimishe” crowd! (LOL)And a very big success!!! I would have LOVED to perform for that crowd. Maybe next time!!!


I keep writing about the amazing shows that City Winery is offering, but I didn’t expect them to get Russell Peters who fills arenas! I was with Russell when he filled MSG with 20,000 screaming fans! Or should I say 20,000 laughing fans!

I let him know I was coming because very often they have security outside the green room and even if you know the comic who’s performing they still give you a hard time getting back to say hello. I didn’t take any chances. I contacted Russell AND his brother Clayton just to make sure.

He had 4 sold out shows in two nights, Thursday and Friday. I hit the early show on Thursday and the late show on Friday. Both nights he had the very funny Gregg Rogell open for him. Gregg often travels with him on his international tours. On Friday night’s late show he gave a guest spot to Nimesh Patel, who was kind enough to shout me out from the stage!

Russell is one of the only comics who literally plays the whole world. When he says he’s on a world tour he really means it. This current tour is called the “Act Your Age” tour. He still does all the accents and no one is offended which is why I always refer to him as “The Messiah of Comedy,” because he brings Healing to the masses by making them all laugh at themselves before they laugh at each other!

We shot a little video together backstage. Check it out!!!


Almost a year ago I was hired as an Exec. Producer/Host of a proposed TV pilot called The Raw Side of Comedy. The concept is that of a competition/reality show showing how hard it is to make it in comedy, and what the lives of aspiring comedians are really like.

Since most of the comics have day jobs, besides showing them on stage, we do interviews with their work colleagues and family members to see how them doing comedy impacts the lives of those around them.

I brought the project to Chris Mazzilli the owner of Gotham Comedy Club, and he agreed to join the team. Chris has a new show on the air right now on MAX with Robert Downey Jr. called Downey’s Dream Cars.

After many months of auditioning comedians we took the top 30 to Gotham for the competition part of the show. Any one who knows me knows I make the rounds of the clubs always looking for new talent to use in upcoming projects. I personally chose around half of the comics and many of them made the final 10.

The final 10 were Drew Dunn, Ted Barton, Austin Goodman, Kilara Sen, Soo Ra, Hannah Lieberman, Ryan Joseph, Talent Harris Jr., Noah Miller, and David Hazout. The judges were me, Charles McBee who also did the audience warm-up, and Tony Burton from the great Don Buchwald Agency!

The other producers are based in Philly and are Darvin Milligan, Marlisa Patterson and Sherry Patterson.

We hired the same production crew that shot several seasons of Gotham Comedy Live and thanks to Chris’s watchful eye and the talent of production head Jason Gillet the shoot came off without a hitch. The next day we took them in a customized van, … which was more like a limo than a van, … to an airbnb in Brooklyn and told them that’s where they’d be staying every night during the run of the show.

And that’s where the competition part of the show morphed into the reality part of the show because of what they had to do to secure a room. Can’t divulge any more right now, but you’ll learn more in the upcoming weeks.

These columns seem to get longer and longer every month but it’s just because so many exciting things are going on in the comedy world. See you all soon and feel free to share this column with anyone you think will like it.

Also you can follow Jeffrey on Instagram at @jeffreygurian and you can subscribe to his Comedy Matters TV You Tube channel at where you’ll find 600 videos with everyone you love in comedy! See you there!!!

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Colin Quinn and I go back to his days on MTV’s Remote Control and maybe even before. It was around the time I was writing scripts for MTV VJ Mark Goodman on MTV’s Friday Night Video Fights. He was my very first guest on Sirius XM’s Ron and Fez show when I was a regular for two years. And I’ve been at all of his amazing one man shows, and he’s just so funny and smart, so whenever I get a chance to see him perform I’m there.

He’s a unique talent and maybe only Jackie Mason, and Mike Birbiglia have had more one man shows than Colin, but it’s definitely close. Colin is known to give his time to worthwhile causes so when I got the invite to attend a one act play reading called Obsessed at the Cell Theatre on 23rd Street, with a special guest appearance by Colin Quinn I made it my business to be there.

Road Recovery is a non-profit that strives to help 13-25 year-olds manage (or avoid) the pitfalls and challenges of behavioral issues, or physical or mental health trauma, poverty, or drug or alcohol dependency. Some of its supporters are Slash, Denis Leary, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Sharon Osbourne , and Simon Kirke the drummer from Bad Company who was there at the event, and got Colin Quinn to sing along with the Crosby, Stills, Nash song “Teach Your Children”.


City Winery has been killing it with great comedy line-ups, evidenced by the show that Michael Che put on. I got there early so say “what’s up” to Michael, or more accurately “Wassup!” as I hadn’t seen him in a long time.

I always try and say a brief “hi” BEFORE the show in case the green room is packed afterwards or the star leaves quickly when he’s done.

Michael’s been very busy not only as the co-anchor of SNL’s Weekend Update with Colin Jost, but he has two Netflix specials, and an HBO sketch series under his belt called That Damn Michael Che which he wrote stars in and Exec. Produced.

He was planning on disrupting Colin Jost’s wedding to Scarlet Johanssen by objecting to their union but decided against it at the last minute. Colin says Michael likes to disrupt things.

Michael came out of the green room to say hi, and afterwards I took my seat in the showroom, and a guy came by in a black hoodie wearing a black mask, greeted me with a fist bump and walked by. With just his eyes showing I couldn’t tell it was Wil Sylvince who was hosting the show. Wil is always a great host and really got the audience pumped up.

Jacob Williams from Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out was also on the show. I hadn’t seen him in a while either . We originally met when we were both in a TV pilot called “Off The Rip” starring Rip Micheals, also one of the stars of Wild ‘N Out. It’s where I first met Cardi Bi who was in some sketches that day also.

Jacob has such an interesting stage presence. He ended his set by telling the audience, ” I do have to get out of here cause I’m having a panic attack.” Also great seeing Monroe Martin who’s always a crowd favorite as well.

When Michael came out he did just an interesting thing. He sat down on a stool, brought Will back out and opened the show to the audience in a very interactive kind of thing, where he encouraged the audience to participate. Very risky if you’re not a pro like Michael!


Not long after the Michael Che show I was back at City Winery to see my pal Dan Lamorte perform with his fiance Natalie Cuomo, who are engaged and getting married next year. So cool that Dan and Natalie perform together and go on the road together too!

The show was hosted by J.C. Mendoza who often hosts at The Stand, and also featured Samantha Santos, making them another couple in a relationship who get to perform together. They have a show coming up at The Stand on July 29th at 5 P.M.called Soft Launch, and do a podcast with the same name!

I admire Dan Lamorte tremendously for how he has changed his life. We met several years ago when he opened for me at a show I headlined in Pennsylvania. At the time he was over 300 pounds and was driving himself across the country doing shows wherever he could.


As I recall he lost a baseball career due to a shoulder injury. Anyway he managed to lose 190 pounds after having been in a car accident. He lost 50 pounds by giving up gluten and the rest by running. He told me he ran a 50 mile run while blasted on mushrooms!

One thing I didn’t know about him till the evening of this show is that he was also diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and is on the spectrum of autism, which is why he looks down most of the time when he’s performing.

He said as a child he asked his parents for 100 red balloons and they got them for him instead of testing him for autism! Many people let obstacles stop them but not Dan which is why I admire him so much. He’s definitely high functioning, and the first time I saw him since the huge weight loss, I actually didn’t recognize him.

So when he and Natalie, … his soul-mate, … perform together they each do 30 minutes solo, and then they close the show together. This night both of their parents were in the audience and Natalie did some very graphic sexually-oriented material she said she couldn’t believe she was doing in front of her parents. She managed to survive that ordeal, but I was nervous for her! (LOL) She really made me laugh when she asked the audience, ” Is anyone else a woman?”

I spent most of the show running back and forth from the showroom to backstage and we had a lot of laughs! They are definitely a match made in Heaven right down to the tattoos!!!


I LOVE John Oliver and due to the writer’s strike he’s got more time on his hands than he would like. BUT it’s giving him more time to perform and he likes the stage at Stand Up New York. I popped in to see him and shot this little fun video, testing out my new little wireless lavalier mics that work off my i-Phone. John was smart enough to hold it in his hand and talk right into it!

I asked him how he spends his days and he said “Sitting around nervously!”

Also on John’s show was my pal Craig Gass who is one of the most talented impressionists and voice-over guys on the scene today. He’s probably best known for his roles in King of Queens, Family Guy, American Dad, and Sex and The City.

He has such a fascinating back story coming from a family of all deaf people. He had to learn to speak from watching TV and movies. This night he did amazing impressions of Tracy Morgan, Chris Walken and Morgan Freeman.



Aaron Berg is a unique talent which Is why I try and have him on every show I produce. He spits jokes like street rappers spit beats. But faster!!! I was with him the night he made the record for doing the most sets in one night. I think it was 25! So when he told me he was starting his own record label I had to find out more about it!

It’s called Uncancellable Records, and it’s co-owned by Aaron and upcoming comedian Bobby Tamburro. They describe it as a “beacon of opportunity for comedians who sought an alternative to conforming to the standards set by major labels in the industry.” Their primary goal is to shine a spotlight on deserving comedians who might not have otherwise found an opportunity while allowing them to maintain their creative independence. And they included Canadian comics in honor of where Aaron is originally from!


Aaron told me that “Uncancellable Records is solely dedicated to comedy and humor, irrespective of politics. The label firmly believes in the power of laughter to transcend boundaries and connect people from all walks of life.” This openness to inclusivity has earned them a reputation for nurturing and promoting comedic talent without limitations, … hence the name “Uncancellable.”.

He went on to say that “Uncancellable Records is there for comics that are sick of the mainstream labels gouging them, and for the comics that want to take chances on their albums. Of course I wanted to give back to my birthplace and put some Canadians on the map who deserve American exposure.”

All I can say is, … it’s about time!!!


I get invited to the most interesting and unusual shows. One time a few years ago I wound up performing in a park. I don’t recall the event and don’t know why, … it wasn’t due to Covid, there was just an outdoor show in a park. It was weird, and I accepted because it’s important to do everything that makes you uncomfortable!

So I went to see Laughter In The Park which was kind of near me in Manhattan and right away ran into two great comics, Pedro Gonzalez, who I also love to use on my shows, and Vanessa Hollingshead once married to Lucien Hold who ran The Comic Strip for 25 years.

Jordan Carlos was the headliner and he was excited to tell me that his half hour animated comedy “Teenage Euthanasia” is in its 2nd season on Adult Swim. He described it to me as a former runaway teen mom who is dead but now is undead comes back seeking redemption with her daughter, and is failing miserably.

He said he gets to do about 5 different characters on the show which also features Bebe Neuwirth, Jo Firestone, Tim Robinson from SNL, and Maria Bamford, and was created by Alyson Levy. They record it at a studio in The Village! He said the best part is that he gets paid for each character!!!


During Jordan’s set a very unusual thing happened which he handled very well. A very old woman wheeling a cart filled with what looked like her laundry came out and started yelling in a foreign accent, and I think she was yelling about her life. A very awkward moment to be sure!

To his credit Jordan embraced her, and made her part of the show for a few minutes until she was led away. But he handled it very kindly and professionally! He’s a good man!


Last summer Page Six of the NY Post wrote a piece about me looking for a place in Southampton to bring comedy. Like lots of other things in show biz it never happened until this summer when filmmaker/producer Abby Russell contacted me to tell me she was opening a comedy club in Southampton with Lynn Kaplan, who has worked with Conan and Louis CK.

It’s called Sticks and Stones, it’s a great room, and it’s in the Southampton Cultural Center. It opened on Friday June 30th with Carmen Lynch as the headliner, and I know all this because I got to perform the next night on Saturday July 1st with Jordan Rock, and my old friend Benny DeMarco from Fat Baby, who I prefer to call Benny D! Hosting was local comic Joe Winchell.

I got to catch up with Jordan who I hadn’t seen in a minute. He came in from LA to do the show. Jordan and I hold the honor of being the only two comedians to have ever hosted Late Night at The Comic Strip thanks to owner/founder Richie Tienken. I did Sunday and Monday and he did Tuesday and Wednesday. Before that the comedians brought each other up to the stage. Richie asked us to host. #greathonor

Jordan and I sat and talked in the huge green room between shows, where we also had a great assortment of food and drinks ,and he told me he’s touring and will be coming out with his first album probably in the Fall. The working title is Shout Out My Mental Capacity.

He did six spots at New York Comedy Club, a week residency, which he said is kind of an unorthodox way to do a special. He said he came in and just knocked it out, and didn’t tell anybody he was doing it. It will be strictly audio. No name for his tour just Jordan Rock on tour! He said he wants to do pop up events to promote the album, kind of like album release parties where he makes merch available.

I got to help promote the show on WABC radio with Frank Morano who was kind enough to let me give away two tickets on the air to the first two listeners who called in, They showed up at the show and said they had an amazing time. And also did Gov’s Radio with Matt Nappo on his show Coffee With The Dog. I’m guessing he’s the dog cause it wasn’t me! (LOL)

I decided to work squeaky clean, no F-bombs, and did over 20 minutes on each show, so I can send my set to Dry Bar and see if I can get my own special going. I really like what they do, so we’ll just see what happens!


Many years ago I had a friendship with legendary newscaster Ernie Anastos when we were both Friars, in the days when it was truly an honor to be a Friar. I had the honor of writing jokes for Ernie and also wrote him a speech that he delivered at The White House.

I was so glad to be able to reconnect with him after all these years to be on his WABC podcast called Positively Ernie where he puts out Positive Energy to The Universe which has always been my goal. Ernie is like a bright light, spreading a positive message wherever he goes, and is the perfect person to host this kind of show. Kudos to WABC owner John Catsimatidis for realizing that!!!

We had the best time talking about Happiness, the power of laughter, Spirituality, and changing negative thinking to positive thinking. If you have 20 minutes you can hear it right here:



This seems to be a column about old friends, but when you’ve been in comedy so long it seems like everyone is an old friend. Dice and I go back to 1998, when I was out in LA and we met one night at The Comedy Store and stood in the street talking till 4 A.M. I was really tired but I would never leave because I thought to myself, ” I’m talking to Andrew “Dice” Clay!

So I hold the honor of being one of the very few people who’s ever written for Dice, which is something I’m very proud of. This past weekend I was at the premiere of the new Bravo TV show Crappie Lake starring my dear longtime friend Countess Luann DeLesseps from RHONY, and my newer friend Sonja Morgan.

They spent 5 or 6 weeks in the tiny town of Benton, Illinois population just under 7,000. I think I have more people than that in my building. Anyway it’s a hilarious fish-out-of-water concept putting these two fancy ladies in a small town like that, and hilarity definitely ensued.

The party was at the Ascent Lounge in Columbus Circle, and it was a blast. Strictly by coincidence Luann, Sonja, Broadway star Constantine Maroulis and I wore the same colors as you can see in the photos below. Constantine is currently starring in Rock and Roll Man, which chronicles the amazing life of Alan Freed, the legendary disc jockey rebel from the 50’s and 60’s who popularized the records that became the foundation of rock and roll. It’s at the New Stages Theatre and I can’t wait to see it.


I always see Constantine performing at Donnie Kehr’s Rockers on Broadway which is a fantastic organization that describes itself as a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting arts education & community. They do a lot to help kids also and I attend every year to hear fabulous stars like Constantine sing all the rock hits we love.

Anyway I was talking to some people when someone came up behind me, put their arm around my neck and whispered into my ear a filthy line, which I won’t repeat, but it had the words “nutritious” and “pipeline” in it, and I recognized it as a line I had written for Dice many years before.

I turned around and who was it but Dice himself. Celeb real estate guy Jamin Lin who is also doing comedy these days mentioned to Dice that I was there, and he came up and surprised me. He was with his beautiful girlfriend who I can only refer to as “Sugah Plum” which is the spelling that Dice prefers!

It’s always so good to see him and he told me he’s planning a series of live shows, and I hope he lets me know when cause he said he’s using my jokes again and I’d love to hear him do them. When we took photos he was like, “Give me your phone”, and he took a selfie, which I am so bad at, and he is so good at!

Since all good things must come to an end, this is the end of this column. Until next time stay well and keep laughing! And follow me on Instagram at @jeffreygurian for more fun stuff!!!

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The 92NY has been absolutely killing it with comedy related events. And luckily for me I get to cover them all! So when I heard that Jim Gaffigan would be interviewed by MTV’s Josh Horowitz, about his co-starring role as Smee, in the new Peter Pan and Wendy movie, I knew I had to attend.

Jim and I go back to his very earliest days in comedy in NY, and I’ve seen him go from one incredibly successful project to the next. I was at the premiere of the sit-com he did with Christine Baranski called “Welcome To New York.” He was also one of the very special interviews I did back in 2008 for my book “Make ‘Em Laugh” on the history of The Comic Strip.

So after the event at the 92Y I went backstage to congratulate Jim and catch up! I got to show him the cover story about me in Sutton Place Magazine where the first few words say, ” Growing up my idol was Peter Pan”, and Jim told me that growing up he always wanted to be Smee! (I got it on video!) Most kids can’t wait to grow up but I always wanted to stay a kid. My inner child is my best friend!

Jim told me this great story of how he got the part. Years earlier he was in an indie film and one of the producers was James Johnson. Somehow they got to talking about Peter Pan and Jim told James he would make a great Smee! Years later James Johnson was one of the producers on this new Peter Pan film and he remembered what Jim said! #Magic

Jim is playing Smee to Jude Law’s Captain Hook. Smee is Captain Hook’s right hand man, and I told Jim it would be more appropriate if he was his left hand man, since it was his left hand that Hook lost to the crocodile!

Jim was about to set off on a European tour where he was hitting several countries and major cities like Helsinki, Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris, all within about a week and a half, and mostly in countries where he blends right in!!! (LOL)


I dropped by City Winery which is also killing it with their comedy line-up to see Chris Millhouse’s Comedy Spotlight show with Regina DeCicco hosting and a heavy duty line-up with Mark Normand, Joe List, and Charles McBee in a guaranteed hit show.

Joe List is in the process of editing his new special which will be coming out on You Tube. It’s called Enough for Everyone and he shot it at The Village Underground this past February. Matt Wayne opened for him and you can expect to see it this summer, probably sometime in August!

Regina DeCicco is so used to warming up the audience for The View which is such a huge thing that when I asked her what she had going on she had to think about it for a minute! She’s been doing it since the Fall of 2018, which is nothing like the fall of the Roman Empire, but it just shows you that people get used to everything! No matter how big it is!!!

Charles McBee was waiting for the WGA strike to settle so he can get back to being the head writer and on-air personality for Comedy Central’s Hell of a Week with Charlamagne tha God!

Mark Normand is being repped by UTA, and he and Joe List have been doing their podcast Tuesday with Stories for 10 years now, … and I still haven’t been on! Mostly because they don’t have guests, … but that’s no excuse!!! Mark’s new special Soup to Nuts will be dropping on Netflix on July 25th! Be there!!!


So I’m at this new food market in Chelsea with the weird name of Olly Olly, and this young guy comes over, who turns out to be the manager, and says ” Are you Jeffrey Gurian?” I admit to it and HE admits to being a big fan of what we did on the Black Phillip Show when I was Patrice O’Neal’s co-host.

As the result of that meeting, I got to bring an awesome comedy show to their event space which they refer to as The Expo. It was Aaron Berg, Raanan Hershberg, Drew Dunn, who I met last year up at JFL in Montreal and told him that some day we would be doing something cool together, Andre Kim, and Jeff Arcuri who only has 270,000 followers on Instagram! Poor guy!

We had over 100 people in the audience and it was a big success! So much so that we might even do it again.

And to promote the show I went up to Sirius XM studios to be on with Ron and Gail Bennington and joined Bobby Kelly who was also a guest that day, and then I got to do WABC radio with Frank Morano who has the highest rated overnight show on A.M. radio called The Other Side of Midnight with Frank Morano. Frank is one of the best and most knowledgable hosts on the air and it’s always so fun to be on with him. Plus they have an amazing candy room and he lets me take as much as I want!

What made it even more special was the surprise guest spot from my pal Derek Gaines one of the funniest, and most unpredictable on stage guys in the game! I love seeing Derek in Pete Davidson’s new show Bupkis on Peacock with Joe Pesci playing Pete’s grandfather, and Edie Falco playing his Mom! And Dave Sirus is writing on the show!



About ten years ago Jordan Rock and I were chosen by Richie Tienken, owner and founder of The Comic Strip, to be the first and only hosts for “late night” where new comics get a chance to perform after the last show. In the early days of the club that could have been 2 or 3 A.M. When we did it it started at 11.

Not just any new comics but new comics who had to pass an audition process and showed major promise.

Anthony Devito was one of those young comics along with comics like Sam Morril, Joe Machi, and Subhah Agarwal, all of whom have gone on to do great things. So I was so glad to be able to see Anthony Devito perform his one man show “Danny Devito Isn’t My Dad” at the Soho Playhouse after debuting it at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

The show must be a real catharsis for Anthony because he lost his Dad as an infant of only 7 weeks old and was raised by his Mom who worked very hard to give him the best childhood she could, while keeping the secret of who his Dad really was.

When he reached 18 his Mom finally told him the truth about his Dad. He found out that his Dad had been a hit man for a major crime family and had killed many people in the course of his career. He was even portrayed as one of the main characters in the movie Goodfellas.

Understandably this would be a lot to handle for anyone but because Anthony was blessed with a good sense of humor he was able to turn this into a poignant and funny one man show. I give him a lot of credit for doing so, because it’s a very courageous thing to do to make yourself so vulnerable on stage. Especially when you’re Italian! (LOL) After the show we got to reminisce about the old days at The Strip!



Kudos to producer/filmmaker and now comedy club owner Abby Russell who’s opening a new comedy club in Southhampton later this month on June 30th. It’s called Sticks and Stones and it’s located in the Southampton Cultural Center. Abby will be doing this with comedy club producer Lynn Kaplan, a veteran comedy and TV executive, who worked with both Louis C.K. and Conan O’Brien.

Opening weekend will feature national headliner Carmen Lynch and my buddy Jordan Rock who can also be seen in Pete Davidson’s new show “Bupkis.” And as I’m writing this I just got the news that I will also be on both shows with headliner Jordan Rock on Saturday July 1st.


Abby and I go back more than 20 years to when she produced the original Hamptons Comedy Festival back in 2000 and brought me in as a co-producer. It was the fund-raising arm for Comedy Fights Cancer and it was a big success.

I remember being interviewed by none other than Countess LuAnn De Lesseps of RHONY fame who in those days, pre-RHONY, was doing interviews for a local TV network. I think it was for Plum TV!

In more recent years Abby and I worked together again when she produced the documentary film on the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip. At the time I was working on the book, and I was also a producer on the film. It was called “Eat, Drink and Laugh” and we debuted it at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. I went up with owner/founder Richie Tienken and at the premiere were some of the comics who came out of The Strip and went on to become big stars like George Wallace, Judy Gold, Paul Provenza and Robert Wuhl!


There hasn’t been a comedy club in The Hamptons since the 80’s when famed comedy manager Rick Messina was then running the East End Comedy Club. And Judd Apatow’s Mom Tami actually worked as a hostess at the club. Judd was only 14 and got to hang out there and meet a lot of the comedians he loved.

Abby moved back from LA to raise her daughter Aria on the East coast, and to be near her family, and now lives in the Hamptons full time.

It was actually Aria who chose the name Sticks and Stones and it was seconded by Eddie Brill who will be performing at the club one weekend as well. The club will present national headliners year round but will also be producing comedy, special events, and wellness programming as well. I’ve been offered to participate and perform and truthfully I can not wait to do so!!!


Kenny Warren and Gabe Dorado, the powers behind The Grisly Pear both downtown and the new space in midtown had worked really hard to make The Grisly Pear the success that it is, which is why I was pretty surprised to learn that they’re no longer involved. I had performed in the downtown club many times which they made very comic-friendly by covering the walls with posters of each comic that performed there.

I hadn’t had the opportunity to perform in this new club on West 54th Street until comic/producer/host of the popular “Chanel In The City” podcast on iHeart Radio, (which is about the only podcast I have not been on yet! LOL) and former reality TV star Chanel Omari invited me to perform in a fundraiser for City Harvest, a charity that provides food for the poor and homeless.

Chanel opened the show, and arranged for a great line-up including my pal Josh Adam Meyers, the creator of Goddam Comedy Jam, Natalie Cuomo who I was so glad to finally get to meet in person, Che Durena, who I had been hearing so much about, Shaun Murphy and Jeff Quintana.

Josh Adam Meyers had some exciting news to share. He’ll be touring with musical superstar Jelly Roll, hosting his shows in 44 arenas across the country from July 28th to Oct. 15th. It came about when Jelly Roll saw him performing at Skank Fest in Las Vegas and said he never saw anyone combining music and comedy the way Josh does. They were on stage performing together, and I’m pretty sure he told me that Shane Gillis and Big Jay Oakerson were performing as well. A classic example of being in the right place at the right time.


I was glad to finally meet Natalie Cuomo, not only because she’s funny, but because she’s engaged to my buddy Dan Lamorte and between them they have enough tattoos to open an art museum and give tours of their bodies! (LOL) They often work the road together! And they both got signed to APA this very week.

It was a packed room, everybody killed and I wound up going up right after Chanel ably warmed up the crowd. She’s there on the regular and I’m looking forward to coming back!


My history with Billy Crystal goes back to the 80’s when the legendary comedy manager Jack Rollins, who managed Woody Allen and produced all his films, and was managing Robin Williams and Billy at the time brought me down to his office to meet Billy who he thought should play me in a sit-com about a dentist who wanted to be in show biz.

Billy was too busy at the time so I suggested a new comic I had seen named Paul Reiser who I thought would be perfect. I called Paul and asked his permission and he said “Sure” but almost immediately he got a huge role in what I recall to be the film “Diner.”

Billy was the first comic to hit the stage on June 1, 1976 when The Comic Strip opened and he’s in my book “Make ‘Em Laugh”. The photo above where he’s pointing to his teeth is because he remembered how we met!

When The Friars dedicated the ground floor bar to Billy as The Billy Crystal Bar I was there and took this photo of Billy, with Catch a Rising Star owner Rick Newman and Richard Belzer both of whom left us in recent months, only one day apart!!!


I never got to see Mr. Saturday Night, Billy’s Broadway masterpiece so when the 92NY notified me of an event where it was being shown in it’s entirety as a musical, where Billy was being interviewed by Bette Midler, even though I HATE musicals I knew I had to attend.

I hate musicals because it always seemed weird to me that right in the middle of some piece of business happening in the story suddenly everybody starts singing and they all know the words. It take me out of it.

But in this case Billy was so good as was his cast of characters that I totally enjoyed it. And in the production he referenced so many people I knew, as well as during the interview with Bette Midler.

He talked about Robin Williams being like his brother, especially after they did HBO’s Comic Relief together in 1986, ( I was there!), and he said they both had problems sleeping and would often call each other at 2 A.M. for long talks. He also said that when he did “Scat” which is a jazz thing you do with your voice, it was an homage to Sid Caesar who had a great talent for making believe he spoke many languages.

He said that over the 8 years of doing Comic Relief they raised over 72 million dollars for the homeless. We could sure use another Comic Relief right now!

Billy is also a master impressionist and did impressions of Mohammed Ali, Howard Cosell. Robert Deniro and Joe Pesci!

And he said that in the classic scene in “When Harry Met Sally” , when Rob Reiner’s mother Estelle uttered the classic line ” I’ll have what she’s having” the room exploded with laughter and he and Rob wound up holding hands! Funny what people remember!

I know for me I will never forget this!


And now it’s time for me to go because if this column gets any longer it will no longer be just a column but a book! (LOL) Hope to see you in the clubs! Please feel free to leave comments and to contact me at [email protected]

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My history with Richard Lewis goes back to the early 90’s if not the 80’s, but my first real memory of us together was in 1995 at the NY premiere of the film Drunks in which he was the star. Richard had a reputation of never using anyone else to write for him, but I was determined to at least give it a shot.

I felt like i knew him so well, and that he was me in a different body. I related to every story he told about his family. His persona was very comfortable to me. His nervousness, his self-deprecation, his Jewish background. It was me in a different body. At least that’s how I felt.

Anyway, I was invited to the premiere and I wrote up a bunch of jokes, proposing a tour called “Born To Be Nervous”, because if I ever got a tattoo, that’s what it would say. Some guys get “Born To Be Wild”! I get “Born To Be Nervous.”

I got to the theatre early hoping to see Richard to give him the material which I had typed up,and put into a folder. Probably after having made a carbon copy! ( Some of you probably don’t even know what that is! (LOL)

All I remember is getting on the wrong line, which is perfect for me, in exact alignment with my ADHD, and what usually happens, … and I recall being told that I just missed Richard and that he was already in the theatre. I decided to go to the rest room, ,and as I was going down the stairs, who was coming up the stairs but Richard Lewis, which is also the kind of thing that happens to me.

He looks at me surprised and says, ” What are you doing here?” And I said, “Picking up some chop meat for my mother” which was my usual answer if I was somewhere like on the beach and some “nudnik” greeted me with, ” What are YOU doing here?” as if I was not allowed to go to the beach like everyone else!

I blurted out that I was here to see the film and support him and that I brought him these jokes that I wanted him to read. Inside was a note asking him to let me know his thoughts. He took the envelope and went into the theatre.

I don’t think I saw him when it was over and before I left but that very night, this message was on my answering machine, and I have treasured it ever since. Hope you can hear it! It’s 28 years old but listen for the word “Hilarious”!

When I wrote my first Happiness book called “Healing Your Heart, By Changing Your Mind- A Spiritual and Humorous Approach To Achieving Happiness” in my other persona, I asked Richard for a blurb and this is what he wrote for the cover:

“Dr. Gurian is a master of so many disciplines , including  being a brilliant humorist, the pressure probably caused his own heart attack. Lucky for us, his genius helps us minimize our risk and live healthier after an episode. He’s on my speed dial along with God.”

And when I produced a black tie event in honor of Susie Essman for the Gold Coast International Film Festival Richard and I met up at The Friars Club, when it was still prestigious to be a member of the Friars Club, and we shot a little tribute to Susie, … where else but in the Men’s Room! The Friars had just done a big article on me in The Epistle which is what we were reading!

We also shot a bunch of fun videos at The Friars and whenever Richard was coming to town he’d let me know and we’d hang out and have lunch, which was a good thing to do when The Friars was The Friars!

So when I heard the news that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease I was very upset. I had spoken to him fairly recently and he told me he was shooting Season 12 of Curb, and was very excited about it. I had planned to call him today when just as I was about to, he sent me the little video he posted on Twitter.


I had no idea about the four surgeries, or that he made the choice to retire and then this happened. Life is very crazy, but Richard Lewis is amazing, a true tower of strength, and one of the funniest guys of all time, and I know he’ll be okay. He’s truly beloved. Sending prayers for his continued good health, and much gratitude for his longtime friendship.


One of the advantages of what I do is getting invited to cool things! So when I got invited to the screening of Amy Poehler’s new show on Peacock, sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter, I made sure to RSVP immediately. It was at the Crosby Hotel in Soho.

Amy’s goal was to create an unscripted series with no fighting. Something positive and not catering to man’s basest instincts like most reality shows. Most reality shows seek drama and allow people to ruin their lives on screen. Most participants don’t go unscathed! I have personal experience which I won’t go into here.

She, under her Paper Kite Productions along with Scout Productions, the creators of “Queer Eye”, and her producing partner Kate Arend created a show called “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning”. I was afraid it was going to be very sad, but it was really quite uplifting in a way. The concept is based on the fact that we’re all going to die, a very unpleasant fact. It seems that life is a death sentence.

But when we make our transition someone has to go through all the stuff we’ve collected, and some of us border on being hoarders. My apartment is packed with things from decades, some of which I have not looked at in just as long.

In the episode we viewed an artist from Kansas City named Amy Moreno was the subject. She was an openly gay, proud, Chicano artist who had lost her longtime partner to Covid. Her rooms were just completely covered in piles of papers, books, art supplies, and art work to the point where the furniture underneath them was not even visible.

Hence the need for the Swedish Death Cleaners, three caring, very diverse people who go through the whole entire home, and figure out what needs to be kept, what can be donated to a new home, and what can be disgarded.

Looking through a lifetime of memories was at times tearful and at other times joyous. At the end her home was absolutely beautiful like an art museum, and the art she donated led to her receiving an award from the Mayor of her town at a surprise event in her honor arranged by the Swedish Death Cleaners.

After the showing there was a Q&A, and then they had a lovely reception with lots of food and drinks and bags of Swedish Fish. Amy didn’t stay for the reception and kind of snuck out, but at least I had the chance to congratulate her before she left, and she was so surprised to see me! She and I go back a ways and her photo was one of the ones they used in my recent cover story in Sutton Place Magazine.


When I got the call from producer Jeremy Moses asking me to be a guest on Game Breakers I asked him what kind of a show it was. When he told me it was a sports/comedy show I had to laugh because there’s probably no one who knows less about sports than me! I know about Schwartz! Wide World of Schwartz is my specialty!

Ron Bennington from Sirius XM used to kid me about it all the time and they would sign me up for these in office game lotteries and tell me who to vote for. I didn’t have a clue. But Jeremy assured me I would not have to know much about sports, … they just wanted to talk to me.

I love a challenge, so I grabbed my Gurian Angels jacket that Nick Kroll and John Mulaney had made for me to open their hit Broadway show “Oh, Hello”, and I went as the captain of the Gurian Angels, one of the top teams in the sport of Biggling, the most politically correct sport of all time.

There’s two opposing teams in Biggling. One guy stands up at the plate holding a ball and the other guy throws a bat at him. The first guy swings the ball and tries to hit the bat. If he does he walks very slowly around 6 bases. No one wins or loses. Very politically correct.

Anyway I had a blast with the two hosts, comedians Eitan Levine and Drexton Clemons. We laughed for the whole time, and they even said they wanted me back. I’ll go if they do!


Not many people could figure out how to combine the two but Periel Aschenbrand did! In conjunction with Old Jewish Men from Instagram fame, she does a monthly brunch comedy show at Stand Up New York, another one of my favorite places, that’s catered by Zabar’s. The Rugelach were exquisite, as was the line-up.

Periel was the host. She has an Israeli husband and therefore according to her, a lifetime membership in the IDF! (LOL) She had a great line-up with Rich Aronovich, Chanel Ali, who claimed to be Jewish as the comedy Drake, and went to Israel on birthright, Kosha Dillz, who’s a comedy rapper, Dan Naturman who’s always so funny and Modi who closed the show with a bang. Modi has the kind of stage presence you don’t see much anymore. He works with an energy and a flare. and commands the stage in a way that is reminiscent of the great Mal Z. Lawrence, who I knew well, and which I say to be taken as the greatest compliment.

Rich Aronovich has created a character on Instagram whose dancing can have me mesmerized and laughing for an hour trying to figure out how he has the nerve to do what he does. If I ever feel down I look up his profile. He will be in my new show The Raw Side of Comedy!


Another great show at City Winery from Unhinged Comedy hosted by Jahan Djo, who wondered why there’s no Jewish superheroes, and featuring Matt Ruby who has a new special on You Tube called “Substance’ made up of 4 sets, … three where he was under the influence of different things, and one set sober, Raanan Hershberg, who describes himself as looking like an Israeli Jonah Hill, and talking about how hot people should not be spokespeople for body positivity, ( a great concept!), the always funny Jared Freid, Adrienne Iapalucci who just came off opening for Louis CK at MSG, and Jeff Arcuri who had one of the most unusual things happen ever on stage.

He was about to tell jokes about his ex-girlfriend when someone in the crowd yelled out that they knew her. And they actually did, and knew the details of their break-up! . He was so astonished he could hardly speak for a moment, which led him to say, ” I’ve never been heckled by my past before” which got a HUGE laugh.


I enjoy The Hamptons as much as anyone else but it’s a long drive to go back and forth in one night. However when I saw the line-up that comic/producer Paul Anthony put together I knew I had to attend. People have no idea how much work it takes to produce a show, so kudos to Paul for the sold-out show I attended.

I could easily do a paragraph about each comic but this column tends to get so long that I have to be cognisant of that. Paul is best known for producing the LI Comedy Fest for 17 years, the Berkshire Comedy Fest for 5 years, and the 50+ tour with all comics over the age of 50! It’s mostly clean family type comedy with a mature appreciate audience.

It was held at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor and I got out there early enough to enjoy the scenery. There will be two more shows to the festival, one in September and one in October wrapping around the high season as Paul explained.

David Weiss a comedian who’s also a reporter from 1010WINS radio opened the show. I think I knew David from when I used to be a judge at the NY’s Funniest Reporter Shows at The Comic Strip produced by Ryan McCormick and Mark Goldman of Goldman/McCormick PR.

He was followed by Rich Walker, who jokingly claims to have walked away from the chance to do a sit-com called “Everybody Loves Richie”, Kendra Cunningham who has a special called “Meatball Therapy”, and Bryan McKenna who’s been touring with Jim Breuer for the last 7 years. Jim called Governor’s looking for an opener and Bryan was the only one available. Talk about good luck and being in the right place at the right time! Jim produced his first album and he’s doing another one from Westside Comedy Club in October.

Closing the show was my buddy Chris Roach who was a co-star on Kevin James’ show “Kevin Can Wait”and who travels with Kevin and will be opening for him on May 20th in Westhampton. I guess I’ll have to drive out there again! (LOL)


It’s always so gratifying to me to see a comic I know since they started out doing so well that they have so many fans they can sell out a venue. I know Eric from his very early days at The Comic Strip where he often did shows with his friend and partner at the time Marc Gerber.

Now he’s handled by Emilio Savone who owns the New York Comedy Club chain and who also started out many years ago working at The Comic Strip. That’s how far we go back so when I heard that Eric was at the Gramercy I knew I had to show up.

I sat right behind Eric’s Mom who he kept referring to throughout his whole time on stage. And she laughed as much if not more than everyone else! She always told him not to do too much crowd work but he didn’t listen, and did it anyway referencing her the entire time.

Dan Altano hosted the show, followed by Marc Gerber, and Jen Gittess who “admitted” to being in a relationship with Eric. We all got to hang out backstage afterwards at the party, and they seem really happy together. It was great meeting Marc’s wife and finding out they have a child. Life can not be about comedy alone, or else you will feel very unfulfilled!!!



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Thanks to Bill Burr and comedy exec./producer Maureen Taran, who works tirelessly to make this event happen, the 10th annual Patrice O’Neal benefit came off bigger and better than ever! I’m actually writing this at 6:30 A.M. after having gotten to bed at 2, because I’m so jazzed up about the show and after-party! I literally couldn’t sleep!!!

Rich Vos took the reins as the host for the 10th year in a row wearing a different hat each year, with Cipha Sounds on the ones and two’s. Vos opened with a funny story of being blocked by the TSA for trying to bring a container of egg salad on a plane, and came out as a big defender of women’s rights, by saying, … with tongue firmly planted in cheek, … “If a woman does all her chores, once a week she should have the right to wear slacks!” #Hilarious

Occasionally he would shpritz people in the audience like when he told two men, ” You look like you should be on an island in a Bugs Bunny cartoon!”

I had 3rd row seats and sat with Steve Stevenson, the guy who runs the Patrice O’Neal Facebook group “The Cult of Black Phillip” which has over 600 members and proves that the love for Patrice goes on after all these years.

Even in Japan! I had just gotten off stage after performing at a show in Japan when this guy named Devin approached me all excited and told me he was a big fan from Black Phillip! I couldn’t believe I actually had a fan in Japan, so we took a picture as I always do when someone from another country approaches me about Black Phillip.

As the 3rd co-host of the legendary Black Phillip Show I can attest to the ongoing love for Patrice, as I still, to this day, get messages from guys telling me they loved what we did, and some say it changed their lives. As a matter of fact I still keep this rare voicemail message from Patrice on my phone.

I woke up to find that I had received it at 4:05 A.M. the night we did our first show together. This phone call recording, is one of my proudest possessions, and is accompanied by rare photos of Patrice and I going back to 2002!


Shane Gillis hit the stage first to tremendous applause. People love Shane and he didn’t disappoint! He shared a hilarious story about having to deal with the fact that he just found out that his girlfriend’s ex was a Navy Seal! A real challenge to live up to! And btw, he does a GREAT Trump impression!!!

Ordinarily I’d be posting photos of each comic as they appeared on stage but we had to lock our phones in Yondr bags, .. which didn’t keep me from continuously reaching for my phone out of habit, as each comic came out!

Only celeb photog Marcus Russell Price, who shoots all the major comedy events, and Matthew Salacuse who shot a lot of the final days of Carolines, and me as well when I performed on Jeffrey Ross’s last show, had the ability to shoot photos during the show. Marcus shot photos at the amazing after-party at The Stand which I will get to below.

Next up was the very funny Eleanor Kerrigan, who’s been opening for Dice for years. She came out to music with seductive moves like a stripper, leading Vos to comment after she was done by saying ” I fucked her!” Vos usually has something nice to say about each comic as they finish! (LOL)

Cipha Sounds took the stage next and left his turntable in order to perform. Vos was supposed to turn off the music but couldn’t figure out what to press, so Ciph guided him from center stage. I’ve watched Ciph morph from just a DJ with a good sense of humor, who was always funny on the radio, to a really accomplished comedian over the years, who was the very first comic to be signed by Jay-Z to his Roc Nation entertainment company.

I recall his early days performing at Carolines when he told me he didn’t really feel like a comedian, but that was a long time ago! He said that it was actually Patrice that convinced him to do do comedy! Which gave Vos the opportunity to say, ” So THAT”S who we blame!” He totally killed with a bit about air-dropping dick pics on the subway to unsuspecting passengers.


Mo Amer came out next wearing a really great and stylish outfit , as opposed to all the other comics who dressed like they just either came from, or were on their way to the gym! (LOL) I had last seen Mo at his sold-out show during the NY Comedy Festival, again with Cipha Sounds as the DJ.

Mo identified himself as a Palestinian Arab but said for about 3 months after 911 he told people he was Italian! So funny! At the after-party at The Stand he told me he’s working on Season 2 of his Netflix show “Mo” co-created with fellow Palestinian Ramy Youssef, and which just got renewed in January.

When Vos, who’s Jewish, did a joke about Jews and Palestinians Mo jokingly stormed back out on stage, leading Vos to say, “I didn’t know he was still here!” Too bad the rest of the world doesn’t have that kind of sense of humor where all people can get along!

And nobody ever seems to mention this but Mo’s last name is the first 4 letters of America! I wonder if that’s his real name! Mo America!!! Sounds very patriotic!!! He could have used that after 9/11 identifying himself as Mo America, and would have been totally safe!!! Who’s gonna fuck with Mo America!!!


Keith Robinson was next and it was so great to see him come out despite having had a second stroke. He’s probably the only comic with a file of stroke humor! They always say talk about what you know! Vos, in his inimitably kind way, introduced him as being most likely to have the next benefit for. He walked out slowly using a cane, but was really sharp and spoke clearly when he got to the mic.

He said his stroke is finally starting to annoy him, but sometimes he forgets and makes fun of other handicapped people! He also said that crossing NY streets with that timed countdown is a bitch, especially when he finds himself racing an old woman on a walker! One thing the stroke didn’t affect was his sense of humor!

When he left the stage to huge applause Vos said Keith was full of shit using the cane, cause he saw him playing hacky sack backstage!


Jim Norton was up next and declared that if it was any of them that had died, Patrice might have come to one event, maybe two max, but that was it! He mentioned a new girlfriend that he had, and I could be wrong, but it sounded like he said she had a big dick.

He also said she thinks she’s connected to British royalty because she has good posture, which made me laugh out loud, as did the line about the royal servant whose job it was to make sure the Queen’s horse’s foreskin didn’t have any pebbles in it! Jimmy didn’t come to the after-party, probably because he has an early gig on the radio, on the Jim and Sam Show on Sirius XM. Bill Burr was scheduled to appear!

And then the special surprise guest was announced! No one knew who it was because as Maureen Taran told me his name wasn’t on any list. It was Andrew “Dice” Clay, and I thought the walls would collapse from the thunderous applause. People went insane!

And Dice came out pacing the stage like a tiger as he often does, and didn’t say a word. I don’t think there’s any other comic in the business, who can come out on stage and not say anything for as long as Dice does and sustain the applause, and the excitement.

He takes out a cigarette, puts it between his lips and continues to pace until he finally gets to the mic, and simply says ” I know!” and the audience roars with laughter. We laughed about that together at the after-party but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Dice and I go back to 1998 when I was out in LA writing for Pauly Shore and other comics and met Dice at The Comedy Store. That first night we stood in the street talking till 4 A.M. I remember it being chilly and feeling cold but I wouldn’t even think of leaving and missing a moment of hanging with Dice.

A few days later we were sitting in Mel’s Diner on Sunset talking about material when he suddenly got a headache and that’s when we got the photo below. He didn’t know that taking away headaches was a specialty of mine!


Dice did Dice for his allotted time and was very PC, even talking about kids playing “cowboys and Native Americans”! He left the stage to as huge an applause as when he came out, if not more, and I noticed that he was the only one that Vos did not make fun of! Not a word!

There were lots of stars on the show but I think that Dice is considered like comedy royalty, which is how his long-time friend and bodyguard Ken Feder, AKA “Club Soda Kenny” kindly referred to yours truly!

Dice was followed by Ricky Velez who I hadn’t seen in too long. I realized how long it was when I asked about his “baby” and he told me his baby is already 4 years old!

I’ve watched Ricky progress from his earliest days when I wondered how anyone could wear their pants that low, to the comedy star he truly is. Later on at the after-party when I asked him what he has coming up, he said just tell people that Ricky Velez says “End Racism” which is not a particularly controversial point of view, … unless you have a Confederate flag in your office, and a sign that says ” The South will rise again!”, which is exactly what one of the instructors had who tortured me when I went to Dental School!

When Ricky left the stage another special guest was announced and it was Dave Attell, who also got HUGE applause and who always has a fun way of describing himself. This time he said he knows he looks like he teaches a gun safety class. And this time he did NOT wear his backpack on the stage.

He described the backstage scene with all the comics hanging out as not so much a fun scene, but more accurately feeling like a fibromyalgia commercial! Always such unique references!

And because someone had been talking about the Royal family it reminded Dave of being in a Burger King in The Bronx when the Queen died, and all the customers were so upset they ripped off their crowns, which I have to admit made me laugh out loud again at the visual, and one guy was so distraught he pistol whipped the cashier yelling ” Mo’ ketchups! Mo’ ketchups!” which again caused me to laugh out loud involuntarily.

I always take note of that because it’s a rare occurrence for me. So when I laugh out loud involuntarily I feel the need to share the experience!

To show you how amazing this show was, Dave was followed by yet another special guest, this time Jon Stewart, who came out dressed exactly like Dave Attell. I don’t know if it was planned, but they could have been twins! Jon talked a lot about aging and how humbling it is, to the point where he needs his reading glasses just to masturbate!

He made a good point when he said that $130,000. sounded too little in this day and age with inflation, to have paid Stormy Daniels. It sounded like the amount that Calvin Coolidge might have been accused of paying if he wanted to silence someone in 1923. Great reference!!!

And then Bill Burr came out to close the show to crazy applause and excitement. Cipha Sounds who chose the music for each comic played Bill out to some hokey Irish music, which gave Bill his opening joke having something to do with a leprechaun, which is a weird word when you think about it, and an even harder word to spell!

Sometimes Bill even makes himself laugh when he hears the things he says, and for me that’s my favorite part, watching him react to his own words. Like when he decided to share his “racist” thoughts which of course were not really racist! He’s married to a Black woman, which he did NOT do just to prove he’s not racist!

He’s one of the only comics who can tackle so-called “controversial topics” but he’s so smart that he presents both sides in such a funny way that even people who might be offended have to laugh!

He said that every topic had already been touched and there was nothing left to say, so let’s talk about Dementia!

It’s not easy taking notes in the dark, but one of the things I think he said was concerning how his grandma aided the resistance in World War 2 by having a sign in her window that said “Knock It Off Nazis!”

Then all the comics came out on stage for a group photo by Marcus Russell Price and Matthew Salacuse, who could easily leave out the Matthew and just go by Sal Acuse if he wanted to! (LOL)

And in one of the funniest moments of the evening for me at least, Vos held up his phone and asked everyone in the audience, on a count of three, to say hello to Georgina, Patrice’s Mom. The only problem is that after 10 years of doing this event, Vos didn’t know that Patrice’s Mom’s name is not Georgina, it’s Georgia, which prompted Bill Burr to name Vos “the stupidest person in the world!”

And then it was time for the after-party which is always at The Stand. I went home to get my car, and was thinking of changing into something more casual, but then I realized that Bill Burr likes to make fun of my style of dress, so I decided to stay the way I was, and it worked out perfectly as I’ll explain below.

Stand owners Cris and Paul Italia are the ultimate hosts. They put out an amazing spread in the small upstairs performance space, and it’s always just a great hang!

As I entered I was immediately stopped by manager Adele’s crew, and outfitted with a VIP bracelet. Not sure what it allowed me to do but I wore it proudly! (LOL) I also immediately ran into one of my favorite people Bonnie McFarlane, ( Mrs. Vos) who was with comic Maddy Smith, from Wild ‘N Out, who graciously congratulated me on my Sutton Place Magazine cover, and Patrice benefit producer, and dear friend Maureen Taran, who always makes sure I get what I need and am where I need to be.

To show you her level of kindness she even called me the next morning to make sure I had a good time and got what I needed for this column!

I looked over to where the owners usually sit and it was Bill, Vos and Keith Robinson. I went and stood behind Bill and put my hands on his shoulders. It took him a minute to turn around to see who it was, but as soon as he did he said, ” You look like you won Wimbledon in 1968, … with an all wooden tennis racket” which I took to mean he thought I looked like Billie Jean King! And I thought to myself, it was such a good idea not to change my clothes.

I love how quickly Bill can think of something funny to say about me! We all had a good laugh! I absolutely love that guy!!! He said we know each other so long that when we first met he had more hair than me!!!

So many comics were there, and my eyes were not adjusting well to the light but luckily I recognized my buddy Ronny Chieng. I really love Ronny as a comic and as a person. He’s a genuinely nice guy who was standing with Marcus Russell Price and when I invited him to be on a new show I’m producing in May, he told me he’ll be out of town shooting his own new show which he described as a dramedy for Hulu called Interior Chinatown, with Jimmy O. Yang, and directed by Taika Waititi! Ronny is definitely one of the funniest guys on stage today!

People would yell out “hello” and I literally couldn’t see who it was. Almost missed this group of 4 of my buddies all hanging out together. James Mattern, who opens for Chris Distefano and who I wrote about in my last column as one of the best hosts in town thought I was snubbing him, but I just couldn’t see! Also I reminded him that he never let me know he saw the column, and I thought he was snubbing ME!!! (LOL)

Derek Gaines had just come from working out some new material at The Cellar, Nathan Macintosh always so funny, looked like he was sporting a new haircut, and Louis Katz who I almost didn’t recognize because of the extensive facial hair, told me he’s been opening for Attell, headllning on his own, and finally hopes to finish his special which he started filming last May at The Comedy Fort in Fort Collins, Colorado, and most importantly just got engaged!

Then Neko White came along and told me he’s got a little thing in Pete Davidson’s new show Bupkis coming out on Peacock in May! Everyone’s waiting to see that! I know I am for sure!

My last personal event of the night was seeking out Dice. I couldn’t leave without seeing Dice. As I said earlier, we go back to 1998, and the last time he was at The Stand I was the only one he allowed backstage to see him!

When it comes to stardom Dice is on another level. The first comic to sell out MSG for two nights in a row! More recently he starred alongside Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, then there was his recurring role on the final season of Entourage, his amazing part on Martin Scorsese’s Vinyl and most recently his part as Lady Gaga’s character’s Dad Lorenzo, in the award winning hit, A Star Is Born.

That performance really sticks out in my mind. Very few comics have transferred their success on stage to the world of acting like Dice has done!

He was sitting in the back room with his beautiful girlfriend, and I know he won’t mind that compliment, whose name he told me is Sugahplum! (LOL) He even spelled it for me to make sure I got it right. He was eating and had been joined by Bill Burr and Cris and Paul Italia.

Club Soda Kenny was guarding the door, and guarding Dice’s privacy. No one fucks with Kenny! (LOL) He’s an ex-cop, and basically a building with clothes! (LOL) We’re friends for a long time so I stood at the door kibbitzing with him until Dice was finished eating,

I approached the table and told Dice I couldn’t leave without seeing him. He turned to Bill and started to tell him how long we knew each other, and then stopped and said to me, ” Tell Bill what you wrote for me!” And I got to tell Bill in Dice’s presence that I hold the honor of being one of the very few people who ever wrote for Dice, and that he liked what I wrote so much that he did it right off the paper on the stage of The Comedy Store.

I actually did the bit, which I can’t write here, and Bill said, ” You wrote that?” Bill said he never knew that, or that I had written for Rodney, Joan Rivers, Belzer, Gilbert, Phil Hartman, George Wallace and was the main writer for The Friars Roasts for 12 years.

A lot of big stars are reluctant to give credit to anyone else. Not Dice! When he was on Sirius XM with Ron Bennington which is where we had reconnected after many years, he was kind enough to shout me out three times during the hour about how I had written for him. A very kind thing to do!

We’ve shared phone calls at 3 A.M. and holiday greetings. As a matter of fact I just texted him “Happy Passover!” He even said he wanted me in a guest spot on “Dice” which was on Showtime. It never happened, … but just the fact that he said it made it special to me!

Sugahplum was kind enough to look up when Dice would be back in town in a show called “Andrew Dice Clay Live on Broadway” at Sony Hall on June 16th and 17th. I plan to be there for sure!

He’s really such a good guy and when I asked it we could take a pic before I left he wanted to do it himself. He took my phone and shot the photo that’s at the top of this unbelievably long column. But here it is again!


And just before I left he said in front of everyone that I should send him that material and maybe he could do it again at his upcoming shows. I left with a big smile feeling really special about being friends with a huge star like Dice. These are some more photos of us from the past!

Until next time please feel free to share this with other comedy fans and friends, follow Jeffrey on Instagram at @jeffreygurian and Subscribe to Comedy Matters TV at


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Comedy Matters Club Roundup with Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz, Richard Kind, Chris Distefano, Jiaoying Summers and lots more!!!



We lost two icons in the world of comedy within one day of each other. They had been friends for more than 40 years and passed away one day apart! Richard was in France at the castle he bought with the money he got from when Hulk Hogan dropped him on his head on live TV! (See it on You Tube!) And Rick, the founder of Catch a Rising Star, had been living in LA.

My friendship with Belz went back to the beginning of SNL in the mid 70’s when he was guest hosting, and in those days they had assigned seating. I arrived to find Arnold Schwarzenegger sitting in my seat and I had to ask him to move! Very politely I might add! (LOL) True story! He was very gracious, he apologized, we exchanged information (pre-cellphones), and I wound up writing jokes for him to do on the Mike Douglas Show when he was promoting Pumping Iron.

In 1992 Belz agreed to star in a little short futuristic comedy film I made for Playboy TV, called “The Bar Channel”, which predicted video-dating many years before it actually happened. It starred Belz and Phoebe Legere!

When I did the book “Make ‘Em Laugh” about the history of The Comic Strip with an intro by Chris Rock I invited Rick Newman to be in the book. Comic Strip founder Richie Tienken was good with it because when he opened The Strip in 1976, which was only a few blocks from Catch a Rising Star, he and Rick became friends and helped each other out sharing comics.

When Rick came to The Strip for the interview they hadn’t seen each other in years and now both had white hair and Richie was able to tell Rick that he had been his idol and inspiration, and I got a photo with both of them together. It was a very special moment. Hard to believe they’re both gone!

With Rick Newman and Richie Tienken at The Comic Strip-2010


I love walking up to a venue where a friend of mine is performing and seeing the marquee say “SOLD OUT.” That must be such an exciting thing for a performer to experience. That was the case when I went to see Mike Cannon headline to over 400 people. I think that’s the biggest audience I ever performed for.

His opener was Casey Balsham who told the audience she was 40, was 8 months pregnant and did a bunch of funny stuff about being a slut! She brought her A-game and did a really strong half hour.

Then Mike came out and killed it for a smooth hour talking about being a fairly new Dad, and lots of family stuff, and afterwards we all hung out in the green room before the big after party. It was all of Mike’s buddies from New York Comedy Club, like Mike Feeney his co-host on their podcast The Irish Goodbye, Brendan Sagalow, Adam Gilbert, Phil From Chico and Matt Pavich, plus his manager , and owner of NY Comedy Club Emilio Savone, who needless to say was very proud of Mike!


Then I got to ask Mike how he felt about all those people coming out just to see him!

A lot of the people backstage also showed up to celebrate James Mattern’s birthday at comic Joe DeRosa’s amazing sandwich place called Joey Roses on Rivington Street, and Joe also catered Mike Cannon’s green room and the after-party! Good to see Adam Gold there of Adam Gold Management. James, who is one of the best hosts in NY, has been touring and opening for Chris Distefano! More on that later!!!



Being on the cover of Sutton Place Magazine had it’s perks and one of them was that I got invited to attend the showing of a 6400 square foot, 5 bedroom, $6 million dollar apartment on Sutton Place being shown by Ryan Serhant formerly of Million Dollar Listing, and his team led by Jamin Jamming!

The place was amazing as you might expect and it was announced that there would be a celebrity guest! Who did it turn out to be? None other than Jiaoying Summers, who came in from Cali to do a new hour at the beautiful venue Le Poisson Rouge, known more for doing large music events like Rockers on Broadway than doing comedy! Although I did go there once to see The Impractical Jokers!

It was so great to see her again. She was there with her brother Derrick, and You Tube star/comedian Mario Adrion. Her show was that very night and so Jamin who is new in comedy and I made plans to go, and needless to say, the show was amazing!

Julia Kastner did a cold open, then Mario Adrion took over as host, followed by Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz, Alyce Chan, and Andre Kim, he of the very deep voice who I’ve performed with several times before and then Jiaoying came out and slayed the crowd.

Mario is very funny, had great stage presence, and was a great host. Andre, being Korean, was forced to admit he does not know Kim Jong-Un, and Alyce Chan said she had two pregnancy scares. One just turned 9 and the other turned 6!

Jiaoying came out to HUGE applause, and claims she’s not worried about being cancelled because no one can pronounce her name! I actually love the way she speaks. It’s not a typical Chinese accent! It’s like a hybrid and she pronounces her words in a very exact way. Maybe because she went to college in Kentucky, … which I always thought was a made-up place! (LOL) It always struck me funny that no one even HAD an accent until they left the country where they were born and went somewhere else. Suddenly they developed an accent! (LOL)

She did a flawless hour ending in crowd work and left the stage to resounding applause as you can see in this video! My favorite line is when she says ” My sister is getting married, but she’s way too young. She’s actually older than me but her name is Way Too Young!” That is HILARIOUS!!! She even has her own stylist, Vita Horowitz who gets mentioned a lot on stage, especially by Mario!

Kosha Dillz and I had been planning to meet up after connecting on social media, so it was great to hear his story about he got to be on Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out! He was just rapping in the street as he is prone to do, outside of MSG when Fat Joe came along and joined him. Dillz’s gf, Miranda Lapides of The Shabbat Drop, filmed it and the video went viral leading to a video audition, and the rest is history. He wound up doing season 19 and 20 and has 11 episodes coming out! So awesome! I LOVE stories like that because you never know where a break will come from, but you have to be putting yourself out there in order to get it!


Emilio and NY Comedy Club are doing all kinds of special events. In this one Holly J. Salerno a very talented artist hand drew 100 different comedians over a period of 100 days, and their pictures were posted on the wall of The Foley Gallery on the Lower East Side. I looked very, very closely but I wasn’t up there! But she promised me I’d be 101! (LOL)


The exhibit was followed by a kick-ass comedy show hosted by the very funny Phil Duckett, with Katie Boyle and her lovely Irish accent, my old friend Aminah Imani who said that Phil was channeling his inner Steve Harvey, Mike Cannon who laughingly said he has two older sisters so he has a history of hitting women, another old friend Calise Hawkins, who shouted me out from the stage as a “comedy aficionado” but had trouble saying “aficionado” which can be a hard word at times, Ashley Austin-Morris, newly engaged who told a man in the audience not to worry that another male comedian would be out in a minute, James Mattern who is just so quick it’s amazing, and what makes him a great host and warm-up comic, and then the ever-classy and hilarious Chuck Nice who wondered why he was the only comedian asked to pose in the nude, and then had clothes painted on for the final result!

And this event inspired me to bring back my Comedy Matters Girls of the Month piece featuring three special women who love and support live comedy, … just by coming out!!!


When 92NY lets me know they’re having a comedy show I always show up because they have good taste in comedy and get great shows. This time it was a showcase performance show on the first night of Purim which is one of the happier Jewish holidays. It commemorates another time when the Jewish people avoided being wiped out thanks to the bravery of a woman known as Queen Esther.

I have no photos of her because it was a long time ago, but it seems that she was a very smart and brave Jewish woman who was married to a king, Ahashverosh, which is a name you don’t hear a lot these days. When Esther learned that Haman, who worked for the king, was plotting against the Jews, she summoned the courage to tell the king about Haman’s evil plan and saved her people. And now we eat “Hamantashen” which are triangular pastries somehow named after the evil Haman. Not sure why! I’ll have to ask my Rabbi!

The show was in a little secret room I had never seen before and it was produced by Michelle Slonim. I got there late from another event, but just in time to see Pamela Rae Schuller who is always funny, and does a lot for disabled people, and Matthew Broussard who was the headliner and who I was shocked to find out was Jewish. He’s Cajun and Jewish, grew up down South, and was hilarious! And I don’t use that term lightly.

He described himself as sounding like a weatherman, and the reason why Mitt Romney lost. And he described Moses as a famous union leader. He also referred to Sodom and Gomorrah as “SoGo”! #veryclever He lost his Dad but he said his Mom is bipolar so it still feels like he has two parents. I really enjoyed his set! And I will be back at the 92Y later in this column!


I could say “Joyface” all day. And I could listen to Chris Distefano all day, so you put those two things together and you have a winning combination. Chris is hosting a new show on VICE TV and the premiere party was at a place called Joyface. He was there with his team, The Homeless Pimp and V who were busy filming most of the night!

I couldn’t wait to get there. It’s a show that reminisces about stuff from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and as Exec. Producer Ryan Ling put it, ” It’s funny stuff that would have gone viral, but it was before the internet!” Ryan knows funny because he created both Girl Code and Guy Code for MTV both of which Chris was on! Chris made me feel very welcome even though he found out about me and his Mom!!! (LOL)


Jimmy Kimmel is also an Exec. Producer but was not at the party. Mike Cannon who’s showing up everywhere these days was listed as a producer and told me he’s also a writer. The first panel was Roy Wood Jr., Ricky Cobb, Chris Gethard, and Napoleon Emil. Napoleon did show up for the party. If the others came it would have been after I left. Really fun time!



I can only imagine how excited Nick Kroll was when he got the call from Mel Brooks asking him to Exec. Produce History of the World Part 2, 40 years after History of the World Part 1. Nick says that Mel was his idol.

I can relate in some way since I grew watching Milton Berle on TV, never in my wildest dreams thinking I would ever know him and when he became a friend and my sponsor in The Friars Club, every time I was on the phone with him I’d be thinking, ” I’m on the phone with Milton Berle, and he actually knows he’s talking to me!” And then when I got to write for him and heard him saying my words it was a whole other level.

So for Nick Kroll and Ike Barinholtz to have the honor of being asked by Mel Brooks to carry on the tradition of something he started 40 years ago, it had to be an amazing feeling. And they talked about it at the premiere of History of the World Part 2 at 92NY in a talk moderated by legendary actor Richard Kind.

Nick said that the first place they took the project to was Hulu. He described their meeting with Hulu execs as Mel at 96 years old, dressed in a sharp blazer with a red handkerchief and at the end of the pitch meeting he says to the execs, ” Just so you know, everyone in town wants this show, so buy it now or lose your chance!” And the 92NY audience erupted in laughter!

Ike said that Mel told him that the only reason he decided to do the show is because he needs healthcare! Ike also whispered something to Richard Kind, and Nick disclosed that he asked Richard to mention that he won Celebrity Jeopardy!

Mel warned them that they’d get some letters and he said that was good, meaning that they’d “ruffle some feathers”, which Nick said showed that Mel still had faith in the postal system! (LOL)

Nick also said that Mel’s jokes are sprinkled throughout and there was one he had been wanting to get in somewhere for 50 years. Robert E. Lee is sitting with General Grant at Appomattox signing documents ending the Civil War, and as he gets up his sword accidentally hits three of his soldiers in the balls!

Richard asked very insightful and funny questions and Ike said it was the first time the moderator was more famous that the people he was interviewing. It was a very special night and I was so glad to be able to go back after the show to congratulate them all on such a fun event!


That’s it for this issue but the next one will be coming soon because Comedy Matters TV is back with a vengeance!!! (LOL) Follow Jeffrey on IG at @jeffreygurian and on You Tube at

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So I’m sitting at a table at The Stand catching up with Dan LaMorte who I hadn’t seen in a while, and who is exactly the opposite of his name. His last name might translate to mean “the death” in Italian, but Dan is all about life, having lost 190 pounds since I first met him.

We first met years ago when he opened for me at a gig in Altoona, PA, and we met to have breakfast the next day. I was so impressed with his work ethic because as I recall he was making his way across the United States in his own car, doing gigs in every state.

When he was 23 his doctor told him he had a fatty liver, which sounds like it’s not a good thing to have at any age, and he took control of his life and started running and eating right and lost the 190.

Now he’s engaged to comic Natalie Cuomo, with probable marital plans for 2024, totally tatted up as is she, and they have about 800,000 followers between them. They also tour together so they get to spend lots of time together on the road. Maybe some day he’ll let me open for HIM!!!

Anyway, while we’re chatting he mentions to me that David Spade is about to go on downstairs in the main showroom. I hadn’t seen David in many years, so of course I went down to check it out. We met originally up at SNL when I was writing for Phil Hartman. I used to go up there a lot in those days.

Needless to say David was killing it and the audience loved him. I shot a few seconds of him talking because I never post anyone saying their jokes but just to show he was there. It was his first time at The Stand, but I’m sure not the last. The manager told me his assistant called about a half hour before and said that David was in town and would like to come by and do a spot. The power of stardom!!!

When he finished his set he left the club so fast I only had time to say hello and didn’t have a chance to tell him I had a feature script I wanted him to star in. Maybe he’ll read this???

See the reaction he got in the video below!


Up at the bar I ran into Tara Cannistraci and Tracey Carnazzo who does all the “Trash Talk” podcasts reviewing what goes on on the reality shows Teen Mom, 90 Day Fiance, and Catfish. She was with her co-host Noelle Winters, and they are besties since they were kids. They used to review the shows amongst themselves and decided they should do them as a podcast!


Tracey’s got a lot coming up. She’s opening for Adrienne Iapalucci from April 13-15th at the new, revised Yonkers Comedy Club which I’m glad to hear just re-opened under the guidance of Jeff Pichardo. Congrats to Jeff on that!!! Adrienne recently opened for Louis CK at Madison Square Garden. That had to be crazy!!!

In March from the 8th to the 11th she’ll be opening for Luis J Gomez also at Yonkers, and she’s real excited about opening for Hannah Berner on April 16th at The Palladium. There’s always a lot of action around the bar at The Stand. Hannah Berner will also be at City Winery on March 3rd and 4th along with Joe List from Louis CK’s movie “The 4th of July”, and “Dice” opener Eleanor Kerrigan.


If you haven’t yet been to the City Winery off the West Side Highway you have to check it out. It’s around 15th or 16th street and there’s two rooms for comedy, a main room and “The Loft.” Nick Kroll and John Mulaney play the main room and then showcase shows play The Loft.

A week or so ago, while I was jumping around, I popped by to see a bunch of my friends all on the same show. It was T.J. Miller, Anthony Devito, Mark Normand, Rachel Feinstein, Usama Siddiquee, who was hosting, and a very funny new friend Sydney Castillo, who also writes for TV. What a powerful line-up!

They had held a seat for me but it’s always more fun for me to go backstage to see what people are up to, and then go out to watch the performances. That’s what “jumping around” is all about!

TJ’s You Tube special is very special. It’s called Dear Jonah and it’s dedicated to and named after an audience member who seemed to have special needs and was very excited to participate in TJ’s taping. I recall watching it when it first came out. I had run into TJ at The Comic Strip and he sent me an early copy to watch. To his credit TJ encouraged Jonah to participate and did not treat him like a heckler, which showed so much kindness on TJ’s part.

I have to say that TJ is one of the most creative, loosest, most relaxed performers on stage that I have ever seen. You never know what he will do from playing the nose whistle to handing out things to the audience, to doing karaoke in the middle of his act! He’s been a friend for a long time but what I didn’t know is that he has a line of hot sauce, PLUS a line of peanut butter that comes in 3 different flavors like CHOCOLATE COCONUT ALMOND PEANUT BUTTER! All available on Amazon with his picture on the label!

It’s always good memories when I see Anthony Devito because in his very early days he performed on my late show at The Comic Strip paying his comedy dues. Now he’s playing all over the country. Jordan Rock and I were given the honor of being the only two comics to ever host late night. That honor was bestowed upon us by the late Richie Tienken, the owner and founder of The Strip. So many of the comics from that show are doing great like Sam Morril, Pete Davidson, and Subhah Agarwal!

Anthony also has a You Tube special called Brain Noise which he taped at the Acme in Minneapolis, and which he said is one of his favorite venues, and he got engaged too which is awesome! Congrats to Anthony!

Mark Normand will be taping a new special at the Vic Theatre in Chicago on March 18th. The Vic holds about 1,000 people, which makes it hard to invite everyone back to your room after the show. He said he’s done that room before and loved it. The special will be called “From Soup to Nuts” which is perfect because the show he produced in NY was called “Hot Soup” so I guess he has a thing for soup.

I know he has a thing for comic Mae Planert because he married her! They even performed together at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston. All this good news, watching these guys grow up! (LOL) In the meantime he’s touring every weekend and is repped by UTA!

Mark is such a clever writer, and I respect that so much. Writing jokes is such a distinct art form and very difficult and he’s one of the best. I can’t help but quote this line, … he said that the perfect name for a lesbian bar would be Clitz, because men could never find it! #hilarious

Rachel Feinstein is taping a special on April 7th and 8th, unnamed as yet and it will be taped at the Midnight Theatre. And I got to meet the producers of this show, and in Comedy Matters TV I always like to not only show the people performing in the show, but also the people who make the show happen. Without them there is no show! Congrats to Jack Fink and Julie Ray!

Producers Jack Fink and Julie Ray


I always love finding something new or someone new to me. That’s how I felt when I went down to Sour Mouse a venue on Delancey Street on the Lower East Side. I had gotten an e-mail about it but had no idea what to expect! I walked in and went down the stairs to find a huge room packed with about 250 people on a Sunday night. It was a very downtown crowd, and if you know New York you know what I mean. People look and dress differently in every part of town. The show is produced and hosted by Ashley Gavin. I had heard her name but had never seen her perform before.

She’s a powerhouse of energy and talent, with a great resonant voice and she’s constantly, … jokingly… chastising the audience for not responding even more forcefully than they already were. The show is about a year old, blew up on the internet, and draws that size crowd every week.

It’s a very diverse crowd as Ashley described it , “a lot of Black dudes and White lesbians!” Ashley said she loves being gay, and said of herself that her name is Ashley Gavin but that she dresses more like a guy named Gavin! When she talked about abortion she categorized babies as “inside babies and outside babies!”

She doesn’t know this but when she was taping her set on her phone, about 20 minutes in, an audience member accidentally bumped into the tripod and knocked it over. It was on it’s way down when I grabbed it and set it upright again. #hero

It was a great line-up with every comic doing 12-15 minute sets, which is a nice amount of time to be given. I had never seen any of the other comics before but they were all good. She told one comic named Yemi that he added to the diversity of the show, not because he was Black but because he was straight!

Kate Willett was very clever and had a really laid back delivery. She came out in a dress, declared herself bisexual and said she’s been doing 3-ways with married couples and just once she’d like to be involved in something where there’s not a 3rd person crying!

Ashley told me she’s planning on shooting a special in a few weeks that will be on You Tube! I plan to go back and really diversify the room! (LOL)



Paul has developed quite a following and it’s a very big deal to headline the 300 seat Gotham Comedy Club and sell it out which is what Paul did. Twice!!! He was the first headline act of 2023 and was very excited to be doing it.

I always get to the show early to take my table which is Table 69. That’s the table that owner Chris Mazzilli gave me so it would be easier for me to take photos. It’s the only table that doesn’t have a number on it because people keep stealing it. This night that table was taken. I didn’t know by whom till after the show when we were all in the green room. It was Paul’s wife Stacey and his agent.

Paul totally crushed the show I was at and he has a really loyal following. All fans! People came out not just to see a comedy show but to see HIM!!! He did a particularly funny bit on why there are no Italian astronauts, and paces the stage like a tiger while he’s performing. Lots of nice family stuff cause he’s the ultimate family man who you can tell really enjoys being a Dad to his son Lucas and daughter Sofia.

Paul got a lot of experience playing for big audiences in his days opening for Bill Burr, and I recall back in 2017 attending the taping of what I believe was Paul’s first special for Comedy Central at the Tarrytown Music Hall. It was called “I’ll Say This” and it was produced by Bill Burr and Pete Davidson.

Paul has a new Netflix special called “Nocturnal Emissions”, he’ll be seen in a couple of scenes in the season finale of Bupkis, Pete Davidson’s upcoming show, and recently did Chazz Palminteri’s show at Chazz’s home in Westchester, after Chazz saw his Netflix special and reached out to him.

Richie Redding hosted the show, and Rich headlined the new beautiful Grisly Pear club on Feb. 23rd, owned by Kenny Warren and Gabe Dorado. Also on the bill were Ariel Elias, and Tyler Horvath who was hosting a show in Madison, WI when he met Paul and Paul invited him to open for him.

I myself got the opportunity to open for Paul one night up at Levity Live and it was really so fun. Paul is a great guy. He also came to the Comedy Matters TV crib once so we could tape an episode of his podcast “The Virzi Effect.”

After the show I asked Paul what his message would be to the world from the material he does on stage and he said ” Don’t take things so seriously. Enjoy your family and enjoy your life” which he seems to do. Paul’s on his way to doing very big things! So glad he’s my friend!


Emilio Savone, Scott Lindner and new partner Jim Panels are killing it in the race to see who can own the most clubs! They just opened their 5th club in Stamford, CT and it’s really huge and beautiful. It’s the 3rd in the NYCC series and they have one in Atlantic City and one in Fairfield, CT where I once performed with Artie Lange. Emilio contacted me and said it wouldn’t be official if I wasn’t there (#sonice) so I drove out and was so glad I did.

When I got there there were already lines of people waiting to get in and the signage was blasting! I had to take out my phone and film it because the excitement was palpable. There was a woman beside me who was also filming and it wasn’t until later backstage that I found out it was Emilio’s Mom! (LOL)


The line-up was crazy! James Mattern, one of the best hosts in town and who opens for Chris Distefano was the host for the evening and really got the crowd warmed up. It was Ashley Austin Morris, Subhah Agarwal, Chuck Nice, Beecher, and Paul Virzi from the previous paragraph, (LOL)!

Chris Distefano who is handled by ComicAccess the management team of Emilio, Scott and Jim will be the first headliner which will have happened by the time you read this! This past weekend it was Andrew Schulz, totally sold out and no surprise on that!!! The club is huge, like 4500 square feet and replaced a burger joint that closed due to the pandemic.

The green room is the size of some comedy clubs and has comfortable couches like in a fancy doctor’s waiting room, and a whole area for hair and make-up plus a pool table so comics have a really comfortable space to just chill before they go on.

It was great to see Subhah again who was one of the comics who started on my late night show at The Comic Strip. Now she’s performing all over, moved to LA, and just got married three months ago to a normie, … meaning a guy who’s not in comedy! In March she’ll be doing two shows at the Arcade Theatre in Pittsburgh for her 3rd time at that venue! (That means they like her!!!)

And it was great to catch up with my old friend Chuck Nice definitely one of the classiest and funniest guys in the business. I always tell him that one of the things that impresses me the most about his performance is how he switches seamlessly from street to eloquent, and it’s just so smooth.

He’s the host of Brain Games on Disney+ and he told the audience he doesn’t care if they watch it, as long as they turn it on! (LOL) And for the last 11 years he’s been the co-host of Star Talk on You Tube, with Neil deGrasse Tyson. I have such talented friends!!!

During the writing of this column Emilio texted me to tell me that they’ve been selling out without even having a headliner, just with showcase shows, and the place holds over 200 people. Stamford hasn’t had a comedy club for 30 years and they are so happy to be able to laugh again! The night I was there it was so crowded they had to set up a special seat for me on the aisle just so I could move around and get my photos!

So major congrats to Emilio, Scott and Jim and also to booker Candi Clare!!!


And that seems to be it for this column. Just like summer, it goes so fast! See you real soon for more Comedy Matters news on what’s happening in the New York comedy scene!

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With Marc Maron, Nick Kroll, Jeff Ross, Chris Distefano, Jiaoying Summers, Pauly Shore, NY Comedy Fest, and so much more!!!

Due to public demand Comedy Matters is back on the scene!!!

It’s been very gratifying to see how many people and clubs have asked me to cover what they’re doing, so I’m back jumping around again like before. Not EXACTLY like before, because nothing is really like it was before, but as close to before as possible.

There are so many things to write about I’m not sure whether to try and do them in chronological order, grouping them by category, or what but what I do know is that this will be a long-ass column. I may even have to do it in two parts. These are the comedy highlights from recent months!!!



Very excited to announce the creation of an indie TV pilot called “The Raw Side of Comedy” that will be filmed at the great 300 seat Gotham Comedy Club in the next few weeks. Despite the fact that they tend to say there’s nothing new in comedy, this will be kind of new. It’s a competition/reality show, and I’ve been scouting talent for the last few months as one of the Exec. Producers on the show along with Gotham owner and founder Chris Mazzilli, Fawziyya Fox, Marlisa Patterson, Sherry Patterson and Darvin Milligan.

Some of the talent I chose will be Pedro Gonzalez, Drew Dunn, Rich Aronovich, Tony Dabas, Max May, Tommy Brennan, Elon Altman, Ryan Joseph and Talent Harris Jr. More to be revealed very shortly!!!


Not just an alliteration but a real thing, … Marc Maron had a 92Y talk at one of the most famous museums in the world, The Museum of Modern Art on West 53rd Street in Manhattan. Very prestigious. Packed crowd. It was to highlight the premiere of his first HBO special premiering the next night called “From Bleak to Dark” in which he talks about things like aging, antisemitism, grief, and other topics that only Marc Maron can make funny.

Moderated by MTV News’ Josh Horowitz, Marc had previously done Josh’s Happy, Sad, Confused podcast where hit on a lot of the same topics including reuniting with his Dad, why cats are better than kids, stories from WTF and things that Marc’s fans expect him to talk about. Marc of course being the acknowledged “King of Candidness and Introspection.”

Knowing Marc as long as I do I can honestly say that I think Marc changed the game with his one man show Scorching The Earth. I attended that show at 45 Bleecker, a theatre down in the Village and to this day I recall my own personal shock at his honesty and what he was willing to share with the audience. Especially concerning the break-up with his second wife Mishna who I happened to know at the time.

Since that time, others have tried to copy Marc but I do believe he was the first to have the courage to go so deep and reveal himself to the audience in that way.

It affected me because I’m not sure I have the ability to share things so honestly, but Marc went where no other human had gone before to share something, … which I think may be a quote from Star Trek. The audience loved it and since that time other comedians have tried to bare their souls on stage but I truly believe that Marc was the first.

Embarrassment is just a thought after all. If I share something that’s hard for me to say, I’m the only one who blushes, and who’s hands sweat. No one ever had to stay home from work the next day from anything I shared.


Who would ever expect to have the opportunity to see Nick Kroll in a relatively small, intimate show after selling out Carnegie Hall? ( Redundant question!) When I got the e-mail that Nick would be performing at Kol Ami Temple in White Plains I thought it might be a misprint. It seems it was a retirement event for a Rabbi named Tom Wiener and Nick had been a student of his and went with him on a trip to Israel. (Not just the two of them! It was with a whole group! LOL)

I hadn’t seen Nick since that magical night when he sold out Carnegie Hall, and Covid restrictions were so strict that they wouldn’t even let his family backstage to visit him, but for some reason they let me in.

I expected a big crowd backstage but it was just Nick, his super-agemt Mike Berkowitz from WME and celeb photographer Marcus Russell Price who happened to be stationed right by the door, and caught the action right as I came in to hysterical laughter from both Nick and Mike who couldn’t believe they blocked Nick’s family but let ME in! I was actually embarrassed! Nick immediately took out his phone and posted it on Instagram.

I brought my daughters to meet Nick and called him before to ask if I could see him after the show to take a photo and introduce him to my daughters Elizabeth and Kathryn. He’s always the best!

Chrissy D and The Podcast/Radio Scene

Last summer when I was in Montreal at JFL’s 40th anniversary I found myself hanging with NY Comedy Club owner Emilio Savone, Chris DiStefano, Nimesh Patel, and Adam Gilbert at one of the raucous parties that is part of that scene. Chrissy D invited me to come on his Chrissy Chaos podcast and that actually happened.

I drove out to Staten Island to his beautiful studio, overlooking the water, and was greeted by his team led by his producer who goes by the name of The Homeless Pimp! You gotta respect that choice! I found out his real name but I’m not gonna share it in case he does’t want people to know!

Needless to say we had a blast! Chrissy is a riot as you all know. I brought the jacket that Nick Kroll and John Mulaney made for me for their “Oh, Hello” Show on Broadway and Chrissy wore the red beret cause I don’t do hats, … cause of the hair! I know you get it!!! (LOL)

This jacket is one of my greatest treasures!!!

He invited me back to do the pod he does with Sal Vulcano, and I’m really looking forward to that. I think he posted my episode on his Patreon. And a day or two later they posted that my heart attack story got over 1 million views! It’ a rough way to get views but I hope it gets me back there again!

And as I was leaving, Sam Morril came in to do another episode. Sam is one of the young comics that used to do my late night show at The Comic Strip back in the day, and it’s so great to see him getting the recognition he deserves. I always knew he was very unique and now he’s killing it all over the country. Most of those guys from that late night show went on to do very well.

Gary Vaynerchuk better known to his millions of fans as Gary Vee had a podcast coming out of his studios in Hudson Yards. So I’m at 3 different events and three different employees of his tell me separately that I’d be a great guest on Gary Vee’s podcast. Now I’m totally psyched because I had wanted to connect with Gary in the past as so many people tell me we should know each other. Now it was gonna happen. Except it didn’t.

The first girl totally flaked. The second guy was a comic himself, Sean Millea who actually did bring me down to tape a podcast in Gary’s studio in the One37 part of Vayner Media. We waited weeks to set it up and when I finally got there it went superb. Really great stuff and it never got posted. Don’t know if it even ever got edited. The podcast was told to close up shop. But it was really fun for me to see the world of Vayner Media. Literally hundreds of Gen Z’s working in cubicles , and I got the tour so I saw it for myself. Amazing!!!

A big shout out to Xen Sams for her wonderful top-rated radio show ” A Moment of Xen” on iHeart Radio on Saturday nights from 9-10 P.M. Xen is a fund of knowledge about everything and has a great love for comedy. which is why we get along so well. I hadn’t seen her in a while till I ran into her at The Friars Club on one of the rare occasions that it was open. We decided we had to do something cool together and she invited me on twice so far. A really cool, funny, innovative show and Xen is the best.

And Paul Chamberlain is back! You might remember him as having produced the Maui Comedy Fest8val, and then the Crapshoot Comedy festival in Vegas which I attended. I was shooting videos with all the stars for a company named “Be Terrific” who hired me get all the interviews and run the red carpet.

Paul has a fascinating story and one that’s very admirable. After Vegas, and I’m not spilling any secrets, because he’s very open about it, despite all of his hard work, he had a very hard time emotionally because of a lot of stuff that went down. It took him out for a while but now he regrouped and is doing amazingly well again.

He contacted me to tell me he always appreciated my support because he knew I love supporting talented hard working people and I became a guest on his “Smart, Funny Tortured Podcast” which was an emotionally cleansing thing for both of us. So glad to hear he’s doing great and has some big plans for the future involving comedy.

And no column would be complete in talking about radio and podcasts without mentioning the great Frank Morano who has the top rated overnight show on WABC Radio called “The Other Side of Midnight.” He’s on all week from 1-5 A.M. and fills the time slot with fun and interesting segments because he’s another fund of knowledge who also loves comedy and is funny in his own right. Radio funny!

There’a big difference between radio funny and comedy club funny because radio is basically straight improv. Not easy to fill four hours every night but Frank does it and he does his homework and is very gracious to his guests in the way he treats them on air.

I always have the best time and besides speaking about my Happiness books I also get to tell stories from GNN ( Gurian News Network) and from my book “Man Robs Bank With His Chin – And Other Unusual Stories Missed by Mainstream Media.”

Stories like ” Man Displays Uncanny Ability To Pick Up Heavy Things With His Eye”, and “Man Paints Replica of the Cistine Chapel With His Beard.”, which is really fun for me, and the reason that GNN is your source for All The News That’s Fit To Dance To.” We laugh away the hour together, and it always goes really fast.

On April 19, 2023 at the New York Botanical Gardens, the National Psoriasis Foundation will be honoring Frank Morano for his dedication and support in helping to find a cure for psoriatic disease patients. And I will be there for sure!!!



I was so happy to hear that Pauly was bringing his one man show “Stick to the Dancing- Stories From My Childhood” to The Asylum. The Asylum is an art house on Manhattan’s West Side, and the old UCB space, and Pauly’s show was part of the 18th annual New York Comedy Festival produced by Caroline Hirsch of Carolines on Broadway, which alas closed down on Dec. 31st after 30 years in that same location. We’ll get to that in another section of this column.

Pauly has an amazing story growing up in LA’s Comedy Store owned by his parents Mitzi Shore, and Sammy Shore a funny comedian I had met several times, but first through Milton Berle, my sponsor in The Friars Club!

How Pauly survived is a miracle having Sam Kinison as a babysitter, and the show goes through Pauly’s years on MTV, making movies like Biodome, Son-In-Law, his days as The Weasel and his catch phrase Hey, BU-DDY, and I was touched by his genuine humility and gratitude for all the good things he’s experienced as well as all the painful things he’s experienced.

I know him a long time, since the late 90’s and he seems like a truly changed man. He was very grateful to the audience and very gracious to people after the show. It was very touching and I really enjoyed it.



For the last 18 years Caroline Hirsch and her amazing team like Louis Faranda, and Greg Charles, plus relative newbies like Carolyn Gitomer and Jonny Moran have put on the New York Comedy Festival, the biggest and most prestigious comedy festival in the US. Hundreds of shows in every possible venue throughout the boroughs!

At the time in November, I don’t think people were aware that Carolines would be closing on Dec. 31st in it’s Times Square location after 30 years in the same spot. It was described in the news as a rent dispute. The landlord had to be pretty dumb or just very greedy to lose the jewel of Times Square. Jeff Ross and I got to talk about it on FOX TV.

The main hangout for the fest was The Hard Rock Hotel in Times Square. It was a constant party and several of the shows were in the hotel. I actually got to see some new talent and drew a few names from one of the shows for my new show Raw Side, where Chris Mazzilli and Rick Dorfman were two of the judges. Always good to see Reg Thomas, and Daniel Simonsen who I’ve had on a couple of my own self-produced shows.

Also great to see my man Cipha Sounds DJ’ing and doing comedy opening Mo Amer’s sold out show at Manhattan Community College way downtown. Now that I’m jumping around again I go everywhere!!!


My history with Carolines goes back to the 80’s when she first opened in a much smaller space on 26th and 8th. I clearly recall the night I first met Jerry Seinfeld and Paul Reiser there. They were both pretty new, and both on the same show and I remember being so impressed with them that I went over to introduce myself and offered to introduce them to my manager at the time, David Jonas, probably best known for managing Freddie Prinze.

When Carolines moved to The Seaport, I did too, very often to see my buddy Gilbert Gottfried, who used to make me laugh so hard in those early days I recall once begging him to stop because I couldn’t take the pain of laughing anymore! And then I brought Jackie Mason down there one night to see a comedy group I thought would be perfect for a movie I was writing for him called “The Detective” which was set in a fictional “tough Jewish neighborhood.” He played a Jewish version of a bumbling Detective Clouseau.

Anyway, every comic wanted to be on that stage before it closed and I was lucky enough to do two spots there that month, one on Jeff Ross’s last headline show on Sunday, Dec. 18th. A night to remember for me! Jeff has always been very gracious and we have shared some special moments, like the time in Montreal when he and I were having lunch together, and a man came over to tell him that he won the award for his film “Patriot Act.” A very special moment to be shared!

Carolines made a touching speech to Jeff on stage about how long he had been at the club, and afterwards we hung out backstage and she said that Carolines isn’t going anywhere and would be back bigger and better than ever, And knowing Caroline I can’t wait to see her next move!!!



I had been hearing so much about this Cali based comedian Jiaoying Summers, so I was so glad to finally be able to meet her at The Stand one night. I was so impressed with her story and how she managed to escape the one-child policy in China at the time she was born, where the “one-child” that everyone was allowed to keep was a boy. And boy are they paying for that now!

I love her story , I love the way she speaks English with such perfection, and I especially love when she says she would be considered ugly in China because that is certainly not the case here. She came to the Comedy Matters offices where we shot some fun videos and she got to connect to a photo of her idol Phyllis Diller. She couldn’t believe I knew her. I will try and post the video for you to see how quick she is, how funny, and how far from ugly she is in any country! (LOL)

Since then we’ve become friends and I’ve seen her perform at Carolines, The Stand and other clubs as well. We even shot a couple of fun videos together at the Comedy Matters TV crib!

Then L.A. comic Kiki Yeung, the founder of “Crazy, Woke Asians”, who’s also one of the parents on the ABC show Parent Test came to town to host her own show as part of the NY Comedy Festival. The show was down at Alex Carabano’s St. Marks Comedy Club.

She was kind enough to let me know she was coming to town, so I made sure to make it down there. The funny part was that the show was called “Kiki Funny Mama’s Night Out”, so I didn’t realize till half way through that all the comedians were Asian by choice. Somehow I thought it was just a coincidence! (LOL) ‘The Parent Test’ is on Thursday nights on ABC and streams on Hulu the next day.

Kiki Yeung at St. Marks Comedy Club

And lastly, she’s not blonde but she’s back in town! It’s Kilara Sen back from Japan. I first met Kilara playing the clubs around town, and was struck by how good she was especially performing in a language that was not her native tongue!

In 2019 I went to Japan alone, and she was kind enough to meet me at my hotel the night I landed which made my trip an amazing experience because it’s pretty weird getting to another country alone where the culture is so different.

We ran around and shot some fun videos there and she told me her dream was to one day move back to The States, and now she’s here performing again! She’s really funny, … not blond as you can see, … but really funny!


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