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!!!



Leave a Comment (0) →




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


Leave a Comment (0) →

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

Leave a Comment (0) →



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!

Leave a Comment (0) →


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!


To follow Jeffrey on Instagram or Facebook just click the buttons below! TO FOLLOW JEFFREY ON INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK JUST CLICK THE BUTTONS BELOW.

Leave a Comment (0) →

Comedy Matters Round-Up with Nick Kroll, D.L. Hughley, Colin Quinn, Amy Schumer, Sam Morril, Ron Bennington, Tim Dillon, NY Comedy Festival and More!!!

Comedy Matters Round-Up with Nick Kroll, D.L. Hughley, Colin Quinn, Amy Schumer, Sam Morril, Ron Bennington, Tim Dillon, NY Comedy Festival and More!!!

What better time than holiday time to catch up on what’s been going on in the comedy scene? ( Rhetorical question – no answer required! LOL) Spoiler alert – it’s going to be a long one!!!

Thanks to Caroline Hirsch and Andrew Fox of Carolines on Broadway, the NY Comedy Festival was back big-time this year, and I went to a bunch of great shows.

In no particular order, I gotta start with Nick Kroll who was making his Carnegie Hall debut, which he said had been his dream for many years. Nice to see someone fulfilling a dream.

Nick Kroll by the door of his backstage dressing room at Carnegie Hall!

I purposely didn’t let Nick know I was coming because I wanted to surprise him. The deal was I was supposed to meet Carolines long-term GM Louis Faranda and assistant Carolyn Gitomer at the backstage entrance to get our seats.

Being that I am a master at self-sabotage, … like the time I left my microphone home when covering the red carpet at MSG for Rory Rosegarten’s Garden of Laughs, and John Mulaney made fun of me…

halfway over to Carnegie Hall I realized I had forgotten my wallet with my vax card and had to go back home to get it.
Good thing I did because the Covid restrictions were very tight. People lined up outside had to show their vax card and I.D. and get a bracelet to wear inside that was actually put on your wrist by the people working the line.

Backstage is always a fun hang and I had a chance to catch up with my old friend Louis Faranda which was a real treat, and then he walked me to my seat to make sure I was taken care of.
Louis and I spoke so long that I missed Nick’s opening act Emmy Blotnick , but I got to my seat in time to see Nick hit the stage wearing a sharp brown suit with white sneaks that looked a lot like the Nike Airs I was wearing.

Carnegie Hall holds roughly 3600 people, all of whom had to wear their masks during the whole entire show, and believe me it’s not that easy to laugh so much while wearing a mask. But thanks to Nick’s talent people managed to laugh a lot. No surprise there.

Nick did voices and characters, and told stories about his life starting from his childhood, leading up to meeting his wife Lily Kwong, when he realized that she was his person! That was a moving story.

And then having their 2 month old son, who he considered naming Kilometer Kroll because he’s a big fan of the metric system. After the show my intention was to go and congratulate Nick on his sold-out incredible performance but I didn’t know how to get to his room.

A kindly usher saw my dilemma and offered to guide me through the masses yelling out “Move to the right, move to the right” as we navigated the hallways, through the crowds, and into an elevator that took me to Nick’s floor.

I was confronted with two closed doors with Nick’s name on the outside. I was expecting a huge crowd inside, so I knocked very tentatively as I didn’t want to disturb anyone. Nick yelled out “Come in” and at the exact second as I opened the door I was greeted by the flash of celeb-photog Marcus Russell-Price’s camera and hysterical laughter from both Nick and his agent, or should I say SUPER-agent Mike Berkowitz from WME.

Caught by the camera of Marcus Russell Price exactly as I entered Nick Kroll’s dressing room. Mike Berkowitz is laughing already!

Nick was laughing so hard because he said that his own family wasn’t able to get in to see him because the Covid restrictions were so strict, ” but this man was able to get in” and he took out his phone to film me. It’s the photo that wound up on the cover of The Interrobang.

Nick Kroll filming my entrance to his dressing room at Carnegie Hall when no one else was allowed in, with uber-agent Mike Berkowitz laughing hysterically off to the side!

I actually felt embarrassed for being the only one let in, but was relieved a few minutes later when they let Nick’s wife Lily in to congratulate him and we all stepped outside to give them a moment.
Then we all left together and Nick was swarmed by fans outside and graciously took photos and gave autographs to all who asked. It was a very special night and I was so glad I was there to participate.

The Stand was a hot bed of performances during the festival and I made sure to catch Ron Bennington’s “Unmasked” with Tim Dillon who has risen to astronomical heights with his podcast The Tim Dillon Show.

Tim Dillon and Ron Bennington outside The Stand after taping Unmasked for Sirius XM Radio

All Unmaskeds are very special and this was the same, with the hour flying by before you knew it as there is never any dead space when Ron does his thing. Tim identifies as a gay Republican and credits Joe Rogan with helping to put him on the map.

I’ve known Tim for quite a while and always admired his humor and his willingness to be open about who he is and his beliefs, so it was really great to see him again. Obviously a lot of other people agree with me because his Patreon page takes in almost 200 K per month! He was headlining The Beacon Theatre the very next night!

With my man Ron Bennington of The Bennington Show on Sirius XM

Before I left The Stand that night I went over to the owner’s table to visit with owner Chris Italia and who did I find there but the ever-shrinking Dan Lamorte, who actually lost around 200 pounds and is running marathons now when he isn’t on stage.

I literally almost didn’t recognize him except for the frontiersman’s beard that fit better when he weighed around 350, which is where he was when I first met him, and he opened for me at a headlining gig in PA. Now I’d like to open for HIM! Way to go Dan!

The Ever-Shrinking Dan LaMorte

It always feels great to be back at my usual table 69 at Gotham Comedy Club, and to be warmly greeted by owner Chris Mazzilli and the staff like Billy Hayes and Rich who do security, and manager Andrew Schwartztol.

I went to catch H. Foley and Kevin Ryan’s live version of their hit podcast Are You Garbage and the place was PACKED with his fans. Literally not a seat to be had!

He had a fun line-up and at the end as he left the stage I went to congratulate him on such a successful show and he was very gracious in thanking me for coming. There are just so many choices in the NY Comedy Festival that it’s basically impossible to see everything you want to see and the comedians know that.

But Foley is a classy guy and even followed up his verbal thank you with a personal e-mail the next day thanking me for coming to support, which I really appreciated.

Foley Wants To Know, … Are You Garbage???

New York Comedy Club is always packed no matter which venue you go to, but I went to the 24th Street location for James Mattern’s album release party for his album Check Spot and it was wall to wall peeps. James is known for being one of the best hosts in town.

With Two Of The Hottest Girls In The Game-Corinne Fisher and Katie ( T-Spoon) Haller

He also had a great line-up with one of my faves Corinne Fisher, Nathan Macintosh, and Jon Laster. As I came in I was greeted by owner Emilio who always makes me feel at home, and we took this pic which he so kindly posted on IG!

With James Mattern, Adrian Minkowitz, and NYCC Owner Emilio Savone!

I popped in to the Gramercy Theatre one night to catch Sam Morril’s show. I’ve always been a fan of Sam’s since he used to do my late night show at The Comic Strip when he was pretty new at the game. It was always obvious that he was a great writer and had a very unique delivery.

The Gramercy not only required a vax card they also searched you and patted you down before you went in. I guess Sam draws a rough crowd! (LOL)

Sam has done 3 specials for Comedy Central and was named one of Comedy Central’s Comics To Watch back in 2011. When he’s not touring he’s usually performing at The Comedy Cellar which are several reasons why The Gramercy was packed.

I felt bad that I couldn’t stay to go backstage and congratulate him cause I had to get down to the Lucille Lortel Theatre to catch Colin Quinn in his new one man show The Last Beast Hope. Seeing two shows back to back in different parts of town is not easy in NYC. But at least I was able to get a shot of the Sam Morril marquee!

I didn’t get to see Sam but at least I got a shot of the marquee! (LOL)

The parking gods were with me and I managed to get a spot and race into the theatre on time. Watching Colin work is like watching one of the old masters create a masterpiece on canvas, which usually describes Colin’s shows.

He’s one of the very few comics besides Mike Birbiglia to consistently create one-man shows. I know I have a one man show in me too, if I could only figure out who that one man should be! I always wanted to do a multi-media show cause I have so much memorabilia! Maybe one day!!!

Anyway it’s always so great to see Colin perform because he breaks it all down in a way that only Colin can do. We’ve been friends since the days he was on Remote Control on MTV, and I still get excited seeing him work.

He was my very first guest when I was bringing my favorite comics on Sirius XM’s Ron and Fez show with Ron Bennington and the great Fez Whatley, who we lost so sadly at only 57 years old this past August.

The Day I Brought Colin Quinn on Sirius XM With Ron and Fez As My Guest-1/9/14

I didn’t tell Colin I was coming either. I like to surprise people.

After it was over Colin came out to greet the fans that were waiting in the theatre. Lucille Lortel doesn’t really have a backstage area for shmoozing, but we did a good job of it in the theatre itself. He told me he’s been working on the concepts for the show for about two years.

With Colin Quinn at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. I like to think we look the same as we did in 2014!

Leading into the NY Comedy Festival, I had the honor of judging an all women’s comedy festival called “Ladies Night.”

Produced by Robin Siegel-Laikin and Nancy Levine, both of whom performed, it was held at Broadway Comedy Club. Two hundred women applied. Forty-five were chosen. I judged for two shows along with comedy stalwarts like Jodi Lieberman, and longtime agent Roger Paul, and boy what a variety of women hit the stage. One of my faves was a girl named Amber Joy Lane. Hope I get to do it again next year!

(L-R) Robin Siegel-Laikin, two performers and Nancy Levine at Ladies Night!

Amy Schumer premiered her new film Humans, now in theatres and streaming on Showtime, at the 92Y which prides itself on bringing in great comedy talent and rightly so! But this is not a comedy. It’s an interesting ensemble piece.

After the screening there was a panel discussion led by Sirius XM’s Jessica Shaw with co-stars Beanie Feldstein, Steven Yeun, Richard Jenkins and Jayne Houdyshell. Amy’s three-episode docu-series “Expecting Amy”, which she partly shot with her husband Chris on their cell phones is currently showing on HBO Max.

The panel from Humans with Jessica Shaw and Jayne Houdyshell, Richard Jenkins, Amy Schumer, Steven Yeun and Beanie Feldstein at the 92Y. 

Any time I get to spend with my buddy D.L. Hughley is always special so when I heard he was headlining Carolines on Broadway for the Thanksgiving weekend I knew I had to be there. And I was. For Saturday and Sunday.

The first night I got there around 9 so I could catch him in between shows. It was great to see Eric Singer running the room as I made my way through the kitchen to come out near the green room.

Derek his security guy was on guard as always and ushered me in to see “The King,” as he is referred to with reverence by A.G. White who came in to do an opening spot.

Barry Ribs also came in a bit later and also did an opening spot, while I got to catch up with D.L. and his daughter Tyler and one of the biggest dogs I had ever seen, an Akita named Charlie, named after D.L.’s late Dad.

The dog was the size of a small bear, and had the nicest face matched by the nicest disposition. He was able to find a place for himself in the crowded VIP room and just plopped down on the floor. Barry Ribs almost got trapped and couldn’t get up because the dog layed down across his feet!

The first night I made the mistake of wearing a summery outfit which D.L. got a kick out of. I promised to come back the next night wearing winter type clothing and D.L. predicted I would be wearing a maroon jacket, which by the way he had no idea that I owned.

D.L. dressed for winter while J.G. is still dressed for summer!!!

Needless to say the show was amazing. D.L. hits all the bases and talks about everything that’s going on in the world with the D.L. spin.

After he came offstage to thunderous applause we talked about his performance as we usually do, and I told him that it’s great to watch him guide the audience exactly where he wants them to go. He totally owns the stage when he’s out there. It’s like watching an orchestra leader guiding the musicians. Then we filmed the little video below.

D.L. actually predicted I would wear a maroon jacket, … so I had to!!!

So the next night I wore a jacket that was as close to maroon as I could get, and showed up around 9 again so we could have a good laugh before the show. D.L. hangs with friends literally until the minute it’s time for him to go onstage.

I told him the only person I know in comedy as relaxed as him before they go out on stage is Sebastian Maniscalco who held a party between his 3rd and 4th shows at MSG with 20,000 people at each show.

D.L. didn’t seem totally shocked that I had a maroon jacket! (LOL) But I was!!!

And Sunny Hostin from The View came back with her husband Manny, the orthopedic surgeon to congratulate D.L. on another magnificent performance, and the four of us got to exchange child raising tips! It was an amazing weekend for sure, and D.L. and I have some interesting plans that I hope to be able to share with you very soon!

I’m sure this is one of the longest columns I’ve written in a while because thanks to Covid I’m just not out as much as I always was, but I thought you’d enjoy seeing what’s been going on in the comedy world!

If you have any friends you think might like to join up and receive this column please feel free to share this link and also get a free gift for signing up.

Leave a Comment (0) →

The King of Staten Island Rocks


People who know me know I don’t do “review” reviews. I write about my experience seeing a show, or a film or any type of creative performance. I write about how it made me feel, and what the characters did. And if I don’t like it I don’t write about it at all.


Fortunately that’s not the case with The King of Staten Island because it would have been very difficult for me to ignore this project. It’s literally packed with comedian friends and people I know for a really long time.

Kudos first of all to director Judd Apatow, for bringing this amazing cast together, and creating cinematic magic. He produced, directed and co-wrote the script with Pete, and former SNL writer Dave Sirus who all did an amazing job telling this poignant story. When I spoke to Dave he said the experience working with Judd was surreal, and opening day was “a very weird day”, … in a good way!


Just to name the comedy people first, it’s Pete Davidson, Bill Burr, Ricky Velez, Lynn Koplitz, Derek Gaines, Keith Robinson, Pamela Adlon, Rich Vos and Bonnie Macfarlane, Liza Treyger, Mike Vecchione, Carly Aquilino, and Jessica Kirson.

I’m particularly happy for Pete Davidson, because I think he had a lot riding on this film personally. So many people including me were waiting excitedly for it to come out, and it would have been devastating if it had not turned out as well as it did. 

Pete gets so much press about so many different things, from all different angles, but he should be very proud of this project, which is loosely based on his own life.

And Judd must have been so proud that his daughter Maude was so great in the film playing Pete’s sister, who loves Pete/Scott in spite of himself.
I called Dave to congratulate him and he said it was a really crazy, “weird” day for him. I can only imagine. 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film where I had a connection to so many people and even to a location in the film. I can’t do any spoilers so I’m going to keep this article limited mostly to the talent and the parts they played.

Pete, who stars in the film as Scott Carlin, and co-wrote it with Judd and Dave, plays a 24 year old Staten Island stoner who doesn’t have much direction, thanks to the confusion caused by his severe A.D.D.

He does have a dream though and that is to someday open a tattoo restaurant, which would be the first of it’s kind. Until that either happened or didn’t happen, he’d be just as comfortable hanging out in his basement with a few friends getting stoned.

He’s torn up about the death of his fireman Dad when he was only 7, but isn’t really in touch with that as the cause of his inner turmoil and emotional pain.

I happen to know Pete since he was about 17. He used to do my late night show at The Comic Strip. He’d come in late at night with Jordan Rock and was really shy and really funny. I had a feeling he was gonna do big things, but nobody could guess at the time where he would go, and the heights he would reach.


I shared the excitement with him when Nick Cannon took him under his wing and brought him out on the road, and Pete used to tell me how amazing it was being with Nick and Mariah.

And then some years later we shot some fun video interviews up in Montreal, when he was asked to perform at the Just for Laughs Festival two years in a row. I remember how excited he was about being up there.

Then one night at Gotham Comedy Club, where he performed pretty often, he introduced me to his girlfriend at the time, super funny comedian Carly Aquilino, and told her she could tell me anything because I was someone who could be trusted. That was very cool.

Carly also has a part in the movie as Tara, and I almost didn’t recognize her with her super blonde hair which has been many other colors including pink!


The last time I saw Pete was with Bill Burr when he and Bill produced Paul Virzi’s special and I drove up to watch the taping and hang out backstage with those guys.

Bill Burr, who is so great in this part, plays a fireman named Ray with a big caterpiller moustache, who winds up dating Pete’s Mom Margie, in the film played by my old friend, the incredibly talented Marisa Tomei.


In 1995 I was working with the Audrey Hepburn Foundation and went to the first year of the Aspen Comedy Festival representing the foundation, whose goal was to help poor children all over the world. I knew Marisa from the Naked Angels theatre troupe, as she was one of the founding members, and I used to go every week as one of the writers whose work they’d read.

When I got back from Aspen the Hepburn foundation had a big event at Planet Hollywood and I asked Marisa to come and make a special appearance which she did as a favor. She had already won the Oscar for her performance in My Cousin Vinny, so it was a really big thing. And Bill Burr gets to kiss her in this film! #sojealous


So many people had fun parts. Ricky Velez who’s one of Pete’s best friends in real life plays a best friend in the film as well, and is absolutely superb. He even gets to wear his favorite clothes, which is usually just jeans and a hoodie. He has a very big and important part in terms of what happens to him and to Pete/Scott during the film.


Derek Gaines from The Last O.G. plays a waiter in the Staten Island restaurant where Pete gets a job, and Derek is also a close friend and an old roommate of Pete’s. They actually lived together in real life and when I called him right after I saw the film to congratulate him he told me he was “so glad to work with a cast that knew how to play the line of comedy and drama together. Pete and Judd are a power collaboration that I’m so glad to be a part of.”

He went on to say ” Pete is my friend, we sorta grew up together in comedy. He was my roommate for Christ’s sake … I’m glad we stayed cool and he called me to do the part, .. and in the words of Lil Wayne, … it all worked out! (Tha Carter 5).”  In the film he even gets to show off his pop-and-lock skills!


Keith Robinson has a funny scene playing a security guard, and Pamela Adlon who has a big part plays Bill Burr’s ex-wife, and the mother of their two adorable kids. Rich Vos and Bonnie Macfarlane have a cool scene in an Italian restaurant called Denino’s which happens to be owned by my dear friend Joe McBratney’s brother, Jimmy McBratney, and where I’ve actually eaten. Great food by the way!


Lynne Koplitz has a very fun part and gets to let out her “inner Lynn” by playing a wise-cracking nurse and best friend to Marisa Tomei. All these people had a chance to act with Marisa Tomei! Amazing.


And when I asked Lynne about working with Marisa she said, “ she was great to work with and needless to say so professional. It was very surreal at first being that it was my first role in a full length movie and there I was at rehearsal with this fantastic Oscar winning beauty, but she was very friendly and the entire environment of the movie was very family like which enabled me to get comfortable quickly.”


She went on to say, “ I honestly can’t say enough nice things about working on this film. I adore Pete and always have and Ricky and Dave are just so generous, and fun and creative. And Judd, … well he just sets this confident and easy going collaborative tone that’s really great to work with.” Sounds like she liked it!

Liza Treyger plays a waitress in that same Italian restaurant where Pete’s character gets a job, Mike Vecchione doesn’t play a cop for which he’s so well suited, but he plays a fireman also with a moustache, and Jessica Kirson plays the owner of a pharmacy who has a very unusual interaction with Ricky Velez and his boys.


And Steve Buscemi who has done some comedy parts in the past, like on Jim Gaffigan’s show, (where I accidentally walked onto the set while they were filming to say hello to Jim and ruined the take), plays a senior fireman as well, and adds his great talent to the already amazing cast.

But seeing Ray romance Margie stirred an emotional note with me because of all things, my parents were named Margie and Ray. That can’t even happen. When I told Bill Burr about it he said, “ What are the odds of that?” I was like “Basically zero.” And he also said he was glad I liked the film because he had a lot of fun doing it.

The film was very emotional in several spots, and ran the entire gamut of feelings. Some very funny parts and some very touching parts where Pete and I both had tears welling up in our eyes. Pete really showed that he had quite a range. He’s basically in every scene and it was very special to see him be so good and so believable in his role.

And I must give a special shout out to English actress Bel Powley who played Pete’s childhood friend and occasional hook-up in the film. She was just so good in her part as Kelsey, and she learned the Staten Island accent as if it was her own.

I read one review of the film where the writer used such big words and flowery expressions I couldn’t tell whether she liked it or not. I don’t even know how to write that way. I just write it simply the way I see it.

This is definitely a film you should see and I’m sure it will do great things for everyone who was involved in it. I sure wish I had been! (LOL)

Leave a Comment (0) →

Comedy Matters RoundUp-Jesus Trejo’s New Show, Bill Burr, Patrice O’Neal Benefit, Mythic Quest, and So Much More!!!


After years of people telling me to do a podcast I finally gave in thanks to radio legend Tim Sabean and comedy legend Richie Tienken, owner and founder of The Comic Strip. The Strip opened on June 1, 1976 and is still going strong.

It was the home of Jerry Seinfeld for the first 4 years of his career from 1976-1980, the place where Eddie Murphy came and was managed by Richie for the first 11 years of his career, where they discovered Chris Rock around 1985, and where Richie managed Adam Sandler at the beginning of his career. That’s why both Jerry and Adam came back to do their Netflix specials at The Strip.

So when Richie was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to do a podcast from the club, and allowed me to do it from the stage I jumped on it. I had the honor of doing both books on the club with Richie. The first was called “Make ‘Em Laugh” from Skyhorse Publishing, and the updated version is called “Laughing Legends” also from Skyhorse and features an intro by Chris Rock, and interviews with Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Colin Quinn, Billy Crystal, Jim Gaffigan, Lisa Lampanelli, Susie Essman, George Wallace, and every big star that came out of that club, including the younger guys like Colin Jost and Jordan Rock.


Richie sat with me as my first guest and told great stories about the history of the club and the stars that were in it. We had so many stories we’ll have to do a second episode with him. CLICKING THIS LINK WILL TAKE YOU TO THE AUDIO PODCAST ON I-TUNES! ALSO FOUND ON SPOTIFY, STICHER ETC.

Comedy Matters TV Podcast-Episode 1 with Richie Tienken


Sean Evans has a show called “Hot Ones” from the First We Feast guys, where celebrities, … and I MEAN celebrities, sit down with him to be interviewed while eating progressively hotter wings from 1-10 in hotness.

It’s billed as a show with “hot questions and even hotter wings” and some of the guests have been Kevin Hart, Seth Rogen, Jordan Peele, Charlize Theron, Ken Jeong, Post Malone, and Scarlett Johansson, who I have a feeling will be seen in a lot more comedy projects in the future! Celebrities literally clamor to be on the show.

So these same FWF guys gave Jesus Trejo a new show which he hosts, called “Tacos Con Todos” and it’s described as a comedy/food show which will be released on the First We Feast YouTube page every Tuesday starting Feb. 25th, and it already looks like a hit!


Jesus will dive in to the L.A. Taco scene which I don’t think exists in New York, and will explore it with comedians and celebs. This first season features my old friend Gabriel (Fluffy) Iglesias, another old friend Pauly Shore, and still another old friend, (LOL) Joey Diaz, plus Brendan Schaub, Andy Milonakis from Kroll Show, Blake Anderson from Workaholics, and more!


Unbelievably the page already has over 8 millions subscribers which is why it’s easy to predict it will be a hit after being seen my so many people.

This is a YouTube video on the show that got 20K views in the first hour!



I think that everyone knows how popular FXX’s hit “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” is. It’s been running since 2005 and will soon be the longest running live action sit-com ever on TV.

At a press junket for the new show “Mythic Quest-Raven’s Banquet”, “Always Sunny” creator Rob McElhenny, who also co-created Mythic Quest with Always Sunny alumni Charlie Day and comedy writer Megan Ganz told me that they’re working to beat the all time record of Bonanza which was on the air for 20 years.

Mythic Quest is about the creation of a video game of the same name, and is kind of like a Middle Ages Game of Thrones ultra-violent kind of game with a great ensemble cast including YouTube star Ashly Burch, known for “Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?” a series of short comedy sketches she made with her brother that have 300,000 subscribers, relative Australian newcomer Charlotte Nicdao who audiences will fall in love with, David Hornsby who plays Cricket in Always Sunny, Aparna Nancherla who is one of the producers and plays a character named Michelle, and a big surprise, at least to me and a tremendous coup for the show is Academy Award winner F Murray (Amadeus) Abraham from Homeland who plays C.W. Longbottom a pompous, washed-up sci-fi writer. I asked him how he got involved and he laughingly said “Dumb luck.”

I think it’s great for him to open him up to a new, younger audience. I got to interview them in two’s which is not as easy as one-on-ones, but as you’ll see in this little video with Ashly and F Murray, F. Murray opened up talking about my hair! It was hilarious.

I asked him if people call him “F” and he said ” Only my good friends.” And when I continued my saying, ” So most people call you Murray?” He jokingly said, ” Yes, … or Your Highness!” He wants to try stand-up and has been invited to perform at the Coronet Theatre in LA where they do standup on Monday nights.


Every year for the last 8 years since the all too soon passing of Patrice O’Neal, Bill Burr and comedy exec. Maureen Taran produce a comedy benefit in his honor.

Rich Vos hosted as usual, with Cipha Sounds energizing the crowd with his comedy and on the ones and twos before the show started, with Ronny Chieng, Andrew Schulz, Sam Morril, Paul Virzi, Judy Gold, Roy Wood Jr., and a surprise visit from Louis C.K. who literally brought the house down with the level of applause he received before he even said a word. You would have thought G-d showed up with the reception he received.

It made Page 6 in the NY Post the next day where they referenced my attendance since I had the honor of being Patrice’s co-host on The Black Phillip Show along with my bud Dante Nero. Bill’s “All Things Comedy” in conjunction with Comedy Central will be producing a long-awaited documentary on Patrice and I was able to give them some very rare footage of us up at the XM studios where we recorded The Black Phillip Show.

Wherever I go, even in Japan this past October, guys stop me who were fans of the show. Two white guys from Ireland stopped me at last summer’s Skankfest, two African brothers, ( biological not just “brothas”) stopped me near the Village Underground, a Nigerian dude, Devin from Japan, and two guys in Boston. Amazing how that show affected people. They talk about it as having been life-changing.

And on the first night we did the show back in 2008, Patrice liked it so much that he called me at 4:05 A.M. and left me this message which I carry on my phone to this day telling me he’d like to do a show with just the two of us. He was so humble he even said he didn’t want to assume anything, as if there was any chance at all that I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with him. We hd a very special and unique relationship!


And it’s always a treat to see Patrice’s Mom Georgia, who is always so sweet. As we were leaving the show I heard someone calling my name and it was her and then at the after-party at The Stand we got a chance to chat and catch up. Very special!


Besides MY podcast I got to visit a couple of others recently. Amazingly I had never been out to Governor’s, James Dolce’s place out on the Island of Long, so when I got invited to do Don Sill’s podcast from the club and also to their holiday party I jumped at the chance.

The club is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful and really big. They have a great podcast studio. It’s not the stage of The Comic Strip (LOL) but it’s really pretty cool and accommodates a bunch of people. The show is called “Put Up, Shut Up and Stand Up” and I got to share the mic with new comedy sensation Anthony Rodia who came back to comedy after many years and is currently killing it!


The holiday party was much more than I expected and worth the drive out from the city. It was packed with comics and great food and hot music and I ran into a lot of friends and wound up eating next to Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling and Chris Roach from Kevin James’ show “Kevin Can Wait.”

I met a great group of guys including Tony Walker who also runs a radio show on Govs Radio and I hope to be asked back to perform!

Madison Malloy has a podcast in a cool studio on the West side of Manhattan called ” Next To Madison” where she has all kinds of interesting guests and not just comedians, and we kicked it for an hour, and had lots of laughs talking about all kinds of important things like learning to change the way you think in order to achieve Happiness. She’s big on things like that and totally gets it!

She has had a lot of cool guests because who wouldn’t want to get “next to Madison Malloy?” ( Rhetorical question!!!)



A few years ago at some show biz related conference two young guys came over to introduce themselves to me, and they were Jed Feiman and Nehemiah Markos. They told me they were a duo called “Never Sad” which I liked right away and that they did shows in Brooklyn, and would like me to attend if possible.

I put them into my mailing list and waited for the right time. The right time was a week or so ago when they had an Always Happy Video Comedy Bop event at the Chelsea Music Hall down on West 18th Street.

What made it even more appealing was that in the videos they showed there was one I was in. It was Matt Levy’s “Winter Symphony” in which I play a music conductor, ( I even put on a tux for this! LOL) and conduct a bunch of subway misfits who sneeze and cough and make other annoying sounds to the tune of a famous Christmas song.

Phoebe Robinson from Two Dope Queens with Jessica Williams opened the show, and Ronny Chieng was supposed to appear but was called out of town so comic David Rey Martinez came to the rescue and did some time on stage with Jed and Nehemiah.

The place was literally packed, not a seat to be had and they showed a bunch of fun videos, two of which they appeared in and I have to say they were probably the best. It was a great night and I look forward to attending more of their events in the future.


YouTube star/actress Lauren Francesca made a surprise visit to the Comedy Matters TV HQ in midtown and we shot some fun videos for my channel and for hers as well.


Among other things we talked about how I created her very first video for YT playing a character she brought to life based on Charo, (Google her!) called “Besame Mucho- the best kisser in the world!

In a more recent video I created for her Besame went on to become voted as “The Hottest Girl In The World” by none other than the United Nations! Both are on my Comedy Matters TV YT channel. Featured in it are comics Janice Messitte, Giulio Gallarotti, and Benny DeMarco.

She has over 2 million followers on Facebook, 300,000 subscribers on YouTube and 414K on Instagram. I hope at least some of them watch our videos! (LOL)


For any of you that have children, the last person you might think of connecting them with would be Gilbert Gottfried, but every year he and his wife Dara put on a comedy benefit to raise money for P.S. 11 a school where their kids attend.

It’s always held at Gotham Comedy Club because owner Chris Mazzilli is big on charity and has held hundreds of charity events at the club.

The show was hilarious. Elon Altman who dressed as me for Halloween was the host. Gilbert closed with material that only Gilbert could do, and I visited with him in the green room before the show as he waited for Dave Attell to arrive and do a special guest appearance.


I brought a photo of Gilbert and I from 100 years ago when he still had a lot of hair and I had my 80’s porno moustache. They raised a lot of money for the school.

And with that, you’re probably tired of reading and I’m tired of writing, so I’m OUT!!! If you liked this, please feel free to tell someone! Send it to some friends, and please subscribe! XOX

Leave a Comment (0) →

Comedy Matters Round-Up With Artie Lange,Golden Globes, Angelo Lozada Tribute, Holiday Parties and Other Cool Stuff!!!


I knew I had to go and see Artie Lange who was headlining at Gotham Comedy Club for the weekend because besides wanting to see him perform, I wanted to congratulate him on his 11 months of hard-earned sobriety.


I went with famed feathered hat designer Ivy Supersonic who’s also a friend of Artie’s and who’s gone on to become a paranormal artist and a filmmaker. No surprise it was a great show with Alli Breen who often opens for Artie on the road and Jim Florentine as the feature.

The fans love Artie as much as the comedy community does, and I’m always struck by his honesty on stage. There’s literally nothing he won’t talk about whether it’s embarrassing to him or not, including calling himself “an old junkie” and talking about his nose, which I did not mention during the course of our backstage interview.


I wanted to talk to him about his new podcast Halfway House which he’s taping twice a week at a studio in Manhattan. I saw his first two shows which were sold out.


After the show, Ivy and I went backstage to hang with Artie for a bit and Ivy went into her filmmaker mode and shot the interview. You can watch it right here.



When it comes to charity events and comedy clubs there’s no one more giving and more compassionate than Chris Mazzilli owner of Gotham Comedy Club. He once told me how many charity events he does every year and I couldn’t believe it. Luckily the club is successful enough that he can do that, but he does it with an open heart.


This was evident again recently when he held a tribute to our recently departed close friend and staple of the comedy community Angelo Lozada.

It was called from 5-8 P.M. and I didn’t know what to expect before I got there. I didn’t know it was going to be a show I just thought it would be a memorial where people would speak. I got there just before 5:30 and the place was packed with comedians, family and friends. My regular table was taken and I sat on the side where the comics usually hang out.

The very first thing that happened almost immediately as I entered the room was that I was approached by a guy who introduced himself and said he had to thank me for the tribute piece I wrote on Angelo’s untimely passing.

It was Danny Gonzalez one of the members of Nuyorican Rule, a sketch comedy troupe that Angelo founded and that he was part of, that ran for 12 years. Many members of the troupe, if not all, were there to pay their respects. Danny’s kindness made me feel right at home.

They had a great assortment of Puerto Rican food including chuletas, rice and beans, and I think they might have even had cuchifritos! (LOL) Don’t ask me how I know about cuchifritos! (LOL)

I forgot to ask everyone if they knew my old friend Izzy Sanabria, known in the Puerto Rican community as Mr. Salsa, a comedian who had a magazine called Latin New York magazine which I used to be involved with back in the 70’s and 80’s.

I used to be a regular on Izzy’s cable TV show called “The Dizzy Izzy Show.” That’s where I first came across the phrase “Nuyoricans” referring to Puerto Ricans that lived in New York.

The hilarious Mark Viera was the MC for the show and he did an outstanding job in what was a very difficult situation, alternating between laughter and tears.

First on stage was Ruben Diaz the Borough President of The Bronx where Angelo was from as was I. ( Near Tremont and the Concourse! LOL) Ruben spoke warmly about Angelo and presented his wife Isabel Martinez and look-alike son Martique with a beautiful plaque.

After that it was a succession of comedians and entertainers who were close to Angelo telling wonderful stories about what a great guy he was. Not only just super funny and creative, but a wonderful human being. I was wishing he could have been there to experience the outpouring of love there was for him. It was a very special day.


The Golden Globes showed the comedy community a lot of love this year, first and foremost by them being hosted by Ricky Gervais who roasted the heck out of the audience.


I loved when he said they couldn’t do an “In Memoriam” segment this year because it wasn’t diverse enough. It was mostly white people that had died during the year, and it just didn’t seem right. “Not on MY watch!!!” he declared!

But the highlight for me was when he told them not to make any political statements. “You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. you know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg!” #HILARIOUS

First winner right out of the gate was Ramy Youssef for his TV series Ramy. He wore a tux and cool snow white sneakers, and started out by saying “Look, I know you guys haven’t see my show”, which got a big laugh, and went on to say that they probably thought he was just an editor.

He also acknowledged his parents who were there and said his Mom was rooting for Michael Douglas to win against him because Egyptians love Michael Douglas. He looked so happy and it was a great way to start the show. Ramy’s a good dude and I was really happy to see him win!

The comedy talent was so varied and ranged from Kate McKinnon, and Ellen Degeneres, to Amy Poehler, to Carole Burnett and even the award winning Laura Dern who I once did a scene with on Kroll Show.


She played C-Czar the toilet baby’s Mom in the Blisterito’s sketch I was in with Seth Rogen, Amy Poehler, Jon Daly, Jenny Slate and Katy Perry making her comedy debut!



Two and a half years ago The Grisly Pear was just another bar with a crowded and too often uncrowded back room where people came and tried to tell some jokes.

Then two hardworking comics named Kenny Warren and Gabe Dorado came along and changed the game. They made that back room into a legit comedy club that most of the time is packed with a paying crowd. They created a loyal community of comedians and papered the walls with large foam posters of each comic which made them feel like they were part of something special and they were.


They’re doing so well and are so grateful that they threw a big holiday party with food and drinks and a comedy show of course and the place was packed. I got to speak to Gabe and asked him about what they did that made the place so special. He was very humble.

Gabe: I don’t think we reinvented the wheel , we just took the characteristics of a show that worked and just ran with it. The main thing is we just wanted a place where everyone could get better at comedy. That was our goal and that’s why we call it “The Dojo” . It’s a training zone. Every show is practice and if we can facilitate a place that gets you better and working towards your goal then it’s a success.”

I asked him if he and Kenny had done anything together before this. He said they knew each other from producing bar shows, and “we liked each other’s shows because we were organized. The key is good organization, and having structure.”

Kenny said, ” I feel great that we have this kind of support coming out. There’s so many dope comics here right now. We got enough talent here right now to do ten shows in a row cause there’s so much talent and they just came out to celebrate with us. And I’m glad you’re here as well!”


Another hard working comic making moves is David Suarez, the founder of New Comic All Stars that had been doing shows in clubs around town especially Dangerfields, and now moved into a very sexy arena in a place called “The 18th Room” on 18th Street and 9th Avenue, right in the red-hot Meatpacking District.


It’s literally a speakeasy where you have to be okayed by a big guy at the door, leading you into a very sexy, dimly lit intimate room where you can have dinner and drinks while you laugh. Most of the patrons are pleasantly surprised when a comedy show suddenly breaks out.

The place is owned by Dave Oz who also owns another cool place called Bathtub Gin and has many friends in the entertainment business. And besides the jokes a funny thing happened as well.

There was a guy in the audience who liked what I was doing so much that he texted a comedian friend of his to ask if he knew me and the comic told him I used to be a dentist. After the show the guy came over with his girlfriend and told me the story and that he also was a dentist. We had to take a photo together.



So I attended the 25,000 strong march against hate and anti-Semitism last week and right in the middle of the throng of people was Dan Soder’s poster for his special “Son of Gary.” It was just such a funny juxtaposition I had to take a photo!



Every year Gotham Comedy Club and Stand Up New York have their holiday parties on the same night but at least they don’t do them at the same time. Gotham starts at 7 and Stand-Up starts at 9.

Both were packed. Gotham had amazing food because Chris Mazzilli goes all out in everything he does, and for a while I stood at the door with Chris greeting people as they came in. I told Chris I love greeting people and making sure they feel welcome, and he said I would make a great host. Now all I have to do is buy a club so I have a place to do that!

It would be hard to name everyone that was there because it was basically the comedy community, but a couple of memorable interactions stood out to me. Dan LaMorte said hello to me and I almost didn’t recognize him. He’s literally half the size he used to be. He’ll have to re-write his act.


Madison Malloy, who’s got a great new podcast called “Next To Madison”, and recently opened for Steve Byrne finally let herself dress the way she wanted to!

Mark Viera came over and thanked me for my support at the Angelo Lozada memorial show which he hosted so admirably as I mentioned above. It was so crazy that night that we didn’t really get a chance to chat but this time we shared a big hug, and I got to thank him for doing such a great job during such a difficult time.

And comedy exec. Jodi Lieberman gave me a video from her charity Comedy Gives Back, that she organized with partners Zoe Friedman, and Amber Lawson which is described as an organization providing a safety net for stand-up comedians in need, whether for emergency financial relief, mental health or substance abuse treatment.

Sixty comedians sang an amazing song called Christmas Magic in the style of “We Are The World.” I had no idea so many of my compadres could sing so beautifully. You have to listen to it.


This has been a very long column and so because even good things must come to an end I want to wish each and every one of you the Happiest of New Years and hope that 2020 brings you good health, and all the things you’re supposed to have!

Leave a Comment (0) →




I dropped by West Side Comedy Club to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and ran into owner Eugene Ashe. Always good to see Gene but he’s not there as much as he used to be because he’s also a writer/director/filmmaker and travels quite a bit.

He had great and exciting news for me. A film he wrote and directed called Sylvie’s Love, will have its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, 2020, less than a month from when you read this.

It’s a period piece set in 1957, with a star studded cast, including Tessa Thompson,and Eva Longoria. Tessa Thompson plays Sylvie a young woman fighting to stay loyal to her fiancee who’s off fighting in the Korean War. She’s an aspiring film producer working in her father’s record store in Harlem when she falls for Robert, a talented saxophonist played by Nnamdi Asomugha, and try saying THAT 3 times fast.

Nnamdi Asomugha is a Nigerian-American actor, producer and former American football cornerback who’s married to Kerry Washington, and played for the Oakland Raiders, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the San Francisco 49’ers.A

Years pass, the world changes, and their lives take different paths — but fate brings them together again, and they discover that their feelings for each other remain. Now both must decide what they truly want.

It’s Gene’s 2nd feature and took him about five years to write. Many good scripts take that long and longer. In an exclusive interview while sitting in a booth at West Side, Gene told me they originally wanted to shoot in New York, but because of the weather and the schedules of the actors they used they had to shoot in LA. They basically shot around Tessa Thompson’s schedule because the girl is so crazy busy.

But he said it was so cool to shoot on the classic backlots like at Warner Brothers, Paramount, and Disney, and “we kind of leaned into the fact that we were shooting on these incredible historical backlots and created this fantastical Hollywood love story.”

He continued, “The film’s period ranged from 1957 into 1962-63 so it went into like the Mad Men/Breakfast at Tiffany’s era, and people compare it to The Notebook, or The Way We Were, or Mahogany with Diana Ross.”

I asked him if it was a problem getting the cars and clothing for a period piece like that and he said it was “but one thing about that was that we got gowns donated to us from Chanel, so we have about 11 gowns that Tessa Thompson wears, and all from that era.”

“Tessa had about three to four weeks available in February, between shooting Marvel movies, Westworld, and Lady and the Tramp for Disney and we just decided to shoot it then in Los Angeles and just followed her wherever we could, because she was just such a perfect lead for our movie.”

I wish him so much luck, but even more I wish I could be there with him in Sundance to actually see the premiere!


They say if you wait long enough everything will happen. Well if you were willing to wait 35 years you got to see Eddie Murphy come back to host Saturday Night Live.

I actually stayed home to watch it and it was worth the wait. In the middle of Eddie’s opening monologue he was first joined by Tracy Morgan, then by Dave Chappelle, who I ran into the very next night but that’s a story for a few paragraphs down, and then by Chris Rock who he discovered at The Comic Strip back in 1985. Each one of them asked Eddie if he looked at the sketch they supposedly sent him.


Chris wrote the intro to my book “Make ‘Em Laugh” which is about the history of The Comic Strip and features interviews with all the big stars who came out of that club like Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Colin Quinn, George Wallace, Billy Crystal, Jim Gaffigan, Susie Essman, Lisa Lampanelli and more.

Eddie was being managed by Comic Strip founder/owner Richie Tienken, whose son Richie Jr. now works at SNL and introduced himself to Eddie after the show. Eddie remarked that Richie Jr. has the same cleft in his chin as Richie Sr.


Eddie himself is not in the book as we were told that he often doesn’t like to relive the past. However he did shout out Richie on a comedy awards show in recent years.



When you walk into the Olive Tree Cafe which is the restaurant connected to the original Comedy Cellar on Macdougal Street you never know who you’re going to see there.

I walked in on the Sunday night after Eddie hosted SNL and it was so crowded, you would have thought they were giving away money. “The table” where the Cellar comics sit was packed into two rows, and was headed by Dave Chappelle himself. Also around the table were Keith Robinson, Rachel Feinstein, Michelle Wolf, Mark Normand, Sam Morril, club manager Liz Furiati, and several more!


I joined a friend at the bar and sat across from Eagle Witt, Neko White and Rafi Bastos the 6’7″ Brazilian comedian, actor, journalist and TV personality with literally millions of followers on social media, who I’ve profiled in the past and who came to the Comedy Matters TV offices to shoot a video interview.


Rafi told me he moved here permanently after living in LA for a very short time. He said he was thrilled to be passed at The Cellar right away after auditioning for Estee!

Anyway Dave held court as comics came and went to say hello and pay their respects, and as he turned, saw me, and waved, I went over to exchange holiday hugs and tell him how cool it was to see him with Eddie on SNL.

Sometime after 1 A.M. as I was leaving I saw him go downstairs with Wil Sylvince and take the stage to the delight of the crowd. That’s how it is at The Cellar!


Every once in a while I’ll go check out a new comic which I did recently because I had met her years before while doing a radio show with L’il Nat. Her name is Mezzy Desravines and I took her to some comedy shows, and now years later she’s performing. She says I’m her mentor and I’m good with that because she’s a natural. She’s got great stage presence and was born to do comedy!



Brett Davis is an Andy Kaufman award winning comedian, known for doing some pretty cool and unique shows. He took over Chris Gethard’s space at MNN to produce The Special Without Brett Davis which I attended, and was a guest on more than once, as well as his Podcast for Laundry, and now he’s one of the creators on Evan Shapiro’s new National Lampoon Radio Hour.

So when he invited me to be the special guest to be interviewed on his new variety show at a place called “The Sultan Room” I immediately said “yes” even though it was out in Brooklyn. I packed a beard and headed out there. It was a real variety show with comics, sketches, character pieces, music, and surprise audience interaction!

The Sultan Room lived up to it’s name, and I was so impressed with the decor. I don’t think you could have a place like that in Manhattan. Maybe on West Broadway, but it was perfect Brooklyn vibe. The theme was New Year’s Eve 1970 and I might have been the only one there who actually remembered it! (LOL)


Brett produced the show with a band called Tredici Bacci and had a cast of interesting and very talented characters like Dougie Poole, Colin Burgess, Caroline Yost, and Sally Burtnick. I had such a great time. It was a real experience and I was sorry when the night ended with the entire room dancing and swaying to the tune of Auld Lang Zyne!



Before I hit The Cellar and ran into Dave Chappelle I stopped off at Fat Black Pussycat bar which is also part of The Cellar to wish Marina Franklin a Happy Birthday!

When I walked in the party was in full swing with Yamaneika Saunders, Matteo Lane, Keith Robinson, Vondecarlo and Marina singing along to hot songs that the DJ was playing. They all had great voices. At one point Keith shouted me out on the mic.


There were all kinds of snacks, like fries, cupcakes, chicken wings and other good stuff and I sat down with my man Derek Gaines until he got up to dance with Marina.

Marina complained that not enough people were dancing, so the highlight of the evening was when Keith Robinson, despite having had a stroke, ripped off his jacket and got down with Marina, and she said ” If Keith can do it, the rest of you can too!” Keith is a perfect example of not letting obstacles stand in your way.


At one point Marina made a very heartfelt speech thanking everyone for coming and alluding to people we lost recently. It was a very special evening.

There’s probably more but I’m tired, so tune in soon for the next edition of Comedy Matters! And please subscribe to Comedy Matters TV with over 2.1 million views at


Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 2 of 36 12345...»
Follow by Email