Archive for Jeffrey Gurian News




Nov. 29, 2011 is the day that Patrice O’Neal left us and left a big void in the comedy world. Especially for me. I had a very unique relationship with Patrice and was honored to be named by him as the 3rd co-host on The Black Phillip Show, on Sirius XM radio. It was Patrice, Dante Nero and me!

The first night we did the show together, he called me and left this message at 4:05 in the morning. He couldn’t wait to call me. Patrice didn’t get excited about a lot of things, but if you listen to this phone message which I have kept all these years, you’ll hear that he wanted to do a show just the two of us. He and I. Me and Patrice. Just the two of us.

Unfortunately like many things in show biz it never happened, but just the fact that he offered meant the world to me. Patrice didn’t say things just to be polite. We just had a real understanding, a real love and respect for each other. Von confirmed that with me at his funeral.

For the past 11 years, leaving out two years for the pandemic, comedy exec. Maureen Taran and Bill Burr have produced a benefit for Patrice’s family at City Center. Sells out every year. All the comics perform for free and all the money goes to Patrice’s family. His wonderful Mom, Georgia usually comes every year but she was not able to attend this year. But approximately 2300 other people were.

Rich Vos emceed as usual and did the great job he always does. He’s perfect for this event. I always think I should be performing but when I see the show I know my comedy doesn’t fit in. Cipha Sounds was on the ones and twos, also as usual, and brought Vos out to hip hop music, which made everyone laugh. Vos was dressed like Stallone from Rocky 3 and I believe it was he who said about Patrice, ” If he wasn’t so big he’d be rolling over in his grave.” And that set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Reggie Conquest was up first and came out to NInja Turtles music, as compared to Vos who came out to Meek Mill. Cipha has a good sense of humor! Reggie did great and Vos said about him that he had to go on first because ” his ankle bracelet goes off at 9 P.M.”

Then they announced a surprise guest and when Jim Gaffigan came out the place erupted! People went wild. Jim is beloved. He must have lost 6o pounds, and said about himself that he was “formerly a fat guy and how he’s just arrogant!” Wait till you hear the stories about Jim on the red carpet at Garden of Laughs, the very next day, … a few paragraphs down!

I hadn’t seen Marcello Hernandez from SNL perform before, so I was pleasantly surprised at how strong he was on stage. The guy is a beast. Bill Burr told me that Marcello has better material than he does! He came out wearing what looked like gym clothes which was fitting for the way he worked out on stage. Amazing! I actually laughed out loud, which is very rare for me. He was just so clever and did a thing comparing Meringue, Salsa and Bachata! (Three different Latin dances for you gringos!!!)

Bonnie McFarlane is one of the best writers in the biz and always so funny and clever. She came out to Back That Ass Up, and declared that if Patrice was still alive he’d probably be trans and married to Jim Norton. And speaking of her husband Vos she said, two or three years in to the marriage she realized he’s not playing the dumb guy character! No one could be that good an actor! (LOL)

Another surprise to me was Robert Powell who Vos mistakenly introduced as Robert Palmer. which the other comics kidded him about all night! The guy was hilarious! Absolutely hilarious!

Then they announced another surprise guest and it was Dan Soder who also got HUGE applause. In talking about Patrice, Dan mentioned The Lottery Show at The Comic Strip where Patrice along with guys like Bobby Kelly and Paul Mercurio would judge new comics to see if they could perform at The Strip. I often sat there with owner/founder Richie Tienken watching and laughing at the action, and Patrice was usually particularly brutal, but in a way you’d have to laugh. I just happen to have a video of one of those shows with Patrice, Bobby and Paul. And yes that’s a young Jordan Rock in the corner as the DJ!

Then Michael Che came out and said he hadn’t done stand up in a while which is understandable since his work load at SNL is so huge. He said he turned 40 and is starting to feel old. He also said he had a relative who was a runaway slave and became a clown. I think he said that was his inspiration to go into comedy, but I could be wrong! Not about the slave/clown thing but whether it inspired him or not.

And lastly like in baseball which I know nothing about, Bill Burr came out as the clean-up hitter and wrapped up the show. Bill is not only fun to listen to he’s fun to watch. And he’s a really great guy! We always have so much fun on any red carpet I see him on. I have photos of him hugging me from the time he had red hair till now! (Sometimes we switch sides!)

And the same as every year the after party was held at The Stand . Cris and Paul Italia go all out and serve great food and the place is packed with fun people and good vibes.

I got to hang with Ken Feder otherwise known as Club Soda Kenny who I first met thru Dice because he always does security for Dice, but he also does security for Bill Burr and other big stars. He’s always on the job and didn’t let Bill out of his sight for a minute. Even while we were talking and catching up, he had his eye on Bill. No one fucks with Kenny. Ex-NYPD and a big dude.


Bill actually wrote and directed a little film that Kenny stars in with Bobby Lee called “Soda” in which he plays a cop, … very realistically I might add! It’s on You Tube. Check it out!!!


It had been a few years since the Garden of Laughs was held due to the pandemic and people’s fears of large gatherings but thanks to the Mazzilli brothers it was time to have it again! As usual I was covering the red carpet and it was a blast!

Jim Gaffigan was in a rare mood. He was joking around the whole time and I think it was connected to his dramatic weight loss. When I told him how good he looked he reminded me that he was married. He also said he was very good looking despite the fact that he has no pigment! At one point he pulled GOL host Steve Schirripa away while I was still talking to him, and made believe he was the reporter from People Magazine, and then he took my mic and was double fisting them until I reminded him he was married! (LOL) Jim is truly amazing, a true superstar, with 5 beautiful kids, the youngest of whom is now 11!

Chris Distefano was also a hoot because Garden of Laughs is a charity that raises money for disadvantaged snd underprivileged children, so when he came to talk to me I had to remind him that he himself has underprivileged children, which made him laugh and agree that he does indeed have underprivileged children! It’s on my Instgram Reels if you want to see it @jeffreygurian.

Also on the red carpet I got to re-connect with Sam Morril who I hadn’t seen in quite a while. Sam and I reminisced a bit about how he started out years ago on my late night show at The Comic Strip where he said he’d sometimes sit for four hours waiting to go on. I told him he had 650,000 followers on IG, but Sam is so humble he said he wasn’t aware of that, but that it sounded like a good thing! (LOL)


And I got to see my old buddy Tracy Morgan. The publicists were being very choosy about who the stars spoke with but when Tracy saw me he told the guy we go way back, and he came over to chat about how lucky we both were to survive what we’ve been through. Tracy is very aware of how lucky he was to survive the terrible accident he was in, and I was lucky to survive a heart attack and a hospitalization with Covid Double Pneumonia. That video will be forthcoming along with Sam Morril’s.



Jeff Lawrence’s Laughing Buddha has everything you could want if you want to be in the comedy world. They offer workshops, classes, even a boot camp and he and Daryn Stephanie Passarello work tirelessly to inspire and help young comics to develop. I’ve had the honor of performing on some of their shows at various clubs around the city. They’re at The Stand, Eastville, Rodney’s and just about anywhere that comedy is offered.


So I was especially honored when they asked me to be a judge at their second annual comedy festival which was held at the beautiful Triad Theater on West 72nd Street. What really impressed me was the $2,000. prize they were giving away for the winner. That is truly a generous prize. The 2nd and 3rd runner-ups also got a few hundred bucksl

The winner was Eric Walsh, a funny comic I had seen before when I was judging a contest at Stand Up New York, who opens by declaring that his family has regular size necks, which only makes sense if you’ve seen him because he happens to be the proud owner of a very long neck! Second place went to Chris Tos and third went to Brendan Smith.


And I got to meet the famous Bad Slava guy whose co-judged with me, and whose name is really Slava. He’s a comic named Slava Yaryshkin and I had been hearing his name for years. Any time someone wants to know where the open mics are located all around the city people would say ” Go to and you’ll see all the mics in existence! But I had no idea it was named after a real guy! So I was really glad to meet him and spend a couple of hours together. And without consulting each other at all, we picked the same names as winners. I was hoping Ted Barton would win as he’s in my new pilot “The Raw Side of Comedy.” It was very close!

Jeff told me the goal for next year’s festival is to give away $5,000. to the winner. For a chance at 5K, I just might enter!!! (LOL)


Avi Liberman is an LA comic who came to NY to produce a show called “Comedy Hug – A Benefit for Healing In Israel”. He did it at Gotham which was no surprise because the Mazzilli’s are always open to good causes and do many, many charity shows during the course of the year.

I wished I was on the show but I was glad to just be there covering it. And what a line-up they had. In no particular order it was Avi who hosted, and Gina Brillon, Jim Gaffigan, Mark Normand, Dean Edwards, Eli from Eli Comedy, and Dan Naturman who closed out the show but got there early and watched the whole thing.

I always like when someone does that. A lot of comics just show up for their spot, or don’t watch the other comics. To me it’s a sign of respect when you show interest in what your fellow comics are doing. Anyway it was a sold out show as you might expect with that line-up and I hope to be on the next one! Especially for such a worthy cause.

I also ran into Dan shortly after, at a great event called “Stand Up For Passion” produced and created by French comedian Arnaud Collery. It’s like an abbreviated Ted Talk event, but each speaker only gets 7 minutes and it’s always a fascinating show! One of his speakers was a French astronaut named Thomas Pesquet. And of course Dan is a co-host on the Comedy Cellar podcast which is always fun and an honor to do.


This has nothing to do with comedy but I was very excited to meet the great Ben Carson at a P.A.L. luncheon sponsored by John and Margo Catsimatidis at the Harvard Club! Ben is a retired neurosurgeon, who had 15,000 surgeries under his belt, to use a phrase from 1810, and was the very first neurosurgeon to separate Siamese or conjoined twins who were connected at the head. And he did it twice! Not on the same twins, … on other conjoined twins!

What makes it even more amazing is that he came from extreme poverty growing up with a single Mom with only a third grade education. But she stressed that her sons should be educated and Ben’s brother became a rocket scientist. A neurosurgeon and a rocket scientist. Pretty good for that situation, …which just goes to show you what you can accomplish in this country if you work hard. I was truly honored to meet him.

And he happens to have a great sense of humor and was very funny in his speech, so maybe this DOES have something to do with comedy!!! John Cats always gets great guests for his P.A.L. luncheons and on his show on WABC radio which he owns! John told me it’s now in, … I think, … 170 countries and all 50 states! What an accomplishment!


A few years ago I flew to Chicago to perform at a meeting of AATH, which stands for the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, which is a community of people who believe humor can help to regain health. I’m on the Board of a group called Laugh M.D. which brings comedy to people in hospitals and people in recovery founded by Frank Chindamo in L.A. the founder of Fun Little Movies, one of the very first to put entertainment on mobile phones.

AATH members include wellness professionals and people who use humor as a wellness strategy, and researchers who study the science of humor. While there I met Joan Accolla , a powerhouse and the founder of Healing Headbands a charitable foundation that also believes in using humor to heal. She and her partner Barbara Grapstein partnered up with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and they’re doing a major fundraiser for mental illness on Thursday May 23rd out on Long Island.

I have the honor of hosting and also on the show are Felicia Madison, booker and talent developer from West Side Comedy Club, and comic and Broadway star Rick Younger as well as local Long Island comic James Lennon. Hope you will come out and join us for a fun evening of food, music and laughter.

This is the site for tickets:

Hope to see you there and hope to see you again next month when the next Comedy Matters Roundup comes out! In the meantime when you have a moment follow us on Instagram at @jeffreygurian

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Mark Normand Sells Out The Beacon

Mark had performed at The Beacon before, opening for Jerry Seinfeld but according to Mark it was a dream of his to headline The Beacon, and it just goes to show you that if you work really hard, your dreams may come true! He had two sold out shows and I was there to see it all happen.

He also had killer line-ups with Sean Donnelly hosting the first night and Jon Fish hosting for the second night. Got to re-connect with Andrew Santino who I hadn’t see since JFL in 2017, when he was up there with Jim Carrey promoting their great TV show “I’m Dying Up Here.”

Dan Soder of “Billions” fame was there with his fiance Katie Nolan and of course had an amazing set, along with Phil Hanley and Matt Ruby! A totally killer show. On the 1st night I sat in the audience and went back afterwards to shoot some videos. On the 2nd night I sat backstage, and watched from a very different perspective, next to Mark’s wife Mae Planert, with celeb videographer Matt Salacuse who was shooting video of all the comics and the event in general. He caught me, Santino and Soder in a photo that he used for an IG post!

So I’m backstage interviewing Andrew Santino about his new movie Ricky Stanicky with Zac Efron, Jermaine Fowler, and John Cena, and in the middle we get sound-bombed ( like photo-bombed but with sound) by Dan Soder, … hilarious. Andrew also tells me about his podcast with Bobby Lee called “Bad Friends” which is touring the country. Listen and laugh!!!

While on stage Mark addressed the crazy TMZ thing that went down at NY Comedy Club when he was escorted off stage in the middle of his set. He had agreed to participate in something fun but didn’t know what it was going to be. He talked about in this video taken after the show.

The crazy thing is that I came up with the idea for Ricky Stanicky many years ago in a treatment I wrote for a film called “Looking For Ed Zintz” where as the result of a practical joke gone wild, started by Milton Berle, … all of Hollywood winds up roasting a man who never existed, supposedly the funniest man to ever walk the planet, Ed Zintz. Ed was supposedly the inspiration for many of the big comedy stars of yesteryear. Set in the made-up world of The Jesters club, in the days before women were allowed to attend the Roasts. I guess it just proves that great minds think alike!!!

Lastly, when Mark did his podcast “Tuesday with Stories” with his co-host Joe List they even talked about me being there. Check this out:



Chris Distefano made comedy history recently by selling out Radio City on a Friday night and the very next night selling out The Theater at Madison Square Garden. As far as I know never been done before. And he did it easily and with grace. If he was nervous no one knew! (LOL) I was at both shows cause I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

His buddy James Mattern, one of the best hosts around, opened for him as usual. After the show, which was amazing of course, we shot this little interview backstage where I am most comfortable! (LOL) He told me a funny story about opening for my dear friend Richard Lewis many years before. Unfortunately Richard left us this past week.

D.L. Hughley Sells Out City Winery

Every comic in this column sold out something. Except for me! (LOL) City Winery gets great talent. Most of the time they perform in The Loft upstairs, but when it’s someone like D.L. Hughley, one of the original Kings of Comedy, he gets the main room to accommodate the hundreds, and hundreds of people who want to see him.

D.L. is so smart and so funny and has a very well thought out take on everything that’s going on in the world. And he has a great interest in trying to understand me! (LOL) He once took me out to dinner just to make sure I really ate, because he said he had never seen me eat anything!

D.L. is so secure that he has people hang with him BEFORE he goes on stage, which a lot of comics won’t do. They like to be alone and focus. All D.L. needs is his martini and he tells me about that in this real talk interview we did after his amazing show. He does such a smooth hour, and this was not a typical interview. We talked about everything, including battling fear.


Ronny Chieng is amazing and also very humble. One of the nicest and funniest guys in the game. He’s on his “Love It To Hate It” tour, and when I got to Radio City the lines were already around the block. The place holds 6,000 people. That’s a lot of people. Especially if they all come over your house for coffee and cake afterwards!

That’s why Ronny held his afterparty in the downstairs lounge at Radio City. And where celeb photog and videographer Marcus Russell Price was taking photos and videos. Marcus is famous in my book for getting the photos of me entering Nick Kroll’s dressing room when he sold out Carnegie Hall. Even Nick’s family was not allowed in, because of Covid restrictions, but for some reason they let ME in! And Russell got the shot as Nick and his WME agent Mike Berkowitz cracked up laughing!

And besides having a cool D.J. who I think said his name was DJ Poon, Ronny had a surprise guest spot from Trevor Noah that rocked the house. Trevor was dressed very casually and explained that he had just gotten off a flight and had no time to change! Shortly after, he hosted the 66th annual Grammy Awards for the 4th time!

Because Ronny, who graduated from law school 15 years ago, is exceedingly polite, he made sure to thank all the white people in attendance who DON’T have Asian partners!


Jiaoying Summers is a force! Once you see her, an hour later you want more! LOL She’s funny and has the best Chinese accent. Coming out of LA where she actually owns her own comedy club, ( to make sure she got enough stage-time!) she’s conquering audiences and filling up clubs all over the country. I’ve been watching her career blossom, well-deservedly I might add, especially over the last year.

She’s stylish , … and I know you’re not supposed to say things like this anymore, … but she’s also beautiful, and she brings great energy to the stage. And I love that she breaks down stereotypes!!!

So I knew had to make it down to New York Comedy Club’s East Village location to see her sell out two shows. She had Fen Guillaume as her host. who’s really funny and also brings great energy to the stage. I always appreciate that as it’s so important. And also he’s a Kevin Hart look-alike! (LOL)

The audience loved her so much that her merch totally sold out after the show! One guy offered to buy everythying that was left! Can’t wait to see her again!


After so many years on West 78th Street owner Dani Zoldan made the announcement they were moving the club to Bond 45 in Times Square on West 46th Street. I went to what was supposed to be the very last night on West 78th Street to catch the show, which was an all women’s show with Laura Sogar, my girl Calise Hawkins and Periel Aschenbrand, the co-host of the Comedy Cellar podcast, which I had the honor of being on a couple of times.

So then I went to the grand opening of the new club and it’s beautifully laid out, and the food is great. Wellie Jackson was the host on the opening night, Ari Shaffir made a guest appearance, Paul Mecurio did a spot and the special guest was George Wallace. Lady Blaga was in the audience. I stood off to the side with Dani Zoldan watching the show, and I think the club will do great!


Kudos to Robert Punchur for his great competition show at St. Mark’s Comedy Club thanks to Alex Carabano, featuring lots of great comics like Andrew Steiner, Matt Vita, Alex Goodman and Antonio Barbosa.

Kudos as well to Bradley Laborman for his podcast “This Sucky Broadcast” which I was on recently. Brad is a great host with very insightful and compelling questions.

And as they say, … all good things have to end, and so does this column, so with that, … I’m OUT!!!

See you real soon with lots more comedy news as only Comedy Matters can bring you !!! Leave a positive comment, and you can reach Jeffrey at [email protected]

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My friendship with Richard Lewis goes back to the 80’s. I don’t remember exactly how we met or exactly when, but I remember going to see him perform in a very big venue, … maybe Westbury, and I was with my ex-wife which means it had to be in the 80’s.

In 1995 he was starring in the movie Drunks. it was premiering in a theater in Manhattan. I remember discussing it with people but don’t remember how I got invited. All I know is that I got there a little late. I had written up some jokes because one of my dreams as a comedy writer was to write for Richard. I had already written for a lot of big names and REALLY wanted to write for Richard. The only problem was that he openly stated he never worked with writers or used anyone else’s jokes.

But I felt like I knew him so well, … actually too well, … as we seemed to share the same neuroses. I believe they came from growing up Jewish! (LOL) So I was determined to write for him and came up with the title of a tour that I felt fit him, .. “Born To Be Nervous.”

I always said if I had a tattoo that’s what it would say. Some guys have tattoos rhat say “Born To Be Wild.”. … mine would say ” Born To Be Nervous.”

For whatever reason I showed up a little late to the theater. I had the jokes with me and my plan was to get there early, find Richard and give him the jokes. But my nervousness and self-sabotage of which I am an expert, got me there a little late, and there was already a long line of people waiting to get in.

I decided to go to the Men’s Room first and as I was walking down the stairs, who was coming up the stairs but Richard Lewis. That can’t even happen but it’s been happening to me all my life. He sees me and says ” What are YOU doing here?” I’m like “I’m here to support you, and I brought you these jokes.”

The jokes were in a folder. He was like, “You know I don’t use anyone else’s jokes.” And I said, “Just read them and see what you think.” He took the folder, went into the theater and I went to the Men’s Room, and afterwards took my seat and watched the movie. It was great and he did a fantastic job. I don’t recall if I saw him afterwards. At that point he was sober about 2 or 3 years. And he would not mind me saying that! He was very proud of his sobriety.

Later that very same day, around 9:30 P.M., I got a voicemail message from him on my answering machine, if any of you remember what that is, because I don’t think they exist anymore. But in those days answering machines were a good way for you to test out your sense of humor by leaving bizarre messages for people who called you. One of my daughters kept every one of my messages and because she wouldn’t delete them she had to get a new machine because she ran out of memory. This is the message I have kept all these years and still treasure, as he kept using the word “Hilarious” to describe my material.

A few years back I was producing a gala in honor of Susie Essman the great comedian, a dear friend, and a star of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I wanted to create a tribute video and needed to get video quotes from three of Susie’s close friends, Richard, Mario Cantone, and D.L. Hughley. Richard and I had lunch at The Friars Club where we were both longtime members. After lunch I was ready to shoot the video tribute. I asked him where he wanted to do it. He said that for Susie it would be appropriate for us to shoot it in the Men’s Room, so we did.

The photos below are of us having lunch at The Friars, us in the Men’s Room with him reading an article about me in The Friars Epistle, their glossy magazine,and the conceit was that I as an investigative reporter who lets nothing stand in his way of getting a story even follows his subject into the stall of the Men’s Room, which explains the third photo! (LOL) In the video below, Richard wants people to know that it was HIS idea to shoot the video in the Men’s Room, … not mine! (LOL)

Richard got a kick out of the fact that sometimes people would come over to me and think I was him. In 2022 I went to the premiere of DeNiro’s film Savage Salvation and two different people came over to me to tell me they loved me in “Curb.” They thought I was Richard! It’s happened before and I’m sure it’s the hair! (LOL) I wrote to him about it as I often did in long e-mails and he wrote back a short e-mail, … as HE usually did, that just said “Haaa, I love you!” He often wrote me and just said ” I love you.” It meant so much to me!

A few months ago, when he made his Parkinson’s diagnosis public, I asked him about doing a podcast with him like he did with Elayne Boosler. He wrote me back one of his longest emails ever, which I copied below in bold. It’s interesting to see how he wrote with the spacing and just a  few words on each line. Maybe like something a poet like Bob Dylan would write! (LOL) This is exactly how it looked, spacing and all!

I’m flattered 

This isn’t a podcast 
IT’s to keep me busy 
There are tons of podcasts that your 2000000 episodic life that merits your tale… not my bullshit

Is the Friars dead?

I admire you

I’ll see how things go 
You should’ve been on Gilbert’s 


He told me he was fighting to stay alive. I’m sure he fought as hard as he could. R.I.P. Richard. I’ll miss you my friend!

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Comedy Matters Roundup with Jo Koy, Ali Wong, Jimmy Failla, Troy Bond, Josh Wolf, The Sunshine Comedy Festival, Comedy Cellar Podcast, Gotham Party and So Much More!!!


I was really happy when I heard that my buddy Jo Koy would be hosting the 81st annual Golden Globes. Such a huge honor. He took the gig with only about 9 days to prepare. It would be a difficult gig to host if he had had a month to prepare but with only 9 days he did an admirable job.

People who don’t do comedy and don’t know what it’s like to be on a stage like that facing an audience of the biggest stars in show biz had all sorts of comments, but I have the video of some of his highlights, and you can judge for yourself.

Ali Wong won an award for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Limited Series, for her starring role in Beef, Ray Romano was funny as a presenter with Keri Russell talking about “truth”, Jim Gaffigan presented the first ever stand up comedy award at the Golden Globes to Ricky Gervais who in true Ricky Gervais style wasn’t there to accept it, a very radiant looking Kristen Wiig and dapper looking Will Ferrell did a very funny dance as presenters, when some weird music kept coming on. It was one of the funniest bits of the evening.


All in all it was a big win for comedy!


Chris and Steve Mazzilli always go all out with their after the New Year holiday party. It’s tons of good food, a live band upstairs, a DJ downstairs with a photo booth, and a kind of lottery for their employees where they win gifts. Two of the employees each won $500. in cash. Very special! Plus a ton of attendees! Their employees absolutely love them!!!

One of the first people I ran into was my pal JImmy Failla who was just named the host of FOX News’ Saturday night show, which airs Saturday nights at 10 P.M. He’s also the host of FOX News radio “FOX Across America” which airs weekdays from 12-3 PM/ET.

Just 10 years ago he was driving a taxi, and he’s living proof that if you work hard and have the talent to back it up, you can achieve great success. He’s even on billboards in Times Square!!! He told me he plans to infuse lots of comedy into the Saturday night show! You go Jimmy!!! Major congratulations on the show!!!

Comic/magician extraordinaire Harrison Greenbaum was also there with his new wife Emily. They’re back in New York after getting married in Vegas where he holds the honor of being the very first comedian to headline a Cirque du Soleil show after doing 650 shows for them.

David and Emily got married in David Copperfield’s secret magic museum, courtesy of David, … and when it came time to exchange the rings they were nowhere to be found. Then as a surprsie to all in attendance, David called out ” Maybe I can help” and he manifested a rose bush out of which he took the two rings! Congratulations and welcome back to NY to the happy couple!!!

Also at the party was Chris’ other half, comic Elyse DeLucci who I’ve had the pleasure of performing with, and who has such a great comedic delivery and unique voice , you would never know what an accomplished person she is besides her comedy career! She was also astonished that she got Chris to smile for the photo! He’s usually so busy making sure that everything is going 100% perfect he has no time to smile!


As someone who has produced single comedy shows I know how hard that is to do. To produce an entire festival of shows is basically impossible, but Zach Moore, Austin Rodriguez and Brian Thompson, the owner of Side Splitters comedy club in Tampa just did it. More than 100 comedians from all over the country came down to Tampa/St. Pete for four days of shows.

Zach and Austin are partners in Coastal Creative TV a HUGE all-service, ultra-modern facility that is really beautiful and fully equipped to shoot film, TV or live shows in their two showrooms, one of which holds 350 people and the other that holds 150 people. They also have a huge LED room with an amazing screen where they made me this personalized screen for my book signing.

They brought me down there to perform, to do a book signing, and also to be the official interviewer for the festival. It was an exciting four days where I got to meet comics from all over and watch tons of shows, most of them at Coastal Creative hosted by guitar-playing musical comic Dan Bakst. Dan is aware that musical comedy can be something that some people make fun of, so he makes fun of it himself, but fortunately he’s very talented and does funny songs.

They connected me with my very own videographer, a young talented guy named Jake Lemon of Jake Lemon Productions, who accompanied me to all the venues where I wanted to interview people. Ryan Kern was another of the great video guys they had on hand to help me when Jake was busy.

I got to perform at Side Splitters in Tampa which was amazing, and owner Brian Thompson could not have been more accomodating. He set us up at a table to do my interviews and invited me back the next night to perform, which I got to do with new friend Katherine Blanford who is really funny, has done Fallon and I believe is based in Atlanta. I also got to meet and interview Marco Delvecchio from the TV show F-Boy Island who gave me one of the more unusual interviews. Jeff Dye was also there and did a great show.

I was really happy to run into Ryan Joseph who I had recently cast in my new TV pilot, The Raw Side of Comedy, that we shot over this past summer at Gotham Comedy Club. Ryan is a very unique comic, and a great writer with very unpredictable jokes, and an unusual sense of humor. He has a very difficult backstory and I think he’s going to be very big in comedy!

They had an absolutely HUGE green room at Coastal for the comics, and I was also thrilled to run into a bunch of my New York peeps, brothers and sisters in comedy like Ian Fidance who did his podcast live, Bein’ Ian with Jordan Jensen, and her new puppy, my pal Giulio Gallarotti, whose alter ego, rapper “Lil Young Big” doesn’t come around much anymore, Andy Haynes and wife Rosebud Baker with their adorable new daughter whose name I’m keeping secret, Ted Jones, and Torey Cole from Greenwich Village Comedy Club, who often opens for Troy Bond.

The great Mark Normand, who I try and have on all my shows, was there for one night but I didn’t get to see him. Hopefully I’ll be seeing him this Friday when he headlines The Beacon Theater in NY. I wonder if Jerry Seinfeld will be opening for him, since he’s been opening for Jerry who has nothing but praise for Mark!!!!

On arriving in Tampa I shared a car with LA’s Andrea Jin who I had been watching and liking her style on You Tube. We were both staying at the beautiful Beachcomber Hotel in St. Pete Beach. And on another day thanks to comic Raul Hernandez who was also a driver for the fest, I got to share a car with Jason Ellis the wild man/radio personality from Australia who is also an MMA fighter, skate boarder, podcaster and I’m sure a bunch of other things, who was to host a pool party but the weather was so cold I’m not sure it happened. I heard he came out on stage somewhere in a Speedo! And he’s totally covered in tats as you might expect from a skater!!!

There was a very nice moment when four local medical students approached my book table and asked if they could interview me because of my background as a doctor and how I was able to combine that with a comedy career.


I also met a couple of other comics from across the country that really stood out to me, Dean Allen Stanfield a good ole Texas boy from Austin, who was fun from the first moment I met him, Bianca Parato, a really funny comic also from Austin, and Nicole Aimee Schreiber a funny girl from LA!

But I had two very special encounters which will very soon be up on my Comedy Matters TV channel, one with NY’s very own up and coming superstar Troy Bond and the other with long-time star Josh Wolf. I had been hearing so much about Troy Bond from everyone I spoke to and I tried to go and see him at City Winery one night but he wasn’t able to make the show. So I was determined to see him at the fest.

Besides several shows he performed at, he was moderating a showing of the film Star Wars, (which I understand is a favorite of his), with off-screen commentary, and I patiently waited till the end to go and introduce myself. I was so pleasantly surprised when he already knew me and greeted me so warmly with a big hug, and when I told him I was looking forward to interviewing him, he humbly said he’d be honored to be on Comedy Matters TV because he’d been watching my interviews for the past 10 years.


I can see what all the buzz is about concerning Troy. He’s really funny, but also such a nice guy and so humble. We had a chance to sit and chat, just the two of us for a while, and it was very special. Can’t wait to show you guys the video. I feel like I made a new friend! He was there with his manager Logan Potter.

Basically the same thing happened with Josh Wolf. He was performing at a beautiful club called The Floridian which was not too far from Coastal. Sold out crowd. They had to add a second show. It’s more like a Broadway type theater than a comedy club. Very elegant stage. Josh performs with his son Jake, a fairly new comic who handles himself admirably, and after the show I went backstage with the other Jake, my videographer, and Coastal owner Zach Moore, and got the same kind of warm greeting from Josh. It was very heart-warming to say the least, to see how many people have seen my stuff! We also shot a really cool video that I’ll be posting soon.


Rodney Dangerfield and Tony Bevacqua opened Dangerfields in 1969. Rodney was the first big star I ever wrote for and besides doing my jokes at the club, he was doing my material on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson! #bighonor The club closed in 2020 due to Covid and sat empty on 61st and 1st Avenue for the last three years. It made me sad every time I passed by. Thanks to comic/lawyer Mark Yosef it’s back open again.

Now it’s called Rodney’s and they changed every bit of the club and modernized it because it had the same furniture and decor since it first opened in 1969. I sat with Mark and booking agent Jon Borromeo, who has a lot of experience in booking shows, right after the end of their early 5:30 Saturday evening show before they were getting ready for the 8:30 show.


Mark was also responsible for helping The Comic Strip solve a big problem, but now is putting all his efforts into making Rodney’s a success. They signed the lease in September and opened on New Year’s Eve. It took them about four months to re-do the place. All the old furniture had been left so they replaced it with all new furniture and all new fixtures. All the old photos of Rodney and celebs were gone when he took it over. He’s turning Rodney’s old dressing room into the green room for the comics.

Mark’s been so busy he hasn’t been able to perform himself for the past year. They have an open mic at the club most days at 6 P.M. He said the neighborhood has been very receptive and people are very happy that the club is back. They updated the kitchen, hired a chef and plan to be serving food by the Spring.


Doing anything with or at the Comedy Cellar is a great honor if you’re in the comedy world. I’ve had the occasion over the years to shoot an episode of HBO’s Crashing there, thanks to Judd Apatow and Pete Holmes, to be in a scene with Colin Quinn, Wil Sylvince, Kevin Brennan and legendary booker Estee Adoram, and to do the podcast.


I’ve gotten to sit at “the table” with all the comics who perform there, got to shoot a scene there with Jessica Kirson for the documentary film that was done about me called “Who The F*ck Is Jeffrey Gurian”, and got to cover many comedy events there like Rich Vos’ birthday party, and lots of other shows and events where I shot video interviews, like the one I did with Noam after everything re-opened post Covid.

So when Comedy Cellar podcast producer/comedian Periel Aschenbrand invited me to come on, I was really happy. I had been on before but not since before Covid. They do it from the building adjacent to The Cellar, and Periel is not only the producer, and a very funny comic, but the co-host as well, with Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman, joined by second co-host Dan Naturman, and this time special guest comic and Cellar regular Carmen Lynch.

It’s always nice when you get to do a show with people you already know and feel comfortable with. Also people you know who are funny! But not everything is jokes on this podcast. There’s usually a spirited discussion about something because they all have strong opinions and are very smart. I came in on a discussion of whether Dan Naturman made a good choice about something he did. I won’t go into the details here, but let’s suffice it to say he wound up re-thinking his choice.


Carmen is so funny, has done a number of late night TV shows, movies, web series, has a special called Queef Week, and also performs in Spanish, which is amazing, … but maybe not if you’re fluent in Spanish! If you don’t speak Spanish at all, but are able to perform jokes in Spanish THAT would be truly amazing!!!

I got to talk about my Happiness books, my cure for stuttering which I used to cure myself and many others around the world, ( and the fact that I was leaving the very next day for the Sunshine Comedy Festival to perform and be the offical interviewer.


The hour and a half flew by and afterwards I sat with Noam, great comic Dov Davidoff, and Periel and had a bite to eat at the Olive Tree Cafe. It was actually quite a sumptuous dinner ordered for me by Noam himself. I was having such a great time I didn’t want to leave, but I had to go home and finish packing for my trip to Florida in the morning. (One of these days I really need to audition at The Cellar!!!)


It seems that a fairly unknown comedian named Abe Bimpf says he’s running for Mayor against Eric Adams. He’s blanketing the city with handmade signs drawn in crayon. They were plastered all over my neighborhood so I decided to ask people on the street what they thought about it and if they would ever actually vote for Abe Bimpf. What do YOU think???


Anyway that’s it for this column. Come back soon for more! And you can follow Jeffrey on Instagram at @jeffreygurian and there’s a good chance he’ll follow you back!!!

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It’s not often that I get to see a performer I don’t know or haven’t seen before, especially one with so much heat behind them. Such is the case with Tumua who was one of the closing acts of this year’s New York Comedy Festival.

Tumua is from Oahu, Hawaii and I was surpised to see what a huge following he had in New York, attested to by the sold out show at Gotham I attended. There’s a lot of Hawaiian people in New York that I was not aware of! And they all came out for him.

His website describes him as an actor, stand-up comedian, former collegiate athlete, and social media personality, with a combined online social media presence of more than 400,000 followers.  His social media sketches and stand-up bits on Tik Tok are very well known in the Polynesian community throughout the world!  

He sells out stadiums, and in December 2021, Tumua sold out the Blaisdell Concert Hall three times in Honolulu, Hawaii (2,100 seater) within hours!  He also recently sold out the Blaisdell Arena (6,500 seater) this past November, 2022. His 2023 tour is called “Not Even Joking.”

​A lot of his humor is geared towards his particular audience but it struck me funny when he said he has trouble at Starbucks when he orders something and they ask him his name to put on the cup. He orders a latte and then says “Tumua” and the barista says, “So that’s three latte’s then? You want two more? That line stuck with me.

At the end of his act he asked the audience to join him in a song, and surprisingly enough they did, … and they all knew the words, plus waving i-phone flashlights and everything like it was a concert at MSG! See the video below.


I don’t get to Staten Island too often. I performed at The Looney Bin a couple of times, and went out to do Chris Distefano’s podcast Chrissy Chaos, with my bud The Homeless Pimp, but it’s not a common occurrence for me. My pal Frank Morano has an awesome show on WABC Radio called The Other Side of Midnight and he’s a great guy, so when he suggested I do his friend’s show “Up Late With Johnny Potenza” out on Staten Island, I was like ” I’m there.”

It was a fun show and I got to be on Johnny’s Christmas Show with my old friend Tom Waites who performed several songs with his band. A good time was had by all!


There was a time when almost all comedians were Jewish and even the ones who weren’t were after being in the biz for enough time. Stand Up New York’s Dani Zoldan had the Chosen Comedy Festival this past summer which I was privileged to attend, along with about 4,000 other members of the tribe, and last month he had a comedy show in support of Israel.

Periel Aschenbrand was the host, a job she does so well, and Michael Rapaport opened the show with a very strong message, followed by performers like Keren Margolis who blamed her parents for not knowing how to spell “Karen”, Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz who’s been going viral on TikTok for his amazing videos. and Aaron Berg who came up wearing an amazing jacket that an Eskimo might wear to keep warm in the tundra!


I had always heard great things about Vermont, but I’m not a skier and for whatever reason never wound up going. Then I got contacted by two young comics named Collen Doyle and Matt Vita who produce the Vermont Comedy Festival. I’m always impressed by people who undertake such ambitious projects. I know how much effort it takes to produce a single comedy show. To produce an entire festival is a huge endeavor and takes a tremendous amount of work. It also deserves a tremendous amount of praise for pulling it off.

I was brought up to perform but also to be the official interviewer for the festival, with almost 60 comics attending from all over the country, having done that after covering JFL for 30 years, the NY Comedy Festival, the Las Vegas Comedy Festival and so many major comedy events. Last year they had Joe List as the headliner. I called Joe and got a good recommendation regarding his experience with the festival.

Then they asked me if I could help get a big star as the headliner. Top of their list was Colin Quinn a friend of mine for more than 30 years. So Colin agreed to be the headliner with an hour plus show at the Woodstock Town Hall Theater, a beautiful theater that holds 400 people. Needless to say it was sold out.


The highlight of the weekend for me was taking a little road trip with Colin to a place we both wanted to visit and then spending a couple of days together sharing meals and reminiscing about fun times over the years. We both had lots of stories to share, like when I attended his very first one man show called “An Irish Wake.” Besides Jackie Mason comics weren’t really doing one man shows in those days. I’ll never forget it!

We got to perform together at the Woolen Mill Comedy Club owned by Collen Doyle on the first official night of the festival, and then I got to open for him at his headline show at the Town Hall Theater. We went over in the afternoon to check out the space, and also to be able to see where it was because there are literally no lights in Vermont! (LOL)

I know they have electricity but the roads have no lights so if you don’t know exactly where you’re going once it gets dark, you can’t see the road signs, and you can wind up literally driving into the woods, which is what happened to me the night I got there. Thank G-d for GPS.

The festival connected me with a great videographer named Chris Gramuglia who was my interview partner for the entire time and also filmed the shows. He made it easy! All I had to bring was my Comedy Matters TV hand held mic and my custom mic flag and that was it. On the day of Colin’s headline show we shot this little video at an afternoon industry event featuring Abbey Robertson who books the headliners at New York Comedy Club. I made sure to shout out NYCC owner Emilio Savone for all that he does in the comedy world, and taught Collen Doyle that there’s more than one way to spell Colin! (LOL) And if you don’t believe me just ask Colin Quinn and Colin Jost!!!

We were put up in a beautiful hotel called 506 On The River, with great food, a super attentive staff, a beautiful restaurant, and great ambiance, and while we had some downtime the day of his headlining show I took the opportunity to do a little interview about what he was currently working on, to prep for his show on Dec. 18th at The Fat Black Pussycat, where he had a residency, and how he develops his material. This is what he said!

“Most of my material is still undeveloped. Like I write it, try and memorize it but then when you go on stage you realize it’s undeveloped and you only develop it by working it out in front of a crowd. So you always have to work to another level. Like in movies they stop developing which is why most movies are bad and stand up is funny, because movies, they develop it, then they shoot it, and put it out in front of an audience, maybe with two test audiences, and then it’s finished. They don’t redo it.”

“Like if you did a movie like where you ran it for 80 days, in front of like 80 audiences, then that would be like standup. That’s how stand-up works. Even if the producer comes in and re-edits the film they are re-editing it with THEIR taste. Our editing is with the help of 100 audiences.”

Then I asked him about his connection to The Comedy Cellar. He said it was “his favorite place on the planet. And it was always that way. The first time I saw it I was like this is what comedy is supposed to look like, and I still feel that way. I LOVE it!!!”

“Like with anything else, sometimes you have to take a break, but In general MacDougal Street is my favorite street ever, and to me The Cellar IS MacDougal Street. It’s my favorite place ever! Noam kept the tradition alive that his Dad Manny started.” He even had admiration for Ava, Manny’s wife who he said is a great artist and lives in the building next to The Cellar. “The Cellar is just a magical place, that’s how I feel about it!”

At the end of the weekend we drove back to NY together, over 5 hours through a terrific rainstorm to get home, and thank G-d we trusted Waze which took us around a terrible accident allowing me to get to a venue for VIP Talent as a keynote speaker! And all the VIP’ers were so excited to meet Colin Quinn!


One of the things that makes holiday time so special are the parties where people who often don’t see each other for a while get to hang out and celebrate the season. Such is the case for the comedy community. Below I will post photos from just some of the parties I attended.

New York Comedy Club’s party was packed as usual and I got to catch up with Adam Gilbert who won their 8th annual Fall Competition. It was also where Joe DeRosa, … who also supplied the sandwiches from his Joey Roses sandwich shop, … asked me to be the official mascot/’dancer for Salsa Windfall, his band with Paul Chell that recently headlined Arlene’s Grocery. At that show they played the music video I starred in called “Mouth On My Money” currently up on You Tube, with special effects thanks to The Homeless Pimp, and it was fun to see how many people reccognized me from that fun video. Part of it is below! I can’t wait to shoot more videos with those guys!

These are some photos from the party at The Stand.

And then there are these :


Esther Ku and I go back quite a ways. I remember helping her prepare for her appearance on Last Comic Stranding which was back in 2008, when she was just a little baby comic! (LOL) And then years later she was one of my special guests on Sirius XM with Ron and Fez!


Now she headlines all over the country so when I heard she’d be doing a show at Arthouse Hotel which is part of Stand Up NY, I knew I had to be there. Also she told me she wanted me to meet Mango her little rescue dog. She came dressed as Mrs Claus and she’ll be doing The Brokerage in Bellmore this coming Saturday December 30th!

Since it was the night of Christmas it was a small show and we talked about that after her set. Most people are home with their families on holidays while comedians are out trying to make strangers laugh. Such a crazy business!


Hard to believe it’s been 12 years since Patrice left us. It was Nov. 29th, 2011 and wherever I go guys still stop me who were fans of Patrice and what we did on The Black Phillip Show. At one of the parties just a couple of weeks ago a young guy came over to me and asked if we could take a photo. I do that anyway with anyone who mentions Black Phillip, and I keep them in a folder. He posted it on IG as people tend to do these days! (LOL)

When I was performing in Japan back in 2019, I left the stage and a guy named Devin came over to me all excited that he had been a fan of the show. At Skankfest one year two guys from Ireland came over to me, and one night near the Comedy Cellar two brothers from Africa came over to tell me they were fans of Patrice and the show. Not “brothers” due to their ethnicity but they were really biological brothers! (LOL)

The love for Patrice is still so strong because of the person he was. To me he was not just a comedian, he was a comedy philosopher, and it was truly one of my greatest honors when he named me a co-host of the show. This is a phone call I treasure which I received at 4:05 A.M. the first night we did the show together. I keep it on my phone, and I added stills going back through my history with Patrice.

So today as I’m writing this I was so moved to receive text messages from Patrice’s Mom Georgia who was kind enough to remember me on the holidays. I’m sure she wouidn’t mind me sharing what she wrote, because it meant the world to me as did my friendship with Patrice:

What a great Christmas present! And on that note I want to wish you all HAPPY, HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND ALL GOOD THINGS FOR THE COMING YEAR! 2024, LET’S GO!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

This is the video.


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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I know for me I will never forget this!


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

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