Archive for Jeffrey Gurian News

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See the reaction he got in the video below!


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Producers Jack Fink and Julie Ray


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Chrissy D and The Podcast/Radio Scene

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

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

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

This jacket is one of my greatest treasures!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Kiki Yeung at St. Marks Comedy Club

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ever-Shrinking Dan LaMorte

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The King of Staten Island Rocks


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Comedy Matters TV Podcast-Episode 1 with Richie Tienken


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

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

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


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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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



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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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



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

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


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


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

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

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


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



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

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

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


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



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

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


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

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


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

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


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Angelo Lozada-R.I.P. POP

Ever since I got the terrible news this past Thursday of Angelo Lozada’s passing I’ve been agonizing over how to write this.

With Angelo Lozada in our second hime - Gotham Comedy Club!

I’ve been reading all the other tributes and wondering how to put into words the feelings I had for this man, who I was privileged to know for quite a long time.

Everyone has spoken about how funny he was, and that was indisputable, and how kind he was, … also indisputable, but I want to talk about how brave he was in the face of what he was facing.

I have a regular table at Gotham and for who knows how many years I’d sit there writing about the comedy scene. Owner Chris Mazzilli says I’m there more than he is! (LOL)

Angelo was very often the host, ( one of the best on the scene btw) and after his usual greeting of “What’s up Pop?” he’d often join me at my table and because I was always interested in what he had going on, he’d fill me in on what he was up to.

If I didn’t see him before the show started he’d drop by after he did his opening monologue even just to shake hands which gave me the opportunity to always tell him how funny he was. I always meant it and he always appreciated it. I knew him as a humble man.

I was excited to help announce the return of The Lozada Lowdown on January 31, 2018 to the downstairs lounge at Gotham, that he did with his comedy sidekick Tammi Cubilette, and kicked it off the first night Mike Britt, Ruperto Vanderpool and Ronny Chieng.

Then there was his comedy web series “Get Some” also co-starring Tammi about a Nuyorican couple from the Bronx with Angelo playing Sam and Tammi playing Viv his wife. We would laugh about what went on in the episodes and during the filming.

Then there was the excitement of him being chosen as Trevor Noah’s guy, warming up the audiences at The Daily Show and traveling with Trevor on private planes, something he was always grateful for.

I recall the excitement of being at the inaugural Daily Show the first night that Trevor hosted, thanks to Trevor and his manager Norm Aladjem, and watching Angelo kill it as he warned up the very first crowd.

But a year ago he sat down with me and shared something personal that took me by surprise, and something I never wrote about for obvious reasons. He shared with me his diagnosis, and I was shocked but also impressed by his bravery, and the courage it takes to share something like that with people. Many people hide things like that, but not Angelo. He said they were going to fight it and I know that he did as hard as he could.

I didn’t mention it every time I saw him, but whenever I asked him how he was doing healthwise he always said he was doing well. But when I saw him most recently and asked him, he joined me at my table and alluded to the fact that things were not going so well at all. Outwardly you couldn’t tell but I guess it was what was going on inside that told the story.

I remember giving him a big hug because that’s what we did whenever we saw each other, and that’s how I plan to remember him, as his always hilarious, formerly healthy self. R.I.P. Angelo, you were loved by all who knew you.


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Comedy Matters TV On The Scene with National Lampoon, Chris Distefano at Gotham, The Irishman, and more!!!

National Lampoon Back on the Scene!

National Lampoon which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020, just launched a new comedy space and weekly stand-up series, “LIC Comedy,” in Long Island City thanks to Lampoon Pres. Evan Shapiro, and Exec. V.P. of Digital Media Gian Hunjan, along with Creative Associate Claudia Barran. They acquired the brand back in 2017 but just partnered with LIC Artists and The Plaxall Gallery to do a series of comedy shows, besides bringing back the beloved and iconic National Lampoon Radio hour.

Premiering December 19, the new, 11-episode podcast, in partnership with Forever Dog Podcast Network and available on iTunesSpotify and other podcasting platforms will feature a collection of National Lampoon comedy sketches, characters, music and more, thanks to lead writers Cole Escola (Emmy-nominated “At Home with Amy Sedaris,” “Difficult People”) and Jo Firestone (Adult Swim, “The Tonight Show”).  

I went out there for the inaugural show and the place is amazing. It’s a huge 12,000 square foot community center/art gallery, with many rooms, and fortunately I got there early enough that Gian found me wandering in the street, greeted me and guided me in, and then Evan gave me the tour including an outdoor space right on some kind of waterway that will be amazing for parties during the nice weather. That’s THEIR plan not mine! Those who know me know that I LOVE parties! (LOL)

The plan is to have a show every Friday night in perpetuity. The inaugural show was well attended by an interesting and upscale, handpicked group of people, in a very relaxed setting and each of the comics commented on the unusual setting, … performing in a spacious art gallery, with a slide of a huge frame on the wall behind them.

First up was Pat Burtscher, who was originally from Toronto, then lived in London and moved here to NY as of last May. He stuck out to me because he had such unusual and unique premises, which I love and respect. Things like, ” We’re the only animals that give ourselves jobs” which is a great premise and then he expanded upon it, which is how I learned to do comedy, from some of the greats. You get a strong premise and build a bunch of jokes around it. That’s the essence of writing comedy. Or at least it should be!


When I went up to him after the show to compliment him he reminded me that we had already met back in August when we were on the same show at the Fairfield Comedy Club, and I drove him and two other comics, Beecher and Jason Salmon back to New York. Pat was sitting in the back seat so I didn’t get to learn his face! (LOL) I love unique because it’s so hard to find!

Also on the show was Ali Kolbert who talks a lot about being 27 but looking much younger, which is true. Ali had been an NBC page and wound up making her late night debut on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

And the always funny Ricky Velez came on next. Ricky’s part of the Fat Baby crew with Giulio Gallarotti, Josh Wesson and Benny Demarco and I love the energy that those guys bring wherever they go. Ricky is also tight with Pete Davidson and performs on shows with him on the road.

Ricky talked a lot about his baby, being a Dad, his own Dad, and how his wife comes from money and wears pajamas, which to paraphrase him is a rich person’s game!


Dave Merheje followed and I had seen Dave this past summer on the Ronnie Chieng TV gala when he surprised me by performing in shorts and a T-shirt for television, while Ronnie was in a beautiful suit.

Dave’s background is Lebanese and it was funny hearing him tell the story of how his uncle once came to the door for Christmas proclaiming that he was Santa Claus, without a costume, just a beard, yelled out “Ha, Ha, Ha” instead of “Ho, Ho, Ho”, and the kids were scared that Santa Claus had an Arabic accent! Btw, he didn’t wear shorts this time, he wore bright red sweats pants!

Giulio Gallarotti came out and closed the show with a strong set, talking about how he doesn’t like to smoke weed and gave a strong reason why, and I was hoping he’d do a song as Lil Young Big his rapper alter-ego. Maybe next time.

But it was a very cool event, and when I asked Evan what he wanted people to know about it he said to tell you guys that the show will run every Friday at 10, part of the ticket sales go to support local artists, the tickets are 15 bucks and they have the least expensive drinks of any comedy club in the five boroughs!

Chris Distefano Uses Family As Inspiration for Jokes

I’ve known Chris Distefano since the beginning when we used to do open mic shows at Gotham Comedy Club and he was honing bits like “Tell me no”, and talking about his Mom dating a guy named Phineas with polio, and he was always hilarious. So it was great to see him headlining Gotham with sold out shows. The place was so packed they threatened to put strangers with me at my table! (LOL)

I was seated right next to Chris’ manager comedy heavyweight Rick Dorfman of Authentic Talent and Literary Agency, who jokingly asked me if I didn’t have anything better to do than go to a comedy show!


He held it down for an hour with non-stop laughs and his very unique delivery. That’s a very rare thing to have and I was glad to tell him that after the show. It’s very hard to have a unique delivery. Gilbert Gottfried does it, Judah Friedlander does it, and Chris does it too.

He makes it sound like he doesn’t know what he’s going to say next in that very kind of staccato way he has of speaking, jumping from one thing to another. To the audience it sounds like he’s saying it all for the very first time. He hits on very current topics like memes, peanut allergies, cancel culture etc.

And he kept his jacket on the whole time too, but took it off for the VIP meet and greet after the show. Almost the whole audience signed up for it and lined up to buy merch and take photos.

A lot of his merch was about History Hyenas the podcast he does with his comedy bro’ Yannis Pappas. Both of these guys were my guests on Sirius XM’s Bennington Show. After the Gotham show I went backstage to ask him a couple of questions.


JG: So tell me about History Hyenas.
CD – History Hyenas is a podcast I do with Yannis Pappas, it’s been going on about 18 months now, we just sold out The Gramercy Theatre a couple of weeks ago and we’re gonna do another show , actually a residency there throughout 2020, and we’ve had Jim Gaffigan on, Bill Burr, Andrew Schulz, and all the episodes are available on i-Tunes…
JG – But what’s the concept of the show?

CD – The concept of the show is it’s a history show but it’s comedy first, so you’ll learn but you’ll laugh first and foremost, it’s always comedy and then we’ll throw in some history stuff that you can regurgitate at a party and sound and look cool!

JG – Do the comics have to study history before they come on?

CD – No, we don’t require comics to study at all. They come on and if they are passionate about it, like Jim Gaffigan came on and did a whole episode about the Samurai culture in Japan because he had just come from there and he loved it. Bill Burr came on and did a whole history tour of Boston because he knows all about it, and that works but we’ve had other episodes where we just had Michael Kosta on or Sam Morril and just shoot the shit just being three comics in a room.

JG – I just got back from Japan and it’s crazy over there. I did a couple of shows there and it’s insane.
CD – Yeh, I would love to go to Japan.

JG – It’s a long fucking trip!

CD – Yeh, I’ll take an edible.

JG – You better bring more than one for 14 hours. What else do you have that people should know about, … your special 38 Waist?

CD – Well my special 38 Waist is on Comedy Central, but I’m gonna do a second special Size 36 Waist, that comes out on Comedy Central in August of 2021.
JG- Really? Or are you just fuckin’ with me?

CD – No I swear. Cause I’ve been on Keto, and I have a good boxing trainer Paulie, who’s here tonight that feeds me oregano pills, he’s here in the green room, I have a cartoon in development with Comedy Central, and of course I hope that all those things go, but my real passion right now is the podcast Hisstory Hyenas. That’s why the shows were sold out at Gotham this weekend, and why shows in general are selling out for me now is because of that podcast.

JG – Where do you tape it from?

CD – We tape it from The Comedy Cellar, RiotCast Studios, Bobby Kelly’s podcast network, and we tape anywhere from 4 hours a week to 8 hours a week depending on how much coffee Yannis has had.

JG – Tell me about the cartoon.

CD – It’s slated to come out hopefully some time in 2020, and I also have a non-scripted show in development with Comedy Central. The cartoon’s about my life. it’s about being a single Dad, with a bi-racial kid, and a father who’s in the Mafia. ( Lots of laughter)

JG – That’s a hilarious story. It’s gotta be a hit.

CD – So it’s me and my Dad raising this Puerto Rican kid doing the best we can.

JG – Is there anything you’d like to do that you haven’t done yet?

CD – Well in 2020, I moved up in certain markets to theaters, so I’m hoping to go from the comedy clubs to the theaters, and start selling theaters out, that’s really my main goal for 2020.

JG – Well I just have to say that I’ve seen you from the beginning and you’ve always been funny so I’m not surprised that you’re doing so well because you deserve it because you worked really hard.

CD – Thank you Jeff I really appreciate that. Thank you brother. Always a pleasure to see you!

John Belushi on Saint Marks

Thanks to long-time comedy manager Jason Steinberg of Steinberg Talent, I got to see this play. It’s called “With A Little Help – It’s John Belushi” and it’s at Theatre 80 on St. Marks Place, and owner Lorcan Otway told me his family has been in the theatre business for over 300 years! That’s longer than I’ve been in comedy!!! And the theatre is beautiful by the way filled with show biz memorabilia including some rare posters!

The award winning play is an ensemble piece with about 8 characters all of whom playing two or three parts except for Jack Zullo who wrote the show and plays a very spirited John Belushi. He definitely brings John’s energy level to the stage.

All good actors and very entertaining, but if I had to say anything at all in a positive yet constructive manner, 90 minutes into it they hadn’t gotten to the SNL years yet, and John’s discovery by Lorne Michaels. Otherwise as I said, … very entertaining. They mentioned National Lampoon a lot, so it was very fitting that when I left I ran out to LIC to catch the inaugural National Lampoon show mentioned above.

Jason by the way. who has been instrumental in the careers of many big stars handles Tony Woods who just had a big thing in the New York Times, and Donnell Rawlings who just launched a new podcast, The Donnell Rawlings Show. He announced it on Joe Rogan’s podcast that for the very first time he spoke by himself, all alone for 44 minutes! Joe had been encouraging him to do it for months, and he didn’t wanna show up on the show again without having done it, … so he finally did it!


I caught up with my girl Krystyna Hutchinson at Stand Up New York, and we hadn’t seen each other in too long so we took a moment to catch up. She was hanging with Justin Silver and she just did her first time solo headlining gig at American Comedy Company in San Diego and brought Justin to open for her.

She said that 4 out of 5 shows were sold out and she did 45 minutes for the first time and found it very draining, but lots of fun.


GM Jon Borromeo told me the club is focussing on discovering and promoting young talent, that hadn’t been able to get stage time at other clubs, and he named Zach Zimmerman as an example, who just happened to be standing next to him at the time, and said he did his one man show at the club!


If you’re willing to sit through 3 hours of Martin Scorcese’s new hit “The Irishman” which I did because it’s on Netflix and I could get up, walk around, get a snack and pause it when I wanted to you’d see a bunch of comedians in roles, and I personally counted about 18 people I knew personally from the comedy and acting world.

Ray Romano has a big part as Bill Bufalino, the attorney who repped Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa and was the cousin of mob boss Russell Bufalino played by Joe Pesci.


In an example of perfect casting, Jim Norton had a nightclub scene where he portrayed the late legendary Don Rickles, and Sebastian Maniscalco who’s always hilarious had a great serious role playing the part of “Crazy Joe” Gallo, which he did so well.


Bobby Funaro who started out working the door at Carolines on Broadway and went on to be in The Sopranos played a character named Johnny, Paulie Herman who used to own Columbus Cafe and is in just about every mob movie played Whispers DiTullio, the late Vinny Vella played a meat company manager and others I’ve known and/or worked with or interviewed in different projects over the years were the amazingly talented Bobby Cannavale who played a crazy character named Skinny Razor, Bo Dietl, legendary detective who recently ran for Mayor and unfortunately did not win, Kathrine Narducci who played Russell Bufalino’s wife Carrie, as well as Artie Bucco’s wife in The Sopranos, and attended my play “A Punch In The Face” dedicated to actor/martial artist/Hells Angel Chuck Zito who also attended, Stevie Van Zandt from E-Street who played Jerry Vale in this movie, and Silvio Dante in The Sopranos, my old friend Danny Abeckaser who went from a club promoter/owner to movie actor and producer, Garry Pastore who played Albert Anastasia, and most recently played a gangster named Matty ” The Horse” in HBO’s The Deuce and is the cousin of another old friend of mine, Vinny “Big Pussy” Pastore, and there were more!



So I’m walking down St. Marks Place the other night on my way to the John Belushi play when I hear someone yelling out to me. At first I didn’t turn around cause I’m from New York, but then he said “Mr. Gurian”, so I turned and looked.

It was this nice young musician named Supremo Massiv who happened to have a gig right across the street but ran out and had to tell me what a big fan he was of the work I did with Patrice O’Neal on the Black Phillip Show and how much the show meant to him.

It happens wherever I go, most recently in Japan, but in Boston, at Skankfest, at a Syndicate event, and with people from all over the world, the love for Patrice lives on. And a few months ago I started taking a photo with each and every one of them.



The Mederi Center located in Ashland, Oregon was founded by a master nutritionist named Donnie Yance, who specializes in treating cancer and other serious illnesses with herbs and nutrition in conjunction with traditional medicine.

Some friends of his, including consciousness guru Alan Steinfeld of New Realities, saw me performing at West Side Comedy Club one night and the next thing I knew I was the MC at a big fundraiser they held on 11/22 at the Warehouse of the Fairfield Theatre Company in Fairfield, CT starring pop star and cross over artist Gino Vannelli and jazz singer Grammy nominee Roberta Gambarini. It was a fabulous night, well attended and raised a lot of money!


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