I’ve been friends with The Belz since man first walked erect. I actually had an uncle who was the first man to ever walk erect, but he couldn’t hold it! It was very sad. Anyway, I’m having lunch at The Friars Club with a business associate about Comedy Matters TV going national, and as the lunch is winding down, I see Belz come in with his assistant Joel Silverstein.
Belz, Paul Shaffer and I have been taking a certain photo for about the last 20 years. We stand in the same order, Paul Shaffer, then me, then Belz and a few years later I bring the old photo and we stand in the same order, holding the old photo and take a new one. Recently we took the fourth in the series. The one below is number three:
Then Friars photographer Richard Lewin managed to get #4 for us this past year.
So today at The Friars, we waved to each other and as I was leaving, he called me over to say “Hi!”. We wished each other a Happy Chanukah, which makes sense since we are both of the Hebraic persuasion, (and we acknowledge that), and while we were catching up, the Friars Club receptionist paged what sounded like “Richard Lewis”. Belz and I looked at each other like, ” Could it really be for Richard Lewis, or was it for Belzer and they made a mistake?” I knew that Richard Lewis had been in town earlier in the month to headline Carolines, because he let me know he was coming, but I thought he was back in LA.
I told Belz I’d go up to the front and check for him. I said to the receptionist, ” Are you paging Richard Lewis or Richard Belzer?” She said, ” Neither! I’m paging Richard Lewin.” Turns out they were paging Richard Lewin the same Friars photographer I mentioned above, who at that moment approached our table to say hello.
But it inspired Belz to tell me this funny story about Richard Lewis. He said that where Richard lives, in order to pull out in his car, there’s this little street he often uses illegally. One day a cop stopped him, and told him he couldn’t do that anymore, but he let him go. A couple of days later he did the same thing, and the same cop came over to him and said, ” C’mon Belz, you can’t keep doing that!” And Richard Lewis said, ” I’m not Richard Belzer, I’m Richard Lewis!” So the cop gave him a ticket!
Belzer agreed to be my first guest when I shoot the premiere episode of a new show I’m planning, tentatively titled Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters Houseparty! Stay tuned for more!