Comedy writer/producer and writer of the national column/vlog Comedy Matters, Jeffrey Gurian, is set to launch a new comedy competition for up-and-coming stand-up comedians.
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters with Chris Rock at The Comic Strip!
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters with Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch!
Beginning on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011, relatively unknown comedians from around the world will be able to submit videos of themselves performing their best three minutes of stand-up comedy via a YouTube or Vimeo link (no file attachments, please!) to Gurian at [email protected]. No entry fee is required, all contestants need to do to be considered is ‘LIKE’ Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters on Facebook and send in their best 3 minutes.
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters with Bo Burnham at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal!
Jeffrey will watch all the submissions and choose his 10 favorites to be finalists. These 10 finalist videos will be posted on the Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters Facebook page where fans can vote by ‘LIKE’ing the page and then ‘LIKE’ing their favorite comedian video. At the end of the voting period, the comedian who has the most ‘LIKES’ wins.
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters on the receiving end of a big bearhug from Bill Burr!
The prizes include an article/interview on Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedy Matters blog, a guest spot on Jeffrey’s Sunday or Monday night late show at the legendary Comic Strip Live comedy club in New York City, and the title of “Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedian Who Matters”.
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters dancing with Lisa Lampanelli as part of his ” Dancing With Comedians” series!
For up-to-the-minute details on the contest, you can also follow Jeffrey Gurian on Twitter @jeffreygurian!
If you’d like more information about Jeffrey Gurian’s Comedian Who Matters Contest, or to schedule an interview with Jeffrey Gurian, please contact his assistant, Corinne Fisher, at 908-265-2087 or via E-mail at [email protected].
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters out in LA, with Billy Crystal who will be hosting this year’s Oscars ceremony!
About ten days ago, the comedy world was shocked to hear that Patrice Oneal had suffered a major stroke. It’s still hard for me to wrap my mind around it. When you think of the proverbial gentle giant, you think of Patrice Oneal.
I know and have loved and respected Patrice for a long time, although expressing that sentiment might have made him uncomfortable! I was always drawn to him from the first time I met him. We had a little mutual admiration society going for us. I always felt good being around Patrice, and he always seemed to light up when he saw me! We were drawn to each other. Maybe it was the disparity in our physical beings. One of the first times I met him I suggested that we become roommates so we could share clothing! He thought that was funny!
Jeffrey Gurian and Patrice Oneal on 11/10/01, almost ten years ago to the day!
When we were planning on doing a show together I suggested that he come out holding me in his arms like a baby!
We connected on many levels. Patrice is a thinker. He’s a comedy philosopher. Really smart dude. He has everything figured out to a “T”! ( Whatever that means! Why do they use the letter “T” as a symbol of perfection???)
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV under the protective arm of Patrice Oneal! i still think we’d be great roommates!
We shared a deep and well thought out philosophy on women. He made fun of me being respectful to women, but at the same time gave me props for being genuine. Our approach to meeting women was world’s apart, … diametrically opposite, … but our end goal was the same. People might have mistaken him for a misogynist. I know him as a lover of women! He was just offended by their power, and how weak and dumb guys become around them!
When he asked me to be his co-host on The Black Phillip Show, (a radio show we did on Sirius), part of Opie and Anthony’s Saturday Night Virus, I was really honored. It was me, Patrice and Dante Nero, plus other guest comics. Patrice and I argued over our “meeting women philosophies”, with Dante often taking my side and explaining my thinking to Patrice and the audience. (LOL) What also swayed him to invite me to be part of his show was that he said I was the only white man he ever met who knew all the words to “Bitch Betta Have My Money”, an old-school hip-hop classic from AMG back in 1991! It happened to be his theme song!
Patrice talking about me is a big part of one of my demo reels!
I brought lots of fun girls on the show, after warning them of course about what they could expect from Patrice, who typically was very complimentary to them, but at the same time fascinated by what made them tick, and how they used their feminine beauty as a power! I was disappointed that we only got to do a few shows together before it ended.
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV and Patrice Oneal after judging The Lottery Show at The Comic Strip on 9/27/11!
I saw him kill on the Charlie Sheen Roast recently, and then saw him in person a few weeks ago when he was a guest judge on The Lottery Show at The Comic Strip, along with Robert Kelly and Paul Mecurio. Some fun video of that is below.
(L-R) DJ Jordan Rock, Robert Kelly, Patrice Oneal, and Paul Mecurio judging The Lottery Show at The Comic Strip!
Comedy manager/producer Wayne Rada is also a long time friend and colleague of Patrice and when I saw him last night at the Andy Kaufman Awards at Gotham Comedy Club, which he was producing, he told me that Patrice’s comic friend Harris Stanton, told him that Patrice is in a hospital in New Jersey, breathing on his own, but on a feeding tube. At this point he’s only capable of blinking his eyes.
I’m a very big believer in the power of prayer, so hopefully everyone who reads this post will say a prayer for Patrice, and put that Healing energy out to the Universe, and help him to recover as quickly as possible.
Please respect his family’s privacy at this time. An email has been set up for fans to send him well wishes and his family will make sure he gets them. You can write to [email protected].
I think it was Chris Rock who said during an interview I did with him for the book on the history of The Comic Strip, … and I’m paraphrasing here,… that a comedy club is to a comic like the gym is to an athlete. You go to a comedy club to work out. That’s where you try out new stuff, … if it’s a “safe room”!
Most comics don’t work out new stuff during a weekend show, because that’s where you bring your “A” game, but The Comic Strip has always been known as a “safe room” to work out stuff during the week. So no one except the audience was surprised to see Louis CK drop by to work out some new material for the special he’s doing on Nov. 10th at The Beacon Theatre in NYC. As a matter of fact, the audience was thrilled!
Louis CK working out some new stuff at The Comic Strip!
Louis has two daughters, 6 and 9, and you can tell he’s probably a really great and fun Dad, but he says things that other people just think, but would probably never say out loud. Louis has no fear in saying whatever comes to his mind, and the audience loves it.
He’ll say things like “the hardest thing about having kids is that it’s boring!” And then he proves it!
Or he wondered how he’d break the news to his wife if he took his kids camping and they got eaten by bears. What would that phone call be like, as he had to deliver the gruesome details of the unfortunate incident. As a Dad myself I don’t know if I could tackle that subject comedically, but Louis manages to make it funny!
In talking about the sexual things that go through men’s minds on a constant basis, Louis compares men and women with the genius observation that “women are tourists in sexual perversion, while men are prisoners of it!”
Louis has always been a good friend to The Comic Strip, and to Richie Tienken, and spent some of his early days there. We’re trying to work out a time for him to do the interview for the book.
Louis CK backstage at The Comic Strip for a benefit for The Red Cross with owner Richie Tienken!
I saw him win an award at the Comedy Central first Annual Comedy Awards this past year and again in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Festival!
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Louis CK on the red carpet of the Comedy Central Comedy Awards!
Make sure you to and see him at The Beacon on November 10th and tell him I sent you!
This is a brief compilation of my recent trip to L.A. featuring my interviews with Billy Crystal, the first comic to ever set foot on stage at The Comic Strip on June 1, 1976, and Russell Peters, one of the only comics to be able to fill stadiums, as he did in Vancouver when 18,000 people came out two nights in a row to see this dude!
Jeffrey Gurian with Billy Crystal in Billy's Beverly Hills office, Face Productions!
As I told Kal Penn when I interviewed him for Comedy Matters, ” there was a time, and not too long ago, when no one knew that Indian people could be funny!” And Kal cracked up because he knew it was true. Kal stars in the Harold and Kumar films and proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Indian people can be funny. Russell Peters takes it ten steps further!
Jeffrey Gurian with Kal Penn for the release of a new harold and Kumar film!
Born in Canada, and speaking perfect English with no accent at all, Russell says he identifies more with being Canadian than with being an Indian man. He’s Indian in his DNA, and his skin color, so when he looks in the mirror he’s aware that he’s Indian, but that’s about it.
He sees himself as he is, and sees the humor in seeing everyone for what they are. What I love about him, besides just about everything he does, is that he has almost singlehandedly destroyed a stereotype, which is very hard to do. He has broken the stereotype of the humorless Indian man. To be able to see yourself as you believe others see you, and to make it funny is pure genius.
Russell Peters is not only “hip”, he’s too hip for the room! And that’s at a time when everyone is striving to be “hip.” The legendary Rodney Dangerfield who was the first big star I ever wrote for once told me, ” Jeff, you know who’s hip?” I’m like, ” No Rodney, who’s hip?” He’s like, ” Two guys in the Village.” And we all fell down laughing cause he was right. Everybody is so caught up in being “hip” when almost no one is, … except for these two elusive guys in The Village!
Jeffrey Gurian, jus' chillin' with Russell Peters at Russell's home in L.A.
Russell is a rare talent and I call him “The Messiah of Comedy.” All you have to do is attend one of his shows, to see the multi-cultural background of his audience. There are people there in turbans and traditional Indian dress and they’re laughing their asses off! I teach at NYU where the majority of students seem to be Indian females and almost all of them bust out laughing at just the mention of Russell Peters’ name. The man is a phenomenon!
He brings all ethnicities together and in a clever way makes fun of everyone, but he comes from such a good place that no one could ever be offended. He has the ability to see things clearly that other people miss. True artists are like that. And people love when you can imitate an accent. I don’t think I can think of one accent that Russell can’t do. But when he does the Indian accent, people are crying from laughing so hard. Not only does he do the accent but the facial expressions, the head movements and the hand and finger movements. He’s a genius at physical comedy. I am truly amazed at Russell Peters.
Jeffrey Gurian and Russell Peters checkout out the munitions artwork that adorns Russell's walls!
I wish I could do a Chinese accent. I talk about it in my act but it would be better if I could do it!
The only accent I can do is like a Greek accent or some kind of Eastern European accent, like when two guys meet in the street and one guy says, ” Hello my friend, how are you today?” And the other guy answers, ” Five thank you, how are you?”. First guy – ” Not too good, I feel a little six!” Second Guy – “Really, you don’t look six at all. You look just five to me!” And they go on through this conversation using numbers instead of the right words, until the end when the first guy says, ” I have to go now. Nice threeing you again!” and the second guy says, ” Nice threeing you two!” That’s the extent of my accent work, and it absolutely “kills”, … around my apartment!
I’ve never actually done it on stage, because I haven’t hated myself enough yet to try it out, ( just in case it doesn’t work!), … but maybe someday???
So anyway, I’m in LA and I call Russell ’cause his brother Clayton, who is a great guy and also his manager, left me a message that if I come to LA, Russell would make time to see me, and hang out. I had only a few priorities on my trip. The first was to interview Billy Crystal, the second was to hang out and interview Russell, and third was to perform in the clubs in LA cause I had never set foot on a stage in Los Angeles, and that was a hurdle I was ready to take on.
I wound up performing on Kevin Nealon’s show at Jamie Masada’s Laugh Factory. I happen to know Kevin back from his SNL days cause I was friendly with him, and Dana Carvey, and Jon Lovitz, and especially Phil Hartman. Listen to this weird synchronicity! When I packed to go to LA, I grabbed a small leather case that I used to carry my comedy material in, without looking at what was inside. When I got to LA and opened it up, I saw that it was material I had written for Kevin Nealon for the Friars Roast of Chevy Chase back in 1990. This was at least 3 days before I knew I’d be performing on Kevin’s show! Coincidence? I think not! (LOL)
Jeffrey Gurian with Kevin Nealon at Jamie Masada's Laugh Factory!
So I get the call that I’m on Kevin’s show and that after my set we’ll do an onstage interview. I’m like, ” Cool.” I hadn’t seen Kevin in a long time and I figured he’d be surprised to see my name on his show roster. I was told I’d be on third at 8:40. I got to the club a little after 8, while Kevin was on stage warming up the crowd, … not with jokes, with blankets and hugs! He was literally warming up the crowd because they felt chilly from the air conditioning! ( I’m just being silly!)
So he’s warming up the audience when he suddenly says, ” We have a great show for you tonight. Let’s see who’s on the list, and he starts reading names and when he comes to mine he says, ” Jeffrey Gurian? is Jeffrey Gurian here?”
And I was in the back of the room, so I answered that I was there. He was like, ” Jeffrey Gurian is here. He’s funny! Let’s put him on first. Give a warm welcome to Jeffrey Gurian.” And the crowd started applauding, and I couldn’t say anything, but in the back of my mind I was thinking, ” I thought Kevin liked me. Why is he putting me on first?” Turns out he did me the biggest favor in the world because I had no time to get nervous, I went right up and if I have to say so myself, I killed!
Kevin Nealon on stage at The Laugh Factory hosting his weekly show!
Fortunately I was not alone in that assessment! Kevin said so, and so did owner Jamie Masada who was there and saw the set. Jamie said I could perform there anytime I was in town. Not only that, he told me to call the club the next day and tell the booker that Jamie said to put me on Tom Arnold’s show the next night.
I was so psyched, because Tom is a friend and I had e-mailed him a few days before telling him I was going to be in LA to see if he had time to hang out. He wrote me back saying he was doing a lot of filming including a thing on “Sons of Anarchy” and probably wouldn’t have time for us to get together.
Jeffrey Gurian with Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, AFTER Jeffrey's set in front of the Laugh Factory logo!
So when Jamie told me I’d be on Tom’s show I was thrilled, cause I knew he’d be surprised to see me there, and I’d kill the proverbial two birds with one stone. Who by the way, was ever killing birds with a stone? Where did that expression start? And not only one bird but two birds with the same stone? They must have been very slow moving birds. Who does that anyway? Killing birds with a stone. Very bizarre! So I’m psyched to do Tom’s show, and impress him with my comedic talent (LOL), and at the last minute Tom has to cancel because he’s stuck on the set of ” Sons of Anarchy.” It just goes to show that you can not micro-manipulate The Universe. Things only happen when they’re supposed to.
Kevin by the way sent me this really nice e-mail in response to my thank you e-mail to him, saying : “Great seeing you again, too. You always crack me up. Hope to see you again down the road.” How nice is that that Kevin Nealon says I always crack him up?
Jamie happens to be a very kind man. I remember being out in LA one Christmas and Jamie does this thing where he feeds people all Christmas day from the club. Non-stop! Homeless people, and comics both, … and sometimes they’re the same thing! (LOL) The way most comics dress, they ALL look homeless! (LOL)
So I didn’t get to perform for Tom Arnold, but but I DID get the Friday night show at The Improv thanks to booker Emilie Laford, who put me on the 10 P.M. show with Ralph Figueroa as the host. It was also a very successful show and Ralph sent me a really nice e-mail telling me that I did an “awesome” set and that he hoped to work with me again! Thanks Ralph, the feeling is mutual!
Jeffrey Gurian with show host/comic Ralph Figueroa at The Improv in Hollywood!
Plus, I got to go on stage right before my good friend Helen Hong, who I know from New York and who can definitely do the Chinese accent! Maybe if I ask nicely she’ll teach me! Helen is always so funny! Prease Heren, would you teach me???
Jeffrey Gurian with Helen Hong at The Improv in L.A.!
Anyway, back to Russell Peters! ( I feel like I’m all over the place with this post! )
Russell invited me to his house and I expected something special but it was even better. I got to meet his wife Monica, who he married in August of 2010, and his new little daughter Crystianna, who was so cute I tried to take her with me when I left, but he caught me and made me give her back! He was like, ” What’s that lump under your jacket?” And I was like, ” OK, you caught me. I’m sorry. Here. You can have your baby back!” She was really that cute!
Jeffrey Gurian reclining in Russell Peters' screening room with wall to wall TV!
Russell has a screening room, with reclining chairs where you can just lay back and chill, and watch this huge screen TV that covers the entire wall.
Then there’s the entertainment room with the pinball games.
But my favorite toy of his was his new Rolls Royce, which I’m pretty sure he called a Phantom Drophead Coupe, or Dropdead Coupe, or something like that. ( There’s supposed to be an accent mark over the last “e” in Coupe, but my computer only speaks English so I don’t have an “accent egout” which is what I think they called it in French class when I wasn’t paying attention! LOL)
They only started making this model in 2007, and Russell was too humble to tell me it’s the most expensive Rolls Royce they make. It’s got like a stainless steel hood, what Russell referred to as “suicide doors” that open backwards towards the back of the car, and which you can open and close remotely, and believe it or not the exterior is available in more than 44,000 color combinations. I didn’t even know there WERE more than 44,000 color combinations. My crayon box has about 108 colors and I thought that about maxed it out.
Jeffrey Gurian and Russell Peters in his new Drophead Dropdead Rolls, with the stainless steel hood, just in case you want to cook lunch on the top of your car!
So Russell and I were chillin’ in the Rolls and I felt I had to remind him that you were supposed to get these things like a gorgeous home and Rolls Royce BEFORE you’re married not after! We had a good laugh about that! And I think that was when he discovered I had his baby! (LOL)
Who wouldn't be smiling driving a car like this???
And before I left his house, with his “man-servant”, or assistant who he referred to as “Homeless Matt”, I happened to tell him that I was going to interview Billy Crystal the next day. That’s when he told me that he and Billy were doing a movie together and that I should send Billy his best, cause Billy was his boy!
Billy was as nice as could be. We met at his offices in Beverly HIlls, thanks to Bob Wachs, the co-founder of The Comic Strip in NYC, and Billy’s lawyer in the early days, and Billy graciously gave me about an hour of his time. We reminisced about how we first met through Jack Rollins who is currently 96 years old, G-d Bless him,( I’m becoming my own grandmother! ) and how Jack had wanted Billy to play me in a proposed sit-com about a dentist who wanted to be in show business. He even remembered calling me “the funny dentist” and how Alan King referred to me the same way.
Billy Crystal pointing to his teeth, referencing the rumour that Jeffrey Gurian used to be a dentist!
And he shared with me a little gem that Jack Rollins had told him after seeing his early stand-up. He said, ” You did great, and your act was fine, but ” you didn’t leave a tip!” You didn’t leave the audience with anything to remember you by! ” And that message stuck with Billy all these years and changed the way he performed on stage from that day forth! He always remembered to share a little bit extra of himself with his audience, and always left them a tip!
I did remember to send Billy Russell’s regards, and Billy echoed what Chris Rock said about Russell, who ranked #9 on Forbes list of highest earning comedians, ” Russell Peters, … he’s the most famous comedian that no one ever heard of.” I have a feeling that all that will change very soon! ( My words, not Billy’s!)
In summary, … anytime you have an opportunity to see Russell perform, make sure you go, because it’s really a treat! So check out the little video interview I did with Russell. There will be a longer version coming up soon, but I’m getting ready to go and see him perform in Montreal next week at the Just for Laughs Festival where he will be hosting his own show, with his own hand-picked comedians like Dom Irrera, and Jeremy Hotz, and it was all I could do to get this short version ready for the public before I left.
This past week I co-produced a sold out comedy fundraiser to fight Diabetes at the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip with my partner, Richie Tienken owner and founder of the club. The club was packed to hear comedy from the first lady of comedy Elayne Boosler, Eddie Brill from Letterman, Goumba Johnny the afternoon host of WKTU, national headliners Jim Mendrinos, Louis Ramey, and Jeff Pirrami from The Friars Club, Chuck Nice from VH1 and the host of The Hot 10 on Centric TV, Sherrod Small from VH1’s Best Week Ever, Harrison Greenbaum, the winner of The Andy Kaufman Award and one of Comedy Central’s “Top 10 Comics To Watch”, and even I did a little surprise spot.
(L-R) Richie Tienken, Elayne Boosler, and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comic Strip to fight Diabetes.
(L-R) JR Ravitz, GM of The Comic Strip, who also holds the auditions for the club, with host/MC Jim Mendrinos.
Jeffrey Gurian with fantastic host/MC Jim Mendrinos!
The incredibly straight Harrison Greenbaum with comedy writer/producer Jeffrey Gurian at The Strip.
(L-R) Harrison Greenbaum, Eddie Brill, Goumba Johnny, Jeff Pirrami, Elaine Boosler, and Jim Mendrinos in a rare group picture at the bar during the Diabetes fundraiser!
(L-R) Jon Fisch, Chuck Nice, and Harrison Greenbaum backstage waiting to go on at The Strip!
(L-R) A newly svelte Eddie Brill, Jeffrey Gurian, a newly svelte Jim Mendrinos, Richie TIenken, Louis Ramey, and an ALWAYS svelte Leighann Lord!
Sean and Jessica Mannion manning the new Sony VG-10 Hi Def camera during the show!
(Front L-R) Scott Blakeman, Sherrod Small,(Rear) Barry Weintraub, promoting our fundraiser on NY1's "Inside City Hall", with show host Errol Louis!
In the audience was a journalist named Rachel Wilgoren who writes for the Manhattan lifestyle site Nearsay, ( http://www.nearsay.com) and I thought it was good enough to send around to my peeps.
On June 1, 1976 Richie Tienken and Bob Wachs opened the legendary comedy club called The Comic Strip. It was at 1568 Second Avenue in Manhattan, between 81st and 82nd streets. It’s still there and thriving.
Jeffrey Gurian, Jerry Seinfeld and Richie Tienken at The Comic Strip for Jerry's interview for the book!
On June 17th, 1976, barely two weeks after it opened, a young, unknown comic named Jerry Seinfeld came in to audition. His sign-up sheet still hangs in the club. It says ” Good. Definitely put on Monday 6/21.”
Richie Tienken, Ray Romano and Jeffrey Gurian below Ray's old photo on the wall at The Comic Strip!
Not only did Seinfeld get his start there, but so did Paul Reiser, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler, Colin Quinn, Susie Essman, Jim Gaffigan, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and many other huge stars who called that club their home.
Jeffrey Gurian, Susie Essman, and Richie Tienken after Susie's interview for the book!
Jim Gaffigan and Jeffrey after Jim's interview at The Strip. Richie must have been hiding!
Richie and Bob went on to manage Eddie Murphy for 11 years, from his SNL career through Beverly Hills Cop 2. Richie also managed Adam Sandler, Tony Rock, and Colin Quinn.
Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, and Richie Tienken after Tony's interview at The Strip!
Jeffrey Gurian, Judah Friedlander, and Richie Tienken under the photo taken BEFORE Judah was World Champion! ( over his left shoulder!)
I have been chosen by Richie, to write the book on the history of the club, and so far have interviewed about 26 of the biggest names that have come out of the club, including Seinfeld, Larry Miller, Paul Reiser, George Wallace, Colin Quinn, Ray Romano, and Chris Rock.
Recently Judah Friedlander of 30 Rock fame, and The World Champion, came to the club to sit down with Richie and I to reminisce about his beginnings, and his memories of the club in the early days of his career. This is a little video excerpt of the interview.
This documentary reel about me was shot as a pre-cursor to a proposed TV project that I would host, taking the viewers “behind the scenes” in the comedy world, the film world and behind the velvet ropes of New York nightlife, all places where I have strong connections.
In this reel you will see great comics from late night TV like Ted Alexandro from Comedy Central, Letterman, Conan O’Brien, & Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Fisch from Last Comic Standing, VH1 and Comedy Central, Macio from The Chapelle Show, Uptown Comedy Club, & Comedy Central, Goumba Johnny, afternoon host from WKTU, 103.5 FM, film stars Marisa Tomei, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Jason Statham, John Leguizamo, Vincent Pastore, Chris Meloni, Kal Penn, Sidney Lumet, Guy Ritchie, nightlife and TV legends Wass, Noel Ashman, and Countess LuAnn DeLesseps from Real Housewives of New York City, and Camille Grammer from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Please watch and feel free to leave a comment, and/or share it with your friends. Thanks!!!
My superstar P.R. team Goldman/McCormick has been working overtime and as a result, last night at 11 P.M., I got a call from Mark Amazon on 700 WLW News Talk Radio, known as “The Big One”, out of Cincinatti, Ohio for my take on the Gilbert Gottfried/AFLAC scenario.
Having known Gilbert for more than 25 years, I told them that I felt it was a mistake in judgment that Gilbert regretted, not only because he lost his position as the voice of AFLAC, but because he never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings. He had already posted apologies on his own Twitter page.
With AFLAC having such a huge percentage of it’s business in Japan, I guess it couldn’t afford the potential losses from people who were insulted by Gilbert’s Tweets, and made the choice to let him go. The only other way would have been for them to stick up for him, against an entire ravaged country, and that would be a very unlikely scenario for anyone to expect.
Gilbert was just being Gilbert, as he’s always been. That’s what he does. He goes where no one else dares. Comedians often try to do that. I have several thoughts on that matter.
Gilbert and Jeffrey back in 1992, when Gilbert starred in a short film Jeffrey wrote called “Seeing is Believing”, where Gilbert wears glasses like microscopes, and tries to get X-ray vision to see through women’s clothing. Also featuring Camille Donatacci Grammer, Kelsey Grammer’s recent ex, playing a very sexy nurse. Check it out at http://www.jeffreygurian.com
Comics spend every day looking for what’s funny about things that most people don’t see as funny. Not cause they want to, cause they HAVE to. They have no choice. It’s how comics think. It’s in their blood. It’s a drug, and they’re addicted.
Some comics work clean, some work filthy. Some comics say the most outrageous things, but they say them within the confines of a club, not in a forum to the world. I think that’s what makes the difference here.
Sick, cruel humor has always been around. Some people love it. I happen not to, but that’s coming from someone who wrote nasty jokes for Friars Roasts for many years. BUT, … I ALWAYS asked the person being Roasted if there was anything that was off-limits to him, so that I wouldn’t write anything particularly hurtful. That’s just me.
Maybe human beings have a naturally cruel side? Just go to any schoolyard, or high school to see what I mean. Probably all you have to do is think back to your own high school days. Not a very comfortable time right? Bullying isn’t something new. Kids make fun of other kids if they don’t think you fit the mold. And how many people actually did in those days.
I always say, ” If high school was the best time of your life you should probably kill yourself!” (LOL) For many people it was the worse time in their lives.
And very often those very same kids who didn’t fit in in high school went on to become comedians! They used humor to help them fit in. So many comics are socially awkward, and lacking in social graces. They only have personalities on stage. It’s an amazing thing! Offstage they can be quiet and shy.
In any case, Mark Amazon and the other radio hosts I spoke with didn’t seem to be coming down too harshly on Gilbert. They all seemed to understand that Gilbert was being Gilbert. It’s unfortunate that it had to happen at all, meaning the devastation that hit Japan in the first place, and the Tweeting that followed it.
Jeffrey Gurian and Gilbert Gottrried lunching at Pastis during Gilbert's interview for the book on the 35 year history of the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip, the club that launched the careers of Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Paul Reiser, Ray Romano and so many more. Jeffrey is writing the book with owner/founder of The Strip, Richie Tienken.
I’ve known Frankie Pace for so many years, maybe since I started writing comedy, back in the days when jokes were first invented. He’s always been HYSTERICAL. I’ll never forget the “birth” thing he does when he pushed his bald head through a hole in a blanket, as if he’s a new born infant, pushing his way into the world.