Posts Tagged Eddie Murphy

Comedy Matters "Comedian Who Matters" Contest

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 COMEDIANWHOMATTERSCONTEST@GMAIL.COM. 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!

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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 CorinneFisherComedy@gmail.com.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters out in LA, with Billy Crystal who will be hosting this year’s Oscars ceremony!

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Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist With Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy Opens Today

The long awaited Tower Heist movie starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda and Matthew Broderick is opening today. In shades of the Madoff scandal, when a group of hard working guys led by building manager Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller), find out they’ve fallen victim to a wealthy business man Arthur Shaw’s Ponzi scheme, played by Alan Alda, they conspire to rob his high-rise penthouse apartment with the aid of street hustler Slide played by Eddie Murphy.

Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist opens today with Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda!

People are anxious to see Eddie in a funny action character again, and this could be the movie that puts him back on top. Eddie’s been making the rounds of the TV talk shows, like Letterman, Leno and Ellen Degeneres, and on each show he mentions The Comic Strip, the legendary comedy club that brought him to prominence. This year is the 35th anniversary of the club which is going strong. I know because I’m doing the book on the club, with owner/founder Richie Tienken, and have interviewed most of the big stars that came out of there including Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Colin Quinn, Larry Miller, George Wallace, Lewis Black, Susie Essman and many others!

Richie Tienken along with his partner Bob Wachs managed Eddie for about 11 years all the way from his SNL days through Beverly Hills Cop II. That included Raw and Delirious!

Eddie discovered Chris Rock there in 1986. And now that Eddie is gearing up to host The Academy Awards he’s gonna have to get back to his stand-up career which a lot of people feel he’s been wanting to do for a while now. I happen to know that Eddie has an open invitation from Richie Tienken to come and work out at The Strip any time he wants to. It would be like coming home for Eddie and we really hope he comes around.

In the meantime go and check out the film. Brett Ratner was recently honored at another legendary club, The Friars Club in NYC, where he is a proud member, and where he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by Russell Simmons. Also present were Richard Belzer, Ron Perelman, and Aisha Tyler. I have exclusive video on that right here! It’s not as funny as Tower Heist, but I think you’ll find it entertaining!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with director Brett Ratner at The Friars Club in NYC!

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Brett Ratner Receives Lifetime Achievement Award At Friars Club

Last night Brett Ratner was honored at The Friars Club during the third annual Friars Club Comedy Film Festival produced by powerhouse Exec. Director Charlie Prince, and his team some of which are Senior Programmer Susannah Gora, Social Media Director Sue Constantine, Programming Director Eric Johnson, Managing Director Jor Law, and Director of Communications, Jaime Marsanico, who did a fantastic job coordinating last night’s event.

The festival screened over 60 films over the five days that it ran and they were from an international pool of films. It was a HUGE amount of work and they are to be commended!

Brett Ratner is one of the most accomplished and respected film, and music video directors in all of Hollywood, and he’s only 42. He’s known for the Rush Hour series starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, as well as The Family Man, Red Dragon, and X-Men, The Last Stand. He was also a producer on the Fox drama Prison Break and will be producing the 84th Academy Awards next year, on Feb. 26th, 2012, with co-producer Don Mischer, and with Eddie Murphy as the host. What a team that should be!

Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV with Brett Ratner after he received his Lifetime Achievement Award from The Friars Club, during the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival!

Eddie recently received the Comedy Icon Award from Comedy Central at the First Annual Comedy Central Awards and was presented that award by Tracy Morgan!

Tracy Morgan presenting Eddie Murphy with the Comedy Icon Award at the First Annual Comedy Central Awards!

But in 1990, Brett was still a film student at NYU. How he got in is an example of his determination. He was initially rejected due to his poor grades, but he got in to see the Dean himself and after literally begging him to watch one of his films, impressed him enough that he let him in as a student.

Brett’s student film was ” What Ever Happened to Mason Reese?” It starred Rebecca Gayheart, Anthony Michael Hall, and of course Mason Reese, an actor who became famous as a child in the 1970’s for a TV commercial he did for Underwood Devil Ham that swept the country, in which he mis-pronounced the word Schmorgasbord as “Borgashmord”. People loved it and he was an instant star.

Jeffrey Gurian with Mason Reese at Mason’s birthday party! He served a Borgashmord of course!

As an aside, for anyone who’s wondering about where Mason is now, he’s right here in NYC and doing great! He currently owns two restaurants in NYC. One is Paladar, a Pan-Latino restaurant located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and the other is “Destination Bar and Grille” located on Avenue A in the East Village. He’s an old friend and I see him a few times a year!

Brett found himself short on funds to finish his film, so he made another spectacular life-changing choice, and sent out “plea letters” to 20 different producers in Hollywood asking for monetary assistance to finish his film. He got only one response, but that was all he needed. Of all people, Steven Spielberg, of Amblin Entertainment sent him a check for $5,000, without ever meeting him.

Brett brought that same film to the attention of Russell Simmons, who was impressed enough that he got Brett into directing music videos, for the likes of Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, and Madonna! Not bad credits for anyone’s resume! (LOL) Russell has since been a close friend and was asked to present Brett with his Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brett once said he wouldn’t attempt to direct a feature film until he had directed 100 music videos. In 1996, the director of a film called ” Money Talks”, starring Charlie Sheen and Chris Tucker, dropped out and Russell suggested Brett Ratner to take over, which he did. That launched his career and led to his multiple big-screen successes.

Russell Simmons himself is not only known as a music impresario, but also throughout the comedy world for creating Def Jam Comedy. I recently attended some tapings he did for Comedy Central that were hosted by JB Smoove, with DJ Cassidy on the ones and twos, that starred comics like Tony Rock, Capone, Tifffany Haddish, Wil Sylvince, Earthquake, Owen Smith and tons more!

Russell Simmons with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV on the step-and-repeat for Brett Ratner, at The Friars Club!

JB Smoove host of Russell Simmons Comedy Central Stand-Up NY specials with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV at the Edison Ballroom!

DJ Cassidy, super hot DJ for Russell Simmons’ Comedy Central special with Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV!

Russell Simmons came to present Brett Ratner with the award, and even billionaire Ron Perelman dropped by to say a few words and pay his respects to his good friend Brett.

Russell Simmons making his opening remarks before presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to his pal Brett Ratner!

Ron Perelman paying his respects to director Brett Ratner at The Friars Club in NYC!

Everybody is anxiously awaiting Brett’s new film “Tower Heist” starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Matthew Broderick, which is set to open November 4th 2011, and should be a big hit!

(L-R) David Wain, Michael Ian Black, Jeffrey Gurian, and Ben Stiller at Fez, circa 2000!

The Tower Heist poster, showing the incredible cast for the film opening November 4th, 2011.

Video of this fantastic Friars Club event can be seen right here, showing not only an interview with Brett, but also with other celeb guests such as Richard Belzer, and Aisha Tyler!

Russell Simmons chatting up the gorgeous comic/actress Aisha Tyler!

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Eddie Murphy Might Do SNL After 25 Years???

Page 6 of the New York Post, the most prestigious, and most powerful gossip column in the country says that Eddie Murphy, set to host the Academy Awards this year,may make his first appearance on SNL in 25 years this coming Satuday night when Ben hosts SNL. The Academy Awards will be produced by Brett Ratner this year. Eddie and Ben recently starred together in Tower Heist, a film Ratner directed, set to open November 4, 2011, which also stars Matthew Broderick, and Alan Alda.

Eddie Murphy receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy from Tracy Morgan at the Comedy Central First Annual Comedy Award show!

Eddie left the show in 1984, and rumour has it that he had a feud with producer Lorne Michaels over an on-air joke made about Murphy by David Spade, back around 1989, concerning Eddie’s faltering career. Spade has always been known for his snarky remarks! It’s part of who he is, and what people expect of him!

Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV with Lorne Michaels at the Writers Guild Awards!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with David Spade at a comedy club in NYC!

According to Page 6, sources said that Murphy demanded an apology from Michaels which was not forthcoming since Michaels felt he had to give his writers “creative freedom.” Now with Ratner producing The Oscars, and Murphy hosting, it’s felt that Ratner has orchestrated a detente between Michaels and Murphy so we’ll all have to tune in on Saturday night to see what happens.

In the meantime, I have a Murphy/SNL story that you probably don’t know. I know it because I’m writing the book on the 35 year history of the legendary comedy club “The Comic Strip”, the club that brought Eddie to world-wide stardom, thanks mainly to it’s owners and founders Richie Tienken and Bob Wachs, who still own and run the place today!

(L-R) Bob Wachs, and Richie Tienken, owners and founders of the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip opened on June 1, 1976, and still going strong!

Richie was Eddie’s day to day manager. Eddie had been performing as part of an ensemble known as “The Identical Triplets”, two white guys and him! The other two guys were Rob Bartlett and Bob Nelson two respected comics in their own right! Nelson is out in Branson, Missouri, and Bartlett is Don Imus’ sidekick for many years, doing characters on the radio.

Nelson and Bartlett had been performing at The Comic Strip, and they called up Tienken asking him to take a look at Murphy to see if he could audition there. Murphy was supposed to come in on a Monday night which was audition night, but instead of coming in on the night when Tienken was there, he came in when Bob Wachs was there, who had no idea that Eddie was coming, and didn’t go out of his way to accommodate him. When Eddie got a little testy, expecting to go right up on stage, Wachs basically threw him out.

Eddie’s partners called up to find out what happened and Tienken told him to come back on a night he was there. Eddie came back all contrite and acting very polite. Richie told him he wouldn’t go against his partner but told Murphy to go up on stage and if he was good, he’d talk to Wachs. Needless to say, Eddie killed it, and Tienken smoothed it over with Wachs.

In 1980, after Tienken and Wachs were managing him, Eddie was added as a featured player on the sixth season of SNL. The producer that year was Jean Doumanian,who went on to co-produce movies with life-long friend Woody Allen. Her ex-husband John is still Woody’s close friend and was with him when I last saw Woody at the Carlisle Hotel this past April.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Woody Allen at The Carlyle Hotel in NYC!

One night he called Tienken in a panic. The show was running short, and Doumanian asked him to do five minutes of comedy to stretch the show. She had originally asked Joe Piscopo to do it, but he liked Eddie and suggested him instead. When Tienken asked what the problem was, Eddie said ” I’m nervous to do it cause I curse!” So Tienken advised, “Then don’t curse.” Eddie wound up doing it and saved the show.

When it came time for contract renewal, Tienken went up to meet with Doumanian who assured him that Murphy would be re-signed, … as a featured player again. Tienken, as a good manager said, ” He saved your show! Don’t you think he deserves to be a regular cast member?” Fortunately she agreed, and Eddie went immediately from $750. a week to $3,000. a week, and Tienken proved his worth as a great manager.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Bob Wachs and Richie Tienken at the Friars Club Film Festival where they were showing the trailer for their documentary film on The Comic Strip!

If Eddie is in New York this weekend, they would love to have him drop by The Strip!

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Jeffrey Gurian Teaches Comedy Writing and Performing at The Learning Annex

The Learning Annex is the pre-eminent adult education forum in the country, and I was honored to have been asked to teach three classes for them. This one entitled ” How To Write and Perform Comedy”.

Check it out below!

Video streaming by Ustream

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Kevin Hart Releases Laugh At My Pain in Theatres

The Humor Mill is on top of everything in urban comedy, “urban” being a code word for those with more pigment than I have! (LOL) Which is just about everyone since I am one of the whitest men I know! (LOL) That makes it even funnier when I come out on stage and tell the audience, ” I know what you’re thinking, … another Black comic! “

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kevin Hart at a press promo event for their show at Westbury Theatre!

The Humor Mill broke the story of Eddie Murphy hosting the Academy Awards at least a day before it appeared in the NY Post. My partner Richie Tienken who owns the legendary comedy club The Comic Strip managed Eddie for 11 years, from his days on SNL right through Beverly Hills Cop 2. Then in 1986 they both discovered Chris Rock who was working at the club setting up tables in exchange for stage time.

The Humor Mill helped promote the show I co-produced at Westbury starring Kevin Hart along with Tony Rock and Wil Sylvince!

The Humor Mill recently announced the news that Kevin Hart was launching a new mobile app called “Little Jumpman”, which is a first in the comedy world, and is available at the Apple App Store, and through i-Tunes. Kevin is very tech savvy. He’s got millions of followers on You Tube, Facebook and Twitter, and spends lots of time on Twitter posting things personally, or at least he did when I was with him last year.

They also have backstage coverage of the red carpet event for the premiere of Kevin’s new film “Laugh At My Pain” which makes him one of only 5 comics to release a stage performance as a film. That group is made up of Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Richard Pryor, and The Kings of Comedy. Kevin is in rarefied territory with that accomplishment.

Richie Tienken, Wil Sylvince, Jeffrey Gurian, and Kevin Hart at the show Jeffrey co-produced last year at the Westbury Theatre on Long Island!

He’s a really funny and really nice guy who deserves all of his success. I had the honor of co-producing a comedy concert with my partner at the time, Jean Alerte, starring Kevin last year at Westbury Theatre, in New York, right after he had sold out his performances at the South Beach Comedy Festival. He also sold out Westbury, with 2800 seats, in a show featuring Tony Rock and Wil Sylvince where part of the monies went to benefit Haiti. Check out the TV commercial for the event:

Jeffrey Gurian with Kevin Hart after Kevin's sold-out performance at the South Beach Comedy Festival!

Every place I went with Kevin, to the radio stations, and even in the street, people swarmed him with affection. The public genuinely loves the guy. He’s funny and self-deprecating, and he definitely keeps it real!

(L-R) Jeffrey Gurian, Tony Rock, Kevin Hart, Egypt, and DJ FaDelf up at WBLS radio, promo'ing Kevin's show at Westbury!

Comedy Central Insider did a promo for the Kevin Hart show at Westbury co-produced by Jeffrey Gurian in a benefit for Haiti!

This was a promo that Kevin shot specifically giving a shout out to me and my partner, thanks to WhatsPoppin.net. Check it out here:

Check out “Laugh At My Pain” at a theatre near you, and check out Humor Mill Magazine for everything going on in the “urban” comedy world! It makes me wonder, … what is the Caucasian comedy world known as, … “Suburban”??? LOLOLOL

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Preview Video of Red Carpet of Comedy Central First Annual Comedy Awards Airing Tonight


I got to cover the red carpet for one of Comedy Central’s most exciting nights, the first annual Comedy Awards at The Hammerstein Ballroom on West 34th Street in Manhattan.

The beautiful Comedy Central Awards stage at Hammerstein Ballroom.

This is the first ever multi-network, multi-platform event dedicated to honoring and celebrating the world of comedy, and it’s not a moment too soon!  People are being funny at an ever increasing rate.  Soon the entire planet will be absolutely hysterical, …  except for certain unnamed countries where laughing is still considered a crime!

The event airs Sunday, April 10th at 9 P.M.  simultaneouly across MTV Networks, Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, VH1, and Nick at Nite.  In other words you have to try hard to miss this show.  If you miss this show, it is obvious that you are determined not to have a good time in your life.

The show will honor not only stand-ups but also writers, directors, sit-coms and just about everything and anyone who ever made you smile!  The talent was amazing.  Bruce Willis presented an award, and for some reason grabbed himself during the presentation!

Bruce Willis looking all over for his wallet, while presenting an award!

As I got set up on the red carpet, with my assistant Sean Mannion manning my new Sony VG Hi-Def camera and my Sennheiser mic with the Comedy Matters flag, and the wireless set-up, (LOL) I noticed that Christian Finnegan was hosting the red carpet.  When I went over to congratulate him, he played it off very humbly, but I convinced him it was a great honor.

Jeffrey Gurian holding his brand new Sennheiser mic with Comedy Matters flag, while talking to Dylan Gadino, CEO of Punchline Magazine on the red carpet.

Aileen Budow ran the red carpet very efficiently as she always does with the help of Eve Kenny.

I got to interview Jon Stewart who I had not seen in a long time, and who acknowledged that fact on camera, Will Ferrell, Olivia Munn, The Gregory Brothers, Mark DuPlass who wrote, produced and directed Cyrus, and who was there with his beautiful actress wife Katie Aselton, Craig Robinson, and Louis CK who I got to congratulate for being honored this coming summer in Montreal as Comedy Person of the Year.  Many of them did a little promo for Comedy Matters. Check it out here!

 

Jeffrey Gurian and Craig Robinson hanging out after the award show.

 

Louis CK either giving me the finger, or telling the cops it was me who did it, on the red carpet of the Comedy Central Comedy Awards.

This night, he was up for “Breakthrough Performer” against Aziz Ansari, Ty Burrell, Whitney Cummings, Danny McBride, Emma Stone, Daniel Tosh, and Kristen Wiig, and if you promise not to tell anyone, I’ll confide in you that he won!  Do you promise?  If not, I won’t tell you!

I also got to see one of my favorites Kristen Schaal who recently hosted the Writers Guild Awards, and who for whatever reason, didn’t answer an e-mail I sent her telling her I was coming to see her.
She said that Nick Kroll had mentioned to her that I said “Kristen didn’t answer me”, and she was so sweet, and apologized, and I told her next time I’m sending her two e-mails at a time to make sure she sees it! 

Kristen Wiig’s handler got so upset that I didn’t recognize Kristen that she didn’t bring her over to talk to me.  For some reason Kristen looked different to me that day, but I was surprised her PR person would react that way. Maybe she was a little stressed?

The Roots came over to chat, mainly because they told me they dug my hair! Those are guys who are not afraid to express themselves through their hairstyles, especially Questlove!

Jeffrey Gurian with Questlove and The Roots complimenting each other on their respective hairstyles!

I explained to them my theory that most men wear their hair like they’re embarrassed for having any.  Almost like an apology.  Sorry I have hair.  I’ll try and wear it in a way you don’t notice.  Let’s see, is this short enough, and non-descript enough for you???

Jimmy Fallon was out of town, but they were “representing” as the house band for the show.

I had been waiting patiently on the red carpet hoping to see Tracy Morgan who was there to present Eddie Murphy with the Comedy Icon Award.

Tracy Morgan presenting Eddie Murphy with the Comedy Icon award, which Eddie said was an "old man" award!

Tracy told me he would try to make an appearance at my Diabetes Comedy Fundraiser, “Laugh at Diabetes” on April 14th at The Comic Strip but when I called him to confirm, his number had changed, and I couldn’t get the new one.

I stood on the red carpet freezing my butt off cause I took off my coat so everyone could see my nice tux ( it was Black Tie!), and just as I walked away to get my coat to warm up for a minute Tracy breezed right on by.  Sean tried to alert me, but it was too late, and I never got to find Tracy in the madness that ensued afterwards.  Very frustrating!

Jeffrey Gurian with Tracy Morgan at Anthony Anderson's Mixtape Show at Gotham!

So if any of you know how to reach Tracy, please ask him to contact me about this coming Thursday, April 14th at 8 P.M. at The Comic Strip at 1568 Second Avenue between 81st and 82nd Street.  Tracy himself is battling Diabetes which is why I was hoping he’d make an appearance.

Also there was Bill Murray, who presented an award to David Letterman who was actually there to accept it, TIna Fey, Ricky Gervais, Jon Cryer, who was crying about what happened with Charlie Sheen, Stephen Colbert who threw everyone else from The Daily Show off the stage so he could “faux rant” about Jon Stewart, Alec Baldwin, who received an award from Kick-Ass’s Chloe Moretz… I mean nobody but Comedy Central gets all these people to show up!

Bill Murray making a point at the Comedy Awards!

Jon Cryer lamenting the fate of Two and a Half Men while presenting!

Chloe Moretz of Kick Ass presenting an award to Alec Baldwin!

One of the coolest things happened when I ran into my old buddy James Dixon of Dixon Talent.  I know James from his days as an agent at William Morris when he used to pal around with another agent named Mike August.  James has become a powerhouse in entertainment and opened Dixon Talent where he manages some of the biggest names in comedy like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert to name just two.

After the show, James and I were catching up when Jon Stewart came by, and James said to Jon, ” You know Jeffrey Gurian right?”  And Jon said, ” Sure I do.”  And then James himself was kind enough to snap a photo of Jon and I, since my assistant Sean had to leave early to celebrate his wife Jessica’s birthday!  Besides being an amazing manager, James takes a good photo, don’t you think???

Jeffrey Gurian with Jon Stewart after the Comedy Awards. Photo taken by Jon's manager James Dixon.

I’ll be writing more about this exciting event in the days that follow but this will give you a little preview of what to expect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Judah Friedlander Comes To The Comic Strip For Interview

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.

Jeffrey Gurian Interviews Judah Friedlander at The Comic Strip

I hope you’ll like it enough to send it around to your friends!!!

 

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Speaking of Gilbert

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.

Let’s send Healing energy to all parties!

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