Posts Tagged Gotham Comedy Club

TWT Multi-City Comedy Benefit For Haiti

Jodi Lieberman, Amber J. Lawson, and Zoe Friedman are three powerhouses in the world of comedy, and I’m proud to say I know them all! They teamed up to create Transforming The World Through Comedy, a philanthropic organization simply known as TWT, because they said they wanted to use the power of comedy to help those less fortunate than them.

So tonight they held the world’s first multi-city,(NY, Chicago, and L.A.) multi-platform comedy fundraiser, which I attended. It was held at Gotham Comedy Club, thanks to owner Chris Mazzilli who always makes himself available for a good cause. He was there tonight as well, after having put in a full day of work before. ( In a suit and tie as usual! LOL )
The photo below was on a former night when he accidentally removed his tie! (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Gotham Comedy Club owner Chris Mazzilli, sans tie!!!

TWT teamed up with an organization known as Off The Mat Into The World, or OTM, to bring this event to fruition, and the monies raised will go to Haiti. By the time I left there were 40,000 people online watching, … and laughing, I’m sure! Haiti still needs lots of help. Last year I was privileged to co-produce a 3,000 seat sold out fundraiser for Haiti starring Kevin Hart, and featuring Tony Rock with Will Sylvince as the MC. It was at the Westbury Theatre on Long Island.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kevin Hart at a promo event before the fundraiser for Haiti at the Westbury Theatre!

The TWT show was streamed live on www.TWTComedy.com and Stickam, which carried the Japan Aid show as well. The New York show started at 8 P.M., the Chicago show held in Zanies comedy club started at 8:30 P.M. Chicago time, and the LA show at the Hollywood Improv started at 8 P.M. LA time, which of course is 11 P.M. here in NY.

The footage will be live on TWTComedy.com for the next 7 days until 11/21/11, to be able to continue bringing in the donations.

Eddie Brill from The Letterman Show MC’ed the NY event, which is always a good choice because Eddie is an excellent MC. It’s much harder to be an MC than a regular comic cause you have to keep the energy running all night, and bring the acts up in a timely manner, while keeping the audience connected to what’s going on. Eddie’s like the Energizer Bunny, especially since he lost so much weight! It’s also a good analogy for him, because he does a bit on the Easter Bunny, and how you don’t find anything about chocolate or bunnies in the Bible.

Eddie Brill onstage, MC’ing the TWT event for Haiti!

First up in New York was Bonnie McFarlane, who I’ve been seeing a lot lately and enjoying more and more each time I see her. She has a certain quality on stage that really draws you to her, and not just because she’s so attractive! Her punchlines are not predictable and come out of left field, which I always appreciate. She’s married to comic Rich Vos, and in saying that I’m not giving away any secrets, because they’re kind of open about it.

Bonnie McFarlane making people laugh at Gotham Comedy Club at the TWT event for Haiti!

They travel together a lot. In just the last week alone, I’ve seen them both perform at the tribute to Mike DeStefano, who was a comic who left us much too soon this past year, and they were both judges on The Lottery Show at The Comic Strip this past Tuesday night. Very often they have their beautiful little daughter Reina with them, who Bonnie explains away by saying, ” I have a daughter. That’s what happens when you do it in the front!” (LOL) She guesses her daughter is about 4! (LOL)

People tell Bonnie her daughter looks like her, but Bonnie disagrees. She thinks she’s so much better looking than her daughter! I think Bonnie’s very cool!

Rich performed as well and was a crowd pleaser as usual. He knows how to take control of a crowd, and make them pay attention. He too is a great host!

Rich Vos, a favorite of Opie and Anthony, doing what he does best onstage at Gotham for TWT!

Tom Papa has TWO little girls, and the audience absolutely loves him. No matter what he says he gets big laughs. It’s not only his jokes, but the energy he puts behind them. Audiences respond to that. I see why Jerry Seinfeld chose him to host his show “The Marriage Ref.” Tom wonders where all the money went from the US, Europe and even China. No one seems to have any money except for Jay-Z. He must have it all!

He talks about no kid wanting to have a “hot” Mom. You want a cinnamon-scented fat-ass in a flowered dress! That leaves out Bonnie McFarlane! (LOL)

Tom Papa in the midst of an animated gesture, killing it onstage at Gotham for TWT!

In talking about tall thin fashion models, Tom wonders what you’d do with one if you had one in your house! He said it would be like having a live giraffe in your living room. They’d probably knock things over, and move around awkwardly. His advice, … ” Feed ’em cocaine. They seem to like that!”

Rachel Feinstein was next, and she’s turning herself into a real comedy “babe”! I like seeing her transform, and have been watching it happen with great interest and appreciation for a while now! For a long time, I think girls thought they had to come across as real plain in order to make people laugh. She does great “voice” work, and is one of the few women working who can imitate a guy’s voice dead-on!

Rachel Feinstein performing at Gotham to raise money for Haiti at the TWT event!

Like when she imitates the guys who hang out on the stoops in her hood in Brooklyn, and harass her as if it was “her naughty little idea to be a woman!” And when talking about dating older men, she also referenced doing The Charleston a couple of times, which is always good to me. Obscure references always work in comedy! It reminded me of a joke I once wrote, “You know a guy is old if he asks you to do The Hucklebuck!” Any word like “The Hucklebuck” is bound to get a laugh!

Gary Gulman was next and I was glad to see Gary cause it had been a while since our paths had crossed. Gary is one of those good looking guys who seems to hate the fact that he’s good looking and does everything he can to play it down. I’ve known a few guys like that. There aren’t many. It’s a sign of humility! In talking about Greece’s troubles, Gary wondered what happened to them. In a relatively short time they went from Plato and Aristotle to John Stamos and Yanni!

(L-R) Colin Quinn and Gary Gulman genuinely enjoying each other’s company at the TWT event for Haiti at Gotham Comedy Club!

And my old buddy Colin Quinn closed the show! I never get tired of seeing Colin perform. He too performed at the Mike DeStefano Tribute. There are some comics who are always willing to give of themselves for a good cause. They could all be out making money, but instead they donate their time to make others laugh to help collect money for worthy causes.

I don’t know how Colin did in school, but he’s a master of language and nuance. Talk about obscure references. Maybe only Dennis Miller has more, but Colin is funnier! (LOL) He analyzes every word and phrase ever uttered by anyone since time immemorial, and shows you the foolishness of every remark. Like when he describes how New Yorkers talk, and accuse you of things at the same time : ” Where’d you get that ice cream?” Or how they can come off as being very confrontational over nothing : ” Nice day today, … right or wrong?” You could be afraid to answer a question like that!

Colin Quinn with the smile that endears him to the audience, raising money through laughs at Gotham, for TWT!

Or like when he recounts having a conversation with an old guy in his neighborhood and mentioning a guy who was strong. The old guy says something like, ” that guy is so strong he could take you by the neck, drag you into the middle of the street, pull down your pants, and “have his way with you!” ( Except he didn’t use those exact words! LOL) Colin then asks the old man, ” Isn’t there another way for you to prove your point without me being sodomized against my will?” And the audience shrieks with laughter because we’ve all known people who embellish stories like that, and you’d secretly like to sign them up to take some sort of psychological test to find out why!

Needless to say, the show was a huge hit! Congratulations Zoe, Amber and Jodi! You guys did good!!!

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7th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards At Gotham Comedy Club

7th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards At Gotham Comedy Club

Andy Kaufman was one of the most unusual, most talented, most creative comics ever to hit the stage. He left us too young, but his memory certainly lives on. Manager/producer Wayne Rada, produced the 7th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards at Gotham Comedy Club and I spent two nights there watching the semi-finals and then the finals.

Andy Kaufman performing on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show wearing a turban, while singing a Slim Whitman song, “My Rosemarie”!

Contestants are not supposed to try and copy Andy, as if anybody could, but they are supposed to try and capture the essence of his spirit and creativity. He had no fear in doing what he thought was funny, whether it was wrestling women, or real wrestlers, or coming out on the Carson show in a turban and diaper singing a Slim Whitman song.

Andy Kaufman had the courage to come out on stage dressed in a diaper and turban to perform on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson!

On the first night the judges were Rory Albanese, a very funny comic in his own right, but more importantly the producer of The Daily Show! To me, that’s more impressive than even being Jon Stewart! You get to produce one of the most popular shows on the air!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with comic/producer Rory Albanese, the producer of The Daily Show! How’s THAT for a credit?

I was so glad to see Rory. I had been waiting over a year to tell him how funny he was in the South Beach Comedy Festival last year. I had never seen him perform before and he was absolutely hilarious! I wasn’t able to find him after the show, but the good thing is that it’s never too late to give someone a compliment. He didn’t complain and say, ” Why did you wait more than a year to tell me?” He was a perfect gentleman and just said ” Thank you!”

Then there was Comedy Central executive Anne Harris, who always extends herself to come out and be helpful at these type of events, joined by previous Andy Kaufman winner and Comedy Central darling Kristen Schaal, and lastly Andy’s younger brother, ( by 2 years), Michael Kaufman.

(L-R) Judges Rory Albanese, Anne Harris, Kristen Schaal, and Michael Kaufman at the Andy Kaufman Award show at Gotham Comedy Club!

I remember going the year that Reggie Watts won and I actually met Andy’s Dad who was there with George Shapiro of Shapiro/West. ( Seinfeld’s manager! You knew it sounded familiar right??? LOL I have to find that video somewhere!) Reggie was actually the guest performer on the next night for the finals.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Reggie Watts at Gotham for the Andy Kaufman Awards!

The first night there must have been at least 15 semi-finalists. Some of them tried to reach Andy’s level of creativity by dressing very strange in outlandish costumes and several chose a stage personna. I snapped photos of a few I thought were funny and entertaining.

First there were the “Nice Brothers”, who both wore shades, and punctuated their repartee with the word “Nice” every so often. I liked them.

Nice!

Then there was Mike Amato who came out and sang a song like he was one of the Ratpack, or maybe Perry Como, if you even know who that was, then ripped of his clothes and became a stone cold rapper, with two hot dancing girls. I thought he was good.

Mike Amato and his dancing girls! I wish I knew their names but I don’t!

Then there was Dave Thunder who came out as a character named Jimmy DeLuca, a Lower East Side kind of kid who told a very scary story while eating a piece of cheese. And every so often he broke into that “scary” voice that camp counselors would use when telling a scary story to campers on an overnight in the woods. I thought he was funny too! I actually laughed out loud!

Dave Thunder as Jimmy DeLuca telling a very scary story about a guy named Frank Tanzarian!

It just goes to show you how subjective comedy is cause none of those people won. The next night for the finals, Harrison Greenbaum was the host. He’s always hilarious!

Harrison Greenbaum on stage at Gotham Comedy Club hosting the finals of the 7th Annual Andy Kaufman Awards!

The winner was a guy named Nick Vatterott, who must have gotten permission to have the longest set of anyone else on the show. Every other performer got about 5 minutes. Nick left the stage and kept coming back because his act consisted of screaming obscenities at the audience and threatening to never come back again, except he had to keep returning cause he forgot his keys, or a couple of milk containers, and each time he came back he’d “interrupt” the show, and scream again. He screamed right into the faces of people in the audience. And I mean SCREAMED! With all of his might!

I for one would not have been happy if that happened to me at a show, but the audience members he screamed at were either too embarrassed or too startled to respond, so they just laughed. And he won!

Wayne Rada is such an accommodating guy. He knew I had to leave early to host the late shows at The Comic Strip so he arranged for me to get photos with the judges and guest stars during the show. As a matter of fact, when Kristen Schaal got off the stage from doing her guest spot, she was kind enough to run out into the hallway so we could get our shots before the next act went on!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Kristen Schaal at the finals of the Andy Kaufman Awards! She is such a doll!

Wayne also books CB’s Comedy Club, a great little club downtown on MacDougal Street, with an amazing Italian restaurant attached to it, also owned by the fabulous CB. Check it out and tell Wayne and CB that I sent you!

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Pray For Patrice Oneal

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 LoveForPatrice@gmail.com.

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Carlos Mencia Kills It At Gotham Comedy Club

Carlos Mencia is the 17th of 18 children, believe it or not, and was born in Honduras. As an infant he was sent to the US to be raised by an aunt and uncle in the Maravilla Projects in Los Angeles,” (the city of Angels” in Espanol), but went back to Honduras as a young teenager to get away from the gang culture in his neighborhood. When he came back to the US, the school system took notice of how smart he was and automatically put him into the 10th grade, …proving that ” The Mind of Mencia” was not just the name of his hit TV show on Comedy Central from 2005 to 2008!

Carlos Mencia onstage at Gotham Comedy Club making a very pertinent point!

( I had a choice with that tag! As a comedy writer, I could have said, “the school system took notice of how smart he was and automatically put him into the 10th grade. Unfortunately he was 19 at the time!” and gotten a cheap laugh, but I like Carlos, so I didn’t do that! LOL )

Carlos started performing stand-up at The Laugh Factory and went on to become a regular at The Comedy Store, which is where I first met him. He performed there every night and drew quite a following. There was always a buzz about Mencia.

The “fluffy” Carlos Mencia I knew when I first met him out in LA! “Fluffy” being Gabriel Iglesias’ term for slightly overweight! LOL

So when I found out he was headlining Gotham Comedy Club I made sure to attend. But he lost so much weight I almost didn’t recognize him.

The newly thin, healthier, and funnier than ever Carlos Mencia onstage at Gotham!

To address that, he comes out and right away tells the audience that he doesn’t have AIDS. One day a friend of his made a comment that he was fat! (I understand it was Gabriel Iglesias who said it, which is hysterical, on many levels!)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV and Gabriel Iglesias at a Latino Comedy Festival in LA! Gabriel is shocked by the size of Jeffrey’s big pen!

The next time they got together, Gabriel Iglesias got the bigger pen and Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV got stuck with the smaller pen!

Carlos couldn’t believe it cause he never thought of himself as being overweight! Then he saw photos of himself, realized he was fat, and decided to do something about it! That’s what is known as “taking back the power!”

The man is half his size! But if he’s half his size, he’s twice as funny, with a wealth of material that most comics could only wish for.

He talks a lot about how great it is to be an American, and makes sharp racial observations like discussing why it’s a common thought that most Black people can’t swim. “Cause we used to chase them away from the pool. So ironically they became fast runners, but they never learned how to swim!”

A very thin and very funny Carlos Mencia killing it on stage at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!

He also does great dialects including African, French, Spanish of course and Japanese.

But the one concept that stood out to me the most was his take on Columbus discovering America, when the Native Americans were already living here. I’m paraphrasing here, but he said something like, “You can’t discover a country if people are already living there!” He envisioned a guy from Mexico jumping the border and when he was stopped by border guards and told he was entering a sovereign country, would plant a flag and say, ” I am discovering this country for my people!” That’s comedic genius!

And that’s why the show was sold out!

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Steven Wright, Tom Papa, Judah Friedlander Star In Laugh For Sight at Gotham Comedy Club

Chris Mazzilli is a special kind of guy and a very charitable man. I don’t think it’s any accident that there are so many charitable events at Gotham Comedy Club. Laugh for Sight is a national charity which raises awareness and funding for Retinal Degenerative Eye Disease Research benefitting the Scheie Institute at the University of Pennyslyvania.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Gotham owner Chris Mazzilli at Laugh for Sight!

It was a very eclectic mix of performers at this packed event, with the always funny Dan Naturman as MC. Dan has a unique style and delivery all his own, which is the key to successful comedy. No one else should be able to take your jokes, if they are crafted towards your own comedy personna.

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters Tv with MC Dan Naturman, at Gotham Comedy Club!

Dan says people on the internet lie about their age. He received a photo from one woman that had the Berlin wall in the background, … and it was under construction!

I also love his take-off on the TV commercial encouraging patients to ask their doctors about Previcid. In response to Dan’s Dr. telling him he has a condition that nothing can be done for, Dan asks, ” What about Previcid?” and then ponders, ” Shouldn’t HE know about Previcid? How is that MY job? “

First up was sight-impaired comic Brian Fischler and Nash, his canine companion, and Brian was very funny. Next was Jessica Kirson, a real crowd-pleaser, who is so animated, and takes impromptu breaks onstage in the middle of her act, to talk to herself, offering herself little bits of advice and encouragement like, ” You just have to realize that wheat bread is still bread!”

Jessica Kirson with Tom Papa who looks like he’s going into a swoon, waiting to perform at Gotham Comedy Club, at the benefit for “Laugh For Sight”!

Jess was followed by Tom Papa, TV and film star, and currently the host of Jerry Seinfeld’s NBC hit, The Marriage Ref. Tom says that men don’t care that much about getting married. That’s why there’s no Groom Magazine! Men don’t even wear their own clothes to get married in. They rent them.

And he opines on Wall Street guys who kill themselves after losing all their money. “They’d rather die than live like us!”

He talked about hating cliches, the way I do when during the summer, people who think they have a sense of humor ask ” Is it hot enough for you?” Those same creative geniuses can’t wait till Winter to switch to, ” Is it cold enough for you?” Those two “Bon-mots” can keep a guy with absolutely no personality going conversation-wise throughout the year!

Tom Papa killing it onstage at Gotham Comedy Club in a benefit for “Laugh For Sight!”

Tom’s example of an obnoxious cliche was, in answer to the simple question ” How are you?” ” Still about a million dollars away from being a millionnaire!”

Then Eddie Brill took the stage. Eddie is the consummate showman, and will be making his 10th appearance on Letterman very soon. Eddie also books the talent on Letterman which must have been very difficult for him trying to convince himself to put himself on! I heard he auditioned for himself several times before he agreed to let himself appear! (LOL)

A very thin Eddie Brill performing onstage at Gotham in a benefit for “Laugh For Sight!”

Actually Eddie can’t book himself. He’s too humble a guy to do that. I hear that Letterman himself is the one that requests that Eddie appears.

Judah Friedlander, star of NBC’s 30 Rock, is one of the funniest guys to come along in a long time. His “World Champion” hook is one that most comics only dream of. It’s a never-ending source of material for him. What’s cool about Judah though is that as famous and popular as he has become, he’s still totally approachable to his fans. He honors every request for photos and chats with fans after every show.

Judah Friedlander onstage at Gotham Comedy Club in a benefit for “Fight For Sight!” Judah’s look is his brand!

As World Champion of everything, Judah claims he’s been on Twitter since 1985, is an extra-dark Black belt in Karate, and weighlifts weighlifters while they’re lifting weights to keep in shape. He doesn’t even wait till they put the weights down, which he could conceivably do without anyone doubting his masculinity. But instead, he actually lifts them while they’re holding the weights which makes it much more difficult! Then again, he IS the World Champion!

Judah was standing behind where I was sitting when Steven Wright took the stage, and it was great to hear him laughing out loud at Steven’s rare and obscure observations like, ” It’s a good thing that other people speak foreign languages, otherwise those people would have no one to talk to.”

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Judah Friedlander after his set at Gotham Comedy Club at a benefit for “Laugh For Sight”!

“In her spare time, she liked to waste time!” ” He majored in Calcium Anthropology – the study of milk men!” ” I have two pair of reading glasses, one for fiction and one for non-fiction!” ” The Earth is bi-polar!” ” Do you know what time it is?” “No, I’m not from around here!” ” A friend of mine has a trophy wife, but apparently it wasn’t First Place!”

I think that Steven was probably an inspiration for comics like Mitch Hedberg, and maybe even Judah. I know he was an inspiration to me, and that Chris Mazzilli, who often leaves at the end of his long day, actually stuck around to see him!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with one of his most important comedy influences Steven Wright, at Gotham Comedy Club!

Judah Friedlander at Gotham Comedy Club with Steven Wright, after Judah and everyone else enjoyed Steven’s masterful performance!

Robert Klein brilliantly closed the show and followed Steven because he was probably the only one who could!

Robert Klein closed the “Laugh for Sight” benefit at Gotham Comedy Club!

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Lisa Lampanelli Postpones Her First Anniversary Celebration With Husband’s Blessing

You know that saying, ” Behind every successful woman is a great man?” Don’t blame yourself if you never heard of it, I just made it up, but in Lisa Lampanelli’s case it’s true.

Lisa Lampanelli is a dear friend of mine, and one of the few to be in my “Dancing With Comedians” series of photos. A couple of the others were Phil Hartman and Gilbert Gottfried. Mostly men for some reason! (LOL)

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV dancing with Lisa Lampanelli as part of his rare “Dancing With Comedians” series!

Lisa’s husband, Jimmy Cannizzaro, or Jimmy Big Balls as Lisa affectionately calls him, has a security company, Canno Security, and is Lisa’s road manager. You HAVE to feel secure around Jimmy. He’s a huge, imposing individual, who is the quintessential “gentle giant”! The only people who wouldn’t feel secure around Jimmy are the kind of people who would try to ruin your evening. Those people would feel very INSECURE around Jimmy. To say he could be intimidating would be a gross understatement. He looks like he could take a bite out of a desk! I once saw him throw a guy out of a club with his eye! Just picked him up with his eye and tossed him out! (LOL)

Lisa Lampanelli and her husband Jimmy “Big Balls” Cannizzaro at the after-party for the Donald Trump Roast!

I see Jimmy a lot at Gotham Comedy Club, where he makes sure that everyone stays in line. He told me that even though their actual one year anniversary is this coming weekend, Oct. 2nd, he and Lisa were going to celebrate tonight. He even had tickets for a Broadway show, but she suddenly got a call from Whitney Cummings yesterday, to fly out to LA to do a guest spot on her new NBC sit-com the very next day, and he told her to go ahead, because they could always celebrate when she got back, but guest spots on hot shows don’t come along that often! That’s the kind of partner a show business person needs. Someone understanding.

No one should ever have to make the choice between taking an important gig or insulting your significant other! It’s not fair. In show biz you have to be where they need you to be when they need you, or else you miss out! Too many showbiz people wind up with partners who don’t understand that.

I’m a big fan of Whitney Cummings. I hadn’t really been aware of her until I started seeing her on the Roasts, and I was very impressed. First by her appearance, because there are very few such attractive women performing comedy. I was not surprised to find out she had been a model! They make fun of her relentlessly at the Roasts and she takes it in good stride because she’s obviously comfortable with her appearance! She also has a gorgeous smile, and I say that both personally and professionally, as I used to be a Cosmetic Dentist! I know great teeth when I see them!

Plus I’m a good judge of beauty, as Lisa Lampanelli referred to in the video interview I did with her recently when she made her singing debut at The Friars Club in NYC. She was preparing for her upcoming Broadway show tentatively titled “Bring Back The Fat Chick”, in which she’ll talk about her lief and her life-long battle with food and her weight!

She said that over the years she always sees me with hot, gorgeous women, and like many other people to whom I have not felt the need to explain, she wanted to know how I was able to get so many extraordinary women.

With Lisa it was different. I explained to her that I feel sorry for beautiful women because most men are intimidated by them and are afraid to ask them out. For that reason, many beautiful women are lonely. That makes me sad! That’s why when I see a beautiful woman, I go out of my way to be friendly and pay attention to them! And the more beautiful they are, the nicer I am to them! I feel it’s the least I can do! (LOL) Someone has to date them, … it may as well be ME!!! She agreed!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Lisa Lampanelli at The Friars Club in NYC!

Whitney Cummings is that rare breed of beauty who can also be very funny, and let it all hang out, like Chelsea Handler, and not worry about losing their femininity! The first time I ever met Chelsea Handler was at Carolines and she was doing BJ jokes with her father in the audience. That took balls! And I knew right then and there that she was destined for stardom. Not just because of her choice of material, but because of her stage presence, and the confidence it took to do that kind of material and not be shook by the fact that her father was there!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with the beautiful and funny Chelsea Handler at Carolines Comedy Club back in 2005!

Needless to say, I was right, and Chelsea is at the top with her own show, Chelsea Lately, for quite a while now!

Jimmy told me that Lisa liked the interview I did with her so much that she showed it to Whitney, and Whitney loved it! Maybe now I’ll get to do a similar one with Whitney! How cool would that be? ( Rhetorical question, not requiring an answer! LOL )

Whitney has her own show “Whitney” on NBC, Thursdays at 9:30, and is Exec. Producer of “2 Broke Girls” on CBS. She’s definitely working it, and I’m looking forward to seeing her in the nurse’s uniform she’s wearing in the pilot! When I ran into her in Montreal, she was dressed exactly like her co-star Chris D’Elia described her. He said for the last 5 years that he knows her, every single day all she wears is a hoodie. Check out the photo below!

Whitney Cummings flashing her beautiful smile in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal!

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Lisa Lampanelli Videos of Her Singing Debut At The Friars Club

I’ve been a Friar for many years. So when my good friend Lisa Lampanelli informed me that she would be making her singing debut at the club I was, … needless to say, very excited. ( It may have been needless to say, but I said it anyway! )

Jeffrey Gurian of #ComedyMattersTV with Lisa Lampanelli at The Friars Club in NY!C

So I was able to get exclusive inside footage with Lisa where we discussed everything from her upcoming Broadway show, tentatively titled “Bring Back The Fat Chick”, to people feeling left out, how she got started as an insult comic, hecklers, cruelty, why I’m not the same as most other Black comics, and all kinds of interesting things.

Lisa Lampanelli on stage at The Friars Club looking rightfully proud of her great performance!

Get to see Lisa how she really is. The video is in two parts cause it’s really too good for just one!

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Please watch and leave a comment, and send it around to your peeps! And make sure to check out the previous post with all the Lisa Lampanelli photos at this link right here!

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Lisa Lampanelli Makes Her Singing Debut At The Friars Club In NYC

In a departure from the kind of performance she’s known for and that brought her great fame, Lisa Lampanelli is changing her tune, … literally! In preparation for a one woman show on Broadway, that she is writing with famed comedy writer Alan Zweibel, ( the very same Alan Zweibel that gave me my start in the biz! ) Lisa has been practicing her singing.

Jeffrey Gurian with Lisa Lampanelli at The Friars Club just before her singing debut!

Jeffrey Gurian with Alan Zweibel at the Friars Roast of Jerry Lewis back in 2006!

The show should be ready in the Fall of 2012, and has the working title of “Bring Back The Fat Chick”, which is a reference to a great story as to how she got started doing insult comedy. She did a set at a show and the set went great. The next comic didn’t do so well and some guy in the audience yelled out, “Bring back the fat chick”, probably thinking in his mindless stupidity that he was offering up a compliment!

All Lisa heard was “fat chick” and it got her so annoyed she went home and wrote ” 15 pages of jokes insults and retorts to hecklers!” After that she became an insult comic. She says she’s grateful to that guy to this day, but hopes he’s dead anyway! (LOL) Lisa Lampanelli can say ANYTHING and get away with it. Very few people have that gift! It’s cause she has a beautiful heart and comes from a good place and people can tell the difference!

At a Friars event in her honor that I attended, along with her parents, she referred to her Mom as the “C” word, and her Dad as “an old deaf bastard!” To their credit, both of her parents were hysterical laughing.

Lisa Lampanelli flanked by her parents at an event at The Friars Club in her honor!

So for her singing debut, she did two songs at the legendary Friars Club on what they call “Diva Night.” In an evening produced by Randie Levine-Miller, Lisa joined the ranks of Broadway songstresses, and belted out two funny numbers that go along perfectly with who she is.

Producer Randie Levine-Miller getting ready to introduce Lisa Lampanelli as part of Diva Night at The Friars Club!

They were parodies written by her friend and opening act Mike Morse, who probably has no idea that he’s supposed to be gay! (LOL) Boy will he be shocked! In her early days, Lisa only used gay comics as her opening acts, so unless she changed her ways entirely, he will have to become gay! He also appeared in a little funny sketch she did as a Jimmy Olsen-style old time reporter, who introduced himself as “Brown from the Sun.” I absolutely love silly jokes like that! And he shares a desk with a guy named Al Bumin!

Lisa Lampanelli rehearsing for Jeffrey Gurian in the grand lobby of the famed Friars Club of NYC!

The first song parody was about her addiction to food, because Lisa is very honest about everything, but especially about her struggle with food and her weight. It was written to the tune of ” I’m Just A Girl Who Can’t Say No” from Oklahoma.

Lisa Lampanelli singing her little heart out at The Friars Club in NYC!

The second one was a parody called ” I Don’t Wanna Insult No More”, to the tune “Show Off” from The Drowsey Chaperone! They were both perfect vehicles for her, and she did great! I didn’t know what to expect, but I had the confidence in Lisa to know that if she was going to do something she was going to give it her all, and do it well.

I was honored that she asked me to come and tape her performance, and do an in depth video interview, which you will all be seeing very shortly! Contrary to what some unenlightened people might think, Lisa is about inclusion. The theme of her show will be her lifelong struggles with weight control,and I have to say she looks fantastic. I’ve known her for years, and she’s lost a ton of weight and developed a glamorous appearance. Fame, money and self-esteem will do that for you!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV and his good pal Lisa Lampanelli AFTER her singing debut, and their video interview at The Friars Club!

Lisa’s husband Jimmy Cannizzaro is a great guy, who I see very often helping control the crowds at Gotham Comedy Club. Trust me, no one would mess with this guy. He’s basically a building with clothing! He looks like he could take a bite out of a desk! But he’s one of those guys they describe as “a gentle giant”! You can tell he has a heart of gold. He was telling me about their wedding which took place at The Friars Club last October of 2010.

Lisa Lampanelli and her husband Jimmy Cannizzaro, otherwise affectionately known as Jimmy Big Balls by his loving wife Lisa!

They deserve a lot of Happiness, and I’m proud to say they’re friends of mine, and supporters of Comedy Matters! Video coming soon!!!

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Nick Cannon Hosts New Faces Show at Gotham Comedy Club

Nick Cannon brought another great New Faces show to Gotham Comedy Club. Nick is the morning guy and host on 92.3 Now radio on “Rollin’ With Nick Cannon, Monday thru Friday from 6 A.M. till 10 A.M.,and the dude is funny in his own right. I’ve seen him do stand-up and he’s good. The coolest line for me was when he was talking about getting married and he said the day of his wedding all he could think about was, ” Wow, tonight I’m gonna have sex with Mariah Carey.” You HAVE to be cool to deliver a line like that!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Nick Cannon at Gotham Comedy Club after his New Faces show!

And he obviously did have sex with her, cause they recently had twins, Moroccan and Monroe! Nick claims he had to give them unusual names cause that’s what celebrities do!

Jeffrey Gurian with Mariah Carey at an Operation Smile charity event way before she had the twins! You can top that line any way you want!

Nick produces his comedy shows with his Program Director Rob Wagman, who he refers to as his boss. Rob is funny too, as I can attest to by having seen him perform on another of Nick’s shows.

Pete Davidson onstage at Gotham, for Nick Cannon's New Faces Show!

On this particular show he opened up with Pete Davidson who I think is only 17 years old and is the first comic signed to Nick’s entertainment company. Aside from being funny, what I recently learned about Pete was that his Dad was one of the heroic firefighters we lost during 9/11. I’m sure his Dad would be very proud of him seeing him on stage.

Also on the show was the very funny Andrew Schwartztol, who I’ve performed with several times, and who co-produces comedy shows with Madison Malloy.

Madison Malloy, Jeffrey Gurian, and Andrew Schwartztol at Gotham Comedy Club!

Then there was Mick Diflo, a more mature comic which gave ME hope for getting on Nick’s New Faces show.

Mick Diflo onstage at Gotham for Nick Cannon's New Faces show!

And then Nick had two of my favorites. First up was Ted Alexandro who kills wherever he performs. I’m fascinated by Ted’s delivery and recently asked him about it backstage at The Comic Strip after he came off and I was waiting to go on. Ted takes laid back to levels never seen before. Sometimes, he could almost lay down and take a nap between lines. And it works for him.

That is fascinating to me because I’m one of those comics who thinks you have to be saying something every moment you’re on stage. Joke, joke, joke. Laugh, laugh,laugh! Sometimes the magic is in the pauses! But I had a feeling that only comes through time. Ted confirmed that for me, and told me he evolved into that style only after many years of performing, which made me feel a lot better.

Ted Alexandro in an animated moment onstage at Gotham during Nick Cannon's show!

I saw him perform to a rowdy, boisterous crowd in a club not really set up for comedy and he spoke in such a soft voice, without trying to yell over the crowd, and they actually quieted down to hear him. He was like “The Lunatic Whisperer.” He could even quiet down lunatics, just by whispering his material, which is basically what he did. I had never seen anyone else do that before and it was magical.

And closing the show was the hysterical Jessica Kirson, who incorporated a new element into her act, talking to herself while on stage, having that conversation in her mind that we all have when deciding on a course of action. The only difference is that she verbalizes it. She may be doing that for a while but to me is was new, and I liked it.

Jessica Kirson closing the New Faces show for Nick Cannon at Gotham Comedy Club!

But then again I like everything she does. Jess is a sweetie and I’m happy to say we go way back!

I’m looking forward to Nick’s next show, which I think he’s doing monthly, and I’d like to do an interview with him like I recently did with Jimmy Fallon backstage at Gotham. Maybe if he reads this, I’ll have a better chance! (LOL) And when we took the photo together he told me he liked my pocket handkerchief, which was very cool, cause Nick definitely has style!

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JIMMY FALLON EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW – PART 2

Jimmy Fallon made a rare stand-up comedy appearance in NYC, at the Gotham Comedy Club on West 23rd Street. Jimmy sat down backstage with Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV in an even rarer video interview, with some great and funny stories from his past and his present. Check it out!

Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV does EXCLUSIVE Video interview with Jimmy Fallon!

This is Part 2!

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