NBC’s host of Late Night, Jimmy Fallon, who’s show is up for 3 Emmy Awards, 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!
Posts Tagged Gotham Comedy Club
The sold-out crowd at Gotham got themselves a real treat, … 2 headliners for the price of one! Bobby Slayton, known as “the pitbull of comedy”, (for good reason), packs them in on his own, but combined with Jimmy Fallon opening the show, it was a guaranteed sell-out!
I had just seen Bobby in Montreal the week before at the Just For Laughs Festival, where he also performed. It’s the biggest comedy festival in the world, and needless to say a very prestigious place to perform.
(So if it’s needless to say, then why did I say it??? LOL )
Even he was excited about performing with Jimmy, and he was the one who told me they’d be on the same bill. Turns out Jimmy was excited to perform with Bobby as well, plus crowd pleaser Buddy Fitzpatrick was the MC, so it was really a guaranteed success.
As soon as I got back to New York, I called Chris Mazzilli the owner of Gotham, and told him to please save me my usual table. Chris advised that I get there early because everyone knew it would be packed.
It’s been 2 1/2 years since Jimmy took over Late Night from Conan O’Brien, and the show is up for 3 Emmy’s. Jimmy is ecstatic, but one of the most humble guys you could ever meet. As well as one of the most talented. He not only does stand-up, and plays the guitar and harmonica, but his characters are amazing, as are his impressions. It’s no wonder that he got SNL when he did. He’s one of those rare “triple-threat plus” guys, ( more like quintuple plus! ) but he cautioned me that he doesn’t dance. I’m pretty sure he could if he tried!
He does singing impressions of Neil Young and Bob Dylan that are so good you really think it was them. And then he did an impression of every comic who ever performed at Gotham starting with Jerry Seinfeld, who he once had to follow as a young comedian.
I went to both the Friday night and Saturday night shows. That wasn’t the original plan. I was originally supposed to interview him after his Friday night set, but he had to leave immediately after the show, so we decided to do it on Saturday night instead. I got the unexpected benefit of being able to see him twice! And Robin Williams showed up at the Saturday show, came down to visit Jimmy, and then saw Jimmy do an impression of him.
At the last minute my DP Sean Mannion wasn’t able to show up, so I was left to my own devices in terms of filming. Everyone I called was busy, so I wound up at the show myself with my camera equipment, wondering how it would all work out.
After Jimmy’s set he invited me down to the Green Room backstage, where he introduced me to his lovely wife Nancy, who just happens to be a TV producer. Problem solved! Nancy was kind enough to film our interview.
Jimmy was so gracious. I only expected to do about 5 minutes and he gave me 22. Foolishly I was using a tape that only had 23 minutes left on it, so The Universe was watching over me, because when we finished, the camera was blinking on 0:01 minutes.
He shared some great stories with me which you’ll see in the upcoming video, and they included how he auditioned for Lorne Michaels for SNL, and was told by everyone there from the make-up person to the director, not to worry because Lorne never laughs. But when Jimmy did his Adam Sandler impression, Lorne laughed and put his head in his hands. I told Jimmy, he was probably trying to hide the fact that he was laughing or it would spoil his reputation! Then Jimmy and I laughed! (LOL)
Stay tuned for the video coming shortly!
Everybody loves Paul Provenza, … especially comedians. That’s why Showtime picked up his show The Green Room for a second season. It debuted on Thursday, July 14th, at 11 P.M. while I was still out in LA, performing at Jamie Masada’s Laugh Factory with Kevin Nealon, and Budd Friedman’s Improv on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, plus interviewing both Billy Crystal and Russell Peters. I sure hope I didn’t miss any Green Room premiere party, ’cause I hate when that happens! ( I actually went to a party once and had a good time! LOL)
( I often wonder if I didn’t write the “LOL” if people would know I was kidding! I was born at a party and have been going to them ever since!)
Anyway, Paul made the iconic movie The Aristocrats. He directed the well over 100 comics who performed in that movie, which Penn Jillette produced, and I actually went with Paul when it debuted at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal where Paul and I will be going again next week. The Just for Laughs Festival is the biggest comedy festival in the world. I heard that Andy Nulman who ran it so well for many years, and then went on to direct the huge celeb galas, is back running it again this year! Hey Andy, … see you next week!
Paul is producing The Green Room with producer Barbara Romen and I remember being there with them when they first introduced it in Montreal, where almost everything big in comedy happens. Barbara honored me by saying she feels like I’m one of The Green Room family, since I’ve been there from the beginning. ( you will see this in the attached video, in case you think I’m exaggerating! LOL )
Paul recently wrote the book Satiristas, in which he also brought in a huge number of big comedy stars to be interviewed. There’s something special about Paul that allows him to get all these huge names to participate in his projects, because they’re not just sitting around waiting for people to ask them to be part of something, which they graciously do for Paul, very often for no compensation. They have to actually like you more than just a little to do that, and with Paul they like him a lot. That’s why when he says the same thing about ME, and gives me props for getting so many big stars to be in my column, it’s very meaningful to me. Someday I hope Paul and I can do a project together.
We first met many years ago on a radio show that Jackie Mason was hosting, when I believe Jackie was filling in for Bob Grant. We were both guests, and Paul and I got along famously. Then one night during a performance of a show he was starring in called “Only Kidding”, he accidentally chipped his front tooth on stage, and some comedian friends suggested he call me! When he asked what good it would do to call a comedy writer, to have his tooth fixed, they explained about my other career as a Cosmetic Dentist. I fixed him up right way and he was back on stage that night. We’ve been friends ever since!
So when I heard that Paul was debuting Season 2 at the prestigious Core Club, ( right across the street from the famous Friars Club) in Manhattan, I actually postponed my departure for LA for one day so I could attend. I brought Ecuadorian model/actress Sylvia Ogonaga with me, … mostly because I could! (LOL) With him that night besides co-producer Barbara Romen was Robin Bronk of The Creative Coalition which was the sponsor of the event, and comics Lisa Lampanelli, Rain Pryor, ( Richard’s daughter), Billy Connolly, and Jamie Kilstein.
Lisa Lampanelli came in looking so great. She’s a shadow of her former self, and I guess that’s what success and a happy marriage does for you. I see her husband Jimmy BB ( AKA Jimmy Big Balls), a lot at Gotham Comedy Club, where he makes sure nobody gets out of line. Nobody sane would mess with Jimmy. He’s basically a building with clothing! ( I heard he’s going co-op, but that might just be a rumour! )
Lisa is always a delight to interview as you’ll see in the video below. It’s a nice feeling when you know someone before they made it big and then watch them enjoy the fruits of their labor and still stay grounded like Lisa. She’s one of the most popular acts around, but still acts nice to people! It doesn’t always go down that way!
It was exciting for me to meet Rain Pryor, Richard’s daughter who came with her brother Richard Jr. who I hadn’t seen in a long time. I actually sponsored Richard Jr. into The Friars Club and took a photo of him standing under a portrait of his Dad, which hangs in one of the spectacular meeting rooms of The Friars Club. Rain was one of the participants in the panel that Paul was leading in a Q&A after the screening.
The first episode featured such notables as Judd Apatow, who basically owns Hollywood, and is a difficult “get”, Gary Shandling who will be receiving a lifetime achievement award in Montreal this year, Greg Proops, Kathy Griffin, Marc Maron, and Dana Gould, all led in conversation by Paul. It’s totally unscripted, and very loose, and you never know what will happen when you bring minds like that together. Paul makes them all comfortable enough for them to just let it roll, and it’s funny, and entertaining, and it works!
Other stars who’ve appeared are Janeane Garofalo, Lewis Black, Ray Romano, Rick Overton, Joe Rogan, Margaret Cho, John Corbett, Dave Attell, Franklyn Ajaye, Rick Shapiro, Doug Stanhope (and Bingo), Jim Jefferies, Kelly Carlin, Glenn Wool, Matt Kirshen, Kumail Nanjiani, Eddie Ifft, Randy Credico, Kathleen Madigan, and Tommy Chong.
Paul will be shooting at least two episodes of The Green Room in Montreal next week, and he’s threatening to let me be part of one! If I’m not careful I’m liable to be successful, so I better watch out!!!
And YOU better watch this cool, fun video of the premiere of Season 2 of The Green Room held at The Core Club in Manhattan, thanks to their Director of Business Development and Cultural Curator, Pablo DeRitis, who made sure that everyone was comfortable and had a good time !
P.S. Yesterday was Lisa Lampanelli’s birthday, so send her a birthday Tweet at @lisalampanelli, and tell her it’s from both of us! Okay, okay, … here’s the video already!
Cipha Sounds is a straight-up cool dude from The Bronx, born Luis Diaz, who doesn’t speak Spanish, but speaks a language that lots of people like to listen to, which they do every day on his hit morning radio show, Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg.
I first met Cipha when I was co-producing Kevin Hart at Westbury last year in a comedy fundraiser for Haiti, right after the devastation that shook that country. The show starred Kevin Hart, featuring Tony Rock and Haitian comic Wil Sylvince who was also the host of the sold-out show. Check out the You Tube promo/commercial with Kevin Hart below.
Jeffrey Gurian and Jean Alerte Produce Kevin Hart at Westbury
We went up to the Hot 97 studio with Kevin to do some radio promos, and Cipha was great, and very accomodating, as was his partner Peter Rosenberg, another Jewish guy like myself who loves hip-hop music. I suspect there’s more of us than you might expect!
I run into Cipha pretty often cause he hosts a lot of comedy shows. He’s very easy with his audience, and by that I mean he’s humble and makes them feel comfortable and relaxed. He’s a perfect host. I remember him telling me he didn’t really consider himself a stand-up comic, but I would argue that fact cause the guy is HILARIOUS!
I went to see him last night in his once-a-month. sold-out show at Carolines called “Don’t Get Gassed”. The room was so packed I had to smear Astro-Glide on my sides just to get through the crowd. And Cipha told me it’s usually even more crowded if that’s even possible. People had to take turns breathing, it was so packed. But there was plenty of room to laugh, and the line-up was killer!
I always like hanging out near the back wall at Carolines, right by the dressing rooms where the talent waits to go on stage. That way I get to offer my support to the comics before they go up, and take a few photos as well for my column and blog.
Cipha and I kicked it backstage for a little bit, and I meant to ask him what that title of his show was about, but it slipped my mind. We did discuss what happened recently with Gilbert Gottfried, and AFLAC, and unfortunately Cipha had a similar experience with an off-the-cuff on-air remark taken wrongly by a community of listeners.
As with Gilbert, Cipha is a man with no hate in his heart. Comics look for the funny and every once in a while they make a mistake, just like everyone else. The difference is that most people do it privately, and not publically on the airwaves. He apologized immediately,and all was forgiven.
Cipha’s show opened with Pat Brown a really funny comic recently back in New York. I met her at Gotham one night when she first came back, and I had not heard of her yet. I was struck by her confidence, and when I saw her perform, I understood why she was so confident. She’s really funny, which always helps when you’re doing comedy! Not so important at the bank,or the supermarket … but when you’re up there on stage it definitely helps! She definitely held her own with the guys, and the crowd loved her.
Women have to be particularly strong to fit in on a show with Colin Kane, Mike Britt from Bad Boys of Comedy, and Mark Viera, “The Latin Prince of Comedy, three heavyweights in comedy as far as I’m concerned, ( and I’m still trying to figure out how far that actually is!!! LOL )
It was great to see Colin again. He and I go back to my early performing days at The Village Lantern with guys like Clayton Fletcher who often hosted the shows I would appear on. Colin always had an edge to his jokes, that made him stand out as a performer, and he’s developed that into a really unique stage personna. I always knew he’d be big. He’s the perfect white comic to play to a mostly Black crowd.
( For some reason I always capitalize the word “Black” in referring to race, but I don’t feel the need to do that with “white”. Is that reverse racism??? ) He doesn’t pander, although he does make fun of white people being kind of lame! (LOL)
Colin can get away with saying almost anything, and when he thinks he might have gone a little too far he says, ” Ohhh, so you want me to go home now? It’s 2011 people!” You can see Colin twice a month when he has a show he calls “Unzipped” at Gotham Comedy Club. The next one is coming up on April 7th.
Now that we re-connected I definitely have to put that on my “to-do” list. You can see more about Colin at www.colinkane.com and follow him on Twitter at @colinkane.
Mike Britt is a more easy going comic, always funny, and he kills it every time I see him perform. Mark Viera is just so funny, especially when he imitates his grandmother, and does the Puerto Rican accent. He’s definitely one of my faves.
He made one guy laugh so hard he accidentally spit his drink all over the stage. I think it was one of those deals where it shot out the guy’s nose. Hopefully he wasn’t on a date cause that could be really embarrassing. Not as embarrassing as dying on a date. That has to be the worst! How do you ever face the girl again??? You remember me, … I’m the guy that passed away after the appetizer!
The great Capone, the gangster of comedy, was in the audience, sitting right next to me, laughing his ass off. He told me he was thinking of getting up to do a set, but I had to leave to put money in the meter, and run to my next event so I didn’t get to see whether he ever went up. I had just seen him perform at Gotham for Anthony Anderson’s Mixtape Show a few days before, so I didn’t feel as bad, in case I missed him. He’s a world class performer, even working clean like he was forced to do for Anthony’s show.
When I told Cipha about my upcoming comedy fundraiser on Thursday April 14th, to help fight Diabetes, before I could even ask he volunteered to come and perform, since he lost his grandmother to that deadly disease. I lost my Dad to that disease, and I look forward to seeing Cipha kill it at The Comic Strip on April 14th, and hope all of you guys out there will join us as well.
Tix are only $50. (plus 2 drinks of course!), and must be purchased in advance thru Pay Pal at
New Issue of Comedy Matters-2/14/11-Judah Friedlander, Nick Kroll, Amy Schumer, Rachel Feinstein & Many More!
Comic Strip Action
The Key of Awesome ( www.thekeyofawesome.com ) makes comedy video parodies. Their Kesha parody of her hit song Tik Tok got 63,000,000 views ( that’s not a typo!) and still rising.
Their Lady Gaga video parodies get around 20 million hits plus and the star of those videos is Lauren Francesca, who has gotten over 150 million hits on all of her videos combined. This numbers are staggering, when you think that most comics would be thrilled with 100,000 hits on something they posted.
The Key of Awesome’s main players are founders Ben Relles, director Tom Small, and writer/performer Mark Douglas. You have to see Mark as Lord Gaga. The man is brilliant!
So why am I telling you all this? Because The Comic Strip will be the site for the presentation of the new video I created for the launch of Lauren Francesca’s new channel, which launched on Valentine’s Day.
In this film, (one of a series I am creating for her!), featuring the Comic Strip’s own Ray Ellin, Lauren plays a hot Latina named Besame Mucho who has been voted by three major men’s magazines, as “the best kisser in the world.”
She runs a kissing school for women, who need to improve their oral skills. It’s called “The Academy of Oral Skills” and she runs a tough class where she teaches women rare oral exercises like tongue push-ups, trapeze swinging by your tongue, and other assorted skills. The problem is that when You Tube saw “Oral Skills” they flagged it as possibly being too sexual when there’s nothing in it but kissing!
Mark Douglas from The Key of Awesome being pinned to a wall by an oral student’s tongue.
Even with the flagging we got 27,000 plus hits in only the first five days, and it was rated #1 on You Tube as the most subscribed, and watched comedy for the week. You can check out the film at http://www.youtube.com/iwantmylauren#p/a/u/1/yl-hgzCXOXQ
World Champion Hangs at World Champion Club
Several nights a week you can find World Champion of everything, Judah Friedlander, hanging out at The Strip, waiting to do a spot. Not that he has to wait. He could go on whenever he wants but he enjoys the hang.
Judah came in recently in the afternoon to do an interview for the book I’m doing with Richie Tienken, owner and founder of The Strip, for the 35th anniversary of the club. We also filmed it for the Vook we’re planning, which is a video book, something very new.
We had the best time, because Judah just kicked back and told us great stories of how he got started, how it was a goal of his to pass and perform at The Strip, how he got 30 Rock, and lots of other cool things.
At the time he got the offer for 30 Rock he also received an offer to do a show in LA, but at 30 Rock he knew he’d be working with Tina Fey and would be able to keep his persona and dress like he likes to dress, so he made the wise choice of staying in New York and doing 30 Rock. He does have to shave off his beard for the show, but he doesn’t mind doing that. After all he’s the World Champion beard grower as well! It probably grows back in a few hours! (LOL)
What’s great about Judah is that he hasn’t let success get in the way of being a nice guy. He’s approachable. He’s very kind to his fans who mob him after the show, and he’s very humble and grateful for his success.
I like the bit he does when he’s running on his treadmill that has hurdles on it while he’s shoulder pressing heavy weights. His new book is “ How To Beat Up Anybody” and if you don’t run out and get it, he will definitely find you, and beat you to a pulp!
Also, many of you may not know that Richie Tienken is a comedy historian and through his exhaustive research he came up with the very first stand-up comedian from ancient Egyptian times, which he donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is a photo of the very first comedy cruise, captured in a sculpture and donated to the museum by Richie Tienken.
Starting with their fabulous holiday party in January, Gotham has had a string of unbelievable shows one after the other. The holiday party was a smash, and packed with comedy notables, like Ted Alexandro, Mike Vecchione, Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, and John Fugelsang, who was back in New York from Florida, getting over the loss of his Dad. Our sincerest condolences to John. He’s back making waves in the biz.
Dean Edwards formerly of SNL headlined a packed show, where the hilarious Marion Grodin was the MC. Harris Stanton told the story of being asked by an Orthodox Jew to turn on his heat for him on a cold winter day, because Orthodox Jews are not allowed to do things like that during the Sabbath, and Harris, not knowing that, responded, “ What did you have a mysterious beef with Thomas Edison?’”
Rich Francese said he wouldn’t mind being a rapper, cause there doesn’t seem to be any weight limit! He got invited to a birthday party on the internet so he sent them a picture of a gift!
In order to get SNL you can’t just be funny, you have to be able to do characters, and Dean is amazing at that. He does fantastic accents, and impressions of Tracy Morgan, Chris Rock, and even Denzel answering a phone call from singer Lou Rawls which was a gut-buster! ( Where am I getting these expressions from? A dictionary of phrases from The Civil War??? LOL)
Anthony Anderson’s monthly Mixtape show never disappoints. It’s basically a comedy party where everyone is grooving on the energy that Anthony and his cohorts, like partner Royale Watkins, put out. ( If there’s such a thing as a cohort, is there such a thing as a hort?)
Anthony and Royale call themselves The Goodtime Brothers and it fits. Everyone there has a good time.
Mark Viera opened the show and killed it as he always does. He had just come back from the Middle East entertaining our troops in 140 degree weather, so when he hit the 92 degree weather of LA, he was freezing.
Greer Barnes did a great set, and is another performer who can do really cool sound effects on the mike. He did an impression of a cop on horseback arresting a “brother”, and wondering where he would put him. Does he just say “ Hop on!”? Funny visual of a perp holding onto the cop around the waist as they gallop off into the sunset!
In the musical segment of the show they had Naughty By Nature do a set, and the great Chubb Rock was in the audience.
Gotham had an All-Star show which was aptly named. Rich Vos was the MC, and he often talks about his sobriety. He’s coming up on almost as many years of sobriety as Bill Wilson. Rich is another of those reliable acts that you can always count on to destroy the room.
Bonnie McFarlane was also on the show and to me is one of the funniest women on the scene today.
And then there was a guy I hadn’t seen before, which was an unusual and alarming experience for me, and his name was Louis Katz. I’m pretty sure his name is STILL Louis Katz since he has a half hour special coming up on Comedy Central on March 11th, and it would hardly make sense for him to have changed his name before it airs.
Commenting on his look, he told the audience he had spent the day balding. He also has a moustache and glasses, so according to him, with that look he’s just “a bowler away from being in disguise!”
Then I got to attend Rachel Feinstein’s CD taping for an album for Comedy Central to be released later this year,. The evening was hosted by Hot 97 morning star Cipha Sounds who I believe is back to hosting a regular show at Carolines on Tuesdays.
He describes himself as a Puerto Rican from The Bronx, named Luis Diaz, who can’t speak Spanish. He had a guy from the audience re-introduce him cause he said the audience was all white people who didn’t know him, and he didn’t get enough love.
He certainly got it the second time around. Cipha is a funny dude, and I gotta get over to Carolines to check out his show.
The great Jon Fisch had advice for anyone guy losing his hair. As soon as you realize you’re losing your hair, turn to whatever girl you’re with and propose!
Rachel Feinstein is cool. I don’t know how she was in high school, but she’s definitely cool now! She’s an original, and always fun to watch. She has the unique ability to imitate a guy’s voice and have it sound like a guy’s voice. Most girls can’t do that.
When she imitates her mother and grandmother , in that distinctly Jewish kind of inflection that only other Jews find hysterically funny and nauseating at the same time, you could “plotz”! ( Look that up on Google!)
Rachel imitates street guys coming on to her with pseudo compliments, opening with “ I’m sayin’ boo!” which might sound to an older person like you might be trying to scare someone, unless you are immersed in hip-hop culture.
But when she tells how her grandmother was a big fan of Biggie and is so glad the East Coast- West Coast wars are over, it reminded me of all the times I told people that my Mom bought me the AMG CD “ Bitch Betta Have My Money.”
And then there was Pete Correale’s sold out show. Jon Fisch was MC’ing cause good comics know other good comics! Also on the bill was Veronica Mosey another fave of mine. She’s also one of the few women I see who can really command a stage, and take control of the audience. It’s all about energy and she puts it out there!
Pete is funny and clever, and makes any topic work. Like his “Killer Whale” bit, about the whale killing it’s trainer. How couldn’t she know when the word “Killer” is part of his name? He asks, “ How many animals DIDN’T get the name killer? He didn’t get the name from being sharply dressed! Killing is part of his name.
Then he did a bit I guessed was new, and it worked so well I was excited for him. He said during Prohibition, the only way guys had to get high was spinning around. If he had ended it at that, it might have gotten a chuckle, but he embellished upon it, and as he spun himself around it became hysterical. As a comedy writer I always appreciate what it takes to develop a bit to it’s fullest potential. A month from now I’m sure it’ll be even richer.
Pete and I had a laugh about the time he and Jim Breuer, and Greg Charles from Carolines played a practical joke on me on the air. I went on Breuer’s show to talk about my celeb joke book, “Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive”, based on my years of writing for the Friars Roasts, and all three of them were in the book.
Pete was Breuer’s co-host and on the air they confronted me, and accused me of using their jokes without their permission. They even went so far as to create a phony tape of them talking about me, like “ who’s that guy with the tape recorder trying to tape us?”
I turned white, and almost had a heart attack, sputtering, “ but you TOLD me I could use those jokes.” Finally Breuer blurted out, “ we’re just effin’ with you.”, but they didn’t do it right away, and it felt like it went on for hours.
They had prepared their audience in advance and said, “ Wait till you see what we do to this guy!” I was wondering why they didn’t let me listen to the show before I went on, as guests usually do.
I was put into an isolated room to wait for my turn to go on. Greg told me later that they only did it because they love me. I’m like, “try not to love me so much in the future” !
Comedy Matters Quickies
Judy Carter is a one woman comedy industry. She’s a comic, a coach, a comedy writer, an author, a speaker, and she has sets of DVD’s that you can purchase if you’re not lucky enough to live near her in Cali.
Her “Speaking Career in a Box” is 3 DVD’s and tells you how to take your skills as a stand-up and make a great living as a corporate speaker. That’s assuming of course that you DO have skills as a comedian! And if you don’t she can help you with that too! You can find out all about her at www.judycarter.com
Comic Bob Greenberg made a surprise 88th birthday party for Larry Storch at Gabe Waldman’s Stand-Up New York, and it was a really fun event. Larry was so surprised he actually screamed when he walked into the room. I was afraid for his heart. I ran into my old, old friend Rhonda Hansome who is back performing again, and the great Jerry Stiller got up and said a few words. Even the legendary boxer Jake LaMotta came out to honor Larry.
Joey Reynolds has a new TV show called All Night With Joey Reynolds. After so many years of doing a hit show on WOR talk radio, which I was honored to be on so many, many times, Joey got his own TV show on NBC New York Nonstop.
It’s shot in the ground floor studio in the NASDAQ building right on Broadway in the heart of Times Square, and you can see the show going on from the street. It’s very exciting and I was really happy to be asked to do the show.
Not only did I get a chance to talk about my comedy projects but I got a chance to talk about my cure for stuttering which I used to cure myself. I was a pretty severe stutterer. Joey always asks me about it because he finds it fascinating, and I am very grateful to get that information out to people who need it. Stuttering can be cured.
And now with the popularity of The King’s Speech, there’s a lot of attention being given to stuttering. I was on the show with the super-talented Steven Scott, NY1 film critic Neil Rosen, innovative school principal Anthony Albano, ( brother of the late Captain Lou!), and a few others.
Steven imitates not only people, but musical instruments so well that he played along with the band, using only his mouth. Sounds like a graduate of The Academy of Oral Skills!!! The show is Monday to Friday from midnight till 2 A.M.
Frank Chindamo of Fun Little Movies, is just racking up the awards and honors. He hosted the Comedy Hotshots panel at NATPE in Miami and also has his own show on Direct TV called “The MoShow-The Pursuit of App-iness. You can check that out on www.gomoshow.com
The Writer’s Guild Awards is always one of my favorite things to cover because Sherry Goldman is a pro and makes sure everything runs smoothly. I take my position at the end of the red carpet cause I can’t stand being squeezed into places, and I greet the celebs as they leave the carpet. It’s so much more comfortable that way.
Hosted by Kristen Schaal, it took place in the gorgeous lobby of the Equitable building, and I got to meet and interview so many cool people, including director John Waters, Jenny Lumet, Liz Brixius who created Nurse Jackie, Matthew Settle from Gossip Girl, Wayne Federman who wrote for the event, and Vincent Piazza who plays Lucky Luciano on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, who said he really liked my scarf.
It just so happens I often wear 3 scarves at the same time, but that’s a whole other story. I’m a big fan of Kristen’s and I tried e-mailing her to arrange a quick photo shoot, but maybe her e-mail changed cause I didn’t hear back from her.
I also ran into the ubiquitous Judah Friedlander who’s at as many places as I am. People often say to me, “ I see you everywhere” and I assure them that I’ll probably be in their apartment when they get home. One very gullible girl once said “ Really?” I assured her that I would!
But most important, I found my Comedy Matters Girl of the Month there. Her name is Angela Phillips and she is spectacular. You’ll be seeing her in an upcoming film by Alonzo Anderson, called Step Sisters. She’s a 5’3” ex-basketball player, who became a successful petite model, and actress and is the nicest person you could ever meet.
She’s the regional director for Bella Petite Magazine, which caters to the petite modeling business. She’s also very humble, and the kind of person that when you meet them, you feel like you’ve known them forever. She has aspirations in comedy, and I’m looking forward to working with Angela on an upcoming project myself! Trust me, … you’ll be seeing a lot of Angela Phillips!
Madison Malloy and Andrew Schwartztol are running a new comedy show on Wednesdays at O’Casey’s on West 41st Street. It’s a great room and when I stopped by, one comic was late so I filled in and did a set. That was fun!
Jordan Ferber also has a great show and I went by to celebrate with him at the 2 year anniversary of his Thursday night show at Zinc Bar. Another “must see”!
Times Square Tidbits
They used to call James Brown the hardest working man in show biz. That title has now been taken by Dennis Gatti the one man show who runs the Times Square Comedy Club. When he’s not booking the shows you can find him behind the bar serving drinks. If he could, he’d take every table’s order, and even eat the food, and laugh at the jokes for you.
There are five showrooms of different size capacities, and Dennis runs from room to room making sure that everything is going as it should. He also has specialty shows like Manhattan Magic and the Ultimate Drag Off.
As if that wasn’t enough, he also manages talent, and the night I was there I had the pleasant surprise of seeing a great talent he’s working with, Bobby Johnson.
People often say I know everyone in comedy, but every so often someone escapes my radar. Bobby has a multi-cultural background, and has done lots of TV and has been a regular on 98.7 Kiss FM’s morning show.
This guy made me laugh out loud and that’s hard to do. In comedy nobody laughs. They’re like, “ That’s funny”, but they don’t crack a smile. Bobby really made me laugh out loud.
His accents are great. His Latino accent rules, especially when he explains how all they want to do is dance, … even at a funeral. “Let’s dance!” But when he talked about how he hoped Arabs have to do the same thing in their airports as we have to do in ours, and mimed a guy unwrapping an Arab going through security, as if he was swathed in bandages, I totally lost it.
Nick Kroll On The Loose
Nick Kroll is a fixture on TV, and on the comedy circuit in general. You gotta love Nick Kroll. He’s written for Chapelle’s Show and Human Giant, performed at UCB on both coasts, on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, HBO’s The Life and Times of Tim, and is one half of the “Oh Hello” guys with his writing partner John Mulaney.
Nick creates memorable characters, like Fabrice Fabrice, craft services coordinator for the show “That’s So Raven”, El Chupacabre, and his newest character Bobby Bottleservice, plus he just aired his first Comedy Central special Thank You Very Cool!
Just before it aired I went to see Nick at a store down in Soho called The Hundreds, where he was doing a personal appearance. I also went to give Nick the script I wrote for The Key of Awesome comedy hoping he could star in it with Lauren Francesca. Fortunately he liked it, unfortunately he was on his way to Vegas and then back to LA.
However he did give me a signed Bobby Bottleservice poster on which he wrote, “To Jeff, U R the only person with better hair than me!” Bobby B. , and he gave me a Bobby Bottleservice T-shirt which was also very cool. What he gave me that I liked best was his friendship! Thank you, very cool!
Anyway, until next time, … remember, … Comedy Matters!!!