The Roast is being produced by Jeffrey Ross, aka The Roastmaster General, a nick-name bestowed upon him from his years of successful roasting at the NY Friars Club roasts and for the Comedy Central Roasts.
Comedy Central Executive JoAnn Grigioni, Jeffrey Gurian, and Jeffrey Ross at the Donald Trump Roast after-party!
He’s someone I’m happy to say has been a friend for many years. When I wrote my own Roast book with journalist Tripp Whetsell back in 2007, Jeffrey was one of the people who came to the book party at The Friars Club and went up on stage to offer a few remarks.
Jeffrey Ross with Jeffrey Gurian at the Friars Club book party for Gurian's book, " Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive."
He told my co-author Tripp that it was obvious that he was into S&M, … spaghetti and meatballs! And he asked me how I got my hair to look like a squirrel. Check out that video right here!
I had a special moment with Jeffrey a few years ago up in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Festival, which is the biggest comedy festival in the world. Jeffrey and I were alone having a bite to eat in the VIP cafe when he was approached by the head of the film festival and told that his film “Patriot Act”, in which he went overseas to entertain our troops with a bunch of other comics, won for Best Film at the festival. It was a very exciting moment to share with him, and he was really, genuinely surprised and touched, and very, very grateful.
The Charlie Sheen Roast will tape this coming Saturday in LA and will air on Monday Sept. 19th. Charlie and I partied hard back in the day, when actor/HBO star Chuck Zito was then working as his bodyguard. This was way before he starred in the HBO series “Oz”, and way before I wrote a play dedicated to him called ” A Punch In The Face” after he knocked out Jean-Claude Van Damme with one punch at Scores in NYC.
Chuck brought friends and family to the play and it wound up on Page 6 of the Ny Post, the most exclusive, and powerful gossip page in the country!
The Page 6 piece on Chuck Zito attending Jeffrey Gurian's play "A Punch In The Face" which was dedicated to Chuck! after he knocked out Jean-Claude Van Damme at Scores!
Jeffrey Ross Producing Charlie Sheen Roast
Chuck Zito posing with the cast of "A Punch In The Face" written and directed by Jeffrey Gurian!
The photo below was when they both came to my office to visit me!
Charlie Sheen, Jeffrey Gurian, and Chuck Zito hanging out at Jeffrey's office back in the day!
Stewart Lane is truly the King of Broadway! He just won his 5th Tony Award for War Horse. It received the Tony for Best Play, but when I last saw him two days before the Tonys at the premiere of the film version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” at the NYIT Screening Room on 61st Street and Broadway, he didn’t know that yet.
Company poster showing the all star cast with Neil Patrick Harris, Patti Lupone, Jon Cryer, Stephen Colbert and many more!!
I had seen him a couple of weeks before that at his book party at The Friars Club, where we are both brother Friars,for his new book “Jews on Broadway”, (of which there have been quite a few!) Btw, just in case you were wondering some of the Jews on Broadway were Fanny Brice, Irving Berlin, Barbra Streisand, Jerome Kern, Alan Menken, and Tony Kushner, some of whom you may have heard! (LOL)
Jeffrey Gurian and Stewart Lane at The Friars Club book party for Stewart's new book, " Jews on Broadway!" Jews are also off-Broadway but that's a topic for Stewart's next book!
It was there at The Friars that I also ran into Broadway Producer Ellen M. Krass, CEO of EMK Productions, and she and Stewart told me about an event they were doing for the premiere of the film version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company”, which would only be shown four times June 15th, 16th, 19th and 21st. The production was done with the world-renowned New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and starred Neil Patrick Harris who went on to host The Tony’s that Sunday, Patti Lupone, Jon Cryer, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks, Craig Bierko, Martha Plimpton and more.
(L-R) Friars Club Dean Freddie Roman, Ellen M. Krass, Jeffrey Gurian, and producer Susan Solomon supporting Stewart Lane at his book party!
Ellen gave all the credit for the evening to co-producer Lonny Price. She herself is a successful producer of TV, off-Broadway and Broadway, and actually produced the Kathy and Mo Show starring Kathy Najimy, and Mo Gaffney. That show will always stick out in my mind because the one show I ever invested in in my life was a show called “Only Kidding” starring Paul Provenza. That show was in the Westside Arts Theatre on West 43rd Street, and so was Kathy and Mo. Only Kidding was voted the #1 off-Broadway comedy by Tim Zagat, so we thought for sure we had a winner, but instead everyone lost all the money they put into it.
It was very disturbing and a very painful lesson, and wound up costing me a fortune. Not because of what I lost, but because of what I could have gained. Right afterwards, I had the opportunity to invest in a brand new little show called “Blue Man Group.” I went to see it, thought it was very entertaining, three guys in blue doing wild things with rhythym, but the fear of having lost all of my investment in Only Kidding caused me to pass, and needless to say, ( then why am I saying it??? LOL), Blue Man Group is not only still running after 20 years, but I think it’s running world-wide. Maybe not in Mozambique, … but it’s certainly running in most places, and I probably could have made a fortune on it, but I guess everyone has a story like that!
So anyway, the plot of Company follows five couples and their friend Robert (Neil Patrick Harris), the perpetual bachelor, and explores the meaning of relationships through a series of vignettes. Company first won the 1971 Tony Award for Best Musical, and is a classic.
Anyway, at the Company event, I got to speak with Stewart, Ellen and Jon Cryer in the video you’ll see below. Stewart was there with his lovely wife and co-producer Bonnie Comley!
Bonnie Comley is not only Stewart Lane's wife but also a producer in her own right, and as you can see "Comley" is a perfect name for her because Comely means "beautiful"!!!
Jon is as nice as you would expect, maybe even nicer! He had gotten a call from his agent asking if he’d do a benefit for the NY Philharmonic, but he didn’t realize he’d be asked to sing on stage professionally, which he had never done before. He thought it might be something simple, with people holding their scripts and such. After he agreed, he found out it was a fully staged production, to which he said , “EXCUSE ME???”!!! Hear it for yourself in the cool video below!
Jon Cryer smiling big while being interviewed by Jeffrey Gurian for Comedy Matters!
I was tempted to ask Jon about my old pal Charlie Sheen and Two and a Half Men, now that Ashton Kutcher has agreed to join the cast, but in my infinite wisdom, I decided against it, and just stuck to Company. Check it out right here!
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.
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.