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!
DJ Cipha Sounds, Jean Alerte, Kevin Hart, and Jeffrey Gurian up at Hot 97 studios.
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!
Cipha Sounds and Jeffrey looking "hard" backstage at Carolines! ( You can't be smiling and looking hard at the same time! LOL)
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.
Pat Brown chillin' with Capone in the audience after her killer set!
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 )
Colin Kane and Cipha Sounds showing us all the right way to look "hard"! Not really smiling!
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.
Colin Kane being physical on stage at Carolines!
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!
Mark Viera backstage at Carolines just before going up on stage and destroying the room!
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.
Capone and Jeffrey hangin' out at Anthony Anderson's Mixtape Show at Gotham!
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
Diabetes Comedy Fundraiser at The Comic Strip-Thurs. April 14th, 8 P.M.-TIX ONLY AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE THRU PAY PAL, NOT AT DOOR