It’s been kind of a tradition that the head writer of SNL takes over the Weekend Update desk and now that Seth Meyers left to take over for Jimmy Fallon on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Colin Jost gets to occupy the co-anchor seat next to Cecily Strong, as of tonight, March 1, 2014.
Jeffrey Gurian with SNL Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost at a comedy show at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC!
And for that I’m staying home, because Colin is a friend and I feel like I support him better by watching it live rather than taping it!
It’s a very prestigious position held by only a relative few in the show’s 38 year history. Chevy Chase was the first with Gilda Radner from 1975-1976, then Jane Curtin from 1976-1980, followed by Dennis Miller from 1985-1991, Kevin Nealon from 1991-1994, Norm Macdonald from 1994-1997, Colin Quinn from 1999-2000, Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon from 2000-2004, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler from 2004-2006. Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers from 2006-2008, and finally Seth Meyers and Cecily Strong from 2013-2014.
Like others before him on SNL Colin graduated from Harvard where he was President of The Harvard Lampoon, and joined SNL in 2005. He worked his way up to head writer in 2012.
I see Colin fairly often performing at The Comic Strip, which is one of his favorite clubs, and he’s really funny and very likeable onstage. People will love him as the Weekend Update anchor. His parents came to see him at one of the shows I was at and interesting fact, … his Mom is the Chief Medical Officer for the NYC Fire Department!
Colin Jost onstage at The Comic Strip!
Make sure to tune in and watch! But first watch this little video I shot with Colin backstage at The Comic Strip!
In the ever-increasing entertainment empire that is under the guidance/ownership/leadership of king-maker Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers will take over the reins of Late Night tonight, a week after his friend and former SNL cast-mate Jimmy Fallon replaced Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.
Jeffrey Gurian of ComedyMattersTV.com interviewing Seth Meyers on the red carpet of the Just for Laughs Awards luncheon!
Jeffrey Gurian with Lorne Michaels at a Writers Guild Awards event!
Lorne created Saturday Night Live in 1975 and the show has gone on to provide some of the biggest stars we know today like Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Will Ferrell, TIna Fey, Amy Poehler, Eddie Murphy, Jimmy Fallon and on and on!
It’s a huge amount of pressure to do a show five nights a week where you have to interview A-list celebs every night, and keep it fresh and hip! He’ll be in the same 30 Rock building he’s called home, since 2001 when he joined the cast of SNL. Within a period of two years he went from writing supervisor to head writer, and then to Weekend Update co-anchor with Amy Poehler.
He, like Jimmy Fallon has been doing test shows during the week with guest celebs like Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb of “Today”, and a few guest comics as well. His bandleader is also an interesting choice, former SNL star and current star of IFC’s Portlandia, Fred Armisen.
Interesting fact: Portlandia was created by Jonathan Krisel who also directs Kroll Show on Comedy Central, and during the last NY Comedy Festival, when Nick Kroll did a panel at The Paley Center, ( formerly the Museum of TV and Radio), Seth was the moderator, and Jon Krisel was on the panel, along with Nick Kroll and Exec. Producer of Kroll Show and sometime actor on the show, John Levenstein.
(L-R) Jon Krisel, John Levenstein, Nick Kroll, and Seth Meyers at The Paley Center in a panel on Kroll Show!
Jeffrey Gurian with Laura Dern, as C-Czar’s mom. on the LA set of Comedy Central’s hit Kroll Show!
Jeffrey Gurian with Amy Poehler on the LA set of Kroll Show in a sketch that will air in the new 2nd season!
Amy and Seth are very close as they shared the Weekend Update desk for two years from 2006-2008. This past summer in Montreal at The Just for Laughs Festival which is the biggest comedy festival in the world, Seth presented Amy with the Breakout Comedy Star of the Year Award at a huge awards luncheon.
Seth Meyers at the podium at the Just for Laughs Festival presenting Amy Poehler with the Comedy Person of the Year Award! Amy is partly shown sitting behind where he’s standing!
She will be his first guest tonight along with VP Joe Biden. Interesting mix! Later in the week he’ll have Kanye West, and Patrick Stewart!
Seth is such a charming, humble, and likable guy, he’s a natural for the spot and people will love him. Just last year he got married to human rights lawyer Alexi Ashe and he says his new schedule will allow him to start a family! ( Not by himself, with Alexi’s cooperation, of course! LOL)
Between Seth, Jimmy, and David Letterman, they’ll be bringing major entertainment back to New York in a very big way. So many more stars from LA will be here to do the shows! Very exciting.
We’ll all be watching you tonight Seth, and we know you’ll totally kill it! Below you can see my little interview with Seth in Montreal just before he presented Amy with her award!
For the first time in 42 years since Johnny Carson took the show out to Burbank, The Tonight Show will have it’s home at 30 Rock, along with SNL and Late Night with Seth Meyers, who is replacing Jimmy Fallon in that spot. Jimmy’s last night on Late Night was Feb. 7th.
Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell doing a song about their tight pants!
Never before has there been a late night host as talented as Jimmy. Many were funny, and many did characters and different types of “shtick”, but NOBODY does as many things as Jimmy Fallon. First he’s only 39 and appeals to a younger demographic. But besides doing stand-up, he also sings, dances, (which he claimed in an interview he did with me that he doesn’t dance, but anyone who’s seen him move on the show will beg to differ), plays instruments, (especially the guitar!), does impressions, and is the right age to bond with most of his popular guests like Justin Timberlake, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt with whom he yodeled in a video, and Bruce Springsteen who he dressed up as and sang a duet with. He even got Jerry Seinfeld and Billy Crystal to dress up as old time baseball players!
Jimmy Fallon and guest Justin Timberlake in conversation!
Tom Cruise crushing raw eggs on his head after losing in Egg Russian Roulette, to Jimmy Fallon! Hysterical bit!
Jerry Seinfeld, not sure who this guy is, and Billy Crystal as old time baseball players
Jimmy’s “Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon”, will be broadcast from Studio 6B in 30 Rock, Monday through Friday at 11:34, except for tonight when it will start a few minutes later due to The Olympics! Among his first guests will be Will Smith and U2. Can’t wait to hear U2 jamming with The Roots!
Later on in the week he’s planning on having Justin Timberlake who was on his recent “Best Of” special on NBC doing a “History of Rap” duet with Jimmy, Lady Gaga, and Michelle Obama, who also appeared in that special. And what a special it was. Not only does he have the hugest guests in the world, but he does fun things with them.
Like when he got Pres. Obama to actually do “Slow Jam the News”, a bit he does where they do the news to Barry White-like music in the background. C’mon, … getting the President of the United States on your show doing comedy? Talk about “beyond your wildest dreams!” Who gets the Pres. to do comedy on their show? Only Jimmy Fallon!
Pres. Barack Obama “slow-jamming the news” with Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots!
He’s had Mick Jagger, Mariah Carey, and Robin Thicke, he’s come out dressed as David Bowie, and Bob Dylan and imitated both, (his Dylan is better than Dylan, and he did it during an interview he did with me as well!), he’s arm-wrestled with Jason Statham, he had Tom Cruise crack eggs on his own head, and dressed up like Bruce Springsteen and actually did a duet with the real Springsteen, side by side on his show.
Jimmy Fallon on stage with Mick Jagger!
Jimmy Fallon having fun with Robin Thicke!
Jimmy Fallon arm-wrestling with action star Jason Statham!
And as far as arm-wrestling with Jason Statham goes, I can attest to how strong Jimmy is physically. One night when we were hanging out he insisted on picking me up, and not that I’m so heavy, but when I resisted as I tend to do when people try and lift me off the ground, I could feel the strength in his arms. The dude works out!
Having Jimmy in New York will give New York’s comedic talent more of a shot at getting on the show and many more big stars from LA will be coming to New York to be on the show.
What’s also special about Jimmy is that he’s not out to make his guests uncomfortable or as was said in a recent New York Mag article of 2/10/14, ” he doesn’t try to expose his guests’ hypocrisy like Stewart or Colbert, and in contrast to Letterman, he actually watches his guests’ movies, listens to their music and geeks out endearingly in front of them.”
Jeffrey Gurian with Jimmy Fallon backstage at Gotham Comedy Club after Jeffrey interviewed Jimmy for Comedy Matters TV! (with the help of Jimmy’s wife Nancy!)
The last time I saw Jimmy I was performing in a show at The Players Club, hosted by the inimitable Brute Force who hosts a monthly show there, and Jimmy dropped by to see Brute. He was shocked to see me, and we all hung out at the bar after the show. I think he was playing a song on the piano and then turned to me and asked me to play something!
Jeffrey Gurian, Jimmy Fallon and Brute Force hanging out at The Players Club!
I think I surprised him by playing a little something I remembered from my 10 years of taking lessons when I was a kid. Jimmy sat on the pool table behind me and just listened. Then we all just hung out and had fun for the next couple of hours.
Jimmy Fallon hanging out with Jeffrey Gurian, and a whole group of people at The Players Club, June 2013!
Anyway, I’ll be staying home tonight to watch Jimmy inaugurate his show. I could TIVO it, but that wouldn’t be as fun as seeing it live and in person. I’ve never really had the time to watch late night TV, but I plan to be watching Jimmy on a constant basis! I hope you will too!
Every Thursday night for about the last three months, Killer Bunny Entertainment has been filming a live comedy show at Gotham Comedy Club for Mark Cuban and Ryan Seacrest’s AXS TV channel!
Every week they have a great host and I’ve been down there to shoot videos for Comedy Matters TV with several of them like T.J. Miller, Susie Essman, and Carlos Mencia, but when I heard that Jim Norton would be hosting the last show of the season I was determined to get down there to see him!
Not only because he’s so funny but because I had been trying to set up an interview with Jim since the previous July when his last CD “Please Be Offended” first came out.
Jim Norton the final host of the first season on Gotham Comedy Live onstage at Gotham Comedy Club!
Jonathan Brandstein’s office and I were working together to set it up, but Jim was so busy that it never happened. And then I ran into Jim in Montreal at the 30th annual Just for Laughs Festival where I was actually shooting for the festival, and it still didn’t happen. We ran past each other in the lobby where I was just able to yell out a quick “hello” and that I had been trying to get a hold of him. I shot 40 video interviews over those three days, but no Jim Norton.
Jim did a great show at Gotham, and the fun thing is that it’s live. For some comics that might be daunting, but Jim’s been on the radio with Opie and Anthony so long doing live stuff every day, that for him it’s nothing.
It’s also no holds barred. Anything goes. So Jim got to talk about one of his favorite subjects, … hookers! And how in Vegas when he called for a hooker they told him it would cost $3,000. And he was wondering how long she stayed for that, … forever? For three thousand dollars, does he get to cut off her head and keep it?
The always funny Jim Norton hosting the AXS TV special Gotham Comedy Live!
I don’t think that was really a desire of his, just a thought that briefly ran through his mind.
Jim’s observations are also right on, like when he said if you’re clearing your throat you sound like a liar. No matter what you’re saying, once you clear your throat in the middle of saying it, you automatically sound like a liar. In a way, and I mean this only as a compliment, he and Colin Quinn work very similarly. He actually imitated Colin’s voice and sounded just like him.
Drew Fraser warmed up the crowd and the man has a way of getting the audience really pumped. It’s a special talent to be able to host a show, and Drew’s got it!
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Drew Fraser who not only warmed up the crowd, but heated them up to a boil! (LOL)
Louis Katz was first up on the show and was his usual funny self. He said he spent most of the day balding. He then went on to explain to the audience that with his look he can’t wear a hat, because with his glasses and a hat he’s a fake moustache away from looking like he’s in disguise!
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Louis Katz right after he killed it on Gotham Comedy Live!
He talked about someone who had such bad breath he wanted to tell them, “You know there’s no such thing as street chocolate. You’ve been eating dog shit!”
Marina Franklin was up next and I love seeing Marina perform. Especially when she talks about coming from Chicago and wonders if she and not Michelle could have been The First Lady. But then reality kicks in and she realizes she ain’t no lady! She could have been the “First Ho!”
In talking about her dating life and her recent white boyfriend she said she doesn’t just date white guys exclusively, but the economy was bad!
Colin Jost, one of the head writers up at SNL was next, and he too is reliably funny. I always enjoy his performance and the tone with which he delivers his material, which is so important to a comic. He talked about song lyrics and how in one popular song they changed the lyrics to make them family friendly and have a guy apologizing to a girl by saying, ” I don’t mean to be rude but tonight I’m loving you!” He went on to explain that that’s nothing to apologize for. It’s one of the nicest things you can say to a person.
He also advised couples that if one of you loses a ton of weight you both better lose a ton of weight because it’s very awkward to see them and say, ” Mark, you look great, you must have lost 50 pounds! And Janet, ……………”
And closing the show was the always funny and sexy Lynne Koplitz, who openly says she’s 45 years old and it’s over! She calls herself Auntie Lynne and gives advice to the younger women in the audience like not to smile too much or you get laugh lines. Twenty years from now you’ll be asking yourself, what was so fuckin’ funny?
She goes for younger guys who she can control, and ruled out dating one older guy by saying ” You’re cute, but you probably have opinions!”
After the show, which got picked up for a second season, and which will be starting in May, I went down to the green room to have a long awaited chat with Jim Norton. It was well worth the wait, and here it is:
Every two years Comedy Central puts on a spectacular event to raise money to cure Autism and create programs to help autistic children. The evening, called “Night of Too Many Stars – America Comes Together For Autism Programs”, which will air Sunday, Oct. 21st, 2012, from The Beacon Theatre is produced in conjunction with Jon Stewart’s production company “Busboy Productions”.
The spectacular event ” Night of Too Many Stars” definitely lives up to it’s name!
The event is in honor of writer/performer/filmmaker Robert Smigel who is universally loved throughout the entertainment business, and also happens not only to be the father of Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, but also the father of Daniel Smigel, who is autistic.
Robert Smigel making a heartfelt thank you speech to the attendees, and explaining why Triumph couldn’t make an appearance!
Jon Stewart is the host of the show and everyone in comedy comes out for it. In the video that follows you’ll see many of the stars and VIP’s that attended ranging from Doug Herzog, Pres. of MTV Networks, to Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Tracy Morgan, Tom Morello, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ben Stiller, Katy Perry, Louis CK, and Seth Rogen.
Jon Stewart of The Daily Show who hosts and produces this Autism event every two years!
Lots more people were there, including stars you wouldn’t expect to see like Harvey Keitel, Steve Schirripa, Tommy Hilfiger, and Sting. Hannibal Buress and Bill Burr both performed great stand-up sets. Ben Stiller did a funny sketch in his character as Derek Zoolander, with Tommy Hilfiger, and Sting did an amazing musical number where someone bid about 25 G’s to have his name in an original song to be sung on air, and then gave the honor as a present to a guy named Paul Repps.
Sting singing to Paul Repps with Harvey Keitel and JB Smoove as back-up singers!
Sting sang “Paul Repps” to the tune of “Roxanne” and the name fit perfectly into the timing. The entire cast joined in as background singers, including Louis CK, (not usually known for his singing ability, Seth Rogen, Steve Schirripa, Harvey Keitel, Katy Perry (usually known for HER singing ability!) and all the rest!
The entire cast from Louis CK on down joined Sting in singing back-up for Paul Repps!
Aileen Budow and Eve Kenny ran the red carpet and did an amazing job as they always do. There’s almost as much press as audience, because of the caliber of talent that shows up, but sometimes the major TV networks keep the celebs talking so long they have no time to speak to the other people waiting to interview them, because the show has to start on time.
I got to speak to Hannibal Buress,JB Smoove, and Tom Morello, and that was very cool! I was anxious to hear Tom’s take on “Laughing Joe Biden” who laughed his way through the Vice Presidential debate. My point to Tom was that my opinion had nothing to do with politics or who you support in the election, but that it was a very childish, rude and arrogant thing to laugh like an idiot every time your opponent tries to make a point about something serious.
You can listen to those interviews here on Comedy Matters TV:
It was so beneath what you would expect from the second in command of the most powerful country in the world, that watching it alone, I found myself wondering whether it was just me who felt that way, or whether others agreed with me. I was so astonished by his behavior, that I went to the internet for validation of my feelings, and found out how many other people agreed with me. One night later, I got to talk on air about it to Curtis Sliwa, who asked me to come on and comment on the whiteness of Joe Biden’s teeth, and his propensity towards hysterical laughter!
Tom said he “would have slapped them both!” (LOL)
There were some really funny and different moments to this show and comedy is one force that can make people put their personal feelings aside for a moment and come together for one common puroise, as was the case of liberal Chris Matthews, participating in a debate with conservative Bill O’Reilly while both had to inhale helium from balloons before speaking. It was hysterical, and amazing to see the two of them laughing together like little boys, while still giving each other digs, and talking in helium-pitched tones!
(L-R)- Chris Matthews, moderator John King, and Bill O’Reilly surrounded by helium balloons! Very funny and creative gag!
Then Kevin Bacon came out dressed as “Butter” and Liev Schreiber came out dressed as “Broccoli” for a fun sketch with Paula Deen.
Kevin Bacon as “Butter” and Liev Schreiber as “Broccoli” arguing over who Paul Deen liked better!
During the live auction we got to see very creative bits like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler auctioning off their friendship for which two women each paid something like $36,000. each! The show did a very smart thing by letting two people win who were tied in a bid, thereby getting twice the money!
And Donny Deutsch wound up spending around 20 grand to take a pee with Seth Rogen, and two other guys who also paid the same amount. It was a group pee, and very original programming, I must say. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before!
Donny Deutsch, laughing hysterically with Seth Rogen in the Men’s Room where they relieved themselves together for Autism!
The broadcast, Sunday night at 8 Eastern, 7 Central will feature a live phone bank with celebs taking donations, including Ed Asner, Samantha Bee, Dane Cook, Bill Hader, Tom Hanks, Jason Jones, Hoda Kotb, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Al Pacino, Lara Spencer,Kenan Thompson, Allison Williams and Wendy Williams.
There will be LIVE Video Chats with Phone Bank Celebrities including Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Bob Saget and Jason Sudeikis which will be offered to donors, and donor participation will determine the outcome of special stunts featuring Conan O’Brien getting a spray tan and Nick Offerman doing a striptease!
All Donations of $100 or More Will Receive a DVD Featuring Tracy Morgan and JB Smoove giving audio commentary on “Game of Thrones”, and I got to see some of this and it’s hysterical so get out your Benjamins, and get a couple of these as give-aways!
This will be one heck of a show, and they already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars at the taping, so I can only imagine what they’ll bring in from the broadcast! Here’s hoping it’s millions!
And as a special treat, I even got to talk about my new book “Make ‘Em Laugh” with Chris Rock, to Hannibal Buress, Tom Morello, and JB Smoove!
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with rock legend Tom Morello holding Jeffrey’s new book ” Make ‘Em Laugh” with an intro by Chris Rock!
Jeffrey Gurian of Comedy Matters TV with Hannibal Buress who looks happy to be holding”Make ‘Em Laugh!”
JB Smoove flashing gang signs while helping Jeffrey Gurian to promote his new book ” Make ‘Em Laugh” with Chris Rock!