Written and Photographed
by Jeffrey Gurian
Jeffrey Gurian and Susie Essman
Caroline’s Does It Again
There's one undisputed Queen of
Comedy and that's Caroline Hirsch. She always manages
to outdo herself, as evidenced by the incredible
line-up at her wildly successful NY Comedy Festival.
This year the festival featured
sold-out performances at major venues around town
with stars like Dane Cook, Robert Smigel (aka Triumph,
The Insult Comic Dog), Artie Lange, Howie Mandel,
Jim Norton, Brian Regan, Susie Essman, and Mario
Cantone. Artie Lange sold out Carnegie Hall within
minutes. It's great to see Artie doing so well because
he's such a good guy. He deserves it.
George Shapiro and Jeffrey
At the “Andy Kaufman Award Show
Caroline's also had a great team
in Louis Faranda, Greg Charles, and Bryan Kennedy
who all work tirelessly to make sure that everything
goes smoothly. That's why heavyweights in the business
like George Shapiro (best known as Jerry Seinfeld's
manager) agreed to be a judge at the third annual
Andy Kaufman Award show.
George also managed Andy. Andy's
dad Stanley gives out a $5,000 award each year to
the performer who best embodies Andy's creative
spirit. This year it was to a young comic named
Reggie Watts. Both George and Stanley gave me great
stories for my new book Turning Point about the
synchronicitous events in celebrities’ lives
that took their lives in a different direction.
Susie Essman is always a crowd
pleaser and she had a sold out show at Caroline’s
with two very talented performers, Dan Naturman
and Ted Alexandro, as her opening acts. Both of
these guys will be HUGE! Trust me, I know!
Susie was there with her boyfriend
Jimmy. Backstage I ran into writer/producer Alan
Zweibel, who co-wrote the new Martin Short show,
Fame Becomes Me . Alan, who was there with his lovely
wife Robin, gave me my start many years ago. Susie
will soon begin shooting the next season of Curb
for Larry David. Can't wait to see it!!!
The Other Queen Of Comedy
Jeffrey Gurian Dancing With
Backstage at Caroline’s
There's one more Queen of comedy, and that's my
old pal Lisa Lampanelli. The NY Times called her
"Comedy's lovable Queen of Mean" and it
stuck. Lisa's career is astronomical. She's almost
a regular on Leno: three times in six months. The
only one on the show more than Lisa is Leno himself!
Howard Stern loves her.
I saw Lisa at Caroline’s; I find myself there
a lot! I brought Tommy Silverman, CEO of Tommy Boy
Records, and his beautiful wife Donna D'Cruz (of
Rasa Music) to see her. They were knocked out. Lisa
gave them an autographed copy of her new CD, "Take
It Like A Man." But she didn't give one to
Lisa made my "Dancing With Comedians”
series of photos. Only a very few stars make that
distinguished group: people like Gilbert Gottfried,
Paul Provenza, and Phil Hartman.
Comedy Is Sexy
Krista Ayne and Jeffrey
Gurian outside The Joey Reynolds Show
Just ask anyone who was at the Penthouse
comedy show (once again at Caroline’s). I
really didn't intend for my entire column to be
set at Caroline’s, but if that's where the
action is, then that's where I have to be. Penthouse
heavyweights John Bolster, Mark Healy, and Lainie
Speiser were at the Caroline’s show. Penthouse
does a monthly column called Stand-Up Guys where
they interview hot comics.
I brought Penthouse Centerfold Krista Ayne, who's
running for Pet of the Year for 2007, to the Joey
Reynolds national talk radio show on WOR. I haven't
seen Joey look that happy in years! Krista is my
Comedy Matters Girl of the Month, where she will
receive a lot less compensation than she'll get
if she wins Pet of the Year.
Artists Fight Autism
Jeffrey Gurian and Jimmy
Fallon at the After-Party
Robert Smigel exec-produced the Comedy
Central event “Night of Too Many Stars,”
a benefit to fight autism hosted by Jon Stewart;
they raised two million dollars. Some of the stars
that showed up to perform were Stephen Colbert,
Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Amy Poehler, Ricky Gervais,
Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon. !
Heath Ledger Wants To Do
Jeffrey Gurian and Heath
Heath Ledger was in town doing press for his new
film with Abby Cornish called Candy. It's
a very dark love story about two heroin addicts
and nothing like Brokeback. I can only
assume Heath preferred kissing Abby Cornish to kissing
Jake Gyllenhaal. Heath wants to do more comedies.
I just might have a script to show him!
Anyway, remember, until next time, COMEDY MATTERS!!!
A nationally known comedy writer, and an authority
on roast humor, Jeffrey L. Gurian has written material
for many of the great performers at the fabled Friars
Roasts, including Richard Belzer, Robin Williams,
Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, and even Bruce Willis,
as well as material for comedy stars such as Joan
Gilbert Gottfried, Phil Hartman, Pauly Shore, "Dice"
Clay, and Pat Cooper. He wrote and directed The
Men Who Series of short films for the Toyota Comedy
Festival, currently showing on cell phones and You
Tube. . He also wrote for MTV and USA Network, and
was one of the writers of Sony's first interactive
film. As a playwright he wrote a one- hour NBC drama
about the devastating effects of homelessness on
the young, entitled De La Salle. He was
given the honor of having his own column in the
legendary Weekly World News called "Gurian's
World of the Bizarre." His first feature film
Face to Face, that he wrote with Scott
Baio, made its world premiere at the Taos, New Mexico
Film Festival, and was honored as the opening night
film. It has since become an award-winning film,
and won for Best Comedy Feature at the Marco Island
Film Festival in Florida, and the Valley Film Festival
in Hollywood. His newest film, I Am Woody
about a mob boss obsessed with Woody Allen, won
for Best Short Film at the NY Independent Film Festival.
He can be seen around town performing his comedy
news broadcast Uncle Nat's Traveling Peep Show with
his comedy partner model/performer Sonya Gignac.
Jeffrey was recently chosen to be the East Coast
producer of National Lampoon radio. His first book,
based on his writing for the Friars Roasts is from
Kensington Books, "Filthy, Funny, and Totally
Offensive - Jokes So Dirty Comedians and Entertainers
Only Tell Them To Each Other." In addition
Jeffrey is a Clinical Professor at NYU in the Oral
Medicine/Oro-Facial Pain Department, a cosmetic
dentist, lecturer, author and healer. He also is
credited for developing a cure for stuttering. You
may read more at http:www.jeffreygurian.com.