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Comedy Matters
Written and Photographed
by Jeffrey Gurian


Jim Breuer and Jeffrey Gurian

 

Amazing Month at Gotham

Chris Mazzilli's Gotham Comedy Club has had some month. First Comedy Central shot their series Live at Gotham; then Showtime shot a special starring Doug Stanhope; then Comedy Central came back to shoot a new show called Crash Course; a funny look at comedy class starring one of my faves, Ted Alexandro; then they had the auditions for Last Comic Standing; and then the auditions for this summer's 25th anniversary of the "Just For Laughs Festival" in Montreal. Whew!!!!


Artie Lange and Jeffrey Gurian at Gotham

And Chris never looks tired - always cool and in control.

He arranged for an amazing array of hosts for each night of Live at Gotham. I went down to check out my buddy Artie Lange from the Howard Stern Show and Jim Breuer whose show Breuer Unleashed runs from Monday to Friday on RawDog 104, from 4-6 P.M.

Jim's co-host is the always hilarious Pete Correale, who gave me an amazing joke for my book, "Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive - Jokes So Dirty, Comedians Only Tell Them To Each Other." The book will be out April 24th, but I brought an advance copy to both Artie and to Jim.


Jim Breuer and Jeffrey Gurian at Gotham

Artie also gave me a great joke for the book, which of course endeared him to me. He may hold some kind of record for selling out Carnegie Hall (in only three hours) for Caroline Hirsch's "NY Comedy Festival" back in '06.

Artie, a fixture on all the late-night TV talk shows was also the star of the film he recently co-wrote, and produced called Beer League. Needless to say, Artie killed and the audience was totally his from the moment he walked out on stage.

What was great about seeing Breuer again, besides laughing hysterically at his set, was experiencing his photographic memory for events. He remembered exactly when the last time was that we saw each other and even recalled where it was. That is highly unusual, especially for me, a guy who loses his car on a regular basis because he can't recall where he parked it an hour before. And that's with no alcohol - strictly ADHD!!!

Breuer was with his lovely wife Dee, and I got to see pictures of the beautiful kids. Going backstage these days is a lot different than it was years ago when groups of people might be slurring their words in unison. Now it's pictures of the kids. Anyway, Jim and Pete invited me on the show when the book comes out so I'm pretty psyched about that.

Live At 30 Rock

I drove over to Silvercup Studios in Queens to hang with Tracy Morgan, on the set of 30 Rock. They sat me in a room with a script and made me feel important. It wasn't till later that I realized I had been stationed outside the Ladies' Room.


Jeffrey Gurian
Ladies' Room at 30 Rock

Tracy's not only funny onstage, he's funny in the dressing room, on the phone, in the street, basically all the time.

But while we were waiting for him to go on, we were watching TV, and commenting on the stupidity of most of the talk show guests who are willing to humiliate themselves just to be on television. One show in particular had a fourteen-year-old girl who dressed way too sexy and who admitted to already engaging in sexual activity, and her mother brought her on the show because she couldn't get her to change her behavior. Good job for TV!


Tracy Morgan and his Equine Co-star
on Set of 30 Rock

Tracy was like, " Where's the father? That's the problem with most of these kids. The father is never around." And he was right. There was no father on the scene. I was glad to hear Tracy's take on that, as it's obvious that being a good father is very important to him. He has three kids.

As I said earlier, hanging backstage is not what it used to be. Now it's all about the kids.

Susan Blond's 20th Anniversary

I got asked to write some remarks for my good friend Susan Blond's 20th Anniversary party at Michael's Restaurant and it was a packed, star-studded affair. I would expect no less considering the magnitude of the people she represents, and has represented over the years, beginning with her friendship with Andy Warhol, and including the late great James Brown.


Susan Blond and Jeffrey Gurian Wear Matching Outfits

James, who had been scheduled to be taped for an anniversary video that was shown, left us just a day before the taping. The video included laudatory statements about Susan's firm from luminaries like Clive Davis, Usher, Lil' Jon, Paul Shaffer, and Sean Paul.

And interestingly enough, every remark I wrote was weighed as to how it would affect each person in the audience. P.R. people know the power of words, and how to use them.

The event was hosted by MTV's Damien Fahey, who is also the host of the hit show TRL (Total Request Live). I got to write lines for Damien like, "If anyone had told me twenty-five years ago that someday I'd be hosting the 20th Anniversary of Susan Blond Inc, I would have cried. Not out of joy or excitement, but because I was just an infant and wouldn't have known what you were talking about."

Unfortunately for me he wound up not working from the script, and spoke eloquently from his heart, about all the good stuff Susan has accomplished. Damien was there with his manager and my old friend Rory Rosegarten, Rory Rosegarten, whose Conversation Company is probably best known for repping Ray Romano, as well as Robert Klein and many rising stars like Tom Cotter and Adam Ferrara.


Damien Fahey and Jeffrey Gurian
Susan Blond's Party at Michael's

Funny story: Everyone I meet thinks I'm in the music business. Even people in the music business think I'm in the music business. So I get to meet Damien's parents and his lovely Mom asks to take a photo with me. I was honored, so of course I said "yes", after which she confided in me that she was so excited to meet me, because she had all of my albums.

Not wanting to embarrass the lady, I simply said "Thank-you. And tell your son to get me on MTV," which probably sounded strange coming from a guy who if I had been who she thought I was, was probably on MTV on a regular basis. I wish I knew who she thought I was; I hope it was someone cool!

Tony Danza at The Friars Club

Producer Randie Levine-Miller has produced many shows, including over thirty celebrity luncheons at The Friars Club. Once a month she arranges for A-list celebs to come and be interviewed. This month it was Tony Danza.

Tony, who was currently starring in the hit Broadway show The Producers, has had an eclectic background, ranging from professional boxer to star of TV's Taxi and Who's The Boss, as well as his own talk show The Tony Danza Show.


Joey Reynolds and Tony Danza at The Friars Club

He's also a film star (Crash) and is a song and dance man who performs all over the USA. Interviewing him was my good pal, Joey Reynolds, the top-rated nationally syndicated radio talk show host from WOR Radio and the host of The Joey Reynolds Show, a show I've been proud to be a guest on many, many times.

It was a sold-out, standing room only affair and Joey handled the interview easily and with aplomb, whatever that means!!! I happen to like Joey so much that I even used his photo with Tony instead of my own. That's how you know I really like the guy. (Now I can also plug my book on Joey's show too!!!)

The Mayor Of South Beach

I went down to South Beach, Miami to hook up a book signing for this same book I keep plugging shamelessly. When I go someplace like South Beach it's kind of like when I hit the club scene in New York. I know the scenesters, meaning the club owners, the promoters, the publicists. I don't know the crowd, unless I happen to meet them through the "scenesters".


Jerry Powers and Jeffrey Gurian

When you get to South Beach you only have to know one guy, Jerry Powers, the publisher of Ocean Drive Magazine and fourteen others, but who's counting. It might be easier to get a meeting with Pres. Bush than Jerry Powers, but luckily our twenty plus years of friendship counted and I scored a meeting with Jerry in his office.

His office, by the way, has photos of him with three Presidents of the USA. THREE. The man is influential, and very unassuming - very down to earth. He told me who to call and told me I could use his name and as of this moment, it looks pretty good for me to have a book signing in Miami. Maybe I'll fly you all down, (but there's a chance I won't!)

Anyway, until next time, remember, 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 Rivers, 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. Jeffrey 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.



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