Written and Photographed
by Jeffrey Gurian
Christian Slater and Jeffrey Gurian
Clearview Chelsea Cinema
Gen Art Rocks
Every Spring, I look forward to attending the Gen
Art Film Festival (April 11 to April 17, 2007 genart.com),
which I think I've been doing ever since it started
twelve years ago. Gen Art is a leading arts and
entertainment organization, dedicated to showcasing
the best of emerging talent in the areas of film,
art, and fashion.
So much of the credit for this amazing festival
has to go to Jeffrey Abramson, the Festival Director
and Programmer. Jeffrey works tirelessly all year
long searching out the best films from all over
Gen Art Festival Director
Jeff Abramson with
Christian Slater and Jamison Jones of He Was
A Quiet Man
This year the festival opened with a great film
called Crashing, starring Campbell Scott.
Scott plays a newly famous novelist who gets tossed
out by his wife at the same time he's speaking on
a college campus. Scott’s character is then
invited by sexy coed roommates Izabella Miko (Coyote
Ugly) and Lizzy Caplan (The Class)
to "crash" at their pad: Very interesting
Gen Art screens seven films over the course of
the week and hosts seven after-parties at the hippest
places around town. The opening night party for
Crashing was at The Park.
Jeffrey Gurian and Lizzy
Caplan at The Park
All the films were great but I think the closing
film, He Was A Quiet Man, starring Christian
Slater, Elisha Cuthbert, William H. Macy, Sascha
Knopf, and Jamison Jones was my favorite. Slater
plays a man who is at the end of his rope and fantasizes
about "going postal" in his office. He
keeps a gun in his desk that he loads and unloads
while he fantasizes about the violence he would
like to unleash. This theme is very poignant right
now, especially considering the recent Virginia
What amazed me most about the film was Slater's
physical transformation to a nerdy-looking, balding
loser with thick glasses. He looked perfect for
the role of a guy capable of snapping and committing
mass murder. Slater looked exactly like the kind
of person who when the police interview his neighbors
after his crime spree, one will invariably say,
“He was a quiet man." Christian said
he's just glad his hair grew back!
New Head of Just For Laughs Festival
The 25th year of the biggest, most famous comedy
festival in the world is coming up this summer.
No silly, not Ed's Fest of Jest in Waukegan, Illinois!
It’s the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.
What is Ed's Fest of Jest in Waukegan, Illinois
anyway? I think that's the smallest comedy festival
in the world. (One guy entertaining himself!)
Maureen Taran, VP of Programming
And helming the festival in its landmark year is
newly named VP of Programming, veteran talent manager
Maureen Taran, who moved back to her native Montreal
to assume this illustrious position.
Maureen had opened her own talent management company,
coincidentally known as The Taran Co., after she
spent nine years working for the Barry Katz Entertainment
Interestingly enough, during the early 1990's Maureen
worked at the festival as a talent logistics coordinator.
And now she'll be running it. Great story!
Working alongside Just For Laughs chief operating
officer Bruce Hills and the rest of the programming
team in Montreal, Taran said she aims at extending
the festival's brand into the USA - to broaden the
"I'm looking to take what Just For Laughs
has done and make it bigger and better, taking shows
to Broadway, creating different touring packages
beyond stand-up or taking the event to the Internet,"
Pat Cooper Visits The Comical
Danny Lobell is a go-getter. Besides being a stand-up
comic, he created the magazine known as "The
Comical", which you will find in every comedy
club in NYC worth its salt, (where do I get these
archaic phrases from?). “The Comical”
profiles major people in comedy. Danny keeps threatening
to write about me in it. So far, nothing!
Jeffrey Gurian, Pat Cooper
and Danny Lobell
However, Danny did invite me to be on his radio
broadcast where I was thrilled to see my old pal
Pat Cooper, who also showed up to do a spot. Pat
is amazing; because as big a star as he is, he's
always ready to help a young performer by showing
up to perform.
Many years ago he even starred in a short film
for me (along with Richard Belzer and Gilbert Gottfried)
so I speak from experience.
Danny's show is fun and very loose and I got a
chance to play my slide whistle, talk about my affinity
for spoons, my Weekly World News stories, my spoon
plants, my book and my newly opened spoon repair
shop on the Upper East Side.
I'm pretty sure Danny and his friends thought I
was in the music business, and that was after my
Gary Coleman Spins at Home
That's not gossip. Home is the hot club on West
27th Street in NYC and they were doing a film party
for director Poull Brien and his newest film Sundance
Celebrity Swag Hunt, which was shot at Sundance
during the 2007 festival,
Swag is a comedic documentary about the world of
celebrity gifting. It stars Gary Coleman and Dustin
Diamond; in the documentary, they compete against
each other to see who can get the most stuff for
Gary Coleman and Jeffrey
Gurian at Home
Coleman didn't fly to New York for free; he made
it clear he was flown in by the producers to DJ
at the party, a task which he performed admirably.
Coleman was a really friendly guy, and it was good
to meet him as we have a mutual friend at National
Lampoon Radio - CEO Kent Emmons. Kent will be hosting
a party for me in on June 27th in LA. The party
is for promote my book, “Filthy, Funny, and
Totally Offensive". Can't wait.
Lisa Lampanelli Luncheon at The Friars
The Friars Club has always been a safe haven for
comedians and free speech (especially when it comes
to outrageous humor) so it was a natural fit for
them to honor the legendary Queen of Insult Humor,
“Comedy’s Lovable Queen of Mean"
- Lisa Lampanelli.
Lisa came with her parents, but she didn't soften
up her act at all. She called her mother the "C"
word and had some choice words for her father. But
Lisa said she didn't have to worry because her father‘s
“an old deaf bastard." But it was all
in jest and her parents laughed as loud as everyone
Lisa Lampanelli, Frankie
Valli and Stewie Stone
Lots of stars stopped by including Dominic (Uncle
Junior) Chianese, co-star of The Sopranos,
and legendary singer Frankie Valli (The Four
Seasons), who is also a star on The Sopranos.
Lisa is featured in my book and is expected at
my party at The Friars Club.
Michele Balan Rocks Gotham
Last Comic Standing finalist Michele Balan is on
a whirlwind schedule of performances that take her
all over the country and beyond. She made time for
her New York fans to play Gotham Comedy Club in
a show she called Hinjew Hysteria.
Michele Balan and Jeffrey
Gurian at Gotham Comedy Club
Michele was the "Jew", and Vidur Kapur,
an openly gay Indian comic who I had seen before
at an all Indian comedy show at Don't Tell Mama's,
supplied the "Hin" part. It was an interesting
creative mix and the show was very funny.
Marion Grodin, who is not only an outstanding comic
but also the producer of her own comedy shows at
clubs all over town, was the MC for the evening.
She is also the daughter of the legendary actor
Charles Grodin, so comedy is in her DNA.
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.