September 2007 Comedy Matters
Written and Photographed
by Jeffrey Gurian
Wanda De Jesus and Jeffrey Gurian
Elon is Gold
Elon Gold and Jeffrey Gurian
My pal Elon Gold
was one of three judges on ABC's summer hit show,
The Next Big Thing, a search for the next
best celebrity impressionist. Elon was often better
than the contestants. So when I heard he was in
New YOrk, I made sure to swing by Comix on West
14th Street to catch him do his thing.
Elon is an accomplished
actor, impressionist and stand-up comic. He is often
seen on late-night TV and also starred in two recent
sit-coms, NBC's In-Laws with Dennis Farina,
and Fox's Stacked with Pamela Anderson
and Christopher Lloyd.
I don't know if he
can "do" Pamela Anderson, (not in the
Biblical sense of course!), but I bet Elon does
a great impression of Christopher Lloyd. I know
he does a great Ricky Ricardo. He told a Lucy impressionist
on the show, "Lucy, you got a lot of 'splainin'
to do." That one stuck out for me.
One of the strongest
contestants on Next was Roger Kabler. Roger
did such a great impression of Robin Williams (down
to the dentistry) that there were moments I actually
thought that Robin was on stage.
were Jeffrey Ross and Lisa Ann Walter, and the energy
between the three was great. I keep meaning to ask
Jeffrey if he just came up with his hilarious comments
on the spot, or if he wrote his script beforehand.
I will be very surprised
if this show does not come back.
Elon had a packed
show at Comix, heavy on people of the Hebraic persuasion.
I'm not sure, but I could swear I saw at least one
guy backstage in a "tallis." No tsfillin
or tsitsis, but definitely a tallis.
I also got to meet
Elon's lovely wife Sasha. It was a great show.
Love Me Tender
Thanks to hot PR firm Bazan P.R.
I was invited to the premiere of John Singleton's
new film Illegal Tender. One of the stars
of Tender is Reggaeton star Tego Calderon, who played
the part of a Puerto Rican gangster. He was perfect
in the role. I happen to love Reggaeton music. If
you can hear good Reggaeton music and not feel like
you have to move, you are missing a few synapses
somewhere. It's happy music.
John Singleton and Franc
Reyes at Marquee
John Singleton produced
Tender which was written and directed by
Franc. Reyes. Reyes really moved me when he dedicated
the film to his Mom who is no longer with us. In
the film, Wanda (Blood Work) DeJesus, and
Rick (Coach Carter) Gonzalez play a mother
and son who go up against a Latino gangster who
killed their husband/father twenty years before
and still wants to kill them.
Wanda de Jesus and Jeffrey
Wanda plays a very powerful role;
she kicks some serious butt which I like because
I like strong women! Wanda looked "hot"
at the premiere and at the after-party at Marquee,
still one of the best clubs in the city. (I wanted
to say "hottest" clubs, but I use that
word too much! Who am I Paris Hilton?)
I also met Dania Ramirez at the
Marquee afterparty. Dania played A.J. Soprano's
girlfriend Blanca in the final season of The
Sopranos. Dania was great - so bubbly and excited
to be there. She was really good in the film too.
In Tender, Ramirez plays Ana, the college
girlfriend of the movie’s hero, Wilson De
Mims and Jeffrey Gurian
in Front of Marquee
I also got to meet Mims, the rapper
who has the number one song "This Is Why I'm
Hot." I was really excited to meet Mims. This
is one guy who deserves all of his success since
he had such a hard beginning. He lost his Dad when
he was eleven and his Mom when he was thirteen;
he was raised by his grandmother and his aunt. According
to Mims, in one year he went from a guy who had
no food in the fridge (or his stomach) to the very
top where he is making lots of money and living
the good life. Only show business can change your
circumstances so dramatically in one year. We wish
you continued success Mims!!! Holla back at ya boy!
I also recognized an actress
in the film named Zulay Henao who I had met two
years before at a film festival in New York. I predicted
she would some day be a big star, and it seems that
she's on her way. A few days later I was at a screening
of a new film called Feel The Noise and
she was one of the stars of that film as well. I
like to think I have a good eye for talent.
John Singleton told me about how
he decided to film school at USC. He was traveling
in Africa and realized that he didn't know how to
use his new camera, so when he came back home he
enrolled in USC's film school. Obviously, he paid
attention in class. By the time Singleton graduated
at age twenty-three, he had already written the
script to his first film, Boyz 'N The Hood.
Actresses Monica Gambee
and Lily Agosto at Marquee
At the Marquee after-party I ran
into actress Monica Gambee from LA and her friend
Lily. Monica has two films coming out, and I'm hoping
she'll work with me on something, She truly has
something special. Right now I'm just working on
trying to get her to call me back!
Healing Caron Bernstein
I always liked Caron Bernstein
and not just because she was a beautiful model.
Maybe it's her accent, maybe it's the aura of positive
energy that surrounds her or maybe it's that she
spells her first name with a "C" instead
of a "K" like all the other Karens in
the world, But when I heard she was celebrating
her birthday at my pal Noel Ashman's place The Plumm,
I decided to go and surprise her. Last year Noel
lent me The Plumm to shoot a segment of Court TV's
Parco P.I.. Noel’s a rare individual and a
Birthday Girl Caron Bernstein
and Noel Ashman Laughing
While Jeffrey Gurian Heal Caron's Leg
Caron was very surprised to see
me. While I was there and just before they brought
out the birthday cake, Caron injured her ankle and
was complaining of pain. So I decided to do some
healing work on the spot. I've done it in a lot
stranger places, believe me, and within minutes
I had her smiling again. Plus, I got to hold her
leg for all that time. I tried to drag it out even
longer, but the pain went away too fast!
Jarah Moriano and Caron
Bernstein at The Plumm
Caron was hanging with Jarah Moriano
who holds the distinction of being the first Asian
model to appear in the Victoria's Secret catalogue.
I didn't get a chance to hold her leg, or any other
I also got to hang with actress DJAsia Argento,
who I had met before through director Abel Ferrara.
Actor/Producer Norman Reedus
I also talked with actor Norman
Reedus at the party. I actually just spoke with
Norman Reedus. I was writing his name as I wrote
this column and I decided to call him. I caught
him on the set of a film he's shooting in Utah.
At the end of our conversation, he said he had to
leave to go rape a woman. (Don't worry! It was just
part of the script!)
Norman and I bonded over esoteric
wisdom, which is not easy to discuss in a noisy
club to a background of hip-hop music. It's not
even easy to discuss it in the quiet of the Theosophical
Society. Norman has a new production company called
Big Bald Head. I didn't ask why. We hope to do a
project together. My pal Noel gets a good crowd!
Does anyone recognize this
On my way home on the plane from
Montreal last month, I wound up sitting next to
who let me take a photo of his beard, to use as
an example of the perfect kind of beard for "Beard
Painting." Unfortunately, I had no paint with
me for him to dip his beard into nor did I have
a canvas so he could try his hand or should I say
" try his beard." I just settled for the
If you recognize this fellow or if he's on my e-mail
list and actually gets this column, please have
him contact me.
George Lopez In The F.B.I.
George Lopez and Jeffrey
In Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben
Garant's new film Balls of Fury, a crazy
action/martial arts/ping-pong movie (how's that
for a new genre?) starring Christopher Walken, the
funny, funny George Lopez plays the role of an F.B.I.
Michael Ian Black and Jeffrey
Many years ago (when Robert Ben
Garant was known simply as Ben Garant), Garant,
Michael Ian Black and I wrote the world's first
interactive film for Sony, called I'm Your Man.
Man debuted in a theatre on 19th Street
and Broadway. In the film, the audience could change
the course of the plot by pressing buttons at their
seat. Check it out on IMDB.com if you don't believe
me! Ben and Michael went on to become big stars,
and I went on to become very well known around my
apartment. I'm known in every single room.
Anyway, at the press conference
for the film, George told me that he liked the script
as soon as he saw it and was particularly glad he
got to play the part of an F.B.I. agent in a suit
because most Latino movies have Latino characters
not even wearing a shirt.
George was so approachable and
forthright and when I asked him about a turning
point in his life he mentioned two. One was his
surgery two years ago in which his wife donated
a kidney to him and saved his life. He says he's
grateful for every day and I believed him by the
way he said it. How do you ever repay someone who
gave you one of their organs?
The other story, which I thought
was very cool, goes back to the late 90's in an
Austin comedy club, when George was still performing
in the clubs. One night there was a rumor that Sandra
Bullock was going to stop by (probably to see Chappelle)
and he remembers thinking that he hoped that she
He didn't think she would like
his act or get what he was doing. It turned out
that she didn't come by that night, but two years
later, Sandra was planning to produce a show based
on a Latino character and all roads led to George.
People kept asking Sandra if she had seen this guy
George Lopez and she hadn't. George told me that
he was getting known but didn't really have much
going on at the time.
Sandra came to see him (Lopez)
perform; she had to drive over an hour to get there
so George thought she was going to change her mind.
Not only did Sandra show up, she encouraged Geore
to create a show based on his act and she executive-produced
his show, The George Lopez Show, which
ran for six years and was a huge hit. A great story
Anyway, until next time, remember……
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
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.