Jeffrey Gurian is a writer, comedian and TV reporter in New York who loves to Jump Around. Follow his regular column right here, to find out what’s happening in comedy, and who Jeffrey Gurian ran into this week in and around New York. This week, Jeffrey covered the scene Vegas style, reporting from the Crapshoot Comedy Festival.
This week, I headed out to the first annual Crapshoot Comedy Festival, in Las Vegas, Nevada and I went out to cover the excitement. It was also my first festival with the Be Terrific people, who built me a very elaborate studio in one of the rooms at the hotels so I could do interviews, and you’ll be able to see all of them very soon on the Be Terrific network which is called Comedy Matters TV with Jeffrey Gurian.
The festival was produced by Paul Chamberlain, who also produced the Maui Comedy Festival. He’s in Vegas now, and produced the festival along with his wife, Kacky. Dave Attell was the headliner of the whole festival and there were 30 comedians.
I flew out to Vegas Wednesday, and then on Thursday went to the opening show at the El Cortez Hotel. The first show had Ryan Sickler, Kurt Braunohler, Jenny Zigrino and Matt Braunger performing, and it was a great show. Matt told a hilarious story about accidentally sticking his fingers into a strange man’s mouth. He’s a great storyteller. Kurt, who’s also a great storyteller is a new father and talked a lot about his two-month-old daughter. There was a strange sound at some point during Kurt’s set. It sounded like a shot went off, but it was just an electrical issue. But Kurt kept going and said, ‘in all my years of performing, I never had that happen.’
While I was there I got a text message, from my good friend George Wallace. George wasn’t booked for the festival, but he happened to send me a text flyer about a show he’s doing in Vegas in a week. Since he was in town, I texted him to come meet me, and we went to Dave Attell’s headlining show with Brad Williams. I brought George to meet Paul Chamberlain, who escorted us both backstage to hang out with Dave and Brad and Adam Ray…and Bert Kreischer came in too. We hung out together before the show started.
The show was amazing, amazing, amazing. It was just the two of them, Brad and Dave.
On stage, Brad Williams spoke really openly about his relationship with is fiancee, Jasmine. He refers to himself as a dwarf and says she’s a tall half-Chinese, half-white, beautiful woman. And he says in his act that they met on a three-way site for people looking to be in a three-way. The other girl couldn’t make it, and she said to him, you want to meet anyway? They’ve been dating for two years and now they’re engaged and getting married. She’s also a black belt in Karate and works with autistic children. Brad said he’s going on his honeymoon in Germany.
And while Dave Attell was on stage, he was calling out to people to ask them questions. He called up a birthday girl from the audience, and he took a photo of her with Brad and Bert. Then he said his ultimate kink would be laying on the floor with two dwarfs having sex on top of him. Brad was laughing so hard, he had tears. Later during the show, Dave brought Bert Kreischer up on stage. Bert had been laughing so hard at Attell that tears were literally running down his face, and Dave said Bert looked like the AD on a movie no one gives a shit about.
After the show, George came back with me to my studio and we did an interview that went an hour and 15 minutes. I originally said, let’s do fifteen minutes, but George had such good stories, the next thing we knew an hour went by. Later, we went out for dinner and then hung out till about 2am.
Friday, I left the festival to head over to the MGM Grand to see the Impractical Jokers perform, which took up most of my night. Sal Vulcano had let me know that the Jokers were coming to Las Vegas at the MGM Grand and they did a big show at the arena that holds 5,000 people. They hooked me up, we had backstage passes and after the show, I took my cameraman with me, and they let us film backstage. We were the only press people there, which was incredible. We shot them on the red carpet. We did very fun stuff. It was an incredible show. They showed a lot of funny films.
I was sitting in the lobby and who came running up, but a comedian from New York named John Femia, who used to produce shows in New York. He said he got tired of the NYC comedy scene and moved to Vegas. He’s looking for places to open new shows in Vegas, now. He was a child star on the TV show Square Pegs.
After his gig at the MGM, Sal Vulcano stopped by the festival. Even though the wasn’t really a part of the festival, he did a very late show, went on last and brought up Bert Kreisher to do crazy stuff.
There was no daytime programming, like in Montreal, so they organized events for the comedians during the afternoons. So one day, the comedians went to a buffet at Caesars Palace and used the pool. Then another time, they had a big Roulette game where they gave them money and taught them how to play. It was a Roulette competition for a few hours on Saturday. And they organized trips for them- like outings.
Josh Adam Meyers, and Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson all went zip lining which was so scary. They went to the Stratosphere Tower and you’re way up in there. I couldn’t believe they did that. Bert Kreischer told them when you jump, own it. You’ll just scream for a second. All the comics said they had a great time. They had a welcome suite on the 15th floor for all the comedians that was packed with food and drinks and stuff. All the comics said they had a really great time and they were looking forward to next year. Both Paul and his wife said that they were looking to create a “Crapshoot Comedy Family”, so that’s why they wanted the comedians to come and have a good time with each other- not just come as a job.
The last morning the festival arranged for everyone to have van rides to the airport so the New York comedians went one way and the LA comedians went the other. It was a great time for everyone.
And with that, I am OUT!!!….
But I’ll be back next week, reporting from New York City.
Jeffrey Gurian is a comedian, writer and all around bon vivant in New York City. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, Comedy Matters TV. Photos below Jeffrey with Bert Kreischer, Mark Normand, George Wallace, Josh Adam Meyers, and Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson.