Jeffrey Gurian is a writer and comedian 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 was at Gotham, The Stand, and New York Comedy Club.
I popped into New York Comedy Club to catch Roast Battle and Matt Richards was doing his always hilarious thing as the host/Roast Master. The judges were Neko White who recently had his first Breakout Night at Carolines, Corinne Fisher who recently sold out LA’s Comedy Store which she told me is now her home club in LA, and New York Comedy Club regular Matt Pavich, from MTV2’s Joking Off. The headliner roast was between Brendan Sagalow and Phil from Chico. During what turned out to be a heated battle between two good friends, Phil must have shared something very personal about his girlfriend with Brendan, never expecting him to use it in his Roast material, … but he did, and to make matters worse he did it while Phil’s girlfriend was there filming the roast on her cell phone. She was standing right next to me and stopped filming for a moment, … TWICE, … to give either one of them or maybe both, the finger! And you know which finger I mean! I heard that Phil got it good after the Roast was over, and I was so dizzy I don’t even recall who won! If Phil won he still lost because of what went down. The place was packed with audience and tons of comics, and owner Emilio Savone and his beautiful wife Ankara were there.
A group called The Winter Film Awards had it’s first annual comedy competition at Broadway Comedy Club and my buddy Max May won the thing. He won $200 and parts in two upcoming films. He hosts shows at the International Youth Hostel at 103rd and Amsterdam several times a month, where he hones his material that he uses to win competitions! He also produces popular shows with comedian Craig Fox at venues like The Village Lantern. Coming in second was Jocelyn Chia, originally a corporate lawyer, born in Singapore which she made clear is not part of nor has anything to do with China! She used to handle Mergers and Acquisitions and now handles the rigors of the comedy world.
Corinne Fisher told me that she and her comedy partner Krystyna Hutchinson signed with CAA and have like 5 agents working on their behalf. How cool to think that she was my social media assistant for a year, and that’s how we became so close. She is a simply WONDERFUL person and so funny! We always had a great time together. She’s been going back and forth to LA and her manager Kris Koller at Seven Summits is the guy who made Zooey Deschanel’s career pop. She said the Comedy Store became their home club because they have tons of LA fans.
The Stand is always buzzing with excitement and talent and as I pulled up to the club I was pretty sure I saw Blackbeard the Pirate outside grabbing a smoke but it was just Sean Patton getting in a few puffs before he went onstage totally killing it as usual. He’ll be on Season 2 of Ari Shaffir’s show This Is Not Happening on Comedy Central. He’ll be talking about his first apartment as a young man in New Orleans where he’s from.
I also got to catch up with Chris Distefano who was sporting a brand new haircut. It was so neat it made me uncomfortable, but any kind of haircut does that to me. It reminds me of being a kid and after the barber just shaved your head to a point, as if he put your head in a pencil sharpener, he would hold up a mirror for your approval, and what was left for me to do except to shake my head as if I liked it. That shaved-up-the-back-of-the-neck look makes me gag. Anyway, Chris told me he’s off to Madison, Wisconsin to headline Comedy Club On State, and then off to Austin Texas. He said his baby Delilah is now 8 months old, and jumps up and bites people. I think he was kidding, but I’m not entirely sure!
And host Vladimir Camaano told me he’s been working on the script for his NBC pilot eponymously named Vlad for the last five months with Bill Lawrence, the show runner from Scrubs and Adam Sztykiel the creator of Undateable. Good company! And they work on the Warner Brothers lot. Last July Vlad taped the Howie Mandel gala at Just for Laughs, which just aired on the CW, and featured Pete Holmes, Marina Franklin, Jim Breuer, Fortune Feimster and Jeffrey Ross.
In my last column I had mentioned two boutique agencies I visited at the APAP Conference, Howard Beder’s First Class Entertainment and Bob Kinkead’s Kinkead Entertainment. Both of them handle some pretty cool acts. Kinkead had a showcase of it’s talent at Gotham Comedy Club this week, and the room was packed, as was the talent roster. Headquartered in Nashville, TN, Bob recently opened a branch in New York headed up by two old friends of mine, Harlan Halper former owner of Comix, and the multi-talented and multi-careered Carole Montgomery. Bob also came up to attend the showcase.
I got to see some comics I’ve known for a while at the showcase, like Adam Sank, who described himself as the token “gay” comic, Alycia Cooper, Jon Laster, Keith Alberstadt, D.C. Benny, Shuli Egar from Howard Stern Show, Maureen Langan, Joe Matarese, Stacey Prussman who hosted the event, and Jacob Williams who I had recently met when we filmed sketches together for Rip Micheals upcoming show Off The Rip produced by Brandon T. Jackson. I got to see a few new faces as well, like Meshelle who bills herself as “the Indie Mom”. I told her that she reminded me of a female Kevin Hart. Kinkead also reps some favorite names like Lynne Koplitz, Drew Fraser, Judy Gold, and The Three Tenors(Who Can’t Sing),” along with comedy superstar Bill Engvall. It was a really fun evening.
And right upstairs was the monthly Mixtape show produced by Royale Watkins who comes in from LA, and Kristen J. who always packs the show with great talent. So I was busy running up and down the stairs and in one of my trips upstairs I ran into one of my true faves J.B. Smoove who just this past Friday was profiled on MSG’s Beginnings about his life growing up in Mt. Vernon, including a visit to the place where he got started, the old Uptown Comedy Club in Harlem. J.B. and I hugged it out and caught up a little bit. He was wearing pants that only J.B. could pull off. They were like jodphurs, or some kind of riding pants, but he always has great style.
And now I’m off to watch the snow come down which basically means, … I’m OUT!!!
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 include Jeffrey with Sean Patton and Chris Distefano.