Jeffrey Gurian continues to Jump Around up north to cover the last few days of the Montreal Just for Laughs comedy festival. Jeffrey joined our site as a regular columnist one year ago with his coverage of Montreal 2014, so Happy Anniversary Jeffrey! He’ll be sending in news, updates and stories from Canada all weekend, so check in every day to see what’s happening. Jeffrey Gurian is a writer and comedian in New York who loves to Jump Around. Follow his regular column, right here every Monday morning, to find out what’s happening in comedy, and who Jeffrey Gurian ran into this week.
So much news from Montreal! Gilbert Gottfried has a very strange OCD, Jeffrey Ross has an audience member forcibly removed, and Bill Burr proves that I’m a pushover. And that’s just for starters. Here goes.
Yesterday I started my day attending a funeral for Gilbert Gottfried. No he’s not dead, Just For Laughs was premiering a brand new series called The Wake, with their first comedian of honor, Gilbert Gottfried. He may not have been dead for his own wake but he was dead tired. Gilbert got in last night about 1am from his flight up to Montreal, and his wife Dara told me that hey didn’t get to sleep till 3:30, cause Gilbert has rituals that he does. He has to wash his socks and underwear in the sink before he goes to sleep. It’s kind of an OCD thing and I was shocked. Mostly shocked that Gilbert Gottfried does unusual things! No one would believe it!
So they had a mock funeral. Dara came dressed in all white as the grieving widow. They played funeral music through the whole thing and they had wreaths and a memorial photo that he passed away on 7/23. Just before the funeral I asked Dara if Gilbert was going to be laying in a coffin. She said you’ll see. It was a surprise. They had a live video insert of Gilbert’s reaction to his funeral and it was very funny. Sean Cullen was the minister and was amazing. He spoke like a minister and then he sang and was really very funny. He said that Gilbert was an enormous Jew, and sang a song to the tune of God is Watching Us, but changing the words to Gilbert is Watching Us. Keith Robinson and Joe DeRosa were two of the eulogists. Joe DeRosa said he met Dara before she met Gilbert. He said she was drunk and yelling out, I love money and I’ll fuck anything and I said you’ve got to meet Gilbert. Keith Robinson also got up and said he did not prepare and then he proved it. He said he’d rather run through his gala set- his jokes for the gala later that night. Keith also said you can’t understand how little I give a fuck about Gilbert Gottfried and you can tell by my sweat pants and sneakers.
Orny Adams whose real name is Adam Orenstein I believe, said ‘we had you cremated Gilbert, just like Hitler would have wanted’ and also shared that Gilbert is the comedians’ comedian, like Bill Cosby is the rapists’ rapist. At the end, Gilbert came out to show that he was alive, cause there were people who actually thought he passed away, Gilbert said about Keith, he was the the third funniest black comedian there tonight (Keith was the only black comedian there) and Sean Cullen reminds him of Chris Farley and John Candy, and he’ll probably die of a heart attack as well. It was a wild event. And if you’re wondering what someone does after they attend their own wake, the Gottfrieds are meeting their kids in New York to vacation for a few weeks in The Berkshires.
I went to the Bill Burr Unmasked with the great Ron Bennington who always does the most amazing interviews with comedians. It was a packed room, it was a lot of fun and Bill Burr pushed me over on his way to the stage, as I was bending over to get something. It won’t be premiering on SiriusXM until the fall but stay tuned to The IBang for more on the Unmasked.
Tonight was the Trevor Noah Gala at the Place des Artes. The show was sold out but Trevor’s manager arranged for me to attend which was great. It was an amazing show. Trevor Noah was the host of course and was as hilarious as always. Neal Brennan, performed, Artie Lange killed and Marina Franklin looked absolutely amazing, she lost weight and changed her hair and Hasan Minhaj did great.
While Jeffrey Ross was on stage some guy was periscoping and he keeps telling the guy to stop using his phone to film him, but the guy wouldn’t stop. Ross had to stop the show three times until finally he had Alan Schwartz and Big Bill come out. Alan is 6’8 and over 300 lbs and he and Bill escorted the guy out of his seat. They threw him out right in the middle of the show.
Ross also brings volunteers from the audience who would like to be roasted and on the spot makes up stuff about them which is really great and very hard to do. Jeffrey told me and he’s very excited about his Roastmaster International contest. In the lobby everyone can see a big board showing who is battling who.
After the show I went backstage to thank Trevor and his manager for the tickets and while I was taking a picture with Hasan Minhaj, Trevor photobombed the picture. And then he thanked me for coming. he said Jeffrey you’re my good luck charm, I should bring you to all my shows. That was amazing! And I got a big hug.
I went to the Variety Top Ten Comics to Watch cocktail party and saw Nate Bargatze and Ricky Velez who were both on the list. They were so happy to be chosen, it was a big honor for them both. Ricky was there with Pete Davidson. Ricky and Pete told me they got stopped at the border on their way up to Montreal. They were driving up and they said they were detained for hours. Eventually the cops let them go but Ricky’s parents were up there too to see him perform and I asked him if his parents gave him a note to get him off but he said that his parents wouldn’t do that. They’d probably just let the cops take him.
The Comedy Series Gold Rush event was a very cool industry event. There from HBO and Hulu and a lot of major channels. Amy Gravitt from HBO, Owen Burke who is producing The Chris Gethards Show and Drunk History, from Fusion and Comedy Central. Phil King, Suzanna Makkos, and Brendan Countee from Hulu who played a trailer for the new show Difficult People with Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner. Very very very funny. It’s produced by Amy Poehler and was originally made for the USA Network, but passed on after USA decided they weren’t going to do comedy anymore, so Brendan was able to get it for Hulu. It debuts on August 5.
I ran into Michael O’Brien who does P.R. for Bill Burr, and Rick Dorfman who filled me in on his big news. His management company Converge was taken over by Zealot Networks for cash and stock deals. Now there’s 16 companies working together for a common goal. Rick is now the CEO of Converge and he’s meeting with CEO’s of other countries in different territories for their mutual benefit. The IBang did a huge feature on the deal earlier this year and you can read all about it here. They represent Artie Lange, Jim Breuer and J.B. Smoove who will be coming up to Montreal today.
That’s it for today! Much more coming tomorrow.
Jeffrey Gurian is a comedian, writer and all around bon vivant in New York City. Subscribe to his YouTube channel. Below, photos, Jeffrey with Artie Lange, Jeffrey with Jeffrey Ross, Jeffrey with Nate Bargatze and Jeffrey with Hasan Minhaj being photobomed by Trevor Noah.