Jeffrey Gurian 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. In today’s column, find out what’s happening with Greg Proops, and Kevin Meaney; also Dan St Germain sold a script, and more!
Earlier this week, I went down to see the AXS TV taping for Gotham Comedy Live which was being hosted by Greg Proops, who is in from LA. Greg does something very interesting when he hosts. He introduces the comedians on the show using lines from well-known poems, because he said it’s boring to just mention somebody’s credits. Greg just came back from two weeks in Edinburgh doing a version of Whose Line Is It Anyway (they aren’t allowed to call it that, they called it What Does the Title Matter Anyway). They sold out two weeks- to 14,000 people, and it was so successful that they may end up touring the show. Greg’s also working on his new book, The Smartest Book in the World, and he recently was pleasantly surprised to find out that Whose Line Is It Anyway, with Aisha Tyler, Wayne Brady, Ryan Styles and Colin Mochrie got picked up for a third season on The CW. Greg is a rotating performer on the show.
Kevin Meaney was at Gotham Comedy Live the same night. Kevin’s been a friend for over 20 years, and he’s gone through a tremendous transformation recently. He’s lost a huge amount of weight, and told me he has a great relationship with his ex-wife and his daughter. He’s also in a horror film– an indie vampire movie that comes out this month– and he’s the head vampire. It’s called Blood Ransom, and he said this movie has the distinction of having more blood than any movie, in the history of movies. He recently got back from performing in Israel for the first time, and now he’s off to Las Vegas in September to perform at The MGM Grand. It’s always great to see him at SiriusXM where he’s on with Jay Thomas.
This week I also saw Marion Grodin who, in addition to being Charles Grodin‘s daughter, is also a great comic. Marion has a new book out called Standing Up in which she openly discusses her successful battle with breast cancer, her addictions and recovery, her divorce and her career in comedy. She’s literally an open book! Marion also told me that her dad is going to be in the new Ben Stiller movie, While We’re Young, and the Al Pacino movie The Humbling both coming out this year. I had the honor of working with Marion and her Dad a few years ago, to help them produce a sold-out event they were doing to benefit homeless veterans.
At Stand Up New York this week, I ran into Dan St. Germain— he of the very large thick beard. He’s in NY doing some shows but he moved out to LA about a month ago, and he had big news to report. He just sold a script in a deal with Fox for a sitcom. He told me that he can’t divulge anything more than that right now, but more will come out at the end of September. He’s also got a new CD out called Bad At The Good Times from Special Thing Records. He recorded it in LA at the Meltdown. Here’s something else you might not know about Dan St. Germain– when he grew up in Bedford, he was the only white person in an all-black gospel choir. It never really went anywhere, because they were in a public high school and weren’t allowed to use the word Jesus in their songs.
This week I saw so many Last Comic Standing alums. Like Yamaneika Saunders who told me she’s going to LA until November to tape a show about female comics but the details are hush hush for now. It’s a docu-series, and the one thing she did say, is that my girl Calise Hawkins is in it too and she’s a good friend. Yamaneika is also working on putting together an hour to be released as a CD by the end of the year, and she does a podcast called Ranting and Raving with Chloe Hilliard, who was also on Last Comic Standing. I also saw Adrienne Iapalucci who was on Last Comic Standing two seasons in a row but four years apart. She reminded me that she and I had first met at a Bill Burr show in 2009 at Town Hall, when I was co-producing a Kevin Hart benefit. I talked with Monroe Martin, at The Stand, and he’s really excited cause he said on September 25, they’re going to finally air his part on Adam Devine’s House Party on Comedy Central. He said he filmed it months ago, in New Orleans and ended up dancing with Adam Devine‘s mom which was very wild and very unexpected.
I ran into Paul Virzi who opens for and travels with Bill Burr and he told me that on September 18th, he’s headlining Levity Live in West Nyack. He’ll be breaking in some new material that night, which he is planning to use on his first album. And I saw Andrew Schulz who will be back on MTV on a whole bunch of shows. but he didn’t have any details to share about when the new seasons would be starting up.
Finally, I finished out the week at a Labor Day BBQ at Lisa Lampanelli‘s house in Connecticut. She lives on the water in a beautiful home, and showed me some of her prized possessions, like the letter where she was asked to be the Roastmaster for the Friars Roast of Pat Cooper back in 2007, and the thank you from Matt Groening for being a character on The Simpsons. Then it rained and we saw a rainbow and I took a photo of that too. Here’s some news, Lisa put purple streaks in the front of her hair, and no one has seen it yet! So that’s an exclusive!
Check back in with me next week, when I’ll be doing some more Jumping Around New York Comedy!
Jeffrey Gurian is a writer and comedian in New York. Visit his website at comedymatterstv.com.