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 covered the scene at Gotham Comedy Club, The Stand, and New York Comedy Club.
I ran into Gibran Saleem who often hosts Comedy Juice and who told me that he and Emma Willmann did a web series together on Elite Daily, an online news platform that bills itself as “The Voice of Generation Y”. He said it’s kind of like a “Guy Code” with sketches.
Judah Friedlander popped in to do a guest spot on Comedy Juice and told me he’d have some big news to share in about a month! He always hangs out after his set to greet his fans and take photos,and did so this night as well!
Huge shout-out to Andrew Dice Clay for his amazing turn last Sunday night on the premiere two hour pilot of the Scorcese/Jagger project Vinyl. SPOILER ALERT: He played a long-haired drugged out DJ/radio station owner named Frank “Buck” Rodgers, who’s behavior was so bizarre it got him killed! It just goes to show what a talented actor Dice really is. After I watched the shocking scene, I texted him and said, “You were so fucking AWESOME last night! What a crazy part! And you fucking KILLED IT! and then I wrote “ Sorry for cursing! I know how that upsets you!” And I got back a message that just said “ Lollllllllllllll”, with that many “L’s if not more!
As I walked into The Stand I ran into Paul Italia one of the owners who introduced me to a comic named Molly Austin, and told me she was gonna do big things. So I stayed to see her perform. And afterwards we sat down to chat. Turns out she was so humble she didn’t even outright tell me all the stuff she had going on. I had to basically drag it out of her! (LOL) I stop at nothing to get my stories! She’s got crazy hair and you know I’m all about that! She’s also doing Alec Baldwin’s new late night show for Tru TV called Late Night Snack being billed as “a short-form comedy series” with comic Esther Povitsky. It’s a 10 episode half hour series premiering on March 3rd and she’ll be doing musical comedy sketches with her partner Shamikah Martinez. Their duo is appropriately called Austin Martinez. She says they kind of rap with music, and they had a You Tube channel for five years until Molly had a car accident last April and they stopped doing YT as much. Their newest video is about emojis and is called Emoji Jam and due to the popularity of it Tru TV has asked them to create a show. I watched it and it’s dope! As a total hip hop freak myself, I can vouch for them that they can really rap! They also just did a collaboration with Dolce and Gabbana coming out next week to promote the clothing line! So keep an eye on Molly Austin!
Stand-up comic Carlo Bellario got in touch with me to tell me about the travesty he’s involved in. He’s facing 5-10 years in prison for using a B-B gun in an independent film, for which he wasn’t even paid. It was a low budget film called Vendetta Games, filmed in Woodbridge, New Jersey, in which there was a simulated car chase scene. He was supposed to be shooting out of the car window, some neighbors saw the gun and called the cops. When they got back on the scene he was surrounded by cops and spent the next four days in jail until his girlfriend could raise bail money. Carlo can’t afford a lawyer and because NJ has such strict gun laws he’s not allowed to leave the state and can’t earn money on any out of town gigs. The producer, named by many news channels who covered this as Andre Joseph had no permit for the shoot and no permit for the gun. He has turned his back on Carlo, and Carlo has been forced to set up a GoFundMe page. He says he’s embarrassed but he has no choice. This is a total travesty of justice, when a comedian works for free and is facing 5-10 years of jail time for something not his fault! He’s got two little kids and a fiancee to support and is trying to raise 15K but is only a bit above 5 K. This is the site if you can contribute.
Tim Dillon was hosting another packed show at The Stand, and when he got off stage he told me that he’s been doing Red Eye twice a month as a “crazy, gay Republican”! Those are his words, and he says that people always question his authenticity as to whether he’s really gay, really crazy and really a Republican. He said they even question his “fatness” as if he’s really small and thin, which led to him telling me about his food podcast with Mike Recine called Stewed, which they do out of The Creek and the Cave. He said they fight a lot and about the only thing they agree on is that they’re against ISIS, … but that’s it!
I ran into Mike Recine later in the week when we both performed in a really unusual and different kind of variety show down on Greene Street called The Color F, which was described by the producers Daniel Scot Kadin and Matthew Tamborello as “an edgy and interactive cabaret featuring song, stand-up, burlesque and sudden surprises!” It was actually billed as “an epic shitstorm”! When I got to the venue I was greeted by a woman in a huge mouse head and taken into an elevator where a guy in a robe was meditiating on a stool with his eyes closed. Just another regular night for me. It was a packed room, very eclectic crowd including Bob Lampel, the director of AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live which will be starting up again in March. It was a really fun show packed with surprises!
Also on the comedy bill was Chablis Quarterman, half white half Puerto Rican stand-up, who also shot a pilot for Elite Daily, and was on a reality type show for WE tv called Driven to Love with Ray J, from Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood. Ray J drives a tricked out SUV in which a “hopeful single” gets to cruise around town meeting potential mates! The ultimate pick-up game! In previous Color F shows Chablis told me she did a strip show in a burka and came out under the name Sharia Fatwat.
I saw old friend Adam Ferrara who was headlining Gotham Comedy Club this past weekend. I didn’t tell him I was coming and surprised him after his early show. I waited till he greeted his myriad of fans and took photos and then we went down to the green room to chill and catch up. He just finished his fifth season of co-hosting Top Gear the show that’s in over 30 countries and where he gets to drive cars like a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, a car that goes for over $300K, and which he actually drove at 188 mph. He said when you get to around 140 the car starts getting “light”, meaning it starts to leave the road! Not for the weak of heart. I asked him what it was like to go so fast and he said the first time he did 180 in a Lambo Super Legera the only thing he could compare it to was being aroused at knifepoint! I didn’t ask him how he knew what that felt like, I just accepted it. I asked him if he had always been comfortable with speed and he said no, but when he first started the show he acidentally went too fast on a ramp and drove a Cadillac 40 feet into the air.
He does great accents and I asked him how he works on them. He said he got his Jewish accent from listedning to Mel Brooks, and he does one of his Mom and said he got the voice from Harvey Fierstein. He also did the best impression of a fish I had ever seen and told me it was something new. He adds new things all the time and said that very afternoon he made up a thing he did about a boxing match between Donald Trump and The Pope where he was the ring announcer. It was hilarious! He said he likes to start out with an idea on stage and develop it off stage. He’s working on a special tentatively titled Life After Death but said his wife Alex hates the title so he probably won’t wind up keeping it.
He’s also in a film coming out called Lost Cat Corona with Paul Sorvino, Gina Gershon, Sean Young and Ralph Macchio, and he told me he never planned to go into comedy. His whole family is in the construction business, which he said is so unlikely for Italians, and he always thought he’d follow suit until one day he was trying to fix a car and his father told him to look for another field. So he went into comedy!
He writes longhand with what he called “ an old German fountain pen”, and he showed it to me along with his book of handwritten notes, and collection of colored markers which he uses before he transfers everything to his computer! We had a blast catching up and he was back to LA the next day!
Tyler Fischer makes me laugh out loud with his antics, and hardly anyone does that! I guess that makes me a comedy snob in a sense but when you hear so much comedy you do a lot of smiling rather than laughing. Until you see Tyler doing some of his crazy shit like going into an IKEA with a clipboard and making believe he’s a couple’s therapist, with a Swedish accent. He actually approached couples and warns them about how many couples break up from the stress of shopping at IKEA and no one from IKEA ever approaches him or throws him out! Tyler used to do my late night show at The Comic Strip and never minded whether the crazy stuff he tried on stage worked or not. I always admired that. He does voices, accents and characters and should definitely be on a TV show, and he should also def take me with him!
It seems that every time I drop into New York Comedy Club I just happen to stumble in on a Roast Battle. I just seem to have a sense of when people are roasting each other. And in telling this story I have to give big ups to the hilarious Matt Richards, who I inadvertently referred to in my last column as Matt Roberts! I think I did a comedy mash-up with Matt and Jamie Roberts and invented a comedian who didn’t exist. Matt is hilarious and is on his way out to LA to shoot a pilot that had been kicking around for a few years and finally got greenlit by WE tv. He’s playing himself, which is a part he was born to do, and it’s called Ghosts in the Hood and is about Black people hunting ghosts! In all the movies I’ve ever seen no one reacts better or funnier to ghosts than Black people! And with Matt’s physicality and facial expressions, this show should be hilarious. They already shot the pilot and will be doing 6-10 episodes. And Matt just got hooked up with Levity Entertainment Group and is being repped by Rachel Williams!
So the exciting roast for me was between Krystyna Hutchinson of the Guys We Fucked podcast and her comedy partner in Glamourpuss, Wendi Starling. Two girls who carry the mantle of “sluts” very proudly! (LOL) And even though they are great friends they went in hard at each other! The judges were Shuli Egar who was at the top of his game that night making hilarious remarks from the judges corner, Lisa Ann the ex-porn star who told Wendi that her rape by two guys was not considered “gang rape” and that the minimum number of guys would have to be 5 to use that phrase, ,,, and no one argued cause that’s her field, and she shoud know, … and Marc Gerber from his Monday night show at The Comic Strip came to judge and brought his beard. Afterwards we all hung out with owner Emilio in the private office rehashing the best jokes of the night!
The next night I came back to see Lisa Ann and Jay Nog’s show Paid or Pain where comics who are not funny get humiliated in front of the audience by a dominatrix with some kind of sexual punishment, but I had to run out cause I got a text that Krystyna Hutchinson was having her birthday party down at the Fat Black Pussycat, the bar adjoining The Village Underground in the private room in the back. No way I could miss that. So I rushed out and got to see my girls Krystyna and her comedy wife Corinne Fisher, ( no relation to the afore-mentioned Tyler Fischer who had to be fancy and threw a “c” into his name!”), and her comedy gf Wendi Starling, plus Walker Hays, and a roomful of other comics, and when these girls drink they get very friendly as you can see by the photo! I almost got boob shots from the group but decided this wasn’t that kind of column!
Corrine told me she and Krystyna are doing a Ted Talk. It’s going to be at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is called How Much. They will be addressing things like body issues in women and how women don’t owe you sex just for taking them out to dinner, or buying them gifts! She said “your body is what you have and what you were given and you kinda just need to use it as the temple that it is. A lot pf people feel that there body should be more than it is. There’s nothing wrong with your body. Accept it, love it and use it in a way you feel comfortable!”
Wendi Starling told me she’s doing a show called Picture This at Union Hall in Brooklyn where artists will draw representations of the comedians jokes while they’re doing them on stage. It’s February 26th and this is something I will have to see to understand cause either the artists draw at the speed of sound, or the comedians talk really, really slow!
I popped into The Stand and Vladimir Camaano told me that his NBC pilot eponymously named Vlad is a definite go now. NBC committed and will do the pilot in April. They are hard at work!
Josh Wesson was at The Stand for his Fat Baby show with Guilio Gallarotti and told me he was planning an 11:30 P.M. comedy karaoke show called “Tiiight”, with 3 “I’s” I guess to make it extra tight, at NY Comedy Club in which the comics would do the karaoke. They did one in January and he said it was a killer show.
Had a blast doing Gina Savage’s podcast “Red Light Podcast Redux” which she does with tech guru Jim Vern. Gina is not only a stand-up but also an actress, and operations manager of the Broadway Comedy Club. Gina and I go back more than 20 years. She called the segment “ Who The F*@K is Jeffrey Gurian.”
It was a busy week for me, and I’m tired even just telling you about it! 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 Adam Ferrara, Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher, Gina Savage and Judah Friedlander.