Jeffrey Gurian left the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal weeks ago, but he’s still jumping around New York, and anywhere else that comedy calls. Follow his column 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, Paul Provenza and Ron Funches Hit Up NYC Clubs, news from Richard Pryor Jr, and Bonnie McFarlane, a 100th birthday party for a celebrated comedian, and more!
“Professor” Irwin Corey, who Lenny Bruce once called “brilliant“ celebrated his 100th birthday party at The Actors Temple on West 47th Street in New York City. Jana Ritz threw the party– Harry Ritz of the famous Ritz Brothers comedy troupe from the 1930’s was her father– and it was an amazing night. Gilbert Gottfried was there… Kenny Kramer from Seinfeld was there… and so was Larry “Ratso” Sloman, former editor of the National Lampoon. Ratso also wrote the Bob Dylan book and the Howard Stern book, and it was apparently Bob Dylan who gave him the nickname Ratso, so I call him Ratso too.
At the ComedyJuice show– ComedyJuice comes out of Los Angeles, but now they play all over the country, including New York’s Gotham Comedy Club — Rus Gutin was the host, and I also got to see Gibran Saleem, and Ted Alexandro do great sets.
Just over a week ago while I was on my way to appear on SiriusXM’s Ron and Fez Show with Paul Provenza and Ron Funches, I rode up in the elevator with Taylor Schilling. She’s the star of Orange is the New Black and I got to tell her how cool she was on the show. I don’t often see people who excite me, but it was great to meet her.
While Ron Funches went over to tape his first appearance on The Tonight Show, I went to see Paul Provenza host a taping of Gotham Comedy Live for AXS TV. April Macie came in from LA and did a very sexy show, and Jim David closed the show very strong. He decided to work clean because all the other performers did very blue humor.
Recently, the Long Beach Film Festival held a red carpet event, and asked me to be a part of the red carpet. It was a great time– I ran into Richard Pryor Jr., who told me he is working on a one man show about his life, growing up as the son of comedy legend, Richard Pryor. A few years ago, I actually sponsored him for membership at the Friar’s Club. I also ran into Joey Kola, who hosted the film festival’s award ceremony on Monday night.
Of course, I kept jumping around– after the red carpet I headed back to the Comedy Cellar, to see what was going on at the Olive Tree Cafe where all the comedians hang out at the table before they go on stage. I got to talk with Keith Robinson, Marina Franklin, Gina Yashere, and also Ben Bailey (from Cash Cab)– it was good to see him because we haven’t seen each other in a long time. And I also saw Mark Anthony Ramirez, who is a great comic, and he told me he’s in the process of getting a tv special. I promised I wouldn’t give any details yet, but he told me that he just got it, and that’s cool.
Greer Barnes was there too, which gave me a chance to pass along a story that Godfrey had told me when I saw him up in Montreal. Godfrey, who always does well on stage, told me that whenever he doesn’t get the kind of reaction he was expecting from an audience, he knows Greer Barnes probably went on before him. I was really glad that I got to relate that story, because Godfrey is a super comedian and coming from him, it was a great compliment to Greer.
At Ron Funches’ Sunday show at Caroline’s on Broadway, I got to congratulate Ron on NBC renewing Undateable for a second season, and also see Jermaine Fowler who opened for him. I stayed for the Sam and Joe Show which is Sam Morril and Joe Machi who was, at the time, one of the finalists from the current Last Comic Standing. Sam and Joe do a weekly Sunday night show at Caroline’s at 9:30 P.M. and always have a fun line-up.
There’s a little Irish bar in New York, called the Irish Exit where they put on a show called Hot Soup, run by two rising stars, Gary Vider –who opens for Rob Schneider— and Mark Normand –who opens for Amy Schumer. It’s a really hot show in the back of this Irish bar; there’s a private room and it’s always packed and they have a great line up of people.
I spent another night watching the ComedyJuice show–it’s a big show, I’m actually booked to do one this week. (Tuesday August 12 at Gotham!) The host James L Mattern, is considered one of the really great hosts in New York. Until recently he went by Mad Dog Mattern but he decided to let go of the mad dog. Also on that show was Todd Barry, Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane. Bonnie’s going to be doing a Letterman spot at the end of the month, to promote hers and Rich’s new documentary. She and Rich brought their little daughter, Reina, to the club. Reina goes wherever they go- she’s so cute. I also got to see funny LA comedian, Chris Millhouse and Jade Catta-Preta who you’re going to be hearing a lot about. She’s on the new ABC Show called Manhattan Love Story that’s going to be airing on Tuesdays in the fall. She’s got a major part in that.
You can see Jeffrey Gurian performing this week, on Tuesday August 12th at Gotham in New York City doing the ComedyJuice show.