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 stopped at Gotham Comedy Club, Carolines, New York Comedy Club and more!
When I got to Gotham Comedy Club for my weekly Comedy Juice fix I was shocked to see lines of people stretching down the block waiting to get in. I know Comedy Juice is a popular show that’s often filled to capacity, but I had never seen that before. Looking up at the marquee to see who was expected I found what the real cause of the line was,… Trevor Noah had just done an early show. I went in to see if Trevor was still there and he was downstairs in the lounge at a little party for him with lots of people from Comedy Central. Always good to see Comedy Central execs JoAnn Grigioni and Anne Harris, and of course Trevor’s manager Norm Aladjem was there. I told Trevor how excited everyone is for him taking over the reins of The Daily Show and we laughed over the fact that I brought him on SiriusXM’s Bennington Show as my guest back in January, well before anything was announced about that. The news didn’t come out until March. I told him I knew from the very beginning that he would be doing something HUGE, and I was right. He thanked me for my early support, which meant a lot to me, and I plan to be seeing him tonight, when he headlines Carolines on Broadway.
Ari Shaffir surprised me by showing up with a Mohawk. I had just seen him a night or two before sitting outside The Stand, and there was no Mohawk in sight. He killed it regaling the audience with his bathroom difficulties while traveling in China. And Cipha Sounds came out and killed it with his serious-sounding announcement about the law requiring all comedy clubs to now appoint what he calls a “Black joke indicator”, which is a Black person he chooses for everyone to look at to make sure they’re laughing before they laugh at a racially- based joke.
D.L. Hughley is in the midst of a huge comedy tour with Cedric The Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, George Lopez and Charlie Murphy for the Black and Brown Comedy Get Down. He took time off to come to New York to headline at Carolines and since he’s a good friend that I don’t get to see often enough, I popped in all three nights, from Thursday through Saturday. Some comics need time to themselves before they go out on stage to a packed audience like he had at Carolines. Not D.L. He hangs out talking with his friends and radio co-hosts from the D.L. Hughley Show, Steve Wilson and the beautiful Jasmine Sanders until the very moment he walks out on stage. Among other people, we were also joined by author Michael Malice, and the last night by Greg Gutfeld who recently left FOX’s Red Eye and was replaced by my old friend Tom Shillue. Greg told me he chose Tom as his successor, and is now doing his own show on FOX that airs Saturday and Sunday at 10 P.M. called The Greg Gutfeld Show as well as co-hosting The Five, an opinion show airing weekdays at 5 P.M. D.L. doesn’t need to meditate, or pray, or go over his set list. He just walks straight out of the green room when they announce his name, goes right out on stage, and kills it!
And D.L. has great style when it comes to his outfits. D.L. comes ready to party, whether it’s in a tux-type jacket, a seersucker suit with peaked lapels, and matching sneaks, or a red plaid jacket like he wore on Saturday night. He’s got a million punchlines, but it’s also his presence, his delivery and his physicality that makes him so funny. And he picks great openers. All of them were funny like Jamie Roberts, but I got to meet one I hadn’t met before, a guy that had the name of Bo Last Name Dacious, which is how he was introduced, and he tore it down with some really strong material. He’s a large, well manicured man who dresses to the 9’s with a hat worn low, and diamond earring. He’s biracial and said he gets a lof of people who think he’s Indian. During dinner one night he told me he was tired of being called “Bo Dacious” but it was too late to change it back to his original name, James Dobson, which he said also happens to be the name of a well known White evangelist. And Steve Wilson is a BEAST on stage. The man is HILARIOUS! He’ll be at The Comedy Palace in San Diego the last week of July, and is working on three development deals for TV, created, written by, and starring Steve. One may be shot in Atlanta and the other two in LA where he’s based. More on that to come as he’s able to release details.
D.L. talked about his 26 year old son Kyle, who’s been making unexpected and great gains with what he’s been able to accomplish despite the fact that he was diagnosed with Asperberger’s Syndrome. He and D.L. are very close and he’s so proud of his son. You can see he’s a great Dad. D.L. is excited about his new NBC show called Heartbreaker which starts shooting on July 27th. It’s a serious medical drama in which he plays a character called Dr. Hackett, the head shrink in a hospital. After D.L.’s last show of the weekend, he took us all out to dinner at one of his favorite places down in Tribeca, The Blue Ribbon where we all sat around and had the best time till after three in the morning. And D.L. is so classy that no one ever even saw a check. I don’t know when he took care of it, but he did, and we all had a blast.
Quick bit, ex-NYPD cop comic Mark DeMayo starred in a benefit for the Silver Shield Foundation, which helps the families of fallen police officers. It was at The Cutting Room, and was produced by Steve Stanulis also an ex-cop and ex-Chippendales dancer, who is now an actor/producer. I brought Mark and Steve together because of their similar backgrounds and it was a good thing. The show featured an all star male review as well as Freedom Williams and the CC Music Factory!
Exclusive Breaking Story! Fifteen year old comedy wunderkind Simon Cadel is off to Canada for four months to shoot 26 episodes of a sitcom created by Tom Saunders, which didn’t even need a pilot and went right to series. According to his Mom, Betsy who is his Momager, it’s a family comedy where Simon plays a character that is very close to who he is in real life. Which is a funny kid! I saw him performing at Carolines one night this past week, and he’s got presence and the material to back it up! Tom Saunders is a writer who also appeared in episodes of Arrested Development, wrote for King of the Hill, Just Shoot Me, and News Radio. Stay tuned for more details as I’m allowed to talk about them.Everything about the project is still a secret, even the name. All I can tell you is that it’s got a couple of big names attached to it.
A group of comics sacrificed themselves to the comedy gods on Sunday but it was for a good cause. And I was one of them. We went out to Long Island City to perform an outdoor show at the LIC Flea Market, for a wonderful charity called Roses From Linda. Linda was the Mom of a great guy named TJ Hodges and when she was terminally ill, the family didn’t have the funds to travel and visit her before she passed away. In his Mom’s memory TJ started this wonderful charity and with the help of a very caring woman named Sacha Perelman of Revolver Productions and a very caring comic named Mike Merkovitch they put this wonderful event together. We were supposed to have a performance space but since so many people showed up at the flea market they needed the space we were promised, so we wound up performing on a hill, standing on astro-turf to people sitting under tents, far enough away from where we were performing so that we couldn’t hear any laughter! It was comedy suicide but we all enjoyed doing it and some very funny comics came out to support. The ones I got to see were Ankara Martinez, Roddy Macinness, Brendan Sagalow, Brian Grossi, and there were lots more that showed up but I had to run.
Coming off the success of her hit show Hi, Hitler, Lucie Pohl performed her new show Cry Me A Liver at the 59E59 Theatre on East 59th Street in Manhattan, for New York’s annual Edinburgh Festival preview before taking it over to Scotland for the actual festival where she’ll be doing a month of shows at their main comedy venue The Gilded Ballroom. I originally met Lucie from my buddy Tom Rhodes and she is a true gem. Her character work is so strong I’m surprised she never wound up on SNL. She described the show to me as “a day in the life of New York where everybody’s searching for Happiness. She does her costume changes right on stage, with her clothing hanging on a standing clothing pole, and her characters include a homeless Black man, an Italian man with a heavy Italian accent that was so right on, a German lady, who taught people how to “change your life in one minute”, an old decrepit man with a tremor, who’s body and face were distorted, a female killer who killed her own sister in Central Park and was admitting it to the police, Vladimir Putin’s sperm, and she even did a good Sia impression along with dancing like 12 year old Sia dancer Maddie Ziegler. She’s a one woman tour-de-force!
I caught Robert Kelly headlining Gotham so I could congratulate him for his character Bam Bam the drummer in Denis Leary’s new FX show, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. Ophira Eisenberg was the host, and she’s always great. Mike Vecchione opened with a strong set which was no surprise and then Leonard Outz came out and crushed which explained to me why Gotham owner Chris Mazzilli was there watching on the weekend. Chris signed Leonard almost as soon as he saw him perform on AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live, which will be starting up again on Aug. 27th. And the crowd loves Robert Kelly. He talked about all kinds of stuff including his new baby. He explained how he got the baby by saying he fucked “for realsies”, cause he loves his wife so much that he came and left it in her!
I went to one of the wildest shows I ever attended this week at New York Comedy Club. Emilio and Scott go out of their way to find cool, and different kinds of shows for the enjoyment of their audiences. They are really dedicated to creating their own special niche in terms of what they provide for the public and it’s greatly appreciated. Last week was Roast Battle and this week was Paid or Pain hosted by it’s creator Jay Nog, a funny guy who decided it would be funny to mix comedy and porn stars with a dominatrix onstage to dole out punishments to any comic the audience felt deserving. When I got there I ran into Dan Soder who had stopped by with Gary Vider. Funny guys are always friends because they’re not threatened by the other guy’s success. They appreciate each other. Dan is psyched about his SiriusXM show with Big Jay Oakerson called The Bonfire which starts on Monday July 27th, the day I get back from JFL in Montreal. They had done six shows last Fall which led to them getting this show, a 2 hour show which in the beginning will be just the two of them creating a dialogue, as Dan described it to me. And Gary is psyched about his America’s Got Talent spot coming up in the next two to three weeks. He said it was lots of fun doing the show and he couldn’t divulge any details except to say that if he advances he gets to do a live show at Radio City that would put him in the quarter finals. He already knows the outcome, and it must be so frustarting not to be able to tell anyone, especially if the news is good. We wish you luck Gary!
The Paid or Pain show itself was crazy. Kurt Metzger kicked it off and got the audience ready for the insanity that was to follow. Dean Edwards also dropped by and did a killer guest spot. The gist of the show is that a comic comes up and does a set and the audience votes by applause either he/she gets paid, or receives pain from the dominatrix, Jessica Soveriegn who told me she was relishing doling it out, which she did by beating one guy with a big black dildo, dripping hot wax on another comic’s nipples, (a male! LOL) after spanking him on his bare ass in front of the audience that was going wild, and putting a gag in Ben Demarco’s mouth and abusing him severely. The audience is out for blood, and becomes like the audience in the amphitheatre of The Coliseum in the days of ancient Rome. They give you a thumbs down and it’s all over. The co-host was the beautiful and funny Lisa Ann, the most well known retired porn star, who also has a show on SiriusXM radio, Fantasy Sports Radio with Lisa Ann. I look forward to running into her up at the studios, and seeing her in upcoming Paid or Pain shows! Thank you Jay Nog!
I think I definitely gave you enough this week! So you know what that means! I’m OUT!!!
Jeffrey Gurian is a comedian, writer and all around bon vivant in New York City. Subscribe to his YouTube channel. Below, photos, with Trevor Noah, D.L. Hughley, Lucie Pohl, and Steve Wilson.