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"Pete Davidson"

Marriage Proposal At Comedy Juice

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Mark Serritella is an interesting guy. He’s a comic/actor/writer/producer who runs the Comedy Juice shows that appear weekly at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC as well as The Hollywood Improv, The Irvine Improv, The Ice House in Pasadena and The Mad House Comedy Club in Downtown San Diego. He also has a show called Top Secret Comedy, which is at the Hollywood Improv once a month.

Mark Serritella producer of Comedy Juice on stage at Gotham Comedy Club!

That’s a lot to do, and anyone who’s produced even one show can attest to that. I’ve attended many of his CJ shows at Gotham but never had the chance to meet him. So when I heard he was in town I made sure to get over there to catch the show.

Even though he produces it he didn’t host it. He came on like just one of the other comics. The very funny Gibran Saleem hosted the show. I had just interviewed Gibran up in Montreal at the Just for Laughs Festival and since then I seem to run into him every few minutes at all the fun events in New York, like Wil Sylvince’s short comedy film festival “Short Cuts” which just took place a few days ago.

Gibran Saleem the Orthodox-Jewish Muslim onstage at Gotham Comedy Club!

Gibran identified himself as a progressive Muslim. As a matter of fact he said he’s so progressive, he’s Jewish! That’s the kind of comedy that brings people together!

Todd Barry was the first up and he even commented that he was too famous to go on first, but he had to be someplace so he did it. Todd can actually make me laugh out loud, against my will! People in comedy have the ability to hear funny jokes and just say, ” That’s funny! That’s very funny! I’m actually hysterical!” without even smiling. It’s very bizarre. Although when a friend is onstage we do have the ability to laugh very loudly as a sign of support!

The extremely funny and laid back Todd Barry onstage at Gotham for Comedy Juice!

Mark Serritella came on third, and was very funny. He did lines I would do myself, like referencing a baby in a full business suit, and other babies would say, ” Wow, what a successful baby!” I love stuff like that. It reminded me of a film I wrote and shot many years ago called ” Children Who Disguise Themselves as Businesssmen”, and it starred my three year old daughter Elizabeth who came to the door wearing one of my suits, which needless to say did not fit her very well! ( And if it’s needless to say, why did I say it? LOL) I asked for a moment of her time and she said, ” Call me at the office!” and slammed the door in my face! Only she pronounced it ” Call me OUT the office!” It was very cute.

Mark Serritella who runs Comedy Juice shows out of L.A., onstage at Gotham.

It was followed by an expose of a woman who refused to admit that her husband, supposedly a well-known businessman was in fact a new born infant. I rang the bell, and my wife came to the door holding an infant wearing a tie. That infant was my second daughter Kathryn, who played a man in this scene. I said, ” Does your husband happen to be home? And she said, ” This IS my husband.” And when I tried to convince her that it was just an infant wearing a tie, she got angry and said, ” When a man marries a woman a little younger than himself no one says anything! I don’t understand what all the fuss is about!” And she too slammed the door in my face!

Mark was also great in interacting with the audience. He spoke to a couple who said they met in the first grade and have only been dating for 9 months and Mark looked right at them and exclaimed, ” You guys are HUGE for first graders!” He also does impressions which people always love.

He’s been on lots of popular podcasts, Byron Allen’s Entertainers, Who Wants to Date A Comedian?, Comedy Central’s Open Mic Fight, The ‘About Last Night Podcast’ with Sean Astin, featured in the Huffington Post, the front page of Funny or Die and Business Weekly… and he’s been part of The Boston Comedy Festival 5 times. He’s toured all over Europe and The Middle East entertaining the troops, and has three CDs, which are played on SIRIUS/XM Satellite Radio. His 4th will be out this coming hear. You can see more on his website http://www.markserritella.com

Pete Davidson was also on the show. Pete’s about 21 and has been performing for years already. He was inspired to perform by the loss of his firefighter Dad on 9/11. He’s Nick Cannon’s protege, and I also interviewed him in Montreal recently. We had a blast at some of the big parties and whenever I looked over at him he was dancing his butt off, so I know he had a lot of fun.

Pete Davidson onstage at Gotham Comedy Club!, claiming womanhood!

He’s about 6’3″ and very, very thin and when he came out on stage he said, ” Hi, I’m a woman!” And then went on to explain that he had no Dad and was raised by all women so he thinks like a woman! The crowd loved him.

Then a guy named Adam Ray came up and I had never seen him before. He was great! A good looking guy with a really resonant voice. He said the way he wears his hair makes him look like he should be fist pumping all the time. Even at the bank.

Adam Ray from L.A. at Gotham Comedy Club for Comedy Juice!

He’s in the recent film “The Heat” with Sandra Bullock and Melissa Mccarthy and I predict you’ll be seeing a lot of him. He’s very funny!

And Elliot Chang was the closer, and he’s also a NY transplant living in LA.

Elliot Chang looking very wistful onstage at Gotham Comedy Club in Manhattan!

Elliot is reliably funny and did a super job, but when the show was over it wasn’t really over. During the show Gibran and other comics had been having a kind of “back and forth” with a guy and girl in the audience. After the show he called them both up on stage for a little surprise, and asked the girl to turn around.

The proposal! A guy in the audience proposed to his girlfriend during Comedy Juice!

She's shocked but said "Yes!"

The audience went wild as they hugged it out, and all thanks to Comedy Juice!

The guy got down on one knee and proposed and she accepted. The crowd went wild! So Comedy Juice led to a wedding! Very rare in the comedy business. Most shows lend themselves more to divorce! (LOL)

Young Talent At The Comic Strip

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The Comic Strip is legendary for the people that came out of that club, like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, and Eddie Murphy just to name a few. But the nice thing about The Strip is that it also develops young talent who are going to be the stars of tomorrow.

Two that come to mind right away are Pete Davidson who’s only 18 and Jordan Rock who just hit the magic age of 21!

Comedy buddies Pete Davidson and Jordan Rock backstage at The Comic Strip!

Pete is being mentored by Nick Cannon, who’s really taken him under his wing, which is such an incredible thing for a young performer, and Pete deserves it. He lost his Dad in 9/11, and turned his life to comedy. I’m sure his Dad is watching over him, cause he’s doing very well!

He has funny energy, meaning that when he hits the stage you WANT to laugh. He dresses kind of “gangsta” for a White kid, but he explains it by saying that all of his friends are Black. I get it! He’s authentic!

Pete was all excited ’cause he just got back from doing five shows in Miami with Nick, and Kase Glenn at The Miami Improv, while staying at The Mayfair Hotel. Pete opened the show. It was the first time that Pete had to fly to a gig and he told me a very funny story.

The day he was to leave, he had a 10 A.M. flight but didn’t wake up until 9. He threw his stuff together and tried to call a cab but they told him it would be an hour. He got the valet guy to drive him for double the regular price, and offered him an extra $20. if he could make it in ten minutes.

Meanwhile his Mom was calling and yelling at him for being late. He got to the airport at 9:40, ran to check in and found himself on a long line. Just as he was resigned to missing his flight, the Black security guard recognized him, and yelled out, “Hey, you’re that dude from the show!”

Pete said,”I guess he had attended one night, and fortunately I did well!” The guard let him right through and referred to him as “The White Hope!” The other passengers were already aboard, and Pete ran on as they were about to lock the doors. He said he made it by one minute!

I had that happen to me once after having been snowed in the first year of the Aspen Comedy Festival. I had been stuck there for five days, when they gave me less than 30 minutes to catch a plane. I was literally running down the runway with my bags to catch the plane, and everyone stared, and glared at me as I straggled on board loaded down with stuff, and then first had to try and get it in the overhead bins, while everyone waited and rolled their eyes. Very uncomfortable to say the least!

Jordan Rock works The Strip as conscientiously as both of his brothers did, Chris and Tony, and it shows in the quality of his work. Nothing replaces stage time in perfecting your performance. He also hosts the latenight shows on Wed, and Thursdays, and I host them on Sundays and Mondays.

I predict that you’ll be seeing lots of these guys in the future. I wish I had started that young, but if you get famous in your 20′s you gotta be funny for 60 maybe 70 years! That’s a long time. I only wanted to have to be famous for maybe 20, … 25 years tops! Needless to say, I’m still waiting! (LOL)

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