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Bill McCarty
D.F. Sweedler
Wayne Federman
Mulrooney Cover
Joey Vega
Patty Rosborough
Edited Image 2016-03-10 19-22-40_edited
Alan Colmes
Joe Bolster
Lenny Marcus
Blakeman small
Rory HeadShot


Broadway Gabe And Joe  Seven Minute Dick Cavett Schmooze

Corrections and clarifications from the Cavett conversation.

- David Letterman's first late night gig was of course Late Night With David Letterman. 

- There were nine incarnations of The Dick Cavett Show

- Jeffery McDonald was not an auditioner at The Comic Strip

- Marvin Miller was not just an Agent. He was the guy who unionized baseball.

The name Gabe could not remember is J.I. Rodale, the guest who died of a heart attack while taping the Dick Cavett show

- Joe was correct. Cavett did write for the Tonight Show with both Jack Parr and Johnny Casron

- "The Joke" was not about Dolly Parton. It was about Jayne Mansfield.

- Here is Cavett discussing the joke.

Broadway Gabe And Joe  Five Minute Rodney/Eddie Schmooze
A Short Schmooze segment from within a much longer Gabe Abelson and Joe Bolster Comic Strip Schmooze, telling stories about Eddie Murphy, Rodney Dangerfield , Working Dirty and more.  
Ross Bennett Comic Strip Schmooze

Ross Bennett is a unique member of the Comic Strip family. While he has been associated with the club for the better part of two decades, he is also well known and well established in several other comedy markets across the country including Chicago, where he experienced his earliest development, Los Angeles, The Bay Area of San Francisco and The Road. 

Ross came to New York and The Strip at a point in his career when he was well past "auditioning" and having to prove himself. Still, he chose to subject himself to the process and immediately became a major Strip Act Lucien knew he could always count on to deliver the goods. 

With a new CD ready to drop and a lifetime of comedy experience and experiences to talk about, this is an entertaining and informative schmooze with one of the best and most interesting comics working today.

Rory Rosegarten Industry Schmooze

Outside of the Richie Tienken and Bob Wachs, the owners of the Comic Strip, perhaps no other industry professional can lay claim to such a strong bond with the club, as Rory Rosegarten can.

As you will hear in this Schmooze, Rory, who was already involved in comedy through his association with Robert Klein, became truly hooked on the business after a very long night in conversation with legendary club manager Lucien Hold. His lifelong friendship and professional association with some top Strip Acts also lead Rory to spending many nights hanging out and enjoying the club, just as the performers did during that era.  An accomplished personal manager and producer, Rory's client list includes Ray Romano, Brian Regan, Robert Klein, and as announced in this Schmooze, he is now also working with Andrew "Dice" Clay, among others. With more than 30 years in the business and a seemingly endless stream of successes under his belt, Rory has many great insights and stories to tell about comedy, the business and the Comic Strip. 

We hope you enjoy this  special Comedy USA Comic Strip Industry Schmooze with Rory Rosegarten.

Lois Dengrove Comic Strip Schmooze

This look back at the NY Comedy scene in the mid to late 70's and beyond is surprisingly timely given the discussion of sexual harassment and assault in the news today. Lois Dengrove worked the Strip as early as any woman in the business and has great tales to tell about so many people from those days. Abby Stein for example proves to be a seer according to one conversation Lois relates in this Schmooze. And later on, Bob Wachs offered her some brutal but honest advices as well. 
From her early days on the then groundbreaking Public Access channel of Manhattan Cable TV to her earliest sets and auditions, to her interactions with all the legends of NY Comedy at the time, This is a great look back not only on her own story, but the times as well. (Silver Friedman once told her it wasn't ok for women to do jokes about their period, but it was for men).

If you were a regular at "Catch," "The Improv" or "The Strip" back in those days, this is a Schmooze that is sure to interest you.

And if you listen to the end, there's a bonus story about one of Lois favorite fellow comics back then, Mike Reynolds. 

We hope you enjoy this Schmooze.

Ritch Shydner Comic Strip Schmooze

Ritch Shydner is one of the great comedy originals. Currently back out on the road working the stage and promoting his book "Kicking Through The Ashes" which tells all the stories from the glory days of the 1980's comedy boom, Ritch was kind enough to stop by the Comic Strip podcast booth to recount some of the most hilarious and sordid tales of his earliest days in the business. Ritch has done it all and lived to tell about it and it was an honor and pleasure to share some time, catch up and ask him a question about a story I heard while working the road many years ago relating to his marriage to Carol Leifer and his life on the road.  This conversation with Ritch Shydner is a great Comedy USA Schmooze

Bernadette Pauly and Al Ducharme Comic Strip Schmooze

Presently residents of the Los Angeles area, Al Ducharme and Bernadette Pauley are 11 years in on their marriage,  a match that was made and solidified during their time together at The Comic Strip. As they explain, the story of their ultimately "connecting" is a a "9/11 kind of thing".  Presently working the road together and apart, Bernie and Al represent the generation of Comic Strip acts that worked the late 90's through the early 2000's, at a time when the Strip was no longer just a club to work out at, It was by then, a major venue at which to be seen.  Lucien had an impact on both these funny people who returned to The Strip for the first time in more than two years to sit down for this Schmooze. Regretfully, the first 10 minutes of the discussion kinda/sorta never happened because "record" had not been correctly set. Still the remaining nearly 50 minutes of conversation was free wheeling and covered lots of ground from what it was like to work The Strip in the days after 9/11, Working Colin Quinn's "Tough Crowd," questions about where comedy is heading in this age of "microagressions" and campus political correctness and what it's like working the road together as a married couple?  These are not new lines of inquiry for Bernie and Al but the two do provide some additional insights beyond what is commonly shared while doing moring radio to promote their road gigs.

We did this recording in late May 2016. At the time we are posting, Al is in the mix on NBC's "America's Got Talent" and both Al and Bernie are producing their own podcast as frequently as they can, all while working the road, taking care of their dog and living life as one of the hardest working couples in comedy. This is a fun Schmooze. 

Bill Masters and Scott Blakeman Comic Strip Schmooze

Bill Masters and Scott Blakeman are two original Strip Acts that were well established by the time I joined the club in 1982. Bill has long ago relocated to L.A. with his wife Gail Berman, where they raised their family. Scott remains a regular here in New York. I thought it would be fun to get these two old friends back together again on an open mic and it was, although due to train delay's and others waiting on the studio, Scott's time was cut a bit short. Before Scott's arrival, Bill and I discuss at length his earliest days at the Strip working with Eddie Murphy among others and the night he gave up his spot for a kid named Chris Rock, so that the well established superstar Eddie Murphy could get a look at him. Bill also shares a contrarian view on Lucien Hold, which is illustrated by that story. When Scott arrives, the discussion quickly moves to the road gigs the two shared together, relationships at the club and with comics who have since gone on to meteoric success.  Then things wrap up with Bill sharing some stories and anecdotes about how he came to be a staff writer on "Seinfeld" and how some of his personal stories became television that has been and continues to be seen by countless millions of viewers the world over. Of particular interest are Bill's Larry David stories. Well worth hanging in for.  In all, the Bill Masters/Scott Blakeman Schmooze is a great listen for all who shared time with them at The Strip, and for fans of comedy in general.  

Joey Vega Comic Strip Schmooze

Joey Vega is a classic Strip act. Like many others, he auditioned and passed at other clubs, but the fit was not right and once he settled in at The Strip, it would become the club he would call his comedy home throughout his comedy club years.  These days, Joey tours the country and the world opening for Jay Lo's ex, Marc Anthony, a gig that has provided him with a huge following eager to come see him in smaller venues whenever he has the chance to produce a show. It was at one such show at The Strip on April 1, 2016, that Joe sat down for this Schmooze.  We cover a lot of ground here, ranging from his earliest days at the club; opening for Chris Rock; The one time he heard Lucien totally rattled after an incident at the Club and of course his friendship with J.J. Ramirez, who's refusal to embrace technology, will most probably prevent him from ever listeining to this Schmooze.

Joey is always fun and entertaining, hence, so is this SchmoozeCast. 

Buddy Bolton Comic Strip Schmooze

This schmooze covers Sex, Drugs, Comedy, and Kevin Hart's Dong, among others. It's also an invaluable "mind dump" as Buddy Bolton unintentionally serves as life coach, sharing trade secrets and a different definition of success for all to hear. A friend from my "second life" at The Strip, which began after living between S.F. and L.A. for a dozen years, through this schmooze, Buddy offers loads of perspective on the comics who occupied the space in the late 90's and early 2000's, all at a time when Lucien's influence had grown to the point where he managed acts working the club. Simultaneoulsy, Lucien was living every year on borrowed time, having been diganosed with Scleroderma and having no way of knowing that he would live longer with that disease than virtually anyone else. Perhaps it was all the laughter and friendships like the one he shared with Buddy, that kept him going so long? Or spite? Who knows? What I do know is that time spent with Buddy Bolton always puts a smile on my face and I hope that same sense of fun and kindness reaches through to you. Two final notes: correcting a mild mistake in the SchmoozeCast. Buddy is Creative Director at United Stations Radio Network. The comic who's name escapes Buddy in recalling the "Comedians Coalition" from the early 2000's is Ted Alexandro. Enjoy

Patty Rosborough Comic Strip Schmooze

You'd never know it just by looking at her, but Patty Rosborough is HUGE with the Latino audience. As a result, it was our good fortune to coordinate a Schmooze on a night when fellow Strip act Joe Vega was producing a show at the club for all his fans from the many arena shows he's done with Marc Anthony. Patty goes back a long way at The Strip and has great tales to tell about how she burst through that "glass ceiling" to co-host Short Attention Span Theater with Jon Stewart in the 1980's before motherhood and the brutality of TV executives combined to cut that run short. As the Ex-spouse of previous SchmoozeCast participant Eric Kornfeld and Molly's mom, Patty has her version of his passing out to pass at The Strip and speaks with pride about the talents of their daughter as she embarks upon her own career on stage. Ultimately, this Schmooze will be remembered for the revealing and stunning tale of the "date" with  Lucien Hold which Patty reluctantly agreed to and as a result wound up with one of the best Lucien stories ever told, even if it does make you cringe, just a little bit. Enjoy. 

Eric Kornfeld Comic Strip Schmooze

This schmooze with Eric Kornfeld touches on some previously uncovered territory, namely the discussion of being a gay comic in NY in the 1980's; a middle act in fear of covering the time on the occasional headlining gig; and being the divorced dad whose kid is now doing stand-up, too. Eric is a great story teller and fills this schmooze with a fun tale about being befriended by a well known NYC comic who may have been closeted and may have had an interest in him.  And of course, the story of how he passed out to pass at The Strip. In between  you'll hear talk of the Comic Strip Improv Group; learning to write for Rosie O'Donnell and Better Midler and Eric's take on Lucien Hold and what he meant to the club. All in all, this is a fun and unique schmooze well worth listening to.

Bill McCarty and D.F. Sweedler Comic Strip Schmooze

In June of 2015, The Comic Strip had just completed the first iteration of their PodCast studio and invited Barry Weintraub to host a show. At the time, the "new" ComedyUSA concept was just beginning to incubate, so when Bill McCarty and D.F. Sweedler joined Barry in that tiny little space for the first time, it was a very loose and fun "test drive" that focused only on The Comic Strip and while lacking in structure, it is filthy rich with fun and intresting conversation. The sound engineer you will hear is Evan Bowen, who at the time was answering phones, maintianing the club website and checking sound levels for podcasts, all in addition to working on getting his own career going. There are also some experimental elements of music and sound. Thanks to Evan, Bill and D.F. We covered a lot of ground including the first mention of Eric Kornfeld's classic story of how he passed at the club. Eric's interview will be posted next.

Wayne Federman Comic Strip Schmooze

All it took was the biggest snowstorm of the season in New York and the cancellation of the Springsteen concert at The Garden to create the circumstance for the impromptu schmooze with Wayne Federman in January 2016. Wayne has a long list of credits on TV, in movies and commericals and beyond. He is also one of the great comedy fans and chroniclers of comedy history and fun facts. This is not Wayne's first podcast appearance but it is the first with one of his oldest friends in the business at the venue where he learned and honed his craft.  It is a fun listen for all.


John Mulroony Comic Strip Schmooze

John Mulrooney stopped by The Comic Strip on a cold February 2016 afternoon on his way back home after visiting with family in Staten Island. John's career, which began in Brooklyn at Pips, includes the Comic Strip and so much more. He has been the host of national late night TV shows, worked just about every live venue known to mankind and has much to share from what he has learned in his continuing journey in the world of stand up and beyond.

Lenny Marcus Comic Strip Schmooze

Lenny Marcus joined Barry Weintraub in the podcast booth on a sweaty summer day in 2015 to discuss a whole new generation of Strip comedy. Unlike the earliest days, by the time Lenny entered comedy, The Strip was well known as a talent launching pad and the entire nature of the business had changed. This schmooze sheds light on a comedy business in the 1990's and early 2000's  that had matured and changed in so many ways from those early days when comedy clubs were young.

Alan Colmes and Joe Bolster Comic Strip Schmooze

Alan Colmes and Joe Bolster join Barry Weintraub in the podcast booth to discuss the earliest days of the Comic Strip, Pips, the New York comedy scene and share some stories and insights from their success in stand-up and beyond.

Jerry Seinfeld At The Comic Strip Bar - 1986

Full length Comedy USA Schmoozes are here.


First up is the January 1986 interview with Jerry Seinfeld recorded in the bar at The Comic Strip, on cassette tape, after the show, sometime during the week, with what sounds like a bit of an audience and a "good night" conversation between Jerry and Bill Masters. They exchanged views on ankle high sneakers.


When he was 31, Jerry already had eighteen "Tonight Show's" under his belt. The insights he shared about the business make this interview "must listen audio" for everyone in comedy. Thirty years later, it's a Schmoozecast.  

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