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Archive for the ‘Comedy Show’ Category

Find Out Why the Funniest Comics Get Bruce

Friday, September 29th, 2017

Boulder Jewish News
Find Out Why the Funniest Comics Get Bruce
By Kathryn Bernheimer ??September 25, 2017


Why the title “Get Bruce?”

The title has two meanings. The first is a command issued by any high-ranking comic in need of a good joke. As in, “I have just been invited to host the Oscars! Get Bruce!

The other is a question: Do you get Bruce? Do you get his humor?

The documentary, being screened at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Wednesday at the Boulder JCC, makes sure we do get Bruce, a flamboyant, sweet, outrageous giant of humor. He appears in person at Reel Hope on October 14 at the Boulder JCC. The ACE screening is in anticipation of the Jewish Family Service fundraiser.


Best known for writing the best lines and gags at the Academy Awards, where he has been head writer since 2000,Vilanch supervises the entire telecast. He is also in high demand for roasts and other Hollywood extravaganzas where actors try to be funny, and comics try to top them. Vegas shows and touring acts also demand his talent.

His jokes are told by legions of stars, including Bette Midler, Robin Williams, Elizabeth Taylor, Lily Tomlin, and Billy Crystal.

Vilanch spent his first 20 years as the king of the one-liner, comfortably behind the scenes, his name and face known only to the comic elite who employed him.


That invisibility ended when he was promoted from a writer on Hollywood Squares to having his own box as a celebrity, right next to long-time customer Whoopi Goldberg.

“Get Bruce” solidified his status as a celebrity writer, quick with a quip, a role he plays with relish.

He has since appeared on Broadway as Edna Turnblad in “Hairspray,” and is regularly recognized at airports.

He also continues to be a gay icon, long celebrated for his openly gay status in closeted Hollywood. (Read a 2013 Westword interview here.)

Prepare to meet Bruce by watching this hilarious 1999 documentary, which is filled with celebrity interviews. Prepare to be in on the joke, a comedy fan who “gets” Bruce.

Tickets on Sale Now for Reel Hope Boulder: Behind the Screen with Bruce Vilanch

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Tickets on Sale Now for Reel Hope Boulder: Behind the Screen with Bruce Vilanch
Alaina Green ??August 28, 2017 – 6 Elul 5777

Bruce Vilanch

Boulder Jewish Family Service (JFS) will host its fifth annual fundraiser, “Reel Hope Boulder” on Saturday, October 14 at the Boulder JCC, 6007 Oreg Avenue. Guests will enjoy an entertaining evening with award-winning writer, comedian, songwriter, and actor Bruce Vilanch. Ron Bostwick, a freelance event producer and announcer, will interview Vilanch to showcase a “behind-the-screen” account of Bruce’s storied decades-long career. Bostwick has interviewed numerous celebrities at the Boulder International Film Festival, as well as featured speakers at three Reel Hope Boulder events.

The evening’s schedule will be:

7:00 p.m.: Sponsor reception with Bruce Vilanch for all sponsors

7:30 p.m.: Wine-and-beer reception with substantial kosher-style hors d’oeuvres

8:30 p.m.: Program

Tickets are $90 and sponsorships start at $540. All proceeds support the life-transforming work of Boulder JFS. For tickets, sponsorships, and more information, visit or contact Bonni Raderman at 720.749.3404.

With his unmistakable presence—characterized by a big-girl figure, oversized red glasses, a shaggy blonde mane, and usually a hilarious T-shirt—Bruce Vilanch has been one of Hollywood’s most colorful characters for decades. His campy presence and outrageous apparel only heighten his broad appeal.

He’s known to many as an onscreen character actor and comedian, but Vilanch achieved his biggest successes as a writer for stand-up comics such as Bette Midler, Billy Crystal, Lily Tomlin, and Rosanne Barr. For many years, he was the go-to comic for stand-up sets and a first-choice writer for events, including the Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony telecasts.

A native of Paterson, New Jersey, Vilanch attended Ohio State University as a theater and journalism major. After graduation, he moved into show business professionally, with comic roles in features such as the 1975 Mahogany (as a fashion designer), the 1984 Ice Pirates, the 1986 thriller The Morning After, and the 2008 Adam Sandler comedy You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. On the side, Vilanch did frequent uncredited rewrites of Hollywood features and enjoyed a lengthy and productive tenure as a writer of features for the Chicago Tribune. Vilanch’s professional mainstay, however, remains comedy writing. He was the subject of the all-star 1999 documentary Get Bruce! and played an unforgettable Edna Turnblad in the long-running Broadway musical Hairspray.

Bruce Vilanch by Sage Inn and The Landing Bistro and Bar, Provincetown, August 18-19th

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Bruce has put something into a lot famous mouths—
Jokes! Stories! Filthy Songs!

You’ve probably seen him in a square, on broadway, or on stage—
Tonight he tells you all about everybody and everything, from Whoopi the star to Jabba the Hutt. And he’ll dance. Really.


Sage Inn and The Landing Bistro & Bar

336 Commercial Street

Provincetown, MA 02657

View Map

TICKETS: Click Here

Motown & More, An Evening of Music, Dance & Comedy with Special Guests Bruce Vilanch and Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy September 12, 2016

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

San Francisco Weekly
Bruce Vilanch on Whether It’s OK to Make AIDS Jokes (Yet)
Quentin QuickTue Sep 6th, 2016 5:47pm


No one speaks of [HIV/AIDS] anymore and that truly saddens me, to paraphrase comedian Sandra Bernhard. But in 1981, it replaced hepatitis and mono as the topic on everyone’s lips.

That’s how Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and Tonys comedy writer and actor Bruce Vilanch (Hollywood Squares, Hairspray) remembers it.

“This thing came, but the devastation was so total,” Vilanch told SF Weekly. One week someone had a cough and the next week they were dead. No one knew what was happening, but there seemed to be so many gay people that it was happening to. And it resembled pneumonia, so we called it the gay pneumonia. It wasn’t even identified as AIDS till years later, so it was this horrible, baffling thing.“

While HIV cocktails have turned the deadly virus into a more manageable one, those who live with it still struggle to pay for cost-prohibitive medications and in some places to acquire safe housing. That’s why events like The Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation’s one-night-only cabaret benefit Motown & More, An Evening of Music, Dance & Comedy with Special Guests Bruce Vilanch and Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy remain vital.

Vilanch spoke to SF Weekly about the continued importance of AIDS benefits, holding out for a cure and whether it’s too early for AIDS jokes.

What can you tell us about Motown & More?

I’ll be cohosting and doing comedy mostly. I don’t have any plans to do any musical stuff, but you never know. Between now and then, we might cook something up. I just hate to pin myself down.

This is also a great opportunity for the kids singing Carol King eight times a week to sing anything but Carol King. Since Carol King wrote a lot of stuff for rhythm and blues acts during her Brill Building period, there’s a lot of Motown-y stuff in that show, and they’re going to get to sing that stuff that they can’t sing in her show. So that’s what makes it so much fun.

How did you first get involved with Richmond/Ermet’s One Night Only shows?

Well, I’ve been doing stuff for Richmond/Ermet for a long time. They do two big shows a year: Help is on the Way in the summer and Help is on the Way for the Holidays around Christmas. I’ve done a bunch of those at the Palace of Fine Farts. When I was in Hairspray, we toured the country for a year and we made it our business to take our Monday nights, which were dark and turn them into AIDS benefits for local charities, and Richmond/Ermet does the same thing.

When one of these musicals comes into town, they get the cast on a Monday night to sing everything else. The cast loves it because they get to sing something else and Richmond/Ermet is such a wonderful, close-to-the-ground charity, where all the money goes directly to the people who need it. They have a very low overhead. They’re not in the charity business. They’re really doing a great public service, so you get a great feeling of contribution.

People are still struggling with HIV/AIDS, yet there isn’t a single awareness-raising red ribbon to be seen at major awards shows anymore. People don’t talk about AIDS to the extent that they used to.

That’s because of the cocktail. With the drugs that are available, people are living longer. They’re not dying at the rate they were years ago. But at the same time, those cocktails are incredibly expensive and people need the support. Of course, the thing hasn’t been cured yet and it would be nice if one of these drugs was actually like a polio vaccine and could wipe it out. So, of course, the research and the work continue and that needs financing, too.

But Richmond/Ermet is not about research. They’re about helping people who have it and live with the financial burden and providing services for them. I think when people find out what this organization is about they see how worthwhile it is and begin talking again. When you stop the dying, then people’s attention shift to something else. That’s what we’re like.

How did the gay community handle the epidemic 45 years ago?

There was panic in the community because it seemed to be happening to so many of us and, of course, panic outside of the community because anyone dealing with us suddenly viewed us as a pariah.

As the contours of it became clearer, the gay community realized that the only way we were going to do anything about it was if we banded together. What had been the beginnings of a political liberation movement that had been gathering steam since Stonewall transformed into an AIDS movement. The government wasn’t going to do anything because they were as scared as anybody else, so it was up to us to force them to do things.

Talk to us about your own personal involvement.

I got involved on the show business level, because show business is the great fountain of money when it needs to be, and you do that by putting on shows and raising a lot of money. That’s what we did with the people who were willing to identify themselves with it and that was generally people whose lives had been affected by it like Joan Rivers, Bette Midler and Nell Carter. Once Rock Hudson identified as an AIDS patient, then the floodgates opened and Elizabeth Taylor got involved and real charities began to be formed.

Are you still haunted by the ghosts of loved ones lost to AIDS?

All the time. I live now in a loft in West Hollywood and through one of my windows can look up at the Hollywood Hills. I point out houses of people who are dead. I knew them all. It’s a visceral reminder of all the people who used to be here who aren’t anymore. I think, as you get older, visions of people who you’ve lost begin to appear to you at the oddest times. But in the case of people like me, we lost so many people when we were young that we were not supposed to lose that it’s double what it would be for most people. To have a mass of people go at the same time was devastating and unprecedented.

What are the challenges, aside from overpriced medications, still faced by HIV-positive people today?

There’s still discrimination. People ask me why I continue to do benefits, and I say because no one with breast cancer was ever forced to leave an apartment because they have breast cancer. This is one of the few conditions in the world where you’re still made to feel like a leper in some places.

Will we see a cure in the near future?

Yeah, of course. I may be a cockeyed optimist, but we do have cures for things that used to be the scourge of the planet and I think we can find a cure for this. I suspect that we’re close because they have already found a way to contain and manage it, so they’re just a couple of hills away.

We often look for humor in the things that most distress us. That said, since you’re a comedy writer, I have to ask … Is it still too early for AIDS jokes?

I think people who have it can do that. But I think it’s difficult for anybody else to try and do it unless they’re going to make a comment about the fact that they’re doing it and that it’s too soon.

There are AIDS jokes that we always tell each other that we’d never do publicly. But then there are a lot of jokes that we tell each other that we’d never do publicly, so it falls into that category. I can’t think of one that I would do generally, because it ain’t fittin’.

Motown & More – An Evening of Music, Dance & Comedy, Monday, Sep. 12, at Marines’ Memorial Theater, $36-$75, 609 Sutter St, 415-273-1620 or

Check Out: Bruce Vilanch & The Skivvies, SATURDAY, August 13, 8PM, Fire Island

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Bruce Vilanch & The Skivvies
SATURDAY, August 13, 8PM


Bruce Vilanch & The Skivvies

In Association with rj productions

Emmy Award-winner, celebrated comedy genius and Fire Island favorite, Bruce Vilanch, comes to Whyte Hall in August with musical comedy sensations The Skivvies. From writing The Oscars for over 25 years to The Hollywood Squares, Bruce has many stories to tell.

The Skivvies, the “musically thrilling” undierock, comedypop duo don’t just strip down their musical arrangements, they literally strip down to their underwear to perform their distinctive mashups and eccentric originals for cello and ukulele starring Award-winning singer-actors Lauren Molina (Broadway’s Sweeney Todd & Rock of Ages) and Nick Cearley (All Shook Up, Buyer and Cellar) The Wall Street Journal called them “smart, sophisticated…ingenious.”

Tickets $100 & $75


To Buy Tickets: Click Here

Join Bruce Vilanch For A ‘One Night Stand’ Tonight, May 29, 2016 At The Olympus Theatre In Highland Park, MI

Sunday, May 29th, 2016


Join us for “A One Night Stand” with gay icon, and 6 time Emmy winner, Bruce Vilanch at the newly rennovated Olympus Theatre!

Show date is May 29, 2016

It may be a one night stand but we have TWO shows for you to choose from!

Shows at 4pm and 8pm.

Tickets : $40
(includes show and two drinks)

Optional $50
(includes show, two drinks, and VIP meet and greet after the show with Photo op)

Seating is assigned so grab your tickets at! Search for Bruce Vilanch or click the link in this event! Tickets are also available bar side at Menjos!