Jeffrey Gurian has spent his life making people smile as a comedian and a cosmetic dentist. But his belief in the power of laughter and medicine was put to the test when he was sick as a dog and rushed by ambulance to NYU Langone Medical Center.
"These ambulance attendants were so kind, the first guy showed up and he took my hand and he said don't worry you're going to be OK. And I can't tell you how much that meant to me a simple thing like that. It started me on this feeling that I could be OK, that I could survive this thing," he told us.
At the hospital Gurian focused on staying positive, a subject he wrote a book about. Still, the comedy writer, performer and observer of the comedy scene had a successful career in dentistry and knew just how sick he was from the coronavirus. He says it was clear his circulatory system was collapsing.
“My circulatory system was collapsing,” the comedian said.
Comedian Ron Bennington posted on Twitter asking 'prayers for Jeffrey' followed by Bill Burr, Jim Norton, Nick Kroll and John Muhlany.
“And I got hundreds and hundreds of responses from people. I was too weak to answer anybody. But I have to tell you how much it means to know that there are people out there that care about you,” said Gurian.
Are you typically sentimental?
“I was in tears a lot of the time. I was like, this is incredible,” Gurian said.
Fellow comedians also put together a get well video for Gurian.
You were in the Kimmel wing.
“Yeah, I walked around asking where Jimmy was and they were like, ‘who?’” said Gurian.
He turned the corner from double pneumonia and with his sense of humor intact; Gurian was taken home by ambulance to continue his recovery. He had spent four days at the hospital.
“When they saw all the pictures of the comedians, they want to hang out for about 20 minutes asking me questions until I got too tired, but these guys were so nice. You don't really see how kind people are,” Gurian said.
Gurian says he's convinced the laughs helped.
“It's not just a cliché when they say laughter is the best medicine. There are people who’ve been cured watching comedy films of all sorts of things. It’s so important to look at things in a positive way,” Gurian said.
Jeffrey Gurian certainly does.