In April of 1972, a new era was born on the Sunset Strip of Hollywood. The first all-comedy night-club opened, which was named The Comedy Store. Comedy legends such as Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, and Bill Burr have all performed at The Comedy Store. It’s a piece of history at this point, and i’m going to tell you why.
Sammy Shore and his wife Mitzi along with comedic writer Rudy DeLuca all founded The Comedy Store. Sammy was opening doing jokes for Elvis, but while not on the road, he wanted a place to keep performing. Although, during the beginning he wasn’t around too often, and Mitzi took on most of the operations at the nightclub. It was also Mitzi that created the name of “The Comedy Store”.
The Comedy Store became the one place to watch all of the greatest comedians perform. The goal (thought of by Mitzi) was to create an atmosphere for stand-up comics to have a strong sense of camaraderie with each-other. Mitzi had a great eye for talent and put on only the best acts. To be clear, the best acts weren’t always the most popular, she even allowed newer artists to go perform and get nurtured by the community. Mitzi’s philosophy was paying it forward so that it was a never ending chain of bonds and nourishment between comics.
In 1974, Mitzi and Sammy divorced and Mitzi gained full control over The Comedy Store. Nothing much changed, as Mitzi was already the brain behind choosing talent and scheduling. Around this same time, she was mentoring young acts such as: Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Robin Williams. A ton of stars actually got their start at The Comedy Store, which makes it that much more special. Richard Pryor performed in the 70s at the club, performing his “Live From The Sunset Strip” album night after night marking it the hottest club out at the time.
The Comedy Store currently has 3 active rooms. These rooms are: The Original Room, The Main Room, and The Belly Room. The Original Room was the OG of the group, the single stage covered by black walls. By 1976, Mitzi got the rights of the whole building and added the Main Room to the mix. In 1978, The Belly Room was created to have a safe space for women to perform without hecklers.
On the outside walls of The Comedy Store, there are names of all the “Paid Regulars“. This is a special list of people that Mitzi recognized and gave respect to, by branding their names on the outside walls. It was and still is an honor to have your name on The Comedy Store’s walls next to greats such as Bobby Lee, Kevin Hart, Joe Rogan and Jeff Ross. The Comedy Store is truly an amazing establishment full of comic history, and is still seen as the “Mecca of Comedy“. I hope to one day get the chance to be in the audience.