The Comedy Store The Comedy Store is an American comedy club opened in April 1972. It is located in West Hollywood, California, at 8433 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip. An associated club is located in La Jolla, San Diego, California.


The Comedy Store was opened in April 1972 by comedians Sammy Shore (1927–2019), and Rudy De Luca. The building was formerly the home of Club Seville (1935), later, Ciro's (1940–1957), a popular Hollywood nightclub owned by William Wilkerson, and later Ciro's Le Disc, a rock and roll venue, where The Byrds were discovered in 1964. When the venue reopened as The Comedy Store in 1972, it included a 99-seat theatre. As a result of a divorce settlement, Sammy Shore's ex-wife Mitzi Shore began operating the club in 1973, and she was able to buy the building in 1976. She immediately renovated and expanded the club to include a 450-seat main room. In 1974, The Comedy Store hosted the wedding reception of newlyweds Liza Minnelli and Jack Haley, Jr. The Comedy Club signage was covered, for the evening, by signs reading "Ciro's", denoting the venue's prior identity. The event was attended by many dozens of Hollywood glitterati, including Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr., Cher, Bob Fosse, Johnny Carson, Goldie Hawn, Cesar Romero, Priscilla Presley and other stars, past and present. The soiree was so grand that Sunset Boulevard was temporarily blocked by police to allow Hollywood royalty to arrive in their limos unmolested by photographers and reporters.


The original Comedy Store on Sunset at Ciro's had been joined by the Comedy Store Westwood, at 1621 Westwood Blvd., the Comedy Store La Jolla, at 916 Pearl St., Comedy Store Playhouse, on Las Palmas, Comedy Store at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, in Universal City, and the Comedy Store Las Vegas at the Dunes Hotel.

Job action

Beginning in 1979, The Comedy Store served for many years as the host location for the annual ''HBO Young Comedians'' specials.
Tension between the club owners stems from a 1979 strike of Los Angeles comedians against the Comedy Store’s “no-pay policy.” Until that time, neither Shore nor Friedman paid comedians a salary. The theory was that comedians should almost be paying the owners for the exposure the clubs provided. When the comedians’ strike began, The Improv (opened in 1974 at 8162 Melrose Avenue) was closed for fire-damage repairs. Therefore, the strike focused on Shore, not Friedman.
Also in 1979, stand-up comedians formed a short-lived labor union and demanded to be paid for their appearances at The Comedy Store. For six weeks (beginning in March), several famous comedians staged a protest in front of the club, while others crossed the picket line. The comedians involved formed a union called Comedians for Compensation and fought for pay where they had received none before. They eventually picketed in front of the club when their demands were not met. Jay Leno and David Letterman were among those on the picket line while Garry Shandling and Yakov Smirnoff crossed the line. The job action was not legally a strike as the comedians were classified as "independent contractors" and were not under contract with the club. Mitzi Shore argued that the club was and had always been a showcase and training ground for young comedians and was not about profits. She alleged that comedians came to the club and could work on their material in front of casting agents and other talent scouts who would possibly hire them as professionals if they were good enough. The comedians at the club became unhappy when the club was expanded several times and it was perceived that Shore's profits were quite substantial. Shore also paid the rest of her staff, including waitresses and bartenders. After the strike, some comedians were no longer allowed to perform at the club, including Steve Lubetkin, who committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the Continental Hyatt House next door. His suicide note included the line: "My name is Steve Lubetkin. I used to work at The Comedy Store." Lubetkin hoped that his suicide would resolve the labor dispute. He also cited Shore as the reason he no longer had a job. The union ceased to exist in 1980, although from the time of the job action onward, comedians in Los Angeles were paid for their shows. This included The Comedy Store and The Improv.

Notable alumni

*Tim Allen *Louie Anderson *Roseanne Barr *Don Barris *Sandra Bernhard *Mike Binder *Elayne Boosler *Bill Burr *Bryan Callen *John Caparulo *George Carlin *Jim Carrey *Dave Chappelle *Chevy Chase *Cheech & Chong *Louis C.K. *Whitney Cummings *Andrew Dice Clay *Jenn Colella *Billy Crystal *Rodney Dangerfield *Chris D'Elia *Joey Diaz *Gaylord Dingler *Tom Dreesen *Gallagher *Jeff Garlin *Whoopi Goldberg *Gilbert Gottfried *Kathy Griffin *Argus Hamilton *Chelsea Handler *Bill Hicks *Tony Hinchcliffe *Joel Hodgson *Andy Kaufman *Michael Keaton *Sam Kinison *Bert Kreischer *Martin Lawrence *Bobby Lee *Jay Leno *Annie Lederman *David Letterman *Jay London *Sebastian Maniscalco *Howie Mandel *Marc Maron *Carlos Mencia *Dennis Miller *Paul Mooney *Eddie Murphy *Christina Pazsitzky *Esther Povitsky *Pat Proft *Ollie Joe Prater *Richard Pryor *Chris Rock *Paul Rodriguez *Joe Rogan *Ray Romano *Chris Rush *Bob Saget *Brendan Schaub *Tom Segura *Jerry Seinfeld *Ari Shaffir *Garry Shandling *Pauly Shore *Sarah Silverman *Yakov Smirnoff *Phil Snyder *Freddy Soto *Brody Stevens *Sam Tripoli *Theo Von *Jimmie Walker *Marsha Warfield *Jeff Wayne *Marc Weiner *Robin Williams *Thomas F. Wilson *John Witherspoon The history of the young comedians coming to Los Angeles in the 1970s and performing at the club is told in the book ''I'm Dying Up Here'' by William Knoedelseder.


A docu-series based on The Comedy Store debuted on Showtime in October 2020. Each episode is an hour long and breaks down a different time period throughout the existence of the Comedy Store. The director, Mike Binder goes on a podcast with a different comedian to set the tone and help provide the narrative each episode.



External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Comedy Store, The Comedy Store, The Comedy Store, The Comedy Store, The Category:West Hollywood, California Category:1972 establishments in California