It was a family affair when The Comedy Store celebrated their 40th Anniversary on April 21 with a journey through four decades of groundbreaking laughter. One by one, the legends lined up to pay tribute to “the matriarch of stand-up” Mitzi Shore (who began operating The Store in 1973), each crediting her with “taking a chance on them” in their early years.
Local NBC weatherman of 30-plus years, Fritz Coleman shared his story about getting recruited by the network after execs caught his standup set at The Store. Countless others such as actor/comic Paul Rodriguez reminisced about their excitement of graduating to the status of “paid regular.”
Along with the dozens of comics and well wishers in attendance, West Hollywood Mayor Jeff Prang was on hand to pay tribute, honoring Mitzi Shore, the first woman in West Hollywood to own both a business and the building, with a special recognition award declaring The Comedy Store an iconic landmark.
Other notables of the evening included Garry Shandling, Louie Anderson, Andy Kaufman alter ego Tony Clifton, who performed a musical/full band performance of REM’s “Man on the Moon,” as well as video tributes from A-listers such as Robin Williams, David Letterman, Andrew Dice Clay, Mark Summers and Yakov Smirnoff.
(1) Garry Shandling and Dom Irrera (2) 40th anniversary cake (3) Comedy Store co-founder Sammy Shore (4) Sammy Shore receives the City of West Hollywood proclaimation from Mayor Jeffrey Prang with The Comedy Store's Argus Amilton. (5) ventriloquist Willie Tyler & Lester (6) Fritz Coleman (7) Louie Anderson (8) Carrie Snow (9) Taylor Negron with guitarist (10) Tony Clifton (11) Chris Spencer (12) The Comedy Store
Photos courtesy of Genie Sanchez, www.totallylikeduh.com