In memory of
Mitzi Shore, co-founder and owner of the influential Comedy Store, has died at the age of 87, according to multiple news sources.
She passed away from Parkinson’s disease earlier today.
The Comedy Store released a statement on her passing:
"It is with great sadness and very heavy hearts that we report the passing of Mitzi Shore, the legendary Godmother of the world famous Comedy Store." "Mitzi was an extraordinary businesswoman and decades ahead of her time who cultivated and celebrated the artistry of stand-up comedy. She was also a loving mother, not only to her own four children, but to the myriad of comedians who adored her. She leaves behind an indelible mark and legacy and has helped change the face of comedy."
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She co-founded the celebrated comedy club in 1972 with her husband, comedian Sammy Shore, and comedian Rudy DeLuca.
She took over sole ownership in 1974 as part of a divorce settlement with her husband.
She is the mother of comedian Pauly Shore who tweeted that his “heart lays heavy.”
Some of the most famous comedians honed their craft at the Comedy Store.
In 1994, Mitzi Shore told the Los Angeles Times, “We’re here to help people develop their skills and to get them seen by supportive comedy crowds, as well as by TV and movie people.”
Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Freddie Prinze, Howie Mandell, Whitney Cummings, and Chelsea Handler are a few of the many who made a name for themselves at the Comedy Store.
She had a reputation as a mother like figure for the aspiring comedians.
“Mitzi was a maternal influence,” said David Letterman, in Richard Zoglin’s 2008 book, “Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-Up in the 1970s Changed America.” Letterman had driven out to LA to try and make it in show business. “She had this place where we could all come and be silly and make mistakes and have fun and go home with a waitress. I left a job for what I thought could be nothing and then found this life and friends and home and creative order. And without Mitzi, I don’t know what I would have done.”
Many comedians paid tribute to Shore on social media:
Whitney Cummings, "I love you Mitzi Shore. Rest In Peace. Thank you for giving me a family and a home."
Marc Maron, "Mitzi Shore made an indelible mark on comedy and my brain. ‘You’re a poet. You should wear a scarf on stage.’ RIP"
Eddie Griffin, "She got me off the streets gave me a place to stay I worked 2 jobs; doorman & paid comic. Thank you Mitzi for giving social misfits a place to call home & grow into social engineers. I love you. Richard & Robin will greet you. Give em the Light!"
Kathy Griffin, "Mitzi Shore was a pioneer who gave more comics their start than I can count...I did my first legit comedy gig at the Store. She was a woman in a male dominated business who pulled no punches, something I always admired. My heart goes out to @paulyshore and the entire Shore family."
Survivors include sons Pauly, Peter and Scott and a daughter, Sandi.
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