Comedy Store Owner Mitzi Shore Dies

Mitzi Shore
Via The Comedy Store Facebook
– Mitzi Shore

Mitzi Shore, owner of the iconic Los Angeles The Comedy Store where several famous comedians began their careers, died April 11 following a battle with Parkinson’s Disease. She was 87.

“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,” the club said in a statement. “Mitzi was an extraordinary businesswoman and decades ahead of her time who cultivated and celebrated the artistry of stand-up comedy.”

Shore co-founded The Comedy Store with her husband Sammy in 1972. After the couple divorced in 1974 she took full ownership of the club, according to The Los Angeles Times.

With a keen eye for talent, Shore made Los Angles a mecca for up-and-coming comedians. David Letterman, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Bob Saget, Andy Kaufman, Chris Rock and Jim Carrey are among The Comedy Stores’ many luminaries.

She later opened two more branches in the L.A. area and an additional venue in Las Vegas.

Her time as the “godmother” of the L.A. comedy scene was not without controversy, however. An infamous protest took place at the club in 1979 when several young comics staged a walk-out in objection to how much Shore was playing commercial headliners to play the venue’s main room. The dispute was not resolved until six weeks later when Shore agreed to pay comics $25 per set. 

Shore still stands as one of the most legendary figures in comedy. Last year, Carrey produced the Showtime series “I’m Dying Up Here,” which is inspired by the club’s scene during the 1970s. Melissa Leo reportedly plays a character loosely based on Shore.

 She is survived by her four children.