She was 87. © 2020 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. A who's who of legendary comedians passed through the Sunset Strip club, with David Letterman once describing Shore as a "den mother" to the eccentric assortment of personalities that jockeyed for stage time. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS), "He would be the nicest guy in the world," Walker says, "but there was a tremendous amount of times he would just come in and freak out. Funny man Pauly Shore, whose late mom Mitzi ran The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, describes it as "the Emerald City for comedians." “Mitzi was a … "It's like where I was born and raised," Pauly Shore told The Associated Press in 2005. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. She passed away … ), Jim Carrey makes shaky Joe Biden debut on 'SNL,' Maya Rudolph's Kamala Harris cracks a 'WAP' joke, The 10 best jokes from Jerry Seinfeld's new book 'Is This Anything? Mitzi Shore, owner of the Los Angeles club the Comedy Store and one of the most influential figures in stand-up for more than four decades, has died. She was a woman in a male dominated business who pulled no punches. There were several dark moments in the house with these comics, and I think that was another reason why it was really hard for my mom to see me go into stand-up comedy. "We met in 1979. ", "Mom/Mitzi passed Early in the morning at 4:42 a.m.," her son, the comedian and actor Pauly Shore, tweeted Wednesday, "my heart lays heavy.". From Jerry Seinfeld to Ellen DeGeneres, these 25 comedians broke new ground as actors, authors and podcasters, according to 24/7 Tempo. Sunday's premiere introduced the business Sammy and Mitzi Shore (parents of comedian Pauly Shore) opened with screenwriter Rudy DeLuca in 1972. The club was owned by the late Mitzi Shore, mom to stand … Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. She opened the door to my dreams! "I think The Improv – they were straighter comedians, the Seinfelds and the Paul Reisers and Larry Millers – even (Jay) Leno was really more of an Improv. ", Pauly, 52, remembers how much his mom, who died in 2018, truly cared for the talent. "It’s Mecca for comedians," writer-director Mike Binder tells USA TODAY. Mitzi Shore essentially lived at the club through the 1970s and 80s, and her four kids were regulars roaming the floor even when they were tiny. The "Son in Law" star, who has dubbed his mom "the Mother Teresa of comedy," remembers "crawling around on the floor" of The Comedy Store as a kid and being "like a hot potato being passed around to different comedians" when his mother was tied up with work. "She’d always have people over at the house," he recalls. ", Jay Leno returns to comedy hosting gig, taking on syndicated 'You Bet Your Life' revival, New 2020 TV premieres: Here's when your favorite show returns, and your next addiction starts, "He was one of her kids," Pauly Shore recalls of his mom's fondness for Prinze. But The Comedy Store, there was some kind of darkness. (CNN)Mitzi Shore, who could make and break careers as the owner of the Comedy Store, has died after battling Parkinson's disease. (Shore famously took the club in exchange for a reduction in alimony payments.). Think of any big comedian from the ‘70s through today. She arrived at a moment when a huge stand-up boom was erupting, and became a queen over the scene, with arguably more power than anyone to make or break the career of an up-and-coming comedian. Mitzi then took the club to the highest of heights. "Mitzi Shore made an indelible mark on comedy and my brain," tweeted Marc Maron. Starting in 1974, Mitzi Shore gave comics gigs, advice, guidance, a clubhouse to hang out and talk shop in and occasionally a stairwell to sleep in. If you're a comedian, you're kind of drawn there like a moth to a light.". She also opened the doors of her home to the stand-ups. They don't know that I grew up in this legendary place.". She was 87. Related: 'I'm Dying Up Here' shines spotlight on '70s stand-up scene. Binder, 62, says he arrived at The Comedy Store in January 1977, days before Prinze shot himself. makes shaky Joe Biden debut on 'SNL,' Maya Rudolph's Kamala Harris cracks a 'WAP' joke, from Jerry Seinfeld's new book 'Is This Anything? (The actor was not home at the time. ", 'His brain was so compromised': Robin Williams' widow describes his 'devastating' final days in new doc, Chris Rock addresses Trump COVID diagnosis in 'SNL' monologue: 'My heart goes out to COVID', Mitzi Shore, the late owner of The Comedy Store, with her stand-up son, Pauly. I’d go downstairs, and you'd see Robin Williams down there or Richard Pryor or Richard Belzer or Gallagher. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. "'He thinks I'm a spy. 25 of the hardest-working comedians in Hollywood, Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2020/10/05/showtime-comedy-store-documentary-director-mike-binder-mitzi-pauly-shore/3594536001/, (Photo: Troy Conrad/Courtesy of SHOWTIME), (Photo: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images). The holy grail for comics was parlaying that into an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. A docuseries about West Hollywood's The Comedy Store debuted Sunday on Showtime. "This is a very sad day for the family of stand-up comics on the planet," Arsenio Hall wrote. Binder didn't know Prinze, but remembers witnessing "everybody crying" at the club. ", "I love you Mitzi Shore," Whitney Cummings tweeted. Her four children included actor/comic Pauly Shore. "I did my first legit comedy gig at the Store. Showtime's five-part docuseries "The Comedy Store," (Sundays, 10 EDT/PDT), doesn't just highlight the howls spurred by the greats at the iconic establishment on Sunset Strip: Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Sam Kinison and new Joe Biden impersonator Jim Carrey. A docuseries about West Hollywood's The Comedy Store debuted Sunday on Showtime. He thinks people are listening on the phone because he knows who killed Kennedy...' Nobody knew what cocaine psychosis was.". Pauly recalls his mom "always at the Store. Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. "Thank you for giving me a family and a home.". If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online. Born Mitzi Saidel in Marinette, Wisconsin, she took over ownership of the two-year-old club on Hollywood's Sunset Strip after divorcing its co-founder, comedian Sammy Shore, in 1974. ", "I'd say, 'This is getting weird,'" remembers Prinze's friend, comedian Alan Bursky, in the series. ', to comedy hosting gig, taking on syndicated 'You Bet Your Life' revival, Here's when your favorite show returns, and your next addiction starts, Robin Williams' widow describes his 'devastating' final days in new doc, addresses Trump COVID diagnosis in 'SNL' monologue: 'My heart goes out to COVID', U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, portraying Donald Trump on 'SNL' while president is hospitalized, dealt with President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. "People that know me associate me with MTV and the movies. "Comics are – I don’t want to say wounded birds, but we’re a weird breed," says Pauly. Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support when you dial 741741. A chorus of those comics tweeted praise Wednesday. Prinze was so enraged, Walker says, that he bought a crossbow and planned to kill Travolta. He was just 19. Those years have been dramatized in the Showtime series "I'm Dying Up Here," which stars Melissa Leo as a Shore-like figure. Maron, Carrey and many other future stars started out as doormen at the club, a coveted entryway into comedy for stand-ups with thin resumes, which Patton Oswalt acknowledged in his tribute. Mitzi took ownership in 1974, following the couple's divorce. Freddie Prinze was one of the souls attracted to the Los Angeles club, launched after his "Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" debut in 1973. Mitzi Shore essentially lived at the club through the 1970s and 80s, and her four kids were regulars roaming the floor even when they were tiny. No cause was given, but Pauly Shore had been tweeting in recent days that she had been in hospice, and legal documents filed by her family said she had Parkinson's disease and other neurological problems. Alec Baldwin defends portraying Donald Trump on 'SNL' while president is hospitalized, How late-night comics dealt with President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis. "I remember when it went down, I was there at the house with Mom, and it was dark. "Mitzi Shore was a pioneer who gave more comics their start than I can count," Kathy Griffin tweeted. In addition to Pauly, she is survived by sons Scott and Peter and daughter Sandy. Spokeswoman Jodi Gottlieb released a statement from the club announcing Shore's death, calling her the "legendary godmother of the world famous Comedy Store" and "an extraordinary businesswoman and decades ahead of her time who cultivated and celebrated the artistry of stand-up comedy. Virtually every major comic from Richard Pryor to Robin Williams to Jerry Seinfeld used the club as a stepping-stone and returned to hone their acts after gaining fame. ', Freddie Prinze at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., 10 days before his death on Jan. 29, 1977. The series also looks at the comedy club's darker days, its stand-ups' battles with alcohol and substance abuse and some untimely deaths. Lets have an afterparty,'" Shore says/ "But the difference is is my mom was the one having the afterparty, and I was telling her to be quiet, that I had school in the morning.". Walker says he and Prinze went to Travolta's apartment building, where Prinze shot three arrows into Travolta's door. "No words can express the gratitude I have for her," Jim Carrey tweeted Wednesday, along with a drawing of himself with Mitzi Shore. ", "You remember when when you were a kid, or young, you’d be like, 'Hey, lets go to Mom’s house. She just loved it." The club was owned by the late Mitzi Shore, mom to stand-up Pauly. If she didn't, you did something else. © 2020 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Mitzi Shore, who could make and break careers as the owner of the Comedy Store, has died after battling Parkinson's disease. The Comedy Store, which took pride in being open 365 nights a year, will be closed in her honor Wednesday. "That happened a lot when I was young. If she loved you, you did well. The 1970s and '80s were an especially fertile and defining period for standup, and Shore was a key gatekeeper, showcasing performers like Letterman, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Pryor, Garry Shandling, and Roseanne Barr.