« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Budd Friedman from 2012

2022-11-12 | 🔗

From November 2012, Marc talks with Budd Friedman, the man behind the comedy club boom in America. Budd died on November 12, 2022 at the age of 90.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The bremer. I know I sound Grady. I can't believe you're here, listen, walk! I am so happy that yes, and the celebrity poker tournament commerce- and there was some people and I know when you arrive gases. Cause: I'm I'm dorian ipod tomorrow and they liked it. They were, they surprised they didn't. I them doing an ipod in ranking podcast, I'm doing it, but they figure out what the hell you may as well. Obviously you didn't so they certainly tried to be polite. I was still going right right. Well, you know, because there are you, I it's hard, it did, in talking about the other, the air, what you have contributed to our two hour,
this year, I think you invented the comedy club. Would you say that all I would say that definitely by accident, but I certainly invented it well, I don't think a lot of people realize that the original improv on forty fourth street I mean when, when did that start, thirty. Nine years ago, nineteen sixty three and in where did you come from before that. How did you get into showbiz? Well, how do you suppose I was always a ham. You might have noticed lasher and rises no monocle. Tonight I allow others always amelia causing lying there. I am I was working in advertising in Boston. I love you. I moved to bosnia work in advertising and I was almost thirty and I said I gotta give showbiz I try always want to be an actor, but I didn't have the know to middle class. Job I think, was my line right. So I said I know I'll produce a show on broadway in a year so
that's the idea that when they had no money, no contacts and very little tat move back to new york. I dont want to work in advertising which doing in boston because it be twofold. When we do and copy copyrighted I was a copyright. I was count executive for small cup of small. What are you a wig you, but you grew up in Boston. No, no! I'm from knowledge connecticut is not united states. Traditional new york, jewish person. Yes! Well then, ultimately organise nine looking for work and you The college oh yeah I I went to city college, I went to brooklyn college and I went to and why you and you are also with a one degree and you are in the war two I was in the big one, the korean war, but that was a pretty nasty war. I think a lot of people don't realise it was only there for what I was only in battle. One day we only had the How I was I was on the front line. I was which what your arm,
in the army and trade. How that happened as a jew boy from new york denied all knowledge you enlisted, you guys you did endless. Yes, you thought it was the right thing to do. No, I knew I was going to be drafted. I don't waste time and colleagues, I didn't know what I wanted to do so, bosnia with drafting the war was last forever right, I am three weeks after I was wounded. The war ended so I really know, yeah see the first day in battle. You got one day and mile a day in battle and I am in What happened we were trying to take pork chops hill back. You probably saw the
I kept turning around looking for the cameras, yeah didn't you get it and I didn't see that grenade and boom I got nailed. Did you lose a lot of friends and whatnot yeah? We that's where I was gonna, be current confirmed my my atheism. Really, I saw well. The battalion was approximately one thousand men yeah and we were going to go back to try to take the the hill back uphill and the the What was the presbyterian chaplin was going to bless everybody and I said nano and I walked away that because espresso drink cause, I believe, a god and in in my company, with the guys that I knew two hundred and twenty guys eleven one nine. I can't remember the exact number. Red escaped unscathed than you are one of them now was wounded Jane I write it or dead wrong. I didn't die in
was it dear you I said I did it. I know now. I know I'm is now. I know there's something to eighty as I believe in something gazette guy pre pretty blessed us, and we still got now that I'm so you came back and they were you used to get you that I have the g I bill and you get a purple art I gonna purple hot. I suppose you get a bronze Ah, but I didn't as in you still have you provide. Oh yes, Alex my wife took my purple hot. My comment, infringements badge a pen I have made up for the one show I produce. What's nice country, like you doing to say like this and a appended I had one when I was sixteen of the bronx in the tarzan swim meat. Cascade swimming pool alone on the sixty seventh street today, swam swim. I want a very broad and say you're allowed to end anyway. So
I I I I came back and I started city college. I riding on a bug in college semester and left to go into the army, and and while I was it city college, I called homeless, I live in my mother, mother and she says you're, not getting as I've disabled databases says you're not getting. I wonder about you're getting one hundred and eighteen dollars a month. I said that doesn't sound right and I came home and it was my g. I bill giving me right monies. No! No! That was my disability. I often school right side became a disable veteran. I found on a month's out what we Why were you injured or get hit by a grenade right? But I mean what was my right elbow under my armpit, my rear and the my right thigh of for shrapnel yeah is all out now now
I think, there's a little left in there, but we don't know why I read the report was years ago, but it was so technical. I didn't know no idea where the shrapnel is keeps surprising, Alex. Oh, let's, oh yeah, yeah yeah, so anyway. We I so I got the g. I bills at I'm transferring other reality cause I'm gonna, my oh yes, and so and I got out. I got my degree and three in advertising in marketing and advertising, and the ilo for, while in new york, it, but I couldn't go to work in an agency because they stay out at thirty five dollars a week which I can afford to do now. I was older than most of these guys. One year old am here so I got a job in a small agency in Boston called marvin, leonard advertising. Yeah, you probably knew them as young as you are. It's a joke, yet there were two guys.
Yeah york, who had moved up there to work for a small agency and they bought it. L cash, a guy retired and they hide I was very happy, a very nice and if I wasn't if I were married, I might have stay there long, but I was low restless and. So I decided I'm going to get into showbiz now and never going to produce I'm not going to work out I'll, give myself a year to two years, yeah work out too well and did you try to producer show? At that point, I I did, and one of the highlights of the highlight here was sitting down face to face with blood atlanta, but the younger folks out there, la de la Nia was as legendary german, american, american german singer actress, who was married to Kurt vile, who wrote ah the shoulders and stood knickerbocker holiday and and I knew nothing about theater, but I read the script and
I am sure you're not familiar with before I know at a lady I know the name like here. I can't it's about peter stuyvesant yemen happened here. And Peter Stephen. Had a wooden leg: was a young guy on it and on broadway the old. Guy was made by walter, euston and john used, his father Alex grand yeah and he sang september song, a very famous song and the younger guy forgot his Dana played it, and I said to MR lehne yeah I said well, you know. I feel that, for you know, is be summer. Stock show that he had a big these musical drive. We could book a younger guy as the lead, I think. we get more box office that way because a role seem to be equal. Do you think that would work she said? Well, you know the show is a really regionally written for
Burgess Meredith, oh my god. Oh hey rocky, about an analogy, while of course he was a young rack, he was young actor, you not waver and she had a full. out of falling out with him, so he switched the show over to multi use the right. But yes, we could do that Ratan, while needle said, and I then sell it, I can't sell em nice meeting. Her allows those great- and I was looking at people like off a god free. So the old I thought it was so I yeah I was working as selling magazines on the telephone, I was and I met on the phone. Well, well bullish. Dorgan was now he was Jackie. Gleason's manage all my yard, and I mean how can you forget that a bullet story of a kid in the bronx annual zoning laws, and and cold. Calling like I met her is what is the? What is the worst y ex wife? She was so nice she bought every magazine,
Then I finally manner when I moved out eight years later, oh really need on him. The story told her not him how he was dead already, but anyway I may I worked. My run was luncheon at on forty fifth street madison avenue logo, tito mustache. a lot facial error. I seen the picture here right out of hand. People would say to me so you're an actor us and now you're right it now and not. No, no, I'm a waiter. Just to embarrass me! Oh I'm! Sorry! I'm sorry! I know I love it so anyway, what was the birth of the allergies, though the emperor, so I met this young lady, who was in fiorello, hit burrowing Israel, and I was dating early and silver and as always, I myself wriggle out yet and we go out with her friends and the show and they say, hey remember when we were in chicago trying out now.
Go, go to Harry's bar show and get up and sing, and then there was the place in Boston, blah blah blah altitude as an idea, I'll open up a coffee house with food here in the theater district here and the kids will come in get up and sing I'll make a few bucks and Alex band my my knowledge of abroad. If people want to beg, you meet some people, yeah exec command, exactly what exactly so you're on a shelby. We want to have an after hours club and after out after hours after theater after theater, that was, I wasn't lindy's or one of the organizers of someplace, that kids, who go to and hang out and sing and hope, was to get the big people in like that the place where may ever thought of the stars. Not now just saying the chorus kids round me and I ll be good part time to venture, like a college. I call him now. Yes, actually with food right and soda
What I did I opened it and then what was the original location where'd? You get the forty fourth right! No, but I mean what was it before. How did you get the deal on that? Well, that's I smile because in nineteen sixty two when I rented the uno sixty two and open the sixty three, it was a vietnamese restaurant nineteen. Sixty two think about that day and had all red, lacquered walls and mirrors, and yet we ripped all this shit off the walls and there was the brick yeah cleaned up the brick That's how the brick wall, because the original recreational brick worst record, which is now sort of a symbol of stand up yeah exactly I remember performing there cause I, when I got it, I got a royalty each side. Oh yeah, that's my thing! No! I I got to new york in eighty nine in silver. It still had the place, and I it was by that time there was a letter missing, I think, and one of them was falling off all while always love his mo ma using that famous picture of of John well. It says
for the m. Remember it's a vertical sound: have the aim is missing and there's no one on the bought her. I know one thing: how do I fix it? You don't fix it about the money. you know. For ten years I make a panic It was coming around like right away because I mean silver silver did a few shows right. She was a present by the time we open where she was and how to succeed in business and the kids kamen and Bobby MOSS came in Rudy Vallee. Even kamen is amazing, Bobby MAS, a madman now that he's playing the same role he as chairman of the bullet, which is the last job he had, and it's the honest, crazy right who else was coming in as well nelson riley, who raises just scientific and all the kids in this Oh is undergoing three sixty two sixty three was demurest comic to come around. The first comic was they vaster
and Dave Astor was the comics comic, who is playing the blue angel? You certainly out of that, an dumb he wanted in one night and he got up and performed. I didn't know he was and he was brewing. Israeli and you had regular crowds. People would start to come in and was all show people. What was it in the beginning was mostly just show kids coming in and then you know, you've already got out very quickly, but I'll get to that. But Dave asked to you know so. He's playing the blue angel and the comics will come to see him He would bring them over right, so you can arrange comedic genius yeah, that's it day. Vaster showed up one night and you I like guided agree. You a fan comedy oh yeah, yeah and I found that I prefer to have the same joke over again. a song over and over and over again that you yeah thanks kids would seeing the same fucking songs, all the time,
the thai and who were those like who were those kids singing, do we know these people? I mean, I know that some of the people we know comics were singers. Originally some of the women, although we had lies in manila, she will come by regularly absolutely when she was sixteen wow judy garland ever come. Yes, we're talking about the kids first right and that middle of course, when as nineteen sixty nine but showed up I try to think of other things. While we had everybody didn't know, rainbows were saying initially or a lame. Boozer was a singing. Waitress was at something initiated that day. Did everyone have to perform oh yeah? Well, it was as we could yeah southern case. Somebody then show up hey go on up that was, it was it was. It was not a hooker anywhere just a backup play exactly and sends a terrible way too. So she became a singing- oh yes, she met Andy Kaufman became decide, become a committee waiter, and that was why I teen seventy one. So yes, so in early sixties idea did woody Allen come by what are you
Is there a twice dick have it here came in for the second time he performed stand up, and then I think I like the story. Sesar. Does us joke a classic joke? He says my friend from yale was so rich than when we got married. Instead of throwing rice, they threw uncle Ben. I mean I start the next joke was, and he was so rich that they have. the caviar flown in from beluga well was this jew boy from the bronx connecticut know about ravioli as it wishes I looked it up the next day and found out the balloon was the way I am so. You are neither back a week later and he does as was said, but he doesn't do the balloon, Joe. I said dick wanna do that below the jockey. Some people just get it. I said I thought brilliant potential opportunities. Like a very rapid, you learned, I learned I learned so when you, when you say. This I mean was it did
see it as a moneymaking venture. I mean no no, and it wasn't for some years, but I saw it as it is a job time. Temporary venture an end when when did it, like. When did you start to do any bruce ever coming, Lenny came at once worker to now just can't hung out and he we had all the reviews of the broadway shows staple to a wall, a petition when you came in and they were like six newspapers, Yes, and that one that shows it opened was the sign in sydney bruce teens window By lorraine, hansberry, very uninstall gave Del rio gave us was gave, was original deadline, kid and he became a very successful actor stylish on broadway and as Lenny was leaving. We adjourn only looks at the picture of gay ashes. What's this old oak
me too doing without doubt that he was here and I said plenty. He says are of a hit broadway showed unto. Did you read the review asses, but they don't have broadway reviews and the law journal. That's all he was red eyes. He was at the end of it was a was he a mass when a gay manner now insane and like it, and so when was shift. When did you start to realize that comedy was what was bringing people in? How did that shift around? Well, when did carlin come in when did pryor come in when did well richard? Let's go by Judy, garland yeah that I got liza one day comes to me and I I picture this. I never forgot remember how the old coffee urns in a restaurant you pour that waterfront and pour it over and the
yet I'm just escalating for those yeah yeah yeah yeah. They still have those making coffee and liza comes out to me. She's sixteen says, but but can I sync tonight my father's here and he's never heard me sing and I'm saying to myself holy cow, Vincent nelly's have my shit. I can't believe it I should not. I'm sorry out wishes all please as it all please for you. I ok and then she and then then what happened? She didn't bring a judean one of my ex piano players was dating her and playing for making arrangements for, and he brought her and then so. We had nights when eliza saying with judy doing duets, with Peter alum playing the piano I'll go away from here. and then, when John broader and John I had a panel player, I sang duets with her with zero asthma, a little oh will you you re with jody and how
and how is the how's your voice? My voice was pretty good anyway she's with singing and my friend jack night, then only jack jack has six one stock and actor and good voice and with doing the member the truth so floor yet, and we have had a very smooth right in front of his little state, and I'm saying a chair and jack is pushing the chair and Judy and I see on the boardwalk him at lanting city. It was really I mean I'm bored, and then these two couples are sitting there. Gypsies here not broadway gypsies. We have generally intelligent and animal. Mrs, I want to sing next. I sat silent misconduct sing. I don't care who I wanna, seeing as it get out through them out Neither usually aren't we
thinking that maybe we're going to you we're going to actually get into show business. I'm in terms of singing- and I mean did you do I I you know I thought about it, but though isn't like minded I've done a few movies, but I'm always playing myself the right as a stretch, sure The beginning was at one of your angles in cars when opening the club. No no part, I wanna be a producer, and I was young. I do that and I did producer show you know a filing and and how who? How do you decide who went on and what what happened was part of that, and while she was the girl she was. conscience, I guess sunrise, but for the most part I was I was once referred to as benign dictator and you would come and say,
hey bud, can I go show mock you'll be our next. Oh I'm sorry! Rodney just came about after rodney, while Ronnie's on robert cleric and you'll be after robert here in the u beyond at four in the morning. Finally, sure, as you know, richard pryor would come into the hole that a young unknown neurotic jew hating. You owe a lot of young neurotic jews and gentiles either me well, you had that record. Asian, you ran sort of a tight ship ere I mean in? I read, I wasn't making a of fortune. I was bailey getting by eliza, vienna, LISA known joy, it I didn't know I know I know I know I know but know. The only experience I had in food was working as a way to say no, idea, what food costs and drink costs and all that I didn't think the hire somebody that might understand that. So I didn't have the money. You know, and I was always you know alex- says: uh, oh cut that crap, you know. I say you know how poor I was and how it still to this day you know colors.
The way, I think about things. When did you become a comical? When did you realize it? This was the racket I woods after I came out here are really nobody, but there are those guys, the improv rio and all it was singer. Comic, singer so. It was a variety singer. Comic comic singer in a single common comic comes in and I could walk. The bar and tell whether a singer. It goes on passive. A comic was on all the singers would be why, maybe a larger sail out and when I'm gonna do with it, I hated each other and they did oh, yes, it is how to count country says in this particular good day by day at yale time, but who were the guy you like. You know, because I know on the other, the story about jail. I know you going back back. The first comic dave, astor the abuse of today and the first country to make it out of the improbable, rob klein and run, was in show called an apple tree.
and he brought in and everyone can I curse on course, Who knows I'm a stage, a stage staffa and he came in with Alan older. Some larry blind and barbara Harris three studies arbitrary, using the course to watch him yeah, I'm impressed yeah but he was grey. He just what here was at that. be sixty six. I'm a guy. Sixty five mia. and and he was just coming into his voice? He was a breakout to rake in the material and then he started come in almost every night. Ah, with his wool inject tape, recorder, which was this big, like thirty inches wall table and he'd, stick it up in the back. itself and record the show angle, homer, listen to it, which an important thing, but the rabbit was in the car
but a crop for me and then rodney came in danger, feel that is the up and fell in love with Robert became his men. and then they just started sprouting am prior I forgot how the first time he came and by free you know the shift in prior right. It was late sixties priority why he was still doing bill cause, but right, but I didn't know because I never got outside russie. Anyone like those was then no always very funny, and he playing the living room and we went to see that's a nice colombia was an act of genocide and asia. farming and it was very crowded that the low place, so they sat nitze russell at my table, which is fine, get in and altering the show nephew. Ah, and hence I want the francois within if ceases, he's doing, build cosby
I said what he's doing build cosby anyone opening blasted wretched, oh, really and richer, debited it again now the end of the Gaza strip. When did that generation, Who would you say where the guys that you know that I give you gonna name five or ten comics. It came out of that late sixties that you you, you think we're improv, comics well, it would be Robert Klein richard rodney lily tomlin low came in my piano player was louis saint louis and he was from Detroit and mo Lewis I got a friend of mine from Detroit just came in she I'd. I should I tell it. And thirty nine eleven and wait to get started to Levin thirty. After the shows it broken, the people came it. So I have them. Stand out in front and low pulls up and
is it meant something there and the young lady its opening our white gloves, vanilla, Mr Friedmann, I suggest some lily tom unless oh come on She went on blew me away as she was already somebody. No no, but lately I haven't seen the dilemma: I'll tell ya so three weeks. This attitude is a real of gloves. She tells me the story that a block east of the improv was saint James. A big broadway nicolaus and, as I say, the faded in bright till eleven. thirty. So she went down. There gave the guy lemme five driver five dollars. drive around the block two years and I can make an entrance anyway I'm and well lot of guys like Elaine at booze le mosely bluestone who was also remains boyfriend and andy, kaufman, came along a bit later Louis richard, oh of course richard louis. Yes, thank you, but
A funny story. Didn't audition kill as it stick around with a second show thanks. A lot here do as well, they told me later again through, is laid out riviera. Why had thirty friends, my audition they left. They didn't stick around. So I says: ok and what about Jimmy walker, o jimmy walker, I thank you. Jimmy me, walker, freddy, prince right article you friday was fifteen than a half in this was like the late sixties. And what was the culture, I can mean you. Obviously you you were open when J f k got killed. I was one of the first time we closed. We open. We I mean we were there. We all our regular came and we sat around drinking wine and commiserating and that in the blackout, and I forgot we're the blackout was, but I was living a block west of the club and in like manner which was
unusual. My upon my fate would convey the building. I walked down the students, all dark and I get to the club, and I was sitting around doing up ass light some candles and open for fattening Did you ever show? We had the opposite the up and turning in what we do, have a microphone beginning the beginning have any. Now we got one to maybe six eight months into it and we did story theatre long before second city, that story fit, and we had Davis's sitting at the edge on a chair on the stage with the microphone An richard prior and I left out most important guy rhyme carry nea, who is the funniest man, and old here, no wrong. I don't like me, have the name of melody he was a short lie around vonny earlier in the day time he was kind twitchy ran very nobody. I anxiety and any was a chauvinism ways getting the
workers. I got a gun at me. I got a funny guy and he was there and he enrich apply would act at the story that date that David would be telling oh wow. It was brilliant and then, RON would go on every friday on Sunday night doing two shows a night pact doing all this catholic material in the late sixties, very God is that when it all started to sort of break out like an early six- and you could see people changing my Carl into Carl income in a couple of times, when did Calvin coming over. That light was at the most amazing thing, every move it, let's get somewhere out anti calvin. to me through a guy named abbe. Steyn, who owned a player a rock place rock coffee. I think it was in great great neck where Andy was from and he calls me up. I know slightly said: listen. I've got the sky. Ah you
Take a look in a very funny guy and I didn't ask I never ask questions. I sit. Fine, ok, send him down comes in here, Mr Friedmann, as it. Yes, I am Andy Kaufman. I look where you from can, I am from an island in the caspian sea is doing the foreign men and I'm biting what line and senior you got me it's okay episode. You finally funny gone pajamas goes on you doing of the farm evans looking out and they don't know what to do the nervous, le twitter, the annoying and then he does Elvis now Singing Elvis was no big deal for me, because when I was in the army in Japan, the japanese whim could sing. The american songs perfectly can speak a word of english right. Sorry. This is the same. Let me first, the song is war, thank you very much and I fell off the chair. no I've been had yeah?
in our with adopted Andy. Am I in the back room in particular, then I brought them out here for a month when I opened the club because, my guys had already moved out here, an airplane leah, Esta. Yet and it was J, leno, Freddy Princeton, Jimmy war, Jimmy, never came back and grateful fuck, but anyway so missy says to J. You can't play ball clubs and he says well, that's case since bud used to manage me I'll, go to the emperor yeah. Well, okay, you can play ball clubs because Freddy prince you want this anything to do, but andy came out and he comes out and east wrestling white women all day and I have to watch. I became expert on body language from behind because I'm watching the guy's shoulder
cause they want to go up and beat the shit out of Andy because he's notorious for this. Yet with the women in orlando cause, they are all so it was all set up. But when you were when you were looking at people like I, I imagine the reason you put people on was because they did well with the crowd right. I mean even at the original club who won with a cry I absolutely mark it was, you know, is my taste and the crowd. Stacy right, but I mean Andy sometimes would push the limit oh yeah, and but I knew andy- and I don't give a shit now- sometimes doing gets bigger tiring. We know about very great gaps. Announcer hit, broadway or broadway showed in allowing as a company called e something else, a company offering and they do it and the guy reads the book the whole book here, and but they have people acting out the pots, radio right hilarious think, have an a and it just via. He has other how I met zamudio was. He was part of a comedy team.
And they were terror, and may I end to this day on these, these fake blood, the fight fake, a fine. I love him their mouth, but they also the carpentry work. and they were helping me fix up the place, who would, as a modest partner was Chris all by two became president. I'll- be all right- isn't interesting there that I go out these guys even the door, guys one on our kind to right, how inclined Jimmy miller who handles carry any magic whose most successful comedy director now come. Director, Adam Mackay, now judd appetite shut up. It was a doorman out here, yeah instrumental in new york. We had canaan lands, Joe pisca, Paul Danny I Ella was about to pisca was a door before I was again
Oh yeah! Well, when he was struggling comic area now was a doorman later when silver had was a yank Kevin Brennan was adorned here when silver, yeah yeah, you came out here when I came out here in nineteen. Seventy five us late, Seventy four: we seventy five, so you basically most you, your guys left new york exactly as one reason why I want to live for other reasons were right: in a new sort of followed the business out said. New York shouted dried up a little and you competitive. Had you with your new york was we're doing great. It was a gold mine. It very, very well, so I am doubt here, because I wanted to live in laos, los angeles that was my
Pacemaker, oh really, why do you need to fire plug it in or why Joe ain't? No, I oh! I dunno your joker sr. I know I felt that you felt that way. My entire career, yeah I wonder area we will show so the improv, then you're by nineteen. Seventy was profitable. Nineteen seventy one: when did it start? Are we all know it was So when I went to europe for the first time, you took a vacation consumers if you leave the club but ill fall apart, yeah, and I hired chris aubert to be the manager and we're way for three weeks and we came back place was still in business. and in our chris, was young and is younger than I am and had a great report. The young comics,
and I said this is my chance to move to l a cause. I just thought to make money, and so I had come out here. I came out Seventy four, my friend jack night was on the series and he was also a carpenter. I knew what I was looking for and he did I took me around here and we went to what is now the improper and was called the pitcher players is his by guy Joe roth, who has become a very successful movie, but it still is and we went in it was just the great bones grab on, but there was nothing yeah, a bar and no kitchen yeah and as but they now wasn't for sale on an so
When I went back to uni, I saw this act there just do all that used to work for me in new york. They are now out here jose in l. A is the punchline now go ahead and I get a call from one of the guys his eyes. As I'm back in new york is I'm a writer on this new show called Saturday night live, and you still know a place cause the pitcher plays want to sell and he is Joe Ross phone them. And it was sen, Al Franken yeah. I always do a list of alumni yeah and I've left them off until last week and I'm watching the convention. I saw Mister holy shit me. The biggest name dropper in the world senator right so anyways I called up Joe made a deal on a phone for for the lease joy at him, but the, the problem as it is only a three and a half the elise, an attic amount me, the landlord din and finally, we have ten
elites. But were you aware the comedy store of cause began? My started Sorry I do you owe me. Sammy shore started a sort of a club out for his buddies and who is this part? I dont rudy deluca LUCA, ok, know now remember high anxiety, the killer with it, the the causing ninety braces on his area. That's rudy, ok, ok, Rudy! What rights all the movies with mel yeah, so He was waiting for salmon and he called me up rudy, and he says this but this is in when they over seventy two. Seventy three. Seventy two issues I'm thinking of opening a club like the improvin in hollywood. Would you be upset. I shall now another guy. I am, of course, Two years later. I did, but by then He was out of it and Sammy was out of it. yeah, who I am, she accuses me of sealing her idea
so the attention. Ah, I have no, I just I enjoy Yeah I enjoyed the in her her anxiety ryan's, but when came out, so you the ten year lease. I knew some things but your guys from new york will work and for her right here and then you set up, job in you? I need you right, Damn came, they all came except Jimmy walker right and you still pissed off at him. Yes, no kindness yeah. I know it has. Let me tell you a mark of all the people I used to say I used to think that they all of their career to me right. And I realize finally, after down thirty years- it's not that's true. They wanna may J what made it anywhere anytime may Taylor longer riley would remain, is it so evil that go excel at all ago, except Jimmy walker? He really otis created me
and put them on and once I saved his life cause, we I gotta beat the shit out of me. If I didn't now? How nature may he? that the only when you get the only grow The only grudge really really was pretty amazing. It is pretty amazing. They must be ours by tat, may be blocked them out of my mind or they no longer on the business. So when you, you and silver split up when he moved out here now came out here with asean sister Beth lived here from seventy for who is run in the new yorker chris, is there. We saw a piece of the club. Ok, The wee wee lasted about to seventy five. Seventy seven lisa and seventy eight we're gonna get worse and- and I agree, to give her the new york club, because I knew she wanted to go back to new york, and I kept this club and yacht club is really worth about ten times what this club was
and you had no vision of franchising or anything you're just now, just this was going to be a nightclub. Isn't exactly that. be it in know, and then I got out the management business manager managing midler, learn J Leno, those yellow announced that was it I then I had lenny we shall do, no german does so in one night in the bow with John here as well. five years ago, an amateur about lenin, jays name. I said you know I used to imagine you manage a limo idea and I also management. you met Jay and that managed bomber. Put me up on a pillar. I said I also Let me show you was fell on war lab me that all got I'm don't let me was can be the next season. yeah he was his son was hanging around for a little while I think his son was doing comedy yeah a little bit I used to eat it's weird they're like so you started
improved in l, a in seventy five, seventy four, seventy five burned down very quickly quince. Only a burned down to during the comic strike, and it wasn't the comics who did it not when I was at seventy now is now also has its choices what goes back to the seventy? Eight? The divorce is fine. and seventy nine and the strikers in seventy nine us from the fire came. The strike started at the common store because Mitya was paying any by enabling writing and a lot of money. What is you It was. I had no idea until I read that the book very soon, just how successful that place was at that time and share this big room that was cereals main were mere and so put in names, arrives, quotes and they then draw flies here then she put in three of her best unknowns and pack the place right and she's pack
in every friday and saturday night and she didn't want to give him money right, I'm just in time greece and in a way I was david ladder. Men and probably J went on, I'm not gonna destroy arise, spearheaded by you know the group, a comics intermediaries and yet it will eat tom was a youth union organ idea and dumb? They came to me and I should look why money, while I'm in the middle of a fire here, maybe you on paying guys either no no know anyway says look come back to after I open all negotiating good faith. I said fine believe me in hindsight. If they come to me first out a phone email address. You invite me- cause I struggled so long in new york. And I remember Jimmy walker again- was making in the sixties is worrying as an engineer and a radio station wmd and he member Alex Bennett we accord where'd frolicsome you he was making too
fifty dollars a week, two hundred and are for in those days. I was amazing. I was really reza anyway, so sire. I resented it out, but The time I got up and running again, I felt different land and humane agreement that, if you whatever she pays I'll pay. When now right when it. When I finish. I pay, though, the same low less. If you want my, why was there an idea that, like you, these guys, you work for nothing well, one when I thought of the club, and since I wasn't a any may why the fuck should they make any money, but it is also one open the club, there was only the club in the world bright light. So who As I say, you want to commend. You go on your weight, so I the hiring any variety right who then right they needed at age directly and
so when the club burned down, you suspect it might have been arson. We suspect that it might have been somebody from sunset boulevard devoted. Oh yeah, have somebody from sunset boulevard. You got a name on that. Yes, we do yes he's dead too. All he had nothing to do it. No is ali Joe, then yeah, I didn't really think it was I'm not going to mention any names and get sued for libel after this guy had a family, but you have a pretty strong sense. There was a comic yeah yeah and who has caught up the fervor of that that's situation. While she she was like a muslim, miss sought, miss, wasn't medusa, namaste, maria masonic messianic. You know I like these guys. Those and I the doorman there I mean. Are you in nineteen? Eighty eight, oh, I don't know yet for a year and even then after the air was over. She still, still his that thing there were it sort of liking, omits he said, mythologies ill. She
she's not right story is Alex and I went to the tonight show ah to see Charles nelson, while about something, and I know I do all those on the show and would go back stage at the show us, working on hallway and as mrs boy from what's his name why handsome belong argus august hamilton, who I double David with before I met Alex? I had it was silver, some gotta. He still goes on reunite. Firstly, I know it. I know as I go, hey hawaii and we saw toy room and then she sticks her head out over his shoulder as she, and so we walk on. We were backstage by the bar and he comes to get a drink now, a toy for five minutes. I added this to Alex Nolan that an outside just dating. serious, but would just stating and dumb
when he leaves? I said you know that's missy's boyfriend and she says what Alex's you telling me that a woman who looks like that has a man. looks like that and I look the way I look. Have you gotta marry this woman? Did you did she ever there was any sort of men's made between you and me now. no. I mean we use it when I come out here Forgive me if I should very friendly, very nice, but once once I stole her idea, I was in that area and where did you have the same resentment her? That scenario? Now I didn't care you know it's I mean. That's fleas the initial sort of like you need. Yet we have to share talent, care yeah. That was the other thing that that's what I really was ended in the sense for the comics, because I remember carol: skins yeah, I member with the high It was working well at the improv and sheep.
go to the common store and she went to new york for a week came ashes, but I did twelve shows in one night choose beaming right right in new york, run an evaluation anyway that that's the only thing the comics didn't get a chance to work out as much as they could cause. How many spots coming and she was a one that creating all the tenant. What goes by the time got there. You know he was already was sort of hanging on and dark and it always had sort of a dark energy, and that was some sort of weird unspoken rule. I remember when I got here is twenty years old and we wonder at the improv, so me and my friend jimmy we actually won over there during the day knows the show room and we did a separate each other, just gotta, at stake. When I was finishing off the club arose in albania is young couple walks. I am a committed they looking around. Is this the same improvin reactors it? Yes, it is. Are you the idea about how are you and which, having and
so who's going to be formed. The same people performing the ok, I said, yeah more or less is jay Leno, Sonia Freddie pennsylvania in a steve Landesberg. I said no, no steve won't be performing. Oh. Why well because he's living with the under the communist rush animals oh, no, not steve. Like he's gay rights, I said, are you a chauvinist lady could be owner the comedies to will be a woman whereby it is like good as it did you now, Stephen? You, like, I, don't know him as a comment, but he was growing. He was brilliant, brilliant. remain friends with him. Yes, yes, Alex Madame later on and you have just fell in love, so most of that stuff is faded? You know, like eco friendly, were comics in general, who made oh yeah yeah. I think so indeed you do. I mean maybe guys out them, show the guy's a very nice to me here, but they hate me. Why do you think day cause? Because I know I wasn't the most? diplomatic person in the world. I admit: in all- and I was also
very nervous, very uptight. When I met Alex in thirty two years ago. come into the club with me and I look in the dining room. I go slow, the chairs round moving them into place. The honors of looking for tens and also in as my baby care, and your personality drove the place yeah. But now my person has changed. Think that you know all the comics, because Alex's ass cause. She made me a nice guy, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, people were afraid of you. Yes, they were and now in terms of like, let's get to this branch- into the like, as it was clear that our talk, so the The comedy store was it's own thing, but you don't acknowledge ad is a comedy club like you acknowledge the improv as the first comedy club really yeah the comedy store with some weird experiment know there was a comedy club comedy club: no, no, no, but our union set out to franchise
what now? What? But what was the I do at when did you realize, like I've, got enough comics to do this? It wasn't it wasn't enough comic It was always enough comics, because you know missy had the dunes hotels. You know that at united, yet she still had it by the time I got yeah. So I had a comic who worked out of the club this passed away by naval mark anderson emma came from it. He owned the the part of the the arizona one that was exactly what he was did he have did he did he did he have the san francisco one too yeah yeah. I remember that guy yeah, it was very sweet guy and my friend bud robinson was managing 'em and mock was a psychiatrist psychologist phd from princeton, but he was crazy, loon, but a sweet guy and had an interesting different act and he said whoa yeah, I saw him say.
Whoa night, the the big turning point for the improv was evening of the emperor a television show. I did that twice: yeah nineteen, eighty, that's when it started, and so we did fourteen years of that right. So that became that's what made us and that's You know you could branch out as the branded becomes you add. A mock anderson came to me says I liked open and improvin san diego in pacific beecham from some went down near and I said ok and so We want our look for sites on a place built a club and we have the most fantastic opening near we young. We ran through the car on the train and but before we went down I Some of them had ever done before. Never really talk about the sun, the abbe for having done since I went to robin williamson. I said Jonathan.
This is coming to the opening and he loved see their mark addison new jonathan to his family and went to jobs. Robin webs is coming. They love to see you. Then we got them on the stage. For the first time ever ever oh my god and then was around zero. That was yet that was part of the EU than we had sought train. We had another bill more who has trampled on stage one men's room and care wearing a smoking jacket which you proceed, oil and we put everybody up we had be author, whose eyes went on television and ruth buzz. from laughing and it was. His grey hair Yvan of calm yeah. It was just wonderful and the the show was terrific, obviously with robin and I and Jonathan closing it and it ran for number of years. I never even to this day, why are closed. What this anti I go in here I was just like I remember the evening at the improv and then
Did that eighty nine ninety one I did you were there. and but like robins and another one like, I don't think anyone anticipated did you aunt is away when you have a net. What not robin move. Them was well yeah. You knew that, but that comedy would get so fuckin hot. Oh I never that's a good idea. That's it why? Because I never thought that comedians. Would become like super rock stars so what the arena having eyes was ranked with amid seven years late most create? When will I what do you think that once more the eighties, why that happen? It cable, you know when one, the member, the hot channel yeah right and what was represses bosses anyway. The president, a man of youth shanty am, I gave you. The eritrean hbo had a champagne breakfast yet at the four seasons, so that Alan, thereby for people in the room- and he said you know- stage rio. There now
three hundred comedy clubs in america yelled out thanks a lot Michael. You are proposing run, but it was cable. It was a success of the emperor of, but do you think I can a lot of people like my generation than in and certainly when they, the collapse of the boom, happened and clubs you're hurting Will you ever that joy blamed overexposure and they blame Yeah, there was a watering down that there were comics have, maybe not we're not that great of were to mediocre. I used to drive me I go into the improbably had that fuckin sign on the wall, overman jokes stole that, unlike ye know, who is comparing into its walking mcdonald now I know now I got the joke, but do you think I'm some level? I know I've never is I theory on that in know. Guys would look at my success and see the show I say what we will do that I can do it
then a cover all my bowling alley make it a calm. He club right and they did and whom you get warm. Who, who do I have here in des moines? I know harry, is a funny guy that guy at the gas station then, and so the people would, oh and mine see Harry prevail. Who is not. now less than adequate and they say wolves is welcome. Clubs is all about. Why should I go the improv when I go to l a or the vegas, or something like that, I see you think you re a day that was upon regional comedy scenes that were built on happy hour, performers in aspiring comics air and the recession. Right now, but I mean did you do you consider like? Will you ever intrusive, like I know like that, the committee was guiding everybody through their agone telling them again, but I never got that for me, where their guys did you ever step in and creatively coach anybody I did know, never listened
gunnar, so even at the beginning, but because I remember silver was all very well. I even when I was there in the place was was sort of dying You know in the late eighty years she was always very proactive in very sort of liking, coddling and all eyes, always it we're always encouraging ass. I was always encouraging and I d give notes occasionally or what, but it was mostly the encouragement beata they need anything, is an art form. Yes and I would go. I have a big laugh, as you probably know this, and I would go to the tonight. in new york and the ed Sullivan show and all the comment when I a comics wrong in your life who the guy like you know you just like a aside. Iran carry the guy's a jesse, forever? Will you have not made a mark? I got them all robert climb, richard prior roddy dangerfield human rights, we came in, he works at the living. In the same place, a ritual unto eventually and I saw the right up
I do not want any just sort of reinvented himself. Just came back as I like twelve year of womb simon, incites Alan jokes, Eric, heard rainy days, I'm expecting this ivy ivy league er I come in and I will now suit lapel sooner this guy walks animal age drawn and he's drunk, and he goes on stage. Any bombed. Probably only time we have a bomb vampire came back the next night, so well as if to sail. Shall these young lawyer and I guess, have wiped out the room, just brilliant. he became my unofficial house m c for two years. And when did he opened his own club after two years? Yet when he asked me to run it for him, and I said I can't leave my club it'll fall apart re a year later, I loved it and the first year Chris was running a business increase. Fifteen percent- you know so. But when you look at the
the argus showbiz. You look at somebody like Robert Klein, who you know some people think you did not get. You know the that they do the respect that was owed him as I am a covert tyre. Do you believe that, yes, I do. Why do you think I have well? There was something about whose persona which I did not see but in eyes it says that the here use allow arrogant. I thought I had the right to be yeah yeah he so he used pop as any maybe opportunities from a lot of guys way back when I was at the improved by time as well the new york improv. You know Marty was hang around by Bob Shaw, was hanging around right Darien was still around my. I ve an uncle birdie I bought around. I mean all those guys how do you do? You know why? What did we?
in the ally that america will bob claims. He had the biggest selling comedy album in their ever at that time, as we used to talk about uncle birdie, he's a sailor. Guy I've met yeah, he agreed with a quizzical look. Bud freeman's face, but why do you think? Do you think our guys were great that just didn't make it? Why it well, I didn't think uncle was was right. I thought he was a little long. What's the word derivative na, but people to say to me years ago, who hasn't made it that should have made here and there as I have the time was J leno me up all the time in the eye. And but now I feel it One who's made it as made it because I, serve to other lucky but having is anyone that hasn't made it. I can't think of anyone that, I can understand. Why didn't make it right, usually
the story. There there's a story and they're just not good enough, but also like their own demons. Perhaps that happens occasional sure, but I don't know. I can't think of you and I thought of this many times I can, Many believe that should remain yeah right without a reasonable explanation, yeah yeah, and do you what do you think of the the state of comedy now? Well, I think it's very good. You know it's it's interesting, because there are thousands of comics where there used to be hundreds. It's a good thing for me. It is when I started the m prob. his years. Our regular saving iran carry stiller mirror richer prior. Recline roddy dangerfield, a lily tolman. You would never mistake. One voice but the other right. You knew the minute. You are these people who they were. They were unique. They are unique
Well, maybe they were unique than on a more because cable those are always unique. There can be no doubt about the exposure right on able and on television rights became such a thing that people started to copy and how tough Is it your comic there come up with original material is hard. Nobody else is touched right, so I say that, although there are thousands of comics, there is still the blue light cream will rise to the top with unique voice, yielding voices who, in oh still the same number of break out rifle right, though just more so,
if wait for the whatever, but you need those guys to write me, especially when you're running a franchise business you gotta have that, while we hope we only take the top people for our clubs, but I mean you: gotta have openers and middles and yes, I gotta have a farm system and it works out, and you see people developing and very gratifying and the like. Where do you stand on like you people that our derivatives, I mean when you see people that are obviously stealing people's work in that kind as well. We we called out a few people on that in no. They don't write rate to highly rang right anyway, and I work for me. He often also so we went with the status of the situation. I like icy over there. I don't know what your involvement in the club- oh well, my boy, mark law known, I have nineteen, nineteen Ninety nine carry my much the flying by Eighty, ninety nine, we franchised all licensed all the clue,
including melrose to a guy named alkaline. ah, and he a great plans, and ideas and he was a guy. You created popeye's chicken, yeah yeah, I am, but they had. No anti homosexual behaviour thereof came policies on the level So in oh and I had a great plan and in our discussing nay, were they where he would rob at home and who had worked for some money is so I thought it was in safe hands. and it is I mean I then I'll dive but before I die, we have assumed because it was helping the imo clubs, you suppose so some air, but some involvement. Is we on the name? We get a piece of the action. But we don't have the day to aggravation, which is why I consider and smile and in one go cried is driving out here wherever we are not therefore wrought by pasadena,
I thought yeah. I didn't want to get into that. I dunno that the two jews me, whether you spend the first two hours talking about how I got here. I I that's why, I decided after I was out in california a few years ago, when I got to talking about how I got someplace cause. I could go on forever. Oh so you're doing all right and you and one hour, our friends, hm yeah. As a matter of fact, we're going next week, then twentieth lion mark Joanna, going up to boston for the comedy festival at mach and I are gonna, be judges We just have to go up there yeah it's nice up there. He was very funny like years ago when I was a lot more angry and I did it and I'm sat at your club, and you know I was a yup they're storming around and it was clearly not a great show and I got off in one hour said this very uplifting
It can be a little sarcastic. Yes, but the weird thing is, I read the book and I read both the zog ones book and I read the I'm dying up here and I tell you I I just had no, because I'm Well, I'm forty nine, so I don't have any context of what you guys are like when you were young and you know, and and just a it's hard for me to ever. Imagine you guys as young men and not in a bad way. I mean, like you know when things were young, when you were at the beginning of summer, yeah right yeah and you know in his like you know like he what he comes from. You know. It went in his place a like. He was sort of on the referee of the strike and in his while here he and his wife were right about me. I like you, know, and he said something about the amidst at the end of that book that was taken from testimony. It was so genius and It's so amazing to me that, like you know, Jay leno and David letterman, all these guys were twenty two. twenty three year old guy. I know that were amazing that were in secure in, but it was like a beginning, a rock n roll. Here I mean you were the beat. You are the source of energy. That change over from the
guard. I mean you're what you d. What's your relationship with that, I see pictures of the umbrella your shaggy green body hack in those guys, but they were done right by well. What time you started, oh yeah, they were well very well established. They were rita, semi, retired, mostly retired, but I was a member of the fry as I'm met always guises legends yeah number. Jam and yet again by the hakon endearing, Who did you see them when you were younger at all? Did you ever go to the hills and the guy were the cat skills for years doing. Why dogmas? did everything alive. God, both boy, you, waiter, busboys stagehands, so he saw those comics yeah and only bishop tip
and Allah wants. You know yeah yeah, so you have those memories yeah, but isn't it interesting? How like how there's such a shift in the style of comedy and when stand up became it's own thing as opposed to just those guys? Those are the guys who you know a handful of guys who were names. good headline, but for the most part there are two aspects. I feel that I've changed. In a world? Tat is comics when allow opening acts right. Yeah yeah ngos get bb. Besides those guys they became comedy stars and an too because of me comic start to get laid enroll in general. They never got late April, that's right and that was a big driving force in the improv was like, and that was the other, I'm sorry, but that was the other thing. I could measure a comics essential by how successfully was with the women who reviewers rigid, Lois Roy. by way that beef well when they are unknown
in Jay leno, oh yeah yeah they were kotchman. Oh yeah, guess you're, like those are the guys that this guy's going to be great. Well thanks. Making the short, but all right. Good time. I hope I get home yeah, we'll figure it out. I saw a little hotel down the street I'll wait till daylight sets you up in pasadena.
Transcript generated on 2022-11-15.