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April 11, 2018 12:42 pm  #1

Iconic Comedy World Mentor Is Gone

Do you like comedians such as Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Richard Pryor, Chevy Chase or Chris Rock? Outside of being comics and actors, they all have one other thing in common - a woman named Mitzi Shore. She's the longtime owner and proprietor of a legendary Los Angeles-area club called "The Comedy Store." And she's responsible for launching the careers of literally hundreds of now famous stand-ups. (It's also the place where the producers of the old Tonight Show With Johnny Carson discovered so much of the talent that would eventually appear for the first time on that show.)

Shore died on Wednesday at the age of 87. And even if you've never heard of her, her contributions to North American comedy are simply unmatched. (If you've seen the Showtime series "I'm Dying Up Here" you'll know that the club owner depicted in that show is based entirely on Shore.)

The number of people who got their start or found their fame on stage at that club is simply astounding. Here's just a partial list:

Rodney Dangerfield, Louis CK, Roseanne Barr, George Carlin, John Belushi, Bill Maher, Sam Kinison, Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling, Andy Kaufman, Ellen DeGeneres and Louie Anderson. And there's a lot more than that. 

So this is one day you may hear a lot of comedians telling stories. But they'll all be tinged with a touch of sadness for a woman who started so many of them out on their paths to stardom. 

Comedy Store Owner Mitzi Shore Dies at 87