Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
(310) 652-3863
Select Page


Comedians — Sammy Shore (1927–2019), and Rudy De Luca, opened the Comedy Store in April 1972. The building was formerly the home of Ciro’s, a popular William Wilkerson-owned Hollywood nightclub, and later a rock and roll venue where The Byrds were discovered in 1964.

When the venue reopened in 1972 as The Comedy Store, it housed a 99-seat theater. Sammy Shore’s ex-wife Mitzi Shore began operating the club as a part of a divorce settlement in 1973, and she was able to buy this house in 1976. She then redesigned the club and enlarged it to include a main room with 450 seats.

In 1974, The Comedy Store hosted the wedding reception of newlyweds Liza Minnelli (daughter of Judy Garland) and Jack Haley, Jr., (son of Jack Haley who played “the Tin Man” in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz). The Comedy Club signage was covered, for the evening, by signs reading “Ciro’s”, denoting the venue’s prior identity. Several dozen Hollywood glitterati attended the event including Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr., Cher, Bob Fosse, Johnny Carson, Goldie Hawn, Cesar Romero, Priscilla Presley and other past and present stars. The soiree was so grand that police temporarily blocked Sunset Boulevard to allow Hollywood royalty to arrive unmolested by photographers and reporters in its limos.


Job action

The Comedy Store served as the host location for the annual HBO Young Comedians specials for many years starting in 1979. Stand-up comics also founded a short-lived labor union in 1979, and demanded payment for their performances at The Comedy Store. Several famous comedians staged a protest in front of the club for six weeks (starting in March), whilst others crossed the picket line. The comics involved formed a union called Comics for Pay, fighting for compensation where they had previously received none. They eventually picketed in front of the club when their demands were not met. Among those on the picket line were Jay Leno and David Letterman while Garry Shandling and Yakov Smirnoff crossed the line.

The job action was not legally a strike as the comedians were classified as “independent contractors” and were not under contract with the club.

Mitzi Shore claimed that the club was a platform and training ground for young comedians, and that it was not for money. She alleged that comedians came to the club and could work on their material before casting agents and other talent scouts who, if they were good enough, could hire them as professionals.

When the club grew many times, the comedians at the club were dissatisfied and it was considered that the profits from Shore were quite large. The rest of her staff was also paid by Shore, including waitresses and bartenders.

Some comedians, including Steve Lubetkin, who committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the Continental Hyatt House next door, were no longer allowed to perform at the club after the strike. The line was included in his suicide note: “My name is Steve Lubetkin. I used to work in The Comedy Store.” Lubetkin hoped his suicide would resolve the labor dispute. He also cited Shore as the reason he was no longer employed.

The union ceased to exist in 1980, though comedians in Los Angeles were paid for their shows from the time of the job action onwards. The Comedy Store and The Improv included this.

This interesting landmark is located near the following amazing site in West Hollywood, California:

  • The Sunset Strip
  • Andaz West Hollywood
  • The Pacific Design Center
  • The Roxy Theatre 
  • Viper Room
  • Plummer Park
  • Comedy Store
  • Sierra Towers
  • Saint Victor Catholic Church

All of these wonderful locations are located just a short distance from our location located at 8654 Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood! Stop by for a visit anytime!