87-year-old Mitzi Shore was known as the “godmother of comedy” in Los Angeles, before passing away on Wednesday, April 11. Mitzi was the beloved owner of the Comedy Store where many aspiring comedians got their start.
Mitzi was born on July 25, 1930, in Marinette, Wisconsin. She went on to marry Sammy Shore, a fellow comedian, and together they had four children, Peter, Scott, Pauly, and Sandy. Pauly Shore became a beloved comedian and actor.
Mitzi and Sammy opened the Comedy Store in 1972, and when they divorced in 1974, Mitzi gained complete ownership of the club. According to Sammy, he gave her full control in order to lower his alimony payments.
Under her leadership, many now-famous comedians such as Robin Williams, Jimmy Brogan, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Jim Carrey got the start they needed. She even had a room called the “Belly Room” which she only booked female comedians in, back when it was hard for a female comedian to find a club to perform at.
Following a strike, the Comedy Store became one of the first clubs to pay the comedians for performing. The price was set at $15 per performer in 1979 and has never increased as it is now seen a symbol of pride to perform there.
In 1982, Mitzi founded Comedy Channel Inc., which was used to create and sell videotapes of the performances at the comedy store. In 1989, she sued HBO after they launched a premium cable service they called “The Comedy Channel.” The channel eventually merged with Viacom’s Ha! Channel, before becoming today’s beloved “Comedy Central.”
Mitzi was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and has been in hospice care for a while. A week before her passing, Pauly began to tweet to his followers about the shape she was in and comedians began to flood in with their comments and memories they shared with her.
Mitzi passed away at 4:42 am on April 11, according to Pauly. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved her, and this will be a truly hard loss for her family. Please, keep them in your prayers tonight as they face this horrible loss.
This is a horrible story, and we know that sometimes we need a reminder of the good in the world at a time like this, so be sure to check out the video below!