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Died – Demise – Obituary : Budd Friedman, founding father of the Improv comedy membership, dies at 90 #Budd #Friedman #founder #Improv #comedy #membership #dies



Died – Demise – Obituary

Budd Friedman, founding father of the Improv comedy membership, dies at 90

Budd Friedman, who earned the nickname the godfather of comedy by founding and increasing some of the distinguished comedy membership franchises in the US, has died. He was 90.

Friedman’s spouse, Alix, instructed the Hollywood Reporter that the Improv comedy membership founder died Saturday of coronary heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Heart in Los Angeles, the place he lived in Westwood. Erin von Schonfeldt, lead expertise booker on the Hollywood Improv, confirmed his demise to The Occasions.

“The comedy world misplaced an enormous at this time,” the Improv staff mentioned in a press release.

“He was not a slapstick comedian or sit-com star or film legend. However he gave beginning to a technology of artists who outlined American comedy and tradition for many years. … For nearly 60 years, by means of steady and turbulent instances, the Improv levels offered the platform for hundreds of artists to talk their fact—and hopefully catch the watchful eye of Budd within the course of.”

In 1963, Friedman based the Improv’s flagship location — a late-night coffeehouse and restaurant within the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York with a tiny showroom that attracted the theater crowd. It’s evolution into one of many hottest comedy golf equipment on the scene “was all an accident,” in response to Friedman, who initially billed the venue as a coffeehouse that served meals as a result of he “couldn’t afford a liquor license.”

Although Friedman bought the unique membership in 1979, the Improv now boasts greater than 20 places throughout the nation, together with levels in Brea, Irvine, Oxnard, San Jose and Hollywood.

Because the Improv’s stand-up footprint expanded over time, Friedman and enterprise associate Mark Lonow helped launch the careers of Jerry Seinfeld, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin, Billy Crystal, Andy Kaufman, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Eddie Murphy, Tim Allen, Jay Leno, Dave Chappelle, Jamie Foxx, Jeff Dunham, Gabriel Iglesias, Chris Rock and different family comedy names.

Amid the rise of cable tv within the Eighties and ‘90s, Friedman elevated his affect by internet hosting “An Night on the Improv,” a stand-up comedy collection that featured the likes of Ray Romano, Ellen DeGeneres, Sarah Silverman and Drew Carey.

“Membership house owners might complain that there’s an excessive amount of stand-up on TV,” Friedman instructed The Occasions in 1994, “however they’re often those that don’t have a present. Tv has been nice for the Improv, producing cash and goodwill. And I don’t suppose it’s affected the membership crowds poorly, as a result of for all of the comedy on TV, the membership continues to be a really completely different expertise.”

When information of his demise surfaced over the weekend, various comedians — from Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow to Kevin Nealon and Loni Love — paid tribute to Friedman on social media.

“Budd Friedman. Can’t thank this man sufficient for what he gave to all of us,” Sandler tweeted on Sunday. “A comedy house. All of the stage time. All the guidelines. All of the encouragement. A spot for comedians to hang around and discuss nothing however comedy. … No place just like the improv. Nobody like this man. Nice to so many. Considering of Bud and his household at this time with a lot love and appreciation.”

“Budd Friedman is the rationale many comics you see at this time are working,” Love tweeted on Saturday. “He put cash in our pockets and offered an area for us to audition and be seen for our get up…thanks a lot Budd for believing within the energy of comedy.. you modified the world now relaxation.”

Von Schonfeldt of the Hollywood Improv mentioned the membership hosted a celebration for Friedman’s ninetieth birthday in June. Even in outdated age and having survived a stroke, Friedman visited the membership frequently, sat at his sales space within the again, sipped champagne and was at all times giving the workers notes about enhancing the membership.

Friedman is survived by his spouse, Alix, daughters Zoe and Beth and stepsons Dax and Ross.

“He was tremendous sharp, didn’t miss a beat,” Von Schonfeldt mentioned. Above all, his ardour for the enterprise made him an iconic determine within the comedy world.

“Not solely did he construct the improv, however he created the comedy membership,” she mentioned. “And so to go away that legacy of laughter with out having stepped on anyone to do it’s sort of remarkable.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.



Budd Friedman, founding father of the Improv comedy membership, dies at 90

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