HBO has renewed "Real Time with Bill Maher for 2 more seasons - Sam Jones/HBO
News In Comedy We were lucky enough to be at the Comedy Store's 40th anniversary party on Saturday, with performances from the likes of Louie Anderson, Dom Irrera, Garry Shandling, Bill Burr, John Caparulo, Natasha Leggero, Brody Stevens, Tony Clifton, Iliza Schlesinger, and countless others paying homage to impressario Mitzi Shore's comedy Mecca. Legendary managers like Barry Katz were in the audience along with countless TV writers, producers, and other comedians. Tony Clifton sang REM's "Man On The Moon" backed by a live band of lingerie clad musicians while a video "In Memorium" montage played. Nearly half a century of pop culture has been directly influenced by peformers who went through the hallowed/terrifying doors of the Comedy Store. Hopefully there will be a 50th anniversary.
The comedy world has been in a transition period as it attempts to grapple with the Internet, the alternative comedy scene and more emphasis on the personalities rather than the platform.
"It's kind of change or die," says Alf LaMont, VP of marketing and development at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. "We've been doing it within the context of an old school comedy club, and that model is broken."
"The world has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, in a way that was so fast that it was difficult for businesses who had been doing really well for 20 years to acknowledge," LaMont says. "The bottom got taken out of things and people didn't know what to do, and they still don't know what do."
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It wasn't always this way. In the early 1970s, Johnny Carson moved "the Tonight Show" from New York to L.A. "Back in those days, the only way to be seen was to be on Carson," LaMont says. "Carson scouts only go to comedy clubs to see prospective talent, there's only one comedy club in L.A., and that was, at the time, the Comedy Store."