Runtime: 80 minutes
Comedy Club - The Comedy Store - Netflix
The Comedy Store is a comedy club located in West Hollywood, California, at 8433 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip. It has a sister comedy club in La Jolla, San Diego, California.
Comedy Club - Job action - Netflix
Beginning in 1979, The Comedy Store served for many years as the host location for the annual HBO Young Comedians specials. Also in 1979, stand-up comedians formed a short-lived labor union and demanded to be paid for their appearances at The Comedy Store. For six weeks (beginning in March), several famous comedians staged a protest in front of the club, while others crossed the picket line. The comedians involved formed a union called Comedians for Compensation and fought for pay where they had received none before. They eventually picketed in front of the club when their demands were not met. Jay Leno and David Letterman were among those on the picket line 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 argued that the club was and had always been a showcase and training ground for young comedians and was not about profits. She alleged that comedians came to the club and could work on their material in front of casting agents and other talent scouts who would possibly hire them as professionals if they were good enough. The comedians at the club became unhappy when the club was expanded several times and it was perceived that Shore's profits were quite substantial. Shore also paid the rest of her staff, including waitresses and bartenders. After the strike, some comedians were no longer allowed to perform at the club, including Steve Lubetkin, who committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the Continental Hyatt House next door. His suicide note included the line: “My name is Steve Lubetkin. I used to work at The Comedy Store.” Lubetkin hoped that his suicide would resolve the labor dispute. He also cited Shore as the reason he no longer had a job. The union ceased to exist in 1980, although from the time of the job action onward, comedians in Los Angeles were paid for their shows. This included The Comedy Store and The Improv.