Mitzi Shore, the woman behind the famous Comedy Store club in Los Angeles, has died, aged 87. Shore - the mother of comedian and actor Pauly - was known to be one of the most influential figures in comedy and the Comedy Store paid tribute to her on its website.
The statement read:
"It is with great sadness and very heavy hearts that we report the passing of Mitzi Shore, the legendary Godmother of the world famous Comedy Store.
"Mitzi was an extraordinary businesswoman and decades ahead of her time who cultivated and celebrated the artistry of stand-up comedy. She was also a loving mother not only to her own four children but to the myriad of comedians who adored her.
"She leaves behind an indelible mark and legacy and has helped change the face of comedy. We will all miss her dearly."
It is understand that Ms Shore - who was born Mitzi Lee Saidel in Marinette, Wisconsin - had suffered from Parkinson’s disease and other neurological problems.
She opened the club, on the Sunset Strip in 1972, alongside her husband Sammy Shore and fellow comic, Rudy De Luca. After her divorce from Mr Shore, she kept the club (to save her husband paying her alimony), expanding it into other locations including Las Vegas. It became hugely successful and she was known as the "godmother of comedy" for the way she revolutionised the genre.
The names of comedians who performed at the store since the 1970s cover the best-known in US humour, including Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, David Letterman - who is said to have babysat her children, Jim Carrey - who started off as a doorman at the club - and Andy Kaufman. Many paid tribute to her via social media.
The great Mitzi Shore, owner of the famous Comedy Store, has passed away. No words can express the gratitude I have for her. We met in 1979. She opened the door to my dreams! If she loved you, you did well. If she didn’t, you did something else. I will love her forever. ;^) pic.twitter.com/lBNXnW0mEr— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) April 11, 2018I
This is a very sad day for the family of 🎤 standup comics on the planet. #MitziShore was my friend ... and the owner of @TheComedyStore on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.— Arsenio Hall (@ArsenioHall) April 11, 2018
RIP 🙏🏾 / 87 years young. pic.twitter.com/cSMCZ37Dzf
Mitzi Shore was a pioneer who gave more comics their start than I can count...I did my first legit comedy gig at the Store. She was a woman in a male dominated business who pulled no punches, something I always admired. My heart goes out to @paulyshore and the entire Shore family pic.twitter.com/kabGgWMVuR— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) April 11, 2018
The Comedy Store was closed in Ms Shore's honour on Wednesday.