The owner of Los Angeles' Comedy Store, which featured stand-up performances that launched the careers of some of the most influential comedians, has died at 87.
The Comedy Store announced the death of Mitzi Shore, a respected and beloved figure in the world of stand-up comedy, in a somber statement Wednesday morning. The woman described as the godmother of comedy in Los Angeles died after a battle with Parkinson's disease, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"Mitzi was an extraordinary woman and leader who identified, cultivated and celebrated comedy's best performers," the Comedy Store said in a statement.
She is the mother of comedian Pauly Shore, who paid tribute to her on Twitter. Pauly Shore said he took his ailing mother to The Comedy Store earlier this week, even though she was in hospice care, so she could visit the famed venue one last time.
The Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood was the starting point for some of the biggest comics in the world, including Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, Arsenio Hall and Roseanne Barr. Shore, the mother of comic Pauley Shore, is credited with showcasing their talents before they became household names.
The club will be closed Wednesday night in her memory.
"It's a really sad day," Rock wrote on his Instagram page, where he posted a photo of Mitzi Shore. "Mitzi was the best."
A host of comics and performers posted Twitter messages over the past week.
Comedian Taylor Williamson wrote, "Thank you Mitzi for creating a world for me to dream of being a part of and for allowing me to live that dream, for bringing so much laughter into the world, for 'planting me in the dirt' to challenge me to become a stronger comic."
Joe Rogan called her leadership of The Comedy Store "one of the most important things in the history of stand-up comedy, and I will forever be in her debt."
Mitzi Shore took over operations of The Comedy Store in 1974 when she divorced her husband Sammy Shore, who co-founded the club two years earlier. She bought the building two years later.
In addition to Pauly, Mitzi Shore had two other sons, Peter and Scott, and a daughter, Sandy.