Budd Friedman

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Budd Friedman Passed Away At The Age Of 90

Budd Friedman

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The Improv Comedy Club’s founder and American comic Budd Friedman passed away on Saturday, November 12, at the age of 90. Heart failure caused his death at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

His passing was revealed on the Hollywood Improv’s official Twitter account. This tweet stated:

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“The comic book industry lost a titan today. By opening the first comedy club where the whole public could laugh together in 1963, he completely changed the way comedy was done. In 1963, he changed the world. He traveled abroad. He blazed new paths. A real gentleman, he was. He was well-known.

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The actor and producer started the Improv in New York City in 1963, not long after leaving his position as an advertising executive.

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Budd Friedman, who was born in Norwich, Connecticut on June 6, 1932, served in the infantry of the United States Army in the early 1950s during the Korean War.

On his first day of battle in the summer of 1953, Friedman was hurt by an enemy grenade and was taken to the hospital. The Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badges were awarded to him (CIB). The Improv was founded in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen by the comedy club pioneer and his future wife, Silver Saunders, in 1963. The single location of the club was at the southeast corner of 9th Avenue on 44th Street.

The Improvisation Comedy Club used to be a bar where Broadway players would perform after hours. Over time, the comedians used the club to try out new material, and talent agents from other New York-based productions started hiring contemporary artists from the space.

Just a few of the well-known comedians Budd Friedman assisted in the development include Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Lewis, Robert Klein, Jay Leno, Andy Kaufman, Freddie Prinze, Steve Landesberg, and Jimmie Walker.

A diverse group of admirers and famous people paid respect to the unexpected loss of a man who was so renowned and powerful. Friedman was a well-known figure in the comedy community, and fans and comedians expressed their sorrow over his passing on Twitter.

The Improv evolved into a nationwide franchise of comedy clubs, with locations in Hollywood, Miami, Ontario, Tampa, Kansas City, Cleveland, and many other cities. Budd Friedman’s comedy club company provided a stage for several influential figures in the field to perform simultaneously.

Various Tasks

From 1982 through 1996, Friedman served as the warm-up host for the A&E Network television program An Evening at the Improv. The well-known actor has appeared in movies including Star 80, Funny Money, Jim Carrey’s Man on the Moon (as himself), and Judd Apatow’s 2009 comedy Funny People in addition to his career as an MC.

In 2014, Budd Friedman sold Levity Live the Improv brand. In 2017, he collaborated on the book The Improv: An Oral History of the Comedy Club That Revolutionized Stand-Up. His survivors include his wife Alix, kids Zoe, Dax, Beth, and Ross, and grandchildren Noah, Sophia, Jacob, Bronte, and Gibson.

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