Budd Friedman, comedy icon and creator of improvisation, dies at age 90

Budd Friedman, comedy icon and creator of improvisation, dies at age 90

Saturday, the Hollywood Improv revealed that comedy pioneer Budd Friedman, who founded the iconic comedy club The Improv, has died at the age of 90.

Friedman had just celebrated his 90th birthday at the Hollywood site of the comedy club.

The former advertising executive founded The Improvisation in New York City in 1963 as a place for Broadway performers to congregate after performances. Despite the lack of a liquor license, the Broadway producer attracted celebrities such as Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, who performed while Peter Allen played the piano.

When comic Dave Astor performed fresh material, the Broadway hotspot was filled with laughter. Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, and Larry David, among others, attempted to catch Friedman’s attention.

Friedman established a second location on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood and hired Jay Leno to help paint the ceiling, while the New York club propelled a number of individuals to prominence.

In the 1980s, both establishments flourished, and Friedman’s weekly hosting of A&E’s “An Evening at the Improv” introduced stand-up comedy to American televisions.

»Budd Friedman, comedy icon and creator of improvisation, dies at age 90«

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