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View Diary: Jay Leno Loves Him Some Unions (12 comments)

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  •  Yeah, I read the book, too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rbird, Dirtandiron, koNko

    a couple years ago. I forget what it was called. But the basic idea was what happened when Johnny Carson moved the Tonight Show from New York to L.A. and the best way to get on the Tonight Show (with Johnny Carson) was to be seen at either the Comedy Store (owned by Mitzi Shore, who's also the mother of Pauly Shore) or The Improv (owned by Bud Friedman). Most of their shows were showcases (basically an open mike but with well-known people getting the best spots on the best nights). An unknown might start out doing a few minutes at 2 AM late on a Monday night and work their way up to 30 minutes at 8 PM on Friday.

    Patrons paid a cover charge just to get in, and usually there was a two-drink minimum. The clubs were packed. But the comics didn't get paid a cent (they were told that talent scouts were in the audience, so they might get a spot on Carson or a sitcom or a movie -- even a job as a writer). So the comics demanded some minimal amount of money -- even a few bucks to pay for gas -- for being the talent that brings in the crowds. And the comics started a union to demand fair wages.

    It was a very entertaining book. Mitzi Shore (Comedy Store) comes out as the villain. Bud Friedman was kind of a jerk, but he wasn't as bad as she was.

    Very interesting book.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:55:25 PM PST

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