Showtime Orders Comedy Store Docuseries

Comedy Store - H 2015
Courtesy of AP Images

Showtime will delve into the history of iconic Los Angeles comedy club The Comedy Store with a four-part docuseries.

The show, slated for a 2020 premiere, comes from Mike Binder (The Mind of the Married Man, Ray Donovan), who will direct and executive produce alongside Mike Tollin (One Tree Hill, Showtime's The Franchise). It will feature interviews with some of the many comics who have honed their material at the club along with vintage performance footage, some of it never before seen.

"The Comedy Store is a magical place — it's Juilliard for stand-up comics, the Bolshoi Ballet of comedy," said Binder, a former stand-up and Comedy Store alum. "It's an honor for me to be able to return home to my roots, and I am so grateful to be able to tell this remarkable story."

The roster of performers who got their start or honed their craft at The Comedy Store reads like a comedy hall of fame: Richard Pryor, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Dave Chappelle, Sarah Silverman, Judd Apatow, Chris Rock, Marc Maron, Whitney Cummings, Bob Saget and scores of others. Longtime owner Mitzi Shore, who died in 2018, acted as a mentor and "maternal influence," as Letterman put it, to several generations of comedians.

Jon Weinbach, Shore's son Peter and Paul Young also executive produce the as-yet untitled series. Adam Eget, creative director of The Comedy Store, and Mandalay Sports Media's Jonathan Vogler are producers.

The Comedy Store docuseries follows Showtime's scripted dramedy I'm Dying Up Here, which ran for two seasons in 2017-18. The show was set in the early 1970s as the L.A. stand-up scene was heating up and featured Melissa Leo playing a club owner loosely based on Mitzi Shore.